Friday, March 7, 2014

Tour: Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa A. Petreshock (Interview and Giveaway)

I'm really excited to read Melissa's Fire of Stars and Dragons, so I'm really happy to be a part of this awesome blog tour. I have the pleasure of showcasing Theo Pendragon, Second Brother of the 1st Dracopraesi House!

As the 14th stop in the Name That Dragon Blog Hunt, this post contains the answer to the last post. It is your job, as the reader, to find it. Please remember your answer to this puzzle, as well as any past and future ones within this tour. You will need to know ALL the answers to enter for the chance to win the Grand Prize of a sterling silver Celtic triquetra on a 16in chain and a pre-order code.

I got the chance to interview Melissa about Theo and about FoSaD!

Jessica: Firstly, for those who don't know about Theo, can you tell us a bit about Theo Pendragon?

Melissa: Well, let me say first, though I’ve “dream cast” Taylor Kitsch as Theo Pendragon, Theo’s hair is long enough to brush across his shoulders when he moves and is actually jet black, and he has very green eyes. However, Taylor has the perfect build, facial features, and expressive eyes as Theo.

If you never met Theo before and saw him out on the street, you’d probably assume he’s bad news. His typical style of dress is worn, faded jeans with motorcycle boots, a rock band t-shirt held over from the 1970s or 1980s (think Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Blue Oyster Cult), a black leather jacket, and dark sunglasses. He’s fluent in sarcasm too, but despite all of that, his most defining trait is his honor. Theo lives strictly by an honorable code of beliefs to which he holds himself accountable.

J: If you were to describe Theo in 3 words, what would they be?

M: HAWT, noble, conflicted

J: What makes Theo different from the other dragons?

M: Really, each of the dragons is different. They’re affected by their life experiences and have preferences, opinions, and interests of their own. Just because every dragon serves the same basic purpose doesn’t mean they are all the same in every way. There are six houses, and each house has its own specifics regarding their duties to serve the Goddess’ divine purpose for the dragons.

Theo stands out not only for his favored style in appearance, but in his interpretation of his purpose and destiny. The Goddess doesn’t speak to them directly, and at times, he must determine the expectations placed on him.

J: If he had three wishes, what would they be?

M: In no particular order:
-Less reliance on technology or possibly a better personal understanding of technology.
-The eternal existence of classic rock bands.
-Clarity in his own destiny.

J: Which one of his "brothers" is he closest to?

M: Theo has particularly close friendships with two of his brothers, but I’d definitely say he’s closest to Sir Oliver, though they’re extremely different in their personalities.

J:  Tell us a little bit about Theo and Cait's relationship.

M: First and foremost, as the book’s blurb summary (see below) basically says, Theo claims Cait in this dragon/ward bond to protect her through to a destiny she’s unaware she has. Beyond that, they have terrific banter from the get-go, and you’ll have to read the book to find out more.

J: Are there any fun stories about Theo and the First House of the Dracopraesi?

M: The House of Pendragon is the Goddess House of Morality, so they tend to be a generally serious house, but the dragons are interesting and unique. There are stories to tell, back stories and histories about Theo and his brothers outside the books which readers would enjoy, but I want readers to “meet” them in FOSAD first. I’ve already written a short story (“Fallen Son, Darkest Night”) for an anthology that should be coming out in the fall then the second book (BLOOD OF STARS AND GODS) is almost finished too. There is definitely a lot more to learn about the dragons, and I’m nowhere near done telling stories about them. The Stars & Souls Trilogy is just the beginning in this world. I have long-term plans.

J: If Theo could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

M: Theo isn’t one to look back and think of all the “could have, should have, would have” things in life because he truly believes the Goddess has a plan in the grand scheme of things, even if he doesn’t see it, but he would certainly prefer music be “improved” in his opinion. Classic rock isn’t the only style of music he listens to, but he’s not the kind of person/dragon who enjoys faddish pop music.

J: Jaiteru's magic allows him to disappear into mist among many other cool tricks. Does Theo have any cool tricks up his sleeve or any special talents (other than being a dragon, of course)?

M: Theo isn’t a Mage or an Oracle, just a normal dragon, but he’s a particularly adept flier, which is extremely important.

One thing that’s unique about Theo compared to other dragons is his interpersonal relationships. Overall, dragons tend to keep their closes friendships and most trusted “brothers” within their own houses, not just the general population of Dracopraesi. Reading FOSAD and the Stars & Souls Trilogy, you’ll learn this aspect of Theo is a huge part of his personality and the impact of his journey.

J: What was your favorite part about writing Theo? Easiest aspect? Hardest?

M: My favorite part was simply writing a main character who has the mix of mythology, personality, and situation Theo has in FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS and throughout the trilogy. It just doesn’t get boring.

The easiest part was keeping him interesting because he’s a complex character. He could seem like a straight-up hero, but there’s these interpersonal relationships and back story with him, plus his personal beliefs and honor code. All those pieces complicate everything.

