Archive for the ‘Dragons!’ Category

Dragons, Dragons, Dragons ^.^

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

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It’s been a long journey for The Dragon’s Call series.

 

As you can see above, the book (poor thing!) went through a couple different looks before I arrived at the cover it has today. The oldest cover  is the gray-tint filtered cover which I created on an old version of paintshop pro. It’s not the best cover, but what I loved most about it was the model (who I wish I had been able to contact to utilize her photo in other cover projects) and Derek’s emerald dragon eyes. Whenever I think of Derek, those eyes on the first cover, are the one’s I see ^.^

The second cover was donated to me by Niina C, a talented cover design artist, and the third and final cover I slaved over for days created and absolutely love ^.^

So, as you can see – Cecily and Derek’s story is no stranger to change. Keeping that in mind, I’m still completing the WIP that was going to be called Dragon Kin.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned in prior posts, while part I (Dragon Kin) was long enough to publish, I wasn’t certain if part II (The Dragon Throne) would be long enough to publish alone. This led to some consternation on my part because I had originally imagined Cecily’s story as a trilogy not a duology.

However, after some editing and rewrites – and attempting to combine both books, I’m at a word count of just over 70,000. Now, although I’ve not finished writing – I still have some key scenes and chapters to write before I’m anywhere near done – any writer can tell you that even 95k words is not enough to split into two separate novels.

So, I came to a conclusion ^.^

The sequel to The Dragon’s Call will be The Dragon’s Throne.

The temporary place cover I had been utilizing will be altered to a finished version that better represents the new title and the story’s completion.

Speaking of which, if you’d like to get a whiff of a couple chapters – check it out HERE.

And make sure to join in on the giveaway below ^.^

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Dragon Kin Chapter 4

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

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Chapter 1, 2, 3

 

CHAPTER 4

“Tariq and I think that I can hide Cecily’s appearance.”

Cecily watched as Derek addressed her father, leaning forward from where he’d sat on the couch, his elbows propped on his knees. Tariq was leaned against the wall behind the couch where Derek sat, his arms crossed as usual. Daniel was leaning against the window with an arm around Tara, and Cecily still stood in front of her father.

He hadn’t said anything since he’d seen Cecily’s face, and his gray eyes held a tired, sad look. After a moment, his gaze pulled away from hers to meet Derek’s and Cecily’s shoulders fell. She didn’t know what to think. Dad hadn’t said a word to her. Was he disgusted?

“Are you sure? How?” Her dad’s voice was low.

Derek hesitated, then spread his hands. “Magic. Dragon magic. I think I can cover her with a glamour that will disguise this change.”

Cecily watched as her father gave a slow nod and fell silent. After a moment, the silence grew awkward and the tension in Cecily’s shoulders increased. She knew it. Dad hated dragonkind, and now he would see her as one of them. Tears began to burn behind her eyes and Cecily blinked hard. The silence lengthened until she couldn’t stand it. “Dad, I know how you feel about dragonkind. I-”

“No.” Her dad’s voice was rough. He stood, limped toward her and placed both hands on her shoulders. “Don’t you ever think I would love you any less.”

“Dad-” Cecily had to stop. The tears burning behind her eyes slipped down her face.

He gripped her shoulders tighter. “No, Cecily. I love you. You and Daniel are my children and always will be.”

Cecily inhaled a shuddering breath. “So you don’t hate how I look?”

He pulled her into a rough hug. His voice was shaky when he spoke. “Cecily, you are as beautiful as your mother. Never think otherwise.”

Derek hesitated. “Cecily reminded me of something the Queen said awhile back.”

Cecily’s father went still, then limped away from Cecily, and sat heavily in his chair. “They called us kin.”

“But if my change is because of that, why didn’t you or Daniel change?” Cecily shook her head. “It doesn’t make sense.”

The room fell silent.

Finally, her father exhaled. “I blame myself for this.”

“What?” Cecily looked up in surprise. “Dad, this has nothing to do with you!”

