Dragon’s Den Blog

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Two Stories at Once

Tonight I couldn’t decide which story to work on. I’m only a few thousand words from being done on the first half of Heart of Fire. But I need to finish Hunger for the anthology. I almost always choose the project I think I can complete faster to work on so I started with Heart of Fire.

As is my habit, I reread the previous sections to where I was adding scenes. Then I had to find out more information from the second story so I spent more time reading. But eventually I felt confident enough to write what I needed. I added a couple of scenes and have a plan on how to finish off the first one. I think this section will take a night of solid writing to finish it off but you never know.

I thought I was done for the night but Hunger was open so I went back to where I left off and realized I knew what I wanted to write. I started in and in forty minutes finished off the section. I like what I wrote and hope it represent the situation how I want it too. I also know where I’m going with it.

All together I added about 1200 words to Heart of Fire and about 1500 to Hunger. Tomorrow night my plan is to do more of the same. I hope I’ll finish Heart of Fire – or at least get it to a point where I only have to smooth it out once the second half is edited and added to it.

From there it can sit for a bit while I work on other things. My hope is to publish it beginning of 2024. My hope is I’ll finish both stories by the end of the week but only time will tell on this.

Nathaniel Winner

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Nathaniel J. Winner, from the suburbs of NY. I am a serial entrepreneur and author, using my business experiences to inspire my writing. As a father of two, I am dedicated to teaching children the value of entrepreneurship and equipping them with the skills to excel in the business world. Through my educational children’s books, I aim to empower the next generation of young leaders and innovators.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

This is a funny story. My first book came about as a result of a challenge from some friends. We were discussing various and unusual opportunities when I mentioned writing a children’s book on entrepreneurship. They challenged me to actually do it. The next day, I sat down to write, but the idea for the book came to me because I have two sons and I was thinking about ways to teach them about entrepreneurship. I remembered the books my mom read to me when I was a kid and how much of an impression they left on me. I felt that this book would have a lasting impact on children’s lives.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in? 

I always loved motivational books and books that teach real life skills, so I guess Jonny Entrepreneur is a mixture of the two. 

Is your book for adults, young adults or children? 

I would say the age range is between 6 and 12 

What is your current release or project?

Jonny Entrepreneur, and I’m already working on the sequel, Jonny Entrepreneur: The power of thought and the law of attraction 

Tell us about the key characters

The central characters in the story are Jonny and his father. Jonny’s father acts as a mentor, assisting him in understanding entrepreneurship and addressing practical difficulties. Additionally, Jonny’s friends also play a role as employees.

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

“Jonny Entrepreneur” is a tale about a young boy who discovers how to initiate and manage his own enterprise, acquiring valuable expertise and understanding in the process. Jonny’s journey through the principles of entrepreneurship allows him to develop crucial practical abilities, including problem-solving, setting objectives, and communication. As your child reads this book, they will acquire the fundamental tools required to excel in the field of business, and be motivated to become an accomplished and determined entrepreneur.

Share an excerpt

“I did great, Dad, but I’m exhausted.”

Jonny showed his father the earnings he had made and the schedule he had set up for the next day.  It was neatly organized with time, name, address, phone number, and what needed to be done.

“Very neat and organized.  I see you have forgotten one important thing.”

Jonny looked at the schedule but nothing looked off.  He asked, “What did I miss?”

“You did not leave yourself any time for breaks.  Look at how tired you are now.  How will you do that all by yourself tomorrow?”

The boy did not want to admit it, but his father was right; it would be very difficult to work all day like this again… more actually!

“You might have over-scheduled,” his father remarked.  “This problem will need to be addressed.  By the way, where’s your bag of salt?”

“I ran out after I did Mrs. Williams’ house, but that was the last one I did today, so it worked out,” Jonny explained.

“You should have bought salt yesterday, when we were at the store.  Now, we’ll have to go back.”  That was true.  Jonny made a mental note to plan ahead in the future, so that he does not needlessly waste time running around.

There was still the issue of not being able to finish all the houses by himself tomorrow. That left only one option:  Jonny would have to hire employees!

Do you have a favorite scene?

The Business Expands

Ring! Ring! Ring!

                “Hello?”

                “Hi, Trey, it’s Jonny.”

                “Hey, Jonny, what’s up, man?”

                “How would you feel about making some money today, old buddy old pal?”

