Tag Archives: dragons

A Symphony of Dragons – Short Stories to enchant you…

The first day of Spring sees the release of my new book:
A Symphony of Dragons – a collection of bewitching dragon themed tales…

A Symphony of Dragons - Lisa Shambrook - Purple Ad lower

I knew when I began my current wip (work in progress) that I wanted to release a book of short stories, for several reasons… First, I wanted to share some of my writing not related to my novels. I’ve been writing flash fiction for quite a few years now, and some of those stories have cried out to be included, along with some previously published works from other anthologies. Secondly, I wanted to revisit my novels; I wanted to write a final story for The Hope Within Novels – a story that takes you back to Freya, Meg, and Jasmine, and explore what they’ve become. I think you’ll love Ruby! And, thirdly, in writing The Seren Stone Chronicles, I wanted to share the Legend of the Seren Stone with you; a teaser…

I chose my theme, Dragons, with ease… I’d already written a dragon tale, I wanted to include, for a Fall Flash Festival contest where I received an Honourable Mention. This story told the tale of Autumn Flamethe dragon who brings you autumn…and I went on to write Winter Hope for another anthology, and then Spring Symphony. Summer had waited, impatiently, but those of you who’ve lingered for Summer Blaze, can now read his story too as he completes the composition.

So, dragons ruled, and you’ll find some familiar stories if you’ve followed my flash fiction and some new:

A Symphony of Dragons © Lisa Shambrook - Cover put together by BHC Press

© Lisa Shambrook – Cover put together by BHC Press

Lose yourself in the enchanting worlds of fantasy, contemporary, steampunk, and post-apocalyptic, and let your imagination soar on a chorus of dragon wings. This lyrical collection of tales embracing change and desire, love and belonging, passion, sacrifice and triumph are composed with gossamer threads of dragon fire.

Seven bewitching stories, including a Hope Within finale and a prelude to the forthcoming Seren Stone Chronicles.

Let the song of dragons lead you…

This book, ephemeral yet beautifully fulfilling, will introduce you to my writing, my style, and my imagination if you haven’t read me before, and will be an enchanting addition to your collection if you have…

The cover painting was a labour of love… I spent December grabbing moments to sketch and paint and see if I could remember my painting skills! I rather fell in love with this dragon and I adore the cover complete with beautifully chosen font by Blue Harvest Creative. Hope you love my dragon too!

A Symphony of Dragons Cover Art Evolution - from sketch to painting to cover © Lisa Shambrook

A Symphony of Dragons Cover Art Evolution – from sketch to painting to cover © Lisa Shambrook

Please visit my updated website lisashambrook.com/books to find all the information and links to purchase. This book is available in print and eBook, and all the purchase links and availability can also be found with my publisher at BHC Press and at books2read.com/symphonydragons

Please remember to add A Symphony of Dragons to your Goodreads Want to Read list and scribble out a reviewyou already know how much I’d appreciate that!

Symphony_Lisa_Shambrook_Ad_Release

Let the song of dragons lead you…

and let me know what you think… ❤

Dragons, Castles, Wales, and Works In Progress…

Now that Human 76 is out there in the wild
and you’re all getting your post-apocalyptic fix,
I need to get back into my tales and my WIP (Work In Progress).

Dragons, Castles, Wales, and WIP... The Last Krystallos.

Exciting plans involve a short story collection embracing a dragon theme and then a new series. The short stories will include a story that ties to The Hope Within Books and a new tale that will link directly to my new chronicles.

Dryslwyn Castle Cait and Lisa The Last krystallos June 2016

Caitlin and Lisa at Dryslwyn Castle with Paxton’s Tower © Bekah Shambrook

So, as a teaser this post is a visit to Dryslwyn Castle in Carmarthen which will play a part in my WIP. These books are set far, far into the future:

‘Centuries beyond post-apocalyptic, the landscape of Wales has turned into a whole new country…and the rumble of dragons has returned…’

I’ve spent the last year travelling across Wales, researching, and having fun! You may recall my blog post Road Trip through the raw beauty of Wales, not only did we have fun, but we mapped out the landscape that I’m going to need.

