Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, KENNA McKINNON and her favorite recipe for FROZEN NIPPY CHEESE SALAD!
ENGAGING THE DRAGON
BY KENNA McKINNON
Princess Almere felt the dragon’s hard and smooth bulk sizzle between her thighs. Oh, how she missed her husband Stannock, who was fighting a war far in the northwest.
With the princess’s husband away, her affections are challenged by Tevron, her husband’s half-brother. The reigning king is old and unpredictable, and as the power struggle in the palace intensifies, a heiress is needed to bring peace to the realm.
An old prophecy tells of Dracaena – half dragon, half human – who will rise to power and unite the realm in the Great Hall of the Four Races. As sinister plots unfold and the balance of power shifts, Almere and her companions must place their trust and friendship wisely – or perish.
Introducing Fire-Smasher…Character Interview
1. What is your name? Do you have a nickname?
Fire-Smasher. Some of the Palace men call me Big Red. I was a small dragon or drake when my story begins, laughed at for my weakness, but I grew to be the most beautiful and strongest of all. Once upon a time my nickname was “The smallest red dragon” but that changed!
2. Who is your best friend? What kinds of things do you do when you’re together?
My best friend is the Princess Almere. We ride on the winds of Gracklen through the valleys and mountains, we have picnics, and we have erotic moments we share that no one suspects.
3. If you have a family, how do you get along with them? If you don’t, are there people in your life that you consider family? How do you get along with them?
Yes, I have a father, Lockjaw, who is a huge dragon ridden by the Queen Ericaania, Almere’s mother-in-law and wife of the old King Hakor. He and my mother Faerydust taught me all I know. They taught me to recite epic poetry and to prophesy and sing.
I consider Almere and her husband, Prince Stannock, my family as well. I love them and they love me. I came into their lives as a very small red dragon, and grew to be who and what I am today, a truly awesome glittering translucent scaled mount whom Almere considers part of her family.
4. Do you have a birthmark? Scars? Where is it/are they? How did you get it/them?
I’m not aware I have a birthmark or scars, but my translucent scarlet wings are my birthright and very prominent in recognizing me. I am so proud of my dragon heritage which has taught me to fly close to the three suns of Draxxt and not get burned.
5. When you’re angry, what do you do? Where do you go? How do you deal with your anger?
I’m seldom angry, but when I am angry, it is righteous, and flames spew from my mouth. I deal with my anger by flying close to the sun in great gyring spirals and coming home to the Palace stables at last to sort it out with my father, Lockjaw, and my mother, Faerydust, both of whom are very wise.
6. If you had to make me a meal right now, without going to the store, what would you find in your refrigerator to feed us?
Of course, being a dragon, I don’t own a refrigerator, nor does any human on Draxxt as far as I’m aware. But I would find many plants in our Great Hall, and small mammals and rodents to eat. I suppose my diet would be called a Keto diet in your vernacular!
7. What’s the one thing you’re afraid of losing?
I’m afraid of losing Almere’s love and companionship. She is my very favorite and closest friend.
8. What makes you laugh out loud?
Oh, I do have a hearty laugh and laugh out loud at many absurdities. I suppose the thought of gyring through the blue sky with Almere on my back makes me laugh out loud most of all, with sheer joy and abandon. I love to stretch my wings and accompany my dear Princess on her travels throughout Gracklen and the rest of Draxxt.
9. Has anyone broken your heart? Who was s/he?
My Princess Almere is the only human or dragoness who could break my heart, and she has not. She’s loyal, loving, and caring, and even her husband Stannock or her brother-in-law Tevron could not take my place, I am sure.
10. What’s the one thing you want out of life that you don’t think you can have? Why can’t you have it?
There is nothing more I want from life. If you read the end of our story, you will find my life is now complete. There have been wars and battles won, magic and sorcery, charms and Fairy Queens, Trolls, Picts, and other dragons, the old religion made new again, legends of how humans came to Draxxt from a planet called Earth in a metal dragon, and other stories that make me wish sometimes I could have been there at the beginning, but Dragons certainly were at the beginning, and I have the dragon collective memory that we share with all of our folk. I have my lovely Princess and her children, and I have the satisfaction of having helped win the Troll Wars, and I have my father and mother who are wise and handsome in the Great Hall. There’s nothing more I need or want. But thank you for asking.
ENGAGING THE DRAGON
BY KENNA McKINNON
The remaining dragons began to leave the castle, fanned out with their throbbing colored wings to darken the sky as they pulsed on air currents above the valleys beneath the King’s mountain.
“Beautiful,” Almere remarked. She never tired of the sight. The Lords who rode those mounts looked for trouble in the valleys and hills of Gracklen, looked for Picts or Trolls or signs of a scattered army returning home, any news of the northern wars along the border and the seaside. Stannock’s brother possessed no dragon now, nor did he wish to ride. He felt content as a king’s advisor and to plot and plan at Court, his greatest attribute.
“I’m afraid our enemies push always closer to the castle and the walls of the mountain.” Tevron frowned, his dark face furrowed in thought. “The Picts have exhausted the riches of the sea where they’ve lived since time began. Our land must look promising and rich to them. They’ve pushed their strong craft off the islands and made desolate the coast.”
Almere agreed. “Now it’s time for them to pluck the ripe fruit that is Gracklen.”
