Magyc

MEETING OF EPICNEAS

I think the word that most accurately describes the Ink Slingers Guild meeting of last week is “epicneas”.

(If epicneas wasn’t a word before, it is now.) We had four people attend for the first time!! Lisa made raspberry shortcake, and had the foresight to have the second pot of tea brewing before the first one was all gone. All four new members participated in our writing exercise and read them aloud, so they get a round of applause for that. Hopefully we’ll see them back again!

In honor of all the awesomeness, I’m going to put all the awesomeness of writing exercise here.

And the first one: I was very pleased with myself for getting all the words in one sentence – a feat Alanna also achieved  🙂

spirit, streak, horse

Hanna kicked at the ground, and shouted a few choice curses at the grey skies.
If she thought that was going to get her out of this in-between place, she was
wrong. Her spirit-horse had spooked and bolted, and the last Hanna had seen of
it was a pale streak across the sky, reminiscent of a shooting star from home.
Thinking about home just made her want to cry, so she refrained, concentrating
instead on what she knew about the incorporeal land she was crazy enough to
attempt to traverse. This was the land between here and now, and there and then.
It was foggy, cloudy in the way that forgotten memories were, and if one wasn’t
careful, one could get very lost in here. Hanna shoved that fear far out of
sight, and looked at where she had been stranded.
It was a flat place, with giant, craggy rocks jutting up like broken teeth.
Sometimes it looked almost solid, and other times it faded before her eyes. She
remained alert, ready to jump away at the first sign that the ground under her
was going, as she racked her mind for a solution. Then it came to her, on a
faraway whisper, appearing as the ghost of a house sheltered in the shadow of a
nearby rock.
Perhaps the creator of this bit of in-between would be able to get me out, Hanna
thought, starting for the house and hoping it didn’t disappear as quickly as it
had come.
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On this one there was a brief discussion on what exactly was the definition of “honeypot” – I just decided it was easiest to use the literal one, mostly because I like honey.

honeypot, dark, exquisite,

For the first hour she wondered around the house, trying not to look too closely
at the dark gathering outside, blanketing the windows and hiding everything.
That didn’t take her mind off the fact that Josh was out there, in that, and
even if he called it an exquisite hub of magical energy, it was still dangerous.
So she boiled the kettle and made a cup of tea, emptied half the honeypot into
it, and went to sit in the loungeroom, moving the chair so she couldn’t see the
window. She was only halfway done with her tea when a frantic pounding at the
door made her scream and drop her cup. It shattered on the floor, and still she
sat frozen, the beating getting more desperate. The first rule of the dark kept
going around her head: Don’t open the doors, and don’t open the windows.
But this was the first time anything had ever tried to get in. Josh was a
brilliant wizard, and the wards he set up were strong. Nothing was going to get
past them, he had assured her. But the rule stands, just in case. The knocks
slowed, as if whatever was out there was losing stamina, growing weak from
exertion, or something else. There was a heavy thud against the door as
something fell into it, and a pleading scratch continued. She took deep breaths,
trying to calm her speeding heart, when a horrible thought occurred to her.
What if that was Josh outside, demanding to be let in?
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At last, I got to put in a word – with so many people there, I thought maybe I was going to forego that honor in this meeting.

purge, lovely (my word), laser,

Flit looked down at his final school paper one last time. He was sure there was
something missing, or something extra, that was going to earn him a big, fat,
FAIL, in all uppercase letters, in blood red ink, or even actual blood, across
the top of the paper.
He tried to purge the thought, but it kept growing, morphing into something
nightmares were made of and panic threatened to overwhelm him. Calm down, Flit
told himself, and saw his hand was shaking, clenched around the paper and
crumpling the one edge. He straightened it on his desk while thinking lovely
thoughts and telling himself positive uplifting things, like just because Mrs. T
was a witch, didn’t actually mean she cooked and ate small children. She wasn’t
that bad. If nothing else, Flit’s story would look like magic epic tales when
compared to Nel the Troll’s paper, because Nel’s vocabulary was limited to a
dozen words.
Then Flit looked down again. His story was about lasers and machines and things
called combustion engines and scanning devices. Would Mrs. T accept such
fantasy? He groaned and fell forward into the desk. He was so going to flunk
out. He could feel it.

