Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday's Guest - S. L. Carlson Genres #MFRWauthor #BOOKSWELOVELTD #Genres

1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?

As an adult, I am addicted to both reading and writing, and read and write in several genres.

I love the NF research involved in each fiction book I write, and usually spend more time in libraries or online researching than I do in the actual writing or revisions.
I started out writing fantasy, then moved to historical fiction, then back to fantasy, and I also recently published my memoirs involving animal encounters. However, if I want to relax with either writing or reading, my preference, hands-down, is fantasy.

2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
Interesting question, Janet. I’ve always been a dreamer, as in making up or wishing for other worlds. I’d like to say that fantasy chose me…simply because that sounds more magical. In reality, I like to let my mind wander to different places, different worlds, meet different characters. It’s more about who I am than about choosing.

3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?
I’m willing to try any genre I can think of. Time is my biggest writing quencher.
There is only one genre I rather stay away from, and that’s erotica. If I tried to write any of that, my face would heat up the room, and by having my eyes closed as I typed, it would be page after page looking like this: ljrio4atj;rguilshrgf and kjaweihughgli4u834, too!!! 

4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?
Although, I really like learning new things, so I find NF research equally as pleasurable.

5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing,
I grew up in big-city Cleveland. When I started teaching in Wisconsin, I discovered wilderness areas and was bitten by the outdoors bug (not meaning mosquitoes, but yeah, I got plenty of those bites, too). I’m married, with two “boys,” and three grands. We camped, tons. In tents only, because we couldn’t afford any other vacations. I’ve had drivers’ licenses from seven states. My main paid profession: teaching. But I’ve held dozens of other jobs.
I’ve been storytelling as long as I remember. I actually preferred to be outside than inside sitting still and doing things like reading or writing or even watching TV. As an older kid, I’d write stories for my friends.
My first paid article was published when I was in my 20’s, but all the time, I was writing fantasy “on the side.”

6. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Oh. I hate you for that question!
I’d have to answer that my favorite is my present MC – a 15-year-old boy named Aldric. With this guy, I love him to pieces most times, and other times I could throw a boot at him for being so stupid! He’s my favorite because I’m cheering for him to win, to reach his goal, to be happy for the rest of his life. Will that happen? You have to read to find out.

7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?
Of course, there are villains, in my books, as well as in real life.
When I first started writing villains, they were distant and either brief encounters or out of sight. But later, I got up close to these vile characters. Sometimes I think that I’ve created a real good baddie, and then someone in real life does something to me which is really, really bad. It makes me realize 1) how sheltered I live, and 2) how honestly creepy some people are.
Luckily, in life, and in my books, 95% of people are either good or indifferent. But those 5%...

8. What are you working on now?
Why, thank you for asking.
I wrote a fantasy with that guy mentioned earlier, and didn’t want to let him go, so began to work on a series involving Aldric and his friends. The first book, War Unicorn, is a one-off, and has rather become like a prequel for the series. The first book only covered two countries and two months. The series covers five countries and three years. I’ve found myself tag-teaming the books as I think of things needed in each one, and work on one for a while, then go to another to make sure there is either set-up or follow-up. It’s confusing even to me at times. I used to write from cover to cover. Not so with this series.

9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?
War Unicorn.
I was at a writers conference several years ago when an editor challenged us to think of a character who is very much out of character. My first thought was of a cute, sweet, rainbow-loving unicorn. Flip the coin, and you get a rude, demanding, uppity unicorn.
I also read lots of folk tales. Rings or other pieces of jewelry come up quite a bit. At first, I was afraid to write about a magical ring (think LOTR), but then all those short stories nudged me otherwise. Yes, there is a magical ring in War Unicorn which is detrimental to its plot.
From those two seed-ideas, I tried to see how much trouble I could get my MC in.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thursday's Third Scene from The Doctor's Dilemma - Janet Lane Walters #MFRWAuthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Romance #Inheritance #Medical

