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.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Denver, United States

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

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Avellana's Story Part 5:

Avellana Story part 5: Then Avellana and Muin proceeded through the cathedral until they both stepped out into the large area of the intersection of the cross arms. Their gazes met and they watched each other until they reached the center altar. Muin moved with muscular grace, and was *hers.*

Her hands rose to clasp with his at the same instant as his reached for hers.

She met his eyes and noticed a line had sketched above his nose. She had to banish it, so she let what she felt flow through her— more carefree than ever in her life— and she grinned, sending effervescent joy down their bond, urged him to accept that and let it cycle through him so he could return it to her.
Keeping her gaze locked on his, she said, “No worries. Our future together is brilliant.”

He hesitated, his lips curving slightly, then repeated, “Our future together is brilliant.”

Pulling her hands from his, she threw herself into his arms. “We’ll meet the future together.”

“Yes.” He kissed her and as their mouths merged, she sensed the dazzle of visions swirling through her brain, and, for her, they all sparkled. She laughed into his mouth and he broke the kiss to look into her eyes and laugh with her.

He shook his head. “Sparkling visions. I haven’t had such.”

She hugged him tightly. “Stick with me.”

“I always have and always will.”

She tried to shake him, but he didn’t move much, strong and solid Muin. “I love you, HeartMate.”

“My love and my HeartMate.” He closed his eyes but his lashes dampened. “Finally. I love you, Avellana.”

He hadn’t opened his eyes. She sank against him, yet felt the colorful swirl of Flair and visions through him. Something tickled…

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Avellana's Story Part 4

Simply stepping into the sacred space of the cathedral of the Interection of Hope, the Hopefulls, *her* faith,soothed her . . . and finally dried up the tears that had lodged uncomfortably at the bottom of her throat since the violent events of the morning.

Like at the labyrinth, she stood a moment to settle her thoughts before reciting the opening prayer and moving in meditation.

All through the years she had only been herself.

Some people, and some Vines, could not accept who she was, her innate psi powers, Flair. They could not reconcile her with what they believed their religion to be.

She was as she had been created, and what accident and luck had formed her into. But she loved her Fams and her Families — the Hazels and the Vines — and her dearest Muin.

She would proceed as a whole person, and thank the Guardian Spirit for all the protection the entity had blessed her with lately, and think on how to be a guardian of the Vine Family herself.

So when Avellana heard Muin’s first steps, she murmured the opening prayer, then walked through the silence empty of voices but pulsing with emotions and layered with serene reverence.

And her pace matched her HeartMate’s.

They walked toward the center — him from the arm of the innocent child, her as Guardian Spirit, at right angles to each other. Not seeing the beloved, but knowing they moved toward each other as they always had.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Avellana Story Part 3:

“I think I am most in need of energy from Custos, the Guardian Spirit today.” She turned in Muin’s arms and hugged him. “We were very blessed today, to have survived.” Her throat tightened with tears and she cleared it. “So I wish to thank the Guardian Spirit and renew my faith in it.”

“I understand.” Muin let her go, then ran a hand down her head, a tender smile on his lips. “I think I have been a responsible adult for...a very long time, lately. I will take the path of the Innocent Child and meet you in the center of the cathedral.”

Avellana nodded. She glanced around. “No gliders or public carriers are here, so there are no tourists, and the daily services took place two septhours ago. I believe only one Chief Minister is inside, probably working in an office.”

He lifted her hand and kissed her fingers, and that tender smile turned into one he saved only for her, and she could return it, feeling the love for him showing in her eyes, perhaps radiating from her whole being.

With an inclination of his body, GreatLord to GreatLady, he withdrew his hand, then turned and strode to the southwest entrance to the cathedral, as she walked to the southeast.

The large wooden double doors swung open as she neared, since she belonged to the faith. Muin would have to use spell or muscle to open his doors.
Though less than two years old, the cathedral already held an enveloping peace and spirituality that resonated wtih her.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Story: Avellana S.... (serial)

New Celta partial-story posting here, starting today....I'd planned on doing this every day I was away but the trip (and afterwards) turned out to be challenging. I cut the last couple of scenes of Heart Sight. When I rework the story I'm posting now, I'll work on WHEN I want to set it. (And I know the first line set-up is clunky, but I want to get this going): Avellana S(....): After the Loyalty Ceremony as D’Vine and T’Vine, as soon as she had acknowledged each and every Vine, hopefully committed their name and vocation to her memory, Muin whisked her away without another word to his public round tower, through that to his tall and completely personal rectangular tower.

And once she reached there, she put her hands over her face. “I . . . I can not.”

He set his arms around her loosely, supporting, not constraining. “Can’t stay here?”

“No.”

“Where do you want to go? Multiplicity?”

Before she could answer, the sonorous voice of T’Vine Residence, the huge castle, rolled through the chamber where they stood. “I can reopen the Hopeful Chapel.”

Muin gasped, a surprised squeal escaped Avellana. Her hand shot toward Muin’s so they could twine fingers. They did and they squeezed and hung on tightly to each other.

