The heroine retreats

When writing a sequel, a useful trope is a main character who retreats from the growth that came in the first adventure. In Before the New Moon Rises, Thalassai leaves the hard work to return to the luxuries of palace life with just a twinge of regret. Tyrant that I am, I do not let her enjoy the benefits of that life for long. This excerpt from the novel does let us see what enticed her to make that choice:cover for emailing - Copy

Thalassai lounged on a bench cushioned with sheepskins as servants brought jar after jar of heated water to fill the terracotta tub in the bathing room of the palace. When they were done, Mara tested the full tub with her hand. “The water is adequately warm. Will you bathe now, Princess?”

“I will.” She planned to enjoy this luxury of palace life.

“I am prepared to anoint you with scented oil when you are done,” said Mara.

Thalassai cringed at the thought of Mara’s heavy-handed massage. “Dorlas can do what is needed. She has the tool to clean around my nails.” Thalassai was determined to get rid of the grime that weeding had pushed into the skin of her hands. “I am sure there are important tasks that need your attention, Mara.”

Frown lines creased the senior servant’s forehead. “If you are certain, Princess, I will leave you in the girl’s adequate care.”

“Dorlas is quite skilled enough,” said Thalassai. “Her work on my hair drew compliments last night.” Thalassai thought Mara might argue further, but the older woman schooled her face to a smile, and even gave a slight bow as she left the room. Dorlas looked worried, but Thalassai smiled at her. “Now help me into the tub. I plan to enjoy this.”

Thalassai relaxed into the warm water. Dorlas massaged her right hand and carefully cleaned all the grit from under and around her fingernails. Dorlas was gentle but tentative. Thalassai considered how to get the girl to relax. “Tell me about your home, your brothers and sisters.”

Dorlas started to talk. She gained confidence as she described each of the brothers and her one sister, the oldest in the family. Thalassai quickly lost track of the names and who was married or had children, but she let Dorlas talk as she worked. Thalassai leaned back in the water. This was wonderful. Soon, she would wash her hair, and then, when she was thoroughly clean, she would have Dorlas, with her gentle touch, rub scented oil into her skin. After half a moon of adventures, it felt good to be pampered.


Wearing a short linen robe and breathing in the rich scent of the oil that Dorlas had rubbed into her skin, Thalassai closed her eyes and enjoyed the feel of the girl’s hands combing out the tangles in her hair. The door to her room swung open, and Mara charged in.

“The steward needs to speak to you. Now.”

“I am hardly presentable,” said Thalassai, though she was grateful the man had sent Mara to prepare for his entry. The previous steward, conscious of his great power, had barged straight in. “I will attend upon him as soon as Dorlas is done.”

“No.” Mara stepped forward, and this time bowed. “Princess, there is a problem. He would not discuss it with me, but he is extremely agitated.”

Thalassai bit her lip. Whatever was going on, she could not ignore it. “Bring that shawl, please Dorlas.” Thalassai stood, arranged her hair on her shoulders. “Show him in.”

The steward had been waiting just outside the door. “You must come and act in place of the king to finalize an arrangement with the emissary. He waits in the throne room.”

“You want me to give ceremonial approval for the agreement he and the king made?” Thalassai almost laughed. Then, she saw in the steward’s face that he was completely serious.

“The emissary is upset. He planned to leave before the sun reached the zenith and has paced the throne room for a handspan already. He represents an important ally and must not be further angered.”

“This is the king’s agreement, not mine.”

“But we cannot wake him. The doctor has been summoned. You must come.”

Thalassai’s knees buckled, and she sat. The king was ill!

The steward reached out his hands, pleading. “The king’s servants allowed him to sleep late, but finally called me. I could not rouse him. Someone needs to deal with the representative from Paxos.”

Now, she understood the steward’s distress. The emissary would be anxious to depart. Even in well-known waters, the timing of a sea voyage was chosen carefully. She trembled with frustration. She had been relaxing for the first time in half a moon, and now she had to deal with this.

Mara returned with a light woolen robe dyed a bright yellow. For once, the unruffled competence of the senior servant was a relief. “Dorlas, a simple braid, please.” She felt the girl hesitate. “You can begin now.” The girl stepped forward and smoothed her hair. Her fingers worked quickly.

Thalassai thought of her father and how many of these meetings she had attended with him. She could do this. “If you would wait outside the room, Steward, I will dress in a way that honors the emissary.”

“But be quick, Princess,” he said.

Thalassai frowned. Irritation at the command sparked a thought. “And send for Asira.”

“Pardon?” The steward frowned.

“Asira, the priestess of the goddess.” Thalassai turned her head slowly, so that she did not disturb Dorlas’ work. She met the steward’s eyes. “Send for her at my command. If the king is ill, she will be of service to him.” She waited but the steward did not move. “By the time you have found a servant to send for the priestess, I will be ready.” She made a motion with her hand that she had seen her father give many times, and finally the steward bowed and left the room.

“You may suffice after all,” Mara said. “Give me the day robe, and we’ll arrange this one. You do remember our relationship with Paxos is complex. We trade…”

“Mara, please. Give me space to think.” While Mara arranged the fold of the robe and used silver spirals to pin the shoulders, Thalassai’s thoughts raced. She wanted to think about the king’s illness, but she pushed that question aside. She ran through what she remembered of the negotiations the night before. She had not paid attention to the final arrangements, but who could have imagined she would be formalizing the agreement?

Thalassai stopped her wishing. The steward could handle the details. Her part was to acknowledge the honor Ephyra gained through this cooperation. She played over the language of brothers, the way her father liked to refer to their neighbors. If that reference was unusual here, she could smile and speak of the gifts she brought from the distant south.

“You are ready.” Mara said.

 I don’t feel ready. But it is time.

You can get the ebook from the publisher Prizm Books

It is also available at the usual places like Smash Words, Google books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble…. Paperbacks are available locally at Forsters Book Garden in Bolton, Great Books in Williamsford, and The Ginger Press in Owen Sound. Or from me and Barnes and Noble.


Posted in Before the New Moon Rises | Tagged , , ,

Mining the myths of Greece

People who enjoy my books but don’t usually read fantasy ask me how I get my ideas. One piece of an answer is that I read different versions of the Greek myths, constantly. And often these spark an idea.

When working on Before the New Moon Rises I wondered what gods were traditionally enemies of Poseidon. I came across this HPIM0206story:

Born with a limp and with skin burnt by the forges he worked, Hephaestus the god of metal-working still managed to catch the attention of the goddess Aphrodite. They married, but the goddess of love was not inclined to fidelity. When he suspected that a relationship had developed between her and Aries, he designed a special net to catch the lovers in the act.

The net did its job, and he dragged them to Olympus to show others her weakness and lack of honour. When he did, Poseidon laughed. Loud and long, he laughed declaring that this showed the foolish trust of Hephaestus.

As metal holds its shape, so Hephaestus held his desire for revenge for the ridicule expressed by the Earthshaker, the god of storm, Poseidon.

With this story, I not only found a suitable ally for those who opposed Poseidon, but since he was the god of metal-working, I also found the spark of a solution for the sailors who sought to defeat Poseidon’s monster, a shark who could tear through wood as if it was a ripe olive. But to find out more about the solution Hephaestus developed for the beleaguered people of Corfu, you have to dig into the book.



Posted in Before the New Moon Rises, Greek Stories | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Meanwhile back on…..Olympus

In case you missed this post when I “visited” Lorna George, here is what happened between Moon of the Goddess and Before the New Moon Rises back on Olympus:

A swirl of black smoke rose from the ground staining the green grass of Mount Olympus with soot. Hades emerged from the cloud. “Do you know what our brother the Earthshaker has done now?”

Zeus continued sharpening his sword on the whirling grindstone. “Has he shaken the earth?”

“Split a mountain open.” Hades’ voice was cold as the snow. “Drained the branch of the River Styx that feeds the valley the mortals call Ephyra. And he released the dead.”

The king of the gods laid his sword carefully on a bench and met his brother’s eyes. “You are furious.”

“It is time for you to be angry. He overstepped,” Hades growled.

“You know that I cannot intervene.”

“So our brother does as he likes.”

“If he intruded on your kingdom, you are free to exact a revenge-price.”

“I made him pay.” When Hades smiled, he bared brilliant white teeth, but his eyes burned dark as charcoal. “The way he plots, you may be forced to act.”

Zeus shook his head. “War between us would destroy the world.”

The smile faded from Hades’ lips. Lines of anger formed beside his eyes. “You have been warned.” He stalked away burning the grass as he walked.

Zeus watched his back. He would have to pay more attention to the rumours of Poseidon’s antics. And when he learned what tricks the God of Storm planned, perhaps he could drop a hint to one of the younger gods, someone like Apollo. He picked up his sword again and carefully honed his blade to a killing edge.


To find out what Poseidon has planned, check out the novel Before the New Moon Rises. And if you want to read about how his first plans were dealt with, you can pick up Moon of the Goddess, the first book in this duo.

Posted in Before the New Moon Rises, Moon of the Goddess | Tagged , , , , ,

Meanwhile at the shrine of the god of healing

Here is another of my off-stage views. This happens about the time the second novel begins. Panacea is the daughter of Asclepius, the God of Healing, and one of the main characters in both novels. But even the gods cannot see everything. As her father listens to the rumours his patients bring, he realizes that his daughter is caught up in a dangerous quest.

