Guardians of the Path

Meet The Authors

Hello everyone – happy Friday!

The Ink Slingers Guild are officially at Tampa Bay Megacon this weekend – we have a table in Artist Alley, and lots of fantastic books for you!!!

Let’s take a moment to get acquainted, shall we?

Lisa Barry:

“Writing and reading every minute she can, Lisa counts on her cats to keep her keyboard warm and on the countless gargoyles who stand guard throughout her house to ensure the safety of all those who enter with good intent. The gargoyles, even more importantly, listen carefully when Lisa reads to them aloud.

On a person note…besides having a deep admiration of gargoyles (who says they’re not real?), I love to read and write.  I collect gargoyles, I love music and can be heard driving up before I am seen, I’m a very picky eater (just ask my friends -eyes rolling-), I enjoy fishing and will catch them, clean them, cook them but won’t eat them or anything else out of the ocean.  I also believe in many fairy tale creatures, just haven’t knowingly met any yet.”

And she has a really cool tattoo.

  and coming soon…

Dalia Lance:

Dalia says “I have had a very interesting upbringing starting with growing up in Hollywood, CA. Never shy, I learned that if you are not willing to try something new you may let life simply pass you by. I love meeting people from all walks of life and these experiences inspire me on a daily basis. As a true friend once pointed out “You are never a complete waste, you can always be used as a bad example”. So what’s the worst that can happen?”


J. M. Pacquete:

JM Paquette writes cheesy vampire romance novels filled with action, adventure, intrigue, and sometimes slightly steamy sex scenes. She enjoys alliteration and puns of all kinds.


Alanna J. Rubin:

Miss Rubin says “I’m originally from Massachusetts. As a northerner, I never missed an opportunity to pick apples, carve pumpkins, or visit Salem to see the witches and haunted happenings. Now that I’m in Florida, not a day goes by when I don’t miss the changing colors of leaves, but I would never go back to having to shovel snow. As a fan of science fiction, paranormal, and romance…I find that individually they are fun,  however, I love them more when they’re mashed together. Often, when I am not writing my next adventure you’ll find me torn between watching a Jane Austen adaptation or hopping on the Tardis for an adventure in time and space.”


And yours truly, Nicole Dragonbeck:

I was born on the first day of a year-long eclipse of the sun, the thirteenth child of the Prince of Elves and an enchantress. As a small child I fell into a poisoned well and was horribly transformed by the toxic sludge seething in the deep darkness. I was fished out by a band of gypsies, who promised to feed and clothe me if I cooked and cleaned for them. They taught me to ride bareback and read palms, but I royally pissed off the leader by setting his wagon on fire and he cursed me with a great imagination and an equally great inability to tell the truth…and the rest is history.


I hope to see you at Megacon this weekend and get the chance to meet you in person!

❤ DragonBeck (and friends)





Guardians of the Path: Book IV The Other World – Available Now

I am very happy to announce that Guardians of the Path Book IV The Other World is now available for purchase!

Haunted by Riddles and Dreams

Here: In Demona, the Guardians go to the Dale, a place of old magyc locked away in the past, hoping to find the Man of Tongues, a sorcerer of myth who they believe may have the power to send them across worlds. They get more than they bargain for, learn more than they ask for, and in the end, they must make a terrible choice: Aethsiths, or Ria?

There: In the Other World, Maria Westerfield’s past comes back to haunt her when one of her friends is murdered and a mysterious symbol she never thought she’d see again appears written in his blood. The Girl Who Came Back must figure out what to do before everyone she loves is destroyed by the things she thought only existed in dreams.

Everywhere: All those who wield magyc are drawn together to battle Demons, Wardens, and their own dark secrets to keep the Placer of Pieces and his Men in White from extinguishing the light of life called the Path. Assassins, Witches, princesses, Makers of Marks and even Death Himself all attempt to divert the fate of this world, but everything hangs on the choice of one girl in…

…The Other World.

I cordially invite you to step through the door and continue the adventure in the other world! And I’d appreciate it greatly if you’d take a few moments to please leave me a review and let me know what you think!