Twin wails drown the sound of the car radio. Nora wanted to pull to the side of the road, put her head on the steering wheel and add her cries to the ones pouring from the back seat. The two hour drive had stretched to three and headed for four.
“Hush, hush, now babies, don’t you cry.” Her voice sounded hoarse. “We’ll be there soon.” If the directions were right, they were about twenty-five miles from Prairie. She was too close to her goal to stop for another futile attempt to quiet them.
When she saw the sign announcing Prairie, Texas, population 10166, she nearly shouted with joy. She slowed the car to meet the speed limit. The crying stopped and so did the pounding in her head.
She looked around and saw houses that appeared to have been there forever. The business district had the same appearance. An odd excitement filled her. For an instant, she felt as though she’d come home.
A foolish notion. Home was an apartment in a town on the Hudson River not far from New York City. Years ago, home had been houses and apartments in myriad towns and cities, but never a place like Prairie.
What would it be like to live here, she wondered. She would never know. She had a secure job and plans to buy a house and plant her roots in bedrock. She’d even found a house that fit her budget.
A moment later, she turned into Gardner Street and her dream house changed from a suburban ranch into a white clapboard three story house surrounded by a white picket fence. This was the kind of house she’d always dreamed of owning.
She pulled into a driveway that led to a detached garage. After unfolding the stroller, she put the twins in their seats and pushed them onto the wide porch that embraced the house. She rang the bell. Chimes pealed. The babies waved their arms and kicked their legs.
Nora chuckled. “I know the feeling. It’s good to be out of the car. Won’t be long before you’re settled in your new home.”
In the distance a clock chimes three times. She rang the bell again and tapped her foot against the porch floor.
Where is he?
She needed to settle the babies and be on her way. When there was no answer, she tried the door and to her surprise it swung open.
“Dr. McKay, we’re here.”
Her voice echoed in the hallway. She pulled the stroller inside and closed the door. Cool air bathed her heated skin and she sighed with relief. “Dr. McKay.”
Where was that man? 
She pushed the stroller into the living room. The lack of homey touches confirmed his bachelor status. The white walls were bare. A couch, two chairs, a coffee table and an entertainment center were the only furnishings. A stack of taped boxes stood near the shelves that lined one wall. The sight stirred memories that made her gut churn.
Was he moving?
According to Lena Greene, he’d been here less than a year. Since finishing his residency, he had worked in two other towns. Because of his frequent moves, even in these days of rapid communication, locating him had taken more than a week.
She parked the stroller beside the couch and returned to the car for the diaper bag and the twins’ suitcases. Then she took a multi-colored afghan from the couch and spread it on the beige carpet. Once the twins had been changed, she laid them on the afghan with some rattles and a pair of teddy bears.
What plans had he made for the babies?
She had expected to see a playpen or even a portable crib. She left the room, found the kitchen and put several bottles in the refrigerator. After filling a glass with water, she leaned against the counter and sipped. Here too, the furnishings were minimal. Though she knew she shouldn’t pry, she couldn’t resist exploring cabinets that resembled Mother Hubbard’s cupboards.
When would he arrive? 
Soon, she hoped. She looked at her watch. She hadn’t planned to spend much time here. Just long enough to give him a report and deliver the packet of official papers.
Nora chewed on her lower lip. She hoped he would come soon. She needed to be on the road.
When she returned to the living room, she sat on the afghan. Molly and Todd reached for the ball on a string that she dangled for them. The hands on her watch crept forward. She fed the twins. Molly fell asleep in her arms. Nora brushed the infant’s soft hair and sighed. Someday, she thought. As soon as Todd fell asleep, she carried their suitcase upstairs. While she waited for Dr. McKay, she’d unpack their belongings.
She opened the first door beyond the stairs. The massive unmade bed and the spicy aroma told her who slept in the room. A stack of sheets sat on a chair. Next door, she found a bathroom. She eyed the large claw-footed tub with envy. The house she planned to buy had an ordinary glass-enclosed tub/shower. She used the facilities and left the room.
The other three bedrooms on the second floor were nearly bare. In one she found a twin bed and in another, an assortment of unpacked boxes. Visions of her childhood flashed in her thoughts. She was sure her parents still carried sealed boxes every time they moved. Remarks she’d heard so many times filled her head.
“We don’t need the things in this one.”
“Then let’s not unpack it.”
She hurried downstairs, but even there, she couldn’t escape her memories. She slumped on the couch and stared at the sleeping babies.
Tightness settled in her chest. He hadn’t made a single preparation for the twins. She knew what that meant. Like her parents he was a rover. Why had his foster sister named him guardian for her babies?  Surely, the woman knew the kind of life he lived. How could she hand the babies over to him?  There was no choice. He was their legal guardian.
She stared at her watch. She’d been here for over a half hour. Her simmering anger built like steam in a boiling kettle.
The man was irresponsible. He’d known they were coming. He could have left a note. He could have called to see if they’d arrived safely.
She knew a doctor’s life was filled with unexpected emergency situations, but he’d known for a week when they would arrive.
He could have at least bought cribs.
She heard the front door close. She straightened and tried to hold her anger in check.
A tall, dark-haired man strode into the living room. Nora sucked in a breath. A dark green knit shirt spanned his broad chest and made his shoulders seem massive. Well- worn jeans molded his muscular legs. His face was ruggedly handsome. On the physical side, he embodied her dream of the perfect man. Except, she had seen the unpacked boxes, one evidence of his restless nature, and in that, he fit her every nightmare.
He grinned and his expression was boyish and devil-may-care. As his gaze swept from her face to her feet, his smile changed.
“Dr. McKay, I presume.” She struggled to keep calm.
“At your service.” He leaned against the door frame.
“Where have you been?”
“At the clinic.”
“Did you forget we were coming?  What are you going to do about Molly and Todd?”
His gaze met hers. She saw confusion there. “Raise them, I guess.”
His answer brought her to a halt. For an instant, she felt sorry for him. He’d had little chance to refuse the responsibility. Then she remembered his lack of preparation.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday Whispers From Yesteryear #MFRWHook #BooksWeLoveLTD #paranormal romance #dreams

