It gives me great pleasure to welcome a fellow Wild Rose Press author to my blog today! Dan Rice is set to release his second book on February 1st, and it looks super exciting. I’ll let him chat with you about it! But isn’t this cover stunning?
Thanks so much for allowing me to take over your blog today, Jan! Today, I want to share what my three wishes would be should a genie drop out of the sky.
While I went for a walk on a wintery day, something fell out of the sky. I was lucky I wasn’t hit by the object, and the concrete debris blasted into the air when it struck the sidewalk with a clang. After the dust settled, I saw a golden genie lamp. Despite the crater, the lamp was unharmed.
I tentatively picked up the lamp, fearing the metal might be hot. I held the lamp by the handle and was struck by a powerful urge to caress its curved sides. At first, I resisted the temptation to stroke the lamp, but then I figured what the heck, I dodged death by a falling object by half a meter or less. Maybe this was my lucky day.
So I gave in to temptation, fingers stroking gold. Immediately smoke spewed from the lamp that smelled like moldering books. The smoke coalesced into a middle-aged woman with gray-streaked hair up in a bun. She wore a tweed skirt and jacket and looked at me over granny spectacles that rested low on her nose.
“I’m the genie from the lamp. I can grant you three authorial wishes.” She whispered very much like a school librarian. “Hurry up now. I have reading to get back to.”
The first thing I wished for was more undisturbed writing time. For the busy author, time is a priceless commodity. A day job occupies the weekdays. Chauffeuring children to their activities takes up the evenings and weekends. Yes, more time to write was my number one wish.
As a small press author, I must market my books and myself. Of course, as is often pointed out, all authors have to do marketing, even the biggest names. This is cold comfort when you’re one of the smallest fish in the pond! Successful marketing is incredibly difficult. So I wished for a marketing silver bullet—okay, one probably doesn’t exist, but you have to dream—that gets my books into the hands of more readers without breaking the bank.
Since I dictate most of my writing, I wished for more accurate dictation software. Is it too much to ask for the software to recognize my characters’ names? Usually, yes. Also, some of the “typos” inserted by dictation software are unbelievably hard to track down. I’ve dictated two published novels, and some of the words my dictation software comes up with still astound me.
After granting my third wish, the genie librarian was sucked back into the lamp with a whoosh. In a golden flash, the lamp disappeared. I looked at the ground where the lamp had made a crater in the sidewalk. Only the hole was gone, a small divot and a few spider cracks in its place. An icy breeze rattled the skeletal branches of a nearby tree, carrying with it the smell of decay. I continued on my walk, thinking how the scent of fallen leaves was reminiscent of moldering books.
I sit at the dining room table in between Dad and Mother.
“Dressed for the occasion, I see,” Mother remarks and sniffs loudly.
Since her sense of smell is as sensitive as mine or even more so, Mother might find me stinky. Luckily, I’m inured to my BO, thank goodness. Otherwise, I’d go crazy.
Of course, Mother might be sniffing the air to see if she can smell the dragon in the room, not that she can while his draconic form is incorporeal. Mother is a dragon-hunting monster, and sitting across from us is Dr. Radcliffe, a dragon masquerading as a human. His humanoid form is an elderly, slightly avuncular university professor, a profession he performed before The Incident at Tahoma University, where my dad works as a professor of computer science. Since The Incident, Mother and Dr. Radcliffe have an uneasy truce. He keeps Mother’s identity secret in exchange for her not killing him and his handful of draconic followers on Earth.
The real Dr. Radcliffe is a colossal, golden-scaled dragon of the European variety with massive green wings and equally green tubes dangling from his snout like a drooping mustache. Right now, the dragon rides the slipstream, a dimension or wormhole or whatever connecting universes throughout the multiverse. What’s trippy is I can see the dragon––all glimmering and fading in and out of existence––while it rides the slipstream. No one else can see it, not even Mother. Even trippier is the dragon passes in and out of the room and everyone in it, including me. A foreleg impales my chest. The black woman sitting next to Dr. Radcliffe is inside his draconic abdomen. It’s best not to dwell on these things.
I face Mother. “I’m inside my home. Unlike you, I don’t wear pantsuits.”
Allison Lee wilts under the bright light of celebrity after being exposed as a shape-shifting monster. She’d rather be behind the camera than in front of it. Being under the tooth and claw of her monstrous mother is even less enjoyable. All she desires is for everything to go back to the way things were before she discovered her true nature.
But, after she accidentally kills a mysterious man sent to kidnap her, she realizes piecing her old life back together is one gnarly jigsaw puzzle. When Allison’s sometimes boyfriend Haji goes missing, Allison and her squad suspect his unhealthy interest in magic led to his disappearance. Their quest to find Haji brings them face-to-face with beings thought long ago extinct whose agenda remains an enigma.
Dan Rice pens the young adult urban fantasy series The Allison Lee Chronicles in the wee hours of the morning. The series kicks off with his award-winning debut, Dragons Walk Among Us, which Kirkus Reviews calls “An inspirational and socially relevant fantasy.”
To discover more about Dan’s writing and keep tabs on his upcoming releases, join his newsletter: https://www.danscifi.com/newsletter.
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