Posted by Teresa D’Amario
Not too long ago a friend sent me a book and said “Read this, you’ll like it.” I put it on the top of my to be read list (This person knows me well) and I am very glad I did. The Book? Kiss of Fire by Deborah Cooke. And I am pleased to present MS. Deborah Cooke as our first Guest Author:
So without further ado, I turn you over to Deborah Cooke, author of Kiss of Fire.
I love dragons. Always have. Their appearance in a story means adventure and action are on the menu. If there are dragons, there’ll be fighting and fireworks. Even better, there’ll be a hunky hero to challenge the dragon. The stakes will be high – the pair will fight to the death. The eye candy is fabulous, too – imagine the dragon, streaking through the night sky, scales gleaming as he breathes fire.
The hero isn’t all bad to look at either, standing on the village walls in chain mail, sword raised, defiant even though the odds are against him. Who’s a girl to cheer for?
The dragon, after all, is a formidable fighting machine. All lean sinewy strength. All power. Fire is a formidable weapon, and dragons are reputed to be clever, too. They’re supposed to like riddles, to collect hoard, to admire women, to have deep throaty laughs. Dragons are reputed to be able to cast spells on humans and beguile them. If you were a damsel captured by a dragon, trapped in his treasure hoard while he tried to charm you, would you have a chance against him? These powerful creatures are said to have a hidden vulnerability, too, a missing scale that leaves their skin unprotected in one spot. That’s the only spot where they can be wounded. What’s not to love about an apparently invincible creature with a secret vulnerability?
No doubt about it – there’s something dangerous and sexy about dragons.
But then, the hero is powerful and sexy, too. There’s something great about a man willing to die in defense of his fellows. What’s not to love about a man who knows he can’t win, but enters the fray anyway, just because it’s the right thing to do? The best heroes, as we all know, have secrets, too. They have a weakness or an injury from the past that hampers them in gaining the triumph they deserve. Secrets make heroes dimensional, sympathetic, more human.
Maybe we don’t have to choose whether we should cheer on dragons or heroes. Because, even though the hero and the dragon are rivals, they have a lot in common. They each fight for a principle, believing in it enough to fight to the death. They’re both powerful, principled fighting machines. They’re both dangerous – they can and do kill – but they fight for the cause they believe to be right. They both have strengths and vulnerabilities, hopes and fears.
What if the two traditional opponents were two sides of the same man?
What if the hero’s secret was that he was a dragon?
He’d have to be a dragon shape shifter – and his would be one whopper
of a secret.
Meet the Pyr of my Dragonfire series. These are the guys I cheer for!
I’ve written about shape shifter heroes before. In ENCHANTED, the hero was cursed to take the form of a wolf half of the time. Only love could break the curse, but he didn’t believe in love. In THE MAGICIAN’S QUEST, the hero had a hereditary ability to change into a panther. His changes were triggered by passion – playing with the old motif of the man conquering the beast within himself – so the heroine’s presence was challenging to him. Both of these titles are out of print. I really enjoyed writing about
shape shifters – those men with their secrets! – but I really fell in
love with the idea of dragon shape shifters.
My Pyr are dragon shape shifters – their ability is passed genetically in the male line. They live a long time, although they are not immortal, and they each have – at most – one chance to conceive an heir. Their mating sign is called the firestorm – quite literally, sparks fly between the Pyr hero and his destined mate. Major firestorms are signalled by an eclipse and they last only until the next eclipse. In each book, a Pyr meets his mate and his match, and needs to consummate his firestorm to make more Pyr. Most of them would prefer to not surrender their secrets in exchange – but all of my human heroines demand more information than that! They’re smart, demanding women who know what they want, the perfect matches for men with this kind of a secret, and they each challenge their Pyr to become more than what he already is.
Meanwhile, they’re fighting against bad dragons – Slayers – in a last
ditch effort to save the world. Action and adventure are indeed on the
The first Dragonfire book is KISS OF FIRE which was released in February
2008. The second book is Donovan’s book, KISS OF FURY which will be released in August 2008. Book three is Erik’s book, KISS OF FATE, which will be released in February 2009.
You can win an Advanced Reading Copy of KISS OF FURY here today, just by commenting on this post. Tell me why you like dragons (if you do) or why you like shape shifter heroes. Let’s talk about men with big