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Archive for the ‘Books & Movies’ Category

Here’s another fun picture book for your young dragon lover. Author/artist James Mayhew published through Chicken House in 2003.

It seems there  is a brave and handsome knight who hopes to catch the eye of a spirited princess. Surely the best way to impress her is to defeat a dragon in single combat. The only problem? There are no dragons left in the kingdom. He sets off to search.

This book has a slightly subversive tone, as you see the knight search right by some dragons hidden in the artwork. Then, when a dragon actually does show up to threaten the kingdom, the knight won’t face it without just the right armor and sword. 

Adult readers will probably guess the outcome from the title. Kids may or may not get the point about action being more important than appearance. I personally found the book clever, although the final page irritated me. The princess randomly marries someone other than the tardy knight; why? Her marriage is irrelevant to the point of the book and perpetuates a stereotype that girls can’t be happy when independent. But at least the dragon lives happily ever after!


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the U. S, so allow me to say how much I appreciate all of you who read this blog. Some of you comment and click my links, while others mostly lurk, but I am thankful for you!

Now, here’s another great new picture book featuring dragons. The Book Dragon is a rapacious fiend who steals the joy from a hapless village when it snatches all their books away. Can a brave young girl help the dragon learn a better way?

Again, this is a fine gift choice for the young readers in your household.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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This is a cute picture book I spotted in a first grade classroom recently.

Every dragon breathes fire, right? They gain this special ability when they turn seven, and a little dragon named Crispin is very excited about his coming birthday. Soon he’ll breathe fire just like his dad!

But when the big day comes, it doesn’t work out as planned. Crispin breathes… whipped cream! Dad is upset and confused. Over the following pages, he tries many strategies to make Crispin breathe fire like a proper dragon. Only when a crisis strikes does Crispin prove his alternative breathing can be a help instead of a hindrance.

The message here is obvious: all kids may feel “different” sometimes. They may worry about their place in the world. Understanding adults can help them find their way even when they truly are different from the rest.

Not Your Typical Dragon is a great choice for anyone whose child is “different” or who wants to help children accept a peer who is “different.” What do you know, Christmas is coming soon, too!


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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bane of the dragon kingThis is part two of my blog visit from author J. Keller Ford. The subject: her wicked dragon king, Einar.


When talking with Deby the other day about my new book, Bane of the Dragon King, as well as the complete trilogy, she asked me an interesting question: Was Einar (the protagonist dragon) born into power or did he acquire his title through other means?

This question excited me as it was the first time anyone had asked the question and it is the first time I’ve been able to devote my time to just talking about Einar, which is just way too cool for words.

Einar was found as an egg by the young prince of Berg while on a hunting excursion with his father. He was forbidden to keep it, but as young children often do, he disobeyed his father and snuck the egg into the stables at the castle. Within a couple of weeks, the egg hatched, and the prince named him Einar, which means ‘alone’ and ‘warrior’. As Einar grew, he became disgruntled with the way he was treated and kept hidden. His demands on the young prince became so immense that the young man couldn’t keep up with them all, so Einar killed him and began to kill others within the kingdom who refused to serve him. By the time the dragon was two-years-old, he’d killed off everyone in the kingdom who challenged him and turned them into shadowmorths, his army of human souls transformed through the powers bestowed upon him as a Timberlake Smoothback dragon into killing shadow creatures.

Over the years, other skills and powers of a Timberlake Smoothback emerged, and Einar was able to infiltrate and take over other realms and kingdoms, thus proclaiming himself as the Dragon King. Attempts to capture him and kill him were thwarted at every turn. Now, two hundred years later, Einar the Dragon King comes face to face with the only ones who have the power to kill him once and for all. The battle for Hirth, for Fallhollow, and for all the universe has begun. I hope you take the journey to find out who wins!


J. Keller Ford is a scribbler of speculative fiction and YA tales. As an Army brat, she traveled the world and toured the halls of some of Germany’s most extraordinary castles in hopes of finding snarky dragons, chivalrous knights, and wondrous magic to permeate her imagination. What she found remains etched in her topsy-turvy mind, and oozes out in sweeping tails of courage, sacrifice, honor and everlasting love.

When not torturing her keyboard or trying to silence the voices in her head, Jenny spends time collecting seashells, bowling, screaming on roller coasters, and traveling. She is a mom of four magnificent and noble offspring, and currently lives in paradise on the west coast of Florida with a menagerie of royal pets, and her own quirky knight who was brave enough to marry her.

Jenny is the author of The Chronicles of Fallhollow series. The first two books, In the Shadow of the Dragon King, and Rage of the Dragon King, are currently available. For more information about her books and to sign up for her newsletter, please visit www.j-keller-ford.com.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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bane of the dragon kingJ. Keller Ford has been a blogging friend of mine for years now. We’ve supported and encouraged each other, and I’m always excited to hear she has a new publication. This very week, she releases Bane of the Dragon King. This is the finale of her YA fantasy series, Chronicles of Fallhollow.

Now she has kindly offered to visit Wyrmflight and tell us about the dragons she created for her stories. Take it away, Jenny!


