Here’s a peek at the features, and some of the extras we can add as more people fund this project! However, the most comprehensive overview is on Kickstarter with videos, custom illustrations, colored art and much more!
You rock! I love my readers! I ask and you deliver, time and time again! Together we’ve created some cool fantasy characters for Master Mage. Since I wrote Dragon Strike, I’ve asked for character’s names. Sometimes, dragons, sometimes, pirates, sometimes shady characters in dark alleys! For Dragon War, you suggested 601 names! That’s a LOT of characters! And a LOT of readers who’ve suggested names for cool fantasy characters over the years!
Master Mage clocked in at 177,000+ words! Yes, that 672 printed pages, the size of three short novels!! A lot of scope for characters to come and go.
Master Mage has been an incredible journey. When I wrote Dragon Mage (Riders of Fire Dragon Masters, book 2) I realized Giddi’s story was a lot longer than I’d anticipated. Dragon Mage tells of his young teenage years. I created Master Mage for his journey from teenage hood to adulthood (and falling in love with Mazyka).
If you’d like to start the Riders of Fire Dragon Master series, the first book is Anakisha’s Dragon.
With many more after…
Master Mage Cool Fantasy Characters
So, who are our cool fantasy characters in Master Mage? And who did you name this time? let’s look at our cool fantasy characters…. Please keep in mind that some of the characters that appear were named by my readers in previous books!
Mazyka was always going to be ambitious and headstrong. I didn’t realize she and her mother, Maryssa, would actively campaign for women’s rights through their attitudes and actions. I’ve enjoyed slipping this aspect into a medieval world. I named Mazyka in 2009 in my very first draft of Ezaara, although her name has changed since then. She was originally Magyka, because of her strong magical powers. I like Mazyka a lot better!
Maryssa popped up, out of the blue, sneaking out of the house to visit Balovar in his cottage one night as I was writing. I loved this scene full of passion, pain and regret, and it provided a great backdrop for Maryssa to repress Mazyka’s powers. Maryssa is a wonderful character who’s living a life of regret, but vows to teach her daughter to be wiser.
I know many of my readers love Giddi. In Riders of Fire, he’s wise and funny, and a little cynical and jaded. He’s been through a bit already when we start Master Mage, and I’m sorry to inform you, that he hasn’t yet been fully shaped in the forge. He has plenty of fiery trials to come yet in future books. Sorry, Giddi, but hey, it’ll make for grueling, heartbreaking, exciting adventures we’ll all love!
I named him after Giddi, a nickname for friend I used to know in Switzerland years ago, whose actual name is Giddeon.
My Readers Rock! Have I told you how much I LOVE my readers? Let me tell you again!
Our little online community is thriving, and people are building friendships as they hang out online having dragonly, fantasy fun. Join us in my Facebook group or pop over to TikTok, where I’m sharing fun videos. Or grab my free books when you sign up here.
Who did you name in Master Mage? Check out your huge cast!
Jackie T. named Myron, the beefy man in the Dragons’ Lair who leers at girls. Indora, the flirtatious Naobian in the tavern was named by Jeremiah Crouch.
Who named our mages?
Trisha Budhai named Lumeley, a young nerdy Spanglewood mage. This poor guys suffers during the mage trails, but luckily he’s rescued. His friend Diza, a friendly mage at the trials with the blonde braids, was named by Ann Abdelzaher. We have two more mages from Spanglewood named by readers. Both are Giddi’s friends from childhood. Vanus was named by Barbara Laing. Liz Tolland named Lief.
The notorious twins, Chuckle Head and Knuckle Head, were named by David Kuraria on two fun Facebook posts that had over a hundred entries! Those posts are well worth reading – there are some brilliant suggestions for derogatory names that rhyme!
I told you my readers are cool. Such amazing imaginations!
Melikor, the young Naobian mage who teases Giddi when they arrive at Dragons’ Hold was named by Charles Hoge.
Thanks to an anonymous reader, we have a name for Master Healer Catarina at Dragons’ Hold. Catarina will play a bigger role as the series goes on, so I’m excited to finally have a name for her! Crystal Rowley named Thalia, a Naobian healer who accuses Giddi of indecent behavior. The last thing he needs in a crisis! Poor Giddi!
