Once a week, every Tuesday, an excerpt from one of my books, chosen for no special reason.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Excerpt from To Speak of Things Unseen

He's a sorcerer with a wolf who can talk as his companion. He doesn't need a witch in his life-- or so he thinks.

    “Hell,” Mitch growled as he stuffed the last bag into the bed of the truck. He had planned to leave with dark. He put the hitch onto the back of the truck feeling even more angry and frustrated. His horse trailer was at the ranch where he would get Ranger before heading north. His mind was on none of that.
    “What’s wrong?” Adolph asked, letting the rabbit go, that he had only been half-heartedly chasing.
It was too hot. Maybe that was all Mitch was feeling. Except he knew it wasn’t. 
    “It’s that woman,” he said finally as he straightened and stared toward the city.
    Adolph gave a wolf smile. “The beautiful one?”
    “You know which one.” Mitch was disgusted and angry at himself. He couldn’t let it go. She was in trouble. It wasn’t his problem. She wasn’t his problem. Ever since he’d read the morning paper, seen a third woman had been killed, he’d had a bad feeling. Throughout the day, as he’d readied the house to be left, his premonition had grown.
    He could feel energies building-- ugly and dark, threatening. He needed to leave Tucson, to go north where he could think more clearly and better protect himself. He had sent Buck and Sofia ahead to ready the house. It was time for him to go. Elke Hemstreet wasn’t in danger.
    Except, she was. The dark elements were growing. She had already made herself a target. She didn’t have a clue what she would soon face. Swearing under his breath, he told Adolph, “Get in the truck.”
    “You aren’t in a good mood. Don’t do something you’ll regret.”
    “I won’t.” He headed down the driveway pushing the remote to close the gate behind him. He hoped the home would be there when he returned.  
    “How do you know where to find her?” Adolph asked watching as a thick lightning strike drove into the distant Tucson Mountains.
    “I know.” That made him mad too, that he did know. That ever since she had come to his home he had wanted to know more about her, about what she did, where she lived. He knew and knowing infuriated him.
    Driving across Tucson, the storm seemed to be staying in the Tucson Mountains. Overhead it was a clear sky filled with stars while the opposite mountains were being hammered. The blackness above was enhanced by no moonlight. Its sliver wouldn’t rise until 3 am.
    Beyond downtown Tucson, he turned into the old barrio. He didn’t need to read the street signs. He knew where she was by scent. He stopped the truck in front of a two story, older home. She would be in the upper level. There were no lights on. Fine, he had no intention of knocking. “Stay with the truck,” he told Adolph as he got out. A figure walked out of the shadows and headed toward the gated entrance. At the metal grill, the male pulled a knife and began to jimmy the lock.
    Mitch smiled. “Looking for something?” he asked quietly as he walked up behind the man, who turned with the knife in his hand. Mitch reached out and grabbed his wrist, twisting it hard enough to force him to drop the knife before he heard the bone snap over his knee. The man let out a yelp of pain. “Worse happens if you don’t get out of here,” Mitch warned. The man grasped his broken arm, wheeled, and sprinted out of sight. Mitch kicked the knife into the oleander.
    Directing his powers toward the lock, he heard it click open and walked through. At the top of the stairs, there was a door. Again, the lock was no problem, and he walked into the silent apartment. Small kitchen to the left, living room in front of him and a door down a short hall that had to be to the bedroom. He stalked toward it angry and ready to tear something apart that he was even doing this.
As he opened the door, a flare of energy shot toward him, which he blocked with his hand, throwing it to the ground. “Now was that nice?” he asked realizing that she wasn’t quite as defenseless as he had assumed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Excerpt from Storm in the Canyon

In my experience, from my reading and my writing, series are born different ways. Sometimes a writer begins knowing a series is coming. Other times, they evolve. The series I call Diablo Canyon evolved from a dream for the first book, When Fates Conspire, into two more, all novellas. It is the most confusing set of books I have out there because I opted to keep the three novellas available without the heat while I put them together into one book, Diablo Canyon, with the spice. I still don't know how to count them when someone asks how many books I've written.

The following snippet is from the last book in the series, Storm in the Canyon. Justice, Remus and Racine are spirit guides but that is about to change for one of them.