Whispers From Yesteryear

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“Not the children.” Willow Carey is awakened by the remnants of a dream she hasn’t had for years. Today she is to return to Indian’s Sorrow, a house she inherited from her aunt. The inheritance has caused a rift with her twin sister. Her father and stepmother have died in an accident. Though she doesn’t want to go to Indian’s Sorrow, she must take charge of her young half-sister and brother.

Reid Talbot, a man she once loved lives near the house with his family. Now a widower, he lives with his sons. Learning to trust him again is difficult but he also has dreams.

Together, they must learn the meaning of the dreams before the whispers of yesteryear destroy their newfound happiness.


The scream that sounded in her head caused her to stagger. Her legs refused to hold her erect. She slid to the ground. With a terror that matched her sister’s, through the link between them, she witnessed the destruction of the Long House. The faces of the enemy burned into her head.
"Not the children!" The scream caused the earth beneath her body to shudder.
July 2000
"Not the children!"
Willow Carey jerked into a sitting position. Her heart thudded in her chest. Waves of terror flooded her thoughts. She gulped deep breaths of air.
She stared at the familiar surroundings and wondered why the bedroom seemed alien. Like a shroud, the sheet had twisted around her legs. She tugged it free. Her sleep shirt, soaked with perspiration, clung to her skin. She shook her head to dislodge the fragments of the nightmare that had awakened her. Terror, grief and rage had followed her into consciousness. What? Why?
Once her heart rate slowed, she reached for the alarm clock. Too late to go back to sleep and too early to get ready for work. As the effects of the adrenaline rush faded, her sense of uneasiness grew.
She hugged her knees. Once again, she had failed but she couldn’t remember who or how.
Moments later, she stood in the shower. Warm water washed away the sour smell of fear. The nightmare wasn’t new. Six years had passed since the last time the cry had jolted her awake. Always the same urgency and the same surge of emotions. No matter how hard she tried, she never remembered more than the cry.
She stepped from the shower. After pulling on a blue terry cloth robe, she stripped the bed and stuffed the damp sheets in the hamper.
What had triggered the dream? With the thoroughness of a pathologist seeking the cause of death, she examined the past few days and found no incident that could be called a trigger.
As she made the bed, she recalled the first time she’d dreamed. She’d been sixteen. She and her twin had been at Indian’s Sorrow visiting their aunt. Willow had always loved staying there. This time had been different. One memory lodged in her thoughts.
"Willow, come here. This is so neat." Brooke had opened the gate at the side of the garden.
Willow halted at the opening. She looked beyond her sister. "Get away from the edge."
"I’m fine." Brooke leaned forward. "The rocks look like a giant’s teeth. Come see."
"I can’t."
Brooke laughed. "Chicken."

"Something dreadful happened here."

My Places:

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - From Idea to Published book - Who #MFRWauthor #writer'stip #Characters

There will probably be at least two blog posts on the subject of characters since when writing your story the characters are vital to make the story come alive. Of course you have a character in mind and maybe you will learn more about them as you write the story but there are some influences. That's why I did the where, when, why and what before I started to show my character. How do these parts of a story shape the character.

