Monthly Archives: April 2022

Magic, snark and a great quest–what more can you ask for? J.B. Dane

PLEASE WELCOME LYNDI’S ADVENTUROUS FRIEND J.B. Dane!!!!

The toughest thing (and the most fun one, too) that a writer can do when spinning a series is looking for ways to top what happened in the titles that went before. But when I found a way to weave in something I’ve found thrilling and have for years, that really was the cherry on top. The “cherry” in RAVEN’S EDGE, the 3rd Raven Tale novel, was putting a sword in urban fantasy PI Bram Farrell’s hand and dropping him into a position where he wielded a rapier twice! Once while seeking information about a missing man and then to simply survive. Well, and take a stab (yes, pun city!) at reacquiring a talisman stolen from the Tuatha Dè Danann horde in Tara. It gave me a good reason (or so I thought) to rewatch all my favorite swashbuckling movies to take notes on moves and thrill to the ringing sound of blade kissing blade. Backed that up with a centuries old guide on the correct way to do battle with a rapier in hand so the terms would be correct. You can take the historian (me) out of their element and drop them in an urban fantasy one, but you can’t pry them away from historically correct terms.

To work some sword play into RAVEN’S EDGE not only meant I had to find (and then steal) a legendary magical sword, I had to have a reason why Bram was expert enough to use it when the time came. It just so happens, though, I had a prequel novella where he and D’Artagnan (of Three Musketeers fame) were drinking at a tavern and mention was made that the musketeer had taught my hero to wield a rapier well enough to be a regular sparring partner. And how can a fictional character do this? Well, it just so happens that Bram was 100% fictional at the time, too. They both lived in fictionland and neither knew they were nothing more than words on a page.

That’s the set up of The Raven Tales. A magic wielding, snark spewing PI with a 20-volume strong resume of kicking Otherworlder’s to the curb, but more likely killing them when need be, is yanked into the “real” world. This happens in the REAL first book of the series and Bram has been dreaming of becoming fully human himself since then. It’s just that people keep trying to kill him outside of the seam stitched binding as they did inside it.

Raven’s Edge Excerpt:

Mack perked up when he noted a light on in a second-floor window. “That’s Seth’s place. He must be home.”

“Nasty flu bug goin’ around. Maybe he’s just got a bad case,” Burt offered. Oddly enough, he no longer seemed inclined to climb out of the cab and be part of the party now.

“Could be,” Mack agreed as he angled out of the back. “He teaches in an elementary school, so colds fell him regularly.”

Sounded logical but something niggled at me that such was not going to be what we found. Only a few weeks ago I’d been searching for another missing person, this one the great-grandson of a particularly slinky vampiress. Hoped we’d find Mack’s friend doing nothing more than downing meds and watching television when we reached his door.

I trailed a bit behind as Mack headed for his friend’s place. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The sort of hackles that raise when it feels like I’m being watched didn’t stir, so I took the steps up to the upper level two at a time as Mack had done.

He relaxed a bit when he heard a familiar sound leaking into the hall. “Marathoning Game of Thrones again,” he said, jerking his head toward the closed door. “He’s got a thing for Daenerys.”

“What’s not to like about a girl who owns dragons?” I asked.

“And always looks hot,” Mack added then knocked on the door. “Yo, Seth. You alright? It just wasn’t St. Pat’s without yo—”

The door creaked open of its own accord.

The set was on, and Jon Snow wasn’t having an easy time of it on the screen. But it didn’t look like Seth had fared much better. A recliner lay on its side, sofa cushions were cockeyed, a bookshelf had its contents splayed across the floor and a side table and lamp had bit the dust. The only things in good order were the floor lamp glowing near the window and the flat screen where the fate of Westeros still hung in the balance.

“Seth!” Mack shouted, heading for what was probably the bedroom.

I stayed where I was, closed my eyes and inhaled deeply. Yup, the Spidey senses had been on the job alright. The room smelled of spilled beer, nachos, weed, and three other essences.

Vampire, ghoul, and blood.

