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*includes a digitally signed author note in each book*


This collection includes the first three short stories in the explosive, action-packed, award-winning Seventeen series.

First Death

Discover where it all started…

Dancing Blades

Join Soul as he embarks on an exciting adventure that sees him grow as a warrior and gain the respect of the greatest samurai who has ever lived.

The Meeting

Discover the origins of the incredible friendship that defines Hunted


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Hunted (Book 1)
First Death (Short Story 1)
Dancing Blades (Short Story 2)
The Meeting (Short Story 3)
Warrior (Book 2)
The Warrior Monk (Short Story 4)
Empire (Book 3)
The Hunger (Short Story 5)
Legacy (Book 4)
The Bank Job (Short Story 6)
Origins (Book 5)
Destiny (Book 6)


1570. Carpathian Mountains, Moldavia.

The shadows of the hunters danced between the trees, their forms at times insubstantial amongst the white flakes falling silently from the overcast night sky. 

The boy knew all too well the deadly nature of the shapes chasing him through the forest. Blood pounded in his skull as he ran, the desperate thrum matching the cadence of his feet striking the snow covered ground. His breaths sounded unnaturally loud in his ears and masked the sounds of his pursuers. The sweat soaking his back had turned to icy trails, and frost crusted his eyes and nose. He ignored the stitch in his side, wiped at his face, and squinted at the dark landscape unfolding before him. 

There was movement out the corner of his eye. 

His heart stuttered in his chest as he spotted a gray shape. He looked around and counted four more monstrous forms closing in on him.

 * * *

The spear carved the air with a silken sound. The boy watched breathlessly as it sliced through the water and impaled a fat trout. A sliver of blood flowed down the shaft of the weapon when the man lifted it from the river. The fish twisted and arched around the blade, its body glistening in the sunlight as it sought to escape. Its desperate twitches slowly stilled.

The man turned and smiled. ‘Your turn, son.’

The boy gripped his own spear with white-knuckled fingers. He stepped into the shallows and stared at the turbulent surface. 

‘Remember, let your eyes guide your hand,’ his father said quietly behind him.

The boy let his vision unfocus until the river became a gray backdrop. An expectant hush fell around him, as if the world was holding its breath. He was wondering whether his father experienced the same feeling of detachment during a hunt when silver suddenly flashed to his left. His arm moved of its own volition. 

The spear slipped into the water and found its prey. 

The boy gaped. ‘I did it. Father, I did it!’ 

He lifted the weapon and gazed proudly at the trout thrashing around on its sharp tip. 

His father kissed his head and ruffled his hair. ‘Well done, son. We shall have a nice supper this eve.’ 

The boy’s father placed their catch in an oilskin bag and cleaned the weapons in the rapids while the boy hoisted the fishing cage sitting on the bank into his arms. Freshwater mussels rattled around the bottom. He turned and followed his father into the forest. 

Giant evergreens rose around them as they trod the path their footsteps had carved into the land over the years. The branches of the trees were heavy with snow, their crowns almost invisible against the clear sky. Cones and needle-shaped leaves covered the ground and filled the air with the clean, fresh smell of sap. 

Winter had come early to the mountains this year. The days started to grow short and the nights long several weeks ago, much to the boy’s irritation.
He had had to wait until he was seven before his mother allowed him to accompany his father on his fishing and hunting trips. It wasn’t until this summer, when he turned ten, that he received his very first hunting knife and spear. Just when he had started to get used to the weapons, he had woken up to the year’s first snowfall. 

His father pointed out plants and creatures as they navigated the trail home. The boy listened attentively. However many times they travelled this way, he always learned something new and fascinating. His enthusiasm dipped slightly when he was made to recite his French verbs. He stumbled over some of the words. His father corrected him gently and made him start all over again. 

The boy did not begrudge this strict request. He knew his mind needed to be as strong as his body if he wanted to be even half the man his father was.

The smoky scent of burning wood reached them moments before the clearing appeared between the trees. A log cabin stood in the middle of the open circle of land. Although it wasn’t big, the building was of sturdy construct and had withstood nine harsh winters in the desolate and unforgiving Carpathian Mountains. 

The boy thought it was the best home that had ever existed in the whole wide world, especially since his father and mother had built it with their own hands when he was but a baby. 

His father hastened his pace. The boy fell in behind him. 

Seconds before they reached the porch, the front door opened and a woman stepped out. She had a large quilt in her hands and was using a stick to beat dust out of it. She paused and looked up at the sound of their footsteps.

‘Mother, I did it! I caught a fish!’ the boy shouted. He broke into a run and overtook his father.

A dazzling smile curved the woman’s lips and lit her sparkling blue eyes. ‘You did? Oh, that’s wonderful!’ 

His father dropped the oilskin bag, scaled the shallow steps to the stoop, and lifted the woman by her waist. The stick and the quilt thudded to the porch. She gripped his shoulders and laughed wildly as he spun her around. He finally stopped and held her against him. 

‘Hello, wife,’ he said softly, his gray eyes brimming with love.

‘Hello, husband.’ She lowered her head and kissed him. His arms tightened around her.

The boy grimaced. He had become accustomed to these displays over the years. Though he couldn’t for the life of him fathom why pressing one’s lips against another person’s could make two people so happy, it evidently did, judging by the number of times his parents engaged in the activity. 

He tolerated their passionate embrace for as long as he could before releasing a loud sigh. 

His father reluctantly broke the kiss and slowly lifted his head. ‘Our son is a villain intent on stopping our lovemaking,’ he muttered.

His mother wrinkled her nose. ‘I suspect you were the same at that age, love. Give it another five years. We will be beating females off him in droves.’

The boy listened to this conversation with an affronted air. ‘I shall never kiss a girl. They are soft and—and horrid!’

His father threw back his head and laughed. 

‘Oh.’ His mother’s eyes narrowed. ‘Are you calling me horrid?’ 

The boy opened and closed his mouth soundlessly.

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