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, October 20, 2016

Celta Thursday

Here is an age/people list for Heart Legacy (and Heart Sight, a few months later, my work in progress). Year 424 after Colonization:

Lahsin Holly is 35
Muin (Vinni) T’Vine is 30
Draeg Betony Blackthorn is 24
Avellana Hazel is 24
Dani Eve Elder is 20
Nuin Ash is 20
Loridana D'Yew is 18
Aurea Holly (Tinne and Lahsin’s girl) is 17 (Passage? Death Duels?)
Jasmine Ash and Abutilon GWYDION Ash are 17
Dontea Ash is 13
Elwyn Clover is 12
Cal Marigold is 7
Dalmatia Clover is 7
Marin Holly is 10
Lena Marigold is 4
Watson Clover is 2

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ghost Maker out! REVISED Blurb

I had Family Stuff yesterday, so I didn't post on Ghost Maker release day!

Here's the blurb:
Clare Cermak has a gift for speaking to ghosts of the Old West, but in the latest from the author of Ghost Talker, she may soon join their ranks...

With Clare’s health fading, she and her partner—the love of her life—detective Zach Slade, head to Manitou Springs, Colorado, in search of the only healer who can help them: the ghost of Sister Juliana Emmanuel, whose healing skills live on in the afterlife.

Unfortunately for Clare, the nun’s ghost is elusive, and the town is teeming with spirits who all want to speak with Clare—newer ones, street kids who've been killed and want their bodies found and their murders avenged.

Now, with the help of Zach and Sister Juliana, Clare must find the killer before he strikes again. But to do so, she will face an evil that could destroy everything she and Zach hold dear—including their love..

Friday, October 14, 2016

Belated Celta Thursday: Nuin Ash's Story

My entire notes for Nuin Ash's story (at least 3 down the road):

Nuin's Story
FirstSon and Heir to T'Ash and D'Ash
Doesn't have a good handle on his Flair. It's erratic.
Maybe he isn't a pure Fire mage, everyone assumed he was a Fire Mage but he wasn't tested. DON'T BELIEVE THAT.
Maybe he likes being a fire mage and told his father he didn't need the testing stones. HUH!
What he has to do in his is accept who he is in addition to a fire mage.
Maybe he isn't a flashy fire mage, he is something more quiet

And maybe I'll play with Black Desert Character Creator so I can visualize him.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Celta Thursday: My current ideas:

Celta Thursday: My current ideas:


Garrett Primross Detective Stories (4)
1 case where he meets Laev T'Hawthorne (working)
His viewpoint of the events at Darjeeling's Teahouse
1 case down south with the boy he gave the blood transfusion to
1 case getting the elder Mugworts out of the sanctuary and into the city

Ash meets Holm (working, in an anthology if I turn it in on time)
MAYBE: Ash and Holm on the Vengeance Stalk

D. House Becomes Intelligent (working, in a different anthology)

3rd Cat POV story for a collection, Baccat Snares His Person

Script of the Heart (working)
Klay St. Johnsworth, actor, and Giniana Chervil, Healer

Claif Clover in the southern continent (Maybe)

Novels, current order:
Heart Sight, due November 30, WORKING

Heart - Gwydion Ash
Heart - Dani Eve Elder
Heart - Betony-Blackthorn

And that's it, folks.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Ghost Maker Excerpt, Day 8, October 5, Last Day.

I only have a few paragraphs for that day, and no photo that Zach took and hung, but here's one from Manitou Springs anyway that is always good: In the morning, when Clare and Enzo returned from marketing and her Beginning Yoga session, they found Zach hanging a new, framed picture. When he stepped back, she blinked at the beauty of the photograph.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Ghost Maker Excerpt, Day 7, October 4

I spent a lot of time and have many photos of Navajo Spring and the arcade (and Clare and Zach and Enzo spend time there, too).

Excerpt: The ghost of the nun, Julianna Emmanuel, wasn’t near the wall, or on the opposite side of the area, sitting on the rock, and the cool and shadowy space was empty. No one ate at the red picnic tables, not one child clambered to sit on one of the amusement rides line in rows.

Clare walked over to the ride directly across from the spring, a bull, that Julianna Emmanuel had eyed occasionally as if the girl inside her wanted to perch on it. Clare crossed to the spring trickling in the mosaic wall. Nothing. Not one sway of gathered folds of a nun’s habit, the lighter shade of her wimple. And no other shades of gray apparitions. Sighing, Clare said, “I hope we don’t have to go back to Miramont Castle and Montcalme, where she lived. I know that castle is haunted with at least one or two spirits from my time period.”

**I will look there!** Enzo loped away up the canyon.

But as Clare breathed deeply, appreciating the mountain air and letting her mind calm from squirrelly thoughts of what she should say to the young sister to help them both, she suddenly remembered a previous conversation. “I think I know where she went.”

