TITLE – Dawnflight SERIES – The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, book 1 AUTHOR – Kim Iverson Headlee GENRE – Myths, Legends, Historical, Spiritual, Romance PUBLICATION DATE – 2013 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 415 pages/130K words PUBLISHER – Lucky Bat Books COVER ARTIST – Natasha Brown
Gyan is a Caledonian chieftainess by birth, a warrior and leader of warriors by training, and she is betrothed to Urien, a son of her clan’s deadliest enemy, by right of Arthur the Pendragon’s conquest of her people. For the sake of peace, Gyan is willing to sacrifice everything...perhaps even her very life, if her foreboding about Urien proves true.
Roman by his father, Brytoni by his mother, and denied hereditary rulership of his mother's clan because of his mixed blood, Arthur has followed his father's path to become Dux Britanniarum, the Pendragon: supreme commander of the northern Brytoni army. The Caledonians, Scots, Saxons, and Angles keep him too busy to dwell upon his loneliness...most of the time.
When Gyan and Arthur meet, each recognize within the other their soul’s mate. The treaty has preserved Gyan’s ancient right to marry any man, providing he is a Brytoni nobleman—but Arthur does not qualify. And the ambitious Urien, Arthur’s greatest political rival, shall not be so easily denied. If Gyan and Arthur cannot prevent Urien from plunging the Caledonians and Brytons back into war, their love will be doomed to remain unfulfilled forever.
But there is an even greater threat looming. The Laird of the Scots wants their land and will kill all who stand in his way. Gyan, Arthur, and Urien must unite to defeat this merciless enemy who threatens everyone they hold dear.
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✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳Suggested post title: The fine art of character naming by @KimHeadlee #MFRWAuthor #amwritingWhat's in a name?Names are crucially important because of the ancient implication that if you can name a thing, you possess power over that thing. Hence the biblical implication of stewardship over the animal kingdom when God gave Adam the power to name all the animals—and why God never reveals His name to us mere mortals but goes most commonly by a word that translates as "I am." (end of Name Theology 101 :)The meaning of a name is also crucially important to the person or fictional character because it defines that person. This is why you very rarely see, for example, a research scientist named Bunny or a stripper named Gertrude.Much of my fiction is based in early medieval (used to be known as "Dark Ages") Scotland and northern Britain, so my characters have Scottish Gaelic, Brythonic Welsh, or sometimes Latin names. I needed to know what the neames meant, and decades ago I stumbled across a very interesting web site called Kabalarian Philosophy (www.kalabarians.com). Among other things, they offer name analysis—and if the name you need isn't in their database, you can still request that it be added.The primary character in my Arthurian Legends series is Gyanhumara (Guinevere), and her Kabalarian name analysis goes like this:—Begin Kabalarian "Gyanhumara" name analysis—· Your name of Gyanhumara has created a practical, responsible, stable nature, and you desire to direct the efforts of others rather than to take order or ask permission.· You have a determined, self-reliant, capable nature and resent any interference, although in your desire to help you are inclined to become involved in the lives and decisions of other people.· You like to make your own decisions and to be the master of your domain.· You feel a limitation in your own expression when it is necessary to reach another through tact and understanding.· Although you are honest and fair, a directness in speech is a source of much consternation to you, and you often regret what you say.· You also have a tendency to worry.· It causes you to be too serious, and interferes with happiness and relaxation that comes with naturalness of expression.· Health weaknesses centre in the head appearing as headaches, head colds, and eye, teeth, ear, or sinus problems.—end report—Compare this with "Guinevere" (I would have been including links for brevity, but that's not how their system works these days) and you can see why I needed to invent a new name for my kick-@ss character! (Which I had done in =1989=, long before that web site was a gleam in anyone's eye, btw.)—Begin Kabalarian "Guinevere" name analysis—· Your name of Guinevere creates a very sensitive, inspirational, and idealistic nature.