red sky dawning—serial cover reveal

OMG. I can’t believe Jessica Jarman and I are finally… yes finally starting our serial stories. A bit later than we’d planned, but hey—it’s going to be epic. So, if you’re unfamiliar with the concept, Jess and I plan on releasing a new chapter twice a month—on the second and forth Mondays—until the stories are done. And I can personally tell you that my book is going to be long. LONG PEOPLE. As in full-length novel. Likely more of a super novel. Because this story— it’s morphed from an idea into a never-ending saga in my head. And I can’t wait to share it with everyone. Posts will be made here, and on WattPad, if I can figure that out, lol. I’ll do my best to link previous chapters so if you miss one, it’s easy to find.

Also, Jess and I will both be doing monthly giveaways. I’m thinking Amazon gift certificate. But I suppose the possibilities are endless. We just want folks to drop by, have a read and enjoy how the stories unfolds. Nothing tricky, lol. All you’ll have to do is leave a comment and BAM, entered. Comment on both chapters that month and you’re entered twice. Winners will be picked at random and announced.

So to start off, here’s the parameters we chose for our stories. It had to paranormal…and the underlying theme was enemies to lovers. I chose to do a fantasy-type book with magic and warriors set in a medieval-type kingdom, in the erotic romance genre. Jess is going NA…with a more contemporary feel to hers, but also filled with magic and intrigue.

My book is titled… RED SKY DAWNING. It’s MF, and I’ll warn folks now—there will be explicit sex scenes. So if that’s not your thing, then you might want to skip those chapters. I’ll try to remember to give a warning, lol…but consider this a blanket warning for the entire book. I don’t hold back. There will also be explicit language at times. So again, fair warning.

Now, for the fun stuff. Here’s the cover for the upcoming event. And not to toot my own horn, but damn I love this cover. LOVE IT. It’s exactly what I envisioned long before I found any images to make my dream a reality.


red sky dawningNow, while the actual chapters start next week, I have done a chapter’s worth of flash fiction on this story, and honestly, it gives wonderful insight into Rylan’s character. So, here’s the blurb and the prologue to get you started. Chapter one will be here in less than a week!

In a world where magic can destroy kingdoms, there’s no greater force than the bonds of love.

Rylan, son of Roan, and heir to the throne of Ravendale, has been fighting his father’s battles since he was old enough to hold a sword. His abilities as a fire mage gave his kingdom the ultimate weapon, until he seemingly vanished. Left vulnerable, his father erected a magical barrier that has provided Ravendale with a false illusion of peace—until now.

Shunned by her own people for being born with a power no realm has witnessed in over five hundred years, Aelwyn, Princess of Aldhaven, bears the mark of the gods, themselves. Both blessed and cursed, she’s devoted her life to protecting her brother, Aelrik, until he can take his rightful place as King—and finally end the war between her kingdom and Ravendale.

But his mysterious disappearance on the eve of his coronation brings a new scheme to light—one that’s designed to thrust Aldhaven into another millennium of bloody war. Left with no other option, Aelwyn has freed the only man capable of getting her brother back—a brutal, Ravendale warrior captured a century before she was born. But his cooperation comes with a price.

Enemies by heritage, Aelwyn has to put her faith in a man whose conquests are the horrifying legends of her past. Their mission is simple—rescue Aelrik and prevent a new battle from tearing both their worlds apart. There’s just one problem—circumstances of their agreement have put Aelwyn into her enemy’s arms, and she’s seeing a different side of the man history has labeled a murderer. Knowing firsthand that claims are often wrought from fear, she can’t help but strive to see the warrior beneath the lore. The man within the monster. But falling in love is a dangerous choice—one that might break far more than just her heart.

Red Sky Dawning


“No.” Rylan stood outside the worn tent, feet braced apart, arms crossed over his chest, staring at the tattered flaps that snapped in the late evening breeze. Shadows played inside the small space, glimpses of flickering candlelight visible between the fluttering pieces of canvas.

Garreth slapped him on the shoulder, stepping up beside him. “Ah, come on, Rylan. It’s all in good fun. Not often we happen upon a town with its own seer.”

