Saturday, March 31, 2018

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books by Eileen O'Finlan #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #historical romance #Ireland #Potato famine

On an evening in 1846 engaged couple Meg O’Connor and Rory Quinn join in an exuberant moondance.  Observing is the parish priest, Father Brian O’Malley.  The moondance brings bittersweet memories of Siobhan, the long-dead love of his youth, with whom he still feels a spiritual connection.  Within days of the dance, the villagers of Kelegeen awake to find their potato crops destroyed by blight.  They’ve been through famine before.  But this is an Gorta Mór, a monster the likes of which Ireland has never seen.
At first Meg and Rory devise ways to help provide for their families, Meg through her sewing, Rory with his wood carving.  But when tragedy and a costly mistake end those means of survival they turn to more dangerous ventures. 
Father O’Malley reluctantly teams up with an English doctor, Martin Parker, to alleviate Kelegeen’s suffering.
When Meg learns of ships carrying Irish passengers to a new life in America she is determined to go and bring Rory and their families after her.  It will take all her strength and courage along with the help of her beloved priest and the English doctor to make the plan succeed.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday's Guest featuring Eileen O'Finlan #MFRWAuthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Historical #Ireland #famine

What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?
I’ve always been a writer.  Even as a child I would spend hours making up stories in my head.  Photographs tend spark story ideas for me.  I can’t explain what it is about a particular photograph that does it, but something will draw me to it so that I can’t take my eyes off it and a story will begin to unfold in my head.  I can remember doing this even as a young child.

My first published story was printed in my Junior High School newspaper.  I’ve continued to write throughout my life.  So, what I was before becoming a writer, I guess, was a baby!

I suspect, though, that you are really asking what I’ve done for a living before being published.  Other than a three year stint as a nanny, I’ve mostly worked in offices as receptionist, secretary and administrative assistant.  The job that probably had the greatest influence on my writing was the three years I worked as a Museum Assistant in the Department of Research, Collections, and Library at Old Sturbridge Village, a living history museum in Massachusetts.  In the museum world, the title Museum Assistant is basically an administrative assistant.  However, I also got to assist the research historians and curators in their work.  That was my favorite part of the job.  I completed my undergraduate degree in history while I was employed at the Village.  Between that and the hands-on work of using primary documents and working with artifacts to assist in the historians’ and curators’ projects, I learned a tremendous amount about how to do historical research.  Since I write mostly historical fact fiction, the discipline I learned there has been invaluable.

I also worked as a Continuing Education Assistant for the Central Massachusetts Regional Library System.  That entity (which, sadly, no longer exists) provided a wide variety of services to all the public, school, university, and special libraries in central Massachusetts.  Being surrounded by books and librarians on a daily basis fed my insatiable appetite for reading and writing.

I am currently employed full-time as an Administrative Assistant in the Tribunal Office of the Diocese of Worcester in the Roman Catholic Church.  Since my novel, Kelegeen, has a Catholic priest as one of its main characters, I think I’ve been greatly influenced by the many priests of the diocese with whom I interact on a regular basis.  Also, my Master’s degree is in Pastoral Ministry and I have a certificate in Adult Faith Leadership and in Catholic Social Justice.  The work I did to earn the degree and certificates has given me a strong background in the Catholic faith and church history.

I would love to say that I’ve been able to retire from office work and become a full-time writer as that is my life-long dream.  However, Kelegeen is my first published novel, so I still have a ways to go before I can quit my job.  I’m still what I was before I became a published author.  Fortunately, I love my job so I’m happy continuing with it for as long as it takes to reach the point where I can write full-time.

2.                 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. 

Kelegeen is historical fiction.  The ideas I have for future books are mostly historical fiction, but not all.  Some are more general, set in the present.  I do have a few ideas for fantasy novels.  One thing I find, especially with the historical fiction, is that I like to explore unusual, dark themes.  For example, I am fascinated with the whole idea of 19th century post mortem photography.  I would like to write a novel with a post mortem photographer as the main character.

Though I don’t write horror, elements of the paranormal do tend to show up in my writing quite often.  On the other hand, a lot of my writing is deeply spiritual with faith, forgiveness and redemption being prevalent themes.

Then there is the story I’ve been working on for over a year.  I can’t even begin to figure out what genre it falls into.  All the characters are animals.  Humans don’t even exist in the world of this story.  The animals are highly anthropomorphized.  The two main characters are based on and named for my two cats, Smokey and Autumn Amelia.  In the story, Smokey is an architect and Autumn Amelia is a savant baker and chef with a penchant for eating the ingredients while she’s cooking without even knowing she’s doing it.  The story incorporates current events in the real world.  For example, Smokey is charged with designing a cat park.  The property it’s to be built on abuts Rodent Way.  Imagine how the rodents feel about the idea of a cat park right next to their homes.  The clash between felines and rodents echoes the tensions of race relations in the real world, but does it in a somewhat lighthearted (though definitely not making light of it) way.  I must say, the animals handle things better than we humans seem to.  There is also a lot of humor in the story, especially when Autumn Amelia is in a scene.  I think the audience could be YA, but also adults who love animals, especially cats.  But what genre would you call this?  It’s sort of Peter Rabbit meets Animal Farm.

As to why I write in these genres, it’s because they reflect my own interests and life experiences.  I love history, especially 19th century American history, but really I can fall in love with any time period in any culture. 
I think my own Celtic spirituality leads me in the direction of both the paranormal and the religious aspects of my writing. 

