Friday, February 28, 2014

Back to the Beginning: Part Two

I thought it might be fun to revisit one of the past incarnations of Journey of Awakening. In this version, Sarah lives in Seattle, Washington. You can find part one here.


“Most tales have obscure beginnings and this one is no exception, so I’ll begin with your parents.”

“My parents?”

“Yes. What do you remember about your mother?”

“She sang me to sleep, told extraordinary stories and she smelled... Mmm, I don’t know but it was wonderful. I can’t remember anything else.”

“No wonder, you were very young when she passed away.” William placed his cup on the table. “Of course, you have no memories of your father; he died before you were born but you would have liked him. As you know, he was an archeologist.”

At Sarah’s nod, he continued. “He was digging in southern Germany when he wrote about a box he’d found with strange markings carved on its lid. Since I’m an expert in ancient languages, he included a relief of the markings, lines of signs, similar to runes but with patterns I’d never seen before, like hieroglyphs or ideograms. I racked my brain, went up to the attic and dusted off books forgotten since I attended university. I even posted a photograph of a few symbols at a haunt frequented by buffs of obscure languages but with no results. I was never able to decipher the symbols on that box. A few days later, I received another letter; he was returning home for a brief sabbatical and bringing his wife with him.”

“You never told me my mother was German,” Sarah interrupted.

“No, and I never will, because she wasn’t.”

Questions radiated from his granddaughter but she remained silent. He smiled, proud of her self-control.

“I picked them up at the airport. I’d never seen a woman as beautiful as your mother. Beautiful and frail. I didn’t know it then, but her fragility hid strength of character; a trait she passed to you.”

William glanced to the fire; Sarah moved to push a log on the dying flames.

“When they settled, Charles asked me about the lettering on the box. I told him I was stumped. I recall how he ran his fingers through his hair and then began pacing. He told me to sit down because he had one helluva tale to tell. He said he had unearthed the box in an unexplored part of the site, took it back to his tent, made the relief that he sent to me and then opened it. Inside he found a pendant on a long silver chain. When he took it out, the box crumbled into dust, but there wasn’t any sign of aging on the necklace. He said it appeared as though it had been created the day before. For reasons even your father didn’t know, he dropped it in his pocket and didn’t enter the find in any of the logbooks or tell anyone else about it. For the rest of the day he went about his duties but couldn’t focus on anything except the necklace in his pocket. That evening he took it out and placed it around his neck. Charles said he felt whole for the first time in his life.” William blinked to rein in a flood of almost tangible memories. The fire brightened and a faint blue flame tiptoed across the blaze like a butterfly over ripe wheat. He cleared his throat.

“‘I walked out of the tent and into the woods feeling I had a direction, a purpose, but it was soon clear I was lost. In the thick darkness you can only find in deep forest on a moonless night, I slipped down an embankment to the shores of a lake. The waters drew me and I accepted their call.’ Those were his exact words.”

“You mean he went for a swim at night? In an unknown lake?” Sarah asked.

“Yes. He did. He swam for a long time, unafraid, and when he pulled himself out it was daylight. He thought he was losing his mind.

“He wandered through countryside of tall lush trees and thick undergrowth, not knowing where he was or how to get back home. After a while, he came across a small cottage and knocked on the door. An old woman answered. He tried German then English, French and Spanish, but she didn’t understand and he couldn’t make heads nor tails of her language. She probably thought he was a beggar of some kind because the woman gave him bread and shooed him away.

“He crossed a field munching on the bread when he saw a beautiful woman picking flowers and fell in love with her. I’ve never believed in love at first sight, but  didn’t doubt him. You could see it in his eyes. How he wooed her, I don’t know; they couldn’t even communicate. But he did. Kari took him to an abandoned cabin. There she visited often to bring food and take long walks as they learned each other’s language. After several months, he felt homesick and asked Kari to go with him. She agreed. A few nights later, they returned to the lake and swam. Halfway across, he knew they’d returned to this world. They climbed out onto the shores of a lake in Germany.

“Later, when I learned her language, I asked her why she followed him to a strange land. She told me she’d suspected she was pregnant with you and that she’d found her home and her family in Charles. She would have followed him anywhere.”

