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Smoke and Mirrors

By Diane Sky All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Adventure

Blurb

It is a time of dragons scorching the sky line. In Thebbington Abbey, Ember Blackthorn earns her living as a thief. When she crosses paths with both a humble, kind jeweler's son and a wicked, irresistible pirate, she learns that the world often catches fire and legends often beat reality.

Prologue

It was the creak of dawn in a warm April morning, but the shy rays of sunshine weren’t the only ones dancing over the skyline. On the contrary, the sun peaking from across the horizon was feeling rather deprived of the glory reserved for him only during the early hours of the morning.

But today was one of these days. Today was one of the days when even someone so conceited and pretentious such as himself had to admit he was being outshined. Even the sun couldn’t compete with her. Because today was one of the days when she showed up.

She opened her wings wide and defied the wind, teasing the height and despite himself, just like he always did before being able to help himself, the sun allowed his rays to blink in her direction a couple of times, bathing her in light and warmth.

And she smiled. Or something vaguely similar to a smile. As the morning light stroked her onyx black scales, thick skin lifted to bare sharp fangs in a strange, ominous, audacious attempt at an animalistic smile. She was a ferocious creature, terrifying and graceful in her viciousness, the flap of her massive wings resonating in a glorious echo, her vertical pupils dilated with the joy of soaring across the land like the cliffs and the mountains and the valleys belonged to her and she belonged to the sky and to the wind.

She was an Onyx Dragon, Daughter of Scorching Flames and Charcoal Dust.

The sun followed her with his gaze as her claws bit forcefully into a mountain’s peak and she landed gracefully. It was rather common. She belonged in the painting, a reptilian imposing muse, as the sky was the artist she haunted.

Except today, she wasn’t alone.

Her eyes didn’t search the horizon and she didn’t flee after mere instants, the light of day incompatible with her predatory impulses. She just sat on that mountain peak, staring straight ahead, and the sun realized it had been two sets of onyx black scales he’d send his rays shining upon today.

On an opposite mountain peak, no more than a few yards between them, sat another dragon, his position mirroring hers, two pair of beastly eyes staring like a mirror and a reflection. And deep under scales and claws and feral instincts, even though their consciences weren’t yet aware of it, two souls resonated loud as a crack and ripple sounds of a burning fire, and smoke rose and drew patterns on the morning sky.

The two of them looked at each other and welcomed one another’s presence, feeling as if they were finally home.


That morning, a couple hours past the crack of dawn, outside a village called Thebbington Abbey, awoke Ember. The spring air flooded her lungs and she gasped loudly, noticing with little amount of surprise, like she did every time this happened, that her clothes were gone. Just like her memories from last night. Several hours, just wiped from her head.

But she was used to it, used to those blank spaces. Pulling herself together, she got up and checked whether there was anyone in sight, then headed towards a few bushes, where she knew for a fact her red cloak awaited for her. This was, after all, the spot where she always ended up consequently to her clandestine escapades.

She tightened the cloak around herself and snuck back into the village, taking precautions not to be seen. Ember Blackthorn was enough of an outlaw already to give villagers more reasons to outcast her.

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White_Devil: I'm not really good and telling how I feel about something, but I would definitely recommend reading this book. After reading this book, I wish I had my own Locke, but then fate doesn't work that way. This story was truly unique and inspiring.

Brittani Nicole Case: Your summary of the story is what got me to read it. You have a way with words and with humor. I didn't really see the strong-willed version of Cordelia. When I think of a strong-willed female character the very first one to pop in my head is Buffy Sommers (There is no stronger-willed female than...

wolf3342: Omg this is one of the best werewolf stories I have ever read like... If there was more I would read it till the day was done I stayed up alllllll night reading it, bruh please write more this is one of my new favourite books good luck with your writing in the future if you choose to write I give...

redbat98: Everything about this book is amazing. I hope to see this book offically published someday.

mary Ruffin: I love it. This book is different from other werewolf books. And I got to say it's one of the best one I read.

lemon papi : honestly this was such a lovely story, everything was written so nicely - the characters, the plot, the love scenes. EVERYTHING! (although trying to remember the family members was hard 😅...)glad i was able to read it, this is officially one of my favourites!

Carla Hutchinson: Just started, love this story, very engaging 👌

Ki'ami Heart: Love this book so much. It was very enjoyable and very fun. I feel like I have gone through all the events myself even though I have simply just read it. Highly recommend reading and is absolutely worth the time. I would love to read more stories published by C.M.Ortega.

dshanie76: it was awesome but u left me in suspense. so unfair. It had minor grammatical error but the plot was great. the personality of the characters where very descriptive that allowed me to create a picture for every scenario easily. you have the potential to be a wonderful writer. But i think you shou...

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Angels_Kingdom: It’s really hard to find good books one the internet that is free and has good plot and great grammar and everything. I really hope write more books. And never change your writing style

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