Millennia ago when the Earth was much younger it was first protected by great and ferocious beasts — the dragons. However, after a time of peace the dragons left for another world in danger, leaving the Earth in the care of the Great Spirit and its creation… humans.As it is with such things, the Earth soon found itself in peril once again. Humans prospered, but with that prosperity also came greed and depravity. The Great Spirit saddened by the lack of concern humans had for the Earth and each other, sent forth the Shaman from Tiranam, the Sacred Land, to find the strongest and most loyal of warriors; thirteen warriors to become the guardians of the Earth — the two-spirited, the Dásreach.
The Thirteen, as they became known, were bonded with spirit guardians to better understand the natural world around them. As each warrior accepted their calling they were tattooed with a mark from the Great Spirit and the spirit guardians chose the man best suited to each task; the dragon chose the leader of the warriors, the black panther chose his Beta to support the leader in all things, and the eagle chose the warrior with the strongest connection to the Great Spirit. The remaining warriors were chosen in pairs by the Kodiak grizzly bear spirits for combat strategy and enforcement of laws, the mountain lion spirits for gifts of healing, the red fox spirits to provide for the warriors’ physical needs, the falcon spirits for intelligence and memory to keep the history, and the gray wolf spirits for their ability to instruct others in battle training and their knowledge of the world. The spirit guardians granted each warrior long life, the ability to shift into the form of their spirit guardian, and a special ability to assist them in their sacred duties.
The Dásreach made strides in protecting the natural world, but the balance was still skewed. The warriors lacked the knowledge of true connection and compassion to their fellow humans, seeing them only as the cause for the imbalance of the Earth. Realizing that the men needed a connection to family and community and a way to continue to fulfill their responsibilities into further generations, the Great Spirit sent them into the world to find mates. Destiny chose a woman that would balance each warrior’s strengths and flaws. As each mate accepted their warrior and bonded to their mate they shared in the warriors’ gifts of long life, a spirit guardian, the ability to shift, and the special ability gifted to their warrior — becoming true partners to their warriors.
As a tentative balance was restored to the Earth, the Great Spirit granted the couples many sons to carry on the duty charged to them and to maintain the balance. The Thirteen with their sons and mates created a Dásig, a community, for the Dásreach and became the first council of the Dásreach race.
The Dásreach still follow the teachings of the first council, leadership switches every twenty years as a new Thirteen are chosen and trained to become the next Council of the Dásreach. As with the original Thirteen, these men are required to find mates to keep balance with the Earth and humanity, so by their fortieth year when the new Council takes control, the law states that they must have bonded with their destined mates. In all of the history of the Dásreach, the Thirteen have always found their mates — that is until the current Thirteen.
The Dásreach Legacy © Josette Reuel
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Wolves for the Holiday 1.2 (18+) © Josette Reuel
Wolves for the Holiday 1.1 (18+) © Josette Reuel
Subtle Magic Excerpt (18+) © Josette Reuel
Accepting the Bear Excerpt © Josette Reuel
Finding the Dragon Excerpt © Josette Reuel
The following Q and A is provided as a means for you to learn about Josette Reuel and her writing. Please enjoy.
Q: What inspired you to become a published author?
A: I have loved books since my earliest memories. My mom and a friend of hers would always take us kids to the local library for story time. Once I was in school and learned how to write, I started to write down my own stories for school projects. I loved to write and wanted to be a writer one day.
Flash forward through, school, marriage, jobs, and kids. Now that I’m older I finally had time to read again and the more I read, the more I wanted to write again. While working I spent breaks writing and talked to some friends who also loved books about story ideas. My friends along with Mr. Reuel encouraged me to write and so I pushed myself to keep at it.
It was frustrating and I felt like I was getting nowhere. Then, health problems cropped up and eventually Mr. Reuel told me to quit my job as a technical writer to take care of myself. He encouraged me to take the time to follow my dream to become a full-time author. I worked for a while on the original story that I had started while working, but it was a never ending battle of re-writing and fighting off distractions.
