Clan of Dragons, Book One
by Nancy Lee Badger
a Scottish Paranormal Romance
a Scottish Paranormal Romance
a guest post by Nancy Lee Badger
Research is a word that makes many writers cringe. Nothing seductive about that. You want to write your story, but readers expect accuracy. Since I set my latest series, Clan of Dragons, and the first book, Spark, on the island of Skye, off Scotland’s west coast, I needed to research the land. What kind of herbs would my characters use, and did they heat their hearth fires with tree logs or peat bricks? What flower would my female characters smell like? Does my hero smell earthy, or of the leather he wears or the horse he rides? Attraction requires all the senses.
All these questions needed answering before I could share my characters way of life. Skye has some forests and both evergreens and deciduous trees. The rowan tree, a cousin to the mountain ash, grows prolific along the base of the Black Cuillin Hills, where part of my story is set. Edible berries feed the birds and forest animals, and the broadleaf tree gives them shelter. The crystal-clear fairy pools keep the beasts and bugs well quenched.
I depict my characters as ancient people, living in villages or on farms in the early fifteenth century. There is a peat bog where they can cut and dry the heavy earth for fuel. There are numerous creeks and waterfalls for fresh water. The island is surrounded by the sea so seafood, and pirates, can affect them. The weather can change in an instant, and snow will fall in the winter, so farming the land and harvesting enough food to help them survive until spring.
There are many ways to keep warm on the island of Skye, where my dragons make their home. Spark takes place during the change of leaves and encroaching winter. Smoke, book #2, is now available for pre-order.
Spark Book Description:
Nancy Lee Badger brings you another story filled with Scottish dragons and shape-shifters. Set on the Scottish Island of Skye, she again fills her paranormal fantasy with romance and danger, and with characters you will remember. Some will tug at your heart. Others will make you wish for their demise. SPARK is the first book in a brand new series, Clan of Dragons.
What can a young dragon do to prove to his older brothers that he is their clan’s best chance to save their species? In the Black Cuillin Hills, Evan heads to the village of Morhban to find a way to interact with humans. To learn their language and customs, and to get close enough to a red-haired beauty to mate with her, the brown-winged purple dragon shifts into a copper-colored horse. When his new hooves protect her from Lord Toal MacMorgan’s inappropriate demands with a well-placed kick, she thanks Evan by brushing his silky coat. Things are looking up.
When an unfamiliar horse kicks Toal into the creek, releasing Vika from his roaming hands, her appreciation turns to horror. A sputtering Toal demands that the animal die. Anger makes Vika agree to a wager. A three day hunt will determine the fate of the horse she names Spark. Failure will mean his death, and the loss of her freedom. Pirates, wolves, a wild boar, and a handsome stranger lead her on a wild ride. She discovers her heart is in as much danger as her life.
Without the fire burning in the hearth, the air in the cottage stole Vika’s breath, and she rubbed her cold hands up and down her arms. After her brief sojourn outside, her feet were cold and dusty. Bending over, she wiped the dust away with the hem of her nightdress. When she felt someone’s eyes upon her, she searched the cottage only to spy Spark’s head at the small window.
The horse’s amber eyes reminded her of Evan’s, but she shouldn’t feel shy dressing in front of a horse. What if Evan was at the window? Would she scream, cover herself, or ask him in?
“I shall never know. ‘Tis only the horse. Evan be not here.”
A knock at the door heralded a visitor. She had neglected to bolt the door after Orin had left, and she watched in shock as Evan walked in, as if conjured out of thin air.
“By the expression on your face, I be less than welcome.”
She shook her head, grabbed her dress from the chair, and held it to her chest. “Nay, only surprised. After Toal and his men, I should know better than to leave a door unlocked. You, however, be always welcome.”
He smiled, and her breath lodged in her throat. Shivers ran down her back, and she couldn’t blame the cottage’s cool environment. She was barely dressed, yet she warmed from the top of her head to her toes.
“I could not wait to see you again. So much has happened, these past few days, and I have come to care for you.”
“And I you,” she answered. Did he see the desire in her eyes? Were her cheeks as red as they felt? What would he do next? She hoped it began with another kiss.
“Vika, when you struggled with Toal, you were injured. How do you fare?”
His concern was admirable, but he acted as if she was simply a friend. “Me ribs feel bruised. I had a restless night, but have not had a moment to check them, so…”
He smiled. “May I?”
Before Vika could think up a witty answer, he was beside her, and she smelled the sunshine on his skin. She dropped the dress she’d held in front of her like a shield. Disarmed, yet fearless, she reached up and touched his shoulders. Nervousness had flown away like a dragon, yet she wished to end the sudden silence between them. She wished to know his hopes and dreams. She could start a conversation with something neutral.
Although she had walked outside to bid Orin good travels, if he had traveled during last night’s storm, how could his skin and plaide be dry? A simple question popped into her head.
“The weather. ‘Tis better?” What a silly question! I was just outside with Orin!
“Aye, blue skies, and the sun be rising fast.” His face lowered.
Her body trembled with anticipation. When she could sleep last night, her dreams had filled with images of his mouth on hers, and his hands roaming over her hips, breasts, and heart. Her dreams were about to come to life, but when he leaned closer, he didn’t kiss her mouth or slip his tongue between her lips. Instead, he sniffed her.
“You remind me of the sea. Must be the salt on your skin from your recent dip in the ocean.” He licked her bare shoulder.
Vika couldn’t move. How could he know about her latest adventure? “Have you been following me? There was no one but Orin, pirates, and a dragon on the beach.”
About the Author:
Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time.
Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Association of Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. Nancy and her family volunteer each fall at the New Hampshire Highland Games surrounded by…kilts!
Twitter https://twitter.com/NLBadgerFacebook https://www.facebook.com/NancyLeeBadgerAuthor/
(brand new, cat not included) as well as Shortbread Scotties,
Purple Jelly beans, a Pirate Pencil, and a Visit Scotland brochure
*international winner will instead receive ebooks from Nancy's backlistGiveaway Ends August 21st