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Author Guest Post & Giveaway: Deborah Cooke

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Hello Readers! Today I have a special guest, author Deborah Cooke. Deborah has always been fascinated with dragons, although she has never understood why they have to be the bad guys. She has an honors degree in history, with a focus on medieval studies. She is an avid reader of medieval vernacular literature, fairy tales and fantasy novels, and has written over forty romance novels and novellas. She has also been published under the names Claire Cross and Claire Delacroix. Deborah makes her home in Canada with her husband. When she isn’t writing, she can be found knitting, sewing or hunting for vintage patterns.
Please help me welcome Deborah to That’s What I’m Talking About. And be sure to check out the end of her post for a special giveaway!  Take it away, Deborah…
Here be Dragons!
I love dragons. I always have. I think the first dragon who stole my heart away was Smaug in THE HOBBIT. I had the illustration of him done by the Brothers Hildebrant hung in my room when I was a teenager. (Here’s the image, on their website HERE.)
There is something so magical and powerful about dragons. They are said to be handsome, terrifying, powerful, loyal, and smart. They like to solve riddles. They collect hordes of gold, silver and gemstones. They have long memories, and often are said to have a taste for princesses, maidens and damsels in distress.
I’ve also always been interested in shapeshifters. There’s something marvelous about a creature having the ability to change forms – in fact, humans have told a lot of stories about shapeshiffers through the ages. Because I write romance novels, it probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that I thought it would be amazingly sexy for a hero to be a dragon shapeshifter. He’d be rich, powerful, ready to defend what he considered his own (including the heroine), loyal and smart. What’s not to love about that? Plus he’d be able to fly!
In my Dragonfire world the dragon shapeshifter heroes are all that and more. Plus there are good dragons (the Pyr) and bad dragons (the Slayers) locked in battle. The prize – or treasure of choice – is the earth itself. Each book features the firestorm of one Pyr hero – sparks literally fly when he meets the human woman who can bear his son. The next book in the series is FLASHFIRE (Dragonfire #7), coming in January. (Don’t you love that cover?) 
Now, the Pyr are all male, except for one female dragon who has additional, prophetic powers. She’s called the Wyvern. In the course of writing the Dragonfire Series (spoiler alert) my Wyvern died. (You’ll have to read KISS OF FATE – Dragonfire #3 to find out how and why.) So the baby conceived in that book turned out to be a girl, the next Wyvern.
It took me a while to realize that Zoë, like the male Pyr, would come into her powers at puberty. Once I thought about an angst filled teenager trying to hide her special powers, I knew I had to write Zoë’s story. (Because, really, being 16 and being able to breathe fire would rock.) My Dragon Diaries paranormal YA trilogy features Zoë’s coming of age, balancing the emergence of her powers, a new threat to her kind, and the challenges of boys and high school. WINGING IT, book 2 in that trilogy is out this month and it also has a completely awesome cover. 
So, tell me – if you could shift shape and become any kind of creature, what would you want to be?
Would you have had a different answer when you were 16?
Thanks for stopping by, Deborah! 
GIVEAWAY: NAL Trade (Penguin) is graciously giving away two (2) copies of Deborah’s newest release Winging It. Please tell Deborah what type of shifter you would like to be by leaving a comment for her by Saturday December 10, 2011, at 9:00 PM EST to be eligible for the contest. One entry per person, winners will be selected from eligible entries using random.org. Contest is open to US mailing addresses only. If your email address is not part of your profile, please leave it so I may contact the winners. Thank you to NAL Trade for this fun giveaway!
About the book:
Zoë Sorensson yearns to come into her powers as the only female dragon shifter. But being part of two worlds is more complicated than she expected. It’s bad enough that she’s the target of the Mages’ plan to eliminate all shifters—she also has to hide her true nature from her best friend Meagan, a human. For her sixteenth birthday, all Zoë wants is one normal day, including a tattoo and a chance to see hot rocker Jared.
Instead, the Pyr throw her a birthday party but ban Meagan from attendance, putting Zoë in a tight spot. Things get even worse when Zoë is invited to the popular kids’ Halloween party and Meagan’s left out. Zoë knows the party is a trap laid by the host, an apprentice Mage. When Meagan gets a last-minute invite, Zoë must save the day—and her best friend—without revealing her fire-breathing secrets…
For more about Deborah’s latest, Winging It, come back later today for Gikany and Una’s review.
You can find Deborah at:
WEBSITE 
BLOG 
FACEBOOK

