Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summoned

Joining us is Susan  Leigh Noble with her new release Summoned . I asked her to to talk with us today about dragons. Here's her post:
Sometimes it seems a fantasy novel isn’t complete without a dragon. The thing about fantasy novels is you really have the creativity to do whatever you want, and this holds true with dragons. They can be small, large, friendly, menacing, have magical powers - the possibilities are endless. You can portray them as a snake-like creature like a Chinese dragon or a lizard-like beast with huge bat-like wings. I prefer the latter.  When visualizing my dragons, I mainly think of the Windstone Edition dragon statues designed by M. Pena, but I also get inspiration from the artwork of Peter Pracownik. I just love his artwork.
Though dragons often are portrayed as evil, in my novel, Summoned, I opted to create dragons as cooperative. I made them large enough to allow the other characters to ride on their backs.  And while many books or movies have dragons that don’t communicate, there are instances where they speak like we do (think BBC’s Merlin TV series or the movie Dragonheart) or even telepathically (such as Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series). I happened to want my dragons to communicate and figured it would be more realistic to have them be telepathic. 
 In many stories, dragons breathe fire but here again I decided to go a different route. Here is an excerpt of when my main character, Lina, first meets the black dragon Zoot. The dragons have been exiled for almost a thousand years so Lina knows very little about them.  
Lina turned back to the dragon. His huge yellow eyes stared at her. She broke the gaze and turned back to the trap. “Couldn't you break these or breathe fire and burn them?” she asked and hesitantly touched one of the ropes and then glanced at the dragon.
Still telling that old story, huh? Nope. We never could breathe fire. I believe that story started when one of us knocked over an oil lamp. Some poor servant saw it and started exaggerating. You know how it goes.
Lina smiled. She had never heard of that story. She had just always believed they could breathe fire, especially since the phrase “dragon’s fire” was so commonly used.
Zoot is introduced near the end of Summoned and plays a more active role for the remainder of the trilogy. Of course as the trilogy has progressed, I have added more dragon characters but Zoot with this gruff, sarcastic attitude will always be my favorite.      


BLURB:

Lina wants an ordinary life in the Grasslands of Zena. But she isn’t ordinary at all. At the age of four, she discovered she could start fires with a mere thought - an ability believed to have died out long ago. Cautioned by her telepathic cat, Tosh, she keeps this Elemental power a secret in fear of how the outside world would react. There is something else different about Lina - she feels a strange force compelling her to go north.
 
Before she can decide whether to give into this mysterious urge, she is kidnapped by gypsies and wakes in a foreign land. The desire to travel north is as strong as ever. When a strange raging fire prevents her return home, Lina realizes she must find out once and for all what or who is summoning her.

On her journey, she befriends an odd assortment of allies including the son of a High Council member, a thief, a former guardsman and a large sarcastic black dragon. Together they battle mystical creatures and unnatural forces, although such magic had ceased to exist over 800 years ago.  During each battle, Lina must use her innate Elemental power as she becomes more certain that someone is using magic against her. When she discovers the shocking truth, it will change her life in ways she could never imagine.

Excerpt - Battle - 314 words

Then he saw one of the men break away from the battle. His sword held ready, the man set his horse directly toward them. Tosh lashed his tail angrily against the saddle. He had succeeded in getting her out of the danger of the initial attack but that lone rider would soon be upon them, and Lina had no weapon. He considered his options. He only saw one clear choice. He lifted his paw, claws outstretched.

Lina, hold on.

He prepared to slash the mare again, but as he raised his paw, he caught a glimpse of her face. She was staring intently at the man racing toward them. Her face held a determined look as the wind began to blow her hair. The long honey-colored locks whipped around her face as the wind began to blow harder.  The force was so strong Tosh had to dig his claws into the saddle in order to stay on the mare. He whirled around in time to see the full force of Lina’s gust of wind hit the attacker. The man fell backward, his arms outstretched as if to grab the saddle. But his fingers missed and continued backward. Then Tosh heard the sickening sound of the man’s head hitting his horse’s rear hoof. The man hit the ground with a deadening thud and lay motionless. Lina cringed, a look of shock on her face. 

“I didn’t mean...” she whispered in a sick voice. Her eyes had a haunted look, and she shook her head slightly as if in disbelief over what had happened.

You had to stop him, Lina. He leaned against her, tucking his head into the crook of her arm.
Lina hung her head down. Her honey-colored hair fell around him like a curtain. “But I only meant to stop him.” She stared at the motionless man before her. “Not to kill him.”
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Susan Leigh Noble has always loved dragons and magic so it is no wonder that she became an author of fantasy novels. As a cat lover, she also threw a telepathic cat into the mix for her The Elemental Series. The first two books, Summoned and Quietus, have already been released in e-book format. She is currently working on the third and final chapter of the trilogy.
When she isn’t writing, Susan is an active volunteer in her neighborhood and at her children’s schools. She lives with her husband, two children and three cats in Texas.

She loves to hear from readers: susannoble@satx.rr.com
Check out her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Susan-Leigh-Noble/200225396700412
Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLeighNoble



Susan will award a $15 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour

10 comments:

  1. I love the idea of the Dragons being co-operative. Having telepathic powers to communicate sounds great.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like that you've given your dragons a different twist. LOL about the servant knocking over the lamp. All the best with your new release.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Marybelle and Shelley, thanks for stopping by and commenting:)
    Goddess, my pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Sandra for having me here today.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey Sandra - just noticed your book on the side of the blog called AKASHA. I use to have a half Siamese cat named Akasha. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Susan, that is so cool about Akasha.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I never knew dragons were so multifaceted! Fun post...

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love your dragon and I love that you are writing a series. the stories are all awesome sounding.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Vita and Mom Jane, there's just something about dragons that appeals isn't there?

    ReplyDelete