The Formidable Four

This release week for AMID THE WINTER SNOW has been so fantastic, and it’s all because of you readers. Grace noted that two different reviews referred to us as “four formidable authors,” so now we feel like a superhero team. The Formidable Four!! I totally get to be the Jessica Jones wine-drinking, smart-assing one, right??

Anyway, we’ve been #1 all week in Fantasy Anthologies and Short Stories, except for brief excursions when a book with a BookBub ads bumps us for a time. We’re so delighted and gratified. 

I’m winding up my excerpts and mini-reviews with this one from Elizabeth Hunter’s story, The Storm! 

I’ve loved Elizabeth’s Irin world since I read THE SCRIBE. Her stories are deeply felt and complex battles between fallen angels, and span centuries. In The Storm, her steadfast hero finally tracks his love down in her last hiding place. I love the snowbound house high in the mountains, and how he insists she see him clearly – and face the old pain that’s blinded her. It’s a lovely story of the dark night of the soul and ultimate redemption. 

Buy the Book



Max returned from the caves while she was reading a book by the fire.

“There is food set out in the kitchen,” she said quietly, not looking up.

“Thank you.” He didn’t go to the kitchen. He crossed the living room and sprawled on the couch, forcing his head into her lap. “That library must have been remarkable.”

She put her book down, knowing he took pleasure in distracting her. “It was.”

“Has no one come back in over two hundred years? No one even came looking for the scrolls?”

“Maybe.” She combed her fingers through Max’s thick blond hair. It was wavy—almost curly—and shone gold in the firelight. “I didn’t return to this place for over one hundred years. Someone might have been back before that, but they would have seen everything gone.”

“Not everything.” He grabbed her hand. Kissed her palm. “I can still feel so much joy in that place. The magic in the walls is still vibrant.”

Renata closed her hand, curling her fingers into her palm. “I only feel pain. Loss.”

“There are both. Pain and joy. That is life. There’s something in the tunnels I want you to—”

“Don’t make me go back there.” She sighed. “Max, I know I can’t get rid of you, but can you just…”


“Let me be.” She closed her eyes. “Just let me be. Ignore me. You are welcome to stay here and rest. Explore the library as much as you want. Eat my food. But let me be. If you need to, pretend I’m not here.”

He nipped the heel of her hand with his teeth. “Well, that would be idiotic.”

She frowned. “Why?”

“Because I didn’t come here for a quiet mountain getaway, Reni. I didn’t come to explore a library. I came for you.”

Holiday Goodness Coming Your Way!

At last, the preorder links are live for AMID THE WINTER SNOW! You can get it at:

Google Play
Barnes & Noble

This is an amazing collection of Fantasy Romance stories, with lots of magic and cozying up while snowstorms rage outside. I’ve read the other three stories and they’re all so delicious. And meaty! They’re all substantial novellas. I hope you all love them just as much. 

Here’s a little excerpt from mine, The Snows of Windroven.


“I never intended to cause you pain, Ami,” I told the top of her head as she worked to clean the cuts. Brutally insufficient words to describe the depth of what I’d never intended. Beginning with laying a finger on her royal, unblemished skin. Even with her tending me out of simple sympathy, in broad view of the travelers on the main highway, the least brush of her fingers on my skin brought up the insatiable lust for her, hard and hot.

She looked up at me and creaked out a smile through still damp eyes. “I know that. And you’ve made me so happy.” She took a deep breath. “I always understood, though, that this was temporary.”

“We both understood that, from the first night by the lake.”

Her smile went tremulous. “When I seduced you, despite your better judgement.”

I laughed, though it never comes out right. It always sounds more like a groan scraping out of my scarred throat. “Everything with you has been against my better judgement, Ami. And I’ve never been able to help myself. You burn so bright.”

“Like staring into the sun,” she said, an oddly sorrowful crease at the corners of her eyes. Her innate magic made her beautiful even in tears and other extremes of emotion—and my passionate queen ranged through many extremes—so rarely did she look as she did now, smudged with unhappiness, dented by my careless handling of her. “Do you remember when you said that to me? You said you were afraid you’d come away burned and blinded.”

“I remember,” I allowed. I did so much better with silence. I should never have broken my vow. If I hadn’t, we wouldn’t have come to this pass.

“You said that if you stared into the sun too long, you’d be immolated, and the only freedom for you would be to stay far, far away.”