He pressed his lips together. “It does. Remember that I told you before I could feel something different about you, something more?” He lowered his gray eyes, staring blindly at the floor. “The day I took you to the clinic for healing after you were injured, you were able to break away from the gaze of the dragon at the clinic. And every day you felt more and more like your mother-” He shook his head. “I was the one who insisted you see Derek in his natural form.” He lifted tired, gray eyes to her moonlit gaze. ” I was the one who insisted you hear him sing the Call.”

Derek leaned forward. “You think her change might be an effect of hearing the Call?”

Her father gave a weary nod. “You probably remember that I suspected she would gain some kind of protection against dragonkind.” He exhaled. “I just never imagined it might have an effect like this.”

Tariq pushed away from the wall and placed his hands on the back of the couch where Derek sat. “He might be right, Derek.” He sent a nod toward Cecily. “I think it’s time she tells us everything so that you may tell them the rest.”

Cecily sent Derek a questioning look. “What does he mean?”

Derek met her gaze, frowning. “Tell us everything that happened right before you noticed this change first.”

Cecily shook her head. “I wasn’t the one who noticed the change – Tara was.”

Tara looked embarrassed. “Cecily had fallen asleep in class, and the teacher had been trying to wake her for at least five minutes. Then suddenly, she started to glow.”

“What?” Derek interrupted. “How? In what way?”

Tara shrugged. “It was like gold was lighting her up from the inside. When it faded,” she motioned toward Cecily, “she looked like this.”

“Do you remember anything, Cecily?” Derek asked.

“Yes.” Cecily hesitated. The last thing she wanted to recount was the flashback she’d had. She’d been able to hide them from her dad and Daniel, and she didn’t want her dad stressed out about her when he still struggled with his own flashbacks. She would never do that to him. Especially now that she understood what he went through.

“Don’t be afraid, Cecily.” Her dad’s voice sounded low and comforting.

Well, she could tell him about the dream, at least. She exhaled. “I dreamed about a grove filled with golden light. The light filled me and burned. Then it faded.”

“That must have been when you started glowing!” Tara interrupted.

“What happened next?” Derek asked.

” I heard a voice. Someone called me.”

“Called you?” Daniel sounded alarmed.

“He said his name was Calliope. He said that I needed to find him before it was too late.” Cecily folded her arms around herself at the memory. The next part had felt too real, too painful. Almost as bad as her flashbacks. “Then Sahak showed up and attacked me with dragon-fire.”

Tariq’s hands squeezed the back of the couch, his knuckles going white, then pushed away as he moved back to lean again against the wall. “I don’t know, Derek.”

Derek glanced at him and shook his head. “I don’t know either.”

“Don’t know what?” Her father crossed his arms. “What is the rest of what you and Tariq mentioned?”

“The rest is that I don’t know how well a glamour will hold.” Derek spread, then clasped his hands. “We have to keep in mind what Queen Saranyu said about your people and mine. Whatever she meant by you, Cecily, and Daniel being ‘kin’ might effect the spell I lay.” He shook his head. “Our powers work very well on dragonkind and humans, but we’re not really certain what you are.”

Her father gave a slow nod. “So this might or might not work.”

“Yes,” Derek said.

Cecily shook her head. “Trying something is better than not trying anything. Let’s just do it.”

Derek glanced at Tariq, who shrugged. Derek gave a short nod and stood. “All right.” He motioned Cecily over. “Stand here.”

She moved from the center of the living room to where Derek had indicated. “Now what?”

“Now, be still. You might feel a little strange, but don’t move.”

Cecily nodded and watched as Derek’s green eyes closed and he slowly raised his hands. A gentle breeze brushed through the room as emerald and jade sparkles of light burst into appearance from his palms to his elbows. Swirling around his wrists, the emerald light thickened until it was a spinning blur. Derek’s green eyes opened and he lifted his glowing hands and placed them above her head, then slid them down her face, neck, and shoulders. Beads of sweat grew on his forehead and his face held a look of fierce concentration as he bent to slide them the rest of the way down her torso to her hips, legs, and feet.

Finally, Derek pushed wearily to his feet and stepped back, stumbling slightly.

