Master Mage is live today!!!!!!
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.”
Launch Party! 20 Oct, 4pm-11pm ET
We’re throwing a Master Mage launch party! Join us for fun, games and laughter in my Facebook group: Riders of Fire – Eileen Mueller’s Fan Zone.
We’re having an epic launch party to celebrate Master Giddi’s journey as he grapples with sabotage, love and danger.
Join us for fun, giveaways and to hang out in my little community of fun fantasy-book lovers! We have fun there all year long.
Eastern Time: 4pm-11pm
Pacific Time: 1pm-9pm
New Zealand: 9am-3pm
Due to time zones, prize draws will be open for a few days and the big contest will run for longer! So even after the official party, we’ll still be partying for days!
If you haven’t started the series, read Anakisha’s Dragon, Riders of Fire Dragon Masters book 1
Excerpt from Master Mage!
Maryssa quietly closed the door, her husband’s snores echoing through the cottage as she slipped down the hallway into the kitchen. Her feet were lighter than a butterfly’s as she stole across the polished wooden floorboards and took her cloak from its hook by the back door. Better to use the back door because the front one had a squeaky hinge.
She wrapped her cloak around her shoulders, reveling in the soft warm wool, remembering another cloak—still warm from the wearer’s body and tinged with male musk and mage smoke—on a similar winter’s night, many years ago. Back then, she’d stolen out of her father’s home to meet her clandestine lover for the first time.
She opened the door. Outside, there was a clatter and a thump. Cats yowled. She froze on the stoop, heart pounding. The fighting felines scampered across the yard, and Maryssa let out her pent-up breath in a thin hiss.
She tilted her head. Her husband was still snoring his slow even rumble. Most nights, she lay beside him, listening to that rumble while dreaming of far-off places and younger days. Days when life was full of promise, when she’d felt alive and bursting with passion.
She’d thought she’d never feel that way again.
Until today. In town.
Maryssa eased the door shut and rushed out of the yard, her boots squeaking in the snow, leaving a trail of footprints as she flitted along the street. She almost hadn’t dared slip out tonight—until she’d seen the heavy clouds and known fresh snowfall would obscure her trail.
The dancing flakes fell onto her hood, landing on the escaping tendrils of fiery-red hair that usually hung to her waist. Hopefully, the snow would fall all night and hide her tracks on the journey home. She didn’t have long. She’d need to be back well before dawn.
Along the boulevard, the homes were dark, a solitary lantern sputtering at the end of the road. Maryssa hurried down a side street. There was a swish of wings above her. She ducked under the eaves of a building, hiding in the shadows as a blue dragon and rider passed overhead. The blue guards could report her to her husband or father. She nipped down a passageway, keeping to the alleys and slipping through the shadows so no one would see her.
When she reached the outskirts of town, Maryssa broke into a run, pelting down a lane through the snowy meadows until she reached the edge of the forest. Only when she was deep inside the woods did her breathing ease.
Not too far now.
An excited tremor ran through her.
It was pitch black, but she knew the way well. She’d never forgotten it, often walking here in summer, making her way through the woods to the abandoned cottage. Many said she was crazy to venture out into the forest so often, but the creatures didn’t scare her. They reminded her of who she’d been in the carefree days she’d spent in the meadows with her lover—a lover her father had forbidden her to see.
Up ahead, light twinkled through the trees, beckoning her as if a thousand lanterns were blazing in a giant mansion. But it wasn’t a thousand lanterns. Just one familiar lantern burning outside amid the flurry of snow that drifted through the strongwoods and oaks. Remembering their tradition, he’d lit a lantern for her. There was no other reason to leave a light burning outside this late at night. She hoped he’d kept his love burning just as brightly.
Or had he?
Who knew what the years had done… Perhaps, the lantern was burning for another…
Maryssa’s feet faltered. She stumbled. Her hand shot out and landed on the familiar bark of a giant strongwood tree. For a moment, she leaned into the tree, breathing in the sharp night air until she calmed her nerves.
No, a love like theirs was once-in-a-lifetime. Never to be found again. Not even between the sheets of her marriage bed.
Surely he’d not found another love? She hesitated, her will wavering.
She could flee back to her husband, who tried as hard as he could. They both did and said all the right things, even though the feeling wasn’t really there.
Or she could venture into the unknown—a familiar past—and see whether it could be the same again. Whether it could be her future.
Maryssa pressed on through the trees. At last, she came to the clearing. Through the dancing snowflakes, the lantern flickered. She pushed back her shoulders, tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and pulled her hood forward, then strode through the snow to the cottage door. Her heart leaped at the light within, at the life the cottage had suddenly gained after so many years of being barren.