Monday, October 03, 2016

$2.99 Ghost Maker Excerpt, October 3, Day 6

Ghost Maker Excerpt http://amzn.to/2cFzPZL : I haven't spoken of Zach's gift of foresight, or of the search for missing boys plot...so here's a bit of both: Two crows cawed as they slanted across his windshield.

**Two for luck.**

A spurt of relief trickled through him.

Until the next singleton. **One for sorrow.**

Throughout the rest of the drive, he noticed one crow at a time.

One, and one, and one . . . but not together in multiples. One at a time.

He needed more. More help, more guidance. Just. More.

He tried to relax again. Cops and private investigators often had to clean up messes, so they could be mostly reactive to an initial situation. But they could also be patient, too, and when they had to act, they could and would—swiftly. He would. Right now he was in patient mode.

Zach still wanted that omen he waited for desperately.

Keep the mind clear but the senses sharp.

Then on the fence posts as he turned into the resort where they stayed, sat three solid and black crows . . . and one not so defined. As he blinked, they all faded, and he found his throat tight.
**Four for death,** but one hadn’t been substantial.

Zach decided that meant that more death could be prevented.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

$2.99 Excerpt Ghost Maker, Oct 1, Day 4 of the Book

Clare left Zach to his work and showered and changed into a medium-weight cashmere sweater and her light leather jacket. Natural clothing seemed to insulate her from ghost-cold better, especially outside. Checking her watch, she saw she could expect the car shortly

In the living room–kitchen she paused to change the wall calendar featuring the Garden of the Gods from September to October. A tiny chill snaked down her spine. The month of ghosts. And at the end of the month sat Halloween, the evening of All Hallows’ Day, All Souls’ Day. Would those days be easier or harder on her? Was it true that the veil between life and death was thinner then? Would the gray dimension be closer? Transitions smoother?

The only way to find out was to live through the days.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Excerpt from $2.99 Ghost Maker Coming Oct 18!

Continuing with my Ghost Seer Series Calendar, this is September 30th and the 3rd day of action in Ghost Maker (not published yet).

Zach went to the striking contemporary iron and ceramic fountains while Clare concentrated on reading the information set on stands. Enzo sat close to her feet, canceling out most of the heat of the sunshine.

The phantoms are curious and a little afraid. It’s been a long time since someone who could help them transition has come. He sniffed. Most are old and locked into old paths of status and clothes and who died of what. That seems to matter to them.


I will go talk to them. He grinned, yapped, and ran toward the shades, who saw him coming and clumped together. That just made him happier as he ran around them as if herding them. There is only maybe one person who could use your help at this time, Clare, Enzo projected.

No, Zach sent back to the ghost Lab.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Celta Thursday, Cut Scene from Heart Secret


Artemisia awoke early the next morning, at the sound of dawn songbirds singing outside her window.

She wanted to sleep more, lounge in bed after the intense few days...and, all right, pull the covers over her head and forget the deep wound inside her.

But more than lost hope weighed on her emotions. There was murder, and the discovery of the murder weapon, and how her Family was being implicated again.

She had to take the knife to the guards.

Scritch, scritch, scritch. Whoosh. Flop.

Jerking to sit, she followed the sound...and her mouth opened in surprise as she watched a Fam opening swish back and forth in the bedroom door. Randa waddled toward her, and she let out a sigh. She had a Fam, another blessing.

Randa hooked her claws on the long comforter that draped over the elevated bedsponge and climbed up. **Greetyou, Famwoman.** The raccoon's muzzle lifted and her mouth stretched in a smile, showing little pointy teeth. She hurried over to Artemisia, stopped to sit and clasp her paws together as she stared at Artemisia's body under the covers.

Artemisia patted her lap. "Come on."

Randa ran up the angle of her body and snuffled under Artemisia's chin, leaving a slight wet smear. **Love you, FamWoman!"**

"I love you, too."

"Today we make my room and my place and my toys and all my stuff?"

"Residence, have we ever had a raccoon Fam?" Artemisia asked, not quite sure what Randa would need, but petting her Fam was nice, though when she moved her feet, Randa got distracted and attacked her toes. Laughing, she played with the young raccoon. It didn't matter that claws were shredding her old comforter, though she slyly spellshielded her pillows...

A horrible, long crreeeaaakk interrupted them and Randa ran up into Artemisia's arms and they both watched paper stretch, then crack as an old door in the far bedroom wall opened. A door to a room that Artemisia didn't even know was there. But she was the only one inhabiting the third floor and only used three rooms.

And they both sneezed as a cascade of dust rushed into the room. Artemisia hopped from the bed, snapping, "Third level housekeeping spell."

Suction pulled at her hair and her nightshirt, rattled and spun her knick-knacks. Randa cheeped and buried her long nose against Artemisia's neck.

When all the dust vanished and everything gleamed, Artemisia walked across the thick but faded Chinju rug to the dim open hole.

