February 26, 2021

Origin Stories

Every story has a beginning. My stories aren't told in a linear fashion. Far from it. My characters come with complex histories that we may not fully understand until the end of the series. Whenever the end comes. For now, I'm writing their stories. Marisa and Corgan. Dee and Kurtis. Alina and Rylan.

In doing so, I created a world. A magical world. The world I imagined for The Magicals Series consists of created and born magicals—vampires, wizards, and fairies. Vampires are created by other vampires, not born, and considered an abomination by some (Helene and her line of fairies developed a “vampire cure” mentioned in A Wizard’s Choice). Wizards and fairies descend from the fallen angels called The Anunnaki.

I'm not the first author to incorporate vampires, wizards, and fairies. Where and when did these creatures first appear in folklore or literature?

Check in next week for my next post in the Origin Stories series.

February 23, 2021

Spotlight on love for #TirgearrTuesday

I write romance novels so some of my most poignant scenes are about love. Not bedroom scenes... I'm talking about the great declarations of love. This week, I'm sharing excerpts from The Magicals series... There's something special in witnessing the moment your characters, or at least one of them, realize that they're in love. 

Now, to set the stage... Corgan confesses he has put Marisa in danger from a vampire set on revenge and admits that he can't live without her...

“What were you planning to do? Just sit here like a duck waiting to be destroyed?”

“I didn't care. I was ready to die.”

“Well? Do you care now?” she demanded.

“I will protect you with my life. Claim or not.”

“That's not really answering my question, Corgan. You do that a lot, you know?”

“I care now. I plan to be around as long as you are.” He kissed her hand.

She smiled at him as he looked up at her from under his hooded eyelids. A warm feeling moved through her. It spread over her like a warm blanket. It felt like love? Not a feeling she was exactly familiar with, despite the fact she wrote romance novels for a living. The whole relationship thing never really worked for her. She just figured she wasn't cut out for it. When she wrote about love and relationships, it wasn't from experience, more like super-charged imagination. So, this is what it felt like? Warm and comfortable.

Corgan licked her wrist and grazed her skin with his teeth.

Okay, scratch comfortable, it was more like electric and terrifying. Was she ready to take the plunge? Hell, it didn't matter if she was ready. She moved around restlessly as Corgan made a trail of wet kisses up her arm and around her shoulder.

“Yes?” he asked.

“Yes.” Her voice sounded breathless.

He bit into the flesh just below her shoulder. A series of feelings passed through her—joy, bliss.

Now, to set the stage... Kurtis is looking forward to teasing his old friend Corgan about his new girlfriend, but secretly desires Dresandra, Corgan's maker although he tries to fight his feelings...

Kurtis nodded again. His old friend was besotted with the petite wisp of a woman. He never thought he’d live to see the day, but Corgan’s open adoration of Marisa proved otherwise. He looked forward to the unapologetic ribbing he’d give Corgan later.

While Corgan and Marisa said their good-byes to Waldor, he glanced surreptitiously at Dresandra. Her eyes flashed with a hint of danger, yet her face remained unaffected, a mask of indifference. The exchange of farewells continued with Dresandra remaining apart from the group. She wouldn’t be here if she didn’t care. Yet her tense body language, arms crossed against her chest, told a different story. Like a burning stone, Dresandra appeared cold and impassive on the outside, while a great passion burned within her. Will I get burned? With a private laugh, quickly disguised as a cough, he turned his gaze away from the puzzling female. The “love bug” must be contagious. Not a disease he wanted to catch. Not when his entire life was in a state of internal upheaval.

Stay tuned for updates on A Fairy's Quest, The Magicals Series Book #3... 

February 16, 2021

Spotlight on The Magicals for #TirgearrTuesday

Who are The Magicals?

When I wrote A Vampire's Tale, I hadn't planned on writing a book series. My secondary character Kurtis Warde (see spotlight from last week) just needed his own story. Then a character I introduced in A Wizard's Choice, fairy Alina Lehrer, needed her own story. A book series was born. And I had, inadvertently, created my own magical world.

