Saturday, December 17, 2005

Let's talk series...

Jeri Smith-Ready brought up an excellent writing point when she posted about having difficulty writing the second book in her LUNA series. It got me thinking ("A dangerous thing." "I know..."). Book #2 in a series is damn hard to write, and it's damn hard to find good ones, too. I've done it twice, and am almost ready to add a third 2nd book in a series (now that's confusing sounding) to my resume with the middle book in my YA contract. I'm not particularly looking forward to it. Here's the problem: the 2nd book needs to be able to stand alone, so the author must give enough info about the first book to fill in the new reader whilst not pissing off/boring someone who has already read book one. See - it's damn hard to do. I struggled hard with this writing Brighid's Quest. I wanted the book to stand alone - and from the reviews and readers' comments I think I managed that - but I did have to pay homage to Elphame's Choice. Of course what was more difficult was writing Divine by Choice - the sequel to my first book, Goddess by Mistake (which is going to be re-released under the title Divine by Mistake in September), because when I wrote GbM I didn't have a clue I was going to end up writing a sequel...let alone the 5 books I've sold to LUNA set in that world. Sigh. I can tell you that today I would have done several things different in GbM and made my life much easier later on...

So - what sequels have you found that are as good - and maybe better - than the first book? What jumps out at me first is Anne McCaffrey's classic Dragon Quest, which I loved even more than the first fabulous Pern book, Dragon Flight. I also adored Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' second Hawk book Snakecharm. Oddly enough, Diana Gabaldon's second Outlander book was just okay, but the third kicked ass.

What do you guys think?

Friday, December 09, 2005


Check out the amazing review of Brighid's Quest posted by my favorite Smart Bitch, Sarah @ Here's a sneak peek: (and feel free to go to the site and chime in on the discussion!)

Brighid's Quest by PC Cast
Dude. She's half a horse!
Title: Brighid's QuestAuthor: PC Cast Publication Info: Luna Books 2005, ISBN: 0373802420Genre: Science Fiction/FantasyTrashy Books Grade: A-

I took Brighid’s Quest with me to the hospital when I was induced, but I didn’t remember a page of what I read due to the wonders of labor, and the even deeper wonders of post-episiotomy percocet. Mmm. Percocet. But it is a testament to PC Cast’s writing that what fuzzy details I did remember, I wanted to get back to and reread as soon as I returned to my somewhat-normal self. I usually do not reread the opening pages of books if they prove to be forgettable. Brighid’s Quest is not forgettable in the least. It’s marvelous.

Brighid is a centaur, which, for the mythologically uninitiated, means her back end is a horse. She’s human from the waist up, equine from the waist down. And according to the descriptions and passing comments from other characters, either half of her is pretty hot. She is the Huntress for Clan MacCallan, which means she is the official hunter providing game for the clan’s keep. Brighid is fiercely protective of her clan, her position within the clan, and her friends, specifically the clan Chieftan, Elphame, last seen in the prequel to this book, Elphame’s Choice. Brighid left the Centaur Plains to escape the Machiavellian machinations of her mother, High Shaman of the Dhianna Herd. Brighid was expected, as eldest daughter, to follow her mother into the position of High Shaman after her mother’s death, but the increasingly militant and anti-human beliefs of her herd, coupled with the cruelty and abuses of power committed by her mother and brother, led Brighid to find her own life outside of her home and family.
That’s more than enough for a story, right? But wait! There’s more!
"More, more, more!"
Brighid has become an essential part of the Clan MacCallan. As Huntress, she holds a position of respect within the clan, and as close friend of the Chieftan commands her own share of personal respect as well. It doesn’t hurt that, as I mentioned, half-horse or not, she’s pretty hot.
The Clan MacCallan has been left in a state of upheaval by the events told in Elphame’s Choice, and as this book begins, Elphame’s brother Cuchulainn has journeyed to the Wastelands to bring back the New Fomorians, a group of half-demon, half-human hybrid people whose lives were saved by Elphame. Elphame is worried for her brother, who is in deep mourning for his lost love, killed by one of the half-demon Fomorians. Brighid volunteers to journey to the Wastelands to accompany Cuchulainn as he leads the New Fomorians back to the clan castle in Partholon.
When Brighid arrives in the Wastelands to meet the hybrid New Fomorians, she finds that Cuchulainn is a fragment of his former self, and realizes that part of her assignment, though unspoken, is to lead Cuchulainn back to himself as she and Cu lead the New Fomorians back to Partholon to be a part of the Clan MacCallan.
And that is more than enough for a story, right? But wait! There’s more!
Brighid must also learn to embrace the part of herself that is her mother’s daughter, that is, the part of her that is a High Shaman and has a connection to the spirit realm. Having rejected her herd and her responsibility to follow her mother into the position of High Shaman, Brighid has also rejected the spirit world and tries to resist the signs, messages, and premonitions she receives. Unfortunately, resisting one’s destiny is not easily done.
Brighid’s Quest hinges neatly into two halves: Part One is the tale of Brighid’s first quest: leading the New Fomorians into Partholon with Cuchulainn, and realizing how she alone can help Cuchulainn heal himself from the grief that has literally fragmented his soul. Part Two is the tale of Brighid’s second quest, as she realizes her destiny and tries to find a balance between her new life in Clan MacCallan, and her destiny as High Shaman of the Dhianna Herd.
The unifying element to these two halves is Cuchulainn, the hero of the story. PC Cast has set up quite a challenge for herself, in that it is very difficult to make a hero out of a grieving man who has just lost his love. Often the lost love is too good to be believed, shallow, one-dimensional, or revealed to be evil. Brenna is none of these, and, to make matters more challenging, was a friend of Brighid, who is mourning her loss along with Cuchulainn. But on the journey from the Wastelands to Partholon, which parallels Cuchulainn’s journey back to himself, Brighid and Cuchulainn realize they have feelings for one another, and both must struggle with their attraction as well as their guilt over betraying Brenna’s memory. And all of this emotional acknowledgement has to be managed without turning the reader off entirely, especially readers who are coming from the prequel and who “know” Brenna.
The other challenge is that Brighid, by virtue of being a centaur, well, to be blunt, she’s half a horse! I read this book the first week home from the hospital, bit by bit between feedings, rocking, and figuring out a baby’s nap schedule, and it was really freaking difficult to put the book down and go tend to anything else. Not only is this a wonderfully told story, but dude, she’s half a horse and there’s some serious attraction between Brighid and Cuchulainn, who’s a human, i.e. not half a horse. The possible logistics of the love scene were dinner discussion between Hubby and myself, because, did I mention, she’s half horse?!
I won’t spoil the answer as to how the happy-happy happens, don’t worry.
Brighid’s Quest contained some of my very favorite romantic elements: an emotionally wounded hero who is afraid of risking his heart a second time; heroine who can heal him, though at great personal cost; and a journey that has to bridge two very different cultures - that last one happens multiple times in multiple combinations, between the New Formorians, the Clan humans, the centaurs, the spirit realm, and the Goddess Epona, the ruling deity over the entire group. But even as I frothed at the mouth (ha) to find out how Brighid and Cuchulainn would find happiness and how the New Fomorians would find a way to live with the distrustful human Clan members, I had to ask myself: is this a romance, or is this a hybrid itself?
While there are strong romantic elements to the story, I would have to argue that it is not a romance entirely. It’s more of a hybrid between romance, fantasy, and, if we readers were members of the Clan MacCallan, an epic tale as well.
My one disappointment with the story is something of a spoiler, so as usual, if you don’t want to know, you know what not to do. Cuchulainn spends chapters struggling with his grief, his feelings of guilt over Brenna’s death, and then further feelings of guilt over his growing regard for Brighid. But when it comes time for him to admit that he cares for Brighid, and that he can choose a future with her, he arrives quickly at a state of acceptance over his feelings and his intentions toward Brighid. For someone who struggled emotionally through the entire first part of the novel, Cuchulainn admitted his attraction to Brighid and acted upon it a little too fast for me, not only because I thought he would have to struggle with it a bit more (and not just because, hello, she’s half a horse!) but also because the shift in his feelings for Brighid and vice versa mark the hinge between parts 1 and 2 of this book, and I felt the transition went too quickly. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there wasn’t quite enough angst for an already angst-filled character.
The most telling sign of my fondness for this book is that I keep stalling as I write this because my copy is sitting next to me, and if I pick it up to check a plot point or the spelling of a name, I start reading again, even though I finished the book a little over a week ago. I don’t even skim the pages; I start reading it in detail like I’ve never seen the words before. Brighid’s Quest is definitely a combination of several different and equally strong genres, but it also manages to be a hardy example of each one. I could recommend it to readers of romance, or readers of fantasy, with no hesitation.
Unless they want to borrow my copy. Ha. Mine.
"Was it good for you?"

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Oh, baby! Just got the cover for the MYSTERIA Anthology. The release date is July 2006, and I can not wait! I love this anthology, and I love the three other talented authors who are in it with me: MaryJanice Davidson, Susan Grant, and Gena Showalter. Here's a teaser:
Hunky werewolves, delicious demons and, drop-dead sexy witches all have the same address…


Hundreds of years ago, in the mountains of Colorado (just close enough to Denver for great shoe shopping), the small town of Mysteria was “accidentally” founded by a random act of demonic kindness. Over time, it has become a veritable magnet for the supernatural—a place where magic has quietly coexisted with the mundane world.

It’s a town like any other town, where the high school’s Fighting Fairies give fans something to cheer about, where everyone knows your name—if not exactly what you are—at the local bar, and where the wishing well actually lives up to its name.

Strange occurrences happen every day, but now the ladies of Mysteria are about to unleash a tempest of seduction that will have tongues wagging for centuries to come…

The women of Mysteria…

Charlene Houtenan is the voluptuous local realtor, who knows a hot property when she sees one. And when a new werewolf appears in town, she’s going to make a move he can’t resist.

See her seal the deal in New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson’s “Alone Wolf.”

Harmony Faithfull is the new minister in town. She’s having a crisis of faith—in herself—until she finds a buck-naked man in her garden, a former demon who unleashes the devil inside her.

Watch her find heaven in national bestselling author Susan Grant’s “Mortal in Mysteria.”

Candice Cox may be Mysteria High’s sexiest teacher, but after five husbands, she’s burnt out on romance. Until a former student—a drool-worthy werewolf—makes her howl at the moon…

Get hot for teacher in “Candy Cox and the Big Bad (Were) Wolf” by P.C. Cast.

Genevieve Tawdry is a witch with a bad case of unrequited love for the owner of the local bar. But is his sudden change of heart the result of a love potion—or a literally breathtaking passion?

Belly up to the bar in “The Witches of Mysteria and the Dead Who Love Them” by Gena Showalter.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

1st YA ms almost finished!

Okay, I'm very excited to report that the 1st book in our (as in my daughter and me) YA series is almost finished! Naturally, I won't even be able to take a breath before I move on to the 2nd one, which has to be finished by January 15 - may God(dess) help me. are some name-that-character winners:

Jess!! You won with Erik for the love interest (well, one of them) for our fabulous heroine. His whole name is Erik Night.

Jana!! You won with Damien for one of our major secondary characters - one of our heroine's best friends (he's an adorable gay guy you'll love).

So ladies, email me privately with your addresses and when the book comes out I owe you each an autographed copy and a goddess necklace. Congrats!!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Sexy Name Decoder!

Hey Y'all! has a fun sexy name decoder link going on. Fill our your stuff and find out YOUR sexy name. Behold what P.C. stands for:

Princess of Caresses

Like you're suprised??

