Pandragon Dan

Pandragon Dan

Author/Reviewer/Blogger

Character Interviews - Zarracka Dragonkin

Ok guys, here, as promised, is the first in a series of character interviews of the characters in the book Trapped on Draconica. Here I get a chance to speak to the characters you've come to know and love from reading the books - allowing you a greater insight into their motivations.

 

Each character will be asked 12 standard questions and 3 character specific questions - based on the top questions that have been emailed to me. Makes it more interesting that way.

 

So without further ado, let's get started by asking some questions. This week we interview the villainess of the book, Zarracka Dragonkin!

In this interview, the questions will be highlighed in bold and the character voices will be in italics.

 

1) Where were you born?

Brittana, St Geordia – Next stupid question!

 

2) How many are there in your family?

I have two sisters (Daniar and Rana) and a step sister (Erowin, whose a filthy eastern born girl). Oh, and there’s my father of course – a stupid old man.

 

3) What’s your relationship with your family?

Are all these questions going to be this dull? What do you think – I HATE them! I hate them all. They never treated me with the respect I deserved! I was the favourite of Mother and Father until they came along – then my parents barely noticed me! Well, I’ll show them. I’ll show them all! Especially Daniar!

 

4) What do you do for a living?

I’m a Princess – so you’d better show me the proper respect or I’ll ice you where I stand!

 

5) Do you have any hobbies/activities that you enjoy doing?

I don’t have time for such trivial things! I’m too busy planning my next move to destroy Daniar and then take over the world. And with the help of the Baalarian Empire, I might just do that.

 

6) Have you got any special skills?

What are you, stupid? I’m a DRAGONKIN, you cretin! Of course I have special skills! *sigh* I suppose you want me to tell you what they are?

Let’s see... I can fly, I’m stronger than any human, I can breathe ice, I’m cleverer than any human alive – oh, and did I mention that men fall in love with me the moment they see me?

 

7)  What is your marital status (ie, married, single, divorced, etc)

Oh, I’ve had plenty of men before in my time – but I don’t think there is a man alive who can handle me!

 

8) What do you look for in a partner?

I’m a simple girl really and I want the same thing in a man that every woman wants. Rich, handsome – and completely submissive to my every want and desire!

 

9) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Not a damn thing. I’m perfect enough as I am!

 

10) What is your greatest fear?

Your questions are really starting to irritate me! I don’t fear anything! Well, accept maybe dying al... wait, why am I telling you that?

 

11) Tell us something about yourself that no one else might know about you.

You want to know something about me? Maybe one of my deepest secrets? Ok, I’ll tell you. The thing that no one else knows about me is... NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS!

I mean, honestly! Do you really think I would tell you my deepest secrets to you? If I did, I’d have to kill you afterwards. Do you want that? Because I can do it if you want. (smiles wickedly).

 

12) What do you want most in life?

What do you think I want? I want Daniar to suffer. I want complete domination of the world. I want Father to admit that I was the better child. I want everyone to love and worship me.

But most of all I want to stop being asked these ridiculous questions and maybe have a nice cup of wine to relax.


CHARACTER SPECIFIC QUESTIONS:

What? I have to answer MORE questions? Hhhmmmppph, fine let’s get this over with!

 

1) Why are your boobs always hanging out?

Authors note: We had to explain to Zarracka what this meant as boobs is not a word that is used in Draconica.

As the old saying goes, if you have beauty you should show it off. And I can’t be blamed if I have such a perfectly divine body that I want everyone to see it.

But not only that, when I’m breathing in to use my ice breath, where do you think the men are going to look? That’s right, my chest! That way I can give them one last bit of pleasure before I give them pain.

Does that answer your question? Or would you prefer a more practical demonstrations? (winks at interviewer - who sits nervously)

 

2) Why do you hate Daniar so much?

Why do I hate Daniar so much? WHY DO I HATE DANIAR SO MUCH? Why do you think? She’s pompous, stuck up witch who thinks she’s better than anyone. She always has to get involved in things that don’t concern her and “help the innocent!” And everyone loves her for it! But what about me? Daniar isn’t beautiful or celestial like I am – why is no one worshipping me?

Ever since Daniar was born she took attention away from my Father and he practically ignored me! Me, the most beautiful thing in the world!

I hate Daniar because she doesn’t deserve it! She’s responsible for the death of our mother and yet SHE gets all the attention? How fair is that?

Great, now I’m all wound up! Where’s that wine?



3) What’s so bad about this Goblin Queen game? Why did you freak out when Ben mentioned it?

Goblin Queen? GOBLIN QUEEN?!?

 

Authors note: From here on, Zarracka went on a rampage and started smashing everything up, screaming wildly and summoning a blizzard. We had to evacuate the area – but thankfully no one was hurt. I guess we aren’t going to get an answer to that last one.

