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On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

Early in my career I had very little input into covers, so I didn't see the reissue cover until I actually got my author copies. I like the colors but it was a surprise...and I got that awful "but I didn't mention a tattoo in the book" feeling (as you can tell, I am over that). So I thought about it and when a "vengeance stalk" tattoo might occur. When looked at the text, I saw that Danith would have been the one to see the tatt since it was in T'Ash's point of view. As one of the first things I did for my original website was to interview T'Ash (which I've posted here more than once). I decided to interview T'Ash again, and here it is:

Robin: Hey, T'Ash, I didn't know you had a tattoo.
T'Ash: (smirking) You thought you knew everything about me. Ha!
Robin: (in a small voice) ha ha. (clearing her throat) Tell me about your tattoo.
T'Ash: (raising an eyebrow): You've never heard how the vengeance stalk marks one?
Robin: Uh, no.
T'Ash: It does.
Robin: Do tell.
T'Ash: (staring off into the distance at the starship Nuada's Sword): The tattoo is a matter of Flair, of psi power. I believe it first developed on the generation ships. (He shrugs). You can research that better than I, you are more interested in it than I.
Robin: I 'spose. It was sorta sprung on me.
T'Ash: Now you know what it feels like.
Robin: Tell me more about the tattoo.
T'Ash: When a person formally dedicates themself to the vengeance stalk, the tattoo appears, stinging, on the body. Mine is black and red. It is an aspect of the god Arawn, god of vengeance. He holds a heart, which means he holds the heart of the one who has sworn revenge. The heart is not then available to give to a mate until the stalk is done.
Robin: Huh.
T'Ash: Is that all?
Robin: Um, so, uh, you had it on the vengeance stalk.
T'Ash: Didn't I just say so?
Robin: Yes.
T'Ash: (scowling and looking away, mutters) It also showed up when I went berserk, during the fights with the gangs in HeartMate. No one saw it, but it burned on my arm. I think. I did not look. I was fighting.
Robin: Of course.
T'Ash: I have never felt it since. Never gone berserk since. I will not do so again. (glaring at Robin) Right?
Robin (too heartily): Of course you won't. You got a happily ever after ending and will continue to have one.
T'Ash (narrowing his eyes): I think I see that you have something bad in my future. (putting his hand on his blazer sheathed at his hip). You'd better not hurt my Family.
Robin (licking her lips): Uh, well, you wouldn't want things TOO perfect, would you?
T'Ash: Yes:
Robin: Oh. Well, I may have, uh, an idea, but you will all survive. I promise.
After a dirty look, T'Ash stalks away.
Posted: July 5, 2018, 3:45 pm
Celta Thursday. It's 105 in Denver and I have a 2nd floor office in a house with no a/c. I am pleased with my (continuing) progress on Script of the Heart, but I wanted to post a Celta Thursday...and I love talking about covers, and each one of my covers has a story. Here's the ORIGINAL HeartMate cover, SO DATED...but it had the cat. That was the first thing my editor emailed me about, "Send pictures of Zanth." 🙂 As you can see, it was in a line Jove called "Magical Love." The "magical" object had to be in the center of the cover, thus T'Ash is wearing his own HeartGift, the necklace. What else I can give you: the pics I sent of Zanth (Maddox), the general look of T'Ash Residence, a photo of Princess/Pansy. 🙂 Next week, the HeartMate cover reissue.

Posted: June 29, 2018, 1:09 am
This is MY favorite map of the Celta HeartMate series. 🙂 This is the map featured in Heart Journey (spoiler deleted, I hope).
Posted: June 7, 2018, 4:23 pm
I continue to write on Script of the Heart, and I'm sewing my scenes together. I was asked by a friend how I keep my story ideas, and, truly I keep most of them as projects in Scrivener (plot/character notes), and images on Pinterest here: https://www.pinterest.com/robindowens/boards/ I've been working on my pinterest pages with images of future stories. Need some addition and clean up, and putting a "Multiplicity" page in Settings that needs to be populated a bit...anyway, YOU CAN SEE WHAT'S COMING UP (in current order)
, at the above link.
Posted: May 31, 2018, 6:14 pm
Posted: April 26, 2018, 6:01 pm
Celta Thursday, I've learned to add events to the series timeline as I think of them. Newest tweaks: (Note this goes up to 407, the current year I'm working in): Celta Timeline:
On the Ship and the Discovery of Celta:
On the Starship Nuada’s Sword, 275 Years After Leaving Earth
Heart And Sword IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS:
Peaches Arrives On Celta IN THE COLLECTION OF CELTA CATS

363 Rand T’Ash Born
369 Zanth Gets His Boy: Druida City, Celta, 369 Years After Colonization, Spring

380 T’Ash and Holm Holly meet

390 Rand T’Ash raises his new Residence

394 Muin (Vinni) T’Vine Born

400 HeartMate: Druida City, Celta, 400 years after Colonization, Summer, July (Hazel), Discovery Day (T’Ash is 37)
400 The Turquoise House becomes aware/is born.
400 Draeg Betony Blackthorn born
400 Avellana Hazel born

400 Heart Thief: Druida City, Celta, 400 Years after Colonization, Autumn
400 Old D’Vine dies, Vinni T’Vine inherits at 6 years old

403 Heart Duel: Druida City, Celta, 403 years after Colonization, Summer, Month of Holly/Hazel

404 Heart Choice: Druida City, Celta, 404 Years After Colonization, Spring
404 Pinky Becomes a Fam

404 Nuin Ash is born late 404
404 The Betony Blackthorns move to a southern estate
404 Vinni T’Vine is 10
Bifrona Vine becomes Vine Housekeeper through political maneuvering.