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck



So Much News…

Having gone radio dark for a month (all in the name of science), here are the updates I promised regarding the world of the Guardians of the Path and other fantastic realms:

I spent a couple weeks going over Book 1, First Magyc, and I am happy to announce that the second edition is now available on Amazon. I cleaned it up a bit, tightened things here and there, and stretched them out in other places. I added a bit to the epilogue, which I enjoyed and I hope you do to. I recently read The Last Gunslinger (Dark Tower, book I) and if Steven King can do a second edition of book one (right around the time the fourth book of that series was being released, if memory serves), I feel that gives me licence to do the same.

Book 4, The Other World, is up for presale (that announcement has been burning a hole in my pocket, but in the name of science, I couldn’t break my month-long abstinence).

I drew yet another map. It is a marvelous map that shows the rest of the Guardians of the Path series on one (rather large) sheet of paper. I did it in pretty colors, and right now it exists in three places: on my computer, on my wall, and on the phone of the person who was kind enough to help me transport the map into the digital realm (Though I’ve thought about asking them to delete it, I have no hope of getting them to do so – I have a sneaking suspicion they would just give me a look and whisper “it’s in the cloud”). I am not sure if I will release this map, or put it in a book. Perhaps in the tenth book. In any event, I am very proud of it, and it helped me get my thoughts in order for the next six books, and I hope, make the writing smooth and steady.

On that note, book 5 Wasteland, is coming along. The first draft is well begun (which, contrary to Aristotle, is not quite the same as half done, at least when talking about a novel). The tale becomes somewhat more complex during book 4, so I am hoping that book 5 will be released mid next year.

I have also been reading the Pendragon series (also ten books). It is an amazing story, and I am about halfway through – I’ve procured the last five books from the library, and trying not to devour them in place of sleep.

The Ink Slingers Guild has been busy as usual – we have three anthologies coming out between now and sometime in the near future – Super Useless, wherein superpowers that aren’t exactly super are discussed in chunks of 2,500 words or less, and The Purge of Jimmy, which is the sequel to The Death of Jimmy (available on Amazon Kindle for just 99¢), wherein more Jimmys (or is that Jimmies?) die and at least one loose end is tied up, and finally (the big one): the annual ISG anthology, my contribution to which is called “The Writer’s Trial” – a fun little piece about writers, devils, and talking cats that I wrote several years ago, and by several years, I mean over a decade. It shall see the light of day towards the end of the year.

Several other members of ISG are getting ready to publish novels, most imminently Alanna J. Rubin with Second Chances (a fun sci-fi, Jane Austen romance adventure mash-up), J. M. Paquette with her second novel Solyn’s Body (sequel to Klauden’s Ring)and Lisa Barry, with her second novel in the Gargoyles Den series, titled Rogue.

Our fantastic writing group will be making an appearance at MegaCon in Tampa Bay at the end of this month. Come find us in Artists’ Alley – we’re very friendly and entertaining, and more than happy to sign books, answer all manner of questions, and pose for pictures. I will be there on Sunday the 1st of October, most likely wearing a dragon shirt, or a Supernatural shirt.

Whew! That is a lot of activity. I’ll need another break after all that. Just kidding, a writer never gets a break. No rest for the wicked!

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck


The last ISG meeting was quite productive of dastardly schemes to rule the universe, including (but not limited to) an audio book of Guardians of the Path: First Magyc, promotional activities and world-building. More details will follow when they have security clearance.

We only managed to do two writing exercises, so I’ll try to have some other fun stuff for you between now and the next meeting to make up for it.

Snow, glow, tenure

“You can’t kick me out. I have tenure!” the short man in the grey suit shouted
as he jumped up and down, still not managing to come any higher than the elbows
of the four burly men in uniforms, standing with impassive faces as the short
man ranted.
An elderly gentleman also watched, stroking his long beard, which seemed to
glow with a silver light. Eventually he held up a hand. “Now, now, my dear
Gindel, must you make your parting so dramatic?” The little man called Gindel
stopped and shot a glare up at him.
“Don’t you dear Gindel me,” he said. “Where’s your loyalty? What about all the
time we spent building all this together?”
“True,” the other said with a sad smile. “But you seem to forget that it still
needs care and attention.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Gindle demanded with a suspicious look. “It
means you never come out of here. You just tinker and meddle, you don’t even
know what effects you create with your activities.”
“I do too!” Gindle countered.
“Did you know there was snow last August?” the elder man said calmly. “Or that
the Tuesday before all the fires in the kitchen suddenly exploded and demolished
that wing of the building to rubble? Don’t shake your head at me Gindle, you
know your experiments can have far reaching effects.”
“No,” Gindle was still shaking his head. “Listen, Tobble, I was visiting my
mother in the city last Tuesday. I wasn’t even here!”

