Monday, November 30, 2015

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Poetry #writing

Meander 1 - Poem - Distant Drums

I hear thunder in the distance
Like the rolling beat of drums
Or the trucks upon the thruway
At night when I'm alone.
I shall listen to the pulsing
Of a million hearts in one
And wonder what I'm hearing
In the steady thrumming sound.
Is perhaps a new day coming
Is there freedom in the air.
Keep on rolling distant drums
'Til I can catch the beat.

Meander 2 - Courtesy - At the grocery store yesterday I had an odd experience. There were a lot of groceries I was buying. I have my own grocery bags. Informed the cashier of that. Now usually the men and women who man the registers help me when they finish putting all the goods thrugh the scanner. Did she - this beautiful young women. She studied her manicure even after I said here are a couple of bags. She wanted me to pay before the groceries were all in the bags. I will remember her name and face. I'm giving her one chance but not another.

Meander 2 - My writing is going smoothly and by January I will finish Wizards of Fyre. During my trip to south Jersey I had time to think about my friend's book that I'm attempting to finish. Know more about the hero's problems that will add up to more scenes in the book. He has some restraint because he can't date an employee if he didn't know her before she began work. He doesn't remember her from the wedding. He also has learned he has no real friends and he must learn to live with his brothers. Going to be fun.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday - My Book _ Affinities - Havens #MFRWauthor #fantasy

Havens | eBooks | Teens

The four teens, led by the mysterious birds they believe are their parents seek a place of safety where they can learn to control their affinities. They find a place of refuge with Doma Jandia, grandmother of their friend Zand. The doma plans to take them to the highlands but news of the capture of two of their friends by Dom Senet, sends them on a rescue mission. Their powers are not strong enough to defeat the evil dom. They must find a way to succeed or their friends will be corrupted forever.

By Kat Taylor on March 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Do not miss this exciting and dynamic series. An escape for young adults as well as adults with a passion for fantasy. Janet Lane Walters creates world like no other writer I know.

Available :,,,,

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saturday - Wandering - Reading #MFRWauthor #amreading

 Just exploring this a bit for a post on the other blog where I do a monthly bit. Books We Love, one of my publishers.

I am a writer because I was a reader. I read early and that was due to my grandfather. He would hold me onhis lap and read slowly while running his finger beneath the words. My mother says he did this from the time I was an infant and she thought it was funny and foolish. He told her one day I would read. My memories of this time are cloudy and people say memories don't really start at the age of two or below but every time I read or hear John Donne's poetry, I see a picture of a small girl with flyaway hair, neither brown or blonde sitting on a man's lap and hearing things like "Go and catch a falling star" or For whom the bell tolls," and other lines from the poems and sermons of John Donne. My grandfather was from New England, Fall River to be exact. The voice I hear has that accent. I do remember one day when I was three years old and I read to him. His response was "She needs a library card." And so I got one. The librarian thought this was so he could take out books. He shook his head. "She can read and he had me read a passage from a book I'd never seen. This was the first time I had to prove myself but there was another time but that's for a later discussion. By the time I was ninw, I had read all the books in the children's section of the library. Causing a problem and that was one my father solved. That also comes after I had to prove I could read a second time. But enough for now.

Next week the regular schedule will resume provided the next scheduled guest sends me the material I need. I will remine and then nag.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday - My Heroes, Heroines and Villains - Healwoman #MFRWauthor #fantasy

Healwoman _ Hero - Shandor

Shandor warmed his hands at the small fire and studied his companions.  The priest, Thiasi mid Chu, leaned against a rock and sipped the chocha he’d brewed to complete their midday meal.  The firelight caught auburn glints in the man’s brown hair.  Was he from Keltoi?  If so, he was a rarity among the priests.  Men of that nome seldom had traffic with Midran.

The third member of the party met Shandor’s gaze.  Vorgan’s pale hair and deep brown skin marked his heritage from Nilos.  The sneer on his face showed his dislike of Shandor.  Vorgan counted his blood purer because his father was a priest and his mother a concubine.  So often during their years of study, he had called Shandor a half-breed.  The reason lay in Shandor’s Healwoman mother and the five years he had lived with her in Bethsada.

“’Twould be best if you work as a team,” mid Chu said.  “The temple of Midra in Keltoi isn’t an easy one to enter.”

Vorgan rested his hands on his knees.  “Shandor, do you agree to be my partner in this venture?”

“Why not?”  Shandor knew Vorgan had no intention of aiding one he considered a rival.  He never had.  Why would he change his pattern?  Their training in the Gate of the Shadows drew to an end.  Upon completion of this task, they would enter the Gate of the Militos, the final step toward entry into the priesthood.

Mid Chu added wood to the fire.  “Your destination lies about a kil to the north and east.  You must enter the complex, find the chapel and remove an object to prove you have penetrated the inner courts.  Bring your trophy to me for validation.”

“What should we take?” Vorgan asked.

“The choice is yours.  I’ll move the camp.  Once you have the object, you must track me.  When your find is verified, you will return to the Enclave and present the token and trophy to the guard at the gate.  You must arrive before the ending of the lunar of the Frost Moon.”
Shandor looked up.  “Have you ever been to the temple?”


“Would you share your knowledge?”

The priest nodded.  “Spoken like a true Shadow.  What others know is always of value.”

Vorgan glared.  “I, too, would hear what you know.”

Mid Chu took a stick and made a sketch in the dirt.  “The walls form a triangle.  The temple is in the center.  Against the wall are their eatery, stables, warrior’s dormitories, and some storage sheds.  The priestesses sleep on the second floor of the temple.  There is a forecourt with three doors.  The quickest way to reach the chapel is through the second door.  From the entry hall, pass under the stairs, turn right, then left.  The chapel is at the end of the hall.”

Shandor studied the diagram until he could see the sketch with his eyes closed.

