MASTER OF CROWS – prints, totes, etc.

Louisa Gallie, the creator and copyright holder of the MASTER OF CROWS book cover art, has put the art up on Society6. If you’d like to order a print or a tote with the artwork on it, please drop by here:

All proceeds are split between Society6 and Louisa. I’ll be ordering some of the totes myself. :-)

RADIANCE – final, edited version now live

Had a bit of a hiccup getting the e-book file loaded to Amazon yesterday, but it’s fixed now, so we’re good.

My editors did a great job of catching all kinds of stuff that existed in the bedhair version of RADIANCE. My sincerest thanks to Lora and Mel who always go above and beyond to wrench my manuscripts into shape.

RADIANCE is now live in both ebook and print format on Amazon and ebook format on Smashwords.  Check out my Books tab and select RADIANCE if you’d like see links.  You can download in the format of your preference directly from Smashwords or wait a few days and Smashwords will feed to iTunes, Barnes and Noble and Kobo if you wish to purchase from one of those vendors.

I also owe some folks an e-mail. I’ll do that either tonight or tomorrow depending on what’s on tap tonight for family obligations and demands.

Many thanks to you all for accompanying me on this storytelling outing. I had a lot of fun interacting with you all real-time as I wrote RADIANCE.



Cover flat reveal for print version of RADIANCE

Quick miscellaneous note:  My website person (bless ‘em – I know I drive them crazy) has added an RSS feed to my site.  Yay!

RADIANCE goes live next week in both ebook and print format.  I’m also working on the audio version, but that won’t be available until spring.  My narrator starts production on it mid February.  This is the cover flat for the print version:


RADIANCE-PRINT4-web promo smaller

This is the back blurb/summary:


Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over.  A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty.  Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.


Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage.  Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat, but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human.  Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.


Thanks for reading!




Thank you

It’s already 2015 on one side of the world, so Happy New Year to you all! We’re not doing anything crazy-wild here at Casa Draven for New Years Eve. Just eat junk, watch movies, drink some champagne and check out all the fireworks our neighbors will set off.

I just got an update from my sister. This is the one whose family was hit unexpectedly by a medical emergency. All royalties made from THE LIGHT WITHIN have been funneled to them to take care of bills. Here’s a little history.

My brother-in-law was attacked by an angry llama (seriously. I’m not kidding when I write this) while horseback riding. His terrified horse body-slammed my BIL into a pine tree and his knee took the brunt of it. He still can’t put weight on it, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that surgery is in his future.

The unexpected consequence of staying off the injured leg was that he developed a large, dangerous blood clot that ran the length of his calf. When his doctor discovered it via an ultrasound, it was an immediate order to plant his butt in a chair and only get up for short trips to the bathroom and the shower. They put him on Heperin(sp?) blood-thinner and told him he was down for the count (could not work) for 21 days minimum. If the blood clot dislodged, it would be fatal.

Yesterday he went in for a follow-up and MRI and got his results today. He still can’t put weight on the knee, but the clot is gone and he has been released to go back to work. Yay on several counts!

While he was down, The Light Within book royalties paid for things like a tank of gas, a light bill, a water bill, a partial insurance payment. Thanks to you readers, this family didn’t sink under what could have been a catastrophic wave of bad luck.

I talked about the reader/author dynamic in a recent FB post that addressed a comment in a Dear Author post.  In that post I assured folks that I never have and never will hold to the philosophy that readers exist to support authors (as the quote in the DA post noted).  You don’t owe me a living, and you certainly don’t owe my sister a rescue, but you gave her one, and for that I am PROFOUNDLY grateful and humbled.

Thank you.

Authors I’ve loved this year

Everybody is posting their favorite reads for 2014.  This is good and bad for me.  Good because I’m always discovering new, amazing things to read by fabulous authors.  Bad for me because my TBR pile is towering, teetering mountain whose summit I’ll never reach.  And if I think on it, that’s not really a bad thing at all.  :-)

I’ll do a quick, drive-by list of authors whose works I’ve enjoyed this year.  I mostly stick with romance (and within that fantasy or historical) but will deviate and try out something else based on a trusted recommendation.  So here’s my quick and dirty list of authors who knocked it out of the park for me this year, and a huge THANK YOU to them for sharing their stories with us:

Kevin Hearne

Ilona Andrews

Elizabeth Hunter

Colleen Vanderlinden

Intisar Khanani

Christopher Buehlmann

Lisa Ann Verge

Meljean Brooks

Mel Sterling

Cate Rowan

Shona Husk

Kristen Painter

Amber Jaeger

Karalynn Lee

Cindy Lynn Speer

Jeffe Kennedy

Amy Raby




“Are you suuuurre?” – 2014 wrap-up

The “Are you suuuurre?”  comment you see in the title is what my editor, Evil Editor Mel, replied back to me with when I sent her a note stating I was starting on RADIANCE and that it would be a short story.  Mel knows me and my writing habits very well, and as usual, she was on the mark with that question.  I think it was February of this year that I posted the first part of RADIANCE on my blog as a free serial read.  It didn’t take long for me to wave goodbye to the idea of “short story” and say hello to novella-length.  Rinse-repeat, and you know the end-result:  a 74k+word novel with a second book planned (titled EIDOLON) that will then segue into a series of 4 or 5 interconnected novellas.  Between all of that and THE BRUSH OF BLACK WINGS project, 2015 and 2016 will be busy years for me.

A few people have asked if I will post EIDOLON as a serial on my blog in the same way I posted RADIANCE.  Short answer:  No. 

