Friday, October 30, 2015


For those of you already familiar with Good Reads you knw that authors offer free book giveaways to help promote their work.  I have set up a giveaway that opens at midnight on November 5th, 2015 and runs through November 20, 2015. For this giveaway, 10 lucky people will win a free signed copy of Miss Peculiar's Haunting Tales, Volume I (book one).  So mark your calendars for the date and time and surf over to, find the Giveaway link and look for Miss Peculiar's Haunting Tales, Volume I and click to enter!

Monday, October 26, 2015

My Hometown is Not Very Supportive

I wrote and submitted a press release, something I also have to do on my own as a self-published author since I am my own press agent and publicity person, and emailed it to my local newspaper. The response I received back was that I could contact the sales department and buy ad space. Really? I pay over $200.00 a year for a subscription- I think they get enough of my money for the size paper I get daily. I shouldn't have to pay to submit an article.  I have nothing in my author budget for purchasing ad space at this time. Sorry Westfield News- I mistook you for a local interest, hometown newspaper. Guess not. Rather disappointed in my hometown at this point.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The TALON series

I have books one and two in the works in the Talon series. Talon is a doctor in the human world, a grim reaper in the heavenly realm and the demonic realms beyond earth.  He has a personality as aa doctor that repels people, therefore he's switched to Pathology where he doesn't have contact with patients. He is the assistant ME with the elderly Dr. James Everett not quite ready to retire although he is approaching ninety. Enter young Bryce Briscoe who has moved to the city of Revere to forge a new life for herself after twenty years of being labeled a freak in her hometown of Garfield, even by her own siblings. She is struggling, starving, barely hanging on when she encounters Dr. Everett on the front steps of City Hall after miserably failing an interview for a night desk clerk job at City Morgue. Miraculously she gets hired, but while her relationship with Dr. Everett is warm, she and Dr. Talon only manage to rub one another the wrong way.

Talon has actually chosen Bryce as his portal. He is the reaper who harvests the souls of the departed and she is the portal through whom those souls pass through into Heaven- only he's being remiss in his telling her what she really is and his training of her- distracted by the sultry Dr. Liliya Romanenko. There is no love between Romanenko and Bryce.

When Bryce is upset, angry, frustrated, unhappy bad things happen to her- demons attack her, unfriendly ghosts stalk her...and the grim reaper appears and seems to be her guardian angel, which only confuses her more because he speaks in Dr. Talon's voice. And she is having erotic dreams about the icy doctor that also confuse her- but she is in love with that dream doctor.

After a near fatal accident when she is run down in the street trying to stop the grim reaper from killing her best friend Ed Wrisley in a jealous rage, Dr. Talon begins paying more attention to his duty to instruct and train her in the crossing of souls. Bryce is changing as a result of her growing relationship with him. He is also desperate to sire a new reaper with her.

Their volatile relationship, and Bryce being a hybrid spirit- both portal and angel- gets the gates of Heaven closed against them, leaving them to struggle on their own against more violent and aggressive demon attacks, with only Talons most faithful Guardians and Warriors to assist them. Bryce discovers that she is also a healer, which comes in handy during these multiple, ferocious attacks.

With Guardians Adrian Fox and Vera Cotton, and rogue Warrior Oliver Rand as their most trusted allies, Talon and Bryce attempt to level out their relationship and get on track with her training and their various missions on earth.

In Book 2 Bryce has moved in with Talon and is pregnant with the new little reaper, the only child he will ever sire. Talon has made great strides in learning to be more human to please Bryce, yet he remains a fiercely protective reaper, and is disconcerted by Bryce's equally fierce determination to protect him.

Talon encourages Bryce to mend fences with her family. He takes her on what is supposed to be a romantic vacation for her July birthday where they encounter her parents, discover her father is dying of pancreatic cancer. Bryce begins to better her relationship with her parents. Talon buys her a lake cottage for her birthday. A demon disguised as a rogue reaper infects Bryce with a toxin that will compel her to kill Talon at some unknown time in the future. Dr. Everett returns to earth in a new human form to protest the continuation of Talon and Bryce being shut out of Heaven.  Talon and Bryce host a Labor Day family weekend at the cottage. Bryce uses her spirit to revive one of her sister's step daughters who drowns in the lake. Dr. Everett rushes Bryce to Heaven to have an infusion of spirit from her guardian angel, the angel who gave her the glow that caught Talon's eye. Bryce is now more spirit than human when he brings her back, yet that doesn't stop the toxin from working in her, causing stress and strain in her relationship with Talon who is frantically working to try to develop an antidote to stop the inevitable.

