The Year of the Dragon – New Year, New Targets

 New Year - New Targets!

Year of the Dragon
I was born in the Year of the Dragon. What luck that I write about Dragons. Now the Year of the Dragon is here again. Red Dragon’s Keep and WindRunner are Amazon #1 Best Sellers and DreamWalker was published in October.

In this Year of the Dragon, I’ve set some ambitious goals: finish Falcon’s Spire by the spring and Talisman by the fall. There will be more signings and some free giveaways.This was the best Christmas I’ve had in five years. I gave up on replacing the lights on the bottom and the top of my ten-year old tree when my daughter asked me “How much is your time worth?”. I bought a new one and threw away the malfunctioning one that I’d been working on for two years. I’ve never done that before and it made me feel awful, for about five minutes. With her help, it was up and decorated by the Thursday before Christmas.Gift wrapping and finishing touches decorating the house happened on Friday and Saturday. That usually isn't done until Christmas Eve. Deb and Scott and all the dogs arrived, and a great time was had by all. I miss the families down in Florida but got to visit them before Thanksgiving. What a wonderful end to 2023.Here in Colorado the National Western Stock Show runs the second and third weeks in January.It’s an exciting celebration of everything western: rodeos, horse shows, cattle and sheep shows, demonstrations and products for farmers and ranchers. Traditionally we leave Christmas decorations up to share the season with participants and visitors until it’s over on the third Sunday. That’s why mine are still up. The sub-zero weather we just had is normal. It’s called “Stock Show Weather”!
I’ve got a book signing on January 27 at Hilary’s Hair, my stylist’s shop. She’s the one who creates my DragonFire hair color and does a fantastic job. She has a lot of clients who are teachers, so it’s a perfect venue. Can’t wait to tell them about my books!Until the next time.

Write On!



#Fantasy #action #adventure #relationships #celtic #legends #teens #youngadult #magic #quest #dragons #dragon #jealousy #demons #talisman #swordoflight #amulet #windrunner #gatheringofheroes #fairytales #folktales #myths #YAbooks
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DreamWalker Published and WindRunner Success

DreamWalker cover for 3rd book in The Dragon's Children series

It's almost here. +It's been three long years and a pandemic since I started this book. DreamWalker is live and available as an eBook and in process for paperback. Here are the links: for Amazon for Barnes and Noble

The print book should be out within 3 days. I'll post and send a notice in the newsletter.

WindRunner is now a #1 Amazon Best Seller, thanks to all of you and your support. Thank you all for choosing to follow the Arach family. Dragons, and Demons, and Magic Swords, oh my!

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WindRunner Best Seller Campaign


The second son, an arrogant WindRunner, a magic Sword, an elf and a dire wolf. What could possibly go wrong? Everything.

Find out with a FREE EBOOK TODAY here:

#YAfantasy #freebooks #booksbooksbooks #magic #swordandsorcery @CODragonLady. Grab it now!

©2023 Natli VanDerWerken



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Red Dragon’s Keep Makes Amazon #1 Best Seller

Amazon Bestseller Badge - Round

Red Dragon's Keep #1 Amazon Best Seller

Press Release

Colorado Author Natli VanDerWerken is Amazon #1 Best Seller


Red Dragon’s Keep made the #1 Amazon Best Seller list in June. The fantasy novel by Colorado native Natli VanDerWerken garnered over 1000 downloads over three days.

“It was awesome,” VanDerWerken exclaimed. “I ran a best seller campaign with the help of “The Book Shepherd” Judith Briles. It was exciting and scary at the same time.”

From choosing the categories to place the book in, to creating ads for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Natli said that she enjoyed finding photos and creating copy for the ads the most.

“The picture of the Dragon’s Eye drew the most comments”, she said. “I have to say, that one really draws you in. It’s as if it’s looking into your soul.”

Red Dragon’s Keep is the first book in her fantasy series “The Dragon’s Children”. It has now won five awards since it was published by Zenith Star Publishing, VanDerWerken’s private publishing imprint. WindRunner, second in the series, also saw a spike in downloads and purchases.

“I just finished DreamWalker, third book in the series. It’s about the daughter of the Duke of Red Dragon’s Keep and her struggles to grow up, take responsibility for her actions, battle demons, and find the third amulet that, when joined into the Power of Dragons talisman, will call the dragons to help them.”