William paused. Sarah’s brows drew together wrinkling her forehead.

“I know, it sounds like a fairytale. It isn’t.” William pulled the necklace from underneath his shirt. “This is the pendant your father gave me before returning to Germany. I didn’t understand then why Kari was frightened of it. I do now.

“After your father died, I did my best to make Kari feel at home. We would spend long evenings practicing her beautiful language”

“Anatarian?” Sarah’s eyes grew large.

“Yes, love. I hated taking credit for such a magnificent tongue. I didn’t invent it. It exists... somewhere else.”

“You mean another country?”

William took a deep breath. “Over the years I’ve considered the issue, Sarah. You know I’m a practical man, more at ease with scientific laws than legend or fantasy. But even a practical man knows some things defy explanation. Perhaps another dimension is the best description. Your mother spoke often of her land, Anatar, of the people and their traditions. I asked her about the pendant. She called it Ilydearta.”


William nodded. “More literally, ‘Waymaker’. It’s one of three powerful stones created in ancient times. She didn’t know how much of the legend was true and how much fantasy.”

“It all sounds like fantasy to me.” She tilted her head, eyes narrowing. “Is this a practical joke?”

“No, Sarah. I am quite serious.” He smiled. “And in my right mind.”

“One of three powerful stones? How is a stone powerful?”

“I don’t know, but this one is. I believe it is as its name suggests: a facilitator between worlds. Though I’ve never tried it.”

Sarah’s swallow was audible. “Where are the other two?”

“I don’t know and neither did your mother.” William shrugged. “But for Anatar to be whole, this stone must be returned.”

Sarah’s face lost more color. “What do you mean?”

“Ilydearta must go back to Anatar.”

“And you’re going to take it?”

“No, child. You are. It’s what your mother asked of me before she died. It’s what you’ve been trained for.”
Sarah leaned back. Large eyes, full of shock and confusion regarded him. “That’s what the lessons were for? My whole life you’ve been training me for something as outlandish and ridiculous as taking a rock to another... dimension and you didn’t think I deserved a choice?” Her eyes blazed.

“You wouldn’t have unders——”

“I understand now,” her voice rose and leaned forward. “This is crazy. How could you do this to me? I mean, this is crazy.”

She was close to hysterics. William reached a hand toward her then let it drop. How to make her understand? He sighed, unbuttoned his shirt and removed the necklace from around his neck. “This is yours. Your heritage. I force you to do nothing. I’ve done what I had to do and so will you.”
Arm outstretched, the large blue stone caught the light of the fire. He watched Sarah hesitate, and then take the necklace from his hand as a spark flashed across her eyes, leaving a streak of wonder in her gray irises and something else, perhaps fear.


Sarah watched her grandfather exit the room, aghast at his sudden departure. In an instant he’d metamorphosed, his skin sagged, deep furrows rearranged his face. Gone were the genial expression and his boundless energy. When he stood from his chair, he was a frail old man burdened with unbearable tiredness. She listened to his faltering tread fade as he climbed the stairs; her chest constricted with a heavy sensation of guilt and shame at her outburst. As she stood to race after him, Sarah’s hand unconsciously offered the necklace up to the firelight. The stone radiated a field of blue across her arm and her skin rippled with a tingling sensation. Images flashed across her mind. She saw stone cottages nestled in fields dotted with poppies against a background of blurred mountains, scenes that reminded her of the old Irish postcards she once saw at the university. Sarah closed her eyes and gripped Ilydearta tighter.

Before her stood a door: dark, heavy and carved with strange markings. When unseen hands opened it, she stepped through to stop before a dais and a tall man. Dark hair highlighted by a silver circlet topped a pale face with the beauty of youth and the wisdom of age radiating from his eyes. He stood watching her, his bearing regal, but without display. Green as the forest after a rain, his eyes drew her in, beckoning, seeking beyond her appearance and into her heart. She felt naked, exposed. He spread his arms in a gesture of welcome and smiled.