**Smells good. I think it will feel good on my pads!** Randa said, scrabbling and ripping Artemisia's thin cotton shirt. She'd have to get sturdier sleepwear. She put Randa on her paws and the raccoon shot into the dark room and chittered at her.

**It is nice and dark even when your room is light and makes me sleepy, and it has a little window just for me and a wonderful tree branch outside the window and my own tree!**

"Wow," Artemisia said, examining the tall and narrow tree dubiously.

"We have never had a raccoon Fam," the Residence finally said. But I have housed cats and I have data from the starship Nuada's Sword about raccoons on ancient Earth. I have also accessed and added to my ResidenceLibrary all information recarding the animals that the Public Library contains.

"Wonderful," Artemisia murmured, stepping into the small room. I was more like a narrow closet than anything.

"Our new Fam will need toys–"


"And indoor climbing trees like cat Fams prefer–"

**Yes, yes!**

"And we can move a no-time food storage unit and Fam dispenser into this room, along with a mattress and bedding."

**I will mostly sleep with my person,** Randa said, then added, **though it will be good to have my own bedsponge.**

"Raccoons can also use litter boxes."

**I will go outside.**

"Even when winter comes?"

**Yes.** The young Fam stopped and sat on her haunches, looked over at Artemisia. **This room is perfect!**

"Thank you, Residence," Artemisia said.

**Thank you, Residence!** Randa repeated.

The window opened and Randa sniffed hard. **My tree smells good and my room smells good and my FamWoman smells good. I am a lucky coon.** She scuttled along the footboards, then as Artemisia watched, she climbed up the door molding, over the door and back down, stopped under the window and stretched her front paws. But the window was high in the wall and the wooden pannelling appeared antique and beautiful. Artemisia swooped down on Randa.

She screamed a little and nipped Artemisia's fingers. With a gasp, Artemisia let go and caged her in a floating anti-grav spell. "Ouch!"

**You surprised me. You moved too fast. You pounced.**

After a deep breath and the Healing of the small tooth punctured on her fingers, Artemisia said, "All right. I won't do that again."

**You must warn me before you pick me up.**

"I'll do that. And I'll say 'no,' when I want you to stop doing something. And you will listen to me."**

Randa huffed, but said, **All right.**

"The pannelling is beautiful and I don't want you to scratch it or ruin it."

**I need to get to my window!**

"I'll put a carpeted cat post here for you."


"There is a Fam storage area with cat posts and Fam beds and toys in the attic," said BalmHeal Residence. "I am pleased that you are happy with your room, Randa."

**Yes! I am! And I will be a good Fam. I will no longer be a feral coon. I will stay on the estate. There is no reason to go outside the walls. I am home.**

Artemisia smiled, and slowly dissolved the spell so she could hold her Fam again, looking into the small eyes, she said, "Yes, you are."

Friday, September 23, 2016

Belated Celta Thursday, cut snippet from Heart and Soul (in Hearts and Swords: Genista and Cardus)

He held her tightly against his body, whispered in her hair. "I was afraid you'd never let me close, loathe the fact that I'd been hired to keep watch over you – as you figured from the first moment."

She sighed and it only made the fit of her to him better. "Thank the Lady and Lord you were." She spaced her words steadily. "On the whole, the Hollys are a good family." A huge admission that she'd released some of the bitterness to her ex-husband's parents who'd brought the curse down that caused her to miscarry.
Cardus' hand stroking her hair and back stopped and she understood he knew everything about her – yet still didn't judge.

His chest expanded under her own as he took a deep breath. "You know that your ex-husband found his HeartMate," Cardus said very, very carefully.

"I had heard." She looked up at Cardus' less chiseled, more ruggedly commoner features. How dear they were, this man who loved her for herself. Not her beauty, not her rank, not her treasures. Respected and loved the woman he'd discovered in the small house in Gael City.

Again his face was frozen in that impassivity that she knew covered deep emotions, but a wildness in his green eyes betrayed him.

"He's a good man. We knew we weren't HeartMates, but my father had something he wanted. Love grew between us once, then died. I am glad for him...but he is not you." She stroked his hard and still watchful face with her fingertips, feeling the slight coarsness where his beard grew. A strong man. A real man. Finally a man for her? "I want you."

"You have me. Forever."

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sept 20 - Ghost Talker Excerpt (re: Clare's Gift from the Universe for Ghost Killer)

Amazon: Sept 20 - Ghost Talker Excerpt (re: Clare's Gift from the Universe for Ghost Killer): Scowling at the bag in Zach’s hand, Rickman said, “Why are you bringing that here to the office?”

“Clare didn’t want it at her place. She’s still going through the boxes delivered to her from her great-aunt’s house in Chicago.” A lie in the way he’d put the two sentences together, but this time Rickman didn’t pick up on that. His frown stayed fixed on the canvas grocery bag.

Rickman grunted, then said, “I don’t want it in my office safe either.” With a jerk of his head, he turned on his heel. “There’s a general building safe down here.”