Eventually, I came up with the Dásreach Council idea. I spent several weeks discussing and planning. I plotted out the entire series and the details of the Dásreach and how they came to be. I created some word sketches of my characters. I started to write and felt like I was still getting nowhere, until the day I decided to outline the book. From that point on things progressed and I eventually finished it. The sense of accomplishment was amazing. I had finally, after all of the years of partial stories, finished an entire novel. Mr. Reuel read it, my friends read it, and the response was amazing. On September 8, 2014, I self-published my first novel, “Finding the Dragon.” In April 2015, I published the second novel. Since then I’ve also published two short stories with a third releasing October 19, 2015. I have several WIPs, but my main focus at the moment is the third Dásreach novel.
Q: How much of your real life influences your books?
A: I like my books to feel real, for the reader to feel like they can put themselves in place of the heroines – as if they are living the events they are reading. Therefore, my locations are places where you may have visited and my characters have real issues, real neuroses, that can impact how they respond to the other characters. My heroes might be strong, gorgeous, and paranormal, but they react like a real person to a situation. They struggle with the same insecurities that any of us might struggle with on a day-to-day basis. I love this about my books.
My characters do take shape based on people (personal acquaintance or public figure) any of us might know, from their character attributes to their appearance. As for my female characters, they are mostly based on myself in some cases and my friends in others. So, there is a lot of real life in their character development.
Q: Do you have a specific author that has influenced your writing? If you could choose, which published author would you like to brainstorm with and why?
A: There are so many… but, for the sake of the question… I would love to have a writer retreat with Laurann Dohner. She is an amazing person as well as author. She is vibrant, real, and amazingly generous. Laurann has had many struggles in her life, most recently a stroke, but she is a true fighter that works hard to stay upbeat and to continue to accomplish her goals. She has been a huge role model for me.
I would also love to work with Molly Harper for her sense of humor alone. I doubt I could even speak with the likes of Sherrilyn Kenyon or Karen Marie Moning, their intelligence and creativity are off the charts, and I’m sure to fan girl when in their presence. Donna Grant, Laura Adrian, Larissa Ione, and Jayne Rylon are a few others that I would love to work with.
Q: What are your current projects?
A: “Releasing the Panther” the third book in the Dásreach Council Novels series is my next planned big release. I have signed up for NaNoWriMo and hope to make a lot of process on the book in November. If things go well, I would love to publish the book before the end of the year.
I also have plans to work on the third release for my short story serial release, “Wolves for the Holiday 1.3.” Then, there is my new series about a Gargoyle race, which is part way written as well. It all depends on the muse.
Q: Do you have a process for choosing the titles for your books?
A: It is important for me that my titles represent the story within the books I write. Sometimes I come up with a title first based on where I think the story will go, and other times I just put together some sort of working title which can be changed once I have enough of the book completed to get a feel for the story. In general, I would say I wing it. A couple guidelines I have though are: use action words (usually ending in -ing), use descriptive words, express the emotion of the story, and keep them concise.
Q: What is the hardest part about writing for you?
A: Staying focused and motivated are the hardest part for me. Distractions are my kryptonite and will ruin a day of planned writing very easily. I have to be in the right frame of mind in order to write well and usually need large chunks of uninterrupted time. If I lose the thread of inspiration and then have to go back to find it again, it can waste a lot of time and energy. Because of this it can be quite frustrating when my husband or kids come in and interrupt me for no reason.
Q: What is the standard length of time for you to complete a book from the idea to published?
A: I would say 9 to 12 months for full-length novels. My short stories tend to take a couple of months. It really just depends on my family. For example, I did not do a lot of writing this summer. There were too many family activities that would have interrupted my ability to find time to write. So, I decided that I would take the summer off. Then, after the summer my daughter had other activities that required large chunks of my time. I have a feeling this year is going to be a year of distraction, since my daughter is graduating high school in Spring 2016.
I would say I only have about 6-months a year that I can actually be a productive writer, so I try to utilize those months to their fullest.
Q: Do you have a critique partner or other individual to use as a sounding board for ideas?
A: Mr. Reuel has been a huge sounding board. Sometimes I read what I wrote that day out loud and he gives feedback and other times we discuss ideas for characters or storyline. Mr. Reuel has been a huge help with some sticky situations.
Then I have my Alpha and Beta readers (my editing crew and reader advocates) who are wonderful about telling me what they think. There feedback is invaluable in helping me grow as an author and to improve the stories that I produce.
