The Next Quest – With Michelle Dennis 

Published September 23, 2017 by Michelle Dennis - Author

I’ve been writing and love my time spent with Orrin. Great battles, magic and knights of honour always get my attention!

Chapter Five
Orrin took to the sky, leaving the castle and his village behind. He couldn’t believe how close they’d come to losing Miss Emma today and he just couldn’t bare it. He would fetch her some Acacia blossoms, this would cheer her up and in turn cheer him up too. It had been such a turbulent few years, with the loss of the king, his family and then dear Abbey, the one thing he couldn’t lose was Miss Emma. He would fight tooth and claw for that dear girl.

His wings beat hard against the wind as he soared up and over the pine forest surrounding Chermside, the fluffy clouds passing over his scales. He loved being up here; the fresh, clean air filled his lungs and he couldn’t help but let a puff of smoke escape his nostrils. Then as his excitement rumbled in his throat he allowed a ball of fire to roll over his tongue and out of his mouth. He loved being a dragon but wondered for a moment what it would be like to have the ability to shape-shift like some crofters or the wolverines…

Wolverines…

This thought brought him back to Miss Emma. Those cursed creatures could have killed her! His anger rose up from deep in his belly and this time he breathed fire like a true dragon. A mighty dragon. An angry dragon.


Here’s the link to book one Wolfbaene 

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Writing with Perth Author Michelle Dennis 

Published September 17, 2017 by Michelle Dennis - Author

I’ve been working on the sequel to to Wolfbaene for quite some time; much longer than I anticipated . I could say it’s because I’ve been too busy to sit still long enough to listen to my characters, but in all honesty it’s the absence of being part of a writer’s group that has dulled down my ability to stick to a deadline.

Meeting up with a group of writers, who are just as crazy as yourself, to discuss characters and progress, one really gets a sense of achievement. There are critiques, positive from all angles, and opinions on things that might’ve caught your writing flow on a snag. 

When I began my writing journey, I joined a local writing group. I had already jotted down the first rough draft of three books, and had no idea what to do with them – other than leave them in a box. 

I was welcomed into this group with so much enthusiasm and encouragement, I felt like nothing could hold me back from my dream of publishing my work. Each fortnight I submitted a chapter for critiquing and critiqued the work of my fellow writers, pushing myself to move forward and really listen to my characters.

After a few months had passed, I was ready to publish the book I’d scribbled in a notebook. I wanted to self-publish through Amazon, to really enjoy the experience of planning my cover, working closely with my editor and be involved in the process of formatting. It was such a thrill.

If you’ve been writing and feel like you’d like to eventually publish your work, I implore you to join a local writers group. From forming friendships, learning about social media promoting and of course writing, it’ll give you a wonderful experience. 

Here’s the first chapter of my current WIP – unedited. I hope you enjoy it!
                            Chapter One 

Thomas surveyed the room from where he lay sprawled across his bed. He liked this room. His polished black boots were thrown against the stone wall. His clothes of silk and fine cotton hung untidily over an old wooden chair. His ruby-studded gold candelabra stood in the corner with dusty, spent candles. And his blue velvet drapes blocked out the annoying morning sun, just the way they should.

As he yawned and stretched lazily, the memory of his sixteenth birthday celebrations swam through his mind causing a wide grin across his handsome face. He still couldn’t believe that lords and ladies had come from distant lands to meet the new King of Chermside and his Gifted brother. He had danced with the prettiest girls in the land, drank cider with some of the most elite knights under his command and laughed with his lords – those of whom he may one day have to sit in court with. The year since he was whisked away from the world he thought he’d belonged in had passed so quickly.