  • Thanks for a fun post and giveaway! I haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of Ms. Cooke’s books so thanks for the chance!

    I love shifters of any kind. I think that if I could pick I’d like to be a dragon too! Nobody would really mess with a dragon!

    Happy Holidays!

  • Wonderful giveaway. I read the first one in your YA series and would love to win the second.

    If I could be a shifter, I think I’d like to be something no one has ever seen before. Like a were-penguin. lol

    At age sixteen, I would have probably wanted to be a were-wolf or something equally dangerous.

  • Shifters who change into dragons. That sounds like my kind of story for sure.

    This sounds like an awesome giveaway, as do the books, both the Hot one and the YA.

  • I think that if I was a shifter, I would want the ability to change into any animal I want. My moods change to often for me to be satisfied just changing into one animal.

    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!
    silverrose313 at gmail dot com

  • I honestly have no idea what kind of shifter I’d be now, although a dog or some other furry animal sounds tempting. At 16, I would have wanted to be a bird and just fly far far away…..

  • If I were to be a shifter, I think I would definitely want to be a wolf. I think they are such majestic and beautiful creatures. They are loyal to family and pack and there is a lot to be said for that…

    justpeachy36@yahoo.com

  • A panther or tiger. One of the large cats. Sleek and majestic.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  • Thanks for the giveaway. I’ve got the first book in this series although it’s currently languishing on my TBR pile. I really need to dig it out.

    If I were going to be any kind of shifter, I’d want to be a feline of some sort, even a house cat would be fine. I’ve always been crazy about cats, so I think my answer at 16 would probably have been the same although that was a long time ago so I don’t really remember how I felt then.
    jen(at)delux(dot)com

  • I think being a dragon shifter would be awesome, they’re such powerful, amazing beings.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  • THIS COMMENT IS FROM THE AUTHOR, DEBORAH COOKE… She emailed me and asked me to post for her.
    —-
    Lots of shifters and lots of dragon shifters! YAY!

    @Gigi – I ADORE the idea of a were-penguin. So out of the box. So FUNNY!

    @Silverrose – I think of the shifters who can become any kind of creature as very highly evolved. They would be fun to write about. OTOH, having a whole society of shifters who become the same kind of creature is interesting too. I like the protocol amongst my dragons, for example, and their traditional roles.

    @WakeAngel – Yup, the bird flying away would be a pretty popular teenage fantasy. No dishes!

    @justpeachy – the very first shifter I ever wrote was a wolf shifter. The book was a medieval romance, with a fairy tale feeling. Harlequin has just reissued it in digital – ENCHANTED by Claire Delacroix. In the nineties, people didn’t know what to make of a wolf shifter hero!

    @donnas and JenM – the SECOND shifter I ever wrote was a panther shifter. Mmmm. He was a sexy beast. That one’s out of print, though. THE MAGICIAN’S QUEST by Claire Delacroix. Thanks JenM for picking up FLYING BLIND!

    Good luck everyone!

    Deb

  • This book sounds great. I’d probably want to shapeshift in to a Dragon. I’d be better at battle. Thanks for the giveaway!

    jcross719(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • I love this post and I am enchanted by the premise of Winging It. I would like to be a chimera of my imagination, which would be a shifter that changes shape as is required and I could be really sneaky:) Thank you for the lovely giveaway opportunity.

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

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