Advent Calendar

For a story every day until Christmas, click here!

Advent Christmas stories Advent Calendar Katharina Gerlach

 

If you open door number one, you’ll find a very special Christmas story from me. I’m happy to be part of this Christmas Advent Calendar, created by Katharina Gerlach, a German author who has written over sixty books!

Each year, for the 25 days leading up to Christmas, I get the stories in my inbox from all over the world. These are a great way to get in the Christmas spirit. Feel free to Share this calendar and spread the joy of Christmas across the world.

Pssst: You can subscribe above the calendar on the top right corner.

Have fun reading. I hope you like my story.

Finalists in Romance Writer’s Contest

Eileen Mueller Romance Writers NZ Chapter Short Story Contest

I crawled into my bed, ruing the budget accommodation I’d hastily booked a few days before. Romance was the last thing on my mind. The bed shook, the walls throbbed and the screaming in the room next door would inspire the horror writers at Lexicon, the Science Fiction and Fantasy convention down the road – not to mention the manic laughter that followed every gut-curdling cry. (On second thoughts, maybe the horror writers were next door?)

Was it the rabid dancing downstairs that was making my mattress shake and undulate? Or just the music? Perhaps the band were part banshee…

Walking the dark streets of Taupo, I’d felt safer as I approached the drunks outside the nightclubs and bars under my hotel – better than the vehicle with tinted windows that had crawled past, peering at me.  But with the whole place about to implode, I did what every writer does at 1 a.m. when there’s a party on downstairs.

I joined the melee on the dance floor and gyrated my heart out.

Nah, don’t be silly. Why waste an opportunity to write? I turned on my laptop. Okay, for a moment I did consider dancing, but hey, alone in a strange town with no one to knock on the door and demand dinner, a driving lesson, or a taxi service… why not write?

But sometimes the best intentions get waylaid and emails get in the way. But that day, yay, hooray, for emails!!!!

That very first email told me I was a finalist in the Romance Writers New Zealand Chapter Short Story Contest. Wow! Woot! Yay!!! 🙂

Celebration time! Yep, so I danced, but only in my room!

Bright and early, just a couple of hours later, one of my critique partners texted me to tell me she was a finalist too! Double reason to dance. Charlotte Jardine’s story is a classic contemporary romance that warms my heart each time I read it – nostalgia, summer days and golden sand.

Mine stars young adults with tricky pasts learning to trust again – and leather and fast motorbikes.

Both are set near the sea. So here’s a photo of the Charlotte and I near our local beach! (Actually, it’s been rainy this week, so this is a photo of us indoors!) We’re very lucky. Everywhere in New Zealand has a local beach – or thirty! And the contest? Well, all five finalists are waiting to hear back from the judge, who happens to be the editor for a well-known English Women’s magazine!!

YUSS!!! 

**fist-pumps! Then coughs**   Ahem, excuse the YA-speak!

2017 Sir Julius Vogel Award – Best New Talent

Sir Julius Vogel Best New Talent 2017I was absolutely thrilled – and more than a little speechless – to receive a 2017 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best New Talent at Lexicon, the New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy National convention. The full 2017 SJV awards list is here.

SJV Taupo Lexicon (1)With the deep blue backdrop of Lake Taupo, and snow-tipped ranges across the water, the setting for Lexicon was magical. Ninety teenage writers attended workshops on Friday and boggled us with their talent. A weekend full of interesting panels, discussions, impromptu meetups with writers and fun social activities kept me on my toes. Not to mention the last-minute accommodation booking I made without realizing my bed was situated above a nightclub. It was actually above a nightclub AND three bars, the only nightlife in Taupo!! Yes, I was dancing all night – even in my asleep.Sir Julus Vogel Award Eileen Mueller Grace Bridges

Even though I was on the shortlist, it was still a nerve-wracking process waiting through the ballot and having that envelope opened on stage in front of my eyes. Then there was that long moment: sitting, stunned, while people nudged me to get to my feet!

Sir Julius Vogel Award Lee Murray Eileen MuellerThank you to my wonderful readers for nominating me. And thank you to everyone who has supported my writing – by beta reading, believing in me, critiquing my work and brainstorming plot fixes. Thanks to my publishers, The Fairytale Factory and Phantom Feather Press, they’re great! I’d also like to thank the New Zealand speculative fiction community, Romance Writers New Zealand and Holly Lisle’s online writing community.

My critique groups deserve a proper mention. I’m lucky, I have two. Monkey Lab: Alicia Ponder, Charlotte Kieft, Michelle Child and Peter Friend; & Clarke’s Critters: Lee Murray, Simon Fogarty and Alicia Ponder. Everyone needs a tribe, so thanks for being mine. You’re all more than critique partners, you’re wonderful friends.

Sir Julius Vogel 2017 Winners
2017 Sir Julius Vogel Award Winners

Call of the Sea

At The Edge anthologyCall of the Sea – Living Through Loss

Thirteen years ago today, my son died. He was half of fraternal twins – the healthy half. His twin sister had been chronically ill for two years, and I had been housebound caring for her. Tough times for an extrovert.

