We’ll Not Escape Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

I’ve switched to an excerpt from a brand new novella set in my version of ancient Egypt, working title Healer of the Nile, which is for a boxed set later this year.

Tadenhut, elder son of a noble house and heir to the Hunting Cat estate, has been gravely injured in a battle against Pharaoh’s enemies and brought home to die. Mehyta, a woman from the estate’s village who has skills as a healer, has been ordered to assist the physicians in his care.

Having used her healer’s magic to assess his injuries, she finds herself dreaming of Tadenhut, who remains in a coma in the real world. Her dream takes place on a battlefield, after the combat has ended and we’re going on with the next sentences in the scene we were on last week. “Was I injured?” wasTadenhut’s last line last week:

His voice carried nothing but mild interest, although Mehyta detected a tremor in his fingers.

            She swallowed hard, reluctant to deliver the news. “Severely, my lord, but you saved Pharaoh’s life and Egypt prevailed over the enemy to claim victory.” It couldn’t be good for him to remain in this awful, deserted battlefield. “Can we perhaps find a better spot to talk?”

            “You didn’t tell me your name,” he said, rising and shoving the knife into his belt, setting the half-formed cat on the chariot.

            “Mehyta.” She was curious whether the information would evoke any reaction from him but he merely nodded.

            “Lovely,” He reached out and took her hand, “We’ll stroll, since you wish it, but I warn you, we’ll not escape this field of death.”

            His fingers closed warmly over hers and she couldn’t help but think of how he lay motionless in the bed.

I don’t have a cover or a blurb for this one yet. but there will be copious quantities of magic and a bit of romance, of course. Locked in his coma, Tadenhut isn’t as ready to give up his hold on life as everyone assumes, especially after this meeting in the dreamspace. The novella took on a sort of Cinderella-by-the-Nile air in some ways as I wrote it…I’ll  share enough excerpts to finish this scene, probably a few more weeks.

MagicOfTheNile_600x900Exciting News – I was notified that Magic of the Nile just won the Hearts Through History Romancing the Novel contest in its category! I used to excerpt that story here. on WeWriWa..

After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

 Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

 But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

 Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

 But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt? 

Available Now at Amazon   Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks  iTunes   Google Play Books Kobo

To Wear Real Clothes Or Not, Asks Guest Author Liza O’Connor

Veronica: My guest today is science fiction romance author Liza O’Connor, talking about her novel Surviving Terranue. Take it away, Liza, and tell us more about the question you’ve posed in the blog post’s title…sounds highly intriguing!

Terranue Tour banner

sPACE TAMARA BOG PIC (640x627)Liza: Sounds risqué, but in Tamara’s case, it’s more a question of practicalities.

Tamara is no longer corporal. She’s part of a three bonded soul, but she’s no longer technically human. Her human body was murdered six years ago. While she can manipulate billions of molecules, she only creates what she needs to appear human. A great deal of her molecules has to be used to create lungs, a throat and a great deal more so she can speak.

So why are clothes an issue?

To be honest, weaved clothing is a royal pain to re-create in detail, all those lines of thread crisscrossing, gathers, zippers, stitching… It’s much easier to drape real clothes over her life-like body. But there are times where real clothing is a liability.

Such as when she goes hunting with Colton. Real clothes carry a scent that other animals can smell. Tamara hadn’t even realized this problem because she can’t smell. While her form has a nose, it doesn’t function. That is way beyond her understanding of biology, and frankly not worth the effort to learn since during the three deadly seasons, most of the colonists don’t bathe. The last thing she’d want to do is smell them. They are annoying enough scentless.

Normally, when outside, especially when other colonists are not about, she won’t wear real clothes. She often won’t even create a body. If she’s doing manual work that requires a physical form, she’ll create the appearance of clothes, but if you look close, you’ll realize the fabric has no weave or stitching or tears.

Clearly women would notice this oddity, so if she’s going to be anywhere around the ladies, she has to wear real clothes. And she’s very hard on real clothes, so Saran, one of her soul-bonds is always having to repair the two jumpersuits Tamara possesses.

And the more tears the two outfits get, the more Tamara has to wear them instead of creating an outfit from molecules since there is no way she is going to memorize and duplicate the hundreds of small tears and stains her real clothes have aquired.

Also, if it’s raining, she needs to wear real clothes, because otherwise, she’ll come in all dry, which would be weird.