Sarah blinked and, feeling a sudden weakness in her legs, sat down. She stared at the stone throbbing rhythmically in the crook of her hand. Swathed in silver filigree, the jewel was beautiful. Sapphire? No. Sarah moved it from one hand to the other, testing its weight, the vestiges of her vision slowly clearing like morning mist. She ran the tips of her fingers over the smooth stone. “What are you?” Sarah was startled by the sound of her voice. She turned the pendant over. Okay, there was something about the necklace, but a doorway between worlds? That was incredible. Wasn’t it? Her grandfather obviously believed it. And her grandfather.... She glanced up the darkened stairway.

“This can’t be real.” Sarah spoke to the empty room. Sarah studied the stone for any clue to its origin. 

“Ilydearta.” The jewel seemed familiar as if this were a reunion instead of an introduction. She felt as though it were weighing her as much as she examined it.

Without conscious thought, she slipped the necklace over her head. The flames in the grate flickered. She blinked. With sudden unwavering certainty, she knew her grandfather’s outlandish tale had to be true. We belong together. The thought issued from her mind yet she looked at the stone in surprise. Was this what her father felt, her grandfather? “And I’m to take you to a world I’ve never seen? Don’t even believe in?”

Sarah’s heartbeat sounded in her ears. Slowly the lights dimmed and she straightened, suddenly alert. The furniture seemed blurred. She massaged her eyelids to clear her vision; the air had darkened, thickened like odorless smoke. As an overwhelming foreboding gripped her, Sarah glanced up toward the second floor 

Papa! Did he call? She bounded up the backstairs pausing before her grandfather’s room.
William didn’t answer her knock. She opened the door a fraction. “Papa?”

He was sprawled on the other side of the bed. She charged through the door. “Papa!”

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Back to the Beginning Part One

Books usually go through quite a few revisions before they make it through publication. The Triune Stones went' through, I think, more than most, especially the first, Journey of Awakening.
I was looking through some old files and found the, almost original, beginning. It is so different from how Journey of Awakening starts now that I thought I'd share. For the next few days, I'll post a parts of the first chapters. All of it in one day might be too much.

In this version. Sarah doesn't start out in Anatar. She lives in Seattle, Washington. I hope you enjoy this.


White wings flashed as gulls soared against an angry sky. Sarah Kenneth followed their serene ballet, a puff of wind chilling her skin and whipping dark hair into her eyes. After taking the porch steps two at a time, she paused under the eaves to fumble with her keys, appraising the leaden clouds. The day had dawned overcast, promising a downpour but never delivering more than an occasional misting. The storm had finally come of age. So am I.

“Stratus and cumulonimbus.” She shook her head. Can’t even admire a storm without classifying cloud formations. Get a life, girl.

“Twenty-one.” Her key slid into the lock. A magical number. More times than Sarah could recall her grandfather’s answer to a question had been: ‘I’ll tell you when you are twenty-one’ or, ‘when you’re twenty-one, you’ll be an adult and you’ll understand.’ Sarah smiled, feeling the extra weight in her bag. On the way home, she’d stopped by the liquor store to buy a bottle of wine for dinner, another benefit of her coming-of-age.

The oak door creaked as she pushed against it. “Papa, I’m home.”

Koreie sindu awau,” a voice called from further in the house.

Sarah sighed. “I’ll put it away.” Even though she was now an adult, she wondered if her grandfather would always treat her as if she was seven.

Before storing her bag in the foyer’s closet, she removed the bottle of wine. Carefully, Sarah slotted a bokken on the vacant hooks above her katana and ran a finger over the sword’s curved scabbard. She stepped back. It appeared lithe and feminine compared to the claymore and the heavily decorated schiavona, which hung on the adjoining wall. “The new Kendo instructor is good,” she called, slipping off her shoes in exchange for the tabi waiting in a battered wicker basket.

Her grandfather appeared through the kitchen door. “Anatarian, please, Sarah.” A linguistics professor and fluent in several languages, William preferred his own invention, a language he’d developed before she was born. Sarah sometimes teased that Anatarian was the native tongue of the Kenneth household, and they its only users.

One generous eyebrow rose, losing itself behind silver bangs as his smile widened. “How long did it take you to beat him?”