Never mistake that a mind sharp as a sword lies behind that pretty face. She likely remembered every word I’d ever said to her, both the wise and the incautious.


Out December 12!



A Delicious Appetizer for the Holidays

Winter is setting in, the scents of baking and wood fires fill the air, and those of us in the U.S. are preparing for Thanksgiving. In my corner of the world, I’m preparing to hit the road and drive to Tucson to visit family for the holiday – and doing the final assembly on AMID THE WINTER SNOW!

This anthology of midwinter holiday fantasy romance stories is finally complete. We’re doing the formatting and checking the balance of the gravy. Within the next few days, it will be up for preorder with a release date of December 12, 2017. The preorder price will be $4.99, and will go up to $5.99 on release day. Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter and I will be posting links as they’re available.

These are stories of finding love, redemption, peace – and a little magic – in the midst of anger, war, and the onslaught of deepest winter. Apropos for this difficult year. 

As the snows fall and hearths burn, four stories of Midwinter beginnings prove that love can fight its way through the chilliest night…


The mark Jahna Ulfrida was born with has made her a target of the cruel and idle all her life. During the long, crowded festivities of Deyalda, there’s nowhere to escape. Until a handsome stranger promises to teach her to save herself…

THE CHOSEN, by Thea Harrison

In her visions, Lily sees two men fighting for her tiny country’s allegiance: the wolf and the tiger, each deadly, each cunning. One will bring Ys chaos and death, one a gentler path—but she’s destined to love whichever she chooses. The Midwinter masque is upon them, and the wolf is at her door…

THE STORM, by Elizabeth Hunter

When her soul mate died in a massacre of the half-angelic Irin people, Renata thought she’d never feel happiness again. She’s retreated to the snowy Dolomites to remember her hurts—until determined, irrepressible Maxim arrives to insist on joy, too. And before she can throw him out, they discover a secret the Irin have to know…


As a blizzard threatens their mountain keep, the new Queen Amelia of the Twelve Kingdoms and her unofficial consort Ash face their own storm. Ash knows a scarred, jumpy ex-convict isn’t the companion his queen needs. But when a surprise attack confines them together in their isolated sanctuary, the feast of Midwinter might tempt even Ash into childlike hope…

I’ve loved working on this collection with these amazing writers – and I think you all will gobble up (tee hee hee) these stories. If you’re on the review list, you should be receiving your ARC very soon!


If you like to listen to podcasts, I was interviewed by Lindsay Emory of Women with Books. You can listen at any of these places:




To help Lindsay out with her efforts, you can also:

Click this link toRate and Review ‘Women with Books Podcast’ on iTunes. (Reviews help other readers find the podcast.)

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Finding Balance and Accommodating Change

Today is the last day to grab the SFWA Fantasy Story Bundle! It goes away at midnight US Eastern time tonight, November 2, 2017, never to be assembled in this grouping at this great price again. The response to this has been fantastic – earning money for the authors and for SFWA grants, so thank you all for supporting this effort! I did a post about my contribution, and how being in SFWA assisted with my worldbuilding, so you can check that out here

I had coffee with my stepsister Hope the other day. I was in Tucson to give a workshop, so we met up at one of our favorite Starbucks before I headed to the airport Monday morning. (We share no genes in common, but are identical in our Starbucks love.) She mentioned that she rarely reads my blog anymore because she’s not so interested in writing stuff.

For the record, this was not meant to be guilt-inducing. She said it in passing by way of talking about a post she DID see and enjoyed, the one on why I think people should enter RWA’s RITA contest. She thought it said a lot to non-writers, too, about how it’s easier sometimes to fall into the habit of not trying for things, for fear of failure or disappointment. The result then, naturally, is that you don’t win, either. She drew some parallels with her own life, which I found interesting.

And it made me realize how far I’ve drifted from how I used to blog, which was more about these kinds of thoughts and daily minutiae. So, I’m going to try to get back into that. A lot of it, of course, will still be about writing, since that’s a huge part of my life, but that’s not ALL I do. Not most days anyway…

I’ve been doing some schedule reassessing and rearranging in general, anyway. On October 23, I passed my two-year anniversary of leaving the day job to write full time. It’s funny that I still feel like I’m adjusting to that new reality after two full years. In fiction we condense time so much that I think I forget sometimes how long real human beings take to really change. When I was in Tucson, I chatted with Frankie Robertson, a member of that local RWA chapter, the Saguaro Romance Writers. She’d been reading THE TEARS OF THE ROSE and commented on the heroine Ami’s character transformation. 

