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 28, 2014

Celta Thursady: Antenn Moss Blackthorn and Tiana Mugwort as I visualize them

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Celta Thursday: Heart Change: After consummation scene:

Celta Thursday: Heart Change: After consummation scene:

A few minutes later her ears stopped ringing enough to hear his ragged breathing. She opened her eyes to see the moonslit room of gray and silver shadows and night and Cratag's sharp eyes were closed, his smile that of a man savoring an experience. Her arms clamped around him tight, she wanted to keep this experience in her memory always, too. He didn't seem to notice the extra pressure, but that was fine. Her arms encompassed all she needed tonight.

"Wonderful," she murmured and liked the low, throaty sound of her voice.

He stiffened. "I'm too heavy."

"No." She paused, was he withdrawing again as he had earlier in the day? She wouldn't ask and spoil the moment. Perhaps she'd been imagining it. He'd been worried about Laev Hawthorn, and the last few days had been packed with change for Cratag, too. "No," she repeated.

"I'm glad you're here, that we're together here." Finally.

"If you're glad, I'm glad," he said gruffly, then added as he began removing himself gently from her with long stretching motions. "I am damn near ecstatic. Was – was ecstatic."

She chuckled, reached out and let her fingers trail down his thigh from hip to knee. "There's a washroom..." but he'd already headed there. Of course he would remember the layout of the house, he'd been through it often enough with his walks. Grinning, she thought she'd given him an excellent alternative for all those walks.

Stretching herself, she couldn't recall feeling quite as good as she did now for a long time. Longer than a long time, years, eons, her whole life. The man was a fabulous lover.

Before she knew it, he was back, and to her disappointment, dressed. His face was in shadows, but he draped her robe around her. "Sorry, for the tear, and I can't mend–"

But she'd already repaired the rips, though had nearly been sentimental and brain-softened-by-sex enough to let them be.

"Done, then," he said, and she didn't know what he meant. Whether she was finished weaving the fabric back together with Flair, or they were done with sex...surely not done with more? She refused to think so,
refused to let him think so. "Done? Oh, no, we aren't."

He smiled slowly then and she returned it. Offering his hand, he said. "Let's go upstairs then, to bed." He hesitated, then said deliberately, "Your bed."

"Oh, yes."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Finished with Ghost Killer! And editor thinks it's Awesome!

So, yeah, I'm chuffed my quick deadlines are over. Writing 5 books in 1.5 years, none of them under 85K (the average Heart book is 105K, and so were Ghost Seer and Ghost Layer despite my wish to make them shorter, but Ghost Killer came in at 85K+ because I didn't add another subplot) was Brutal. And two of those five books I seriously revised.

I may post here more often, I DO post on Facebook quite often, but I understand a lot of people don't care for that.

Anyway, I wanted a new wallet calendar (I usually get them for Heart books before I go to Romance Writers of America), and discovered if I wanted them for the Rocky Mtn Fiction Writers Colorado Gold in Sept, that I had to do them yesterday. So they were done yesterday.

Remember, these books are in mass market paperback.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Celta Thursday, original end to Chapter 13, Heart Change.

Celta Thursday, original end to Chapter 13, Heart Change. Some remains in the book, some is different.

The morning of lessons on architecture was blessedly broken by a scry from Laev. Cratag excused himself to take the call. He'd been interested enough when the Residence had talked and shown holos of the construction and development of itself, D'Marigold Residence. But after that it had begun going through each FirstFamily Residence, the history of the Earthen place the thing was modeled after, and the Families, and Cratag had gotten bored. He knew all he needed to about the FirstFamilies – who were T'Hawthorn's allies, enemies and neutral.

Which Families had any smoldering ill-feelings that might explode into a feud and lead to civil unrest.

He'd have liked to have learned a little more about T'Hawthorn Residence, but at the rate the lecture was going, that would show up a few days from now.

So he slipped away from the downstairs library to his suite and took Laev's scry, with more than one reason for gratitude. The Hawthorn colors of purple and gold, along with a slight tinge of green light, pulsed through the room. Laev's colors.

He strode to the bowl. "Cratag here."

The water droplets above the bowl showed Laev's smiling face, but there was a hint of trials undergone and survived in the backs of his eyes. Another exhalation of relief from Cratag. "You look good, Laev."

Laev stood straighter, his smile brightened, as if Cratag couldn't have said anything more complimentary. Cratag thought he felt – no, did feel – a wave of satisfaction from the seventeen year old. "My first fugue went well." His voice was slightly deeper, more resonant, from emotional storms. "I have more Flair than ever and I think the Hawthorn talent for business will be confirmed." He frowned a little and a distant look came to his eyes. "I think...I think I understand more of the web of the alliances that FatherSire has made."

Then a flashing smile with more warmth than Cratag had ever seen from T'Hawthorn. "And I did a few fighting forms and I believe I'm more flexible, have more strength, even than I did before."

A seventeen year old young man was plenty flexible. Cratag eyed Laev. There did seemed to be some sort of almost colorless waves around the young man. Cratag thought it was his own meager Flair that showed him that. "Could be," he said. "Congratulations on reaching your manhood, Laev HawthornHeir."

Laev beamed. "There will be a huge celebration later." He frowned a little, nodded decisively. "When you're home again. It wouldn't be the same without you."

Cratag's heart squeezed. "Thank you."

