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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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.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Audible AND Celta Thursday

Tomorrow the narrator will start with HeartMate...for audible. :)

And here's Celta Thursday, a small cut from Heart Quest: "I tracked you here, Trif." The artist, Citrula, showed teeth. She glanced around, looking unimpressed and the old irritation Trif felt for the woman seethed again. No one should be blase about Mitchella's decorating skill.

Citrula slanted a considering look at Greyku kitten. "I had a dream last night. A divinely inspired vision of what I should do for you, so I'm here." She sent a scowl to Trif. "It shouldn't take long, and it's gratis." She swooped down on Greyku, holding the kitten along one arm. Again she glanced around the elegant parlor. "Is there somewhere I can tint the kitten? It's a messy process."

"I remember," Mitchella said coolly. "I have a project room near the end of the hall. I'll show you."

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Celta Thursday: Heart Journey, Alternative Kitten Gift

That afternoon, she and the driver pulled up at Raz's apartment door. Beside her on the seat was a box with a big bow, the walls of the container were permeable to let the contents breathe. Cats grew up quickly, she reminded herself. This one would be hardy in six months, ready for road adventures.

Del was pretty sure she couldn't last in the city for more than another month.

Raz was on time, as usual, and stepped from the door looking mouth-watering. She wondered why she'd decided on a pic nic in a park along with the rest of the holidayers** instead of staying in and exploring each other.

He raised the door and slid
in. Del pretended not to see how the fabric tightened over his long, lean thighs, but she didn't think she did a very good acting job since the smile hovering around Raz's lips was smugly satisfied.

She swallowed and handed him the gift. The kitten was under a simple sleep spell until the lid of the box was lifted.

Raz's eyes lit. "A present!" Then he cast a mock serious look on her. "You aren't expecting anything for this gift, are you?"

The kitten wasn't her HeartGift that she'd give him and expect to claim him, expect everything from him. She let her eyelids lower as they wanted to, feeling him near, the buzz of his energy rubbing up against hers. "Nothing more than the usual."

He laughed. "I'm expecting a whole lot more than the usual."

She laughed, too. "That would be good."

"It will be close to perfect."

He opened the lid, looked sincerely surprised. "A kitten!"

"A kitten Fam. I saw you with your sister's."

"Yes." He stared down at the curled kitten, which yawned and stretched and opened amber eyes, one of which was in a patch of black, the other set in orange fur. "A calico kitten Fam." He stroked the small head with his elegant forefinger. The kitten yawned and showed tiny pointed teeth and a pink tongue. It hopped from the box, kneaded Raz's thighs and said, Greetyou, FamMan It opened wide eyes to stare. You are a beautiful person, you will fit with Me.

Raz laughed again, picked up the kitten and cradled it in his hands. "You're going to be a big hit at the theater, but you'll have to stay in my room, FamKitten."

My name is **.

"He's a male calico. They are rare," Del said. She waved a hand. "You can look up the genetics factors or not."

I am special. The little cat grinned.

"You certainly are." Raz cocked an eyebrow at Del. "How much does he sleep?"

"Slightly more than other cats**." She handed him a papyrus pamphlet and a recordsphere. "Instructions from D'Ash on how to care for your new FamKitten in two different formats."
"Looks like quite a lot of information."

D'Ash knows everything, ** said.

"It looks like it," Raz said. "I won't be memorizing this, however." Again he turned the kitten to meet its eyes. "You and I will make up our own rules, too. Like never going outside my dressing room."

The kitten glanced aside.

The glider stopped. Raz glanced out his window and his eyebrows climbed. "Landing Park? On a holiday? Looks like all of Druida is here."

"Those that aren't in the other parks," Del muttered. "Good for the kitten, D'Ash said. To be socialized."

Raz snorted. "As if it wasn't socialized by being in D'Ash's menagerie or will be in the theater."

Del shrugged. "Maybe I wanted to show you I could be socialized, too."

Raz tied a ribbon-leash around the kitten and let it gambol on the seat and the floor. He put his hand on Del's. "I like you just the way you are. Honest and straightforward."

She wanted him to love her, but straightened her shoulders and met his eyes. He should know. He should always know. "I'm being straightforward as I can be under the circumstances."

He frowned.

Del picked up the kitten who was trying to bite her toes and handed the little cat to Raz. "Now take your gift and see it play in the grass. Wonder how many other Fams are here."

