On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Celta Thursday, Additions to the series Timeline

Celta Thursday, I've learned to add events to the series timeline as I think of them. Newest tweaks: (Note this goes up to 407, the current year I'm working in): Celta Timeline:
On the Ship and the Discovery of Celta:
On the Starship Nuada’s Sword, 275 Years After Leaving Earth

363 Rand T’Ash Born
369 Zanth Gets His Boy: Druida City, Celta, 369 Years After Colonization, Spring

380 T’Ash and Holm Holly meet

390 Rand T’Ash raises his new Residence

394 Muin (Vinni) T’Vine Born

400 HeartMate: Druida City, Celta, 400 years after Colonization, Summer, July (Hazel), Discovery Day (T’Ash is 37)
400 The Turquoise House becomes aware/is born.
400 Draeg Betony Blackthorn born
400 Avellana Hazel born

400 Heart Thief: Druida City, Celta, 400 Years after Colonization, Autumn
400 Old D’Vine dies, Vinni T’Vine inherits at 6 years old

403 Heart Duel: Druida City, Celta, 403 years after Colonization, Summer, Month of Holly/Hazel

404 Heart Choice: Druida City, Celta, 404 Years After Colonization, Spring
404 Pinky Becomes a Fam

404 Nuin Ash is born late 404
404 The Betony Blackthorns move to a southern estate
404 Vinni T’Vine is 10
Bifrona Vine becomes Vine Housekeeper through political maneuvering.

405 Heart Quest: Druida City, Celta, 405 Years After Colonization, Late Autumn BLACK MAGIC CULT deaths

405 Heart Dance: Druida City, Celta, 405 Years After Colonization, Early Winter (two months after Heart Quest, i.e. January/)

406 Heart Story IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS: Druida City, Celta 406 Years After Earth Colonization, Spring

406 Heart Fate: Druida City, Celta, 406 Years After Colonization, Mid Winter (one year after the end of Heart Dance) SAMHAIN = NEW YEAR, SO JUST A MONTH AND A HALF AFTER THE NEW YEAR

Holm and Lark's child born, a boy.
Loridana Itha Valerian Yew born the day before Discovery Day
Ruis and Ailim's 2nd child born.

Heart & Soul IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS, Gael City, Celta 406 Years After Colonization, Autumn (Elder/October) the last days of 406

407 Heart Change: Druida City, Celta, 407 Years After Colonization, Spring (March)

Glyssa, Camellia, Tiana are 12
Ash twins born, Jasmine and Abutilon-Gwydion
Tinne Holly's girl born (Aurea)

407 Zanth and the Treasure, free short/short story

407 Heart Journey: Druida City, Celta, 407 Years After Colonization, Late Summer
407 Script of the Heart: Druida City, Celta 407 Years After Colonization, Late Summer

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Celta Maps...

This one should look familiar. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Celta Thursday, Original Hand drawn map of Celta

Yes, I did this. I've made up imaginary worlds and stories since I was a child. This DID come after part (not sure how much) of HeartMate was written.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Celta Thursday, Original Opening of Heart Search

Celta Thursday: Heart Search original opening (and my original title was Heart Hope): Druida City, Celta, 422 Years After Colonization, Late Spring

"We've located your heirloom amethyst and diamond cuff bracelets," the private investigator said. His craggy face was expressionless on the scry screen hanging on the dark paneled wall near Laev Hawthorn's desk.

Laev Hawthorn, GreatLord T'Hawthorn, kept his own face as impassive as ever but let optimistic hope trickle through him. As far as he knew, those were the last of the Family treasures his late wife Nivea had sold before his HeartGift. "Thank you. How much will it cost to recover them?"

The investigator named a figure and Laev winced. It wasn't at the amount, like most FirstFamilies he had generational wealth that wasn't easily dissipated – though Nivea had done her best. But it was an expense he wouldn't have had if he hadn't made a a poor choice in choosing his wife.

"Residence?" he addressed the intelligent castle that he lived in.

"Here, T'Hawthorn," the Residence answered at it's haughtiest. It didn't approve of the investigator, hadn't approved of Nivea, and Laev was unsure of it's feelings for himself.

"Transfer funds to cover the retrieval of the jewels and Prime Investigation's bill," Laev said.

"Thank you," the investigator said. His eyes narrowed and he continued softly, "Now, GreatLord, why don't you tell me what you really want me to find?"

Heat edged Laev's cheeks. The man was more observant than Laev had expected. He was a master of his craft and several years older than Laev's thirty-two, and though a commoner, there was something about the man that disquieted Laev. Probably the aura that whatever mistakes the guy had made, he'd fixed them immediately...and they weren't as disastrous as marrying the wrong woman in a culture that condemned divorce.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Celta Thursday, Full Uncut Scene from Heart Journey

Celta Thursday: Here is the original full scene of the fight after the ball in Chapter 6, Heart Journey, the scene I'm basing Script of the Heart on, though it has changed significantly from that, too: But now Raz Cherry breathed the soft summer night air as he stood near the steps from the terrace to a side grassyard where gliders were parked. He inhaled the scent of full-blown roses trained over the terrace wall and the heavy air made him yearn for one more whiff of Del's scent. He glanced to the rows of gliders, grinned. He had his own, just like the wealthiest nobles, a gift from his Family. It was parked at the far end of a row, a few feet before a tangle of forest.

With three tuneful notes, he summoned it, saw blurs of black movement tumble from it as it moved. "Hey!" Raz shouted.

"I told you these damn shields would take too long to breach. Should have just smashed and searched and run." A low voice said, began to swear. The man should have known better than to talk in that pitch.

"We had to disable the stun!" the smaller one said. He muttered something and the vehicle stopped, stands clicked down.

Raz suppressed his own shout as he jumped over the low terrace wall, grunted as he hit the ground three meters below. The thieves weren't running away. Noise of shattering glass game but Raz didn't waste breath.

His glider was shrieking: "My virtue is threatened!" The old-time melodramatic phrase had seemed funny at the time he'd programmed the alarm, but now it fed his anger.

The world of black and white was hazed with the red of his anger. Not this time. His home had been violated, his work area defiled, his property smashed. Putting some Flair into his leaps he bounded toward his glider. The smaller person was inside his glider, rifling it. He heard rips.

This time he yelled as he hopped up on a large, old, Family glider parked close to his, jumped toward the large man with a flying kick to his head. The man got an arm up, threw Raz off balance. He landed, rolled, came up swinging.

His knuckles connected with the man's jaw and he grinned in satisfaction, hardly noticing the sting. The big guy swung back, Raz slid aside, but caught a fist on his left shoulder that numbed his arm. He led with his right and got the guy again, as the man stumbled back, Raz hooked a foot around his ankle and brought him down.

More slashing noises behind him, he whirled. "Open!" he yelled, realized the frame was bent too much for the door to rise. Reaching in, he grabbed at the other thief, caught fabric and did some ripping of his own.

He was yanked back and spun around. He jerked his head aside and the big man's hand skimmed his temple. Someone else hit him in the stomach.

There were three!

"My virtue is threatened!" screamed Raz's glider.

"Hey!" someone yelled from the house. The shout was mixed with other car alarms. "Back away, I have stun," from the Family glider Raz had hopped on.

Grinning, he kicked out at the third man, connected. The guy fell back. Raz pounded short jabs on the first man's chest.

"Gotta go!" squeaked the man in the glider. He kicked Raz through the broken window, right into the big man's fist. Pain shot from his cheek through him to rattle his brain.

"No!" the first man said. "Get him and hold him." He yelled to the third. "Play-actor too damn much trouble. Who'da thought?"

"Have a problem with actors?" Johns asked, grabbing the third man from the back and throwing him aside.

"I'm gone," that one yelled.

"Won't get your gilt," the big man snapped, panting. He slugged Raz on the left shoulder again. Raz punched with his right to the guy's jaw.

Yelling, the smaller man flung himself on them. All of them went down, Raz, the big guy, Johns. Raz's head cracked against metal, he landed badly on Johns, whose breath went out in a painful whoosh.

"Gotcha!" The smaller man yanked at the larger, dragged him free, and they teleported away.

"Uhhhn." Raz sat up slowly, put a hand to his head. His lip was cut and bleeding and he thought his cheek was fractured.

Johns lay flat and spit out words in short pants. "Sorry. Too late." He groaned and it seemed to take all his breath.

"You did fine." Raz wiggled his jaw, it hurt, too. A dull throbbing came from his temple. "Many thanks, I'm grateful."

Sudden quiet descended except for Raz's glider. "My virtue has been violated," it said mournfully.

"Want to quiet that one down?" rumbled Cratag Marigold as he strode over, hand on his blazer hilt as he scanned the trees.

"Alarm stop, Cherry," Raz said, then looked to Cratag. "The thieves got away."

There was a quiet woman's sob – not from his glider. "Oh, my poor baby, I didn't shield you and look what happened, your jeweled timer, stolen!"

"This is a bad thing." T'Spindle, their hose, a short, rotund man, said. People cleared the way for him. "Healer needed here!" he shouted, making both Raz and Johns wince.