Thanks to Charles Hoge for naming the Chipped Fang!
We swept our way through Anakisha’s Dragon and Dragon Mage without naming the main characters’ family members. A sneaky move on my part! We were naming so many characters at the time, that I didn’t want everyone to have name overwhelm. We’ve now remedied that.
Thanks to the following readers for naming:
Giddi’s mother: Peluma — Kelle Shaw
Mazyka’s father: Jorem — Trisha Budhai
Yanir’s mother: Fenella — Sara Downs
Yanir’s father: Petey — Susanne Galley
Yanir’s eldest sister: Tori — Jan Cantle
Yanir’s second sister: Keesha — Scotty Bhoy
Yanir’s third sister: Noelani — Sara Downs
Yanir’s youngest sister: Sky — Carolyn Helm
Let’s not forget our furry, feathered, scaled and four-footed friends!
Nicola Wilkinson named Topaz, Giddi’s valiant horse who takes Mazyka on a wild dash. Andrew Agnew named the ice ravens in Great Spanglewood Forest at night, and Barbara Laing named the snowy kestrel. Vancil Clayton Thomas suggested a barred owl, and me and my readers looked into night birds and decided upon the nightingale and the common loon!
Shadow Stalker & Dragon Rider
Tiriaston, is a Shadow Stalker in Naobia, prowling the streets and creating trouble. He was named in a Facebook post, but I haven’t been able to track down who named him! If it’s you, please let me know and I’ll amend this list!
Darian, the young dragon rider who shackles Giddi and Mazyka, is named after Darian Smith, a New Zealand author and dear friend of mine. Yeah, he’s awesome. You can check out his books, here.
Rusty was named by AJ Ponder, my buddy and co-author. She has a new series out, Into Faerland, with dark Fae, sword sand demons… and a new audio book of Omens, too … check out her books here.
I hope you like the stunning cover for Dragon Captain! Rusty and Ustoria, her sea dragon, will be hunting down the Scarlet Hand, joined by an all-female crew! Look out, Scarlet Hand! They’re coming for you!
You’ll have lots of chances to name cool fantasy characters again soon as we crew Rusty’s ship… By the way, her ship has no name yet, so there will be more chances to have fun coming up soon!
With more books added to the Riders of Fire Dragon Masters series, it’s time to reveal the cover of the fifth book in the series, Dragon Captain!
If you’ve read Dragon Pirate, you’ll be familiar with Rusty and the adventures she had when the Scarlet Hand stole her uncle’s ship and captured her to be his cabin boy! Now, it’s ten years later and Rusty is looking for revenge, but she has another crew member with a different agenda on board her ship.
Fans of Christopher Paolini’s Eragon, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern, Sarah K Wilson’s Dragon School, Jada Fishers’ many dragon series, Michael Miller, and Naomi Novik, enjoy Riders of Fire and my Dragons’ Realm adrenaline-fueled dragon adventures.
Yes, more adventure, fun, magic, danger, romance, and dragons are coming your way with a slew of new books planned in the Riders of Fire Dragon Masters series!
Originally, when I envisaged Riders of Fire Dragon Masters, the series was only four books deep. (Anakisha’s Dragon, Dragon Mage, Dragon Spy and Dragon Healer). Those covers were revealed long ago. But as I’ve been writing, more characters appeared on the horizon and demanded their stories be told!
I now have 9 planned books in the series, and the covers are complete for all but one, which is coming soon. Not all of them have been revealed yet!
Originally all of my Riders of Fire books were planned in one series.
However, I realized it would be confusing to have the prequels at the end of the Riders of Fire series. (Yes, I wrote a series, and my readers were so intrigued, they wanted the backstory!) I split the planned books into 2 series, Riders of Fire and Riders of Fire Dragon Masters.
Last year, I announced I was expanding the series from 4 to 6 books. Master Giddi’s story had grown, so I split Dragon Mage into two books, and then added an extra book:
Dragon Mage — Giddi’s adventures, at 12-13 summers old, in the Robandi Desert and Metropoli with his murderous trainer, while searching for his missing father.
