Dark Wyng has risen

Dark Wyng US cover

Dark Wyng, the second book in my Erth Dragons series, makes its appearance in North America today!  Read the further gripping adventures of Ren, the boy bitten by a dragon, as he seeks to protect everyone he cares for from an ancient evil called the Tywyll…




As promised, here is part one of the prologue of THE NEW AGE, the third and final book of the Erth Dragons series. I’ve been wanting to show this for ages, mainly because it’s another chance to get a glimpse of two of my favourite firebird characters from Fire World (book six of The Last Dragon Chronicles). Those of you who’ve read the Chronicles will know that the firebirds live in a strange building known as the ‘Librarium’, which is filled with an infinite array of books that detail the events of everything in the known universe. The firebirds not only guard the books, they also monitor time and space and are alert to any ‘ripples’ that might occur in the timelines, which they will usually attempt to fix. Dragons, of course, can manipulate time and space to some extent. They are often the biggest source of problems for the firebirds, as below…


THE NEW AGE   Prologue Part 1: What Aurielle Chased

Floor 47 of The Great Librarium

Time period: Undefined

Wind. It always worried Aurielle whenever there was wind around the Librarium. Sunshine, she loved. All firebirds did. It brought out the best of their brightly-coloured plumage. She didn’t mind the rain when it came, either. Rain made the daisies grow and brought a welcome freshness to the air. It also left pools on the great stone sills in which she could dip her fluffy cream feathers to wash out the dust from the books. There were a lot of books in a building as tall and lean as this, and an awful lot of dust.

But wind. Wind moved things around. It played with the dust motes and made the aged bookshelves creak. It also made the daisies bend, making it harder to spot irregular patterns evolving in the timelines. A junior firebird’s most important duty was to monitor glitches in the spacetime continuum. Wind could be a serious nuisance.

Raising her long hooked beak, Aurielle glanced at the sky for a moment. The clouds were puffy and mostly still, sitting happy in the blue infinity. Yet there was a definite ripple in her ear tufts. And ripples in ear tufts could not be ignored. She drummed her claws and hopped a little closer to the edge of the sill, so she could see the daisy fields better. Time was running smoothly all over the universe, except for a tiny wiggle in the sector belonging to the dragon world, Ki:mera. That made her heart pump a little bit faster. Dragons were the only creatures other than firebirds who were allowed to phase across the verges of space. Whenever dragons got involved in timeline disruptions, there was always. . .well, there was always trouble.

She sat back and pondered a little. Should she go and wake Azkiar from his nest of twigs on Floor 108? He wouldn’t be happy to be woken, but then he never was. Sometimes she wondered if the only true benefit of rising up the Librarium floors was that you simply got to sleep more often and were allowed to be grumpier when you woke. All the same, if an Event was forming, especially one that might involve dragons, a senior firebird ought to be told.

She stood up and spread her wings. At the very same moment, a gust struck. A proper blow of wind that whined as it wrapped itself around the Librarium. She heard a thud and looked back into the room. Zooks! A row of books had tipped to one side. The tiny spiracles in Aurielle’s neck nearly popped. As she turned for another look at the daisy fields, an object flapped past her. It was thin and papery and fluttery and free.

A single page had escaped from a book.

There was no time to gasp (though the Librarium kindly allowed her some); she had to catch that page and check its contents. Oh, it led her on a merry flight! Room after Room. Floor after Floor. This shelf. That shelf. So much dust! Up, up, up she went, paying no attention to how high she was flying. Until, of all the places the page might land, it skipped through a window on Floor 108 and draped itself over Azkiar’s nest.

Aurielle skidded to a halt. Oops.

Azkiar rose up very slowly, stretching his bright red wings. He dragged the page off his beak. He did not look happy.

‘What?’ he said, catching sight of Aurielle. Azkiar was a bird of very few words. There was an infinite supply of words all around him. Why add excessively to the count?

‘There was a gust!’ she panted, flapping her wings in a circular motion. ‘I need to see which book that page came from!’

Azkiar sighed and cast his eye over it.

As was his way with words, the senior firebird had very few changes of expression. Aurielle thought she had seen them all. She was wrong. She had never seen him pale before. And that wasn’t easy for a bird with deep red plumage.

‘Graven,’ he muttered.

Aurielle gulped. Her tail feathers began to quiver. Graven? The fallen son of the dragon deity, Godith? Long, long ago he’d been banished (in part) to a planet called Erth for accidentally killing his brother, G’restyn.

‘This can only mean his heart has been found,’ said Azkiar. ‘You’d better study this.’

