Monday, February 28, 2011
Celts & More. Nancy Lee Badger's Dragon's Curse. Scotland Time!!!
This week I’m thrilled to welcome talented author, Nancy Lee Badger. I’m particularly pleased to make Nancy’s acquaintance as she formerly lived here in New Hampshire. And, as it turns out, we both frequent the Highland Games. Well, she’s volunteered at the games for many years and I’ve only been once. Hopefully that’ll change this year and Nancy and I will be able to meet at the games. It’s bound to be a blast, Lassie! I can already hear the bagpipes echoing off the mountains.
Okay, time to talk shop and have some fun. From Nancy’s lips to my blog…
I want to thank Sky for inviting me here this week and for getting my mind back inside my first Scottish-flavored paranormal romance, DRAGON’S CURSE. You see, I was lucky to have four very different stories published in 2010, a banner year for me, as a new author!
From contemporary romance to romantic suspense, and all the way from a contemporary military romance to this historical paranormal, I am truly blessed. As a reader, I love historicals, which made DRAGON’S CURSE, set in 1592 on the real Scottish island of Staffa, a journey into something new. The characters rose up from my love for all things Scottish, cultivated as my years as a volunteer at the annual New Hampshire Highland Games. Research, and my hubby’s knowledge, helped me base my story around real occurrences, some of them horrific.
Brianna is a young woman trying to find herself while under the thumb of a guardian who uses her gift of sight for his own uses. Draco, the lone survivor of a massacre, and who was wrongly accused of the crime, finds himself alone on an island, cursed to shift into a dragon at inopportune times.
Sky threw down a challenge. “Share a ‘never before scene’ from the story,” she asked. She knows what editors do. At times, they chop, rearrange, and squeeze the life out of our stories. Sometimes a plot line does not seem to make sense, or they feel the scene is too similar to another part of the story. Whatever the reason, these cut-out words—so easily deleted by a stranger—can feel like they have cut off a limb.
I had best not speak of body parts, since my dragon hero makes mincemeat out of a very nasty guy. So read my book blurb and then my added ‘skit’, then you decide. (and don’t forget to comment so you can win a prize!)
DRAGON’S CURSE, by Whispers Publishing
Sometimes a special gift and an unwanted curse cannot keep destined lovers apart.
Brianna Macleod has accompanied a shipload of her guardian’s friends to a remote island off the coast of Scotland. She eludes these Highland hunters to keep her innocence…and her gift of sight. Her attitude against falling for womanly desires changes when she nearly drowns. Saved by the talons of a terrifying winged beast, she awakens—naked—in a cave, beside an unusual man.
Cursed by a vengeful witch to transform into a dragon at inopportune times, Draco MacDonald hides on this deserted island to live alone: until he plucks a servant girl from certain death. Fueled by jealousy, and tempered by fear for her safety, he succumbs to an unfamiliar desire to mate. Her kisses propel him to dare to make her his own.
Set in 1592 Scotland on the Scottish island of Staffa, the cursed hero battles a ghostly witch, a hunter set on rape, and his own growing desire for a young woman with premonitions of his death.
Skit for story
“Do not touch me, sir. I will no’ endure another man’s hands upon me this day,” Brianna said. Her words appeared to shake him from his mood, but he did not release his hold. She had told him how the hunter had taken liberties and tried to take her to his bed. She had shared this information to let Draco understand how the man’s actions made her feel. Cheap. Worthless. Unloved. Did he not understand?
“I understand, sweeting.” His fingers held tight, as if they had sprung claws to bring her down as his prey. She wriggled, trying to escape, as terror built. He had read her mind, again. His hold seemed too familiar to Ranald’s, and the pain the hunter had caused during her escape.
“I would not harm ye, lass.” His fingers relaxed, but he did not move away.
The power in his grip held her tight even as the waves crashed closer. She trembled, remembering her near drowning. She had told Draco, while in the cave, that a creature had saved her from the water’s fury. She had shared her terror with him. How could he forget? She must get away, and out of the rising tide.
“Please, Draco. I...I am cold. I must get back to camp before—”
“No.” His eyes glanced toward the rock-strewn earth of the path that led toward the top of the cliffs, and to the hunting party’s camp. He sighed as if a decision caused him regret.
“I meant you no harm. I planned ne’er to touch ye without your consent, but I canno’ bear to have ye so close, and no’ taste ye.”
Before Brianna could question his choice of words, his mouth plundered her lips and stole all breath from her lungs. Surprised, she opened her mouth to scream, inadvertently issuing a misconstrued welcome. He took advantage of her naïveté to stroke the inside of her mouth with the tip of his tongue. Her whole body vibrated when urgent thrusts turned her muscles to jelly before Draco swept her off her feet.
She was flying.
“Ye mean too much to me to let ye out of my sight,” he said, and she whimpered at the loss of his mouth on hers. He lurched through the deepening water of the ravine and followed it inside the cave. Frosty winds, pushed by increasingly large breakers, snarled her hair and dragged wet strands across her face. She could not brush it away because she had unwittingly thrown her arms around his neck, and still held tight.
“Ye will no’ let me drown?” she cried above the crash of fast-approaching waves.
“Nay, sweeting. You are mine, all mine, and we shall warm each other, this night. I shall dry your feet and warm your body with mine own.”
“Nay! Put me down!” As panic at what he planned speared through her, Brianna kicked and pushed away. Draco, surprised and thrown off-balance, slipped on a slime-covered rock. He landed in the shallow ravine with a splash. Brianna rolled loose, only to be caught up by a rolling wave. Thrown end over end, she somersaulted inside the dark cave and finally came up for air. Terrified, and dreading spending another minute in the black, brackish water, screamed, “Draco!”
He did not answer.
So, what do you think?
One lucky commenter will win a beautiful 3 inch by 11 ½ inch bright yellow bumper sticker decorated with a Celtic knot and the words CELTIC WARRIOR.
Click the Whispers Publishing buy link to read an excerpt.
Also available from Amazon
Read a Review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nancy Lee Badger writes fulltime and lives with her husband in North Carolina. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and Sisters in Crime.
DRAGON’S CURSE is her first paranormal romance based on Scottish history, with more on the way. She also writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Nancy Lennea.
LOVE TO THE RESCUE, a contemporary romance, will be released by Red Rose Publishing later this year. Another Scottish paranormal, with a time traveling witch, is making the rounds. Nancy is looking for an agent to help her sell SPELLBOUND HIGHLANDER and other Celtic tales.
Sky here. Nancy, I loved that skit! Well done! And oh, doesn’t your husband look dashing in his Highland Regalia. That’s it…I’ve got to put my hands on my husband’s Lamont plaid and do him up right for the games! Nothing quite like a man in a kilt. *winks* Maybe I'll even wrap my Brown (Broun) plaid over a shoulder as well.
Congratulations on such a successful run of releases thus far, Nancy. You must be beyond thrilled! I hope you don't mind me sharing the cover for Holiday Whispers ~ Unwrapping Chris. Holy yum!
Don’t forget everyone, be sure to comment for a chance to win a beautiful 3 inch by 11 ½ inch bright yellow bumper sticker decorated with a Celtic knot and the words CELTIC WARRIOR!
Interested in meeting another fantastic author? Swing over to The Write Life now and possibly enter to win another fabulous prize!