2020 in Review

There have been a lot of graphics in my feed on Facebook of authors sharing the books they published in 2020. It’s inspiring to see everyone’s accomplishments, so I did a graphic of my own.

Deborah Cooke's 2020 book releases

Pearl Beyond Price is a teensy bit of a cheat, as it was published in the last week of 2019. (I felt badly that “Claire” had no new releases in 2020.) I published the All’s Fair boxed set, but it was composed of previously published content, which doesn’t count for this graphic.

Claire also had new translations published in 2020, including The Beauty Bride in Portuguese and German, The Rose Red Bride and The Snow White Bride in Italian, and The Ballad of Rosamunde in Portuguese. I have the Spanish translation of The Crusader’s Bride but it won’t appear in stores until 2021. Claire also had a new audiobook, The Mercenary’s Bride, recorded by Tim Campbell.

The first two books shown here, Pearl Beyond Price and Just One Fake Date, were revisions and rewrites. I’ve learned that these take me longer than just writing a new book, so won’t be rushing to do any more of them. (Even though I have more Claire Delacroix books from Harlequin Historicals, they all need that kind of revision. I’m going to leave them alone for the time being.)

Another project that consumed a lot of time was repackaging books. I repackaged The Champions of St. Euphemia series, as well as Flatiron Five Fitness and Flatiron Five Tattoo. I’ll take a break from that job in 2021, too!

The obvious question is: What’s coming in 2021?

When I was traditionally published, the schedule was made a year in advance of publication and books were delivered, formatted, etc., about six months before publication. I’m trying to get back to that place without leaving too many gaps in my schedule. It’ll take me a couple of years, but I’m making progress. The big challenge with publishing is that I like to alternate between sub-genres and worlds. I think it’s necessary to my creative process, so that means that the publication of series will stretch out over time.

So far in 2021, I have two historical romances scheduled for publication, The Wolf & the Witch and One Knight’s Desire. I have two books scheduled for audiobook production: The Wolf & the Witch and The Runaway Bride. Both will be recorded by Tim Campbell. I already have a number of translations scheduled for delivery and publication in 2021: The Rose Red Bride in German, The Rose Red Bride and The Snow White Bride in Portuguese, The Ballad of Rosamunde and The Renegade’s Heart in Italian, and The Crusader’s Bride in German, too. The rest of the Champions of St. Euphemia series will be translated into Spanish, too. (As mentioned above, The Crusader’s Bride in Spanish is being published now.) Many of these translation teams will continue the series with the next book after they deliver the one currently in the works. Claire has a new boxed set coming in February, Stolen Brides, and will have a second boxed set published some time during the summer.

For my contemporary romances, Just One Silver Fox is scheduled already for 2021. I plan to publish Annika and Thom’s story—which is becoming longer than I’d initially expected, no surprise to any of you in that!—but won’t set a publication date for that until it’s done. I have another secret Flatiron Five project in the works, but it’s too soon to talk about that. 🙂 Of course, there’s the F5F spin-off series in Harte’s Harbor, too, but I’d like to be able to schedule the first three on a fairly rapid release, with the books being done. Ha. I’m thinking that series will likely be a 2022 launch.

Wyvern's Wizard, book #11 of the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances by Deborah Cooke

For my paranormal romances, there’s nothing officially booked at this time. I’m hoping to publish the next DragonFate novel, possibly next summer, and am working on the next Incendium story, Wyvern’s Wizard. (The issue with Wyvern’s Wizard is that I suspect four princesses are going to weigh in and entangle their storylines with Peri’s, so it’s not a case of getting one book written—it’s a case of getting four books written.) I’m still having various characters weigh in about their story needing to be told next. Once The Wolf & the Witch is done, I’ll make a decision and dive in.

In the meantime, there are promotions to schedule and all the rest of the jobs that come with indie-publishing. I’m hoping to have a very productive 2021, and this is my plan at the moment. I have the spreadsheets to show for it!

Dragon’s Mate Update

The description for Dragon’s Mate has been updated—it will still probably change a bit—and I’ve also posted an excerpt from Hadrian and Rania’s book on the Dragon’s Mate page here on the website. It’s also in the end matter of Dragon’s Heart in both ebook and print.

Dragon's Mate, book 4 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeHer kiss will shatter realms…

Dragon shifter and artisan blacksmith Hadrian is determined to strength his fellow Pyr warriors in the battle against the Fae by making them talons of steel. He won’t be seduced by the sensual promise of what has to be a fake firestorm—even to help a beautiful warrior escape the clutches of the Fae Queen.