Justus and Remus looked up as Racine came to where they had been watching the Morgans give their son a bath before putting him to bed.
“What’s up?” Remus asked when he saw her distressed expression.
“Have you ever heard of guides or angels, being turned into humans?”
Both stared at her. “It’s in the Bible, other sacred traditions, but usually not permanent,” Remus said.
“But it can happen,” Justus agreed. “Angels came to Sodom and Gomorrah and took what appeared to be human forms. They could eat.”
Racine moved away from the happy family scene. The other two followed. They landed in a pine tree at the edge of the forest to the west of the ranch.
“Why are you asking?” Justus frowned.
“Have you missed being human?”
“Not particularly. Well, maybe sometimes. There are things I liked about it,” Remus responded when Justus just stared at her.
“What’s it like?”
“It has its moments,” Justus said. “I will probably take a human life again someday. Are you saying you never have?”
She shook her head. “I was created as I am. I’ve never aged or grown—well except through new observations. I don’t think I can call them experiences.”
“You’re not an angel though?”
“There are other beings… There must be.” She gave a nervous laugh. “I mean I am one of them.”
“Is this disturbing you now?” Remus asked with more sensitivity than Justus usually had.
“It wasn’t. I hadn’t really thought of options. I have been happy as I was or maybe I just wasn’t very imaginative. Anyway I was asked by Aretha to become a human.”
“Be born again—er make that be born once?”
“No, and not to take someone else’s human body either. It was to just transition or whatever they call it. She said I would become human as I am.”
The two were silent for awhile. “Did she say why?”
“It involves what’s going on out at Diablo Canyon. She thinks I could help more on the human side than I can here.” If she had been human, she’d have cried at that thought. It had to mean Aretha didn’t have faith in her as a guide any more.
“No, it does not,” Remus said putting his hand on her shoulder or what would have been a shoulder if she had had one.
Beneath them six mule deer came out of the forest, one of them a buck with four points on his antlers. The animals grazed along the bushes and wildflowers with a wary eye constantly looking for danger.
“It is dangerous to be a human. I could be killed,” she said as she admired the muscular beauty of the male paying more attention to how his impressive muscles moved his body with such grace.
“Well you’d at least know it wasn’t a permanent condition,” Justus said with a smirk.
“It might hurt though.”
“Racine, life does hurt. It’s what it’s all about. Maybe Aretha is right about you needing that experience… except why not be born a baby?”
“She said I am needed now for what is coming.”
The two guides looked at her and then toward the south. “Oh,” they both said at the same time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

from Sky Daughter

Sky Daughter was the first paranormal I wrote. There are two sets of bad guys and the problem the hero and heroine must figure out is what is at the bottom of all that is happening.  It involves two spiritual traditions that go back many centuries as well as something even older.

    “I don’t know. What is today?”
    “Thursday, the fifteenth.”
    He whistled. “I’ve been here three days. I guess then it was three days there. I know you’re right about me leaving, but if nothing else, I need to know the possible charges. Think you can get one of those posters tomorrow?"
    "If they come out, the sheriff said he’d bring one by the station. You do know though you should leave tonight.”
    "I know you’ll think this is paranoid for sure, but I have a feeling they’d stop me.” He shook his head and she could see he was thinking something even worse.
   “What is it?”
   “Nothing. Forget it. Look, I will go because I don’t want you to be connected to this.”
   “Wearing the toga? Looks good but doesn’t seem it’d get you very far.”
    “I will wear Shorty’s, of course... falling apart though they are. I’ll hide during the day and walk at night.”
    She knew he had no intention of going, only of separating himself from her. She shook her head. The obstinacy of the male, especially certain males never ceased to amaze her. “That is the dumbest idea I’ve heard yet from you—and that’s going some.”
    He glowered at her. “I don’t like the idea of you being with me, maybe being caught with me. I didn’t want to drag someone innocent into this.”
    “Weren’t you innocent?” she asked thinking maybe he did know why he had been taken—if he had.
    He smiled and the smile was that heart melting one. “Nobody is innocent by my age, but I don’t think I brought this one on myself. I was just a fisherman up here and didn’t offend anybody unless it was fish—although since I do catch and release, maybe they spread the word.”
     She rose, paced across the room. “I’m grown up and decide what I want to get involved with all by myself. Now I’d also like to know what has been going on up here. It’s my home.”
    “I am not thinking clearly yet but I have a feeling you should get the hell out of Dodge, maybe even more than me.”
    “This is my home, and you are turning this around. You are the one who has to leave.”
    “If I could,” he muttered.
    “You sound paranoid, New York.”
    “Remember, it’s only paranoia if it isn’t based on anything,” he retorted. “Look, you helped me. I appreciate that but don’t want to drag you into something that could harm you. You have to think practically.”
    “You have some nerve. You try to rob my station, threaten to kidnap me, get yourself shot, take my help and then you imply again and again I’m the one unable to use good judgment.”
    He rose too, angrily wrapping the quilt more securely around himself. She saw the moment he realized that striking a pose of righteous indignation when wrapped in a quilt was going to be a difficult feat at best. She didn’t want to find this or him humorous, didn’t want to smile. She made herself frown. “You’re not taking this or me seriously.”
    “At the least I’m not taking myself seriously.” He chuckled.
    “This is nothing to laugh at.”
    He gestured to his quilt. “You sure?”