Riders of Fire Dragon Masters – new prequel series announced

riders of Fire Dragon Masters series

Riders of Fire Dragon Masters is a new exciting series available from Eileen Mueller, starting with Anakisha's Dragon in March 2021.

 

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.

Riders of Fire

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 Dragon Masters series

 

 

 

 

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.

Thank you

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. 

Dragon Art Contest

Riders of Fire Dragon Art & Coloring Contest

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.

Winner

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.

Lilly, 13, New Zealand: Dragon eye with shimmering scales
Lilly, 13, Bronze Dragon, Handel (the pen ran out!)
Lilly, 13, New Zealand: A tharuk.
dragon art
Lilly, 13, New Zealand: Zaarusha the Dragon Queen, with shiny scales

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.

Saydi Duplantis, 13, Honduras, child: This is a sea dragon. It hides in old shipwrecks and spreads its wings to attract its next meal.
Saydi Duplantis, 13, Honduras. A black dragon.

Erob by Mia of New Zealand, is very cute, too.

dragon art Riders of Fire rob
Mia, 12, New Zealand: Erob, Roberto’s blue dragon with a great sense of humor.

Skilah Cat shows us the power of a dragon’s eye.

Skilah Cat: 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.

Sam, 12, New Zealand: Zaarusha the Dragon Queen.

We were lucky enough to have Laura Thompson of Rogue Kitsune send one of her lovely dragons for the contest.

Laura Thompson, USA. Laura has more dragon art at Rogue Kitsune Art deviantart/artstation.
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.
Susi Galley, UK, Zaarusha in oil paint.

Coloring entries

Several entrants colored dragons or characters and sent them in.

Susi Galley, UK, demonstrates her lovely use of color  to give us a beautiful depiction of Zaarusha and Ezaara.
Sean Alexander uses online coloring sites, and he sent me this dragon for everyone to enjoy.
dragon art riders of fire tharuk
Julie imagined a tharuk like this but with a lot more fur.

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!

1005 Names Suggested for Sea Dragon! You are Awesome!

Sea Dragon -Riders of Fire book 6 readers suggest 1005 names for characters

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.

Sea Dragon Riders of Fire 6 by Eileen Mueller

Sea Dragon launches in 20 days, so grab your pre-order now. If you haven’t read the rest of the series you can start with either the Riders of Fire books 1-3 box set, or jump right into the Riders of Fire series if you’d like the individual books.

Which names made it into Sea Dragon?

Here are the readers who will have their names in the bright lights of the acknowledgements of Sea Dragon:

Feel free to share this post and flaunt it on social media! Your name will be on the lips of all Riders of Fire!

  • Queen of the sea dragons – Queen Aquaria  (Catherine Ellis)
  • Orphaned female teen Robandi assassin – Misha (Stacy Floyd)
  • Misha’s Dragon – Ramisha (Stacy Floyd)
  • Valiant Robandi assassin – Roshni (Charlotte Kieft)
  • Bold, wild Robandi assassin & her dragon – Nila & Nilanna (Cathy Wellman)
  • Kisha’s dragon – Kishanna (Cathy Wellman)
  • The eldest Robandi assassin – Drida (Pierre Rutherford)
  • Izodia’s sidekick, a bully – Thut (Douglas La Grow)
  • Izodia’s sidekick, another bully – Bala (Jeanine Thornton)
  • Leader of the green guards & his dragon – Goren & Rengar (Drea Dean)
  • Hot-headed green dragon rider & his brash dragon – Stefan & Fangora (Marvin Smith)
  • A father, member of the resistance – Kadran (Brittany Timmins)
  • A mother, member of the resistance – Katrine (Lucy Ladeira)
  • A daughter, member of the resistance – Hana (Cecilia Rodriguez)

As much as I’m dying to tell you more about these characters nd how they interact with each other… NO SPOILERS!  You’ll have to read the next nail-biting installment to find out!

If you haven’t read my series yet, but love fast-paced epic adventures with intrigue, action and DRAGONS, try Riders of Fire!

Dragons at 20books Vegas conference!

20books Vegas! Dragons at Large!

I’m currently in the USA! Yes, this is a big deal. Although I’ve been around the world many times, and even lived in Switzerland for years, most of my international travel was before I had kids. And man, did I have kids … lots of them.

So coming to the 20books Vegas indie author conference was amazing. I’m still overseas so my internet connection isn’t always brilliant, so I’m posting a few photos here and will put more up when I get home.

Meet me this week – Salt Lake City

By the way, if you’re in Salt Lake City, I’m meeting readers and writers tomorrow night, Tuesday 19 November, at Hatch’s cafe at 7pm, 376 East, 8th Avenue.

