I have one more excerpt to share from AMID THE WINTER SNOW before it releases on Tuesday, December 12th. This delightful excerpt is from “The Storm,” by Elizabeth Hunter.
“How old is this place?”
“The house?” Renata walked away from the window and sat in a wooden rocking chair by the hearth. “I don’t know. It was here when I was born, so at least three hundred years, but it’s been rebuilt over the years. Things were added on here and there. There are eight bedrooms upstairs, so you’re welcome to prepare one for yourself if you like. Mine and the living room are the warmest though, so if I were you, I’d continue sleeping down here.”
He’d be sleeping in her bedroom, but that discussion could wait. “This was your family’s home?”
She shook her head, but she still wasn’t looking at him. “It didn’t belong to us. Not exactly. I’m sure the council has forgotten about it at this point. I’ve made sure the name on the deed is mine. They can’t take it now.” She turned. “I’m sure you’re thinking they wouldn’t be interested in a house this remote, but it’s not the house they’d want. It’s the caves.”
Max sat up and leaned against the sofa. “I wondered if there were caves when I saw how the house was built.”
“The caves are the only reason this house—this whole compound—ever existed. I don’t know how old they are, but my mother told me they were created by very powerful earth singers centuries ago.”
“To store the scrolls.”
Understanding dawned. “This was a library.”
Renata stood and grabbed wood for the fire, placing it on the glowing embers along with some kindling. “This was a library. A unique library. Ciasa Fatima was one of the few combined libraries in the world.”
Max didn’t say anything. For the first time since he’d known her, Renata was willingly sharing her past. It was as if she’d opened a jewel box and handed him rubies. He didn’t want to say anything that might make her clam up.