“I had no idea we had a Hopeful Chapel,” Muin said.

“Our founders constructed a total of four chapels reflecting the religions at that time, including one dedicated to the Intersection of Hope.” A pause. “But it has never been used. It is in the wing to the north, on the second floor, adjacent to the north round tower.”

“I am humbled and grateful,” Avellana said, let those feelings flow from her through the bonds to the Vine Family and the Residence. “But I would prefer the consecration of the chapel to be renewed by my current Chief Ministers.” She inhaled, let her breath wisp out. “I . . . yearn . . . to visit the cathedral.”

“Now?” Muin asked..

“Now.”

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Celta Thursday, Chinju

Celta Thursday, quick post. Map of Chinju Continent, the far west land mass is Cambria (where Druida City is). And today Johns (Klay St. Johnswort) scried Chinju...

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Celta Thursday, Heart Thief cover and story


Heart Thief’s cover was my first “single element” cover with no person/people on the front. I think this was supposed to indicate a classier book or something. I first heard about it when on a trip in England and I got the news from my new agent. I’d met Jayne Castle/Jayne Ann Krentz the year before at the Berkley publisher party and graciously gave me the cover quote (which you may or may not be able to read).

Since the cover is metallic, it was extremely hard to photograph or draw or whatever…so I have the bright green heart (which I don’t care for) and the toned down green.

The book is about outlaw/thief/Null Ruis Elder and SupremeJudge Ailim D’SilverFir, both of whom have problems. I rewrote the beginning of this book several times since first it was a fantasy with romance, then when HeartMate didn’t sell fast, I joined a fantasy critique group and rewrote it, then when HeartMate sold, I rewrote it to up the romance.

I also had a “Captain’s Log” at the beginning of each chapter, of the story of Nuada’s Sword’s Captain, Kelse Bountry and the last days in space of that starship. I never mastered this technique because I wanted the Log to rather reflect Ruis’ story in some fashion and then I’d change the chapter…I still cringe at the amount of work I did on that. I think I have 3-4 versions of all of the “Captain’s Logs”…somewhere. The story eventually became Heart and Sword, the first story of that collection (Hearts and Swords).

Back to the cover, loved the metallic, but I had to rewrite the scene where I had a gyroscope with an emerald into an emerald heart. :D

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Celta Thursday: HeartMate Cover Reissue and T'Ash Interview

Early in my career I had very little input into covers, so I didn't see the reissue cover until I actually got my author copies. I like the colors but it was a surprise...and I got that awful "but I didn't mention a tattoo in the book" feeling (as you can tell, I am over that). So I thought about it and when a "vengeance stalk" tattoo might occur. When looked at the text, I saw that Danith would have been the one to see the tatt since it was in T'Ash's point of view. As one of the first things I did for my original website was to interview T'Ash (which I've posted here more than once). I decided to interview T'Ash again, and here it is:

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 vengeance. 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.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Celta Thursday, HeartMate original cover

Celta Thursday. It's 105 in Denver and I have a 2nd floor office in a house with no a/c. I am pleased with my (continuing) progress on Script of the Heart, but I wanted to post a Celta Thursday...and I love talking about covers, and each one of my covers has a story. Here's the ORIGINAL HeartMate cover, SO DATED...but it had the cat. That was the first thing my editor emailed me about, "Send pictures of Zanth." :) As you can see, it was in a line Jove called "Magical Love." The "magical" object had to be in the center of the cover, thus T'Ash is wearing his own HeartGift, the necklace. What else I can give you: the pics I sent of Zanth (Maddox), the general look of T'Ash Residence, a photo of Princess/Pansy. :) Next week, the HeartMate cover reissue.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Celta Thursday, Favorite Map

This is MY favorite map of the Celta HeartMate series. :) This is the map featured in Heart Journey (spoiler deleted, I hope).

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Celta Thursday, Upcoming books (images)

I continue to write on Script of the Heart, and I'm sewing my scenes together. I was asked by a friend how I keep my story ideas, and, truly I keep most of them as projects in Scrivener (plot/character notes), and images on Pinterest here: https://www.pinterest.com/robindowens/boards/ I've been working on my pinterest pages with images of future stories. Need some addition and clean up, and putting a "Multiplicity" page in Settings that needs to be populated a bit...anyway, YOU CAN SEE WHAT'S COMING UP (in current order)
, at the above link.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Another Map of Celta

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Celta Thursday, Additions to the series Timeline

Celta Thursday, I've learned to add events to the series timeline as I think of them. Newest tweaks: (Note this goes up to 407, the current year I'm working in): Celta Timeline:
On the Ship and the Discovery of Celta:
On the Starship Nuada’s Sword, 275 Years After Leaving Earth
Heart And Sword IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS:
Peaches Arrives On Celta IN THE COLLECTION OF CELTA CATS

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

380 T’Ash and Holm Holly meet

390 Rand T’Ash raises his new Residence

394 Muin (Vinni) T’Vine Born

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

406:
Holm and Lark's child born, a boy.
Loridana Itha Valerian Yew born the day before Discovery Day
Ruis and Ailim's 2nd child born.
HEATHERS AND HAZELS SUFFER A LOSS.

