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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Location: Misbehaving in Candlelight

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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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday's Inspirational Quote of the Day for Writers
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
— Mahatma Gandhi

Fantasy Author Sandy Lender wishes you a fantastic day filled with happiness!
Keep reading for more of today's posts, including a new meme and the interactive Word of the Day for all you visiting writers.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Six Random Things About Me

Or...The Dragon got tagged for another meme

My good friend Jamieson Wolf, whose blog you can see at, tagged me for a meme that I swear I've seen before. This thing is making the rounds... So I'm playing along like a good little blogger.

Instructions: Write down six random things about yourself and then tag six bloggers with the same task. As a refresher, here's what you do.

Rules: Link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Write six random things about yourself. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blog. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their Web site. Let your tagger know when your entry is up. Have fun!

Six Random Things About Fantasy Author Sandy Lender:

1. I lived in Mallorca, Spain, for a year when I was an infant. While this seems to have had no lasting effect on my Spanish vocabulary, it has influenced my Spanish accent. When I string words together, it sounds as if I know what I'm saying.

2. I am a fantasy author who enjoys dabbling in the paranormal realm under the speculative fiction umbrella. My current fantasy novel, Choices Meant for Gods, is available on from ArcheBooks Publishing, and its sequel is due for release this summer.

3. I was the Vacation Bible School director at a Southern Baptist Church in Kansas City for eight years and taught Youth Sunday School there for longer than they should have let me. Bwuahahaha. But I don't recall anyone dying under my watch so I think it turned out okay. (Hi, Judy!)

4. Despite the Southern Baptist background, I believe the Golden Rule applies to ALL of us, so I have a wide variety of friends and support anti-bigotry in my novels. (It's not in-your-face, but it's in there.)

5. I own several medieval-looking weapons. They bring me comfort and joy. (see image above)

6. I'm a volunteer with Turtle Time, which means I have a section of beach I patrol to watch for and report sea turtle nesting and hatching activity to help protect these endangered pookies. Their incidental capture in shrimp trawling nets, despite governmental regulations regarding the use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) is why I refuse to purchase and/or eat shrimp and I encourage others to boycott the shrimping industry as well. :)

Now here are the six people I tag to play along!
Henry R. Hermann, author of Beginnings, due out next month
Tina Murray, author of A Chance to Say Yes, due out next month
Barie Fez-Barrington, blog URL on its way…
Laura Crawford, copywriting and proofreading professional
Mikeeeeeeee!, writer
Steve Hart, author of Down Yonder, Florida, available now

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

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Thursday, April 24, 2008
Word of the Day
Replete (adjective) — fully supplied with what you need; gorged; satiated; abounding with supplies or sustenance or whatever is necessary (from Middle English, Old French and Latin meaning "to refill")

Word in a Sentence: In the fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, the fledgling dragon that visits Chariss is replete with food after she stuffs him with chicken pies, cheeses, and other meats.

Your turn! We've gotten back into doing Word of the Day on a regular basis (when Blogger robots don't commandeer the blog for stupidity), but newcomers to Today the Dragon Wins may still be unfamiliar with "the drill" here. At this point in the blog posting, you, as the visitor, get to take today's Word of the Day and use it in a sentence you create from your own imagination. Whether you're a reader or a writer, it's a good way to sharpen your vocabulary skills, keep your brain pumpin' and jumpin', and just do something besides passive reading while visiting a blog. So join in the daily interactive portion of Today the Dragon Wins and leave your jot of creativity in the comment field!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday's Inspirational Quote of the Day for Writers
"Honor begets honor, trust begets trust, faith begets faith, and hope is the mainspring of life."
— Henry L. Stimson

Fantasy Author Sandy Lender wishes you a great and hope-filled day!
Keep reading for more of today's posts, including the interactive Word of the Day for all you visiting writers.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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We Have More Winners! us congratulate these folks from Author Island

At yesterday's Author Island online chat, I gave away some fancy prizes. When folks visited Today the Dragon Wins to read the excerpt from my fantasy novel, Choices Meant for Gods, they sent the answer to a question from the excerpt to Nigel so they could be entered in the contest to win another of the spa packages from Arcana's bathing rooms. The lucky winner of that spa package was Pam3!

