Born in Flames
Series-Born in Flames Trilogy Book #1
Publication Date-September 6, 2012
Red mirrored scales race up my arms as the haze of pain blurs my vision. My bones crack, breaking to realign. I scream. It is then that the realization of my unavoidable fate sinks in; I am of a dying race. I am dragon.
Aurora Megalos, orphaned and teetering on the edge of adulthood, thought finding her past would curb the sting of being an outcast. Having no memories of the time before she awoke on her foster mother’s doorstep, she yearns for the emptiness inside her to be filled. With her fellow orphaned best friend, Fenn, by her side, she has nothing to lose and everything to gain. But something powerful stirred within her that she couldn’t explain. Something wanted out.
In the dark of night, a crazed Seer, dubbed Mr.Creepy, erases everything she’s ever known with an impending prophecy. She now faces two paths. Return to her true home to protect a dying race against a growing evil, or stay hidden in the safety of our realm with a shot at a true love. With a vengeful Arch Enemy stopping at nothing to see her dead, she’s running out of time; a decision must be made. What would you choose?
Barnes & Noble-Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/born-in-flames-candace-knoebel/1112772359?ean=2940015130775
Embracing the Flames
Series-Born in Flames Book #2
By Candace Knoebel
Expected Publication Date-June 17th
The Stone of Immortality has always been kept under the watch of the Draconta. That is, until the betrayal of a Fate. Now everything is about to change.
Aurora Megalos accepted her destiny without blinking-even if it meant succumbing to her dragon side. Deemed the Progeny, she left the ordinary life she knew and has done everything in her power to learn the ways of her new realm and what it means to be part dragon. But when her mentor, Astral, suddenly disappears, she is forced to take the reins.
With war on the brink, she sets out on an epic journey to not only find her mentor, but to stop her Arch Enemy, Zordon, from obtaining the Stone of Immortality. But what she discovers about him along the way is far worse than she could’ve ever imagined. She will be tested and pushed to the limit. Lives will be lost, love will be questioned, and a battle will begin.
I was concealed in a cloak of shadows as I crept down the long and narrow corridor. Even the stars were hidden, veiled by a swirling mass of clouds that churned outside the open-arched windows.
Something was wrong in the Hall of Knowledge. The lurking shadows were proof of that.
I followed the sliver of light that peeked out from under the only door at the end of the hall. The arctic bite of the stone floor sent chills up my spine, goose bumps leaving their mark along my skin.
Voices drifted along the breeze coming through the windows lining the ever-winding hallway. I was almost to the end. Fear coiled itself around my composure. What was on the other side of that door?
Shadows of the footsteps behind the door cast ghostly shapes upon the floor as I inched forward. A pair of the pacing feet stopped mid-stride and turned, now quickly moving towards the door. As the steps neared, the shadows seemed to crawl closer and closer in my direction, threatening to swallow me whole.
I nimbly took a step back into the cover of darkness as my breath caught in my throat. My heart pounded behind my chest erratically. Had I been heard?
The knob began to turn, and I squeezed my eyes as tight as they would go, bracing myself for the terror that would surely come if I were found. But the door didn’t open. Instead, the feet shuffled hastily away.
I let the breath I had been holding out in a silent rush as my heart began to steady itself. My shirtsleeve caught the beaded sweat along my brow. Now or never, I told myself.
A few steps more and I stood right outside the door, my sleeve now soaked with my fear. I put my back to the wall and mercilessly pressed my ear up against it, straining to understand the awful screeching of voices.
Now, if I hadn’t been possessed by the white light that always seemed to save me in the nick of time, then I wouldn’t have been able to make out what was being said. In fact, I would have doubled over in pain from the sound of their voices. The sound of The Fates’ voices was like a metal rake grinding across another piece of metal.
And that’s how they liked it. The Ancients were the only race able to understand them. A blessed curse, Astral always said. He was one of the fifty, created specifically to write the Oraculuses of mortal men. But Astral couldn’t help me now.
With heat building between my ear and the wall, I finally focused in on a voice.
“What have you done?” asked one of the brothers.
“What needed to be done, Saeth. We are not to create from ourselves. You have broken the decree.” His voice rose as he continued.
“How could you have given a piece of yourself? It’s repulsive and offends everything we stand for. Do you not remember the fate of our beloved fifth brother?”
“Castian, please,” said another brother, a voice lighter than the previous two.
“Not now, Arcadia,” said Castian.
A dry, monotonous voice cut in. “What’s done is done, Castian, and cannot be changed, brother.”
“I agree with Maison,” said Saeth.
