Saturday, September 30, 2017

ANALOGS: Phoenix Fan Fiction

Read the whole story on Wattpad: CLICK HERE

A burst of light flashed through the trees up ahead, too low to the ground to be sunlight. A tingling of power in the air told Preminger a move had been made. He rounded the curve and found the car ahead of him stopped by a huge tree fallen across the road. A blur of movement caught his eye to the right and he saw Bennu emerge from the bushes. He could have sworn Bennu winked at him as he ran in front of his car and past the deputy up front before diving into the woods again. The officer stood and stared after Bennu for a fraction of a second.

"He's escaped!" Preminger found himself out of the car and yelling before he had a chance to think. "After him, quick!" And then he dashed into the woods, angling off from the direction Bennu was headed.

Looking back, he saw Reydell run into the woods on the other side. The other deputies saw him and gave chase. What happened next amazed Preminger and let him laugh as he had not in months.

Every few seconds, the escaped prisoner would appear on one side of the road or the other and dash back into the trees just after the officers saw him. No one but Preminger noticed that the clothes changed constantly, and he appeared on the left without crossing the road, when they had seen him on the right two minutes before. In a moment, the pursuers were off down the road, shouting, pointing in all the directions they had just seen Bennu or Reydell. The road curved away so Preminger couldn't see what was happening, but he knew the outcome. The analogs would soon have the hunters so confused they would keep running without seeing anyone. Then Bennu and Reydell would double back. It was too perfect.

When he had his chuckles under control, Preminger headed back to the cars. He took the handcuffs out of the back seat where Reydell left them, and threw them far into the bushes. That was one uncomfortable question eliminated. Something bounced off his shoulder, hitting the road with a dry "pop." He looked down -- it was an early acorn. Another hit him, and he turned to see Aria beckoning from the bushes. Without a word, he followed her. The shadowy forest swallowed them both in a moment, and he began to wonder at the back of his mind if he had been wise to come after her.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Book of the Week: SANCTUARY

Book Two of the Guardians of the Time Stream series, from Desert Breeze Publishing.

Her heart raced from more than the pace, and she wished Athena hadn’t insisted on such a wide brim for her hat. Held this close to him, she couldn’t see his face, couldn’t even guess what was going through his mind right that moment.

He slowed at a door with a large brass "E" in place of a nameplate, thumped four times in an odd rhythm, and hurried into the next office down the hallway. Ess stumbled when he gave her a little shove into the room, and a moment later the door slammed behind them.

"You rascal. You scoundrel," he said, the rasp deepening, threatening to crack his voice. He caught hold of her again, shook her once, then held her out to arm’s length, his fingers digging into her shoulders deep enough to bruise. His eyes flicked back and forth, studying her features.

"Stanton?" Mr. Randall Endicott said, opening the door and stepping in after only the shortest rap.

"Look what the tide dropped on our doorstep." Lewis turned Ess around so quickly she nearly lost her balance. It was a good thing he kept his tight grip on her shoulders.

"Odessa," the elder partner whispered. He took two jerky steps forward. For a few seconds, she thought he might collapse -- or lunge forward and shake her until her neck snapped.

Then Endicott tipped his head back and laughed, until he staggered back a step and had to catch his breath. Lewis let go of her and hurried to fetch a chair for the older man to sit down.

She complied when Endicott held out his hand, and gave hers into his grasp.

"Shades of Matilda and Ernest," Lewis said, bringing over another chair for Ess. He settled on the edge of the massive desk, shaking his head and grinning. "You wouldn’t believe the story this scapegrace told, coming in here. A false name, a Pinkerton agent, and working for one of the premier historical consortiums in the world. Girl -- no, young lady -- what have you been up to?"

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book of the Week: SANCTUARY

Look for the final book in the Guardians of the Time Stream series, MUSIC IN THE NIGHT, coming in October (that's next week!) from Desert Breeze Publishing.