                “Go on…”

                “I started a snow-shoveling business and I need your snow-shoveling expertise.  I know your dad has you shovel your driveway most of the time, so I know that you know what you’re doing.  I also checked your reference, me, who confirmed that you’re cool.  So, how about it?”

                “Sure, sounds good.”

                “Great, come on over.  We have driveways to shovel!”

Trey came over and the boys got started right away.  Jonny used the same shovel he had used the previous day.  Trey used a new shovel that Jonny and his father had picked up at the store earlier that morning, in addition to several new bags of salt.

 But by noon, the boys realized that, even together, they would not be able to finish.

                “Jonny, we need more people,” Trey told him through panting breaths when they sat down for lunch.  “I can call my brother to come help.”

                “That’s a good idea.  I’ll have to rent that shovel from my dad again.  Oh well, I guess that’s worth it.”

                Soon, all 3 boys were hard at work.

9. Do you have a favorite scene?

I most enjoyed when Jonny wakes up at the end of the book to see theirs no snow and he feels his entrepreneurship is done, only to find out that there are multiple opportunities coming his way. 

What advice would you give a beginner?

Never give up on your dreams, and focus on the long game, eventually your hard work will bare beautiful fruits. 

multicolored hearts wallpaper

Heart of Fire Expansion

I have so many projects floating in my head. I want to get some out. I couldn’t sleep the other night and pulled up the Heart of Fire file. I figured I’d read it and go to sleep. I read parts of it and then I decided on a place where I could add a sizeable chunk of information.

This was great but I’m not supposed to be working on this right now. I have a list and I’m trying to stick to it. But sometimes the words just come. I added just under 1200 words to it on Thursday. Tonight I managed to write 2659 words in it. I’ve got two more scenes I want to add in. Then I’ll look at this chapter to see how well it works or if I need to split it up.

I want to smooth out a couple more places before I think I’ll be adding a few more scenes so I can transition into the second part. The second part will be out in Portal to the Other Side. It releases in May.

I’ll get my rights back late in 2023 so I’ll probably put the new novel on the agenda for 2024. This is why I don’t need to work on this now but apparently the words and ideas are here so it’s what I’m doing.

Meanwhile I’ve started a new scifi short story I’m calling Hunger. This will go into an anthology as well.

Tomorrow will be working on administrative stuff for my writing. We’re watching movies together. So I’ll work on the computer while I watch. This way I’ll get two things done at once. If I get tired of the admin stuff, I’ll work on crocheting the squares together in my afghan.

I’ve not been crocheting for weeks now. Last time I ended up with a back ache and sore fingers from working with a thread. This is all my rheumatoid arthritis. I hate this part of it. I’ve asked my doctor for some things to do. I’ve got three exercises for my hands.

Unfortunately, my shoulder started hurting a few weeks ago. I have aches and pains all the time so I thought it would just pass. But it didn’t. So I asked my doctor about it and he thinks I may have a torn rotator cuff. Again this is likely a problem caused by my arthritis. So I’m going to PT and will do everything I can to stop it from getting worse.

When I mentioned it, he examined my shoulder and pressed on things. He had me hold out my arm and he pressed on it. By the time he was done, I felt awful. It took a day plus for my pain level to go back down to a normal level for me. Hopefully the PT will help.

Jonny Entrepreneur

by Nathaniel Winner

Jonny Entrepreneur is a story about a young boy who learns how to start and run his own business, gaining valuable skills and knowledge along the way.  As Jonny learns the basic steps of entrepreneurship, he also develops important real-world skills such as problem-solving, goal setting , and communication. Through learning from Jonny, your child will gain the foundation they need to succeed in the business world and be inspired to be an ambitious and driven successful entrepreneur. 

Freedom in Friday Harbor

by International Bestselling Author Annee Jones

Will the 4th of July fireworks light the way to freedom from the past and perhaps the blossoming of new love for Summer and Ace in Friday Harbor?

Seattle marketing specialist Summer Connelly welcomes the assignment to supervise the construction of a company float for the annual 4th of July parade in Friday Harbor, WA. Not only will it be a chance to prove her leadership skills to her boss, but an opportunity for a much-needed escape, especially since she hasn’t taken any time off since her divorce was finalized over a year ago.

Ace Lockhart works himself to the bone at his Portland contracting company, but something in his life feels off. When doctors tell him his elderly father has taken a turn for the worse, he heads to Friday Harbor to be with the old man, simply because no one else in the family will even speak to him.

