On the blog today is an excerpt from Leila Gaskin's book Hot Flashes. She's giving away 25 dragon charm bookmarks and 4 hard copies of her book during the tour, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter entry form below. Now, let's get to know the author and the book a bit better before I give you guys a taste of Hot Flashes.
About the Author:
Born on a dark and stormy night on the other side of the world from Richmond, VA, Leila Gaskin began a life full of imaginative wanderings. Inspired by her journey, Leila takes inspiration from the places she’s lived. She is the author of several short stories ranging from horror, speculative fiction, and science fiction. HOT FLASHES is her debut novel.
With her dog as her co-pilot and the cat as the navigator, Leila explores her world and tells her stories.
“Dragons do not exist.” Ella Hixson shrieked as the mythical beasts dive from the sky shredding her car with their impressively long talons and sending her careening across the road in an attempt to avoid the being flambéed. Escaping her car, she grasps the car door in order to prevent herself from tumbling down the slippery embankment. Pouring rain soaks Ella’s interview suit and her dress shoes as she searches the sky for the attacking beasts to find nothing but clouds heavy with their payload of rain.
Hallucinations, relationship destroying fights with her only surviving relative-her mother, and, thanks to a bodaciously bosomed, bottle-blond, jobless, Ella needs the universe to cut her a break.
Be careful what you wish for.
Circumstances conspire and Ella’s mundane existence evaporates when she discovers she is Drakkon, the hidden heir to an ancient dynasty, and she has an enemy who would see all the Drakkon race enslaved or dead.
No more ordinary days for Ella as she learns what it is to be Drakkon, tries to save a world she knows nothing about, and still be home in time to feed her dog.
Upstairs, chaos ruled; Nathan lay across the thrashing, shimmering form of their guest. Kaie sat at the foot of the bed hissing. Ella dashed across the room to the other side of the bed, grabbing an arm and a leg. She struggled to help keep the man still. His scorching skin made Ella want to pull her hands back, but her touch seemed to sooth the man. A golden web of scales covering his body glowed brightly.
Her touch should not have had any effect on the man. Nathan had called her on a hunch.
“Ella, I need you to trust me.”
“Like I haven’t already?” Nathan reached across and grasped Ella’s head, she stared into his swirling silver eyes. For the first time, she noticed that he had a slit pupil like the man on the bed. Her eyes widened with alarm as she tried to free her head from his grasp. Nathan tightened his hold.
“Učit se!” Nathan commanded.
Visions of places she had never been filled the crevices of Ella’s mind. She screamed with the weight of the knowledge and language forced into her mind. Nathan let go, and she collapsed like a rag doll at the foot of the bed.
Her ‘self’ struggled to maintain its dominate place in her psyche as she tried to catalogue and comprehend the new information. Ella flinched from the helping hand Nathan extended. She rose to her feet and faced him. A burning flush swept through her body. She struggled to form a coherent thought. “Trust you?” Ella spat. “What the hell did you do to me?”
“What was necessary so you could help,” Nathan replied without remorse.
“You violated my mind!”
Nathan waved off Ella’s histrionics.
“I gave you the knowledge needed to help me care for our guest and deal with matters of the House.” Looking at the man on the bed, he added, “Your training time table has been accelerated.”
Ella was enraged at being dismissed. “I don’t care! You went into my mind uninvited! That constitutes violation!” Ella jumped to her feet, her body tense and ready to strike at something or someone. “What, you were going to go over inter-dimensional vortexes next week? I don’t care what you’re trying to justify!”
Nathan lost his patience. “I need you to think beyond yourself! You said you’d heard his language before. Where?”
The question was more of a statement.
Ella’s eyes narrowed at Nathan’s tone. “I told you, in a dream.”
The scene from the foyer crashed into Ella’s memory; this time she understood the language with perfect clarity.
“Where am I?” Gasped the man. “Do you know Mellanei?”
Nathan stiffened as the man grasped his arm. “I know her. She is no longer here.”
“No! I must find her! Warn her!” The man arched in agony.
“Warn her about what?” Nathan held the man still as Ella covered him. In an effort to keep the man conscious, Nathan gave him a hard shake. “Tell me!”