Rylan glared at his friend. “If you’re so enthusiastic, be my guest.” He waved at the opening. “Have the old witch read your fortune because I already know my future.”

“Do you, now? And what’s that? That you’ll be king? Find yourself a pretty maiden and make a few heirs to the throne?”

Rylan firmed his jaw, ignoring the flash of magic beneath his flesh. Garreth was just trying to lighten the mood. Give Rylan something other than war and battles to focus on. Perhaps a glimmer of hope.

He held his power in check, glancing at the tent. “We both know maidens and heirs aren’t in my future. Blood. Death. A kingdom with little chance of ever seeing peace—those are what lie in store for me.”

“There’s more to life than fighting your father’s battles, Rylan. You’ve done nothing but train and wage war since you were old enough to hold a sword. It’s no secret, your magic gave your father a far more powerful weapon than he ever imagined.” Garreth placed his hand on Rylan’s shoulder. “Maybe it’s time to consider ending this fight with Aldhaven. Find a way to do what Roan never could.”

“And what’s that, Garreth? Win?”

“Make peace.”

Rylan scoffed, breaking his friend’s hold and taking a few heavy steps away. “Peace? They raid our lands, pillage our towns. They kill women and children alike over a patch of earth that barely grows enough food to feed a family, let alone a village. Don’t you think my father would make peace if there was peace to be found?”

“We do the same to them. Kill them just as swiftly, as indiscriminately. Over that same piece of parched ground. My sword bears as much innocent blood as any Aldhaven soldier. Maybe more.” Garreth paced over to stand next to him. “Tell me. Do you even know why we’re at war? Does anyone even remember?”

Rylan held Garreth’s gaze, the truth of the man’s words settling hard in his gut. How many times had he pondered that very question? Asked his father—King Roan—what stood between them and a world without bloodshed?

Rylan ran a hand through his hair. “What would you have me do? I’m not king. Not yet.” He snorted. “Chances are, I’ll give my life for Ravendale long before I sit on any throne.”

“Make Aldhaven an offer. A show of good faith. Give them a reason to want to end this war as much as we do.”

“And what shall I give them? My life? Yours? My father’s crown?” Rylan shook his head. “I’ve heard the rumors, same as you. They say King Aern merely sits on a pedestal like a puppet on a string. Controlled by a sorcerer whose magic is equaled only by his thirst for more power.” His shoulders drooped, the sheer weight of that knowledge draining his strength. “We both know there’s no reasoning with men like that.”

“Then be the kind of man that dares them to walk away. To decline your offer. I’ll stand beside you. Every warrior you’ve ever accompanied into battle will stand beside you. You’re more than our prince. You know that.”

Rylan scrubbed his hand down his face, giving Garreth a smile as he palmed his friend’s shoulder. “And here I thought you wanted me to seek my fortune? If this is what the witch will tell me, I don’t think I want to venture inside.”

Garreth slapped him on the back. “You’re just afraid she might tell you, you’ll live long enough to have a woman rule over you. That the mighty Rylan—heir to the throne of Ravendale—will be struck down by love, not a blade.”

“There are a number of possible futures in store for me, my friend, but love isn’t be one of them. That, I’m certain of. My father’s already had my fortune read by every gypsy in the kingdom.”

“Then this one won’t come as a surprise. Who knows. We’ve never ventured this far north before. Perhaps that’s changed your fortune.” Garreth motioned to the flap. “Need I remind you that you lost our bet three nights ago. I’ll consider that debt paid if you simply go inside. Give the lady a chance to see something new.”

“If it’ll stop this endless chattering, it’ll be worth hearing my dismal fortune, yet again.”

Rylan ignored the smug grin Garreth flashed him as he strode toward the tent, brushing aside the flaps in one quick motion before entering the dim interior. Candles bathed the area in a soft glow, the scent of rose heavy in the air. He looked over his shoulder when the flaps snapped behind him, fluttering a few more times before suddenly stilling—the beige cloth hanging limp in the doorway.

“Come in, Prince Rylan. I’ve been waiting for you.”

Rylan jerked his head around, staring at the beautiful woman standing beside a small, round table. Golden hair hung down to her waist, her green eyes sparkling amidst the shadows.