Yay Pam!

Two other contests went up on the Author Island chat "board" itself. I posted two scenes from Choices Meant for Gods during the chat and asked questions from each post. Folks who sent the correct answer to Nigel were entered in the contest to win an eBook copy of Choices Meant for Gods. We drew four names last night and those lucky winners are...

Kim Bea
Joan Ferrey

I've already sent the pdf to you guys, so you have to let me know if there are any mishaps with technology...I'll re-send. But YAY for you!

Now, if you weren't one of the lucky winners, don't despair! DeNita over at Author Island has these chats every month, and I participate and have contests in conjunction with the chats every month. We'll do it again! Also, I have a new contest announcement coming up in conjunction with this site and the prize is going to be a doozy. Trust me.

Also, if you'd like to get your own eBook of Choices Meant for Gods, it's not expensive at all. You can download it from my publisher's site right now for $3.99 at Easy as pie. There's also a button there that says "Free Sample" where you can read the first three chapters (for free). Of course, those of you who LOVE having the real thing in your hand can get the hard cover edition from that same link, or can pick it up at or or anywhere else you like to buy books. It's everywhere, man.

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Word of the Day
Effuse (transitive verb) -- to exude; to spread out; to flow out (from Latin meaning "to pour out")

Word in a Sentence: In the fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, when Nigel Taiman finally tells Chariss that he's mad about her, the words effuse so quickly she can't get a word in edgewise.

Your turn! Any lovely sentences to spill forth today? Let's see what creative gems you have for us!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday's Inspirational Quote of the Day for Writers
"Hope, like the gleaming taper's light; adorns and cheers our way;
"And still, as darker grows the night, emits a lighter ray."
— Oliver Goldsmith

Fantasy Author Sandy Lender wishes you a great and hope-filled day!
Keep reading for more of today's posts, including a scene from Choices Meant for Gods where you'll find the answer for the Author Island online chat contest (woo-hoo!) and the interactive Word of the Day for all you visiting writers.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Win Another Spa Package From Arcana's Bathing Rooms

Or...this is the scene to read for the Author Island online chat contest Fantasy Author Sandy Lender is holding today

Excerpt from Chapter Two of Sandy Lender's Choices Meant for Gods
Available from ArcheBooks Publishing
For the chat taking place today at:
Send your answer to: NigelTaiman at yahoo dot com

(In this scene, Chariss and her wizard guardian, Hrazon, have arrived around midnight at the Taiman estate for protection. Godric and Kora Taiman are helping them up to a room where they can tend to Chariss, who is currently unconscious. Hrazon and Godric—who's putting on airs because he thinks he's oh-so-important—are discussing what's led up to this situation. If you'd like to read the whole chapter, including chapters 1 and 3, they're available as a Free Sample at my publisher's Web site at

"We didn't realize he'd amassed so much power so fast," Hrazon said.

"I find it unbelievable Drake could do anything such as this without help. He's only been in Kida a few years. How could he convince his people to go along with this?"

"He's been there two years this spring, and I believe the Joveran people helped build the army."

"Hmpf. It seems longer than that since court was held. And do you still believe he attacked today? Do you mean that you were in Treown this morning?"

Hrazon nodded. "She [Chariss] brought us here. I don't know how. Somehow, she must've picked the estate from my mind, and when our horses gave out, she grabbed my hand and we moved through time. We moved like spirits, it seemed." He looked at Kora as if he expected her to understand. She looked like a sensible Geasa'n. Her mannerisms and demeanor spoke to Hrazon, telling him she understood completely, before he gave voice to his concerns.

"I've only performed that feat once in my life," he said. "And then it was a short distance, across a city. I fear what it's done to her, what you're not telling me."

With a motherly smile Kora looked down at her patient. Her fingers stroked Chariss's hand like a lover, and there was a supreme sadness in the gesture. "You already know she has a terrible fever." Kora's features betrayed how worried she was despite the kind expression she offered in her smile, her full, pale lips forming the curve with a practiced smoothness that spoke volumes. If she had intended to imply joy with that smile, her fairy green eyes would have twinkled with light; tonight there was a lackluster shine about them.

