Goddess of Fire?

Photo by Ed Merritt

Photo by Ed Merritt

I had no idea what I was going to blog about tonight. Thankfully, the fates intervened! Friends of mine posted a photo of a large bonfire on Facebook and said, “This one’s for JulieAnn, goddess of fire!” It was in reference to me barely helping tend a bonfire at their home last winter but marveling at its warmth and dancing flames. Goddess of Fire? I rather like the sound of that and if I was such a fiery creature, I’d certainly be warm! Have I mentioned how much I miss being warm? I really do…

I do consider myself a queen but a goddess might be pushing things a bit too far. Then again, aren’t all women goddesses? When they discover their own inner beauty and strength, doesn’t that make them feisty, undeniable sources of power? I’ve lost track of how many things I’ve read and seen that say a woman with confidence is considered highly attractive. I am confident in many aspects of myself but not quite all of them. I am always a work in progress and I’m okay with that. I do know that I’m the best I can be every day and am grateful for every dawn that gives me the opportunity to explore my full potential.

The whole goddess of fire idea coincides nicely with my recent resumption of writing in Unbroken Flames. The story revolves around a woman who wields fire but fears that her excessive emotions will make it impossible to control the flames should she ever fully unleash them. Fire wielders are easily turned to darkness and evil in her world and she refuses to risk such a fate upon herself. What she doesn’t realize is that it’s far more dangerous for her to suppress her emotions, withhold her magic and ignore her true self.

Unbroken Flames, its story and its characters are close to my heart and perhaps that’s why it’s taking me so long to write it. Revealing so much of my inner working and feelings, even in a fantasy story, is a daunting prospect. I shall take a lesson from my heroine Vihresa though by being true to myself and unleashing my goddess-of-fire-like magic.

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Unbroken Flames – Dracani rescue teaser

Vihresa followed the glow of the light as she made her way through the trees. As she stumbled over roots and got snagged by thorn bushes, she keenly missed Quilla’s ability to guide her safely even in utter darkness. The cowards that had taken her pup from her would pay dearly for their thievery.

The light grew in intensity telling Vihresa that she was getting closer to some sort of camp. She slowed her pace as the trees thinned out. When the trees opened up to reveal a large clearing in the forest, she ducked behind the closest tree as she examined the scene.

There were several large campfires burning throughout the clearing and the flicker of those flames danced across shadows of men and the metallic shine of cages. Vihresa took no notice of what the men looked like; her wide-eyed gaze was sweeping across all the cages. In each cage there were three to four dracani pups crammed in so tight some of them could barely move. Their beautiful eyes were filled with fear and sorrow and many of their wings were at such odd angles Vih was certain they must be broken. “Bastards,” she hissed as a trace of flames lit her hands.

A strong hand suddenly yanked Vihresa further back into the shadows of the trees and another hand over her mouth stopped her from crying out. “Relax, Vih, it’s me,” came the harsh whisper of Dvar’s voice.

Vihresa relaxed her body and the man released his hold. She whirled on him angrily. “You followed me?!” she demanded in an irate whisper. Seeing Aros standing loyally at Dvar’s side, the woman managed a brief smile at the handsome dracani beast. Aros’s large golden ears were perked up and his dark eyes focused on his master.

Dvar looked from Vih to Aros and back again in confusion. She was pissed at him for following her while visibly happy to see his dracani? Her lack of trust in humans was worse than he’d realized. “Vih, what do you think you’re going to do?”

Vih’s anger returned as her gaze shifted back to Dvar. “Rescue Quilla and the rest of those pups. I’d think that would be obvious.”

“By yourself?! There’s over thirty men in that camp, Vih!”

“They stole my pup, Dvar and they’re probably selling all of them to battle trainers! You expect me to just walk away?”

Dvar scowled. “No, I expect you to wait while I gather my friends from the city guard and-”

Vihresa clenched her hands into fists and stepped away from the man so swiftly he couldn’t stop her. Ignoring Dvar’s curse-filled demands that she come back, she strode out of the safety of the trees. The woman’s whole body suddenly lit with flames drawing the attention of most of the camp. “Release those dracani!” she demanded welcoming the burn of the fire through her very essence. She was answered with unimpressed laughter. Vih grinned evilly in pleasure. “You were warned.”

The men’s laughter turned to screams of terror as every fire in the camp exploded upward and outward catching clothes and skin on fire…