She motioned to a chair angled in front of the table. “Please, sit.”

He covered half the distance, still gawking at her. “How do you know my name?”

“You’re the Prince of Ravendale. Everyone knows your name.”

“Not this close to the border. In a town I’ve never visited. Most people wouldn’t give me a second look.” He frowned. “But you’re…”

“What?” She smiled. “Not what you expected?” She moved gracefully to the chair opposite the one she’d offered him. “Would it ease your mind if I were older? If my hair was a dingy shade of gray? If my skin showed signs of experience—of days spent laboring in the fields? Does my appearance unnerve you, My Prince?”

“This has nothing to do with your appearance and everything to do with the fact you claim to be a witch.”

She laughed, the lilting sound oddly relaxing. “I believe the word you seek is seer. I’ve never claimed to be a witch. I don’t possess magic in the way you do. Mine is the gift of sight.”

“And that precludes you from being a witch, how, exactly?”

“Are you so hardened that you can only see the world in black and white?” She motioned to the chair again. “We both know your curiosity outweighs your hesitation. So please…sit.”

Rylan eyed her for several heartbeats, glaring at the doorway when he heard Garreth mumble something about paying his debt through the flaps of the tent, before continuing over to the seat. Rylan pulled it out, scanned the room once more then slid onto the hard wood. The legs creaked as he shifted forward, placing his elbows on the woven cloth covering the surface of the table. His gaze focused on the large, crystal orb centered on the fabric, a multitude of colors swirled through the clear stone.

She joined him at the table, studying him in return. Her gaze felt strangely intimate, as if she could somehow see inside him. A frown curved her lips, her brow furrowing. “You carry a heavy burden, young Prince.”

He didn’t reply, wondering if this was the best she could do.

She nodded toward the ball. “You don’t believe I can see your future, do you?”

“I believe you want me to believe you can.”

“You think all you have before you is death. Blood to be spilled on the battlefield. Your blood.”

He grinned, wrapping one arm around the back of the chair as he leaned against it. “I’m a warrior. That’s to be expected.”

“And you believe this is where you’ll die? On the battlefield, serving your father—your kingdom?”

“Even if it had not been foretold by countless seers, such as yourself, my future holds no mysteries, madam. No one wins every battle.”

“What if I were to tell you, they were wrong? That they couldn’t possibly foresee what your future holds because it becomes a black mist within the ball?”

“A black mist?” He edged toward her. “Is that not my death?”

“It symbolizes change. The end of one life but the beginning of another.”

“Must you speak in riddles?”

She shrugged, waving her fingers over the smooth glass. A white cloud stirred within the crystal, swirling like a building storm. She hovered over the ball, gaze fixed within it debts. “So much pain. So much suffering.”

Rylan squared his shoulders. He knew how this story ended. Had been told it numerous times. Why Garreth seemed to think Rylan would get a different version mystified him. He was a warrior. He’d die in battle.

The woman gasped as pure, golden light burst from the orb, filling the room with an angelic glow. Heat warmed his skin, stirring his cock beneath his breeches until it sat hard and heavy against his stomach.

Rylan pushed to his feet, drawing his sword as the light gathered strength, curling around him like a loving caress. His skin prickled in response, the image of a woman wavering in his mind before quickly vanishing. The light dimmed, turning to orange before slowly fading, nothing but the ghostly echo of his name ringing in his ears. He spun around, searching the small space before settling his gaze on the seer. Sweat beaded her brow, dark circles smudging the flesh beneath her eyes.

He stormed to the table, grabbing her by the collar. “What foul sorcery do you practice, witch? What do you hope to gain by lying to me?”

The woman’s breath raked across his wrist, the harsh sound catching him by surprise. Rylan released her, uncertainty building in his muscles.

She took a few labored gasps before finally lifting her gaze to his. Tears shone in her eyes, her obvious pain etched in the fine lines around her mouth. “It cannot be.”

He huffed, rounding the table—grasping her arm and lifting her to her feet. “What? What did you see?”

She stared at him, eyes rounded in horror, mouth slightly open.

