Spotlight & Excerpt: Embers of the Past, by Lucille J. Knight

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Embers of the Past
Elements of Chaos, #1
by Lucille J. Knight
Genre: Sword & Sorcery, Dark Fantasy

Legend tells that the dragons of Ryuutachi gifted humans with the power of elemental magic long ago. Those born attuned to one of the seven elements were revered, but their arrogance led to ruin and suffering, unbalancing the natural order. Now they are feared and despised, forced to hide their gifts or be persecuted for the sins of their forebears.

Taoru is a single father who will stop at nothing to protect Lian, his only daughter, but what can he do when the greatest threat she faces is herself? Can he keep their magic secret and Lian safe from impending war? Or will he lose everything he holds dear?

Wujun is consumed by the many secrets kept from him. He knows only that his parents died when he was an infant, leaving him a vast fortune and cryptic allies. They care for him, protect him, but in doing so isolate him from the rest of society. Then he meets Kentai, a haunted, mysterious swordsman and at last he has a friend. Can he hold on to this blossoming connection or will the ghosts of the past shatter his hope for a better future?

Fate’s tangled web is about to entrap them all. Are the mages destined to return balance and stability to Ryuutachi? Or will their magic plunge the land into eternal chaos?

Amazon / Goodreads


Bright scorching flames blazed around Lian’s body, licking her exposed skin, coiling around her limbs and torso. She could feel their powerful heat as they writhed and lashed, but she remained impervious to their wrath. She gazed upward, high above the raging fire to its source, and was filled with a feeling of awe and fear. A beautiful, serpentine creature towered in the sky, its great crimson mane shining with fiery hues as it reared back, taking another deep breath.

Lian braced herself, her stance wide, arms bent with her fists clenched parallel to her ribs. The second blast bathed the slender woman in molten fury, and once again, she endured. She had taken the dragon off guard; she could see it hesitating, sizing her up, trying to figure out how she, an ordinary mortal woman, still stood defiantly before it. This was the perfect opportunity to strike back!

Still maintaining her pose, Lian reached into the depths of her soul to where her own wild inferno always burned. She drew that power upward with little coaxing, just as her father had taught her when she was a child. Her mouth opened wide, and a second later, flames, every bit as hot as those of the dragon’s, erupted from her. The gout of fire slammed into the unsuspecting dragon, inciting a roar of surprised outrage. Her blast had done no more harm to the dragon than its had to Lian; she made her point all the same.

As the flames tapered out, a broad grin spread over Lian’s face. Few had the gall to breathe fire back at a dragon, and the rush of adrenaline-fueled courage made her feel downright giddy. The dragon was regarding her more closely now, watching as her smirk turned into a laugh. It really should have seen its own face, she thought.

Much to her disappointment, the fight was over. The dragon lowered itself down, yellow eyes penetrating to her very spirit. Its lips parted, and she braced, thinking it was about to attack again after all, but instead, it spoke.

It’s, no his, voice was like nothing she had ever heard before. The deep rumble reminded her of standing in a circle of roaring bonfires. Yet, in contrast, his tone was gentle and imploring. Lian’s body relaxed, her demeanor turning somber.

Byetzu, Tiyomi. Rise to the Heavens and rain purging flame upon the broken, wicked world.” The words echoed, reverberating through Lian’s heart, bones, and mind. “Byetzu!

About the Author:

Headshot Large (1)Raised in a small town in South Central Alaska, Lucille J. Knight discovered her passion for writing at a young age and cobbled together a tremendously awful Star Wars fan novel by the time she finished middle school. As an adult, she began her career as a freelance ghostwriter before launching into indie publishing for herself with her debut novel Hexen Blood: Damnation. Lucille presently writes and publishes from Missouri.

Spotlight: Merging Paths, by Vince Bailey

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merging paths

Merging Paths
by Vince Bailey
Out: Oct. 11, 2022
338 pages
Genre: Paranormal/supernatural fiction

The final installment in this award-winning series follows African American youth Curtis Jefferson as he escapes from the cursed Fort Grant, struggles to survive a perilous desert crossing, and attempts to evade a fierce lawman. Meanwhile, Isabel and Ray Cienfuegos continue to elude their spectral stalker, the murderous demon-spirit Ezra. Merging Paths is sure to gratify readers who have followed the journey of good versus evil in Path of the Half Moon and Courses of the Cursed.

Vince Bailey’s award-winning Path of the Half Moon-the first book in the Curtis Jefferson series-was the Winner of the Arizona Authors’ Association Literary Award and the Chanticleer International Book Awards for Paranormal and Supernatural Fiction. Book two-Courses of the Cursed-was a Finalist in the 15th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards(R). Merging Paths is the exciting conclusion to the colorful, intricate world presented in this unique paranormal series.


Praise for the Curtis Jefferson series:

“Bailey’s voice sparkles in this gritty tale about injustice, survival, and the mysterious world of angry ghosts and dark magic. Don’t miss it.” – Todd Fahnestock (bestselling author of The Wishing World, Fairmist, and Wildmane)

“Curtis does what all great storytellers do–he creates a suspension of disbelief, granting the listener the right to believe.”  – 5 Star Rating, Chanticleer Book Reviews

“A rollicking, Western-flavored frightfest. Werewolves and worse haunt the Arizona desert in this supernatural thriller.”  – Kirkus Reviews

About the author:

Vince Bailey PhotoVince Bailey is a writer who grew up in Central Arizona–specifically the East Valley of the Sun—starting in the late nineteen-fifties. His youthful escapades there in the copper state climes contribute significantly to the nostalgic flavor of his fiction writing. The author’s adolescent haunts of yesteryear tracing around the east side of Mesa crop up frequently as facets of his fictional town of Jacobs Well, the anchor location for several of his books.

Mr. Bailey currently resides in Phoenix with his fiancé, Dr. Veronica Sabater. He continues to create in the same sort of multiple genre style that has animated the Curtis Jefferson series.

Visit Vince at his website and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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