Natasja Rose

Natasja Rose and I are in the same anthology – Slow Burn.

Author Bio

Natasja has been writing since a very young age, though those notebooks have been lost in the Old Schoolbooks Cupboard and (hopefully) will never see the light of day.

Most of her stories, published or otherwise, began life as conversations with friends that sparked an idea that grew into a story or poem.

Her publishing adventures started with poems and short stories in focus newsletters like ABA and AMBA, and online sites like Readwave, before finally taking a chance with self-publishing.

Natasja Rose lives and works in Sydney, Australia, but travels whenever she can afford it and has the time.

Her greatest wish is to visit all the places in the world that inspired her writing as a child, and create new stories for new inspirations.

Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, but my Dad worked internationally, so we got to travel a lot, and I was bit by the travel bug young. I try to go on at least one overseas trip per year, though COVID-19 ruined this year’s plan…

I always loved history, and the best day of my life was when I discovered re-enacting and LARP aka that I didn’t have to stop dressing up and pretending to be someone/something else just because I was a technical adult.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

Writing and telling stories has always been a part of my life. We didn’t have a TV for a lot of my childhood, so my sisters and I would make up our own stories and act them out for our parents. Writing was the one thing I could always be relied upon to do at school, even when I struggled with telling the difference between conjunctions and interjections, and actively resisted Maths.

I decided that I wanted to be an author around the age of 7 (after downgrading from my original goal of ruling the world), and the time between then and now was dedicated to working out a day-job that suited me.

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

Much like my writing style, I read a bit of everything. It’s the individual books that grab me, more than the overall themes. Crime and autobiographies don’t really interest me, but I have a distinct weakness for Jane Austen Variations, anything Terry Pratchett and Rick Riordan, and Star Wars fanfiction.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

Technically YA, though I’ve had people older than my parents tell me they enjoyed it. I’ve never really subscribed to the idea of books being meant for just one age group

What is your current release or project?

I finished my latest novelette, “Whitechapel Justice”, in March, which was meant to debut at a (COVID-19-Cancelled) Gothic Steampunk event. My current project is “The Way of the Exiled”, the first draft of which is currently with my editor.

Tell us about the key characters

In Whitechapel Justice, the key characters are the Streetstalkers, who act as unofficial bodyguards for the Working Women (Prostitutes) of Whitechapel. When Jack the Ripper starts killing the women under their protection, they go on the hunt.

In The Way of the Exiled, the main character is Owain, the middle son of a lord who survived the invasion and massacre of his home and escaped, carrying his infant brother and leading a handful of other children in the desperate search for safety. The Way of the Exiled follows Owain as he grows up, becomes a Mercenary and leader-in-exile, and lays the long-term plans to eventually take back his home.

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

Jack the Ripper terrorised the streets of Whitechapel, until the killings stopped as suddenly as they started.

Police were baffled; had the Ripper left the area, or been scared off? Who was he and how had he stayed ahead of the law? Why had he targeted the women? The cases remained unsolved, and History would never know more than rumour and suspicion.
Only a select few would ever know the truth. The streets of Whitechapel take care of their own…

Owain was a boy when he witnessed the massacre of his family and the loss of his home.

Fleeing into exile with his infant brother and a scattered handful of survivors, Owain must somehow keep them safe and alive as he grows from a traumatised child to a man able and prepared to reclaim his home.

In a tale of loss, hope and the bonds of friendship, family and destiny are what you make of them

Share an excerpt

This is the (unedited) prologue of The Way of the Exiled

“The sands of the desert are ever-shifting, but the wise man watches them, rather than be caught unaware by the storm.” 

Ancient Noorinian Proverb

The desert sun beat down harshly on the ragged group, staggering onward through the endless sands, fear and death biting at their heels.

Overhead, birds circled, and the boy clutched the precious bundle in his arms tighter. Tears stung his eyes, but he refused to let them fall; he didn’t have the water to waste. Angry determination forced him forward another step. He couldn’t fail now!

The oasis-city they had fled was far behind them, lost to sight, but the boy thought that he could still hear the clash of steel, the sickening thump of bodies hitting the ground. The image of his father, standing over the cooling form of his older brother, yelling for him to take the other children and run, as he matched blades with the Warlord who thought to take what was never his to claim, was burned into his mind’s eye. So had been the boy’s last sight of his home, with the tall, indominable man who had loved and raised him crumpled in a heap at the gates, his blood staining the thirsty sand.