A Vampire's Tale introduced my vampires, Corgan and Dee, and a group of wizards called The Circle. Fairies and The Anunnaki, the origin species of fairies and wizards, were introduced in A Wizard's Choice. And A Fairy's Quest, coming soon, delves a little deeper into the fairies.

My characters live in a world of magical realism where everything is "normal" just with magical beings like vampires, wizards, and fairies. Vampires are a type of created magical as they are created by other vampires rather than born. Fairies and wizards are descendants of The Anunnaki, initially thought to be a spacefaring advanced civilization. We later discover they were fallen angels sent to Earth as a punishment. They were stripped of their immortality, but retained some magical abilities.

I'm currently working on The Magicals origin stories. So, stay tuned for more magic. And, in the meantime, you can get up close and personal with The Magicals Series.

Available Now:

Coming Soon:

A Fairy's Quest

February 12, 2021

Just Another Friday?

Happy Chinese New Year! Gong hei fat choy!

The Chinese Lunar Calendar, as the name might suggest, records time using the moon rather than the sun (the Western system). This means that the new year can fall on a different date each year, in January or February.

It's the Year of the Ox. According to Asian folklore, people born in the Year of the Ox are strong, reliable, fair and conscientious, inspiring confidence in others.

To my knowledge, we don't have any Oxen in our immediate family. I was born in the Year of the Monkey. My father is a Rooster, my sister is a Pig, and both my mother and husband are horses. My sons are a Rat and a Tiger.

There are twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac. Each has different character profiles. These can be further classified with the element—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water—associated with the year of birth. And, like the Western astrology signs, these profiles also include interpretations for compatible signs.

I am a Metal Monkey. Monkeys are known for their intelligence and humour (best traits), and immaturity and deceit (worst traits). A Metal Monkey, in particular, is said to be intellectually superior to other monkeys, independent, and fiscally responsible. And, hopefully this is a good sign, a monkey and horse are a positive pairing. << sigh of relief>>

I hope you found this (very brief) post on the Chinese zodiac of some interest. For more information, see Chinese Astrology: A Guide to Chinese Horoscopes by DJ Burns.

Happy New Year! I wish you great happiness and prosperity!

February 9, 2021

Spotlight on Kurtis Warde for #TirgearrTuesday

A lot of my characters are derived from my previous experiences and perspective. The rest comes from the characters themselves. To be an author, you need to embrace an outside-the-box attitude. Not everything is logical. Sometimes you hear voices in your head, and it doesn't mean you have a mental health condition. Although you might. There is a proposed correlation between creativity and mental illness. Studies have shown that mental health conditions, like bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, are significantly more common among artists (Kyaga, Simon; Landén, Mikael; Boman, Marcus; Hultman, Christina M.; Långström, Niklas; Lichtenstein, Paul (January 2013). "Mental illness, suicide and creativity: 40-year prospective total population study". Journal of Psychiatric Research. 47 (1): 83–90.). So, whether I can attribute the voices in my head to a creative muse or a mental illness, I listen to those voices. They are my characters. They are an expression of myself.

Kurtis Warde from A Wizard's Choice was a difficult character to write. Mostly because we had a disagreement over his use of coarse language. I don't really swear. I don't suppress the urge; I just don't want to say "bad" words. Perhaps connected to my upbringing as a "good girl" or the great variety of other words at our disposal. Language is a form of self-expression so I won't judge your choices, but there are some words and phrases that may garner a tsk-tsk from me though...

Kurtis was very angry. His anger came from a deep-rooted place, and he needed to express himself loudly, coarsely, without reserve. So, I let him. I let him get everything out. His emotion poured from him like water from a faucet.

It gushed. It cascaded. And it was cathartic for both of us. It made me face the fact that I had been angry too. I'm not angry now. And neither is Kurtis.

Kurtis, like all characters, grows during his journey. He learns things about himself and his world. He has to face great suffering in order to do so.

During one of his hardest moments...


He squeezed his eyes shut. “My grandfather died yesterday.”

“I’m so sorry, Kurtis. I didn’t realize he was ill.”

“He wasn’t.” Kurtis opened his eyes, staring past Alina. “I killed him.”

She gasped. “What?”

“Well, technically I didn’t. But it’s my fault he’s dead.”

