Thursday, November 23, 2017

Book of the Week: DIVINE'S EMPORIUM

Excerpt:

Blackness took over. It could have lasted for a heartbeat or a year, or a decade.

That was the irritating thing about the Fae realms, and life in the Fae enclaves. Time didn't run in synch with the Human world, and other Fae didn't have the fine respect for clocks and calendars--and the baseball and television seasons--that Maurice did.

He blinked and found himself sitting on a backless wooden stool, pinned under a spotlight inside an ocean of blackness. He was in his own body--at least his captor had let him wear comfortable clothes, his favorite slate gray cashmere sweater and matching slacks and his new Italian loafers--and he had iron manacles around one wrist and both ankles, attached to iron chains. The leg chains extended into the darkness beyond the pool of silvery-blue light. The arm chain led up into the air, vanishing in the darkness just beyond the stream of the spotlight. No matter how Maurice turned, he couldn't see what it was attached to.


Common sense said not to get off the stool. It was more than possible there was no floor, no ceiling, and no walls in this room--if he was in a room at all.

"Come on, guys! Do you know how much work I put into that scheme? Let me finish the game, at least. The guy was a bully. He deserved what I was going to give him."

Maurice winced as his words seemed to hit a wall a hundred miles, or maybe a hundred years away, and were absorbed. Chances were good that whoever had yanked him away from Sunrise--just at the culmination of his game!--wasn't even listening. Or if he, she, or they were listening, they weren't going to respond.

That was what he would do, if he was on the Fae Disciplinary Council. Lock up the miscreant, leave him alone for a while to squirm and protest and sweat, and then bring him out for judgment. 

Eventually.

It was the eventually part of the formula that worried Maurice.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Book of the Week: DIVINE'S EMPORIUM

This week starts a long string of books set in my weird little town of NEIGHBORLEE, OHIO.

Think of a place that's part Mayberry, part Roswell, part Eureka, and part Buffy's Sunnyvale -- but without the vampires or aliens.

Yeah -- MAGIC!
A little creepy at times, a lot of fun, and always something going on. For those who live there, the odd events are kind of shrugged off with a, "Ho, hum, so what ELSE is new?" attitude. And what's really odd is that newcomers don't really notice. Of course, then there's the "we don't want you here, go away" vibe that some people get, so they don't stick around long enough to notice something strange is going on.

All of this is leading up to the release of the next Neighborlee, Ohio book published by Uncial Press: DORM RATS. Otherwise known as Growing Up Neighborlee, Book 2.

The first Neighborlee book is DIVINE'S EMPORIUM.

Maurice used his Fae magic to help the downtrodden and abused. But when he went too far, the Powers-That-Be decided he needed to learn humility, self-restraint, and mercy. They took away most of his magic, shrunk him down to 5 inches, and slapped wings on his back that no self-respecting Fae would be caught dead in. Then they exiled him to the Human realms, to work out his sentence helping Humans.

His destination: Divine's Emporium, a curiosity shop touched with magic, on the edge of the odd town of Neighborlee, Ohio.

His parole officer: Angela, the proprietress of Divine's Emporium, touched with magic and a shadowy past of her own.

His sentence: Help the Humans who come into Divine's to find answers, freedom, their own magic, and true love. Not necessarily in that order.

His problem: How does a five-inch-tall Fae, invisible to most Humans, win the heart of the ugly duckling who has caught his interest, his sympathy, and then his heart--when she can't see or hear him?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Off the Bookshelf: WRITING SUCCESS, Your Book from Start to Finish to Publication

Featuring writing advice and guidance and how-to from names in the writing business:

Karen Ball
Erin Taylor Young
James Scott Bell
Mary Demuth
Tricia Goyer
Cindy Coloma
Erin Macpherson
Allie Pleiter
Susan Mary Warren

Got some questions about a part of preparing to write your book, writing it, revising and editing it, promotion? You can probably find an answer in this book. Or what's better, ideas for how to handle your problems. One great thing about this book is the authors offering their advice are honest enough, humble enough, to tell you that just because it works for them, that doesn't mean that's the ONLY way to handle that part of the writing process. We're all different. We all have different viewpoints, different needs, different barriers. Take what you learn from this book and adapt it to suit your needs. Don't ever cripple yourself by forcing yourself to do it the way someone else does, exactly as they do it, just because that person is famous.

