Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Kasadya Series - Kasadya Hellbound Awakened by Karen Swart







Kasadya Hellhound Awakened
Kasadya  Series
Book One
Karen Swart

Genre:  Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Audience: YA/NA - 14 years and up

Publisher: Karen Swart
Cover by: Melody Simmons
Edited by: MAI-Editing-Services , There for you Editing Services & Blue Butterfly Editing

ISBN: 978-1311699121
Date Published: 21 August 2012

Pages: 342 pages     

Book Description:

In a constant battle between good and evil, evil is dominating the battlefield and leading mankind to its destruction. With our Creator's intervention, a creature destined to conquer and destroy is created. He gives mankind hellhounds to fight back and reclaim freedom.

Join seventeen year old Kasadya Levourne as she fights against evil to protect us. With each step, she faces destruction, and yet she has the talent to give it back tenfold. Stubborn and hard-headed she makes her mark in the Fallen world and starts a battle none can escape. Not even her trainer, the very attractive Chax de Luca, was prepared for her presence.

Will evil prevail? Or will Kas and her Fallen friends succeed in protecting us against it? Hold on to your seats, this is going to be one hell of a ride.

Special Note:
The Kasadya Series should be read back to back,
books 1- 3 each end with a cliff hanger.


Excerpt Kasadya Hellhound Awakened  -

Prologue

There was a time when heaven was filled with peace and serenity. God, Jesus Christ, and all the Angels lived in harmony; no evil and no sin existed. Until one fateful day...
With all gathered to hear their Sire speak, God rose and addressed his Angels. Before all, he proclaimed His Son, Jesus Christ, was equal to Him. That Christ’s words should be obeyed as if they were His own. Christ would command the heavens, with the same authority as Him. All the Angels bowed down before Christ and accepted their Sire’s proclamation, all except for one…
An Archangel was furious with this proclamation. He was his Sire’s right hand, the deliverer of justice, the commander of many legions. He had served his Sire for centuries, and never failed him. It should be to him that God bestow power, not a Son whom had never even seen battle.
With his heart filled with hatred and jealousy, he gathered all the angels in secret. He told them that their days of sweet liberty were at an end. That God has now placed Christ as their ruler and that they should now obey his wishes. Many angels were angered at such a false statement, but many also agreed with the Archangel. He had led them for many years; why should they now question his leadership?
The faithful Angels fled to God and told Him what was happening, and together they prepared for war. With the sun rising on a new day, God and his Angels stood ready for battle against the Archangel and his followers. The battle only lasted a day, the Archangel and his followers defeated before the sun set for the night.
Seeing the angels on their knees before Him, He gave them one final chance… “Repent and declare your loyalty, and I will forgive you, my children.” He told his beautiful angels, tears falling with each word. This was His family. This was His love. How could they betray Him? Some of the Angels cried their penance, begging Him to forgive them for their deceit. They claimed that the Archangel deceived them, and they followed him into battle, as they have done for centuries.
God took pity on them, but still believed that their deceit must not go unpunished. He had spoken many times about the importance of punishment, that lessons learned must be earned... “I herewith grant you mercy, but as punishment you will be sentenced to an earthly realm. I will take your beauty as payment for my children lost today. In the place of your beauty, I will give you purpose. In mercy, and because I love you still, I give you life in this realm. Let this be known, that I was merciful this day,” God finished.
He placed them in an earthly realm, and called it Exsilium. In this realm they would carry their deceit, and earn their place with him. He took their beauty and replaced them with elements of his earth. Half would be of animal and element, and would resemble punishment. The other, in a humanoid form, and would resemble mercy. He called them his Fallen.
The Archangel, and those whom did not repent, were not that lucky. God looked into the eyes of His once faithful angels and only saw destruction, hatred, jealousy, and heartache. He knew that His beloved ones had died this day, and that others needed to be protected. But how could you destroy one you loved? He placed the Archangel, and his followers, in another earthly realm, but where Exsilium was above the earth, this one was in the center. With one wave of His hand, their beautiful forms were replaced with forms as ugly as their hatred and deceit. Using His word and blood, He sealed this realm from any other.
As He looked into the many eyes of hatred, He spoke his final word... “This realm will be called Hell, and you will be called demons. You, my once faithful Archangel, you will be called the Devil. Your angel name will be erased from the past, present, and future. You will be forgotten,” He proclaimed and left them to their demise.
Many years have passed since that day. God created mankind and cherished his new children. The male and female were his new hope; in them he would find peace again. But the Devil had grown strong through the years, and somehow managed to enter God’s garden. Here, he found the female God created, using her to strike back. He whispered words of deceit in her ears, and watched as God’s new children stepped into sin. With her first bite, a crack appeared in the seal around Hell, and demons escaped to earth.
From that day onward, the Devil and his demons created chaos amongst God’s new children, leading one after the other into sin. God looked upon this and decided to fight for his loved ones. He went to Exsilium and spoke to the Fallen... “You, my children, have proven your loyalty in the years that have passed, and so I came to offer you another chance at Heaven. If you slay the Devil and his demons to protect mankind, I will give you a place in my Heaven once again. With your last breath on this earth, you will join me and your brethren in Heaven,” He finished. The Fallen agreed and God gave them the power to move in and out of Exsilium to battle the demons. The war between Good and Evil began.
But as mankind spread over the earth, sin became their followers. And with each sin, the demons grew stronger and created more demons to torture mankind. The Fallen were now fighting against millions; they needed assistance to ensure victory. God had watched the battle from Heaven and saw that they were failing because of their numbers. He also saw that the demons grew stronger than the Fallen. He intervened and created a new creature. This creature would have features encompassing the best of both worlds. One half was as strong and loyal as the Fallen, while the other was as hard and enduring as a demon. This was His ultimate weapon. This would be His greatest creation. To ensure that these creatures could not be swayed, He placed Heaven’s soul into them. He called them His hellhounds.
The hellhounds delivered justice swiftly, as strong and just as the Fallen. Yet hard and durable like the demons, they conquered the earthly realm and the demons retreated. Not one hellhound could be swayed. All stayed true to their calling. God, knowing that the Devil and many more demons had retreated, gave His hellhounds life, and offered them a place among the Fallen.
Until this day they still watch over mankind, protecting them from evil. Will we be worth it?


