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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Saturday, August 31, 2013

What SHORT story would you like to see?

Reader Question:
Romance Writers of America has a call for submission for SHORT stories. I am thinking of doing a Celta one. These are maybe as along as a chapter, no more than 3. Who would you like to see -- be aware that if I do one I will NOT do another book or story about that character. This CANNOT be a prequel or sequel. The anthology topic is Wrong Number...so if you have ideas on that, you can give me it. I'm thinking of a title of Cat At The Wrong House and a beginning of a cat stalking my hero. Any excellent ideas will be rewarded with a geographic name on Celta.

Big Give Away for my work

Here: Big give away for my work here today and tomorrow if you want to enter:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Celta Thursday: Barton Clover plot/Heart Fortune cut continued

Celta Thursday: Heart Fortune cut continued: "That man will make my daughte happy? Really?" T'Licorice said.

"Get to your places." T'Willow put enough snap, enough command in his voice to have Glyssa moving to her former seat, and her parents striding over to the other twoseat, and the Willow woman closing the door.

Jace took a step or two, then stopped and headed for the no-time. Brows raised, T'Willow opened the unit and handed a large tube to Jace.

The tube with the pink foamy stuff that he wouldn't want to drink was warm in Jace's fingers. He met T'Willow's gaze and the man nodded. "Give it to him and wait ten minutes."

Jace shrugged and strode to the door, stepped out of it just as a tall, muscular guy who moved like a fighter turned a corner and started down the hallway, still swearing vividly under his breath. His hair was dark and his eyes blue. He wore an embroidered patch that should have clued Jace in to his name, but didn't.

He stopped a pace from Jace, shot a forefinger at him. "You aren't T'Willow."

Like Jace had never looked like a GreatLord in his life.

"Jace Bayrum." With a grin he offered the tube of sloshing pink stuff to the man.

"Heard of you," the guy said. Jace didn't think so, but didn't contradict the man. "What's that slop?"

"A potion GreatLord T'Willow wants you to drink." He withstood an intense scrutiny.

"You aren't trying to poison me, are you?" the fighter asked.

Jace laughed and laughed.

The man rolled his eyes. "Fine, fine. What's in the slop?"

"T'Willow said it's a potion to make you more receptive to love. Lust, too, I guess."

The man snorted. Jace opened his mouth to ask the guy's name, then figured it would be more fun if he didn't.

Brows lowered in a scowl, the man said, "You can't make me drink that."

"Who wants to?" Jace said, waved to the entryway. "You're free to go back to your...brother."

The guy showed his teeth, paced toward the nearest end of the hall that showed a glass door to a conservatory and back. "He's given me no peace. 'Get a wife. You want children, don't you?' he says. Nothing but nag, nag, nag." He ran his hands through his thick hair. "The whole Family, nothing but nags. Wears on a man."

Jace sloshed the potion around some more, watching milky pink bubbles rise to the top, break. "You gonna drink this or not?"

"There's a woman in there." The fighter jerked his head toward the door to T'Willow's ResidenceDen.

"Three," Jace said affably.

"Three?" The guy brightened. "I'm getting a choice? That's better."

But when Jace thought of the guy preferring Glyssa to Enata, he tensed and regretted the teasing.

"Gimme that." The potion was swooped from his hand, the top squeezed open with ease, and the pink contents downed.

Jace wanted to go back to Glyssa, block her from this man's sight when he walked in, all open to attraction and love and with his inhibitions lowered. He studied the man, admitted that he wasn't sure that he and T'Licorice and T'Willow could take the guy in a fight.

He tapped the man's wrist timer. "Wait ten minutes and come on in."

"Three," the guy said. "A choice of three, at least. And T'Willow's supposed to be a good matchmaker. Good results."

"Ninety-eight percent," Jace said, and hoped the GreatLord was right about the fighter and Enata. Jace, himself, couldn't see it.

"Not so bad," the man said philisophically, taking a seat in a wood and velvet chair that groaned under his weight. "Beats being nagged to death."

Jace gestured to the Willow woman who'd been hovering near the opening to the entry hall. She came up and Jace said, "Ten minutes."

Smiling, she nodded. "I know the procedure even though this doesn't happen often. It's exciting!"

"Uh-huh." Jace opened the door and slipped through, the man stood and craned to see in, then frowned and began to pace again.

Jace closed the door and went to Glyssa, eyed her very red-orange locks. How could anyone miss her? And she wasn't wearing a flowing gown like Enata, but something more form fitting, showing the curves of her breasts and hips, the smallness of her waist. She was more delicate than Enata, her bone structure more refined. Definitely more beautiful.