Raz opened the door and stepped out with **. "It's a wonderful gift, Del." He looped the end of the ribbon around his wrist, offered hand to ease Del from the glider. "A lifetime gift."

That wasn't the only lifetime gift she would be giving to him. She could only hope he'd accept her HeartGift with as much joy in his eyes as the kitten.

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Excerpt 2, Enchanted Again

She looked through the peephole before she opened the door. It was Rafe, with a wicked grin and a cut by his mouth and a black eye.

She opened the door and stood back. "What happened to you?"

The dogs were circling, sniffing lustily. There was a scent of yeasty alcohol wafting from him, as well as some blood. She narrowed her eyes. It seemed his suppressed aura of magic – and the binding glyph, was brighter. More questions. Because he was drunkish? Because of his companions? Or because the slight taint of other darkness he brought with him, as if he'd tangled with death once again.

Keeping her tone light, she asked, "What happened?"

He tilted back his head and laughed. "Bar fight with my Lyceum fencing friends."

She blinked. "There really are such things?" Then she frowned. "I thought you were going to a respectable bar."

He nodded enthusiastically. "A real Irish bar. With real Irish men. Who took exception to Freddie Armathwaite and his foil." Rafe pruned his lips. "Only English-descended sissy-boys use thin swords like foils and not good solid fists." Rafe dropped his arm around her shoulders and she saw that though he wasn't near sober, he was still steady on his feet. He continued, "Did I tell you that Freddie is a brown belt in karate?"


"Not one of us has to pay for the damage," Rafe announced as if that was unique. "The Irish guys have to. Tommy Corbin, the owner, said so."

"That's good. Ah. Why don't you come over here and sit down on the couch," she said. His arm dropped from her shoulders to curl around her waist and give her butt a nice squeeze.

"The couch sounds ex-cell-ent." He nibbled at her earlobe. "You smell great."

"Thanks." She pulled him down to the cushions and when it appeared that he wanted to be more horizontal with her than she was ready for, she slapped him lightly. "Listen up, Rafe." She pushed him back into a sitting position. "You smell like Darkfolk minions. I don't think some of those real Irish men were men at all."

He blinked, scowled. "What?"

She turned on the Tiffany lamp at the end of the couch, winced as she saw the red-scrape-purple-bruise side of his face. A lumpy cut seemed dangerously close to his eye. She touched it.


"Sorry, you sure you shouldn't go to an ER?"

"Cho was there, he's a doctor. He said not. I'm okay." Rafe frowned. "I'm pretty much the worse, everyone else fights better."

"Or the minions concentrated on you."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Excerpt 1 from Enchanted Again re: St. Patrick's Day

Tiro had disappeared after a lofty remark about celebrating the holiday with Irish brownies. Why magical folk, some of them no doubt older than St. Patrick himself, would celebrate a Christian saint's day was a mystery to Amber. But maybe brownies just liked to party. She'd noted that the chocolate milk she'd bought earlier in the week had also disappeared from the refrigerator and thought that if that was Tiro's contribution, he would be a hit.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ghost Seer, Coming Apri 1 Receives a Perfect 10!

GHOST SEER – Robin D. Owens

Ghost Seer Series
A Perfect 10
ISBN: 978-0-425-26890-2
April 2014
Paranormal Romance

Colorado – Present Day

Jackson Zachary Slade is no longer a deputy sheriff, not by choice, but by way of a bullet that tore through his leg and left him with a permanent limp and a bad foot. He’s not the desk job sort of guy, so rather than be humiliated, Zach heads to Denver to start a new life. The sheriff has given him a name of a private investigator there who may have work for him.

Meanwhile, in Denver, former C.P.A. Clare Cermak is trying to get used to her new life. And it’s mighty difficult with the ghost of a long dead Labrador Retriever hanging out with her and telling her he’s her dog now. With the death of her eccentric great-aunt Sandra, who claimed to actually see ghosts, it seems that now Clare is the recipient of this special ability. What’s thoroughly frightening is that she’s seeing ghosts everywhere, as she’s driving, as she’s walking, even in her own little house. Being a logical person, Clare is having a very difficult time aligning her brain with this "gift". Her great-aunt told her that she helped ghosts “transition”, and one ghost has targeted Clare to help with just such a need. Jack Slade, a notorious gunman from the mid eighteen hundreds, wants to join his wife in the afterlife. But without help from Clare, he is doomed to an eternity of…nothing. And the other thing about great-aunt Sandra, she left Clare a millionaire, yet another issue Clare must face.