Kasadya Hellhound Twisted
Kasadya  Series
Book Two
Karen Swart

Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Audience: YA/NA - 14 years and up

Publisher: Karen Swart

Edited by: There for you Editing Services & Blue Butterfly Editing
Cover by: Melody Simmons

ISBN: 978-1301357192
Pages: 251 Pages

Date Published: 15 February 2013  

Book Description:

She fought against all odds and became the warrior she was meant to be … or so she thought. In a world where the rules have changed, can she embrace her destiny and become the hellhound she was meant to be?

Kasadya is back in Exsilium and finds her world a little different. Her half-breed fallen friends join her, and they are ordered to complete their apprentice training in order to obtain the right to be guardians. She must learn that her own fate cannot be denied and that others are set to follow. But most of all, she must learn that to trust is the greatest battle of all.

The tables are turned and Kasadya is put to the test. Will she be able to prevent her own death, or that of a friend? Or will her actions call forth the destruction of Earth and Exsilium?

For a Phoenix to rise, it must first die. —Chax De Luca



Kasadya Hellhound Born
Kasadya  Series
Book Three
Karen Swart

Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Audience: YA/NA - 14 years and up

Publisher: Karen Swart
Cover by: Melody Simmons

ISBN: 9781301863594
Pages: 235 pages
Date Published: 15 August 2013

Book Description:

In a world filled with evil, the Fallen prepare for the ultimate battle against the demon world!

Kasadya is ordered to unleash her crazed born transformation to complete her divinity. But there is a chance that her born will be uncontrollable, and she will be destroyed. There is just one person that can save her; her charm, her destined mate.  Left without a choice, she must surrender, and place her life in his hands.

In a race against time, the Fallen must stand together and fight the evil threatening to invade earth. If her divinity was in reach, victory would be theirs. That is until she starts having visions of the final battle, and her true destiny is revealed. She just found her love and place in the Fallen world; will she be able, and willing, to sacrifice it all?