Like her. She was unable to conceive, a fact her husband stoically never mentioned. But it was always there—lying between them.
Her stomach was like a swarm of swirling snowflakes as she raised her hand and knocked on the wooden door. Three sharp knocks, a long one, then a short one again—their old signal.
Light footsteps ran to the door, and it was flung open. There he was, his face in shadow and his lithe figure limned in light from the lantern inside.
A hoarse cry broke from his throat, “Maryssa, you came!” He tugged her inside, shut the door, and turned to her.
He’d aged—hadn’t they both? Smile lines bracketed his mouth and crinkles radiated from the corner of his pecan-brown eyes, eyes that danced with that same vital energy she’d always loved. His features softened as he gazed down at her.
“Maryssa.” He pushed back the hood of her cloak and cupped her cold cheek with his warm hand, his eyes alight with wonder. “Maryssa.” His gentle words ghosted across her face. He pulled her close, nestling his face in her hair. “Just as beautiful as ever,” he murmured. His hands ran up and down her sleeves, drying her cloak as she stood there, the tingle of mage power flickering across her skin.
Maryssa arched into his touch. Gods, it had been so long. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw you in town today,” she whispered.
He smiled, his pecan eyes lighting with an inner fire. “And I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw you—and on my first day back. But you gave no sign that you’d even noticed me.” He held her at arm’s length and looked at her, his eyes roving over her forehead, his finger tracing her eyebrow. He stroked her cheek, touched a forefinger to her lips.
She moved in, and caressed his stubbly cheek, rejoicing in the coarseness, and ran a fingertip down his long nose. She let her hands play across his lips, and he laughed, his breath fanning her fingers.
“Oh, you’re cold.” He spun and shot a blast of mage fire at the hearth. Flames crackled to life, devouring the wood with their luminous-green tongues.
He turned back to her and took her hand. He frowned, a finger grazing her ring. “What’s this?” He sucked in a sharp breath. “You’re married?”
“Yes. My father arranged it.”
He spun from her, cursing, and stalked to the blazing fire. Placing a hand on the wall above the hearth, he bowed his head, staring into the flames. “What did I expect?” he spat bitterly. “It’s been ten years, but I thought you’d stay true to me.” His back was rigid with tension.
“I have,” she said. “You’re my only true love.” Maryssa ran to him, wrapping her arms around his waist and kissing his shoulder blade through his jerkin. “I’ve never loved another the way I love you, my heart burning with passion and my life reflected in your eyes. When my father drove you away, I was desolate.”
He sighed, his shoulders slumping and turned again, the fire in his eyes dimming. “So, now I must look upon you as another man’s wife, never to hold or cherish you again.”
His gaze traveled over her.
Instead of feeling duty-bound as she did when her husband eyed her, or unclean like she did when the men in town stared at her, she felt cherished, loved and protected—she always had with him.
“Even though you’re now married, you still came here.” He stroked her cheek. “I guess you know what you want?”
She nodded. “Yes, I do.” The words she’d hoped to say years ago in her hand-fasting vows to him. Never to another. Bitterness coursed through her veins.
“Curse your father,” he muttered. “Curse the entire town. By the dragon gods, since I first saw you, I’ve loved you, and never even looked upon another.”
“And I love you too.”
The fire in his eyes flared back to life.
Gods! Her belly dropped and twisted as his gaze turned feral. Her voice trembled, coming out deep and throaty. “All these years, I swore if I had the chance with you again, I would not waste it.”
His eyes blazed and his fingers twitched, proffering a bouquet of flowers made of flickering green flame. She took them, surprised they were cool in her hands. He snapped his fingers, and the flowers disappeared. “I’ll give you anything you want. Just ask.”
“Please,” she begged, the coil in her belly dipping deeper. “If you love me, give me tonight.”
His eyes slid to her ring, and he shook his head. “No.” He bit his lip, agony rippling over his face. “I’m sorry, Maryssa, I couldn’t possibly do that.”
Her hair crackled with the static from his mage power. She thrust her fists on her hips. “I had no choice. After my father ran you off, he threatened to throw me out in the snow unless I was hand-fasted within a week. My husband tries hard enough and treats me well, but there is no love between us.” Her hands fell to her sides. She shook her head, whispering, “I wish I had gone with you.”
Maryssa pulled her hood up, fastened her cloak tight around her, and turned to go. “Good bye.”
