Cutlass by Ashley Nixion – 12 Days of Great Summer Reads – Day 9

Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it. Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.

But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.

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Ashley was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren’t used as much as she’d like. She has a Bachelor’s in English Writing and a Master’s in Library Science and Information Studies. When Ashley isn’t writing, she’s traveling, working out, or pretending she’s Sherlock Holmes. Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she’s loved everything Fantasy–resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the ‘geek’ tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.
 Author Top 10

  1. Writing
    (of course!)
    This is
    obvious. One of my all-time favorite things is writing. I’ve been a writer all
    my life. It is my identity. When I’m having a bad day, I just go hang out with
    some characters. They don’t always have bad days, but that’s why I write–to
    get to the good ones. 🙂 
  2. Books
    (Reading) – I’m being obvious again! This is part of my bookshelf. Sorry
    it’s messy. I tend to just stack stuff. But yes, reading, reading,
    reading. It’s for any day, all day, good and bad!

  3. My Aladdin (a.k.a my boyfriend) – Yes, he is my prince charming. And
    when I say Prince Charming, I totally mean it. He leaves sweet notes, and tells
    me I’m awesome very day.

  4. Pride and Prejudice – I know I said books earlier, but P&P has to
    have a category of its own. It is ridiculous how much I love this book,
    especially recently. I watch the 1995 and 2005 versions of P&P on a regular
    basis. Why do I love it so much? I guess in some form or fashion, we can all be
    Elizabeths (or Mr. Darcys). The pics below are from my own copy of P&P!

  5. Tea & Tea Cups – I LOVE tea. I drink it a lot when I write. I mean
    one cup after the other. I stopped drinking coffee about two years ago, and
    well…replaced it. I also love tea cups.

  6. Travel
    – I’ve been to Ireland, Peru, Italy, and London and France – in that
    order. I have always dreamed of traveling, and thankfully, I’ve gotten to
    do it! There are so many more places I want to go! In 2016, we are
    returning to London and France to explore more! We also would like to
    visit Greece!

  7. Connecting
    with people who love my books! The feeling I get when I talk or chill with
    readers is just awesome. I mean, it’s still a surreal feeling and I think
    it will always be, but I hope I can convey how grateful I am for every
    message, comment, and download of my book.

  8. Cooking & Working Out – I know, I’m probably in the minority here.
    BUT, let me just say, while I don’t always love either of these things, I do
    them consistently and they always make me feel AMAZING about myself and about
    my day. Starting a day with a workout, and eating well throughout the day makes
    me have a better day, I’m convinced.

  9. Music – I love to write with music, and
    certain sounds get me into a certain mind set so I can convey the feeling of
    what I’m writing better (or so I think).

  10. Purple – I love the color purple. I have purple
    in my hair, the curtains in my office are purple, I even plan to have purple as
    a color for my future wedding


“It is required by the code that I
kill any privateers I come into contact with—a waste, really. You were brave.”
Barren moved his arm back and thrust the blade toward the
young lord. Larkin moved quickly, snatching Leaf’s cutlass from his hand, she
deflected Barren’s sword and stood between the two.
“No!” she cried fiercely. “You will
spare him!”
“You do not command me!” Barren’s
voice was deadly.
“What would you gain from his
“He cannot be trusted!”
“You’ve spent all your life killing
the wrong people! How many more lives will you take to pay for one?”
Barren let his blade fall to his
side. His gaze seared her, and he could tell she was afraid. Her eyes were
wide, and she breathed heavily, but her hands tightened on the hilt of Leaf’s
blade. For a moment, he wanted to end her life. Then he would have no more
interferences, but he knew he couldn’t. He took a step toward her, eyes
“Move,” he commanded. Larkin glared
up at him and shook her head. Barren tightened his jaw.
“It’s okay, Larkin,” she heard
Jonathan’s voice. “Move.”
Barren watched as she turned to
face Jonathan. Because she was distracted, Leaf was able to reach forward and
pull her away from the scene, ripping the blade from her hands. Barren stepped
forward, repositioned himself before the man and pointed the sword at
Jonathan’s neck. All Barren had to do was push ever so slightly and blood would
pool on the ground, a terrible gurgling sound that would fill the air. Larkin
would scream—scream that he was a monster. Only now, she would see it, she
would really know it.

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