Excerpt Kasadya Hellhound Born –

“Kasadya, don't do this to me,” Chax spoke, using Corra.
I stopped completely and looked at him. Reaching for my necklace, I held it.
 “I am so sorry, Chax. This is the only way; we can’t win any other way. I know; I have seen the end too many times,” I replied.
His face fell even more and he looked around, searching for a way out.
“I want to thank you... for being there for me. For searching for me when I went missing. For enduring all of my crap. I am sorry I messed up so many times. But not this time; this I promise. But most of all, thank you for loving me.” Even my mental voice broke down on the last part.
Chax started to scream and pound at the invisible wall, while others joined him. I looked at Nanini, shocked that she couldn’t get out.
“Take care of Max for me,” I sent to her.
Tears formed and ran down her cheeks, but she nodded.
“Kas, let us help you!” Lotan yelled. My friends, my family were still trying to save me. Tears ran down my own face now. 
“I love all of you. Thank you for always being there for me.” Finally my mental voice began to a sob.
I turned away, afraid that the sight of them would stop me.
“Kasadya! Don’t do this to me. I beg you!” Chax yelled at me.
Demons were closing in around me, but my heart was so broken I just let the tears and heartache spill out of me.
“I am so sorry, Chax. Forgive me.” With that, I stormed forward.
I used my g-force punches to clear the masses out of my way. When that stopped working, I started shifting. Demons grabbed at me and some got in a slice or two. But I wasn't stopping.
I saw Ballen trying to flee from me. He thought I was heading for him. Good. I needed him on the other side when I blew it up. Using my wings for momentum, I sent a massive g-force punch into the horde that remained between me and my target. They flew backwards, clearing the way for me to advance. I swiped at a few too close and took their heads. Blood sprayed all over me. Searching for the hole to make sure I was heading in the right direction, I saw the shoulders and arms of something freaking big, already beginning to breach.
I need to move faster!
I lifted up with my wings. They were tired, but I had no other option. Now I had the flying demons to contend with. We fought and sliced and I sent a few down to earth without a head. At last, I was advancing on the hole. Pain shot through my left wing and I tumbled to the ground, hitting hard. At the last moment I made sure that the front of my body hit the ground and not the back. Demons jumped me all at once. Ballen was yelling at them to stop me. I used everything I had left and flung out with my wings and arms. They went flying and just in front of me was the hole with the devil stuck in it. Ballen was standing at the entrance watching me, his face a mask of shock.
With a deep breath, I reached for the pouch and took hold of the balls. Now armed and ready, I just had a few feet to go. I stormed through the demons, not caring if they sliced me open. I wasn't stopping for a fight anymore. I held the balls to my chest, sealing them from any other impact. Then, finally, I was at the entrance of the hole. With the last of my strength, I leaped into the air and went flying straight for it.
There were many things that go through your mind that moment before you die. I remembered my first step into Exsilium. Meeting Lada and Nanini. Meeting Chax and hating my first day. I remembered our fun at the beach, the Hellhouse and the grub spot. Seeing Lada and Lotan kissing for the first time. Meeting Max and Ryan, and then all of the rest. My heart no longer troubled by Kali or Seth or all the others who had betrayed me. I remembered finding Chax and the Fallen again. Seeing my parents again. So many memories bombarded me at that last moment. I remembered my day and night with Chax, and how it felt to be loved.
“I love you,” I sent a final message to him.
He was still screaming my name, begging for me to stop.
I remembered why I was doing this. For them I gave my heart, my life. Ballen's shocked face was in front of me, right in my path. Just when I reached him, I dropped the balls and slammed into him.

Kasadya Hellhound Defined
Kasadya Series
Book Four
Karen Swart

Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Audience: YA/NA - 14 years and up

Publisher: Karen Swart
Cover by: Melody Simmons

ASIN: B00J698M1A
ISBN: 978-1311495075
Pages: 135 pages
Date Published: 21 March. 2014


Book Description:

For centuries his only reason for existence was to destroy evil.  But when he finally found his mate, that all changed for the deadly Chax De Luca. When the hellhound Kasadya captured his heart, he surrended it to her, thinking he’d finally found what he’d been looking for. Little did he know that his mate would sacrifice herself to save them all.