“Twenty minutes. But what a match!” She rubbed her side and flinched, “I’ll have the bruises to prove it. He was impressed I already knew Kenjutsu, even more...” Sarah wrinkled her nose. “What’s that awful smell?”

“Ah! My frostbite preventive,” William called over his shoulder as he scurried out of sight.

Sarah followed, her feet whispering against the silky oak floor, and leaned against the wooden frame of the kitchen door. Some of her earliest memories were of her grandfather bent over the stove, brewing one concoction or another. But then she hadn’t had an ordinary childhood. She watched him lift a blackened pot off the burner. A wild mop of white hair, always in need of a trim, dipped to brush wiry eyebrows crowning intense blue eyes. He took to the role of mad scientist well.

“Are you going to stand there watching?” He nodded at the table. “Hand me that bottle, please.”

Sarah passed over the container, jumping back to avoid a waft of pungent steam when he lifted the lid. Noxious fumes filled the small kitchen. She blinked back tears, her sinuses cleared. “Frostbite? Are you sure it’s not an expectorant?” Sarah opened a window, breathing in the damp, cool air.

“An added benefit. Were you afraid the smell was your birthday dinner?”

“The smell? No. I know you better than that.”


Their eyes locked and she felt the uncanny intensity of his gaze.

“The cake’s in the refrigerator, but don’t peek. It’s a surprise. Still raining?”

As if returning from a dream, she combed a hand through her dark hair, smoothing out the rougher patches. “Yes and no. The sky can’t make up her mind.”

“The sky is female now?”

Sarah watched golden fluid drip through a strainer into the glass jar. “Of course she is. You think a male could change his mind so quickly?”

William smiled. “Was that a bottle of wine?”

“Uh huh, for dinner.”



“My favorite; good girl.”

The kettle sang. Sarah prepared tea and settled into her chair. She knew what was coming next.

“Now, let me tell you what I’ve done, so you can reproduce it as necessary,” William’s voice took a familiar lecturing tone.

Sarah sipped her tea. When she was small, she would sit in the back of his class, enthralled by the words and ideas Professor Kenneth offered his students. For the last ten years, she had been his only pupil, sharing in his vast liberal knowledge of standard subjects, and a dusting of unusual ones: herb craft, survival skills and primitive technology. Besides the Kendo, Iaido, Kenjutsu and kickboxing lessons she’d practiced for years, he’d also enrolled them both in medieval history classes and botany. She’d often pondered that her knowledge would come handy in the Amazon Forest or Papua New Guinea, but in Seattle?

She felt a pang of guilt. When Sarah’s mother died shortly after her father, her grandparents had taken her in. Then, after Grandma died, William retired early to attend to Sarah’s education full time. Her grandfather was brilliant, kind and his love for her permeated his every action. Perhaps he pushed her a little at times, but they were all each other had. It was enough.

William paused mid-sentence. “Sarah, this is a special day and here I am lecturing. You only turn twenty-one once. Why didn’t you stop me?”

She shrugged. “One day, I may be caught in a blizzard with nothing but a potato and a pepper and I’ll have you to thank for keeping all my toes. Of course, have you noticed it rains more often than it snows in Seattle?”

He peered down his slightly crooked nose, his eyes stern.

“What? I was kidding.” Sarah sighed.

“Sarah… never mind.”

“Papa, I’ll remember. If the pepper is hot on your tongue, it’ll warm your skin but dilute it with an inert substance so it doesn’t burn and further damage the tissue. If you don’t have access to a pepper, add a little oil to the meat of a baked potato and apply it to the affected area.”

William smiled. “Very good. But don’t forget, that cure is for minor frostbite only.”

“Yes, if I faced major frostbite, I might be more worried about dying than losing a few digits.”

A cloud passed over William’s face but he pointed toward the liquid-filled jars. “No, use my formula and your skills and you won’t die or lose any digits.”

Sarah cleared her throat. “So, what did you make for my birthday dinner?”

“Your favorite: roast beef, potatoes, carrots and parsnips.”

“Carrots and parsnips? You found them already?” Theirs wouldn’t be ready for weeks. She kissed his wrinkled cheek. “I love you the sky, Papa.”

