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New Release / Giveaway: Gifting a Dragon’s Heart – Mell Eight

Gifting a Dragon's Heart - Mell Eight

Mell Eight has a new MM fantasy romance out: Gifting a Dragon’s Heart.

When he learns his father is dying, Roan leaves the wilds to return to the home he ran away from ten years prior. Roan knows the inevitable family reunion will be difficult, but then he meets Lyss, his former beau, who is the reason he had to leave. Roan doesn’t know what to feel or how to react to this older version of Lyss, but before he can get his emotions in order, a letter comes from the untamed wilds region telling him the town he’s called home for the last ten years is under attack.

Traveling back to the wilds accompanied by Lyss ought to give Roan time to figure out his feelings. However, the army, wyverns, and dragons all make finding time to even speak with Lyss difficult. Besides, ten years is a long time. When the battle is over, Roan and Lyss have their own separate lives to return to, assuming they both survive the fight to come.

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The sharply peaked roofs of Outpost came into view around noon as Roan followed the path beaten through tall, waving grass by generations of sturdy feet. Outpost had an official name on the maps, of course, but the locals simply called it what it was: an outpost station literally two steps from the start of the untamed wilds.

Roann replied, shrugging. “I like to send her gifts when I can.”

“Expensive gift,” Marius murmured, distracted by the blue skin. “Oh!” he added abruptly. “You got a letter last month.”

He stepped away from the bar to a lockbox kept along the back wall. He used the key around his neck to unlock the box and retrieve the letter for Roan.

“I sent the standard reply back to the return address, saying you were out in the field and would respond as soon as you could.”

Roan ripped open the envelope and pulled out the single piece of paper inside while Marius went back to the skins.

“Any hearts?” Marius asked, moving on to the red skin.

“Mar,” Roan replied, his tone as heavy as his frown. “You know you can’t sell a dragon’s heart.”

“Hah. You are the only roamer that follows that old adage, you realize. Besides, these are wyverns. No one’s seen a real dragon going on at least fifty years.”

“Dragon hearts can only be given as gifts,” Roan finished the second half of the adage, completely uncaring that wyverns were only the smaller, considerably less dangerous cousin to dragons. He had the hearts for every skin in his bag, and a separate bag in his personal safe with the rest he had gathered over the last few years. At some point, he would hire a security crew to transport them home to his sister for him, and since he had the skin, maybe now was a good time to organize that.

“Whatever you say,” Marius replied, unrolling the orange skin. “You ever change your mind, the heart is worth double what you earn from these skins.”

“Just pay me for the skins and forget about the hearts,” Roan said, sighing. He and Marius had this same conversation every time Roan came back to Outpost to sell the skins he had harvested and re-provision for his next trip to the wilds. After a few days of rest and relaxation, sleeping in real beds, and using an actual shower, Roan would be more than ready to return to the peaceful solitude of the wilds.

Roan finally unfolded the letter and found only a few lines of his sister’s loopy, angled writing inside.


I don’t know when you’ll get this message, but I hope you hear the news from me first. Father is dying. I know you and he had your differences; however, he has requested to see you one last time. If you receive my letter before he’s gone, please consider coming home. Even if you’re too late to see him, I could use a show of your support by having you at my side for a time as we go through the mourning period and transition to my taking over.

Please, please come home. I promise I will not do anything to prevent you from leaving when you’re ready to go, but I need you right now.

All my love,


“Damn.” Roan refolded the letter and tipped his head back, staring unseeing at the wooden beams of the ceiling. “Damn,” he repeated.

“Everything okay?” Marius asked.

Roan looked down, glad to be able to refocus on Marius rather than his swirling thoughts. While Roan had been reading, Marius had rolled the skins back up and had started counting out silver coins for payment. He had paused in his counting, one coin held in his hand just above the stack, and he had a concerned look on his face.

Roan shook his head. “My sister needs me to come home, so it looks like my next trip is heading inland. Once you’re done counting, could you bring me my box from the safe?”

“Inland? Damn is right. I’m sorry anything is dragging you there.”

He finished counting the coins and headed to the back of the bar, where a massive safe door took up a large section of the wall. Unlike the lockbox, this was a modern, high-tech safe. Roan and other roamers paid for the extra protection, though. Marius placed his hand on the biometric scanner, letting it read his fingerprints and take a DNA sample from his sweat. The door clicked a moment later and swung outward. Marius vanished inside, returning after a few seconds with a large metal box with Roan’s name written on a piece of paper taped to the top.

Roan took the box, scooped up the coins, the green skin, and his letter, and stuffed it all into his much lighter pack.

“Thanks, Mar. There a room at the inn?” he asked.

“There should be. You need anything else?”

“Just to figure out when the next train leaves,” Roan replied.

Author Bio

When Mell Eight was in high school, she discovered dragons. Beautiful, wondrous creatures that took her on epic adventures both to faraway lands and on journeys of the heart. Mell wanted to create dragons of her own, so she put pen to paper. Mell Eight is now known for her own soaring dragons, as well as for other wonderful characters dancing across the pages of her books. While she mostly writes paranormal or fantasy stories, she has been seen exploring the real world once or twice.



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