Rolling his shoulders, Laev said, "I miss our workouts already. May I have your permission to come there and train with you? FatherSire has given his permission."

Even more emotion choked Cratag. This was a man who would not forget him, who would value him as a part of the Family.

"Of course. Will MidAfternoon Bell work for you? That's when my sessions are scheduled. We run on set schedules here."

Laev raised his brows. "I wouldn't have thought D'Marigold – ah, it's the little one, Avellana."

"Yes." Then Cratag recalled what Signet had said about Laev perhaps triggering Avellana's Passage. He'd consult with Signet, but he wanted to see – to hug the man who had been his younger brother.

While he was considering this, a masculine gleam came to Laev's eye. "And Cratag, I think, I really think that I connected with my HeartMate!"

That admission tangled Cratag's emotions. Pride that the youngster was growing up and at his achievements, his potential. But also a sharp envy for such a love. He forced a smile. "Come this afternoon."

"I will." Laev tilted his head, grinned. "T'Hawthorn Residence has told me that I only have a few more minutes in my morning break, and that I should eat. Since I'm hungry...."

"See you later," Cratag said gruffly and watched the young man nod as he ended the scry.

Cratag rubbed his head, feeling more helpless than he had in a long time. He didn't know, exactly, what he was doing here, no solid mission. He didn't understand – in his gut – great Flair or Passage or HeartMates.

The place was beautiful but strange, the woman beautiful and strangely compelling.
"Is everything all right with young HawthornHeir? I knew you were worried about his Passage," the very woman Cratag was thinking about said, standing at the threshold of his sitting room. Had he closed the door? He didn't recall it latching, and gravity, or the Residence, might have swung it open.

"Yes, all is well." He let a breath out slowly. "His Passage is coming along smoothly." Cratag hesitated.

"You'd like him to visit here," Signet said.

"Yes, MidAfternoon Bell."

She nodded. "Avellana's Flair seems relatively stable, and my own catalyst Flair doesn't appear to be affecting her yet." Signet raised her brows at him.

Cratag nodded. "Yes, I think I'm being affected by you – by your Flair." Definitely by her and the attraction that vibrated between them. He went on, "My senses seem to be becoming sharper, and my Flair stronger in general." He shrugged. "I don't think even with all the catalyst nature of your Flair my own will increase to much more."

"Maybe not." She smiled at him and knots in his muscles that he hadn't known he'd had untangled. "I'm going to take Avellana to the craft room now." There was a slight lift in her voice as if asking if he'd join them.

"I need to look around the Residence again." Find a room suitable for sparring.
She spread her hands. "Be at home."

But when she left Cratag admitted that he wasn't quite sure who or where or what "home" was.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Belated Celta Thursday!

I'm so sorry, folks. I've been housesitting and not with my regular computer. Here's a belated Celta Thursday.

Celta Thursday: Cuts from Heart and Sword in the Hearts and Swords Collection:

"We’re lost," Kelse, the Captain just revived from the cryonics tube said.
"And we’re all dying. The crew doesn’t want to do their prescribed jobs. The ship is only automated to a certain extent," said Chloe, his exec who'd awakened him.
Something floated in Kelse’s memory, something about artificial intelligence and Nuada’s Sword, but it vanished with Chloe’s next words.
"The crew needs purpose," Chloe said.
"Who are our best astronavigators, astronomers?" Kelse asked.
"That’s the problem, we didn’t have many, maybe six. Julianna Ambroz is the best and she’s done everything she can. She’s currently the Captain of Arianrhod’s Wheel. Your wife, Fern, assisted our original astronomer...."
"I’m not having Fern awakened until this is all over." One way or the other. She could die in her sleep.
The thought that she’d die, they’d never have that future they fought for, stabbed him, made him wild inside, panic slid through his nerves and he grabbed is cup with white-knuckled force. He could not let that out. He’d known fear and panic and loss before and withstood it.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bubonicon, Five books done in 1.5 years! And Celta Thursday

First, I will be at Bubonicon this weekend! A couple of panels and a writing seminar and 55 minutes with Robin... so I'll answer anything about writing and publishing that you want. I'll be taking ARCs of Ghost Layer.

Second, as of yesterday...it's in. After a year and a half with 5 books over 85K words due, I've turned the last one in...late, but DONE. (Ghost Killer)

And Celta Thursday: Last Section of Heart Fire Cast of Characters:

Others, in order of appearance:

GreatLord Muin (Vinni) T'Vine: friend of Antenn, the prophet of Celta

GraceLord Hymale Equisetum: enemy of the Mugworts, founder of the Traditionalist Stance movement

Mica: FamCat to GreatLady Camellia D'Hawthorn

Brazos: FamCat to GreatLord Laev T'Hawthorn

Rusby: FamCat to Garrett Primross

GreatLord Rand T'Ash: jeweler/smith (hero of HeartMate), Fam Zanth

GreatLady Danith Mallow D'Ash: animal Healer (heroine of HeartMate)

Arvense Equisetum: farmer, cuz to GraceLord Equisetum

GraceLord Majus T'Daisy: newssheet owner and editor

GrandLord Walker T'Clover: statesman (hero of the novella Noble Heart in the collection Hearts and Swords)

GentleLady Avellana Hazel: daughter of a FirstFamily House, artist, fiancé to Vinni T'Vine.

GreatSir Tinne Holly, owner of The Green Knight Fencing and Fighting Salon (hero of Heart Fate).