"We don’t want you to try anything specific," Athena said, pulling one of the helix-shaped crystal rods from her ever-present belt pouch. "For now, for today, we want you to just... play. Listen to the crystal, sing to it, if you want. Let it speak to you. It might take days of listening and perhaps even dreaming -- Vivian often made her greatest healing advances after she had studied and experimented and worked herself into headaches, and then everything came together in her sleep. In her dreams. She often said she had a friend who visited in her dreams, and then you had an imaginary friend very young--"

"Carmen." Ess surprised herself as the image of a little girl her own age at the time seemed to pop into her mind, like stepping from behind a thick screen. She had a momentary sensation of having been spun around, or the room had suddenly expanded in size.

More proof, perhaps, that memories had been blocked just like Uly's had been? She made a note to confer with her brother, to find out how he felt when memories and bits of his life returned to him.

"Yes." Athena blinked away a sheen that hinted at tears. "Vivian wrote to me of your friend, how glad she was that you... well, that is neither here nor there. Yet it does rather reinforce my theory. Your mind works enough like your mother’s, I’m hopeful you inherited that gift as well."

Ess took the rod and pressed it between her hands, to keep it from picking up the deliciously fearful shivers vibrating in her breastbone. Ford stood and opened the door, then waited until Athena and Dr. Sylvia stepped outside.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Book of the Week: SANCTUARY

Book Two in the Guardians of the Time Stream series, from Desert Breeze Publishing.

Ess Fremont and the Blue Lotus Society know the Originators have been infiltrated by Revisionists. The treachery has reached even to their headquarters, Sanctuary, an underground complex near San Francisco.
Problem: The Society can't contact Sanctuary, or risk putting power into the enemy's hands. Yet Ess must go there to claim her heritage and learn how and why her grandparents vanished seven years ago. 
Solution: Ask her family lawyers to "turn her in," and on the train ride cross-country, begin her education.
The journey launches revelations that threaten everything Ess knows as truth. As she uncovers schemes within lies within treachery, the fulfillment of her family's destiny rests heavy on her shoulders.
Who can she trust when her own grandparents blocked her memories, and the means of saving -- or destroying -- them all are hidden in the vaults of her mind?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Off the Bookshelf: IRON DAUGHTER, by Julie Kagawa

Okay, call this the Overdrive Effect.

Take a print book off the to-be-read pile. Read it. Really like it. Want MORE. Go to Overdrive and find e-book versions of the next couple books in the series. Borrow the next 3 books from the library, in e-book format. Instant gratification.

And then you have a deadline to read those 3 books in the next 3 weeks. And you DO it. Because the stories are good. And it also helps if 2 of the 3 books are novellas ...

This is the 2nd novel, and the third story in the Iron Fey series.

IRON DAUGHTER takes up after the novella, Winter's Passage, in which Meghan fulfills her promise to go to the Unseelie Court/Winter Court in payment for Prince Ash helping to rescue her brother from the Iron King's realm.

When the story starts, she is still a miserable guest in the Winter Court. Ash is either not there, or he's pretty nasty to her. Not a good time for a girl who beat the Iron King and finds out she's a half-breed faerie princess, but basically nobody likes her. You'd think the girl would be finally coming into her own. Learning magic, finding out she's a princess, and all that. Except that her magic doesn't seem to work. Bummer.

Things get worse when she's accused of murder and theft and blamed for starting a war. Fortunately, some old friends and allies show up, and former nemeses turn into allies, as they set off on a quest -- and run from people who want to kill them all, starting with Meghan -- to return a magic scepter and stop the war. Major heartbreak. Major danger. Meghan proves she's a pretty tough kid, doing what's right no matter how much it hurts. And yeah, messing up when it comes to her love life because after all, she is still a kid in high school.

Loved it when she got to attend the prom -- purely for magical energy-gathering purposes, of course -- and the jerks who snubbed and mocked her end up hitting on her, and she's the envy of every single girl in the school because of the two guys who are her escorts. Yes, two escorts.

