Dragon’s Den Blog

Valentine’s Day Vandal: Holiday Pet Sleuth Mysteries

by Annee Jones

Valentina De Luca’s matchmaking service is the best in town. However, despite her ability to make successful matches for even the choosiest of clients, finding love for herself is another matter. The antique heart-shaped locket she wears given to her by her grandmother reminds her of the love her grandparents shared and gives her hope of one day finding her own true love.

Fatal Distractions – anthology

“Borrowed Time,” by Virginia Wallace

It is a strange feeling, Elinor once thought, to be in the bathroom when one is supposed to be in the movie theater. It leaves one feeling rather out of place, and ill at ease. This is how she’s felt her entire life, and it all started with a visit from a specter named Dave—and a jar of moonshine.

“The Budsem Affair,” by Virginia Wallace

Bubba Waugh just wanted to use the phone, in a building deceptively labeled ‘Mistress Mary’s School for Girls .’ Little does naïve, country-born Bubba know that a certain ‘Mistress Holly’ is waiting for him …

“Thirst,” by Catalyst Jost

Maxwell is trapped in a world of hallucinations, and vivid dreams. It all started with a blood-red drink, poured into an ornate goblet. Can Max fight his way through the nightmare? Will he ever reconnect with the love of his life, or is he simply too far gone?

“The Protocols,” by Virginia Wallace

For thousands of years, the Plutonians have been watching our planet from afar. Now, they wish to examine it more closely. But even these refined, technologically-advanced aliens might not be prepared for Earth’s hilariously appalling quirks …

“Five Candles,” by Virginia Wallace

Jake DeCarlo leads a shameless existence, living in a world of booze, drugs, and cheap sex. Even his devoutly Catholic mother can’t get through to him. But when the eternal bill for his debauchery comes due, a mysterious man named Uncle Yenaldo is more than willing to chat with him …

“A Time to Die,” by Loren A. Douglas

Adam is watching his wife waste away from cancer. What’s killing him is also watching his neighbor’s beautiful, abused, young-adult daughter inch ever closer to suicide. While one woman is fighting for her life, another is moving towards throwing it all away. This begs the question: is it really such a sin, to put the soul of a suicide candidate into the body of a desperate, dying person? One woman wants to live. The other does not. Wherein lies the right or the wrong of the matter …?

“Find Me in the Mirror,” by Virginia Wallace

Amanda’s adult life is a spectacular success. Her childhood, on the other hand, was a train wreck. The Repeating Universe Theory claims that there are endless universes, with infinite variations upon reality. Search the repeating universes long enough, and you might eventually find another you. And it is in this maze of cosmic variables, that Amanda is able to offer a word of encouragement to her younger self.

“Rime of a Fairy,” by Chris Taylor

Music has always been near and dear to the heart of man. The Celts believed that such enraptured melodies were the work of the Fae, and perhaps this is true …

dragon festival during nighttime

New Short Story

Short stories are fun to write but the pacing can be troublesome depending on the word count allowed for the anthology.

I started writing a short story – calling it Portal for right now – It’s a part 2 to Heart of Fire. I have three chapters written and about 10K (slightly under) done.

I outlined this story. I don’t like to work with an outline because I usually get sidetracked from them and then frustrated because I have to put stuff aside. Well this has helped me focus which is a bit odd for me.

My hope is by the end of the weekend, I’ll have completed the first draft. But we’ll see. I just got a client for editing so that will slow me down a bit.

When I set up the new journal and made the decision to work this way, I was concerned it wouldn’t work but first run of it seems to be working. It at the very least keeps me on track.

I ended off starting the new chapter. It was in my head so I wanted to get the scene down before I forgot. Now tonight I can dream about the next step. It’s all about one mate being setup. Some of the dragons calling for his punishment and others standing by him. All while his mates are trying to find out the real traitor and who set him up.

I’ve got two chapters to write about it so depending on how much writing time I get tomorrow, I might be able to squeak out the two chapters. I’ve been averaging between 2500 words and 3500 words a night. It’s good progress.

Zero’s Mercy

by Linny Lawless

Zero earned his name because when it comes to showing mercy, he has none. As the President of the Merciless Few MC Maryland Chapter – the National chapter – he has gained the loyalty and respect of his brothers. Each of them follows his lead, and they serve a cold dish of vengeance to their enemies. When Zero’s path crosses with the feisty, foul-mouthed, and very sexy mechanic named Charlie, who has gotten herself into a whole lot of trouble and is now on the hit list of another MC, she reminds him of something he’d long forgotten. Mercy is not only for the weak—it’s needed when the woman you love is in danger.

Titanian Warrior: Titanian Chronicles 3

by Victoria Saccenti

Hagen drags himself to the gates of Hell, body and soul shredded by the bloodlust that consumes all the unmated of his kind. Awaiting the painful atonement that will buy him ten more years to find his eternal mate—or face oblivion. But Hades himself kicks him out with the bloodlust still prowling, unsatisfied, in his veins.

