Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blood of the Dragon by Samantha Warren

Blood of the Dragon
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Conquered and enslaved, the dragons of Layr live in fear. Their allies are banished, declared outlaws and forced out of human society. Lana, daughter of dragon keepers, is discontented with her mundane existence at the hatchery and the sometimes violent treatment of the dragons in her care. The birth of a rare dragon, descendant of the long-defeated dragon king, will force her to step outside herself and become the hatchling's protector. With the help of her best friend Bolgor, Bellithana the Gypsy, and a Hidden named Prigol, the group seeks to bring an end to the tyranny that has reigned for more than three centuries. Can Lana and her friends bring freedom to the oppressed land? Or will the wicked Princess Slyvania destroy not only Lana's hard won maturity, but the lives of both her and her new friends as well?

Bio: Samantha is an avid reader and indie author. She has published several epic and urban fantasy novels and is currently working on the sequel to Blood of the Dragon. When not reading or writing, she milks cows to pay for her sock fetish.

The dirt and sand along the riverbank glistened darkly in the fading light. The water held a sickly red tinge as the battle waned. Victims of the slaughter lay strewn across the blood-soaked field. Screams of pain and fear echoed through the darkening sky. An enormous red beast struggled feebly, his left wing crushed beneath his massive weight. Aron, leader of the human army, strode haughtily up to the creature and propped a plated boot on its neck.

"Sigurd, king of the dragons." The words shot from the man's mouth like venom. "How does it feel to know you have failed? All your worthless struggles, your pathetic attempts at retaining your freedom; all for naught. You're pathetic."

At that, Aron spat in the fallen king's face. Sigurd paid no attention to the man. His one remaining eye was focused on a scene across the field. He lowed hauntingly as he watched his beloved Silene being shackled, forever imprisoned by the wretched conquerors. His trusted friend and captain, Roland, lay torn at her side. Sigurd knew the man would not have allowed such an atrocity to happen had he a breath left. As it was, Silene took out half a dozen of Aron's soldiers before she was subdued, spewing their remains across her captors.

The fallen king tore his gaze from his mate and surveyed the carnage. They had fought valiantly, man and beast alike, side by side. Now they lay dying together on the field of defeat. Aron had the greater force; Sigurd knew that more than a year ago. But he would not give up. He would not surrender his people to slavery at the hands of such a tyrant. He built his army, recruiting any dragon or human who would come to his aide. He even appealed to the Hidden. But it wasn't enough.

The promise of power and wealth drew both men and dragons to Aron's side. The self-proclaimed King of All amassed an army larger than had ever been seen in Layr. Many of Sigurd's own soldiers betrayed him and joined Aron. The memory caused the King of Dragons great sadness, but he could not muster the strength to even shake his head. The betrayal of his most trusted brother, Apoph, had stung the deepest.

Interview with Samantha Warren

What will readers like about your book? 
Blood of the Dragon offers a new take on the versatile creature that is the dragon. They are sentient beings whose intelligence often surpasses that of humans. Their compassion and concern for others led to their enslavement, and they must prove that their compassion is not a weakness.

Why did you self publish? 
I write books I want others to enjoy. They can't enjoy those books while they languish in the query/editing process for over a year. Self-publishing also offers the ability to price books much lower than traditional publishers can, which is a major benefit for the reader.

What is your writing process? 
I like to write either curled up on my futon or in my hammock. I typically write in 30-minute increments and I keep a document showing how many words I need to write per week to reach my goal. I usually only focus on one book at a time, unlike many authors who can keep two or three going.

How long does it take you to write your first draft? 
For full-length novels, it takes me approximately four months. Novellas can be finished in a month or so.

What inspired you to write this particular story? 
For years, I had the phrase "Chelandra, Dragon Queen" written on a piece of paper in my purse. I decided to use it for NaNo 2010. While Chelandra (Lana) didn't end up being a queen, she did remain the main character in the story.

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