As fate would have it, Summer’s plans for the parade look like they could go up in smoke before any fireworks are even set off. Can Ace be the ticket to light at the end of the tunnel? Will their days together lead to fireworks in more ways than one?

F Burn

Bio

I am the author of Secret Love, The Substitute which is featured in the Dark Desire Anthology, and Femme. I began writing songs and poetry in my youth, but after graduating with a degree in psychology, I developed an interest in writing tales which explored the dark side of the human psyche. My style is expressed through complex characters and descriptions that have been described as poetic. When I am not writing, I spend most of my time reading dystopian novels, watching sci-fi horror movies, painting, going for long walks, and cooking.

Tell us about yourself.

I am an erotic romance author based in the UK. I am especially interested in writing stories which explore the dark side of human nature. I enjoy developing complex characters and writing descriptions with a slight poetic edge.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I think I always wanted to be an author. I’ve been writing since I was a child. I remember writing short stories and a non-fiction book about space when I was 13. Then I went through a dark phase in my late teens and early twenties, and this was primarily expressed through poetry and songs. I decided to have a go at a full length novel in 2015, but I never intended to publish it due to the subject matter. However, after five years of ruminating, I decided to send it out to publishers. In 2021, Secret Love was published by Black Velvet Seductions.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

I like to read fantasy, horror, science-fiction, dystopian and crime fiction. Sometimes I also like reading non-fiction books about psychology, wildlife, infectious diseases and space. I don’t usually write in these genres. I tend to write erotic romance stories, though they might contain elements of other genres such as horror.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

It’s for adults due to the erotic content.

What is your current release or project?

Femme is my latest release. It’s a short contemporary romance story.

Tell us about the key characters

Lawrence used to get bullied in high school for being ‘different’. Years later, he ends up moving next door to ‘vanilla’ ex-classmate Tatiana. As they get to know each other, Tatiana learns that his idol is Frank N Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show. She experiences a conflict of feelings when she realises that she is attracted to Lawrence, even when he reveals his alternative persona.  

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

When Tatiana finally decides to accept the inevitability that she will be forever alone, a blast from the past moves in next door. She is shocked to find out that she recognizes Lawrence, who was bullied mercilessly in high school for being ‘feminine’. Mortified that she did nothing to help back then, she is keen to make amends. As they get to know each other, they realise that fate has brought them together for a reason…

Share an excerpt

Over time, Lawrence and I spent more and more time together. We ate dinner together regularly and I discovered that he had interests that were very different from your average male. He liked musicals, loved to bake, and enjoyed dancing and singing. His Rocky Horror Picture Show poster was proudly displayed in his living room. His eyes had lit up when we’d watched the film like he was entranced by Frank N Furter. When it returned to London theatres, he bought tickets and asked me to go with him. He hinted that we ought to dress up to make a real night of it. He wasn’t joking.

When the night came, I put on a black suit, trying to convince myself I was dressing up as Riff Raff. I’d even shoved a cushion down the back of my top to create a hunchback effect. I thought it would be a good laugh dressing as a male character and couldn’t wait to see Lawrence’s reaction.

Lawrence tentatively opened his door while partially concealing his outfit. When I stepped in, my jaw dropped. A strange mixture of shock and awe hit me. He was Frank N Furter brought to life. His makeup was so expertly done I was certain that this wasn’t the first time he’d cross-dressed. I felt conflicted. How could he look so masculine and so feminine at the same time? Mixed feelings stirred inside me as I experienced something I never had before. I was immediately enticed by this strange being. His deep blue, heavily lashed eyes drank in my reaction.

“Oh no, it’s too much isn’t it?” he said anxiously.

“No, it just… you look beautiful.”

 “Do I? Really?” He looked down to inspect himself.

“Yes, you really are. I’m afraid I can’t compare to you. I was going for Riff Raff, but I don’t have a blond wig,” I chuckled.

“You’re far too beautiful to be Riff Raff. How about Janet or Magenta?”

I stood there uncertainly.

“May I dress you?” he asked as he took a step closer. I nodded.

I unbuttoned my blazer and removed my makeshift hump from underneath my white top. When I reached for my belt to undo my trousers, I hesitated.

“Would you like me to leave the room, Tatiana?”

“No, it’s okay. I trust you.”

Determined not to be self-conscious in front of my best friend, I held my breath and quickly stripped down to my underwear. As I stood there exposed, I noticed that Lawrence respectfully averted his vision. Then, he looked me in the eyes and took me by the hand, leading me to a wardrobe in his bedroom.

