Ocean of Dust Kindle FREE Sat 10th/11th only)

For this weekend ONLY, you can get the Kindle edition of Ocean of Dust Free! Tell your friends. Enjoy! (And if you do, please leave a review ? )


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Writing Out Of My Comfort Zone – Katherine Dell

Harmless_JustFrontCover_Final This week, friend and author Katherine Dell is taking over my blog to tell you about her intriguing, upcoming book. Over to you, Kathy…

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a blog about stepping out of my comfort zone. I talked about facing my fears and taking the plunge into the uncertain, because … great things don’t come from inside your comfort zone! That blog post was centered on me finally learning to ski, which for some reason, I was petrified to learn how. Hey, turning into a human snow boulder is a real fear! It could happen! Any who, I’m getting distracted from what I really wanted to talk about … writing out of your comfort zone!

In my novel, Harmless, I’ve taken a daring step and written out of my comfort zone.  Sure, writing, sharing and publishing  a book is not always roses. We all know that. But have you ever considered writing on a topic that might be a little touchy? Why would anyone choose to write about something that could prove difficult? Well, as any writer might tell you, when the muse takes you, you’ve got to write it.

I’m fascinated by Canadian Native folklore. For my novel, I was inspired by the northeastern folklore about wendigos, and the western lore about white spirit animals. Both the wendigo and spirit animal stories are based in both fact and lore.

When Canada was first settled, the first reported cases of wendigo syndrome were recorded. The syndrome being, people resorted to cannibalism in an effort to survive the harsh winters. In Canada, there were wendigo hunters, similar to the witch hunters in the southern United States. The Hunter captured and killed those with wendigo syndrome.


The Native population, on the other hand, believed that these people with the syndrome were possessed by an evil spirit and that they could be cured. I also found lore about the afflicted not eating their victims, but taking their souls.

Sounds pretty dark, I know, but this is only what inspired my work, not the whole story.

To lighten things up, I incorporated uplifting tales about spirit animals. Instead of coloured fur or feathers, spirit animals are born completely white. Scientifically speaking, it’s a recessive gene that removes pigment. These animals are very rare, showing up around the world in various species. Curiously enough, there is a large population of spirit animals (white bears) in northern British Columbia. They are black bears born white, and named Kermode bears.


So with all this inspiration, I had a great story in mind! But I was faced with the sensitive realities of drawing lines between truth and fiction, while incorporating Native cultural lore that spanned a whole country. How was I to make sure I kept respect for the original culture while knitting my own characters and plot into it? I researched, I traveled, I consulted with people who knew more than me, and I edited.

I took all this ‘muse’ and created something that I hope is respectful, while also entertaining. It still gives me butterflies to think it might offend someone, but then again, I think I’ve done my due diligence with the best of intentions. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and written something I’m proud of, daring to go where some would not.

Here’s to hoping it turns out well and if not, I leave you with this quote.

“A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.”  Jo Godwin

Happy writing everyone!

Katherine Dell

Graeme's note: Kathy's book, and the research and inspiration behind it, sounds fascinating. Follow her to learn more and to get first news of a publication date. I for one, can't wait to read it.

Katherine (42)Katherine Dell

Katherine Dell is a young adult fiction writer working on her first novel. She also hopes to publish a prequel, graphic novel series to her novel series, Harmless. Katherine takes every opportunity to hone her skills as a writer, including courses from Mount Royal University, workshops and reading everything she can get her hands on. She is also a member of the Alberta Writers Guild. Katherine has called Alberta home her entire life, currently residing in Calgary with her husband and two sons.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


Halloween: Secret Keepers by Gwen Gardner

Gwen Gardner is author of the popular young adult Indigo Eady Paranormal “Cozy” Mystery series that began with Givin’ Up the Ghost. With Halloween approaching, I wanted to mention her latest ghostly book: Secret Keepers.


About Secret Keepers:

 In Second Death, Indigo and her team of sleuths escape the clutches of underground evil.

In Ghostly Gallows, Indigo and the gang managed to dodge the falling ruins and free those spirits trapped by the evil spell that bound them to Gallowsgate Prison.

Now in Secret Keepers, even though Indigo speaks to ghosties, there is so much about the afterlife she doesn’t understand. Such as…how can spirits be sick? They’re dead, for goodness sake! But once again Indigo is forced to go where she made it a point to never go: the hospital. There, the mystery of the sick and missing spirits explodes into a frenzied battle for souls where dawn may bring life or final death.

Indigo Eady:

Much to her chagrin, Indigo Eady is a celebrity among spirits. She’s the girl who can see and speak with them. She has a proven track record in helping spirits find their murderers, so it’s no surprise when she’s drafted onto the Missing Paranormal Committee. Who better to help them than the experienced teenage ghost whisperer- investigator and her friends?

Gwen explains her Excerpt

In honor of Halloween, I’m giving you a short excerpt from a chapter called Asylum. It’s a haunted hospital after all, and a lot of the book ending takes place there with the final showdown against the demons and dark spirits.