"She overexerted herself today," she said.

Even without Chariss's final wish, Kora couldn't have told him that the child he loved like a daughter had telabyrinth poisoning. The hormones and energies secreted during the act of teleporting made a dangerous combination. Typically, members of the Geasa'n never learned the skill. Yet, Kora sat staring at a young lady, barely twenty years of age, who had poured every ounce of strength she had into teleporting two people nearly two-thousand leagues in a day. Kora feared they might never solve the mystery of how Chariss had accomplished the feat. Her patient fell deeper into coma with each passing moment, and she found she couldn't bring herself to tell Hrazon that, indeed, Chariss was dying.

# # #

You can also pick up the eBook version of CMFG at the publisher's link given above for $3.99, or get the hard cover edition anywhere you normally order books--Amazon, Barnes&Noble, etc.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Word of the Day
Precarious (adjective) — remarkably unstable; dangerously insecure; lacking in stability to a dangerous degree; subject to what is still unknown and easily changed (from Latin meaning "dependent on prayer")

Word in a Sentence: When the fledgling dragon appears on Chariss's balcony in the fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, the creature finds itself in the precarious position of being caught in the arms of a human warrior.

Your turn! Today's word is actually a repeat from March 28, 2008. We're repeating for the benefit of our Author Island visitors because this word and its use in a sentence fit so very nicely with the scenes I'm posting in the online chat today. Never fear! We're back to new words tomorrow. I'm not entirely well, but I can't just lay around wishing for death. I have to continue marketing and posting and whatnot. SO! What instability can you display with your creativity today? Give us a fabulous sentence with "precarious" in it to dazzle us all…

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Monday, April 21, 2008

The Dragon is out sick.
Check ya tomorrow.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Congratulations to Gayle Oreluk

Or...Gayle wins the Spa Package From Arcana's Bathing Rooms

The recent contest held in conjunction with Author Island came to a close April 15. Tax day. A day we all could use a little relaxation. In honor of relaxing and chilling out, which all heroines need to do, I set up a fancy little prize of spa goodies from the bathing rooms at Arcana, out of the fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods! (If you don't know what that is, check out the post immediately below this one. It's all spelled out for you.)

Our winner is Gayle Oreluk from Author Island!!!

Yay Gayle!!!

First, I want to thank Gayle for following the rules and making it easy for DeNita and me to figure out how to contact the winner. (Very important...) Second, I want to thank Gayle for commenting here at The Dragon! It's always nice to have feedback from folks who stop by!

So join me in saying congrats to Gayle on a fabulous win of fabulous stuff. (Just look at that picture, guys. There are some tres cool items in there, let me tell you!)

I'll be giving away my next prize o' goodies at the Author Island chat Tuesday, April 22. Stop by the island prior to Tuesday ( to get signed up on the yahoo group so you can participate. And we'll announce the next contest shortly after that.

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

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Arcana's Bathing Room Scene
Or...this will make it all clear

The recent contest held in conjunction with Author Island was for a Spa Package from Arcana's Bathing Rooms. Now, if you haven't already read the fantasy novel from Sandy Lender, Choices Meant for Gods, you would have no idea what Arcana's bathing rooms are. So let me explain.

Arcana is the estate owned by the Taiman family in the novel. Within the palatial home, which is built into the side of a mountain, lies a warm and inviting chamber with a large, dimly lit wading pool. That chamber is one of a set of rooms that constitutes the bathing rooms of Arcana. Here is a scene that takes place while our heroine, Amanda Chariss, is still recovering from a near-death experience. She's been convalescing at the estate, and the lady of the house has told a sad story after a couple long weeks of worry and laying around. It's a slow scene...setting up what's to come in the next chapter.

