Saying Goodbye to Summer

A farewell to summer from Untethered Realms... how we really feel.

River Fairchild - 

Goodbye to summer. Goodbye to bugs. I’m tired of the heat and the endless sunshine. Hello cooler weather and leaves turning colors. Although I was happy to see you at the beginning of the season, you’ve overstayed your welcome. I’m fickle that way. Don’t take it personally. In the dead of winter I’ll be wishing for your return.


Christine Rains -

Don't mind me if I try to push summer out the door. It already knows it's my least favorite of the seasons. The heat makes me wither and the sun burns my vampire-like skin. Sure, my kid likes to swim and he looks so cute in his mask. But even he is asking for snow already. Sorry Summer, but if you bring some mild weather next year and a ton of sunblock, we'll talk.


M. Pax -

As the evening shadows grow longer with more of a golden hue, I'm not sorry. Summer is my least favorite season. I don't care for heat. It aggravates my carpal tunnel and my skin. Yet the season is usually filled with stars and gleeful memories of time out of doors. So I don't mind its short stay in Central Oregon (usually no more than 8 weeks).


Ellie Garratt -

I'm not a fan of hot weather, so summer is my least favourite season. Heat rash. Higher humidity. Pollen allergies. Give me autumn any day. But I do love the longer days and summer flowers, so it isn't all bad.


Julie Flanders -


The end of summer is always a happy time for me. No more being embarrassed at how pale and ghostly I look in shorts. No more humidity making my hair look like I stuck my finger in a socket. No, instead it's time for autumn, by far my favorite time of the year. Hello fall foliage, hello crisp temperatures, hello football and hello Halloween. Goodbye, summer. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. 
Gwen Gardner -

Bye Bye, Summer. You're beautiful, but...
...you have outstayed your welcome. It's way too hot in August/September and here in California we're in the middle of a drought. I'm doing my part by doing dishes in a dishpan and throwing the water out on the plants. Same with the shower. I catch the extra water in a bucket that would have gone down the drain and water the outside plants. We're expecting an El Nino come winter (a heavy rain system). But first, come on autumn! I love everything about autumn, especially Halloween. And hot chocolate. And sweaters. And Fall programming. 

Angela Brown -

Summer, Summer, Summertime...
My darling Summertime... you entered the arena of my life bringing heat, heat and more heat. You weren't as bad as some Summertimes before, but yeah, you certainly let us know that you were here. And please don't take it personal that I'm glad you aren't here to stay.

It's not you, it's me and my low tolerance for high heat. I'm ready for autumn's cool breezes and nature's display as many trees change from their plain green gear to a colorful array of unmatched beauty.

So as I greeted you with my favorite summer song that puts this time of year into a cool, casual and relaxing perspective - despite your heat - I send you off with that song. Take it away DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith :-)

Misha Gerrick -

Feeling a bit left out here. I live in the Southern Hemisphere, so I'm saying hello to summer. But first, spring! (My favorite season.)


Cathrina Constantine -

I adore summer and hate to see it vanishing before my eyes. Here in Buffalo the warm season is extremely short and we must cherish each day. Lately, our cold, harsh winters seem to drag on endlessly.

But, on the bright side, my favorite season is Autumn!! I LOVE the changing of leaves, visiting our local Cider Mill with homemade fry cake donuts. And inhaling the fresh crispy scent makes me happy.

Jeff Chapman -

So long summer. So long blistering heat. Anything over 80 is unbearable. So long mosquitoes. May the blood you've stolen freeze in your gut. So long lawn mowing. Although the mini-black forest I've planted in the back yard is bearing fruit, ie grass doesn't grow in the shade. No, summer is not my favorite season. But hark, glorious autumn is almost upon us. Peaches are ripe for the harvest. Tomatoes are turning luscious shades of red (my favorite color). Cabbages are thickening. Pumpkins are expanding. Apples are on their way. Chilly nights and crisp mornings will soon grant us comfortable slumber. Thanks for the sunshine, summer. You did help the garden grow. See if you can do something about the bugs next year.