Continued next week, if not sooner...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Celta Thursday: Cut Scene from Heart Fortune (continued)

I've had some challenging family problems, so this is late, but it's here! More next week!

Enata's fingers tightened on Glyssa's. "Glyssa?"

"What does the potion do?" asked Glyssa and Jace in unison.

T'Willow stood right before Enata, triumph radiating from him. When he looked at Enata, his eyes, his tone, was gentle. "This will make you emotionally more open and let's your natural inhibitions subside under...we'll say attraction, passion, love."


"The gentleman coming here will also receive a potion."

"All right." Enata took it and swallowed it down and put the empty tube on the desk.

T'Willow switched his gaze to Jace. "You will help me in this?"

Chapter 30

"Jace is to help?" Glyssa asked, peeved.

"He isn't a native Druidan," the matchmaker said.

Glyssa nearly ground her teeth in frustration. "I'd recognize him?"
"We'd recognize him?" Enata said hopefully.

"Probably." T'Willow's smile was impishly charming.

"And I won't." Jace sounded irritated, as if his burning curiosity and patience was being tested, too.

T'Willow shrugged. "Maybe, but that is less possible than these two."

There was a knock on the door and the older female Willow who had admitted them to the Residence said, "D'Licorice and T'Licorice are here, Saille. What is going on?"

The GreatLord hurried to the door and opened it with a slight wince. "Please contact my other appointments today and move each of them two septhours, if possible."

The female T'Willow frowned. "That will have you working late into the night."

"And have the pink potion prepared for the gentleman who will soon arrive," T'Willow ordered.

"I can help with that, if you have one in your no-time." Jace pointed to the cabinet.

"You agree, then."

"Yeah, yeah."

Glyssa's mother hurried in, bringing her father, who looked dubious.

"You have found the perfect match for my Enata!" Rhiza D'Licorice's tone lilted.

"That's right," T'Willow said.

"I'm not sure about this," Glyssa's father said.

"A father's prerogative. However, I think you will be pleased. If you would take one of the twoseats in the corner?" T'Willow indicated the seat on the opposite wall than the one Glyssa and Jace had used, far from the focal point of the desk and the two chairs before it. Pushed the potion at Enata again. "Drink."

"He'll – my, my– not my HeartMate." She bit her lips. "I don't have a HeartMate."

"No," T'Willow agreed. "But you have a man who complements you. Who will be a wonderful lover, partner and your love throughout your life."

"Truly?" Enata whispered. "And so soon?"

"I promise you," T'Willow said. "Like all relationships, even HeartMate ones, this can take work and love and understanding." He looked at Glyssa and she couldn't help but cast her eyes down. No, her courting of her HeartMate wasn't going all that well.

"But I promise you that he is a good man and you can have a wonderful marriage."


"I know his brother. I know him and his vibrations. I didn't know you, but when I took your hands I undersood that you will be an exceptional match."

"Exceptional," said Glyssa's father.

"That's right."

"We want our daughter happy."

"And so she should be, as happy as any other extremely loving couple," T'Willow said.

He cocked his head and everyone fell silent. From the open window, Glyssa could hear a man stomping around, and using strings of curse words that she'd only said in her head.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Celta Thursday, Heart Fortune Cuts, 2ndary Love Story

Celta Thursday: Heart Fortune Cuts (I am including portions of the current book):

Enata's appointment with Saille was in three days. The man had been booked, but had made time. Glyssa hadn'd been able to finess the reason why they were being given preferential treatment from her parents. Enata had squashed the idea that the whole Family would escort her, but asked Glyssa to come and said Jace could accompany her.

The morning of the appointment Enata had fussed with her clothes and make-up, trying on several tunic and trous sets before she dressed in a fairly formal gown of deep green with beautiful embroidery of a light blue that accented her eyes. She'd gotten darker auburn hair and blue eyes, damn her, even though her nose was a little sharp.

They were admitted to T'Willow's ResidenceDen, all three of them. The GreatLord waved Glyssa and Jace to a twoseat in the corner of the room – after he'd given them a long look and a grin – before he led Enata to one of the two chairs before his desk.

Jace squeezed Glyssa's fingers as they sat. He was just as fascinated with observing the consultation as she.

"Thank you for seeing me, GreatLord," Enata said.