Bargained away by her parents to Master O, a mysterious and cruel wizard, Faiza serves in his household, keeping her small magic a secret, plagued by wild, confusing visions of a strange suffering male. Then her master brings home a wounded Titanian warrior whose touch sends ice, fire, and desire through her body.

When she learns Master O plans to use Hagen as a weapon to conquer all races, she devises a desperate plan to free him—a plan that opens a portal to a world she’s never known. And a destiny entwined with danger that could destroy them all.

Victory’s Consequence

A Crown Forged By Victory’s Consequence Releases Today!!

One of the most anticipated dark fantasy releases of 2023. 

This isn’t a fairy tale—sex becomes currency, murder is ordinary, and love doesn’t conquer all. 

The Blackened Tablet Series: Book I: A Crown Forged By Victory’s Consequence
Written by: Aaryanna Abbott & Marlayna James
Cover design by: Keylin Rivers
Published by: Friends With Pens Author Group

Publisher, Friends With Pens Author Group, is excited to present this Dark Fantasy Series to readers. If you loved the large cast of Harry Potter, the deadly politics of Game of Thrones, the fandom of Lord of the Rings, or the explicit writing style of Christina Lauren—this is your next favourite read! 

1 selfless act. 4 magic-abled friends. Equals death, destruction, hatred & sacrifice. 

This series contains acts of violence and explicit love scenes which may include coarse language, nudity, and blood. Reader discretion is advised.

This 400-page quest adventure is accompanied by an extensive guide designed for immersive and forgetful readers: 

50+ images

Character index 




Released: January 3rd, 2023. 

Book II releases: June 6th, 2023. Book III releases: January 2nd, 2024 

A Tale of Darkness

by Jacob Ruder

As civilization expanded, two families were gifted power. They used their powers, light and darkness, to destroy their enemies. When darkness and light could no longer coexist, the light wiped away the villainous darkness. New countries spread forth from the light that represented earth, wind, fire, water, sound, strength, healing, and visibility. Each power broke off from the light to establish their own countries. Long since the defeat of darkness, light has held the other countries in line with an iron fist. But what happens when the king of light goes missing? Will darkness find its way back? Will a rebellion rise that would shake the very continent and bring forth an age of uncertainty?

Dark Sun

Prophecy Series

N. A. Jameson

My earliest memories are of being attacked in an alley. I wake up in a stranger’s house, not only to find my past is a dark hole, but that I am a vampire. The only information I can offer him is my first name.

The stranger is my savior and my mate, but Deckland makes it clear he isn’t interested in me. As soon as my memories are back, I’m gone. All that’s left is to see if we can find some middle ground to make my temporary stay bearable.

And what will we do when memories of my past lives start cropping up, and send us hurdling towards danger?

The Purists are after me and I think an unlikely ally is the key to beating them once and for all. I hope.

I may have lived other lives before, but I’m living this one now, and I’m not ready to let it go.

Dark Sun is an adult dark paranormal romance. This book contains explicit language and graphic sex scenes, all consensual, intended for audiences of 18+. This is a reverse harem building series which means at the end of the series the main character will have more than one love interest. The author highly suggests this series be read in order to get the full experience. The series will end with a happily ever after. This book contains memory loss, kidnapping, violence, unaliving, blood, and light bullying. If you like a passionate FMC and a sweet mate with a tortured soul, this book is for you. This is book four in the series.

black text on gray background

When the Muse Grabs You by the Throat, You have to Obey!

It’s 3:30 am and I meant to be in bed an hour ago. This is not an uncommon occurrence but still annoying. It’s been a meh day for me. I woke up feeling bent – this is my way of saying my arthritis was bad. I had to text my boss to tell her I wanted to start later. She’s always cool with this but it annoys me when I have to take advantage of it. I took an hour, slept for part of the time and then got moving (slowly) before getting to work. I opted not to make up my time.

This meant my brain was slow to work today. I made progress on tasks but I wanted to do super fast work. I couldn’t. I made a point of putting my computer aside for my lunch time. I knew I needed the break from it.

Because it was a rough day, I didn’t edit. My brain still felt sluggish and I didn’t think I had the bandwidth to give it the focus the editing needs. Instead, I talked with my sister and worked on a non-writing project.

Prepping for bed, my eyes were drooping and I felt worn out. When I turned everything off, I thought good I’ll be asleep in no time at all. Nope. That did not happen. I lay in the dark and heard this conversation.

Now I’ve signed up to write a bunch of short stories for different anthologies. I like writing short stories. They are quick writes and usually I can get them done in under a week. So I signed up for one and decided I could write in the Heart of Fire (short story I wrote several years ago) world and finish the story.

Earlier this week as I was getting writing things organized, I wrote a rough (vague) outline for this short story. I rarely do any planning or outlining so this was quite a thing for me. So I’m laying in the dark and I hear this conversation. I try to convince myself I can just remember it and get it down later… yeah I know. I laughed at the idea. So then I’m thinking – okay I’ll do talk to text and just email it to myself. But my phones been weird and I just want to get it written. I consider grabbing one of my rocket books but realize I’ll have to turn on the light. If I’m turning on the lights, I might as well open my computer.