Rania is a swan-maiden and Fae assassin, compelled to serve the Dark Queen’s will in exchange for her own survival. Hadrian is the last of the dozen assigned victims that will fulfill her revolting bargain, but this dragon shifter isn’t easy to kill. It’s more than dragon vitality that helps him survive her lethal kiss, but Rania won’t surrender to his potent touch for any price when her own life hangs in the balance.

Compelled to join forces against the Dark Queen’s deceit, can Hadrian and Rania overcome their distrust of each other to defeat a common foe? Can Hadrian unfurl the painful secrets of Rania’s past to give them a future? When worlds collide and barriers are destroyed, can love conquer the obstacles between these destined mates?

Coming October 27, 2020

Pre-order ebook at:
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Dragon’s Heart and Pinterest

Dragon's Heart, book 3 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeI’m charging along on Dragon’s Heart, which is Rhys and Lila’s book, and having a wonderful time with their story. It’s so interesting to include heroines with powers of their own, and I’m loving the challenge of building out each heroine’s world, history and abilities, then fitting that in with the world of the Pyr. Lila is a selkie with an intriguing past who challenges Rhys’ expectations in so many ways. (It’s good for him to have things shaken up a bit. He likes to think he has everything sorted out, planned and organized.) She’s one of my favorite kinds of characters, a healer who is wounded herself. I think you’ll really enjoy their story!

I’ve also been adding to the Pinterest board for their book, and you can have a peek at my inspiration right here.

I’ve also been working on Sebastian and Sylvia’s story, which will ultimately become a book in its own right – and that has drawn me into the Coven of Mercy, with all of those characters’ stories. I think I’m going to be in the realm of DragonFate for a while!

Have you ordered your copy of Rhys and Lila’s story yet? July 22 isn’t that far away!

Pre-order Dragon’s Heart at:
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Dragon’s Heart New Sample

Dragon's Heart, book 3 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeHer kiss will rock his world…

Dragon-shifter Rhys believes in what he can hold in his talons. A chef with his own restaurant, he is organized and practical, and dislikes surprises. When his firestorm sparks in the realm of Fae, he’s sure it’s an illusion and isn’t going to be seduced by a fake destined mate—even if the kiss of that beautiful selkie melts his very soul.

Lila would do anything to save her kind from extinction, even entreat a dragon shifter to join the battle against the Queen of the Fae. But Rhys is unlike any male she’s known before—he’s unmoved by her kiss and even her surrender to the combustible attraction between them. There’s only one way to convince him to fight, and that’s to conceive his son—even though bearing a child will cost Lila everything she holds dear.

Rhys is awed by Lila’s sacrifice and determined to retrieve everything she’s lost—and not just for the sake of their unborn son. As they plunge into unknown realms with only each other to rely upon, will their combined forces be sufficient to triumph—or will they be forced to surrender even more?

Coming May 26, 2020

Download a sample of Dragon’s Heart from BookFunnel.

Pre-order ebook at:
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Dragon’s Kiss New Blurb & Excerpt

Dragon’s Kiss has a new blurb and a new sample!

Dragon's Kiss, book #2 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah Cooke

Her kiss could be his doom…

When dragon-shifter Kristofer feels his firestorm ignite, he eagerly follows its spark to his destined mate. To his surprise, the sparks lead not to a mortal human but to a Valkyrie intent on claiming his soul. Even so, Kristofer has never met a woman as alluring as the fierce warrior before him. Trusting in the firestorm, he must convince her to fight with him instead of against him. 

Trading the life of a dragon shifter for that of her sister Valkyrie is an easy choice for Bree… until she meets Kristofer. Experience taught her that dragons are evil, but in him she sees a bold and noble warrior. Finding his confidence as irresistible as his touch, Bree begins to question if she has been beguiled by his charm. How can she take his life when his very presence makes her burn with desire? 

Forced to join forces, Kristofer seize the chance to convince Bree of the promise of partnership. Yet as a sinister plan unfolds, an ancient dragon is roused from his slumber. With danger closing in, can Kristofer convince Bree to surrender her immortality for their forbidden love? Or will Bree’s fears of all dragons prove justified? 

Coming December 10, 2019

Pre-order ebook at:
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An excerpt from Dragon’s Kiss

A life for a life.

It seemed like a comparatively fair deal, especially as it had been offered by the Dark Queen of the Fae. Bree had to wonder if there was a catch.

But then, it didn’t really matter how fair it was. She’d hated dragons for as long as she could remember, so one less in the world was all good—even if he was a dragon shifter. The details were unimportant.

