Your Cart

What do authors read? - June 21, 2024

Ruined Lion Book Stack

What do authors read? - June 21, 2024

Dear Reader,

I'm excited to announce Ruined Lion launched wide on Juneteenth. If you are in the mood for a twist in the love story sequel to Druid Ancestry and need more of Lazlo and Soraya, pick up Ruined Lion and continue the tale. I created a quote video for this story in case you want to see it. There are other videos available surrounding this and other tales in the Lyons Gate Miniseries. If you haven't subscribed to my YouTube channel, glance at it. I post all the dream oriented creative video bits there.

I hope you spent your holiday reading and relaxing. I know many people celebrate summer holidays around the pool with a grill, but I prefer to read when I get the chance, even if it is pool side while the grill coddles dinner. The book-life is the only life for me. This grand hope leads me to the subject of this post. What do authors read?

All authors start out reading first. We add the writing later. And while we all read different things for different reasons, talented writers never give up their reader status, even if some of them put it on hiatus while writing. So while I can't say what all authors read, I know they do read, and I can speak about my habits.

What do I read? And Why?

Gift image

I read a lot of bad high school essays, historical articles and posts, and the usual continuing professional education literature to stay on top of the game as a professional teacher. But I doubt that's what you wanted to hear. My guess is you wanted to know what I read to unwind.

As an author, I read the genres of romantic fantasy or fantasy romance genres. Not because that's what I write and I need it for research. Like Benjamin Franklin suggested, I do some research that way, but that's not why I read it. I also don't read it to stay abreast of trends. I can't keep up with them because I have a serious day job which takes up around sixty hours a week while I'm working. Because I love romantasy, I read stories related to that genre. It's my escape.

I grew up reading mostly fantasy, and as I got older, that love continued. But as an adult, fantasy romance, paranormal romance, and supernatural romance stories seemed to be the next level, plus they were shorter. Who doesn't want a happily ever after following the stress of the day job? And in a story you can finish relatively quickly? Plus, you get the escapism of fantasy? It's practically irresistible.

Between the day job and the home life, there wasn't always time to indulge in an epic fantasy and keep up with the storyline when it might take me months to read it. So an epic fantasy must wait until vacation when I can read it all at once. But that doesn't mean I don't still crave the escape which fantasy tales offer. Romantasy gives me the fantasy I crave with the short happy ending I need.

An angry crowned skull

This week I started Queen of the Underworld by Felicity Heaton. I've read all the other Guardians of Hades series' novels (and most of the rest of her catalog. And No. I don't know the author, and she didn't ask me to plug her book. I'm just a fan). This one is a prequel tale, and I should have read it a while ago. I got the email. But life got in the way.

It's not an epic fantasy; it's me getting caught up. And it was worth the wait, even if I will need another read soon. It's a Hades and Persephone Greek gods retelling. I won't spoil it for you if you haven't read it. It's a five star read, even if I haven't finished it yet. I'm savoring the last few chapters, as if they were finely grilled steaks.

Lost One Book Cover

Sneak Peek at Lost One

Reading aside, what am I doing on the writing front? I'm posting Lost One to Gods of the Dream. Do you want to check it out? Ok, but legalese first.


This is a work in progress and

is subject to change at any time.

Read at Your Own Risk!

Copyright 2023

All Rights Reserved.

Unexpected Sign

One Week after Halloween, 2016

He stepped out of the mist with his brothers. Nine Woodsmen, who wore only their loincloths and soft moccasins out of respect for the forest of Draoithe, found themselves in a sacred stone circle facing the Queen of the Dream, her retinue, and her new favorites, the man known as the Dire Wolf King and his Tiger Queen.

Zaldivar eyed the man. The shifter was a second-order direwolf from the Leaindeail. Luke Mendez couldn’t transcend realms as a Woodsman could, yet he stood on the level of a lesser god.

He was higher in social rank than the Woodsmen. Zaldivar’s arrogance would have him scoffing at the idea, except no woodsman had become a lesser god in centuries.

The Dire Wolf King appeared to be nothing more than a powerful pack leader. Yet the White Buffalo Woman held him in high regard. Why? What made the man so special?

