I am thrilled to announce that Ezaara and Dragon Hero, books 1 & 2 in my Riders of Fire series, have both been awarded a 2019 Storylines Notable Book Award in the young adult fiction category.
Needless to say, I’m over the moon. Ezaara and her dragons are roaring!
I’d like to thank everyone who has made this possible, including my wonderful teen beta readers, editors, critique partners, proofreaders, cover designer and the team at Phantom Feather Press. A big thank you to my readers, who have been sending me lovely emails, telling me how much they loved Ezaara and Dragon Hero. You are so encouraging and supportive. (And to answer your question: yes, I’m working on Dragon Rift!! Watch this space.)
Other titles listed in the Young Adult category include Take Flight by JL Pawley (Eunoia), Legacy by Whiti Hereaka (Huia), Flight of the Fantail by Steph Matuku (Huia), Ash Arising by Mandy Hager (Penguin Random House), The Anger of Angels by Sheryl Jordan (Walker Book Australia), Catch Me When You Fall by Eileen Merriman (Penguin Random House) and The Rift by Rachael Craw (Walker Books Australia).
The 2019 Storylines Children’s Literature Notable Book List comprises the highest quality New Zealand children’s’ books across four genres (published during 2018). The Notable Books List is compiled from more than 100 entries by expert panels of authors, teachers, librarians, academics and parents.
Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction (13 – 18 years)
Storylines Notable Non-fiction (age range from 3 years to 18 years)
Storylines Notable Te Reo Māori (original texts in Te Reo, any genre)
The Storylines annual list began in 1999 and provides a useful reading and purchasing guide to families, schools and libraries, and to young readers.
Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust promotes awareness of the importance of reading and books for all children and young adults; ensures children and young adults in New Zealand have access to high quality literature; and supports the writers and illustrators of literature for children and young adults in New Zealand.
I haven’t been active on my blog for a month because I’m writing Dragon Rift (book 3, Riders of Fire). Time and words here on my blog are words that aren’t happening in my new novel!
However, I do have some cool news to share.
Monday Morning Indie
I was recently interviewed on Monday Morning Indie, Connie Huddleston’s blog. Connie also reviewed Ezaara, which was very kind of her.
“Ezaara from Eileen Mueller’s Riders of Fire series is an excellent beginning for a fantasy [series] revolving around dragons. I found the characters to be well developed, diverse, and interesting. “
In this interview, among other things, I reveal one of Kierion’s secrets. Kierion helped Roberto out in Ezaara, but has a much larger role to play in Dragon Rift. Find out a little more about him here.
Stay tuned via my newsletter to find out how Kierion’s story unfolds in Dragon Rift.
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 crises 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)
Sea Dragon (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.
I hope your Christmas was merry and bright, and that your New Year started off with a positive bang or a relaxing sleep-in, whichever you preferred!
What Christmas tales do I have to tell? My family had a great Christmas. I usually take my kids ( and a few tag-alongs) camping before Christmas while our favourite camping spot is bright, sunny and relatively deserted. Luckily, I have a fantastic friend who is always game to come with me!
This year we arrived home on the afternoon of the 23rd of December, tanned, tired and with a terribly-full car to unpack: 4 mountain bikes, 3 tents, & mountains of camping gear. After swimming, biking, mooching around the campfire and cooking all our woodsmoke-flavoured meals , we were ready to relax, but, no! The gear had to be unpacked.
It does mean that Christmas Day itself is very relaxed because everyone already feels like they’ve had a great Christmas adventure! The long summer holidays can be spent doing other fun things, like writing and day trips!
So I’ve been flat out (haven’t we all?) but wanted to let you know that I recently had two articles feature on Holly Lisle’s international writing school blog. Both articles are about The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales, a highly successful anthology that I co-edited and Phantom Feather Press (published in 2014).
I’m thrilled to announce that a week ago I was selected as a finalist in the New Zealand Flash Frontier Micromadness literary contest. All entries had to be under 100 words! My flash fiction story of 76 words was selected by judges and will be featured on their Micromadness blog here at Flash Frontier, one of New Zealand leading venues for literary flash fiction.
