Update on the Dragon’s Breath Series and a snippet

I know a lot of people have been wondering when the next installment of the Dragon’s Breath Series will come. So sorry for the delay! There has been a lot going on in my personal life that has caused this, but I am working on the next book. As of right now, my goal is to publish it in mid to late October (2019). I’ll update here as I know more.

Thank you so much for your patience. I know it’s been a long wait, and I appreciate every reader who has stuck by me. As a small compensation, I’m including a snippet from Captured in Flames (book 5 of the series) here. Keep in mind this is not the edited copy so there may be some minor changes before the book is finalized. Those of you who are in my Facebook fan group have already seen this excerpt, but I wanted my broader audience to have a chance to read it.

Aidan and I continued moving along and came out from under the bridge, blinking into the bright sunlight.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  Crossing the border always felt even riskier than being in pure dragon territory.  The interstate was littered with demolished cars, burn holes, and rotting corpses to remind everyone—dragons and humans alike—of how dangerous it could be to anyone who passed through there.  No one used those stretches of highway unless they absolutely had to and only as long as needed.

Aidan led me a bit farther into shifter territory until we got behind some buildings where we wouldn’t be easily seen.  It was quiet with only the wind rustling through the trees nearby to break the silence.  Not even the birds chirped.  We were still too close to the border to see any activity except the occasional dragon patrol, but even they weren’t around at the moment.

“We must get you clean,” he said, wiggling his nose at my snot-covered garb. 

The tight pants and halter top I wore looked similar to black leather, but the outfit was really camrium.  A fire-proof cloth Aidan had designed for me that had additional sorcerer spells cast on it so it could protect against blades and bullets.  It was much more flexible than leather, which was important when one needed to move easily and quickly to fight.  More than once, the warrior garb had saved my life.

I looked to the left and right, confused.  Since the dragon cold had started spreading, I’d been bathing at our home before he returned at night from patrols.  This problem hadn’t come up before.   “There’s not exactly a shower around here for me to use, or even a pond for that matter.”

 “Stay close as I shift, and the flames will burn you clean,” he instructed.

“Wow.”  I cocked my head.  “Why have you not mentioned this nifty trick before?” 

Every night this week, I’d had to station myself in front of a wash basin and scrub myself for an hour to get all the snot and spit off of my clothes, hair, and body.  Never mind collecting all the water I’d needed for that.  And all along, there’d been a faster way that would leave me totally sterilized of germs.

“I never had to worry about you bringing illness to my people until now.”

Oh, right.  That would be bad.  “Good point.”

He moved closer until we almost touched and began shifting from human to dragon.  The first time I saw him transform I was terrified, but I’d grown used to the process since then.  Flames licked up his body, fanning against me, and I could just make out a shadowy figure as it stretched and grew into beast form.  After a minute, the fire subsided and his red dragon form appeared.  It was still a bit frightening to see him this way, but I’d learned to love the man and the beast.

I dropped my gaze to inspect myself and found not a speck of snot on me.  That was one impressive sterilization process.  I smiled at him and wagged a finger.  “I won’t forget you can do this.”

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Two more excerpts from the novel have been shared in my Facebook fan group that you can read if you join. If you just want to make sure you don’t miss when Captured in Flames is out though, make sure you sign up for my book release alerts. I’ll also post the first couple of chapters here shortly before publishing the novel.

Excerpt from Destined for Eternity

I thought I’d tease you all with the first three chapters of Destined for Eternity before it releases Sunday.  Hope you enjoy!


Chapter 1

 Cori

When one runs a business, they’re always happy for more customers, but the reception area of Cori’s tattoo shop was packed almost beyond capacity. People sat in every available chair and even more milled around the place. Several young women stood together at the wall next to the large front windows, checking out the designs displayed there. For the last few weeks, the shop couldn’t keep up with all the folks coming in to get tattoos. Cori had finally had to put in a television set so her customers had something to do while waiting their turn.

She stood behind the counter and rubbed her aching back. “I can’t believe how busy we’ve gotten lately.”

“It’s a good thing you hired me when you did,” Ginny said, standing next to her as she cashed out the latest client. “I’ve never done so many tattoos in such a short time.”

“It wasn’t always this way.”

Business had started picking up at the start of the New Year. It was more than welcome after a major lull before that. But by the end of January, Cori realized she and her only other employee, Asher, could not handle the workload by themselves anymore. Not to mention she was due to have a baby at the end of May and needed someone to cover for her while she took time off.

She’d interviewed several humans first, but none of them fit in well. Her criteria had been strict. They had to bring something new with their work that would attract a different set of clients, yet they couldn’t stand out in a way that would draw the wrong kind of attention, and they had to be tough enough to hold their own for those times when trouble brewed. In Fairbanks, Alaska—a haven for supernaturals—peace rarely lasted long, especially since the world had found out humans weren’t at the top of the food chain. There were beings far more powerful and dangerous out there.