Rickman led the way to the main corridor and went left, wended through another couple of hallways. Finally he stopped at a nondescript door and blocked Zach’s view of the numeric keypad he used to open the door. The action irritated Zach a little. *He* was the ex-cop here. He could be trusted. He’d bet his substantial disability pension that Rickman and his special-ops guys had broken through more than one vault.

So he stopped just within arm’s reach of the man and offered him the bag by its handles, smiling. “Go ahead and stow it. I’ll let you know when we need it back.”

Obviously Rickman didn’t like the idea that he’d have to retrieve the thing. They stood a solid minute staring at each other. “You’re new to my company and still in your probationary period.”


“Geeze.” Running a hand through his hair, Rickman took the bag and slid silently into the vault. The hallway immediately felt better to Zach. Still had a faint smell of machines and a trace of gym, but felt fine.

When Rickman came back, Zach noted the slight sheen of sweat on his forehead. Interesting that the portrait had physically affected Rickman. Before the door slid shut, Zach began walking to the gym.
Rickman caught up with him easily, of course.

They were back at the elevator bay before Zach said, “Psychometry, the ability to learn facts about an object, or the people who owned the item, by sensing vibrations or whatever from the object. You could be useful.”

“That’s what the government thought, though my commanding officers never referred to any little skill I might have.” Teeth clenched and jaw angled up, Rickman stared straight ahead and not at Zach.

He took a couple of paces toward the door to the parking garage.
A while back Zach had realized his old tribe of police officers only welcomed him as one who’d lost the good fight, but that he could make a new place for himself in Rickman’s small tribe of operatives.

An honored place, since he had more investigative skills and training than all of the others put together. He hesitated, but if he wanted that tribe, he had to act, and now.

Buy at amazon:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ghost Talker Days -- Sept 19 -- EXCERPT

A chuckle escaped Zach. He shook his head and grinned. “Seems like Mrs. Flinton convinced Welliam yesterday to hire us on to officially find the poltergeist haunting Buffalo Bill’s grave.”

Clare’s lips pinched. “We were doing that as a pro bono, a service to the community.” She sounded offended at having Rickman orchestrate things. Her brows came down as she stared at him. “I thought you were all about serving and protecting the public.”

That caught him on the raw, but he knew she didn’t mean any offense. He unclenched his teeth, then said patiently, “Clare, this is not a case that the Denver Police Department wants to handle—that ANY public law enforcement officer would like to handle.”


“And it’s not a case they could handle. We can. Me, you, Enzo, and the ghost of Texas Jack.”

She nodded.

Zach appealed to her baser self. “And I’d prefer to be paid for taking care of the mess. How about you?”

“That’s true.”

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Celta Thursday, A couple of Naming Notes

Celta Thursday, A couple of Naming Notes: HEATHER, Ur

Plant Names: Calluna (Lark's mother) VULGaris (Lark's male cousin), Bella (Lark's nickname by Holm), ericaceae (used to make brooms), cinerea (Lark's cousin, the mental healer), PHYLLodoce (Lark's Fam) breweri, hyemalis, phyllodoce empetriformis, cassiope mertensiana, glanuliforea, brewer's mountain, French, pink mountain, scottish, white, white winter, yellow mountain, LINGA (mentioned in Heart Duel)



Plant Names: Crataegus, CRATAG, monogyna, LAEVigata, raphiolepis indica, aponogetonacae, aponogeton, distachyos, kratos, crusgalli, laciniata, lavallei, tanacetifolia, oxyacantha, haw, may, MAYBLOSSOM, mayflower, rosaceae, maybush, maytree, quickset, thornapple, whitethorn

Friday, September 09, 2016

Belated Celta Thursday: Snippet from Heart FATE

Belated Celta Thursday: Snippet from Heart FATE:

When Tinne returned to T'Holly Residence and took over the tower as his living space, they consulted with Mitchella D'Blackthorn on the decoration.


She had advised restructuring rooms just outside his tower on two floors to connect with it, making it into a suite for his HeartMate.

She'd even tinted the walls, added murals and holos, furnished the bedroom, sitting room and the small sunroom that opened onto an area that could be made into a garden. Apparently TQ and Mitchella had consulted on Lahsin's taste.

The suite was lovely bare, and after it was done, it reminded Tinne so much of Lahsin when he entered it that he never went back.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Celta Thursday, Cut from Heart Fate

Celta Thursday cut scene from Heart Fate. Tinne asked TQ to show him the record of Morning Glory's audition as the voice of TQ: (due to my current work copy edits of Ghost Maker this is raw).

An image coalesced with amazing quickness, showing the outside courtyard and gate. The colors were garish in intensity. Tinne said nothing. Fancy shoes clicked on the flagstone walk before the House. Morning Glory was a blurry shadow.

Again the coughing came and Tinne realized the House had been testing its voice.

The virulent green gate swung open
"Gweetyou, gweetyou, gweetyou!" The House squealed in the unfortunate baby tones of the previous actress.