When looking at when a story takes place, the writer has to consider the nature of the character. One doesn't plop a contemporary person into a historical, or someone lacking curiosity into a murder story as the main character. The year, century must be considered when developing the characters in a story. They must be appropriate to the time period where they exist.

Looking at the where. Now you might put a southern belle on a space ship, notice I say may but you wouldn't want her to be the pilot. Where the story takes place has much to do with developing a character. A nurse or doctor fit into a story with a medical influence but having them in a story where their profession gives no insight into their nature doesn't work.

What a character desires plays very heavy in their character development. If they have everything, what is there for them to desire. So look at the character's wishes and hopes to help form their character.

The same goes for why. Why does Mary want Joe? Why does Susan want revenge/ If this isn't know before the character steps onto the page, they might fall flat. Why is the aerator of the story or maybe the yeast that makes the story rise.

So look at all these things. Next week there will be more you need to know.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Poetry #Invitation #amwriting

Meander 1 - Invitation - Poem

Come with me. Ride the wind.
Let your mind flow free.
Send your thoughts to the farthest stay
Or let them enter life.
Imagination's a wonderful thing
You can be me and I can be you.

Meander 2 - Decisions - Sometimes one has to make hard decisions, even ones political. Lately, there's been the #MeToo movement. I've managed to pretty much avoid having to shout me, too. That's good. Once, I was a nurse and in an elevator. From behind me someone pinched my butt. I reacted with an elbow heading back into the doctor's midsection. Nothing was said but it never happened again. There's also been another school shooting and mental health has become the issue. My problem is why someone with mental health issues could buy a gun. Puzzles me. Also, why could someone who can't vote buy a gun? Puzzles me. Puzzles a lot of other people.

Meander 3 - Writing - Moving forward with my story and am not working on shaping the last four chapters into shape. There's still a lot of writing to do but I will have this finished before the deadline. The Leo/Aquarian Connection will be finished so I can start the last book in that series.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday's Book - The Doctor's Dilemma, #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Romance #Medical

The Doctor's Dilemma

Take one doctor who’s made a career of temporary positions and avoiding commitment. Add a nurse who dreams of security and a settled life. Stir in infant twins bequeathed to him by his dead foster sister. Pour them into a small Texas town that wants the doctor to stay. 

To Dr. Neal McKay, it’s a prescription for a dilemma.

A few of the Reviews
July 16, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

September 23, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

January 31, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

July 14, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books by Eileen Charbonneau #MFRWauthor #Code Talker #Chanticleer International Book Awards

I’ll Be Seeing You (Code Talker Chronicles Book 1)

Luke Kayenta and Nantai Riggs are young shepherds of the Navajo reservation in Arizona. They volunteer for an experiment: to come up with an uncrackable code based on their language to be used by the US as it enters World War II. They fly into New York to join the spy agency the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). While on the airfield, Luke catches sight of Kitty Charante, the devoted wife of his Canadian RAF pilot and instructor in espionage. Their paths will cross again. 
In the mountains between Spain and Nazi-occupied France, Luke and Nantai practice the code between radio stations while helping on Allied missions. But off the coast, German SS agent Helmut Adler hears something crackling over the radio lines. In World War I, an American Indian language helped bring down his regiment. Adler swears it will not happen again. He sets his sights on the code talkers. 
The hunt has begun.
Watch Over Me (Code Talker Chronicles Book 2)

It’s the summer of 1942 in New York City. War widow Kitty Charente’s night on the town with a man she thinks is her company’s visiting salesman turns into a hunting ground.  Luke Kayenta is a Navajo code talker, and a Nazi agent is in pursuit.  American isolationists are searching for Luke too.  And his superiors at the the U.S. Office of Strategic Services want to know if he’s cracked under torture in Spain. Kitty and Luke must evade capture from one enemy and death from another as they race from the Lower East Side to the Savoy Ballroom to Coney Island, aided by unlikely allies in the Canadian and French spy networks, a Harlem baker, and even Weegee, the city’s most famous tabloid photographer. 

Rachel LeMoyne
Rachel LeMoyne lives in the Oklahoma Territory at a mission where she and her brother Atoka were taken after their parents died during the Choctaw Indian removal. When the Choctaw nation hears about the 1846 famine in Ireland, they vote to send some of their surplus corn to the starving Irish. Rachel goes to Ireland as a representative of the Choctaw.
In Ireland, Rachel is appalled by the suffering and immediately begins to take steps to distribute the corn, aided by Dare Ronan, a millworker who has a price on his head. Rachel and Dare have to leave Ireland to save his life, and they are married on board ship. 
When they return, they join a wagon train to the Oregon territory. Dare and Rachel make friends among the company and soon become indispensable to the other members of the wagon train. Rachel and Dare also grow closer and their marriage, which has been one of convenience, becomes a true bond of souls.

