Monday, March 10, 2014

My Writing Process -- Blog Tour!

My Writing Process -- Blog Tour!
Step one: Acknowledgements: Thank you to Jody Wallace and Meankitty (Meankitty has her paws in everything... and no, not saying that's a bad thing.) who tagged me and then was so gracious when I dropped that ball flat on the ground. T

Step two: Answer the 4 questions below about your writing process.

1) What am I working on?

Honestly, not much. I have a very active almost-year-old who does not sleep. A 20 minute nap does not constitute sleep. Trust me. It's just long enough to grab a cup of coffee, sit, open the WIP, read where I left off, get started... and then bang my head into the keyboard when I hear "mommy" So a better question is what would I like to be working on. The answer to that is an awesome paranormal story involving a Native American heroine and native lore.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, I wrote it, duh! Seriously? The currently wannabe story involves real-life situations and well, a lot of cool paranomal bad guys based on native legends.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I guess I write what I like to read. I like bad guys who you almost want to root for. Almost. Heroes and heroines who are far from perfect and plots that make sense.

4) How does your writing process work?

It's not working. See question one. Ideally, I have an idea. I think about it, toss it in the air, catch it, see what floats, what doesn't. The characters almost always come first. Then I ask questions. Why is he/she there? What does he/she want? What if. The ideal time for this is when I'm half asleep or in the shower. Go figure. Then I just go. No huge outline, no index cards. Just me and quiet... which I am sorely lacking at the moment.

Step Three: Okay, now I need to tell you who else to go see. Jody, of course, who is a multi-published and talented author who lives in  Tennessee with her husband, two kids and two cats. She is a terrible packrat and likes to amass vintage clothing, books, Asian-inspired kitchenware, gnomes, and other items that threaten to force her family out of the house. She also likes cats. A lot.

Next week you need to....

1. Go see Veronica Scott, she of the ancient Egyptian romances and the science fiction romances! Her bio: "Best Selling author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything."

2. Go see Petra Grayson, an avid reader buddy I've made on Twitter who may soon dive into the writing side of publishing. Her bio: "Petra Grayson reads romance novels and writes reviews whenever life allows it. She’s very spoiled in her house full of men and keeps busy working out, volunteering, and trying to remember what life was like as an engineer. She tries to write stories when things are quiet but so far they contain too much sex and not enough talk. Find her on Twitter at: or check out her blog"

3. Go see Jeanne Hardt, who writes historical romance and is the president-to-be of my local RWA chapter. Her bio: "Jeanne Hardt first thought she would be a famous singer until she dreamed that a college professor challenged her to write a romance set in turbulent times. When she woke up...she did! Four books and a couple years later, her dream professor is still inspiring her to pursue publishing."

4. Go see DT Dyllin, who writes paranormal romance and loves dogs. Her bio: "D.T. Dyllin is a Bestselling Romance Author who writes in both New Adult and Adult genres. She is a member of the RWA (Romance Writers of America) and also her local chapter, the MCRW (Music City Romance Writers)."

Friday, March 7, 2014

Today I'll be...

Today I'll be over at Angela's blog. Or rather Bredych will be there. Have you ever met him? If not, you're in for a treat, or destruction... depending on his mood. I've been told he's in his most charming frame of mind.

Bredych is one of those characters that stays with you. A little know insight? Once when I was writing him, I had a moment of true fear thinking someone so cunning was in my brain. Shivers.

Today he's explaining why he's not a villain.

So take a chance, stop by and say hi.

By the way, this guy would play Bredych extremely well.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


I almost feel guilty sharing these pictures because I know a lot of the country is still knee-deep in winter, but it's been spring here for some time and now all the flowers are blooming!

My favorite blooming tree, our peach--which oddly enough has magenta flowers--isn't blooming yet. We pruned it pretty severely this winter so it's to be expected. This is the apricot.

These are grape hyacinths, taken five minutes before tiny toddler picked them all for me. ; )
So what is happening where you live? Spring? Winter?

Don't forget, there's still time to enter a drawing for one of two gorgeous pendants!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Triune Stones: Dominion

Dominion, or Crioch, is the stone held by Bredych. Dominion is never describe in any of the books, but when Ilythra first “sees” Bredych, she describes him as the red man because of the stone. The stone is not evil. Ilythra often describes it’s song as sounded tortured because Bredych uses it contrary to it’s intended purpose. The keeper of Dominion can influence the world around him, influence the way things grow, the weather, but only in keeping with the natural order of things. Bredych controlled a pack of wolves in Journey of Dominion, but he couldn't make. Crioch's keeper can also fold the space between two places and step from one place to the next, but this takes a lot of energy. We know how Ilythra came to hold a sacred Elder-born stone, but how did Bredych get his? Treachery, of course. Ilythra gets some insight into the event as she’s walking the roads of Teann. (Edited from Journey of Dominion)

 He’d known what he was even then. The thought hit Ilythra full force. She blinked, gazing through eyes that were not hers. I’m dreaming. But this was unlike any dream she’d ever known. 

