Friday, March 23, 2018


Book 3 of the Zygradon Chronicles

"I wouldn't do that," Meghianna said, following her nurse further into her suite. "Lord Mrillis said it isn't polite to go into people's heads without their permission. And anyway, I'm not strong enough, even if I thought I needed to."

"There you go again, talking like a girl twice your age." Nalla didn't smile, like she usually did when she made that complaint. She settled on the nearest couch and used a corner of her apron to wipe the stranger child's face. "Here now, little Megassa, there's no need for tears. We're the last ones in this place to want to hurt you."

"But--but--why does she look like me?" the other child wailed.
Meghianna frowned as a thread of dislike curled through her belly. She had learned long ago that whining and wailing didn't do her any good, and was ugly and irritating. She wondered if this girl acted that way deliberately, or only from fear. She reminded herself to ask Mrillis why she had that idea, the next time she spoke with him.

That thought made her smile. The prospect of seeing the Rey'kil enchanter every day, to learn more about magic and the women who were Queen of Snows before her, was almost as wonderful as being able to see her father every day for the entire spring and summer.

"To be totally correct, you look like her. Meghianna is your elder by three moons. And you look alike because you're sisters. Half-sisters, anyway," Nalla corrected quickly. She sighed. "And, because your mothers are cousins. Were cousins, because sweet Queen Belissa is dead."

And your mother most likely killed her, but that's not your fault, so I won't say it.

Nalla's thought rang loudly through Meghianna's head, startling her. The girl yanked her mental fingers back from the Threads, feeling a little queasy at the strength of the thought, as well as the guilt of trespassing. A moment later, curiosity overrode everything.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


Book 3 of the Zygradon Chronicles

Meghianna didn't know she had a sister until her sixth summer, when she went to visit her father, Efrin Warhawk.

The adventure of racing through her suite of rooms in the Warhawk's fortress, looking for the surprises her father left for her, ended abruptly when the door from the hallway banged open. Thinking her father had left his council meeting to greet her, she turned around to race from her study room to the front room to throw herself into his arms. Instead, she froze, stunned to see her near-mirror image standing in the doorway, staring at her in return. The wide-eyed surprise on the other girl's face crumpled into tears, and she went to her knees there on the threshold.

"Nalla!" Meghianna hurried across the room. She reached out to lift the other girl back to her feet when a gasp and a muffled curse from her nursemaid startled and stopped her.

"So it's true," the silver-haired Rey'kil healer muttered.

"What's true?" Meghianna asked.

Warned by the frown on the woman's ordinarily cheerful, round face, she took a step back. The Threads chimed around her, responding to the tightening in her belly. She reached with her mind to calm them. So far, only Lord Mrillis could hear when she disturbed the Threads, but she knew that was only because she was so young and weak. He had promised to keep her secret--and also made her promise in return to tell him whenever she learned to do something new, no matter how small or odd. Disturbing the Threads too much would alert others to her magical talents. Now was not the time to let the world know she had already found her imbrose. Not with this mirror image of herself crying silently on the threshold of her suite, trembling and looking at her and Nalla as if she expected to be tossed out like so much trash.

"Well, you'll find out sooner or later. And pick it from our minds, no doubt, if we try to keep it from you." Nalla knelt and caught up the little girl under her arms, just like she picked up Meghianna even now, when she was frightened or upset, with no regard for her dignity as the daughter of the Warhawk and future Queen of Snows. The stranger with Meghianna's pointed chin and red-gold hair and silvery-green eyes certainly seemed to need the coddling.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

New Cover Art Reveal!!!

Taa - Daa!!

What do you think?

Here's the cover for my next book set in the weird little town of NEIGHBORLEE, OHIO.


This is the next story told through the eyes of Lanie Zephyr, wheelchair-bound comedian, sports reporter, and broken semi-pseudo-superhero, one of the guardians of the weird and wonderful things kept contained within the boundaries of Neighborlee. And yes, she plays in a wheelchair basketball league.

The title comes from the title of one of Lanie's comedy CDs: "Living Proof that the Good Times Roll."

And for those of you who know my brother -- wheelchair-bound former comedian -- it's also the title of one of his comedy collections. The other one was, "It's all Downhill From Here." And showed a sketch of him holding onto his wheelchair for dear life, his eyes big with terror.

LIVING PROOF will be coming out this fall from Uncial Press, and starts up 6 years after the events at the end of the current Neighborlee/Lanie Zephyr novel, DORM RATS.

Future titles in the Lanie Zephyr stories will be along the same lines: Night of the Living Proof, Return of the Living Proof, the Living Proof Gets the Blues, Bride/Husband of the Living Proof, Son/Daughter of the Living Proof ... get the idea?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book of the Week: THREE DROPS OF BLOOD

Today we move on to the next book in my Arthurian fantasy series, The Zygradon Chronicles. All published by Uncial Press.

