I’m excited to let you all know Captured in Flames is now available on the retailers for pre-order and will release on August 18th. There are no more delays to worry about, so you can be assured you’ll finally get to read it! I’m posting links below.
Thanks to everyone for your patience and understanding as I’ve worked a very long time to get this novel ready. As promised, I’m posting the first two chapters of Captured in Flames so you can get a taste of what’s to come. Expect a pre-order link in the next few days with the novel set to release on August 18th!
People thought slaying dragons was a glamorous job full of danger and excitement. Sure, I could take a beating far better than the average person, fire couldn’t burn me, and I had super strength, but all that good stuff came with some significant downsides. Today was a prime example of the horrors I faced in my line of work.
Snot covered me—icky, gooey snot—and lots of it.
The green dragon in front of me huffed, puffed, and blew out a monstrous sneeze that had to have stirred a hurricane down in the gulf, never mind that we were in Oklahoma. The shock wave ran over me, stumbling me back and leaving my hair and clothes dripping in green goo. My stomach twisted, bile rising into my throat. I fought it down and blinked a few times to clear my vision. The first time that happened, I nearly died. I’d been inside a building when a dragon released a torrent of snot, soaking everything in sight from the ceiling to the floor. The beast recovered faster than me. I kept losing my balance on the wet floor and hurling every time my face planted in the goo. At least today, I stood in the middle of a large parking lot with open air so I could maneuver out of the mess.
The past week had been more than a little rough. A nasty cold had spread through the dragon community, making my job more difficult than usual. It was supposed to be rare for the beasts to get sick, but I’d since learned that they were more vulnerable to illness during late winter and early spring.
They were still adjusting to their return to Earth almost a year ago and were more susceptible to changes in their environment. Our planet was far different from Kederrawien—a barren landscape with little vegetation where all dragons had lived for a thousand years after a group of sorcerers banished them from our dimension. To make matters worse, the spring weather in Oklahoma couldn’t decide if it wanted to be chilly or warm. The dragons would venture out on a nice day only to get smacked by a cold front later that evening. Their bodies couldn’t handle anything close to freezing temperatures, and we had a much higher pollen count than they’d encountered before. Seeing them suffer would have been funny if it didn’t have such hazardous consequences for me.
I took a washcloth from the pouch on my leg harness—the third I’d used that day—and wiped the worst of the snot off my face. It was in my hair as well, but I’d found keeping it in a French braid helped minimize the amount that stuck. The greenish goo smelled sort of like Play-Doh, though the consistency was much stickier. I grew up on a ranch as the only girl with three brothers and didn’t shy away from yucky stuff, but I didn’t think anything could have prepared me for dragon snot. It took gross to a whole new level.
The beast before me snorted and a small flame puffed from its nose. One advantage to my prey being ill was that it severely stunted its fire-breathing capabilities. Sick dragons couldn’t roar out flames the way they usually did, which made things easier for me. I might not burn, but a wall of fire could blind me so I wouldn’t see an attack coming. My current adversary had an annoyed look in its red eyes when it failed to produce a decent flame.
“Performance problems?” I asked, not knowing if it understood me. Some of them had picked up English, but not many.
I gripped my sword, prepared for what would come next, and didn’t move when the dragon leaped forward, claws outstretched. Waiting until the last moment, I ducked and then rammed the tip of my blade straight under its chin to the roof of its mouth. I didn’t have the strength to get any farther—dragon bone was rock-hard—but I had another weapon. While my enemy swiped and clawed at its neck, trying to get free, I rolled underneath its body and stabbed a shorter blade between its ribs and into its heart. The beast groaned and shuddered.
That was my cue to scramble away as fast as I could.
As I rose to a crouch several feet away, it let out one last huff and slumped to the ground, wings unfurling almost to my feet. If I’d been underneath the body, it would have crushed me. This particular green dragon was about the size of a small elephant and weighed at least as much. The neck was several feet long, and the tail was the length of a truck. All in all, it must have been at least ten times my size. Since completing the slayer rite of passage last year, I’d evolved physically into something much stronger and more durable than the average human, but I still had vulnerabilities. My bones could still break with enough pressure, and I needed to breathe like everyone else.
