In the medieval world of Tarlis, Meggahn du Val, daughter of the Low-Lord of Gola-Dah, watches a strange light flare across the night sky. Little does she realise it is the return of the legendary Black Dragon and she will be immersed in an adventure that will change her life
After 800 years in the guise of a black dragon, Garrik le Fey, First King of Tarlis is released from the world of shadow between the pages of an ancient spell book, where he has guarded against the escape of the Dark Priest to the God of Blood.
Garrik finds himself a man by night and dragon by day.
To keep from becoming a dragon forever, Garrik must journey to a legendary elven pond, and is forced to lay his trust in the cynical elf, Vellandril Ballindoch, who has no love for humans. With the elf’s help, he must lay claim to the mythical enchanted Sword of Niraz. It is the only means by which to stop Narokah from steeling the Orb of de Danann, and making the sacrifice that will raise his dark god from the Hell Pit. A tale of action, adventure, romance, myth, magic, and legend ….
Julie A. D'ArcyAuthor Bio
Lives in Wangaratta, North East Victoria, Australia with her life partner Philip and her spoiled Tonkanese cat Jessalyn. Julie attended Monash University in Melbourne, Australia where she majored in Art and Design. She started writing at 38 when she became disenchanted with the books on offer to read. So wrote a book combining her two favorite genres, Fantasy and Romance and has not looked back since.
Julie’s first two novels Time of the Wolf and Silverdawn were first published in 1999 and 2000 and Shortlisted for several prestigious awards, including the PEARL and Sapphire, with Time of the Wolf winning the 1999 RIO (Reviewers International, Dorothy Parker Award) in the Fantasy category for Women’s Fiction. Both books were also runners up in the prestigious Australian, RUBY* Award run by the Australian RWA.
Julie began writing seriously in 1994, and is the author of a series of Fantasy romance novels based in her fictional medieval world of Tarlis. The first book, The Dragon and the Rose will be the next book released by Secret Cravings Publishing.
Julie has written for such publishers as ImaJinn Books, Mundania Press, Eternal Press, Moongypsy Press, Noble Romance Publishing and is now proud to be part of Secret Cravings Publishing.
Julie is the author of 8 full length novels (now out of print, but being released again soon) and 2 novellas. She has written in such genres as Fantasy Romance, Vampire Romance, Ghost Romance, with all books crossing many genres, such as witchcraft, reincarnation and all of her books are very much plot driven, with most reviews scoring no less than a 4-5 and several receiving BEST READS by Reviewers.
More of Julie’s titles, excerpts, extra Bio information and her gallery of book covers can be found at www.julieadarcy.com
You may visit her Blog at http://satinandlipstick.blogspot.com.au/
Julie also loves nothing better than for her readers to contact her with feedback about her novels. You may do so firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, help spread the word about Julie’s novels by writing a short review to place on Amazon Book Reviews, found on the Amazon Book page under her titles.
Garrik ran a hand over his eyes, trying to push thoughts of his father from his mind.
The lone cry of a wolf in the distance pierced the night, and the jagged, painful path of his reflections. Recriminations would not bring the man he had loved back. Nothing could…
He cursed and tore his leather jerkin over his head, staring down at the three rows of palm-sized scales spanning his chest.
Then, there was the dragon. For eight hundred years he had been alone in a world of gray mist with no day and no night, constantly on guard against Narokah's escape. Several times Garrik was certain he would go mad. At other times, he had wanted to kill Narokah with such a passion it had left him weak and shaking.
Narokah’s sibilant voice had dove into Garrik’s memories, constantly attempting to wear him down with promises of yesterday and tomorrow, promises Garrik knew Narokah would not keep, could not keep, because of the creature of darkness he had become.
He tugged at one of the scales, but could gain no purchase and the cold metallic disc slipped from his fingers. He tried again, but still with no satisfaction. Sliding his dagger from its sheath, he sliced at one of the discs, thinking to cut it level with his chest. The knife failed to dent the surface.
He gritted his teeth and held the point of the dagger level with the scale where it protruded from his skin. He sliced the flesh and wedged out the scale. With his chest burning like a thousand searing fires and blood running freely down his stomach, he held the first bloodied scale in his hand like a treasured gift, then repeated the procedure until six more curved discs lay upon his knee. His chest was ablaze with pain and sweat trickled down his face, but his mood was one of elation. He could not reason why, but every painful bite of the knife, and the freeing of another scale, was as if he were freeing his own soul from the dragon, if only for one night.