If she plans to assist the men, she’ll leave the cave as a spirit then appear behind a large rock or tree, dressed for the day’s work. The men never notice her clothes have no weave patterns. Honestly, most of them want nothing to do with her. She is one bossy crew chief and has tossed a great deal of them to the ground for not obeying her commands.

Surviving TerranueThe story for Surviving Terranue: Leading a colony of frightened people on a new world is rarely easy. The human colonists of Terranue have as their leader, Tamsarandem, the only Soul-bond of Three that has ever existed. Unfortunately, some perceive the innate kindness in the shaman’s choice of leaders as a weakness, thus, challenges begin. From the moment they arrive on the planet, self-survival instincts take hold among the colonists, putting the survival of the colony at risk.

To survive, they must act for the good of the colony rather themselves, even when their natural instincts tell them to do the opposite. First, they must befriend the dominant intelligent life form on the planet, long-haired blue cattle, only slightly smaller than the blue bull Tamsarandem brought with them. Second, they must find a way to survive three of the planet’s five seasons. Otherwise, they’ll be baked, frozen, and pummeled to death. Third, they must protect themselves from the giant bears, saber tooth lions, and T. rexes that roam their planet. But worst of all, deep within the planet, a seed of evil grows, waiting to devour every living creature on the surface.

Every day in their new paradise is a challenge to survive. Despite all the advantages the Gods have provided, success is neither easy nor certain, and people are rarely as good as they need to be.

Excerpt

Colton jumped a foot in the air when Tamara spoke directly behind him.

“At least now we know what the ship was shooting at. The captain probably didn’t like the T. rex being so close to the wagons.”

Her nonchalance upset him. “Dmitri drove the last wagon and would have been the most vulnerable.” Colton stared at her. “You do realize how vital you three are to this colony?”

She smiled.

“I ask, because I’m not sure you do. You take too many chances with your lives. The colony won’t last a week without Tamsarandem. So with all respect, I must ask why you didn’t stay on the rock.”

“You and I will travel often across these lands, so you need to know a truth that I do not wish to share with the others just yet. Thus, I require your oath of silence.”

“You have it,” he replied without hesitation.

“You do not need to worry for my safety. I cannot be harmed. I am here to protect you.”

Her words made no sense. “What do you mean you cannot be harmed?”

“This form you see is simply materialized ions.”

He scowled at such an absurd claim. Until she disappeared and reappeared five feet away. Colton narrowed his eyes and gripped his gun tighter. Dear Gods, was he losing his mind?

“You are frightened,” Tamara said.

He could hear the disappointment in her voice. “I’m pretty sure I’m suffering delusions since I know what you just did is impossible.”

She reappeared beside him. “I was once human, soul-bond to Saran, wife to Dmitri. I was murdered, and the bonds to both held me to them as a ghost. Once we joined into one, I became strong enough to create a corporal body that is warm to the touch. I can dress it in real clothes or create the illusion of clothes, as I have done today.

He reached out and touched her sleeve. “That’s the difference. Normally, I can smell the scent of soap from your clothes, but today you have no scent. And you leave no trail, but you are careless in your step. I kept wavering on whether you were an experienced hunter or not. When you failed to catch the scent of death, I concluded you weren’t a hunter.”

“You’re correct, but I can still help you, and I will keep you safe.”

“How? You don’t even have your gun anymore.”

She laughed, and instantly it reappeared in her hand. “It’s an illusion. I could easily kill most of the dangers on the planet, only…”

Her pause confused him. A great deal about her confused him. “Only what?”

“I am reluctant to do so because Saran is part of me, and she could not endure the taking of life. So I am here to keep you safe, while you do what is necessary to keep our people safe.”

“But you cannot be harmed?”

“Not even by the fifteen-foot grizzly at the edge of the woods.”