If you’re a friend, email me and I’ll let you know where I’m seeing friends tonight, Monday 18 November. That goes for anyone I’ve met in New Zealand or Switzerland over the years.

Okay, onto 20books Vegas!

Mal Cooper gets into channeling her inner dragon! Not the usual genre for a sci-fi author, but hey!

Mal Cooper who writes as M D Cooper and I had a great time as dragons. Although Mal does look particularly fierce here, she has a great sense of humor and is hilarious fun, as well as being a NY Times best-selling author with her sci-fi world Aeon 14. If you check out this book, you’ll see the ‘cat suit’ Mal is wearing on the front cover. We call them jump suits in NZ or latex paint-ons, but hey, I’m in the States right now, so cat suits they are!

Dragons don’t always have to be fierce…

20books Vegas
Dragons can be cutsie too!

20books Vegas

I met a fellow rainbow-haired dragon too, a Brit living in Aussie!  Tony Slater’s partner, Rue – or is it Roo after kangaroos? – and I had lots of fun while Tony captivated us with hilarious tales of his travels. Everything he writes is humorous, even his sci-fi and travel books, so hanging with them was fun.

20books Vegas
Eating Eric T Knight with Jeff Kohanek

I was surprised to find out that everything was about authors at 20books Vegas. Even the menu. But Jeff Kohanek and I tucked right in, in true dragon style, and ate Eric T Knight for dinner!

Jeff writes cool epic fantasy and Eric T Knight writes westerns and epic dragon fantasy! Yes, I found my tribe.

20books Vegas
Eileen, Jeff and Eric in their dragon tribe!

I have squagillions of photos yet to post, but I’m staying in Salt Lake City at a friend’s house, so I can’t work all day (like I have the last 3 days!). I’ll pop the photos up over the next couple pf weeks and keep you up with the antics of a thousands of authors in Vegas. And no, it was not about gambling – and all about books!

See you soon, with wings on and talons out!

Meet Eileen’s Riders of Fire Readers Around the World

They’re reading Riders of Fire here! And here! And there!

I recently ran a  contest for my Riders of Fire readers. Here are the results. Meet my readers from around the world.

Our Riders of Fire readers grand prize winners are Zach and Cherish

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Cherish Kasner in Ledges State Park in Iowa

Cherish is from Madrid, Iowa USA, and loves Ezaara. She says, “The Riders of Fire books are original and they pull you in!” She sent some lovely photos of her having fun with dragons, a trainee dragon rider, swords and magic! Scroll down to see more of Cherish!

Cherish’s A2 poster of Dragons’ Realm is being flown by dragon post to her doorstep!

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Zachary Spencer in Alberta Canada

Zach has many aliases, including Zach the Shark, because he gobbles up so many books and is always prowling the waters of Amazon looking for more! (If you didn’t realize Amazon was a sea, it is now! I claim poetic license). He helps run a Discord Server for readers in his spare time, loves gaming and is a valiant Rider of Fire, leading the troops against Commander Zens!

When asked what he likes about Riders of Fire, Zachary tells us, “I love the dragons, fast paced feel. You do not fear having loss or darkness, and of course your overall creativity.”

Wow, that’s cool and totally unexpected. Thanks, Zach.

I’m hoping the dragons don’t freeze their wings off flying up to Canada to drop Zach’s Dragons’ Realm poster to him. (I’m also hoping the sharks don’t eat them, but don’t tell Zach that!)

Lanyard winners

The following readers have won lanyards which are in dragons’ saddlebags, winging their way to their doors.

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Christine Steffens in Minnesota

Christine Steffens in Minnesota loves all things dragons and even has some pets that like to steal her e-reader and read about their fellow dragons. Look at this cutie!

Christine’s wee dragonet even matches the color scheme for Bronze Dragon, which is quite a feat! I wonder if the dragon is a chameleon, changing color depending on what book its holding.

When asked what she loves about Riders of Fire, Christine says, “Dragons, of course!”

Yeah, I get that!

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Andrew Agnew in Findlay, Ohio, USA

Andrew loves dragons too (surprise!) and owns a super-sized copy of Dragon Hero which he’s proudly cradling above. He’s a Dragon Hero himself, out crusading against tharuks and battling evil.

Originally from Australia, he’s now at home in Ohio where it’s rumored that dragons are plentiful and there are many tharuks to fight. He loves audio books and e-books!

Andrew says, “I love the connection between dragons and their riders, and not just in your books, but others as well. Especially when the dragons are good and not evil. Can’t wait for the next in the series.”

