Light Chronicles Book 1
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
YA Fantasy Romance
February 25, 2014
Amazon * B&N * Kobo * Smashwords
Ashlyn – a free-spirited teenager whose peaceful life is shattered when the village elders honor her with a perilous quest to recover a stolen relic.
Zane – a jaded mercenary, torn by his undeniable desire for Ashlyn and the dark secret that could make her hate him forever.
Delistaire – a malevolent sorcerer driven by an insatiable lust for power.
All three are bound together by an ancient relic supposedly infused with the power of a Goddess.
Shadow Fire - adventure, passion, secrets, and betrayal
As Ashlyn and Zane race to stay one step ahead of the evil lurking in the shadows, their passions are ignited and their bond strengthens. But will they find the relic before Delistaire? Or has their entire quest been orchestrated from the very beginning by a madman in pursuit of ultimate power?
The sound of metal clashing echoes through the air on deck. In the center of the ship Zane and Taranis are sparring while the crew watches from a safe distance. Neither man seems to be holding back. Skirting around the fighting men, I reach the stairs up to the helm and scale them. Several pirates are leaning up against the railing overlooking the deck. When I appear they move aside to make a space for me in the middle.
"How long have they been at it?" I ask the group of men.
"Half an hour or so," a red-haired pirate replies. "You want in on the betting pool? It's not too late."
"I'll pass thanks."
Only a moron would bet against Zane. Although I have to admit, it appears Taranis is putting up a good fight. He rushes at Zane with a series of furious swings, which are all parried with ease. When he leaps away, Zane charges him. Taranis manages to parry all but one swing. This one he blocks with the large silver gauntlet on his left forearm. Zane takes a step back and lowers his sword.
"Had enough yet, pirate?" he asks laughing.
Taranis is staring at him in cool silence, but his breathing is a bit labored. When the captain rushes him, Zane drops to the ground and knocks him down with a leg sweep. Taranis sprawls on the deck but doesn't lose his sword. Zane leaps to his feet and moves to place his sword at the rogue's throat. Taranis manages to block the strike with his gauntlet before leaping back to his feet.
"I guess not," Zane observes.
Taranis gazes up at me with a leer and a wicked smirk. I don't even have time to gulp before he vaults over the rail to seize me around the waist. My shriek is somewhere between a cry of surprise and a laugh when Taranis pulls me against his side, pointing his sword at Zane.
"Drop your sword, mercenary," he commands.
"Why would I do that?" Zane asks scowling. He's obviously not happy with the direction of the fight. For my part, I lean against Taranis, trying hard not to laugh.
"I have your woman," Taranis declares. "I'm sure you wouldn't want to see her harmed."
"I know you won't hurt her, pirate," Zane says, exasperation apparent in his eyes and his voice.
With a smirk, I glance up at the pirate's jubilant face. I have to agree with Zane. Taranis is as harmless as a puppy.
"Now either get back down here or surrender," Zane yells.
"What if I do this?" Taranis asks, pulling on my braid and baring my neck to him.
His lips start trailing feather light kisses up my neck. I'm too shocked to do anything but stand in his embrace.
"Oh, that's it!" Zane shouts, running toward us. "You're a dead man!"
"Sorry, my gorgeous beauty," Taranis says laughing, "gotta go!" He leaps off the railing just as Zane reaches my side.
"Are you all right?" Zane asks, cupping my cheek. I try to keep it in but to no avail. My laughter rings out, and I'm doubled over by the force of it. "I'll take that as a yes," he mumbles before he takes off running after Taranis. "You may as well surrender, pirate! Where are you going to run? This is a ship!"a Rafflecopter giveaway
How did you end up taking the job to protect the Chosen?
I hadn't planned to. In fact it was the last thing I wanted. You see, I knew who was involved, and frankly I didn't want to deal with him.
Delistaire, of course. Are you going to let me finish answering your question?
