March is National Craft Month...and National Womens Month and ...

By Natli VanDerWerken © 2021Writing is an Art. It’s also a craft.

Gather your tools. A laptop, cup of tea or coffee. A glass with some pencils and pens. A pretty vase of spring flowers. Take your place in front of the keyboard or the paper. Write the first word, the first sentence, the first paragraph. Craft a story. Three acts. Inciting incident. Ending. Plotting. All the filling in between.

Pull the parts and pieces together. Don’t be dismayed if they don’t all fit the first time. Re-write. Polish. Create a work of Art.

Release the Book. (Kind of like RELEASE THE KRAKEN).

Start on the next one.

You’re an Author.

© 2015-2021 Natli VanDerWerken


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Where is Winter?

From snowless Denver: Where is Winter?

I pretty much missed the past two months. Thanksgiving and Christmas were a blur and January the same. I did get a little bit of writing done, even if it was only one word or sentence a day.

I've been creating new ads for Red Dragon's Keep and WindRunner. What do you think?

I've also been doing some quilting and office organizing. You know. Beginning of the year stuff.

I've finally figured out what Breanna Arach has to lose to move DreamWalker forward. I wrote for about an hour last night. Just the motivation I needed. It's almost 2/3 done. I'm pushing to finish the book by the end of February.


~Imagination is the Key~

(I'll try to remember, too :))

© 2015-2021 Natli VanDerWerken



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The Veil Thins – Happy Halloween!


WindRunner - Book II
The Dragon's Children

The veil between the worlds thins at Samhain, our Hallow E'en – Hallowed Evening.  The ending of the year in ancient times brings a close to all of the hard work that has gone before. Those who have continued on their journey in the afterlife are remembered. The uncanny can walk the earth. The full moon rides the sky.

I wish that I could step from this world into the world that exists on the pages of my books. That’s what I do when I read: step into the worlds that have been created and become part of the story.

Step into my world. 


Chapter 3 excerpt

Finished with his meal, Thomas checked to see if Aeden and Gregory were done. “Gregory, you mentioned we needed to talk. Let’s do it now if you’re ready,” Thomas said. “Lady Aeden, could you also come with us? I’ve got some questions I need answered.”

“Of course, my lord,” Gregory responded. Lady Aeden nodded in agreement.

“I’ll see the rest of you in the morning,” he told his siblings and cousins.

Following Aeden and Gregory from the great hall, Thomas looked furtively at the others who remained. Several of the men-at-arms were staring steadily at Aeden as she and Gregory left the room. He frowned.

HellReaver, can you keep watch on those men? They feel off, Thomas asked the Sword.
Of course, the Sword responded. Lady Aeden frightens them. They are afraid she will see into their hearts or read their minds. Fear holds them prisoner, but they plan nothing right now, HellReaver told him.

I didn’t think to ask you about Owen, Thomas said. I don’t understand what is going on with him. Why is he so … prickly?

There was silence as Thomas walked toward Gregory’s office. I’m not sure, HellReaver responded. He is very confused and angry about something. He is very good at keeping it hidden. He needs a task.

Thomas’s eyes widened in surprise and then narrowed in thought as he walked. “Hmm.”
He turned into the door to Gregory’s office and stopped abruptly. Gregory and Aeden stood at the window looking out on the Lady Tower garden, staring at what sat at its heart.

A huge black Dragon, twice as large as Lady Aeden in her Dragon form, sat precisely in the middle of the garden. Tail curled neatly around its feet, enormous head dipped to bring shining black eyes level with the window, it stared calmly into the room.

“Oh ... my … Gods,” Thomas whispered in shock
Aeden strode forward and unlatched the window, pushing it open into the frosty evening twilight. She gave a slight bow to the massive figure.

Straightening, she shook her head in bemusement. “My lord, what brings you to Red Dragon’s Keep?”

With a toss of its head, a whirlwind obscured the glittering black eyes and glistening black scales, scarcely stirring the branches of the fruit trees growing in the garden. When the whirlwind died into stillness, a man stood in the Dragon’s place.  He was clothed in supple black leather, black knee-high riding boots, and a midnight cape seemingly sprinkled with starlight and trimmed with the white fur of mountain dire cats.

I sensed the wards breaking when the Claiomh Solas’ woke. I have come to test the binding.
Thomas and Gregory jerked in surprise at the thunderous voice in their minds. Thomas’s hand drifted to HellReaver’s hilt and grasped it firmly. He started to pull the Sword of Light from its scabbard.