The words of a true dragon hero! Go Andrew!

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
A young Kasner dragon rider!

Cherish’s daughter is also a fan of dragons and got into the spirit of things. I don’t usually publish kids’ names on my blog. But here she is, armed with her sword, a trusty dragon at her side, and a great book to read!

Way to go!

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Ina Fowler in Spring Hill, Florida

Ina was in a playful colorful mood and tried out Zaarusha’s rainbow colors while riding dragons!

I love this attitude of experimentation and the bright upbeat colors that every dragon rider should wear as a warning that we will triumph over evil tharuks and the darkness of Commander Zens’ Death Valley!

Ina says Riders of Fire is “Intense and mystifying.”

Well, in this photo, I think Ina is too!

 

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Richard Goodrum in Carrollton

When asked what he likes about Riders of Fire, Richard Goodrum sent me this photo, with the simple statement, “Dragons!”

I asked him if he had any further comments, and he said, “Dragons!”

I think that says it all! He’s obviously fiercely loyal to a species that has a special place in our hearts!

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Deb, USA

Deb lives in the USA and loves Riders of Fire. She’s an e-book, print book and Audible fan and has the books in all three mediums! That’s pretty awesome.

Rumor has it that she’s writing books of her own, but not about dragons. Hey, it doesn’t always have to be about dragons! Good luck, Deb.

Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Cherish deep in story!
Eileen Mueller's Riders of Fire readers
Cherish fighting tharuks with a dragon at her side!

More Riders of Fire readers

Alisha and Elena Hewett of Crockett Texas, USA visiting New Zealand earlier this year

In January this year, I had a surprise when someone called me out of the blue and wanted to visit! Elena and Alisha devour all the books in their local library and often make recommendations to the librarians, who are happy to order titles they like.

It’s cool to know that Riders of Fire even has a home in Crockett!

If you live in Crockett, Texas, feel free to take my books out of the local library. Also feel free to recommend them to your own library!

And yes, we three do actually have eyes. It was just a bright sunny Wellington day!

More Riders of Fire readers’ comments

Some readers didn’t have photos, or experienced technical glitches when uploading,  but wanted to let me know what they thought of the series. Here are their comments.

Sherryl Taylor of Eugene, USA, says, “I LOVE LOVE LOVE DRAGONS. Have loved them since I was a kid. Now I’m a 66 year old kid!”

I know young adult fiction appeals to readers of all ages. I’ve had a kid of 9 years old write to me about my books and also pensioners in their late eighties who enjoy a dragonback adventure as much as teens do!

Stuart McClements of Bellshill says, “I like all things fantasy and horror!”

Although I don’t write stirct horror, I do have a couple of dark short stories about dragons that haven’t been widely published (in magazines or out-of-print anthologies). They may hit the light of day as soon as I have a good cover.  So hang in there, Stuart, and you may get fantasy dragons with a tinge of horror!

Gene Mallard of Lilburn, Georgia, loves the covers of Riders of Fire.

A special thank you to Christian Bentulan, my amazing cover designer! He really has helped this series come to life.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in sharing their love of Riders of Fire.

Riders of Fire Audio Books on Audible

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that Audible Studios  have produced Riders of Fire audio books for Ezaara, Dragon Hero and Dragon Rift, the first three books in the series. They’re up on pre-order now and will available to listen to on November 5th (subject to time zones) on Audible .com – USA, Audible .au – Australia, Audible.can – Canada and Audible.uk – United Kingdom.

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.

Get Riders of Fire on Audible here.

You could be Famous & Win Cool Dragon Swag!

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.

It’s that easy! Enter here now!

Don’t have one of my books? Download a free copy of Bronze Dragon or Silver Dragon by joining my readers here, or downloading Bronze Dragon from  Amazon.

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.

To enter, click here

I’m asking for your location so I can make interesting blog titles, like:

  • Zak’s reading my book at the pool
  • Sam’s reading my book in Kentucky
  • Elsie’s reading my book my book a tree
  • Sarah is reading my book with her dragon (yes!)
  • Frodo is reading my book with a hobbit in her time machine
  • Samantha’s reading my book at the zoo in South Africa

The options are as wide as your imagination so, go crazy, and have fun!

Enter here, and you could soon be famous… or a winner… or both!

Thank you! My books are in the EFFYs! Thank you!

The final tally of EFFy nominations has been done!

Ezaara and Dragon Hero are now in the judging round.

 

Thank you so much for your support in nominating my books.

