Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Tour + #Giveaway: Rebel Queen by David Temrick @RehabDave @SDSXXTours

Rebel Queen
Dragonkin Chronicles Book 1
by David Temrick
Genre: Fantasy

Cassandra has a problem, and it's only the first of many. Being raised as the youngest child in a family of great heroes would be a challenge for anyone. 

Until a few days ago, Cassandra was content with her role as a child of greatness. She was studious, spent most of her waking hours with her mother and other heads of state and at her father’s insistence, learned how to duel. As her siblings had before her, Cassandra knew she would likely be matched with a partner for political reasons and had long since accepted her role in the world.

That was, of course, before her mother died, and before her...transformation. Overnight, her soft pale skin sprouted gorgeous golden dragon scales. 

Presented with a future she no longer recognizes, as the first of her kind, she must overcome a whole new set of challenges if she hopes to survive the unknown threat that comes from across the Careless Sea.

The Sakwa dragonkin are a dying race, fueled by a tribal system that failed them centuries ago but yet unable to adapt to a new way of life. In a desperate bid to keep the people focused on outside conflict, Jenya of the Toho has declared war on Cassandra's country. An ocean may separate the two cultures, but the Sakwa see the Seven Kingdoms as their opportunity for a new start; a new start they will willingly kill and die for.

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Chapter 1


It always seemed like the castle burst to life after hibernating for months and then after a few weeks of activity, everyone sat around moodily waiting for the rains to subside.
Draconis wrapped his enormous wings closer to his body as the storm’s ferocity intensified. At this elevation, the elder dragon need only spread his wings to be launched off of this mountaintop. The last of the spring storms were blowing with their usual bluster and Midsummer was fast approaching. All of the ice and snow had melted away, leaving large, lush patches of grass and wildflowers around him.
Soon the summer heat would be in full effect, which would have made Mina happy as her gardens would begin to blossom and grow. In the three years since her passing, her daughter Cassandra had taken up her mother’s gardening duties. The central courtyard had been converted into a large fruit and vegetable garden with flower beds scattered all over the palace grounds.
Dragon Hold was high up in the southeastern mountains of Vallius where the weather was clement year round, however the spring rains wouldn’t stop until well into summer. There were precious few weeks, as winter released its grasp and spring began to assert itself, when farmers and gardeners could get their seeds planted in time for the nourishing rain.
When the Dragon Host had first arrived in Amesdia, they had taken to tampering with the weather. Their goal had been to turn each country into a reflection of the dragons that chose to live there. This was ideal for the Draconic race; however it was an anathema to everyone else.
So, centuries ago, the Dragon Council had decided that nature had to be allowed to run its course. As a result, the dragon host focused on using their arts to take the pressure off of the magma chambers far below the surface of Terum in an attempt to make the area, and indeed the entire continent, more habitable.
Terum, as a result, had developed into a vibrant and productive farming country. Her people were robust, quick to laugh and opened their hearts and arms to the others when they were in need.
Oceana had once been a swampy mess of overgrown marshlands mixed with large swaths of cooled lava. With the intervention of the dragon host, most of the country was now above the water table. They were able to sow crops as well; the produce they grew had become the envy of the Seven Kingdoms. All of this had transpired before Tristan’s birth and yet Draconis remembered the details as sharply today as he did the flavor of the mountain goat he’d inhaled just this morning.
The winds began to die down and the rain stopped and the clouds began to break up as Draconis continued to be lost in thought. What troubled him today, and what had been troubling him for a fortnight, was Cassandra’s sudden transformation.
Sudden might not be the right word, but it seemed to be the only one that could capture the scope of the shock and awe his great-granddaughter caused when she walked into a room. Her eyes had possessed a violet tint since the night her mother had died, but two weeks ago after a rather brutal thunderstorm had destroyed the southern watch tower, she had come down from her room covered in golden dragon scales from head to toe. 
