Instants of beauty

Today I had to take a breath and pause. Three times I was in awe of the beauty of nature and whispered gratitude for being in such a remarkable and beautiful place.

I didn’t have my camera with me. I wish I had, but I was walking to our mail box on our dirt road that meanders through the grass, dandelions and buttercups dotted the lawn with blooms, fruit trees hung heavy with apples and pears and plums on one side, blueberries peeking from the bushes on the other and near them, a lovely twisted willow.

Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir veiled the street. The sky shimmered blue with just a hint of clouds. I had to slow down and consume it. I honestly think moments like that, when you stop and realize how lovely your surroundings are – those moments are life giving.

Later I sat on the bench outside and watched the honey bees and bumble bees dance from one bright yellow flower to the next, some of them bouncing clear to the ground on wobbly stems as the little bees rummaged for nectar. What fun it was to watch!

And finally this evening I found joy as the big bright summer moon appeared on the horizon when I was driving home…a yellow globe resting against a sunset background.

How I love to be alive.

Posted in angels, art, Current Affairs, earth, Garden, grass, green, inspiration, life, Love, mountain top, musing, musings | 5 Comments

The Little People

Have you ever wondered why, in this grand world wherein we live, there have always been “commoners”, “little people”, peons, the mass majority of folks just living their lives doing the best they can, rarely seeking fame or fortune (perhaps wanting it but instead being content with where they’re at …for the most part)?

Festival of the Common People. https://www.theartsdesk.com/new-music/common-people-festival-southampton

The common people: the mass of humans who are the target of powers-that-be to try to influence and win favor of, but should their efforts fail, they blame for unrest?

These little people are represented in literature in almost all fantasy as the slaves and peasants, the other beings out there that make the world go around. They have a hounding voice that, should one listen, says “enjoy the simple life”. Hobbits, have you, who pay little mind to the conflicts that rumble in fortune-seekers’ hearts but go about their business planting, tilling, baking, cobbling, dressmaking, and working other skills with talented hands. The folks who, should they get together and agree on one thing, could shake their realm into a frenzy.

The voice of one peasant alone is seldom heard. They are sent to the bottom of the slush pile, subordinate to their masters who have achieved a platform be it from hard work and luck, or simply rubbing shoulders with influencers. And yet how can the peons complain? It is the way of things.

Even chickens have a pecking order.

I remember an old Vietnamese man I used to visit in my youth. Always smiling, he had the most beautiful flourishing garden. He was content in his role of tending to it. Nothing else in the world bothered him. I remember wanting to someday have that same peace. What more is there in life?

“There is much wisdom to be gleaned from the minds of the common folk, and it is their continued goodwill that drives the wheels of our barony.”

― Daniel Thorman

I am content to be a commoner. It’s in my blood I believe, even though my parents tried hard to rise above that status. It is the way of things.

In case you missed it, Thread of a Spider, a historical fantasy about the uprising of the common people in Ireland in 1920 is free on Kindle Select for a limited time.

Posted in casues, challenge, Current Affairs, earth, fantasy, folk story, Garden, inspiration, musing, musings, writers, writing | Leave a comment

Activism in the Name of Fantasy

That’s right. I’ve declared myself a fantasy activist.

Too often I hear people snicker when I mention I write fantasy.

What’s there to snicker about? Did you not indulge in serial movies like Harry Potter? Lord of the Rings? Disney cartoons? Were you not a child of classic legends. Did your mother not read Through the Looking Glass to you when you were young?

Did your heart grow up?

I’m not alone. I know I’m not. And because of that I decided to take my activism to my blog and you can see it right here on the SPFBO On Fantasy page. Please make it viral. A little imagination goes a long way…like through portals and over castles beyond uncharted lands. Rest assured, many kindred spirits go before you!

Posted in angels, authors, blog hop, bloggers, challenge, Current Affairs, Ebooks, fantasy, folk story, historical fantasy, inspiration, Love, musing, musings, Stories, writers, writing | Leave a comment

Skipping Ahead

A funny thing happened yesterday.

My husband is reading Rise of the Tobian Princess. He’s a devoted reader, and reads mostly Bible commentaries although he’s been enjoying Michener’s books lately.

I never thought he liked fantasy until he read all 14 of Robert Jordan/ Brandon Sanderson’s Wheel of Time. He has read my books and shrugs at some of them, although he likes An Unconventional Mr. Peadlebody and Where the Yellow Violets Grow (mostly because it’s about his in-laws). As far as my YA fantasy he isn’t a big fan so I didn’t know if he’d like Sword of Cho Nisi.

I caught him in his reading corner yesterday and noticed how far along he’s gotten.

 "I said "Wow you're really getting on with that book!" 

And he said, "Well, I skipped ahead." 
 
I gawked. "What?" I said.

He said "I had to see what happened..."

I laughed. "You mean you skipped all those chapters?" 

And he said,"I had to see what happened after the trial..."

I said, "That's cheating!" 

Some people…like reading the end first!!! I made him go back and read what he skipped.

But now that I think about it I skipped over some of Wheel of Time too.

I think when there’s multiple points of view, we pick favorite characters and we have a tendency to hop onto the next chapter that tells about them. I know with Jordan’s books I wanted to read about Rand and Matt most of all and I grew so irritated with all the women in that book I started skimming through their escapades.

We all have our own little reading habits! But at least we read.

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Introducing Sword of Cho Nisi book 2 Fall of the Kings

And it’s up!

New release! Book 2. Fall of the Kings

Erika continues a rocky relationship with Arell as they travel over the Nisi Sea, still haunted by her mistakes. Arell, determined to secure Cho Nisi’s allegiance with Erika’s father, oversees the elders in their healing of Erika’s brother. But crisis strikes the kingdom when Barte son of Moshere’s army invades Prasa Potama, orchestrated by the demon Skotádi. One by one, the men she loves fall into peril, and Erika alone must make crucial decisions for the good of her people.