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Oh, baby! My fabulous Berkley editor emailed me this afternoon with the following news:

GODDESS OF SPRING gets the award for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy in the Affaire de Coeur 2005 Readers-Writer's Poll. You beat out Forced Mate by Rowena Cherry, Run No More by Colleen Mulvany, Seduced by Moonlight by Laurell K. Hamilton, and Saraphim by Michelle Hauf.

Hey! I beat Laurell K.! Now THAT'S news.

Lift a glass with me!

Okay, I'm crawling back into YA deadline hell...


Monday, October 31, 2005

Gena Showalter kicks ass!

One of the aspects of my writing career I like most is that I have the opportunity to work with some amazingly talented women. My buddy Gena Showalter is a prime example of that. Her episode in Bewitched, Bothered & Bevampyred inspired mine - and it also set fire to the proposal that will be the Mysteria anthology released by Berkley in August 2006, which will include expanded and alter versions of Gena's episode and mine, as well as episodes by MaryJanice Davidson and Susan Grant. Here's a preview of Gena's hilarious episode:

“The Witches of Brokenoggin and the Dead Who Love Them” featured in BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEVAMPYRED by Gena Showalter
(Triskelion Press)

Welcome to Brokenoggin Falls, where the housewives are not only desperate, they’re Witches! (And one of them might be a Harpy) The spells cast by moonlight frequently go awry. And there are times when toads and Chihuahuas seem abundant as black flies in the summer, the dragons are a little touchy, the Forest Trolls are in danger of extinction from teeny-boppers, the Gryphons need help conceiving and...the scientist are crunchy and good with ketchup...

All proceeds from the sales of this book will go to the International Red Cross.

In which the well-endowed Tawdry triplets accidentally raise the dead while dealing with an overzealous peeping John.

Be on the lookout for MYSTERIA, an anthology expanding on the episode and characters Gena created in BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEVAMPYRED. MYSTERIA (Berkley) hits shelves in August 2006!


Gena Showalter holds a Ph.D. in Quantum Physics (lie), is an expert in Krav Maga (bigger lie), and once worked as a body guard for the stars (the biggest lie of all). Actually, Gena Showalter is just your everyday, average girl who enjoys creating sizzling paranormal tales of kick ass women and the men who can't resist them.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Yea for another MaryJanice Davidson 'Undead' novel!!!

MaryJanice's Undead novels are like Godiva truffles (the dark chocolate ones). I adore them and eat them up!! Especially with a glass or three of lovely red wine...don't miss her latest - I won't!

(Berkley, October 25, 2005)

Even the undead celebrate Christmas, and Betsy is in heaven shopping for gifts. But all is not merry in the mansion. It’s become infested with ghosts—really needy ones who have no qualms asking Betsy to run errands for them to rectify their pasts. Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose, and, being tall and blonde, Betsy perfectly fits his type. They say Christmas is a time for friends and family. But with a half-sister who’s the devil’s daughter, an evil stepmother, a fiend living in her basement, and assorted spirits and killers running amok, Betsy is not sure she’ll survive the holidays. Oh, right. She’s already dead…



MaryJanice Davidson is the best-selling author of several romance novels, including UNDEAD AND UNWED and HELLO GORGEOUS. Her books have been on the USA Today best seller list, as well as the New York Times list. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, two children, and dog, and is secretly addicted to Peanut Buster Parfaits.

“This is one of the funniest, most satisfying series to come along lately. If you’re fans of Sookie Stackhouse and Anita Blake, don’t miss Betsy Taylor. She rocks.”—The Best Reviews

“Mary Janice Davidson is a refreshing voice to both the romance and vampire world of writing…I cannot recommend her enough!”—ParaNormal Romance Reviews


Friday, October 14, 2005

The Totally FAB Susan Grant!

Okay, yes. I'm going to admit that Sue Grant and I are friends. Girlfriends. Yes, she is amazing and talented. BUT seriously her episode in Bewitched, Bothered and Bevampyred is EXCELLENT. Naturally the expanded version she did for our anthology, MYSTERIA, which will be out in August (with MaryJanice Davidson, Gena Showalter and Moi) is a longer version of EXCELLENT. But, please. Buy this damn book. All the proceeds go to charity (Katrina relief). Do a good thing AND read a great book! Here are the details:

“A Dance Through the Garden of Good and Evil” featured in BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEVAMPYRED by Susan Grant
(Triskelion Press)

Welcome to Brokenoggin Falls, where the housewives are not only desperate, they’re Witches! (And one of them might be a Harpy) The spells cast by moonlight frequently go awry. And there are times when toads and Chihuahuas seem abundant as black flies in the summer, the dragons are a little touchy, the Forest Trolls are in danger of extinction from teeny-boppers, the Gryphons need help conceiving and...the scientist are crunchy and good with ketchup...

All proceeds from the sales of this book will go to the International Red Cross.

When Pastor Harmony Faithfull unknowingly hires a tall, dark, and sexy demon to be the new church groundskeeper, all hell breaks loose.

Be on the lookout for MYSTERIA, an anthology expanding on the episode and characters Susan created in BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEVAMPYRED. MYSTERIA (Berkley) hits shelves in August 2006!


One of the first women to graduate from the US Air Force Academy, award-winning author Susan Grant piloted jets in the USAF before joining United Airlines. She currently flies 747s around the world.


P.S. Hell yes I'm jealous that she flies all over the world. She's always sending me smart-assed emails from exotic places like, "Oh, I'm in China. I'm going to see the ancient life-sized wariors. What are you doing?" Jeesh, how annoying. And yet I still adore her...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

YA Series SOLD!

Oh, man am I excited!!! Got the word from my goddess-like agent today that the YA series my daughter is co-authoring with me sold!!! St. Martin's is the house, and it's a 3 book deal. Paranormal (vampire) YA - edgy and dark, but with a quirky sense of humor. Quite a few of you know that I've been teaching high school for the past 12 years or so, which means that even though the series is paranormal it will deal with real issues kids deal with today. And with my wonderful, talented daughter writing with me I can promise you the "reality" aspect of it has a firm foundation.

I'll announce the title, synopsis details, and release date details as soon as I get the green light!

Pop a bottle of bubbly with me!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

New YA Contest!

FAB fans! I'm starting a new contest wherein you will name the male teenage vampyre hero in the series that I'm coauthoring with my wonderful daughter! The winner who comes up with the name I use will receive a beautiful Goddess necklace and an autographed copy of the first YA book published.So...what do ya'll think? What's a delicious (but clearly angst-ridden and poetic) teenage vampire name? Let me have it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Back from Dallas...

First - of course the weather was fine. I mean, I was at a gathering of witches. Please. Like they can't do some weather witching and calm a storm away? We didn't even get rain.

Second - I had a WONDERFUL time!!! There's nothing like a lovely gathering of Pagans to get the blood pumping. Nice people - great stuff for sale - good food - plenty of booze. Oh, and an attentive audience. What more could I want? Sexy men you say? Well, they were all taken...sadly. But there is always next year.


Oh, stay tuned. I do believe I will have some excellent YA news to report very soon!

MaryJanice Rules!

Okay, I'm just going to admit it - I'm a huge MaryJanice Davidson fan. And I consider her a friend, so I can tell you that she is funny and fantastic and authentic. So BUY HER BOOKS. Especially the anthology I'm in with her (it's not out till August 2006, but put it on your "to do" list, please). Here's her latest anthology...just something to read whilst we're waiting for the next Undead book:

“The Misadventures of Boo and the Boy Blunder” featured in KICKASS by MaryJanice Davidson
(Berkley, September 2005)

A tale of a woman who knows how to save the day - and enjoy the rewards at night.
“The Incredible Misadventures of Boo and the Boy Blunder” by MaryJanice Davidson. Former police officer Gregory wonders how life can be so unfair. Recently, he was turned into a vampire and to make matters worse, he has met his soulmate (that is, if he had a soul). The problem is his beloved wants to kill him as Boo is a bona fide vampire hunter.



MaryJanice Davidson is the best-selling author of several romance novels, including UNDEAD AND UNWED and HELLO GORGEOUS. Her books have been on the USA Today best seller list, as well as the New York Times list. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, two children, and dog, and is secretly addicted to Peanut Buster Parfaits.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Pagan and Wiccan and Druids...oh my!

In the morning I'm off to spend the weekend in Dallas teaching a lovely workshop and signing books at the 33rd Gathering of the United Earth Assembly. For those of you not in the know - that's a fabulous assembly of Pagans and Wiccans and Druids, etc. The etc. is because these folks accept other beliefs very easily - in other words you won't get snubbed or booted out or hexed (that's such bullshit, by-the-by) if you're a curious Christian dropping in. Which is not often the case the other way around.

Anyway, I'm a little worried about the weather. My Mustang does NOT like rain. So keep me in your thoughts...light a candle...cast a lovely circle or whatnot that I return home safe on Sunday. I'll report all then, dahlings!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

New YA Series!

Okay, keep your fingers crossed! I've just emailed my proposal and chapter 1 of a new YA series to my agent. And I'm proposing that my 18 year old daughter, the phabulous Kristin, coauthor it with me! I can't give out any details right now, but I will say that it's paranormal and it is AWESOME! Plus, I don't think I've ever had so much fun writing a proposal and first chapter as I did this one with my daughter.

I'll give details as I get them. For right now keep positive thoughts coming my way!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Kick Ass Women

Whether you like the strong, ass-kicking modern heroine or not, I think we can all agree that it's about damn time that publishers got excited about women being able to create that kind of heroine. So let's give a nodd to Angela Knight and her latest kick-ass-now-take-names-later heroine:

“Warfem” featured in KICK ASS by Angela Knight
(Berkeley Trade, September 2005)

They're sexy. They're smart. And they aren't afraid of a little danger-not even when it comes to matters of the heart... Four of today's hottest authors present a quartet of stories about bold women who take no prisoners-either in a fight or in love. Whether it's in the bedroom, in the outer limits of the galaxy, or out on the mean streets, they kick heart-stopping action to the next level. These are women who can hold their own and aren't to be trifled with. The men in their lives know that-and they love it...

In “Warfem,” Alina Kasi reunites with her lover Baird Arvid after two decades apart. Passion instantly blazes between the two superhuman warriors, but old enemies and new lies may tear them apart. And Alina dreads what Baird will do when he finds out about the secret she’s been keeping for the past twenty years. But she soon discovers she’s not the only one keeping secrets.



Angela Knight's first book was written in pencil and illustrated in crayon; she was nine years old at the time. But her mother was enthralled, and Angela was hooked.
In the years that followed, Angela managed to figure out a way to make a living -- more or less -- at what she loved best: writing. After a short career as a comic book writer, she became a newspaper reporter, covering everything from school board meetings to murders. Several of her stories won South Carolina Press Association awards under her real name. For more of Angela’s interesting bio, visit her website:

WARFEM got 4 ½ stars from Romantic Times, which said, “Passion and intrigue are plentiful in Knight’s ‘Warfem.”
Speaking of the whole anthology, Jill Smith wrote, “It would be hard to find a more exciting way to spend a few hours. Settle in for tons of fun and enjoyment.”
In Warfem, Angela Knight gives us a fantastic story of a love that never died and another look at those yummy Warlords! – Pam L at A Romance Review. Four and a half Roses
These four women live up to the title so anyone who enjoys strong women kicking butt and hog tying their beloved will enjoy this fun often amusing but always exciting anthology -- Harriet Klausner


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Help for Katrina Teachers

As some of you know, besides being an author I've been teaching at the high school and college level for about 12 years. I'm cutting and pasting info forwarded to me at school in case any of you are interested in how we can support the teachers who are going through this terrible time. Let's remember that by supporting a teacher, you are likely touching the lives of unnumbered children as well.

