Here is the first Science Fiction book from Kae Cheatham. Originally published in 2005, under the penname Arryn Heath, this is the second printing (April 2008), and the basis for the Gem of the Galaxy series. Another tale, Child of the Mist, was released in March 2008.
Both titles are available as Gem of the Galaxy a two-eBook set.
Dwinn Somuron is part of the third generation of people whose starship crash-landed on a planet's massive storm-battered plateau. More than half of the first generation explored the trees beyond the sheer escarpment—and vanished. Those remaining struggled for survival in the depths of a rock-shrouded realm they called the Always Dark. Dwinn lives in the Always Dark.
Within these stone walls the once star-faring culture has been reduced to feudal conditions and women are shunted aside as only workers and breeders. Dwinn abhors the conditions and continually breaks rules of conduct. She is driven by inherent memories that give fragments of her ancestors' lives. There is a stone, her mind tells her...a special stone that can validate her family's legend that those who vanished into the trees—into Beyond—really survived. Thoughts of the stone intrigue her, but reaching Beyond is Dwinn's obsessive goal. She has already planned her escape.
But her plans are stymied when she meets Lusaar Gursenni, the only son of the head official of the land. His enemies want to dispose of him and his reformist parent ruler. Lusaar resists and becomes a hunted man.
Although their compulsions are different, Lusaar and Dwinn make concessions. Together they must battle mutual enemies and harsh environmental conditions while trying to reach their goals.