"This is war," the dragon said. And she believed him.
Di fled rural West Virginia to study music and pursue a bright future as a violinist. But when a mining accident nearly kills her father, she is summoned back home to support her family. Old ghosts and an old flame emerge from the past. When Di gets a job as a bookkeeper at the same mine where her father worked, she is drawn into a conflict pitting neighbor against neighbor as the mine plans an expansion to an untouched mountain.
If the mining company's operation goes forward, there will be more at stake than livelihoods or the pollution of the land: Di has discovered a dragon lives deep within Sawtooth Mountain, and he is not happy with this encroachment upon his lair. When catastrophe strikes, Di must choose between her family's best interests and protecting the dragon – the last surviving bit of magic in Di's shrinking world.
In every fight, sides are chosen. And there can be no yearning for what has been left behind.
"This book asks honest questions of us and we are given some wonderful magic as a result."– Amazon review
"This is a wonderful novel about trapped people, and not all the people are human. It's about wanting the world to have more than what we see and touch. It's about what we do for what we love, and what happens when our loves and passions collide. It's about desperation, and hope, and fear, and trying to scratch out one more day in America."– Michael W. Lucas
"I opened this book with the usual expectations, they were not what I found in these pages. I found something far richer, something multilayered, something deeper and better than a blurb could frame."– Amazon review
"You shouldn't be here." A sepulchral voice rattled from the darkness, sounding so much like a crow trying to mimic human speech.
"Afakos?" I whispered.
A dragon-shaped shadow loomed over me. The hiss of his breath mingled with the howl of the wind around his body. Slitted cat's eyes gleamed at me. The dragon opened his mouth, teeth glistening. His breath reeked of raw meat. He'd been hunting in the storm. He seethed in his dark element, powerful beyond imagining, terrible and limitless.
I closed my eyes. For the first time, I was truly afraid of him.
"Stupid girl," he muttered.
His teeth scraped over the back of my skull, through my hair, snagging on my jacket. His tongue brushed against the nape of my neck. I shuddered, knowing I couldn't outrun him. I remembered the deer torn in half in the field. No matter the music I played for him, I was just meat. Talented meat, but meat nonetheless.
We both knew it.
His teeth grasped at the collar of my jacket. He lifted me from the mud as effortlessly as a child with a lunch sack. My feet dangled in the darkness, and I cried out.
I expected him to devour me whole, like a heron with a fish. But Afakos began to walk. I swayed in his grip in counterpoint to his heavy steps. The forest and rain-spangled darkness sluiced past us as he carried me like a kitten into the mines beneath the mountain.