Saturday, February 23, 2013

Looking ahead--my next release

I mentioned my new submission the other day,  A Different Drummer. The group of five tales now are all turned in and the collection is a go! The PAX title will be Melodies From The Heart which I find evocative and very appropriate! We also have a collection cover. The individual covers will be coming soon. The release is set for late April, probably the third weekend which is April 21 or thereabouts.

I'll keep you posted and when the release date gets close I will provide a link to the special blog which we have set up solely to feature each new PAX as it  is released. There will be excerpts of each story, covers, and tidbits from the five authors for each batch. And of course you will be able to find out more about my piece of the pie right here! For now though a simple heads up will have to do. And before I forget, here's the collection cover. Yummy, isn't it?

Also I got an awesome idea for a new non-collection story today! If you wonder where writers get their ideas, here's an example. A group of the slurry bomber planes used to fight wildfires are based at a small airport here and some are doing trial runs and practice since it is likely the fire season will kick off early this year due to the drought. I watched one lumber by and noted the characteristic red-painted tail.  All at once the title--a play of course on an old song title--ran through my mind: Red Tails in the Sunset. Then a rough plot and a couple of characters stepped out of the what-if shadows. I know they will be starting to tell me their story soon!  Meanwhile I am also working on a twist on the traditional Gothic story which finds a genteel young person going off to a gloomy estate to serve as a governess or tutor for some aristocrat's children... Of course this is a gay romance so the person in question is a young man left impoverished by an uncle's gambling habit. The children have survived a terrible trauma and it falls to him to help them and also solve a mystery surrounding their parents' death! For now the title is Dark and Stormy since it is indeed a dark and stormy night when the tale begins. It will be a PAX collection tale and probably coming out in the late summer or early fall. 

So that's the news for now. Stay tuned for more ideas, projects, releases and fun stuff!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gwynn drops in

I thought it's about time I pitched one of my books! With women in combat again in the news to some extent since it's now going to be official policy, a book I did some time ago is relevant again. First let me give a bit of background or story behind the story of Andy Vs The Colonel.

Since I wrote the book and even since it was published early in the last decade, women have played a key role in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. A young woman of the Hopi tribe in Arizona became the first Native American woman to die in combat and a number of women have been wounded, taken prisoner and suffered the same hazards and harm as the men in our military. I have mixed feelings about it but basically agree that women who are able to do the necessary tasks should be able to participate in any area of military endeavor that they want to. Although they may not be as large or strong on the average, they do not lack in courage or any of the inner qualities that are needed. I tried to bring that fact out in this story, some years before it became reality.

At the time I did the first rough take on this tale, I was still working for the U.S. Army at Fort Huachuca, where major elements of both the Army Communications Command and the army's portion of the military intelligence community were located. I was mostly working in human resources and some number crunching  stuff but the atmosphere was all around me. Chameleon that I am, I soaked it up. I took pains to stay away from specific equipment and all classified information so the scenario is fictionalized and only the overall feeling and atmosphere is conveyed in the book.

I know that most writers cannot help but weave a certain amount of themselves and their personality or background into their stories. Andy (Andrea), the heroine of the book, is the daughter of a career Air Force officer and his domineering manner plays a major role in the person she is and in the plot of the book. The colonel in question is a different stripe of officer, a Vietnam vet who was enlisted before he became an officer so he has a much more casual view of military etiquette than Andy's father and other officers she has known. Although I was not a military brat, I too had some conflicts with my dad as I grew up and parts of that crept into the tale!

Although the book was always billed as a romance, it isn't in the strictest sense although the developing love between Andy and her colonel is a major plot thread but her own development and eventual coming to terms with herself and where she wants to go is what the book is about. There are still some passages that make me tear up when I read them so I hope I got some powerful emotions woven into the story as I created it.
So, without much further ado, I'll give you the cover, blurb and an excerpt in another post. If you are intrigued, the book is still available on Amazon and though Mundania.