405 Heart Quest: Druida City, Celta, 405 Years After Colonization, Late Autumn BLACK MAGIC CULT deaths

405 Heart Dance: Druida City, Celta, 405 Years After Colonization, Early Winter (two months after Heart Quest, i.e. January/)

406 Heart Story IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS: Druida City, Celta 406 Years After Earth Colonization, Spring

406 Heart Fate: Druida City, Celta, 406 Years After Colonization, Mid Winter (one year after the end of Heart Dance) SAMHAIN = NEW YEAR, SO JUST A MONTH AND A HALF AFTER THE NEW YEAR

406:
Holm and Lark's child born, a boy.
Loridana Itha Valerian Yew born the day before Discovery Day
Ruis and Ailim's 2nd child born.
HEATHERS AND HAZELS SUFFER A LOSS.

Heart & Soul IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS, Gael City, Celta 406 Years After Colonization, Autumn (Elder/October) the last days of 406

407 Heart Change: Druida City, Celta, 407 Years After Colonization, Spring (March)

407
Glyssa, Camellia, Tiana are 12
Ash twins born, Jasmine and Abutilon-Gwydion
Tinne Holly's girl born (Aurea)

407 Zanth and the Treasure, free short/short story

407 Heart Journey: Druida City, Celta, 407 Years After Colonization, Late Summer
407 Script of the Heart: Druida City, Celta 407 Years After Colonization, Late Summer
Posted: April 12, 2018, 2:38 pm
This one should look familiar. 🙂
Posted: March 29, 2018, 2:51 pm
Yes, I did this. I've made up imaginary worlds and stories since I was a child. This DID come after part (not sure how much) of HeartMate was written.
Posted: March 15, 2018, 3:20 pm
Celta Thursday: Heart Search original opening (and my original title was Heart Hope): Druida City, Celta, 422 Years After Colonization, Late Spring

"We've located your heirloom amethyst and diamond cuff bracelets," the private investigator said. His craggy face was expressionless on the scry screen hanging on the dark paneled wall near Laev Hawthorn's desk.

Laev Hawthorn, GreatLord T'Hawthorn, kept his own face as impassive as ever but let optimistic hope trickle through him. As far as he knew, those were the last of the Family treasures his late wife Nivea had sold before his HeartGift. "Thank you. How much will it cost to recover them?"

The investigator named a figure and Laev winced. It wasn't at the amount, like most FirstFamilies he had generational wealth that wasn't easily dissipated – though Nivea had done her best. But it was an expense he wouldn't have had if he hadn't made a a poor choice in choosing his wife.

"Residence?" he addressed the intelligent castle that he lived in.

"Here, T'Hawthorn," the Residence answered at it's haughtiest. It didn't approve of the investigator, hadn't approved of Nivea, and Laev was unsure of it's feelings for himself.

"Transfer funds to cover the retrieval of the jewels and Prime Investigation's bill," Laev said.

"Thank you," the investigator said. His eyes narrowed and he continued softly, "Now, GreatLord, why don't you tell me what you really want me to find?"

Heat edged Laev's cheeks. The man was more observant than Laev had expected. He was a master of his craft and several years older than Laev's thirty-two, and though a commoner, there was something about the man that disquieted Laev. Probably the aura that whatever mistakes the guy had made, he'd fixed them immediately...and they weren't as disastrous as marrying the wrong woman in a culture that condemned divorce.
Posted: March 8, 2018, 5:10 pm
Celta Thursday: Here is the original full scene of the fight after the ball in Chapter 6, Heart Journey, the scene I'm basing Script of the Heart on, though it has changed significantly from that, too: But now Raz Cherry breathed the soft summer night air as he stood near the steps from the terrace to a side grassyard where gliders were parked. He inhaled the scent of full-blown roses trained over the terrace wall and the heavy air made him yearn for one more whiff of Del's scent. He glanced to the rows of gliders, grinned. He had his own, just like the wealthiest nobles, a gift from his Family. It was parked at the far end of a row, a few feet before a tangle of forest.

With three tuneful notes, he summoned it, saw blurs of black movement tumble from it as it moved. "Hey!" Raz shouted.

"I told you these damn shields would take too long to breach. Should have just smashed and searched and run." A low voice said, began to swear. The man should have known better than to talk in that pitch.

"We had to disable the stun!" the smaller one said. He muttered something and the vehicle stopped, stands clicked down.

Raz suppressed his own shout as he jumped over the low terrace wall, grunted as he hit the ground three meters below. The thieves weren't running away. Noise of shattering glass game but Raz didn't waste breath.

His glider was shrieking: "My virtue is threatened!" The old-time melodramatic phrase had seemed funny at the time he'd programmed the alarm, but now it fed his anger.

The world of black and white was hazed with the red of his anger. Not this time. His home had been violated, his work area defiled, his property smashed. Putting some Flair into his leaps he bounded toward his glider. The smaller person was inside his glider, rifling it. He heard rips.

This time he yelled as he hopped up on a large, old, Family glider parked close to his, jumped toward the large man with a flying kick to his head. The man got an arm up, threw Raz off balance. He landed, rolled, came up swinging.

His knuckles connected with the man's jaw and he grinned in satisfaction, hardly noticing the sting. The big guy swung back, Raz slid aside, but caught a fist on his left shoulder that numbed his arm. He led with his right and got the guy again, as the man stumbled back, Raz hooked a foot around his ankle and brought him down.

More slashing noises behind him, he whirled. "Open!" he yelled, realized the frame was bent too much for the door to rise. Reaching in, he grabbed at the other thief, caught fabric and did some ripping of his own.

He was yanked back and spun around. He jerked his head aside and the big man's hand skimmed his temple. Someone else hit him in the stomach.

There were three!

"My virtue is threatened!" screamed Raz's glider.

"Hey!" someone yelled from the house. The shout was mixed with other car alarms. "Back away, I have stun," from the Family glider Raz had hopped on.