Healwoman - Heroine - Norna

The soft chiming of the night bells roused Norna.  One.  Two.  She slid to the edge of the cot.  She hadn’t meant to sleep.  She had to be far from the temple by morning.  Once she pulled the brown skirt and tunic over her shift, she reached for her pack.  Though her mother had named her a drab, she wouldn’t accept the sentence of eternal servitude.
            Norna hugged herself.  She must be gone before Ulrica fastened the bonding bracelet on her wrist so the prongs pierced her skin.  Removal left scars and anyone she met would know what she had been.
            She added the wooden comb and the woolen stockings she’d washed to the pack.  Near the door, she paused to examine the row of boots.  The soles of hers were thin.  She wasn’t sure how far she had to travel.  With the winter lunars about to begin, she needed sturdy footwear.  One pair was too small.  A second, lined with paca fleece, fit perfectly.  Her brown cloak hung with the others.  The thin wool provided little protection from the icy winds.  She snatched the one that matched the purloined boots and carried it over her arm.
            Norna slipped through the hall and crept down the stairs.  Before leaving the temple, she needed to stop in the chapel and study the map.
            When she entered the triangular room, she dropped the cloak and her pack on one of the wooden benches.  Flickering lights on the altar did little to brighten the gloom.  She saw the mosaic panel on one of the side walls.  After lifting a votive lamp, she moved closer.  She found Keltoi and traced the road from the megara to the temple.  Then she looked for Bethsada, home of the Healwomen and her chosen destination.
            She sounded the names of the places on the map.  There, she thought.  She had to travel south and west to the place of refuge for women.  The distance seemed great but she had no other choice.
            When she returned the votive lamp to the altar, she saw the testing gems.  Each one bore an engraved image from one of the nomes.  With a finger, she touched the firelion of Keltoi.  The red stone glowed.  In turn, she brushed the amber sandcat, the blue water lynx and the white air tigre.  For an instant, each gem glowed.  Curious, she thought, but there was no time to search for a meaning.
            The silver cup caught her attention.  She lifted it and nodded.  Bits broken from the cup could be traded for supplies.  She tucked the cup in her pack and slipped from the chapel.

Healwoman - Villains - Britha and Vorgan

Vorgan rose from his seat at the fire. As he strode toward the trees where he’d hidden his
pack, he glanced over his shoulder. The priest poured water over the burning wood. Shandor
stirred the ashes with a stick. Vorgan smiled. They hadn’t seen him leave. With luck, he’d
reach the temple before dusk.

Join forces. Be a partner. How foolish of mid Chu to propose such a union. Vorgan
would impose his own brand of partnership on Shandor. Let the other aspirant risk his life by
entering the temple. Vorgan planned to find a hiding place and watch. If Shandor succeeded
and returned with a trophy, Vorgan intended to claim it as his own.

This was his chance to gain a victory over his rival. He was tired of always being second
to Shandor. The muscles of Vorgan’s back tensed with memories of the lashings his father had
meted with his flail. As he completed the training with the Tutors, Scribes and Bursars, he had
been second to Shandor’s first. The Scourge Supreme’s flail had been his reward. Vorgan
sucked in a breath. This time, he would be first no matter what he had to do.
When he saw the walls of the temple, the sun had just slid over the horizon. There would
be no moon tonight. He donned his chameleon cloak and found a hiding place in a stand of firas.

Britha paced across the courtyard of the posada. Two days wasted. Two days of
boredom. Two days of assisting Mabe while she treated the commoners. At least the Militos
had left and taken their laughter and joking about her prudishness. They had no idea who she
was or how experienced she was in love play. She hadn’t been about to waste her talents on
common soldiers.

As she peered down the road, she saw a man wearing a gray cloak that changed colors.
He didn’t walk, he swaggered. When he drew closer, she smiled. This man was no commoner
and he wasn’t much older than she was. His ice blond hair hung to his shoulders and his skin
was a deep rich brown, almost the color of chocha. She leaned against the wall.

When he entered the courtyard, his eyes appraised her. She met his gaze and read interest
in his dark eyes. He entered the posada. She followed and stood near the entrance to the
common room. He removed his cloak. Her gaze lingered on his broad shoulders and muscular

“Publican, a room for the night.”

The burly man bowed. “Your name and reason for traveling?”

“Vorgan, aspirant to the priesthood on a quest for the Gate of the Shadows.” He flipped
the man a gold coin. “This should cover my stay and the things I’ll need when I leave.”

“I’ll have a room prepared and make sure the bathing room is available.” The publican
bustled away.

Britha stepped closer to Vorgan. “Don’t you take a risk by traveling alone?”

He turned. “I’ve no fear. Soon I will be Thiasi mid Vor. Healwoman, what is your

The timbre of his deep voice sent shivers along hr spine. “Britha, cousin to Bodlesa,
Keltoi of Keltoi.”

His eyes narrowed with interest. “Have dinner with me.”
“I would enjoy that.”
“Give me an hour to get settled.” He raised her hand to his lips and ran his tongue over
the knuckles.
“I’ll be ready...and waiting.” Britha hurried to her room on the woman’s side and opened
her pack. She pulled several vials of skin oil she’d blended. After sniffing each, she chose one
with an earthy spiciness. This Vorgan was delicious. Recalling how her fingers had itched to
stroke his skin brought heat to her lower abdomen. The speculation she’d seen in his eyes when
she had mentioned her cousin made Britha believe she might have found an ally for her own

She returned to the entrance area and sat on a bench. When he arrived, he held out a
hand and tugged her to her feet. His thumb traced circles on her palm and sent heat spiraling
through her and made her nether lips pulse. The aroma of an herbal soap with a hint of musk
teased her. He escorted her to a table for two.

As he held the chair for her, Mabe entered and took a seat at the long table where she
could observe. A scowl twisted her lips.

Britha ignored the other woman’s reaction. She had a right to accept a man’s invitation.
Until she entered the gates of Bethsada, no one could tell her what to do. Even then, she would
obey only when she must.

Britha leaned forward. “Where are you bound?”

“To the Enclave to present the trophy I acquired.” He grinned and his teeth flashed. “At
the end of Frost Moon, I’ll enter the Gate of the Militos.” He signaled the drab. “A flask of
wine and two dinners.”

Britha smiled. “And after the Militos?”

“The priesthood.” He pressed his knee against hers. “I thought your cousin hated

“She does, but she has her reasons for ordering me to join them.”

“I see. And do you have your own plans?”

Britha moistened her lips. She believed she’d found a kindred spirit. “Perhaps.”

He arched a brow. “I believe we have goals that could march in tandem.” He topped her
goblet. “Your aura speaks of great talent.”

She touched her goblet to his. “Why else would I be joining the Healwomen except for
training?” She sipped. A warm glow spread through her body.