Little Savannah, who drowned and was brought back, can perceive her Aunt Bryce as an angel and her Uncle Giles as a 'skeleton man'. She is sworn to secrecy and agrees to never say a word to anyone. Talon rushes Bryce to the hospital where her father is dying. They arrive in time and he sees them in their Heavenly forms and has a peaceful death, passing through Bryce and seeing his as yet unborn grandson she carries, telling her that the baby will have her red hair, his father's pale blue eyes. Another demon has Bryce's best friend Wrisley murdered before her eyes in an attempt to draw Talon to him by torturing her. It is during this ordeal that Bryce steps outside her human body to fight the beasts threatening her reaper- and her reaper kneels before her, acknowledging her as the higher order being in this unusual and unprecedented partnership. Bryce isn't keen about him kneeling before her. The toxin then does it's job and she murders Talon- however, she is reminded that she is a powerful healer and she has healed and mended him once before, that she can do it again by Dr. Everett and Mrs. Everett. She saves her reaper once again and their bond is even stronger.

The baby's arrival comes unexpectedly in an unusual location. Bryce finally chooses a wedding date, selecting Valentine's Day, two months after the birth of their son.

Book three is in the works....


NaNoWriMo occurs during the month of November.  It is a month long writing challenge where hundreds of thousands of writers around the globe attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I have completed the challenge three years running, beginning with Talon: An Intimate Familiarity in November 2012, The Fairlawn Investigation, Book 2 of the Ghost Chasers series in 2013, and Medea in 2014.

I've been stressing over what novel to attempt this year. My brother and I want the third in The Archetypes series to be written. Kelly wants book three in the Ghost Chasers series. I also want to write book three in the Talon series. Gail requested a romance.

I have two characters whom I've mentioned in a previous post- Remy and Lissa- and they won't let me ignore them, so when I signed up for NaNoWriMo last night, it is their story, Life Skills, that will be written during the month of November.

This week I will be ready the series of short stories and novelettes that I wrote about them last spring, I believe? I need to jot some notes as to names and places and events in their lives that need to be included in the novel.

I need to psych myself up for this writing challenge as I have not been doing much writing lately, having been occupied self-publishing a bunch of previously written material. I am also more easily fatigued these days due to my rheumatoid arthritis, so staying awake late writing and getting up early for work in the morning is more difficult this year.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that once the first chapter is committed to the rest of Remy and Lissa's story will just flow easily from thereon.  Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Direct from Author on ebay

I've been thinking about this and I have decided that I will begin selling my books on ebay.  I had totally forgotten that I had an account and could sell, but Kelly reminded me, so tonight we put 12 brand new copies of Miss Peculiar's Haunting Tales, Volume I (first edition) up for sale.  I believe there are international sellers that are selling the book, too, so look for seller 415buttons, the only one offering signed copies. The book sells for $12.99 on, plus shipping and handling, I believe, and is not signed. I am selling the book for $11.99, plus $1 shipping/ about equal to retail, only I am paying the majority of the mailing fees- mailer bag, media mail postage, going to the post office, etc. I will be signing the books, and if a custom inscription is requested, I'll be doing that.

I may put a few other books up during the week to see how it goes.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Miss Peculiar's Haunting Tales, Volume II

I started working on the revisions/corrections to Miss Peculiar's Haunting Tales, Volume II today. There were some errors- like fill length mirror instead of full length mirror thanks to that annoying Microsoft Auto Correct  thing that thinks it knows what I'm going to writer! Not!

Also widened the margins and increased the between line spacing to make it a little easier to read.

Finished The Magic of Cross and Crowe. Will be moving on to The Girl With the Ivy Tattoo next, and then Thunderheads since this is the volume with the three novellas in it.

Gorgeous autumn day, crisp and cool. Leaves are just past their prime and falling.