“Sequels are always either hits or misses. Fortunately, Fall of the Kings is a hit. Where book one was an invitation to Gardner’s world, the sequel reveals how the characters endure more challenging situations and the great unknown.

Every vital character in this book adapts to their new situation. Erika has to accept a new life as the royalty seats of the Tobian kingdom transition. Arell may have to take a new position he’s not fully prepared for, including dealing with a rising war. Even Tobias’s wizard Kairos faces his fears to become a courageous, powerful magician. These character transformations go a long way in making this book even richer and more exciting than the first. It’s even got the Game of Thrones angle of constant conflict between the powerful kingdoms.

We need to know who will be on top at the end. Like George RR Martin places the Starks and Lannisters on the chessboard, Gardner has the Tobians, Cho Nisi, and now the Casdamians. The Sword of Cho Nisi: Fall of the Kings is the sequel we deserve after the stellar first book.

If you’ve been following the series since the beginning, you won’t be disappointed, especially with an alluring dark element absent from book one.

The series continues to rise; it’s time you rise with it.” – Independent Book Review

Posted in authors, bloggers, Book Covers, Book Reviewers, Books, Ebooks, fantasy, musing, musings, New Release, Stories, wizards, writers, writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Imaginarium Conference Schedule

They have me on 3 panels this weekend.

July 9, Friday: 11:30 am A Writer’s Two Worlds. I didn’t get a lot of details on any of these topics but I’m assuming this panel’s going to be about balancing your work with your family life. I like to think of it as juggling reality with fantasy and then deciding which is which. I mean when you live in another world, it is very much reality for you and this other world….well you get the gist. I’m joking of course I’m not quite bonkers yet but I’m getting there.

July 10 Sat: 10:30 Do You NaNo? For those who don’t know what NaNo is, it’s taking part in the National Novel Writing Month in November and I have NaNo for over eight years now. I do have something to say about it so I’d love for you to join us.

July 10 Sat Noon: A Creative’s Mind. This should be an interesting panel. I’m looking forward to meeting the authors I’ll be speaking with. I hope to see you there!

Oh. And The Far Side of Heaven is up for an award in the Short Story/Novella division.

Posted in authors, bloggers, Books, Conventions, Ebooks, fantasy, filmmaking, fimmaking, inspiration, writers, writing | Leave a comment

Something New (for me)

So I just uploaded my first comic book and it’s in the approval stage at Ka-Blam. This is for The Tale of the Four Wizards, a collection of short stories I published as an extra in my novel Diary of a Conjurer. But if any of you have ever read any of Ian’s Realm Saga, these four short stories are kind of important because they tell how the cultures of the different societies of the world were developed. And the first wizard, Silvio, is kind of a special character (he even has his own Facebook page which I need to update soon).

The problem is, no one seemed to be reading them. So I thought it’d be kind of cool to put them in comic form. I found a graphic artist to help me with Silvio, Erik Franklin, and I hope he’ll do the other three short stories.

The Tale of the Four Wizards Patriarchs of the Realm

A collection of Short Stories Silvio

On the island of Taikus the Sorceress Queen Hacatine overthrows the reign of the wizards. She robs its inhabitants of their power, harvesting magic from every source. Her goal? To defeat the Winds of the North and conquer the land of men. With only four more young wizards from which to draw power, Hacatine nears her goal of supremacy.

The youngest of the wizards, Silvio is sent away in the dark of night with his 3 older companions in a tiny skiff and left to the mercy of the sea as they escape from the wicked sorceress Hacatine. But the perils of the deep leave them stranded on an island, and fate takes a turn for the worse, leaving Silvio running from his enemy alone.

Posted in art, blog hop, bloggers, Books, fantasy, folk story, Ian's Realm Saga, musing, musings, New Release, Summer fun, wizards, writers, writing | Leave a comment

Check out On Fantasy

I’ve started a project posting some guest posts featuring some excellent fantasy authors on my page On Fantasy.

These authors are a part of the SPFBO competiton so come do take a look. The theme is Why Fantasy.

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Summer Events

I’m excited to say that I’ve been invited to be a panelist, once again, at the Imaginarium Convention that is being held both virtually and in Kentucky. The line-up of of authors, screenwriters, filmmakers and artists is incredible. The dates are July 9 – 11 and the workshops and panels and film festival out-do any convention I’ve been to! Do check it out.

When I find out which panels I’ll be on, I’ll let you know.

FYI my short story The Farside of Heaven is up for an Imajinn Award at this convention. Wish me luck!

July 9 is also a big day for me because Fall of the Kings will be launched on July 9. I’m really happy with book 2, and so I hope you will follow the series and will grab both book 1 and 2. Book 3 Curse of Mount Ream will be released August 30th.

For those who subscribe to my newsletter, I sent an email out today and I’m somewhat sorry that I mentioned I’d be phasing out the newsletter because I had some feedback from people wanting me to continue. So at this point in time, I still have my newsletter going. I’ll probably not send one out more than twice a month unless there is very important news you need to hear about.

If you aren’t signed up for it, or have never visited my website, please do so. Signing up will get you a free read of my short story Ferris Wheel.


Posted in authors, bloggers, Book Reviewers, Books, Conventions, Ebooks, fantasy, filmmaking, fimmaking, historical fiction, inspiration, life, musing, musings, New Release, Stories, writers, writing | Leave a comment

Here’s a Fun Little Quiz

Ever take those quizzes that are floating all over Facebook? I know there have been some I just couldn’t resist, but then people say there are all sorts of ‘codes’ written in them and that Big Brother in the sky is trying to find things out about you that he supposedly doesn’t already know. Well, I stopped taking random quizzes, but then I found this site that helps you make up your own and I just had to try it out.

I promise, I’m not collecting anything on you if you take this quiz. This is the free version. They make you pay for the one that collects analytics.

