Posts Tagged ‘dragon kings’

Run away, run into their arms or crush them like a bug?

It started with talk of Halloween costumes, then it turned to the paranormal – vampires, shifters, witches and more – and became inspired by the writing of Christine Feehan, Thea Harrison, Lindsey Piper, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kristen Callihan.

Now we ask you the burning question: When the veil between the worlds wears thin and things that go bump in the night abound, do you run away, run into their arms or crush them like a bug?

Scenario 1

You’ve survived the type of childhood that would make the Bates family in Psycho seem normal, and become the type of cop that could give the Special Forces a run for their money. Then you wake up after being caught in a shootout to find: ‘A man [is] standing over [you]. Very tall, powerful. A predator . . . [and] Completely hot.’ He gives you back your gun when you ask for it. Do you run or do you stay?

Dark GuardianAsk that same question again when you find out he’s not human.

 

Question inspired by Dark Guardian by Christine Feehan.

 

 

 

Scenario 2

Fae, vampires and dragons, oh my. You’ve spent your life keeping a low profile among the Elder Races, that is until that rat b*st*rd blackmailed you into stealing from a frickin’ dragon! Now you’ve been caught, pretty much red-handed, and are in a very difficult situation. Do you turn to the incredibly hot dragon you’ve just stolen from for help, or do you leg it?

Dragon Bound

 

 

Question inspired by Thea Harrison’s Dragon Bound.

 

 

 

Scenario 3

You’re a Dragon King (gender neutral species name), but for most of your life you’ve been a slave and most recently a prisoner, known only as ‘the Pet’. You’ve escaped and are on a mission you know could change the fate of your entire species, but your exceedingly-hot, former jailer keeps getting in the way. Do you hog tie him and hoof it, or bring him along?

Hunted Warrior

 

 

Question inspired by Lindsey Piper’s Hunted Warrior.

 

 

 

Scenario 4

You’re washing up the dishes in the kitchen when there’s a flash of light, you turn around to discover: ‘A handsome man. A naked man!’ Strangely he looks exactly like the love slave your bestie, a witch, tried to conjure for your birthday present. Even stranger, since you’ve never believed in the paranormal, let alone an ongoing war between vampires, gods and who knows what else. What do you do? Run like hell? Fling the dishes at him? Jump him?

Fantasy Lover

 

 

Question inspired by Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Fantasy Lover.

 

 

 

Scenario 5

You spend your evenings skulking through the streets of Victorian London. You may be young but you’re no stranger to the supernatural and are ‘older than most Mayfair debutantes offered up for sale’. You meet a mysterious man – who you discover is incredibly fit when you sensibly check him for weapons – on one of your late night jaunts, he has you cornered . . . Do you fight, stand your ground or slip away?

Firelight

 

Question inspired by Kristen Callihan’s Firelight.

 

 

 

 

Do let us know just what you would do. You might even turn this into a party game; we had hours of fun.

Piatkus Entice Stocking Filler – Anna Boatman

Piatkus Senior Editor Anna Boatman is ready for some Christmas reading! So what does she hope to find in her stocking?

 

Only THREE DAYS to go till Christmas! This means lots of things, such as that I’m beginning to panic about my total lack of Christmas presents purchased (three days is loads of time though. 72 hours. Loads of time), and that I’m getting incredibly excited about drinking far too much and playing board games for a few hours straight until we’ve all fallen out over the rules (our family are cool like that . . .). But most of all, it means it is time for me to write about my perfect stocking stuffer!

I’m going with a slightly older book, one of the first I bought when I joined Piatkus, and that we published in 2013. It’s by Lindsey Piper and is called Caged Warrior, the first in a fantastic series called the Dragon Kings. From the very first moment that I started reading I was completely hooked.

The premise is brilliant: the Dragon Kings are an ancient race who humans once worshipped as gods (they have pretty amazing powers). Now, however, they face extinction at the hands of cruel humanity and the curse of increasing infertility. Those remaining healthy are being slowly captured by ruthless cartels, and forced to fight as gladiators in cages for the pleasure of their human masters. If they win their battles, they’re allowed the chance to choose a mate. We follow the story of infamous cage warrior Leto, as he is forced to train up a new ‘recruit’, Nynn, who committed the ultimate sin of falling in love with a human. As he tries his best to break her, forcing her to face up to the past she escaped from and embrace the warrior inside, he starts to release her incredible powers. Soon the heat between them goes nuclear . . . and the fall out will change the fate of the Dragon Kings forever.

It’s gripping, sexy, incredibly addictive stuff and anyone who loves JR Ward should pick up Caged Warrior straight away, particularly because it’s only £1.99 until the 5th January! Auntie Edna pretending she’s gluten intolerant when last year it was ‘diabetes’? Granny’s accidentally poured away the gravy while trying to help? Brother grumpy because his stocking wasn’t as good as yours? It’s all ok. Take a deep breath and pick up Lindsey Piper.

Lindsey Piper on her inspiration for the Dragon Kings!

Lindsey Piper‘s Dragon Kings series published today on Entice with Caged Warrior and Blood Warrior! The prequel novella Silent Warrior is also available! Read below for the amazing inspiration story behind what is sure to be one of the most talked-about debuts of 2014 . . .

I began my career writing historical romance after earning an advanced degree in history, which included a year abroad at the University of East Anglia. There, I met my future husband and lured him from Surrey to Chicago, where he has lived as a happily married man for sixteen years—and an often-frustrated West Ham supporter.