GreatSir Nuin Ash: eldest son of T'Ash and D'Ash, fire mage

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Celta Thursday: upcoming Heart Fire Character List

Celta Thursday, Heart Fire Character List continued (coming Nov).
Tiana Mugwort's Best Friends:

Felonerb: her FamCat animal companion

Camellia Darjeeling D'Hawthorn: GreatLady D'Hawthorn, businesswoman/cook, owner of teashops (heroine of Heart Search), FamCat Mica

Glyssa Licorice Bayrum: FirstLevel Librarian (heroine of Heart Fortune), FamFox **

Tiana Mugwort's Family:

Artemisia Mugwort Primross: sister, Healer (heroine of Heart Secret), FamRacoon Randa

Quina Mugwort: mother, devotee of the Intersection of Hope religion, Healer

Sinjin Mugwort: father, former judge, writer of legal articles

Garrett Primross, brother-in-law, private investigator, FamCat Rusby.

The Temple People:

High Priestess GrandLady Ulmaria Meadowsweet** D'Sandalwood of GreatCircle Temple

High Priest GrandLord Alb T'Sandalwood of GreatCircle Temple

Lucida Gerania of GreatCircle Temple, FirstLevel priestess and rival of Tiana Mugwort

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ghost Killer Done!

Whew! 5 books (none under 80K words), in 1.5 years! Whew. Perhaps, someday I will get that awesome RUSH of feeling that I've finished again. I miss it. I'm tired but done.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Celta Thursday, the Turqouise House Floorplan

Celta Thursday, and keeping head down. I'll be focused on work today and tomorrow, but here's Celta Thursday, the sketch I made of the Turquoise House's floorplan that I used for Heart Fire.

And I don't know why it turned around. So it goes. Later, folks!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Celta Thursday, Upcoming Heart Fire cut

Celta Thursday -- UPCOMING HEART FIRE CUT, I'm all about easy until done with Ghost Killer. Hero is Antenn Moss (architect, adopted son of the Blackthorns)...heroine is Tiana Mugwork, priestess. Lord Equisetum is the antagonist in this novel:

He took a waterfall, dried off, and sank into the comfort of his bedsponge, pulling linens over himself. Pinky settled on the far edge of the bed on his pillow, as plump as the cat himself, and dropped into snuffling sleep.

As Antenn's mind whirled with images of the day – and he sure preferred Tiana Mugwort over GraceLord Equisetum – he let himself fall into the near-sleeping. And reached for his unknown HeartMate.

To no avail. Though their link was small, it was strong, and seemed to be thickening by the minute. Yet he didn't find her in sleep...to maybe have some invigorating dream sex. Maybe he should try...but black exhaustion drowned him.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

All Heart Books Up on Audible! And Celta Thursday

Here's the series: http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_hp_tseft?advsearchKeywords=Robin+D.+Owens&filterby=field-keywords&x=0&y=0 This is narrated by Noah Michael Levine, recommended by a good friend. Ghost Seer is narrated by a woman, for contrast. :)

And because it's easy, and the copy edits for Heart Fire lit yesterday, here's the first section of the Cast of Characters for Heart Fire that is open on my machine and I'm working on:

Cast of Characters

Antenn Blackthorn-Moss's Family:

Pinky: Antenn's cat who became a FamCat animal companion

Shade Moss: older brother, murderer, one of a slum triad gang (3 boys linked mentally), deceased

Mitchella Clover D'Blackthorn: adopted mother, interior designer, FirstFamily GrandLady (heroine of Heart Choice)

Straif T'Blackthorn: adopted father, FirstFamily GrandLord, tracker (hero of Heart Choice)

Trif Clover Winterberry: adopted cousin, composer/musician (heroine of Heart Quest)

Ilex Winterberry: cousin by marriage, Chief of all the Druida City guards (police), (hero of Heart Quest)

Draeg Betony Blackthorn: adopted cuz, warrior (upcoming hero of Heart Legacy)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Free short, short story: Zanth and the Treasure with Soundtrack and Sounds

I did this myself, so let me know if you like the music or not. :) Also, you must have Chrome or Firefox to view (or can download an app for Apple products).

Here: http://www.booktrack.com/#!/bookshelf?booktrackId=774f1d5c831548e0b8573384ba916eda Let me know about it

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Celta Thursday: Timeline of stories and books (my working timeline with notes)

Celta Thursday. I had an email requesting the Timeline of ALL the stories, i.e. the stories in the Hearts and Swords Collection interwoven with the books. I've posted this before, but here I'm not stripping out my personal notes: On the Ship and the Discovery of Celta:

HeartMate: Druida City, Celta, 400 years after Colonization, Summer, July, Discovery Day
The Turquoise House becomes aware/is born.
Heart Thief: Druida City, Celta, 400 Years after Colonization, Autumn
Heart Duel: Druida City, Celta, 403 years after Colonization, Summer, Month of Holly
Heart Choice: Druida City, Celta, 404 Years After Colonization, Spring

**Nuin Ash is born late 404

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Heart Search (Laev): Druida City, Celta, 421 Years After Colonization, Late Spring
Nuin Ash is 17

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


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

RobinDOwens› oh, 421 after colonization, last book was "late summer" and apparently this one is "end of summer"

06:04:55 ‹RobinDOwens› so end of Aug, I guess, and if the thing takes place over a while, I'll have to move into Sept...hmmm, maybe I can bring storms across the bluegrass plains...