“Derek!” Cecily caught his hand and moved to his side. “Are you okay?”

Tariq moved around the couch to join them, and Derek held up a hand and shook his head. “I’m fine. The spell was harder than I thought it would be is all.” He tilted his head and looked Cecily over. “It looks like it worked, though. How do you feel?”

“I feel fine.” Cecily touched her face. “I look the same?” She sent questioning glances to her dad, Daniel, and Tara.

Her dad pushed out of the chair and scrutinized her, then nodded and looked at Derek. “That’s some pretty potent magic. Looks like it took a lot out of you.” He paused. “How long do you think you can hold this?”

Cecily turned to Derek. “Do you think it will hold until school ends?” She hesitated. Even after school ended, she would still need to be hidden to attend Lyman’s – if they accepted her. How could she ask Derek to hold this magic over her when it had clearly drained him just to place the spell? She could never put him at risk. “That’s a really long time, Derek. Maybe I should give up on my dispensation-”

“No.” Derek’s face hardened with determination. “You’re not going to be a slave to dragonkind. I’ll hold it as long as needed.”

Cecily hesitated, uncertain. “If you’re sure-”

“I’m sure.” Derek’s tone was final.

“Well, this has been fun,” Tariq said, “but Derek and I really should head out.” He indicated the sky outside the window. Evening had deepened into night.

Tara came over and nudged Cecily. “Is it okay if I spend the night?”

Cecily made an affectionate face. “Of course.” She moved to touch Derek’s arm as he walked slowly from the living room to the foyer. “Derek, I don’t like how-”

“Don’t worry about it, Cecily.”

“I just-”

“Shh.” He pulled her into an embrace, and pressed his lips to her hair. “It’s going to be okay. I promise.”

Cecily relaxed against him. “All right, but if the spell starts to really hurt you, promise me that we’ll think of something else.”

Derek smiled and pulled away to follow Tariq out the front door. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Cecily.”

“Derek-” Cecily huffed, but Derek and Tariq shut the door as they left.

 

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Research, research, research!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

 

So, now that the process for publishing Poems, Lyrics, Psalmos: Wooing Muse is completed, and all that awaits is the Big Event, I’ve gotten back into the groove of researching background info for completing Dragon Kin

I’ve come across a lot of interesting information while I’ve been expanding my own understanding of how cultures, mythology, geography, and cultural mixing can effect our contemporary fantasy tales. The video posted above is the first of a six part series discussing Celtic culture and beliefs. Celtic Daily Life is another excellent example of easy-to-read resources on Celtic culture. I read the tiny book within a span of 4-5 hours.

One particular fact I discovered while researching the background on the Celtic goddess Danu, was that her part, at least, in Celtic religion had ties to ancient Hinduism.

This was interesting because, while I had hoped to be able to connect some of the mythology utilized in The Dragon’s Call and Dragon Kin with that of Assyrian and Babylonian religious and mythological tales, I wasn’t certain I would be able to find anything to validate utilizing their mythology. Needless to say, I’m excited and can’t wait to read more of the history of the Celts and any additional outside religious influences their culture might have experienced through time.

While I’m delving back into research and getting my Muse revved up to complete Dragon Kin, I’m completing the recording process for the audio verson of Poems, Lyrics, Psalmos: Wooing MuseThe Big Event is just 11 days away and the countdown continues.

Wish me luck and make sure to check out the giveaway below ^.^

 

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Dragon Kin – Chapter 3

Friday, May 15th, 2015

 

Chapter 2

CHAPTER 3

 

“What do you think my dad will say?” Cecily leaned forward to look past Tariq in the front seat. Her family’s little yellow cottage crouched in a yard full of bright, waving foliage and flowers as Derek pulled to a stop at the curb.

“Dad will be okay,” Daniel said from Tara’s other side. Tara was sitting between him and Cecily in the rear of the car. Trying to pile all six of them into the five-seater had been very uncomfortable, and Solon had opted to walk home instead.

“Don’t worry about Dad,” Daniel finished.