Curse the thrice-damned Lord Mal to the lowest circle of the Afterlife’s torments! May he suffer as his countless victims had, and if the Gods didn’t feel like setting the Warlord to rights, Owain would happily do it for them! One day, when he was stronger, strong enough to rescue what remained of his people and take back their home.

At the back of the group, someone stumbled and fell. The youth turned back, watching as another boy helped the younger child to their feet. He scanned the rolling dunes that surrounded them; there was little shelter to be had, but they needed to rest. To go on would be to push the youngest beyond their already strained endurance.

There! A small rock formation, with shadows that indicated caves or hollows at it’s base. Better than nothing. The boy led his fellow survivours to the rocks, looking up in alarm as a larger shadow fell across them. They broke into a desperate, staggering run as the shadow grew, swooping toward them.

The shadow went past them, colliding in a lethal dive with a lion that the boy hadn’t even seen, cameoflaged as it was against the stone. The shadow straightened up, a tall, dark skinned man with wings the colour of the plums that had grown in the orchard. Outlined by the sun, it was hard to see his face, but the boy did his best to meet the Avian’s eyes squarely. If he died, he would do so with dignity.

The Avain’s stance softened, the beads that tipped braided hair rustling softly. “Della, Meri, it’s all right. Come, boy, I’ll show you how to skin and cook a lion.”

Two more shadows landed, young women, one dark and the other colourful. They picked up the smallest of the band, the youngest children ready to fall where they stood, and glided to the caves. Soaring back, the colourful girl smiled at him. “You’ve done well, to bring them so far. What is your name?”

The boy fought back tears again. His name belonged to a happy young boy, with parents and a home. That boy was no more. “Owain, formerly of Noorinia. We’re all that’s left.”

For now, at least. One day, he would return to his oasis home, and he would make the people who drove him out pay.

The tall Avian laid a hand on his shoulder. “I’m Mas, and these are my daughters. You may stay with us until you choose otherwise.”

Do you have a favorite scene?

Several, though I could never pick just one.

What advice would you give a beginner?

Keep practicing, failure is a lesson in disguise, and don’t give up your day job

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Patricia Elliott

Patricia Elliott and I contributed to the same anthology. Slow Burn is an anthology about fire fighters in Australia and all of the royalties will go to a charity to benefit those fire fighters.

Author Bio

Patricia Elliott lives in Beautiful British Columbia with her family. Now that their lovely kids are all teenagers, she has decided to actively pursue her passion for the written word.

When she was a youngster, she spent the majority of her time writing fanfiction and poetry to avoid the harsh reality of bullying. Writing allowed her to escape into another world, even if temporarily; a world in which she could be anyone or anything, even a mermaid.

Dreams really can come true. If you believe it, you can achieve it!

Tell us about yourself

First, I want to say thanks for hosting me on your blog. It’s a pleasure to be here. My name is Patricia Elliott and I’m 43 years old. I’m a romance/dark fiction author from British Columbia, BC, where I currently live with three of my children; they are 17, 18, and 21. It still blows my mind that they are almost all adults now. Time escaped on me somehow. One minute you are holding them in your arms, and the next, they are too big to pick up without throwing out your back. *That might just be me getting old now. Haha

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

Writing has always been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was about 9 years old, back in the 80’s, we moved to the country. The internet didn’t exist back then and cable in the country left a lot to be desired. I think we had about three channels, everything else was fuzzy.

After I started at my new school, I became the target of every bully. The same people bullied me pretty much throughout my remaining school years, with more bullies being added to their group each year.

Eventually, I learned that I could escape into different worlds by reading and writing. A mere paper and pen became my coping mechanism because I could be anyone or anything I wanted to be; a popular athlete, a mermaid, or even a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. I found it was also a great way to release my pent up emotions.

I never really thought about being an author though. The likelihood of getting published in the 80’s or even 90’s felt like it was on par with becoming a professional athlete. Only traditional publishing existed at the time, and you had to mail your stories in via snail mail.

It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I started to think of the possibility of becoming an author. That’s when I actually wrote my first full-length novel, “Her Lover’s Face.” However, the book wasn’t revealed to the world until over a decade later when Richard from Black Velvet Seductions gave it a shot. I signed my first book contract with them and it was published in February 2018.

I’ll never forget my journey to publication. The road was full of twists and turns, but in the end, I made it out the other side and got to hold my book baby; so, if you want to publish a book, don’t give up. Your time will come.