Dryslwyn Castle, Black Mountain , Tywi Valley, Lisa Shambrook,

The Black Mountain in the far distance from Dryslwyn Castle © Lisa Shambrook

Dryslwyn is a ruined medieval castle, the very strategically placed home for 13th century Rhys ap Maredudd, high above the Tywi Valley. It was a front line defence but deliberately decommissioned in the early 15th century. It was walled up, blockaded and ruined, and burnt to the ground at a later date.

Dryslwyn Castle, hills, Lisa Shambrook,

Dryslwyn Castle foundations… © Lisa Shambrook

However, it still holds strong foundations upon the hilltop peering across at Paxton’s Tower, the neo-gothic folly erected in memory of Lord Nelson in the 18th century.

Dryslwyn-castle-paxton-tower-the-last-krystallos

Paxton’s Tower across the Tywi Valley… © Lisa Shambrook

In my future the current Twyi Valley will be a flooded land populated by islands, including Dryslwyn castle which may be a stronghold for its owners – and I know exactly who will live there – having rebuilt a small fort of her own within the safety of the islands…

Dryslwyn castle, lisa shambrook, the last krystallos,

Dryslwyn Castle and Caitlin… © Lisa Shambrook

We had a lovely visit planning and plotting and imagining post-apocalyptic futures…

It’s been quite a week for contemplating the future
and dystopia and post-apocalyptic seem appropriate!
*spoken with tongue firmly in cheek*

What are your plans for the future? 

Paroxysm – Steampunk, Passion and Pirates

Pistons, passion, pirates and petulant dragons!
Steampunk Pirates – what more do you need?

Paroxysm - An Anthology of Pirates, Lisa Shambrook, The Anthology Club, Steampunk pistons passion pirates and petulant dragons,

Spring is upon us and signs of passion and renewal everywhere – so I thought I’d share a snippet of my steampunk tale, Paroxysm, found within Cutthroats and Curses the Pirate Anthology from The Anthology Club.

Captain Jericha Blacklocke’s bid to survive both catch twenty-two and a vengeful dragon to save her crew aboard The Paroxysm. A story thick with emotion and tension, corsets and longing, goggles and jewels, and a desire to survive and atone…

This story and many others will have you hooked – see what I did there?

Cutthroats and Curses, An anthology of Pirates, The Anthology Club,

Cutthroats and Curses

My favourite tale is: Roaring Dan Seavey Proves He Ain’t The Man Some Folk Think Him To Be by Beth Avery, which blew me away!  You’ll have to let me know your favourite, because you’ll definitely have one!

Enjoy the eclectic mix of writing from some amazing authors: Michael Wombat, Lisa Shambrook, Boyd Miles, Marissa Ames, Bryan Taylor, Beth Avery, Matt Jameson, Eric Martell, Michael Walker, Stephen Coltrane, and Alex Brightsmith, there’s something for everyone.

Reel in this intriguing eBook at Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Canada or any other Amazon near you!

If you read the book and love it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

AMMC: Winter Hope

This is for AMMC a Christmas Anthology set up by Laura, Missy and Nick.

Winter Hope © Lisa Shambrook

Winter Hope

Gossamer threads hung, decorated with frozen diamonds, and beneath the lacy webs Winter rested her head on the stony floor. Swirls of vapour rose from her nostrils and tiny blue flames licked across her tongue. She sighed.

An amber glow suffused the sky with light, banishing the indigo skyline over the horizon, and the vista smouldered beneath an ethereal haze. Snow clothed the valleys, and ice clung to every rock and ridge. Icing-sugared trees blended the woods together, evergreens bathed in a blanket of white and leafless trees stood dipped in sherbet. A cotton-wool carpet covered the grass before the cave and red berries shone like rubies peeping through earth’s crystal mantle. Lakes shone like glass, and early-rising village folk danced across the sheets of ice.

Winter yawned…

 

Symphony_of_Dragons_L_Shambrook_FC_WEB
This is a preview to the story that can be found within A Symphony of Dragons. It has become one part of my symphony, a composition, of A Symphony of Seasons… You can find this enchanting book of short stories in many outlets in both paperback and eBook or at my publisher BHC Press.

Read previews to Spring’s and Autumn’s tales: Spring Symphony and Autumn Flame.

Fall Flash Festival: Autumn Flame

This is for Eric Martell and Daniel Swensen‘s Fall Flash Festival…Autumn is and forever will be my most favourite season! Click here to join in the fun!

Autumn Flame © Lisa Shambrook (with pixlromatic)

Autumn Flame

Heat seared, sizzling across parched earth, and the cloudless sky, a hothouse dome, desiccated leaves and flora. Listless and languid, folk wandered aimlessly, unable to bear the sultry oppression and Summer’s impasse.Her eyes darted from house to house; windows wide, porch doors open, and dogs sleeping with lolling tongues and trails of slobber. Inside, people rested hot and sticky, irascible and ornery. Her brow furrowed and she stared across the yellowed hills. Autumn was late.As the sirocco tickled her frazzled mind she swept her jade skirts high up into the hills and sought out a crevice, a deep, dark crevice. She gathered her volumes of green about her and traipsed inside. The welcome cool whispered and the ground sighed with each step she took, until she paused and stared at the vast lump curled up before her.

She prodded the lump.

Light mist rose in the shadows and she spoke, “Wake up!”

 

Symphony_of_Dragons_L_Shambrook_FC_WEB
This is a preview to the story that can be found within A Symphony of Dragons. It has become one part of my symphony, a composition, of A Symphony of Seasons… You can find this enchanting book of short stories in many outlets in both paperback and eBook or at my publisher BHC Press.

Autumn Flame won the Honourable Mention in the Fall Flash Festival.

 

Read previews to Spring’s and Winter’s tales: Spring Symphony and Winter Hope.

DFQWBS – Noctilite Tryst

Laura, Miranda and Rebekah have come together to offer us a chance to salute Anna and Michael in their forthcoming nuptials with a Dark Fairy Queen Writerly Bridal Shower, and the opportunity to write a romantic, wedding based piece of fiction…so here’s mine…with showers of glittery love…

Photograph and art by Lisa Shambrook (please do not use)

Noctilite Tryst

Oakenthorn soared around the outcrop and settled on the slippery scree with the setting sun dropping like a golden orb behind the Western mountains. He shook his wings and stood majestic, fully aware of the impact his silhouette made as he balanced high on the ridge. Beneath the copper sun Oakenthorn gazed keenly across the panorama, his belly growled and thrilled shivers streaked across his body.  His eyes roamed, his breath caught and smoke eddied as he exhaled. There she stood, down by the lake, her buttermilk scales and shot-silk wings catching the burnished light before it sank.

Oakenthorn paused, his muscular body gilded, until she raised her head and stared up at the ridge. His wings rippled as he stretched them then he launched, gliding across the tor, floating down and landing noiselessly beside Briar. Noses quivered, and extended and touched for a moment of electricity before Briar opened her wings and lifted high above her suitor.

The final moments of sunlight glinted with scintillating rays of gold in stark contrast to the long, dark shadows of the range. She circled and swooped, her tail brushing low over his head, and her intoxicating scent wafted on the breeze, making him reel with heady excitement. As the sun gave way to the dusky gloaming, Briar softly touched down beside Oakenthorn and the two stood with nothing but a sigh between them. Water rippled across the lake and the long grass whispered, and as night’s indigo deepened, the pair stood silent, waiting.

Far in the distance glowing torches of fire lit up the night, drawing closer, until a procession of dragons flew low across the vast, shimmering expanse of water. Dragons sailed across the darkening sky above the pair, breathing passion, and the valley blazed with yellow and white Noctilite fire. Smoke swirled and danced up into the night, and sparks and burning stars rained down in cascades of fiery confetti. Oakenthorn and Briar launched up into the horde and danced through the fireworks, their hearts alight with flames of love. They twirled amid the throng and one-by-one the dragons peeled away, gliding off into the twilight, until only the ardent couple were left wheeling and spinning together in the glowing dusk.

Night’s rising moon glinted across their scales and silken wings, and Briar let out a lingering, low growl before shooting up into the snow-capped peaks. As Oakenthorn whirled and darted after her, she vanished amid misty veils of cloud, every drop of vapour tingling with sweet anticipation. Oakenthorn followed, every sense heightened and sharp, and he glided into the shroud to hunt his feisty wraith. Silver moonbeams danced and the dragons twisted and weaved through pale shafts of light, flying close enough to kindle passions and ignite sparks that flashed like lightning atop the steamy crags. They circled, and rose above the mountain tops before bursting out of the feathery plumes of mist into the inky sky, and tumbling together, looping and rolling before dropping down to the soft, mossy grass.

