The Boss

Guess what I did tonight...

Martial Arts

So, I've had a story idea for a while -- several years, actually. I haven't written it because I need to do some research, and my web searching research hasn't offered any confirmation of two or three basic premises upon which the story would hinge.

In one of Radclyffe's novels -- I think one of her Provincetown books -- one of the main characters is testing for her black belt in one of the martial arts forms. I don't remember if it's karate, tae kwon do, or another form. In the book, the test is grueling. As I remember, she spent a significant amount of time demonstrating kata, enough time to wear someone out. But then after that, she must spar for three minutes with each of the students in the school. She begins with the newest students, and she spends this time as if it is an instructional sparring session. As she progresses up the ranks of students, of course, the sparring itself becomes more grueling. And as there are something on the order of 30 students present, that's another 90 minutes of activity.

At the end of that, she spars with one of the testing masters -- a several-level black belt.

So, here's what I don't know.

  • Whether this is at all typical of black belt testing in the US.
  • What the implications are for someone who comes to martial arts later in life, and thus may not have the stamina of a 25-year-old. Do schools with this tradition offer some sort of consideration for an older student?

If you are able to speak authoritatively on this subject, or can connect me with someone who can, I'd appreciate it.


Pawn Published!

I just hit Publish on Pawn. It should be live later this evening or sometime on Wednesday. In case you haven't seen it, here's the prologue. -Robin

I'm no one's pawn. Not with my skills. I may outwardly kneel in allegiance, but when I do, it is by my choice, and only my choice. In more private settings, well, in the words of my people, "She carries the spear from that hut."

It's never meant as a compliment.

No, I'm no one's pawn.

Not anymore.

Status on this Lovely Sunday

I don't know what it's like where you might be, but here, it's beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Deep blue skies, a pleasant breeze, and the temperature absolutely perfect. The windows are open. Birds are singing. Now and then I look up to see hummingbirds at the feeder. Earlier there were swarms of dragonflies.

Ah, dragonflies. I'm not fond of insects, but everyone loves dragonflies and butterflies, right? I love dragonflies especially for the simple fact that they eat other insects. Go, dragonflies!

I think I'll have Pawn published in the next day or two. I'm doing what I hope is the last read-through, although I don't have a cover yet. That might take an extra evening. I'll post when I hit Publish.

After that, I intend to get the sequel out. Then I have two other first drafts that are nearly complete, so I'll try to get those out as well. June should be a good month for the Publish button.

I have down days. Doesn't everyone? But I feel so blessed. I'm doing what I love doing, and I have loyal readers who support my work. Some of the email I get is absolutely lovely and heartwarming, and that helps me feel more connected as well. I hope I never become jaded, because I truly appreciate each and every one of you.


Status Report

I thought I'd share a little status report today.

I finished the first draft of Pawn in the wee hours Tuesday morning. This is a book I began late last summer but wasn't making much progress until a few weeks ago. 170,000 words, so a little long, but not as long as Amazon Chief. Click Here to jump to the snippet.

I immediately rolled into the sequel. Since Tuesday: 75,000 words written. I expect the first draft of the sequel completed by the end of this weekend.

At that point, I'll go back and edit Pawn and get it out the door, most likely sometime in June. The sequel will be a couple of weeks after that, I expect. I am trying to avoid the situation I hit with Privateer where the sequel has gotten stalled, so I've been holding onto book 1 in a series until book 2's first draft is done.

I know some will immediately wonder what is happening with the fox. Well, she's got a novel in progress. Elisabeth has a novel in progress. Lara has one. Ember has one! Scarlett has one. And do you remember Annabelle Delacroix, the jaguar from New Orleans? She has one going. There will definitely be more fox books, but there's nothing that will be out the door this month.

So there you have it. Expect books out soon!



I started something new. Enjoy a little teaser. -Robin

Even from a distance, the great beast could see the girl was small, almost beneath notice. Indeed, if not for the bright red cloak fluttering in the spring breeze, the beast's attention may never have been drawn.

But drawn it was.

It took little for the beast to turn. Upon seeing such a large creature, one would have expected it to require far more effort for the beast to turn. But really, it was little more than a lifted wing tip here, a drooped tip there, and the beast wheeled in the sky.

It didn't turn straight to the girl. Oh, no. The sun was bright, the sky clear, and if the beast was seen too early in its approach, the girl might have scampered to safety amongst the trees. That would not do. No, that wouldn't do at all. Winter had lasted overlong, and there would soon be a new mouth to feed, a hungry mouth to feed. The beast couldn't afford to miss in today's hunt.

And so the beast remained high, high in the sky. And if the little girl had looked up, she would only have seen a speck moving across the blue heavens. She would most certainly have determined the beast was nothing but a bird. Oh, she might guess the speck was a predator, a bird of prey, and in a way, she would have been right. But she would not have guessed the true nature of the beast.

She would not have realized her own danger.