Andy vs the Colonel by Gwynn Morgan

Andy vs the Colonel by Gwynn Morgan ISBN: 978-1-58749-160-5 (E) 978-58749-305-5 (P)

Some review snips:

"Few authors know how to design characters that remain in your psyche long after you finish reading a book. Andy and her Colonel are the type of characters I won't soon forget. An intriguing drama with a page-turning plot make Andy vs. The Colonel a great story you shouldn't miss. I highly recommend it." - Denise Agnew, author of Dangerous Intentions, Midnight Rose, and others

"ANDY vs. THE COLONEL is one of those stories that took me a bit to get into because it starts several years before to give the reader a little background into what happened in her past to make Andy the person she is in the present. ...after I got further into the book I realized that the way the author presents some of those early facts actually helps in moving the story along, without a lot of interruptions to explain things. I give Ms. Morgan high marks for this because not all authors seem to understand this principle in using a prologue."

"Watching the relationship develop between Cory and Andy is a study in human nature. A military brat, Andy has learned her lessons in doing things by the book the hard way. Cory, on the other hand, follows the rules, but allows himself and those under his command some latitude in how things get done. In short, they find each other's hot buttons early on in the relationship. She's determined to ignore everything but her duty, while he's determined to discover the woman under the uniform. It makes for some interesting reading."
"If you enjoy a good story wrapped around life in the military, you'll really enjoy ANDY vs. THE COLONEL." - Jaycee for RomRevToday

Captain Andrea "Andy" Hollis resolves to be a soldier first and a woman second. For Andy, militarily correct is the only way to go. The arrival of Colonel Cory Costain, new unit commander, puts her principles and perspective to test.
An easy-going extrovert who prefers to treat his subordinates as friends, Cory is far too attractive for Andy's peace of mind. He's determined to get his stiff and starchy Executive Officer to unbend, re-join the human race and be all the woman he knows she can be.
Thrown together in the torrid tropics when war breaks out in Central America, Andy and Cory learn all is fair in love and war. But which is it to be? Cory's weapons of choice are tender words, lingering glances, and gentle touches. It's a hard-fought struggle while Cory battles Andy and the shadow of her domineering father to convince her she has every right to win.

Excerpt: (Andy and Cory's first meeting)

