TITLE: The Beautiful Earth
GENRE: Post-Apocalypse Romance
Lily Monroe is carrying what may be the world’s last unborn child after a plague leaves survivors nearly sterile. Cash Walker can lead her to a safe haven on a Louisiana plantation, but Lily wants more than a guide. Now she faces both a gang intent on stealing her child and the dangers of falling in love with Cash, a man tortured by his past and determined to survive the only way he knows how: alone.
Lily could have sworn she’d seen a light. Impossible, of course, because there were no lights. Not anymore.
Lily propped the shotgun on the windowsill, the barrel glistening in the moonlight as Sasha’s deep-throated growl rumbled like distant thunder. She slid one hand under the Dane’s collar and the other down the gun, resting her finger against the trigger as she scanned the yard. Raccoons and coyotes had been marauding since the power grid failed, but last night, two bears tussled over the garbage can. Smoky Mountain black bears might be docile compared to Grizzlies, but they were still powerful enough to be dangerous. Even with a dog and a gun, Lily opted for keeping a low profile.
She slung an arm around Sasha’s neck, partly to keep the dog quiet, partly to remind herself she wasn’t alone. The muffled sound of Garrett’s snoring drifted down the hall, but outside, the darkness was primordial: no blaze of street lamps, no passing headlights, no city glow on the horizon. Nothing broke through the night but the light of a slivered moon and the twinkling of a million stars.
The houses along the street stood as silent as the death each hid within its walls. Old Mrs. Goodard next door, the honeymooners two cabins down, the frat boys on summer break. Gone, all of them, and the little city in the valley below as quiet tonight as it had been for the last three weeks, since the world collapsed around them.