Friday, October 16, 2015

My Magical Life Revision

I just completed a revision of My Magical Life, correcting some issues I found in the original version. The book should be back up on Amazon in a couple days with a tweak to the cover colors also. It's still one of my favorites.

Here is a little information about Jazz for those of you who actually read this blog.  Jazz had his origin back in the mid-1980's in a story called Final Respects. He was basically a snarky, big black cat with a streak of mischief in him a mile wide, and a penchant for chasing human females.  He also liked champagne, a little too much! He was recreated here in My Magical Life, as Evangeline's resurrected familiar from the 1300's, a gift to her from Ardis- only in the 1300's he didn't have the ability to talk. He's a wise guy with a heart of gold, very loyal to Evangeline, and to Ardis and Lucie.  He lusts after Tara Leary, Evangeline's Amazonian co-worker, but settles for a female feline companion he selects for himself at a rescue shelter.

Every witch needs a cat. Every witch needs a cat like Jazz!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Addictive Fiction

I apparently write addictive prose/fiction.  Yet another person told me today that he could not put my books down once he started reading them- and he's a retired MD.  I hear this from everyone who reads my books, and though I hate to admit it, I have the same problem. I can't put my own books down once I begin reading them.  I have a proof copy of Talon: A Sense if Familiarity that I have been reading. I picked it up during a commercial break during Sleepy Hollow tonight, and had trouble putting it down when the show resumed. I had trouble putting it down again because I had just reached the part where the evil MD from the first book attempts to murder Bryce in the ladies room of the Winslow Hotel by slashing her throat.

I don't know what it is about what I's like rollercoaster fiction. There are highs and lows and you never know what's coming along the track next, maybe a curve that you never saw coming that throws you for a loop... I have no idea. Like I have said before, I just take dictation direct from my muse. I don't even know what's coming, and sometimes I really don't know what's happened until I go back and read it...and then I can't put it down!

My brother had Miss Peculiar's Haunting Tales, Volume III with him at the ER the other night. He'd taken our sister who was having an allergic reaction to a bee sting to be treated. He couldn't put the book down.

I feel like I am in an episode of The Twilight Zone- the author who addicted her readers to her books, drawing them in and not letting them go!

Kind of spooky, if you ask me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I Suck at Self Promotion

I guess the title of this blog post says it all. I have absolutely nothing to say about myself. I am boring. I really don't think what I do is anything special since I've been writing all my life. People are telling me they like my books, can't put them down and I'm happy to have the positive feedback but it's like my head is saying, "Oh, that's good," as in, I'm glad they're liking them and not hating them.

I want to try a book signing, but I cringe at approaching people about this. I can write like crazy, but public speaking is not my thing. I guess, in the world of self-publishing. where the author wears every hat, my agent hat doesn't fit because I don't have the ego to support it.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Beautiful Autumn Weekend and Revisions in the Works

The past two days have been absolutely gorgeous here in western MA. We managed to get out for a drive in the hills on Saturday, stopping at an orchard to grab a bag of Macoun apples for a pie and general munching on. The autumn leaves aren't quite at peak color yet, but there was enough reds, oranges, clear yellows and golds to satisfy the soul.

Kelly worked on her trolley car project on Saturday, then today put in an hour of operator time running two different trolleys at the museum. She added a new pin to her vest. She looked sharp, and posed with another operator and some kids for a picture.

I have been doing a major revision of Miss Peculiar's Haunting Tales, Volume I. And finally got all the bugs worked out of the text this evening- what a chore this has been! I am now working on a big revision of My Magical Life. When I first started self-publishing I didn't know anything about changing margins so a number of the books have too wide margins and narrow text areas which I am remedying along with removing those banes of my existence- the mysterious hyphenated words that keep popping up despite three hundred proofreadings. Finally employed Control-F and looked for hyphens and I think I have finally banished them from Miss Peculiar I, at least I hope so.

I tried uploading Miss Peculiar as a PDF file but after I converted it there were issues with fonts not being embedded, and the hyphenated words needing to be corrected- and then I discovered I did not have anything on this pared down computer that I can open a PDF file with. I need all the space for stories. So back to Word DocX files...sigh.