He gave her a firm shake. “Speak, seer. What did you see?”

“Light. Pure, light unlike any I’ve ever seen. It’s…inside her.”

“Her? Who?”

The seer sobbed, tugging against his hold. “I must go. Prepare…”

“Tell me what you saw, witch, or I’ll strike you down.”

The woman looked up at him, all traces of smugness gone. “I saw a woman…standing beside you. Her arm marked by the gods, themselves—feathers from the angels above. She’s…”

Rylan shook her again. “She’s what?”

“The answer. To everything.” She leaned in close. “To you.”

* * * *

“They’re flanking right.” Rylan pointed toward the moors on the other side of the river. “Don’t let them take the bridge, or we’ll be cut off.”

Garreth gathered a group of soldiers together, barking out orders before sending them toward the stone structure, a tremble rumbling through the earth as their feet struck the ground in perfect precision. He turned toward Rylan, face weathered, blood smeared across his jaw and down his mail vest. His shoulders drooped for a moment before he drew himself up, heading across the open space.

Rylan scanned the surrounding countryside. The sun dipped low against the distant hills, the last rays of light just cresting the rocky slopes, bleeding the sky into a deep violet off to the east. Long shadows stretched across the land, slowly hiding the mangled bodies littering the battlefield. He glanced down, hating the splatter of blood caking his armor and skin.

He’d lost count of the number of men he’d slain as he’d cut his way through the writing mass of flesh, his only focus on avoiding injury. Staying alive long enough to get what remained of his legion to safety. Save those still breathing. Blood dripped from his blade, but he didn’t have the strength to wipe it off—aware more would simply take its place.

Aern’s troops had struck at dawn, the attack more calculated and brutal than any Rylan had faced yet. The sheer number of men, alone, had cost him a quarter of his warriors. The rest had merely tried to keep the advancing lines in check—hold their position until they could rally…or retreat. They’d managed to limit the skirmishes to the outskirts of the small village nestled on the river, but it wouldn’t be long before one of the lines broke through—before those villagers still seeking shelter within the tattered huts became casualties of a much greater war.

Garreth grabbed his shoulder, his hand trembling slightly as his breathing roughened. “We won’t last much longer. Not like this. For every man we cut down, three more take his place.” He shook his head. “I swear Aern emptied every damn settlement between the border and his precious castle to garner this much presence. Some of his soldiers look as if they’ve never swung a sword before today.”

“Skilled or not, they’re slowly gaining.”

“Aye.” He met Rylan’s gaze. “We both know there’s only one way we might come out of this alive.”

Rylan’s magic snapped just below his skin, threatening to break free of his hold. Ever since the first clash of metal, it’d been writhing within him—coiling tighter until every breath stung from the sheer force of it. Flickers of red sparked along his arms, tiny curls of smoke disappearing on the steady breeze.

He took a deep breath, once again pushing down the energy. “You know I don’t have that kind of control. Not here, with my men dying around me. Once I release it, there’ll be no stopping until I either kill them all—or it kills me.”

Garreth pursed his lips. “We’re outnumbered, Rylan. And this wave is just his foot soldiers. Soon, there’ll be archers, horsemen. What then? We can’t last out here against that kind of offense.”

Rylan glared at his friend, taking a few heavy steps away before turning. “Those houses are made of wood and straw. What do you think will happen to them once I release a wall of fire?”

“Better to burn our own village to the ground than to wait for Uldhaven soldiers to do it for us.”

“And the women and children hiding inside? What of them?”

“They’re dead for certain if Aern’s men break through.” He glanced away. “Or they’ll wish they were.”

Rylan pushed a hand through his hair. “Maybe if I had a chance to rest. To meditate. I’d have the kind of control I need to be discriminate about what I burn, but here. Now.” He sighed. “If my father had spent more time allowing me to hone this power instead of just assuming I could wield it, perhaps I could live up to everyone’s expectations for it.”

“Roan only cares about winning. At any cost.”

“Including his son.”

“We’re all expendable. Pawns for his games.”

“Well, perhaps I want more.” He waved at the battles waging around them. “What kind of king sits on his throne when his warriors fight for his kingdom? He should be here—leading his men—bleeding alongside them, not watching the sky fill with smoke from the walls of Ravendale.”

