Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tease it, Baby
Or...Choices Meant for Gods gets another fantastic review

I just love typing headlines like that. If you go to, you can read a wonderful review of the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods.

And if you go to, you can order your copy before they run out again! (I'm joking. I have no illusions of selling out that fast again.)

But, truly, you must read the great review from the Wet Ink newsletter, which I recommend everyone subscribe to because it's a free and useful publication about new fiction. The editor, Ms. EM Sky, is running a contest, in fact, where you can win a free copy (with free shipping) of one of the books featured in this month's edition. (And if you win mine, I'll autograph it for you, my dahling.)

Excerpt from the review: The leading man adds his own complexity to the picture, complementing his lady perfectly. Nigel Taiman is wonderfully genuine in both his affections and his depth of character, and Lender paints him as she does all her creations, with thoughtful style and grace.

How cool is that? Nigel should be blushing...

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Jane Green Takes a Chance at The Dragon the author of contemporary women's fiction novel Second Chance

Today Fantasy Author Sandy Lender interviews Women's Fiction Author Jane Green to share some good writing/publishing tips with visitors to The Dragon and to hear some of the inside scoop about the intriguing Second Chance. Jane will stop in to answer your questions later today, so leave your thoughts with the comments link below!

The Dragon: Good morning, Jane, and welcome to The Dragon. This is a site for writers, so I want to ask you a couple of writing and publishing questions before I delve into the book Second Chance, if you don't mind. This is not your first novel; it's your ninth. So my visitors would love to hear how you found time to write this story while marketing and promoting the last one(s) and raising your four children.

Jane Green: I have absolutely no idea... It always seems like an impossible task, but I've decided I have a ridiculous amount of energy, and I always seem to manage it. My kids are all in school or pre-school in the mornings, so that's when I write and these days I go to the library to avoid distractions. By the time the kids are home from school, I'm back to being Mom. Touring and promoting is difficult - so hard to be away from them, but also wonderful to be out there meeting my readers, and being defined as something other than a mother - I get to feel like a grown-up again.

The Dragon: How much of a role does your agent play in promotion and "after-publication" efforts with a new title? And do you see that as standard representation in the chick-lit genre?

Jane Green: My agent has no role in promotion, other than perhaps to ask what the publishers are doing, and only steps in after publication to trouble-shoot. The publisher handles everything, and the agent is really a go-between - if I have an issue I will either go through my agent, or at least cc my agent in on all correspondence to keep them in the loop. I don't think this is different for any genre.

The Dragon: In the opening of Second Chance, the narrator, through the character Tom, makes an observation that Tom's business trips are a current-day sacrifice that "won't be forever." He and his wife are tolerating the lifestyle of Tom-as-CEO of a software company and all the time away from each other because it's setting them up for a better future. But Tom's untimely death stops that future. We're never promised tomorrow. They should have been enjoying each other while they had the chance.

First: do you think that's a heavy message for a chick-lit novel? Or do you think the genre is ripe for such a powerful and moving message/reminder?

Jane Green: I think chick lit suffers from an incredibly strong misconception that it's light, fluffy, about single twenty somethings looking for Mr Right. I like to think of chick lit as commercial women's fiction that accurately reflects the lives that real women are living today, with an emotional honesty that isn't found necessarily in other books. It didn't start off that way, but in the twelve years since chick lit emerged in England it has changed and evolved with its readers. I'm writing now for women in their thirties and upwards, and all the issues that we are dealing with, and certainly that includes loss, regret, and unhappiness.

The Dragon: Second: How does this message resonate with you? Why did you place it in your novel?

Jane Green: I am a strong believer in living in the moment and trying to accept and appreciate life on life's terms. I love the saying I used in Second Chance that the key to happiness is not getting what you want but wanting what you've got.

The Dragon: I identified very closely with Holly from Second Chance because I recently had a husband who suffered from Marcus-Syndrome—believed he was pulling the wool over people's eyes. But people know when it's just a front…Is Holly's husband Marcus based on anyone you know?

Jane Green: You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment...

The Dragon: I'm laughing. I have a disclaimer in the front of Choices Meant for Gods, too. Can you share with visitors to The Dragon how different characters usually appear to you or enter your life to have their stories told?

Jane Green: I have to make a conscious effort to conjure them up in my mind, and then I start mapping them out on the computer. First I visualise them, then give them a name, and the rest always seems to follow fairly naturally. By the time I start writing my aim is that the characterisation is strong enough that they will dictate where the story will go.

The Dragon: Once you've got a character or a concept, how long does it typically take for you to write out the story?

Jane Green: a couple of weeks.

The Dragon: Now that you have nine of those stories published, how can visitors at The Dragon pick one up?

Jane Green: All good bookstores, and of course and

The Dragon: Jane, thank you so much for stopping by The Dragon. I'm sure my visitors have learned some new tips from you today that they're thankful for, and I certainly appreciate you sharing some insight here. I wish you the best of success with Second Chance!

Jane Green: Thank you Sandy, it was lovely being here.

