Dragon Lyric: Cover Reveal and Sneak Peek!

As some of you know, I’m preparing to release another short story, a high fantasy tale called Dragon Lyric. It was originally part of the larger collection of shorts I’m compiling, but it grew to have a presence of its own that demanded to be shared individually.

Dragon Lyric releases a month from now, June 22nd!

Today I’m officially introducing it to the world: not just sharing what it’s about and a sneak excerpt, but also its gorgeous face cover – done by talented artist Julia Busko. 😀

First thing’s first!

About the story…

Her husband is a dragon. And the dragon is hungry.

Drawn by his allure, Theryn left everything behind to live with Roth in his mountain cave. But then her fiery-eyed husband transformed into something else: a monster of scales, claws, and wings. The dragon has only one use for her—to bear his dragon egg, now forming in her womb. After the egg is laid, she will be nothing but fresh meat.

But Theryn refuses to suffer the same fate as Roth’s former brides. For her own sake, and for the baby dragonshifter she carries, she must find a way to escape the monster, and break the enchantment of the dragon lyric.

And now for the cover…

Okay…

at long last…

the moment we’ve been waiting for…

Here…

it…

is…!

*squeeee* Look at that snarky dragon face!!

Julia captured Roth and Theryn so perfectly! I love the emotion she infuses into her art, and I’m very thankful to have this cover done by her. 🙂

And I can’t wait to share this story with all of you. It’s a tale of defiance and maternal courage, laced with dragonish snark, ferocity, and fire.

Here’s a tiny taste of the story within…

AN EXCERPT FROM “DRAGON LYRIC: A SHORT STORY”

by Bethany A. Jennings

The dragon rested his upper half on the end of the bed, and the entire bedframe creaked as though it would snap. His golden eyes smiled hungrily at her. You will have plenty of time to accept your fate – three whole weeks until the egg will be ready to lay. Did you know that you had dragonshifter blood in you?

She sat upright and gave him a sharp look. “That can’t be true.”

But it is! I see it in your eyes. I have searched for many generations to find a woman who can carry my young. We are a rare breed, almost gone from this land. I cannot find a true mate…alas, you only carry enough dragonshifter blood to form an egg.

“And after I do that for you, you are going to eat me?” she cried. “I thought you loved me. You wooed me! You showed me all the affection any man would show a woman. I left my family to live with you in a cave!

Your emotions are like morsels…the more I taste, the greater variety of flavor. I have tasted your trust, your passion, your affection. Now I taste your woe, anger, and fear. All the work merely makes my conquest more delicious, and the deeper I know you, the more control I have over you with my magic. The lightning of his laugh cracked through the chamber again. They say food tastes better when it’s prepared with love…

Theryn grabbed an iron candlestick off the bedside table and hurled it into the beast’s face.

Roth flicked it away with a swish of his massive foreleg. Try what you might. I am invincible. Seven furious fathers and brothers of my wives have come to make their revenge, and all have been destroyed. No wife has escaped me yet, either. You are a helpless, feeble woman. There is nothing for you to do but accept your fate, my dear – precious carrier of my egg – my love – my lunch.

Theryn grabbed fistfuls of the slick pillow and screamed a curse into the silk.

Hush, now…you must relax. All this worrying will do my egg no good. Roth’s huge, scaled form curled around the bed, head near Theryn’s face on one side, and tail swishing on the other. You have heard of dragonshifter magic since your youth, I am sure. Now you will feel it. Pride thrummed in his voice. I will sing you to sleep while I sing growth to my young. Dragonshifters may need a mother, but only their father can sing them the lyric they need to grow…

*

Dragon Lyric releases June 22, 2017. To be updated when it’s available, sign up for my brand new newsletter below!

The newsletter will contain updates on new releases, writing projects, and secret sneak peeks into upcoming #WIPjoy events and other exciting tidbits – it only goes out four times a year (and on rare special occasions) and I promise I will never spam you! 🙂

CLICK HERE to sign up for my quarterly newsletter!

*
What do you think of Julia’s beautiful cover? The excerpt? Do you like stories about good dragons or evil dragons better? I’d love to hear what you think! 😀

Interview at E.B. Dawson’s Blog

The lovely E.B. Dawson interviewed me this week, and it’s up on her blog today! We talked about my short story, Threadbare, and tips for authors and indie publishers. 🙂 Check it out HERE.

I’ve Opened a Society6 Shop!

I’m thrilled to share that I’ve opened a Society6 shop this week!

Graphic design is one of my loves, and a bit of a hobby on the side, so it’s exciting to be able to use a platform like this to design actual products that other people can enjoy. 😀 Society6 is similar to Etsy, in that it allows individual artists to sell their wares – but in this case, the artist creates a design for a product and Society6 does the work of actually printing the design onto the product and shipping it to the buyer, giving the artist a royalty for each purchase.

And this is important, so it deserves to be in all caps… 😛

THERE IS FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING AND 20% OFF – today only, if you use THIS LINK!

Here are some of the products I’ve designed! Writers, readers, and story-lovers of all kind may enjoy them (I’m working on adding more…like one with a dragon!). 😀

The art print I was giving away at the January #WIPjoy giveaway!

Shirts for world-making authors!

People whose minds tend to…wander. 😉

Phone cases (and travel mugs too, in the same vein!).

