Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Dragons and Romance
Today's blog is compliments of Amber Kallen. Thanks for joining us, Amber.
I love Dragons. Always have, always will.
I love the fact that dragon mythology can be found in many cultures through history, spread across the globe. The question always turns to How? How did so many different people who never communicated come up with the same legends if Dragons never existed?
The dragons I write about are a mixed breed of these different cultures, with a bit of my own style thrown in.
European in appearance -- four legs, wide wings, spiked tales and horny heads. Eastern in magicks and abilities. My dragons are different colors, which in turn, sometimes means different powers as well.
The idea of magic and shapeshifting began as demonic powers in Europe, natural abilities in Native American cultures.
Over time it has become so much more.
Today, the shapeshifter is hot. Romantic and alluring.
It’s allowed authors to take their stories to such a wonderfully high level, and it seems only the beginning.
Dragon lovers abound. So what better than to make dragon shapeshifters?
I enjoy both reading and writing about them. The grace, power and protectiveness of dragons is, for me, the perfect romance.
When Calla, a dragon shifter, heads to a sleepy mountain town to investigate their recent arson outbreak, she doesn't expect to come face to face with the dark dragon who killed her mother, or find her destined mate beneath the burning rays of the moon. Firefighter Scott O'Neil can't fight his attraction to her, even after he finds out what she is, and the shocking secret of his own past.
The Other was here.
Lowering the truck window, Calla Dragos sniffed the chilly afternoon. Pine trees, asphalt. All overshadowed by the distinct stench of sulfur. Her stomach lurched, vileness rising to choke her. As she drove into the blink of a town, it grew stronger, overpowering all other senses.
Drawing closer to the Jasper Fire Department, she focused on keeping her clammy hands on the wheel, her concentration on the light traffic. Keeping her foot on the gas pedal, rather than slamming the brakes and fleeing.
How could he be here?
It was bad enough her job as an arson investigator brought her to this small, mountaintop town of Jasper, Arizona. Bad enough she’d left her family behind in the midst of yet another argument about her independence. The possibility of facing Eric brought tremors to her body.
Parking her cherry red pickup in front of the station, Calla shaded her eyes from the late afternoon sun and searched the colorful wood-front buildings. The stench faded.
Eric marked her, then fled. Like a coward. And he was a coward. She needed to remember that fact. Otherwise, the fear coiling in her heart would drive her batty.
After a couple deep breaths, she calmed the nausea a little. She could do this. She would do this. And if that bastard decided to show up, she’d face him with all her strength.
Calla stepped from the truck on shaky legs, smoothed her navy skirt and slipped on the matching jacket. Reaching across the seat, she grabbed her oversized black bag, which held a notebook, pens and her kit. After another soothing breath, filling her lungs with the crisp mountain air, she headed around the corner to the firemen’s entrance.
Giggles drew her attention to a group of teenage girls scantily dressed. And the man they huddled near.
In nothing but low-slung jeans, the top button carelessly undone, the man gave off the rugged air of a male underwear model with a sexy, take me to your bedroom now look. His blond hair, slightly too long for a clean-cut look, dripped water, from a recent shower maybe. Or a drenching with the hose. The scruff on his chin, a shade darker than his hair, enhanced the bad boy aura.
Gods, he was just like Petey. Playboy and chick magnet, an older version of her youngest brother.
“So can we have your autograph? Please?” one of the girls begged, her voice high. The other girls giggled some more.
“Certainly, ladies.” The man’s voice was as smoky and smooth as his gray eyes.
His gaze flicked to Calla. The intensity shooting from his eyes made her tense, caught like a rabbit in the headlights. His lips twitched. A flush spread up her cheeks. Calla stared at her feet, hurrying along the flower-bordered sidewalk. Before she reached the door, the teen girls filed past, happily waving calendars with mostly naked men.
Figured. A playboy, just like Petey. Which month was he?
Bare feet filled her view. She took in the long, jean-clad legs, the scruff of hair above the gaping waistband. A blond trail led up a golden, ripped abdomen and chest, to dark eyes. This close, flecks of green and blue mixing with the gray were visible.
His scent, suntan lotion and hay, punched into her, dissipating the last remains of the sulfur.
Her libido woke and started clamoring. She gritted her teeth. Not why she was here. And besides, she had no business being attracted to this man. This human.
“Howdy, ma’am.” He tipped an imaginary hat, a lusty smile twitching at his lips.
“Excuse me,” she replied, her voice steady and cool, the payoff from years of practice working around other untouchable hunks. “I need to see the fire chief.”
Something unreadable flashed in his gaze and the smirk disappeared. “What would a beautiful woman like you want with him?”
“Frankly, it’s none of your business.” Knowing the best way to turn him off, she put a hand to her hip, jutted her chin and raked her gaze over his long, lean form. Unfortunately, her normal barriers weren’t working. The only thing she wanted to do was reach out and touch his glistening tanned skin. Instead, she added in a sharp tone, “Let me guess. Mr. October.”
His face hardened, all amusement fleeing. The playboy took a step back as if she’d actually offended him. Then, his grin came back, along with a devil-may-care shrug. “Actually,” he drawled, “I’m December. I wanted a Santa hat on my lap, not a pumpkin.” Leaning closer, his minty breath a whisper on her cheek, he added, “Why? You need a calendar?”