After her recovery, we had a normal life for three months, out & about with the twins and their older brother. Having fun.

Then Tommy died, overnight of strep A.

Plunged into an abyss, I had to keep mothering, keep going for my kids. I’m so thankful I had them to wake up to. My husband and I clung to each other in an ocean of grief. Our family was our life raft. The community rallied around us, keeping us afloat. It was fourteen months before I laughed again. Two years before I felt anywhere near normal. Our family would never be the same again.

We now have four healthy kids and one somewhere ‘on the other side.’

My story, Call of the Sea, in the At the Edge anthology, explores how easily people lose their sense of identity when they lose a child. In order to survive, we need to be nurtured. Kendra, estranged from her cheating ex-husband, doesn’t get this support. As her life disintegrates, she journeys to the edge of insanity. Or is she sane? Maybe the rest of the world just can’t see what she does.

Tiny excerpts from Call of the Sea:

From the first scene…At the Edge_front cover

“Wind moans through the tunnel on the deserted playground. The ropes on the massive climbing frame jerk. Grey waves thrash the shore, flinging spray over the naked sand. The Pōhutukawa dance, the silver underskirts of their dark green leaves flashing, like shy debutantes ‒ as if to tempt an unsuspecting fool into loving them.
My hands itch for a brush and canvas.
Breathing deeply, I shove the swing harder than I need to.
“Higher, Mum,” Aihe calls, swinging her legs for momentum. But she doesn’t get far. The gale is against us.”

… and from the second scene…

“Is that Mr Lenton?” a woman’s gravelly voice asks. “Mr Terry Lenton?”
Mr? Definitely not work. “Speaking.”
“This is Inspector Turner of Wellington Central Police.”
Terry clears his throat. “Yes?”
“Sir, we have your children in custody.”
“What? My kids!” Terry’s pulse bounds, fork clanking onto his plate.
“Could you come down to the station right away, please?”
“What’s happened? Where’s Kendra?”
“We were hoping you could tell us.”


At the Edge
available from 1 June 2016 on Amazon

Step up, as close as you dare…

…to a place at the edge of sanity, where cicadas scritch across balmy summer nights,
at the edge of town, where the cell phone coverage is decidedly dodgy,
at the edge of space, where a Mimbinus argut bounds among snowy rocks,
at the edge of the page, where demon princes prance in the shadows,
at the edge of despair, where 10 darushas will get you a vodka lime and a ring-side seat,
at the edge of the universe, where time stops but space goes on…

From the brink of civilisation, the fringe of reason, and the border of reality, come 22 stories infused with the bloody-minded spirit of the Antipodes, tales told by the children of warriors and whalers, convicts and miners: people unafraid to strike out for new territories and find meaning in the expanses at the edge of the world.

Compiled by award-winning editing team Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray, and including a story by Arthur C. Clarke finalist Phillip Mann and introduction by World Fantasy Award winner Angela Slatter, At the Edge is a dark and dystopic collection from some of Australia and New Zealand’s best speculative writers.

At the Edge will be launched next weekend at Au Contraire 2106, the National New Zealand Convention of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Dragon Tales is live!

Dragon Tales is live on Amazon!

Dragon Tales by Eileen Mueller
Dragon Tales – short stories for kids

Happy New Year! Well, we finally got here. 2015 is fading and 2016 beckons on the horizon. This has been a hectic year, and the holiday season has been no exception!

My latest book, Dragon Tales, has just been released by Phantom Feather Press. Dragon Tales, a collection of dragon-themed stories for kids, will be at a special introductory price of $0.99 for the next few days, so family and friends can grab a bargain before the price goes up. Available on Amazon.

Whether you’re looking for a nip, a nibble, or a chomp-sized story, wing your way to an adventure with Dragon Tales.

Dragon, dragons and more dragons… modern dragons, medieval dragons and dragons in unexpected places! The full Dragon Tales blurb is here.

I wish you a happy start to the New Year and a great 2016. May many great books come your way! If you’d like to know when my new books are out, sign up for reader updates!

The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales Book Launch

The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales is about to hit the shelves and is already a rip-roaring success. Many happy readers have pre-ordered books, cards and e-books using the Pledge Me Twisty Christmas page. If you want to have a peek, there is only an hour to go before Pledge Me closes.

Thanks to all our wonderful supporters for helping us to reach our goals.

Invitation Twisty ChristmasIf you’d like to come along to our Best of Twisty Christmas Tales book launch, feel free to download an invitation here: Twisty-Christmas-Invitation  We’d love to see you at The Children’s Bookshop on Thursday 13 November at 6pm, to join in the fun. (Address is on the invitation.)

To join our Facebook event – for both the print and e-book launches, sign in here.

The e-book is available on Amazon on pre-order. For those who love e-books, this is great for us, as pre-orders boost our Amazon rankings immensely! Thanks again for your support!

