Blair Babylon
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Sneak Peek at In Shining Armor by Blair Babylon

A Myth, Told By A Mercenary

Dieter Schwarz

Specialist Dieter Leo Schwarz, as he calls himself, is sitting in a hardback chair, facing you. The black pants with large pockets he wears bring to mind the blank uniform of a mercenary, or at least a military unit that will deny it’s associated with any nation. His powerful arms are bare below the short sleeves of his black tee shirt, and he’s leaning to brace his forearms on his thighs and clasp his hands between his knees. It’s a supplicant’s position, but you get the feeling that what he wants, you can’t give him.

He begins, “Have you ever heard the story of the Frog Prince?”

His next breath is a deep one, in through his nose, and anger sparks in his gray eyes. The sinews in his neck stand out like he might leap to his feet and close the gap between you, and you wonder if you will survive this interview.

His weapons—guns and knives and a bladed thing you don’t recognize—are piled on a table by his side but within his reach.

He says, “First, there was an evil sorcerer. There’s always a powerful bad guy in these stories. And there was a prince. Maybe he was a handsome prince back then, before the world scarred and coarsened him.”

Dieter rubs the thick skin over his knuckles and one cord of scar tissue that runs up his arm to his black tee shirt. You wonder whether he’s killed people with those strong, scarred hands.

He says, “The handsome prince was born into the world of castles and wealth, of ruthless monarchs and oligarchs, people who used money and power to rule the world from their mountaintop castles and skyscraper penthouses.

“The evil sorcerer made an attempt to take over the town or kingdom or whatever, and maybe the prince was complicit. Maybe the prince had only seen the world from his high castle and never realized that the scurrying reptiles and slimy things slithering in the streets below his window were people with dreams and lives, who were just trying to survive. Maybe the prince fell under the spell of the evil sorcerer, at least a little. I hope that’s true, but it might have been just that the prince enjoyed terrible things.

“But it is true that the sorcerer lured the prince with things he longed for, things his royal family could never give him, things like danger and chaos.”

Dieter glances at the pile of weapons on the table and continues, “But consorting with the evil sorcerer meant that the prince had to leave his high castle, and when he did, he saw how the reptiles lived and were crushed underfoot by people like himself and the sorcerer.

“But he kept working with the sorcerer, dabbling in black magic and the black market.

“Until one day, he looked into the eyes of some of the belly-crawling things he was about to crush. He saw that they were sparks of life in the void. He couldn’t do it. He walked away.

“The prince defied the sorcerer and saved the children, and the enraged sorcerer hunted for the prince.

“The prince turned himself into a frog. The sorcerer thought it was a punishment.”

Dieter’s gray eyes lit with something sinister. “What the sorcerer didn’t realize is that the prince wanted to swim in the muck, to fight the snakes, and to live a life that was red of tooth and claw. He thrived on the violence, on the blood, on every day being a battle for survival and supremacy. He became the carnivorous warrior of the swamp, and he found brothers in arms with the same taste for violence. The Frog Prince lived far from the castles and penthouses, where the evil sorcerer could not find him.”

Dieter’s grin turned sheepish. “I always liked amphibious assaults. Ironic, yes?”

He shakes off the joke and continues, “But the sorcerer had left a flaw in the spell he’d cast on the Frog Prince. If a princess kisses the Frog Prince, he will lose everything and be forced to return to being a prince in a high castle.

“Luckily, the Frog Prince didn’t love princesses. He’d always been attracted to the witches and the dark fairies, the dragons and rabid wolves in human form. The women he kissed were as soulless as the monarchs and oligarchs he’d grown up with, the ones who hoarded diamonds and rubies at the cost of so many human lives. He thought he didn’t deserve anything better than a woman who was as lethal, as evil, as violent as he was. He thought he deserved a sociopath, so that’s what he found.

“But one princess was an enchantress, and the Frog Prince didn’t realize she was lifting him up and cleaning off the muck until it was too late. A mercenary Frog Prince isn’t worthy of a real princess, one who lights up the sky simply by existing and who wants to use her royal power to make the world a better place.

“He’d never met anyone like her.

“No one had ever seen the good in him before.