Okay? Dad was going to take one look at her and freak. Cecily didn’t say anything and exited the car, waiting for the rest to join her.

Tara climbed out, came to Cecily’s side, and laid a hand on her arm. “It really will be okay.”

Cecily sent her a tired, disbelieving smile. “Why didn’t Cassia come with you and Solon?”

Tara froze for a moment, then looked away. “She didn’t feel comfortable riding in the car with Derek and Tariq.”

Cecily gave a small nod. “If Cassia is still afraid of dragonkind, how do you think she’s going to feel when she sees what I have become?”

Tara fell silent and Cecily turned her gaze back to their tiny house surrounded by plants, flowers, and trees.

“Come on, Cecily.” Derek came to her side, put an arm around her waist, and guided her through the front yard and up the stairs of her front porch. “Let’s get inside before curfew hits.”

She glanced up at the sky and nodded. The orange, pinks and reds had deepened into the darker purples of evening. The edges of the sky were already the deep black of night. Curfew was officially over. “All right. Let’s go inside.” She walked inside and paused in the foyer, waiting for them to join her. “Dad?”

“In here, Cecily.” Her father’s voice sounded as though it came from the living room area. “You and Daniel are late. It’s past curfew.”

“I know, Dad.” She hesitated and glanced back.

Tara and Derek moved up to join her, and Daniel brushed past to walk ahead of them into the living room. Tariq entered behind them and shut the door before folding his arms with a stoic expression.

“Dad, sorry about that. Something happened today and we were a little late getting home. Derek and Tariq gave us a ride,” Daniel said.

Thank goodness Daniel was speaking up. Cecily resisted the urge to hunch her shoulders and followed Daniel into the living room.

“All right.” Her dad’s voice sounded deliberate, patient. “So, you’ve established there was a reason. Would you two like to let me know what, exactly, that reason was any time soon?”

Cecily opened her mouth to speak and was about to step forward, but Derek shook his head and moved ahead of her to greet her father.

“Mr. Burns, before we let you know what happened, I want to assure you that Tariq and I will make certain no harm comes to Cecily.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Her father’s voice, dry before, turned hard.

Cecily huffed, frustrated. “You guys are just scaring him.” She pushed around Derek and Daniel and walked into the living room. Her dad was sitting in his chair, his arms folded, and the brown skin of his forehead crinkled. She moved toward him and stopped as soon as he saw her face and went still.

“This is what they meant, Dad. I’ve changed.”

 

Poems, Lyrics, Psalmos Book Launch Party Giveaways!!!

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Poems, Lyrics, Psalmos: Wooing Muse

 

So, all this month I’ll be holding a raffle-copter giveaway to get ready for the book launch party for Poems, Lyrics, Psalmos: Wooing Muse. Two winners will receive a free audio copy of the book once the audio format has published, and three other winners will win The Dragon Call bookmarks!

The Facebook event will be 5/30/15 HERE

The giveaway starts 5/10/15 and ends 5/31/15 @midnight.

I’m excited about this since it’s the first work I’ve published since 2013. Anyhow, I hope that you all will enjoy reading and listening to it as much as I have enjoyed creating it ^.^

 

Enjoy!

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Dragon Kin – Chapter 2

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

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So, I’m posting up the second chapter of Dragon Kin ^.^ Feel free to check it out below. Also, there are some new poems up on the Fun Stuff page! Enjoy!

 

(Haven’t read Chapter 1 yet? Click HERE.)

CHAPTER 2

 

 

Cecily’s stomach did a gut-wrenching drop. Her eyes! They weren’t black-slit like Derek’s dragon-gaze, but they weren’t human either.

Haze began to edge her vision, framing her traitorous eyes.

Oh, no. It was happening again.

Cecily bit her lip, hard, but it was already too late.

The frigid sensation of terror in her stomach washed upward, encasing her heart in ice. Her hands and wrists were bound above her head, bound so tight the skin felt raw. Pain stabbed through her shoulders. Her arms were dislocating from their sockets as she dangled above the ground.

Sahak loomed over her, his voice a high, grating noise in her ears. “So weak! So helpless! What a wonder your line wasn’t extinct before we ever woke from the long sleep.”

