Updated: May 10, 2020
Hello everyone and welcome to my site! Today I have Award-Winning Author, Alyna Lochlan, visiting with her new release, Curse of the Dragon. This book is free to KU subscribers, and only $2.99 to buy!
GENRE: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
CURSE OF THE DRAGON
This is a Beauty and the Beast tale with a twist.
I am the Master of this crumbling keep. Dark and alone for centuries, and tortured by fire every night for my sins, until my treasure is brought to me on the wings of a dragon.
She’s Gypsy born, gentle, outspoken, and a beauty without compare. She is mine but time is running out.
She’s my captive and the key to ending my curse. The predatory beast I am wants her under me so I can devour every part of her, but I dare not if I wish to be free of the curse.
Do I take what is mine and live with the curse until the end of time, or do I sacrifice her life to end my pain?
READ AN EXCERPT
Hearing a light shuffle of cloth and feeling a gentle breeze, she opened her eyes, blinking at an unfamiliar ceiling and room. Taking a quick glimpse around at her surroundings, her heart began to beat faster.
Where was she? Was she still dreaming?
Her gaze narrowed and her brow furrowed. The ceilings of this room were high with faded paintings of cherubs, frolicking among the trees close to a stream that ran over rocks. The room was large enough to fit an entire village hut within its walls.
She was lying on a huge four-poster bed. Four people could sleep easily across the pillow-soft mattress. There was a fire in the hearth and a lit candle on a polished, cherry, wood nightstand. A matching wood desk was positioned against a floor to ceiling window to her right. Large gold-gilded paintings and tapestries hung on the walls depicting horses, landscapes, and magical creatures. Wealth could be seen everywhere, but it was old and faded with time.
Shadows wavered about the room with every flicker of the flames, giving an eerie sense of the unseen. The double doors to the balcony stood ajar, letting in a cool, crisp early morning current. It touched the faded velvet curtains, making them sway and flip. Her heartbeat rumbled loud in her ears, and an unknown fear caused her to sink deeper into the mattress. Where was she? What was this place?
The smell of musty age hung heavily in the air, yet everything was clean. The snap and crackle of the fire in the hearth, and the gentle breeze was all that disturbed the silence of the room. She rolled to her side, and tried to push to a sitting position only to realize one wrist was chained to the stone wall just above the wooden headboard.
The clinking of the links through the metal cuff caused her chest to squeeze tight in panic. She jerked once on the cuff and narrowed her eyes in anger. Her breath drew in and out in short gasps. There was enough chain to let her move freely but locked her close to the bed.
What manner of fiend had chained her? Why was she here? What was to be done to her? How had she gotten here? With each new question her anger and panic continued to rise.
Last she knew she had been on her way to pick some berries near the forest. She jerked hard on the chain, once again, in a frantic need to escape. Small whimpers fell from her lips, until a deep masculine voice cut through her fear, causing her to jump and gasp in terror.
"Stop struggling. You’ll only hurt yourself."
She turned to the voice and brought her knees up under her as she searched the darkened corners of the room, instantly aware of impending danger. From within the deepest shadows a cloaked form materialized. She could only make out a slight outline of the cloaked figure. Nothing about his presence lessened her fears and everything about him screamed run. His musky scent was woodsy, and leathery. There was power swirling around him and it was a bit overwhelming as it filled the room. She continued to gawk at him taking in every detail that was visible.
"What am I doing here?" Her grip on the chain tightened.
"You belong to me."
As the man stepped from the shadows and moved closer to the hearth, a pair of tightly compressed masculine lips, and rigid chiseled chin was revealed from beneath his hood. His eyes were still in shadow. Nothing else of his features could be seen, but pieces of long, dark hair fell over his shoulders.
The man was tall, about six foot five with wide shoulders and his thick muscled arms lay crossed over a hard chest. His tanned pecks peeked out from the opened white shirt. A disturbing power emanated from his concealed form. She could sense the predator in him. He was dangerous and shouldn’t be trifled with, but she was never one to back down from a challenge. Chaining her to the wall was worse than the beating she’d endured. Lilya narrowed her gaze on her captor. He was a force that drew her, causing her blood to heat, and she hated him for it. She wasn’t sure if it came from fear or something else she dare not dwell on. Lilya ran her gaze from the top of his cloaked head to his booted feet. There was no doubt he was physically stronger than her, but she would fight for her freedom. His stance spoke of one used to command.
Lilya felt the heat of his gaze from his shadowed hood, making a thorough inspection of her, and that awareness caused her to squirm and clench her thighs together. Her body was responding, growing damp and needy, and she couldn’t stop it even though she tried.
