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.
#483!!! Who worked this magic while my back was turned?
This has never happened to one of my books before!!! My Riders of Fire Complete Box Set is smashing through the ceiling! Can you hear me yelling and squealing all the way from New Zealand?
If not, take out your earbuds!!!
I’m happy to be rubbing shoulders with the Darkblade overlord Andy Peloquin in classic fantasy books, and with Tolkien, Cordelia Castel , JK Rowling, Elise Kova, The Witcher and all the other cool fantasy authors and characters out there!
If you haven’t seen the video, here it is! Turn up your sound!! It’s worth every tone!
Do something crazy to celebrate. And if you haven’t grabbed this beauty of a box set yet, go for it. All downloads and reads in Kindle Unlimited would be treasured! (I get paid for every page you read!!) Thank you for being awesome. Thank you for supporting me and my little family. It’s a tough world out there, but thanks to you, we have food on our table.
I am so thrilled. A huge shout out to very author who has shared my book in their newsletters, on their social media pages, in their Facebook groups or via book promotions. I thank everyone in the indie fantasy community for working together to celebrate each other’s cool books.
Rankings are fickle. ‘Tis but for a fleeting moment, so lets’ enjoy it!
Here are stacks of cool pictures to celebrate:
#1 Teen Young Adult Mythical Creatures ebooks
#1 Teen Young Adult Myth & Legend ebooks
#1 Teen Interactive Fiction ebooks
#1 Classic Fantasy ebooks (with Andy’s Darkblade as #2)
#2 Fantasy Anthologies and Short Stories
#3 Metaphysical Fantasy ebooks
#5 Sword and Fantasy ebooks
#7 Coming of Age Fantasy ebooks
#1 Teen Young Adult Coming of Age Fantasy ebooks
#13 Epic Fantasy
#17 Teen Young Adult Fantasy ebooks
#59 Fantasy ebooks
What are readers saying about Riders of Fire?
★★★★★ “The best Dragon Rider series I have ever read!”
★★★★★ “The details are so vivid, I feel I’m in the stories. I can’t get enough.”
★★★★★ “I felt like I was there, soaring the skies on dragonback with the other riders as my best friends!”
★★★★★ “I couldn’t put it down, unless it fell out of my hands when I got too tired to see straight anymore.”
★★★★★ “I was enthralled the whole way through.”
★★★★★ “A complete tour de force! Dragons, magic, adventures, what more could one want – except more!”
★★★★★ “The best books I have read in many years.”
★★★★★ “You’ll find yourself immersed in the dragonverse of Eileen Mueller and her wonderful characters. What a wonderful place to be.”
Now, for the heartwarming screen shots. Hear me grin!
#1 Teen Young Adult Mythical Creatures ebooks:
#1 Teen Young Adult Myth & Legend ebooks:
#1 Teen Interactive Fiction ebooks:
#1 Classic Fantasy ebooks (with Andy’s Darkblade as #2):
#2 Fantasy Anthologies and Short Stories:
#3 Metaphysical Fantasy ebooks:
#5 Sword and Fantasy ebooks:
#7 Teen Young Adult Coming of Age Fantasy ebooks:
#7 Coming of Age Fantasy ebooks:
#13 Epic Fantasy:
#17 Teen Young Adult Fantasy ebooks:
#59 Fantasy ebooks:
Ezaara, Riders of Fire book 1 – excerpt
Stepping into the sunlight, Ezaara stooped to pick arnica flowers. The ancient piaua, half as thick as a cottage, rose before her at the edge of the clearing, its bark pitted and gnarly. Blue berries peeked from its dark foliage. As a tree speaker, her mother often talked to the piaua whenever she collected its sacred healing juice. Placing her palm against the bark, Ezaara strained to feel a whisper. Nothing—again. She sighed. Not a tree speaker, then. What would her vocation be? Ma was happy as a healer and herbalist, and Ezaara didn’t mind helping her, but she wanted something more. Excitement. Adventure. Maybe love.
The owl-wort vines grew among the knobby piaua roots. She parted the undergrowth and plucked a handful of leaves. Rising from a crouch, she opened her pouch.