“Then after dinner, stroll in the courtyard with me. We can discuss our mutual desires
without an audience.” He glanced toward Mabe. “I must be on the road in the morning. ’Twill
take me more than four sevendays to reach the Enclave.”

Britha glanced at the scowling Mabe. “If I can get away. As you can see, she watches
me.” She lifted her fork. How dare Mabe disapprove? The older woman had spent an evening
with the Militos.

“I’ll assure her there’ll be no more than talk. As an aspirant to the priesthood, I must be
cautious in my dealings with women. An intimate relationship would endanger my chances.”
Britha’s smile faced. His scent, the heat in his eyes had stirred her. She’d been too long
without a man. Who knew how long before she would have another chance?

When they finished the meal, Vorgan rose and went to Mabe. He spoke softly. Mabe
nodded. When he turned and motioned to Britha, his grin was cocky.
As they left the posada, he chuckled. “Your guardian saw no problem with us spending
time together. She is well versed in the customs of the priests. Come, let us explore each other’s
goals and see how we can be of use to each other in the future.” He circled her waist with his

Britha leaned toward him. “And what are your goals?”

“My father is Scourge Supreme. I will follow him and gain control of the Seven Gates of

She laughed. “When I’m Keltoi of Keltoi, we can unite the clans.”

“How can you expect to have the title? You’re Bodlesa’s cousin, not her daughter.”

“She has but one daughter and she named her misbegotten. Bodlesa avoids her spouse’s
bed. Since she denied Norna, she must name the closest of her unwed female relatives as her
heir.” His eyes narrowed. Britha nodded. “I am that relative.”

He swung her into a secluded niche and pressed her against the wall. “This meeting is
fortunate for us.” He caught her lower lip between his teeth.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thursday - Happy Thanksgiving -- Wishes #MFRWauthor #wishes

A change in the usual postings today.  Wishing everyone who reads this a Happy Thanksgiving. I am wishing we all had things to be thankful. Maybe not large things but at least some small things. My wishes for today would be that all people could come together not as strangers, not as aliens but as people who want to reach out and understand the other. Peace would be a great thing to be thankful. The end of disease, poverty and hunger would be another to be thankful. We haven't achieved that yet. Maybe we never will but let's not stop trying and reaching out to each other with smiles and not angry words.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Keeping the Reader interested - Part 2 #MFRWauthor #amwriting

Continuing with what I write last week.

The first one today is - Promises made to the Reader - When you set out to write a book one of the things you need to do is think of the reader and what you're going to promise them. No one wants to promise a boring read but all too often this happens. I've read a lot of books with a great potential only to have them fall apart and not keep their promise. One way to keep the promise of a good read is the characters. Give the reader characters with real problems and real struggles to gain their goals. I real a lot and lately I've been reading books that promise a good story but fall short because the characters solve their problems too easily. I reach the end of the book and say so what. That is a writer I'll never read again. The other thing is to have a plot that makes sense. Since the plot is really the journey of the way one character or more reach the end of their quest there have to be twists and turns. Figuring out what will happen next before it happens makes the story fall flat. So when you promise your readers a good story. Keep at the writing until the story is the best you can do with characters struggling with their problems. Don't jsut wave that magic wand and like that the problems are solved.

The second rather goes along iwth the first. The character or characters have motivations that drive them toward their goals. Make sure this is a strong one. A weak motivation will let the story fall flat. Keep the motivation of the character striving to reach that goal and make the reader wonder if that will happen is the way to go.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - Anne Lamott - Bird By Bird #MFRWauthor #amwriting

The next chapter of the book bears the title School Lunches. I read this chapter several times before I figured the point of the essay. It's about taking a subject you're familiar with ane writing everything you can think of that the subject entails. School lunches are something we've all experienced. Whether you ate the lunches provided in the cafeteria or carried a brown bag, you know a lot about school and lunches. But sometimes writing about this for a period of time sends you off on a tangent and suddenly there's an idea for a story or a character in the story you're currently writing.

My take on school lunches changed over time. The ones when I was a nursing student were the ones that really struck home with me and brought a ton of memories. Some of these found themselves into books. Some into books never written. Our lunches were serven in the nursing home cafeteria. Lunch was a half hour. When on duty you had to run across the street or through the tunnels connecting the two buildings. Those tunnels figured a lot in my memories. In the half hour allotted, a run across the street, or down the elevator to the basement, through the dark tunnel and to the elevator to the fifth floor took time. One never had time to sit and enjoy their lunch before they had to run the gauntlet back to whatever floor one was working on.

So doing this kind of exercise is good for a writer. Brings out many things they didn't know they remembered. This kind of memories bring the writer words, emotions and sensations to add to their word. So try the exercise and see what happens when you do. Try it with other times and places from your past and you'll have things to add to your stories.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #poetry

 Meander 1 - Poem - Thirty years ago I watched a dying friend face death with courage. Then recently, I watched another friend do the same. This poem written all those years ago belongs to both these courageous woman.

She walks with death and knows
But turns her face to live and passes
To those around her person a glow,
A charm, a reaching for tomorrow.

The trees in autumn know they are dying, too.
They reach with colored brightness glowing hues
In beauty across the hills- against the sky.
They shoutof life today and not tomorrow.

She walkes with death and yet
She exhales life and peacefulness.
She extends her hands and boosts her friends
Over obstacles that line the way.

The blaze of autumn trees tell
Of dying with colors and with flair.
Their colors extend a welcoming of ends
And point to bebinnings right with flame.

She walks with death and so
She teaches me how to live each day.
She burns in my life a dying flame.
That glows as beauty - autumn tree.

Meander 2 - That lost hour of sleep. I'm usually up between sixthirty and seven greeting the day brightly. Just the other day I had to rise at six to take someone to a doctor's appointment. All day that lost half hour haunted me, sending me into little losses of consciousness and making my day rather disjointed. I didn't write because off I would not and the pen skittered across the page. Neither did I type more than a few words since they were followed with something like thissssssssssss. So the lost hour of sleep left me with a lost hour.

