leafy foreground left
leafy foreground right

Southern Hemisphere Spring Update

blossom on a plum tree in spring
Blossom on a plum tree in spring

Hey Team,

Just a quick update.

I’ve just switched website hosts as I was having issues with my previous one.

I’d really like to do a full-site makeover, but I’m not sure how long that will take or how much time I can put into it, so I won’t make any promises about timelines at this stage. Besides, I’m sure some of you would rather I put ANY spare time to writing Magician’s Touch, huh? I’ll keep on it.

So, that’s about the state of things at the moment. I have a 9-year-old birthday party to sort this month. I’ve also just committed to buying myself some new glasses (eep!), which will help my eyes to work together better (they’ve been slightly “off” since my now-3-year-old put his fingernail through my left cornea two years ago) and generally reduce eye-strain when reading/working at the computer (very important for writing!).

dead tree against a stunning blue sky
It may be dead, but I still love this tree

Wishing those of you in the Northern Hemisphere a comfortable Autumn, and those of us down South a bountiful Spring.


Warrior’s Touch is coming

Hello world!

I completed a first draft in 2014! Completed major edits in 2016! Finalised the formatting earlier this year.

Yes, it’s been a long time coming (due largely to my own tardiness as I grew another human being, moved house, and continued to work towards supporting my family–writing doesn’t do that) but Warrior’s Touch will soon be out in the world. When? Well, I’ll leave that for another post. We need to throw some dates around and pick one (depending on a few other links in the chain).

Shall we take a moment to feel the warm glow of seeing a real, physical copy in existence (and, no, I haven’t touched it… it’s on the other side of the world!)… (photos courtesy of Kristell Ink/Grimbold Books)


Front Cover of Warrior's Touch by Deb E Howell
Front Cover


Back cover of Warrior's Touch by Deb E Howell
Back cover


First page of Chapter 1 of Warrior's Touch by Deb E Howell
Chapter 1


Healer's Touch and Warrior's Touch by Deb E Howell
Healer’s Touch and Warrior’s Touch together


Healer's Touch and Warrior's Touch by Deb E Howell spines
Warrior’s Touch is about 23,000 words longer than Healer’s Touch

You can let the world know you’re planning to read Warrior’s Touch here, on Goodreads.

So, where’s Warrior’s Touch at?


Quick note while my toddler sleeps in the car (windows and boot are open–I can do that safely at my home–he’s got plenty of air and a cat).

I thought I would post a brief update on Warrior’s Touch here. I often post on Twitter when something happens, because Twitter is easy. Or Facebook, because Facebook gives ready feedback from the few people who actually see my posts. I haven’t wanted to pester people on my mailing list with little tidbits, but they’ll get the first cover peek and that sort of stuff, depending on how all this stuff rolls out.

Anyway, what you’re here for…

Warrior’s Touch has been through edits, formatting, and a final proof-read by me. It is back with my publisher to get my recommendations implemented if the publisher agrees they’re good ideas. And, of course, just to get those silly errors that slipped by us all the times before but that I caught this time… Doesn’t mean I didn’t still miss some, but so be it.

I have no news at this time on publication date, nor release build-up schedule. But I will let you know when I know, because I want you to be excited, too! I finished the first draft in 2014! It’s been a long road getting it out to the world already. I can’t wait to finally share it (although, I’m still nervous it’ll get ripped to shreds by critics)… it’ll be great!! [forced smile]


“You felt it, didn’t you?” Braph squinted up at his half-brother, his narrowed eyes sparkling in the low light. “The power.”
Jonas took his time answering. “I felt it.”
Braph smiled. “Isn’t it…?” He closed his eyes, sucking in air as if he’d just injected himself again.
“It ain’t right.” Jonas half turned his head as if intending to look to Llew, but unable to make eye contact. Just how good *did* her blood feel to them?

–Warrior’s Touch

An Update at the end of October 2015

I started writing this on my Facebook Page, and then I remembered that I really, really needed to post something here. So… here’s the goss:

Quiet me…

I’ve been full up with a cold over the last month (actually 2 colds… I was nearly over the first when the second struck) and, of course, I’m still full up with baby. And so, when I haven’t been doing the things I need to do in life (office job, house work, childcare, midwife appointments, scans, obstetrician appointments…), I have been sleeping (or coughing).

Somewhere in there, I strained an abdominal muscle (better now), and now I’m just working on clearing the last of the gunk from my lungs.

Our house is on the market… Not sold yet, sadly, but neither has anyone whisked the other house out from under us (the vendors have a “cash out” clause, so if they get a better offer than ours they can take it… unless we can pay right then), so all fingers still crossed. The vendors for the house we want were planning to restart an advertising campaign around now, though, so… eep! Nervous times.