“Indeed, for then things would proceed in your favor,” said Castian, his tone laced with scorn. “Your son cannot know that you have sired him, for if he does, then everything we have created will have been for nothing.”
“He’s right, Saeth. No one can know what you have done,” Arcadia conceded. “The fate of the realms won’t hold up against what Zordon has been prophesized to achieve. Astral has already begun his Oraculus.”
Defeat poured out of Saeth’s voice when he replied. “What must I do to correct this? You can’t expect me to undo what I have done. We cannot interfere with the living, and breaking another rule to erase my mistake won’t rectify the situation. Nor will sacrificing me as we have done our fifth brother.”
“No,” Castian slowly dragged out his words, “it won’t. Maison, go tell Astral to cease his duties,” he commanded.
“Castian, you can’t possibly…”
But Castian interrupted him. “I can and I will. Tell him to stop. What’s written is written and will not be changed. That rule will remain pure. But the unwritten will be given to another. One who will be deemed Saeth’s son’s equal. One right to a wrong.”
“The soul ripped in half…that sounds like an excellent idea,” Arcadia said in delight, clapping his hands.
“Who will this other be? And who will create this so called equal,” sneered Saeth.
I felt my hand reach for the door, controlled by the spirit that possessed me. I didn’t want to open it because I didn’t want them to know that I was listening in, but what I wanted didn’t matter. This wasn’t really me. I was seeing through another’s eyes.
The light crept out and up the walls as the door swung open from the force of my hand. The four brothers looked over to me, shock written on all of their faces as they slowly stood like statues coming to life.
“I think I have a solution,” said the female spirit possessing me, the voice of a thousand angels in one.
I closed my eyes and focused on shifting. Scales raced along my skin as my muscles filled out. Talons stretched out from my fingertips and toes. I flexed my hands and then doubled over as my tail protruded out my back end. My clothes ripped as my wings broke free and extended out, slightly shadowing Fenn and Astral.
I opened my ruby-red eyes and saw the mystified look in Fenn’s eyes, the same look he always wore when I shifted. I thought back to the first time I had ever shifted in front of him.
“You’re just a muscular, reptilian version of yourself, Rory,” he said as he reached out and ran a hand through my hair. He leaned forward, softly kissing me as his hands ran down my scaled arms and pulled me into him.
Such a small, simple act had meant so much.
I turned away from them both, ignoring the connection my pride had with my tear ducts, and tried to remain focused with every inch of air I climbed.
So far, I was still here, still in control.
I spiraled in the faint breeze and inhaled deeply. All of my senses were enhanced—a perk that came with being a dragon. I zoomed in on Fenn. I could smell his fresh, musky scent and was reminded of home. Not our new home, but our old one—the apartment back in Hawaii. My heart ached for Mily, our foster mother. I hoped she didn’t miss us too much.
They were both staring up at me, hands shielding their eyes from the sun I hovered in front of.
“I’m ready to begin,” I called down to them. I tried to hide my wariness as heat trailed out in curls
from my nostrils.
“Try hitting her with something small,” Astral instructed Fenn, his voice sounding like it was right next to me even though I was high in the sky.
I zoomed in on Fenn again, bracing myself for his attack. I sensed his energy building within him as his palms began to glow.
Every muscle in my body tightened with anticipation as the scent of his magic surrounded me-a fresh bar of soap mixed with a summer’s salty breeze.
“Temparo!” he shouted, hurling his blue energy towards me. It was the controlling spell that we had learned a few days back. My senses were so keen I could see the spell coming towards me as if it were in slow motion. I jumped to the side, the spell flying past me and down into a tree with a crackling smack. The wood splintered out from the force leaving a wide scorch mark in its wake.
Fenn boastfully smiled as his eyebrows rose, taunting me to challenge him. My heart flittered a little. He was proud of me and that made me feel momentarily invincible.
“Again!” Astral said delightfully.
“Immoblatio!” Fenn tossed. I easily dodged it again, watching the spell slowly hurl by me. My wings fluttered, a rush of power surging throughout me as I headed for the ground. Being in the air gave me the advantage against his physical attacks. I wanted more. I needed to know that I could do it on my own.
I mocked his earlier taunting smile as I let my feet touch the ground. “Let’s try something harder,” I said daringly. “No holding back.”
A shadow of a smile grew on Fenn’s face.
“I feel good and I want to see what I can really do.” I hoped that I could keep things under control. I didn’t want his smile to vanish.
I backed up a few steps and stared at my clawed feet, inhaling deeply. It was important that I remained focused so I could stay in control. And so I could keep Fenn off guard.
