{Blog Tour w/Excerpt & Giveaway} The Dragon in the Garden by Erika Gardner @Erika_Gardner/ @SilverDaggerBookTours

 
 
 
The Dragon in the Garden
The Watcher Rising Series #1
by Erika Gardner
Genre: Epic Urban Fantasy
 
 
 
There is magic beneath the mundane and in The Dragon in the Garden, Siobhan Orsini witnesses it all. No lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her Sight. She sees through them all and wishes she could close her eyes. Returning to face her past, Siobhan inherits her grandparents’ house in California’s wine country. She encounters a talking dragon, a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. And that is just in the first twenty-four hours.
 

 

It’s time to find out why she has this power.
 
Siobhan seeks out the Oracle and learns that only her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Our world is the prize in a battle between the dragons, who would defend us, and Lucifer’s fallen angels, who seek to take the Earth for themselves. Using her gift, she will have to make a choice that will decide humanity’s future.

 

 

 

 
 
 

The Dragon in The Garden

 

I woke filled with the dreadful certainty that I was not alone. Blinking, I tried to see around me. In the faint light, I discerned the shape of a man sitting in a chair by the window. I started to cry out when I realized a faint, growing luminosity filled the room. It came from me. I glowed with a silvery light. A slender illuminated cord came off me, traveling upward. Pulses of energy flowed along the cord away from my body, leaving me drained and weak. Movement seemed incredibly difficult, impossible. As my eyes followed the shining strand aloft, I saw in sick horror that some kind of creature hovered above me.

I couldn’t figure out at first if this dreadful phantasm actually lived. Fragile, paper-like skin covered its skeletal frame. She? He? I couldn’t say, but the thing’s emaciation made it difficult to tell if skin actually covered those bones. The thing appeared all cheekbones, its features shrunken and shriveled. The being possessed wild, wispy hair so white it shone in the shimmering glow projected from my body. The strands floated in all directions around the apparition as did its robes, more rags than clothing. I was grateful for anything shrouding any part of the wraith-like figure.

I’ll never, for all my days, be able to explain the dread radiating from its presence. The sensation came from the thing’s eyes. They burned with an electric red, yet, this flame burned in a cold fire, devoid of any warmth or compassion. Though it wore a humanoid form, nothing remotely human emanated from it.

I drew in breath to scream for Daisy, Turel, anyone. More than anything I wanted to call for help, to be as loud as possible. Instead, I whimpered. No other sound came. The thing turned its withered head to the man in the chair. “Abraxas, it speaks. Never do they talk.”

“That’s because they usually don’t wake up and even if they did, they couldn’t see you,” explained the man named Abraxas. “This one is special.”

“Yes,” it rasped. “I see it is. I like it, so delicious, my ducky.” The thing’s voice rasped as thin and emaciated as its form. The death rattle sound of those words conjured nightmares from the dark corners of my mind, places where nameless terrors lurked, and my fears scurried like beetles under a rock. The faint smell of death and decay clung to the air around us.

“What are you?” I managed to whisper. My voice sounded faint, a breath, nothing more.

The thing floating over me cackled, an insane, evil sound. “Now it speaks to me. I love its fear. See it? So pretty, wants to run and hide, but can barely move.” It drifted an inch or two closer to me and I cringed, but couldn’t look away; its hellish eyes consumed me. “Soon it will never move again. Never, ever move, little pig.”

 

 

Erika 101

 

Hmm, five things you’d never guess about me? Tougher than one might think. Most of that sort of thing I divulge in my bio: short, loud, lover of heavy metal and spicy food. On top of that the assignment specifically requests that said items be “fun, interesting, edifying or even embarrassing.”

 

I’m making an executive decision here. Edifying must exit, stage left. That leaves fun, interesting, and, of course, embarrassing.

 

No pressure.

