Guest Post

Jane Hunt Guest Post

Why do we love Dragons?

Nowadays it seems everyone loves Dragons. They are a popular topic for books and films. A great favourite for tattoos and adorn anything from mugs to tablet covers. I recently found an entire site devoted to dragon merchandise.

So what’s the myth and history behind our obsession?

Ancient myths portray Dragons as fire breathing serpent like creatures without the wings of modern fairytale dragons.  Allied to the serpent ancient dragons were synonymous with evil.

 Dragon lore and symbolism historically differed between east and west.  Dragons in western culture were evil a threat to humanity. Norse society believed in their power hence dragon’s figureheads on their warships.  In the east dragons were keepers of wisdom. 

Good or evil dragons were omnipotent beings synonymous with supremacy. The Draconic Wiccans, Celts and Alchemists adopted dragons as talisman symbolic of optimism, fearlessness and good luck.

 The winged dragon is capable of harnessing the force of nature and is the protector of the pearl; a symbol of spiritual purity.

The dragon in the picture depicts this belief.

21st century Dragon Lovers keep dragon charms, collectibles and adorn their bodies with dragon tattoos to draw on the dragons’ power, channelling the inner dragon a force for independence and spiritual freedom.

Lukas Draco the dragon lord and demon slayer in The Dragon Legacy is my interpretation of this belief; a force for good against evil who nurtures purity of spirit by protecting the dragon egg.

 


 

Must have gifts for Dragon lovers

So at this festive time of year here’s a few must have gifts for Dragon lovers.

(Click on the item for a link to my Pinterest board or Amazon.co.uk.)

Bentwhistle the Dragon    Dragon Mug     Dragon Kindle Cover   The Dragon Legacy        Dragon iPad Cover  

Buy links for ‘The Dragon Legacy’

Amazon.com     Amazon UK

Add ‘The Dragon Legacy’ to your Goodreads

 

Excerpt of ‘The Dragon Legacy’

            Fleur stole a sideways glance at Lukas as he conversed with Jasmine. His impressive physique exuded an aura of power personified by a fit, muscular body and long, lean limbs. Filled with suppressed sexual excitement, she half closed her eyelids, leaned back against the headrest, and continued her secret study of him. His face was the epitome of masculine beauty, characterized by well-defined angular cheekbones, covered with pale, almost translucent skin. Its apparent delicacy did not detract from his masculinity; he looked like a fallen angel. A tell-tale blush stained her cheeks rosy. A rush of heat pooled between her legs. Fleur shuddered. Shocked at her impulsiveness, she sat on her hands and admired the sleekness of his fashionable long, straight hair, which looked like silk. Neediness overpowered her cautious nature as her gaze feasted on its remarkable black color, reminiscent of an exotic bird or reptile with highlights of metallic turquoise and blue woven through it. Fleur stole another glance at Lukas from under her lashes. He stared back. Horrified, she blushed unable to avoid his inquisitive gaze. She waited for the smug look or the double entendre. Lukas’ smile hid a myriad of emotions. The fire in his heated look betrayed him, luminescent and golden, in stark contrast with the dying afternoon light.

 

͌

            Lukas slanted a glance at Fleur. The look of rapt absorption on her face stilled his breath. She looked at him hungrily, as if he was a delicacy she would love to taste. His blood echoed in his head as it thundered through his arteries. Arousal exploded in every inch of his body, highlighted by the uncomfortable tightness of his designer jeans, a testimony to his body’s readiness to act. He stopped talking in mid-sentence. Jasmine looked at him through the rear view mirror. His body leaned into Fleur’s, attuned to her hot gaze’s invitation. No. He couldn’t, not here or anywhere, with her. Lukas sensed the exact moment Fleur noticed him. He disguised all signs of his arousal. He hoped his expression revealed none of his inner turmoil.

 

            The truck turned into a concealed driveway. Calmer, he resumed his light conversation with Jasmine, who didn’t remark on his recent distraction. Fleur stared through the window. Moments later, the truck stopped with a shudder. Lukas smiled at her hasty retreat. He sighed as the truck door shut behind her. His lack of control bothered him. His mission needed all his attention. A dalliance with a pretty human was not on his agenda. It would jeopardize the dragon egg’s safety.

͌

            “Welcome to Hallow House.”

 Jasmine walked around the truck for their luggage. The grey, windswept house stood hidden among the hills. Paint peeled from the window frames and moss grew along the grey stone walls. A wave of coldness swept through Fleur. She shuddered. “It’s so atmospheric, perfect for a murder mystery.” She looked across at Lukas. He seemed preoccupied. A woman appeared at the house’s front door. Lukas’ face lost its shuttered look. He smiled.

