Ahhh… What a Pleasure


The curtain has fallen on Book One in the Conquered series.  The first book of the Birdie and Rolf saga is now completed!   I just wrote those two little words – The End – in the document.  


Now to go back to work in HW3, edit the Shades of Pink story and begin fleshing out the world of Conquered.  

I am pleased.

Have a good evening, everyone.  


Cover Unveiled

Good morning!  

We are heading to an antique motorcycle show this morning (provided Peter wakes up feeling better) but I just wanted to pop in and show you the progress being made with Birdie and Rolf.

First of all, the cover.  It’s the same background, same font styles and colours, but there are two major changes.  

1. The title. 

It was called the hammer and the anvil – written just like that – but I decided that’s the title of book two, when they’re actually at Mt Etna, fighting to rescue Heph.  The title is now vini, vidi, vici.  Vini, Vidi, Vici is Latin for I came, I saw, I conquered and the title is appropriate for the book.  

And 2. There is now a series name attached to the book. I foresee probably five books to this series and in each one there will be challenges to overcome, people or things to rescue or retrieve, things to conquer.  And that is the name of the series, “Conquered”.  The first book is “Conquered One.”  I think it can be read two ways; either as “the first Conquered book” or “‘he is the conquered one”.  The latter is correct.  Subsequent books will be things like Heph Conquered, Conquering Athena, Zeus Conquers, etc.; you get the idea.

So here it is:  (and btw, if I ever get as big as Kim Harrison or LKH, you can bet cover reveals will be more spectacular and come with giveaways 😉 )

I absolutely LOVE this picture Peter took, there was no way I was changing it

I absolutely LOVE this picture Peter took, there was no way I was changing it

So there it is.  What do you think?  Isn’t it gorgeous?

I ended up almost catatonic the other afternoon when I realized precisely how much work building this world was going to be. [I have to do character bios like I did for HW (including one for George); build their house (seems important somehow); Find photos, Gods, puzzles, a tournament (I dunno), tasks and prizes (or something). And figure out why Jake is now in the story. Plus the new webpages that have to be built – just like the HW format: List of books, list of characters, individual pages for each book and character, preview pages for each book…] I still need to finish the Highland Wolves series too.  New NaNo book to plan for November and the Shades of Pink story to edit.  Oh and Haley’s Magic needs some heavy editing – at least three times.  I want to actually submit that one to HarperCollins or somewhere.  It’s for kids my daughter’s age and she wants me to put it out there.  Have to decide whether to publish it under my nom de plume or my actual name though.  Can’t have teenage girls stumbling on the more erotic and kinky stories now can I?

As for Birdie and Rolf…  That drunk driver I mentioned in the last blog, the one who was to go to jail for a long, long time, is now dead.  It would probably have been better to force him to sign off his parental rights and toss him in jail as a killer of old men and children but he died on the way to the hospital.  

That leaves Birdie and Rolf free and clear to adopt Jake, the small boy with the broken leg, son of the drunk driver.  Unfortunately, Jake’s mother died several months before the accident and the poor wee boy is an orphan.  Birdie and Rolf are now his foster parents, with Alice and Charlie’s blessings (Birdie’s kids).  I think there’s a reason they drove past that accident, some fate or destiny that hasn’t come clear yet.  Maybe Jake is the final piece that allows Birdie’s children to come into touch with their own power.  Perhaps the three kids are a triumvirate.  Birdie’s already proven that Jake has some abilities with the little storm she put in his hands.

Snippets of said storm:

Jake scoffed, hardened son of an alcoholic shining through despite the pain.  “Magic isn’t real.”

“Just you watch.”  Birdie smiled.  She held her hand out, palm up, in front of him.  A moment later a small cloud formed and lightning flashed in it.

Jake stuck his finger in it, sure it was an illusion, then laughed when the next lightning strike zapped his finger. 

“Here, you hold the storm while I look at your leg, okay?”  Birdie transferred the mini thunderstorm to Jake’s hand and he stared at it in awe as it began to rain in his hand.  Birdie created a bubble around his leg that went around the bottom of his foot and through his leg at mid-thigh, where it cut off the pain notifications to his brain.  It put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding and kept any further dirt from getting in.


Jake stared at the storm, which raged with his emotions, and hiccupped through his tears.  “How can I?  They won’t let me keep it!”  He clung tighter, wrapping his free hand in her shirt.

“Watch.”  Birdie put her hand over the storm and when she moved it the storm was a small rock, almost two by two inches square, with a lightning bolt in the center of each side.  “When you look at this and believe there’s a storm inside the storm will come back.  I will tell them not to take it from you.”  She kissed the top of his head as the medics approached them.


Jake sounded so hopeful that Birdie hardly had the heart to tell him she wasn’t.  “No, Jake, it’s Birdie.  Remember me?”

Tears leaked from the small boy’s eyes as he nodded.  Then they flew open in a panic.  “Where is it?  Where’s my storm!”  His voice started thickening with tears.

Birdie took it from the bed, where the nurses had set it, and pressed it into his hand.  Jake looked at it and immediately the rock dissolved into thunderclouds and lightning.