A strange tingle ran through Ezaara, then a shadow fell over her. Something swished, a sudden breeze stirring her hair. She jerked her head up.
A dragon was circling the treetops. Ezaara recoiled in fear. With a snap of fangs or a swipe of talons, it could kill her. The owl-wort fell from her shaking hands. She tensed to flee.
Sunlight played across the dragon’s iridescent scales, making them shimmer. Its graceful wings swished ever closer, rippling with color. This beast was beautiful—beautiful, but deadly. She had to escape. But the tingling grew stronger. The amazing creature circled down toward her. Foliage rustled in the downdraught from the dragon’s wingbeats.
A voice hummed in her mind. “Ezaara,” it crooned.
This creature could talk to her?
“We’re mind-melding, sensing each other’s thoughts and emotions.”
She held her breath, drawn to the dragon. Rich colors cascaded through her mind. Sunshine poured into her soul. Ezaara wanted to soar. She glimpsed a vision—her riding the dragon, flying above the forest, over the Grande Alps and into the blue.
“This is your destiny, to ride with me.”
Warning cries reached her—villagers. If only they knew this dragon, they wouldn’t be afraid.
The dragon’s hum built to a roar inside her. It dived.
Familiar faces shot into her mind. Her family! She couldn’t leave them.
Ezaara’s love for her family was swept aside as energy rushed through her. She was enveloped in a prism of rainbow-colored light, like reflections in a dewdrop. Music from the purest flute filled her heart. For the first time in her life, she felt whole. The energy coiled inside her and she sprang, lifted by the wind, hair streaming out behind her. In a flash of color, the dragon’s scales were beneath her. Ezaara landed on a saddle in a hollow between its wings. She wrapped her arms around the dragon’s spinal ridge, hugging it tight.
It felt so right.
The dragon regarded her with yellow eyes. Ezaara could’ve sworn it was smiling. “I am Zaarusha.You were born to be my rider,” it thrummed. The beast turned. Its belly rumbled and flames shot from its maw.
They flew off, leaving her home and loved ones behind.
If you read this far, thanks for celebrating with me.
Enjoy my adrenaline-fueled dragon rider adventures. Take to the skies and soar with Riders of Fire!
Sea Dragon Riders of Fire book 6 is live, completing the Riders of Fire series! I absolutely love this cover from Christian Bentulan. He’s done a beautiful job. I’m so excited to let this story swim out into the wide world. So far, feedback from my readers has been great, and I hope you enjoy Sea Dragon too!
Many readers asked what happened to Ithsar, the assassin whose fingers Ezaara had healed when she was being held captive by Ashewar, the chief prophetess—Ithsar’s mother in the Robandi Desert.
Due to their questions, Sea Dragon was born. The story has grown, also encompassing another young girl who hadn’t been seen since since she made her debut in Dragon Hero (all those moons ago). The two girls strike up a friendship, with remarkable results, and as those of you who’ve read Dragon War will know, Ithsar is able to help turn the tide of battle. (Sea pun intended).
Sea Dragon fleshes out some details that have been omitted from Ezaara’s adventures as the new Queen’s Rider, and concludes the war against Zens, rounding up some threads that readers may not have realized I’d deliberately left hanging. But wait, Riders of Fire isn’t over yet!
Riders of Fire Dragon Masters is an exciting new series that features the events leading up to Ezaara’s birth. Some of these books were originally planned as books 7-9 of the Riders of Fire series, however, new readers may like to read these adventures in chronological order. Splitting out the prequels into a separate series allows people to do this.
Here are the two series below, so you can see the gorgeous covers. I’m excited about working on the new stores for Riders of Fire Dragon Masters and hope you’re looking forward to reading them.
YA epic fantasy adventure. Series link here.
Book 1: Ezaara
Book 2: Dragon Hero
Book 3: Dragon Rift
Book 4: Dragon Strike
Book 5: Dragon War
Book 6: Sea Dragon
Riders of Fire Dragon Masters
YA epic fantasy adventure:
Book 1: Anakisha’s Dragon
Book 2: Dragon Mage
Book 3: Dragon Spy
Book 4: Dragon Healer
Riders of Fire Dragons
These prequels, can be read in any order:
1. Bronze Dragon (free novelette)
2. Ruby Dragon (short story)
3. Silver Dragon – free novelette only available here.
These are shorter stories about how many of the dragons and riders found each other. I hope to expand on this series as time permits.
A big thank you to my readers. Your energy and enthusiasm for my stories keeps me writing. I love your emails, messages and having fun with you on social media. It’s wonderful knowing you’re waiting for my stories! If you’d like to hang out in my Facebook group and have fun, pop over here.
Thank you to everyone who entered our Riders of Fire and Dragon Art Contest! We had some coloring entries and some originally drawn and painted work from adults and teens. Thank you for your patience. With me being so busy finishing Sea Dragon, launching the Riders of Fire box set, and finishing Ruby Dragon, the announcement of the results got delayed.
Feel free to check out some of the entries below.
Congratulations to Lilly of New Zealand for her winning art. She was so enthusiastic and entered four pictures — of a dragon eye, Zaarusha the dragon queen, a tharuk, and Handel the bronze dragon. All four of her entries showed different styles, cartoon and free style, with great use of color. Lilly wins a Riders of Fire paperback of her choice.
I also loved the sea dragon and black dragon below from Saydi of Honduras. These pictures show a fabulous use of imagination and color and style.
Erob by Mia of New Zealand, is very cute, too.
Skilah Cat shows us the power of a dragon’s eye.
Sam used a cool concept to decorate Zaarusha – colors and words that make up Dragons’ Realm. This is really creative and I enjoyed it immensely. Thank you.
We were lucky enough to have Laura Thompson of Rogue Kitsune send one of her lovely dragons for the contest.
Susi Galley did Zaarusha the honor of putting her likeness on canvas! I think the dragon queen would be very pleased with the lovely colors on her scales and wings.
Several entrants colored dragons or characters and sent them in.
Thank you everyone for your art, for joining in and having fun, and celebrating Riders of Fire by sharing your talents. I hope you have a lot more fun in Dragons’ Realm!
By the blazing Robandi desert sun, YOU did it again!
We got 1005 Sea Dragon names!
Ithsar, the Robandi assassin, applauds you! I recently published a request for names for some minor characters in my latest novel, Sea Dragon, Riders of Fire book 6. My readers are so awesome! I was thrilled when I received 1005 suggestions! I love your enthusiasm, your willingness to be part of my writing world, and the brilliant names you come up with. I wish I had more characters and dragons for them.
On the other hand, I’m thankful I don’t have to write 1005 characters in my adventures! So, thank you everyone for participating.
We’re lucky to have the fabulous Caitlin Davies onboard as narrator. Caitlin, an award-wining narrator and actress, has narrated many books in various genres. I discovered her when listening to Lindsay Buroker’s Dragon Blood series and Alisha Klapheke’s Fate of Dragons. She has a great voice and excellent narration. I hope you enjoy her rendition of the first three Riders of Fire books.
As you can imagine, Caitlin and I have had fun with my pronunciation guide. I created MP3 files, using my fantastic New Zealand accent to pronounce all the fantasy names in the series. It’s been great emailing each other and gaining insight into the narration process. Seeing Caitlin discover Dragons’ Realm and our courageous dragon riders and dragons was fun. It was quite an adventure, especially my rendition of growly, snarly tharuks, some of whom only speak broken English. Despite my weird kiwi accent, I know she’s done justice to the characters. I hope you enjoy listening to Riders of Fire. Now you can enjoy your favorite series out walking, doing housework or working, anywhere at any time.
Would you like to be famous? Or win cool Riders of Fire dragon swag?
Yes? Read on…
I’ve finished the draft of Dragon Strike, and guess what? At 180,000 words, it’s big enough to be two books! Yes, Dragon Strike and Dragon War (working title) will be coming out later this year.
To celebrate the release of Dragon Strike, Dragon War and my Riders of Fire audio books later this year (yay!!!!), I’m offering you a chance to star on my blog! Just send me a photo of you with one of my books – paperback, e-book or audio book!
If you don’t like photos, feel free to send your own art of dragons or riders from Riders of Fire! Or a just photo of my book somewhere interesting.