HEART FIRE(Antenn Blackthorn-Moss and Tiana Mugwort), Druida City, 422 years after Colonization, Early Spring) half a year since Heart Secret.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Zanth and the Treasure (free short-short story)


Celta, 406 Years After Colonization, Summer

Zanth's whiskers twitched. The smell was incredible. Incredible and wonderful and with the scent of great Flair magic.

He padded warily through the night and the bushes that rose high above his head. He'd never been out of the city of Druida before. Here on his FamMan's southern, overgrown estate there were creatures that might try and make a mouthful of him. But he was a canny and clever cat, the pre-eminent cat of Druida, and therefore, of course, the whole world of Celta.

The bushes loomed and rustled with animals and midnight noises. He placed each paw carefully, flexed his claws.

There was treasure up ahead and he meant to have it.

Slithering under the rusted greeniron gate, he wallowed for a few instants in the dirt and dust, spreading his own scent. Notifying all in the area that the mighty Zanth was on the prowl, that this estate, once abandoned, was now his.

He sniffed luxuriously. No celtaroons. He'd cleaned out two nasty nests in the few days they'd been here. There was wolf, far away, but the pack was made of low, unintelligent creatures and no match for Zanth.

He was a FamCat of the highest order, of the greatest nobility. Now he was pampered, Absolutely his due. He'd found the boy child in the slum of Downwind and cared for him, let him love him and be a Fam. Then they grew big enough to walk the Vengeance Stalk. They'd killed those men who'd murdered the Ash Family. Zanth had gotten his Residence and his room and his bed and his velvet pillow.

And his chef.

It was a lie that he was soft and fat. He could still take any feral tom in Druida.

The tantalizing scent came from beyond the ragged gliderway...it came from the road. Not a big road, but one with lots of odors of stride beasts, llamas, a horse or two. And low predator and prey animals and carrion eaters.

The lake to the south ladened the air with rich smells of fish and small prey and his favorite, sewer rat.

But even wet rat didn't smell as good as this human-Flair-made-thing.

He sauntered out, nose lifted, reveling in all the excellent new smells, the slight breeze sliding against his fur, the beingness in a new place just waiting for him to put his paw prints all over it.

In a few bounds he found the sphere. Glass with interesting-unique-special stuff floating inside. It smelled of woman and strange places beyond any Zanth had experienced. There was a little tang of the Great Platte Ocean that he recognized, and of Gael City where he'd been, and even a icy wind that caused him to shiver and his hair to raise, the far north. More recently was the gaminess of the Hard Rock Mountains. Slightly buried in dirt, he pawed it out, grinning as his claws dug deep in the rich earth of this new place that would know him.

He rolled the sphere a little way, watching something sparkle inside it. Tasting it, his tongue absorbed some of the Flair that created it and emanated from it and he purred. It made him feel better. A treasure indeed.

**That is *MINE.** The snarling shout – mental and physical – stopped Zanth in his tracks. He rolled the globe behind his front paws. It felt good against his heart.

A scrawny and scruffy fox slipped onto the road. Not much like those aristocratic foxes in Druida City. Zanth was as big as this one and had more muscle and mass.

But the last time he fought a fox his emerald stud had been ripped from his left ear and lost. He'd also teleported home with a broken hind leg.

FamMan T'Ash had sworn and had taken a long time to make the new stud.

FamWoman Danith had cried.

**Mine!** the fox yelled again.

Zanth didn't run from fights. He could win against this dog fox. The fox lifted his lip, showing teeth, and Zanth growled back, packing it with power. The fox set his paws and hunkered, ready to fight.

**Go away!** Zanth demanded. **This is my place and all here belongs to ME. All prey, all leaves to chase, and essspesssially this THING.**

The fox barked challenge. Zanth hissed and growled until he could only hear himself. Then he grinned because the fox hopped backward. Still there was something in the animal's eyes that told Zath the fox might pounce if he turned his back, or took his gaze off the fox to enjoy his new treasure.

**Leave the sphere,** said the fox.

The sphere sent warmth into Zanth's middle. He wanted it. He would have it. **This Thing is Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine!** Zanth switched his tail. That was that. Six "mines" and that pointy-nosed creature should know it was his. Cats never backed down after six "mines."

The fox snapped out a bark. **That landscape globe belongs to my FamWoman. She made it.**

Zanth sniffed. **Then why doesn't she have it?**

**She makes them and lost some. I have gotten two.**

Zanth saw in the fox's mind that there had been three. He reverted to the slum speech of his kittenhood. **ME HAS THIS ONE!**

Again the fox showed a lift of upper lip and muzzle, growled again. This time the toughness of battle reflected in his eyes. **Del made it with sweat and blood and Flair.** A shifting of balance of the paws and tail. The stringy fox would fight.

With one strong kick of a hind leg and a demonstration of his own fabulous Flair, Zanth sent the "landscape globe" soaring back into the estate, between the rails of the green iron gate.

The fox narrowed his eyes, flexed his dark, dirty claws.

Zanth matched glares. **I am Zanth, and the bauble is Mine. I will win.** He swaggered forward and his very presence made the fox step back.