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Monday, July 30, 2007

The CMFG Photo Contest Rules and Stuff

Or...send in your pictures to win the cool prizes

What's wrong with the entry here? (Okay, yes, first, it's not really an entry. I'm going to post a couple of entries that I've received tomorrow after Jane's interview because I've got some really cute ones.) But, pretend this WAS an entry. Why wouldn't it qualify to win the coo-el package o' spa products from Arcana's bathing rooms on Saturday, August 18? Hmmm? Could it be because you can't actually SEE the cover of the book, Choices Meant for Gods? Could it be because you can't see the person holding the book (it's me, by the way, just in case you needed that clarified). Could it be that I'm not READING the book, but merely holding it?

So don't do the things I did wrong! Get yourself a fabulous and creative setting and have someone take your picture "reading" the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods (before August 18) and send the jpeg to We'll collect all these images (and we'll post them if you don't specify for us not to) and choose a winner of the grand prize package and the second prize package on the 18th. It'll be great! It'll be fun. You'll love it.

Best of luck to you!

And kudos again to my friend and fellow author Jamieson Wolf for coming up with this idea for a contest. Genius at work!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Early in the Morning

Or...The Dragon appears to be channeling Robert Palmer...

Which is not a bad thing...

I have two authors to promote (besides myself) in the morning. One is my dear friend and fellow ArcheBooks Publishing paranormal thriller novelist Raven Bower, who will watch over the interview of her character Bailey Khane over at Henry's blog at You can see the fabulous cover of her paranormal thriller Apparitions above.

This book will scare the whozeewhatsits out of you. (remember, I'm good at just makin' up words)

Raven and I will both be speaking at Context 20 out in Ohio this fall, so make your plans to be there now! (Yeah, I'll post about it later.) We're gonna be roomies so I'm thinking of good ghost stories to tell her to get even for this book and the fact that I can't swim in lakes anymore because of it.

The other author to watch for tomorrow is the sumptuous Jane Green, who has penned her ninth work, Second Chance. It's not my usual faire. You know I like the paranormal stuff...vampires, dragons, things that go bump in the night...but Jane has a great intro for a women's contemporary fiction story that actually (gasp in unison here) makes the reader think. It looks really good! I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed her responses to my interview questions. She's got a good head on her shoulders and seemed pleased to give all ya'll writer-types some good information. So I encourage you to stop back by Today the Dragon Wins on Tuesday morning to meet her and ask her your follow-up questions as she finishes her tour with a dragon.

Then, of course, I can't end this post without telling you that there's this new, up-and-coming fantasy author by the name of Sandy Lender who has this new epic fantasy novel out that's getting rave reviews all over the internet. Why, this book is taking the world by storm! You've got to get your hands on a copy of Choices Meant for Gods! NOW, I tell you! ;)

Seriously, you can pick up my novel anywhere fine books are sold, or, since you're already online, make your life easy! Hop over to and order yours today. That free shipping feature still applies...ooooh...and isn't that attractive?

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Dragon Gives Away These Fabulous Prizes cool stuff

I couldn't get Nigel to just post the article he wrote for his blog over at, so I stole it and am editing it to look like I wrote it. (He said I could.)

Fantasy Author Sandy Lender is giving away free stuff. It's all intriguing merchandise, as well, so getting in on these easy contests will be worth your while.

The Book Trailer
If you haven't yet read the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods—never fear. This contest is perfect for you. It involves no outlay of cash on your part.
1. Go to
2. Watch the trailer for Choices Meant for Gods
3. Rank it with a five-star rating AND leave an uplifting comment for its creator, Jamieson Wolf by Saturday, August 4

Just like that! You'll be entered in a contest to win a dragon-knife necklace that Fantasy Author Sandy Lender will send to you with some autographed piece of CMFG memorabilia.
Your deadline to enter The Book Trailer contest is this Saturday, August 4, so don't put it off!

The Photo Contest
If you have (or haven't) finished reading the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods (it's a 418-page book—you really get your money's worth), this contest is for you merely because you already own it.
1. Have a friend take a picture of you reading the book
2. E-mail the jpeg to with your physical address so we know where to mail your winnings by Saturday, August 18

Presto! You'll be entered in a contest to win a package of spa products from Arcana's bathing rooms. The grand prize for the most creative photo gets the large package of spa goodies. The second-place prize for the person who just gets their name pulled from my fabulous 2001 Duran Duran Up Close tour hat is a slew of CMFG memorabilia—signed by me!
Your deadline to enter The Photo Contest is Saturday, August 18, so get creative and get your picture taken!

The Scavenger Hunt Contest
This is actually not as complex as it sounds. If you've already read the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, you can answer these three questions easily. If you haven't read the story of Amanda Chariss, go get it at, but the questions can be answered by following the links in the hints offered in the questions.
1. Go to
2. Answer the three questions in an e-mail to by Saturday, August 4
Be sure to mention The Scavenger Hunt Contest in your subject line

Easy as that…You're entered in the Scavenger Hunt Contest for a chance to win a mini-spa package of lavender goodies from Arcana's bathing rooms.
Your deadline to enter The Scavenger Hunt Contest is Saturday, August 4, so don't delay getting over to Kora's blog at

The Author Island Contest
How about winning an autographed copy of Choices Meant for Gods itself? The fabulous DeNita Tuttle is running a contest at
1. Go to and scroll down to the purple and orange fantasy cover with Chariss's reflection shining off her sword
2. Click on the "email me your answers" link with the answers to the administrator's two simple questions by the September 30 deadline
3. DeNita will let you know after September 30 if you've won

Another easy one, don't you think?