"Getting my bag!" answered a voice from the direction of the Residence. Obviously the Spindles had a Healer on staff.

"This is a very bad thing," GrandLord Spindle repeated, eyes hard, reminding Raz that the man was of the FirstFamilies and used to playing dangerous politics. Raz's anger eased at the thought that the thieves would truly regret this night. Spindle was easygoing, but he was stubborn and no doubt would make sure the guards on this case were equally stubborn about solving it. Of course Spindle would look at his enemies first.

A large hand curved under Raz's elbow. "Let me help you up," Cratag said quietly, lifted Raz to his feet with ease. The warrior narrowed his eyes. "Looks to me like you need more than stage fighting instruction."

That stung as much as Raz's wounds. He opened his mouth to say something and his lip split. He swore under his breath. "Maybe you're right." He nodded to Cratag as the man stepped away. "I'll think about it."

A lovely young woman rushed close, a Healer's bag in her hand. Johns groaned. She went to him, her hands swept over his chest. She frowned. "I don't sense anything wrong with your lungs."

Johns sat up, smiled crookedly at her. "Just bruises." He tilted his head toward Raz. "You should see to Raz. The three of them got the worse of him."

"Three!" she exclaimed. Her hands continued to stroke Johns, easing his bruises, as he rose to his feet.

"Thanks, Johns," Raz muttered, wincing as his mouth stung again.

"Anything I can do." Johns bowed as the Healer looked on admiringly. Then he glanced at Raz's glider, Cherry, grimaced and shook his head. "That was a real pretty glider, Raz."

The Healer had finally reached Raz. "Broken cheekbone, bad bruise on the temple..." she pressed on his ribs and he yelped. "I think you should come inside where I can treat you." Her voice held the faintest hint of glee, as if her job with the Spindles was pretty boring.

"I'll help him along." Johns was there, crowding a raised-eyebrow Cratag aside and wrapping his equally brawny arm around Raz's shoulders. They hurt, too. Everything hurt.

"That's so kind of you." The Healer smiled approval.

"Let's get you going, friend." Johns tightened his grip.

Raz hissed out a breath, but followed along, fairly steady on his feet, though he felt a little light-headed. He limped. He might have broken some toes. His hands weren't feeling good, either.
Johns actually shortened his stride and slowed his steps. "Thanks, Johns," Raz said. This time he meant it.

"'Welcome. Sorry about you and your glider."

Raz knew that was true. Johns had been open in his envy at Cherry.

"Tell you what," Raz said as they took the steps slowly. "Why don't I ask my father to get another sportcoupe at cost, sell it to you for the same price."

Johns eyes gleamed. "In blue?"

"The same color as your eyes," Raz agreed as they angled through a door to a sitting room that was furnished in a masculine fashion where blood and grime wouldn't show – much.

"Done," Johns said.

But Raz had a nasty feeling that things had just begun....

The Healer bustled in, ordering others to provide hot water, softleaves...She was small and voluptuous with bright red hair and a smattering of freckles. Johns watched her every move. Raz closed his eyes and wished Del was there.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Celta Cut

I've been mostly on Facebook, but figure I need to post here, too. I'm working on a short novel called Script of the Heart that takes place at the same time as Heart Journey, and looking at Heart Journey. I cut several scenes from that book, and here's one of them: Del tapped the rim of the scrybowl to answer. "Here," she said shortly. Both Straif's and Mitchella's faces wavered and solidified into the hologram projected over the water. They both wore serious expressions. Hell. May as well get her concerns out ahead of theirs. "I don't appreciate you coming by to check out my new lover."
Mitchella winced.
Seeing that, Del added. "It was tacky." An old Earth word that kept declasse connotations.
Mitchella took a step back. "Tacky" was not a word any decorator wanted applied to them. Del didn't let her off the hook. "I expected better of you, Mitchella."
Sighing, Mitchella stepped back forward and put her hand on her HeartMate's shoulder. Standing with him, though Del was pretty sure that the whole thing had been Straif's idea and execution and he might not have even talked it over with his wife – just taken the opportunity.
"You know that Doolee and you will always be associated with us. I wanted to see your HeartMate, get a feel for him, to protect– " He stopped as if Mitchella had warned him...or pinched him.
"So the fact that you and I rolled around together and he's my new lover had nothing to do with the fact?"
Straif went still and wary. He wouldn't want to admit to such a masculine urge in front of his wife.
Del let him off the hook, and smiled, though it wasn't a very amused smile. "Or maybe it was just a case of raging curiosity. Of all the people I've ever met, the FirstFamilies are the nosiest."
Now Straif looked surprised. "Well, of course we are. We were curious and adventurous enough to fund the colonization from Earth, weren't we?"
"Centuries ago," Del said. She raised her brows in hauteur. "Now you're just controlling."
This time she saw Mitchella poke Straif in the back. "The highest nobles of any society always are." Mitchella had been a commoner. "But, you're right, his curiosity knew no bounds." She linked arms with her husband. "And he's right, he wanted to protect his Family, he has an oversized sense** of protectiveness."
Del looked down her nose. "If you were thinking that Raz Cherry is my HeartMate–"
"He is, I could tell at a glance," Straif said. He'd hunkered down a little into his balance. "I thought he might be when Antenn said the guy had shown up at your house."
Del's smile turned knife sharp. "Then what made you think he was a danger? HeartMates match. My honor is very important to me, like it is to you, I would demand a man with sterling honor."
"You insulted me and you poked in your long FirstFamilies nose in my business where it didn't belong."
"So don't go mucking up my life further. End scry." She'd said what she had to say, and she figured that Straif wouldn't say anything more about HeartMates to her. She also knew that he'd already checked Raz and the Cherrys out and would continue to follow events...Straif would just be more discreet about everything.
And he'd made her antsy. She wanted activity.

Sunday, December 03, 2017


Vinni's story, Heart
Sight, OUT Tuesday! First chapter is up on Amazon, Bn and Kobo. I didn't see the first chapter up on ibooks, so if it is, let me know

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Celta Thursday, Story Excerpt, Zanth Saves The Day

I'm writing Cat point of view stories, for a collection, hopefully to get out this month. This is the last story: Zanth Saves the Day (no, I'm not done with the others).

Snippet from Zanth Saves The Day:
Beach of T’Ash’s New Southern Estate, 424 Years After Colonization, Summer

Inside the hole roiled a mass of little beings crawling over shell shards, appearing a bit more slimy than he cared to touch.

Lifting his upper lip of his muzzle, he looked at them with a disapproving eye. Very ugly things.

Mostly shell, maybe even too tough to eat already.

Heellllppp!” the things chorused, moving the limbs sticking out from their body shells awkwardly.

And as the words echoing in his mind, his stomach squeezed in revulsion. Bad taste in his mouth, a tickle at the bottom of his throat like he’d vomit. Which meant he couldn’t eat them because they were sentient FamAnimals. Or could be FamAnimals if they grew more.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Excerpt from Peaches Arrives on Celta

It's been a tough year for the Owens family, so I am writing Familiar Companion Cat point of view stories. I hope to have a collection out this fall...Celta Cats. Peaches is the cat on the starship Nuada's Sword, before the discovery of Celta (or right after in this story).

The Fams moved into the corridor and mixed around as a group. Very rarely did they gather in the huge Ship. Now they murmured together in Cat or dog and mental mumbles along their shared stream, enjoying their own furry company. Not just being with their FamPerson and a bunch of other humans.

The hallway looked different than a while ago. Peaches ticked off the days on his claws, more than twenty days. If the time was longer than four paws of claws, he ignored it. Humans cared too much about time.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Heart Sight and Cut from the story Heart and Sword

First, Heart Sight, coming in December, is now out of my hands. I've done the last edits.

Celta Thursday:
This is when the genius Randolph Ash is talking to the Captain (hero) Kelse Bountry. They are still fighting the Ship For Ourselves dissidents.

The doors slid open and Fern walked in. Kelse’s insides constricted at the her beauty. Her hair stuck up a little and she wore a heavy robe. "Kelse?"

"We can’t survive on the Ship longer than nine months," he said.

Randolph Ash groaned quietly.

Fern closed her eyes. After a couple of seconds, he said, "You know what we must do."

An echo bounced off the walls. Fern had said it in unison with him. Kelse’s brows went up. She lifted her lashes. Her smile appeared better, even though she rubbed her hands up and down on her robe under the wide lapels. Tactile Fern. How he loved her.

He couldn’t concentrate on that right now. Had to keep up battle mode. "We’ll find a place. I’m sure of it."

Kelse’s couldn’t believe that. Fern had always been a terrible prophet. Which reminded him. "Maybe we should wake Magus ."

Randolph had bowed to Fern, but now turned his attention back to Kelse. "Who’s that?"

Fern’s chuckle was low. "I’m not a good prophet, but he, Magnus, is. The best prophet we have in the cryonics tubes."

"Oh." Randolph shifted. Only once, but Kelse knew him by now, eyed him narrowly.