He and two of his closest friends, Socolis the elder white dragon and Lesariu the elder gold, had spent days debating and examining Cassie’s transformation. At the time of her birth, both Mina and Tristan appeared to be two normal middle aged adults, despite being in their nineties. Their youngest child had grandchildren of his own and it was thought that their child bearing years had long since passed them by.
Yet, as Mina’s stomach expanded with her appetite, it had become clear that despite her age, Lesariu’s granddaughter was again with child. After Cassie had been born, Mina had begun to age alarmingly though. In the first five years, Mina looked every bit her age. By the time Cassie was ten, Mina’s hair had gone completely white and she was very nearly skin and bone.
Cassie was the spitting image of her mother in her youth and on more than one occasion Tristan had expressed concern that the curse the Gods had inflicted on him must surely have passed to his daughter. How he could be so dismissive about the gateway and so concerned about his daughter inheriting a curse he’d accepted always seemed to amuse Socolis, but he found humor in the strangest things.
Regardless, something had clearly happened to Mina, either during the pregnancy or afterwards. It was unclear as to what that had been, so their concerns had shifted to her daughter. It was undeniable that Cassie had intelligence and ability that far exceeded her age. At eleven, she could hold her own in debates with the adult ambassadors who frequently visited Dragon Hold.
What did cause no end of concern for Draconis though, were the possible ramifications of her appearance. The Orcs had been created by the mating of a dragon and an elf. Would Cassie remain Cassie, or would she somehow lose her mind as the orc hordes had lost theirs on their former home world of Fangoria?
The sun began to break through the clouds and Draconis was able to see more than a few feet in front of his face.
Looking north, he could see the distant lights of major cities, small towns that peppered the main roads and to the west; the Great Wall of Tarious. The wall towers were lit, as always. It was part of the early warning system set in place by Tristan decades ago. If under attack, the towers would dump pitch into their braziers which would create great plumes of thick green smoke to alert the Kingdom of invasion.
Eighty-Two years had passed since the mystical breach between Fangoria and Amesdia had been sealed and yet not a day passed that Draconis didn’t look in its direction. Tristan dismissed his grandfather’s concerns. Despite the doorway between worlds being breached on two occasions in as many millennia, he believed them to be wholly unrelated. Draconis didn’t believe in coincidence, every opening of the doorway solidified the pathway.
It had been a like number of years since any of the citizens of the Great Expanse had been seen remotely close to the wall. On occasion a trader would sail into one of the many Kingdom ports to trade goods, but rarely did they come armed beyond what would be expected of a merchant vessel.
Now, though, the new King of the Seven Kingdoms had publicly announced his plans to conquer and settle the Great Expanse once and for all. Andrew, Tristan’s great-grandson, was bold and determined to say the very least. Despite small skirmishes, the last eighty years had seen the longest period of peace in the history of Amesdia.
The King was now proposing to send a conquering force to pacify the region for colonization. The Expanse was largely infested with Orcs, mercenaries, and wild-men, but he was still proposing genocide. It was possible that the mercenaries and wild-men could be brought into the Kingdom as annexed citizens, however, in his experience, Orcs couldn’t be reasoned with.
Perhaps Draconis was getting sentimental in his old age, but he’d seen his fill of death long before the Dragon Host had ever arrived on Amesdia. Their former home world had been overrun by half-breeds turned to madness bent on the wholesale slaughter of the Draconic race. When they’d arrived in Amesdia, they’d sued for peace with the local warlords who would eventually carve out the Seven Kingdoms.
Nearly a thousand years ago, the humans had begun to tire of ceaselessly killing one another and banded together under the Vallious line of Kings. Each country was an entity unto itself, however, they all swore fealty to the King of Kings, who was now Andrew. New to the throne and possibly keen to prove himself the leader his grandfather (Tristan and Mina’s first son, Jonathan) had been. 
While most regarded Draconis as the King of Dragons, he thought of himself as his own father had; their caretaker. He had made it clear to his kin that this war was not the responsibility of the Dragon Host to support.
Still, younglings being younglings, many were keen to support the descendent of Tristan and he had made clear his stance on this war. He was lending his full support to any action that would end the Orc threat to Amesdia.
