PROMO: The Stones of Power

Promo

The Stones of PowerCheck out this amazing MM fantasy series from M.D. Grimm – “The Stones of Power.”


Unique Content!

Good day to you! Thank you so much for joining me! I want to thank kittenwylde for hosting me today. I am here to promote not only my latest release “Lapis Lazuli: Forgotten and Remembered (The Stones of Power #7)” but “The Stones of Power” series in general. I’m trying to get some love and attention for this series I am truly proud of and hope to finish in the near future. I hope you check them out!

My main protagonist, the dark mage Morgorth, was supposed to be an anti-hero. I really wanted a complex and complicated character that by circumstance and choice has done some truly awful, villainous acts but isn’t, at his core, a villain. Since there’s a fine line between hero, flawed hero, and anti-hero, I’m not sure if I managed it but I’m happy with how he turned out. He is complex and certainly complicated. He is courageous and strong and does protect those he loves but he’s also tortured and killed, and enjoys having power over others. He scares his fellow mages with his unpredictable nature and power, and he’s gained quite a dark reputation across his world.

But why is he the way he is?

Morgorth is a good example of the tug-of-war between nature and nurture. His father (for reasons explained in the book) physically and mentally abused him, and that caused him to grow up with a deep core of rage. He managed to run away and was found by another mage who took him as an apprentice. Despite teaching him morals and compassion, his mentor was unable to touch the core of rage. Having spent his most formative years in fear and hate, it colored his perception of the world. The strong dominated the weak and the pain he felt should be what others feel. He’s been a victim and refuses to be a victim again, so he becomes the aggressor.

Plus his fellow mages want him dead… again, for reasons explained in the book. So with his peers looking upon him as monster and villain, he wonders why he shouldn’t embrace the title instead of fighting against it. Why expend so much energy trying to convince them that they’re wrong when he could just be who they expect?

We tend to create our own monsters, don’t we? When someone (or someones) consistently degrades you, it’s hard not to believe that they are right.

I wanted this series to be more than just a fantasy, magick-y adventure tale, I wanted it to focus on the development and growth of the characters, especially Morgorth. The best stories come from character choices (in my mind) and Morgorth’s character lends itself to conflict, both internal and external. He’s trying to understand who he is.

When we meet him in the first book, “Ruby: Lost and Found,” he’s bored and cynical. He isolates himself in a fortress surrounded by a deadly forest filled with all manner of vicious beasts. He doesn’t want anything to do with anyone. Of course, he’s fooling himself, and what he actually wants is love and affection but such emotions are foreign to him. His earliest memories were pain and fear.

Enter Aishe.

Aishe is the quintessential hero—courageous, selfless, compassionate, and equally skilled at combat (sword and bow) and healing. In some ways, Morgorth’s complete opposite. He came from a loving family with a bunch of siblings. His species is called “dialen” and that’s basically my version of elves (similar in appearance to LOTR elves). They are tribal and mostly live in forests.

The two of them together are hilarious, especially when they first meet. Morgorth is incredibly rude and Aishe isn’t going to take his crap. Aishe makes Morgorth want to be a better man and Morgorth gives Aishe the mate bond he’s always wanted. With Aishe by his side, Morgorth begins to make better choices and to change. It’s not easy and it’s not fast but his determination to be different than who he was before is given new motivation. Aishe acts as his guiding hand. It’s only together that they can face the dangers threatening their world.

Another tug-of-war in this series is the contradiction between choice and destiny. Morgorth has a destiny that caused his father and his mage peers to act certain ways toward him. But can he choose to be better despite his destiny? When he meets Aishe he decides to give it a shot.

Despite the fantastical trappings, I wanted this story to be as realistic as possible, in the way I depict everyone’s relationships and their view of the world. Whether I accomplished that or not is up to you lovely readers.

I hope I’ve piqued your interest and that you’ll check out the series. There will be 13 books before I write The End, so the journey is only half-way through!

I am currently working on the second book to my “Saga of the Bold People” and finishing up a (low) fantasy trilogy, as well as outlining for a couple of other future projects. So many WIPs, so little time!

Thank you so much for joining me and may dragons guard your dreams!

M.D. Grimm

 


 

About the Series:

Lord Morgorth is a dark mage on the planet Karishian. His peers consider him a villain, but there is more to him than they choose to understand. Cursed by a dark destiny and tormented by painful memories of the past, Morgorth struggles to find his place in the world. Far from innocent, Morgorth has teetered between embracing his destiny and fighting against it his entire life. A decision that is made easier when Aishe comes into his life.

