Thursday, June 5, 2014

And the Winner Is . . .

Congratulations to Brandi L., who won an e-copy of Moons' Kiss in the Is It Summer Yet? Blog Hop.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Is It Summer Yet? Blog Hop

Ah, summer! After a day of gardening and other outdoor fun, is there anything better than relaxing with a good book in the cool of the evening?

One book I remember reading during a summertime break from school is Andre Norton's Time Traders. What a great introduction to science fiction! Ash, Murdock and their fellow time travelers lit a firestorm in my imagination. The next book to strongly impact me was J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of The Rings.

What book has set your imagination ablaze? Answer in the comment section below for a chance to win an e-copy of my social science fiction novel Moons' Kiss. My contest is open to U.S. and international visitors. Please include an email address so I can notify the winner. For chances to win additional prizes, here's a link to other Is It Summer Yet? Blog Hop participants. Good luck, and don't forget to challenge yourself to try something new this summer . . . even if it's only sampling a genre you've never read before. Who knows what treasure you'll find?

They found him in the South Ofrann Desert, where everything evil lived. Most called him a demon. One leader thought this man-without-a-past held the key to tribal peace and prosperity. That leader’s enemies saw an opportunity to gain control of the nation.

* * * *

When Kayarra's attention returned to the moon dancers, Ryna had extinguished her globe and was circling Trys, sweeping her darkened globe past his, taking Trys through the lunar phases: waning, eclipsed, waxing, full. Twice she circled him, then both dancers turned toward Aya, knelt, and placed their globes on the stone in front of him. Their cloth-covered heads dipped in grave nods, then they sidled sideways, slipped over the edge of the dais, down the stairs, and disappeared among the crowd.

Drum rolls started and the crowd roared, drowning out the flutes and even the drummers for a time. When Kayarra could hear the flutes again, they played a livelier tune, having quit Yatra's heavy, sorrowful music.

"We're free to go or stay," Denassa shouted into Kayarra's ear.

"You leave?" he shouted back.


"I wait," he told her and stopped trying to talk above the crowd's jubilant shouts.

Denassa dipped her finger into one of the marble cups and sucked the liquid from her fingertip. Kayarra did the same before he remembered that she'd told him to eat before taking any of the amber liquid. He reached for another slice of fruit.

Even the little bit he'd taken on his finger coated his tongue and mouth in an unpleasant way. When the fruit didn't cut through the coating, he signaled for water. Denassa reached for a distant bowl, passed it to him, and smiled.

"What is?" He pointed to the marble cup.

Her reply was incomprehensible.

He had meant his question to elicit an explanation, as if he'd asked, What does it do? But that's not what he'd asked, and Denassa had answered literally, and he wasn't willing to continue a conversation that made him feel like they argued.

Several women among the crowd had raised their hands above their heads, and nearby men circled them, thrusting their hips forward. Kayarra watched until his arousal became uncomfortable, then looked toward the shecarens. What he could see of Aya's face was a fleeting profile when the shon regis leaned close to speak to Manerra.

"I leave," Denassa yelled, gave veneration neither shecaren noticed, then thrust her legs over the edge of the dais and started down the stairs in a crouch. Kayarra followed. From the corner of his eye, he saw Shurna touch Aya's shoulder.

Kayarra felt exposed on the stairs; felt safer after they entered the gyrating crowd, although he looked over his shoulder to see whether any of the men from the trail ambush followed.

A bowl was shoved under his chin, and a woman's finger dipped into the amber liquid. He followed the finger back to her mouth, and watched her lips purse as she slowly withdrew the finger. She laughed when he flinched back, then laughed harder when someone's hand passed over his groin. He knocked the hand away and lunged after Denassa, his face burning, his anger sparked.

Just as he reached her, Denassa whirled and collided face-to-chest with him. He grabbed her shoulders as she rebounded.

"We must not separate," she gasped breathlessly, caught his hand, and held tightly until they broke free of the pressing crowd. When she tried to release his hand, he held onto it, craving the warmth and familiarity of her touch.

Denassa whirled, yanked free, and took hasty steps backward.

"Dee?" He halted and watched the distance between them increase.

She turned and walked hastily away. He followed because he didn't have a choice.

"Is hand touch bad?" he shouted after her when her pace slowed. He caught up with her when she stopped walking. "I am sorry, Denassa."

"What you did followed the moons' dance."

He knew she wasn't saying that because she thought him too stupid to understand what he'd seen. "I not understand."

"The moons bring the shecarens," she said, avoiding his eyes.