Buy Links:

Book 3: Surviving Terranue

Amazon

Book 2: Surviving Outbound

Amazon

Book 1: The Gods of Probabilities

Amazon

All books are free for KU subscribers

About The Author:

Liza is a multiple genre author of 16 novels. A Late Victorian Series, The Adventures of Xavier & Vic, plus a spinoff, A Right to Love, is an ongoing series.    A Long Road to Love is a humorous Contemporary Disaster Romance series of five books. She has two single books. One is a humorous, bad boys contemporary novel with ghosts, called Ghost Lover, the other is Untamed & Unabashed, a spinoff from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Now, she’s rolling out her Science fiction series (with romance & humor) called The Multiverses. The first four books are slotted for last half of 2015.  In addition she hopes, if she hasn’t dropped from exhaustion by then, to re-release a sometimes humorous/suspense thriller called Saving Casey

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT  LIZA O’CONNOR  Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Multiverse Blog

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

Terranue Multiverse series 4

Machines, Robots, Androids, Cyborgs – What’s the Difference?

Stranded600x900Veronica: It’s my pleasure to have my friend Cara Bristol with a guest post today. We’re celebrating the release of her newest science fiction romance Stranded With the Cyborg, which is on my kindle as we speak! I always enjoy Cara’s books (hot, sexy, full of adventure….)

Cara: I was first introduced to cyborgs in Star Trek:The Next Generation with “the Borg.” The Borg were former humans who had been turned into robots through a computer interface that networked them. They acted and thought as one unit. The Borg were the bad guys.

Now, in sci-fi romance, cyborgs have joined werewolves and vampires as former villains who have become the new heroes.

So what’s the difference between machines, robots, androids and cyborgs? Based on my research and opinion, these are my definitions:

A machine is a mechanical device that performs a function(s). A cotton gin, an automobile, and a typewriter are machines.

A robot is a computerized machine that can react to the environment, but it doesn’t “think” beyond its programming or feel emotion. Current example: the Roomba vacuum cleaner. Roomba reacts to its environment. If it hits an obstacle, it goes round it. It avoids stairs, and when it’s done cleaning, it returns to its base. A regular vacuum (a machine) can’t do that.

An android is a robot with a human appearance. Fictional example: The Terminator. I’ve read that the terminator was a cyborg, but I consider him to be an android, because (correct me if I’m wrong) it was never mentioned that he’d been human.

A cyborg, short for cybernetic organism, is a biomechatronic (biologic, mechanical, electronic) being. Cyborgs are human, but have been altered with mechanical and computer parts. They think and feel, but have enhanced abilities. The term “cyborg” was first coined in 1960 by Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline in Astronautics Magazine, talking about the enhancement that might be needed to mankind to survive in space. Example: Brock Mann in Stranded with the Cyborg. After an attack that nearly killed him, he was fitted with several prostheses and had a microcomputer implanted in his brain.

The Story for Stranded with the Cyborg:

Penelope Aaron, the former Terran president’s daughter, regrets how she got Agent Brock Mann booted from the security force. But now that she’s an interplanetary ambassador about to embark on her first diplomatic mission, she still doesn’t want him tagging along. Especially since he seems to be stronger, faster, more muscled, and sexier than she remembers. And pretending to be her husband? This mission couldn’t get more impossible!

Ten years ago Penelope Isabella Aaron had been a pain in Brock Mann’s you-know-what. Much has changed in a decade: “PIA” as he code-named her, has grown up and is about to attend her first Alliance of Planets summit conference, and Brock has been transformed into a cyborg after a near-fatal attack. Now a secret agent with Cyber Operations, a covert paramilitary organization, Brock gets called in, not when the going gets tough, but when the going gets impossible. So when he’s unexpectedly assigned to escort Penelope to the summit meeting, he balks at babysitting a prissy ambassador. But after a terrorist bombing, a crash landing on a hostile planet, and a growing attraction to his protectee, Operation: PIA may become his most impossible assignment yet.

Excerpt

“Ten years have passed. Penelope is different now,” Carter said.

Brock doubted that. “Does she know about me?”

“That you’re a cyborg? Of course not. She hasn’t been told anything about the program or even that you’re the one who’s been assigned to her.”

“Yeah, spring it on her. That will go over well.” He could envision the tantrum, and, after she calmed down, the scheme she would devise to circumvent the decision. The last time he’d seen her, she’d been emerging from his quarters half-dressed, a triumphant smile tilting her lips. Shortly thereafter, two fellow agents had come to arrest him.

President Aaron had exonerated him, the transcripts from the investigation had been sealed, and he’d been offered reassignment. Instead, he’d taken a position with an anti-terrorist investigative organization. His unit got attacked; his fellow operatives had died. Carter, who’d been working with Cy-Ops all along, had swooped in and saved his ass.

