Shurik is a dragon, not a shifter. At no point in this story does he change into a human form. Why? Most dragon stories feature shifters because dragons are traditionally much, much bigger than the average human, making intimacy an issue. Shurik is no exception. He's about the size of a two-story house. So why not make him a shifter? Because I love to make things difficult for my characters.
I wanted to explore a relationship beyond the cultural differences I get when I do my usual fish-out-of-water stories. A physical incompatibility was fun to work around and added a level of tension to the story I wouldn't have had if Shurik could turn human when he wanted.
My other reason for wanting Shurik to be a non-shifter was Dragonheart (fun movie and Sean Connery was great in it), Flight of Dragons, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1980s version). Yes, I am a He-Man fan. I was back then and still am. I didn't care if it was a "boy's cartoon." But I digress… Draco, Bryagh, and Granamyr (respectively)—they were the dragons I fell in love with. Because of them, I wanted to write a heroine who loved a dragon that was a dragon all the time, not just when it was convenient to the plot.
Favored Dragon's Release by D. Renee Bagby
(An Abarrane Universe Novel)
[Fantasy Non-shifter Dragon Romance, MF]
He wants her for his bride to end the dragons' curse but his love for her is ruining his plans.
In the aftermath of a senseless war that claimed many lives, the gods have punished the dragons for causing the conflict. The next generation will not hatch until Prince Shurik finds a human female willing to put aside generations of animosity to become his bride.
Yolette goes to sleep on the side of a mountain, the odd woman out on a couples' camping trip, and awakes in a field outside the home of a dragon. Transported to an unknown world very different from her own, she must depend on Shurik for shelter and guidance.
Shurik doesn't anticipate his growing feelings for Yolette, making the task of proposing that much harder. Danger looms from those who want the punishment ended and from those who want it to continue until the last dragon is gone. Shurik must decide whether he will save his people or his love and pray to the gods his choice is the right one.
Buy Ebook Now:
Bookstrand – http://www.bookstrand.com/favored-dragons-release
iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id683265216
Kindle – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E9XWUN4/
Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/9781627401197
Buy Print Now:
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/product/1627405046/
B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/9781627405041
Read First Chapter Online:
Yolette stared in awe at the gleaming edifice that sprawled over the ground at least a mile in any given direction and dwarfed the tall, thick trees around it. The closer they got, the bigger it grew.
Yolette found her anxiety growing with the building. "Shurik! Shurik, I mean it. Turn back. I've really changed my mind. I don't want to go. Please, turn back."
He didn't answer her but instead started descending. All she could do was hold on as they landed before the gates. Two massive dragons, one a deep green and the other dark brown—both sleek-bodied like Shurik, but they were several feet taller—stood on either side of the gate. They bowed.
Yolette whispered, "They are huge. You didn't tell me they would be bigger than you."
Shurik said, "We dragons grow continuously throughout our lives. Our growth slows as we get older, but it never ceases. Royal-born dragons grow faster and bigger than the others as testament to our station." He glanced at her. "I tell you this because King Fedor is bigger still."
She drew in a shaky breath, not sure she could handle a dragon much bigger than the ones before her. The guards stared at Yolette. She tried her best to blend in with Shurik and disappear. Their gazes didn't waver from her as Shurik walked past.
Yolette looked back and found them still staring at her. When she faced front, more dragons stared. They were all colors and sizes. All had attention for her. She whispered, "How do you tell male from female?"
"Besides the usual fashion," Shurik said, chuckling under his breath.
She wanted to smack him, but the stares held her frozen.
"Females have a mane of hair trailing down their necks. Males do not."
Yolette looked around. Many who stared had hair. Upon closer inspection, their features were decidedly feminine—smoother and rounder. All types of dragons filled the halls. Some resembled the serpentine Chinese dragons with long, winding bodies. Others resembled Shurik, and then she spotted a third type—barrel-chested, thick-bodied, and muscled. They reminded her of the large workhorses from the beer commercials, the ones who pulled the wagon.
One male caught Yolette's attention, and she giggled. The sound made her slap her hand over her mouth, which caused a few of the dragons to startle and pull back.
Shurik asked, "You have found something amusing?"
She whispered, "He's pink."
"I told you there are pink dragons."
"But he is very pink."
"Why does that amuse you so?"
"Pink is for girls."
"According to whom?"
"It's a human thing. Pink is for girls. Blue is for boys."
"I don't know. It's just the way it is. It's a tradition. It's always been that way. So far as I know."
"Not here. You will see many pink males and blue females."
She was seeing them already. She was glad she was riding Shurik because her feet would have stopped moving long ago.
One lucky reader who comments on my post will be randomly selected to win a PDF copy of Favored Dragon's Release. Good luck!
Learn More about D. Renee Bagby:
Website – http://dreneebagby.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/dreneebagby
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Author.DRBagby.ZRenquist
Blog – http://blog.dreneebagby.com/