With this thought lingering, Thomas glanced over at his sword leaning against the end of his bed and was reminded of the night his brother had sacrificed his life for him. He cringed a little at the thought of having that sword pushed through his shoulder and having to watch William battle with Wolfgang; feeling completely useless. He had kept the sword which had almost taken his life, so it would serve him now, but he had refused to take the king’s chambers. That room belonged to William and his new bride-to-be, Emma; he had nobody to share an enormous four-poster bed with anyway. In fact, he was glad he didn’t have anyone to share a room with; nobody to boss him around or make him do romantic things for. He had no cares at all – he was the king! Yes, he really liked this room.

Thomas swung his feet over the side of the bed and rubbed his bare chest. ‘Hmmm, not bad, not bad at all,’ he grinned. He now had the chest of a young warrior, not just a soccer player – bearing the scar from where Wolfgang had thrust his sword through his shoulder. The constant reminder had almost disappeared, with the help of Orrin’s toad dung and lily sap concoction, but it still felt tender. He frowned.

His stomach growled. He was hungry. ‘Well, I’ll have some breakfast and see where the day takes me. Hopefully nowhere near the wedding couple; they’re beginning to make me sick with all their ewey-gooeyness.’
He washed his face in the wash-bowl beside his bed, before putting on leather pants and a loose white cotton shirt. Turning to the old mirror hanging slightly crooked on the wall he used his damp hands to tidy his hair. It had been trimmed recently, but it still hung over his eyebrows and ears, falling across his forehead to one side in a not-so-royal manner; but he liked it.
Without further ado, he headed down the corridor to the grand staircase and could hear the castle staff scurrying around as they shouted, ‘The king is awake! The king is awake!’

Thomas sighed. Did they have to run around like that? He wasn’t Wolfgang. He couldn’t care less if they didn’t lay fresh lavender on his path. He didn’t want them to rush to him waving huge palm leaves so that the air kissed his face. And he really didn’t care if the long stone table was set with shining silver or goblets of red wine. He just wanted some bacon and eggs; and lots of it.

Thomas stood at the top of the stairs and stared down at his castle staff, nervously awaiting his orders. He shrugged with indifference and made his way down; stopping half way.

There was Gilbert, standing in the shadows of the main entry pillars. His golden scales glittered slightly with the reflection of sunlight. He and Gilbert didn’t exactly get off on the right foot, but they were good mates now – er, king and dragon.

‘Hey Gilbert!’ Thomas waved.

‘Your Highness,’ the dragon replied with a tilt of his huge scaly head.

Thomas grinned and followed the smell of bacon through an archway. He had no idea why Gilbert was being so formal with him; he was still the same Thomas. He didn’t even wear the king’s crown – that was locked away in a glass cabinet somewhere, secured by one of William’s spells.

When Thomas strolled into the dining room the first thing he noticed was Paddy sitting bent over some kind of map; he didn’t look up as Thomas pulled out his chair, scraping it on the stone floor. Their knight’s captain looked worn-out. The lines on his face almost matched the scribbly lines on the map. The second thing Thomas noticed was that William was sporting a new haircut; short back and sides and left a bit spikey on top – it looked, well, sophisticated, in William’s own dorky way.

‘Nice hair-do, bro.’ Thomas couldn’t help his snide remarks any more than he could help his good looks.

‘Hey, thanks, Thom,’ William said, quite cheerfully, until he noticed his brother’s wicked smirk. ‘Oh, well you’d do well to get your mane tidied up too – if you want to impress anyone enough for them to actually consider accompanying you to the wedding.’

‘I don’t need to impress anyone, and stop using big words this early in the morning, you’re making my head hurt.’

William only raised his eyebrows, watching Thomas pile his plate high with bacon and eggs like an ape.

Paddy began to roll up the map as he said, ‘You’d also do well to take your position here at the castle seriously – we have much to discuss about securing our borders and re-assessing the taxes our good people have been paying. You’ve had plenty of time to adjust to our ways, Thomas.’ He was looking at Thomas with a stern glare, which made Thomas squirm in his seat; then Thomas remembered he was the king.