“I’m not saying I’ll do it, but, hypothetically, if I had a computer meltdown and agreed, what would be my cover story? I couldn’t tag along as her bodyguard because that would unsettle the Xenians.”

Carter poured another shot of Cerinian brandy and downed it. He met Brock’s gaze dead-on. “You’d accompany Ambassador Aaron as her husband.”

“Oh, hell no!”

Buy Links:

Amazon US     Amazon UK    Amazon AU    ARe   Barnes & Noble

Author bio

Multi-published, Cara Bristol is the author of more than 20 erotic romance titles. She writes science fiction, contemporary, and paranormal erotic romance. No matter what the subgenre, one thing remains constant: her emphasis on character-driven seriously hot erotic stories with sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara has lived many places in the United States, but currently lives in Missouri with her husband. She has two grown stepkids. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading and traveling.

Cara Bristol web site/blog

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Was I Injured? Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

I’ve switched to an excerpt from a brand new novella set in my version of ancient Egypt, working title Healer of the Nile, which is for a boxed set later this year.

Tadenhut, elder son of a noble house and heir to the Hunting Cat estate, has been gravely injured in a battle against Pharaoh’s enemies and brought home to die. Mehyta, a woman from the estate’s village who has skills as a healer, has been ordered to assist the physicians in his care.

Having used her healer’s magic to assess his injuries, she finds herself dreaming of Tadenhut, who remains in a coma in the real world. Her dream takes place on a battlefield, after the combat has ended and we’re going on with the next sentences in the scene we were on last week. Mehyta is still speaking.

            “Why do you linger here in this awful place, when all others are dead?”

            “I can’t leave –  I’ve tried but when I get to the edge of the battlefield, something stops me and I find myself right back here. All my original fallen comrades in this place have moved on, out of my sight, leaving me with the rotting bones of my cursed enemies and the horses.” He gave her a crooked grin and sat on the broken chariot once more, retrieving the knife and the carving. “So I sit and whittle, and wait. Perhaps I’ve been waiting for you?”

            “You remember your injury?”

            He didn’t glance at her but for a moment his hands were stilled.  A muscle twitched in his jaw. Then he scraped the knife along the piece of wood and shavings fell, “Was I injured?”

I don’t have a cover or a blurb for this one yet. but there will be copious quantities of magic and a bit of romance, of course. Locked in his coma, Tadenhut isn’t as ready to give up his hold on life as everyone assumes, especially after this meeting in the dreamspace. The novella took on a sort of Cinderella-by-the-Nile air in some ways as I wrote it…I’ll  share one or two more excerpts from this and then move back to science fiction romance.

GhostOfTheNile_1600x2400If you want more ancient Egypt and can’t wait for this novella, my most recent release in the connected series was Ghost of the Nile….each book is a standalone story.

The story for Ghost of the Nile:

Betrayed, murdered, and buried without proper ceremony, Egyptian warrior Periseneb is doomed to roam the gray deserts of the dead as a ghost for all eternity.

But then the goddess of truth offers him a bargain: return to the world of the living as her champion for 30 days. If he completes his mission, he’ll be guaranteed entry into Paradise. Periseneb agrees to the bargain but, when he returns to the living world, two hundred years have passed and nothing is quite as he expected.

Neithamun is a woman fighting to hang onto her family’s estate against an unscrupulous nobleman who desires the land as well as the lady. All seems lost until a mysterious yet appealing ex-soldier, Periseneb, appears out of nowhere to help her fight off the noble’s repeated attacks.

Meanwhile, Periseneb’s thirty days are rushing by, and he’s powerless against the growing attraction between himself and Neithamun. But their love can never be. For his Fate is to return to the Afterlife, and Death cannot wed with Life…

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Kobo     iTunes

Sent By The Gods? Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

I’ve switched to an excerpt from a brand new novella set in my version of ancient Egypt, working title Healer of the Nile, which is for a boxed set later this year.

Tadenhut, elder son of a noble house and heir to the Hunting Cat estate, has been gravely injured in a battle against Pharaoh’s enemies and brought home to die. Mehyta, a woman from the estate’s village who has skills as a healer, has been ordered to assist the physicians in his care.

