Year of the Fledgling
Publication date: July 29th 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Theron, the Eradicator, has one job: to protect the people of Starcast by killing the deadly creatures that attack them. That’s it.
Being an Eradicator comes with a heavy price, however, for he’s strictly prohibited from having any kind of personal contact with the villagers.
But one night, he sneaks into the town’s harvest festival, anyway, and meets the lovely, young healer’s apprentice.
As Theron grows close to her, it becomes harder to tell what’s more dangerous: risking a fatal injury while battling dark ones or risking fatal punishment by beginning a secret dalliance with a forbidden girl.
In either case, doom seems to be the only outcome, and tension mounts as love and danger blur across the reach of this fantastical, seaside landscape.
She pounded on the thick door as hard and loudly as she could.
When it began to open and she had her first look at his face again—his features a mask of puzzled bewilderment—the terrible pressure in her chest finally released in a flood, and it all seemed to spill right out of her mouth.
“Wha…?” he started to ask.
But the flood had already hit her.
“I am beyond vexed with you,” she seethed, flinging off her hood so he could see the full extent of her rage before she pushed past him to enter the watchtower.
Theron glanced out into the darkening evening as if to make sure she didn’t have anyone else with her, then he shut the door and turned, lifting his eyebrows sternly. “Please tell me you did not walk up here by yourself.”
Ignoring his question, she demanded, “Honestly, how could you do this to me?”
“Are you absolutely mad?” he challenged right back, just as upset as she, and stormed forward. “What were you thinking? If someone had seen you—”
“They would’ve shrugged me off as you! But no one saw me. And I was thinking about how mad I am,” she railed, lifting her chin to meet his swirling, livid gaze.
Theron scoffed. “Yes, I can tell you’re unhappy, but that gives you no right to put your very livelihood at stake to come up here and tell me thus.”
“It’s my livelihood to worry about, and my right to risk it as I please.”
“And you are one of two people left in this entire, bleeding world that I’m allowed to still talk to. So I refuse to let you be so frivolous with your—”
“Argh!” she shrieked, lifting her hands and curling her fingers as if to display her claws at him. “You are so maddening.”
One of his eyebrows arched, then he burst out grinning. “But am I maddening enough for you to want to kiss me senseless again? Please say yes.”
She snorted. “Hardly. You’re certainly maddening enough to make me want to wring your fool neck as hard as I can, though.”
Lifting his chin to put his neck on full display, Theron countered, “Well, take your best shot, little healer-in-training. But first, would you at least tell me what I did wrong this time that made you so mad? A fellow appreciates at least knowing why he’s being strangled.”
Xia sucked in an irate breath. Then her chin trembled. And finally, the tears that she’d been holding back all the way from Norbin’s pig pen came gushing down her cheeks.
“You made me care for you!” she accused, weeping so soundly that her entire body shuddered and she had to cover her mouth with both hands to contain it.
Linda writes romance fiction from YA to adult, contemporary to fantasy. Most Kage stories lean more toward the lighter, sillier side with a couple meaningful moments thrown in. Focuses more on entertainment value and emotional impact.
Published since 2010. Went through a 2-year writing correspondence class in children’s literature from The Institute of Children’s Literature. Then graduated with a Bachelors in Arts, English with an emphasis in creative fiction writing from Pittsburg State University.
Now she lives with hubby, two daughters, cat Holly, and nine cuckoo clocks in southeast Kansas, USA. Farm girl. Parents were dairy farmers. Was youngest of eight. Big family. Day job as a cataloging library assistant.
Harry Potter House Gryffindor, Patronus White Stallion, character match Hagrid. Supernatural Team Dean. Game of Thrones Team Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister. The Walking Dead Team Daryl. Outlander Team Jamie Fraser. Teen Wolf Team Stiles. Avenger Team Thor…or Hulk (can’t decide). Justice League Team Flash. Arrow Team Stephen Amell. Stranger Things obsessed. Heard Laurel, not Yanny.
Started out reading with the Baby-Sitters Club. Then moved to Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, and LaVyrle Spencer in high school. Now all over the place with her romance reading tastes.
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