· You have an appreciation for all the fine and beautiful things in life, and could excel in music, art, drama, or literary undertakings, where you could find an expression for your deeper feelings that you would not find otherwise.· As a result of your love of the out-of-doors, you would experience the most peace and harmony out in the quiet of nature.· Your sensitive nature causes you to lack self-confidence, and to withdraw from arguments or turmoil, as any discord reflects quickly through your nervous system.· You cannot stand pressure and desire to work where there is no confusion.· This name restricts proper verbal expression; as a result, you are often lonely, craving understanding of others.· Yours is a very deep, reflective nature, but others would never know it as you keep your deeper feelings within.· Tension resulting from the use of this name would affect the heart, lungs, and respiratory organs, or the nervous system.—end report—You can see what a great resource this is for writers!Another tool I use to help define my characters is their Western Zodiac sun sign; i.e., the position of the sun at the character's birth. The late Linda Goodman wrote two excellent books titled Linda Goodman's Sun Signs (delves into the characteristics, negative as well as positive, common to the various signs) and Linda Goodman's Love Signs (describes all possible Zodiac pairings and how their relationships benefit and suffer as a result). For example, the most powerful combination is the Scorpio-Scorpio: when their relationship is hitting on all cylinders, they possess the potential to conquer the world together.My Gyanhumara was already a Scorpio (Oct 31), but reading Love Signs in the early 1990s convinced me that my Arthur also needed to be a Scorpio (Nov 14 and the feast day of Saint Dubric, who corresponds to my Merlin character). For these two legendary lovers do indeed possess the power to unite their world, and destroy it... and, ultimately, to heal it once again.Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with the readers of your blog, and happy naming! :)
EXCERPT: Chapter 1
THE COMBATANTS CIRCLED warily in the churned mud of the practice field, blind to the swelling audience and the chilling autumn rain. One, a giant of a figure, was the teacher. The student was neither as tall nor as well muscled but moved with the speed and agility of youth. The mud splattered on both bodies was mute evidence of the length of the session.
“Keep up your intensity!” Ogryvan swiped at his opponent’s midsection. “Always! Lose your battle frenzy, and you’re dead!”
Neither was fighting in true battle frenzy, but the younger warrior understood. Smiling grimly through the rivulets of sweat, the student danced out of reach, whirled, and made a cut at Ogryvan’s thigh. The blunted practice sword could not penetrate the leather leggings but was sure to leave a bruise precisely over the wound he had taken at Abar-Gleann two months before.
Although the swordmaster gritted his teeth against the pain, his opponent sensed satisfaction in the accompanying nod. The reason for the sign of approval was clear: the student had made an excellent choice of moves. Exploitation of the enemy’s weaknesses was a basic tenet of the warrior’s art. Mastery of this principle would serve Ogryvan’s pupil well in the years to come.
“Strive to outthink your foe. Stay one move ahead,” he advised between feints. The clatter adopted a dancelike rhythm as the opposing blade deftly met each thrust. The onlookers shouted their approval.
The youth answered with a powerful counterattack, silent but for the creak of leather and the hollow thunks as sword met shield. The swordmaster staggered backward. His disciple quickened the attack.
And grew careless. The shield sagged. Ogryvan landed a blow to the unguarded left shoulder. Startled, the youth lost footing in the treacherous mud and fell.
The laughter sparked by the mishap, from teacher and audience alike, was not unkind, yet it did not comfort the mud-painted student.
The Chieftainess of Clan Argyll hated to lose.
The reason rankled like that awful brew Cynda called spring tonic: she’d not done her best. She didn’t need her father to tell her that carelessness had caused the loss.
In battle, such a mistake was fatal.
She began to pick herself up, seething, only to be unceremoniously shoved face-first into the mud. Before she could twitch, her father’s foot pinned her down. His sword at the base of her neck chilled her to the core of her being. It was too easy to imagine what might happen next.
Ogryvan whispered, “Pay attention, Gyan. This is my favorite part.” His rumbling voice poised on the brink of a chuckle. “All hear and beware! The Ogre takes no prisoners!”
