Authors: Paulette Miller
The Blue Fire series, Book 1
Edited by Courtney Simpson
Unquiet Slumber: The Blue Fire series, Book 1
Cover art and illustrations copyright © 2012 by Paulette Miller
Copyright © 2012 by Paulette Miller
Kindle Edition, License Notes
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Second Edition: March 2012
Who taught me that words can draw a world just as vivid and colorful as that which can be created with a colored pencil. I’m forever changed by the experience and eternally grateful.
To my husband Dan and our children Deanna and CJ
For their tolerance and understanding as I put them through yet another mid-life crisis obsession.
To anyone willing to share in my world
May you laugh, cry, and occasionally fan yourself. Just sit back and enjoy the ride as my hidden nature emerges.
Chapter 16 - Castle Knightstorm
Chapter 21 - Black Dragon Mark
Chapter 25 - Another Beginning
It’s been 860 years since the night lost its magic with the destruction of the Draak’s Wizard Sett by their once beloved Black Dragon. After centuries of an uneasy quiet, trouble stirs again in Lagrangia.
The wind whispers that the Black Dragon has returned. Not the comforting and sheltering Black of the past—the dark wind howls only of death and destructive malevolence. This evil brings forth terrible creatures of death to aid in its search for the key that will guarantee the conquering of Lagrangia and enslavement of all that live within her outstretched arms.
The magical world is in turmoil. Raids by the wicked followers of evil, the Drenn, are increasing in both ferocity and tactics, causing many magical villages to hide themselves behind protective shrouds. One such village, Castle Knightstorm, prepares for war against this evil while the remaining benevolent Draak take heavy losses while trying to rebuild their forces in their stronghold of Haven. No longer are the villages banded together as a large community; each now lives as a separate world, disconnected in the coming darkness. They each fight alone, unaware that their only hope of conquering evil is to band together.
A small, very special group of Draaks are on a quest to search for the key to overpowering the evil Black and once again reuniting all of Lagrangia in peace—a prophesized warrior. Their long, hard search is becoming desperate to find the warrior before the evil finds what it seeks.
The human village of Trille, unaware of the magical turmoil surrounding their mountain valley, aggressively expands across both banks of the Song River. Taverns and brawls sprout like weeds as the populace unknowingly reacts to the growing evil. In a small home close to the outskirts of Hartwood Forest, a young woman stirs uneasily in her sleep.
“Ouch!” Tianna cried out as she felt a twig snap. She balanced on one leg while pulling a small piece of wood from the sole of her bare foot. As she righted herself, she glanced around the dark, unfamiliar forest.
“How did I get here?” she wondered. The last thing she remembered was crawling into bed. She had no idea why she was now in the woods in nothing but a thin nightdress.
Much of her life was spent alone in forests and they were like her second home. This forest, although unknown to her, was full of the nature she loved. She stepped over to a nearby tree and, while touching its cool trunk, took several cleansing breaths, calming the unease that was building. She slowly surveyed her surroundings, trying to find a place where she could gaze into the sky. She needed to find the stars that always managed to guide her safely home.
As she debated on which way to proceed, she caught a pleasant, earthy scent. She breathed it deep into her lungs, causing an odd but pleasant tingling to spread throughout her body. Following the scent, she was drawn through the trees until she heard whispering. Somehow she knew that the intoxicating, unintelligible voice was trying to find and guide her home.
As she continued forward, the scent became stronger and the whispering turned into a male voice. It was a voice that seemed familiar, but she couldn’t place a name or a face. Feeling his desperation to find her, she began to run, heedless that she was tearing her gown as it snagged on branches. She knew the man was just ahead and her breathing became labored from excited impatience.
She burst into a clearing expecting to see him waiting for her, but no one was there. She turned slowly, desperately peering into the darkness, and caught the silhouette of a dark figure. He was searching for her but seemed unable to see her.
She heard him take a deep breath before speaking. “Mmmm. I know you’re here thanks to your sweet scent. Call to me. I need to take you safely into my arms.” His voice felt like caresses against her skin, and she closed her eyes, swaying slightly.
Part of her mind begged her not to respond to the stranger. She should remain silent or run away, but there was a small corner of her mind that was screaming at her to call to him. This voice was strong and wanted to go to him and have his arms hold her tight. Before Tianna could think, this small corner called aloud, “I’m here, waiting for you. Come to me.”
At her words, the shadowy shape stopped and turned in her direction. She watched impatiently as he weaved effortlessly through the trees, easily ducking under branches and over downed logs, focused solely on reaching her. Her pulse and breathing sped with anticipation.
When he was just out of arms reach, he stopped. He sensed her presence but seemed unable to see her exact position. Although his features were hidden in shadow, she felt the strength of his stare. Heat emanated from his body and she desperately needed to touch him, to be warmed by his inner fire. She smiled and opened her arms, beckoning the stranger to come closer.
He didn’t move so she started to speak, but he took in another deep breath and let out a low growl that rumbled like thunder. As a chill flowed through her body, her smile left her face, and she quickly dropped her arms. Her pulse sped again, but this time, from fear.