T'Willow inclined his torso. "You are quite welcome." His smile appeared sincere enough though his words were cool. With a wave of his hand, the thick arm of the chair he wanted Enata to sit in lowered. He studied her and gestured again. The chair lowered slightly, tilted back a bit. Enata's gaze slid toward it.

The GreatLord smiled with more humor, bowed a little deeper. "I promise you, this will be painless." He held out a hand.

Since Enata jolted but put her fingers in the matchmaker's.

He straightened abruptly, took her other hand, his face wiped clear of expression except for a distance that came to his eyes. Glyssa sensed his Flair radiating around him in a huge aura as he used his natural talent.
Jace leaned forward in the seat just as she had.

Enata looked over her shoulder at them, her eyes wide and a little wild. It was no more than a minute before T'Willow dragged in a breath and released Enata's hands. She linked her fingers and kept them close to her waist.

"Pardon me for a moment," the lord said. He snapped his fingers and the chair returnd to its original position. Then he moved to his own chair, sat and turned toward the scryscreen inset into the paneled wall. "D'Licorice at the PublicLibrary, please." He shot a glance toward Enata. "That's where your parents will be, correct?"

"Yes," Enata said, looking back again at Glyssa and Jace.

"Neither of them had appointments outside the Library, though father may be working at home," Glyssa said.

"D'Licorice here." Glyssa's mother appeared in the screen. "T'Willow? Is everything all right?" Her gaze went past him. "Enata?"

"I. Don't. Know," Enata said, then rushed, "I don't know what's going on."

"I suggest you and your husband join us for the consultation," T'Willow said smoothly. "At once."

Her mother's mouth formed an "o" and her brows rose, then she smiled, fully and Glyssa thought she saw the hint of tears in the woman's eyes. "We'll be right there–" She stopped, swallowed her smile. "Enata? You permit?"

"Yes," Enata said in a small voice.

"We'll be right there." D'Licorice signed off.

"Private screen and channel," T'Willow said. His hands waved in a pattern Glyssa didn't know.

"Glyssa?" Enata said plaintively.

Glyssa sprang to her feet. Jace followed with a gleam of interest in his eyes. **This is fascinating, watching such Flair at work,** he told Glyssa mentally.

**Yes,** she said.

**Like watching Raz Elecampane on stage.**

They walked over to flank Enata. Glyssa pried her sister's cold fingers apart and took her hand.

Enata shivered and offered her other hand to Jace. He stared at it a moment, then enveloped it. "Thank you," she whispered. "Brother."

He flinched. Enata didn't seem to notice, but Glyssa did.

"Here," said a man's voice from the darkened screen. Glyssa frowned.

She should know that voice, shouldn't she? Almost...

"This is Saille T'Willow. I suggest you send your brother to me at T'Willow Residence immediately."

There was a long pause. "This is about what we spoke of at The Green Knight Fencing and Fighting Salon on last week?"


"He'll be right over," the man said. "Can I, or my parents come–"

"No," T'Willow said.


"Give me a septhour, maybe two."

"Maybe," the person on the other end of the dark scry grumbled. "Later." The sounds of what Glyssa finally realized was a busy office faded. Who had a busy office?

"Brother," Enata whispered, and they all knew she wasn't talking about Jace this time.

"Why all the secrecy?" Jace demanded.

"It's best for the parties to be surprised, have no preconceptions that might come with a name." T'Willow said. He smiled at Glyssa's parents. "Such as those who believe the Licorices are archetypical librarians and scholars."

They were archetypical librarians and scholars.

"People don't realize we are passionate about our studies," Glyssa said.
The matchmaker said, "It's a good thing to have in a relationship, passion." He rose and went to a no-time, pulled out a deep blue fizzing drink. "Please drink this potion." He held it out to Enata.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Celta Thursday, cut from Heart Thief

Some folks haven't gotten Heart Fortune yet, so I won't be posting the cut scenes with Barton Clover until people do. So here's a scene from Heart Thief,

I wrote a couple of versions of the Forgiveness Ceremony. I believe this is the first.

Forgiveness Ceremony

From the window in his quarters, Ruis watched the line of penitant robed Noble Council wend its way through Landing Park and toward Nuada's Sword. A small boy of about six dressed in his House colors of shaded greens, the new T'Vine, led the couples. A dark purple-clad T'Blackthorn strode at the end of the line. Ruis's heart sank. Those were the only two dressed as usual. He'd hoped that Ailim would come.

In saving the nobles lives at the expense of his own, he'd redeemed himself before all of Celta – except Ailim D'SiliverFir. The trial ground into him his lack of trust in her. Even in deep dishonor, she had still been able to clear his name.
The bright autumn day dimmed a bit.