“The Frog Prince fell insanely, obsessively in love with the princess. He walked behind her into the high palaces, creeping near the walls and in the darkness, trying to protect her from the ruthless and evil monarchs and oligarchs he’d known all his life.

“The evil rulers surrounded his princess in those castles. The Frog Prince saw the princes who had looked the other way when the sorcerer had worked his evil charms. He saw the princes who had reaped the benefits of black magic.

“He wrestled with being a frog in the world of princes, and he watched the princes give her the diamonds and rubies they had hoarded.

“A Frog Prince can’t offer mud and swampland to a princess.

“He would have to reclaim his castle, which meant he would have to return to the ruthless and evil society of the monarchs and oligarchs, to be worthy of her.

“But the evil sorcerer was still out there, waiting for the Frog Prince to emerge to take his castle back.

“He saw the evil sorcerer at a ball the princess attended.

“The Frog Prince was beneath the sorcerer’s notice, and the sorcerer’s dark gaze did not settle on the frog standing in the shadows, his fingers brushing the handguns under his tuxedo.

“If the Frog Prince tried to walk in the world of men again, the evil sorcerer would certainly kill the princess, even if it was only to make the Frog Prince suffer. The Frog Prince knew he couldn’t protect the princess from the sorcerer, even with his own life.

“To protect her that night, the Frog Prince went back to the swamp. To protect her forever, he stayed there.”

Dieter grimaces, and his clasped hands clench around each other. “If something had happened to Flicka, I would have done something reprehensible. Inside, I’m still a soulless prince of the high castles, one of the monarchs and oligarchs in this hellhole world. In my rage, I don’t know whether I would have been able to draw a line. So, to protect her and innocent people, I left.”

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Love, Blair

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59 comments
Tammie says April 26, 2018

Is it May 8th yet???? I love the myth <3. I can almost hear the emotion in Dieter's voice between the hatred of the evil in the world of royalty and wanting to disassociate himself from it but having to travel in the shadows to ensure that the one person he loves will not come to harm.
And the longing he feels for that person he loves but cannot because then he would have to come out of the shadows and reveal himself.

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teri tennison says April 26, 2018

😮 !!!!!

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Serena says April 26, 2018

(Gasp!! ) I am on pins and needles waiting for the next installment of FLICKA’S story !!!!

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Bonnie Tuttle says April 26, 2018

OMG, Blair!!! Can’t wait!

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Debbie Turk says April 26, 2018

Omg!!! You are a sorceress of words Blair📝 🔮
ISA 💕

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nancy munoz says April 26, 2018

Well, well, well…I’m going to have to reread the ‘ball scene’ again!

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Lila McClean says April 26, 2018

This is a gripping and exciting new take on the Frog Prince fairytale. I love it! The prince has learned and accepted that he is just as dirty and grimy as anyone else but the princess not only accepts him but sees beyond all of that and touches him as no one else can! This is a must read for all who love a bad boy!

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Gail says April 26, 2018

Well, you hooked ME! I like the twist on the Frog Prince and the symmetry, but most of all the verve with which you wrote it. That’s what keeps me coming back — your creative flair.

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Janice Owen says April 26, 2018

I LOVED this excerpt from the book! We got to learn more about Dieter and how he came to be who and what he is.

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Tara Veith says April 26, 2018

This is a cool twist on an old tale. I can’t wait to see it unfold and I hope the oligarchs and twisted princes get their just desserts.

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Linda Dossett says April 26, 2018

Wow, Blair. What is he? Or better yet who is he?

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SUSAN RICKARD says April 26, 2018

Wow! That was incredible, loved it!

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Lisa says April 27, 2018

Oh my! Dieter! So powerful and dark and twisty a tale… How will the story end?

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Ann Morris says April 27, 2018

I have already bought Rheanon and loved it. Waiting impatiently for next book. Love the gluten free peanut butter cookie recipe. Will try it for my granddaughter.

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    Blair says April 27, 2018

    It’s really good. I’ve been celiac for years. Hugs on the GF granddaughter!

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Yvonne says April 27, 2018

I can’t wait for the full book.

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Ruth says April 27, 2018

You got me! I wasn’t going to buy Flicka #1 yet, was going to wait for a bundle, but, once again, your writing pulled me in – and in anticipation of Flicka #2, I caved now, rather than later. Thank you

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Lis Kellam says May 1, 2018

That is so very Dieter.. and so telling. Can’t wait for this book!