I also like psychology and I enjoy getting into my character’s heads, figuring out what makes them tick and giving them complex personalities. 

As for the cat story, I have no idea where that came from.  I started it when I was very sick and experiencing a great deal of pain.  I had major surgery for one problem and continuing rounds of medical appointments, tests, and biopsies for another problem.  I started writing it out of the blue as a humorous story just as a way to distract myself, but it took on a life of its own.  I never intended for the social commentary to become part of it.  It just kind of happened.  I may seek publication for it when it’s finished.  In fact, I think it could be a series.  But, honestly, writing that story is what I go to when I need a break from life.  It’s just plain fun, sometimes laugh-out-loud, pure joy for me to write.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres? 

Definitely.   I read a lot of historical novels.  In my late teens and early twenties it was historical romance.  Later I started reading historical fact fiction.  I also read a lot of non-fiction history books.  My parents loved history as did/do many of my relatives.  When the family would get together, the talk was often about historical subjects.  History was a common topic of conversation in our home so it comes naturally to me.

I also love Stephen King and Anne Rice.  I’ve devoured many of their books.  Could that have something to do with my penchant for the paranormal?

I’ll read any book that looks like a good story.  A few of my favorites:  My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, The Shack by William P. Young, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kid, God Game by Andrew Greeley, The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne (actually anything by Nathaniel Hawthorne – always a great mix of historical and paranormal) and of course, my favorite book of all time, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

4. What's your latest release? 
Kelegeen.  It’s also my first release.

5. What are you working on now? 
I’ve started research for a novel set in 1830s Vermont with the New England Vampire Panic as the backdrop.  However, I’ve had so many people asking me for a sequel to Kelegeen, which I always intended to write anyway, I may have to work on that first.

6. Where can we find you? 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Thursday's Third Scene - Horu's Chosen #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Egypt Ancient #Romance paranormal

The early morning sunlight glinted on the sand and bounced off the rocks rising in erratic patterns from the ground. Merin gripped the saddle with one hand and the reins with the other. The swaying rhythm of the camel lulled her into a fugue state. Her eyes drifted shut and her thoughts wandered to the past. Once again she stood in the courtyard of the women’s court of the temple the priests of Aken Re had stolen from the priests of Toth.
The fat priest raised his hands. The strange words he chanted rose in pitch. Dark clouds gathered. Bast Ka, sacred cat of the goddess, grew larger and attacked. Merin screamed.
A soft meow and a rumbling purr pulled her from the scene that had haunted her for days. How much longer would she continue to see that incident on the day of her escape? That had been the moment she deserted Tira. Merin’s stomach lurched. She swallowed again and again to keep from spewing all she’d eaten and drunk during the long days of aimless flight.
Was Bast Ka an avatar of the goddess? With one hand she stroked the cat’s silky gray fur. With each touch she repeated the command she’d been given. “Go to the delta. Find the pharaoh-to-be.” Would finding him complete her task or was there more?
She glanced at the rising sun and knew midday would soon arrive. Shelter was needed. She scanned the horizon for a refuge from the sun’s hot rays. Did those distant rocks promise shelter? Were they really there or was this a vision caused by the bright light?
She touched the nearly empty water sack. What would she do if she couldn’t find a source of sweet water? Even with the water, her remaining food supply had dwindled and she had no coins to buy more. Once again she regretted the spooked flight,
She neared the jagged rocks and saw an order to their placement. Merin urged the camel forward. Bast Ka leaped to the ground and dashed away. When the camel reached the fallen stones she found a pool of clear water shaded by a rocky overhang. She tapped the camel and dismounted.
As she explored the rocks she realized this had once been a temple of Bast. Broken statues of the goddess and felines littered the ground. Who had done this? Had the priests of Aken Re and their guards murdered the women and men who served the goddess?
Before setting camp, Merin prowled the ruins. She found no bones of humans or sacred cats, only the shattered images. Though she wanted to blame the enemy for destruction there was no proof. The temple could have been laid waste during the war that had occurred in the year of her birth. She would never know the answers.
She hobbled the camel in a patch of grass beneath a palm tree. This done she set her camp. Bast Ka brought a huge lizard. Merin skinned the creature. She seared some of the meat in a small fire and added the rest and the last of the lentils to water and set it to cook beneath the sun’s heated rays. With a sigh she curled on her blanket beneath the wide overhang. The cat lay beside her.
Merin’s thoughts churned with questions. Would she ever learn what had happened to her friends? Were Namose, Tira and Kashe safe? Had they delivered the symbols of the rule to a safe place? Why had Bast Ka deserted Tira? Not that Merin disliked the cat’s companionship. Did the avatar’s presence mean she was now the focus of the goddess’ power?
A shudder racked her body as images of the death of Pian and the fat priest surfaced. The screams had deafened her and sent her into panicked flight, only pausing long enough the grab the packs she had prepared. The arrival of a saddled camel driven from the animal pens by a jaguar had seemed welcome. She had planned to stop at the temple for the queen’s jewelry but the animal had bolted through an opening in the gates.
Merin wasn’t sure how many days had passed since the escape. She’d succumbed to the panic and days had flown past before she’d thought to count. She shifted position and finally slept.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wednesday Healwoman #MFRWHooks #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #fantasy #healing


Today I'm joining other authors in a blog hop. My book is a fantasy romance Healwoman. You can find the other authors here

Born under a dark moon, Norna has to battle rumors that she is tainted by evil and unworthy of being anything more than a servant. Discarded by her mother, she runs away from her aunt, a priestess who wants her to enter the temple.
Instead, Norna chooses to be a Healwoman, and a chance encounter with a novice hoping to be a priest helps her discover she has talents of water, air and fire at her disposal. With these gifts she is called on to battle treachery and attempts to prevent the promised prophecy of the god and goddess. As she battles evil powers, she loses her heart to Shandor, the man she met when her journey first began. She must come to grips with Britha who plots against her. Shandor has his own enemy Vorgan. When the pair of foes unite, the battles begin.

