Thursday, July 22, 2021
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Remy Belieux, a woman born into a life of servitude on a repressive factory planet, is desperate for a different life. When she's accepted into the Space Service Academy, run by the organization that enslaved her planet, she discovers the truth behind generations of rebellion.
As her heart pulls her toward Phillip, the leader of the rebel group, she finds herself questioning where her loyalties truly lie. Now she must choose, fighting for her life against impossible odds.
Excerpt R-RATED Nobody should read unless over 16 or accompanied by a parent.
Remy made herself comfortable sitting sideways on the bunk next to Cassie. They set the viewing console between them. “So, which do you recommend?”
Cassie scrolled through the vid list. “That’s good. That one too. Oh, oh! Here’s the best one.” She tapped the screen to select To Have and Have Not.
“What’s it about?”
“Man, woman, sex. You know, the usual. Oh, and it’s the one with the whistle line.”>
They settled with their backs against pillows to watch. The grainy black-and-white images puzzled Remy. “The color’s missing. And it’s two-dimensional.”
“Hush. It’s supposed to be that way. That’s why they called it film noir.”
Remy shook her head, but figured if she watched, she’d get used to the flat, gray-toned images. Cassie put her hand over Remy’s. Remy didn’t move her hand away. When the woman named Slim in the vid said the line about whistling, Cassie surprised Remy by leaning over and kissing her lightly on the lips. Cassie drew back and looked into Remy’s eyes, the question from her kiss continuing in her glance.
Remy considered the offer, then shrugged her shoulders and quirked her lips in a lopsided grin. “Why not?” she whispered, then leaned into Cassie, returning her kiss. Remy felt the softness of a woman’s lips, different from a man’s. Or at least different from Kiru’s butterfly touches and deep caresses. She wondered if she should be doing this? Was this right? The tingling in her belly said yes.
Cassie ran her hand under Remy’s shirt and cupped her breast, gently squeezing. When she ran a finger around her nipple, Remy gasped.
Momentarily confused, Remy didn’t know what she was supposed to do. With a man, it was obvious, immediate, primal. With another woman, the need felt different, yet somehow the same. Remy mirrored Cassie’s caresses, trusting her partner to guide her with her own actions. What made her feel good? It must be the same for Cassie.
She felt gentle fingers exploring her body. Remy’s thoughts flashed back to Kiru’s face, his touch, his masculine smell of sweat and cinnamon. Cassie smelled sweet, like lilacs—lovely, soft, and inviting. Remy cleared her mind, determined to learn and savor this new sensation wherever it led. She had to know where her feelings would take her, then she could be complete. She let Cassie lead her to that completeness.
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A mystery writer, Taylor Madison, travels to a small town in west Texas (she's from mid-Texas) to confront her aunt about the animosity between the two sisters. Sounds fairly commonplace, but the fun starts when she ends up being deputized to help out the annual rattlesnake festival. If you don't know about such things, the book quickly explains what it is and what happens. Why is Taylor deputized? Good question, but it seems to be because the sheriff's office is shy a deputy, and Taylor is a mystery writer. Also, she's known to some extent in the small town from her mother and aunt both growing up there.
Okay, we get to the nitty-gritty when the Sheriff is murdered in his own home using rattlesnake venom. While we big city fellas might find that odd, you just need to accept that in west Texas, it's not that farfetched.
All of the above is to show you that you're not getting a mystery cozy here. The unusual setting, background of the MC, and all those rattlers guarantee this isn't very cozy at all.
I like Taylor and feel her actions to be believable and sensible (sort of). I suspect the next book in the series will give the audience plenty of unusual crimes and perplexing social commentary on small towns.
Since I'm a hereditary West Texan although I lived there only when I was a wee lass, I have read quite a bit and done additional research for my own writing about the area. I even sent the author a link to my own tale about rattlesnake hunting. I hope she enjoyed it (if she read it).
I'll gladly read more of Taylor Madison's mysteries in the additional books in the series.
Recommended, but not if you're really snake-phobic. I'm not, so I enjoyed the details included in the book.
View all my reviews
Sunday, June 20, 2021
(June 20th 8:32PM PDT, June 21st 03:32 UTC)
Take a look at model of the solar system, specifically look at earth. If it’s properly oriented, then it’s a bit tilted, not straight up and down as you might think. Stand back a bit further, and you can see the earth doesn’t travel in a circle around the sun, but in a big oval called an ellipsis.