Grinning, he kicked out at the third man, connected. The guy fell back. Raz pounded short jabs on the first man's chest.

"Gotta go!" squeaked the man in the glider. He kicked Raz through the broken window, right into the big man's fist. Pain shot from his cheek through him to rattle his brain.

"No!" the first man said. "Get him and hold him." He yelled to the third. "Play-actor too damn much trouble. Who'da thought?"

"Have a problem with actors?" Johns asked, grabbing the third man from the back and throwing him aside.

"I'm gone," that one yelled.

"Won't get your gilt," the big man snapped, panting. He slugged Raz on the left shoulder again. Raz punched with his right to the guy's jaw.

Yelling, the smaller man flung himself on them. All of them went down, Raz, the big guy, Johns. Raz's head cracked against metal, he landed badly on Johns, whose breath went out in a painful whoosh.

"Gotcha!" The smaller man yanked at the larger, dragged him free, and they teleported away.

"Uhhhn." Raz sat up slowly, put a hand to his head. His lip was cut and bleeding and he thought his cheek was fractured.

Johns lay flat and spit out words in short pants. "Sorry. Too late." He groaned and it seemed to take all his breath.

"You did fine." Raz wiggled his jaw, it hurt, too. A dull throbbing came from his temple. "Many thanks, I'm grateful."

Sudden quiet descended except for Raz's glider. "My virtue has been violated," it said mournfully.

"Want to quiet that one down?" rumbled Cratag Marigold as he strode over, hand on his blazer hilt as he scanned the trees.

"Alarm stop, Cherry," Raz said, then looked to Cratag. "The thieves got away."

There was a quiet woman's sob – not from his glider. "Oh, my poor baby, I didn't shield you and look what happened, your jeweled timer, stolen!"

"This is a bad thing." T'Spindle, their hose, a short, rotund man, said. People cleared the way for him. "Healer needed here!" he shouted, making both Raz and Johns wince.

"Getting my bag!" answered a voice from the direction of the Residence. Obviously the Spindles had a Healer on staff.

"This is a very bad thing," GrandLord Spindle repeated, eyes hard, reminding Raz that the man was of the FirstFamilies and used to playing dangerous politics. Raz's anger eased at the thought that the thieves would truly regret this night. Spindle was easygoing, but he was stubborn and no doubt would make sure the guards on this case were equally stubborn about solving it. Of course Spindle would look at his enemies first.

A large hand curved under Raz's elbow. "Let me help you up," Cratag said quietly, lifted Raz to his feet with ease. The warrior narrowed his eyes. "Looks to me like you need more than stage fighting instruction."

That stung as much as Raz's wounds. He opened his mouth to say something and his lip split. He swore under his breath. "Maybe you're right." He nodded to Cratag as the man stepped away. "I'll think about it."

A lovely young woman rushed close, a Healer's bag in her hand. Johns groaned. She went to him, her hands swept over his chest. She frowned. "I don't sense anything wrong with your lungs."

Johns sat up, smiled crookedly at her. "Just bruises." He tilted his head toward Raz. "You should see to Raz. The three of them got the worse of him."

"Three!" she exclaimed. Her hands continued to stroke Johns, easing his bruises, as he rose to his feet.

"Thanks, Johns," Raz muttered, wincing as his mouth stung again.

"Anything I can do." Johns bowed as the Healer looked on admiringly. Then he glanced at Raz's glider, Cherry, grimaced and shook his head. "That was a real pretty glider, Raz."

The Healer had finally reached Raz. "Broken cheekbone, bad bruise on the temple..." she pressed on his ribs and he yelped. "I think you should come inside where I can treat you." Her voice held the faintest hint of glee, as if her job with the Spindles was pretty boring.

"I'll help him along." Johns was there, crowding a raised-eyebrow Cratag aside and wrapping his equally brawny arm around Raz's shoulders. They hurt, too. Everything hurt.

"That's so kind of you." The Healer smiled approval.

"Let's get you going, friend." Johns tightened his grip.

Raz hissed out a breath, but followed along, fairly steady on his feet, though he felt a little light-headed. He limped. He might have broken some toes. His hands weren't feeling good, either.
Johns actually shortened his stride and slowed his steps. "Thanks, Johns," Raz said. This time he meant it.

"'Welcome. Sorry about you and your glider."

Raz knew that was true. Johns had been open in his envy at Cherry.

"Tell you what," Raz said as they took the steps slowly. "Why don't I ask my father to get another sportcoupe at cost, sell it to you for the same price."

Johns eyes gleamed. "In blue?"

"The same color as your eyes," Raz agreed as they angled through a door to a sitting room that was furnished in a masculine fashion where blood and grime wouldn't show – much.

"Done," Johns said.

But Raz had a nasty feeling that things had just begun....

The Healer bustled in, ordering others to provide hot water, softleaves...She was small and voluptuous with bright red hair and a smattering of freckles. Johns watched her every move. Raz closed his eyes and wished Del was there.
Posted: March 1, 2018, 11:05 pm
I've been mostly on Facebook, but figure I need to post here, too. I'm working on a short novel called Script of the Heart that takes place at the same time as Heart Journey, and looking at Heart Journey. I cut several scenes from that book, and here's one of them: Del tapped the rim of the scrybowl to answer. "Here," she said shortly. Both Straif's and Mitchella's faces wavered and solidified into the hologram projected over the water. They both wore serious expressions. Hell. May as well get her concerns out ahead of theirs. "I don't appreciate you coming by to check out my new lover."
Mitchella winced.
Seeing that, Del added. "It was tacky." An old Earth word that kept declasse connotations.
Mitchella took a step back. "Tacky" was not a word any decorator wanted applied to them. Del didn't let her off the hook. "I expected better of you, Mitchella."
Sighing, Mitchella stepped back forward and put her hand on her HeartMate's shoulder. Standing with him, though Del was pretty sure that the whole thing had been Straif's idea and execution and he might not have even talked it over with his wife – just taken the opportunity.
"You know that Doolee and you will always be associated with us. I wanted to see your HeartMate, get a feel for him, to protect– " He stopped as if Mitchella had warned him...or pinched him.
"So the fact that you and I rolled around together and he's my new lover had nothing to do with the fact?"
Straif went still and wary. He wouldn't want to admit to such a masculine urge in front of his wife.
Del let him off the hook, and smiled, though it wasn't a very amused smile. "Or maybe it was just a case of raging curiosity. Of all the people I've ever met, the FirstFamilies are the nosiest."
Now Straif looked surprised. "Well, of course we are. We were curious and adventurous enough to fund the colonization from Earth, weren't we?"
"Centuries ago," Del said. She raised her brows in hauteur. "Now you're just controlling."
This time she saw Mitchella poke Straif in the back. "The highest nobles of any society always are." Mitchella had been a commoner. "But, you're right, his curiosity knew no bounds." She linked arms with her husband. "And he's right, he wanted to protect his Family, he has an oversized sense** of protectiveness."
Del looked down her nose. "If you were thinking that Raz Cherry is my HeartMate–"
"He is, I could tell at a glance," Straif said. He'd hunkered down a little into his balance. "I thought he might be when Antenn said the guy had shown up at your house."
Del's smile turned knife sharp. "Then what made you think he was a danger? HeartMates match. My honor is very important to me, like it is to you, I would demand a man with sterling honor."
"Ah..."
"You insulted me and you poked in your long FirstFamilies nose in my business where it didn't belong."
"So don't go mucking up my life further. End scry." She'd said what she had to say, and she figured that Straif wouldn't say anything more about HeartMates to her. She also knew that he'd already checked Raz and the Cherrys out and would continue to follow events...Straif would just be more discreet about everything.
And he'd made her antsy. She wanted activity.
Posted: February 12, 2018, 5:28 pm
Vinni's story, Heart
Sight, OUT Tuesday! First chapter is up on Amazon, Bn and Kobo. I didn't see the first chapter up on ibooks, so if it is, let me know
Posted: December 3, 2017, 7:55 pm
I'm writing Cat point of view stories, for a collection, hopefully to get out this month. This is the last story: Zanth Saves the Day (no, I'm not done with the others).

Snippet from Zanth Saves The Day:
Beach of T’Ash’s New Southern Estate, 424 Years After Colonization, Summer

Inside the hole roiled a mass of little beings crawling over shell shards, appearing a bit more slimy than he cared to touch.

Lifting his upper lip of his muzzle, he looked at them with a disapproving eye. Very ugly things.

Mostly shell, maybe even too tough to eat already.

Heellllppp!” the things chorused, moving the limbs sticking out from their body shells awkwardly.

And as the words echoing in his mind, his stomach squeezed in revulsion. Bad taste in his mouth, a tickle at the bottom of his throat like he’d vomit. Which meant he couldn’t eat them because they were sentient FamAnimals. Or could be FamAnimals if they grew more.
Posted: November 9, 2017, 5:48 pm
It's been a tough year for the Owens family, so I am writing Familiar Companion Cat point of view stories. I hope to have a collection out this fall...Celta Cats. Peaches is the cat on the starship Nuada's Sword, before the discovery of Celta (or right after in this story).

The Fams moved into the corridor and mixed around as a group. Very rarely did they gather in the huge Ship. Now they murmured together in Cat or dog and mental mumbles along their shared stream, enjoying their own furry company. Not just being with their FamPerson and a bunch of other humans.

The hallway looked different than a while ago. Peaches ticked off the days on his claws, more than twenty days. If the time was longer than four paws of claws, he ignored it. Humans cared too much about time.
Posted: September 28, 2017, 3:13 pm
First, Heart Sight, coming in December, is now out of my hands. I've done the last edits.

Celta Thursday:
CUT FROM THE STORY HEART AND SWORD PUBLISHED IN THE COLLECTION, HEARTS AND SWORDS!
This is when the genius Randolph Ash is talking to the Captain (hero) Kelse Bountry. They are still fighting the Ship For Ourselves dissidents.

The doors slid open and Fern walked in. Kelse’s insides constricted at the her beauty. Her hair stuck up a little and she wore a heavy robe. "Kelse?"

"We can’t survive on the Ship longer than nine months," he said.

Randolph Ash groaned quietly.

Fern closed her eyes. After a couple of seconds, he said, "You know what we must do."

An echo bounced off the walls. Fern had said it in unison with him. Kelse’s brows went up. She lifted her lashes. Her smile appeared better, even though she rubbed her hands up and down on her robe under the wide lapels. Tactile Fern. How he loved her.

He couldn’t concentrate on that right now. Had to keep up battle mode. "We’ll find a place. I’m sure of it."

Kelse’s couldn’t believe that. Fern had always been a terrible prophet. Which reminded him. "Maybe we should wake Magus ."

Randolph had bowed to Fern, but now turned his attention back to Kelse. "Who’s that?"

Fern’s chuckle was low. "I’m not a good prophet, but he, Magnus, is. The best prophet we have in the cryonics tubes."

"Oh." Randolph shifted. Only once, but Kelse knew him by now, eyed him narrowly.

"Morale is going to be tough. The Ship for Ourselves Party will contnue to win over others. Glowing prophecies of success would help."

"They’d reassure me," Fern said.

"We can’t afford to lose hope," Kelse said.

"Ah, well, we have Granny Vine as a prophet." Randolph glanced at Kelse. "She’s actually one of you. A descendant of a sleeper." Randolph frowned. "Maybe even this Magus. Her son is named Magus."

"And I haven’t heard of her because?" Kelse asked.

Randolph shot out his chin. "She’s one of us, that is, she’s a member of the Ship For Ourselves party. Wants nothing to do with you sleepers."

"Ah. That sounds like consequences of Magus’ actions, all right."

"I’d like to see her," Fern said. "Do you think she’d visit with me?"

"I think she loves almond cookies," Randolph said. "She’s talked about them over the years. Nothing was ever as good as almond cookies."

Now Fern’s smile lit her eyes. "I think we can do that, at least half a dozen."

"You know the ingredients for ship to make them?" Randolph asked incredulously.

"Of course."

"Even with the cookies, she won’t make up a glowing prophecy," Randolph warned.

"I wouldn’t want to hear a false one," Kelse said, but he prayed there would be good news.
Posted: August 17, 2017, 5:53 pm
Celta Timeline:
On the Ship and the Discovery of Celta:
Heart And Sword IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS:

363 Rand T’Ash Born
369 Zanth Gets His Boy: Druida City, Celta, 369 Years After Colonization, Spring

394 Muin (Vinni) T’Vine Born

400 HeartMate: Druida City, Celta, 400 years after Colonization, Summer, July (Hazel), Discovery Day (T’Ash is 37)
400 The Turquoise House becomes aware/is born.
400 Draeg Betony Blackthorn born
400 Avellana Hazel born

400 Heart Thief: Druida City, Celta, 400 Years after Colonization, Autumn
400 Old D’Vine dies, Vinni T’Vine inherits at 6 years old

403 Heart Duel: Druida City, Celta, 403 years after Colonization, Summer, Month of Holly/Hazel

404 Heart Choice: Druida City, Celta, 404 Years After Colonization, Spring

404 Nuin Ash is born late 404
404 The Betony Blackthorns move to a southern estate
404 Vinni T’Vine is 10
Bifrona Vine becomes Vine Housekeeper through political maneuvering.

405 Heart Quest: Druida City, Celta, 405 Years After Colonization, Late Autumn BLACK MAGIC CULT deaths

Celta Timeline:
On the Ship and the Discovery of Celta:
Heart And Sword IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS:

363 Rand T’Ash Born
369 Zanth Gets His Boy: Druida City, Celta, 369 Years After Colonization, Spring

394 Muin (Vinni) T’Vine Born

400 HeartMate: Druida City, Celta, 400 years after Colonization, Summer, July (Hazel), Discovery Day (T’Ash is 37)
400 The Turquoise House becomes aware/is born.
400 Draeg Betony Blackthorn born
400 Avellana Hazel born

400 Heart Thief: Druida City, Celta, 400 Years after Colonization, Autumn
400 Old D’Vine dies, Vinni T’Vine inherits at 6 years old

403 Heart Duel: Druida City, Celta, 403 years after Colonization, Summer, Month of Holly/Hazel

404 Heart Choice: Druida City, Celta, 404 Years After Colonization, Spring

404 Nuin Ash is born late 404
404 The Betony Blackthorns move to a southern estate
404 Vinni T’Vine is 10
Bifrona Vine becomes Vine Housekeeper through political maneuvering.

405 Heart Quest: Druida City, Celta, 405 Years After Colonization, Late Autumn BLACK MAGIC CULT deaths

405 Heart Dance: Druida City, Celta, 405 Years After Colonization, Early Winter (two months after Heart Quest, i.e. January/)

406 Heart Story IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS: Druida City, Celta 406 Years After Earth Colonization, Spring

406 Heart Fate: Druida City, Celta, 406 Years After Colonization, Mid Winter (one year after the end of Heart Dance) SAMHAIN = NEW YEAR, SO JUST A MONTH AND A HALF AFTER THE NEW YEAR

406:
Holm and Lark's child born, a boy.
Loridana Itha Valerian Yew born the day before Discovery Day
Ruis and Ailim's 2nd child born.
Hazels suffer a loss.


Heart & Soul IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS, Gael City, Celta 406 Years After Colonization, Autumn (Elder/October) the last days of 406

407 Heart Change: Druida City, Celta, 407 Years After Colonization, Spring (March)

407
Glyssa, Camellia, Tiana are 12
Ash twins born, Jasmine and Abutilon-Gwydion
Tinne Holly's girl born (Aurea)

407 Zanth and the Treasure, free short/short story

407 Heart Journey: Druida City, Celta, 407 Years After Colonization, Late Summer

409
Draeg Betony Blackthorn goes to live with Straif and Mitchella.
*********************************************************************************************************************
14 YEARS PASS BETWEEN HEART JOURNEY AND HEART SEARCH: THIS HAPPENS IN BETWEEN

411 Noble Heart IN THE COLLECTION OF HEARTS AND SWORDS, Druida City, Celta, 411 Years After Colonization, Winter

411
LAST A'SH BABY BORN, DONTEA Female, jeweler (referenced in Noble Heart)
Ashes: Nuin, Jasmine and Abutilon-Gwydion, Dontea

Trif Clover-Winterberry's second child (a girl after a boy, is born)

D'Yew Dies

412
Elwyn Clover born (First Child of Walker Clover-Sedwy Grove)

414
Tinne and Lahsin's son born, Marin.

417
TAB HOLLY DIES, CAL MARIGOLD IS BORN, gray eyes blond hair

Dalmatia Clover born (Second Walker Clover-Sedwy Grove child) Name from: Trifolia Dalmaticum ,Vis. Dalmation Clover

417
Draeg Betony Blackthorn is 17. Second Passage and deaths of Tab Holly and his HeartMated parents cast him adrift, he hires out with merchants (through the guild and Cratag).
Cal Marigold is born, 2nd child Signet and Cratag Marigold.

418
EPIDEMIC, DECONTAMINATION OF TRANSPORT DONE 3 YEARS LATER (HEART SECRET)

419 EPIDEMIC, NIVEA SUNFLOWER HAWTHORN DIES, SICKNESS LAST SEEN 18 MONTHS BEFORE HEART SECRET

421 Late Winter, Early Spring
Huathe T’Hawthorn dies (3 mos. before Heart Search)

Garrett And The Cat, Case that brings him to Laev T'Hawthorn's notice
************************************************************************************************************************************************

421 Heart Search (Laev): Druida City, Celta, 421 Years After Colonization, Late Spring
421 Lena Marigold is born on Bright Brigid’s Day (April), just before Heart Search opens
Nuin Ash is 17
Reglus Licorice last seen

421 Heart Secret (Garrett Primross and Artemisia Mugwort), Druida City, 421 years after Colonization, Late Summer

421 Heart Fortune (Glyssa Licorice and Race Bayrum), Excavation of Lugh's Spear, the lost starship, 421 years after Colonization, End of Summer

421 after colonization, last book was "late summer" and apparently this one is "end of summer"
so end of Aug

421 Lost Heart, 421 years after Colonization, Early Autumn taking place at the same time as Heart Fortune (starting a little before, ending a little before).

422 Heart Fire (Antenn Blackthorn-Moss and Tiana Mugwort), Druida City, 422 years after Colonization, Early Spring) half a year since Heart Secret, Epilogue 6 mos. later.
INTERSECTION OF HOPE CATHEDRAL ERECTED

422 Watson Clover born (oracle says father's Flair, Walker Clover-Sedwy Grove)
Trifolium kingii, S. Watson, King's Clover

424 Heart Legacy, 424 years after colonization late winter (STARTS WITH TINNE 4 WEEKS PREVIOUSLY, SO BEGINNING OF FEBRUARY, ABOUT end of February, beginning of March through March(?)) Heart Legacy

Avellana is 24, Vinni is 30, Avellana is in Heart Legacy

424 Heart Sight, Druida City
Posted: July 28, 2017, 2:46 am
So here's a peek of those in the book:

CAST OF CHARACTERS
The Hazels:

Avellana Hazel (heroine), 2nd daughter of D’Hazel and T’Hazel
Rhyz, Avellana’s Familiar Companion FamCat
GreatLady Coll D’Hazel, Avellana’s mother
GreatLord Chess T’Hazel, Avellana’s father
Coll HazelHeir, Avellana’s sister

The Vines

GreatLord Muin (Vinni) T’Vine (hero!), FirstFamily GreatLord, the Prophet of Celta
Flora, Vinni’s Familiar Companion Housefluff
Arcto Vine, Tutor
Bifrona Vine, Housekeeper, matriarch of the Vines

Vine Guards:
Duan Dewberry Vine (Chief of Guards)
Armen
Fera
Plicat

Southern Vines:
Bicknell Vine
Perna Vine
Baby Vine

And sundry cousins, including several cooks…

Investigators
Garrett Primross, Private Investigator, liaison between the FirstFamilies and the Druida City Guards
(hero of Heart Secret)
Ilex Winterberry, Captain of the Druida City Guards (hero of Heart Quest)

Other Important Characters:

Gwydion Ash, second son of T’Ash and D’Ash
Antenn Blackthorn-Moss (hero of Heart Fire), Architect and friend of Vinni and Avellana
Tiana Mugwort Blackthorn-Moss (heroine of Heart Fire) Priestess and friend of Vinni and Avellana
Cal Marigold - a boy who is the reincarnation of Tab Holly
GrandLord (FirstFamilies) Draeg T’Yew, fighter, consort of Loridana
GrandLady (FirstFamilies) Loridana D’Yew, personal armor crafter

And cameo appearances by various others!
Posted: July 17, 2017, 2:46 pm
Belated Celta Thursday Heart Sight Excerpt: The doors to the fighting area of The Green Knight Fencing and Fighting Salon opened and Avellana caught a glimpse of other Hollys—Tinne Holly, who owned The Green Knight, and his older brother Holm, the heir to the man who walked beside her.

With a quick glance, she determined that her Muin and T’Ash were the only other FirstFamily titleholders here.

T’Holly walked her over to the fat rolled mats that served as seats for observers and bowed himself away, joining the other fighters at the line. A groan went up.Avellana had heard that now and then he could beat his sons and be the fighter of Celta once more.The results of his broken Vow of Honor had lingered longer than anyone would have anticipated.

She wiggled her butt until she felt solid and comfortable, and met Muin’s gaze, smiling.He stood at the line on the far side of the room.

Irritation sizzled through Vinni.

As soon as some of his friends and allies saw Avellana walk in on T’Holly’s arm, they moved from their previous positions around the room to crowd next to him to be in her line of sight.

Oh, yeah, he knew what would happen now.They’d try to take him down before his HeartMate, make him look worse than he was.A sharp elbow got him in the ribs as Barton Clover pushed next to him and gave him a wide and toothy smile.Vinni gritted his teeth.

Yeah, there were guys he knew he couldn’t beat, including Barton—the three Holly men, the older GreatLord T’Ash . . . at least T’Marigold and T’Blackthorn were out of town.He wouldn’t make the top five, but he’d be in the top nine.
The bell dinged and the melee began.

Fresh and humming with energy, Vinni spurted away from those who wanted to take him down immediately, headed for targets of his own that he knew he could beat.

Tried to move away from thought to that place where only physical action mattered and his body ruled.Engaged in combat.

Yeah, winning, winning.Defeated both of his own guards, and, no, they didn’t let him win.

This one, tough fight, too long grappling, but won!

*Behind you!* Avellana alerted.

http://affairedecoeur.com/HotGuyzPatrol.html (popularity contest, it's a good thing I can win writing contests...)
Posted: July 7, 2017, 10:47 pm
CAST OF CHARACTERS
The Hazels:

Avellana Hazel (heroine), 2nd daughter of D’Hazel and T’Hazel
Rhyz, Avellana’s Familiar Companion FamCat
GreatLady Coll D’Hazel, Avellana’s mother
GreatLord Chess T’Hazel, Avellana’s father
Coll HazelHeir, Avellana’s sister

The Vines

GreatLord Muin (Vinni) T’Vine (hero!), FirstFamily GreatLord, the Prophet of Celta
Flora, Vinni’s Familiar Companion Housefluff
Arcto Vine, Tutor
Bifrona Vine, Housekeeper, matriarch of the Vines

Vine Guards:
Duan Dewberry Vine (Chief of Guards)
Armen
Fera
Plicat

Southern Vines:
Bicknell Vine
Perna Vine
Baby Vine

And sundry cousins, including several cooks…

Investigators
Garrett Primross, Private Investigator, liaison between the FirstFamilies and the Druida City Guards
(hero of Heart Secret)
Ilex Winterberry, Captain of the Druida City Guards (hero of Heart Quest)

Other Important Characters:

Gwydion Ash, second son of T’Ash and D’Ash
Antenn Blackthorn-Moss (hero of Heart Fire), Architect and friend of Vinni and Avellana
Tiana Mugwort Blackthorn-Moss (heroine of Heart Fire) Priestess and friend of Vinni and Avellana
Cal Marigold - a boy who is the reincarnation of Tab Holly
GrandLord (FirstFamilies) Draeg T’Yew, fighter, consort of Loridana
GrandLady (FirstFamilies) Loridana D’Yew, personal armor crafter

And cameo appearances by various others!
Posted: June 30, 2017, 8:11 pm
SUNDAY, JUNE 11, MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME, 10:00 A.M. - 12:30 P.M. FACEBOOK

Yes, I have been honored by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers as a nominee for Writer of the Year (traditionally published). We also have a bunch of great ladies up for Independent Writer of the Year. We are doing a Facebook event this Sunday (Mountain Time), GIVING AWAY A KINDLE LOADED WITH OUR BOOKS. Come check us out!

I think I will load HeartMate, Ghost Seer, Guardian of Honor, and the others will load their books on, too!

Posted: June 8, 2017, 4:42 pm
Celta Thursday, excerpt from Heart Sight (I actually forgot I wrote this until I read it yesterday): Four evenings later, Vinni paused his glider at the foot of the Vines’ hill before the switchbacks upward to T’Vine Residence. Like many FirstFamily colonists, the first Vine had gone overboard when constructing a home. So grand he didn’t want to live inside the city. He’d claimed the hill and spent his gilt — money — in paying for help raising the gigantic castle.

Or maybe Family legend was correct. Only one of the originally psi gifted Family that became Vine made it out of the walled ghettos of Earth and he never wanted to be caught like that again. Thus the hill outside the walled Druida City, the winding road, the three gatehouses, and his own wall around the castle with many towers.

Vinni’s forebears also recorded that the initial T’Vine had a smidgeon of the psi power of foresight, but mostly a great gift for earth moving and translocation of objects. He should have gone into the construction business, but he tormented himself for not seeing the future and the deaths of his clan.

So he concentrated on — and married for — the Flair of prophecy.

As with the other pioneers who’d funded the starships and landed here, the first T’Vine had believed his descendants and the general population of Celta would burgeon as humans had on Earth. He’d built a home to house the huge Family he planned to beget. Now Vinni and his Family of forty-seven lived in a massive castle modeled after one on old Earth. A place that would house the couple hundred of the Clover Family easily.
Posted: May 25, 2017, 6:42 pm
I don't have a long soundtrack for Heart Sight, especially when compared to the book which now stands at about 125K words.

Posted: May 19, 2017, 7:20 pm
This is my Scrivener Binder for Heart Sight, set to the Facebook Cuts folder, so I have a lot of cuts in Heart Sight I'll post here (or maybe put in a book of Celta Extras).


Posted: May 11, 2017, 3:05 pm
A small artist’s colony on an equally small island had kept Avellana safe for three months. But to prevail upon her to stay, he must finesse the situation.

...He stood and watched her create her holo mural in the small temple....He’d gotten a sweet jolt at the sight of her, as usual, even though those big blue eyes hadn’t been aimed his way. He appreciated how the light touched a streak of white in her medium brown hair, a lock at her left temple that had appeared after her last Passage to free her Flair.

Her old and comfortable clothes didn’t display her curves well, but he knew the feel of her.

Brow furrowed, her hand curved in a wavy motion. A line of textured color deepened the bark of the Ash tree in the center of the GreatLabyrinth. He sucked in his breaths gently, let them out quietly, knowing better to disturb her focus when in the midst of creative expression.

The fact she created a holo for the temple piqued his curiosity. She’d left the dominant faith of Celta two years before, the one that worshiped the Divine Couple, the Lord and the Lady. Avellana had become an adherent of the Intersection of Hope religion. That creed had developed on the starships during the centuries-long trip from Earth to Celta.

He found it surprising that she sat in the middle of CircleTemple. But, on the other hand, she’d only been here on the island for a few months. Not enough time to design and have an Intersection of Hope chapel built, even if she found other devotees.

She stared at her work, finally nodded and added the deep purple curlicue of her signature, then glanced at him. Of course she’d sensed when he’d arrived on the island, stood in the doorway, even if he’d masked his emotions.

“One moment, Muin, while I finish my project, please,” she said coolly.

He did visit her at least once a week when she resided outside Druida City, but she wouldn’t have expected him tonight since she’d be back at her Family home, D’Hazel Residence, the next morning.

With a glance at him, her fingers snapped and all the three-dimensional holographic paintings and murals in the Temple activated. He missed a couple of steps toward her as he staggered through one of the Lady and Lord planting a garden. He swore he could smell the rich herbs, the equally fertile dark brown earth.

A joyful dancing tune began and echoed through the huge temple chamber.....He stared at the two-meter sized, exquisite mural that only Avellana could have done.
...................................
She gestured for him to join her by her side and he did so.
Her holo was a perfect lower half-sphere reflecting the actual bowl of the GreatLabyrinth to the north of Druida City. Studying it, she brought her hands from shoulder width together, and the painting collapsed upward on itself until it appeared like a two dimensional rendition, hanging vertically. She stepped back a couple of paces and he matched her strides.

Then she angled the painting to horizontal and pushed it down until it touched the floor and the center round stone, and matched the keystone in size. Muttering encouraging words to herself under her breath that Vinni couldn’t quite catch, she sank her painting into the stone, so the top of the stone showed her work. Long minutes passed and sweat beaded her forehead.

With the lightest brush of his fingers, Vinni touched her temple and whisked the excess moisture away. She chanted a couplet, fast and loud, that rang in his ears, shouted, “Engrave and Set In Stone!” and clapped her hands. Flair surged through the room, knocking Vinni back a step, sending shudders rippling through his body. Secondary creative psi power or not, Avellana matched him in the potency of her Flair.

She moved back to the middle of the temple and crouched down, scrutinizing the circular center stone that now showed her painting. It looked perfect to Vinni. She turned and grinned at him, nearly danced to him, the satisfaction of fulfilled creativity limning her face.
Posted: April 28, 2017, 12:14 am
Ethyn Collinson had been the innately gentlest man she'd ever known. And now she understood that it had been the contrast with her Father's unbending harshness that had drawn her to her husband.
His sweet smile, his intelligence, and the strength of his Healing Flair that so complimented her own, all combined in one man, a common man with none of the inborn and taught arrogance that beset those of her own class, had proved to be impossible for Lark to resist.

And now she was contemplating -- when her tumbled thoughts were not being swayed by her so-weak body -- an actual affair with one of the most confident, powerful men on Celta. A man she wasn't even sure she respected. Oh, he had Flair enough, and cleverness, and honor-- She stopped. Ah, that was the quality that redeemed him in her eyes, his own sense of honor. An honor she believed that he would never betray. A following of all the rules and laws that governed everyone on Celta, including GreatLords and Ladies.

And, Lark realized with a jolt, deep in her heart she simply didn't believe in HeartMate love.

She blinked at herself in surprise. It seemed to be a tenet of Celta, a foundation of their philosophy that should have steeped into her very bones with all her other education. But it hadn't. Perhaps it was the fact that her parents hadn't been HeartMates. Nor had her father's parents. Her FatherDam still lived in T'Hawthorn residence, long after her husband's death. And everyone knew HeartMates died within a year of their spouses.

No couple close to her had demonstrated the deep love that the HeartBond was supposed to confer. The closest she'd been to HeartMates was when she'd participated in NobleRituals and HeartMate couples had also done so. She knew there'd been an unusual strength and blending to their Flair, between the two and when they joined the Circle to build the cone of power, but they had been adults and she had been a child, and kept on the fringes of the Circle to protect her from harm, so she hadn't felt it close at hand.

And there wasn't a HeartMate for her. Not in this lifetime. She hadn't experienced any metaphysical connection to another person during the Passages that had freed her Flair, and that was the prime indicator that a person had a HeartMate -- some sort of link during Passage. No, her Passages had been stormy, but controllable, but with no outreaching to touch another's soul. With this knowledge, she hadn't hesitated to marry a fellow journeyman Healer. A man with the potential to be a great Healer, a Downwind man who'd grown beyond the disadvantages of his youth. Ethyn. A man who'd been literally cut down at the cusp of his career by a noble sword when he'd gone to help the fallen in a noble skirmish. The manner of his death had been as great a wound as his death itself, to Lark.
Of course, Holm Holly would believe in HeartMates. His parents, after all, were such. He'd grown up in a HouseHold permeated by the love of HeartMates for each other and their children. And, Lark frowned, T'Holly's sister had been a HeartMate, too, had bonded with T'Blackthorn. And Holm's best friend, T'Ash, was HeartBound to his mate. Holm had been in on that courtship, too, seeing how HeartMates courted and joined, contemporaries of himself.

So he believed.

She didn't.

Then, if she was entirely truthful with herself, there were also the doubts of her own nature. What did she have that attracted Holm so? His conquests of all classes of women, his gallantry and affairs had become nearly legendary. Why would he settle for an outcast from a FirstFamily? A woman who cared little for nobles and their intrigues. How could he prize a Healer, when his own Flair, and that of his Family from the time of the Colonists, had been for fighting?

Oh, yes. Lark could believe in lust, in the sexual attraction that sparked between them whenever they came close to each other. She could even accept that their was some sort of complementary harmony in their natures that let a mental and emotional link easily become established between them, smoothly.

She could admit to those attractions with Holm.

She could even admit that love between men and women could be deep and satisfying. But she couldn't see such a love developing between herself and Holm.

And she simply didn't believe in HeartMate love.

Perhaps for others, but not for herself.

And she couldn't even understand why this thought seemed so odd to her. Didn't she believe that she could be loved?

Ethyn had loved her. She knew that. But she knew the basis of his love had been because she, too, had been a Healer. She knew the trials, problems, and joy of Healing. She could understand him, match him in that.

And Lark acknowledged the power of her own Flair, was confident in it and in the status of FirstLevelHealer.

But did she have such a poor opinion of herself as a person, as a woman, that she didn't know what the Heir to a GreatHouse would find to love in her?

Yes.

She wasn't even sure who she was as a person other than a Healer. That was the basic tenet* of her soul, the way she defined herself, her image of herself -- Lark, the Healer.
Posted: April 21, 2017, 1:20 am