And so the beast turned, but it didn't move towards the girl, not directly. It moved to a place between the girl and the sun. And so if she had looked up, she could not remotely have seen the beast.

But not quite exactly between the girl and the sun. Oh, no. If the beast did that, then the shadow may have given the game away too soon, as well. And so the beast chose a spot close to in line with the sun, but not quite in line.

The beast judged the girl. The beast judged the sun. The beast tracked its own shadow across the ground.

And then the beast wheeled in the sky before tucking wings close to its body and plummeting.

Maybe the girl heard something, the sound of wind in leathery wings. Maybe the girl saw a flicker of shadow regardless of the care the beast took. Who can guess?

But she began to run. She dropped her basket of posies and began to run through the upland meadow, running pell-mell for the nearest trees.

And maybe if she had heard something sooner, or seen something sooner, she would have had a chance. But she barely had taken three steps before the sings snapped out again. The wings snapped wide, eclipsing the sun, eclipsing the entire sky, and making a snapping noise like sails in a gale, and the beasts plummet towards the earth was arrested, a portion becoming forward motion, the rest becoming its own gale to knock the tiny girl to the ground.

She scrambled to rise, screaming, her heart pounding in her chest already, but the beast didn't wait.

Long, black talons wrapped around the girl, snapping her into the air. Talons long enough to wrap entirely around the girl, even if she had been far, far bigger than she was, held her firmly. And then the massive wings began to beat, lifting beast -- and an inconsequential burden -- back into the sky.

"No!" the girl screamed, the word devolving into a long, shrill scream.

She beat at the talons and struggled to free herself, but then she looked down and realized just how high they had come after just moments, and her attempts to free herself changed entirely. She clutched at the talons.

"Please don't drop me! Please don't drop me!"

And the beast didn't drop the girl. Oh, no. That wouldn't do at all, for the girl was... necessary. No, there would be no dropping of the girl, not at all.

And so, holding the terrified girl carefully, almost tenderly in the long, share talons, the beast turned north and flew deep into the mountains, much deeper into the mountains, into the land where no man dwelt.

Together they flew, one massive beast and one frightened girl. And when it became apparent the beast wouldn't drop her, and the beast wasn't going to immediately eat her, the girl yelled, "What are you going to do with me?"

And if the beast heard, it gave no indication. If the beast understood, it gave no answer.

But the girl began to beat against the mighty talons, and while the girl couldn't do so much as bruise the beast, this the beast felt, and it ducked its head while still flying and looked at the girl.

And that was almost worst than not being noticed, because the beast's head was bigger than the girl, much, much bigger, and the teeth were long longer than the girl's hand, although not as long as her arm. The girl stopped beating on the talon but stared into the beast's eyes.

"Are you going to eat me?" the girl asked.

Perhaps the beast understood the question. Perhaps it did not. It gave no indication but turned to face forward again. And the girl grew still in the talons, not yet resigned to her fate, but resigned to the knowledge she could do nothing while carried so far from the ground.

They flew further, and if the girl had been dressed for a spring day on the ground, she wasn't remotely dressed for a spring day high in the thin air, blasted by the wind of their passage, and she grew cold.

And she began to shiver.

She was a small girl, a very small girl, but she wasn't a stupid girl, and she had lived near the mountains her entire life. She knew the dangers of catching too cold, and being unable to do anything about it.

"I'm cold!" she called out to the beast. "If we're going a great distance, can we turn back and collect my winter clothes?"

If the beast understood these words, it gave no indication. Perhaps the beast thought the idea was ludicrous, or perhaps there was simply not sufficient time to turn back.

The girl began beating on the talons again. "Do you want me to die? Is that it?" The beast felt the beating and turned its head to look again, the long, sinuous neck curved back on itself.

"I said I'm cold!" the girl said. "I'll freeze to death like this. The air is cold and the wind is worse. I'll freeze! Is that what you want? Don't you want your meal warm and fresh, not frozen into ice?"

Maybe it was the words. Maybe it was the look in the girl. Maybe the beast could see -- or feel -- the girl shivering.

So far, the beast had held the girl in the talons of one hand, but, almost tenderly, it gathered the girl in both hands, one high, just under her arms, and the other low, wrapped around her legs. And then it lifted.

Oh, not to its mouth. No, no. But instead the beast drew the girl to itself, cradling the girl against its own warm body, and even sheltered, if not entirely, at least largely from the wind.

The beast was warm, quite warm, actually, and it was only a few minutes before the girls trembled subsided. And she called out again.

"You! Hey. You!"

When her cries were not acknowledged, she again beast her fists on the beast, but this time against the belly of the beast. And so the head turned to her again. Seeing she had the beasts attention, the girl said simply, "Thank you."

The beast looked at the girl for a moment and then turned nose back into the wind.

The girl knew she wasn't safe. Oh, no. She was sure whatever would happen next would be no good to her at all. But for now, she was warm. For now, she was alive, and she was not being dropped to the ground for her body to lie, shattered.

