Friday, February 14, 2020

Release Day!

Yep, not one but TWO books are out today!

The Seasons of Magick Anthology collects the entire Seasons of Magick series into one volume!

Welcome to Morrigan’s Cauldron! But be careful what you wish for because this little Greenwich Village shop can deliver your heart’s desire. Or your greatest nightmare.

In Spring, Tessa lost her boyfriend, her job, and now her apartment. When her next-door neighbor offers her a position at her shop, Tessa discovers the chance for real love with the sexy manager. But can she compete with the ghost of his past?

In Summer, Jamal has been in love with Shan since they were in kindergarten. Can he save her from her ex-boyfriend who hungers for her death?

In Autumn, Phylicia gave up on love when her son’s father walked out on her. But the sparks she feels for ex-Marine Dante may not have a chance to ignite if she can’t defeat a demon that’s possessed him.

In Winter, Tom rejected Rain in a previous life, and she cursed him. Can the two find peace before a sorcerer kills them both in his quest to take over the world?

These four stories are now collected in one volume and are available in print for the first time!

Amazon, all countries
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

Also, out today is a brand new volume of the Justice saga, A Touch of Mother!

After the destruction of the demon army in Tandor, Anthea could use the relative simplicity of her position as chief justice of Orrin.

However, one of the city’s street children is found dead a few weeks after Anthea’s return. Her squire Nathan is adamant his friend’s death is murder. And High Mother Bianca, who is responsible for feeding, clothing, and sheltering the orphans, doesn’t seem to care about the death of one of her wards.

Does Bianca know more than she’s telling? Or is something worse than a demon stalking the streets of Orrin?

Magic and mayhem have never been this despicable. Or this tragic.

Amazon, all countries
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

Have a glorious Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A Touch of Mother - Chapter 8

All right, loyal readers! This is the last chapter before A Touch of Mother comes out next week.

Thank you for your support!


I eyed Luc across his dining table. “Is there anything else we need to worry about?”

He shook his head. “I’ll make the arrangements for us to meet with Duke Marco and Magistrate DiCook tomorrow evening about the tensions in the south side of the city.” Will you be coming back tonight for the other thing you wish to discuss?

I nodded. “Very well.” Yes.

Part of me was glad it was difficult for Luc to make his way through the Orrin tunnel system after the loss of his foot. I wanted the option to leave by my choice. Despite Claudia’s reassurances, I couldn’t see how things simply would go back to the way they were between Luc and me.

No matter how much I desired and needed them to.

“How do we keep an eye on the south side?” Shi Hua said. “Surely, you’re not sending Sivan, Nathan, and Hogarth back now that it has been revealed they’re Temple?”

“No, we can’t.” Little Bear watched me as if he expected me to change my mind after our earlier talk.

“The peacekeepers can’t do it by themselves when they’re equally targets for the citizens’ disgruntlement. We need to come up with an alternative,” I said. “While you arrange a meeting with the duke and the magistrate, High Brother, I’ll confer with High Brother Talbert. He may have some ideas.”

“Very well then.” Luc exhaled. “We have a plan for moving forward.”

* * *

Once I officially retired to my bedchambers for the night, I locked the entrance before I shed my sword and robes. It took a moment to strap on the arm sheaths for two more knives in addition to the ones in my boots. There was a time when I didn’t feel the need to visit Luc while armed, but the Assassins Guild and the demons convinced me it was best to use the chamber pot with weapons on my person.

Crouching on the far side of my wardrobe, I laid my palm against the block that formed the secret passageway to the Orrin tunnel system. I threw my senses past the marble, but no one was nearby. No one but Temple personnel used the tunnels these days. The sisters of Love

had sealed the entrance to the tunnels from the Green Lady Inn. While they’d tried to cater to their worshippers desire for privacy, their need for security took precedence, especially after what Gerd and her renegade allies had done to the priestesses and wardens. Shi Hua and I had collapsed the exit outside of Death’s Gate in our efforts to destroy a demon. Temple clergy and wardens guarded the three remaining exits from sunrise to sunrise. We couldn’t afford for renegades to infiltrate Orrin.