William stroked her hair. “And I love you the moon, Sarah. Don’t you ever forget it.”


William placed one last dish into the cupboard, closing its door with finality. He was stalling. Rain battered the windowpane. Sarah moved to the window, opened the sash and breathed, a look of delight on her delicate features.
His throat tightened and he felt his resolve weakening. Have I done the right thing? The ghosts that haunted his sleepless nights returned unannounced. For years, he’d driven her mercilessly, drilling Sarah for her destiny and in doing so, he’d stolen her childhood and the wonderful years of careless youth. His schedule of extra classes, training and activities occupied her waking hours, including weekends. She didn’t have leisure for a social life. At times, it had broken his heart to watch her as she saw other children playing or groups of teenagers indulging their foolishness. She hadn’t complained, much. Sometimes he wondered if some hidden part of her knew that she was different. He’d taken her out of public school after first grade when he realized, eventually, peer pressure would overcome even a child like Sarah. There was too much at stake.
Reaching inside his shirt, eager fingers sought a pendant, his breath quieting as a rush surged through his veins like cool frothy water. Tonight he needed its power more than ever.
His eyes sought Sarah standing by the open window. Five-four and not an ounce of extra fat on her slender body, she was now taller than her mother had been. Her hair had grown. He’d never learned how to style a girl’s hair. The first few years, after his wife died, he fumbled about with clips and rubber bands and finally opted to keep it short. Now, Sarah’s hair fell just past her shoulders, a curtain of mahogany silk. When she turned around, his heart sang at the unbound joy on her features with the wind on her face. Tiny droplets of water clung to her cheek mirroring the gleam in her eye. Her eyes were her best feature, a deep silky gray that sparkled when she laughed. Yes, I have done my duty. He released the pendant, the ghosts gone.

“Shut the window, you’ll catch a cold.”

“Nonsense, you’ve taught me better. But I will make us more tea to go with our cake. Earl Grey?”

“Thank you.” William caught a flash of concern in Sarah’s expression. Her eyes had always said more than her words.

“You seem preoccupied. Are you okay?” Sarah asked, placing the kettle on the stove.

He wasn’t but he wouldn’t tell her. He had greeted the morning with a sense of anticipation and dread. “I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.”

“Who else am I going to worry about?” Sarah’s smile lit her face but her eyes darkened with concern. “Papa, go sit down.”

William nodded and moved to his easy chair, a hand caressing the pendant.
Purpose gave him strength. Years of preparation would come to fruition today. The stone warmed in his hand, its power coursing through his arm. “Yes, it’s time.” His words seemed loud against the crackling fire and distant bustle in the other room.

Closing his eyes, William swam in his memories where a parade of faces both warmed and chilled his heart. His mind settled on Sarah, his life. The stone throbbed. William felt her presence and opened his eyes to see Sarah entering the room, a tray in her hands. When he wore the pendant, he seemed to have an added sense; vision beyond what his eyes could see. Magic. He both hated and loved the stone. Hated because it had ruled his and his granddaughter’s lives, stolen carelessness and the bliss that ignorance could bring. Loved because it was what it was.

Sarah walked with supple movements. Born with natural grace, her agility had improved with time. Sarah had been only four when he signed her up for ballet lessons and then gymnastics and martial arts; at fourteen she’d won her First Dan black belt and moved on to Kendo. He smiled. His granddaughter: the Samurai. Child, you’ll need everything you’ve learned.

“My, you look deep in thought.” Sarah set the tray on the ottoman and poured the tea.

“You know how old people are, collecting cobwebs.”

“The last thing I would call you is old.”

“But I am, Sarah.” He sipped the hot tea. “I bet you’re wondering what you’re getting for your birthday.”

“The question has entered my mind.” Her eyes sparkled. She arched an eyebrow. “A trip to Japan to study with a Fifth Dan?”

William threw his hand in the air. “Children, what are you going to do with them?” He watched firelight play in her hair. “No, Sarah, today you are an adult and for your birthday, I’ll give you a story.”

“A story?” Sarah sat in a chair opposite his. Her intelligent gray eyes never leaving him.

“Yes. A story.”

