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.

Brightblade Box – Dragons Galore!! Win Dragon Swag!!

Isn’t this Brightblade Box prize beautiful?

I’ve teamed up with some great authors to bring you the Brightblade Box, a fantastic box of dragon goodies, including cool dragon books from talented and popular authors.

Brightblade Box - dragon books and gifts #giveaway #dragons

Yes, many of them are autographed!

This is an awesome haul for a lucky reader! And all the cool dragon swag makes it even more worthwhile! Will it be you? Let’s hope so.

Imagine that… autographed books from  amazing authors of cool epic dragon fantasy, bookmarks, a mouse pad, book ends and dragons to keep you company!

What more could you want?

Okay, that was a silly question.

And no, I don’t have a live dragon to throw into the prize draw. Mine are all out saving Dragons’ Realm from tharuks! But I have heard that the prize is delivered by dragon post!

Click here to get started. There are many ways to earn Brightblade Box entries, so have fun.

The goodies in the Brightblade Box, including a signed copy of Ezaara

 

Thank you to Tiger Herbert and Brightblade Press for coordinating this giveaway for lucky readers. Thanks to the other authors who have also generously  co-sponsored the prizes and spread the word:

  • Sarah K L Wilson
  • Alisha Klapheke
  • J A Andrews
  • R J Batla
  • Mike Shelton
  • L L Thomsen
  • Toni Cox
  • H G Chambers
  • T J Muir
  • J T Williams
  • Derek Siddoway
  • D L Brownson
  • Jon Cronshaw
  • Angel Haze
  • Daniel Kuhnley
  • Jeffrey L Kohanek
  • Gwynn White

Click here to get started.  Good Luck!

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?

Name a Spider – Winner Sue Minot

Name a Spider

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!!

The Results

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.

My favourites:

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:

  • Zelda Tufue Dahya & Hail Dahya: Aracknidus Giganticus
  • Simon Voysey: Skitters
  • Kevin Maclean: Tarantula morbidius
  • Adam Roberts: Terran Chulla.
  • JoAnne Carlson: venenum diaboli
  • Mirren Hogan: Spidey McBiteyface
  • John Irvine: Coconut Joe or Freddie Fangster
  • Mary Edwards: Plateous hugemont
  • Linnie Osborne Jones: Fangipotomus
  • Daniel Potter: Bigus leggius
  • Susan Darlene Faw: Frisbee
  • Ryan Mcfadden: a Ceramihumngi (large as a dinner plate:  humungous ceramics)

All the Entries:

Below are your entries, in no particular order. If you make your way to the bottom, you’ll get a fun surprise.

