Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Hearts in Exile (Tallenmere #3) by Mysti Parker
Publisher: Melange Books
Release Date: May 26, 2013
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 124,000
The ‘Tallenmere’ Series is available at Melange Books, Amazon, B&N and many other online bookstores.
In Tallenmere, fate has a way of catching up with you...
Somewhere, hidden in the waters of the Southern Sea, lies an island unlike any other. Within the amber glow of its pyrogem-laden cliffs, legend says the very heart of the dragon god Drae keeps the island, and its occupants, alive.
Loralee Munroviel, daughter of Leogard's High Priestess Arianne, had no idea what she would face when she arrived by boat ten years ago and was left alone in exile. All she knew about Draekoria's inhabitants was written in one tattered notebook. Now, her life revolves around keeping Drae's descendants happy. Never in her life did she imagine being a Dragon Keeper.
Captain Igrorio Everlyn, known as Sir Robert to his unit of Holy Paladins, has faced his share of hell, battling the evils of Emperor Sarvonn's tyranny and the dark god Tyr's abominations. But none of that compares to the ten years of hell he's been without Loralee, presumed dead.
One freak storm changes everything. Now the two of them must fight to reestablish the delicate balance of the island before the dragons take things into their own hands. Through it all, they discover the secrets that kept them, and their hearts, exiled for a decade.
Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
Loralee, having just arrived on the island of Draekoria, meets a couple of its inhabitants…
The dark form lowered itself directly in front of the doorway. One dull green reptilian eye stared into the cottage from the side of a dragon’s head.
Puddle squealed and darted under the bed.
Smoke drifted upward in swirling tendrils from the creature’s nostrils. Dull gray scales covered its head, and what I could see of its neck. Besides some short, blunt horns and spikes lining its wide jaw, the dragon’s head was smooth and lizard-like. The creature’s shoulders were even with the cottage’s roof. At least it couldn’t fit through the door.
Then, it spoke.
The rumbling voice reverberated in my chest. “You, mortal. Make yourself known. Step forward so I can see you.”
I gnawed on an already worn-down fingernail and wondered why the creature would make such a request. I stood no more than ten feet from it. Either it had a vision problem or it intended to eat me. At the taste of blood on my tongue, I forced myself to stop chewing on my raw fingertip and tucked both hands behind my back.
Trembling like a frightened snippet, I whispered, “I’m here.”
“Speak up, mortal, or face my wrath!”
“I’m Loralee, your new Keeper.” I took one wobbly step forward, waving my hands helplessly in what I hoped would be interpreted as a surrendering gesture.
The dragon’s horns and jaw spikes extended in one sudden burst. The journal never mentioned that aspect of dragon anatomy. My legs couldn’t hold me upright anymore. I fell to my knees, shaking so hard my teeth chattered.
“Who sent you?” the dragon thundered. “Who are your kin?”
The wisdom symbol on my forehead tingled—a timely reminder to watch my tongue. It would not be wise to explain how I had been forcibly sent here, not until I knew how to handle myself around these creatures.
Hugging myself tightly, I forced part of the truth past my clacking teeth, hoping it would suffice. “I am the eldest daughter of Priestess Arianne. I’m a high elf, as she and King Leopold are.”
“Daughter of the Priestess? Do you think me but a dragonling, ignorant of the deceitful ways of elven-kind?” He craned his head this way and that, as though trying to focus through his cloudy eye.
“N-not at all, kind dragon.” Goddess, that sounded pathetic. “I am here to care for you, not to do you harm.” I bowed my head to show my reverence, knowing any minute I could be reduced to ashes. The journal didn’t mention how to introduce myself to my charges, either. Another bit of information that would have proven useful before I became a snack.
“Who is with you?”
“No one but a harmless snippet.” Glancing toward the bed, only Puddle’s yellow eyes were visible, wide and startled, as I’d ever seen them.
Another voice spoke from behind the gray dragon. Still as rumbling, but not as deep and more airy, like a bellows over a blacksmith’s fire. Female, perhaps? “Back away, Kershar! Let me get a look.” An olive-green dragon’s head nudged Kershar’s to one side and turned sideways to inspect me with a pale yellow eye. “You’ve frightened her to near death. Have I not told you to remain cave-bound while you go through the shedding?”
Shedding? I dared a look at Kershar, finally realizing why his eye, and to a lesser extent, his scales, were so dull. My sister Prysilla had raised a virtual zoo of pets over the years. Every reptile and amphibian replaced their skin on a regular basis. Like those, Kershar must have been molting. The edges of the shedding eye scale had already separated from the new tissue beneath.
The olive-green dragon spoke again. “Come closer, child. My mate will not harm you. He is all smoke and no fire, and he is as mortal as you are.”
Kershar butted the other dragon’s head. “What did you say to her?”
“Never mind, Kershar.” She butted him back. “Child, you are safe with us. A dragon’s promise is as firm as this rock upon which we stand.”
Having no choice, but feeling a little more comfortable in this creature’s presence, I pushed myself to my feet and swallowed in a futile attempt to wet my dry-as-cotton mouth. I stepped forward until I was so close the dragon’s warm breath ruffled my acolyte robe.
“They’ve sent another Keeper, I see. I am Xaxony, matriarch of the clan. You’ve met Kershar, my mate.” Xaxony flicked a red, forked tongue and smiled.
Dragons can smile? Who knew? “I’m Loralee. Loralee Munroviel.”
“The Priestess’s daughter?” Xaxony puffed a cloud of smoke from her nostrils.
Kershar rumbled again. “The mortal is deceiving us. She cannot be a Keeper.”
“She smells like a Keeper to me. Where is your mark, child?”
Mark? What mark … oh!
I turned my back to Xaxony and parted the hair at the nape of my neck, hoping at least some of the dark birthmark was visible on my scalp.
After a pause that lasted too long for comfort, Xaxony said, “She is genuine. We should leave her in peace until she is settled. Come to the caves when you are ready, child, and I will show you the island.”
Prize is 1 eBook copy of "Hearts in Exile" (Int); 1 autographed print copy of "Hearts in Exile" (US/Canada). Contest ends July 14. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger's Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and the second in the fantasy romance series,Serenya's Song, was published in April 2012. The highly anticipated third book, Hearts in Exile, has already received some great reviews. The 'Tallenmere Series' has been likened to Terry Goodkind's 'Sword of Truth' series, but is probably closer to a spicy cross between Tolkien and Mercedes Lackey.
Mysti's other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She has also served as a class mentor in Writers Village University's six week free course, F2K.
Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specific publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder's Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.
July 8, 2013
July 9, 2013