“I’m sure that’s not true.” She placed her hand on his arm. “Whenever a family member hurts, we all suffer from the what-if guilts.”

“It’s a little more complicated than that. The family tree location spell?”

She nodded.

“It led my grandfather’s killers right to him.”

“You can’t blame yourself for this.”

He narrowed his gaze. “Perhaps I blame you?”

“You’re hurting now and looking for something to take that pain away. You came to me. Your grandfather’s death was a tragedy, but not my fault or yours.”

“I don’t know what to do. That lost feeling I had before? Well, it’s nothing compared to the fucking gaping hole I feel now.”

He clutched his chest, gasping for breath.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, holding him close. “Don’t keep it in. Scream. Swear. Let it out. I can take it.”


This sentence eloquently conveys the full breadth of the raw emotion running through him. He's devastated, and he knows how badly "worse" can really feel. It's not the "black moment" of the story, but his grandfather's death was a pivotal one for him. The only familiar and consistent thing in his life is painfully ripped away, leaving him stranded in a strange new world. Sometimes, you need a curse word or two to get the point across.

Interested in learning more about Kurtis? A Wizard's Choice, The Magicals Series Book #2 is available now. The next book in the series Alina's story, A Fairy's Quest, will be released soon.

Dreams or duty? Leaving The Circle would give wizard apprentice Kurtis Warde the freedom to follow his own dreams, and to pursue vampiress, Dee. But there is unrest in the magical world—a long-time feud between wizards and fairies—that threatens everyone Kurtis cares about.

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February 5, 2021

The First Draft

 ... is the story you tell yourself.

I wish my first drafts came out polished and ready-to-submit for publication. They don't. Writing and editing are two different processes. You write with your right brain and edit with your left brain. Loosely speaking, your right brain controls art and creativity and your left brain controls academia and logic. I work together, with both sides of my brain, to produce a polished, ready-to-submit manuscript. It just doesn't happen on the first pass. Or even the second.

The first draft is the story you tell yourself. It will be as rough and unpolished as it needs to be. The reason I write is because I have a story (or stories) to tell. But I tell myself first.

I'm working on Amelie and Niall's story right now. You may remember them as Kurtis Warde's parents, characters I introduced in A Wizard's Choice, The Magicals Series Book #2. In order to protect her infant son from her deranged mother Helene, Amelie left him with his father Niall and went into hiding. We learned in Book #2 that Niall had also gone away and Kurtis was raised by his paternal grandfather Waldor. This storyline raised many questions for me. How did Amelie feel about giving up her baby? What made Niall leave? What happened to Amelie and Niall during the thirty years they were away? Those answers and more will be magically revealed to me during the writing process. It all begins with the first draft.

You can't edit a blank page. A blank page—although intimidating—represents opportunity. Opportunity for me to tell you the story; a story that we both instinctively need to hear.

February 2, 2021

Celebrate love for #TirgearrTuesday

 Love doesn't usually happen at first sight. Unless you are Corgan Halton, an ancient vampire who can see the future.

Their stories had merged. When had he first seen her? The images rolled in her mind. She had summoned them this time.

There she was, running across the grass in front of an old, stone building. Fallen leaves crunched under her feet. She tripped on a stick concealed by the foliage, and fell to the ground, losing a book in the process.

She remembered that day. She'd been late for something. Class maybe?

The day had been full of mishaps. First the trip in the grass, then later she'd spilled coffee on herself. All she needed was one more bad thing to happen, and she was going to head back to the dorm and hide out in bed. The rest of the day went smoothly. She bought more coffee, went to class, grabbed some dinner at the residence dining hall, and went to the library.

She stood at the book return counter.

“What are you talking about?” She shuffled through the pile of books on the counter. “That book is not late. I had all the books in my bag all day. It's gotta be here.”

“Well, it's not here now, is it?” The librarian slid her glasses down her nose and stared at Marisa. “You'll need to pay the late fee before you can borrow any more books.”

“Is this what you're looking for?” a masculine voice asked. He placed the missing book on the counter.

“Yes.” Marisa twirled around toward the sound of his voice. “Wherever did you find it?”

Her Good Samaritan was gone.

It was you.


How did you know about my book?

I had a vision… about you. I wanted to meet you.