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, 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

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Heart Thief, Book 2, Cut

That evening, before the SilverFir Family was to leave for the opera -- an annual box had already been purchased -- Ailim sat opposite her financial advisor, Donax Reed, in her den, drinking t'caff. He stretched his legs out. Ailim noticed he didn't have the elegant height or figure of Ruis Elder. Donax sipped from an antique china cup. Eyes half-closed, a small smile on his face, he said, "I want your cuz Cona."

A dangerous, but unreadable thought pattern emanated from him. Ailim lifted her own cup to give herself a little time and scalded her tongue. "In marriage?"

He inclined his head.

"I'm sure we can come to an agreement," Ailim said.

"She doesn't want me."

"She doesn't know you. Give her time." Ailim sipped.

"With a few reasonable risks and aggressive action, we can clear the D'SilverFir debt in this generation. Or," he shrugged, "we can plod along."

Blackmail. Her blood heated and her fingers tightened around the cup handle. The Family had to show more than plodding before the six month deadline to keep their Residence and estate. But two could play this game.

Inhaling deeply to tamp down her outrage, she set her cup down and leaned forward a little in her chair. "It will take time to develop a relationship between you and Cona. Court her. We can set a date for the formal announcement in six and a half months -- perhaps Spring Equinox."

He narrowed his eyes. "You think so?"

She kept her gaze locked with his. "You must decide your priorities, and what actions you will take to gain your goals. But," she smiled with teeth, "my cuz will not appreciate a man who lost her Residence. She is very proud." And vain. And selfish.And troublesome. Ailim smiled faintly. "I think you will do well together."

He stared at her and laughed, a hand flew up in a fencer's acknowledgment of a hit. "You look soft."

She curled her fingers over the chair arm. "I am Supreme Judge of Druida."

He stood and put the cup onto the saucer without the hint of a clink. "I want your cuz. Will you promise her to me?"

"No, not now."

His teeth flashed. "She's spoiled. I may need to be a little mean." He sounded as if he relished the task.

Her face froze. "No force or coercion at all, or your Family will be plunged into another blood feud."

He raised his eyebrows. The Reeds had more men and younger sons to fight than the D'SilverFirs. "No force or coercion. But she's my price, don't deny her to me."

"You have my agreement to wed her."

"And perhaps a D'SilverFir estate?" he asked

"Land for a younger son?"

"A cultivated, profitable portion," he pressed.

"We shall discuss that. If you do well and Cona refuses the marriage, then there will still be payment for you from D'SilverFir, a larger, more prestigious estate."

A corner of his mouth lifted. "Ah. I want the woman, though. But if my strategy does not work, perhaps a mid-sized estate would be acceptable." He glanced at the puppy sleeping beside her chair. "And a litter of pups."

"I'll promise a litter."

He bowed and left the den quietly.

Ailim knew one thing for certain, she couldn't trust him. She would have to be very cautious and very clever, or, at the end of six months, she'd lose the Residence and estate.
One telepathic word shot from his mind as he exited. Seduction.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Belated Celta Thursday, Lost Heart Cut, Barton Before Matchmaker

First, I apologize in not getting this up. I felt wretched yesterday.

Celta Friday: Lost Heart Cut, Barton before matchmaker:
Barton sat at a table to one side of the huge Clover Compound middle courtyard, a smile pasted on his face and a cold beer in his hand, and watched the play of a couple of dozen Clover children.

And pretended not to brood. None of those children were his. And the two who would also have stayed up for the Family celebration with fireworks like all the rest — Savi and Balansa — remained missing.

A full two weeks had passed since they’d left and he hadn’t been able to find them. Thorny need still stuck in his heart that the Family must right the mistakes they’d made with the children. Barton must find them.

Shrieking echoed in his head as the last of the pre-teens scattered from a clump near him, running to their individual homes. The Clover Compound consisted of row houses built around two full city blocks with courtyards in the middle.

Construction around the third block they owned was ongoing. Barton’s own home would be dark and silent. Not even a Fam awaited him.

The last of his generation to marry. That realization needled him as much as the loss of his relatives. Clovers usually wed early and got started on their families. But they weren't the man who was responsible for the security of the whole Family. Family with a capital f. The entire, now noble, clan.

He scrambled every day to keep on top of his job as Chief of Security. Even though he'd had that job for ten years. And now Barton could also see that Walker would fulfill his potential. His quietly sneaky brother would rise to the very top of Celtan society and become the highest leader of them all. Barton swallowed more beer that sloshed in his gullet nicely. Yeah, Walker would eventually become Captain of AllCouncils, Barton had no doubt. And that meant security for his brother and the rest of the Family was vital.

Who could think about taking a wife and making children with that on his shoulders?

But as Walker gathered up his HeartMate and their two children, as couples slipped into recently claimed houses, as the older teens reluctantly trudged to their parents’ homes, Barton stayed alone in the dark courtyard and listened to cheerful and mundane sounds drift from the open windows.

And wondered, really, if the matchmaker GreatLord Saille T’Willow would be able to find Barton a lover, a wife, a partner. And what he would do with her if Willow did.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Celta Thursday, final cut from Enata in the Vault, Lost Heart

(something with Barton next week):
When her brother had left and she didn’t remember, had that been when her marrow deep loneliness began? Her dissatisfaction with her life? And if it affected her, it would have affected all of her Family!

She looked at the picture. Her father’s light brown hair had silvered significantly since that viz. And she hadn’t noticed. Her mother seemed harsher . . . herself more plaintive — and she must work on that! — Glyssa more restless. Though perhaps Glyssa weathered the unknowable tragedy better than the rest of them. She had two very close friends, closer in some ways than Enata herself. Her parents had each other, as HeartMates, but they’d both suffered a loss, not only of a significant portion of the memories or lives, but of their son. How could that possibly happen?

Enata’s head hurt with the thinking of it, her whole body ached with the feeling of the devastating bereavements. She curled over the book, snuffling in the honeysuckle smell and didn’t care when her tears fell onto the papyrus. The lines of print blurred before her eyes and she trembled with sobs for several moments before she used a softleaf in her sleeve pocket to clean herself up.

She read her brother’s biography. Twice. Knew that she and he had been closer than she and Glyssa, a pity. Let her own awareness of Reg gush through her. How his hand felt when it held hers, all the way from a child to when he helped her from a glider while wearing formal clothes the last full twinmoons ritual they spent together. And . . . yes! That was the last time she’d seen him. Full twinmoons.

Yesterday, last night, the moons were new.

It had to mean something. Or did it?

She had too few puzzle pieces.

Determined, she tried to turn the next page. And couldn’t. If not forward, then backwards, with long experience she riffled the pages . . . but beyond her brother’s biography they stuck firmly together.

Slipping a thumbnail — a golden with silver sparkles thumbnail — under the edge of the former page, she pried, to no avail.

Gritting her teeth, she positioned her hands on the bottom and the of the book, ready to rip the damn pages up, uncaring if she might harm it. She needed to know what was going on! Her fingernails dug into the deckled edges and she—

The book flew up, away, snapped shut and slid onto its shelf.
Glyssa stared. A distant chiming came to her ears that she couldn’t place for a moment. The belltower near CityCenter. Which she shouldn’t be able to hear. Had never heard here.

Stranger and stranger and now so weird she began to shiver, her body reacting to nerves once again. A headache slammed into her and terrible darkness began to devour her vision. Fumbling, she reached into her sleeve and came up with a thick nibbed writestick, scrawled drunken lettered words on her arm. Take recordsphere to Secure Vault Prime.

Darkness swallowed her.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Celta Thursday, Lost Heart Cut, Enata in Vault continued

Celta Thursday, Lost Heart Cut, Enata in Vault continued: She flipped the large pages, less than ten, so quickly an edge caught her finger and sliced open a deep and painful paper cut. Like all librarians, she stopped immediately and checked the papyrus of the book for blood, nothing. Whew.

A simple Word closed her cut,though the ache seemed to stick to the other hurts accumulating in her muscles and along her nerves. She turned to the end of the biography and saw: REGLIS LANDU LICORICE, REASON FOR RECRUITMENT: Excellent skills in the following areas: librarian, archival, document reservation, non-fiction writing and fictional story telling. Acquired Full Twinmoons of the month of Holly, as the colonists count time. Far, far down at the bottom of the page, in a tiny footnote, it said: Current status: subject exceeding expectations.

He lived! Or had when the book — this wonderful, awful magical book was printed. There were some volumes that when a person wrote in it, updated all of them. Magic, psi power, Flair. She could only hope this very important volume was one of them.
Her breath whooshed from her.

Reglis lived. Did he have a HeartMate?

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Celta Thursday, cont. from Last Week: Cut scene with Enata in the Library, Lost Heart

Celta Thursday, cont. from Last Week: Cut scene with Enata in the Library: Always quiet, a deeper silence seemed to flow from the corners of the huge foundation room. That didn’t scare her. She felt as home here as the D’Licorice Residence, everyone in her Family did. This building and their careers, their Family, had been founded before the house. The earliest librarians had slept here. . . and, at times, all of the librarians, Licorice or not, had found a corner chair or twoseat or sofa and crashed.

Nothing to fear. But the nerves under her skin yet twitched. She walked to the vault, opened it, and the correct amount of light for the records within brightened for her human eyes.

The scent of honeysuckle blossoms wreathed around her and she saw a thin hint of colored air, not smoke, drifting to her in curls. Within that stream sparkled flecks of silver and gold. She glanced down at her fingernails. Yes, like those.

She stepped inside, blinked, and the shape of the objects on one shelf of the far wall changed. Her eyes widened and recollection flitted around her mind as she stared at the large midnight blue volume now revealed. Catching her breath, she swallowed, then she turned in place and waved the door shut with a solid and quiet thunk. No one would know she was here.

A little recollection began sifting back. The materials of this book were rare, thick papyrus, leather binding from an animal she didn’t recognize . . . and the scent of honeysuckle that she thought came from the glue. Impossible. But the fragrance would always attract her. Her grandfather, MotherSire, had been from the Honeysuckle Family and there were plenty of those shrubs planted in both the library grounds and around their home.

When she grazed her fingertips along the spine of the book, again feeling the sparks along her skin and sinking into her, memories collided inside her brain and she remembered. Her brother! She’d had a brother! No, had a brother. One not here, one not remembered by anyone.

Yanking at the book, she fell backwards, danced a couple of steps with weak knees, then sank cross legged to the ground.

The book opened and floated before her on an inbuilt anti-gravity spell. Once more it flipped to the opening page of the article on her brother, Reglis Landu Licorice, CHOSEN. Aquired early summer of 421 years after colonization, the print read.

Aquired! Enata shuddered. A few months ago. Looking at the color viz showing her Family and Reglis, she recalled when they’d stood for that portrait, last spring.

Last spring.

Lady and Lord. Her big brother Reglis had been in Druida City last spring.

He'd lived in everyone's memories just last spring.

Breathing rapidly, actually trying not to hyperventilate, another thought occurred to Enata. She’d been born the middle child, and . . . and now, outside this space, she’d thought she’d been born first. Her role in the Family had changed. What conflict did that cause in her mind and her character?

Surely being thought a first born child must have affected how people treated her?

Not only that, but a whispery inner voice in the back of her mind wondered if her older brother had a HeartMate — wait, did he still live?

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Belated Celta Thursday, Cut from Lost Heart

Belated Celta Thursday, Cut from Lost Heart: Enata and the Vault: The Next Night

She awoke, pain radiating through her. Though weariness hunkered behind her eyes, she couldn’t sleep. Her nerves itched. This morning she’d felt awful, too. She hadn’t quite been the same since . . . backtracking through the day, she found nothing…then the night before…that evening meal, the long nap in the afternoon, suffering through the nausea, the aching body, the filthy headache . . . after she’d been in Secure Vault Prime.

She rose and crossed to the long glass doors that led to the balcony, opened them and stepped out into the warm summer night. Not a hint of autumn coming next month. Glancing to her right, she saw only darkness from Glyssa’s rooms. Her sister had flown away to a new adventure at the excavation of the recently discovered starship, Lugh’s Spear and for other reasons Enata sensed but Glyssa had hidden from her and their parents.

Enata missed her sister, but they hadn’t been close since the spring. Enata rolled her shoulders. Mostly her fault. A deep dissatisfaction with her life had hit her about that time, along with an overwhelming loneliness and the hard realization that she didn’t have a HeartMate like her parents or her sister. She’d never connected with a HeartMate during the fugues that freed her Flair as her sister, her younger sister, had.

And HeartMates bonded so closely that they always died within a year of each other. So when one of her parents died . . . . and if Glyssa found and HeartBonded with her HeartMate and one of them perished . . . Enata would be left alone. The sole member of her Family.


She leaned on the rail and sucked in air. Here, in the privacy of her own rooms, she could weep. Self-pity. Anticipatory loss. Both of those emotions coursed through her, both rather foolish, but Lady and Lord, Enata ached.

Wiping her tears away, she noticed across the green park of their back grassyard, in the PublicLibrary that connected with their land, a small light shone in one wing. The building never closed, was always open and available to the public, with a librarian ready to serve patrons.