**Zanth. I have heard of Zanth,** the fox said.

**Of course.** Zanth smiled with all his teeth. **I have killed many sewer rats, many celtaroons, sired many litters.**

With a long stare, the fox looked Zanth from tooth to tail tip. **You are uglier than I thought.**

Zanth curled his lip. **You are so ugly the twinmoons hide.** They'd gone behind a cloud.

**You are FamCat to T'Ash,** the fox said.

It was a rare fox who could match insult with insult and this one obviously wasn't so smart, though annoying all the same. **T'Ash is MY FamMan.**

Then the fox darted in and swung a paw. Zanth hopped aside, then hissed and surged forward, back arched, all his hair out. Yes, he was more muscular, thicker than this stupid, scrawny fox.

It hunched it's back and screeched so Zanth had to flatten his ears.

**I WILL fight you!** Even as he rumbled a growl deep in his throat, Zanth's thoughts sped.

In a fight he might lose his emerald ear studs and his collar. FamMan refused to fix them again or make him more. FamWoman would be sad. Tears might drip down her face and onto Zanth's fur like the last time he came back bloodied. That made him feel almost worse than losing his gems.

But he extended his claws. He let battle anticipation sit on his tongue before saying, **I am Zanth and I will win this battle, as I win ALL My battles.**

He paused. He was so clever. He said, **But...**

The fox snapped up Zanth's bait. **What?**

**I could pay you for the landscape globe with rabbit.** In Zanth's experience foxes loved rabbit.

His adversary's tongue rolled out and a string of drool hung to the ground. **Real Earthan rabbit or the Celtan mocyn?** The fox asked.

Snorting, Zanth said, Rabbits. **Two. Freshly killed and put in a cold spot where I can get in with my Flair.** A neighboring farmer had done the killing, but Zanth didn't care. If it was available to him and no one guarded it from him, it was his.

Done! cried the fox, and he was equally irritating as he kept up with Zanth on the run to the neighbor's cold shed.

Feeling magnanimous, Zanth showed the creature how to manipulate the latch with Flair. The fox took both rabbits while Zanth sat and groomed his paws. The treasure was his and it would last a lot longer than a couple of rabbit meals. Besides, he didn't like rabbit.

Once they were away from the shed and the road, they eyed each other, then the fox nodded and said, **I am Shunuk.**

**I haven't heard of you,** Zanth said.

The fox's tail bristled and flicked, then he was gone in the night, nearly as quiet and stealthy as Zanth himself.

Zanth hurried back to his estate to claim his treasure. He stared at it and for an instant in the twinmoons' light and an image solidified inside the sphere – Zanth's Residence and room and his velvet pillow. He lipped up his treasure and grinned around the globe.

He was the strongest and cleverest and best FamCat – FamAnimal – on all of Celta. Naturally.

Life was good.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Celta Thursday: 2nd Interview with T'Ash

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

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

GThost Seer Audio by Audible is UP!

It's LIVE! ($3.47) for audible members. http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Seer-Book/dp/B00K7E161G/ref=tmm_aud_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1403011858&sr=8-1

Not sure if I posted Ghost Layer's cover here or not, but here it is:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Belated Celta Thursday -- Interview with T'Ash

Sorry, I wrenched my ankle badly yesterday afternoon and forgot to post. Since I'm still pretty laid up, I'm going to post something that I have before, but what some of you might not have seen, the FIRST interview I did with T'Ash, of my first book, HeartMate:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robin: You live in?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, June 05, 2014

Celta Thursday: Cut snippet from Heart and Sword from the Hearts and Swords Collectio

Celta Thursday: Cut snippet from Heart and Sword from the Hearts and Swords Collection (the first story set on the starship)

"Is this all of you?" Kelse put on a haughty expression as he stared at the three mutineers in the conference room.

"We have sixty percent of the people behind us!" Randoph said.

"You might have before you started killing people."

"We didn’t kill anyone!"

"Then who did? I don’t negotiate with murderers. I know your agenda, kill the Captain, kill the people in the cryonics bay, and the ship is all yours " He smiled the smile that made men cringe. "Soon you will make a mistake. Then I’ll let the crew decide what to do with you."
Randolph gulped, shot a glance at his leader. When that man shook his head, Randolph kept his mouth shut. The young man was intelligent. And misguided. And loyal to the point of stupidity.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Celta Thursday, a peek at Heart Fire

Celta Thursday -- this is the ORIGINAL OPENING from UPCOMING Heart Fire. Portions of this are in the book, but not in the opening:
"I know you want my position, dear," the High Priestess of GreatCircle Temple, the main priestess on the planet, said to Tiana Mugwort.

Tiana was lucky she'd only taken a sip of the hot floral tea and hadn't swallowed or she'd have spewed it out. Of course she shouldn't have expected her ambition -- no matter how masked behind a quiet manner -- to have been overlooked by the savvy woman.

"And despite the rumors, I am not ready to retire within the next few years." The older woman, Ulmaria Meadowsweet Sandalwood, smiled with good humor plumping her round cheeks, kindness showing in her sparkling dark brown eyes. "I may never be ready to retire. Meanwhile, it is time to evaluate you for your next step up this career ladder you wish to pursue, yes?"

Warning! Tiana began to sweat even in the high priestess's office suite that was cool from the large floor to ceiling windows on this curve Great Circle Temple.