The path before her stretched into the distance, shadowed by trees and peppered with fern. Third-person thoughts and emotions mingled in her mind. She was two people, herself and someone else. She fought vertigo and panic to quiet her thoughts, so the other’s could come through. A man. 

Flashes of clear images dissolved and reassembled into something new. Memory. Slowly a story formed as images and impression coalesced. She felt the poverty, sorrow and lack in his early years. She lived the scorn and alienation of his childhood. And, as the will and fortitude of the man developed and strengthened, she reveled in his intelligence and success. His dramatic rise through the ranks had been merely a by-product of being different from the others and destined for greatness. 

As he had every day for many years, while the others dined in the great hall, he’d set off on a path along the riverbank, shunning the crowded table or the halfhearted invitations to sup with inane nobles seeking handholds to boost their positions. The same nobles who spat at his mother while he clung to her skirts as she begged for a crust of bread. In the fresh breeze that skimmed off the waters and cooled his skin, he marched along the raging river. He’d always thought better in motion. As his mind sharpened, he pondered his circumstance. Now others groveled at his feet; now he wielded authority. He’d learned power was the only thing worth pursuing. And despite all obstacles, he’d grabbed it—from groom to King’s Steward and one of the greatest alchemists in the land. Although few would know his name if they heard it. He didn’t seek popularity or favor from the nobles. He had no need of benefactors or the limelight. He wanted only one thing: more. 

A few seemingly random accidents and a well-timed rumor of treachery was all it took to clear his path. He glanced toward the gate, where the head of his predecessor still swung in the light breeze, a warning to all others who would dare go against the lord of the castle. Miles Santon had gone to the gallows screaming his innocence, not that it mattered. The man slowed his rapid pace and stared over the span of water, not quite seeing the glint of sun dance along the gentle waves. Miles and the others were weak. He was not. And now? Now he’d wait a few years. It was well known the king’s son drank far too much during the hunt. The scenario would be predictable. Ever the faithful servant, he’d accompany his prince. Once alone in the thick of the woods… The horse could easily be spooked. Accidents happened all the time. And just that easy, he’d be the king’s favorite, and with the king’s daughter of almost marriageable age… 

The prospect didn’t fill him with any sense of satisfaction. Too easy. He turned back toward the castle, his mind already on the experiments in his laboratory. 

When two strangers materialized on the path before him, Ilythra blinked, missing the man’s reaction. She experienced a moment of self-doubt as their thoughts mixed. She felt his confusion as though it was her own. For a heartbeat, he feared he’d succumbed to the disease afflicting his father. But she knew the strangers weren’t an illusion and soon after, so did he. 

 Covered in grime and blood, the men tumbled onto the path as though thrown and lay in the dirt where they fell. As she watched, one of the men rose to his feet and looked around. She saw the men with two sets of eyes, each perceiving differently. She was awed at their beauty. Even wounded and filthy, there was something majestic about the strangers. But she could also feel his greed and growing excitement. He can taste their power. Only then did she notice power swirl around the men, almost encompassing them in its tendrils. One bled heavily. Bind his wounds! Ilythra shaped the thought with urgency. But no, I’m seeing something that already happened. 

The man rushed to the fallen men and spoke rapidly. One of them answered, but she couldn’t hear the words. As the man drew near, Ilythra recognized the power. She was seeing herself. No, that was only partially true. It was Ilydearta, but with another keeper. She fought a strange jealousy. Did the other man also carry a stone? She strained for a look. Then as Ilydearta’s keeper and her host picked up the wounded man, she felt it. Crioch. The wounded man was Crioch’s keeper. She hadn’t recognized its power. The melody was different, unrestrained, free. 

The scene spun away and as it did, time seemed laid bare, stretched so she could see its path. The wounded man did not survive. She saw him holding Crioch out, his eyes begging. A hand, her hand, his hand reached out to take it, and she felt the certainty that even the gods were aware of her/his greatness and that the man before him was weak and unworthy of his power. He/she took the stone, felt it resonate through his body and promised the man he’d do everything he asked. 

And he had. And more.
In honor of Crioch, I am giving away these two pendants. Enter for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 3, 2014

Back to the Beginning: Part Three

I thought it might be fun to revisit one of the early drafts of Journey of Awakening. This is the third and final part of Back to the Beginning. If you'd like to read part one and part two you'll find them here:

This chapter has always been special to me. It's one of the few I wrote from personal experience. It was hard to cut it, but it didn't go with the version my editor and I chose. But at least now you can read it. ; ) 


One, two, three, four. Sarah counted stripes on the worn pastel carpet, sighed and stopped to eye a print on the wall. Pointillism. The designer had probably meant well but failed. Subdued hues and framed artwork could do little to calm anyone waiting to know if a loved one would live or die and nothing could beat the absurdity of standing in a hallway admiring a peaceful country scene while her grandfather fought for his life yards away.