So you have four simple opportunities to win good prizes from the Choices Meant for Gods marketing machine. Nigel Taiman recommends taking advantage of them all.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Quick Post case you needed this news flash: The Dragon is losing her mind

So this is just a quick note to tell you I'll post good stuff tomorrow. In the meantime, check out the video trailer for Choices Meant for Gods that our wonderful Jamieson Wolf made at and enter the contest for a dragon necklace by leaving your five-star rating and some positive feedback for Jamieson there at YouTube.

And make sure you grab a copy of Choices Meant for Gods at so you can photograph yourself reading it for the photo contest! All of the contests currently running in conjunction with the epic fantasy novel are described in the archives from Saturday, July 21. I'll post pictures that we've already received tomorrow...

It's all tomorrow, guys...all tomorrow...

"Some days, I just want the dragon to eat people to get them out of my way."
***insert maniacal laughter here***

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Monday, July 23, 2007

The Dragon Showed Up Unprepared
Or...I don't have a Grammar Guide ready for today

This picture is of me not ready for the picture to be taken. It fits this article. Why? Because I was a bad dragon and I didn't prep the Monday morning Grammar Guide. Sigh.

Check back tomorrow.

Funny how wrapping up a virtual tour and prepping an article about all the winners from the contests I held during the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour and prepping the contests that are ongoing right now (and you can read the posts from Saturday below to see all those) and editing the synopsis for Choices Made by Gods to send to my publisher and editing the manuscript for Choices Made by Gods kinda sapped up all the hours in my weekend. Now, don't think I was slacking off. We writers know there's no rest for the wicked...or the writer. I only got 45 minutes of sleep Friday night. And I only got 3 hours of sleep last night. (Now, I did indulge Saturday night and got the whole 7 that doctors recommend these days, so, perhaps that was overzealous of me...) But I just couldn't get to everything.

Rest assured, I'll get to it all this week. I'm taking Friday off of work! Woo-hoo! I've built up enough time at the office for a personal day. You can't beat that with a stick. So somewhere between getting the oil changed in the car and finding a company that will sell me and my oh-so-stellar recent credit debacle a cell phone plan, I think I'll do some future blog articles so all ya'll aren't sitting around waiting on me to post useful stuff.

In the meantime, if you're in need of something to read, might I recommend this epic fantasy novel by the new up-and-coming fantasy author Sandy Lender? My good friend Laura Crawford had incredible things to say about both me and the novel at Saturday. You can check that out. And you can order Choices Meant for Gods at

See you tomorrow.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Word of the Day
Monday, July 23, 2007
Scrutiny (noun) - a close watch of something; holding something under an investigation (from the Latin scrutari)

Word in a Sentence (from the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, page 120): Nigel was thankful for the reprieve from Godric's constant scrutiny.

Your turn! Do you have any investigative sentences in you today? I know, we're hedging against my Law and Order fixation. I think it's that Sam Waterson thang again...

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Back to Regular English
Or...Today the Dragon Wins returns you to your regularly scheduled Word of the Day column

During the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour, each of the Word of the Day entries featured a "fantasy word" from the epic fantasy novel by fantasy author Sandy Lender (forgive that insane sentence - it's designed for search engine optimization).

All of the words I've bombarded you with for the past two months here at Today the Dragon Wins (yeah, still doing the SEO thing) have featured their Old English, Anglo-Saxon, Latin, or Sandy's-addled-brain etymology and a sentence in which they appear in the fantasy novel. From dragons to wizards to sorcerers, the novel contains the usual faire you'd expect to find in a high fantasy story, but fantasy author Sandy Lender threw some things in there you haven't seen anywhere else. From concepts I created, like the geasa, which is my own version of "magic," to ryfel and edras and Ungol living in an underground region of Onweald known as Tiurlang, you're going to run into places and creatures that no one else has created or named before. Please use the Word of the Day archives here at The Dragon to help you if you ever run into a word in my novel Choices Meant for Gods that you're just "unsure" about.

And watch for an appendix in Book II of the Choices trilogy (currently titled Choices Made by Gods), if my publisher will let me use up the pages to include it, where I'll include not just a dictionary of the Ungol language I've created, but a dictionary of some of these fantasy words (like ofersey'n) that will make life easier for my readers. In the meantime, pronounce them however you wish because I'm cool with whatever. And use this blog as your reference guide! It's why I put the Word of the Day fantasy words together.

And enjoy the story! You can pick up your copy at

And now, see the next post for a return to regular English!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Word of the Day
Sunday, July 22, 2007
We return to "regular-English" words in Word of the Day now that the tour is over and, I swear, my muse is THRILLED with the one I selected for today because he got to pick the example sentence. Now, if you all know the muse that haunts me and helps me with marketing, you'll understand when you read the sentence(s) why he's so thrilled… The reason I've selected the word "success" today, even though it's a pretty easy one that everyone already knows the definition of, is because the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour was a raging success and I just can't believe how fabulous it turned out. I'm still amazed by it all.

Success (noun) — having achieved something that you desired (from the Latin successus)

Word in a Sentence (from the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, Chariss is "training" Nigel, page 119): But Chariss was a kind teacher and wanted her pupil to taste success. When she felt him practically rejoicing at finding what seemed to be a trace of energy from the past, she let it fuel the explosion and released him abruptly.

