Sneak Peek: Persuading the Dragon
As a special treat to my readers, I have the exclusive first look at the opening to Persuading the Dragon, the long-awaited next book in my Stonefire Dragons series! The first chapter is too long to share in its entirety, but this is the entire first POV scene from the heroine, Ivy Passmore. The full story will be out May 14, 2020. I'll make sure to put the preorder links after the excerpt. Enjoy and feel free to leave a comment. 🙂
Copyright 2020, Mythical Lake Press / Jessie Donovan
Ivy Passmore slowly opened her eyes, only to blink them against the bright light above her.
Her mind was foggy, and it took everything she had on getting her eyes to stay open and focus.
Although once she did, the bare, cream walls and white ceiling told her nothing of where she was.
Something about her running through a forest, trying to find dragon-shifters came back to her.
Why would she go looking for dragons? She hated them. She'd heard stories of how they'd terrorized some of her coworkers before. Besides, everyone knew the dragon-shifters would soon demand humans to help increase their numbers, whether the women wanted to go or not. To deny them meant risking their wrath, and really, what chance did a human have of winning against someone who could change into a beast?
After all, a group of dragons flying in the sky could take over any small town or village in the UK without breaking a sweat.
She tried turning over to her side but couldn't budge an inch. Her entire body was heavy, as if rocks were stacked on top of her chest to keep her from moving.
While Ivy had never been the strongest person in the world, she could bloody turn over. Something was wrong with her.
Trying to make a sound, a barely audible gurgle escaped. Within seconds, a man's face came into view, his dark brows drawn together.
She had no idea who he was, but his brown eyes took in her face, as if he needed to catalogue every detail.
Then he moved better into her view, and she noticed the tattoo on his upper bicep. Her heart skipped a beat and she resisted screaming.
It was a dragon-shifter.
And given how she'd worked with the Dragon Knights, who made it their goal to eradicate dragon-shifters at every opportunity, her chances didn't look good.
He'd probably kill her.
She tried to scream, but only more gurgling escaped. The dragonman sighed before his Northern English accent filled the room. “So you're awake. Now, calm the fuck down already.”
Ivy remained still—not that she could move much beyond her eyes and her lips—and waited to see what he'd do.
She was currently helpless. Maybe that could save her. Dragons were ruthless, but if they had wanted to kill her, they would've done it already, right?
He muttered, “I'll fetch the doctor. Maybe you'll listen to them. However, we're not done yet. You and I are going to see a lot of each other.” He leaned an inch closer. “Because you're going to tell me why you showed up here, not to mention what you know of the Knights.”
The dragonman leaned back and left before she could even think of how to respond to that.
Although his words niggled at something, a memory at the back of her mind.
Running through the forest, her stomach gnarling with hunger.
Dragons flying in the sky above.
The answer was so close, but just out of reach. If she could growl convincingly, Ivy would've done it right then.
It wasn't as if she had amnesia. She remembered her name and that she lived in Brighton.
She also had a brother, Richard.
The name triggered overwhelming grief. It flooded her body, making her heart squeeze.
Then she remembered: Richard was dead. So was his long-term partner, David.
And it had something to do with her.
Tears prickled her eyes. Damn it, why couldn't she remember everything?
Was her brother's death related to the dragons? If so, it'd give her even more reason to hate the bastards.
And yet, for some reason, she didn't think it had been them. But who else would kill her brother?
Someone entered her room, garnering her attention. Ivy managed to turn her head a few inches to see the visitor.
A tall woman with mousy brown hair pulled into a ponytail walked toward her, the lab coat and stethoscope around her neck denoting her as a doctor.
When her pupils flashed to slits, Ivy stilled again. Another dragon-shifter.
She was more afraid of the dragon doctor than the muscled dragonman. Instinctively, Ivy knew that someone could cause far more long-lasting pain with drugs and medical science than with a physical beating.
After all, the Dragon Knights had been using drugs as their main focus in the last few years, experimenting on dragons when they could.
Drugs she'd helped formulate.