Meander 3. Writing is going slower than I'd like and better than I feared. Wizards is approaching the last of the rewritten drafts and then all needed to be done will be the fixing of sentences. The adding of words or a sentence to clarify what's on the page. Then it will be time to really look at the book I want to finish for my friend. Hopefully the other two will have more ideas than I do right now. Then I can concentrate on another of the seven books I need to finish for reissuing.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday - My Books - Affinities - Escape - J. L. Walters #MFRWauthor #fantasy

In Affinities, Escape, a Books We Love Young Adult Fantasy, two sets of halfling twins, Ashlea, Brandien, Jaydren and Kylandra sent away from their home by their parents to protect them from trouble, search for mentors to teach them how to use their affinities. Each of these young teens has an affinity for one of the elements. Ash for Air, Bran for Water, Jay for Earth and Ky for Fire. During the escape, they face many problems forcing them to use their affinities by trial and error. They also meet Alizand, the son of the ruling prince of Wesren. Zand has an affinity for Fire and this will keep him from gaining the rule. Dom Senet, an advisor to his father, and once a friend of the quartet’s parents suspects Zand’s affinity. He wishes to corrupt the teen and use him to gain control of the four princedoms of the land and of the highlands. The evil dom has all four affinities. The four must reach a secret place and find teachers before the evil man discovers them.


Fantastic Series! I read this book in a very short period of time because I couldn't put it down! I absolutely LOVED it. Well worth the read. In fact am going to get a copy for all my kids as well. I loved the characters of the book, the plot was intriguing, I loved the different twists and turns that the story took. You won't be sorry picking up these books." ~ 5 Stars, Roxanne Nolan

Escape | eBooks | Teens

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Saturday's Blurb - Books By Barbara Bradley #MFRWauthor #sciencefiction romance

Dominated by Desire Book 1 Of the Vespian Way Blurb:
Heather can’t believe she is the only person on Earth that can protect Storm, the ambassador from Vespia. It has something to do with some pheromone the Vespian male exudes. Although everyone tells her she is immune she doesn’t agree. There is something about the man that makes her desire skyrocket whenever she is around him.
Storm finds the Heather fascinating, bright violet eyes that hold a world of emotions in them. He finds himself drawn to her, wanting her with a depth he never experienced before. When she becomes the focal point of several kidnapping attempts he realizes she’s going to need his protection, the perfect excuse to get to know her better.

Animal Desire Book 3 of the Vespian Way Blurb:
Heather is now six months pregnant and finds her mate a bit overprotective. She can’t help if she glows when she is frustrated. Things get a little more complicated when she is called home because of Ialog. He released information, making it look like she is being mistreated by the Vespians. How is she going to hide her pregnancy? She left Earth sterile.
Storm isn’t happy about her leaving the safety of Vespia, but wants to show that Heather is happy and safe under his care. He knows Ialog and is worried the man is going to try to take his mate from him again. His fears become very real when Ialog kidnaps her. Now he has to find a way to bring her home.

Hesitant Desire Book 5 of the Vespian Way Blurb:
Heather swore she’d never go back to Aruka after a mission had gone bad. The planet had an archaic view of women and Heather fought against those views, angering one man to the point of whipping her. Now Earth has requested she rescue a missing woman on that planet. She wants to say no, but Storm has already accepted for her, as long as he accompanies her. They hoped it would be a quick in and out assignment but didn’t expect to run into the man carrying such hatred for her all these years. Now they have to try to finish their mission while evading the man who’s only goal is to make Heather pay for her crimes.
Hidden Desire Book 8 of the Vespian Way Blurb:
Heather wants to fight beside her people, not watch from a safe distance. So when her brother comes up with a way to disguise her she jumps at the chance. Now she can try out for an elite team to help defeat Reasta, who has a stronghold on their planet. No one knows who she is, including her mate, who has also been disguised. They must find each other, qualify for the team and help rescue the elders without being found out.

Timeless Desire Book 9 of the Vespian Way Blurb:

Someone keeps altering the timeline and only Sam and Skye are aware of the change. The culprit doesn’t want Heather and Storm together, yet they keep finding each other, no matter how many times it is changed. Everything needs to be righted and the person messing with it needs to be stopped. It’s up to Sam and Skye to get things back the way it should be.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday - Barbara Bradley - Talking About Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor #writing

1. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms?
Does your reading choices reflect your writing choices?
Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?

I mostly write SF.Futuristic (hot) romance with a fantasy short story thrown in for fun. But...I have published time travel, fantasy and a straight historical. I love reading SF of any kind and when I found the romance novels in that genre I read as many as I could get my hands on. I find them fun to write. As far as what I wouldn't write I don't think I'd write a murder/mystery right now. It's not something I see myself writing.
2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write?

This is a tough one. I do have fun with my villains, but love my heroes and heroines too. Can I say all of them?
3. Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

Wow, this is a good one. My heroes are part of plain imagination. I don't use pictures or real life people. I normally have my characters and a basic idea for the plot when I start writing. My books are character driven so they'r always the first thing I create when coming up with a new story.
4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

My answer is pretty much the same as it was for the heroes. I'm not one to look for people who look like my characters. These characters whisper in my ear and they're never happy with anyone I think that they could look like.

5. Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?

They basically come out of my plot. I'm a pantser and don't have much more than a blurb in my head as I start my books. It's kind of weird to other authors because I write linear. I start at the beginning and keep going until the book is done. I don't jump around and write different scenes then string them together. I'm not sure why I write this way but it does work. So as I write (I normally have two to three upcoming scenes worked out in my head as I write the rough draft) my way of plotting will work out who the villain is and why they are after the hero/heroine. 
6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?

My latest release is the 9th book in my series The Vespian Way. Timeless Desire features Heather and Storm, my main hero and heroine of the series. In this book they find Susan (a character from book 3) keeps changing the timeline. She has never liked Heather and wants what she has. Skye and Sam weren't effected by the timeline change and have to fight to get everything back the way it was.

