Monday, May 14, 2012

Guest - Marsha A. Moore


Good morning all! I hope you're all having a splendid day. Today's guest, author Marsha A. Moore, is talking about one of my favorite subjects - Dragons as she explains the different types in the world of Dragonspeir. Enjoy!
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Creating Dragon Characters of the Enchanted Bookstore Legends
by Marsha A. Moore

Since I have a dragon on the cover of Seeking a Scribe, you’d expect those magical creatures to play a major role. Dragon lovers will not be disappointed. I love dragons and have included many types, ages, and sizes. Variety was a feature I consciously incorporated while planning these fantastical creatures. I’d like to share a brief description of the most common ones found in this first legend.

Like all fantasies, the battle between good and evil is a key theme that must be addressed. The dragons in my fantasy world of Dragonspeir are either members of the good Alliance, governed by the golden Imperial Dragon and his High Council, or the Dark Realm, led by the Black Dragon.

Alliance Dragons:
Gold dragons are born leaders, being lawful, just and good. Their intelligence exceeds the other types, and their wisdom is sought after. Being good-natured, they help those who are kind and fair. The Imperial Leader helps train and guide my heroine, Lyra, along her quest. Golds are the most powerful and largest in size. The breath weapon of gold dragons is a cone of fire. Although they are cautious about entering a fight and dislike killing, once engaged, they will pour their entire being into the battle.

Physically, gold dragons are spectacular. Two prominent horns point backwards along their heads. The most obvious feature is probably the tentacle whiskers that sprout from the bottom of the gold dragon's jaw, giving the appearance of a sort of beard in both males and females.

Like his father before him, the present Imperial Dragon will serve the Alliance until either he dies or steps down.  Similar to most golds, he keeps his Alliance headquarters in a grand network of caves set in the rock plateau. His overlooks the Steppe of Ora, the wide plain which divides good and evil in Dragonspeir. His lair includes an elaborate gathering hall, a vast library, guest quarters, and his own personal chambers with cases of magical instruments and a glass-walled observatory to consult the stars. As one of the four Alliance Guardians, his area of expertise is magic powered by the air element, including mystical astronomy studies of the skies.

Blue dragons are the sentries to the Imperial Dragon. They love spending hours soaring and are excellent trackers. Squadrons of them patrol the Alliance. They are lawful and obedient, with strong moral character. They are a brilliant cobalt blue, bearing a single horn. Their eyes are smooth and glossy, without pupils, which makes for an hypnotic appearance.

Although slightly smaller than golds, they are quicker to strike in battles with their lightning bolt breath.

Bronze dragons are duty-bound and honorable to a fault. Physically, the bronze dragon is quite fierce in appearance, despite its good nature. While most of its body is a reflective copper color, the wings are often tipped with green.

There are two breath weapons these dragons employ. They either use a bolt of lightning or a repulsion gas, which is so putrid that it forces everything away. Always in line with the Alliance, the bronze dragon is a deadly combatant, roasting enemies with bursts of lightning or ripping them open with its clawed forelegs.

Good thing for Lyra, the bronze dragon named Yasqu, who she raised from a hatchling, hasn’t learned about repulsion gas yet!

Dark Realm Dragons:
Black dragons, like the leader of the Dark Realm, always seek to lair in deep dark caves. Although small, they are vile, evil-tempered, and abusive. Their hearts are as dark as their slimy scales. They are obsessed with death and take comfort in the sickening-sweet aroma of drowned, rotting carcasses. The Black Dragon leader prefers his drake servants leave the prey they bring him in pools within his personal cave. The victims float for days or weeks before he eats them.

The dark leader, like all black dragons, is grim and skeletal. His eyes lie deep in their sockets between two great horns that curve forward and down. The flesh of his face is partially deteriorated or burnt from his acidic drool.  His method of attack is spitting caustic acid. My heroine and hero, Lyra and Cullen, learn too well what that feels like!

As allies to the Black Dragon, green dragons live alone in dense forests. Although short dragons, they have nasty, belligerent tempers. They delight in torturing their captives. The head of a green is covered in hornlets. They reek of chlorine since their chosen breath weapon is hurling clouds of toxic chlorine gas.

Numerous types of drakes are the soldiers and scouts of the Dark Realm. Fire and magma drakes attack with burning flames, while the evil ice drakes freeze victims with contact.

This was only a quick summary of many of the good and evil dragons in my Enchanted Bookstore Legends. There are others I enjoy just as much, like the little three-foot long pseudodragon, Noba, who is the wizard’s familiar to Cullen Drake, the Imperial Sorcerer of the Alliance. Read more about Noba and all the dragons in Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Bookstore Legend One.


Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Bookstore Legend One by Marsha A. Moore
Genre: Fantasy romance

Lyra McCauley is a writer and loves fantasy novels, but until she opens a selection from bookstore owner Cullen Drake, she has no idea he’s a wizard character who lives a double life inside that volume…or the story’s magic will compel her from the edge of depression to adventure, danger, and love.