Impulsively, she decided to head back to the vault, discover what might have affected her.. Dressing in an acceptable robe if she were discovered and arranging her hair simply, Enata teleported to the staff’s basement pad closest to their strongest vault. No one should be down here unless a patron requested something from restricted stacks, very unlikely.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Belated Celta Thursday -- CUT FROM LOST HEART (to lure those who haven't bought it)

Belated Celta Thursday -- CUT FROM LOST HEART (to lure those who haven't bought it)

A week and two days earlier, the reference to the matchmaker torturing Barton had been humerous. Now, after a full morning session, Barton gritted his teeth to hide his discomfort. Thankfully, his Flair-made clothes wicked away sweat, though they released an herbal scent that would clue anyone in that Barton perspired.

Saille T’Willow ignored that, as he had with the earlier humiliating evidence that one of the tests — the illusion of a naked woman who morphed until she sexually appealed to Barton — had aroused him.

Barton felt fully as pummeled mentally and emotionally by Saille as Barton had previously, and often, physically walloped the guy. Payback was hell.

Yeah, tests of what Barton found emotionally pleasing, mentally compatible, as well as physically attractive. All sorts of assessments, the amount and quality of which boggled his mind. Who knew surviving a matchmaking appointment was so tough?

He felt like he’d run a gauntlet, a rough game all the Clover boys played now and then.

Finally, finally, they’d paused. The “comfort” chair that conformed to Barton’s body, tilted from a horizontal position to nearly straight. Barton sucked back a groan of relief. His fingers loosened the white-knuckled grip that he had on the chair arms.

“Good job,” Saille murmured, clapping Barton’s shoulder as the man walked around him and sat behind his desk. Not as nice as Walker’s, but centuries older. Saille T’Willow, a FirstFamily GreatLord, wasn’t as tall as Barton, not quite as solidly built, but moved reasonably well. He’d never touch Barton as a fighter, but Barton didn’t have a thousanth of the amount of Flair as the guy.

Smiling — that was a good sign, wasn’t it? Maybe the fliggering evaluation was over? — Saille T’Willow said, “I have no doubt I’ll be able to find an extremely harmonious woman for you, a true love.” He paused, then went on. “I’ll keep my eyes out, ears straining, and senses primed to find a wife for you.”

“We’re done?”


Barton bolted from the chair and to the door of the room before stopping. “Good,” he said. “Really fine. Thanks.” Reluctantly he dropped his hand from the latch to give Saille, who’d risen, a bow worthy of his status as a descendant of the people who’d funded the trip from Earth to Celta, a FirstFamily Lord. “My thanks and the thanks of all my Family.”

“We can discuss this—”

Barton waved his hand before he put it back on the latch and opened the door. “No, no. I trust you. Implicitly. Gotta go!”

“One moment, Barton,” Saille called.

Barton darted a glance over his shoulder.

"I trust you won't take this out on me in the next general melee at The Green Knight Fencing and Fighting Salon."

Barton angled his head, grinning. "Oh, you can be sure of that."

Saille sighed. "I was afraid of that."

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Lost Heart E-Novella Live on Amazon!

Here it is! http://amzn.to/1VsPfEB


$9.50 LOST HEART IS AVAILABLE IN PRINT COPY HERE, NOW! https://www.createspace.com/6076721 And, yes, the estore is pretty.

The novella has been uploaded to Amazon for the Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. Ibooks and All Romance Ebooks are still checking me out and I haven't been able to upload. So it should definitely be available next week, in electronic copy, for $3.99.

RITA®Award Winning author Robin D. Owens’ first Celta novella!

Celta, a place of magic, telepathic animal companions, and romance . . . Lost Heart, a story rife with hidden agendas and dangerous secrets.

Barton Clover, Chief of Security for his large and noble family, is deeply aware of his responsibilities. When two young relatives repudiate the family and later disappear, he's determined to find them and convince them to return. He has no time or inclination for love . . . but his family disapproves of his nothing-but-work life. They decree that he must visit a matchmaker or lose his position.

Enata Licorice, a respected librarian, has been doing research in a mysterious records vault . . . and is finding odd blanks in her memory. Lonely, she yearns for a good husband and arranges a matchmaking session of her own.

It's love at first sight for Barton and Enata, but both are crucial members of their families. Clans who practice opposite lifestyles. And both families demand the couple's time and attention, causing strife.

While trying to resolve their issues, Barton discovers Enata's secret and they must work as a couple to resolve the puzzle that includes Barton's missing relatives -- if they dare. And if they fail, more than their own lives are lost.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Celta Thursday Cut from Heart Legacy

A LONG excerpt from Heart Legacy. This was the original conversation between Draeg and Tinne Holly, took place later in the book, and is Too Detailed and Long. So it was cut and put up front

