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Monday, 29 June 2015

Let's face it, Dragons are HOT, baby, yeah!

When someone writes a series with dragons in it, even if they aren't readily apparent in book one, he really should stick to the genre.
Colin had a perfectly good strategy. A free short prequel.

Followed by the first book in the Tales of the Neverwar. Now this is where I have to step in. Colin had the foolish idea of changing it all around, changing the cover and categories to attract the female humans. 

Now, I have no issue with the new cover. It's very well done, but does it say 'Dragons?' No, it doesn't. So, I'm grateful he's seen the light, and has agreed to put the old cover back. 

And let's face it...Dragons are HOT, baby, yeah!
And if you don't believe me, read book two in the series. 
The dragons are back, along with a few other races. Witness the death of a civilization, and the birth of a new era.
Did I mention dragons are HOT? 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Today's Daily Dragon...Cousin Declan, Red to his friends.

Declan and I are great mates. There's nothing he likes more than a good old sheep hunt. Although his Irish ancestry sometimes causes him to have...unusual urges, all in all, he's a great chap.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Romance is in the air.

Colin has decided to rebrand Book One in the Tales of the Neverwar.
Apparently, a lot of you human females seem to enjoy the romance element in it. I don't get it myself.
The last time I targeted females was in my youth, when the locals insisted on sacrificing virgins.
He has a new cover and tagline as well.

Can the brightest love withstand the darkest evil?

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Today's Daily Dragon...my brother in law, Bert.

Of an evening, Bert and I can often be found in the local pub. The beauty of being a dragon is our ability to shift, so we can blend in anywhere. Unfortunately, even though we may appear human, our dragon appetites remain. It's quite common for us to eat and drink an establishment dry.
Sorry about that.
But next time you're in a pub, look around. You may be in the company of dragons!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Today's Daily Dragon is...my sister, Gwenyth

As children, Gwen would scorch me at every opportunity. As you may know, dragon scales develop over the centuries of our youth. Gwen has a LOT of payback coming her way.

Free this weekend!

Worlds of the Never, Book Two in the Tales of the Neverwar, is free until tomorrow.

On Teralia, where magic has hidden for thousands of years, the Darkness arises to challenge the Veil spell. The barrier is weakening. 
Magic is returning to the universe. Only an outsider can prevent the destruction of the Glade and the people she loves. 

On Sanctuary, the supporters of Tenybris have taken control. The universe teeters on the brink of all out war. 

Standing against them are Katheryne, the Foundation, prophesied to rid the universe of Tenybris forever, and Derren, the other half of her soul. Along with a small band of extraordinary friends, they need to raise an alliance against Sanctuary, but incur terrible losses along the way. 

Unseen, the Beast plots the release of its Master. But Tenybris's freedom is not enough to sate the monster's depravity, as it sets out to corrupt and destroy whatever, and whoever it can. 

This is the beginning of the end. Who will remain standing?

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Names Starting With 'Z': Free Until Monday Only!

Names Starting With 'Z': Free Until Monday Only!: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Worlds-Never-Tales-Neverwar-Book-ebook/dp/B00TH5BC1U/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1434010771&sr=8-4&keywords...

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Today's Daily Dragon is...my good friend, and amazing author, Heather Osborne.

Title: The Fairest of Them
Series: Rae Hatting Mystery #2
Author: Heather Osborne
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Crime Thriller
Release Date: June 6, 2015

Once upon a time, there was a murder...

Rae Hatting returns in her first, full-length novel, “The Fairest of Them.” 

Detective Luke Thompson is a hero cop, with a string of solved serial killer cases under his belt. He comes to California, thinking he can disappear quietly into the forests, isolated from the rest of the world. His expertise is called upon to help with a mysterious serial killer, dumping bodies dressed like fairy tale characters in the woods outside of Mendocino County. With the help of a profiler, Luke finally gets the break he needs, as well as finding romance for himself. Tragedy strikes, and Luke is left despondent, unable to carry on as a detective. Can a fiery redhead from the FBI help him out of the slump?

Determined to leave the life of solving unsolvable homicides behind, Special Agent Rae Hatting tries to settle into a normal life with her adopted daughter, Grace. However, her reputation precedes her, and Rae finds herself back in the fray, called upon to help solve a series of gruesome fairy tale style murders in California. Her only obstacle is Detective Luke Thompson. Broody, stubborn, and an all-around pain in the ass, the pair must work together before another victim ends up never finding their happily ever after.