_____________________________________

Hope you enjoyed that 🙂

Look for more exciting news about The Guardians of the Path, book III Omens coming soon!

❤ DragonBeck

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The Sorcerer’s Gem

I am fast and furiously at work writing book five, but I’m going to take a little break here and give you the results of my imagination + five minutes + a few seconds more after the timer went off + these three words:

strap, shower, burn,

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The spring shower broke, and Temerin was drenched to the bone in less than five minutes. After ten minutes he gave up trying to pretend he was going to get out of this with a semblance of dignity, and sludged through the mud with long, weary steps. The slow burn of dissatisfaction tuned into resentment, turned to simmering anger. That he, the son of the king, should be wandering about in the wilderness, alone and unattended, while some upstart drove about in the prince’s carriage…
Temerin ground his teeth, and was so involved in his fantasy of revenge he almost missed it. In fact, he walked three steps past it before he stopped, sure something was out of place. He half turned, eyes gazing at the red bag hanging from a single strap out of a small tree. Temerin looked right, then left, searching for the owner of the bag, before he went to investigate.
It was very light, and at first he thought it was empty. He reached farther down, and his fingers encountered a small object. He pulled it out, his vaguely curious expression morphing into shock as he beheld what he had found.
“This ought to make my day a little more interesting,” he said aloud, admiring the black sorcerer’s gem he now held in his possession.

________________________________________

❤ DragonBeck

Shout out to the Ink Slingers Guild

I want to take moment to tell a story about how I met some of the greatest people I have ever known.

I’ve been writing for about 12 years now. I sat down and wrote my first novel, longhand, on anything from to notebook paper, to flyers, to scraps of paper I found lying around and typed it into the computer on Saturdays, when I was fourteen years old (it was called The Three Mountains and the last time I looked at it, it needed some serious editing).

I have learned as a writer, you get these three questions.

1. What do you do? (or as a young person What would you like to do when you grow up?)

Writer: I write.

2. Oh, what do you write?

Writer: Fantasy (or genre of choice here).

3. Are you published?

Writer: …

I was mortally terrified of question #3, or more accurately, of the answer, which was an unfortunate “no”. In fact, I was so terrified that when I was  a younger writer, I would never tell people that I wrote.

I had the idea that I would like to go places with my writing, but I had no plan for that. Until I received a fateful text from my brother, telling me to talk to a woman he worked with. I recently went and found the first email I sent to her, on March 28, 2011 at 9:18 PM:

“Hi Lisa,
My name is Nicole.
I got your email address from my brother, (insert name), who works with you. He told me about this inksligersguild that he overheard you – or someone else at the office, I forget exactly which – talking about.
I checked out the website that he gave me, and it sounds awesome. I am a fiction writer myself and am very interested in finding out more about it!
If you could email me back with the details of what it is all about and what I would need to do to be a part of it, that would be really great.
Thanks very much,
Nicole.”

Yes, I did refer to it as “this inkslingersguild”. Lisa still saw fit to invite me to attend a meeting, and so I went to my first ISG meeting on 13 April 2011. Thusly, I was introduced to, and  subsequently inducted into the Ink Slingers Guild.

The Ink Slingers Guild, as described on the website, “is a group of fiction writers that provide each other support, inspiration and the occasional kick in the arse.”

We are awesome.

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(And we have matching shirts).

We get together every two weeks to go over our accomplishments (or conquests, if you want the real, insider lingo), check up on each other, and and get that kick in the arse, if required. Even if someone can’t come to the meeting for some reason or another, we make sure they get the words of the writing exercises, and there’s always Skype:

ISGG

We support each other in our writerly endeavors, with feedback, beta-reading, proofreading, or providing emotional support when reading aloud in front of real, live people.

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(Like the time we went to read some Stories My Friends Started at Wordier Than Thou.)

Before the Ink Slingers, I had some talent, passion, and a secret dream. Now I have two novels published, multiple short stories in seven anthologies, and a group of awesome friends. I can honestly say joining the Ink Slingers Guild literally changed my life.