"Morale is going to be tough. The Ship for Ourselves Party will contnue to win over others. Glowing prophecies of success would help."

"They’d reassure me," Fern said.

"We can’t afford to lose hope," Kelse said.

"Ah, well, we have Granny Vine as a prophet." Randolph glanced at Kelse. "She’s actually one of you. A descendant of a sleeper." Randolph frowned. "Maybe even this Magus. Her son is named Magus."

"And I haven’t heard of her because?" Kelse asked.

Randolph shot out his chin. "She’s one of us, that is, she’s a member of the Ship For Ourselves party. Wants nothing to do with you sleepers."

"Ah. That sounds like consequences of Magus’ actions, all right."

"I’d like to see her," Fern said. "Do you think she’d visit with me?"

"I think she loves almond cookies," Randolph said. "She’s talked about them over the years. Nothing was ever as good as almond cookies."

Now Fern’s smile lit her eyes. "I think we can do that, at least half a dozen."

"You know the ingredients for ship to make them?" Randolph asked incredulously.

"Of course."

"Even with the cookies, she won’t make up a glowing prophecy," Randolph warned.

"I wouldn’t want to hear a false one," Kelse said, but he prayed there would be good news.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Celta Timeline: Latest

Celta Timeline:
On the Ship and the Discovery of Celta:

363 Rand T’Ash Born
369 Zanth Gets His Boy: Druida City, Celta, 369 Years After Colonization, Spring

394 Muin (Vinni) T’Vine Born

400 HeartMate: Druida City, Celta, 400 years after Colonization, Summer, July (Hazel), Discovery Day (T’Ash is 37)
400 The Turquoise House becomes aware/is born.
400 Draeg Betony Blackthorn born
400 Avellana Hazel born

400 Heart Thief: Druida City, Celta, 400 Years after Colonization, Autumn
400 Old D’Vine dies, Vinni T’Vine inherits at 6 years old

403 Heart Duel: Druida City, Celta, 403 years after Colonization, Summer, Month of Holly/Hazel

404 Heart Choice: Druida City, Celta, 404 Years After Colonization, Spring

404 Nuin Ash is born late 404
404 The Betony Blackthorns move to a southern estate
404 Vinni T’Vine is 10
Bifrona Vine becomes Vine Housekeeper through political maneuvering.

405 Heart Quest: Druida City, Celta, 405 Years After Colonization, Late Autumn BLACK MAGIC CULT deaths

Celta Timeline:
On the Ship and the Discovery of Celta:

363 Rand T’Ash Born
369 Zanth Gets His Boy: Druida City, Celta, 369 Years After Colonization, Spring

394 Muin (Vinni) T’Vine Born

400 HeartMate: Druida City, Celta, 400 years after Colonization, Summer, July (Hazel), Discovery Day (T’Ash is 37)
400 The Turquoise House becomes aware/is born.
400 Draeg Betony Blackthorn born
400 Avellana Hazel born

400 Heart Thief: Druida City, Celta, 400 Years after Colonization, Autumn
400 Old D’Vine dies, Vinni T’Vine inherits at 6 years old

403 Heart Duel: Druida City, Celta, 403 years after Colonization, Summer, Month of Holly/Hazel

404 Heart Choice: Druida City, Celta, 404 Years After Colonization, Spring

404 Nuin Ash is born late 404
404 The Betony Blackthorns move to a southern estate
404 Vinni T’Vine is 10
Bifrona Vine becomes Vine Housekeeper through political maneuvering.

405 Heart Quest: Druida City, Celta, 405 Years After Colonization, Late Autumn BLACK MAGIC CULT deaths

405 Heart Dance: Druida City, Celta, 405 Years After Colonization, Early Winter (two months after Heart Quest, i.e. January/)

406 Heart Story IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS: Druida City, Celta 406 Years After Earth Colonization, Spring

406 Heart Fate: Druida City, Celta, 406 Years After Colonization, Mid Winter (one year after the end of Heart Dance) SAMHAIN = NEW YEAR, SO JUST A MONTH AND A HALF AFTER THE NEW YEAR

Holm and Lark's child born, a boy.
Loridana Itha Valerian Yew born the day before Discovery Day
Ruis and Ailim's 2nd child born.
Hazels suffer a loss.

Heart & Soul IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS, Gael City, Celta 406 Years After Colonization, Autumn (Elder/October) the last days of 406

407 Heart Change: Druida City, Celta, 407 Years After Colonization, Spring (March)

Glyssa, Camellia, Tiana are 12
Ash twins born, Jasmine and Abutilon-Gwydion
Tinne Holly's girl born (Aurea)

407 Zanth and the Treasure, free short/short story

407 Heart Journey: Druida City, Celta, 407 Years After Colonization, Late Summer

Draeg Betony Blackthorn goes to live with Straif and Mitchella.

411 Noble Heart IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS, Druida City, Celta, 411 Years After Colonization, Winter

LAST A'SH BABY BORN, DONTEA Female, jeweler (referenced in Noble Heart)
Ashes: Nuin, Jasmine and Abutilon-Gwydion, Dontea

Trif Clover-Winterberry's second child (a girl after a boy, is born)

D'Yew Dies

Elwyn Clover born (First Child of Walker Clover-Sedwy Grove)

Tinne and Lahsin's son born, Marin.

TAB HOLLY DIES, CAL MARIGOLD IS BORN, gray eyes blond hair

Dalmatia Clover born (Second Walker Clover-Sedwy Grove child) Name from: Trifolia Dalmaticum ,Vis. Dalmation Clover

Draeg Betony Blackthorn is 17. Second Passage and deaths of Tab Holly and his HeartMated parents cast him adrift, he hires out with merchants (through the guild and Cratag).
Cal Marigold is born, 2nd child Signet and Cratag Marigold.



421 Late Winter, Early Spring
Huathe T’Hawthorn dies (3 mos. before Heart Search)

Garrett And The Cat, Case that brings him to Laev T'Hawthorn's notice

421 Heart Search (Laev): Druida City, Celta, 421 Years After Colonization, Late Spring
421 Lena Marigold is born on Bright Brigid’s Day (April), just before Heart Search opens
Nuin Ash is 17
Reglus Licorice last seen

421 Heart Secret (Garrett Primross and Artemisia Mugwort), Druida City, 421 years after Colonization, Late Summer

421 Heart Fortune (Glyssa Licorice and Race Bayrum), Excavation of Lugh's Spear, the lost starship, 421 years after Colonization, End of Summer

421 after colonization, last book was "late summer" and apparently this one is "end of summer"
so end of Aug

421 Lost Heart, 421 years after Colonization, Early Autumn taking place at the same time as Heart Fortune (starting a little before, ending a little before).

422 Heart Fire (Antenn Blackthorn-Moss and Tiana Mugwort), Druida City, 422 years after Colonization, Early Spring) half a year since Heart Secret, Epilogue 6 mos. later.

422 Watson Clover born (oracle says father's Flair, Walker Clover-Sedwy Grove)
Trifolium kingii, S. Watson, King's Clover

424 Heart Legacy, 424 years after colonization late winter (STARTS WITH TINNE 4 WEEKS PREVIOUSLY, SO BEGINNING OF FEBRUARY, ABOUT end of February, beginning of March through March(?)) Heart Legacy

Avellana is 24, Vinni is 30, Avellana is in Heart Legacy

424 Heart Sight, Druida City

Monday, July 17, 2017

Heart Sight Cast of Characters

So here's a peek of those in the book:

The Hazels:

Avellana Hazel (heroine), 2nd daughter of D’Hazel and T’Hazel
Rhyz, Avellana’s Familiar Companion FamCat
GreatLady Coll D’Hazel, Avellana’s mother
GreatLord Chess T’Hazel, Avellana’s father
Coll HazelHeir, Avellana’s sister

The Vines

GreatLord Muin (Vinni) T’Vine (hero!), FirstFamily GreatLord, the Prophet of Celta
Flora, Vinni’s Familiar Companion Housefluff
Arcto Vine, Tutor
Bifrona Vine, Housekeeper, matriarch of the Vines

Vine Guards:
Duan Dewberry Vine (Chief of Guards)

Southern Vines:
Bicknell Vine
Perna Vine
Baby Vine

And sundry cousins, including several cooks…

Garrett Primross, Private Investigator, liaison between the FirstFamilies and the Druida City Guards
(hero of Heart Secret)
Ilex Winterberry, Captain of the Druida City Guards (hero of Heart Quest)

Other Important Characters:

Gwydion Ash, second son of T’Ash and D’Ash
Antenn Blackthorn-Moss (hero of Heart Fire), Architect and friend of Vinni and Avellana
Tiana Mugwort Blackthorn-Moss (heroine of Heart Fire) Priestess and friend of Vinni and Avellana
Cal Marigold - a boy who is the reincarnation of Tab Holly
GrandLord (FirstFamilies) Draeg T’Yew, fighter, consort of Loridana
GrandLady (FirstFamilies) Loridana D’Yew, personal armor crafter

And cameo appearances by various others!