 

Well that's it for this week. Thanks to Zarracka for "stopping by". Next week we'll have a special interview with Daniar Dragonkin, the heroine of the book.

 

Check back here on Wednesday for a very special guest post from Mysti Parker!

 

Until then, have fun!

 

Kindest

 

 

Pandragon

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Top Five - Indie Books You Should Be Reading

Being a reviewer on the website Read2Review , I’ve had the chance to read the works of some truly talented writers. Don’t get me wrong, I do like to settle down with a good book now and then, writing by one of the mainstream authors – but I have a special affinity for indie authors, probably because I am one myself.

 

Indie authors used to get painfully overlooked in the days before – but thankfully these days, readers are more open to trying new things. With technology advanced in such a way that people can release their books dirt cheap – or even give them away for free, readers are able to discover hidden gems and new talent. What I love about indie authors is the way that they can put out the story the way THEY intended to, without any input from a publisher or agent. And I think this is great.

 

Whilst I always go into a review with the purpose of being unbiased, I do occasionally find authors that I just fall in love with and books that I find are just so effortless and enjoyable to read. Therefore, in a slight change to my usual Top Five Tips, I’m going to showcase the five indie novels that I think you should be checking out. I’ve tried to mix and match the genres a little so that I don’t talk about the same thing, so there should be something for everyone here. Some of these authors are published through small publishing companies – but for the sake of argument I am including them as indie authors (because indie authors doesn’t necessarily mean self published in my opinion, any author that is published through a lesser known publishing house can be considered indie).

 

So, here we go. These are the five books and authors that I think you should be checking out. I’ll also include a few links to check them out yourself.

 

1. A Ranger’s Tale by Mysti Parker

 

Ok, I’ll admit it – I’m somewhat of a fan boy of Mysti Parker. She’s kinda like my writing idol at the moment! When I first read A Ranger’s Tale, I honestly didn’t think I was gonna like it – but I did. In fact, whereas I hardly read romance books before, I have a greater appreciation of them thanks to this novel.

 

A Ranger’s Tale is an Adult Romantic Fantasy set in the world of Tallenmere, a world where elves are the main race and the centre for the characters. A Ranger’s Tale is set around a high elf called Caliphany and a half-elf called Galadin. Cali lives a sheltered life, but longs for something more, whereas Galadin is trying to escape his tortured past. Their paths meet and fireworks start to sparkle.

 

In many ways, A Ranger’s Tale uses a lot of fantasy tropes that have been used before – but the good thing about it is that Mysti Parker doesn’t go out of her way to make it overly magical and over the top, but rather creates situations that we ourselves would find ourselves in. The characters are brilliantly crafted and have real emotional depth, so we can sympathise with them and their plights. I think this is because the chapters are told in a POV way so we can see what the characters are thinking and feel their thoughts. A bold move but it works well.

 

I love the character of Cali – she’s a very strong heroine and I think that female readers will love her for her feistiness and vulnerability. Galadin is equally well rounded and likeable. The other character of mention is Jayden, a wood elf that has the hots for Cali. Even though he does start off a little sinister, I must admit I did feel sorry for him at the end.

 

In order to make Fantasy work, the world and characters must feel realistic and relatable. And A Ranger’s Tale does this brilliantly – the characters are beautifully crafted and the world of Tallenmere is realised enough to believe that it does exist. And Mysti even grants us some backstory of the world in her blog and Facebook and this is great. I love hearing about the history of fantasy worlds and their creation – makes me appreciate the story more.

 

The next book in the series, Sereyna’s Song is out very soon and I can’t wait to read it. But until then, let me just say one more thing about A Ranger’s Tale. It’s a fantastic book – even if the ideas have been done before, Mysti has found a way to use them so that you don’t care that you’ve seen this before. Her characters are brilliant, the romance is genuine (if a little steamy at times) and the story just sucks you in so that you have to keep reading. In short, read it!

 

Amazon.com (Kindle)

Amazon.com (Paperback)

Amazon.co.uk (Kindle)

Amazon.co.uk (Paperback)

Smashwords

 

2. Airion – Return to Zire by J.S Council

 

For those wanting a Fantasy/Sci-Fi with a more young adult edge, I suggest checking out Airion – Return to Zire.

 

Now, I actually gave this author a bit of a hard time in my review, given that the version I was given to review had a lot of spelling mistakes and formatting issues – but these have now been corrected so I can now concentrate on the book as it is. And it’s a very entertaining book indeed!

