Don’t Lose That Lovin’ Feeling

Read this, and know that the writer mentioned at the bottom of the post was me.

Many thanks to K.M. Herkes for taking the time to write this, and for making me, and hopefully many others, feel much more at ease with the aftermath of publishing.

Dawnrigger Publishing

If I ever become Queen of the World I shall require the following boxed disclaimer be posted above the “how to publish” advice on every site:

Warning: becoming a published author may suck all the joy out of writing. Proceed with caution. Take your protein pills and put your helmet on. This too shall pass. 

I don’t know if the barrage of cliches would work, but I’m forever glad I was given such a warning so I’m paying it forward. Forewarned is forearmed.

Once the first story hits the wide world, life changes forever. The irrevocable shift in identity from writer to author comes with big responsibilities attached, and learning to juggle all the new balls takes adjustment. The learning curve is especially steep for independent authors. To mix a few more metaphors into this stew, it takes a village to raise a book-baby, but many indies head into the adventure as armies of one.

I knew what to expect as much as anyone can be prepared for…

View original post 749 more words

Guest Author: Cathy Hird

cover for emailing - Copy

Peace seems to reign as the story told in Moon of the Goddess comes to an end, but Poseidon is not finished. Rather, the interference of the prince of Tiryns infuriates him, and he will strike again. That’s where my second novel Before the New Moon Rises begins. In this scene, which takes place between the two books,, we see that even the gods are worried.


A swirl of black smoke rose from the ground staining the green grass of Mount Olympus with soot. Hades emerged from the cloud. “Do you know what our brother the Earthshaker has done now?”

Zeus continued sharpening his sword on the whirling grindstone. “Has he shaken the earth?”

“Split a mountain open.” Hades’ voice was cold as the snow. “Drained the branch of the River Styx that feeds the valley the mortals call Ephyra. And he released the dead.”

The king of the gods laid his sword carefully on a bench and met his brother’s eyes. “You are furious.”

“It is time for you to be angry. He overstepped,” Hades growled.

“You know that I cannot intervene.”

“So our brother does as he likes.”

“If he intruded on your kingdom, you are free to exact a revenge-price.”

“I made him pay.” When Hades smiled, he bared brilliant white teeth, but his eyes burned dark as charcoal. “The way he plots, you may be forced to act.”

Zeus shook his head. “War between us would destroy the world.”

The smile faded from Hades’ lips. Lines of anger formed beside his eyes. “You have been warned.” He stalked away burning the grass as he walked.

Zeus watched his back. He would have to pay more attention to the rumours of Poseidon’s antics. And when he learned what tricks the God of Storm planned, perhaps he could drop a hint to one of the younger gods, someone like Apollo. He picked up his sword again and carefully honed his blade to a killing edge.


To find out what Poseidon has planned, check out the novel Before the New Moon Rises. And if you want to read about how his first plans were dealt with, you can pick up Moon of the Goddess, the first book in this duo.


Buy link:

 cathy 4


Cathy Hird is a minister and a mother, a weaver and a shepherd living in rural Ontario. She is a story teller who weaves ancient threads into tales that touch modern questions.  Before the New Moon Rises is Cathy’s second novel. She also writes a weekly column for an on-line news magazine, short stories and some poetry.




twitter: @cathyhirdwriter




Moon of the Goddess buy link:

Book Excerpt: “The High King’s Will” by M.A. Ray

Today I am lucky enough to be hosting an excerpt of M.A. Ray’s newest book, Steel For The Prince: The High King’s Will. I hope you’ll all take the time to read, and if you enjoy what you see, pop along to Amazon to support this fantastic author!


They found a tiny space filled to bursting with bookshelves, drawers, and dust. A couple of gray, fluffy fairies drifted around, and a book fairy slept on top of a teetering stack. Diamond-shaped cubbies, stuffed with chart tubes of all sizes, covered an entire wall, and Eagle crossed straight there. “I’m going to look at the books,” said Fox, and he nodded and turned back to the tubes. He read peeling labels in Traders’, wanting to take down every last one for a look. Charts of Kuo and Kirun, charts of the world, charts of Long Knife and Windish. His fingers itched for them all, but at last he found a map of Rodansk.

He pulled it out from among the others in the cubby—and pulled it out—and pulled it out. It was much longer than it looked, and he balanced it carefully as he took it to the table nearby. He unscrewed the end and shuffled it free. The chart itself was so big he had to walk around the table to weight it down with stones from a basket sitting on another table. The greens and browns of the land and the blue of the ocean stood out bright on the calfskin. He grinned to see it. Pretty soon he’d be seeing the places on the chart for real, at least some of them. He found Whalehame, a little way in on the south coast, and he took a sheet of paper and a lead pencil from the writing kit on the same table to copy the map, at least as much as he needed, and probably more besides.