Briar trembled and Oakenthorn puffed out his chest. Both released flames that danced, and whirled and intertwined, and then Oakenthorn extended his quivering nose to touch Briar’s flared nostrils. Electricity surged and long, barbed tails entwined. Briar shivered and leaned into Oakenthorn, her sigh sending burning ripples of hunger through his hard, lean body and he breathed out bathing her in amorous smoke. The moon cast rays of pearls across their iridescent scales and more rumbles smouldered in their bellies, rousing flames of desire and yearning…and finally the night was theirs.

They rose in unison, wings the colour of moonlight and cream, beating in earnest as they flew across the lake. Their feet dragged exquisitely in the diamond encrusted surf, and then they soared up the valley, over the whispering grass and up into the moonlit mountains, where the moon respectfully withdrew…and only the sparks of blazing love lit up the night…

Title: Noctilite Tryst
Author: Lisa Shambrook
eBook: Yes
Word Count: 655
Website: www.thelastkrystallos.blogspot.co.uk
Twitter: @LastKrystallos

Wedding Toast: I wish you both a magical, moonlit romance, full of glorious sunrises and sunsets, as you take wing on a wondrous journey together…

Five Sentence Fiction: Paradise

Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use without permission)
The moon slowly rose, lifting high over the purple mountains, casting its pink glow across the bleached land. Stars faded into an inky backdrop as the moon took its place on night’s stage. Light mists crept across the peninsula, like curtains, rising from the rocks and crevices around the base of the ridge. 
The two sated dragons met each other’s eyes and rumbled, contentment flooding their bodies. They dropped to the ground and nestled close, and allowed their dreams to guide them through the night. 
Read more great stories using the prompt here.

Blues-Buster: For Freedom

This is written for the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge week 01 over at The Tsuruoka Files. The prompt is a song ‘Freedom’ by Elayna Boynton and Anthony Hamilton which you can find here. The target is 500 words, but anything between 300 and 700 is okay. I really enjoyed the challenge of a longer piece.
The line from the song: ‘Looking for freedom, and to find it, cost me everything I have.’ inspired this tale of courage and freedom…

Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use without permission)
For Freedom
Rosa started down the cliff path to the bay, giving no heed to the wind whipping through her voluminous skirts. She moved swiftly, her heart full of resolve and determination. She pushed damp hair away from her face and gazed down at the beach. Smoke seeped out of the caves below and Rosa cast a hurried look over her shoulder. 
Mournful cries carried across the bay on a gust and she swallowed hard, her fingers moving unconsciously to her pocket and stroking metal. A few more steps and she jumped down onto the dark, wet sand. She glanced up the path once again then headed for the smoking caves. 
Another lonely lament echoed, booming through the labyrinth of tunnels beneath the hills and it was matched by a sounding horn up on the cliff.
It wasn’t her they were missing, surely not, a common kitchen maid would not be noticed, there or not, but she hurried on. 
The horn called again and soldiers reached the cliff edge, weapons glinting in the sun. 
Rosa headed into the gloomy cave and ducked behind a rock, as the smoke cleared she slowly raised her head and as her eyes adjusted to the shade her jaw dropped. 
Restrained in chains was a creature more beautiful than anything she’d ever seen.  
She gasped and the fledgling dragon turned, its scales dancing in streams of sunlight from gaps in the roof.  She stood, transfixed by the opalescent greens and pinks playing across the dragon, who reared up on its hind legs and spread its wings. 
Rosa’s breath caught in a lump that threatened to tear her heart out. The young dragon’s wings were laced with wounds and rents, and for a moment she thought all was lost. 
She gripped the key in her pocket and she mustered her courage. 
Soldiers, cascading down the cliff, echoed and she stepped away from the rock and stood before the dragon.  She waited, with breath locked deep inside her chest as the creature stared back at her, its eyes black and wild. 
Purple flames licked its maw and small wisps of smoke escaped its nostrils. Rosa refused to breathe as she stepped closer. The dragon tensed and coiled, its tail swinging slowly back and forth. 
Woe grumbled through the cave from outside and the dragon’s attention flickered. Rosa followed the heavy chain from a thick metal post at the rear of the cave, across the sand, to the dragon. 
The tight manacle gripped the dragon’s leg, and Rosa winced at the crusted blood and broken scales beneath the cruel metal. 
She drew the key out of her pocket, resolutely flung a few words to the Gods and strode forward. The dragon reversed, dragging the awful chain, and threw a violet blaze at her. Undeterred she advanced, backing it into a dark corner. The dragon flapped and tried to lift off the sand, but the chain hung heavy and tugged at the bloody mess. Rosa threw herself at the dragon’s feet and grappled with the iron cuff. The creature flapped and screeched and flames flashed through the dark. Rosa unlocked and released the shackle then rose, before the creature, and waved her arms and shouted. Confusion filled the cave as the dragon’s panic, fire and smoke burst forth and her cries could barely be heard above the commotion. 
Outside armour chinked and the whip of arrows filled the air and the dragon was suddenly up and free. Chaos reigned and soldiers fled as the creature tore out of the cave breathing fire and roaring in reply to the dragon call that now echoed across the bay. 
Rosa stumbled out onto the beach, heedless to the burns blistering across her arms and her scorched hair. 
She watched as the young dragon soared, despite damaged wings and escaped into the ocean sky. She wandered forward, in oblivious relief, and blissfully unaware of the singing arrow that lodged between her shoulders. She’d done what she came to do…the caged dragon was free, as now so was she… 
(675 Words inc title)

