Title: She Dreamed of Dragons
Author Name: Elizabeth J.M. Walker
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: Approx. 234 pages
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9947490-6-2
Print ISBN: 978-0-9947490-5-5
Release Date: July 17, 2015
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing
This is a re-release tour. Book previously published through a different publishing company.
About She Dreamed of Dragons:
Trina is a fifteen-year-old dragon mage in a kingdom ruled by witches and wizards – the same people who have brought dragons and other magical creatures near extinction. Trina can barely control her fire powers and is desperate for an apprenticeship, but finding a fellow dragon mage to be her teacher is proving more difficult than coming across an actual dragon.
Then there’s the Royal Tourney – a competition presented by the Queen to find a successor to the throne. Trina heads to the competition in the hopes of sparking some interest in the mage society and earning herself an apprenticeship.
She never intended to be a frontrunner in the competition.
She never meant to catch the attention of the evil witch trying to take over the throne.
She never expected to fall for a wizard.
Now Trina must face tough decisions about who she is and who she could become. Trina must ask herself: Can she really win the Royal Tourney?
Read an Excerpt:
Trina Dallow, a dragon mage, stood outside a quaint cottage in the Whispering Woods, not too far from the Mage Academy. Under the guidance of Headmistress Ludella, she was on a search to find an apprenticeship with a senior dragon mage. There were no dragon mage teachers at the Mage Academy. Dragon mages were rare to begin with and most preferred questing over teaching at a school that was quickly turning into a dump. So far every dragon mage Ludella sent her to had turned her down. None of them wanted a lanky fifteen-year-old girl tagging along on their heroic adventures. An endless month of rejections had gone by, but Ludella kept pushing her on to the next possible mentor.
Trina nervously fiddled with the shoulder straps of her brown leather backpack before knocking. She heard footsteps in the cottage and she tried to swallow the lump in her throat. The door creaked open and there stood a tiny woman with short grey hair and gold-rimmed glasses.
“May I help you?” she asked pleasantly.
“Um…yes. I’m Trina. I mean, I’m Petrina Dallow. I’m here to see Archibald Pennywise, the um…great dragon mage,” Trina said.
“You’re here to see Archie?” the woman asked with a twinkle in her eye.
“Oh, do come in,” the woman said. “I’m Mrs. Pennywise, Archie’s mother. He’s in the basement. He must have forgotten to tell me he was having a lady friend over.”
“Oh…okay,” Trina said hesitantly and stepped into the cottage. It smelled like blueberry muffins and the walls were covered in floral wallpaper. It felt very cozy and safe. Trina’s nerves waned.
“Come, come,” said Mrs. Pennywise and led Trina to a door in the hallway. She opened it and called down the long flight of steps, “Archie! There’s a girl here to see you!”
“What?” came a gruff voice.
“I said, there’s a girl here to see you!” Mrs. Pennywise called again.
“A what is here to see me?” Archie yelled back.
“There’s a girl! Here! To see you!” Mrs. Pennywise hollered and then sweetly smiled at Trina.
“Send her down!” Archie called.
“There you go, dear,” Mrs. Pennywise said and motioned for Trina to go down the stairs.
Trina nodded and placed a foot on the first squeaky step as Mrs. Pennywise gently shut the door behind her. It smelled more like old socks and paint than blueberry muffins in the basement. When she reached the last step, she saw the room brightly lit with many candles. A man with greasy black hair slicked back into a ponytail sat at a desk. He was deep in concentration as he painted a tiny dragon figurine. Blue plaid sheets trailed off the bed in the corner. An old rust-coloured sofa sat under a framed painting of a fire-breathing dragon and a gramophone with a pile of records sat next to it on the floor. Many bookshelves lined the walls of the room, overflowing with books, lit candles, and dragon figurines in various stages of being painted.
“Hello?” Trina said tentatively, fearing she’d break the man’s concentration and mess up his painting. “Are you Archibald Pennywise? The great dragon mage?”
He looked up, his eyes dark and beady. He studied her for a moment and then put his brush in a cup of water and put his paints away. Trina waited, nervously fiddling with her backpack straps again. If he really was a dragon mage, he seemed a bit different than the rest Ludella had sent her to see. The last one told her she was a sissy because she was afraid to go on a heroic horseback riding adventure with him. The one before that was a big brawny guy who was embarrassed to admit she was more powerful than he was. He had sent her packing, with a message to Ludella stating the exact opposite: she was too weak and unskilled to be his apprentice. Ludella had frowned and ripped up the letter in disgust.
“I’m here about the apprenticeship,” Trina told Archibald. “Ludella sent a letter?”
“I know,” Archibald said. “So, you think you’ve inherited magic gifted by a dragon then?”
“Pretty sure I’m a dragon mage, yeah,” Trina told him.
“What can you do?” Archibald asked as he busied himself organizing paper and paints on his desk.