He was well into the task when someone came in and surprised him with the pointed ears of the People. “Hi!” said the boy, swallowing, and his smile glowed. He had short, silvery hair, eyes like aquamarines, and a glittery piece of rainbow something in his fist, from which he’d bitten a chunk. He was quite a bit younger than Eagle, maybe Stag’s age, but the same height—and the strange coloring—a High One’s bastard, or Eagle’d eat his own stockings. It happened sometimes. Not often, but sometimes. “I’m Bee. Are you a Squire, too? I didn’t know any of the People were in the Knights.” Bee said all this very fast, and left Eagle blinking.

“No, we—”

“I just signed up. I’m so excited! Asra says she’s going to take me to Hayed! We came here on a ship, and we’re going to take another one to get there. Did you come here on a ship, too?”

“Rodansk is an island,” Eagle pointed out, tapping the chart in front of him.

“Oh! Of course you’re right. Want a bit?” He held out the glittery stuff. Eagle shook his head, making a face. It already had a bite in it, and besides, he didn’t know what it was. Bee struggled to tear a piece off with his teeth. “It’s quite good once you’ve chewed it a while,” he assured Eagle.

“What is it?”

“Unicorn poop,” he said, beaming again. Nothing Vercingetorix dropped looked like that. “Not really,” Bee added hastily, at Eagle’s stare. “It’s candy. I’ve got another packet. It comes with these great cards. Look.” He rummaged in his pockets and thrust out a shiny foil packet with a hideous, fat purple unicorn on the front.

“You look,” Eagle said. “I’m trying to—”

“You open it up,” Bee said desperately, demonstrating. A tiny spray of sparkles erupted from the packet. “And see, there’s the candy, and also all the cards, they’re famous adventurers. So ace. Brodnax.” He showed Eagle the card, which pictured a man with a jaw like a rock. “I’ve ten of him, he’s done a thousand things at least. Oh, here’s Mishell Jenhwyfar, I haven’t had her yet, she found the Crystal Cave, and here’s a new one.” He flipped it over to read the back, and Eagle returned to his notes.

t-ef-le sigh (1).jpg


I’m a lover of fairy tales, comic books, classic fantasy, and power metal. I keep my meat shell in Wisconsin these days. I won’t tell you where I hide my heart. I’ve got a husband and two kids, and they’re the only reason I leave Rothganar.


Interview With Debbie Manber Kupfer

1) Tell us about yourself and your story?

I grew up in London, and lived in Israel, North Carolina and New York before moving to St. Louis 16 years ago. I have a husband, two kids, and Miri Billie Joe, our very opinionated kitty. I divide my time between writing fiction and writing puzzles for magazines and for my website, Paws 4 Puzzles.

The idea for P.A.W.S. came to me in a flash in October 2012. I clearly saw a young girl being given a silver cat charm by her grandmother and understood her story and that of her grandmother, Celia. During the course of the day I told the story to my daughter, Ronni, who encouraged me to write it. I’d heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), so decided to give it a whirl. It worked for me. With two kids, household stuff and puzzles to write, it’s hard for me to commit time to write stories all year round, but easier to tell my family that for one month in November to leave me alone!

At the end of that first November I had a rough draught of P.A.W.S. It would take me months for it to be ready for publication, but it was a start and one I wouldn’t have had without the push of my daughter and NaNo.

2) What or who was the biggest inspiration for you behind writing P.A.W.S.?

My favourite Harry Potter book is book 3, The Prisoner of Azkaban when she first introduces the idea of the animagi. The concept of shapeshifters fascinated me, but I wanted to know more. What did Sirius, James, Professor McGonagall, have to do to become an animagus. What kind of things did they study? What did the transformation feel like? From those original thoughts came the seeds of P.A.W.S.

3) Who is your favourite character to write, and why?

The kangaroo animagus, Joey Marks. I wrote this character for my son, Joey, and he contains a lot of my son’s traits. Super enthusiastic and bouncy, crazy smart (my kid does math problems for fun!), always trying new things. Joey’s not a major character in P.A.W.S., but I love his scenes.

4) How long have you been writing, and when did it all start?

I’ve been writing stories ever since I was kid. The first I remember was one I wrote about turning into a ladybird. I sent that one to the Puffin Post and got a mention in the magazine. (See I wrote about shapeshifters even back then).