Many cultures celebrate the Summer Solstice. A few of these celebrations are: Adonia, St. John's Feast Day, Jani, Liða, Midsommar, Ivan Kupala Day, Juhannus, Mittumaari, Alban Hefin, Gwyl Ganol yr Haf, Sankthans, Jaanipäev, Keskikesä, and Rasos. Oh, my. That’s a lot of celebrating! Wherever you live, you can have a party.
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?
If you’re a witch living on a remote arctic island, and the entire island runs on magic, lacking magical skills is not just an inconvenience, it can be a matter of life and death–or, at least, a darn good reason to run away from home.
Katrina’s spells don’t just fizzle; they backfire with spectacular results, oftentimes involving green goo. A failure as a witch, Kat decides to run away and find her dead father’s non-magical family. But before she can, she stumbles onto why her magic is out of whack: a curse from a Siberian shaman.
The young witch, accompanied by her half-vampire brother, must travel to the Hall of the Mountain King and the farthest reaches of Siberia to regain her magic, dodging attacks by the shaman along the way.
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?
Kat is a nervous wreck waiting for her boyfriend's first visit to her Arctic island home. He doesn't show up, so she's sure he’s given her the brushoff.
When she learns he’s disappeared, she sets out on a mission to find him. Things go wrong from the start. Kat is thrown overboard during a violent storm, while her brother and his girlfriend are captured by a mutant island tribe. The mutants hold the girlfriend hostage, demanding the teens recover the only thing that can make the mutants human again–the magical Midnight Oil.
Mustering every bit of her Wiccan magic, Kat rises to the challenge. She invokes her magical skills, learns to fly an ultralight, meets a legendary sea serpent, rescues her boyfriend, and helps a friendly air spirit win the battle against her spiteful sibling. On top of it all, she’s able to recover the Midnight Oil and help the hapless mutants in the nick of time.
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.
Kat expects to have a great time on her graduation trip to Stonehenge. However, from the moment she leaves the witches’ arctic island, Galdorheim, she gets in nothing but trouble. Her younger half-brother tries to horn in on her trip, she gets lost in the magical Otherworld realm, is led astray by a supposed friend, then she has to confront a Scottish goddess who’s fallen on hard times.
While dodging the goddess’ minions and trying to find her way out of the Otherworld, Kat soon learns she shouldn’t underestimate the old has-been for one second; the crone still has a few tricks that can drain a witch’s magic in a flash. To make matters worse, Kat's brother secretly followed her into the Otherworld. Now he’s in danger too. Kat has to go one on one with the goddess to save herself and her brother.
BLOOD TIES TESTED (Sequel Story)
Unfortunate events lead a half vampire boy into indulging his vampire side, leaving him with regret and sadness. Can dear old Dad help him forgive himself?
Following the events in the series Witches of Galdorheim, this additional tale relates what happens to Katrina the Witch's younger brother, Rune. Half vampire and half warlock, he faces life with a wisecrack and some powerful magic. Whatever happens, he does not want to be a vampire like his father. Unfortunate events lead him to fatally call on his vampire half. This failure leaves him in anguish. How can he assuage the guilt he feels? His mother thinks he needs to visit dead old dad, a vampire residing in the Tatras Mountains of Slovakia.
SPELLSLINGER (Prequel Story)
What does a teenage half-warlock, half-vampire do to have fun? Why build an old west town on a glacier in the Arctic. There he can play at being the good guy sheriff up against mean old Black Bart.
That things will go horribly wrong is a given. But how does Rune get into and out of the predicament?
This prequel story to the Witches of Galdorheim series gives the reader a chance to get to know the smart-aleck kid, Rune, before he got his magic down pat.
My husband, Jack, is both a step- and adoptive dad. He went well beyond the call of duty when he not only took on an 8-year-old and 11-year-old as a stepfather but also adopted them when their own biological father (boo on you) signed them over to avoid paying child support (he never did pay any).
I wrote TALES OF A TEXAS BOY in honor of my own father. I figured the best I could do for him is to immortalize his tall (and partly true) tales. I call it fiction since I can't know exactly what happened when Dad Boles brought his bear to town, when the little red hen took up residence in Ma's kitchen, or how he really met May West in a little diner in East Texas.
On the other hand, nobody else was there, so how I wrote the stories might be the honest truth. Who's to say?
Want to get your own father a great gift (or your step-father or your brother who is a great dad or for yourself whether you're a dad or not)?