So here’s to Lisa,  Courtenay, Rhiannon, Alanna, Erika (and Dalia), Jen, and Desi:

I’d like to say you guys are magnificent, amazing, and wondrous, and I love you all!

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck

DragonBeck *Ria’s Mark* Release Party

Ria’s Mark, book two of the Guardians of the Path series, was published on 27 May 2016.

Naturally, there had to be a party to celebrate.

It was a very nice affair, and, not going to lie, much less stressful than the first one, probably because I almost knew what I was doing this time!

We had two posters this time, and pretty gold and green decorations:

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I got flowers!

Flowers 3   flowers 4

(Thank you Zhenya and Alexey, and Bonnie! I ❤ you)

And presents!

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(Truth on a magnet.)

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(A fabulous pen made the writer in me swoon.)

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(The worlds cutest dragon.)

Awesome people, friends, and fans were in attendance (with the pile of presents bestowed upon me on this occasion):

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Including a wonderful and delicious cake, made by my friend Amanda, featuring the cover of Ria’s Mark:

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Guests were encouraged to enter the raffle, featuring Guardians (Gargoyles Den Book One) by Lisa Barry, and Klauden’s Ring (Klauden’s Ring Saga Book 1) by JM Paquette, and to give story starters for Stories My Friends Started (we got so many; look for the stories coming soon!):

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There were several readings (by yours truly this time!) of some of the Stories My Friends Started which I wrote:

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More or less on time, Lisa Barry of Witching Hour Publishing gave a toast:

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Then my friend and fellow author, Erika Lance, wanted to say a few words:

Erika toast

(I’m pretty sure this picture sums up our entire relationship ❤ )

And then the author herself was encouraged to say a few words, which she did, off the cuff, and wasn’t bad. The gist of the speech was “This endeavor was a lot of fun, thank you for being here to help me celebrate, and I hope to see you for the next one!”:

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Then there was the raffle drawing (congrats to Lea and Lucy, who won), and cake, because really, what is a party without cake (with Ria’s Mark itself done on the top in strawberries):

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All in all, it was an immensely satisfying event, and everyone had a lot of fun. I would like to give a big thank you to Lisa and Court at Witching Hour for all the hard work they put into making Ria’s Mark happen – I am incredibly thankful for you guys, and literally couldn’t do it without you.

Thanks also are due to my parents and my sister, for their support, and their help setting up the party: cleaning, decorations, food, and photos.

And thank you once again to everyone who made the time to come, show interest in and support for my artistic endeavor; it would be a rather sad and pointless affair writing a book which no one read, and I truly appreciate it – you guys rock (when I’m throwing release parties in exotic places like New York, L.A., or London, you guys are getting plant tickets and VIP seats)!!

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(My favorite photo from the evening – I don’t believe I’ve been photobombed before, and with my book to boot, so that’s a first – thanks Rob.)

You can purchase your copies of the Guardians of the Path book one First Magyc and book two Ria’s Mark in ebook or print-on-demand on amazon. Enjoy, don’t forget to leave me a review, and I hope to see you down the road in the not-too-distant-future!

❤ DragonBeck

 

 

T-minus less than two days

Hello there! T-minus less than two days until the second installment of the Guardians of the Path series is available!!

Both book covers

(they look good together, don’t they??)

May 27th is just around the corner. Ria’s Mark will be released, and this author’s pre-release anxiety can cease 😉

Goodreads giveaway of First Magyc is closed. Congrats to the winners, and I hope you enjoy the book! Twitter promotion started a couple days ago – hoping for amazing results. I’ve heard my editor is half-way through book three, so I’ve got to put a fire under my bottom on the first draft of book four, amongst other writing projects, life, and the occasional dragon break-down. Planning on the release party is also being done.

All in all, everything’s going well, I’m still alive, and I’m fairly optimistic about the near future!

Peace and love,

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck

Press Release

And the big news is…(drum roll please)… the official release date for Guardians of the Path: Ria’s Mark has been announced. The book will be released on Friday 27 May 2016.

ria's mark

We have several exciting things leading up to that date (and afterwards), such as:

Pre-release (ebook only): now available on amazon.com.

Goodreads giveaway of Guardians of the Path: First Magyc (book one): giveaway will run from May 6 to May 20 and there will be 3 copies.