Draconis didn’t blame his grandson for his anger and fear. Of all of the mortals of this world, Tristan understood more than any other the threat that Orcs presented both to the Draconic and mortal races. Tristan had spent the last eighty years building up relationships between humans, dwarves and elves. Conference upon conference had been held just below this mountain top, inside of Dragon Hold castle, between all four races to mend wounds.
Elves felt abandoned by Dragons, Dwarves felt betrayed by both, Humans were suspicious of anyone who didn’t look like them. The entire process had been long, more than a little contentious, and at times tedious in the extreme. Still, after years of talk, reconciliation and then education, at least in the Dragon Hold, all four races had an equal voice.
Ambassadors from all four major races were on hand and formed part of the Dragon Hold council along with Tristan and Draconis as the senior members. Over a decade ago, emissaries had been sent north to invite ambassadors from the giants, trolls, wild-men and others that populated the Great Expanse. Their efforts were rebuffed, which only served to strengthen the call to arms for northern invasion.
Troubled?” A soft, familiar voice called as she landed behind him. 
Hmm?” Draconis replied. 
What’s on your mind, big brother?” Lesariu asked. 
Draconis was forced to smile. He, Lesariu and Socolis had been crèche-mates as younglings and yet the two of them insisted on acting like he was older than they were.
Cassandra. Tristan. This war, ” he began. “Take your pick.” 
Cassie,” she said with a wry grin. 
He sighed and returned the smile.
What if she loses her mind as the Orcs did?” He asked her. 
It’s been nearly three years since she first exhibited signs of a change. I’ve spent days with her, big brother, she’s fine,” Lesariu explained. 
She’s unique, and being unique is never easy,” Draconis observed as he looked out over the horizon. 
True, but she has her mothers’ fighting spirit,” Lesariu replied with a chuckle. 
That she does.” he agreed. 
Well, that’s settled,” she concluded. 
Draconis scoffed in reply. He wasn’t entirely sure that it was settled. Cassandra would have a hard road ahead of her. Her life was already going to be challenging. Being a part of Tristan’s family was a lot to live up to and expectations were high from the general public. Tristan and Mina had never much cared which path in life their children chose; their primary concern had always been ensuring their happiness.
Cassandra’s parents had accomplished so much before their thirtieth Midsummer, and only Jonathan had managed to approach the level of their achievements. Added to the pressure of being a Vallious and sharing draconic heritage, Cassandra’s sudden change in appearance had completely set her apart from everyone. Even in Dragon Hold.
Thoughts of Dragon Hold immediately brought his grandson to mind.
“…and Tristan?” Lesariu prodded. 
He hasn’t been the same since Mina’s passing,” Draconis sighed as the heat of the sun broke up the spent rain clouds. 
None of us have, brother,” she observed. 
It was true. Mina’s presence alone had made the castle into a home. Her loss had left a palpable absence in the halls. No one had expected the pregnancy and her alarming aging afterwards had driven that shock of her mortality home.
The distant boom of thunder signaled that another spring storm system was moving into the area.
We’d better move inside, little sister,” Draconis sighed. 
Lesariu nodded and leapt into the air, Draconis was a wing-beat behind her. An ear shattering explosion knocked him right out of the sky and tossed him into an outcropping of rock. Draconis felt his right wing snap and pain shot up his spine. Shaking the pain away as best he could, he looked up to see Lesariu held aloft by a net of lightning.
It crawled up her serpentine body and rattled her wings as she soundlessly screamed in pain. Dragging his limp wing behind him, Draconis took three steps forward and jumped as high as he could muster. His taloned claw wrapped around one of her ankles and the lightning traveled down his arm and wracked his body.
Refusing to release his hold, he pulled her down with all of his might.
The pair of them fell, limp from the sky above Dragon Hold in a tangle of wings, arms and legs. They rolled down the side of the mountain; plates from their armored hides were torn free by jagged rocks. They bounced up onto the southern wall, over the parapet and landed in a heap in the palace courtyard. Stones exploded on contact and a cloud of dust rose up around them, the smoking ruins of their bodies were splayed across the courtyard cobbles.
Draconis was dimly aware of the alarm bell ringing and the pounding of feet on cobblestones coming towards them before the nearest palace tower exploded…and then he lost consciousness.