I am curious though to see how accurate it is so leave a comment below so please let me know your answers!

You can learn more about the characters on the Cho Nisi website.

https://www.tryinteract.com/share/quiz/60c4d56741e3c300174d1069

Posted in authors, bloggers, Books, challenge, fantasy, Free, inspiration, musing, musings, Quiz, Stories, writers, writing | 2 Comments

Hot Summer Days

I spent a lot of years in Arizona, and lived in Arizona “hotspots” which were really the hotspots of the US. 120 degrees wasn’t unusual and I remember mentioning how glad I was when it cooled down to 100. Also whenever a little puff of cloud went in front of the sun you breathed a sigh of relief!

Here in the Pacific Northwest people come out of their winter holes with their eyes closed, like moles, wondering what that fireball in the sky is. And when they see it for more than one day at a time they shudder in fear. If the sun shines on them for three days, every one is talking about the drought!

Library of artsy sun vector stock png files Clipart Art 2019

I like the sun. I was fortunate to live in Arizona to learn how to deal with hot days.

  1. Drink lots of liquid. (In Arizona it was beer but I’ve learned that water is wetter.)

  1. Wear a hat. Probably the reason there are so many crazies running around in the summer time is because they’re all sun-stroked.

  1. Know when it’s SIESTA time! Yes, that’s right. Slow down. You can’t live like a mad Seattle-ite on hot days. One thing I loved about Arizona was the pace of life. Do your work early in the morning or all night long. The afternoons are for sleeping, resting in the shade, having a cold ice tea or lemonade and chillin’.

Lay down next to your speakers, turn up your favorite tunes (back then it was Santana, Jimi Hendrix, or Bob Marley) and close your eyes, man every thing’s gonna be all right.

Posted in authors, bloggers, casues, challenge, Current Affairs, earth, Garden, musing, musings, weather | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Sometimes I’d Rather be Alone.

As I’ve aged, I’ve become content in being by myself. I’m not sure if that’s made me a bit off, or that I prefer to be alone because I’m a bit off. I noticed other members in my family have the same sort of issues, trusting only a few people to be close friends.

Not that I don’t like to talk to others, and have a genuine concern for people. I do. But when it comes to parties, I seek the dark corners, the quiet room with the fireplace, or outside under the stars. Whenever I’m away from home I want to be home, and when I’m home I don’t want to go anywhere, not even the grocery store. If I do get out for an appointment or something and then tell myself to do some shopping on the way home, I don’t. I head right for home.

I think there are many more others like me. I think they spend their time being creative, exploring the universe through their thoughts and musings, through reading other people’s thoughts, or listening to others make music or studying their art. There’s a satisfaction that comes in that repose, when the busyness of every day life is left behind.


Barte son of Moshere

from Sword of Cho Nisi

“Even though he loved to show off his falcon during the games, he preferred to be alone with him in the woods. He trusted Allat as a friend, no one else. Who else was there? Not the noblemen of the court. He had assembled those rogues merely for political reasons—to execute the management of his vast holdings. When he was a child, they had power over his affairs. He had no use for them now. In fact, he might dismiss them all, soon.

Genuine friendships were inadmissible. No man, nor woman, held credibility. His deceased father taught him that. Barte son of Moshere, like his gyrfalcon, lived a solitary life. No one knew his secrets, and he would rather keep it that way.”

Artwork by Mario Teodosio

Posted in authors, bloggers, Books, Ebooks, fantasy, inspiration, life, mountain top, musing, musings, nature, Stories, writers, writing | Leave a comment

Someone called me a Hero today

Oh my gosh NO!

I have made way too many mistakes to fill that bill. Way too many. It’s almost kind of pathetic that I can write heroes in my stories and yet never have that gut substance that it takes to come through when someone needs me. I try, and the best I can do is offer an apologetic excuse for barely being of assistance. It was just the other day I told my husband “I’m not very good at caring for people.”

I think it’s an unconscious dream that I would someday have the stamina to make the sacrifice that’s needed to be a hero. But then, if I did, I wouldn’t be here to talk about it. I can only admire, thank, and cherish those who are brave enough to be real heroes.

Maybe someday I can prove to myself I have what it takes. Wasn’t it a certain person who said

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” -John 15:13 King James Version (KJV)

So I can only live this out in my stories at the moment and hope some day that whatever needs to grow inside of me to obtain that love…does.

So what makes a hero and how can one get there?

Posted in authors, bloggers, Books, casues, challenge, Current Affairs, Ebooks, fantasy, inspiration, Love, musing, musings, writers, writing | Leave a comment

The Good, the Bad, and the Good

Some days are just like that, aren’t they? Something good happens that lifts your spirit and then something bad happens that brings you down. It’s a sort of radar, to see where you rate on the emotional scale, I guess. I’m pretty upbeat today. I did get a rejection for a short story but it’s not the end of the world. Especially since all these shorts are spin offs to my series and I can use them somewhere down the line.

SILVIO THE COMIC EDITION IS HERE…just about.

One awesome bit of news, the artist of the comic book we’re creating is just about finished and this is going to be the start of something fun. He’s doing a comic rendition of the story of Silvio, Tale of the Four Wizards, Patriarchs of the Realm…which is some backstory to the Ian’s Realm Saga! I’m seriously considering doing all four of the wizard stories if people are into it. I may do a little Kickstarter for it!

Another piece of news today was the review for Curse of Mount Ream, the review from IndieBook Reviews that I’ve been waiting for because I wanted to use it as a cover blurb. So that means once I’m done editing (and I made good progress today) I’ll be uploading it, and though it doesn’t get published until August 30, I’ll be ordering some paperbacks for the fair and the Lakewood Film Festival. And for my wonderful Kickstarter backers. They’ll get theirs first! I’d love to post the review here like I did the one for book 2 but there were way too many spoilers so I’ll just let you all read the back of the book when it comes out. Or you can look on my website.