I had recently reread My Magical Life so had all the corrections I needed to make to the text written in orange ink in the book- easy to find! Quick to fix! Then I adjusted the margins and there they were- the hyphenated words that had previously been at the end of sentences now needing to be addressed because they were in the middle of sentences. Work, work and more work. This is not easy by any means- doing everything by myself!

But at least the weather was gorgeous. Huge acorns are literally raining down from the four big oak trees in the backyard. There is no shortage of acorns this fall. They sound like small bombs when they hit the deck. The cats hear them fall and roll and rush to the door wanting to run outside and play with them. Revere nearly choked on an acorn a year ago, so no bringing them inside anymore for them to chase around the kitchen and down the hallway. He had too close a call. He's got plenty of other toys to play with.

Having day surgery on Tuesday morning to remove a basal cell carcinoma from the crown of my head. I doubt that will be pleasant once the novacaine they'll use wears off. I really can only take Tylenol. It is on the crown of my head. John is taking me and driving me home after. I want it off, but have enough other pain I'm coping with on a daily basis. Will just have to suck it up and get through this somehow.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Today's Exciting News

Sat down tonight to balance the checkbook online and discovered that the Library of Congress Copyright Office has cashed three of the six initial copyright application fee checks I mailed back on September 4th. That was quicker than I expected. Anyway- Medea, Halloween Story and The Archetypes-First Generation copyright apps have been received and are in process! Woo Hoo!

Thursday, October 8, 2015 Halloween Story Contest 2015

Well, I put it off long enough. Tonight I submitted two entries into the annual Halloween story contest.  I submitted three last year and won second place in the adult category with Blackstone's Menagerie.  I submitted the story under my pseudonym, Victoria Bell.  The story is included in Miss Peculiar's Haunting Tales, Volume I.  That book was published under my real name.

I submitted two of my new Halloween stories written in Maine in September- never before seen by anyone except Kelly, although she has not read either one yet- primarily because one touches on a subject that makes her apprehensive- being alone in a house, a haunted house. The other is a little more risky in nature in that it involves the supernatural seduction and rape of a teenager to continue a threatened family's line.

Kelly is reviewing her short stories to see if there is anything she ha ready that she can enter before the October 22nd deadline this year. She has some wild ideas and a vivid, direct writing style. I would be so proud of her if she won a writing contest!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Jessica's Roommate- Based on a Real Haunted House

This blog entry will be about a short story in Miss Peculiar's Haunting Tales, Volume III. I was thinking about it today because I had given my brother a copy of the book two weekends ago and wondering if he had come to this story yet, or not? I'm sure I'll get a phone call when he does read it, seeing as the setting is the haunted house where he lived in the second floor apartment and I lived in the first floor apartment. His apartment was very haunted, so say the least, so some of the sequences and haunted happenings written about in the fictional story are actually based on real events that happened to him upstairs. I did not include the one singular event that happened to me while living in that house because it wouldn't have fit into the story.

The house was built in the 1870's-1880's. It was old enough to having wood lathing in the walls with plaster over the wood with horsehair mixed in for strength. It was two stories with a walk-up attic. My father converted the tiny original bathrooms into kitchen pantries and made bedrooms at the back of the house on both floors into larger bathrooms. The cellar had a dirt floor. The foundation was brick. There was a vintage 1950's refrigerator in the cellar with old Springfield Union newspapers stacked inside.

Events that really happened to my brother that also happen in the story are- his cat, Charley Boaz really did get locked out onto the second floor porch when he was away from home- and no one else had been in the apartment. He did used to find his clothes and especially his shoes, a pair of bright red high top sneakers in particular, thrown about the apartment when he'd get home for work, or wake up in the morning. A mug did lift up from a shelf above the pantry door and float across the kitchen and land on the floor without breaking while he and his then girlfriend were sitting at the kitchen table. She got up and left- totally freaked out. Lastly, my brother did see a male apparition, full body. It walked through the living room and into the kitchen-and passed right through him!  He said he had never felt cold like he did when that ghost passed through him.

I wove these events into Jessica's roommate. I lived downstairs, worked nights and tried to sleep days when he was working- and there was always a lot of noise upstairs when it was supposedly just Charley up there- loud thumps, footsteps, creaks and thuds.