His fury is legend. His wrath, merciless. His love for his mate, undeniable. He’s going to hell to retrieve his heart, and if that means that he must destroy hell itself, then so be it.

Kasadya awakes to a world in peril, her mate forever changed, and a war filled with evil creatures intending to enter Earth’s realm and destroy all that she holds dear. Can she complete her divinity in time to save her loved ones and mankind? Will she have to choose? Or will all be lost in the final battle?

The final battle is here, and with it, secrets are revealed and worlds are changed forever.



About the Author


I am a complete book addict, and really proud of it. My entire world is made of books. From reading to writing to blogging to helping other authors. A day without my world of books would be impossible. I am a mother of three, two boys and a little princess. Happily married for 8 years with my high school sweetheart. I live in South Africa, just on the rims of the Kalahari Desert in a small town with one shop and friendly faces.




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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Chandrea: The Return of the Avatar Queen by Marlene Wynn



Chandrea:
The Return of the Avatar Queen
Marlene Wynn

Book Description:

Chandrea Averill thinks she’s just like any other normal young woman.  But, on the day of her 23rd birthday, her life changes forever.  Surrounded by magical creatures, dangerous sorcery, and insidious political intrigue,

Chandrea desperately wants to return to Earth and the only life she’s ever known.  But, the longer she stays, the more she realizes that she may be the only one with the power – both magical and political – to save the people of Lyrunia. 

Will she find the courage to remain and fight for her home world?


Available at  BN  Smashwords  Amazon  Kobo  iTunes

Add it to your Goodreads Shelf

The morning sky was overcast and cloudy and a stiff southwesterly wind blew the grasses erratically. A bank of heavy, dark grey clouds were visible over the horizon to the south, and it was moving quickly towards her. The constant flashes and murmur of thunder confirmed that she was in for a bad storm, and had nowhere to take shelter. She didn’t know how long it would take for it to reach her, but she wanted to be closer to civilization when it did. And she did not want to get caught in an electrical storm out in the open.

Chandrea started to walk, and after a few minutes began to jog, though it was not easy to do on the uneven ground. Her pulse quickened as her body warmed up to the accustomed exercise, and she made quick work of the first couple of miles. But, you can only push an already weakened body so hard before it starts to reach its limits, and, as she anticipated, she began to labor, her breaths coming in short ragged pants, her throat hot and dry. She slowed to a walk until she got her breath back.

Looking anxiously to her right, she saw that, despite her brief run, the clouds had come much closer, and that the clashing lightning and thunder were almost on top of her. Flutters of fear crawled down her spine and made a home in her belly. This was not good. Chandrea looked around for some place to find protection. Though the grasses seemed to be thinning out and she was seeing small scrubby bushes here and there, there still weren’t any signs of civilization, so she continued to walk tiredly east.

The brisk wind turned into powerful gusts, and she had to lean to avoid being thrown off her feet. Dust and debris were torn from the ground and swirled all around her, and she was forced to raise her hands to shield her eyes. Lightning struck nearby, followed by a powerful blast of thunder that shook the ground. Chandrea cringed and screamed in raw fear.
She felt the first few warm splashes of water on her skin, and looking up, saw that the bulk of the sky had turned a deep heavy looking grey. She began to run again, the flight instinct now in full control of her.

The heavens opened up and rain came sheeting down. The drops were huge at first, but quickly became small and piercing as they pelted her skin. Her clothing soon became saturated, weighing her down.

Lightning flashed all around her, dazzling bursts of light followed closely by violent claps of thunder. The strikes blew chunks of dirt and debris into the wind. The world was shaken by the repeated crack of thunder and her eardrums throbbed in painful harmony from the overwhelming sounds.