  1. Linda Tepley-Kean: Baba del diablo, which translates as ‘slime of the devil’.
  2. Juanita Dickens May: gargantuanarachnid
  3. Charlie Thorman: Jätte spindeln. Swedish för the giant spider.
  4. Or spindlarna (the spiders)
  5. Stefanie Murray: Magna aranea, Latin for large spider. Or
  6. Arachne (aráchni).Or
  7. Monstrum texente tela; monster web weaver.
  8. Mary Ann: Lilith
  9. Ian Israel: Araneae Leviathan
  10. William Shane Blalock: Bloodmare
  11. JoAnne Carlson: venenum diaboli, Latin for venom devil.
  12. Josh Lanterman Hammer Back
  13. Angelica Honeycutt: How about Mors Aranea? Latin for Death Spider
  14. Eva Seyler: Platus mortis
  15. Gil De Marco: How about “Rancorous-copious” Rancorous means bitter; unforgiving. Copious means vast; taking place on a large scale.
  16. Michael F. Renegar: Gigantula
  17. Elizabeth Townsend: How about Spinne? It’s German for spider.
  18. Julian Adorney: A species, or an individual spider? If it’s the latter, call him Dave
  19. Lisa Mettler: Anansesem. . It has really cool lore behind it.
  20. Justin Murray: Nightmare
  21. Serena Dawson: Horse spider? Lol. Exaggeration is always fun.
  22. Mirren Hogan: I’m guessing Spidey McBiteyface is out?  Although I’m now using that in my WiP.
  23. John Irvine: Coconut Joe, or
  24. Freddie Fangster or do you want a sensible name?!
  25. Shirley Wine: Avondale spiders are as big as bread plates – real domicile Avondale Auckland. NZ. Or
  26. Those wacky big one on Norfolk Island that trap birds.
  27. Mirren Hogan: Arachnia? or
  28. Arachnis? or
  29. Huntsman? or
  30. Funnelweb?
  31. Daniel Potter: Bigus leggius. I’ve got a pet spider who’s as big as a dog. He’s named Blinky. (In my Dragon’s Price series).
  32. John Irvine: Loxosceles reclusa… very deadly but small
  33. Robbie Lane: Cressida or
  34. Spindel ( the later is the Swedish word for spider)
  35. Susan Darlene Faw: Frisbee?
  36. Linnie Osborne Jones: Fangipotomus. or
  37. Fangaraurus
  38. Shane Hayes: Tarantino if it’s a bloke. or
  39. Tarantina for female
  40. Ebony Jean: I beg you to call her Ebony. Please. I love spiders!
  41. Aaron Compton: Nick Cave has you covered The Atra Virago, or
  42. the Vargus Barking Spider
  43. Hayley Smith: Trencherous Arachnis (a trencher is a medieval dinner plate) ?
  44. Aaron Compton: Araneae Somnumexterreri – nightmare Spider
  45. Alison Stuart: Fluffy
  46. Angela Oliver: One of my characters had a pet spider called Fluffy.
  47. Mary Edwards: Plateous hugemont
  48. Melinda Szymanik: Huntsman is big and scary so some variation on that?
  49. Annemarie Mead: Dobelix from Lachlan
  50. Denika Mead: Sounds like a cool character, I can’t wait to read it! What about ‘mortiferun’?
  51. Wendy Vella: Spidersaurusrex
  52. Renee Jaye Lyons: Ansidium mortius
  53. Alicia Ponder:  Depends on what you want the spider to do – trapdoor – webs – etc I reckon choose one the family names: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider_taxonomy then go for a species name like armida or morteus. Or a species name of …ebenum – for Ebony 🙂 Spider taxonomy – Wikipedia (Ebony Jean’s comment: awwww yeah! #TeamSpider)
  54. Susan Minot: Gargantula ?
  55. Ava Fairhall: Mix and match with these: Shield crawler, or
  56. colossal harvestman, or
  57. disc spinner, or
  58. orb weaver
  59. Virginia Taylor: Michael
  60. Bronwyn Norman: Venomous maxima, but people call it ‘Carol’
  61. Natasha Kenyon: TEmperor
  62. Zelda Tufue Dahya: Aracknidus Giganticus (Hail came up with that! He has been a Spiderman fan since he was 2yrs old)
  63. Eric Corrington: Peteroid Parkernid
  64. 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…
  65. Tania Torea: Ingensaranea Literally two Latin words meaning huge spider Or Ragnoenorme
  66. 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…
  67. Nicky Curran: Zorboct.
  68. 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!!!
  69. Martin Riesen: What kind of a name are you looking for? A pet? (Fred), More funny? (Spidermax). Medieval? Arachnia Tantus
  70. Simon Voysey: Skitters
  71. Meg Jolly: Empress Widow?
  72. Jean E. Lane: The “Freakindead” spider.
  73. Matt Whitaker Jeff. Or Dave.
  74. Kevin Maclean: Tarantula morbidius…
  75.  Moya Bawden: Tantunab – Sanskrit
  76. Gary Freedman: Puppy
  77.  Adam Roberts: Arachadonis. Spider with a six pack…
  78. Adam Roberts: Arachadonis Rex. Front legs are too small to do anything useful…
  79. Adam Roberts: Terran Chulla.
  80. Eric Corrington: Aralob.
  81. 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.

