Excerpt from The Stone God

In final development. Anticipated launch - 2021

“Depends on the situation. If you can’t move your arms, take hold of the neck of his robe, push and pull sharply back to head butt his nose as hard as you can. It hurts badly and he’ll need a moment to recover. Use that to get away and run.”

“And if I can move my arms?”

“Still aim for his nose.”

“Nose?”

“Look at your hands.”

Frey glanced down, her forearms were still hemmed in, her palms resting on his chest.

“If you brought your hands up sharply right now, what would happen?”

Frey thought about it and snorted with laughter. He glowered, but his prolonged closeness was making her more nervous than his attack. “Where would your thumbs land?” he persisted.

“Up your nose,” she spluttered, beginning to giggle.

“Do it.”

“Do it?”

“Now!”

Frowning, she did as she was told and found herself staring at Seb’s face with her thumbs in his nostrils. Wrinkling her own nose in response, she saw his eyes crinkle and he finally grinned.

“Now imagine what would happen,” he mumbled, “if you pulled sharply outwa…Ahhh!”

He reeled away holding his nose in both hands. “God’s breath – I said imagine.”

“Oh,” she whispered as he raised his head. “That works well.”

His chin was covered in blood. He nodded, one hand over his nose, the other raised to hold her back.

Muffled, she heard him say, “If you dig your nails in, you can rip the nose open. That’s usually enough to make anyone let go.”

“Then kick him in the shins and run?” she asked, stepping in.

He stepped away.

“What else?” She followed him.

“Rest woman!” he snapped, spitting blood into the sand.

“How about his eyes? Could I gouge his eyes?”

“You learn fast,” he muttered.

“Good,” she said coldly. “Because if you ever throw me to the ground again, I’ll split your nose faster than Hester can gut a fish.”