Animal instinct took over. Throwing herself to her knees, she clawed at the dirt. Her breath came in terrified, ragged gasps, but she was all but oblivious to it as she dug and tore at the stubborn soil. Every time lightning struck near her, she screamed and ducked, covering her head with her arms in an unconscious effort to protect herself, and then continued digging.
She tore at the web of roots, desperate to dig a hole she could take shelter in, but to no avail. The old grasses had been in the dry plains for a long time, and had grown their roots long and wide to find any available ground water. Without a shovel or a pick, she could make no headway, and only managed to tear her hands to the point of bleeding in the effort.

Gasping, she stopped and looked around with wild, frightened eyes. The world around her had gone mad. Lightning struck rapidly now, all around her, for miles in all directions, and the sharp booming thunder was close on its heels.

A small, sane portion of her mind recognized that she should hunker down and try to make the smallest target of herself possible, but that was akin to taking your eyes off the hungry lion crouched nearby and hoping it wouldn’t notice you. Instead, she knelt and watched with horrified fascination as the prairie took a beating from mother nature. Her entire body shook from the fear that washed through her, and she knew that at any moment lightning would strike and kill her.

Without conscious thought or effort, her magic bloomed to life. She gasped at the suddenness of it, yet welcomed it with a desperate hope. She felt it growing and expanding inside her, filling her completely with an eerie, tingling sensation. What was happening? What would her magic do this time?

Her skin began to glow a soft ethereal white. She held her hands out in front of her, and, despite the dangers surrounding her, wonder filled her at the sight. She’d seen her skin glow before, but never so clearly. The glow rapidly enveloped her until she was encased by a soft white ball of energy that extended a few feet out from her on all sides. The wind and rain no longer affected her, apparently unable to penetrate her protective sphere.

Curious, she poked a finger at the ball. It rippled like water when she touched it. She became bolder and stuck her whole arm out. Once again, the wind, rain, and nearby grass stalks pelted her tender skin. She pulled her arm and hand back inside and the sensations ceased.
She looked around with a newfound sense of security. The storm raged on around her, but in her sheltering bubble, it seemed that none of the elements could touch her. She gasped as a bolt of lightning struck nearby. She could only hope that the bubble would protect her against the lightning strikes as well.

With a frightening intensity, suddenly a new roaring sound filled her senses, causing her to gasp and duck involuntarily. It was followed immediately by anther, and another, each successfully competing in volume and depth with the crashing thunder. But, these new sounds weren’t caused by mother nature.

It was almost as if a whole pride of hungry lions were surrounding her, and roaring in excitement of the hunt and the kill to come. 

But, it couldn’t be lions, for, like the thunder, these sounds came from the sky itself.
Some had a deep, throbbing quality to them. Others were shrill and almost metallic. All of them were terrifying.

Chandrea tried to determine what was up there in the deep dark grey of the clouds. It was difficult to see through the soft glow of her bubble. When several lightning bolts struck, causing a strobe effect, she sucked in her breath in disbelieving terror at what she saw.
Silhouetted in brief, white-clad glory, were dozens upon dozens of dragons of various shapes and sizes. Each time the lightning flashed, it would cause a still-life effect of the great beasts circling in the sky with an almost playful air about them. With huge, earth- shaking roars, some shot massive flames from their mouths, causing the heavens and the ground far below to be lit by the intense yellow-red flare.

But what was the most astonishing to Chandrea was when one of the monsters would get hit by a bolt of lightning. It would open its immense, toothy maw in what appeared to be almost a silent scream, then arch its back and long serpentine neck as though in ecstasy.
She watched in awed amazement as one of the airborne dragons was struck by a large bolt of energy. The massive creature’s blue scales briefly burst into glittering brilliance. Small electrical charges snaked and popped across their surface. A large, bright turquoise nimbus shimmered around the rapturous dragon. It temporarily highlighted the dragons surrounding it until the dazzling luminescence died down to a soft glow. Once the strike was finished, the dragon would start to swoop and circle faster, almost daring the lightning to come again.

Chandrea felt her heart would beat its way right out of her chest. She could actually feel her chest vibrating from the intensity of her heartbeat. She panted, feeling cornered and very small. Her protective shield may keep the lightning and elements at bay. But its glow might be noticed by the serpents in the sky. Would a human make a tasty treat during a dragon sky party?