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!

Sir Julius Vogel Awards – Ezaara on Shortlist – Thank you

Sir Julius Vogel Awards – Finalists

The Sir Julius Vogel awards shortlists came out while I was standing behind a stall at Armageddon flapping my dragon wings and chatting to readers about books. In the flurry of cosplay, book talk and oddly-garbed visitors popping by the stand, I nearly missed the announcement.

Nearly.

My friends were far too onto-it to let that happen.

They tagged me on social media, and after hours on my feet, as I got home, drooping and all talked out (yes, imagine that!), I saw the great news.

Ezaara is on the shortlist for Best Youth Novel.

Thank you to everyone who enjoyed Ezaara and nominated her adventure. Voting takes place at GeyserCon, the 40th national science fiction and fantasy convention in Rotorua over the first weekend in June — New Zealand’s Queen’s Birthday weekend. It should be a fun convention. Come along and say hi!

Here is the full shortlist for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards :

2019 Sir Julius Vogel Awards – Finalists

 

Sir Julius Vogel Award

PROFESSIONAL AWARD NOMINEES

Best Novel

  • The Kingfisher’s Debt by Kura Carpenter (IFWG Publishing)
  • Restoration Day by Deborah Makarios (Oi Makarioi)
  • Into the Sounds by Lee Murray (Severed Press)
  • Teeth of the Wolf by Dan Rabarts & Lee Murray (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  • The Voyage of the White Cloud by M. Darusha Wehm (In Portentia Press)

Best Youth Novel

  • When Gina Pressed Enter by Elise De Silva (EDS Publishing)
  • Ezaara, Riders of Fire, Book 1 by Eileen Mueller (Phantom Feather Press)
  • Lutapolii – White Dragon of the South by Deryn Pittar (Junction Publishing)
  • Quest by A.J. Ponder (Phantom Feather Press)
  • The Suburban Book of the Dead by Jamie Sands

Best Novella / Novelette

  • Where the Sun Does Not Shine by Paul Mannering (Adrenaline Press)
  • Skin Deep by Violet Penrose (Griffon Press)
  • The Glassblower’s Peace by James Rowland (Published in Aurealis #114, September 2018)
  • The Martian Job by M. Darusha Wehm (Choice of Games)

Best Short Story

  • “On the Run” by Kevin Berry in Te Korero Ahi K? (SpecFicNZ)
  • “Girls Who do not Drown” by A.C. Buchanan (Apex Magazine, December 2018)
  • “We Feed the Bears of Fire and Ice” by Octavia Cade (Strange Horizons)
  • “A Devoted Husband” by Melanie Harding-Shaw (Breach Zine)
  • “Dead End Town” by Lee Murray in Cthulu: Land of the Long White Cloud (IFWG Publishing)

Best Collected Work

  • The Fairies of Down Under and other Pakeha Fairy Tales by Geoff Allen (Makaro Press)
  • Te Korero Ahi Ka Edited by Grace Bridges, Lee Murray and Aaron Compton (SpecFicNZ)
  • 80,000 Totally Secure Passwords that no Hacker Would Ever Guess by Simon Petrie
  • Cthulu: Land of the Long White Cloud Edited by Steve Proposch, Christopher Sequiera and Bryce Stevens. (IFWG Publishing)

Best Professional Artwork

  • Cover for Te Korero Ahi K?, Created by Evelyn Doyle (SpecFicNZ)
  • Cover for Quest, Created by Craig Phillips (Phantom Feather Press)
  • Cover for Capricious 9, Created by Laya Rose (Capricious)
  • Cover for The Baker Thief, Created by Laya Rose (The Kraken Collective)