Chariss had more questions for Mia, but Hrazon was eager to end the conversation. She wanted to hear about the gods who got bored with immortality. She wanted to ask why Mia still found intrigue enough in life to prolong it. She wanted to know how Katherine Fair had taken her life and how the gods knew she was truly dead. Hrazon just wanted to get his ward away from the depressing subject.

When Chariss left Hrazon and Mia, she made her way to the bathing rooms, pleased to find that she had them to herself. She wished to think on the story and Mia's explanation alone.

The bathing rooms at Arcana were advanced, which was no surprise. Water was pumped into them and heated by passing through troughs that were set over a series of fires along the far wall. The water was frigid when it entered the fortress from the spring deep inside the mountain, but it was hot by the time it passed over the fires. Once it traveled across the room and poured into the pond-sized pool, it had cooled enough that she could stand to put her body into it.

A full bath would be like stepping into Paradise after nearly two weeks of sponge baths in Aunt Khana's room. Chariss slipped off the dress she had borrowed from Kora and her undergarments to reveal a muscular body to the water. Despite her time lying around in bed, she hadn't lost the tone she'd developed over a lifetime of working and training. She slid her hips down into the water, lowering herself luxuriously until her hair floated on the top of the water and her chin touched the surface's heat. As she scrubbed her skin with a rough sponge and fragrant soaps, she tried not to think of the story Kora had told.

Perhaps I'm just too romantic for my own good, she thought, but the idea of having someone who loved her completely (not as Hrazon did, but as a husband loves his wife) appealed to her. Other women her age were getting married, being proposed to, or at least being courted by some handsome gentleman with prospects for a healthy future. Considering her propensity for running away when a certain sorcerer knocked on the front door with his army in tow, she didn't think a romantic future was in the cards for her.


If scenes about Chariss intrigue you, you can read more of them on this blog, during the Author Island chats or at my publisher's site at The electronic version of Choices Meant for Gods is available now, as well as the hardback version, at the publisher's site at The hardback version is also available at with free super saver shipping.

We'll have another Spa Package contest soon. Stay tuned for details.

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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The Dragon Hangs Her Head in Shame
Or...give me a's been a hard week

For legal purposes, I can't tell you everything that's happened. I can say it started with me receiving a ticket for traveling under a yellow light Saturday evening. Yes, one of Collier County's finest figured he wouldn't make quota the rest of the night, so, as the setting sun blinded me (thus had to have been blinding him behind me), I coasted into an intersection with a light that matched the green sign I tried to read. Apparently, while trying to read the sign, I missed the fact that the light changed. The man-who-needed-to-give-a-lecture-about-statutes-to-anyone-he-could-detain considered that a good reason to detain me. And give me a lecture. Now I get to pay $120 to the county. I'm still livid over it. It hardly seems fair that I should have to pay the fine AND listen to this moron ramble at me about steady yellow lights and statutes and what-have-you.

I'm just thankful he didn't notice the old (as in two addresses ago) address on my driver's license or ask me to get out and walk a straight line. (You may conclude from that what you wish. I'm not actually admitting to anything in a public forum.) The good news is he seemed pretty bent on giving his lecture.


The week has proceeded in much the same style since. I've visited more attorneys than a sound person should and given them more money than you can shake a stick at. It hurts when you scrimp and save $3,000 over the course of several months and then, in one day, hand it all to legal counsel.


Why am I rambling about this on the writer's blog? Because I want you all to know that I'm not neglecting you for silly or random reasons. Life really is in a state of turmoil. From taxes (which I think are going to turn uglier than originally reported) to attorneys to tickets to deadlines at work to some sort of cough to the regular ol' busy work in my life, I just feel a bit overwhelmed and ready to take a nap. From the schedule I've got in front of me (and the to-do list next to it), I think I can sleep Sunday afternoon. I'M SO LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!!!!

Now. In the meantime, I'd like to let everyone know that we'll have the blog here at The Dragon back to normal operations next week. (and there was much rejoicing) That means a return to Word of the Day and Inspirational Quote of the Day with scheduled grammar and writing guides, random author interviews (have three cookin' for you), a couple scenes from my fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, updates on the forthcoming Book II in the Choices trilogy, and another contest through Author Island. And speaking of Author Island, I'll have another coo-el giveaway and a couple copies of the eBook version of Choices Meant for Gods to give away at the Author Island all-day chat Tuesday, April 22nd. I can't participate in the chat all day long because I work, but I can check in from time to time (lunch break, etc.) to see how things are going and to update you on contest progress.

