Posted in Blog

A Musical :-) For Your Tuesday

Dear Readers,

I didn’t create this, but it certainly is a great variation on a theme. There’s a beauty to this sort of YouTube video that reminds me of poetry.

(If the link doesn’t work when you click on it–as happened to me the first time–please try the old cut and paste.)

Be good to each other.


Posted in Blog

On a Lighter (musical) Note

Dear Readers,

Just as a passing question: have you ever noticed that the “bad guys” in movies, musicals, and operas have the best songs? Here is “A Little Priest” from Sweeney Todd.

(Quick disclaimer: I’m not selling this clip. I found it on YouTube and I absolutely love Angela Landsbury, which is how I found the clip in the first place.)

A Little Priest

Smile. The world is dark, but there will be light if we work for it.


Posted in Blog

Sweeney Todd: A Lesson for Now

Dear Readers,

Revenge begets revenge. Simple. Frightening.

Applied to today’s foreign policy, I have a single word: Egypt.

Applied to today’s American society, I think of the kids I used to teach, the ones who say they have to finish what others start. That mentality terrifies me.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

He also said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Be good to each other.


Posted in Blog

Creepy On So Many Levels

Dear Readers,

Recently, I rediscovered the musical Sweeney Todd. The music has revived my sense of the macabre, and I wanted to share a few of my favorite lines:

“Johanna, I treasured you in innocence…” sung by the judge who will decide to marry the girl he’s been raising in his house since she was a baby

“Shepherd’s pie peppered with actual shepherd on top” Mrs. Lovitt (apologies for any character name spelling mistakes) talking about grinding up bodies for her meat pies

“There was a barber and his wife, and she was beautiful, and she was virtuous, and he was…naive.” The whole show turns on this single concept.

I have been living with Sweeney Todd for weeks. I’ll be writing more about this frightening show soon.



Posted in Blog

Human Rights Issue–Right Here in the US

Dear Readers,

I came across this on Facebook, forwarded by the actor George Takei. It frightened and disturbed me so much I knew it needed to be shared with as many people as possible.

We’re sharing this to help stop violence against our community. It happened yesterday in our neighborhood. Here’s an account by the couple that was attacked: Here it is:

“My name is Nick. My partner Kevin and I got jumped yesterday in broad daylight in midtown. A group of men wearing Knicks jerseys just got out of the game at Madison Square Garden. We were verbally accosted by two of them… It was then that I realized we were surrounded. They broke my nose and his wrist…they called us fags and told us to not bother fighting. This event happened just outside Macdonalds where they were caught on tape and several by-standers had their cameras out taking video. Despite this, police have informed us that they couldn’t promise anything as there were a ton of fans in the city at that moment.

“…This is just proof that the fight for equality is far from over. This happened in Midtown, during the day, with a ton of people around, just across the street from the New Yorker. When are we safe?”

I remember reading a review of Dragon Fire where the reviewer complained that it was too dark, that homophobia wasn’t as much of a problem anymore.

Please, if you live in a state where gay marriage is legal, watch out for each other. Straight or gay, watch out for each other. And when the Supreme Court rulings about Proposition 8 and the DOMA case come down, be even more on your guard. Because there are people ready to attack and kill in the midst of their angry confusion.

Be good to each other,



Posted in Blog

Blogging at Coffee Time Romance

Dear Readers,

I have my blog date for Coffee Time Romance. On April 13, I will be talking about my new book, Black Mahogany. Please leave a comment after my post for a chance to win a copy of this sequel to Heartwood.

Here’s the permalink:       I’m sorry it’s not a “magic link.” I seem to be having WordPress confusion today!

As always, peace follow your steps.


Posted in Blog, Teasers

World Without Color, part 3

Dear Readers,

As promised, “World Without Color” part 3 is here at last.

I will have a guest blog spot at Coffee Time Romance this month. When I know the exact address, date, and time I will let you know. For now: enjoy!

By the way, thank you for all the rest and joy you give to my soul. Without readers a writer is only quacking into the void.



World Without Color, Part 3

Tabitha’s mom had taken her purse before giving her the basket of white flowers. Mostly white. Some were red or yellow or blue, but for every flower that held its color Tabitha saw at least three that had lost. Maybe more. And her mom, under the bad genie’s spell, took her purse and kept it all the way through the ceremony and during the beginning of the reception. Tabitha only reclaimed it after the dancing had started.

After the first slow dance was over, Tabitha grabbed Davy and pulled him behind the cabin in the middle of the boat. She shook him by the shoulders. “Davy! Do you remember what we’re supposed to be doing?”

“Saving Unca Mark and Unca Luke from the bad genie.”

Thank you, Yaweh. Then, remembering how the god of her people had rescued thousands from slavery, she added, Please give us some help. “Okay,” she said to Davy. “Good. Where are your paints?”

