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, November 27, 2015

Belated Celta Thursday: Cut Scene from Heart Legacy

Belated Celta Thursday, Cut Scene at the Council after attack on young Holly: "Loridand D'Yew has no power-hungry wish," Draeg stated.

"And we only have your word for it," T'Ivy, a former Captain of the Council said.

Spearing him with a look, Draeg said, "I think a few of you are allied with the Traditionalist Stance party?"

"No," T'Ivy snapped, his mouth pulled down. "They go too far."

"They challenged your leadership of the group?"

"They did not listen to us FirstFamily conservatives."

"Of course not, they want power, and will never be able to match the power we have in Flair, not in this generation, and I do not think their group** will last through the next."

"The lower nobles and the middle class commoners are becoming stronger in Flair," ** said Someone Else.

"But the Traditionalists are correct that if we continue with the current qualifications for noble, we will have many Commoners becoming noble," T'Ivy stated.

"As a people we're all growing in Flair, and in wealth," T'Hawthorn, who wasn't that much older than Draeg, and knew all about wealth, said. "I consider that a good mark of a society."

"We got rid of the old Downwind slums," T'Ash said. "And none too soon. We have homes and jobs for those who cannot support themselves because of weak brains or bodies." He stood and stretched, Draeg heard pops. "Those who do not fit in our society have mostly left the city to carve out a living of their own on their own land. That's good, too." His bright blue gaze swept the room. "We care for our own, an' harm none. That is how it's supposed to be. Every individual should be prized on Celta, 'cuz we could still die out here."

Draeg said, "We still have thieves, in the cities and preying on the merchant caravans."

"Will always be evil people, too," T'Ash said. "As for me, I don't think the mind behind these attacks belong to an eighteen year old. If young D'Yew is involved, she's taking orders from someone else, and Zanth thinks not."

Draeg just stared. "Zanth. What does Zanth know about this."
T'Ash's white teeth gleamed against his olive toned skin as he smiled. "Zanth still prowls the alleys of Druida. He sometimes meets other cats. And other cat Fams." Then the powerful** man set his hands on his hips, scrutinized every person in the room. "What we all need to think about is how we will evolve. Not only the society around us, and how we might be able to shape our culture through rituals for the good of all as we have since our ancestors landed, but how we FirstFamilies as a group should evolve." He grunted. "That's my thought for the evening."
He slanted Draeg a look. "Can't you figure out how to bring young D'Yew to me to Test her?"

"Not great T'Ash," Draeg said. "Maybe a roadside peddler, or low-class shopkeeper."

Now T'Ash's eyes gleamed, he tipped a hand in Draeg's direction. "That might be fun." Then he teleported away. Draeg thought that Zanth might not be the only one who missed a little rough and tumble in the alleys.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Celta Thursday, Cut from Heart Fortune

Celta Thursday, cut from Heart Fortune. Since I'm working on Lost Heart, the novella that fits in the timeline of Heart Fortune, I've been perusing that book. I might have used this before, but here it is: "We can put a satellite up!" Dani Eve Elder beamed. "I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time.

The Ship, Nuada's Sword, said, "I, too. A communications satellite."

"I've been working on one, and receivers for its waves. We'll need to send equipment with you," Dani Eve said. "Something that's easily assembled by amateurs," she grumbled. "We don't know anyone who is there with good and simple mechanical experience, do we?"

"No," Nuada's sword said.

"Having instant communications between people who aren't telepathic with each other over long distances would be a great boon."

Dani Eve frowned. "I'll double check all my work, let you know. You'll need a bigger airship than a bullet plane."

Glyssa was grateful for that, she hadn't been enthusiastic about sitting in a little two-person ship going at extreme speed.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Celta Thursday, Cut from Heart Legacy

Celta Thursday, Cut from Heart Legacy. I didn't know when I would start the story, so this became backstory:

**I have decided to accept your offer of a home with you and living in your stables,** said a slightly pompous voice in her head.

The Fam she'd found! He'd called to her mentally for a month, since she'd first begun her excursions into Druida and had found him prowling from one alley to another. She'd given him furrabeast jerky she'd had with her, and they'd actually talked, discussed various topics. He'd helped her firm up a map of the city in her head.

**Thank you!** she enthused back to him telepathically.

**You promise good food and a warm room of my own.**


**You may come and get me tonight.** A feline sniff.

**I will.**

**I will be in the alley near the beginning of Bountry Boulevard. I will see you later.**

**Yes.** Her very own Fam, a thrill surged through her. Life was good.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Heart Legacy Tomorrow!

