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, June 25, 2015

Heart Legacy Cast of Characters

Coming November:
Heart Legacy Cast of Characters:

Draeg Betony-Blackthorn's Family:
Note: Draeg is undercover as Draeg Hedgenettle.

Corax, his new raven Fam.

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

Tinne Holly: cousin to Straif T'Blackthorn, Draeg's adopted father. Concerned about the old Yew threats against his Family (hero of Heart Fate).

Ilex Winterberry: cousin by marriage to Draeg through Mitchella Clover D'Blackthorn, Chief of all the Druida City guards (police) and formally in charge of the investigation, (hero of Heart Quest).

Mentioned: Draeg's Family

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

Antenn Blackthorn-Moss: step brother, architect and inhabitant of the Turquoise House (hero of Heart Fire)

Draeg's full brothers:

Loridana Itha Valerian D'Yew's Family:

Baccat, her cat Familiar companion.

The Residence: the sentient manor house, Yew Residence.

Cuspid Yew: distant cousin, a generation older than Lori, maître de maison. He and the Residence and Folia Yew run the staff of the Residence and the Family.

Folia Yew: thirty-something unmarried Housekeeper.

Vi Yew: Daughter of Cuspid Yew, about a year and a half older than Lori. )Twins
Zus Yew: Son of Cuspid Yew, about a year and a half older than Lori. )

Everyone who lives on the Yew estate and works in the Residence are Family members.

Lori's stridebeasts, two of six named:


The horses:

Lahsin Holly: Lori's grandfather's (FatherDam's) ex-wife, Lahsin Yew, now Tinne Holly's wife.


Cal Marigold, reincarnated boy of Draeg's mentor, Tab Holly

Garrett T'Marigold, Cal's father, an ex-merchant guard (hero of Heart Change)

Garrett Primross, Private Investigator, informally in charge of the investigation (hero of Heart Secret).

Nuin Ash: Heir of the Ashes, son of GreatLord Rand T'Ash and Danith Mallow, friend of Draeg. Nuin is a fire mage.

Marin Holly: younger child of Tinne Holly and Lahsin Holly.

Anthema Mayweed: chance met new acquaintance of Lori D'Yew.

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

GrandLady D'Grove: former Captain of the FirstFamily Council.

Avellana Hazel: youngest child of the Hazels, HeartMate to Muin (Vinni), T'Vine. Avellana is a holographic artist.

GreatLord Muin (Vinni) T'Vine: the prophet of Celta.

Some of the last listed have VERY short cameos.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Celta Thursday, Cut from Heart Dance

Dufleur closed her eyes and stood still. Just stood still for once in her life and let things be. She was not pushing, pushing, pushing to get onto the next task. As she calmed, she felt her Flair settle around her like a rich, heavy cloak, seeming to gently filter through her skin and body, then back out, enveloping her.
She breathed.
This was good.
On an inhalation, she opened her eyes. Nearly lost the sweet serenity as she saw a glowing open door before her. A one person sized passage way.
To the past.
Never had she been able to move more than five seconds in the past. Now the door glittered before her, beyond it, the past in darkening shades of gray until the horizon was black.
She could go back in time! Could she return?
No, not if you change events that effect you. It was if time itself whispered to her. In her bones she could see herself of the now being absorbed at some point in time by the changed self then. That was scary. But it might be worth it.
Could she go back to where her father had died? Sidling toward the very edge of the door, she peeked in, sent her Flair probing. My father's death. Far in the distance, miles away, a slight flame shot red. She shuddered. Too far.
But perhaps she could go back to before her fight** with Saille. Now a wall of flame indicated the point. Yes, it had felt that horrible, engulfed in a wall of flame. Maybe she could even go back to...when? When Fairyfoot had dragged in his HeartGift again? A golden glow appeared, several blocks away. Tempting.
She thought of all the mistakes she'd made with Saille. Her lips curved up. She could go back and fix them. Then she frowned. That might be too easy. And hadn't she learned lessons along the way that made her a better, deeper, person? Wouldn't the person she was now be a better HeartMate to him than someone who hadn't faced her own blind faults?
Sighing out, she let the air of her breath disperse the door, watched it fade away.
This time.
And thinking of time, it was time for her to go to Saille and see if she could win him back. Her Heartgift! She'd made one a couple of months ago, during her Passage. Where was it?
She'd thought it pretty stupid at the time, to make a ceremonial pillow that held marriage bands during a HeartMate wedding. It was rare for people to use those during a ceremony in this day and age. Unless the wedding was very formal, very expensive. For a GreatLord, say. Her stomach clutched. She should have known, then. Hurrying to a dark corner, she placed a stool under the high corner cabinet that she'd bespelled and opened it, reaching in for the box she'd brought home from the discard pile at work. She took it, then shut the door of the cupboard, stepped off the stool.
Setting the box on her bed, she dispelled the shieldspell and opened it, her breath whooshed out of her at the power of the thing. Sexuality twined around and through her like the long, subtle curves of branches and leaves she'd emgroidered in gold on the scarlet silkeen. Old, creamy lace edged the pillow.
Heat raced through her.

