Fantastic Fables kicks off today with Deborah Cooke. She is here today with a fable from her Dragon Legion world involving the Fairy Godmother. Ms. Cooke is releasing three novellas set in her Dragon Legion world, Kiss of Danger, Kiss of Darkness and Kiss of Destiny. Kiss of Danger was released last month, Kiss of Darkness will be released sometime in March and Kiss of Destiny will be released in April. An anthology will be released in June that collects all three novellas.
One lucky reader will win a signed trade paperback copy of the Dragon Legion Anthology. Look below for the details.
The Three Dragon Warriors
by Deborah Cooke
Once upon a time, there was a race of dragon shapeshifters called the Pyr. These shifters were men who could become fire-breathing dragons at will. They were pledged to defend the treasures of the earth, and they included humans as one of these treasures. Perhaps inevitably, there were eventually some of their kind who turned to evil. Those who kept to the honor of their pledge were known as the true Pyr and they banded together to fight and defeat the wicked of their own kind. It was thought – in this time, when the gods walked amongst people and regularly changed forms themselves, if not enchanting others to take different shapes – that they had been touched by the gods. The Pyr lived openly in human society, and though they weren’t accepted by all men and women, it was generally believed that the Pyr were better friends than enemies.
And so it came to be that there were three Dragon Warriors, all sworn to the cause of good, who served together in a company of their own kind called the Dragon Legion. They weren’t technically brothers, although there was some link between them since they were all Pyr. They served under the command of Drake, a Pyr commander who had seen much and done more, and they fulfilled their duties without fail. They had many adventures and triumphs, until one day, they were enchanted. It was several thousand years before the spell was broken and the Dragon Legion was set free in our own time. To their astonishment, the Pyr had become a kind of secret society, after having been hunted almost to extinction by humans. Undaunted by the change – for they were warriors at heart – they fought on, keeping to their pledge.
One day, the Great Wyvern – who holds the fate of all Pyr in her graceful claws and could be considered their fairy godmother – decided these dragon warriors had endured enough. She chose to give each a chance for happiness. And because she was a fairy godmother, she defined happiness as the true love of a woman deserving of such a dragon warrior. Because she was a fairy godmother, she knew better than to just give these warriors what they desired most – she knew they’d have to earn that happiness to truly cherish it. She gave each an opportunity and a test, in the tradition of fairy godmothers everywhere. She conjured a strange magical force called darkfire to create the chance for these three dragon warriors to win their hearts’ desires – and because fairy godmothers like to play games, she didn’t tell anyone (not even Drake) what she was up to.
The first of the dragon warriors to have his chance was Alexander. Alexander was Drake’s second in command and a more responsible, powerful and good dragon warrior could not be found in all the world. Alexander was determined to do his duty in every situation, regardless of the risk to himself. While doing his duty was non-negotiable, it had also given him his greatest regret. Into the life of each Pyr comes a single opportunity to create a son – when the dragon warrior meets the human woman who can bear his son, sparks fly between them. This is called the firestorm, and is a trick of the Great Wyvern to ensure that no one misses an opportunity to make more Pyr. Once the hot and bothered pair consummate their relationship, that son is conceived. The Great Wyvern knew that Alexander had not only had his firestorm, but that he had left his wife and young son behind to fulfill his duty to the Pyr. He was not the kind of man to complain, but she knew the loss weighed upon his heart. Separated by centuries, it seemed impossible that he could be with Katina ever again. The Great Wyvern’s darkfire made the impossible possible. Alexander was flung back into the past to try to make amends with his wife. He is jubilant at this chance at the beginning of KISS OF DANGER, maybe because he’s unaware that years have passed, Katina has remarried, and the darkfire has allowed an enemy from our own time to follow him.
The second of the dragon warriors to have his chance was Damien. A handsome and charming Pyr, Damien has always enjoyed all that life had to offer and thought little of consequences. His succession of conquests were legendary among his fellow dragon warriors, but the Great Wyvern knew there was one thing Damien treasured above all – she knew he mourned the loss of his son. Damien had also had a firestorm centuries before but his mate, Petra, was the only person Damien ever feared. Her powers were fearsome and unnatural, in his view, and once he knew that she alone could kill him, he had felt compelled to leave her. He has regretted the loss of his son since he heard that Petra died after he left her. (Petra said he abandoned her.) When the darkfire carried the Dragon Legion to the underworld of Hades, Damien understood why they were there. He knew it was his chance to retrieve his son, although he dreaded meeting Petra again and facing her anger. In KISS OF DARKNESS, he accepts the challenge and the chance to make things right, as a good hero should do. But nothing is as he expected – Petra is still pregnant, she helps him of her own choice, he is powerfully attracted to her all over again, and there are foes in the underworld beyond anything he has faced before.
Meanwhile, Drake (like a good father in a fairy tale) was worried about the warriors disappearing from his Dragon Legion. He feared that they had met dire fates, and that he had failed them. He despairs when the last of the warriors disappears. It’s Thad, the young dreamer with an unexpected practicality who feels the spark of his firestorm when the last of the company finds themselves on Mount Olympus. In KISS OF DESTINY, Thad strides off into the mist undaunted, determined to find and seduce his mate, knowing he will have to conquer challenges to win the day. None of them realize (because they’re not fairy godmothers) that it’s the third son in every fairy tale of adventure who secures the happily ever after for his brothers and his father. Everyone who has ever read a fairy tale knows that it’s the third and the youngest who makes the fairy godmother’s plan come true. And so it is that Thad will secure the future of the Dragon Legion, the Pyr, make Drake’s dreams come true plus coax the Great Wyvern’s smile.
I can’t tell you more than that, because it would be a spoiler and fairy godmothers don’t like spoilers.
Deborah Cooke has always been fascinated with dragons, although she has never understood why they have to be the bad guys. She has an honors degree in history, with a focus on medieval studies. She is an avid reader of medieval vernacular literature, fairy tales and fantasy novels, and has written over fifty romance novels under the names Claire Cross and Claire Delacroix.
Deborah makes her home in Canada with her husband. When she isn’t writing, she can be found knitting, sewing or hunting for vintage patterns.
Want to read more from Deborah Cooke?
This giveaway is provided by Deborah Cooke!
One lucky reader will win the complete printed copy of the Dragon Legion Anthology (featuring Kiss of Danger, Kiss of Darkness & Kiss of Destiny)
Kiss of Danger available February 4, 2013
About Kiss of Danger:
They will sacrifice anything to regain the loves they’ve lost…
Alexander knew he had to fulfill his duty to his kind, the dragon shape shifters called the Pyr, even at the price of abandoning his new wife and young son. After he and his fellows were enchanted for centuries, then finally set free in a future long after their own time, Alexander feared he would never return to his love. Against all odds, the darkfire crystal makes his dream come true, flinging him across the centuries to the world he left behind. Is this his chance to regain the life he lost? Has Katina waited for him? Or has the darkfire crystal sent him back in time for some mysterious purpose of its own?
About Kiss of Darkness:
Damien crosses the River Acheron…coming in March.
About Kiss of Destiny:
Thad climbs to the heavens…coming in April.
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