“We’ve always had trouble with the Picts and the Trolls.” Tevron swirled the flask of ale in his brown hands and drank.
Almere frowned. “They lived here before our people made their way from their ships into the badlands of Draxxt. They had enough in their Old Lands across the sea, but they were too lazy to work it. Instead, they chose war.”
“True,” he agreed, nodding slightly. “We should have killed them while we had the chance.”
More blood, she thought.
“They were always more powerful, but because they had no common law they were divided. Each tribe to itself. ” Tevron revealed what he knew of Pict history. “That saved us an attack from a united front.”
“Like they have now?” She sidled away from him, his presence like a magnet, strong and overpowering, almost hypnotic. How she hated him!
“Yes,” he confirmed. “They’re united under the great Troll, Mindbender. The Picts follow him, and so do the rebel Trolls, the giants of legend.”
“Why aren’t you at the wars in the northwest, brother?” she asked, scuffing her boot along the rocks at the base of the Great Hall. “Are you a coward?”
“Yes,” he confessed simply and sat down. “I’m a thinker, Almere. I know what I want. I have a plan, and it doesn’t involve war.”
“What then? We just agreed the enemy is united against us.”
“War is for bloody fools,” he spat. “I’m not a fool like my brother or his father, the King. Our mother, too, is a fool, soaring the evening skies on her beast only to rid herself of the King’s company.”
“What are you then?” Although this man frightened her, she was genuinely curious. “What would you do?”
“I would offer them land,” he said. “That’s what they want. The useless land along the coast and along the northern isles. They’d be satisfied with that if we moved our people out. Our people are outlanders, along the northwestern strip, we could move them back into the valleys where we could keep an eye on them, tax them, control them, and the Trolls and Picts could have the coast and the rough terrain northwest of that. The Picts like to hunt and fish, and the Trolls depend on the Picts. I know they’d be satisfied with that.”
Her forehead wrinkled. “For how long?”
“That’s the point. Until we grow strong again.”
“Until King Hakor passes on? Until the sick old man dies?” Almere smacked her fist on the top of a nearby wall and dislodged pebbles, which bounced down the cliff and off the side of the mountain.
Tevron smiled. “It would buy us time.”
“It would buy us only more trouble later, and they’d grow strong, and hungry, and lean, with eyes that would measure our wealth more covetously because they’d be closer. No, Tevron, you’re wrong.”
“I’m not wrong. Your husband is a fool and so is the King.”
“What have you done?” She cocked her head to one side and pursed her mouth. “Where’s Paige now with the message? I saw him saddle the red dragon early this morning. They flew off to the northwest. What are you up to now, with your sealed message from the King – what’s in it?”
Tevron wiped his mouth with a grimy hand. His thick lips curled upward. He drank again.
“Something’s wrong,” Almere decided. She sprang to the top of the wall and whistled. A nearby dragon, not Fire-Smasher, spiraled down from the eye of a sun. She threw a saddle onto his back, mounted him, and was gone before Tevron could stop her. He stared, his mouth open, as she and Moonraker melted into a gyring dot in the distance.
Kenna McKinnon is the author of SpaceHive and BIGFOOT BOY: Lost on Earth, both YA/MG sci-fi novels. A children’s chapter book, Benjamin & Rumblechum, was published by Mockingbird Lane Press on January 30, 2015. The Insanity Machine, a memoir with co-author Austin Mardon, PhD, CM; and DISCOVERY – A Collection of Poetry, were released by Authors for a Cause in 2012. All the foregoing books are presently represented by Creativia. Short Circuit and Other Geek Stories and Blood Sister (a mystery) were published in 2014/2016 and January 2015 respectively. A trilogy of paranormal/fantasy novellas has recently been released by Creativia, Den of Dark Angels. Her books are available in eBook and paperback worldwide on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, etc., and in selected bookstores and public libraries. Engaging the Dragon, an adult fantasy novel, was released in June 2017 and her WIP consists of a fantasy superhero novel tentatively called Timothy Hill and the Cloak of Power.
Kenna’s interests include fitness and health, volunteering, reading, writing, music, cooking for friends, and caricatures. She lives in a high-rise apartment in the neighborhood of Oliver in Edmonton, Canada. Her most memorable years were spent at the University of Alberta, where she graduated with Distinction with a degree in Anthropology (1975). She has lived successfully with schizophrenia for many years and is a member of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and the Canadian Authors Association. She has three wonderful children and three grandsons.
Links to Kenna’s website, blog, books, etc.
I hope you enjoy the recipe Kenna is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
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FROZEN NIPPY CHEESE SALAD
[Yield: 6 portions]
[[“America’s Cook Book” New and Revised Edition Compiled by New York Herald Tribune Home Institute 1942, Charles Scribner’s Sons]]
Moonraker’s favorite appetizer (Fire-Smasher’s dad) prepared by his mate Faerydust on cold winter mornings.
1 package (3 1/2 oz.) nippy cheese
1/2 cup sweet or sour cream
8 to 10 green olives, chopped
Mash nippy cheese and mix with cream. Add olives and blend. turn into 6 small paper cups, place in freezer and freeze 2 to 3 hours or until firm.
Serve on crisp lettuce; garnish with mayonnaise.
Thanks, Kenna, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!