“Then call the retreat.”

Rylan snapped his head around. “We’ve never pulled back before, Garreth. Roan—”

“I don’t give a fuck about Roan or his orders. You’re my king, Rylan. Since you first saved my life in battle along with fifty other soldiers…you’ve been my king. I don’t care about ceremonies or crowns. Save your men. Live to fight another day, my friend. There’s more to your future than blood and death.”

He chuckled. “Just because one witch saw something other than swirling blackness in her crystal orb doesn’t mean anything. You know that.”

“Perhaps. Or maybe it’s a sign.”

Rylan closed his eyes, trying to block out the clattering of swords and the lingering screams of men dying on the battlefield. Garreth was right. It was pointless to fight a battle they had no chance of winning.

He glanced at his friend, nodding. “We’ll fall back. Take as many villagers with us as we can. Make our stand on more favorable ground. Sound the retreat, I’ll cover…”

A whoosh of air made him pause a moment before Garreth grunted, slamming backwards into the ground. A lone shaft poked out of his shoulder, the feathered end fluttering in the breeze.

“Garreth!” Rylan knelt beside the man, fingering the arrow. “Hold still.”

“No. Save…”

Garreth’s voice keened into a ragged cry as Rylan yanked the shaft free, tossing it aside. Blood flowed from the open the wound, pooling on the parched ground before slowly sinking into the earth—staining it an eerie red. Rylan gathered his magic, allowing a small stream to discharge, sending a finger of heat into the other man’s flesh. Garreth’s hand locked around Rylan’s, eyes wide before his head tipped back, his scream echoing across the moors. His friend clenched his forearm, nails biting into Rylan’s leather cuff before Garreth’s hold weakened, his arm falling limply to the ground.

Another volley of arrows landed in a scattered pattern around Rylan, one grazing his biceps. Rylan turned, his vision bleeding into red as sparks erupted along his flesh, flaring into flames as they raced up his arms then down his torso, consuming his upper body in a blaze of fire.

He stood, his magic pushing outwards, pressing against his fragile hold until it broke, tearing a scream from within his chest. The energy billowed outwards, coalescing into a ever-increasing wall as it raced toward the river, leaving a path of charred earth in its wake. A cloud of arrows rained down toward him, the shafts hissing into flames as they struck the barrier, the remnants falling to the ground as burning shards of ash. Shouts sounded from his troops as the men dove off the bridge, sinking beneath the water in an attempt to escape the fire. Agonizing cries rose above the roar of the flames, the pungent aroma of burnt flesh filling the air.

A horn blared off to his left, and Rylan turned, watching as a unit of Uldhaven soldiers breeched the village, torches already setting some of the huts ablaze. His magic pulsed in response, extinguishing the last of his reservations. He glanced at his friend, whispering his apologies as he started across the field, an arc of fire preceding each step. Men charged at him, none breaking through the fiery barrier as he made his way to the edge of the settlement, the dirt path baking into cracked, stone-like chunks beneath him.

He stopped, drawing his magic tighter, allowing it to swirl into a raging wall around him. The flames crackled and hissed, the heat setting everything within reach alight. Another horn sounded as he drew his power inward, then forcefully released it, feeding the fire until the very air sparked around him. Pleas and cries fell beneath the weight of his magic, his echoing heartbeat the only tangible link back.

Time faded into shades of red, his surroundings nothing more than the dancing flames scouring the land. It wasn’t until water lapped at his thighs that he realized he’d fallen to his knees at the river, a blanket of steam rising from the surface. His lungs burned as he sucked in a few labored breaths, his focus slowly clawing its way out of the fiery haze.

An eerie silence covered the land, the distant squawking of birds ringing through his head. Flames still flickered in the surrounding trees—every inch of the earth within his field of view charred a deathly shade of black. Moans rose above the crackle of burning wood, the mournful sound like a knife to his soul.

Rylan palmed the shoreline, head bowed, muscles cramping with fatigue when a hand landed on his shoulder.


He stared straight ahead, unable to look away from the utter devastation, even to met Garreth’s gaze. “Dark hells. What have I done?”