Heart Legacy tomorrow! Starred Library Journal Review:
*Owens, Robin D. Heart Legacy. Berkley Sensation. (Celta, Bk. 14). Nov. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9780425263976. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781101604953. FUTURISTIC ROMANCE
For centuries, the FirstFamilies, descendants of the original psychically gifted (Flaired) Earth colonists who settled Celta, have been the most powerful social tier on the planet. Now with strongly Flaired Commoners beginning to make their way into the Nobility, threatening the status quo, there is dissention in the ranks and sly, near-deadly attacks begin against the children of newly raised families. When the evidence points to the conservative, reclusive Yews, adopted FirstFamily Fighter Draeg Betony Blackthorn goes undercover as a stableman to see what he can learn. What he finds is his HeartMate in young Loridana Valerian, the embattled titular head of the Yews. Sharply depicted characters, a touching, passionate romance, and a plot promising more political turmoil make this a worthy addition to Owens’s magical world that becomes richer with every book. ­VERDICT A cruelly used, animal-loving heroine set on rejecting her heritage and a hero determined to change her mind come together in a captivating story highlighting issues of loyalty, responsibility, and trust. Owens (Ghost Killer) lives in the Denver area.

http://amzn.to/1kmBvv5 At Amazon

BN: http://bit.ly/1KU0Zp4

Many thanks! Now comes the nervous time!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Samhain Ritual, LONG Excerpt from Heart and Soul in Hearts and Swords

Genista blinked as she exited her back door. Cardus had removed a large section of the fencing between their back yards and placed the altars across the property lines. It appeared a little odd, and she noted that the section of fence was propped against his southern boundary. He stood, waiting, his face impassive, watching her – to see if she’d object?
Something about the space, the flow of energy on this special evening, had her remaining on the stoop and closing her eyes...and feeling the last hint of summer warmth in a breeze, then the air stilled and thrummed with the promise of a new year.

A saying goodbye to the last, and a welcome to the new.

Cardus’ energy was vital and masculine and pulled to all the feminine in her. She became aware of the soft, heavy robe she wore, her only garment. She recalled the kiss the night before, his lust that had sent heat through her body. The small and quiet moments they had shared.

Then another bounding energy swept towards her.

**I am here! Whin projected. And I have gifts!**

She laughed and her eyes opened and her cheeks flushed when she saw that Cardus still watched her. The FamDog sat beside him, two bundles of cloth before him tied with a string. Intriguing.
She moved toward them, carrying a basket containing items for the altars, and food to honor the Lady and Lord.

Cardus wore leathers – good furrabeast that might have been harvested at this time years ago – honoring the animals that fed and clothed him.

Walking slowly, she watched the sun set with red and pink and orange at the horizon. Twilight blue gave way to deep black in the sky, and the full twinmoons soared high and bright and silver. Stars twinkled like diamond spangles.

The altar for the dead was small, he’d put a silver wheel there to represent acquaintances lost in the past. The object would serve for both of them. Her steps hesitated as she saw the weathered sculpture of a family of three, and she knew that it was his family. She’d never asked, but now she knew he was the sole survivor of a small family.

Her Family was large for the nobility, and no unexpected or tragic deaths had touched it.

She had only one remembrance marker for the altar and it ripped the scar in her wide open. When she reached the wooden altar, she placed the small white stone image of a curled, sexless baby on the black cloth. Her womb felt empty and cold and her cheeks colder still as tears ran down her face and chilled in the evening.

Standing, head bowed, she wept as she’d wept the last two years when she’d done this, as she anticipated she’d always weep in the future.

Then warmth surrounded her. Cardus was close behind, then his body was touching, then his arms wrapped around her and drew her to him.

"I’m sorry for your loss," he said in a low, rough voice and she knew it wasn’t just a platitude, he meant it. Immediately after she’d lost her baby, there had been more pity than she could bear. Her pride had made her futilely grasp for outward status to set people at a distance.

"I’ve heard that nothing is as devastating as the loss of a child, and I wish you hadn’t had to experience that," he continued, rocking her gently in his arms.

They stayed together until she pulled a softleaf from her sleeve and wiped her eyes, blew her nose. Then he turned her to face him, his expression sympathetic and tender.

He said, "We have lost, yet we go on. The old year is passing, the new year rushing toward us. We bring memory tokens of our loss, food for our Lady and Lord and our dead, a scrip of that inside us we wish burned away." His voice was vibrant as he said the first words of the ceremony.

Reluctantly she drew away from him and stepped toward the altar. From her basket she withdrew her cauldron, her goblet, a statue of the Lady, a rose quartz candlestick. She put a small shell bowl on the altar and poured fragrant herbal water into it. Last, she stacked oat and apple cakes that she’d made a couple of days ago.