Can I say I'm totally tempted to download the next 3 or 4 books in the series and binge-read them, too? Alas, I must desist, because I have some deadlines to make, writing-wise. Best to save more Iron Fey books as rewards for getting work done. Reward yourself and read as many of these as you can!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

ANALOGS: Phoenix Fan Fiction

Read the whole story on Wattpad: CLICK HERE

"He's awake now." Bennu had a bemused look on his face. "I can't contact him outright, but I'm getting fragments of what is going on. Someone is helping him escape."

"So strange," she muttered.

"What is?"

"You two are so...very alike. Your duties parallel. Yet you are a fugitive from those who should assist you, while Reydell is held in high honor." Aria shook her head. "It is not sensible."          

"Don't worry, I'm not that badly off. I have some friends in high places too." He stood up, now that all activity in front of the hospital had ceased for a while. "Let's go."      

Together they entered the building and found their first stroke of luck -- no one at the front desk. Bennu's link and a sign on the wall directed them down the east wing. They turned a corner, Aria in the lead, and found five men in sheriff's uniforms, standing in the hall. Bennu did a quick side-backstep and retreated around the corner again, tugging Aria back with him.

"Uniformed men -- those are police?" she whispered. Bennu nodded. "What are the guns you warned me of?"

"The black, hand-sized objects hanging from their belts. I have an idea to get you in to Reydell. How well do you lie?" Mischief glinted in his eyes, to be answered by a smile and nod from the girl.

Friday, September 22, 2017


The Guardians of the Time Stream series, from Desert Breeze Publishing.

A soft, three-note whistle warbled through the warehouse, coming from the far door. She choked on a totally irrational giggle. The distinct hiss-clop of very large feet trying to walk noiselessly in heavy boots came through the waiting quiet.

Charles was late, but fortunately not that more negative definition of late.

However, he was walking right into trouble.

"What in the Sam -- Odessa?" Charles hissed, appearing in the doorway. He was a distinct man-shape on the far side of the spill of dimmed moonlight. "Where are you, girl? Are you hurt?" The snick-click of his Colt cocking rang loud through the warehouse.

"Run!" she shouted. "I'm trapped -- get the others." She stared down the leg suddenly pointed at her face and swallowed hard, braced for another cloud of sleeping gas or maybe the acid this time. The automatons didn't have visible ears, either, but they seemed to understand exactly what she was doing when she shouted.

"What are those things?" Charles stepped out into the moonlight, staring up at her.

She was touched that he was worried about her -- glad that he assumed she was hurt and she hadn't fallen asleep on the job -- but the man was an idiot. What part of "run" didn't he understand?

"Get out, now! Look behind you!" She dared to point -- no reaction from the automatons.

The automatons on the floor moved at triple the speed she had seen before. Their tap-tapping sound turned into a rattle as they seemed to skim across the floor, heading right for Charles. He let out a shout and backed up, pulling his other pistol and letting go with both barrels.

He missed.

Charles was a crack shot.

Thursday, September 21, 2017


Look for the final book in the Guardians of the Time Stream series from Desert Breeze Publishing, coming in October!

The two automatons sat perpendicular to her, all six legs on each firmly planted on the vertical sides of the rafter beam. Perfectly still. No ticking or whirring sounds came from them, no indication of clockworks. Their eyeless pillboxes were partially retracted into their bodies. Moving slowly, ready for another spray of the chalky substance, she looked down the beam in the other direction. The two automatons there copied the same pose.

So we just sit and wait until someone falls off?

Ess hoped she would find this situation amusing in the future. Preferably, the very near future.

Another crystalline chime sang through the air. Two automatons, one from each pair, popped their pillbox heads out, making Ess flinch and gasp. They climbed up the vertical beams of the rafters and tap-tapped along the roof, hanging upside down, heading for the skylight. She kept watch, as much as she was able while keeping the other two, quiescent automatons in sight. Ess shivered as she realized the moonlight had faded by at least three-quarters of its intensity. How long had those things been chasing her around the warehouse rafters? Or had the clouds moved in far quicker that she thought, when she predicted a rainstorm coming up late tonight?

