Flight of the Dragon Queen
by Thea Landen
Genre: Fantasy Erotic Romance
For his entire life, Caleb has always been more comfortable surrounded by books and games than other people. When 1Night Stand is recommended to him, he contacts Madame Eve but is too shy to actually meet any of the women she finds for him. Together, they reach a workable solution: a simulated dating experience in a setting reminiscent of his favorite stories.
After following Madame Eve’s instructions, Caleb finds himself in a vivid fantasy world, complete with a damsel in distress who needs rescuing. His objective is clear, but he must find a way around the many obstacles standing between him and Alizeira, the mysterious woman imprisoned in an underground cell.
While working on his plans to save her, Caleb spends time getting to know Alizeira beyond her role as prisoner, and a mutual attraction develops between them. He is unsure whether she’s a real person playing a part like him, or if she’s simply one piece of the elaborate simulation that’s been programmed for his date. Setting her free is the first step to discovering the truth, but how many secrets is Alizeira hiding?
Thea Landen lives in New York with her husband and two children. A former educator, she strives to encourage creativity and passion in all those around her, and uses writing to help inspire. Though she reads and writes in nearly all genres, she has a special fondness for science fiction, fantasy, and adventure and anything that pushes the imagination beyond its usual limits. When she’s not writing, or thinking about writing, her hands and mind are occupied by either yarn crafts or role-playing games.
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25 Fun Facts about Flight of the Dragon Queen
1. This story came about because I wanted to write about a woman who could turn into a dragon. Then I had to work backwards to figure out the rest of the plot!
2. My favorite woman-who-can-turn-into-a-dragon is Flemeth from the Dragon Age video game series. Aside from being awesome (and the whole dragon thing), there aren’t a ton of similarities between Flemeth and Alizeira, the heroine of FotDQ.
3. Because I love Flemeth’s dragon shapeshifting skills so much, I actually crocheted a reversible doll. You can see the video (which was featured on the Bioware/Dragon Age fan blog!) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5kdIG22lPI . Maybe next I’ll have to crochet a reversible Alizeira!
4. It wasn’t until I was about halfway through writing the book that I realized Alizeira bears a striking resemblance to Cassima from Kings Quest VI, both in appearance and situation. KQVI was one of THE games of my formative years, though, so it must have been rooted pretty deep in my subconscious.
5. When writing the character of Mirtran, I sort of had Latrine from Robin Hood: Men in Tights in mind. (Cue: “It used to be Shithouse!”)
6. And when writing Spectre, I definitely was thinking about Maximus from Tangled.
7. Originally Captain Sampson was unnamed, but when he played a larger role than initially planned, I had to name him. I’d just finished playing Dragon Age: Inquisition, where Samson from DA2 can show up, so I, ahem, *borrowed* the name and gave it a little tweak.
8. Right after submitting this manuscript to my publisher, I found out via Facebook that a friend of mine from high school had a baby and named him Sampson. Oooooops.
9. I’ve never worked in a corporate environment and the scenes that take place in Caleb’s office are based on nothing but what I’ve gleaned from things like The Office and Office Space. If forced to establish what he actually does for a living…yeah, I have no idea. I’d probably have to ask my brother-in-law to come up with something for me.
10. I intentionally never gave Caleb a physical description because of all the video games where you can design your own player character.
11. A lot of games where you can design your own character give you a bit of wiggle room. While writing Caleb, I was reminded of some YouTube videos I’ve seen where Mass Effect players tried to make the ugliest Shepards they could. So I suppose it’s completely within the realm of possibility that Caleb is rather unfortunate-looking. (But true love doesn’t care!)
12. I took a long break in the middle of writing this book because 1) DA: Inquisition came out, and we’re not going to talk about how many hours I clocked with just my first playthrough, and 2) not long after starting, I learned I was pregnant and spent a lot of free time researching EVERYTHING. Then I found out I was pregnant with twins, and that meant researching EVERYTHING X2.
13. I pushed to get this manuscript ready to submit to my publisher before giving birth. The babies came early, so I only made it by about three weeks!
14. I like both fantasy and sci-fi, but given the choice of where I’d want to unexpectedly find myself, I’d pick a sci-fi setting. I like showering regularly, thank you very much. (Though to be fair, the food usually sounds pretty good in medieval fantasy.)
15. My fantastic editor pushed for more descriptions of the manor where much of the action takes place. I went with “thatched-roof cottages” at one point because of Trogdor the Burninator (another one of my favorite dragons).
16. Because of the aforementioned Trogdor, when discussing the writing of this book with my friends, we sometimes simply referred to it as “DAGRON”.
17. My previous book in the 1Night Stand series, Elysium, also dealt with virtual reality. I like to think Drew, the male lead from that book, somehow had a hand in helping program Caleb’s virtual date.
18. This is my third contribution to 1Night Stand, and so far, all of my stories in the series have had some sort of twist to make the required matchmaking plot not so straightforward. When compiling this list, I almost slipped and gave away the twist in FotDQ, but I caught myself in time!
19. Until doing research for this book, I didn’t realize how dangerous feeding pigs can be. Eeek.
20. Though I had a general idea, I had to research the equipment necessary for riding a horse. When Caleb says he has no experience with horseback riding besides maybe being led around on some ponies as a child, that’s pretty much my own experience shining through.
21. My favorite color is green. Obviously the titular dragon was going to be green.
22. I hate naming fictional locations. This time, I just didn’t. No regrets.
23. I shuffled around the letters in Alizeira’s name at least three times before making the final decision. I think it was the placement of the E that was giving me trouble.
24. There are some similarities between this book and another book of mine from a couple years ago, The Edge of the Sphere. I wouldn’t necessarily say it was deliberate; I just happen to like writing strong women who, if put in the “damsel in distress” role, play a role in helping rescue themselves.
25. The title for this book was inspired by the wind band piece Flight of the Griffin, by Brian Balmages. It’s a pretty cool piece of music, and I’d sometimes listen to it when I needed to get in the mood for writing. Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP0J6MNq4Us .