Welcome to one of the September 29th stops on the blog tour for Of Fury and Fangs by Kyoko M., organized by Silver Dagger Blog Tours. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more features, guest posts, and a giveaway! (More on that at the end of this post.)
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Of Fury and Fangs
Of Cinder and Bone Book Four
by Kyoko M
Publication Date: October 24, 2020
Genre: SciFi Fantasy Romance
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Someone wants Dr. Rhett “Jack” Jackson dead.
After surviving a vicious attack from a dragon in his own home, Jack and Dr. Kamala Anjali investigate who sent the dragon to kill him. Unfortunately, their list of enemies is long. Plenty of people have an axe to grind with the two scientists responsible for the rebirth of the previously extinct dragons that are now flourishing on every continent of the planet. Jack and Kamala rejoin with their team at the Knight Division to hunt down the culprit and put an end to their revenge scheme once and for all.
But will it cost them everything?
Of Fury and Fangs is the fourth novel in the Amazon and USA Today bestselling Of Cinder and Bone series, following Of Cinder and Bone, Of Blood and Ashes, and Of Dawn and Embers.
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It was one-thirty a.m. when all hell broke loose.
The security alarm shrieked, its panicked cries high and deafening, and nearly catapulted Dr. Rhett “Jack” Jackson off of his comfortable couch where he’d been sprawled in an exhausted, impromptu slumber. Jack let out a startled yip of surprise and leapt to his feet on impulse, blinking hard to clear the sleep from his brown eyes. He winced as the screaming alarm jabbed at his eardrums and hurried over to the alarm pad against the wall not far from the front door. He punched in a code and the alarm fell into blessed silence. He sighed in relief and then swiped to another screen to see what had caused the disturbance.
The security alarm, unfortunately, was a bit overdramatic. Over the past year, Jack had gotten used to it crying wolf every so often due to the system’s oversensitivity. Once, it had gone off when his daughter Naila had slapped both palms against the downstairs window facing the backyard. Another time when their German shepherd Brunhilde had been teaching herself to open the sliding door. Its first two weeks of installation had been a nightmare as well, since it often went off and its occupants couldn’t even identify the source of the problem. By now, Jack had a lot of reservations about it, and had been considering switching to a new system.
He rubbed his eyes with his palms before he read the alert aloud in a gravelly, sleep-deprived voice. “Upstairs master bedroom. My ass, it’s the bedroom window. Unless it’s the damn Easter Bunny, I’m going back to sleep.”
Jack took two steps towards the couch and then heard his daughter’s distressed wails, wincing. “Oh, right. The munchkin.”
He instead turned and headed for the stairs, yawning and scratching his messy brown hair, calling out, “Hang on, chubby monkey, Daddy’s coming.”
Jack reached the top of the stairs.
And stopped dead.
There was a dragon standing in the darkened hallway.
At first, Jack swore he was still asleep. He had to be. He couldn’t possibly be seeing correctly.
And yet the icy fear slipping down his spine said differently.
The dragon stood at roughly five feet tall once its head rose upon sighting Jack at the other end of the hallway. It was lean and had dirty brown scales with an off-white belly. Its black, hooked claws kneaded the carpet as its yellow eyes stared out at Jack, its pupils dilating to drink him in from head to toe. Its wings rustled along its back on either side of the sharp spines protruding down its body to the thin, whip-like tail. A single horn glinted sharp and deadly under the small, motion-activated hallway light.
The only thing more noticeable than that were the many long, jagged scars scored across the creature’s stomach, limbs, and neck. It had been hunted recently. Judging from the depth and extent of the scars, it had certainly killed a hunter or two to have survived with so many marks.
“Okay,” Jack whispered hoarsely. “Five bucks says you’re not the Easter Bunny.”
