Friday, February 14, 2014

First Fight Friday: Candra's Freedom, Book II in The Golden Key Chronicles by AJ Nuest

Goats solve their differences head-on. They don’t give the silent treatment or yell, they butt heads, and then it’s over.

Cowboy Marvin has learned humans resolve issues differently especially those romantically involved. His curiosity sparked, he has invited authors to stop by on Fridays and share the first fight out of their latest book.

Fellow Harper Impulse author and a Fire Writer for Written Fireside: For Clara Parts 5 & 11 
[check out her Fire Writer Friday]

AJ Nuest is here for ...

First Fight Friday 

with a scene from 

Candra's Freedom, Book II
The Golden Key Chronicles

The key would unlock his future, and the safety of his kingdom, but he never imagined the sorceress would unlock his heart...

Lost in a world she doesn't recognize, Rowena struggles to find her place. Yet her abilities with a blade and the loyalty of a fierce falcon don't discourage the heated advances of the handsome Prince Caedmon, and the connection between them seems much deeper than her troubled heart can recall.

He dusted an imaginary speck off his shoulder, feigning indifference, and strolled to the side, the table pitching under his boots. “Imagine my surprise to learn you’d been training with the guard, my love.”

Her eyes narrowed into two glittering emerald slits, but whether in anger over his endearment or in challenge, he had yet to discern. “And you, I presume, are here to teach me my place?” She matched him pace for pace, maintaining the distance between them. “I hate to break it to ya, but your lessons come a little too late.”

He shrugged off her disdain. “On the contrary. I am nothing if not pleased with your progress. To see you’ve advanced thus far under Denmar’s tutelage warms my heart.” He locked his gaze onto hers. “I do, however, take issue with your methods.”

Her footfalls paused and she tipped her head. “You’re not making any sense. Stop talking in riddles and just say what you’ve come to say.”

Her fingers twitched near the deadly blades at her hips, a little too close for his liking. With an ear-splitting screech and rustle of feathers, that deadly falcon of hers careened in from above and alit on her shoulder. Its wings remained slightly spread as it chucked a grim warning, the continuous bob of its head another clue to what transpired behind its soulless black eyes.

This latest contestant was sizing him up, assessing the threat he represented.

“Your engagement ring, my love.” Silver hummed along his spine as he withdrew his blade and made a display of inspecting the sharply honed edge. “’Tis quite regrettable, really, and yet I’m told offered without hesitation.” He whipped the blade around and aimed the sharp tip straight at her chest. “Or do you deny you bartered my mother’s ring in exchange for your training?”

Her spine stiffened and the blood drained from her face. “Your mother’s ring? I-I didn’t... no one told...” Myriad emotions flitted across her lovely features—surprise, awe, regret—and at last an exquisite sorrow, hinting just along the corners of her eyes.

Her jaw clenched and she boosted her chin as if to rebuff his accusation. “What would you have had me do? I had nothing else of value in my possession.”

Not so. And her brusque dismissal cut him to the quick.

“You had my heart,” he snapped. “You’ve always had it. Though you’ve quite soundly dashed any delusions I may have embraced regarding its value. Sneaking behind my back, scheming to flee the very moment of my return.”

The color returned to her face thrice-fold, flooding her cheeks with an enticing luminescence. Short pants puffed from her chest and his traitorous c*** hardened and lengthened in response. She’d once worn the same captivating radiance in the throes of passion. Passion she’d shared with him.

“Scheming? Sneaking behind your back?” With a blinding glint of sunlight against silver, two lethal blades whirred home to the centers of her palms. “Since when do I need your permission for anything? You don’t own me, Caedmon. No one does.”

He internally scoffed. What fool would ever attempt ownership of one as spirited as she? Therein lay a path aimed straight for the bowels of hell. Security, trust and love are what he endeavored to build between them. Yet he would never achieve such a goal without her protected. Guarded. In his bed.

He affected his battle stance—one leg bent, the other extended to the side, sword high in both hands and at the ready near his right ear. “You will not depart the safety of the castle grounds until I deem the time is nigh. And if bloodshed is the only path to make you see reason, then more is the penalty I’m prepared to pay.”

“I knew it,” she spat. “I knew you were just like the rest of them.” She lowered her chin and her shoulders bunched. “All this talk of love when all you truly want is to control me.” Daggers spun and flashpoints slivered the air as she exacted her own battle stance—legs parted, arms crossed over her chest, deadly knives twirling to a stop on either side of her shoulders. “This one’s mine, Dart. All mine.”

The falcon screeched and lunged forward. A draft from the powerful down stroke of its wings washed Caedmon’s face before the bird corkscrewed and disappeared over his left shoulder.

Fury blazed like a perilous green flame in her gaze, and he tensed as an evil laugh slipped low and smooth from the flawless column of her throat.

“Brace yourself,” she warned. “This is gonna hurt.”

She whirled with mind-boggling speed. The artful tune of singing steel altered to a discordant twang as he deflected the hailstorm of her assault. Sword in constant motion, he pivoted and dodged. A rain of blades littered the table, chiming on impact, a promise of death with one fatal kiss. The floor pitched as she zigged then zagged in front of him, a torrent of silver spikes cloaking her advance.

Securing a thick rope, she ascended halfway up the nearest wall, dashed madly along the side and flew back, her white braid whipping the air. A thud damped his shoulders. His throat constricted when she wrung his neck between her thighs. The entire weight of her body swung pell-mell around his shoulders. His windpipe wrenched in the crook of her knee. His feet tangled with her rotation. The world slanted strangely off-kilter a moment before his back slammed the table below.

A groan of empathy unfurled from the crowd under the rattling clash of swords pounding steel as the guards displayed their appreciation for her skill.

He gazed dumbfounded at the pristine blue sky. Sweet t***, she had spoken true. That hurt like a w*****.

Copyright © AJ Nuest

Candra's Freedom, Book II in The Golden Key Chronicles by AJ Nuest

The key would unlock his future and the safety of his kingdom, but he never imagined the sorceress would unlock his heart…

Antiques restorer, Rowena Lindstrom, finds herself the owner of an ancestral armoire containing a hidden key and a magic mirror leading to another realm!

But the handsome warrior prince waiting on the other side is truly the final straw. This must be an elaborate joke, right? As she struggles to discover the truth, Rowena learns Prince Caedmon Austiere needs the key to save his kingdom. In the end, she cannot deny him anything. Including her heart.

Candra’s Freedom is available to buy at these places:  Amazon  | Amazon UK 

If you are still in love with the Disney princes of your youth, and wish one would show up in your bedroom late at night, then you will love this breathtaking fantasy romance series from 
AJ Nuest!

Rowena's Key       November 7, 2013
Candra's Freedom  December 12, 2013
Caedmon's Curse    January 9, 2014
Braedric's Bane  February 13, 2014

AJ's bio:

I am a multi-published, award-winning author who lives in the middle of a cornfield in NW Indiana. My loving husband, two beautiful children and a bevy of spoiled pets have agreed to stay and, in exchange for three rations per day and laundry service, tolerate my lunacy. While I spend most days happily ensconced in crafting romance across a multitude of genres, an underground coup has been percolating. The dogs just informed me the cat is secretly vying for dictatorship.

Follow AJ Nuest online

Thanks for sharing AJ!

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