Five Sentence Fiction: Delicate Strength

I adore my dragons and two other pieces connect with this piece: Devotion and To Protect
(Please do not use without permission from the artist)

Gwawr’s eyes swam with unshed tears; after hours of waiting she desperately wanted to hear the shell crack, to see tiny dragon claws tearing at the sticky amniotic sac, and her baby emerging exhausted, but safe and she yearned to lick her offspring clean, tickling soft scales, watching baby dragon reflexes, anxious to see its tummy curling inwards as she roughly licked its sensitive newborn skin. The opaque shell shivered and a resounding crack echoed through the cave; a long, thin crack ran down the side of the shell, it widened then clamped shut as the pressure from within collapsed – Gwawr uttered another frustrated cry and the fracture began to open again. The unborn creature struggled and the egg rocked violently before coming to yet another standstill; the soft tapping restarted, and with each tap the thin cracks grew until suddenly a tiny horn protruded through the shell. The horn retreated into the egg then drove through, shell fragments splintered and littered the floor beneath the nest, and the baby dragon exerted every last bit of energy rupturing the thick sac surrounding it inside the confines of the egg. A spout of water gushed and claws tore wildly at the shell, until thick pieces collapsed under the strain and a bedraggled, scrawny baby dragon fell out, as his lungs heaved and he struggled for breath, Gwawr snapped out of her trance and curled her tail protectively around her newborn, she licked and rubbed him, and sighed in relief as the tiny creature let out a cough and splutter, then she giggled almost uncontrollably and allowed her tears to drop, helping to wash the dragon clean.

I’ve wanted to write this piece for a bit, and I really wanted it to fit with this week’s word: Delicate at Five Sentence Fiction from Lillie McFerrin. Take a look at all the entries… I also want to thank artist Amanda Makepeace for giving me permission to use her digital painting The Dragon’s Egg, it was the beautiful picture I had in my mind for this piece. You can find more of her amazing art available for sale on her site at www.redbubble.com/people/amandamakepeace. And if anyone’s wondering how to pronounce the Welsh name Gwawr it is: Gwour and means ‘Dawn’.

Monday Mixer: To Protect

This is for The Latinum Vault’s Monday Mixer. Write a piece in exactly 150 words using at least three of the prompt words, a place, a thing and an adjective. I’ve decided not to shoehorn all nine words in today, there really was no place for patisserie for example, but I am incorporating six, so could still go for Overachiever!

Photograph and dragon painting by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use)
It was against the backdrop of early morning mist that he stood firm, aware that far off over the horizon battle was on its way.  The rill outside his cave rushed down the hillside into the querulous river, and sunlight’s dancing diamonds on the surface matched the adrenalin surging through his taut muscles. He watched the sunrise and listened intently to the water’s gushing symphony. He dipped his head to drink and felt the water’s intrinsic energy intensify his own. He was on home territory and the bellicose fire dragon would have to fight long and hard.  
He dug his claws into the rock, grinding the stone like a pestle as he waited. He would protect what was his, with his life if necessary, and his mind wandered for a moment, recalling the cherished egg, hidden like a precious marbled cabochon deep within his cavern, beneath his mate’s warm belly. 
(150 Words)