After fictionalising Robin Hood mythology, medieval Spain, Napoleonic Salzburg, and Victorian Glasgow in my award-winning Starlight, I have explored other genres. Now I co-write acclaimed contemporary erotic romances under the name Katie Porter. My active, wandering imagination is apparently without limits, because . . .

In December 2011, I became obsessed with the television programme ‘Spartacus’. It contains plenty to sensationalise, including comically graphic violence, but features complex story arcs. Characters portrayed by John Hannah and others underwent changes that were shocking, yet in keeping with established ambitions and relationships. I continue to defend those initial twelve episodes as some of the best writing in popular television.

Three days after watching Warrior, the Tom Hardy film about mixed martial arts, I was struck by the basis of what would become ‘The Dragon Kings’: paranormal beings who fight in Cage matches. Although compelled and inspired, I knew that once again stepping into a new genre would test my skill.

‘The Dragon Kings’ are not dragon shapeshifters. Instead, they were birthed by a being revered as the Great Dragon, which spawned the sacred Five Clans. Each clan is blessed with paranormal powers, from telepathy to the legendary Berserker fury. They have influenced human culture for millennia, such as inspiring Greek legends of Zeus and Mount Olympus. I was determined to mix mythological ideas with to-the-death combat.

Yet, what would they fight for? Money and power seemed trite. I hunted for something fresh and compelling. What if these supernatural clans faced imminent extinction? What if the ultimate prize was not wealth or influence…but the right to bear children? How far would individuals go to perpetuate clans, bloodlines, and families?

I have two daughters. I would do anything to secure their safety and happiness. What loving, responsible parent would do otherwise? That question is the heart of Caged Warrior, the series’ first full-length novel. The heroine, Nynn, labors to become what she previously thought barbaric: a Cage warrior. As with the heroines in Aliens and The Terminator, Nynn’s little boy is threatened. She endures harsh training with the goal of him from torturous imprisonment.

Her mentor, adversary, and Cage partner is Leto, a man raised to believe victory is life’s greatest reward. Slowly, Leto begins to sympathise with Nynn’s cause and realises how brainwashed he is. The trust they develop is one of my favourite romantic tropes: ‘I have your back, and you have mine’. That theme is repeated in each of book of ‘The Dragon Kings’ series. In a violent world, how can love exist without such devotion?

For those eager for actual dragon shapeshifters . . . never fear. Hunted Warrior, due in May, brings the lore of the Great Dragon full circle and reveals how little this formidable race understands of its history and potential. What was once will be again . . .

Please join me on what has been an intense, challenging, emotional journey as an author, and what I hope will offer a rewarding and unique paranormal romance experience for readers.

Cheers!

Lindsey Piper

What’s Next for Romantic Fiction? – Senior Editor Anna Boatman

Since becoming Senior Editor of Piatkus Fiction, this is the single question I’ve been asked the most. It’s a problematic one, as unfortunately nobody really knows! Who could have seen Fifty Shades and Erotica coming? (really sorry, couldn’t resist!), or predicted Twilight and the subsequent vampire explosion? As a result, my (slightly cheaty) response to this question has usually been to ask the room what they’ve read recently and secretly add any new-sounding genres to my ‘to read’ list, which has meant I’ve discovered all kinds of new niches . . .

The romance market has blossomed over the last few years, which means more romance fans and more new, exciting, niche genres than ever before. Having done my sneaky research via picking the brains of readers, I thought that I would take you through a few of my favourites, both those that seem to me to be gaining ground and also those that readers I’ve spoken to have been particularly passionate about:

New Adult

This is a really interesting new style of romance story that I have a particular soft spot for. It’s a great blend of the dark, emotional, angsty themes that make good Young Adult fiction so universally appealing, with the sexier, grittier, edge of an adult romance novel. The hero and heroine tend to be 18+, out of school but still at the beginning of learning who they are and who they want to be. This allows the authors to give their story all the intensity of first love and coming of age but with more explicit sex, and heftier relationship baggage – at their best, New Adult books are absolutely unputdownable – a deeply emotional, sexy, exciting roller-coaster. I’m delighted to say that we have just taken on our first New Adult author at Piatkus – check out A.L. Jackson for a great example of New Adult at its best.

Dragons

My name is Anna Boatman and I am addicted to dragons. I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan and a general fantasy geek, so mixing the awesome fantastical power of dragons with a unique world and a compelling romance is my idea of fiction heaven. After George R.R. Martin’s immense success, I’ve been waiting for tons of dragon submissions, which sadly haven’t yet materialised! I have, however, recently taken on a wonderful author called Lindsey Piper, whose series, The Dragon Kings is erotic, bloodthirsty, totally fresh and honestly, unbiasedly brilliant.

Steampunk

All serious genre romance readers seem to love Steampunk, and most editors I speak to also love Steampunk. The problem is that not many readers, currently, seem to be actually buying Steampunk, For those who haven’t come across it before, Steampunk is a glorious mash up of Historical fiction with steam power and clockwork machinery. It’s usually set either in an alternative Victorian London or in the Wild West, and is a dark, clever, wonderful world, with so much potential to explore romance and characterisation, I really hope one day that it will begin to reach more of the mainstream. This year’s Romance Novel Association saw Leisel Schwartz’s Steampunk title Conspiracy of Alchemists win one of the main awards, so perhaps we’re on the way. Piatkus doesn’t have a Steampunk author yet, so I’ll be on the lookout for new and promising authors in this genre. 

That’s my very brief round-up finished – do let us know if you have any questions, or if I’ve missed out your favourite new genre. In the meantime, I hope the writing’s going well for all of you – I can’t wait to discover even more new types of romance fiction when judging the competition!