As she waited to see whether her prey would take the bait, Bree told herself that it didn’t even matter if he led all of his kind into danger. A world without dragons would be good. And winning the release of her sister from captivity was more than worth any price.

Bree simmered in the darkness, feeling the effects of Maeve’s fake firestorm. It simmered and burned. It flushed her skin and ran like liquid fire through her veins, turning her thoughts to the pursuit of pleasure and sexual satisfaction. In a way, it fed her base instincts, fostered her need for a man’s touch, and drove her thoughts from everything else. She liked sex just fine, but she didn’t want to obsess about it.

She didn’t want to burn with need for it.

And she didn’t want to desire the hot dragon shifter touched by the firestorm’s light. She wasn’t going to be fooled by a spell’s effect or seduced by smoking hot good looks—he was tall, blond, ripped and gorgeous in his human form, a man she would have noticed even without the influence of magick.

But he was a means to an end.

She’d never have him.

She shouldn’t even want him.

Even if she did. Maeve had neglected to mention that the firestorm would also affect Bree, and she guessed the omission hadn’t been an accident.

She clenched her fists and reminded herself that Kara’s release was the point.

Then her heart stopped as she saw the dragon come through the portal.

Her prey entered Maeve’s realm by choice.


Bree had tempted him, but he’d taken the bait with predictable enthusiasm. His choice proved that dragon shifters were driven by their base instincts, just like the dragons she’d hunted in the past: the fake firestorm’s light made this Pyr believe he was going to get lucky.

Little did he know he’d just abandoned every scrap of luck he’d ever had.

She saw the dragonfire spark in the darkness high above her, then a dragon roared loud enough to shake her bones. He soared into the inky darkness of Fae, a massive and magnificent beast with glittering scales. His huge wings sent him shooting into Maeve’s realm with a single beat. From this angle, she could see that his belly was golden-yellow, like gold armor, but probably not as soft.

Bree stared in awe, despite herself. This dragon’s scales were pale green, like peridots, and they shone with the clarity of fine gems. Each one was edged in brilliant gold, and the scales on his chest were all gold. His nails were gold, too, and the firestorm’s light caressed him like the marvel he was. He might have been a magnificent treasure come to life.

She felt admiration, which was both unwelcome and unnecessary.

The dragon she’d hunted centuries before had been black and a brute beast, with a heart so dark that it might have been made of coal. He’d been more savage than a wild animal and less noble, incapable of prompting any admiration.

But this Pyr was majestic. He flew with measured power, his dark wings stretched wide as they beat slowly. His tail trailed behind him, and he made flight look effortless and easy, despite his size. The sight of him lifted her heart with unexpected joy.

Bree wondered what it would be like to fly with him.

No, her urge was to ride him, to ride him into war. She thought they’d be a hell of a team, then caught herself.

Kara’s survival relied upon the entrapment of this dragon.

She had to finish what she’d started, whether he was gorgeous or not.

Bree let herself fall, even though she was uncertain how far it would be to the ground. She stayed in her human form, letting her prey underestimate her. She flailed her arms and shouted, trying to sound desperate and feeble. Didn’t dragons like damsels in distress? She could work with that, even if it was another reason to despise them.

The false firestorm sparked around her, touching her with golden light. She felt warm and aroused, which might have been pleasurable if she hadn’t been trying to ignore it. Even this fake firestorm undermined her resolve and made her thoughts turn to sensual pleasure. Was that how dragon shifters got what they wanted? They just overwhelmed their mate’s objections with pulsing desire?

The glow was becoming a darker hue of orange as the distance between them increased.

“Help! Help me!” she cried, then screamed as if terrified.

She watched the dragon pivot in the air high overhead and look down for her. His eyes glittered suddenly and Bree knew he’d spotted her. His nostrils flared and his tail slashed through the air. With astonishing speed and accuracy, he dove toward her, talons outstretched and wings beating hard. Bree’s throat tightened despite herself and her heart leaped with anticipation. Gods, but it should be forbidden for any creature to be so beautiful. The golden glow of the firestorm brightened as he drew closer, the sparks flying with greater speed between them. The light washed over him lovingly, making him look his best.

His dragon eyes glinted with intelligence and understanding—not raw hunger, like the brute dragon she’d hunted so long ago—and Bree’s doubt grew. Was he smiling? If so, it wasn’t a hungry smile. It was one filled with anticipation, as if he liked the look of her. The glow in his eyes took her breath away—and his proximity made her burn with desire. She felt like a treasure he was about to claim, one he’d cherish. She closed her eyes, telling herself she had to protect her eyes against the brilliance of the light. She reminded herself that all males were charming when they hunted.