Friday, July 07, 2017

Heart Sight Excerpt and Cover Contest

Belated Celta Thursday Heart Sight Excerpt: The doors to the fighting area of The Green Knight Fencing and Fighting Salon opened and Avellana caught a glimpse of other Hollys—Tinne Holly, who owned The Green Knight, and his older brother Holm, the heir to the man who walked beside her.

With a quick glance, she determined that her Muin and T’Ash were the only other FirstFamily titleholders here.

T’Holly walked her over to the fat rolled mats that served as seats for observers and bowed himself away, joining the other fighters at the line. A groan went up.Avellana had heard that now and then he could beat his sons and be the fighter of Celta once more.The results of his broken Vow of Honor had lingered longer than anyone would have anticipated.

She wiggled her butt until she felt solid and comfortable, and met Muin’s gaze, smiling.He stood at the line on the far side of the room.

Irritation sizzled through Vinni.

As soon as some of his friends and allies saw Avellana walk in on T’Holly’s arm, they moved from their previous positions around the room to crowd next to him to be in her line of sight.

Oh, yeah, he knew what would happen now.They’d try to take him down before his HeartMate, make him look worse than he was.A sharp elbow got him in the ribs as Barton Clover pushed next to him and gave him a wide and toothy smile.Vinni gritted his teeth.

Yeah, there were guys he knew he couldn’t beat, including Barton—the three Holly men, the older GreatLord T’Ash . . . at least T’Marigold and T’Blackthorn were out of town.He wouldn’t make the top five, but he’d be in the top nine.
The bell dinged and the melee began.

Fresh and humming with energy, Vinni spurted away from those who wanted to take him down immediately, headed for targets of his own that he knew he could beat.

Tried to move away from thought to that place where only physical action mattered and his body ruled.Engaged in combat.

Yeah, winning, winning.Defeated both of his own guards, and, no, they didn’t let him win.

This one, tough fight, too long grappling, but won!

*Behind you!* Avellana alerted.

http://affairedecoeur.com/HotGuyzPatrol.html (popularity contest, it's a good thing I can win writing contests...)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Celta Thursday (Belated): Heart Sight Cast of Characters

The Hazels:

Avellana Hazel (heroine), 2nd daughter of D’Hazel and T’Hazel
Rhyz, Avellana’s Familiar Companion FamCat
GreatLady Coll D’Hazel, Avellana’s mother
GreatLord Chess T’Hazel, Avellana’s father
Coll HazelHeir, Avellana’s sister

The Vines

GreatLord Muin (Vinni) T’Vine (hero!), FirstFamily GreatLord, the Prophet of Celta
Flora, Vinni’s Familiar Companion Housefluff
Arcto Vine, Tutor
Bifrona Vine, Housekeeper, matriarch of the Vines

Vine Guards:
Duan Dewberry Vine (Chief of Guards)

Southern Vines:
Bicknell Vine
Perna Vine
Baby Vine

And sundry cousins, including several cooks…

Garrett Primross, Private Investigator, liaison between the FirstFamilies and the Druida City Guards
(hero of Heart Secret)
Ilex Winterberry, Captain of the Druida City Guards (hero of Heart Quest)

Other Important Characters:

Gwydion Ash, second son of T’Ash and D’Ash
Antenn Blackthorn-Moss (hero of Heart Fire), Architect and friend of Vinni and Avellana
Tiana Mugwort Blackthorn-Moss (heroine of Heart Fire) Priestess and friend of Vinni and Avellana
Cal Marigold - a boy who is the reincarnation of Tab Holly
GrandLord (FirstFamilies) Draeg T’Yew, fighter, consort of Loridana
GrandLady (FirstFamilies) Loridana D’Yew, personal armor crafter

And cameo appearances by various others!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Writer of the Year Kindle + Books Give Away Facebook event


Yes, I have been honored by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers as a nominee for Writer of the Year (traditionally published). We also have a bunch of great ladies up for Independent Writer of the Year. We are doing a Facebook event this Sunday (Mountain Time), GIVING AWAY A KINDLE LOADED WITH OUR BOOKS. Come check us out!

I think I will load HeartMate, Ghost Seer, Guardian of Honor, and the others will load their books on, too!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Heart Sight DONE, Excerpt

Celta Thursday, excerpt from Heart Sight (I actually forgot I wrote this until I read it yesterday): Four evenings later, Vinni paused his glider at the foot of the Vines’ hill before the switchbacks upward to T’Vine Residence. Like many FirstFamily colonists, the first Vine had gone overboard when constructing a home. So grand he didn’t want to live inside the city. He’d claimed the hill and spent his gilt — money — in paying for help raising the gigantic castle.

Or maybe Family legend was correct. Only one of the originally psi gifted Family that became Vine made it out of the walled ghettos of Earth and he never wanted to be caught like that again. Thus the hill outside the walled Druida City, the winding road, the three gatehouses, and his own wall around the castle with many towers.

Vinni’s forebears also recorded that the initial T’Vine had a smidgeon of the psi power of foresight, but mostly a great gift for earth moving and translocation of objects. He should have gone into the construction business, but he tormented himself for not seeing the future and the deaths of his clan.

So he concentrated on — and married for — the Flair of prophecy.

As with the other pioneers who’d funded the starships and landed here, the first T’Vine had believed his descendants and the general population of Celta would burgeon as humans had on Earth. He’d built a home to house the huge Family he planned to beget. Now Vinni and his Family of forty-seven lived in a massive castle modeled after one on old Earth. A place that would house the couple hundred of the Clover Family easily.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Belated Celta Thursday -- Soundtrack Heart Sight (File Screenshot)

I don't have a long soundtrack for Heart Sight, especially when compared to the book which now stands at about 125K words.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Celta Thursday: Heart Sight, Work In Progress, Future Celta Thursdays....

This is my Scrivener Binder for Heart Sight, set to the Facebook Cuts folder, so I have a lot of cuts in Heart Sight I'll post here (or maybe put in a book of Celta Extras).

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Celta Thursday, sneak preview of portions of Chapter 1, Heart Sight (yes it has been cut for this posting):

A small artist’s colony on an equally small island had kept Avellana safe for three months. But to prevail upon her to stay, he must finesse the situation.

...He stood and watched her create her holo mural in the small temple....He’d gotten a sweet jolt at the sight of her, as usual, even though those big blue eyes hadn’t been aimed his way. He appreciated how the light touched a streak of white in her medium brown hair, a lock at her left temple that had appeared after her last Passage to free her Flair.

Her old and comfortable clothes didn’t display her curves well, but he knew the feel of her.

Brow furrowed, her hand curved in a wavy motion. A line of textured color deepened the bark of the Ash tree in the center of the GreatLabyrinth. He sucked in his breaths gently, let them out quietly, knowing better to disturb her focus when in the midst of creative expression.

The fact she created a holo for the temple piqued his curiosity. She’d left the dominant faith of Celta two years before, the one that worshiped the Divine Couple, the Lord and the Lady. Avellana had become an adherent of the Intersection of Hope religion. That creed had developed on the starships during the centuries-long trip from Earth to Celta.

He found it surprising that she sat in the middle of CircleTemple. But, on the other hand, she’d only been here on the island for a few months. Not enough time to design and have an Intersection of Hope chapel built, even if she found other devotees.

She stared at her work, finally nodded and added the deep purple curlicue of her signature, then glanced at him. Of course she’d sensed when he’d arrived on the island, stood in the doorway, even if he’d masked his emotions.

“One moment, Muin, while I finish my project, please,” she said coolly.

He did visit her at least once a week when she resided outside Druida City, but she wouldn’t have expected him tonight since she’d be back at her Family home, D’Hazel Residence, the next morning.

With a glance at him, her fingers snapped and all the three-dimensional holographic paintings and murals in the Temple activated. He missed a couple of steps toward her as he staggered through one of the Lady and Lord planting a garden. He swore he could smell the rich herbs, the equally fertile dark brown earth.

A joyful dancing tune began and echoed through the huge temple chamber.....He stared at the two-meter sized, exquisite mural that only Avellana could have done.
She gestured for him to join her by her side and he did so.
Her holo was a perfect lower half-sphere reflecting the actual bowl of the GreatLabyrinth to the north of Druida City. Studying it, she brought her hands from shoulder width together, and the painting collapsed upward on itself until it appeared like a two dimensional rendition, hanging vertically. She stepped back a couple of paces and he matched her strides.

Then she angled the painting to horizontal and pushed it down until it touched the floor and the center round stone, and matched the keystone in size. Muttering encouraging words to herself under her breath that Vinni couldn’t quite catch, she sank her painting into the stone, so the top of the stone showed her work. Long minutes passed and sweat beaded her forehead.

With the lightest brush of his fingers, Vinni touched her temple and whisked the excess moisture away. She chanted a couplet, fast and loud, that rang in his ears, shouted, “Engrave and Set In Stone!” and clapped her hands. Flair surged through the room, knocking Vinni back a step, sending shudders rippling through his body. Secondary creative psi power or not, Avellana matched him in the potency of her Flair.

