Released last August 2020, Sisters of the Garden is a romantic erotica featuring lesbian main characters. Read on for a free book extract of this steamy novel and take a look at the dreamy cover art!Sisters of the Garden is plot-driven, post-apocalyptic, lesbian erotica. Need we say more. Learn more about this new release on authorniamh.com. TWEET THIS
Read the blurb
Born into the cruel world after the Fall, Nora escapes her servitude at the mill with hope for a better life. Having heard tales of the Sisters of the Garden, a convent of women living nearby, Nora makes a desperate run toward their offer of safety, thinking that even if her life were just a little bit better, it would be worth the risk.
Much to her surprise, her life is a lot better. After being accepted into the group and initiated into its daily rituals and routines, Nora finds comfort and communion with the woman who live there. Although she still rages at the injustices that characterized her early life, she finds soothing solace in the garden, an oasis from the dry and broken world she’d inhabited for the first eighteen years of her life.
When the world threatens their sanctuary, Nora must make difficult decisions and become who she never thought she could. Along the way, however, she discovers who she was always meant to be.
Sisters of the Garden is plot-driven, post-apocalyptic, lesbian erotica. It’s length pairs perfectly with a bottle of red wine and an evening to oneself, but its thrills, characters, and relationships will linger long after the final words are read.
Six months earlier, she’d walked into the Shop in the City to buy salt. That was how it all started.
It wasn’t her usual job, but the Miller’s son had beat her the night before and it was a part of her humiliation to walk into the shops with her face bruised and cut open. The Shopkeeper and his wife eyed her battered face with impotent concern, but pretended not to notice. It was still illegal to beat your workers, but no one was around to do anything about it. Most people in the City were like the Shopkeeper, they only wanted to survive and avoid trouble. Those who weren’t like the Shopkeeper were like the Miller and his sons, turned cruel by their own power.
She carried the heavy sack on her shoulders as she trudged the two miles on bare feet back to the Miller’s, where she lived. Her ragged brown hair hung over her swollen eyes, obscuring her vision further, but she wasn’t seeing the world in front of her anyway; her gaze was turned inward onto the festering boil of rage that kept her alive. Her greatest fear is that one day it would deflate and she would give up and walk out into the wilderness until she died.
“Girl,” a woman’s voice called out to her from behind, but she was in no mood for conversation.
When she heard the footsteps hasten, she braced herself for conflict.
“Girl, I want to help you.”
“Then stay away,” she said over her shoulder.
Unburdened by a sack of salt, the woman caught up to her and stood in her way. “Stop.”
Nora stopped but didn’t look up. The woman brushed her hair to the side.
“Oh, look at you.”
“I don’t want your pity. Please, if I don’t get home, it’ll be worse.”
“How about you don’t go home?”
“I have food and a bed there.”
“Yeah, I know all about the food and the bed you have there. They come with big strings attached. Come with me now and I can help you.”
Nora was silent, but raised her eyes to meet the woman’s. She wore a cap pulled low on her forehead, but her eyes were kind enough that Nora wanted to believe her. Though life had taught her never to trust anyone, she was a slow learner in that department.
“Yeah, and what strings are attached to your help?”
“None. I want to set you free.”
Nora laughed cheerlessly. “Freedom is having nothing left to lose.” It was something her mother used to sing to her.
“I’ve got these bones I’d like to keep unbroken.”
“I am Natasha of the Garden, and I’ve been sent for you, Nora,” the woman whispered. “Come with me.”
Nora was dazed by the use of her name. No one had called her that for years.
She allowed herself to be led down a skinny alley that separated two dilapidated buildings. If this woman was only tricking her, leading her back down the alley so that her gang could steal the bag of salt, it would mean a severe punishment when she arrived empty-handed at the Miller’s door. But, there was something strange about this woman, something recognizable. It might have been that she was clean, freshly bathed and wearing clothes that weren’t caked with dust and dirt as her own smock was. Cleanliness meant power, and a clean woman promising to help her was worth the risk, even if the life she was offering was only marginally better than that at the Miller’s.
It wasn’t until they were safely inside the woman’s upstairs room that Nora realized she was still carrying the bag of salt.
“I think you can drop that now,” said the woman, smiling. “Why don’t you lay down on the bed.”
Her weary body ached for rest and she couldn’t resist the invitation. She was almost asleep by the time the woman returned with warm water, a soft cloth, and some soothing cream.
Without a word, she began to clean Nora’s wounds. As she worked, Nora lay with her eyes closed, floating away into the warmth of a half-sleep. She had not been touched by a comforting careful hand since her mother died.
The last thing she remembered was the woman washing her dirty feet, scrubbing the dust and grime away and working gently on her calloused soles. It had been years since Nora had owned a pair of shoes, but the woman spent hours patiently cleaning away the caked layers of filth.
When she awoke the next morning, she didn’t recognize where she was and sat up confused.
“Don’t worry, dear. You’re safe here.”
The woman wore a pair of knee length shorts and a crisply white tank top. Her arms were covered in etchings of birds and dragons, which fascinated Nora. Now that she had removed her cap, Nora saw that the woman kept her grey hair short and neatly parted to the side. She was younger than her mother would have been, but Nora assumed that she’d probably been alive before the Fall.
“How long was I asleep?”
“I’d say about eighteen hours. You were tired.”
Throughout the day, Natasha fed Nora and they talked about their lives.
“I was twenty-one when it happened,” Natasha said, beginning with the Fall, which is the first line in every biography of those born before 2020.
“I was in college here, and I was in love with a girl and we were going to get married and live out our dreams. She died pretty soon after, defending a girl from some men who wanted to take her. I wish I’d been as brave as she was.”
“You were in love with another girl?” asked Nora, the concept was foreign to her experience of the world, and yet it felt familiar. “You were going to get married?”
“I was. We were.”
“I didn’t know that happened.”
“What? That girls fall in love with each other? I think you might, Nora.”
She blushed, suddenly confused, but blundered on. “I didn’t know that two women could marry.”
Natasha laughed. “There was a time, but it wasn’t long before the Fall.”
They fell into a melancholy silence, momentarily lost in their own thoughts.
“Tell me about Marie,” said Natasha.
Nora’s face flushed even deeper and she was warmed uncomfortably by a nervous sweat. The Baker’s daughter. They used to run out into the tall grass, hiding from their chores and giggling together. They kissed and touched and Marie bucked on top of her, rubbing the rough front of their jeans together, the friction exciting the soft parts underneath until they both came. Nora could still feel her hot breathy gasp on her ear when she closed her eyes and concentrated.
Get to know Dierdre right here!
Dierdre Winter was born in 1990 in Minneapolis. She spent her early years drawing, reading, writing, and dreaming about romance and adventures. She has told all sorts of stories, working over a variety of genres, but her deepest love is lesbian erotic adventure stories. As a teenager, she stumbled on a lovely thin volume hidden in her aunt’s bookshelf, and ever since then, she’s been hooked. She likes stories about daring women and women learning to dare. Currently, she lives and works in Toronto.
If you want to spread the word about one of your own books, there is a dedicated ‘for authors section‘ on this Blog. – get involved today! (Don’t worry – all options are free!)