Frustrated, she entered the ICU waiting room. Several people looked up and Sarah realized they hoped and dreaded she was a doctor with news; their faces a strange mix of expectation and relief. Then, as eyes met hers, relief flooded into the uncanny identification of kinship. She was one of them. A feeling of solidarity pervaded the small space where the community of sufferers shared in a universal truth. Small children watched a cartoon on a television suspended from the ceiling in one corner. Adults napped, lying across several of the heavily padded chairs. An ice chest and sleeping bags crowded other corner. Someone was in for the long haul.

Unsure what to do, Sarah glanced around, her gaze stopping at a little silver box on a nearby wall.

“What room?”

Sarah turned to the brown eyes of a young woman, obviously pregnant, who sat on the edge of a couch.

“Excuse me?” Sarah said.

“Do you know which room?”

“No, they just brought him in. The doctor told me to wait here.”

The woman nodded. “Then push either button. Tell them who you want to see and don’t let them forget you’re here.”

Sarah smiled her thanks, stepped up to the box and pushed the left button.

“Yes?” The voice was hollow, distant.

“I’m here to see William Kenneth.”

“What room?” The woman sounded bored.

“I don’t know. They just brought him in.”

“Just a minute.”

The intercom went dead and then buzzed back to life moments later.

“They’re still working on him. The doctor will come out when he’s finished.”

Working? Finished? What the hell did that mean? As she debated whether to find a seat or continue her pacing, the door opened. A collective breath caught in the room.

“William Kenneth, any family?” A young man dressed head to toe in blue scrubs walked in.

“I am——” Sarah began then stepped forward. “I’m his granddaughter.”

The man peered at her for a moment and lowered his voice to a whisper “I’m Dr. Mosely.” He laid a hand on her shoulder and led her to an empty section of the room. “Your grandfather has had a heart attack. He’s stable now.”

“W——when can I——?”

“Visiting hours are over.” Then his gaze softened, “but you can see him for a moment.”

The doctor led her back into the hallway then paused before large double doors and pushed a steel circle on the wall.

Sarah walked into an alien world of hissing ventilators and the aggressive smell of strong chemicals. 

Darkened rooms contrasted sharply with the bright hallways. Sarah kept her eyes averted from glass partitions that seemed more like museum cases than hospital rooms. Printed curtains hung from railings on the ceiling, offering the patients a measure of privacy.

Before reaching the end of the corridor, the doctor paused and indicated a room with a nod of his head. William lay on a bed, tubes growing from his hospital gown. An IV dripped steadily as monitors beeped and tiny lights flickered. His index finger glowed red. Sarah traced the line to a machine. Ninety-two point nine.

The doctor glanced at a chart. “He’s stable. We’re running tests now. We’ll know more in a few hours.” He looked up. “Don’t stay too long.”

For several seconds she stood rooted to the spot, unable to assimilate that the man on the bed was the grandfather she’d known all her life. As if pulled inward by unseen forces, his body had shrunk almost beyond recognition. Sarah’s eyes brimmed over. Until this moment, William’s mortality hadn’t registered. He was her grandfather, the constant in her life; but now he seemed so frail, so small. She fought panic. He couldn’t leave her; she couldn’t face the world alone. Sarah rebelled against her selfish thought but it fought back; she needed him; his voice, his presence, his strength.

“Papa?” her voice seemed small against the machines’ persistence. “Papa, don’t you leave me.” She trailed a hand along the creases of his face and leaned closer to lay her head on his shoulder.

“Sarah?” The voice was little more than a whisper.

She straightened, grasping a hand that had taken on the appearance of a dragonfly’s wing, the skin translucent over veins and tendons. “I’m right here, Papa.”

“You’ll go to Anatar?” His voice remained a whisper.

“Papa, I won’t leave you. I’ll look after you. I’ll get a job and——”

A thin smile touched William’s mouth. “Some things are out of our control. I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. I’m satisfied. The next task is yours alone.”

“You rest now; we’ll talk about this more when you’re better.”

“No darling....” His eyes flickered. “Now is the time to decide. You wear the pendant. You can feel its power. Please, say you’ll take it back.”

Heat bloomed through her chest as Ilydearta glowed, faint light seeping through the thin fabric of her blouse. 

A cool breaker washed over her troubled mind, leaving in its wake a soft narcotic calm and the blurred image of pebbles whispering on a distant shore.