Helping Other Teachers after Katrina

The devestation and after-affects of Katrina are spreading far and wide. There are teachers who no longer have a teaching position and have no idea whether there will be a teaching position waiting for them later. At this point the Orleans Parish is not even sure whether they will open again for the 2006-2007 school year. This means that many teachers are now without a job, a home, and supplies to begin teaching in a new location (if possible). There are schools in Texas, Alabama, Missippi, and Florida that are taking in new students who have been temporarily relocated. For some of these districts, they are also looking for more teachers to accomodate the increased student populations. There are many different organizations already dedicated to helping the victims of Katrina. We want to encourage you to support the teachers and students displaced by this devestating storm. Below are a list of links to learn more about what has happened in the hardest hit school districts and ways you can help.National Education Association - has pledged 1 million dollars to the relief effort. They also have some excellent resources for addressing this devestation with students and for working with students and teachers displaced by the storm. They also have a place where you can make a donation towards the relief fund.Louisiana Department of Education provides updates on the districts hardest hit by the hurricane and offers a variety of resources for displaced teachers, students, and parents. They have home study options for students as well as a Frequently Asked Questions page. If you are a displaced teacher, administrator, or staff member from Louisiana, this is an excellent site to get reconnected. If you are interested in what is happening and ways you can help, this site is an excellent source of information.Alabama Department of Education is offering help for displaced teachers and students.Mississippi Department of Education site is also offering updates for displaced teachers and students as well as information on what is happening with those districts hardest hit.Hurricane Help for Schools is a site from the US Department of Education designed to help get supplies to those schools and teachers who are taking in new students from the devastated areas. You can view what different schools need and let them know what you are able to provide. If you are a school in an area taking on new students, you can list the items needed.As teachers we all know how difficult it is to get started from scratch. Many teachers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida are now without a classroom, without necessary supplies, and many have lost everything. By joining forces we can try to help them recover and move forward. As the relief efforts continue, we will keep you updated with new resources available.Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this storm.If you have any questions, comments, or supplies you would like to share, please let us know and we will try to gather the information and get it where it is needed.Sincerely,Emma S. McDonald, M.Ed.Inspiring Teachershttp://www.inspiring

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Finally it's September and the release month for my lovely girlfriend's newest book, HEART OF THE DRAGON! Gena Showalter is my buddy, so I manged to grab a copy of Heart Saturday! I'll be putting my nose in it as soon as I turn in the rewrite of Goddess of the Rose Tuesday. Here's the info on it. Enjoy!!!

HEART OF THE DRAGON by Gena Showalter
(HQN Books, September 2005)

He’ll make you burn…
He is a Dragon, a rare breed of warriors able to transform into the legendary creature at will. Though the mighty warlord breathes fear into the minds of his enemies and fire into the blood of his women, no one has ever stirred his heart -- until he encounters Grace Carlyle of modern day Earth. He burns to possess this proud, alluring beauty . . . but he has sworn to kill her.

Journey to the mythical world of Atlantis, where the gods’ hid their greatest mistakes – the vampires, demons, dragons, and other creatures of legend – and experience white-hot passion, exciting adventure, and a love that defies the boundaries of time and magic.



Gena Showalter holds a Ph.D. in Quantum Physics (lie), is an expert in Krav Maga (bigger lie), and once worked as a body guard for the stars (the biggest lie of all). Actually, Gena Showalter is just your everyday, average girl who enjoys creating sizzling paranormal tales of kick ass women and the men who can't resist them.


"Sexy, funny and downright magical!" -- USA Today bestselling author Katie McAllister

This romantic fantasy is a magical work where dragons take on human form and have different values than the surface dwellers. Atlantis is an exotic city populated by dragons, vampires, centaurs, and other beings of myth and legend. There is plenty of action as well as romance in the storyline as the book will appeal to a wide range of readers. Gena Showalter has the magic touch to make readers believe in what she writes. -- Harriet Klausner
(In Heart of the Dragon) Showalter pens a bold and exciting new vision of both Atlantis and dragons. Lots of danger and sexy passion give lucky readers a spicy taste of adventure and romance. – RT Bold and witty, sexy and provocative, Gena Showalter's star is rising fast! -- Carly Phillips, New York Times Bestselling Author
Heart of the Dragon is a bang-up twist to the old fairy tail with its dragon hero. Grace's character brings a refreshing change to the damsel in distress with her full steam ahead attitude and persistence. Ms. Showalter leads the reader on a thrilling adventure that even the coldest heart will acknowledge and love. – The Romance Reader’s Connection


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Check it out:

I'm happy to give a nod to lovely author and fellow Oklahomian, Jaci Burton and her newest release. Check her out, ladies!

“Garden of Eden” featured in ELLORA’S CAVEMEN: LEGENDARY TAILS II by Jaci Burton
(Ellora’s Cave, June 2005)

Dr. Eden Mason has spent the past hundred years orbiting the Earth in stasis. Since a nuclear war destroyed everything, she and the other inhabitants of the space pods are the only survivors of the global meltdown.

One special passenger has joined them-Adam-an alien sent to recreate what was once a thriving, beautiful planet. But Adam needs Eden to fulfill his goal, in a way she never expected.

Adam has loved Eden since he first came to Earth, but her father refused to allow him to meet her. Instead, the brilliant scientist kept Adam secluded while they engineered a way to save some of Earth's inhabitants before the inevitable destruction. Now Adam can touch Eden, taste her, love her like he's always wanted to, at the same time fulfilling his duty to revitalize the planet.

His love for her is energizing and Eden begins to hope that life on new Earth will be a lush garden of sensual pleasures. But Adam's not telling her everything that will happen, and his secret may end up destroying them both.



Jaci Burton was born and raised in Missouri but now lives on an acre-and-a-half in Oklahoma with her husband Charlie. Jaci loves to write about passionate relationships with sometimes stormy outcomes but always a happily ever after. She’s a sucker for romance and a happy ending!

“Jaci Burton does it again! What an amazingly hot and steamy story!” -- Fallen Angel Reviews

“Garden of Eden by Jaci Burton is a yummy little taste of fantastic science-fiction romance with beautiful balance. – eCataRomance

“Garden of Eden has a very interesting plotline. Ms. Burton gives us a very imaginative not to mention fun way for Adam to get his energy to re-create a new world. Adam and Eden are well developed characters even for a short story, and the emotional bond that develops between them is very moving and believable. With steamy sex scenes a plotline with twists and turns this one was an enjoyable read." – Cupids Library Reviews


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Romance Interview!

Because I truly love my readers, I recently braved the hallows of mythological Atlantis where the gods’ hid their greatest mistakes – the vampires, demons, minotaurs, dragons, and too many others to name – to interview Darius en Kragin, the hero of HEART OF THE DRAGON (by the amazing and naughty Gena Showalter), who is the fiercest man/creature in all of Atlantis. He is the dragon king and his duty is to kill all humans who stray within his home’s borders. Thankfully, he let me live (clearly he has a weakness for redheads who have nice legs and good boobs) and answered my questions. Here’s what he had to say:

PC: Hello, Darius. So nice of you to agree to this interview instead of dismembering me. So, we’ve been talking about romantic gestures here on my blog. Please tell me what’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for a woman?

DeK: I did not kill Grace Carlyle when she entered my home.

PC: Oh! That’s, uh, interesting. Why ever not?

DeK: For three hundred years I have seen only black and white, smelled only ash, and tasted nothing. The moment I saw her, I saw colors, smelled decadent woman, and tasted her sweetness in my mouth.

PC: (dreamy sigh). Sweetness in my mouth...I like that...I like that a lot. Which, uh, leads me to my next insightful question: You're, well, mostly naked, so I couldn’t help but notice the dragon tattoo that covers most of your (delicious-looking) chest and (tight, hard) stomach. I bet women love to lick it - the tattoo, that is.

DeK: You are a bold, saucy woman PC Cast. You remind me of my Grace, for she shares your sentiment.

PC: Lucky woman. Okay. Now. You are a dragon. What exactly does that mean? You look human to me, albeit one of the sexiest humans I’ve ever seen, but still.

DeK: Dragons morph into their true form when they experience strong emotion. Our wings burst free, our claws elongate, and we breathe fire – a fire that heats a woman’s blood to a white-hot boil.

PC: Give me a moment to cool down, then we can discuss whether or not there are any bachelor dragons in your army.

DeK: (Darius’ chin cants to the side) I am sorry, but I must go. Grace has entered the palace and all this talk of fire and licking has giving me –

(Before he finishes, he’s gone.)

PC: Well, wasn't that an "interesting and informative" interview? To check out more of Darius, pick up a copy of Gena Showalter's HEART OF THE DRAGON, available September 1st. Thankfully, I've already ordered my own because apparently I need to do some more, uh, "research" here in Atlants...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Well, I'm swimming through the rewrite of Goddess of the Rose and working on sexual tension et all, I started thinking about plain old R.O.M.A.N.C.E. I consider myself a closet romantic. Really. I love creating it for fiction, but have only enjoyed snippets of it in Real Life. For example: Recently I dated a man who saved every wine cork from every bottle we shared. THAT was romantic. Too bad he turned out to be a turd. And once a man sent me a single red rose every day for a month. (Uh, he was really really really in trouble and the roses did not get him out of said trouble, but I appreciated the effort.) I think the most romantic thing that has ever actually happened to me was, ironically enough, a fluke of nature (okay, at the time I thought it was a sign from God that She wanted me to be with this man, but retrospect says FLUKE OF NATURE). This guy I was dating, let's call him The Professor, and I were driving back from a day of fun in the Ozark Mountains. It was dusk, and The Prof suddenly pulled over off the side of the road and pointed. Amazed, we parked there and watched this incredibly thick mist lift and swirl over the valley, and it seemed to be moving in time to the soundtrack he'd just put in the CD (to the movie The Hours). Naturally, we kissed (I will admit that The Prof could kiss) and it was like a scene from one of my books...well...only there was no HEA, but it was romantic and magical, albiet temporarily so!

So how about you guys?! Tell me what's the most romantic thing that's ever happened to you!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Word verification...blah...blah...

You'll notice that from now on to post on my blog you'll be asked to verify a word. I just wanted to let you know that I added this option (thanks to my brilliant friend and computer genius, Kelli McBride's advice) so that idiot blog spammers can't post their intrusive garbage to my blog. Jeesh. Talk about irritating. Like telemarketers, do they really think that invading a potential customer's privacy and bugging the shit out of her is going to make anyone want their stupid product?! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GET A BRAIN.

Short rant finished. Thank you.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Prism Win!

The lovely ladies at FF&P sent me this wonderful graphic for my Prism win (Goddess of Spring won in the light paranormal category). Thought I'd share!