This scene is where Indigo, Badger and Simon are approaching the hospital for the first time. Councilman Diggles has become ill enough to be admitted (yes, he’s a ghost, and yes, apparently ghosts can get sick!), so they are going to brief him on the updates of their investigation into the missing paranormals.

Simon, as usual, is worried about the crazy…


We stared up at the gray and dilapidated building. It was almost like the village had shrunken in on itself, with all the abandoned buildings that sprang up around the edges of Sabrina Shores. Or maybe I had just never noticed them before. Stucco and plaster peeled and fell off in chunks. Four stories high, what was still standing, and every window broken, the jagged edges like monsters ready to take a bite.

I shivered.

Why did I always seem to be hanging out in broken down buildings lately? Look at the bright side, Eady. It’s better than being underground.

We approached the door. Oval shaped and shored up with metal strips riveted to the heavy wood, probably oak. The strips were once painted black according to the specks remaining. Now it was rusted and the door splintered.

Next to the door a sign hung sideways by one nail, squeaking slightly in the breeze. Simon lifted the loose side and read. “Belgrave Asylum.” He turned to me. “Oh great. The crazy potential just kicked up a notch. As if we didn’t have enough already, now we’re expected to enter the insane asylum?”

“Short answer?” I asked. “Yes.” I pushed on the door and it creaked open relatively easy. The boys and I stood just inside, our shadows standing before us while we waited for our eyes to adjust to the dark.

Gwen Gardner author photo (2)GWEN GARDNER

Gwen Gardner is a native Californian living in sunny San Diego, where her love of reading and writing led to a BA in English literature. Life is now complete with her husband, two dogs and a daily call from her daughter.

Since ghosts feature prominently in her young adult Indigo Eady Paranormal “Cozy” Mystery series, she has a secret desire to meet one face to face – but will run screaming for the hills if she ever does. Gwen adores travel and experiencing the cultures and foods of different countries. She is always up for an adventure and anything involving chocolate – not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Gwen here: Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Amazon / B&N

 Secret Keepers available here: Amazon / B&N / Google Play / iTunes


Excerpt from “Reborn” by Cherie Reich

Reborn, the first book in an exciting new YA epic fantasy series, The Fate Challenges, is out on ebook and paperback. Reviews are already looking good and it’s high on my To-Read list. The author, Cherie Reich, has been kind enough to share an excerpt with us (see below).


To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.

Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Reborn

We steadily filled buckets as more people helped us. The storm continued to weaken. Rain trickled to a soft patter. I hadn’t heard thunder in the past few minutes. Was I wrong? Doubt lingered in my belly and crept along my spine. Just because I had a vision didn’t mean it would come true right away. Could I have gotten everyone worked up over nothing?

“It appears the storm is fading.” I didn’t want a fire, of course, but I knew what I’d foreseen.

“Maybe it’s a lull, sweetheart.” Dad filled another bucket.

“You saw somethin’, and you aren’t wrong often.” Water sloshed over Tym’s feet as he plopped another pail upon the ground.

Often? Thanks a lot, Tym.” I punched him lightly on the arm. Was I ever mistaken about my premonitions? Not that I could remember. They always happened… eventually. But if I was incorrect, the people of Guntas would never believe my visions again. What use would I be in Guntas or Amora? Maybe the prophecies dictating my birth and life were false. Apenth had chosen the wrong girl. I didn’t want to be special. Not being the Phoenix Prophetess would be better for everyone. Then I could stay in Guntas with Tym and everyone I loved.

When I handed Dad another pail, the hairs on my arms and back of my neck lifted. The sky brightened. A wicked-looking lightning bolt streaked across the sky and struck the inn’s roof.

Thean’s realm! My heart sank at the fruition of my prophecy. I was right once again.

To purchase:

Amazon | Createspace | Google Play | Kobo | Nook | OmniLit | Smashwords | Other Retailers

Click here to add on Goodreads.

Are you ready to challenge Fate?

Cherie and the authors of Untethered Realms are giving away over $50 worth of books to one lucky winner. The giveaway is open internationally.

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CherieReichAuthorPictureA self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror collection Nightmare, a space fantasy novella collection titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. Reborn is her debut novel.  She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms.

Contact Cherie: Website | Blog | Newsletter signup


Ocean of Dust now on Audiobook


The title says it all: Ocean of Dust is now available on audiobook. My narrator, Becky Doughty, did a fantastic job bringing each character alive. You can hear a free sample on Amazon or Audible.

Check it out here:


Coming soon on iTunes too, and you can also find it on the UK stores for Amazon and Audible. If you make Ocean of Dust the first book you buy when opening a new Audible membership then I get a bonus!

Please tell your friends that love audiobooks, thank you.


Interview with me by Heather Day Gilbert

Recently, I was thrilled to answer some questions posed by a great writer friend of mine, Heather Day Gilbert. Among other projects, she is trying to find a publisher for her fantastic-sounding Viking novel. I can’t wait to read it.

In this interview, we talk about writing YA, world building and Indie publishing. It was a lot of fun. Thanks, Heather! :)


Why I write YA

Recently, Sharon over at Obsession with Books invited me to do a guest post. Please pop over there and read about Why I write YA. Stay a while and nose around her wonderful site too.


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