Master Mage — Giddi discovering the most dangerous lover in Dragons’ Realm and the secret that nearly destroys Dragons’ Realm (in subsequent books and in the Riders of Fire series).
Dragon Pirate — The Scarlet Hand’s adventures on the Naobian Sea.
As I was writing Dragon Mage, Captain Scarlet Hand appeared on the horizon of the Naobian Sea and insisted he wasn’t content to be a side character in someone else’s drama. He got his own book, and Dragon Pirate was born!
But, alas, a cabin boy (who isn’t a boy) and was captured by the Scarlet Hand in Dragon Pirate, now has her own story in Dragon Captain. Yes, another book!
The original series plan was to have an eighteen-year gap between the dragon riding adventures of Marlies and Hans, until their twins Ezaara and Tomaaz are seventeen. (The family’s adventures and battles are covered in my Riders of Fire series, which is complete at 6 books.) However, I realized that two more books would complete those missing years!
Enter stage: Dragon Rider and Dragon Master, the final two books planned in the Riders of Fire Dragon Masters series.
Who do you think will star in these two books? I ordered the cover for Dragon Rider a year ago, and it’s stunning. But I won’t be revealing it until Dragon Healer is ready! Yes, it’s shocking secret to keep! Especially for so long!
These are stand-alone prequel books about some of the dragon riders meeting their dragons for the first time. They can be read in any order alongside both the other series.
1. Bronze Dragon – free novelette
2. Ruby Dragon – short story
3. Silver Dragon – free novelette here
4. Amethyst Dragon – free in October 2023 with the Action Fantasy Book Club. Coming soon, elsewhere.
Master Mage, Riders of Fire Dragon Masters book4, has officially launched! This action-packed adventure full of romance, intrigue, danger and magic — and dragons — is officially live. Readers around the globe have already started downloading copies and eagerly devouring the story.
Three mages: A powerful dragon mage. Another plotting to kill him. And a temptress, hungry for power.
Giddi is the only dragon mage in the realm. Able to mind-meld with dragons at will, he quickly rises through the mage ranks. Starrus, a bitter senior mage, resents Giddi’s magical abilities and wants him dead.
Giddi falls in love with Mazyka, his breathtaking, young protégé. The mage council and the dragon riders warn him not to get entangled. That she’s too ambitious. That the consequences are too dangerous…
Brash and impulsive, he ignores them all.
The cost of Giddi’s actions could be the world he loves.
Embark on an epic adventure with danger, dragons and magic, and read Master Mage!
What are my readers saying about Master Mage?
Master Mage is 177000 words long, the size of two regular novels or three short novels! You get more adventure, more intrigue, more emotional roller-coasters and more adrenaline, and yes, more dragonback adventures!
Lets see what our early reviewers thought!
★★★★★ “A long read, but super captivating”
★★★★★ “A truly fascinating read.”
★★★★★ “How wonderful it was to rekindle my love for these amazing characters in this book.”
★★★★★ “This book has long been waited for and anticipated, and it has proven to be very well worth the wait.”
★★★★★“There were some beautiful tender scenes and some events that shattered me. I cried, I laughed, I despaired, I ranted, I shook my head, I yelled. I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down. I certainly couldn’t!”
★★★★★ “By the end of the book, I wanted more! More of Giddi, more of Mazyka, more of this incredible world and I even wanted more of Starrus and Zens! I honestly will be gnawing on my nails until the final book in this majestic series is out.”
★★★★★ ”A masterpiece which kept me reading all through the night.”
From August 2021, my readers were invited to enter the draw to win a Dragon Pirate hardback by creating characters, naming islands, suggesting pirate cusses, giving pirates funny characteristics or animal companions, naming a breed of water scorpion, or suggesting the names of various taverns and pirate ships.
The hardback is currently with the formatter, so the hardback edition may be a while yet, but it will get to GG as soon as it’s ready and uploaded on Amazon. Thanks for hanging out and having fun with me as I write!
