Happy 1st July! And what a great Friday it’s going to be because I have a treat for you. Since finishing the Nature’s Destiny series I’ve been asked what I’m working on next and when the bloody hell am I going to release said book?
Well, how do we feel about a first chapter reveal of my secret project coming Autumn 2016?
I don’t fancy giving too much away just yet as I’m still in first draft mode, but it’s the start of a new paranormal romance trilogy with the added bonus of creatures I haven’t written about before, plus a leading lady who is incredibly important. Of course. And although I have a title already decided, I’m going to save it for the next coming weeks, when I have some more to share.
For now, I hope this first chapter whets your appetite. Enjoy!
*First draft. Content subject to change. Unedited.*
1 – BROKEN
“Are you ready, Tiss? Just like the book says. Straight down the mountain, one full turn, and back up. Sounds simple enough. Just gotta try and see through the thick layer of fog first,” I add.
He ‘hmphs’ at me, blowing smoke out of his nostrils. I leap onto his back, sitting as comfortably as I can between the large red spikes adorning his spine.
“And whatever you do, don’t drop me!” I wouldn’t die, but it sure would hurt like hell.
Fortissimus jumps off of the top of the highest mountain in Terra Regnum, gliding through clouds of mist at a fast pace. We fly as one being as I entrust my faith wholeheartedly in my dearest friend.
Even with my heightened vision, I struggle to see through the dense precipitation as the wind pushes against my face, forcing me to lean backwards.
Tiss spreads his large wings, gaining speed as the ground draws near. He flaps harder, pushing the limits.
“Tiss. . .” I warn, seeing the speckles of rubble a short distance ahead.
He doesn’t slow down.
We’re getting closer.
He turns, changes direction, and heads back up the mountain as I try to swallow my heart. My fingers cramp, realising I’ve been gripping on to him with more force than I thought.
Bloody rascal, tormenting me.
“Let’s go home. We’ll talk about your disobedience then,” I scorn, sitting back a little more relaxed.
We fly by many snow covered mountains, all quiet of life. It’s peaceful, tranquil as the sun peeks through the clouds that are soon to bring nightfall.
The temperature continues to drop though it doesn’t affect me, and frost covers the woodland near my home.
Tiss takes one large sweep around the dungeon, landing gently on the snow. I slide down, my dress falls to my feet and trails across the white ground as I turn my attention to my naughty dragon.
He bows his head the second we come face to face, drooping his eyes as if in apology. It’s almost enough to make me melt with forgiveness.
I sigh. “Listen, you know I like to have fun too, but we need to keep our training on top form.” I run my hand over his scarred lip, knowing it’s identical to mine. Over time it’s faded, but I still remember the slicing of the blade cutting from the right of my top lip to my chin. Fortissimus had been struck by the same blow. “We can’t slip up again.”
Though he cannot talk I know he understands, I can sense his essence within me. He is, and always has been, a part of me. In many ways we are connected.
His large tongue licks my face, catching me unawares. “Tiss! That’s disgusting,” I groan, using my dress to wipe the slobber dripping off of me. His tail thumps loudly on the ground, and he snorts almost as if he’s laughing at me.
“Oh, so that’s how it’s gonna be, huh?” I tickle his neck, back, legs and tail, moving fast enough until it drives him crazy. “Do you concede?” I cross my arms.
He blows a puff of smoke in my face.
“I thought so,” I smirk, turning towards my home. As the only vampire/werewolf hybrid in all of Imperium I live alone in the dungeon I carved deep into the mountains with my dragon. Over the eons I’ve embellished on its natural formation, though fire is my only light source. I prefer it that way. Darkness will always be my ally.
Tiss follows in behind me, pushing his ever-growing size through the fire-lit doorway. “Is your bum getting too big, Tiss?”
He nudges me forward with his nose, grumbling to himself when the mountain begins to shake. The ground vibrates rapidly beneath my feet. Dust falls from the crevices above. The flame torches burn out.
Tiss pulls me into him with his large claws, protecting me just as I unsheathe my sword in preparation. The cavernous walls tremble erratically.
My body hums with electricity as though the vibrations are passing through me. My skin tingles with awareness as two white balls glow up ahead. What is that?
They hover in the darkness, moving towards us. I take my stance, sword forward. I feel Tiss tense behind me. He’s ready, too.
The circles of light stop, expanding into two large doorways where the holograms of two male faces appear.
I relax my sword, realising this isn’t a threat, it’s a calling.
To my left, a man sits on his underwater throne, his long black hair flowing around him. His head is adorned with a gold crown, and his ironically sun-kissed skin gleams.
To my right, crimson eyes glare at me. He stands tall in his usual unnecessary armour that covers fine, ebony skin. A crown of rubies adorns his black and white dreadlocked hair whilst he holds a staff. Also unnecessary.
They are King Asa, and King Zuriel, ruler of Mare Regnum and Terra Regnum respectively.
“Why am I being summonsed?” I project my voice, enforcing my power.
“Our law has been broken. Rebel creatures are fleeing Imperium. . .”
“We cannot risk the humans on Earth knowing about us. The barrier between our worlds is far too fragile to endure this,” King Asa, the hologram to my left, finishes King Zuriel’s sentence.
“Our worlds cannot co-exist. You know this more than anyone. The humans are unforgiving to our kind.” Zuriel continues, “We’ve tried keeping the peace, but our kingdoms are becoming rowdy.”
I listen to their speeches, plainly seeing their desperation.
“If we’re to reign in those who remain under our authority, then it’s time for real action.”
I nod, understanding.
“We’ve broken the necessary seals. The veil separating us will release. Do you accept your duty, Oxsana?” King Asa asks, crossing his large arms across his bare, muscular chest.
Tiss pounds his claws behind me, acknowledging our fate.
“Find the rebel creatures on Earth,” Zuriel demands.
“Imperium needs you, Dragonman of War.”