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Triune Stones: Ilydearta

In any series, getting to know the characters is key. Will the reads like them, hate them? Will they be real? In the Triune Stones series, the three stones play as big a part as almost any character so I thought an introduction might be in order

In Journey of Awakening, we are introduced to Ilydearta.

In Siobani, the language of the Dawn Children, Ilydearta means Doorway, or Waymaker.  From the first draft to the last, it didn’t change much in appearance:

With her eyes closed and life swirling around her, she pictured the stone in the necklace. Dark blue and swathed in silver filigree, the jewel was beautiful and as hard as it was to explain, she understood that it was now part of her, or who she was becoming. Who am I becoming? A chill of fear shot up her spine.

Sara’s grandfather gives her the stone on her birthday, but it is Sara’s father who originally found it. This is Sara relating the story to Maelys. 

“My father, Arles, was a peddler. My grandfather lived up north. He was a warrior who had hung up his sword in favor of a plow. One day, my father came home with a tale almost too strange to be believed. He had been traveling through an empty land of rolling hills. The sun had begun to set when he came upon two men digging in a field. It didn’t take him long to guess they were grave robbers. He ran them off, but they had already broken into a barrow. He placed everything back in the dark hole on top of the skeleton until he came to a box. He told my grandfather the box was covered with strange markings he didn’t understand, yet he recognized the quality of the workmanship. But that’s not what caught his attention. Although everything else in the grave had suffered the ravages of time, the box looked new. My father thought that it might have belonged to one of the robbers but knew he’d never see them again and if it was theirs, it was probably stolen. He took the box back to his cart and placed it on the seat next to him.” Sara paused, almost hearing her grandfather’s rich timbre as he had related the story.
“That night, when my father made camp, he opened the box. Inside he found a pendant on a long silver chain. When he took it out, the box crumbled into dust. There wasn’t any sign of aging on the necklace. It appeared as it does now.” She lifted the pendant. “For reasons even my father didn’t understand, he placed it around his neck, hiding it under his tunic. He said he felt odd but went on his way and shortly after, met my mother. She had been traveling with her family.”
The fire brightened and a faint blue flame tiptoed across the blaze like a butterfly over ripe wheat. Sara cleared her throat. “He fell in love as soon as he saw her. Grandfather said he didn’t doubt it because he could see the love in my father’s eyes. How he wooed my mother, I don’t know, but he did. She left her family and all she knew to follow him. Grandfather said he asked her about it and she’d told him that in my father, she found her home and her family. She would have followed him anywhere.”
Sara paused. “My father was divided. He still wanted to be a peddler, but didn’t want to expose my mother to that lifestyle. She wouldn’t be swayed. When they left, she was pregnant with me. She died in childbirth.” It was a story she’d known her entire life, but that never ceased to fill her with longing. What would it have been like had they lived? To know a mother’s touch? A father’s love? She loved her grandfather but theirs had been a solitary existence.
Maelys’s dark eyes gleamed but she remained quiet.
“The next time my grandfather saw him, my father had been wounded by bandits. Grandfather treated the injury the best he could but it was too late, and my father died.”
“Is that why your grandfather taught you Shi’ia and the healing arts? To defend yourself?” Maelys asked.
“You know I practice Shi’ia?”
Maelys’s gaze didn’t waver. “I have eyes.”
Sara shook her head. Her dark braid moved against her back. “I asked him that same question. He said he only sought to prepare me, but that I had a different destiny than my father. He said…” Sara swallowed. “He said my father told him that he may have possessed the stone, but he was not a keeper, merely a vehicle to get the necklace to me. He knew it as soon as I was born. He told my grandfather to keep me safe. To prepare me.” She met Maelys’s cool gaze. “My grandfather saved the stone for me. Until I was ready.” Tears pricked her eyes. I’m ready, Grandfather. How wrong she’d been. Sara gazed at the stone, surprised by the weariness that now weighed down her body.
For the story of how the stone was left in the grave, you will have to read Journey of the Wanderer.

Ilydearta is called the Waymaker because it can make a way where none seems possible. Sara first uses it without conscious knowledge. It is how she survived her boat capsizing. It is how she found Maelys, one of the few people who could teach of her Teann, and the stone. She needed these things to happen and the stone found a way.