He crunched the page between his claws and threw it into the air. It rolled out its header for Aurielle to read:

Chronicle #264986343: The Day of Moons

Underneath the header was a myriad of i:mages.

Azkiar blew on the first and a scene played out.

Aurielle watched it through twice. After the second play, she said, ‘We’re going to need a plan to deal with this, aren’t we?’ A very BIG plan, she thought.

She was wondering how Azkiar meant to go about it, when he settled back into his nest and said, ‘The page came from a book in your sector. For some reason, the Librarium wants you to repair this.’

‘Me?’ she squawked.

‘You,’ he repeated, when his ear tufts had recovered. He collapsed the web of i:mages into a sheet and handed the page back. ‘Get on to it. Immediately. And Aurielle.’


‘Try not to mess it up. . .’


If I’m allowed to, I’ll put up part two of the prologue nearer to publication time. In part two, you get to see the contents of the page that Aurielle reads… All the best for now.  Happy New Year everyone. Hrrr!

The cover

The New Age final coverA little treat for my blog followers.  Here, at last, is the cover of THE NEW AGE.  It comes out in April 2018.  Stay tuned, because one week from now, the first part of the prologue will be posted exclusively here.  Happy Christmas from dragon land.  Hrrr!



Anyone who’s been following this little blog and has read and enjoyed the first two Erth Dragons books will be delighted to know that I finished writing the final draft of book three, THE NEW AGE, today. It will be a little while before the book is released – probably early next year – because it has to go through the normal rigorous routine of editorial passes and error checking etc. But to all intents and purposes, it’s done.

I personally believe it’s the best of the three. It finally wraps up the story of Graven, the fallen son of Godith, and sees peace on Erth between dragons and men. But an awful lot happens before we get to that point, and even then there are still surprises to come. For those who like their battle scenes we have a couple of graphic fighting moments, this time between the dragons themselves. There’s a new enemy for the Wearle to deal with. And in this book you learn something of the history and structure of Ki:mera, the dragon homeworld. Best of all, fans of The Last Dragon Chronicles will be pleased to know that the firebirds are back! Firebirds monitor time and space throughout the universe. They open and close the book. When I’ve got permission to do so, I’ll put the prologue up on here. Trust me, if you don’t know the firebirds already, you’re in for a little treat. And it’s not just the firebirds that are making a comeback. Another major character from TLDC also puts in a guest appearance. Can’t say anything about that at the moment. (Sorry!)

I’ve seen a cover rough for the book as well. It’s still in design and production, but when it’s released to me I’ll post that up as well. I like the new cover very much. It’s not quite as striking as The Wearle, but it’s a lot easier on the eye than Dark Wyng.

So, lots to look forward to in the coming months. Bear with me! Bye for now. Hrrr!


Audio delights

It’s been a while since I posted anything, I know, but there will soon be information here about Erth Dragons #3, THE NEW AGE, which is very close to completion.

In the meantime, I couldn’t resist posting this link to a review of the audio book of The Wearle.  If you’re into audio books, you’ve got to listen to this.  It’s beautifully read by Jonathan Keeble.

More soon!  Hrrr!


Dark Wyng in paperback

reading Dark Wyng

Hey, dragons fans. It’s publication day for the UK paperback of DARK WYNG. So say a big hrrr! for Gabrial and his Wearle. He’s back again, facing more ongoing trouble from goyles and the dragon hierarchy etc. People who’ve read the book tell me there’s more action in this one than the first. That’s kind of interesting, because I had a really hard time writing Dark Wyng. I was afraid it was going to be just about the worst thing I’d ever committed to print. But Jay (wife) had a lot of faith in it and drove the book forward when I was in despair, and Sarah (editor) was right behind it too. And although it hasn’t had a lot of reviews or feedback yet, they’ve all been pretty positive. People seem to like it. So I must have done something right!

Quick update on Erth Dragons #3. We’re still developing the story at the moment, but I’m very close to a first draft now. It will go to Sarah at the end of April, and if she’s happy and we get the edits done on time it will go straight into paperback in October (UK). Note: no hardback for this one. Not enough of you are buying them. Come on, guys! Having said that, I didn’t really take to the hb edition of Dark Wyng; the pb looks and feels much classier, strangely.

I’ve also seen a draft cover for ED #3. It looks pretty good. Not as dramatic as The Wearle, but more appealing than Dark Wyng imho.

Anyway, if you’ve been waiting months for an affordable copy of Erth Dragons #2, here it is. Enjoy. And do let me know what you think. Hrrr!