I hope your days were fruitful. Let me know what happened in your world today!

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Surprise a B&N special

I guess it’s Christmas in June this year. Barnes and Noble is doing a special with my book The Far Side of Heaven. If you missed it last December, grab it now!

A Christmas novella

Charlene survived a deadly fire that swept through the hills of a quiet mountain town. With her ranch home destroyed she lives above her gift shop struggling to make ends meet and still recovering from a vile divorce. ​Three days before Christmas, a blizzard pounds the already despondent community, blowing in snow and with it a stranger.

With roads closed to the ski lodge, Dallas, a successful entrepreneur who is on a mission to promote his ingenious line of ski jackets, is stranded in the township of Meritville. Lured by the charm of the community, he soon learns that all is not well.  When he meets the owner of a failing gift shop, he loses his heart and is thrust into the turmoil.

With all the forces against them, is it possible to spread the Light and Love of Christmas?

Posted in authors, Books, Ebooks, inspiration, life, Love, Romance, sale, Stories, writers, writing | 2 Comments

Short Story Marathon

WRITING UPDATE


I’m having a lot of fun writing short stories. I recently decided to write a marathon of shorts that tie into Sword of Cho Nisi and the spin off series I’m getting ready to write. My goal for the shorts right now is to offer them to some fantasy magazines and see if I have any luck with that.

You never know and no harm done. If that doesn’t fly you, my dear readers, can be looking for another collection like Silver Threads.

Fall of the Kings is ready to go July 9 and I just need to do one more round of edits on Curse of Mount Ream, order the paperbacks and package them up for my Kicstarter backers.

While we’re on that topic, I’m seriously considering running a Kickstarter for the next series book 1 and see what kind of momentum I can get for that. I can’t tell you a lot but I do know it’s going to follow a certain king we know in Sword of Cho Nisi, and maybe have a new subplot romance with a new female star. These short stories are inspiring me and this new book may come sooner than later.

If you’re in my area, I’ll be at the Kitsap County Fair this year with the series, as well as my other books.

Posted in authors, bloggers, Books, Ebooks, fantasy, Flash Fiction, folk story, inspiration, musing, musings, Stories, writers, writing | Leave a comment

The Strength…

I’m beginning to think that in the fantasy genre, the strength of the book is equal to the strength of the main character. Not that I love reading about muscle bound men and women. On the contrary, those strengths bother me somewhat because they aren’t normal. Maybe we see athletes pump iron and call out their opponents and for some people it’s impressive, but my tastes go beyond that because if there isn’t an inner-strength in that character they are superficial.

And you can’t have inner strength without struggles.

I guess I’m writing about this because of my anticipation of the SPFBO blog-off and worried that my poor little Erika, who makes a big mistake in her first battle within the first few pages, might show herself foolish in among the Thor-types she’s playing against.

Well yeah, she is foolish. And her sisters are even more flighty. But really you have to understand they were raised by a widowed king who spoiled them rotten in a kingdom where women weren’t heirs to the throne but only pretty faces to attract men who might be able to handle the Crown. Erika and her twin sisters were rivals for their father’s attention, and Erika was torn with guilt having been the baby who killed her mother during labor. A mother that her twin sisters knew well.

So there’s an obvious note of dysfunction here, something I’m pretty familiar with personally. You’ll find some social and emotional dysfunction in all my work because, well because life has been like that to me.

So I suppose defending my poor weak characters who overcome some obstacles, like their own inadequacies, by book 3, and in Erika’s case book 2, is something I must do. I mean, making mistakes, poor choices and banging their heads against the wall early in life might someday help them bang against the skura, the mountain giants, or the dragons, right?

As an added note, I think the suspense of staying with the book, or the series, is a tribute to the reader. Trust the author to know they will pull that incompetent, bungling, sometimes moody character out of their shell. In order for there to be a character arc, starting at the bottom means there’s a hole to dig out of, and if the author knows what he’s doing, you’ll get to witness each step of the way and get to cheer the poor soul on.

I remember someone writing as a review for Ian in Ian’s Realm, that they were “praying for him.” Now there’s a faithful reader!

Available now.

Posted in authors, blog hop, bloggers, Book Reviewers, Books, Ebooks, fantasy | 2 Comments

A Dark and Rainy Day

Summer keeps promising to shine through, but it seems the clouds have a personal agenda against the sun this year. As if their memory of winter is a yearning, they’ve refused to relinquish their hold. As if cold has decided to take ownership of the land.

The wintry chores of baking bread and stirring a pot of soup have once again found my kitchen. The summer clothes drawer is sealed shut and coats and woolen socks adorn my shivering body. I hear the wind outside and see the shadows dance across my windows like a ghost trying to slip inside my house.

Petals from flowers that had once hoped for sun fall to the ground and float across the puddles wet and worn. If I had plans to work in the garden today, there would be little I could do, for even the weeds recoil in disgust.

My only consolation is in writing, for with my keyboard and my imagination I can go somewhere warm.

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Editorial Revew for Fall of the Kings.

“Book Review: Fall of the Kings” 

Reviewed by Alexandria Ducksworth 

Kings, warriors, and faraway kingdoms. DL Gardner is back again with  another captivating high-fantasy 

Previously in The Sword of Cho Nisi series, Princess Erika of the Tobian kingdom accidentally kills the Cho Nisi king. To make matters even more complicated, the king’s  son, Prince Arell, falls in love with her. 

When Prince Barin finally returns to the Tobian kingdom after being kept by the dark  wizard Skotaldi, he hasn’t returned mentally in one piece. He would be unfit to be the  next in line as king after King Tobias dies.  

Things take a turn for the worse in Fall of the Kings.  

