Hatchling’s Mate by Helen Henderson

From their birth, it was expected that the only two children born to the dragon shifters would marry. Unlike his female counterpart, no dragons sang a welcome at Talann’s birth. Now years later, even though Lexii’s dragon twin had awakened, there was still no sign of Talann’s. Haldric hated all shifters but one—the Lady Lexii Beylnea. He had one tool to achieve both his goals of destroying all those with a twinned dragon soul and having Lexii for his own. His uncle, known to his followers as the Parant, possessed the ability to turn men and women into his willing slaves. Or Haldric vowed, Lexii to his will. Pledged to protect Lexii until the dragon lord’s intended mate appears, duty requires Glyn not only risks her life, but her one chance at love in the name of duty. A task complicated with the need to keep a secret no one could never learn and the price when the betrayal is discovered. Love and desire, honor and duty clash in this action-filled novel in the world of the dragshi.

Hatchling’s Mate

Give us the one to two sentence tagline for your book.

From their birth it was expected that Talann’s and Lexii’s destiny would be entwined. However fate had other intentions. They could not stand to be together.

What surprised you the most while writing this book?

Talann ‘s father, Lord Branin Llewlyn is the only man in a generation who can wield the enspelled sword, Mt’wan Comraich. To help protect the newest dragon lord the sword is gifted to Talann. I found out this was not the first time Talann used the sword’s magic. He tapped it as a child. Everyone at Cloud Eyrie searched for Talann only to find him in the storage room hidden behind a mesmer quietly playing a game of marbles .

Why did you pick the setting you used for your book?

Although I have never been to Scotland or Wales, my heritage called me and I picked settings ranging from mountain valleys to wave-washed cliffside.

What is the sexiest trait of your hero?

Strength and loyalty. Talann can swing a sword and ride a horse as well as any man, but does it in defense of his friends, his kin the dragon shifters, and most important of all, any innocent who needs it.

What is your favorite scene/moment in your book?

Glyn and Talann and his companion/bodyguard are in a pub when a bully braces Glynn. I loved the way she took the bully down without causing a raucus or revealing herself as a female.

What are your favorite genres/sub-genres to write in? Are there any you love to read but cannot write in?

My favorite genre is fantasy. However, after working with a few other authors, romance crept in to take an equal position. I have a historical western that has been circling in my head. Depending on the day, I may be reading science fiction or on some occasions, contemporary fantasy.

Which do you love to write best: dialogue, setting, action, love scenes, or other?

Action and setting are close first and second places.

Which do you hate to write: dialogue, setting, action, love scenes, or other?

I don’t write steamy romance. My love scenes are behind closed doors. While it isn’t real hate, dialog can drive me crazy.

Excerpt from Hatchling’s Mate

Lexii screamed. The seidheirn beneath her dropped to its knees, an arrow protruding its neck. Blood stained the bright feathers.

Glyn and Kynan slipped their bows from the leather sheaths. Deft movements strung the weapons, snagged and notched arrows. “Up there.” Kynan pointed to a ledge high above their heads. The twang of their arrows release was lost in the sounds of wounded animals, but the scream of the man who windmilled in the air proved the accuracy of the strikes.

Glyn dropped to the ground. “Lexii, you can’t stay. Take Buar. Kynan will see you to safety. Talann and I will follow shortly.”

“I can’t,” the other woman objected.

“Your mount is hurt. Go,” Glyn pushed. “Look, the dust is clearing. The way we came in is still open. Go! Now, while you can.”

Talann stepped up behind Lexii, ready to throw her into Buar’s saddle, no matter what the consequence. The need to get Lexii to safety competed with the urge to send Glyn away, but they only had two sound mounts.

Kynan was better to ensure Lexii’s safety, duty yelled.

Only if I can break through her resistance, Talann retorted.

The setting sun slipped behind the mountain peak plunging the valley into an early twilight. From the darkness just beyond the entrance, a single torch flickered into being, then another and another until a solid line of light streamed across the opening. “Dragshi, surrender and I may let you live. You have my word.”

Talann’s gaze stripped the mountainside bare, searching for a wild goat trail. But the sheer sides showed not a single handhold. There was no climbing to safety. The only way out of the valley was through the army or by wings. For several long moments, he stood staring at the solid line of torches. He glanced sideways at Glyn. Would she finally admit to her secret?

Helen Henderson

Although the author of several local histories, and numerous articles on the topics of American and military history, antiques and collectibles, Henderson’s first love is fiction. Her work in the museum and history fields enables a special insight into creating fantasy worlds. The descendent of a coal-miner’s daughter and an aviation flight engineer, her writing reflects the contrasts of her heritage as well as that of her Gemini sign. Her stories cross genres from historical westerns to science fiction and fantasy. In the world of fantasy romance, she is the author of the Dragshi Chronicles and The Windmaster Novels. Her stand-alone novels include the dragon magic fantasy, Fire and Amulet, and the dark fantasy, Imprisoned in Stone.

In her books, she invites you to join her on travels through the stars, or among fantasy worlds of the imagination.

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