And so, as the world flew past far underneath, she did what one wouldn't have thought possible.

She slept.

* * * *

As all journeys do, this one reached a conclusion. As journeys often do, this one did not end anywhere the girl recognized, and indeed, she didn't realize it was coming to an end until the end was upon them.

Perhaps it was the change in light. Perhaps it was a change in how the wings slowly beat. Perhaps it was the change in the air. Perhaps it was a change in the sounds, echoing from the walls of the great cavern as the beast disturbed the air. But the girl came awake.

And so she saw the last few seconds of the trip.

She saw the beast circle around the great cavern.

And she saw the beast approaching the wall. The girl gave out a scream, sure they were about to crash headlong into the wall, but the beast lifted its head and flared its wings before coming to a perch in an opening, high, high above the cavern floor.

The beast settled, and all grew still. And then, a moment later, the beast withdrew the girl from the embrace, holding her with outstretched arms before dropping her a very short distance to the ground.

And the girl stumbled, falling onto her backside before scrambling away from the great beast, scrambling away until her back came up against a smooth object.

At first the girl thought it was the wall of this cave, and she stopped, then felt backwards with her hands.

The wall was smooth.

The wall was warm.

The wall was curved.

The wall was moving.

The girl spun around to discover she'd backed not into a wall. Oh no, a wall wouldn't have been at all as frightening a thing at ones back.

No. She had backed into an egg, a very large egg, nearly as tall as the girl herself, and much, much wider, an egg so large it would have taken three of the girl to link hands and wrap arms around the entire egg.

And the egg held a crack, more than a crack. And as she stared, another crack formed, right at the height of her eyes. A beak poked its way from the shell, just the tip of a beak.

And then, over the course of just seconds, more cracks formed, and widened, and then all at once the shell best apart.

The head wobbled. The wings spread wide, fluttering as if the new beast, the baby beast was struggling to balance. And then the eyes opened and looked at the girl.

And the girl knew the dragonet was hungry, very, very hungry.


This post could be hashtagged a variety of ways. #FirstWorldTroubles. #WhinyWriter. #MindOfAWriter. Take your pick.

I have a couple of problems I want to share today related to maps of my worlds.

When I write stories set in the modern world, that world is already pre-defined. If I set a story in Madison or San Diego, I can go to Google maps and look up anything I need to know.

That isn't at all true when writing fantasy and science fiction novels, all of which (at least so far) are set in fictional worlds. And so, I am able to make up all the details I want. Of course, I have a responsibility to make the world as believable as I can, and so they tend to be Earth-like, although certainly not Earth.

In Amazon Companion, I decided that Gallen's Cove was on the west coast of Morehama, with everything else to the east. The Amazons live far to the east and the demons even farther east. The forest runs north-south, as does the mountain range. So far, so good, right?

Except in my head when writing, I have it turned around. I do this quite consistently. I am so accustomed to thinking of the ocean to the east, not the west. I couldn't explain why. I've spent roughly an equal amount of time on each coast (not that much on either), and I live a long, long way from any oceans. But for some reason, in my head, the ocean is to the east, not the west.

Why does this matter?

Well, think about Queen's Town. Thinks about how you might envision it so you could talk about it. I don't know about you, but I think of a map in my head, like I'm sitting near the top of a tree looking in. In my head, that tree is on the south side not far from Malora's hut. In my head, the stable is to the right, and Gallen's Cove is a week's ride past it -- far to the right. Malora's hut is below me and slightly left. Nori's hut is across a small clearing (remember, they are two curved rows of huts), on the same side as the stable. The kitchen and dining hall is further to the left, and the place they go to the river is even further left. To get to the training grounds from my perch in the tree, I would fly over Nori's hut, cutting the corner slightly to my left, travel through the trees a moment or so, then set down in the big field.

Now, that's a textual description, and I probably lost you. So I'll just review.

  • I'm in a tree on the south side of the village.
  • The stable is to the right -- with Gallen's Cove a long way to the right.
  • The demons are to the left.

But remember that Gallen's Cove is west and the demons are east. If you look above, you'll realize in my head, I see it backwards.

You can ask why I didn't just change the story to fit how I see it in my head? Well, I wanted Gallen's Cove to have west coast weather, not east coast weather. That's it.

The solution is simple: I should just draw a map. Then if I reference the map, I should get all my directions right, yes? That's great, and then I can scan the map with a scanner and include it in the books besides, so everyone can have one.

I used to think those maps in books were there for the reader. I think I was wrong. I think they're for the author to keep details right.

So now we come to problem #2. I have a way with words. But if you looked at the map of Privateer, which I spent hours on, you'll see that I don't have a way with drawing. I am particularly poor at it, actually. And I don't really want to publish books with maps in them of the quality I can draw.

So, two problems. I need maps to straighten the details in my head. But my maps are ugly and I don't want to publish them.

If anyone knows of any software that would help me draw maps that aren't ugly, I'd love to hear it. I've looked around, but I haven't found anything. I run on Mac. No Windows in this house.