Ebook at Amazon ON SALE FOR 99 CENTS
Audio Book at Audible
Photo-Illustrated Ebook on Smashwords
Saturday, June 19, 2021
If even a single person is not free, nobody is truly free. Celebrate Emancipation Day, even though it took Texas until June 19th, 1865 to be informed they were on the losing side of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. That's why Juneteenth is celebrated, although the Amendment was not ratified until December of that year. I'm showing my home states of Oregon's celebratory logo for the now official Federal Holiday.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Thanks, Dad (I actually called him Hon for Honey—long story). Wait until you’re hitting the down slope of life before you mention to your writer daughter you had something interesting to tell me about when you were a kid.
After a chat with light details based on his failing memory, I wrote “The Cattle Drive” starring my father when he was a kid growing up on a West Texas farm during the Depression Era.
What else might he have to say he hasn’t bothered to mention for the last few decades. As it turns out, quite a bit. A lot of it’s funny. After all, a person remembers the humorous event or odd character. Most of the stories also included farm and wild animals. Even better.
Eventually, I wrote a lot more stories to go with the original six or seven I got published in various zines and sites. He got a kick out of them and believed every word was absolutely true. Well, I had to make up a lot of the details, but they were more or less almost true tall tales.
Before he died, I put together 20 or so stories and put them into a single book titled “Tales of a Texas Boy.” I read the stories to him as I wrote for his comments and corrections. It occurred to me that I was reading the stories to him because he couldn’t read them himself. He was going blind with macular degeneration.
I decided that a large print paperback version of the book would appeal to other elders, particularly those with failing vision and/or who grew up in a rural environment.
Turns out the grandmas and grandpas did, indeed, want to read or listen to these stories about a pet bear, a flying pig, a stubborn jackass, skunks in a cornpatch, and lots more.
I thought since this is my blog, I’d let those who are interested know about Tales. They might have somebody in their life (or themselves) who’d like funny and sometimes sad stories.
So, here’s where you can find the book in ebook, print, large print, and audio formats.
Ebook, audio, and regular print paperback: Tales of a Texas Boy - Kindle edition (on sale for 99 cents)
How do you handle a crazy jackass? Eddie knows. If you ask Eddie, he'll tell you pigs can fly and show you where to find real mammoth bones. Take his word for it when he tells you always to bet on the bear. These are things he learned while dreaming of becoming a cowboy in West Texas during the Depression. Through Eddie, the hero of "Tales of a Texas Boy," we find that growing up is less about maturity and more about roping your dreams. Hold on tight. It's a bumpy ride.
Friday, June 11, 2021
Large Print at Amazon - Perfect Dads' Day gift.
You've heard the phrase "A Legend in His Own Time." That's when somebody does something so extraordinary they create a legend around themselves. As time moves on, the legendary aspect grows and morphs into something bigger and, well, more legendary. That legend is helped along by authors writing about the person. Some people have reputations built on very little reality. 19th Century writers hungry for audience share exaggerated the feats of such legendary characters as Kit Carson, Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill Cody. These mostly untrue stories made good press for the city folks back east.
Then there's another type of legend. It's when an author bases a book on a real person nobody has ever heard about, but exaggerates the person's feats to make for good reading; the writer creates the legend. Can you think of a case where this has occurred? I imagine there are many, considering possible biographers who hero-worship their subject past the point of reality.
Tales of a Texas Boy is available in ebook, print, and audio formats. Side note: this book in large print is a popular Fathers' Day gift for those who may have lived through the Great Depression themselves or simply grew up in a rural area. They'll feel right at home.
Ebook at Amazon ON SALE FOR ONLY 99 CENTS
Audio Book at Amazon
Audio Book at Audible
Thursday, June 10, 2021
About this book: Kat can't catch a break. Her mother, brother, and aunt are super witches, but Kat can screw up the simplest spell. Her poor familiar, Teddy the Bunny, puts up with being turned into a half-frog, half-rabbit pile of green goo among other indignities. Every spell just goes wrong, wrong, wrong.
Everyone knows she's got the power, but assume she isn't trying hard enough to master the principles involved in witchcraft. The fault might just be her dead father. A Siberian fisherman, he didn't have a lick of magic, but her mother loved him anyway. Now that dad is buried in a ice cave, Kat decides to find her father's family. Maybe they'd take her since she sure doesn't belong on an arctic island run on magic.
Her super warlock, half vampire brother Rune decides she can't get along without his magic, so the two of them set out across the frozen Barents Sea to Norway, then by troll train to Siberia where her father's family lives.
Along the way, Kat makes some unusual friends, figures out how to use her magic and falls for a changeling troll. Beauty is, as everyone knows, only skin deep.
