But the shadows are shifting. The lies are adding up. When Sentinel City is threatened by a series of bizarre brutal murders, light is shed on what should never be seen. The secrets that have kept humanity in the dark for centuries are in danger of being exposed.
Wrestling with a lifetime of her own deceptions, Dahlia investigates the killings while simultaneously working to conceal their circumstances. But with each new murder, the little bit of peace she has found in this world begins to crumble. Each new clue leads her to the one place she thought to never go again: home.
Flash Point is the first audiobook in the Nite Fire series.
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Dahlia Nite – Character Interview
Drimera is ruled by the powerful dragon-queen Naalish. Though, she’s more of a tyrant than a queen. Below her are lesser dragon kings, each in charge of their own tribes. Laws are enforced by the Guild, a military style organization that sticks its nose in whatever business Naalish decides is hers. My kind, lyrriken, we do all the heavy lifting and all the dirty work. We’re born from the mating of a male dragon in human form and a human female. We can’t reproduce ourselves. When we try, a mutation occurs. And the creature we give birth to… It isn’t worth the risk. Our existence is entirely dependent on the dragons, and they make sure we know it. Which makes us born beholden and willing to serve. Free will is not a concept on my world.
The Guild chose me for their ranks when I was young. They educated and trained me. I worked hard for years to earn my place among them. Eventually, I gained command of my own squad, and the queen’s favor. Back then, it was all I’d ever wanted.
2. What do you miss the most about your home world?
The sense of belonging, the camaraderie that existed between lyrriken—especially between those of us with in the Guild. Aside from living, working, and training together, many of us grew up together. Our connections weren’t built on friendship or love. Most lyrriken find such emotions cumbersome and pointless. Our solidarity was based more on mutual respect, commonalities, instinct, and shared experiences. We had the same goals and hopes, the same love for our home, and the same desire to please our queen. Except, none of it was real. My entire upbringing was fabricated and manipulated. We were brainwashed, tortured, abused. And we asked for more because we believed we had the greatest purpose of all: to serve those who gave us life.
So, if you take away all that bullshit, what I miss most is the smell of the air. And the twin moons. With all my travels to other worlds, I’ve never seen their like. All I had to do was look up at the sky, and know I was home.
3. A lyrriken is half human and half dragon. Of all three species, which do you feel the closest to?
Humans. Though, if you’d told me a hundred years ago that would be my answer, I would have laughed at you. Fifty years ago, even twenty, I’m not sure I could have answered it at all. I was a fugitive when I left Drimera. My early years here consisted of one long blur of running. Then it was decades of investigations, fake IDs, cover-ups, shitty motels, truck stops, and dive bars. I struggled with things like connections and trust. I still do. But it’s different now. I’ve found something here in Sentinel City. For the first time, I’ve let myself form real connections. And they’ve rooted themselves deeper than I could have ever predicted.
It scares me, sometimes. That I have something to lose now. I have a life. It’s not one you would consider normal. I’m never going to have that. I’m not a 9-5, white-picket-fence kind of girl. I’m still investigating monster sightings and covering them up, but I work as a consultant for the SCPD now. I have a job, an apartment. I have friends who care about me.
It’s my version of a normal life. And I’ll do anything to protect it.
4. Lyrriken have special abilities, powers one might would consider “superhuman”. What gifts did you inherit from your dragon father? Which is most important to your survival?
All lyrriken are born with rapid healing, longevity, strength, heightened senses, and the ability to shift between our scaled lyrriken forms and human. We also have offensive powers such as: the generation and manipulation of fire, water, air, land, and a talent for crafting illusions. In rare cases, other psychic abilities can manifest.
I’m one of those rare cases. Aside from being able to produce and wield fire, I’m also empathic. Though fire is my go-to weapon in a fight, my empathic ability is directly related to my survival on this world. It’s allowed me to understand and experience the emotions of others on a level that’s foreign to other lyrriken. I can read, see, and experience only the negative (things like grief, regret, loneliness, fear, anger).
Humans are inherently emotional creatures. While I’ve come to know them well, they still manage to surprise me. And if a species can thrive this much, carrying around the weight of so much trauma, they’re worth my protection and respect. Neither of which I would feel so deeply if not for my empathic ability.
5. If you had to choose one of your forms for all eternity, which would you pick?
Damn. You don’t pull any punches, do you? The closest I’ve come to happiness is here in this place, in my human form, with these people. But if I had to pick one, it would have to be lyrriken. No matter how comfortable I’ve grown with my human half, no matter how much they’ve come to feel like home, I will never be one of them. I was born scaled. I don’t think I could live without that part of me.
6. Do you have any hobbies? What do you do for fun?
I’ve never had time for hobbies. Though my self-appointed sidekick, Casey Evans, has recently turned me onto the art of binge-watching. Does that count?
Fun is tracking down a mystery. Solving a case. Knowing you’ve saved lives. Maybe you see that as more rewarding than fun, but every mystery is its own roller coaster. And solving it comes with an adrenaline rush bigger than any ride in the amusement park.
7. Do you have a role model?
Not anymore. There was a time when I worshipped Queen Naalish. She was everything to me. She was everything I wanted to be. Until I realized she was a calculating, cold-hearted, manipulative bitch. That about did it for me and hero worship. But there are human traits I’ve come to admire and aspire to. My partner, Detective Alex Creed has a sense of morality and justice that just won’t quit. The energy and eagerness that Casey Evans brings to every situation, no matter how dark and dangerous it is; I wish I could see the world the way he does. I wish I could see myself the way he does.
8. What do you consider your greatest strength? What’s your greatest weakness?
I have the same answer for both those questions: I don’t give up. Depending on the circumstances, that’s a strength. Other times, not so much.
9. Do you have any quirks or bad habits?
Hmmm…maybe a few. Tequila, whiskey, beer, coffee, junk food, energy drinks—those things will kill you. I’m hard as hell on clothes and quick with a punch. I drive too fast. I curse like a ship-full of drunken sailors. Creed will tell you I crack bad jokes at highly inappropriate times. But I mostly do it to piss him off.
10. If you knew you were going to die in 24 hours, what would you do in the time you had left?
Well, I wouldn’t tell anyone my time was up. Being empathic, I deal with enough negative emotions on a daily basis. Processing someone else’s grief over my impending death—no thanks. I’ll pass.
As far as what I’d do with the time… I’d grab an extra-large coffee and walk the streets of Sentinel City a while. Alone. At night. Just soaking it all up one last time. Then I’d grab the few friends I’ve made here and bring them to my favorite bar: Nadine’s. The place itself is nothing special. Just a dark, dingy, little jazz club. But the tequila is top shelf. And the ice cream is to die for. Okay, maybe the bad jokes aren’t just for Creed.