Title: Knight of Flame
Author: Scott Eder
Publisher: Twilight Times Books (September 14, 2013)
About the Book:
Fire. The most chaotic of the primal elements.
When wielded properly by the Knight of Flame, it burns like the sun. Otherwise,
it slowly consumes the Knight, burning away his control, driving him towards
Stationed in Tampa, FL, Develore Quinteele,
sixth Knight of Flame, waits impatiently for the predicted emergence of the
last Gray Lord, his Order’s ancient enemy. Hampered by a centuries-old tragedy,
Dev knows of only one way to control his elemental power—rage. It broils just
below his surface, waiting for the slightest provocation to set it alight.
Anticipating Dev’s transition from asset to
liability, his commander assigns a young guardian, Wren, to report on Dev’s
actions. Torn between duty and love, Wren struggles to save her Knight; but,
after a brutal attack by the Gray Lord’s minions for which Dev is wrongly
blamed, he’s stripped of his freedom until he regains control.
With the help of his fellow Knights, can Dev
regain his balance and unlock his full elemental potential in time to prevent
the destruction of all life in Tampa?
Purchase your copy:
Knights don’t dance. Develor Quinteele
wrung the leather-wrapped steering wheel and swallowed hard. The muted roar of
the rented Jag’s high-performance engine and smooth-as-silk ride did nothing to
dispel his apprehension. Wren could have picked anything, but she chose dancing.
He jammed a finger under the rigid collar of his first modern suit and yanked
it away from his skin.
Dev stretched to
adjust the rear-view mirror and ripped the seam of his jacket. Armani
stretch wool, my ass. A
growl rumbled in his chest and he glared at Wren, but she seemed oblivious to
“How much farther?”
Wren’s excitement tumbled out with each word. The sun’s last rays reflected off
the silver sequins of her micro-dress and sparkled across the car’s dark
chocolate interior. She shifted position, adjusted her dress, and crossed her
legs. Despite her fidgeting, her head remained still, focused on the distant
horizon, straining to get her first look at Club Mastodon.
Dev smiled through
his growing unease. Though somewhere in her early twenties, Wren reminded him
of a small child driving up to the gates of Disney World for the first time.
Her usually tense and critical Japanese features were soft, eager and innocent.
Seeing her excitement helped steady his nerves…a little.
“Just a few more
minutes. You know I’m missing a Three Stooges marathon for this, don’t you?”
brushed him off.
Dev checked his
mirrors, vision in constant motion, and raked the hair out of his eyes. The
thin, wavy strands felt foreign to his calloused fingers. He couldn’t remember
the last time he had more than a dark prickly shadow on top of his head, let
alone mussed brown locks.
With a careless wave
of his hand, he grazed the new bruise over his left eye. Damn,forgot about that. He
prodded the tender skin, trying to gauge the size of the purpling evidence. So
far, he’d managed to keep his fights at work from Wren. If she found out, he’d
never hear the end of it. The last time, she went on and on about him being
reckless, and jeopardizing the mission. Thankfully, she hadn’t reported the
incident to Stillman, his commander. It had been close, though. Cost Dev a
night on the town. But it wasn’t that big of a sacrifice. He loved her like a
little sister, and enjoyed seeing her smile.
Brushing his hair
forward, Dev tried to cover the injured area, and hoped for the best.
“This place won’t be
crowded, will it?” he asked. “You know crowds and I don’t mix.”
“Mmhm.” Wren’s arm
shot out, pointed ahead and to the right. “There it is.” The rest of her words
blurred together, “I can’t believe you got us on the
list. I mean, like, I’ve never been to a place like this.” She
turned her sparkling green eyes on Dev. “Do you think a lot of movie stars will
“Breathe, Wren.” Dev took
the exit off I-275 south, just in sight of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and
stopped at the traffic light across from the club. When Club Mastodon first
opened he’d read about the local business leaders raising an uproar over how
quickly the permits, zoning and associated building minutia were pushed
through. But, when the club was bank-rolled by Alexander Gray, one of the head
honchos at Daegon Gray, the normal red tape-covered bullshit disappeared.
Dev tilted his head
as he caught his first glimpse of their destination through a ring of palm
trees lining the property.
Wren didn’t respond.
Instead, she leaned forward, hands pressed tight against the dash, mouth open
“It’s just a big ass
tent,” Dev said. “I paid 10-K in advance to go to a circus?” His stomach
The light changed and
he pulled onto the gravel drive. Tires crunched on loose stones as they passed
through the trees and drove the half-mile to the front of the club.
“I hate clowns,” he
murmured, “And elephants. I hate when they make those big bastards do stupid
Dev queued for the
valet behind a sleek Mercedes SLR and waited his turn. The wait gave him a
chance to assess the place without being obvious.
