Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Betsy Bennett: A Dragon's Tea

A Hearty welcome back to Betsy J. Bennett.

Today, Betsy introduces readers to a new series called Dragon's Roost.

First, a little back story. Dragon's Roost is a B&B. Not just any B&B, but one with secrets! Run by Jan Pikorski, readers are about to meet a wonderful cast of characters, the heroes of which are totally hunky!

In the first book, A Dragon's Tea, we meet Lori Lawrick, Jan's niece. Lori needs some time away and decides to visit her aunt and stay in her lovely B&B. Lori is about to be catapulted into a whole new world the minute she drives into Au Sable in upstate New York. For all intents and purposes, Au Sable looks closed. Lori doesn't have the right address for the B&B, but she's sure if she can find someone . . . anyone . . . they'll surely know where her aunt lives and can give her directions.

As luck would have it, she's spotted a shop with people in it and goes in.

Known only as Byron, this man lives between worlds. He's no mere mortal, but a dragon shifter! And he lives in a cave at the top of the Dragon's Roost B&B. He's also in charge of the dragon tea, which is only served on special occasions.

The sparks between Lori and Byron are not quite instant. At least, not until Lori is given a ring made from dragon's gold! The moment she slips it on, her future begins to unfold.

This is a wonderful start to the Dragon's Roost series, which currently has two more books scheduled for release (A Gargoyle's Vow, August, and A Wizard's Spell, late fall) this year.

Lori and Byron are likable characters in a story filled with emotion and adventure. Anyone who likes paranormal romance, fantasy romance, or great shifter romance tales, is sure to love A Dragon's Tea.

And what exactly is dragon tea, you may ask? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out ;-)

As always, there's a free book on offer today. All you need to do is comment with your email address to put your name into the draw for an ebook copy of A Dragon's Tea.

And on special offer from Tirgearr Publishing, Betsy's previous book, The Frog Kiss, is available through April for just 99c at Kindle!

• • •

Nothing made sense

To hide from her ex-boyfriend Lori Lawrick runs to her Aunt Jan. Jan runs a bed and breakfast, and Lori decides that might be what she needs to put her life back in order. She will help her Aunt cook and plant vegetables while she decides what to do with her life.

He said he was born to make tea
At her Aunt’s B&B, Lori meets Byron, a handsome jeweler who creates incredible works of art in gold and precious stones, but he says it is his duty to make tea. While the tea served in a fancy dragon-shaped teapot is excellent, it is not what she would consider putting him to his best use. She dreams of him, and when he kisses her, she wants to chop into a tree the statement “It happened here” explaining the magnitude of the effect the kiss had on her.

The B&B stands at a nexus of several different worlds
Lori comes to realize nothing is what it seems at the B&B. There is a witch who threatens Byron’s life when she asks for tea. Plants grow overnight when watered by the tea, and then there is Byron himself who infuriates her and at the same time makes her pulse throb who is never around when the tea is served. When Lori discovers a real dragon who terrifies her, she must find the strength to save Byron, the B&B and maybe the entire planet from evil sneaking in from a portal from another world.

“I don’t know that much about precious stones,” Lori hedged. She had never been greedy, never known desire for gold as she felt now. She wondered if it were a flaw within her, or if somehow the jewels themselves were possessed and had inexplicably become addictive.

“The wealthy come from all around the world to shop here. They stay for a while, skiing in the winter, enjoying the leaves in the fall, but what draws them are the jewels. He—” with a notch of his head toward the shopkeeper, “doesn’t part with many, that’s a fact, and sells them dear, but once you’ve worn dragon’s gold, it spoils you for anything else.”

The old man pointed to a diamond solitaire ring with a matching gold band, a wedding set. “It’s said that a marriage sealed with dragon’s gold will never dissolve, not through all eternity.”

Lori dragged her eyes from the gems, looked over at the older man and noticed a visible trace of melancholy about his eyes, as if he had loved not well and still grieved over its loss. He looked like he needed a good cry, and perhaps a houseful of grandkids to remind him that life was worth living.

“I’ve never heard of dragon’s gold. Is it a new way of refining the metal?”

“That’s what it is, lass. Brew sells them, significant in and of itself. No other dragon has ever relinquished jewels, and believe me, I’ve studied them all. He uses what he earns to help those in need. It takes money to do that.”

“I’m sure it does.”

He laughed, as if she had supplied the punchline to a joke he had been setting up, but before he could offer an explanation, the shopkeeper appeared at her side.

“My Lord,” he said, speaking to the older man, but his tone was somehow less respectful than the words should have demanded. He kept his gaze locked on her and there was no friendliness in his eyes.

“Byron,” Arthur bowed his head in what honestly looked like subservience. “I am showing your lady—“

Byron snarled, a sound a pit bull probably taught him, coming from low in his throat she felt as well as heard. Without knowing anything else about him, she knew then that he was capable of great violence.

“I’m not anyone’s Lady,” Lori insisted, feeling threatened, not by the Lord, whatever that term meant in this day and age, but by Byron the growling shopkeeper. She gently extracted her fingers from the stranger’s grasp. For he was old, his fingers callused, but his grip had been warm. “I just need some directions. I’m relatively certain I’m hopelessly lost. I’ve spoken to the car, but if it knows, it’s keeping information from me.”

“Cars have a habit of doing that,” the younger man said, and if he were mocking her, she could not tell by word inflection alone. “I am Byron, but I suspect you already know that.”

“Why would you think that?”

He kept his face emotionless. “Call it more than a hunch.”

