Aug 24, 2012

{Guest Post: Meet Astrid + Free Mini eBook} The Stone of Darkness by Resa Nelson

Please welcome author Resa Nelson, who is here to talk about her Dragonslayer series and her character Astrid.

Meet Astrid, the Hero of my Dragonslayer Series
by Resa Nelson
My first series is the 4-book Dragonslayer series, and the hero of that series is Astrid Scalding, a female blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers. We first meet Astrid when she’s 8 years old at the beginning of Book 1 (The Dragonslayer’s Sword). Her entire body is covered in scars from having been chewed up and spit out by a dragon. Her family gives her away to a childseller, who discovers that selling Astrid is a challenge. But eventually a blacksmith buys her because Astrid reminds him of his daughter, who was killed by a dragon. The blacksmith tells Astrid that like everyone else in the Northlands, she is a shapeshifter – this comes as a huge surprise to Astrid. The blacksmith shows her how he has the ability to change shape and tells her that once she becomes a woman, she will have the ability to change the way she and other people see her. When Astrid grows older, she changes her appearance completely. Like other Northlanders, she has blond hair, blue eyes, and pale skin. She shapeshifts to smooth out the scars from her skin and make her hair, eyes, and skin dark. Changing the way she looks helps her leave the pain of the past behind and begin a new life.

Because Astrid knows what it’s like to be harmed, she wishes harm upon no one. She wants everyone and everything to be free and happy. But she lives in a dangerous world. Dragons are essentially overgrown lizards that ravage crops and kill people. Astrid feels a lot of conflict, because she believes dragons have as much right to live as any other animal but she’s also known too many people who have been killed by them. Her sweetheart Di Stephan is a dragonslayer, and she struggles to understand how he can kill a living thing without seeming to care about the fact that he’s ending a creature’s life. Astrid is a pacifist who lives in a violent world and constantly struggles to come to terms with that fact.

Unlike anyone else she knows, Astrid becomes aware of a different kind of dragon: one that can take either the shape of a mortal or the shape of a dragon. Human shapeshifters can only alter the appearance of the body they have – they can’t morph to look like anything other than mortal. So this new kind of dragon seems to have far more power than mortals. These dragons approach Astrid, sometimes offering help to her and sometimes making her life more difficult. She feels a connection with them she can’t explain. Intuitively, she knows it’s important to keep her knowledge of them a secret.

Throughout the series, Astrid faces difficult obstacles that inspire her to change and grow. In Book 1, she learns that she must choose who she wants to be before she can stand up inside her own skin. And throughout the series, she learns more and more about what it means to accept and embrace the power of deciding who you are.

This series began as a couple of short stories, which were published in Science Fiction Age magazine. Everyone is welcome to download a “mini” ebook of these two short stories to sample the Dragonslayer world and see if you like it. There’s no cost or obligation, and you can download at

Synopsis for The Stone of Darkness (Book 3)
In Book 3 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid accepts her duty and follows the winter route--until she's bitten by a dragon. Everyone knows dragon bites are poisonous and deadly, so she reluctantly accepts her impending death. In a twist of fate, she survives. Desperate for an explanation, Astrid believes she has somehow been protected by the black stone she keeps with her at all times, a stone that emerged from the sole of her foot a year ago.

Determined to find out what the stone is and what kind of powers it possesses, Astrid begins a journey that leads her to alchemists and an army of men under the rule of the powerful warrior, Mandulane, the acting lord of the Krystr army. Mandulane's mission is to spread the word of the new god Krystr, which preaches the evil intent of women and the danger they pose to all men, who are entitled to dominate the world. Rumors about this new god and army have spread, but Astrid is the first Northlander to encounter them.

Soon, she stumbles upon a secret of a far-reaching and mind-numbing plot that will impact the entire world. Astrid must find a way to spread the news of this threat and protect her people and everyone else at risk. She's convinced the answer lies inside the Stone of Darkness, and she must find a way to understand the stone and the powers she's convinced it must hold before it's too late.

Book 4 will be published in November 2012

Author Bio:
Resa Nelson has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop.

Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Her first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, was published last December, Book 3 was published in May, and the final book in the series is scheduled for publication in November.

Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."
Resa lives in Massachusetts.

Resa Nelson’s links:
Resa’s website GoodReads giveaway Facebook page | Twitter
Ebooks and Paperbacks ($4.99 each) Mundania Press   (get a 10% discount at checkout with the coupon code MP10)
Paperbacks: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

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