He'd asked the to nobles meet him at the South portal, where the airlock led to the largest omnivator. He had a surprise for them.

He swallowed his last sip of coffee, adjusted his new Captain's uniform, and went down to the portal.

A few moments later, the first of the couples -- T'Birch and D'Birch -- shifted uneasily outside the door. Ruis loosened his muscles, sucked in a deep breath, and hit the "open" knob.

The huge iris door slowly enlarged with a quiet hiss.

The Birches stumbled back, causing the nobles behind them, the Alders, to weave. The whole bunch of the FirstFamilies wavered, then steadied.

Ruis suppressed his smile. Coming to beg his pardon was hard enough on their pride, let alone being found nervous and clumsy, especially since the whole thing was on Live Scry for all of Celta to watch.

"Merry meet," Ruis said, smiling wide.

T'Birch looked pallid, his wife had spots of red color in her cheeks.

"Merry meet!" piped the small boy, T'Vine. He held a jewelled staff a couple of feet taller than himself.

Ruis held out his hand, the boy put his in it, then shock changed the color of his eyes from green to green-blue. "Fab!" T'Vine said. "You really do cut the Flair, don't you?"

Ruis inclined his head. "A pleasure to meet you, T'Vine."

The boy thrust out his chest. "That's me."

"I respected your GreatMother'sMother highly."

The boy's face crumpled, he sniffed and stood straighter. "She's on the Wheel of Stars." He pulled his hand from Ruis's and peered around him. "Are we going in? I thought everybody would kneel right here for you."

Ruis noticed most of the nobles shivered in the cold and biting wind since their weathershelds vanished in his presence. Massive D'Saille had Family houseguards helping her stand. She must have had some sort of locomotion spell in place. T'Ash sheltered his wife close to his side beneath his arm.

Ruis's aunt Calami, who should have been at the last of the line as D'Elder, stood with her brother, T'Reed. Her lips showed a blue tinge.

Ruis walked to one side of the portal and gestured them in. "Come in."

"We weren't notified that we would have to go inside the Ship!" complained T'Birch.

T'Blackthorn raised his voice to be heard over the crisp breeze. "I believe that the Judges Panel's orders wished for a Live Scry of all events, the walk from the GuildHall, the kneeling and request for forgiveness, and later the Purification Ritual."

"I want to go in," said T'Vine.

Ruis matched gazes with T'Blackthorn. "Every noble house and all representatives of the GuildCouncil should have received a report on the functionality of Nuada's Sword, and an explanation that the problem with sonics that plagued visitors has been long since corrected. I've also been sending articles to the newsheets. Furthermore, the Ship has technology that matches your scry stones, called cams. They'll project live holos of all events." He waved to several small spheres that bobbed above him.

T'Blackthorn stared at the little machines.

"Fab!" T'Vine said.

T'Blackthorn nodded. "In that case, GreatLord T'Vine, I agree that we can enter."

"Good!" said the boy. "Let's go."

Samba took that moment to rub against the youngsters legs. He jumped. Ruis smiled.

Let's go play! she said quite distinctly.

T'Vine giggled. The Birches looked sour.

Ruis led the group through the airlock and into the omnivator. During their trip through the Ship, the crowd shifted and shuffled and whispered unesily. Then the doors opened and the Great Greensward lay before them. Heady scents of a full Earth summer wafted in, overcoming the metallic smell of the omnivator. A gasp rose from the nobles.

Ruis turned his back to them and let himself grin. He, the garden robots, and the Ship itself had worked hard to put this portion of the Greensward in shape to dazzle the nobles. They cherished their planet and their plants and their names. Time to show them that Nuada's Sword wasn't solely the big mechanical behemoth they viewed on the horizon.

After a short path between bushes, Ruis stopped in the middle of the circle of trees. The circle of trees, each small section of the soil and environment regulated for the maximum benefit of the trees.

"Welcome to the Great Greensward of Nuada's Sword. The trees around you are those you take your names from." Ruis knew a few of them had not survived transplanting to Celtan soil. He swept his hand in a wide gesture. "Birch, Rowan, Alder, Willow . . . ." he named them all.

Another sigh of awe escaped the nobles. Ruis treasured the wonder on their faces.

"The Ship and I will be offering Earth herbs and plants for sale shortly, all profits to benefit the upkeep of the Ship and for my own NobleGilt."

T'Ash eyed him. "Everyone on Celta pays a tithe for upkeep of the Ship already."

Ruis frowned. "Paid grudgingly and barely enough to keep the museum rooms open, with most of the gilt going to those who collect and account for it, not the Ship itself." He waved a hand. "The Ship and I will be self-supporting. We have DNA samples for ALL Earth species, plant and animal. After the ceremony, there are refreshments from ancient Earth recipes for you to try." Ruis had sampled everything before allowing Ship to put it on the menu.

Quiet blanketed the group.

"What about space?" asked young T'Vine.

"I doubt the Ship will ever fly in space again," he said, "but it has dagger ships that are functional and can explore our local system."

Blank shock appeared on most faces.

"You nobles didn't know what you had left to rot and moulder, what you didn't appreciate, what knowledge and power you denigrated."

T'Blackthorn's gaze sharpened. "Knowledge....I'd pay a lot for information that would end my Family's curse."

"Let's do this forgiveness thing," T'Ash said. "And get on with our lives."

His HeartMate slipped her arms around him, but sent Ruis a lovely smile. "Our very much enriched lives, with you and Nuada's Sword."

To Ruis' surprise, he didn't gloat as much as he thought he would when each noble knelt and asked his forgiveness. Oh, it was sweet to hear D'Birch's faltering vows, but her gaze told him that she still despised him. That she resented being forced to to this humiliation. Ruis merely smiled at her with all his teeth and mentally added 300 per cent to the cost of any goods to T'Birch.

T'Oak was another matter. When the big man sank to his knees, he held out his hands. Startled, Ruis put his own into them. "I have additional faults. My g'niece was your mother. I did not watch over your welfare as I should have. Forgive me for that, too, young Captain Elder."

"Ah, yeah," Ruis said.

The older man rose slowly and brushed off his robe, but kept his gaze locked on Ruis. "Your perseverance and your honor have made me proud. Your father and mother would also have been proud of you."

Ruis felt heat at the back of his neck and could only think of the time when he'd lost his Ailim, when he'd been full of rage and vengeance against his uncle Bucus that he wanted to kill the man with his own hands and damn any consequences. But he said nothing and T'Oak walked away to look at his tree.

Calami was the last. Ruis took her trembling hands in hers, also, but her faint whispered words didn't reach his ears, even when he bent over. When she lifted her face, her lips moved and her eyes filled with tears, and he knew she was reciting a long list of how she felt she'd wronged him, with "I betrayed my vows," coming every third sentence. Finally he raised her to her feet and put an arm around her, amazed at how easily the gesture came to him. He put a finger to her lips. "That's enough, Calami. It's over with and done."

She took several shaky breaths. "The Elder famiy is the thirteenth month, the last GreatHouse . . . the end in the beginning and the beginning in the end . . . ."

Ruis kept his sigh from escaping. "Yes."

"You know your youngest second cousin, Aurea, has been named D'Elder," she said.

"I heard that."

"Of those that never swore allegiance to you and betrayed their vows, she tested the highest for Flair with T'Ash's stones. Flair for rebuilding, a new beginning."

Ruis felt at a loss. He hadn't wanted the estate itself since he was a child. Now his whole future was bound with the Ship.
"That's good."

"I think so. She isn't taking the name of 'Ruis' out of respect for you."

He started. Maybe he'd make a point of meeting Aurea.

Calami's lips trembled. "Bucus was a bad man. I never stood up to him, not for myself or for you, or anyone else." Her shoulders slumped.

Ruis licked dry lips. "You lived. You survived. Sometimes that's a triumph in itself."

She blinked rapidly, pulled a handkerchief from sleeve and wiped her eyes. "If he'd been banished, I don't think he'd have been able to survive. Not like you and I did. And flourish, like you."

"I don't think so either."

Calami blew her nose, hugged him back, and folded the handkerchief back into a sleeve pocket. "I have a little influence with my brother." Her smile was grim. "I know all his secrets." She glanced up at him. "I'll make sure that he approves the loan for the SilverFirs and helps them keep their estate and grow their riches. We can't make up our mistakes with you, you've managed well for that. But we can help the SilverFirs, and you'd like that, wouldn't you?"

"Yes," his stomach clenched at the name. What he wanted the most was for Ailim to be happy.

"Good." She patted his arm and drifted away.

A few moments later Samba, as hostess, led the nobles back through the Ship. They'd begun to look strained and twitchy without access to their Flair.

Ruis took some of the leftover food and went to a table and chair to lounge. "Screen!" he called.