Loud clapping sounded behind me. I turned and found Conrad standing about a hundred feet away near a large store front with blown-out windows. My friend and sidekick wore a big grin as he walked toward me, boots crunching on broken glass.Continue reading
Weeks ago, I began to run into problems with not being able to log into my website. We tried all sorts of fixes, hoping to figure it out for ourselves, but I also needed to use my time to handle edits on Captured in Flames since that had to get back to the editor for a final pass. It had a tight deadline if I wanted to stay on track with my publishing goals. I told myself I’d redouble my efforts on the site once I turned in the manuscript. Well, I got the book finished in time for the editor this past week, so that’s the good news.
The bad news is that we (my father who was helping and myself) finally relented and contacted the website host who concluded my site had been hacked. They said I had the option of hiring a security specialist to clean it up or use a backup file. I didn’t want the expense of a specialist so I told them to go with the most recent backup before the problems began. Unfortunately, many of those files were corrupted. The best one to use was all the way back in April of 2016!
I thought about it for a bit and finally succumbed to the inevitable. Without my website, I can’t reach my full audience to keep them updated. They took that old backup and got everything running again yesterday afternoon. Of course, that meant I was back to an old theme, plugins, widgets, outdated pages, banners, etc. It drove me crazy to look at it all and know some readers might stop by the website and wonder what was going on with it. The most recent post was from April 2016, so you get the idea. I had only one Dragon’s Breath book out and none of the Dark Destiny Series. A lot had happened since then.
For those of you who don’t follow me in my Facebook fan group, I had another baby boy a little over 15 months ago named Dean. He’s great and I love him so much, but like his big brother was at this age I cannot get near a laptop without a meltdown. He loses his mind if he sees me on it.
Thankfully, Dean is much better at taking naps and going to bed at night. My firstborn, Adam, saw it as a challenge to make him sleep and keep him down for the night until he was three years old. Now that he’s four, he is much better about that and even good at entertaining himself while I work (usually). The second boy still wakes 2-3 times a night, especially when teething, but he can be relied upon to go to bed on schedule. This allows me to sneak time to work on my book during his nap and after he’s in bed (assuming there is nothing else pressing that must be done while he’s sleeping like shower). This is how I was finally able to get back to writing again.
Anyway, I worked on the website until 1:30am last night updating my theme, pages, header, and adding back the posts between 2016-present that I felt couldn’t be lost (I skipped dozens of others). They look like new since I couldn’t carry over the comments or even back date them. Also, though I checked boxes declining sending notifications of those re-posts, I have heard some people still got them. My deepest apologies for anyone who got slammed with those updates and I promise there will not be anymore since I managed to knock them all out before bed! And if it’s any consolation, Dean had an usually restless night (likely due to teething), so I got woke up every hour until around 8:00am when he was wide awake and ready to face the day. I’ve ran on fumes and coffee since then.
Today, during Dean’s nap today I got a lot more done on other necessary modifications like my Contact page, security stuff, and book pages. I still have some minor tweaking left to do, but the rest of it isn’t urgent. I’m switching my time back to working on formatting Captured in Flames so I can get it up for pre-order as soon as possible. Also, I really want to post the first two chapters in the next couple of days so you all can get a taste of what’s to come.
Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience and promise I’m working every spare minute possible.
This has been a long time coming, but I can finally say the novel is fully written and critiqued by beta readers! It is with the editor now going through first round edits. Once I get the manuscript back from her, I’ll revise and send it to her again for a second look before polishing to publish. Accounting for all of that, I’m expecting a mid-August release date. I do hope to set up a pre-order sometime in July and will post about that when it’s available.
For now, I am pleased to reveal the cover and summary for readers below.
COVER ART– Jeff Brown
PHOTOGRAPHER– Josh McCullock
MODEL– Rahela Mahmood
Dragons arrived on Earth nearly a year ago, decimating modern civilization.
Bailey Monzac discovered she was born to slay them the day they appeared. Though she has ruthlessly killed hundreds since then, she somehow fell in love with Aidan—a dragon shifter—along the way. Their relationship hasn’t been easy, and it’s about to be tested again.
Bailey finally got an opportunity to leave Oklahoma and return to her family’s ranch in Texas. The catch is that she and Aidan must join a war against the pure dragons controlling the territory there. They’ll be facing their largest and fiercest enemies yet with overwhelming forces against them. As they prepare for battle, more obstacles emerge that could ruin their plans. Aidan is with Bailey no matter what it takes, but it’s going to be a difficult journey to finally reunite with her family and hold onto the man she loves.
For those who enjoy sneak peeks, I will be posting the first two chapters in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, there is a post from long ago where I included a snippet of the novel you may have missed (or forgotten). Click here for that.
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 August 2022. I’ll update more soon.
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.”
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.