I'm wading through the rewrite of Goddess of the Rose. Of course I always appreciate my fabulous editor's feedback, even though I dread rewrites. I mean, who doesn't? You turn in a ms and you think, FINISHED! But no. Sigh. In the middle of the rewrite you don't care that it's going to make it a substantially better book. You're just wishing you were really really done. Right? Right. So I'm working throught GotR and my mind's wandering...I'm restless...I'm picking at my fingernail polish... I realize it's because I want to move forward to my next writing project, but I can't until I finish the one I'm on. I can not write two books at the same time. Absolutely does not work for me. So to keep my creativity fueled I am, of course, reading. I just have a few pages left of Kushiel's Dart (Jeri - you were right - I love this book!). I've also been watching movies. Some, just for the special affects - like Constantine (more romance in that movie would have seriously helped it). Some for the sigh factor - like Under the Tuscan Sun. And some just because I love to torture myself - like Shadowlands (the one with Debra Winger and the incredible Anthony Hopkins).

I've also been considering a "field trip" to parts of Oklahoma that I love, like the Tallgrass Prairie, or the southeastern part of the state for a quick hiking trip to soak in the beauty of the land.

So what do you do to fuel your creativity?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Rebecca York's New Novel

Hey! Has anyone read this yet??? Sounds delicious...

BEYOND CONTROL by Rebecca York
(Berkley, August 2005)

BEYOND CONTROL, by Rebecca York, tells the story of telepaths who discover and develop their powers only when they sexually link with another of their kind.
Jordan Walker and Lindsay Fleming meet at a Washington, D. C., cocktail party. When they touch, they experience an electric moment of psychic awareness. As they explore the unique bond forming between them, they discover that the more intimate their contact, the more their psychic powers develop.
As with York’s Moon books, Lindsay and Jordan must work out their personal relationship against a background of danger and suspense after they stumble onto his murder cover-up at a secret biological weapons lab. At the same time, two other telepaths who want all the psychic goodies for themselves set out to wipe Jordan and Lindsay from the face of the earth.
Rebecca York says that, "Publishers wouldn’t touch a story with this unique blend of suspense and sensuality 15 years ago. But the characters and the plot wouldn’t let me go, so I held onto them until the time was right."



Thursday, August 11, 2005

Goddess of the Rose cover

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sexual Tension

Well, I'm working on the rewrite of Goddess of the Rose, my wonderful retelling of Beauty and the Beast set for release in March, and my omniscient editor has directed that I heighten the sexual tension between the hero and heroine. Okay. I can definitely do that. But it got me to thinking about authors who do sexual tension well...LaVyrle Spencer came to mind first. I think she was a master at this. So who else? Who comes to mind when you think about authors who write exquisite sexual tension?

Naturally I'm working on my own more personal form of research for this, but I won't go into that here...;)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Lucy Monroe's new novella

I'm always interested in books that feature a new take on full moon magic - so when I saw this I took note. Have any of you read Lucy Monroe's new novella? Please feel free to post a review!

“Moon Magnetism” featured in STAR QUALITY by Lucy Monroe
(Kensington Brava, May 2005)

Ivy Kendall dreads the full moon. For generations, women in her family have been extremely magnetic on that day—which was fine fifty years ago but not in the age of hard drives and cell phones. That’s why the hotel manager has resisted the technological improvements her boss wants her to implement. Now, the sexy, dynamic Blake Hawthorne is coming to insist on the upgrades in person. Shoot, he’ll probably fire her. Being around Blake makes her body go as haywire as a full moon, maybe even more. And as long as she’s going to be out of a job soon, there’s no reason not to use a little of that magnetism to her advantage, luring him into an elevator where the only electricity that will work is the kind they generate themselves…



Award winning author Lucy Monroe sold her first book in September of 2002. Since then she has sold more than 30 books to three publishers and hit national bestsellers lists in the US and England. Her highly charged, sensual stories touch on the realities of life while giving the reader a fantasy story not easily forgotten. Whether it's a passionate Harlequin Presents, a sexy single title for Kensington or a steamy historical or paranormal for Berkley, Lucy's books transport her readers to a special place where the heart rules and love conquers all.

"Monroe creates a sassy heroine and gives her a delectable rogue to help solve her unusual dilemma." 4 Stars - Romantic Times
"Their [Blake & Ivy in Moon Magnetism] dialog is priceless and will keep the reader smiling throughout this wonderful tale." Reader to Reader Reviews
"Star Quality is a delightfully funny read. The common full-moon theme is pulled together masterfully by three "quality stars" of the romance genre." - Sensual Romance Reviews


Monday, August 01, 2005

Back & Semi-coherent...

Okay - RENO WAS A BLAST!! Naturally, I feel like I've been beat with a truck today. But it was worth it worth it worth it. Here's your recap:

Wednesday - The plane didn't crash. Uh, remember my heroine in Goddess of the Sea? The USAF Sgt who is scared shitless to fly (but she flies a lot anyway)? People are always asking "How are your heroines like you?" Easy answer for that book - I HATE TO FLY. I think of it as a gihugic coffin hurling out of control (my control anyway) through the sky and constantly believe I'm going to smack into the ground. So I flight medicate myself (Xanax and wine) and off I go. **Side note** Thanks a lot Sue Grant for telling me those horrifying pilot stories.
Anyway. I got into Reno in time to go to late lunch/early dinner with Sue Grant and my insane roomie, Gena Showalter (visit her blog - the girl is crazy), before we went to the literacy signing. Hey! I had a line. Well, not a big one and not very long, but still. It was great to see so many fans. Afterwards I rushed off to the Bookseller's Best Award ceremony with my fabulous agent, Meredith Bernstein, Sue Grant, and Gena Showalter, who was a finalist with me in the paranormal category for her delicious Stone Prince. I WON with Elphame's Choice! Of course Gena said she was going to put gum in my hair and rip up my cloths as soon as I fell asleep. I threatened to tie her to the bed at night, but she just seemed to like that idea...

Thursday - Had a great lunch with my Luna editor, Mary-Theresa Hussey, and long time Harlequin author Virgina Kantra (who also writes for Berkley). Matrice took us to a wonderful Italian restaurant in Reno and we ate and drank, drank and ate. My favorite! Then it was back to the hotel to get gorgeous for the award ceremonies that night. First my fabulous Berkley editor, Christine Zika, was a finalist for the PASIC Editor of the Year. The ceremony was held at the vintage car museum in Reno. Okay, I'll admit that my first reaction to hearing that we were going to a car museum was "Huh? What the F were they thinking? We're not guys." Well, I was totally wrong (it doesn't happen often, but I'm willing to admit it when I'm wrong). This place was fab! They had sets displaying amazing old cars and stuff we could dress up in to take pictures. Okay, may I just say that my agent is a total picture freak? The woman is Queen of Cameras. Yep - as soon as she sends them to me I will definitely post. My editor didn't win, but to me she'll always be editor of the year! So we rush from there to the National Reader's Choice Awards. No, I wasn't a finalist this year, but the NRCA is run by my RWA Chapter, and we give one hell of a party. Check out the website for the list of winners (congratulations Amanda!) We had to leave there early to make the Prism Awards. I was thrilled when Goddess of Spring WON the light paranormal category! (God, I LOVE those crystal pyramids!) Sue Grant's wonderful Bonzai Maguire won in time travel. I'm happy to report that my friends Robin Owens and CJ Barry were also winners in the fantasy and futuristic categories. So then I rushed from there to the Death by Chocolate party and the Daphne Du Maurier Award ceremony. And let me tell you - the chocolate was definitely to die for! When Elphame won (again!) in the paranormal/fantasy/time travel category I admit to screaming like a pre-teen girl at an old Backstreet Boys concert. Then my agent and I stayed up way too late and drank way too much. Again.

Friday - started out more peaceful. I signed books at the Berkley signing (Hi Book Ladies! Can't wait to come to California!)...went to a few workshops...hung out... Then the parties started. The Berkley party was too damn hot, even with the freely poured champagne, but that was probably because authors like Nora Roberts were in attendance. Talent like that causes major heat. Yes, I met and actually spoke to Ms. Roberts. (No, she doesn't know who the hell I am.) Went from there to what everyone knows is the BEST F-ING RWA PARTY, the Harlequin party. Oh, baby. More free booze and desserts desserts desserts. **Side note - Gena Showalter was bombed. Totally. And hilarious. I can't wait for the pictures. Oh, Jill Monroe was bombed too. Shit-faced. You ask, "Hey! What about you PC? Are you saying you weren't shit-faced with the rest of them?!" (I hear your sarcastic tone, by-the-by.) My answer is "HELL NO! I WAS TOO BUSY DANCING!" Truly. I can not stay off a dance floor. And may I just say that my agent is one hell of a dancer, too! So I stumbled back to my room, exhausted but sober. (Unlike Gena and Jill and a zillion other authors.)

Saturday - My Goddess Editor, Christine Zika, took me to a divine lunch at the oyster bar in the skyroom of the Atlantis resort. We mixed business with pleasure, going over the edits for Goddess of the Rose (which are, happily, light), and then we talked about the next Goddess Summoning Books. You'll be pleased to know that there will be at least 3 more after GotR...but, they will be...well...different. That's all I'll say right now. We also decided on another project, but that's totally hush-hush at the moment. I'll let you know as soon as I get the word that I can blab! Saturday night Sue Grant and I opted out of the banquet dinner and had a decadent dinner before attending the Rita. ***Good Gossip*** Sue Grant met a guy. Well, she knew him before he came to Reno, but they planned a date there. Okay - he's cute and handled himself well even surrounded by a bazillion romance authors, agents, editors, etc., all who were totally checking him out and giving him a hard time. Poor guy. Clearly Sue enjoys torturing her man.

Sunday - The plane didn't crash. Again. I got in late late late. My Scottie had a nervous breakdown while I was gone and decided to pee all over my condo (so I'm cleaning carpets today). My cat freaked and bit the crap out of my daughter, who says she's never babysitting again. I have bleeding blisters on my feet from too damn much rushing about in various different pairs of come-fuck-me stilettos (and dancing all night in my perfectly FAB stiletto boots). I'm pissed because tomorrow I have a seriously hot date with an incredible man who is totally and completely sweeping me off my feet and he definitely deserves the whole come-fuck-me pumps and push-up bra treatment, but I can not even think about putting my feet in those things again. Sigh. Crap. Guess I'll go for plunging cleavage and keep his eyes averted from the disgustingly semi-cool shoes I'll be forced to wear. I suppose keeping his attention from my feet won't be so bad afterall... (Ladies, he is one sexy man!)

Back to carpet cleaning...wait. I can do that tonight. I'm going to take my sore feet and Kushiel's Dart (which I'm adoring) and go out to the pool. I need to recover so I can be back in top form for my date tomorrow...yummy...research research research.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Heading Out...

Well, I'm getting ready to leave for Reno tomorrow morning. This RWA National is going to be wicked fun! All of my editors, as well as my fabulous agent and a gaggle of author girlfriends will be there. I'm looking forward to networking and drinking entirely too much.

Keep your fingers crossed for Elphame's Choice to make a good showing in the Bookseller's Best and the Daphne, and Goddess of Spring to kick ass in the Prism (I adore those exquisite little glass pyramids).

I hope to see some of you at the literacy signing tomorrow night! (Yes, I'll come back and post all the good gossip.)


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Undead and hilarious...

I've happily started working my way through my gihugic TBR pile of books which have been teasing me with their uncreased spines and potentially lovely new worlds...God I adore books! Anyway, last night I finished MaryJanice Davidson's newest, Undead and Unappreciated. Okay, I love MJ's undead books - and this one is no exception. I can say without hesitation that it was worth every cent of the hardback cover price. Truly. (And well done MJ for going to hb!) In this book Betsy finds out that she has a half sister who is, well, Satan's spawn. LOVE that MJ made Satan a woman. (I think of God as a woman, so it only makes sense to me that The Dark Side would be female, too. Plus, let's face it ladies, women are meaner than men. Not in the 'shoot 'em up yeehaw cowboy' way men have of starting wars, etc. In the 'rip out your heart and soul and make your life a living hell' way. Plus, we multi-task. Satan should be able to multi-task.) Sinclair is delicious, as per usual. And her horrid step-mom, the Ant, is pregnant. Gross, man. Love the Book of the Dead ramifications, too.