He'd disrobed and taken a waterfall, pulled back the bedsponge linens, when his perscry -- his personal scry pebble -- sounded in the quick blazer hum Draeg had programmed for Tinne Holly. Tinne was Draeg's contact with the cadre of nobles who'd sent him to find out what might be happening at D'Yew estate. And to discover if D'Yew or her Family was involved in attacks on others, as Tinne suspected.
The Yews had been the strongest and most conservative Family in all the FirstFamilies. Tinne and some other younger nobles of the FirstFamilies had thought that a fanatic fringe of the ultra-conservative Traditionalist Group had recruited them as well as being behind the attacks.
Though every group, political, religious, even sports related, could develop fantatics, the FirstFamilies hadn't had to deal with murderous ones for a long time . . . since the Black Magic Cult, nearly two decades ago.
Three weeks ago, when Draeg had been called into the company of his friends to undertake this spy job, the atmosphere had been grim.
Now he grabbed a long tunic and pulled it on, stroking his thumb on the scry pebble and saying, "Here."
The holographic image showed the head and shoulders of Tinne Holly, who seemed to have extra lines in this face than the last time Draeg had seen him.
"Greetyou, Draeg."
"Greetyou, Tinne. News?"
"Yes, and of the worst sort."
Sucking in a breath through his teeth, Draeg said, "Murder?"
"Attempted, and did include death." Tinne rubbed his temples with forefinger and thumb.
"Who?" demanded Draeg.
"A workman in the new GuildHall." Tinne's mouth twisted. "It appears as if he brought in a celtaroon to let loose. Probably bespelled to find and bite a particular person. But celtaroons are notoriously stupid and difficult to control. The guy got bitten himself."
"Good luck for our side," Draeg said.
"Target?" asked Draeg asked.
"The man was scheduled to be working on the office of the new Captain of AllCouncils."
"Walker Clover," Draeg said harshly, "a former Commoner raised to Noble."
"Walker Clover." Tinne matched Draeg's tone. A few seconds hesitation on Tinne's part when the lines in his face deepened, then he added. "As usual, Walker had brought a couple of his children with him today and would probably have done so tomorrow."
"Cave of the Dark Goddess. Still after the kids?"
Tinne rolled his shoulders as if shifting a burden. "Who knows? Getting rid of Walker would be . . . a great blow on behalf of the Traditionalist Stance."
Draeg followed his logic. "Walker is the first born Commoner to rise so high politically on his own merits."
"That is correct. And the Traditionalist Stance doesn't want any more Commoners to be ennobled, despite the strength and potency of their Flair."
"Yeah. What went on?" Draeg asked.
"Zanth and Felonherb FamCats happened to be in the GuildHall." The ends of Tinne's lips curved upward. "They sensed prey, found and tore the celtaroon to pieces. Apparently they considered destroying the thing a competition."
Draeg considered that. "Just as well."
Tinne snorted. "I suppose, though if there was any spell evidence on the creature, it was demolished."
"Huh. Any chance of such a spell remaining?"
"We don't know. That is to say, neither our chief investigator in this matter, Garrett Primross, nor the Clover head of security, nor the Captain of the Druida City guards have been able to determine anything from the shreds of the celtaroon."
"FamCats who 'help' can be a pain in the ass."
"Also correct," said Tinne, who had one of his own.
"So the workman got killed himself. Can't say I'm too surprised. Staging 'accidents' is problematical. When did all this happen?"
"At the change of shifts in the GuildHall from day to evening, WorkEnd Bell. A lot of people coming and going."
"I understand," Draeg said. As far as he knew, all the Yews had been at one of their formal dinners. Tired of standing, he went over to the bedsponge and settled in against two hard, thick pillows that no longer puffed out dust when he leaned against them. "What about the dead guy? Do we have any info about him?"
"He is a known member of the Traditionalist Stance, a minor relative of the Equisetum Family in the north who had their estate confiscated three years ago when their previous crimes were uncovered."
Draeg grunted, frowned and shifted his gaze to the beamed ceiling instead of Tinne's expression that seemed to age before his eyes.
"What about the Yews?" Tinne asked.
Draeg raised his eyebrows. "I'm sure that you and the others realized that when I hired on as a stableman I would be living near the stables. I am, three rooms over the stables. I am not allowed in the Residence. However, I saw no glider leave the estate tonight."
"They must be embroiled in this," Tinne said. This time he sent fingers of both hands through his hair. "No one else hates my lady, my children, so, and we were the first targets and none of us Commoners. And the former D'Yew made threats--"
"Thirteen years ago," Draeg reminded softly.
"All of the FirstFamilies are known for holding a grudge," Tinne shot back.
"Got me there," Draeg said. "So you suspect the Yews are behind this. That the 'accident' of the broken balcony was really an attack on your wife and daughter, and your son's near miss at being hit by a glider a week ago was intentional."
In the holo, Tinne stretched until Draeg could hear his joints pop. "I do. I suspect the Yews. My wife has no enemies except for them. Aurea and Marin have no enemies at all. True enemies of ours should be calling feud and sending guards out to fight, but these are sneak attacks." His face hardened. "Only the Yews would sneak around like this. They don't have guards?"
"None that I have seen."
"They've kept themselves confined to that self-sufficient estate, not participated in society. We don't know what's going on there."
"Thus the reason you sent me in. Still no evidence on your part."
"No, nothing I can point the authorities to, either Garrett Primross as our unofficial guy or the Druida guards, let alone good reason to convince my father call feud on the Yews," Tinne snarled. Then his face smoothed into a haughty expression Draeg had only seen when the man booted someone out of his place of business, The Green Knight Fencing and Fighting Salon. Tinne's voice dropped into a good imitation of his sire, GreatLord T'Holly. "My dear SecondSon,"
Draeg winced. He was a SecondSon and he'd never liked being called that in that particular tone.
Tinne's eyes gleamed as he recognized a good audience, and he repeated himself. "My dear SecondSon, we have no good and solid reason to suppose the Yews were behind the accidents, nothing that would stand up to scrutiny of other FirstFamiles. We would be ostracized if we called feud. Our old feud and other . . . missteps . . . have not been forgotten." Tinnes eyebrows raised as T'Holly must have raised his. "And who, precisely, would I call feud upon? The current GrandLady has not been confirmed by her Family as D'Yew, and is, I recollect, the age of one of my Son'sDaughters, not part of society. Innocent. Untried in political affairs. That would be perceived so very well by the authorities and the FirstFamilies Council."
Clearing his throat, Draeg said. "The man has a point."
"He does." Tinne paced and the new scry pebble Flair tech kept him in Draeg's view.
"Your G'Uncle Tab would not have approved a formal feud."
Tinne stopped, stared at Draeg, his expression fading from T'Holly's to Tinne's more mobile one. "You said his name," he whispered.
"Who? Tab's? Yeah."
"I think that's the first time you mentioned G'Uncle Tab by name since he died seven years ago."
Heat crawled up Draeg's neck. He hoped the dim light in his room didn't reveal it to Tinne. "I should have gotten over his death sooner."
"There is no set time for grieving," Tinne said. "And, in some ways, you were nearer to him than I. I'd already found my love, my HeartMate, been blessed with a daughter and son. You were Tab's closest protégé, and you'd just lost your parents." Tinne frowned. "The losses kicked you into Passage, didn't they? And you nearly died? Took a ritual to keep you with us."
Draeg so didn't want to hear that, go over that again, especially since he wasn't done with Passages to free his Flair. He should have had another one last year, or maybe next. His Passages weren't as well regulated as other people's.
"Yeah, well for a proper and official feud, Tab would have expected–" Draeg closed his eyes, he should be able to remember this. His mentor had schooled him more than he'd wanted on feuds and duels. "A list of five good reasons to call feud including enemy actions threatening the Family fortunes, Family estate, or lives of the Family. The most important being the lives of the Family."
Tinne grunted. "Yes, a deadly attack on one of our Family members."
"That would do it, too."
"No evidence, only suspicions." Tinne resumed pacing.
"Your wife and children are protected," Draeg said.
"Yes, they have Holly guards." Tinne's mouth flattened. "And I bought them amulets from T'Ash that at the first hint of hurt will teleport them to Noble HealingHall. But none of them, not even Marin, like the guards accompanying them everywhere, and my daughter objects to wearing the same piece of jewelry every day."
Idly, it crossed Draeg's mind that he hadn't seen one bit of jewelry on D'Yew. He said, "We seem to have two different issues here–"
Tinne made a disgusted noise, chopped his hand in the air. "I've heard that. If the Yews were behind the attack on my ladies it would be revenge for harm to their house, because Lahsin killed the old bastard T'Yew in self defense and his unstable daughter went mad and withdrew into that estate and no one has seen hide nor hair of a Yew in society since."
Draeg inserted, "And if, as it seems, the Traditionalist Stance has a deadly fanatic fringe making 'accidents' happen to ennobled Commoners . . ."
"Or their children," Tinne slanted Draeg a glance, "which could include all you Blackthorn adoptees."
Draeg felt blood drain from his head, his breath shorten, and was glad he wasn't standing. "I will point out that all of us adoptees came from Noble Families to begin with. Dad was GraceLord Betony, my sister Doolee is an Elecampane–"
"But Antenn, your oldest brother was a Commoner." Tinne did point at Draeg. "He was Mitchella Clover's ward when both of them were Commoners. And Antenn was nearly squashed by that block of granite while working on the cathedral a month ago."
"That was an acciden–" Draeg stopped.
"Was it?"
"You don't think the falling block was accidental."
"I think that your brother is a better architect and craftsman than to have left any tottery blocks of granite that might fall. I think that the near fatal balcony accident of my ladies had something in common with that block of granite."
Tinne strode back and forth. "That balcony did not just happen to break. Everyone knewAurea wanted to watch the parade** and that my wife Lahsin would be with her. And everyone knew Lahsin and I had rented it for Aurea as a NameDay gift." Tinne shuddered. "If they hadn't fallen together when it broke and Lahsin hadn't teleported them away . . . ." His fingers fisted. "Druida would have seen a true and bloody Vengeance Stalk."
Wanting to distract the man, Draeg went back to Tinne's previous statement. "What do those accidents have in common?"
"Construction accidents, building," Tinne said. "And three years ago, when the Traditionalist Stance first came into being, there was a builder ruined because of his association with that political stance."
Draeg found his jaw hurting from clenched teeth. "That noble was ruined because he refused to honor his contract."
"Ruined in one day. By your brother, Antenn Blackthorn-Moss, who is not beloved of the Traditionalist Stance since he ruined at least two Nobles and uncovered the murderous tendencies of their founder. Doesn't it occur to you, to anyone that a murderous founder might have drawn other people of like mind into the party? The Traditionalist Stance has a deadly fanatic fringe. I'm sure of that."
"And you think the accident with Antenn wasn't one."
"Antenn is a Commoner who is part of a FirstFamily. He may be considered as your adopted father's heir. Isn't that true?"
"And as for the rest of you, you who were Noble by birth already, you all moved upward into FirstFamily status and society and influence. Your good friends are from the FirstFamilies, you belong to FirstFamilies clubs like The Green Knight Fencing and Fighting Salon, and social clubs. You have access to the strongest Flaired people in the world. People who shape society and the world. That can cause a lot of resentment in those from older Families who haven't been able to climb so high, that Commoners are better connected than Nobles who've had titles for three or even four centuries. And Commoner women like Danith Mallow and Mitchella Clover have married into the highest strata."
"They're HeartMates of FirstFamily Lords, fated mates," Draeg protested.
"They're Commoner women who have married FirstFamily Lords, born children of mixed blood, Noble and Commoner."
Draeg's mouth dropped open at the wrongness of that statement. "Nobody cares–"
"Born children with odd Flair, perhaps. Born children who might be mutants."
"We're all fliggering mutants here on Celta. Probably were on old Earth, too. Nobody cares about blood," Draeg's words exploded, the last bit of calmness from his meditation vanished.
"Most people care about the strength of Flair, true, but I think those of the Traditionalist Stance care about mixing Noble and Commoner blood. And I think the Traditionalist Stance has fanatics, like this workman today who targetted Walker Clover or his children."
"Your're sure the workman was involved."
"He was found in an empty room with a Celtaroon. A hole in the wall had been drilled for the beastie to be placed, for it to nest. Signs in his workbox showed he'd stashed a celtaroon in it and brought it in."
"You think this incident is linked to the accidents to Antenn and your ladies."
"You'd rather think them coincidental? That there are two sets of deadly folks running around?"
"Other than that, why do you think the Yews are behind this?"
"Gut feeling."
Well, Draeg wouldn't call him on that since Draeg trusted his own gut. But serious lack of evidence. He kept quiet and Tinne stopped pacing, said slowly, "Lahsin is suffering from nightmares, about the time she was T'Yew's child bride, caught in his Residence and with his Family who put DepressFlair bracelets on her." Tinne touched his own wrists that showed elegant marriage bands. "She's gone back to the MindHealer for sessions about that time in her life."
"And you think she's picking up on – what? – inimical energy from the Yews?" Draeg kept his voice even. He stared Tinne in his cold pewter eyes. "I can and will assure you that the current D'Yew is not involved in hurting your woman or a girl a year younger than she or a boy of ten."