The dragon’s nostrils flared. It adjusted its body, feet apart, lips sliding away from sharp, gleaming white teeth in a warning hiss. Mercifully, Naila had quieted and no longer drew the creature’s attention. Jack swallowed hard and held out one hand, bending slightly so his six-foot-two-inch frame was less threatening. “Look at me, buddy. Just keep looking at me. It’s alright. I’m not going to hurt you. Why don’t you just come this way, huh?”
He took a single step down and the creature crept forward towards him, hissing louder. “That’s right. This way. Come on.”
Jack eased backwards one stair at a time. The dragon let out a warning bark and followed him, its saliva leaving damp patches on the cream-colored carpet. Along the way, Jack had slipped his phone out of his pocket and dialed 9-1-1, hoping he had just enough seconds left in the reptile’s waning patience.
“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”
“Listen to me carefully,” Jack said, not letting his eyes stray from the dragon as he fumbled behind him for the handle to the sliding glass door. He then quickly gave her his address before continuing. “There is an Appalachian forest dragon in my house. Get someone over here as fast as you can.”
“We’re contacting a retrieval team now, sir. Please stay calm and try not to make any loud noises or sudden movements–“
Jack had one barefoot on the cool stone of his patio when his daughter Naila cried for him again.
The dragon’s head turned towards the direction of upstairs.
Jack dropped his cell phone, grabbed a patio chair, and slammed it down on top of the dragon’s head as hard as he could.
Whumpf! The blow flattened the forest dragon onto its belly. Jack hit it a second time, but the wooden chair fractured in half. The forest dragon charged him. He managed to dodge to one side, avoiding its deadly horn, but the creature slammed into him with its full weight. He cried out as it sent him flying across the grass and landed hard in a heap several feet away.
He managed to roll to one side as it swiped at him with its claws, tearing chunks out of the soil where his head had been, and leapt to his feet again. The dragon whirled and snapped its tail at his head, but he ducked and rolled again, landing in the rose bushes. He heard a metallic scrape and felt around under the plant. A small shovel had been left from Kamala’s recent gardening. He scooped it up and threw himself into a dive roll as the dragon barreled forward again, snapping its jaws at his head.
Jack lunged onto the dragon’s back, wrapping one bicep around its neck to hold on, and jabbed the shovel into the creature’s eye. It shrieked in pain. He aimed for the other one, but the dragon flapped its wings, sending them twenty feet into the air, and then it slammed them both into the ground with Jack underneath it.
Jack cried out as its spines gouged his chest. His back, right leg, and right shoulder screamed with pain under the wriggling reptile. The dragon shoved itself onto its feet and tried to chomp into his neck, but he shoved his forearm in the way. The dragon worried him like a dog with a bone, but he aimed a kick at its tender belly that sent it sprawling eight feet away. Jack felt hot blood sliding down his arm, coating his fingers, but he didn’t stop to feel the pain; just struggled to his feet again once the dragon righted itself. He held the small shovel in front of him like a small combat knife and narrowed his eyes, panting with exertion.
“You’re not going back in my goddamn house,” Jack growled. “Over my dead body.”
The dragon snorted, as if it understood him somehow.
Then it leapt into the air and flew onto the roof.
Jack froze in disbelief, and then raced back into the house as fast as he could.
He slammed one shoulder into the door to the baby’s room, forcing it open so hard the dresser beside it shuddered. His one-year-old daughter, Naila, immediately pushed to her wobbly little feet and grasped her fingers in the direction of her father, tears tumbling down her cheeks. Jack practically flew over to the baby and scooped her out of the crib, tucking her against his uninjured shoulder.
“Hey, shh, it’s okay, pumpkin,” he whispered, kissing her forehead and dark brown curls. “Daddy’s got you. It’s okay.”
The window across from him shattered as the forest dragon smashed through it and landed in the middle of the baby’s room.
Naila let out a hysterical cry and buried her face in her father’s neck, screaming, “Dada!”
Jack grabbed one side of her playpen and roared, hurling it at the dragon. It slammed into the creature’s side and pinned it against the closet for a few precious seconds.
And seconds were all Jack needed.