An image from the lifestyle block we hope to buy
Give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above…

The struggle we have is that even though we’d love a swift sale (therefore, a low price would be ideal), we are constrained because we simply can’t afford to grow our mortgage by too much… We’re already taking a financial risk just contemplating moving. But… mental health vs. financial health… Hopefully we can achieve both. And I need more space around me. And horses.

Aaaand… my baby has a mid-November due date… and tomorrow (NZ time) is November… And the pressure is on. My first son was born via c-section after several days of labour, so, of course, another c-section is very much on the cards. For the sake of quicker healing after, though, I’m aiming for VBAC (vaginal birth after c-sec). However, the hospital is watching me closely. I have another large baby in me, and if he goes past due date + 10 days, the hospital won’t risk artificially inducing me (which I don’t like the sound of anyway) because the added stresses introduced would put me at risk of rupturing my scar, so they would be pressing for an “elective” c-section at that point. Hence, pressure: on. Come on, baby. Feel free to come early (I have had to make peace with still being in this house when he arrives).

Needless to say, the creative juices are not flowing. This happened in my last pregnancy. I wrote very little of Healer’s Touch in the year I was pregnant with my first son. But I got back into it the following year, as I was up at interesting hours with a silently feeding baby, which allowed my mind to wonder, and then  that baby slept for two decent chunks of the day, which allowed me to write. Obviously, things will be different this time, with an older child already, but he is 5 now, so he has school (o:

Both Warrior’s Touch and Magician’s Touch are in limbo at the moment. I have ideas floating in my head for how to tackle my editorial letter for Warrior’s Touch, but I won’t likely be actioning those until the new year. My apologies. Of course I want to get these stories out to you (which would help me a–very–little financially while I’m not working, at the very least… but, come on… I’ve created something and I can’t wait to share it and–hopefully–you’ll love it, but I don’t know until you guys have it in your hot hands…).  I can’t wait… but I have to. I have to get it right.

And, then I’ve been a little bit naughty as I simmer ideas for a whole new project to come after Magician’s Touch. Which, I guess is a good thing. If you like my writing, hopefully you’ll like more stories by me. But, if you just want to conclude this series, that might make you a tad grumpy. Don’t worry. The next project is very much just a collection of jotted thoughts for now. I won’t allow myself to actually write any of it until a decent 2nd or 3rd draft of Magician’s Touch is winging it’s way to Kristell Ink. So, never fear, I’m doing what I can.

At least next year, while I’ll have a new baby and (hopefully) a lifestyle block to get my head around, I’ll have some breathing space from the office job. More of my headspace, while I do the not overly mentally stimulating work I need to do, can go to my fiction. Woo!

Right. Well, that’s a bout it from my brain today.

Time to get on with nibbling dates and pineapple.

April Update

So, Easter has come and gone and the year marches on.

Rememberance Poppy
Attribution: Wikimedia Commons (click on image for original)

New Zealand also commemorates Anzac Day in April (25th). It’s a day when we remember not only the day Anzac troops landed at a beach in Gallipoli during WWI, but our armed forces in general. Fact is, those guys do what the rest of us are so glad we don’t have to. But, sadly, we do live in a world where, I believe, some force is necessary sometimes. To quote one of my favourite movies (How to train your Dragon 2): “Men without reason cannot be reasoned with.”

I’m grateful to my uncle who popped up a little post on Facebook giving a run down of what he’d learned about my great grandfathers’ involvements (his grandfathers). I knew they must have been involved somehow, but I hadn’t managed to do any investigation so far myself. It’s nice to have a few details to add to the family tree I’ve been slowly filling in.


Read more…April Update

March Update

Here I am a couple of days late. But, here I am.

It’s always a toss-up for me whether I should prepare these posts early if I know I’m likely to get busy when they’re due, but I also want them to capture the month, and where I’m at at a particular time. So I prefer to keep them live as much as possible.

This month, the 20th happened to land on a day when it was just me and Mr4 alone for an entire day, followed by an anniversary dinner in the evening (also with Mr4 as we are short on babysitters at the moment), so by the time I had the time to sit at my computer to type anything, I didn’t have the energy. And then the next day was Saturday, so that was much the same. Here I am on a Sunday morning, eating my breakfast in front of my PC while Mr4 watches some Dinosaur Train with his dad.

Anyway, what I wanted to say first up was: Thanks.

Read more…March Update

February Update

February 2015, eh? It has certainly been a month. A month of what? I’m struggling to keep track of it all myself!