I didn’t start taking myself seriously as a writer though until 2012 when I wrote P.A.W.S. I’d always wanted to write a novel, and had started many over the years, but never finished one. NaNoWriMo helped me finish one and writer friends in St. Louis and on the internet have encouraged me to continue down this path.

5) Do you have a writing routine? Talk us through how you gear up to work.

Writing involves copious amounts of hot tea and the occasional square of dark chocolate. I grab the moments early in the day, once Joey has gone off to school, to write and work on my puzzles and sometimes I take my work out to a local coffee bar or McDonalds. I like to people watch and have gained a lot of inspiration from random snippets from people who pass by or are sitting at the next table.

Nowadays also you can’t but help overhear phone conversations and sometimes it’s fun to fill in the gaps and imagine what the person is saying at the other end of the line.

6) Who is your biggest writing influence?

JK Rowling. Her story is so inspiring to me. Written as a single mother, sometimes on napkins in cafes (I’ve done that too!) Also that she sent her work out to so many places before she was accepted. Proves you shouldn’t give up.

7) What are your future plans? What’s your next project?

Well I’m currently writing book 3 of the P.A.W.S. series, which is tentatively titled, Maze of Shadows. I’m also the editor of a horror anthology, Sins of the Future, that should be coming out on Halloween. And I’m working with an illustrator to put out a children’s picture book, Adana the Earth Dragon. I’m really excited about this one. I wrote the story originally for an anthology and am amazed to see my little brown dragon come to life.

8) What advice would you give to any new and aspiring writers reading this?

Try NaNoWriMo – seriously, November is coming, I’ll be writing, join me!

9) What is it about your book that makes it special?

P.A.W.S. represents a huge fantasy world that inhabits my head and is slowly making its way onto paper. I know where it’s all leading, but as a discovery writer, I have only a vague idea of the steps along the way. That’s what makes it so exciting. My characters lead me off into far corners of the globe – in P.A.W.S. alone we go to Vienna, to New York and to St. Louis. In Argentum we travel to Ireland and Wales. In Maze of Shadows we’ll visit Israel. P.A.W.S. as an international organization has branches everywhere, so who knows where my story will lead next. I hope you’ll come with for the journey.


Debbie grew up in the UK in the East London suburb of Barking. She has lived in Israel, New York and North Carolina and somehow ended up in St. Louis, where she works as a writer and a freelance puzzle constructor of word puzzles and logic problems. She lives with her husband, two children and a very opinionated feline. Her first novel, P.A.W.S., was published originally in June 2013 and her second book in the series, Argentum, was released in October 2014. In addition she has stories in several anthologies including Fauxpocalypse, Shades of Fear, Darkly Never After, and Sins of The Past. In February 2015 she published a book of logic puzzles, Paws 4 Logic, with her son Joey. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!

Connect with Debbie on her blogs:





Twitter: @CiciCat42



Here is my interview with Jill Turner

Reblogging partly because Jill was very kind to have mentioned me, but mostly because I really think she deserves a great deal more attention. The premise of her series is very good, and I recommend you take time and check both her and her work out!



Name Jill Turner

Age 54

Where are you from: At the moment I live in Colchester, Essex in the UK.  I was born in London and spent several years in rural North Norfolk – which I’d like to go back to.

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:

I went to school far too many years ago to care to think about; became a wife and mother in my twenties, and a mother again at 40 (but, sadly, was no longer required as a wife shortly after that, a fact for which I am truly grateful now though not so much at the time!)  I studied law and worked as a paralegal until my second child was born when I changed careers to work with children alongside caring for my own.  I was sponsored to take a BA (Ed) at the OU and worked for…

View original post 2,300 more words

Cover Reveal: P.A.W.S by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Despite all the stories I shared with you,

there is so much I never told you, Miri,

so much you’ll have to

discover for yourself.

Be brave, mein Katzerl.

And now what you’ve all been waiting for. The brand new cover of P.A.W.S. designed by the multi-talented Rachel Bostwick.

P.A.W.S. Rachel2

When Miri receives a silver cat charm from her omama, Celia, on the night before she dies, she has no idea that the charm holds a family secret, a magic that saved Celia’s life and is about to make Miri’s a whole lot more interesting.

Book on sale on Amazon, September 1 ….

Experience the Magic of P.A.W.S.

