What Are AmberPax™ Collections?

Simply put, AmberPax™ Collections are groups of five stories centered around a specific theme. Each story within an AmberPax™ is released individually, on the same day as the others, and can be purchased separately, but these five stories can also be purchased as a single unit (the full AmberPax™) at a discount, currently 25%. Generally, an AmberPax™ is similar to an "anthology" of stories, but instead of the titles being released in only a single volume (file), they are also available individually. These AmberPax™ Collections are sold exclusively through our website and only in electronic format.

THIS BLOG is for news about the Pax Collections - follow it to keep up with releases, find early news of the upcoming collections, and share Pax fun and chat with the authors!

All Amber Paxes can be bought at Amber Quill HERE.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Girl with Dragons on Her Brain by Angel Martinez

Once upon a time, long, long ago… (Hush. We don’t ask how long. That’s rude.) There once was a little girl whose mother took her to see Sleeping Beauty, the 1970’s re-release, but who’s counting? While the movie entranced the little girl, the dragon at the end stunned her. Never mind that she knew the dragon was the evil fairy. She has never forgiven Prince Philip for killing the beautiful black and purple dragon.

As she grew older, she noticed a terrible pattern in legend and myth. Everyone slaughtered the beautiful dragons and her list of heroes she could not forgive grew—St. George, Sigurd, Bard the bowman. Her favorite Brothers Hildebrandt artwork wasn’t of elves, no, no. It was Smaug, bright, terrible, and stunning. She drew dragons instead of heroes, imagining their bleached skulls beneath the dragons’ feet.

Bloodthirsty little mite I was sometimes. Luckily, I found better dragon stories as I got older, especially the Pern novels, but those older dragons, my poor, slaughtered friends, have always stayed with me. Why did the dragon have to die? And was it a true death, or something more mystical, more ritually sacrificial?

Good thing about being a writer, you get to construct your own reality frameworks, build from the blueprints you’ve approved. When Amber decided to do a Dragon Pax, I knew what I had to write.

I had to save a dragon. Seriously, what better job is there than writer? I get to right all the wrongs of my childhood.

(A Brandywine Investigations story)

The most valuable pieces of jewelry are vanishing from the god Hermes’ Manhattan stores and the security feeds only pick up clouds of smoke. While the god of thieves, messengers, and commerce doesn’t appreciate someone stealing from him, he’s intrigued by this thief’s ingenuity and skill. When he enlists his family to trap his burglar, he gets the surprise of his immortal life.

Fafnir just wants to be left alone. Doomed over the centuries to a never-ending cycle of violent death and painful rebirth, he had hoped to find an escape in the quiet life of author and illustrator. But there are forces at work he doesn’t understand, and his peace is shattered by the return to old cycles and the sudden interference of a beautiful and incredibly irritating Greek god.


The last of the daytime lights shut down in succession, signaling the departure of the last employee. Velvet dark descended, with only the security lights illuminating the empty cases and the exits. The presumed target, locked away in the safe behind the case, was a marquis cut pink diamond of incredible clarity, set in a choker of white diamonds and pearls. According to Hermes’s calculations, this was indeed the third most expensive piece for sale in the city. The most expensive one left now, actually.

“I hate waiting,” Dio whispered as he hunkered down behind the screen.

Hermes shot him an irritated look. “Yeah. Big shock. Why are you here, again?”

“I think they stole your sense of humor, too,” Dio grumbled.

That hit too close to home. Hermes ran a hand over the back of his neck as he tried his best to unclench every tightened muscle. “Sorry. You came to help. That was uncalled for. There’s just something wrong about this whole thing. Has me in knots.”

“S’Okay. After we catch the creep, why don’t you bring your guitar, come jam for a few hours? I’ve got some good red stocked. We could see if Orpheus is up for it, too.”

Hermes bumped shoulders with his favorite brother. “Thanks. That might be just the thing. Let’s see what happens here first, right?”