Razor-sharp, all-encompassing pain cut through her delicate skin in a ragged line down her ribs. Sahak raised long, amber, dagger-like claws, dripping with her blood. “The powers your race once had! You were among the most powerful of our foes. Now?” He spat to the side. “Pathetic.”

She struggled, muffled screams rising in her throat.

Sahak leaned forward. “Your line has fallen so low. You used to be a race which rivaled our own. Now?” He spat to the side. “You don’t even know who you are.”

A loud ringing drowned out his next words. Where was that sound coming from?

Sahak raised his claws again, but Cecily grabbed onto the sound, letting it drag her back to reality.

The school bell was ringing.

Cecily shuddered and slumped against the sink counter, the cool marble soothing away the sensation of rope burns on her wrists.

She swallowed. That flashback had been the worst. She’d remembered something valuable though. Sahak had made it clear that he, at least, had never considered her to be human. Not only that, but hadn’t the Queen named Cecily something else as well? What was it Queen Saranyu had said?

“Cecily and her family are descendants of a line we had hoped were wiped off the earth. Though we have sworn not to kill them, they are our mortal enemies.”

Cecily exhaled. Since the night Derek had given up his rights as heir to the Dragon Throne to protect her, she had tried to push the hard, painful memories from her mind. Now, she had no choice. She could no longer deny what she could see with her own traitorous, glowing eyes.

Whatever the Queen had meant by calling Cecily’s family “kin” had nothing to do with being human.

The school bell rang and Cecily jerked backward from the mirror, smacking her hand hard against the sink in her surprise. School was out. How long had she been staring in the mirror? Students would be staring at her in the hallway. Oh, no. Solon, Cassia, and the rest of the club would see her unless she left now.

 

Grabbing her backpack, Cecily hurried from the restroom. In the hallway, a few students here and there were already emptying into the halls, and Cecily lowered her head, trying to hide her face.

“Cecily!” Tara’s voice called from behind her.

She shook her head and walked faster, ignoring the complaints of students as she rushed by. If she waited for Tara, everyone would see how she’d turned into a freak.

Hurrying forward, she finally saw the faded metal front doors, and nearly stumbled in relief.

“Cecily, wait!”

Oh, no. That was Solon’s voice. The club was probably right behind her. Cecily broke into a run. She reached the doors, pushed them open, and her nerves tightened in a moment of fear. Would the outside of the school look like it had in her dream? The door swung wide, showing the school stairs leading down onto the street.

The trees and grass outside were a normal green. Cecily exhaled and hurried through the doors.

“Cecily!”

She ignored Tara’s call and ran down the school steps, ducking her head as she passed startled students heading home. At the curb, Cecily saw Derek’s car idling, and angled her head away, hoping he wouldn’t see her. The last thing she wanted Derek to see was her face. She wove and ducked between walking students, and when she finally passed his BMW without him noticing her presence, her shoulders relaxed with relief.

She peeled away from the group of students. When they gave her startled looks, she bent her head, letting the curtain of shimmering ebony hair cover her face. Moving away, she hugged the trees edging the crumbled streets. Tenders working further inside the woods glanced up as she passed, and Cecily’s skin went cold at a sudden thought.

Would dragons feel threatened by her change? She’d just applied to Lyman’s a few weeks past, and it wouldn’t be long before she received a response. Would dragonkind rescind her dispensation for college?

Cecily lifted her arms to wrap them around herself as tears burned her eyes. Everything could be ruined. She could end up working like a slave, cleaning the woods and streets as a Tender.

The purr of a car approached as Derek’s BMW rolled up beside her, and she stiffened. The window rolled down and Cecily turned her head away and continued walking.

“Cecily, why didn’t you wait for me at school?” Derek’s voice sounded concerned.

She heard the sound of Derek’s car rolling to a stop. Shaking her head, she picked up her pace.

“Cecily, please, talk to us!”

That was Tara’s voice. Had Tara followed her in Derek’s car? Had Tara told him what happened to her face? Cecily’s chest tightened. “I don’t want to talk.”