Cassie sat, quietly watching the storm as it spent its fury utterly on the sanctuary known as Dragon Hold. For the last eighty years, the palace grounds and the dragon breeding caves below had served as the home to dragon, human and half-breed alike. The other races had begun to join their ranks and dragon lore was being taught to non-dragon for the first time in their species’ long history.
Her father had stressed (more times than she cared to recall) that the key to a lasting peace was truly understanding one another. To that end, he and her great-grandfather Draconis had built Dragon Hold. It served as a home for all races to talk, debate, fight, and reconcile without the need or desire for bloodshed.
With the passing of her mother, a significant part of that home was now lost to her entirely.
Everyone dealt with grief differently, for her it had become an open wound. Something she tended, though accepted as part of who she was. Only her father seemed to accept this. Perhaps it was the bond that they shared as father and daughter, perhaps it had more to do with their unmistakable similarities. More likely was their absolute trust in one another. There was one thing that all of her father’s children shared; the ability to at least sense each other’s thoughts.
In some it was more pronounced than others, but in her case, it was as though her mind was an open book to her parents and vice versa.
Two weeks ago, a storm of incredible strength had blown through Dragon Hold. Torrential rain, cascades of high altitude lightning and thunder that shook dust from the rafters of her tower room. A bolt of lightning had set the southern watchtower on fire and the citizens of the palace had sprung into action to put out the blaze before it spread.
She’d been terrified.
Lying in her bed, with the covers pulled up over her eyes, she’d felt the warm, comforting presence of her mother for the first time in years. Eventually, the storm had blown itself out and was replaced by the hypnotic rhythm of rain. The quiet calm of the rain lulled her into a troubled sleep.
The following morning, she’d groggily gotten out of bed and made her way down to the family dining hall for breakfast to an audience of shocked faces. Every conversation ceased immediately as everyone stared at her in open shock. When Cassie looked down, she shared their astonishment, finding her pale skin and painted nails ostensibly replaced by golden dragon scale and black talon.
Then she fainted.
Since then, the shock had worn off and she often found herself staring at her own reflection in wide eyed wonder. She knew that others were concerned about her, about what her appearance could potentially mean for dragon/human relations and other more global concerns such as the resurgence of anti-dragon sentiment so prevalent nearly a century ago.
Only Bethia, the elder red dragon, and her father knew how she really felt about the entire situation; delight.
The pressure of being the child of Tristan and Mina had utterly disappeared. The unsaid expectations evaporated. Sideways glances were now cast her way because of her appearance rather than an assessment of her abilities, or lack thereof. In essence, what many would consider a curse…had become for her the ultimate freedom.
As amazing as her parents were, as astounding their accomplishments and the feats of her eldest brother, she was now free…completely free to explore her own future on her own terms. Her transformation had become the salve to soothe the pain of losing her mother. She now had plenty of distractions and even when she found herself with idle time, a stroll through the palace was an almost perverse relief.
Perhaps she could spend some time with her aunt, the current keeper of Draconic Lore and Henjis’ heir, Senera. She had made it clear on numerous occasions that Cassie was always welcome to come learn about her heritage. Perhaps one of the many tomes, scrolls and books ferreted out of Fangoria as the citizens fled the Orc uprising would hold some information on her own transformation.
At least it would be nice to go somewhere.
Cassandra had sat with her mother every day for the first ten years of her life and listened intently to her adventures. Finally feeling free and rejuvenated, she was keen to have adventures of her own. At fourteen years of age, the farthest Cassie had ever traveled was to Fenold, a half-day walk down the mountain path to the town that supported Dragon Hold. She was eager to see beyond the foothills of the mountain range she called home.
A quiet knock at her door as it opened slightly tore her from her introspection and she smiled. The only other member of the household that forewent the irritating niceties of society was Bethia. Her father always joked that Draconis, Lesariu and Socolis may have accelerated her physical aging, but she still had all of the maturity and decorum of a teenager. Well into her second century of life, Cassie doubted that it was likely to change any time soon.
Bethia!” Cassie shouted with glee. 
Cassandra!” Bethia mocked. 
While Bethia’s natural form was that of an enormous red dragon second only to Draconis is size, she preferred her human form when inside Dragon Hold. Perhaps it had to do with that adolescent decorum, but she loathed standing out. Ironically, she’d chosen to emulate Cassie’s mother in her regal appearance. She always wore the same long tight dress with thin straps over her shoulders, and always with her hair arranged in the latest fashion.
Beth, as she preferred to be called in her human form, had bonded early in life to Cassie’s father, Tristan. As a result, she and Cassie acted the role of sisters all of her young life. In fact, when Mina had taken ill after giving birth to Cassie, it had been Beth who had stepped in to care for her daily needs.