A glance at her watch told Andy it was 1130. Maybe it would help to get out, breathe some fresh air and grab lunch at the Post Exchange snack bar. Although it was October, the sun was still bright and warm at midday. Leaving the Twenty-fourth's offices, Andy walked briskly down the sidewalk which divided the historical two-story buildings housing the Fort's many offices from the parade ground, a smooth expanse of grass bordered by ancient cottonwood trees.
For a moment, she forgot the aggravations of her job and let herself enjoy the beautiful fall day. She drank in the golden warmth and rested her eyes with thepleasant harmony of blue sky, green grass and gilded leaves. Those huge trees had probably turned colors a hundred times, witnessed cavalry drills and watched the mule mounted infantry that had guarded the border during World War I. The Army had a fine sense of history which gave Andy a secure, rooted feeling.
At the end of the block, she turned to cross the street. A pickup truck pulled up and stopped even with her. Several years old, its once-bright, metallic-blue paint had faded and spots of rust marred its finish.
The driver turned a pleasantly weathered face toward her before he spoke. "Excuse me, Ma'am, can you point me to the In-processing Section of MILPO He wore a well-used gray Stetson and a plaid western shirt, mostly blue, the shade perfectly matching his eyes. He spoke in an easy drawl, completely in tune with his rugged, outdoorsy appearance.
Andy could not hide all of her surprise. Why would a cowboy need to find Military Personnel In-processing? She couldn't imagine him in uniform. Still, from habit, she answered with reasonable courtesy, pointing as she spoke. "See that fourth building on the right? In-processing's on the second floor, enlisted at the north end. I'm not sure if they close at lunch time or not."
"Thank you, Captain. Reckon I'll just have to go see, won't I?" The man smiled then, and she gulped. That's a smile and a half. The images of a couple of her favorite old time western movie stars flashed across her mind.
"You're welcome. Have a nice day." Andy replied automatically, still curious. Why, she amended, did a gorgeous hunk of a cowboy need to find In-processing? Well, it wasn't her concern. She turned and started away.
"Ma'am?" The gentle drawling voice arrested her step. "Thought you might not know it, but you've got a nasty run in your hose, up the left leg there."
For a startled instant, Andy whirled back and stared at the man. His tone and expression were both carefully neutral, but something about him still said "gotcha," loud and clear.
Just who did he think he was? He might be good looking, but he really was crude! Andy huffed, faced around, and marched on toward her destination. Not until she was safely inside the PX did she stop and check her nylons.
Darn it, he was right. She did have a run, a big one. It went from her ankle clear up over her knee to vanish under her skirt. She hated to appear anything short of perfect when in uniform, and that sure ruined the effect. Why hadn't she noticed before she left the office? This was turning out to be a lousy day!
But the worst was yet to come. Why should Colonel Standish be out of the office when his replacement arrived? He'd told Andy they were old buddies. Not only was he out but Stacy too, leaving only Andy herself and Sergeant Rita Perez, her enlisted clerk.
Buried under the constant deluge of paper, Andy barely heard the outer door open and Rita's pleasant greeting, perfectly correct for someone dressed in civilian clothes.
"Good afternoon. How may I help you?"
The reply caught her attention. It pulled her to her feet and across toward her open door before she actually registered anything familiar about the low drawling voice.
"I was hopin' to have a few minutes with Colonel Standish."
"I'm sorry, but he's not in this afternoon. I think they're picking up his household goods. His wife is in poor health, so he wanted to be there himself. This is his last week on duty here, you know. Could someone else help you?" Rita gushed, her tone almost sugary.
Why was she being so much more effusive than normal? If Rita was almost falling over herself in an effort to be helpful, Andy had to wonder why. The young sergeant was usually much too casual, about as likely to say "Yo, dude" as "Yes, sir."
Then Andy reached the door, looked out, and understood. The visitor had his back to her, but she recognized the blue plaid shirt and the wide shoulders. What business did he have in Twenty-fourth Signal?
"Maybe Captain Hollis, the Exec..." he was saying.
"I'm right here, Sergeant Perez." As always when caught off guard, Andy fell back on military courtesy, the stiffer the better.
At the sound of her voice the visitor turned, a smooth facing turn betraying long familiarity with military drill. The motion was oddly at variance with his dusty, scuffed cowboy boots and the faded jeans which fit his narrow hips and long, lean legs like a well-made glove. He looked at her, one eyebrow cocked quizzically, surprise and only the merest hint of recognition in his faded blue eyes.
"Captain Hollis..." he said, with barely perceptible hesitation, "I'm Colonel Cory Costain."
Andy shut her mouth sharply, the only way to keep from blurting a torrent of profanity. No! It couldn't be, it just couldn't. But it was. Same hat, same shirt, same ruggedly appealing face and lazy drawling voice.