Dark Wyng final cover


Dragons across the water

Happy New Year, dragon fans.  This is a particularly exciting opening to 2017 for me because THE WEARLE was finally published in North America just four days ago.  So at last it’s readily available to all my American and Canadian readers.  I hope you enjoy it.  Someone asked me earlier today on Twitter when DARK WYNG would be available on your shores.  Sadly, that will probably be another year.  That’s the sort of gap publishers usually leave between books in a series.  But if the reaction to The Wearle was very positive (and by that I mean it was selling well), then the likelihood is that the publication of Dark Wyng would be brought forward – maybe in the fall.  I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime I’m busy writing Erth Dragons #3, which has the working title THE NEW AGE.  That’s the first time I’ve ever revealed that title to anyone other than my editor.  So do feel free to feel honoured!  It might change.  Sometimes I start out with a very definite title and virtually build the book around it (‘Icefire’ was a good example).  But the lack of a title is no real detriment.  A book will usually tell you what it wants to be called somewhere during the writing process.  More often than not a phrase pops up that seems to summarise the whole narrative.  That’s a very satisfying moment when it happens.  Perhaps the most significant instance of this was ‘The Fire Within’, and we all know how popular that turned out to be.  Mind you, I had to fight for that title!  I’m glad I won.

So what’s THE NEW AGE about?  Well, in short, it’s exactly what the other two have been about: the dragons’ struggle to settle on Erth.  All those pesky humans getting in the way of colonisation.  Tsk!  Not to mention the internal divisions between the dragons themselves.  At this stage, I’m about…25,000 words in.  Not quite half way.  But it’s going well and for me it’s reading better than Dark Wyng at the moment.  Can’t tell you any more than that, sorry.  As soon as we have some cover artwork, you’ll see it.  Until then, come on America, get stuck into The Wearle.  It’s the most dragony thing I’ve EVER written and a BIG favourite with me and Jay.  Happy reading.  Hrrr!

Book Birthday

It’s publication day for DARK WYNG, book two of the Erth Dragons series.  By way of celebration, here’s the prologue.  This is Gabrial, the dragon hero of The Wearle, when he was very young, being told the legend of the ‘dark dragon’ by his father.  It’s a story that will stay with Gabrial all his life and have great significance for him in the second book.  Enjoy!

In the homing caves of Mount Vidor

On the dragon world, Ki:mera, 9 turns ago

“Tada, tell me a story.”

Garon snorted softly and rasped his tongue over a run of fine scales around Gabrial’s ears. It was late and the pale yellow moon, Cantorus, was throwing its golden light all across the homing caves. A good night for hunting, Garon thought, but equally good for telling stories. “What kind of story shall it be?” he asked.

“One you haven’t told before,” said Gabrial. “Tell me about…the black dragon.”

Garon stretched his neck and glanced across the cave at his partner, Gaverne. She was fast asleep, her fine purple head tucked under one wing. Gabrial’s sister, Graile, was curled up beside her, snoring softly. “There is no such thing as a black dragon, Gabrial. Whatever you have heard from other wearlings is a myth. We can have black markings – you have some on your wing tips and tail – but no dragon can be completely black.”

“Why not?”

“Godith forbids it.”

“Doesn’t She like black dragons?”



That word again, Garon thought, the one that Gabrial used like a hook to draw all worldly truths out of him. Was he this inquisitive when he was a wearling? Possibly so. He licked Gabrial’s ears again. Sooner or later, the drake would come to hear this story, so why not now? It was the right of every dragon to understand their beginnings, to know what was – and what might have been. “Very well, but don’t expect to sleep tonight.”

“Mama says I sleep too much.”

“Hmm. And Mama will growl if she hears me telling you a tale like this. So this is for your blue ears only, yes?”

“Yes, Tada.”

“Good. Then this is how it begins – at the very beginning. You know that Godith created Ki:mera and all the worlds beyond from Her fire?”

“Yes. Hrrr!”

“Ssssh! Don’t wake your sister.” Garon glanced at the females again. Gaverne would roast his stigs to points if the wearmyss was woken for no good reason. Quietly he said, “You know as well that Godith created dragons in Her i:mage?”

“Like me?” Gabrial gave a swish of his tail.

His father immediately trapped it under his.

“Like you and Graile, like the Veng and the De:allus and the Elders and the Prime. Like every class of dragon you can think of. We are all one in the eyes of Godith. But there was once a dragon who defied Her will. His name was Graven. He was Godith’s firstborn.”

“And he was black?”

“Not in the beginning, no. When he was created his scales shone gold.”

A little breath of wonder seeped out of Gabrial’s spiracles.

“Brighter and deeper than Cantorus, they shone. So pleased was Godith that She said to Her son, ‘I give this moon, Cantorus, to you. There you shall build your eyries and make more dragons in your i:mage.’”

