Sunday, July 31, 2011

City Witch Versus Country Witch

In my bestselling urban fantasy, GLORY, there are two powerful covens. The Moonstone Covenstead is located high in the Colorado mountains near the sacred space of Crestone. The Starlight Coven is in located in the heart of the city of Atlanta. In order to cement relations between the two covens, the Elders are attempting to arrange a marriage between eighteen-year-old Kaia, from Moonlight, and the sexy young Evan from Starlight. Kaia rebels, not only at the prospect of an arranged marriage, but because she cannot fathom how to bridge the gap between her more traditional practice of The Craft and the modern approach of the city witches. This is a conversation between Kaia and Evan:

   “But you are attached to your life here in the city.” Kaia said “city” as if it were a dirty word. “How can any self-respecting witch practice the craft in a city? You’re out of touch with nature. How do you raise energy to channel into your magic? How do you commune with the ancient powers? I mean, what you’ve got here is concrete, asphalt, power lines, graffiti, subways, busy roads, skyscrapers, nightclubs, and random gunfire. How sacred is that?”
   “It’s just a different kind of sacred, Kaia,” Evan said. “The skyscrapers are concrete caves and we’re cave dwellers. Graffiti is our cave painting, conveying symbols that represent tribal myth. The streets are rivers of movement and life. Nightclubs are temples where ritual dancing generates tremendous cones of energy.
   “Channeling energy in the city is easy; it overflows our banks. Both the concentration of people and those power lines you mention are tremendous reservoirs. Instead of working to raise energy, city witches have to work at grounding it, because we swim in a giant sea of power.
   “The city has its own deities. For instance, here in Atlanta, our underworld is ruled by MARTA—the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority—our subway system. She’s a snake goddess who takes us into the labyrinth where we can explore the depths of our being and experience our personal transformation.
   “There is nature here. It’s just different than you’re used to. Our wildlife consists of pigeons, rats, alley cats, crows, and moths. They become our familiars, helping us to survive in this wild place. “And yes, there’s violence, but there are demons everywhere. It’s up to us to fight the good fight, be it in the mountains or the city. The entire world needs us and what we do, Kaia. There isn’t any place that isn’t sacred.”

In the forthcoming sequel to GLORY, Kaia and Evan struggle to bridge the cavernous gap between them. But of course, as Evan just pointed out, it really is all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Book Signings!

I have two big book signing events planned this summer!

Saturday July 30, from 11-1, I will be at Blue Hills Dog and Cat Shoppe in Longmont, Colorado:

2255 Main St. #116
Longmont, CO 80501
Located in Horizon Park Shopping center on the corner of 21st Ave & Main St. (Hwy 287) in Longmont.

Saturday August 6, from 12-2 I will be at Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Loveland, Colorado:

5835 Sky Pond Drive
Loveland, CO 80537
(970) 663-9473
Located at The Promenade Shops at Centerra Mall

Hope to see you there!

Oh, and here is a wonderful newspaper article just published in the Loveland newspaper:

Author's Latest Book Sides Into 'Paranormal Chick Lit' Genre


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Dog Doesn't Die At The End

When my new comic novella SHOW DOG SINGS THE BLUES came out, it immediately hit Amazon’s Bestseller List of Books About Dogs. It eventually made it to the top of Hot New Releases, but the book that was hard to beat was “JACK: A book about a dog where the dog doesn't die at the end” by Ray Braswell. Why? Well, I imagine because the author lets the readers know right up front that the dog doesn’t die at the end.

As much as I enjoy novels that include dogs, I always hesitate to read them because the dog really always does die at the end and it just tears me up. That said, my favorite novels are THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE RACING IN THE RAIN and SIGHT HOUND, both of which involve the dogs dying at the end. Sigh. Love makes you read strange things.

When I wrote SHOW DOG SINGS THE BLUES about Talisman the Australian Shepherd I definitely intended for it to end on an upbeat note. And it does. No dogs were harmed in the writing of this novel. Although there are touching moments, it will have you on the floor laughing. It is a funny tale about a prissy show dog mistaken for a cowdog who has to work on a ranch for the day. Along the way she rises to the occasion and learns that she’s not just another pretty face. However, in the end she sure is ready for bottled water and organic kibble, a full grooming, new pedicure, a visit with her Reiki Master, and a consultation with her pet psychic. She is a dog who never loses sight of her priorities.

So, I would like to heartily recommend my new novella SHOW DOG SINGS THE BLUES and assure you that the dog doesn’t die in the end.