Hmm. Doesn't that appear odd out of context? No wonder Nigel's thrilled. Naughty muse.

Your turn! Any successful sentences you can write for us today?

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Photo Contest Announcement
Or...The Dragon is holding another contest addition to the one listed below at the "ANNOUNCEMENT and CONTEST" article where I talk about the new trailer for Choices Meant for Gods that the fellow pictured here designed for me. But before this gets good and confusing, let me explain.

As part of the celebration of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour completion and success, I'm holding several contests. There's one over at Kora's blog ( where you can win a mini spa package of relaxing lavendar products from the bathing rooms at Arcana. Oooooh, ahhhhhh. There's a contest here at The Dragon where you give the fabulous Jamieson Wolf a five-star rating and nice commentary on his trailer about how to raise your baby dragon (and that post is below). For giving Jamieson positive feedback (kudos), you could win a dragon bowie knife necklace.

And now!

Send me pictures of you reading Choices Meant for Gods! The more creative the picture, the better, because there will be two winners of this contest. One winner will receive a grand prize of mega spa products from Arcana's bathing rooms - that's the winner who sends me a photo of him or herself in the most creative environment for reading an epic fantasy novel. (Remember that this is site is rated G - you never know when a pre-teen will drop by.) The other winner will win a nice mini spa package similar to the goodies Kora's giving away over at the CMFG site, and that is easier to win because I just pull your name out of the Duran Duran hat. (Yes, I have a couple of those around here. Surprise.)

Wow, Sandy, where'd you come up with this great picture idea!?

Glad you asked, oh Dragon Visitor. My friend and fellow author Jamieson Wolf (currently on tour with The Ghost Mirror) was reading Today the Dragon Wins a couple weeks ago and saw me commenting that I needed more pictures. This was his answer to my woe. Hold a contest! And how fabulous is that? (All you other authors should take note...)

So get snappin! Set up your creative reading environment and have a buddy take a picture. Or, you know, just sit down and have someone snap your photo. E-mail me the jpeg by Saturday, August 18 (that gives you about a month) with your snail mail address (because I'll mail you your winnings). The e-mail I'd like you to use is Please include something about CMFG Photo Contest in the subject line! Thanks.

So you got all that?

1) Take a picture of you reading CMFG.
2) E-mail the jpeg to with CMFG Photo Contest in the subject line.
3) Do this before August 18 and watch your e-mail (and this site) that day for your notification of being the happy happy winner!

What's that? You don't OWN Choices Meant for Gods? Good Heavens! Get thee to Barnes & Noble! Or go to to get it right away! You've got a month... If Amazon is out (they're down to four copies at the moment), you can order it directly from my publisher at

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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The Dragon Thanks a Ton of People

Or...this tour has been great

The picture here has been hiding in my tour materials while I've waited to get my computer and my e-mail all coordinated. Having internet access suddenly blip out on me in the middle of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour was a surprise! If not for that hiccup, this tour would have been a breeze. Luckily, I had a tour page set up before I launched May 21 and my hosts should have had no idea anything was amiss. The picture above was taken by not an event host, but a friend of mine in St. Louis. I don't think he has any qualms about having his name posted on the World Wide Web, but he's had some "issues" with a stalker in his relationship lately, so let me just state this: a way cool friend took this picture of my book on the shelf at Barnes & Noble and sent it to me because this friend ROCKS. And the stalker hasn't caught him yet...

Now there are some other folks I need to thank specifically for this final day in the virtual tour. I sent out word that I had a guest article that could be posted on blogs, and would anyone do me the favor of using this article on Saturday, July 21, to help me take over the blogosphere? See, I figure J.K. Rowling has the bookstores today when it comes to the fantasy genre. Sandy Lender will bow to that greatness - this year. And Sandy Lender will just take the web today. YOW!

So to the following hosts and hostesses, I'm drinking a fabulous wine in your honor tonight and I want to thank you publicly for YOUR greatness! And I encourage all of my visitors here at The Dragon to check out one or more of these sites at your leisure. These are folks who are writing and/or promoting either their own work or the work of others. They have interesting sites, intriguing stories, and good hearts. (this is actually an interview of The Dragon, complete with a nice little homage to Charlotte Bronte) (contest announcement) (and check out the ANNOUNCEMENT and CONTEST article below about this!)

Enjoy your blog surfing and let the hosts know you were there!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Sandy Lender Doesn't Recommend Quitting Your Day Job
Or...the joy and insanity of being a writer

By Sandy Lender, fantasy author

Northeast Missouri State University, now Truman University, prides itself on offering a liberal arts education to graduates. I got out in four years with a degree in English and a liberal arts education that has garnered me a 15-year career in magazine publishing and public relations/marketing, but my true passion, the "career" I've nurtured since I was about six years old, is writing. And I don't mean journalism. Yes, journalism and editing are what have paid the bills the past 15 years (and will continue to do so), but fiction writing...oh...fiction writing is what has kept me alive.

It's probably going to be the death of me.

