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Excerpt Monday
book cover, MoC
This month I'm participating in Excerpt Monday with several other writers. It's a link fest where readers can read excerpt on one blog and follow links that blog has posted to other blogs where authors have posted excerpts of their books.

For more details regarding Excerpt Monday and a list of participants, go here:


I've highlight five links so you can follow if interested. They are listed after the excerpt. I've not had a chance to read these yet and chose them based on a variety of subgenres and ratings.

My excerpt today is from my fantasy romance novella Draconus. My romantic leads are a dragon shapeshifter and a spellsinger. A fun story to write and one that inspired me to write another dragon shifter story called Wyvern.

Draconus is available as an e-book at Amber Quill Press and Fictionwise and as part of a print anthology called Drago Illuminare available at Amber Quill Press and Amazon.

Drago Illuminare



Now then, on with the excerpt from Draconus:

©2005 by Grace Draven

His first view of her after nearly four years struck him hard. A bitter joy, a seething anger--they swirled together in the pit of his stomach like so much sour wine. He had watched from the shadows of the corridor as she faced the judges. Her features, drawn with fatigue, went from pale to pink to pale again as she answered their charges and turned to face him.

"Thief," he said, letting all the venom coursing through his blood leak into that one accusatory word. She stared at him with an anguished expression before lowering her head to gaze at her manacled hands. Magnus smiled, the facial movement now unfamiliar to his human form. He couldn't remember the last time he'd smiled, and this time it had little to do with humor or pleasure.

He faced the eldest judge, Gersel, the dragon slated to be the next king if rumors of the dragoness votes held true. "I would take back what is mine, Your Grace."

The judge's eyes glittered with recognition of Magnus's double meaning. He gave the human woman one last withering look before striding to Magnus and dropping the ring in his outstretched palm. "You would do well to simply kill her, Magnus," he said. "But she was once yours and is not dragonkind. We will sentence according to your wishes in this case."

Magnus bowed. "I request a private moment with her."

"As you wish." Gersel motioned to the other judges. "We will wait in the main hall." As they gathered together, he inclined his head. "Summon us when you are ready."

They filed out of the chamber on silent feet, dragon light casting their true shadows on the polished walls, revealing great hulking forms and clawed feet instead of human figures.

Magnus's own steps seemed loud in the tense silence as he approached Leida. She stiffened as he drew closer, but kept her head lowered. He circled her slowly, noting her threadbare clothing, the simple leather tie holding the long black hair at her nape.

He seized her hands, ignoring her surprised gasp as he turned her palms up and ran his thumbs across them. They were rough, marred by calluses and scrapes, signs of hard labor. The iron bonds cut into her small wrists, and he felt their effect on his own magic, a slow leaching of potency. They rendered her powerless, a safeguard against whatever talent she was born with or skills she had acquired as a spellcaster.

"I have lived for more than three hundred years," he said, watching with satisfaction as tiny chills raced up her arms in reaction to his voice, "and I still do not understand the way of the human mind, especially that of the human female."

She remained stubbornly silent, though he sensed her curiosity. He dropped her hands and plucked briefly at her skirt. "You left a life of luxury and riches. I was a generous master. You had your own servants, and I draped you in jewels. All I asked in return was your company and your music." He ran a finger over her arm, scowling when she jerked away from his touch. "What thing so tempting lured you away so that you not only stole from me, but are content to live in poverty and endless toil?"

His patience deserted him as she continued to stare at the floor and say nothing. A faint whimper escaped her mouth when he gripped her chin and forced up her head. Her gray eyes darkened with a dull misery as she finally met his gaze. "Answer me, Leida," he snapped.

"I was a possession," she whispered. "A thing to be owned, like your treasures, and cast aside when I no longer gleamed so brightly."

Magnus worked to control the anger seething and bubbling in his veins. "You were the favorite
. My favorite. I held you above all others in my service."

A single hot tear dripped onto his knuckle, sliding between his fingers. Leida's sorrowing expression transformed for a moment, becoming resentful. "Oh, yes. I was your favorite, but for how long? How long before you set me aside for another with a siren's voice and the face of an elfin queen?" Her upper lip curled into a sneer even as more tears tracked down her cheeks. "Dragons are capricious creatures."

His anger, held in check by a slim thread of control, swamped him in the face of her hypocrisy. He released her jaw to wrap both arms around her back and pull her hard against him. Her arms pressed against him from chest to belly, her bound hands curled into fists at his navel. The iron manacles pulsed with a parasitic life of their own, their proximity a diseased sensation that made his abdominal muscles shrink away in instinctive reaction.

Leida closed her eyes as he bent his head and breathed gently against her lips. "And yet it is you who deserted me, offered no reason, gave no warning. You waited for the opportune moment and made your escape, lured by something I could not give. And you took that which meant most to me." His arms tightened against her back. "I'm sure we both recognize the irony of your statement regarding capricious creatures."

Her features, already wan, went bloodless, and she sagged against him. Magnus took advantage of the moment, drawn to the long-remembered feel of her in his embrace. There were differences now. Her hips seemed wider, the soft breasts fuller, the long, curving waist a little thicker. But it only made her more appealing, a new lushness that fit against the planes and angles of his own form as if she'd been made specifically for him.

He took her mouth in a hard kiss, offering no gentleness or forgiveness as he forced her lips open and slid his tongue inside. She tasted the same, felt the same--slick, wet heat and a tongue that met his in a mating dance to send his acute senses spiraling into madness.

There was no protest, no resistance from her as Magnus ran his hands across her back and shoulders, sliding lower to cup her buttocks in his hands and lift her so that her pelvis rested hard against his. He had expected something from her, a struggle to put some distance between them, but Leida sank into his embrace, opening her mouth for a deeper penetration of his tongue.

It was as it had always been between them, and four years of separation faded to dust as Magnus held her, lost to the heat they generated.

Five excerpts from various other authors:

R.F. Long - http://www.rflong.com/blog

Ella Drake - http://elladrake.blogspot.com/

Cynthia Justlin - http://www.cynthiajustlin.com/2009/06/15/excerpt-monday-this-dark-place/

Jamie Babette - http://jamiebabette.wordpress.com/2009/06/15/excerpt-monday-4/

Stephanie Adkins - http://stephanieadkins.wordpress.com/2009/06/15/excerpt-monday-june-15th/

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I'm completely hooked!
The tension between these two and the high stakes grabbed me right in.
Oh, and I have a weakness for Dragon stories.

Thanks! I love dragon stories. Considering their vast mythos, it's easy to be enthralled by these creatures, isn't?

Great excerpt!

Ditto what Ella said. I have a weakness for dragon stories too. Happy Monday!

Stephanie Adkins

Happy Monday to you too!

I love to read about dragons, especially if they're occasionally in human form. :D

Love the way you describe the heat that still flares between them, even after everything they've been through.

I love the worldbuilding and the hints of your dragon society. Sounds like a steamy captive scenario.

Happy Monday!

Oooh. Very nice. I've never read a dragon story before, but I'm hooked. I love the way the consel's shadow look like dragon on the wall, very kewl. And how you create the age old image of a dragon holding a princess preisoner - LOVE IT. WANT MORE PLEASE! ~Cate

Oh wow. that was so good. I'm hooked. You had me right in the story. :)

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