How Not to Date a Dragon Lord is now available from Changeling Press!
About the Book…
War is coming.
Vissar sends Alita, his Dragon Lord who speaks with his voice, to the village below with orders for the upcoming invasion. Trouble is, Alita would rather burn the village to the ground than speak with any of them.
But orders are orders and Alita, along with her lover, the runaway princess Suli, in tow must venture down to the village. Explosive secrets are bound to be revealed and Alita is forced to deal with her own painful past as a dragon sacrifice.
Meanwhile, the army is advancing, Vissar’s heat is rapidly approaching, his mate Nithe is off finalizing business in the dragon lands, and the idiot Prince Ranid keeps advancing, despite the drama unfolding in his own camp…
Now let’s hear from the author, Stephanie Burke!
How’s it going? I hope you are all doing well. I have been tasked with writing a blog post so fiendishly brilliant that everyone will stop to read and unicorns will invade the earth and everyone would really get down to teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony… and since none of that appears to be happening right now, I’d better just shut up and tell you about my book.
Book Two of the How Not to Date a Dragon trilogy, How Not to Date a Dragon Lord is a story that is very near and dear to my heart. It features a first for me, a lesbian couple where one main protagonist is asexual Domme to a degree and War Master of the Dragon’s Army while her partner is an ex-Princess with an attitude that I find refreshing. To be fair, I loved writing both Alita, the Dragon Lord and Suli, her Princess who rescued herself. Designing both characters was a new experience for me and I relished the chance to write their snappy dialogue as well as creating hot and steamy scenarios where they could explore their sexuality and help center each other for the task that awaits ahead of them.
You see, at the end of book 1, How Not to Date a Dragon, war is iminiante and it is up to our omega Black Dragon Ulvissar and his alpha Red Dragon partner Nithe, to help come up with a plan to protect their castle built deep inside their mountain, the village that keeps trying to sacrifice the women he has been collecting as his horde, and prepare their own army for the fight that is about to happen on their doorstep. But before any of that can happen, the village below has to be prepared as to the reality of what is about to land on their doorsteps. That means Alita, the first sacrifice to survive and bond with Ulvissar, has to return home to the place that had forced her sacrifice generations ago and had become quite successful as the result of the sacrifices of her and the women who were chained and given over to the dragon… even though a sacrifice of women is the last thing that Ulvissar wants or needs. Yes, Alita has to go back to the place that essentially gave up her and the hundreds of women that followed through the centuries as sacrifices to keep the village safe… and now Alita has to help protect them when they couldn’t even take a moment to remember the women they had essentially thought they murdered and who’s blood and death made up the foundation of their success.
How on earth can Alita forgive such a betrayal when even the descendants of her own family fail to remember who she was? And she has to help save these people who have seemingly created a religion out of murdering young women who are not all virgins, not all willing scarifies, and have become the fatted calves to keep their successes growing. It’s good that Princess Suli is trained at diplomacy because as far as Alita is concerned, they can all go to H-E-double-Hockey Sticks on an express pass.
I had fun creating this trilogy within the How Not to Date series because of dragons. Seriously, I am obsessed with dragons. Half of my tattoos are dragons and in my mind, they always were a force of comfort and fierce protection. So when I proposed How Not to Date a Dragon, How Not to Date a Dragon Lord, and the final book of the trilogy, How Not to Date a Dragon Master, I knew I had to pull out all of the stops for my beautiful winged terror lizards. I have written about other dragons before in the past, in the Dragon Stone Trilogy for example, but I never before have I had the chance to create such brilliantly twisted scenarios and tropes in my writing as I have created for this trilogy.
There is the inclusion of the Alpha, Omega, and Beta world and the dragons’ insane anatomy and physiology that I laughed myself nearly into a headache creating. There are strange and comedic travels of an army being led by an idiot prince to start a war that he knows he can’t win but, you know, he needs the glory of battle to quench the flames of passionate anger that fill him at the escape— uh, death of his bride. And then there is the bloodthirsty horde of battle-trained women who are eager to put all of their training to a real test. Did I mention broody omega dragons in heat because my broody omega dragon is in heat and demands that his alpha gives him everything… or else. Trust me, they are not your average alpha/omega couple and if Nithe, the beautiful Red Dragon fails in his duty— I shudder to think of what Ulvissar the Black Dragon will do to him… and I’m the one who wrote the crazy story.
As delightful as it was to create the world that Alita, Suli, Vissar, and Nithe inhabit, they are still not my favorite in the How Not to Date series line-up. I came up with an idea to create a series set in different worlds around a major theme, bad first dates, and it exploded into the award-winning monster that it is today. I first shared this idea with author D Renee Bagby/Zenobia Renquest as we were traveling home from a writer’s convention. The first book, How Not to Date an Alien was all about misconceptions and biases we have and are likely to run across when dating outside of your race or in the first book’s case, your species. I think we both laughed so hard at the idea that I knew that I had to create more funny bits of escapism that lined up with some of the worst first dates imaginable. Before we made it home, I think we outlined about seventy How Not to Date books, and even more were requested… ie demanded with threats of bodily harm… from my beautiful readers whom I would not be here today without the help of. Seriously, a bunch of insane readers decided I should write How Not to Date a Skunk and How Not to Date a Human without any input from me. I was delivered an ultimatum… write these books or we will come up with more outrageous books for you to write. I wrote the books much to my reader’s delight, and peace was restored to the land until they demanded How Not to Date a Centaur but I managed to pull that one off too so the flaming pitchforks didn’t come out.
I have to say, out of all my novellas in the How Not to Date series, my favorite is How Not to Date a Bear. While explaining the plot to D Renee Bagby, she is often instrumental in my foolishness, we laughed ourselves stupid over the plot. What if a bear shifter was accidentally shaved bald by his unknowing mate just before he had to go out and prevent a war between Russian Grizzly bear shifters and their neighbors The Brown bear Shifters who think they are an invading army trying to take over their territory when all they truly want is to live in peace. It may have also something to is with this photo of a bald bear landing in my lap.
See that expression? That is the look that my poor bear wears when he discovered what his mate had done. We laughed ourselves silly over the plot and D Renee liked it so much that she poked and prodded until we came up with How Not to Date a Bear, too… Cougar Boogaloo which was the title in my head but we just stuck with How Not to Date a Bear, Too.
So there you have it, some of my favorite How Not to Date series books and a glimpse at How Not to Date a Dragon Lord. I hope you all take the time to explore these and other titles I have available and that you find as much delight in reading them as I found in writing them.
Love you, Loves!
Stephanie “Flash” Burke