Let me explain. If you're visiting this site, you've probably been drawn here by an interest in books or authors or a writer's lifestyle or something along those lines. Let me give it to you straight. All writers have a touch of insanity about us (this is normal). We usually carry a muse around with us, but this is not always by choice. We complain about characters fighting for their rights, refusing to conform to our wishes in a scene. We go on writing binges that keep us up until 3 a.m. before collapsing next to our computers just to get up and start typing again when the sun blazes in to wake us around 7, skipping meals, showers, potty breaks and phone calls until some aspect of reality forces us out of the writing cocoon. We will tear a room to shreds looking for a pen if an idea has just struck us. And woe to the fool who gets between us and a piece of paper when we get hold of that pen...

Because I've experienced the insanity described above, I've been lifted up by hearing stories of people who have enjoyed my first published novel, Choices Meant for Gods. Now I get to read comments on my page of people claiming Nigel Taiman is "by far" their favorite character, or "I want to be just like Chariss when I grow up," and I feel this lump of pride in my darlings rise in my throat.

That's the joy and insanity of being a writer. You pour your heart and soul into the work; and pray that someone out there likes it, too. Now here's the hard part. People have to read it to like it. They have to know it exists to read it. So you have to get it to them.

Enter the marketing and promoting aspect of the new author's job. I attended the ArcheBooks Publishing's Professional Novelist Workshop about two weeks before receiving my contract for Choices Meant for Gods, and had attended the Naples Press Club Writers Workshop the week before that, so I thought I had a pretty good idea of the marketing nightmare new authors faced. I was ready. Lay it on me, I thought.

Now I'm on the last day of a two-month online book tour I organized myself, contemplating repeating a moderately successful instore book signing at the local Barnes & Noble that I organized myself, and managing six blogs (including for the promotion of my fantasy novel that I've organized myself, preparing a spate of press releases I've written myself that I'll spew forth like water from an erupting sprinkler next week, etc. Do you see a trend there? New authors are on their own. Unless you have the few thousand dollars it takes to hire a publicity firm/PR agency to send out press releases for you, you're on your own. I don't have a few thousand stray dollars and I don't trust people who charge less than professional rates to do a professional job.

I take hope in the fact that even J.K. Rowling was once in the same boat I'm in now. She was down to her last food stamp as the story goes when that fateful call came: Her little story about a boy named Harry Potter had been picked up. I've already had my call. Choices Meant for Gods is published and out there. Now I need my lottery winning event to propel me into J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter status, but, for right now, I'm going to just keep writing deep into the night and reading those fabulous e-mails that praise Nigel and Chariss. Because making a living at this would be nice, but, truly, the writing binges that result in someone singing Chariss's praises are the real joy and insanity of being a writer.

I'd like to thank all the hosts today for posting this guest blog article. And I'd like to thank everyone who made the CMFG Online Book Tour the raging success it's been. You know that paragraph above where I said new authors are on their own? I'd like to correct that. We actually have each other. Without each of you, the name Sandy Lender wouldn't be all over the internet right now, and readers wouldn't be one click away from to pick up my epic fantasy novel. And new author Sandy Lender is grateful to every one of you.

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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The Dragon Thanks The Wolf
Or...just one item, though

I have a lot of things to thank Jamieson Wolf for. The writer / author / promoter / friend has supported me tremendously throughout the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour, and before, and probably will continue to support me afterward. But I want to focus this article on his latest work of genius.

I encourage all ya'll visiting Today the Dragon Wins to check out the book trailer Jamieson created to promote Choices Meant for Gods and join me in laughing my butt off at the adorable baby dragon in one of the frames - trust me, you'll know when you see it because you'll start laughing - out loud. The trailer, over all, is fabulous, and I want everyone to see it.

In fact, I'll just make a contest for it. See the next post for your chance to win something cool when you learn how to raise your own baby dragon...

AND thank you to Jamieson Wolf. The coolest villain EVER!
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Or...see the book trailer Jamieson Wolf made to promote Choices Meant for Gods

Would you like to win a dragon knife necklace?

As we celebrate the culmination of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour, Fantasy Author Sandy Lender is offering a fabulous dragon bowie knife necklace to someone who leaves a five-star ranking and nice comment about the book trailer Jamieson Wolf created at for the promotion of Choices Meant for Gods.

I guarantee this trailer will make you smile. From the clever music to the clever title to the line about...well...I guess I shouldn't spoil it, should I? It's just a riot! You'll enjoy it. It's very tongue-in-cheek and fabulous and anyone who likes dragons will appreciate it immensely. Go check it out, and if you're not registered with uTube, sign up (free) so you can leave a comment by Saturday, August 4. (Deadline.) On that day, I'll copy down all the names there and pull them out of a the Duran Duran 2001 "Close Up" Tour hat and announce on this site that you've won the prize. (Yes, that means you'll have to check this site on August 4.)

Can you remember all that?
1. Go see the video at
2. Give the video a five-star ranking and a nice comment.
3. Check this site on August 4.
4. Win a knife shaped like a dragon.

That's actually pretty easy. I'll remind you - a lot.

Good luck! And thank you to Jamieson Wolf for his hard work and creativity!
"Some days, I just want the dragon win."