The two automatons prodded at the skylight latch. Ess flinched and rose up from her perch in the "V" when they grabbed onto the control cables for the lock and rode them down to the ground, pulling the skylight open.

The two automatons still with her raised one leg each, pointing them at her. A definite threat if she had ever seen one. So, she reasoned, she could watch all she wanted, turn her head to look around, but she couldn't move any other part of her body?

Fine. She had a very good, unimpeded view from her perch here. So what was going to happen next?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The War Room

Please mark the date for the Faith and Fellowship Book Festival, and plan on attending!

Where is Etna? Look for Columbus, OH and then look to the right. Better yet, just plug the address into your map app. Check out this link and see all the authors, all the different kinds of books, the panel discussions available. Oh, yeah, and BOOKS to buy.

I mean, come on, it's almost time to start CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!!

I'm gonna be there -- I hope to see YOU!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Book One of the Guardians of the Time Stream series from Desert Breeze Publishing.


A traveling exhibit of Egyptian artifacts is threatened by thieves. Pinkerton agents, including Ess Fremont, are providing protection. A midnight vigil brings Ess face-to-face with the reason behind the thefts -- and the two groups seeking what is hidden within the artifacts.

Encountering her missing grandparents' allies, Ess can reclaim her heritage, but hesitates. They aren't being honest with her. How can she join a battle affecting the entire world when she doesn't understand the reasons for the war? There is more to the Blue Lotus Society than protecting Egyptian history and culture.
As the exhibition crosses the country, Ess approaches the tipping point, when her decision could be made for her. Who can she trust? Who is lying to her and using her? When the enemy strikes, she discovers that making the right choice can't always wait for answers.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Off the Bookshelf: SUMMER'S CROSSING, by Julie Kagawa

Another novella in the Iron Fey series.

This one is told through the eyes of Puck, Robin Goodfellow, and a dozen other names among the Fey. Puck is the ultimate mischief-maker and rabble-rouser. A good ally to have on your side, if you can trust him to stay on your side.

Puck was once good friends with Ash, prince of the Winter Fey, otherwise known as the Unseelie Court. Ash has vowed to kill Puck, blaming him for the death of the girl he loved. Now things are complicated because Ash and Puck are both in love with Meghan Chase, heroine of the Iron Fey books.

Ash has a vow to fulfill to Meghan, and a promise to fulfill to a rebel Fey queen that he can't get out of. Before Ash can find their ally, Grimalkin, he has to steal something from the Seelie Court. Much against his will, he accepts Puck's help.

Things get a lot more complicated when Oberon shows up and points out to Puck that if he betrays Ash while he's in the Summer Court, then his rival will be destroyed ... and Puck can finally win Meghan's heart.

Will Puck double and triple-cross and pay his debts or just add to them?
Read and find out!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

ANALOGS: Phoenix Fan Fiction

Read the whole story on Wattpad: CLICK HERE

Aria's face went white and she stared at him for a long time. Once her lips moved, but she didn't speak. Lightly, she touched the burned or torn placed places on her clothes and the long slit high on her shoulder, stained with the blood of the wound Bennu had healed. Her clothes were simple, all of the same dark blue -- a loose, sleeveless tunic, falling halfway to her knees, and wide, baggy pants stuck into knee-hi leather boots. Headband, wristbands, belt and buckles of mother-of-pearl completed her most definitely un-Elrad look. Bennu wondered how he could have been mistaken -- yet she was Khahli, in size, coloring, voice and manner.

"Analogs," Aria said suddenly, relief in her tone. "That narrows the possible realms I could be in." She seemed to have forgotten about Bennu, and spoke her thoughts out loud. "By the Lion! What can I do without Reydell? And what about the doors?"

With very little questioning, they both knew for sure what had occurred. Aria and Khahli, and Bennu and Reydell, were doubles, analogs, each other's counterparts in a different plane of existence. Reydell and Aria were doormasters, guarding the entrances of other planes against mis-use and accident. The Gryf, her plane's analog of the Yago, had tried to get through to Bennu's plane. In the battle, the door had opened enough for Aria and Reydell to fall through before closing. Bennu's dream had been caused by a spontaneous link with his analog. It had been real. Dreaming he helped Khahli, he had pulled Aria to safety and separated the doormasters.     

