Shadows of the Realm—Bloopers

While writing Shadows of the Realm and A Time of Darkness, there were times when my characters would embarrass themselves and they begged me not to include those scenes. I have, up until now, kept them secret, but I’ve decided to do a ‘bloopers’ series. This is the first excerpt from that series. Please enjoy my characters stuffing up on the job.

INSIDE THE MOUNTAIN IN VELLONIA, CITY OF THE DRAGONS—MORNING

Bronwyn, Blayke and their creaturas entered the vast dining hall.  One of the long timber tables was set with a farewell breakfast. Pancakes, fresh strawberries, gozzleberries, fried bacon and the extra-large eggs of the Vellonian eagle—cooked sunny-side up—lay enticingly upon platters on the tabletop. Bronwyn breathed in. “Yum. That smells delicious.” She sat on one of the large bench seats, legs dangling, while Sinjenasta lay behind her chair, the large panther having enjoyed his haunch of venison outside earlier. Blayke sat opposite, grabbing his fork and stabbing into a pancake, dumping it into his plate before spreading a clump of butter on top. Fang, the rat, peeked out of Blayke’s pocket and took the small piece of pancake the realmist offered him.

Zim, the black dragon prince, entered as Blayke shoved a forkful of pancake into his mouth.

“Good morning, my friends. How did you sleep?”

“Good thanks,” said Bronwyn as she scooped strawberries onto her pancake. “I’ll be sad to leave today.”

“We’ll be sad to see you go, young realmist. I’m sure you’ll be back one day.”

“I hope so.” Bronwyn smiled as Zim sat next to her and spiked a piece of bacon with one claw, an egg with another, popping them into his mouth. “Mmm, this is good.” Suddenly a loud rumble rolled through the dining hall. “Oops. Excuse me.” Zim’s dinner-plate size eyes looked from Bronwyn to Blayke and back again.

“Oh my gods! Did you just … um, pass wind?” Bronwyn coughed and covered her mouth and nose with her hand.

“Wow, that stinks!” Blayke snatched another pancake and stood. “I’m gonna have to finish this outside.”

Bronwyn’s voice was muffled by her palm. “I’ll join you.”

Wait for me said Sinjasta.

“I’m sorry. Come back. It’s not that bad, is it? Really?” Zim sniffed as he watched them hurry out. Suddenly alone, he surveyed the food. “I’m going to have to stop eating eggs, at least when we have company. Oh well, I have no company now, and this food won’t eat itself.” The dragon reached over towards the eggs…

 

 

 

 

Dark Spaces—Book of Suspenseful Short Stories—on Sale!

Dark Spaces is a collection of suspenseful short stories that deal with the darkness in human nature, and it’s on sale now for only 99 cents! OMG, what can you buy for 99 cents these days? A third of a coffee, ten toothpicks, one peanut? Trust me, it’s a bargain.

Dark Spaces by Dionne Lister
Dark Spaces by Dionne Lister

Dark Spaces has been getting great reviews, but I’ve been neglecting promotion because my fantasy series has been begging for my attention. So now it’s Dark Space’s turn. Run out and grab your copy while it’s still 99 cents. This promotion will run for two weeks (until the 18th May, 2013).

You can download from Smashwords (which has every format you could want) and Amazon. Happy reading, or should I say scary reading ;).

A Time of Darkness is Here! Awesome Epic Fantasy

A Time of Darkness Cover
A Time of Darkness Cover

I almost feel like I’m spamming everyone; my cover was ready so I did the cover reveal, and I was going to wait to upload to Amazon, but I couldn’t! So now, the next book in  The Circle of Talia series is out there. You can find it on Amazon or Smashwords and soon iTunes, Kobo and Barnes & Noble. The sequel to Shadows of the Realm continues the story of realmists, Bronwyn and Blayke and their creaturas, Sinjenasta and Fang. It’s fast-paced, scary and has awesome dragons (although those who have read Shadows of the Realm would know that).

I hope a lot of readers are waiting for this book and will now run out and buy it—I promise you won’t be disappointed. Here is an excerpt where we join the evil gormons in the Third Realm, a place they hate. They look forward to the day when they swarm Talia and begin their eating frenzy:

“Klazich absently picked at his teeth with a sharpened ulna—courtesy of his last meal. He looked across the table at his brother. Squinting and blinking did nothing to improve the hazy view. The Third Realm wavered and shaded reality like a suffocating nightmare—nothing appeared clear. Feldich’s outline was revealed to him, and he could almost look into his eyes. He curled his clawed hand into a fist, resisting the urge to slam the table.