             “It’s lovely to meet you both. I’m Grace.”

            “It’s lovely to meet you too,” Fleur smiled at the older woman, reassured by her kind smile.

͌

             “I’m delighted to meet you.”

            Lukas shook Grace’s hand. Her gaze widened as their physic auras merged. Lukas controlled his response; his face remained devoid of expression. Jasmine frowned and touched her mother’s shoulder. With one last puzzled look at Lukas, she said,

 “I’ll show you to your rooms. Afternoon tea is at three. The conservatory is at the back. You’ll have an opportunity to meet the other guests there.”

 Lukas smiled. He sensed her interest and strength. They’d met once, years before. She owed him, and he needed her help now.

͌

            Fleur unpacked her bags in her shabby-chic room. Her mind strayed to Lukas’ surprising effect on her. Vivid recollections of his strong embrace and the hardness of his muscular body bombarded her. She splashed cold water on her face in an attempt to cool the burn from her inner heat. Why did she crave this man’s touch? Intimate images danced through her confused mind. She sprayed perfume on her heated skin. Nothing in her life prepared her for this tangle of conflicted emotions.

 

            Perhaps she’d hidden away too long? She needed excitement. Her ex-lover didn’t understand her grief after the premature deaths of her much-loved parents. Instead, he chipped away at her self-esteem. Lukas saw through her layers of self-protection. He noticed her. The heat in his stare scorched her deep inside. She needed this man. She blushed at her wickedness. The alarm on her mobile sounded, almost three; time to go. She took a deep breath, determined to dampen her aroused state. With a final check of her appearance, she retrieved her bag and headed downstairs.  

            Fleur stood inside the conservatory until her eyes adjusted for the brightness. She walked further into the room and scanned the occupants for Lukas, but he wasn’t there. Disappointed, Fleur looked around the room. Jasmine’s companions drew her gaze. Something set the unusual men apart from the other people there. She saw a familiar face. Grace was deep in conversation with two of the older guests. She looked busy, so Fleur didn’t disturb her.

 

            The designer-clad men recaptured her interest. The dark-haired man appeared fascinated with Jasmine. His face darkened as Jasmine interrupted his diatribe.

  “You’ll have to excuse me. I need to welcome Fleur.”

         Jasmine headed in her direction. Without Jasmine’s vivacity, the conversation between the two high-powered men lapsed into silence. The younger man looked bored and distracted. The delicate rose- patterned china tea cup appeared awkward in his large strong-boned hands. He ran his long fingers through his shaggy, platinum blond, almost silver, hair. It masked the paleness of his silver-colored eyes. He looked handsome. Fleur waited to see if her heart flipped. It didn’t. Her stomach lurched at the implications of her discovery. Her attraction to Lukas was based on something deeper than eye candy.

The Dragon Legacy Blog Tour Giveaway

ARE INDIE BOOKS WORTH REVIEWING?

by Rayne Hall

Certain book blogs state categorically that they won’t review self-published books.  I understand their motivation: They get inundated with submissions and are trying to keep the numbers down.

However, No Indies is as arbitrary as No Jews or No Women.

The reviewers aim to filter out low-quality works – but is the publishing method a valid quality filter?

It used to be. In the late 20th century, the established path to publication was author-agent-publisher-bookseller-reader. 30ScaryTales RayneHall Horror XteveAbantoEach book had to pass three gates on its journey from author to reader, and each gate represented a quality test. Self-published books were inevitably those that had failed at the first two gates.

Times have changed. E-publishing makes it possible to reach the readers directly, and many authors choose the direct route instead of queuing at the gates.

Without gatekeepers barring entry, many poorly-written and under-revised books get published. A lot of indie (i.e. self-published) books are not as good as their authors think. Frankly, there’s a mass of indie dross – but there are also many indie gems.

The boundary between “good book” and “bad book” doesn’t happen to coincide with the frontier between indie-published and traditional-published books.

Consider the authors who use both publishing models: Amanda Hocking, John Locke and Michael Stackpole submit some of their works to traditional publishers and self-publish others. SIX SCARY TALES VOL. 1 Rayne Hall cover 28Mar13r reducedAre these authors’ traditional-published books better than their self-published ones?

Or how about the authors who were successful with traditional-published books, but then decided to go indie? Consider Joe Konrath, Barry Eisler, and Dean Wesley Smith. Have they lost their ability to write good books?