See you at the launch – with Twisty Christmas music, nibbles, drinks, art and books galore! A great start to the festive season!

Lost in the Museum Hits the Headlines!

Te Papa stories
Tim Jones and Eileen Mueller are Lost In The Museum, or outside it! Photo by Ross Giblin, used with permission of Fairfax Media NZ – 629542114.

Lost in The Museum was featured in the Dominion Post last weekend, on the Capital Day page. Both Tim Jones and I had fun in the glaring sun with the fresh Wellington wind creating new hairstyles and making our eyes water! What a photo! Brilliant!

The Cook Strait News also ran an article last Monday. I know that Dannevirke News mentioned Lost In The Museum with Lyn McConchie featured as their local author and that other newspapers are also keen on this quirky collection which is is set in our national iconic museum, Te Papa Tongarewa — NZ’s home of national treasures.

Behind Lost In The Museum is a great team who has put in long hours, selecting stories, editing them, formatting, proof-reading and typesetting.  I’d personally like to thank Alicia Ponder and Lorraine Williams for accepting my stories and providing great editing feedback, to Mary MacCallum for her editorial input and keen eye, and to everyone who helped in the book production.

Our cover artist, Geoff Popham, did a brilliant cover. Everyone comments on it! We look forward to working with such a talented young artist again. William Carden-Horton added richness to the anthology with his offbeat illustrations.

Thanks to all the authors. It’s an honor to have my work in an anthology with yours!

Check out the articles! Or this review on Beattie’s Blog. Lost In The Museum can be purchased from NZ bookstores, or from Amazon.

Lost In The Museum DomPost
Lost In The Museum in the Dominion Post
Cook Strait News features Lost In The Museum
Cook Strait News features Lost In The Museum

 

 

Lost In The Museum – Review

Copies of Lost in The Museum are zipping off the shelves.

Lost In The Musuem
Lost In The Museum by Phoenix Writers, quirky YA fantasy stories in Te Papa, NZ’s national museum.

Beattie’s Blog, the cornerstone blog of the New Zealand literary world, has just posted a great review of Lost In The Museum by Lee Murray! Pop over and see it!

Lost In The Museum is available from all good bookstores. Retrospace in Auckland and The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie, Wellington are two of my favourite stores that stock Lost In The Musuem!

Join in the fun and read some great work from Wellington authors, new and famous! Enjoy these mad capers, zipping around Te Papa!

Ebook

Just in case you’re not one to lug around paper books, the ebook will be out next Monday, 9 June 2014!

A huge thank you to Phoenix Science Fiction Society and Wellington Creative Communities for their support.

Back Cover Blurb

Get lost in the museum where past, present and future collide.

What does Weta’s giant mechanical baby do after hours? Who is altering the time space continuum? Where or when has James gone? And what secrets is Tui Merriweather hiding?

Dive into mayhem at a well-known Wellington waterfront destination. Going to the museum will never be the same again.

Authors:  Tim Jones, Tracie McBride, Lyn McConchie, Glynne MacLean, Phillip Mann, Rob Campbell, Lillian Hetet, Jenny Hammond, John Homes, Eileen Mueller, Jeena Murphy, A.J. Ponder, Vic Scott, Jean Stevens, Lorraine Williams

Lost In The Museum – Launch at Conclave II

The Lost in the Museum book launch

2pm, Saturday, 26 April at Surrey Hotel, Auckland

at Conclave II, the New Zealand National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention


Join Conclave II Guest of Honour, Lynn McConchie, & authors Alicia Ponder & Eileen Mueller


Get lost in the museum where past, present and future collide.

What does Weta’s giant mechanical baby do after hours? Who is altering the time space continuum? Where or when has James gone? And what secrets is Tui Merriweather hiding?

Dive into mayhem at a well-known Wellington waterfront destination. Going to the museum will never be the same again.

Authors:  Tim Jones, Tracie McBride, Lyn McConchie, Glynne MacLean, Phillip Mann, Rob Campbell, Lillian Hetet, Jenny Hammond, John Homes, Eileen Mueller, Jeena Murphy, A.J. Ponder, Vic Scott, Jean Stevens, Lorraine Williams

Lost In The Museum
Lost in The Museum – cover art by Geoff Popham, stories by Phoenix Writers.

Copies of Lost In The Museum in all good bookstores soon.

 

Lost in the Museum – Cover Art.

Lost in the Museum is coming soon!

Lost in the Museum concept art
Lost in the Museum concept art

Last year I joined Phoenix Writers (the Wellington-based arm of Phoenix Science Fiction Society) just as they were closing submissions for this collection of crazy capers in Te Papa – NZ’s national museum. My stories squeaked in before the deadline and were accepted. Over the past two months, I’ve spent some time helping this book come to life.

Geoff Popham has created beautiful artwork for the cover (this is not the final version, but close.)  He is one talented graphic designer and illustrator. We’re lucky to have him for Lost in The Museum.

Stay tuned for launch details and a sneak preview of the final cover art!