Preorder Today


Interview with K.M Herkes

1. What are you working on at the moment?

A sequel to the sequel for Novices. For some reason, I can’t write Chronicles #2 without writing #3 first. In my Rough Passages superpowers world, I’m poking at a fifth novelette while firming up an outline for a novel to follow. And a third novel in the Restoration Adventures series. It has a title (Safe Landing) I know it stars Kaylie and Justin and Serena, and I know it deals with the two big loose ends from Controlled Descent & Flight Plan, namely Nicole Avon & Pete Hamil. Beyond that…we’ll see. That’s 2017 at the earliest, but I never stop thinking.

2. How did you get into writing in the first place?

Through table-top gaming. I played for years, and after I started a group, I learned that I loved wearing the ringmaster’s hat. I got to create tons of characters instead of one, and I had a blast shaping plots naturally from the players’ actions. From there it was a short leap to making up plots for my own characters and exploring the craft side of writing.

3. Do you have a routine or any quirks for when you sit down to write? Tell us what a day of writing looks like for you.

My foundation routine is that I sit down to write something, somewhere for at least two hours every day. If I can chisel a decent block of time out of my variable work schedule—at least a couple of hours—I settle at the desk (or on the couch, or the floor) brew tea, put on headphones, and open the word processor. Sometimes I never drink the tea, and I forget to start music, but the ritual itself settles my brain.

4. You publish great work pretty regularly. Is there a goal that you stick to, or is it just as and when?

I always have multiple projects going. I can lead the muse to the table, but I can’t make her sit down. The bigger the buffet, the more likely she’ll see something she likes. The main goal I have is to “count” all writing. If the day job exhausts me, I might only create promotional materials, but I put in my two hours. That way, when inspiration strikes and I can sit for twelve straight, I revel in it. Concentrating on productivity is the one sure way to destroy mine. So I don’t.

5. What was your favourite of all of your projects to work on?

So far, Flight Plan. I got to introduce my survivors from Controlled Descent to new characters and drop them into even crazier adventures. I liked the challenge of developing conflicts on a bigger stage while still keeping the story itself intimate and personal.

6. Do you have a favourite character that you’ve written?

Justin. Absolutely Justin. He’s smart and socially impatient, and that’s enough to endear him to me. He’s also short, dark and scruffy, and I have a weakness for scruffy guys with dreamy eyes. (one look at Spouseman proves this.)

I started writing Controlled Descent with no idea what would happen once I stripped him of every advantage in the world. The more the story developed, the more he delighted me. He’s a rather good person at heart. I sometimes feel guilty about everything I put him through.

7. Do you have any literary heroes, any other authors you aspire to be like?

Lois McMaster Bujold and Patricia C. Wrede. I’d love to be the next JK Rowling, of course, but I don’t look at Harry Potter and see anything I want to emulate. In contrast, I can see the storytelling elements and stylistic touches I’ve unconsciously absorbed from Bujold & Wrede every time I re-read their books. Except they do it all so much better.

8. What are your plans for the future?

Keep writing, work on promoting my stories better, get myself back out in the world a bit more. I got blindsided by some crippling panic/anxiety the last few years, but I’ve recently figured out the root cause and am developing better coping techniques.

9. Do you have any advice for all the newbie writers out there?

Neil Gaiman’s advice: write. That’s it. It’s simple, and simple things are never easy, but if you want to be a writer, then write and write and never stop. That’s the only One True Method I see being broad enough to cover the infinite diversity of human creativity. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something.

Want to know more about K.M Herkes? Here is a little something from the author herself:

I write and publish stories that dance in the open spaces between genres. I like to play in the literary traffic, dodging between science and culture, fantasy and reality, devotion and divided loyalties. Damaged souls, triumphs of the spirit, and dialogue loaded with sarcasm are the house specialties. My plot lines linger in the quiet times between big explosions of action and drama. I know I’m striking my storytelling target when reviews start with, “This isn’t my usual read, but I took a chance,” and end with “I loved it and told all my friends to try it too.”

Professional development has included classroom teaching, animal training, aquaculture, horticulture, retail operations, and customer service. Personal development is ongoing. Cats are involved. I live in the Midwest, where I work in a library, which is exactly as exciting as it sounds. When the weather is fine, I can be found in my garden instead of the office, and at least once a year I disappear into the woods for a week to disconnect from the modern world.

Follow my author page on Amazon to receive the latest new on new releases, and visit my author page at to load up on extras like story-inspired art, extended excerpts, and free fiction. You’ll also get my random musings on life, the universe and writing. If you’re inclined to social media, you can find my assorted blatherings on Twitter under @dawnrigger and on my Facebook page: