Tuesday, March 26, 2013


In the Fahdamin-Ra series, the Bridges family lives in Bath, Maine. In Spellbreaker, Tansy goes to visit her aunt and uncle who also live in Bath, Maine. The reason is because I live in Bath, Maine and love it.

My Bath is named after Bath, England, which was named after Roman baths that were built in that city because of the hot springs. The Romans called it Aquae Sulis (the waters of Sulis) but Bath is a more catchy name, I think:

Here is a picture of Bath, Maine, City of Ships:

Bath, New Hampshire, Covered Bridge Capitol of New England:

Now to get away from New England with Bath, North Carolina, the first town for the state:

Some Bath locations are so small that I could not find photos of them on the internet. I looked for a list of all the towns/cities named Bath in the United States and here is what I found:

Bath, California
Bath, Illinois
Bath, Indiana
Bath, Maine
Bath, Michigan
Bath, New Hampshire
Bath, New York (town)
Bath, New York (village)
Bath, North Carolina
Bath, Pennsylvania
Bath, South Carolina
Bath, South Dakota
Bath, West Virginia

Is there a Bath near you? Can you send me a photo?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Storybook House

In Full Wolf Moon, the book I am currently writing, my main character, Amelia, lives in a Storybook Tudor house. I have searched but have not found a house to look exactly like her house, but found different elements that resemble what is in my head.

Her house is half timbered on the top floor and stone on the bottom floor. I really like the top floor on this house.

The house below has more visual interest like I imagined for Amelia's house, but the timbers are brown, not green.
This house is more like I had in mind, with the stone first floor and half timbered second floor, but I like the design of the green house above.


All the doors in Amelia's house are arched, like below. They are painted bottle green.

Amelia's house has a slate roof of reddish slates, like this house. I love the decorative design. Tudor Storybook houses have unusual and or decorative chimneys usually.
I will probably have to end up drawing the house so that I get an exact likeness.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Meet the Characters of Spellbreaker

My newest published book, Spell Breaker, is a little different from my Travels to Fahdamin-Ra series but there are some similarities. Both books start out in Bath, Maine, but move on to another world where magic happens and the main characters are brown kids that change due to their visits to those worlds. They also find that people, even adults, depend on them and their choices.

In Spell Breaker, Tansy is the main character. She is fifteen, a medium height, brown, unaware of how pretty she is, and likes to please people. She is a dreamer and creative person who loves fairy tales and that is why she is given the book, The Enchantress of Caraban, to read by her aunt's friend. When she is drawn into the book and finds herself in Caraban, Tansy is worried about her family missing her but at the same time, she loves being inside a fairy tale world. As she works her way throughout the book with her traveling companions, Tansy starts relying on herself and standing up for what she believes in. Tansy ends up having a lot of conflicts with her cousin Donna, mostly about Chad, the handsome guy that was pulled into the book years before.

Donna's father married Tansy's aunt the November before. (The book takes place around the Fourth of July.) Tansy visits the family and does not know her new cousin Donna or her Uncle Richard hardly at all. Donna is fifteen, an athlete, is tall, blond, and pretty; but she knows it. Her father is harsh, disciplined about physical fitness, but obsessed with how he looks, so Donna has picked up those traits. Richard is very controlling so Donna likes to do what she can to fool him so that she can go off with friends and do things he would not approve of. She is also pulled into the Enchantress of Caraban book but is miscast as the character of Falinda, a part for which Tansy was well suited, so throughout the story, Donna fluctuates between trying to be Falinda or relying on Tansy to do the things Falinda is supposed to do.

Chad Hollingsworth is the handsome guy who is supposed to be the character of Samuel in The Enchantress of Caraban book. He is seventeen, tall, black, easygoing, likes to read and learn, and falls for Tansy even though his character is supposed to be smitten by Falinda. Chad was pulled into the book during the 1930's and he is impressed at the changes that have happened since he has been gone, like the fact that Tansy's dad, a black man, can marry a white woman. He is more mature and gentlemanly than guys Tansy is used to and Chad is one of the reasons that she changes and starts believing in herself.

I hope you go to Amazon Kindle and get a copy of Spell Breaker, so you can get to know these characters! http://www.amazon.com/Spell-Breaker-ebook/dp/B00ASZ110K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363103368&sr=8-1&keywords=spell+breaker

Monday, February 25, 2013

Thanks, I'll Make it Myself - Earrings

I love clothes and especially accessories. Sometimes, I will decide on an accessory first and select clothes compliment it, which is backwards but fun. Over the years, I have learned to create things because I either cannot find what I want or I don't have oodles of money to buy something I want. I realized the other day that I have a lot of earrings. First, I started out by making necklaces and things  naturally evolved to create earrings to match.