The Hodara of Healing in Bethsada

Mabe sat on one of the stone benches in the Grotto.  The Eldest had called her here and she didn’t know why.  She didn’t think she had done anything to deserve a judging, but why else would the god and goddess want her presence?  Soon, the moon would rise and she would dip her hands in the chill waters of the crater lake.  Midra and Midran would speak.  The only time she had heard their voices had been the night she’d finished her training and had been accepted as a Healwoman.  She rubbed her hands along her arms.
The Eldest touched her shoulder.  “The time is near.  There are things I must tell you.”
“Are you sure ’tis me they want?”
“You are part of their plans for the future.”  The old woman smiled.  “In the days of yore, the Three of Midra--Seer, Warrior, Healer--united with their mates.  Together they defeated those who embraced the dark faces of Midra and Midran.  For a time, the priestesses and priests who served the god and goddess walked in the light and brought miracles to the land.  But as time rolled on its circular path, what was once came again.  The dark face of Midra enthralled the priestesses.  They turned from the light.  Then the power of the goddess faltered.  Midran drew his priests into the shadows.  Still, what was will come again.”
Mabe nodded.  She’d read the old tales kept in the archives.  She had found them fascinating, but were they true?  They told of the days when the face of the goddess had darkened.  ’Twas then the Healwomen had walked away from the temples to found their own place.  In the years that followed, the temples had ruled and men had little power in ruling any of the four divisions of the land now known as nomes.  Gradually, the priests of Midran had gained strength, first in the light.  Then they had embraced the dark face of the god.
She glanced at the dome over the cavern.  Rays of moonlight shone through the four crescent shaped holes, one for each nome.  Keltoi, Sippal, Nilos and Incal.  Bands of color--red, yellow, blue and white--spread across the water.  The arrival of the colors never failed to startle and amaze Mabe.  What caused them to appear?  She turned to the Eldest.  “What do the legends have to do with me?”
“One will come from Keltoi.  She is a daughter of this nome.  Her lineage rises from the Seer, the Warrior, the Healer and their spouses.  She will have four talents and will be the gleaner who finds the Four and Four.  One pair for each nome.  They will bring light from darkness.  You will seek and find her.  Bring her to Bethsada so she can enter the hodara and learn.”
Mabe nodded and accepted the task.  She felt both humbled and excited to be chosen.  “When do I leave?”
The Eldest rose.  “The god and goddess will tell you when.”  She placed her hands on Mabe’s head.  “Seek their blessing.  Their commands are for you alone.”
Once the shuffling footsteps of the old woman no longer echoed, Mabe closed her eyes.  Her thoughts turned inward.  She had hoped to remain in Bethsada and join the other women who taught in the hodara.  Though her talents in Earth and Fire were moderate, her years of travel had brought her knowledge of the customs and ways of the people in each nome.  This knowledge was valuable to the Healwomen who staffed the many hodaras.
She rose and walked to the rock shelf surrounding the crater lake.  She knelt and dipped her hands in the icy water.  “Midra, Midran, I have come.  What would you have me do?”
As the voices of the god and goddess sounded in her head, awe filled her being.  The desires to laugh and cry co-mingled.  She remained silent and listened.
*Go.  Seek the one who will find the Four and Four.  Beware all who serve the dark faces.  They will try to keep you from completing your task.*
“How will I know the one I seek?”
*She will find you, for she prays for refuge from the ones who slink in the shadows.*
“And the enemies?”
*One you know, for you have faced and defeated her in the past.  Of the other, if he knew the girl was his daughter, he would be filled with joy.  While he is not of the dark, he might seek to sequester her so her growth would be stunted.*
*Of her enemies, there are two she must face.  One would see her dead.  The other will crave her as a possession.  Rise.  Gather your supplies.  Choose a companion for your journey.  On the morrow, leave for Keltoi.*
Mabe sank back on her heels.  She dried her hands on her skirt.  She rose and left the Grotto.  There was much to do before morning.  As she strode through the tunnel, she considered who to ask to accompany her.  Glena was her choice.



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - Who - Last Bit on Character Development - Astrology #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Characters #Astrology

Now you know a lot about Characters and developing them from the major to the minor characters. There are also walk-on characters, so a brief bit about them. They are usually someone like the cab driver, the man who opens the door, the waiter or waitress, these kind of people. What you need to remember here is not to turn them into even a minor character since they won't be seen again. The gruff cab driver opened the door. That gives enough of a picture.  Now it's on to the final thing I use to develop my characters. Astrology.

I'm not going to go through all the signs. There are posts on my blog that speak about the characters. Here's what I do.

The Sun sign - for me this is the character's inner nature. People may or may not see much of the inner nature. Depends on how revealing your character is. This is often the area that shows the characters secrets and desires as well as their reasons for wanting something.

The Moon sign - This is the characters emotional nature. How they react and act to things. Emotions play an important part in development. The Moon sign may be opposite of the inner nature, setting up the character's nature as one who is conflicted.