In parting, here is an excerpt. Talisman has a play date with her sister, a cowdog named Maddie. After they fall into a mud puddle, confusion arises and Maddie is taken into the house to be groomed and pampered, while poor Talisman has to work stock. After the humiliation of being herded by a flock of geese, Talisman takes a nap and goes to her happy place:

   I dreamt that I was a show dog tragically mistaken for a cowdog, and I did such a heroic job that I inspired both Angelina and Molly. I had my very own ticker-tape parade down Main Street as a marching band played "We Are the Champions." People threw dog treats as I passed. It was glorious!
   I woke up to find a tiny kitten nursing on my ear. It was a major letdown from the epic experience I had just been having.
   I opened one eye and saw her clamped onto the tip of my ear, sucking away, purring her heart out, tiny paws enthusiastically kneading with eager hope of coaxing milk. Sky blue eyes the exact shade of mine looked at me adoringly. Her sweet-smelling fur had shades similar to my own hair—she could have been my daughter, if I had been a cat.
   Geez, so what was I supposed to do now? I might be beautiful, but I wasn’t heartless.
   Before I could sort it all out, a really big Siamese cat leapt onto my bed, hissed at me, took a wicked slap at my nose with angry claws, grasped her baby by its scruff, and carried her away. Little Blue Eyes watched me all the way down the hay stack.
   Ouch! My paw swiped the blood off my nose. This really was a dangerous place—the way things were going, I’d be lucky to get out alive.
   Well, I certainly was wide awake now. I got up and stretched, then climbed down off my perch. Thirsty, I tried to figure out where to find a bottle of water. I had brought my own, but it was in the house. Perhaps Maddie had been able to explain things to Cheyenne, so I headed to check the situation out. I climbed up the porch steps and peered in the window.
   Maddie was lying on the couch atop my super plush throw—she looked so clean. Was that a pink bow in her hair? It was the exact shade of pink as my nails and would have looked very nice on me. I raised my paw and tapped the window.
   Maddie looked at me, leapt off the couch, and raced to the window. Her eyes were frantic. Get me outta here!
   Let me in! I replied.
   She stood up on her hind legs and started pawing at the glass as if she were trying to dig through it. So, I stood up on my hind legs and pawed right back at her. I really don’t know what we hoped to accomplish, but desperation can cloud the mind.
   "Stop that, Tali!" Cheyenne yelled. The cowgirl marched over to the window and gave me an irritated look. "Git, Maddie, you two had your fun. Go on now. It’s time for Tali’s lunch." She carried a bottle of my spring water in one hand and a bowl of my special kibble in the other—my organic turkey and sweet potato, apple, and cranberry kibble that Molly bought for me at The Back to Eden Tree Hugging Organic Granola Shoppe.
   My stomach growled. I really wanted that kibble.
   Cheyenne stuck the bottle of water under one arm so that she had a free hand with which to draw the drapes closed.
   The nerve.

SHOW DOGS SINGS THE BLUES is available as an eBook and print book and is for humans of all ages. For more information and to read additional excerpts, please visit

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday America!

In this context there are two possible meanings to that birthday wish. Of course it is Independence Day in America today, a celebration of the country's birth. Also, Glory's missing sister is named America. There are multiple meanings to a lot of things in my urban fantasy GLORY.

In GLORY, the blood of seventeen-year-old Glory Templeton holds the cure for a deadly pandemic-plague, and she embarks on a quest to save humanity. When evil forces conspire to stop her, three supernatural beings are assigned to be her guardians. Two powerful covens of witches come to her aid as multiple mysteries unfold about the forces of evilboth natural and supernaturalwho influence the events of this world.

I was recently asked why there are so many patriotic references in GLORY: the heroine's name, her sister's name, an intrepid demon-fighting Australian Shepherd named Hallelujah, the lyrics to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," and a fearless Army National Guard helicopter pilot. The easy answer is that I was writing a patriotic novel named RED HOT LIBERTY when I conceived GLORY and was influenced by that creative effort.

However, there is far more to it than that. What is America's Independence Day celebrating? Freedom from tyranny; a fight that was fought with blood.  Hmmm. Sounds like the plot of GLORY to me. Glory and her scrappy band of rebels fight the good fight against evil and are willing to die for the cause.

As Liberty True, the uber-patriotic character in my new comic chick lit novel RED HOT LIBERTY, says to that novel's heroine, Molly, "You have to stand for something in life."

Every day of our lives we are faced with choices pertaining to the opposing forces that influence life on this planet. One morning I was thrilled when I checked my Facebook page and someone had happily posted, "Go Team Caretakers!" In GLORY, The Caretakers represent the forces of good in this world.

You have to stand for something in life.

Glory, glory, Hallelujah!