Of Blood and Ashes
Of Cinder and Bone Book 2
by Kyoko M
Genre: SciFi Fantasy Romance
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.
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Jack raced around one corner too sharply and slipped on a piece of dung, crashing hard on his right side. He gasped as it knocked the wind out of him and gritted his teeth, his mind screaming at him to get up and run, run, run. He pushed onto his knees, nursing what felt like bruised ribs and a sprained wrist, and then paled as an unmistakable sensation traveled up the arm he’d used to push himself up.
Boom, boom, boom.
Baba Yaga was coming.
Baba Yaga was hunting him.
Jack forced himself up onto his feet again, stumbling backwards and fumbling for the tracker. He got it switched on to see an ominous blob approaching from the right. He’d gotten a good lead on her—maybe a few hundred yards—but he had no way of knowing if he’d eventually run into a dead end. He couldn’t hide down here forever. He needed to get topside to join the others so they could take her down.
Jack blocked out the rising crescendo of Baba Yaga’s hissing and pictured the map again. A mile up to the right had a man-made exit that spilled back up to the forest. The only problem was that it was a long passage. If Baba Yaga followed, there was a good chance she could catch up and roast him like a marshmallow. He could try to lose her in the twists and turns of the cave system, but there was a good chance he’d get lost, and Baba Yaga’s superior senses meant it would only be a matter of time before she found him. It came back to the most basic survival tactics: run or hide.
Jack switched off the tracker and stuck it in his pocket, his voice ragged and shaking, but solid. “You aren’t about to die in this forest, Jackson. Move your ass.”
He barreled forward into the passageway to the right in the wake of Baba Yaga’s ominous, bubbling warning, barely suppressing a groan as a spike of pain lanced through his chest from his bruised ribs. The adrenaline would only hold for so long. He could make it about halfway there before it ran out. Cold sweat plastered the mask to his face and ran down into his eyes. The tunnel stretched onward forever before him. No sunlight in sight. Had he been wrong?
Jack ripped off the hood and cold air slapped his face, making his eyes water. He held his hands out to make sure he wouldn’t bounce off one of the cavern walls and squinted up ahead as he turned the corner into the straightaway. There, faintly, he could see the pale glow of the exit.
Gasping for air, he collapsed against one wall and tried to catch his breath before the final marathon. He had to have put some amount of distance between himself and the dragon by now.
“Who knows?” Jack panted. “Maybe she got annoyed and turned around.”
An earth-shattering roar rocked the very walls of the cavern.
Boom, boom, boom, boom!
Boom, boom, boom, boomboomboomboom--
Mother of God.
The dragon had broken into a run.
Jack shoved himself away from the wall, lowered his head, and ran as fast as his legs would carry him.
Of Cinder and Bone
Of Cinder and Bone Book 1
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.
**FREE at Amazon and Smashwords!!**
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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.
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