She felt her face redden as a barnyard epithet kept repeating in her mind. Shutting her eyes against the unhappy scene, she fought the maelstrom of embarrassment and regret. And she'd been concerned about first impressions -- Enlisted In-processing, she'd said, assuming. Ohmigod! No, no, no!
There was only one thing she could possibly do: drag out the very best of her rigid military courtesy and pretend the other incident had never happened. What would she say and do, how would she act if she had never laid eyes on Colonel Costain before? That's exactly what she'd say and do now.
Cory took a deep breath and counted backwards from ten. For a long moment, neither spoke. They simply looked at each other. He felt sure Captain Hollis also mulled the consequences of an event which neither of them could erase, however much they both might wish it. So much for first impressions.
Oh hell, what have I done to deserve this? Earlier, he really hadn't noticed much about her appearance. He'd been too aware of her attitude, but now he did notice. Captain Hollis might be spit and polish, even snooty and stuffy, but she was also attractive, damned attractive in spite of herself.
She wore no obvious makeup and her short, dark brown hair fell sleekly into a simple, almost severe style. She was clearly a woman who had no intention of flaunting her femininity, not that she needed to. A man could not deny or ignore it. She had snapped to attention when he identified himself, which put her shoulders back and lifted to prominence the curve of her breasts.
Under that crisp and carefully tailored uniform, he'd bet she hid a fantastic figure. He could see just enough hints of it to speed his pulse. Even if she did wear the lowest heels available on the official black pumps, her legs were definitely great. He'd been looking at them when he spotted that unfortunate run.
He didn't usually pay so much attention to a woman's appearance, but there was just something about Captain Hollis. She wore the dress uniform instead of the camouflage Battle Dress Utilities or BDUs, in which almost everyone looked bulky and untidy. In the tailored uniform, she appeared neat and precise, almost recruiting-poster perfect. The contrast of that with her undeniable feminine attributes struck him forcibly.
She finally spoke, with almost robotic formality. "Welcome aboard, sir. I'm Captain Andy Hollis. At present, I'm the Brigade XO. When did you arrive on post, sir?"
This time he recognized her voice: the same one he'd heard on the phone when he called from Korea. It had nagged at the back of his mind ever since. Now he knew why. Though low pitched, it was definitely a feminine voice. How could he have missed that?
Down two strikes already. There was just one thing to do: pretend he'd never seen her before. Cory knew he wasn't good at conning himself, but he'd better try. He could use military courtesy too, when necessary. He stood a little straighter, called up his command presence, and gave back as good as he got.
"I just arrived, Captain. At ease, please. This is a very unofficial visit., Colonel Standish and I go back a ways. I hoped I could catch him for a few minutes, but since he's not here, I'll get out of your way."
Cory forced himself to relax, revealing none of the tension and dismay he felt. This assignment wasn't going to be the comfortable last post he'd hoped for after all, was it?
"Your room is ready, sir, over in Visiting Officer's Quarters. You'd told us to expect you tomorrow, but everything's been arranged. There's a copy of the weekly real estate catalog and a few other things waiting there for you."
"Thank you, Captain. You've been most helpful. Do you expect Colonel Standish in tomorrow?" There, he was talking as stiffly as she was.
"Oh, yes sir," Rita interjected. "Right here on his calendar -- he has a staff meeting at eight. It usually runs about an hour."
Cory turned back to the young clerk. "Okay, I'll be in about nine fifteen then. Will you let him know I've arrived?"
"Oh, yes sir!" Rita accompanied her answer with a flashing smile, bright as daybreak on her dusky face.
"I...if there's anything else, sir, we're just a phone call away." Andy's words drew his gaze back to her. Her face and posture looked equally rigid. She must be feeling as uncomfortable as he was. Well, it served her right. Cory acknowledged her comment with a nod.
"I'll remember that. Thank you both again." He gave both women a smile before he turned and strode out. No use making things any worse than they were. But he might make some reassignments, once he got on board.
As he walked out and got back in his truck, Cory wished he could take back that little dig about the run, but it was too late. One of these days, your mouth is going to get you. But damn it, she'd asked for it, directing him to the Enlisted Section! What rule said an officer couldn't wear blue jeans or drive an old pickup?
Since his nephew had totaled the vintage Mustang Cory had left with his sister in San Jose when he went to Korea, he didn't have much choice, but that was beside the point. He'd never had any patience with the snobbery and elitism still prevalent in the military community, anyway. If that ruffled a few feathers, so be it.
At this stage of life, he wasn't about to change. He didn't expect to advance any higher in rank, so he didn't need to follow the inflexible rules as closely as those colonels who had stars in their eyes. He wasn't general material and he knew it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Back List Title: Take It Easy--adult excerpt!