Story Idea

So I'm working on The Boss but took a moment to daydream, and I had this little mini scene appear in my head, completely unrelated to my current novel.

Imagine someone sitting at home and the phone rings. She picks it up, and the person on the other line says, "This is Barack Obama."

Average people don't expect phone calls that begin with such a declaration. The expected response is, "Yeah, right? Which of my friends put you up to a joke?"

Does our heroine stay on the line or hang up? What does the president do to convince her he's not lying?

I have no idea where the story goes after that. I don't know why the president needs to talk to her. But just that scene sounds like fun to write.


A very brief snippet.

"Chicago gets cold," Theo said.

"Amateur," I replied with a grin.

On Writing

I received email from a reader requesting I post here more often. She was absolutely right, so I'm going to try to be a little more steady. Today I'm going to write about how the writing process works for me.

There are different styles of writers. There are the outliners and the seats of the pantsers. If that's a word. I'm the latter. Writing outlines sounds like work, after all, something I avoid as much as I can.

When I began Fox Run, I'd recently read the first three of Radclyffe's werewolf books, and I'd read the Patricia Briggs Iron Crossed series years ago. Fox Run was heavily influenced by those. And at the same time, I had an image of a larger woman physically dominating a much smaller woman. I don't know where that image came from, but it was there.

I went to lunch, pulled out my laptop, and started writing. That's all I had. I didn't have a plot. I didn't have names. I didn't even know that Michaela was a werefox before I started typing.

I do keep notes when I write. I have to. I have two Word documents open, one named something like "Fox_Notes" and the other "FoxRun" or whatever it is. In the Notes document go things like the names of the characters, physical traits, and the like. I didn't used to do this, which is how Emanuel's name changed from Fox Run to Fox Play. And I have a few lists of names I reference when creating a new character, or all my characters would be named from the same list of about a dozen names.

Sometimes when I sit down, I have more than a glimmer of an idea. My Soul to Play was a glimmer of an idea one morning, then I hopped into the shower, and I had most of the story figured out by the time I was dry. The thing is, when I write this way, my writing isn't usually as good. If I know the ending, I tend to be in a rush to get there, and I don't savor the story, if that makes sense.

The other thing I do is I write in sprints. Jove Belle and a few other authors do that, too. Jove has a daily sprint over lunch where she and some other authors post, "Starting now" on their Facebook pages and then, "1700 words" an hour or two later when they have to leave their writing for the day. In a sprint, you sit down and just start writing. You can edit later. You write what you can in the time you have. The difference for me is that my "sprints" can last 14 hours.

That's how I could write the first draft of Fox Mate in 6 days. 1000 words an hour is only 16 words a minute, and even a hunt-and-peck typist can type faster than that.

All that isn't to say I can't go back and add foreshadowing and fix plot holes after the fact. But more likely if something looks like foreshadowing, what really happened is that for some reason I wrote the earlier event just as it appeared an then it worked out properly for wherever the plot wanted to go later.

So there you have it, my writing style in a nutshell. Maybe next time I'll talk about disobedient characters.



Here's a snippet from a little something I'm working on. -Robin

I'm no one's pawn. Not with my skills. I may outwardly kneel in allegiance, but when I do, it is by my choice, and only my choice. In more private settings, well, in the words of my people, "She carries the spear from that hut."

It's never meant as a compliment.

No, I'm no one's pawn.

Not anymore.


Getting closer...

You Wake Up....

Given what I'm working on, I thought this was deeply appropriate.

Mine: Oh, shit.


February Status

So, maybe you've been wondering what I've been doing.

The first draft of Selected Book 4 is complete. It's very, very long -- 225,000 words, which is similar in length to Amazon Chief. Expect it out last this month or very early in March.

But expect My Soul to Play this weekend.

If I've been ignoring anyone, it's because I've been writing. And writing. And writing. The new book stars Andromeda Hayes. Andromeda is 34 and has a very bad day. It didn't improve when she woke up in one of Jasmine's cells.


Cover Contest Status

There's an updated status on the cover contest. See it: here!

My Soul to Play

I just wrote the blurb below. I expect this book out later in the next few weeks.

Detective Teigan St. Claire, formerly of the Crimes Against Children unit, receives a phone call from an old friend. "My cousin is missing, and the cops aren't doing a thing about it. Can you look into it?"

When she does, the leads go firmly down the rabbit hole, landing in the office of the alluring and exceedingly dangerous Evaline Marsh. Ms. Marsh is far more than she appears, and she has a proposition for Detective St. Claire.

"If you want answers, you will play my game."

This is a novel of 80,000 words.

-- About Games People Play --

This was actually the first of the Games People Play series that I wrote but it has become the second to be published.

My writing frequently shares some common elements. Amongst those elements are the games. The wolves like their games. The idea that grew into Fitting In began with a softball game and the attendant trash talking (but then became something very different). And from time to time, someone writes me and says she enjoys reading the games.