They could only go back to their own realm working together -- and there was a limit on how long analogs could share a plane in safety.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Book of the Week: ODESSA FREMONT

From the Guardians of the Time Stream series, by Desert Breeze Publishing.

Look for MUSIC IN THE NIGHT, the final book in the series, coming at the start of October!

"Which brings us here to this moment." Mr. Lincoln sat back, clasping his hands in his lap. His mouth quirked up and his eyes narrowed just a little, so Ess felt as if he could somehow see through her. It made her want to fidget. "What was your name again?"

"Joshua, sir." A sudden dropping sensation took her breath away. Why would he ask her that? Wouldn't her name have been at the top of the report Sutter gave him?

"You're sure?"


He raised a hand and a door on the far side of the meeting room opened. Ess flinched, realizing the door hadn't been entirely closed. Sutter walked in, and that dropping sensation increased, making her slightly dizzy. Why had he been listening at the door? Tears prickled at the corners of her eyes. The new clothes that felt so fine now felt like a trap. How could she flee, vanish into the streets, wearing such clothes? They would make her stand out like a beacon on a hill.

"I'm curious. What do you plan to do when you can no longer disguise yourself as a boy?"

"Sir?" Agent Sutter said, stopping so abruptly he seemed to lean forward for a second. His eyes widened and he stared at Ess.

"I'll ask you again, young lady, what is your name? Your real name," Mr. Lincoln emphasized.

He laughed softly, shoulders shaking, as Sutter stared, looking back and forth between Ess and the president.

"Odessa Vivian Fremont, sir," she admitted, bracing herself for a torrent of questions.

Ess saw the moment Agent Sutter made the connection, the moment his frown relaxed into understanding and his eyes widened. Then he grinned and she couldn't decide if she should be relieved or perturbed by him.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Book of the Week: ODESSA FREMONT

From the Guardians of the Time Stream series, published by Desert Breeze Publishing.

That night, Ess discovered that Miss Van Hastings or her brother had been practicing forging her signature. The worst part was that the forgeries were rather good. Whoever had covered ten sheets of paper with her name, growing closer to Ess's scrawling penmanship with each try, had a future as a counterfeiter.

Ess didn't have nearly enough copying paper and spray to copy all the sheets to prove someone was learning to forge her signature, but further searching negated the need for proof. She found a master copy of a letter, purportedly from her, to go to Endicott, Lewis and MacDonald. Supposedly she was so utterly wounded by the loss of her grandparents that she wanted Miss Van Hastings to become her guardian. All communication would go through her. The lawyers were to transfer all authority over her grandparents' estate to Miss Van Hastings. By the end of the month, she would arrange to empty out the house, dismiss the staff, and sell the house and grounds.

The vision of Walter Van Hastings coming into her grandparents' home and emptying it of the rooms and rooms of books and archeological treasures and all the clever gadgets her grandmother had invented, the shelves and shelves of archives her grandfather kept for his scholarly friends… it sickened her. Infuriated her. Frightened her.

She couldn't think for several moments. The meeting of the Resurrectionists would be at the same time as the Van Hastings planned to loot the Fremont home. Likely Resurrectionist sympathizers would be recruited to conduct the operation -- and their cause would profit. Ess needed to notify Endicott, Lewis and MacDonald now of the deception being perpetrated on them. She needed to go home before the meeting and hopeful raid and looting, and arrange to hide her family treasures.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Book of the Week: ODESSA FREMONT

MUSIC IN THE NIGHT, the final book in the Guardians of the Time Stream series, steampunk, by Desert Breeze Publishing, will be released at the beginning of October.

The next 5 weeks will give glimpses of all 4 books in the series, starting with the prologue, ODESSA FREMONT.