Links to RAVEN’S EDGE

Amazon http://mybook.to/RAVEDGE

https://www.bookbub.com/books/raven-s-edge-raven-tales-book-three-the-raven-tales-3-by-jb-dane

J.B. Dane is the author of the urban fantasy PI mystery comedy series, The Raven Tales, which includes novels published by Burns and Lea Books, and a series of Indie published novellas that are prequels and also “between the books” adventures of her main character, Bram Farrell. The latest novel in the series is RAVEN’S EDGE. Quite a few 5* reviews have followed for the novels in particular. She also writes shorter fantasy fiction, many tales of which have appeared in anthologies, particularly her Nick Claus, North Pole Security stories.

Social Media Links

Website: www.4TaleTellers.com

Twitter: @JBDaneWriter

Facebook: J.B. Dane Mystery and Fantasy http://bit.ly/2GJtejL

Finding just what you need in unexpected places: Amber Cross

PLEASE WELCOME LYNDI’S ADVENTUROUS FRIEND AMBER CROSS!!

Nothing is as magical or transformative as love, especially when you’re not looking for it! 

Like Roger and Lisa, I wasn’t expecting this romance. Roger was a minor character in Precedent for Passion-Glen’s older brother who ran the family’s dairy farm, and Lisa was a minor character in Tender Possession-the human resources director at the hospital where Emmeline worked. Then something happened while I was writing Open Door to Love. When Jonnie moved to Somerset, it was only natural that one of the first people she met was Lisa, who fills in for the town clerk when she needs a Saturday off. Lisa is friendly, and quirky, so the two of them hit it off and soon become best friends. Yet as I wrote that book, their friendship became more and more important and Lisa’s character took on greater depth until she was practically screaming, “Write my story!” So I did.

The next hurdle was, who is good enough for her? 

Lisa is a happy, generous person who pretty much lights up the world around her. Yet she is physically limited due to spina bifida and almost forty years old, so she has resigned herself to being single.

She needed someone to appreciate her zest for life, someone who would look at her and see a woman, not a pair of crutches or a wheelchair.

Roger is a widower with two grown sons who enjoys sitting down at the end of the day with a good book and a glass of red wine. He enjoys weekly card parties and hockey games, and he isn’t looking for anything more.

Yes!

Sometimes when you’re not looking, you find exactly what you need.

Here’s an excerpt from their first meeting:

Roger Plankey was man enough to admit he looked over his shoulder before ducking inside the Somerset town offices on Saturday morning. He wasn’t normally paranoid but after three weeks of being pursued by a reality show contestant bent on claiming him for herself, he wasn’t taking any chances.

“If you’re running from the law, you’ve come to the wrong place.”

Turning, he saw a woman leaning out of the town clerk’s service window, pointing to the police department across the hall. She wore a black felt witch’s hat and orange pumpkins dangled from her ears, as brilliant as the smile on her face.

Well, well, well.

“It’s not the cops I need,” he admitted, approaching the window and thrusting his hand out in greeting. “I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure. Roger Plankey.”

“Lisa Kirkpatrick.” 

Her skin was soft against his work-roughened palm, her beautifully manicured nails a sharp contrast to his blunt-tipped square fingers. Halloween decorations sparkled on the black painted ovals, but nothing shone from her left ring finger. He checked. 

“Are you new here, Lisa?”

“I’m the deputy clerk. I work when Maisie needs a day off.”

“Ahh, that would explain why we haven’t met before.” Reluctantly taking his hand back, he retrieved paperwork from the inside pocket of his canvas barn jacket. “I’ve got a bunch of vehicles to register.” He passed the documents through the window, letting his gaze wander over her pretty face while she scanned them. Brown hair curled against the brim of her witch’s hat and caressed the nape of her neck. Thick eyelashes feathered high apple cheeks and when they lifted, her hazel eyes reminded him of spring rain on the meadow.

When the reality show contestant finds him and he avoids her interest by saying he has a date with Lisa, she is surprised but plays along. Not for a minute does she expect him to be serious. But Roger appreciates a woman with character, and he’s intrigued by more than just a pretty face. 

Ardell whistled. “Close call.”

“You’re telling me.” He shuddered dramatically and she laughed. “I think you were trying to ask me something before we got interrupted?”

“Oh, yeah.” A phone rang inside the selectmen’s office and she started down the hall to answer it, saying over her shoulder, “Card party starts tonight. You in?”

“Well, that depends on my date. Whadya say, Lisa?”

“You don’t have to pretend now.” She slid a pen and forms from the printer across the shelf for him to sign. “I’m pretty sure she left the parking lot.”