Zaldivar Oakwood gave the man a chance. Luke Mendez was more than met the eye. If he could offer the Velosians aid in acquiring woodwives, Zaldivar had nothing to lose by offering respect.

He was long into the fade, even if his appearance belied that fact. Only claiming his mate prevented his eventual return to the forest as a tree, or finding worshippers who wanted a forest lord’s aid. Worshippers weren’t happening.

They made introductions. Oddly, Luke Mendez reached out to clasp forearms with him. Zaldivar’s estimation of the man’s worth improved.

It was at that moment he realized the pristine nature of the forest behind him and the exquisite balance of magic. Luke Mendez was far more than he seemed, after all. The magic of the dream answered the man’s need. It created Draoithe as hallowed ground. It was a rare feeling outside of the forest realms of the Forest Lords.

Akiwa asked Luke to explain the situation. She hadn’t given Zaldivar and his brothers much detail. The possibility of gaining a woodwife was enough information to lure nine Woodsmen to Draoithe.

The Woodsmen listened to a tale of horror. Pity for the abused women rose in him. He didn’t doubt his brothers felt the same. Mistreatment, as the Lost Ones had suffered, should never exist. Zaldivar was glad Elliot no longer existed.

“Elliot stole their chances of finding their mates. It has broken them. They are Lost Ones, no longer alive; yet, they aren’t dead. They’re in a similar situation to the one you’re in. The fade is all that’s left for them, but I can’t just watch them fade away without at least trying to save them.”

Eli Miller’s voice wavered as she pleaded with him and his brothers to consider the women as potential mates.

Zaldivar spoke with his brothers. The Tiger Queen was a warm-hearted woman for all of her quiet power. She wanted only to save them all, the women and the Woodsmen.

Aiding Draoithe placed the Woodsmen in good standing with the White Buffalo Woman. The nine of them could form a council with her backing. The other Woodsmen would listen to them if they had woodwives. It would assure their places in eternity even if they weren’t lesser gods. A possibility to get godhood from among their kind once more might present itself.

Perhaps allying with Draoithe could aid other Woodsmen, who also needed woodwives. His brothers considered his words and agreed. They would attempt it if it was possible.

The Woodsmen wanted woodwives. The question before them was how to claim the Lost Ones? If they could save the women, they would claim them as woodwives, but first, they had to be sure they could do it.

It would begin a true immortal council of Velosians. They lost the age of Volos to the past. A council would serve the remaining Woodsmen better.

The Woodsmen needed lasting leadership. As humans stopped worshiping the gods of the forest, the old methods of finding woodwives and building their homes had faded. The fade slowly destroyed what remained of his people. They noted it, but the solution was beyond their ability.

A change had come. An opportunity presented itself. If the Woodsmen wanted to continue as men, that change needed to be embraced. He and his brothers chose that change. They waited for the Lost Ones.

“We wish to see if these Lost Ones could become woodwives. If it’s possible, we will aid them.”

Zaldivar spoke for the Woodsmen after they’d discussed things. Eli smiled and nodded. The Dire Wolf King gave orders.

A line of miserable and dejected women plodded along the path beneath the stars, encouraged by a group of women dressed as nurses, and stopped behind the stone circle when they reached the top of the hill. The ulfheonar nurses stepped back into the shadows of the trees, leaving the cadaverous waifs bewildered.

Many sank to the forest floor unmoving, staring at nothing. Others squatted with their arms around their knees, rocking on their heels.

It bothered him to see them herded along like cattle headed to the slaughter. The women would have preferred to sit still, to fade away. The sorrow and loneliness of their existence echoed from them in a strange melancholic mirror of the loneliness the Woodsmen had.

It was horrific and surreal. It pressed home to him in a way he’d never faced, just how serious his situation was. An opportunity to remain a Woodsman rather than fade into the forest had to be respected, even if it was nothing like the fantasies he had.

Fantasy was for a youth long left behind. In the eighth decade of his life, he had only about twenty years left as a man. He needed to contemplate the opportunity before him. He cast his pity and his fantasies aside.

The halcyon days of the Woodsmen being raised to the status of gods had long ago faded into the past. Their greatest hope in the age he’d been born into was to surpass the century mark before they returned to the forest whence they came.