The trail led to a clearing surrounded by redwood trees. They provided shade from the harsh afternoon July sun, their shadows dancing on the ground. In the very center of the ring, a woman lay, her hands folded over her abdomen. Blonde ringlets framed her face and her vivid blue eyes were wide open, staring blankly into the abyss. The slender form was draped in a pink dress with lace accents at the sleeves. Over it, she wore a stark white pinafore. Hikers had stumbled on the eerily staged scene in MacKerricher State Park, and called in the authorities.

Yellow crime tape was wound around the statuesque trees. It was as if they were standing guard, tall and silent. Upon closer investigation, a slim book was discovered, poking out of the pocket of the starched pinafore. It was quickly bagged and tagged as evidence before the body, carefully sealed in a black bag, was transported to the coroner’s office. I remember turning my face upwards, gazing at the majestic trees and wishing they could talk. If they could, my job would have been infinitely easier.

I had come to the small town in Mendocino County, California, early in 2003 with no intentions of taking up another job on the force. My legacy was safely tucked away in Dallas, Texas, after I solved a series of prostitute rapes and mutilations. The newspapers lauded me as a hero. The whole situation made me feel completely sick, not good for a detective. We were meant to be impartial and I found myself blaming the working girls I had so often warned about the dangers of streetwalking.

The circumstances leading me to resuming a position as a detective with the sheriff’s department were not something I wished to discuss with anyone. I would simply change the topic when brought up in conversation. I supposed that it was some sort of calling, unable to let me rest until I helped as many people as possible.

I drove back to the station, radio off, the red-taped evidence bag taunting me on the passenger seat. I knew what it contained, but I was reluctant to confirm it. I turned the bag over to the technicians at the lab and returned to my office with an off-hand reminder to let me know what they found. The book would be swabbed, submitted to latent fingerprint testing, and returned to my desk with the same report as last time: no conclusive trace evidence found. As I predicted, it’s what happened. I retrieved the book, setting it down on my desk in the plastic covering.

Snapping on a pair of latex gloves, I ran my hand over the leather cover. It was a first edition, like the rest. I carefully cracked the cover and the black print stood out on the creamy ivory paper: Goldilocks and the Three Bears. 

Beneath it, penned in perfect cursive were the words: She should not have taken what did not belong to her. I slammed the book shut in frustration. The taunts were becoming more and more specific as time went on.

Throwing the gloves in my trashcan, I decided to take a walk and see if Dr. Sabine Lawson had found anything on the body. The glimmer of hope had long since faded that she actually would. The curvy, African-American coroner was meticulous in her reports, so I doubted she would be even down to the woman’s breasts at this point. I had to do something to settle my nerves, though, or I would snap.

The squeak of the metal swinging doors signaled my entry into the disinfectant-scented room. I grinned at the sight of Sabine in her element. She wore her hair in narrow braids, pulled back in a no-nonsense ponytail. Her skin was the color of coffee with cream. There were many days I lusted after Sabine, but she made it clear to me from day one she was committed to her job. There was no room for “torrid affairs with wild cowboys,” as she put it.

“Whatcha got for me, Doc?” I went through the motions of putting on another pair of gloves to avoid Sabine’s scowl.

“Nothing yet and you know it. You’re restless, cher.” The drawl of her New Orleans accent came out like liquid silk.

I leaned against the counter and watched her work. “Damn straight. I can’t wrap my head around this guy. He was sticking to the classics and now this jump. Why Goldilocks?”

Sabine was used to listening to my ramblings and offering her interpretations. “Perhaps, she merely fit the profile of that character.”

“He’s not like that though. He plans this all to the letter. Every detail. Stalks these women for weeks!” I jiggled my leg anxiously. The change in the killer’s modus operandi rattled me more than it should.

“Calm yourself.” She began to speak into a microphone positioned above her work station.

“Female victim appears roughly 20 to 25 years of age based on bone development and pelvic placement. She has never given birth. There are signs of sexual trauma, but no ligature marks on her wrists or ankles. A small needle mark indicates that the victim may have been drugged. Sending a sample of blood and urine to the lab for further analysis.”

I interrupted her. “No trace of semen, I take it?”

She frowned at me. “No, like the others.” Sabine carefully made her opening incision in the abdomen of the victim and drew back the flesh. She busied herself with the remainder of her work, and I knew I was dismissed without her saying so. Pinging the gloves into a bin by the door, I walked out.

Heather Osborne was born and raised in California. She has a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Victimology, as well as coursework in Early Childhood Education. In 2009, she met her husband and moved to Scotland, very much a dream of hers since she was a small child. Heather has been writing short stories for as long as she can remember. She also has written and directed several plays. In her spare time, Heather enjoys reading, writing (of course!), theatre, as well as caring for her young son.


Friday, 5 June 2015

Today's Daily Dragon is...The Best Selling Author, Doug Dandridge!

