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Thank You

Dear Readers,

Thank you for checking in on me. I’ve been sick and an assortment of life’s other issues have taken their toll. But I’m healing and I’ll be ready to post the final installment of “World Without Color” soon.

Those who sent me e-mails, I’ll respond to you soon. I’m still regathering myself a bit.

As always, peace be with you. (And the Force.)


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World Without Color-Part Two

Dear Readers,

I will be out of town next Saturday and Sunday, and I probably won’t have Internet access. I will do my best to post part three of World Without Color during the middle of the week of the seventeenth, and post part four, which should be the final part, on the following Saturday.

Peace all, and enjoy your holidays, whatever or wherever they may be.


Part Two

Half an hour later, Tabitha wondered if she’d overreacted. The world outside their hotel hadn’t changed. The Florida sky still reminded her of the blue marble she kept in her treasure box. The water sparkled all around the boat where the ceremony would be held. And even though the rest of the wedding party wore black or white, most of the guests managed to keep their color.

The people running the hotel wore black and white, she thought. But they’d been wearing those colors yesterday.

“Unless the bad genie started with them before messing with my family,” she whispered.

Uncle Mark, walking on her right, glanced down at her. “What’s that, Tabbykins?”

She clutched her purse. “Nothing.”

He crouched, waving off Tabitha’s mom. “We’ll be right with you, Naomi.” He touched Tabitha’s shoulder. “What’s wrong, sweetheart?”

She looked into his eyes and saw them change. Not to the yellow-green she’d come to expect before he switched to his scales so he could give her a ride, but to a different blue that shaded dangerously toward grey. She flinched, looking away.

Don’t think. He’s a telepath. Don’t think about…about anything! Tabitha focused on her white shoes and the boat’s dirty white deck under them until her mind was full of nothing but white and brownish grit.


She couldn’t feel Uncle Mark trying to get into her mind. Maybe that meant the bad genie hadn’t taken him over completely. But if his eyes, the tell for any dragon, were shifting to grey, he must be falling under the bad genie’s spell.

“Come on, Mark,” Tabitha’s mom said. “The ceremony starts in ten minutes.”

Tabitha watched her uncle walk away, glad when her mom didn’t seem to notice she hadn’t followed. But Grandma, Danny, and even Davy followed her.

Davy’s forgotten about helping. I’m alone. Tabitha backed up two steps, trying to see everyone on the boat at once. What if her Uncle Luke wasn’t here? What else could fight a genie besides another genie?

A shadow fell over her shoulder, darkening her dress shoes, and Tabitha whirled, retreating with her hands up.

Relief shot through her like when she’d eaten twenty pieces of candy in five minutes. She enjoyed the rush, but it left her unsteady.

Uncle Luke beamed down at her. “Hi, Tabbykins.” He offered her an easy grin as he settled into a cross-legged pose a little way above the deck.

Her relief vanished when she saw his white suit. “How long have you been wearing that?”

Uncle Luke looked down at himself. “The shirt?”


“About three minutes.” He held out his hand.

She didn’t take it. “Can you put on a red suit?”

“Nope. It has to be white.” He shrugged. Grinned. “Mark’s orders.”

“But what if…” She stopped. This uncle might not be under the bad genie’s influence, not yet, but he’d share whatever she said with Uncle Mark, and Uncle Mark was lost. “What if you spill something on it?”

Tabitha forced herself not to smile as another idea popped into her head. Please let there be lots of red and purple juice somewhere. If I spill lots of colorful things on my family, they should remember color. Maybe the bad genie would be driven out in the open. Then her uncles could fight it.

With my help. I’m the only one able to think past the white.

She bit her lip. For now.

Her uncle said, “I won’t spill. Promise.” He stood. “Come on, Tabbykins. We’re going to be late. It’s your job to toss the flowers, remember?”

“Yeah.” Davy’s gone. Uncle Mark’s gone. Uncle Luke’s almost gone.

Tabitha bit her lip harder.

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Name a Werewolf Contest Results!

Dear Readers,

Thank you to everupme who participated in the name-a-werewolf contest. Many of you contributed several names, and exciting back stories to go with them. I enjoyed each contribution, and have at last chosen the winners.

Before I announce first and second prize, however, let me remind the other authors who answered this challenge that I would like to interview you on my website. (Soon. Promise. ) I hope you will invite your followers to visit here so you can give away a book or two.

First prize goes to Lynne for her excellent hybrid suggestions. Second prize goes to Allie for her fabulous research.

