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A resident of Bayonne, NJ – the fabled birthplace of George R. R. Martin – Joseph Lallo is an unlikely entry into the world of literature. After a childhood spent daydreaming and reading, he fully intended to pursue a career in the tech sector. He received a Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering from NJIT, and subsequently got a job working IT for a large healthcare corporation. Things changed when, in January 2010, his friends finally convinced him to publish the story that had accumulated over the course of a decade of spare time. That story, now known as the Book of Deacon Trilogy, was a surprise hit, and once he got a taste of the world of indie writing, he was hooked. Now he splits his time between crunching numbers at his day job, writing novels at night, and writing articles and reviews for BrainLazy.com, a group blog he helps run. His latest novels are Bypass Gemini and Unstable Prototypes, the first two books of a science fiction series.

You can check out the fan-page for the Book of Deacon Trilogy here.

The Book of Deacon - Books 1 & 2 by Joseph Lallo

This special edition of The Book of Deacon combines the first two books of the trilogy into a single volume. It begins as the tale of Myranda Celeste, a young woman orphaned by a century long war, and her chance discovery of a fallen soldier's priceless cargo. The find will change her life, sending her on an adventure of soldiers and rebels, wizards and warriors, and beasts both noble and monstrous. Each step will bring her closer to the truth of her potential, of the war, and of the fate of her world.

The second in the Book of Deacon series, The Great Convergence, continues the tale of young Myranda. With the many lessons her journey has taught her and the steadfast resolve to see the end of the war that plagues her land, Myranda sets out to find and unite the five fated heroes, the Chosen. Each new warrior is a step closer to peace, but does she have the strength to survive the trials ahead?

In addition to combining the first two entries in the series, this edition has been fully revised and reformatted, breaking the story into chapters for first time.

 

REVIEWS

  • “Myranda is a strong female lead with a great presence and solid morals. At the same time, she has a lot of genuinely human fears and insecurities. As the book progresses, you see our character grow and blossom into a truly admirable woman. A woman that young female readers could really look up to. She also has a real bad ass streak buried in there somewhere just waiting to come out and you can feel it hiding under the surface whenever she has a really intense emotional moment. She has something for everyone, male and female readers alike.”

    –Pure Textuality
  • “It is also an incredibly good tale for both old and young. There is plenty of action and adventure. Joseph Lallo is one of those gifted persons that grabs hold of me. These authors are so much fun for an avid reader.”

    –Humanitysdarkerside.com
  • “Excellent plot, I was highly attached to all the characters, and there was even a bit of romance, though it didn't go overboard like so many other books. AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING. I will be reading these over and over for years to come.”

    –Amazon Reviews
 

BOOK PREVIEW

Chapter 10

Hours passed before her wits slowly returned to her. She became aware of a throbbing in her head and a heaviness on her chest. It must have been well into the afternoon, as the mouth of the cave was shrouded in shadow, leaving Myranda in near blackness. She tried to raise her left arm, but found it pinned down somehow. A brief attempt to use her right arm reminded her quite forcefully of its malady. She managed to wrestle her arm out from beneath whatever had held it down. Her first act was to feel the back of her throbbing head.

Satisfied when she felt no blood, only a nasty lump, she turned her one useful arm to the task of identifying the cause of the heaviness on her chest. Whatever it was, it was smooth and hard, like a stone or piece of wood. It was also large. As large as her thigh, and roughly the same shape. Had a piece of the roof fallen? No, it was not as heavy as a like-sized piece of stone. The surface of the object was covered with small, overlapping areas. As she ran her fingers over it, giving special attention to a raised, rougher area, she felt the entire object shift. It pressed toward her fingers, then dropped back down heavily. The movement concluded with a soft puff of warm air across her face.

Myranda held her breath as her heart raced. Now she remembered where she was. She was in a dragon's cave, and that left very little doubt as to what had laid its head upon her chest. Despite her best efforts, she began to tremble in fear. The creature seemed not to mind, the deep, rhythmic breaths on her face leading her to believe it had drifted back to sleep.

With her one healthy arm, Myranda set about the task of escaping her predicament. She slid her hand underneath the head, finding it mercifully light enough to lift. Slowly and smoothly as she could manage, she tried to lower the beast's head to the cave floor beside her. After an interminable sequence of awkward movements, she succeeded in doing so without waking it. She rolled off of the packs, still affixed to her back, and slammed down hard on the injured shoulder. The pain was intense, but she managed to remain silent. Another few tricky movements brought her to her feet, heart still pounding in her chest.

Myranda cast a glance at the spot next to where she'd been lying, only to find that the weak rays of sun that made it this far into the cave were falling on an empty floor. Her panicked search for the creature was ended when she felt something rub against her right hand. She was startled, pulling her hand away and looking desperately for the culprit. There beside her, sitting on its haunches, was a small dragon, staring back at her. Myranda froze. This creature was barely a fifth the size of the ones she'd seen earlier, perhaps the size of a large dog--but if it chose to, it could certainly reduce her to a bloody meal in seconds.

A long moment passed before one of the two moved again. The beast took the initiative. It walked to her left side and reared onto its hind legs briefly, brushing its head across her hand. Not knowing what else to do, and eager to prevent the creature from rearing up again, she dropped her hand to her side. The dragon swiftly thrust its head into her palm. The feeling of the ridges above its eyes brushing against her fingers for the third time made her realize what the animal was after. She stroked the dragon's brow. It sat beside her, pushing back with every stroke.

