Name a Character in My Next Book

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,
I’d love to hear them. If your suggested names are chosen, I’ll thank you in the acknowledgements section of the book!

Check Out the Photos – NZ Launch – Riders of Fire

Riders of Fire Launch Photos

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!

Ezaara & Dragon Hero, with Dragon Rift & Dragon Strike in 2019.

Don’t miss out. Join my reader’s group here, for my free Riders of Fire stories, Silver Dragon & Bronze Dragon, coming soon.  Thanks again for being part of this wonderful, supportive community.

1 More Sleep to Go until Riders of Fire Launch!

1? Only 1 sleep? Wow! I’m so excited! Saturday is the launch of Ezaara & Dragon Hero here in NZ

Both books start in Lush Valley, where it’s a crime to even talk about dragons…

When Ezaara imprints with Zaarusha, Queen of the dragons, she’s whisked off to Dragon’s Hold. Read more about her adventures & Dragons’ Hold here.

About Dragon Hero

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!

Riders of Fire Book Launch

Ezaara and Dragon hero are available on Amazon for the next week for 99 cents only!

4 More Sleeps to Go! Riders of Fire Launch!

The books! The books are here! So exciting!

Riders of Fire have landed!

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.

Brooklyn Tattler Eileen Mueller

Have fun and see you on Saturday, if not in person, then afterwards, online!

5 More Sleeps Until Riders of Fire Launch

Dragons Realm - Dragons' Hold from Ezaara, Riders of Fire

Yes, there are only 5 more sleeps to go!

Riders of Fire Launch: Saturday, November 17, 1:30pm-3pm

Join the Facebook event here

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!

Riders of Fire Book LaunchIn 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.  Dragons Realm - Dragons' Hold from Ezaara, Riders of Fire 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.

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

SJV Awards Shortlist

Thank you – SJV shortlist

I am thrilled to be on the 2017 Sir Julius Vogel Award shortlist in two categories.

Sir Julius Vogel Award
Sir Julius Vogel Award

Thank you to all my readers who nominated me for Best New Talent, and also to those who nominated my short story Call of the Sea, which was published last year in the At the Edge anthology, edited by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts.

The 2017 SJV awards are presented at Lexicon, New Zealand’s National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Taupo in early June.

The full 2017 Sir Julius Vogel shortlist is here.

It’s an honour to be on the shortlist alongside such great authors. I’m stoked.

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Free Story – Call of the Sea

Call of the Sea – Free Story

Sir julius Vogel AwardsCall of the Sea has been nominated for the 2017 Sir Julius Vogel awards, however, to get on the shortlist, a story must be nominated multiple times. Call of the Sea, published in At the Edge (Paper Road Press 2016), is a dark story exploring grief, loss and hope.

If you have read Call of the Sea and enjoyed it, please feel free to nominate it before 8pm Friday 31 March, on the SJV Awards nomination form. (Nomination info & background to the story are at the bottom of this post).

This is the last year I am eligible for the Sir Julius Vogel New Talent award (for authors in their first 4 years after initial publication.) If you like my work, feel free to nominate me for New Talent too. Just fill out the form and tell them, in a few sentences, what you like about my stories and books.

You can nominate any science fiction, fantasy or horror work published in New Zealand 2016, including films. Anyone can nominate worldwide. Voting for the shortlisted entries takes place at Lexicon, the National Science Fiction and Fantasy convention in Taupo in June, by members of SFFANZ or Lexicon. Guidelines are here.

Thank you for reading Call of the Sea. SJV Awards nomination form

Nomination Information:

  • Title: Call of the Sea,
  • Author: Eileen Mueller.
  • Work: Short Story.
  • Category: Best Short Story.
  • Genre: Fantasy.
  • Publisher: Paper Road Press, 2016. At the Edge anthology.

Just in case you’re wondering where this dark story came from, the background for Call of the Sea is here.

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Interactive Fiction in the News

Interactive Fiction Wins Award

A Wellington newspaper, Cook Strait News, has done a wonderful article about Dragons Realm‘s new shiny 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel.

Dragons Realm is part of the You Say Which Way series of interactive fiction published by The Fairytale Factory. Interactive fiction is  a great way for kids to learn about choices, leadership, relationships and the ripple effect of their decisions – while having adventures. I enjoy writing interactive fiction because there are so many storylines to explore, a range of outcomes and lots of fun plots to choose from.

Plotting 22 different stories  was an interesting challenge which could have become a logistical nightmare. A trusty excel spreadsheet kept me sane. Me and that excel sheet became besties (best friends) as we worked together to keep all the stories in order!

Nikki Papatsoumas was the journalist who took this great picture and did a nice write up. Please pop over and read it. And yes, Wellington’s mid-winter weather is ALWAYS this beautiful – sun shining, gentle breeze creating interesting hairstyles and of course, it never rains here!

Anyone keen on writing interactive fiction or learning about how to write it, contact me. The Fairytale Factory are publishing a “how to” book soon, and I’ll let you know when it’s out.

Dragons Realm Interactive Fiction

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