“It’s on its way to my beta readers and then formatting for publication, but I can honestly say it’ll be out by the end of August. Happy dance!”

The Audible copy of Red Dragon’s Keep will also be out by then. Natli has had a very busy summer.

Her books are available on Amazon at

and Barnes & Noble at

Find out more at


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FREE EBOOK Amazon Best Seller Campaign

Dragon Eye

Dragons, magic in the blood, Swords of Light, and a Demon War. What could go wrong? Everything!. Grab a Free eBook TODAY here: #YAfantasy #freebooks #booksbooksbooks #magic #swordandsorcery

@CODragonLady. Grab it now!

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Back Again For a New Year! Book Signing at Barnes and Noble this Weekend

I spent last week helping my daughter get ready for the American Shetland Sheepdog Association National, brushing and bathing 5 dogs. Instead of writing. Then I had to recover. The National is this week at Purina Farms outside of St. Louis. It’s a week of very hard work, shmoozing with friends, and showing the dogs. She’s got 12 this year. That’s the plan.

So back into the writing universe. I have a couple of chapters left in DreamWalker. Then off to editing. I’m working on a re-launch of Red Dragon’s Keep with an Amazon Best Seller campaign for the ebook in June. More on that to come. Oh, and an audiobook release of Red Dragon’s Keep. Why didn’t I do this when it was snowing?

By Natli VanDerWerken © 2021

Book signing at the Barnes and Noble @bnbuzz Colorado Blvd store in Glendale on Saturday 9 – 5, and at the Southlands Barnes and Noble store in Aurora 10 – 5. I’ll be with a bunch of authors supporting the AuthorU Foundation. All genres for all ages.

Come out and get signed copies from some of the best authors in Colorado.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are coming. You’ve Been Warned. Hahahaha!

Write On!

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One More Booksigning

I've got one more book signing this month. I'll be signing my books at the first artisan vendor fair at Fabric Play Quilting, 15464 E Hampden Ave, in Aurora, CO from 10 - 4 tomorrow, December 10. If you need great books for Christmas gifts for kids from 8 to infinity, I can personalize them then. See you there.


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Holiday 2022 Schedule

Sorry I haven’t sent out an update for a while. Thought I’d give you an update on where you can find me this month.

  • November 4 – Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show - Colorado Authors League booth- book signing at the Event Center, 3960 Palmer Park Blvd
  • November 5 – Heritage Eagle Bend Club House 3960 Palmer Park Blvd, book signing
  • November 6 - Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show - Colorado Authors League booth- book signing at the Event Center, 3960 Palmer Park Blvd
  • November 26 – Barnes & Noble book signing Southlands, Aurora
  • November 27 – Barnes & Noble book signing Colorado Blvd, Denver
  • December 3 – Firestone Charter Academy Craft Fair – Firestone, CO
  • December 9 – Aurora Gateway Rotary Club – speaking engagement

That’s the schedule for now.

I’m writing as fast as I can on DreamWalker – book three in the series. It will be out in Winter 2022/2023. Just worked out a major hurdle in the story. That was fun! Let me know if you’d like signed copies of Red Dragon’s Keep or WindRunner. I can ship them to you.

Oh, and I have a big favor to ask of you. If you’ve read the books, could you please leave a review? It’s the best way I know to let other people know that they might like them, too. On Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful Christmas and New Year!


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Timmy’s in the Well!

When I was little, there was a TV program that featured a young boy and his very smart collie, Lassie. The collie was always rescuing Timmy, his mom and dad, all of the neighbors and townspeople, and any animals that needed it. She would run from whatever problem that threatened to the nearest adult who could solve it. She always saved the day and taught life lessons along the way. Self-reliance, adults worked hard to solve problems, and collies could save everyone. I wanted a collie of my very own.

People would fall down cliffs or fall into the well or from a tree or a roof. Lassie got a rope and dropped it down whatever so that the human could climb out or she’d race to let someone know there was trouble and then lead the rescuer to the fallen. I remember her pulling on the rope to get either Timmy or another kid out of the well.

Then I found the book at the library. Lassie Come Home, by Eric Knight. It wasn’t anything like the program, but it tugged at my heartstrings just like it. Thus started my time spent in the worlds created in books. Thornton Burgess and Reddy the Fox may have been the first book that brought me to tears. Lad a Dog by Albert Payson Terhune consumed my imagination.