“Yes, Papa, I’ll go to Anatar. I’ll take the stone. I’ll finish what you began.” Sarah closed her eyes to ward away an involuntary shiver. “But I don’t know how to get there.” This is crazy. “And——if I do, where do I leave it?”

The pressure of his hand increased. “No, Sarah, you can’t leave it. You must find the other two stones. The three stones must be reunited or Anatar will fall into darkness.”

Sarah fought to still a groan. Darkness? Like in a Tolkien novel? These things don’t happen! She could feel the insistent pressure of his hand and something else; his strength ebbing away like tame rain sucked in by thirsty soil. She panicked, seeking to grasp at reality in a world of beating lines, blinking lights and hisses. 

“But Papa. I don’t even know how to get there. Do I have to go back to Germany, find the lake?”
Through a misting of tears, Sarah watched peace settle over William’s features.

“The sea, my love...the sea... is your mother.” He labored a faltering breath. “The sky, Sarah.”
William smiled and closed his eyes. The trace in the monitor peaked once and flattened into a straight line along the center of the screen as the beep became a single note.

Sarah gazed at her grandfather, his outline softening through a blur of tears. “I love you the moon, Papa.” She kissed his forehead and stepped out of the room passing the nurses who rushed to William’s bedside.


Sarah stepped into the darkened entry and deposited her keys in the glass dish, the echoing sound unfamiliar. Until this moment, the house had seemed to hold its breath waiting for William’s return, now it felt sad, resigned to a permanent loss.

As her silent footsteps glided over the wooden floors, Sarah felt bitterness curdle in her throat. They had always made a game of walking without noise and trying to sneak up on each other, whether it was in the house, the beach or the woods. She now recognized it as part of her training. Sarah’s hand reached to her chest and Ilydearta underneath her blouse, its beat insistent, prodding, urging. She turned to the worn banister. Upstairs, she paused before her grandfather’s open door.

Few had attended William’s funeral: students who read his obituary in the local paper, the man at the grocery store, a neighbor or two. Sarah hadn’t cared. She watched as though witnessing a play. Nothing seemed real.
Her heart beat with the voice in her head. He’s gone. He’s gone. Now what? Get a job? The house was paid for but bank statements told her there was little money left. Her grandfather had wanted her to go to a place called Anatar; a place better left in a fairy tale. Did he expect her to know how to get there? Well she didn’t. The analytic part of her brain told her the anger she felt was part of the grief process. It didn’t help. Surely this was a dream; she’d wake up soon and tell her grandfather about it while they shared breakfast. She realized she was pacing up and down the hallway. Her steps echoed in the enclosed space, a lonely hollow sound. How was she going to get through this? One arm outstretched, Sarah leaned against the wall, her legs weak. Warmth bloomed in her chest and for a moment, Ilydearta glowed incandescent. William and all the love and security he represented receded into the misty background of her mind and hovered there, an indistinct memory of something beautiful in her life. She was filled with longing, a craving for something, but for what she didn’t know. And then a blurred image played like a flickering old film against her closed eyelids: pebbles whispering on a distant shore.

The beach. That was it, the house was too small. I need space... Air. Sarah walked down the stairs and through the garden toward the ocean. The beach was her sanctuary, the place she would go when she wanted to be alone. Mist swirled in her wake then slowed, gathering and resettling to eddy at the feet of tall eucalyptus, their fragrance and shape adding to her dreamlike feeling. She breathed in the pungent scent as a breeze rose and a shiver ran through the leaves.

Before long, she could hear the breakers grinding against the shore where she’d spent many joyful afternoons, alone and with her grandfather. The beach was isolated, well away from any tourist attraction and now, well after sunset, it was deserted.

The breeze made her skin feel alive. The soft hairs downing her arms tingled as if charged with static. Sarah narrowed her eyes as the recurring imagine of a pebbly beach filled her mind. But not this beach.

Removing her shoes, she walked to the foam crust left by the last wave. The sea, my love...the sea... is your mother.

Cool sand sent shivers through her body. Sarah gazed up at the night sky where thousands of stars throbbed in unison with the pendant lying against her heart. The sky, Sarah. A seagull cried overhead. The salt-spray mixed with her tears until it was as if the ocean cried with her.

Sarah gazed across the inky depths. The waves fell in one long splash, like a wall falling, a wall of dark stone capped in fluffy snow. She regarded the dark water, felt her heart surge with the tide. Come.

One foot moved forward then another. Cold water eddied around her calves as she took another step, freedom chasing away the last remnants of fear. The pebbles in her mind’s shore tinkled like seashell wind chimes as she stripped off her clothes. Ilydearta catching the starlight, Sarah dove into the ocean.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into what might have been. Let me know if you have any questions about what would have happened next. ; )