Please welcome Coreene Callahan!
I love languages. English. French. Italian. Eenie-meenie-miney-mo…pick one. It doesn’t matter. I enjoy listening to them all. Nothing pleases me more than hearing the beat of each word as one flows into the next. The rhythm of a good sentence, the metronomic pulse of paragraphs carry me forward, making the story come alive with broad strokes and detailed swirls of an author’s turn of phrase. I guess, when you think about it, that’s no surprise. As a writer, I deal in language everyday, tend to immerse myself in the nuances and pay attention to how words lay on the page and sound when spoken aloud.
I never imagined, however, I would go so far as to create a language of my own or chronicle its progression in the Dragonfury Novels. But that’s exactly what happened.
From word one of FURY OF FIRE, and continuing on to FURY OF ICE, (books 1 & 2 in the series), the dragon-warriors began introducing me to Dragonese, the ancient language of their kind. Little by little, with each new addition, I started to understand, combining previously unknown words into recognizable phrases. A weird turn of events? Yes. A bit nuts on sanity’s sliding scale? Absolutely. Beyond fascinating? You betcha.
It wasn’t something I planned. Wouldn’t have expected either, but I have to say, learning Dragonese is a whole lot of fun. So, today, I thought I’d share an excerpt form FURY OF SEDUCTION (Dragonfury series, book 3…released just last week!). It’s a scene in which my heroine, Tania, meets the Nightfury dragon-warriors for the first time. And you guessed, it…there is Dragonese involved.
FURY OF SEDUCTION: an excerpt…
Twisting in his seat, B glanced over his shoulder at Wick.
And Mac understood. Gratitude from their resident psychopath. That was something new. Maybe even something he could leverage. He heard Tania now: feet hitting the floor, clothes rustling, the bed getting made. A second later, she was on the move. Bare feet whispering over the floor, she approached the door. The urge to shield her cranked Mac tight. His brothers in arms weren’t like any military unit he’d had the privilege to be a part of. A bazillion times more lethal, the Nightfuries looked like a bunch of serial killers. Honed. Focused. Brutal. None of them pulled any punches, and the last thing Mac wanted was to frighten her.
“Look, guys,” he said, meeting each warrior’s gaze in turn. “Go easy on her. She’s a bit skitterish and—”
“Am not.” The door creaked open behind him. “I’m freaked out. There’s a difference, you know.”
Holding up the fireplace mantle with his shoulder, Forge quirked a brow. “Contrary, isnae she, Irish?”
“The best ones always are.” Lifting his size fourteens off the coffee table, B’s shitkickers hit the floor. He stood and, shoulder rolling, leather trench coat creaking, stretched out the kinks. “Myst is like that.”
“Angela too.” Rikar hopped off the countertop. “Wicked challenging.”
Wick nodded in agreement.
Forge snorted. “High-energy females. Naught but trouble.”
Not quite. Mac could think of a number of things to do with his H-E that didn’t like anything to do with trouble…like, oh say serve up some hardcore domination with a healthy helping of bondage. Not that Tania cared at the moment. She was too busy glaring at him. Swallowing a smile, he grabbed her hand and tugged her out of the doorway into the living room.
Time for the meet and greet, Nightfury style.
Her hand clasped in his, he laced their fingers and turned back to the boys while he pulled her in close. She settled alongside him, body touching his, her cheek brushing his upper arm. Hmm, so sweet. And a little unsure. Yet she stood tall, chin level, shoulders back, daring to be unafraid. Which cracked his heart wide open. His dream girl, trusting him to keep her safe, nestling against him as though she belonged there…as though she’d been by his side all his life.
A nice thought, if somewhat frickin’ ridiculous.
The past was the past. No changing it, and Mac didn’t want to go back. Didn’t want to think about it either. The here and now was much better, and as he looked at the warriors crowding his cabin, he thanked God for them. For steadfast loyalty, and yes…even their love. They’d flown over a shitload of ocean—their least favorite thing in the world—to bring him home. And now, he had what he needed. A kick-ass fighting force, one that would help him get his female to Black Diamond safely.
Tania’s eyes widened as she got her first look at them. Her gaze ping-ponged, sweeping the group. A quiver rolled through her. Mac gave her hand a gentle squeeze to reassure her and made the introductions. Each warrior nodded, greeting her with a murmured “hey” or a “what’s up?”. Well, all except Wick. He just stared, his expression back to emotionless.
Tania shuffled closer to him—and further away from Wick. He pointed to B. “And Bastian. Commander of the Nightfury dragons.”
“Commander. Right,” she whispered, focused on Bastian. “He’s the one, isn’t he?”
Her dark eyes narrowed on his commander. “Where’s Myst?”
“At home.” An amused glint sparked in Bastian’s eyes, making the green shimmer. “Waiting for you.”
“Oh, well…all right then,” she said, her tone tough, her hand trembling in his. “As long as she’s okay…?”
She trailed off, letting the statement (disguised as a question) hang in mid-air, the implication clear. If her best friend was hurt, Tania would kick the Nightfury commander’s ass and—
Ah, hell. Mac sighed. There he went again, getting aroused by her moxy.
“She’s good, kazlita.” B grinned, no doubt enjoying the threat, paying Tania a huge compliment. Kazlita…fierce one in Dragonese. Mac knew the word. He’d been studying the language of his kind for over a month, picking up bits and pieces. Now, he understood most of it when the guys talked in their native tongue. Bastian met his gaze and nodded, approving his choice of female, then looked around at the others. “Now, we headed home or what?”
Grunts of agreement met the inquiry. The mass exodus came next. Four sets of boots pounded across the wooden floorboards. Thirty second later, the last one filed out the door, leaving the small cabin feeling huge.
© 2012 Text by Coreene Callahan
A huge thanks to Bitten by Paranormal Romance for inviting me to visit today. I had a blast being here and hope you enjoyed learning a little about Dragonese and the warriors who speak it. For more about the Dragonfury Novels and my Circle of Seven series, please stop by my website www.coreenecallahan.com. I’d love to hear from you!