 

Okay, let’s give this dog and pony show a shot. I’ll start with DM’ing. Come on, fantasy author? Being a Dungeon Master isn’t too hard to believe, right? Contrary to what The Big Bang Theory would have America believe, women do play Dungeons and Dragons. My favorite character is a chaotic evil half-elf thief-assassin.  She’s a kick-ass bunch of fun to play- great at acrobatics. So, yes, I am a Dungeon Master. Or, I should say, I used to be. Nowadays I’m busier than a one-legged gal at a butt kicking contest. D & D is a massive time suckage- super fun though. You should try it. My son is the DM now.

 

Thing Two? (So Suessian) I have an extreme addiction to traditional San Francisco sour dough. YUM! Forget counting carbs- life is short, eat bread. Real sour dough is one of about a thousand reasons why I’ll never leave the Bay Area and Northern California. Although, I do love to travel.

 

Third thing… okay, let’s get with the embarrassment. As you might see if you’ve ever read my bio, I am nuts for heavy metal. Iron Maiden, Sabbath, Priest, Dio, Black Label Society, Nightwish, Scorpions, Delain, WASP, Queensryche, the list goes on and on. What was I saying? Oh, right.  *hangs head in shame* A few years ago I visited a dear friend in Los Angeles. After deplaning I walk through LAX and I run into the one, the only, Vinnie Appice. Awesome drummer, just massive talent. Love him. (Run, Google him, go. I’ll wait- I have wine to drink. And while you’re at it see if someone can explain why he and his big brother Carmen pronounce their last names differently. Never understood that.) So, although I’m shaking I’m so nervous, I walk over and say (in a fit of sheer brilliance), “You’re Vinnie Appice.” He couldn’t have been nicer. Side note, I did not look very metal that day, cute turquoise plaid shorts, matching blouse and jewelry- NOT metal. He’s super gracious telling me about the gig they’re going to play, etc. I don’t want to keep him, again soooooo nervous, so I wrap things up saying how much I loved him throughout his career- Dio, ACDC, UFO, etc. Now, if you did Google Vinnie you’ll know that the resume I just listed is NOT Appice’s. It’s that of another drummer who also played with Ronnie James Dio, Simon Wright. I was just so rattled. I could see on his face that I screwed up. Again, the man was a class act- could not have been sweeter. That made it worse. I swore a lot under my breath walking away that day.

 

Vinnie, Mr. Appice, if you ever read this I swear I really do know who you are. I was just having a freak-out moment. *hangs head again*

 

Moving on with relief to number four. I coach track and cross country for a local middle school under my married name. Other than reading and writing, running and coaching are my biggest sources of joy. It’s a bit like herding cats, but their sheer exuberance and joy is life affirming. I love my adorable turkeys as I call them.

 

Last thing one might not guess about me? I always wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up. Never wanted to be married (men are decorative but you don’t keep one), never wanted kids, and planned on being a single career woman. In that alternate life I think I still would have wrote- I can’t help that. I went to UC Davis, got my degree in Biological Sciences, and thought I’d go on to other things. Instead, fate stepped in and brought me the love of my life, three wonderful kids, and a career as a fantasy writer. For the record, I am so okay with how events turned out.

 

Thanks for letting me stop by- super fun!

 

 

 
 
Erika is a sixth generation San Franciscan of Irish descent. She attended the University of California at Davis and completed degrees in Medieval History and Biological Sciences. A lifelong lover of books and a scribbler of many tales from a young age (her first story was completed at age five) she turned to writing full-time in 2011.
 

 

On a personal level she loves spicy food, twilight, dark chocolate (with sea salt-yum!) and nickel slots at Vegas. Erika lives for time with friends, a nice glass of red wine, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” & “Doctor Who” and good conversation. Her favorite things to do are running, cooking, reading, needlework, gardening… and of course, writing. Erika's music of choice is heavy metal. To pick her out in a lineup you should know that she is very short, fairly loud, and has dark eyebrows. The rest, as her hero Anne McCaffrey once said in her bio, “is subject to change without notice”.
 
Erika resides in Northern California with her incredibly hot husband, their three amazing kids, and their chocolate Labrador named Selkie. To reach Erika regarding her books, wine recommendations, or to debate which Iron Maiden album is the best (clearly, it’s Brave New World)

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

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