Take It Easy by Deirdre O'Dare
Skim down the backlist page which is in alpha order to find this one. Here's the cover to serve as your guide.

Blurb: Stormy Alcott supports herself, her two children and her mother by working as an independent cross-country trucker.  When low fuel forces her to get off I-40 in Winslow, Arizona, she sees and pick up a passenger who turns out to be a musician down on his luck. Together they make some amazing music. Is a career change in her future?

Tom Holden, newly back from military duty in the Middle East with the Tennessee National Guard hopes to catch up with his old band in Las Vegas. His old pickup breaks down, leaving him stranded in Winslow, Arizona. Just before a violent summer storm hits, a lady trucker gives him a lift.  Can the inspiration she provides help him and Taken By Storm make it to the big time? 

Excerpt:  After picking up Tom in Winslow, Stormy drives on west. They encounter a bad accident just west of Kingman, AZ on Interstate 40 and are forced to stop for some time.

"Not soon," the cop said. "Unless you have a big tow truck and a helicopter or two in that rig you're driving, it'll prob'ly be daybreak. They're stopping people at Kingman now, where they might get a room, or at least can find some food or coffee instead of just sitting here. If I was you, I'd bed down in my sleeper. If things clear earlier than I figure, I'll come by and bang on the door so you can get going."
Stormy nodded. "Sounds like a plan. Wish I did have something to help, but I'm just hauling Tennessee whiskey to Vegas."
She went back to the truck, climbed in and told Tom the news.
He shook his head. "Bad scene. Sure glad I'm not a cop. I found out in Iraq I'm not real good with blood and guts."
"I guess I could try and turn around, go back to Kingman, but I don't see much use in it. Not much we can do but wait. "
He flashed a grin at her. "Yeah, no forty-acre field here, is there?"
She socked him on the shoulder. "Go on with you. I don't need no forty acres to turn my rig around. Twenty will do just fine."
At the instant her fist impacted his solid bicep, his hand closed around her wrist. All at once the cab filled with a humming tension. Energy arced between them, eyes to eyes and skin to skin where his callused fingers shaped a bracelet around her arm. She relaxed her hand and spread it across the heat of his taut muscle absorbing the masculine power he radiated.
After a moment, he tugged, shifting her balance until she fell toward him. He released her wrist, but only long enough to close his arms around her. She settled against the comfortable breadth of his chest, a slow sigh leaking out of her lungs. I'll move, pull away in just a minute, but this feels so damn good... Before she completed the thought, his mouth found hers, and coherency flew right out of her mind.
He tasted of coffee and mint gum, and he kissed like a master at the craft. She didn't even think before she opened to the teasing probe of his tongue. He edged a hand up between their bodies and palmed her breast. Her whole body shivered at the touch as her nipple pebbled inside her bra, straining at the silky lace fabric. It felt like heaven, but was still not enough. Nowhere near enough.
"Can't get a room, but the sleeper behind us has a real nice mattress." She cringed at the inane remark, but it was said and it made the point.
"Lead on, sugar. I'm right behind you."
Stormy felt exposed when she climbed down from the cab and opened the sleeper door, Tom right behind her.
I might as well be standing naked in front of the No-tell Motel. Oh, hell, for all anybody knows, we're married. It's nobody's business anyway. It's been too long since I got laid and I need this.
The sleeper had no wasted space. It held a double bed, which took about all the room there was. She crawled onto the mattress and toward the back corner, leaving room for Tom to get up beside her. He shut the door behind them and stretched out. She flipped on one small light, the one she sometimes read by, and turned to face him.
He toed off his boots and laid them down in the six-inch strip of floor that edged the bed.
"Don't want to get mud on your pretty quilt," he explained. "It looks like the kind my grandma use to make. She lived up in the hills outside of Nashville and pretty much clung to the old ways."
"My gran made this one," Stormy confessed. "She's been gone quite a while, but she left a bunch of pretty handwork behind. I use this to keep her memory alive and a little bit of her here with me."
"You can't beat a good ole southern hill lady unless it's a good young one."
She caught his insouciant grin out of the corner of her eye.
Oh, man, he's got a line and charm as thick as peanut butter. Stormy kicked off her athletic shoes and dropped them beside his boots. Before she was done, he laid her back with two sure hands and rolled up to prop on his elbow looking down at her.
"Is that your real name, Stormy? How'd a pretty lady get stuck with such a moniker?"
"Yeah, 'bout as real as it gets. My birth certificate reads Stormy Jane Alcott. I took back my own name after my louse of an ex took off. Wasn't about to call myself Stoker any longer. If I could, I'd change my kids' names, too. As to how or why, Mama used to tell me it was a real dark and stormy night when I made my appearance and she just thought it fit. Always did have a bit of a temper..."
Tom laughed, a deep, honest laugh that seemed to come from the depths if his soul. "Well, I was named after my daddy, Thomas Carrick Holden, Junior. Of course, they call me Junior or sometimes just June. Except for maybe Bubba, it don't get much worse or more deep south than that. "
He reached with one hand, sliding it under the hem of her shirt where it had pulled out from being tucked into her jeans. His hand felt hot and a little rough on her skin. Sinfully good, too. She shivered at the ticklish caress.
"Soft," he murmured. "I knew it would be. You might act like a tough lady, but your skin says that's a lie."
One by one, working with only one hand, he undid the buttons, starting at the bottom and moving up. The cloth fell away to her sides, letting the slight breeze from the AC whisper down on her bare skin. Finally the last button opened revealing her delicate lilac lace bra. She always wore nice underwear. She might have on faded jeans and an old denim ranch shirt, but underneath she was all girl.
When she finally got tired of his shit and stood up for herself, Mitch Stoker had all but accused her of being a ball-busting dyke. That had hurt. She knew she was a tomboy, a woman who preferred the company and pursuits of men to most of the more girly things, but she still nourished a hidden core of femininity deep inside.
All at once she wanted to feel like a woman again, a complete, sexy and desirable woman. Tom's intense gaze was beginning to stir those feelings. He pushed the striped denim of her shirt back baring her shoulders as well as her chest.
"Damn, lady, you're a sight for sore eyes. Just as pretty and perfect as you can be. I want to kiss you all over, starting right here." His head swooped down and his lips closed around one nipple, straining against the fabric of her bra.
She sucked in a sharp breath as the sensation radiated through her body, setting her skin a-tingle and sparking a brushfire of heat in her pussy.
"It's been a while," she said, her voice emerging in a strangled croak. "I'm not sure if I remember what to do."

