D.L. Keur is a passionate advocate for independently published authors, particularly as they grapple with uphill, most-often costly battles to get their names recognized in a saturated field dominated by trade-published authors with a great deal more backing. She writes fiction and nonfiction under various pen names, including “E.J. Ruek,” “C.J. Country James, and “Aeros” — each of those names sweeping her across a variety of genres, including epic science fiction, unconventional romance in a Western setting, contemporary fiction, paranormal fiction, nonfiction, and . . . well, nearly anything that interests her.
Read more of Laura Belgrave's introduction to DLKeur
I came to know Dawn several years ago through happenstance, and I’ve known no other person with quite the resilience to endure the brutal harshness of North Idaho — perhaps one reason that no matter what anyone else may say, she adheres to her convictions and when it comes to indy authors? You’ll never find one on IndiesRising who hasn’t been submitted by herself or authors she’s come to trust for their own judgment on what, indeed, makes a standout author who writes well and doesn’t compromise just to push out yet another book. In short, not just any indy author has a place on this website, and never will.
Dawn’s history reaches well beyond books, however. She’s an accomplished flutist who’s played in orchestras, a webmaster who understands the nuance of code and scripting, a graphic and video artist, and an animal lover who keeps cats, dogs, two horses and yes, even crows, alive when most others might just abandon them because of the work they require.
You know, clichés live for a reason (though in my opinion they rarely justify usage in a good novel) and in Dawn’s case—though she’ll most certainly deny this—a few modest, but realistic clichés seem in order: Heart of gold. Tough as nails. Honest. Straightforward sometimes to the point of bluntness. Always. In short, if you don’t want her opinion, don’t ask.
To see this multi-talented author’s books all in one place, visit her website at www.dlkeur.com. (Do not, by the way, overlook her blog there. Fascinating stuff.)
— Laura Belgrave
Writing Books Across the Genre Spectrum
An author, an artist, a musician, a web designer and more, some call her a Renaissance woman. Her friends just call her Dawn.
Publishing since the 20th Century, she usually writes under pen names, because she writes, not just cross-genre, but across a broad scope of genres, including paranormal, mainstream, horror, Western family saga/romance, and science fiction. Since deciding to control her own destiny at the turn of the Millennium, she’s independently published six, now seven, books, three written under the pen name ‘E. J. Ruek’, two as ‘C. J. “Country” James’, a two volume science fiction epic published under the name ‘Aeros’, plus, writing as herself, a non-fiction self-help book for serious writers. You can find her at www.DLKeur.com, EJRuek.com, CountryJames.com, TheDeepening.com and lots of other places around the Net.
How to Write a Good Book in 17 Days
Get-it-done self-help for serious writers
A step-by-step how-to guide on how to write a good book quickly and efficiently, written by an author who swore it was impossible …until she did it herself …three times in a row. And she’s a dedicated ‘pantser’, not a ‘plotter’.
Now, you can, too.
A must-have book for all serious writers who want and need to pay the bills doing what they love.
FROM THE AUTHOR: Way back before I set a moratorium on publishing my novels because of piracy, I set out to write at least two books a year. And did it. In fact, all three of my Montana Love Story novels were written in a month and under, with the second and still unpublished third book drafted in seventeen days and sixteen days, respectively. It was something which I hadn’t thought myself capable, that is to write a good book — one of my books — in shorter than a year. I proved to myself that I could …only to quit publishing in a fit of temper about all my books having been pirated, even those exclusive to Amazon. A full two years plus from my previous novel’s release, an author friend’s needs prompted me to put my process down in an orderly, organized guide. Here it is in “How to Write a Good Book in 17 Days: Get-it-written self-help for serious writers.” — D. L. Keur
D. L. Keur writing as E. J. Ruek
To Inherit a Murderer$4.99
At seven, William killed his mother’s dog. At ten, he stabbed his father with a letter opener. There’s the murder of the family maid.