His gift to Lyra, the Book of Dragonspeir, was actually her copy, misplaced years ago. Lost in her pain following divorce and death, she fails to recognize him as her childhood playmate from the fantasyland. Friendship builds anew. Attraction sparks. But Lyra doubts whether a wizard is capable of love. She’s torn—should she protect her fragile heart or risk new love?

Opening the book’s cover, she confronts a quest: save Dragonspeir from destruction by the Black Dragon before he utilizes power of August’s red moon to expand his strength and overthrow the opposing Imperial Dragon. Lyra accepts the challenge, fearing Cullen will perish if evil wins. Along with magical animal guides, Cullen helps her through many perils, but ultimately Lyra must use her own power…and time is running out.


Author Links:

Excerpt:
Chapter One: Licorice Memories
The smell of anise greeted Lyra as she opened the door to Drake’s bookstore. It took her back to happy childhood memories. Licorice-shoe-string-rewards for following her parents’ requests to stay on the dock while they secured the family’s pleasure boat to its trailer. The aroma brought a fleeting remembrance of times long gone, a treasure now that her folks had recently passed. At ease with the familiar scent, she settled into browsing through rows of antique bookcases
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The shop owner stuck his head around a set of shelves. “Do you like tea?”

“Yes, I do.” Before she could finish speaking, he disappeared. “Is that the wonderful smell?” she called out.

Kitchenware clinked in the back room. Receiving no answer, Lyra followed the noises, scanning collections as she walked. This bookshop appeared established, but surely she would have remembered it from her last visit to the Lake Huron village five years ago. Books were her passion, especially fantasy. She paused in front of that section and studied its titles.

The owner appeared, holding a pewter tray with a teapot, two cups, sugar jar, spoons, and napkins, which he laid on the corner of an old library table. She watched him carefully pour the tea and hand her a cup. He was about her age, mid thirties or a bit older, and handsome. His medium brown hair, peppered with gray at the temples, grazed his shoulders in wavy layers, and his beard was trimmed into a neat goatee. He wore long shorts, a knit golf shirt, and sandals—typical casual attire for this island resort community.

She set down her bag from the drugstore and accepted his offer with a smile. “Thanks. My name’s Lyra.” She blew across the hot surface of the tea to cool it and then inhaled the anise-scented steam. She closed her eyes to fully enjoy the memory. “Ah!”

“Afternoons of boating and licorice with your parents? Right?” he asked.

Her mouth dropped open. How did he know that?

He slurped from his cup. “Go ahead, take a sip. My folks gave me the same reward for taking my kid sister along on bicycle rides.”

Forgetting all about the tea, she asked, “How do you know my childhood memory?”

“Taste it.” His lips curled into a sly grin as he took another gulp.

She cautiously took a tiny sip, just enough to wet her lips and the tip of her tongue.  The flavor flooded her mouth, and her mind swam with wonderful memories. The taste transformed into that of gigantic popcorn balls the sheriff’s wife down the street made for Halloween trick-or-treaters, accompanied by images of Lyra’s costume—a red, fringed gypsy skirt borrowed from Mom. Next came a pumpkin flavor and vision of holding a cold piece of “punky-pie” in her five-year-old hand. Another swallow returned her experience back to anise. “What is this? How did you know?”

“Let me introduce myself.” His grin spread into a smile as his eyes met hers. He took a step closer. “I’m Cullen, Cullen Drake, and I know many things. What I don’t know is what sort of books you like to read.”

His keen interest caused heat to rise in her cheeks. “Well, actually I have several favorites, all fantasy and magical realism. You have a number of authors I like in this section.” She turned to refer to the shelves behind her, but found non-fiction hunting guides instead. “This case held classic fantasy a moment ago!”

Cullen put down his cup. “It moved. It’s over here, and I have just what you want.” He slid an old-fashioned library ladder along its track, set the locking device, and climbed straight up to the top shelf.

Lyra followed, walking between four comfortable leather club chairs grouped on a Persian rug. A portrait of a young girl and a man wearing a cloak caught her attention. Something seemed familiar in the child’s smile.

The noise of books sliding on shelves distracted her. She moved to the base of his ladder and glanced up. The ceiling of embossed tin panels decorated with Victorian teardrop chandeliers and paper Chinese dragons made a unique combination, to be sure.

But Lyra was more curious about the strange happenings in the store and its owner.  He was certainly odd, although not the bookish, geeky sort who usually ran bookshops she frequented. He had an athletic frame and strong legs.

“Can’t find it!” he exclaimed and quickly descended. His brow furrowed, he dusted off his hands on his shorts. “I’ve got to find that volume for you. If you don’t mind me saying, there’s a sadness about you. The book will make you happier than you’ve been since those days of licorice shoe strings.”

“After magical tea and shifting bookcases, I almost believe you.” She laughed to cover her concerns. Even four months after it was final, she worried that the loneliness she felt after her divorce blazed like a beacon on her forehead. But, Cullen knew so much—it startled her…actually, intrigued her. Her ex didn’t ever see inside her, didn’t want to. This man read her as though he knew her. Did he? He seemed so familiar.

“Once I find that book, I promise, you’ll be pleased.” He stroked his goatee. “Hmm. Where did I last see it?” The twinkle in his gray-blue eyes captivated Lyra. “Will you be here for the week? I can look for it and call you later.”

