Born with the magic to contend with Dragons, Ryn was raised to be a Dragonspeaker, a diplomat of sorts. The Guardian of the City trained her in the art of negotiating with dragons through conversation and sword. But that was years ago. She fled when her brother seized power.
A decade later Ryn discovers that a local military officer (Cole Cypress) possesses rare magic that might make him the lost heir to the throne and the only person capable of lifting the sickness that has fallen over the land.
Together with their friends they set out to confront the Regent Vezda (Ryn's murderous older brother), heal the land, and free the people who have lived in fear and famine for decades.
If you are a sucker for redemption stories filled with found families, overcoming evil with the power of friendship, gardens, and of course dragons, then this book is for you!
Photo credit: Depositphotos: Grandfailure
The soldier who spoke was the tall man from the road, the one who had helped her.
Ryn reflexively assessed him, as she did with anyone entering her shop. He was about her height, perhaps taller. He had a soft face that would be handsome if it weren't for the new welt rising above his left eye, a hard body, easy to drape or tailor. The armscye of his shirt was cut slightly high, and narrow which meant he preferred to work with his hands and valued freedom of movement, but cared about his appearance as well.
"I’m officer Cole Cypress. Seamstress, we're looking for a man. He's a thief; he stole property of the crown, which is treason. Anyone found aiding him will be charged the same."
Ryn walked to the counter with slow languid steps as she spoke.
“You won’t find him here, and I don’t want his like around. You are welcome to search my shop.”
She stopped behind the counter where her skirt obscured the trespasser’s hiding place.
The soldiers moved through her shop. They overturned baskets and poked through the other shelves, even the ones that were too small for the boy to hide in. They were intent on destruction more than a search, but Shim and Ryn stood by and watched like they were supposed to.
“Maybe you’ll find something you’d like to purchase for the coming heat? Fresh linen has just come up from Flaxton,” Shim said with a bland expression. Then he exchanged a look with Ryn. His posture shifted, placing his weight onto the balls of his feet, and widening his stance.
Ryn worried the hem of her left sleeve smoothing her finger over the blade of the snips that she kept there in a leather slipcase.
Officer Cypress rounded the counter now and moved toward her as he continued to search. His efforts were more thorough and less destructive.
Ryn looped her middle and ring fingers through the handle of the snips. A stab from them wouldn't kill anyone, but a solid punch would mean she could get to her shears, or maybe run—if she kept it quiet.
Heat rose on the back of her neck as Officer Cypress got closer to Pitch’s hiding spot, but she did not move.
“Excuse me,” he said, gesturing to the shelf behind her.
He stepped closer to her, testing her resolve. He was so close that the hem of her skirt brushed against his boots. When she refused to move, he looked past her to the shelves behind her.
He made eye contact first with Pitch, then lifted his cocked eyebrow and unflinching eyes to Ryn.
She clenched her fist and wearing the scissors like a set of rings, she jabbed at the soldier, piercing his jacket. He dodged backwards, caught her wrist, and stopped the blade before it went any deeper. Shaking his head, he gestured the other soldiers. They were too busy searching a bin of scraps and turning over chairs to notice the quiet tussle. Shim protested beside them, but he quickly caught Ryn’s eye. He’d noticed.
Officer Cypress released Ryn’s hand and spoke in a loud voice, "Benji, Jake, There's no one here. It's time to try the next shop."
One of the men nodded, but the other narrowed his eyes at Ryn then Shim.
“I’m certain he came in here. Did you check everywhere?”
Officer Cypress narrowed his eyes at the other soldier.
"Benji, I think the bruise on my face proves my loyalty. Do you wish to come over here to question it?" The man standing beside Ryn replied with an even tone.
Without an apology to Ryn, the soldiers moved to the door and left. At the last moment, Officer Cypress turned back and looked at Ryn.
"A criminal attacked me.”
He gestured to the left breast of his jacket where her snips had left a minor tear, but she had not drawn blood.
“I'll be back this afternoon to see to it."
Ryn tightened her jaw and shook her head. "I might not be here this afternoon. With thieves running about I might be safer someplace else. I'd hate to get caught up in such trouble."
"Trouble is close, seamstress. Nevertheless, I will be back this afternoon. See that you are here."
July 10, 2023
This Manuscript is currently 63K words long (200+ pages). I am polishing the draft over the next six weeks and sending it to my editor the first week of September! I am very excited about the progress I have been able to make on this book, especially in the last two months. I will post another update soon! If all goes according to plan, I'd like to independently publish this book late in 2024.