Catherine Stine -

Ready to put on the fall mantle

Cat sculpture at the Rock Store in Cape Cod
I used to dislike summer. The heat, the long days that can have an aimless quality... but now that I teach part time during the school semesters I get more writing done in the summer. I look forward to it - in fact, depend on that time to write. Plus, this summer I attended a whole bunch of book cons, which contribute to my commitment to writing. I also attend a weeklong writing retreat in Cape Cod. That said, I do like fall weather a lot. And fresh apples, and mums and Halloween! I'll just have to really boundary off my writing time and try to take full advantage of it.


Cherie Reich -

*sings* So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night!

Although I rather dread the days of snow and ice, I'm not overly fond of the high temperatures, plethora of bugs, and storms summer brings. Bring on the cooler nights, sweaters, football, and hot chocolate!


My Publishing Journey

Much has been said about Indie, small press, self-published, and traditional published authors. And I'd like to contribute my take and my publishing journey, which some of you might already know. Boring right? Well here goes.

After years of revising and editing I'd completed writing a book. (really?) I thought it was ready. I sent queries and actually received a partial request from a big name agent from Writer's House. Needless to say, it was a pass, though, my query was good, but my book still needed work.

I'm going to make a long, long story short. I was ready to throw in the towel and then someone suggested I try a small press. And TA-DA!! I received 3 offers. 

Now I was still seeking an agent with another ms, and after many rejections I was ready to hand it over to my publisher at the small press when an offer came from an agent!!

YES!! I have or had an agent. 

After much revising and re-editing, my book went on submission. Then the waiting game begins all over again. There were full requests, although, after a year, my agent couldn't sell the book. And there it goes...
After my agent declined my next ms, which I won't go into the nitty -gritty details, that book is now ranking on Amazon. I haven't sent anything else to her.

Now I have 4 published books. 3 with a small press, and, it will be 2 with an indie press. I've actually considered self-pubbing, but still wavering on that project.

I believe in this day and age writer's are very lucky to have such fantastic means of getting books published. You don't have to have an agent to jump start your writing career. If you're stuck in the query trenches for years of rejections, try a popular indie, or small press. Also I suggest an editorial service and critique partners to fine-tune your writing before sending your book into the world. 

I'm learning and honing my craft each and every day. I still feel like a newbie, and cringe when I thumb through my books and find mistakes. I'm far from perfect, but trying to write stories that will take readers on a wonderful adventure...
Are you curious about the one book I had with the agent? Well, that book is close to my heart and I've yet to publish it. After considerable rewrites I'm thinking of taking it on the road again...
You can find me on Amazon Here.


What is your favorite fictional fantasyland?

(Artist: David Revoy. Image from Wikimedia Commons)

 Here's your voucher. A bonafide ticket to any world you'd like to travel to. Asgard? Atlantis? Discworld? We can transfer you anywhere. Pick your destination and we'll punch the ticket.

* * * * *

Christine Rains

Yes, I am one of those fans who would love to live in the Harry Potter world. Of course, I'd have to be a witch. Right now, I'm just a plain old muggle. I would happily be a teacher at Hogwarts. The castle itself is a fantasyland I could explore for the rest of my life. It would be magic and wonder every day. Then I could create a spell to make the calories from chocolate disappear. Oh the dreams I have!

* * * * *

M. Pax

Since finding Daggerfall way, way back in the 1990's, I've wanted to live in the lands of the Elder Scrolls. The stories and vistas have captured my imagination and held it. It's the only game I play outside of solitaire. From time to time elements from these lands may leak into my stories. Ooo.

* * * * *
River Fairchild

Shangri-La would be the place for me. Peace, happiness, and an almost immortal life? The sound from a hundred waterfalls? What's not to like? And what incredible views!

