Today, I am pleased to have the great privilege of participating in a blog tour — hosted by Laura A. Grace of Unicorn Quester and Uncommon Universes Press — for Janeen Ippolito’s new release, FAITHLESS: Book 2 of the Ironfire Legacy. In a moment, I will be interviewing a snarky cat-dragon, whom I recently met in a delightful short story that is part of the Paws, Claws, and Magic Tales anthology that came out yesterday and is a cross-over story to the world of the Ironfire Legacy books.
But first, a bit about this release:
But that’s the least of his troubles.
As an agent for the Lawless, Shance is working with dragonshifters Kesia Ironfire and Zephryn Nightstalker, trying to end the dragon-human war and the organization that masterminded it. While on a mission in the Scepter of Knowledge, the Lawless is hit with a devastating death unicorn attack.
Out of the wreckage new allies emerge: Lirome Ukerys, and his twin sister Maira, the death unicorn queen – Shance’s long-lost wife.
Recently freed from captivity, Maira is fighting to regain control of her herd. Lurien Alistil, a rogue death unicorn, has bespelled the Scepter of Knowledge and taken Maira’s son. When Kesia unexpectedly challenges Lurien to a public debate over the fate of the city, the Lawless has a chance to break the usurper’s hold. To obtain vital information they must infiltrate her lair – and as the husband of the death unicorn queen, Shance Windkeeper is the perfect prize to go in.
But Lurien’s power is stronger and more insidious than they realize. And if the final pieces of her plan fall into place, not even Shance’s newfound Talents and knowledge will be enough to stop her.
A steampunk fantasy adventure with much intrigue, unexpected romance, sudden tragedy, and a snarky cat-dragon.
Purchase your copy today and take advantage of these fabulous pre-order deals!
Purchase Faithless Online
And don’t forget to add the book to your Goodreads Shelf!
My InterFiction badge blinks at me and I rush to finish pinning up my hair. I snatch a glance in the mirror as the world fades and hope I look the part. Victorian clothing and hairstyles can be bothersome, and I’m not sure I followed the Youtube tutorial on my hairstyle correctly, but it’s too late to fix it now.
When my surroundings solidify, I find myself standing outside the door of a small pub. I glance about, taking in my new location. Buildings of various heights rise up around me on either side of the paved street, making me nostalgic for the times when I visited England a few years ago in my own realm. Red-brick and panels of a creamy white wood — Pinwood, I remember the author telling me — cover the faces of the buildings. The colors create a striking view. There is a damp chill to the air, and I am suddenly glad of my multiple layers — in spite of the difficulty I had lacing up the corset under my high-collared blouse. A slight breeze ruffles my long skirt and carries a wafting scent of sea-salt. I inhale deeply. I like this world!
A terrible screeching sound yanks me out of my enjoyment of the moment and an electro-carriage whizzes by, so close to the curb I can feel the wind of it. I stumble backward and into the pub, my heart racing and adrenaline surging throughout my being.
“Ah, so you’ve finally arrived. Took you long enough.” A wry voice from a nearby table reaches my ears.
I glance at the speaker, then take a moment to compose myself before sitting down. The character I am here to interview would be hard to miss!
“Good afternoon,” I say, still a little breathless from my close encounter with the electro-carriage. “Freckles, I presume?”
The creature sniffs imperiously. “If I am to be published in this little journal of yours, I would prefer to go by my true name, Ademis.”
“Oh!” I flip open my notebook and cross out “Freckles” penning in this correction. “Forgive me, I wasn’t told.”
His tail flicks slightly. “Of course not. I couldn’t make the decision to trust you with my true name until I had met you.”
“Of course, of course.”
“You had some questions?” Ademis licks a paw.
“Um, yes.” I’m feeling a bit flustered and out of sorts, but I scan my notebook. “So, you’re a cat-dragon, which I can see quite well. But for my readers who cannot see you, can you describe what you look like for them?”
Ademis raises his head imperiously. “I am a marvelous compilation of cat and dragon, with orange fur, golden scales sprinkled in, a golden scaled tail with a pointy end, and very sharp teeth. Oh, and I have glorious wings. But, occasionally, I can shift into a skin form and appear just like you humans, more or less. And I look equally good in that form. It lets me get into different places and protect my person. But I only use it about 15% of the time, because it simply is inferior to my cat-dragon form.
Although I am always a cat-dragon, no matter the form.”
“And a marvelous specimen of cat-dragon you are, to be sure,” I assure him, starting to get my feet under me again. “Are cat-dragons a naturally occurring species in your world, or are you unique?”
Ademis sighs. “I am the only one there ever is and ever shall be. I was created in a laboratory by terrible scientists, and when I was but a kitten-dragon, they ensured I would never be able to procreate. And they never made another cat-dragon. Apparently I was far too incorrigible. Beastly humans.”
I resist the urge to reach across the table and pet him. Instead, I ask my next question: “What sorts of abilities do you have as a cat-dragon?”
Ademis cocks his head to one side, considering me. “I can fly, I can breathe fire from my mouth, and I can dazzle others with my magnificent visage. My purr is very useful in calming others.”
I stifle my grin at his mention of his “magnificent visage,” and turn the conversation to the larger matters of his world. “I understand that your world in a bit of turmoil right now, including a dragon-human war and Death Unicorns? Can you tell us a little bit about your role in all of that?”
If a cat-dragon could roll his eyes, this one would. “Oh, all those people and their wars. Stupid people trying to experiment on others. All of it is so bothersome. But I do play a key role, because I had the great insight to adopt the death unicorn queen when she was but a child. Maira Ukerys. She’s my death unicorn, and I try to make sure she stays alive. Even though she says I can’t call her a child now that she’s eighty years old. Death unicorns live quite a bit longer, you know. And the dear girl is wrong. But regardless, she is trying to stop the evil actions of rogue death unicorns, and I will be by her side to make sure she survives the process. As for the rest of the war? Meh.” His wings flutter a bit in the equivalent of a shrug.
“Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. One final question… if you could talk to your author and get her to change one thing about your story, what would it be and why?”
He takes his time considering the question. “
I would rather like not being the only cat-dragon. But that’s impossible for many reasons. The dragonshifter Kesia Ironfire can shift into a form similar to mine, because she can shift into all animal forms. But she is still a dragon. It isn’t the same. And anyway, she’s awful about teasing me. Doesn’t respect me as she should for a cat-dragon of my years.
But sometimes, I do feel alone.
And then I go and destroy something mechanical and hunt some rodents. And then life is better.”
“Ah,” I nod. “I see. That makes sense. Well, thank you again.” My badge begins to glow and Ademis’ eyes latch onto it with a focused curiosity that makes me nervous. I can’t imagine what he would do if he could travel between the realms… I excuse myself and beat a hasty retreat back out onto the street, catching a final glimpse of the majestic city before it fades from view and I return to my own reality.
About the Author
Janeen Ippolito believes words transform worlds. She creates writing resources and writes steampunk fantasy. She’s also an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, and the editor in chief of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website: janeenippolito.com
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But wait! The fun doesn’t end with the blog tour! You are invited to attend a FACEBOOK PARTY to celebrate the launch of Faithless!
Celebrate the launch of Faithless: The Ironfire Legacy Book 2 with featured author Janeen Ippolito and guest authors Angelique Anderson and R.J. Metcalf! Get your fill of steampunk, dragons, adventures, and more (re: death unicorns and a cat-dragon) with this fun-filled evening that includes giveaways, games, and an exclusive reveal or two.