Looking ahead with Deirdre

I just submitted a new story yesterday. It will be part of a "Music" PAX to be released later this spring. I'm not sure of the PAX title yet or the release date. This story took me on a different path than I usually follow. The characters were very determined and turned out to be the driving force of the tale. There is not a great deal of external plot besides the relationship that builds for two very unlikely and different men. Talk about an odd couple! That's Jest and Greene, the other hero.

Ever since I wrote Take It Easy some time back and introduced Tom Holden and his band, Taken By Storm, I knew there were more stories to be told by other members of the band. The first one to step forward was the enigmatic drummer, Jest, who called himself the token rave rocker in a group whose roots split between Creedence Clearwater and some of the more recent country and western groups. When the topic of a music related PAX came up I jumped right in and claimed the title A Different Drummer, knowing Jest would come out of his shelter behind the drum set and tell me his story. And wow, did he ever! I learned some surprising things about him and his past in the process. Yes, I always feel like my characters are "real people" and they do talk to me; that's what makes writing such fun.

To refresh your memory since Take It Easy came out some time ago, I'll offer an excerpt, cover and blurb info on it in a separate post shortly. Although the principle romance in it is a straight m/f one, two of the band members are a lesbian couple and one sizzling  scene features them and Stormy who becomes Tom Hayden's lady after she picks him up in --wait for it--Winslow, Arizona! (well duh!!)  It was a PAX story too and all the group had song titles. The Eagles fared well and I think inspired several tales in the Heart Songs PAXs we did for both Heat and Allure. Anyway, the one scene let Take It Easy be dual-listed on both the Heat and Allure lines. A Different Drummer will be Allure only as it is totally a gay romance story.

I am on pins and needles to see what Trace Zabar, one of the Amber Quill owners and the art director and primary cover artist will do with this one! I expect it will be awesome and I will share it as soon as it hits my email, promise!

Meanwhile, let's nip back to Take It Easy in the next post. BTW it has a pretty neat cover too! The guitar shown in it is not the black Telecaster I mention in this one but Tom is versatile and plays both electric and acoustic, of course. I'm kind of an afficionado of Teles since it's a favorite instrument of my brother who is a former railroad maintenance union man and an aspiring musician. As I type he is practicing on the dual neck pedal steel he is teaching himself to play! It is great to have a resident tech expert in such diverse fields. Of course my late husband was in law enforcement as is one of my sons and that is handy too! As you know I do a lot of "cop" stories!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

As a romance writer who can hardly visualize a tale that does not have a love story, and one with a happy ending, this day is special to me! I posted on my other blog more about what the day and what Love means to me! Here as a little gift to my friends and readers--or maybe I should say ours since Gwynn and I both take part in this--I'm sharing a few favorite verses on the subject of love from Gwynn's book Walking Down My Shadows. As I admitted on the other blog, a lot of the content is hardly deathless poetry but it is all honest and sincere and real to the writer at the time each verse was set down. Life is messy, untidy, sometimes painful to the point of being maudlin and all of that is reflected in the poems in that book. But a few I'm proud to claim and would offer no apologies for. I'll try to find three or four of those to share today.

