Reader Letter for Serpent’s Kiss

Serpent's Kiss, a paranormal romance and Dragonfire #10 by Deborah CookeDear Reader;

I’ve always had a soft spot for Thorolf, the big passionate dragon of the Pyr. It’s true that he’ll do pretty much anything for a couple of steaks grilled rare or the attention of a cute waitress, but when it comes down to it, Thorolf always comes through for his fellow Pyr. I had a lot of questions about Thorolf that had to be resolved in his firestorm, including the reasons why he was so easy to underestimate. I knew that Erik, the leader of the Pyr, knew more about Thorolf’s past or heritage (remember that Erik recognized Thorolf on sight and challenged him immediately) and had to figure out what it was. I had to wonder whether Thorolf was really as irresponsible as he tried to appear, or whether there was more to his story. (You can guess the answer to that.)

I was also intrigued by Chandra, the woman who pretended not only to be a boy but a thief, and who was tracking Viv Jason. She definitely had a secret, if not more than one, and I was as determined as Thorolf to find out more. I really enjoyed how the firestorm—and Thorolf—awakened new feelings in Chandra and showed her a side to living that she hadn’t experienced in her many years of life. In my mind, these two balance each other very well: Chandra bringing Thorolf’s innate responsibility to the fore, and Thorolf teaching his destined mate the benefits of play and pleasure.

When we last left Thorolf, he was enthralled with Viv Jason, unaware that she was deliberately distracting him from his quest to destroy the Slayer Chen. In the Dragon Legion Collection of novellas, the root of Viv’s quest for vengeance was revealed and the final restriction against it was removed. Having Viv in action and Chen seeking domination meant it was time for Thorolf to show his stuff. I ensured that the happy resolution of his firestorm didn’t come easily to him, because I knew that he’d need a big push to move beyond his past. I loved the fact that his loyalty would be misdirected, potentially in the most dangerous way. It’s not a spoiler to tell you here that during his firestorm and the challenges that result, Thorolf comes through again, and does so with flying colors.

He’s just the kind of Pyr you really might want to have defending your back.

There is some bonus content in this edition, including a guide to the next generation of the Pyr. A lot of firestorms mean a lot of sons, so this list includes all the ones born to date. The same list is on my website, and will be amended there as the series continues.

There’s also an excerpt here from Sloane’s book, which will be called Firestorm Forever and will be published later this year. Sloane’s is the last title in the Dragonfire series, and takes place at the end of the Dragon’s Tail Wars. There will be more dragon shifters from me, though, and we’ll probably revisit our favorite Pyr in other linked series, but this cycle will come to its resolution with Sloane’s book. I’m looking forward to going back into the past with my dragon shifters and also to move into the future with the younger generation. Stay tuned for more Pyr adventures!

And now I’ll step aside and let you get to the firestorm. I hope you enjoy reading Chandra and Thorolf’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Until next time,
All my best—

New Swag – Dragonfire Temporary Tattoos

One of the things that blew me away at the Coastal Magic Readers’ Conference was all the great swag for readers. I always do postcards, of course, and I have bookplates available, but I realized that I was way behind the game in terms of swag.

And so, I’ve been fixing that.

First off, there’s a new page on the site here, which lists all the available swag, with appropriate links. I added a link for Tony Mauro’s site: he’s the artist who did the illustrations for the first 8 Dragonfire covers, and he sells prints of those illustrations from his site. Look up: it’s on the About Deborah drop-down menu. Or today, you can just click this link to get there from here. :-)

Next, I added more swag.

The first addition is a Dragonfire temporary tattoo. Amanda Carlson had some at CMRC (with the crescent moon from her Jessica McClain series) and I thought they were so cool. She graciously told me where she’d ordered them, and I set my designer to work. They’re in production right now, but here’s what they look like – the gold is supposed to be your skin, and the dotted line won’t appear on the tattoo:

Dragonfire Temporary Tattoo

When they arrive, I’ll let you know. I’ll mail these out just like postcards to those of you who’d like some. :-)

There’s more on the way, so I show you pix when the box arrives. :-)

The Beauty Bride and Double Trouble

The Beauty Bride, book #1 of the Jewels of Kinfairlie series of Scottish medieval romances, by Claire Delacroix  Double Trouble, book #2 in the Coxwell Series of contemporary romances, by Deborah Cooke

It’s time for a couple of free reads again. Right now through April 30, my medieval romance The Beauty Bride and my contemporary romance Double Trouble are both free at Apple and Kobo. They’re 99 cents each at B&N and Amazon (although Amazon might match the free price in some markets.

Here’s your chance to try my alter ego, whether you read my contemporaries or my medievals!