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Word of the Day
Saturday, July 21, 2007
It's the final day of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour! So let's end the fantasy words from CMFG with a really powerful one…

Naegling (proper noun) — Sergeant Brendan Naegling is the leader of Arcana's "army" as it were in the fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods; he's your typical Arcanan man—dark brown eyes, dark brown hair, strapping muscles from all that outdoor work, a good work ethic, lots of common sense, the ability to keep a secret about himself, the ability to keep the secrets that people share with him, good with a sword (please read innuendo into that), he's just fabulous all around

Etymology: Fantasy Author Sandy Lender used this word for the name of the man Amanda Chariss will promote to captain in her army in Book II of the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy because Naegling is the name of the sword Beowulf used…

I really recommend people read Beowulf.

Word in a Sentence (from the high fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, page 409): Sergeant Naegling also had success pulling her into a discussion with Wold and Rohne that seemed to last the better part of an hour.

Your turn! Bonus points if you make up a sentence about the sword…

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Sweet Jane
Or…The Dragon is at Jane Sutton's Blog Today

See Jane blog. See Sandy blog. See Sandy blog with Jane. All day long.

My friend Jane Sutton has a contemporary women's fiction novel being released later this summer from ArcheBooks Publishing called The Ride. I'm stoked! So we've been corresponding. She's got herself a handy little blog that she's set up connected to her website to assist in marketing this new book. I applaud this. I read it every Friday when she posts. And I thought, "Hey! I need a tour stop at the end of my Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour! Wonder if Jane would help me out with that…"

And she said yes.

So you can see this wonderful (and sometimes difficult – I can't believe you forced me to think so much, Jane!) interview at all day. We welcome your comments and questions, of course.

And if you don't already own a copy of Choices Meant for Gods, order your copy from or the publisher's site at Jane's book The Ride will be available at and shortly, as well!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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The Wolf Talks About The Dragon
Or...check out The Friday Project blog today

If you remember your author interviews, you'll recall Author Jamieson Wolf stopping by Today the Dragon Wins back on July 9 (it's in the archives) to talk about his new young adult thriller The Ghost Mirror. He's on tour all month and his stop today takes him to his memoir-publisher's site at where he not only talks about HIS book...he talks about Choices Meant for Gods.

How cool is that?

How amazingly cool is that?

Go see what he says...

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Word of the Day
Friday, July 20, 2007
Sorne (proper noun) — Sorne Jeel is the lad Amanda Chariss saves from execution in Arcana City one day; he is the son of Priam Jeel; Kora Taiman adopts him as a member of the Taiman family when Priam is "executed" and the boy is orphaned

Etymology: Fantasy Author Sandy Lender doesn't remember where the name originated, but it started out as Sorin, which was too close to Jorin, his friend/brother once he gets to the Taiman estate, so she had to change it

Word in a Sentence (from the high fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, page 84, Sergeant Naegling is thinking): How was he to prevent her getting hurt, yet preserve Sorne Jeel?

Your turn! Yeah, today I think you're just going to have to make up a sentence about a boy named Sorne. If you haven't already read Choices Meant for Gods, let me just sum-up Sorne for you: pathetic and wimpy. Nice kid, but truly pathetic and wimpy. Now go for it.

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

This Weekend Will Rock
Or...The Dragon wraps up the online book tour with a bang

We'll be announcing new contests and a winner to the Ten Questions contest going on over at Kora's blog ( We'll talk statistics from the wonderful success of this tour, and, just to liven it up some more...

Fantasy Author Sandy Lender will appear at the following sites Saturday, July 21:

There are a couple more that might confirm before tomorrow, and I'll be sure to post those as soon as I know you can link to them.

Have a great time jotting down your questions for me!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Let Me Tell You a Story
Or…The Dragon is at Storyation Today

Ronda hosts Fantasy Author Sandy Lender today as part of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour. As we near the finish line of the virtual tour, this fabulous hostess stepped in to save the day, as it were. Things do not always go flawlessly when you're working on a two-month time-table. All ya'll may have noticed that not every date during the month of July has been full with tour-ness. Well, some hosts have fallen off the blogosphere map here at the end. Bizarre, but life continues and that has given me some time to regroup and do some planning to make the end of this tour quite a big deal. And it's given me the opportunity to "meet" Ronda.

I joined her marketing information juggernaut known as about a month or so ago and, holy cow, I highly recommend it. Get thee to this site and join. (It's free.) She has a wealth of information to share and it looks like she gets about as much sleep preparing it as I do…(that would be none). She's a wonderful gal and really came through to help me in solidifying the final week of my virtual tour. Give it up for Ronda and take a gander at her interview of me at Leave us a comment or question! We'd love to hear from you.

And if you don't already own a copy of Choices Meant for Gods, be-bop over to or the publisher's site at
to order a copy there. Enjoy the story!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Promotional Guide
How Long is Your URL

Do you have a web address or blog address that's easy to memorize? Boy, if it's too long or if it's cumbersome for folks to type out…guess how many random people are going to retype it to revisit your site. Not many. Why? Because people are lazy. (And I include myself in that group.)

I have an unwieldy blog address. You're here probably because you have it bookmarked or because I put the link in some post on someone else's blog. Linking is a good thing. But, really, how many people are going to sit there and type out So I have a nickname for my site. The Dragon. Ooooh. Now there's a novel concept.

Using nicknames for your site is a proven way to brand your site. It's a way to help brand yourself. People refer to me and my site as The Dragon. Because I'm a fantasy author, that's a very good thing. Now when I post things around the web, I've got my links in place, I've got my insanely long URL taking up space in a nice, colorful line, and I've got a catchy nickname that instantly says "a fantasy author is on the blog". The Dragon is here. The good news is you can use code to link to your site without spelling out the whole URL, as well.