Aishe is a creature of the forest, a warrior and healer. He has the moral compass that Morgorth needs, and Morgorth gives Aishe the companionship he craves. Together, they forge ahead, weathering the storms and fighting the enemies fate puts into their paths.

However, their greatest enemy is not a living being, but gemstones infused with deadly power. They are addictive, seductive, and completely treacherous. Morgorth hates them and is determined to find and imprison all of them.

But he soon realizes they are keys to a greater power. He learns his destiny is not all he thought it was. And an even greater enemy stirs in the darkness.

Enter the world of “The Stones of Power.”

Amazon Series Link


The Books:

Ruby: Lost and Found (book one)

Ruby Lost and Found - The Stones of Power seriesLord Morgorth is a dark mage on the planet Karishian. He’s considered a villain by his peers and relishes the title, having embraced the role early in his life. However, not all of his actions are necessarily villainous.

Despite owning several of the Stones of Power—gemstones infused with powerful magick—he doesn’t use them, preferring to keep them hidden away and out of destructive, power-hungry hands. He hates them more than anything. So when a sorcerer gets a hold of a major stone, Morgorth has no choice but to go after him. But, to his irritation, he is not alone. Aishe is a dialen whose tribe was massacred by the sorcerer, and is now on a mission of vengeance. The attraction is instant between them, but Morgorth keeps his distance. Because of a traumatic childhood and a deadly destiny, he has no desire for emotional complications. But Aishe’s very presence challenges Morgorth’s resolve.

Not only does Morgorth admire Aishe’s strength and intelligence, but he begins to see Aishe as a friend. As their hunt continues and their time together lengthens, their bond deepens, as does Morgorth’s fear. If he becomes the monster that destiny claims he will be, will he hurt Aishe? Will he harm the one person who sees right through him? Who accepts him wholeheartedly? Determined to not let that happen, Morgorth keeps Aishe at a distance. But when Aishe is kidnapped by the sorcerer, what will Morgorth do to get him back?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N4WCKF2/

Amazon print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1544166257/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/701995

Peridot: War and Peace (book two)

Peridot War and Peace - The Stones of Power seriesMorgorth is considered a villain by his own people and known as the Dark Mage of the North. But now all he feels is light and love as he pursues a budding relationship with Aishe, a dialen of the Ravena tribe. Morgorth hardly believes his good fortune. He has allowed Aishe into his home, into his bed, into his heart. He laughs more, smiles more, and feels happier than he ever has before.

He should have known such bliss never lasts.

The Council of Mages, the ruling body over all mages on Karshian, knows he has Rambujek, a major stone of power—a stone won from an evil sorcerer. They also know his destiny—to become the Destroyer. Fearful, they send two emissaries to take the stone from Morgorth, using whatever means necessary. This includes tricks, threats to those under his protection, and the threat of war. A war Morgorth knows he would never survive.

Conflict soon arises between him and Aishe. Their tenuous relationship is put into jeopardy, their very beliefs about themselves and their love is put into question. Morgorth doubts if he should keep Aishe in his life. He doesn’t know if he can protect Aishe from his enemies. Or from the monster he might become.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XFG4T1F/

Amazon print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1546858660/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/708461

Amethyst: Bow and Arrow (book three)

Amethyst Bow and Arrow - The Stones of Power seriesEvery story has more than one point of view.

As the mate to the Dark Mage Morgorth, Aishe has learned a lot about magick, love, and himself. He tries to find a home with Morgorth, to be accepted into his world; to survive in a world full of magick, treachery and deception. But all the while he struggles to keep a secret about his past and their intertwined destinies. Despite all the obstacles thrown at both of them, Aishe is determined to stay by Morgorth’s side, no matter what the future brings – even if that future turns dark with death should Morgorth embrace his grim destiny.

But when Morgorth leaves with his mentor to collect another stone of power, Aishe is left behind. It is then that a surprise attack comes and Aishe, determined to protect and defend his new home, decides to take the invaders on by himself. It might prove to be too much for him to handle… especially when he learns the one who leads the invaders is a mage.