7. What are you working on now?

Right now I'm working on the 10th book of the series. Heather and Storm have declared war on Reasta and Earth has volunteered their help so I have humans on Vespia which has never happened before. I'm about halfway done - that's when I got that aha moment to my plot so have gone back to the beginning to add a few things before I continue to write that rough draft.
8. How can people find you?
Like most authors I've got a lot of social media links - pinterest, facebook, twitter and my blog  - which I try to post to twice a week - one in an interview of other authors - it's so much fun to see the answers, I also do one one the art of writing and have been toying with the idea of doing one on my writing. I keep getting aksed how I find time to write so thought maybe I should try to show how I get it done. Here's the links - 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thursday's Heroes, Heroines and Villains from Sanctuary's Ending #MFRWauthor #fantasy

Sanctuary's Ending - Hero - David

David stood beside the glistening white eye stone near the peak of the winter pasture. The rays of the setting sun focused near the hole in the giant wheel. The spring equinox signaling the beginning of a new year would occur soon. On that day the light of the morning sun would pierce the opening and illuminate the polished circle of black stone. At night, the moon’s rays would do the same.
The people of the hidden community of Sanctuary would gather to celebrate the day the goddesses Sola and Luna cast their light for equal times on their sister goddess Erda. This event signaled the arrival of a new year.
As David watched the other shepherds stride up the slopes a mantle of sadness settled on his shoulders. The men were eager to join their families in the village to prepare for the ceremony celebrating the start of a new year.
No one waited for him. His mother had been banished to a small cottage in the forest. His sister belonged to the Healers. His father had to be dead. Before David’s and his sister’s birth, their sire had been led to the Gap and stoned. After being tested for a talent David had been named a commoner.
The day passed in quiet. The herds grazed and none of the animals caused him or the dogs a problem. The sun neared setting.
David. He whirled and studied the slopes. The talent he shouldn’t have warned him someone approached. David. His name flowed down the slope and echoed in his head.
Had he heard the call or had his imagination supplied the voice. For several days he’d been edgy. He opened his senses and sensed approaching emotions. Was it Paul? Once they’d been almost inseparable. Was his old friend on the way? Paul had no reason to seek him. He belonged to the elite of Sanctuary. Paul had been favored by the Three and had been selected to train as an elder.
“Hello.” Paul called.
David ran up the path to meet his friend.  Paul’s grin brought memories of their childhood. Though slight in build Paul possessed a wiry strength. His stature often made people think of him as frail. David knew better. Paul had been first in sprint races and best at climbing trees. He’d always made David feel like a giant.
Paul halted and ran his hands through his pale blond hair. “Are you hiding out here?” His blue eyes searched David’s face.
David shook his head. “I’m here to lead the flock to the village. Why did you come? Aren’t you being invested at the spring equinox celebration?”
“I am.”
“Are you running away?” No candidate was allowed to leave the village alone.
“Elder John is on my heels. Why weren’t you with the other shepherds?”

“Someone has to guard the flock.” David clasped his friend’s hand. “I have no problem being the drover. There’s no one waiting for me.”

Sanctuary's Ending - Heroine - Deborah

On the late afternoon of the day of the spring equinox celebration, Deborah sat on the women’s side of the meeting house with the Healers. The hardness of the stone bench made her wish for a cushion. She shifted so she could see the open wooden doors. Would her twin arrive in time? Would he join those who had been his childhood friends?
Ruth sat with the Sensitives. Deborah saw her friend’s ashen skin and the way she bit her lower lip. Deborah wished they sat together for courage and reassurance. The roiling meotions in of the gathered people must responsible for Ruth’s tensions. 
She turned from the door and glanced at the platform where the Singers and Elders sat. She spotted Gabriel with the Singers and Paul on a chair beside the eleven older men. In the center of the stage the Seat of Judgment stood beneath the round glass window.
Where was her brother? He had to arrive. There were few reasons any man, woman or child could be absent from one of the four ceremonies. Punishments were always meted out. A night in the stocks could be ordered or banishment with a stoning was also possible.
Paul had vowed they would leave the community without her twin. Could they survive without someone used to living away from the village and their sheltered houses? Her fingers tightened into fists as a frission of fear walked her spine. What if Paul had been mistaken? What if an accident had prevented David’s arrival?
Deborah turned her head toward the door. Her gaze met the icy blue stare of Paul’s older brother. In that instant she saw lust and anger. Her gut lurched. He would be glad if her brother failed to arrive. Elder Jeremiah’s older son had hated David and would have used his position as Teacher to somehow undermine the testing process.
The first peal of the summoning bell rang loud. David, where are you? She tried to  reach him on the long unused connection of their childhood. She failed.

Sanctuary's Ending - Villain Simon

"Paul. I’ve been looking everywhere for you,” Simon called.

David’s spine stiffened. “Glad to see you. Tomorrow morning we’re meeting to gather supplies.”

Simon glared. “I’ll do my own.”

“Your choice. Anyone who isn’t ready will be left behind.”

“Won’t be me.” Simon faced David. “I go with my father’s blessing. We don’t need you unless you’re going as a servant. You’re nothing.”

Simon’s words were like blows pounding David’s chest. “I will be with you and I will watch you.” He stepped closer until his boots touched Simon’s. “No one will stop me.”

“My father could. The Chief Elder can do anything.”

Paul pulled David away. “Father will stop no one. If you’re afraid, stay here.”

Simon scowled. “I’m going to protect Father’s interests. You tricked him. Why didn’t you give the talk I helped him write? Once again, there was no call. The time to be fruitful and multiply is not now. There will be no weddings for ten years. Father has decreed that a new rule.”

“Lies," David said. "Does he plan to neuter all the herds and flocks?”

“Shut up.” Simon raised his fists. “When we return I will be tested again. I will be an Elder.”

David laughed. “And I will become a Teacher.”

“You failed.” Simon turned toward his brother.

“So you say,” David said.

Paul grasped David’s arm. “Your friends know your worth. Don’t fight him.”

“I won’t.” David walked away. “Tomorrow at the storehouse.”

“I’ll pack for myself,” Simon shouted.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Holding the Reader's Attention - Part 1 #MFRWauthor #amwriting

You've written your book. You've found a large or small publisher or have self-published. You've found a few or maybe many readers but what do you need to do to keep them interested in the book and to come back when you've written another?

The first thing is to know your reader. If you're writing for a literary audience, then you need to know what interests them. If you're writing for readers of popular fiction you need to know the audience. Your success or failure lies on how you choose to follow your knowledge of what interests people. I've some friends who write what I consider literary fiction and they try to cram it into the popular fiction category. There are some readers who read both kind and enjoy both. But if you're writing for the wrong audience and using the tricks to interest the readers of the opposite kind of story you may find readers are few and far behind. There are also some books that appeal to a wider audience, If you manage that one, you're on your way. So look at your friends and find one who loves to read the kind of book you want to write and keep them in mind as you craft the story.