• "I think this would be a fun read for any age, and a good 'hook' book for a middle grade reader." — Conda V. Douglas
• "She skillfully plays with familiar themes and myths, but weaves them into an intriguing and original story." — Edith Parzefall
• "There is also a larger narrative in the book which is intolerance." — Vixenne Victorienne "Kymberlyn Reed"
Monday, June 07, 2021
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Call me a fan. I've read the entire series of the Alvarez Family Mysteries and have enjoyed every one of them.
I'm giving my rare 5 star rating to this 7th book to honor the previous six. I don't usually stick to cozy mysteries, but Heather Haven knows how to keep a reader wanting more. I hope this isn't the last we see of Lea and the rest of the Alvarez family solving corporate crimes which strangely almost always involve dead people not just corporate shenanigans (the ostensible purpose of Discretionary Inquiries, the family investigation agency).
I needn't add any plot details because that's what readers are for: reading the books and enjoying the plot as it unfolds.
Lucky for you who haven't read these books yet. The full set of 7 books is available as of the time I am posting this review.
One other note: Check out Ms. Haven's other books. They're all as entertaining as these are.
View all my reviews
Monday, May 31, 2021
I could not think of any more fitting words than those of Abraham Lincoln delivered at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863 memorializing the fallen soldiers.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Sunday, May 30, 2021
Saturday, May 29, 2021
There are also those who go without remembrance even though they gave their lives, not voluntarily, but because others just had to shoot, bomb, and kill. We don't know many of their names, but I'm pretty sure my grandfather did.
My Memorial Day remembrance is for the horses and mules who were absolutely essential to and died because of war. WWI. My grandfather was a veterinary in the Expeditionary Forces in France. This is what he recalled (loosely interpreted by me).
In 1916, I was still a young buck and not yet married, so I signed up with Black Jack Pershing to go after Pancho Villa. Ol’ Pancho and his banditos had come into US territory and killed a bunch of folks in Columbus, New Mexico.
I was real good with horses, so soon I was the veterinarian. This was just as well, as I didn’t take well to using a gun. I’d never studied vetting in school, but I’d grown up on a farm in Nebraska and knew just about all there was to know about horses and mules. We chased Pancho and his gang just about all over Mexico, but never did catch up with him. A couple years later, I was still in the service, so I ended up goin’ to France with Black Jack when he got to be a General. I could have decided not to go as I’d done my time, but I knew Black Jack could put me to good use.
We were on the troop ship for weeks. Everybody was seasick for the first few days. The horses seemed to fare fine in that regard, but I was worried we couldn’t exercise them enough. We brought them up from the hold, a few at a time, and let them stretch their legs. We’d lead them in a quick walk around the deck. With the metal decks, we didn’t want them to move very fast for fear they’d slip and fall. I’d hate to have to put down a horse with a broken leg, so we took it real easy. As a result, the horses were not in good fightin’ shape by the time we landed in France.
It took some time, but me and Joe, who got assigned to be my assistant, got them in shape again. Mostly the horses were used to pack gear, but a few officers still rode them. Black Jack Pershing liked to ride on occasion, as did Captain Patton. I thought we should only have mules, since they make better pack animals than horses, but there were never enough mules to go around.
We weren’t in too many battles directly as we were the supply line for the army, but in 1918 it turned pretty bad when we went into the Argonne Forest. They called this an ‘offensive.’ I can see why as it offended me a lot. The fighting went on for nearly two months and only ended in November when the big guys signed the Treaty at Versailles.
In that short two months, it was hell on earth. Thousands of men died. One whole division, the 77th, was cut off for near a week and held out surrounded by the German forces. It was some battle, I can tell you. Almost all day long, I could hear the shells bursting and the sharp reports of rifle fire. And I heard the screams of dying men and horses.
The worst part for me was the horses being swept up in the middle of the battle. It broke my heart to go out on the fields after the fighting passed by and after the dead and wounded men were collected. Sometimes the ground was so soaked with blood that my boots were covered before I got back. A horse with an artery torn open bleeds gallons of blood; men only a few pints. It angered me when I thought how much the horses gave. They didn’t even have a say in goin’ to war. Men, at least, had a choice.
I carried a sidearm and had to shoot more horses than I can count. Those we could save, we’d bring back to the line and see if we could treat their wounds. It was a second heartbreak when they wouldn’t heal proper and we’d take them out behind the tents to put them down. We dug a deep trench to bury them for health reasons and we kept digging every day to hold them all.
While we treated the horses, close by we could see the wounded men being brought back from the battlefield. Legs and arms were already gone or had to be cut off by the doctors right there in the field. From the history I’d read about the Civil War, this was just about as bad. If the choice was amputate or die, then they had to do what was necessary. We dug another trench to hold the arms and legs the doctors cut off; the dead soldiers we wrapped in oilcloth to be sent back behind the lines, where we hoped to send their bodies back home to their families.