Here’s why:  Serials are tricksy beasts.  They’re awesome in that the writer gets to connect with the reader throughout the entire project.  If the writer doesn’t mind showing off the glitches and flaws that constitute the rough/zero draft (and it doesn’t bother me in the least), it’s a great way for a reader to get a glimpse of the nuts and bolts of story creation.  They can see it’s messy, confusing, inefficient, error-riddled and subject to change from chapter to chapter.  Okay, that’s how it is with my rough drafts.  I know authors whose first drafts make my finals look sloppy.  :-) 

The downside of posting as you go is the expectation the author builds into updates.  When I first started RADIANCE, I figured I could update every Monday for a short story.  Short segments/chapters over a brief period of time would be doable.  Then the story started to morph and grow bigger.  Segments became chapters and word count rose.  Weekly updates became bi-weekly updates, then monthly updates and finally, I had a two-month stretch of delays because life and the day job that pays the bills had to come first.  It was crap planning on my part, and I felt really bad everytime I had to come out here with a status update saying “Chapter Whatever Delayed.”  There’s a builit-in quid pro quo in serial writing between the reader and author.  I ask you to stop in regularly for a look-see at my stuff.  You very reasonably expect I’ll have something out there for the look-see in a decent amount of time.

I’m also one of those writers who can’t sit down every day for a particular period of time and pound out a minimum word count.  Sometimes the words and the ideas just don’t show up.  If I force it, I end up writing crap I dislike and delete and start from scratch.  So it’s a waste of time for me.  I don’t believe in the “muse.”  If I have one, he/she checked out long ago and answers any prayers or requests from me to show up with “Not my circus; not my monkeys.  Good luck, dipshit.”  Some days I’m on fire with the inspiration; some days my brain light is powered by a half burnt out lightbulb and I’m lucky if I remember my kids’ names.  I’d rather give you something decent to read that’s been delayed instead of something that meets a particular deadline but is garbage.

So with all that being said, I won’t post EIDOLON as a serial.  I know it will be novel-length from the get-go and will be able to write more efficiently and have the work completed faster if I just work on it behind the scenes and have a finished product ready and waiting at the end.  I will post excerpts on the blog so you’ll know I’m making progress and not just sitting here at my desk drinking Angry Orchard cider and giving my giant dog belly massages with my feet.  :-)  It also doesn’t mean I won’t do another serial.  I like the format; I love to share the process with folks.  I’ll just be more careful about what I choose to post and stick with the short-story format, come hell or high water.  :-)

I do want to thank everyone who has read RADIANCE and commented here.  I’ve enjoyed reading your remarks, and while I may not reply to all of them, they mean a lot and I’m always happy to see them out here.  You’re an awesome, insightful bunch, and I enjoy the interaction.  It’s the bonus of storytelling; the humanity of storytelling.   

2014 was a crazy-busy year.  2015 promises to be even more so.  Lucky for me, I’ll be busy doing what I love – writing full-time (well, mostly full-time.  I homeschool my eldest kid, so that’s a job in itself).  I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

Happy New Year to you all.



The Light Within

Karina at Nocturnal Book Reviews asked if I was interested in participating in a Christmas themed event taking place on her blog.  I said “Sure!”  She asked if I could contribute something either Christmasy or based on something based on a similar winter festival.  THE LIGHT WITHIN is my contribution.  It’s currently available as a free-read on Nocturnal Book Reviews and is also available, formatted for e-readers and with a cover, at Amazon and Smashwords for .99 cents.

This is a very short work and a quick read.  I originally intended to just keep it exclusively at Karina’s blog; however, I felt a second option available for easier upload to e-readers and more under my control as far as how long it stays in a particular spot would be good for readers.  In addition, the .99 cents charge was a last minute decision.  One of my younger siblings is dealing with an uexpected medical emergency that has had a catastrophic impact on the financial health of their household.  All royalties from this story will go to them to help them through a rough patch.  That being said, I didn’t want to hold a story hostage, so if you see it for free on a blog and then for a price at vendor’s site – that’s why.

From the Book Description for THE LIGHT WITHIN:

A bonus short story featuring Silhara and Martise from MASTER OF CROWS.

In THE LIGHT WITHIN, Silhara of Neith, now known as “the god-smiter,” travels as the guest of honor to the winter festival of his father’s people.

The crow mage who destroyed one god must ignite sacred fires in honor of another.  Yet the winter festival only reminds Silhara that the brightest light within him isn’t the fire of a deity but the devotion of one woman.

A tale of hope and celebration.

TLW is approximately 3,700 words and takes place after the events in MoC.  It is NOT the sequel to MoC.  That is THE BRUSH OF BLACK WINGS, which I’ll be hitting hard and heavy starting February 2015.

Smashwords | Amazon




My artist for the RADIANCE project has completed the book’s cover.  Be still my heart, I think it is magnificent.  We have one tiny tweak in the typography to make, and it’s done.  However, it’s more than ready to go for a cover reveal.  So, without further ado, here is the cover for RADIANCE – illustrated by the fabulous and hugely talented Isis Sousa:

Illustration Copyright 2014 by Isis Sousa.  All Rights Reserved.


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THE LIGHT WITHIN and other news

Work on the next chapter of RADIANCE is moving apace. It’s been nice getting back to this story.

I did take a quick detour one day to draft a very short story titled THE LIGHT WITHIN. I was invited to participate in a Christmas themed event on the review blog Nocturnal Book Reviews. THE LIGHT WITHIN is my contribution and I believe is scheduled to be posted sometime during the middle of this month. I’ll post a link and more information as soon as it goes live.

I had fun with this very short story (less than 4k words) because Silhara and Martise of MASTER OF CROWS are my principal characters in this tale, and I enjoyed revisiting them for a brief time. If you liked this couple and would like another glimpse of them, I hope you’ll visit the Nocturnal Book Reviews blog when the story goes up for a look-see. This is the graphic for THE LIGHT WITHIN:

The Light Within - smaller

Best regards,