Ambition and spirituality didn't often mix well and everyone who'd chosen to become a priestess or priest knew it. With great care, Tiana took a swallow of the hot brew then set the delicately thin porcelein cup down into the equally delicate saucer, handpainted antiques from the lady's birth Family -- a Family with much more clout than Tiana's disgraced one.

That disgrace that was a thorn in Tiana, spurring her need to reach the greatest pinnicle in their religion, one of the highest positions in their culture. Her eyes stung as she glanced around the space that she wanted for her own.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Celta Thursday, Heart Journey Maps

Celta Thursday: Heart Journey, Maps and Cards. Below is the map Tabacin/GrandLady Cherry used for the back of her oracle cards, showing Fish Story Lake (the greenish circular thing), and the orange of he Deep Blue Sea to the south. Also the original topographic map...as I stated in Heart Journey Tabacin liked bold covers.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Celta Thursday Cut from Heart and Sword, of the collection Hearts and Swords

"How long do we have?" Kelse Bountry, Captain of Nuada's Sword Starship asked his executive officer, Chloe Hernandez.

Her grandson, Randolph Ash, swallowed. "No more than eight months."

Reality had always been hard. Kelse nodded, managed a faint twitch of his lips that was a grim smile. "Good."


"We won’t last years. In fact–" He thumbed the All Ship Intercom. "This is Captain Bountry. The birth rate ban is hereby lifted, and I’m declaring a holiday. Enjoy yourselves." There was a stunned silence, Randolph stared at him, and then even through the walls he heard whoops of incredible joy.

Randolph sank onto the chair. Under his olive skin tone, he’d gone pale. "They’ll soon figure it out."

The doors slid open and Fern walked in. Her hair was tumbled and she was in a heavy robe. "Kelse?"

"We have less than nine months," he said.

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

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

He couldn’t concentrate on that right now. Had to keep up battle mode.

"We’ll find a place. I’m sure of it," Fern said.

Kelse’s new expression wasn’t any better than his last. Fern had always been a terrible prognosticator. Which reminded him. "Maybe we should wake Magus ."

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

Fern’s chuckle was low. "I’m not a good prophet, but she is. The best prophet we have."

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

"Morale is going to be tough. Your friend, Dirk Lascom, the leader of the mutineers, is going to win over others. Glowing prophecies of success would mitigate that.."

"They’d reassure me," Fern said.

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

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

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

Randolph shot out his chin. "She’s one of us. Wants nothing to do with you sleepers."

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

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

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

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

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

"Of course."

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

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

Friday, May 09, 2014

Belated Celta Thursday, Trimmed Scene from Heart Fate

Sorry, I was on a whirlwind (as much as a 5 hour drive each way and 2 night stay can be quick) research trip for Ghost Killer (book 3 that was Ghost Slayer), and at a hotel with no WiFi. Anyway, here is a trimmed scene from Heart Fate;

Stomping of feet, crunching of branches, ahead of Lahsin.

She scuttled, then stopped at the sound of voices, put her hand over her mouth to quiet her ragged breathing. "–That pidyn-suckin' fliggerin' sonofa-blerk Winterberry. I wish that grychomp had eaten his bare ass. Swaggerin' inta our gatehouse an' tellin' us to walk – walk! – to Northgate lookin' for some stup of a lil' girl who got herself lost. I was just ready to sink my teeth into a cinnamon glazed doughround. Ya see how Winterberry looked down that arrogant nose at us?"

"Sloegin, I thought he said 'patrol.' Patrol between here and Northgate."

Lahsin was caught in an awkward crouch. The door in the wall was just two meters from her. She could see it now, a small, square door. If only she was there! Branches had formed a thicket around the door, but byeond were much thinner. She could see the colors of the Eastgate guardsmen's uniforms. If she could see them, they could see her . . . .

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Celta Thursday, cut "Transition" from Heart Change, Chapter 20:

Over the next week, Cratag took his affair with Signet one day at a time. He'd adjusted to his new surroundings and his new responsibilities, and now knew D'Marigold Residence as well as T'Hawthorn Residence – except the secret way to the HouseHeart and the HouseHeart itself.
He'd been in T'Hawthorn HouseHeart two times with T'Hawthorn, but Cratag certainly didn't expect Signet to tell him her Family's most guarded secret.

But they danced together, the old fashioned dances he knew and the equally antique steps she was teaching him that made up "tap."

She was as open a lover as he'd ever had, both in and out of bed, unselfconscious and sharing. She made her caring and her respect for him clear, and though the link between them was there, he wasn't always able to read her emotions. And wasn't sure whether he wanted to read them, either. He'd learned to live in the moment as he had when he'd been a mercenary, and be grateful for the blessings the Lord and Lady had graced him with. He was taking nothing for granted, but his imagination sometimes spiraled out of control and he thought of a long term relationship with her. They were still very far apart class-wise, but they found other areas of extreme compatibility.

He wasn't sure, either, exactly how much her catalyst Flair was affecting him and on what levels, but his senses became sharper and his Flair expanded – not by much, and he was sure he'd never be able to teleport – but life became more comfortable as spells he'd struggled with or had been beyond him were now easily mastered.

As for Avellana, she'd regained her equilibrium but she held herself differently and Cratag believed she viewed herself differently, too. Not a girl who had brain damage and might not survive her First Passage, but a girl who'd overcome brain damage and would survive all her Passages. A positive spin on a negative situation. All to the good.

Vinni T'Vine was often at D'Marigold Residence too.