While more of a mother figure than sibling, the pair of them showed no interest in behaving at all. They were often responsible for some of the largest and most elaborate pranks pulled off in Dragon Hold.
Must to her father’s dismay despite the humor he often found in her antics.
For his part Socolis, the elder white dragon, treated the pair of them as the mischievous little sisters they were in his heart. Most of the residents of Dragon Hold observed a familial bond. More often than not, dragons, humans, elves and dwarves spent excessive amounts of time together and bonded as any family might.
Given the locale of the palace, they were really all each other had. Yet, everyone took to this arrangement with surprising ease and joy.
I hear you’ve been secluding yourself again, little sister,” Beth observed darkly. 
You know how it gets, Beth. Delegates, sycophants, spies and politicians endlessly debating the same topic over and over again,” Cassie sighed. “I just get tired of it.” 
Because everyone already knows what their decision is?” Beth probed. 
Yes! They all have their minds made up and debating the topic never moves any of them to actually change,” Cassie shouted more adamantly than she’d intended. She took a steadying breath before she continued. 
When the room won’t be swayed, father and grandfather make a unilateral decision that is best for all those involved and all discussion ends,” Cassie continued impatiently. 
That’s often how things are accomplished, Cassie,” Beth observed. “Do you honestly think the debate is to change the delegates mind?” 
It sure seems that way,” 
Did it ever occur to you that they’re trying to influence Tristan and Draconis?” 
Influence them how?” 
To change their minds,” Beth replied with a sardonic smile. 
I…” Cassie’s own thoughts interrupted her retort. “Hadn’t thought of that.” 
You should,” Beth advised. “In the end, these debates are less about winning or having a superior argument and more about giving voice to points of view that your father and grandfather either don’t have or don’t share.” 
So that they can make the best choice for everyone,” 
Exactly,” Beth replied as she leaned against the doorframe. “Now, do you feel up to some flying?” 
Cassie smiled in spite of herself. It had been weeks since they had flown together. The more Draconic Cassie’s appearance became, the more she longed to be in the air. The feeling of the wind brushing over her scales sent a thrill up her spine. A few weeks ago her eyes had fully changed Draconic, allowing her to keep her eyes open during climbs that had previously caused them to water uncontrollably.
Rather than answering, Cassie grabbed her leather tunic and ran through the open doorway, a laughing Beth chasing behind her. As was often the case these days, Cassie wore light clothing over her scales. Flying though was an entirely different proposition. Changes in altitude, atmospheric pressure and of course, Bethia’s almost obsessive need to fly through clouds necessitated some sort of protective clothing.
As her father had before her, she’d adopted a set of clothes more conducive to flying. Leather trousers and a matching long sleeved tunic that could be fastened all the way up to her chin. As she buckled the toggles, she ran full speed up onto the parapet that ran along the walls of Dragon Hold.
Knowing that Bethia was already transforming behind her, she leapt over the edge with a scream of joy. Wind whistled in her ears and pulled her hair backwards. Two strong wing beats and Bethia was under her, catching her effortlessly on her back and leveling out their descent.
The air was still humid from the passing spring storm and Cassie’s blouse clung to her torso under her tunic. Bethia banked south and they headed towards the ocean separating the country of Vallious from the Great Northern Expanse.
Mardela? Cassie sent. 
As was always the case, dragon and rider needed to communicate telepathically. This made it nearly impossible for those unable to mindspeak to ride a dragon effectively. They were merely passengers, whereas a dragon rider could become an extension of the dragon.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Aunty Senera, Bethia agreed. 
True. Cassie conceded. Does she still have that spiteful cat? 
I believe she has three, 
Great, Cassie observed darkly. 
Since childhood, Cassandra had never gotten along well with animals. It was as though they hated her the moment they saw her and nothing she could do would change their minds. Still, things could be worse; her aunt could have a pet lion.
Bethia laughed in her mind. Cassie had nearly forgotten that while they were connected, dragon and rider’s thoughts were shared completely. It was necessary in order for them to operate together in harmony. Too often, young riders tried to unilaterally control their dragons and it never ended well. Death had almost always the immediate punishment for those foolhardy enough to believe that they could dominate a dragon by sheer force of will.
Many tried, especially with the younglings, and they all failed. Dragons were born with magical ability, humans were not. The differences didn’t end there by any means; that was simply where it started. Starting from failure led to more failure. Fatally so.
Cassie had spent far too many weeks lost in her own thoughts, so she surrendered to the liberating delight of flight. She allowed her mind to clear and released her hold on worries that occupied her every waking moment since her mother had passed. Eventually, she let go of Bethia’s neck and spread her arms.
