All I am going to say to start out today is I LOVE DRAGONS!!! Nothing more needs to be said! LOL 🙂
Gatekeepers Book One
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Date of Publication: Feb. 4th 2013
Word Count: 40,000
Cover Artist: Renee Rocco
Never make a deal with a dragon.
Sandra’s sister is dying. All the doctors agree that nothing more can be done, but she can’t give up hope. After using all her resources searching for a cure, a little bird whispers in Sandra’s ear about secret worlds, Gates, and the Keepers who protect them. A dragon Gatekeeper, who hoards magical treasure within his volcano home in Japan, can possibly hold an item to cure her sister.
Gates choose their Keepers and Koishi thinks his did an excellent job in picking him. Not many dare to cross and none who try survive. However, one tiny human female with either the courage of an army or the intelligence of a gnat has arrived on the island asking for him. Curious and not wanting to disappoint, he waits for the locals to steer her to his human ‘servant’, which is him in his man form.
Let the games begin…
“Thank you.” Sandra shifted the weight of the pack on her back and marched toward the street.
The stranger twisted as she passed him, his gaze weighing heavily on her. “It’s about a three hour walk to the nearest hotel. If you run, you might beat the storm.”
She spun around. “What?” she wanted to smack that stupid grin off his face. The trip across the strait had been harrowing enough. She wasn’t in any shape to hike in a storm. “Do you have cabs?”
“Yes.” He approached her. “During tourist season.”
“Then how do people move around the island? There have to be buses.” She peered at the storm clouds, which appeared closer than before. She hadn’t considered the consequences of rushing here. Time was running out and she’d jumped on the first flight out to Japan.
“They walk or bike. There are a few buses, but I don’t know their schedules.” His gaze lowered to the opening of her blouse. “Maybe we could come to some kind of arrangement.”
Gasping, she clutched the edges of her blouse shut. “I don’t think so.” She must look better than she felt or smelled. How could anyone be interested in her in this state?
He rolled his eyes. “I meant your necklace.”
“Oh.” The heat of her mortified blush almost blistered the skin off her cheeks. Of course, he wasn’t making a crude pass at her. He was only trying to swindle her. Nice.
He gave her a crooked smile as if he knew exactly what she’d been thinking. “The gold reflects the light very nicely.” Reaching for her jewelry, he bypassed her swatting hands until he held the small heart-shaped pendant in his palm.
She yanked it away. “It’s not up for trade. My mother gave it to me.” She’d died in her sleep a year earlier after a long, happy life. Out of all the things from her estate, Sandra had only wanted this necklace. Her father, who’d passed years ago, had given it to her mother when they’d first met.
“It has a nice weight to it and is well crafted.” His gaze lingered on her necklace for a second longer before meeting her stare. “I have a truck. I could drive you into town where you would have a pick of fine hotels.”
“That’s very kind of you.”
“For the necklace.”
She growled like a rabid dog. Yes, it had been that kind of day. “I said no. Nain!”
“What?” She threw up her arms and abandoned all hope of help.
“That’s what you said. Nine what? Rides? I usually don’t play taxi for tourists, but…” His gaze grew heavy with darker promises. “For you, I’d offer a ride on me.”
She blinked. Did he understand what he’d just said? “I think we lost something in translation.” In both their cases. “I’ll manage on my own.” Stalking to the road, she ignored his laughter and pulled out her phrase book. Lost and tired, all she wanted was a room. Maybe she could stay in someone’s home for the night. But how did she ask? These sentences were more tailored for people who had already arrived at their destination. Where is the bathroom? Where is the phone? She didn’t see a Can I spend the night? written anywhere. Then again, that could translate improperly and she’d end up in a worse situation.
Reaching the road, she turned right and kept searching for some kind of help. Another American tourist, an embassy, or even a flipping McDonald’s would be welcome.
A pick-up truck slowed next to her and the window rolled down. “Maybe you have something else to trade?”
The stranger had followed her and she gave him a what-the-hell look.
“I’d hate for you to walk all that way after such a harrowing boat ride.” He winked at her.
“That’s very kind of you.” She stopped walking, forcing him to slam on the brakes to maintain their conversation. Could she trust this stranger who exhibited a touch of stalker tendency? Flashes of serial killer music sang through her thoughts. She glanced around at the mostly empty road. What choice did she have? At least he spoke good English so when he murdered her she’d understand his evil monologue. “Maybe you could offer to drive me for free?”
He stared at her with mock surprise. “There’s such a thing?”
“Yes.” She dropped her pack to the ground, her shoulders already aching, and tried her best to not smile back at the jerk.
Leaning forward, he tilted his head to the side. “Why?”
She shook her head. “It must be a cultural thing.” Kneeling, she rummaged inside her bag and pulled out her wallet. She was on a tight budget. All her savings had gone to purchasing information. “How much?”
“Money?” He grimaced. “I don’t like paper. Don’t you carry anything valuable?”