“Who’s pretending?” After adding his John Hancock in all the right places, he pulled his wallet from his back pocket and extracted a number of bills to cover the cost. “I’m asking you out on a date. Dinner and some kitty whist. Can I pick you up at six o’clock?”

She didn’t answer him. Instead, she handed over his change and renewal paperwork before pushing away from the ledge on her side of the window. Holding her hands out at her sides as if she was a game show hostess displaying a prize. Only she was showing him the wheelchair she sat in, hidden from his view until now. He could tell this wasn’t the first time she introduced herself this way, and he wondered just how many douchebags had turned her down because of it.

He wasn’t a douchebag and she wasn’t getting out of a date that easily. “Don’t think I’m taking my invitation back just because you’re a little heavier to pick up than the average gal.”

 These two are a fun couple. Their challenges are very real, their interactions honest, their love exceptional. I hope you’ll join them on their journey and read A Full-Bodied Love.

STORY: Lisa Kirkpatrick is stubborn, but she’s not stupid. If this guy needs a date to evade an unwanted admirer, who is she to object? It’s not as if handsome men are lining up to ask her out. Sure, they know there’s a woman in the wheelchair, but it would never occur to them that there’s a WOMAN in the wheelchair. He notices. This solid, fun, straight-shooting guy ticks off every box on her ideal man list. But why do they call him Slick?

Roger Plankey thought his life was full until he walked into the town clerk’s office and laid eyes on the woman behind the counter. A spunky, independent woman with a dash of humor and just enough sass to keep him on his toes. She fills that unknown void in his life like she was made for him. But is there such a thing as too perfect?

Author Bio:

Amber Cross was raised on a family farm in New England, one of a dozen siblings, each one inspiring her writing in some way. She still lives in that same small town with her husband and the youngest of their five children. She loves spending time in the woods, in the water, and watching people because every one of them has a unique and fascinating story to tell.

Social Media/Links:

Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmberCross

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/author_amber_cross/

Website: https://www.amber-cross.com

Buy Links: 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Full-Bodied-Love-Kingdom-Book-ebook/dp/B09SVLTXDY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=W9XA3A5Q7WYW&keywords=A+Full-Bodied+Love&qid=1645331165&s=digital-text&sprefix=a+full-bodied+love%2Cdigital-text%2C88&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-full-bodied-love-amber-cross/1141022858

Welcome author Vicky Burkholder!

Vicky Burkholder

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

Thank you for having me. I’m in the Mid-Atlantic part of the US. Family? Yep. I have four adult kids (2 biological, 2 adopted), five grandchildren, and bunches of others—including my 95-year-old mom. As for my pet family, we always had cats (along with other species) but, unfortunately, our last one crossed the rainbow bridge a few years ago and we didn’t have the heart to replace her. She was with us for nineteen years. At this stage in our lives, we decided to enjoy others rather than our own.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

Not coffee – never learned to like it. Love the aroma, hate the taste. But you will always find me with either a mug or glass of tea (hot or iced) at my side. And all sorts of flavors. Depends on my mood. But most common are English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green, Mint, or Chai.

Is your education relevant to your writing, or have you branched off in something entirely different to create? How would you best describe your books?

I’d say my curiosity is more relevant than my education, though with a master’s degree in library science, I guess it does have a lot to do with books!

Tell us about your most recent publication?

My most recent is “Lost Among the Stars”, a futuristic romance. Though it’s the second in the series “Galactic Danger”, the first is only loosely connected to this one (and the next two). In this one, Amanda Ki runs a huge conglomerate. One of her major sources of income is being threatened by a saboteur who wants to take over her company. She commandeers a ship to take her to the world being threatened. The captain of the ship, Declan Chalmers, is definitely not happy about the job. His crew has been decimated by illness and the ship is not in good shape thanks to cheap work by the owners. Declan and Amanda butt heads, but when they discover the saboteur is on board, they have to work together to not only save themselves, but the rest of the crew and passengers. The ship goes out of control and all they can do is find a planet to land on until help can find them.