He raced down the stairs, grabbed his keys from the dish, and darted into the garage. He shut the door behind him and ripped open the door to Kamala’s powder blue Volkswagen Beetle. Blood-soaked hands shaking, he strapped Naila into her car seat and climbed into the car just as the forest dragon rammed the door between them and the house. Jack hammered the garage door button, shouting, “Come on, come on!” in pure frustration as it slowly groaned to life and lifted from the ground.
The door splintered apart. The dragon came tearing at them again, rocking the car as it threw itself against one side. Jack didn’t wait for it to get its second wind. He stomped on the gas and the car shot out of the garage, its roof scraping the door on the way, and down the driveway. The tires squealed as Jack made a sharp right onto the street and peeled out.
He glanced in the rearview mirror, expecting to see the dragon give chase, but there it stood in the street. The dragon threw its head back and an eerie, almost alien howl of rage filled the cold night air, raising the hairs on Jack’s arms. Its yellow eyes burned into his retinas. He would see them in his nightmares for the rest of his life.
Then, the dragon flapped its wings and darted towards the house next door.
Jack’s blood ran dry. “Oh, God. Marci and Tim. The girls.”
He’d known his neighbors since before he and Kamala had rented the house. They were both high school teachers, and had happily babysat Naila since the one-year-old got along swimmingly with their six and eight-year-old daughters. If anything happened to them…
Jack gritted his teeth as his daughter’s cries brought him back to reality. He had to stay with her. She was so scared and helpless. She was his whole world. He’d bled and fought for her every step of the way.
But he knew exactly what that forest dragon was capable of.
Marci and Tim’s family would never stand a chance.
Jack shut his eyes for a second. “God forgive me.”
He stomped on the brakes in front of a pretty yellow house on the next street. He got out and picked Naila up again, then ran to the front door. He pounded on it frantically and rang the doorbell until the door opened on a worried black couple in their fifties.
“Felicia, I’m so sorry about this, but there’s an emergency,” Jack said to the woman. “I need you to watch Naila. I’ll be right back.”
Jack kissed Naila’s forehead. “I love you, baby girl.”
He raced back to the car and then gunned it back towards Marci and Tim’s house.
When he pulled into their driveway, it was just as he feared.
The front door hung off one of its hinges and had deep furrows in the wood. He shut off the Beetle and hauled open the trunk. There was a large black case inside. He popped it open and retrieved a weapon roughly the same size and dimensions as a small grenade launcher, and strapped it onto his back.
Then he ran for the house as fast as his legs could carry him.
“Marci! Tim!” he bellowed once he made it into the foyer.
“We’re in the girls’ bedroom,” Marci’s shaken, high-pitched voice echoed back. “Hurry!”
“Dammit!” Jack took the stairs two at a time. He could hear Tim’s grunts of pain and the thud of a struggle. He rounded the corner to see the teacher swatting at the dragon with his daughter’s aluminum baseball bat, and the dragon just barely stayed out of its reach. Tim had cuts on both forearms and across his forehead, and Marci had the kids in her arms, shielding them in the corner. The dragon stood between them and the door, with its back to Jack.
Exactly what he needed.
“Hey!” he barked.
The forest dragon whirled to face him instead.
Jack shot the launcher at it.
A huge diamond-wire net wrapped around the reptile and instantly tightened on contact. It hit the floor with a heavy thud that shook the picture frames off the walls and made the little girls scream. The dragon thrashed, but its limbs and wings were pinned inside the net, and it couldn’t do more than just flop to and fro. Finally, it went still on its belly, and its yellow eyes fixed upon Jack with a look of pure murder, its tail lashing back and forth.
Jack lowered the launcher and hurried over to Tim. “Hey, you okay?”
Tim shuddered and lowered the baseball bat. “No. You?”
“No,” Jack said, giving him a wobbly smile. “Still alive, though.”
He offered his hand to Marci. She accepted it and stood, handing one daughter to Tim and holding the other as she cried, and together they carried them safely out of the room.
