(Dragons of New York, Book 1)
by Rachel Graves
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
A dragon terrified of being discovered by the government, Ravenna Drake is constantly on the move. When the woman who raised her gets cancer, Ravenna trades her nomadic work restoring black market magical goods for a steady job. But her cautious life ends after her name is found at the scene of a werewolf murder.
Dr. Ian Chen, a sorcerer bonded to a powerful relic, works for the government treating supernatural citizens. He insists on investigating when his patient’s body is discovered completely drained of blood. His search leads him to the beautiful but frustrating Ravenna Drake, who refuses to stay away from the case or follow his instructions.
As more bloodless bodies surface, threats from secret societies and corrupt politicians force the dragon and the sorcerer to work together. If Ravenna and Ian can’t catch the killer, the people they love the most may be the next to die.
His foot reached out to blur the circle and the ghost changed. Agony forced every other emotion aside. He couldn’t breathe, a heavy weight settled on his chest. Panic set in as he wheezed, his heart racing the way hers had raced. Was he experiencing her last minutes or just panicking at the emotions? Could he trust himself? Darkness started to crowd the edges of his vision. Not enough air. Sweat broke out along his back. Somewhere, Cloak was saying something, but he couldn’t hear it over the pounding of blood in his ears. He was going to die here. The blackness got closer.
“No.” The flood of emotions stopped immediately, as Drake stepped in front of him. “That’s not how this works. You don’t get to scream at him.”
His head throbbed, stinging like acid dripping down his face, but he could breathe again. The darkness receded. The first thing he saw was Drake moving into the center of the stain, acting as if the blood wasn’t there.
“I’ll give you enough energy to manifest, but start screaming again and I will end you, even if we haven’t heard a damn thing you’ve got to say. Understand?” She paused, then reached her hand out. A shaft of sunlight came in through the window and her hand seemed to glow. Then the end of it disappeared, replaced with a chest. The shape grew outward, a filmy light turning into a woman. The process took less than a minute, and he heard the sheriff whisper to God.
“Dr. Chen, she can talk to you now.” Drake said it with a very deliberate emphasis on the word talk. Whatever the ghost intended, it wasn’t going to stand up to her. A deep surge of gratitude coursed through him.
About the Author:
Rachel Graves writes mysteries that blend the supernatural with steamy, sexy scenes. Her work explores the many shades of gray found between the lines of right and wrong. Rachel's books focus on strong heroines who take charge of their own fate, their friends, and their families. Rachel is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and uses research skills honed getting a graduate degree in psychology to seek out rare folklore and magical creatures. Her writing incorporates popular monsters like vampires and werewolves as well as diverse creatures like selkies and yuki onna. Rachel has lived in a cursed town, taken far too many ghost tours, and counts down to every Halloween starting in November. You can read short stories and learn more about her on her website: http://www.rachelgraves.com/.
Q&A With the Author
What time of day do you usually write?
First thing in the morning, usually before seven. I’d prefer to write in the evening, but life gets in my way too much. My sleep pattern isn’t normal (thanks to my brain injury) so I often find myself writing around three or four in the morning. Some of my best ideas come then, when the whole world is asleep and there’s nothing to get in the way of thinking about really strange and off the wall questions.
How would you spend ten thousand bucks?
Traveling. Being unable to travel during 2020 was awful for me. I love getting out and learning about new cultures. Ten thousand dollars would just about cover a trip to Egypt or maybe a short, discounted trip to Japan. Both of those places are on my list, along with Ireland, New Zealand, India, and on and on. There are so many rich wonderful stories out there, and it’s hard to find them sitting on your couch.
Do you listen to music when you're writing?
Yes, but never music with words. When I first started writing, I would develop a playlist for each character, but the lyrics to the songs crept into my stories. Now I use the playlists when I’m running before I write, or listen to them as I drive around town. Music inspires me, but when I sit down to write the only voice I want to hear is my characters talking in my head.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
Neither! It’s usually a single scene that keeps repeating itself over and over again in my head, like an earworm. For this book, it was the scene where Ravenna controls the ghost, stopping it from hurting Ian. The way she takes charge and he’s impressed but manages to stay skeptical rattled around in my mind for at least two years before I finally wrote it down. Once I did, the scene after it came, and then the one with the French Fries, and then the one with her mother, and on and on. Usually, it takes about half a book (or 50,000 words) before I sit down with the collection of scenes and put a plot to it.
What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?
The next Dragons of New York book will be out in the Summer of 2023. It’s in edits now, and I’m excited by how things are going. It ends with an epic battle that brings on major changes for the characters. I can’t wait for people to read it! The next book in my Elisabeth Hicks, Witch Detective series is getting finished up now. I’ve dialed back the very hot, sexy scenes now that Elisabeth’s relationship is getting more settled, and that gave me more room to explore deeper ideas about who she is. Look for it in the Fall. And, I’m crossing my fingers that I can pull off the big ‘reboot’ of my Death Witch series, significantly revising my first three books and maybe adding another two in the process. That’s my stretch goal though, so don’t hold me to it.
Amazon.com author page is: https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Graves/e/B011H977D0
Good reads: https://www.goodreads.com/RachelGraves
Personal Blog: http://rachelgraves.com/
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