The one thing that happened to me, other than feeling creeped out in the second floor hallway on my way up to my storage room in the attic, was this- I worked nights, came home at 7AM Monday morning and usually stayed up because I had Monday and Tuesdays off, so would try to stay up,  errands run and have two normal nights home with my husband. So, on a Monday I did some housework, then after lunch I decided to go visit my sister who was working at a shop in downtown Westfield. The haunted house was in West Springfield not far from the Connecticut River. It was a beautiful sunny day. I went into the shop and was looking at magazines while chatting with my sister. It was around two o'clock in the afternoon. I don't even remember what we were talking about but all of a sudden a male voice said, very close to my ear, or in my ear- "Go home. Go home now!" It was a command, not a suggestion! I put the magazine down that I was looking through and walked out of the shop, just telling my sister I had to go home.

I drove directly home- a trip that took about fifteen to twenty minutes. I pulled into the driveway and maneuvered into my parking space at the side against the hedges. I really had no clue why I was home. I grabbed a few bags out of my trunk, then felt compelled to walk down the driveway to the back porch. The hook on the screen door was popped. Sometimes the UPS delivery driver would pop the hook and leave a package on the back porch out of sight since it wasn't that great a neighborhood and he didn't like leaving packages on the front step where they were very visible. I thought, oh, we must have gotten a package. So I pushed the door open and stepped onto the porch. I took a step and stopped. Something wasn't right. I looked at the back door and noticed that the curtains were on the outside of the door! That was when I realized that the back door into the back hall had been removed and turned backwards in the frame to make it look like it was shut!

I worked in law enforcement at the time and groaned. The house had been broken into while I was out! We were newly married and didn't own much- an Apple computer, a TV and stereo and that was about it for anything worth much. I walked back around the house and let myself in through the front door, fully expecting to find the inside doors open, but our apartment door was locked. I unlocked it and stepped in. I could see straight back to the kitchen door to the back hall and it was shut. Our cat, Hyper, looked a little wide-eyed but not necessarily alarmed. I spoke to her quietly as I went to the kitchen door, intending to go upstairs to see what was what upstairs in my brother's apartment. I removed the chain lock from the door and was about to unlock it when I heard footsteps upstairs!

I put the chain back on the door, walked back into the living room and relocked that door, then frantically looked up the police department phone number because there was no 9-1-1 in that town at that time! I calmly informed the dispatcher that I had just gotten home and found the back door backwards in the frame, had come inside expecting a break-in that had occurred...and heard footsteps upstairs where my brother was no at home at the time. I was told to stay in the apartment with the door locked until the police arrived. A cruiser and an unmarked car arrived in short order. I slipped out to open the front door for the detective in plain clothes. The uniformed officer went around back. I was told to go back into my apartment and lock the door and sit tight.

I called my mother, then I called my husband. My mother worked at a doctor's office in West Springfield not too far from the house. Joh said he'd leave work and come home. Meanwhile, I heard footsteps upstairs and voices, then footsteps coming down the back stairs. I watched as a man I did not recognize was led in handcuffs around the house to the cruiser. By then another officer had arrived and the detective had come downstairs and knocked on the door. I was asked some questions, such as had I recognized the man- No. Would I recognize my brother's belongings?-Yes. We went upstairs where the man had stacked piles of stuff he'd intended to steal- my brother's stamp albums, jewelry, small electronics, some clothing...I identified it as belonging to my brother. I did not see Charley anywhere in the apartment and worried that she had slipped out and gotten lost.

The man was taken away for breaking and entering and burglary. John came home. I finally managed to reach my brother at work and he came home. He found Charley hiding in the tub surround our father had built around his bathtub (it was open on one end to access the pipes and she had hidden in there). He was amazed that I had come home and walked into the house with a burglar upstairs. I told him I didn't know he was still up there when I got home, because it looked to me as if he had left, and just set the door back in the frame on his way out to make it look like it was in place, but had put it in backwards. (I did not tell the police a phantom voice had commanded me to come home, I merely said I had come home from running errands earlier than usual...which was the truth, and was probably why the house had been targeted. The burglar must have been watching the house and knew my routine and figured he had plenty of time to leisurely rob us, but the ghost threw a monkey wrench into the works by sending me home hours earlier than I normally would have been back!)