Not again, anyway. The cost the last time had been far too high.

I said the appropriate spell. The marble floor vibrated slightly beneath the soles of my boots as the block folded itself out of the way. I slipped through the passage. With a second spell, the block folded back into place. The third spell was an alarm spell that would sound if anyone tampered with the entrance to my Temple while I was gone.

The soft lavender glow coming from the bedrock walls reassured me. Tiny creatures lived on the stone and earth underground. Creatures so tiny that anyone else with normal vision couldn’t perceive them. But like any other creature, they had body heat, and when they gathered en masse, like the tunnels, with no other living things to compete with them, they gave me sufficient illumination to make my way to the side tunnel leading to the Temple of Light.

There was a time when I would have simply opened the passageway into Luc’s bedchambers. But the last thing I needed was to get shot by the crossbow he kept at his bedside while I disabled the wards and alarm spells placed on the block guarding the entry.


One moment. The familiar touch of his mind was unnerving and missed at the same time. This conversation would be harder than I thought.

The marble folded itself to the side. I ducked and entered the high brother’s bedchambers. Luc stood by the wall, perched on his crutches. Like me, he had stripped down to his silk tunic and leather leggings. I ignored the affectionate look he gave me, marched over to his desk, and sat in one of the visitor’s chairs.

“We have an issue with Brother Jeremy.”

“All right,” Luc drawled. “I see we’re getting down to business immediately.” He closed the passage before he crossed to his desk, leaned his crutches against the wall and sat in his chair.

I clasped my hands in my lap. As much as I rehearsed what I needed to say about the young priest, the reality made me quite uncomfortable. “He lost his temper more than once today during the investigation into Yellow Fin’s death.”

“Any normal person should be disturbed after a child has been wantonly abused in a perverse manner and his throat slit.” Luc folded his arms over his chest.

“His behavior this afternoon went beyond mere uncomfortableness.” I gestured helplessly. “It was bad enough Little Bear stepped in.”

“A chief warden has no right to discipline any member of the clergy—”

“This wasn’t just discipline. A chief warden will interfere when he thinks his seat’s life is in danger,” I snapped. Luc raised an eyebrow. “Did Jeremy draw on you, or Little Bear on him?”

“No, thank Balance,” I admitted. “And both of your wardens who accompanied us kept their heads as well. However, Yanaba and Xander have noticed changes in Jeremy’s temperament since he returned from Tandor.”

“Are you saying you want him lashed for insubordination?” Luc asked.

“No!” I stood and slammed my palms on the wooden surface of his desk. “I’m saying I think something happened in Tandor. Something bad enough he needs treatment at Child.”

“Has Shi Hua said anything to you?” Luc said softly.

“About Jeremy’s behavior toward her, or that she’s pregnant?”


I sighed resumed my seat. “She has mentioned she’s concerned about him. But this was after Yanaba and Xander talked about their concerns with me. But even with my odd sight, I can see he’s not treating her as he used to before the Battle of Tandor. As for her pregnancy, no, she hasn’t told me.”

“But you know?”

I gestured at my eyes. “I can’t help the fact that I can see the changes in her body.” I cocked my head at the tone of Luc’s question. “I haven’t said a word to anybody until you tonight. Are you saying Jeremy’s uncomfortable as to the reality of impregnating her?”

“I presumed that was part of the problem.” Luc rubbed his chin and stared at a scratch on his desk. “I’m a little disappointed Xander didn’t come to me himself with his observations.”

“He never expected to attain a Temple seat this soon,” I murmured. “He’s still feeling his way through his duties. And in this case, he’s more concerned about someone he considers a friend. He’s not trying to offend your sensibilities as an equal by talking to me if that’s what you think.”

“So, you’re going to totally ignore the fact I know Shi Hua’s pregnant, too,” Luc teased.

“I’m more worried she informed you before she told Jeremy because she was afraid to tell him,” I muttered.

