Tumble Into Myth, Magic, and Scottish Dragon Shifters

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Dragon’s Dare, last book in my Dragon Lore Series just went live Tuesday. Here’s the book description, and an excerpt!

Bloated on chaos, the Morrigan leaves the Scottish Highlands to gather power. A trip through Hell yields quite the assortment of allies tagging along behind her. Fell creatures straight out of myth and nightmare that haven’t darkened Earth’s boundaries for centuries heed her call.

Heartily sick of the Morrigan’s maneuvering, the dragons are close to shutting their world off from everywhere, Earth included. If they do, every dragon shifter bond will be broken. Horrified, Lachlan and Britta launch a desperate campaign to hang onto their dragons.

Magic may bite back, but if the dragons take their magic ball and go home, Earth will fade, along with all other worlds. That suits the Morrigan fine. War and anarchy are her favorite companions, and she collects misery like children gather beloved toys.

Arianrhod’s fellow Celts found out about her fall from grace and her half-Druid son, Jonathan. With nothing further to hide, she goes back in time hunting Angus, Jonathan’s father. Forty years apart was a steep price to pay. The world needs Angus’s magic. And Jonathan needs all the help he can get. Late to accept the power thrumming through him, he holds a key role in keeping the world from spinning off its axis. Reluctant at first, Jonathan finally gets it.

Absolute focus.

Absolute commitment.

Anything less and everyone he loves will pay an unthinkable price.

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And here’s an excerpt from Dragon’s Dare.

…Jonathan Shea cradled Britta in his arms. She was asleep, the rhythm and cadence of her breathing revealed her exhaustion. He still couldn’t believe he’d found a mate, and a woman linked to a dragon at that. Britta KilKerran was actually the Countess of Cumbria, or she had been a few hundred years back. He wasn’t certain such a title still existed.

It didn’t matter. He’d offer up his life to protect the woman slumbering against his chest. He loved her dragon too, but Tarika scarcely needed his protection. When he thought of the scarlet-scaled dragon, one of the First Born, the place on his neck where she’d marked him with a mating bite tingled. It was her contribution to his bond with Britta.

She stirred in his arms. He stroked strands of long, red-gold hair away from her face and spun a small spell to keep her asleep. They’d just come from a major battle to free Tarika and Kheladin, another dragon, from the Morrigan’s clutches. Both of them needed rest, but his heart and mind were too full to let go quite yet.

After years of never believing the rumor about his mother being a Celtic deity, he’d finally met her. He brought it on himself by calling for her when they desperately needed help, but he never believed she’d actually show up. Regardless, he couldn’t deny her existence anymore—no matter how much he might want to. Arianrhod had abandoned him when he was so young he had no memories of her, and when he cut to the bone of things, he resented the crap out of her neglect.

Jonathan shut his eyes for a moment and summoned an image of his father. Tall and rangy with shaggy, rich brown hair and amber eyes, Angus had been a dreamer. He did his best for Jonathan, but often as not, he’d been caught up in some trance state or another. Though Angus hadn’t said so, Jonathan understood his father was relieved when he grew old enough to be on his own. Once Jonathan left Ireland, Angus vanished. Their modest cabin near Inishowen remained, but Jonathan knew better than to waste time hunting for a man who didn’t wish to be found.

Had Arianrhod seen Angus all these years he’d been missing? Jonathan could ask her, but she might just stare him down with those inscrutable eyes—one gold, the other silver—and not bother to answer.

He tightened his hold on Britta, and she nestled closer. She was more comfortable about Arianrhod being his mother than he was, but then she was far more comfortable with magic in general. He blew out a breath, recognizing his life would never be the same.

Not that he wanted it to be, but he would’ve preferred finding the love of his life without having to deal with a long-lost parent. Particularly one who stirred up a welter of prickly feelings. Now if Angus were to show back up, it would be a different story…

Britta wriggled against him, and her golden eyes flickered open. She regarded him sleepily through thick red lashes. “Ye canna rest, my love?”

Jonathan shrugged and offered a sheepish smile. “Lots to think about.”

She cupped the side of his face in one hand. “Do ye wish to talk about anything?”

He shrugged again, feeling uncomfortable. What was there to say, really? He was a little old to be struggling with parent issues. Besides he’d long since come to terms with his father’s magic being too pervasive for him to spend much time around normal humans. Jonathan dealt with some level of that as well, but his job as a software engineer who designed games let him keep to himself.

Britta brushed her hand across his lips. “Whenever ye wish, I’ll be here. Tarika too. She’s verra old and much wiser than either of us. If ye canna get the information elsewhere, mayhap we can figure out what sort of hold the Celtic gods had on your da.”

“Thank you. I’ll keep it in mind.” Jonathan reached around her and snagged a bottle of Irish whiskey off the nightstand. “Would you like some? I can get us glasses.”

“Och, and I can drink from the bottle. No need to get fancy.”

She smiled, and it transformed her into something so striking he couldn’t look away. A high forehead gave way to sculpted cheekbones and a defined chin. One of his old T-shirts covered her from chest to knees, but the outline of her breasts was clearly visible through the well-aged beige fabric.

His cock stirred, and he rolled his eyes. “We made love twice after we got here. I don’t understand why I can’t get enough of you.”

“Are ye complaining?” She quirked an arched red brow.

He shook his head and drew both of them to a half sitting position against the carved oak headboard. He uncorked the bottle and handed it to her. She drank deep before handing it back.

Britta narrowed her eyes and watched him drink. “We’re far from home free,” she blurted without preamble.

“Which problem are you referring to?” He placed the bottle on a side table not bothering to cork it. He wasn’t done yet, and likely neither was Britta.

She moved away and sat cross-legged facing him, her lovely face creased with concern. “We may have permanently removed Connor and Rhukon and their dragons from the action, but there have to be other corrupt dragon shifters. We must seek them out and destroy them too.”

Jonathan shook his head. “It won’t matter unless we get to the heart of things.”

“Aye, ye’re correct. We must find a way to corral the Morrigan, or she’ll just entice more mages and dragons with promises of limitless power.” Britta caught her lower lip between her teeth. “Tarika plans to warn the dragons. She believes the dark mages want to drain their dragon bondmates’ power.”

Jonathan straightened and recaptured the whiskey bottle, taking another swallow. “I thought mages became dragon shifters because they loved dragons and wished to share their lives with them.”

“Aye and that would be true—for most of us. Power lures dark mages, though. Far more power than can be had through the normal dragon shifter bond.”

“How do you know?”

“I saw it in Connor and Rhukon’s minds afore we thrashed them.”

“You didn’t say anything.” He handed her the bottle. Maybe they should eat something, if they were going to drink much more.

“I would have. Eventually. Tarika and I needed to determine just what it meant. And if ’tis really true, or just conjecture on our part.”

He kissed her forehead before swinging his legs over the side of the bed. “I’m going to cut up a bit of cheese for us and get some crackers.” He pulled on a pair of black sweat pants, securing the waist string to keep them from falling down, and got to his feet.

“Excellent.” She grinned. “Plotting revenge is hungry business, but ye dinna have to cover that amazing cock.”

He bit back a laugh, enjoying the compliment, and made his way to the kitchen. His apartment was small enough to keep talking. “Did you discuss this with Lachlan?” he asked as he chopped cheese off a block and opened a box of biscuits.

“Nay, but Tarika and Kheladin figured out what was going on while they were held prisoner.”

Jonathan returned to the bedroom and plopped the snacks on the bed next to Britta. “How does this bondmate thing work? Would Lachlan be privy to the dark mage problem, if it’s in his dragon’s mind?”…

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