Janet...Watch Over Me was shortlisted for a Chanticleer Award, so I'll attach a tag for that...Thanks for all, my friend!


  4 Attached Images

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday's Guest - featuring Eileen Charbonneau with Genres #MFRWauthor #Romance #historical

1.  What's your genre or do you write in more than one?

I write historical fiction, YA historical fiction, YA mystery, and Romantic Suspense

2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you? 

All my historical writing choose me!  I love to travel and study the deep history of places I’ve lived or traveled to.  Tidbits of fascination soon become seeds of story.  I was asked to write a YA mystery series by an editor, so that one I learned on the job!

3.  Is there any genre you'd like to try?  Or is there one you wouldn’t?

I’ve dabbled a little in sci-fi/fantasy.  How I loved The Shape of Water…I’m a sucker for a good Selkie story!  I would be open to writing in any genre I enjoy reading and I read them all, except horror, so I’d steer clear of that. 

4.  What fiction do you read for pleasure?  I always enjoy reading romance author friends’ beautiful books.  It is such a hope filled genre!  YA is usually a pleasure for me, too.

5.  Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing,  

I’ve been writing professionally since my eldest child was a year old and I started writing about our live together for women’s magazines.  What I discovered was that I worked hardest and did my best work on subjects I felt passionate about—like her!

6.  Which of your characters is your favorite?  

I like discovering who my characters are as they interact with their plots, so I’m usually most in love with my work-in-progress hero and heroine.  I loved Ethan Randolph of The Randolph Legacy because he was very bright and it was a challenging struggle to keep up with him!  He was also a quintessential Pinnochio, discovering what it is to be a “real” man thorughout the book, which charmed me and reminded me of my son.

7.  Are there villains in your books and how were they created?  
Yes, there be villains!  I try to understand them and they are, of course, the heroes of their own lives, but I’ve gone to some dark places to find them.  They block my heroes and heroines at every turn and are often their opposites…If my heroine is a generous spirit, her antagonist only cares about acquiring wealth.  If my hero honors women’s wisdom, my villain is disdainful of the notion of equality among the sexes. 

8.  What are you working on now?  

I’m working on a Civil War love story and researching my third Code Talker Chronicle novel (Romantic Suspense set in World War II)

9.  What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?  

My latest release is Watch Over Me, whose idea arrived when I put together two loves…my love of Native American culture and service to America in World War II and my love for my 98 year old mother.  The result: a great affair between a character based on her and a slow talking Navajo Code Talker.  As my mother is a city born-and-bred, fast talking New Yawker…I had an opposites- attract story built in! 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thursday's Third Scene - Wizards of Fyre #fantasy #dragon #MFRWauthor #Romance

Cregan glared. How dare Arton taunt him? His rival would soon learn who would be the next council member. With care he reached for more thorns. Even with the gloves made from dragon hide picking thorns presented a danger. One slip with a thorn stabbing his face or next and he would suffer or even die. He lifted an empty sack and stomped toward the other man.
“Fill this.” He thrust the sack at Arton. The foreign adoptee should become used to taking orders. There was ho way he could win. Mecador, chief wizard, was Cregan’s mentor and father.
Arton opened his shirt and spilled as many of the thorns he could into the bag. Just as many fell on the ground. “Gathering thorns was your task. Be quick to pick up the fallen ones before they lose their potency.” He shook out his shirt and strode away.
“How dare you disobey me?” Cregan’s hands formed fists. “You don’t understand. You will be my toady. I will win the challenge. I’m already ahead. Mecader knows I’m the better wizard.” He grabbed Arton’s shoulders and whirled him around.
Arton pulled away. “Stop. We are forbidden physical fights against anyone who is a wizard.”
Fury bubbled like a steaming cauldron. Cregan abandoned the sack he held and ran after Arton.
Arton stumbled and floundered to regain his balance. Cregan hit his rival’s shoulders and Arton fell into the fyrethorn tangle. His screams filled the air. He pulled free and ran toward the citadel.
Cregan abandoned the sacks and raced after the other man. What could he do? If Arton died the council would act to banish Cregan. In the past he’d heard of one challenger being sent from the citadel for a year. The man had never returned. If he had he would have been named a second level wizard.
As Cregan ran after his rival he planned his story. He had to cast the blame on Arton. If Mecador believed Arton had stumbled and fell into the bushes there would be no punishment. If the worst happened Cregan vowed to survive and fight for his rightful place even if he needed to wand duel every council member. He was Mecador’s son. He deserved a council seat.