More information hovered just outside her reach. Had she killed someone related to these dragon-shifters? If that was so, then she had no bloody idea why they'd kept her alive. Weren't they supposed to be bloodthirsty when it came to revenge?
The dragon doctor spoke in the same Northern English accent as the man. “My name is Dr. Sid. And I can see from the terror in your eyes that you're afraid of me. Now, I can only imagine the stories you've heard over the years, ones that made you want to work with the bloody Dragon Knights. However, I uphold the same oath as any human doctor in that I do no harm. I'm part of the reason you're awake right now, and still alive. So I suggest calming down and answering me truthfully. Lies will only hurt you in the long run, and that will be your own damn fault.”
Ivy nearly blinked at the dragonwoman's words. Would she truly try to help her if she were honest? Yes, the doctor had kept Ivy alive until now. Although she still had no idea for what purpose.
Trust wasn't something she'd give to any dragon-shifter, but if the doctor could help her get better, then Ivy would at least be honest concerning her health.
Because once she had all her memories and fully recovered her strength, she'd need to find some way to escape the dragons and head back to her home down south.
Dr. Sid studied her a second before asking, “Can you talk? Speak if you can, or else blink twice for no.”
She tried to say she could, but her throat and mouth were dry, and all that came out was “Aaahhhh.”
The dragonwoman reached into one of her pockets, extracted a small plastic bag filled with ice chips, and opened it. “Here, let's try this first.”
Dr. Sid placed an ice chip at Ivy's lips. The coolness mixed with wetness made her realize how thirsty she was.
Seeing as the dragons hadn't killed her when unconscious, she parted her lips to accept the ice. As it melted down her throat, she nearly moaned.
After a few more, Dr. Sid stopped and asked, “How about now?”
She croaked, “I think I can.”
While her voice was faint and somewhat scratchy to her own ears, it seemed to be enough for the doctor who asked, “Do you hurt anywhere?”
Shaking her head was easier, so Ivy did that. The doctor continued, “Can you wiggle a finger?”
Unsure, Ivy concentrated. She must've succeeded before the dragonwoman nodded. “Good. Now let's try other parts of your body. But don't be alarmed if you can't move much just yet. You've been in a coma for about a year, and your muscles have atrophied. It's going to take some intensive physical therapy to get you walking again, let alone for you to regain the ability to sit upright without help.”
Ivy blinked. She'd been out over a year?
Just what the bloody hell had happened to her?
Not that she had much time to think about it. The dragon doctor pushed her to answer questions and try moving various parts of her body. But during the entire set of questions and tests, all Ivy wanted was for her memory to fully return.
It was bad enough she'd lost an entire year of her life—although granted, still being alive at the hands of dragon-shifters was better than dead—but she desperately wanted every memory back she'd possessed before setting foot on the dragons' lands.
Because only then could she really start to piece back together what had happened to her and plan the next steps of her future.
Want to preorder so it automatically downloads on release day (May 14th)? Click your vendor of choice below:
NOTE: Google Play will be out on release day–May 14, 2020. The paperback version will be on sale soon after the ebook release.
3 thoughts on “Persuading the Dragon Excerpt”
I tried to read as slowly as possible to make it last. I'll probably read it a several more times before the book is released. Great start to a Ivy's story. Will she be the key to helping the dragons with their fight against the Dragon Knights?
Can't wait for it to be out in print form. I've been rereading all the dragon books in order and am almost to the last one that I could get in paperback. Thank you for creating different situations for each book.
I really think that this one has the potential to be interesting. I have a bad habit of losing interest in any story if it feels too much like a repeating pattern. Will Zane learn how to help Ivy relearn how to walk, talk, and recover? Will he learn to care for the person she is versus the mate his dragon wants her to be? Will Ivy be able to accept/complete the change in perspective that learning to care for a dragon-man requires, especially in having to change long held and cherished beliefs/pre-judgements about the dragon-people? If you go back to basics of “We are all just people,” then this book has the potential to be about not being prejudiced about other peoples in the world that exist and do things differently than you were taught.