All told I spent twenty months in France. It was the worst part of my life and I hoped and prayed we’d never see another war like this again.
Thursday, May 06, 2021
These are stories about my father. He's passed now, but he took great pleasure reading his almost true tall tales. I think you'll enjoy them too. The descriptions of stories below are of particular interest to mothers.
Here are the buy links:
Large Print Paperback Amazon $9.99
Ebook: Kindle Ebook - On sale through Mom's Day for 99 cents.
Smashwords EPUB/MOBI Name your own price as low as 99 cents.
Here are a few of the twenty-one stories included in the book.
WHEN I WAS a boy, my Ma was a woman of few words, which surprised quite a few folks. The town ladies came out to visit on occasion and she’d go to town to return the favor, but mostly she listened. That did set her apart from the gossipers and them that just liked to talk to hear themselves.
IT’D BEEN RAINING forty days and forty nights is what Ma said, but I only counted up eleven days myself. She did tend to put things in Bible sayin’s, so I won’t say she was lyin’, just exaggeratin’ for effect.
IT ALWAYS MEANS a good time when Pa lets me go with him in the truck. I liked the truck a lot and sometimes he’d let me drive a ways, too. This time, Pa planned on goin’ further than Hereford. We were goin’ to go to Amarillo, the trip some fifty miles. It would take us most of one day to get there and do what we needed to do, so we’d have to camp overnight somewhere along the way.
Most animals on the farm were there for a purpose, rarely as pets. That meant that animals were not allowed in the house like they are today. If they got in, however, it wasn’t always easy to get them out again.
WHEN I WAS just a little kid, no more’n seven if I remember rightly, I was down in the chicken yard tossin’ grain like I was tol’. This one little red hen started followin’ me around instead of peckin’ up the grain like the other chickens. I thought it strange, but just went about my business.
Thursday, April 29, 2021
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Available now on Amazon. Print and audio coming soon.
When I saw this book grouped with the cozy mysteries, I groaned just a little bit. You see, I was lucky enough to be able to read the pre-publication edition.
Cozy, this is not, in my opinion. It's an exciting, unique story of a woman and her dog, and her dog, and her dog, and her dog...
No, I'm not a broken record. The strong, yet vulnerable Jessie Andersen has gathered a pack of dogs who are devoted to her and listen to what she wants them to do for her. Since they speak multiple languages (English, German, Dog), they get Jessie and Jessie gets them in return.
When Jessie Anderson had to leave her job as a police officer in Colorado because of the trauma of seeing her partner killed and being wounded herself. She couldn't be a cop any longer.
Returning home to her family's dog training facility, she realized she could continue serving and protecting while still a civilian. She already has her pack, but knows it's difficult to get certified for search and rescue dogs. She turns to technology and gets her own drones--small flying machines operated by the controller on the ground--and begins training herself to use the drones effectively.
On a test run, the drones pick up a view of a person lying still on the ground. Since the person wasn't moving and was more than two miles from her position, she calls 911 to report the possible injured person.
The Sheriff's office follows her directions to the location of the body--a dead woman--and Jessie quickly finds out that no good deed goes unpunished, as the Sheriff's department confiscates her drones and their computer controller as "evidence," since the flights are video-recorded, and the law can see what Jessie saw. Jessie's videos provide a place for law enforcement to start for evidence gathering. There's even a very blurry picture of the killer as he escapes in a red pickup!
Jessie returns to working with her dogs, and tries to find a new way forward in her plans ...without her drones.
...Well, this is a mystery, so you know that eventually Jessie and her dogs will become more deeply involved in the manhunt. Anything more would be spoilers, so I'll continue with my impressions.
This is a great start to what will be a series. I can hardly wait for the others to be released. I like Jessie a lot, and I enjoyed the unraveling of the mystery.
Some things that sets this book above the usual run of cozies. There are lots of wonderful details on the dogs, their personalities, how they are trained, and even certified for search and rescue work. This attention to detail makes this a great read much better than a standard cozy mystery with a cat or a chihuahua in a bakery. Jessie's dogs are real, their training serious, their results incredible. Jessie is an amazing woman. I suspect the author is just a little (maybe a lot) like her character. Dawn Keur can write a helluva story.
P.S. Check out Keur's other books for interesting, well-written tales.