If they claimed woodwives, then a few of those who remained might band together and create a realm for themselves. They could form a council and aid the others. They could find new ways of protecting the forests and craft new magic. Allies were a necessity.

The situation was bigger than his personal need. The last of the Woodsmen needed him to decide for all of them before there were no more of them.

Zaldivar took the first step toward the women. The others followed him, and they left the stone circle to move toward the trees. The women didn’t move, try to avoid them, or even acknowledge their existence.

He might still appear to most as a young man, full of life and vitality. He still had all of his strength and his skills with his magic, bow, and axe. The oak striations of his skin marked his advancing age for anyone who knew to look.

Soon he would become the redwood, and if he was lucky, he would pass into ironwood before fading into the trees. He needed to claim his Woodwife to halt that process. Doing things differently wasn’t easy at his age, but he knew it would be a much brighter future if he could bow to the winds of change.

A light breeze continued to move the night air. A mist rose from the lake, creeping along the ground as he looked at the women. Zaldivar allowed his magic to reach out to the forest, seeking guidance from nature. How could he choose?

It wasn’t as if any of them smiled or blushed in admiration. What criteria was he supposed to use? She would be only for him, but she would make him so much more. The situation was unorthodox.

One of Akiwa’s kachina stepped through the mist to solidify before one woman. Zaldivar saw nothing about her that would cause the Kachina to favor her. The Woodsmen all watched the interchange between the two.

“Come with me. Whisper into the wind as the sylphs all do. Please?”

The Kachina reached out, placing his hand beneath her chin to force the woman to turn her face up to him. She stared without seeing at the Kachina.

The spirit, who never relinquished the right to wear flesh as he’d walked the path to Shangri La, looked into her eyes and let his white mist magic slip into her soul.

She smiled at him then. The blankness in her expression eased. She seemed to be more aware of the situation, yet focused on him. It was something more than the catatonic state she’d been in, at least.

The Kachina touched the woman’s essence, so she knew him as hers. He gave himself to her, as broken as she was because she was everything and nothing else would ever mean as much.

Her brokenness didn’t matter. The Kachina could fix it if she allowed it. She could make him more. His magic allowed her hope.


Her voice was so soft only an immortal with preternatural hearing would know she spoke. She was a canine shifter. She needed to know he belonged to her. If he could convince the fox shifter, she would desire to be with him.

She wasn’t beyond redemption. There was hope for the Lost Ones. It was a bleak hope, but that mattered.

Eli Miller was right. Almost all hope seemed lost, but almost was not all. They hadn’t died, so there was no theft from Death. Not even gods cheated Death.

The Kachina nodded and pulled her into the mists with him. They vanished. She chose him and what aid or comfort he could give. Even though it would be a struggle, she lived. The little fox recognized the Kachina would help her.

Akiwa smiled and stroked her protector’s white fur. Cymarin sat next to his mate in approval of her decision to aid both the Lost Ones and the Woodsmen. It was a good if unexpected sign when the Kachina aided a woman.

Leaving Reviews poster

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt chapter from Lost One. It will be the next story to post chapters to the Gods of the Dream Miniseries. And before you ask. I don't know what a Kachina man is exactly. All I know is they serve the White Buffalo Woman and belong to the Spirit Realm. They were human once, but made the journey to Shangrila and stepped into immortality. Maybe someday I'll have time to explore this further. Until then, I need to get cracking on some edits. I leave you with the heartfelt plea to post your reviews when you read. They help authors more than you know. Until next weekend, know that you are always welcome to the dream...

Be Careful!

Happy reading,

Ophelia Kee

Want More?

Join my newsletter


Ophelia Kee Speaks

Video Content:


Buy books: 



Subscribe and Read it all as I Write:

Read the Draoithe Saga

Drop by and say, Hello!

Email the author at

Follow Ophelia Kee on Threads 

Like Ophelia Kee on Facebook 

Like Ophelia Kee on Instagram 

Follow Ophelia Kee on X 

Follow Ophelia Kee on Pinterest 

Thank you for your support! Welcome to the dream… Sincerely, -OK