 

The novel is set around 2 twins, Kobi and Rali, that thought they had a pretty simple life on land. Just before their 14th birthday, the twins are separated and dragged to the underwater land of Airion – where they find that this is their true heritage. Now stuck in a war between two nations, the twins discover that they have a higher purpose – and secret powers that they soon discover will shape the world.

 

It’s a very exciting story, filled with colourful characters and some very impressive fight scenes. Reading this, I actually imagined that this would work well as a Manga/Anime. And given that the author lives in Japan that would be a great idea. Also, J.S is one of the hardest working and down to earth people I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to, via guest blogs and interviews and I was worried that she would find my review a little harsh. But she took the comments with grace and dignity – that is the sign of a good author!

 

Do please check this novel out. It’s an exciting read and one that I do recommend. In fact I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series as the first one left me wanting to know more. The content isn’t too violent either, so younger readers will be able to enjoy this as much as adults.

 

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

3. CASTLES: A Fictional Memoir of a Girl with Scissors by Benjamin X. Wretlind

 

Now, I’m not usually a fan of horror if I’m being honest. Main reason – I just don’t find a lot of them very scary. Most of them seem too heavily of blood and gore for their scares and honestly, that just doesn’t do it for me. Horror needs to have an atmosphere, to build up the tension and terror, not just have loads of body parts everywhere.

 

With Castles, it has no problems. Yes, there is a fair share of blood and disgusting images – but that’s not the focus of the book. The main focus is around the central character, Maggie, and the journey she takes. Living in a trailer park in an almost apocalyptic atmosphere (with constant thunder and dust storms), the book chronicles Maggie’s descent into madness as she starts off an innocent young girl and then transforms into a psychotic killer.

 

That being said, you actually can sympathise with Maggie a little as she goes through a lot of trauma in her life, ranging from an overbearing and overly protective mother to abusive spouses and boyfriends. Her only consolation is the spirit of her grandmother, who advised Maggie to “clean up her messes”. Acting as a kind of guardian angel for her, Maggie finds inner strength to gather pieces for her “Castle”. Unfortunately, this means bad news for those who end up crossing her!

 

Castles did what no other horror book I’ve read has done – disturbed me long after putting the book down. And that is what a good horror should do. I think that it’s because this book is told entirely from the POV of Maggie that she’s almost trying to justify her actions as the right thing. This makes her even creepier as she seems utterly desensitised to her actions. Whether you think she’s a victim or a villain is left up to the reader to decide.

 

Castles has a great atmosphere, a psychological terror and a main character that is both monstrous and innocent at the same time. If you want a great horror read then look no further than this one. Although I doubt you’ll ever want to use scissors again afterwards!

 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Smashwords

 

4. Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat by Andrez Bergen

 

Humphrey Bogart, Blade Runner, Mad Max, Jap-Anime, Australian Humour, Film Noir – these are just SOME of the things I could use to describe this novel but it wouldn’t do it justice. This book is all these things and more!

 

From the title alone, you could almost expect to be reading a sort of obscure comedy – but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, we get a post-apocalyptic city that is bleak and unfriendly. With the threats of “Deviants” ever present in the last remaining city, it’s up to our hero Floyd to find a way to save the day.

 

Thing is, Floyd doesn’t care about that. All he wants to do is to drink himself stupid and forget his tragic past – which is the result of his job as a Seeker. Constantly referencing obscure and classic films, Floyd tells us his story in his own way – through good old Aussie slang! He’s both humorous and depressing, but thankfully the author treats the main character with enough respect to know when to take it seriously and when to have fun. And because the book is written with the Aussie sense of humour and style in mind, it adds a fresh new look to a subject that has otherwise been done to death.

 

You wouldn’t think that a novel could fit in so many themes and references without being convoluted, but Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat blends it all nicely like a perfect set of ingredients to make a fine whiskey. Not once was I ever bored when reading this book and really wanted to know what was going to happen to the main character. Hands down this is my favourite indie book that I’ve read so far and I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a unique science fiction read.

 

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

5. The Priest and the Peaches by Larry Peterson
You may think just by looking at the previous books I’ve mentioned here that I only review Science-Fiction and Fantasy type books, but actually, on occasion, I do like to read and review “slice of life” books. The Priest and the Peaches was one of those slice of life stories that I was handed as part of a blog tour. Admittedly, I didn’t think too much of it on first hearing about it – but on reading the book I fell in love with it.
Set in the 60’s, the Peach family have recently lost their father and now have to cope without his guiding hand. It forces Teddy and Joanie to grow up quickly and become the guardians of the household through no fault of their own. From here on, we follow the trials and tribulations of the Peaches as they struggle to cope without their father. But they are not alone and there are those who are willing to help them cope.
This is one of those rare gems that you discover when leaving your comfort zone. This book is just a beautiful to read. It’s a real testament to the bond of family and the kindness of human spirit. The book does have religious overtones to it and is the overall theme of the book. Seeing as religion tends to often be shown negatively in some fiction (and even in real life), it’s nice to show the positive side of religion – after all, the recurring theme of the book is L-Y-N (Love Your Neighbour) and this is what keeps the Peach family together in times of hardship.
I honestly didn’t think I’d be recommending this book, but I just felt like I had to. It’s a wonderfully written tale that is moving, funny and genuinely heart-warming. We genuinely care about the Peach family and hope that they end up right at the end. I actually think even the hardest of hearts will probably find a tear in their eye reading this tale. If you just want to read something that will warm your heart then look no further to this one.
 
