Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bound by a Dragon

Today's special guest is Linda K. Hopkins. Linda lives in Calgary, Canada, with her husband and two great kids. When she's not writing, she's usually reading (a great pastime when you are trapped in a snowbound landscape eight months of the year!), tinkering on the piano or just living life!


I asked Linda whether any real places around the world inspired the setting for her book. Here is her response:

It is a well-established fact that dragons live in mountains. Or under them, as the case may be. A place where the creature can see the world, but also hide away from prying eyes. Where he can do whatever dastardly dragon things he wants to do, without the risk of being interrupted. But unlike other wild creatures, dragons are also drawn to people. No matter whether it is a source of amusement or appetite, dragons never stray too far from human habitation.

Bound by a Dragon is set in the Middle Ages, in an unnamed village close to a range of mountains. Set deep in the mountains is Storbrook Castle, the home of Aaron Drake. Rumors abound about Storbrook Castle, linked as it is both men and dragons alike. The villagers are sure they know the stories about the castle, but in truth, very few have seen the imposing structure, built on the summit of a granite peak. The dragon is rumoured to live in caves beneath the castle, but who really knows for sure? The small army of servants who work at the castle are mum on the subject, and with no reliable source of information, the villagers draw their own conclusions. But are they right?

Storbrook Castle was not based on a single castle, but was rather an amalgamation of different designs. The castles built in England following the Norman invasion provided much inspiration, but there are not many mountains in England, and certainly no mountain-top fortresses, such as those found in Germany and other European countries. The mountain top setting was inspired by Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria. Although not a medieval castle, this beautiful castle, built by King Ludwig II, has been the inspiration for many tales of fantasy.


The dragon turned its head and seemed to look straight at Keira. Pulling her arm out of her sister’s, she drew herself upright and stared straight back, meeting the golden eye of the dragon before it turned its enormous body in a slow, fluid motion and lazily flew towards the mountains.

A dragon has moved into the neighborhood of Keira's small, medieval village, unsettling the residents as they fear for their safety. All except Keira, who is fascinated by the creature, both dangerous and beautiful. But when Aaron Drake decides to take up residence in his ancestral home of Storbrook Castle, set deep in the nearby mountains, Keira finds herself unsettled by the handsome stranger. Why did he decide to move to Storbrook, almost eighty years after it was last inhabited, and does the dragon really live in the caves below the castle?


Storbrook Castle! The name sent a shudder down Keira’s back. The castle was hidden deep in the mountains, a good thirty miles away; and although few in the village had ever seen the castle, there wasn’t a child in the village who hadn’t shivered in fear and delight at its purported horrors. It was rumored that the caves in the mountains below the castle had been the home of many maiden-devouring dragons in days gone by. Children and adults alike whispered about the dark corridors where abducted maidens, held against their will, were forced to do unspeakable things at the dragons bidding, and where other heinous dealings occurred, too dreadful to be repeated. It had been over eighty years since a dragon was last seen in the village, but that dragon had been slain by a valiant villager, striving to protect a damsel in distress. Unfortunately, as the story went, the damsel’s life had still been forfeited, and the dragon had destroyed half the village with fire before being killed; regardless, the villager was celebrated as a hero for keeping further maidens from being kidnapped by the dragon.

“Storbrook Castle!” repeated Keira, her voice dropping slightly. “They say the dragon lives in the caves below the castle.”

The stranger laughed lightly. “I hate to disappoint you, but I haven’t seen sign of a dragon anywhere near the castle, and no half-gnawed bones in the rooms, either. I have heard about this dragon, though!” The man glanced around before leaning towards Keira, lowering his voice. “How many beautiful damsels have been snatched up by this dreadful monster?”

“Now I must disappoint you,” responded Keira with a smile. “No damsels, beautiful or otherwise, have disappeared from our village or any of the other villages in the area. Our dreadful monster doesn’t seem to be that dreadful at all!”

“You don’t fear the beast?” he asked in surprise.

“No, why should I? It hasn’t done anything fearful!”

“But you must have heard terrible stories about the dragons that troubled this area in the past?”

“Yes, I have,” replied Keira, contemplatively, “and I always wondered how much of the story is true! For one thing, doesn’t it seem strange that after living near the village for so many years, it would suddenly one day, for no apparent reason, decide to kill a maid and burn down half the village? Besides,” she added, “I rather like our dragon!”







 The author will give away a $25 Amazon gift certificate via Rafflecopter:

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/06/virtual-book-tour-bound-by-dragon-by.html