However, his sense of satisfaction turned to shame and guilt as Meggahn's soft voice cut through the night and she stepped from the trees into the betraying moonlight.
“Stay where you are.”
“I…I was worried. I heard Vogerl return to camp. He said you were out here.” She took a step toward him.
“No closer, I say!”
Meggahn frowned and hesitated at his harsh tone. “Why? What is wrong?”
She moved the few paces that separated them, and he watched her face as curiosity turned to horror. “What is that?” her words came on a whisper. She reached out tentatively, her fingers tracing one of the black lines that streaked his chest.
His skin was firm, hot. The blackness was warm and sticky. “You are bleeding.”
He held a dagger loosely in his fist and the pile of discs stacked on his knee. She searched the strong plains of his face. “What have you done?
“Get out of here!” He snarled. The scales hit the dirt with a slash of his hand, and he came to his feet.
She reached out. “Let me—”
“No!” He captured her hand and threw it from him. “This is none of your concern.”
“I care about you. How can it not be my concern? She pulled him down onto the log beside her, lifted the hem of her skirt, and tore a piece of cloth from her shift. She turned and gently dabbed at his wounds. “What did you hope to achieve by maiming yourself like this?”
He shook his head. “How could you understand,” his tone was bitter, “when you’re so fine, so perfect?” She stopped her movements and her hand lay against his warm chest. She could feel the strong beat of his heart and hear his breath rasping hard in the cool air.
Garrik stared down at her face painted ethereal by moonlight. The dragon in him longed to reach out and crush the life force from her body. The man in him longed to toss her to the grass and bury himself between her thighs, finding the peace, the remedy for the deep loneliness of his spirit. But he knew he would do neither. His hand tightened on her wrist to hold it against his chest. “What is your want, lady?” His hands slid up to squeeze the fine bones of her shoulders. “You wish to know the secrets of the dragon? Is that it?” He shook her, and her fiery hair tumbled down around her shoulders.
He cut her off. “The dragon is a killer. You were right the first time. He was born to kill. Sometimes I find the instinct so strong that when you and the others are upon my back, it is all I can do to hold the feeling in check.”
Meggahn refused to look up, afraid of what she might see in those deep golden eyes. “That is not you,” she answered softly.
He released her abruptly and stood. “Is it not? From the age of twelve, I was trained to kill. At the age of fifteen, I could match my father with a sword. At the age of twenty-six, I killed…” Narokah, he thought, and went on to guard the Book of Stars from the escape of the red dragon and what Narokah had become. But he did not say that out loud because it was something she did not know. “Just take my word for it. I am not the sort of man you would want.” He stepped back, displaying his chest in all its terrifying glory. “I am part dragon, woman, can you not see?”
She refused to look at him. If she did, he would see how it hurt her that he should wound himself so, that he could speak to her thus, that she could love a man who had treated her with reprehensible carelessness these last eight days. She swallowed hard to loosen the lump in her throat.
“I thought…back at the castle.”
His hand slashed out. “A display for the baron, nothing more. There can be nothing between us. Nothing real. Understand?” He stepped closer and bent to cup her chin, to stare into her eyes. “Do you?”
She pulled from his touch and stared blurry eyed down at the bloody rag in her hand. Then, tightening her jaw, folded the cloth to find an unused portion. Placing a hand on his muscled forearm to hold him steady, she used her free hand to wipe at the wounds on his chest. He could protest all he wished, but Meggahn remembered the kiss he had bestowed on her after the fight with Madric. He had held her tight and his body had burned against hers, and there had been fire in that kiss. It had not been the kiss of a man who did not care.
As if reading her thoughts, Garrik snatched the cloth from her hand. “I will finish this. You best find your bed.” He glanced pointedly at the edge of the clearing.
With as much dignity as she could muster, Meggahn lowered her hand, rounded and strode silently toward the trees.
She stilled but did not turn. For how could she? He would see the tears in her eyes, and the night could hide nothing from Garrik le Fey? “Yes.”
“I will be gone at dawn. Tell the carpenter I have backtracked in case we are being followed. I will meet you tonight after dark. I’m sorry you must travel by foot, but until I can completely trust Vogerl, it is the only safe method.”
She nodded and stepped into the forest to lose herself within the comfort of the darkness.
Garrik watched her go with a touch of regret, the after taste of his bitter words like ashes on his tongue. He hated hurting her, but until he was free of the dragon, his heart was not free. And if there was no freedom to be had, he could offer Meggahn no future although every fiber of his being cried for it.