Saving the world, one tour stop at a time.
Eighteen-year-old Bitsy Butler has never quite fit in, not with the dragons who raised her, the druid who took her in, or even with the non-human members of the cirque noir punk band she thinks of as family. Her chance to prove she can make it on her own comes with her band's first big solo tour. It’s all going according to plan when an angel walks into a bar and demands help with his demon problem.
It’s nice to be needed, but Bitsy has no idea how to defeat the demons and she just might get herself killed trying. But then, at least one problem would be solved...
Fitting in doesn’t matter if you’re dead.
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I absolutely adored this book. This is the kind of story that had my writer's brain working overtime, wondering what was going to happen, and even projecting predictions for book two. There was humour, quirkiness, and an enthralling plot. And one of the neatest aspects of the was the drakken, a race of dragon-like beings with an exciting cultural heritage. Here's what the author has to say about it in her own words.
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Beyond here be drakken: the dragons of THE SECRET LIVES OF ROCKSTARS
By Suzanne Lazear
By Suzanne Lazear
One of my favorite things about THE SECRET LIVES OF ROCKSTARS is that it has dragons—or drakken as I call them. I love dragons and had been itching to write a story with them. My drakken are shape-shifters. Once, they lived in this realm, but moved to their own parallel realm as the human population grew, which is why there are so many dragon stories.
My main character, Bitsy, has to stop a demon-fueled war before it harms innocents—and before her band, The Freakshow, leaves Tempe, Arizona, for their next tour stop. She was also raised by crazy drakken, and years later is still trying to deal with everything that happened with her.
“Drakken,” I corrected unthinkingly. “Dragons are creatures in human children’s stories.” Drakken were a shape-shifting people who now occupied a magical realm parallel to ours, but most liked to travel back and forth. Being trapped in the human realm unable to return to the homeland was a pretty serious punishment.
Serious enough to burn everyone alive in an attempt to get back.
I rubbed my arms as if trying to rub away the flames licking at my body. “What?”
“What do you have against the Drakken?” Amusement tinged his voice. “Didn’t you have some Drakken friends back in LA?”
“They weren’t my friends. And I have nothing against them.” Nothing I wanted to talk about. I knew the crazy exiled Drakken who raised me were very different from most, but I didn’t like advertising my upbringing.
“Good,” Aidan nodded. “Because they’re a noble, polite, honorable people who don’t get involved in others’ politics.”
I rolled my eyes at his Sídhe rhetoric. “They’re not perfect.”Drakken love books and learning, and often come to this realm to attend college. The Freakshow’s current tour stop is a college town. Not only does she run into a few, but if she’s going to stop the chaos demons in time, she needs help from one, Eric.
The drakken are organized into tribes, and different types of magic are associated with them, however, there is plenty of crossover due to inter-tribe marriage. Eric is western tribe, an earth drakken. Eric has earth magic. Bitsy’s foster sister had been northern tribe and a mistress of lightning. However, the place she and her foster sister grew up in had been run by exiles.
I also gave the drakken their own language. I tried to use it sparingly, in ways where you wouldn’t necessarily need translation.
I smiled at the waiter, grateful to get some food. “Bes’sa.”
The words just slipped out. Old habits.
“Na’i te.” Eric smiled; it was the kind that put people at ease and made girls lose their morals. “You speak my language?” he said in Homespeak, the common drakken language.
“I just know some,” I replied in the same language. Lies. It was my first language. We never spoke much English in the compound though my foster mother insisted we learn it. Well.
“Some? That’s surprising.” Eric’s eyebrows rose. He probably expected me to say I knew a little. “I don’t often come across a dikka who speaks it.”
The word dikka, outsider, made me flinch.
“I’m sorry,” he replied, eyes widening. “I mean no offense. I’m western tribe. It’s not an insult there.”
Western tribe. Earth drakken.
“No offence taken.” I closed my eyes for a moment to help choke back the voices in my head. At the compound it was an insult and I’d been called that far too often as a child, usually with satta, stupid, in front of it. I wasn’t ever smart enough. Or fast enough. Or graceful enough. Or had enough magic.
Most of all, I wasn’t one of them. And never, ever would be.
“Kai’kien, please…” he murmured, hovering over me.
“No, really, it’s okay,” I muttered in English, just wanting him to go away.Each tribe has different customs. Also the different tribes and their customs loosely relate to where they came from in the human realm. Drakken are telepaths, especially when in dragon form. Bitsy can hear them just fine. They are also very polite and have a very elaborate culture.
Taking a teapot, she filled the cup with red-brown liquid, steam rising from the surface – but the flame kept burning. She handed to me. I hesitated. This fire can’t hurt you. The cup in one hand, I waved the other over the flame three times, blew it out, murmured kin’ba, and took a drink. The sweet-tart liquid burned my throat in a way that brought back memories of cold afternoons, late night tea parties, and tiny cookies shaped like snowflakes.
“Ses’ba,” she added quietly in the background.
Both these things had no translation; it’s something you say when you drink. There were a few of those phrases in Homespeak, but my foster mother always insisted we use kin’ba. She never told me why. But she always did things differently than everyone else in the compound.
“Excellent, my complements to the chef,” I told her. The preparation – and serving – of haeibo was an art. My sister always made it look like a dance. My klutzy self had been banned from even touching my foster mother’s precious teapot.Eric’s enthralled with the fact that she knows so much about them. Since most of Bitsy’s memories of the drakken aren’t fond, she’s not too keen on this. The drakken also have their own religion and goddess. Bitsy hides it, but still practices their religion, given it’s what she knows.
“I don’t believe in coincidence.” Eric switched languages. “Everything is the work of the Goddess. She’s most definitely at work here.”
Yes, She was. The question was, why?
Sighing, I rubbed my temples. “Sometimes I don’t appreciate Her sense of humor.”
Again, he stood too close. I could smell his Drakken scent – mainly books and brimstone.
“Sometimes I feel the same way,” he whispered.I had a lot of fun creating the drakken culture and writing Eric—especially scenes between him and Bitsy. I hope you enjoy Eric, the drakken, and the adventures he, Bitsy, and everyone else have in THE SECRET LIVES OF ROCKSTARS.
If you were a dragon what powers would you have?