Best Professional Production/Publication

  • Breach Magazine, volumes 5-9 Edited by Peter Kirk
  • New Orbit Magazine Edited by Naomi Moore (New Orbit Productions)
  • Writing from a Dark Place by Lee Murray (Victoria University Press)
  • Overgrown by Laya Rose
  • Info Text subtitles for Earthshock, on Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 19 Blu-ray Box Set (BBC, 2018) by Paul Scoones (BBC)
  • Black Archive #15 by John Toon (Obverse Books)

Best Dramatic Presentation

  • Wellington Paranormal, Directed by Jermaine Clement and Jackie van Beek (New Zealand Documentary Board)
  • Mortal Engines, Directed by Christian Rivers (Universal Pictures)

FAN AWARD NOMINEES

Best Fan Artwork

  • The Thirteenth Doctor by Laya Rose

Best Fan Production/ Publication

  • The Future According to Mikey (Curdled Milk Productions)
  • Star Trek in the Park – The Trouble with Tribbles (Enterprise Entertainment)
  • Phoenixine Edited by John and Lynelle Howell (Phoenix Science Fiction Society)

Special Award Nominees

Best New Talent

Kura Carpenter

The Kingfisher’s Debt is Kura Carpenter’s debut novel and very cleverly set in an Urban Fantasy world overlaying (or underlying, depending on your perspective) Dunedin, New Zealand. The writing is crisp, the plot excellently designed and executed. The work, I believe, clearly shows a writer who has taken the writing process seriously, from conception to drafting, to re-drafting, and producing a book that fits neatly into the Urban Fantasy genre while also having a strong Kiwi flavour.

Saf Davidson

With her unique and empathetic perspectives on disability, sexuality, and the human condition, Saf Davidson has quickly cemented herself as one of the foremost upcoming New Zealand SFF writers. Her work on serials “Tourist” and “Mountain Sound” has garnered broad praise, and as an award-winning comics writer and editor of games, it’s clear that she refuses to be put in a box—whether creatively or professionally.

M.W. Innes-Jones

As Concealment’s publisher, I nominate and highly recommend this fast paced, action packed and gripping Sci-Fi novel. The below precis speaks for itself.

Our genes: will they be our hope or our undoing?

Three centuries from now humanity has made its last stand – a city high in the Swiss Alps, a place of safety and security from a deadly past. This is the reality of Nathanial Paquette’s life and it has been this way for the whole of his sheltered twenty-three years. But with a knock at the family’s apartment door everything changes. Now he must face an uncertain future and unexpected truth – he is genetically altered, and what really matters is what lies hidden within his blood.

Together with eleven others, Nathanial discovers not only does he have to navigate the competing agendas of the city’s ruling council and a man of science but survive the rigorous training he and his fellow recruits are faced with.

It’s a world where friendships are forged, enemies are made, and death awaits – ever wanting to become everyone’s new best friend.

This is the first book of a six-book saga, I promise you, you will be on the edge of your seat from the beginning to the end. The author quickly draws you into the characters’ lives and their world and moves the story along at pace. Using compelling language, this new author reels you into the narrative and leaves you wanting for more.

Deborah Makarios

Deborah Makarios has produced a beautifully presented novel that is warm, laugh-out-loud funny, full of twists, and well-drawn characters. The fantasy has not only believable characters, but the land itself is a key character, possessing a magic of its own. She sticks to her genre, but the surprises are many along the way, and the ending is satisfyingly positive. Effortlessly woven into the fast-moving story, there are many current themes – the environment, justice, corporate greed and racism – even though the setting is old. I can’t wait to see what Makarios produces next.

The back-cover description of the novel is as follows:

“Princess Lily was born to be queen, but she leads a pawn’s existence in the shadow of her guardians’ control. She dreams of the day when she will take her rightful place in the world.

At last her chance arrives, with a quest for the three Requisites of Restoration Day, the royal rite which renews the life of the land. But she’s been hidden away too long, and Arcelia has changed.