* * * * *

Misha Gerrick

Unless we're counting my own fantasylands, Narnia will always be my favorite. I just love the magic that pervades it, and the fact that it seems so very possible to get there. (I'm still check big wardrobes when I encounter them.)

* * * * *

Ellie Garratt

It would have to be Fantasia from The Neverending Story. I have a special fondness for this film. Every time I watch it, I'm hit with a flood of memories from my childhood. My crush on Atreyu. My sister and I singing the theme song. Pretending I had my own Falkor and could fly. What could be better than travelling to a place filled with such happy memories?

* * * * *

Julie Flanders

Like Christine, my vote is for the fantasy land of Harry Potter. I can't imagine a better place to go to school than Hogwarts. I hated gym class in school because I'm such a terrible athlete, but I bet that would all change if I could hop on a broom and play quidditch. Before I even got to Hogwarts I'd love to go to London and shop in Diagon Alley. My first stop would be Eyelops to get my very own little owl. Who doesn't want their own Hedwig?

* * * * *

Cherie Reich

For fantasy lands like our own, my heart lies with Hogwarts, but I would love to journey to Middle Earth, particularly Rivendell. The elves have such a rich history. I'd love to learn their language. Plus, the elves are rather easy on the eyes.

Catherine Stine

One of my very favorite go-to fantasy-lands is still to the world of Pippi Longstocking. She was fearless, joyful, independent and utterly unconcerned with what people thought about her. She was politically incorrect, smoking in the woods with her little buddies. Pippi was so strong she could lift a man, or even a horse, and she did creative things like paint polka-dots on it. She had her own friggin' monkey! How fun is that!? Plus she set hair trends with her wacky up-do braids. Her house was a cute clapboard with shutters painted in candy colors. All I have to do when my energy or confidence lags is to think of her to get a triple shot of moxie. 
Gwen Gardner

Another vote for Harry Potter! Besides being the most awesome fantasy world I know of, it's full of wisdom, like the poster above. What better mentor to have than Dumbledore. He was not only a wonderful role model for the students at Hogwarts, but a role model in this non-fictional world of ours, where the young struggle to fit in. 

"It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

~Albus Dumbledore

"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."

~Albus Dumbledore

"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

~Albus Dumbledore

* * * * *
Jeff Chapman

At first I thought of Neverwhere, but I don't like how the inhabitants treated cats. Next choice? Garth Nix's Old Kingdom. The split along the wall between medieval Old Kingdom and 1920s Ancelstierre takes some time to wrap your head around, but it grows on you after a book or two. I would be content to live in the Old Kingdom at the Abhorsen's house—got to have running water on all sides—and trade snide comments with my favorite character, Mogget. I guess it all comes down to cats. 


Books Worth Reading: Check-Out Time by Mark Rigney

Back in April I had the good fortune to meet Mark Rigney at the Ohioana Book Festival. Mark was my table-mate, and I couldn't have asked for a better partner to help pass the time between book sales. I won't deny that there was quite a bit of time between book sales for me that day. ;)

It was great to meet a new friend and even better to discover that he is a super-talented author whose book I really enjoyed reading.

Check-Out Time features the characters of Reverend Renner and Dale Quist in their third adventure together. Renner is a fussy, peevish Unitarian minister and Quist is a gruff former linebacker and retired investigator. The narrative switches back and forth between the two characters and I honestly couldn't decide which one I liked better. Each time I would think Renner was my favorite, Quist would do something to change my mind. While they are an odd couple, they are both engaging and thoroughly enjoyable characters.

The story begins when Renner receives a spooky invitation to come to a long-demolished hotel in Columbus, Ohio. He can't resist going off in search of the sender. Despite the fact that the hotel no longer exists, Renner is able to enter it and soon encounters the ghosts of guests who stayed at the hotel during its luxurious heyday.

To Renner's dismay, the building is much harder to leave than it was to enter, and he finds himself trapped in a hotel that could give The Overlook a run for its money. Quist follows Renner to Columbus and works to save him, but the hotel has no intention of making that job easy.

