My short story, One for the Money, has been published in Midnight Echo, issue 13, The Australian Horror Writers Magazine.
Although not pure horror, One for the Money is a lot darker than my usual fiction. Midnight Echo also contains horror content, so if you like your fiction dark, you may enjoy this, otherwise, run screaming!
One for the Money
Although the charismatic Simon Jones makes macabre dares, he pays big money, so, desperate, Tessa agrees to stay overnight in The Grotesquerie, his collection of creepy animal statues.
Simon suspects he’s found another hapless victim for The Grotesquerie, but unbeknown to him, Tessa has hidden talents…
Featuring fiction, non-fiction and poetry by:
Natalie J Potts
Issue 13 is guest edited by Paul Mannering, with co-editors Helen Stubbs and Isobel Blackthorn, through the AHWA Mentorship Program.
The issue also includes the winning stories from the AHWA Short and Flash Fiction competition 2017 by Chrisi Reardon and Xanthe Knox.
You’ll love these free dragon books. There are dragons galore! Dragon-shifters, dragon riders, sea dragons, a bronze dragon and even dragon sagas! Sword and sorcery, epic high fantasy and much more.
All books are free, or free on Kindle Unlimited, or only 99 cents. But be quick, this offer ends on 15 January! If you love dragons, you’ll be in reading paradise! I hope you enjoy these stories. I have them all loaded on my e-reader for summer reading! But whatever the weather, you’ll be set to go – on dragonback, of course!
Eddie Baird must capture the legendary Tatzelwurm for his grandfather’s cryptid sanctuary.
But two things could stop him.
Gabi, the remarkable Swiss girl who has befriended the acid-spitting creature.
And an evil presence in the alps…
Read FREE online. Part 1 and Part 2Warning: This story gets quite gets dark in places. Not for kids or the faint-hearted.
If you enjoy The Taztzelwurm, please ‘like’ to shoot the story up the lists in the Tapas community. Thank you.
The Tatzelwurm is dedicated to Gabi Bachofen.
A big shout out to Danny Richards and his cryptid series, Monstrous – Cryptozoological Tales, part of Adrenaline Shots comics. I’m proud to join the line up of great authors being published in this venue.
I was recently commissioned to write short story about a legendary creature for the Monstrous online anthology. Having lived in Switzerland, guess what I chose?
Yes, there is a legendary alpine dragon, the Tatzelwurm.
The Tatzelwurm is a legendary creature with a cat-like head, two clawed front limbs and a serpentine body.
It was first reported in the Swiss Alps in 1779 by Hans Fuchs, who saw two of them and died of a heat attack shortly after describing the beasts. Many more Swiss have seen it since. However, there have been no confirmed modern sightings, leading to conjecture that the animal is extinct or never existed. See an interesting Tatzelwurm video here.
Note: I took a few liberties, so my Tatzelwurm may have wings!
Although Tatzelwurm sightings were reported in various places in Switzerland and Austria, I decided to set my story on the Speer, an alp in St Gallen.
When I first travelled to Switzerland, my friends Gabi, Marco and Polo took me up the Speer. We drove up from Ebnat-Kappel, and then walked part of the way up to have goat’s cheese and fine bread with Ferdi, the Alper (the man who took care of the cows on the alp for summer).
On another ocassion, Gabi, her sister, Sandra, and I climbed from the other side of the alp, up a treacherous slope.
Nowadays people wear helmets and take climbing gear. Back then, we scaled the cliff in shorts and T-shirts, with only a steel cable in hand, and didn’t dare look down the dizzying drop until we got to the top!
The final scene of the story is set on the steep slope of the sunlit left end.
Thanks again to Danny Richards for giving me an opportunity to relive a fantastic phase of my life and venture into the Swiss Alps again, via this story. I hope you enjoy The Tatzelwurm. Please like the post on Tapas (log in via Facebook to like).
Content – Dark Themes
Please be aware that although the overall tone of this story is quite upbeat, there is a dark scene near the end. Be warned that I do like happy endings, though.
If you’d like to read all the episodes on Monstrous – Cryptozoological Tales, a couple of my favourites are Lee Murray’s Baird’s Legacy and A J Ponder’s The Forgotten World. The others are great too, but some are written by horror writers, so read at your own risk! (If you love horror, you’ll be in your element). You can access them all from the left sidebar, near my story. Use the slider to select a story. Happy reading.
My kids got me a cute dragon for Christmas. (Those of you who’ve been around my site since 2013, will recognize my old web banner in the background. Yep, I need to update my screen saver!) They deliberately chose a multi-coloured cute dragon so it would look like Zaarusha! Although I do think she’s a bit more fierce.
The end of 2018 was especially frantic, with mad a race to meet deadlines for several stories. It’s been a great year. The Riders of Fire series has been racing off the shelves in our local bookstores and also off the Amazon shelves worldwide. The page reads on Kindle Unlimited have been soaring.
