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Authors: P. K. Eden

Firebrand

Firebrand

P.K. Eden

Copyright © 2013, P.K. Eden (Patt Mihailoff and Kathye Quick)

Firebrand

* * * * *

Trademarks Acknowledgement

The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:

trademark, trademark owner

When Harry met Sally

the Movie channel

Donna Karan

Armani

Prada

BMW

ET

Alien

Predator

Star Trek

Frankenstein

Superman

Mr. Spock

Rolex

Alien vs Predator

Vulcan Mind-Meld

Gene Roddenberry

Whitestone Bridge In Queens

Crown Victoria

FIREBRAND

By P. K. Eden

(Patt Mihailoff and Kathye Quick)

Amber Drake is the only person who can save three worlds from annihilation.

Only she doesn’t know it yet.

When the Garden fell at the beginning of time, the First One divided what was left into three:

Humans
– administered by the descendents of the Adam and Eve

The Fae
– watched over and protected by those who came from the Angel of the Garden

Trolls
– ruled by those who evolved from the Snake who tempted

Each world was given a sword to protect those who would come and hope for the future in the form of a prophecy that foretold the coming of one born of all three bloodlines who could bring peace and harmony to all worlds and restore the Garden to glory.

But the tribred’s birth also initiates a series of events that start the Arpeggio Clock to begin the countdown to Armageddon and not everyone wants the clock to stop.

Reviews

P.K. Eden’s
FIREBRAND
is a riveting complex work of good versus evil worthy of the
Hobbit
series and
Harry Potter
. The story line is concise and clear while dealing with fairies, goblins, ogres, trolls, Halflings, and all sorts of Otherworld beings,
FIREBRAND
is fascinating and gets better the more you read. —
5 Stars – Reviewers Choice, Affaire de Coeur

This story is full of ups, downs, heart stopping moments, and kick butt scenes that will have readers pumping their fist in the air in sheer victory.

Be sure to start reading this book early in the day unless you’re a night owl because putting it down is downright difficult and even if you are able to resist the temptation to keep reading, then you wonder about what will happen next. —
Romance Junkies

P.K. Eden creates lush worlds and colorful characters full of secrets and magic as the backbone of this fantastic tale. The reader will be hooked from the first page, and their addiction will not be salved until the final page.

FIREBRAND is an excellent adventure, and I look forward to future offerings by P.K. Eden. —
Novel Talk

FIREBRAND
contains an amazing amount of world building based on common folk and myth motifs with the added dash of the Garden of Eden. Author P. K. Eden took a chance on an unconventional setting and plot, and her inspiration paid off. FIREBRAND packs a huge punch of action and danger with a doomed love story you will enjoy. —
Romance Reviews Today

`Wow!
P.K. Eden
tells an explosive story that had me on the edge of my seat and inhaling this book like a good cup of butter pecan flavored coffee! The action and suspense was non-stop! Human, trolls, fairies, goblins, and specters dueled to the death to save their worlds in a manner reminiscent of Armageddon.
FIREBRAND
contains such vivid detail that I could picture it all happening as the words leaped off the pages therefore making this a definite must read! Oh, I do hope there is a sequel!!! —
5 Stars – Reviewers Choice - Two Lips Reviews

Dedications

For our moms

Special thanks to:

Kathye: My writing soul mate, Patt Mihailoff, without whom I could have never written this book, Judy Sherwin, my neighbor and forever friend, who listened to at least one hundred versions of Firebrand every weekend, my boys and fellow sci-fi lovers, Scott, Mark and Jarrett, and my husband and real-life hero, Don, who indulges me at all times even when I don’t deserve it.

A special shout-out to our writing sisters at Liberty States Fiction Writers and RWA/NYC who taught us a whole lot about achieving dreams.

Patt: We write as one but are two, Kathye is my writing soul mate plain and simple. We especially want to acknowledge Rosemary Ruggieri for being our dedicated pre-publication reader, Darlene James, Thelma, the Williamses, the Skinners and “The Lady” whose constant encouragement sustained me. Also my husband George for letting me be me.

Prologue

Gisparry, Ireland

Everwood Ring, home of the Gisparry Fae

Alara cradled the small bundle securely in her arms as she made her way quickly through the dense thicket. The bundle moved, a soft mewling cry escaping from it.

“Hush, there now my dear one,” she whispered as a large shadow passed over them casting an evil blackness in its wake. She could feel the instinctive unfurling of her gossamer wings but she willed them to still and settle close to her back. Overhead the shadow passed once more, increasing the beating of her heart a hundred fold. “The Dullahan hunts!”

She crouched down, wrapping her body around the swaddled child protectively. She could hear pounding hoof beats strike the ground, the terrible sound escalating each time its maker passed back and forth in a hunting pattern, getting closer with each looping track. The monster that hunted them had landed and was searching aground.

“We do not have much time,” she whispered against the baby’s cheek as she tried to bury herself inside a dark thicket. “If the Dullahan finds us, he will take you to Gorash.” She clasped the baby tightly to her body trying to make two appear as one.

