I have bought my plane tickets for Christmas. This is all very adult, both because I bought them in advance and because I’m actually going to fly this time, despite the little pile of neurosis I become around plane travel. (Before the advent of modern chemistry, I left little fingernail divots in the armrests each time we hit turbulence.) Like many people, I’m going home to see my family, to stay in the house where I spent much of my childhood, and to practice the traditions that have been a part of my life for a long time.
The Highland Dragon’s Lady isn’t actually a holiday story, but it too is about going home and encountering the past; it’s about reunions, and how they both defy and highlight transformation.
We leave the place where we came from, most of us. We go away, we change—and sometimes we don’t even know how deep or wide those changes are until we come back. The things and people we leave behind change too, of course, even if we don’t expect that change, or want it. Sometimes it takes a touch of the familiar to realize just how different everything’s become.
Sometimes, too, you don’t realize just how much things have stayed the same, or how easy it is to slip back into the person you were. Stephen King points out, in Danse Macabre, how you see this at high school reunions: a few drinks and the class clown will be telling his old jokes, the accountant who used to play in a band will try a guitar solo, and so forth. The same is true for families. To some extent, maybe, your old identity is always there waiting for you, needing only the right place or the right company to bring it back.
The past is resilient.
This can be a good thing—for me, and for many people going home in the next few months, it’ll be comfortable to slip back into the familiar, hopefully approaching it with a little more maturity (not to mention a little more fashion sense, in my case). For a woman like Reggie, with present conflicts and memories that she’d really rather not have, going home again is a much more mixed experience, even before the murderous ghosts come out.
Colin, as well as being a pleasant distraction and good company, is also a symbol for Reggie: ancient in years yet a thoroughly modern man of the world, a handsome human man who can also be a giant dragon, he defies the notion that you have to stay who you were.
(This is what happens when you major in English: you start out all “oh, shapeshifting dragons with cute accents,” and then you start analyzing things after the fact. I also can interpret Little Shop of Horrors as a Freudian construct, but that’s not as relevant.)
Title: The Highland Dragon’s Lady
Series: Highland Dragons
Author: Isabel Cooper
Pubdate: December 2, 2014
He’s Out of the Highlands and on the Prowl...
Regina Talbot-Jones has always known her rambling family home was haunted. She’s also aware her brother has invited one of his friends to attend an ill-conceived séance. She didn’t count on that friend being so handsome…and she certainly didn’t expect him to be a dragon.
Younger son of a family of shapeshifting dragons, Highlander Colin MacAlasdair has lived a life free of both family duty and mortal cares. Moving in and out of human society as he wishes, he takes very little seriously—until Regina drops onto his balcony one midnight, catching his attention and his interest. She’s like no mortal he’s ever met, and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to get her out of his head.
Bound by circumstance, drawn by the fire awakening inside of them, Colin and Regina must work together to defeat a vengeful spirit—and discover whether their growing love is powerful enough to defy convention.
The Highland Dragons Series:
Legend of the Highland Dragon
The Highland Dragon’s Lady
Night of the Highland Dragon
Isabel Cooper lives in Boston with her boyfriend and a houseplant she’s kept alive for over a year now. She maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager working in legal publishing. She only travels through time the normal way and has never fought a demon, but she can waltz. For more visit isabelcooper.wordpress.com.