Monday, July 11, 2016

The Dragon in the Garden by Erika Gardner - Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Erika Gardner will be awarding off Amazon her book to five-six winners, one per day of the blog tour, to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Erika 101

Hmm, five things you’d never guess about me? Tougher than one might think. Most of that sort of thing I divulge in my bio: short, loud, lover of heavy metal and spicy food. On top of that the assignment specifically requests that said items be “fun, interesting, edifying or even embarrassing.”

I’m making an executive decision here. Edifying must exit, stage left. That leaves fun, interesting, and, of course, embarrassing.

No pressure.

Okay, let’s give this dog and pony show a shot. I’ll start with DM’ing. Come on, fantasy author? Being a Dungeon Master isn’t too hard to believe, right? Contrary to what The Big Bang Theory would have America believe, women do play Dungeons and Dragons. My favorite character is a chaotic evil half-elf thief-assassin. She’s a kick-ass bunch of fun to play- great at acrobatics. So, yes, I am a Dungeon Master. Or, I should say, I used to be. Nowadays I’m busier than a one-legged gal at a butt kicking contest. D & D is a massive time suckage- super fun though. You should try it. My son is the DM now.

Thing Two? (So Suessian) I have an extreme addiction to traditional San Francisco sour dough. YUM! Forget counting carbs- life is short, eat bread. Real sour dough is one of about a thousand reasons why I’ll never leave the Bay Area and Northern California. Although, I do love to travel.

Third thing… okay, let’s get with the embarrassment. As you might see if you’ve ever read my bio, I am nuts for heavy metal. Iron Maiden, Sabbath, Priest, Dio, Black Label Society, Nightwish, Scorpions, Delain, WASP, Queensryche, the list goes on and on. What was I saying? Oh, right. *hangs head in shame* A few years ago I visited a dear friend in Los Angeles. After deplaning I walk through LAX and I run into the one, the only, Vinnie Appice. Awesome drummer, just massive talent. Love him. (Run, Google him, go. I’ll wait- I have wine to drink. And while you’re at it see if someone can explain why he and his big brother Carmen pronounce their last names differently. Never understood that.) So, although I’m shaking I’m so nervous, I walk over and say (in a fit of sheer brilliance), “You’re Vinnie Appice.” He couldn’t have been nicer. Side note, I did not look very metal that day, cute turquoise plaid shorts, matching blouse and jewelry- NOT metal. He’s super gracious telling me about the gig they’re going to play, etc. I don’t want to keep him, again soooooo nervous, so I wrap things up saying how much I loved him throughout his career- Dio, ACDC, UFO, etc. Now, if you did Google Vinnie you’ll know that the resume I just listed is NOT Appice’s. It’s that of another drummer who also played with Ronnie James Dio, Simon Wright. I was just so rattled. I could see on his face that I screwed up. Again, the man was a class act- could not have been sweeter. That made it worse. I swore a lot under my breath walking away that day.

Vinnie, Mr. Appice, if you ever read this I swear I really do know who you are. I was just having a freak-out moment. *hangs head again*

Moving on with relief to number four. I coach track and cross country for a local middle school under my married name. Other than reading and writing, running and coaching are my biggest sources of joy. It’s a bit like herding cats, but their sheer exuberance and joy is life affirming. I love my adorable turkeys as I call them.

Last thing one might not guess about me? I always wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up. Never wanted to be married (men are decorative but you don’t keep one), never wanted kids, and planned on being a single career woman. In that alternate life I think I still would have wrote- I can’t help that. I went to UC Davis, got my degree in Biological Sciences, and thought I’d go on to other things. Instead, fate stepped in and brought me the love of my life, three wonderful kids, and a career as a fantasy writer. I am so okay with how events turned out!

Thanks for letting me stop by- super fun!

There is magic beneath the mundane and in The Dragon in the Garden, Siobhan Orsini witnesses it all. No lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her Sight. She sees through them all and wishes she could close her eyes. Returning to face her past, Siobhan inherits her grandparents’ house in California’s wine country. She encounters a talking dragon, a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. And that is just in the first twenty-four hours.

It’s time to find out why she has this power.

Siobhan seeks out the Oracle and learns that only her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Our world is the prize in a battle between the dragons, who would defend us, and Lucifer’s fallen angels, who seek to take the Earth for themselves. Using her gift, she will have to make a choice that will decide humanity’s future.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The bright-green dragon lay curled at the foot of the apricot tree, partially covered by vines. My mother called the color jade green—the same shade as my eyes. As a child she talked to all the statues, but I only spoke to the dragon. I named her Daisy. Sitting down next to her now, the tears welled up at last, spilling over my cheeks. I wrapped my arms around my legs, making myself into a little ball of five-year-old misery.

“Child, why are you sad?” said a woman’s voice.

“Who said that?” I asked, wiping my cheek.

“I did.”

“Where are you?” I stood and peered at the plants and statues around me.

“Right here.”

“Are not,” I retorted.

A soft laugh filled the air and the woman spoke again. “Perhaps you are right. Easy enough to fix, I suppose.”

The breeze picked up. The space beneath the apricot tree shimmered. Ripples warped the air like the heat over the barbecue when my father cooked. The sweet notes of wind chimes filled the yard. Grandma and Grandpa didn’t have any wind chimes. I whirled around to find the noise.

Under the branches appeared an enormous green dragon’s head.

About the Author:
Erika is a sixth generation San Franciscan of Irish descent. She attended the University of California at Davis and completed degrees in Medieval History and Biological Sciences. A lifelong lover of books and a scribbler of many tales from a young age (her first story was completed at age five) she turned to writing full-time in 2011.

On a personal level she loves spicy food, twilight, dark chocolate (with sea salt-yum!) and nickel slots at Vegas. Erika lives for time with friends, a nice glass of red wine, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" & "Doctor Who" and good conversation. Her favorite things to do are running, cooking, reading, needlework, gardening... and of course, writing. Erika's music of choice is heavy metal. To pick her out in a lineup you should know that she is very short, fairly loud, and has dark eyebrows. The rest, as her hero Anne McCaffrey once said in her bio, "is subject to change without notice".

Erika resides in Northern California with her incredibly hot husband, their three amazing kids, and their chocolate Labrador named Selkie. To reach Erika regarding her books, wine recommendations, or to debate which Iron Maiden album is the best (clearly, it's Brave New World), you can find her online at

All Around The Web:

My Website-
My Critique Group’s Blog-
Twitter- @Erika_Gardner
Good Reads-

Buy the book for only $0.99 at Amazon.

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So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?