She moved back to the middle of the temple and crouched down, scrutinizing the circular center stone that now showed her painting. It looked perfect to Vinni. She turned and grinned at him, nearly danced to him, the satisfaction of fulfilled creativity limning her face.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Celta Thursday, Lark Hawthorn Collinson Musings (Heart Duel)

Ethyn Collinson had been the innately gentlest man she'd ever known. And now she understood that it had been the contrast with her Father's unbending harshness that had drawn her to her husband.
His sweet smile, his intelligence, and the strength of his Healing Flair that so complimented her own, all combined in one man, a common man with none of the inborn and taught arrogance that beset those of her own class, had proved to be impossible for Lark to resist.

And now she was contemplating -- when her tumbled thoughts were not being swayed by her so-weak body -- an actual affair with one of the most confident, powerful men on Celta. A man she wasn't even sure she respected. Oh, he had Flair enough, and cleverness, and honor-- She stopped. Ah, that was the quality that redeemed him in her eyes, his own sense of honor. An honor she believed that he would never betray. A following of all the rules and laws that governed everyone on Celta, including GreatLords and Ladies.

And, Lark realized with a jolt, deep in her heart she simply didn't believe in HeartMate love.

She blinked at herself in surprise. It seemed to be a tenet of Celta, a foundation of their philosophy that should have steeped into her very bones with all her other education. But it hadn't. Perhaps it was the fact that her parents hadn't been HeartMates. Nor had her father's parents. Her FatherDam still lived in T'Hawthorn residence, long after her husband's death. And everyone knew HeartMates died within a year of their spouses.

No couple close to her had demonstrated the deep love that the HeartBond was supposed to confer. The closest she'd been to HeartMates was when she'd participated in NobleRituals and HeartMate couples had also done so. She knew there'd been an unusual strength and blending to their Flair, between the two and when they joined the Circle to build the cone of power, but they had been adults and she had been a child, and kept on the fringes of the Circle to protect her from harm, so she hadn't felt it close at hand.

And there wasn't a HeartMate for her. Not in this lifetime. She hadn't experienced any metaphysical connection to another person during the Passages that had freed her Flair, and that was the prime indicator that a person had a HeartMate -- some sort of link during Passage. No, her Passages had been stormy, but controllable, but with no outreaching to touch another's soul. With this knowledge, she hadn't hesitated to marry a fellow journeyman Healer. A man with the potential to be a great Healer, a Downwind man who'd grown beyond the disadvantages of his youth. Ethyn. A man who'd been literally cut down at the cusp of his career by a noble sword when he'd gone to help the fallen in a noble skirmish. The manner of his death had been as great a wound as his death itself, to Lark.
Of course, Holm Holly would believe in HeartMates. His parents, after all, were such. He'd grown up in a HouseHold permeated by the love of HeartMates for each other and their children. And, Lark frowned, T'Holly's sister had been a HeartMate, too, had bonded with T'Blackthorn. And Holm's best friend, T'Ash, was HeartBound to his mate. Holm had been in on that courtship, too, seeing how HeartMates courted and joined, contemporaries of himself.

So he believed.

She didn't.

Then, if she was entirely truthful with herself, there were also the doubts of her own nature. What did she have that attracted Holm so? His conquests of all classes of women, his gallantry and affairs had become nearly legendary. Why would he settle for an outcast from a FirstFamily? A woman who cared little for nobles and their intrigues. How could he prize a Healer, when his own Flair, and that of his Family from the time of the Colonists, had been for fighting?

Oh, yes. Lark could believe in lust, in the sexual attraction that sparked between them whenever they came close to each other. She could even accept that their was some sort of complementary harmony in their natures that let a mental and emotional link easily become established between them, smoothly.

She could admit to those attractions with Holm.

She could even admit that love between men and women could be deep and satisfying. But she couldn't see such a love developing between herself and Holm.

And she simply didn't believe in HeartMate love.

Perhaps for others, but not for herself.

And she couldn't even understand why this thought seemed so odd to her. Didn't she believe that she could be loved?

Ethyn had loved her. She knew that. But she knew the basis of his love had been because she, too, had been a Healer. She knew the trials, problems, and joy of Healing. She could understand him, match him in that.

And Lark acknowledged the power of her own Flair, was confident in it and in the status of FirstLevelHealer.

But did she have such a poor opinion of herself as a person, as a woman, that she didn't know what the Heir to a GreatHouse would find to love in her?


She wasn't even sure who she was as a person other than a Healer. That was the basic tenet* of her soul, the way she defined herself, her image of herself -- Lark, the Healer.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Celta: Ailim D'SilverFir Elder (old) interview. Heart Thief


R: Hey, Ailim.

A: Hello, Robin. It's good of you to meet with me.

R, a little confused: Uh, yes.

A: I'm afraid I'm very disappointed in you.

R, horrified: ME?

A: Yes. I am not at all happy with how you treated Shade.

R: Uh. Not my fault.

Stern look from Ailim: As the author, EVERYTHING in Heart Thief is your responsibility.

R: Didn't you like ending up with Ruis?

A dreamy look comes to Ailim's eyes and her lips shape a faint smile. A: Of course. Though I think you could have spared HIM pain, too.

R, thinking quickly: I believe we have a lack of communication here—

A frowns: Perhaps. It's true I can't read your thoughts and emotions. Probably because you are in Celta's FAR past.

R: Uh, yeah, probably.

A: You know, I thought you'd speak better, too.

R, rolling eyes: My brain connects better with my fingers than with my mouth.

A: I don't understand.

R: I write on a keyboard.

A: Hmmmm. I think I've seen one of those in Ship's History of Earth holo. How archaic.

R, clearing throat: Yes. Well, back to the point. You seem to believe that I have control over all my characters lives. If that were true, you, Ailim, would have no free will.

A, frowning again: You're right. I don't like that idea.

R: I didn't think you would. In any event, Shade made his own decisions and paid the consequences for his actions.

A: I see. As a judge, I'm usually brought in when consequences are required.

R, looking around to make sure no one is watching and reddening a little: I'm sorry about Ruis's ordeal. I'm afraid Bucus and Menzie got away from me.

A raises her brows: Really? Again, I find that hard to believe.

R: Bucus was a bit over the top for some people. As for Ruis's pain, my critique group insisted that he had to redeem himself.

A, scowling now: I didn't expect more excuses from you.

R: I agreed.

A: What is wrong with Ruis redeeming himself over time, in small stages, growing into the VERY honorable man that he is?

R, clearing throat: I'm afraid it isn't very dramatic and doesn't fit in the confines of the book.

A: A very poor reason.

R: Sorry, but you must admit Ruis has his dramatic moments.

A: True and I'm glad you're going to leave us alone from now on.

R: You will show up in other books.

A, very wryly:: I trust you won't be peering into our bedroom again.

R: No. Sorry about that. I also wrote your story – um – more sensually and sexually hotter than HeartMate.

A grins: For that I'm thankful.

R: Oh. Well, you know I had this recent interview and Goldie asked about your background.

A: So you don't presume to know EVERYTHING about me?

R: No. Like I said, you have free will.

A: Humph. You were correct in your detailing of my background (reading interview) : "when her Flair for telempathy developed she was Tested and given several career choices. At the proper age she would have apprenticed and been a journeyman (person?)"

A: It's Journeywoman. (Ailim continues to read) "with a Family that produced attorneys/solicitors, lawyers, judges." I studied with the Klamaths, then was lucky enough to assist the retired, renowned GrandLord SupremeJudge Plantain until his death. "She would then have tested for Master's Laurels in Judgeship and having passed would have started at the bottom of the ladder as a village judge, then worked up to the travelling circuit judgeship that she had just before Heart Thief starts. Her position as SupremeJudge of Druida was based on the type and strength of her Flair and her previous record. Her duties would be to arbitrate and settle disputes." All this is right, so?

R: It occurred to me that I never said in the book why you decided to be a judge. What your motivation was.

A: Must you authors dissect EVERYTHING?

R: So, why did you become a judge? You could have chosen other career paths.

A, tartly: I suppose I should be grateful to know that you didn't "make" me a judge because Ruis was a Null and outcast.

R: Um, no. I don't think so. It was a long time ago I started the story and I don't recall.

A sniffs.

R: Well?

A, looking into the distance: We have Home Study or Grove Study Groups for the education of children. Mother thought I needed to socialize more and placed me in a Grove Study Group of about six girls. One of them was a nasty bully and Grove Study was very difficult for the rest of us...(Ailim shrugs) I suppose that is the reason. No deep dark secret.

R, a little disappointed: Oh.

A: Is that all?

R pulls a sheet of paper in front of her: Not quite. I let it be known that I was interviewing you and got a few more from Pat Henshaw http://patois47.home.comcast.net/...

Ailim huffs a breath: She didn't think I was strong enough. Ha. I'd like to see her go through what I did.

Robin: Really, Ailim, you needn't get huffy.

Ailim, looking down her nose at Robin: You may be able to take amidiversions on my character in stride, but it is a matter of honor to me.

