FrostbiteAuthor: Adrienne Woods
Title: Frostbite
Published On: March 9 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing
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Losing Lucian McKenzie, the Prince of her heart and discovering her true identity has made Elena Watkins' life almost unbearable. However, new trials will test the 17 year-old's strength and push her to limits she didn’t think were possible.

Only a mysterious offer from Blake Leaf, the Rubicon and a dragon predestined for evil, reveals there may be a light at the end of Elena’s dark tunnel.

With the life she thought she knew crashing down around her, Elena will have to face a monumental decision about the fate of Paegeia. She can either make peace with Blake’s demands or try once again to unravel the Queen’s secrets that lie deep within her dragon, Tanya La Frey’s, heart.

The third heart pounding novel in The Dragonian Series by Adrienne Wood

Excerpt

ELENA, YOU NEED to focus. Put all your strength and emotions into one place and see your dragon,” Sir Edward, the professor who taught transformations inside the Coliseum, said. “See who you truly are and the shift will come naturally.”

I shook my head at his words. “I don’t like the way she makes me feel.”

“It is who you are,” he said again.

“It’s not!” I yelled at him.

“Here we go again,” a chirp came from Amy, a Night Villain. Glaring at her I couldn’t help thinking how much I would love to zap her ass right now. The others just gave me slight shakes and eye rolls as they stared at me in disgust. They didn’t understand how I could possibly not want to embrace my dragon. When their stares became too much, I turned around and ran out of the arena.

“Elena!” Sir Edward yelled after me.

He could yell as much as he wanted. I knew starting with dragon classes would be a waste of time. I wasn’t a dragon. I couldn’t be one. For the love of blueberries, I was afraid of heights. Trees flew past me as I ran toward the wooden door that led to the school. I glanced at the Parthenon dome quickly before I ran up the stairs. I loved that dome and would give anything to put my trust in my two axes rather than rely on my purple lightning. Or to accept her, the being coiling inside of me, begging to be released. I couldn’t grant her that wish because she was too unpredictable and I never knew what the hell she was going to do when she came out. It was like when I became the dragon, I turned into Hyde. A monster that would destroy anyone, no matter if it was foe or friend.

I opened the wooden door with a flick of my wrist as if the hulking oak weighed nothing. I made it around the first corner fast and rested against the wall as I tried to catch my breath.

I hadn’t been lying when I’d said I didn’t like the way she made me feel. The anger and frustration of not being able to save him that day was ten times worse whenever I shifted into her. The pain and the heartache of losing Lucian were unbearable. It drove her, she wanted to kill, and if Sammy and George hadn’t been near me the second time I’d shifted into her, an innocent soul would’ve paid the price.

I wanted revenge so badly. But how did you kill a ghost and his Hippogriff girlfriend? Paul died that day, he deserved it, but the only thing I still struggled with was with knowing for sure. The love of his life, Nora Georgiou, a shape-shifting hippogriff who’d pretended to be our Enchantments professor a couple of months back hadn’t cried out in agony when he went up in golden dust. I’d also heard the word “drink” and my mind jumped to one conclusion: a potion.

Lucian’s iron blade had killed him, it was the only type of metal that could kill a Wyvern, and yet I had a funny feeling that she had found a way to save his life. How, I still needed to figure out since I couldn’t go and ask around if there was a way to save someone’s life if they were mere inches from death. If something like that existed, I was sure it would be something forbidden, something that Paegeia wouldn’t cast even if the king’s life depended on it. And if a potion like that didn’t exist, I would be the fool. So I’d been trying to search for the answer myself, with little success. If one of the library books did contain such information, I hadn’t found it yet. The Internet threw out potions in the search results that didn’t make any sense. Most of them were healing potions but none of them were what I was looking for.

The other reason I’d been searching for something like that, if it existed, was in the hopes that I could find a way to bring back Lucian. If I found something, I wouldn’t even think twice about it. I couldn’t live without him and thinking about him made me want to bawl my eyes out again, as the ache in my heart crept into my bones and blood. But since she’d come forth, I couldn’t show that emotion. There were just no more tears. The last time I’d cried was the day Lucian died.

I guess in some way I’d gotten my wish of never wanting to cry again.

I just never imagined it would come in the form of a purple dragon.

Pressing my back against the cold stone wall, I let my knees give out. I hugged my knees after my butt found the cold surface of the floor and rocked.

As I sat, I could hear a pair of footsteps and someone’s breathing approaching. A strong fragrance of vanilla and roasted almonds followed, yes something else that had been enhanced was my sense of smell, and I knew it was Sammy. The noise of her footsteps and breath came closer and closer until it sounded as if she was inside of me. Reaching down her arms wrapped around my entire body.

 She wore the same robe as me. It was a piece of clothing that dragons would throw over their human forms after they transformed back. It was nothing special, but I clung onto it because I didn’t like being naked in front of everyone. It was the one thing I would never get used to. She was one of my best friends, and had been with me on every life-threatening experience I’d encountered since I came to Paegeia.

“Elena, you need to try.”

I looked at her. “Sammy, I can’t. Look what happened the last time.”