Naturally, the ending is a non-ending because there's another book. Which is good. And bad. I hate waiting. When's the next one out, MJ??

Now I'll take a moment to totally gush about the fab Mysteria anthology that will be out in July 06, and say once again how thrilled I am to be a part of it! Sue Grant, Gena Showalter, the to die for MaryJanice Davidson and moi! I am sooo looking forward to next summer!

Okay, after I finished the fab Undead I started on Kushiel's Dart. (Uh, a much different read, by-the-by.) So far I'm intrigued, but the book has a bazillion pages and my TBR pile is ridiculously high. Which means if the book doesn't continue to grab me I'll probably set it aside and dive into another. Not that my attention span is freakishly short, but (as we have already discussed) there are so many books...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Just curious...

So I bought my fab daughter a copy of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. (She loved Bram Stoker's Dracula so I thought she'd enjoy this, too.) Okay, she took it back! She said, "Mama, I read 35 pages and it sucked." I was planning on reading it after she was finished - but now I think I might just wait for the inevitable movie. Have any of you guys read it? Was her "it sucked" review just an 18 year old reaction? Or does it truly suck?



Friday, July 15, 2005

Mysteria novella done done done!

Yea!! I finished my novella (tentatively titled Candy Cox and the Big Bad [Were]wolf) at about 4:00 am this morning! Yea! I'll set it aside now and do a rewrite next week some time, and then send it off to my editor before I leave for the RWA National Conference in Reno on the 27th. So now all I have to do is finished the line edits on Brighid's Quest (my December release for Luna) and I am totally caught up! Actually, I'm ahead...which is I"ll probably start my next Goddess Summoning Book early (it's a retelling of Aida and I'm researching goddesses right now for it). But, what I'm really excited about is that I CAN CATCH UP ON MY READING! (And maybe loll by the pool and drink too much...) So I bought Bitten by Kelly Armstrong, as I already said in the werewolf blog, and I'm looking forward to that. And I have Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey on the recommendation of my werewolf writing friend, Shaunee (see previous post for an excerpt from her fab manuscript).

Along with those two books I have Liz Maverick's Crimson City added to my to be read pile. I love Liz's funny blog - you guys may want to check it out at And my daughter just bought me a copy of Julie Kenner's hilarious looking new book, Carpe Demon. Here's the link to an excerpt: Excerpt:

I'd love it if you guys would post a review here for any (or all) of the above books! Tell me what you think! I love insightful, intelligent reviews. Naturally, I believe all of my blog readers (and fans!) are insightful, intelligent readers!


Friday, July 08, 2005

Werewolf blog!

Hi All!
Working on this novella and writing a werewolf character for the first time has, naturally, made me think of some of my favorite werewolfs. In movies I remember seeing an erotic B film years ago (like in the 80s) where the hero was a wolf and he didn't actually kill the heroine (lots of Red Ridinghood references, though - it was set in the woods, etc.), but I can't for the life of me remember the name of the movie. I loved Jack Nicholson in Wolf. As for books...Donna Boyd's The Passion is my all time favorite. I hear Angela Knight's Master of the Moon is wonderful - and it's in by TBR stack. Here's an excerpt - sounds delicious. Excerpt:

How about you guys? What are your favorite werewolf movies and books?


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Out with the old...

Well, now that Goddess of the Rose is winging its way to my editor it's time I turn my attention to my next project. And this is a fun one! Those of you who have checked out my website ( know that this spring I was invited to contribute to a charity anthology for Triskelion Publishing, and that I then teamed up with MaryJanice Davidson, Gena Showalter, and Susan Grant to sell expanded versions of our short charity episodes to Berkley. That anthology, Mysteria, will be released summer 2006 - and it's that novella that I'm working on right now. I am having a wicked good time with this one! If you want a sneak peak of our 4 novella, check out the charity anthology by following the link on my website to purchase the e-book version, or you can pick up the printed Bewitched, Bedazzled, and BeVampyred - ISBN #1-933471-29-8. I promise that it will tweek your interest...speaking of - here's an interview Gena Showalter and I did about Mysteria for her agent, Deidre Knight's blog (

Recently we (PC Cast and Gena Showalter) were contracted to a romance anthology at Berkley – tentatively titled MYSTERIA -- PC by her agent Meredith Bernstein and Gena by her agent Deidre Knight. We thought it might be interesting to describe how the project developed.

The beginning: We were invited to be a part of a charity anthology for Triskelion Press. Triskelion already had characters and plots we could have used for our episodes, but we wanted to write something different, something all our own. We really saw it as an opportunity for us to explore our wildest imaginations.

Gena: “I had a mental picture of three young, beautiful witches dancing naked through a graveyard and accidentally raising the dead – and one of the sisters falling in love with one of the. . . well, corpses. He’s only recently dead, so still handsome of course. I mean, imagine if Achilles from the movie Troy came back to life. Totally lovable, right?”

PC: “Oh Lord…I’ll probably raise lots of brows with this but…I got my idea from real life. An ex-student of mine finally talked me into going out with him – yes, on a real date (he’s 26 ½ and I’m 45). So I was dating him and having one hell of a good time…then Gena told me about the anthology and I started giggling because I thought how much fun it would be to use a page from reality and sprinkle it with a heavy does of fantasy (he’s not a werewolf, nor is he a gigolo).”

Gena: ”We enjoyed writing those episodes so much, we decided to take it a step further.”

PC: “Yeah, Gena and I talked about how much we’d like to expand our short episodes. Neither of us were finished with our characters (grin). So I said that we should set our own anthology in OUR fictional town – kinda like Desperate Housewives meets Bram Stoker.”

Gena: “I’m a huge Desperate Housewives fan and love the street the wives live on: Wisetria Lane. The moment PC said Desperate Housewives meets Bram Stroker’s Dracula – a stroke of brilliance on her part, I must say – I burst out with: they have to live in Mysteria.”

PC: “As always, Gena and I were in perfect agreement. The next step was for me to approach my editor at Berkley, Christine Zika, and see if she’d be interested in an anthology like this (before we put anymore time and effort into writing it). Christine was receptive, and she said if we came up with a Bible for our town, short proposals for each novella (short as in a couple of pages), and a couple more authors, she’d be happy to read it.”

Gena: "PC and I got together and brainstormed who would be perfect for this project. We kind of looked at each other and it was one of those moments where everything clicked into instant place. We knew right away MaryJanice Davidson and Susan Grant -- who had also participated in the charity anthology -- would be perfect."

PC: “Sue and I were already friends, but I was still nervous about approaching her. I mean, no author wants to hear a generic ‘gee, that’s a nice idea, but…’ from anyone, let alone a well-respected sister author. But Sue replied immediately and was very excited about the project. She felt the same way about her charity episode – she adored her demon hero and didn’t want to let him fade away.”

Gena: "I shot MaryJanice an email and like Sue, she returned my email that same day with a yes! Talk about propelling me straight to the stars. Being in an anthology with three of my favorite authors. . .a slice of heaven on earth!"

PC: “So with all the authors in place, Bible written, short proposals done, I called Christine. She was pleasantly surprised to hear from me, and then immediately excited about the group of authors. I emailed the proposal to her on that day (Thursday) and she called me MONDAY with a big fat YES! After that the details were really easy – Christine is a dream to work with. And all four of us were amazed to learn that this is the first author initiated anthology Berkley has ever published! Until now, they have always come up with the anthologypremise and then contacted authors. (This is a little detail I’m glad I didn’t know in the beginning.) So look for MYSTERIA in Summer 2006!”

Gena: “It will have a little bit of everything: demons, witches, magic, shape-shifters, vampires and so much more. Life doesn’t get any better than that, does it?”

For more information, visit PC Cast at and Gena Showalter
posted by Deidre Knight at 8:35 PM 5 comments

So...can you see why I'm having such a good time writing this??? Don't you love it when life lends itself to fantasy? (And a delicious young fantasy at that!)

Back to research...research...research...


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Amazing new review


Check out the fab review of Goddess of Spring on the incredibly insightful Smart Bitches blog, LOVE those Smart Bitches! (Also while you're there scroll down to the entry Keeping Maili Amused and click on the Steve, No! Don't eat that! link. Oh. My. Goddess. I laughed so hard I hurt my side. Seriously. )


Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Well, I just typed "The End" on Goddess of the Rose! OHMYGOD I love finishing a book! In true Beauty and the Beast form I managed to have my heroine's last words include 'happily ever after' and ended it with a kiss.

I'm exhausted and totally happy!

Passing out now...

Monday, June 27, 2005

Addition to my to be read pile...

Man, my tbr pile is gihugic. I'm so looking forward to turning in Goddess of the Rose so that I can relax and have time to read more than a page here or there - and I mean of fun books, not just research.

Right now on my bedside table I have A CT Fashionista in King Arthur's Court by Marianne Mancusi, Awaken Me Darkly by my fab girlfriend Gena Showalter (I'm loving it!), Dancing Naked at the edge of Dawn by my friend Kris Radish (a poignant, outrageous, refreshingly liberating story about one woman whose life takes an unexpected turn - I'm almost done with this and it's wonderful), and Kim Harrison's Dead Witch...books. So, like I need to add anything else? Okay, yeah, of course I do. After I read this blurb I couldn't resist adding Unmasked to the pile:
UNMASKED by C. J. Barry
Love Spell (Dorchester Publishing), June 7 2005

To the merchants he plunders, he's the Ghost Rider of the Dead Zone. To sector law enforcement, he's a wanted pirate. To the slaves he rescues, he's the savior, laghato. To one determined female, Qaade Deter is serious trouble. Torrie Masters had heard of the legendary raider, but she'd never expected to encounter him. Nor would she have expected that beneath his black mask lurked an enticing man destined to challenge her in ways she couldn't shoot her way out of. But a great threat has emerged-one that's left no choice but for them to join forces. Entrusted with the fate of thousands, Torrie has discovered Qaade's impossible dream. Only she has the power to help him. Only she has the power to see him UNMASKED.

So what are you guys reading? Any fabulous recommendations?


Sunday, June 26, 2005

A word of warning...

Okay, please please learn from my stupid mistake. Friday afternoon I'd just finished watching Oprah (naturally). My daughter was at work. The "kids" (my two Scotties - better known as The Scottinators) and I were just getting ready to turn off the TV and go back to my writing room when I heard a weird "WHOOSH!" I looked out the window that goes to my patio and it was framed in orange flames! Holy shit!! So I rushed to my back door (the wood door was open - so I could easily see out my glass outside door) and my entire patio, including the wall of my condo and the balcony above me, was consumed in flames. Scared shitless, I call 911. Thank God the fire dept is just down the street. They were here in less than 5 minutes, but even in that short amount of time all of the siding on that wall had melted off - the wood had been burned through - and the fire was in my ducts. Yes, they got everything put out, and the inside damage isn't too terrible. Outside - well, it's bad, but it can be fixed.