I should mention at this point that Ami is probably my most disliked heroine – by readers, not by me. In contrast, of the entire Twelve Kingdoms and Uncharted Realms series, this is the only one to receive a Top Pick GOLD from RT Book Reviews, their highest possible rating. 

Frankie mentioned reading one of the one-star reviews on this book – and how the reader just hated Ami for her vanity, selfishness, and shallowness – and how she felt that person read a different book than she did. Because yes, Ami starts out that way, and then she *changes*, which is really the whole point of the story, and what Frankie loved about it. Then Frankie also pointed out that Ami changes really fast, over the course of a few months, and we both laughed about compressed fiction time.

That’s all a bit of an aside, but goes to how in real life, changes take a long time to accommodate. So, here I am, two years later, and still discovering how it works for me to write full time, what kind of daily word count I can sustain, and how to best both use and enjoy my time.

Because that has been one effect of my change in schedule – I have more time off, sleep more and according to a natural calendar and I do recreational things. But I’m still figuring out how to balance my traditionally published work with the self-publishing projects, which produce different sets of deadlines. 

I’m not quite sure why blogging began to feel like too much to keep up with, but I’d like to change that.

For you reader types out there, I know that I’ve been bumping deadlines around a lot. Much of this has come from the new traditional publishing projects edging out the self-pub projects. I have legal contracts with them, and outside expectations, which tend to trump take precedence over (will we ever be able to use that word again???) my internal deadlines.

At any rate, THE SNOWS OF WINDROVEN is completely done! That will be in the holiday anthology AMID THE WINTER SNOW with Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, and Elizabeth Hunter. We’re looking on track to have that release December 12, 2017, with preorders live in a couple of weeks. 

I’m also working on the third Missed Connections book, which is Amy’s story. A different Amy – I didn’t realize I did that! My other Ami is Amelia and this one is Amanda, so… hey, it happens! This one will be called SINCE LAST CHRISTMAS and it *will* be out before Christmas.

I do hope to get book four of Sorcerous Moons out in early next year, but I have a book due to my traditional publisher that I have to write before that. This is for my new high fantasy trilogy, THE LOST PRINCESS chronicles. I’ve turned in the first book, PRINCESS OF DASNARIA – which has been declared “fantastic,” so I think you all will like it – and I need to write the second book, EXILE OF DASNARIA. But I really do promise to get back to Lonen and Oria! Thank you all for bearing with me on that.

Speaking of change, some of you may have seen on Facebook that my mother-in-law, David’s mother, passed away on Halloween. It was not unexpected, as she’d been in a nursing home and had been declining. Still, David’s father and older brother also died in the past several years, so there’s been a lot of loss in the family. I’m hoping this makes three and we’ll be done for a while. So, we’ll be heading up to northern Wyoming for the funeral, and to spend time with family.

This is my favorite photo of Leona. I’m big on showing people how they were in their prime, not as they were when death came to claim them. The daughter of French and Irish immigrants, Leona grew up on a ranch in Montana next to the Crow Reservation. She was ever a tough and determined woman, and she leaves behind a large family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 


Exciting New Project!

I shared this video in various places, but I wanted to share it here, too, because it amuses me so much. Jackson had been snoozing in the shade and apparently decided a warm-up was called for. I looked up from my screen and he was lolling out there, soaking up the sun on his belly, king of his little universe.

That cat just cracks me up.

I’m popping in here today to let you all know about an Exciting New Project! (Hence the title. *cough*) The fantastic Thea Harrison has asked me, Grace Draven, and Elizabeth Hunter to participate in an anthology for the midwinter holidays!!!! It’s going to be called AMID THE WINTER’S SNOW. <- I love this title. Don’t you love this title? It’s very Enya to me.

We’ll each contribute a novella from our fantasy worlds, the story taking place around some sort of midwinter festival. Release date: December 12, 2017. We should have it up for preorder about a month before that. We’re working on a cover now, so stay tuned for that!

I’m also going to have some exciting news soon on a whole new series, but I can’t spill yet. Woo hoo!