OMG! Morna is Out!


On Sale for 99c for my fans!

For those of you who have been patiently waiting for a new book from me,

I have good news! Morna is available on Amazon Kindle!!!! 


Here’s the link:


What is Sule Skerry, but a sea within a sea and no place on earth…

The year is 1296.
Lady Rowan and her two small daughters set sail under cover of darkness to find sanctuary from the War of Scottish Independence. Their destination grows more elusive, and they end up on an island at the very edge of the known world. Barley surviving in a salt-encrusted ruin of a castle over looking the sea, Lady Rowan sees a mysterious ship with a red sail coming close to the shore. On board is handsome young man who seduces her into his realm, a Selkie who changes her life forever…


This book took a long tome to write because of the level of research I needed to do. The Scottish Wars of Independence, Scottish folklore and sea lore, and seafaring. Medieval ships! What a surprise! Thanks to the model-builders, we have some very wonderful material to draw upon.




There was also a problem of style. Morna was originally planned to be a short story inspired by the writings of Scottish poet, Fiona Macleod. As it began to grow in length, it also grew in complexity and needed lots of “shelf time” to resolve the many elements of the story. It is Romantic in the old sense, Mystical and Dreamy as the Gaelic languages convey. It is also very dark.

A tale of survival, reality clashing with supernatural forces and vast, eternal influences symbolized by the sea, Morna leaves the reader to ponder whether Lady Rowan’s visions are induced by clairvoyance or madness. Haunting beauty is the theme, love, loss and creative survival.

Allow the sea driven language to carry you away into the land of the Selkies and you wil find many treasures in this book. You have to just go with it and leave logic to the scientists. The power of myth is at your command.






Happy and Sad







Happy is that Morna—-final title for Song of the Sea and Twilight—-is heading for the finish line and getting nice and tight at the same time as more layers. I find the longer I take with a book, the richer it becomes because the layering ideas come to me in layers. lol! And I juggle multiple books at the same time. I’ve read the first pages at the open mic I go to when I can, and have received lots of compliments on it. I guess its not as “too out there” as I thought!


Sad is that one of my top 5 authors, Tanith Lee, died in May and I didn’t even know it.  Her writing, especially her short stories, were the greatest inspiration for me. She and the late Angela Carter, made me want to write. Breast cancer got her at age 67. I wonder if I can dial her up for advice now, when I’m stuck. Muses are immortal, are they not?

Here’s a critique of her work from The Guardian:

“Lee’s style is frequently remarked upon for its use of rich poetic prose and striking imagery. Critics describe her style as weird, lush, vibrant, exotic, erotic, rich, elegant, perverse, and darkly beautiful. The technique she uses is very descriptive and poetic which works well with the themes she uses in her mythical stories. She has been praised for her ability to balance her weird style with the challenges of writing a faraway world,  but some critics counter that her style is not always easy on the reader; she sometimes leaves the reader with unanswered questions that could have easily been answered if she had gone into greater detail.”

If you have read my stuff, you will see these influences…it’s the spirit of Tanith Lee.


Here’s the link to her obituary at TOR Books:

I feel very lucky to have discovered her lush horror and science fiction writing while  I was living in London. Her brilliant story Red as Blood , based on Snow White, was in an anthology of Women’s Fantasy. I have since collected her short story collections, some novels and novellas that are now collectors items. At one time, I was so excited by her work that I bought all these yearly anthologies of fantasy fiction edited by Ellen Datlow and Teri Windling, just to get a story by Tanith Lee. The quality of her prose was a huge draw for me, so don’t let anyone tell you that style doesn’t matter.

Tanith Lee’s death was on May 25th, 2015. Her passing was no doubt eclipsed by that of the famous actor Christopher Lee on June 7th. Two Lee’s in two weeks! In Gemini for you.


I shall miss both of them.

If you would like a list of suggestions from Tanith Lee’s books, leave me a comment and I shall compile one for you.


Christopher Lee as most people know him:


If you are into Astrology, it is fascinating how they both died during Gemini, ruled by Mercury–excellent for writers as it rules communication. Christopher Lee was a Gemini and Tanith Lee a Virgo, also ruled by Mercury. Both are associated with tales of horror. Christopher Lee was known for playing Dracula for Hammer House of Horror in the 1960s-70s, as well as other horror genre films such as Crypt of the Vampire and Wicker Man. He was also in Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp. Anyway, he had a long career and died at 93.

The Guardian has a nice overview of his work:



Happy Accidents and The Gift of Writer’s Block

“If you love something, let it go…”



In all my years of writing, I never experienced writer’s block. In fact, I used to poo-poo the very idea of writer’s block. But, as with any force of nature that is refused, like the Evil Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, it comes after you.