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

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

407
Glyssa, Camellia, Tiana are 12
Ash twins born, Jasmine and Abutilon-Gwydion
Tinne Holly's girl born (Aurea)

407 Zanth and the Treasure, free short/short story

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

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Celta Maps...

This one should look familiar. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Celta Thursday, Original Hand drawn map of Celta

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

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Celta Thursday, Original Opening of Heart Search

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Celta Thursday, Full Uncut Scene from Heart Journey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There were three!

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I'm gone," that one yelled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Johns eyes gleamed. "In blue?"

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

"Done," Johns said.

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

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

Monday, February 12, 2018

Celta Cut

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

Sunday, December 03, 2017

HEART SIGHT (VINNI'S STORY) OUT TUESDAY!

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

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Celta Thursday, Story Excerpt, Zanth Saves The Day

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

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

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

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

Mostly shell, maybe even too tough to eat already.

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

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

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Excerpt from Peaches Arrives on Celta

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

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

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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Heart Sight and Cut from the story Heart and Sword

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

Celta Thursday:
CUT FROM THE STORY HEART AND SWORD PUBLISHED IN THE COLLECTION, HEARTS AND SWORDS!
This is when the genius Randolph Ash is talking to the Captain (hero) Kelse Bountry. They are still fighting the Ship For Ourselves dissidents.

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

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

Randolph Ash groaned quietly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"They’d reassure me," Fern said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Of course."

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

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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Celta Timeline: Latest

Celta Timeline:
On the Ship and the Discovery of Celta:
Heart And Sword IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS:

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

394 Muin (Vinni) T’Vine Born

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

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

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

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

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

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

Celta Timeline:
On the Ship and the Discovery of Celta:
Heart And Sword IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS:

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

394 Muin (Vinni) T’Vine Born

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

406:
Holm and Lark's child born, a boy.
Loridana Itha Valerian Yew born the day before Discovery Day
Ruis and Ailim's 2nd child born.
Hazels suffer a loss.


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

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

407
Glyssa, Camellia, Tiana are 12
Ash twins born, Jasmine and Abutilon-Gwydion
Tinne Holly's girl born (Aurea)

407 Zanth and the Treasure, free short/short story

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

409
Draeg Betony Blackthorn goes to live with Straif and Mitchella.
*********************************************************************************************************************
14 YEARS PASS BETWEEN HEART JOURNEY AND HEART SEARCH: THIS HAPPENS IN BETWEEN

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

411
LAST A'SH BABY BORN, DONTEA Female, jeweler (referenced in Noble Heart)
Ashes: Nuin, Jasmine and Abutilon-Gwydion, Dontea

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

D'Yew Dies

412
Elwyn Clover born (First Child of Walker Clover-Sedwy Grove)

414
Tinne and Lahsin's son born, Marin.

417
TAB HOLLY DIES, CAL MARIGOLD IS BORN, gray eyes blond hair

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

417
Draeg Betony Blackthorn is 17. Second Passage and deaths of Tab Holly and his HeartMated parents cast him adrift, he hires out with merchants (through the guild and Cratag).
Cal Marigold is born, 2nd child Signet and Cratag Marigold.

418
EPIDEMIC, DECONTAMINATION OF TRANSPORT DONE 3 YEARS LATER (HEART SECRET)

419 EPIDEMIC, NIVEA SUNFLOWER HAWTHORN DIES, SICKNESS LAST SEEN 18 MONTHS BEFORE HEART SECRET

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

424 Heart Sight, Druida City

Monday, July 17, 2017

Heart Sight Cast of Characters

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

CAST OF CHARACTERS
The Hazels:

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

The Vines

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

Vine Guards:
Duan Dewberry Vine (Chief of Guards)
Armen
Fera
Plicat

Southern Vines:
Bicknell Vine
Perna Vine
Baby Vine

And sundry cousins, including several cooks…

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

Other Important Characters:

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

And cameo appearances by various others!

Friday, July 07, 2017

Heart Sight Excerpt and Cover Contest

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

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

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

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

Irritation sizzled through Vinni.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Behind you!* Avellana alerted.

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

Friday, June 30, 2017

Celta Thursday (Belated): Heart Sight Cast of Characters

CAST OF CHARACTERS
The Hazels:

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

The Vines

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

Vine Guards:
Duan Dewberry Vine (Chief of Guards)
Armen
Fera
Plicat

Southern Vines:
Bicknell Vine
Perna Vine
Baby Vine

And sundry cousins, including several cooks…

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

Other Important Characters:

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

And cameo appearances by various others!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Writer of the Year Kindle + Books Give Away Facebook event

SUNDAY, JUNE 11, MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME, 10:00 A.M. - 12:30 P.M. FACEBOOK

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

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Heart Sight DONE, Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 19, 2017

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

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

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

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


Thursday, April 27, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Out of the Blogosphere
[ Join Now | Ring Hub | Random | << Prev | Next >>]