“Pellum Descendum,” I chanted, throwing the knock-back spell at Fenn. He ducked just in time, pulling my legs out from under me at the same time. I wavered, and my wings fluttered, catching my fall and lifting me a foot off the ground.
I felt his energy building up once again, but I was too close to him to dodge. “Silentaro!” he shouted, his energy hitting me directly in the face. My scales provided a strong barrier. They didn’t burn the way my skin did when struck by magic, but they also didn’t stop magic from entering. I felt my lips magically weave together, preventing me from speaking.
Steam wisped out of my nostrils as anger sparked within me. I threw a hearty punch but missed as he dodged and said, “Turbularum Vortum.”
I was already off balance from the missed punch and was caught off guard by the spell that hit my side. I flinched. This was one I had not been taught yet.
The clouds seemed to fall from the sky as a black whirlwind surrounded me, lifting me off the ground and into the spiked, cold air. I was being spun uncontrollably inside the tornado, stunned and unable to counterattack. Panic set in as my anger grew beyond my human limit. The dragon spirit in me pushed forward, refusing to take anymore of this beating.
No! I begged internally, trying everything I could to remain in control. I focused on breathing evenly, but the confine of the artificial whirlwind was suffocating me.
I pleaded with my eyes for Fenn to let up. Awareness registered on his face and then he pulled back, the spell finally dying off. I felt Astral’s strength pouring into me, waiting for me to use, but I refused as I hovered above them. I was going to do this on my own or else.
Fenn released me from the silencing spell. Probably out of pity.
This made me even angrier with myself. “Don’t do that! Don’t take pity on me,” I spat. The dragon in me was gaining more and more control by the second, pushing me past the point of reason.
His back stiffened as he glared back at me. “Suit yourself.”
I felt a familiar darkness stir within me, urging me to give in to my untamed emotions. Without thinking, I swooped down, grazing his face with the claws of my feet, uncaring if it hurt. He was already healing as I pulled myself up into the air, ignoring his fiery glare.
“Protectio!” I shouted. A shimmering bubble of protection surrounded me. It was only strong enough to protect me against his next spell, but it would give me enough time to prepare and counter.
“Immoblatio!” he rebounded. I saw it coming and dodged to the right, swooping down and landing behind him, tapping him on the shoulder.
“Pellum Descendum,” I said with a saucy smile. He flew backwards once again, barely missing Astral who quietly stepped out of the way.
Pain shot throughout my limbs as my emotional state became leaden. I was struggling with my dragon side, trying to remain in control. I fell to my knees as my stomach convulsed. The dragon was winning.
“Silentaro!” Fenn’s voice sounded cold and indifferent. My protective bubble absorbed the spell and vanished with a light pop.
He stalked towards me, his fists clenched in determination. “Silentaro!” he continued, moving swiftly with a vengeance.
My lips sealed shut once again. I staggered backwards, clenching my side in pain.
Astral stepped forward as if to stop him, but Fenn was in his own world, driven by the anger of battle. Or worse, by my ignorance and temper. “Pellum Descendum!”
I went flying backwards, the agony finishing off my last bit of control. A portal opened up in front of me and Fenn stood over me. His expression had shifted from hostile to apologetic concern. He extended an arm to help me up. “I took it too far.”
But I wasn’t in control anymore. I was succumbing to the darkness inside of me. I fought hard, on the edge of slipping away completely, but it was too late. Even Astral was too late.
Fire ruptured from within, breaking the silencing spell and burning off the magic Fenn had used to quiet me.
I didn’t know I could do that.
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About the Author:
Candace Knoebel had dreamed of being a dancer ever since she could remember. With a love of all things art, she saw herself moving to New York and pursuing her passion as an artist. But all that changed on October 10th, 2002 when she met the love of her life. Her dreams diverged and after marrying her high school sweetheart and having two beautiful children, she realized she missed her creative side.
Growing up alongside the Harry Potter series, Candace found herself missing the epicosity of a story that pulls you in and won’t let you go. In 2009, she began dreaming up characters that would mold her first novel. Through lunch breaks and late nights, after putting her kids to bed, she built a world where she could escape the ever-pressing days of an eight to five Purgatory. She found her calling in life and knew this was more than dancing could’ve ever meant to her.
Once complete in 2010, she began the grueling process of finding a publisher. With relentless determination, she was finally able to realize her dream in December of 2011 when 48fourteen offered her a publishing contract. With a HUGE yes and a happy dance, she continues her Trilogy.
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