By now, sirens whooped hysterically and headed in their direction. Jack and Tim stood at the demolished front door and watched the blue-and-red lights creep closer.
“What the hell happened tonight, Jack?” Tim asked quietly, stroking his daughter’s curly hair to sooth her as she sobbed into his bloody shirt.
Jack shook his head. “I don’t know, man. But I’m sure as hell gonna find out.”
Of Dawn and Embers
Of Cinder and Bone Book Three
by Kyoko M
Genre: SciFi Fantasy Romance
Page Count: 191
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
It’s been six months since Dr. Rhett “Jack” Jackson and Dr. Kamala Anjali had their dragon cloning project shut down by the government. Just when they think they’ve gotten their lives back together, an agency within the government hits them with another suckerpunch: a criminal organization has cloned dozens of dragons in order to hold vicious dragon fighting rings. The government recruits Jack and Kamala to help them track down the organization. Jack and Kamala set out to put a stop to the illegal fights before any more dragons die…or worse, escape.
Of Dawn and Embers is the third novel in Kyoko M’s sci-fi/contemporary fantasy series, following Of Cinder and Bone and Of Blood and Ashes.
“Closing in on the compound,” Agent Shannon said as quietly as possible. It wasn’t easy. He could hear the low growling hiss slithering out of the throat of the dragon standing several feet away, hidden in the brush. She hadn’t taken her yellow eyes off him since he’d appeared. He felt her glare like razor wire raking down his skin. Calloway stood to her left, one gloved hand on the dragon’s neck, the other holding a pair of binoculars.
The building had once been a Home Depot, if the lingering orange paint on the roof was any indication. The empty parking lot had grass poking out between the cracks in the concrete and an overturned cart that had been turned into a nest, perhaps for rodents of some kind. It was in a bad part of town on a long stretch of road in the backwoods, hence why the retail store hadn’t survived in the long run. It sat on a couple acres of land as well, so it had no immediate neighbors and no houses across from it that would notice anything.
The only thing out of the ordinary was the semi-tractor-trailer parked at the loading dock behind the building.
“Four men,” Calloway said.
“They armed?” Agent Shannon asked as he opened his equipment bag.
“Looks like handguns mostly.”
“Right. Tether the dragon, will ya? Don’t want her breathing down my neck while we get ready.”
“Give her a break already,” Jack said over the comm-link. “If she hasn’t spat venom into your eyeballs by now, you’re safe.”
“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”
“I’d take a picture and get it blown up to a 24 x 36 print, then frame it on my wall.”
“Guys,” Calloway said as he set the binoculars aside. “Cool it. I know we’re all a bit tense about catching these clowns, but we need to keep focused. Where are we at with SWAT?”
Shannon checked his phone. “ETA twenty minutes. They were running short on staff this morning. We’ll maintain surveillance until they arrive—”
Before he could finish that sentence, the tractor-trailer rattled as a roar bellowed from inside it.
Two of the men came running down the ramp, shouting something at the ones standing at the top of the loading dock. Seconds later, a Highlander dragon came barreling out of the truck bed at full speed. One man had already begun sprinting across the empty parking lot; the other hastily climbed onto the loading dock and screamed for them to close themselves inside the garage. Unfortunately, the other two men got there first and locked the door on him. The dragon flapped its wings and landed on the loading dock. Its long, spiny tail lashed behind it as it crept towards the man, who drew a .9 mm Beretta and took aim at the dragon.
He fired. Both shots ricocheted. One hit the wall. The other hit his right thigh.
“Shit!” Calloway hissed, grabbing his helmet. “Shannon, we gotta go!”
“Goddammit,” Shannon complained. “I’ll get the net launcher ready. You go.”
“What’s going on?” Kamala demanded.
“Highlander dragon’s loose,” Calloway said as he raced down the grassy hill towards the loading dock. “The crew bailed. He’s got a guy pinned. I’m gonna intercept.”