Thank you again to my other readers who participated in this contest. Many of the names you suggested were so amazing they may find their way into a story. If they do, I will of course give you a copy of the book and, with your permission, name you in my acknowledgements.

Peace all, and watch tomorrow for the next chapter in Tabitha’s story,


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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.



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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. 🙂



“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.



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Heartwood Cover and Excerpt

Dear Readers,

I’m still sick, so the vignette from Mark and Luke’s wedding will have to wait until next week. In its place, please enjoy a preview of my newest novel, Heartwood, a contemporary gay romance which will be released on October 16th.

Warning:There is swearing in the following scene.

Early afternoon in Marisburg had its own particular charm. Mike knew where to find absolute solitude or bustling activity. Those qualities changed from month to month. In deep winter only his house offered company, and he couldn’t consider his mother and the stove any representatives of the word bustling. Mud season, both mid autumn and early to mid spring, offered much the same choice for company, but up until the end of his junior year, he’d been able to include his school acquaintances in the group of people he spent time with.

Late August was a terrible time to find solitude. He’d cultivated a routine last summer and perfected it over the past ten weeks. If he wished, no one would be able to find him except by merest chance between the hours of dawn and dusk. The secret was to keep moving and not talk to anyone.

On campus it wasn’t difficult. The other students at the community college didn’t seem at all interested in him, and he’d encouraged that disinterest by never speaking outside of class. But here in Marisburg proper, where he was known, he had to stick to the hidden places and pretend he didn’t feel exposed.

After sharing the news with his mother that he’d gotten the aide position, and after shucking his dress pants and other accoutrements in favor of shorts and a T-shirt, Mike sought out one of his hidden places. The well-worn earthen track ran between high, eroded banks. Early in the morning, from mid-June until early September, children swarmed this track on their way to more interesting places. The middle-aged and older couples held court here after dinner and before sunset. And young lovers walked here after that. But midmorning through the dinner hour, the two-miles-long ribbon of earth was Mike’s private domain, although he might have to share it with the occasional tourist (they liked to jog at the strangest times, and even Marisburg wasn’t immune to tourists).

He walked with his head down, watching for pebbles to exact his revenge on.

I just haven’t been laid since Karen broke up with me. That’s all this is. And even if Karen and I were still together, the sex wasn’t all that great. She just didn’t know how to blow men. She said it herself.

His nape prickled, and he rubbed it distractedly. I won’t have any chance to think about anyone like that, woman or man. I’ll be too busy working. He shuffled his feet and took a quick glance over his shoulder. And making sure I’m not being watched.

Which was stupid, really, because Hanlon didn’t think about him anymore. He’d stopped coming near Mike once Mike wasn’t in his class. That means I’m not on his radar.

“Damn it all anyways.” He stopped walking and stared up at the half-hidden sky. Here the trees lurched over the earthen track; they’d fall eventually. He remembered studying that in earth science. “If I was going to have a problem with this, I shouldn’t have taken the job. Or even applied for it in the first place.”

A deep voice shattered the serenity of the early afternoon. The rich, rolling baritone was like polished redwood, somehow a delight Mike could feel and see as well as hear.

The song wallowed at the beginning: “Oh man. Go home. Your husband, he is ill.”

Here the song leaped free of its muddy start and danced on marble in a falsetto so ridiculously high and thin that Mike stifled a laugh. “Is he ill? Well, give him a pill! Oh, my dear Franz, just one more dance! Then I’ll go home to my poor husband. Then I’ll go home to my old husband.”

The singer’s voice came from both ahead of him and above. Mike followed as the dialogue continued: the deep voice said the husband was worse; the falsetto replied that he wasn’t a nurse. So the first replied, “Your husband is dead!”

“Well,” returned the other, “then there’s no more to be said!”

Mike stood below a large oak. Between the ancient tree’s height and the eroding bank, he could just spot the singer a good eighteen feet above him. He stepped back, shaded his eyes, and listened to the final verse.

“Oh man, go home. Your husband’s will is to be read.

“Well, now that he’s dead, the Lord rest his head. No, my dear Franz, this is no time to dance. I must go home to my poor old man. I go to we-e-e-e-ep for my poor husband.”

Mike laughed outright, applauding. It wasn’t the raunchiest thing he’d ever heard sung or spoken, but definitely the crassest thing he’d heard at that volume. Whoever the singer was, he had balls.

“Thank you,” called the singer. The baritone was his natural speaking voice. “And who admires my talents?”