Robin, muttering: Just don't mention Mrs. Giggles. She didn't like HeartMate, liked your story even less, and I truly shudder to think how she's going to loathe a "Healer" story and massacre me over Heart Duel. May as well think of myself as shis-kebob right now.

Ailim chuckles: Oh, I saw the take-off on a Mrs. Giggles review you did off –the –cuff at chat last night. Very amusing, and in her own style. You can always do some more.

Robin, considering: You have a point. Now, on to Pat's questions:

How did she reconcile going against her sworn duty as a judge, particularly since she worked so hard to get there, in order to bask in the peace and love that Ruis offered her? It was the one question that I wanted an answer to when I was reading the book. True, I could think of quite a few answers, but it's not the same as getting an answer from Ailim herself. Love, I don't think, is enough. I wanted her to decide to do something about the laws and to see the flaws in the system in order to be on his side. I wanted her to be more of a crusader, I guess.

Ailim: Laws are rules written to benefit the majority of the culture, HOWEVER, those who have the ultimate power in enforcing the laws must take into account the unique aspects that apply to each individual case. I DID see the how the system could be abused and HAD BEEN abused in the most wretched way with regard to Ruis. I felt that the concept of JUSTICE for Ruis was more important than keeping to my oath to uphold laws and a system that had not protected him. I hope I would have acted the same even with a person I didn't love. But I still believe in the Rule of Law, because I don't think there is anything else that is better to supercede the rule of law. Any system is still a system that can be abused. Now this excellent question has been asked, perhaps it IS time to draft some laws that deal exclusively with the treatement of Nulls.

Regarding a crusade to change the laws and system, that wasn't necessary. If the laws had been properly followed and administered, Ruis would have been protected from the moment he was born. The problem in this instance, as many, is that people broke or ignored the laws and it was easy for them to justify such action by rationalizing that Ruis was a Null and therefore inferior and/or of a lower moral standard than themselves.

Yes, I wish I could have moved more quickly, but at the time I thought that taking on the entire First Families Council, especially when I was unknown to them, would not have brought the result I wanted – clearing Ruis. I didn't think they'd just believe my word. Further, due to the SilverFir debt and loan they were predjudiced against me, too.. I tried to work behind the scenes by talking to individuals, my colleagues, retired judge GoldenSeal and others, as well as some nobles I thought would support me in a power struggle with Bucus T'Elder. If you didn't see that in the story (grins) that fault lies entirely with Robin. I WAS working on it.

Robin, sighing: Oh yeah. Naturally, I thought I'd done that, but guess a couple of more paragraphs here and there would have taken care of it. Sorry.

Pat: If she could give Ruis any flair, what would she give him? Why?

Ruis with Flair? (Ailim laughs, then just shakes her head.) "I can't imagine him with Flair. He'd be a totally different person, not the man I loved. So the question is moot

2) What advice would she give young women who are searching for their HeartMates?

Ailim: Concentrate on yourself and becoming the best person you can be and following your own path. Your HeartMate will happen or not.

3) Now that she and Ruis are together how will she work to get Nulls more respect?

Ailim: I think Ruis demonstrated by his own actions that Nulls are worthy of more respect, but when a Null is born, procedures will be insituted to make sure they are never abused as they were.

4) With time (as we've seen in the first two books), the First Families will be dying off or merging. What does she see as the future of the FF? Does she see the civilization getting more democratic or the FF dwindling until there is only one ruling family?

Ailim: I believe that the middle class will ever gain more power as it becomes larger. We do have other Councils, the Noble Counci, the GuildCouncil,....I think, however that the power in Celta will probably always be with those who have the most Flair – whichever Families, Class, Guild or organization that might be.

The FF came to the planet because of intolerance. Given how everyone thinks of and treats Nulls, could the population be going in that direction again? If so, what does she see herself doing to prevent this?

I am hopeful that all of Celta witnessed the results of intolerance and that it will be at the forefront in everyon'es mind for generations to come.

6) How is she getting along with her new fam?

Ailim sighs: Samba accepts me and I accpet that she is an integral part of Ruis' life. Unfortunately Samba has my Fam, Primrose puppy, firmly under her paw.

7) What is she going to do with her horrific family to make peace and keep the unit together now that one of them has betrayed her?

Ailim grins widely: I have turned over the SilverFir Family to my heir, Caltha, and all the problems. Caltha doesn't seem to be as soft-hearted as I. Menzie has been banished to an estate near the one we are hoping to give to Donax Reed when he marries into the Family. Menzie IS being watche.d

8) When she and Ruis have children, how will she raise a Null? (Surely genetics would give this a 50/50 chance, so she should be prepared, right?)

Ailim: More questions about children! Hmmmm. I should imagine that the general education of a Null would be the same as others – but I think Ruis should be the teacher and perhaps Ship should house any Nulls that are born to anyone. That said, Nulls should also be integrated and socialized with all levels of society.

9) Given Ruis' background and his befriending the Downwind boy, how will he and she work to improve the conditions for children there? How can she use her power in the courts to reclaim at least some of the children?

Those are the questions that occurred to me last night in my half-awake state. If I think of more, I'll email. ;-)

Thanks for this opportunity to ask--

Robin, pressing: Then what about your children?

Ailim looks started. "Children, plural? Do you know something I don't?"

Robin smiles craftily: I AM the author, give me a few prerogatives. Answer the question, Madam Judge.

Ailim: The children will be what they are meant to be. (She frowns) I WOULD like one of them to show an interest in the history and technology of the Ship, whether that child has Flair or is Null, doesn't matter. (Lowers her voice) Ship may never be able to fly again, but there are the smaller dagger ships. (She waves a hand) and the vastness of space. Both Ruis and I love ancient "space music" and the idea that Celtans not be planet-bound appeals to me – to both of us – perhaps to the children also.

Robin nods: A good thing to breed into the line.

Ailim: I am running out of time. Are we finally done, I hope?

Robin: For the moment.

Ailim inclines her head and puts her hands in her opposite sleeves: Merry meet, then.

Robin, automatically: And merry part.

Ailim flashes a beautiful smile: And merry meet again. Thank you for Ruis.

She disappears in a swirl of silver-shot skirts.

Robin mutters to herself. Free will or author's decisions? (rubbing hands and smiling) Ailim will be the first of all my heroines to have a child..

R laughs and turns off the computer.

Friday, April 07, 2017

T'Ash Interview 2: Re: Vengeance Tatt (HeartMate Reissue Cover)

Robin: Hey, T'Ash, I didn't know you had a tattoo.
T'Ash: (smirking) You thought you knew everything about me. Ha!
Robin: (in a small voice) ha ha. (clearing her throat) Tell me about your tattoo.
T'Ash: (raising an eyebrow: You've never heard how the vengeance stalk marks one?
Robin: Uh, no.
T'Ash: It does.
Robin: Do tell.
T'Ash: (staring off into the distance at the starship Nuada's Sword): The tattoo is a matter of Flair, of psi power. I believe it first developed on the generation ships. (He shrugs). You can research that better than I, you are more interested in it than I.
Robin: I 'spose. It was sorta sprung on me.
T'Ash: Now you know what it feels like.
Robin: Tell me more about the tattoo.
T'Ash: When a person formally dedicates themself to the vengence stalk, the tattoo appears, stinging, on the body. Mine is black and red. It is an aspect of the god Arawn, god of vengence. He holds a heart, which means he holds the heart of the one who has sworn revenge. The heart is not then available to give to a mate until the stalk is done.
Robin: Huh.
T'Ash: Is that all?
Robin: Um, so, uh, you had it on the vengence stalk.
T'Ash: Didn't I just say so?
Robin: Yes.
T'Ash: (scowling and looking away, mutters) It also showed up when I went berserk, during the fights with the gangs in HeartMate. No one saw it, but it burned on my arm. I think. I did not look. I was fighting.
Robin: Of course.
T'Ash: I have never felt it since. Never gone berserk since. I will not do so again. (glaring at Robin) Right?
Robin (too heartily): Of course you won't. You got a happily ever after ending and will continue to have one.
T'Ash (narrowing his eyes): I think I see that you have something bad in my future. (putting his hand on his blazer sheathed at his hip). You'd better not hurt my Family.
Robin (llicking her lips): Uh, well, you wouldn't want things TOO perfect, would you?
T'Ash: Yes:
Robin: Oh. Well, I may have, uh, an idea, but you will all survive. I promise.
After a dirty look, T'Ash stalks away.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Celta: T'Ash Interview

I've posted this before, but I'm working on a seminar on Character Worksheets, so here it is again:

Robin: Hey, T'Ash.
T'Ash: Greetyou.
Robin: Tell me a little about yourself. Why don't we start out with the physical?
T'Ash: GLARES. Why?
Robin: I need to know more about you so I can do your story justice.
T'Ash: SNORTS. Huh. I don't care to talk about myself, to be--
Robin: Vulnerable.
Robin: Really, T'Ash.
T'Ash: GRINS. Like that, are you? Sort of like Danith?
Robin: (uncomfortable) Come on, T'Ash, please? CLEARS THROAT. The basics, including physical?
T'Ash: Can't you see?
Robin: WINCES. Puh-lease?
T'Ash: SIGHS HEAVILY. My name is T'Ash. Head of the GreatHouse Ash. It is who and what I am. I am less than 2 meters tall and of a wide build, both inherent in my genes from my family and because I am not only a jeweler, but a smith. My eyes are blue. Light blue, I suppose you would say, and to be precise, the color of a sky-crystal. My hair is fine, thick and shoulder length, I don't pay much attention to it. I am 37. Sometimes I feel old.