❤ DragonBeck

You can’t die twice

And the final exercise! Warning: ends on a cliff-hanger…#sorrynotsorry

whisper (also my word), forgetful, moist

The thought stopped Jedrin cold. Now he was going to have to rethink his entire
plan from a whole new perspective, wondering if his steps had been predicted and
planned on, or not. He spent several moments going over this, before he
remembered to stop himself. The witch had told him that death was forgetful, and
if he wanted to make sure his plan came to fruition, it was crucial that the
other man’s face remain clear in his mind.
Jedrin was just going to have to carry on with the plan, but he was going to be
more cautious. Cautious and intelligent, we’ll make a good pair, the other’s
voice whispered to him, and Jedrin smiled a savage smile. When he emerged fully
into the Overworld, into the moist air just after a storm, it became easier to
move. He floated, almost flew, and it was easy to find the other, as he had kept
the jewel with him, as Jedrin had known he would.
Jedrin watched the other man for a long time, savoring the imminent revenge, and
was surprised that when he tried to move forward, some invisible force held him
in place. He struggled, and it was that which drew the attention of the other
man, who came over and smiled the same cold smile he had when Jedrin died.
“I wondered when you were going to be turning up again,” he said, his voice very
Jedrin remained calm despite this small twist. He had a great advantage over the
other man – one couldn’t die twice.
“Are you very sure about that?” the man said, his eyes gleaming.


On a slightly different note, I hope to have news regarding book four of the Guardians of the Path series very soon! The line edits are coming along, and I am working on a little project to get First Magyc ready to become an audio book – wish me luck!

❤ DragonBeck

Update on Book IV: The Other World

I’m please to be able to report that line edits have commenced on book four, moving it along to that happy happy day where I get to share it with the world.

The tale grows ever more epic:

Here: In Demona, the Guardians go to the Dale, a place of old magyc locked away in past, in hopes of finding the Man of Tongues, a sorcerer of myth who they believe may have the power to send them across worlds. They get more than they bargain for, learn more than they asked for, and in the end, they must make a terrible choice: Aethsiths, or Ria?

There: in the Other World, Maria Westerfield’s past comes back to haunt her when one of her friends is murdered and a mysterious symbol she never thought she’d see again appears written in his blood. The Girl Who Came Back must figure out what to do before everyone she loves is destroyed by the things she thought only existed in dreams.

Everywhere: all those who wield magyc are drawn together to battle Demons, Wardens, and their own dark secrets to keep the Placer of Pieces and his Men in White from extinguishing the light of life called the Path. Assassins, Witches, princesses, Makers of Marks and even Death Himself all attempt to divert the fate of this world, but everything hangs on the choice of one girl in…

…The Other World

I’ll probably be handing out treats like giveaways and sneak peaks, so be on the look out for those!

Until then,

May the Path keep you!

❤ DragonBeck


The last Ink Slingers Guild meeting was quite productive of greatness, of various kinds, which shall all be revealed in time. Book 4 of the Guardians of the Path series is being line-edited, so soon, soon, my pretties *sinister, Overlord cackle*.

