Happy Halloween!


Leave it to Edgar Allan Poe to write a poem about the Ultimate Haunted House!

The Haunted Palace

In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace—
Radiant palace—reared its head.
In the monarch Thought’s dominion—
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow,
(This—all this—was in the olden
Time long ago),
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A winged odor went away.

Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically,
To a lute’s well-tunëd law,
Bound about a throne where, sitting
In state his glory well befitting,
The ruler of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch’s high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate !)
And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed,
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.

And travellers, now, within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms, that move fantastically
To a discordant melody,
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever
And laugh—but smile no more.

–Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

A Wedding In Cornwall is Here!

It’s Columbus Day–and the release date of my e-novella, A Wedding in Cornwall!

WeddingInCornwallGraphicRobin and Sophie, the star-crossed hero and heroine of A Song At Twilight, are finally getting married. Join them and their families as they celebrate this happy, long-awaited, and long-overdue occasion. But expect a few surprises on the road to Happy Ever After…

The Story Behind the Story: To someone who loves words as much as I do and who tends to the naturally verbose <G>, writing shorter lengths tends to be a challenge. My short stories want to turn into novellas, my novellas into novels, and my novels into sagas! I admire and envy writers who can turn out those neat-but-complete packages of 20-40K words that can supplement their longer works or provide just the right amount of zing for the stressful holiday season, like a perfect amuse-bouche between dinner courses.

But in this year of Trying New Things, I was determined to get the hang of it. For some time, I’d been toying with the idea of writing about Sophie and Robin’s wedding, though, at first, I wasn’t sure there was enough material for more than a very short story. Then another subplot idling at the back of my mind–concerning Sophie’s brother Harry and the woman he’d been carrying on with for the last few years–sprang to the forefront and attached itself to the wedding story, and suddenly I had a burgeoning novella on my hands. Even better, I had a solid narrative structure to follow from start to finish (this does not always happen, so cherish the times when it does!).

A Wedding In Cornwall was completed in just a little under two months (that, too, was rare for me, and thus, worth celebrating). Serendipitously, I found a very pretty pre-made cover on BookGraphics.net that was a good fit for the story’s romantic spirit. L.K. Campbell, who formatted my fairy tale collection last spring, was available to perform the same service for A Wedding in Cornwall. So, within a fairly short time, the novella was ready to go, and I was mulling a mid-September release.

At which point, my old computer gave up the ghost, necessitating a data transfer and a replacement/upgrade of my whole set-up. Fortunately, everything was recoverable, and I’m in the habit of sending my most important projects to my email cache anyway, so disaster was averted. Just. Have I mentioned lately that September is not my favorite month? This one was particularly trying.

October, however, feels more auspicious, so I chose a date that I’d have no trouble remembering. And voila! A Wedding in Cornwall is now available for a special promotional price of .99 (for a limited time), on the following platforms:

Kindle   Nook   Apple   Kobo

(A print edition will be released in combination with A Scandal in Newport, another novella in the series, tentatively scheduled for early 2016.)

I hope you enjoy reading this tale as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Alive in October…


It’s the sound no Mac user ever wants to hear when she presses the Power button.

Dead silence.

To be followed by escalating panic and repeated efforts to reboot by painstakingly disconnecting and then reconnecting all the cables before powering up again, step by step. To no avail.

To be followed by a pilgrimage to the closest Mac serviceperson, who also fails to revive your silent machine and regretfully informs you that the cost of repair would be more than the computer is currently worth.

At which point, you grit your teeth, approve the retrieval and transfer of your files to an external drive, wincing at the cost, and then, still wincing, set out to replace your venerable desktop with something more up to date.

Which is the position I found myself in about three weeks ago. Fortunately, the process of getting everything set up and running again was easier than expected–if not entirely painless. Best of all, my data appears to be intact, which was my main concern.

My computer crisis was just one in a string of difficulties last month, most of which revolved around Broken Stuff. I’m crossing my fingers that October will be easier in that respect, at least!

AWIC WEB PROMO smallOn the up side, I can make the announcement that, barring further disaster (knocking repeatedly on wood), A Wedding In Cornwall–my companion novella to A Song At Twilight–will be released this month! I had a lot of fun revisiting Cornwall and writing about Sophie and Robin’s big day, as well as offering a hint about what lies in store for other characters.

Plus, I’m including a sneak preview of my next series, The Lyons Pride, about a contentious ducal family–inspired by an even more contentious royal family–and their efforts to find love, healing, and lasting happiness!

For more information on future works, just watch this space. Or sign up for my new release letter, over at this website’s sidebar.

Hoping that autumn brings good times and good reads to all of you!