Release Party: TBD (but it’s going to happen!)

A big thanks to those at Witching Hour Publishing, whose help has been invaluable in getting this book out.

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck

And Then There Were Two

So, the last Ink Slingers Guild meeting was a little quiet. It was just Lisa and I.  This meant we got to talk a lot about book two of The Guardians of the Path, Ria’s Mark. We made plans for the proofing and other cool stuff, and I’m super excited.

We also listened to Pandora, and I added Royal Scotts Dragoon “Spirit of the glen” and  “Earth” from Assassins creed 2 to my list of songs I have to have, along with basically every song Hans Zimmer has every made.

And we did our exercises.  Because there was only the two of us, we chose the words a little differently. We each chose one, and picked a word from a book (I don’t remember exactly which one it was, but I think it was something by Anne Rice) by opening it to a random page, putting our finger down in a random place, until we got a word that wasn’t “the” or “a”.

bitter, surly, chalice:

The chalice was made of pure gold. Gems studded the rim and arcane symbols were etched around the cup. It sat upon a pedestal of black rock, behind iron bars. Navriel looked at it with somber eyes.

“There it is,” he told his companions, a surly dwarf named Dommur, and a blond half-elf called Beruin.

“How are we to get it out?” the dwarf said. “And which of us it to drink from it when we do?”

“I would not drink of that bitter potion for all the wealth in the lands,” Beruin said. “It is a curse.”

Navriel looked at the golden cup, sitting untouched for a thousand years. He had known all along the task would fall to him. The dwarf was too short sighted, and Beruin’s human blood made him a less than perfect vessel for the power. Navriel was an elf, and would be strong enough to contain the power. He hoped.

He took out the key the old wise man had given to him what seemed like a century ago.

“This will open any chain or lock,” Navriel said. He took a deep breath, and looked for the padlock. There was none. Around them, the rock began to tremble.

“We should hurry,” Beruin commented mildly. “It sounds like we are going to get company.”
______________________________________________
private, bloom, portal:

Navriel was calm in a detached way. The host of demons grew closer, and still the lock to the iron cage which housed the elixir did not reveal itself.

“Enough of this,” Dommur said.

He took his mighty battle ax and cleaved through the iron with a single sweep. A high ringing scream issued from the chalice, and white mist frothed around their feet. The demon howls increased to bone-jarring volume. Navriel had a private thought they were all to die this day, but he could not share this with his companions.

He reached through the gap in the iron and grasped the stem. Warmth bloomed at the touch and traveled down his arm. Soon it was too much to bear, eating his body like a living flame. Without thinking, he raised the chalice to his lips and drank.

Ice fell upon his tongue, quenching the fire in his body. He began to itch, his skin now too small for whatever power it was he had taken into himself. Beruin’s face was one of many signs something was not right. The half-elf had drawn his sword, and faced the cloud of black fangs and claws and red eyes advancing upon them.

“Now, Navriel!” he cried. “You must do it now!”

For a moment Navriel forgot what it was he was supposed to do. Then he recalled. The portal. He raise his hands, the flesh now glowing with pure white light. In front of him, between himself and the demons, the first crack on the magic tunnel to their home began to appear, creeping along. But too slowly.

The first demons reached it.

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Hope you enjoyed that, and I will keep you all updated with the progress of Ria’s Mark

May the Path keep you,

❤ DragonBeck

Magic Dances and Bottles

Yesterday the Ink Slingers got together again. We had tea and a wonderful time with many laughs, which was appreciated by all as it seemed to be “one of those weeks”.

I got almost nothing done writing-wise the last two weeks, so there went my conquests (and I started out the year with such a good streak!). I did however accomplish a few things, including reading Stephen King’s It, which had been moved to the top of my reading list by recommendation of the Committee of Recommended Books. Apart from the Dark Tower series, I don’t usually read Stephen King, because horror is not my thing. However, I found It to be within acceptable horror parameters and quite enjoyed it. I still will not be seeing the movie. There are some things I cannot be talked into.

