Title: Prophecy Of The Flame
Author: Lynn Hardy
Publisher: Resilient Publishing
Length: 393 Pages
*Review coming soon*
Five strangers are yanked from this world and thrust into a land of sorcery as they are granted the looks and abilities of the people they were playing. The Crusaders of the Light struggle to form a cohesive band as they blend twentieth century technology with the supernatural powers of this new world, fighting to liberate the kingdom of Cuthburan from the evil horde threatening humanity.
Battle is also waged within Reba, an ordinary housewife who has become the most powerful mage on the planet. She struggles to remain true to her wedding vows as she is drawn against her will to the arms of Prince Alexandros.
Name: Prince Szames, General of Cuthburan
What was your life like growing up?
Cuthburan has been at peace for over a hundred years. My kingdom has flourished under our family rule. I had everything a prince could want.
Everything? You lacked nothing? Surely there is something beyond ever your reach.
I didn’t say I lacked nothing. I merely said I had everything that one could expect to have. As a youth there was one thing that was denied me – the study of the arcane. I loved to hear Merithin’s stories and watch him work. However, when it was determined that I didn’t have the gift for corporeal magic, studying in Merithin’s tower was no longer ‘appropriate.’
When you were a child, what was the worst thing you did and how did your parents punish you for it?
I am King Arturo’s second son, a fact my older brother Alex never lets me forget. When we began sparring under Armsmaster Stezen, he had two years head start.
My sister, Rose, is, and always has been, my best friend. She began practicing with me in secrete. This went on for years before Father discovered that his beloved flower had become quite skilled with a blade. He forbade Rose to continue.
My punishment was a lashing that broke the switch – I couldn’t sit down for a week.
How would you describe your looks?
I have my mother’s blonde hair and my father’s blue eyes. I work on my sword skill at least an hour every day. If you want your men to respect you, you had better be able to hold your own on the battlefield.
How would you describe your personality?
The most challenging thing about being the General of Cuthburan is my natural tendency toward complacency. I believe that you do what you can, when you can, and the rest will work its way out – there is no need to become overly fixated on what cannot be accomplished. This attitude drives my father nuts!
- Rubs his chin thoughtfully.
Perhaps, growing up with Alex who always seems to find a way to get what he wants has helped me to develop the easygoing nature I am known for. Things can change in a minute if Alex decides they should.
Tell us a little about where you live.
Eldrich is the capitol city of Cuthburan. Castle Eldrich was designed by a mage turned stonemason. It is the most beautifully constructed palace I have ever seen. Since I have traveled extensively, this is not an idle boast.
Who are your closest friends?
Besides Rose, Zach, Stezen’s son, is the person who’s company I enjoy most. He and Rose are the same age. If I have my way I will see him promoted as my second.
Describe yourself in three words:
Strong, loyal, and honest
I love gorshen pie.
What’s your greatest talents? Some would say it is my skill with my blade. I think it is my patience. If you are patient, most things work themselves out.
I love to read – history, since my father forbid me Merithin’s library.
Who is your favorite author?
King Sheldon – the monarch who many believe is responsible for creating the foundation of Cuthburan. My favorite quote by Sheldon is: “Those who cannot think – fight.”
Who do you love?
Can we keep this out of the official version until after I pass beyond?
The moment I saw Reba my heart soared. I knew she was what I had been longing for, something his world has denied. She has told me of the ways of love on, what did she call it, Earth? She told me love could be between only two, that it could last a lifetime. I believe she is my life-bond, my other half. Whether or not the Prophecy will allow us to truly become one still remains to be seen.
Without giving too much away, what was one of your favorite moments with that person?
Reba took my hand as we walked on the battlement surrounding the city. The feeling of the magic flowing from my soul was a mere spark compared to how my heart pounded in my chest. I was glad that is was she who controlled the spell. My mind could think of nothing else but her, the softness of her skin, the gentleness of her touch…
Who do you hate, and why?
I swear, if I get my hands on the sorcerer who has invaded MY kingdom, shattered the peacefulness of MY land… he will pay dearly.
What makes you happy?
I feel great joy when I can aid those in need – whether by lending a hand when a cart is stuck or giving encouragement in the time of need.
What is your greatest fear?
You mean besides the army determined to destroy my kingdom?
Right now it is how the prophecy will be fulfilled. Alex has his mind set on Reba. I have yet to see the woman who can resist him. I know she would be greatly hurt, once he moved onto his next conquest. That is my greatest fear.
What would you change about yourself if you could?
For the first time in my life, I would like to be heir… I would remain true to Reba, though I know she doubts this is possible here in Cuthburan.
What's the worst thing you've ever done? Why?
Once, in anger, I threw a rock at a dog. Sword practice has strengthened my arm, and my aim. Hearing the dog yelp, knowing I had cause its pain – for no good reason. I ran to get Rose because Tupper, the Master Healer, had been tutoring he in private about the ways of the human body.
There was nothing she could do. She said she thought a rib had been broken – that it punctured a lung. As I put that poor creature out of its pain, I swore I would never strike out in anger again.
Have you been able to keep that promise?
To this day, yes. However, if I get my hands on that sorcerer, I may break it for the first time.
“Reba, if you are ready to proceed with the shield modifications?” When I incline my head, he continues. “Shall I send for the horses to be readied?”