“Mike. And who are you?”

“Climb up here, if you can, and find out.”

If he could? He eyed the bank, spotted a root, and grabbed it. There wasn’t another close, but he caught hold of a stone, dug his heels in, and hoisted himself up until he was on what passed for solid ground again. Now the real work began. He could see the singer, a guy about his age, sitting about a quarter of the way up the tree, but there wasn’t a rope in evidence. How had he gotten up there?

Mike circled the tree. He wasn’t the tallest guy in town and had despaired of ever filling out like one of the linebackers. He’d been a running back in high school. A great player, quick and smart, but small compared to the rest of the team.

Someone had cut chinks into the wood on the far side of the tree. Grinning, he dug his fingers into the lowest[T1]  one, which was almost out of his reach, and yanked himself up. With a grunt he settled on a branch roughly parallel to the singer’s[K2] .

“I see you made it,” the red-haired man said. He turned his head toward Mike and then away.

Holy fuck. It’s him. Aidan Kelly. How did the young man manage to look twenty-five at the board of education office and nineteen here? Besides that, the guy had to be only sixteen or seventeen if he was still in high school. Just how old was he? Where did he find the courage to sing about a couple of…? Mike swallowed as Aidan shifted, muscles pushing at his dark T-shirt. His red hair, so neatly combed before, spilled down his neck and over his ears like frosting waiting to be lapped up.

What the hell am I thinking? Maybe he’s gay, singing a song like that, but I’m sure as hell not, and there’s no two ways about that. Frosting? Jeez!

He tried to force his thoughts into more productive channels. “I’m, uh, sorry they started the interviews without you.”

The man’s head whipped around. Sunglasses too dark for Mike to even glimpse the other man’s eyes seemed to glare at him nevertheless. “What do you know about that?”

“I’m…” He licked his lips and pulled one of his knees up, shielding his crotch even though there was no way the kid could see the boner that[K3]  demanding[T4] [BG5]  tone had raised.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. No matter how old he looks, he’s still a kid. Probably the same age I was when Hanlon—

Severing that thought cleanly, Mike coughed his voice into restarting. “I’m your aide.”

The kid’s mouth fell open in an undignified gawp. Then he pressed his lips together. “You’re Mike Delaney.”


Aidan let his head thud back against the trunk of the tree. “It’s not how I expected to meet you, but it’s a pleasure.” He straightened, held out his hand. A frown tightened his mouth, and he pulled back.

Mike reached across the intervening distance and grasped the kid’s surprisingly half-calloused, half-silken hand. How did he manage to have a rock-hard palm and such unused fingers? Mike[K6]  gave the curious hand a firm shake, remembering his father’s, uncles’, and grandfathers’ admonitions: you could learn a lot from a person, man or woman, in the first five minutes of meeting them. How did they address you? Did they meet your gaze? How solid and sure was their handshake?

Aidan Kelly’s handshake showed him to be a man of whom all Mike’s male relatives would have approved. And damn if he didn’t seem to be looking right at Mike, despite the sunglasses and even though Mike knew he couldn’t see a lit candle in a dark room.

Aidan smiled, and for just a moment he looked twenty-five again. When he parted his full lips, he revealed teeth white as noonday sun on a midwinter snow. “Thank you. Some people won’t take the time to shake a blind man’s hand, especially not when they still see him as a kid.”

Mike licked sweat off his upper lip. Please be completely blind like Mr. Callahan said. “But you are a kid. I mean, y-you’re still in high school.” He stared down at the man’s fingers, still firmly grasping (and grasped in) his. Red hair feathered over the back of the man’s hand, thickening as it gathered on his closely freckled arms and disappeared under his tight T-shirt. Or had Mike misunderstood? I couldn’t have zoned out. I wasn’t even thinking about Hanlon until after they hired me.

If that was true, why hadn’t he slept more than three hours at a go? “Are you trying to tell me you’re a teacher?”

“A what?” Aidan laughed. He let go of Mike’s hand and adjusted his sunglasses on his broad nose. “I used to help in the training rooms back at my old school, but our sensei wouldn’t even let me within spitting distance of his classes for the past year. I’ve been on the worst kind of probation. The kind where you get to scrub all the mats down, wash all the sweat-stained towels, and never see any of the action except during your practice sessions, when your teacher’s basically…”

Mike leaned forward almost enough to overbalance. He gripped a nearby branch for support. “Basically what?”

“Basically kicking the shit out of you,” the other said. He’d turned his head away again. “It’s for your own good, of course.”

