With: Jamie K. Schmidt
Dragons have always been an obsession with me. It started out with the gorgeous illustrations in Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine. Then in college we played a role playing game called Shadowrun, where the rules of being a shadow mercenary included “Never Deal with a Dragon.” I like cute dragons. I collect Real Musgrave’s pocket dragons. I like scary dragons. I went to GenCon one year where they had the head of a red dragon snarling malevolently out at the passersby. He wouldn’t fit in my carryon, but I wanted to take him home anyway. Throughout the years there have been dragon beanie babies, dragon T-shirts—I just wasted a half hour trying to find the shirt I wore to rags. It was an orange dragon, clutching his teddy bear, while breathing smoke out of his nose—dragon ornaments, and a dragon incense burner. Yeah, you could say I am a bit obsessed.
So it became a natural thing for me to write a series about dragons. The Emerging Queens series is about human women who shifted into dragon Queens after a curse was broken. They have to learn about the dragon society the hard way. To complicate matters, people are trying to kill them and the dragon studs are trying to mate with them.
In book one, The Queen’s Wings, Carolyn wants with all her heart to become a dragon, but because of the curse no one believes she ever will. Long ago, the Cult of Humanity sacrificed the Dragon Queen, crippling the breeding process. But now Carolyn hears the voice of that long dead queen telling her that she holds the key to breaking the spell that will free all the female dragons. FBI dragon Reed’s disdain for humans can’t mask the magnetic attraction he has for Carolyn, but when she tells him she’s going to shift into a dragon he thinks she’s crazy. A female hasn’t been hatched, or shape shifted, in over a thousand years. He’s proven wrong after Carolyn shifts and is named the new Queen on the block. A never-ending line of suitors forms, but she only wants Reed. Too bad he doesn’t want in on the competition. But when the Cult kidnaps Carolyn to sacrifice her in an effort to make the curse against the female dragons permanent, Reed must face his fears—and feelings, racing to save the woman he realizes he can’t live without.
Book Two, The Queen’s Flight has newly shifted Queen Viola on the run from cultists and dragon studs who want to kill her. She’s in danger and has managed to rope the one Queen-hating dragon stud on the planet to be her protector. Sergei had been abused and tortured by the females of his species to the point that he was willing to kill for his freedom. Yet, Viola, with her very human smile and kindness started to take root into his heart. She is brave and wounded and has baggage from the men in her life. But she refuses to see Sergei as the bad guy. Soon, he begins to see himself through her eyes.
And in the latest release, The Queen’s Dance, sky dragon Margery is rescued from smugglers by water dragon Remy Champlain, she debates whether to continue to investigate the news story that nearly got her killed or embrace her royalty and build a court of protectors and studs. In The Queen’s Dance, sparks fly between Lake dragon, Remy, who’s assigned to be her protector and sky dragon Queen Margery when he demands she give up her job and build her kingdom…hopefully with him…but he can’t fly and she can’t swim, so their relationship can never get off the ground.
Here’s an excerpt from The Queen’s Dance:
The healing burn of the sun pinned Margery to the ground. Her eyes wouldn’t open, but she could see the blazing orange from under her lids. She’d been saved. Pressing her cheek against the sun-warmed grass, she took a deep breath of fresh air for the first time in a week. Coughs racked her body. She was still so weak. A tear leaked out of her eye.
“Please don’t cry, chérie. You’re safe here.”
That was the lake dragon. The one who’d helped rescue her. Margery’s hands clutched the ground. She was no longer on the water, trapped in a smuggler’s hold hidden under the deck of a yacht. No longer lying in her own waste, dying a slow and painful death.
“Where am I?” she asked, her words coming out as a strangled whisper.
“You’re at my home in North Hero, Vermont. It’s very private here.”
He had a sexy way of talking. French Canadian accent, if she wasn’t mistaken. It was comforting, nonthreatening. Margery stretched as the healing sunbeams sank into her core.
“Your kidnappers have been brought to justice.”
They were more than kidnappers. In return for pimping Margery out to Champ, they had wanted him to turn a blind eye to their smuggling operation on his lake.
Margery bolted upright and regretted it immediately. “Where is it?” she cried. The sun blinded her, but she didn’t care. She groped around with her hands.
“What?” he said, panic in his voice.
“What the hell is a—” Champ cut himself off and continued in a more polite tone. “I don’t understand, my Queen.”
Queen? Oh, right.
“The red dragon doll. I had it in my hand when you rescued me. It’s very important.”
“Uh, hold on. Let me check my truck.”
She heard him run.
Great. He probably thought she was an idiot looking for her little dolly.
Rubbing her eyes, Margery tried to stand up. But her legs refused to obey her, muscles trembling as she strained to rise.
The pirates had grabbed her when her camera’s flash malfunctioned and went off while she was taking pictures of their illicit activity—stuffing the dolls with drugs. When they saw her, they tried to kill her. If she’d been human, they would have. But when the bullets tore into her, she had instinctively shifted into her sky dragon form.
She’d only been a dragon for three weeks. Actually, she had always been a dragon, but an ancient curse had stopped her shift at puberty and blocked her dragon magic. When that curse was shattered, all the suppressed Queens shifted into their true forms. It took a lot of getting used to. The first week, all she did was cry and break things. The second week she flew around the world over and over again until sheer exhaustion claimed her. By the time the third week rolled around, Margery figured she’d better get over herself and return to her career as an investigative reporter.