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Dreams of Fire

Dreams of Fire Dreams of Fire by Christian Cura
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Expected publication date: December 2019 /January 2020
Genre: Paranormal | Gay-Lesbian


                                             SYNOPSIS
Meet Kara Hartman, a young painter living and working in D.C. She would love to let you believe she is just an ordinary young woman with a dream of sharing her art with the world. But she is hiding an astonishing secret: Kara can wield magic, the most powerful force in the universe. Traumatized by the loss of her brother, she wants nothing more to do with magic. But when an old foe resurfaces, hellbent on destroying all that she loves, Kara has no choice but to embrace the only power that can stop her.



EXCERPT

Chapter One

Kara Hartman Prison, Canadian Wilderness, 1 year ago


The cold stone corridor stretched before Kara as she walked its length. In the silence of the

passage, her quiet footsteps echoed against its gray walls. Every steel door she passed marked
a memory of the events that led her to this point. Every step she took struck her like a pang of
regret. She barely felt the cold draft as it touched her pale face and hands or heard the sound
of her brother’s footsteps behind her. Kara’s mind was flooded with memories of fire, blood
and death. In the ghastly glow that filled the passage she could again see the blood of a
Sacrifice and the deathly pallor of one she had lost. The memories haunted Kara and burned
her mind’s eye as she drew closer to the cell at the end of the corridor.
Kara stood before the last door, the culmination of her dark reverie. Her heart throbbed
for the one on the other side of it, the one she could not save. Suddenly her brother, John
touched her shoulder. She turned and looked up at him; his pale blue eyes fixed on her.
“Kara, you don’t have to see her if you don’t want to.” he said softly.
For a moment, she considered walking away. It would be so much easier to leave and
pretend as if nothing happened. It would be so easy to not have to look upon the one she had
failed, but Kara had not come to do what was easy. She came to do what was necessary.
“No, I need this,” Kara replied firmly.
John looked at her as if he were about to say something, but even as the words formed in
his mind he held back. He cast a spell to unlock the door and pushed it open. The door
creaked as it swung on its hinges, and a cold gust blew out of the cell. Kara’s short blonde hair
fluttered in the wind. She stepped through the threshold as John pulled the heavy door shut
behind her.
In the corner of the cell sat a young woman forlorn on the stone floor. Her bare feet were
drawn toward her as she shivered in a tattered robe. Her wrists were bound and shackled
with thick chains. The woman glared up at her with dark eyes that blazed with anger.
“What are you doing here?” she growled— the searing words stung with the heat of her
wrath.
“I came to say goodbye and...I’m sorry.” Kara said. She could barely maintain eye contact
with the woman in chains. Her simmering gaze pierced Kara like a dagger.
“Sorry? Is that all you have to say to me?” the prisoner exclaimed.
Kara’s eyes grew misty as another winter gust blew through the tiny barred window of the
cell. “I’m sorry I couldn’t save you from yourself.”
“Save me? Is that what you think you were trying to do? I was so close to getting him back
and you interfered!” the woman yelled as she stabbed an accusing finger at her.
“I couldn’t let you cross that line, Charlotte. I didn’t want you to become...this.” Kara said.
“I’ll make you pay for what you stole from me!” Charlotte exclaimed. “I will get out of
here, I will find you and I will make you pay!”
Kara’s eyes dropped to the floor. “No. You won’t. Goodbye, Charlotte.” She turned away
and pounded on the door.
“I will burn you alive and reduce everything and everyone you love to ashes!” the prisoner
bellowed. John opened the door from outside just as Kara turned back to Charlotte.
“If you ever come after me or anyone I care about, I will stop you.” Kara said firmly.

“Oh, like how you stopped me from killing Anthony?” Charlotte replied with a chilling smile.

Kara took a step toward the chained woman but John grasped her arm from behind.
Charlotte tossed her head back and laughed.
“Don’t you ever speak his name again!” Kara shouted.
Charlotte’s laughter echoed against the walls of her cell. “I hope you look over your
shoulder everywhere you go! Whenever you see fire, you will see my face and hear my voice.
Let my words be burned into your memory! I will raze everything you love to the ground and
I won’t stop until the bones of your loved ones are ashes at your feet!”
Kara raised her hand and Charlotte was suddenly hurled backward into the wall by some
invisible force. Her feet hung suspended above the stone floor and her arms outstretched at
her sides. But Charlotte simply gazed at Kara with dark, simmering eyes and a malevolent
grin.
“Kara, enough!” John said quietly. Kara’s anger boiled as she stood with her hand raised,
her adversary pinned to the wall. For a long moment the two women locked eyes; one firmly
set to defend— the other determined to destroy, but John was right. Charlotte was
imprisoned, stripped of her freedom and her magic. There was no escape for her. Kara
dropped her hand and Charlotte’s feet hit the ground. “Let’s go,” John said in a gentle voice.
Kara slowly turned away from Charlotte and followed her brother out of the cell.
“I’ll be seeing you...friend!” Charlotte called as the door slammed shut behind them.


PURCHASE LINK




BOOK REVIEW
This was a somewhat emotional tale (for me) of one person giving up an integral part of who they are after tragedy. Kara, an artist in DC,  is forced to expose her powers, which inadvertently puts her in the path of romance with a demon hunter and a war filled future. The author sets up this new world in detail.  There were times that this attention to detail worked against the story. The author does a great job of developing the characters and keeping the story moving despite having a a dual subplot going on. While there was not one major plot that kept things tension filled, nor was there a lot of action, the war or battle  went a long way in keeping my interest. I think this story will be a win for those who can appreciate the overall unintended message of acceptance. Accepting who you are and accepting love that doesn't come in the conventional package society says is "normal".


I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christian Cura is an independent writer who dreams of becoming a successful author. Ever since he read Lord of the Rings as a teenager, it has been his dream to write and publish a novel of his own. Christian's favorite authors include J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and Robert Jordan. When he is not writing, Christian can be found getting beaten up at his MMA gym. His other hobbies include, drawing, photography, graphic design and eating.




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