The Rising sign or Ascendant - This is the face the character shows the world. The traits here may be so different from what a person is inside. The gruff man who has a sympathetic heart. The friendsly person who is afraid of revealing herself.

Finding a good book that gives the traits for each of the signs, not only the Sun but the moon and ascendant helps develop the character who isn't flat. I use Llewellyn's Ato Z Horoscope Maker and Interpreter. Mine is quite ragged and perhaps someday I'll get a new one. I'm sure there are others but this is the one I've used for fifty years.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Poem #protest #writing

Meander 1 - Poem - Cancer Woman

I am the sea
Rising, falling
Kept in time by the conductor moon
Liquid, flowing, inconstant

I am the shallow sea
Lapping shores with gentle tongue
Touching, retreating
Kissing fluid lips against the sand
Pulsing, holding, caressing,

I am the deep sea
Issuing challenges
Hiding secrets, mysterious
In caves and crannies
Deep, bottomless, Unexplored.

I am the raging sea
Throwing my frenzied self
White rushing caps against the rocks
grasping, reaching, mine.

I am the eroding sea
Silent, crab-like, digging from within
Eroding pits
Grinding rocks to sand

I am the calm sea
An amniotic fluid
Gently touching, nourishing friends
To stimulate contractions of their birth

Meander 2 - Protests - I wish I could have gone to Washington DC on Saturday. I would have liked to be with those brave children and adults protesting for better gun laws. How we can allow things like this to happen in our land troubles me. But I have been troubled by guns for too many years and by the people who feel they must have them to destroy other people. I hope this protest opens eyes but I doubt much will be done until these brave children are old enough to vote.

Meander 3 - Writing - Still slogging with getting the writing done. 4 snow storms haven't helped since then the help I need can't come and I have things I must do rather than write. Still, I think I will meed the deadline barely.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sunday's Book - Horu's Chosen #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Paranormal #Ancient Egypt

Horu's Chosen (An Alternate Egypt Book 2)

Seth, an undercover cop has been betrayed by his handler. To escape he calls a number on a flyer and is transported to an ancient Egypt he doesn’t understand. He must rescue the Daughter from the evil priests of Aken Re.

Merin is the Daughter. She must find the man who by wedding her will become Pharaoh. She plots to escape the priests of Aken Re and flee to those who years ago saved her life.

Can Seth and Merin find a way to defeat the priests? Is love the answer to their problems? Can they join with the Warrior of Bast and of Horu to bring unity to the Two Lands?

RT Review
Following on the heels of The Warrior of Bast, this story is filled with magic and fascinating characters. Those interested in ancient Egypt will find this an enthralling tale. A satisfying ending is presented for the hero and heroine, with a promising lead-in to the next story.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Saturday Featuring Blurbs of Books by John Wisdomkeeper #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Indian residential school #First Nations Culture #suspense

Fly Away Snow Goose ~ Nits’it’ah Golika Xah: Northwest Territories and Nunavut (Canadian Historical Brides Book 8)

Fly Away Snow Goose, by Juliet Waldron and John Wisdomkdeeper


Yaotl and Sascho splashed along the shores of the behchà, spears hefted, watching for the flash of fin to rise to the surface and sparkle in the sunlight. Tender feelings, barely discovered, flushed their faces. Waving their spears they laughed and teased one another with sprays of newly melted ice water.
In the distance, the warning about the kw'ahtıı sounds, but on this fatal day it goes unheard; Yaotl and Sascho fall into the hands of the Indian Agents. Transport to Fort Providence residential school is only the beginning of their ordeal, for the teachers believe it is their sworn duty to “kill the Indian inside.”
All attempts at escape are severely punished, but Yaotl and Sascho, along with two others, will try, beginning a journey of 900 Kilometers along the Mackenzie River. Like wild geese, brave hearts together, they are homeward bound.

Review from Ann Birch
I have read many books about the Indian residential schools, but this one is undoubtedly one of the best. Its main character is a spirited young girl named Yaot’l Snow Goose who lives a happy life in the forests and lakes of the Canadian North West until, on a visit with her family to Yellowknife to trade furs, she is seized by force and taken far away to Fort Providence to the Sacred Heart Residential School. At the same time, her boyfriend Sascho Lynx is also captured. The novel depicts their journey from innocence to despair to hope and happiness as they manage to escape from the horrors of the school and find their way back to their families and freedom. Though the plot may sound familiar to readers, this one contains a number of surprises. Its authors, Juliet Waldron and John Wisdomkeeper, present their extensive research within vivid scenes that will linger forever in readers’ minds. For example, I cannot think of any other book that shows the cruelty of these schools better than the writers’ depiction of the hair-cutting that takes place as soon as the Indian children enter the institution. Yaot’l waits, watching the youngsters’ hair being ruthlessly chopped off and knowing that when her turn comes, she must stand up to the enemy. When she bites one of the nuns, she is put into solitary confinement for weeks, a punishment that Waldron and Wisdomkeeper describe in harrowing detail. As Yaot’l looks out of the tiny window of her prison she sees a flock of snow geese flying south. “My own feathered family,” she thinks, “strong and free.” And then she collapses, thinking that she may never again be part of this happy band. Her ensuing life at the school contains other horrors as well. But along with their description of the usual physical and sexual abuses, the writers offer some surprises. Many of the Indians from warring bands learn to forget their battles as they confront the priests and nuns. Not everyone associated with the institution is a monster—in fact it’s a Métis trader who uses his affiliation with the school to help Yaot’l and Sascho escape—and some of the worst bullying that Yaot’l endures comes not from the nuns but from a small coterie of Indian girls who seek praise for their cruelty from the Catholic hierarchy. The most memorable scenes in the novel are perhaps those describing the escape of Yaot’l, Sascho, and two younger children and the suspenseful events of their long trek back to their families. As she huddles under tarpaulin in the escape boat, Yaot’l, whose name translates to Warrior, acknowledges her terror and wonders if she is no longer a warrior but merely a rabbit. Gradually, however, she regains her courage. The trader who helps the children escape returns to Yaot’l the precious knife on which her brother Charlie has carved a snow goose. At about the same time, she sees a flock of snow geese returning to their northern habitat and she knows for certain then that she will succeed in her struggles. The trader tells her and her friends, “You four are Indians again.” It’s a lovely book from start to finish. I learned so much about the culture of these North-Western First Nation bands: their religion, their stories, their connection with the land. Most of all, I travelled with Yaot’l and Sascho on their metaphysical journey through the conflicts of life. It’s the very archetype of the journey that many of us must take in order to survive in a difficult world.