A new kingdom threatens both the Tobian and Cho Nisi kingdoms: The Casdamian  Empire. Skotaldi has turned his attention to Emperor Barte, using him to gather armies to  venture into Mount Ream. Barte initially refuses Skotaldi’s request until the wizard  reminds him of his family curse and threatens to kill his beloved falcon. With his parents  dead, Barte’s feathered friend is his only family.  

Meanwhile, Erika worries about her father and brother Barin. Barin shows little signs of  recovery from Skotaldi’s mind-warping spells. And King Tobias’s life is slowly slipping  away from old age. Despite King Tobias’ council’s constant reminders, Erika still has no  intentions to marry. But when Arell visits Erika’s kingdom for diplomatic purposes, she  might have to change her mind. With Barte and his army on the Tobian gates, Erika must  do something to save her family, friends, and her precious land.  

Sequels are always either hits or misses.  

Fortunately, Fall of the Kings is a hit. Where book one was an invitation to Gardner’s  world, the sequel reveals how the characters endure more challenging situations and the  great unknown.  

Every vital character in this book adapts to their new situation. Erika has to accept a new  life as the royalty seats of the Tobian kingdom transitions. Arell may have to take a new  position he’s not fully prepared for, including dealing with a rising war. Even Tobias’s wizard Kairos faces his fears to become a courageous, powerful magician. These character transformations go a long way in making this book even richer and more  exciting than the first.  

It’s even got the Game of Thrones angle of constant conflict between the powerful kingdoms. We need to know who will be on top at the end. Like George RR Martin places the Starks and Lannisters on the chessboard, Gardner has the Tobians, Cho Nisi,  and now the Casdamians.  

The Sword of Cho Nisi: Fall of the Kings is the sequel we deserve after the stellar first  book. If you’ve been following the series since the beginning, you won’t be disappointed,  especially with an alluring dark element absent from book one. The series continues to  rise; it’s time you rise with it. 

Fall of the Kings is available for pre order!

And don’t miss book 1 Rise of the Tobian Princess.

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Life’s beauty

Beautiful misty spray outside this morning. I just love this gentle weather. Soft clouds kissing the earth, sheltering it from intensity, calming, lovely, nurturing like a mother hen’s downy breast feathers.

Dewy rain on lilac leaves

My mom used to say “use it or lose it.” I think that’s true about loving the little things in life. If you don’t appreciate it, it will be gone for you. If you don’t look outside and breathe in the fragrances of nature’s world, if you don’t let your eyes see the glassy shimmer in the leaves in the late afternoon, or the blueish mist that covers the riverbeds at dawn, or the glimmer of the starry sky at night, you are losing much of what nourishes your soul.

Posted in art, buds, challenge, earth, flowers, Food, Garden, grass, green, inspiration, Love, musing, musings, nature | Leave a comment

60 hours left

I must sound repetitive but when one is pushing a Kickstarter or any crowdfunding campaign that’s what has to be done. And so here I am. But this is basically the launch not just for this series, but I plan on doing a spin-off series with some of the same characters and the same world…with the same cover artist and of course, the same cartographer.

Which is what I’m posting about today because John Renehan just sent map #3, which by the way was a stretch goal for our campaign so everyone that pledged/pledges $10 or more gets the collection in addition to their chosen tier, as a high res, printable file!

Just wanted to brag on his work. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Check out the gorgeous maps! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chonisi/sword-of-cho-nisi-trilogy

Posted in art, authors, Books, Ebooks, fantasy, inspiration, musing, musings, New Release, Romance, Stories, writers, writing | Leave a comment

Forging Ahead!

For those of you interested in how the Sword of Cho Nisi Kickstarter is going, I invite you to come and take a look! We’re 271% funded and have reached 2 stretch goals, which I wanted to tell you about. The stretch goals we’ve reached give all backers at the $5 level and up the collection of five short companion stories to the series, so it’s safe to say if you come in at the $5 level now you’ll not only get book 1 in digital format, but you’ll also get a printable map by cartographer John Renehan, and the stories, cover art by Mario Teodosio.

But why just get the first book? All three are available in digital format for $20, and there are paperbacks to consider too!

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Independent Book Review’s words

There comes a time in every authors career when a word is spoken that makes them feel like they did something right. Like the reader got it. Like a word was not just written, but read with understanding. I think, if you write anything, you know what I’m talking about. Where something just clicks between you and the reader and they end up saying what you thought you were saying, only with different words. Communication I believe is what I’m getting at.

Those are the kind of reviews that give me chills and an inner peace. The kind of review that makes me smile and know this writing thing isn’t a waste of time!

With all that, I’m thrilled to share with you the review from The Independent Book Review.

I’m also excited to announce they’ll be sharing my book on their website in a couple of months. I’ll tell you when!

Armed with wizard-level storytelling, author D.L. Gardner thrives in this action-packed female-led fantasy adventure


There is nothing quite like an unexpected hero.

A great evil is rising steadily toward the magnificent Tellwater Kingdom. King Tobias is sending troops to ward off the dreaded skura who are causing chaos wherever they go. But when Princess Erika follows her brother to battle the skura and defend their home, she ignites the most prominent change of her known world—she kills the Cho Nisi king by accident.

Ridden with guilt, she travels to the Cho Nisi’s kingdom to clear things up. But things are about to get even more complicated—as Arell, the son of the fallen king, falls in love with her. How will he react once he discovers she is his father’s killer?


Meanwhile, the leader of the skura is bringing his army closer to Tellwater and Cho Nisi. It’s only a matter of time before both kingdoms unite to battle this common enemy.
The storytelling in this novel is wonderful. D.L. Gardner brings readers all the familiar fantasy-adventure elements we love—wizards, powerful kingdoms, whispers of legendary dragons—but it also keeps things fresh, particularly in how effective the themes are of powerful women doing powerful things even though they’re not expected to.