One day I would love to have an actual fellow author as a critique partner, but as for right now I don’t have one specific person that fits that role.
Q: Do your travel to research for your books?
A: I would love too and one day I hope it's in my budget. Until then, the Internet is amazing for researching and traveling without leaving your chair. Google Maps allows you to zoom in and look at locations, which has been tremendously helpful. Tourist Web sites can provide a lot of information about a specific location – what to see, where to stay, and special points of interest. I also have a lot of friends who live spread across the World, so I can often ask them questions as well.
Q: Did you learn anything while writing your books?
A: Tons – about myself and about the places and things I researched.
Q: Have you ever had an idea for a book but never written it and what is it?
A: Tons. I don’t always write them down and I know I have several ideas I started and then lost in the past. Most of my ideas are Paranormal or Fantasy based, and recently are all about the Romance.
I love shifters, so I have the Dásreach Council Novels with a possible thirteen novels, plus at least one novella already plotted out. The Dásreach includes many different types of shifters which I find interesting to work with. My Holiday Pack series centers specifically around wolf shifters. I am also working on a Gargoyle shifter series as well. And, I also have the bear shifters and magic users from the Gwar’Arth of Karhu Ridge series.
In the future, I would love to write an Alien abduction type story and possibly something more scientific based with genetically enhanced humans. In my notes there’s an idea for a story involving dragons and another one involving magic and owl familiars. A novel that I started and have several chapters written is about bird shifters and another is an angel human hybrid novel. I also have an idea for a contemporary romance, but not sure if I will ever work on it – I love my fantasy worlds too much.
Q: Can you give any advice to a new author looking to make their own literary statement?
A: Don’t be afraid to try anything. If you have an idea, then go for it. You may write something that never sees the light of day, but anything you write helps you grow as a writer. Besides, you never know, you may go back some day and decide that the work is awesomesauce and needs to be published.
Don’t worry about your stories being similar to something you read, everything in our life influences us, so just be unique in your approach and your voice. Simply get your idea down and use the editing process to make sure that the idea is uniquely yours. As one successful author put it, (I’m paraphrasing here), “I don’t own the rights to the concept of genetically created human-animal hybrids. Or, to cyborgs. Cyborgs were in movies long before I began writing about them. So if you want to write about them, go ahead.”
Be true to yourself and your vision. Don’t make changes to your work for one person, but seriously consider all feedback.
Q: Out of the books you have written, do you have a particular favorite?
A: I love them all for different reasons, but I relate most closely with “Finding the Dragon.” It was my debut novel as well, so it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Q: What was your "dream" job as a child? Did you ever dream of being a published author?
A: Actually, for the longest time I did say I was going to grow up and be an author. My dad would always joke that I’d grow up and make him lots of money. Now, I know how funny that statement is. Authors are not money makers. We do it for the love of the written word, not the recognition or money.
In high school, that dream changed and I wanted to go into art. I attended college to be an art teacher before dropping out to rethink my goals. I ended up going back to English and became a technical communicator writing software manuals for 15+ years. Now I’m ready to follow my dreams.
Q: What other careers have you had while working towards being a published author?
A: For the past 20+ years I have been a wife, mother, and technical communicator. Each of those have provided me with so many blessings and joys that I can’t say I regret any of them. Otherwise, I have worked at three different fast food restaurants, a fabric store, a retail store, and a grocery store. I would have to say the worst jobs were the fast food with the low pay, horrible hours, and so much grease. But, each one has allowed me to learn new things and meet some terrific people.
Q: Would you like to say anything to your current readers or to those that haven't yet read your work?
A: Dear Readers, as a newer published author, and a self-published one at that, I am slowly being introduced to the book world from the other side. As a reader, I never truly understood the amount of time, work, and energy that went into being an author. In truth, the amount an author invests in each book is enormous compared to the monetary return. For me, it is about the accomplishment and the thrill of learning that someone enjoyed my work.
Please be kind. These books become our children and each holds a special place in our hearts. Please be patient and understanding to the authors you love. Please review. Please share their work. Authors can only continue to produce if they continue to sell and that is accomplished by you purchasing an author’s books and then reviewing and sharing.