When he opened the wardrobe door, I was shocked to see it filled with women’s clothing. All the times I’d been in this flat, I had never seen this secret collection. I was speechless as he picked a white slip which he held by my feet, waiting for me to step in to. As he pulled it up along my thighs, it wasn’t the cold that made me shiver. There was something sensuous about the act.

From the other wardrobe, he fished out one of his shirts and gently placed it around my shoulders. I put my arms through until it sat loosely open over my bra. As he neatened the collar around my neck, my nipples hardened as his arm made the lightest of contact with my breasts. Although he made no indication that he noticed, I was certain he could sense the quickening of my heart and the gooseflesh forming on my skin.

Then it dawned on me.

I was aroused.

This man, who was masculine with feminine grace, had a profound effect on me.

I was surprised at my bodily responses. What was it about Lawrence dressed this way that caused this excitement? Perhaps it was because he was different from any other man that I had ever met. Perhaps it was that he wasn’t afraid to be himself, no matter how outrageous. Perhaps it was because he’d never touched me like this before.

I shook my head slightly to clear my thoughts and looked into the mirror. I felt very plain beside this glorious deity, so I asked, “Can I use some of your makeup?”

“Of course, you can.” He picked up what looked like an eye shadow case and handed it to me. My hand visibly shook. I didn’t know what had got into me, but I suddenly felt very nervous. I believe he saw my helplessness and asked, “May I?”

Lawrence doing my makeup was both a surreal and an intimate experience. Gentle instruction delivered by a smooth male voice caressed my heightened feelings. I willed my heart to quieten so I could focus entirely on it. When he took the lead, I felt my anxiety slipping away. Inevitably, my mind wandered as he applied eye shadow, blush, and lipstick. I had been wrong about a great many things. I could feel my outlook changing and found myself considering something I never had before. I had some serious thinking to do.

Soon we were ready to leave. As I stepped outside beside my stunning androgynous god, I couldn’t help but feel pride. I was proud to know this person who had dared to be an individual. I looked up at him in admiration as he held the car door open for me. Within moments, the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack blasted through the air and a silky tenor voice sang along. I was afraid to join in for fear of embarrassing myself.

“Come on, Tatiana! Don’t be shy! Sing along!”

“I don’t really know the words…” I trailed off, knowing that was not the real reason. I felt silly for not being honest and trying to make excuses.

Lawrence placed his hand softly on my bare knee and said, “There’s no need to feel like that around me. I want you to feel free to be yourself.”

I absorbed the words he said and they made a lot of sense. “You know what? You’re right. Well, you asked for it! Here goes…”

What followed was a cacophony of noises that resembled singing. We both laughed – not at anything in particular but just because we could. I was on such a high. The giddiness I felt only continued throughout the evening at the theatre. We shouted out along with the crowd and sang along to the songs. And when Frank N Furter entered the stage, the audience went wild.

A few times, I looked to my right to see Lawrence studying me. When we made eye contact, he smiled, obviously not caring about whether I saw him looking. It was strange seeing him through his heavily lashed, eye-shadowed eyes, but it didn’t lessen the effect they had on me. Something I couldn’t quite describe burned in those endless lapis lazuli eyes. He made me feel desirable. Did he see the effect it had on me? Could he sense my thoughts?

My eyes ate up his scantily clad body. I was fascinated by the fishnet tights against the dark hair on his thighs, a bodice wrapped around a well-toned abdomen, and muscular arms gripping the armrest. He watched me watching him. I’d never seen his flesh exposed to the elements like this. He was sexy in a very masculine sense despite the costume he wore. When my eyes dropped down to the bulge in his underwear, I quickly averted my vision. What was I doing? Did I really want to ruin this wonderful friendship with my lurid desires? I didn’t know anymore.

Later that night, as he walked me to the door, I felt confusion invading my thoughts. When he leaned in, presumably to kiss me, I stepped back. I was afraid. So I quickly said goodnight, and hurriedly stepped inside before I could see his response. I was worried that I’d ruined everything, but I needed to see if I still felt the same once the persona he impersonated tonight was gone. I needed to understand why I reacted to him as I had earlier. I needed to understand myself.

Do you have a favorite scene?
Definitely! The school reunion scene at the end (inspired by Romy and Michele’s high school reunion) made me laugh when I wrote it.

What advice would you give a beginner?