Having used her healer’s magic to assess his injuries, she finds herself dreaming of Tadenhut, who remains in a coma in the real world. Her dream takes place on a battlefield, after the combat has ended and we’re going on with the next sentences in the scene we started last week. Tadenhut is speaking:

 “I half suspect I’m dead – this abandoned battlefield is like a strange territory in the afterlife. But in that case why hasn’t my family performed the proper rituals and sent my ka on its way to be judged? Certainly my father can well afford the expense. I committed no crimes I’m aware of. Perhaps no one knows where my body lies.” Rolling his shoulders, he made her a courtly bow. “Forgive my manners, I’m Tadenhut, captain of Pharaoh’s charioteers and heir to Hunting Cat estate.”

            “I know.”

            He gave her a sharp glance, “Are you sent by the gods to take me to the afterlife?”

            “I do my best to heal the injured, my lord, not kill them.”

I don’t have a cover or a blurb for this one yet. but there will be copious quantities of magic and a bit of romance, of course. Locked in his coma, Tadenhut isn’t as ready to give up his hold on life as everyone assumes, especially after this meeting in the dreamspace. The novella took on a sort of Cinderella-by-the-Nile air in some ways as I wrote it…I’ll  share one or two more excerpts from this and then move back to science fiction romance.

GhostOfTheNile_1600x2400If you want more ancient Egypt and can’t wait for this novella, my most recent release in the connected series was Ghost of the Nile….each book is a standalone story.

The story for Ghost of the Nile:

Betrayed, murdered, and buried without proper ceremony, Egyptian warrior Periseneb is doomed to roam the gray deserts of the dead as a ghost for all eternity.

But then the goddess of truth offers him a bargain: return to the world of the living as her champion for 30 days. If he completes his mission, he’ll be guaranteed entry into Paradise. Periseneb agrees to the bargain but, when he returns to the living world, two hundred years have passed and nothing is quite as he expected.

Neithamun is a woman fighting to hang onto her family’s estate against an unscrupulous nobleman who desires the land as well as the lady. All seems lost until a mysterious yet appealing ex-soldier, Periseneb, appears out of nowhere to help her fight off the noble’s repeated attacks.

Meanwhile, Periseneb’s thirty days are rushing by, and he’s powerless against the growing attraction between himself and Neithamun. But their love can never be. For his Fate is to return to the Afterlife, and Death cannot wed with Life…

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Kobo     iTunes

Outrageous Victorian Hats for Wednesday Whimsy

001Picked some of my favorite Victorian trade (advertising) cards for today’s topic of hats. 003This lovely lady to the left is an advertisement for “Heather’s Popular Dry & Fancy Goods Store” between 5th and 6th Avenues in NYC. She’s soooo serious!

I don’t wear hats much, unless I’m going to a costume thing, as with this steampunk steampunk selfiealtcowgirl-themed event at the 2014 RWA conference. Purple cowgirl hat with rhinestones and feathers – what’s not to love? I used to have those little unsatisfactory white hats every year for Easter as a girl and one of my best friends gave me a blue velvet Dumas Three Musketeers hat years ago at a Ren Faire. Yes, complete with ostrich plume. I wish I were British sometimes because I’d love to wear those insane ‘fascinator’ hats that seem to defy gravity.

I have different hats; I’m a mother, I’m a woman, I’m a human being, I’m an artist and hopefully I’m an advocate. All of those plates are things I spin all the time.   Annie Lennox
006A person carries off the hat. Hats are about emotion. It is all about how it makes you feel.
  
Philip Treacy

As a singer I tried on all these hats, these voices, these clothes, and eventually out came me.   Carly Simon

When I first became a lawyer, only 2% of the bar was women. People would always think I was a secretary. In those days, professional women in the business world wore hats. So I started wearing hats.   Bella Abzug

I just let the work speak for itself. An actor is not afraid to take risks; to put on different hats; to be a good guy, a bad guy, a victim, an abuser. There are all kinds of people in the world, and playing them is what acting is all about.   Kevin Bacon

There’s a technicality to designing and wearing hats. A hat is balancing the proportions of your face; it’s like architecture or mathematics.   Philip Treacy

I own over ninety-five different hats and, over the years, have lost or given away 120 hats. You gain to lose… you lose to 007gain.  Theophilus London

All politicians should have 3 hats – one to throw into the ring, one to talk through, and one to pull rabbits out of if elected.    Carl Sandburg

The only person I never made a hat for was my mother because my mother didn’t really – she preferred to make her own hats. I mean, she was intrigued by everything, but she didn’t want one of my hats. She made her own.   Philip Treacy

004Hats divide generally into three classes: offensive hats, defensive hats, and shrapnel.  Katharine Whitehorn

002

And sometimes a hat isn’t a hat at all! This lady was used to advertise a “tonic and dyspeptic” remedy that actually sounded pretty darn unpleasant in the advertising copy on the reverse side.