Another way to keep readers interested is to use the time element. She has twenty-four hours to find a solution. If you're using this to keep your reader interested in what comes next, remind the reader of the lapse of time. The time element doesn't have to be hours or days but could be months. But there has to be the urgency to solve the problem in a short time. The time element could be joined to a major complication or a minor one.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - ala Anne Lamott - Perfectionism #MFRWauthor #amwriting

I'm enjoying my reading of Bird By Bird for who knows how many times. This piece on Perfectionism brought back memories of when I first began writing. My first short story of 2500 words took me three months to write. Why - because I strove for the piece to be perfect. To quote from Bird By Bird - "Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people."
 She is so right.

Writing that short story took a long time, but my first novel took several years - nearly three. Not that I was striving for perfection, I was learning. Thanks to so many editors who viewed the book and sent me reasons why my book wasn't suitable for them, I learned. I also learned that nothing is perfect.

Recently I've been reworking a number of stories written three or four years ago to have them re-published. I've learned several things. Most of these books received great reviews. 4 or5 on a scale of one to 5. But I discovered there were things that needed to be made better. Notice I said Better not perfect. I'm sure if I look at them in four or five years I'll be able to make them better. I'm not going to do that though.

For me Perfectionism is one way of  procrastinating. How about you? Do you look at your work and write the end, then send it off and have qualms? Is it perfect? Probably not. It's as perfect as you can make it at your stage of writing. If you're like me, the more you write, the more you learn. So the moral of this piece is - There is no Perfection so don't hang yourself up on trying to find it. Save that for the next book or story.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #poetry

Meander 1 - This week's poem

Dance, my love, dance into the day
Our night is coming to a close.
The time is short when we can play.

I soon will have to go away
Into the place of sleeping woes.
Dance my love into the day.

I wish I could ever stay
And have this moment in time froze.
The time is short when we can play.

So let our laughter be most gay.
How can we know where this life goes.
Dance, my love, dance into the day.

And as we close our bodies sway
Our love becomes a fading rose.
The time is short when we can play.

I kiss your lips and softly pray.
Wait now I hear the horning blows.
Dance, my love, dance into the day.
The time is short when we can play.

Meander 2 - Start the next book.  I've seen this happen to many of my writer friends, especially those who have finished their first book and have sent it out to agents and publishers. They sit and look at their email every day or wait for the postman to come. I never did this because I heard a writer years ago say that when you finished the book and sent it away you should forget it exists and start the second book. I've seen writer friends who were good and even great writers do the sit and wait and when the rejection came, they weren't able to start a second book. If they had started the second one the hurt of being rejected wouldn't have been so bad. Sure rejection hurts and many writers have been rejected dozens of times but they kept writing more stories. The way you learn is by doing and sitting and waiting to hear isn't learning.

Meander 3 - My writing is going slowly but it is going. Along with writing I need to reach out to my web person so we can upgrade my website and have her do covers for 7 re-released books. I have two of them about gone over to make better and there will only be five more to go.. Wizards is coming to the end of the re-writing draft. Well not so close but maybe halfway there.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday's Book by Janet Lane Walters. Moon Summoned #MFRWauthor #fantasyromance

Three Moon Summoned women. Ashiera the Seer who controls the winds and sees into the thoughts of others. Dian the Warrior who controls fire and fights with the sword. Egeria the Healer who controls fluids and heals those who are injured. They are joined in their battle by Sieper a sailor who knows the winds, Kobe once sworn to the Lord of Shadows and Jetan a healer of animals. These three vow to help the three women against those sworn to Evil. 
Lugal the Cabal reads the winds and thoughts. Sargon the Gladius controls fire and the armies of the Lord of Shadow. Lugal the Cabal has knowledge of herbs and uses them for evil. These three with their cohorts will face the three and three sworn to the Mistress of the Moons. 

Previously published as Mistress of the Moons 

Janet Lane Walters has written a story that will take you to another time and place. She gives vivid descriptions of her characters and their role in this story. Ms. Walters has constructed a civilization so real that you will feel its very existence. A place where men rule women as chattel for their sexual needs, and three evil rulers who drain their bodies of their very essence for spells and to gain power. There is betrayal and treachery inside of plots, as each priest plans to rule alone. Ashiera, Egeria, and Dian are bound to the spirits of the ones who came before them. They discover a truth that will astound them, and have them doubting their chosen path. They will experience a love that is forbidden and discover that two stand together better than one. I could feel the emotional struggle between love and destiny, described so passionately by the author. I hope Ms. Walters plans to continue this story. I could feel that this is just the beginning of this tale. Janet Walters book, Moon Bright, Moon Dark will go on my keeper shelf, beside such authors as Charlotte Boyett-Compo and Nancy Gideon. I give this story Five Hearts and recommend it highly. Enjoy! 

Format: Kindle Edition
Walters is a phenomenal world builders. This is not my first fantasy by her and it will not be my last. Three woman, who control the elements are joined on a fantastic journey as the battle the forces of evil.

by Janet Lane Walters
Genre: Fantasy, E-book
RT Rating
Thirteen years ago, Seer, Healer
and Warrior died. During the approaching solstice, the Three to Come—Egaria, Ashieria and Dian—are to replace the Three who died. They must fight a battle with the Three of Midran—evil men who will use any means, including
mind mages and murder, to stop them.
The action and adventure are nearly nonstop as each woman wages her own battle. The story is written as pieces of a puzzle to be put together; even though the Chosen Three have a common goal, they aren't aware of the women who came before them or the purpose of the men in pursuit.
The story-within-a-story formula
is rather stiff and makes Moon Bright, Moon Dark difficult to follow at times. But this is truly a story of good vs. evil, and it's worth it to stick it out to the end to witness how events unfold. ($5.50, dl $4.99)

Moon Bright, Moon Dark is a riveting story of faith, compassion, love, and betrayal. Janet Lane Walters deftly writes a compelling tale of love, second chances, and healing that leaves the reading wanting more.

Reviewed by: Dena

Moon Summoned | eBooks | Romance

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Saturday's Blurbs - Books by Kathy Fischer Brown #MFRWauthor #fantasy #historicalromance

The Return of Tachlanad (epic fantasy adventure)
When the queen receives an omen, it can mean only one thing: the fate of all she loves hangs in the balance. The land and its people will topple into chaos if a tenuous alliance cannot be preserved. Her husband misled by sinister forces, her son gone missing, she sends her daughter and father on a journey far to the west to reach the impregnable stronghold of “the True King in Hiding.” There they will seal the truce with her marriage to the old king’s unwilling son and unite against the evil power that seeks to subjugate them. Unless the Imperon has his way.