The most amazing part of that whole afternoon, to me, was that voice commanding me to go home immediately and how a burglary in progress had been stopped.  When my brother told me, after he'd seen the ghost and it had walked through him, that the ghost was male, it gave me goosebumps. Had that ghost tracked me down in the next town over and commanded me to go home because something bad was happening in the house on the second floor where he resides? Can ghosts even do that?

The part that gives me the biggest goosebumps is that the ghost was aware of my living in the house, and probably aware of the fact I wore a police uniform to work five nights a week. Had it been observing me? Had it spoken to me a and not my brother because of my law enforcement connection? If so, that is one darn strong case for an intelligent haunt!

My sister still sometimes mentions the day I was visiting her at the store and just walked out on her in mid-sentence- guess she had worried about me because it had been so strange. I didn't tell her at the time a voice had told me to go home...not until later that evening.

So- true story converted to fiction. A happy haunting we will go!


The neighbors are having a new roof put on. Today was my day off so I was home doing some things in the den, writing a new author's profile.  Have been trying to put together something to take to the owner of the local gift shop down the street. She had expressed interest in selling one of my books for Halloween, so I've been busy putting a promotional package together- an author profile, a catalog of my books and my business card in a bright red folder, and then coming up with pricing. Since I am a self-published author, my books sell on Amazon for retail price. I can buy them at cost to author. But I'm still figuring out a reasonable way of selling them to a store, where they buy them outright from me at above my cost but less than retail and they pocket the difference and I have my expense plus a little profit, or if I split the profit with the retailer, or if I sell them outright at my direct from author price, or maybe even retail, and pay the store a set fee for use of a bit of space in their shop to set up a table. I think once people came in for a book signing, if interested, they might linger and shop in the store and increase the store's profits on that day- the store has great gifts. I've been going there for a couple years now- to the point where the owner recognizes me, but she only became aware of the fact that I'm an author when I gifted her a copy of Miss Peculiar's Haunting Tales, Volume 1 a week or so ago...

I digressed there-anyway, I was in the den figuring this all out, making up a table and everything when one of the young roofers began cursing rather foully and laughing, asking the other, "Have you ever heard that one before?" They sounded like a couple of grade school boys in the locker room snickering about a dirty word one of their father's might have uttered when he hit his thumb with a hammer! Or overheard a male relative use when eavesdropping after his bedtime on grown-up conversation he was never meant to hear. Now they, quite literally, shout this language from the rooftop! What ever happened to class, and respect for other people?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Talon: A Sense of Familiarity

I spent the weekend editing the second novel in the Talon series, Talon: A Sense of Familiarity while simultaneously enjoying the autumn weather.

In novel two, a pregnant Bryce is adjusting to life with her MD/ME/grim reaper fiancé and her growing belly. Attacks on them have become more vicious and unnerving, and Bryce is fearful that the Divine Council in Heaven will choose to remove her from earth, take her away from the man she loves with her entire heart and soul. She and Talon are still locked out of Heaven while her unique case is being debated and discussed.

Meanwhile, Dr. Giles Talon has suggested that Bryce try to reconnect with her estranged family, something she is at first reluctant to do because of how they've treated her as a freak all of her life, and how difficult it was for her growing up without much support from them, however, her father is dying, her mother is about to fall apart, and her older sister is struggling with a large family thanks to her boyfriend who has five little girls by different former girlfriends that he has custody of, and Brittany and he have a baby soon to arrive. Bryce is also troubled by her strained relationship with her best friend, Ed Wrisley, who doesn't like the fact that she's having Talon's baby, and now is living with him.

On a romantic getaway to Camden Lake, a place Bryce has always loved since childhood, Talon and Bryce encounter her parents and Bryce realizes that her father is dying and she needs to mend fences sooner rather than later. The couple is attacked and a rogue reaper infects Bryce with a toxin that will cause her to murder her lover at some point in the future. The situation results in Dr. Everett returning to the earthly realm to help Dr. Talon develop an antidote to try to prevent looming disaster.

At a Labor Day weekend family gathering at the lake at their new lake vacation home, Talon and Bryce entertain family and friends. All goes well until little Savannah, one of Josh's young daughters drowns, is found by rogue warrior Ollie, and revived by Bryce who instills some of her own spirit into the child to bring her back to life. Then Brittany seduces Ollie and the weekend falls apart.