As she reached the door, a cry broke from him. He dashed across the room and grasped her waist. Spinning her, he pulled her against the firm planes of his chest. “And I wish you had come with me, too. Oh, our lives would have been different with each other. I’m sorry I heeded your father and left without you.”
She raised herself on tiptoes and met his lips with hers. His were as warm and familiar and soft as she’d remembered. Maryssa’s heart soared as his arms tightened around her and he kissed her with the same ferocious passion she’d known when she was young and they’d first fallen in love.
Tonight, she vowed, she would give him everything—everything she’d never before been able to give.
Invitation—Two Years Later
Master Jaedak chuckled at the molten mess of crystal Giddi had left on the stone plinth in his backyard. “You’re going to have to do better than that, my lad.”
“I know.” They’d been at this for weeks and Giddi still hadn’t mastered the art of shaping a simple crystal. He gathered sathir from his surroundings, pulling the life force from the trees, the grass, the bushes upon the hilltop and even the fish out in the bay below—just enough to harness their excess energy and give him the power he needed to do this job.
The familiar surge of sathir coursed through him, making him feel alive. It rippled down the veins in his arms and gathered in his hands until his fingertips were buzzing. He let the energy coil within his fists like a bucking beast, and then opened his hands, flinging his fingers outward.
Green mage flame coursed from Giddi’s fingertips, blasting into the piece of crystal on the plinth in Master Jaedak’s backyard. The fire hit the crystal and shattered it into molten shards that flew across the grass.
Giddi ducked, narrowly avoiding a flying piece of hot crystal. He’d failed—again.
“Flame is your natural medium, young man, but you need to learn to harness sathir in every medium, not just as flame,” Master Mage Jaedak lectured, shaking his head. “You have raw power, and lots of it. But shaping that power into a useful tool that you can do anything with will be the key to your success. When you can shape the waves in the ocean, bend the very trees to your will, cause a sandstorm in the Robandi Desert, and completely control the elements, you’ll be ready as a mage—and not a moment before.” Master Jaedak scratched his ruddy face. “Why, turning you lose upon the realm would be a dangerous thing with that much raw power. Until you master this and many other skills, you won’t be going back to Great Spanglewood Forest. Now, use your power to shape that crystal.”
Master Mage Jaedak held out a hand.
Giddi ducked again as the cooling shards of crystal flew through the air and hovered gently above Master Mage Jaedak’s palm. The shards swirled, coalescing into a mass that shot toward the plinth and gently landed upon it.
“Your turn, Giddi.” Master Mage Jaedak smiled, as if he believed Giddi was capable of taming the crystal and forming it into whatever shape he wanted.
Giddi sighed and tugged more sathir inside him. The rough lump of melted crystal stared at Giddi defiantly.
Jaedak coughed. “Let’s make this a little more challenging, shall we?”
“Why?” Giddi asked. “How would that help, if I didn’t even manage the last task you set me?”
“Instead of trying to form an oval crystal, form that molten lump of rock into a fish. Just tug one end outward to form a mouth and the other upward like a tail. It doesn’t need scales or fins at this stage.”
Scales or fins? His master was mad. Giddi groaned and rolled his eyes.
“Come on, you may find it easier than forming an orb.”
In the few moons Master Mage Jaedak had been training him, Giddi had barely managed much at all. The master mage seemed to think he was improving, but he didn’t see how. Every task Master Mage Jaedak gave him was beyond his capabilities. And before he mastered one, Master Jaedak moved onto the next task, and then the next. There must be a reason, because his master was fair, and even-tempered, so Giddi kept at it—even though he couldn’t see much point.
He held out his hands to try again.
“Giddi,” Master Mage Jaedak said softly, “you’re a dragon mage who can mind-meld with any dragon. You’re one of a kind. I have to push you harder than anyone else. But imagine what it would be like to also mind-meld with people, with animals, with any living thing.”
Giddi gaped. “What?”
He’d accidentally mind-melded with Anakisha a couple of times and also once with Starrus when he’d been enraged, but to intentionally mind-meld with anyone? He’d never dreamed of that.
“You heard me. Now stop staring at me with your jaw hanging open or you’ll soon be swallowing flies. There’s work to be done.” Jaedak gestured at the crystal lump smirking at Giddi on the plinth.
This time, when Giddi’s plume of green flame smacked into it, the crystal bubbled and oozed into a river of flowing glass.
Giddi flung his hands in the air. “It’s no use. I’m just not cut out for this. I’ve been blasting crystals for moons now, and all I do is destroy them.”