This is a BIG book. There is a lot of useful information in here. Take your time going through it. Even if the section you're reading doesn't deal with anything that's giving you a problem. Probably in the future you will have trouble, and you might just have an easier time because of what you read here. Of course, you'll have the book to refer to in the future. Just saying ...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

BLADE OF INNOCENCE, Highlander the TV series fan fiction

Excerpt from Chapter 5 of the fan novel now available on Wattpad:


            Duncan tried three doors before he found one that was open.  The sign above it advertised the soup kitchen and the food cupboard, the latter open twenty-four hours.  He walked down a short hallway smelling of fresh paint and sawdust, which opened out into a long room filled with tables and folding chairs.  The far wall had a four-foot high gap, starting at waist height, running the entire length of the wall opening into a kitchen full of stainless steel tables and cabinets, stove and massive refrigerator.  It was also full of people, moving back and forth between the work tables and the stove.  Duncan checked his watch.  It was nearly ten in the morning.  He smelled the mixed aromas of chicken broth and tomatoes, baking bread and cinnamon.  How soon would the first hungry customers come trickling through the door behind him for their lunch?


            "Can I help you?" a woman said, pausing in the doorway, a few feet down from the serving window.  "We're not quite ready to serve lunch yet, but there's plenty of food left over from breakfast."  She was little more than a woman shape, lost in the shadows, but as she started across the long room to meet him, details became clear.

            Blue jeans, washed until they were faded almost white; a long, golden, tunic-style shirt with the sleeves rolled up and water spots down the front.  She had a red-and-white checkered cheesecloth dishtowel caught through the belt of her shirt, and she wore sandals that clicked softly across the gleaming, clean green tile floor.  Her eyes were bright blue, her face heart-shaped, with only a few wrinkles around eyes and mouth to mar her ivory and gold-toned skin.  Duncan knew those lines came from laughter, not anger or fear or pain.

            Those bright blue eyes widened.  She reached up to tuck a few platinum blonde curls behind her ears as she stared at him.

            "Duncan?" Geneva whispered.  A nervous laugh broke out of her.  "Duncan MacLeod, is that really you?"  Laughing, she spread her arms wide and hurried the last few yards to meet him.

Friday, November 17, 2017

New Book: JENNIFER, Quarry Hall 11

Excerpt:

A flash of green-tinted light startled them both. She and Su-Ma darted around the back of the truck, even as Jennifer wondered if that was smart, or she should go back for the fire extinguisher in the back of her Jeep. She skidded to a stop at the sight of Vincent and George stepping down from the open back of the truck, waving away smoke tinted gray-blue in the working lights that illuminated the narrow workbench down the middle of the truck.

"You're not gonna pass out on us, are you?" Su-Ma said, wrinkling up her nose as a dissipating tendril of smoke drifted past her face.

"If I do, I'll let you know." Vincent winked at them both.

That was encouraging, Jennifer decided.

"Is it dead?" she had to ask, and glanced at the workbench. She couldn't see the silver box or any signs of a small explosion taking place, such as a black ring burned into the surface.

"If it ain't," George said, shifting his shoulders a little, as if to straighten them, "it will be." His eyes narrowed and he stared at something inside the truck for a few seconds. Then he grunted and reached for the side of the truck to haul himself up the step.

"What happened?" Su-Ma asked, when Vincent stayed outside with them. "Do you know what it is yet?" 

"A couple steps up from all the gear they tried to sneak in on you and Haley," he said after a moment's delay, when Jennifer thought he hadn't heard them.

"So …" She wasn't ashamed when a shiver ran through her, and she wrapped her arms around herself. Puck leaned against her thigh. "Who are you calling first? McAllistair and all his sneaky connections, or Col. Sidarkis?"