Sorry. Please continue…
I was in Verdane having just dropped off a merchant caravan. My plan was to leave in the morning and head to my next job. While I was relaxing in the town square, a beautiful girl appeared. She was playing tag with the town orphans. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Not only was she the most gorgeous creature I'd ever seen, but she was so vibrant, so full of life. Her smile warmed my heart. When one of the orphans yelled her name, I realized she was the Chosen. At that moment I knew I would protect her—I would give up everything in order to keep her safe. Even if that meant crossing paths with Delistaire.
Wow, that was romantic. How do you know Delistaire?
You know I can't answer that. I have no desire to give away secrets at this point.
What do you find most attractive about Ashlyn?
Everything. *laughs* Fine, if I have to choose, I suppose it would be her spirit. Ashlyn is a fighter through and through. She never gives up, even when the odds are against her. I admire the glimmer of determination she gets in her eyes when she's ready to fight.
What do you like least about her?
Do I look like a fool to you? *Rolls his eyes* Probably the same thing I like the most about her. She's not an easy person to protect…
You became a mercenary when you were twelve. How did you find work?
The mercenaries guild. There's one in every town.
They were willing to hire a child?
Sure things were difficult during the first year, but I had help. I was also quite skilled for a twelve-year-old. My guardian helped hone my fighting skills, and then I fought in the coliseum in Palma. I rose among the ranks, made a name for myself. Afterward no one seemed to care that I was a child.
Who was your guardian?
Again with the questions I can't answer. How about something I can answer for a change?
Fine. What's your favorite color?
Blue. But not just any blue—the deep blue of the sea when the ship is out in deep water.
Any last words or advice?
If you're unhappy with your life don't sit back and hope for change. If there's something you really want, go for it. Never let fear hold you back. Sure you may fail sometimes, we all do. But nothing is worse than wondering what could have been had we only tried.
You make a late appearance in—
Has anyone ever told you how stunning you are, my fiery vixen?
Let's keep the lecherous comments to a minimum, shall we?
I suppose… though it sounds rather boring.
Anyway, what made you decide to join Ashlyn and Zane on their quest?
Have you seen Ashlyn? Kidding. I had what I suppose was a premonition of sorts. Basically, I had this terrible feeling that something awful would happen to them if I wasn't there. It was bad, you know. I felt it the moment I met them. Gave me a headache…
It didn't bother you—going up against a powerful sorcerer?
Nah. I hate bullies. That sorcerer was nothing but a cowardly bully.
A bully who could kill you with a thought and a flick of his wrist…
Don't get me wrong. I knew I might die. But I'd rather go down fighting than run away with my tail between my legs.
So you're a hero.
You got that right, my angelic beauty.
If I'm doing my math right, you became Captain of your own ship when you were thirteen. How did that come about?
Well, my parents never wanted me around because my magic scared them. They were wealthy so when I asked for a schooner for my twelfth birthday, I actually got it. I think they were hoping I'd sail away and never return. I put together a crew of orphan boys and started sailing the world. I wasn't really alone though. My nanny, Hannah, she's like a mother to me. She joined me on the ship and cared for all of us. She still travels with us, will probably be a nanny to my kids someday.
You want kids?
Geez, you say that like you're shocked. Can't you imagine a bunch of little Taranises running around?
Um, I think one of you is all the world can handle… All right, Taranis, any last words?
Why, are you going to kill me? *laughs* Life isn't a race with a destination, cause then the destination would be death. I mean that's where we all end up, right? So take it easy, live in the now cause tomorrow may never come. Don't merely exist—live life to the fullest.
About the Author
Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet romance and is a member of Romance Writers of America.
She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs and four cats. No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. Her house is filled with dragons, though she does lament that they are the porcelain, non-flying variety.
Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!)
Her debut novel, Shadow Fire, is the first book in The Light Chronicles series. Watch for book two, Stolen Moon, a standalone sequel, coming soon.