This week, Jen brought me the Silmarillion, which was also moved to the top of my reading list for the same reason above; and she brought me The Children of Húrin, so I’m going to have a Tolkien fortnight. I have been instructed to enjoy them, an injunction I cannot slight. In that light, I structured my conquest more ambiguously this time, because I love loopholes, and also perhaps I’ll be able to say I’ve done a few more of them at the next meeting 😉

I did receive exciting news from my lovely editor: I should get the edits back on Ria’s Mark in a week or so!! So that’s coming along well. I shall keep everyone updated as to pre-orders, giveaways, and release dates as those become known.

And as always (except for that one time), we did our writing exercise to keep our minds sharp and our fingers nimble. Again, we were very productive and got four exercises in. Here are the first of mine:

dance (my word), flutter, circus.

Mirelda watched the group of young girls move through the dance. The flutters of
their hands and the kicks of their feet were awkward and uncoordinated. It
appeared as though it had been choreographed by a circus clown. Mirelda tried to
keep her growing unhappiness from showing. When the girls had finished, a
dozen fresh faced turned to her expectantly, waiting her approval. Mirelda
didn’t know what to say.
“That was, um, delightful,” she managed to get out without choking on the words.
The girls looked uncertain.
“But will it work?” a voice in the back called out, sounding very much like the
girl was on the verge of tears.
And she had every right to be. What they were doing was not to be taken lightly.
With this in mind, Mirelda was blunt with her response. Perhaps cruelly blunt,
but it could save lives.
“No,” she told them. “I do not think that will work.”
A cacophony of wails erupted, a Mirelda winced.
“That’s not going to work either,” she yelled over the noise.
The girls quieted to whimpers.
“We have to appease this demon with grace and aesthetics,” Mirelda said. “Not
that staggering and lurching you were doing before.”
“We don’t have time to put together another routine,” a girl to the left said,
her face streaked with tears.
She was perhaps fifteen years old. Mirelda knew she was right, but she could not
have them give in to despair. No ceremony would be worse than a poor one, for
the only alternative was the sacrifice. Mirelda lifted her chin and put on a
brave face.
“We must do the best we can, girls,” she said. “After all, it is the lives of
your brothers you hold in your hands.”
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bottle, paisley, giftcard,

Melly walked into the old shop and was immediately overcome with a fit of
sneezing. Cleaning up her watering eyes and running nose, Melly peering into the
dim, dusty corners of the shop. She pulled the giftcard out of her purse and
checked the address again. Yes, she was in the right place. It was an odd store,
bigger on the inside, and messier as well.
Melly walked back though the random shelves and piles of stuff, searching for
the sales attendant. The store was empty. At least that was what she thought
until she rounded the corner and ran into an old man with wild white hair and
halfway vacant eyes.
“Can I help you?” he asked, peering at her, and she thought he must have lost
his glasses.
“No, thank you,” Melly said. “I’m just looking.”
“See anything you like?” he asked as he turned back to the shelf and began
cleaning an odd vase with a rag that was dirtier than the vase.
“No, I… ” Something caught Melly’s eye.
On the next shelf, in the middle, sitting on a folded paisley something, was a
bottle. At first glance, there was nothing particularly spectacular about this
particular item, but the closer Melly looked, the harder she found it to look
away.
“What is that?” she asked, her eyes fixed on it.
The man didn’t look up from his work. “Don’t know. I just work here.”
Melly reached out to touch the bottle. There was a bright flash, and the store
disappeared.
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Hope you enjoyed that. More coming soon! (And no, I have not forgotten my promise of the previous week, that story is coming soon as well.)

Tenna’ ento lye omenta

❤ DragonBeck

DragonBeck – 2015, a review

(I love this picture; it is tied for first place in my favorite photos of the year 2015.)

When one gets to the close of a year, a certain reflection on the past year is due. This is a look at 2015 (mostly in pictures).

It had been a busy year, and I’ve learned a lot about writing, editing and publishing books. I’ve been working diligently on my writing goals, using my cover as an author to achieve total world domination. I began my own dragon hoard of dragonish stuff, including my towel for when I go hitchhiking across the galaxy, pens, jewelry, cups, and bookends. I believe in this way I will preclude forgetting my name. I started blogging, and broke 100 followers on twitter (I’m hoping I look back on that statement some months or years from now and am able to laugh at how cute and naive I was when I was a young writer).