As far as the writing goes, I had big plans for 2015. But the projects I was striving wrap up in 2014, kept falling into chaos. I simply wanted to write something short, and the stories found more twists and turns, the characters  more to say,  and they would not be contained. On April Fools Day, my computer crashed, and in May, I had to get a real job — the first full-time job I’d had in years. This job had the added benefit of a 90 minute commute in both directions. On the weekends I had to catch up on chores. I had to give writing a rest.



Visited by the Dreaded Blockage

In late October 2014, I published The Shadows. I was very excited about this book. It has great series potential.  I really planned to have the second Poppy Farrell Mystery out in Spring of 2015, and was working very hard on it, when I hit a plot sng. I still have not resolved this.

The problem seems to be that, in The Shadows, Poppy was the driving force, backed up by her roommate, Clair. In Taller Than Our Souls, the sequel, she and Clair are joined by Tom and Rupert who they met at the Halloween Party in The Shadows. Poppy needs to carry the weight of the story because it is her series, but now the others need POV’s as well. The story also has more layers. I am sure this tangle will be straightened out, but for now the book simmers on the back burner being stirred by the Muses, or maybe the Furies…

Happy Accidents

 Taller Than Our Souls boils down, as does the Prequel to The Lady in Yellow that I promised readers last winter. I planned for this book,  Sovay, to be a shorter work, a novella, for fans of The Lady in Yellow, but it got long. While working on this book, I was also dealing with recovery from an accident, and getting to know the most wonderful man on the planet who cheered me up so much that I was whisked away from the dark mood of the book into Munchkinland, or something. Since Sovay is a horror story, the climactic scene must be horrific. I was unable to go there.  Nor did I want to    :)

I had the same problem with Dark Reliquary. I am sure I will able to get back into the rightful morbid state soon enough, but in a different way….in a better way too, I think.


The other happy accident Has to do with Morna.

I had a book cover designed for Morna, but the story I was writing was about Lady Rowan. Morna, her daughter,  did not appear until the second half of this book, and I had planned a sequel about her. This Celtic Tale of the Selkies, is quite literary, (which I have learned means that it probably won’t sell very well, even if it a a bit Game of Thrones in tone and the tragic trajectory of the plot) so I wondered if a sequel was even a good idea. I tried to get a good cover made for this book with the Selkie on the cover and was not happy with any of the results. People loved the Morna cover, however, so I thought I’d just use it anyway, even if Morna came in during the second act.

Then it struck me! Change Lady Rowan’s name to Morna and Morna’s to something else. The effect on the story was amazing! The early pages of the book began shimmer darkly, various elements of description and character grew moody and poetic,  the clash between reality and fantasy, good and evil, were heightened. Changing the protagonist’s name vastly improved the book! This is not the first time I have experienced the power of naming. In fact the entire story of The Shadows came to after I found all the names!

If I hadn’t had writer’s block, and cover-art block, I would never have had this lightning bolt of inspiration.

This book is in the polishing stage, by the way. So it won’t be long!

The Long Tale

So much in Indie writing and publishing is about speed of production because,  more stock on the virtual shelf, means more visibility, which means more sales, which means more money. I can’t do it. I tried, but I am not a workaholic. I love to write, but there is nothing I love so much that I want to be chained to it 24-7.

When my computer crashed, I was able to stop listening to all the mega successful who only intimidated me, and the Indie Author gurus whose sole definition of success is how much money you make. I was able to get off the bandwagon and get back to writing the way I want to write: focusing on depth, layering of story, strongly motivated characters, imagination and language. My stuff is too literary to be mega-popular anyway, so what the Hey? I cannot write at the level I desire at top speed, or by taking speed to stay up all nigh while burning my brain out.

Do I want a career?


But I also want a life. :)






Where Have I Been?

My dear friends, sometimes life happens. Despite my best efforts, writing has been slowed down and was downright stalled for a while because of various adventures in my life. But! I do have something coming out soon!

A Tale of the Selkies called The Twilight Sea is almost ready to go. I have been unhappy with the male models I tried on the cover—they were just too modern looking— and finally figured out what to do about it. I will share that as soon as I get it.



Here is the cover for the sequel. I thought I would use it, but that was a response to frustration with my progress. Morna is not the main character in The Twilight Sea–her mother, Lady Rowan is. Lady Rowan is a Scottish aristocrat whose husband, Lord Hugh, sends her and his two little daughters out of Scotland to remove them from the violence of the War for Scottish Independence in 1296.  Lady Rowan and her daughters take a ship to far off Norway, but after a shipwreck, they are accused of witchcraft and thrown overboard. They find land on Fair Isle, the furthest north of the Orkney Islands.

Having lost everything and  Lady Rowan and her tiny band of children and servants move into an ancient ruined castle at the edge of the sea, Dun Usgar. While, there Lady Rowan spies a strange ship coming into the harbor, piloted by a spirit, a mysterious lover, the Selkie…

Please enjoy the magic!