What's your nickname? What's your hook? Figure it out and promote it like mad to brand yourself in your game. Then get people to list your site in their "favorites" so they don't have to type much of anything...

(Fantasy Author Sandy Lender – aka The Dragon – has been an editor in the magazine publishing industry for more than 15 years and is the author of the high fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, available now from

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Word of the Day
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Meyganseywal (proper noun) — The Bay of Meyganseywal is located in the region of Mon'dore on the continent of Onweald in the high fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods; this is a significant location because the geasa is prevalent in Mon'dore—important people are raised and trained in this region—a convent/conclave for geasa'n women (controversial place, actually) is located in this region

Etymology: The latter half of this word is from the Old English word saeweal meaning seawall or shore. The first half is from my fabulous and coo-el graphic art friend Megan Kissinger who designed the map of Onweald for me. Because she's important, her name went on an important place. :)

Word in a Sentence: In the high fantasy trilogy Choices Meant for Gods, the wizard Hrazon of Mon'dore knows of the legends of warlords and kings coming ashore at the Bay of Meyganseywal, and he has shared this history of Onweald with his ward, Amanda Chariss, during her training.

Your turn! Any sentences about seashores? Surely you've had a lovely vacation at the beach…

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

There Be Dragons on This Island
Or…chat with Sandy at Author Island tonight

The Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour takes Fantasy Author Sandy Lender to for a live chat at 8 p.m. eastern tonight. Join me there to discuss "What makes the perfect heroine?" Of course we'll have to restrain Nigel Taiman because all he'll do is wax poetic about his bride Amanda Chariss, but the rest of us can talk about other fabulous females in fantasy and other literature. I'm quite fond of Jane Eyre, you know...

Go tonight around 8 p.m. and join in the discussion. There'll be a trivia question to answer to enter a contest to win your own copy of Choices Meant for Gods, which will be delivered to your door in a fabulous CMFG cloth bag. (I ordered the cloth kind because plastic gets into our oceans and confuses our sea turtles, you know. Bad bad bad.)

If you get to the island early, you can be-bop around and see what goodies I have listed under my name in the Fantasy section. There's a letter from me to readers there, but you have to "find" it. It's like buried treasure. You know…island…treasure…

If you don't already own a copy of Choices Meant for Gods, and don't trust your luck in contests, you can pick one up at Barnes & Noble or Borders or Hastings…or jog over to or the publisher's site at
to order a copy there. See you tonight!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Writers Guide
J.K. Rowling had Writer’s Block?
Or…what’s your muse up to?

Look, if 2.9 million copies of either of the sequels to Sandy Lender's Choices Meant for Gods were guaranteed to fly off the shelves the way 2.9 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are supposed to fly off the shelves this weekend, you can best bet there would be no problem with writer’s block in my writing den. I have no problem with writer’s block on a bad day. I can’t imagine it descending upon me if I’ve been listed as one of the wealthiest women in the world—that would be right up there with the Waltons and the Queen of England. I read an article back in the winter that Rowling had writer's block because killing off one of the characters had messed her up. Now, dude, don't get me wrong, killing off characters sucks. I know. It hurts. I truly feel for what Rowling went through there. You have to put the manuscript down for a couple days (or a month in the case of one of mine) and mourn…while you work on all of the 19 other works in progress.

So. The topic of this article is “what’s your muse up to” because I’m curious about this. How many writers out there actually struggle to get started writing each day? How many of you find it difficult to come up with a new idea or a new plotline or a new character? How many of you, seriously, ever suffer from writer’s block?

See…I never do. For Pete's sake, People, I practically drive off the road writing down ideas in heavy traffic because this stuff just hits me any time, day or night. Maybe it’s the pictures of John Taylor in all his hotness plastered around my writing den that keeps the creativity stoked. Maybe it’s the pictures of dragons. Maybe it's the streaming iTunes with Duran Duran and Arcadia in heavy rotation amid the Barry Manilow, Robert Palmer, Norah Jones, etc. Maybe it’s the candles I light when I want to work on the medieval-themed stories.

Oh, wait.

I may have just stumbled upon it. The medieval-themed stories versus the regular-ol’-fantasy stories versus the vampire stories versus the paranormal romance stories (oh, yeah, for some reason, my face-to-face visit with my muse back on December 15 struck the paranormal romance vibe in my brain and I wrote one of those novels…now I can’t stop) versus flash fiction stories versus stories for eBooks that my online writers group puts together from time to time versus this story about a winged girl who was abandoned at birth (which is really upsetting Nigel Taiman, let me tell you) versus marketing materials like press releases that get me all riled up versus…

Do you see where I’m going with this? I don’t have time for writer’s block.

So tell me if there really are “real people” like you and me who suffer from this. And what do you do to overcome it? Because, hey, I could post an article about tickling the muse tomorrow if we need to. I mean, the idea of throwing John Taylor to the floor here in the den and tickling him is fabulous. And, with that thought in mind, I feel the need to go write…

“Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”

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Word of the Day
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Layome (proper noun) — The Layome Lake resides at the end of a river that feeds out of the Saweyl Mountains where gems and precious stones are mined on the far west side of Onweald

Etymology: Fantasy Author Sandy Lender created this name based on the sound of the Old English word leoma (long mark over the e) meaning light, gleam, or luminary. Because of the precious stones chipped off during the mining process in the Saweyl Mountains north of the lake and carried in the river's current to the lake, the waters take on a gleaming or luminescent effect all the time.