As you may be aware, there aren't many times that Colin and I agree, but thankfully Doug Dandridge is one of them. His books have kept me amused on many's an evening, so I was incredibly chuffed when Colin asked if he would grant me the privilege of an interview. Many people are intimidated when asked to be interviewed by a real life, imaginary dragon, but not Mr Dandridge. Except for a curious attraction to the feline species, I am very impressed.

Claude and Doug - the interview


So, Doug, you’ve written books with dragons in them. How does it feel to face a real life imaginary one? 


Kind of frightening to tell the truth, since we all bring our own imaginations into the rendering of your kind, and I always imagined dragons as kind of scary.  Then again, you seem much more intelligent than most of the ones I’ve written about.  I don’t think any of those could think in a complete sentence, though the telepathy was a nice touch.  You don’t happen to be telepathic, do you?


I can read minds, but you're safe enough. I find the thoughts of humans to be quite chaotic if I'm honest. But I digress; back to the interview.
I’ve read your Exodus and Refuge series. I love Refuge, but Colin loves Exodus. What’s your favourite? And remember, you are crunchy and taste good with mint ketchup.


Refuge was the first series I ever developed, way back in 1997, so it has a special place in my heart.  And of course dragons do play a large part in that series.  Exodus allowed me to retired from my day job, which I really, really did not like, so it also holds a special place.  I wish Refuge was more successful, and I probably will keep the series going, at least a book a year.  But Exodus is the one that the fans seem to like the most, which is a good reason to put the most effort into it. 


I am glad to hear that. The dragons in the Refuge series are nowhere near as magnificent as me, but they deserve to be written about. Anyway, do you have a favourite book? I mean, you’ve written so many, and these humans have their favourites, but which one is yours?


That’s a really hard one.  I’ve read so many, loved so many, and probably had a different favorite every year of my life.  Sometimes my favorite is whatever I’m reading at the time.  I guess one way of saying what is a favorite is what have I read the most, over and over.  I’ve read a lot of Robert  Howard over and over, mostly the Conan series as put out by originally Lancer books with L Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter.  I’ve read Lord of the Rings seven or eight times in my life.  Same with Starship Troopers.  Then again, I’ve read some great books in the last ten years that I loved but haven’t reread, mostly because of time constraints and the desire to read as much new stuff as I can.  Even there, I’ve read most of the Dritzz Do Urden books by R A Salvatore three times or more.  Damn, I don’t know if that answers your question, and  realize I don’t want to make you mad, but I really don’t have a single answer.  There are so many great writers out there with great stories, and I probably have a hundred books in my house or on my Kindle that I haven’t read.  Who knows, one of those might be my future favorite.


Hmm, yes, you would be wise to avoid arising my anger. I see you have an extensive understanding of dragon kind. I can see us becoming friends. I’m interested, how do you write? Do you blurt a story out and then go back and pad it out(Colin does it this way), or are you one of the squishies that plans and plots beforehand? 


First thing I do is world build, decide what kind of society I want, the tech or the magic, depending on what kind of book it is.  Then develop some characters and draw some maps.  I like to sketch things out on graph paper to give myself an idea of what things look like.  Depending on what I’m trying to do, this can take a couple of weeks to a half year.  For Refuge and Exodus both I filled up several graph paper notebooks with drawings and wrote several hundred thousand words of background.  Of course, once a series is going this process is abbreviated.  I used to outline and use 3 by 5 cards to sketch out scenes, which is how I think about each book.  Now I have a general beginning and end and just seat of the pants it through.  I sit down and write, doing very little in the way of correction all the way through.  I do from two to five thousand words a day, and the story just kind of develops as I go along.  It may go places I didn’t expect.  Not that it writes itself, but I change my mind as to the best way to weave the story.  When I’m finished I go back with a rewrite, which basically is just making sure every mistake I can find is corrected and that everything connects.  I may add another five thousand words or so to make sure that connection between scenes is there.  Everything after that is just proofing.


Finally, did you bring me any treats? Cause if you haven’t, your fans are gonna hate me.


I think I may have a dwarf or two hiding around here somewhere.  Or how about this nice plump Hobbit.  And no, you cannot have one of my cats.


I must say, I really enjoyed this interview. Now, here's a little info on the man himself.
Doug currently has twenty-three books released on Amazon, and has made over 100,000 sales in two years.  His Exodus: Empires at War series has 70,000 sales over seven books.  Books 3 through 7 all hit either number one or two on Amazon UK in Space Opera and Military Science Fiction, and were in the top five in the same categories on Amazon.US.   He has almost fourteen hundred reviews over all his book with a 4.5 star overall average.  

I urge you to read these books. Believe me, you will love them. If not, I may just have to make you into a snack.