Literary Lagniappe

Bloopers, bonus features, and behind the scenes views from all your favorite romances

Easier the Second Time Around? by Helen B. Henderson


Thanks for having me at the Lagniappe! Today, I’m excited to share the story of how my latest release evolved. Dragon Destiny is the tale of the dragshi, beings who are more than just a man or woman, but two identities—one a dragon, the other a human. And like its characters, the romance-laden fantasy has a dual nature. The tale took form as a short story and at one point was a lesson in a writing class.

The reason for the title of the post? The original short story took a second turn around. As is sometimes the case, the characters refused to leave and after I received a contract for my debut novel Windmaster, Lord Branin and the dragon soul Llewlyn clamored for attention. Since no one denies a dragon’s wishes (at least not more than once) I listened to their tales, capturing them as quickly as my fingers could scribe. Once I got over the excitement (or was it fear?) of dealing with a dragon, it was fun. Llewlyn even granted an interview or two.

But that is not the only unique aspect of Dragon Destiny’s creation. The short story helped a recovering coma patient regain her ability to read. Then, several years later, the full-length novel served as a reward for the same person during their rehabilitation after knee replacement surgery. Each week after completing her physical therapy she was presented with the next chapter. That helped keep her enthusiasm up. The staff fussed over her because she was the only person there with a personalized novel.

When I started writing, telling a good tale was sufficient. Nowadays, readers expect more–that characters change in some way, whether for the good or the bad. Ensuring the necessary depth of characters challenges me. And here is the other reason for the post’s title.

Anastasia was a young girl in the short story. However, the second time around, the heroine in the novel had to be much older to be a suitable love interest for Lord Branin. This presented a difficult task. The real Anastasia was still a child and that was how she lived in my mind. But, I knew if she was not presented well, her mother and grandmother (both of whom are several inches taller than me) might express their displeasure with a strategically placed size nine shoe. Of course, having to rise to the task took the work to a higher level.

Now that I’ve revealed some of the behind the scenes tales of Dragon Destiny, here’s a taste of the story itself. Oh yes, one last thing. Lord Branin and Llewlyn still soar the skies about Cloud Eyrie. Three more books in the Dragshi Chronicles are completed and awaiting their time to fly.


Dragon Destiny by Helen Henderson
The dragshi are more than just a man or woman, but two beings—one a dragon, the other a human. Branin and his dragon soul twin Llewlyn share one body in space in time and are able to change forms with the other at will. From the time Llewlyn awoke, Branin knew the freedom of flight. However, being a shifter came with a price. He and Llewlyn are the only two of their kind who have not found their intended mates, despite millennia of waiting… and searching.

When a faint thought impinged on Branin’s mind, hope for an ending to eons of loneliness soared. Plagued by doubts because no signs of a dragon shifter’s birth have been seen, he searches the world for the mysterious girl he only knows by the name, Anastasia.

Dragon Destiny’s Buy Links:

Amazon: (Coming soon to paperback)
Barnes & Noble:

*Giveaway: So tell me, if you could take on dragon form, where would you fly to? Comment below and I will give one lucky winner a PDF of the fantasy novel, Imprisoned in Stone. Contest ends at 11:59PM EDT on 3/30.
henderson 300dpiAuthor Bio: A former feature-story writer and correspondent, Henderson has also written fiction as long as she could remember. Her heritage reflects the contrasts of her Gemini sign. She is a descendent of a coal-miner’s daughter and an aviation flight engineer. This dichotomy shows in her writing which crosses genres from historical adventures and westerns to science fiction and fantasy. In the world of romantic fantasy she is the author of two series: the Dragshi Chronicles and the Windmaster novels.
You can find Helen on the web at:




Author: emilycale

Erotic romance writer. Runs on caffeine and wine. Don't feed after midnight.

4 thoughts on “Easier the Second Time Around? by Helen B. Henderson

  1. Hi, Helen,

    Thanks for sharing this with us! I love shapeshifter romances. The story sounds intriguing. Best wishes.

    • Hi Jackie. Writing Dragon Destiny was fun. And with two different entities able to control the body, added a unique dimension. What if one lost control of their emotions and took cover the body at an inconvenient moment?

  2. Great post, Helen! Thanks so much for hanging out with us today!

  3. I appreciate you having me. I can’t wait to find out who wins the contest. Helen

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