Need a Book for Christmas? Red Dragon’s Keep Excerpt ~

Here’s a cut from Red Dragon’s Keep. Thomas has chosen his Sword of Light.

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Barnes and Noble Book Signing in Two Weeks

The book signing at Barnes and Noble on December 13 is coming up fast. Just two weeks away. I’ve been asked to sign copies of Red Dragon’s Keep at the Glendale store at 960 S Colorado Blvd, just south of Alameda and north of Mississippi. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity. I’ll post the time as soon as it’s finalized. Hope to see all of you there!

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Windward Range or WindRunner – Which One is Best?

I’m working hard on Windward Range, the next book in The Dragon’s Children series. I’m playing around with the idea of changing the title to WindRunner. What do you think?

The Windward Range is the home of the Windwalkers. Their fortified manor is called Aos Si. It is east of the Dragon Spine mountains and west of the Guardian Mountains that separate Talamh from Ard Ri. It’s a rich land of native grasses that feed all manner of grazing animals and the predators that hunt them.

It’s also the ancient lands of the Dana Sidhe – the Fair Folk – the Fey.

Untroubled by humans since the first Demon War, the Fey would sooner keep it that way. Humans are noisy, short-lived and dirty. The human population has increased and they are moving into the lands that the Fey consider their own. A few who respect the land and the Fey are tolerated, but conflict between humans and the Fey is increasing.

WindRunners were created in the far past to carry mages using the power of the wind. When evil threatens, they will choose a rider to help them fight. One of the WindRunners arrives at Red Dragon’s Keep and chooses Owen, the second son of the Arach line.

It’s going to be good!

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Book Signing on December 13

I’ve been invited to participate in a book signing for Red Dragon’s Keep on December 13 at Barnes and Noble in Denver (Glendale) at 960 S Colorado Blvd. Happy Dance around the room!

I’ll be there from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. along with other local authors. I’m thrilled.

At the Autumn Author Tea on October 28, I sold all of the books that I brought and passed out lots of postcards about the book and where to buy it. Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Red Dragon’s Keep was in the top four sellers.

I’ve been working on the next book, Windward Range, for the past few months. Thomas’s brother, Owen, is out of sorts about his place at the Keep. Thomas decides to send him on a quest to find their parents and the troops who were sent to save them.

A WindRunner – another creature out of legend – arrives before Owen leaves the Keep and demands that the second son accompany him. Adventures ensue. It’s going to be good!

If you get the chance, join me at Barnes and Noble on December 13. It’s the perfect time to get books, including Red Dragon’s Keep, to give the gift of imagination to friends and family.

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Want a great read for you, your children and grandchildren?
Take a peek at Red Dragon’s Keep.
It’s available as an Ebook and paperback at –,
as a paperback from Barnes & Noble –, and  everywhere books are sold.

There’s a dictionary at the end of Red Dragon’s Keep for a reason.

On Christmas Day, 2009, Debbie and Scott, my daughter and son-in-law, gave me a trip to Ireland, the land of my ancestors. I remember I was so shocked and thrilled I cried.

We flew into Dublin on an early June morning and rented a car – a story in itself. It was cool and cloudy with intermittent drizzle. Who cared? We were in Ireland!

The three of us checked into our hotel, built in the 1800’s, next to the Liffey (the river that flows through Dublin). Jet lag threatened all of us. To combat it and get on Ireland time, we took a tour of Dublin.

The city has buses that tour the city on a regular schedule. Each bus has a tour guide telling the history of Dublin. You can get on and off at whatever stop you want. We toured Trinity College and saw the Book of Kells, written in about 800 AD. It still gives me shivers. Along the way, we visited a bookstore (of course). I bought an Irish/English Dictionary.

Fast forward five years. I started writing Red Dragon’s Keep. I needed names for characters. On my desk was the Irish/English dictionary. The answers were in that little green book. The best €3.99 euros I ever spent. That little book sits on the table where I write as a very handy reference when I’m searching for a word or name.

When I think of Ard Ri, I think of Ireland. We drove along the south Dragonhold Underhill - Irelandcoast and visited Dragonhold Underhill – the home of Anne McCaffrey, author of the Dragon Riders of Pern series, Ardmore – the setting for several Nora Roberts books – where we spent the night and visited the pub, Waterford (yes, I bought glass) and Limerick. We spent a week in our own ‘cottage’ at Doolin, County Clare. We sailed to the islands off the coast, listened to traditional music and heard the song in the language. Castles abound.

Aeden’s name means Fire in Gaelic. Arach means Dragon. I used that little book for other words as well.

Now you know. Inspiration comes from everywhere.

Write On!

Natli VanDerWerken



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My First Box of Books

A really quick update. I just received my very first box of books that I wrote. Red Dragon’s Keep. I’ll never have this particular experience again. Wow.

I keep pinching myself and yup, I’m awake!


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Fantasy World Building

Want a great read for you, your children and grandchildren?
Take a peek at Red Dragon’s Keep.
It’s available today at,


Fantasy World Building

How did I build the world around Red Dragon’s Keep? I could tell you that I spent hours writing up a description of Ard An Tir. I could tell you that every detail was created before the writing started. The answer is frankly, it just grew. From everything I’ve read that’s not the way to create a world.

The first line of the book came to me as I woke up one morning. I’d been thinking about the story for a while and one day, there it was. I could see Thomas swinging the sword and walking towards his father in the forecourt of the castle. So I wrote it down, everything that I saw and heard in the forecourt. Then Thomas had to walk back to the salle and the armory.