A Work in Progress: The Twilight Sea


As she stepped down the path to the shore, Lady Rowan knew she was risking her very soul, for spilling over with infernal desires, her gown and her hands and her feet, the path running down before her, shimmered with radiance of pure gold.

She’d always had a weakness for gold.

But this realization did not stop her. Surely one night of adventure in all her long months of privation, could not be held against her. She would repent. God was meant to forgive, after all, her sins.

And if the Selkie were real, perhaps, once he knew that she and her little band of Scots meant no harm, he would help them.

A small currach bobbed in the surf as if it were waiting for her. She’d never seen it there before. The two troughs from the Merrow had drifted further down the shore, their long ropes keeping them just within sight. She glanced up at the ship glimmering far out on the low tide, and wondered if the currach had been dropped from that otherworldly vessel to fetch her. But who could have piloted it over the waves and anchored it here? One swift look around told her she was alone on the shore.

It was obvious the currach had been sent for her. What would it mean if she stepped into it? She knew it would take her to the ship. Would she be able to come back? She had her daughters to consider.

But this is not really happening, is it? It is naught but a night vision sent by spirits of the sea. One that will dissolve at daybreak and leave me waking in my bed… .as it has before.

Careful of her shoes, she stepped into the currach. There was no need to row; there were no oars. Before she could sit down, an otherworldly wind blew up. Filling her golden mantel like a sail, it carried her over the water to the gangplank. She saw waves washing through the hull of the ship as if it were nothing more than a mirage, or a phantom, or a dream. The plank, upon which she was to ascend to the deck, was barely visible: a mere line of light.

How could it bear her weight? It was not possible!

Let it be a dream, she thought. She rose up the gangplank to the deck of the ship as if she, too, were a spirit. A wispy bit of nothing….

Was it possible for the soul to leave the living body and wander away on its own?

This notion set her heart pulsing.

Arriving at the top of the plank, she was instantly transfixed by the shadowy figure that awaited her.

Powerful yet insubstantial, like a pillar of smoke or cloud, the young man stood at the prow of the ship. The bright color of his scarlet robes bled through the dark like his own heart’s blood. His face was pensive, his eyes haunted. He took Lady Rowan’s hand in a clasp like ice, and spoke with the low, whispering voice of the sea.

Well met, my love.

“Well met,” said she.

He bowed almost to the ground before her.

“How did we meet?” Lady Rowan asked. “I have no memory of it.”

I saw you at the prow of a ship, a vision of beauty coming through the mist.

So this was indeed the man whose face had appeared before her when she’d bared her breasts on the Merrow, gazing at her through the mist with the black, glistening eyes of a seal.

And as one recalls a fleeting vision, she remembered the first time she’d seen the ship drifting slowly out of the fog appearing among the dolmens of the sea, and unfurling its bright red sail. She remembered her vigil at the narrow window, sensing the presence of a tall, dark figure in the prow, how he’d come to her that night and declared his love.

It seemed the ship, and its enigmatic helmsman, had never been, had always been, just at the edge of her consciousness, for as long as she could remember.

His soft, dark eyes spoke to the ache in her heart. She allowed him to lead her to a pavilion of violet hangings lined with scarlet.

Inside, was a table set with tall, flaring candles, goblets of gold, a cask of wine, and fine platters of oysters and fishes fresh plucked from the sea. There was also a bed hung with red silken veils spattered over with pearls. And folded over the end of the bed was a sealskin as brown and soft as the finest cloak, or the furred raiment of a king.

Taking in the sumptuous surroundings, Lady Rowan sat in the high-backed chair and spread her skirts out around her. The stranger was pouring wine into two golden goblets. His long fingers, flickering with costly rings, were thin and pointed at the tips. What this magical creature wanted of her was clear, but the voices of her children echoed in her mind, warning her to wake and flee this marvelous encounter.

Not yet. Not yet… She would never abandon her girls, but she had a right to a bit of indulgence having been so long deprived.

The man’s face, in the candlelight, was finely composed of high cheekbones, a straight nose and pale, curving lips above a strong chin. The green lights in his deep-set eyes scintillated like embers sinking back into darkness.

He held one of the goblets up for her to take.


She took it. The wine was richly red and charged with lights. She held her goblet up and joined its edge to his, pledging her love for just this night.

She drank. The taste was unpleasant, salty, like the sea, slightly metallic, heady. She wouldn’t need much to dull the inner voices urging her to run.

“What is your name?” she asked him.

I have no name…

“Where do you come from?”

Sule Skerry…

Sule Skerry was in the far north, a sea within the sea, and no place on earth. The island that, for wickedness, had sunk below the waves. So Fia had told her.

“Who are your people?”

He looked at her with hunger.

My people are dying, vanishing from the world…

Before she could protest, he took her in his arms, and to the strains of distant echoing drones, whirled her round and round. Every beating measure filled her heart with ecstasy; every glance of the stranger’s eyes unlocked desires long denied…