“It’s normal. You’re grieving and you want justice like all of us, including your dragon form.” She sat next to me. “We experience emotions on a different level, a more intense one and I don’t know if you will ever get used to it, but you are what you are, Elena. You can’t deny her.”

I sighed as I stared at the floor. “I thought I was done with the questions, but I can’t forget them. I can’t forgive him. Why didn’t he tell me?” I was speaking about my father. How many things had he hidden from me?

“I don’t know.” Her lips arched downwards and she had a huge frown between her eyebrows. “I wish so badly that there was something that I could tell you that could make all of this easier on you, but there isn’t. Being a dragon is hard, Elena. For all of us, but it’s who we are and we have to embrace it.”

“What if I’m like the Chromatic, Sammy? I don’t want to be beaten.”

She grabbed me around the neck. “You’re not. Master Longwei said that Thunderlights are good, remember?”

“Then why do I feel so evil?”

“You’re not evil. You lost someone you love in a messed up way. It’s bound to make you feel angry and frustrated because his killer is still out there. You want justice. That’s what you’re feeling. Not getting it made you do what you almost did the last time. It’s not who you are, you’re just experiencing the emotion of that loss and want justice on a more intense level.” She said the same thing again as if I didn’t get it the first time. The bell rang and she stared at me with soft eyes, eyes that pleaded with me to open my mind and just accept things the way they were. When students started to pass us, I sighed.

She made sense, but I still didn’t want to feel that pain and anger. It was too much and my Thunderlight would just have to stay trapped inside this human form a little longer.

“Come, let’s go and see what Chef has made for lunch.” She reached for my hand after she got up and pulled me to my feet in one swift movement.

We entered the cafeteria, and my back connected hard with the wall. Amy’s long and pointy nose almost touched mine. Her fist clutched my robe and with her Night Villain strength she lifted me almost off the floor.

Her two buddies held Sammy tight. “Leave her alone, Amy.”

“Sammy, shush. I’m doing this for all of us.” She snapped at Sammy over her shoulder before her head shot back around to face me. “Just move on, Watkins,” she spat, and I could feel her acid saliva spray gently onto my face. It burned slightly and I ground on my teeth to stop myself from showing my pain. Still it didn’t burn as much as I thought it would.

“Get your paws off of me,” I replied through clenched teeth.

“You’re pathetic. Arianna was right. Lucian wasted his life saving yours.”

The two girls that held Sammy snickered.

“Amy, shut up!” Sammy yelled.

No, she was right and I totally agreed with Amy’s last statement. Though my Thunderlight didn’t. She got mad and when I opened my mouth again, she cussed like crazy. The voice wasn’t mine anymore and Amy let go of my robe and started to back off. When she became smaller I knew exactly what was happening and there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it.

The tables close to us crushed into splinters underneath my dragon weight. Pillows that came in contact with my talons tore into pieces and sponge popped out everywhere around me.

 Huge scaly paws tore free from my skin and I didn’t care about the robe on my body that shredded into a million pieces, lying in a pathetic heap on the floor. I only concentrated on calming myself down as anger burned through my veins and revenge warmed my belly. If I killed Amy today Master Longwei would surely throw my ass out of here.

The walls started to shake and the students who were inside the cafeteria made their way outside in total hysteria.

“Elena, deep breaths, calm yourself.” Chef was in front of me with his hands up in defense. He had to arch his neck and he made his voice thick as he yelled the words.

“Do as he says, Elena. Calm down,” Sammy was yelling from below on my other side. “Should I turn?” she asked Chef softly, but whispers were no longer soft to my sensitive ears. They sounded as if they had been spoken directly to me.

“No, it might only rile her up more.”

The opposite wall and roof came closer and I wished that I could stop growing. What was going on? I was big, but never big like this.

The pain from the lightning burned my stomach and I had to release it.

“She’s going to blow,” Chef yelled as Sir Edward stormed into the cafeteria. Suddenly, a purple lightning bolt hit the wall. Bricks spattered and more light from outside streamed in. For some reason the word “escape” played around inside my head.

Students popped their heads inside the newly formed hole, nosy little brats. They flinched away fast as a second bolt exited my mouth. This was exactly what had happened the last time.

It began with me not wanting to breathe lightning on them but the minute I started I couldn’t stop, or let me rephrase, I didn’t want to stop.

I would see Paul in all of them and in less than a minute I was going to forget that my name was Elena and I would become her, destroying everyone in my path, even my friends. That last thought was barely through my mind when everything around me went black.

About Adrienne Woods

Adrienne Woods was born and raised in South Africa, where she still lives with her husband and two beautiful little girls. She always knew she was going to be a writer, but it only started to really happen about four years ago. In her free time―if she gets any because moms don’t really have free time―she loves to spend it with friends, whether it’s a girl’s night out, or just watching a movie. She’s a very chilled person. Her writing career started with Firebolt, book one in the Dragonian series. There will be four books in total, including a further two to three books, which will be stories that take place within the Dragonian series. Her other series, Dream Casters, will be released mid-2015. She also writes in different genres, and her woman’s fiction, The Pregnancy Diaries, will be published under a pseudonym. And then, she has a paranormal series by the name of the Aswang series, which will consist of about ten novels. And if that wasn’t enough, there is another series, Guardians of Monsters, which will be released in 2016.