Thursday, November 16, 2017

New Book: JENNIFER, Quarry Hall 11

Excerpt:

Puck carried a takeout bag clamped in his teeth, while Su-Ma carried a tray of drink cups. Mist had straws and napkins tucked under her wide, rainbow-streaked rhinestone collar. She trotted up to Jennifer and sniffed at her at knee-level, going a full circle before getting close enough to touch. Jennifer swallowed down the tightness in her throat at this sign of the delicate dog's slow emotional recovery. Moving her hands so Mist could see what she was doing, and not startle, she reached to take the straws and napkins out from under the collar, then stroked the dog's back, murmuring praise. Su-Ma was still the only one who could touch Mist's head and neck without sending the dog into shivering semi-paralysis. Despite most of her hair having grown back, she still showed the scars from the abuse she had suffered since puppyhood.

"And you did a good job, too," Jennifer said, turning to Puck so she wouldn't see how Mist nearly turned a somersault to race back to Su-Ma's side. She scratched his head and down his nose before taking the bag from him. "Seven-layer burrito, huh? Just when did Mist tell you that was her favorite?"

"She didn't, but since she doesn't get sick from the bite she gets of mine, makes sense she likes it." Su-Ma stepped back from sliding the drink carrier onto the passenger seat of the truck. She tipped her head toward the back. "Any progress?"


"All I got from George was 'sealed,' whatever that means."

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

BOOKSIGNING!!!

Yep, another one!

This Saturday, November 18, I'll be at: 
Around About Books
8 West Main Street
Troy, Ohio 45373

Starting at 1pm.
Lots of other authors will be there, but most notable are my fellow ACFW-Ohio authors, Tamera Lynn Kraft and Sandra Merville Hart.

You like historical romances, or just plain historical fiction? They're the ladies to see.

I'm eagerly waiting for a box of books with print copies of all four of my Guardians of the Time Stream books. Now's a good time to stock up.

Remember: Books are ALWAYS a great Christmas present.
Even if it's just for yourself ....

See you Saturday, I hope!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

New Book: JENNIFER, Quarry Hall 11

Excerpt:

"Sealed," George announced. He glanced up at them, offered a flat little smile, then turned and hurried to the back of the truck. Vincent followed, but he shook his head and gestured for Jennifer to stay back.

Not that she needed to see what George was doing. She knew what the inside of the truck looked like, essentially a mobile mechanics shop combined with a high-tech lab. Sophie and Su-Ma and George had gone hog-wild with designing it and configuring it for Internet hook-up and triple-strength power sources so he could run several diagnostic devices at the same time. There was even a small bomb-proof box built into the floor of the truck, with electric and manual release levers, so it could be dropped and left behind, if necessary. Jennifer shuddered, remembering that detail. What was wrong with them, that they had such fun fitting out the truck for George, without remembering that he wouldn't be "playing" with it, but doing serious work?

"Door to door service," Su-Ma called, her voice threading through the trees. Now Jennifer realized what an effective sound barrier those trees made. She didn't hear any of the traffic from the highway or from the drive-thru window of the Taco Bell.


She turned around and saw the dimly outlined shape of Su-Ma trudging down the gravel path. Mist seemed to almost glow, as if her silvery coat of fine hair caught and amplified the light that spilled through from the parking lot. Despite the white of his coat dominating, Puck seemed like a dark shadow in comparison, walking on Su-Ma's other side. Then the three of them stepped into the spill of light from the two sets of headlights, and Jennifer had to laugh.

Monday, November 13, 2017

New Book: JENNIFER, Quarry Hall 11

Excerpt:

The wall of trees turned out to be only a few trees thick, immediately giving way to a clearing. Headlights came on as soon as the Jeep's headlights touched the panel truck that had been George's latest passion for the last two months. She parked lined up with the front end of the truck, creating a pool of strong light. Vincent climbed out of the driver's side. Jennifer slid out of the Jeep and Puck let out a happy yelp and nearly pushed her out of the way as he scrambled out of the driver's seat behind her. He dashed off into the woods, heading for the Taco Bell.