An epic fantasy adventure for young adult and adult readers, The Return of Tachlanad is the first book in the “Sword of Names” series.

“…Touching, authentic characters pursue their quests through this fairy-tale world, and, cross my heart as a bona fide Tolkien fan, you'll care about them.”Juliet Waldron

Winter Fire, (historical romance)
When Ethan Caine pulled the unconscious woman from the half-frozen creek, he had no idea that his world was about to explode. Dressed in quilled doeskin of Iroquois design, she stirred up dark secrets from his past. At the same time, she was everything he desired. But she was more Indian than white, and on the run for murder. He needed to know the truth. He needed to find it within himself to trust her.

Banished by the Seneca Indians who had adopted and raised her, ostracized by the whites in the settlement, Zara Grey wanted only to be accepted. “Ethancaine” treated her with kindness and concern. It was easy to trust him. But her Indian ways disturbed him, and in her heart she would always be Seneca.

 “…a beautifully written, well-researched novel of passion and honor... If you're looking for an adventure, a history lesson, and a touching romance, you'll find it wrapped up in Winter Fire. I highly recommend this wonderful tale.” —Romance Reviews Today

Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter, “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy, Book 1 (historical)
As a child, Anne Fairfield dreams of the father she never knew, the hero who died fighting the French and their Indian allies in a land across the sea. Her mother’s stories, and fantasies of her own devising, sustain and nurture her through a poor and lonely existence. Until one winter night, a strange man comes to call, and the life she has known comes crashing down like shattered glass.

Forced to confront sordid truths, secrets and lies, the headstrong young woman begins to learn that, like generations of Darvey women ruled by their hearts, she is destined to follow in their footsteps…and bring about her own undoing.

Set against the backdrop of 18th century England, Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter is the first book in “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy, which follows Anne from the rural countryside, to London society and into the center of the American Revolution.

 “...I could easily see this series as a movie...”The Long and the Short of It Reviews

 “…a fascinating, complex story that I completely enjoyed. It is well written and entertained me with mystery, suspense, scandal, sinister characters and first love..." —Romantic Historical Reviews

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday - Interview with Kathy Fischer Brown #MFRW

1. What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write, but I loved the theater growing up and majored in dramatic arts as an undergraduate and in graduate school. I even taught for a while. Following a brief stint in New York after college, taking acting classes and going to “cattle calls,” I returned to school for an MFA. My thesis project was about the preparation and performance of the role of Kattrin, the mute daughter in Brecht’s Mother Courage and her Children. During rehearsals and performances I kept a journal to record how I settled into character, the “aha” moments and the myriad questions. Because the character doesn’t speak, I did a lot of work writing out her inner life and subtext in the margins and between the lines. While working on the written part of the thesis, I began scribbling ideas for stories in notebooks (the wire bound kind). Something about being so immersed in a character must have opened a door previously left ajar, and so I went inside. I haven’t come out since J And yes, studying acting definitely influenced my writing in many ways.

In my latest release, I follow eight viewpoint characters. While the process isn’t as immediate or as conscious as it was some forty+ years ago, I still find it difficult to know my creations until I’ve seen the world from his or her perspective. These are the moments that make writing almost magical.

2. Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above.
I write the story as it presents itself, in the way it wants to be told. Since I have certain preferences, I’d be surprised if an idea came to me for a mystery or a story about zombies. I don’t have any interest in certain genres, don’t read them, and I don’t watch movies or TV shows about them. I’ve written historical romance, as well as straight historical fiction. My latest, The Return of Tachlanad, is an epic adventure fantasy, and I’ve had a time-travel on the back burner for more time than I’ll admit.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres?
You could also say I write what I like to read, and I love historicals set in certain eras, and creative fantasy of the kind Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote in The Mists of Avalon. To me, as a lifelong Arthurian nut, that book was eye opening. I also love a well written nonfiction in which the author writes about past events with the skill of a novelist, such as John Demos’s The Unredeemed Captive.  I take great pleasure in researching different time periods (which entails lots of reading), finding and incorporating all the little details, speech patterns, and nuances that make the setting and the era come alive and my characters true to their time and place.

4. What's your latest release?
The Return of Tachlanad is the first book in “The Sword of Names” series, a fantasy adventure for young adult and adult readers.

5. What are you working on now?
I’m working on the second book in the fantasy series, a continuation of the story and character arcs from Book One. I hope to have it finished by the middle of next year.

6. Where can we find you?
Amazon Central

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday - My Heroes, Heroines and Villains - The Amber Cage #MFRWauthor #fantasyromance

The heroine - Aria

Aria sat in the audience chamber near the dais where a pair of thrones stood. Her father, King Palos, stood to sing the pronouncements for the last case of the day presented for judgment. His magnificent tenor vocalized the decision. She heard a slight waver. She clasped her hands to control the tremors. The end of his time as ruler of Harmony had begun.

She stared around the room. She would never rule alone for though her soprano voice held a rich and extended range she had no skill with composition. Her ability to use musical instruments was average though she excelled in strings. Aria drew a deep breath. She knew where her duty lay. How she wished there would be love in the marriage she must make but she would do her duty to Harmony.

The moment the audience ended her father came to her. He placed his hands on her shoulders. “You 
The sadness in his voice spoke of his need for comfort as well as his gift of the same to her. “I know and I am duty bound.”

The king sighed. “So many generations have passed since the heir to the throne had to wed for duty rather than for love.”

The rich tenor held the birr she’s heard earlier. Soon the entire kingdom would know the king had reached the end of his rule and would become Emeritus.

Aria stepped away. She drew a deep breath. Her answer flowed on pure soprano notes. “Though I yearn for love I will do as I must. I pray a man with a strong voice and talent in the other areas will sit at my side. A man whose melodies will blend with mine.”

Paulus kissed her brow. “You must gather your clothes. The special wardrobe, bed, table and chairs are being carried to the forecourt.” His notes held deep sadness. “I go to fetch the Pipes of Discord.”

“The Pipes. The Pipes of Discord will seal my fate.” Her soprano echoed her father’s emotions.know what lies ahead.”