Here’s a nice little piece of flash fiction for you to enjoy in the meantime. 🙂

sky, whip, banana,

He stood on the ramparts, watching the sky fall, great big chunks of blue and
black crashing down into the hills surrounding the fortress. The peasants
screamed and fled, but there was nothing they could do, really. Gordon looked
up, the spiderweb cracks spreading, streaking out like a whip, coming closer and
To the south, another vortex had opened up, obliterating the fabric of that part
of the world. The ground churned and heaved as the heavens rained down. Gordon,
in the eye of the storm, could only watch helplessly as whatever he’d set in
motion proceeded to destroy the world. “What on earth did you do, boy?” a
waspish voice called up.
Gordon turned to see the wild, white hair of Merlin floating just below the lip
of stone on the walkway. He hurried over, and saw the aged wizard clinging to
the ladder, fierce eyes staring at the havoc around them with not fear, but
“What did you do?” he repeated.
“I don’t know,” Gordon said, wringing his hands. “I did everything that the
book said. “Obviously you didn’t, or else this wouldn’t be happening. Let me
see.” The wizard stuck his hand up, requesting the spell.
Gordon handed over the piece of parchment, and waited, both hoping he had done
everything right and that the wizard found something to correct whatever had
“Banana!” Merlin cried.
“The word is supposed to be ‘banana’, you dolt!”
Gordon looked to where Merlin pointed his long, knobbly finger. Written in
Gordon’s precise, block hand, was the word “bandanna”.

❤ DragonBeck

And More Doors

Hello there. I have not been very attentive these last few weeks, but I have a good excuse and a longer post to make up for it. I have been very busy with the mundane functions of this world, and then I got sucked into a black hole of rearranging my furniture, and after than it was all kind of hazy. Nonetheless, I am here for you now, to serve and entertain, as is my duty and calling.

The last Ink Slingers Meeting seems like another lifetime ago. I vaguely recalling bringing cookies – chocolate chip white chocolate chip toffee walnut delectables – and according to one who doesn’t eat cookies, these were the most tempting goodies I have brought, to entice one to deviate to the dark side. They were delicious, if I do say so myself.

Erika made us tweet (all in the spirit of love, friendship, and shameless self promotion):

It was a smaller meeting, quiet, but no less fun or productive. I am going to be a beta reader (super excited about this) and I hope I prove worthy of the task.

Moving forward, to last weekend:

…and rewrites are a go! The cover will of course feature a door (hence the title of this post) and I feel as though my life is a parade of magical doors as I search for the perfect one. If any of you have a particularly spectacular picture of a particularly spectacular door, and you wouldn’t mind letting me use it, go ahead and send it my way!

And finally, as a reward for reading all the way to the bottom, here’s the first writing exercise, with (you guessed it)…more doors!

Generate, stasis, tinkle,

The three figures grouped around the towering flames clasped hands tightly to
contain the ribbons of magical energy. Three worried faces were bathed in blue
and purple light, jaws clenched, eyes fierce. Each of them had the same thought:
if the spell did not generate enough power to open the gate, they would be stuck
forever in this world. Bastion felt sweat tickle down his face, and he clenched
the others hands tighter, fighting the urge to pull his hand away and wipe his
brow. He wanted to call out to his friends, but the roaring in his ears – or
perhaps it was his own head – made that pointless. He was just going to have to
trust that everyone was doing their part and everything was going as it should.
Suddenly, a quiet descended, a stasis in which all was frozen, everything still.
Bastion’s eyes widened despite the fiercely glowing fire, and with a creak and a
whoosh, the world imploded. A black star grew in the fire, wild gusts of wind
pushing them towards the darkness. From far away, the tinkle of bells called to
them, and pushing away his fear, Bastion leapt into the opening door.

❤ and hugs, DragonBeck

Warmup to the Great Doom – 2nd Writing Exercise

On this last day of February (that’s 1/6 of the year gone already!) I give you the second ISG writing exercise.

I like this one for a number of reasons. First, I managed to get a dragon in there! Second, I managed to get “xenophobia” in as well – one of my favorite words. Third, the title amuses me 🙂

As a grammar note courtesy of Jen: as “warmup” is being used as a noun, it’s one word. When it’s used as an adjective, there’s a hyphen, and it becomes “warm-up”.