"Denassa, I not Yatren."

She gasped and looked over her shoulder. Too late, he realized his mistake in saying that where he could be overheard. Denassa started walking again, her attention on the ground. "When the moons join, we are given a shecaren," she said. "Men can only duplicate that event with the birth of a child. Will you tell me that you did not feel the power in the dance and the effects of the itenyan?"

The amber syrup. An aphrodisiac? He felt as violated as he had when that hand fell upon his crotch. "I not love you. I not sex you. Why iten--" his pronunciation fell apart in his anger. He started past her, angry at what felt like trickery, angry at all the things he didn't understand.

"It's tradition that we participate," Denassa called after him, following him, because she didn't have a choice in what she did, either.

He stopped and turned. "How--" Distress shredded what vocabulary he had, brought him face-to-face with a concept he had no way to express. How do you cope? he wanted to demand, when the question was better asked of Aya. "I want you," he confessed what she could see by looking at him. "I love you."

"Please stop," she begged.

"Touch me." He held out his hand in entreaty.

She turned and started away.

He followed, careful to keep an arm's length of distance between them. "I not say love because I drink drink," he informed her.

They entered the grove of trees that separated the plaza from the orchard. Intertwining branches cast shadows across her face.

"Tell me you have no wife, no children," she demanded.

"You know I not know," he said. "You say I love you. You now hatred me?"

She stopped and turned. He stopped walking. "There are too many things we don't know, too many things I do know. None of them have anything to do with hatred. That I love you only confuses me."

His heart pounded.

"I know what Aya and Yutrenta suffer," she said.

He took a step toward her. She retreated. "I need to look upon Yutrenta," she said.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Authors in Bloom

Spring is all about the enjoyment of early flowers, returning birds and painted Easter eggs. So whether you're baking Easter goodies or scrambling morning eggs, don't forget to save those eggshells! Eggshells are rich in calcium, and calcium is considered one of the secrets to successful gardening.

How many crushed eggshells do you add to the soil? A gardening friend says she adds about twelve eggshells to the bottom of every tomato planting hole and has never had a problem with blossom end rot. I crushed twelve eggshells using a mort and pestle, measured the resulting coarse powder, and learned that 1/3 cup of crushed eggshells equals 12 eggs. Don’t have a mort and pestle? A plastic container and a smooth rock works just as well. I collect eggshells all winter long so I have plenty for springtime planting.

To thwart lettuce-eating slugs and snails, encircle plants with a ring of crushed eggshells. The slimy villains don’t like the shells’ sharp edges and won’t slither across the barrier.

As an added bonus, worms like eggshells, so eggshell-enriched garden soil may help attract and keep a healthy worm population. Calcium-rich worm castings. That sounds like a win-win situation!

Speaking of winning . . . U.S. residents who comment on every participant's blog will be entered into the grand prize drawing for a Kindle or Nook e-reader and a $25 gift card. Be sure to include an email address in your comment so we can contact the winners.

U.S. and international visitors who enter my rafflecopter drawing have a chance to win one of three electronic copies of my social science fiction novel, Moons’ Kiss. To make it fun, tell us which state or country you hail from.

They found him in the South Ofrann Desert, where everything evil lived. Most called him a demon. One leader thought this man-without-a-past held the key to tribal peace and prosperity. That leader’s enemies saw an opportunity to gain control of the nation.

* * * *

“Ms. Comeau's tale slowly drew me in and by the end I found myself comparing it to another sci-fi book, Stranger In A Strange Land by a master of the genre, Robert Heinlein." --Tavin Gamache, The Indie Bookshelf

“I won't give away any spoilers as that would ruin the joy of reading this story, but I can say that from the tender moments of unfulfilled love to riots that threatened to topple a city, this book grips the reader and just doesn't let go.” —Tarah Scott, Historical Romance Author

“I do not know what I enjoyed more the plot with the challenges the characters had to face or the wonderful ending.” —

“The twist in the ending leaves you thinking about the story long after you have finished the book. This is definitely going to be a book I will remember.” --Misty Rios

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Authors in Bloom Coming Soon

Are you like me and love food, gardening and reading? Then the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop is the place to be April 7th through 16th. Ten full days of fun books, gardening tips, and great recipes. Meet new-to-you authors and win some fabulous prizes, including a GRAND PRIZE of a Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice), along with a $25 gift card for the same. A 2nd prize of a $25 gift card is also up for grabs, along with prizes offered by 80 participating blog owners. After the long, cold winter we've had, I'm ready for fresh greens, snow peas, and nodding yellow daffodils.