People. Damn. So many
people, so many potential ways to piss me off.
A large number of the
area celebrities milled about in front of the club’s huge entrance. Beyond a
set of giant wooden doors rose the three tall peaks of the monstrous Club
Mastodon tent. Spotlights spaced evenly around the perimeter beamed on the
white walls, causing them to glow. A smaller tent hung off the rear of the
main, connected via covered walkway.
He couldn’t see any
exits other than the big main door, not even a window. They
really weren’t kidding about the whole privacy thing. The club was touted as the
place to relax, a soothing oasis where the local aristocracy and visiting
celebs could let their guard down and be themselves. In essence, society’s
elite could make fools of themselves without it showing up on the internet the
next day. Absolutely no cameras were allowed, not even cell phones.
“It’s not too late.”
Dev shook his head. “We could always go somewhere else.”Please…anywhere else.
“Nope, we’re good.”
Wren sounded distracted. Her gaze darted from one car window to the next. “Hey,
isn’t that Marcus Albright from the Bucs?”
“You know, the
cornerback for the Buccaneers. Ooh, and that’s the guy from that new show on
The name rolled off Dev’s tongue before she finished the station’s call
Wren oohed and ahed
over a few other names he’d never heard of. Probably famous athletes or
politicians or something, but he played along for her sake.
Movement. Out the
window to his left. Dev tracked it out of the corner of his eye. A pair of
security guards in black blazers and slacks marched down a row of exotic cars
parked in tight lanes. Their heads swiveled every few feet so as not to miss
Further out this time and a couple rows over. Another pair on patrol.
Rent-a-cops didn’t move like that. They had to be ex-military.
I bet the bulges in
their jackets are compact automatic weapons.
“Geez, they take
their security seriously around here.” Dev spied more guards near the back
tent. “Can you say overkill?”
“What are you
babbling about?” Wren asked, flipping him an annoyed glance.
Dev moved up in line. Rhythmic burps of deep bass rattled the windows and
thrummed through the steering wheel. Within seconds, the vein at his temple
throbbed in time.
A valet approached
the driver’s side while another opened the door for Wren. Dev got out and
shrugged at the tear in his jacket then met her on the curb.
“I feel naked in
this.” He whispered, running his hand over his chest and the expensive suit.
“Out of my element.”
“I feel like a
princess.” Wren, five-foot three, a smidgen under five-eight in her knee-high
boots, twirled. Even with the added height, she only came up to Dev’s chin.
“Like the boots?” She modeled the right one—slick black leather that laced to
the top—turning it enough to flash a red sole. “Louboutin. Got them yesterday.”
Dev shrugged. “Nice,
I guess. Not very practical.”
She slapped his arm.
“Dork. Not everything in this world is meant to be practical. I think they’re
gorgeous. Now, hold still.” She straightened his tie and fussed with his hair,
exposing his little secret.
Her eyes narrowed.
“You’ve been fighting again.” She spun on her spiked-heels, her expression
blocked by the swish of her shoulder-length, ebony bob, and wound her way
through the throng of socialites and celebrities.
Dev tried to keep
pace, but she melted through the crowd toward the entrance. Impressed, he
admired her agile dips and whirls as she put years of his hard-core physical
training to unconscious use.
On her trail, he
moved left and jostled the guy on his right, “Sorry,” then bumped the woman on
his left. “Excuse me.” Anger flared, but he forced a tight smile. The
shoulder-to-shoulder press of humanity reminded him of the battlefield. He slid between a pair of
athletic-looking young men, but clipped one’s shoulder. “Sorry, sorry.”
High on alpha-male
bravado, the kid tried to shove back, but Dev caught his hand before it made
contact. With a deft twist, he bent the young man’s wrist back and lifted him
onto his toes. Dev leaned in close and bared his teeth. Anger boiled into rage,
heating his body and fueling his need to fight.
“I said, pardon me.”
He spoke so only the impromptu ballerina could hear. Muscles tense, he wanted
to yank this punk’s arm off and beat him and the rest of the crowd with it, lay
waste to everything around him until nothing stood between him and the entrance
He straightened, took
a loud breath through his nose, and found her off to the side near the
entrance. Safe. Arms crossed. Hip cocked. Frown in place.
Crap. He’d lost control in
front of her again.
“Today’s your lucky
day, skippy.” After a last, painful wrench on his captive’s arm, Dev released
him and slogged his way through the crowd to Wren’s side. People reacted to his
rough passage, cast annoyed glances at his broad back then quickly went back to
their own lives.
