Has Spring Sprung? One Can Hope!

My character Tam loves gardening (don’t know where she gets it from). I know she’d love to see these first blooms of spring.

I cannot wait to write about the spring flowers on her world, but that is a couple of books away, as the series is heading from fall into winter in book three, due out later this year.



Two Recent Reviews on the Sword’s Edge Chronicles

Two recent reviews, one on each of the first two novels in the Sword’s Edge Chronicles series:

book one –
Sword’s Edge: “A Gem of a novel”

book two –
Children of the Enaisi: “A Sequel that Tops the Original”

And yes, I’m working hard on book three!


Westerns, SF, and the fun of writing Deuces Wild

In my cyber-travels earlier today, I happened upon a conversation about westerns, which asked why no one seems to write or want to read them. I wonder that too, and agree it’s a shame. I love westerns (I just finished Longmire, and if you haven’t watched that show, you should!). I’ve read tons of westerns (I have all of Zane Grey’s books in gorgeous, matching hardcovers), and one of my favorite books (book, note, not movie) is Shane. We need more westerns!

And just like I love westerns, I love science fiction. That’s part of the whole fun of the Deuces Wild series – cowboys and spaceships. I might try to write a true western one day, but for now, I’ll stick to my westerns-in-space series.

And I thought I’d share a snip of a scene from the first Deuces Wild book: Beginners’ Luck, just because it was fun to write, and I love to share the fun stuff.

I don’t know that any context is needed, it’s the juxtaposition of the two seemingly disparate genres in the scene that makes it amusing. To me, at least. Your mileage may vary:

…the whine of hover bikes grew behind him. He spun. Three of them. He grabbed a plasma grenade and lobbed it. One bike took the hit, but the other two swerved, flanking him. He dove to the ground, firing left, rolling, and firing right. He missed.

The bikes circled to make another run. But Tristan had more time to aim. Hot sand sprayed in his face as he fired. He rolled again, coughing and blinking, and fired toward the sounds of a bike.

He held still in the ensuing, relative quiet, listening for a bike as the dust settled. He raised his head, and found himself staring up at the bike’s rider, a laser pistol leveled at him.

A wild cowboy whoop echoed just then, and the biker whirled. A large copper-colored horse thundered up, Slap on its back, a rope circling above the cowboy’s head. He threw the rope, snagged the gun, and snatched it from the biker. Tristan fired, and the soldier crumpled.

Slap caught the gun in mid-air from the noose that held it as he drew the horse to a stop near Tristan, grinning. “Want a ride?”

Tristan eyed the huge beast as it pawed the ground and tossed its head. “You’re not kidding, are you?”

“Just tell me where you want to go.”

Tristan glanced around the spaceport. The Eridani had the upper hand. “Let’s go to Giselle.”



Holding your own book in your hands – wow!

The Sword’s Edge Chronicles started from a dream I had in about 1985. It slowly grew in my head, and finally I caved and began writing it in the late 90s. Many of the stories and subplots have changed over time (the overarching major plot that encompassed many years was tossed into the midden when a Ranger I had never thought of or planned for swaggered in with a wink and grin and took over the whole bloody thing), but still, I have read and worked and polished the stories for a very long time.

And Children of the Enaisi is no exception. But as many times as I’ve read it, I never read it as a book. Since it’s been published, I’ve been floating around, as happy as a mother with a newborn who goes around bragging and showing it off. I’m sure all my friends are tired of it by now.

But I did something today I hadn’t done yet, even though I’ve had the print edition in my possession for some days: I sat down and read it, well, not all of it, but parts of it. It’s a heady experience to see the story you’ve sweated over for years and lost sleep over, and mulled and rewritten, and polished, and re-polished finally in your hands.

For my writing friends: what emotions did you feel when you finally held your book or books in your hands, and read them – this time as a published book, not just a manuscript?


A Sequel that Tops the Original – a review of Children of the Enaisi


I eagerly awaited the sequel to SWORD’S EDGE and was highly gratified when I finally got the opportunity to read it. The story and the characters who carry it moved forward in their history logically but with unexpected and marvelous twists and tight action that kept me glued to the pages. It is going to be difficult to rein my impatience until the next novel is released.

What a nice review of Children of the Enaisi!

Here’s the review, if you want to read it for yourself on Amazon.



A note of appreciation for my son

It’s hard as you get older to admit you need help. And I do get help from my kids, but in this particular post, I’m focusing on just one of them.

I must say, I don’t know what I’d do without the help of my older son. He takes care of house maintenance and small things too as well, such as (and this is the “small thing” that inspired this post) getting air in my tires for me (a difficult task even in warm weather due to arthritis – unscrewing the cap on the valve stem is so very painful to my hands and I cannot properly squat or kneel so I must oomph myself down to sit on the ground to actually put the air in the tires). And he goes beyond – for example, via the internet he is teaching himself about clock works and has gotten my grandfather clock working again.

I also love his feedback on my stories, and his help with science-y stuff. Oh yes, I do have My Very Own Physicist™, but my son jumps in to help as well. It was fun listening to them Skype and reading the compilation of messages they wrote to each other as they tried to figure out how a single ship could possibly take on a whole space fleet and break a planetary blockade (see Deuces Wild: Stacking the Deck). Yes, I still have all those conversations. Some of them actually made their way into the book.


Looking back on 2017

It’s been a wild ride this year.

So much has happened in my family. It’s not my place to say much about my children and grandchildren’s lives, but I can say I am proud of every last one of them. There has been adversity, and heartache, and tough decisions, but through it all, my “babies” (I include my children-in-law and step-grands in this as well – they’re all mine) have shown the highest quality. I pray this coming year brings them an abundant harvest with all the manure that has been dumped on some of them.

It’s been a strange up and down year for me as well. Big changes at work – struggling to fit the shoes my friend-and-boss asked me to fill when she knew she was ill and needed an extra hand at work. Losing her, and the jolt and loss that followed, but having to keep going. The pride in not only seeing our coaches rise to the challenge to keep the gym at the level of excellence she expected, but also the new owner giving his all, despite his grief, to keep her dream alive. Perhaps I say too much, am too personal, but I think it deserves to be said.

It’s also been just over three years since I lost my husband. In some ways, it’s easier. Time does that, I’m told. But that scab is still there, and gets pulled loose and bleeds. Trying to pretend the scab doesn’t bother me takes all my attention at times.

I remember how he pushed for me to get Sword’s Edge published; it wasn’t a genre he cared for, but he knew what it meant to me. A story slowly woven over time from a dream I first had in 1985. And I got it published that year. He got to see it before he died. And now, this year, book two has been published. It took a lot longer to finish than I thought it would, but you know, grief does that to you. Writing was hard for so long, a slog through icy muck up to my chin at times. So tough. Almost too tough. But, to quote from one of my late husband’s favorite movies, I “endeavored to persevere.” And I succeeded. I think he’d be proud of Children of the Enaisi. I miss him being here to tell me so. Ah well.

May you all “endeavor to persevere” and have a happy and blessed New Year.