Katherina Gerlach–A Few Words About Stepmothers

I am pleased to have award-winning fantasy author Katherina Gerlach here. She has written about a subject also dear to my own heart–faery tales–in her latest release The Stepmother: Little Brother, Little Sister. So I asked her to come tell us a little about the inspiration behind the novel. (And just as an editor’s note, I can say from personal experience that stepmothers can be awesome. ;)) Take it away, Kat!

A Few Words About Stepmothers

by Katherina Gerlach.
I deliberately chose the stepmother as the main character of this ale. Even as a child I was annoyed the stepmothers were always the bay guys girls in fairy tales. Now, that I’m a stepmother myself (I’ve been fostering two girls for nearly ten years now), it angered me. I wanted to show that stepmothers can be just as good as, and in many cases much better than, biological mothers.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the biological parents of my girls even though they’ve got severe problems, but they’re not very good parents. So why should the stepmother always get the blame? I thought it was high time to fight this cliché and show a different truth. What better place to do that then inside a story? But rest assured, I did it without a wagging finger and a moral sermon.

About “The Stepmother: Little Brother, Little Sister

An imaginative retelling of “Little Brother, Little Sister” by the Brothers Grimm. What if they painted a wrong portrait of the stepmother?

Even with her powers as a witch, Isabel cannot find a trace of her stepchildren. Desperate, she crosses the Old Forest, filled with as much malignant as benevolent magic, to reach the distant mountain kingdom she left as a young girl when her magical powers manifested. She soon realizes that a sinister creature holds the unsuspecting kingdom in thrall. It will take all she’s able to give to save her children and the kingdom she once loved.

pre-order here: The Stepmother: Little Brother, Little Sister (Treasures Retold Book 2)

About the Author
Author Katherina GerlachBorn and raised German with a generous helping of an adopted Scottish heritage, Katharina started writing at age seven (although she didn’t get serious until much later) when the tomboy adventures she lived in her father’s forest weren’t enough for her imagination any more.

Writing about balloon people, flying hearts, giant spiders, and more was her lifeline to sanity and Real Life™ all through her education. After finishing with a PhD in science, marriage and the start of a beloved but distracting family, she returned to her life-long vocation.

These days, Katharina lives for stolen moments of writing happiness in two languages while juggling her husband, two girls in puberty, a fledgling daughter that just left the house, a dog, and … laundry.

The easiest way to keep up with her publishing schedule is by leaving your eMail address with her (you’ll get a free eBook as a thank you). Or you can have a look at her amazon page or her homepage. She’s also on Facebook, Pinterest, and (occasionally) on Twitter.

Thank you for being with us today,Kat and good luck with The Stepmother: Little Brother, Little Sister. It looks like a fun read. Folks, if you’d like to check the book out, you can pre-order it here.

Free paranormal story up for grabs

Well, here we are, another Christmas behind us. Heck, the year is almost over. I hope y’all had a good one and accomplished all your goals. I did I think. ;)

Another thing that’s happening is that my paranormal short story Caitlin’s Book of Shadows is turning two years old. In that light, I’ve made it free today at Smashwords. If you haven’t tried it out yet and would like to, you can get it here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320047

Caitlin's book of shadowsSynopsis:

Though their fame became legend, a rumor cropped up about the Fulmer family: Something terrifying stalked Caitlin and her beloved Trevor. Something the bits and pieces she left claimed she had to make sense of. When the curator of their collection finds Caitlin’s long forgotten diary, she wonders will it tell the whole tale? Will it tell why Caitlin seemed so determined to tell the difference between reality and nightmare? Why she thought her world twisted?

What will the holidays hold for Caitlin? Perhaps the answer lies between the lines of her story, one of lessons, struggles, and hopes for each new year.

Alas, it’s a scant $.99 at Amazon, should you wish to reward the author with a little coffee change.

If you enjoy it and can leave a review for it (on SW or even Amazon), that’d be great too. The most important thing, though, is that I hope you enjoy it. :) Thanks and for sticking with me this year! Wishing you the best for 2015!

Halloween reads Sale

For Halloween, I’ve put my first supernatural novel, THE ARTIST’S INHERITANCE (Antique Magic, book one), on sale for $.99. If you’d like to check it out, now’s the time. What’s the book about?  With the help of ancestral ghosts, a woman, and fledgling witch, who inherits her brother-in-law’s house only to find it haunted. Along her journey, she must defend her husband from insanity, and an ancient family curse.