‘The only position I’ll be taking seriously is a quiet place where I can work on toning some muscle.’

‘Toning muscle?’ Paddy’s face turned a shade of tomato and William felt his heart skip a beat.

‘Mmmm… yeah,’ Thomas replied through his mouthful of bacon. ‘You know, tone up and look good when I take my shirt off?’
‘Look good?’ Paddy looked livid. ‘Thomas you have important tasks to tend to, you don’t have time to squander…’

‘Ah, ah, ah, Paddy, remember who you are speaking to – I’m the king and I can do what I like,’ Thomas said, waving his fork at his knight’s captain.

Paddy’s face now went a dark shade of purple. He threw William a look that would have startled a dragon, shot the same look at Thomas; who had gone back to devouring his breakfast, and then he stormed out of the room.

‘Thomas, you can’t speak to Paddy like that!’ William was flabbergasted.

‘Oh, he’s alright, he knows I was only kidding around with him,’ Thomas replied with his usual swagger. He swung back in his chair wiping his mouth on the table cloth. ‘I’ll go and see if he wants me to help him with that map thing when I’ve had time to wake up.’ He really couldn’t see what all the fuss was about, life was free and easy now that Wolfgang was gone and everyone needed to chill out.

‘Well, I’d be working pretty quickly at waking up if I were you,’ William said, pushing his chair out and leaving his brother to his own big-headed company.


You can check out my books over at Amazon too!

https://www.amazon.com/Michelle-Dennis/e/B00E6K1YKU

Reading and Writing with author Michelle Dennis 

Published September 10, 2017 by Michelle Dennis - Author

I’m currently working on the sequel to my middle-grade children’s fantasy and it’s almost finished!

With new adventures, secrets and magic, there’s going to be an epic finale. 

The first book, Wolfbaene, was created out of a sudden desire to write something my children would love to read and quickly became something I found adults enjoying too. Don’t we all love a little magic and endearing characters taking us into a world of wonder? 

I’m not great at punctuation or grammar, but I have discovered I’m quite imaginative. So, when I completed my first manuscript and had it assessed professionally, I was a little excited to have the assessor tell me to continue writing and go ahead with getting Wolfbaene published.

If you have a story bursting to be written, I beg you to do it. Write, read and write… read a lot of other works of the same genre. Read! Discover the themes other use, take a mental note on how subjects are broached and find out how characters deal with situations. Then, spend time on your WIP like visiting with a friend. Sit and focus on what your characters are doing. Write down everything! Everything. And when your story finally comes to a close, get ready to be harsh – there’s usually a great deal of “fluff” that needs come out.

So sharpen your pencils and open your mind!

Here’s a little snippet from my first published book, Wolfbaene. 

                         Chapter Seven 

The air still held a slight chill, but as the sun peered over the top of the distant mountain peaks, it seemed to offer promise of a warm sunny day. Lichen hung from the enormous trees, resembling long white beards. William’s eyes grew wider and wider, when he noticed the bluebell flowers turn into tiny fairies as they fell from the vines that twisted up the tree trunks. Forest flowers of every colour peeped out from the tall green grass, which grew on either side of the track they followed – and strangely, he felt very comfortable, the same feeling he got when he climbed into bed at night.
Fury was proving to be quite easy-natured; at odds to his name and appearance. William quickly learned how to hold the reins and after each tumble and the arrival of a new bruise, he understood the name of his horse; it was a strong name and he liked it. He gradually adjusted himself to the horse’s rhythm.
Orrin led the two boys along the winding track, which led through ravines and deep tunnels and gave them passage into the looming mountains.
Eventually the dragon came to a stop, panting quite heavily – obviously not used to walking such a long distance.
‘This is where I shall leave you,’ he said, moving his wings as he spoke. ‘I will meet up with you later.’