View all my reviews
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
I'm honoring the women warriors from past centuries.
|Iranic Scythian Female Warrior|
|Persian Female Warrior|
|Artemisia in Battle Against Greeks|
Thursday, April 01, 2021
The heroes are often the mighty warrior types: Hercules, Gilgamesh, Samson. Since I’ve written this book for kids, my heroes are teenagers, not at all like the legends (but they might become legendary themselves). They’re not in already in the mythology, so you’ll just have to read "Faizah's Destiny" to find out about them.
Each time the light dimmed, it returned brighter than before, pulsing in time to the beat of her heart. As the shape within the light grew more and more distinct, a part of Faizah’s mind wondered if she should be afraid. Somehow she wasn’t. Instead, she felt a strong attraction to that glowing figure and walked to the lake’s edge to get a better look.
The apparition hovered a few inches above the surface of the lake. Faizah could now see, through the shimmering aura surrounding her, the figure was that of a woman. She was looking out over the lake to the point where the shooting star had disappeared over the caldera rim. Clad in a golden cloak, a diamond tiara adorned her brow, and two small lions lay at her feet. The figure turned slowly to look directly at Faizah, and a gentle smile curved her lips.
Faizah gasped in sudden recognition. This was the goddess Anahita! She did exist! Faizah stood entranced as the patroness of all women, the goddess of water and fertility, and of war, came gliding smoothly over the surface of the lake toward her.
As the figure halted before her, Faizah glanced quickly over her shoulder at their campsite. The boys hadn’t moved, and she could hear Menog’s rumbling snore. She turned back to face the goddess.
“They will not awaken, Faizah,” Anahita’s lilting voice sounded in her ear. “I would speak to you alone.”
“Why...what...why have you appeared to me, Goddess?” Faizah stammered, her voice trembling.
“My husband has listened to your thoughts, Faizah. Ahura favors your purpose. He sent Menog to guide you through the cavern.”
Faizah’s eyes widened as she struggled to grasp what she was hearing. Ahura, too?
“Ah...we are grateful to Ahura for his favor. But...but, if he is protecting us, why did the boys become ill? Why didn’t I get sick, too?”
Anahita’s musical laugh was the tinkling of bells in a breeze. “Pazuzu of the southwest wind controls this valley. He guards it jealously and blows illness toward all who enter. This is why no one lives here.” Her smile widened. “And I might have had some small part in keeping you from getting sick.”
“I have read that Pazuzu can kill,” Faizah ventured, “yet the boys only have a cough. Did you do that, too?”
“No. That was your doing. Pazuzu can indeed kill. The medicine you made is what saved the boys. There is magic in you, Faizah, which is stronger than you know.” Anahita looked over Faizah’s shoulder at their little camp then back at Faizah. Her smile vanished, and her face became serious.
“I, too, favor your journey. But your friends,” she continued with a gesture toward the sleeping boys, “have lost their purpose. Be always on your guard, Faizah, for powerful forces oppose you.”
“If you favor our journey, Goddess, can you not tell me where to find Master Wafai?”
“A fair question, but the answer, I’m sorry to say, is no, I cannot.”
“But...but, you’re a goddess! Surely?”
“Master Wafai is safe; you needn’t worry about him. You are destined to follow a different path.”
Faizah’s brow wrinkled with concern. Why would she be selected by Anahita? She stammered, “What path?”
Anahita’s gaze lowered. “Many no longer believe in us, the gods and goddesses. As their belief wanes, so does our influence in the world. I, my husband, Ahura, my brother and sister goddesses, none of us are as strong as we once were. There are those, like your Master Wafai, who serve us still, and so we retain some of our strength. Even you doubted our existence, but your hope that we were real allows me to appear to you.”
“I’m sorry I ever doubted, Goddess,” Faizah whispered. “What must I do? Is it right that we go first to find the Simurgh, or should we be doing something else?”
“So many questions!” Anahita’s musical laugh drifted across the water. In the distance, a peacock’s raucous shriek seemed to answer her. “Listen, my pet calls to me,” she said. Then her smile faded, and her eyes mirrored the seriousness in her voice.
“Know this, Faizah. I will protect you as much as I can and lend you what assistance I am able. Even so, your success or failure depends on you. Your own wits and your own strength are far more important than any aid I may give you.”
Faizah trembled at the thought that a goddess would depend on her for anything. “Who opposes us?”
“Dev, for one. He relishes the darkness. Darkness begets ignorance, and ignorance begets folly.”
“Dev?” A cold chill ran down Faizah’s back. “The god of war? He is against us? Master Wafai said Dev plots the final war that will destroy the world!”
“This is true. Now you see why it is so important that you succeed in your task.”