Thorolf’s Eclipse

Serpent's Kiss, a paranormal romance and Dragonfire #10 by Deborah CookeTomorrow is the day that Thorolf’s firestorm sparks in Serpent’s Kiss. There will be a total lunar eclipse tomorrow, visible from the Americas, with the last bit of it visible from eastern Australia. Since it’s beginning at 07:06 Greenwich Mean Time and ending at 08:24 GMT (total eclipse at 07:46 GMT) I’m telling you about it today. In North America, the eclipse will occur in the wee hours of tomorrow morning – I’d need to get up at 1 AM to see it. If you’re further west, you might be able to just stay up late.

This is a pretty interesting eclipse, which makes it a good choice for Thorolf’s firestorm. It will be a Blood Moon, which means that the moon will appear to be russet or red when the shadow of the earth crosses it. It’s also happening at almost the same time as a Cardinal Grand Cross.

A Grand Cross (or Grand Square) is unusual astrologically and generally a sign of great tension. In this particular case, there will be more tension than usual, given the planets involved. During the week of April 20, Mars will square both Jupiter and Pluto. (That means they’ll be at 90 degree angles to each other.) Jupiter will square Uranus at the same time, while Uranus and Pluto have been squared to each other since 2012. (They move more slowly, so the relationships last longer.) In this configuration, Mars is opposed to Uranus and Jupiter is opposed (or opposite to) Pluto. That makes our square or cross.

In this particular instance, all four planets involved are cardinal (rather than fixed or mutable), which ups the ante. It’s upped again because Mars, Pluto and Uranus are all planets that can herald abrupt or violent changes, and Jupiter tends to amplify whatever else is going on. It’s no wonder that some astrologers are expecting cataclysmic events this month. On a personal level, anyone who is strongly influenced by any or all of these planets in their personal astrological chart will feel stressed and challenged. It’s a time for these people to be tested, to be conflicted, and – with any luck – to move beyond those challenges to a new and better state of being.

So above, so below, as the saying goes. There are cataclysmic events in Thorolf’s book, triggered by both his firestorm and by the changes already in progress in the world. You have to also expect that most of the Pyr would be strongly influenced by the planet of Mars, a male planet associated with war, power and those who fight. Thorolf must have a good chunk of Mars in his chart, because he’s severely tested during his firestorm.

You might not see any dragons over the next few days (even if you are in Bangkok), but if we have a clear night and you set your alarm, you might see the Blood Moon of the eclipse.

This is also the first of four lunar eclipses that terminate the Dragon’s Tail – which is the period of karmic re-balance that sets off the Dragon’s Tail wars in Dragonfire. The whole cycle of the moon’s node will be completed in September 2015. If you’re curious about these astrological events and the significance people have attributed to them, take a peek at this article.

A New Page

I’ve added a reference to the back of Serpent’s Kiss – it’s a list of Pyr kids. I end up compiling a list myself each time I write another book in the series, so it’s time to have it all in one place—and I thought you might like the reference, as well.

So, it’s in the back of Thorolf’s book, and also on the website. The version here on the site will be updated as necessary.

The Next Generation.

Quiet on the Blog Front

I apologize to all of you for being quiet lately. Thorolf has been filling my calendar in more ways than one, and it’s been a crazy few weeks.

I’ve still got a To Do list, but here’s an update for you on what’s in the works:

1/ New Swag.
It’s finally on its way! I’ll tell you more on Monday and hope to show you by the end of next week. The best things are worth waiting for, right?

2/ April Newsletter.
I’ll be sending it out next week, so if you haven’t subscribed, please do. (Look for the link in the right sidebar.)

3/ New Website Pages.
After compiling it all for the umpteenth time, I’ve decided to share two more Pyr cheatsheets with you, here on the site. One will be the children of the Pyr, and one will be an astrological page about the Dragon’s Tail.

btw, Thorolf’s eclipse is next week, a total lunar eclipse on April 15. I have a post queued up for that day about it, but if you’re in the vicinity of Bangkok, look out for dragons!

4/ New Schedule.
I’m astonished by how much there is to do before a book’s publication, how much time it all takes, and how much the process is complicated by having pre-orders available. (It’s possible that I’m also a relentless optimist!) The schedule for the rest of my year will have to be tweaked to leave more time between completing the book manuscript and making it available for sale. And yes, this is yet another sign that indie publishing is becoming more like traditional publishing. I don’t need a year to get things done, which is the traditional model, but clearly, I do need more than 2 months. Live and learn.

5/ New Book.
I’m sure you haven’t forgotten that part! April 30 is T’s day.
Serpent's Kiss, a paranormal romance and Dragonfire #10 by Deborah Cooke