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Ice Chronicles, Book Two
Rogue code. A double agent.
He’s the commander of Tarim Territory’s air defense. She’s the daughter of an empire bent on destroying them. Can love unite these star-crossed lovers, and save their world?
Lee is haunted by nightmares and guilt. As a brilliant young teen, her father manipulated her to create an invasive new computer virus. She hadn’t known his monstrous plan. …Not until he launched a thermonuclear attack against their enemies. Now her uncle wants her to finish the job. Lee would rather die than be used as a pawn again by her bloodthirsty family.
Michael’s top-secret project is almost ready for launch, and the only one he trusts with it is Lee, his new research assistant. Lee is brilliant; a mystery wrapped up inside an enigma. Pain lies behind her lovely eyes, and he wonders what secrets she is hiding. When a saboteur strikes, his gut tells him Lee is innocent. But is his heart blinding him to the truth?
“Ice Master is the second book in the Ice Chronicles, a series of imaginative romance novels set in a post-apocalyptic world. If you like smart, courageous heroines, nail-biting action, and heartwarming stories of love and redemption, then you’ll love Jennette Green’s futuristic romance.”
Buy Ice Master today to step into a thrilling story of star-crossed lovers.
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BLOOD PAINTED HER NIGHTMARES; the color of the city that exploded with the fury of a supernova. Thermonuclear clouds boiled in her mind, and red streamed from the dark heavens, spattering death upon the pristine white snow of Kazakhstan.
Upon the land of her enemies.
Much as she wanted to, she could not deny it—as a child, she had helped her father kill the innocents in Kazakhstan. Her computer virus, like the serpent of old, had slithered through their enemy’s computers and laid them open to thermonuclear attack.
She was responsible for the murders of thousands of people.
Their tormented, skeletal faces twisted through her nightmares, reminding her of what she had done. Making her wish that she had never been born; making her wish that she had died with them.
For living was her torture.
And every morning, Emelie Stoystiya woke up screaming.
ZCA, Tarim, Territory, year 3151 A.D.
(Millennial Ice Age, caused by Nuclear holocaust)
“YOUR INTERVIEW IS NEXT, MS. SMIRNOV.” The secretary for ZCA’s Commander closed the door behind the second-to-last job applicant, a studious looking young man who held his paper-thin microcomputer in a death grip.
Lee managed a smile. “Thank you.” She’d waited all day to interview for this job. It was a job she’d sacrificed everything to gain. Still, she couldn’t quite believe she’d made it this far, and actually into the heart of the top security outpost, Zebra Charlie Alpha.
Warm perspiration trickled down the back of her neck and dampened her armpits, too. Abruptly, Lee stood. She managed another small, composed smile for the perfectly coiffed secretary, who wore a ruthlessly pressed black uniform. “I’ll return in a moment.”
If the previous interviews were any indication, she only had fifteen minutes before it was her turn.
Lee headed into the hall, looking for the restroom she’d seen earlier. She desperately needed a cool splash of water on her face. Emotions rarely got the better of her. She’d trained for many years to hide her feelings.
A Tarim soldier approached. On instinct, her expression cooled into one of polite reserve.
The handsome Tarim soldier—a sergeant, identified by the insignia and medals on his black uniform—smiled as he passed by her in the hall. He tried to maintain eye contact, but she turned aside, into the restroom, which was thankfully unoccupied. She slid home the bolt.
Men noticed her. Although Lee accepted that fact, it meant little. They did not notice her. They admired her shell. The lie that science had created.
If the soldier knew her true identity, he’d want to kill her. So would everyone else in ZCA. Especially Michael Van Heisman, the man she would soon meet.
Cool water sluiced over her fingers, and Lee pressed cold, dripping palms to her cheeks. She must land this job. Failure was unacceptable, because it would mean certain death for thousands of people. Her vision dimmed, seeing into the past. The water dripping down her face darkened, too, seeming to congeal into dark copper. The color of blood.
With a shudder, she swiped it off, hard, with the cuff of her sleeve.
She could not tell these facts to Michael Van Heisman.
ZCA’s policy on spies and terrorists was well-known; instant imprisonment, followed by a twenty-four hour military investigation and trial. Then, if found guilty, immediate execution. And she’d be found guilty. Guilt already stained her hands and her heart.
In the mirror, worried dark brown eyes regarded her, framed in the face of a stranger. Even though seven years had passed since her five plastic surgeries, Lee still found it difficult to accept that the tall, perfectly proportioned woman was herself.
The jet black hair was her own. Her eye color, a battle fought for and won, remained her own. Microsurgery, however, had changed the interior structure of her eyes so she could not be identified. It had resulted in a year of poor vision. Her fingerprints were surgically altered. Her skin color, a light honey color, was not her own, nor were her slightly tip-tilted eyes, giving her an exotic look. They hinted at an Asian ancestry which did not exist. Her cheekbones were now higher and a bit wider than her natural ones, and her ears had been reshaped. The purpose of the surgeries had been to completely disguise her original features so her true identity could never be discovered.
The sadistic doctors had eagerly sharpened their blades again when she’d turned sixteen, but she had refused further surgery, unable to stand the pain, or the bloody, healing scars.
The mess had all finally healed. It had pleased her uncle that it had only taken one year.
After the surgeries, the new, darker lie of her life began. Lee entered the prestigious Omsk Tech University’s Aerospace and Nanotechnical program. She was inserted among her enemies like a black widow among brilliant, beautiful butterflies. She was supposed to learn all she could. To excel. And she had.
Her uncle was pleased. She’d graduated one year early, at twenty-three, and during her time at school had become best friends with Dominic Dubrovnyk, the son of Richert Dubrovnyk, Tarim Territory’s baron. And, most important of all, today she would interview with Michael Van Heisman, Commander of Tarim’s military and technological powerhouse, Zebra Charlie Alpha. ZCA.
Today, if her interview went well, and if she succeeded in gaining the job of Van Heisman’s assistant, all of the plots and plans of her murderous family would ripen to fruition. Her orders were clear. Her debt clear. And finally, she was ready to pay.
It is time.
She looked at herself for one last time in the mirror; into her eyes, the last piece of herself that remained her own. They reflected back the resolve and pain in her heart. Perhaps even a bit of her soul; if she still had one, which was doubtful.
Without expression, Emelie Stoystiya headed for her interview with Michael Van Heisman; the only man who possessed the key to her redemption. And her death.
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