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

I tend to read romantic suspense more than anything else, even though I do love a good horror story, too. Most of my work tends to fall into the romantic suspense category, but I have been known to dabble in dark fiction, horror, and even fantasy. Life isn’t the same without zombies. 😉

Is your book for adults, young adults, or children?

My current stories are definitely for adults, but I do have some young adult/children stories in mind to write at a later date under a pen name.

What is your current release or project?

I’m pretty excited about my upcoming release, it is a short story called, “Into the Fire,” which has been included in the Slow Burn charity anthology, which is being published by Little Quail Press. Our wonderful publisher will be donating all the proceeds from our book sales to the NSW Rural Fire Service to help the first responders in Australia. They were devastated by wild fires earlier this year and need all the help they can get. My story takes place in Australia. The main character, Ash, is a firefighter and responds to a call at his ex-girlfriend’s house. He ends up getting more than he bargained for when he arrives…

I also had a novel released in November of last year by Black Velvet Seductions, called, “Not You Again!” Both of these stories revolve around the theme of second chances. What would you do if you came face to face with your first love? Would you run the other way or run into their arms? Emma, the main character in my novel, was so shocked that all she could do was compliment him on his shoes.

Tell us about the key characters

In regards to my story, “Into the Fire,” Ash Daniels was born and raised in a small Australian town. After going through a tough time and having the town stick by him in his late teen years, he decides to stay and help those who helped him by becoming a firefighter.

Theresa Martin was born and raised in the same town, until her dad made her leave. Years later, after the loss of her parents, she returns to sell her family’s farm, but ends up falling in love with it all over again.


Ash Daniels is single and plans to stay that way. Theresa Martin, the only woman he ever loved, left him high and dry, disappearing from his life years ago without a trace. Now, his only focus is saving his town from a raging bushfire that has scorched the land all around them. When he’s dispatched to his ex-girlfriend’s place, his painful past comes rushing forward. His only hope is that he can stay focused long enough to save her place and not die in the process.

Theresa Martin never expects to face a life or death situation; but, when the bushfire reaches her back yard, she realizes that the secret she’s been keeping isn’t hers to keep anymore. She has to tell Ash why she ran away before death rips that chance away.

But what he’ll do with the news is anyone’s guess…

Short Excerpt

“Mummy,” Zack screamed. Theresa Martin’s heart lurched and her eyes shot open, her blood curdling at the sound. She couldn’t see anything. Thick black smoke blanketed her bedroom in darkness. “Zack!” she cried as she reached over and grabbed her cell phone off the nightstand, dialling triple zero. She rolled off the bed and dropped to the tan carpet below. Sharp pains radiated in her chest. Why hadn’t her smoke alarm gone off? “Emergency Services. Do you need police, ambulance, or fire?” “Fire! My house is filled with smoke,” she cried. Crawling on her hands and knees, she approached her bedroom door and carefully touched the handle. The metal was cool beneath her fingers. Thank God. The strong stench of burning wood, like a giant bonfire, permeated her senses, stinging her eyes. “For what city or town, please?” “Kangaroo Valley.”… Slow Burn – The Fires That Bind Us Anthology Various Authors

What’s your favorite scene?

That’s tricky to say without giving too much of the short story away, but it has to do with a koala and a little rugrat who tries to be brave, like a firefighter would be. You can’t have an Australian story without a Koala, right? Not in my eyes anyway.

What advice would you give a beginner?

My advice is to just have fun. Focus on your story first and foremost; write whatever stokes your passion—the story that’s on your heart to write. It will breathe life into your work and your readers will thank you for it.

And this might be different than what other writers say, but don’t get too caught up in all the writing rules while writing your first draft. There are tons of them out there and trying to follow them all, especially early on, can stifle your creativity; and, you’ll end up focusing more on trying to follow the rules than actually writing your story. There is time for that later while editing.

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Book Links:


Slow Burn

One of the reasons I agreed to contribute to this anthology was because all the proceeds are going to charity. Amelia K Oliver and I have a short story we co-wrote in this anthology.

Slow Burn Anthology

Pre order available now

Release date 5/31

Australia is burning, and the heros between these pages are going to save it. Eleven amazing authors have banded together to bring you smoking hot firefighter romances to support bushfire relief. From rural Australian settings to the world of mages and shifters, these stories will have you heating up — for more than one reason.

Proceeds from this anthology go towards the NSW Rural Fire Services to help rebuild after the devastation of our summer bushfire season here in Australia.