Here’s the blurb: Continue reading

Q and A with author/editor Rebecca Buchanan

This morning I have something a little different for you. I’ve been following the pagan writing community for quite a few years now. Along the way, I’ve met some very talented authors and poets, made some good friends, and wanted to introduce you, my readers, to a few. Recently, I had the pleasure to interview editor of Eternal Haunted Summer, Rebecca Buchanan. Rebecca is the editor-in-chief of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and the editor of pagan fiction and non-fiction ‘zine Eternal Haunted Summer. She has been published in Bards and Sages Quarterly, Cliterature, The Future Fire, Into the Great Below, Fire Jewel: A Devotional For Freyja, Linguistic Erosion, and Luna Station Quarterly, as well as Beyond the Pillars, The Shining Cities, Unbound: A Devotional Anthology for Artemis, Written in Wine, and other venues. She blogs semi-regularly at BookMusings: (Re)Discovering Pagan Literature.

Hi, Rebecca! Thanks for being here. I know you’re busy and I appreciate your time! What would you like people to know about Paganism?

Rebecca Buchanan: Primarily, I would like people outside of Paganism to understand that — whichever path or tradition we follow — we are completely serious and sincere in our devotions. This is not playacting or a phase.

Most pagan writers have a personal pantheon they’re dedicated to, and to which they dedicate their art. How did you connect with your personal pantheon?

Rebecca: I have loved mythology since childhood, especially Greek and Egyptian; those were always the books I lugged home from the library (along with the fairy tales). I would read the stories over and over again, study the paintings and sculptures, the photographs and schematics of the old temples.

Since my earliest exposure to the Gods was through books, I guess that is why my devotions now primarily take the form of writing and publishing.

Can you tell us a bit about how your path influences your own writing?

Rebecca: My devotion to the Greek pantheon has a *huge* influence on my writing. I would say ninety percent of what I write — poetry, short fiction, essays — is about the Gods and Goddesses. Plus, the fact that I could not find a market for my writing led to the creation of Eternal Haunted Summer; I wanted to offer a venue for other frustrated Pagan writers. It also led me to accept the position of editor-in-chief at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, so I could oversee the production of anthologies in honor of the Gods and Goddesses.

As a writer, is there any genre you haven’t tried that you’d like to?

Rebecca: Oh … tough one.

I try. ;)

Rebecca: Aside from the poetry, most of my writing could be broadly defined as science fiction or fantasy; there are a couple of dark fantasy/horror pieces, too. I guess I would like to try my hand at a mystery, an old fashioned, honest to goodness murder mystery. Maybe starring a modern-day devotee of Nemesis … or priest of Thoth ….

Ooh that’s does sound intriguing! What inspired you to take on the editorial spot of Eternal Haunted Summer?

Rebecca: Frustration! Pure, unadulterated frustration! I had written dozens of poems and short stories in honor of the Gods and Goddesses, and yet there were no reliable venues in which to publish them. The majority of religious publishers out there are Christian in their focus, and my stuff was *too* religious for the fantasy publishers. I heard the same complaint from other Pagan writers. Thus, Eternal Haunted Summer was born. It’s been a real honor to host so many talented authors.

It’s been an honor to find you too, Rebecca, and I have to agree. I have had the same experience in my path to publishing too. I’m glad to see that changing a bit. Next question: Is there anything/any aspect of Paganism, or topic you see little of in the submissions that you’d like more of?

Rebecca: I would love, love, love to receive more submissions which deal with myths, heroes, and Gods from outside Europe. I can appreciate a good Dionysus poem or an essay about Freyja as much as the next girl; but there are so *many* pantheons. I want Aztec-themed poems! Essays about the kami! Short stories centered on Spider Woman and Sedna and Marie Laveau. Reviews of books and comics and movies about Mongolian shamans and La Llorona and Maori tattoo traditions.

I would also love more essays which tackle difficult topics. I am not afraid to run a controversial piece; animal sacrifice, veiling, abortion, hexing, whatever. If it is articulate, thoughtful, correctly cited (as necessary), and respectful in tone, I am happy to consider it for publication.

What would you say to encourage a young Pagan writer to apply their path to their art?

Rebecca: Many people feel especially drawn to one or two Deities within a pantheon (though which Deities may change over time). In the case of a writer, my first suggestion would be to focus your writing on that Deity/ies. Create a poem listing the Deity’s epithets, or a short story retelling a favorite myth; or, write about anything you want, but dedicate the work of creating the story and the story itself to the Deity. Oh, and pray before you start working on it.

Same goes for any kind of art, and even such things as exercise and cleaning; dedicating any kind of work or creative act to a Deity will make it more meaningful.

What would you like readers to know about Eternal Haunted Summer?

Rebecca: That I am open to just about everything. There are very few restrictions when it comes to submissions. Sex and gore should be appropriate to the context of the story. The tone should always be respectful (no bashing other people’s Gods). Pieces about Atlantis or Mu or subterranean civilizations or aliens don’t interest me. Submissions with a monotheistic or Abrahamic focus wouldn’t really be appropriate either. Other than that, any format, any genre, any myth, any Deity, any pantheon.