Had this been actual combat, her head would have become the newest addition to Ogryvan’s private collection. Such was the Caledonach way. Not only was the foe defeated in death, but to the victor went possession of the soul. Well honored was the warrior who boasted the largest array.
Long years of training had hardened Gyan to this aspect of warfare, yet the prospect of someday ending up on display in an enemy’s feast hall was grisly at best.
By the shifting of his foot on her back, she knew her father was posturing for the crowd. They rewarded his performance with gleeful claps and shouts. The official practice session was over, of course. But she wasn’t quite finished.
Her sword hilt nestled in the palm of her outflung hand. She carefully tightened her grip. In a burst of movement, she writhed and scissored with her legs, twisted free, rolled to her feet, and brought the sword up in both hands. Ogryvan toppled into the mud. The resounding wet thud of his landing was chorused by the guffaws of the audience.
She grinned, holding the point of her sword to his throat. “Neither does the Ogre’s daughter!”
No nectar was as sweet as the joy of winning, and winning before an audience of her clansmen tasted even sweeter. One day, she would lead them into battle; events like today’s added another brick onto the foundation of trust. Their heartfelt adoration warmed her like the summer sun.
She sheathed the sword and offered a hand to her father. “Even?” Her voice was huskier than usual from the exertion of the morning.
Ogryvan took the proffered hand to regain his footing. “Even.”
The crowd drifted back to their various duties around the settlement, but one man remained at the edge of the field. She strode toward him, swatting mud from her thighs and chest.
“Well, Per, how did I look?”
“Like the fen-spirits Cynda used to try to frighten us with.” Her half brother reached for a glob of mud lodged in her braid.
“Ha!” She playfully slapped his hand away. “You know what I mean.”
Per beamed at her. “You did well. I don’t think I could have fooled Father like that. Or held him off for so long.”
She didn’t believe him for an instant. They had sparred with each other often enough to know who was the better swordsman, but she rewarded his flattery with a brilliant smile and a challenge: “Race you to the house!”
She launched herself down the path, bruises forgotten in the autumn mist.
BOOK TRAILER (with older cover by Joe Calkins)
AUDIOBOOK VIDEO TEASER (Prologue)
I am Gyanhumara nic Hymar, daughter of Hymar and her consort, Ogryvan. My mother, whose name means “song,” named me her “rarest song,” for I was fated before birth to be the only daughter she would ever bear. Those who do not ken the Caledonach tongue call me by many other names: Vennevria ... Guanhumara ... Ganora … Gwenhwyfar ... Guenevara ... Guinevere. I am none of those women.
The banner under which I fight is not my own but my clan's: Na Calamaig h’Argaillanaich, which is called in your tongue the Doves of Argyll. Our storytellers tell us of Clan Argyll’s first exalted heir-bearer, who lived countless generations ago. Argaillean was fierce and strong and true to her name, which means “our tempest.” For her valiant battle against those first despised Ròmanach invaders, she chose the doves, for they are the fastest of birds and the strongest for their size. Argaillean and her army had to be fast and strong to defeat the Ròmanaich. She chose two doves to show unity between her and her consort, between her and her clan, and between her clan and Caledon. The silver on the banner represents the natural coloring of doves, but Argaillean also chose it in defiance of the Ròmanaich, who prize silver for their finest armor and adornments. The midnight blue field against which the Doves of Argyll fly represents the vast eternal realm of the Old Ones… or Heaven, as I have learned to call it.
I also proudly fight under the Scarlet Dragon of Arthur the Pendragon, but I shall defer to him for the explanation of its meaning, if he so chooses to share it with you.
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, and assorted wildlife. People & creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins -- the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-20th century -- seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Kim is a Seattle native (when she used to live in the Metro DC area, she loved telling people she was from "the other Washington") and a direct descendent of 20th-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim's novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband's ancestor, the 7th-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press.
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5 e-copies of Dawnflight 10 note cards 1 autographed print copy of Dawnflight