Dr. Nel Bently has barely dug into Chile’s dry earth when her pristine site is vandalized. Her archaeologist’s dream of a ground-breaking project funded by a private patron turns into a nightmare: local activists Los Pobladores take issue with anyone brave--or stubborn--enough to set boots on their land. And foul-mouthed Nel is stubborn as they come.
Despite the danger, Nel refuses to surrender her site to vandals. Easier said than done, however, with the greenest crew she’s ever trained, absurd radiocarbon dates, and angry militants who may actually have a point.
When Los Pobledores land a blow that turns Nel’s world upside down, she realizes her mysterious benefactor is playing chess with their lives. Grief-stricken and angrier than ever, Nel is ready to fight dirty.
V. S. Holmes is an international bestselling author. They created the BLOOD OF TITANS series and the NEL BENTLY BOOKS. Smoke and Rain, the first book in their fantasy quartet, won New Apple Literary's Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015 and a Literary Titan Gold in 2020. Travelers is also included in the Peregrine Moon Lander mission as part of the Writers on the Moon Time Capsule. In addition, they have published short fiction in several anthologies.
As a disabled and non-binary human, they work as an advocate and educator for representation in SFF worlds.
One of the most rewarding parts of writing a series is planting these tiny seeds, and reaping the fruit of the payoff in later books. In HERETICS, out May 8th 2021, Nel learns the story behind who carved these words--and to whom they were referring.
Travelers (Stars Edge: Nel Bently Book 1) Sample
Her gaze flicked upwards at the sound of angry birds. A small flock rose from the hills bordering the site to the south. Her lips thinned and she rose. “Mikey, keep an eye out will you?” She jogged up the hill feeling the burn in her muscled thighs. The coastline arced away to her right, the line of hills and undulating scrubby grasslands falling away to her left. A small grove of twisted trees dotted the hilltop. Her eyes narrowed on the red, oozing wound carved across the closest tree. It was a single word, carved with a knife: Hereje. Her mouth twisted into a silent sneer. “You think carving 'heretic' on a fucking plant will scare me?” She spat the words into the shadows of the grove, but her heart lodged in her throat.