“We need to gather what’s left of our legion and leave. Before Aern’s troops find a way to launch another attack.”

“Another attack?” Rylan stumbled to his feet, kicking up a spray of water as he took a few shaky steps before turning. “Look around you! There’s no one left alive to launch an attack. I’ve killed them.” He released a choking breath. “By all that’s holy, I’ve killed them all.”

Garreth moved forward. “They brought this on, themselves. They—”

“No one deserves the magnitude of violence I displayed here. They’re soldiers following their king’s orders. They’re no different than us.”

“Then the blame rests with me. If I hadn’t gotten hit…”

Rylan palmed his friend’s good shoulder. “We both know it was only a matter of time before I lost control. Seeing you struck down…” He released his hold, allowing his arm to fall to his side. “The blood spilled here is on my conscience. I’m merely lucky I didn’t decimate my own men, as well.”

Garreth sighed. “What’s done is done. Even you can’t change the past.”

“No. But I can shape the future. This is only the beginning. Once Aldhaven hears of this massacre, none of the border villages will be safe. Aern will send his men to destroy every living soul born of this kingdom…unless I stop him.” He waved at the desolate landscape. “Stop this.”

Garreth pursed his mouth. “Do you honestly believe Aern will listen to reason? To you?”

“It’s unlikely. But I have to try.” He shook his head. “I’d rather die trying to establish peace the live like this. There has to be a glimmer of hope—some kind of light to end the darkness.”

“Then I’ll grab our mounts. Gather supplies—”

“Not this time, my friend. I have to go alone.”

“Rylan. I pledged my allegiance to you, and you alone. You just saved my life. I won’t turn my back on you, now.”

“I need someone I trust to lead the men. Help whoever’s still alive find their way back to the keep. If I fail…”

“Then there won’t be enough swords—enough magic—to keep me from seeing Aern’s blood spilled.”

Rylan nodded. “Ornery as always.” He took a few steps, glancing sideways at Garreth. “I owe you far more than just my life. Thank you.”

“For what? As I recall, it’s you who’s saved me.”

“For never seeing me as Roan’s son. Godspeed.”

Garreth grabbed his arm, stopping him. “I meant what I said. I’ll be waiting for your return.”

Rylan smiled. “Then I’ll expect you to save me some of the good mead and not that swill you usually try to pawn off as my share of the victory.”

“Don’t die on me.”

“I’ll do my best.”


Now, as much as I love the cover, Jess and I also have banners, so we can link to each other’s posts every week. And let me tell you. Her story…it’s amazing. I you haven’t caught the snippets she’s posted in her flash fiction, you’re in for a treat. Here’s more information on hers. I suggest you hope over to her blog and read up even more about her fabulous story….YOUR LIES.


your liesTo go to Jess’ site and learn more about her story, click on the banner below. But here’s the blurb.

Keeping her magic secret keeps Delia Lancaster safe. That is the one truth among the lies that make up her life. Having left the safety of home for college, Delia clings to that truth. Trusting someone with her heart is difficult enough. Trusting someone with her secret? After everything she’s already lost? Next to impossible. And isn’t it just her luck that the first guy she feels any interest in just happens to be the charming and very attractive face of the anti-magic movement on campus?

His entire life, Maddock Roberts has watched his parents work to relieve magic users of the burden they carry, the disease that corrupts them. Popular and confident, Maddock finds himself a leader in the fight against magic. Eyes on the future, he’s more than ready to take up the mantle and continue the battle beyond the boundaries of campus. The last thing he needs is to be distracted by a pretty face. Particularly when everything about her—her actions, her words—makes him question everything he’s held as truth.

Working with the magic Sympathizers on campus brings Delia face-to-face with Maddock more than she wants. Physical attraction, Delia can handle, but getting to know the man behind it all…and liking what she finds? That’s a problem she doesn’t need. Despite her best efforts, she and Maddock grow closer, and keeping her secret becomes more difficult. But their fledging relationship isn’t the only thing that could be destroyed if the truth comes out. Her life is at risk, and it may already be too late to walk away.

And here’s my banner. Just for fun.

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