So far, so good. A castle and an armory. What else is inside the walls of a castle? Stables, storage, barracks for soldiers, a training area, a garden, wells. I decided I needed a layout of the castle, so I drew one up with my seventeen-year-old Visio program. There it was, on paper – Red Dragon’s Keep.

The name of the castle was already set in my mind – Dragon’s Keep. Through the twists and turns of the story, it became Red Dragon’s Keep, and the central tower became Dragon Tower with a red dragon set in stone rising up its eastern side.

Maybe that Visio program actually brought the whole thing into this world. Hmmm.

Then came the first battle. As I started writing the scene, I realized that, oh boy, if I didn’t have a map I was going to get lost. Out came Visio. Suddenly I could see where everything was going. I could hear the horses walking along the track toward the convergence of the Caladen and the Banuisk rivers. Those names came to me as I wrote. The wagons creaked and swayed as they rolled along behind the horses.

I figured I’d better have a map of the whole continent containing the various countries I’d already written about, and the cities, and the castles. Thank goodness for Visio.

Someday, I’ll have a real map drawn of Ard An Tir – The Shining Lands. But for now, in the best traditions of science fiction and fantasy, there are maps at the beginning of Red Dragon’s Keep so that you can follow along as well.

I hope you like them.

Write On!

Natli VanDerWerken

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Red Dragon’s Keep Publicity Campaign

I just spent the day writing a press release for the launch of Red Dragon’s Keep. The book is available on Amazon for pre-order until July 14. The launch is on July 15.

The launch is timed to take advantage of the premiere of The Game of Thrones on HBO this Sunday.

I’ve sent the press release to every local news outlet. Here’s the content. Enjoy!


Demons Want to Kill Him – Dragons Mean to Save Him

Just in time for Christmas in July, “The Game of Thrones” without the gore.

July 13, 2017, Aurora, Colorado, USA

On July 15, mages, demons, and a talisman that controls dragons plague first born son and heir Thomas Arach. An intriguing debut novel, Red Dragon’s Keep is the first book in The Dragon’s Children Young Adult fantasy series by local Aurora, Colorado author Natli VanDerWerken.

Red Dragon’s Keep grew out of a fairytale I told my grandchildren one Christmas Eve,” Natli said. “They were tired and cranky getting ready to leave for home, so I told them a story. It was about five children in a castle with dragons, magic swords and a threat of invasion from a mysterious source. They loved it. Their parents did too, sitting down in coats and boots to listen.”

Natli fell in love with Science Fiction and Fantasy when she was 12. She has always loved the idea of dragons – the myths and the stories. She thought she might be a veterinarian, a chemical engineer, or an astronaut. She became a meteorologist in the Navy instead.

A mother and grandmother, Natli is a website designer, quilter, and raises Shetland Sheepdogs.

Red Dragon’s Keep is a coming of age action packed Young Adult novel. Fourteen year old Thomas Arach wants desperately to earn his father’s respect. After danger threatens, will his father finally let him learn how to fight? Sabotage and treason change Thomas’s life forever.

Red Dragon’s Keep pulls the reader into a world filled with secret passages, amulets and talismans, magic and Swords of Light. Will Thomas learn the lessons of war, master the magic hidden in his blood, find the Dragon Amulet, and manage the defense of his family’s home before the Demons arrive? Can he bring everything together to save Red Dragon’s Keep?


1505 S Norfolk St

Aurora, CO 80017

303 755-5404

Review copies available upon request.

Purchase Red Dragon’s Keep at on July 15. There WILL be Dragons.


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Pre-Order Red Dragon’ Keep on Today

It’s Done!
Just in time for a great summer read, Red Dragon’s Keep is available for pre-order on It’s currently set up as an ebook for $4.99 and goes on sale this Saturday, July 15. Here’s the link:

The print on demand (POD) is in review and will hopefully be available on the same date. If it isn’t, I’ll set up another launch party for the paperback!!

Here’s the final back cover content.

Red Dragon’s Keep
Book One – The Dragon’s Children Series

Demons want to kill him. Dragons need to save him.

Mages, Demons, and a Dragon Talisman plague first born son and heir Thomas Arach in the intriguing debut novel of Natli VanDerWerken’s The Dragon’s Children Young Adult fantasy series.

Red Dragon’s Keep has been held by the Arachs for centuries. Fourteen year old Thomas Arach wants desperately to earn his father’s respect. Kept safe from danger all his life, he’s bitterly sure he’ll never be allowed to learn the arts of war. When danger threatens, will his parents finally let him learn how to fight?

Amidst sabotage and treason by those closest to his family, Thomas’s life is changed forever.

Tales of Dragons that fought beside men against Demons have faded into legend. Archives tell of an amulet, part of an ancient talisman, a talisman that will call the Dragons back.

Will Thomas learn the lessons of war, master the magic hidden in his blood, find the Dragon Amulet, and lead the defense of his family’s home before the Demons arrive?

Secret passages. Amulets and Talismans. Magic and Swords of Light. Can Thomas bring everything together to save Red Dragon’s Keep?

Check it out.

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Thanks To Everyone Who Contributed

Here’s a huge thank you to everyone who contributed at my indiegogo campaign for Red Dragon’s Keep. We raised enough to purchase the ISBN numbers for the book! The interior layout is done and the advanced reader copy of the cover is ready to upload. I’ve got a few more edits to do from my critique group and beta readers and I’ll have the ARC copies ready to go. This is fantastic. I’m really excited.

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