Every nerve, cell and
fiber of Dev’s being surged inside him. It didn’t take much to get him going
anymore. And sitting idle in Tampa for the last two years, due to a nebulous
prediction of the Gray Lord’s return, was not how an elemental warrior should
Daily skirmishes in
the shipyard got him by, but he craved more. Primed for combat, he wanted a
release. He wanted, no, needed, to fight. But this wasn’t the time or the
place. He needed to be strong, for Wren. This was her night.
“You promised the
fighting would stop.” Wren said between clenched teeth. “You stationed yourself at
the shipyard to watch for signs of the Gray Lord, not play around. You don’t
see me getting in fights at the airport, do you?”
“It was just a minor
disagreement,” he said. “There were eight of them, jumped me behind the scrap
A nearby couple
turned to stare at Wren. Dev took her arm and pulled her further away from the
“Look, I screwed up.
They usually attack in threes. I didn’t see Little Mike hiding in the garbage
can. He whacked me with a crowbar.” Dev looked away from her accusing stare.
“It’s no big deal. Won’t happen again.” That you’ll know of.
Wren opened her mouth
as if to say more when her eyes opened wide. “You’re hot,” she whispered,
Dev wiggled his
eyebrows. “Why, thank you, thank you very much. You’re looking pretty good
“That’s not what I mean.”
Dev caught a whiff of
burned hair. His hand shot to the top of his head and found it still covered.
As his body cooled, he found the singed stalks of the little hairs on the back
of his hands. The shirt cuffs were scorched as well. That
“Maybe this was a
mistake.” Wren’s tentative, quiet voice touched him. “We should go.”
“No.” Dev stared at
his shoes. Black. Leather. Uncomfortable. “No. I’m okay. You deserve this.”
Wren’s face scrunched
as she assessed his attitude. She nodded. “Yeah, I do. Don’t screw it up.”
She laughed, wrapped
her arm around his, “Come on, come on,” and pulled him to the entrance.
Up close, the
imposing entry reminded Dev of a smaller version of the village gates on Skull
Island built to keep out King Kong. A dense collection of palm fronds and
exotic, big-leaf plants, surrounded a pair of giant double doors unevenly
framed by thick, rough-hewn timbers. The presence of security cameras
positioned within the plants did little to deter from the primordial setting.
Dev smiled and waved
at the camera tracking his movements.
Another pair of
guards, much bigger than those patrolling the parking lot, flanked the
entrance. Clad in nothing but loincloths, with long, black hair draped over
heavily muscled shoulders and square pecks, they looked like stand-ins from Conan
the Barbarian. Both stared straight ahead, boulder-crushing arms
rigid at their sides. If it weren’t for the slight motion of their immense
chests, they could be statues. A low mist crawled around their feet and
billowed in front of and under the big doors. Capping off the primitive
atmosphere, flames swirled and popped above their heads in a long trench dug
out of the lintel.
Blessed fire. Dev focused on the
flames. He felt their lure, their potential, and the fire’s raw power. A taste.
That’s all he needed. A quick fix to steady his nerves and help him through the
night. With a thought he called to his element, drew it into him. His body
tingled. Invisible tendrils of heat trickled into his chest and coalesced into
a fireball behind his ribcage. It churned and roiled and intensified.
“Dev.” Wren’s harsh
whisper seemed to come from far away.
That’s nice. With another thought,
he capped the flow and dispersed the warmth throughout his body. It calmed his
spirit, dispelled his rage.
“Dev.” An elbow to
the ribs punctuated her call.
Awareness rushed in
as his wind rushed out. Damn, that girl knows right where to
hit a guy. He
wheezed, tried to refill his lungs, and ignored the curious stares of the other
he was a kid, Scott wanted to be an author and explored many genres through
high school and college. Fantasy, though, captivated his soul. Tales of Knights
and magic, dragons and elves filled his dreams. After greasing the gears of the
corporate machine for many years, he escaped the Information Technology vortex
to focus full-time on writing. The stories he’d envisioned years ago—of
nobility and strife, honor and chaos—demanded they be brought to life.
lives with his wife, two children, and a giant Chihuahua on the west coast of
While the first chapter of
Knight of Flame by Scott Eder isn’t very long, it does introduce us to the
primary character, Develore “Dev” Quinteele, the fact he’s a member of a secret
organization with special powers and his current problem controlling his
abilities. It also establishes “Dev”
current location, who he hangs out with and that money doesn’t seem to be a
problem for him.
We learn Dev's “power”
or "gift" is tied to the element of fire and that he doesn't like crowds or large groups of people. I feel as if the story is off to an interesting start and I get the impression the pacing will be swift and filled with plenty of action.
Friday, October 11 –
Interviewed at Broowaha
Monday, October 28 –
Guest blogging at Allvoices