I've released the first book of my Dragon Souls series. It was touch and go, I tell you. The flu got me a few weeks ago, so I'm over two weeks behind on life in general, but I was determined to see this released in December. It's going through distribution and approval processes, but will start popping up in all the usual places (Kindle, Smashwords, iBooks, Nook) over the next month.
What is the narrative voice, genre and word count?
It's written in third person omniscient (alternating points of view). This is probably the most "commercial" writing I've done. It's straight fantasy romance (not YA), and comes in at a goodly 83,000 words.
Who are the lead characters?
Marina and Koen Raad. Marina is a small tornado of aggression with a massive heart. Koen Raad is arrogant, grumpy, brooding, and bad-mannered, but he's a shapeshifting dragon king who is super hot, so ... yeah.
Our world the modern day "Earth" for half then another dimension "Tzion" (silent 't') for the other half.
Where did the book title come from?
Do you remember that Disney film Tangled? The part where he says, "here comes the smolder," well I remember laughing my ass off because all my characters are smoldering types, Koen Raad especially, so that was my inspiration there.
Who designed the cover?
I did with a stock image. That is a real man in real fire, by the way. A fire dancer (fire dancing is a performance art) holding a poi (chains on fire and twirling them). The image has been digitally altered to make it more whimsy and magical, but yeah, really cool.
What's it about?
Dragons. Shape shifting dragons to be more precise. A young woman called Marina finds a wounded dragon king, goes crazy over him (as you do), and the story begins the long journey of what she has to go through to become his mate. In his world, she has to enter a tournament called Aver, and win four deadly quests to become a queen to gain the right to "hunt" him. Think of it as cross-dimensional dragon dating gone wild. My lips are sealed on the rest *zip*
Your favorite line from the book?
"She knew it was unique, to link so hard and fast even the stars lost their shine because the place you made together was blinding."
Can we have an extract?
She lifted her head from the warmth of Nikolai’s hair and peeked. The rocky terrain rushed by, and the air stung her eyes. She straightened jerkily, and watched as the horizon rocked from side to side in a stomach churning motion.
They flew under the red clouds, and Daniil angled his body up, warning Marina to lower her torso and cling on a moment before Nikolai did the same. The dragons climbed until Marina was vertical.
She glanced down and gasped.
The lake flashed in a myriad of vivid colors, spinning in a whirlpool.
The air got hotter.
Marina braced herself, knowing they opened a tear between worlds so they could pass through. Her heart fired like a piston, and she flexed her fingers in Nikolai’s hair. The tension was unbearable. She was ready to face her future … now!
She opened her eyes and wished she’d had the sense to keep them closed.
Crimson clouds filled with lightning and edged with blue sparks surrounded them.
The portal receded.
The dragons flew faster; dodging black holes that appeared whilst avoiding what seemed an inevitable brush with the sides of the red clouds.
The tempest cracked dead in the centre, and widened into a slash of nothing. The edges erupted into golden flames, but the dragons flew on, heading straight for it, sleek bodies agilely streaking towards their target.
Her heart stalled, and the inhalation of breath clogged in her throat. She attached herself to Nikolai’s back so tightly she feared she would rip the scales from his back.
Daniil accelerated, and his wings snapped shut as he dived through the fire and was swallowed by the shrinking void.
Marina screamed as Nikolai’s wings closed and they were consumed by flame.
Crossing dimensions was like flying into Armageddon. The dragon lords had forgotten to mention that.
Booming claps of thunder were trapped in the vortex and amplified until she feared her eardrums would burst. The pressure was bone crushing. Squeezing her until she was certain her head would implode. The lights were so bright they blinded her, sending hot darts of pain through her eyeballs to her brain. The deafening roar of the dragons drowned her shrill screams, and she was convinced they roared in pain, so she allowed her body to go into panic overload.
They exploded out the other side into the brilliant skies of Tzion, and plummeted towards a bubbling pool of lava in the mouth of a volcano.
As her eyes drooped, she saw mountains and crystal pools. A hot yellow sun burned in a clear white sky. The shimmery crescent of a grey moon glinted in the distance over the rich green tangle of a jungle. She saw the glinting of what must be the sea, because surely, there could never be so much ice so far from the arctic.
Marina’s body went limp, her limbs strangely weak, and she slipped from Nikolai’s back, just missing the downward thrust of his gargantuan wing.
Weightless, her mind went into a spiral of panic as it tried to exclaim she was falling to her death, but the numbness spread, and Marina passed out as the world rushed passed her.