 These are most of the earrings I have made for myself. Sometimes I select beads that I like and other times they are picked because of the color.

Some beads were expensive so I only made earrings while others were on sale or from inexpensive bags that I bought.

Even though you can't tell from the photo, the brownish red beads on one pair (second from left) look like bears.

The light really catches the round orange ones that remind me of marbles (third from the left) and the orange teardrop ones beside them are from an old necklace of my mother's from the 1960's. I remade the broken necklace from a short, multi strand choker type to a very long necklace that gives me more options and made the earrings to match.

The turquoise ones to the left of those are one of my favorites and fun to wear!

I suppose you can tell by now that I prefer dangling earrings to studs. Even before I made my own, I preferred dangling ones.

On the bottom row, the set on the far left are some that I made to go with a necklace that I created. I have a lot of necklaces that have an African inspired theme.

I made the teal set beside those because I liked the beads so much and I like to wear teal. That is a pair that I select at times and decide on my outfit afterward.

The ones on the far right bottom row I made to go with a beautiful velvet scarf that is a rich golden color, with teal and periwinkle designs in it. They look like an unusual color combination until I put the scarf with them. (You can see them better in a photo below.)

Starting on the far left; I wore the leopard print set a lot when I was doing book signings for my first book "Travels to Fahdamin-Ra" because it has a leopard on the cover. I have a leopard print scarf I wear with them.

I made the carp set because I fell in love with the fish and decided to make them very simple. I tend to wear them more in the summer, when I wear light green.

One fun pair is the set in the middle with the red cubes and long gold tassels. I find myself absent-mindedly playing with those when I wear them.

The red beads at the far right are beads made from clay that has been glazed and fired.

On the bottom row to the left are the gold and crystal ones that are perfect because they go with everything and catch the light.

I love yellow and the yellow set is fun to wear any time of the year. I found those beads at JoAnn's Fabrics and I should pick up some more and make a necklace because I like them so much. This is making me want to go make some more!

Friday, February 15, 2013


I love to cook and although I don't eat sweets, I sometimes get the urge to make cookies or other desserts. Coworkers were talking about how long it would be until Girl Scout cookies arrived, so I made up a recipe for rolled chocolate cookies and added peppermint oil to the dough. I rolled them out really thin, cut them with my biscuit cookie cutter, and baked them. Afterwards, I melted dark chocolate chips in my little melting pot which looks like a miniature crock pot. I added peppermint oil to that, about 1/2 a teaspoon, and blended it into the chocolate. I dipped the cookies and even though they did not come out nice and smooth like Girl Scout cookies, people in my office loved them and so did my husband. I put some in the freezer so that the next time I visit my daughter I can give them to her.

I have not found a rolled chocolate cookie recipe like the one I have and used to make these cookies. It is from an old Pillsbury cook book, the little ones that used to come out each month. I subscribed to them when I lived in Puerto Rico and some of those cook books are getting fairly beaten up. I found a lot of my favorite recipes in a big Pillsbury cook book and could eliminate some of the books. On my to do list is a chore where I take recipes I love, scan them, and add them to a list. I just added a bunch to ZipList and it is amazing! You can add any recipe to your recipe box, plan meals from them, and they automatically make a grocery list. I was pleased to see that they included Shaws and Hannaford, two major supermarkets around here.

I like having a variety of meals. My planned suppers starting tonight are Spicy Chicken Breasts, Herbed Salmon, Hungarian Mushroom Soup, Five Spice Pork Kebobs, Red Lentil Curry, Minestrone Soup, and Garam Masala Chicken Stew. I know this sounds like an advertisement for ZipList, but it is free! I am the person who cooks most of the meals in my house, so this gives me more time for important things like writing.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Yes, That's My Family ~ At the Beach


The day after my husband Buzz and I got married, we went to the beach. This was in June in Maine, which you might think would be fairly mild. I had sun screen on but forgot to reapply it and ended up getting a sunburn. Later, he kept forgetting and putting touching my shoulders, which were the worst. That was when I realized that he did not understand about having a sunburn. As far as I know, Buzz has never had a sunburn in his life. Lucky!

I bought SPF 30 and slathered my kids with it when we lived in Virginia and that was fine. I bought the same strength when we moved to Puerto Rico. There was a swimming pool about a block down the street from where we lived and we went across the base so that they could take lessons in a large pool. Toliver was three at the time and fearless. He would jump in the pool in water over his head even though he could not swim, so he needed lessons. Callista, who is three years older, swam well but I knew she could swim even better if she took lessons as well. We never went to the pool during the hottest part of the day and we were fine.