“Shh, Michael,” Mr. Hanlon whispered, back in February of Mike’s junior year when the sixteen-year-old had still thought of him as Mr. Hanlon. His fingers worked tight knots out of Mike’s shoulders. “It’s all right. I won’t hurt you.”

“I know.” His insides shook.

“Then why are you afraid of me, Michael?”

He could feel the man’s breath on the back of his neck. “I’m not.”

“But you’re so tense.”

“It’s just…football practice was long today.” A terrible excuse. Football practice had been over since November. Mike fidgeted. “I’m worried about my schoolwork still.”

“You’re going to do just fine. I have complete faith in you.” His fingers dipped under Mike’s shirt and continued the massage. “You’ve brought up your grades in my class.” Breath even closer on Mike’s nape. “I know you’re going to keep them there. Don’t you worry.”

Mike shook his head hard enough to make himself dizzy. “Whoever your teacher is, he sounds like an asshole.”

Aidan laughed again. “Yeah, sometimes. But he was also my lifeline for longer than I care to think about.”

Mike chewed his lip. “Okay, so you’re not a teacher and you’re not a kid. What am I aiding you in exactly?”

“The murder of the century?” He flashed his sunburst-on-snow teeth once more. “I need to finish my senior year. My high school career got interrupted, I have no intention of going back to my former school, and so I’m back home to finish out my good old high school days.”

What could he say to that? Unsure, Mike kept his silence. Except, without words between them, he had more opportunity to look at the other man’s hands. And hair.

Karen’s wasn’t like that. No. His ex-girlfriend’s hair hadn’t looked half so coarse, as if it had its own personality. No one would mistake this man’s hair for an unnecessary, dispensable part of his attractiveness. Any girl who saw him would be drawn to his hair. She’d love to run her fingers through the long, tough strands because they had spirit. Classifying this man’s hair as merely thick would be like calling one of the great thousand-year-old sequoias merely a tree.

No girl would want to run her fingers through Aidan Kelly’s hair, Mike realized. The qualities he admired—no, only appreciated—would scare most girls off. They liked soft hair. Like boy-band hair.

“What?” the man asked.

“How do you know I’m look— How old are you?” Mike shook his head. That wasn’t the right question, but he couldn’t come up with a better one. At least not one he didn’t know the answer to. What the hell. It’ll make me feel like less of an idiot. I hope. “I mean, what’s your name?”

“I turned nineteen last December. And my name’s Aidan James Kelly. Didn’t Principal Connolly or any of his followers tell you that?”

Mike snickered in spite of his discomfort. “Followers? You make him sound like a dictator.”

“And that was his family name, doncha know? His grandfather on his mother’s side was Richard ‘Dick’ Tator. They decided it was too obvious for the United States and married purposely into the Connolly family to keep their true colors hidden, but all the intelligent people know them on sight.” He tapped his sunglasses. “Or by radar. Take your pick.”

Mike’s smile remained.

“As to how I knew you’re looking at me—”

His smile felt slapped off. Or caressed off by— I won’t think about him anymore. I won’t.

“—usually when people I’ve first met get really quiet, it means one of two things. One, they’re completely distracted and would rather be somewhere else. Two, they’re staring at me and wanting to either ask about my blindness or—”

“No! I don’t care about— I mean…” How the hell could he explain what he’d really been staring at?

Aidan smiled slightly. The jaded twist of his lips aged him. “It’s all right. I’m used to it, sheltered in a school for the blind or not. I’ve made it my business to spend lots of time in the sighted community whenever possible. Call it getting inoculated.”

“You make us sound like a disease.”

“Not you. Your ignorance of us.” Aidan swung himself around on the branch, caught hold of the nearest chink on the oak tree as if he’d been doing it all his life, and started down. Three feet from the bottom, he let go, landing perfectly in a crouch.

Mike stared down at him, unable to move.

Aidan felt about the roots of the tree and then stood with a white cane in his hand.

Maybe he’s not gay. He’s right-handed.

The kid—Mike’s age, but also an adult, untouched by pain or humiliation—stepped back from the tree, tipped his head up, and again seemed to be looking right at Mike.

Can he hear me breathing? Or my heart beating? How does he know where I am?

“I’ll see you on the first day of school, Mike Delaney,” Aidan Kelly said. He turned so his back faced the tree, and strode away, his cane over his shoulder like a gun.

“What the fuck have I gotten myself into?” Mike asked the rustling leaves above him.




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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,



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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!





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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 “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.