Morning Glory came into view. Once more Tinne felt the shock of recognition that she looked like his lost wife. She stopped, put a hand on her lush hip, surveyed the House with a curled lip. "Lord help me, it glows. A baby Residence. This has got to be the stupidest thing I've ever done." A feral smile, a caress of her pursenal. "But it pays well and will pay better when I snag the Holly SecondSon."

The tone, the walk, the expression was all Morning Glory and none of Genista. Then Tinne saw her put on a bad mask of his wife and it was even more revolting. She glided up to the House, opened the door and entered, stood in the small atrium. "Greetyou...Residence."

"I am the Turquoise House!" Another squeal.

"You certainly are." Then words under her breath that the Turquoise House still heard and recorded. "Incredibly tacky color on the outside and that glow. Lord help me, I'm glad I don't have to live here with this infantile thing." A quick shudder.

Chapter 22

The actress examined the room, raised her voice. "Lovely decorating, Turquoise House. You were lucky Mitchella Clover D'Blackthorn took an interest in you. She does wonderful work, so...rich. And the brash and eclectic showcases your, ah, personality."

Tinne winced at the snide remark of the actress
In the viz, the House answered, "Yeth?" Uncetainty was in the word. A tapestry rippled on the wall.

Morning Glory went over to finger it. "Excellent thread count, pure llamawoolweave. Yes, D'Blackthorn made her life well. Imagine being able to leave such furnishings in a House that so often stands empty. Turquoise House, I hear that Holly SecondSon is living here at the moment and requested you have a new voice. I'm sure we can come to an agreement on that," she purred, and Tinne understood she meant him and her, not the House and her.

The House said, "Tinne Holly, yeth. Are you going to wead to me?"

"Oh, yes." Morning Glory's lips curved. She cleared her throat, and when she spoke again, it was the closest she'd come to Genista's voice that Tinne had heard from her and he squirmed.

"Why don't I recite some nursery rhymes and a few grovestudy prayers and lessons for you?"

"Didn't you bring thomething to wead?"

"My dear, I am an actress, I don't need to read a part, particularly in this instance. Memorization and recitation can be fine. Or," she went to a gilded mirror and primped, and the slyness was back, marring her face, "I can recite some...love...poetry, or something from my last play. I was the lead in a romantic drama."

"I don't think I need to hear love poetry." The House was turning stubborn.

"Very well." Morning Glory shrugged, adjusted the off-the-shoulder dress, fluffed her hair. "When do you expect Holly – Tinne, back?"

"When he arriveth."

Tinne chuckled. Good response.

"He goes out in the evenings, then?" She frowned, touched the line between her brows as if to banish it, turned away from the mirror and began to wander the House. Tinne hoped sincerely that she hadn't entered his room.

Morning Glory sauntered through the dining room, trailed her finger along the surface of the gleaming table. "A single slab of reddwood. Incredible, expensive. Lovely. My dear House, don't you like this voice? I assure you that Tinne Holly would prefer it."

"It changeth too much. Not conssistent in the tones."

"What! Are you, an childish construct, insulting me!"

"I think I want you to go," the House quavered.

"Dear, dear one. You have so much to learn." Morning Glory recovered quickly, oozed mock sympathy as sweet as the syrup in Tinne's cup had been. "A man – a real human person – prefers to have different tones in the voice. More than one personality for companionship. Most Residences have many ancestral characters for the noble lord or lady to choose from."

"I've heard that," the House muttered.

"I'm sorry that you have only one ego emerging, but we will do the best that we can with this." She sighed deeply. "Listen carefully." She declaimed intricate instructions for celebrating Yule in a close approximation to Genista, if Genista had been pompous and sly and mean. "Therefore the house must be pristine for the enjoyment of the holiday, and adorned in the proper manner..." she ended, studiously scanning the mainspace for Yule decorations that Tinne hadn't bothered with.

"I don't think–"

But Morning Glory segued into her last script, and now her voice changed to her own natural tones. It appeared like she was going to do the whole damn play.

"House, stop," Tinne said.

The image froze. Morning Glory's voice cut off mid-word.

"How long does this go on?"

"Another septhour."
"Ah." Ouch. "Can you, um," Tinne waved. "Make it go faster."


The pace picked up, and after a moment or two, Tinne realized that between various pieces of recitation, Morning Glory was sweetly chiding the House on the lack of maturity, intelligence, sophistcation. Qualities that Tinne would prize and that the actress had but which were woefully lacking in the Turquoise House.

His anger simmered. "Please show the woman's last five minutes inside here."

The mist dissolved, then reconstituted. Morning Glory's last recitation was a Yule prayer, delivered in a pious tone that revealed absolutely no hint of spirituality in the woman who repeated the words. Then she glanced at her wrist timer. "Now, dear one, you must recall that with my help we can make this a loving, special home for Tinne."

"As if you aren't special enough," Tinne said.

"But I must leave," the actress said.

