WOOT! IT’S LIVE BABY!

Celebration time, come on! (courtesy of google)

Celebration time, come on! (courtesy of google)

My website is live and it is smokin’ hot!

Check it out.

 

http://catherinebowman.ca

It is phenomenal.  So totally gorgeous.  The excerpt pages are a little hard to read because of the font colour but there were few options and that, overall, seemed to be the best one. The fonts on the character pages may get lightened up a bit too.  

I am literally so happy I’m in tears.  

Something monumental this way comes.

And I can’t wait.

Check out the link and let me know what you think!

Muah!

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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.

Muah! 

 

 

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..?”

*groans*

Oh It’s A Good Day

Oh my Gods!  Look!  It’s a REVEAL!

I finally settled on a title for Rolf & Birdie’s story and now I have a cover.  

Would ya like to see it?

Would ya?

Oh… I don’t know…

I’m so pleased with it.  It took ELEVEN attempts – and a lot of input from Val – to get it right.   The background is a picture The Boyfriend took a couple of years ago at Lake Huron.  

Now, would you like to see it?

Of course you would!  

Glorious, isn't it?

Glorious, isn’t it?

Now I just need to finish the story and start editing. 😉

Reading Revelations

 

I have been reading The Bodhisattva Warrior for days doing a chapter by chapter summary so I can write a synopsis. It is a long book and it’s not even done yet. I’m 36 chapters in and I’ve found the best line so far.

Rolf has had the piece of himself that is Hephaestus unlocked. At the moment he is having an inner conversation with that God fragment. Rolf is experiencing doubt and fear so, in an attempt to reassure him, the Hephaestus fragment says, “You were never just human, you were just unaware. Now you know. This knowledge is a double edged sword. It can help you or harm you.” 

I think that we all have potential locked inside us.  We have to work to unlock it and free it.  Until we do, or until we’re tested, we are all unaware of what we are capable of.  

Fear is a double-edged sword; it can propel us forward or it can freeze us in our tracks.  It can help us or harm us.  Same with knowledge.  Help or hinder.  Free or cage.  It’s all down to free will.  

I’m not quite sure what my point is but I do love this line,  “You were never just human, you were just unaware. Now you know.”  It is quite wonderful.  What what does Rolf do with this knowledge?  

Well, *chuckles*  you will have to wait and see.  I hope to publish in September.  That’s a lot of work between now and then.  I also want to get HW2 out there.  

Mostly, I want you to think about fear, potential and being what you already are.  What are you?  How can you manifest your potential?  What is your potential?  What is locked up inside you that you need to set free?

Me?  I’m a mom.  I’m disabled.  I’m a fighter.  I’m a writer.  I’m a published author.  I am a successful, well known author.  (<- That last one is still locked up.  I am slowly removing the chains.)  I am Me.  Unique, wonderful and soon to be successful.   Tell me, what are you?   

 

[Don’t forget that for some reason commenting isn’t working from the email link.  To place a comment, click here.] 

Birdie, Rolf & George meet someone famous

Good Saturday morning!

I have no idea where I left off with you all about my lovely trio of characters so I will do a swift update and introduce you to the (fictionalized) famous person who will be joining the cast.

Michelle Duff, a motorcycle racer and enthusiast and one of The Boyfriend’s heroes, will be making an appearance in the book (barring any objections from her) as one of the people helping them on their quest.  I wrote to Michelle yesterday to see if she minded and she responded that she is flattered although she didn’t understand what part she would play.  

She first comes into the book here:

 

Chapter Forty-Five

 

Rolf, Birdie and George, two months later

Dad.  Dad!  DAD!  Wake up!  There was a very big bird on the deck this morning!  George paused.  I think it was a bird.  Kind of looked like a cat too.  It yelled at me so I yelled back.  It left something behind when it went away.  Is it going to get in trouble?  Dad!  George jumped on the bed and nosed Rolf’s ear.  Oh and my food dish is empty.  I’m hungry!

Rolf groaned and pulled the pillow over his head.  Unfortunately, ear plugs didn’t stop him from being able to hear George.  The dog was better about not talking non-stop now but when he got excited it was- “Wait.”  Rolf sat up.  “Did you say the bird left something?”

Yes.  Are you going to feed me now?  George stood on the bed, pinning Rolf’s legs down and looking hopeful.

“Go see your Momma.”  He flopped back down and covered his head with the pillow.  He didn’t want to know.  He didn’t want his brain to be already wondering what that cat-bird thing was.  He had a feeling it was trouble and they’d been enjoying the last few weeks, settling into their new house and training.  Rolf was far more proficient with throwing energy around and using a blade than he used to be.  He liked the knife throwing lessons. 

Nah.  She said you’d say that.  She says you’re supposed to come and see what the bird thing left.

Rolf groaned again.  “Fine.  Get off me.”

George grinned, tongue lolling out because he knew it made Rolf laugh, and leapt off the bed.  He danced circles around Rolf, herding him out on to the deck, not letting him get dressed or perform his morning ablutions.  His Momma had told him to bring Dad to her so that’s what he was doing.  He loved his Momma. 

Birdie laughed when she saw them coming, despite the worry in her eyes.  “George, you could have let him get dressed.”

You told me to bring him quickly.  So I did.  He sat down in front of her and looked up hopefully.

“So you did.  Good pup.”  She ruffled his ears as he thumped his tail on the deck happily.

Rolf scowled at them both.  “It’s a tad chilly.”  Indeed, everything that dangled was working its way up to tuck close to his body for heat.