In addition to loving the two main characters, I also loved the setting of Columbus. I went to college there and have fond memories of the place and an affection that continues to this day. I don't remember ever reading a book set in Columbus before so I enjoyed wandering the streets of the city with Quist as he tried to rescue Renner and bring him back to the physical world.

This is a creepy story that sent a shiver up my spine more than once, but it is also quite funny thanks to its two leads. I highly recommend it, and I look forward to reading the next Renner and Quist adventure.


We Want to Help You Promote Your Book and Wares #RealmsFaire Two Fantastic Opportunities

Anxious and insecure about marketing?

I want to help you get your name and books out in front of an audience. It's free, easy, and fun.

Get the following:

  1. You featured, including a nod to your books with links, on my blog prior to the 4th annual joust (November 9-13).
  2. You get a cool badge like the one I made for myself below.
  3. You will be featured for a whole week on this blog during the week of Nov. 9th.
  4. During the week of Nov. 9th a brief story/excerpt and you will be highlighted on one day.
  5. You'll be listed with a link to your site on the Realms Faire page on this website for one year.

If you win, you'll get the added benefits of:

  1. A free ad in the slider at the top of my blog for one year. You can see the 2014 champion featured currently.
  2. A championship badge and bragging rights.
  3. A custom printed Tumbler advertising you and your win (SEE Tumbler)

So what does becoming a knight and jousting entail? It's quite simple:

  1. Spots are limited reserve your slot today! Click HERE and check off 'joining 4th annual joust as a knight. Huzzah!' or email mpaxuathor@gmail.com
  2. When you get an email from me, send me the name you'll joust under and 3-5 book covers. I'll send you the nifty badge and 3 magic words. The magic words are how you'll score points during the joust.
  3. Send me 2 excerpts, or 2 stories of your knightly feats, or one excerpt and one story of your feats.
  4. Send your friends and followers to this blog Nov. 9-13th and tell them to leave comments using your magic words. You're allowed to post exactly what they copy and paste. You're allowed to bribe. Prizes will be awarded to commenters daily on this site.
  5. Have a load of fun while getting in some marketing. You'll be having such a blast, you won't notice you're working.
mpaxbadge example

Beware the Vortex
Evil is afoot. Chronos has accidentally created a vortex while cleaning his hourglass, plunging a few unfortunate souls into Lucien’s Bar, gateway to the Underworld. Now they are trapped. Lucien wants to keep them but will give each hapless victim one chance to earn their freedom. His condition? Enter a contest of skills with an Immortal opponent of his/her choosing.

Do you think you can survive a swordfight with War? How about wend your way through a carnivorous garden to get to Gaia’s treehouse? Or weave a portion of the Great Tapestry of Life while avoiding Atropos’ giant pair of life-ending scissors? Perhaps you’re brave enough to challenge Death to a peanut-eating contest? Or whip up a batch of punch with Jezebel, the Master Poisoner? Do you have what it takes to win your way out of Lucien’s grasp?

Your mission: on the day you appear in the contest you will post on your own blog, or gather together your Facebook and/or Twitter friends and provide a link to this blog, pleading (begging works too) with your loyal supporters to come to your aid at http://riverfairchild.blogspot.com/ , and cheer you on to victory. Their comments will decide your fate. I will provide you with a few magic words to bolster the power of your minions. Plead well, for you will need their strength to endure. Others might seek to cast their votes with the Immortals.

Rewards? Yes! Besides winning your freedom (hopefully), each volunteer (that would be you) who is locked in the struggle will receive an Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. In addition, a few lucky commenters will be picked at random to receive a gift card at the end of the Faire. Four brave people have signed up so far. I need one more to fill the week.

There are a number of blogs participating in the Realms Faire and many prizes to be had, including a Grand Prize at the end of the Faire. If you’d like to contribute a prize (ebook, gift card, artwork, swag, anything you can come up with), go here to sign up. http://mpaxauthor.com/realmsfaire/