Because she'd been paid for that amount of time and not a second more, Tinne understood. She drew on her rabbit fur cape**, Tinne loathed garments made from real fur, as did Genista. That must have been the first clue he'd instinctively noticed upon meeting the actress.

"We'll be perfect together," Morning Glory said, and again Tinne thought that she meant him – and his gilt – and herself, not a team of Morning Glory and Turquoise House. Without any farewell, she left the house.

"A nasty woman," Tinne said, belly queasy from a surfiet of the female.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August 30th in Ghost Seer.

I am behind on my Ghost Seer (books) calendar. Today, August 30th, is the next to last day of Ghost Seer. So here's an excerpt, and a pic of Virginia Dale where Clare has gone to dig up a bottle:

She turned a corner and could see the station. Shock!

There was a house, a ranch, buildings, whatever just below the station, on the other side of a barbed-wire fence.

Heart thumping, she crept along the road, hoping no one saw her, would come greet her . . . anything. Why in tarnation had she worn a floral shirt? She should have stuck to natural beige or brown, should have bought a beige or brown shirt. At least she had a straw cowboy hat.

At another open barrier, she read the sign. Of course it said not to disturb or take anything, gave the penalty. It specifically mentioned no digging. She swallowed.

And right there, in the middle of the open space by the large wooden sign, stood the ghost of Jack Slade. Yes, if anyone found her digging she could get in deep trouble. She’d say she was looking for the GPS cache? Putting one down? Maybe that would be all right.

But her mouth had dried.

*There’s Jack!* Enzo yipped with the enthusiasm of a ghost dog, not Other spirit.

“I see him.” His standing by the sign that lied about him just seemed too sad. Yet such things would be part of her life.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Heart Journey cut to become Script of the Heart

Here's the original cut from Heart Journey that I intended to use as the basis of Script of the Heart, Johns' and the Healer's story (coming later this year, I hope). The story and this scene has changed significantly. :)

"Want to quiet that glider alarm 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.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Celta Thursday -- Snippet of a scene never written in Heart Search

Celta snippet from Heart Search of a scene never written...meeting between Laev T'Hawthorn (hero) and T'Ash at T'Ash's:

Two septhours later, Jasmine issued him into T'Ash's office, the first time Laev had been in the room since he'd become T'Hawthorn. He still remembered the first time he'd been there ...as a child whose Flair would be Tested to determine the type of magic he had and the strength of it.

T'Ash looked the same, a very formidable man. But when he gazed at his daughter it was with love and wonder, as if he still blessed the Lady and Lord for bringing her into his life.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Back to the Captain's Log from Heart Thief

As I said before, this was a failed experiment, a secondary story at the beginning of each chapter of Heart Thief. I have at least 3 versions up through Chapter 7, after that I gave up. I used the basis of these logs as the story Heart And Sword.


I am confident and in command outside my quarters, slowly regaining the trust of many. I've instituted probe-building to saturate our pathway. The new program has attracted the intelligent and competitive young, channeling their energies.

Those people who were Awakened and lived their full lives aboard the ships have bred for psi-powers. I see a significant increase in this talent, now called "Flair." Other technical genius has prospered. The engines have been overhauled, also satisfying young scientists who have an outlet for their skill.

I am guardedly hopeful and constantly reassure the rational ones in the crew. Only here can I say how the irrational ones scare me. A new home for us all must be found, and soon. I lead a double life. I need Miriam.

Those are first steps, and if I plan correctly, I can regenerate the ideals I believe in, in the crew. I pray we find a new planet soon.

I snuck away to see Miriam. Her cube was cold to the touch, and I ached to see her smile. The cryogenic room is huge and awesome and terrible. Something was wrong with the controlled atmosphere, when I left, my face was wet.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Belated Celta Thursday -- The Vote from Heart Thief

The Vote from Heart Thief (not included in the book)

Current HouseHolders

T'Birch - Death (Birches in Heart Thief, not HeartMated)

T'Rowan - Death (T'Rowan dies in Heart Thief, D'Rowan, HeartMate is burned, follows within a few weeks).

D'Alder - Banishment (not HeartBonded)
D'Willow - Death
She is a widow, so she must not have had a HeartMate. This may be another reason she resents her Daughter'sSon so much.

T'Ash - Banishment
Recently HeartBonded with Danith D'Mallow

T'Hawthorn - Death
Widower, he had a wife, not a HeartMate

T'Oak - Banishment (T'Oak in Heart Thief) HeartBonded
T'Holly - Banishment (T'Holly in HeartMate; T'&D'Holly in Heart Thief, Heart Duel and Heart Trail)
HeartBonded with Passiflora, a GrandHouse Apple

D'Hazel - Banishment (HeartBonded)
T'Apple - Banishment
D'Vine - Freedom
D'Vine dies in Heart Thief, her heir T'Vine, Vinni is in Heart Duel. D'Vine is an old widow, she wasn't HeartBonded. She knows that her Heir, Vinni, can lose his HeartMate before they bond and warns him.

