Maiden of Fire
Book One in The Maiden Series
She is his past. He is her future. Ramona Douglas doesn’t believe in destiny or prophecies. At least not until she finds herself catapulted through time after catastrophe strikes Earth. Now she must come to grips with her place in a world where kingdoms are controlled by those with proper birthright, and light and dark majik are at war. Assigned her protector, the fierce Lord Jalomar of Dilseacht, makes her body burn with desire, while his arrogance and steadfastness to duty boils her blood.
Jalomar has never met a more wayward woman than the enigmatic Ramona. Her defiance knows no boundaries, leaving him both reeling with anger and longing for her affection. When she refutes him, as well as the ancient prophecy tying them together, Jalomar’s duty comes at a price he discovers he just may be unwilling to pay.
How will they manage to put aside their vast differences to save mankind from the looming darkness?
Folktales kept Lord Jalomar awake. Over the years of his ancestors’ reigns, every book discovered had been saved—a reminder of a past none could remember. Having read all of the
books in the library during his youth at least a dozen times, he easily recognized the term New York when Ramona’s pouty pink lips uttered them. Full, pink lips in the shape of bow. Through the layers of dirt and stench, he recognized Ramona’s beauty. Picturing her heart shaped face full of blushes brought a grin to his face—again. Never had he seen such red hair. Compared to the handful of redheads in his kingdom, hers was a true, fire red. Not the brassy copper common among his people. But it wasn’t only the brilliant color of her locks that intrigued him, it was what she’d spoken of—the legend. There was hardly a soul alive who could name the disastrous rock that smashed into Earth over a thousand years ago, much less name the great cities of the ancestors. Yet, she had done both upon exiting her prison of brick.
A knock at the door announced Kald as he strolled into the library. “Have you heard the rumors, milord?”
Leaning back in his chair, Jalomar rested his feet on the open book, cluttered desk “Aye, I have. What do you think about it?”
Kald shrugged. “I’m undecided. But the villagers are convinced. Rightfully so, I suppose.”
“Do tell?” Jalomar scoffed, his head resting back against clasped hands. “What is so convincing to the people?”
“Have you forgotten the times we find ourselves in, milord? At any given moment, Labelle and her army could descend upon Dilseacht again. Our numbers are dwindling with each attack. The people are slowly losing hope. Not to mention the young lady’s hair is an enigma. Surely it marks her as—”
“It’s only hair, man!” Like you haven’t considered the same. Still, he couldn’t afford to lose control of the situation before the facts were confirmed.
“Aye, milord. But the color of fire. Just like the maiden.”
Jalomar stood, his six-foot-five frame towering above Kald’s five-foot-six stature. His mind retrieved long forgotten tales of his youth. Fairytales. Stories. Myths.
Or so he’d thought.
“One day, little lord, our world will come to know the love of a warrior soul born of fire. She will set mankind free, breaking through time and space to bring us salvation again.” The final words of his nursemaid, Gwenny, as she tucked him into bed and kissed him goodnight for the last time, before meeting her death at the hands of Labelle that same evening. It was the first time he’d heard the tale of the Fiery Maiden—and the Vespa’s predictions.
Vespa. He shivered. These supernatural beings were rarely perceived, but their majik legendary. They held the power to manipulate the Earth, exploit nature, and foresee the future. No one knew from where they came, but it was long suspected they dwelled between dimensions. “What you say be true, Kald. Labelle’s dark majik has indeed thrust us into a dark era of man. But can one sorceress really cause the summoning of the prophetic Fiery Maiden?” He paused. “If such a thing exists. Until I know, I cannot allow one little woman’s arrival to upset the entire castle and our way of life.”
Bewildered eyes widened, silently accusing Jalomar of blasphemy. “Milord, do not doubt the prophecy. It could bring misfortune!”
“It already has. I have a castle full of superstitious louts to keep in line, all because of a woman’s hair color.”
“It’s not superstition, milord. The Vespa have spoken of this time, and many warning signs have come to pass.”
The fireplace sputtered and cackled as it searched for a source of fuel to keep burning.
Jalomar grabbed a couple of the smaller precut logs from the corner, and then tossed them into the fire pit. “And what are those signs exactly, Kald?”
Kald cleared his throat. “Milord, I wish not to speak ill of your heritage, but your mother’s birth tainted by human blood was the first sign. Your grandfather’s lust and ignorance set the prophesy into motion.”
Jalomar’s lip twitched, and he balled his fists at his sides. “Watch your tongue. I am your lord.”
“Right now, you’re not the lord, Jalomar,” Kald said boldly. He held his ground like he had done many times in the past when they were youths. “I am your friend, and I tell you the truth. Your grandfather Ganth’s capture of the Vespian Lady Vye, triggered the arrival of the Fiery Maiden.”
“Dammit!” Jalomar roared. He couldn’t very well punch the man for being right. It was all there. Ganth’s capture of Vye, the birth of the three sisters—his mother Analah, Labelle, and Cynthe—and the arrival of a woman from the old world with hair the color of her namesake.
The Fiery Maiden had come as prophesied to save mankind from Armageddon. Again.
Only one question remained: What was he supposed to do with her?
When Ishabelle Torry stole Warrior’s Lady by Madeline Baker from her mother’s glass “no-no” cabinet at the age of fourteen, she had no idea that it would be the start of a love affair with romance that would last a lifetime… so far! She loved the escapism from the real world, the strong and relatable characters and the powerful concept of love conquering all. Even having these books confiscated at school couldn’t cool her passion for them, and she swore that one day she would also write the kinds of stories that kept people turning the pages no matter where they were!
Since then, she’s found her own sexy “happily ever after” and added some beautiful children to the mix. Her writing skills have been honed and her own “no-no” cabinet now contains stories that she herself has crafted.
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