So, you like that? Myranda thought.

With little else to do, Myranda stroked the beast and thought. It had the feminine features of the smaller dragon. All in all it was a near perfect miniature of the beast that must have been its mother. Its head was more or less waist-level for Myranda, and from tail to nose it might be as long as she was tall. It had wings delicately folded on its back, still moist from hatching. The eyes were reptilian slits in a beautiful gold iris. A larger, thick scale swept back from the creature's forehead, clearly distinguishing where the head began with an almost crown-like flourish.

The forelegs, now that she could get a fair look at them, were indeed very much like her own arms. The paws in particular were like hands, though each toe was stouter, and tapered into a nasty-looking claw. Despite this, the creature's flexing and scratching at the ground betrayed a near-human level dexterity. As the creature enjoyed its stroking more and more, it scratched harder and harder at the stone floor, scoring lines into it with ease. The contentment was further evidenced, it would seem, by the curling of the tail. It writhed about with snake-like motion. In her fascination, Myranda forgot that the natural masterpiece beside her was still an enormous danger. If she tried to run it would certainly chase her and easily catch her. She carried no weapon with which to fight it, though she doubted she could bring herself to harm the beautiful creature even if she had. Worse yet, either of the two larger dragons could return at any moment. Something had to be done.

In an act of pure optimism, Myranda tried to simply walk away, hoping to escape without rousing any of the creature's more predatory instincts. The dragon merely followed, stopping when she stopped and continuing when she did. This would not do. With all other options exhausted, she turned to reason.

"Listen," she said, turning to address the dragon directly. It was startled at first by the sound of Myranda's voice, so she lowered it to a whisper. "I am very glad you like me. I like you, too, but you can't follow me. You see, I am afraid you might not be so kind when your stomach starts to rumble. At that point, I fear I will be little more than a wounded animal to you, which I am sure you will find quite tasty."

The little dragon stared back. She took another step, and the beast followed. Myranda sighed and looked around the cave. The evidence of the clash between the two dragons earlier was in no short supply. Deep gashes in the rock were littered about the walls and floor. Pools and spatters of thick, dark blood painted whole sections of the poorly-lit cave. She could not help but wonder how she had managed to escape injury. The whole of the cave had been their battleground, and she had been helpless in the center. Regardless, her luck could not afford to be pushed any further.

"I know you just hatched, and you might not know this yet, but you have a mother. She is very large, clearly very protective, and I do not want her to get the wrong idea about me. Just stay here and let me leave. That way you and I can both continue living. Please?" she begged.

The dragon stared back innocently, but followed again when Myranda tried to leave. She turned back.

"Please, you need to stay here. If you don't, someone will come looking for you and find me. You must have brothers and sisters. Don't you want to stay with them? Why don't I just take you back to where you hatched? Then you can see your family again and you will forget all about me. If I am lucky they will still be asleep and I won't be torn to shreds," she said.

Myranda took a deep breath and turned her back to the cave's mouth. Darkness became more and more complete. Before long, she found herself feeling along the wall, muttering about how insane she was for doing this. A few minutes had passed and she had traveled far into the cave when she kicked something. Feeling for it, she found a piece of wood with oily cloth on the end. A torch! Without questioning why such a thing could be found in a dragon's cave, she blindly retrieved the flint and lit it.

The light of the torch revealed a grizzly scene. The contents of a pack identical to her own were scattered about the floor. Against one wall, the pulverized remains of a human skeleton lay on the floor, scorched black. Myranda shuddered at the sight of it. A twinkle drew her gaze to a bag against the opposite wall. It had been torn, leaving its contents strewn about the floor. Silver coins.

"This does not bode well," she said, her heart beating so hard she could fairly hear it echo. "At least we know what happened to Rankin. He didn't run after all."

A minute or so more walking brought her to what she had been both dreading and searching for, but it was not what she expected. The floor was stained with blood, and a pile of gold objects lay before her. The smashed shells of half a dozen dragon eggs lay nestled among the gold pitchers, scepters, and coins. Their contents were never given a chance at life. Only one egg was empty, the one egg that had been spared. Tears welled in her eyes as she cast light upon the faithful mother. It lay, battered and torn, curled up around the egg that the young dragon beside her had hatched from just hours ago. It moved no more, succumbed to its wounds after driving the attacker away.

The tears ran down Myranda's face. Hours ago, it had seemed a monster, but it was now a fallen hero. Her home had been invaded, her family had been destroyed, and her life had been given, all for the precious gift that now looked over the tragedy with the innocent eyes of a newborn. The hatchling was too young to understand the sight before it, yet somehow Myranda sensed some sorrow in the creature, as though it knew what had occurred. She turned to the young dragon, tears still in her eyes.

"You are an orphan, just like me," Myranda said, kneeling to come eye to eye with the beast. "If you and I are to share the same plight, we may as well share it together. I know how empty the world can be when you are alone."

She dropped the torch and hugged the little dragon about the neck. It seemed pleased at the attention, regardless of the cause. Myranda then retrieved the torch, wiped away her tears, and headed back toward the cave's mouth, dragon in tow.