Air buffeted up her tunic, tickling the sensitive flesh underneath her scales. It made her feel alive and free. Often in these times, she could sense minds outside of the union with her dragon. These errant thoughts were often coming from emotionally charged people. But today, she and Bethia were blissfully alone.
Hours later, Bethia landed at the docks that served as the main entrance to Senera’s cave sanctuary. Cave always seemed like the worst possible description of the vast library that the black dragon species had accepted charge over thousands of years ago. When her father had first visited here, nearly a century ago, he had found an abandoned town set up on a series of docks. 
Since the end of the Terum War, a colony had sprung up here called Mardela. The docks were served by dozens of service lifts that carried goods up to the town above. Dockworkers, tanners, shipwrights and sail makers still called the docks home, but the markets and town hall had been relocated to the top of the fifty foot cliff.
Inside the cliff was where the library and Senera lived. Portholes had been drilled into the cliff-face to allow natural light to bathe the interior chambers in something other than the depressing dim light of candelabras. Cassie had always believed that the madness given birth by solitude and low lighting had been the cause behind Henjis’ betrayal.
Two-hundred and fifty three years ago, Henjis had grown disillusioned with Draconis’ leadership of the dragon species on Amesdia. Through a series of accidents and poor choices, his frustration gave birth to a cult calling themselves Draconis’ Bane. They were a dark and twisted version of Henjis’ inner conflict and focused their attention on the destruction of dragon-kind. 
He’d redeemed himself towards the end of the Terum war, embarrassed by what his inner demons had given rise to. His sacrifice had liberated the entire continent and ushered in an era of peace.
Henjis’ heir, Senera, had led the host at what was now called The Library at Mardela. Dragons, humans, elves and those dwarves who desired lessons in history, traveled to the library to search for their own answers or be instructed by the professors who frequented their halls.
Moments after they landed and Bethia had changed her appearance, a flurry of activity sprang up around them. Hundreds of people shouting over one another were deafening, so Beth and Cassie forced their way inside the library entrance. Any respite they had hoped to achieve was short lived though as younglings rushed forward in comically attempted humanoid forms.
Their frantic pleas invaded Cassie’s mind and she had to erect defenses to keep them from driving her mad. Even so, their voices were like fists banging on the walls of her mind. It was all she could do to reinforce the block. It gave her a terrible headache though that traveled down her shoulders and spine.
Beth looked as worse for wear, though her abilities far exceeded those of Cassie. The young lady’s eyes narrowed as something occurred to her. She closed her eyes for a moment and felt the defenses she’d erected to find an all too familiar pattern to them. Her eyes shot open as she reacted without thought and caught Beth as she passed out.
Without the aid of her friend, her pathetic defenses crashed around her and her mind was filled with the fear and outrage of youngling dragons incapable of controlling their own power. Her vision began to close in on itself and everything took on a distinctly gray tone.
Instantly Cassie’s vision cleared and though still weak, she clutched Beth’s unconscious form like a mother protecting her child. She couldn’t fathom why younglings would attack them with such ferocity, or who had quieted their minds with a word.
Pushing her way through the throng of odd humanoid shapes was Nera, as Senera chose to be called in her Elvish form. Unlike other dragons, who chose to emulate human bodies, Nera preferred the aesthetic of an elf body. Tall and elegant with a strange air of the ethereal, elves tended to look as similar to humans as dwarves did, which was to say beyond the basic form…not alike at all.
Is she alright? Nera asked inside Cassie’s mind. 
If she hadn’t been protecting me, she would have been fine. Cassie observed guiltily. What’s going on? 
Dragon Hold was attacked a few hours ago, she replied with a look of confusion. 
Cassie bit down a smile; nothing was quite as amusing as Nera observing a very human trait with an elf’s face. They were rarely confused and even when they were, they didn’t show it. The expression was alien in the extreme on an already alien face. Then the weight of her revelation struck home.
Wait. What did you say?” Cassandra shouted. 
While the younglings no longer shouted in their minds, they were milling about in confusion and crowding them.
Dragon Hold was just attacked,” Nera repeated. “Didn’t you feel it?” 
No!” She replied in alarm. 
Peculiar,” Nera observed. 
This time her expression was very Elvish. The entire race was curious about everything, largely because they knew most everything. Representatives of the Elvish council had helped Nera reorganize this library, and had also helped fill in historical and factual gaps that had plagued both dragons and humans for centuries. As such, anything new they discovered was a source of joy and wonder.
One of the benefits, beyond her appearance, was the Draconic strength she’d developed long before the physical change. She effortlessly picked up Beth’s unconscious form and made her way towards the guest chambers. Cassie didn’t notice the look of shock plastered across her aunt’s face and she walked past her, wholly distracted by the revelation of an attack on her home and her friend’s well-being.