Signet and the Residence were gracious and graceful in their handling of schedule shuffles, requests for reports, lessons for Avellana, and visitors on short notice.

Laev began dropping by in the afternoons after his journeyman hours to work out with Cratag during his midafternoon training time, and Vinni would often join them. Occasionally he would stay for tea, but all were very aware that his Passage could trigger Avellana's. Laev had had his second Passage fugue and once again Cratag had experienced it. The dreamquest had been both shorter and less intense than Avellana's, and Laev was sure he'd connected with his HeartMate.
He, too, was growing into his new Flair, the new responsibilites as an adult, and the duties that T'Hawthorn was assigning him. The boy was definitely becoming a man, and developing his own opinions.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Celta Thursday, Last bit of cut Heart Search first scene

Laev T'Hawthorn fingered the silver encased writestick that he preferred. His many-times ancestress's red gold desk set had gone missing years ago and was not one of the items that had been recovered. He wondered if the desk set had been melted down. Wondered who had the pieces. If he had enemies he didn't know about who were collecting Hawthorn Family items.

He'd talk about the loss of his HeartGift in person with his private investigator, Primross. That was going to be a fun conversation, though it was an old open secret that Laev T'Hawthorn had gone against his Family's wishes and wed a girl he'd believed was his HeartMate. A girl who had encouraged him to think so. She'd wanted the wealth and status of being a GreatLady, the highest of the high on the planet Celta.

Primross was a smart man and a competent one, he probably already guessed what Laev wanted.

Of course Laev had a link to his HeartGift, and once again he closed his eyes, settled into his inner balance and reached for it. The sculpture was wedged somewhere and he couldn't translocate it. Nor could he determine the coordinates. Dark. Dry, he thought. In good shape, he hoped.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Heart Search Cut First Scene, continued

All right, there's a reader's birthday on Facebook, so I posted the next bit in the cut scene I've been running from Heart Search on Celta Thursdays. So here it is, too:

Heart Search Cut First Scene continued,
Laev T'Hawthorn studied Primross. The detective had already exceeded Laev's expectations in recovering some of the family treasures. Laev’s pride had been too touchy to speak to another FirstFamily lord to track them. Discreet inquiries had led Laev to Primross.

It didn't matter that Primross disliked the noble class and barely treated Laev with civility. It didn't matter that Laev's pride took a beating as he revealed his secrets to the man. What mattered was getting the items back, and in that, Primross had been successful.

Another concern was the amount of time that had passed. Nivea had been dead for nearly two years. She’d been selling Hawthorn items for five years before that – objects that Laev’s FatherSire wouldn’t have considered valuable but Laev did.

Laev’s FatherSire – his father’s father – had hidden the problem from him. But that T’Hawthorn had passed on three months ago. The shock that Nivea had been a thief and his FatherSire had tolerated that, made no attempt to retrieve Family heirlooms had stunned Laev.

Laev said, "Send me a contract for a monthly retainer, for an initial period of three months."

Surprise flashed in Primross's eyes then he jerked a nod. "The courier with your bracelets is on the way. I'll have the contract in your cache box within the septhour." Primross named an amount that seemed lower than it should have been. Laev narrowed his eyes to study the impassive man. Was the investigator hiding something himself?

Before he could question the man, the scry screen went dark.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Celta Thursday Cut Scene: Continuation of cut Chapter 1, Heart Search

Celta Thursday Cut Scene: Continuation of cut Chapter 1, Heart Search
"We’ll talk, Primross, about what else I want, but not now and not over a scry," Laev said to the private investigator.

The Residence sent the echo of a banging door and an exuberant breeze seemed to rush toward Laev. His journeywoman student, like the younger sister he'd always wanted, had arrived for her morning lesson in finance and estate building. It took real effort to slam the door in the Residence, but Jasmine Ash always managed.

She'd stop at the kitchens for a treat and to stroke Black Pierre, the old FamCat who'd survived Laev's FatherSire's death.

Laev leaned back in his comfort chair. "I don't have any more time for this matter now. Please obtain the bracelets and have them delivered as soon as possible."

With an insincere dip of the head, Garrett Primross said, "As you wish, GreatLord." He hesitated a beat, then asked, "Do you wish to continue to retain my firm?"

Primross Investigations was only the man himself and an apprentice, but Laev appreciated pride a lot more now than he had as a youngster. Sometimes appearances and pride were all that had kept him going.

"Yes." He calculated how long it would take for Primross to find his HeartGift. That gift, made during the second fugue which freed his psi power, his Flair, could only be truly sensed by himself and his HeartMate. Too bad he'd thought Nivea was his HeartMate when he was a gullible seventeen and given it to her.

HeartMate is up on AUDIBLE!

So thrilled! Here it is: http://www.audible.com/search?searchAuthor=Robin+D.+Owens

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Celta Thursday: Cut opening from Heart Search

Celta Thursday, Heart Search cut opening:
Druida City, Celta, 422 Years After Colonization, Late Spring

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Thank you," the investigator said. His eyes narrowed and he continued softly, "Now, GreatLord, why don't you tell me what you really want me to find?"
Heat edged Laev's cheeks. The man was more observant than Laev had expected. He was a master of his craft and several years older than Laev's thirty-two, and though a commoner, there was something about the man that disquieted Laev. Probably the aura that whatever mistakes the guy had made, he'd fixed them immediately...and they weren't as disastrous as marrying the wrong woman in a culture that condemned divorce.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Celta Thursday: Hearts & Swords (story collection), Heart Story

Celta Thursday: Hearts & Swords (story collection), Heart Story: I did about five openings for Heart Story before settling on the one in the book. This is one of them:

Druida City, Planet Celta 406 Years After Earth Colonization, Spring

Her mother was dead. Finally. Good riddance.