Dark eyes huge in the dim light, Dio nodded and quieted. Yes, he was the family party boy, but he was also still half-wild. His nerves would be humming with the thrill of the hunt. There was the difference, Hermes realized. Zack, Dio, Uncle Hades, even Charon—they were all hunters and warriors. This sort of set up excited them, invigorated them. Hermes, jittery and slightly nauseous, was starting to think he should have waited in the van with Hephaestus.

An hour passed, then half an hour more. Just as he was convincing himself his thief had taken the night off, the door to the employee entrance clicked. Alarms should have sounded. Either the person had a key and the alarm codes, or the thief had disabled the system.

Or they were already in place before my staff left? But he’d still have to disable the alarm. Maybe I have to start designing magic-proof security systems. Wonder how much of a market there would be?

Dio gripped his arm and pointed. A shadow slid along the far wall, possibly a large man but the strange lighting could have added the perception of mass to a small one. The shadow stopped. Soft hissing drifted across the room, the same they had heard on the sound reconstruction the previous evening. And cue the smoke…

Creepers of gray slid along the floor toward the safe. They climbed over the cases, moving, ethereal vines obscuring the glass, and edged up the walls to block the security cameras. The soft rhythmic hissing slowly evolved into whistling, Peer Gynt again but the more haunting melancholy of Solveig’s Song instead of the Mountain King’s menace. Strange choice. The whistling became humming, the thief making no effort to hide his heavy footfalls. Hermes caught a glimpse of Doc Martens, size thirteen at least, before the boots vanished into the smoke surrounding the little room with the safe.

Tumblers clicked. The clank of a safe handle echoed through the smoke-shrouded quiet. That strange hollow laugh, bone deep and mirthless, emanated from the vicinity of the presumably open safe.

“Now, Zagreus!” Uncle Hades bellowed. A sharp snap followed, then the susurration of thousands of metallic links swiftly dragged upward. The thief’s roar rattled cases, an impotent storm of fury as Heph’s magical golden net snared him and hoisted him, struggling and snarling toward the ceiling.

Hermes uncoiled from behind his screen, prepared to confront this being who dared to steal from a god, even indirectly. He strode toward the center of the showroom while Dio called a breeze to clear the smoke. Flashes of black clothing and dark red hair flickered through the gold mesh as the captive thrashed, his large frame only hampering his struggles.

Hands on his hips, Hermes shouted up to the net, “Give me one good reason I shouldn’t call the c—”

Another roar deafened him, vibrating through the floor tiles. The body in the net began to expand. Instead of glimpses of black cloth and red hair, now gleaming red-gold hide sparked in the mesh. A huge claw poked through the side of the net and sliced the links open as if the magically forged gold were nothing more than pudding. Hermes could only watch in horror as a sinuous head emerged from the opening, followed by yard-wide, scaled shoulders and…wings.

The thief leaped free, plunging, then rising in the air as his wings unfurled. With one final roar, he arrowed toward the windows at the front of the shop and crashed through, leaving a dragon-sized hole in his wake.


Dragons, Diamonds, and Discord by Angel Martinez is now available at Amber Allure.

If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!


  1. Oh my GODs I need these stories! A dragon saver! I always wanted to save dragons!!!!

  2. Oh... I need to read this one! Well all of them, but I do love me some Angel Martinez!

    1. :) Thank you, Vickie! (And if you need help finding the first two in the series, lemme know ;) )

  3. I love dragons!! the books sound so good please count me in for the Giveaway.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, ShirleyAnn! (Oh, me too - I need all these. lol)

  4. Oh, WOW! I have got to read this book!

  5. I love dragons! This sounds great!

    1. *singing* We love our dragons, oh, yes we do ;)

  6. Thank you! FINALLY, someone has written stories where the dragons are the bad guys! I would love to win this. =)

  7. Replies
    1. heehee - I was pretty sure that's what you meant, Pat!

  8. Awesome post Angel! I love dragons. I wish there were more dragon stories where they weren't bad guys too. They are so beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Jen! This is kind of a case of if you want it, you have to write it ;)

  9. Dragons win!!! Yay. Sounds like an awesome read.

  10. Dragons and diamonds? What's there not to love...