Bryce experiences numerous problems as the toxin works in her and her supernatural fiancé slaves long hours in the pathology lab with Dr. Everett trying to find a way to help her. Bryce's father lands in the hospital and they are summoned there when death is imminent. Mr. Briscoe sees his daughter's fiancé in his reaper form and his daughter in her supernatural form as an earthbound angel, and the bright doorway into Heaven through which he passes when he dies. At Thanksgiving, it becomes apparent that little Savannah can also see them in their otherworldly forms and must be sworn to secrecy. Talon has a special ring made for her, and one made for all the female members of Bryce's large family and also for her friend Keira who is seeing Fox- the rings help Talon's warriors and guardians find them in case they are attacked by demons.

Bryce ends up murdering her lover despite an antidote having been injected in her hip, but Dr. and Mrs. Everett are there with her in Heaven where his remains are brought for her to heal and revive as she has once before, because it was determined that the only way to rid her of the toxin was to let it run its terrible course.

Baby Cayle Talon makes a surprise arrival in City Morgue, delivered by his father. Wrisley, who sacrificed himself for Bryce so that Talon could find her after she destroyed the tattoo he put on her that would allow him to always be able to track her moves, joins the Talon household staff when Talon agrees to have him trained as a guardian, and a protector of his son.

With Cayle's arrival, Talon now wants Bryce to set a wedding date, and she chooses Valentine's Day as an appropriate day to marry the man/the reaper who loves her so passionately.

Bryce has grown in this novel and has learned t control her volatile nature more, however, she is still plagued by some minor insecurities on which the toxin preys and emphasizes. She is uneasy with her newfound Heavenly position, a complete and utter surprise to her as well as to her lover. She is uneasy ranking higher in the Heavenly order than he does. And Talon, the cold, chilly, frosty ME continues to worry that the being who has stolen his heart and given him an awareness of what love really is will be summoned back to Heaven and he will lose her, and be left to raise his son alone.

Book 3 is partially written...completing it remains on my to do list.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Rain is Wet

Autumn has arrived. The leaves have been subtly shifting colors for a few weeks now. Every day on the ride home from work I pass a field bordered by woods and this evening the colors were more noticeable. It was raining. Colors seem to pop in the bleak grayness of a rainstorm.

Kelly and I ran down to the pharmacy tonight. First we had to go to the Halloween House up the street from us- these people go all out! First it was just the candy corn lights along the front of the house, then a little cemetery in the front yard. Now- there entire front lawn is full of homemade gravestones and each gravestone has its own spotlight! There is a full size grim reaper figure standing on the front porch) ah- reminds me of Talon! There are orange candles in all the windows upstairs and down, plus jack 'lanterns and other Halloween lights. It's quite dazzling! Maybe I can get a picture on a night when it's not raining.

On the way home we were coming up the mountain and there in front of us was what at first looked like a branch across the road. Turned out it was the red fox caught in mid-slink, tail out straight behind him. He was a long lean fella. I love how weasel like he looked when he turned, nearly bending himself in half before bolting off into some pine trees. He was gorgeous.

Copies of Auspicious Beginnings arrived before dinner tonight. It is still a wonder to me to hold something I've created in my hands. Ordered the proof copy of Talon: An Intimate Familiarity. I do not dare take that to work for fear of getting paper cuts as it is torn out of my hand.

Had a very nice message from my long time best friend who lives in New Hampshire. We were college roommates and have remained friends all these years. Her daughter won the name a Christmas book contest, suggesting the name for book two. I sent Katie her three Christmas volumes, then sent Carol a set of Christmas books plus several additional books I thought she might enjoy. She was happy and excited to receive her package.

Slowly, my friends are beginning to get the picture- I have been writing for over 40 years- in all that time, I have grown as a writer in leaps and bounds. I have been told my books are difficult to put down once begun- that must mean something, right?

Rain is wet. These are not tears on my face but raindrops. That's what I tell myself, but the small voice deep inside my head whispers it's own opinion, suggesting that tonight they are my mother's tears falling from Heaven as the 15th anniversary of her passing will be this Sunday. I have been missing her. Perhaps she is missing me? I wonder what she would think of her middle child now if she was still alive, sitting in her chair, holding one of my books, drawn into the story, turning the pages one after the other, unable to put it down...would she be crying tears of pride and happiness?
I can only hope that she would be.