Again, please use THIS LINK for free shipping and 20% off – today only, May 6th, 2017, until midnight Pacific Time. 🙂

What do you think? Would you wear any of these shirts? 😀

Original Poem: “Blaze”

I can’t stop the story:

The movement,

The pain,

The dancing of visuals

Carved in my brain,

The eager compulsion,

That cry of my soul,

The frenzy,

The vision that’s burning a hole

In my mind.

I can’t shake it.

It’s mine, this I know—

My quest, not another’s,

For only I’m full

Of this racket,

This chaos,

This burdening fight

Of characters, stories

That scream for the light,

This rabbit hole,

Endless,

That calls me to war

To fill barren pages

With worlds from my core—

And I fidget;

I bite

On my lip in the dark;

Am I a creator?

And is this my spark?

Or is this insanity?

Should I give in

To this spellbinding blaze

Captive under my skin?

What if I’m deluded,

My passions misled

By this thing,

This enigma

That dwells in my head?

Am I stubborn,

A fool,

To think this could be gold?

But I’m sick

At the thought of my heart left untold.

Perhaps I’m obsessed

And should let it all go…

But a prayer leaves my lips.

And my soul whispers:

“No.”

The MBTI Types of Halayda – And How to Ruin Their Lives (Guest Post by Sarah Delena White)

Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for my friend Sarah White’s incredible fantasy novel, Halayda. (Seriously. Pick Halayda up!! It’s one of the best books I’ve read all year! Also, have you seen the gorgeous cover?? *drools* My print copy is coming in the mail any day now and I CAN’T WAIT!)

Sarah’s taking over the blog today to talk about two topics close to my heart: the Halayda characters (who are amazing and you should get to know them), and Myers-Briggs typology. 😀

Take it away, Sarah!

The MBTI Types of Halayda
and How to Ruin Their Lives

by Sarah Delena White

I use Myers-Briggs typology a lot as an author. It gives me a good springboard for creating nuanced characters and figuring out what motivates them. Of course, part of creating a good plot is knowing exactly how to mess with your characters. Here is a sure-fire plan for ruining the lives of the major characters in Halayda, based on their MBTI type.

Sylvie – INFP

Sylvie is driven by compassion and empathy, and she always tries to see the best in everyone and everything. She’s exuberant and friendly, but also likes her alone time and her piles of fluffy blankets. Though very gifted, she doesn’t always trust her own abilities. Most of all, she fiercely loves her family and friends and will do anything to help and protect them.

If you want to ruin Sylvie’s life, make sure you put every single person she loves in danger. Geographic distance is especially helpful here, as it will frustrate her to know that someone she cares about needs help and she can’t reach them. It’s also very effective to throw a bunch of complicated problems at her and then talk down to her when she can’t immediately solve them. When she gets stressed out, don’t give her a chance to hide under her blankets. In fact, take the blankets away entirely—have them get washed away by a river or something.

Taylan – ESTJ

Taylan loves having control of his surroundings and his kingdom. He likes consistency and reliability, and he doesn’t appreciate sudden changes. He also has a tragic past and a lot of hidden scars from past failures and poor choices. He doesn’t trust or love easily, but the few people he cares for have his complete loyalty, no matter the cost.

The best way to mess up his life is to make sure he can’t control anything. Turn his entire kingdom against him. Have his magical abilities go haywire at a time when he desperately needs them. Throw constant small annoyances at him, such as forcing him to ally with shady characters or eat oatmeal in a room full of screaming children. Most importantly, make sure the woman he loves is in constant danger, and force him to choose between her and his responsibilities.

Diza – ENTP

Diza is highly skilled and intelligent, and has a far greater wealth of knowledge and experience than most people realize. She loves to work with the people she cares about, whether it’s her husband or her friends. She sees endless possibilities in the world around her, and she loves to discuss ideas with others. She’s exuberant and creative, and is happiest when she can use her abilities to the fullest and experience the world—or the multiverse—with people she loves.

The most effective way to ruin Diza’s life is to force her to work alone. Make sure there’s no one she can have intellectual conversations with. Force her to constantly have to make important decisions without discussing her options with anyone. Strand her in a world where she can’t access her full power or communicate with her otherworldly connections. Make her have to put herself on the line for someone who repeatedly rejects her. Top it off by separating her from her husband—the one person she trusts fully—and making sure she has no one to cuddle with.

Casimir – ENTJ

Casimir is bold, arrogant, and extremely intelligent and gifted. He’s a charismatic leader with his own vision for the world. Though some may take issue with his extreme measures, he does everything for the sake of a better future. Exiled from his homeland and cut off from the magic of Faerie, he has survived through science and strategy, biding his time until he can return to his homeland and give the faerie king the reckoning he deserves.

The best way to infuriate him is to upend his infallible plans. Have no one comprehend his great wisdom or respect his vision for a better future. Have his loyal servants regain their fallible free will and reject his guidance and foresight. Bonus points if his plans are thwarted the weakest, lowliest person possible.

*

About Halayda:

A mortal alchemist. A faerie king. A bond that transcends death.

Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.

King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.

Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.

Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.

Buy the book on Amazon here.

Sarah Delena White was raised by wolves in an alternate dimension. She writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark. She’s an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds. She is also the Benevolent Firebird (acquisitions editor) for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found making jewelry, singing Irish ballads, drinking tea, and working a variety of odd jobs. She can be bribed with dark chocolate.