by Marsha A. Moore
Genre: Fantasy romance
Lyra McCauley receives an alarming letter from the coroner who evaluated her deceased aunt, originally thought to have died of cancer. The news causes Lyra to take leave from her job and travel from sunny Tampa to the frozen island community in northern Michigan. Questioning whether Dragonspeir magic was responsible for her aunt’s death, she resolves to learn the truth and accepts the Imperial Dragon’s appointment into the Alliance sorcery training.
Additionally, becoming proficient in magic craft is the only way she can bridge the gap between her mortal human world and her lover’s. Cullen, a 220-year-old wizard, is dependent upon his Dragonspeir magic for immortality. He is her only family now; she cannot lose him.
Evil forces block her and try to steal her inherited scribal aura. Riding a stealth dragon, a cloaked rider pursues Lyra. Both the Alliance and Dark Realm alchemists lay tricks and traps. Her aura equals that of the first and most powerful Scribe, but will Lyra’s novice training allow her to discover the truth? Will she be able to be with Cullen, or will the Dark Realm keep them apart?
From Chapter 1: The Letter
Lyra worried about Cullen on his flight home. Despite the fact he was over two hundred years old, it was only his second plane trip. The few wizards of Dragonspeir who visited the real world seldom traveled far, and then not conventionally. He kept her safe in his world last summer. She intended to keep him safe in hers.
“Next!” the heavyset postmistress belted out.
“I’ve got to hang up,” Lyra quickly whispered into her cell phone. “Be sure you call me when you land in Sault Saint Marie. Love you.”
She sighed and maneuvered to the clerk at the far end of the counter. If only they could live together in one world. She needed to learn more magic first and hoped to make a start in a few weeks, when she took her winter break from teaching to attend his Solstice Festival. Unfortunately, her formal lessons would have to wait until next summer.
When Lyra approached the counter, the woman peered over the top of her reading glasses as she shuffled papers. “Yes?”
“I’m here to pick up my mail from a vacation hold.”
“Theme of my day,” the postmistress muttered and then barked, “Name and ID.”
“Adalyra McCauley. Just since the day before Thanksgiving.” She fumbled in her purse and pulled the driver’s license from her billfold.
The women sighed, slid off her stool, and shuffled into a back room. A few minutes later, she lumbered back, carrying a small stack of letters, glossy ads, and magazines. She scooted the mail across the counter.
Lyra stuffed it all into a tote bag, then scurried to her silver Subaru sport wagon and tossed it into the passenger seat. Driving Cullen to the Tampa International airport and this stop barely left enough time to make it to the university in time to teach her ten o’clock class. But the memory of those lingering goodbye kisses made it worth the consequences.
She stopped for a red light at a twelve-lane interchange, tapping the wheel impatiently. The edges of the mail peeked out of the sack, tempting her. She pulled it into her lap and riffled through the letters. The usual bills. The signal remained red.
Thumbing quickly through familiar envelopes, one unusual return address caught her eye, William T. Betts, M.D., Washaw, Michigan—the island village location of Aunt Jean’s cottage on Lake Huron. Although addressed to Lyra, it had been sent to where her aunt lived prior to passing away. She couldn’t place his name as one of Jean’s doctors. Multiple postmarks revealed a path of forwarding, the oldest dated last August, a few weeks after the funeral. She checked the traffic light—still red.
She ripped open the envelope and yanked out the letter.
Dear Ms. McCauley:
I am writing this correspondence in my capacity of Birch County coroner. Please accept my condolences for the recent loss of your aunt, Jean Perkins. Prior to delivery of her remains to the Michigan State crematorium, her attending physician, Dr. Everett Schultz, requested an autopsy. Dr. Schultz and I wish to meet with you to discuss my findings at your earliest convenience.
William T. Betts, M.D.
A horn honked from behind and jolted Lyra into a panic. Her limbs froze and her eyes returned for another glimpse of the letter. She wildly scanned the page, searching for additional information. Aunt Jean had died of cancer. What more could they tell her than that?
At the time of Jean’s death, the abrupt change in her symptoms puzzled Lyra and made her question the visiting nurse. Hours before, her aunt’s mind had been lucid. Her eyes were clear and her breathing soft and steady, not a raspy death rattle. Now those initial concerns seemed grounded.
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Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Her creativity also spills into watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transforming into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors.
Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and already addicted. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and that spiritual quest helps her explore the mystical side of fantasy. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand.
Every day at the beach is magical!
Author Links: Website: http://MarshaAMoore.com
Fantasy Faction staff page: http://fantasy-faction.com/staff-members?uid=38
Goodreads author page http://www.goodreads.com/marshaamoore