Still, she was thrilled.

And that was before he snatched her out of the air, cradling her in one claw, and soared upward again. The wind whipped Bree’s hair around her face, but she was safe in his grasp. He cupped his claw against his chest, protecting her, and she got a close look at his scales. They were large and hard, with sharp edges: they shone so brightly that they might have been polished. Maybe they were. Bree had no idea what dragons did in their spare time. Maybe they buffed and waxed their scales. They were gold, but warm—she knew because she reached out and ran her hand over one.

They were smooth and elegantly shaped, like armor made by a talented artisan.

Actually, she caressed it.

But this was his hide, and he growled low in his chest with pleasure at her touch. Bree felt the vibration of his voice and it made her body hum in response. Her heart skipped and she wondered how mortal women, inherently weaker than Valkyries, even survived a real firestorm.

Good thing she knew it was all a lie—and the sooner she got down to business, the better. Bree surreptitiously pulled her dagger, taking one last moment to savor the sensual power of the firestorm. She was hot and bothered, aroused and tingling. She felt good, even more invincible than ever, but she had a job to do. She’d get her satisfaction later.

Bree’s blade shone in the golden light of Maeve’s spell. She hesitated only a moment, then lifted the scale on his chest right in front of her and plunged the blade into his exposed flesh.

Red blood spurted and he gave a cry that was more of surprise than pain. Comparatively, the blade was small, but the wound would still hurt. She expected him to shred her and braced herself to fight. He sent a plume of dragonfire into the air and loosened his grip on her slightly. He swirled around and bent his head, lifting his claw, obviously intending to have a good look at her.

Bree took advantage of the opportunity to shift shape and slip between his talons, soaring high above him on her own wings. He stared at her in astonishment. She was much smaller than he was, and surprise was the only asset on her side. She had to attack his most vulnerable points. His eyes. She heard him exhale and then he reached for her, his slow smile of admiration doing nothing to bolster her resolve.

“A Valkyrie,” he saw with an awe that matched her own and Bree was the one surprised.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” she protested.

“Oh, but I do,” he said and his eyes glowed with pleasure. “What a worthy mate. What a gift unforeseen.” His satisfaction with the situation explained why he didn’t breathe fire.

Bree wasn’t going to be charmed. Not by a dragon. Not even by one who knew and respected what she was. She dove down at his golden talons, sliced at one of them but missed because he moved. He snatched at her, but she evaded him, slashing with her blade twice more and missing both times.

Infuriating, agile, majestic dragon! He dodged every blow and never retaliated. If he intended to tire her out, he’d wait a while. He seemed to want to study her. They flew in tight circles around each other, but no matter how often she stabbed, he slipped out of range. It was strange how certain she was that he wouldn’t hurt her, but she wasn’t going to be trapped and held captive all the same.

“How can this be?” he murmured, almost to himself, and she feared he would figure out that the firestorm wasn’t real. Dragons were supposed to be good at solving riddles. Something about the firestorm wasn’t adding up to him—he’d recognized what she was, so he must know more than the name of her kind.

She had to finish her task before he realized the firestorm was fake.

Bree ducked beneath his wings, flying so closely around him that her wings brushed against his scales. He spun in place, trying to keep her in sight, looking amused and intrigued. She ducked under his tail. He grabbed and she slipped through his talons again, then raced away from him. She flew as quickly as she could, beating her wings hard, knowing that he had the advantage of size.

She needed a place to take a stand, to compel him to fight. She needed a place to defeat him, and he was more agile than she’d expected in the air. If he’d just fight, she could injure him and Maeve’s warriors could imprison him.

The light of the firestorm faded with distance, letting Bree survey the landscape of Fae in its own endless twilight. There was a shimmer on the horizon, as if the sun had just set, but Bree knew there would be no stars overhead. No moon. No dawn. Fae was trapped forever in the gloaming.

She spotted a hill in the distance. Perfect! There had to be a Fae court beneath it, maybe the royal court. Bree headed for it with purpose. Her dragon gave chase, a flurry of sparks telling her that he was gaining on her. Bree looked back to find him perilously close behind her. He was breathing smoke and his eyes shone with intent. He reached out a claw and a spark flew between them, making her cry out when it touched her chest. Raw desire flowed through her veins, making her simmer so that she had a hard time thinking of anything other than seduction.

And satisfaction.

What would it be like? Her curiosity was perfectly natural.

Wasn’t it?

She watched the dragon smile slowly, as if he knew exactly what he’d done. She hoped she won this fight, otherwise he’d seduce her thoroughly. Under the influence of the firestorm, Bree had a hard time seeing that as a problem, but she knew that she had to remember her goal.