And speaking of contests, we've got a winner of the Spa Package from Arcana's Bathing Room Contest to announce! That's in the post above!

Welcome to The Dragon!
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday's Inspirational Quote of the Day for Writers
Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom.
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall?
-- Currer Bell (Charlotte Bronte)

Fantasy Author Sandy Lender wishes you a pleasant, sunshiny day!
Keep reading for today's Word of the Day and yesterday's return-to-posting with a guest post from the fabulous Nigel Taiman.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Saturday, April 12, 2008 (Happy Birthday to Dad!)
Word of the Day
Jubilation (noun) -- an expression of extreme joy; the state of being so excited and happy that you're exultantly joyful (from Latin meaning "to raise a shout of joy")

Word in a Sentence: In the fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, Nigel Taiman is so in love with Chariss that he actually has a sense of jubilation and relief when she doesn't say "yes" to his marriage proposal because she doesn't turn it down, either.

Your turn! I'm using this oh-so-happy word today because Blogger has returned Today the Dragon Wins to me. Look, Ma, no spam! So what fabulous and exciting stuff do you have in your life that you can use today's word with? Let's hear it! Shout it from the rooftops! Use today's word to create a positive and effusive sentence for us. (Guess what tomorrow's word is going to be...)

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Friday, April 11, 2008

Guest Post From Nigel Taiman
Sandy Asked Me to Discuss the Romantic vs. Fantasy Elements of Choices Meant for Gods

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, would like me to talk about my bride's story today. And that pleases me just fine!

Amanda Chariss is the heroine of the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, which I encourage everyone to read. If you don't already have a copy, you can pick one up at or order one from any local book store. If you don't feel like dealing with unruly book store employees, you can get it at or the publisher's site at If you don't feel like paying full price, you can download the electronic version for less than $4 at the publisher's site, as well.

While you're thinking on those options, let me tell you a little about Sandy Lender's first fantasy novel. You see, you can read the synopsis at the publisher's site at the link above, or at any number of the sites that you find her on when you put her name in a Google search, but I can give you the real synopsis.

All the marketing materials will tell you that Choices Meant for Gods is an epic fantasy novel available in either hard cover or eBook format. All the propaganda and promotional pieces will tell you that Chariss is an orphan who's been on the run from an evil sorcerer all her life and she's finally found the will to stand and fight; and with that will has come the truth about her destiny, purpose and place in prophecy's evil plan to put her in charge of protecting a god who isn't worthy of her notice.

But I can tell you that Amanda Chariss isn't just the protector of the gods of Onweald. She is the stunning and amazing woman who will change the course of my life. Now, Sandy has warned me not to make more of the romance between Mandy and me than the book portrays because we don't want people coming to the book expecting a romance novel; you won't get only that.

It's a fantasy novel. High fantasy with a new world that Sandy has created. High fantasy with new creatures and monsters that no other fantasy author has dreamt up before. High fantasy with gods and goddesses who walk among the mortals, influencing and affecting our lives (though not always for the better). High fantasy with prophecy and history and legends and family lineages that all interweave with current events to create an atmosphere that spells danger and intrigue for my bride.

It sets my nerves on edge, believe me. I'd rather it was strictly a romance novel. For a variety of reasons. For those who prefer a heavy hand at romance, you can pick out that thread under the rest of the plots in Choices Meant for Gods and be delighted with it…as I am.

For a spate of five-star reviews of Choices Meant for Gods, visit Sandy's page on at

And now that we have this blog back (Sandy is rejoicing), she'll be back to posting Word of the Day, grammar and writing tips, and inspirational quotes starting tomorrow. This sudden "release" of the blog came as a surprise because there was no message from Blogger. We just discovered it because Sandy checks several times a day...obsessive compulsive, you might call her.

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