Hi guys! We have Annabelle Jay stopping by today with her upcoming release Caden’s Comet, we have a fantastic exclusive excerpt so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
Long ago, in the days before King Roland, the four dragon kingdoms—Ice, Sun, Earth, and Bone—battled for dominion over the bountiful planet Earth. Prince Grian, a young dragon, hid aboard a Sun Dragon ship, traveled to Earth, and met Caden, an Earth Dragon who’d run away from his village. Despite falling in love, destiny’s plans for them turned cruel, and both perished in the war.
The Artists who created the universe could not let this tragic loss of true love go unpunished. They wiped out the race of Sun Dragons, exiled the Bone Dragons to Draman, and banished the Ice Dragons to the North Pole, safely away from the Earth Dragons. Only the rebirth of Grian and Caden could break the curse. One day, the return of their love would usher in an age of peace and prosperity for all dragons.
But when Prince Grian is reborn, he finds reuniting with his soulmate on Earth will be no easy feat. As he searches for his lost love, the Earth Dragon Protection Society, or EDPS, searches for him, ready to kill him when they find him. If Grian can elude the EDPS, he might find that the true love he once had isn’t guaranteed to bloom a second time.
Release date: 25th July 2017
Pre-order: Harmony Ink Press ebook | Harmony Ink Press paperback | Dreamspinner Press ebook | Dreamspinner Press paperback
Shull’s office had a full view of Times Square, making the large window behind him look like a TV screen. Unlike the desks of his receptionist and the workers in the large office behind the wall, his working space was not made of glass; apparently, Shull had items in those drawers he wanted to keep hidden.
Framed by the chaos of ads and lights, the hulking Shull was just another character in the display, with peculiarly broad shoulders and the chiseled body of a soldier. His hair was cut short, revealing a perpetual, doubtful scowl that wrinkled across his forehead. The head itself sat on a display of large muscles reaching up to his neck and leading down to a standard EDPS polo shirt that must have been custom-made for his tree-trunk arms and tapered waist.
“My employees say I’m too careful,” Shull began, his voice low and growling, “because I ask them to stream the video feed from the waiting room into my office monitor. I say you can never be too careful in my position, and now that I’ve caught the great Merlin like a mackerel on my hunting spear, they will never question my orders again.”
Merlin’s hand twitched.
“Don’t even bother, my old friend,” Shull said, his voice almost bored. “You don’t think I’d be stupid enough to allow magic in my office, do you? The whole room has been enchanted, and not even the great Merlin can cast a spell here.”
For the first time, Merlin seemed nervous. He returned his hand to his lap, where the fingers tapped on the palm of his other hand.
“I know the Council could not have approved such a blatant breach in our peace agreement, so I’m guessing no one knows you’re here. Once I find out your motives, I could dump your bodies in the polluted Hudson and no one would ever be the wiser. Which reminds me—who, my mysterious young wizard friend, are you?”
His eyes focused on me and then, as though adjusting like a camera lens, drilled into my mind. Perhaps he knew some method of hypnotism, or just the right ways to send fear into any enemy, but I found myself wanting to confess.
“He’s the son of one of our ambassadors,” Merlin said, drawing the eyes back to him. “He was assigned to the task of being my protégé, though of course, the Council had no idea what I had in mind for the lad. He shows great magical promise—I would show you, but it seems your spell would not allow it.”
“Indeed.” Shull turned back to Merlin. “Now, tell me what you’re doing here, or I’ll have my pack of dragon guards standing by the door come in here and persuade you.”
“Well, it’s an interesting story,” Merlin began, and I knew the old man well enough by then to know he was about to spin a tall tale. “It began with a half-dragon, half-wizard death a few months ago. The Council assigned me to get to the bottom of things, but all my leads have been dead ends. I suspected the EDPS may have been behind the disappearance. I know how much you hate half-breeds.”
“Quite the tale.” Shull applauded slowly. “It’s a shame your story won’t hold up under investigation.” He smiled sweetly, then pounded his fists on the desk. “Tell me why you’re here, or I’ll kill you both myself.”
“Shull?” a voice on the intercom suddenly interrupted. “Mr. Siegel is here to see you, and he says it’s an emergency.”
I recognized the voice on the other end as Blair’s, and by the sudden stiffness of his face, I suspected Merlin did as well.
Shull growled but stood and exited the room without another word. Ten seconds later, the door to his office mysteriously clicked open about an inch—just wide enough for us to know it was open, but not the guards outside.
“Whatever happens,” Merlin whispered, “do not transition unless I tell you to. Understand?”
Once he reached the door, Merlin peered out and stuck just his lips into the nonenchanted hallway. He whispered a spell, and two bodies thumped to the ground. Once the walkway was safe, Merlin opened the door all the way.
No more than three feet down the hall, we froze when more footsteps came from the path behind us. As soon as the guards came into view, Merlin put them all to sleep too, their muscular bodies no match for his magic. We would have continued that way, taking a few steps and putting guards to sleep, if Shull hadn’t reappeared.
“And where do you think you’re going?” he asked. Trapped in the crook of his arm, Blair’s neck looked ready to snap. “You’d leave your little spy here all alone?”
“She’s not our spy,” I said. “If anything, she’s been spying for you.”
“Let her go,” Merlin said. His voice was filled with a calm he could not possibly have felt. “Take me instead.”
“Merlin, no!” Blair called, but Shull increased the pressure on her throat and her words petered out into a moan.
“I’ll be fine,” Merlin assured her. “Trust me.”
“Very well. Surrender, Merlin, and I’ll let them both go.”
Merlin walked over to Shull, who grabbed his arm and twisted it behind his back. Released, Blair ran down the hallway to me, and I wrapped my arm around her distractedly, trying to think of a way out.
Shull took some kind of charm off his neck and secured it around Merlin’s, also revealing the second chain that probably held his locket. When the wizard tried to cast a spell, the charm glowed and somehow negated his powers.
“Run along, children,” Shull sneered. “I’m a man of my word, but in ten minutes, I’m going to send my guards after you. You’ll want as much of a head start as you can get.”
“He’s right,” Merlin said. Then he looked right at me. “Remember what I told you?”
“Good. Because now is that time.”
It took a few seconds for the words to sink in. Now. Time. Transition.
“Stand back,” I whispered in Blair’s ear as I pretended to turn and walk down the hallway. “Then follow my lead.”
If there’s one thing author Annabelle Jay believes with all her heart, it’s that there is no such thing as too many dragons in a book. As fantasy writer with few other hobbies—does being bribed to run with her partner or dancing awkwardly in the kitchen count?—she spends every day following her imagination wherever it leads her.
A hippie born in the wrong decade, Annabelle has a peace sign tattoo and a penchant for hugging trees. Occasionally she takes breaks from her novels to play with her pets: Jon Snow, the albino rabbit who is constantly trying to escape; Stevie, the crested gecko that climbs glass with the hairs on its toes; and Luigi, the green tree python that lives at the foot of her bed despite her best efforts to talk her partner out of the idea.
During her day job as a professor of English, Annabelle is often assumed to be a fellow student playing a prank on the class—that is, until she hands out the syllabus. When people stop mistaking her for a recent high school graduate, she will probably be very sad.