Willed custody of her best friend’s son, Deborah brings home a boy driven by hatred and rage. Injured by him the very first day, he threatens her carefully secured life with increasingly violent acts.
But William begins to believe in Deborah as he has never believed in anyone. When Deborah starts to trust in William, though, death answers.
A chilling account of a woman who, against her better judgment, reaches out to a boy everyone has pegged as evil. –Liz Brenaman
Reuk is up there with the best. Crisp, balanced prose. A unique, well-told story. And a protagonist and antagonist the reader won’t be able to get enough of. I’m thrilled The Ward is just the first book in a series. …The Ward is the reason I keep sifting through the galaxy of small and independent publishers; the novel is unique, and it’s very good. –Clayton Bye, Reviewer
Old Hickory Lane$5.99
Gifted with animals, but not very people savvy, a horse vet tries to survive private practice in rural North Idaho, despite poverty and prejudice, his own and that of the farm folk whose animals he treats.
Excerpt from a review by Clayton C. Bye of Chase Enterprises Publishing
Never have I read a story like this one. The novel has all the characters: quirky, bitter, angry, rude, stand offish, passionate, caring and otherwise. Similarly, Ruek treats her animals like the intelligent and full-of-character beings they are. And when something goes wrong, her vet(s) perform detailed procedures and surgeries that only a true insider would know. For realism at its finest and for the very best in heart stopping drama, I award this novel 5 stars and the Chase Enterprises Publishing Award of Excellence!
A Short Story Anthology
Slightly Disturbing Stories$2.99
an illustrated collection of paranormal, dark fantasy, & urban contemporary tales
This book is dedicated to all those who like a nerve-tingling story that ends well for the innocent and good.
There’s no ‘gruel’-no gore and cruel. There’s nothing to make you scream or hide your eyes. There’s no sexual perversion. What there is might bring a tear of joy at story’s end and make you squirm a bit in the middle, but, regardless, the stories will stick with you, each a slightly disturbing ripple in your memory. It’s not what’s shown or told; it’s what’s left unsaid that echoes …forever.
D. L. Keur Writing Science Fiction As ‘Aeros’
A Gathering of Rebels
Both Books for $7.98
a story so big it took 2 books to tell it.
In a cosmos filled with myriad and diverse species, freedom is prized above all else. But freedom means nothing without life, and the corrupt are killing the free, planet by planet, system by system, against all rule of law. To stop it, enforcement requires cooperation from Alta Andromedi, the oldest and most powerful empire in the Omniverse. Isolationist to an extreme, though, the Andromedans refuse to intervene, so a group of disparate rebels, each powerful in their own right, concoct a plan to force them to, plunging all involved into a cataclysmic conflict that could unravel the very geopolitical institution both sides hope to save.
They were a gathering of rebels
Thrown together, not by happenstance,
But by design and intrigue—
The Ben Drom’s design
And the Cadre’s intrigue—
Except for one wild radical,
One unpredictable element,
Who threatened to undermine
The efforts of all sides involved,
and all because of one small minor—
A Syrene who belonged to
None other than the Ben Drom.
They were a gathering of rebels,
Fighting one another and themselves
In a clash of titans.
A Country James Novel Series (written by D. L. Keur writing as C. J. “Country” James)Buy Both for $10.98
Through Better & Worse,
a Montana Love Story
Getting a boot in the door almost costs Jake Jarvis his life. It does cost him two good hats, some jail time, and a whole bunch of money.
But Dree won’t see him for dust.
Guns, roses, and the flow of raw whiskey takes them both Through Better & Worse.
More About This Montana Love Story
Dree Blake thinks Jake Jarvis is a jackass after he nearly runs her off the road. Jake doesn’t think much of the dumpy girl or her mule and beat-up, old trailer. When the two finally meet and Dree doesn’t tell Jake’s hard-nosed cattleman grandfather about the near miss, Jake’s surprised and grateful. When she saves his life, he knows, for sure, she’s made of different stuff than the gals he’s been dating.