For my readers, I love to hear what you think, so please be sure to contact me and let me know!
A few romantic questions:
Q: As a romance author what do you find the hardest part to write in a love scene?
A: For me, it’s the idea that someone will actually read it once I’m done. I worry about what they will think. Will it be too over the top or not over the top enough? Will my word choices be too “erotica” or too “kindergarten”? Is there enough detail? Too little? Or, too much? When so many readers and companies want to classify your work, which can pigeon whole you and limit the readers you can reach, it is a real concern to make sure that you are writing for the genre in which you want your novels to be sold. My stories are either straight Romance or Erotic Romance, because they are written to share about the love and relationship. The “erotic” on comes into play, because I do delve into love triads.
Q: Has your love life improved from your writing? Do you practice what you write?
A: Absolutely to both questions. When you focus so much of your time on romance and how love is expressed physically, it is bound to express itself in your own actions. When I read aloud to Mr. Reuel, it brings us both into the same frame of mind. And, of course you have to make sure what you write is feasible as well. Granted Mr. Reuel and I are monogamous, so there won’t be any testing of the triad relationships. *Insert evil laugh.*
Q: Do you have a favorite sexual experience to write about?
A: My favorite to read and write about include a lot of touching and a lot of connecting at the emotional level. I like for my characters to feel loved and worshiped by their significant others. Finding new ways to express these feelings can be difficult at times, but very rewording when you get it just right.
A few of your favorite things:
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Animal: Cats
Favorite Fictional Animal: Dragon
Favorite Activity: Reading and being crafty. I like to exercise my creative side.
Favorite Song: Nothing Else Matters by Metallica (It’s mine and Mr. Reuel’s song.)
Favorite Book/Book Genre: Anything paranormal, science fiction, or fantasy as long as it’s not scary. Suspense is good, terror is not.
Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride, Last of the Mohicans, Hook (mine and Mr. Reuel’s first date), Labyrinth, and several of the James Bond movies (I’m a Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig fan.)
Favorite TV Show: Dr. Who
Josette Reuel spent many years in the corporate world writing stuffy computer software manuals, until one day a shape-shifting dragon kidnapped her and dragged her off to be his destined mate... as the words flowed on to the page, she realized that it was time to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a published author.
An avid reader from her earliest memories, Josette enjoys many genres; however her current passion is anything Romance. Her love of Fantasy and the Paranormal tends to come out in all of her writing with strong alpha heroes, each with a little something extra.
Finding the Dragon — the first book in the Dásreach Council Novels — was her debut novel. The future promises to be full of more great releases.
Connect with Josette
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Malkum Nitá is a bear shifter and one of two Dásreach enforcers in the Thirteen. Due to a tortured past, Malkum never wanted a mate, but he must accept it for the Thirteen to be the next Council. However, with no one having found their mates, it was looking like Malkum's bachelorhood was safe. That is until, Kai’s mate walked into Great Spirit Tattoo with her friends. Rogue inflamed his passion from the moment she touched his tattoo and tamed the ferocious bear.
Rogue Phenix had enough of changing for other people. Life had shown her many things and she wasn’t going to chase her dreams; she was going to make them happen. And, thanks to her Book Worm friends she had found the relationships she had never had, but it’s not enough, she wants it all – her friends, a family… and a man. But, just when she thinks she’s found her destiny, her man runs scared.
Unbeknownst to the Thirteen a darkness is working against them. Working in the shadows and using human pawns, the darkness has set its sights on Rogue and her friends.
Can Malkum come to terms with his past before it’s too late?
Meet the Author
Josette Reuel spent many years in the corporate world writing stuffy computer software manuals, until one day a shape shifting dragon kidnapped her and drug her off to be his destined mate... and as the words flowed on to the page, she realized that it was time to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a published author.
An avid reader from her earliest memories, Josette enjoys many genres; however her current passion is anything Romance. Her love of Fantasy and the Paranormal tends to come out in all of her writing with strong alpha shapeshifters.
Finding the Dragon was her debut novel and was released September 8, 2014. It is the first in the Dásreach Council Novels. She is currently working on Forcing the Bear: Dásreach Council Novel 2.