Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Haven Lost by Josh de Lioncourt Excerpt, Giveaway & Interview

Haven Lost — The Dragon’s Brood Cycle, Vol. 1
by Josh de Lioncourt



Legends never die; they just go into hiding …

Sixteen-year-old Emily Haven, heroine of the girls’ hockey team at Lindsey High, has spent her young life keeping two secrets: her rapidly deteriorating home life and the seemingly supernatural power that makes her a star on the ice. When she begins seeing visions of a lost and ragged boy reflected in mirrors and shop windows, a series of events unfolds that tears her from twenty-first century Minneapolis and leaves her stranded in another world with horrors to rival those she has left behind. Lost amidst creatures of fantasy and legend, she is forced to confront the demons of both her past and future to unravel the riddle of the mysterious boy and embark upon a journey to uncover long forgotten histories and the dark, cloaked figure in the shadows behind them all. Caught between opposing forces of a war she does not understand, Emily must find new strength within herself and, above all, the will to remember her friends.



“Hello?” she whispered, but she couldn’t hear her own voice over the low whine that was building in her head. The knowing hadn’t abandoned her. It hadn’t abandoned her at all. If anything, it was stronger than it had ever been.

Her muscles spasmed with the force of it. The whine in her head rose to a crescendo that made her feel as though she’d become some kind of weird human tuning fork. She began to shake uncontrollably, and the floor seemed to sway and heave beneath her feet, like the deck of a ship on rough seas.

She fell to her knees in front of the mirror, unable to tear her eyes away from the strange boy with the pony-tail and the torn and ragged clothes. She could see every minute detail of his attire, from the thick red and black thread that had been used to mend his jeans and jacket, to the filth and tarnish on the old-fashioned fastenings.

He reached out toward her, and as he did, her own reflection in the mirror winked out. Only his face stared out of the dusty glass. His eyes were full of hope and sadness, and seemed the eyes of a much younger child. Those eyes spoke of suffering and loss, and Emily’s heart called out in recognition. She thought she saw the flicker of flames behind the boy, and then she was reaching out to him as well.

Their fingers met. She clasped his in her own, feeling their warm, rough reality, and wanting to give comfort as much as receive it. Such a simple action. Such a mundane, human gesture. And with that ordinary decision made, two worlds changed forever.

“Yes,” she whispered, and watched as the breath of that word fogged the glass between them, spreading until it filled the world with a cloudy, white mist.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Josh de Lioncourt was born and raised in California and enjoys writing projects in a wide variety of fields, including fiction, music, software, blogging, and tech articles. He has written on Apple accessibility for Macworld and Maccessibility, hosts or participates regularly on several podcasts, and writes and records music with Molly, his other half. Josh enjoys the works of Stephen King, the music of George Michael, Masters of the Universe, and Los Angeles Kings hockey. He currently lives in Pennsylvania.


1. Where are you from?
I grew up in sunny southern California. After spending most of my life there, I met my other half who happened to be from Pennsylvania. Now, we live in rural PA. It’s an entirely different world from the Golden State, but there’s no question that it is a peaceful sort of place. Plus, it is deep in the heart of hockey country, so that appeals to me as well.

2. Tell us your latest news?
Currently, I’m working on the second volume of the Dragon’s Brood Cycle. The follow up to “Haven Lost” picks up where the last book left off, and I’m extremely happy with how the story is coming along so far. I’ve been over the moon about the reception “Haven Lost” has received to date, so I’m excited to be able to continue down that road with readers.

3. When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing, one way or another, for pretty much as long as I can remember. As a very young child I created stories by drawing pictures, more or less comic book-style, or inventing adventures for my Masters of the Universe action figures to go on. Later, I began writing down my tales in school. In the 4th grade, I won a district-wide competition with a science-fiction story I’d written entitled, “Journey to Another Planet”. It was, more or less, exactly the sort of thing you’d expect from a ten-year-old, but there’s no denying it was one stepping stone toward writing the sorts of things i do today.
In addition to stories, I also love to compose music, poetry, and software. I seem to always need to be creating something, and I’m happy to be able to share some of those things with others.

4. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t know that there ever is a magic moment when one realizes they’ve become a writer. I think writers are born more than they are made, though certainly a born writer can be made into a better one. The human race is driven to tell stories. The earliest cavemen told stories with their paintings on cold stone walls, long before the written word had been dreamt up. The mediums change—novels, comics, movies, songs, video games—but the stories themselves are constant. There will never be a generation that doesn’t tell stories of one kind or another, and it is a wonderful, magical thing. It’s something that separates man from the beasts. That’s a cliche, but at least it is a true one.

All of this is to say that I’ve always been a storyteller, though the mediums have expanded for me over the years as well. I think that is the key. Writing is simply a tool we use—one of many—to tell each other stories.

5. What inspired you to write your first book?
“Haven Lost”is my first full length novel. The idea for the story was knocking around inside my head for over two decades. Over the years that followed the planting of the first seed, more and more of the details began filling themselves in. Characters who appeared in other stories I wrote wound up being destined, finally, for this book, and Emily, the heroine, meets them throughout her journey.

Those characters, my growing love of hockey and the fantasy genre in general, and my own life experiences all played a part in shaping and, ultimately, inspiring the novel as a whole. There are some aspects of the story, most particularly where regards Emily’s inner turmoil, that I did not realize were drawn from difficult times in my own life until after the book was complete. I’m sure, in the years to come, I will be able to pinpoint more of the sources of inspiration for various components of “Haven Lost” that I never imagined had played a part.

6. what would you like my readers to know?
In a world where there are more books to read than any one person can absorb in a lifetime, I appreciate the chance to tell a story more than I can say. In “Haven Lost”, Emily Haven is given the opportunity to flee the terrors of one world into the trials, but also joys, of another. Likewise, the telling of Emily’s story allowed me to escape into my imagination, with all the magic and trepidation that entails. I hope you will all come along for the ride.

The dragon is only just waking.

General Links

Dragon’s Brood Cycle: http://DragonsBrood.net

Buy Links for Haven Lost

Josh will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway