We are thrilled to be bringing back this amazing author! Her first book in the Cutlass Trilogy was absolutely loved by our followers and we know that this book will be to! So first lets get to know a bit more about this Author:
Ashley was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren't used as much as she'd like. She has a Bachelor's in English Writing and a Master's in Library Science and Information Technology. When she's not writing she's either working out or pretending she's Sherlock Holmes. Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she's loved everything Fantasy--resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the 'geek' tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.
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Flintlock is the second book in the Cutlass Trilogy. It continues Barren and his crew's story.
Barren Reed hopes to protect the Orient from his tyrant uncle, but his plans to make the King’s life a living hell aren’t supported by the Elders of the pirate community. As it stands, Barren has earned the Elders’ disdain for his carelessness, and they threaten him into exile if he makes one more mistake.
Barren’s not the only one feeling the Elders’ wrath—they don’t trust Larkin either. Worse, Barren can’t comprehend Larkin’s wish to have a relationship with her father, and the secrets she’s forced to keep create a tension that may pull them apart forever.
When the Pirates of Silver Crest begin to die, bullets laced with dark magic are to blame. With more and more of these weapons infiltrating the Underground, discovering who’s behind the dissemination is no easy feat. As fear and tension mount among the people of the Orient, Barren and his crew find themselves in a race against time to stop the spread of dark magic before the world of Mariana spirals into collapse.
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Larkin lay against Barren, her head on his chest. She couldn’t sleep, though her eyes were heavy. It was so quiet in his cabin. She was used to sleeping in the hatch in a hammock in the back, where the groan of the ship was loudest. Then there was the heat of Barren’s skin. She’d come to know his warmth, yet she’d also come to know the absence of that warmth. Right now, there was energy between them that had gone unacknowledged since they’d closed the door. Strangely, it made her restless.
She also had questions about this trial. What did it mean that one of Barren’s brethren had come to escort him to Sanctuary? What did it even mean to have a trial among pirates? By the way Edward looked at her, she suspected she might have something to do with this.
“Will they take you from me?” she asked quietly, sleepily.
Barren was very still. She watched his chest rise and fall with the breaths he took. After a moment, she felt his fingers tangle in her hair. “Is that what you fear?” he asked.
“It is one thing I fear,” she said. She feared being taken from him. She feared being sent back to Maris.
“In truth, I do not know what the Elders have planned for me,” he said.
“Do they want to hurt you?”
“They will not kill me,” said Barren. “I am not a traitor.”
“But what you’ve done, it is punishable by the Elders?”
She knew by the silence that Barren did not know how to answer that question.
“By the code, I’ve done nothing wrong.”
The code was a set of rules created by the Elders of Silver Crest. Larkin had once mocked the idea of pirates abiding by any type of law, but she’d come to learn that all Pirates of Silver Crest, even those touted as the most ruthless, were loyal to the code. It ensured that the pirates protect Saoirse, freedom.
“Why call you to trial then?”
“Because I’ve done something they do not approve of.”
Larkin pushed herself up and stared at Barren in the darkness. His features were passive. It seemed so uncharacteristic. This should make him angry, because to her, it sounded unfair.
“So in truth this is against the code,” said Larkin.
Barren chuckled and sat up. “The Elders advise and protect the code, Larkin. To say they do anything against it is blasphemy.”
She regarded him for a moment. Barren’s loyalty to the code of Silver Crest was strong, which meant his loyalty to the Elders would be matched.
“I was under the impression the pirates of Silver Crest lived a life dedicated to Saoirse,” she said. It was one of the first things she’d learned about Barren, how important Saoirse—freedom—was to him. “If that is so, why do these men seem to have power over you?”
“The Elders are men and women,” Barren said. “They are the eldest among us, those with the most experience, and they have no power over us, only wisdom.”
“So they call you to trial to impart wisdom?” This wasn’t making sense. A trial meant that Barren had been charged. It meant there were consequences for actions. He knew this just as well as she did.
“Larkin,” he said and he ran his fingers over her cheek, tangling them into her hair, and secured his hand at the base of her neck. “I don’t want to talk about this right now. It’s in the future, but we’re in the present.”
He pulled her to him, and their lips crashed together, sending heat through her body, diffusing the tension that had built between them in the silence. His mouth moved from hers and trailed her jaw and throat. When he wrapped his hands around her thighs and pulled her to him, she forgot her frustrations—all she wanted to know was how she could be closer to him. The heat from his skin was addictive. It filled her senses, made her desperate.
He twisted, and she yelped as she found herself on her back with her legs still around his waist. He loomed over her and paused to stare, seeming completely focused, yet lost at the same time. She liked him like this. She often had power, but here she was in control. He would do anything she asked, bend to her will. So she reached for him, willing this distance between them to close, and he obliged, meeting her lips with a carnal growl.
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