“Most people would consider money valuable.” She mumbled under her breath as she shoved her wallet back into her pack. With a little more digging, she found her small carrying case and held out two silver earrings. “That’s all I’ve got. Take it or bug off.” She laid them on his outstretched hand.
He sniffed at the metal. “There’s not much silver in this.”
“How can you tell?” Her shout echoed over the water.
“I just can. Get in. I’ll give generosity a try.”
She climbed inside the old cab with peeling leather seats before he could change his mind. “It’s only charitable if you don’t keep the earrings.”
He dropped them in his breast pocket. “Believe me, this is charity.”
I LOVE DRAGONS! I of course say this often, but I felt the need to reiterate 😉 And it’s funny! and it’s full of adventures, and action, and then of course there’s hot dragons! Ok, I will try to stop saying how awesome the dragons are LOL It’s got another unique spin on why dragons are in our world to begin with. And the whole gates, and the other side, is very cool!
Sandra is beautiful and strong and on a seriously desperate mission to help save her sister from death. She is willing to do anything to get this cure, even bargin with a dragon! And this poor girl, when you meet her, she is loosing every ounce of anything left in her stomach over the sides of the boat as she is traveling to this little island. And I so give her props, as she meets “him” and pulls it off well. 🙂 I like her, and I like her courage, and I of course like that she gets to hang out with a dragon!
Koishi is a bleep. He comes off as cocky, conceited, and of course HAWT! He’s only interested in his job and his treasures. That’s until the day he meets the intriguing and beautiful American, Sandra. She totally gives him a major surprise and a crazy wake up call. 🙂 It’s quite fun. And let me just say I thought it was so good for him after he talks about eating little fuzzy chihuahuas!! 🙂
I love the world that this story was built on and I really like the writing. It’s not often that you hear a male’s point of view written by a woman that actually sounds like a man! Did that sentence just make sense? LOL Let me just say I have every intention and will definitely be going in for book two as soon as it’s out!! HIGH FIVE! And a SOARINGLY BEAUTIFUL 5 PAWS from me!!!
First, tell me a little about your book 🙂 ….
Thanks for having me as a guest. J
Koishi is about a dragon gatekeeper. He guards a spot on Earth where the veil between our world and the world of magic grows thin. His responsibility is to keep them from spilling into each other. Sandra is a woman on a mission to save her sister, and she’s heard crazy stories about a dragon hiding in a volcano on a rural island in Japan who might have a cure. The one thing she doesn’t understand is to never make a deal with a dragon.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
I’ve always been a avid reader (still am), but it never occurred to me to write a book until a few years ago. I was housebound for a few months with an illness. After reading everything I and the local library owned, I decided to write a novel to keep from going crazy. That’s how my journey began.
What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
My first book was BAIT. (It’s free now, on all venues.) I love vampires and I love suspenseful action stories. While trying to think of something to write about, I visualized a woman standing at a bar in a club. I asked her why she was there and she responded, “I’m bait.” That’s all I needed.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I wish. LOL My life is so boring. I think that’s why my heroines have such wonderful adventures. I live vicariously through them.
How do you chose when/which characters die in your books?
It’s very hard for me to kill off characters. There’s only one that I knew from the beginning that she would have to die and that was so the heroine would have a life changing event. Bad guys are easy to kill off though.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Always. Lately I’ve consumed all of Darynda Jones’ Reaper books and I’ve started on Thea Harrison’s series.
Who do you look up to as a writer?
When I grow up I want to be like Nalini Singh and JR Ward. If I’m going to aim high, I want the top. 😀
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find writing in the 3rd person point of view more difficult than first. Writing first comes very naturally to me for some reason. It’s the point of view I prefer to read as well, but I know most people like reading 3rd more.
What book are you reading now? Or what genre?
Natural Evil by Thea Harrison. It’s a paranormal romance.
Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
Renee Rocco designed Koishi’s cover. I learned a long time ago that I’m gifted with the talent to tell a story, not visual arts. My best covers are the ones that I gave the least input. LOL I tell the artist the feel of the story, the genre, and obvious things not to place on the cover. That’s it. I let them use their gifts to give me their best work.
If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose?
Oh easy pick. Pia!
She’s my succubus in Starved for Love. She has to achieve orgasm every three days to feed and she has the yummiest list of lovers.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I believe in dragons, but I don’t search them out because I am crunchy and would go well with ketchup. No matter what they tell you, never make a deal with a dragon.
I wanna say thank you so much for that wonderful interview! 😛 I hope we do it again soon!
About the Author
Annie Nicholas hibernates in the rural, green mountains of Vermont where she dreams of different worlds, heroes, and heroines. When spring arrives the stories pour from her, in hopes to share them with the masses one day.
Mother, daughter, wife are some of the hats she happily wears while trudging after her cubs through the hills and dales. The four seasons an inspiration and muse.
The author is offering for me to giveaway an ebook copy of Koishi! So leave a nice commment down below to enter to win, and I will pick a winner 🙂
Thanks so much everyone! I hope you enjoyed today as much as I did! 🙂 And of course, GOOD LUCK!!! Happy Reading everyone and later gators!!