The base also had a lot of neat little beaches and our favorite was Crab Beach, even though Toliver said it as "Cwab Beach" so that is what we called it. We took a picnic and went swimming there one day. The next day, I saw that the kids had little blisters on their shoulders. Yikes! They got sunburned becausetheir skin was just dark enough that I couldn't tell it was burning.
After that, I always made sure that the kids wore white tee shirts when we visited the beach and I beefed up our sunscreen to SPF 50.
I did not realize that my husband could tan. When we lived in San Diego, CA and went to the beach, he never wore sunscreen. He got a tan! Granted, it took a while. My kids were very dark when we lived in Puerto Rico, even though I went through gallons of sun screen. I guess the sun is just so strong near the equator. They do even though we are living in Maine again and the sun is a lot weaker. You can't be too careful with skin cancer.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chi, the Lovesick Puppy

Chi is a handsome young man, 16 years old, gets along with his parents, and is a nice person. However, he has a terrible weakness. He develops a powerful puppy love for Celestine, and she of course, is a Creator. The other blockade in his road to romance is that she only views him as a friend, and has no romantic interest in him. That does not stop Chi however, and he is convinced that if he is patient long enough, she will come to her senses. It makes it awkward for Celestine, because whenever Chi touches her, she inadvertently reads his thoughts. It seems that she can't escape him.

In Travels to Fahdamin-Ra, after things settle down a bit between the Masambas and the Creators, Chi is quick to approach Celestine and show her his treehouse. He thinks she is pretty and her powers intrigue him. Later, when she is consoling Chi about his brother having left and gone across the savannah with his Jabulani wife, Celestine promises to travel across the savannah with him and others, to find Chi's lost sibling. At first, Celestine is so overwhelmed by the admiration of the Fahdamins, she chalks Chi's infatuation off as Creator-worship. Later, she discovers how he feels about her and his acute case of puppy love.

When Chi accompanies them on their trip across the savannah, Joel is often puzzled by his sister defending the Masamba teen, when she knows how Chi feels about her. Even though she finds Chi's romantic attentions annoying, Celestine does not tease him or put him down, and she feels protective of him. In her eyes, Joel is being somewhat of a bully to argue with Chi, because her brother is a Creator with loads of powers. Once their journey is ended and they arrive at the island of Yahimba, Chi is busy enough that he stops being a problem.

In Firebloods, Chi does something that really shocks Celestine! It might change their relationship forever.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Quiet Young Woman With the Adventurous Heart

When Celestine has her first confrontation with Cat-ara, Ka-puki steps in and smooths things out. The reader meets this young Jabuani woman in Travels to Fahdamin-Ra, and Kapuki's story continues in Across the Savannah, and in Firebloods.

 Mary McAvoy edited Travels, and she thought that Ka-puki was as young as Celestine. I had to go back and correct things, because Mary knows what she is talking about. I thought of Ka-puki being an eighteen-year-old, and she hung around with sixteen-year-old Cat-ara, because being older and wiser, she knew that the insolent Cat-ara was lacking manners, good judgment, and friends. Ka-puki is loyal to her friends and family, and does not want to hear gossip or criticism of them. She is soft spoken, small of stature, but has a strong will and a big heart.

Ka-puki's mother is Artist Teacher Fay-ola, so she is one of the Becca, the five women who govern the tribe. Her father is the quiet O-nani, who slips in and out of scenes occasionally. I wanted a female character that was cute and nice, but had a lot of depth to her once the reader got to know her. She comes from a quiet, hardworking family. She had two older brothers who were a year apart in age, but they disappeared. Her parents believe that the boys were killed by crocodiles, which live in a swampy area near the ocean, and are a hazard to the Jabulani that pass by them on rafts.

Both Cat-ara and Ka-puki were in training to be possible future Becca in their tribe. Fay-ola taught Ka-puki from birth about the making of pottery and tiles, weaving and decorating of cloth, and other crafts in which the Jabulani excel. Ka-puki, like her mother, tends to listen to other people talk and then work for a way to have everyone come to a compromise. This has made Ka-puki mature for her age, and most Jabulani tend to favor her to follow her mother into the post of Artist Teacher. Cat-ara, on the other hand, is disliked by most of the Jabulani and only her foster mother, Qui-ana thinks that she would be a fit leader of the Becca one day.

When Ka-puki becomes an Exchange Youth and goes to Harun, she, like most Jabulani, does not know how to read or write. Prince Kayin decides to personally teach her and the other Exchange Youth, Nas-sor. Ka-puki is thrilled with learning and after she and Nas-sor have to leave Harun, Prince Kayin talks to Councilor Raymond about continuing to teach them in Jabulan. Raymond was all for education, so he asks King Zayas to spare his son, so of course the king complies, and Kayin happily moves into a hut at the stone circle and starts teaching at Jabulan every day.

