Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Guest post: paranormal romance, magical thrill ride or social study? by Juliette Cross | New Release: Dragon Heartstring (Vale of Stars #0.5)

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Juliette Cross' work. I have adored her writing from the moment I read Soulfire and learned about Morgons, her dragon-human hybrids and soulfire.

Since Soulfire, I've pretty much glommed everything on Juliette's back list, most recently her Vessel Trilogy. I'm very late to the game on that one but trust me, excellent series, excellent read. The bloggity's very own Mr Manview even gave it 5 stars!!

But we are not here to talk about her back list. We are here to talk about her latest release, Dragon Heartstring. This book has been very long awaited by fans of the Nightwing series. We've been wanting Demetrius' story ever since we met him in Soulfire. I, for one, have been dying to know how Juliette would redeem him. To say I am excited about this book is an understatement.

So aside from my fangirling over the book, I'll let you read a bit more about Demetrius.

Please give Juliette very warm welcome.

Gothic vaulted ceiling
Photo credit: mharrsch via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

While some may view the genre of paranormal/fantasy romance as nothing more than a thrill ride with the supernatural, there are often threads of the real world woven into the stories. Many stories in this genre address social issues of the day, but are simply framed within the confines of magical and supernatural elements. For all of my series, there is a central theme that threads through the overall arc of the novels. So it’s no great surprise that the hero of DRAGON HEARTSTRING is Demetrius Cade, formerly seen in the NIGHTWING series as the overprotective brother following in his father’s footsteps of bigotry against the Morgon race.

Ever since I wrote SOULFIRE, I’ve wanted to write a book of redemption for Demetrius. Perhaps I am a bit hopeful and optimistic, but I like to think that all people can change for the better in this world, no matter how far they’ve fallen. The Demetrius we see in this prequel to VALE OF STARS is just that sort of character. But while he’s reformed his own faulty trait of being blindly prejudiced against Morgons, not everyone sees him as he truly is.

In steps our heroine Shakara Icewing, a Morgon healer, who runs a clinic for both humans and Morgonkind. What we see at first is along the lines of Pride and Prejudice where Demetrius is a bit pompous and proud, and it is really she who is prejudice against the man she thinks he is. I loved writing the moments in the story where the walls start to crumble and Shakara finally sees him for the noble man he has become. I’d like to share an exclusive excerpt from their first meeting which demonstrates the spark that sets off the fire between these two fated lovers. Enjoy!

And now here's Dragon Heartstring.

Dragon Heartstring by Juliette Cross

Dragon Heartstring
Vale of Stars #0.5
By: Juliette Cross
Releasing October 25, 2016
Self published

Buy Links:  Amazon 

Dragon Heartstring by Juliette Cross blurb

 Goodreads | Goodreads series

Dragon Heartstring by Juliette Cross teaser 1


    When I leaned to stand beside her, I accidentally brushed the bottom of her wings with my hand. She flinched and tightened them against her back.
    “Sorry,” I said, always a little uncomfortable about a Morgon’s wings, the obvious physical difference between our species.
    To be honest, I still felt uncomfortable around Morgons. In business, I recognized that my anxiety level heightened in meetings when Cade Enterprises was negotiating with various Morgon-owned companies for distribution or exports. I kept these meetings direct and short. Cade Enterprises hadn’t yet hired a Morgon on staff, and my father would never approve the notion.
    “It’s okay,” said Shakara with a shake of the head, though I noticed her lean away to be sure and avoid contact.
    I clasped my hands in front of me to give her space. “So, you work at a clinic?”
    “Yes. I run the clinic on Sable Street.”
    I paused, knowing exactly which clinic that was. “In the Warwick District?”
    “Yes. You know of it?”
    “I do,” I said, glancing her way with curiosity.
    The Feygreir Healers Clinic on Sable Street was the first one opened on street level. Most Morgons kept their clinics in high towers.
    “Go on,” she said. “Ask me.”
    “Ask you what?”
    “Don’t be coy, Demetrius.”
    I straightened and tucked my hands in my pants pockets. “All right then. Why did you decide to place your Morgon clinic on the street-level?”
    “I thought that was rather obvious. I treat humans as well as Morgons.”
    Her answer was surprising and more direct than I expected. She looked at me, then laughed. “Have I shocked you?”
    “No. I mean, yes.” I shook my head, rarely addled by anyone. “I just thought, or actually I didn’t think…” I was never at a loss for words, but I couldn’t seem to find the polite response.
    “You didn’t think Icewings would want to treat humans with our healing gifts.”
    Her wings drew my attention once more—delicate yet strong—much like the woman standing next to me.
    “Quite frankly, no, I didn’t.”
    She smiled and returned to watching the children, but I couldn’t stop looking at her.
    “It was your sister who gave me the idea.”
    She gave a little nod. “I was the Icewing who healed her wound.”
    “You?” My pulse pounded faster. She was the one who had saved Jessen that horrific day. “I never found out who it was.”
    “It was a serious injury, but Jessen is a strong woman.”
    “Yes, she is.”
    At that moment, Jessen carried out the cake and set it on a center table.
    Shakara continued. “Afterwards, I realized something.”
    “What was that?”
    She angled her body to face me. I did the same since an intensity in her expression seemed to require my attention.
    “Our gifts weren’t meant only for Morgonkind. That all people, humans as well as Morgons, should be given the same opportunity for treatment and care. To be honest, I felt rather selfish keeping it to our own kind.”
    For a moment, I was struck utterly dumb, transfixed by sea-green eyes and the strength of will in this woman. A pause stretched between us. She didn’t fill it with small talk or try to flirt or giggle as so many women did in my company. Rather, she remained silent as if awaiting judgment for her lofty ideals. For wanting true equality among the species.
    “You know,” I said cautiously. “I admire your candor and certainly your willingness to do some good, but I’m afraid you’ve set yourself up for disappointment.”
    She arched a brow. “Oh?”
    “I think you give humans too much credit. They will not accept your help. The world isn’t quite ready for it.”
    She laughed and turned a pitying look on me. “Oh, I hate to break this to you, but I already have human patients. Regulars, as a matter of fact.”
    “Okay, Julian!” called Jessen over the murmur of the party-goers. “Time for your birthday cake.” She bent to light the three candles.
    Shakara took a step toward the gathering crowd, then turned back to me. “The world is ready, Demetrius. The question is, are men like you?”

Dragon Heartstring by Juliette Cross teaser 2

Other books in the series:

Waking The Dragon by Juliette Cross
Dragon In The Blood by Juliette Cross

About the author

Juliette Cross

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  1. Congrats on the new release Juliette I know how much Deanna loves your stories and I have added your name and books to my must get list :) they do sound very good

    Have Fun

    1. Helen, you really do need to read Juliette. She's amazing.