It does not change matter or our physical existence in any way, but it opens the bearer’s eyes to possibilities. 

In Journey of Dominion, when it was time to attack the castle, she was able to see where the fortifications were weak and direct the siege engines accordingly.

This is the stone you’d want if you had to walk across a minefield. To observers, she’d appear very, very lucky. 

And you may be lucky too. Enter this contest for a chance to win your own Ilydearta. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 24, 2014

Journey of the Wanderer

The day is finally here. Journey of the Wanderer, the last book in the Triune Stones series, hits the cyber shelves today!

I am full of excitement and a bit of melancholy.  To celebrate this event, I'm giving away three copies of Journey of Awakening to three lucky contestants.

Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can pick up your copy at these three retailers or any other online vendor!

Barnes and Noble  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Please Welcome Barbara Longley

Please help me welcome Barbara Longley to my blog. I've been a fan of Barbara's for some time, but my esteem has recently increased. She's combined two of my favorite things--American Indians and Scottish Highlanders--into one book. A must read! 

Today she's talking about her favorite heroine!


I like feisty, confident heroines, and Alethia Goodsky definitely fits into this category. The Tuatha Dé Danann character searched long and hard to find just the right person to send back through time, finally choosing Alethia who grew up on the Anishinaabe reservation in northern Minnesota. Along with her “special” abilities, Alethia had much needed survival skills.

TRUE TO THE HIGHLANDER’s plot has lots of twists and turns, and Alethia barely has time to catch her breath between her perilous adventures. She’s sent to fifteenth-century Scotland to save someone’s life, but she doesn’t know whose life is in danger. Naturally she sets out to save everyone, believing that accomplishing the task will be her ticket home. Of course she hadn’t counted on losing her heart to Malcolm, our delicious hunky alpha male hero.

After the serious nature of my contemporary Perfect, IN trilogy, writing the time travel historicals has been a blast. The second in the Novels of Loch Moigh trilogy is entitled THE HIGHLANDER’S BARGAIN, (July 2014) and in this one, Robley of clan MacKintosh travels to the future. The third, THE HIGHLANDER’S FOLLY, is Hunter’s story. He’s the deaf child Alethia adopts in book one.

Incidentally, my ex is from the same reservation my heroine is from, and my first teaching job was on the Lower Sioux Dakota Community. Everything my heroine does—beading, brain-tanning hides, making moccasins—I’ve tried. I’m good at the beading and moccasin making, but I suck at tanning hides, and I have not hunted or trapped.

Native American violinist Alethia Goodsky had plans for her future, and they didn’t include time travel, hocus-pocus good luck charms, or heroic deeds. And she certainly never intended to lose her heart to a fifteenth-century Scottish warrior or an orphaned boy unable to hear her music.
A life hangs in the balance, and only Alethia can tip the scale. This is all the supernatural being posing as a Renaissance festival fortuneteller reveals before transporting Alethia back in time to the Highlands of Scotland. Alethia must unravel the mystery before it’s too late if she’s to return home. She throws herself into the task only to have her efforts thwarted by her overbearing, self- appointed protector—Malcolm of clan MacKintosh.
It is 1423AD, the year before Scotland’s King James is ransomed from the British to take his rightful place upon the throne. The Highland clans are at each other’s throats, and all of Scotland suffers under the ruthless reign of their regent, the duke of Albany. Treachery and intrigue rule the day, and all Malcolm wants is peace. Finding a gently bred woman alone on MacKintosh land can only mean more trouble. When the exotic foreigner reveals her strange tale, Malcolm believes she was placed in his path to warn him of coming danger. He cannot allow the willful beauty to put herself in harm’s way for his sake. Malcolm is determined to keep Alethia safe and by his side—if only she’d let him.
Surrounded by enemies, with the mystery still unsolved, passion grows between Malcolm and Alethia until her heart is torn. Should she follow the dictates of reason and find a way home, leaving Malcolm and the young boy she’s adopted behind, or should she listen to her heart and remain true to the Highlander?
Buy link:   Amazon 
Visit Barbara at her