The man tried to crawl away from the dragon, his injured leg trailing blood in a long smear on the concrete. The dragon clamped its jaws down on his ankle and dragged him back. The man shrieked and kicked at it with his other leg in vain.
“Highlander dragons react to loud noises,” Kamala said. “See if you can distract it.”
“Hey, Lake Placid, over here!” Calloway shouted.
The dragon dropped the man’s ankle and snapped its head in Calloway’s direction. The man tried to wriggle out of range, but the dragon hissed and he curled into the fetal position to make himself a smaller target.
“What else ya got?” Calloway asked.
“Eyes,” Jack said. “Got anything that can blind it?”
“Yeah, a flashbang.” Calloway addressed the man. “Cover your eyes!”
He pulled the pin and flung it towards the dragon. The flash grenade bounced once, twice, and then ignited. The entire parking lot flashed with blinding white light for an instant.
The dragon roared in pain and backed away from Calloway, its head whipping to and fro in panic. Its deadly tail slashed at the air around it in erratic swipes, trying to hit something, anything, now that its vision had gone out.
“Calloway!” Agent Shannon barked as he approached with the net launcher in his hands. It was about the size of an automatic rifle with a wide, open barrel. He planted his feet and aimed as his partner moved over to one side.
Just before he could pull the trigger, the door to the abandoned building flung open and the dragon smugglers opened fire.
Agent Shannon cursed and raced for the other corner of the building for cover. Calloway followed him and narrowly escaped the men’s gunfire.
“This is going great so far,” Calloway said, flattening himself against the brick as the shots continued tearing holes in the wall.
Agent Shannon handed him the net launcher and drew his gun, waiting for a pause in the gunfire. “I’ll try and take them out. If I can’t manage it, I’ll see if I can lead them away from the dragon.”
“Any chance you guys can request a chopper?” Jack asked.
“Wouldn’t do us much good. There isn’t one close enough to make a difference. We’re on our own for now.”
“I’ve contacted the incoming SWAT team,” Libby said. “They’re hauling ass now, but they’re still ten minutes out even with their sirens going to cut through traffic. Be careful.”
“No worries, little bit,” Calloway said. “We got this. If we can manage to trap it, how the hell am I going to sedate it with scales that thick?”
“Underneath the jaw is a soft spot,” Kamala said. “Inject it there.”
“Gotcha.” He glanced at Agent Shannon as they heard the telltale clicks of the smugglers’ guns going empty. “Ready?”
Shannon nodded. “Follow my lead.”
He gauntleted the Beretta in his fist and whipped around the corner, firing twice. One of the men cried out and hit the ground with a shot to the leg and another in the shoulder. The other one took cover behind the tractor-trailer. The first injured man had managed to wedge himself in a corner away from the snarling, blinded dragon.
“Listen up,” Shannon said as he pressed up against the other side of the tractor-trailer. “I’m a federal agent. Lower your weapon and come out from around the truck with your hands up. I am authorized to use lethal force if you do not cooperate. If you fire on me or my partner, you will be shot.”
“Federal agent, huh?” the remaining smuggler said, his voice heavy with a New York accent. “Killing you oughta make my rep forever, then.”
“You sure you wanna go down this road, son?”
The tires behind Shannon’s legs abruptly punctured and deflated as the man ducked and tried to sneak a shot. Shannon knelt and held still as the truck groaned under the weight of the trailer as it shifted to one side. The smuggler closed in on him, all but emptying the clip in hopes of hitting him through the tire. A bullet grazed Shannon’s shoulder, but he didn’t budge.
Just as the smuggler got close enough for a point blank shot, Agent Shannon grabbed the man’s wrist and jerked his arms up. He fired a single shot into the man’s temple. Blood splattered against the side of the tractor-trailer and the man crumpled to the concrete.
Agent Shannon kicked the gun away from his twitching fingers just to be safe. “Clear.”