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of discovering a whole new world that humans could live on and what we’d do with it. While writing, I did a lot of research on what makes a world livable—how far from the sun, what kind of sun, plants, animals, axis tilt… all of the stuff that goes into making it possible for you to not just live, but thrive on a new world.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

Playing with world building. Creating a whole new world—actually, a whole new solar system! And new plants and animals. And so much more. I had fun with the creating.

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I’ve always wanted to write—to make up stories. I love building new worlds and characters to populate those worlds. That’s the fun part. The hard part is actually sitting down and doing the writing! LOL

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I used to belong to several. Not so many anymore, unfortunately. Just two small ones. The one I am most active with has just four of us—we call ourselves the Bootsquad—for those times when you need a kick in the butt to get your work done (or a shoulder to cry on when needed). We go on long weekend retreats three times a year for intense writing times. My favorite go to sites for writing are: Fiction University, Savvy Authors, Writers Write, and Fantasy Name Generator. I also use a lot of others, but these are my main ones.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

I listen only to instrumental music – usually New Age or Environmental. I can’t listen to anything with words as I usually start singing along then and don’t concentrate on my work!

Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?

The Bootsquad are my crit partners. We each write in different genres (Cozy Mystery, Action Adventure, Futuristic, Dystopian) but are very familiar with the genres so we can honestly crit each other. We’ve been together for years so know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

To encourage those still on the path, tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one? What do you think was the key to selling that first book?

“Lost Among the Stars” is my 25th book. The path has not always been smooth. Five publishers I published under have gone away, which is always disheartening. It also led me to self-publishing before I signed with my current publisher, The Wild Rose Press. Before I was published, I wrote policy and procedures manuals for organizations and the government (yes, it is as boring as it sounds!), and was a journalist for a local newspaper (small town). My first published book was actually the first full-length book I wrote. Up until then, I mostly wrote short stories and articles.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

I am currently writing the third book in this series, “Found Among the Stars” while I wait for edits on the second “Searching Among the Stars”. Because of Covid, I am not yet making personal appearances, but hope to soon. In the meantime, you can find me on Gabby Allan’s “Pull Up a Branch” Podcast:  Vicky Burkholder Pulls Up a Branch to talk World Building! – YouTube

Tagline: How do you escape death when you are lost in space and a killer is aboard your ship?

Synopsis: Amanda Ki’s humanitarian trip to Xy-Three is fraught with assassins and saboteurs who are popping up faster than she can deal with them. Caught up in a web of intrigue, kidnapping, and terror, Mandy joins forces with the captain of the Phoenix, Declan Chalmers. Declan is tall, dark, handsome, and probably the most arrogant, dictatorial man she has ever met. He’s also one of the few people she can trust. Declan doesn’t know what to expect from the VIP who heads up a million-dollar enterprise, when she boards his ship. The tiny, exotic, and packed full of grit woman is not only drop dead gorgeous and smart, she’s also deadly when it comes to martial arts. A skill he wants on his side when the space craft is sabotaged. Thrown together, the two form a tight bond, but if they aren’t careful, they could end up dead.

Excerpt :

Declan took in the woman sitting in front of him, from the long, coal-black hair held back with a tie, to the expensive, but practical jumpsuit. She was everything Declan disliked—a bureaucrat of the worst type—stubborn, fiery, and determined. Revising his earlier thoughts, she was neither old, nor wrinkled, but Dec wasn’t sure about the coddling yet. “There’s no need to thank me. You handled the situation exceedingly well. However,” his voice changed from silky smooth to one of warning, “in the future, please don’t give my crew any orders without checking with me first.”

Miss Ki stared at him. He could see the muscles in her jaw working. Fine, so she was angry. Dec wasn’t exactly happy with the way this trip was starting out either.

“I wasn’t aware I needed your permission to do my job. These people are my responsibility.”

“And this ship and her crew are mine. While you’re on my ship, you will follow my orders. Is that clear, Ms. Ki?”

Mandy stood, bracing her hands on the desk. “Like hell I will. You may be in charge of this ship, but I am in charge of this mission. Is that clear, Captain?” Without waiting for an answer, she stalked from the room.