Gifts from the Grandmothers: Traditional Recipes
Traditional recipes gathered from the Grandmothers of all cultures as I traveled the Canadian Prairies and listened to the stories and shared the food of elders.

Most of these recipes have been passed down by word of mouth, like the talking stories of First Nations culture. A grandmother, Lillian Mack, assisted me in testing and working with the recipes, adding hints and updating some of the ingredients so they could be used in modern kitchens where some of the traditional ingredients might not be readily available.

The herbal remedies are shared with the cautionary note that they should never be prepared or used for medicinal purposes without the guidance and instruction of a medicine teacher or a herbalist.

Healing Spirits, Bad Medicine by Jude Pittman and John Wisdomkeeper
When the body of a young Native girl is found murdered in Vancouver's world famous Stanley Park, homicide detective Mark Hanson is desperate to solve the crime before racial tension divides the community. Native Support Worker Jesse Dancer is called in as a liaison between the detectives and his community, and he knows just where to turn for help.
Beautiful Martine LaChance has intrigued him since she joined the support staff at the Vancouver Friendship Centre. Together, the pair call on Spirit Water, a reclusive Shaman who takes them on a quest into the spirit world where they get a glimpse of a merciless killer who isn`t going to stop killing until they stop him.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday's Featured Guest - John Wisdomkeeper #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Native American

 1     What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?

I’ve been a Native cultural teacher and an addiction counsellor for Native youth, and this was the foundation for my writing and continues to influence everything I write.

2.                 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 Native cultural stories and true experiences based on many travels.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres? 

Yes, of course, because my reading choices are in the areas that I study and teach.

4. What's your latest release? 

Fly Away Snow Goose, a residential school, historical fiction novel co-written with author Juliet Waldron.

5. What are you working on now? 

The second edition to the Wisdomkeeper Collection

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thursday's Third Scene from Bast's Warrior #MFRWAuthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Paranormal #Egypt alternate world