D'Ceylon, second daughter of GreatHouse Vine is head of her own Household and has a 96% accuracy for reading tea leaves.

T'Ivy - Banishment (T'Ivy and D'Ivy are in HeartMate)
Had a wife, now has a HeartMate of the Aloe Family

T'Reed - Death (T'Reed is in Heart Thief)
NOT HeartBonded

T'Blackthorn - Absent (T'Blackthorn is in Heart Thief, his story is Heart Trail)
HeartBonded to Mitchella Clover

T'Elder - Death (T'Elder dies in Heart Thief, who succeeds?)
Not HeartBonded, wife from T'Reed Family

D'SilverFir - Absent (D'SilverFir's story is Heart Thief, she abdicates to her heir Caltha in Heart Thief, she's in Heart Duel)

D'SilverFir is HeartBonded to Ruis Elder. Her mother was not HeartBonded, her MotherSire was. Does this play a part in her story?

T'Furze - Banishment (Not HeartMated, One Dies in Heart Thief)

T'Heather - Banishment (Lark's MotherSire in Heart Duel)

WhitePoplar - Death
T'Yew - Death (Not HeartMated, One dies in Heart Thief TINNE'S HEARTMATE MARRIES YEW)

D'Grove - Banishment (D'Grove is in Heart Thief)

T'Spindle - Banishment
HeartBonded to another Spindle

Honeysuckle - Banishment
Beech - Banishment

T'Sea - Banishment (T'Sea is in Heart Duel)

TOTALS: 14 Banishment
8 Death
1 Freedom
2 Absent

Friday, July 29, 2016

Newsletter #2 going out tomorrow morning, Link Below

http://eepurl.com/b_Nqs1 That's the link to my second installment of my newsletter. Some Celta worldbuilding questions answered.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Celta Thursday: Next Captain's Log originally from Heart Thief, the story of which became Heart and Sword:

Celta Thursday: Next Captain's Log originally from Heart Thief, the story of which became Heart and Sword: NUADA'S SWORD CAPTAIN'S LOG, AWAKE INTERVAL, WEEK 2, DAY 2, 1100 HOURS
I am still alone, still untrusted by most of the crew, still working hard to establish my authority. I have no friends, dare not make any and still remain the inviolable Captain and manage a reasonable chain of command. I must have no obvious weaknesses or the whole shaky system will unravel and chaos will result.
I have consulted with the Captains of Lugh's Spear and Arianrhod's Wheel. The Captain of the Spear is a descendant of Philip Masur, calling himself T'Alder. The new naming system we initiated has been accepted by the generational crew. Juliet McLeod, now Juliet D'SilverFir is master of the Wheel. She was Awakened many years ago and is very old. The situations on the other ships are not as bad as the Sword, but the Captains made it clear they look to me for answers. My decisions will be followed by them.
I have taken steps to improve shiplife, hoping to stop revolutionaries from having a solid base. The blandness of the food was incredible. I instructed the computer to provide a larger variety, including desserts, that were dropped from the menu some time past due to the depletion of sweets. More sugar and honey will be raised in the Greensward. I have ordered the dead flower and greenery boxes along the corridors to be re-soiled and replanted.
I have also issued a statement that since our original destination may be out of reach, another planet ripe for colonization will be found.
Will my skills, my so-vaunted "charisma" be enough to save the ships? I have rarely had doubts in my life, never about going on this long trip and helping to found a new society. But that was when I was with others of my own mind, and Miriam. Just the sight of her sleeping and safe comforts me.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Celta Thursday, On with the cut Captain's Logs from Heart Thief

Okay, here's Celta Thursday, another cut from the Captain's Log of Heart Thief (hopefully in order, though I kept rearranging it according to the rewriting I did on the main story). As I said before, when I wrote Heart and Sword, I changed the names. :)


I've learned the previous Captain, also Awakened from suspended animation, died in a mysterious, violent "accident." He was Joseph Martino, next on our original roster to be Awakened. But not the best person to have been placed in such a position in the seventh generation, rigid and authoritarian.

The trip should not have taken this long. Our projections were that Landing would take place in the middle of the fourth generation. A fourth generation crew would still have elders with faint memories of Earth. But the life-spans on ship are not as long as we expected and neither is the speed of the journey. The top speed lasted only two generations.

Our technology is failing: particularly the engines and the recycling systems for life support.

In the bedroom of my quarters, on my most private and secure monitor, I have a visual of Miriam and her life stats. Watching her, I recall the past, calculate the future, and ensure she is safe in the now.

