Today I’m interviewing debut romance author, Nancy Lee Badger. Her book, DRAGON’S CURSE, is a Scottish historical paranormal romance and was released on June 25, 2010.
Sometimes a special gift and an unwanted curse cannot keep destined lovers apart.
Brianna Macleod has accompanied a shipload of her guardian’s friends to a remote island off the coast of Scotland. She eludes these Highland hunters to keep her innocence…and her gift of sight. Her attitude against falling for womanly desires changes when she nearly drowns. Saved by the talons of a terrifying winged beast, she awakens—naked—in a cave, beside an unusual man.
Cursed by a vengeful witch to transform into a dragon at inopportune times, Draco MacDonald hides on this deserted island to live alone: until he plucks a servant girl from certain death. Fueled by jealousy, and tempered by fear for her safety, he succumbs to an unfamiliar desire to mate. Her kisses propel him to dare to make her his own.
Set in 1592 Scotland on the Scottish island of Staffa, the cursed hero battles a ghostly witch, a hunter set on rape, and his own growing desire for a young woman with premonitions of his death.
“I nearly drowned. A sea beast wanted to eat me for supper, now a dragon has stolen me away to this island. What else could happen?” Out of breath, she glanced back at her attacker from the relative safety of jutting rocks and prickly groundcover. Nothing. No dragon.
Silence filled the air until a high-pitched squeal made her jump. A huge boar, bigger than any the hunters had brought down during their stay on Staffa, pawed the ground a few paces from her hiding spot.
“Nice piggy,” Brianna whispered.
Great. I can turn and run back toward the dragon or be gored by an irate pig.
Who said that? No matter. Turning, Brianna slipped a bare foot into a low crack in the nearest rock formation. Pushing upward, she climbed. Apparently enraged by her escape attempt, the animal’s squeals turned to angry snorts. The rock shook when he collided head-on with its base.
“Go ahead. Knock yourself silly.” The boar backed up and struck again. The boar’s irrational mood and raw strength left Brianna’s bloody fingers grasping for a better hold, but she held. She nearly lost her footing when he attacked a third time. Clinging to loosened soil, which covered the jagged boulder, she also worried about the dragon. Has it let me go, or does it plan to scoop me from my perch once I reach the top?
Shocked senseless, her grip loosened. She fell. The scrawny branches of a gorse bush, growing from a crack in one side of her stone perch, scratched her cheek and snatched at her hair. She screamed until she stopped with a thud.
A warm, male hand swept tangles from her face. The coarse skin of a masculine thumb swept blood from her painful cheek as she collapsed, with a sigh, into Draco’s chest.
“Ye do no’ fly. Do ye?” he asked.
“I certainly do no’, ye beast. Draco!” She pushed far enough away to stare up from his arms. “Be careful! A wild boar is near! He almost pushed me off my perch.”
“I should no’ wonder since I accomplished the task with only my voice.”
Stiffening with shock, she knocked him aside the head and squirmed until he stood her on her feet. Backing away from his taunts, she took a minute to straighten the creases on her frock. She sighed again at the damp, salt-encrusted clothing. They would never look clean again.
“I am happy to see ye. I thought ye left me,” he whispered.
He sounded hurt. Did he stand in her presence only to berate her for leaving with her adopted clan? Was the man unaware of the mortal threat she escaped only moments ago?
“Ye have no idea what I have gone through in the last three hours.” Her cries were a statement, not a question so she did not pause to let him explain. She poked him in the chest.
“First, I nearly drowned in a hellish storm. Secondly, a finned sea creature threatened Nia and I. Thirdly, a dragon plucked me from the sea. I escaped. Fourthly, there is a killer boar nearby, and ye say ye are happy to see me. I, sir, stand before ye lucky to be alive!”
Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
I pumped a lot of action, drama, romance, and paranormal elements into my novella. Read the blurb and the excerpt and you get a good idea of the interaction between my characters. Poor Draco was cursed for something he did not do. Brianna has a gift she must keep secret. Neither expects their lives to improve. I love that my characters grow and learn to love even in the face of diversity. I based my story on the real island of Staffa, off the west coast of Scotland, near Mull. Its sheer cliffs and large dark caves were an inspiration.
Describe the genre of this particular title, and is this the only genre you write in?
This is a paranormal but is steeped in history. I use a real place and refer to a real massacre on the nearby island of Eigg to bring substance to my characters and build a reason why Draco was cursed by the witch, Agatah. I love everything Scottish, since my husband is of Scottish descent. I also write contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Nancy Lennea. Find out more about that side of my life at www.nancylennea.com.
Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?
PLEASE do not try to do this alone. Writing in itself is a lonely vocation. I wish I felt comfortable meeting someone at a coffee shop with my laptop and working side by side. The best I can do is continuing as an active member of writers organizations. Sure, they cost of few dollars, but this business is constantly evolving and new authors, especially, need to learn and grow. If you asked me 3 ½ years ago if I expected to be published electronically, I would have laughed. But, e-publishing has grown exponentially with the widespread sales of e-readers like the Kindle, nook, and IPad.
Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
As I just mentioned, I believe strongly that membership in writer organizations is critical. Workshops, contests, on-line courses, face-to-face meetings, joint book signings, and sharing guest articles on blogs…these are all made possible once you belong. I currently belong to Romance Writers of America, www.rwa.org, and my local chapter, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, www.heartofcarolina.org. We meet monthly about eight miles from my home. I am a member of Celtic Heart Romance Writers, www.celtichearts.org, where I can communicate with and learn from other authors who love to write about Scotland, Ireland, or Wales. When my story idea included dragons, I joined the Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, www.romance-ffp.com. Because I love mysteries and recently sold a romantic suspense, I joined Sisters in Crime, www.sistersincrime.org.
What are you working on next?
I am busy re-editing a full-length Scottish historical paranormal set in the Highlands of Scotland in 1598 and present day New Hampshire. My hero is a Highland chief, and my heroine is a new witch volunteering at a present day Scottish festival who finds herself accidently propelled back in time. I would love to find an agent excited to sell my work, and the subsequent stories to follow. I just started a present day paranormal set at an art museum. I continue to take writing courses, attend workshops, and write.
How can my readers buy your book?
My novella, DRAGON’S CURSE, is available now! The best way to order the e-book is to visit my publisher, Whispers Publishing. My website and blogs will always carry a link as well as other excerpts and updates on future work.
You can find more information about Nancy Lee Badger and her book, DRAGON’S CURSE by visiting her publisher Whispers Publishing, or her website, or her blog.