There are 5 books in the series:


Meghianna was chosen as the next Queen of Snows before she was born. Megassa, her sister, should never have been born. Mrillis watches both daughters of the Warhawk as they grow up and choose the paths of their lives. They could be part of the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Three Drops of Blood–but which one will wait, and which one will abominate? The choices the sisters and their teachers make could affect the destiny of the World for centuries to come.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Off the Bookshelf: CHARLIE BONE AND THE TIME TWISTER, by Jenny Nimmo

Book 2 in the Children of the Red King series.

This book takes up soon after Book 1 ends. Charlie Bone is still stuck going to the horrific Bloor's Academy, but at least now he has a circle of friends who are willing to take chances with him, despite misunderstandings and letting the bullies and (quite honestly) psychos with power and influence manipulate them.

I think the worst part of the whole situation poor Charlie has to survive on a daily basis is that his own family has thrust him into the school and daily harassment and unfairness. Granted, just his father's side of the family, and considering what has happened to his father -- vanished, presumed dead, but with hints that he's still alive and lost somewhere out there -- as punishment for defying their will ... Charlie needs all the help he can get.

He's an ordinary boy in a lot of ways, but he's learning fast to deal with his unwanted gift, and when a situation drops almost on top of him, he's willing to take responsibility and help out.

In this case, a magical time travel object (which is pretty nasty in and of itself, considering how it captures its victims) takes a boy from nearly a century ago and drags him forward to the present Bloor's Academy. Bad enough to lose everyone and everything you know and love, but the nasty relative who got you in trouble in the first place is still around, and he hasn't improved with age and he's determined to destroy you. Charlie and his growing circle of friends, including people who are learning to get around their problems, to the rescue!

Fun series. I'm glad I bought a stack of the books and they're just waiting for me to have time to read.

Friday, March 16, 2018


Book 2 of the Zygradon Chronicles

"It is a good thing for the next Warhawk to train to be a Valor," Lyon continued. "No matter how many Noveni return to Moerta, our race will always be tied to Lygroes through the vales and the Valors."

"And the Rey'kil can never say that the Noveni have no part in Lygroes," Mrillis added softly, listening to an inner voice while his physical vision clouded for a moment. "There will come a day when there will only be one land for those who wish to live, and all will need to share it and forget that there ever were three continents and three races." He shuddered, feeling as if the images that prompted those words had been yanked out of some deep, until then silent, part of his soul.

Athrar held out his hand, with the ring Ceera had made for him softly glowing on his thumb. Sparks danced on the tips of the wings and beak of the stylized warhawk engraved into the thick band, physical witness of the power that had slid through the room and stirred the Threads like an errant, warm breeze.

"Did you do that...or was it done to you?" the boy asked. His hand shook just a little.

"What did you see?" Mrillis countered.

"It was a web, all different colors." He swallowed hard, audibly, but he didn't go pale. If anything, his eyes shone with wonder, not fear. "It just fell out of the ceiling and covered you. Then it melted into you." He shook his head. "But that isn't right, either."

"I think the sooner you go to Ceera for training, the happier we all will be." Mrillis stood and gestured for the boy to follow him. "If you will all excuse us, I think it is time for our prince's first lesson in using his imbrose."

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Book 2 of the Zygradon Chronicles

"So, you want to be a Valor, do you? Just because you're sensitive to the power of star-metal?" He managed to hold a straight face just until panic and disappointment made the boy's face go pale. Then he laughed and reached across the gap between their horses, grasping his forearm in a salute of equals. "I can't think of anything more blessed than to have the Warhawk's heir counted among the guardians of the lifeblood of our land. I assume your uncle approves?"

"He admitted he was jealous," Athrar said with a grin.

"Just until I realized how proud I was," Afron Warhawk admitted less than an hour later, as Mrillis settled in for a pleasant, informal evening in the family quarters of the fortress. They were only six: Afron and Queen Elysion, Lyon and Lady Gretha, Athrar and Mrillis. "This is what Lady Le'esha dreamed of. Unity between our two races, a bridge over the differences between us. Noveni can no longer say that we are two separate races and there are no obligations between us, when this proves that we are brothers beyond the ties of blood. This is something no one can deny."

"Especially when they despised those of mixed blood who proved we were all one blood," Elysion said softly.

Mrillis swallowed hard against the heat and choking sensation in his throat as he watched the gray-haired Warhawk catch up his wife's hand and kiss it, and saw the tender, sad light in his eyes. Their four children, half-bloods, had been murdered, and still no one was quite sure who was responsible. Blood magic had been involved in the vicious storm, but no one knew if it was Encindi practicing the forbidden arts, or Noveni who turned to forbidden things in a bid for power, or another Rey'kil who had sold his imbrose for the sake of power.

"I will always acknowledge the debt the Noveni owe to the Rey'kil for sharing Lygroes with us, when our own lands were overrun with star-metal poisoning and the Encindi invaders," the Warhawk continued after several moments when everyone was content to stare into the fire and visit sad memories. "Just as generations of our race took shelter here, so will generations give service in defending the vales and the cup of life and power before that debt is repaid. As long as there is magic in our bloodline, the family of the Warhawk will lead in that defense."

"Witnessed," Lyon and Athrar said together. Father and son exchanged grins.