The Games People Play series centers around a simple question.

Do you want to play a game?

Of course, a story about a game might not be interesting in itself, and so the games are an important theme, but they aren't the story itself. This story is about far more than that. It's about morality and casting judgment. It's about coming to conclusions about who people are based on labels. It's about black and white and shades of grey.

I hope you enjoy.


Volunteer the third volume in the Selected series is Skye's story. I just completed the first draft. first draft. It's a whopping 176,000 words. It's going to need some trimming and editing.

I wrote myself back out of that corner.

Wrote Myself Into a Corner

Well, it's 3:20 AM. I wrote myself into another corner. I had the image of a scene. It involved two people very upset with two other people. Silent treatment ensued. Humble, begging apologies were offered, followed by (not yet identified) bribes for forgiveness. Forgiveness offered.

Not so bad right? So imagine having that in my head. Back up to why the two people are upset. Write what is both a fairly decent scene including a really good reason for them to be angry. And then realize that what happened was so egregious that the people involved are going to be so far beyond silent treatment angry.

And thus, I wrote myself into a corner. I didn't want them this angry. This is one of those cases where the truth of the situation has to override what the author wants. I don't think I can go back and calm them down without a really good reason for what happened.

At the same time, I'm not ready to back down from what I was writing. Sigh.

Sapphire's Visor

I stumbled on this video. I am reminded of Sapphire experiencing the visor for the first time.


Cover Contest, Selected, Fantasies, and Coming Soon

I have a few things I want to hit. First, the Cover Contest is almost over. I have a few more emails to dissect and post images, which I'll do this weekend. Then we will have to decide what looks like a winner.

Next, I got a lot of nice feedback on my posting last weekend about sequels to the Selected series. There's a lot of agreement and some excellent feedback. Included:

  • Nearly unanimous: a story featuring Jasmine. I think we can count on it.
  • A few folks want to know why Sapphire is the key, so another Sapphire novel is requested.
  • Several asked for Skye's story (the waitress we meet briefly in Collected. This is what I'm actively working on!
  • A few wanted to hear Liz's story.
  • Some people asked for "more in the series, with new people and new challenges. As I had fun writing Collected, there is a good chance I'll be inspired.
  • And one or two people surprised me suggesting I write something about the Catseye who operates the space station. I hadn't even thought of that.
  • Over and over, people told me, "I love what you write. Please write whatever you enjoy writing." Oh, I love hearing that. I will.

So, what does all that mean? Well, I'm not going to abandon my other story lines. But you can expect more. Definitely.

Now, on to fantasies. So, I was thinking... I have an offer for you. While I'm not hurting on things to write, I thought I could let y'all in on the process. If any of you want to mail me your fantasies, the ones that inspire me could turn into short stories. You don't need to be too detailed. I've always had this fantasy of being tied to the bed and having a pack of wild gerbils tickle me into submission. Okay, I might not write that particular one, but who knows?

So go ahead. Drop me a note. If you dare.

What's coming soon? Well, I have another novel in the Games People Play series. I don't think it'll make Amazon by the end of the month, but it might. I just have to read it through a few times, and I'm going to send it to a beta reader for her feedback. I'm actively working on the next in the Selected series, and that should make Amazon in February. I might also finish the Privater sequel by late February. And if I'm inspired, I'll continue to put out some shorter work mixed in with the rest of this.


The Selected Series

Semi-spoiler warning!

If you haven't read both of the Selected books, Collected and Taken, you won't want to read between the two dividing lines.

I've been getting a little email asking when the third of the Selected series (the story of Sapphire and Bronze) would be coming out. I'm not currently working on anything, but I'm curious what people would like to see.

If you have an opinion, please drop me a note and let me know how you feel. Would you like to see:

  • More about Sapphire and Bronze?
  • Liz's story (Sapphire's sister)
  • Romance for Jasmine (the Catseye that runs the challenge center
  • More stories similar to the first two, but with different characters and different challenges?
  • Something I haven't thought about

I sort of feel the romance portions of the first two choices are told. That doesn't mean there aren't more stories to tell. I certainly hint about that at the very end of Taken. I think the fourth choice would be fun, but you know me and my games. I enjoy writing about them, and I get email telling me at least some people enjoy reading about them. Do you want more? Perhaps the waitress from the restaurant could grow up a few years and find herself Selected.

If I do continue the story of Bronze and Sapphire, do you want to see some of the, ahem, recreational fun happen that I hinted about in Taken?

I think there's room for a lot of story here. And I've received some email expressing regret the sex scenes are fade-to-black. Maybe a few good alien sex scenes would be fun.

I'd really like to hear what y'all think.


What I'm Working On

Folks have been asking what I'm working on. I thought I'd share a hint.

Three Pieces Published

Two novellas and a short. They should be live later today (Dec 26).

Enjoy. Robin.

Cover Contest Status

I've gotten some entries for the Cover Contest. You can view all of them here!

