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Danny Dirks wants nothing more than to play baseball in his father's orchard, but he's finding out that he is no ordinary boy. With the approach of his fifteenth birthday, Danny's begun hearing voices and seeing visions of his dead mother. He's also fairly certain that the cute girl next door is really a shape-shifting dragon. All of these things lead Danny to the discovery that he is the heir of the legendary Arthur Pendragon and the linchpin in a pact established between man and dragon centuries ago. Now, rogue dragons threaten that pact and the peace that comes with it. They aim to reopen the portal through which they originally came to Earth in order to bring back a rebel dragon army. It's up to Danny to learn to channel the power that is Excalibur and, with his new friends, prevent the portal from being opened.
Excerpt 1 (from Chapter 1)
Danny watched as the sun struggled to break through the thinning clouds over the cottage, which was busier now than it had been in years. Then he saw her. Statuesque to a fault, a slender figure in a light blue, long-sleeved, button-down top and jeans stood near the center of the garden as if she was a part of it. Her golden blonde locks waved ever so gently in the morning air. Her skin was so pale that she seemed to glow in the lone sunbeam that managed to fight through the clouds. On her small outstretched hand, Danny could see something flutter. Translucent wings moved slowly in the morning light. It was a dragonfly sitting contentedly in her hand. Danny watched, not realizing he was moving closer to the fence that separated the driveway from the garden. He could see her lips move, but he was too far away to hear what she was saying. Her almond shaped eyes seemed to delight in all that she beheld. He was transfixed by her. She pushed a stray lock of golden hair out of her eyes and smiled brightly at the delicate bug in her hand. Danny barely noticed his egg sandwich fall to the ground.
“Smooth move, Dan-o!” said a familiar voice from the end of the driveway.
The dragonfly sped from her hand as the girl’s head whipped towards him. His cover was blown. The girl’s demeanor changed instantly when her eyes fixed on Danny. He felt his stomach hit his knees. He had just raised his hand to wave hello when she turned and fled from the garden and into the house. A baby-faced man-child with dusty brown hair sidled up to Danny and Katy.
“Who…who was that? She’s…amazing,” Danny said, staring stupidly at the sandwich that now lay in ruins at his feet.
“You always were a sucker for a blonde,” Katy said. “That’s the new foreman’s daughter. She has a younger sister about my age too. At least, that’s what Dad told me.”
“Good job, Romeo.”
Oliver Cline was a bit of a physical oddity. At fifteen, he was six-five and two hundred and fifty pounds. Built like his father and raised to toss bales of hay, Ollie was made to be a farm hand. Though not fat by any stretch of the imagination, there was an element of softness to his physique which, combined with his height, made him the most self-aware person Danny and Katy knew. He lived on the farm across the street from the Dirks’ place and had grown up with Danny and Katy. The three of them were more like siblings than simply friends. He looked down at the egg sandwich on the ground. “You gonna eat that?”
“Um…no,” Danny said absently.
“And neither will you!” Katy scolded when Ollie looked optimistic.
**** A MAGICAL SERIES ****
Danny Dirks and the Heir of Pendragon
Do you like Camelot and the Legend of King Arthur? Then you’ll love Danny Dirks and The Heir of Pendragon. School’s out and Danny is looking forward to an uneventful summer full of baseball and daydreams. What he doesn’t understand is reoccurring visions of his dead mother, voices in the wind, and strange musings on the girl next door.
Things are much more than they seem on the surface. The reader discovers along with Danny that there is much at stake than an earned run average. This tale is the first and obviously integral to understanding the series. Talking dragons, magical powers, and possible world devastation should appeal to young adults and adults alike.
Danny Dirks and the Heir of Pendragon would be a tremendous gift for a Harry Potter fan looking for a new series to love.
In second grade, Scott Mulraney wrote a series of comic strips called Peanut (a peanut with arms and legs) and Stickman (self explanatory) because those were the two things he could draw with some consistency. He ripped off every story line from Garfield, but his family thought it was cute. In high school, he wrote a rip-off of Red Dawn, changed the location to his NJ home town, and essentially made himself the lead character. It involved finding a super-secret helicopter with a strategically placed instruction manual. How convenient. During high school, he devoured Stephen King novels, but never pursued writing anything of substance. Then, in an event that would shape the rest of his life, Scott found himself kicked out of college, jobless, and relatively friendless. He turned to writing poetry and eventually short stories followed. Writing had brought him back from the brink and he pursued and eventually earned a degree in Literature with a focus on creative writing.
He completed his first novel (not ripped off from anyone) after five years, in 2010. After waffling about what to do with it, he self-published the suspense thriller under the pen name Andy Rane. A moderate success, for independent standards, Scott then followed with the first draft of Danny Dirks. Completed in about six months, he knew he had something special and wasn't quite prepared to self publish the novel.
Fast forward to 2014 and the changing markets convinced him that he could provide everything to his stories that traditional publishers could. Danny Dirks and the Heir of Pendragon is his first full-length young adult novel and one of many stories he hopes to tell.
He currently lives with his wife and son in his home state of New Jersey.
Book link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MR5ENG8