I won’t know precisely how Jake fits in yet.  I do know that now Birdie, at 38, and Rolf, at 55, now have three children (two step-children in Rolf’s case) aged 9, 11 and 15 to raise.  And I have a bad feeling something is going to happen to Alice and Charlie’s father too.  I hope not.  I dislike killing off parents.

And I know that the Gods are going to start coming to Birdie and Rolf for help with their problems and I have no idea how many books this series will be.

Maybe now I’m the one who’s conquered, eh?

Off to the show, I hope.  Have a great day, my lovelies.




Inspiration Can Bite Me

Nah… Not really.

  I enjoy being an inspired writer.  Some of the best things come out of it.  

However!  Sometimes it can be totally maddening.

I’ve been working on the Birdie and Rolf story (the NaNo book that used to be called The Bodhisattva Warrior) on and off for the last couple of months.  The last 10 or 15 days it’s been off because I was stuck.  I finally figured out that I needed to talk to someone about it.  

I talked to The Boyfriend because Peter is the person I based Rolf on and I was stuck on Rolf’s reaction to meeting Michelle Duff.  He helped me see that Rolf wasn’t going to be all “Golly! Meeting her was so neat!  I’m super thrilled I got to meet my childhood idol” five minutes after meeting her.

Rolf is a I-have-to-process kind of guy – just like Peter.

Peter (more or less) said, “No, Rolf would drive for a little while and then it’d be a total non-sequitur.  Like… they’d pass a fiery car crash and Rolf would pop out with ‘that was so cool!'”

And suddenly there’s a fiery car crash in the book.  Three cars, one dead toddler, a nine year old with a broken leg and a father who is going to jail for a long time for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence and (at least) two counts of vehicular manslaughter.  

think Birdie & Rolf may have a new family member.

There’s a whole new book in the works at any rate.  The story is now well over 63,000 words and we haven’t even gotten on the plane to begin the rescue of Hephaestus.  

I have a sneaky suspicion there will be other books about helping other Gods.   “You know Birdie, since you were so good at helping Heph would you mind..?”


Little Pleasures

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”

~Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Let me preface this blog by saying that I fucked up my hand and my typing will suffer some.  Honestly, I thought about some polite way to say “fucked up” but ….nope, I fucked it up.  I had a PTSD flashback this past week.  It’s a scary thing, being locked in a cage in my own mind watching as this monster erupts out of me and attempts to destroy my life.  My daughter was witness to this – again, poor girl – and I wish she hadn’t been.

Useless statement that, “I wish”.  It doesn’t change anything.

Anyway, I near-destroyed my hand.  It’s astonishing that I didn’t break it but two knuckles are somewhat dislocated and nerves and tendons are damaged.  It’s not wrapped or anything though, aside from a piece of cloth wrapped around it to remind me not to use it.  The urgent care place didn’t do a very good job, I think.

It does bring to mind that life is 90% the little things.  There are many big things – weddings, births, deaths, promotions – but every day life is about the little things.   Your tea being just right when you get up.   The colour of the sky when it’s just that perfect shade of blue and it’s your day off.  Spontaneous visits with friends – we had four friends visit yesterday. We are so isolated in our sensitivities and geographical location that it just doesn’t happen. Ice cream on the beach at sunset.  The smile of a stranger when you’re feeling blue.

You get the idea.  Today’s photos are about just those moments. I have a sunset for you (from ice cream on the beach, with friends); unexpected bursts of colour in my days and a very happy dog, just because.

Oh, all of these pictures were taken with my camera’s phone, an 8MP with 4X zoom.  Takes decent macro shots and focuses enough to take mostly decent action shots.

Though not all of them are good shots.   (Ginger snaps are GREAT cookies)

Though not all of them are good shots. (Ginger snaps are GREAT cookies)

Here we go with this week’s pictures:

Looks like he's sailing into the sunset but he's heading south.  It was a gorgeous evening.

Looks like he’s sailing into the sunset but he’s heading south. It was a gorgeous evening.

Pretty tiny flowers of purple Phlox.

Pretty tiny flowers of purple Phlox.

This plant, which grows a lot in ditches and swampy fields, is called Dame's Rocket.

This plant, which grows a lot in ditches and swampy fields, is called Dame’s Rocket.

A paler version.  I think they're really pretty but they tend to have a lot of bugs in them.

A paler version. I think they’re really pretty but they tend to have a lot of bugs in them.

Close up  of a dandelion gone to seed.  I love the shapes and the contrast between the white and the darkness of the green.

Close up of a dandelion gone to seed. I love the shapes and the contrast between the white and the darkness of the green.

One very happy dog.  "Toffee! Look at the camera!" I said.  That's what I got.

One very happy dog. “Toffee! Look at the camera!” I said. That’s what I got.

It’s been a four day weekend for us.  The kids went riding with their dad and we brought both the cat and my daughter’s dog to the cottage.  It’s been a nice weekend, busy, active, social.  I’m happy.   Today is home day for everyone.  Mostly happy about that too.

Tomorrow is my first lidocaine infusion.  That should be interesting. I’ll let you all know all about it.

hmm…Guess my typing didn’t suffer too badly for using my non-dominant hand and one finger.  *laughs*