by Brynna Curry with Alyria Curry Genre: Sweet Fantasy Time Travel Paranormal Romance
When a magic sword falls into Catryna Logan’s hands, she is faced with the reality of demons, dragons and a past that can’t possibly be real. Or can it? To escape the evil serpent demons searching for her, she will have to put her past and future in the hands of the dragon demon king Kairyuu. But will trusting him cost her everything?
“911. What’s your emergency?”
“Please. Tell them to hurry. You have to help me. There is a man trying to break into my office. He’s killed someone and now he’s coming for me. Oh, God you have to hurry. He’s right outside. I’m trapped.”
“A disturbance has already been reported for your location. Emergency personnel are enroute. Tell me your name.”
“Catryna Logan, I already called you.”
“I’m right here with you. Keep talking.” Wham!
“He’s kicking in the door. Please tell them to hurry. I can’t…” I watched in horror as the door splintered and busted open with the force of his weight. “Too late. He’s already here.” My eyes locked on his and I dropped the receiver. His eyes are elongated slits, just like a snake. The crazy guy hadn’t been lying. Serpent demons were here and this one had every intention of killing me.
“Give me the sword, Priestess. I will grant you a quick death this time.”
“This time?” If the story about the demons was true, then it must all be true. How do I summon this great protector?
There was nowhere left to run. No other choice. I moved to the other side of the desk, pulled away the velvet, and hoping the sword was the key, unsheathed the katana. Grasping the hilt firmly in both hands, I readied myself to fight for my life. I might fail, but I would go down fighting and clawing all the way.
And then I felt it.
A jolt of electricity raced through my arms, warm and powerful as it kissed along my skin. At that touch, I remembered. Mine. But where is the Doragon'nokiba, the Dragon’s Fang? Somehow, I knew I needed its twin to win the battle. With that memory, a deep ache settled around my heart. Kairyuu. I must be possessed. It’s the only logical explanation. These memories can’t be mine.
Except I had a memory of deep purple eyes, so dark they were almost black, framed with inky lashes. A memory of a man who couldn’t possibly exist. Shouldn’t exist. Overwhelmed, I whispered his name.
The demon moved swiftly, crossing the distance of the room in seconds. Apparently, he didn’t like my touching the sword.
“No! You witch! You invoked the spell,” he bellowed. His name is the spell?
“Ryuu no tsume come to me,” The demon hissed his demand, and I realized he had a forked tongue.
I smiled. “Oh I don’t think so. You can call the sword by its true name, but the Dragon’s Claw obeys me now.”
The demon lunged for the blade determined to take the sword from me any way he could, but it repelled him, slamming him against the wall. “I’ll kill you and take it. Just like the last time.” He pointed his gun at me and fired.
Bright pink light erupted from the blade, forming a bubble around the desk and shielding me. The bullet stopped in mid-air before landing on the floor and rolling away. I was surrounded in light, swathed in the sword’s power. Firm hands gripped my shoulders pulling me backward out of harm’s way and against a hard chest. Glancing down, I noted my rescuer had black nails, just a little longer than my manicure but sharper. Black claws? I was overwhelmed with the scent of cherry blossoms and leather. That’s an odd combination and yet, it’s familiar. My rescuer moved to stand in front of me, blocking my view of snake guy with broad shoulders divided by a trail of thick black and purple streaked hair.
“You will not harm her, snake.” Lifting his own blade, the stranger attacked, drawing a pattern in the air with the blade, then shooting bolts of fire from the sword. Okay, so maybe it’s a magic sword? The snake demon fell into a charred pile of ash.
“Are you well, my queen?” Beautiful.
That word shouldn’t describe a man, but he was. Standing at five foot eight in my bare feet, I was at least a foot shorter. Broad shouldered, graceful, black hair with ripples of deep royal purple shifting through it fell straight to his waist unbound. His eyes were engaging. Human men don’t have purple eyes or pointed ears and certainly not the hint of fangs that glinted when he smiled at me.
Kairyuu, Lord of the Dragon demon clan, was magnificent and somewhere in the depths of my memories, whether they were mine or not, I knew he loved me, or rather he loved a priestess everyone assumed was me. For a moment, I wished it were true.
Bethany Cagle, who writes as Brynna Curry, was born south of the Mason-Dixon Line in a small Alabama town. Growing up, books fueled her dreams and imagination, ultimately became her sanctuary during the hardest times in her life. After living all over the southern states, she finally landed back in north Alabama where she met her husband, Jackie. She spent a wonderful twenty-two years with her hero, raising their three children.
Now widowed, she spends her free time writing and tending her ‘army’ of feral cats and rescued strays. Her furry minions, Jace, Styxx, Beerus, and Asheron, are always willing to keep her company while she works. She insists love is the truest magic and with it, every day is an adventure.
Where were you born/grew up?