Now Arbusca Willow – and the rest of her family – was out from under the woman's tyranny and they all could get on with their lives. Some of the women who'd lived in the Residence had already found lovers or husbands of HeartMates.

Arbusca's son had convinced her that it was her turn. But being married was something she'd forgotten how to do long ago,when she'd married the man her mother had wanted, someone rich whom the woman could dominate. A man who hadn't lasted two years. She was fairly sure her mother hadn't actually killed him, though, just intimidated him to death.

So Arbusca paced the private dining room she'd rented at her social club for the first meeting with her HeartMate.

Before last month, they hadn't connected in twenty-five years. Even then, they'd never met, but linked during hot, sexual dreams when their psi magic had been freed during fugue states. Through their link she'd only known that he'd travelled south...all the way to the southern continent.

The bond between them had been the slimmest, she'd suppressed them – if not the yearning for her HeartMate – so long. But in several hopeful moments over the last year, she'd given the bond gentle tugs.

Last month Dri Paris had contacted her, and now he walked into the room.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Ghost Seer Out Today! And win a free copy!

Ghost Seer is out today, in electronic and MASS MARKET PAPERBACK form!
I had the chance for a friend of mine, Arwen, to read my heroine's, Clare Cermak's cards, and am giving away 3 free copies, here: http://tarotbyarwen.com/blog/?p=17710.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Ghost Seer Coming April 1! Cover and Excerpt!

Plainsview City, Cottonwood County, South Central Montana, August 20th, morning

The minute he walked through that door, Zach Slade's career, the one he loved, was over.

Who was he kidding? His time as a cop -- a deputy sheriff here in Cottonwood County, Montana -- was already over. Due to a mistake on his part and a crippled foot and ankle. His leg hurt less than the emotional ripping inside him. He thought he could feel the weight of his badge in his jean's pocket, but he couldn't. Only the weight of this last duty.

His gaze slid around the wide marble-floored corridor of the old County Hall that housed the Sheriff's Department. No one around to see his hesitation, how his hand trembled as he put it on the door handle. All the frosted glass and wooden doors were closed.

He shifted his shoulders to release the tension. He was not going to take a desk job, no matter what his boss thought. With a tighter grip on the handle of his cane in his left hand...the same side as his injured leg because he wanted to keep his right hand free for his weapon, he pushed down the cool metal lever and moved from impressive marble to institutional carpet.

"Hey, Zach," the young, brunette, and four month's pregnant dispatcher said.

"Hey, Margo."

"Off the crutches!" she enthused.

"Just today. The boss in?"

She grimaced. "He's been waiting for you. You really leaving?"

Zach'd already packed up the stuff he couldn't live without -- precious little -- and donated the rest to a thrift store. He'd sold his 'Vette as soon as the news came he wouldn't be able to drive her since his ankle and foot wouldn't work the clutch. When he'd been bound to a wheelchair. Another pang twisted his insides and he kept it from showing on his face.

Margo looked at him with pity, as if him lapsing into silence was okay instead of answering her question. And Margo would gossip about everything except official police business, and soon he wouldn't be a cop, so he said, "Maybe."

Her forehead wrinkled. "I hope you stay. I like you, Zach."

He raised his brows. "Kind of you to say, plenty don't."

"They're just plain jealous and resentful 'cuz you did so well with the Billings city cops in Yellowstone County. You're one of us, no matter what else anyone says," she huffed.

Zach would have liked to believe her, but didn't. He pulled folded papers from his pocket and put them on her disk. "My recertification to carry a weapon."

"I'll process that for you right away."


Her intercom buzzed, and Sheriff Walder said, "Send Zach in, Margo."

"Of course!" She beamed at Zach and he moved, slower than he'd wanted but balancing with a cane was different than crutches, to the thick oak door of the Sheriff's office and entered.

His boss stood and came around the big, scarred desk and offered his hand, scrutinizing Zach from under heavy, thrusting gray brows. "I was hoping I wouldn't be seeing you yet, that you'd give matters more thought."

Zach had already spent too many stretching-infinite months thinking. He shook his boss's hand.

"How's the ankle and foot?"

"As good as they'll ever be," Zach said, suppressing bitterness, lowering himself to the client chair as smoothly as possible. The bullet had struck his tibia just below the knee, shattering the bone and severing the peroneal nerve. Now he had foot drop and couldn't control the flexing of his left ankle. Couldn't control his own foot! His jaw clenched.

Sheriff Walder went back and sat in a chair that creaked under his big body as soft classical music played in the background. Walder liked that stuff. Atop his polished desk he had a line of manila files -- four. "You do good work, Zach, and I want you to stay."

"Sorry, can't do that."

Walder tapped his forefinger on his desk, his thinking mode. The next gaze he leveled at Zach was intense. "I would have made the same mistake as Lauren and you, Zach."

Anger speared, sharp and brutal, setting off a trail of other little explosions of feelings inside, messing with his head, screwing up his breathing. But he met the Sheriff's eyes.

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