“Ouch.” Luc winced. “I hadn’t considered that.”

“Well, you need to consider it.” I shook my head. “However, Jeremy was acting oddly before they conceived. The last you need is only Garbhan to depend on. The trading season has finally gotten back to normal.”

“You don’t think…” Heat and suspicion mixed on Luc’s face.

“That Jeremy has been replaced by a demon.” I shook my head again. “No. Definitely not. Unless…” I realized what terrible thought had occurred to Luc.

I could see whether a skinwalker wore a human skin or if a demon had merely changed their shape. However, demons were more skilled at wearing human skins. So much so, even I with my peculiar sight couldn’t detect the difference. However, we discovered the Wildlings could detect the demons’ scent, regardless if the damn creatures wore a human skin or not, now that they knew how to discern it. High Sister Reby and the surviving Tandoran Wildlings had checked all the refugees by smell to ensure a demon wearing a human skin didn’t sneak past us.

Despite my initial fear High Brother Jax of Orrin’s Wildling Temple had been corrupted or replaced by a demon, Reby and her cohorts checked everyone in the Orrin Temples. Thankfully, Sisquoc from Tandor had been reassigned to Orrin while Reby and the rest of her people took sample of things contaminated with demon scent on a trip through Issura so the rest of our queendom’s Wildlings knew what to smell for.

But our efforts meant nothing if Jeremy had been replaced after he’d been checked.

“Do you want me to fetch Jax or Sisquoc?” I asked softly.

Luc shook his head. “I’ll send Jax an invitation to the midday meal. If it truly is Jeremy, then I’ll make arrangement for his treatment with Mya. While Jeremy’s faced demons before, watching your comrades be slaughtered on the scale of a battle can affect anyone’s emotions, and the boy does wear his publicly.”

I glared at Luc. “Can I suggest that you not start by calling the father of Shi Hua’s child a boy?”

“Forgive me.” He inclined his head before he frowned. “I just hope Ambassador Quan and Reverend Father Farrell don’t get into a pissing match over Shi Hua’s son.”

“And will your Reverend Father care if it’s a girl?”

“Are you suggesting Quan will take her back to Jing if the babe is a girl?” Luc’s tone wasn’t accompanied by a sneer, though his tone itself indicated his personal feelings toward the ambassador.

I stared at Luc’s bedchamber ceiling for a moment to gather my patience. Just because Quan attempted to pursue a romantic relationship with me, it didn’t mean I was interested in one with him. Whereas Luc had actually lain with Claudia, even if he was ordered to do so.

When I looked at Luc again, a thread of irritation still ran through me. “First of all, Quan is not stupid enough to violate an international treaty. If the child is born here, Issura still has first claim.

“Second, if the child is a girl, Reverend Father Farrell may not have a choice about accepting her into your order. We have to change when it comes to admitting women to Light. Especially at the rate the renegades are targeting your order. Dragonfly did not choose Claudia for you at random. Claudia and her mother would have been in Light if not for our stupid rules.”

“You were the one who insisted I follow the damn edict—”

“This isn’t about the blasted edict!”

“Then what in Light’s name crawled up your arse?” Luc spat.

“Claudia knows about us.”

“With the new edict from the home Temples, it doesn’t matter if she knows!” Luc clenched his fists on the top of his desk in his effort not to totally lose his temper with me.

However, fury already lashed at me. “Of course, it doesn’t matter to you. You can legally sleep with whoever you want now, but you have the continued gall of accusing me of fornicating with the ambassador of Jing!”

I abruptly stood and stalked toward the tunnel entrance before I said or did something truly idiotic.

“Where are you going?” Luc snapped.

I whirled to face him. “Since nothing I say is of import to you, it’s best I leave. However, you damn well better do something about your second’s attitude. Otherwise, the next time he fails to show me the proper respect, I can and will have him lashed.”

I turned back to the wall, muttered the spell, and slipped into the tunnel system while Luc continued to splutter behind me.