Here's what caused it. Just the day before I'd bought some citronella candles. One was in a clay pot. The mosquitoes have been awful out on my patio, so that evening about 4:00-ish I'd lit the candles on the patio. I put the one in the pot on top of my gigantic, heavy-duty dog crate (where The Scottinators sleep at night). In less than an hour that candle some how caused the crate to catch on fire. The crate was pushed up against the wall of my condo, so the flames just spread all over, especially as the crate melted and mixed with the candle wax.

I was incredibly lucky. Had it happened five minutes later when I was on the other side of the condo in my writing room I would not have known about it until the whole building was on fire. The firemen told me that candle related accidents have gone up 40% in the last year. And, yes, I am a BIG candle burner. So...please remember to check and double check what you put your candles on or near. I would have never believed that the crate would have gone up in flames like that.


Thursday, June 23, 2005


Well, it's official (happy sob). My daughter and I were victorious in the awesome Man-Titty Haiku Contest at the Smart Bitches Trashy Books site! We are overwhelmed and thrilled. Thank you thank you to all who voted for us.

The following are the winning haikus (we tied with ourselves for the win):

Ode to Man-Titty Fruit

Succulent, firm flesh
Manfruit waiting to be plucked
Nipple dew…so sweet


Hair on man titties?
Nay! (gasp) Abomination!
My Dear Sweet Lord – WAX.

For our effort, the Smart Bitches named us:

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Man-Titty Haiku contest!

Okay - this is truly Important. The fabulous women at are holding a man-titty haiku contest. Naturally, my daughter and I composed a few (three) entries (clearly an excellent mother-daughter bonding opportunity). The Smart Bitches have them up with the other entries. Now, God knows I wouldn't want to influence the unbiased voting process...BUT I'D APPRECIATE IT IF YOU'D VOTE FOR OUR HAIKUS SO WE CAN WIN WIN WIN!! All in the name of literacy, of course...

Friday, June 17, 2005

Oops - forgot...cover comment

Jeesh, I was so excited that Jessie and Bonnie were helping me to post the cover that I forgot to tell you guys Inside Excellent Info about it. Take a look at the background - it came from a photo my incredibly talented mom took on Oklahoma's Tallgrass Prairie! Uh, no. The Huntress was not in the photo at the time...but you never know the stuff you'll find if you visit Oklahoma!

So Partholon's Centaur Plains is really Oklahoma's Tallgrass Prairie. I've visited often and hiked hither and yon, though you can't hither and yon around the bison who still roam the prairie. Uh, bison are yummy to eat, and very cool looking animals. But They Are Mean. Totally bad-tempered. Morons get gored once in a while because they're all, "Hey, Mama! Let's us feed one of them buffaloes!" Mama, "Okay, Daddy! Get the Cheeze Whiz from the cooler. It's under the Coors!" You see how easily tragic accidents can happen?


Since I've been posting excerpts, I thought you guys would like to see the cover! I love it! Looks like Brighid to me. Luna really has some fantastic covers.

And special thanks to Bonnie and Jessie Ferguson for helping me post images. Yes, I am the blog impaired.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Another BRIGHID'S QUEST excerpt

Okay - here's a piece of the scene I promised to share (especially with the LUNAtics!). Remember, Brighid has gone to The Wastelands because Cuchulainn has been there too long and Elphame's worried about him. He's supposed to be leading the hybrid Fomorians (or New Fomorians as they call themselves) back to Partholon. Of course let's not forget that his heart is broken from Brenna's death - hence his sister's worry. So Brighid gets through the mountain pass and finds Cuchulainn hunting. Together they go to the New Fomorian village (where Cu's been for a couple of months).

Oh, same disclaimer about this being the unedited version. Ignore the mistakes/typos. I've already fixed them. Here ya go!


The first hybrid Brighid saw was doing something totally unexpected. He was laughing. The Huntress heard him before she saw him. His laughter rolled up the trail to meet them, punctuated by mock growls and youthful snarls.
“They like Fand,” Cuchulainn muttered in explanation.
The warrior and Huntress finally stepped onto level ground and walked around a rough outcropping of rock to see a winged man sprawled on his back in the middle of the trial. Tongue lolling and mouth open as if she were smiling, the young wolf cub’s paws were planted squarely on his chest.
“Fand rolled me Cuchulainn. She’s growing so fast that in no time she’ll be a proper wolf,” he said, chuckling and scratching the cub’s scruff. When he glanced up at Cu and saw the centaur by his side, his eyes rounded in shock.
“Fand, here!” Cuchulainn ordered. This time the wolf chose to obey, hopping off the hybrid’s chest and loping back to her master.
The winged man stood quickly, brushing dirt and snow from his tunic, all the while keeping his large eyes fixed on Brighid.
“Gareth, this is–”
Before he could finish the introduction, Gareth’s excited voice cut him off.
“The Huntress Brighid!” He gushed. “It is, isn’t it?”
“Yes, Gareth. This is MacCallan’s Huntress, Brighid Dhianna.”
Gareth executed a quick, awkward bow, and Brighid realized that what she had taken for a grown man was really just a tall, gangly youth who stared at her with open, awestruck delight.
“Well met, Brighid!” Gareth gushed, his voice cracking on her name.
Brighid could hear Cuchulainn’s sigh and she stifled a smile.
“Well met, Gareth,” she returned the greeting.
“Wait till I tell the others! They won’t believe it. You’re even more beautiful than Curran and Nevin described.”
Gareth started to rush away, then stopped, turned back, and bowed sheepishly to Brighid again. The Huntress could have sworn that the youth’s cheeks were reddened with an embarrassed blush.
“Pardon me, Huntress. I’ll go tell the others that we have a visitor. Another one!” Then he turned and, with wings spread, all but flew away down the path.
“Foolish boy,” Cuchulainn muttered.
Brighid raised a silver brow at the warrior. “I’m even more beautiful than Curran and Nevin described?”
Cuchulainn lifted his hands in a gesture of quiet frustration. “The twins tell stories in the evenings. You are a favorite subject with them.”
“Me? How can that be? Curran and Nevin hardly know me.”
“Apparently they put the short time they spent at MacCallan Castle to excellent use. They listened and observed. A lot. You know how the Clan likes to talk, and the more they talk, the more deeds grow. You didn’t just track Elphame in the night through the forest to find where she had fallen and injured herself – you did it all in a lashing storm, too,” he said.
“I did nothing of the sort. The storm began after we found Elphame. And it wasn’t full dark until after we found her.” Brighid tried to sound annoyed, but she couldn’t help the smile that played at the corner of her lips.
“And then there’s the story of Fand,” Cuchulainn said, sifting in the saddle as if he was suddenly uncomfortable.
Brighid’s silver brows went up. “And who told them about that, Cu?”
Cuchulainn shrugged and kneed the gelding to follow Gareth’s path. “They asked. And they can be very persistent when they want to know something.”
“They being Curran and Nevin?” Brighid asked his broad back.
“No. They being the children.”
And then a noise drifted to the Huntress’s acute hearing. She thought that it sounded a little like the chattering of many birds.
Cuchulainn saw his horse’s ears prick forward.
“Remember that I forewarned you about the children,” he called over his shoulder.
Brighid frowned severely at the warrior’s back. Forewarned her? He hadn’t forewarned her about anything – he’d just asked if she liked children. What in the darkest realm of the Underworld was going on here?
They took another turn in the path and the trail opened up. Brighid moved quickly so that she was beside Cuchulainn. She saw that the road widened and led straight into the heart of the neat little settlement. A heart that was currently filled with small winged bodies that were chattering excitedly. When they caught sight of the centaur the children’s talking was instantly replaced by a collective gasp which reminded Brighid of the coo of doves.
“Oh great merciful Goddess,” the Huntress murmured. “There are so many of them.”
“I tried to tell you,” Cuchulainn said under his breath. “Prepare yourself. They are as energetic as they are small.”
“But how can there be so many of them?” Her eyes were roving the group as she tried to get an accurate count…ten…twenty…forty. There were at least forty young bodies. “I thought you said there were less than one hundred hybrids in total. Do they have multiple births?”
“No. Not usually. Most of these children no longer have parents,” the warrior said grimly.
“Later,” Cuchulainn said. “I’ll explain it all later. They won’t stay still much longer.”
“What are they going to do?” Brighid asked warily.
The warrior gave her the briefest of smiles. “Nothing you can defend yourself against, believe me.”
The waiting group rippled and Cuchulainn caught sight of Ciarda’s dark head making her way through the throng of children.
“Come on. It’s best to face them head on.”
Side-by-side they came to a halt before the waiting group just as a lovely winged woman stepped out to greet them.
Cuchulainn made hasty introductions. “Ciarda, this is MacCallan’s Huntress, Brighid Dhianna. Brighid, Ciarda is Shaman for the New Fomorians.” He gestured at the two winged men who had followed Ciarda through the children. “And, you will remember Curran and Nevin.”
The twins nodded their heads, smiling widely at her. She was instantly struck by how well they looked. The last time she’d seen them their wings had been dreadfully torn. Now they looked whole and healthy, with only pale pink lines scarring through the delicate membranes. One of the twins spoke, but they were so identical that Brighid had no idea whether it was Curran or Nevin.
“It is good to see you again, Huntress.”
“We are all so pleased that you have come, Brighid Dhianna, famed Huntress of the MacCallans,” Ciarda said.
Brighid tried not to be distracted by the horde of watching children, even though her eyes kept being drawn to their small faces. All different sizes and shapes, they were beaming sharp-toothed smiles at her as their wings quivered with barely suppressed excitement. Puppies, she thought. They looked like a wriggling mass of healthy, happy, winged puppies.
Pulling her gaze from the children she nodded politely first to Ciarda and then the twins.
“The MacCallan thought you might need a Huntress to ease the burden of feeding your people during your journey. I was glad to be of service to her,” Brighid said.
“And now I understand why I have dreamed of a silver hawk with gold-tipped wings these past several nights,” Ciarda said, looking from the Huntress’s silver-white fall of long hair to the golden gleam of her equine coat.
Brighid kept her face carefully neutral, but the mention of the Shaman’s dream of a spirit guide was like a fist to her gut. Even here, in the far off Wastelands, she could not escape the threads of her childhood. And then, as if thinking about her own childhood had been the invisible signal to release their silence, a small voice from the group of children trilled across the space between them.
“Oooh, you are even more beautiful than I imagined!”
The Huntress’s eyes sought and found the miniature speaker – a small girl child who was standing near Ciarda. Her hair and wings were an unusual silver-gray color, like the breast of a dove. Her large eyes were bright with intelligence.
“Thank you,” Brighid said.
“That is Kyna,” Cuchulainn said.
At the mention of her name the child bobbed excitedly up and down on her tip-toes.
“Cuchulainn, can I come closer? Please! Pllllease!”
Cu looked questioningly at the Huntress. Not knowing what else to do, Brighid shrugged.
“Come on then,” Cu said. As the child sprinted forward with several of the other children close behind, Cuchulainn lifted his hand and said sternly, “Remember your manners!”
Kyna’s headlong rush instantly slowed and the children jostling behind her almost knocked her over. Brighid had to be careful not to laugh when the girl elbowed one of her friends and ordered, “Remember your manners!” sounding unerringly like a mini-version of Cuchulainn. She folded her little wings and walked much more sedately up to stand in front of Brighid.
“You’re the famous Huntress Cuchulainn’s told us stories about, aren’t you?” The little girl’s face was bright with more than just the hybrid’s distinctive luminous skin. She was a beautiful, fey-looking little thing, sparkling with intelligence and curiosity.
“Well, I am the Huntress Brighid. I don’t know how famous I am, though,” Brighid said, throwing Cuchulainn a look of mild annoyance.
“Oh, we do! We’ve heard all about you!”
“Really? You’ll have to share those stories with me,” Brighid said.
“Not now,” Cuchulainn said brusquely. “Now there is dinner to prepare.” He dismounted and began unlacing the ties that held the fresh meat behind his saddle.
“Did you get another deer, Cuchulainn?” Kyna asked, bouncing up and down.
“A wild, white sheep this time, Ky. And you can thank the Huntress for it. She is the one who brought the beast down,” he said, neatly turning the child’s attention back to Brighid.
Dozens of sets of round little eyes refocused on the Huntress.
Brighid shrugged. “I just beat him to the shot.”
“No, you’re special. We already know,” Kyna said. “May…may I touch you?”
Brighid looked helplessly at Cu, who was suddenly oh-so-busy handing the wrapped meat to Curran and Nevin.
“Please?” the child asked. “I’ve always wanted to meet a centaur.”
“Yes, I suppose that would be fine,” the Huntress said helplessly.
Kyna walked closer to Brighid and then reverently stretched out her hand and touched the Huntress’s gleaming golden coat.
“You’re soft like water,” Kyna said. “And your hair is so pretty, just like Cuchulainn said. I think he’s right. It’s good that you keep it long even though most Huntresses cut theirs short.”
“I-I’ve never felt the need to cut it,” Brighid stuttered, completely take aback by the child’s comment. Cuchulainn talked about her hair?
“Good. You shouldn’t.”
“I want to be a Huntress when I grow up!” shouted a voice from the throng of children who were slowly creeping covertly closer to Brighid.
Kyna rolled her eyes and shook her head. “You can’t be a Huntress, Liam. You’re not a centaur and you’re not a female.”
Brighid watched one of the taller children’s faces fall and she felt a little panicky knot begin within her when she saw his eyes filling with tears.
“You could still be a hunter, Liam,” Brighid said. “Some centaurs agree to take on humans to train in the ways of a Huntress.” As soon as she said it she realized her ridiculous error. The little winged male was definitely not human. He’d probably really cry now. What if he started the rest of them off crying? Then what was she supposed to? But Liam didn’t seem to notice anything wrong with what she’d said. His fanged smile was radiant.
“Do you really mean it? Would you teach me?” The boy rushed up to her and soon his small, warm hand was patting her sleek side, too.
Teach him? She had no intention of teaching him or anyone – especially anyone whose head didn’t reach her shoulder. Brighid’s panic expanded. She had just been trying to keep the child from crying.
“If she’s going to teach Liam I want her to teach me, too!” Another child disengaged from the group and skipped up to Brighid, hero-worship shining in his big blue eyes.
“Me too!” said a little girl with hair the color of daisies.
Brighid had no idea how it had happened, but suddenly she was surrounded by small, winged beings who were chattering away about their lives as Huntresses. Warm little hands patted her legs and flanks while Kyna continued to ask never ending questions about how she kept her hair out of her eyes while she hunted, and what she rinsed it with to make it shine so, and did she use the same rinse on the horse part of her, and…
Brighid would have rather been thrust into the middle of a pack of angry wolves, at least she could kick her way clear and escape from them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Shameless and Blatant Plug for AWAKEN ME DARKLY!