To lose her would be to lose all hope.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Celta Thursday, model of T'Vine Residence (Hohenzollern Castle)

Celta Thursday. A while back I bought a couple of castle models, one is of Windsor, which was the one I based the Summoning series on. One was this one, Hohenzollern, which is Vinni's (I knew this in, ah, Heart Choice). I've been hauling it to the desk from it's shelf to study it, so I thought I'd put it up. The greenery/garden with the least amount of windows overlooking it is Vinni's private garden.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Heart Thief Captain's Log, cut


My Miriam still sleeps. I must protect her and the rest of those in the suspension cubes at all cost. And I must save those who live now, on the ship. Will my skills, my vaunted charisma be enough? I have rarely had doubts in my life, never about going on this long voyage and helping to found a new society. But that was when I was with others of my own mind, and Miriam.

The computer would wake her, if I asked. If I said that I needed her to perform well. But better that she sleeps through this dangerous time. She would hate the ship, all metal and cold. She so anticipated colonizing a new planet, and is perfectly suited to that work -- but this ship would erode her soul.

This is my sixth night without Miriam.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Celta Thursday: Heart Thief Chapter 3, Version 3, Captain's Log:

I'm continuing with the Captain's Log from Heart Thief, the secondary story that I'd planned on telling before every chapter. That didn't work out. The story itself ended up being Heart and Sword in the collection: Hearts and Swords.

As I fumble to understand a world strange to me, I must maintain a perfect facade of the all-knowing, all-powerful, completely capable Awakened Captain. Yet I get side-long looks from the generational crew, words of obedience but glances of wariness, suspicion, even hatred.
They judge me.
As I judge them, and the situation.
I must function as a leader. I cannot express any doubts, risk any sort of human error. The lives of those still sleeping in the suspended-animation tubes, human and animal, all the heritage of Earth, as well as the lives of all those now staffing these three starships are in my hands. Failure is not an option.
My orders are slow to be carried out. I've surprised muttering clumps of men who immediately disperse. Suspicious system breakdowns are common.
Mutiny may be imminent.
And I must stop it.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

New Story: Pinky Becomes a Fam, in my New Newsletter! So much new.

Yes, I will be sending out my first newsletter that originally went out on Monday, once again tomorrow. I wrote a new story especially for it, Pinky Becomes a Fam, from Pinky's point of view. The newsletter also includes (up first), the story Zanth and the Treasure.

You can subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/bYc2dT

I hope you all enjoy my work!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cut from Heart Legacy

Okay, the filibuster I've been watching all afternoon and evening has ended and now I know where to go to see the senate in action/inaction all the time. Since it's after midnight here, and Thursday, I will post a small cut portion from Heart Fire.

**I have decided to accept your offer of a home with you and living in your stables,** said a slightly pompous voice in her head.

The Fam she'd found! He'd called to her mentally for a month, since she'd first begun her excursions into Druida and had found him prowling from one alley to another. She'd given him furrabeast jerky she'd had with her, and they'd actually talked, discussed various topics. He'd helped her firm up a map of the city in her head.

**Thank you!** she enthused back to him.

**You promise good food and a warm room of my own.**


**You may come and get me tonight.** A feline sniff.

**I will.**

**I will be in the alley near Woodruff Street. I will see you later.**

Deathless prose. LOL. I'm punchy.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Beltated Celta Thursday, Original Scene from Chapter 8, Heart Thief

Belated Celta Thursday, Original portion of Chapter 8, Heart Thief. "We have replaced the warped panels in the energy storage
area," the Ship said four days after Ruis had fallen ill.

Ruis smiled and leaned back in his desk chair. He'd had some
techbots alter it until it was a pleasure to sit in. He was
getting used to the Ship speaking in the royal We. When
asked, it stated it was an amalgam of departments integrated
to communicate with him.

"We request further orders."

This made Ruis' smile widen and a kernel of pride unfurl.
The first time the Ship had asked him for orders had
startled him. *He*, Ruis Elder, the despised, asked for
orders. People had always avoided him. He had no good
friends and mere acquaintances. Lord and Lady knew, Samba,
his only companion, never asked for orders.

"List priorities."

It did.

"Repair additional maintenance androids," he decided.

"Yes, Captain," the Ship replied.

Ruis whistled through his teeth. He was Captain. The
Captain's quarters, *his* quarters, contained a small room
the Ship had converted into a workroom at his request. On
the table before him was his latest project, an Earth motor
the Ship was teaching him to repair and renovate. That was
his passion.

He had plans of the Ship spread out, covering the huge desk.
With a drawstick -- a *pen* -- the Ship called it, he traced
a thin line of red that showed where the infamous CommonCold
viruses had bred. They were gone. But not forever.

Ship had insisted that Ruis take samples to preserve in case
they were needed for the future. Ruis tapped his finger on
the area of the map that showed the DNA Room, a huge room
filled with samples of all the life of Earth, information on
papyris and film and "bubbles." Encyclopedias of
instructions and diagrams.

He shivered in pure awe at the thought of all that work and
knowledge and potential, all at his fingertips, all
available to be crammed into his brain. So many options for
his learning to follow, and his life, that he struggled to
decide what to study.

But he did know what he wanted to do most. He wanted to see

Out of the Blogosphere
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