Indie Author Spotlight – Zoe Dawson and “AfterLife”

Indie Author Spotlight – Zoe Dawson and “AfterLife”

I’ve got another great indie author for you this morning…Zoe Dawson!


Zoe Dawson writes romantic comedy and new adult contemporary romance, but will soon release urban fantasy, syfy and erotic romance.

Under the pen name, Karen Anders, she’s currently writing sexy NCIS agents, tough JAG lawyers, rogue Navy SEALs, courageous Marines–a mix of Navy and civilians investigating murder, espionage, and crime across a global landscape. These are the characters that populate her To Protect and Serve Series for Romantic Suspense!

When she’s not busy with writing or her full-time job, she’s painting or killing virtual mmorpg monsters, where getting armor for her characters is better than jewelry. She lives in North Carolina with her two grown children and one small, furry grey cat.

You can find her at the following links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Goodreads | Newsletter


And here’s her book!



First, what’s her whole book series about?

The fine thread between reality and the fantastical has snapped. The mortal and supernatural must learn to co-exist in post-reality Minneapolis/St. Paul where video games leak monsters into the night, demons roam, thirsting for more than just blood, people are not who or what they seem and a diabolical evil plots and plans to devour the world.

And AfterLife?

In this world gone mad……Lily’s biggest challenge is to survive.

Lily Starbuck, kick-ass witch caterer, knows that a day that starts with blood on the horizon is a terrible omen. The day goes downhill from there when a grumpy werewolf refuses to pay his catering bill, her partner cleaned out their bank accounts, and Lily finds her murdered in their kitchen. To make matters worse, the Fairy Dust Administration (FDA) is sniffing around. Fae dust hounds hot on her partner’s trail for dealing in illegal dust now turn their attention to her. Their sexy Fae leader takes a particular interest in her and is hard to shake.

Heartbroken, flat broke and with her very livelihood in jeopardy, she discovers that the formidable Otherworlder Security (O.S.) is being tampered with. With no active investigation and a missing body, she has no choice but to discover who killed her partner. Her only backup is a cantankerous gnome who delights in going invisible on her. Clues lead her to an open case being investigated by a tough O.S. warden shapeshifter. It seems a rogue mage has created a video game that is unwarded and game monsters are being released to terrorize the human and supernatural citizens of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Trouble is Lily has reason to believe that this mage killed her partner. Looks like Lily will have to make a deal with a vamp devil and battle wits with the Twin Cities most powerful leader all in the name of justice.

You can find it all over the Interwebs:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | itunes


And Zoe’s given us a great excerpt from the book…

“Lily, we have to go,” Nock said urgently.

“Before you do, if you don’t mind…” Talon said in a voice which brooked no argument, even while it sounded like he was asking permission, “…I’d like a private word with Ms. Starbuck.”

Nock’s uncle grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and yanked him out of the lab. As the door closed behind us, I got a glimpse of the alarm on Nock’s face, but there was nothing either of them could do. We were in the FDA, and here, whatever a fae said was law. I also guessed Nock’s uncle wanted me to distract Talon so he could get the dust out of the lab and hide it. The look he gave me said as much.

I should have taken the time to stir a defense against Talon, but I hadn’t. Now I was in the FDA, trapped in the basement with him. I was quite aware the dungeon was probably right below us. My palms started to sweat.

He smelled so much like spring and dirt, loamy and sweet and thick, and the scent went right to the primitive part of my brain and flicked a switch. My breath caught, then came fast. I hesitated, then breathed deeply to pull his scent in deep, coating my fear of him with the sweet promise of ecstasy. It was intoxicating to a witch like me.

“Mmhmm, you smell good.”

He crowded me back against the door, the metal hard against my back. He never physically touched me. But, oh Break take it, I wanted him to.

It took everything I possessed not to curl my arm around his neck and pull him close. He braced his big, strong hands on either side of my head and cocked his hip. His knowing smile turned him back into a bad boy in an expensive suit.