Cover Contest!

I thought something might be fun. Maybe some of you will agree. I'm running a little contest.

I want to do a book cover contest. Y'all come up with the cover, and I'll write a story to match. The winner gets a free ebook of the end result along with bragging rights. Oh, and there might be more than one winner. (Or none, I suppose, if no one plays.)

The rules are simple. Email me either an image or a link to an image that I could legally use for a book cover. For the image to be legal, either you must already own the copyrights (it's something you created), or it should be in the public domain (unlikely), or it should come from a place like

I will post the images here on the web site and either select my favorite or open things to voting. Or something.

The little mini-contest goes from now until January 15, 2016.

Two New Novellas

I've written two new novellas!

I'm doing edits now, and hopefully both will be available later this week.

December Status

Well, I remain busy. Here's what's going on...

In the last couple of months, I put out:

  • A Charming Brew
  • Secret Society
  • Collected and Taken

As of today, I finished the first draft of a novella called Do You Want to Play a Game? This is from the new Games People Play series. Below the line is what I wrote as an introduction.

I've got a bunch of other things going on. More Fox stories. Privateer. And about a half dozen other things. I'm not sure what I'll work on next. Expect the little novella in a few days (or so).


Anyone who has read more than one or two of my stories has recognized certain common themes. I've actually struggled to break away from some of those, but they're just so much fun! They're fun to write, and according to the letters I receive, they're fun to read.

If you've been following my output for the last year or so, you'll have noticed I slowed down significantly. What happened was fairly simple. I worried that I was repeating these themes far too often. I tried to force myself down other paths. I tried forcing myself to write certain stories, other stories. But what I found was a lack of focus, and frankly, a lack of joy.

I didn't intend to write this story. But it came to me, and it wouldn't go away. I kept having this image, just an image. I kept running scenarios through my head, wondering how the woman found herself in that situation. This story. That story. But they kept coming to a particular image, one you'll find near the end of the novel, the beginning of the chapter titled Presentation.

I didn't intend to actually write this story. But over the last year I've learned a few things, and one of them is this: the only way I can make a story go away is if I write it. So I wrote this story anyway.

This is a story about self-discovery. It is a story about joy. It is a story about climbing out of our comfortable boxes. You could, if you like, consider it one big metaphor.

Or if you like, take it at face value.

Either way, I hope you enjoy it.

Robin Roseau
December, 2015

Taken is Out

(Click the link to go to Amazon.)

Bronze, the alluring alien warrior.

Sapphire, her prisoner, deep, deep in space.

Secrets, some shared, some shared, some hidden.

Bronze hopes for love, a willing mate. Sapphire hopes for happiness. Both fear the secrets.

Secret Society

Blythe Suzanna Montgomery Todd has spent her entire life helping her stern and distant Grandmother Cadence support her "events" and "projects". But when Grandmother Cadence dies, she leaves Blythe her prestigious West Hollow, housing elegant antiques, a gargoyle, and a number of secrets.

And the women of West Hollow have their own secrets, and Blythe is about to learn of them.

This is a novel of 110,000 words. It is at times serious, playful, sexy, and powerful. And, perhaps, a little juvenile, but growing up is overrated.

Sandra Moran

Andi Marquette reports that Sandra Moran has died.

I didn't know Sandra personally, but we chatted late one evening via Facebook. She was a brilliant, kind woman with a dry sense of humor, or at least that's how I saw her. I have nothing but respect for her and her writing, and I am deeply saddened by her death.

To those who knew Sandra, her family, her friends, I am so sorry for your loss.


I just hit Publish. It should be available Saturday morning in the US.

Secret Society

Last night I completed the first draft of a new novel called Secret Society. This is a story about a woman who discovers she has spent much of her life helping to support an organization she didn't realize existed.

The novel is at times fun, funny, sexy, uncomfortable, playful, and juvenile. But I also think it could represent some of my most powerful writing ever. When it finally hits Amazon, you'll be able to tell for yourselves.

I want to share a snippet, but this requires a little lead in. The setting is at a very formal dinner party hosted by Mrs. Franklin. Everyone is in evening gowns. The first woman to speak is my favorite character from the novel, Sylvia. Sylvia writes lesbian murder mysteries -- a genre this author doesn't even read. Sylvia's role in the novel is relatively minor, but she gets some exceedingly important lines.

"I'm writing both of you into my next novel, and you won't like how I kill you off!"

Claudine laughed. "That's her favorite threat."

"I think I'll make you lovers," Sylvia continued.

"I can imagine worse," I replied.

"Claudine will slowly go insane, and she'll jail Blythe in a dungeon she builds in the basement. And every day she comes down and loops off a small piece. A toe. A finger. And then she deep fries it and makes Blythe eat it."

"Sylvia Appleton!" said Mrs. Franklin from the far end of the table. "Are you threatening to kill off one of my guests in one of your horrid novels?"

"I'm only offering to immortalize them," Sylvia responded. "Followed by deep frying."