What’s next for you? Any exciting new projects to tease us with?

Rebecca: Bibliotheca Alexandrina has new anthologies in honor of Demeter, the Morrigan, and the Muses, which will be available soon. I am currently editing the Spring Equinox issue of EHS, which is shaping up to be an awesome edition. I personally have a short story which will appear in the next issue of The Future Fire, and I’m working on a few other stories. Um … basically I am keeping busy. Must write!

fantasy, pagan fiction, pagan fiction authors, metaphysical fictionfantasy, pagan fiction, pagan fiction authors, metaphysical fictionUnbound

I hear that! Thank you again, for being here. Good luck with all you do. I can’t wait for the Spring issue! ;) It should be out by the Equinox, if I’m not mistaken. In the meantime, friends, do check out some of Rebecca’s work. I think you will enjoy it! :) You can find out more about her at:

Eternal Haunted Summer:  http://eternalhauntedsummer.com

and the EHS Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/268696863150514/
or Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/24893808890/

Halloween with a witch and a ghost- and author Dylan Newton


Mistress: Welcome back to our little party. Please don’t mind the locked gates. *slides chains from around gatepost* We had a bit of trouble overnight. Apparently the neighbors called the cops. Said they saw someone walking through the graveyard out back. Herm…I’m not sure who that was. I would guess it was Julia’s fine ghost (you remember my guest from the other day) but in case it was Van helsink, I decided to beef up security a little. A vampiress witch can never be too careful, can she? Nonetheless our party continues. *pokes sleepy minion with stick*

*Juli perks up* What’s that? What’s going on?

*Mistress sighs* Dylan, dear, remind me to put out employment applications before next year’s Samhain party.

Juli: What was that?”

Mistress: I said, who’s next on our guest list? Ah, yes. Dylan Newton!

Juli and Mistress…thanks for having me today! I’ve been reading all of the posts from the talented writers and have to admit I was a little frightened by Mistress. So, be gentle, and all that… ;)

Speaking of frightening…my favorite holiday is coming up! There’s a reason I’ve written three paranormal romance novels…I adore Halloween! Every year we throw a huge Halloween party at our house. We say it’s for our kids…but really, it’s for my husband and I to get our scare on!

Last year, our theme was Zombie Prom (check out my pics here on Pinterest) and this year—to celebrate my novella’s release (ANY WITCH WAY) and the contract for my next book (DESPITE THE FANGS) in 2014, we had a theme of Witches and Werewolves. Here is my witch picture. (Insert regular promo shot here)

Erm…Mistress? I said Witch—with a W, not a B.

Author Dylan Newton

Dylan the witch

Mistress: I heard you, my dear. We wouldn’t call you anything else. It’s always nice to meet a kindred spirit. Any good witch is always welcome in our little castle!

Okay, that’s my Witch shot.

Mistress: Lovely. And I love the hat!

Dylan: All joking aside, I have a deep respect for Wicca, and while I dressed as a more fantasized ‘witch’ for our party, I did a great deal of research to write ANY WITCH WAY. While the novella is fiction, many of the prayers and rituals are based on the real deal. In fact, one of the hottest scenes in ANY WITCH WAY is based on a ritual called “The Five-Fold Kiss” where the individual is laid out in a star pattern, and is kissed at all five points—the last point of the star being the most…erm, satisfying. ;)

But I can’t post that excerpt here—it would be a spoiler and a tease. And Mistress, I assure you I am neither!

Mistress: Yes you’re right. We’d probably do better to keep this party PG13. Is there another you’d like to share?

Dylan: I can post this scene—it’s the opening to one of my favorite scenes between Lily and Joshua where she discovers the hot stranger she’s just met is much, much more than a pretty face.

Anywitchway“You think you cast a spell on me? Like, saved me with your magic wand?” Lily crossed her arms. “You don’t seriously expect me to believe that?”

“Yes, I do.” The dark stars inked on Joshua’s temple glowed silver in the moonlight as he grinned. “Except the last bit. Wands are for amateurs.”

Then he swiped his hand through the air as if tracing a complex image, and tingling warmth cascaded through Lily. The heat coalesced to a tangible weight, like hands at her waist.

Lily gasped. She felt his touch, but his hands were nowhere near her!

“H-how are you…”

Joshua’s brown eyes twinkled and he murmured in what sounded like another language. Instantly, the hypnotic sensation traveled up her arms in a swirling pattern, igniting her skin.

“Please.” Lily breathed, not sure what she meant. Please stop? Or please don’t stop?