Calloway rounded the corner with the net launcher as Shannon went to subdue the other smuggler with the two gunshot wounds. The dragon still couldn’t see, but he could tell it knew where he was, based on scent and sound. It charged him each time he tried to get a clean shot, snapping its jaws or flicking its tail in his direction, missing him by a few inches. Calloway finally got just far enough away to fire, but then the dragon spread its wings and vaulted into the air.
“Son of a bitch,” Calloway whispered. “This just went from bad to worse.”
Of Blood and Ashes
Of Cinder and Bone Book Two
by Kyoko M
Genre: SciFi Fantasy Romance
Page Count: 336
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
The world’s deadliest dragon, the infamous Baba Yaga, is loose on the streets of Tokyo.
Dr. Rhett “Jack” Jackson and Dr. Kamala Anjali have been tasked with helping the government take down a dragon the size of a Tyrannosaurus Rex after it sends part of the city up in flames. Things worsen when they lose track of dragon in none other than Aokigahara, the Suicide Forest–a section of woods in Japan that is rumored to be one of the most haunted places on earth. They’ve also got the yakuza who cloned the dragon hellbent on getting her back, and they don’t care who they kill in order to re-capture the dragon.
Jack and Kamala are joined by CIA field agent William Fry and dragon-hunting expert Juniper Snow as they infiltrate the forest to hunt the dragon before she can hurt anyone else. Between the ruthless yakuza hot on their trail and the growing mistrust in their small hunting party, it will take a miracle for Jack and Kamala to make it out alive…
Of Blood and Ashes is the second book in the series, following the Amazon bestselling Of Cinder and Bone.
“Mind holding up for a second?”
The Scottish woman heaved yet another sigh. “I swear to the almighty, I’m going to leave you here to rot.”
Jack scowled. “Do that and I’ll find you and haunt the crap out of you.”
He stepped behind a tree. Pausing, he glanced around the trunk to see her aiming yet another hateful glare in his direction. “Would you turn around, you freak of nature?”
Snow growled. “What are you? A three-year-old?”
“I can’t go when someone’s watching.”
“I can’t even bloody see you.”
“Would you just turn around, woman?”
Snow grumbled insults under her breath and faced away from the tree. Jack pulled a face, knowing she couldn’t see it, and took care of business. “Christ, it’s like you’ve never been around another human being before. You’re about as warm and cuddly as one of those face-huggers from Alien.”
“I could use one of those right now,” she groused. “Attach it to your face so you’ll shut the hell up.”
“Oh, I could do that. And then when I don’t have a distraction and I mistake you for a killer clown and belt you one, you can break both my arms and call it a day.”
“Legs,” Snow corrected. “I’d break your legs, Jackson. That way you either starve to death or are completely helpless when the yakuza show up.”
“Honestly,” Jack said, shaking his head. “No wonder your last name is Snow. I’m gonna start singing the Cold Miser song in a minute.”
She whirled around, glaring. “Sing a single line and I’ll cut your fingers off, Jackson.”
A shit-eating grin spread across his mouth. “I’m Mister–“
He stopped abruptly just after he’d zipped up and stepped around the tree. Without another word, he threw himself on top of Snow just as the man who had appeared behind her pulled the trigger.
The gunshot nearly deafened Jack from so close. A piercing whine filled his ears, but Jack didn’t have time to notice the pain. The second after he’d tackled Snow, he grabbed a log behind her head and swung it as hard as he could at the man’s knee as he aimed at them again. The log made a sharp cracking sound against the man’s patella, shattering it, and the shots went to the left, missing them both. Jack lunged forward and grabbed the gun, yanking the barrel up and away from him. Gritting his teeth, he slammed the top of his skull down on the man’s nose and the man reeled backwards, dazed. Jack jerked the gun out of the attacker’s grip and kicked him in the injured knee. The mercenary crumpled to the ground with a scream.
Jack pointed the rifle at his head, barking, “Stay down!”
The merc glared at him from the ground, but remained still. Jack tried to slow his racing heartbeat and tilted his head slightly, not taking his eyes off the man, as Snow rose to her feet.