Stop right here if you haven't read Travels to Fahdamin-Ra, because I am going to give some story line away. Kayin and Ka-puki start seeing one another. Kayin is infatuated with her, and she is very attached to him. Even though the City Director is looking for another bride for Kayin, he does not care and is determined to have his fling with Ka-puki. The young Jabulani woman knows that Kayin will go back to Harun one day, marry a hand-picked bride, and settle down to a somewhat happy life, so she decides to have a fling with him as long as she is able. It is sheer luck that Ka-puki and Kayin are chosen to go across the savannah with the Creators, giving them a chance to be away from their tribes, and giving them more time. By then, Kayin has a bride that he knows about, and Ka-puki resigns herself to the fact that when the journey ends, she will have to give up the prince, return to her tribe, and eventually select a husband from the many men who adore her.

Or so she thinks.....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Firebloods Hit Town

I am so glad to be blogging again. There was a problem where I could see my blog but not have access to it, so, just when I was thinking that I would have to start another, I gained access to it again. In July, the third book to the Fahdamin-Ra series came out as an e book, which was exciting. It is fun to write a series because it is like temporarily moving back to a neighborhood where you used to live and seeing old, familiar faces again and some new ones.

As I write the Fahdamin-Ra series, the books get more difficult. In the first one, Celestine and Joel arrive in Fahdamin-Ra and have no idea of their abilities, so I spent most of the book with them getting acquainted with that world and their supernatural abilities. They did not need much of a protagonist because so much was unknown to them.

In Across the Savannah, it was a little harder because they are familiar now with their magic and they do more experimenting. They had to have a more powerful foe because they are more powerful first.

By the time I started writing the third book, the kids had figured out a lot of things and found, that by putting their minds to it, they could figure out more. I wanted this foe to be scary. The first two books were not really scary. It is fun coming up with bad guys and I wanted the Firebloods to be as despicable as possible. Usually, there is something that the reader likes about the villain (isn't that one reason why Hannibal Lecter is so compelling?) However, there are a few moments here and there, where Celestine has compassion for the Firebloods.

I changed the book covers for the e books because my very wise publisher pointed out that potential readers would see the animals on the covers and think that they were books about animals, so I changed to simple pictures of people. On Travels to Fahdamin-Ra, it is a silhouette of Celestine, and on the cover of Across the Savannah, it is a silhouette of Joel. On the cover of Firebloods, is a sort of silhouette of a Fireblood, of course.

Travels to Fahdamin-Ra, soft cover
Travels to Fahdamin-Ra, e book

Across the Savannah, soft cover

Across the Savannah, e book

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


My daughter loves foxes and so do I. Here in Maine, we have red foxes, like the one in the photo above, and gray foxes. Growing up out in the country, I would occasionally see a fox crossing the fields, bushy tail floating along behind it. In the winter, it was fun to see a fox hunting for mice underneath the crust of the snow, cocking their ears to listen for the rodents running along and then pouncing when a mouse showed themselves on top of the snow.

This fox lives at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, Maine. It has been there my whole life and I love to visit. Wild animals are brought there because they have been hurt or people have picked them up when they are young and brought them home as pets. Oftentimes, people think that the babies are abandoned when the parents are out finding food or are hiding when people intrude into their area.

It is ironic - I was taught to leave wild animals alone when I was a child, but we also had a raccoon for a while and a great horned owl. The raccoon was a baby when it's mother was killed and my father brought it home to raise. It was fun for a while, but then it grew up. One day, it climbed on top of the oven and started feasting on a cheesecake that was cooling there. My father went to get it away from the food and the raccoon (naturally) bit him. After it finished eating, my father put it in a burlap bag and took it to a remote wooded area and let it go. I sometimes wonder how long that raccoon survived after it was let go.

My father also brought home a great horned owl because he was driving home from work and saw an owl that a local doctor had captured and staked out in a field. Its natural enemy, crows, were coming down to plague the owl and the doctor and his friends were shooting them. My father ran out in the field, pulled up the stake, got the owl, and brought it home. It stayed with us for a little while until its wing healed. It was very expensive to feed it raw meat!

I have taught my children to leave wild animals alone, and I practice what I preach. It is fun to go look at the animals at the Wildlife Park, but sad to think that some of them are there because people interfered.

On a happier note, if you like foxes, there is a talking fox in my book "Spellbreaker". My daughter and I also love fairy tales, so Tansy, the main character, gets pulled into a fairy tale. The talking fox is named Reynold and of course, Tansy loves him, letting him cuddle up beside her at night and eat off her plate. I will let you know when "Spellbreaker" comes out as an ebook but in the meantime, support your local Wildlife Park!