Talon:An Intimate Familiarity

This fifteenth self-published book, a novel, evolved from a NaNoWriMo 50,000 word novel in 30 days challenge. It was quickly written for the paranormal/romance genre. It was entered in the Romance Writer's of America Golden Heart contest in 2013, so it must have been originally written in November 2012. It didn't win of course, but it received a better grade from the judges than I expected.

During 2013-2014 Talon, a favorite of my daughter's, had a major overhaul and was split into three novels. The first two novels in the series are written and the third is partially written.

It was revamped and written from Bryce's POV. A  lot more detail and information was added to fill in gas in the original story, and the relationship between Bryce Briscoe and Dr. Giles Talon is more volatile and strained in the revised novels. He is an inhuman, supernatural being who has a dearth of human emotion. Bryce was born human and, being a temperamental redhead, is loaded with emotion. She has always been different from her peers, different from her family members and she has struggled to find her true self. She moves to the city of Revere hoping to carve a new life for herself but she is poor and starving when she lands a city job as the night clerk at City Morgue thanks to a classmate who steers her in that direction, and some help from the kindly, elderly ME who takes her under his wing and sort of adopts her. Her friend Ed Wrisley works the same job on second shift. Then there is the cold, rude, harsh but uncommonly handsome Dr. Giles Talon, who comes in to assist with autopsies.

Bryce begins having erotic dreams about the handsome doctor, and he is easier to get along with in her dreams, however, in person, he never has a kind word for her and wounds her constantly emotionally- although he is always there when she needs rescuing from sticky situations.

A gypsy fortune teller told Bryce, when she was nine-years old, that she would marry a tall, dark, handsome man of medicine. She also told her that she would die several times although her lifeline was unusually lengthy and prominent. She was told that she would bear one child. Then the gypsy foresaw Death and stopped the reading, sending Bryce away...into her destiny, for she meets the chilly doctor at the soda shop where she is indulging in her favorite treat, a root beer float. She recognizes him instantly from the gypsy's description, and her own undeniable pull toward him, even though she is a child and he is an adult.

Bryce has also been surrounded by supernatural experiences all her life. It unnerves her a little to realize that she has been shadowed by the grim reaper since childhood. He frightens her somewhat, but not as much as he scares most people. She's realized that he seems to be her protector, only she doesn't understand why.

The reaper's jealousy of her friendship with Ed Wrisley, and his protectiveness of her, lead to a near fatal accident for Bryce that leads Dr. Giles Talon to finally reveal the truth of who she is to a recovering Bryce- he is a grim reaper and she is his chosen portal, the doorway through which the souls he harvests pass through on their way to Heaven. She is rapidly approaching her 22nd birthday which is when she must assume her duty alongside him, only Dr. Liliya Romanenko has been busy keeping Dr. Talon distracted with a steamy, scorching love affair so that he has been negligent in training Bryce properly to assume her role.

Bryce is floundering. Her relationship with Dr. Talon remains volatile, full of misunderstandings and poor communication- yet they have discovered a powerful passion exists between them, and they cannot remain apart from one another.

This first novel is about Bryce's struggle to make a life for herself as she deals with lonesomeness, poverty, the joy of a close friendship with the elderly medical examiner, her grief at his passing, a series of accidents and injuries, jealousy, awakened passion, and the terror of being drawn helplessly into other realms where demons and beasts desire to destroy the gateway to Heaven that she is.

Meanwhile, she is carrying the reaper's child, a little earlier than planned- and together, they are shaking up Heaven with their inability to get along, and find themselves shut out and on their own.

My favorite scene in the book? On New Year's Eve, Bryce is alone, mourning the loss of her friend and benefactor, Dr. James Everett. They had planned on celebrating the New Year together and she had been happily, and excitedly, anticipating a wonderful night, but he has died. She is sad and lonely. And then she notices the reflection of the grim reaper behind her in her window. Turns out he doesn't want her soul, he wants to take her on a date. On New Year's Eve, Bryce and the grim reaper stand at the top of the world and watch the aurora borealis together-and it is one of the happiest, and rather romantic, moments of her difficult young life.