I fell in love with my first horse, Black Beauty. Then onward to Margarette Henry and Misty of Chincoteague, King of the Wind, Justin Morgan Had a Horse. Who can forget Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion? Remember the TV show Fury? I collected statues of horses from the toy shop and told myself wonderful stories as they galloped across the landscapes of my mind. I was horse-crazy. I eventually had two of my own.

Enter science fiction and fantasy. Tom Corbet, Space Cadet. I was halfway in love with my first Marine, Donald “Scotty” Scott from the Rick Brant science adventure series. It didn’t hurt that my dad worked in the space industry with the astronauts. I got to meet some of them when they came to the house for dinner. There were stars in my eyes even then. I wanted to be an astronaut. Heinlein’s Space Cadet and all the rest of the stories of the future made me want it even more.

I joined the Navy after a year and one-half of college and became a meteorologist and anti-submarine warfare specialist. I served at NAS Naha, Okinawa, Japan as the first woman ever stationed in the meteorology office there with only one other enlisted woman on base. I met and married my Marine after transferring to NAS Atlanta in Marietta, Georgia. We bought our first Shetland Sheepdog there. Best little dogs in the world. Instinctive herding dogs, ours kept our young girls away from the street until we could put up a fence after we bought a house in my home state - Colorado.  We’ve raised, trained, and shown Shelties for 46 years.

This long tour of books in my life emphasizes how much they influenced me. Now I write stories about dragons, magic swords, and demons. The books are good vs evil, the classic Hero’s Journey. Who would have thought?

A final note. Whenever my shelties start barking, my first comment to them is “Is Timmy in the well? Oh no! Timmy’s in the well!”

If Timmy had a sheltie, nobody would have gotten close enough to fall in the well. Good dogs.

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Celebrate National Dog Day

It’s National Dog Day. I thought that was earlier, but it doesn’t matter. It’s always worth celebrating Dogs! Or Dragons! I’m working on “DreamWalker”.  Here’s an excerpt:
“The path beckoned to her as Breanna skimmed the edge of sleep. She pushed the gate open that signified the beginning of her dreamwalking. Her feet carried her smoothly beyond the first bend of the trail. No pain followed her into the dream as she moved.

Wrap my mind with threads of silk
Shroud my walk from notice.
Guide me to the sand King’s dreams
Reveal his plans and patterns.

The familiar spell of veiling enveloped her dreaming mind, dampening its radiance to a tiny flicker to anyone else walking in their own dreams.

Breanna stopped and cocked her head in consternation. Instead of the aspen and lindens that normally bordered the path she followed, palm, Joshua, and fruit trees faded into the distance on either side. Shrubs grew under the taller trees, obstructing the view deeper into the grove.

Frowning and shaking her head, she continued down the path. Maybe it’s because we’re in the desert now. The trail split to the right and left.  A golden light rose from the horizon to her right.

Breanna stopped at the junction of the two paths. She glanced to the left, sensing wisps of dreams. Nothing was close. She turned to the right and settled into an uneasy wait, searching the dreamscape as far out as she could extend her senses.

A sudden blaze at the very edge of her perception made Breanna twitch. Its power pulled at her, making her want to hurry toward it. Instead, she waited. What is that? With reluctant steps, she started walking toward the energy. It felt nothing like the grey Dragon she’d met before in the dreamscape.

She scanned around her, suddenly anxious that the monster might find her. Her heart sped up and began pounding with fear. Stop. It is not here. She breathed deep, slowing her panic.

She did not find that evil thing anywhere near. Instead, the golden glow pulled her toward it. As she drew closer, her steps slowed further. The trees were thinning, allowing her to peer between the trunks.

The light shimmered gold and red. An older man in the loose long cream-colored robes of a Bedouin, a shemagh draping his head and shoulders, stood as if waiting. Breanna stopped her advance, slipping completely behind the thick bole of one of the palms growing among the fruit trees.

“Child, you are well come. There is nothing to fear here. Your shields are strong. You are invited to sit with me and rest.” He sank down onto a rug decorated with swirls of blue and red and yellow big enough for two at his feet.”
The book is finally coming along nicely. I’m working toward a Christmas release. Cross fingers and hope to shout.
And now some pictures of my shelties! Yeah for National Dog Day!

Write On! Natli VanDerWerken
Aurora, CO 80017
303 755-5404
[email protected]

© 2015 – 2022 Natli VanDerWerken / Zenith Star Publishing, LLC  
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