The third book in the “Stones of Power” series allows us a glimpse inside the mind of Lord Morgorth’s better half, a dialen named Aishe: his motivations, his personal sorrows, and his struggle to find a place to call home.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XZZDQ3J/

Amazon print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1546977864/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/715607

Agate: Then and Now (book four)

Agate Then and Now - The Stones of Power seriesTime travel. For mages, it violates their number one rule: what the Mother has written, let no one unwrite. The Mother writes the destinies of the creatures on the world of Karishian. If her writings were undone, it is feared that Creation itself could be undone. The Dark Mage Morgorth takes this rule to heart, but there are others who do not.

Morgorth is about to claim a stone of power when it is stolen from him by a female mage he hasn’t seen in decades. As they struggle for the stone, she activates it, and Morgorth is unwillingly plunged into another time and another place. It isn’t long before he realizes what time he’s found himself in and there are a few familiar faces.

Most notable is a much younger version of Aishe. His mate.

Living with a tribe who will be massacred, caring for a young lad who will become his mate, and fighting a battle against a mage who can travel from past to future at a whim; Morgorth’s life has never been easy but now he must contend with the will of the Mother. Unable to change the future and the tragedies of Aishe’s life, he must decide what his role in his mate’s past will be, and ask himself one vital question: how does one defeat time?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XZYDWQZ/

Amazon print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1547286482/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/715609

Emerald: Good and Evil (book five)

Emerald Good and Evil - The Stones of Power seriesHome. Family.

Those words often invoke a sense of love and comfort. But for the dark mage Morgorth, they mean hate and pain. As the seventh son of a seventh son, many believe Morgorth’s destiny is to become the Destroyer. His father embraced such a future and trained Morgorth through torture and fear to become his weapon. Morgorth managed to escape his father’s cruelty, but not the nightmares that still haunt him. For many years he’s lived with the stain of his father’s savagery, but now he must confront his nightmares head-on.

His father has found a stone of power.

Morgorth must return to his land of birth, to the memories he’s tried his entire life to suppress. Aishe is determined to help Morgorth defeat his inner demons, but he knows he might not be enough to save Morgorth from embracing his darkness. They know it will be a fight to the death and know Morgorth won’t be the same if he survives. With Aishe by his side, Morgorth hunts for his father, and finds answers to questions he never dared to ask—and must live with the truths they reveal.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XZNS5B6/

Amazon print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1547286822/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/715642

Carnelian: Dreams and Visions (book six)

Carnelian Dreams and Visions - The Stones of Power seriesLord Morgorth is haunted by dreams of his father. Although Morgorth killed him, his father’s presence and brutality won’t completely die. But now he has more to worry about—in the form of the Council of Mages’ inquiry into the duel between Morgorth and an elder of the council. Morgorth expects sabotage and prepares accordingly. He fears for Aishe’s life, knowing that the best way to sabotage the inquiry is to eliminate the witnesses. He sets into motion a desperate plan that, though it will protect Aishe, could put a strain on their relationship not easily removed.

Yet the true danger lurks unseen, and it will take all of Morgorth’s skill, strength, and devotion to Aishe, to save his mate from the hold of a foe Morgorth has yet to tangle with: a dream demon. Now Morgorth must throw aside caution, restraint, and fear if he is to save the one most dear to him. He must call upon the power of the one thing he hates more than even his father: a stone of power.

But even if he manages to save Aishe, his mate’s experiences in Dreamworld—at the mercy of the dream demon—have changed him forever and could shatter their bond irrevocably.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071KJ5RC3/

Amazon print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1548466158/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/730540

Lapis Lazuli: Forgotten and Remembered (book seven)

Lapis Lazuli Forgotten and Remembered - The Stones of Power seriesA bond they thought couldn’t be broken…

Lord Morgorth, Dark Mage of the North, has never felt so far away from his precious mate as he does now. Still reeling from the events of a month before, Aishe struggles to come to grips with what the dream demon did to him while pretending to be Morgorth. For his part, Morgorth is haunted by the chilling vision the Mother sent him while he traversed Dreamworld—a vision where he kills the one most precious to him. Due to that knowledge, he knows he must choose his magick or his mate.

A choice with devastating consequences…

When Morgorth goes missing, Aishe must search for him, frightened that he has lost his mage forever. In his heart he knows they were meant for each other and refuses to allow his own horrid memories to tear them apart. But when he finds Morgorth he is stunned to realize that Morgorth doesn’t remember him. In fact, in Morgorth’s mind, he is a young lad named Lazur.