I was born in Russellville, Alabama, which is a fairly good-sized city. Russellville is in Franklin County in the northwestern part of the state, about thirty minutes south of Muscle Shoals (known as the Hit Recording Capital of the World) and about the same distance north of Haleyville (Home of the first 911 call.) My father was a band director, and due to his constant changes in employment, we moved about every two years (not fun) and mostly to places in Tennessee and Alabama. Now I am back close to my hometown of Haleyville. I live deep in the woods near the lake town of Bear Creek. It is quite isolated and I love it.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
Hmm. I certainly wouldn’t spend it fretting over dying. My husband passed away five years ago this coming November and I have plenty of relatives to welcome me on the other side of the veil. I have often told family not to worry about me. Whether I am here or there, I’m with people who love me and I’ll be alright. I would spend time with my kids, try to contact everyone I cared for, and make sure nothing needed doing that would cause them pain. Then I’d just go home, tend my feral cats, and see to it someone else would do the same after I died. Then spend what time I had left surrounded by my house cats that I love like children and wait for Jackie to take my hand and walk me home.
Who is your hero and why?
I don’t really have a hero, because I just don’t idolize people in that way. Now if you wanted to know my favorite superhero? It would be Batman, of course.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
I like to think I would be a good queen, just and kind, firm but gracious to her subjects. The kind of queen who would stand at the front lines and fight alongside her people. A ruler should work hard for her people, not the other way around. I think our world leaders as a whole have forgotten this.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
When I’m not at work or writing, I hang out at home with my cats and watch anime. I have a simple life and it suits me.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Howl’s Moving Castle
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Earth Enchanted (all five books please?) My only request would be Sam Heughan play Devin McLoch, my Scottish redheaded witch. They could have free reign with the rest of the casting. Just putting that out there movie folks.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
This one is simple. A cat. I’m a creature of habit. I like things where they are, to be home with familiar things surrounding me. Change is not my friend. I like schedules and structure, even if that structure is chaos and any deviation from the norm sends me into a panic.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have always had a love for dragon lore, time travel stories, and weaponry. When I saw the call for short stories for a charity anthology, I decided it was time to have fun with these elements and see what happened. Bringing my daughter into the project was fun too, and not something I would have considered with steamier works.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I have so many projects in the works. The Elemental Magic series has been revamped and released along with the first Triple Star Ranch book, a prequel, Claiming Ana. All of which are going to audio very soon. I’m in the midst of writing Tempting Taylor (the next TSR), the first book in the new Shadows of Seven series, and another short read for the Shades of Pink anthology (benefits breast cancer research) entitled The Reunion, and the list goes on.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
I love anime. It’s pretty much all we watch at home and somewhere I heard or ran across the name Kai, though I can’t remember where. Ryu means dragon and there we had it. Catryna was harder since she started out as Katrina, which is too close visually to Kairyuu, so we changed up the spelling to get Catryna. Her name as well as her past self, Himiko, came from baby name databases.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Strangely, writing in first person. I have never done that before and I don’t usually like to read it. But, the length of the story and Cat’s voice demanded it, and as it my habit, I let my character have free reign. Cat is so sarcastic, and I love that about her.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
My first publisher vetoed Blood Shield and told me to come up with something else more in line with that series. So I chose to follow the elemental path and choose Earth Enchanted, both elemental and magical. The other titles in that series are similar.
Who designed your book covers?
In the past, my publisher’s designers, but now that I’ve gone indie, I do all my design work, and I design for other authors too.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I think I’m satisfied with the story Cat and Kai wanted to tell.
How did you come up with name of this book?
The magical sword takes center stage, so the title could only be the sword’s name, which is Dragon’s Claw, in English, and in Japanese, Ryuu no tsume.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
When Kai steps out of the past and saves Cat from the demon then convinces her to jump out a window with him. The scene speaks volumes, showing us Cat’s bravery, faith, and lack of prejudice. Plus, who wouldn’t hope for a handsome rescuer would step in to save the day in that situation, even if you aren’t a damsel in distress.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Kai, of course, and fly around, see if he’d teach me some magic. The possibilities would be endless with a dragon for company.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination? Normally, I’d say no, but Cat has many of the same personality traits as my youngest daughter. She’s sarcastic and witty. It wasn’t intentional, just happened that way.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
They always have the reigns, even if the structure is mine.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Japanese cherry blossoms
What book do you think everyone should read?
Where The Red Fern Grows, so it can make you smile and break your heart all at the same time.
How long have you been writing?
Since I was a child, but professionally to seek a publisher, since 2002. And though I was published multiple times through a publishing house, I decided I like full control over the creative vision for my work and went indie.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I read all the time. I like an eclectic mix of romance subgenres and cozy mysteries, really most fiction. My only qualification is that there is a happy ending.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
Always several worlds at once.
My brain works that way, bouncing here and there. I don’t know if I could focus on only one project, it would feel too forced. Creatively, I can’t work that way.
Pen or type writer or computer?
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