Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I shared this on Facebook but I'll repeat it here. Several years ago, at my last "real" job before I started writing full time, management held a poetry contest Thanksgiving week and gave everybody a list of words to use. I must (immodestly) say that I won with the following entry, which is too dumb to sell and too fun not to share. So happy Thanksgiving, folks. I hope it's terrific.

A relative's name (Ex. Uncle Charlie, Grandma Mabel)
Pecan pie

`Twas the night of Thanksgiving, after the feast,
You could tell by the crumbs scattered north, west, and east.
The bones of the turkey lay stripped and forlorn,
Covered with gravy and bread ripped and torn.
The giblets were eaten, and the cranberry sauce;
The guys had retired to watch a football get tossed.
But I could tell from the way they groaned and they huffed,
That more than that poor turkey got stuffed.
Uncle Glenn had the couch; Cousin Joe had the floor,
My beloved was slumped somewhere near the front door.
"Another great dinner!" they proclaimed to a man,
But not one volunteered to give me a hand
As I cleared away dishes and tossed out the scraps
And secured the new leftovers in tight plastic wraps.

Now I do love to cook but that's not the point,
I could have used some help cleaning up the joint.
Instead there they sat, my fine Pilgrim band,
While grown men with a toy on the tube threw and ran.
"First down and ten!" they started to cheer,
And I guess I saw red when they called for more beer.
I confess that a wicked gleam came to my eye,
As I looked at my beautiful, untouched pecan pie.
I drew up a chair and sat down `midst the mess,
And what happened then--well, you can guess.

While the game got intense and the boys started swearing
And betting the very shirts they were wearing,
Through the din when the other team's quarterback got hurt,
I sat there and quietly demolished dessert.
Oh, it was good, all those nuts and that cream,
I didn't even care if it made me broad in the beam.
The dog got a piece; the kittycats, too--
I’d send it anywhere except to that crew.
Then the men trooped in smiling `cause the right team had won,
All wanting dessert, but too late--it was gone.

"Hey, the pie's the best part!" they wailed and protested.
"Then next year help bake it," I unblinkingly jested.
They looked so crestfallen I guessed maybe they'd got it,
And of course now I needn’t confess that I'd bought it.
*My* pecan pie burnt but the mincemeat survived,
And the joy on their faces my holiday spirit revived.

Ladies take heed and gentlemen take warning:
Things look quite different on Thanksgiving morning
Than they do by the end of that "relaxing" day.
So try sharing it *all* and keep the holiday gay!

Monday, November 16, 2015

How hard can it be?

Really. How hard can it be for Prince Alarion Aravon, newly minted victor on battlefields both earthly and arcane, to find his brother, King Traven, a wife? Well...

Not so easy if you know nothing about girls. And two of the candidates are fixated on you. And you're in love with one of the candidates. And one of those demure misses will do anything to be Queen.

Yeah. Easy.

But Alarion has not battled and won against the gods of Fate and Death and Chaos for nothing. Ever the diplomat (and a pretty fair hand with a sword when it comes to it), he is wise enough to spot trouble when it flounces toward him. But figuring out how to steer the right candidate toward the King without breaking his own heart or launching a scandal that will rock Sevakand end to end--that's a much trickier job. Because the courtly games cover a much, much deeper problem.

The first reader review of The Heart of God on Amazon sums it up rather well, actually:
The emotional intensity of this story will carry you along with it. Believe me, you will really care about the King's choice of wife—and not just because you'll be rooting for one or another of the candidates (though you will!), but because of the impact the choice will have on other characters. At some points you'll grit your teeth about what you expect to happen, at others the whole question seems a problem with no possible resolution, yet the story brings you to a satisfying conclusion. And there's more going on than courting—there's also politics, the intervention of the gods, and dark hints at existential conflict to come, which may threaten any peace the characters may have found for the moment. An excellent book, with emotional depth, characters you will love (and in some cases hate!), and an intriguing plot. I highly recommend it.
 I hope you, too, will enjoy reading this book as much as I did writing it. You can find it in both print and ebook at any major outlet.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Launch day for The Heart of God!

It's launch day! I've been waiting for this one for months, because this is one of my favorite books in the Fate's Arrow series. A little lighter, a bit tongue-in-cheek in places, it's a blend of intrigue, vengeful gods, and romantic misunderstandings wherein our hero, Alarion, finally discovers girls. King Traven needs to find a wife, and leaves it to Alarion to pick the candidates. There's just one problem. Alarion knows nothing about women. Not to mention that Fate has certain plans of her own.

I love this book because the reader is clued in to what everyone is thinking but the characters most emphatically are not, which makes for some humorous encounters and people working at cross-purposes with the noblest (and most despicable) of intentions. And poor Alarion: he hasn't the first clue how to dodge the amorous intentions of one of those women or hide his feelings from another.

Did I mention that he is clueless about girls?

I hope you will check out the Heart of God, which is available in both print and ebook today from Amazon and other outlets..