“Fine,” Snow said, picking leaves out of her long tresses.
“The word you’re looking for is ‘thank you.'”
“Piss off,” she snapped.
Jack grinned, replying in a sing-song voice. “I saved your life. Ha-ha, ha-ha, ha!”
“Go to hell,” she seethed.
“Give me the gun, idiot.”
Jack shot her a quick skeptical look. “Yeah, that’s gonna happen.”
She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. “Do you know how to use that thing?”
Jack adopted an accent reminiscent of Antonio Banderas. “Yes. Barrel end points at the other man.”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “Remind me which one of us is hopped up on a hallucinogen again?”
“Oh. Point taken.” Jack handed her the rifle. She gave it a brief glancing over. To her surprise, it had .308 rounds rather than the .50 cal rounds that the others had been carrying. The implication was chilling. The shooter might have been dispatched specifically to kill them, not the dragon. Their targets had changed. They were being hunted.
“Are you alone?” she asked the merc.
The man didn’t say anything. “No one is going to come find you if we shoot out your remaining kneecap and leave you to die in this forest. Answer the question.”
Snow swung the barrel towards the leg he wasn’t clutching. “Fine. Enjoy bleeding to death.”
She fired the rifle.
“Two men!” he blurted out before he could help himself. “Closing in from the rear.”
He frowned, realizing she’d shot the ground a mere inch from his leg, and muttered, “Goddammit” under his breath in resignation.
“Lovely. Thank you for your cooperation.” She slammed the butt of the gun into his forehead and he flopped backwards unconscious. She knelt and handed the rifle back to Jack.
“Watch our six. I’ll see if he’s got anythin’ useful.” She checked the mercenary’s pockets, finding extra ammo, a map, and a burner phone. He had a link in his ear as well, which she took and placed in her own. She stood and unfolded the map, checking the marked locations on it.
“There are two sites marked here,” Snow said. “One is the campsite I saw. The other…it’s heading back towards the city.”
“You think that might be where they’d hide the dragon if they got it?”
“Then we’d better get back to the forest entrance on double-time. We have to warn our guys.”
“I’m sure they already know,” Snow said, tucking the map into her pocket and then taking the gun back. “Fry’s not stupid.”
“No,” Jack agreed, falling in step behind her once again. “Cold and calculating, but not stupid.”
“Not everyone can be as warm and fuzzy and useless as you, Jackson.”
“Yep, the warm, fuzzy, useless man who saved your life.”
Snow ground her teeth. Jack snickered victoriously.
She held up a fist and Jack stopped. She peered through the rifle’s night-vision scope. “There’s the other two. Forty yards out straight ahead.”
“What’s the plan?” Jack whispered.
“Create a distraction and I’ll take them out.”
Jack aimed an incredulous stare at the back of her head. “Seriously?”
“What?” Snow asked, adopting a facetious innocent tone. “You don’t trust me?”
“You just told me you’d break my legs five minutes ago!”
“If I were going to let you die, I’d have done it when I found you. Now make yourself useful and distract them.”
Jack let out a frustrated growl. “You are the absolute worst.”
Snow smiled smugly and said nothing as he crept off in the direction of the two approaching mercenaries.
Of Cinder and Bone
Of Cinder and Bone Book One
by Kyoko M
Genre: SciFi Fantasy Romance
Page Count: 438
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Of Cinder and Bone is Ron Howard’s Ransom meets Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park!
After centuries of being the most dangerous predators on the planet, dragons were hunted to extinction. That is, until Dr. Rhett “Jack” Jackson and Dr. Kamala Anjali cracked the code to bring them back. Through their research at MIT, they resurrected the first dragon anyone has seen alive since the 15th century. There’s just one problem.
Someone stole it.
Caught between two ruthless yakuza clans who want to clone the dragon, Jack and Kamala brave the dangerous streets of Tokyo to steal their dragon back in a race against time before the world is taken over by mutated, bloodthirsty monsters that will raze it to ashes.