The biggest accomplishment came earlier in the year, when I released my first novel First Magyc and had an awesome party to celebrate (with color-coordinated decoration!!):

Decorations
(This is other photo tied for first place in the Greatest-DragonBeck-photo-of-2015 contest.)

I started reading at local events hosted by Wordier Than Thou, and commiserating about the nervous butterflies which accompany same with Alanna Cormier helped get over the pre-show jitters in a marvelous fashion:

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Naturally there were many awesome ISG meetings, and yet I don’t think there could ever be enough of that particular brand of awesomeness:

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Along the way I penned a few Stories My Friends Started, which was a lot of fun.

There was the book fair:

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and my short story “Blood Oath” published in the Ink Slingers Guild’s fourth annual anthology Bent Horizons:

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All in all, 2015 was a fantastic year; thank you to everyone who was a part of it. I am really very glad you were there to share it with me.

May the coming year bring abundant love and laughter, and as many good memories, good friends, and triumphs as there are stars in the sky, and a few dragons as well (the good kind) 😉

❤ DragonBeck

DragonBeck *First Magyc* release party, part II: The Party!

Hello again 🙂

Now, to continue from part I:

…we were waiting for the guests, and they came…

…to give me sentences for the Stories my Friends Started:

SMFS participants

There were a lot of those, and I must say, my friends are quite talented with their story starters (actual stories to follow soon):

SMFS

I did a lot of book signings:

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(and a few impromptu, informal Q&A’s with fans and budding authors.)

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(I love how excited my fans get.)

Erika

(I didn’t realize I hold my head in exactly the same position each time I sign a book…)

Book signing

We were treated to a reading (by Erika Lance) of the short story “Finding Magic” by yours truly from The Death of Jimmy:

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Rapt audience

Beautiful Russian

Reading

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Everyone gathered for cake and a toast in my honor *blushes*…

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…with amazing dragonish punch:

Drinks

Hey, look at that! We were actually on schedule for once. (My beautiful mom is doing the cake honors).

Cake and beautiful mother

Party 2

First to speak was fellow author, friend, and publisher Lisa Barry, who gave a lovely toast about her first client (that would be me, by the way) and how amazing said client was. It made me feel very special:

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Then friend and fellow author Erika Lance (you’ve probably heard of her, she’s kind of a big deal) complimented me some more.

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(whereupon I got rather embarrassed)

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Then, in order to make sure my ego swelled to appropriate proportions, another friend, author and all around cool person, JM Paquette gave her favorite memory of me (it involved the decision that the reason we were stuck in traffic, crawling along in first gear, for over an hour, was that a dragon had crashed into the causeway and was holding things up). I ❤ her.

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And of course, the author was informed that she was obligated to say a few words. The words were something like “This is awesome. I’m very happy and I’m glad that you are all here to share it with me!” I thought it was a pretty good speech, considering it was on the fly and off the cuff, and I don’t usually speak in front of groups of people.

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A little bit later, we did the raffle drawing to find out which lucky three would win the signed ISG anthologies:

Raffle drawing 2

(Hello there!)

Raffle drawing

Here are the prizes with the names of their recipients elegantly written on post-it notes:

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To top it all off, I was given these wonderful flowers by my friends, Tesia and Aspasia Loehwing. I felt like I was winning an award or something. It was lovely, almost as lovely as the flowers themselves:

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All in all, it was a brilliant,  amazing, unbelievable evening. And now you’ve shared it with me via these photographs! I hope you enjoyed yourself 🙂

I’d like to thank everyone who came to the party; a very, very big thanks go to my mom, dad and sister for all their help, to Lisa, Erika and Jen for the toasts, and to Erika for reading for me. Also to Lisa, mom and Ayla for the photographs. I couldn’t have pulled this off without them. I ❤ all of you!

If you haven’t already gotten my book, and would like to purchase a copy, it’s available here on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Bring it by and I will be more than happy to sign it for you 🙂

I am very much looking forward to the next one and the journey onwards and upwards. Until next time, Peace and love.

Rock on!

❤ DragonBeck

Dragon

[Say hello to my little friend 😉 ]