Janeen Ippolito’s side story to Lawless is almost here!
I participated in her last blog tour for Lawless, and really enjoyed the dragonshifter book, giving it five stars.
This is a side story with two new characters – and more dragons!
Note: These books are definitely more adult and PG-13, with implied sex between married couples, although no explicit descriptions. Everything, in my opinion, is appropriate for an adult.
Pricless book blurb: A little ambition can turn into a lot of trouble, even for the city’s wiliest double agent.
After years of rebel spywork in the dragon-human war, Nula Thredsing is ready to claim her legacy. As the Scepter of Commerce’s new liaison to dragons, she’s one step away from the old family seat on the city council. But during her first meeting with dragon diplomat Tiers Sunscaler, they are attacked by rogue dragons—one of them Sunscaler’s former tactical partner, who is bitterly determined to keep the sham war in action and turn the diplomat to his side.
At the same time, Nula and Tiers discover a startling connection: an embermate bond. While a political marriage suits Nula, the bond’s side effects are obnoxious—and potentially deadly. Aided by an unexpected cat-dragon and a mysterious unicorn, Nula and Tiers must track down the rogue dragons before their dangerous bond tears them apart.
Fortunately, Nula is used to impossible odds—and this time, she has a dragon on her side.
TO BUY: Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CMG669P/
Other Online Distributors: https://uncommonuniverses.com/books/priceless-an-ironfire-legacy-novella/
Autographed print preorder: https://uncommonuniverses.com/product/priceless-preorder/
Janeen Ippolito believes words can (and should) transform worlds. She writes urban fantasy and steampunk, and creates writing resources, including the reference book World Building From the Inside Out and the creative writing guide Irresistible World Building For Unforgettable Stories. She’s an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, and is the leader of Uncommon Universes Press, a small science fiction and fantasy publishing house. She’s also the cohost of the podcast Indie Book Magic. In her spare time, Janeen enjoys sword-fighting, reading, pyrography, and eating brownie batter. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website: janeenippolito.com
Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/168444147251310/
I get to share an excerpt of the sequel, Priceless, below!
Nula and Tiers are working together to find the rogue dragons who attacked at their first diplomatic meeting on the wharf. In this scene, Nula and Tiers are caring for an injured cat-dragon who ran in the way of their groundcar. They hope the cat-dragon is a clue to locating an enemy laboratory where the rogue dragons could be encamped.
However, at this moment, Nula Thredsing has other things in mind. Such as finding out about the embermate bond that Tiers has been so careful to hide…
“Always giving orders, hmm?” Tiers opened the kit and pulled out a clean cloth and disinfectant liquid. He began wiping the gash on the cat-dragon’s head, drawing a hiss and a yowl from its fanged mouth.
“Only when I have the best ideas. If you’d like, I could wait until we stare at each other awkwardly and decide who gets to go first.” Countess Thredsing rolled her eyes. “So, since we’re here, why did you refuse the diplomat quarters? And why do I hear your voice in my mind sometimes?”
Fewmets. Still determined to get answers before he had any satisfactory ones to give her.
“Since you have the best ideas, why don’t you tell me what you think?” Tiers focused on applying the ointment. Fortunately, the cat-dragon didn’t require stitches. Dragon tech used scale-screen to seal wounds. With the cat-dragon having both fur and scales, Tiers wouldn’t have been sure where to start if the beast’s wound had been serious.
She huffed. “Is giving a straight answer a foreign concept to you? I know this vagueness isn’t a dragon trait.”
“Yes, it is.” Dragon traditions for careful words and cleverness were well-known among all cultures. In Tiers’s case, he still didn’t have a solution. Countess Thredsing must be diverted. Perhaps silence would work.
Tiers wrapped a thin bandage around the creature’s head, securing it with a dab of hold spray, and eyed the cat-dragon’s injured foot. A foot with barbed scales and sharp claws, possibly sharp enough to pierce his slatesheen-coated skin. “Hold it tightly.”
“I have him.” Countess Thredsing paused. “And you aren’t leaving this house without giving me an answer.”
Another yowl escaped the cat-dragon. Tiers allowed his hands to shift to scale form and began treating the cut. “I have no interest in leaving this house unless I am in your company. Your threats are hardly effective.”
“Yes, you’ve mentioned remaining in my company.” He looked up to see Countess Thredsing purse her full lips. “And you protected me at the wharf. Protected me, specifically, to the exclusion of everyone else.”
Alarms rang in his mind, causing his fingers to shake as he began wrapping the bandage around the cut. Would she discover the answer? Part of him hoped she would; her intelligence only increased her allure.
The other part dreaded how she would take the knowledge.
“You can speak in my mind, sometimes. I can hear what you think, sometimes. That can only be one thing, which is…impossible.” She focused on him with knife-sharp fierceness. “Isn’t it?”
Tiers’s heart sank. It seemed they would be having this conversation after all. “You of all people, Countess Thredsing, should know the value of withholding information until the opportune moment.”
She glared at him. “Indeed I do, but not when it’s withheld from me.”
Frustration heated his throat. “I don’t know enough! This shouldn’t be possible, not unless you have a significant amount of dragon blood. I was going to tell you when I had more information and a cohesive strategy.”
“But if you had shared, we could have strategized together. Tell me plainly: are we embermates?”
He nodded. “We appear to have all the signs.”
“Yes or no?”
Tiers sighed through clenched teeth. “As much as I can tell, yes.”
“Very well.” She released the cat-dragon from her grip and walked over to a wall. Her fingers pressed a pattern into a keypad, and a high-pitched screech filled the room. The cat-dragon wrinkled its nose against the sound and yanked its foot away from Tiers. He couldn’t blame the beast.
“D— gadgets,” Countess Thredsing muttered.
A second later, a crackly voice echoed through the room. “How can I help you, my lady?”
“I’ll be having a guest to dinner tonight. Make the usual preparations. He’ll be spending the night as well.”
“Shall I ready the guest quarters?”
Countess Thredsing shot Tiers another glare before answering. “Unknown. Since I appear to be his biologically-bound wife, I suppose I should ask him that question.”
“His wife? My lady…”
She rolled her eyes. “Ignore that. I misspoke. Set the table and don’t worry about a room. That is all.”
“Right away, my lady.”
Countess Thredsing pressed another series of buttons, and the screech stopped. “I have no idea how dragon mates will hold up in a human court.” She turned to Tiers, her hands on her hips. “Do you know?”
He shook his head. “How should I know? This isn’t common. In dragon law, we are bound by life and death already, even though our hearts haven’t been united. I was going to research human customs on my own.”
“Well, now we get to work together.” If she let him get a word in edgewise. She continued, “I thought I was fully human with a trace of dragon blood. Tell me how this is physically possible.”
He returned her stare, flames burning within him. He spoke very slowly and clearly, in hopes that she would finally understand and leave him alone to think for a moment. It was difficult enough to endure his own ignorance without having to answer her persistent, annoying questions. “I don’t know, Countess. Human-dragon biochemistry isn’t my field of study.”
“Nor is it mine. But I know that a strong dragon bloodline is needed, and I am not aware of any blood of that strength in my family tree.” She gritted her teeth. “But considering my parents’ history of deception, I shouldn’t be surprised. We need answers. Now.”
Finally, they were in accord about something.
Priceless will be launched as a part of the “Random Book Party of Fun” Facebook event featuring Janeen and author H.L. Burke. Check out the fun here: https://www.facebook.com/events/133950730798239/