The specter tracked close by them. Through the brambles she could see it. Clad in dark flowing robes, the Dullahan rode a magnificent black stallion with flaming red eyes. Its disembodied head hung from the saddle pummel. From time to time he would grasp the head and hold it high, allowing him to see great distances even in the blackest night.

As moonlight passed over the Dullahan’s raised arm, Alara could clearly see the face of her hunter. The skin, although smooth was the color and texture of stale dough and stank of moldy cheese. A hideous grin split the face from ear to ear and small black eyes darted about like malignant flies. The entire head glowed with the phosphorescence of decaying matter making it look more like a lantern to be used to guide the creature in the darkness.

The horse stopped next to the brush in which she hid, a mighty hoof pounded the ground spraying dirt onto her like rain. She could feel the warmth of air wash across her each time it snorted in response to the tug on its reins and she prayed her precious baby would remain silent.

After what seemed like an eternity to her, she let out the breath she did not realize she had been holding as the Dullahan thundered away. Cautiously she emerged from hiding, carefully holding the child close.

Not knowing if the specter was still near enough to hear the furious pounding of her heart, she ran. At her feet, low growing vines seemed to try to wrap themselves around her while in front of her the thick bushes of the forest loomed menacing in her path. Yet, she struggled onward, sidestepping the twisting vines and protecting the child in her arms from the fingered branches of grasping trees.

The mewling sounded again, turning into a small but high-pitched wail that persisted. “Be still my most precious of precious things. You’ll be safe soon,” she said stopping her frantic sprint.

Looking over her shoulder, she hoped she was far enough away from the evil that sought her and closed her eyes. Lifting her chin, she let her wings unfurl from her back. They opened in a magnificent display of iridescent color. A moment later and she was flying, willing all her energy and emotion to her wings. She called upon both the love for her baby to help speed her onward, and the fear of the evil thing hunting her to fuel her resolve and make her path to what she hoped was safety straight and true. To falter, just for an instant, would mean certain death for her and a fate even worse for her child.

The rocking motion of flight quieted the crying of the baby to a soft tremulous purr punctuated by an occasional wail. After a while, the child stirred more frequently and Alara knew she could wait no longer. Settling her feet on a mossy knoll with feather-light ease, she fumbled with the bundle and moved the pale, very nearly transparent, cloth away. She smiled at the sight of her newly born infant allowing herself to forget what had to be done.

“My dear one,” Alara said, sliding the strap of her dress from her shoulder and moving the baby to her breast. Her chest heaved with longing as the babe began to suckle. “Drink your fill of fae milk, my daughter. Taste it and remember me.”

In another part of the woods near the sacred Dolmans of Mourne, a watcher troll built a small fire on which he planned to roast two small fish he had caught in the lough. He’d just speared the first one when a sudden reverberation of a sound like thunder rose from behind him and made him drop his supper into the fire. He turned to the deafening sound, now more like a violent shattering of wood as though lightning had splintered a great tree. But the sky was cloudless and he could smell no rain in the air, only the strong odor of sulfur.

Grabbing a heavy stick, he padded toward the noise just as another roar seemed to answer the first. Around him the normal sounds of nature grew silent. Birds did not sing, the wind did not blow, insects stilled but he went on. The landscape ahead took on a surreal appearance with every rock and bush taking the form of creatures waiting to pounce. Then, as though written by script, clouds appeared, swelling and darkening as they rolled across the sky, adding an ominous feel to the silence in the land. The troll examined the ground as he plodded along, sniffing the air and grunting as he tried to find the source of the unnatural pull toward something he had no idea what.

Soon his search led to the mouth of a cave with the bones of dead animals littering the entrance. Thrusting his long nose forward, he caught the scent of stagnant air. Moving in closer to the hollow, he could see light undulating on the cave wall a few feet inside. Following his curiosity, he entered and walked until the ground ended and he found himself on the edge of a precipice.

His eyes widened. Directly in front of him, suspended in the air, golden circles glistened like stars. Just one of them would make him rich. Inching as close to the edge as he dared, he reached out, his fingertip grazing one of the spheres. He jabbed at it a few times but it seemed to move farther away.

Angry now, he fell to his knees and stretched his gnarled arm as far as it would go. He could feel the golden globe hit the palm of his hand and he grabbed at it. As he did, he pitched forward and the natural world seemed to ripple and fall away. With a guttural cry, he closed his eyes and slipped over the edge, preparing himself to die.

But instead he landed with a thud only a few feet below the rock shelf. Warily he stood and found himself in a large crater with a floor that was a circle of gold that he estimated was fifty feet round. Above him, numbers and jewel-encrusted letters joined the golden circles. They moved and swirled in a random pattern as though caught in a vortex. Jumping with all his might, he tried to catch one of the prizes but could not reach any.

It was then that the sound came again, now a great clang like a giant piece of a large metal puzzle being dropped into place. It made him step forward and watch in fascination as the floor on which he stood moved ever so lightly, casting a barely perceptible beam of light onto writing carved into the walls..

He moved forward slowly and ran a large hand over the lettering. His yellowed eyes widened as he read the inscription beneath his fingers:

From one comes three

From three comes one

Forgetting the treasures that moved above him, he scrambled out of the hollow and ran out of the cave.

He had to tell the Master. It had begun.

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