On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

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

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Celta Thursday, a peek at Heart Fire

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Celta Thursday, Heart Journey Maps

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

Thursday, May 15, 2014

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"They’d reassure me," Fern said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Of course."

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

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

Friday, May 09, 2014

Belated Celta Thursday, Trimmed Scene from Heart Fate

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 01, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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