Enzo, Clare’s new “dog”, informs her that her new life must be to help with the transition of other ghosts. She has no choice; she must either come to grips with this or she will die. When Jack Slade talks her into attending an auction to bid on a box that belonged to his wife, she reluctantly goes and runs into Zach, a man she met at a restaurant with whom she exchanged phone numbers. They are both very much attracted to each other, and soon it becomes clear to Zach that Clare is either in some kind of trouble, or there is something terrible bothering her. Even though he has a lot on his mind dealing with his handicap, he’s also very much attracted to Clare and wants to help her. The team of Clare, Zach, and, yes, Enzo, begins their strange search for a way to get Jack Slade out of the lost world he is in and to transition him to his wife’s side.

Zach’s own ability to feel danger (he sees crows, and according to their numbers, the results can be danger, or worse) has him worried about Clare and her safety. Clare is determined to deal with this new existence one ghost at a time, and she needs to move quickly to get Jack to his wife before Jack loses control. Before Jack can rest, Clare and Zach will face plenty of stumbling blocks, both real and emotional, and danger lurks too.

For several years I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the magical Celta series of books that Robin D. Owens has written and continues to write. Contemporary paranormal is a new and extremely entertaining shift, and this first novel is humorous, poignant, and loads of fun. I can’t help but give GHOST SEER a Perfect 10 for the excellent writing, research, and very realistic characters. The all-too-human Zach and Clare, and the loveable, and yet mysterious Enzo make this character-driven tale difficult to put down. I am looking forward to more adventures in the next book: GHOST LAYER.

Jani Brooks

Romance Reviews Today
Robin D Owens robindowens@gmail.com

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Celta Thursday, Cut end of Heart Thief.

Celta Thursday - Cut Last bit of Heart Thief,
In Landing Park, outside of the starship, Ailim turned and waved to (heir) and their friends. Soon they would come and visit. Soon others might want to learn the earth technology. Soon young eyes would be focused on the Ship and the stars beyond. But for now the Ship was Ruis and herself and their Family.

When her foot touched the threshold of the airlock, Ailim shivered and hesitated. Ruis stopped and looked down at her with love and concern. "Are you having second thoughts."

She managed to smile up at him. "No. Never." She paused a moment, remembering the journal she’d read and feeling the antiquity of the Ship that made such a long and dangerous journey to give the colonists a new life. She wet her lips and his gaze sharpened with male intent and the half-smile on his lips curved full.
She didn’t want to be distracted by her senses when she struggled to find the words.
"Ruis Elder."
"Yes, that’s me."
"It’s also the name of the thirteenth month." She looked at him, her future, standing in the greatest remnant of the past. "The end in the beginning and the beginning in the end. Cycles."
He shook his head and swept her up. "No deep philosophy now, sweetheart. The end of our old lives is done. Finished."
"And finished well."
"Now let’s concentrate on the future," he said, then bent and kissed her to cheers.
She couldn’t stop tears of joy from backing up behind her eyes. She tightened her arms around his neck. "An incredible future, a future I’d never dreamed could happen."
He stepped through the doors and they slid together. The light inside was more mellow than the (season) day outside, recollecting a yellow sun instead of a blue-white one. Ruis slipped her down his hard body and she shivered again, this time with anticipation of ecstasy. Still keeping her hand, he turned her to the inside of the Ship. "Let’s go start this future together."
Keeping step with him, she walked into her new home.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Cut Bit Celta Thursday

Celta Thursday: This is a CUT musing of the heroine of Heart Duel, Lark Collinson, about her late husband and perhaps soon-to-be-lover, Holm Holly: Ethyn Collinson had been the innately gentlest man she'd ever known. And now she understood that it had been the contrast with her Father's unbending harshness that had drawn her to her husband.
His sweet smile, his intelligence, and the strength of his Healing Flair that so complimented her own, all combined in one man, a common man with none of the inborn and taught arrogance that beset those of her own class, had proved to be impossible for Lark to resist.
And now she was contemplating -- when her tumbled thoughts were not being swayed by her so-weak body -- an actual affair with one of the most confident, powerful men on Celta. A man she wasn't even sure she respected. Oh, he had Flair enough, and cleverness, and honor-- She stopped. Ah, that was the quality that redeemed him in her eyes, his own sense of honor. An honor she believed that he would never betray. A following of all the rules and laws that governed everyone on Celta, including GreatLords and Ladies.

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