Princess Erika is entirely different from her royal sisters. While the pampered sisters prefer the court life, Erika prefers battles and adventures outside of her kingdom. King Tobias and Prince Barin are accepting of this unusual preference up until the moment she kills the Cho Nisi king. They are soon filled with regret and wondering if she was ever really meant to hold a bow and arrow in the first place.


Rise of the Tobian Princess asks the question, “What is a woman’s real place?”
And it answers back: it does not matter.


Gardner’s story reminds me of the great Tamora Pierce’s Alanna: The First Adventure. Like that novel, we have a strong female lead who’s better off as a knight than some of the male knights could ever be. This is particularly true in regards to King Tobias’s dependence on Prince Barin. Without Erika, Tobias’s kingdom (and the Cho Nisi) would have fallen. This story of a strong female warrior is a testament to how women have the strength to hold major positions—and to save us all.


The romance between Arell and Erika is a strong and well-balanced one. It recognizes its role as a secondary storyline, but it still gives us enough narrative moments where it makes itself known, where we know there could be something brewing here. These characters have time to get to know each other and to develop a strong deeper relationship we all hope for in fantasy romances.


Overall, Rise of the Tobian Princess is a nicely packaged fantasy adventure with a good secondary romance. There’s never a dull moment in here; it’s jam-packed with monumental events and action to look forward to. Princess Erika is one hero that readers are going to be thrilled to discover.

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LAUNCHED!

This is it!
Sword of Cho Nisi is now launched on Kickstarter. I encourage authors to follow. After enrolling in Dean Wesley Smith’s Kickstarter course, I have high hopes for this platform to take Indie publishing to new levels. Especially science fiction and fantasy genres. We’ll see what my series does. My #1 goal is for new readers and eyes on my work. There’s got to be a way out there to break through that invisible “we’ll only find you if you pay lots of money to the media” wall.

My first experience with Kickstarter was a totally awesome web series called #JourneyQuest. I love that show. In fact, I was thrilled to know a friend of mine was a casting director and I actually am a zombie in the 3rd season! I need to go back and see how the series is doing!

Crowdfunding isn’t just about people handing out money. There are some wonderful deals being handed out, and I hope you check mine out. The eBooks retail will be $7.99 each. On Kickstarter, you’ll get them for a flat $5 plus you’ll get access to companion short stories I’m in the process of writing, as well as some artwork and maps! So please do take a look, follow, or pledge and if you think to do it, start a campaign on your own! You can’t lose, even if you don’t make your money, you’ll get new eyes on your work! FYI we’ll be seeing the cover for book 3 sometime during the campaign.

Click here to go to the campaign!

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The cover snuck out on its own!

I was going to save the cover reveal for book 2 of Sword of Cho Nisi until the Kickstarter was launched but I’ve been using the graphic with the cover…so there I guess it’s been revealed. But just for the ceremony, here is the cover for Fall of the Kings, featuring King Tobias, Erika’s Father, and Arell, Erika’s love interest. As you can tell Fall of the Kings gets a bit darker than book 1. The blurb is missing on the back. I’m hoping to get an editorial review before I launch the book . Designed by Mario Teodosio.

You’re welcome to follow the series on Kickstarter. It hasn’t launched yet. April 11 is the date but I can use all the followers I can get. There will be some valuable rewards for the pledgers, some that will only be available during the campaign.

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It’s almost here!

I have spent over a year on this series, still working on it too and I’m excited to share it with you all. I’m doing a Kickstarter to raise funds to polish it up and bring it to the world. Launch is April 11 Want to be reminded, please click the button here!

CLICK HERE

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What’s this? A Break from Books?

Well yes, briefly because I’ve been posting photos of my bread on Facebook, and everyone wants the recipe.

This recipe is comparable to artisan bread but was really simple to make. It has that olive/garlic taste that goes so well as toast with soups, on sandwiches, with eggs at breakfast time, with sprouts, avocado, and whenever you want a flavorful bread that you don’t plan on putting jelly on.

I’m gluten and dairy intolerant, so there’s no milk or eggs in this bread.

I use Red Mill gluten-free baking flour and Red Mill Millet flour. We purchase our flour in bulk and that I have 25 lbs of Millet flour was really an accident. My husband went to the store to buy the flour and came back with Millet flour. He said with wide innocent eyes “But it’s gluten free!” Of course, being in the middle of Covid, there were no returns so he set it outside on a dry shelf in the garage for a few days and I finally told him to bring it in and I’ll try cooking with it. I added it 1 cup to 2 cups of the baking flour and was thrilled with how light and fluffy it made my bread. So now it goes in all my recipes.

This is what I put in my bread maker to make this. It’s a basic yeast bread recipe for a bread-making machine made for lactose and gluten intolerant people.

As with all bread making recipes, put your liquids in first.

I used 3 c warm chicken broth (Swanson’s) 1 t vinegar, 1 t salt, 1/4 C olive oil margarine,

2 T egg replacer 1 T Flax seed (these are mixed with 7 T water and soaked until thick and then added)

Then I add 2 C Red Mill Baking Flour and 1 C Millet Flour, and 1/4 c sugar 1 1/2 t Xanthum Gum. Make a hole in the flour and add 1 3/4 t yeast .

I throw in about 2 T garlic powder, 1/4 onion grated, a handful of black olives chopped, 2 T Italian seasoning. All this to taste. You can add grated cheese, peppers, anything you’d like!

Turn on the bread maker to DOUGH and when it’s done rising once, bake in a loaf pan in a preheated oven at 350 until done, about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

Enjoy. Remember you can read a good novel while the bread is rising.

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The Tragedy of Influence

Excerpt from Sword of Cho Nisi book 2

In my novel Sword of Cho Nisi, there’s a supporting character, an incompetent wizard, Kairos, who could very easily be offered the throne, but he refuses despite the fact it would mean marrying the woman he loves so dearly. His incompetence comes from an unfortunate circumstance concerning the death of his father. You see, his father was a wizard (it’s in the genes) and fought many battles with King Tobias. During one of the battles he died. Not by enemy fire, but by generating so much magic that he had a heart attack and it killed him. Kairos was so traumatized by this, that his fear of living up to his full potential prevents him from being the whole person that he is. In this scene with Arell, the possibility of accepting the throne comes to him once again and he responds with this answer to Arell.

