For those who joined me on the Dragon Horse War journey when THE CALLING debuted a year ago, the trilogy continues this month with the release of TRACKER AND THE SPY.
THE CALLING told the story of First Warrior Jael who was ordered by The Collective Council to assemble an army of dragon horse warriors and stop The Natural Order, a dangerous cult gaining ground in their society.
The cult is a retro movement—not in a groovy 60s kind of way—that promotes belief in a single deity who has a propensity for torturing any souls who don’t worship him and declares men as master over the perpetual source of new human life, namely women. The cult’s leader, who calls himself The Prophet, isn’t a live-and-let-live kind of guy and intends to force the rest of humanity to conform to his belief by taking control of the world’s dwindling food supply. So far, his plan is working.
Jael’s mission, of course, catches a little bad air when she falls head over heels for her direct opposite, First Advocate Alyssa, a peace-loving empath. Alyssa has issues with Jael’s mission to prematurely cremate (as in before he’s dead) The Prophet so that his badly born soul will be purified to reincarnate and make restitution in his next life for his misdeeds in this life.
The Calling ends just after the Jael’s army of flying pyros concludes its first clash with The Natural Order. The dragon-horse warriors scatter The Natural Order believers in that first battle, but The Prophet and his second-in-command escape.
Capt. Tanisha, one of the six warriors of the elite Guard who are Jael’s command staff, is an expert tracker. It’s just that Tan has a few quirks, a few guilt and anger issues left over from her previous lives. So Jael assigns Kyle to help the complex and solitary Tan in her hunt for The Prophet.
That is a bit of a problem.
Kyle is an exceedingly powerful, but untrained pyro who just happens to be the daughter of The Prophet. She’s just joined the dragon horse army after escaping from her father and wants no part of Jael’s plan to return her to The Natural Order as a spy.
Also, Tan’s even more twitchy than usual because her dragon horse has picked this inopportune time to get the urge to mate. Since warrior and dragon horse are bonded, Phyrrhos’ urgent need for love is driving Tan crazy with lust. The last thing she needs is to be distracted by an untrained sparkler—especially one with a hot body with eyes as blue as lasers—while she’s tracking.
But Jael pulls rank and orders the tracker and the spy partnership.
Then, when things can’t get any worse, Phyrrhos decides Jael’s dragon stallion, Specter, is prime daddy material. Specter is willing, which drives Jael a little crazy.
That lights the First Advocate’s candle because she’s laid claim to the First Warrior’s sexy assets and isn’t about to let two horny dragon horses trigger a rerun of Tan’s and Jael’s former “friends with benefits” relationship.
Then there’s Phyrrhos’ sudden and baffling affection for Kyle—not in a mating, but in a motherly kind of way.
Sun and stars! This is no time for a meeting of the mile-high club. The Prophet and his henchmen are getting away.
Totally didn’t see this coming
I’ve always been a “plotter” rather than a “pantser.” Translation: I write from an outline because my writing time is jammed in around a full time job, the chores of living and a little time with friends so they don’t forget who I am. So, an outline lets me put a manuscript down for a few days or even a few weeks and pick right back up where I left off.
The characters in the Dragon Horse War trilogy had other ideas. I started it as a lark because I had an unusual spate of weird dreams about dragons. Then it became my personal commentary on the decline of current society into a culture of hate and greed, and, to my own surprise, an introspective journey of discovery.
Best of all, the Dragon Horse War trilogy is a wild adventure of pyro-gifted warriors, flying horses, and the discovery of many other less fantastic gifts we humans didn’t know we could wield. The good guys have flaws, some of the bad guys have redeeming qualities and the story has lots of bumps along the way.
Back on track
Meanwhile, Tracker and the Spy is the longest manuscript I’ve ever written, because the misbehaving dragon horses is the only the spark—its real importance emerges later—that starts Tan’s and Kyle’s personal story and their mission to track down The Prophet.
There are battle scenes, tragedy, unanticipated developments and new characters to love and hate. There’s also personal discovery, romance…and a set-up for the third book to come.
That final book has yet to be written, and honestly, while I think I know how it will end, I can only say for sure that the characters will let me know.
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