Stripped of everything but the identity which has become a life-threatening liability, Lily will need to do more than cross the board if she is to emerge triumphant as the queen she knows she must be. The land she thought was hers becomes the field for a gripping game–and this time she’s playing for her life.”

Fraser Newman

Anna Ryan

Since writing and publishing her first novel (The Lady in the Coat) in 2017, Anna’s confidence of writing horror stories has been continually improving. She is a real enigma in the world of horror writing.

What astounds more than anything, is that Anna understands how the brain works; how we, as human beings cope/deal with fear, terror and paranoia.

After reading Deceptive Cadence, Anna’s collection of short stories, you will question the noises you hear as you drift off to sleep at night. Could there really be someone lurking outside you window, waiting?

And let’s not forget the monsters living in The Room at the End of the Hall. They cannot be real, can they?

You will seriously second guess yourself after you have read Deceptive Cadence. You will jump at every noise you hear.

Anna Ryan is an up and coming writer with imagination and writing skill to be a hugely successful horror writer

News Round Up – Dragon Rift

Monday Morning Indie Ezaara Riders of Fire review

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. “

Monday Morning Indie Ezaara Riders of Fire review

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.

Connie has many good books reviewed on Monday Morning Indie, so pop over and have a look.

Indie Shout Outs

Ezaara was also featured on Indie Shout Outs, a blog run by Alice de Sampaio Kalkuhl, which lists cool indie-published books. So hop over and see if there’s anything on her list that appeals to you.

Indie Shout Outs

My readers are the best.

So many of you have written me encouraging notes, telling me how much you love Riders of Fire, how Ezaara was great, and Dragon Hero is even better, and that you can’t wait to read Dragon Rift.

Some of you have asked whether I can just write faster and be finished with the series already.

I’m going as fast as I can. And it’s an exciting journey!

I’m hesitant to confirm a publication date until the book is with the editor. I was working part-time last year, so it’s hard to estimate how soon this will be ready, now that I’m writing full-time.

Please be patient, and if you sign up for my newsletter and free books, you’ll be the first to hear (after my husband and kids)!

Check Out the Photos – NZ Launch – Riders of Fire

Riders of Fire Launch Photos

We had a great Riders of Fire launch today, with archery, sword fighting, dragon crafts, a treasure hunt and medieval costumes. It was wonderful to see everyone having fun and really cool to share Dragons’ Realm with them.

Giant John led us in archery.The target?

Well, here he is. I don’t know what he did to deserve that role…But he performed admirably! Even though archers big…

… and archers small, took shots at him.
Luckily his body armour didn’t get pierced!
And the winner of the archery contest?

Well, here’s why Isaac did so well. Arrow nocked, sighted… and fired…… with great trajectory and even better facial expression!Our local journalist came long to interview the teens who’d read the book!

There were dragonets……and a definite cosplay winner!
Company of the Dragons sent Tara and ‘Fluffy’ to fight the people…
Giant John just couldn’t resist the challenge.
The sword fighting was intense … So was the book signing!
The treasure hunt was made possible courtesy of Ava Fairhall……who created an oversized map of Dragons’ Realm in brilliant colour……which even teens wanted for their bedroom walls! (I’ll post about the map-making journey soon!) Ava hid 5 tiny, -well-disguised treasure chests on the map… which kept everyone busy. The winner had a keen eye and a fast pen, skills needed by every dragon rider!More winners…Kids made their own dragon wings and flappable dragons……even big kids! I mean, who doesn’t want to be a dragon, right?
We had a blast. The whole community pulled together to make this happen—from my fantastic cover artist, Christian, in the Philippines, to my family, the archers and human target, our sword fighters,  map maker, editors, critique partners and caterer! A big THANK YOU to everyone who made this launch possible. A special thank you to my business partner, A.J. Ponder, my teen beta readers Ash, Lisa and Denika, and all of my readers and reviewers! Without you, none of this would be possible.

To all of my readers: enjoy your adventures with Riders of Fire!

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

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