Two boys, two dragons, a werewolf and a magic book 🐉🕍🗡🐺👑📖

https://www.booktopia.com.au/wolfbaene-michelle-dennis/prod9781512236651.html

*Proceeds go to Perth Children’s Hospital

Two boys, two dragons, a magic book and an epic adventure!

Published July 5, 2015 by Michelle Dennis - Author

The lantern above him flickered to life. William knew it must be meal time if the lanterns were coming on, but he did not intend to return to his dorm. He had to work out what was happening with the leather~bound book. For as long as he could remember, William  had carried it around in his backpack, but the pages were blank. That was until he had turned seventeen, just days before. Suddenly, from the day of his birthday, words began to appear on the pages. Not just words, but runes, which swam across the page, and curly letters forming strange words that made his eyes strain and his heart race. Stranger still was that the words were written in handwriting that seemed familiar to William – like that of a long lost friend or relative.

image

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1512236659/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_twi_3_pap?qid=1435963731&sr=1-1&keywords=Wolfbaene

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/544766

I have always loved books. From Golden Books, Peter Pan, Puff the Magic Dragon, Redwood, Narnia, Peter Rabbit and many more, my imagination fed on the words of these stories.

As an adult, with children of my own, I still love to read stories of magic, adventure and romance. (My writing room is filled with books and trinkets a dragon would be jealous of!)

Wolfbaene is my precious gift to the wonderful world of literature and I truly hope you like it!

Xx Mich

Meet the Author: Elaine Ouston

Published July 5, 2015 by Michelle Dennis - Author

In Their Own Write

ELAINE’S TOP WRITING TIP: Writing is a profession. Like any other profession, you need to invest time and money to learn how to be the best. Learn the craft by taking lots of workshops and make sure your manuscript is the best it can be before it goes out by paying an editor to find your mistakes. A writer is far too close to their work to see the mistakes they have made.  

 

Elaine Ouston p5smallElaine Ouston lives in Queensland, Australia. She has a Master of Letters in Creative Writing. She edits for other writers, is managing editor at Morris Publishing Australia, and has set up a writers’ centre, Gondor Writers’ Centre, in Kilcoy, Qld where she teaches writing to adults and children.

Her four published children’s books vary from a picture book to two books in a fantasy series, The Mystery of Nida Valley, for 9–16 year-olds. She…

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A sight word magician

Published March 21, 2015 by Michelle Dennis - Author

Jenny Graham - abcJenny

magic

Learning sight words or any words are hard for children. Either they have worked out the magic of sounding out words and they then stumble on a word like ‘was’ or they see the word circus and wonder why it doesn’t start with a /k/ sound.

Have some fun with your kids, make learning something they enjoy and ask you to do over and over again.

Here are 5 magical quick games that will help your child learn sight words and are fun.

* These activities can be used with letters, numbers, spelling words, even scientific equations for University if your child is of that age.

magic 6A simple one which can be used with a pirate’s treasure chest, a secret box or magical magician’s memory minder. Hide a Golden Words, sight word, letters etc in the box. You may like to list the words on the outside to help your child remember what…

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The Dragons Are Singing Tonight

Published February 18, 2015 by Michelle Dennis - Author

Wyrmflight

The Dragons Are Singing Tonight is a picture book from the notable children’s poet, Jack Prelutsky, with illustration by Peter Sis. It was published in 1993 by Greenwillow and is part of a set by the same author featuring other fantastic creatures such as ogres.

Each of the 17 short poems stands alone, yet connected by the general theme of dragons. There’s a good balance between short and snarky poems with longer, meditative ones. Although the focus is mostly on children wishing they could have dragons for pets, something longtime readers will know irritates me, Prelutsky does find time for the dragon’s perspective. Here’s the third of the volume:

If You Don’t Believe In Dragons, by Jack Prelutsky

If you don’t believe in dragons

It is curiously true

That the dragons you disparage

Choose not to believe in you.

My personal favorite is “I Am My Master’s Dragon,” a poignant statement of the…

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