Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Grand Master's Pawn (Book 1 of the Grand Master's Trilogy)

Release date: March 5, 2015
Subgenre: Science fantasy

About Grand Master's Pawn:


A thousand years in the future, wars and portal failures disturb the fringes of the galaxy. On Terra, twenty-two year old Violet Hunter seems an ordinary student of the Space Academy, who dreams of exploring unknown planets. She applies to serve as the pawn of one of the twelve Grand Masters, although her hidden talent of empathy makes her ineligible. Violet has defied the prohibition against psychics for half her life. Why should she stop now?
Isolation is the penalty for a Grand Master’s great power because their touch is deadly to a normal person. The Grand Master with the griffin avatar selected the girl with the star-shaped birthmark in spite of her father’s dire prophesy. He is suspicious about his disobedient pawn, yet he cannot deny the success of her missions to strange planets where she finds more than he expected.
Violet seeks the truth about the mysterious Grand Masters. Who or what are they? Do they threaten or benefit civilization? While searching for answers, Violet does the unthinkable. She makes a bargain with her obnoxious Grand Master and challenges him to meet her face to face, risking her secret to discover his purpose. She plunges into an impossible love and a world of intrigues. The vicious conflicts propel her into flight from a terrible enemy and a desperate search for allies to save her new found love. 



She walked slowly to the aperture in the rocky hillside. The animal inside the cave was aware of her. She felt its cautious surge of hope for rescue amid the torment of its injury.
The Grand Master whispered, “Violet, be careful!” Once again, she ignored him, curious about the wounded animal.
Her translator was ready, set to the common language on Sythos. She called to the creature in the cave, “You are hurt. Can I help you?”     
The beast replied in the same tongue, its voice as cold as stone and as sharp as a blade, “I give thanks for your help. You have vanquished my enemies. Who are you, stranger? How can you mend my injury?”
“My name is Violet Hunter and I’m a foreigner in this land. I have medical training and supplies.”
“I am Ythris, called the Black. Enter. Do not fear me!” it hissed.
She caught a hint of masculine essence. Another arrogant and powerful male, Violet decided, and merely temporarily disabled. She was growing inured to such self-important people.
Violet dropped her pack beside the entrance, crouched down and slipped inside the hole. The faint tickle on her neck indicated the Grand Master’s silent admonition. It was dark inside. She kept her fingers on the rock wall as a guide, while she took cautious steps, moving further inside the cave. The hole widened until she couldn’t touch the opposite walls with her arms extended. Ahead, she heard the scuffling of feet on the sandy floor and an unidentifiable swishing sound. The trapped animal waited quietly, mind alert to her presence. Curiosity warred with caution, and she hesitated. What was Ythris? Was he dangerous?
Violet flipped her laser on low beam to illuminate the cave. Two large golden eyes glowed a few paces in front of her. As her sight adjusted to the dim light, she perceived the eyes were set on a long narrow head. The head swung from side to side in a mesmerizing motion.
She blinked, and the rest of the large animal became clear. His bulky body loomed above her head. He had four legs, and a long thin tail curled around his clawed feet. The beast shifted position uneasily. A great leathery wing lifted on one side, while his other wing drooped at an unnatural angle. Ythris was a dragon.
The dragon swung his great head to peer at her. Violet was fascinated. At last, she stood next to one of the fabled dragon lords of Sythos. A fleeting nudge at her collar marked the Grand Master’s interest.
“Your wing is injured,” she said, reaching out her hand in sympathy.
His head recoiled and Ythris hissed in distaste, “You are a Vron, an ugly human!” 
“Yes, I’m a human. I have permission to venture onto your lands,” Violet said firmly, refusing to be overawed by the huge dragon. “Will you permit me to examine your broken wing, Ythris?”
Ythris placed his clawed forelimb on her shoulder, and she stood motionless, feeling the sharp claw tips prick her skin even through the insulated suit. “You do not fear a dragon lord?” he said, emitting intense curiosity.
Violet shook her head, “No, you’re hurt and need my help. Why should I fear you?” 
“Many people fear Ythris the Black!” the dragon hissed, and swished his tail from side to side to demonstrate his ferocity.


About Aurora Springer:

My career in science involves plenty of writing for research articles. But, I’ve imagined adventures in weird worlds for as long as I can remember. For many years, life intervened. Now, I have achieved my life-long ambition to publish novels. My published works include science fiction and fantasy with romance and a sprinkle of humor. I was born in the UK and live in Atlanta with my husband, a dog and two cats to sit on my laptop. My hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.

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