Gargoyle, warmup (my word), doom,

“This is just a warmup to the great doom the overlord will unleash on the
Gredden tuned out the droning words and looked around at the gathered creatures.
They had come from all corners of the known world, unicorns and centaurs from
the south, gargoyles and goblins from the north, elves from the west, dwarves
and trolls from the east. Gredden was the only representative for men, and every
time he glanced at his fellow representatives he felt more and more inadequate
and useless.
“We must unify to protect ourselves,” the old centaur continued in his booming
baritone, the silver beard falling to his navel, his front hoof punctuating his
words. Grumbles greeted his last statement, as the proud races immediately threw
up figurative walls of distrust and xenophobia. It took a long time for the
centaur to restore order and a measure of quiet for him to continue speaking,
but as he opened his mouth, a shadow fell over the gathering.
Gredden looked up along with all assembled to behold the awesome and terrifying
sight of the gleaming scaled form of a red dragon coming in for a landing.

One final word – I should be getting book four of Guardians of the Path back from my editor any day now, so I’m really looking forward to that! I’ll keep you updated on how that’s going, when it will be released, and maybe have a sneak peek or two for you!

❤ DragonBeck

Jimmy appears again…

Greetings world! I feel much more like my usual self after attending the Ink Slingers Guild meeting in the flesh on Wednesday! Lisa tempted me to the dark side with her spaghetti and garlic bread (delicious!) and my chocolate chip cookies went down well 🙂

Also, I heard rumors of the fourth book of Guardians of the Path, so stay tuned for confirmation of those rumors.

Here are the first two writing exercises. I dedicate these to Erika, for obvious reason. My word also came from the shirt she was wearing, so it’s fitting in more ways than one. Enjoy another death of Jimmy!


lap, oil, token,

Jimmy paid his token, and waited nervously for the hooded figure to examine it,
then wave him onto the boat. Jimmy gave a nod of thanks to the imposing figure,
though he didn’t know if it could see him from under the rotting black hood.
The boat wobbled when Jimmy stepped onto it, and for a moment he teetered,
afraid he was going to fall into the dark, oily water lapping the sides, but
someone grabbed his arm and pulled him to safety. Jimmy breathed a sigh of
relief, and looked to see who had rescued him.
It was a young woman, cradling a baby in her lap. She smiled at him, and Jimmy
swallowed a scream of fright, because that would’ve been impolite. Her flesh was
grey and rotting, and most of her teeth were gone. Scabs and running sores that
had yet to scab mottled what little of her skin remained. The baby was much the
Jimmy swallowed, smiled back, and thanked the gods that the seats beside her
were taken. On one side was a man with a stump of a neck still weeping blood,
his head held carefully under his arm. On the other was a man blue and bloated,
a tendril of seaweed hanging out of his nose. The drowned man nodded to Jimmy as
he walked by, and Jimmy averted his eyes.
He tried not to look at anyone directly, so he wouldn’t have to smile or say
anything. He found a seat at the back of the boat, and sat, adjusting himself so
the spear in his side didn’t twist further in.
goat (my word), gondola, max,

Jimmy stared at his knees, not really thinking of anything. The last thing he
remembered wasn’t too pleasant, so when the hazy pictures of battle popped into
his head, he tried to bury them under other things. I wonder if this is what a
gondola ride would be like, he mused. Death’s barge was nothing like an Italian
pleasure ride, but it helped take his mind off battles and screaming men.
He barely noticed when the boat drifted to a stop, or the thudding footsteps
coming his way, but when someone sat down next to him, he definitely noticed the
spear tear through what was left of his stomach and poke his liver.
“Sorry,” a high-pitched voice said. “Sorry. I’m – I’m just going to sit here.”
Jimmy looked up. It was a young boy. Several of his limbs looked like they were
broken, in multiple places. His neck was also slightly skew. He looked lost,
alone, and terrified. Jimmy took pity on him.
“Hi. What’s your name?”
“I’m Max,” the boy said, and wiped his nose with the back of his hand. “How much
Jimmy looked around, then wished he hadn’t. “I’m not sure,” he
said in a kind voice. “The boats pretty full, so I don’t think it should be too
much further.” The boy started to cry, and Jimmy patted him awkwardly on the
shoulder, then stopped when the boy winced.
“I was chasing the stupid goat,” Max explained when he saw Jimmy look down at
the cuts and bruises on his arm. “I didn’t see the cliff.”


And on that not, you can look forward to The Purge of Jimmy – the sequel to The Death of Jimmy – later this year, brought to you by the Ink Slingers Guild.

Until next time,

❤ DragonBeck