Tira opened her eyes and stifled a gasp.  Where was she?  The surface beneath her was softened by a thin pad.  She turned her head and bumped her temple against a hard surface.  Some kind of headrest prevented her from appraising her vicinity.  The substitute for a pillow wasn’t very comfortable.  The cover felt like linen rather than the thin cotton sheet she used.  She raised herself to a sitting position and the sheet slid to her waist.  Light streamed through a series of openings set high on one of the white plastered walls.
Her heart fluttered in a series of rapid beats.  Think.  Had she been kidnapped and sold as some kind of sex slave?  She drew a deep breath.  Why did nothing smell familiar?  She was Tira.  Tears trickled down her cheeks.  Someone had died.  Why couldn’t she remember who had betrayed her?
Tira wiped her face on a corner of the sheet.  With that word memories prickled with the same sensation in her head as when an arm or leg woke after falling asleep.
If you could go to ancient Egypt tonight even if the Two Lands is not the one you’ve studied, would you go?
She had agreed.  Had she somehow been transported to another Egypt?  So far she’d seen nothing to prove or disprove the theory.  The bed and the headrest had been pictured in books she’d read about the ancient land of the pharaohs.
Now what?  She couldn’t remain in bed and she definitely couldn’t leave this room in the nude.  Clothing was her first objective.  She slid from the narrow cot and nearly fell.  The bed stood on a wide platform.  Tira visually explored the room and noticed a stack of near-white cloth on a backless bench.  She wrapped the sheet around herself and crossed the room.
On a low table she found a pottery pitcher and a bowl.  She dipped a cloth taken from the rim of the bowl into the water and washed.  The heated air dried her skin.
As she studied the bench she noticed the legs were shaped like the feet of a feline.  She drew a deep breath.  She had arrived in ancient Egypt.  One by one she lifted the pieces of cloth from the bench and studied them.  Get dressed and learn where you are and why you’re here.
After several attempts she managed to clothe herself.  One strip formed a breast band.  A second, she used as a loincloth.  The third was a wraparound short skirt rather like a kilt.  A leather belt held a knife and a pouch containing a black substance she decided was kohl.  Since she had no idea how to apply the stuff she decided to pass.
She looked for shoes and found sandals.  She sat on the bench and slipped a foot beneath the leather straps.  She drew the shin guards up her leg and fastened the leather ties.  Surprisingly they fit.  The leather soles didn’t slip on the stone floor when she performed a series of warm-up exercises.
The beaded curtains in the doorway rattled.  Tira slid into an attack position.  Two elderly women entered the room.  Tira stared.  Were they the ones who had sheltered her for a time?  They looked similar.
One of the women wore the same clothes as Tira.  Her graying hair was cropped short like Tira’s but the woman’s didn’t curl.
The second woman’s hair was dark and cut shoulder length.  Was it a wig?  The woman’s ankle-length sheath bared her breasts.  A collar necklace covered her upper chest.
When Tira tried to talk about the world she’d left the words wouldn’t form.
The only knowledge you can take with you is what will fit into the time you reach except for your fighting skills.  You will be unable to speak of this world or of modern conveniences.
She glided toward the women.  If they proved to be a threat she would attack.
“Welcome to the Two Lands,”  the older of the two said.  “I am the chief priestess of this temple of the goddess Bast, protector of women and children.  A cat with a cream-colored coat wove a path around her legs.
Bast.  She had read about the goddess, one of the minor ones in the ancient Egypt of her world.  Was Bast a major player in this time and place?  What other changes would she find?  She swallowed a gasp.  How odd that she understood the language.  “My name is Tira.”  She could speak it as well.  She crouched and allowed the feline to sniff her hand.
The priestess smiled.  “Come and join us for a meal.  We will tell you why you are with us.  You are one of the awaited ones.  There is a task the goddess has set for you.”  She turned to her companion.  “Do you have the amulet that marks her as a warrior of Bast?”
“I do.”  The other woman smiled.  “I am the head of the warriors of this temple.  Do you willing accept your task?”
Even if you must remain for all your days.
Again she heard part of what the elderly women of the brownstone had asked.  She was here and there was no possible return.  “I do.”  She met the woman’s gaze.  “What if I fail?”
The priestess shuddered.  “There will be imprisonment or death.”
Tira swallowed.  But she would have found the same future in her own world.  “I won’t fail.”  She made the vow aloud and silently.
The warrior held a chain of silver links with a large silver medallion hanging from the center link.  Tira studied the piece.  A cat formed from smoky blue-gray gems formed the center of the circle.  Above the image were lapis hieroglyphics.  Tira read them.  “Chosen of Bast.”  She bent her knees so the shorter woman could slip the chain over her head/
“Where in the Two Lands am I?”
“In the nome of Mero.”
Tira pictured a map of the Nile and didn’t recognize the name.  Was she in the north or the south?  “Where exactly is this nome?”
“Near the first cataract,”  the chief priestess said.
In the south, Tira thought.
Tira followed the women along a corridor.  The wall on the left was higher than the one on the right.  Did the left wall form the rear of the temple?
They entered a large room where ornate columns braced the roof and allowed a view of the garden.  Backless stools were arranged in clusters.  Women dressed like the chief priestess sat near small tables.
The priestess chose seats in a secluded niche.  “Sit.  Food will be brought.”
Before long, women carried plates and trays of food to the table.  Tira selected from a variety of dishes, some she recognized and some she didn’t.  There were lentils and chickpeas, beef and some type of fowl, a variety of lettuces, onions both cooked and raw and cheese.  Wine and beer were offered.  Tira accepted beer.  She sipped the bitter brew and put the cup down.  The alcohol content of the beverage was more than the kind she knew.  She needed food to counter the effect of the alcohol.  Once she finished the food on her plate honey-sweetened dates appeared.
She swallowed the last of the beer and looked from one woman to the other.  “What would you have me do?”
“You are our hope,”  the priestess said.  “With the help of the goddess you were brought from a far land to this troubled place.  The invaders came with their horses and chariots.  Like a plague of locusts they swept through the land leaving destruction behind.  Three treasures, gifts from the major gods, were removed from the pharaoh’s house.  Before those who took the symbols of the role were able to report their location they were killed.  Their deaths took place in the Valley of the Pharaohs.  Thus the flail, the crook and the double crown were lost.”
The warrior took up the tale.  “Twenty years ago the invaders were driven from the land.  The pharaoh and his sons were killed.  We have sought the symbols and have unearthed a clue as to where they were hidden.  At present the land is divided and the nomarchs vie for the rule.  Your quest will help us establish a new dynasty with ties to the beginning.”
Tira looked up.  “How can this be done?”
“Though the pharaoh and his sons reside in the afterworld one woman of his house remained alive.  She fled the estate and vanished in the desert.  Word came that she gave birth to a daughter.  That child, now a young woman, can trace her lineage to the first dynasty.  The man who weds her will sit on the pharaoh’s chair.”
“Where will I find her?”  Tira asked.  “How will I know her?”
“She is not your quest.  When the time is right she will be revealed.”  The priestess leaned forward.  “Your quest is to find the hidden symbols.  When you leave the temple seek the compound of the nomarch of Mero.  Among his scrolls I believe you will find information to aid your search.  During the rebellion against the invaders he carried many scrolls from the temple of Toth.  When you reach the town near his estate you will meet a warrior of Horu, the god of the skies.  He will join you in the search.”