After two weeks of interviews with no luck finding a new employee, Ginny had strutted her way through the shop door, arms covered in vine and flower tattoos. Her body was petite with curves that would turn any man’s head, and she had shoulder-length purple hair (her natural color) with light purple freckles on her fair cheeks. She definitely wasn’t human, which didn’t fit Cori’s rigid criteria. The pixie, a breed of fae, stood no more than 4’10” high and looked like a stiff breeze could knock her over. There was no way anyone would take her seriously or want her to work on them with her otherworldly appearance. Continue Reading →

Excerpt from Destined for Dreams

I know you all have been waiting patiently for the next installment in the Dark Destiny Series. In a few days, I’ll be doing the official cover reveal and announcing the release date (which is very soon, I promise!).  For now, I thought I’d go ahead and share the first two chapters of the novel.  Hope you enjoy!

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Chapter 1

 Bartol

When a man has too much time on his hands, and he’s trying his best not to think of a certain troublesome woman in his life, he must find some sort of distraction.  Over the last few weeks, while avoiding the aforementioned woman, Bartol had turned to an old hobby—one that came from a time before electricity and modern machinery—back in the days when a man used his bare hands and simple tools for crafting his work.  And if he did a reasonably good job, he might even make a little money for his efforts.  Carpentry had been his trade off and on for many centuries whenever he had the spare time or needed a little extra cash.

When Bartol had gotten the brilliant idea to start up his old hobby again, it had seemed simple enough.  Build a table, some chairs, perhaps a desk—easy.  Of course, he’d had to construct a workshop first since there was hardly enough space in his cabin, but that hadn’t been too difficult despite the cold Alaskan weather.  And as a nephilim—half angel and half human—who’d lived more than eighteen-hundred years, Bartol had the strength of dozens of humans to speed up the process.  It had kept him busy and helped keep Cori from his mind—the woman who’d become his bonded mate and then rejected him.

Bartol sighed deeply and ran a brush over the chair, staining the wood a deep russet color.  It would be beautiful when it was done, maybe his best work yet. Working his way over the high back, similar to the Victorian style, he recalled what had first driven him to learn such a trade.  It was, ironically, to impress women.  He didn’t impress them now, most especially his mate, with his scars and reclusive behavior, but at least the work served a more important purpose.

He’d discovered how much humans would pay for unique pieces, and he’d found someone in Fairbanks willing to sell the furniture for him to local customers as well as others across the country.  The first piece he’d put on the market, a desk, had netted him over a thousand dollars.  It was a start to rebuilding the fortune he’d lost while locked away in Purgatory for more than a century.  If one must be confined as a prisoner for a long period, it was a bad idea to do it just before the economy went into shambles and a recession started.  Most of his investments were lost, and he’d had no idea it was happening until it was too late.

So now Bartol was starting over and taking whatever jobs he could.  The archangels were paying him a fair wage for his assistance in training a young nerou crossbreed—Tormod—who had both angel and demon blood, as well as a little something else, but that job would run out in a few months.  He needed to have something else in place before then.

Plus, Bartol didn’t want to rely on the archangels any more than necessary, especially since they were the ones who’d confined him to Purgatory in the first place and caused him to lose nearly everything.  They might regret the severity of their punishment now that they knew he wasn’t as guilty as they’d thought, but it didn’t undo the damage.  Bartol had been tortured both physically and psychologically during that time and scarred for life.  He would never be the same man again, which was likely why Cori had rejected him.  She had to see he wasn’t worth her time or energy.

A shuffling noise came from just outside the workshop.  He’d almost missed it with the blowing wind hitting the walls and windows as yet another snow storm passed through.  If not for a wood-burning stove nearby, it would have been freezing inside.

Bartol stiffened and slowly turned on his stool.  Only a few people knew about this private escape deep in the woods, and none of them were expected.  Tormod had the day off to spend with his mother, no friends had mentioned dropping by for a visit, and Cori had yet to discover his shop since he’d constructed the building well out of sight from his cabin, and he hadn’t spoken to her since before it was built anyway.

As the door slid open, a large, muscular figure appeared with snow swirling around him.  His body blocked what little light was available on such a gloomy day as he entered the workshop.  It took a moment for Bartol’s eyes to make out the chiseled features of his oldest rival and closest friend.

“Caius,” he said, standing.  “It’s been a long time.”  More than two centuries, in fact.

The older nephilim chuckled and moved forward to stand under the solitary light bulb hanging from the ceiling.  “Too long.”

“How did you find me?”  Bartol hadn’t exactly advertised his current whereabouts to the supernatural world, considering all he wanted was solitude since returning to Earth.