One Summer Evening (7-1-65)

You came to me at twilight in answer to my call.
I thought that you’d forgotten but you hadn’t after all.
   Your voice was full of sorrow when you spoke that night to me
   Of things that should not happen and things that could not be.
I turned to you in anguish, torn by the grief we shared.
To let you know I love you and prove how much I cared
   You held me to you tightly your face pressed in my hair
   And then I turned to kiss you…I could stay forever there.                    
The matchless aching sweetness of the touch of your first kiss
That woke this sleeping princess could not have been amiss.                   
   We parted with a handclasp, strong and sweetly tender
   That matched our kiss in sweetness if not in stirring splendor.               
I left you with a promise echoing in my heart—
Again we’ll be together if tonight we have to part.
   I left you with a heartache and a gently murmured sigh,
   The last words softly whispered: Goodbye, Dear Heart, goodbye.

Sunday (6/69)

Was it just yesterday?
The air was warm, in motion.
Your eyes were warm, deep and still.
Metallic in the sun, your hair
like water rippled by the wind.

If it was yesterday . . . .
The wind blew our words
away, but eyes spoke clearer.
In no mime of love, we lay
apart, looks only touching.
And the grass is crushed where we lay.

And it was yesterday.
Your hand, leaf-brown,
tender in its strength,
I might have touched
but didn't, couldn't. . .

So where is yesterday?
Your face, unsoftened angles,
is still in my eyes but
the line is drawn again
black and plain between.
                                         Still, the grass is crushed where we lay. 

Death of Dreams (70)

Dreams die hard and slowly
Flows back life to fill
The vacuum left in heart bereft
Of trespassive love that still
Tenacious grows from tangled roots--
An ancient, wind-warped tree
That clings upon its weathered cliff
As for eternity.
Dreams die hard and slowly
heals the spirit torn
By an untimely severance of
Timeless bonds, reborn. 

A Touch    (9-15-79)

I sat so still beneath your hand
Afraid you might misunderstand
And somehow read as a rejection
Should I stir. Yet with affection
Flowing sweetly from that touch
I could only think how much
I wished  it would never end.
I did not dare to move at all
And yet wished my lips might fall
And lightly brush the fingers curled
About my shoulder, holding my world
In their warm and gentle clasp.
But there was no way to grasp
That perfect moment, hold it fast,
                                       And make it last and last and last. 

The Silent Song

Words without music is a silent song:
A lonely child who sought to belong,
A fearful soul striving so hard to be strong.
     Of love a silent song I must sing
     Offering dreams, the best I can bring,
     (though I fly like a bird with a broken wing.)
If half of love is all that can be
My half must be yours so take it from me
And hear what I sing, who shall never be free.
Love like a flood is sweeping me under,
Loving and giving, I cannot sunder
And knowing me well, how can you wonder?
     When yours is the hand that led me along,
     Yours is the strength that helped me be strong--
     My words without music are a silent song.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Duty and Daring is OUT!

Duty and Daring is now available on,  through the Amber Quill website and at other book sellers! I'm delighted to have four of my favorite and heart-felt stories now available in a print collection. If a reader here would like an autographed copy I will sell them at the same rate that Amazon charges and cover the postage myself. I've ordered some copies to have available for friends and events and they should be here within a couple of weeks or even sooner!

Here's the cover again--the full flat this time and you can find it on my page at Amber Allure: and on the Allure home page for a time as a new release!
I'm now hard at work on some new tales which will become available in the coming months and plan to put together another collection or two in print before long as well!

Thanks to all my readers and friends for your support. That is what makes this all worthwhile and Blessed Imbolc to one and all!