Book Links:

The Wild Rose Press: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/bookauthor/vicky-burkholder

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Among-Stars-Galactic-Danger-ebook/dp/B09QJJL8ZH

Barnes & Noble: Lost Among the Stars by Vicky Burkholder | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/

Google Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Vicky_Burkholder

Author Information:

As her alter-ego, Vicky has multiple homes all over the universe. She looks human – for the most part – but when she starts writing about characters being able to move things or flicking fire from their fingertips, or changing the course of rivers, people tend to get a little freaked out. She found the one guy out there in the universe who loves her for who she is and they’ve been together forever and raised four wonderful (now) adults. Her career includes work as a technical writer/editor, a stringer for the local newspaper, and an editor and copy editor for various publishers. At various times in her life, she has been a teacher, a secretary, a short-order cook, a computer specialist, a DJ, and a librarian. When not editing or writing, she can be found in the kitchen creating gluten free goodies for her family.

Author Links

Website:  http://www.vicky-burkholder.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Vicky-Burkholder

Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1264928.Vicky_Burkholder

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Vicky-Burkholder-535739543163598/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vickyburkholder

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/vicky-burkholder

For Other Works by Vicky Burkholder

(Please be sure to stop by her Website to see all of her works)

Vicky Burkholder

tales that transcend the ordinary

http://burkholv.wordpress.com

http://www.sparklingbookreviews.com

Can love transcend time?

Please welcome Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend NANCY LOYAN!!

Every novel begins with an idea. My time travel, “Wishes and Tears” began with a find at an antiquarian bookstore. I secured a Memorial Volume, “San Francisco’s Horror of Earthquake, Fire and Famine,” penned in 1906, the same year as the catastrophic event. This first-hand account of this historic event, written in the dramatic fashion popular during the time, awakened my imagination.

The San Francisco earthquake and fire has so many nuances. One of the country’s largest and most beautiful cities was awakened to a major trembler at dawn, on April 18, when most people were just arising to start their day. Architecture collapsed. “Hundreds of millions of dollars of property was destroyed.” Soon, natural gas lines ruptured, and fire enveloped large swaths of the city. The once grand city was left in ashes. Those who survived, the walking wounded, gathered in city parks for refuge during the aftershocks. Famine and disease followed.

I pondered, “What if?” The novel was born.

Instead of writing an historical novel, I wondered how it would feel if a modern-day woman traveled back in time, right before the tragedy. Since I began writing the novel in 2006, it’s the period when the novel begins, which works favorably with the plot.

Faith Donahue is at a crossroads in her life. An accident tempts fate and lands her 100 years in the past. She awakens to a world she has only read about in history books. Being a teacher, she finds it both educational and frightening. Knowing that on April 18, 1906, the city of San Francisco would be leveled and burned to the ground, puts her in an awkward position.

Dr. Ian Forrester, a widower, rescues a woman the likes of which he has never met. Her skimpy attire, jewelry, and style is not of his era. When she awakens, her language, manner, and sense of time is off.

Faith enters his life, and turns it upside down.

Thanks to an understanding servant, Faith becomes the nanny to the doctor’s young son. She spars with the doctor’s spoiled fiancé.

A scientific man, Doctor Forrester questions Faith’s claim to be from the future, yet her gift of prophecy prevents personal tragedy. She is mysterious, as well as alluring.

Can love really transcend time?

I enjoyed writing this novel, one of my personal favorites. It brings together my love of history and romance. The characters resonate. I can envision actress Reese Witherspoon portraying Faith (hint, hint).

Unlock the barrier of time in a sweeping romance.

April 18, 2022 is the 116th anniversary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. I will be running a 99-cent e-book promotion during that week.

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XKWF5DM/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i5

Also, wherever books are sold …

http://www.facebook.com/nancy-loyan

http://twitter.com/NLSScribe

http://tiktok.com/nancyloyan

BIO: Purveyor of the written word, Nancy Loyan  has been writing, ever since she began composing picture books for fellow students in elementary school. During the past twenty-five years, she has pursued writing professionally. She has covered the gambit, from penning history books on Cleveland, Ohio, to writing for local, regional and national publications, specializing in construction, architecture, design, profiles, histories, science and Middle Eastern dance.

A graduate of John Carroll University, Nancy holds a BSBA in marketing.  She also holds Associate degrees from Cuyahoga Community College in marketing and business management.

Nancy was commissioned to write and coordinate publication of a local history book,

On the Threshold of a New Century: The City of South Euclid, 1967-1999.  In 2008, Nancy was selected to research and write the narrative of an upscale coffee table book, Cleveland, Ohio: A Photographic Portrait, published by Twinlights Publishing out of MA.