Sometimes the most well-known truth is the greatest lie…

For his entire life, Morgorth always knew his destiny was to become the Destroyer of his home world. His birthright as the third seventh son of a seventh son guaranteed such an outcome. Everyone told him so—except his mentor, Master Ulezander. Morgorth will learn that his mentor has been keeping the greatest secret of all: his true destiny.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TZQJ8DF/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/947353


Giveaway

MD is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

The Stones of Power series memeI knelt on the floor in front of a large bowl of cream, freshly churned that day. After lowering my head until my chin touched my chest, I lifted my sigil-covered hands palms up. The summoning sigils had been made with black ink, standing out starkly against my pale skin. I closed my eyes, and since I’d memorized the ancient words to chant, I repeated them now. They slipped out, winding around my tongue and charging the air. The familiar burn of my magick flowed out of my core and through my veins, lighting up my insides. I never paused in the recitation, not even when I breathed. If I did, it would be considered rude, and the creatures of the summoning might decide I wasn’t worth their attention.

My magick, infused with the ancient words, pulsed in the room before sinking below the floorboards, into the ground, deeper into toxic Underworld.

I vaguely noted the heavy breathing of my brother, Olyvre, while Lyli, his daughter, made little squeaky noises of excitement. Of Aishe, there was nothing. Not surprising. He didn’t make many sounds these days—either with words or simple footsteps. He seemed to have withdrawn from existing.

Feeling my focus waver, I snapped back and infused the words with more magick, hardening my resolve. The krattyie would protect my brother and Lyli if I did this right. They might have been demons of Underworld but they were the benevolent kind. If treated with respect and given lots of cream, they would protect a home, property, and all those who lived and worked there. As a result, my brother and his daughter would be safe as would those who worked for Olyvre on his acres of farmland. It was one of the main reasons he’d agreed to the summoning. He would never seek protection for himself, but for those he loved? He would do anything.

When my magick and words touched something, I kept the touch persuasive and coaxing—a humble request, nota demand. One never demanded anything from the beings of Underworld, not unless one was certain they were stronger than the creatures. Sure, I might have been stronger than the krattyie but I wanted their trust, and I needed them to accept Olyvre as their patron if this was going to work. I couldn’t watch my brother all the time, and after the events of the inquiry several weeks before, I could not deny that everyone I loved desperately needed protection.

I opened my eyes when I sensed otherin Olyvre’s house. Lyli giggled and something tittered faintly back. Krattyie adored children, and Lyli was the sort to walk up to a strange animal and try to pet it.

I peered around the room, still chanting, still pulsing with magick. Shadows flickered at the corner of my eyes, sneaking around the furniture, soft sniggers accompanying the movements.

Then I said the final line of the chant. A question.

Will you accept?

The answer was a playful flick to my hair…a gesture Aishe used to do. Shoving aside the longing for his touch, I hardened my focus once more and nodded.

I stopped chanting and pulled the magick back into my core. The pulsing in the room faded with it, although the krattyie stayed. I stood, wincing at my stiff legs. How long had I knelt there? Didn’t matter.

“Follow my lead,” I said, my voice hoarse.

“Lyli.” Olyvre held out his hand and Lyli took it dutifully.

I bowed with my right foot forward, toes pointed. I tucked my left arm behind my back while extending my right, palm up in both offering and gratitude. The others followed my actions, and when I considered the bowl of cream in front of me, I noticed flickering shadows crowding around it. I counted five. A good number. They might be small but they were fierce and their loyalty was absolute. They would guard this house and its occupants forever as long as they received the respect they deserved and as much cream as they could guzzle.

When the cream was gone we all straightened.

I smiled at Olyvre and nodded. “Just follow the instructions I gave you and you’ll be fine.”

“Thank you.”

Lyli dashed over to where one of the shadows wavered and giggled as it danced away. It laughed with her. She chased the krattyie and they howled like loons. Olyvre watched with a soft, indulgent smile.

We’d stayed with Olyvre last night, and I’d hoped the change in scenery would open Aishe up. Lighten the tension that stiffened his body. So far it wasn’t working. I focused on him now, allowing myself to really look at him. He still appeared pensive, troubled, distant.

So very distant.

Lyli’s antics didn’t even produce a smile, although his eyes did soften and warm. That was something. We’d been doing relatively well for a week or two after the entire inquiry and dream demon debacle. Then he’d started to close up. Shut me out. And I didn’t know what in the Mother’s name to do or say to open him again. I was flailing in the dark without a light to guide me. Aishe was my light and he was dim and indistinct now.

“I hope you can stay.” Olyvre picked up the empty bowl and regarded both of us. “I know summoning the krattyie was your reason for coming but… stay, at least for another day. I know Lyli would like you to. So would I.”