Faizah took a deep breath. This was serious. “What else can you tell me? Will we have to face Dev? We’re not heroes. We’re kids. How can we fight a god?” Faizah chewed her lower lip with anxiety.
“I doubt Dev will oppose you directly; he would think that beneath him. Instead, he will send his minions to do his bidding. You must be ever watchful, Faizah, for you cannot know what form they will take. It could be an animal, a human, even a demon sent to turn your friends away from you.”
Anahita’s words did nothing to ease Faizah’s mind. A demon! What could they do against a demon?
The gods are at war and only a farmer’s daughter can save the world from Armageddon.
In print and ebook at Amazon.
In all ebook formats at Smashwords. Currently discounted to $0.99
* If prices haven't changed yet on Amazon, wait until it does
The village magician has gone missing. His four pupils think he has left a clue to his whereabouts in the Magicalis Bestialis--the book of magical creatures. They must seek the help of the elusive Simurgh, the mythical birds who know all the secrets of the universe.
However, this is not an easy camping trip into the mountains. Spirits, gods, and demons confront the four friends, who are not aware they’re being set up by otherworldly forces for a much larger task.
A farmer’s daughter, Faizah is chosen to lead the humans in the battle. She must persuade a slave, an orphan, and a rich merchant’s son to join in the battle on the side of good. Although divided by Dev, the evil god of war, the teens must band together to find the Simurgh, rescue their teacher, and stave off Armageddon.
Setara's Genie: The Tales of Abu Nuwas 1
A girl, a genie, a few demons. Would could go wrong?
Print and ebook at Amazon
In all ebook formats at Smashwords on sales for 99 cents.
Friday, March 12, 2021
It's Read an Ebook Week on Smashwords. Sale is on through March 13th.
Nyra Hutchings, a young woman born into a life of servitude on a repressive factory planet, is desperate for a different life. When she's accepted into the Space Service Academy, run by the organization that enslaves her planet, she discovers the truth behind generations of rebellion. Now, she must decide what to believe, where her first duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds.
Chapter 19 - Terminal Encounter
NYRA WRAPPED HER long service cloak around her. The Space Service uniform wasn’t out of place, but her two blasters might make somebody suspicious. She took the monorail to the space port shuttle area.
As she got off, she looked around for any familiar faces, but saw none. She wished she knew who else was supposed to be going on the raid. On the other hand, the fewer people she knew about, the better if the authorities captured her. After all, she assumed Smith had reported as planned, and she was now officially a deserter. Even if the higher-ups agreed to her infiltration plan, her cover would still be that she had gone over to the rebellion.
She was trying to look unobtrusive, when she spotted a face she knew. It was Smith dressed in civilian clothing. How did he know where to find her?
He didn’t seem to be looking for anybody, but seemed to have just got off a shuttle and was striding purposefully toward the monorail station. Nyra wondered where he was going and why. Maybe he could be looking for her, but the fact he guessed or was told she was on Earth was a surprise to her.
She moved quickly to intercept and stepped in front of him. He stopped abruptly.
“Nyra! I was looking for you.”
“How did you know I was on Earth?” Nyra looked around for any sign of IncPlan authorities.
“Well, hello to you, too.”
“It’s a big galaxy and seeing you is more than just surprising.”
“Not so surprising when you hear what happened. So, don’t act all worried. I reported to headquarters They agreed your plan seemed like a good way to get inside. They weren’t too happy about you taking it on yourself, but I talked fast and long to convince them.”
“Okay. Still, why are you here and why are you dressed in civilian clothes?”
“Look, I’d thought about what you were saying. I got authorization from Admiral Barton to watch out for you. IncPlan broadcast that I was a deserter, and the rebels had to believe it. They’d have no reason to think otherwise.”
“Okay, you came to help me infiltrate. I can’t believe they’d just accept that so easily.“
”Well, the rebels are a trusting lot, too trusting. There’s a traitor–a double agent–inside IncPlan who vouched for me.”
“I’ll have to report–” Nyra stopped herself. Why would Tiberius permit Smith to help her spy on the rebels? Something didn’t make sense about this. Still, she had to follow her original plan. Sympathy with the devil didn’t necessarily mean you joined his cause.
“Okay,” she continued, “I’m happy you’ve come to help me. How did you know I was on Earth?”
“Jens, you remember him, right? He told me I could catch up with you on Earth. Of course, I didn’t expect to find you right here in the terminal.”
“Did he tell you why I’m here?”
“No, no. He wouldn’t go that far. I suppose the insurgents wanted Caspar to decide what to do with me.”