"Power of suggestion," Vincent said, gesturing at the fast food shop with a jerk of his chin.

George stepped out from the back of the truck, rubbing his hands, hunched over and cast into enough shadow that Jennifer saw him for a moment in the classic mad scientist pose. Especially with his stringy hair and slightly misshapen head. Fortunately, he wasn't wearing a white lab coat. The battered old man gave a hop-skip as he held out both hands, approaching her. She couldn't help laughing, the macabre impression fading. This was the George they all knew and loved, eager to play with a new gizmo and learn how it worked. She stepped back to her Jeep, took the silver box from the compartment in the console, and carefully handed it over. George went immediately still, just holding it flat across both palms and studying it, his head tipped to one side.

"Power of suggestion?" she said, hooking a thumb over her shoulder at the Taco Bell.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

BLADE OF INNOCENCE, Highlander the TV series fan fiction

Excerpt from Chapter 4 of the fan novel now available on Wattpad:

The yard around the cave-barn echoed in the silence.  Even the softly moaning wind seemed far away, afraid to touch the rocky, weed-strewn oval.

            There.  He caught movement, a flicker of rare sunlight on something bright, a blade perhaps.  Someone peered around the side of the stone farmhouse.

            "I am Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod," he announced in Chinese, then in French, then German.  He wasn't about to mangle his tongue with what little he knew of the local dialects.  "Show yourself."

            "Doesn't anybody around here know decent English?" a man drawled, and stepped out from behind the farmhouse.  The sun glinted off the curved, heavy blade of his sword.


            "Josh?"  MacLeod took a step back.  "Josh Clay?"  He truly thought his sometime-partner had died, since he missed that rendezvous in San Francisco eighty years ago.

            "It's Josh Porter now, but it's still me."  Josh grinned and scrubbed at his beard, just as black and just as dusty as always, but considerably shorter.  He tugged his wool-lined cap off his head and batted it against his thigh, raising more dust.  "How are you doing, Mac?"

            "The same.  And you?"

            "Lost."

            "Another treasure hunt gone wrong?"  MacLeod smiled, despite the blade still pointing in his direction.

            "Trying to get some friends out of trouble, actually.  We got separated and ... "  Josh finally seemed to see the sword he clutched in his hand.  He sheathed it and slid it back inside his long, stained, dirt-colored coat.  "Put that away, will you, Mac?  I'm not after anyone's head today."  He nodded toward the barn.  "You staying there?"

            "Until night."

            "Nobody comes to this part of the world for the fun of it.  Knowing you, you're probably playing the knight in shining armor again.  Could you use a hand?"

Friday, November 10, 2017

New Book: JENNIFER, Quarry Hall 11

Excerpt:

"I think in this instance, you shouldn't offer the information," Harrison Carter said, when Jennifer voiced her thoughts. "If they ask, then yes, tell them, but … well, I think you need to get that to George and Vincent as soon as possible."

"You're thinking Genghis?" Joan said.

"We are on his radar," he said, while Jennifer muffled a groan and Puck whimpered once and pressed hard against her, offering comfort. "Unless this man from your sordid past has a grudge against you, and the means to follow through on it, Genghis is the most logical option."

Jennifer agreed, and managed to smile at his very subtle joke. She had spoken more with Elizabeth about her past than anyone at Quarry Hall, but it was understood that whatever she knew, she told her husband. Carter had proven it on several occasions, when he offered bits of advice about dealing with the fallout from the destruction of her parents' marriage. More than ten years later, Jennifer was still trying to put the pieces together, and suffering from the delayed ricochet of the metaphorical shrapnel. If her mother had known what long-lasting consequences would result from her affair, would she have continued down that path? Would she have insisted that she hadn't done anything wrong, even as the reactions of others destroyed several Air Force careers and two families?

Considering her mother's current attitude, Jennifer didn't have to think more than a few seconds to know the answer. She made a mental note to try to get in contact with her mother when she got home. Maybe today's unpleasant encounter and reminder of her own bad choices was a sign from God, a nudge in the right direction?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

New Book: JENNIFER, Quarry Hall 11

Excerpt:

Yelling, the man got to his feet, staggering every time Puck leaped on him. He stumbled across the parking lot, cursing in some guttural language Jennifer didn't recognize -- not Arabic, German, Russian, or French. She snatched up the flat silver box. Gunshots rang out, and bullets ricocheted off the cement. Somersaulting backwards, she nearly hit her head on the car bumper to her right.

Shouting the commands to stop, retreat, come back to her, in English and reinforced in Greek, Jennifer stumbled backwards into the shelter of her Jeep. The gunshots halted mere seconds after Puck joined her, shuddering and silently growling.

Fighting to calm her breathing, she wrapped her arms around her companion and listened to the night sounds. Specifically, the lack of certain sounds -- running feet, men shouting and cursing, and the roaring of an engine as a car or truck sped away into the night. She could only guess that whoever had tried to do something to her Jeep had approached on foot. Why?

The family at Quarry Hall was still discussing the possibilities, the theories, when the police arrived. Roger stepped out to deal with them, leaving Jennifer to finish the call. Puck stayed with Jennifer, and she was grateful.

She still had the silver box, long enough and wide enough to hold maybe six pencils, clutched tight in her hand. She didn't want to hand it over to the police, but chances were good they would demand she hand it over if she told them about it.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Booksigning!

THIS SATURDAY.

Hope to see you there:


New & Olde Pages Bookshoppe
856 Union Blvd, Englewood, OH 45322

The booksigning -- well, if you think about it, a FESTIVAL of BOOKS and AUTHORS -- will be from 1-4.

There'll be goodies and freebies and lots of books to choose from and have them signed. Sounds like a great time and place to start your Christmas shopping.

Or just treat yourself to a new book, while meeting real live authors face-to-face.

We don't bite, honest!

Just make sure you bring lots of chocolate ......

Hope to see YOU face-to-face on Saturday!

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 time to start CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!!

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


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

New Book: JENNIFER, Quarry Hall 11

Excerpt:

"Hey," Roger said, putting down his carton. "Sorry. But what's with him?" He pointed.

The hairs on Jennifer's neck prickled as she turned and saw her companion sitting with his head raised, ears pricked far forward, eyes wide and staring as if he could see through the closed door that led to the parking lot.

"Just a second," she said, when Elizabeth asked what was going on. She got up and walked to the hotel room door, with Puck so close against her side, he almost knocked her off her stride. She turned off the lights in the room, then making her motions as delicate as possible, for silence, she slid the security chain off and eased the door open.

A dark, hooded shape hunched down in the shadow cast by her Jeep, parked against the sidewalk in front of her room door. The shape was reaching under the running board on the driver's side. Jennifer flicked her hand down in a gesture she always equated with the starter flag in a horse race. Silent, Puck leaped. Two bounds took him across the sidewalk. His claws scraped on the cement once, and he was on the man just as the hooded figure raised his head.

Jennifer loved the shrieks that Puck could raise in the throats of crooks caught in the act. She leaped out after him, reaching for the flash of silver that flew from the man's hand. If it was a gun, she wanted it in her control, rather than risk the crook snatching it up again.

Monday, November 6, 2017

New Release!! JENNIFER, Quarry Hall book 11

Now available from Desert Breeze Publishing:

JENNIFER
Quarry Hall Book 11

When Buddy Coltrane returns to attack the family he abandoned three years before, Quarry Hall gets involved.

Jennifer is assigned to investigate the situation surrounding Daria Coltrane and her children. She must trick Buddy into acting, so they can deal with him. A technological trap springs shut, indicating criminal mastermind Genghis is directing Buddy's actions. Jennifer convinces Daria to flee and start a new life.

Time and again, they can't seem to evade their pursuers. A chance encounter with friends from her Air Force childhood, who rally to help, reminds Jennifer of all she has lost. One of them, though, has a grudge against her, and he helps Buddy catch up with them.


