Eilean Donan Castle by DRW Photography

Monday, August 18, 2014

Victoria Zaks, Spotlight/Guest Post, Review of Highland Burn and Excerpt.






Dare to Dream the Unthinkable…


Never dreamed I’d become a writer.
 

Ever since I made the world changing announcement that I had written a book, I’ve been asked several times “What inspired you to write?”  


For me, the writing bug didn’t bite me until I was in my thirties. In my younger years; I hated to read. I was the girl who was humiliated in front of class by her fourth grade teacher because I didn’t read the book for the book report due. I was the girl who would think of any excuse to ditch English class. 


Moving forward in time, as me, my husband and six month old son moved to a new area, I desperately needed some mommy friends. I checked the local paper for some mommy meet up groups and found a fitness organization that was geared towards moms with babies, Stroller Strides. So, off I went to the park with my exercise mat, weights, and stroller to meet other moms going through motherhood just like me.



 It wasn’t until my Stroller Strides instructor, Lisa Holland announced that not only was she going to challenge our fitness level, but she was going to challenge us to step outside of our comfort zone; find something challenging and conquer it. 



I must have been sleep deprived that day when I picked my Healthy Mom Challenge because I chose to read a novel. At that point in my life, I was looking for any excuse just to have a half an hour to myself without having to entertain my six month old. It was a perfect. I was challenging myself, I got a mini break from being mommy, and to top it off I could have a glass of wine while I read.



I discovered quickly that I really enjoyed reading, in fact I was going through 2-3 books a month. Every time I would visit our local Walgreens, which was quite often due the emergency midnight trips for a fever reducer, I would stop by their paperback section and pick out a book. 


After reading book after book in all different genres, I wanted to write my own stories. I’ve always had an active imagination, but never had the confidence to write my thoughts down. I’d stored the tales in my memories and pulled them out on those sleepless nights.  




Not knowing much about the writing process, I did my own research. I read everything from Writing for Dummies to tuning in to writing webinars on the computer. With the encouragement from a fellow author and friend I set forth to write my book. And I did. 



My advice to you no matter what it is you want to do, always dare to dream the unthinkable. I was the last person anyone would have thought to have written a book. Believe in yourself. You never know what true organic abilities you have hidden within you until you tap into them. And never give up! Keep trying until you have done the best that you can.  


Thank you so much Kimi for having me back on your blog. 


Victoria Zak xoxo

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Excerpt:


Prologue

Before Scotland was Scotland, two powerful societies ruled the region together. Two kingdoms, intertwined and complementary; one could not flourish without the other. One kingdom belonged to the Scots and the other to Dragonkine. The Kine were a powerful and ancient race, borne by the masters of old. They possessed both a dragon and human spirit and could take the form of each. As legend would have it, they were created to provide balance to the world and heal the wounds of the ‘pre-history’.

Throughout their rule, Dragonkine had proven their worth far more than any riches or coin. They were masters when it came to the lay of the land. Because of the magic their inner dragons held, they knew where to plant fields so that harvests would flourish. They knew where to build temples, and with their strength they could build sturdy, lasting villages. The Scots depended on the Kine greatly.

Fierce warriors, Dragonkine defended their realm with unstoppable power and merciless strength, yet they were not infallible. Without a mate, their inner dragons were unstable. Only a Dragonkine female possessed the power to calm the beast inside. Kine women were a rare race of their own. Though their bodies did not take possession of a dragon, their beauty was beyond exquisite, it was magical. Beautiful elegant Celtic knotwork patterns marked their flawless skin from the forefinger up beyond the shoulders, stopping just short of the breast. A mated female was even more alluring. Once mated, the markings on their skin would assume the color of their mate’s elemental power. The women were valued as Goddesses and were worshiped by all Dragonkine. If it weren’t for their female's grace and their ability to calm the beast inside, a warrior’s dragon would take over and unleash hell on Earth.

Together the Scots and Dragonkine fought off many Viking attacks and tribal conflicts, and maintained peace between the kingdoms. They ruled together for over a hundred peaceful years until a sacred bond was broken. Since the time before time, it was forbidden for a human to mate with Dragonkine.

Trouble began when both kings’ heirs became of age and were pressured into finding the proper mate.

