Today I welcome author Lori Fitzgerald, who is celebrating the release of her story ‘Dragon’s Message’ with a Magic Appreciation Tour.
Lori J. Fitzgerald lives in New York with her fellow English Major husband and their two little bookworms. Medieval literature is her passion, and she wishes she could spend more time traipsing around Renaissance Faires and shouting “Huzzah” at jousts. She was a middle school English teacher for many years and was best known for her dramatic readings of The Princess Bride. Lori is currently a Staff Writer for the website Once Upon A Fan, the popular fansite for ABC’s hit show Once Upon A Time. You can contact her by email at WhiteRaven829@gmail.com.
Following Lori’s guest post about Medieval influences on Dragon’s Message, we have an excerpt from the story. Also, don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway to win a free copy!
Medieval Secrets in ‘Dragon’s Message’
Medieval literature abounds with hidden meanings, for in the landscape of the medieval mind a character, setting, object or even action have both a literal and a symbolic meaning. Many of the secrets in The Dragon’s Message are couched in medieval terms. There are references to the Code of Chivalry, such as curtesye (courtly manners) and trouthe (integrity). The coats of arms of both the protagonists, Sir Gwydion and Lady Rhiannon, are also keys to the quest in the story. Medieval heraldry began as practical badges of recognition, so that armored knights could be identified in battle. However, the symbols, or charges, also represented the qualities that the knight and his family held important. Sir Gwydion’s coat of arms, in medieval heraldic terms, is Azure, a unicorn passant reguardant Or, a chief embattled Or, file Azure. This means the shield has a blue background, in the center of which is a gold unicorn with one front leg reared and its head turned to look behind it. The unicorn symbolizes extreme courage, virtue, and strength. The top part of the shield is a gold band shaped like the top of a fortress turret, which symbolizes protection…or fire. On this gold band is a blue “file” symbol (it looks like an “E”) which is the symbol of the oldest son. This is how Rhiannon recognizes Gwydion in his full battle armor when he first approaches her castle, Caer Idris. The gold (“Or”) symbolizes generosity and elevation of the mind, and the blue (“Azure”) symbolizes truth and loyalty. The tapestry in the main hall of Caer Idris unlocks the meaning of Rhiannon’s coat of arms. And even the runes that the dragon messenger writes with “its red-gold ember breath in the darkening sky” hold multiple interpretations, because dragons “do not speak in as simple or as many words as we do, for their throats are clogged with embers. So each rune has many meanings, and can be interpreted in many ways, often depending on the other runes that they are with.”
I invite you to enter the world of the Dragon Tome and learn its secrets!
-Lori Fitzgerald, Author
Excerpt from Dragon’s Message
Gwydion quickly handed her a cloth to catch her tears with. His brow furrowed in concern. “I did not mean to make you upset with memories. Of course your father’s liege knights were intent on capturing Maelogan and the rest of his lackeys. I myself almost had him in the lists but ran afoul of the mud. His treachery was…most unexpected.”
Rhiannon nodded, and then looked closely at the cloth he had given her. “Oh!” she exclaimed shakily. “This was mine!” She held up the red scarf with crooked gold stitches forming a sleeping dragon in the middle. “This was one of my first embroidery attempts.” She looked up, smiling incredulously although her eyes still shone from her tears. “I gave you this at one of the tournaments…and you’ve kept it all these years?”
“Ah…” he grinned a little sheepishly, “I liked it.” Rhiannon laughed, pleased, and traced the uneven stitches on the dragon’s folded wings.
“Rhiannon,” the knight hesitated, and gestured at the ruins around them. “Why are we here? And why is your book,” he pointed at the pack next to her, “so important?”
Her lips twitched but she kept herself steady, not wanting to reveal the slight measure of triumph she felt from his questioning. Another step ahead, she thought, and her palms gave a tingling pulse as she pulled her book out from its pouch onto her lap.
“This is a book of secrets that my mother bequeathed to me as my birthright.” She spread the red cloth out onto the grass before her and the stitched dragon caught the strong light of the western sun. “Gules, a dragon dormant Or. Our family’s coat of arms is actually passed through the female line.” She arched an eyebrow at Sir Gwydion’s dumbfounded expression. “Don’t tell my father that I told you that. That’s one secret,” she said slyly. “You know there have been dragons sighted on our lands for centuries. This book,” she said, as she ran her palms along the leather, “deciphers the language of the dragons.”
About Dragon’s Message
A dragon writes a cryptic message with its ember breath in the evening sky…
Lady Rhiannon watches from the turret wall with an ache in her blood. She’s the only person who can decipher the message as the sole keeper of the Dragon Tome. When an old enemy threatens the castle, her father charges his knight with escorting her to a safe haven—the same knight Rhiannon had a crush on as a girl. But she must now convince him to change his plans, for she has her own sacred charge to fulfill…
So begins a journey to hidden ruins where magic slumbers in the stones and love lies in the heart, waiting to awaken.
As Rhiannon and the knight face seemingly insurmountable odds, only the dragon knows if they can fulfill their destiny…
The Dragon’s Message, a Dragon Tome Novelette, available now for only $1.99
a Rafflecopter giveaway