Angel Haze is hosting the party with me, to celebrate her recent release of Reign of Shadows, Battleborn Mage book 1. I know her fans have been waiting a lifetime for this exciting adventure! Angel is the founder of the Indie Fantasy Addicts facebook group of 7000 members, where we hang out and have loads of fanatsy fun.
What an adventure it’s been writing this book. It’s been wonderful, largely due to my fabulous readers! Here’s why…
I asked for pirate characters and you created many. I asked for tavern names and was flooded with great suggestions. I asked you to create islands, name them, and name ships. You’ve given me animal companions, pirate cusses, named a scorpion, and given me fleet-building tactics (many of which I’ll use in another book). You’ve even created a Naobian deep-fried delicacy!
You’ve named a dragon! And yes, some one made up a terrible joke! Tony Slater’s a hilarious guy! I Integrated that joke into a tavern scene—his is the joke Rusty tells about pies. Thank you.
It’s been challenging to incorporate as many of your suggestions as possible into Dragon Pirate, and it’s been so much fun. I have the BEST readers! I LOVE hanging out with my readers in my Facebook group. I LOVE writing for you. I LOVE your feedback on my books. I LOVE your enthusiasm for Riders of Fire, Riders of Fire Dragon Masters, the Dragon Shifters’ Hoard and my Riders of Fire Dragons series. We have so much fun together in my Facebook group.
What did you create in Dragon Pirate? This is a huge cast!
Kelly Erickson created a Naobian deep-fried delicacy: snakelings in spicy dipping sauce. Yummy! I hope she sends us the recipe!
The scorpion that the Scarlet Hand discovered crawling over his feet was a joint collaboration. From 27 entries, James McGinnis suggested aquascorpio. Paula Schaefer and Tiffany Shand both came up with deathstinger! So, deathstinger aquascorpio it is. A truly terrifying little creature. Rusty had great nerve handling it.
One day, I’ll tell you the story of the water scorpion I showered with in Indonesia. I stayed very calm, which was not at all the reaction of the staff running the $2-a-night backpaker’s hostel I was staying at! Their shrieks could probably be heard throughout the Pacific Ocean. Highly deadly indeed. (The shrieks or the scorpion? Maybe both).
Oh, what fun there is to be had in fantasy taverns! There’s nothing like a decent pirate brawl! The Leaky Keg on Pirate Island was named by Jens D RacherBaümer and Paul Mouchet was responsible for naming the Drunken Parrot in Metropoli.
The real question is, shall we also make these two readers responsible for cleaning up the chaos that the Bloody Cutlasses leave in their wake every time they visit a tavern?
The inspiration for the difficult passage into a lovely inlet came from Craig Harder. I created the chasm as a result. Mandie Sagen suggested an island where retired pirates live. Of course, I had to make them broken-down, retired pirates with eccentric habits, keen for a brawl … Let the fun begin!
The isles in the Naobian Sea: Karen Hoke named Firewing Isle; Tracey Harden named Scaleclaw Isle; and I named Talon Isle and Dragon’s Maw Isle. There will be more isles to sail to in Dragon Captain. You gave me so many brilliant names! Thanks.
Cheryl Allsup came up with, “fire-riddled dragon bum,” which I shaped into “fire-riddled backside of a dragon with belly gripe.” Kelly Erickson suggested, “wingless surface lubbers.” Lorie Kuzma suggested, “worm-riddled bilge rat.” Mandie Sagen suggested, “slimy, rat-infested land worms,” much to Spider’s delight. Barbara Laing suggested, “bottom feeder,” which became “scum-sucking, bottom feeder.” Sandy Fosdick’s “leech-riddled water horse,” became: “That flaming leech-riddled water horse and stinking rider!”
It was so much fun to see what people created. I’m sure I could have incorporated more bilge rats! They also seemed to be a favorite.
Some of the ships docked at Metropoli were named by my readers, including The Golden Mermaid by Anne Caprani-Langkilde, and Star of Glory by Jan Cantle.The Crimson Fin was named by Nicole DragonBeck. Great names—thanks everyone.
What About Your Pirates?
One of the difficulties with having readers create pirates is that my readers created pirates worthy of being the captains of their own ships! They had great characteristics, talents, intriguing back stories and larger-than-life personalities. Not to mention, striking looks. With so many stars running around on deck, there would’ve been constant fights to hog the limelight. I had no choice but to splice pirates together out of your genetic pool and my own ideas!
