Author: Jason Nugent
Book title: Rogue Skies
Genre: Science Fiction
Publish date: Sept. 17th, 2019
The skies have gone rogue. Space can’t be tamed. And magic is a law unto itself.
Transport yourself to new worlds where dark magic clashes with witty witches, diabolic demons, feisty fae, and sexy shifters. Or travel through time and space with cosmic spies, space thieves, and telepathic pirates. Add in a dash of Victorian heroes and inhuman soldiers, and you have a one-of-a-kind science fiction and fantasy collection of intoxicating proportions.
Fans of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, Anne McCaffrey, John Scalzi or Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Tamora Pierce, Lois Lowry, and Maria V. Snyder will find themselves transported to weird realms and epic otherworlds in this reality-optional boxset.
Rogues and Rebels, Magic and Mayhem, Futures and Fantasy—there’s no limit to the excitement that awaits when you turn the pages of this collection of spellbinding adventures from some of today’s best-selling Science Fiction and Fantasy authors.
Dragon Lord Avess strode across the stony outcrop that jutted from his cavern home. Inside the mountain behind him was the home of the Drakku, the dragonkind of Rowyth. He’d been anticipating this meeting with the griffons of the southern lands for years, and now that it was here, nerves grew thin.
The griffons were a distant cousin to the dragons under his charge, though in truth, the griffons were technically under his leadership as well, even though they hadn’t been in formal communication for years. Not that there was any animosity between the cousins, but long-term peace within the world didn’t need the Drakku meeting often.
“Father, are you well? Can I get you something?”
It was Etain, his one and only child and heir to his title. He loved her more than anything. Which often meant he could be harsh.
“Etain, you were commanded to stay behind with the griffons. Are you with them now?”
“No father. But I—“
“You disobeyed me.”
He turned on her, standing at least twice as tall with wings that could wrap around them both. While in the meeting, he preferred to remain in human form as did the griffons. It helped so that no one was looming over the other. The griffons hated when the dragons did that.
Etain lowered her head. “But father. It was a break in the meeting. There were no discussions for me to learn from.”
“That’s why I’m the Dragon Lord and you are the little girl unfit to lead!”
Avess rose to his full height and extended his wings. Etain knew what that meant.
“If you were paying attention at all to what I’ve been trying to teach you, you’d know that a break in the formal meeting often leads to idle talk. It is during those moments when you learn the most from your enemy or in this case, our brethren. Do you think they will keep up their formal dialogue amongst themselves? You can learn a lot as they talk of drinks and family. Have you considered that maybe they are here to assert themselves as free of the Drakku? What do you think they’d talk about if they thought no one was listening? You wouldn’t know because you’re here with me instead of remaining where I commanded you.”
“I’m so sorry father. I only meant to assist you.”
“You’d do better if you remained inside with Grymryg. At least he’s there doing what needs to be done.”
Small puffs of smoke escaped her nostrils and Avess knew he’d gone too far. He hadn’t meant to get that angry with her, but she had to see why he did what he did and why he told her to do the things he wanted her to do. He understood sitting quietly while the negotiating partners spoke of dinner or other mundane things might be boring, but he needed eyes and ears to catch what they tried to hide from him while formally discussing the matters at hand.
Avess reached down and held her face in his hand. “Etain, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you like that. I get so protective of you and want the best for my daughter. You know I love you. I’d do anything for you.”
Small tears fell from her eyes. “I know father. Since mother died, I’ve wanted to help look after you like she did. You lead the Drakku and she made sure everything else was under control.”
“Your mother was an amazing dragon. You don’t have to try and be her. You need to be the best Etain you can possibly be.”
Etain turned to leave and Avess snorted. “Come here, I’m not done yet. Next to me.” He motioned with his arm and Etain sat next to him, snuggling under his extended wing.
The anger left his voice. “There will come a time when you will rule over the Drakku. Don’t pretend gaining your title means anything other than headaches. The sons and daughters of the other dragons will want their place as Dragon Lord, but it is yours to lose.”
“I will make you proud father. Your legacy will live on in me.”
A warm proud feeling came over him at her words. She could be petulant at times, but he knew deep down her heart was pure. She’d make a fine Dragon Lord.
Jason J. Nugent has been a paperboy, pizza maker, dishwasher, restaurant manager, promotional products sales rep, chamber of commerce director, and one time BBQ champion. He has skated with Tony Hawk, had a babysitter with a serial killer brother, and is followed by rapper Chuck D on Twitter. He and his wife share a home in beautiful Southern Illinois with their son, two cats, and two dogs.
He’s the author of the fantasy adventure series Curse of the Drakku (The Blood Stone, Dragon’s Blood), the thrilling young adult scifi series The Forgotten Chronicles (The Selection, Rise of the Forgotten, The War for Truth) and two collections of horror / dark fiction short stories: (Almost) Average Anthology and Moments of Darkness. With thriller author Ray Wenck, he’s the co-author of the urban fantasy series The Seam Travelers (Escape, Capture).