Ess Fremont already hated her boarding school before discovering the headmistress was trying to steal her inheritance. With her archeologist grandparents presumed dead in South America's turmoil, she struck out for freedom.

Guided by her grandparents' maxim to always help where she was able, and aided by their inventions, Ess made her mark. First step: reveal a Resurrectionist plot to the Secret Service before the Southerners could re-start the Civil War.
Disguised as a boy, Ess headed West. Sharp eyes, scientific principles, and engineering knowledge put her in the right place at the right time to do the right thing. Powerful allies included President Lincoln, the Secret Service, circus performers, train inspectors, and Pinkerton agents. Not bad for a girl between her fourteenth and seventeenth birthdays.
If she could only find her missing brother and uncover the secrets their grandparents kept from them… 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Off the Bookshelf: WINTER'S PASSAGE, by Julie Kagawa

The next book in the Iron Fey series is a novella.

Right on the heels of the events of THE IRON KING, Meghan and Ash head back into the land of faery. She made a deal with Ash and now she has to follow through. In return for his help in rescuing her brother, kidnapped by the Iron King, Meghan must go with him to the court of Queen Mab.

Of course, magical creatures -- frightening ones -- are hunting for the half-blood daughter of King Oberon.

Their chase takes readers into some more creepy yet fascinating spots where the world of the faery overlaps the Human world, with magical creatures living opening among them -- and Humans don't see, or at least don't notice.

Of course, when Meghan finally gets to the icy underground kingdom of the Unseelie Court, things don't look very good at all. And that's the subject of the next book, IRON DAUGHTER.

Thank goodness for Overdrive and borrowing e-books from the library, and being able to download and start reading instantly. I wanna know what happens next!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

ANALOGS: Phoenix Fan Fiction

Read the whole story on Wattpad: CLICK HERE

"What have you gotten yourself into this time?" Preminger said under his breath, standing at the foot of the hospital bed. "Just when I thought we were both safe, you show up. Who got you? They took your medallion, you know. Whoever it was." His throat tightened and he twisted his hand around the med rail to keep from making any sound.

It was crazy, he knew. For the last year and a half, he had been hunting Bennu. For the last year they had been friends of a sort, one of them showing up just when the other needed help.

Too often he had been on the verge of being taken off the case, afraid a superior realized he was deliberately letting Bennu slip by. Then Bennu would show up and get past the latest hot-shot agent so easily as to make the man look a fool. And Preminger would be back on the case where he wanted to be.

For three months, nothing had been heard of Bennu, let alone seen. The agency was sure the communists had caught him -- it didn't matter which ones. Preminger had spent his 'free time' studying the Indian ruins, trying to figure out what Bennu was up to now that Mira was gone. He was coming to like the subject as much as he was coming to like the alien.

And now this had to happen. Some farmer had heard an explosion in the middle of the night and called the sheriff before investigating. They found a crater, five feet deep, ten feet wide, with an injured man in the bottom. The sheriff was only too happy when he recognized Bennu. Now he was in the hospital, under guard, still unconscious since they had brought him in ten hours before.

"Bennu, how could you be so stupid?" Preminger flung himself down in the chair by the bed, prepared to wait until his quarry/friend woke up. Maybe he could think of something to help both of them before then.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Book of the Week, FELIN-RU, Wildvine Book 3

Wildvine Series
Book 3

From Writers Exchange

            “Doc?” Daniel resisted the urge to yank on his guardian’s sleeve. He felt very small and lost.
A rocky mountainside spread around him, sloping downward to the foot of the Silver Mountains reservation. This was where all the rangers and investigators and scientists who had studied wind and rain directions and angle of descent said he should have come through the mountains, that day he was found.

            “Daniel?” Khyber stood on his other side, bracketing him between her and their teacher. “Are you okay?” she said, dropping to a whisper, and squeezed his shoulder. “You’re white.”

            He shook his head, though now that she said it, he did feel a little queasy.