Joshua’s fingers curled at his side and the sensation evaporated.

Lily willed her voice not to tremble. “Okay, obviously you’ve got some weird street magician thing going on. I don’t know how you’re doing those tricks—,”

“Spells.” Joshua interrupted.

“—spells,” Lily continued, “But what’s inside of me is dangerous. I know it’s hard to understand, but I’m not normal. Something inside me is…damaged. It’s like I’m—”

“Cursed,” he finished with the exact word she intended to use.

Lily nodded.

Joshua’s tattoos glimmered in the darkness.

“Your curse is why I’m here.”

My giveaway today is a win it before you can buy it signed copy of ANY WITCH WAY—it’s out in e-version now, but one lucky commenter will receive the first PAPERBACK version, signed and sent to them, when it is released in a couple of weeks! :) Plus, I’ll send you one of my adorable WITCH promo pens right now, just because I can. So be sure to comment below for your chance to WIN one of these adorable guys! :)Dylan Newton promo witches broom pen

Mistress: Oh my, that is cute! Does Office Depot sell those?

Juli: Do the things do housework? They’d be great for the corners I can’t reach.

Mistress, I don’t think you’re eligible to win, because you were the hostess. With the most-ess, I might add!

Mistress: Why thank you, dear. That’s true, alas. I have my own special little pen, though. Never fear.

(Juli: Yeah, one she keeps us in.)

Dylan: (Um, Juli. my tea did taste a little funky…just sayin’.)

Juli: Was it? I swear we ran everything through the dishwasher. Mistress, did you buy a new tea? *takes Dylan aside* I warn you, Night Mistress weird tastes. You know she does favor blood now and then, so she may’ve put a little in the potion–er, tea. You might not want to drink anymore.

*Mistress looks innocent* I have no idea what you two are talking about. The tea tastes fine to me–and why do you keep mumbling?

Juli: No reason in particular. I’m just thanking Dylan for joining us!

Dylan: Thanks for having me, Juli and Mistress!!

Mistress: You are most welcome, my dear. Thank you for coming. Here are Dylan’s links again if you’d like to check out her books, or just say ‘hi.’ She gets really excited when there is something other than spam in her inbox! *g* don’t we all. Folks, if you’d like a chance to win a signed paperback copy of ANY WITCH WAY as soon as it is released and the cute pen Dylan’s offering, please leave a comment!

About Dylan Newton:

dylannewtonsmDylan Newton was born and raised in a small town in Upstate New York where the local library was her favorite hang-out. Despite earning a degree in English Literature, Dylan spent more than a decade sidetracked by an executive position in corporate America before leaving to pursue her true passions: motherhood and writing. Dylan married her high-school sweetheart and they are busy living out their own happily ever after with their two incredible daughters in sunny Florida.

For more on Dylan Newton and her fine works see Dylan’s Website:


Dylan’s Blog:






Lughnasadh and another on Good Reads

And one day after Lughnasadh….I wish you all a blessed summer. Yesterday’s Celtic festival, dedicated to the great Irish God Lugh in honorary of the funerary games of his mother. It is one of the four main fire festivals celebrated in the ancient  Celtic world. (And yes, modern Druids honor it too)

I mention this because Lugh and the ancient battle between he and Balor (or some say Crom Dubh) figures into–well, a little about me–and also, into my new paranormal romance Passion’s Sacred Dance. So it fits to finally get going on some of the stuff that needs to be done for the book. Either way, Lughnasadh is an auspicious day and time to celebrate! Like so… I’ve added it to Good Reads! Could y’all add it to your to be read shelves for me? Just click the little “Add Book” button below.

Passion's Sacred Dance (Harshad Wars, #1)
If you’ve just stumbled on my site and are curious about Passion’s Sacred Dance, it goes something like this:

Battling mounting debt, Stacy Macken is determined not to lose her historic art gallery. When Aaron Fielding appears and offers to help, she fights to keep the attraction sizzling between them from clouding her judgment. He may be her savior in disguise–but can she trust him?

Aaron intrigues her with tales of the Tuatha dé Danann, sworn warriors who protect humanity from the monsters seeking their destruction. If Aaron can prove what he claims, she would give up anything to help–even the gallery he claims is sacred ground. But with her property set to stage the next epic battle, she needs answers. An old family diary will confirm the ancient legend is true, if only they can find it in time.

If the battle is lost, the enemy will take control of Earth for the next five hundred years. Stacy and Aaron’s budding love might only complicate things.

I hope you’ll like it, and for those of you who have procured a copy already, find it worthy!


For more on the festival of Lughnasadh see The Wild Hunt and Lunasa, Festival of the Harvest (A Druid’s Perspective)