Gabrial’s mouth fell open in awe. His primary teeth, perfect and white, glinted in the moonlight like a row of small mountains. “Graven made gold wearlings?”

“No. Keep listening. As you can imagine, Graven was pleased with his gift. Here he was, the first son of Godith and he had a whole moon to himself. He bowed to Godith and pledged his love to Her always.”

“Hrrr!” went Gabrial.

Garon opened his foreclaws and used them to gently close his son’s mouth. “Quite. And so Graven flew to Cantorus, there to explore his new surroundings. He was pleased with what he found. One day you and I will fly to Cantorus and you will see its giant mountain ranges and the rivers and fire beds that flow through them. But for now, just listen, don’t hurr, yes?”

Gabrial nodded.

Garon eased his claws. “Now, if you’ve been watching the night skies you will know that another moon rises in front of Cantorus sometimes.”

“Crune,” said Gabrial, eager to show his knowledge.

“Yes. Well done. I can see you’ve listened well to the teachings of Per Grogan.”

Gabrial twisted his snout.

“What was that for?”

“What, Tada?”

“I didn’t miss that snouty twitch. What’s the matter? Don’t you like Per Grogan?”

“He’s mean, Tada. Every time he roars at me he says it makes another wrinkle in his eye ridges. He said his body was as green as the Marad Valley once and that it’s wearlings like me who turned his head scales grey. He says he bit off his third claw because a drake he was teaching couldn’t tell the difference between a rock and a hard place!”

Garon snorted a smoke bung from his nostrils.

“He did, Tada!”

“He did not,” said Garon. “He lost his claw in a battle. He’s teasing you, Gabrial. Per Grogan cares for your welfare. He is a good and wise mentor who will always stand by you. You must listen to him. He can teach you the history of your family line and more. Now, where were we with our story?”

“On Crune.”

“Oh, yes. Now Crune glows blue, like you of course. Godith gave this moon to Her second son, G’restyn.”

“She had two sons?”

“Hmm. What do you think about that?”

“Per Grogan says a mama can only have a myss and a drake.”

“That’s right. She can.”

“But you said Godith had two sons, Tada.”

“Patience, Gabrial. We’re not finished yet.” He blew smoke into Gabrial’s ear, making the wearling snort and wiggle. “Graven was happy with this arrangement because Cantorus was bigger than Crune and as the firstborn son he felt it was his right to be…better than his brother. But of course there came a time when Crune rose up and cast its shadow over Cantorus. Not only that, it blocked Graven’s view of the centre of Ki:mera, where Godith had Her settle.

“Graven was furious. His fire sacs ignited and his claws extended as far as they would go. He flew to Crune and demanded that G’restyn hurr on his moon and move it to a different orbit. Both dragons were very large. They could move planets with a single breath. But G’restyn refused to do it. He said the orbits were made by Godith and no dragon had the right to change Her plan.

“Well, they roared at each other, until they both grew tired and grumpy. Graven flew back to Cantorus, and G’restyn stayed on Crune. But Graven could not rest and his anger would not settle. And so he came up with a plan. The next day, when Crune had risen to its peak and was casting even bigger shadows over Cantorus, Graven focused his optical triggers on his brother and waited and watched. Eventually, he saw G’restyn lift away from the surface and disappear around the far side of the moon. When G’restyn did not reappear, Graven flew down to Crune and positioned himself to one side of it, the side that his brother had left abandoned.”

“He’s going to hurr on it himself,” said Gabrial. “Tada, this isn’t very scary.”

“It will be,” said Garon. “ Graven took a breath so huge and blew a wind so strong it could have made these mountains bend. Crune began to move. But it did not change orbit as Graven had intended. Instead, it began to spin. And spin. And spin. And spin.

“Graven was annoyed. He tried hitting the moon with his tail, but that nearly broke off his isoscele.”

Gabrial twitched his tail. He checked his own isoscele, just in case.

His father went on, “So instead he did something very foolish: He tried to move the moon with his fire.”

“Did it burn?”

“Yes, that’s why to this day you’ll see dark craters on Crune. Those are the scorch marks Graven created. But it wasn’t just the moon that burned. G’restyn was asleep on the surface. He was big, but he was blue, just like you and me, and Graven didn’t see him. Only when G’restyn took to the air in a blaze of wings did Graven realise what he’d done. He had flamed his only brother.”


“Poor G’restyn fell back to the surface, dead.”

A flutter ran down Gabrial’s wings. The fine scales on his neck began to clink.

His father rested an arm to calm him. “I told you it was scary. Perhaps that’s enough.”

“No,” said Gabrial. “What about Godith? What did She do, Tada?”