Derek jogged up to her side and Cecily quickly turned her face away.

“Cecily.” His voice sounded worried. “Tara told us something had happened in school today.” He laid a hand on her shoulder and she stopped walking. “Come on, Cecily – speak to me.”

“What’s wrong with her?” Daniel’s voice came from behind them.

Cecily’s shoulders tightened. Derek had brought both of them in his car? Had he brought the study group, too?

Solon came around Cecily’s other side. “Cecily, Tara didn’t tell us why you ran away. She said you had to tell us what happened.”

Cecily’s stomach sank. Derek had brought almost everyone. “Don’t look at me.” She tried to pull away, but Derek tightened his grip on her shoulder.

“Cecily, please,” his voice was low, pleading. ” Did you have another flashback? Tell me what’s wrong.”

He sounded so hurt that Cecily shuddered and went still. After a moment, she whispered, “Yeah, I did, but that’s not why I’m upset.”

He pulled her closer. “Ok, we’ll talk about the flashback later. What’s going on right now?”

“Derek, it’s really bad. I didn’t want anyone to see.”

“See what?” He sounded exasperated.

Cecily lifted her face and looked him in the eyes. “This.”

His grip tightened as he inhaled.

On either side of her, Daniel and Solon froze in shock.

“See?” Cecily’s eyes burned and she tried to turn away. “I’m a freak. Maybe this is what the Queen meant when she called me kin. I’m not even human.”

Stop it.” Derek pulled her roughly into his arms. “You’re beautiful. We’re going to figure this out.”

Cecily shook her head and buried her face in his chest. After a second, she felt Daniel, Tara, and Solon come closer and place their hands on her back.

“Cecily, you’re my twin.” Daniel’s voice was low. “You’ll always be my twin.”

“And you’ll always be our friend.” Tara’s voice was soft as well, and Solon nodded in agreement.

Cecily felt the fear and tension lessen. “You guys really don’t think I look like a freak?”

Tara grinned. “Not more than usual.”

Solon gave her a soft smile. “Actually, Cecily, you look gorgeous.”

Cecily pulled away from Derek and gave a shaky laugh. “I don’t know if I believe that.”

Tariq finally came up their side and stopped when he saw Cecily’s face. After a second, he looked at Derek. “This might be a problem.”

Derek frowned. “What do you mean?”

“I don’t know how the others will react, but I can’t think their response will be positive.”

Cecily’s breath caught in her chest at Tariq’s words. That was exactly what she’d been afraid of.

Derek’s frown deepened into a scowl as he ran a hand through his black hair. “I hadn’t thought of that. You’re right.”

“What’s going on?” Daniel demanded.

Solon and Tara came closer to Cecily and placed arms around her shoulders.

Derek glanced at Daniel then turned to Cecily. “Remember what the Queen said about your kind and mine being enemies?”

Cecily swallowed. “Yes.”

Derek exhaled and exchanged another look with Tariq. “We’re going to have to hide this somehow.”

Tariq looked grim. “You don’t know how well that will work, Derek.” He crossed his arms and studied Cecily’s skin, hair, and eyes. “A glamour is difficult to keep up constantly.”

“What are you guys talking about?” Cecily interrupted. Beside her, Daniel, Tara, and Solon listened avidly.

Derek exhaled and placed his hands on Cecily’s shoulders. “I’m going to place a covering of magic over you. It will hide your change.”

Tariq grunted. “You forgot the rest, Derek.”

“I didn’t forget.” Derek sent him an irritated look. He turned back to Cecily. “You have to tell us everything. How did this happen?”

Cecily glanced upward. The sky had darkened to sunset red, and the edges were already moving into darkness. “We need to get home first.”

Derek grimaced and motioned everyone toward the car. “Everyone get in. I’ll drive you all home. Then we can talk.”

Cecily climbed into the back seat. “Why do you need to know everything that happened?”

Derek waited for everyone to settle in, then started the car. “Because depending on when, how, and why you’ve changed, a glamour might not work on you at all.”

 

Chapter 3