David has been writing for most of his life, though only began putting together full-length novels in 2008. His first two novels were distinctly fantasy, containing the usual fare of dragons, princes, swords and sorcery. 

With "Daughter of Vengeance", he took leave of the more common tropes in fantasy and instead wrote a book predominantly from a female point of view. The story follows a young woman coming of age while apprenticed to a master assassin.

His strengths lie in compelling stories with a satisfying mix of action, dialogue and plot building. He doesn't believe in waxing philosophical to fill pages or fluff his word count, there will be not be entire paragraphs dedicated to the painfully long-winded description of a button. He also uses his extensive martial arts and marksmanship experience to create believable and easy to follow action.

Most genre fiction uses the genre to drive the plot, David believes that the genre should merely be used to supplement a great story. A mystery is just a mystery, but a Holmes mystery is infinitely more entertaining in his opinion. There are still inalienable requirements to any genre fiction and as a fan of the fantasy genre, he still loves to read and write within fantastical surroundings.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


Gwendolyn Jordan said...

Sounds like great

Mary Preston said...

Epic Fantasy is a lot of fun to read.

diannekc said...

Dave is a new author to me and so is epic fantasy. Book sounds intriguing, would enjoy reading.

diannekc said...

Dave is a new author to me and so is epic fantasy. Book sounds intriguing, would enjoy reading.

Terri. said...

I love the cover art! This author is new to me but I have added it to my "To Read" list.