Heart of a Dragon

This page is an introduction to the Book.io NFT Edition on Cardano. These are a new breed of collectible eBooks. There will be a large number of unique covers. They are broken up by themes from the book. Some are very rare, and the covers will only appear on one NFT edition ever. Others are less rare. What I will do here is to write a short paragraph or two about why I chose each of the cover Themes. I will also post one of the covers for each.

Heart of a Dragon will be the first book. Donovan learns from a local source that Ana Cabrera, who owns a local occult shop and dabbles in Voodoo, is meddling with things she should not. The Dragons, a local motorcycle gang, get into a fight with another gang, Los Escorpiones, but something is wrong. Very wrong. They are too strong, too fast, and they don’t seem to stay down.

This will be the truly rare group of covers. This is not the rarest and I’m not revealing numbers because not sure the “rulez” on that. The Mage, of course, is Donovan. The book starts with Donovan in his den, with Cleo. The den has bookshelves absolutely overflowing onto piles of books in boxes lined in front. Other shelves contain boxes, bottles, trinkets, etc. He has a Tiffany style lamp that has all the branches and colors of the tree of life from The Kabbala – and a big fireplace with a mantle. Since this book, and this series, is about Donovan DeChance, first and foremost, I chose him for the rarest covers.


This group is almost as rare as THE MAGE. In the novel, the Motorcycle Gang THE DRAGONS meet a young artist. When Jake meets him, he sees that the dragon Salvatore is drawing on the sidewalk makes him think of one of his “brothers” in the club. The gist of it is, there is a dimension, a world where only dragons live. The dragons are in some way linked to the MC – but on a one-on-one basis. Each is a particular dragon. There is a point where one of the Dragons MC loses his brother. Against warnings, he takes the jacket Salvatore painted. The curse is one of the most emotional moments in the book.


This novel, like so many I have written, takes place in one of the cities I’ve made up. All of them are loosely based on places I’ve lived, or seen. Heart of a Dragon takes place in San Valencez, California (based on San Diego). In the city there is a Latino quarter called The Barrio. Nearby is an occult shop run by a woman named Anna Cabrera. Anna is a priestess who practices a local, hybrid version of Voodoo, and she’s discovered a secret. It’s dangerous, and it’s crazy, but – like evil priestesses do – she ignores that. She’s looked up to by the community, feared by many, and she has a strong connection to a Latino Motorcycle club / street gang called Los Escorpiones. Los Escorpiones do not like The Dragons.


Anyone familiar with this series knows Amethyst, Donovan’s lover, partner, and more often than not savior. Amethyst is a master of Earth magic, stones, crystals, amulets, and she has provided Donovan with some seriously powerful charms from time to time. In the course of this novel, though, she falls into a very dangerous position. It involves dark magic and sacrifice, and Donovan is faced with near certain death to saver her. It’s a pivotal moment and the best way to introduce Amethyst into the covers.


I almost called this THE ARTIST, but decided against it. Salvatore Domingo Sanchez is a young Latino boy who mostly lives on the street. He is an artist, and one of those who looks out for him is an old shaman, sorcerer named Martinez. Martinez catches a spark of something special in the boy’s art, so he feeds him and helps him when he can. When Salvator has a chance meeting with some of the Dragosns MC – on the same day the bikers come to ask Old Martinez for help, that spark becomes a slow burning flame. What Martinez doesn’t realize is that he’s underestimated the boy’s potential, and that before all is said and done, he would become something so unexpected even Donovan would be amazed. Many, many years ago I wrote the short story “In His Heart Live Dragons”. There was no Donovan DeChance then. The story was published in Deathrealm Magazine and never let me go, so it became a novel.


In Voodoo ceremonies (which I learned some things about from my old, sadly departed friend Hugh B. Cave, who owned a coffee plantation in the Blue Hills of Jamaica, and who walked across Haiti and was allowed to visit those ceremonies) celebrants are often possessed by the loa – gods, spirits, who knows? One that is very familiar is Papa Legba, who allows the possessed to drink impossible amounts of Rum, smoke cigars and other things with no effects after. In this novel, Ana Cabrera wants to summon those spirits, but she does not want to let them go. She wants an army – a dark army – and caging gods in human bodies is a very dicey proposition. There is a ceremony in the novel in the hollowed out center of a junkard… these covers are dedicated to that.


There are actually two scenes in the book that this could represent, but they are very different, and bookend the novel. Both take place in a park near The Barrio in San Valencez. Both involve The Dragons MC, and Los Escorpiones. I am not going to give away the odd circumstances of either of these battles, but I will note that they are pivotal, and that the outcome of the first is what sends Jake, one of the members of The Dragons, MC, to visit Old Martinez.


This crosses over two things. Salvatore not only paints dragons, he dreams of them. In his dreams he visits another place, of dark towers, huge dragons – no people. The dreams become more and more real as h is gift draws him into the huge conflict. Salvatore is a very innocent, very naive boy, but he is honest, and true. San Valencez is also darkening, as waves of darkness flow out of The Barrio. These covers represent both dimensions being drawn together through the dreams and actions of one boy.


While the body of the story is about The Dragons, and Los Escorpiones, the supernatural elements clearly require a confrontation. There are a lot of different forces aiding Donovan, but Anna Cabrera has an army, and they are decidedly not human. The ending is complex, so I chose one instance – where Donovan and Amethyst face off with Anna herself in the park for this series of covers. They will be the most common, but I believe the artwork is very cool, and the scene it depicts is one of my favorites of all those I’ve written.



People who know me know that I’m not much of a fan of H. P. Lovecraft. The man, or his writing. However, the rich universe he created that has been used so brilliantly by others has caught my eye more than once. Ten percent of the copies of Heart of a Dragon will contain the novella “The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & the Dun WHAT? Horror.”

When Donovan DeChance gets a letter from one Jedediah Whately requesting a missing page from an ancient book, alarm bells go off. That book? The Necrinomicon. And the name, Whateley, also rings bells. Donovan heads over to Old Mill, North Carolina in search of his friend and sometimes companion Cletus. J. Diggs, investigator, tabloid journalist, ordained minister and just about anything else you can imagine. Cletus has problems of his own. Someone is stealing cattle off of local ranches, in particular a double-D Goddam ALPACA ranch, and Cletus has been asked to look into it. With Cletus, Donovan’s cat familiar Cleo, and his raven Asmodeus, and Cletus’ dog… DOG… they gather in local sheriff Bob who has also seen a thing or two and find themselves enmeshed in a whole can of occult whupass. This was originally published in the anthology Tales of Yog Sothoth.