Nancy loves to write fairy tales for adults, that unlock the barriers to love.

In Spring, 2011, her first novel, Paradise Found, multicultural women’s fiction set in the exotic Seychelles Islands, was published. After, she had five women’s fiction/romance novels published with Crimson Romance (now a division of Simon and Schuster): Lab Test, Wishes and Tears, The Right Combination, Hearts of Steel and Special Angel. She has since regained the rights and has republished several of these titles. Her first foray into self-publishing was her historical women’s fiction novel, Champagne for Breakfast. Her novels, A Kiss in the Rain and A Cloud Over the Sun areset at the esteemed Chautauqua Institution in New York State, where she has taught writing, and has spoken before its Literary Circle. In 2015, her novel was featured in the Chautauqua Bookstore, where she held a successful book signing in the famous Author’s Alcove.  She was interviewed for an article in The Chautauquan Daily newspaper and was a guest on WJTM-Jamestown, New York radio.

She has subsequently published a speculative science Fiction novel, Afterlife.

Nancy also instructs writing for the Cuyahoga County Public Library system and the Shaker Arts Council. She has had numerous speaking engagements and book signings. In 2017, she was interviewed on a local cable television show, Cable 9’s “Mind, Body, Spirit.”

When not writing, Nancy teaches Middle Eastern dance as “Nailah.” She has incorporated dance and writing into a contemporary, small-town series, Pharaoh’s Daughters (Dancing to a Different Drummer, Dancing in the Dark, Dancing on Air). She enjoys traveling the world, and shares her life with her husband and English Pointer.

Nancy is very active on social media. She has an author page (Nancy Loyan), a dance page (Nailah) on Facebook. She is also active on Goodreads, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and Pinterest.

Nancy’s writing web site is www.NancyLoyan.com

Nancy’s dance web site is www.NailahDance.com

There be dragons here!

Please welcome Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend Daryl Devore!

The Last Dragon is my first medieval fantasy romance and my favourite book. I had such fun writing this story. I had no idea how to world-build, or what was expected to be in a medieval story. Romance I understood. I’d written and published several, but this was a new adventure.

I love research. I was that annoying kid in school who got excited when the teacher assigned an essay. I think I get my love of research from my mother who is a retired librarian.

I had to research the era, how they would speak, dress and so on. The language I did not want to be “ye olde English” as that would be too hard to understand. Instead, I adjusted the language so that the feel of olden times was there. Ye for you. Yer for your. Aye for yes. Nay for no.

I tried to watch what each character was saying – couldn’t have one meet another saying – whass up, bro?

Researching how they cursed was one of my favourite days. It quite often is based on body parts and potty habits.

Currently I am writing the sequel to The Last Dragon. I didn’t know there was going to be a sequel until it announced one day it was time to be written. I am nearing the end of that story. I can’t tell you the title yet as it hasn’t got one. And to my surprise, the third book has announced itself. Plus there have been hints of a fourth one – a short story.

So I guess I am writing a series. Stay tuned.

Excerpt –

Scene Set – Fearing dragons and an evil sorcerer, Prince Hawkyns is inside a Keep (manor house) checking to see if it is safe to enter. Derry is hiding in the forest waiting for his signal. A young lad they have befriended, Pariset, arrives. Gladur is the prince’s horse.

Pariset tilted his head towards the Keep. “What is this place?”

“Drakkar Keep. The home of Malum. A sorcerer. And Ayrradex.”

His face paled. “The dragon?”

“Aye.”

“There be three dragons on the far side. None are Ayrradex. I came from that direction and moved into these woods to circle around and miss them. They are large and hideous.” He slapped the ground. “If I had a sword, I’d kill them all.”

Derry raised a hand to silence Pariset. Frowning, she strained to hear the sound she had just caught the edge of. The rain was falling harder now, but she was sure she heard something. A deep snort. A dragon’s snort?

Gladur tensed. His nostrils flared. The other horses stepped near him.

“I think yer dragons are afoot.” Derry stood. “Calm the other horses.” She grasped Gladur’s bridle and stroked his neck. “Ssh. Hawkyns will not let ye be harmed.”

The ground trembled as if warning them of the approaching beast.