God, she wanted to go home.

The storm went on for what seemed like an eternity. Chandrea felt rather like the little field mouse trapped in the corner of a covey of cats, hoping upon hope that it wouldn’t be noticed, but knowing in its heart that eventually it would be. A part of her couldn’t help but be fascinated by the colorful display of serpentine bodies soaring high above her, at times almost floating in their deadly dances. Death, it seemed, had a very mesmerizing effect on her.

Eventually, the storm started to weaken, the lightning and thunder to come less and less, and the bulk of the dragons began to disperse. Though it was still quite dark around her, she started to breathe a little easier, thinking she might just come out of this alive. Her magical ball, reacting instinctively to the lessening threat, dissipated then vanished completely.
Then one of the dragons swooped down out of the sky and landed right in front of her, folding its wings flat against its back.

It was difficult for Chandrea to see the beast clearly in the gloom of the storm clouds, with only the occasional lightning flash. But, boy, could she smell it. Its body reeked of moldy ash, its hot breath of rotten flesh. Its eyes, as large as her body was tall, glowed a sullen dirty yellow in the grey light of the day. It was immense. Its head and shoulders were about thirty feet over Chandrea’s head, and looked like it was no less than 140 feet from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail. Its legs were as thick as tree trunks, and long, wickedly sharp claws adorned its massive feet. Its scales dully reflected the dim afternoon light in shades of rusty red, while the underside of it was a soft tan color. Copper colored spikes of different sizes ran from its snout, along its spine and down the length of its long tail. At the end of its tail were numerous long, sharp spikes. Nestled atop its massive head was a pair of lengthy horns that pointed straight back.

Lowering its head, it sniffed at the air above her, apparently trying to determine what she was, and if she was edible. Its long, forked tongue licked the air. Chandrea tried not to gag as its foul breath washed over her in hot waves.

Rearing back, the beast then cocked its head to the side, and eyeing Chandrea, it said in a soft, deep voice filled with menace, yet somehow female-sounding, “Ah…what do we have here? A lone, unprotected human out in the grasslands.”

Narrowing her sulfur-colored eyes, the dragon moved a bit closer to her and murmured in satisfaction, “Yes… you’ll make a nice meal for my hatchling.”

Chandrea blinked up at it in stunned surprise. The creature could speak!

Belatedly, the dragon’s words finally registered in her mind. Terror lanced through Chandrea. She was trapped! She could never even hope to out-run this creature even at her top physical best. In her weakened condition, it was a laughable concept at best. She had nowhere to hide, and nowhere to take shelter, surrounded as she was by miles of grass.
Unbidden, her magic rushed to the surface, once again responding to her fight or flight instinct. This time, though, it came much faster, absent one moment, there the next. She could feel it rushing through her, instantly filling her every fiber and pore. Energy snapped around her, and her eyes and skin glowed with a pearlescent sheen. Her breathing deepened as she stood up from the ground and faced the beast before her.

The dragon growled in anticipation. Flame and smoke started to lick out of its snout, and in a rush, it lowered its head, roared, and shot out a huge column of white-hot flame, aimed right at Chandrea!

Feeling as though she were a distant observer of her own body, she watched as she raised her hands in a defensive position and her magic called up a shield.

She had a mental flash of the dream the Dark Fairy had cast on her, where she drew the energy from all the objects around her to fuel her magic, and attempted it again. She siphoned the energy from the dragon’s flames into her body, using the very thing that was threatening her to protect her. She could feel the intense heat pouring into her body, almost burning her from the inside out, and, before they could even reach her, the flames from the dragon sputtered harmlessly out.

Upon seeing this, the dragon narrowed its eyes, lowered its head, and growled menacingly. Her body throbbed in harmony with the deep resonation and the very ground seemed to vibrate beneath her.