“Go get dressed, Daddy, it will wait.”  She gestured at the wooden chest on the deck.  “It’s not going anywhere.”

A gust of wind made him nod and he dashed inside, George close on his heels.  He stopped in the kitchen to feed the dog and went to get himself ready for the day. 

Birdie was sitting on a chair staring at the chest.  It was teak with ancient bronze squared off strapping at the corners and in the middle of each edge, though the bottom had two straps.  The top of it was curved, reminding her of a pirate’s treasure chest.  The bottom edge of it was lined in the same ancient brass and looked like it had been hammered in place.  Each strip of teak was fitted so closely to the one below it that there was no way to peek between them.

She shifted her gaze to the scroll tied to the padlock on the front, she had tried to take it off but been zapped.  After a moment’s thought she formed a small ball of energy in her hand, focusing on her intent, and let it float to the ribbon holding the scroll.  It burned the ribbon to a crisp and the scroll bounced to the table.  Birdie picked it up and unfurled it.

To whom unto the chest is delivered:

It shall fall unto you to complete the tasks below

To right a wrong that brought a God low.

From west to north to east to creation shall you roam

‘Til this quest is complete you shall not see home.

 

Find the metal thinner than hair

A form you will need, a hearth and air

A fourth to join you.

A puzzle to confound you.

 

A quest you will complete

Strength you will need for the final feat

To open the gates

And change the will of the Fates.

 

Birdie was reading it for the third time when Rolf returned, a jacket in his hands and her gloves.  She smiled at him as he helped her into it all.  “Thank you, my love.”

“You are most welcome.”  He smiled back, glanced at the scroll then turned to the chest.  “This is what the cat-bird-thing dropped off?”

Yes!  George bounced on his feet before standing on his hind legs and putting his forepaws on the table, nose going wild.  I don’t know what the cat thing was –

“A griffin,” Birdie interjected absentmindedly.

– but it sure was loud!  It said that Dad has to open the chest because only he has the key.

They both looked at him.  “You talked to the griffin?”  Rolf just looked in amazement at their dog.  He’d been doing that a lot lately. 

George just gave him an eye roll.

Rolf rolled his eyes back at the dog then look at Birdie.  “What does the scroll say?”

She read it to him and added, “I have no idea what they mean.  I may know someone who can help us with the metal thing but what’re the form, hearth and air about?”

“Maybe we have to build something.  Who do you know that might know about metals?”  Rolf picked up the chest as he spoke and looked it over. 

“She’s a fragment of Athena.  Quite familiar with this and that about building stuff with metal.”  She set the scroll down and smiled up at him.  “I’m really curious about what’s inside that thing, would you open it already?”

Oh, I’m sorry, did you not know that George the Dog could talk?  That was Hera’s doing.  Seems to think that it’s important for them to be able to communicate with the furry domestic beastie later in their quest.

It’s a brief mention of Michelle, really, and even when she comes up again a bit later (after a chat Birdie has with Michael Bublè and his mother!)  Birdie truly doesn’t know who Michelle is.   

“Who is Athena?  Someone famous?”

Birdie really had no idea so she shrugged.  “She’s just a friend.  Like Mike, we know each other from the other Realm and got to know each other here too, for the same reasons.  I’ve done some healing for her.  She said to call her if I needed anything and finding a metal thinner than hair seems like a need.”

Rolf nodded in agreement, though he had a couple of ideas.  “Well, call her then and we’ll spend today packing.  Where is she?  How much driving do we have to do?”

“Toronto.”  She kissed him softly. 

“How long are we packing for?”

George dropped the giraffe and trotted over.  Don’t forget my treats!  Or my giraffe or my bed or my balls.  He raced away and came back with a turtle in his mouth.  And Yurtle has to come!

Birdie chuckled.  “Don’t worry, Dawg.  We’ll bring everything we need.”

The real Michelle Duff is a transsexual who used to be Mike Duff.  Mike Duff was a motorcycle racer and a Grand Prix champion at that.  She had ride contracts with people like Yamaha at a time when that was virtually unheard of.  She also (at least semi-publicly) began the process of becoming a woman at a time when it was far more difficult to admit to being something as simple as gay, let alone being a woman trapped in a man’s body.  (Especially in the very macho world of motorcycle racing!)  Michelle no longer races, having retired in 2004 from the amateur racing she got into after a bad accident in the pros,  and focuses more on writing YA fiction, her cats and dogs and her property.    

So now Birdie, Rolf and George are in Toronto and they’re about to meet up with Michelle.

In my conversation with Michelle she asked for the manuscript.  I sent it to her last night so now I’m waiting for her to read it.  I will continue writing and if need be, I will change Michelle’s character to someone else, but I hope I don’t have to.  I like her.  The Boyfriend thinks she’s fantastic.  And I think she, herself or a fictionalized version of her, will be a good addition.  I told her that Athena is a warrior and that from everything I’ve heard about her Michelle is also a warrior and that is why she’s a good fit.  

Mr.  Bublè I am not going to ask because he doesn’t exactly make an appearance. He’s merely a series of ellipses (…) in the midst of a conversation Birdie is having on the phone.

You can find Michelle Duff here.

Have a good day everyone!  I’m off to tell The Boyfriend what to do.  Gardening.  Apparently, I’m not allowed to haul the plants around or get down on my hands and knees and dig.  Or even  grab a shovel and dig.  Hmmph.  My body sucks.

Muah.