She had to defeat him to save Kara.

Magick wasn’t going to help her now.

And neither, she suspected, would Maeve.

Excerpt from Dragon’s Kiss Copyright ©2019 Deborah A. Cooke

Changed Publication Date

Dragon's Kiss, book #2 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeIf you’ve pre-ordered Dragon’s Kiss, you might have received a notification that the publication date has been moved to December 10.

I know that many of you will be disappointed by this, but trust me when I tell you it’s for the best. This book was slippery, possibly because it’s been a while since I wrote a book in the Dragonfire world. I had to work out what would be the same as the Dragonfire novels, what would be different, as well as how the Pyr from the first series would be involved in this new series. I had to figure out Fae, and Valkyries. No matter how well I plan these things, it’s in the writing that I make huge discoveries.

I was sure I had it, then I went to a conference and had so many new ideas that I had to integrate them all. I LOVE how Kristofer and Bree’s book has come together, but I want to make sure it goes out in the world the way it should. I don’t want to rush my editor, my proofreader, my cover artist (for the print edition) or my ARC team. I want you to feel like it was worth the wait to return to the Pyr.

Just two weeks delay. Trust me. 🙂

Read an Excerpt from Dragon’s Kiss

Dragon's Kiss, book #2 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeDragon shifter and Pyr warrior Kristofer follows the spark of his firestorm into Maeve’s dark realm, only to discover that it’s an illusion and a trap, not his firestorm at all. The fake mate who lures him into Fae is another species threatened by Maeve – Brianna is a Valkyrie, whose sister has been imprisoned by the dark queen. Brianna has to collect a Pyr soul to save her sister, but Kristofer doesn’t intend to die just yet. Trapped by Maeve, Kristofer and Brianna reluctantly join forces to save her sister—even when they discover that their skills are complementary, they know that there can be no future between a mortal Pyr and an immortal collector of souls. How much will either surrender to triumph over Maeve? And what will they do when the firestorm sparks in truth?

Coming November 26, 2019

Pre-order ebook at:
Books2Read Universal Link

Read an excerpt from Dragon’s Kiss

Amazon Pre-Order for Dragon’s Heart

Dragon's Heart, book 3 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeYesterday, Amazon extended the pre-order period available to indies from 90 days to 360. Woo HOO! I listed Dragon’s Heart right away, so you can order your copy at Amazon if that’s your portal of choice.

Dragon shifter Rhys follows the spark of the firestorm to his destined mate. He finds a selkie in distress, and is determined to defend her against Maeve’s plan, whether the firestorm is genuine or not. But how will he protect Lila when he can’t follow her into the ocean’s depths—yet Maeve and the Dark Fae can? Lila fears that Rhys is like all other men and just wants to control her—she’s vowed to never repeat that mistake again, but the firestorm’s power undermines everything she believes to be true. Could Rhys be Maeve’s pawn? How will Lila choose between her own kind and the dragon shifter who imperils himself to see her safe, even when out of his element?

Coming May 26, 2020

Pre-order ebook at:
Books2Read Universal Link

Changing DragonFate Publication Dates

Dragon's Kiss, book #2 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeI’ve moved the publication dates for the first three DragonFate novels.

In writing and publishing circles, there’s a lot of discussion about rapid release schedules, i.e. publishing linked books in rapid succession. While I think this is a good idea, it’s not my preferred way to work. I like to take a break from a given world and then come back to it with fresh eyes for the next book in the series. So, I’m going back to my tried and true, because I think I write better books that way.

Dragon’s Kiss will be published in November instead of October.

Dragon's Heart, book 3 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeThis is the last of the halo from Bad Case of Loving You requiring a big revision. You’ll notice that the publication date on this one won’t change until the end of September, but trust me, it’s a November release.

Dragon’s Heart will be published in May.

Dragon’s Mate will be published in October 2020. This date will remain incorrect at Nook until November, as pre-orders can’t be scheduled more than a year in advance at that portal. (I just learned that. Who knew?)

Here be Dragons, the Dragonfire Companion and guide to the paranormal romance series by Deborah CookeOn the upside, some other things can slide into the months in between. For example, Here Be Dragons: The Dragonfire Companion will be published on December 31. The pre-order links are populating now.

I want to put this one up for pre-order at Amazon at the end of September – they only allow 90 day pre-orders – so I’ll do that, and then move the pub date for Dragon’s Kiss. When I move the publication date for Dragon’s Kiss, Amazon will remove my ability to set up pre-orders, so first things first.