Feldich sipped from the glass of bevanda, his favorite mix of blood and acidic lake water, and burped. Many gormons had died trying to adjust to the acidic water when they were first banished to this dim, nowhere realm. “Ha, Brother. I might have just hit upon the only thing I’ll miss from this stinking realm. I suppose we might be able to acidize Talia’s water once we’re there. What do you think?”

“Whatever you want.” His raspy voice suited the gloom. “Right now, I couldn’t care less. If we don’t get out of here by the full moon, we’ll never get out. I don’t fancy dying on this shitty, gods-forsaken excuse for a realm.” Klazich placed the bone in his mouth and crunched down, snapping it in half.

“How long have we got?”

“The next-best window through the corridor is Talia’s next full moon. Embrax calculated that’s in sixteen First Realm days. He’ll watch the moon’s symbol as it grows brighter.”

“Only one corridor will be open?”

“Yes. I know it’s not ideal. We’ll all end up where High Priest Kerchex is. It will take longer to spread out and crush those usurping parasites. But we will do it. I won’t rest until every filthy human and dragon is dead.” Placing the rest of the bone in his mouth, he chewed, grinding the fragments into splinters. He hated the humans. He hated the dragons. Talia had once belonged to the gormons, and it would again.”

Grab A Time of Darkness and find out what happens next.

Cover Reveal: A Time of Darkness

OMG! I’m so excited! I just received the final cover images from Robert Baird, cover-guy extraordinaire, and my cover is full of super awesome fantasticity (if you can’t make up a word at a time like this, when can you make one up?). A Time of Darkness, second book in The Circle of Talia series, is going to be released in the next couple of days, but until then, here is the blurb and the cover, which depicts a scene from mid-way through the book. I hope this gets all you readers excited (I know I am). Now excuse me while I continue jumping around the lounge room :).

A Time of Darkness Cover
A Time of Darkness Cover

While Bronwyn languishes in a cell in the bowels of Vellonia and the dragon king argues for her death, the gormons are one step closer to destroying Talia. To add to The Circle’s problems, Leon’s plans to overthrow his brother, King Edmund, are moving ahead faster than anyone could have imagined, and someone will die as a result. The realmists and dragons are doing all they can, but how could it possibly be enough when thousands have already been slaughtered?

The prophesized time of darkness, a time the realmists have dreaded for the last thousand years, has begun.

NetGalley Reviewers Check out Shadows of the Realm

Are you a reviewer who uses NetGalley? If you are, Shadows of the Realm, the first book in my YA epic fantasy is on there for a month. It has dragons, a panther, action, and evil gormons. If you’re looking for another world to escape into then this is the book for you. It’s even been number #1 in two categories on Amazon. So, what else can I say? Not much. Wow this is a really short blog post. Hmm, okay, I’m off to get a coffee. Bye 🙂

My Triumph Over The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

If you haven’t noticed, I’m having a sale on my best-selling fantasy, Shadows of the Realm. Well, I’m saying that tongue in cheek because I’ve been tweeting the hell out of it over the last few days and I’m sorry if I’m boring all you Tweeps who see the “Buy Shadows of the Realm with dragons, blah blah blah” twenty times a day and the facebook peeps who have seen a gazillion screen shots of my book looking sexy on all the different “I’m so good look at me” Amazon lists. It’s just, you have to suffer so I can gain domination over the Caterpillar. Yes that’s right, Shadows of the Realm got one up on Eric Carle’s amazing children’s book.

The moment of caterpillar domination
The moment of caterpillar domination

My book, and I can’t believe this, but yes, my book reached #1 on Amazon yesterday in two categories: Children’s books animals and children’s books dragons. I know it’s not technically a children’s book, however Amazon, in it’s infinite, monopolising wisdom, has decided that if you have dragons or animals in your books, which I have in abundance, it must be a children’s book. Well my book is for adults and teens. I don’t think the 8 year olds of this world want to read about what happens when the gormons possess one boy and make him eat another one alive.

Thankfully I also reached #6 in teen literary fiction and my best ranking ever was #610 overall paid on Amazon. Figures have never meant more to me than they did yesterday, and I know it’s pathetic, but I’m a starving author and I need attention, I need people to buy my books or I will wither and die (don’t pull that face; I am not exaggerating!).

The rush was better than chocolate!
The rush was better than chocolate!