“There’s something you want to tell me, isn’t there, Lily? I can call you Lily? Ms. Starbuck seems so formal.”

I hushed out a breath at the sound of my first name on his lips. It sounded as lovely as the flower whose name I had adopted. “Sure you can.”

The promise in his voice was powerful and needy. There was something in him that called to something in me. I knew he felt it, too. Was I somehow compelling him?

His breath huffed out, as if he was fighting against something. I tried to find my reason, but all the blood seemed to have left my brain and gathered in other places, making it very hard to think clearly. Part of me knew that I couldn’t trust him. He had gone beyond trying to enrap me. He was enrapture.

“I know you have secrets.” He inhaled and exhaled on a soft breath. “I want to know them. I want to know…everything. Why don’t you whisper them in my ear?”

I started to open my mouth, to tell him at least part of the truth, part of how I had come to be so caught up in this crazy, jumbled mess Olivia had made of my life. But my eyes snagged on his mouth, his firm, fine lips, and my voice died in my throat. I couldn’t breathe, let alone talk. All I could do was stare.

I dimly recalled that there was something important I should have been saying or doing, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what it was. I was thinking things, but not words. Words had deserted me, leaving only images: sight touch, smell…and, finally, finally taste.

My mouth was on his, my fingers in all that glorious, soft red hair, shocks of electricity sparking my nerve endings. He tasted like vanilla-laced cinnamon, but under that was something green, herbal, a light, clean taste like drinking spring water straight from the heart of the earth. Under all that was the taste of his skin, sweet and smooth.

“Weren’t you supposed to be telling me something, Lily?” he murmured, his chest heaving and his eyes dazed.

“I think so,” I said.

“I want to hear it,” he managed, his voice strained, and I smiled as I started to weaken.

My body demanded I say yes, I wanted to say yes. Why, I thought, hunger driving through me as I found his hard shoulders, why didn’t I just tell him about the dust? Such a small thing…And he was so deliciously beautiful, stirring my soul.

“Everything…” he breathed, his exhalation filling me, making me whole.

In a breathless wave, instinct rose, crushing my will. No! I panicked even as my body caved. I would sentence us all to death! He was trying to break my will. With a frightened jolt, I realized my lips had been parting to tell him…everything.


Finally, I’ve got a great interview with Zoe…


Who is your favorite author?
Really hard to pick one, but I’m a huge fan of Kim Harrison and Laurell K. Hamilton.

How do you describe your writing style?
Humorous for the most part, but also descriptive and emotionally satisfying.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
Take an imaginative, magical mystery ride with me into a world altered by the fracturing of reality where anything is possible.

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?
Probably the character that is the closet to me is Brooke Palmer in Groomed for Murder, my second book in the Going to the Dogs series. She’s a nurturer.

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?
Harper Sinclair from my Going to the Dogs Series, Collared, Book #4. She is uber rich, beautiful, and has one of the most sinfully handsome heroes I have ever created.

What books have most influenced your life?
The Sheik, The Princess Bride, Shanna, all The Dragonriders of Pern, all The Crystal Singer, All David Brin’s books, especially Startide Rising, all Stephen R. Donaldson especially The Mirror of her Dreams and A Man Rides Through, All the Shanara Books by Terry Brooks, The Lord of the Rings, all Phyllis A. Whitney, all Agatha Christie, all Tara Jantzen.

If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?
Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks. Never read another book by him. The hero deserved to live. He worked so hard and he doesn’t get a chance to enjoy his success.
Why would anyone lead it’s audience on a journey about the triumph of love and overcoming pain and sorrow of a lost loved one only to kill them in the end?

Beatles or Monkees? Why?
This is a tough, tough choice. I’m going to have to say The Monkees. I loved Mickey Dolenz, I watched their TV show religiously, and their songs were great!

Who should play you in a film of your life?
Valerie Bertinelli. Many people say I look a lot like her.


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