Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Disenchanted Pet by Kate Policani


The Disenchanted Pet

By Kate Policani

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

Short synopsis: Far into the future, the Earth is ruled by the ShaZha, a hyper-intelligent race of alien beings who are plagued by the violence and volatility of the human race. Supposedly intending to repair the broken societies and polluted planet, they have found the Human problem to be much more complex than they ever imagined. Zarah is a Prodigy, an obedient human, with a caring ShaZha master. Zarah wants to prove all her master’s hopes that humans can be civilized and responsible. When she is lost by her master and exposed to the other side of humanity, she must confront the possibility she might be not a valued citizen, but a pet.

I am currently writing my next book called The Stray, a second book set in the ShaZha Earth. It isn’t a sequel, but the story connects with The Disenchanted Pet

Buy The Disenchanted Pet on Amazon (Kindle and Paperback)

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Long Synopsis: The Disenchanted Pet is a short Science Fiction novel that takes place in the popular “post-apocalyptic Earth” setting, exploring the unique problems with the Human Race and how to “fix” it. Zarah is a young, optimistic girl, entering into the exciting world of adulthood with an idealistic perspective. But Zarah lives in the a future where Humanity is ruled by an alien race occupying Earth in order to rehabilitate and repair the planet and its people. Reality intrudes on Zarah’s unspoiled outlook when she is attacked and separated from her SaSa, an alien guardian who is like a parent to her. Trapped within the Feral Facility, pregnant and separated from her home and new husband, she learns all the mistakes about the reality she believed in. She sees that the “Ferals”, who who aren’t serviceable within the ShaZha’s plans, are not necessarily the monsters her Prodigy society has portrayed them to be. Suffering through the harsh truth about her world and the errors in her ideals, she must face a future without the assurances upon which she always relied. The Disenchanted Pet appeals to Science Fiction lovers as well as readers who have never explored the genre before. It explores the disillusionment of growing up and the harsh realities of adulthood, but with aliens.


Fortunes Bought and Sold

For paranormal and mystery fans alike…

Calypso “Caly” Mendelsohn expected a normal day reading Tarot Cards for the tourists in Salem. She definitely didn’t expect her former partner Sandro to show up and demand Caly return the little book she stole. She also didn’t expect her life as a reformed con-artist to get turned upside down. Everything Caly has worked so hard to build is threatened by Sandro’s visit – but before Caly can run from the danger, her next client slides into her booth and things get even more complicated.

Dan Saint James has inherited a shipping company from his grandfather, but he’s made his own mistakes and needs help to make sure the past stays hidden. There are particular skills required to deal with a collection of stolen artwork, and Dan needs Caly’s help to keep the secret stash from being discovered by the wrong people.

Caly’s entire past has sauntered through the front door of the Psychic Parlor and forced her to decide if she really is committed to helping her clients in the most ethical and honest way possible – or if she’s just a con-artist waiting for the perfect scam. Dan’s problem could be profitable to Caly and that might just be more temptation than her black little soul can resist. In order to help Dan, Caly must use her less than savory skills to outwit others who would love to use her past – and Dan’s past – against them.

When there’s a fortune at stake, it’s not always easy to get a second chance.

The Story Behind Fortunes Bought and Sold
The first time I visited Salem, Massachusetts, I fell in love with the way the city embraced its heritage and the way it managed to profit from a terrible past. Salem took a chilling event and turned it into a way to teach tolerance and acceptance while refusing to forget the horrors of the witch trials – and it has a lot of fun doing it. During a tour on the Salem Trolley, I thought about twisting the idea into a story about someone with a past they were not proud of. How could that person move on and put a positive spin on something that was awful? It was on that tour when Calypso Mendelsohn was conceived, and it’s been an interesting experience watching her grow!

So many people go through life trying to keep a tight lock on their less savory attributes, only to discover that those hidden things bubble up at the worst times. Think of the man who cheats on his diet while lauding his willpower, or the woman who consoles a friend while secretly cheering that their perfect life isn’t so wonderful after all. These are not bad people, but their inability to acknowledge their faults leaves them on a slippery slope where guilt and deceit lurk in the periphery and threaten their good intentions.

Most of us delude ourselves to some extent, but I didn’t want Caly to suffer the same fate. There’s something admirable to me when people own their faults and I wanted Caly to have a bit of that honesty. She is not blind to her own faults; if anything, she is well aware of her “black little soul” and “larcenous heart” and struggles to acknowledge her benevolent motives – she would laugh if you called her altruistic. Her ability to embrace her faults and repent her dishonesties is one of her greatest strengths, but it isn’t until another desperate and guilt ridden person needs help that she realizes her own jaded past makes her uniquely qualified to help someone else untangle a sordid past and get a second chance – and that is something Caly believes in.

Caly is the honest con artist who risks her own comfort to help someone else start over. In order to do that, she must rely on the very skills she finds so distasteful – those less than charming talents are exactly what Caly needs to employ in order to set things right. She walks the fine line between doing wrong for the right reasons; she’s good at being bad.