Aria rubbed her arms. Once her father played the strange instrument she would remain in the amber cage until a man appeared to turn discord into melody. The man who claimed her hand would excel in composition and have a mastery over musical instruments and voice. Hope and fear caused her heart to pound with the booming depth of the sound of a kettle drum.

She gathered simple gowns she could don with no help for she would be alone. When her choices had been made she called the servants. She followed them to the forecourt where they hung the clothes on one side of the wardrobe. The other side was a small room where she could wash, dress and attend to private needs.

Servants brought a bed. Aria stared. Curtains enclosed the space but she was glad she'd packed no nightshifts. Sleeping in her clothes made sense since she would be where she could be seen.
A frown wrinkled her brow. Though she’d read tales of the amber cage she had no idea how food, drink and water would appear. Was magic involved?

Words tumbled in her thoughts. Questions and ponderings that needed music to make them complete. How she wished for the skill to change sad thoughts into a solo. Alas, the music remained trapped between her head and her heart. She placed her lute on the table. The instrument was a necessity. She would need to strum chords for the short recitatives exchanged with her father and the curious who came to view her and the cage. Would the man she would wed arrive soon?

Her father approached. She saw The Pipes of Discord. He held the bag over his shoulder and the mouthpiece beside his cheek. She walked toward him.

“Are you ready?” he sang.

She gulped a breath. “I will miss our quiet times.” Notes of sadness colored her song.

“As I will miss you, my brave daughter. The Academy is prepared to judge those who will try to qualify. Summons have been sent to every corner of the land. Already men flock into town and take a number for their place in the line of aspirants.”

The Hero - Ivor

With a jarring thud, breath escaped Ivor’s lungs with a whoosh. He landed on grass and old leaves. At least he hadn’t banged his head on the gnarled roots of a tree he’d never seen before. Where was he? The question circled in his thoughts. He eased to a sitting position with his back against the massive bole. His gaze swept his surroundings. A clearing in a forest of unfamiliar trees. Some were conifers and others hardwoods. The fullness of the canopy meant the season here was akin to the world on the other side of the amber mist.

A smile threatened to split his dry lips. He was alive and he was free. Andros had the position he’s always wanted. Soft laughter flowed. Being alive wasn’t enough. He needed people to hear his music. Once the gems from the hilt of his sword were gone he had to find a way to earn coins. If he remained where he’d landed only birds and forest creatures would hear all the melodies swirling in his thoughts.

Slowly he pushed to his feet. He bent and grasped the flute lying on the grass near where he’d fallen. He made his way through the forest until he reached a wide path that appeared to begin just yards beyond where he stood. He trudged until the trees thinned.

A faint sound of music caused him to walk faster. He hoped to find an inn where food and drink were served. He was famished and parched. After passing a row of cottages he saw a sign featuring a painted lyre. He pushed open the door. Savory aromas surrounded him. His stomach growled.

A rotund man approached. “Greetings, sir. How can I help you?” He sang the words in a pleasant baritone.

“I’m newly come. I seek food and drink. I don’t have any coins.” Ivor pointed to the gems on his sword. “Would one of these be payment for food and a room?”

The man clasped Ivor’s hand. “Have you no singing voice?” He pointed to the flute. “Are you just familiar with instruments and do not know how to sing?”

Ivor drew a deep breath and let his words flow tenor pure. “My name is Ivor. I sing. I play. I write new melodies and sometimes the words.”

The innkeeper bowed. “I see. I see. Since you are a stranger to the land I will have you stay at my inn. One of the gems will grant you room and board for a month or more. Come and sit. Food and ale you will have.”

Ivor sat at one of the tables and tasted the savory stew. Though the flavors were different from the ones he knew the food tasted delicious and eased his hunger.

As he sipped the ale he heard a lilting soprano singing a song that evoked sadness. “Who is singing?” he caroled.

“The Princess Aria. One day she will be our queen. Have you come to Harmony to enter the competition?” the innkeeper sang.

“What do you mean?”

“Many men with talents musical have come from all corners of the land. To stand a chance to gain her hand only the best will do. The chosen one must excel in vocalizing, instruments and in composition.”

Ivor frowned. “Music seems to be important to the land.”

“It is a most important element. The princess awaits he who can free her from the amber cage.” The innkeeper’s voice rang loud and deep.

“Amber cage?” Was that why he’d been sent here, but he had no desire to rule a land. “I fled my home. My father forced me to give up music. If I desired the rule I could no longer sing or play.”

The innkeeper laughed. “Here in Harmony matters are quite different.”

“What about those who fail?”

“If they have a talent into the Academy they will be accepted.” The man sang. “For those who have high scores in just one area an appointment as Maestro will be made. Then they can either perform or teach. The man or men who excel in all areas will be given a chance to turn the sounds of the Pipes of Discord into melody.”

Ivor slid his fingers along the flute. Though he had no desire to rule if he could find a place in this Academy where he could compose, sing and play he wouldn’t have to wander to pay his way. “Where can I go to learn more?”

The Villain - Odon

Her thoughts turned toward the basso. Odon’s attitude reeked of arrogance and frightened her. Her eyes widened. The barrel-chested man strutted across the lawn.

“How fare thee, fair Aria.”

His deep vocalized greeting brought images of operas where the villain strove to capture the heroine and carry her to his lair. She sought words to respond but none appeared.
He was handsome enough if she liked men with granite carved features, massive shoulders and a permanent sneer. His physique aided the production of notes so deep they sent chills riding her spine.

“I am fine.” The waver in her notes belied her answer.

“I hear eagerness in your voice. You will be pleased to hear I added a second in voice to my first in instruments.” He grasped the bars with meaty fists. “Soon you will be mine. You will be mine, mine, mine.”

If the Goddess Euphonia would hear her prayers he would fail. “I will be yours only if the pipes answer to your touch.”

“How can they not? I am a master extraordinaire of all musical instruments. Under my touch discord will become melody. Harmony is my kingdom. The riches of the land will be mine, mine, mine.”
The last of his low notes wavered in the air. He turned and strolled away.

Tears burned Aria’s eyes. What would she do if he won? One thing became clear. Odon was not a man to take failure well.

Feeling like a caged beast she prowled the cage. How she yearned to leave this confinement but not if Odon mastered the pipes and won. Could Turan, the second of the leading contenders be the one?