Thursday, June 11, 2015




November: Birch/Beith
December: Rowan/Luis
January: Alder/Fearn
February: Willow/Saille
March: Ash/Nuin,
April: Hawthorn/Huathe
May: Oak/Duir
June: Holly/Tinne
July: Hazel/Coll
August: Vine/Muin
September:: Ivy/Gort
October: Reed/NgEtal
13th month Elder/Ruis


Thursday: Apple/Quert
Silver Fir/Ailim
White Poplar/Eadha
Sunday: Yew/Ioho
Friday: Grove/Koad
Monday: Mor;Sea

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Celta Thursday: Cut from Heart Fire, After Snack with Antenn at Darjeeling's HouseHeart

Tiana stepped inside D'Licorice Residence and it greeted her, then asked in a female voice, "Do you have a migraine?"

"Not yet. And if I'm lucky–" But she didn't need to finish her sentence, the Residence released herbs that reminded her to unclench her teeth and loosen the muscles in her neck. If she'd been dressed as normal she'd have done a stretching pattern.

She heard a click and turned her head and saw in that in the mainspace to her left, a no-time food storage unit had protruded a tray.

"An energy drink," D'Licorice Residence said
She must look very weary if this Residence noticed. She took the drink and sat in a rocking chair. "No one else is around?"

"The Family remains at the PublicLibrary. I am pleased to have the company, Priestess Tiana."

"Thank you."

"You carry an aura of serenity wherever you go,"

Sure didn't feel like that from the inside. "Thank you again, for your kind words and the drink."

"It is the kind you like. It will not cause an energy crash later."

It wouldn't give her the big boost she could really use, either, but she drank it down, then stepped into the center of the rug in the room, grounded herself and said a small blessing for the Residence and the Family in gratitude. The tiny ritual let her ground herself, center all the swirling emotions the events of the day had caused. And as she scanned herself, she had that hint of foreboding of an external problem rather than an internal one.

Closing her eyes, she traced the feeling back to standing in the wind on the plateau, then earlier, to the mention of GraceLord Equisetum, a man whom she'd tried to banish from her thoughts for years. The very idea of him gave her nausea, made her feel helpless. Took her back to the night she'd lost her home to a firebombing mob who'd chased her Family away more than had hurt them, or the house. They'd lost and run. Or had run and lost.

A notion wisped in her brain. She was in the CityCenter neighborhood, where the PublicLibrary and D'Licorice Residence stood. Where the GuildHall stood. Perhaps it was time for her to take a look at the man for the first time in years. "D'Licorice Residence, can you tell me if the NobleCouncil is still meeting in the GuildHall?"

"Yes, Tiana," the Residence said. "There is debate on the requirements for testing from one strata of society to the next – Commoner to Noble, a GraceLord to a GrandLord. A large faction in the NobleCouncil want to increase the level of Flair that must be proven."

"I hadn't heard of that." She wondered if her father had. She frowned. "I don't like that idea.** The most vital society is one that is not rigidly structured, and where talented individuals can rise through the classes."

"That is what we Licorices believe, too. Some go beyond that to think the current Celtan society is too structured."
Liberals like the Licorices took that stance.

Tiana liked the present system just fine...a system where a Commoner like Walker Clover with great Flair could test to become a GrandLord...and on his abilities might rise to the most influential man on this side of the world, Captain of All Councils. A system where a boy from the slums like Antenn Moss Blackthorn could become a top level architect. She shook her head once to dismiss the attractive man from her mind.

"Is GraceLord Equisetum in the GuildHall?"

"Yes. He is vociferous in his support of the tougher requirements."

"Hmmm. I wonder how he might Test in comparison to Walker Clover," she murmured.

The Residence chuckled. "Not a consideration. His Family is nearly two centuries old."

Tiana knew. Not quite as old as the Mugworts. Not nearly as old as the Licorice Family that had been founded, along with the PublicLibrary, within the first decade of the Earthan colonization of Celta.

"D'Licorice, of course, will vote against the measure."

"Of course."

"This issue has split the FirstFamilies Council, t oo. Those who feel threatened by Commoners and their increasing Flair.

"But Flair is increasing across the whole populace."

"We Licorices have researched this, and those FirstFamilies who tend to intermarry, or who do not have a vocation or avocation have not had as much an increase in Flair as those who have gone outside the twenty-five FirstFamilies for their spouses, or have lived in luxury on their wealth and not contributed to Celta. Have not found a passion to pursue. The younger set of Ladies and Lords, are, of course, in favor of a more flexible society."

"The stratified want to remain stratified."

"That is our reading."

"I must be going. May I take the glider you're loaning me to the GuildHall, then home?" she asked.


She bowed in a circle, once again saying a simple blessing.

"The day is waning and cooling. Take a cloak from the front closet," the Residence said. Obediently she went to the closet, then smiled as she saw one of her own cloaks, dull, brown and respectable, that she'd left.

A few minutes later she took the final steps to the gallery above the NobleCouncil chamber. She vaguely recalled where her father's throne-like chair had been, closer to the speaker podium than Equisetum's. And the chair positions were based on the status of the Family – when they'd been established, whether they had outstanding Lords or Ladies, how substantial their Flair was. Tiana couldn't recall the last time the order of the Nobles had been reshuffled. Though when her father was stripped of his title, everyone would have moved up one, of course.
That still bothered her. It would bother anyone.
She stayed in the shadows of the doorway at the back of the gallery and looked down at the members who were present at the NobleCouncil. Quietly, gently, she opened herself to the spiritual eddies of the room. She found passion, both for and against the issue being discussed.

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