Those are my picks for five novels that I think deserve a chance to be read. Please give them a try – you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment below.
 
Pandragon

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My Lord or Not My Lord - That is the Question

A while ago, I did a Top Five on my biggest pet peeves in Fantasy novels. However, there was one particular point which I left out, because I know it could be considered debateable as to whether it truely is a pet peeve or a mistake or not. I left that out of the main Top Five, but I thought I would mention it here.

 

When I read Fantasy novels or comics and play Fantasy games, it usually goes without saying that there will be a king or queen in there somewhere. However, I noticed that quite a few of them seem to be refered to, by the characters of the world, with the title "My Lord" (or My Lady, etc). To be honest, this kinda bothers me a little bit and, whilst I do not wish to sound like I am against writers using this to describe a king queen, it is a sort of pet peeve of mine to refer to a monarch as "Lord."

 

I'll try and explain my reasons for this below.

 

See, whilst I know that My Lord is given to a person of distinguished rank (a noble, knight, whatever), a king would be considered of higher rank that a lord - seeing as they rule an entire kingdom and a lord would only really rule a certain household or land. Therefore, in some ways, calling a king a Lord would probably be a step down in title. Some kings might take offence to this, being given a lower title than a monarch. This is why most usually refer to a king as Your Highness, Your Majesty, etc. It would be the same if you referred to an emperor as My Lord - given that they are considered the highest of all ranks.

 

I myself have been guilty of doing this. In my earlier draft of Trapped on Draconica, I referred to any monarch as My Lord - but when I started reading A Song of Ice and Fire, I remember there was a scene where the king was referred to as My Lord and he became really angry at this - correcting them. That got me thinking "actually, he's right. A king IS above a lord." So I stopped doing that and did a quick re-write of my book. From then on, I guess I kinda just picked up on this whenever a Fantasy story did this.

 

This could just me being picky though. After all, as I said, Lord is used as a distinguished title for anyone that is considered of a high rank. But it can also be used to describe a high ranking power or deity (such as in The Lord, referring to God or an equivilent), so maybe this is just a nitpick. Also, given that Fantasy's aren't always supposed to be based on any real reality, then maybe My Lord is an acceptable title for a king in any world.

 

I'm not trying to discourage any writer that uses this title at all - after all, writers should be free to use the English Language (or any language for that matter) anyway they want and write to a style that fits them. But for me personally, I just feel that a king or queen needs to have a higher title than just that of Lord. But this is just my opinion.

 

Do you agree or disagree? Am I just being too picky? Please leave a comment below with your thoughts.

 

Have a great weekend peeps!

 

 

Pandragon

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Guest Post on Unwritten - Part of A-Z Blogging Challenge

I recently did a guest post for author Mysti Parker as part of her A-Z Blog challenge. My letter was W, so I choose a subject to write about around that letter. So W is for Writing, right?

 

Actually no. To make my post a little more interesting, I decided to talk a little bit about a new idea for a childrens book that I have coming up - based around one of my new characters Wispy the Grimalkin. Seeing as Mysti is a fellow cat lover herself, I think this was right up her street!

 

Click on the pic below to be taken to the guest post and feel free to comment on the blog - don't forget to check out the other brilliant posts that have been put up so far!

 

Pandragon

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My Latest Book Reviews On Read2Review

Recently I submitted two reviews for my good friends at Read2Review and I thought I'd share them with you guys today.

 

The first was for the book Wasteland by Lynn Rush - a supernatural romance that I felt had a few flaws, but a decent enough story and those who enjoy supernatural romance will no doubt see through the flaws that I rose.

 

The second was Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat by Andrez Bergen - by far one of the most original and entertaining reads I've had this year so far. If you love a little bit of Philip K Dick style Sci-Fi, with a little feeling of 40s style fashion and some elements of Mad Max, then I highly recommend this novel!

 

Click on the book covers below to be taken my review of the book and see what I thought of them.

 

 

There are links to buy the books if you fancy checking either of them out.

 

Thanks guys.

 

 

Pandragon

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