Robin: Any distinctive physical marks?
T'Ash: You mean scars. Yes, I have scars. From my Downwind boyhood, from the vengeance stalk. Blaser scars, knife scars. I have hard, working hands with callouses, but am not any sort of beast, my body hair is light.

Robin: Shoes and clothes size?
T'Ash: Shoe size. Large. Clothes sizes, large, need built shirts for my shoulders, but all nobles have their clothes built.

Robin: What are your favorite clothes?
T'Ash: Why should this matter? None. I like the embroidery on my cuffs, showing I'm T'Ash. When I was a child, I never anticipated being T'Ash, it was beyond the realm of possibility. My oldest brother Nuin would be T'Ash.

Robin: CLEARING THROAT AGAIN. Have you been married before?
T'Ash: You jest. I slake my needs in the willing bodies of tavern wenches, pay them well. Noble ladies and their seductive glances make me wary, they do not charge a price up front, so who knows how much they will soak you for? Never married because I was busy walking the vengeance stalk, re-establishing my GreatHouse, rebuilding my Great House, practicing my Flair with gems and making my reputation as a jeweler and my shop, T'Ash's Phoenix, a success. I have been extremely busy. I -- I must admit I crafted a HeartGift during my last Passage, many years ago, 17. I briefly touched my HeartMate then, so I know one soul is made for mine. Why should I settle for anyone else? So, I wait.

Robin: Good idea. Any children?
T'Ash: I am not a libertine. No.
Robin: How about your father?
T'Ash: What of yours?
Robin: Let's not.
T'Ash: See how YOU like questions? SIGHS. Father was Nuin, as all the first sons of Ash GreatHouse are named Nuin T'Ash. He had the responsibilities of the head of a Thirteen First Family, the head of our own family. His Father, FatherSire Nuin, had retired, being bedridden. Father's Flair was for Storms. Lightning. Thunder. He could predict, cause, deter. That's what he did when called upon by the Noble Council. He taught my brothers and me to fight. He paid more attention to my brother Nuin, of course, teaching him the things he should know to be House Head. I loved Father, he was hard but fair. Father's dead, he perished with Mother and Nuin and Gwidion. I, the youngest, survived.

Robin: And your mother?
T'Ash: MOUTH TWISTS. Mother was Jasmine. And she smelled of jasmine, not the Earth plant, but the hybrid Celtan. What a scent. It haunts me sometimes. She made perfumes, light things, she didn't have a great Flair, but was a daughter of a GraceHouse. But my father loved her. They were HeartMates. She chose to die with him. I think she could have 'ported from the window. I guess the firebombspell, the explosion, smoke and fire was too quick for the others to 'port out. I don't know. Rue, the bastard, said if the fire gained a touch on you, it would eat you. I don't know if that happened. I don't know why they couldn't escape. Father would have checked on my brothers, Nuin and Gwidion, then me, first, before 'porting to the HouseHeart or outside, where I watched. I can't recall, now, how quickly everything happened. Except in dreams. Ah, Mother. Father loved Mother. Nuin loved Mother. Gwidion loved Mother. I loved Mother, too.

Robin: How about your schooling?
T'Ash: You have a stupid list. Why do you wish to know? I was schooled at home by FatherSire, Father, Mother and tutors until I was six. Then. Do you mock me? It is true I grew up Downwind, so I learned to survive and be smart on the streets. I can protect what I own. My Flair had just blossomed before the destruction of my family. I had undergone my first Passage, so I knew a little on how to develop it. And I had the book, the history of the Ash family, I had been reading it when Rue and his scruffs took the Great House. So, I did go to a drunken old woman who was once a GrandHouse lady. I paid her precious pennies to give me a smattering of manners, to help me with my speech, even though I continue to lapse into Downwind shortspeech now and again. You would be wise not to ever hint that my education is lacking. I have mastered my Flair, and it is powerful. I weathered three Passages. I can smith weapons, I can quarry stones and shape them, I make excellent pieces of jewelry, all with my Flair. I learned most of this on my own, but for two years I apprenticed with a glistensmith on the edges of Downwind. He was a scruff, a scroungy, stingy master, but he knew his trade and I learned it. My reputation is great and will get greater. My work is sought after. I can turn down commissions and craft what I please. Don't forget that.

Robin: Any previous occupations?
T'Ash: When I was a youth Downwind, it was whatever I had to do. Steal. I didn't do much begging, I came into my size in my early 'teens. Nor did I whore. When I was young and nubile, I scuttled around like a frightened mouse. By the time I was older and tougher, I had other means to me than selling my body, even then I had an affinity for stones. I made divination dice, polished and imbued cheap jewelry and amulets with charms. Things of that sort.

Robin: Your skills?
T'Ash: IMPATIENT LOOK Haven't you been paying attention? I am the best with stones, my Flair is great, I rarely lose a fight. I can design and create new patterns for jewelry and weapons and divination dice. I am a tolerable shopkeeper.

Robin: What was the worst thing that happened as a child?.
T'ASH: SCOWLS. You know. I don't need to say it again.

Robin: Then the worst thing that happened as an adult?
T'ASH: CONSIDERING. I would like to say my last Passage, but that was not so fearful to me as the last two fights that I was in on the vengeance stalk. I went berserk. I deeply fear that. I hate the idea of all that uncontrolled violence within me. Let's not talk about it.

Robin: Your best childhood memory?
T'ASH: I've been having trouble with my memories, even the good ones. I will have to think on this. Waking up on one warm and sunny day, my Nameday? Having all of my wishes fulfilled? A picnic in the grassyard and games later. My Mother holding me. My Father placing his hand on my shoulder in pride. He did that once.

Robin: What about your best adult memory?
T'ASH: Hard to say. Triumph when I got my title and my GreatHouse back, when my family's murderers were dead or banished and I was vindicated before the entire Noble Council. That was sweet. I also felt good when my shop was a success and I knew that my Flair for jewelry was prized. Or when I saw the last layer of armourcrete go onto my new Residence. All very good memories.

Robin: What does your best friend think of you?
T'ASH: BLINKS. My best friend, Holm Holly, thinks that I am too staid lately, that I don't take enough chances or risks. That I have ordered my life too much. I like it this way. Adventurous lives are frightening lives. But most of all they are dangerous lives. I cannot have danger in my life because I haven't yet refounded my line.

Robin: What of money?
T'ASH: I don't think about money too much. My annual income is such that I don't need the annual noble gilt allowed to me, don't want it. I prefer to earn my own through my Flair and my pieces. I charge much and receive it. My jewelry is worth it.

Robin: Who was your most recent lover?
T'ASH: LOOKS ASIDE. I don't have a lover. I visit the taverns when the need is upon me. It doesn't matter which woman I have. I'm not celibate. Well, perhaps this last month or so. Sex is overrated, a physical release and nothing else. I know what a HeartMate marriage consists of. I will wait.

Robin: (glad the sex stuff is out of the way) What is your least liked social situation?
T'ASH: Noble society social events, not rituals, particularly if there are a lot of ladies. I am not comfortable around ladies, I know I am not smooth and do not express myself well.

Robin: Do you have a pet peeve?
Robin: (feeling really foolish)
T'ASH: A peeve? Something so trivial? A pet peeve. Ha! Zanth smells. He likes killing sewer rats and prowling Downwind, and when he comes back he reeks of this awful odor. Though he is not really a pet, he is my Fam.

Robin: SPEAKING FASTER. Your favorite food?
T'ASH: I like cocoa. In anything.

Robin: Least favorite food.
T'ASH: Internal organs of any animal. I ate too much of that when I grew up. Any sort of spoilt meat or vegetables or fruit for the same reason.

Robin: You hate people who.......?
T'ASH: I hate people who abuse others. Are bullies, or evil and kill for the sake of killing or for ambition or greed, like Rue and Flametree killed my family.

Robin: You respect people who......?
T'ASH: I respect people who stand up for their rights. Who fight for what they want. Who endure and survive.

Robin: What was your favorite vacation?
T'ASH: What's that? I love my work.

Robin: Tell me about your best friend and how you met.
T'ASH: FLASHING A GRIN. Holm Holly. I met him when he got caught Downwind during his second Passage. I was in a tavern looking at my beer. He started a fight. T'ASH LAUGHS. Zanth took a couple of pieces out of a couple of scruffs. T'ASH SLANTS A LOOK AT ROBIN. You tell THAT story when you tell his story.