Chandrea frantically tried to figure out what she could do to scare this creature away. She was supposed to be the most powerful sorceress in this world, but her magic was untested and very unreliable. However, she didn’t see as she had much choice in the matter. She couldn’t very well use her Taekwondo on this monster! And running was definitely not an option. So, even as the dragon’s growl was echoing off in the distance, she decided to stand and fight as best she could with what she had, and hope that the dragon didn’t eat her before she could conjure anything up. Were dragons like birds? Did they eat their prey and then regurgitate it for their young? She quickly banished that horrifying image from her mind and focused on the task at hand. She would try to use fire again. She would just have to do it better than last time. And quicker.

Chandrea concentrated. She could feel the dragon’s hot energy swirling around inside her, growing ever stronger, mixing with her own fear and panic to create a maelstrom of intense power.

She stopped focusing on the shield in front of her and it simply disappeared, the energy rushing back into her. Her skin suddenly glowed a fiery red. She raised her hands, and, as Adelaide had taught her, with a mighty mental and physical shove, she flung the energy from her own body out at the beast. Chandrea watched as a great ball of flame materialized and was cast out at the dragon. Like before, when she’d tried to create fire, this ball was intensely white hot on the inside and deep yellow and red on the outside. However, this ball didn’t have as far to go as the first time, and instead of plowing through huge swaths of trees, it plowed into the dragon directly in front of her…

…and blew out as it struck, as though nothing had happened at all.
Unable to fathom what had just happened, Chandrea just stood there in stupefaction. Her magic had just dissipated on the scales of the dragon and done nothing at all.
The dragon looked somehow amused by this turn of events. Chandrea would’ve sworn the beast even smiled. Lifting her mighty head, the serpent then carried the motion even further and stood on her hind legs. Clawing at the air in front of her and spreading her massive wings wide, she bellowed out a trumpeting call that echoed up and down the grasslands and throbbed painfully in the tiny earthling’s ears.

Chandrea threw her hands over her ears in a feeble attempt to lessen the sound, but to no avail. Then, the massive reptile lowered its body, jaws open, clearly intending to finish this one-sided battle by devouring her whole.

An answering bellow washed over her from above as a second dragon plummeted from the sky to crash into the first one, knocking it from its feet with a powerful blow. Chandrea screamed and jumped to the side, narrowly missing the powerful swipe of a tail studded with spikes. Chunks of dirt and grass were gouged out of the ground where she’d previously stood, showering her with grit and hard rocks.

This new dragon was unlike any she’d ever imagined or seen in fairy tales. It had scales on its belly, but its back and wings were covered with feathers. Its head and legs were a bright, scarlet red. The feathers on its legs were short and spiky, while the ones surrounding its head were long and stiff, and puffed out, making it look both fierce and dangerous. The beast’s back, body and tail were covered with short, dense feathers in a striking deep indigo color. Its deep and muscular chest narrowed down into a snakelike torso and a tail that was covered in spikes. It had what appeared to be two sets of wings. One was a feathered set, shaped rather like immense eagle wings and were the same indigo color as its body. The second set were over the first, and were covered with ocher-colored scales, the same color of its belly. This second set of wings were much larger than the first, and tipped with razor sharp claws. Where the first dragon was large and muscular, the second one was long and slender. The first dragon was the stronger of the two by far, but what the second one lacked in strength, it made up for in speed and its sinuous body. Its movements were a blur to watch, as it snaked its way around its bigger foe, striking with lightning quick attacks and then slithering out of reach of the larger dragon.

 With ear-splitting snarls and growls, the two beasts flipped and rolled across the prairie, savagely tearing at each other.

Chandrea, panting from the fear of the sudden attack, scuttled backwards in the grass, trying to get as far away from the two battling titans as possible.

When no headway could seem to be gained by either one, the two monsters backed warily away from each other. Growling fiercely, they flapped their wings, extended their necks, and slammed their tails on the ground, all in an attempt to show strength, power and dominance over the other.

The larger dragon rushed the smaller one, but in a sudden blur of motion, the blue one slithered its body around its larger opponent. Using its own momentum against it and reminding Chandrea of a javelin toss, the blue one spun the rusty red beast back around and threw it across the field. The dragon landed with an earth-shaking thud that threatened to throw Chandrea from her feet.

