THE DRAGON IN THE GARDEN
by Erika Gardner
There is magic beneath the mundane and in The Dragon in the Garden, Siobhan Orsini witnesses it all. No lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her Sight. She sees through them all and wishes she could close her eyes. Returning to face her past, Siobhan inherits her grandparents’ house in California’s wine country. She encounters a talking dragon, a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. And that is just in the first twenty-four hours.
It’s time to find out why she has this power.
Siobhan seeks out the Oracle and learns that only her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Our world is the prize in a battle between the dragons, who would defend us, and Lucifer’s fallen angels, who seek to take the Earth for themselves. Using her gift, she will have to make a choice that will decide humanity’s future.
The bright-green dragon lay curled at the foot of the apricot tree, partially covered by vines. My mother called the color jade green—the same shade as my eyes. As a child she talked to all the statues, but I only spoke to the dragon. I named her Daisy. Sitting down next to her now, the tears welled up at last, spilling over my cheeks. I wrapped my arms around my legs, making myself into a little ball of five-year-old misery.
“Child, why are you sad?” said a woman’s voice.
“Who said that?” I asked, wiping my cheek.
“Where are you?” I stood and peered at the plants and statues around me.
“Are not,” I retorted.
A soft laugh filled the air and the woman spoke again. “Perhaps you are right. Easy enough to fix, I suppose.”
The breeze picked up. The space beneath the apricot tree shimmered. Ripples warped the air like the heat over the barbecue when my father cooked. The sweet notes of wind chimes filled the yard. Grandma and Grandpa didn’t have any wind chimes. I whirled around to find the noise. Under the branches appeared an enormous green dragon’s head.
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AN INTERVIEW WITH ERIKA
-What inspired you to become a writer?
I think that all kids start out storytellers. (I mean look at some of the whoppers we used to tell!) Some just keep going. I certainly did. I loved reading more than almost anything else so it seemed the most natural thing in the world that I would write my own books someday. Every night that I can remember I’ve fallen asleep making up new adventures. I drive around town choreographing swordfights in my head. When I go running I’m devising new spells. Even if I had never been published I would still be writing.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
Oh, that’s easy. I’d ride the dragon, Daisy (also known as Gwrydd). Who wouldn’t?
-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.
Hmmmm… that is a hard one. I actually learned a TON while researching The Dragon in The Garden. Most of it had to do with angel lore (Did you know that there are more than one kind of fallen angel?), dragons (The name Gwrydd means green in Welsh.), and swords (The sword Durendal from The Song of Roland really does have a legendary female twin, Durendala.). But I think the most fun fact I learned is that you can grill sauerkraut and it is delicious!!!
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
Hands down, Alex. He’s the brother of my main character, Siobhan (pronounced Sha-vaughn). He’s handsome, goofy, can dance, and best of all he’s a professional chef. Can you say yum? And I mean that on a lot of levels!
-What do you enjoy reading in your free time?
I love many genres: historical fiction, mysteries, memoire, sci-fi. However, my favorite go-to is fantasy so there I enjoy Glen Cook, Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Kim Harrison, Mercedes Lackey, and David Eddings. I’m also part of a fabulous critique group named the Beer & Bacon Babes (yes, we call ourselves babes- cheeky grin) so any of their works I always love to settle back and enjoy. Currently from our group Wendy Spinale has recently released Everland (a steampunk retelling of Peter Pan), M. Pepper Langlinais put out The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller (a spy thriller set in 1960’s London), and if you have a small child in your life you MUST check out both the Isabella and Alexander series of picture books by Jennifer Fosberry.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
I think I would have a hard time with the more literary genres, particularly the modern ilk. For instance, Gone Girl is an amazingly well-written book, but I intensely disliked almost every character in it. The lone exception being Nick’s sister, Margo. Now I realize that this visceral reaction is likely what Flynn sought to achieve, however, for me? I want characters who are people I can relate to, respect, even my villains need to have some complexity, some thwarted desire that we can understand. I’d like people to finish one of my books and feel lifted up, like their day just got better, not weighed down and depressed.
Erika is a sixth generation San Franciscan of Irish descent. She attended the University of California at Davis and completed degrees in Medieval History and Biological Sciences. A lifelong lover of books and a scribbler of many tales from a young age (her first story was completed at age five) she turned to writing full-time in 2011.
On a personal level she loves spicy food, twilight, dark chocolate (with sea salt-yum!) and nickel slots at Vegas. Erika lives for time with friends, a nice glass of red wine, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" & "Doctor Who" and good conversation. Her favorite things to do are running, cooking, reading, needlework, gardening... and of course, writing. Erika's music of choice is heavy metal. To pick her out in a lineup you should know that she is very short, fairly loud, and has dark eyebrows. The rest, as her hero Anne McCaffrey once said in her bio, "is subject to change without notice".
Erika resides in Northern California with her incredibly hot husband, their three amazing kids, and their chocolate Labrador named Selkie. To reach Erika regarding her books, wine recommendations, or to debate which Iron Maiden album is the best (clearly, it's Brave New World), you can find her online at erikagardner.com.
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Erika Gardner will be awarding off Amazon her book to five-six winners, one per day of the blog tour, to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway