Posted in Blog

Such a late update…

Dear Readers,

I didn’t mean to disappear for over a  month. It’s difficult when the non-writing world intervenes. I’m writing to you from  a new location. My dog and cat are settling in well and seem to feel the general serenity of this place. Being here is rather like finding  myself transplanted into  Mark’s and Luke’s condo. There’s the attendant sense of protection and rightness, but Mark’s midnight blue couch is missing. As are the hundred temperatures.

I will announce the winners of the Name a Character contest next Saturday, and the next day I will have the next chapter of Tabitha’s wedding story.

I’m working on a sequel to Heartwood at present, as well as a new SearchLight story. I’m hoping this latter book will release in the early spring of 2013 and the sequel to Heartwood will be released in or around June. The SearchLight story will be the beginning of a new series titled A Pack of His Own. Each book in the series will feature a different couple. The first book (tentatively titled Hunter’s Claim) stars Agent Luis Delgado and Professor Charlie McLaughlin, who made their first appearance in Dragon’s Bane.

Thank you for all your patience. There *will* be more next week. Promise. 🙂 Until then, and always:

Peace I send you

Peace I leave with you

And may peace attend your road all the days of your lives.

–Emily

 

Posted in Blog, Teasers

World Without Color

Dear Readers,

This is a short story from Tabitha Tavery’s point of view. Warning: spoiler alert. Do not read this if you haven’t read Dragon’s Bane. Warning two: one tiny swear word. Mark really shouldn’t swear where his niece might hear him. 🙂

Peace!

–Emily

“World Without Color”

Part One

Tabitha counted the presents twice. Twenty-three sat on and around the low table in the hotel room. “Whose birthday is it, Mommy? And why did everybody use white paper?”

She frowned. She’d be seven soon, and her uncles had taught her how to think “outside the box,” as Uncle Mark put it. “Has all the colored paper been bought up?” Then she thought of what her uncles did for a living. “Or stolen? Did some bad people steal all the pretty paper, Mommy?”

Over on the bed by the window, Grandma had managed to get Davy into his pants, but his shoes kept falling off. On the overstuffed red chair in the corner, Tabitha’s mom wrestled Danny into a gray pair of pants.

“Tabby, can you find me Danny’s shoes please?” her mom asked.

“Mo-om! I wanna wear my red pants!” Danny freed one of his feet and delivered a solid blow to his mother’s knee.

Tabitha looked over at the presents again. What if all the paper in all the world had been turned white? Maybe this was like when her uncles fought the bad genie. Maybe they were fighting another one, only this genie was doing bad stuff all over the world, not just to the people who worked with her uncles.

“Tabby, get me Danny’s— Daniel Ezekiel Tavery, if you don’t stop right now, you’re going to miss your uncles’ wedding.”

“I don’t wanna go.”

Tabitha shuffled over to where her brother had hidden his shoes last night. Getting down on her hands and knees, she fished them out from under the other bed. They shone so brightly she could see a dim reflection of her face in the toes.

A whirring sound startled her, and she looked up as the door to the hotel room opened.

“Now this looks familiar,” said the man standing in the doorway.

Tabitha jumped up, forgetting the shoes. “Uncle Mark!” She sprinted to him, holding her arms up.

He scooped her off the floor, twirling her once. Then he kissed her cheek and carried her back toward her mom.

She clung to him. “Something’s wrong.”

“I can see that.” He squeezed her gently and set her down. “Naomi, do you want some help?”

Tabitha glanced at the presents. “Not with Mom, Uncle Mark. With the presents. They’re white.” She gaped. “You’re dressed in white too!” It was a bad genie.

A long time ago, maybe even a month, she’d watched a show about a place with no color. The ground and sky were black, white, or gray, and most of the animals weren’t much better. An evil creature kept all their colors trapped. Could that creature be real? Tabitha was old enough to understand that some of the “pretend” creatures in stories weren’t pretend. Her uncle Mark was a dragon, and most people thought dragons weren’t real. Her other uncle, Luke, was a genie. A good genie. The best.

Grandma joined Mom and Uncle Mark as they struggled with Danny.

Davy crept over to Tabitha’s side and pulled on her sleeve. “Whazzit?” he asked around the thumb in his mouth.

Normally, his four-year-old thumb talk drove her nuts, but he looked up at her as if he wanted to help. Sometimes he even seemed to have the same feelings she did.

Tabitha whispered, “Do you see the presents?”

He nodded, looking excited.

“They’re not good. A bad genie turned them white. It made Uncle Mark’s clothes white too. And yours and Danny’s clothes gray. If we don’t add some red, yellow, or blue quick, the whole world’s going to turn gray and white.”

Understanding shone in his gaze now. “I has crayons,” he whispered.

Tabitha considered. Normally crayons wouldn’t be quick enough, but she hadn’t brought a lot with her. “Did you bring your finger paints too?”

“Mommy wouldn’t let me.”

What was it Uncle Luke always said? “Then we’ll have to improvise.”

Five minutes later, Tabitha had her grandma’s most colorful balls of yarn, Davy’s crayons, and the fat markers she’d brought. She gave these last to her little brother, ordering him not to let anyone see them. She secreted the balls of yarn and the crayons into her white purse, hoping she’d be allowed to keep it since it was the right color.

“Tabitha,” her mom called. “It’s time to get into your dress. We’re going to be late.”

Tabitha looked up, afraid she and Davy had been noticed. But her mom was standing by a suitcase, her grandma was staring into the mirror, and Uncle Mark had taken Danny into a corner for what looked like a serious talk. Danny’s in trouble. But any pleasure Tabitha would’ve normally gotten from the thought disappeared in her worry about the missing color. The hotel room still had color, but maybe the bad genie, or whatever it was, had decided to attack her family first.

Oh no you don’t. I’ll stop you. Maybe I’m not Agent Tabitha Tavery yet, but I will be someday. You’d better be scared of me.

Her mom turned away from the suitcase.

When Tabitha saw the long, frilly, white dress, her stomach seemed to plummet to her knees. She frowned in an effort to keep her tears hidden. “It’s…nice, Mommy. Where’s Uncle Luke?” Maybe he could fix this. If the bad genie showed up, yarn and crayons might not be enough. Hadn’t the people in the movie had magic on their side as well as color?

“He’ll meet us at the ceremony,” her mom said. “Now hurry. We can’t be late.”

If I dress in white too, will I forget there’s danger? Tabitha glanced at her purse. Davy’s in gray and he remembers. It’ll have to be enough.

She smiled, but then had to wipe her face. Our whole family’s depending on a four-year-old. What was it Uncle Mark sometimes said when he thought she wasn’t listening?

Blue fuck.

Peace!

–Emily

Posted in Blog

To Live

Dear Readers,

Natalie Goldberg, author of books like Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind, made a comment I think applies to living as well as to writing. Her quote begins with another quote, showing how much we learn from all the souls around us. ” ‘If you want to write, you have to be willing to be disturbed.’ [Kate Green, author of Shattered Moon and Night Angel] Pretty good. It’s true. Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to think about… Be willing to be split open.”

It sounds like a terrifying prospect. I invite you to see the lighter side of this invitation. Being disturbed is akin to sand being stirred by a stick. Seek the treasures in your life that are hidden by everyday minutiae. Once you’ve found the treasure, show it off. What’s the point of hiding it away? Even Ebeneezer Scrooge learned to let go.

Wishing you the best this evening,

–Emily

 

Posted in Blog, Books

International Book Week

Dear Readers,

This wasn’t originally what I was going to post about, but I took a detour onto Facebook before jumping onto my website, and saw a post by a good friend that made me smile.

“It’s international book week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence as your status. Don’t mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your status.”

Of course, feel free to post line five of page fifty0two on your Facebook page, but I’d also love to see it here.

I happened to pull a book I haven’t even read yet. 🙂 Here we go…

“”They didn’t like either of the two available options.”

The sentence before that is somewhat spicier and more suggestive, but it doesn’t fit the rules. I’ll have to read this book now!

 

Peace,

–Emily

 

Posted in Blog

National *What* Month? (1)

Dear Readers,

September has been National Guide Dog Month (since 2010) and is the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15- October 15.

Two of my characters are going to talk about their experiences with National Guide Dog Month and National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Aidan James Kelly (from Heartwood, release date: October 16, 2012) I did most of my growing up at Golden Hills School for the Blind out in California. It’s one of the last schools exclusively for the blind open in the United States, if not the last. I’m not going to say we learned everything we should have about other cultures, but we learned our own culture inside and out. I was a freshman in 2008, when the first National Guide Dog Month was discussed. News swept through Golden Hills like the wildfires that sometimes choke the air out there. The white cane users among us, which included all the students and ninety percent of the teachers, objected to being denied a similar honor. All of the history teachers got together and ordered the students to form debate teams. Pro- and anti-Guide Dog Month, and pro- and anti-white cane month, were the sides we had to take. I loved it, especially when I had to argue on both sides of an argument during a single class. As my karate teacher, Minamoto-sensei, says, such challenges call to my warrior nature.

 

Agent Luis Delgado (from Dragon in Training 3: Dragon’s Bane, available now at www.loose-id.com) “August 17, 1988 was a proud day for my parents and grandparents. Even for the members of my family who don’t live in the United States and don’t care much about what is or isn’t declared here, that date is considered significant. National Hispanic Heritage Month was made into law through President Reagan’s efforts on that day. I’m not quite so reverent, but I respect my family’s appreciation of effort. I appreciate effort myself, or I wouldn’t be so taken with a certain professor I worked with recently.

“But this is supposed to be about National Hispanic Heritage Month. Yes, it’s a very fine thing. If only it pertained to more than humans. I understand SearchLight’s requirement of secrecy. It’s the magical world’s requirement also. I still think I would appreciate National Hispanic Heritage Month more if it included not only Hispanic humans, but Hispanic psychic vampires like me as well. Don’t smile at me. I know everything you’re thinking.”

 

“Please forgive Luis, ladies and gentlemen. He’s a bit…untamed. Forgive him, but guard your minds. And since the warnings of a stranger mean nothing, I’m Professor Charlie McLaughlin.”

 

This is Emily. Forgive them both. They’re like naughty children. It’s the plan that you’ll meet them in a book all their own.

Peace,

–Emily

Posted in Blog

A Vision

Vision boards, dream boards, or wish-your-butt-off boards have become all the rage lately. Oprah talked about them quite awhile ago. I’ve encountered them no less than five times in the last year. And I know people who swear by them.

I happen to believe myself, simply because I believe in myself.

If you’re a skeptic and/or a scientist by nature, skip to the CBT section of this post. If you’re a spiritual person, find the Universal Truth section. If you don’t find something to fit your idea of how nature and the human mind works in either section, please offer your own theory or story in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

Whichever you choose, please check out a quick story at the bottom of this post.

 

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Theory)

One of the simplest tenets of CBT is that all feelings come from thoughts. For example, if your best friend promised to pick you up from work and then didn’t show, what’s your first reaction? For most people, the answer is either “anger” or “annoyance.” Both these emotions are driven by a thought, though: “Where is s/he? How dare s/he leave me here?”

Our dreams for the future are also driven by thoughts. Not so much by “I wish I had…” but “I deserve” and “I’m going to work toward.” A vision board helps to focus those thoughts into something tangible. For most people, seeing is believing. Having a physical projection of what they desire is the first step to making it real.

It’s a critical step. Without seeing or knowing what you want in concrete terms, many ideas remain ideas. (Please see the story at the end of this post.)

Vision Board: Wealth

Universal Truth

Our society teaches us to think negatively. It surprised me, but I was forced to accept it when I began examining commercials. “This makeup (outfit, car, drink, need I go on J ) is essential.” The implication being we’re not complete without thus-and-such product.

If I’m incomplete, my thoughts become centered around what I’m not, what I don’t have. In my case, I don’t have a car. (Granted, I can’t drive, but isn’t that beside the point?)

The universe is made of energy. No matter Who created that energy, the energy exists and influences us. The energy we put out is the energy returned to us. So why would negative energy produce positive results?

“But Emily, that’s easy for you to say. I have high bills.”

How much money do you want to have? Think of an exact figure and write it down. Next step, believe in that number instead of concentrating on what you don’t have. Even believing in the negative things you have, like bills, will only attract more bills to you.

What else do you want? Create a picture or collage about it. Do you want a new house or something less visible, like good friends and someone to love? Create an image of the exact house, inside and out, or collect the words from magazines that make up the person or people you long to have in your life. Positive energy draws more positive energy.

Brief Story

With my thesis behind me and my days partially my own again, I’ve realized how much I’d like someone in my life besides my wonderful pets. However, when I sat down to my vision board, all I could think to put on it was “must love dogs.” Less than a week later, a distant acquaintance invited me to a Labrador Club advertised only by word of mouth. It’s about time I finish that vision board!

Just something to think about.

Peace!

–Emily

Posted in Blog

For love of M/M romance

Dear Readers,

Usually television is seen as the enemy of the written word. I actually don’t even own a T.V. at the moment. But television set up the dry kindling for my imagination. So I’m curious. Did any T.V. shows change how you look at books?

I’ve been re-experiencing certain T.V. shows over the last few weeks, and they all seem to have the same buried theme. In the midst of cartoons and dramas, I’ve found the seeds of my love of male-male romance.

When I first began creating my own worlds instead of living in fan fiction universes, I couldn’t understand why relationship stories drew me more than pure science fiction or fantasy. Hadn’t I grown up with the likes of Star Trek, Knight Rider, and Ronin Warriors? I had, not to mention a dozen others, but beyond the action of each show were relationships. And not just the heterosexual ones showcased every few weeks. I’m talking about the friendships that lingered a little too close, and the intimate understanding between certain characters that belied any definition of friendship I knew as a child or young adult.

My kindling pile looks something like this:

Books: LotR*/Force of Nature**/Best Gay Romance of***

Star Trek: TNG/The Ronin Warrirors/Knight Rider/Star Wars

The Real Ghostbusters/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Jem and the Holograms

What does your pile of kindling look like? What television shows led you to the books you love?

Peace,

–Emily

*LotR Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien; There isn’t any explicit or implied gay romance here, but there has been so much speculation about certain characters that I was intrigued by this story beyond my love of the world and the adventure.

** Force of Nature by Suzanne Brockmann; To my knowledge, this is the first novel in mainstream romance where a gay couple gets their happily ever after. Go Mrs. Brockmann!

***All the Best of Gay Romance (several years now) have been edited by Richard Labonte