If you love writing, then do it! I never thought that I’d be a published author, yet here I am! If I can do it, you can do it, too. Even though it’s not easy at times, I’m still looking forward to future projects.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorFBurn

Twitter: https://twitter.com/F_Burn_  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fburn_author/ 

Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@fburn

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21565595.F_Burn

Website: https://fburnauthor.wixsite.com/books

Masterton Brothers

by Susan Horsnell

Using an undeveloped country as a cover, the Masterton Brothers, who operate as the Kumul Cartel, conduct business with next to no chance of being caught. Or so they thought…Their lives are turned upside down when someone betrays their operation and pushes them to the brink of destruction. Murder. Torture. Voodoo. And crazy suspicions. Three beautiful women will bring the brothers to their knees, but will their steamy hot relationships crumble more than their family’s legacy?

Bio

Susan Horsnell writes romance from sweet to hot. Strong social themes are a feature in her books. She grew up in Manly, NSW, Australia, and has traveled Australia and the World on postings with her Naval Officer husband of 48 years. She lives with her husband and fur baby – Gemma-Jean, a young Jack Russell Terrier, in a small village in the mountains in Queensland, Australia. Since retiring from a nursing career of 37 years, she has been able to indulge her passion for writing. The family enjoys traveling the country with their RV when not at home renovating.

Excerpt

“If these people are so all fucking powerful, and have these voodoo spirits, why the fuck are they using guns on young innocent girls?”

QUINN TO WAIGI

Clean Slate: Diva’s Ink

by Liberty Parker

Emory

Emory Masters has a life she loves, working with her sisters in their tattoo parlor. Helping people find the thing that will allow them to show their artistic side makes her smile. And then there’s Marcus. A long-standing admiration for one another has turned into something more…maybe love?

Marcus

Marcus Thompson, a local firefighter, has had Emory in his sights for a long time now and when they finally begin dating, he thinks his life is complete. But lately, Emory has been distant and pushing him away. When he follows her one day, he finds out the reason behind her reticence to take their relationship to the next level.

Will Emory’s news bring them closer or tear them apart? And can Ariel and Rainey handle not knowing what’s happening? Or will Emory wipe it all away and give herself a…clean slate.

Overseer’s Fierce Mate

by Sammi Mason

A cat shifter with a grueling search. An Overseer healing from his past. A malevolently arcane magic primed to destroy their love.

I-Do is swamped by guilt. She’s spent twenty years battling to fix her failure, not even being turned into a Vampire-shifter deterred her. But when her hotter-than-sin booty call claims she’s his mate, he threatens to undo her hard-fought repentance.

Hudson is a man on a mission. The jaguar shifter’s dedication as an Overseer helped him recover from abduction and torture. But he never imagined he’d go from passionate hook-up to a mate bond that could kill him.

When I-Do relents and accepts Hudson’s help, she vows to keep their relationship professional. Hudson cannot resist the woman who sets his body alight but needs to convince her they have a future. Even though she doesn’t see one for herself. When the evil I-Do has been hunting finds them, can they and their love survive?

Overseers Fierce Mateis the steamy second novel in the Vampire Guardians Noble paranormal romance series.

If you like booty call to forever romance, hot heroes, and iron-willed heroines, you’ll love Sammi Mason’s spicy tale. Grab your copy of Overseer’s Fierce Mate to find a love worth risking everything for.

Tiger Dragon Forbidden Mate

by Sammi Mason

A woman rejected. A vampire-dragon on the verge of losing everything. A veiled past to destroy their mate bond.

Lacey is devoted to her young son. Deserted at birth, she knows she is an unwanted throwaway who can only depend on herself. She believed her best friend’s big brother saw her as more, but her heart was shattered and spirit crushed when he ordered her to stay away.

Tank’s life has been shot to hell for the second time. Just a few weeks ago, he was turned into an alpha vampire, with an inner dragon. Now the woman who threw his soul into disarray years before, is back and her potently captivating charm calls to him more than ever.

When Lacey’s clandestine heritage screeches into her present, she is thrown at the mercy of the man who has grown even more intimidating. When danger erupts, Tank has to act fast and prove that Lacey can trust him. Can Tank be the man his mate needs and earn her love?

Tiger-Dragon’s Forbidden Mate is the fiery first novel in the Vampire Guardians Noble Vampire-Shifter romance series.

If you like fated mates romance, smoking hot, vampire-dragon heroes, and strong heroines, you’ll love Sammi Mason’s intense tale. Grab your copy of Tiger-Dragon’s Forbidden Mate to find a love nothing can incinerate.