Thank you for your support. It’s fabulous to hear feedback from readers around the world who have read Ezaara and Dragon Hero and are keen to read book 3, Dragon Rift !
Happy New Year
Swiss-Germans have an expression called ‘sliding into the New Year’, which refers to whatever you did on New Year’s Eve. During the first week of January, they often ask, “How was your slide?” and, “Did you have a good slide?”
Well, I had a great slide, with a few good friends, singing karaoke until 3am! As well as writing, I’m passionate about singing and about my friendships. I’m lucky to have strong network of friends who have helped me get through many crisis and difficult times. I’m a bit of a workaholic (many writers are), but this year, I hope to spend some time with my friends and family, having fun — when I’m not locked in my office, writing my heart out.
And yes, this was a hazardous evening. Just getting this photo taken, I was nearly impaled in the nostril by a unicorn horn several times!
What will 2019 bring?
I’ve committed to writing many Riders of Fire books this year.
Dragon Rift and Dragon Strike will both be full-length epic novels. Then I’ll be writing some shorter works about characters my readers love:
Dragon Healer (Marlies & Hans)
Dragon Mage (Master Mage Giddi)
Dragon Called (Ithsar, of the Robandi Desert)
I’ve also had many other ideas — if only I could type as fast as I can think.If you haven’t read Riders of Fire yet, you can start with my free books: Bronze Dragon and Silver Dragon. Bronze Dragon is available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords. Silver Dragon is only available on my website, here and will be ready in a few days! So sign up to get this exclusive prequel novelette.
I hope you have a great 2019 with lots of adventures and happiness.
Actually, you don’t have to do the hard work of imagining them yourself. Authors that have done that for you — by creating amazing worlds that you can explore. Imagine that!
With 49 free books on offer and a chance to win a $25 gift card, you’re bound to find something you love to read over Christmas — military thriller, sci-fi, fantasy, dragon riders, paranormal, sword, sorcery & archery. There’s even a unicorn lurking on one of the covers in the background, and a zombie staring out of another.
Three New Zealand authors feature in this promotion, too.
So, if you like your kiwi military thrillers gritty and dark, check out Into The Darkness by Lee Murray. For humorous sword and sorcery, try The Secret Child by A.J. Ponder. Also check out Teyla Branton’s The Change, a paranormal urban fantasy with an intriguing cover. And plenty more!
You might even find one of my dragons lurking there! It could even be a bronze one who’s lost his rider…
Click here or click the image below to try your free books and WIN, because if you receive a gift card or not, it’s still a WIN with your e-reader full of books for the holiday break.
Thank you for enjoying Riders of Fire. Have you been waiting for my free Riders of Fire story, Silver Dragon? I have! I’m also writing Bronze Dragon, another free Riders of Fire story. It’s exciting working on these two stories, and especially great that I can give them away.
If you’d like to help name some of the characters in Bronze Dragon,
We had a great Riders of Fire launch today, with archery, sword fighting, dragon crafts, a treasure hunt and medieval costumes. It was wonderful to see everyone having fun and really cool to share Dragons’ Realm with them.
Giant John led us in archery.The target?
Well, here he is. I don’t know what he did to deserve that role…But he performed admirably! Even though archers big…
… and archers small, took shots at him.
Luckily his body armour didn’t get pierced!
And the winner of the archery contest?
Well, here’s why Isaac did so well. Arrow nocked, sighted… and fired…… with great trajectory and even better facial expression!Our local journalist came long to interview the teens who’d read the book!
There were dragonets……and a definite cosplay winner!
Company of the Dragons sent Tara and ‘Fluffy’ to fight the people…
Giant John just couldn’t resist the challenge.
The sword fighting was intense …So was the book signing!
The treasure hunt was made possible courtesy of Ava Fairhall……who created an oversized map of Dragons’ Realm in brilliant colour……which even teens wanted for their bedroom walls! (I’ll post about the map-making journey soon!) Ava hid 5 tiny, -well-disguised treasure chests on the map… which kept everyone busy. The winner had a keen eye and a fast pen, skills needed by every dragon rider!More winners…Kids made their own dragon wings and flappable dragons……even big kids! I mean, who doesn’t want to be a dragon, right?
We had a blast. The whole community pulled together to make this happen—from my fantastic cover artist, Christian, in the Philippines, to my family, the archers and human target, our sword fighters, map maker, editors, critique partners and caterer! A big THANK YOU to everyone who made this launch possible. A special thank you to my business partner, A.J. Ponder, my teen beta readers Ash, Lisa and Denika, and all of my readers and reviewers! Without you, none of this would be possible.
To all of my readers: enjoy your adventures with Riders of Fire!