Cardus set her candlestick on one side of his Lord candlestick and her Lady figurine on the other side. Though they were of different materials, they all seemed to match and a small smile curved her lips.

He caught her gaze. "They look well together."

"Yes." His Lord candlestick was leafy and green and taller than her voluptuous Lady.

Hesitantly she placed her rolled up papyrus next to the cauldron and next to his. She wanted to vanquish grief and regret.

Whin stood and sniffed at the altar, sneezed. His tongue swiped out and caught a cake and he crunched it, bits falling from his muzzle.
Instead of scolding the dog, Cardus flung back his head and laughed. Genista laughed, too. Cardus caught her fingers and lifted them to his lips, brushed a kiss on her fingertips, nodded to the small cairn of stones marking the north elemental point. "Shall we cast the circle?"


Hand in hand they crossed to the north and continued to each compass point, calling the Elemental energies to guard the circle and contribute to it. As they chanted the circle closed the atmosphere was imbued with power. Inside the circle became a mystical, sacred space where they were linked to the Lady and Lord, where psi Flair could affect their lives. Every moment she was aware of Cardus’ hand holding hers, of the energy they called cycling between them, closely connecting them.

Her breath and Cardus’ whispered out at the same time. She turned back toward the altar and stumbled over Whin.

Cardus steadied her and they both looked down at the FamDog.

Genista cleared her throat as she spoke to their companion. "It’s unusual for Fams to be part of a such a small circle."

Whin looked aside, whined a bit. **Never been with people in circle. Like the feeling. Stay?**

"Of course you can stay," Genista said, just as Cardus said, "Sure."

Standing and wagging his tail, Whin lolled his tongue in a doggie smile. **Thanks.** He did a long stretch, popping joints. **Feels very good.**

Dog following, they walked to the altar. Cardus looked down at her and said softly, "I accept the godhood of the Lord within myself," he rumbled and she grew hotter at the sound of his low voice, with more. He lit his candle, took her hands again and she accepted the jolt of attraction that melded into a bond between them.

His gaze caught hers and heat radiated from their hands throughout her body. "I cherish the Lady within you."

She breathed unsteadily, felt a sifting of feminine power shiver through her, from the earth, the moons, the stars, settling into her blood. "I accept the goddesshood of the Lady within myself." Her voice sounded rich and sultry to her own ears, and a flush tinted Cardus' cheeks. She squeezed his hands. "I cherish the Lord within you." Then she lit her candle and they sang the Blessing Chant, welcoming the power of the deities into their circle.

They took turns with the rest of the general ritual, singing songs that had been passed down through their culture for centuries. Genista felt both herself, and Other, and that Other was so much more than she, wise and knowing that this was a reverence for the dead...but underneath it all, joyous. That Other knew the mysteries of life and death.

And for a brief while, Genista sensed such knowledge and was comforted, her heavy grief was gone. She moved slowly, deliberately, and when she glanced at Cardus there was Another below his skin, occasionally looking out of his eyes, a man of wisdom and wildness. Warrior. Lover.

He grasped her hands once more and they seemed even harder with callouses. His voice was richer, deeper.

"We honor the dead," he said. "Those who have passed to the Wheel of Stars."

"We honor the dead," she repeated, "Those who have passed to the Wheel of Stars." She was so mesmerized by the flicker of candlelight in Cardus’ gaze, the feel of the soft and warm breeze swirling around her, that she didn’t look to her token. True surcease.

"And we celebrate Samhain, the new year," Cardus said, continued,
"As the Twinmoons cycle,
As the seasons change and
Life itself cycles,
We honor the dead and the past
And embrace life and the future."

He reached out to his piece of papyrus and flicked it into the cauldron where it flamed and vanished in smoke. She did the same.

Then they reached for each other’s hands. She knew the next words, the old words, but felt them shiny with newness.

"By the arcs and cycles of the twinmoons
By the dance of the sun through the sky and the seasons
By the circle of life and the circle of stars
I will live, love, die, and live again.
Always loving.
I will live, meet, remember, embrace love and life again."

It felt like a promise to this man.

Whin howled and that enriched the ceremony, enriched the night. Then she looked at Whin and said the words again with Cardus.

They held his large goblet between them. He drank first, then she. She fed him an oak cake and he did the same. They allowed Whin to dip his tongue into the wine, eat another cake.

In a daze, Genista thanked the deities, felt the Other rise away, and opened the circle with Cardus.

Cold air rushed in and the stars themselves seemed to frost.

Out of the Blogosphere
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