Let’s face it. There are not enough dragons in Young Adult fiction. If I had anything to do with it, there would be one lurking about in every YA fantasy novel. I suppose that’s why I put so many different dragons in my series of books, The Chronicles of Fallhollow.

I enjoyed writing all the dragons in my books. The first ones the reader stumbles upon are the palindrakes. These are smallish green dragons, roughly the size of an eagle, and are messengers of the forest. They are kind, curious and gentle and pretty blend in well with their surroundings.

The next dragon the reader meets is a somewhat small dragon named Mirith. He is a mix between a mountain-dwelling, fire-breathing Timberlake Smoothback and an Opernicus, a desert dragon. He is short, and stocky with autumn colored scales, a head like a bird’s, and a mane of autumn colored feathers. He is an ice-breather and a lightning thrower. Even though he appears brutish, he really is a sweetheart, once you get to know him.

The third dragon is the villain, Einar, the Dragon King. He is an immense (think twice the size of Smaug), with scales as black as midnight dipped in liquid amethyst. He’s the epitome of evil.

The last dragons we see are the beautiful, white/silver peaceful Edryd dragons of the Silver Isles. They are wise, gentle and appear as white clouds streaking through the night sky. They are enemies of Einar and play an important role in the final novel in the trilogy, Bane of the Dragon King, releasing November 13.

And that’s it. Those are all my dragons. I hope you read the books to find out more, and please feel free to reach out to me with questions. I love talking dragons and I would love to hear from all the dragon fans out there.

Thank you for hosting me today, Deby. You’re the best. Hugs to all.


J. Keller Ford is a scribbler of speculative fiction and YA tales. As an Army brat, she traveled the world and toured the halls of some of Germany’s most extraordinary castles in hopes of finding snarky dragons, chivalrous knights, and wondrous magic to permeate her imagination. What she found remains etched in her topsy-turvy mind, and oozes out in sweeping tails of courage, sacrifice, honor and everlasting love.

When not torturing her keyboard or trying to silence the voices in her head, Jenny spends time collecting seashells, bowling, screaming on roller coasters, and traveling. She is a mom of four magnificent and noble offspring, and currently lives in paradise on the west coast of Florida with a menagerie of royal pets, and her own quirky knight who was brave enough to marry her.

Jenny is the author of The Chronicles of Fallhollow series. The first two books, In the Shadow of the Dragon King, and Rage of the Dragon King, are currently available. For more information about her books and to sign up for her newsletter, please visit www.j-keller-ford.com.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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Honestly, this headline is a little deceptive. The iconic role-playing game never really went away, although it’s had waves of popularity like all cultural touchstones do. This article from a year ago in The New Yorker does a great job detailing some of the ups and downs. D&D is now in its 5th Edition, while another popular game called Pathfinder is a spin-off based on the 3rd Edition D&D rules.

As a role-player since 1981, I can attest that doomsayers have long predicted the end of our beloved paper-and-pencil games. Video games have risen to great prominence with their fast action and colorful presentation. Yet there still is a place for the wild creativity of a role-playing game. Much as I enjoy playing video games, I’m constantly chafing at the limited options when it comes to dialogue and decision making. With a good GM, video games just can’t compare with in-person games for spontaneity and nuance.

Most interesting, writer Neima Jaromi highlights a trend I’ve personally observed in schools when I worked as a substitute. Some classes use D&D to teach social lessons. Role-playing encourages kids to imagine themselves in a different life. If they want to have fun, they have to be flexible and work with a group. Role-playing also includes rewards, both as level-ups bringing new abilities, and with treasures found. More flexibility comes into play as the group must decide who gets to keep a certain item. They learn that the entire group can benefit from one character’s success.

I know I’m preaching to the choir, so go ahead and read the article here.


Coming Up

I will be at Fall Folk Festival this weekend, reading my stories and greeting the public. That makes this a perfect time for a guest post! Author J. Keller Ford, will be talking about the role of dragons in her Chronicles of Fallhallow series. I’m looking forward to that, and I hope you are, too.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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Looking for some spooky reading around Hallowe’en? Allow me to remind you about my 99-cent e-books!

Gellboar_Cover

The Gellboar, urban fantasy novelette.

The Gellboar

The Holy Mothers have decreed that only women can be trusted with the awesome powers of sorcery. But Dan can no more live without magic than he could go without breathing. Disguised as a woman, he struggles to provide for his sickly daughter through illicit magic. But his life of lies has drawn a darker eye than that of the Holy Mothers…

Get it from Amazon or your favorite e-bookseller. It’s also available from libraries on Overdrive!


 

 

 

The Weight of Their Souls

The Weight of Their Souls, swords & sorcery novelette.

The Weight of Their Souls

The epic war is over, the great Enemy destroyed. A ragtag band of survivors makes their way home, only to discover there were survivors on the other side, too. And even a lesser evil from that vicious host can still be a deadly threat.

It’s swords against sorcery, with more than just their lives on the line. The travelers, who barely know each other, must summon the courage to face one more battle.

Get it from Amazon or your favorite e-bookseller. It’s also available from libraries on Overdrive!


 

Read them already? Please leave a review so other readers can enjoy them, too.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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