So, just in case you did miss those thousands of tweets, Shadows of the Realm (SOTR, notice how I’m making it look like that other great epic fantasy LOTR ;)), is on sale for another 10 days and it’s only $1.99—crazy I know, but I’m not known for my sanity. Join the legions of other people with good taste and discerning intellect, and go grab a copy before the sale finishes or I’ll send the gormons over to ‘encourage’ you. And if you’re on Goodreads, you can add my book (see the widget thingy at the side) to your ‘can’t wait to read this awesome book’ list. And lastly thank you, thank you, thank you to all the wonderful people who shared my sale, my tweets and my Facebook notifications and to those who took the plunge and bought the book—the dragons will make sure the gormons don’t get you. So, adieu as I have more tweets to do now—that bloody caterpillar is beating me again!

When a Good Book Goes Bad—Shadows of the Realm has Stripped!

Ok, I know I’m going on about it but my book is now on sale! I’ve really put the price down to $1.99. I know it’s not free, but this is as far as I go for now, kind of like playing strip poker—I’m the prude wearing 50 layers of clothing. I’ll only take off so much before I put it all back on again. Although, it is a bit nerve-wracking: what if no one buys it, even when it’s cheap? Maybe that’s why stripping off scares me: what if I take it all off and people look for a moment then look away in boredom, or even worse, disgust—what do I have left? Nothing. And please nobody hold up cards with one star on them. Oh dear, I’ve given myself away and people are telling others about how unimpressed they are. Ok, maybe I’m going too far. I’m sure you’ll love me naked, ah, I mean my book, you’ll love my book, and I’m sure you’ll buy it at $1.99 because you wouldn’t want it to get depressed would you? Rejection is so hard to take.

So, show my book some love and tell your friends, tell your family, even tell that weird old lady who sleeps at the bus stop—she’s probably secretly a millionaire and can’t wait to read my epic fantasy novel. Shadows of the Realm, or SOTR as it’s becoming known because of the ease of fitting into a tweet, is perfect for teens and adults—it’s an awesome crossover/family read. You’re always complaining that you have nothing to talk to your teenagers about, so buy this, both read it and get talking!

You can purchase it at Amazon US, Amazon UK and Smashwords. Happy reading :).

The Next Big Thing Blog Tour Thingy Majiggy

I’ve been tagged for a bit of a blog hop thingy by good writer friend Tima Lacoba. I’m required to answer the following questions and I promise to do so to the best of my ability (so don’t expect too much). I currently have a fantasy novel out (in case the dragon on my website was not a dead giveaway), a book of suspenseful, and somewhat dark, short stories, Dark Spaces, and I’ve just released a little short story, all on it’s own, called Divine Intervention. The one I’ll be referring to today is Shadows of the Realm—my first, and most loved, baby.

  • What is the title of your latest book? Shadows of the Realm.
  • Where did the idea come from for the book? Not sure. Just wanted to write a fantasy book and that’s the one that was there.
  • What genre does your book fall under? Young adult, epic fantasy, with dragons. I don’t think ‘with dragons’ is a genre, but, if erotica can have tentacle sex as a sub-genre, I can have dragons.
  • What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Oh goodness, gracious, mwah (I just wanted an excuse to blow you all a kiss), OK it’s moi. Hmm, this is a tough one because I don’t watch a lot of movies so I’m not totally up with who is around. I’ll leave it to the casting agent.
  • What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? With their world under threat of invasion, Bronwyn and Blayke, two young realmists, are forced to leave all they’ve known to undertake a dangerous journey to discover the magic of the realms before all they love is destroyed.
  • Is your book self-published or represented by an agency? Bwahahaha. Oh, excuse me *straightens shirt and smooths hair.*  I’m self published.
  • How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? I can’t remember specifics, as it was eight years ago, but I’m thinking it was two or three months.
  • What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Anything by David Eddings with a hint of Stephen King at times. (Note here that I’m not saying it’s as good as theirs, but they have been my influences and I can only aspire to their great skill. Just wanted to make that clear so there’s no massive expectations when you buy my book. Although, you can have some expectations, just don’t go overboard—it wouldn’t be good for either of us).
  • Who or what inspired you to write this book? I inspired myself (I’m very inspirational you know). I’d always wanted to write a book—I don’t know why—and so I did.
  • What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Hmm, the characters are varied and well drawn (I have it on good authority), there’s dragons, a splatter of horror, much adventuring and visiting different realms and of course, my unique brand of humour, which probably isn’t that unique and I’m sure not everyone finds it funny. All I can say is that I enjoyed writing it and reading it the two hundred times I went through it in editing, so I’m sure you can brave it just once, please? (This isn’t begging, I’m just being polite).