“Generally, I set things on fire,” Trina told him. “Well, not always on purpose, though. The greenhouse and what’s-his-name were both accidents. And I wish I didn’t let my hair catch on fire so much—”
“You don’t sound very disciplined,” Archibald said.
“That’s why I need a teacher. There aren’t any at the Mage Academy, so Ludella has been sending me out and about, looking for a dragon mage who will take me as an apprentice. So I can learn stuff. And to prevent me from accidentally setting another building or person on fire.”
“Was the person you set on fire a wizard?” Archibald asked.
“That’s a shame.”
Archibald was silent for a moment before blowing out a black candle that was sitting on his desk. He motioned for her to come closer. She took a few steps forward. She knew what was coming next; they all did the same thing.
“Light this candle,” he told her, the exact words she was expecting to hear.
Trina quickly felt for her fire within and her body instantly grew warmer. Before Archibald could blink, every unlit candle in the room burst into flame.
When Trina returned to school, she was expecting to find the students meandering on their way to the meal hall for dinner, but instead there was a buzz of excitement in the school.
“Trina!” she heard her roommate, Oriella, call. Trina’s small friend seemed quite disturbed as she pushed through the crowded entrance hall toward her. Following closely behind her was Trina’s pixie mage cousin, Eddy.
“What’s going on?” Trina asked them.
“Only the most amazing thing ever,” Eddy said as he caught up to Oriella and Trina. He was two years older than Trina but not much taller. He had perfect curls of brown hair and sky blue eyes. Oriella was the same age as Trina but much smaller, since she was an elf mage. She had lightly tanned skin, a freckled nose and long waves of dark blond hair which hid her telltale pointed ears.
Oriella elbowed Eddy aside. “More like the dumbest thing ever,” she said as she cocked her head to the side and looked concerned. “The apprentice thing didn’t work out again?”
“No…but at least this one was nice. He gave me this,” Trina said and pulled the red dragon out of her pocket to show her friends.
“Oh, lovely,” Oriella said, her words full of sarcasm.
“You girls can catch up later,” Eddy said, dragging Trina away from Oriella and toward the main clump of chattering students in the entrance hall. “Being turned away from another stupid apprenticeship couldn’t have happened at a better time. Ta-da!”
Eddy gestured toward a large poster hanging on the wall. Trina rubbed her eyes and looked at the overly decorated poster that was covered in fancy violet writing and bordered with intricate silver curlicues.
“Royal Tourney?” Trina read off the poster. “What is this?”
“Her majesty, Queen Valicity, is holding a competition to name a new successor!” a nearby pixie mage gushed, curling a piece of pink hair around her finger.
Trina pushed her way through the crowd to get a closer look at the rest of the poster, Eddy and Oriella close at her side. The poster was for a competition to find the next successor to the Dorlith throne. The king had been transformed into a spider by an evil mage over fifty years ago—a powerful spell which no one was able to reverse. Apparently, since King Frederick had been spinning webs as a spider for the past fifty years, their majesties hadn’t had a chance to have a child of their own to be prince or princess and the royal line had run thin.
“They’re having some sort of silly competition to name the next ruler of the country?” Trina asked incredulously.
“Yeah! Isn’t it great?” Eddy asked.
“Sounds pretty stupid to me,” Trina said.
“Aha!” Oriella said triumphantly. “I knew you would say that! I knew someone would have some sense around here!”
“They can’t possibly expect mages to compete,” Trina said.
“Exactly, that’s—” Oriella began, but was interrupted by Eddy.
“Look!” he said, pointing to a part of the poster Trina hadn’t had a chance to read yet. “It says right here anyone in the Dorlith Kingdom, aged twelve to eighteen, is allowed to compete in this tourney. Trina, it means mages can go too, and do you know what that means?”
She gave him a skeptical look.
“It means I can be king!” Eddy said triumphantly.
Oriella looked disgusted. “I’d sooner remove my own eye and eat it than live in a country where you are king.”
“Eeewwww,” the pink-haired pixie mage and her friends said and backed away from Oriella.
Trina smiled. She had been away from school a lot during the past month, searching out apprenticeships. It was nice to be back, even if her two best friends never seemed to agree on anything.
“Eddy, are you forgetting why the king is a spider, the reason for this stupid competition in the first place?” Trina asked.
“Well, yeah, some evil mage tried to kill the king fifty years ago, but he messed up, and the king ended up a spider instead. You really can’t think witches and wizards still hold a grudge on all mages just because one crazy person happened to be a mage…” he trailed off as he noticed all eyes were on him.
“What rock have you been living under, pixie boy?” a boisterous troll mage bellowed, and everyone laughed.
“They haven’t forgotten, Eddy,” Oriella told him, “and they never will. It will always be their excuse for hating us, even if we had nothing to do with it.”
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Meet the Author:
Elizabeth J. M. Walker lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She has always loved books and writing. As a teen she discovered zines, which inspired her to publish her own litzine of odd fairy tales for over a decade.
She Dreamed of Dragons is her first novel.
Connect with her on her website: www.elizabethjmwalker.com
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