King Drest, the Dragonkine king, had a beautiful daughter, Vayla Blue. Being that she was of marrying age, her beauty had attracted many strong and wealthy Kine suitors. Not only was the princess appealing, Vayla had the grace of a queen and a loving heart. She was adored by all of her people, but most of all, she was the sparkle in her father’s eye.

King Drest loved his daughter more than life itself. Being as she was his only heir to the throne and to carry on his lineage, he protected Vayla and kept her safe, mayhap a little too much. Five elite warriors, who seemed to never leave her side, followed her wherever she went. And when she wasn’t being followed, her mother relentlessly dictated to her as to how a proper princess should act and taught her well, for Kine women were the backbone of their society.

One summer morning King Drest called a royal meeting and by midday his great hall was filled with top ranked warriors from both realms including King MacAlpin, the king of the human realm. Urgent business regarding a neighboring tribe crossing borders and pillaging its villages was the discussion at hand.

“Mac, are we to wait for yer son to show up or do we start without him?” King Drest was starting to become impatient with the young lad. Mac should teach his son some manners when it came to being on time.

MacAlpin ran his hand repeatedly down his plaited beard as he stood by the window sternly eyeing his son hastily making his way through the bailey, winking an eye as he passed by a group of Dragonkine females. “He’ll be here,” he grumbled.

Constantine, King MacAlpin’s son and heir to the throne, charmed the ladies with his vivid green eyes, chiseled jaw, and long sandy blonde hair with war braids framing his boyish face. As beautiful as he was, the Gods had blessed him with brawn and brains, yet his maturity was still questionable.

MacAlpin glared at Constantine as he entered the great hall. He loved his son, but the boy needed discipline. Not that he wasn’t honorable or respectful, but trouble just seemed to find him. MacAlpin blamed his wife for allowing Constantine to run amuck, for he could do no wrong in her eyes.

Once everyone was seated, King Drest called the first order of business. Constantine became bored with the mundane arguing and found himself looking out of a window daydreaming, when a beautiful woman came into view. Her long tawny hair streamed down her back in parted waves enticing his eyes to feast upon her. A white gown outlined in gold hugged her body, revealing her slender figure and full round breasts. His head perked up when bright blue eyes caught his stare. Constantine was too busy admiring her curves to notice a small green dragon perched on her shoulder. She was feeding him some kind of fruit.

Constantine thought he would never take another breath when she flashed him an irresistible smile. He knew right then and there that this woman, nay this magnificent woman, had to be his wife. He wouldn’t settle for less.

The meeting took forever; at least for Constantine it did. He couldn’t wait to track his woman down and it didn’t help that he was as hard as a rock. He kept shifting in his seat trying to relieve the stiffness. He even tried thinking about their hag of a cook back home, naked, but nothing was going to satisfy his need until he claimed his obsession.

Once the meeting was over he found her. She playfully led him back behind a rowan tree where they tore off each others clothing, their hands exploring each other as he kissed her like no other, soft and slow, building up to an unquenchable rapture. Vayla surrendered to her own needs as Constantine backed her up against the tree and claimed her ever so sweetly.

As lust was finally sated, Constantine laid her down upon lush green grass and made love to her again, but this time he took his time discovering her luscious body. He couldn’t get enough of her soft skin, womanly curves, and her long lean legs.

After they had their fill of each other, Constantine fell asleep with his head on Vayla’s lap. As she watched Constantine sleep, she made a small cross out of twigs from the rowan tree and bound the sticks together with strands of her golden hair. This was forbidden. Dragonkine women were never to marry or bed a human. They both knew that, yet their hearts knew no boundaries.

Before Constantine left, she placed the cross in his hands. “May this protect ye until we meet again.” It was as though she knew what the outcome of this beautiful rebellion was going to be. He kissed her and headed back to his home. It would be the last time he saw her.



My review of Highland Burn ~ Victoria Zaks

This book is the first for this author. You will be happy to know your money will be well spent with her book. She is able to write a great book. You feel like you are a part of the book. You feel everything Abigale feels, and understand James plight.

I felt this book from the beginning  to the end. My kindle lost battery as I was close to the end. I can tell ya, I was not happy about it at all. I didn't want to stop reading. I mean really a Half human half Dragon. A Highlander ta boot. Great Story line, fight scenes and an over all well written book.

I will be on the one click button when her next book comes out. This book is worth every penny. Go get it. See what I mean.  



2 comments:

  1. Loved this book! Perfect balance of intrigue and romance!

    ReplyDelete