Tira frowned.  “How will I identify this companion?”
“He will wear an amulet marking him as Horu’s choice.”
Tira closed her eyes.  “Can you tell me more about these symbols?”
The priestess rose.  She crossed the room and entered an alcove.  A short time later she returned with a small scroll.  After unrolling the papyrus she showed Tira the pictured objects.  Tira studied them.  Beneath each of the symbols she saw another picture.  There was a cat, an ankh and a hawk.
The priestess rolled the scroll and tied it with a strip of linen.  “Take this with you to help in your quest.  Other clues will be found.”
Tira had seen pictures of the flail, the crook and the double crown in books.  In the images on the small scroll she noticed small differences from the ones she remembered but she thought she would recognize the objects when she found them.  She accepted the scroll.  “How do I find this nomarch and his compound?”
“You will be shown a road.”  The priestess leaned forward.  “Be wary.  Ramis of Mero is no friend of the goddess.   He is an ambitious man and wishes to see his eldest son named pharaoh.  Though Mero sits at the gateway to trade with the dark lands Ramis wants more wealth.  With his son as pharaoh he will become the power behind the chair.  As vizier he will gain power.  To achieve his goals he has allied with the priests of Aken Re, the abomination.”
“If he is the enemy why will he allow me into his house?”  Was the quest for the symbols a true one?  Did the priestess want her to spy on the nomarch and the priests?
The warrior smiled.  “When he sees your amulet he will offer his help.  He will act like a friend.  He plays a double game and wishes a sandal in each camp.  He may try to learn what you know.  He might decide to give you to the priests.  Do not trust him.  Learn what you need and depart as soon as you have the knowledge.”
The chief priestess nodded.  “You are a woman who will remind him of a past he chooses to ignore.  His ancestors were slaves from Nubia who won their freedom and through marriage rose to power.  You are also unlike the women on his court for you will not bear to be confined and controlled.”
Tira swallowed.  She had known men with the same nature as the nomarch and she hadn’t liked them.  “How far must I travel to find this compound?”  Another thought arose.  She had never ridden a horse.  Driving a chariot was beyond her imagination.
“You will be guided to a path along the river.  If you walk north you will reach the town where traders come and workers live.  Anyone you meet can direct you to the nomarch’s compound.  You should be there by dark.”
Tira rose.  “I’ll leave now.”
The priestess clasped Tira’s hand.  “May the spirit of Bast guide and guard you.”
Tira paused.  “When I have these objects should I return here?”
“The goddess Bast and the god Horu will guide you.  There are other temples to the goddess.”
The warrior beckoned.  Tira followed her down the hall.  The older woman slipped into one of the rooms along the hall.  She returned and handed Tira a heavy pouch and a bundle she could fasten on her back.  “A blanket and five changes of clothes.  Coins for the journey.”  She strode along the hall.
Tira pushed the small scroll into the bundle and fit her arms through the straps.  The warrior opened a door into what Tira believed was the main temple.  Drawing a deep breath she entered, halted and stared.  A huge mural on the back wall showed the goddess surrounded by a variety of felines.  One of the views showed Bast as a warrior, one within a circle of children and another of her offering the crook to a man and a necklace to a woman.
The beauty of the mural held her attention until the warrior touched her arm.  “Come.”
They strode along a walk with plinths on either side leading to an open doorway.  The highest pair flanked the mural.  On each pillar an image of a cat stood.  Some were created from preserved skins, some modeled from clay and others carved from wood, semi-precious stones and various rocks.  Had there been any temple like this in the Egypt she had studied?  She couldn’t remember reading of one.
One of the statues appeared to be carved from a smoky gray stone.  As Tira passed, the cat stretched, yawned and leaped to the ground.  Tira knelt so the feline could smell her hand.
The cat nipped the skin between Tira’s thumb and fingers.  A shock of awareness swept through her body.  Truly she had been chosen by this feline as a companion.  As Tira rose the cat rubbed her legs.  Tira lifted the feline into her arms.
The warrior laughed.  “Bast Ka has chosen to become your spirit guardian.  She will go with you.”
A rumbling purr vibrated against her chest.  Bast Ka leaped to the ground and padded to the temple entrance where pillars carved into likenesses of cats flanked the rectangular doorway.
Tira followed.  Though she would have loved to remain and explore the temple an urgency to be on the way filled her.  She would return another time.  This was her world until death claimed her.
That thought remained as she trailed Bast Ka from the temple.  Occasionally the cat turned and stared at Tira.  Beyond the entrance they passed walled enclosures where lions, leopards, cheetahs and a tri-colored breed she had never seen roamed.  The huge cats moved toward the low wall.  Bast Ka halted and yowled.  The large felines retreated.
The warrior waited at the end of the walk.  “This is your road.”  She pointed to a path of packed earth.  “Good fortune to you.  May we meet again in this time and place.  If not, surely in the afterworld.  Remember all we have told you.  I leave you now.  Good hunting.”
“I’ll do my best.”  Tira set off along the path.  How much knowledge did she have of this new world?  The spoken language was hers.  She recognized and seemed to understand the things the priestess and warrior had told her.  She knew what most of the foods had been and she had easily figured how to dress.
Wish I had a car.  She could think the words but when she tried to utter them she couldn’t.  She had been warned that would happen.  She could bring nothing from the future of the other world into this one.
The sun moved toward mid-afternoon.  To the right she saw the rushing water of the river.  The sound of the cataracts seemed distant.  On the other bank she saw granite cliffs.  Along the edge of the path reeds grew.
Would she encounter crocodiles or other unfriendly creatures?  She edged closer to the cliffs.  She was along but this wasn’t unusual.  She seldom allowed others to cross the barriers she had erected.  Her sister had been close but Luci had cared only about drugs and escape.  In this time and place Tira regretted her sister’s death and the loss of a life poorly spent.  Bast Ka purred.  The sound brought comfort.
As she continued to walk, the sun sunk lower in the west.  She wondered how far she had walked since leaving the temple.  One thing she discovered was how much easier walking on dirt was that the concrete sidewalks she had known.
As the sunset flared in brilliant colors the river turned red and orange.  When the light faded the water darkened.  Tira smiled.  She was almost where she had dreamed of being.  Here was a different Egypt and a different time but she felt as if she belonged.
A crescent moon edged above the horizon.  Stars appeared, more than she’d ever seen.  There were no city lights to dull the night sky.
The cliffs on her left were further from the river.  Ahead she saw the outline of buildings.  Her stomach rumbled.  Perhaps there would be a place where she could buy a meal and find somewhere to sleep.  Were there restaurants and hotels in this land?  She hoped to find someone to ask.  Though she was wary of speaking to strangers perhaps the amulet would protect her.
Bast Ka jumped from her arms.  The cat yowled and took the lead.  Tira trotted after the feline.  Where were they going and what would they find?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wednesday Moon Summoned #MFRWHooks #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Fantasy #Swords #Sorcery