The Epic Fantasy Fanatics Readers’ Choice awards (EFFys) are running for the first time this year. Readers were able to nominate two books for the awards.  However, there was a catch. Each book had to be nominated 100 times in order to be judged.

With Riders of Fire being such a new series, and books from many previous years also being eligible, I faced a TSUNAMI of doubt! (Yes, the tsunami is in capitals because it was huge!)

But you came through. We rode that Tsunami and beat it, with our surfboards still intact!

Here are the lovely EFFY nomination badges that you managed to get for my books. Once again, thank you!!! It’s great to have such loyal readers who are enjoying Riders of Fire.

But don’t go yet, there’s more good news below…

Sorcerers of Summer

To celebrate, many of the EFFY authors have teamed up to offer Sorcerers of Summer,  a fantastic promotion with their nominated books at 99c for this week only. Sorcerers of Summer finishes on 22 July, so get in quick here or click the image below.
Here are the #2019EFFys Round Two Qualified Titles!!!
A Meddle of Wizards, by Alexandra Rushe
A Muddle of Magic, by Alexandra Rushe
Arcane, by Sever Bronny
Awakening, by Ross Kingston
Balam Spring, by Travis M. Riddle
Blade of Memories, by Tina Hunter
Daughter of the Dracken, by Kathrin Hutson
Dragon Hero, by Eileen Mueller
Eve of Snows, by L. James Rice
Ezaara, by Eileen Mueller
First Magyc, by Nicole DragonBeck
GLYNSHADOW, by Steve Hansen
Heart of Shadra, by Susan Faw
Heart of Tyr, by Susan Faw
If a Dragon Cries, by Gary J. Darby
Kingshold, by D.P. Woolliscroft
Mother of Rebellion, by B.K. Boes
Oathbreaker, by Aaron Hodges
Phate, The Cosmic Fairy Tale by Jason Alan
Recreance, by H.G. Chambers
The Sage, the Swordsman, and the Scholars, by Pierre Dimaculangan
Sands of the Fire God, by Matthew Silvester
The Song of the Sirin, by Nicholas Kotar
Soul Render, by T.L. Branson
The Ashen Levels, by C.F. Wellburn
The Crimson Queen, by Alec Hutson
The Fey Man, by James T. Kelly
The Game Bird, by Aidan R. Walsh
The Purple Door District, by Erin Casey
The Shadow Watch, by S.A. Klopfenstein
The Winter of Swords, by Aaron Bunce
To Make a King, by Krist L. Kramer
Winemaker of the North, by J.T. Williams
To celebrate and give back to you, Ezaara (worldwide) and Dragon Hero (UK & USA) are both 99c until 23 July. Check out the series here and grab your copy.
If you’re curious, the judging process for the EFFYs is outlined here.  The awards are judged by readers, which is very cool.
Good luck and happy reading!

Jacinda Adern Answers Dragon Plea & Cameos in Riders of Fire

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern makes a cameo appearance in Riders of Fire, Eileen Mueller's award-winning series.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern makes a cameo appearance in Riders of Fire, Eileen Mueller's award-winning series.

Jacinda Ardern

Our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has received a plea from a young New Zealander to research psychics and dragons. She responded, returning the $5  the child had enclosed, and asked whether those fire-breathing mind-reading dragons actually wore suits!

Jacinda’ s cameo in Ezaara

Jacinda Ardern has a cameo in Ezaara, Riders of Fire, book 1. First, I have to explain that New Zealand is a tiny country. We all joke that we know each other, live in each other’s pockets and that there are only 3 degrees of separation here in our country.

When I lived in Switzerland, we played a game whenever I ran into a kiwi over there. We’d ask those around us to set their stopwatches and I’d ask rapid-fire questions about the new person until we found someone that we both knew. We usually managed to do that within a minute. Under 60 seconds most times. The longest it ever took was 90 seconds. The Swiss were astounded. Yeah, I can talk fast — and used to be able to think faster than I spoke! Anyway, the point is that I know Jacinda Ardern and met her and her sister Louise years ago. The last time I saw her was a few years ago for afternoon tea at parliament.

When she was appointed leader of the Labour Party, shortly before she was elected Prime Minister, I was working on Ezaara, so I named a character after her. Jacinda has a small role in Ezaara, but who knows…? Maybe in Dragon Strike it’ll be time for her to become a hero in her corner of the world, the way Jacinda Ardren is for many New Zealanders today… I’ll have to see where the plot takes me.

I’ve been meaning to send Jacinda the books, and Louise has given me a nudge, so it’s probably time to pack them up and ship them across the city to her office. I doubt she’ll have time to read them yet (so many parliamentary reports to get through), but why not?

