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Saturday, July 14, 2012

The good alchemist serves Lyra a cup of mercury! ~ Sweet Saturday Sample

My Sweet Saturday Sample is a morsel from my latest release, an epic fantasy romance, Heritage Avenged: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Two. This is the second of a 5-part series.
Available at Amazon.

Two characters who confuse and challenge Lyra are the alchemists. Eburscon from the Alliance and Tarom from the Dark Realm clearly dislike each other, but leave Lyra wondering if they are her allies or foes. In Heritage Avenged, Eburscon steps up to instruct her in the basics of alchemy that help Lyra understand her scribal inheritance. It also shows her exactly why others covet her aura, including him. This shocks Lyra since, as a member of the Alliance, he is sworn to protect her. This sample illustrates his haughty dark side during their lesson.

“Surprising you are so knowledgeable,” he scoffed. “Continuing…the active energy of life, the niter, operates through the elements of fire and air. The passive celestial salt energies take forms of water and earth.”
“Like the four Guardians?”
“Yes, that is the fundamental principle of the arrangement of energy in the Alliance.” He scowled. “I will continue where I left off prior to your interruption. Water and earth are equated with the force of prana, vital energy carried by the air we breathe and the food we eat. A bridge exists between those water and earth elements of the material world to the high energy sulfurous world of fire and air elements—that is spirit. As all Scribes, you are governed by a fire sign, the most active energy, modulated by high amounts of sulfur, the principle of the soul. Therefore, your inner life force is vast. The power of your soul extends far beyond your body, into future generations, exactly how Brigid’s force of scribal fire extended into you—a rare and enviable inheritance.”
Lyra’s mouth dropped open. Much as she disliked this man, he did answer one of her biggest questions—how she inherited such a powerful magic aura and how she was selected before her birth to become the next Scribe. She also now understood why the Imperial Dragon kept this vile man as a member of his High Council; he possessed incredible knowledge.
He waved her to one end of the bench. “Here you see an alchemical inspissation taking place in this system, beginning in this alembric flask. Liquids are heated at the bottom of the flask, and vaporize into the upper tube where they condense before channeling into the long spout. This particular solvent has required months of preparation following the moon’s phases in to conduct specific procedures.”
Lyra inspected the liquid remaining in the original flask. Clear, like water, but probably not. She stepped along, following the connecting tubes and glass cylinders.
 “The solvent is completing as I speak, and I might add, in a timely fashion for your visit. Your personal fire is so volatile, so unbalanced, you can easily suffer from impatience and unrest. I have repeatedly sensed that in your manner. Your soul unbalances those around you; Sire Drake’s predictory powers are limited in your presence. I assume you’ve noticed this.” The alchemist pointed his chin in Cullen’s direction to draw her attention.
Stunned to learn there was a chemical explanation for that problem, she stared at Cullen. She thought it had been the disorienting effects of love affecting Cullen. But now she wondered if love even existed in this strange world. Or was everything here merely a system of energies moving in and out of balance? Her head spun.
With a couple swift steps to the library table, Eburscon picked up a mug from the library table and returned to the bench. He placed the cup under the dropper end of the collecting tube and opened the stopcock. After a few tablespoons of the liquid dispensed, he handed her the sample. “This will mitigate your extreme sulfurous nature and calm your nerves. Sire Drake will also benefit, his full power restored. Drink it. I’ve spent months preparing it. Swirl it around first to activate the energies.”
His logic seemed convincing to Lyra. She twirled the bottom of the mug, watching the dark liquid spin. The circular motion seemed hypnotic. She fought against its pull, drawing her inner fire into her mind.
Cullen took hold of his staff, twisted it slightly, and spoke a conveyed thought to Lyra. Don’t drink it! Do not chance anything on my account. He isn’t to be trusted.
His first words shocked her from the mental hold. While she listened, her hand stopped moving. She looked into the mug, and in the still liquid floated tiny silver spheres, just like she created in a lab when she took chemistry. Shiny, metallic balls of deadly mercury!

Heritage Avenged: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Two

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…and find a life with Cullen? Or will the Dark Realm keep them apart?

About the series~

The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications. 

Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her.  

When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.

I'm looking forward to seeing what sweets some of my fellow authors on this hop will serve. Be sure to check them out on the main blog page for Sweet Saturday Samples.
~ ~ ~
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance: Book One, SEEKING A SCRIBE, and Book Two, HERITAGE AVENGED. She has also authored the Ciel's Legacy series, with fast action mermaid/pirate storylines: TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE and TORTUGA TREASURE.  For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.


Lindsay said...

You had me hooked right from the beginning and the ending opens up many questions

Sandra said...

I really need to do a more in-depth study of fantasy, because I can't even begin to pronounce all these names!

Marsha A. Moore said...

Lindsay, Eburscon certainly leaves Lyra with many questions too. He's quite a complex character.

Sandra, alchemists do seem to have their own language!

Casey said...

I was surprised to learn that Lyra was 35 years old. In the excerpt, I read her as younger. But then, I'm not familiar with your series.

I enjoyed Eburscon immensely. What a convincing snake he is!

--Kimberly K. Comeau

Sandy Nachlinger said...

Yikes! It's a good thing she was able to receive that warning. Good cliffhanger.

Marsha A. Moore said...

That alchemist is far from done trying to kill Lyra for her amazing aura, but she managed to avoid him that time! Thanks, Sandy.