            This was wrong. Very wrong. He looked at a row of three trees and his mind told him he should see a pile of boulders instead. He saw a gouge in the landscape where water runoff had worn away softer soil between the bedrock of this slope -- memory said he should find slabs of moss in scarlet and purple, and a slight mound instead of a gap in the rock. Daniel tried to remember the wind and rain and flashes of lightning Khyber had described when she went through the same storm only a few hundred yards away.


            Something did flicker at the back of his mind, a memory trying to surface, but he got hazy images of sunshine and trees and emerald lawns and heard flickers of laughter.

            Those shadowy creatures from his dreams were there, though. Big and black, towering over him, only the jewel-toned eyes distinct in sapphire, emerald, and a deep purple that made him think of snow-topped mountains at dusk.

            Dr. Harland linked their arms and drew him close. “What’s wrong?” He signaled the ranger retracing the “scene of the crime” to stop.

            “Sit him down,” Khyber urged.

            Daniel grinned crookedly as he realized that the world was tilting. He leaned against Dr. Harland while Khyber dabbed at his face with her red bandanna and the contents of her canteen.

            A cat-like creature with green and silver fur peered through Khyber’s loose hair, perched on her left shoulder, watching Daniel most solemnly.

            That was enough. He shut his eyes tight and clenched his fists and wished the illusions to go away.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Book of the Week, FELIN-RU, Wildvine Book 3

Wildvine Series
Book 3

From Writers Exchange

            She knew mud and cold and darkness and the ache in her head and the squirming little boy in her arms. He took a deep breath and she instantly pressed her hand over his mouth to smother another squall. He struggled for a little bit, until she tightened her arms around him. Then he quieted. Just like all the other times he had tried to protest their silence and stillness.

            They had to be quiet. They had to sit perfectly still here in the darkness. They had to stay where they were and never move again.

            “Why” had no part in survival.

            The world consisted of the darkness and the smell of rotting wood around her, the slimy feeling against her bare arms and the sharpness of splinters against her back, the chill mud squishing between her bare toes -- and the smell of dirty diaper coming from the little boy.

            After a time, the darkness grew grainy and turned to gray. She looked up into an immense, reeking darkness. She looked straight forward and watched the darkness shift into more gray with patterns running through it.

            Gradually, in time with the pulsing of growing ache in her head, the patterns turned into trees. She sat inside a huge, rotted hollow tree, holding a blond, filthy little boy in her arms.
            She wore shredded green flannel pajamas. The little boy wore a diaper and a T-shirt. Both of them were streaked with mud and darker marks.

            Her mind shied away from examining too closely to see what those darker marks were.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Book of the Week, FELIN-RU, Wildvine Book 3

Wildvine Series
Book 3

From Writers Exchange

Daniel was a mystery, found injured, lost, and unconscious on a mountainside after a freak storm. His miracle recovery and then his brilliant mind made medical history. 

Wren lost all her memory after witnessing the murders of her parents. The trauma in their childhoods unlocked Talents that it would take years for them to explore and understand.

Grown, Daniel escaped his university existence, and set out to explore and search for answers to the mysteries in his life. Taking refuge with a school friend's family, he met Wren, and the two discovered an instant bond of mind and soul and heart. Guarded by the mysterious, interdimensional shadow creatures Daniel knew only as the felin-ru, they dared to try to make a life together.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Off the Bookshelf: THE IRON KING, Julie Kagawa

Book 1 of the Iron Fey series.

Be honest -- what girl wouldn't want to find out she was a faery princess?

Read Meghan's story, and you'll probably change your mind. For one thing, there's finding out that your father isn't your father, and this cold-hearted, coldly beautiful faery king has just announced you're his little girl, but he really, really didn't want a father-daughter reunion. Ever. Then there's the faery king's wife to deal with. She can be kind of nasty toward the illegitimate daughter. Then there are the other denizens of the faery world, who make the political game players in Congress look like a bunch of runny-nose Kindergarteners in need of a nap and a diaper change. (Well ... yeah! And a good paddling and a looooong time out. But that's another story altogether.)

Then there's the whole problem of iron being deadly to the residents of the faery realms.