Articles about Jacinda’s dragon fan are here.

Why Dragons?

The telepathic bond between dragons and humans is a fantasy trope that readers enjoy. Imagine having someone who understands your every thought and dream. Who can feel your emotions and desires instantly. Who can carry through the skies on their back, traversing lake-studded meadows, and soaring over snowy peaks and arid deserts.

Someone powerful enough to destroy enemies with fire. Or to toast your marshmallows on a wintry night, their scales glinting in the firelight. Someone fierce and loyal and brave and true.

Someone who loves you with devotion, but understands your weaknesses and your good intentions, even when you mess up. Someone stronger than monsters, wiser than humans, and older than the hills, yet with a strength and majesty that defies age.

Someone whose wingspan dwarfs houses.  Someone who can shelter and protect you better than any house.

That’s the fascination of dragons. Perhaps, if Victoria finds a benefactor for her dragon research, Jacinda Ardern’s next international trip could be on dragonback.

What do you think? And why do you like dragons?

Storylines Notable Book Awards – Fun in Auckland

Storylines Notable Book Awards

It’s been a while since I received my Storylines Notable Book Awards for Ezaara and Dragon Hero — for excellence in young adult fiction. I was absolutely thrilled to be among such distinguished company with my roaring dragons! Although I posted on Facebook and told my readers about it in my Riders of Fire newsletter, I haven’t had the opportunity to update my blog for ages.

The awards ceremony took place in Auckland. As well as awarding Notable Book Awards to young adult authors, there were awards for picture books, junior fiction (middle-grade novels or chapter books), books in Te Reo Maori, and non-fiction.

On the way to the Notable Book Awards

I manged to snap a selfie while waiting for my minibus to the awards. In case you’re wondering, I don’t constantly change the colour of my hair. I do it twice a year (it takes hours) and it just fades to all sorts of shades in between.

 

 

 

 

I’m no good at selfies, but hey, everyone’s nose needs to look a little bigger, right? I heard that photo recognition software has been updated to take into account that selfies produce enormous noses!!

Young Adult Fiction

One of the highlights of being at the Storylines Margaret Mahy and National Awards Day  was seeing many NZ authors I hadn’t caught up with for ages. Here’s a shot from the Storylines NZ website of the authors whose books won awards in the young adult category.

Mandy Hager

Mandy Hager (far right) won the Margaret Mahy Medal, and gave the keynote talk, which I loved. Mandy has so many New Zealand books awards that her pile must be  taller than me. It was great to catch up with her and hear her views about writing for teens.

“This, to me, is the definition of a great book, words that implant themselves in the heart of the recipient and become a part of them. Stories with power — be that the power to move, to challenge, to console, to excite, to anger, to motivate, to laugh, to cry, or to really truly think.”

— Mandy Hager

Life-giving Fingers

Another highlight of the day was seeing the heart surgeon who operated on one of my tiny premature twins, saving my baby’s life back in 2001. Alan Kerr was there for the launch of his son-in-law’s book. We just happened to sit next to each other. I tell you, New Zealand is such a small place. Wherever you go, you end up knowing people.

2019 Alan Kerr at the Storylines Notable Book Awards with Eileen Mueller

Alan saved my child’s life, years ago, then when he retired, he went on to save the lives of many in Palestine. Here’s a great article detailing the work he’s done in his life, saving thousands of kids like my one.

To top off the evening, I went out to dinner with an old friend from my university days. It had been 20 years since I’d caught up with Grant Hand and we had fabulous time, laughing way too loud and sharing our sad and good memories with each other. It’s amazing how you can pick up with an old friend right where you left off, even after years.

The Wellingtonian

My awards also featured in the last ever edition of The Wellingtonian. Thanks to journalist Jamie Adams for all his tireless work, covering community news for years, and for this final shout out, in his article Dragon Books Prove a Flaming Success.

My Readers are Orsum — Kiwi for Awesome!

Many of the authors on the Storylines Notable Books List have been published by large publishing houses — Penguin Random House, Scholastic, Walker Books, Allen & Unwin or Harper Collins — or by NZ medium-sized publishing houses such as Gecko Press, Upstart Press, Huia, Duck Creek Press or Potton & Burton, so I was thrilled that my books received awards and this level of national recognition.

Having said that, above any awards, I prize the emails I receive from my readers across the world who are touched by Riders of Fire and Ezaara’s adventures. Thank you for sharing your reading journey with me. Thanks for committing the time to enjoy my work. And thanks for letting me get to know you. It’s a privilege. You rock!