Guest Post & Giveaway: The Dragonslayer Series by Resa Nelson

February 9, 2012 Uncategorized 7

Hello book lovin’ people!  I have a guest post from Resa Nelson for you all.  She is the author of The Dragonslayer’s Sword and The Iron Maiden, book 1 & 2 of The Dragonslayer series.  At the end of her post, you’ll have a chance to win signed paperback copies of both books! So enjoy!

Here’s a little about the books:


For Astrid, a blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, the emergence of a strange gemstone from her body sets in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy her life. Her happiness is shattered when her lover-the dragonslayer-disappears without a trace, and the life that she knows and loves implodes without warning. Astrid lives in a world of shapeshifters whose thoughts have the power to change not only themselves but others. Everything Astrid knows to be true is called into question when she learns the truth about her past and the mysterious family from which she was separated as a child. Reality turns inside out as Astrid gradually learns the truth about the people she loves as well as those she disdains. With the fate of dragons, ghosts, and slaves in foreign lands resting on her shoulders, Astrid faces the challenge of deciding who she is and how she will stand up inside her own skin. Will she withdraw and hide from the world that has disappointed her so much…or will she rise to lead others to freedom and peace?

Astrid is reluctant to travel the winter route beyond the Northlands, even though it’s her duty. She’d rather stay home in her village, surrounded by friends and neighbors. Ignoring the bonds of tradition, she decides to spend the cold winter months in the warmth of her blacksmithing shop. Why should she leave the comfort of her cottage to serve and protect foreigners who might raid and harm her native Northlands?
Everything changes when a traveling merchant steals Starlight, the first dragonslayer’s sword Astrid forged and her last link to her sweetheart DiStephan. Having no time to alert her friends, Astrid races in pursuit of the merchant, determined to reclaim Starlight as her own and return home in time for dinner. Instead, her quest leads her to new lands, unexpected friendships with foreigners, and a harrowing encounter with the damage done by the followers of a new god that considers women as nothing more than servants to men. All the while, she must be ready to face any dragon traveling the winter route.
In Book 2 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid must learn that deciding who she is isn’t a decision she can make just once. Instead, it’s a decision she must make every day.

How Volunteering Helped Me Write a Better Book
by Resa Nelson
Because the main character in my 4-book Dragonslayer series is a female blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, I wanted to learn as much as I could about medieval weapons.  So I took courses to learn historically accurate techniques for using swords and other weapons that were used in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  These courses were taught at a museum that had a sword guild.  I joined the sword guild and volunteered to become a weapons demonstrator at the museum.
Being a weapons demonstrator was a great experience.  I studied with my sword guild partner, and we gave demonstrations at the museum on a regular basis for a few years.  Our demonstrations consisted of us giving an introduction to what we were going to demonstrate, including some historical information.  We’d then give a choreographed demonstration of what a real sword fight might have looked like hundreds of years ago, using steel practice swords that had blunt tips and edges.  Finally, we went through the fight in slow motion and explained every blow and defensive move.
I don’t consider myself an expert in using swords, but I gained a lot of experience and insight.  Volunteering and giving demonstrations allowed the information I learned to really sink in and become part of my every-day life.  It also gave me immediate access to some of the foremost experts in the world.  I asked a lot of questions about a lot of things, and the answers I received shaped my ideas for characters and plot ideas for the books in my Dragonslayer series. 
Another advantage to being a volunteer and giving demonstrations was the interaction I had with our audiences, who had great questions and comments.  This allowed me to learn even more because I’d often have to go to someone else to get answers to those questions.  The entire experience deepened my knowledge and appreciation of swords and other medieval weapons.
While writing Book 1, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, I appreciated my studies with the sword guild and working with my sword partner as a good experience in general.  I had fun.  It felt like an adventure.  And I appreciate the opportunity to give back in some way by volunteering.  However, the experience had a minimal impact on Book 1.
That changed when I wrote Book 2, The Iron Maiden.  All of a sudden, years of experience with the sword guild and having volunteered as a weapons demonstrator made a difference.  It had an impact on new characters I created.  It had an even bigger impact on the way I developed a relationship between my main character Astrid and a foreigner she meets.  It gave me ideas for some of the most important events that happen in Book 2.  When I think about the book as a whole, I can’t imagine how I could have written it without the research I’d done and especially without my experience as a volunteer. 
During this blog tour I’m telling lots of stories about the research I’ve done for my Dragonslayer series.  You can find out where I’ve been and where I’m going next by checking my website, my Facebook page (Resa Nelson & The Dragonslayer’s Sword), or following me on Twitter (ResaNelson).
          If you’d like to sample my work for free, you can download a free “mini” ebook called “Dragonslayer Stories” from my website at http://www.resanelson.com/files.  No cost, no obligation, nothing to sign up for, no information gathering.  I like giving away samples of my work so you can decide for yourself whether you like it or not.  
          You also can enter to win a copy of the first two books in my series, which I’ll give away at the end of this tour on Feb. 14.  To enter, just send email to ResaBonusGifts@aol.com.  (I won’t keep your email address – this just makes it easier for me to keep track of entries.)  I’m also doing a book giveaway on GoodReads, so you can enter to win there.  Here
Thanks for stopping by, Resa!

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7 Responses to “Guest Post & Giveaway: The Dragonslayer Series by Resa Nelson”

  1. Ron C. Nieto

    Heh, this is great! I wish we had those sword groups and demonstrations over where I live. It'd make things much more interesting.

    But, more than anything, I'm glad to see that you chose to do such in depth research. It doesn't happen as often as it should!

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