“Actually, I thought we’d fly.” I exude nonchalance.
“Why do I get the feeling you mean that literally?” The arch of one brow hints at his astonishment.
“Of course.” My lips curve innocently. I try not to laugh at Szames’s physical effort to close his mouth. “If you’re afraid of heights, we can ride, but it will be much quicker and more magically economical to fly up to the center of the shield.”
“I have no problem with heights, Milady Reba. Your suggestion sounds like an experience that will forever retain a height of glory in the remembrance of my life, which until moments ago, I believed could get no more memorable.” Szames bobs his head as if conceding victory to a challenger. “What must we do?”
“If you will take my hand while I set the spell, it will be as before.” I recall the flying spell I constructed the night before I was taken from my world. I close my eyes, concentrating on joining our powers, drawing more from him than I have previously, so my power acts to guide the flow of his force. Opening my eyes, I begin:
“Christopher Reeve starred on the big screen,
Battling with the bad guys who were so mean.
He was able to fly like a bird and a plane,
He even flew with a woman, Lois Lane.
Like he did with her one night,
Take my hand, share in the flight.
By saying his name, fly like him I can.
All I must say is the name ‘Superman.’”
A tingling sensation spreads throughout my body. With the completion of the last line, a heated rush akin to an orgasmic climax envelopes me from head to toe. A sigh escapes my parted lips as I relish every second of the magic’s caress. Being able to heal the damage has quickly built up my tolerance. With each spell, I’m able to use more power without being affected.
“Szames, are you ready for your first flight?”
“You must keep hold of my hand.” I give a final warning. “That is what enables you to fly at my side. Without the connection you won’t stay aloft.” Taking a deep breath, I whisper, “Superman,” in my native tongue.
I concentrate first on the ground, picturing myself easing away from it. Our feet leave the earth. We soar up. This is so, so cool! And my fear of heights has disappeared. Szames’s grip on my hand tightens.
Threading our fingers, I move my elbow to the inside of his arm to secure our connection. I perceive a stab of desire from Szames that is so sudden, it causes me to lose my focus, momentarily pausing our ascent. Before I can pinpoint what exactly is causing the stimulation, the emotion disappears.
Unexpectedly, being this close to another man still makes me feel like a girl at her first dance. Blushing, I change my focus to the world around me, using the castle as a direction-finder for our mobility. It’s not like I can let a prince fall to his death because I’m disconcerted by someone invading my physical space. The rationale makes me feel a little better, but I still can’t help noticing the overwhelming size of his hand. It is so large and so strong, and his arm—rock hard, solid, secure.
Like a meteor blazing to life in the middle of the clear blue surrounding us, I feel a surge of excitement from Szames that I am sure has nothing to do with flying. Again, the sensation evaporates like fog on a sunny morning, as if it were a figment of my imagination.
Besides, like every other jock, he’s all brawn and no brains with an overactive libido, an expanded ego, and all the sensitivity and compassion of a rock. Definitely not anything I’d be interested in, even if I weren’t already married!
The mid-afternoon bells toll in the distance as I hammer a steely determination of purpose into place. I take down my hood and whisper, “Sight.” Looking at the shield above me, I get another surge of interest from my companion that is, like the last one, snuffed out like a candle in a hurricane.
At least he’s attempting to show some control. Or is he covering hidden desires along with the rest of his feelings?Confident in my flight, I increase our speed. Closing in on the thickening of the mage energies indicated in the center of the force field where the magic merges, I smile in anticipation.
Keeping us in place takes a brief thought before I turn to my companion. “Are you okay?” Szames gives me a little boyish grin. My heart softens. “We need to bring our joined hands over our heads to reach the focal point.”
He follows my lead. Since we are standing perpendicular to the ground instead of flying in a more horizontal Superman fashion, our upraised hands make contact with the center of the force field. I focus on the lines of rhyme I explored earlier today. Drawing a capacious amount of energy from my partner, I direct it to pool around our hands. Taking a deep breath, I begin.
“You worked hard throughout the night,
Keeping out our enemy, stopping the fight.
But our foes are very determined to win.
They used objects to penetrate your skin.
Modifications are a definite must.
Let in nothing that you don’t trust.
Only things of nature will come through you,
Sunlight, moonlight, wind, rain, and snow too.
Anything else an enemy will be,
Treated as such from you and me.
Other objects falling from the sky
Will vaporize before our eyes.”
I grunt with the effort of pulling the final surge of power through the bond, keeping a firm visualization of what I expect from the magic. My back arches. I throw back my head as power explodes inside me. I use every ounce of my will to keep us aloft while pleasure courses through me. On the heels of pleasure is pain so fierce, my eyes begin to water.
About The Author:
Led by a series of dreams and encouraged by friends, Lynn Hardy began the journey to become an author. She stored her work in a computer file labeled “second job.” Writing began as a passion she could not contain and has become much more than she ever expected.
In the Fall of 2010, Prophecy of the Flame – Book One, reached #1 on Amazon kindle, shortly after Book Two in the series released. In the spring of 2011, Lynn released the Full Cast unabridged audio book of Book One. Now both fans and newcomers can hear the book come to life as every character jumps of the page with their own unique voice.
The road has been longer and more complicated than she would have ever guessed –not always smooth, but filled with wonderful surprises. Like most stories, Lynn is sure that her journey has only just begun.