I tried to meet Aishe’s eyes but he wouldn’t allow it. I swallowed the frustration that was becoming all too familiar, and the darker sensation of impending doom. “Sure. We can do that. Nothing presses us to leave.”

“Perfect.” He smiled and touched my arm lightly. “I have to get supper ready. Why don’t you—?”

“It’s cloudy, Daddy!” Lyli said and ran over. “I want to watch the cloud creatures.”

“Why don’t you take your uncle with you?”

Panic tightened my gut as I threw Olyvre a glare. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

“Please?” Lyli grabbed my hand, hanging onto it with all her weight.

I staggered at the attack before gazing down into big brown eyes that reminded me of Grekel’s pups. Wichtln puppies were as cute and adorable as the adults were fierce and bloodthirsty. Despite Olyvre’s fair looks, Lyli was darker of skin and hair and eyes. Either from her mother—who was deceased—or from the other side of Olyvre’s blood. He was fair like our mother, but our father and the rest of our brothers were dark.

Aishe watched us, silent. He wasn’t going to save me. Why did I think he would? He hadn’t spoken much to me in weeks.

“I don’t even know what we’ll be doing.”

“Watching cloud creatures!” Lyli said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

I pleaded with Olyvre with my eyes. “Why are you doing this to me?”

He grinned, eyes sparkling. “You need it.”

“You—”

“Come on!” Lyli was stronger than she appeared, and with a determined tug had me stumbling out the front door.


Author Bio

M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!).

After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier.

Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.

Author Website: https://www.mdgrimmwrites.com/the-stones-of-power-series

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001710645622

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=md+grimm

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-grimm/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/M.D.-Grimm/e/B00I0KZMY6/

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink 

PROMO: Brotherhood of Ormarr, Book Two: Zale

Promo

ZaleMichelle Frost has a new MM paranormal dragon rider book out, book two of the four-part Brotherhood of Ormarr series: Zale.

Davis~

It was just another job—at least it was supposed to be—but snaring the feisty blue dragon I’d been contracted to collect and her rider in my trap changed everything. Hunting dragons was my job, and I was damn good at it. I’d never missed a target. Never failed to make a delivery. So why was every step toward turning over my bounty suddenly a struggle? No quarry had ever managed to get under my skin, but something in Zale’s haunting blue eyes called to me like nothing ever had before.

Zale~

When Itsaso and I were kidnapped, we fought like hell but found ourselves at the dragon hunter’s mercy. He locked my dragon away, leaving me to face captivity alone. Now, all I have to rely on is the training that’s been drilled into me every day for as long as I can remember and biding my time, waiting for Davis to make a mistake. Or my brother’s to find and rescue us. But something happened the first time I truly looked in Davis’s eyes, dark pools as deep and enchanting as the sea, and I realized I was in so much more danger than I thought. How could a ruthless dragon hunter be my perfect mate?

About the Series:

SERIES Brotherhood of OrmarrBeing a dragon rider for the Brotherhood of Ormarr is filled with adventure, but danger can lurk behind every corner with the Order of Amsel set out to destroy the riders. Azaran, Zale, Eeli, and Malachite have spent their whole lives training, but will it be enough?

The brothers lost their parents years ago to assassins, but they’ve never been able to figure out who was behind the attack. Follow the journey of these dragon riders, along with their faithful dragons, as they find their mates and discover clues that will lead to the final epic showdown.

The Brotherhood of Ormarr series consists of four books, each with its own HEA. While each book focuses on a different couple, the overall story arc continues into the next installment. For maximum enjoyment, we suggest reading in order. This is a m/m romance series, and is recommended for adults 18 years and older.

Get It On Amazon

Book One – Azaran, by Jacki James


Giveaway

Michelle is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour – for a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4766/?


Excerpt

MEME - ZaleI moved down the beach, keeping my breathing even and my pace slow. Just as I reached the edge of the shadows I’d been lurking in, a joyful chuckle burst from Zale. The sound planted like a fist in my chest, gripping at my heart, and making my steps falter. What the fuck. From this vantage, I could only see his profile as he looked down at his dragon, love written into every line of his face. Emotions long since buried stirred inside me and a jealousy unlike anything I’d ever known soured my stomach. I missed that, that simple existence between two beings, that companionship, but even more confusing was that it wasn’t as if I wanted to push Zale out of the way and claim the dragon for myself… no, I wanted to sink down on the other side of him and wrap my arm around his shoulders. I wanted to be part of the bond they obviously already shared, and that didn’t make any fucking sense at all.