Chapter 8
"You're sure D'Yew isn't involved in any of the accidents or with the bloody Traditionalist Stance fanatics," Tinne Holly snapped, holographic gaze on Draeg blazer intense.
Draeg shot back, "All of D'Yew's energies are going into her Household–"
Tinne's mouth twisted. "And that doesn't clue you in that something is twisted in that Family, that they should demand such and drain her so?"
"–and in loving and caring for her animals. Her stridebeasts, new horses, and FamCat."
"She has a Fam?"
"That's right, one called Baccat."
Tinne grunted. "Fams usually don't hang around people who aren't loving to them." But his face set again. "Doesn't mean the rest of the Yews aren't up to something." Finally he hesitated, then said, "and I'm sure that the Yews are deep in the Traditionalist Stance."
"Maybe. We haven't established that connection."
"Except for my gut."
"Except for your gut."
"Three years ago people of the Traditionalist Stance said they had members in the highest households of Celta." Tinne pointed at Draeg again.
Draeg raised his hands. "Not me."
"No, no one in the Blackthorns, and no one in the Ashes. Both of your Families and staff have been rebuilt from one member these last twenty-four years." Tinne considered. "Probably not anyone in my Family, the Hollys. We're large, with relatives running our Residence, but we aren't so good at hiding agressive tendencies and sly sneaking." Tinne flicked a hand as if dismissing his relatives. "But we were never one of the ultra conservative Families who would be drawn to the Traditionalist Stance anyway."
So Draeg put into words the rest of the logic. "The Yews were the most conservative of the FirstFamilies, the bastion for following the old ways."
Ticking off FirstFamilies on his fingers, Tinne said, "From most conservative to least: the Elders, until he died and the new GreatLady from a minor branch of the Family inherited. The Yews, the Birches, the Ivys, the Hawthorns. The Hawthorns now have a young, progressive entrepreneur as a GreatLord, who is enriching his Family more than the last three have, if he had Family members who were of the Traditionalist Stance bent, I doubt they'd have remained that way. Since the contretemps three years ago, the Ivys have distanced themselves from the Traditionalist Stance. T'Ivy stated publically that he no longer belongs to the party. I believe him, though he might have people in his Residence who do."
"That leaves the Birches and the Yews."
"That leaves the Birches and the Yews," Tinne agreed, "and, I think, primarily the Yews."
"I hear you."
"Glad you do. Too bad others don't. Someone is putting gilt into the Traditionalist Stance's coffers, more than just those Nobles whose names are public. Significant gilt."
"Generational FirstFamily gilt?" Draeg asked.
"First Family gilt. And that's why you're there at the Yews. Thank you for that."
"Tinne, darling, Aurea and Marin want snacks with us!" called Tinne's wife, outside of the scry area.
"Draeg, come see me and report tomorrow night," Tinne ordered. "Later."