So when a new king shows up, with not only immunity to, but power over iron, things are starting to get shaken up pretty badly. It's war, like the realms of faery have never known it.

And guess who's in the middle, because as a half-breed,she's immune to iron? Yep. And Meghan thought being teased by the pretty and popular and nasty kids at school was rough. Oh, yeah, and the Iron King has kidnapped her little brother and left a pretty nasty, matricidal changeling in his place. Just to force Meghan to come to him, on his turf. Because he has big plans for her. This girl's got a lot on her plate. Fortunately -- or maybe unfortunately -- she's got some magical friends, or at least allies on her side. Maybe. Turns out one isn't sure if he should help her or kill her.

Yeah, and you wanted to be a faery princess?

I gotta remember to look for the next book in the Iron Fey series when I hit the bookstore tomorrow. Fascinating.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

ANALOGS, Phoenix fan fiction

Blast from the past!

This story originally appeared in a Phoenix fanzine called "Golden Dreams."

In 1984.

Thank goodness my writing has improved by a factor of about 100 since then ....

For your reading pleasure, and possible groans ...


Bennu dreamed of mirrors and doorways that night. Shattered mirrors, the pieces flying at and through him. He was the doorway, and Yago soldiers -- or were they? -- tried to force their way through. Pain. Like a hundred galaxies exploding in his head. Burning. The smell of blood.

He saw Khahli, who should have married his murdered brother. She was engulfed in fire. Hot flames
of power and life, but death. She screamed soundlessly, and Bennu leaped through the wall of fire to help her. His own pain multiplied. Something was drawing him back, away from her. He grabbed her wrist and pulled her through with him. The final shattering explosion in his head ripped away the visions and he was falling. Falling forever. Blackness.

Light exploded in his eyes and Bennu fought for consciousness. He was sitting up in bed, sweat pouring out of him, the light of sunrise shining through his loft window, straight into his eyes. Bennu took a deep breath and closed them again. Relax. Calm down. It was all just a dream.

But why could he still smell burning and blood?

Downstairs, the mares were moving restlessly, and Bennu could sense the beginnings of panic in them. He slid down the ladder barefoot, dressed only in his jeans, to check on them. It was his responsibility to make sure nothing disturbed the broodmares until their foals were dropped. The smell of blood and smoke grew stronger. He followed it to a stack of baled hay in a store room.

A body lay there, sprawled on the hay. A female, singed and smoky, a long, wide stain of blood down one side of her back. Even as Bennu saw her, she groaned and rolled over, pushing her long tangle of red-brown hair out of her face.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Book of the Week, ISTORICA, Wildvine Book 2

Wildvine Series
Book 2

From Writers Exchange

“They’re kinda stupid, aren’t they?” Bree whispered when they reached the top of the stairs.

Twist-feather hit the door with her elongated tail so it banged shut without Khyber having to reach back and close it.

“They’re just jealous of us,” Khyber answered after a moment of thought. She shared a grin with Bree, then choked a moment later when the little girl reached up and twined her warm little fingers through hers.

There, very clear, like a zap of lightning from her toes to the ends of her hair, yet cool and refreshing -- that was the sealing of their filar bond.

Now Khyber believed.

She slid her books into the crook of her other arm and turned her hand to grip Bree’s little hand. They started down the hallway to the living room where the Council waited.

Can you hear me?

Bree’s wide-eyed delight brought a bubble of laughter into Khyber’s throat.

Filar, remember? She tipped her head back, gesturing with her chin toward the door of the living room. “We’ve got some work to do. Let’s get it done so we can get away from everybody and figure things out.”

“Like what?” Bree reached up her free hand, offering to take some of Khyber’s books.

“Well … do you like the top bunk or the bottom? You’re probably staying with us, and I have bunk beds.”

“We’re sisters now, aren’t we?”

“Better than sisters,” Khyber said, two steps away from the living room door.

They paused in the doorway and the pleased smile and nod from her grandmother and from Kirstan made her feel several feet taller.