Robin: Maybe, come on, let's hear more.
T'ASH: BEGINNING TO FIDDLE WITH SOME JEWELRY WIRE IN HIS HANDS. Holm's emotions were too strong and influenced me to also flash Passage. I helped him, saved his life, during those innumerable death duels of his. He helped me on the vengeance stalk and before the council.

Robin: Do you have a pet?
T'ASH: A pet? Don't let Zanth hear you call him that. He is a Fam. A mature cat of common origin, but very large, some genetic strain there, I think. He is sentient, and my familiar and my family. He is a tom with an attitude. I love him.

Robin: You live in?

Robin: And before that?
T'ASH: I lived in a guest cottage on the Holly compound before my Residence was built, but I spared no expense on the construction and it happened quickly with top-rated Flaired magecrafters. Before that I lived in a shack Downwind. Before that at my master's when I was an apprentice. Before that -- why think of this? Any hole I could find.

Robin: What do you admire most?
T'ASH: SERIOUS. I most admire whole GreatHouse families, with extended family members working together to perpetuate the line.

Robin: What would you never do?
T'ASH: I would never cheat, do something dishonorable, betray a friend. Why do we have to speak of this?

Robin: What do you want most?
T'ASH: I would most like to find my HeartMate and continue my life and my line. I want her to love me.

Robin: When working through a problem, you talk to.......?
T'ASH: Zanth. Even if I don't talk to him, he talks to me.

Robin: What do you procrastinate about?
T'ASH: Dealing with society women. I do not place myself in situations where any lady is expecting me to do anything whatsoever.

Robin: What do you dislike?
T'ASH: Asking for favors or exchanging services with the Thirteen First Families. You have to be careful, or you will lose more than you gain.

Robin: Your overriding need?
T'ASH: My overriding need or want is to win my HeartMate! She is here. I can have her and her love, and she will be the mother of my children and my line, the Ash GreatHouse, will be assured. This is important because no one has loved me for a long time. Or no human. Cats love in a different, more selfish manner. This is important because I am the last of my line, a line that began on Terra, before the generation ships, continued on the ships and on Celta. It must continue. I cannot let it die, to do so would be to betray my murdered family and all my ancestors.

Robin: What obstacles stand in your way?
T'ASH: I'll not let anything stand in my way. I will change the mind of my HeartMate, make her love her by my HeartGift. I am tired of talking to you. Too much talk and not enough action. Bide well. STALKS OFF.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Heart Fire Cut: Press Conference

This cut portion came from the press conference by GraceLord Equisetum regarding the Traditionalist Stance and the Intersection of Hope Religion. He'd announced he didn't believe their Cathedral would be built. Note, Tiana is the heroine of Heart Fire and a priestess of the main Celtan culture which celebrates the Divine Couple, the Lady and Lord/Lord and Lady.

"I think we should call the Intersection of Hope people, 'Hopefuls.' I know it's a quality that my mother has," Tiana said.

"Hopefuls," someone considered.

"Hopeful for what? Someone else's death?" GraceLord Equisetum said.

Tiana tilted her head. "Our grove study educational system obviously failed you. The Hopefuls believe in taking responsibility for their life journey and helping others along the way. They don't wish ill on anyone. Why would you think so?"

He opened his mouth and she wondered if he'd link the Hopefuls to the Black Magic Cult, as he had years before, but this time he didn't have the panic to excuse himself for any misconception. Still, whenever he'd looked at her, hatred had burned in his eyes. When he'd ruined her Family, he hadn't prospered as much as he'd anticipated. Would he make the same mistake?

His gaze shifted to beyond her. Casually, she angled to follow Equisetum's gaze. There, standing in the doorway was Antenn and another man, taller and older and with a full head of steel gray hair.

Equisetum shut his mouth.

Tiana pushed, she wanted this done for once and all. "Why would you say that the members of the Intersection of Hope faith would want someone else's death?"

The GraceLord stood there, caught. And she realized that he couldn't admit to a mistake. Yet another noble with a flaw engendered by birth and wealth and status.

He couldn't say that he mispoke, couldn't apologize, couldn't retreat, couldn't return to rational thinking. A very dangerous man. The atmosphere seethed with negative energy radiating from him and Tiana knew she'd made a mistake, too.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Heart Sight's cover, Celta Thursday

Still working on Heart Sight, but I got the cover from my editor yesterday:

Monday, March 13, 2017


I'm not sure how many of you know or use Pinterest, but I have extensive pics relating to my books (and works in progress) there: https://www.pinterest.com/robindowens/

Most particularly you can see all the series I did (and stories/novellas/books) I'm contemplating in chronological order. I also use Pinterest for visual information I want to access while writing my stories.

Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Celta Thursday, rough draft of a scene in Heart Journey

Celta Thursday, rough draft scene bit of Heart Journey, and, no, I did not compare it to the final:

Steep Springs, Celta, 407 Years After Colonization, Late Summer, Afternoon

Helena D'Elecampane, Del, rode into the mountain town, hot and dusty from the frontier. It had taken all day by stridebeast to wind up the rough road from the plains to the town and was now late afternoon. After two months in the wilderness, she was longing for a long soak in a private hot spring, a good meal, and a bedsponge. And her HeartMate.

Not necessarily in that order, though it would be another couple of weeks before she arrived in the capital, Druida City, to meet and claim him.

She'd felt him during his Third Passage a while back, which made him younger than her, by how much she wasn't sure, but it didn't matter. She'd liked his mind touch and would no doubt like his physical touch....

"Hey, turn down that music!" A man shouted from the street, and she reluctantly thumbed off her saddle flexistrip player. From his scowl, the guy didn't appreciate the sophisticated sound. Del loved jazz. It was a music that only a few enjoyed.

**Stup has no taste,** said her fox Fam, Shunuk, raising his nose. He was riding on a pad behind her saddle. **Smells bad, too. Eats mostly vegetables.**

Del snorted. "There are a couple of jazz clubs in Druida. I heard places are admitting Fams. A good reason to visit the big city. We can stock up on new holobooks and vizes."

They'd watched all she had dozens of times. Maybe she could see a play or two. "Druida will be fine."

**Many busy people,** Shunuk said, watching a man hurry down a street.

"Yes, and a lot more there," Del said. "Too many people for us."

**Foxes are doing well in Druida.** Shunuk grinned.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Celta Thursday - The Paris Family Home

Celta Thursday, something simple. I've been giving Multiplicity more thought (the new town going up in Heart Sight) -- and know more than will come out in the book -- but this is Dri Paris' and Blush Hawthorn Paris' new house in Multiplicity.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Celta Thursday

Before my family problems occurred, I started a story that I am hoping will be part of an All Fam collection for a minimal price ebook-print book. Zanth Discovers a Treasure, Pinky Becomes a Fam, and this one, Baccat Claims His FamWoman:

Not the time for a civilized, respectable, intelligent cat to be out. A proper cat like himself, Baccat, who embodied great enough attributes to become a Familiar Companion to a human who would treat him right and care for him.

Autumn had faded away with spitting sleet and winter threatened frost, and worse, snow.

His only slightly hardened pads shriveled with cold as he trotted light footed along the cold sidewalks in the overcast night.

Right now he slept in a dirt hollow under thick bushes behind the Turquoise House, another intelligent being, though quite immobile. But before Baccat could ask the House to let him stay inside, last summer when he he had landed newly on the streets of the city, the House had gathered a Family with two cats — one the small Pinky and the other the very nasty Ratkiller.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Ash Meets Holly

Occasionally I wake up with bits of scenes in my head with regard to stories I'm contemplating. Today was like that, so here's an excertp:

Before Rand Ash called for another drink — an ale this time to save his precious coin, the real entertainment of the evening strode in and ordered the best liquor in the place.

People moved away from this guy, too. More due to his attitude than his height. Unlike Rand, what muscles the man had were sleek, formed over a strong, lean build.

Rand stared, like every other person in the tavern, at the man with gray eyes and white-silver-blond hair, dressed in materials so expensive that the amount he’d paid for his threads would clothe everyone in the place for a decade. Most people saw a noble or two now and then, and knew of noble fashion, and this was the latest.

T’Ash reflected on the books he’d read, the one he’d escaped with when he’d run away from the fiery inferno his home had become to the streets of Downwind, his most prized possession since he was six years old. He thought of the lessons and old noblewoman had given him about the great nobles, the FirstFamilies. He frowned as early gossamer memories wisped through his mind. And he examined the guy, the man’s aquiline features, noble features.

Yeah, he nodded, he could guess who this guy was. Especially since the man looked flushed and nervy and T’Ash sensed fluctuations of great Flair from him. That meant the nobleman suffered through Passage, the dreamquests to free the psi power of Flair. Except the fighting Family of the Hollys didn’t. Didn’t stay home and suffer through Passage. They went out prowling, looking for challenges. Fought deathduels.

Yeah, Rand could guess the man’s name and pedigree. Holm Holly, heir to GreatLord T’Holly himself. Holm HollyHeir as he’d be styled.

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