Not sure if I’m supposed to tag anyone or if it’s supposed to die a natural death. I’ll keep it going for one more time and tag my podcast partners in crime, Amber Jerome~Norrgard. Take it away Amber :).

Oh and I wouldn’t be doing this properly if I didn’t have a call to action at the end. Go and buy the book, now, quick, before … before … well, before you forget.

Shadows of the Realm Reviews and Thank-Yous

My fantasy adventure book has been getting a few reviews lately, which I’m very excited about. Of course they’re not all fantastic because we all have different tastes. However, in my bests interests, I have included the ones I think give you a sense of my book and yes, they’re by the people that really enjoyed it (well what do you expect?). I’d also like to thank everyone who has read my book, and in particular those who have taken the time to review it. Reviews are the best way to support authors if you have enjoyed their book. So thanks to the generous readers who have taken the time to support me. I’m blowing kisses and sending virtual chocolates, you have all made me a very happy writer.

Helen says:

I picked up this book knowing a little of what to expect, dragons, adventure, good vs evil. I started reading and then could not put the book down until I had finished. I lost track of time reading it.

The book centers around a secret group called Realmists, possessed of magical powers who are sworn to protect their world, Talia, from the evil race that exists in another realm. This race once lived on Talia and were banished, but are determined to return.

The book contains a surprising variety of characters, ranging from teenagers through to adults and magicians of advanced age. And of course the dragons, who in this case are portrayed as being on the side of the realm. The dragon characterisation is fascinating. The words used to draw a picture of their intelligence, strength, and their nature are so powerful that the reader has absolutely no difficulty in accepting them as part of the world we are drawn into. Equally the human characters are drawn as individuals, each with their own backgrounds, faults, opinions and reactions. Again it makes it very easy to find yourself drawn into their world.

Realmists can bond with one selected animal, a creatura, and even these are well drawn with a great variety of animals used. I found it a pleasant surprise to be able to read about , as it were, familiars who range from rats to panthers. Another pleasant surprise is the way that the Creatura’s point of view is also presented.

All through the book I felt an odd sense of familiarity. I could not pin down why at first, it was not that I had seen the plot or any major plot devices used before. Some elements of the world drawn can be found in other fantasy novels, for example familiars, but that was not it either. In the end I simply had to conclude that it was due to the way the writing drew me in and made me feel a part of the book from start to finish.

Wxmouse says:

4.5 stars for this beautiful high fantasy book by Dionne Lister. From a nightmare awakening, to mythical and magical creatures, this book comes together with well laid out characters to deliver a fun escape into a fantasy realm. While the book comes to a resolution, it leaves you edgy and wanting for more. I personally can’t wait until book two is out.

Amber says:

Dionne Lister’s Shadows of the Realm starts out with a scene that grabs you, and does not let go, even after you’ve finished reading. Exceptional in the fact that it is a completely unique novel, Lister creates a new world that is so realistic, it makes the reader want to grab a ticket and head over for a nice permanent vacation. I fell in love with the characters, and was disappointed when the novel ended, and am ready for more. I will be impatiently waiting the rest of the books in the series, and am desperate for more!

So if these reviews have aroused your interest, head over to Amazon or Smashwords and prepare to be drawn into a fantasy world you’ll want to call home.

Shadows of the Realm Earns its First Badge

In the big push to get my book out there, I found a great website, Grub Street Reads. These girls have come up with a great idea for recommending indie books. They have a sound criteria of what makes a good book—rounded characters, consistency in plot and character actions, pace, grammar, spelling, overall plot (you get the picture). When they recommend a book, the reader knows it is going to be of a certain standard.

I applied to them and waited, only a couple of weeks, for the outcome. I must admit, my nails are shorter; it’s always nerve-wracking when someone is ‘judging’ your work.

I am so pleased to announce that I passed the test. My fantabulous book (if I do say so myself) Shadows of the Realm, is now recommended on their website and I get a cool badge to display on my cover and my website. The badge reminds me of the little medals they stick on wine bottles. They also had this to say about my book which makes me smile every time I read it:

You have done a great job of creating characters with distinct voices and personalities. It was a pleasure to go on this epic journey with them. 

So if you’re a reader looking for a good book, visit their site, they obviously have good taste ;). Ok, well I’m off to continue my happy dance then I think I’ll need a little nap.