THE CHRISTMAS DRAGON and STRINGS
by Ruthanne Reid
THE CHRISTMAS DRAGON
All Katie Lin wants is to get away from her family: from the magic, from the mayhem, and from the never-ending war.
Unfortunately, someone has other ideas, and sends her a box. A box that jumps.
The tiny fire hazard inside may just force her back to Wales - and right into the path of a dragon war, the Crow King, and at least one reluctant elf prince. Sometimes, running away just doesn't work as planned.
~Buy THE CHRISTMAS DRAGON
Need help? You probably shouldn't ask Grey.
A runaway Unseelie prince, Grey feeds on love - a commodity he conjures via music and magic in late-night Manhattan. It's a sweet gig, if lonely, and Grey is almost sure the dire warnings he was given about New York in December won't come true.
Then a monster from his childhood attacks in the middle of the night, and everything changes.
He survived, but he's marked, and more monsters are coming for him and everyone who survived. Grey has no plans to be a hero but fate doesn't care what he wants. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you aren't the one pulling the strings.
EXCERPT FROM THE CHRISTMAS DRAGON
The box jumped.
Boxes are not supposed to jump. It’s a law somewhere, I think. Maybe Guyana. Apparently not in New Hampshire, because the box kept jumping.
I sat in my idling car, puffs of exhaust rising in my rear-view mirror, and stared at the uncoordinated box-dance. It was wrapped in the loveliest paper, too, which was a shame, because bouncing on my boot-scraper had roughened all the corners and torn one edge. The bow was big and purple and covered in small green somethings. I wasn’t close enough to make them out.
I didn’t want to be close enough to make them out.
If I didn’t do something soon, the neighbors would notice. The box probably hadn’t been jumping all morning, or there’d be a crowd. Or maybe it was already on YouTube. I didn’t know.
So much for a safe, boring life among the Ever-Dying. New Hampshire, you have failed me.
I turned off the car. Time to go see what invaded my (mostly) magic-free space.
AN INTERVIEW WITH RUTHANNE
-What inspired you to become a writer?
A miserable childhood.
That’s probably not the answer you were looking for. :) Allow me to elaborate.
I was a lonely, bullied, overweight child, and I found hope in books.
Books. Beautiful, beautiful books. My parents didn’t really divide our library into child-appropriate and not, so I encountered Bullfinch’s Mythology, Beowulf, and Stephen King when my age was… well. I’ll say single-digit and leave it at that.
For me, this was a very good thing.
I was treated to worlds with insane characters and grandiose speeches, with fears I could understand and fears I couldn’t, naughty words I knew I dared not use but secretly admired, and discovered the powerful truth that stories mattered.
Stories MATTER. They took me out of myself, away from my extremely lonely and bullied childhood, and into a place where the efforts of Hobbits counted. Where power was in reach but only out of sight, and in the end, good won, even if things didn’t immediately look that way.
So that’s why I write: hope. If I can give hope and escape to others when they read my work, then I have done my job.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
ONE thing? Just one? Okay. I am about to cheat: I would do one of two things.
1. Visit Notte (my 15,000 year old father of all vampires) and just listen to him talk for a while.
2. Visit Grey, or any of the Fey, and listen to their music. Their magic is music-based, and it is glorious.
-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.
For The Christmas Dragon, I dove deep into Merlin mythology, and discovered so much niftiness I barely knew what to do with myself. I think my favorite fact is actually about Bardsey Island and Merlin’s Apple. The island is one of the supposed resting places of Merlin, but even wilder, there’s an apple that grows there unlike any in the whole world: it is completely resistent to blight. Nobody knows why.
Nobody knows how. Theories range from “it’s bonemeal from all the saints buried there” on. All I know is, it seems pretty magical to me, and I’d love to visit.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks and pizza with?
I’d go with just about all of them, but you know something? I think I’d pick “Uncle” Merlin, from The Christmas Dragon. He’s kind of crazy, very fun, and though he might not keep me safe if anything weird were to happen, we’d have a glorious adventure before it was all through.
-If you could go back in time and give your pre-published self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Relax. Take it easy. Trust God to work this publishing-thing out a pace you can handle. Knowing me, however, I wouldn’t have listened.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
Yes: proper ass-kicking urban fantasy, à la Faith Hunter and Ilona Andrews and Jim Butcher. I absolutely love series-style books with that kind of protagonist, but I can never seem to produce them on my own. At least, not yet. <-cue evil laugh
Indie author Ruthanne Reid writes about elves, aliens, vampires, and space-travel with equal abandon. She is the author of the series Among the Mythos, and believes good stories should be shared. Subscribe to her free email newsletter for free books and more at amongthemythos.com. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr, where she looks at too many kittens and Avengers blogs.
Ruthanne’s love of magic, urban environments, and deep space birthed a strange world with undercurrents of faith, magic, villainy, and heroism (along with swords and lasers, on occasion). Among the Mythos showcases aliens with all-too-human feelings, entire societies on the decline due to greed and fear, protagonists who might actually be the bad guys (or vice-versa), and endings every bit as messy as the world that creates them.
Ruthanne knows from experience that endings are messy. No matter how exotic the setting, how many limbs the characters have or what (if any) genders, the problems and questions addressed by a good story are very real, and that’s why they have power. If she has a theme, it is this: keep fighting, and keep pushing toward hope, because the struggle is worth the finish-line.
Find her online:
Please join me in thanking Ruthanne for an awesome interview! And I’m in agreement about laws for jumping boxes.
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