Memories of Ash – Louisa Duval

Spark of Love – Amelia K Oliver & Eileen Troemel

More than Magic – Monica Schultz

Souls Ablaze – Fiona Fairhame

It’s all in the eyes – Neen Cohen

Phoenix – Natasja Rose

Soothe – Lara Rouse

When Aiden Came Back – D J Elton

Into the Fire – Patricia Elliott

Ignited Love – B McGorm

Through the Flames – R M Oliva

Falling – L T Waterson

Monica Schultz

Monica Schultz and I both wrote for the same anthology – Slow Burn. She resides in Australia – one of the places I really want to visit.

Author Bio

Monica Schultz is a full-time Mathematics and History teacher from Ipswich, Australia, with a passion for writing fantasy. When she isn’t busy finding ‘x’ in the latest equation, you can find her curled up with a young adult book and a cat on her lap.

Tell us about yourself.

Hi, my name is Monica Schultz. I’m a High School Math and History teacher from Ipswich, Australia. I’m also a Cat Mum of a grumpy Devon Rex and his newly adopted little brother. When I’m not writing or teaching, I am busy training to be the next Poke-Master or creating havoc in my poor Sims lives.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I’ve always loved writing. I wrote the first draft of my novel during a family camping trip when I was 10 years old. The draft was terrible, but thankfully my writing skills have come a long way since then. 

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

I love reading young adult fiction. It can be anything from romance to fantasy to historical fiction. Sometimes I venture out and dare to read a novel other adults consider mature and insightful, but I always come back to the comfort of YA. This is why I love to write younger characters.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

While most of my work is aimed at young adults, this short story focuses on new adults. Although set in the 50s, Faye’s desire to leave town still rings true to the emotions felt by new graduates moving out for the first time. 

What is your current release or project?

I’m currently working on an urban fantasy series set in Australia. Mythical creatures, from werewolves to mages, all live in a secluded corner of Australia, under the thumb of the Human Protection Society. Most Mythicals learn to live without basic freedoms, but this isn’t good enough for one teenage elf, Arya.

Almost all my short stories are also set in this universe, including More than Magic, and will tie back to Arya’s life in some small way.

Tell us about the key characters

More than Magic is centered around the life of Faye, a young woman desperate to leave town and chase magic in the big city. This is until she meets Laurie, a charming new volunteer firefighter. When Faye first meets Laurie while waiting tables, she wants nothing to do with him. Yet, Laurie quickly wins Faye over with his honesty and charming smile. 

Share an excerpt.

“‘Scuse us Miss,” a firefighter calls to my back, “We’re ready to place our orders now.”

I give the table one last hard swipe, satisfied with the result of a little elbow grease. Plastering on a smile, I turn with a sharp twist, knocking over a chair in the process. I mumble a curse and straighten it, frustration knitting my brows together.

“What can I get for you?” I ask, failing to mimic Debbie’s sunny voice.

The men remain silent, their jaws flapping like fish out of water. My foot taps, restless against the timber floor as I wait for them to find their voice.

“December’s special pie is pork and plumb if you want to try it,” I suggest, my eyes flicking to the chalkboard resting by the front door.

Still nothing. I comb my fingers through my hair. Surely, I’m not sweating that badly after the lunch rush that they won’t look me in the eye. Flushed and confused, I turn to Debbie for support. Her made-up lips form a perfect ‘o’ at the sight of me.

“Uh, Faye, how ‘bout you fetch me some more serviettes from the back room, while I serve these blokes,” Debbie says.

Before I can protest, Debbie rushes around the benchtop and pulls me into a tight embrace.

Debbie presses her cheek against mine. “Your buttons are undone,” she whispers.

I freeze, glancing down. The white lace of my bra peeks back at me. Horrified, I yank my shirt closed and stare at the countless buttons scattered across the floor. Oh God. Blood pounds in my ears, drowning out Debbie as she chatters to the customers, to distract their lingering gaze. With a light shove, Debbie sends me on my way, hurrying out of sight. At least now I will be too embarrassed to cry.

Do you have a favorite scene?

My favourite scene is Faye and Laurie’s date at Lake Alford. The emotions captured by this scene leave me sighing at all the right places and longing to write them into my main series.

What advice would you give a beginner?

Join a writer’s group and don’t be afraid of criticism. I only really started my journey as an author in January of 2019. The realisation that my writing was miles from professional was rough, but I’ve grown so much from putting myself out there and accepting the support of others. By writing short stories and drabbles, something I never thought I could do, my novel has improved by leaps and bounds.

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Social media links:

Facebook @monicaschultzauthor

Twitter @MonicaSchultz_

Instagram @monicaschultzauthor