He pulled up one leg of his baggy dress pants and showed her the narrow rectangle of colors stuffed halfway into his sock.

She clapped her hands. “That’s perfect. Now we need water. We’ll get the paints wet and you can start painting Uncle Mark.” No. That’s not fair. Uncle Mark’s completely under the genie’s control and Davy’s only four. Tabitha swallowed. She could still see her dragon uncle’s eyes. If Uncle Mark was the bad genie’s prisoner he might do anything to her. “Never mind. I’ll use the wine and juice on Uncle Mark. You concentrate on Uncle Luke. Now we have to figure out how to separate them.”

“What are you two doing back here?”

Tabitha stepped in front of her little brother, praying Davy would take the opportunity to pull his pant leg down. She didn’t know the giant standing in front of her. But at least he’s still wearing color. “Playing.”

“If Mark knew you weren’t with your parents he’d be worried sick.” The man leaned a tall white stick against the side of the cabin. He crouched before her, his large amber eyes mesmerizing her. “Who are your parents, young one?”

She tried to look away from him and couldn’t. Color or no color, this might be the bad genie. “I’m…I’m…”

“We’re late,” Davy said. He grabbed Tabitha’s hand and yanked her backward. “We forgot to ask Mommy if maybe excused.”

If we may be excused, Tabitha thought but she didn’t correct her brother. Grateful he’d rescued her, all she could do was follow him around the side of the cabin and into the crowd.

“Who was that?” Davy whispered.

“I’m not sure.” Tabitha kept a tight hold on her brother’s hand. “Look.” She watched her uncles spinning around a tall cake. It’s got cartoon-ocean blue frosting. Tabitha spotted two large pitchers of red juice on a nearby table. Maybe it’s wine. Whatever the drink was, she could use it.

“Cake!” Davy said.

Tabitha tugged him close. “We’re here to save them, remember?”

Davy frowned. “They’re having fun. Maybe they’re okay.”

“Fine.” She flounced away. “Suit yourself.” But after she walked three steps she glanced over her shoulder to see if her brother had followed. Davy had rejoined their mother.

I’m on my own.

A rhythmic tapping drew her attention. The tall man with the amber eyes and the long cane bore down on her from the cabin. Tabitha raced for the juice.

She laid hands on the closer pitcher. It was too heavy to lift.

The man with the cane—maybe it was a magic wand in disguise—was closer. And was Uncle Mark looking her way again?

What would a SearchLight agent do if she was pinned down without hope of backup? Tabitha bit her lip again, leaving off it when she realized Uncle Luke might be watching her. If I appear innocent he’ll ignore me. She dropped her hands to her sides and smiled broadly, willing him to see nothing but sunshine, spice, and everything nice in her expression.

Uncle Luke tipped her a wink and spun Uncle Mark away into another dance.

Does he understand what I have to do? Is he giving me permission? She looked for the bad genie with the cane-maybe-wand and didn’t see him.

Her uncles danced toward her, Uncle Mark closer and faced the other way. He wouldn’t see an attack coming.

Tabitha laid hands on the pitcher. As soon as her uncles stepped into range…

She shoved hard and the pitcher flew off the table. Not waiting to see if it hit, she did the same to the other pitcher. This time she spared a moment to watch.

It was beautiful. The sparkling red drops glowed in the air as if each bore a tiny flame. As each struck Uncle Mark’s back (his pants were already soaked by the contents of the first pitcher) it bloomed, a healing rose determined to make the world beautiful again. Even Uncle Luke got sprayed a little. Tabitha prayed she’d done enough.

Now the bad genie would know she was on to him.

Posted in Blog, Books

As Luke would say “All things bright and beautiful…”

Dear Readers,

“World Without Color” is coming. This holiday has taken me by storm. *My* Luke (or Mike, take your pick) has invited me home to meet the parents.

Be good to each other!



Posted in Blog

Heartwood News and a little more

Dear Readers,

“World Without Color” is almost complete. It will be up next Saturday. Five Brownie points to anyone who can guess who Tabitha’s mystery “bad genie” is before the end of the story. (She meets him.)

Heartwood is selling amazingly well. Thank you to everyone who’s contributed to that. I’m so excited about it and about the sequel.

Speaking of sequels, Mike and Aidan will be back for their second (and final) appearance in Black Mahogany. This book’s release is set tentatively for June 28th. It will be out in June at some point because June is “I do, unless I don’t” wedding month at Loose Id, Llc.

The next book in the SearchLight series is tentatively titled A Pack of His Own: Hunter’s Claim and more tentatively set for release in August. This book features two minor characters from Dragon’s Bane: Professor Charlie McLaughlin and Agent Luis Delgado.

Peace everyone, and I look forward to your thoughts on the final installment of Tabitha’s adventure.