That brings me back to the story of the city of Salem where Fortunes Bought & Sold takes place. While the tragedy of the Salem Witch Trials remains a prominent part of the town’s past, it has also become a lesson for the future. The town has embraced the tale and used it to educate and further the understanding of how hysteria is spread and how the whisperings of malicious people can cause real destruction. The legacy of the Witch Trials is tolerance, and the message contributes to the positive vibe of the city despite its sordid past.

The tragedy in Salem was brought about, in part, by vicious rumors and an inability to stand against the crowd. Sure, there was a belief in wickedness and evil, but the more familiar sins of greed and jealousy played no small part. We are so familiar with those emotions that we tend to ignore their power. Those two emotions play an important role in Caly’s story.

She encounters these unpleasant feelings in her journey and must deal with them because unless they are brought out in the open, they can erode the very foundation of Caly’s plan. The lesson for Caly is the same as the one Salem so brilliantly learned: Embrace and acknowledge the bad, then forgive yourself and do everything in your power to make sure it never happens again – and don’t forget to have fun while you’re doing it!

Available on

It’s time for Discovery 3

For the next few days, I’m going to be posting from – it’s a really nice blog tour site where authors can band together to get a little publicity for their work. I hope you’ll check out the posts – you might just find a new author you’ll love!


Post-Publication Pittfalls

I was surfing because I couldn’t sleep and stumbled across this site:
The League of Shattered Authors”>
I read the post because it happened to be written by one of my favorite authors – Judith Tarr – and once I started reading I actually read through all of the comments (not a common thing for me). I pulled out a few threads from this that I’d like to share with my fellow indie authors.

I just published my latest novel, and am currently living in the “aftermath” of that experience. After writing and editing feverishly for months there’s suddenly a big void now that the book is published. I liken it to postpartum depression because the drive to forge ahead and finish the work is all-consuming (not to mention really exciting) and when it’s d-o-n-e there is a burst of relief and joy followed by…nothing.

When I’m getting close to the end of a novel it consumes me. All other things get put on hold because I just need to finish the work because the fact that it’s stuck on my computer and not finished frustrates me beyond belief. Every day it remains unfinished is torture so I work toward completion every spare minute! The process of completion doesn’t last for a day or a weekend – there are WEEKS of work between writing the ending and finally putting the book up for sale. I edit, rewrite, read, listen, talk to my beta readers and revise again just to make sure it is as good as it can possibly be, but I’m still not done.

Once the publish button is pushed and the work goes live – there’s another read through on my Kindle to catch those odd formatting issues that seem to creep up (I can’t imagine how I read my own book six times and missed the fact that there’s one sentence of dialogue without an opening quotation mark or how I accidentally wound up lighting the “bath” instead of lighting the “path” – I swear Word is just messing with me) and then I fix those errors and I fall into the abyss of post-writing depression – or complete exhaustion depending on my mood.

I think many writers experience this and for indies it can be especially challenging. Once the book is written, there’s a transition from polishing the manuscript to marketing the book then another transition into writing another book. That constant loop is challenging enough, but then the ensuing roller-coaster ride of sales surges and plunges begins – YIKES! I think the emotional stress of that contributes to the disappearance of a few authors who just find that roller coaster to be utterly exhausting.

Add in a publisher with the pressure of contracts, deadlines, and sales numbers and the roller coaster turns into a runaway train with a sadistic conductor. The article I referenced from (the brilliant) Ms. Tarr mentions writers who fall off the map for a variety of reasons – one of which is having their dreams of full-time authorhood shattered by a variety of things. In my opinion, indie authors are particularly vulnerable to some of these pitfalls – and rightfully so.

While an agent and publisher can add pressure, they can also provide a support network – indies don’t really have that network of professionals to push them forward. Indies spend months – maybe even years – pounding away at keyboards night after night, ignoring many things that once took up time (housework, friends, maybe even bathing – although I certainly hope not) and when the work is finished they dash off to…a real life that has withered from neglect and sales reports which are usually less than mind-blowing. It’s tough to start that next book with three months of laundry to do and a yard that is so overgrown there may be an undiscovered species living out beyond the patio. Yet we must…must…must write that next book, because it tickled the back of our brain while we were finishing the last one and the idea is starting to blossom into something that could be awesome.

Why do indie’s get their dreams of being a full-time author shattered? Maybe because it takes time to write a book – so much time that when the writing is over, there are things that need to be nurtured back from the brink before the next novel can be started. It’s hard to nurture when you’re emotionally drained – but that is indeed what an indie needs to do – nurture their lives for a while and let that next story marinate for a few days or weeks or months. If it could be awesome in the aftermath of finishing the previous book, it will still be awesome later.

When everything is humming along again, and you feel like you actually have a life outside of writing, start the next book. If you’re not taking care of yourself, your characters will suffer, your plot will falter, and the roller coaster will come off the tracks. Don’t be shattered – be aware and take the time to enjoy the ride. It’s normal to have ups and downs – how you handle those will determine if you will be in it for the long-term or if you’ll be someone who used to write.