"That is not polite conversation over dinner."

Sylvia looked at our host for a moment then bowed her head. "My apologies."

"That's right," Mrs. Franklin said. "Deep frying is so base. Next time, I recommend you sauté the victim in a red wine reduction sauce."

"Oh, that's much better. Thank you, Mrs. Franklin."

"We're here to help," the woman replied.

Sylvia looked back at me and smiled. "Do you prefer deep fried or sautéed?"

A Little Busy!

I've been a little busy. A wee bit busy. Since the beginning of October -- about 6 weeks ago -- I've written the first drafts of 3 novels, each about 100,000 words. The Lady has read the first and declares it "one of your best 5". I'm not sure about that, but the confidence is good. Along the way, I also wrote and published A Charming Brew, a cute little novella sitting out on Amazon for you.

I began writing the most recent novel on October 30th. It's about 110,000 words, and the first draft is done. Not bad for 6 days. Of course, there's a ton of editing to do, and it's not remotely ready for you to read.

National Novel Writing Month is November. During the month of November, you are to start and complete the first draft of a 50,000 word novel. I started two days early, so really, this is like November 6th for me, and I wrote 110,000 words. NaNoWriMo accomplished for me, 6 days into the month. I'll take it.

Yeah, I'm bragging a little. I feel really good right now. The latest novel is called The Secret Society. In some ways it's a little light and frivilous, perhaps even juvenile. But in some ways it's some of my post powerful writing to date, or I think so. You may not agree.

For those of you who have been getting neglected, I'm sorry. This is what happens when I'm in the groove, and I'm sure you'll forgive me.

Expect 1-2 more full novels on Amazon by the end of the month and the full trio by Christmas. Then I have a few to wrap up and get those out, too.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Enough said? Expect it on Amazon late tonight or something on Thursday. Enjoy.

Making Myself Angry

I'm so angry right now. And it's the silliest thing. I'm angry at characters in a book -- a book I wrote. To get emotional over a book isn't that uncommon for me. I suspect it's not for any of you, either.

About two weeks ago, I started the first draft of a story I've been sitting on for a while. I finished the first draft 2 nights ago. 184,000 words in two weeks. I broke it into two pieces, and I'm working on edits. The books are (tentatively) called Collected and Taken. They came about because a year ago I read a really, really, really disgusting bit of hetero science fiction. In my mind, long before I finished the book, I was rewriting it so that it didn't suck quite as much. But I've wanted to spoof the entire genre twice. This new story is my second attempt. I'm not sure it's a good spoof. It's turned into a decent story instead.

But I kept most of the tropes from that really bad genre. Well, except I gender-bended it. Well, the original genre has a group of space aliens deeply violating someone's constitutional rights. In the original book, the woman in question just sits there and takes it. You can imagine how long my version keeps that particular behavior pattern.

So I just reverted some edits where the woman in my story is spewing more vitriol upon the aliens in question. I decided even writing it was causing me to blow a gasket.

That's right. Characters from my own book were really pissing me off. On the bright side, I'm in edits for a pair of novels. They'll be out soon.


I just finished reading Wishbone by Elaine Burnes. All I can say is this: read it. It may not strike you as deeply as it did me. I have childhood history that resonates. But... Wow.

Warning: I went through some tissues reading this one.


This is from a work in progress. -Robin

I'm no one's pawn. Not with my skills. I may outwardly kneel in allegiance, but when I do, it is by my choice, and only my choice. In more private settings, well, in the words of my people, "She carries the spear from that hut."

It's never meant as a compliment.

No, I'm no one's pawn.

Not anymore.

Status Update

I'm still here, I'm still writing. I've been having trouble with focus. I work on this; I work on that. It's keeping me from finishing anything. But there's good news.

Last week, I finished the first draft of a new novel called My Soul to Play. It's from a new series I am calling "Games People Play". You know how I am about my games. :-)

I expected to roll right into editing, but instead another novel stole my attention. I posted the snippet above. Once I wrote that, how could I not keep going?

I expect My Soul to Play approximately three weeks after I tear my attention from the new work, so perhaps late September / early October. Then the new novel might be a few weeks after that. I also have several Fox/Wolf novels in progress and the sequel to Privateer. Expect at least one of these by the end of the year, perhaps sooner.

In the meantime, thank you all so much for your support. It's deeply appreciated.

As for the website... LONG story. Sigh.

Website Design Wanted

I need a new website design. I used this one because a friend had it sitting around, and I could plunk it in. But it doesn't really reflect my writing. I'm willing to pay some real money for a good design that takes into consideration my writing. I'm happy to share the raw jpegs for my book covers (with or without titles). I don't have thousands to spend on this, but I have hundreds. I want it done far better than I could do myself.

If you are interested, email me. Feel free to refer this to any friends who do web design. Basically I would want an HTML + CSS page. I can take it from there.