“I am not happy about taking King Tobias’ place. I didn’t even want to be king of Cho Nisi, but that was inevitable,” Arell said.

“I understand completely. I’m glad it was you and not me.” Kairos grinned briefly and then shrugged. “I would make a terrible king.”

“I disagree. I think you would be a fair king. And you have influence.”

“And that is the rub. I do not always make moral decisions. I’m a coward, and so my influence would cause tragedy.”

Arell reflected on what the wizard said. “The tragedy of influence,” he repeated. “How much better our world would be if every king understood those words and considered them before he played with people’s lives. Your wisdom alone would put you above others, Kairos. In reality, I’m not so sure I would be a righteous king either.

We live in a world today that is bent on creating influencers. It’s everywhere. Our children are taught in schools to be self-confident, to take the world by the horns, so to speak, to get to the top, to influence people and be leaders. Even in the work place the same teaching thrives. Self-help books pound the message into employers and employees both. The Internet is plagued with influencers in the market place, in politics, even in churches, synagogues and mosques.

The problem is, there are not enough ‘time outs’ to consider the tragedy influencing people down hurtful, wrong, unjust, or immoral paths has upon humanity. It doesn’t take an expert to count the influencers in history who led masses of people to destruction. Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, to name only a few. And there are less notable influencers that have created cults and led unsuspecting believers to destruction.

“To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.” Luke 12:48

Or as Spiderman puts it. “with great power comes great responsibility

If we teach our children to become influencers, let us teach them to consider their followers above all things and to act and influence in love, kindness, and humility.


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Ghostwriting!

I have some author friends who just opened a new business which sparked my interest and thought it might spark yours as well. Ghostwriting. It looks like the offer is for more than just writing your book, so you might want to check them out! I know I will.

HEART SONG GHOSTWRITING

Here’s a little excerpt from their website.

How Can A Ghostwriter Help You?  

​​BUSINESS:
Gather knowledge from your years of business experience and earned wisdom and fashion them into a book that will grow your business.
MEMOIR:  
Put your life story into words to share with others.
NOVEL:  
Take that story that’s been rattling around in your head for years and flesh it out into a novel with your name on the cover!
BLOG POSTS:  
Write informational blog posts for you to draw the interest of potential clients and position you as an expert in your field.
ARTICLES: 
Write articles spotlighting your expertise through sharing useful information which is beneficial for both current and potential clients.
EDITING:  
​Rewrite and polish that manuscript that’s been gathering dust on your desk or hasn’t been opened on your computer for way too long. 

It looks like they have a lot to offer and if I find myself using their services I will definitely leave a review! Thanks for looking!

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Sometimes Dragons Win

I don’t know how the weather is in your neck of the woods, but it’s snowing like crazy here in western WA state. Another reason for everyone to be tucked safely inside practicing social distancing. Being retired bus drivers, my husband and I no longer have a need to drive around on icy roads. So here I am editing the second book in the Cho Nisi series and cooking chicken soup!

We don’t have little ones at home anymore, but if you do and you’re in the house by the fireplace, or heater, or where ever you keep warm, I want to give you a free short story to read to them. I was going to send this off to my newsletter subscribers on my website, but since it’s free it doesn’t matter when I send it and a snowy day is a good day to read Sometimes Dragons Win. It’s just a little tongue-in-cheek humorous tale that might give you a smile and a warm heart.

Just follow the link and download for free!

You’ll be hearing from me tomorrow. Hoarfrost to Roses will be launched then and I’ll post the links and maybe even another excerpt. Enjoy the cozy day!

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Sweet for the Sweets

Are you looking for a sweet romance to read this Valentine’s Day? Look no further. I’ve joined a few other Indie Authors to bring to you our sweetest stories for pleasure reading. Included is my novel Cassandra’s Castle, a time-travel story about a teen who lands in the midst of a 1908 revolution and must choose between a cause she believes in or the heir to an assassinated king whom she falls in love with.

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Reflections: Hoarfrost to Roses

The first ARC reviews are filtering in for Hoarfrost to Roses. Launches Feb. 14.

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The Joy of Writing

I must admit, my newest book Hoarfrost to Roses was incredibly enjoyable to write! After penning The Far Side of Heaven, I discovered how much I love a love story. Granted almost all my novels have a romance of some sort in them, but the novella and now Hoarfrost are true genre-valid romances.

Paranormal? How so?
It’s not that there are shape shifters or evil spirits in Hoarfrost. The whole intent, actually is to show the spirit world as a much more loving world than humanity. When our male protagonist Grai Madison is assaulted and nearly slain by a couple of thugs, he’s separated from his spirit in a near death experience. His spirit, however, nurses him back to life and helps him find shelter in what is now the remnants of his grandfather’s estate.

He may be a ghost, but he’s not evil. In fact, Grai’s spirit provides comic relief throughout the story and I truly did enjoy imagining what it might be like to speak to my “better half” when I’m depressed.

Grai is hiding out, afraid he may be assaulted again, day by day mistrusting the world. His spirit…not so much. In fact, it’s his spirit that woos Adele before Grai even sees her.

His spirit trailed him through the tunnel like a badgering old woman. Grai resented being told what he thought, what he felt, or what he should do. The spirit had no mind, no common sense, but prodded him with emotions he didn’t care to have—that he’d be better off not having. 

“What are you going to do, Grai?” his spirit asked.

“I’m going to think. I’m going to make a decision and try to keep your opinion out of it.”

“A decision on what?”

On whether I should drown you in the fountain.”

“You can’t do that.” 

“I can,” Grai argued.