Of Cinder and Bone is an all-new sci-fi thriller from the author of the Amazon bestselling Black Parade novels. Don’t miss out on this explosive first-in-series! Fans of Westworld, I Robot, Pacific Rim, and Reign of Fire will fall in love with this mashup novel that opens up a whole new world of possibilities into what we know and love about dragons.
Currently FREE on Amazon & Smashwords!
Jack raised his gun as a man came around the front of the truck and opened fire with a roar, emptying the clip into the man’s chest. The yakuza crumpled to the road in a heap. Another one stepped out from behind him and raised his AR-15, his finger closing on the trigger.
And then the dragon dropped out of the sky right on top of him.
Pete slammed the man to the ground with her clawed feet and took a vicious bite out of his neck, killing him instantly. A third man jumped on top of the truck’s hood and stopped dead out of pure shock, as he was now level with her. The dragon snarled and slammed her tail into his chest. It sent him cartwheeling off the edge of the road and down into the ravine beside it, screaming the whole way.
The dragon snorted once and then hurried over to Jack and Kamala, sniffing them briefly in confirmation, and then nudging them towards her large, scaly torso.
“I… I think she wants us to get on,” Kamala said, dumbfounded as Pete bumped her side up against them and flapped her huge wings.
“That’s impossible,” Jack sputtered. “The two of us together nearly weigh three hundred pounds. She can’t possibly lift—holy shitbricks!”
Impatient, the dragon slid her neck through Jack’s parted legs and stood up, barking once at Kamala. She threw her leg over the dragon’s back. Then Pete took three mighty steps towards the edge of the road and leapt off.
For three terrifying seconds, they dropped through the air like a cement block.
Then, Pete’s leathery wings spread and they flew.
Gunfire cracked behind them, but the dragon flapped her wings to carry them higher out of harm’s way. She wheeled to one side and they disappeared into the shadow of the mountain range, over the forest below.
Jack dug his fingers into the dragon’s collar and finally opened his eyes. He stared speechless at the ground easily forty feet below them and into the cloudy horizon. Wind whistled past his ears, interrupted only by the powerful strokes of the dragon’s wings and the raspy clink of the chain still dragging below her body as they cut through the crisp air. She flew smoothly, as if she’d been doing it all her life, as if it were an effortless skill.
Behind him, Kamala had locked her arms around his waist and buried her face between his shoulder blades when they’d first taken off. Now, she held one hand out flat, her palm parallel to the ground, feeling the wind rushing over it. Half-hysterical laughter enveloped them both as the dragon carried them higher still, until they were circling one of the mountain’s peaks.
Enormous clouds piled high around the mountain and the air became sharply cold as they neared it. The trees stopped halfway up its craggy face and gave way to perpetual ice created from the height and upper atmosphere. As Pete circled for the fourth time, they realized she was searching for shelter.
On the fifth pass, the dragon brought her wings in close to her body in a dive as they reached a cliff near the mouth of a cave. She fought the stiff wind and landed hard, digging her claws into the earth. Jack helped Kamala off and the dragon shook herself and stepped forward into the cave. The two of them called to her, but she paid them no mind. The freezing temperature and high winds wouldn’t make it easy to get down any time soon.
They had no choice.
So they followed the dragon into the darkness.
Kyoko M is a USA Today bestselling author, a fangirl, and an avid book reader. She has written the Amazon bestselling Black Parade urban fantasy series as well as the Of Cinder and Bone science-fiction dragon hunting series. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Lit degree from the University of Georgia, which gave her every valid excuse to devour book after book with a concentration in Greek mythology and Christian mythology. When not working feverishly on a manuscript (or two), she can be found buried under her Dashboard on Tumblr, or chatting with fellow nerds on Twitter, or curled up with a good Harry Dresden novel on a warm Georgia night. Like any author, she wants nothing more than to contribute something great to the best profession in the world, no matter how small.
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