I’ll collect the photos now, and be publishing them in November before the books launch.
Prizes – cool dragon swag
What cool dragon swag am I giving away? You’ll go in the running to win one of:
2 x poster-sized color maps of Dragons’ Realm by Ava Fairhall (unframed – excuse the late night photo!)
5 x e-books
10 x bright Riders of Fire lanyards featuring your favorite dragons.
Note: Due to expensive international postage, I can only send posters and lanyards to Canada, USA and NZ. (I’ll be in USA in November). I can send e-books internationally. I’d love your photos from all around the world.
I’d like to announce the winner of the Name a Spider contest that I ran on Facebook back in March! I had meant to announce the results along time ago, but was neck-deep in edits for Dragon Rift, my latest book. Then I launched Dragon Rift at Armageddon, and life went crazy with Easter and visitors and running my writing business and publishing the NZ Youth Laureate Award winners, and suddenly… its’ May!
I mean, May? How did that happen?
The Challenge was:
I need a cool fantasy name for a venomous spider as big as a dinner plate. Any ideas?
What I’m looking for is a fantasy species name, so a fantasy name that shows it’s a huge, dangerous spider. i.e.: a species name – bitten by a/an xxx spider. This is for Dragon Rift, the 3rd book in Riders of Fire, a dragon rider medieval fantasy series… go for it! I’ll name you and call out your genius in my acknowledgements!!
You all came up with such fantastic names! Now I’ll have to write another novel full of awesome spider characters. That’s the problem with being a writer: thousands of book ideas and not enough time to write them all!
There were over 80 entries, so I had a lot of clever names to choose from.
The Winner :
Susan Minot: Gargantula ?
Sue’s name is in the acknowledgements of Dragon Rift. As a bonus, I’ll send her a copy of the paperback. And although gargantulas are only mentioned once in Dragon Rift, I’m sure they’ll skitter across the pages of Dragon Strike, Riders of Fire book 4, due out later this year.
I loved everyone’s ideas. I was torn in a few different directions, but ultimately I wanted the species to sound big and venomous. Here are some of my favourite suggestions. Some made me laugh, some gave me the creeps, some were fascinating. See what you think:
Ava Fairhall: Mix and match with these: Shield crawler, or
colossal harvestman, or
disc spinner, or
Virginia Taylor: Michael
Bronwyn Norman: Venomous maxima, but people call it ‘Carol’
Natasha Kenyon: TEmperor
Zelda Tufue Dahya: Aracknidus Giganticus (Hail came up with that! He has been a Spiderman fan since he was 2yrs old)
Eric Corrington: Peteroid Parkernid
Ryan Mcfadden: a Ceramihumngi. I took the word for large and the start of the word Ceramic seen as as large as a dinner plate…
Tania Torea: Ingensaranea Literally two Latin words meaning huge spider Or Ragnoenorme
Peter Friend: Troll Hands – named after their supposed resemblance to those of mythical (or are they?) eight-fingered trolls, or so parents tell their children…
Nicky Curran: Zorboct.
Silvia Brown: Plato, means plate in Spanish and is the first thing that came to mind so I am sticking with it. Plus wasnt that the name of an Ancient Greek philosopher as well? A philosophical ceramic spider!!!
Martin Riesen: What kind of a name are you looking for? A pet? (Fred), More funny? (Spidermax). Medieval? Arachnia Tantus
Simon Voysey: Skitters
Meg Jolly: Empress Widow?
Jean E. Lane: The “Freakindead” spider.
Matt Whitaker Jeff. Or Dave.
Kevin Maclean: Tarantula morbidius…
Moya Bawden: Tantunab – Sanskrit
Gary Freedman: Puppy
Adam Roberts: Arachadonis. Spider with a six pack…
Adam Roberts: Arachadonis Rex. Front legs are too small to do anything useful…
Adam Roberts: Terran Chulla.
Eric Corrington: Aralob.
Deryn Pittar: Archnia gigantus
Wow, you made it to the end of that humongous list of scary spiders. Just for being brave, here’s a reward. Enjoy this fascinating video.
If the venomous spiders haven;t put you off Riders of Fire, feel free to pick up a copy here. Your next wild adventure is waiting.