“Come. We must go deeper into the woods.” Derry led the way away from the edge near the open field, squeezing between tall oaks and leafy bushes. Another border abruptly appeared. It was not a deep forest, but a strip of trees. Not a good place for protection.

A brown dragon paced back and forth, stopping to sniff the air. It snorted and bellowed. Had he caught their scent? Was he telling the others? Derry pushed Gladur away from the tree edge.

They were trapped. They could not hide in the depth of the trees. They could not run to safety. Between the edge of the forest and the Keep was open land and what lay in the opposite direction was unknown and led away from Hawkyns.

A shadow passed overhead. The third dragon? Were they searching for them or guarding the Keep?

Blocked on both sides and another flying above, Derry knew there was fear in her eyes when she looked at Pariset.

He leaned close and kept his voice low. “I fear they hunt us. I may have been too brazen, and they caught my scent.”

Derry stilled the trembles threatening to weaken her knees. She needed to be strong.

Pariset tied the reins of the two horses to Gladur’s saddle. “I will distract them. Ye run into the Keep. If Hawkyns is there, he will protect ye. Take the horses with ye.”

“No!” Fear squeezed her chest, making it hard to breathe. “Ye cannot.”

With all the bravado of youth, he grinned. “I am young and fast.” He sprinted to the edge of the forest. “Oy! Dragon. Oy!” He jumped up and flapped his arms.

The dragon on the ground ambled around.

“Derry. Go now!” He bolted out of her sight.

She tightened her grip on the lead and raced through the trees towards the Keep’s entrance.

To her right, she could hear Pariset’s taunts. “Oy! Dragon. Oy!”

The fool could get himself killed. She prayed for his safety as she ran.

Before she stepped out of the protection of the trees, she checked to her right and left. No dragon. The Keep’s entrance was directly before her. She steeled herself to charge but paused. Pariset’s taunt of Oy changed to a howl of fear.

She glanced heavenward. Rain splashed onto her face. She wiped her face with her sleeve then peered up. Pariset was being tossed from one dragons’ wing to another. If he fell, he would be killed. His injuries would be too numerous for her to heal.

Her heart pounded in her chest. Did she stay to help him? How could she help him? She had no weapon. Hawkyns. Hawkyns had a sword. She had to get to him.

Her breath came in pants as she raced across the open space. Pariset’s cries spurned her to move faster. Gladur charged behind her. She had to get to Hawkyns. Save Pariset. He was just a lad. A brave and foolish lad. But he was nobly trying to protect her.

She stumbled. Dragon.

About the story:

What do dragons, knights and romance have in common? Grab a copy of multi-published author Daryl Devore’s medieval fantasy romance – The Last Dragon and discover the answer.

A sorcerer craving dominance merged with a dragon, the power overwhelmed him causing him to split into three dragons. Demora ruled thought but was lost in time. Yidithe offered protection, shining like the light of the sun. Ayrradex craved chaos, revelling in destroying souls.

Many knights died, attempting to slay the devil beast. One knight, Prince Hawkyns, did not fear death. He’d lost everything. Away on a mission when Ayrradex attacked his father’s kingdom, Penrythe, Hawkyns returned to find his noble father – feeble and defeated. His wise mother – crazed. His beautiful wife and unborn child – dead. Only a pile of ashes remained for him to bury. He knelt before his King and vowed to slay the devil-beast or be slain.

Derry was born with powers that terrified her parents. They delivered her to a nunnery to be raised in secret. Jathe, a wise sorceress, discovered the young girl and trained her to one day use the secret hidden in her soul.

Legends spoken around campfires hinted the sole way to destroy Ayrradex was when the hearts of a knight and a golden dragon became one. But after a vicious battle with Ayrradex, the golden dragon was thought to be dead.

Can Prince Hawkyns’s bravery and Derry’s powers end the reign of the devil-beast’s terror?

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Daryl Devoré is an author who spans heat levels from soft and sweet to spicy hot. Each of her characters is so captivating they leave her readers spellbound as they rush to reach the end of her stories.

Daryl lives and works from her home in the gorgeous wilds of Canada. When she’s not writing she spends her spare time gardening, enjoying the tasty homemade bread her hubby bakes, and attending yoga classes where she sometimes hangs from the rafters like a bat.

Blog – Romance – Sweet to Heat

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