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Celta Thursday Cut Scene from Heart Legacy

Heart Legacy Cut Scene (too many people, too much politics): This will be for those of you who know the books very well. This is in the FirstFamilies Council Chamber after the poisoning attempt on Marin Holly:

"Loridana Yew has no power-hungry wish," Draeg stated.

"And we only have your word for it," T'Ivy, a former Captain of the Council said.

Spearing him with a look, Draeg said, "I think a few of you are allied with the Traditionalist Stance?"

"No," T'Ivy snapped, his mouth pulled down. "They go too far."

"They challenged your leadership of the group?"

"They did not listen to us FirstFamily conservatives."

"Of course not, they want power, and will never be able to match the power we have in Flair, not in this generation, and I do not think their group will last through the next."

"The lower nobles and the middle class commoners are becoming stronger in Flair," D'Grove said comfortably.

"But the Traditionalists are correct that if we continue with the current qualifications for noble, we will have many Commoners becoming noble," T'Ivy stated.

"As a people we're all growing in Flair, and in wealth," T'Hawthorn, who wasn't that much older than Draeg, and knew all about wealth, said. "I consider that a good mark of a society."

"We got rid of the old Downwind slums," T'Ash said. "And none too soon. We have homes and jobs for those who cannot support themselves because of weak brains or bodies." He stood and stretched, Draeg heard pops. "Those who do not fit in our society have mostly left the city to carve out a living of their own on their own land. That's good, too." His bright blue gaze swept the room.

"We care for our own, an' harm none. That is how it's supposed to be. Every individual should be prized on Celta, 'cuz we could still die out here."

Draeg said, "We still have thieves, in the cities and preying on the merchant caravans."

"Will always be evil people, too," T'Ash said. "As for me, I don't think the mind behind these attacks belongs to an eighteen year old girl. If young D'Yew is involved, she's taking orders from someone else, and Zanth thinks not."

Draeg just stared. "Zanth. What does Zanth know about this?"

T'Ash's white teeth gleamed against his olive toned skin as he smiled. "Zanth still prowls the alleys of Druida. He sometimes meets other cats. And other cat Fams." Then the powerful man set his hands on his hips, scrutinized every person in the room. "What we all need to think about is how we will evolve. Not only the society around us, and how we might be able to shape our culture through rituals for the good of all as we have since our ancestors landed, but how we FirstFamilies as a group should evolve." He grunted. "That's my thought for the evening."

He slanted Draeg a look. "Can't you figure out how to bring young D'Yew to me to Test her?"

"Not great T'Ash," Draeg said. "Maybe a roadside peddlar, or low-class shopkeeper."

Now T'Ash's eyes gleamed, he tipped a hand in Draeg's direction.

"That might be fun." Then he teleported away. Draeg thought that Zanth might not be the only one who missed a little rough and tumble in the alleys.

Draeg wouldn't let them interrogate her. Not only would that blow the whole original scheme out of the water and reveal him being undercover – which he wasn't ready to explain until he found the right words – but he didn't know of anyone who'd react well to being hauled in and questioned by very powerful strangers. He'd pointed that out.

She might very well just shut up. She could even demand an advocate, and if she did, Draeg would request SupremeJudge Ailim Elder, a telempath, who would not be pleased with the FirstFamilies intimidating a young, naieve woman.

Nobody liked that idea.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Celta (etc.) Thursday

Celta (etc) Thursday: Working on my Biography (again!) for Lost Heart. So here's a list of my work (Celta in Reading Order), if you have questions, ASK, of course.
:) :
Celta HeartMate Series, in Reading Order
**Hearts And Swords (story collection, the first story, Heart and Sword, takes place on board the generational starship Nuada’s Sword)

Heart Thief
Heart Duel
Heart Choice
Heart Quest
Heart Dance
**Hearts And Swords (story collection, Heart Story)
Heart Fate
**Hearts And Swords (story collection, Heart and Soul)
Heart Change
***Free Short, short story ZANTH AND THE TREASURE
Heart Journey
***Script of the Heart novella, Coming Autumn 2016
**Hearts and Swords (story collection, Noble Heart)
Heart Search
Heart Secret
Heart Fortune (Glyssa Licorice and Jace Bayrum)
Lost Heart (Coming Spring 2016!)
Heart Fire
Heart Legacy
Heart Sight (Coming 2017)
* * *
Feral Magic, a Contemporary Paranormal Romance E-Novella
* * *
The Ghost Seer Series
Contemporary Paranormal with Romantic Subplot (featuring ghosts of the Old West)

Ghost Seer
Ghost Layer
Ghost Killer
Ghost Talker
Ghost Maker (Coming October 2016)

The Mystic Circle Series
Contemporary Fantasy

Enchanted No More
Enchanted Again
Enchanted Ever After

The Summoning Series
Average American women are summoned to another dimension to fight hideous evil…yes, flying horses!