A squat robot came and sat in front of him. Its large visor darkened then flashed the scene of the nobles leaving the Ship. As they stepped into the sunlight, a blue aura hit each one -- their Flair and spells were back in force. They walked easily, and almost with each step they seemed to don their old arrogance. Ruis hoped that it was a bit less than before, that most of them were a bit wiser. He wondered idly what sort of relationship he could develop with T'Oak.

The little parade walked to GreatCircle Temple and Ruis rose, edgy. He let robots take his plate and goblet, and clean up the last of the feast, tidy up the clearing. But he tromped through the greensward.

At one point of his wanderings, he came to a spot where gray ship-wall showed through the underbrush. He pounded at it affectionately.

"We did very well today," Ship's tones oozed satisfaction.


"We are now an integral part of Celta. They will never forget us or underestimate us again."

"Also true."

Ship seemed to sigh. "We have achieved our goals."

Monday, August 05, 2013

Heart Fortune Out Tomorrow!

I am thrumming like a vibrating cord. This book was a hard one (all right I say that about most of my books, but this still seems harder than most), and I think it has some of my best writing!

Anyway, RT's Review: ****1/2 HOT
Choosing your own path is a key theme of the latest Celta novel by consistently fabulous storyteller Owens. Because of the bad example of a Heartbond set by his parents, this hero is a loner with few ties. Packed with adventure, sabotage and reluctant passion, Heart Fortune is a dynamite read that is sure to please fans of this outstanding long-running series.

SUMMARY: After his mother essentially killed his father, Jace Bayrum has kept his emotions in check. To make a living, Jace takes on dangerous tasks. His current project is the excavation of the lost starship Lugh’s Spear. Glyssa Licorice senses her HeartMate is in great danger. She had only a brief affair with Jace, and neither admitted they were HeartMates, but now Glyssa has the opportunity [to]* spend time time with Jace at the dig site. When someone frames Jace for theft, it will be up tp Glyssa to help unearth the truth! (BERKLEY, Aug.,384 pp., $15.00) Jill M. Smith

Thursday, August 01, 2013

"Basket" for Auction, Colorado Romance Writers Minicon Saturday

This is the "basket" (a pet carrier), I'm donating to the Colorado Romance Writers Minicon auction, vintage Italian wallet (which I collect) and which is what inspired me to have Jace, the hero of Heart Fortune, tool leather. A Self Care card in every book (I give these away at seminars and my retreats, it's a tradition now at my retreat), and a mug from my favorite set of mugs, Crown Trent floral/botanical from several years ago.

The winner will get Heart Fortune a few days early. Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/ColoradoRomanceWriters


Celta Thursday: Heart Fortune: Last Bit of Cut Scene in Chapter 1

Glyssa didn't want to tell all about her encounter with her HeartMate. It didn't reflect well upon her...or her HeartMate. "You know a couple of years ago when I...uh...disappeared during Discovery Day holiday weekend?"

"You weren't cataloguing ancient Earthan artifacts in the basement of the PublicLibrary? I always wondered," Camellia said.

Glyssa needed something to shield her heart, even with her best friends. She picked up a gold accent pillow and squashed it to her. "No, I was having a wild affair with a guy I'd just met."

"You!" Tiana gasped.

Her friends' eyes widened gratifyingly. Glyssa put the pillow down and settled back on the couch, letting her mouth curve in sly smile. She wouldn't close her eyes in satisfaction because scenes of sexual abandon and a gorgeous man would paint her inner lids. "Yes, me."

"Was it incredible?" Camellia asked.

"Details!" Tiana insisted.

"It was incredible. I met him at a social club. He'd just arrived in town from the south and was heading out somewhere else after the holiday. We were attracted, we had a lot of sex." Almost an understatement.

"Then after the weekend you realized he was your HeartMate," Tiana said.

All right, Glyssa needed the pillow again, grabbed it and hugged it. "Yes."

"He didn't?" Camellia's brows were down again.

"I don't believe he did," Glyssa said. "I'm sure he still hasn't figured that out." A trace of acerbic bitterness there for the blockheaded man, and she'd really have to watch that.

"Oh, my Lady and Lord," Camellia said. "And you don't even know his surname, or his Family or anything."

"Not much," Glyssa admitted.

"Hmm," Tiana said.

"Your Family isn't going to want you at the excavation of Lugh's Spear. It can be dangerous," Tiana said.

Glyssa thought that was another understatement about her Family. There'd be problems. She lifted her chin. "I'm going."

And Heart Fortune will be out next Tuesday!

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