Bound by a Dragon
by Linda K. Hopkins
The dragon turned its head and seemed to look straight at Keira. Pulling her arm out of her sister’s, she drew herself upright and stared straight back, meeting the golden eye of the dragon before it turned its enormous body in a slow, fluid motion and lazily flew towards the mountains.
A dragon has moved into the neighborhood of Keira's small, medieval village, unsettling the residents as they fear for their safety. All except Keira, who is fascinated by the creature, both dangerous and beautiful. But when Aaron Drake decides to take up residence in his ancestral home of Storbrook Castle, set deep in the nearby mountains, Keira finds herself unsettled by the handsome stranger. Why did he decide to move to Storbrook, almost eighty years after it was last inhabited, and does the dragon really live in the caves below the castle?
Keira watched as the great beast circled slowly through the sky, blocking the sunlight for a few seconds on each turn. Fire spewed occasionally from its mouth, dissipating in the cool air before it could set anything alight. All around her people were shouting, grabbing their children and running for their homes, slamming the doors shut behind them before barring them from the inside. Keira shook her head in amusement. A mere door wouldn’t stop a dragon – it could just burn the house down! Anna was tugging on her arm, shouting at her to come, but Keira shrugged her off.
The dragon had taken up residence in the mountains some six months back, and although it was regularly seen soaring above the village, it had yet to kidnap and devour a single innocent maiden. And there were no reports of girls snatched from the other villages, either. Keira knew the stories about the last dragon that had lived in the area. For many years it had peacefully inhabited its mountain lair, until one day it had suddenly turned on the village, burning down half the homes before being killed by some brave soul. But the only questionable thing this dragon had done was to take a few head of cattle and a couple of sheep. And since the dragon always left some form of payment for the animal taken – a small bag of gold, a few precious stones – the villagers didn’t complain too loudly. These payments always far exceeded the worth of the animal. But still, stories about dragons abounded, and the villagers were convinced that it was just a matter of time before the dragon set the village alight and snatched the village girls.
“Come on, Keira.” Anna’s words broke through Keira’s thoughts, reminding her that her parents shared the same fears as the other villagers. “Mother will be furious if we don’t get back to the house now!”
“Stop pulling me! I’m coming!” was Keira’s annoyed response. She glanced back at the sky one more time, admiring the way the scales of the dragon caught the light, throwing back a thousand rainbows against the sky. The dragon was heading away from the village, but before Keira looked away, it turned its head and seemed to look straight at her. Pulling her arm out of Anna’s, she drew herself upright and stared straight back, meeting the golden eye of the dragon before it turned its enormous body in a slow, fluid motion and lazily flew towards the mountains.
To get started can you tell us what you are working on or have coming out?
I am currently working on the sequel to Bound by a Dragon, due to come out early 2015. Also working on a short story about Cathryn and Favian, who make a brief appearance in Bound by a Dragon.
What made you realize that writing was it for you? Do you write full time?
I have had a life-long love affair with books. Just holding a book is a pleasure, and reading a good story is my favorite way to relax. From the time I was young, I would while away many hours by using the books I enjoyed as a starting point to spin out my own fantasies. It has only been fairly recently, however, that I decided to commit these tales to paper, although initially it was for my own personal enjoyment. But when I realized I had a full length book on my hands, I decided to offer it to the reading audience in the hopes they would get as much enjoyment from my story as I have!
I write as much and as often as life with a young family allows me. Having kids at school gives me six uninterrupted hours, which I make full use of. Prior to writing I ran my own home-based quilting business, which has allowed me a fairly easy transition from quilter to writer.
What is a typical day of writing like for you?
As the mother of two 11 year olds, my first job in the morning is to get them up, fed, and out the door. Once the house is quiet, I brew myself a cup of hot coffee, switch on my laptop, and get started. Unlike some writers, I work best when my working environment is completely silent. As long as it is quiet, though, I can work anywhere. I will jot down notes on any scenes or story ideas I've come up with during the night (my imagination seems particularly active at three in the morning!), before settling down to the project at hand. I usually read through my previous day's work, make minor changes, and then start writing. Once I hit my stride, I will write until it is time to fetch the kids from school (goodness, is it that time already?). That usually marks the end of my writing day, but sometimes I will grab a few more hours before I go to bed around midnight.
Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
I love travelling, and living on three different continents (South Africa, England and Canada) means I have already been able to do a fair bit. I especially love Europe where the building are steeped in centuries of history, and where a castle three hundred years old is considered new! The skill and craftsmanship of artisans in previous ages fascinates and amazes me, and learning the stories of people who have lived before thrills me.
Tell us about your next release.
The next book is a sequel to Bound by a Dragon. It will feature more of Aaron and Keira, and will also tell more of Anna's story. It doesn't have a title yet, but I am hoping to have it ready for publication in early 2015.
Linda K. Hopkins lives in Calgary, Canada, with her husband and two great kids. When she's not writing, she's usually reading (a great pastime when you are trapped in a snowbound landscape eight months of the year!), tinkering on the piano or just living life!
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