Guardian of Honor
Sorceress of Faith
Protector of the Flight
Keepers of the Flame
Echoes In The Dark

* * *
The Road to Adventure (contemporary paranormal romance novella),
in What Dreams May Come, with Sherrilyn Kenyon and Rebecca York

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Celta Thursday - Lost Heart novella print cover

We (I) am inching closer to getting Lost Heart published. The novella will be in ALL EBOOK FORMATS! For those of you who want print, here is the first look at the cover. The print will be darker or the background lighter. We (my cover artist and I) are thinking of a specific graphic to indicate it is in the Celta HeartMate series. The final manuscript still needs to be copy edited by Final Eyes, then I'll see a sample print book, then uploading and everything else. Advertising is AFTER that just because this is my first effort and I have other obligations, too. Though I do hope all you who read me will help me.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Celta Thursday, Lost Heart Cover Copy

Yes, I think the last piece of work I needed to do was the cover copy for Lost Heart before it's ready to solidify the final formatting. So here it is:

RITA(c) Award Winning author, Robin D. Owens’ first Celta novella!

A magical society rife with telepathic critters with attitude, hiding their own agendas and secrets in their furry little paws.

Barton Clover, Chief of Security for his large and noble family, is deeply aware of his responsibilities. But two young relatives have left the family and disappeared. He's determined to find them and convince them to return. He has no time or inclination for love . . . but is presented with an ultimatum that his life is unbalanced. He must visit a matchmaker or be removed from his position.

Enata Licorice, a revered librarian has been spending time in a mysterious vault, and suffers from odd blanks in her memory. Desperately lonely, she yearns for a good husband and attends a matchmaking session of her own.

It's love at first sight for Barton and Enata, but they are crucial members of their families who demand their time and attention and both feel torn.

While trying to resolve their issues, Barton discovers Enata's secret and they must work as a couple to resolve the puzzle that includes Barton's missing family members, if they dare. And if they fail, they lose their lives, and others' too.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Celta Thursday: Heart Quest Cover story and pics

Celta Thursday, Heart Quest cover story and pics. First, the idea of Heart Quest was given to me by one of my critique buddy's during our reading of Heart Duel. "If I knew I had a HeartMate, I'd go door to door and try opening them!" So thanks to Anne Tupler. I bought several keys and sent various images to my editor. The cover is shiny, and a little too pastel for me. I wanted something more in keeping with the Black Magic Cult story inside so I changed the color of the font (I am NOT artistic), but, as usual at that point of time in my career, they didn't listen to me.

Below see a mockup I did with the red font, and also a pic of MidClass Lodge I made.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Celta Thursday, Heart Fire Cut, Tiana and the Turquoise House

Celta Thursday, Heart Fire Cut, Tiana and the Turquoise House:

"Turquoise House, I will need a meditation room, as soon as possible, can you direct me to an appropriate chamber?"
"I have prepared one for you, dear Priestess," said the House. "Down the right, the last door on the left. The windows face the back gardens."

"Thank you."

She walked through the sparsely furnished entry room and reached the hallway running the length of the house and turned right. A stray wisp of wondering where her sister had worked and her brother-in-law had suffered crossed her mind, but she said nothing aloud. Their time here was over and she was sure that Garrett wouldn't care to ever see the place again.

Of course the whole house had been sterilized since then. The hallway was wide enough for two normal sized people and she went to the door, pressed the latch, and opened it on a pale peach gem of a room. The wall of the room facing the grassyard was a window of medium square glass panes. Currently they were tinted smoky gray, blocking light and fogging her vision. Fine.

In the room were two simple black comfort chair-lounges, of some sort of woven material, like one might see outside on a terrace. Still, they appeared top of the line. But she only needed one. She went to one and folded it up, set it against the wall with the door that would be behind her.

"Please lock the door, Turquoise House and notify me if anyone wants inside this room. Please hold all but urgent calls from my Family or GreatCircle Temple."

"Done!" he caroled.

"Thank you." She eyed the comfort lounge – a piece of furniture that would conform to her body – dubiously, as she was accustomed to meditating as she sat. But the wooden plank floor was bare with no large pillows in sight. "We will have to order some big pillows, and for more than this room." She and her two friends loved such cushions.

"Wonderful!" said the Turquoise House. "Varying patterns and textures..." He hummed quietly to himself.

She angled the chair toward the windows, the foot part raised, the upper part one level down from upright. Tentatively, she moved onto the piece of furniture. It was unexpectedly solid for such a light frame and mesh, and the minute she leaned back, she felt the spell take hold and curve into support of her back, along her ankles and legs, around her derriere. A sigh escaped her.

Arms rose the exact amount for comfort and she grinned. Her very own comfort chair, as pillowy softness seemed to cradle her neck and head she knew she'd enjoy living here, even for a short while. Perhaps she might make enough to purchase a chair like this...or even this one, since when she left it would be well-used and maybe she could get it at a discount.

Then she regulated her breathing and began descending into a meditative state. She sank deep, deeper, deepest into a trance, letting her cares, the anxiety at this project, the nagging sense of foreboding, fall away as if they were blocks of stone tied to her body and the ropes frayed and broke.

And as she found her still center, she pulsed in the blissful moment of being one with the flow of the world. No thought but feeling infused her...the ancient, slow gong from the core of the planet of Celta itself, with an odd hollowness in the rising note beneath her. The slow warming and awakening in the soil around her, bulbs about to stretch sturdy shoots upward, the push from roots to grow. Then she felt the House itself and smiled. She swore the air around her fizzed with rainbow evanescence...and she, too, was rising in her mind, spending shorter in that time-without-time than she wanted, but she accepted reluctantly that this session was over.

"FirstLevel Priestess, FirstLevel Architect Antenn Moss Blackthorn is outside the door and ready to knock," the House said.

"Call me Tiana." When she used her voice again it was a breathy sigh. She couldn't care. "And, please, let him in."

She heard the door open in a fast shove and lifted her lashes to see Antenn stride in, an intense expression on his face. **There you are. You're mine.** The thought sliced through her drifting thoughts like lightning through mist. She shook her head to clear it, and her whole body tensed to suppress a surge of shocking heat that tingled all her nerves.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Belated Celta Thursday: Chapter notes from Heart Choice

Belated Celta Thursday: Chapter notes form Heart Choice: (I don't usually do these, so they're unusual)

25 – Being on the road and using his Flair to track exhilarated him...

So Mitchella and Drina spent the time together and at the end of the day they walked the halls. Drina exuded satisfaction. **Soon you will be gone and this will be mine. All mine.** Later that night, Mitchella....Mitchella kept busy as long as possible so she keep from dwelling on Straif and Antenn. She knew from her links with both of them that they were fine. She finally quit her office and dragged herself up to her guest suite. She knew from her links they were fine. She was a welter of nerves and she didn’t want to go to sleep for fear something would happen to them while she slept. To her surprise she found Drina sleeping in the middle of her bed – Drina and Mitchella arguing over whose bed it is and whether the other wants to share it. "It’s my bed and I intend to sleep in it. You may share it." Though Mitchella knew to a cat there is hardly ever any compromise. “My feet are cold.” Drina warmed her feet and they fell asleep in harmony with each other.