So, here we go. The basis, and usually the name, for each pirate was suggested by a reader, however these pirates have grown to be a different to their initial DNA!!
A huge thank you to Martha D Johnson for creating Larkspur with his violet eyes, willowy figure and long dark hair. I couldn’t include him having wings and fangs, however, I did keep his skills with a dagger.
Lefty was Nicole DragonBeck’s idea, including his cat! John Grasso suggested Volto. Unfortunately he couldn’t be an elf, as elves haven’t found their way through a world gate to Dragons’ Realm (yet), however, I did keep the rapier, leather trench coat, and his double-tipped ear due to a sword slice.
Gunthar and his pet gecko were Jackie Tansey’s idea. I couldn’t resist giving Gunthar a wooden leg when Jackie suggested that he hops. Please forgive me for getting his gecko drunk on rum! It was so much fun. I used GG’s name for Talvor, however the character was Will’s dad, not the cool one GG suggested. Honestly, there were just too many pirates running around aboard the Fiery Dragon. I did use GG’s suggestion for Grins Cabeya, including those wicked poisoned darts.
Jan Cantle suggested Hairy Stu with his Santa Claus snowy halo of hair. Mo was from Barbara Laing. I’m sorry he had a bitter end. Joffa the Crow was suggested by Mandie Sagen, charcoal and all! Andrew Agnew gave me Tiny. I’m so glad Andrew’s created him with no tongue—not me! I’m glad I can do more than honk! Johnny Blue came from Lorie Kuzma. I dyed his hair strawberry blond, but made sure he hung onto those sapphire-hilted daggers that matched his eyes. Swan, the handsome rouge, charmed his way onto the Fiery Dragon with the help of Patrick Goodwin.
If there are any crew I’ve missed, please let me know. I had many more great characters that readers gave me, including a plethora of female pirates—enough to crew an entire ship of their own.
Hmm… roll on Dragon Captain! You may see some of your characters turn up yet! I have special announcement to make about the series expanding… ooops, I’m getting ahead of myself. Not yet! All in due time.
Snow and Red Dragon Shifters’ Hoard book 1 – Sneak Preview
It’s so exciting to finally launch Snow and Red in 5 days! I remember the walk A. J. Ponder and I took through Central Park, here in New Zealand (very different to the Central Park in New York), when we first plotted this story. Now it has come to life with a sequel, Zephyr and Snow, releasing soon!
Snow and Red is based on a little known fairy tale of Snow White and Rose Red, two sisters who befriended a bear (who is a secretly an enchanted prince). Three times, they unwittingly help the dwarf who enchanted him, then accidentally break the spell, freeing the prince to be himself.
We’re often asked how closely Snow and Red fits the original fairy tale. Our story has twin dragon shifters who are enchanted, two sisters who befriend them and accidentally help the being who enchanted the twins three times, and yes, the spell does get broken. However, our story takes place in our time and not in a forest… but the underworld of a city… you can ENJOY A SNEAK PREVIEW HERE
Master Giddi’s dangerous adventures have grown so rich and deep that they needed to be split into two books! Dragon Mage, book 2 and Master Mage book 4. Dragon Mage covers some of his teenage escapades, while Master Mage takes us on his dangerous rise to power and the tragic mistakes he makes. If only Giddi wasn’t so impulsive. Or so powerful.
So, id Dragon Mage has been split into books 2 & 4, what’s book 3 about? And what is the title?
It’s time to update the Riders of Fire Dragon Masters series.
Yes, Dragon Pirate is book 3. The Scarlet Hand is up to no good. He’s building a fleet of pirate ships to scour the Naobian Sea. He’s also made a shifty deal with Emperor Haakin of Metropoli, but by the First Egg, he’d better watch it, because the Emperor and his adviser General Vizza don’t play nice!
It’s been a challenge writing the prequels when I already know what will happen to many of these characters during Dragon War & Sea Dragon. However, it has also been a pleasure to dive deeper into their pasts and find out what makes each one tick.