Thomas, you stand before the Arach Ri, the Dragon King. He it was who set the warding to keep your family safe. There is no danger here. HellReaver spoke quietly in his mind. Be calm and listen.

The man in the garden shifted to face Thomas. His black eyes, set above a large prominent nose on a long saturnine face, gleamed as he caught Thomas’s eyes with his. Thomas felt as if his mind was under attack. Without thought, he slammed his shields into place. He took a step back, away from such power.

A slow smile stretched thin lips on the creature’s face. Well done, Thomas Arach. You are worthy of HellReaver.

Anger flared at the intrusion into his mind as Thomas glared at this fabulous being out of legend, a Dragon in human form created by the first mages. Thomas turned his head toward Lady Aeden, his eyes still captured by the Dragon.

“Lady, I assume this is your father,” he said with rigid politeness. “Would you be so kind as to introduce us? Although, perhaps we don’t need introductions after he’s been rummaging in my mind!”

The Dragon King broke eye contact with Thomas, threw his head back and gave a shout of laughter.

“An admirable bearer of the Arach name, daughter. You have taught him well!”

© 2020 Natli VanDerWerken

Reviews are critical for the success of any book. If you've read my books and liked them, I'd love a review on Amazon or Good Reads of Barnes and Noble. Let the world know what you liked, or maybe didn't like, about the books. Thanks in advance!


© 2015-2021 Natli VanDerWerken

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September’s Song

DreamWalkerThe full Harvest Moon or Corn Moon has risen. It’s a time to start winding down summer and beginning the rituals of Fall. School used to start after Labor Day. This COVID year especially, we all need to escape into somewhere else, someplace magical, even if for just a few hours. Why kids have to go back to school when they should be reading on the porch is beyond me. Of course this year there's already snow on the highest peaks of the Rockies. There’s a nip in the air. What do all of you do to get ready for fall?

I like these days at the end of summer because I can get out in the coolth (is that a word? I think it’s a word) of the (fairly) early morning and work in the gardens in one of my sun hats and garden gloves, pulling weeds or pruning and deadheading. Once it starts to heat up, I’ll take my own advice and sit at one of the patio tables with their pretty blue umbrellas, a glass of iced tea to the side, and some snacks to tide me over, working on DreamWalker and the myriad tasks that go along with publishing it. I enjoy putting the ads together that I’ll post later on social media.

With that thought in mind, here’s an excerpt from DreamWalker. It’s coming along nicely. I think October or November it will be ready (maybe). (Cross your fingers).


Book 3

TheDragon’s Children


Something wasn’t right.

Breanna Arach struggled to wake up.

A dirt path bordered by looming trees stretched before her. Darkness pressed in from either side of the narrow pathway. She could hear the skittering of creatures in the underbrush. An awful smell choked her, triggering her gag reflex.

She heard and felt the pounding of approaching hoofbeats. Dread squeezed her, shortened her breath, her heartbeat frantic. Shadows stretched ahead of whatever was coming down the path. She saw…

Breanna tore herself free of the dream, jerking upright with a shriek of fear.

Her heart hammered. She was panting. Sweat covered her face and body. She trembled with terror.

Eyes wide, she stared into nothing. The guttering glow of the embers in the fireplace at the end of her bed softened the darkness of her room. Her heart slowly returned to normal.

A dream. Just a dream.

Breanna swung her legs from under the quilt covering her bed to sit on its side. Her feet dangled above the floor. She put her elbows on her knees and dropped her head in her hands. She breathed slow and deep.

What am I going to do? she thought in anguish. This is the third dream this week! I have to find a way to control them!

She pushed herself off the mattress to the floor with a sigh. The cold curled her toes. She slipped her feet into soft leather slippers and pulled her robe over her nightshift. Tossing another log on the fire and leaving her Sword of Light in its scabbard on its stand beside her bed, she made her way from the family corridor to the small hearth in the kitchen. A cauldron of water sat on the coals, kept hot through the night. The Dragon Tower was quiet; the only sound the cadence of the patrolling guards.

Pulling a mug from the shelf next to the fireplace, the Duke’s youngest child spooned chamomile leaves into its bottom from one of several containers holding various types of tea. She ladled the water into the mug and shuffled to the table in front of the window looking out over the kitchen garden.