“I’m staying the rest of the summer with my elderly Aunt Jean. She owns a lovely cottage at the end of Walnut overlooking Lake Huron. I thought I’d keep her company and give her time away from her nurse during my teaching break. While I’m here, I plan to write my novel.”

“Great! You’re a writer? What do you teach?”

“Yes, and I teach American Literature at Southern University in Florida. Seems like you already would’ve known that since you jumped into my childhood memories,” she stammered, attempting some humor. Taking a long draught of the tea, her mind filled with memories of her pet dachshund wiggling next to her, displacing a row of dolls. Another part of her past he knew—impossible! Her forehead beaded with sweat.

“No, only thoughts associated with a lot of emotion, like the happiness of snuggling with your dog.”

“How?” she exclaimed, shaking her head. “I don’t understand.” Her mind swam, trying to grasp what happened. She desperately needed some fresh air. With trembling hands she set the cup down.

“I realize it must seem odd, but the book I’m looking for will help explain.” He leaned closer with a smile that somehow reassured her. “This is Saturday. If you can come by next Wednesday morning, I think I should have it for you by then…if you’d like.” He paused and looked into her eyes, waiting for a reply.

“Yes…I’m curious.” In spite of the confusion, she found herself agreeing. “Wednesday will work.”

“Fine. Let me take down your number in case I can’t find it.” He walked to the counter and located a notepad and pen. She dictated her number and full name, which he repeated, “Lyra McCauley, a lovely Celtic name for a pretty lady.”

“I think I need to go now. Thanks for the tea.” With shaking fingers, she collected her shopping bag and headed toward the door.

He escorted her out and offered his hand to shake, the corners of his goatee lifting into an inviting grin. “Enjoy the rest of your weekend.”

Lyra smiled and looked into his eyes, trying to discern his unusual clairvoyant gift. “You too.” The initial touch, of his palm against hers, sent electrical shivers along her arm. She jerked, yet didn’t let go, fascinated by the strong emotions flashing through her mind—attraction, excitement, and acceptance. After an awkwardly long pause, she dropped his hand, half-stumbled over the threshold into the sunshine, and took a long, deep breath.

She ambled to an outdoor cafĂ© a couple blocks farther down Tenth Street, while her mind buzzed with questions. How did he know those things about her? She dropped onto a seat at an empty table, shaded by an umbrella. He was fascinating and frightening at the same time…and familiar. Her divorce and loss of her parents left her lonely. He intrigued her.

“May I get you something to drink while you look over the menu?” The waitress interrupted with a bright young voice, a college student working a summer job.

Startled back to reality, Lyra murmured, “Just water, please.” Alone in a crowd of lunch goers, her thoughts returned to the bookstore and many unanswered questions.

The waitress placed a glass of water in front of her.

She almost hated to drink and remove the sweet aftertaste of anise from her tongue.

Author Bio:
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Her creativity also spills into watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transforming into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and already addicted. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and that spiritual quest helps her explore the mystical side of fantasy. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!

Coming Release:
The follow-up to this book, Heritage Avenged: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Two, will release soon—May 29th. Here is a brief description of what to expect as the battle between good and evil continues.

Lyra McCauley receives an alarming letter from the coroner who evaluated her deceased aunt, originally thought to have died of cancer. The news causes Lyra to take leave from her job and travel from sunny Tampa to the frozen island community in northern Michigan. Questioning whether Dragonspeir magic was responsible for her aunt’s death, she resolves to learn the truth and accepts the Imperial Dragon’s appointment into the Alliance sorcery training.

Additionally, becoming proficient in magic craft is the only way she can bridge the gap between her mortal human world and her lover’s. Cullen, a 220-year-old wizard, is dependent upon his Dragonspeir magic for immortality. He is her only family now; she cannot lose him.

Evil forces block her and try to steal her inherited scribal aura. Riding a stealth dragon, a cloaked rider pursues Lyra. Both the Alliance and Dark Realm alchemists lay tricks and traps. Her aura equals that of the first and most powerful Scribe, but will Lyra’s novice training allow her to discover the truth? Will she be able to be with Cullen, or will the Dark Realm keep them apart?

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-- Lynda Again,
    Wow, this series sounds terrific, doesn't it? Of course, with dragons, how could it go wrong?

   Have a Blessed Day!






6 comments:

Marsha A. Moore said...

Thanks Lynda! It's great to be here, sharing all my dragons.

Sandy L. Rowland said...

Marsha, you have such a vivid imagination!
Most entertaining. Got to love dragons.

Marsha A. Moore said...

My crit partners often wonder how I manage to drive safely with my mind filled with vivid imaginings! :-) Thanks for stopping in, Sandy!

Victoria said...

I've gotten into dragons over the past year so this post was great! Thank you so much for sharing your dragons.
vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

Kyahgirl said...

I love dragons. I haven't read your book yet but I'm going to go get it. Its sounds fantastic. Best wishes!

Marsha A. Moore said...

Victoria and Kyahfgirl, thanks for your interest and so glad you stopped by!