Writing Theo throughout the trilogy is hard when he’s faced with situations where he’s conflicted by decisions he faces. He’s a dragon, so you always want him to be strong, but sometimes internal conflict makes him feel weak. It’s hard for me to admit even the dragons struggle, so I hate seeing him like that, and I worry how readers will see him, if they will accept him when he emotionally suffers, when he struggles with choices and decisions, or if they’ll expect him to always be a badass dragon 24/7.

J: How did Theo's character first pop into your mind?

M: When I first conceived the concept of the Dracopraesi dragons, Theo wasn’t the primary one I had in my mind. The four prominent “Brothers of Pendragon” you meet in FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS were the original dragons I came up with, but it was Liam and Oliver who were the strongest characters to develop for me on their own. Theo and Clifford came in less developed, and I had to flesh them out more along the way to coming up with the story for the trilogy.

I wanted these dragons, and at first these four brothers, but in mind, they were each very different. They all stood out from each other yet had a base purpose and chivalrous code of existence in a way that defines them as a unit, part of the brotherhood. Theo’s character was always a “laid back badass” in my mind.

J: Who was your favorite dragon to write about?

M: Omg. Everyone asks me this. (Sorry, Melissa!) In a way, every dragon is my favorite for different reasons since they’re all different and have personalities that make them each fun to write depending on the scene or the mood I’m in at the time. Most of all, I love the way certain dragons play off each other. There is great banter between Theo and Oliver, Theo and Claaron, Claaron and anyone in the same room as him, and Jai… You simply can’t have him in a scene without it being interesting somehow.

For straight-up favorites, I’d probably say Claaron because he’s most like one of my best friends, and a lot like me in his attitude. But, I have to admit I have a huge soft spot for Jai. In fact, when a kitten was dropped off on our property with certain personality traits immediately reminding me of Jai, I took him in, named him Jai, and he’s my little dragon-cat now. (I post pics of him all the time on Instagram and Twitter.)

Thank you, Melissa, for taking the time to answer these questions! :D

If you'd like to learn more about Theo, the dragons, and FoSaD, these two posts are wonderful: here and here.

BUT WAIT! I also have an excerpt of Fire of Stars and Dragons as well!


(Chapter 2, Cait’s POV)

“No. She. Is. Mine.”

Those words ring in my ears. I want them and fear them. He’s a dragon. What that means in this situation, I’m not even sure. Do dragons marry? I can’t say with certainty his claim implied marriage. He did promise to protect me. It occurs to me my hand is still on his, contact I initiated just before his declaration. I move it to my lap, and his retreats to the back of my chair, but there’s a definitive sense of disconnection, touching him appealing to my body with as much natural ease as breathing.

For the first time, Dante speaks, voice smooth, a softened Scottish lilt dripping off his every word. “Perhaps this would be an excellent time to offer a relatively neutral solution to our conundrum over Caitriona’s situation.” He said nothing during court, sitting, absorbing everything, a picturesque view on the dais, flawless fair complexion, dark as night hair, and striking blue eyes.

Dante is every bit his goddess mother’s son, the epitome of beauty.

Cedric leans forward in his chair, hands folded together on the table. “What did you have in mind?” If I had to guess, I would say he sounds relieved Dante offers another option. I suppose a dragon eating his son isn’t a pleasant idea.

The demigod stands and paces in a small circle, brows knit together in contemplative focus, coming to an abrupt halt, turning and meeting my eyes. He says nothing, staring, and the entire room buzzes, strange electricity in the air.

His gaze rises, beyond me. “I will marry her, Theo.” And I’m certain my heart stops. “You trust me, do you not?”

“Are you all insane?” I scream, slamming my hands on the table, jumping out of my seat. So much for remaining quiet. “I refuse to sit here feeling like I’m being auctioned off to the highest bidder.” I sure as Hades do not want to deal with Neglected Dependent Services, but this is ridiculous. Why the king involves himself on a personal level in my situation is beyond comprehension.

King Corrin glares daggers at me, or past me to Theo, but I’m damned sure he’s not happy about a woman rebuking anything he says. However, Dante smirks as he watches my outburst. Behind me, the dragon clears his throat.

“I do believe Miss Hayden makes a valid point to be considered.” He places his hand on my shoulder, encouraging me to sit again, and I do so, grudgingly. Across the table, the king’s brother buries his face in his hands, but he’s not laughing. “While it is understandable the monarchy cannot abide by the breaking of sovereign laws, Miss Hayden is indeed a woman of means. At our ages, it is quite conceivable to liken her wealth and social stature to noble ladies of eras past, one whose suitors would vie for her affections, for the right to win her hand in marriage.”

While I’m somehow seeing this whole situation going in reverse, dragging me into the damned dark ages worse than society already, there might be a light at the end of the tunnel this dragon walks through. Choices. Women of means had choices back then. I for one would like them back.

