I'm so excited to have Heidi on my blog today and even more fun, she's doing a giveaway! I had the great privilege of reading Cora and the Nurse Dragon as a beta reader. Let me just say, this book is awesome! The characters are fun, the story engaging and fun for the whole family. My kiddos were able to beta with me and they loved it every bit as much as I did! So if you like dragons, fantasy and free books, keep reading! Directions to her giveaway will be posted at the end of the blog.
Welcome, Heidi, to my blog! Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm an obsessive personality. I'm almost always obsessed with something, and while that changes from time to time (I have a couple of ongoing obsessions--Lord of the Rings and my husband, mainly) chances are there is something, a TV show, a book, my own writing, something … that I'm obsessing about at that moment. I also really love cats. I love every kind of cat. I just want to hug them, but I can't hug every cat … that is sad.
It is. When you're not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
I'm a casual gamer. I love puzzle games like Myst or the Nancy Drew series … and sometimes MMORPGs like World of Warcraft. I also crochet and I have a cat and two rambunctious daughters, so if I have free time, it's usually short. I wish I could fit in more reading, too. I've been trying to do better about that, but if my daughters' see me reading, they take that as a sign that I can read TO them and we end up reading “Go Dog Go” for the fifth time in an hour
We love Nancy Drew here! You've been given a Time-Turner (Harry Potter). When do you go back to and how many turns does it take?
This sounds suspiciously like it might involve math. Is there math involved? I'm just going to say 42 for the numbers part. That usually works. Honestly, though, I'm not particularly nostalgic and there is no historical event I'd want to go to for fear of causing some sort of paradox and accidentally saving rather than assassinating Hitler. I might go back and tell teenage me that happily ever after is just around the corner, but she managed to stumble through all right with only a vague faith that this was true, so it isn't an urgent message.
Yes, that sneaky math. Tell us a little about Cora and the Nurse Dragon.
In Cora's world, dragons have been “domesticated.” They're bred in factories to be pets, or racers, or used in other human pursuits. Cora's obsessed with them. She wants a pet dragon. She wants to be a dragon jockey, riding a racing dragon, when she grows up. However, her father believes dragons are meant to be free in the wild, not exploited by humans. One day Cora gets a hold of a dragon egg which hatches into something that changes everything for her. That something is a nurse dragon named Cricket.
I loved that about the story! What inspired you to write this story?
Cora kind of came out of no where. I was NOT planning to write it. I'd just finished the second book in my “Elemental Realms” series and was planning to spend November editing rather than writing … then right before NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) started, I got this idea that wouldn't leave my head about a little girl living in a world where kids could get dragon egg packs, and how usually the packs would be worthless, like lottery tickets or crackerjack prizes, but sometimes, very very rarely, there would be something exceptional. And the story just sort of wrote itself from there.
Every author's dream, and sometimes nightmare. What is your favorite dragon book (yes, your own count)?
Gosh … this is so so hard … like The Hobbit is amazing, but really the dragon is only in the very last bit (though he's awesome). And Farmer Giles of Ham is hilarious but it isn't in my top ten for books … and my own book Dragon's Curse (and the rest in the Dragon and the Scholar Series) is a very personal story because I drew very heavily on my own love story between myself and my sarcastic but awesome husband, Matt, to create the characters … I'm going to go ahead and go back to basics: The Reluctant Dragon was one of the first to show dragons in a different light, to show that sometimes knowledge and understanding trumps first impressions and brawn, and that sometimes dragons can be your best friends.
All good choices. If you were to get one of the pet dragons in your book, what type would you want?
Nurse dragons are cool, but they are a lot of responsibility. I'd probably go with a steamer. The strikers and sparkers are cool, but they cause a lot of accidental fires, and steamers are blue. Blue is my favorite color. Steamers shoot out hot water vapor which would also be helpful if I had a cold.
That would be helpful! You're having a giveaway with this release. Care to share any details?
I'm giving away a paperback copy of Cora and the Nurse Dragon. It's open to international entries because I'm excited to get this book into the hands of readers. You can enter by following me on social media accounts where I'm very active and post a lot of dragon pictures.
I love your dragon pictures. Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books? I have a website www.hlburkeauthor.com and am active on Facebook and Twitter.
Because I love and miss Alan Rickman, if you had been able to cast him in one of your books, which role would he have?
Hmm … this depends on whether or not I can pluck him from any decade of my choice. It's not a huge part, but Captain Goodly in Beggar Magic deserves a sensitive but strong portrayal. He's a man with a shattered past who triumphed over adversity and uses his position to help others.
Thank you for joining us today, Heidi. Good luck with your release!
Cora and the Nurse Dragon is a new middle grade fantasy adventure by author H. L. Burke. It follows the adventures of Cora Harrison in a world where Dragons no longer live in nature but are a resource exploited by humans.
Ages 9 and Up.
The book releases January 31st and is available for pre-order at the special price of 99 cents.
Cora's a young girl with two dreams: to be a dragon jockey when she grows up and to own a pet dragon now. She constantly buys "egg packs" at the dragon emporium in hopes that one will hatch into a rare pet-sized dragon, but only gets short-lived mayflies. However, when an unexpected egg does develop into something new, Cora may be over her head.
Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.
An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.
Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.
She is the author of a four part fantasy/romance series entitled "The Scholar and the Dragon", featuring the books Dragon's Curse, Dragon's Debt, Dragon's Rival, and Dragon's Bride as well as the YA/Fantasy Beggar Magic. Her current projects are a young adult steampunk fantasy and an epic fantasy trilogy.
Sign up for her monthly newsletter at www.hlburkeauthor.com
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Jessica L. Elliott
Author, artist, mom and super-genius