Then there are the authors who took their previously traditional-published out-of-print books and self-published them as ebooks –  Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Piers Anthony, for instance. The books are the same, so how can they suddenly be less worthy?

Over three decades, I had twenty books published by several traditional publishers before choosing the indie route. SIX SCARY TALES VOL. 4 Rayne Hall cover 28Mar13 reducedDoes this mean my old books are worth reviewing, and my new books are not – even though I have grown as a writer?

Not long ago, a book blogger approached me. She had enjoyed the stories in Six Scary Tales Vol. 1 and asked for review copies of Vol. 2 and 3, so she could review the series. Shortly after I sent the books, I received an email “Your books are self-published and therefore not worth reading or reviewing.”

Excuse me? When she assumed that the books were traditional-published, she liked the stories and wanted more. On discovery that they were indie-published, the same stories were suddenly not worth reading. What does this say about the reviewer’s judgement?

Most stories in the Six Scary Tales series were originally published the traditional way in magazines and anthologies. Did inclusion in the self-published collection damage their quality?

I appreciate that book bloggers decline to read certain books, e.g. No Erotica, No Horror or No Romance, because if a book isn’t to their taste, it would be tedious to read and difficult to review.

But to decline all indie-published books because they can’t possibly be good is like refusing to read books penned by women or by Jews because no woman or Jew could possibly write something worth reading.

So how can a book reviewer assess which books are worth reading?STORM DANCER Rayne Hall cover published 11Jan13 reducedforkobo I think the answer is obvious: by looking at the book itself. Reading the first few pages will show the reviewer whether it’s their kind of book. Often, a quick glance at the first paragraph is enough to weed out the obvious dross. If reviewers can’t form their own opinion of what they’re reading, they shouldn’t be reviewing books.

 

ABOUT RAYNE HALL

Rayne Hall has published more than forty books under different pen names with different publishers in different genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. RayneHall - Fantasy Horror Author - reduced size Portrait by FawnheartRecent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), 13 British Horror Stories, Six Scary Tales Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5(creepy horror stories), Thirty Scary Tales, Six Historical Tales Vol. 1 and 2 (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories),  The Colour of Dishonour: Stories from the Storm Dancer World, Writing Fight Scenes, The World-Loss Diet, Writing About Villains, Writing About Magic and Writing Scary Scenes (practical guides for authors).

She holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Currently, she edits the Ten Tales series of multi-author short story anthologies: Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, Spells: Ten Tales of Magic, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies, Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance and more.

Rayne has lived in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal and  has now settled in a small dilapidated town of former Victorian grandeur on the south coast of England.

Website: http://sites.google.com/site/raynehallsdarkfantasyfiction/

 Short video: Ten Random Facts About Rayne Hall: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXv4EisfqvQ

Amazon’s Rayne Hall page: http://www.amazon.com/Rayne-Hall/e/B006BSJ5BK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

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Writing About Magic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Post

Hey guys!

So you may have noticed I’m not your usual host… If you didn’t, SURPRISE! So who am I? and why am I here today?

Firstly I am Kayleigh Kavanagh, writer, crazy lady and creator of “Passion for Books”.

And I am here because I want to reach as many readers as possible. Now if you’re reading this blog, I assume you like reading 😉

My facebook group, Passion for books – https://www.facebook.com/groups/325603540909601/

Are launching an online book club. Instead of people meeting up once a week to discuss the books, it is all being done online, meaning you can fit it in with your spare time.

Books are to be downloaded on a Monday (links provided) and reviewed the second Friday after. Giving you two weeks to read, re read if you so chose, and digest the book. Then on the 2nd Friday you are given the full weekend to discuss your thoughts on the book. Meaning no matter what you have going on – work, family, general everyday life, you have time to be involved, read and be social with other readers.

The books we read vary in genre, so one week it may be romance, the next horror, after that thriller, etc etc. the books are released every Monday, so there is a new book every week, but again you have two weeks to read each book, and you may not like every genre, so you can pick and choose which ones you want to read.

All the books are from smaller publishing houses and Indie authors. Rather than the mainstream books, we are starting trends rather than following them!

Sound like something you would be interested in?

Send your email address to – p4b.bookclub@gmail.com

Or come and visit us on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/325603540909601/

I look forward to seeing you all!

To all authors, if you would like to come along to my events –

Like for a Like – https://www.facebook.com/events/420636724722338/

Follow for a Follow – https://www.facebook.com/events/410403702398338/

I Want to Read – https://www.facebook.com/events/730543873628722/

And any bloggers who want to meet other bloggers, come along to my event –

The Blogger’s exchange – https://www.facebook.com/events/536592769745906/