“A duel?” The monarch’s eyes brighten, displaying his fangs in a Cheshire grin.

Sir Oliver grimaces. “I doubt a duel is quite the answer, Sire. Regardless of your expertise as a swordsman, even my skill is negligible over Theo’s.”

The room quiets until Evan sits back in his chair, its squeaking breaking the silence. “I suggest vying for her affections in the most literal sense. I’ve said before I disagree with arranged marriages, but if she must choose amongst you then at the very least, allow she find the most happiness.” He plays with the wedding band on his finger. “Is it asking too much she have the opportunity to perhaps marry out of some measure of love?”

Whether his concerns fall to his brother trapped in a loveless marriage or my best interests, I don’t venture guesses, but I appreciate his disapproval.

“Would it most please Miss Hayden, I am agreeable to such a compromise,” states Theo, though his tone declares him anything other than agreeable.

Dante nods, remaining in his apparent standard state of existence, thoughtful and contemplative. “As am I.”

With an irritated huff, King Corrin drops back into his chair. “Fine. It is agreed.” His icy stare stays on me as he speaks. “But she must be moved to a secure location where she remains of equal accessibility. Aside from her safety quite lacking, from this point forward, regardless of who ultimately gains victory, I declare her status as betrothed and under the protection of the clan. Should Miss Hayden be incapable of making this decision for herself within seven days, sovereign law prevails, and I shall either choose her husband or relinquish her to NDS.”

“Seven days! What? And you expect me to leave my home? No! Not in Hades’ name will I do any such thing.” Refraining from calling the king insane, out of his mind, or gone mad, I’m adamant in this, but Theo rests one hand on my shoulder calming me, his touch desirable in its soothing effect.

My request to live as an independent woman was a long shot, to say the least. … And NDS is a worst-case scenario for someone in my position. This … I release a quiet exhale and nod in compliance. This is better than the alternatives. None of these men need the wealth or power of Hayden Holdings. I’m not a wrung in their social ladder. Choosing between the king, Dante, and Theo Pendragon … I should be thankful, not insolent. Most women would kill to be in my designer shoes.


Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa A. Petreshock
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Release Date: April 29th, 2014
Following the death of her vampire uncle, twenty-one-year-old Caitriona Hayden finds herself in the midst of a trio of quintessential alpha male suitors in 22nd century sovereign America where human females should be seen and not heard.

Theo Pendragon claims her as his ward, ordained to guard her through to a long-awaited destiny unbeknownst to Cait, but finds more than he expected when passion ignites within the dragon for the first time. Always drawn to the pursuit of knowledge rather than the heat of desire, powerful demigod Dante cannot deny everything his future holds in Caitriona. America's monarch, ancient vampire Corrin, has no interest in the frivolity of love, yet marrying Cait could be the answer to his continued survival.

Soon, Cait goes from studying for college exams to choosing a husband in seven days, knowing the consequences are eternal, the love undying, and the bond timeless.

About the Author
Melissa A. Petreshock is a full-time writer and member of the Romance Writers of America with past experience in the medical and educational fields, though she has primarily devoted her adult life to raising a family. Born and raised in Kentucky, Melissa spent a number of years in Massachusetts, living outside Boston and in Springfield before returning to her home state where she now resides on a small farm. She enjoys quiet married life and the silliness of her three children, indulging hobbies of music, Zumba, and a minor television addiction in what little free time she finds. Melissa’s interests include causes demanding social change such as mental health awareness and teen suicide prevention. FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS is her debut NA Fantasy Romance novel.



  1. Wow...I've never seen a book with the nick-name "Cait" spelt exactly like me! It's so WEIRD to see my name like that... o.O Hehe...anyway! This looks like an epic book and I do love the cover.

    1. Oh yeah! That's so awesome! :P Agreed! It seems really good.

    2. I never see anyone with the name "Cait", but I love it because Caitriona is an older Irish version of Catherine, and Cait is just a shortened version of it. My elder daughter's middle name is Catherine after my grandmother, and we have a strong Irish ancestry. It all ties into the character history and mythology within the book series, so I just HAD to use the name. :-)

      Thank you for the compliments on the book! I hope the summary and cover live up to your expectations. I'd hate to disappoint you that the one book with your name in it doesn't earn a 5-star rating from you. ;-)

  2. Jessica, thanks so much for being a part of the blog hunt and posting about my sexy dragon Theo! Your questions were great, and I had a fun time on your blog. I look forward to hopefully being a part of your blog again sometime!

    1. It was my pleasure! Thank you for inviting me to participate. I look forward to it!

  3. For anyone looking for the final answer in the blog hunt, I had the HARDEST time even finding it myself, so I'll give you an extra hint. The dragon name you're looking for has something in common with my cat. ;-)


Thanks for visiting and reading! I appreciate all comments, and I always comment back if I can. :)

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