Daria and her children are in danger from Quarry Hall's enemies. Jennifer willingly puts herself in the line of fire because as she says, "It's what we do." But will it be enough?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

BLADE OF INNOCENCE, Highlander the TV series fan fiction

Excerpt from Chapter 3 of the fan novel now available on Wattpad:

Colorado, 1875
            "You think I cheated you?" Josh Clay stepped back from the table and rested one hand on the grip of the Colt in one holster.  He loved his twin Colt revolvers more than his sword.

            Four of the five other men at the table opened their mouths, as if to answer.  Fury gleamed in their eyes, but no one said a word.

            The Klinkerman brothers were the dirtiest, hardest
characters MacLeod had met since he and Josh had come west two years ago.  As someone who had changed his name a few times to escape trouble, MacLeod doubted their last name was actually Klinkerman -- nor that they were brothers, or even blood relations.  He had gone trapping for eight days to throw a scare into Josh, who was particularly nasty now that his whiskey had run out again.  Josh could always be driven to his knees with the thought of being alone, since Eleanor had died.  When MacLeod came back with a good haul of pelts, he found Josh, five stone jugs of corn liquor and the Klinkerman brothers waiting in the cabin.  The strangers called Josh their new partner and welcomed MacLeod to the partnership a little too eagerly.  MacLeod wondered what Josh had told them about him.

            "I think you were four bottles into your evening's fun when you bought that," MacLeod said with a forced grin, to break the tensing silence. 

            He was in no mood to be caught in the middle of a shoot-out and find out the hard way that having his head blown off at close range was the same as having it taken off at the neck with a sword.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Book of the Week: KATHRYN, Quarry Hall #3

Excerpt:

"Those." He pointed at the shoes the custodian had given her.
"Oh. Sorry." She went to one knee and started to untie the paint-spattered sneakers.
"No, you ought to keep them." Pastor Small bent down and caught hold of her arm, tugging her upright again. "Four years ago, our youth group put together a time capsule as a joke when they renovated their classroom. Those are my shoes. It was quite a mess, with all the painting we did. We had a great time." He winked. "Those shoes should be in a locked metal box three feet underground, sealed in plastic wrap and cement."
"You're kidding." Kathryn felt a chill race up her back, but it was a good chill.
"Plus," he continued with a lopsided smile, "we don't have a custodian right now. The deacons and trustees and the ladies mission groups and other committees take turns with the upkeep and cleaning. The place hasn't looked this good in years..." Pastor Small tried to laugh. "Whoever -- or whatever -- helped you, he wanted you to be here. Who am I to argue?"

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Book of the Week: KATHRYN, Quarry Hall #3

Excerpt:

Regina muttered her farewell and scrambled into the truck. Kathryn stayed leaning against the front of the truck, scratching Bea behind the ears and talking with Pastor Small. She knew her companion wanted to get out of there, but she also knew the minister had questions. He had been patient and helpful and accepted what she told him. She couldn't repay him any other way except with as many answers as she could safely give.
"I really appreciate this," she said. "Not many people these days will help strangers with such a flimsy explanation."
"That isn't reason enough?" Pastor Small laughed and gestured over his shoulder at the white steeple with the gray metal cross on top.
"It should be, but--" She decided not to get into that area.
Sometimes the nastiest, most uncooperative people she had run across in her journeys were people who claimed to be Christians. Nine times out of ten, they based their long lists of what a "real" Christian should be on their own opinions and schemes to earn their way into heaven, and never checked what the Bible said.
"What really convinced you? Back when we were talking in the sanctuary, there was a moment when I thought you were going to throw us out or call the police, then you changed your mind."

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The War Room

BOOKSIGNINGS!!!!

Besides the book festival December 2, in Columbus, I've been invited to participate in 2 signings coming up very soon.

NOVEMBER 11
New and Olde Pages Book Shoppe
856 Union Blvd, Englewood, OH 45322

From 1-4 pm


November 18
Around About Books
8 W Main St, Troy, OH 45373

1-4 pm also

Look for both these bookstores on FACEBOOK, for more information about the booksignings, and especially the community event taking place in Troy on the same day.

It's gonna be fun!
Hope to see you there!
(Hint: bring lots of $$ for books. They make great Christmas presents!)