So I did. Now I’ve got the first chapter done and I’ve written 1320 words. Now the short story needs to be 10,000 to 20,000 words. I’ve outlined 12 chapters so if I average 1500 words per chapter, I should be at about 18K when I’m done. We’ll see how that goes.

I like what I’ve written and I think I’ve gotten the snarky tone I want. I just need to make sure I write in first person present tense. That will be the hard part for me.

Shelby Lee

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a 10000% neurospicy (neurodivergent) mom to two kids. I volunteer in the community helping youth however I can, and I like to think I’m a good wife (most days). I live in the middle of the US in Nebraska, and have since 2003 when the military stationed my mom here. I’m not sure what else to really say. I like to read, write, play video games. I have a few chronic illnesses that leave me bed-bound a LOT so most of my hobbies can be done while cuddled up with one of my kiddos.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

When I was at LEAST 13, if not younger. I’ve always loved writing fiction stories, and it was something I felt like I was good at all of the time.

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

I like to read almost everything, it really just depends on my mood. My favorites is romantic suspense. I absolutely love writing it – aside from the headaches of keeping everything together. Pretty sure I’ve amassed a sticky note collection now.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

All of my books are for adults.

What is your current release or project?

My current release is Phoenix Flames, book two in my A Conspiracy of Ravens series.

Tell us about the key characters

Raven is the FMC in this series, and I absolutely love her. She has traumatic mutism (she can’t talk or make many noises in her particular case, so she’s forced to be 100% silent). Pierce is her childhood best friend (to lovers to enemies to friends to lovers…because they’re complicated like that). Phoenix is a guy she met when they were both in the hospital for mental health help. River…oh River. He’s the guy Pierce made friends with instantly when he came to college half a year early. He’s the fun-loving, gotta make everyone laugh because life sucks kinda guy.

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

When the world burns…will we burn with it?

I hadn’t meant to fall into the arms of the men who hurt me, but when the world around us threatens to crumble, the only thing we can do is lean on each other.

My father wants me to help him, but only at the expense of those I care for.

My best friend wants everything with me again, but I refuse to let him in until he’s proven his worth.

My fun-loving guy is cracking in front of us, unable to maintain the happy smiles and jokes he masks his pain with.

My brooding one’s past comes to haunt us all, threatening to end everything before it’s had a chance to thrive.

Will the past come in and destroy the present?

Or have we grown enough to outlast it all?

Phoenix Flames is the second book in the series A Conspiracy of Ravens. It cannot be read as a standalone. For a full look into the content notes, please visit the author’s website.

Share an excerpt

This is the first email between Phoenix and Raven which appears at the end of Chapter 2!

TO: upinflames@myemail.com
FROM: rmhill@myemail.com
SUBJECT: Mystery Mail

Hi. Salutations. Greetings?
How are we supposed to start an email to a stranger, exactly? I don’t even know who you are, yet I’m sitting in the day service room (hereby known as the common room, because it sounds fancier, and I need to feel a bit fancy for a change, okay?) writing an email to a mystery person.
Probably shouldn’t reveal too much, but I’m using the email they gave to me when I got here, as I didn’t want to make one up myself.
Great idea that was, because now you know my last name, but alas, I digress. Do people even talk like that? Whatever.
You said on your sticky note that you wanted me to have a place to talk freely, since it’s clearly hard for me to get anything across in group.
You’d be fucking right about that, Flames. You’d be absolutely fucking right.
I’m tired. I can’t speak, and I did a LOT of speaking before I suddenly couldn’t anymore. Fate and Karma are working hard against me for some reason.
Tell me a bit about you in your reply, and I’ll tell you all about me and how this shit happened.

Kindest regards,
RM Hill
PS: What’s with the pineapple sticker on your note? It might behoove you to know that I absolutely loathe pineapple pizza. (I’ll be surprised if I get an email back after this.)

Do you have a favorite scene?

I do. However, if I said what it was, I’d be spoiling something. What I can say is that it’s the BEST form of groveling for Pierce to do and I laugh every single time I think about it!

What advice would you give a beginner?

Gosh. Have your ducks in a row? Research, research, research. Not all advice will fit YOU and YOUR brand. Remember that you are a BUSINESS, so you need to be as professional as you can, even if it is talking about dirty things in the romance community. Also, put a schedule together that you can keep up with. Every single author has a different situation, and allowing yourself to be sucked in to someone else’s schedule is not always ideal. Give yourself breathing room, and know that the author community is 100000% the best place for help, because we’ve all been there and we all still need help from time to time.
I hope that wasn’t too long. I’m sure I have more, too. This is just what I can come up with right now!

Social media links:

Facebook https://facebook.com/authorshelbylee

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

Other https://linktr.ee/authorshelbylee


Shelby Lee is a dark romance author specializing in the act of trauma dumping into her own stories in the hopes of eventually healing herself, and possibly others, along the way. She resides in a semi-small town in Nebraska with her husband, two kids, and guinea pigs.

When she’s not writing, she’s mentoring youth in the community on the off chance she just might leave the world a better place than she found it.

Other than that, you can probably find her on TikTok.