Breanna remembered helping the Keep's wise-woman, Moirra, harvest the chamomile at the end of summer. She leaned over the cup and drew the scent of the tea deep into her lungs. The braid of her red-gold hair dangled down her chest, almost into the tea. Impatience tightened her lips as she flipped it back over her shoulder. Stirring the leaves to hasten their steeping, she yawned wide, her jaw cracking as she pulled in another huge breath.

“That’s attractive,” a voice commented from the arch into the kitchen.

Breanna jerked in surprise and swung to face the doorway.

“What are you doing up?” she demanded of Marta, her friend, and weapons teacher.

“I heard your shriek,” the young woman told her. Long black hair framed her pale face, lying loose down to her waist. Tired half-opened blue eyes blinked slowly.

“Sorry I woke you,” Breanna told her, chagrin in her voice. She pulled the spoon from the tea to let the leaves settle to the bottom.

“That’s all right. I wasn’t sleeping well myself,” Marta said as she walked to the hearth and took a cup for herself. She scooped in black tea and ladled hot water into the cup.

“Really? Why not?” Breanna asked. “What were you dreaming about?”

Marta joined her at the table in front of the window facing the kitchen garden. This deep into the night it only reflected the dim light in the kitchen.

“Just normal stuff. You know, Demons coming out of portals. Claws reaching out of rifts to grab me. Dragon fire burning me to a crisp. Stuff like that,” Marta told her, a crooked smile crossing her face highlighting the dark circles under her eyes.

Breanna frowned. “You look awful. Have you talked to your mother? Maybe she can help.”

Marta brushed the suggestion aside with a flick of her fingers. “I’m fine. It’s just a dream about everything that’s happened.” She looked into her cup, avoiding Breanna’s gaze.

“Uh-huh,” Breanna said. She took a sip from the cup. “I still think you need to tell your mother about them.”

“Why did you shriek?” Marta asked. Breanna knew she was deliberately changing the subject.

“Something was coming down the path I was on. I knew it was horrible. Just before it turned the corner I woke myself up.” Breanna swirled the liquid in her mug, a brooding glower on her face, the corners of her mouth turned down. “Well, I don’t care if you’re not going to talk to your mother. I’m going to find her in the morning and ask her if she can help me control my dreams. I wish Mother was here, or even Aeden. Something is going on. I can just feel it!”

Marta looked at her for many moments, a frown lowering her brows, lips thin. “Fine,” she grunted. “I’ll go with you. Maybe she can help me too.”

Breanna drank the last of her tea and stood up from the table.  “I’m going back to bed and see if I can sleep. See you in the morning.” She left Marta staring into her cup.

A miasma of fear and rage reach out toward her as she opened the door to her room.

Breanna took an involuntary step back into the hall. Eyes narrowing with dangerous intent, jaw clenched, her anger surged.  Sending a mental shout to SunWalker, Breanna rushed to the sword stand. Nothing answered her.

Shaken by that lack of contact, she hesitated for a moment, then grabbed up the Sword, stripping the scabbard from its blade.

Light flared as SunWalker awoke.

The pall of rage and fear vanished as if it had never been.

Someone bound me! SunWalker’s voice hissed in Breanna’s mind.  Someone very powerful.

© 2015-2021 Natli VanDerWerken

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Colorado Authors League Teams Up with Little Libraries

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Winners and finalists from The Colorado Authors League 79th Writing Contest are encouraged to donate their books to the Little Libraries located around Colorado. I donated WindRunner and Red Dragon’s Keep to the Aurora Little Library at the Expo Rec … Continue reading

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Local Author’s WindRunner is Finalist In the Colorado Authors League 79th Writing Contest


WindRunner - Book II
The Dragon's Children

Local Aurora author Natli VanDerWerken has written another award-winning book. Her second book in the five-book series The Dragon’s Children is one of three finalists in the Colorado Authors League 79th Writing Contest.

WindRunner continues the story of the Arach family as demons, evil fey, and dark magic assault their world. A magical WindRunner, inspired by Friesian horses, chooses Owen Arach, second son of the Duke of Red Dragon’s Keep, to find a piece of the powerful talisman that controls Dragons.

Natli started the series with multi-award-winning Red Dragon’s Keep. Inspired by a fairytale she told her grandchildren one Christmas Eve, the main character in each of the five books centers around one of them.

