Hi Roxanne, this is the last stop for Dragon's Thief on this book tour. I has been so much fun! Thanks for having me. Your site is the perfect place to end this marvelous journey :)
When I got on that plane for Norman, Oklahoma a few years back, with an idea to write something so totally different that when I was finished I would have a clear idea where my voice fit best in the writing world, I had no idea what my fictional world would look like; only that my characters would meet in a bar.
Somewhere between... Logan Pen slipped out of the lusty crowd and into a bar that was only a decimal quieter. He’d been in New Orleans six hours and in the French Quarter half that time. Already he’d picked up a tail...and...“We’ll meet again, thief.” He took a long pull of the drink, then licked the mixture of rum and blood from where it burned his lip. “You can bet on it.”, ...a world was born.
This world was the window of time between the alignment of the earth with the center of the Milky Way, bringing down life as we know it, and the prophesied 1000 years of peace. I KNEW in my gut, peace wouldn't come without a lot of struggle on humanity's part, or a price. Enter the Darwin changelings who have remained hidden for millennia.
The next question was, what does this in between time look like? On one hand, two-thirds of the world's population has perished. Everywhere you look is rubble. On the other hand, the Naga, dragonkind, have been around for a very long time, and it's been thirty-three years since the night that changed humanity's future. There are many who remember the before times, and being clever, it's time for humankind to move forward, rather than wallow in a manipulated, destructive past. As Spock would say, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few...or the one.” It's also very handy that one of Daniel and Abigayl's quints is a geek, and loves remaking the old machines so they work in the new emerging world. I hope that also gives the stories a bit of a steampunk, Victorian flavor.
So a new world is emerging, the dragonkind are coming out of hiding. Avalon, secret home of the dragons, is revealed. A villain of the worst sort wants to take over the world. The Dragonkind Chronicles...the battle is just beginning.
Breathless from her flight, Beyla Higgins moved deeper into the dark mists of the mirror image of the room she’d escaped. No human, or dragon for that matter, could follow her here.
The noise of the bar receded to muted noise, finally replaced by soothing ripples of cocooning silence. She desperately missed the sounds of her human family, but at least here, deep in the shadows, their deaths didn’t hurt so much.
As though he could still see her, the dragon-man who’d had the audacity to capture an Umbra, raised his glass in her direction.
As she swiped his blood from her lips, her skin warmed at the challenge she could read in his dark eyes. The streak of red burned her fingertips. The subtle scent of copper woke her senses from their deep slumber, disturbing the balance she worked so hard to keep in place.
He would make her pay for her audacity. She fingered the trinket she’d stolen, then rubbed where his teeth had scraped her lips, attempting to erase his arrogant touch.
Ordered to follow the human, she’d never once suspected the simple assignment to be more than a trifle duty given to one who admittedly, knew little of the ways of her own kind.
With little to occupy her days, except putting one foot in front of the other, surviving was all she had left. If she could find the purpose in it.
Beyla stared at the shiny, gold talisman, with its strange markings, nestled in the palm of her hand. It was the way of the females of her kind to be able to sense and retrieve objects of value. She was particularly good at it, even as a small child living in the human’s world with no idea of her birthright.
Once her searching fingertips had brushed across the hard, round surface, it’d been impossible to leave the treasure behind. Stealing the strange medallion from the dragon-man scowling in her direction ignited the first spark of excitement she’d felt in three cold years.
The gold metal heated her hand. It was the same heat that had flared between them when she’d touched her lips to his in a crazy bid to escape the steal strength of the fingers manacling her wrists.
She lifted her chin. Who are you? The question was ripped from the deepest heart of her.
I told you. His sigh contained little patience. We are the Naga.
The breath of his response, a distant echo drifting like fog on a dark night lit only by the moon, touched her mind. Her fingers curled into a fist, clenching the golden piece until her palm hurt.
What kind of power was this? How was he speaking in her thoughts?
