Wednesday, September 21, 2016

NBTM + #Giveaway: Mark of the Dragon by JW Troemner @JWTroemner @GoddessFish

Mark of the Dragon
by JW Troemner
GENRE: Urban Fantasy


Rosario Hernandez doesn't ask for much. She'd like to sleep on a bed instead of a sidewalk, to know where her next meal is coming from, and maybe, if she's really feeling optimistic, to get a girlfriend. More than anything, though, she wants her best friend Arkay to not murder anyone— because Arkay is a dragon, claws and all, and she has a penchant for vigilante justice. When Arkay's latest escapade goes sour, Rosario gets stuck with a stolen van and a cooler full of human organs. Now they're on the run, and it's not just the cops who want answers. The owner of the cooler is still out there, and they want to replace what they've lost— by any means necessary.


The Cooler:
“What have ya got there?” Raimo asked when his inspection reached the back of the van.

“No clue,” I said, coming around front. “The guy we got this from said he was delivering something.”

“Like what, a case of beer?” He tipped the box back a few inches, and it made a wet gravelly sound. “It looks like a cooler.”

“Must have been some excellent beer,” I said, tapping the padlock that sealed the lid. “You don’t get ice boxes like this at Walmart.”

An excited grin crossed Raimo’s face. “Let’s find out, shall we? Give me a second.” He vanished into the garage and came out with what I could only describe as a murder weapon. “Watch your fingers, Hiccup.”

This wasn’t a friendly little set of bolt cutters. It had wicked blades nearly as long as “Isn’t that a bit excessive?” I asked.

“I know, right?” he squealed. “I just got her in. Isn’t she gorgeous? I’m going to call her Matilda.”

“Ooh, did Raimo get a new toy?” Arkay called from inside. “I wanna see!”  She bounded out to join us, bits of moisture still dripping down from her damp hair.

The padlock could probably have been pulled off with a solid pull, but Raimo caught the remaining sliver of metal between Matilda’s jaws with an almost dainty twist. Another roar, and the pieces fell away.

“All right,” Arkay said, taking the lid with both hands. “Let’s see what we’ve got here.”

Matilda hit the floor with a solid thunk as Raimo stumbled back. “Jesus Christ!”

It took me a moment longer to make sense of the metallic, meaty smell and the sudden flash of red. 

Interview with JW Troemner

What inspired you to write Urban Dragon?

As much as I love horror and urban fantasy, a lot of times I’d find myself rooting for the monster instead of the heroes—weirdly often, I’d see a monster that wasn’t actually hurting anybody until the intrepid heroes outed it, invaded its territory, or actively started attacking it because it looked scary. How many of these monsters would meet up at Werewolves Anonymous or whatever and share stories? “So there I was, minding my own business, when these human weirdos started shouting Latin at me and tried to light me on fire…”

When or at what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Probably in the fourth grade.
I got put in a group project with my crush, and our assignment was to figure out how we would go about colonizing Venus (we had a great teacher). We had so much fun doing it that I started writing a story based on our colonization plan, and he would illustrate what I’d written. So naturally, I kept writing just as an excuse to keep him talking to me and drawing my characters.
I got a slow dance out of it at the end of the year, so I’d call that one a success.

What is the earliest age you remember reading your first book?

Actually reading? Maybe four or five. I used to climb into a tree with my favorite picture books and read there. And sometimes I’d fall out of said tree, because climbing with a bunch of books in hand is probably not the best idea anybody’s ever had.
Maybe that’s where Arkay gets her love of climbing.
What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

Speculative fiction. Pretty much everything I read for pleasure is either sci-fi or fantasy in one way or another. The genre can encompass the best parts of every other genre and then make it even better.
Do you like murder mysteries? The Dresden Files has a murder mystery with fairies.
Historical romance? Add magic powers and a nation-crippling curse, and you’ve got The Wrath and the Dawn.
Coming-of-age family drama? Angie Sandro’s Dark Paradise has that, but also with voodoo.
You can do the same thing but in space, or with time travel, or post-apocalyptic, or whatever, and every new combination brings with it a new spin on the old tropes.

