Hi everyone! I always love to introduce new authors. Today, I have Nancy Badger and her book Dragon's Curse.
Historical, Dragons, Scotland... Yummy! Check it out!!!! And oh! What an awesome cover too! Wow!
Sometimes a special gift and an unwanted curse cannot keep destined lovers apart.
Brianna Macleod has accompanied a shipload of her guardian’s friends to a remote island off the coast of Scotland. She eludes these Highland hunters to keep her innocence…and her gift of sight. Her attitude against falling for womanly desires changes when she nearly drowns. Saved by the talons of a terrifying winged beast, she awakens—naked—in a cave, beside an unusual man.
Cursed by a vengeful witch to transform into a dragon at inopportune times, Draco MacDonald hides on this deserted island to live alone: until he plucks a servant girl from certain death. Fueled by jealousy, and tempered by fear for her safety, he succumbs to an unfamiliar desire to mate. Her kisses propel him to dare to make her his own.
Set in 1592 Scotland on the Scottish island of Staffa, the cursed hero battles a ghostly witch, a hunter set on rape, and his own growing desire for a young woman with premonitions of his death.
Her kisses propel him to dare to make her his own.
The water foamed and splashed as if more than one creature fought beneath the surface. Brianna stared through the sea spray, wiping her face with a tattered bit of fabric. She stared toward whatever swam beneath the surface. The sun glinted on something very odd. Emerald-green scales and a long, barbed tail curled just under the surface before the water clouded with a crimson hue.
“Is that blood?” Nia whispered.
“Aye. I think something has come to our aid.”
“I hope the beasties are no’ fighting over who gets to eat us.”
Brianna laughed aloud. The sound startled both her and her friend. “Nay, I am no’ crazed. Fear does strange things to a person. I, too, hope we survive this adventure.”
“Adventure?” Nia shook her head, pointing to a large piece of floating debris, and said, “Look.”
“Tis probably a piece of decking. Mayhap we can raise our feet above the water and look less appetizing to the beasties.”
“Good idea. Swim for it,” Nia cried.
Brianna led the way. Numb fingers clutched the jagged plank. Pain seared up her arms as the wood scraped away skin and dripped blood into the water.
“Ye first,” Brianna insisted when she saw a shivering Nia’s pale skin. Brianna rejoiced when her companion reached the safety of the large planks.
“Now you,” Nia said.
“Move over a bit so I can—“
With a flurry of foam, she lost her grip.
Water closed over Brianna’s head. She brushed against something scaly before it pulled her beneath the waves. Talons clasped her around her waist. Suddenly, she was above the ocean surface. Wind and water stung her eyes. She kicked and struggled against the vise-like grip holding her above the waves as she tried to understand her predicament.
When she brushed damp locks of hair from her face, she stared at a horrifying reflection on the sea’s surface: a huge flying dragon with a small woman in its grip. Both her hands flew to the claws wrapped around her middle. Held fast, the flap of the beast’s great wings filled the sky with an eerie thump.
The stench of blood intruded, filling her nose and making her gag. This beast had won the fight under the sea, but what happened to Nia? What happened to Gregor, Cook, and the rest of the party? Would any survivors know of her death at the hands of a dragon? Would anyone grieve her loss?
“Dear God,” she cried. “What about Draco?”
The beast trembled at her words. It glided toward land. She recognized the steep cliffs of Staffa and the beach where she gathered driftwood. She spied the waterfall where Ranald met his death.
Clenched between the murderous talons of a dragon, she made plans to run as soon as they landed.
“Draco! Help me!” He promised he would come to her aid should she call, but he could not hear her from this distance. The man owned no weapons and no armor. Landing with a gentle bump on solid ground, the golden talons retracted. Now free, Brianna hiked up her skirts and blindly jumped over rocks and roots as she flew into the bushes. Low-lying brambles scratched her naked calves. She survived worse than this when a rope had tangled around her leg and pulled her under the sea.
“I nearly drowned. A sea beast wanted to eat me for supper, now a dragon has stolen me away to this island. What else could happen?” Out of breath, she glanced back at her attacker from the relative safety of jutting rocks and prickly groundcover. Nothing. No dragon.
Silence filled the air until a high-pitched squeal made her jump. A huge boar, bigger than any the hunters had brought down during their stay on Staffa, pawed the ground a few paces from her hiding spot.
“Nice piggy,” Brianna whispered. Great. I can turn and run back toward the dragon or be gored by an irate pig.
Who said that? No matter. Turning, Brianna slipped a bare foot into a low crack in the nearest rock formation. Pushing upward, she climbed. Apparently enraged by her escape attempt, the animal’s squeals turned to angry snorts. The rock shook when he collided head-on with its base.
“Go ahead. Knock yourself silly.” The boar backed up and struck again. The boar’s irrational mood and raw strength left Brianna’s bloody fingers grasping for a better hold, but she held. She nearly lost her footing when he attacked a third time. Clinging to loosened soil, which covered the jagged boulder, she also worried about the dragon. Has it let me go, or does it plan to scoop me from my perch once I reach the top?
Shocked senseless, her grip loosened. She fell. The scrawny branches of a gorse bush, growing from a crack in one side of her stone perch, scratched her cheek and snatched at her hair. She screamed until she stopped with a thud.
A warm, male hand swept tangles from her face. The coarse skin of a masculine thumb swept blood from her painful cheek as she collapsed, with a sigh, into Draco’s chest.
“Ye do no’ fly. Do ye?” he asked.
“I certainly do no’, ye beast. Draco!” She pushed far enough away to stare up from his arms. “Be careful! A wild boar is near! He almost pushed me off my perch.”
“I should no’ wonder since I accomplished the task with only my voice.”
You can find this title at Amazon: http://amzn.to/ahwqIa