Jake wants to get to know who this Dree is, up close and personal, but Dree won’t see him for dust. Attempted date rape and her own parents’ vitriolic marriage have put her off men completely.
The battle of wills gets violent, and the families step in when blood spills, but even that won’t stop their headlong rush for a showdown.
To Have & To Hold
A Continuing Montana Love Story
I wanted you laughing, I wanted you weeping, I wanted to fill you with sorrow and joy. So that’s what I wrote.
The story? Love, friendship, and bitterness—Franklin’s and Jake’s, Catherine’s and Dree’s.
Thank God for Lane.
This is a semi-sweet love story. There’s cursing, but nary a sex scene. It’ll still have you feeling butterflies, though…and provoke wicked grins from the men.
MORE ABOUT To Have & To Hold
Only six weeks married, and the pressures of life on a big, working ranch take their toll on Jake and Dree. The newlywed glow has vanished, and so has Jake’s granddad, ranch owner Franklin Jarvis. He’s gone. That leaves Jake, struggling to manage it all. He’s stressed and exhausted. And Dree hasn’t the power or the knowledge to help him. Worse, when push comes to shove, Jake seems to take everyone else’s side, except hers.
When Franklin does finally surface, it’s all over local news. There’s a name and a picture attached, and a little snooping uncovers that Franklin’s been seeing a young, big city whore from back East – taking a sex vacation at the expense of the ranch and Dree and Jake’s happiness. At least, that’s how Dree sees it. …Franklin? When she confronts him in private, he tells her it’s none of her business. But she makes it her business, and all hell breaks loose. …Because Franklin loves Catherine, and that’s the rest of the story.
In this book, I wanted to show the similarities and differences between Jake and Franklin in their way of thinking and doing things. Old Man Jarvis, Franklin’s dad, knows how similar they are. Franklin doesn’t. Doesn’t see it. Jake doesn’t, either. He thinks he can’t ever measure up, not even to handling the ranch and the businesses, never mind holding the whole family together.
Jake’s young. Hasn’t got it quite figured out. Franklin’s an old hand…but, sometimes, he can’t figure it out, either. Despite their similarities, their personal choices and life experiences see their pathways diverge, Franklin’s hopeful and forward-looking, Jake’s murky and embittered.
I also wanted to show Dree and Catherine-Dree’s rebellion, finally, against years of abusive patriarchal domination as well as her suffering the confounding familial issues which her young, fragile psyche found too much to bear, this compared to and contrasted against Catherine’s plight because she rebelled against a matriarchal society and, in consequence, lost everything-her family, her people, her self-respect, her hopes for fulfillment and happiness, and, almost, her life.
The story is one of parallels, of Franklin’s and Jake’s, of Catherine’s and Dree’s – parallels travelling opposite directions, one towards joy and fulfillment, one towards misery.
This is a love story, a continuing Montana love story, about a family who gives a damn and tries very hard to do the right thing. It’s a story about sacrifice, about hurting and healing. It’s a story of change, of caring, and about surviving challenges that can beset us-our responses to them. Mostly, it’s a story about promises-those to be made, those to be kept, and those that are or have to be broken.
Reader Reactions to To Have & To Hold
“These books are about real ranching people. There are animals. There are sometimes gory details. These books are REAL.” –Marva Dasef
“An intriguing and heart-felt story about family, values and love. 5 Stars” –Clayton Bye, reviewer
A Few SF Short Stories by Aeros
Dead Chicken Coffee,
A hacker gets interviewed, exposed, challenged, and propositioned.
After centuries, they emerge, stronger, more canny, and less tolerant. One man knows their song. Only one.
Knocked cold during an attack on the ship, Kai who’s new to the strange ship, struggles to find his way in the chaos of disintegration. Everybody’s gone except some non-hominid pals. In the haste to abandon ship, everybody forgot him.
A short story from the SE epic by Aeros.
Welcome to Your Nightmare,
A Reality Check, SF
This guy got one. Maybe you should, too.