What is your favorite book?

At the moment? Definitely An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. The book is gut-wrenchingly brutal at times, but the world is fascinating and the characters make my heart ache.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

Terry Pratchett.
His characters were wonderful, his worlds were vivid and impossibly detailed, and if snark was a sport, he’d be barred from Olympics so the rest of us mortals could have a shot.
But I think the thing that resonates most with me is that his books are simultaneously infused with so much anger at the shortcomings of the world and this indomitable faith in the human spirit. His last books, especially, seemed to ride on an undercurrent of awe at all the amazing things people could accomplish if they just got half a chance.

If you could travel back in time here on earth to any place or time. Where would you go and why?

I feel like I have a moral responsibility to go back to 1921 or so and kill Hitler. And while I’m at it, probably Goering and Goebbels and a few others, because what kind of responsible adult leaves a job like that half done?
If he’s taken, I don’t think anybody would complain if I threw Columbus overboard.
On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be allowed to have a time machine. There’s just too much temptation to go back and try to fix things, and we all know what that does to the time stream.

When writing a book do you find that writing comes easy for you or is it a difficult task?

Getting words on paper by itself can range from easy to grueling, but on the whole, creating a book is freaking hard. It’s kind of like assembling a piece of IKEA furniture when you don’t have the instructions and you don’t even necessarily know what kind of furniture it is. There are so many interlocking parts that need to be put together just right. Sometimes you spend all your time assembling what you swear is a couch and it turns out to have been a coffee table the whole time—but hey, it’s one heck of a great coffee table. 

Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?

I have a cat named George and two dogs, Baldur and Freya, who are all on the patently huge end of the spectrum, and who all believe that their rightful place on this earth is squarely on the lap of the nearest human.

What is your "to die for", favorite food/foods to eat?

There’s not one food in particular that stands out, so much as a flavor. I’m a nut for pretty much anything spicy. The hotter, the better.
At one point I infused a bunch of oil with ghost and scorpion peppers to make what I lovingly called my “zombie scorpion oil”, which I then used in cooking pretty much any meal I was going to eat on my own. Friends and family couldn’t even be in the house while I was preparing food with it, because the fumes were just that bad.

Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to be an author?

The story you tell might not be the one that every reader needs to read. That’s fine. Tell the story that you need to tell.


JW Troemner was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States, where she lives with her partner in a house full of pets. Most days she can be found gazing longingly at sinkholes and abandoned buildings.

Buy link:


$25 Amazon/ GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Unknown said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today, Nancy!

Mai T. said...

If you could spend a sunny day anywhere how would your perfect day look like?

Unknown said...

congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

CJ said...

Great interview! Thank you for sharing it with us, good luck with the release and with the book tour! :)

Marcy Meyer said...

Enjoyed the excerpt and interview. Thanks for the giveaway chance.

Rita Wray said...

Thank you for the excerpt.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post, I enjoyed reading both the excerpt and interview. Thanks for sharing :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for your question, Mai!

If it could be anywhere, I'd probably spend that day in the Black Forest in Germany. I got the opportunity to go there to do some research for the sixth book in this series. It's a beautiful place.

Unknown said...

Lisa, Thank you!

And Clojo, it's great to see you again. How are you doing?

Unknown said...

Marcy, Rita, Victoria, thank you for reading!

Unknown said...

It's 3 AM over here, so I'll be turning in for the night. Thank you again for having me!

Mary Preston said...

A great interview. I'm glad you got your slow dance.

Nikolina said...

This book sounds like something I'd really enjoy reading, thank you for sharing!

Nikolina said...

Shared on G+ to help spread the word, have a great day!

Unknown said...

Thank you, Mary! I'm glad I did, too.

Nikolina, thank you so much for spreading the word!

Ally Swanson said...

Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!