Tomaaz doesn’t believe in dragons, until the dragon queen abducts his twin sister, Ezaara. When she goes missing, his parents reveal dangerous family secrets. That night, his father is wrongly imprisoned while his mother heads deep into Death Valley to atone for a dreadful crime.
To make things worse, an army of bestial tharuks attacks his village. No one is prepared. Tomaaz doesn’t know who to save. Should he rescue Pa from prison, help the villagers, or follow Ma into enemy territory? Or should he save Lovina, the abused daughter of a traveling merchant?
Tomaaz has to act fast, because Commander Zens and his clone armies are marching through Dragon’s Realm.
And what about Last Stop? Why is it called Last Stop? And who lives there?
Come and find out, at the launch of Riders of Fire tomorrow in Wellington! Archery, sword fighting, cosplay, dragon crafts, the treasure hunt and more!
Imagine my surprise when I got home from work and found nine boxes and a poster roll sitting in my porch among the muddy gardening gumboots!
So I opened a box and Dragon Hero leapt out, roaring! Well, okay Maazini wasn’t roaring, but maybe I was! By the way, this blog post is brought you courtesy of the exclamation mark! Oops, there goes another one!
Not one to let her twin brother have all the fun, Ezaara thought she’d get in the action, too!
Yes! they’re home at last! So, why all the raving and exclamation marks?
It’s been nine and a half years since I started this series. Years of plotting planning and scheming to bring these babies into the world. Don’t panic, you won’t have to wait years for Dragon Rift, book 3 in the Riders of Fire series. It should be out in the first quarter of 2019.
Ezaara and Dragon Hero will be the guests of honour at the Riders of Fire book launch in Wellington, New Zealand (yes, that’s Middle Earth) this Saturday. We’ve hired a bowling green to host you (yes, you’re really the guests of honour, not the books) so everyone can have a turn at archery and sword fighting. Hopefully, no foam swords will be harmed in the launching of these books!
Here’s the bowling green, just waiting for us! Come and brighten up the green with your favourite costumes, archery and sword fighting skills. We will have a few extra costumes for people to try.
With only 4 more sleeps to go, I thought I’d share an article from the Brooklyn Tattler, our local magazine. (It’s actually 3 sleeps here in NZ, but 4 in the USA—I missed posting this yesterday).
For those keen on seeing the map snippets, I’ll be posting one later today in the ‘3 sleeps to go’ post.
Have fun and see you on Saturday, if not in person, then afterwards, online!
The Wellington launch for Riders of Fire, is this Saturday 17 November. The New Zealand paperback editions of Ezaara and Dragon Hero will be winging their way home with happy readers!
But that’s not all. The Riders of Fire launch is going to be great fun.
Kicking off with archery with John Turner, the afternoon includes prizes for best archer and swordsperson, sword fighting demonstrations from Company of the Dragons, a costume parade, and readings from Ezaara and Dragon Hero, the first two books in the Riders of Fire series.
It’s cosplay time! So, come as a dragon, a fighter, or anything you like! You’ll also get a chance to duel with the pros! (Foam swords provided). There might even be real swords (blunted) on display.
There will also be crafts for those who’d like to create their own dragon. A variety of costumes will be available for use on the day, as well books for children and young adults. You can even take selfies in front of a castle with a dragon!
In the lead up to the launch over the next 5 days, I’ll be showcasing Dragons’ Realm, the world of the Riders of Fire Series. So, I’m sharing snippets of the map created by talented Ava Fairhall, who will also be there on the day, should you have any questions about creating your own fantasy world.
Here are some of the snippets I’ve posted on Facebook already. When Ezaara imprints with Zaarusha, the Dragon Queen of Dragon’s Realm, she’s swept up in a blaze of emotion, and must abandon her home, family and everything she knows.
Zaarusha sweeps her off to Dragons’ Hold, the home of tough dragon masters and riders, where she’s tested as the new Queens’ Rider. Luckily, she’s assigned a dragon master to help her. Although rumors say she’d be better off with the enemy than Master Roberto.
Roberto grew up in the deep South in Naobia, where his father, Amato was captain of the green guards, the dragons who protect the southern borders of Dragons’ Realm. But Amato hid the darkest of secrets.
Broken by his father, Roberto flees to Dragons’ Hold with his sister Adelina. He works hard and becomes a dragon master, using the strange talents gained through his father’s treachery, but his legacy haunts him every day.
One night, Ezaara, an untried, untrained and ignorant girl from Lush Valley, of all places, turns up, claiming to be the new Queen’s Rider. Not if Roberto can help it. He’s determined to find her weaknesses and cast her out to die in The Wastelands. But to do so, he has to use the very talents he hates.
See you on Saturday! If you’d like an ebook as well, both ebooks, Ezaara and Dragon Hero, are still 99 cents until after the launch.