Master Mage Jaedak grinned. “It takes many, many moons for a lesser mage to melt a crystal. You’ve been melting them since your first attempt, so you’re on the right track. Don’t forget, I trained your father and many other mages after him. I know what I’m doing, even if you don’t. Fetch another crystal from that pail and try again.”
Giddi stooped and picked up a chunk of crystal from the wooden pail near his feet.
A caw rent the air. A dark speck zipped over the distant trees, then arrowed toward Master Mage Jaedak’s garden. Wings wide, a raven swooped down and landed on the plinth, carefully stepping over the rivulets of congealing crystal.
Master Jaedak held up his arm, and the raven flew over and leaped onto his forearm, a tube tied to its leg. Master Jaedak broke the wax seal off the tube and shook out a strip of parchment.
“Well, well, lad, I guess there’s an advantage to having you as my trainee. Your friends Yanir, the King’s Rider and Anakisha, the Queen’s Rider, are being hand-fasted. You and I are invited to the ceremony, along with a few other Naobian mages.” Master Mage Jaedak slapped Giddi on the shoulder and grinned. “We’re heading for Dragons’ Hold.”
A shiver snaked down Giddi’s spine. Returning to Dragons’ Hold meant facing Starrus, the mage who’d killed his father and dumped Giddi in the Wastelands at the feet of the Robandi Silent Assassins. He swallowed. “Anakisha and Yanir are being hand-fasted? So quickly?”
Master Mage Jaedak frowned. “The tone of your voice could lead me to believe that you admire the Queen’s Rider yourself.”
Giddi burst out laughing. “I do, as a good friend. It’s just that they only met each other a few moons ago, and now they’re being hand-fasted. It seems too quick.”
Master Mage Jaedak chuckled. “My wife and I were hand-fasted after only a few weeks of knowing each other. May her soul fly with departed dragons.”
“A few weeks? That’s madness.”
“No, it was good luck. I actually asked her a lot sooner.” Jaedak’s grin lit his eyes.
“Ma told me to always know someone through four seasons,” Giddi said.
“Once you’re hand-fasted, you’ll know them through every season for the rest of your life, anyway. I say, once you meet the love of your life, it’s best to get on with it.”
Giddi was silent as Master Mage Jaedak clapped him on the back. “It looks like this bird has been delayed, possibly by a storm up north. If we’re going to make the hand-fasting ceremony of a lifetime, we’ll have to leave tonight.”
“Kevin?” Giddi mind-melded with the green dragon he often flew with. He and Kevin had gotten into their fair share of trouble since Giddi had been in Naobia, but it’d been a few days since Giddi had seen him.
“Yes, Giddi?” the green dragon mind-melded, sounding distant.
“Where are you?”
“Fishing off the coast.”
“Make sure you feed well. I have a feeling we’ll be heading north together tonight.”
“Where to?” The young dragon replied. The image of a struggling shark flapping from the end of a green snout accompanied his words.
“I’ll be there soon, and I’ll let Goren and Rengar know, too.” Kevin’s excitement rippled through Giddi’s mind.
“Thank you, Kevin. Mind your dinner doesn’t bite you.”
Kevin snorted and shared his sight. With a toss of his emerald snout, the shark flipped through the air, writhing as it turned head over fin. The dragon’s jaws widened and snapped the thrashing shark down. “Now,” mind-melded Kevin, “who’s biting who?”
“Remind me never to accept any of your invitations to dinner.” Giddi chuckled.
Master Mage Jaedak flipped the parchment over and smoothed it out on a rock. “Please get me a quill and ink pot so I can send a message to the green guards and let them know we’re all going.”
“I’ve already sent one via Kevin,” said Giddi.
Jaedak guffawed. “I should have known. By the First Egg, you’re so quick I can never keep up with you.”
Giddi nodded, but without much enthusiasm. He’d been hoping not to return to Dragons’ Hold for quite a while longer. Time enough for the animosity between him and his ex-trainer to die down. Not that he’d ever forgive Starrus for killing his father.
Jaedak placed an arm across Giddi’s shoulders. “Don’t worry about Starrus.”
By the Dragon Gods, it was as if his master could mind-meld with him. No, that was impossible. Jaedak must’ve made a clever guess.
Master Mage Jaedak strode off into the cottage.
Oh well, Giddi didn’t want to ruin his trip. He’d deal with Starrus when he saw him. An icy prickle ran down Giddi’s spine. Or perhaps Starrus would deal with him.
Enjoy Master Mage here.
See this blog post about the expanded Riders of Fire Dragon Masters series.
See this page for the cover reveal of the next book!