* * *

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday Discovering the Secret of the Jewels #MFRWHooks #Fantasy #Wizards #magic jewels

Discovering the Jewels’ Secret (The Jewels of Erda Book 3)

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Seven Jewels – Seven Holders and their bondmates. The words of an elderly Healer send each pair on a quest to learn the secret of the Jewels. Are these gems just tools or do they hold hidden danger for the Holders? The seven leave on seven quests to discover the answers. When they find the answer, they must decide the fate of the Jewels.


 Discovering the Jewels' Secret (The Jewels of Erda Book 3) 


The Yellow Jewel

Seven Jewels and seven threads. Find them, twine them, bind them into a braid to discover how to unlock the secret of the Jewels. What was pale becomes dark and dark changes to light. Sometimes destruction is the way to end a cycle of tyranny.  Blazing sun and icy moons unite in the Yellow Jewel. You must go over land, across the sea and back again. Seek the thread and learn this lesson. What makes a home does not have to be a place. Fears may lurk and fears are faced when one learns to trust.

Disa turned and waved farewell to the Holders and their Chosen who remained at the wizards’ stronghold. All but she and Brader stayed to tend to the living and the dead. Just days ago, the elderly healer had appeared and had given prophecies to all. The moment Disa had heard those words she knew she and Brader had to leave. Their role in the destruction of the wizards’ lair had ended. The overland journey to Quato where they would board a ship to Thanis would take a seven day.
     She prodded her horned horse and caught up with her companion. “Must we race like prisoners released from a dungeon?”
     He slowed his steed. “Why not? I wish to reach my home as soon as I can.”
     Home, she thought. Hers had been a peddler’s wagon and then the tavern in Pala. She didn’t understand his being drawn to a place. “Thy home won’t run.”
     He laughed. “Thee are right, but some inner yearning pushes me to hurry to High Sanctuary. What if the wizards have established a refuge there?”
     She made a face. “Didn’t Andalor mention a ship filled with Queen’s Guards and wizards that arrived in Quato around the time when thee did?”
     “One or more might have remained. I need to find out.”
     She supposed he was right but that wasn’t his real reason for the rush to return to his home. He wanted to visit his mother’s grave to bid her farewell. Did he really believe her spirit lingered on this plane waiting to hear of the success or failure of Liara’s quest?
     At dusk they arrived in Desert’s Edge where they purchased enough supplies for the journey. She nearly suggested they stop at the Healers’ House for medicinals, but could think of none they would need before they reached the market in Quato.
     Eight days of traveling from dawn to dusk brought them to the seaport town. On the outskirts they passed the villa where she had received her Jewel. “Remember our time here?” she asked.
     “Clearly. What a pompous fool I was. Attacking Valmir when he wasn’t the enemy. Angering Liara and thee.”
     She reached for his hand. “Thee feared someone would harm her and keep her from the quest.” She sighed. “I wonder how the others fare.”
“If there were problems couldn’t they reach us on the inner path?” Brader asked.
     “I don’t know. I’ve listened every night and the voices have grown fainter. Should we stay here or go directly to the docks?”
     He prodded his horse. “This is too far from town. We’ll find an inn. Word of ships leaving for Thanis will be heard at one, but we can’t leave for a day or two.”
     She nodded. “We have to sell the horses.”
     “And arrange for passage. We’re too late for today’s animal market.”
     Once inside the town Disa led him to the inn where she and Andalor had stayed. They were in luck and one of the suites on the third story was available. After leaving their packs in the suite’s central room, they ordered a meal to be brought as soon as they finished in the baths.
     A short time after returning to the suite, Disa opened the door for a serving woman bearing a large tray of food. Disa inhaled the aroma of brewed chokla and grinned. She slipped the woman a coin. Brader entered from his sleeping chamber. He fastened his amber colored hair at his nape with a thong.
     “What of our plans for tomorrow?” Disa filled a mug with her chosen drink.

     “Sell the horses. Find a ship. Purchase some extra food for the journey. Ship’s food is plain and sometimes not tasty.”