Moon Summoned

 Join me and the other authors who are doing a blog hop with some great books    Mine is a fantasy with three heroines, three heroes and three villains 

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!



The setting sun brought shadows creeping along the mountain slopes. From the battle lines stretched across the plateau, the smell of blood mingled with the dust. Metal clanged against metal. Shouts, curses and screams filled the air. The moans of the wounded broke the Seer’s concentration on the amber light streaming from the crystal atop her staff. The beam sent a jagged pattern through the growing darkness.
A piercing cry arose. The ruby ray from the Warrior’s sword shot toward the sky. The Healer darted among the fallen and knelt beside the sorely wounded woman. Blue light from the Healer’s wand focused on the Warrior’s wounds. The Healer poured life-sustaining energy through the azure beam.
Gusts of wind drove thick waves of fog from the mountain peaks to obscure the plain and to cover the retreat of the women. A cluster of the servants of the Mistress of the Moons, clad in tunics of amber, red and blue, stumbled after those who bore the Warrior. They carried her between a pair of standing stones into a narrow passage that led to a crater lake and the Place of Choosing.
The Seer stumbled and would have fallen if the Healer hadn’t caught her arm. Together they moved through the fog. The edges of their cloaks brushed the standing stones.
“How much time have we?” the Healer asked.
The Seer tightened her grip on the staff. “I pray enough to complete the ritual before the eclipse hides the light of the moon.”
The Healer guided the other woman into the narrow passage. “With the coming of the fog, the bright moon and the dark moon have risen. We must succeed or all is lost for the One we serve.”
“Pray our call is answered before the next eclipse and the time of the lunar of the dark moon. For now and to all eternity, the thirteenth moon, the dark moon will rise each year to fill the sky.”
“We must wait thirteen years before this comes to pass. Pray the Mistress of the Moons will hold the Queen of Darkness at bay so the ones we call will have a chance.”
“Unless those who serve the Lord of Shadows call the Queen forth.”
The Healer sucked in a breath. “Never will the ones who serve the shadowed one share the rule.”
The Seer sighed. “Mistress bless. So be it. We will call, the Three will come and all will be as it has been. Unlike those in the other nomes, we can’t allow a drastic change to alter what we’ve built.”
“Agreed,” the Healer said.
They emerged from the passage and walked across the rock-strewn earth to the crater lake. The walls on three sides formed a crescent around the pool.
The Seer marshaled enough strength to walk unassisted. Her hair, darkened by age, flew wildly around her face. The Healer’s hair was as black as a night beneath the dark moon.
The remaining women clustered at the edge of the lake. The Seer and the Healer took the ends of the stretcher on which the Warrior lay. They waded through the cool water to the isle in the center of the lake. Gently they laid their companion on the pale rock. The Healer placed the Warrior’s sword on her chest and crossed the woman’s arms beneath the orb in the hilt.
Those who served the Mistress as seers, warriors and healers held torches aloft.
The ebon globe slid across the surface of the pale golden moon. The Seer passed her hand over the head of her staff. From the depths of the amber crystal, a band of pale yellow light flowed.
“From out of time and out of space, we three, Seer, Warrior, Healer, send our spirits questing for those who will continue the battle against the Lord of Shadows. We call for those who will keep the faith exactly as we have. Mistress of the Moons, pray keep the Queen of Darkness in bonds so You will prevail.”
The Healer raised her wand. The blue crystal on the tip flared and blue light shone. “The time of passing is upon us.” Her voice held neither fear nor anticipation. “Moon bright becomes Moon dark. May this eclipse add strength to our quest.”
The dark orb continued its stately progress across the face of the moon. The Seer held her staff so the light shone across the body of the Warrior. “How fares our sister?”
The Healer pressed a hand against the Warrior’s chest. “Her heart beats, but her body weakens. Can she bring forth the light of her sword?”
“The Mistress will sustain her.”
The Healer gasped. From the ruby crystal embedded in the hilt of the Warrior’s sword, a red ray rose to touch the blue and amber. “Just as our lights unite, we three are one.”

Moon Bright, Moon dark,
Mistress of the Moons.
From out of time,
From the depths of space.
Call the Three,
Seer, Warrior, Healer.
Empower them.
From conception comes the thought.
From the thought rises the desire.
From desire springs the seed.
And the fruit becomes the harvest,
Ending shadows, bringing light.

The women who had gathered at the edge of the lake added their voices to those of the Three. Once, twice, thrice, they intoned the call. As the dark globe completely covered the moon, they plunged their torches into the water. Clouds of herb-scented smoke obscured the isle. When the sun rose only a staff, a sword and a wand remained