Finding him rude in the extreme, Lori turned back to the older man. “I’m very sorry to bother you. The car came with a GPS. I mean it’s a rental, so of course it did, but I’ve forgotten the exact address. I know I’m in the right area, but I’ve got to narrow it down a bit.”

“I’ve lived here quite a long time, so if your friend can be found, I’ll find him for you.”

“Oh, it’s my Aunt. Jan Pikorski.”

The older man laughed, and Byron snorted, an action clearly fueled by distrust. She had no idea why he had taken such a complete and utter dislike to her.

“Ahh, You’re interested in getting invited into the Dragon’s Roost Bed and Breakfast?”

“If that’s where she lives.”

“It is.”

“My name is Arthur,” the gray haired man said, “and I am a great fan of your aunt’s. When you see her, please state that I asked after her health.”

“I’m sure you could do so yourself,” she said.

Arthur shook his head and looked regretful. “Before I go,” the older man said, “I’d like to test out a theory, if you’ll indulge me for a moment.”

“My Lord,” Byron said, his snarl clearly a dismissal the old man did not heed.

“Please hold out your hand, no, not your right, your left.”

She wore no ring, for more often than not, she found herself leaving jewelry in odd places during fieldwork, and discovered it easier to keep her fingers unadorned. Arthur dipped his fingers into the treasure trove in the front window and brought them back, holding the wedding set she’d drooled over. Before she could respond, he slipped the two-ring set over her third finger.

Byron stepped back, as if he had been shocked into a heart attack, and Lori knew exactly what he was experiencing. When Arthur slipped the gold on her, visions flashed across her mind, a thousand images passing so quickly that she didn’t catch a fraction of them, but in each one she and Byron, this stranger she had only met ten minutes before, stood together in spring, summer, fall, winter. Sometimes she was pregnant, sometimes there was a dark eyed child with her. She had visions of running along the shore, hand in hand with him. Lying beside a roaring fire, their feet entwined, both wearing only smiles and a fine sweat. Walking under a sky with so many stars that God must have imported a couple hundred just for them. And always love, passion, and yes, eternity.


• • •

Betsy J. Bennett lives in Michigan with her husband, two adult daughters, three obnoxious cats and an English bulldog. She has five grandchildren. She collects dragons, creche's and Santas. She has always believed in Christmas and in Santa, and although she has yet to meet the real Santa, she has hope that with the publication of this book he'll seek her out. She is currently at work on her next novel.

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14 comments:

  1. Welcome back, Betsy, and congratulations on the release of your newest book, A Dragon's Tea. This is a wonderful start to a great new series, Dragon's Roost. You're crossing so many genres here, no doubt you'll please many readers.

    Tell us where you got the idea for this story. It's such a unique plot.

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  2. I love traveling upstate New York, the mountains, the small villages, the candy stores. Every time I'm there I think the woods are crowded with elves. I thought this would be a perfect place to have a B&B. It only needed a dragon to defend it, and of course a love interest to keep the dragon close. After that, plotting was easy.

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    1. I spent a week in Chautauqua years ago and loved it. We traveled all around the lake to the small towns and some private farms. Loved it.If not for the humidity, I could probably live there. OK, and probably the winter snow ;-) I definitely agree about a B&B in the region.

      What about the tea? It's such a unique and integral part of the story. At what point in the plotting did that element come up?

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  3. I loved the sexual theory of having him inside of her, and of her literally drinking him, without having it be sex. Tea is so universal. Everyone understands tea. And I like that when he provides tea it makes him vulnerable. It saps his strength, and leaves him able to be killed by any passing witch. I like too that he had a penance to fulfill, that he was a monster and now he's trying to be a bit more civilized.

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  4. Sounds like a wonderful book, Betsy. Congratulations!

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  5. OMG I love that plot element...having him in her without the sex. That's almost hotter than reading a full-on love scene. Nice call on that plot element!

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  6. Thanks for the comments. Writing is such a solitary exercise, that when I can actually talk to real human beings I love it.

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  7. A writing is about the only time those voices in your head can be justified.

    What was your favorite scene to write in the book? (no spoilers please)

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  8. that's a really intriguing excerpt, Betsy. I bow to your superior imagination! Keep those voices talking... One of my regrets after 7 years in Boston was never seeing much of upstate NY, other than a quick train trip to Albany.

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  9. My favorite scene: Lori climbs up the steps flight after flight, and meets Byron. She's got only questions at this point, and still thinks the B&B is just a regular Inn. He tells her to run. Being an intelligent, educated woman, she thinks she knows everything and that she can handle him. When she enters, she finds quite a bit that she didn't expect. It's when she starts to learn all of Byron's secrets.

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    1. He's just a man, right? Big surprise for Lori!

      Would you like to tell readers what's coming up next in the series?

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  10. I've been to Boston a few times, mostly on the way to go whale watching off the coast. Providencetown? We've never taken the time to really do the historical part of Boston but I have to say I've certainly seen a lot of humpbacks!

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  11. My pleasure. Next in the series is A Gargoyle's Vow. Milton is a gargoyle, cursed from the beginning of time. He guards the B&B from evil. After he escapes, he decides it's time to get married, and finds Brenda. Attracted to him, yet confused by her own emotions, she agrees to marry him. He goes on a quest to help the dragon (from book 1) and finds he must betray Brenda and thereby break his own heart in order to fulfill the quest. Brenda can only hope her love will be enough to bring them back together.

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  12. Thanks for visiting with us, Betsy. As always, it's lovely to see you here, AND to learn more about your latest release. We'll have you back again to talk about A Gargoyle's Vow! :-)

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