Strange Reviews

I just read a couple of very strange reviews -- not for my books, for someone else's. There was a 2-star and a 1-star review. The reviewers admitted the writing was good, etc. Their main complaint: there weren't enough characters of diverse ethnic origins.

Yes, that's how you get a 1-star review, I guess, from some reviewers.

Do reviewers have ANY IDEA how difficult it is to write outside your own socio-economic background? One of the reviewers asked, "Does this author even have any black friends?" I have black friends, but I wouldn't dream of trying to write important black characters because I would get it wrong. Flat out, I would get it wrong.

If people don't feel there is enough ethnic diversity within a particular genre, rather than complain about it -- and hand out 1- or 2-star reviews because a book doesn't fit your agenda -- write some books yourself. Put the diversity in yourself.

*shaking head*

I Suddenly Love This Woman

A Foxy Valentine

I'll let this image speak for itself:


Okay, I found this article while doing a little research. All I needed was one or two words, but I found the article absolutely fascinating.

It's sort of long, but it's worth reading. Wow.

You need to watch this

This is a TED talk. You need to watch this.

Note: this is a new link. The last one went to the wrong video.


Wrote Myself Into a Corner

From time to time, I receive email encouraging me to produce this book or that one. The Privateer sequel is the most common. More Fox books are a steady request.

And Nori's story from Amazon Companion comes up often.

I started writing a Nori story, but I set it aside and have been focused in other directions. I have a bit of a conundrum, and I wouldn't mind feedback.

Early in Amazon Companion, Nori tells Maya, "We do not consider a girl a woman until her 16th birthday." This is actually older than humanity has historically considered the age of consent and marriageable age for a young woman.

That link is interesting. For perspective, Juliet was 13.

It is only in about the last 50 years or so that we have had a dramatic increase in the age of consent to 18, coupled with the societal values that drive that.

At the time I wrote what Nori said, I didn't have to worry about it. This book was about Maya and Malora, both clearly adults, and I was clearly on the safe side. Then when I began Beria's story, I realized I had a problem. I squirmed my way around it, although I never felt comfortable with it.

In Amazon Companion, Nori also told Maya that her 16th birthday was a long-awaited experience, and she wore out her warrior that night. I didn't worry about that because I never expected to actually write it.

So... I'm not sure what to do. I can keep the sex as fade to black. But it's starting to get well into the creepy side.

As I said -- it is only in recent history that we have developed the concept that people should be more mature, with 18 being the norm in the US (and most of us thinking 18-year-olds shouldn't have sex, either). In spite of what I write, I'm not any less a prude than the average America, I think. But marriage age within fantasy novels can often be lower.

But I've written myself into a corner. I don't know how I can write Nori's story and not start at the beginning, and that's what everyone wants, anyway.

Comments, anyone?

I Just Hit Publish

I just hit Publish on a new novella, Submission. It should be available through Amazon late today (Sunday) or certainly by Monday morning.

Here is the blurb:

Cassidy Ellis knows what she wants but has a horrible history trying to find it. What she wants is a woman who ties a good knot but treats her well in the process.

Then she meets Miranda Gogburn. The two share a torrid, passionate, spectacular weekend. Then they must each go back to their regular lives. For Cassidy, this means her job as a deeply introverted computer nerd.

But then fate brings the two women together again.

Fate is not always a kind lady.

This is a long novella of 43,000 words.

A Free Short: Sweet Kisses

I wrote a short story and submitted it to You can find my story here:

It's a little different than my other stories. I'll be interested in hearing what you think.

Expect more Arlette and Tabitha stories in the future.

Pulled in Multiple Directions

I've been letting myself get pulled in multiple directions lately. But here are the drafts I've completed recently:

  • Snow Fox, a short
  • Sweet Kisses, a short
  • Submission, a novella

Snow Fox is part of a new series of shorts called Ski Bindings. Of course, it's about Michaela and Lara, but other stories in the series may be completely different. I've only read it through once, so it has some editing yet.

I'm actually going to publish Sweet Kisses for free reading over at I'll let you all know when it's there.

Submission is a novella of, of course, dominance and submission. It carries elements of The Interrogation and even starts out in a very similar fashion, but it becomes a very different story after that. I'm actively working on the editing.

In addition to these, I've been working on:

  • The Privateer sequel
  • A sequel to Fitting In
  • A Fox novel
  • A gender-bender series about a modern day Cupid living in Key West
  • A story I'm calling White, which was originally designed to be a spoof of the alien abduction genre, but I've decided it's a little too sweet to be a spoof
  • A sequel to The Emergency Claus, told by Petunia.

I've been bouncing around between all of these, which is why nothing has gone out the door for a while. I'm excited about all of these, but I haven't been able to stay focused on just one. So they will all (or at least most of them) make it out the door eventually.

More soon. I'm taking Snow Fox and Submission to bed with me, so hopefully I'll have one or both out by the end of the week.

Just Wrote a New Short

I just finished the first draft of a new short story, "Snow Fox".

Lara and Michaela head west for a little skiing.