“You’ll die. I’ll live. It will give you no satisfaction.”

“I’ll take my chances.”

Hoarfrost to Roses will be published on Valentine’s Day, but you can pre-order a copy now on Apple or Kobo. Find the links at Books2Read.
If you’re interested in being an ARC reader to review, please contact me.


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Man’s Role in Life – The Garden

My husband and I like to take walks, and our favorite place to go is Banner Forest, very near our home. There are so many lovely wild trails. I go to the woods for inspiration, and this morning, with the cool Pacific Northwest breeze chilling my face, the mist coating the air with a musty scent, and the subtle green of the fir trees, I got to thinking.

There are two kinds of gardens in this world. there is the man-made garden. The one with neatly mowed lawns, rock beds filled with flowers, neatly pruned hedges. Gardens that have been manicured, often poisoned to keep the weeds away, (unfortunately, and hence make them incompatible with bees and butterflies) but to the visitor they are impressive.

Man’s first assignment on this earth was to take care of the garden. I do not know if the Creator understood where that would lead to, if He knew it would lead to environmental concerns or not, but what I do know is that human beings demand control. Granted many contained gardens are lovely and I’m not saying they aren’t I’m just equating this to how people handle their lives.

I was thinking how this relates to other things in life. When humans have the power to tend to something their primary method is control, especially when it concerns governing others. Prune them, contain them, prevent the undesirables from invading them by any means possible.

When God grows a garden, He lets his plants grow free. He does not judge one species above another. His world is open, unprejudiced to all. To me, God’s garden is not only beautiful, but breathes life, and I love to walk in it. My grandson thinks I’m daft because I talk to trees, but they’re alive and have a meaningful presence here in this world.

Maybe I’m too radical, especially in my old age. But I come home from a walk in God’s garden more refreshed than in any park like setting. I love the freedom there, the harmony between one plant and another, the gifting of them all to nourish each other. It seems to me this is how human beings should live.

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Blast through the Portal!

For those looking for some exciting reads during lock down, I’ve teamed up with a few authors who all write portal fantasy and science fiction.

What is portal fantasy you ask? Well…it’s like stepping into another world, with the ability to return to this one if perchance you want to. Frankly I have my doubts anymore as to whether I want to.

I love C.S. Lewis’ quote I use for my blog. You can make anything by writing.

There are other worlds out there that are good worlds, filled with heroes and honor and courage and all those things we see missing in this one sometimes.

Pick up a book and lose yourself in the story for awhile. If enough people do so, maybe it will rub off on us!

Take a look at all the wonderful worlds to explore right here at your fingertips. Enjoy!

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New Year Blog Tour and Giveaway

I’ve had much success with my series the Ian’s Realm Saga. It was first published in 2013 by Hydra Publications and has had quite the publication history after that.

I believe that my writing has developed over the years and so this new year of 2021 is a new starting point for me with a new adult fantasy series coming out, and another stand alone novel.

I’m kicking off the new year by discounting all the books of Ian’s Realm and to add to that there’s a blog tour with a Rafflecopter going on this month. I’m giving away a

Illustration from the first edition

$25 Amazon gift certificate

and a pair of handmade earrings.

I’m probably not going to be promoting this series again even though it’s proven to be a favorite among teenagers and parents. The paperbacks are much more popular than the eBooks, but perhaps because I can reach the target audience better at cons and fairs.

As an Indie-published author with thirteen books out and four more coming, I need to focus and my focus this year is going to be the Sword of Cho Nisi series and Hoarfrost to Roses. Two adult novels that I think are better works with a target readership who is online more than the YA audience.

So if you haven’t read Ian’s Realm yet, do grab it while you can at these prices. The trilogy (over 500 pages) is half price at $5.99 and all the sequels are 99 cents each, and that includes my favorite novel Cassandra’s Castle.

Visit Silver Dagger. All the videos to the books are on that site as well as an excerpt from every sequel, and an interview!

And good luck in the Rafflecopter! Come back soon to learn about my new series!

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New Fantasy Series for 2021

I am thrilled to announce that my new series Sword of Cho Nisi is complete. I’ll be publishing book 1 sometime in the new year and invite you to come and watch its progress here, on Facebook, and on my website.

Timing has much to do with when I publish. I am intent on reaching my goal of 1,000 followers on BookBub. I currently have 847. If you want to help me, please follow and share my link.

PLEASE FOLLOW ON BOOK BUB

This is fresh waters for me,

Sword of Cho Nisi is an adult high fantasy romance, between a young princess who thinks she’s a warrior until she makes a fatal mistake, costing her everything she’s ever hoped to have…

…and a young man who’s thrust upon a throne he never wanted, is pitted against an enemy he never asked for, and falls in love with a woman he is forced to exile.

But there’s a lot more than a love story to Sword of Cho Nisi in this trilogy.

There are kings, and emperors, castles and river towns, skrua, falcons, a dragon and a wizard who has gained enough power to rule the world but seeks one more treasure…

…to gain immortality at the expense of mankind.

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Cyber Monday BEGINS

Ian’s Realm Saga’s sale begins today but the boxed set will be on sale at 1/2 price for the eBook until December 30. I don’t believe in impulse buying. Give it time, make up your mind. If you want to gift the series in eBook format, sent me a note with your email and I’ll make up a little PDF gift card you can download and put in a stocking for Christmas or for Hanukkah or whatever else you celebrate in the winter.

When Ian and his dad step through a portal, they’re separated and overcome with calamity ending up in a battle between good and evil. The Trilogy includes edited versions of the original three books. Deception Peak, Dragon Shield, and Rubies and Robbers.

Included in this boxed set are

Layla: Born at Night and Fallen Morning…the COMPLETE adventure of Ian and Abbi in the Realm. Watch the videos on the website and pick up the bargain collection before December 30, 2020.

Amazon Barnes and Noble Apple Kobo

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