26- Arrival at mine, mine stuff, hearing, on the trail home, ending with arrival of Straif at the hearing. And since it took two days – the third night...can’t use Flair to hurry the animals up and get back...Straif noticed an easier way to go than T’Ash, because T’Ash is the best with stones, but Straif is better with tracking so he finds a shortcut and they get back a day earlier so he shows up at the hearing.

The day before, Straif was due home, Mitchella was summoned by the noble councils to a hearing...no, someone comes and says, come with me...they come to the Residence, yes, and they convene it there in the Residence. T’Reed and some other people. She’ll say this isn’t fair becuase of the open house stuff and they’ll say this is a preliminary survey. If they’re doing a preliminary she can force it. Everyone who comes will be of higher status than she.

Staif comes home and sends everyone away.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Heart Duel Original Opening

Heart Duel original first chapter, as you can see, most of it turned up in the 3rd scene :): Celta, 403 years after Colonization, Summer
When Holm Holly saw his mother perched on the side of his father's desk, her hand in her husband's, Holm tensed for the emotional blow.

He grumbled inwardly. He'd known someday that this moment would come, but, as usual, they'd surprised him. It must have been T'Ash getting wed or Ruis Elder's love match.

But Holm had just run out of time. And he needed time. He wasn't ready to start his wooing. She wasn't ready.

"Please, sit, son," his father, T'Holly, rumbled and gestured to one of the large, comfortable wingchairs stationed in front of his desk.

Holm stared balefully at the chair. It represented all the reprimands of his childhood. When he became T'Holly and succeeded to the title and the estate, that chair would go.

He reminded himself that he respected his parents and had sworn a loyalty oath to T'Holly as GreatHouse Lord. But Holm's mind sharpened as he sat. He had to play this game of wills smoothly.

His father cleared his throat. "Your mother and I have been talking . . ."

Holm's gut tensed. The worst news always began: "Your mother and I have been talking." Whether it had been problems with manners, responsibilities, his tutor, his psi power -- his Flair -- he'd always sat in this chair and heard those words. Though his father said the words, Holm knew who prompted the little talks. He stared at his Mamá. She didn't meet his eyes.
His teeth clenched in anticipation.

His parents exchanged glances, then his father turned his pewter-gray gaze again onto Holm. "You're thirty-seven, and while that isn't the great age here on Celta as it was on Earth, it is time you married."

Holm would give a great deal of gilt for a stiff drink right now. He sucked in a deep breath, trying to keep his face impassive. "None of my three Passages, the emotional storms that freed my Flair, indicated a HeartMate. I want what you have." Maybe that would earn him a little more time.

His Mamá looked at him with sorrow in her turquoise eyes and moved closer to his father.

"We know you don't have a HeartMate, dear." She sighed. "Many don't." She nodded with determination. "But it's time you wed. A fine marriage can be had with a good woman. Love can follow, I'm sure." Her voice faltered at the end, since being a HeartMate, she couldn't know personally. She swept her hand wide as if encompassing the city. "The Alders have a perfectly happy marriage, and your Aunt Leea loves her husband . . . ."

T'Holly continued for his HeartMate. "We need to know the Holly line will continue. We need heirs. At least two sons from you." His father was being less than his usual diplomatic self. The fact that T'Holly found the topic distasteful didn't stop Holm from resenting him.

"A few daughters would be nice, too," D'Holly murmured. She flashed the charming smile Holm had inherited. "As many as you can engender."

A growl rolled from Holm's lips before he could stop it.

His father raised winged silver brows and looked down his nose. "We expected this reaction."

He tapped a crystal set into the desk. A calendar-moon holo materialized between Holm and his parents.

The ResidenceLibrary spoke. "An appointment with the matchmaker,

GreatLady Saille D'Willow, has been made for Holm, HollyHeir. The meeting was expedited for two days from now, on Quert. It is to be a full session, no gilt limit."

Holm winced. The globe spun faster until it disappeared in a flash of blue-white light.

"We want you to be happy, dear, that's why we're sending you to the foremost matchmaker on Celta. D'Willow shouldn't have any difficulty finding you a suitable wife." His mother sounded troubled but determined.

"But you don't want me to be as happy as yourselves, with a HeartMate marriage," Holm said.

His father snapped into straight rigidity. "You know, if you had a HeartMate, we would do everything in our power to welcome her to the Family."

Holm narrowed his eyes and let a faint smile play on his lips. "Would you?"
"Of course," D'Holly said.

Holm lifted his brows. "By your Words of Honor?"

T'Holly scowled. D'Holly furrowed her forehead. "Yes, by our Words."

"By our Words," T'Holly echoed. "Not that it is applicable. D'Willow's matchmaking ability is the best. She doesn't personally see very many." He cleared his throat and handed Holm a sheet of papyrus. "Perhaps this will help her, and you."

Holm didn't have to read the papyrus to know what was on it. "A list of eligible women from Families with whom it would be advantageous to form a close alliance?" he mocked.

"Don't take that tone with your father," D'Holly said, in reflexive defense of her husband. "I'm sure several of the ladies listed are women you could come to love. I quite like Hedara of GreatHouse Ivy and am very fond of Gwylan of D'Sea."

Holm had heard such names before in the form of dropped hints. He stood. "Speaking of alliances, I trust that this appointment with the matchmaker didn't also include an alliance."

"It's a straight gilt payment," his father gritted.

"Good." Holm went to his mother and lifted her free hand to his lips. "I will follow your wishes in this." But he didn't smile at her like he generally did.
He'd go to the matchmaker. Better to keep his parents in the dark about his mate. A situation they didn't know about, they couldn't meddle in. He'd have to revise his plans, move sooner than he'd wanted. "I trust you will be satisfied with my choice of a wife."

They wouldn't.

He squeezed his Mamá's hand and dropped it, then left.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Heart Thief Cover Story: Belated Celta Thursday

Celta Thursday: Heart Thief Cover: Yes, belated. I was in England when my (new) agent saw the cover of Heart Thief. She was very pleased because it was a "single element" cover, in this case a green emerald heart against a silver background (and the background in the first editions was metallic).

I asked her what it was like, but I don't think she had the cover in front of her, because she couldn't tell (I was at an internet cafe at an odd hour, in Winchester, I think).

This is the hardest cover to show up okay on computer screens, the toned down one works best.
smile emoticon

But the story about Heart Thief is that I had no emerald heart in the book. I had an emerald necklace, but no heart. I had a gyroscope that became the emerald heart. I rewrote the book to include the heart.

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