Sad news in our house this week as we said goodbye to our eldest cat, Kitty (Yeah … we tried a few names on him in the early days, but that was the only one that gelled!). [su_spoiler title=”I’ve written the story, but it’s up to you if you’d like to read it (click here).”]He was only 13, but we had been watching his rather rapid decline since Christmas with a mix of concern and frustration. First, he stopped eating biscuits. Fine. We offered him more meat. But then he got picky about the meat. He was getting picky about how he drank his water, too (from a plastic container in the bath to from around the plugged bath drain to straight from the running bath tap …), so it was very much a “How can I keep you well fed if you won’t eat what I offer?” situation. I felt like I was spending large chunks of my days dishing out cat food in small, frequent meals. Until this last week when we realised he was refusing every meal, and not even making an attempt to eat. At the same time an infection set in (runny nose & eyes), so it was definitely time for the vet. Long story shorter, the conclusion was a cancerous lump in his gut. Surgery/chemo/radiation might give him a few (unpleasant) months. With him already not eating, we decided the kindest option was to peacefully send him to sleep and away out of this realm. Now, the plan was to discuss this with Mr 4, let him know why Kitty wouldn’t be coming home again and give him the opportunity to say goodbye and also the choice to see Kitty after the deed, if he was comfortable with that. Well, in true Mr 4 style, he wanted to stay. At first, I said it wasn’t a great idea (I’ve helped two pets along before; 1 (cat) very peaceful, and 1 (dog) also probably peaceful, but didn’t look that way to me as an observer). But, when the time came, his curiosity got the better of me, and I decided not to drag him from the room. We explained what was happening, and Mr 4 was far more interested in mum’s tears than having any of his own or any worries about the whole thing. It’s hard to know how much he understands, but it’s good to know we can have open dialogue and he knows he’s welcome to ask questions and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability. Overall, I’m happy with how things played out. Just sad to see the little white/ginger fellow gone so soon.[/su_spoiler]

On with the show …

Read more…February Update

January Update

Welcome to my first post of 2015.

It doesn’t feel like there’s much to tell … so I’ll just get on with it.


Well, some a-little-bit-sad news, actually. Matt Donnici, who did the cover art for HEALER’S TOUCH, is deeply caught up in his work for the next Pirates movie, and so my publisher and I have opted to seek another cover artist. I’ve identified some possibilities from Deviant Art, so now we wait to find out if any are up for a commission …

Feel free to let me know if you know (or are) someone interested. We’d be looking for a similar drawing style to Matt (strong realism).


Writing Progress

Wow. Holiday Season, eh? It’s a strange one. In theory, you have all this time that you don’t have during the rest of the year … Yeah. Not so much. I worked through to Christmas, and my son’s kindy/daycare was open till Christmas Eve, then I couldn’t work on the non-statutory days because I had a child at home, but neither could I write because I had a child at home and my husband was working the non-stat days … Long days, too. So, it has been a very tiring time all round. However,

Read more…January Update

December Update

And where did December come from, eh? Every year it just seems to come from out of nowhere, pounce on our backs, dig its incisors into our necks and shake us like a terrier to a rat?

No? Just me, then?
That’s right. I see you shrugging meekly over there. Takes you by surprise, too, doesn’t it?

Well, here we are now, barely more than a week from a whole new year and all that it will bring.

Roll on 2015? I think so.


Right, news.

Not a lot, other than that I now have an approximate release date for WARRIOR’S TOUCH, which is Spring (that’s Autumn for us Southern Hemisphere-ites) 2015. Before you get too excited (I saw you), I feel a need to caution that it will probably be late Spring/Autumn, especially when we consider that my cover artist won’t be available until March as it is. But at least we have something to aim for. And between now and then there will be cover reveals and other marketing ploys to get us all excited and stuff …


Writing Progress

Read more…December Update

November Update

And so another month rolls by… In some ways, it felt long, and in other ways it (as so often happens) has zoomed by.


Sadly, there has been very little progress on WARRIOR’S TOUCH’s road to publication in the last month. Grimbold Books are busy with multiple books to sort, along with submissions to read, etc, etc. They’re a small team, and they’re doing the best they can. But it means we do have to be patient. I’m hoping that by my next update I will have more of an idea of what’s on the cards.

So… last month, I mentioned that Matt Donnici, the cover artist for HEALER’S TOUCH, was on board for the WARRIOR’S TOUCH cover, too. Well, progress is also slow for that… but it might just be for the best possible reason. He’s working on prop design for the 5th Pirates of the Caribbean movie (due out in 2017… WT will beat that, at least!). So {rubs knuckles up and down shirt}, you know, I guess I need to make concessions to allow my cover designer to work on these projects… sigh.

In case you missed it (it was waaaay down the bottom of last month’s post), I did an interview over on The Time Warrior’s website that went up last month. I consider it my best interview to date simply because I think I’m starting to get a bit more comfortable with all this stuff, so I was very “me” in it… and I guess I’m learning to be comfortable with me.

On with the show…

Writing Progress

Read more…November Update