Spinning around, the blue dragon jerked its head back and forth until it found Chandrea. It hunched down, then gave a mighty leap, and flapping its massive wings, swooped up then back down, heading directly for Chandrea.

With a scream, Chandrea spun on her heels and tried to run away, but what little speed she could muster was nothing in comparison to the flying monster. To her horror, its sharp claws grabbed her up and before she knew it, they were airborne.

Chandrea clutched at the long talons that held her in their grasp. The grasslands dropped away below and her stomach dropped. The huge wings of the dragon flapped quickly in an effort to get the beast and its prize higher in the air. She could feel the rhythmic motion of its muscles working, and the roaring sound of the wind assaulted her ears.

Craning her head down and around, Chandrea frantically checked on the whereabouts of the red dragon. Her eyes widened as she saw it taking to the air in pursuit of her stolen meal.
Dear God…how did she get into these things?

And how was she going to get out? The claws, even though none of them had actually pierced her skin, were holding her as securely as any jail cell. And, as far up in the air as they were now, even if she could get out, she would fall to her death.

Watching behind her in horrified fascination, she saw the larger dragon was having difficulty keeping up with its prey. But it clearly was not giving up. With a roar, it doubled its efforts, cutting through the misty clouds.

Up the trio soared, higher and higher, until they were engulfed in clouds and Chandrea couldn’t see the ground anymore. Nor could she see the rusty red beast that had been chasing them, which was particularly worrisome to her.

Cool, misty air rushed over her as the blue dragon climbed with powerful thrusts of its wings. Her wet clothes and hair whipped around in the wind, and she found herself wishing for a ponytail holder. A hysterical giggle threatened to burble out of her throat at the thought, but at the last minute she was able to halt it. She knew that if she let it out, she might never stop.
Without warning, they reached the top of the storm clouds, and with a final flap, burst out into bright sunshine. Once above the clouds, the blue dragon settled in and took to soaring, only flapping its wings occasionally to maintain its altitude.

Squinting against the glare, Chandrea couldn’t help but look about her in wonder. Spread out for miles below them was the massive storm, its dark clouds large and menacing. Even heading away from the storm as they were, she could still hear the occasional rumble of thunder and see the clouds light up with the strobes of lightning encased within. Above them, the sky was pristinely blue, the sun a huge golden ball of light. Warm air now gently passed over her as the dragon glided in the stillness of the heavens.

But as beautiful and peaceful as it was, Chandrea could not fully relax and enjoy it. She knew her life would soon be cut short in a horribly violent fashion. Against her better judgment, she pictured the dragon landing amongst its young then standing back in peaceful satisfaction as the babies tore her to bloody pieces with their sharp teeth and claws. She began to tremble violently, her breath coming in short, sharp pants.

However, eventually the gentle peace of the heavens did help to make the mortal fear coursing through her veins a little more bearable. Trying to make herself as comfortable as possible in the hard claws of her cell, she did the only thing she could at that point: she settled back for the ride.

They flew for hours. It was rather like flying in a passenger airplane, but with a much better view. She saw farms, cities, forests, and hills all passing beneath them. People and animals looked like tiny ants scurrying around on the ground. Were they even aware of what was flying up here?

The one thing that she didn’t see, thankfully, was the red dragon. The speed of her captor must have finally worn the bigger dragon down.

As the day wore into evening, the dragon finally started to descend toward a large grassy meadow filled with wildflowers. Large leafy trees surrounded it in an uneven circle, and the sounds of night insects were humming in the air. Off to the side was a small crystalline lake, the sun glistening off its gentle waves.

Fear started to flutter again in her chest, and her breathing hitched. If she’d had anything in her stomach, it would’ve come back up. So this lovely, serene place was where she would die.
She wondered where the beast’s nest was.

She wondered if it would hurt terribly when the hatchling tore her apart.

She wondered how long it would take her to die.

About the Author: 

Marlene Wynn is a Utah native - fondly referred to as "Utonian" by a friend.  She transplanted herself in 1992 from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the beachy shores of sunny Virginia Beach, Virginia and has been there ever since.  Though she has worked in the benefits field for several years, she finally worked up the courage to chase her dream as an author.