From June 1 – June 22 the top 22 selected entries will be published. On 22 June, New Zealand Flash Fiction Day, we will read our flash fiction and Micromadness at venues across the country. I’ll be reading at the Thistle Inn Mulgrave St, near the Wellington Railway Station, on National Flash Fiction day, Wednesday, 22 June, along with other authors from 6pm to 8pm.
Enjoy reading Micromadness in Flash Frontier. I’ll send you a link when my story is up.
I was gobsmacked. Speechless. And in tears. Quietly (my friends can vouch that’s not usual for me), I thanked the many people who have shaped my writing – a long list – while tears tracked down my cheeks.
But, wait, roll back. What’s this show of emotion about?
On Sunday night, my book, Dragons’ Realm, received the 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel.
Internationally acclaimed fantasy author, Juliet Marillier, and New Zealand fantasy author, Anna McKenzie, had both been teaching us over weekend. Juliet was presenting the writers’ awards. I was sitting at the back of the room, tucked out of sight, when the results were announced.
A tear leaked from my eye. Then another…
Faced with such tough competition, it was such a shock to win.
Kevin Berry nudged me. “You have to walk up the front,” he whispered. “Off you go.”
Usually fast on my feet, I was so stunned that I hadn’t moved! Once I got to the front of the room, you could’ve heard a mouse squeak.
Then my ‘thank yous‘ started. And here they are again.
Thank you to every reader who nominated my book Dragons Realm for Best Youth Novel. Thanks to you, my novel got on the shortlist. And thank you to fans who voted for my shortlisted book in the secret ballot.
My amazing publishers, Deb Potter and Blair Polly of the Fairytale Factory, have been imaginative and worked hard to make Dragons Realm the best book it could be. Thank you to Monkey Lab and Clarke’s critique group – my fantastic peers who review my work: Alicia Ponder, Peter Friend, Lee Murray, Simon Fogarty, Charlotte Kieft and Michelle Child. You guys are my tribe and I love your insight, brainstorming sessions and sense of humor!
Thank you to Grace Bridges of Splashdown Press and Chila of Port Yonder Press for awarding me first place in the SpecFicNZ Going Global Award which opened many doors for me. Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray were my first editors on the Baby Teeth project which saw Marie Hodgkinson of Paper Road Press publish my first short story.
Thanks to Alicia Ponder who found me and introduced me to Phoenix Writers, who got Lost in The Museum with me. Geoff Popham deserves a big thank you for his award-winning art. Then there are all the Phantom Feather Press authors who helped make the Best of Twisty Christmas Tales a success. Paul Mannering’s crazy ideas always spark more of my own. Vicki Cunningham is always positive and cheerful. My family is very cool and support my books – Kurt and the kids love riding dragons and cracking jokes. My friends at home, and loyal readers, friends and writers around the world have been amazingly supportive – especially Holly Lisle’s online forum – all my Write a Book with Me buddies. (I can hear you cheering!)
And thanks to Kyle Mewburn, who mentored me and strengthened my voice!!! (Yes, they can hear me in Switzerland now when I sing!) To the many writers whose workshops I’ve attended (Juliet Marillier, Anna McKenzie, David Hill, Fleur Beale, Ruth Paul to name a few). To Joy Cowley, Dave Freer and David Hill for their contributions to The Best Twisty Christmas Tales.
It’s also great to be part of the SSFANZ, SpeciFicNZ, NZSA, Storylines and the Wellington Children’s Book Association.
Is there anyone I haven’t mentioned? If so, thank you too. We all need a tribe, a village, a city… a circle of supporters, friends and mentors.
Talking dragons is one of my favourite past-times. Okay, and reading, writing and flying on dragons too… Whatever, dragons are cool. My middle-grade dragon fiction caught the attention of Lee Murray who has won five Sir Julius Vogel Awards and an Australasian Shadows Award for writing and editing.