I know who the Naga are. You are my enemy.
She shifted deeper into the darkest shadows, far from his lightning reach. Her body became lighter, her essence, that part of her that was Umbra, connected with others of her kind. The hum of all their thoughts made order out of chaos, but not out of the emptiness that was her constant companion.
A shudder of arousal, more fierce than any she'd ever felt, worked its way into the silent place in her heart that had died along with her fiancé.
Meet with me.
No! I don’t trust you.
He sneered. And, for good reason. I don’t trust you, either. Nonetheless, we must talk.
Taking one last lingering look at the black-haired, black-eyed dragon in human guise, she followed the shadows out of the bar to those cast by flickering gas lamps lining the street. When she was a child, living among humans, her stepfather had told fanciful stories, old fables of dragons from the Before Time. Since discovering she wasn’t human, and returning to her kind, she’d heard whispers of the Naga, that someday they would return. She’d thought they were just stories, too.
The Elders. She must tell the Elders. They would want to know the day had come. The Naga, their enemy, had indeed come out of hiding.
She searched the crowds spilling into the street to make sure the way was safe. Behind her, she felt him coming after her. Her skin sizzled with an awareness that was new and confusing.
Heart racing, she glanced over her shoulder. Her pursuer was backlit by the light from inside the bar. He shifted slightly so the building blocked a portion of the light illuminating him. On the edge of her world, he showed her his true nature.
An incomparable being of absolute beauty gleamed and shimmered in iridescent blue-green. The dragon stretched, its tail curling up around his broad chest and neck, wings opening majestically. Flames flickered with each breath he took. Familiar black eyes called her coward.
It was magical. The most phenomenal thing she'd ever seen. Humans partying in the street didn’t seem to notice what was taking place.
Beyla’s stomach suddenly ached with an indefinable, illusive something she couldn't name. Remembering how easily the hard faced man had captured her, she shivered.
He was hunting. Hunting those who’d been hidden for as long as any could remember. The question was, why?
The Dragonkind Chronicles
Genre: post-apocalyptic paranormal/fantasy
Number of pages: 187
Word Count: 88K
Cover Artist: Susan Lute / Crazy Hair Publishing
From the Dragonkind Chronicles – the battle is just beginning...
In a post -apocalyptic world where Darwin changelings emerge from hiding and humans struggle to reclaim their former glory, mercenary Logan Pen doesn’t want to save the world. His mission is to protect his greatest treasure - his family. That is until he tries to capture a shadow thief. Beyla, a beguiling, emotionless Umbra steals his telein - a talisman forged at his birth while escaping his grasp, making her by ancient dragon law his mate.
Her enemy - a fiery Naga - and the talisman she’s stolen from him rouse emotions Beyla has spent three long years in the land of shadows stripping away. Still she hasn’t been able to banish the grief and pain left by the murder of her human family.
Fighting a desire that flames out of their control, and scrambling to save humanity and their own kind, Logan and Beyla are forced to join forces to keep a weapon of incredible destructive power out of the hands of the man who would use it to conquer their world. With evil on the brink of victory, only through sacrifice do they learn to trust and embrace the love that will change them forever.
About the Author:
Susan Lute is first and foremost a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer, and author. She is traditionally and Indie published in contemporary romance, women's fiction, and and paranormal/fantasy romance.
Her debut novel, Oops…We’re Married? has sold over 130,000 copies, was a Reader’s Choice nominee and Holt Medallion Finalist. Things you should know - she was born the oldest child of a military family; she's traveled far, but has never been to Hawaii, Paris, or Crete, an omission she hopes to correct soon; her favorite places in the whole world are New York City, Sedona (Arizona), Ouray (Colorado), and Bath (England).
Currently she is working on the second novel in her Dragonkind Chronicles, and dreaming up a new urban fantasy.
See Jane Publish http://seejanepublish.wordpress.com/
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