“D? You alright, man?” Nathair’s quiet voice in my earpiece ripped me out of my strange thoughts and back to the task at hand. I had a job to do and that was all that mattered.

With a deep breath, I kept walking, being sure to make enough noise to alert them they were no longer alone. I’d thought for a moment earlier that the dragon had sensed me with the way it seemed to stare into the darkness that was my shroud, directly at the place I’d been hiding, but it had gone back to lounging without so much of a flick of its tail. After just a moment, what I’d been waiting for happened as the air around the small beast shimmered until there was nothing but divots in the sand where it had previously been, and Zale climbed to his feet.

Stepping out of the shadows, I watched his eyes widen as he took me in. I wasn’t a small man—over six feet of hard fought muscle and scars. He turned fully toward me, the moon’s light revealing his face, and it was my own gasp that surprised me.

He was beautiful.

With his blond hair pulled back in a messy bun, all the soft angles of his face and the long lines of his neck were exposed. Creamy skin covered a lean, compactly muscled body, and I was having trouble pulling my eyes back up from the graceful arch of his bare feet in the sand.

“Are you lost?” he asked. His tone was friendly, but the suspicion was there.

“No,” I said with a shake of my head, more to get my thoughts back in order than anything else. “I heard there were some great tide pools on this beach.” As soon as the words left my mouth, I was reminded of my true purpose there, and the conviction of it rose in my breast. Reports said the man Zale had taken had come to town to look at the pools. Kidnapped and killed by this very man and the dragon resting in the breathtaking tattoo swirling around his left forearm as he’d attempted to shield a young boy. It was their justice I’d come to see done.

The chilling images of the fight that had led to two deaths flashed in my mind. Zale astride his blue beast of a dragon, leading a troop of dark wraiths, and then sending blue fire to end the life of an innocent man and the boy he’d been trying to protect. The whole nasty scene had been caught in our intelligence net from one of the satellites we regularly hacked into. With so few resources and the Brotherhood making moves all over the world, we were duty bound to do what we could, and I was there to bring Zale back to my Clan to face judgement, relieve him of the dragon he obviously didn’t deserve, and attempt to learn the identity of the person within the Brotherhood controlling the wraiths.

“Oh, well, I hope you enjoy them, then.” He walked toward the cliff, giving me a wide berth.

“Thanks.” I waited until he passed me, then spun, shooting across the sand to tackle him to the ground. His chest hit the sand with a thump, but he didn’t waste a second in trying to throw me off. Brute force wasn’t on his side, and I had it in spades, but as he shifted his hips, and slithered out of my grip, I knew exactly what Nathair had meant by wily. He threw an elbow, catching me in the cheek. My head snapped to the side and the taste of blood exploded in my mouth. I came up on my knees, letting him flip himself over only to grab his left arm and roll, shoulder first, until I was on my back perpendicular to him with his arm caught between my legs in an arm bar. I pressed on his throat with my calf, holding him down and cutting off his air as he struggled to break my hold. In a swift move, I lifted my leg off his throat and brought it down hard on his face. He grunted with the impact and I heard a crunch. He stilled for just a moment, stunned, but it was all I needed. I grabbed the sleeve out of my pocket and worked it over his hand. That was all it took and the magic worked into the woven material took over. It slithered up his arm, covering the dragon tattoo completely and binding itself to his skin, severing the connection to his dragon and keeping it trapped in its tattoo form.

As soon as Zale realized what I was doing, he thrashed wildly. “What did you do?” he screamed at me, wrenching himself from my hold and clamoring to his feet. I jumped to my feet as well, slinging sand and landing in a fighting stance. Bright red streaks ran down his mouth and chin from where I’d most likely broken his nose, but it was forgotten in his panic. “Saso!” He tore at the sleeve, trying without success to remove the material. Glittering, furious eyes lifted to me, and he charged. I pulled the taser gun from my back and fired, burying the prongs in his heaving chest and dropping him spasming to the sand.


Author Bio

Stories have always been Michelle Frost’s escape. Even as a kid, she can remember writing stories featuring her favorite cartoon characters. Now, her characters are a little more grown up, as are the stories she likes to tell. A self-proclaimed coffee addict and a bit of an introvert, she can most likely be found at any given time, on any given day with her hands on a keyboard or her nose in a book.

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