His gaze began an unnatural glow just below the edge of his dark hood, as if he knew his effect on her, and his lips curled into a hard smile.
A prickle of unease merged with sexual excitement. The feelings ran along her limbs and moved into her very core. Could he be the one of whom the villagers spoke?
She’d heard stories about the evil demon that reigned within the stone walls of the dark keep, overlooking the village, and had always been captivated. This desire must be some spell he wielded. Lilya tried to calm her body and met his glowing eyes with fire in her own. From what she could see, he didn’t look like a demon, but there was an aura of power that couldn’t be denied. A hunger for knowledge about this man made her bold, but fear kept her lips tightly shut. He would not be a man to anger with her unruly tongue, and this instant desire for him was dangerous.
It was said he hungered for the blood of innocents, stealing maidens from their beds to sacrifice them, in hopes of gaining his freedom, then drinking the life force from their veins. No one would go out at night for fear that the devil would free his winged servant to descend and suddenly snatch them into the air, never to return. Realizing where she was and the dream of the attacking dragon, brought clarity.
It hadn’t been a dream. She swallowed hard. She shouldn’t have gone out alone.
"Let me go," she demanded, tugging on the chain again. The cold metal bit into her wrist, but she gave no outward sign of the pain. She wanted freedom, yet a small, sick part of her hoped he would keep her. She was conflicted and unsure. She had never felt this overwhelming need for any man and now to have it for one so deadly was disconcerting.
He strode closer, causing her to instinctively retreat, pressing herself against the headboard. He made no further advance, remaining motionless, and she wondered what his next move would be. Her heartbeat thumped hard within her chest, but the panic overriding her senses eased slightly when he kept his distance.
He rubbed his chin but said nothing. She could feel his intense gaze slide over her form. Being locked under his gaze gave her a chill, yet heat washed through her as well. She was not only being watched but hunted. She had nowhere to go, nowhere to hide.
"What do you want with me? I have given no slight to you or spoken ill in any way. If it’s a beautiful maiden you desire, there are fairer ones than I." When he didn’t respond, she shifted slightly and spoke again, hoping the sound of her own voice would help quiet her racing heart. "Is this place…?"
"The Dark Keep? Yes, and I’m the beast that rules within these walls." His deep voice was hard and direct but compelling as well. It was like black velvet sending shivers of pleasure over her skin. Would his features be as pleasing as his voice? What little she could see was indeed so.
As he affirmed what she had already guessed, she exhaled heavily. So, the legends had some truth. Every terrible word she had ever heard about this place raced through her mind. But glancing at him, she hoped not all were true.
"Then the gods have abandoned me."
The cloaked figure scoffed and turned away. His cloak swung wide as he paced at the foot of the bed, then turned to her once more.
Lilya desperately needed to see his features. Was he horned with a glowing red gaze that would burn her eyes with their heat? Or was his gaze just as beautiful and masculine as the rest of his body?
"Never count on the gods. They play with human lives, like the wind tosses the dry leaves in autumn. They twist them back and forth until they crumble beneath their feet."
The chain rattled as she turned fully to face him, and tugged her legs up closer to her body, making herself as small as possible.
"You are unwise to mock the gods."
"Oh! What good have they done you?"
Lilya glanced away with a frown. She had always been told she was born under a dark moon. Bad luck followed her like vomit follows a purge…others had pointed that out with wicked glee. Nothing in her young life was as it should be, and she had little hope of ever having the things she desired most. And there were the attempts on her life. Had it come from the man before her? Somehow, she didn’t think so. She had a gift of reading people. So, if the evil wasn’t him then it was still out there.
She ignored his question, knowing she had angered him and didn’t wish to make that mistake again.
"What do you want of me?"
MEET THE AUTHOR
Award-winning author of paranormal, fantasy, with dragons, wizards, and erotic dark vampire, bad boy romances, Alyna Lochlan loves all things mysterious and magical. It's human nature to wonder what lies beyond the next turn or what dwells in the darkness.
Alyna started writing stories at a young age. She held on to her secret passion and has won various writing awards, one being Romantic Times' Reviewers Choice Award, Book of the year.
Ms. Lochlan studied commercial art in college, developing several commercials for Channel 6 TV, as well as menus for some top restaurants in Florida. She also is a cover art designer for published books at DCAGraphics.com, but her love of the written word held fast.
Alyna has completed many novels and novellas with many others in the works. Her other published works have appeared in health magazines, newsletters, and other short story publications.