005

No One to Heal Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

I’ve switched to an excerpt from a brand new novella set in my version of ancient Egypt, working title Healer of the Nile, which is for a boxed set later this year.

Tadenhut, elder son of a noble house and heir to the Hunting Cat estate, has been gravely injured in a battle against Pharaoh’s enemies and brought home to die. Mehyta, a woman from the estate’s village who has skills as a healer, has been ordered to assist the physicians in his care.

This excerpt comes quite a few days after last week’s. Having used her healer’s magic to assess his injuries, she finds herself dreaming of Tadenhut, who remains in a coma in the real world. Her dream takes place on a battlefield, after the combat has ended:

Her path took her toward the center of the area, where a standard with Pharaoh’s cartouche leaned drunkenly against a wrecked chariot, one horse dead, the other nowhere to be seen. A man in a soldier’s uniform sat on the tail of the vehicle and as she drew nearer she wasn’t surprised to see it was Tadenhut. Knife in hand, he was whittling a piece of wood, carving it into the shape of a cat.

            Setting aside the knife and the half-finished statue, he rose to his feet as she came nearer. Eyes wide, brows lifted, he said, “Who are you and why are you in this awful place?”

            His voice was deep, resonant, a bit startling to hear after all this time in his unresponsive state in the real world. She took a swift glance at his legs, seeing both were strong and whole. If this was his dreamspace, as she believed, he might not realize the extent of his own injuries. “I’m a healer, my lord.”

            He gestured at their surroundings,” No one to heal here, my lady, only the dead.”

            “And you.”

I don’t have a cover or a blurb for this one yet. but there will be copious quantities of magic and a bit of romance, of course. Locked in his coma, Tadenhut isn’t as ready to give up his hold on life as everyone assumes, especially after this meeting in the dreamspace. The novella took on a sort of Cinderella-by-the-Nile air in some ways as I wrote it…I’ll  share one or two more excerpts from this and then move back to science fiction romance.

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Veronica Does A Men’s Magazine Quiz

Voracious reader here – I read all kinds of magazines, and as you know if you visit this blog often, I love to take the little quizzes and questionnaires I find. When I was reading the September 2015 issue of Maxim (yes, the one with the fabulous photo of Idris Elba on the cover!), I was delighted to discover a quiz. It wasn’t Mr. Elba who answered the Maxim questions, but Stuart Vevers, Executive Creative Director of Coach. A select few of the questions and my answers:

Favorite Car:  He picked Land Rover, which  while certainly worthy, I’d go with maybe the DeLorean (but only with time travel option), or the new replacement for the Humvee, which is a badass-looking set of wheels, with firepower…or the Lamborghini Huracan looks like fun…but my Honda reliably gets me there. and is purple-blue in strong sunlight when freshly washed.

Destination:  I always vote for Disneyland!

Beer: Sapporo, he says, which I discover is the oldest brand of beer in Japan and is a rice lager style beer. I’m kinda partial to pumpkin beer…

Dish: His: Truffled mac n cheese. While this certainly sounds good and I’d love to try it (maybe without visiting the specific restaurant in NYC where he dines on this), I love the honey walnut shrimp at Panda Express. Hmm, beginning to suspect that my tastes are a tad more plebeian than Mr. Vevers’!

Indulgence: My choices: Sleeping in? Ummm….being able to buy anything I want from the LEGO store? Ooh, buying ALL the Lunch At The Ritz earrings I crave!

Movie: He picks “Jaws,” I pick “Aliens” so two good solid classics there. We could sit and watch movies together apparently, finding common ground.

Style Icon: His: Debbie Harry Mine: Georgina Chapman for the red carpet (I can dream, can’t I?) I’d totally wear Cavalli if I had the lifestyle that called for it. And the figure. And the budget… In the meantime I’ll be over here browsing in the Ross Dress For Less racks…

Collectible: While he went with rare art books, good choice; I kinda go for Beatrix Potter figurines and Lenox carousel animals…or long dangly earrings. Or maybe reproductions of ancient Egyptian items.

Childhood Crush: Mine was probably Flash Gordon! Or possibly Robin Hood…or maybe the Swamp Fox…I was kinda fickle. I also had a thing for Jim in the Trixie Belden books and F’nor in Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern. King Kull of Valusia…..but not Conan.

Suit Jacket: I never wear them any more, sorry. Being an independently published author these days, I don’t dress up before sitting down to write.

Sweater: He picked one by Coach. My favorite would be  a vintage Ralph Lauren that I picked up at a thrift store years ago on sale for $1 that we then sold on eBay for $1500. Failing that, a Christmas sweater I used to own which was liberally bestrewn with white sequin swans.

Tie: He says Charvet, I say Hermes, although the Jerry Garcia Grateful Dead ties had some cool designs. And I loved the one on our local Channel 4 weatherman this morning but have no idea what brand it might have been.

Signature Barber: Well I have my hair done by a lovely lady named Chris but I guess my favorite barber would be the guy who gives kids free hair cuts if they read him a book!

Scent: He picked Blanche Byredo, which I discover has: TOP: WHITE ROSE, PINK PEPPER, ALDEHYDE
HEART: VIOLET, NEROLI, PEONY  BASE: BLONDE WOODS, SANDALWOOD, MUSK. I’m  currently in love with DKNY Pure, which has freesia, vanilla, sandalwood, lotus, rose, transparent jasmine, white amber, orchid, dew-drop petal accord. Freesia and vanilla are two of my favorite scents, so no wonder!

Moisturizer: He goes with Estee Lauder, I go with Clinique or Ole Henriksen.

Shaver: I’ll put my Lady Gillette against his Gillette Mach 3 any day!

Shaving Cream: I have no preference, sorry! He uses Elemis Ice Cool Foaming Gel, which does sound nice…

Kitchen Utensil: I use my apple corer/slicer the most often, I think. And I eat Granny Smith apples for those who need to know…

Favorite Bar: The Royal, owned by Pree in “Killjoys” (but only for Season One) or the Star Wars Cantina!

Favorite Lamp: I vote for the one in the Pixar logo!

There were other questions of course, but I had the most fun with the ones above and then I went and read the interview with Mr. Elba and admired those photographs extensively.

There were other questions, many of them, none revolving around anything to do with the kinds of topics you may have thought of when I mentioned it was a men’s magazine – I get those quizzes in Cosmo ALL the time but I don’t answer them here so you’ll just have to use your imagination – but I alas have no favorite chair, no especially favorite sneakers, no club, my luggage comes from whatever is on sale at ROSS when I need a new suitcase (the last one was purple faux crocodile)…..

And that’s it for this quiz, always cruising for a new one to answer and share. (I think Buzzfeed saw me coming, with all their little quizzes but I tweet those results, if I like them. If I don’t, you’ll never know mwahahahaha…)

Peacocks for Wednesday Whimsy


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007Peacocks and their feathers were a big theme in Victorian trade (advertising) cards, so I thought I’d share some today! They are 013beautiful birds, even if they can be annoying to live near – very noisy!

She is a peacock in everything but beauty.   Oscar Wilde

Some are jealous and fond of ornament, as the peacock. Aristotle

At twenty a man is a peacock, at thirty a lion, at forty a camel, at fifty a serpent, at sixty a dog, at seventy an ape, at eighty a nothing at all.   Baltasar Gracian

“Dream tonight of peacock tails, / Diamond fields and spouter whales. /
Ills are many, blessings few, / But dreams tonight will shelter you.”  
Thomas Pynchon
Fly pride, says the peacock.   William Shakespeare
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She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue, Vermilion-spotted, golden, green, and blue; Striped like a zebra, freckled like a
pard, Eyed like a peacock, and all crimson barr’d.  
John Keats
The sparrow is sorry for the peacock at the  burden of his tail.  Rabindranath Tagore
Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time.   Jean Paul
Feathers predate birds.   Robert T. Bakker
003I like the way the peacock is subtly worked into this lady’s dress pattern. And here below – although not Victorian – is a photo of my latest Lenox Carousel animal acquisition, couldn’t resist when I saw it!
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