“Word travels, my friend, especially after what you did to get yourself thrown in Purgatory.  People pay attention. Continue Reading →

Excerpt from Destined for Shadows

Those of you who are in Facebook fan group have gotten a couple of snippets already, but today I’m posting the first two chapters of Destined for Shadows.  I thought I’d hold off until now so you wouldn’t have long to wait until the rest of the novel came out.  Hope you enjoy!


Chapter 1

 Cori

Cori used to have a cranky old lady for a neighbor who nagged her incessantly about her numerous faults, but Ms. Callahan had recently been replaced by a cranky immortal with a lack of social skills who rarely made an appearance outside of his cabin.  She should have appreciated the change.  Truly, she should have been happy that her one and only neighbor for miles in the Alaskan wilderness kept to himself.  Except the immortal was half angel—also known as a nephilim—who’d just come from a hundred-year prison sentence in Purgatory.  And yeah, it was the same Purgatory from religious texts that most people thought was only a myth.  A place in some other plane of existence where souls were tortured for their crimes on Earth.

Bartol, the nephilim, needed someone to bring him out of his shell and show him how to live again.  Cori believed she was the right woman for the job.  Not that she was looking to get into a relationship or anything.  Neither of them was in a place where they were ready for that, but it didn’t mean she couldn’t give Bartol the kick-start he needed to get going again, and they could have a little fun along the way.  She liked focusing on other people’s problems, rather than her own.  Especially since her problems were in the past and not exactly fixable.

Cori headed for the kitchen, entering the only part of her two-bedroom cabin she’d remodeled since moving into the place a few years ago.  It had black marble counters, dark wood cabinets, and stainless steel appliances.  A window was set over the sink so she could view the forest behind her place and a bit of the blue sky above.  She loved cooking in the kitchen even if she had to eat alone most of the time.  Her regular customers at the tattoo studio would have never guessed she enjoyed preparing meals as much as permanently marking people’s skin with artwork.

The lasagna she’d baked sat cooling on the stovetop.  The aroma wafted from the dish, overwhelming her senses and making her stomach growl.  She grabbed a spatula, cut through the pasta, and scooped out a large chunk to put in a plastic container.  Then she took a few slices of the garlic bread she’d also made and put them into a plastic baggy.  Bartol would eat at least a couple of decent meals a week if she had anything to say about it.  Left to his own devices, he only ate baked potatoes or canned soup.  As a man who was born when the Roman Empire was still around, and who’d missed out on the biggest technological changes in modern history, he had a lot of catching up to do if he wanted to survive in this era.

After grabbing a pre-made bowl of salad from the fridge as the final piece of the meal, Cori put everything into a plastic bag and left the house.  Cool air touched her face as she stepped outside.  Though it was mid-September and the days were still long, autumn had already arrived to the Alaskan interior.  She had lived in the state her whole life and was used to the weather being colder than most other places.  Forty degrees might seem a bit cool to southern folks, but she had no problem wearing jeans and a tank top until it hit below freezing.

She carried the food bag as she walked down a narrow dirt road lined with evergreen trees.  The rutted path ran for about half a mile until it reached the highway.  Bartol’s cabin—a smaller one-bedroom place—wasn’t quite as deep in the woods as hers, but it only took a few minutes to reach.  She caught the smoke from the chimney before she saw the actual home.  Only during the warmest days of summer had she not seen it going.

According to Cori’s friend, Melena, the bowels of Purgatory where Bartol had been imprisoned were freezing cold.  The ice set into the bones of whoever stayed there, so that the inhabitants could never truly feel warm.  Melena had gotten over her stay fairly quickly, but she’d only been confined there a few months.  Bartol, whose stay was longer than most people’s life spans, acted as if anything below seventy degrees was too cold for him and kept his fireplace blazing day and night.  The poor guy probably should have moved to Florida, but his friends had talked him into living in Alaska instead.  He had a lot of catching up to do in the modern world, and at least here he could ease into it a little slower.

Cori skipped up the wooden steps to his front porch and knocked on the door.

No answer.

“Bartol!” she yelled.  “I’ve got dinner for you.”

Curses and grunts came from inside.  A minute later, the door flew open and an annoyed man with golden eyes filled the opening.  Cori couldn’t help dropping her gaze to his bare chest where he’d filled out over the past few months—mostly thanks to her cooking.  A healthy nephilim tended to be large and strong due to the angelic half of their DNA, but years of wasting away in Purgatory had left Bartol unnaturally lean.  He’d grown to a healthier weight recently, and his muscles were more defined now.  Black sweatpants covered his long legs, and he had a pair of thick socks on his feet.  For all that he complained about the cold, he didn’t like wearing shirts for some reason.  Cori didn’t mind that little quirk at all.