Garon sighed, but hid the sound well enough. He remembered pausing like this when he was young and had first heard the tale. How the icicles of terror had crept under his scales and made gritty bobbles of the flesh underneath. He looked up at Cantorus and offered Godith a silent prayer before he continued. “Godith heard G’restyn’s squeals as he burned and came to see what had happened. She found his body and wept so freely that storms blew up all over Her universe. She saw the scorch marks on Crune and knew what had happened. She flew to Cantorus, there to punish Graven for his wild act of jealousy. Some say She planned to kill him, to tear off his wings and burn him as he had burned G’restyn. She found Graven quaking, weeping at his foolishness. He begged Her to be merciful. And in some small way She was. She decreed three laws: first, no dragon could ever give birth to two sons; second, gold could never be a dominant colour; and lastly, and most mysteriously, no dragon would ever be able to flame any dragon it was related to.”

“So I can’t flame Graile?”

“Definitely not. The pers will tell you these are good laws, but you must know they rose from a moment of sadness. For Graven, the sadness did not end there. Godith used a cold flame on his scales to suck the colour out of them. That beautiful shining gold She’d created was reduced to nothing, to black. Her flame was so strong it opened Graven’s chest and exposed his three hearts. Godith reached in and tore out the smallest, the one that keeps us closest to her.”

Gabrial shuddered from his nostrils to his isoscele. He crossed his forearms over his breast where his primary heart was thumping like thunder.

His father went on, “You might hear it said that Graven was born without a third heart and that this is what led to his vanity and foolishness. But that will come from the mouths of those who want to believe Godith has no fury. Understand me when I tell you, Gabrial: Godith is a loving but vengeful Creator. She punished Graven severely. In Her claws, His third heart turned to stone. She crushed it into a thousand pieces and scattered the fragments in a hiding place known only to Her. It’s said that his blood poured out of the heart like scalding rain and killed every living thing it landed upon. Graven was never seen again. Yet the legends insist his auma survives because his grieving Mama could not bear to destroy it. This has led some Elders to teach that Graven will rise again one day. They say that even now the fragments of his auma reach out into the universe in search of the evil that will help him restore his heart and his power.”

Gabrial gulped back a smoke plug. “Will he come here?”

“No, Gabrial. He won’t come here. Shall I tell you where he is?”

The drake’s soft blue eyes grew large and round, losing their slanted aspect for a moment.

“Look again at Cantorus,” his father whispered.

Gabrial turned his head and peered at the still, imperious moon.

“Some pers say that if you look hard enough, the blackness around Cantorus will form itself into the shape of Graven. They call him by another name then: Tywyll, a word from the old tongue meaning ‘the darkness’. So there he is, Gabrial. There’s your black dragon. Flying close to his moon – where he’ll stay. And that, my brave son, is the end of your story. Rest your weary head now, and know that in the morning the darkness will be gone.”

And with that Garon curled his tail around the drake and hugged him into a deep and dreamless sleep.

Dark Wyng


Dragon fans. Make a note in your diaries. October 6th. UK publication day for DARK WYNG. Yes, it’s here. The gripping sequel to The Wearle. All the surviving characters from The Wearle are in it, including the mysterious ‘Ty’, who only appeared in the final pages of the first book, but has a big part to play in this one. DARK WYNG, as its title suggests, is spookier than The Wearle and delves deep into the murky history of dragons. It begins with a short, deceptively sweet prologue in which Gabrial’s father, Garon, tells a very young Gabrial the legend of ‘the dark dragon’. At the end, when Gabrial asks if the story is true, Garon dismisses it in the same way we might laugh aside a fairy story. But all stories have a basis in truth, and as Ty begins to exert his devious influence among the people of the Kaal tribe, little does Gabrial know how his father’s story is going to come back to haunt him…

In other news, The Wearle is set for release in North America on December 27th – though I’m sure you’ll be able to get it for Christmas. An audio book will also be available. Can’t wait for that. A couple of days ago I was contacted by the producer asking for my thoughts about who might narrate the story. I immediately thought about a few of the cast of Game of Thrones. In my mind, the men of the Kaal sound like the character ‘Jon Snow’ from Winterfell. This is not so much an homage to Game of Thrones, more a nod to the fact that I spent all of my teens in the north of England – and we speak like Jon Snow, Ned Stark etc. Then there are the dragon voices, of course. Quite a challenge for any narrator. Well, I’ve heard a few excellent samples already and I can tell you that The Wearle is going to be a story worth listening to. I’ll say more about this as news comes in. For now, enjoy DARK WYNG. Oh, and keep it to a whisper for now, but work on the third book gets under way this weekend. Hrrr!