Hi all!
Yes, I am going to shamelessly and blatantly plug my fabulous girlfriend's wondeful new book from the Bad Girls of Downtown Press. Mia is a very very naughty girl (Oh, Mia is the heroine's name, not my fab girlfriend...okay, I'll tell...the author, Gena Showalter, is very naughty too! But y'all can keep a secret - right?)

So here's all the pertinent information. Please buy her book so she can treat me to dinner. And that would be dinner with nice wine, too.

AWAKEN ME DARKLY by Gena Showalter
(Pocket Books, June 2005)
In a time and place not too far away, Mia Snow is an alien huntress for the New Chicago Police Department, using her psychic abilities and deadly fighting skills to catch her prey. Heading up her expert team of Alien Investigation and Removal agents, Mia is unmatched at battling the elusive enemy among us, and she’s the perfect girl for the job. She’s seen her brother die at the hands of aliens. She’s earned each of her scars. And she’ll never, ever give up. Now, a series of killings have Mia and her partner Dallas tracking alien suspects – but a sudden blast of violence leaves Dallas fighting for his life.
The chance to save Dallas appears in the form of a tall, erotic stranger. An alien. A murder suspect. Kyrin en Arr, of the deadly Arcadian species, holds the power to heal the injured agent but not without a price. For Mia Snow, that price is surrendering to Kyrin’s forbidden seduction…and embracing their electric attraction. She’s walking a knife’s edge, risking her badge and even her life. The closer she gets to Kyrin, the more Mia learns about her own heart, her human needs – and the shocking secret that will shatter everything she’s ever believed.

Gena Showalter holds a Ph.D. in Quantum Physics (lie), is an expert in Krav Maga (bigger lie), and once worked as a body guard for the stars (the biggest lie of all). Actually, Gena Showalter is just your everyday, average girl who enjoys creating sizzling paranormal tales of kick ass women and the men who can't resist them.

"A brilliantly written, fast-paced novel, AWAKEN ME DARKLY sizzles…Similar to Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, (Awaken Me Darkly) takes various steps to transcend the genres of the supernatural, mystery and science fiction" Fresh Fiction
“Fans of TV’s Alias will find this book especially appealing” RT
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Alien Nation in this action-packed adventure, and Mia Snow is perfect as the alien hunter with a secret.” Booklist


Monday, June 13, 2005

Excerpt from Brighid's Quest (release date Dec 05)

Okay, for those of you who are fans of Elphame's Choice, I thought I'd start posting excerpts from the sequel, Brighid's Quest. This is the prologue and chapter 1. Uh, guys, keep in mind that this is the un-copy edited, un-line edited version. Which means there my be mistakes in it. Trust me - they've already been corrected. Promise.



P.C. Cast


“Through the blood of a dying goddess your people will be saved.”

More than one hundred years ago women began disappearing from a green, prosperous land called Partholon. At first the disappearances were sporadic, seemingly random. It wasn’t until an invading horde attacked MacCallan Castle, slaughtered the Clan’s brave warriors and enslaved their women that the awful truth became known. The Fomorians, a race of winged demons, were using human women to breed a new race of monsters. It meant nothing to the vamperic creatures that birthing the mutant fetuses caused the death of their unwilling mothers. The human women were incubators – and their deaths were no more than an evil means to a ghastly end.
The Goddess Epona’s rage was terrible, and through her Chosen One, the Goddess Incarnate Rhiannon, and her centaur lifemate ClanFintan, the peoples of Partholon united to defeat the Fomorians. The demon race was destroyed, but Partholon did not realize that the war had left more than a legacy of death and evil in its wake. In the Wastelands, far away from home, winged children were born to human mothers who miraculously survived their birthing. Part demon, part human the small group of hybrid beings struggled to carve a life for themselves out of the Wastelands. They held firm to their humanity, even when refusing the call of their fathers’ dark blood caused them pain…pain that slowly eroded their will until finally madness became their only respite.
“Through the blood of a dying goddess your people will be saved.”
But Epona had not forgotten the women who never lost hope and stayed faithful to their Goddess, though they could not return to Partholon with their winged children. The great Goddess whispered words of The Prophecy to her deposed children, and the promise of salvation breathed hope into the race of half-demons who were desperate to maintain their humanity.
A century turned slowly and the winged people waited for the answer to their prayers. Partholon recovered and prospered again, and the Fomorian War became a dead memory – not ever forgotten, just entombed in history.
And then a child was born in Partholon, part human and part centaur. Touched by Epona’s powerful hand the babe was given the name Elphame. Through dreams she called to Lochlan, the leader of the winged beings who waited in the Wastelands to fulfill the Goddess’ Prophecy. The child grew to adulthood, and Lochan followed the threads of his dreams to MacCallan Castle where Elphame awakened more than the stones of the ancient ruin.
“Through the blood of a dying goddess your people will be saved.”
Out of love for Lochlan and trust in her Goddess, Elphame fulfilled The Prophecy, sacrificing a piece of her own humanity as well as her brother’s heart, to save the race of hybrid Fomorians. Now this new breed of beings was finally coming home. But their struggle had just begun. It is wise to remember that the Path of the Goddess is not an easy one to tread…