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Joyce Black says May 2, 2018

Hi Blair:

Great allegory! I remember these two characters from some of your other novels. It will be great to hear their story! 🙂

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Rosemary Belore says May 5, 2018

I’ve ready everyone of the books in this series and can not wait to read the next in Flicka’s Story!! You are by day one of my most favourite authors. Please keep them coming and I’ll keep reading them!!

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Jodi Hunter says May 7, 2018

I think he is super hot!

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Calvin says May 8, 2018

Gosh this sneak peeek sure is hooking me on, excitement at it’s finest

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Mary Preston says May 8, 2018

Dieter sounds strong and driven.

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Lacey Waters says May 8, 2018

He seems really intense! I’d like to read more.

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Terri S says May 8, 2018

WOW! This is fantastic!

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Sara Zielinski says May 8, 2018

I love Dieter

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Debbie says May 8, 2018

From what I read I like Dieter a whole lot and I can’t wait to read this book.

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Debra Holloway says May 8, 2018

This book is an absolute must read.

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Debra Holloway says May 8, 2018

The guy is a pure hunk.

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Maria Dalmau says May 8, 2018

OMG! I can’t wait.

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bn100 says May 8, 2018

interesting

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Victoria says May 9, 2018

Awesome, thanks for sharing 🙂

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Casey Garvey says May 9, 2018

This cover SCREAMS hot!! I cant wait to see what the hottie does!

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Nikolina Vukelic says May 9, 2018

mmmm… Dieter is steamy… 🙂

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Ria Restrepo says May 9, 2018

I’m so excited to finally read Dieter and Flicka’s story. I love this series!

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teri tennison says May 9, 2018

This series is just ,,, too much! Love it!

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Stephanie Young says May 9, 2018

I’m really looking forward to reading this book.

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Angela M says May 10, 2018

I love this story!

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Debbie Turk says May 10, 2018

I think he’s very complex & after reading ISA that’s been confirmed!! I think he’s deeply loyal, loves deeply & is shamed as well as horrified by the secrets in his past.
I can’t wait to learn more about him 💙

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Maria Cecilia Lapertosa says May 10, 2018

Congratulations on the release!!

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Amanda Dubuque says May 10, 2018

Sounds like a hot book, I think I’m going to like him.

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Debbie Rice says May 11, 2018

Can’t wait to read this book

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Linda Henderson says May 11, 2018

He certainly sounds intriguing. I haven’t started this series yet, but I’m definitely going to have to now.

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Lillianne Arai says May 11, 2018

5 books? I’m dying here! Totally love Raphael . Don’t know if I’ll survive until August/September time frame to read the whole series!!

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Carole Deere says May 12, 2018

He’s hot!

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ButtonsMom2003 says May 12, 2018

I love Dieter!

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Angeline Sambrano says May 12, 2018

I can’t wait to read this book cuz it sounds incredible!!!

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Sandra Watts says May 12, 2018

Looks good. Enjoyed the excerpt.

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Linda Dossett says May 12, 2018

Patiently waiting for the next installment. Dieter is a mystery unfolding as the story progresses. As always a good read.

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Kathy Newcomer says May 12, 2018

The book sounds good!

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Heather Snyder says May 12, 2018

Hmmm he sounds like he thrives on violence but only because he has no other choice. He sounds like he’s longing for his princess.

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Sherrie Merrell says May 12, 2018

OMGosh 💙💚💜❤💛 can’t wait to Read😁💕

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Nicole Ortiz says May 13, 2018

Can’t wait to read more!

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Amanda Gardner says May 13, 2018

Dieter sounds like an interesting character

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Katrina Dehart says May 13, 2018

Want to read more!!

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kim charlton says May 13, 2018

I most certainly would not turn him away..lol!

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Jolanda says May 15, 2018

That was incredible! 😀

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Lynette Assels says May 15, 2018

I think you have another bes seller on your hands.i am very interested to what happens to Dieter when he fully tells the princess his story. Will she tell him to go away? or embrace & love him for who he is, even with the flaws? I can’t wait to read it!

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Elizabeth J. Connor says May 19, 2018

Just like the rest of your books, I love this one!

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