Writing under the pen name V.J.O. Gardner, Valerie is an award wining author of full length fractured fairy tale fantasy novels. She has self published Blood of Ancient Kings which won an award in the very first contest she had ever entered. Her second book, Dracona’s Rebirth, is published by Ink Smith Publishing.
Always fastinated by both medieval times and sci-fi she was an avid reader and enjoyed a wide variety of literature and authors. She began writing in in the late 1980’s after graduating from Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, where she studied Fantasy Lit and Writing. Valerie is a member of the League of Utah Writers. Although she thought she was writing a short story when she began Dracona’s Rebirth it blossomed into the full novel it is today.
The good values Valerie was brought up with she instilled both in her children and in her writing. One of her first professional reviews commented that the story reminded him of the Boy Scout Law. While Valerie has been both a Boy Scout leader and a Girl Scout leader the story was written before then.
Valerie also makes adorable custom shoulder dragon stuffies.
Tales of Asculum
A group of refugees stranded in the hostile snow covered north divide up hoping to find shelter on this world they call Asculum. All of the dragons and some of the people fly south in search of warmer climates while the rest of the people face a journey they are ill prepared for. They are lost and freezing as their leader urges them forward through the blizzard into the mountains for as a seer she knows that they will find temporary shelter there. They manage to stumble out of the snows into a paradise created by a ring of active volcanoes. Their magical talents become vital in building a city they name Glynis.
As they begin to settle into their new home their leader sends out small scouting parties to discover who inhabits this world. They find that while the people of Asculum look very much like them, they are a short lived primitive people. The people of Glynis learn what they can from these people without revealing that their past and magical abilities. They begin to make wagons and carriages for cargo and people. They even learn to make and use swords along with bows and arrows they’ve seen the people of Asculum using. As the people of Glynis search for a new home away from the volcanoes that could destroy their valley their past is forgotten.
It is in this environment that the Tales of Asculum are set. Each book is meant to be a standalone book involving a particular region of the planet and the characters that inhabit that region.
You would think the life of a prince would be great, but for the crown prince of Brinley that’s far from the truth. The only others near his age in the palace are children of the servants who all tease him for having no name. When he goes into the military he must conceal his identity but finally gains some friends. When he is sent to deliver a message to the overthrown tyrant King Burkhart he falls in love with the one woman he knows he can’t have.
Aurita knows everyone hates her and her father but everyone is forbidden to tell her why. What she does know is that for her and her father the village is their prison and to leave seals their deaths. King Langward controls their lives including who she will marry when she is of age but he is kind to her. When King Langward’s son sends her a gift her father teaches her to read and write so she can send him a note to thank him. They begin to exchange letters. As the years pass she looks forward to the letters she gets from the prince but doesn’t dare admit she has fallen in love with him. When she meets the handsome corporal sent to deliver a message to her father her heart is torn between him and the prince.
The last Lord of Dracona is a lonely man with a dark past who is thrust into unexpected responsibilities. He lives alone in an empty castle in the center of the deserted town of Dracona. He faces tasks that he has no hope of accomplishing on his own and no one to turn to for help. Lord Dracona’s story includes a nation in search of the answer to an ancient riddle and another nation in the grip of a tyrant king. When he falls in love with a mysterious woman he goes from desperate for companionship and purpose to overwhelmed by new responsibilities as new citizens begin to arrive.
The new King of Burton is in search of a wife but is dissatisfied with the spoiled princesses sent by neighboring kingdoms to court him. At a dear friend’s funeral he falls in love with a beautiful servant girl that had a life of slavery and abuse. Through their love and perseverance they are able to unite several kingdoms in peace.
In the dying kingdom of Mannton women are not treated as people. They work for scraps of food and sleep on woven mats that will become their burial wrappings. This all changes after Li is purchased by the king to provide him an heir. He soon finds that she is no ordinary woman.
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