The Gift of Charms Book #1 is NOW available in paperback to PRE-ORDER at AMAZON HERE http://tinyurl.com/o95ufw9
‘A beautifully presented, wonderfully unique debut’ – The Sun
‘It was during the time that my son was at junior school that I was inspired to write the first novel. One day I had an epiphany – ideas came flooding in.
I had been thinking back to the wonderful vintage books I had read and wishing there were more like this – but with unique and modern edge and interactive web presence. I knew first hand what parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles were looking for when purchasing a book for their children, yet more than that, I also knew what adults sought themselves. They wanted gripping action, loads of adventure – all the classic aspects of heroes and villains, mystery and magic, quests and suspense, and the hope of happy endings.
I wanted to write books with universal appeal, that were fantastical and ‘out there’ and yet still felt somehow real; to fulfil the expectations of book lovers and also hook non-readers back into reading. For me this had to be in the form of a series set in a place we would all be excited to visit – and so the Land of Dragor came to be’.
SNEAK PEEK! SNEAK PEEK! SNEAK PEEK!
‘Many great creatures first roamed the earth with us,’ Ma’am Sancy announced to
her class, her wings held wide. ‘There were all different types. Some had trunks
and tusks as long as their bodies. Others had claws that enabled them to leap
through the highest trees in the forests.’ The younglings all gazed at their history
teacher, as her words captured their full attention.
‘At first they were happy to share the lands with us. But as the
years went by, the earth moved and the seas divided,’ she continued.
‘Some of the dinosaurs sought survival by breeding with our dragon
ancestors against their will creating a super-evil species known as
dragsaurs – monsters who were willing do anything to take over the world
and destroy us!’ One of the orange Mida dragons gasped in horror at the
thought of such beasts.
‘But despite their efforts, and indeed after many great wars, both
dragsaurs and dinosaurs became extinct. It was only us dragons who
managed to survive the new climates, though we became slaves to man.
That is until one great rebellion, when after receiving a special gift we
managed to escape and flee to the Land of Dragor, where we now remain
hidden below the smoky mists.’
The Strange Egg
First came the whispers, then the rumours, and by New Birth’s Eve every dragon was
gossiping that Kiara had laid a strange egg.
Some said it was square, like the toffee-nuts gathered by the sweet-toothed
Bushki dragons. Whilst other dragons claimed they had heard a strange sound from
Kiara and Ketu’s cave as they had flown overhead, as if the egg was singing. And the
older dragons said it was the grey colour of a sickly hatchling, that when the shell
broke the Hudrah dragon would arrive with her black wicker basket to ferry the infant
Each clan had its own Hudrah, who would watch over the births. But as the
night darkened on Kiara’s cave there was no sign of her coming.
Then a great crack echoed around the mountain.
The egg was hatching.
Kiara had not left nest for three seasons. She had sat patiently in the same
position day and night, feeding on mouthfuls of powdery quartz whilst hiding her egg
from prying eyes. Now she looked on with Ketu by her side as the shell opened.
It split into two, then four, and a determined little pink snout became visible.
Suddenly, a dark shape appeared at the mouth of the cave – Yula the Nephan
clan Hudrah had arrived.
Some said Hudrahs possessed the sharpest of hearing that could sense the first
pecks inside an eggshell from far distances, whilst others thought it was the black
stones they wore around their necks that had magical powers to foretell a new birth.
But on this occasion the Hudrah’s powers to predict a birth had not worked
soon enough. Yula rushed through the cave entrance, her large red body and silver
cape barely squeezing through.
‘Oh horror!’ she exclaimed. ‘It has cracked open already!’
Healthy dragon eggs were a delicate lilac colour, which after birth lay in pretty
pieces around the baby-pink hatchling, which within hours would change to one of
the seven dragon clan colours.
This eggshell was very different. It was every colour of the rainbow and
jewelled like the contents of a treasure chest. It swirled with yellow, green, blue and
violet and shone and sparkled in the firelight.
The pieces of the shell fell away.
Kiara breathed out in relief to see that her hatchling was the same pink as all
others. The tiny dragon wiggled to dislodge the last piece of shell.
Kiara moved to help nudge it off with her nose, but Yula stopped her.
‘Let me see the hatchling make his own way,’ she insisted.
The determined little dragon shook off the last piece of shell and Kiara
immediately scooped him up in great delight and nuzzled him.
‘Oh, isn’t he perfect?’ she exclaimed, holding him out to the others. ‘See his
straight little muzzle, his lovely ears and just look at his big green eyes!’
Ketu looked at the newborn, full of pride. ‘Our beautiful son,’ he said
watching Kiara holding him aloft and then bringing the baby close back against her
Kiara continued to smile. ‘Yoshiko,’ she said. ‘His name shall be Yoshiko,’
and with that she leaned forward to kiss her hatchling.
Then there was a flash of black.
For the first time in her history as a Hudrah, Yula had taken out the black
wicker basket. Ketu moved quickly to protect Kiara and the baby hatchling.
‘What do you mean by this, Yula?’ Kiara exclaimed. ‘Our hatchling is a
perfectly healthy addition to the Nephan clan!’
Yula shook her head slowly. ‘Step aside, both of you,’ she snarled. ‘Do not
obstruct the Hudrah in her work. This hatchling is cursed. It is my duty to protect the
clans of our land so I must take him away immediately!’
Kiara stared at Yula defiantly. ‘There is nothing wrong with my hatchling,’
she said. ‘Any who look at him would know he is a blessed creature. There is no need
for him to be carried away by the . . .’ But she could not even bring herself to say the
‘The black wicker basket is for the good of all,’ insisted Yula boldly. ‘Give
me your son, or I shall use my Hudrah powers to take him from you. Once the basket
has emerged there is no hope for this dragon.’
Ketu stepped forward quickly to intervene, taking Yula calmly by the
shoulder. ‘It has been too a long night for you, Ma’am,’ he said. ‘Thirteen births so
far and this your fourteenth.’
Yula nodded with uncertainty.
‘Our dragon is as normal as any young hatchling, who all come in different
shapes and sizes!’ continued Ketu. ‘As for the shell, please look again. It is only the
reflection of the flames that makes it glint strangely. Besides,’ he added, ‘you must be
tired and I have not yet paid you for your services.’
http://www.juliasuzuki.com (Author blog and website)
http://www.landofdragor.com (An interactive website for Dragor fans)
http://www.twitter.com/juliasuzuki_uk (Follow Julia here on Twitter)
http://facebook.com/juliasuzukiauthor (Follow Julia and here on Facebook)
http://goodreads.com/juliasuzuki (See latest book reviews)
http://amazon.com/juliasuzuki (Buy the books here)