WindRunner” let me explore the complicated relationships between brothers,” Natli explained. “Owen wants to be as brave and confident as his older brother. He feels useless and jealous and does not know how to deal with those feelings. All of that changes when he must confront the fey of the Darkened Forest, sway the Forest Lords to his cause, and battle demons to get the Aos Si Amulet. The WindRunner, his Sword of Light, and a Dragon help him grow and change.”

While WindRunner didn’t place first in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category, Natli is grateful that the judges thought highly enough of WindRunner to choose it as one of three finalists in the CAL contest. “I’ve entered it in other contests, so we’ll see what happens,” she said.

DreamWalker, the next book in the series, will be available in Summer 2020.

Author Natli VanDerWerken

Author Natli VanDerWerken

Natli served in the Navy as a meteorologist and anti-submarine warfare specialist. She used her military background to create authentic battle scenes. She was a 4H leader for twenty years, has served as an officer, historian and webmaster for numerous non-profit organizations, and is a professional Parliamentarian. Natli is a quilter, avid gardener, and raises and shows Shetland Sheepdogs. She lives in Aurora, Colorado with her shelties.

WindRunner is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble B&N//2K56UTo as an ebook ($4.99) or paperback ($15.00). ISBN 978-0-9991750-3-3.

© 2015 - 2021 Natli VanDerWerken

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2020 Colorado Authors League Writing Awards

“WindRunner” is a finalist in the Science Fiction category along with Todd Fahnestock for “The Undying Man” and M.H. Boroson for “The Girl with No Face. I’m in quite prestigious company!

The winner is M.H. Boroson for “The Girl with No Face.

While “WindRunner” didn’t win, I’m so thankful that the judges thought highly enough of the story to choose it as a finalist.

Thanks to CAL, the board, and the judges for your hard work on the contest.

Book 2 in the Epic Fantasy Series “The Dragon’s Children”

© 2015 – 2021 Natli VanDerWerken

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WindRunner is Finalist in Colorado Authors League Writing Contest


Book 2 in the Epic Fantasy Series "The Dragon's Children"


- Book 2 in my series "The Dragon's Children" - is a finalist in the Colorado Authors League Writing Contest. It's in the Science Fiction category along with two other finalists. There were 90 entries. I'm thrilled. The virtual awards ceremony is June 7 at 8 pm on the CAL Facebook page @ColoradoAuthorsLeague, the CAL website, and the CAL Youtube channel. #authors #sciencefiction #writing #books #book #author 
#amwriting #publishing #writingcommunity  #indieauthor #writer  #writerslife #fiction #epicfantasy

© 2015 - 2021 Natli VanDerWerken


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March Already?


Does anyone think that time is moving too fast? It was January a moment ago and now it's March! Where did February go? I probably should look up from writing occasionally and check the date.

I had a wonderful time with the Denver Academy Book Fair at Barnes and Noble on February 12. Of course, it was snowing, (took an hour driving home on icy streets for what is usually a 20-minute drive) but lots of parents and students attended and got homework forgiveness passes. The talent show was noisy and fun and the headmaster gave a reading to anyone who would listen.

Two talented students were working at the craft table right next to me. One of them is an amazing artist and drew a shapeshifter dragon for me. The other made, get this, TWO Origami Dragons and gave them to me. I'm officially impressed.

There were only three of my books left when the Book Fair ended. It was amazing!

I'm more than halfway done with DreamWalker. A sandcat just adopted Breanna on the way to Fasach. Is the Fasach Amulet real? I wonder where this adventure leads.

Write On!


© 2015 - 2021 Natli VanDerWerken

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Looking Back – Planning Forward

Looking Back and Planning Forward

2019 has been an amazing year!

I am so grateful to everyone for your amazing response to The Dragon’s Children books. So many book signings and talking to so many people who have taken a chance on a new author. Readers of Red Dragon’s Keep have come back to buy WindRunner. I’m so glad you like them.

Looking ahead to 2020, the third book – DreamWalker – will be out this spring. Breanna is having her own adventure, sent to a faraway land as an emissary. She’s been tasked with finding out why the Fasach king sent a spy to Red Dragon’s Keep. I wonder if he’s in league with the Demon’s leader. Hmm. 

Here’s hoping each one of you has a great New Year’s Eve celebration and a wonderful New Year!

Write On!

Natli VanDerWerken
Aurora, CO 80017
303 755-5404

© 2015 - 2021 Natli VanDerWerken

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