Word in a Sentence: In Book II of the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy, Chariss tells Nigel that Hrazon got the amethyst for her mother's sword out of the Layome Lake.

Your turn! Any shiny thoughts to turn into fabulous sentences for me today?

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Choices Meant for Gods Virtual Tour is at Friends of Dragons Today
Or…meet the lovely Kora Taiman

Nigel Taiman had a fit over this…until I pointed out that Henry Bakerson adores his mother nearly as much as he does. Then he settled right down and, lo and behold, a wonderful little interview of a goddess of Mahriket is part of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour today. You can read this character interview and gain some insight into not only the mind of an incredibly compassionate goddess, but into the inner workings of the Arcanan estate featured so heavily in the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods.

Go to

If you don't already own a copy of Choices Meant for Gods, you can pick one up at Barnes & Noble or Borders or Hastings…or jog over to or the publisher's site at
to order a copy there. Enjoy the story!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Turtle Mountain Dragons
Or…saving sea turtles with your frozen writing choices

You know how I love the turtles. Imagine my absolute delight when I found a company called Turtle Mountain that sells…

Get ready for it…

Green with brown dots ice cream (non-dairy, no less!) with proceeds going to support the Sea Turtle Restoration Project. Visit

I nearly fell over in the grocery aisle.

Now, here's the scoop (pun intended). I think you have to shop at a healthy grocery store, like Wild Oats or Sun Splash or some such place that stocks organic products. Get thee to one of these places! Go to the frozen foods section. It will be small because people who eat healthy foods like this don't eat a lot of pre-packaged crap. Look for tan/brown containers with a product line called Purely Decadent. How's THAT for a product name, eh? Now, if you're allergic to soy, this is a bad experiment. Some forms of soy trigger migraine in me, but I had to try it out. Come on…Turtle Mountain? I was willing to experiment with the mint chocolate chip (no migraine!). And the tres cool part? Their mint chocolate chip is WHITE with brown dots instead of green because they use real mint. Color me turtley happy.

So how could I possibly turn my petition to other writers to purchase yummy Turtle Mountain frozen desserts into a writing-related post on Today the Dragon Wins? Watch this: WRITE back to me in the comments field telling me what your fave ice cream flavor is. But I don't just want to know what it is. Oh no. That would be too easy. You're a writer. Give me a reason, too. Bwuahahaha. And it can be simple and truthful. Or you can get creative and make something up. Like…I don't know…your favorite ice cream flavor is rocky road because you once met a llama on a rocky road and it saved your pet ferret from slipping down into a cleft in the rocks, which would have sent it careening off into a 90-foot drop through open space toward certain death. You know. Something like that.

Or, your favorite ice cream flavor is cherry because you're a Duran Duran fan.

Or, your favorite ice cream flavor could be anything topped with hot fudge, like the color of Nigel Taiman's eyes in the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, by yours truly, Sandy Lender, now available at any Barnes & Noble, Borders, or Yes, you can laugh at how cheesy that little marketing move was…

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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Writers Guide
Some More Duran Duran Inspiration Today
Or…another of The Dragon's favorite Duran lyrics

Because you can just never get enough Duran Duran, I'm posting the following coo-el Duran Duran lyric, just to inspire all ya'll writers visiting The Dragon today. This is a great lyric from Mr. LeBon et al. At the show in New York in June, this was the "rare" song the fans voted for the band to play. I burst into tears when they struck the first note. You see, Lonely in Your Nightmare is the song John Taylor played right after announcing to the fans gathered at the convention out in L.A. that fateful night so long ago that he was going to pursue his solo career apart from Duran for a while. God, that hurt. So it's one of those songs that takes a little emotional support to get through if you're really listening to the words…

I think this song is the theme song for Book III of the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy and I just didn't realize it until I started typing out the words for this post. How interesting.

Lonely in Your Nightmare
By Duran Duran

Even on the darkest night when empty promise means empty hand
And soldiers coming home like shadows turning red
When the lights of hope are fading quickly then look to me
I'll be your homing angel I'll be in your head.

Because you're lonely in your nightmare let me in
and there's heat beneath your winter let me in

I see the delta traces living lonely out on the limb.
And a passing glimmer warm beneath your skin
Please tread gently on the ground when all around you earth turns to fire.
Only get a second chance when danger's on the wind.

Because you're lonely in your nightmare let me in
Because there's heat beneath your winter let me in
and it's silent on your stone field let me in

Must be lucky weather when you find the kind of wind that you need
C'mon show me all the light and shade that made your name
I know you've got it in your head I've seen that look before
You've built your refuge turns you captive all the same.

Because you're lonely in your nightmare let me in
and it's barren in your garden let me in
Because there's heat beneath your winter let me in

Because it's silent in your stone field let me in
and you're lonely in your nightmare let me in
Because you've waited through your ice age let me in

Because you're so lonely in your nightmare let me in
and it's cold out on your stone range let me in
Because there's heat beneath your winter let me in

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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