Elphame was exactly where the Huntress had thought she would be – not that it took a centaur Huntress’s skill to track her Clan Chieftain. The MacCallan’s habit of visiting this particular set of cliffside boulders had become well known. From the vantage point of the highest of the large, weather-worn rocks, Elphame could sit and look northward toward the Trier Mountains, which were just a jagged purple line of peaks jutting into the horizon. She would stare at that distant line, trying to see past it into the Wastelands beyond.
Brighid approached Elphame quietly, reluctant to disturb her. Even after living and working closely with Elphame for more than two complete cycles of the moon, Brighid could still be moved by the sight of the unique being who had become her friend as well as her Clan Chieftain. Born eldest daughter of Partholon’s Goddess Incarnate, the High Priestess of Epona and the centaur Shaman who was her lifemate, Elphame was human only to her waist, from there down her two legs had been fashioned more equine than human. They were powerfully muscled and covered with a fine coat of glossy fur, ending in two ebony hooves.
But her physical differences were not all that set Elphame apart. She carried within her the powers gifted to her by Epona. She communed with the Realm of Spirits through an affinity for Earth Magic. Elphame could hear the spirits in the stones of MacCallan Castle. She also had a special connection with Epona, and Brighid often sensed the presence of the patron Goddess of Partholon when Elphame invoked the morning blessing, or thanked the Goddess at the close of a particularly productive day. And, of course, there was the evidence of Epona’s favor that they had all witnessed when Elphame had drawn down the strength and love of a Goddess to defeat the madness of the Fomorians…
Brighid shuddered, not wanting to remember that ghastly day. It was enough to know that her Clan Chieftain was a miraculous mixture of centaur and human, goddess and mortal. Brighid appreciated how unique it was that Elphame was able to inspire awe and devotion as well as friendship.
“Was the morning hunt successful?” Elphame said without turning to look at the Huntress.
“Very,” Brighid wasn’t surprised her Chieftain had sensed her presence. Elphame’s preternatural powers were sharp and accurate. “The forests surrounding MacCallan Castle haven’t been properly hunted in more than one hundred years. The game practically leaps before my arrows, begging to be culled.”
Elphame’s full lips turned up in the hint of a smile. “Suicidal venison? That sounds like a truly unique dish.”
Brighid snorted. “Don’t tell Wynne. That cook will begin demanding I choose the beast’s temperament more carefully so that her stews will have a more perfect flavor.”
The MacCallan pulled her gaze from the distant mountain line and smiled at her centaur friend. “Your secret is safe with me.”
Looking into Elphame’s eyes, Brighid was struck by the sadness that was so evident there. Her lips smiled, but the smile did not touch the rest of her face. Brighid understood suddenly that The MacCallan didn’t show this haunted face to the general public – that it was a rare privilege to be allowed such an intimacy. For a moment, she feared that the Fomorian madness that lurked deep within her friend’s blood had awakened, but she quickly discounted the thought. Brighid didn’t see hatred or rage within Elphame’s eyes, she saw only a deep sadness. She had little doubt as to its source. Elphame was happily and publicly mated to her lifemate, Lochlan. The rebuilding of MacCallan Castle was well underway. The Clan was healthy and thriving, thus its Chieftain should be content. And Brighid knew Elphame would be, except for one detail of her life.
“You’re worried about him,” Brighid studied Elphame’s strong profile as her Clan Chieftain gaze shifted back to the northern horizon.
“Of course I’m worried about him!” she snapped at her friend and then pressed her lips together in a sharp line, instantly regretting the unintentional harshness of her words. When she spoke again her voice was sad and resigned. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to take it out on you, but I’ve been worried about him since Brenna’s death. He loved her so much.”
“We all loved the little Healer,” Brighid said.
Elphame sighed. “It’s because she was special. Her heart was so incredibly big.”
“You’re worried that Cuchulainn won’t recover from her loss.”
Elphame stared at the distant mountains. “It wouldn’t be so bad if he was here; if I could talk with him and know how he’s doing.” She shook her head. “I couldn’t stop him from leaving, though. He said everything here reminded him of Brenna, and that he’d never learn to live without her here. When he left he was just a ghost of himself. No,” she reconsidered her comparison as she thought about the very vibrant and life-like ghost who haunted her own castle, “not a ghost of himself. He was more like a shadow of what he used to be…”
Elphame’s voice faded. Brighid stayed by her side while her Chieftain struggled silently with worry for her brother, and her own thoughts turned in remembrance to the little Healer, Brenna. She had come to MacCallan Castle as had Brighid, looking for a new life and a new beginning, but the scarred Healer had found much more. She had found love within the arms of the Chieftain’s warrior brother, who was able to see past her terrible burn scars to the beauty of her heart. Brighid remembered how spectacularly happy her friend had been – up until the moment of her untimely death. That her death had set into motion the events that led to the salvation of a people did little to salve the wound that had been left by her absence. And now Cuchulainn had gone to lead back into Partholon the very people who had brought about his lover’s murder.
“It was at his insistence,” Elphame said quietly, as if she could sense the path of her friend’s thoughts. “He did not blame the other Fomorians for Brenna’s death. He understood her murderess had been under the control of the madness they all struggled against.”
Brighid nodded. “Cuchulainn blamed only himself for Brenna’s death. Perhaps bringing the hybrid Fomorians home will serve as an act of closure for him. Lochlan says that many of his people are children. Maybe they will help him to heal.”
“Healing without the touch of a Healer is a difficult process,” Elphame murmured. “I just hate to think about him in pain and without –” She broke off with a dry laugh.
“What?” Brighid prompted.
“I know it sounds silly, Cuchulainn is a warrior renowned for his strength and courage, but I hate to think of him without his family near while he’s hurting.”
“Especially his big sister?”
Elphame’s lips twisted. “Yes, especially his big sister.” She sighed again. “He’s been gone so long. I really thought he’d be back by now.”
“You know the report from Guardian Castle said that there was a major spring snowstorm that ravaged the mountains and closed the pass into the Wastelands. Cuchulainn would have to wait for the next thaw, and then he would be traveling slowly, being careful not to over-tax the strength of the children. You must be patient,” Brighid said.
“Patience has never been one of your virtues, my heart.”
The deep voice came from behind them. The Huntress and her Chieftain turned to watch the winged man finish his silent approach. Brighid wondered if she would ever get completely used to the fact that such a being existed at all. Part Fomorian, part human, Lochlan had been born an anomaly. More human than demon, he and others like him had been raised by their human mothers in secrecy in the harsh Wastelands north of the Trier Mountains. He was tall and leanly muscular. His features were well-chiseled and attractively human, but the luminescence of him skin hinted at his difference. And then there were his wings. Right now they were at rest, tucked snuggly against his back, with just the storm-colored topside visible. But Brighid had seen them fully spread around him in terrible magnificence. It was a sight the Huntress would not easily forget.
“Good morning, Huntress,” he said warmly as he joined them. “Wynne tells me you returned this morning with a spectacular kill and that we have venison steaks to look forward to at the evening meal.”
Brighid inclined her head in a brief bow, acknowledging his praise as she moved aside so that Lochlan could greet his wife.
“I missed you this morning,” he said, reaching up to take the hand she offered him and kissing it softly.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t want to wake you so I…” she shrugged.
“You are impatient for your brother’s return, and it makes you restless,” he said.
“I know he’s a warrior, and I know I’m thinking with a sister’s heart instead of a Chieftain’s mind, but I’m worried about him.”
“I am a warrior, but if I lost you I would lose my soul. Being a warrior does not prevent a man from feeling pain. Cuchulainn has been in my thoughts lately, too,” Lochlan paused, choosing his words carefully. He had begun to be worried at the warrior’s continued absence, but for a different reason than his lifemate. Cuchulainn was leading back to Partholon a people who had caused his lover’s death. Elphame’s brother was an honorable man and a warrior of legendary skills, but he was just a man – a man who had recently lost the love of his life. “Perhaps one of us should go after him.”
“I want to. I’ve even thought of it, but I can’t leave,” Elphame’s frustration spilled over into her voice. “The Clan is too new, and there is still so much work to be done rebuilding the castle.”
“I will go.”
Brighid spoke in such a simple matter-of-fact voice that Elphame wasn’t sure she had heard her correctly.
“You will go?” Elphame asked.
The Huntress nodded and shrugged. “The forest is so lush with game that even the human warriors can easily keep the castle fed – at least for a while,” she added with a smile. “And it will take the skill of a Huntress to follow the path Cuchulainn took through the mountains.” She looked pointedly at Lochlan. “Will it not?”
“It is an obscure trail, and though I know Cuchulainn and the others will have marked it, still it would be difficult to find and follow,” he agreed.
“Besides, game is scarce in the Wastelands. At least I can ease their burden of hunger as they ready themselves to travel.” Brighid smiled at her Clan Chieftain. “A Huntress is always welcome company, especially when there are hungry young mouths to feed.”
“A friend is also always welcome company,” Elphame said, feeling her voice catch at the surge of emotion Brighid’s offer had evoked. “Thank you. You have relieved my mind greatly.”
“Cuchulainn will probably think me a poor substitute for his sister,” Brighid said roughly to cover up her own emotions. She had come to care for Elphame as she would a member of her own family. No, the Huntress silently amended, it was from my own family I escaped by joining Clan MacCallan. Elphame is far easier to care for.
“He will think no such thing,” Elphame laughed.
“I will sketch a map which will help to make your path clear,” Lochlan said. Then he rested his hand lightly on the Huntress’ shoulder. “Thank you for doing this, Brighid.”
She looked into the winged man’s eyes and stifled the urge to flinch under his touch. The majority of the Clan was slowly accepting Lochlan as Elphame’s lifemate. He was half Fomorian, but and he had proven his loyalty to her and their Clan. Yet Brighid could not completely quell the nagging feeling of unease being in his presence always evoked.
“I will leave first thing in the morning,” the Huntress said resolutely.


Brighid hated snow. It wasn’t that it was a physical discomfort for her. As with all centaurs, her natural body heat effectively insulated her from all but the most drastic weather changes. She hated snow in principal. It seemed to her that it shrouded the earth with a blanket of numb dampness. Woodland creatures either burrowed from it or fled to warmer grounds. She tended to agree with the animals. It had taken her five days to travel from MacCallan Castle north through the thickening forest to the mouth of the obscure pass Lochlan had sketched in his detailed map. Five days. She snorted in disgust. She might as well have been a human riding a mindless horse aimless around and around in circles. She had expected to have traveled twice the distance in half the time.
“Goddess accursed snow,” she muttered, her own voice sounding odd against the walls of the looming mountains. “Surely this must be it.” She studied the uniquely fashioned rock formation for some sign that Cuchulainn’s small party had passed within. Bright thought that he would have marked it, though it was unlikely there was another grouping of red rocks that formed a tunnel into the mountains that looked exactly like the open mouth of a giant, complete with distended tongue and jagged teeth. Her hooves made muffled wet clomps as she approached the gaping tunnel.
Suddenly the air was filled with the wind-battering sound of heavy wings and a black shape swooped past her to light on the tongue looking piece of red rock.
Brighid came to an abrupt halt and ground her teeth together. The raven cocked its head and cawed at her. The Huntress frowned.
“Begone wretched bird!” she shouted, waving her arms at it.
Unruffled, the raven continued to fix her with its cold, black stare. Then slowly, distinctly, it tapped the side of the rock with its beak three times before unfurling its wings and beating the air neatly, skimming low enough over Brighid’s head that her hair stirred and she had to force herself not to duck away from the dark shape. Scowling, the Huntress approached the rock. The bird’s feet had made claw-shaped marks in the snow so that the red of the rock was visible as if autumn had drawn rust colored lines against winter’s canvas. She reached out and brushed at the area the bird had pecked, unsurprised when Cuchulainn’s trail slash became visible, pointing into the mouth of the tunnel.
Brighid shook her head. “I don’t want your help, Mother.” Eerily, her voice bounced back to her from the tunnel walls. “The price you place on it has always been too costly.
The raven’s cawing drifted down on a wind that suddenly, magically felt warm, bringing with it the scents and sounds of the Centaur Plains. Brighid closed her eyes against a tide of longing. The bird’s call filled her with images of home. The green of the waving grasslands was more than a color – it held scent and texture as the warm breeze shushed through it. The sweet, rolling land beckoned. It was spring on the Centaur Plains, and completely unlike this cold, white world of mountains. The grasses would already be mid-hock high and dotted with wildflowers and their proud shows of blue and white and violet. She drew a deep breath and tasted home. The air pulsed with the freedom of the unshackled land.
“Stop it!” she jerked her eyes open. “It’s a sham, Mother. Freedom is the one thing the Centaur Plains does not offer me!”
The raven’s call faded and died, taking with it the warm home-touched wind. Brighid shivered. She shouldn’t have been surprised that her mother had sent her spirit guide to find her. She realized that the anticipatory sense she had felt all day had been instigated by more than just the fact that she was nearing the entrance to the mountain passageway. She should have sensed her mother’s hand in the day’s events. No, Brighid corrected herself, she had sensed it – she should have acknowledged it. She knew better.
I have made my choice. I am Huntress for the Clan MacCallan – an oath sworn member of the clan. I do not regret my choice.
The Huntress squared her shoulders and entered the tunnel, physically and mentally shaking off the lingering effects of her mother’s presence. She was suddenly glad that the pass was still snow-covered enough that it would take all of her concentration and much of her vast physical strength to navigate her way through it. She didn’t want to think about her mother or the familiar beauty of the homeland she had decided that she must leave forever.
The day was still young. According to Lochlan, she should be able to clear the most treacherous parts of the trail before dark. If all went well, tomorrow she would find the Fomorian camp and Cuchulainn. She picked up her pace, still being careful not to misstep and catch a hoof in a snow-hidden crevice. Brighid focused on the trail. She did not think of her mother and of the life from which she had turned. She ignored the guilt and loneliness that seemed to shadow her every decision. She had made the right choice. She was sure of it. But just because she had chosen wisely didn’t mean she had taken the easiest path.
Her smile was filled with grim self-irony as she scrambled around a slick, narrow corner in the treacherous trail. The physical path she had chosen to travel that day was quickly proving to be almost as difficult as the life path she had chosen.
Distracted by her inner turmoil and outer challenges, the Huntress’s keen senses only registered the watching eyes deep in her subconscious as a brief feeling of unease. A feeling quickly cast aside as vestiges of irritation at her mother’s interfering spirit emissary.
Unhindered, the eyes glowed the color of old blood as from within the darkness they continued to watch and to wait.

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