“I suspect Caspar isn’t on Earth any longer. At least, that’s the last thing I heard from him.” Nyra didn’t want to tell Smith too much until she could sound him out. From what he was saying, it appeared he was only here to watch her for IncPlan. She was not sure she liked that; she hated continuing to lie to him. Still, she’d have ditch him while she went on her mission.
“I tell you what, Smith. Take my key chip and go to the hotel. It’s the Hilton on Seventy-fifth Street. If Caspar is still there, you can talk to him. Right now, I’ve got some people to meet.”
“What’s going on?” Smith asked.
“That’s why I’m meeting the people: to find out. I can’t tell you more than that. But, look, I’ll see you back at the hotel later tonight, tomorrow at the latest.”
“Can’t I stick with you?”
“No. The people are expecting me to be alone.”
“Why are you wearing your uniform, by the way?”
“Protective coloring. Just go to the hotel. I’ll see you later. I promise.”
“Okay, later then,” Smith said and turned back to the monorail station. He stopped after a few steps. “Be careful,” he added, then went through the door.
Within seconds, Garrett appeared at her side. She jumped slightly; she hadn’t seen him coming. Not surprising, she thought, considering his skills.
“Who was that?”
“Just a guy I knew in the service. I decided I’d better say hello in case he spotted me. Are we ready to go? Where’s the rest of the team?” Nyra asked to deflect any further questions.
“We’re it, so let’s get on with it.”
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Wallapalooza of a Sale Going On Through Saturday.
Many Smashwords authors are throwing down huge discounts on their books. You can find them all at the sale site at Smashwords. Discounts range from 25% to 100% off the retail price. Yes, 100% off makes the book absolutely free. Smashwords Promo Page with all books on sale.
You can also go directly to my books which are discounted a lot. Here's the place to go and the sale price of the book:
To see my sale books with their prices (a whole lot of them are free), just go to my Smashwords Author Page for a complete list with prices. Marva Dasef's Ebooks on Smashwords
All #FREE with code EBW75Eagle Quest: A Vision Quest turns deadly when four friends confront eagle poachers in a wildlife refuge.
Missing, Assumed Dead: When Kameron McBride receives notice she’s the last living relative of a missing man she’s never even heard of, the last thing she wants to do is head to some half-baked Oregon town to settle his affairs.First Duty: Nyra Hutchings, a young woman born into a life of servitude on a repressive factory planet, is desperate for a different life. When she's accepted into the Space Service, run by the organization that enslaves her planet, she discovers the truth behind generations of rebellion. Now, she must decide what to believe, where her first duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds.The Tales of Abu Nuwas Two books in the series and both are free:
Setara's Genie and Faizah's DestinyThe Compleat and True History of the Witches of Galdorheim - 5 books and stories in the series for only $1.99.
Bad Spelling Midnight Oil Scotch Broom Spellslinger Blood Ties Tested
Sunday, February 28, 2021
I'm setting some of my books free! Let them run like the wind!!!! Right onto your Kindle. There are a few books that appear to not like the corral that is KDP Select (e.g., sell only from Amazon). Since they don't sell, I'll just give them away. They'll still be on Kindle, but after their KDP Selection expiration, they will become available in other formats (EPUB, PDF) and will spread further afield to places like Barnes and Nobel, Kobo, and a bunch of independent distributors where they will be pirated and put up on a Chinese website. They're all out there somewhere, so it makes little difference.
Did you miss the first few weeks? That's okay, there's one more book to grab.
Prejudice, murder, insanity, suicide: Every small town has its secrets.
When Kameron McBride receives notice she’s the last living relative of a missing man she’s never even heard of, the last thing she wants to do is head to some half-baked Oregon town to settle his affairs. But since she’s the only one available, she grudgingly agrees.
En route, she runs afoul of a couple of hillbillies and their pickup in an accident that doesn’t seem...accidental. Especially when they keep showing up wherever she goes. Lucky for her, gorgeous Deputy Mitch Caldwell lends her a hand, among other things. Her suspicions increase when the probate Judge tries a little too hard to buy the dead man’s worthless property.
Working on a hunch and trying to avoid the Judge’s henchmen, Kam probes deeper into the town’s secrets and finds almost no one she can trust. With Mitch’s help, she peels away the layers of prejudice, suicide, murder, and insanity. But someone in town doesn’t like her poking around, and when they show their intentions by shooting her through the police chief’s office window, the stakes are raised. Kam must find out what really happened to her dead relative before someone in this backward little town sends her to join him.
And she thought Oregon was going to be boring.