“Here.” She shoved the bag of food at him.  If she wasn’t brusque and demanding about it, he’d try to refuse her.  “I cooked more than I can eat again.”

Bartol took hold of the bag, sparing it a brief glance.  “Then why don’t you try cooking less?”

And the game resumed with him pretending a complete lack of interest in her food, but she wasn’t fooled.  The containers always appeared on her porch the next morning empty and freshly washed.  He liked her cooking, but he’d never admit it.

“Because most of my recipes were designed to feed a family.”  She didn’t dare admit she’d had a family once and that was how she’d picked up her love of cooking.  It wasn’t something she ever wanted to discuss, not even with her closest friends.

He narrowed his eyes.  “If you knew what was good for you, you’d stay away from me.”

“About the only thing I do that might be considered good for me is take long walks through the woods.”  With a rifle, just in case a bear or other wild animal made an appearance.  “Bringing food to you doesn’t even rate on my list of bad.”

He set the bag on a side table next to the entryway and braced his hands on the door frame, leaning closer to her.  “Look at me.  Do I look friendly or nice to you?”

Cori swallowed.  She had a knack for pretending not to notice the burn scars on the left side of his face.  If she ignored that half, he was stunningly beautiful, but if she stared at the part where a guardian from Purgatory had burned Bartol from his hairline down to his chin—only leaving the area around his eye intact—then his skin bordered on grotesque.  Everything from next to his nose to just before his ear appeared to have melted, begun to heal, and then got locked in place by some sort of magical spell.

That was the story she’d been told by others, anyway, since Bartol would never talk about it.  Nephilim could normally recover from any injury, but what happened to him was an exception to the rule.  His wounds couldn’t be fixed, and he would have to live with the scars for the rest of his life.  He didn’t even have the glamour capabilities some of his kind had to cover it up.  At best, he could make himself invisible, but then no one would notice him at all.  It was kind of sad since she had a feeling there was so much more to him that he kept hidden away.

“I see you,” Cori said, forcing herself to stare at the damaged half of his face.  He’d grown a light beard that obscured some of the scarring, but not all of it.  “So what?” Continue Reading →

Christmas with Dragons update

I just wanted to let everyone know I’m working hard to finish edits on Christmas with Dragons and expect to have it out by the end of the weekend (the 18th).  In the meantime, I wanted to go ahead and post the first chapter for you all to get started.

Hope you enjoy and that everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!

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Chapter 1

 Bailey

 

I inched my way out of the bed, trying not to disturb the sleeping dragon lying next to me.  Even in his human form, he took up a lot of space with his legs sprawled across the mattress.  It made it that much more difficult to get around him, though I had to admit the sight of his toned, muscular body tempted me to stay.  Who knew a fire-breathing dragon could turn into a sexy man with olive skin, spiky black hair, and high cheekbones that gave his features a chiseled edge?  I might be genetically programmed to kill both shifter and pure dragons, but Aidan had somehow found a way around that problem and into my heart.

I touched my toes to the cool wood floor and expelled a light breath.  Almost there.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Aidan snaked his arm around my waist, dragging me back across the bed.

“Nooo,” I protested.  “I’ve got things to do.  It’s bad enough you made me sleep past noon!”

He’d gotten me to the point where I kept dragon hours, which meant I didn’t go to bed until almost dawn.  It was putting a cramp in my slaying activities since I liked to catch the beasts while they slept in their dens.  Aidan should have appreciated my strategy, considering I was killing his clan’s enemies, but our relationship was still new and he didn’t like letting me out of his sight very often.  At least, not since we started living together a couple of weeks ago.

“More important than me?”  He nuzzled my neck.

The spicy scent wafting from his hot skin was familiar and comforting, weakening my resolve.  I turned my head to find him staring at me with intense, yellow eyes.  “I’ve got to meet Trish in a little over an hour to go Christmas shopping.”

“Christmas shopping?” He lifted a brow.

“Well, yeah.”  I paused to search for the right words, considering we’d actually be looting stuff out of stores that hadn’t been open since the dragon apocalypse seven months ago.  Food, medicine, and products people used on a daily basis were mostly gone, but plenty of other stuff was still out there.  Norman—a suburb of Oklahoma City—was down to maybe forty percent of the population it once had, and among those left, people generally only took what they needed.  Traveling to get stuff and transporting it all home was too dangerous to grab many luxury items, especially since we didn’t have trash service anymore to get rid of the old stuff.  “It’s more like searching for gifts.”

He nodded.  “I have heard of this holiday called Christmas.  The humans at the fortress celebrate it each year after Dragomas, and our merchants enjoy great profits from both occasions.”

“What is Dragomas exactly?” I asked.  I’d heard him mention it to his sister recently when she came by our house—or lair as Aidan referred to it—but I hadn’t had a chance to ask more since I was on my way out at the time. Continue Reading →