After adding a hint of mint to the cough serum, Asclepius handed the small amphora to his assistant. “Remind the child’s mother to give just a sip with each handspans passing. A cup of water as well. And summon me immediately if the child coughs blood.”

The God of Healing ran his fingers over his temples. It had been a long day, and he needed some time to think, to sort out the news he had gleaned. As he had listened to patients this last week, he heard more than their symptoms. It seemed that hungry kings plotted war in too many corners of their land.

He heard footsteps on the stones of the courtyard. “I am sorry, Sir, but there is a woman at the gate to see you.”

“Is she in labor?” That was all that would draw him away from his whirling thoughts to see one more patient.

“No Sir, but she claims your daughter, Panacea, sent her.”

“Then do not keep her waiting.” He had not heard from this daughter in three turns of the moon. As far as he knew, she was with Echidna at the shrine above Corinth. When the woman entered, he was even more surprised. She was a peasant by the look of her dress, and she seemed uneasy. He indicated a stool for her to take and sat across from her. “You come from my daughter.”

The woman looked down at her hands. “She said I should come and ask you to teach me.”

The God of Healing also looked at her hands. Panacea tended to recognize the gift of healing though to him her calloused hands, which to him spoke of gardening. “Tell me how you came to cross my daughter’s path.”

As the woman poured out her story, Asclepius kept the surprise from showing on his face. His daughter had indeed travelled far from Corinth and faced unexpected dangers. He assured the woman that he would teach her, and that she and her family could remain at this shrine for the time being. When another assistant had taken her to arrange lodgings, only then did the silence he craved return.  Trouble is brewing across our land, he thought. He looked north and west toward the city Panacea sought. Take care, Daughter!


To find out how this woman and Panacea crossed paths, check out my first novel Moon of the Goddess, chapters thirteen and fourteen. To uncover the trouble that is spreading across ancient Greece, you can read the sequel, Before the New Moon Rises.

 Click to find Before the New Moon Rises as an ebook

Click if you want to read Moon of the Goddess and find out how Panacea and this woman met.

Posted in Before the New Moon Rises, Moon of the Goddess | Tagged , , , , ,

Meanwhile back in Tiryns

So much happens off stage in a novel, even a massive epic one. So here is what happened between the first book, Moon of the Goddess, and the second, just out, Before the new moon rises, back in the home city of Thalassai and Melanion.  

When his daughter was kidapped, King Gryneus of Tiryns sent his son Melanion and a fleet of ships to rescue her. He hoped and believed that one or the other would succeed. But they had gone into the distant north, and he had no way of knowing how that quest progressed. In the meantime, there are rumblings of trouble nearer home.

The chief counselor found Gryneus, king of Tiryns, on the roof of the palace gazing north. His face showed no emotion, but his shoulders showed the tension that had grown each day since the moon rose red.

“You have news for me?” the king asked.

“The spy you sent to Mycenae returned this morning. He reports that there are rumours of war in that city. Soldiers speak of battle as they drink in the inns, but they do not know where they will be sent.”

“So there is not as yet an army headed our way.” The king shook his head. “A good thing since neither my son nor the fleet has returned.”

“And there is no news of Thalassai.” The counselor frowned at the road that lead north to Corinth, to Mycenae and further, toward the city that held the princess captive. “Until Melanion rides back down that road, there is no way to know, unless you wish to ask the priests.”

“And waste a poor goat so they can slaughter it and pretend to read messages in the entrails.” The king clenched his hands. “I could send to Delphi for the oracle to speak, but that is half way to the city of the one who kidnapped my daughter. By the time such a messenger returned….” The king shrugged. “We can do nought but wait. And spy on our once friendly neighbours.”

“I offered a prayer at Athena’s temple last night, asking her to guard the princess.” The counselor hesitated. “There is one other thing I would advise. If you are right that in his desire for a port, king Atreus of Mycenae will eventually send an army upon us, we could gather food, begin to prepare for a siege.”

The king’s shoulders relaxed a little. There was a smile on his face when he turned to the counselor. “A task we can do. Order an inventory of the store houses. By tomorrow morning, I want to know what we need and where in our own lands we can find supplies to augment what we have stored.” He smiled slightly. “And find me an escort. I will visit the bronze smiths and see if we might turn out a few more swords and heads for spear and arrow. I will do more than just wait.”

Things are about to get very tense between Tiryns and Mycenai, but to learn about that you’ll have to read Before the New Moon rises. Available in paperback from me and Barnes and Noble, as an ebook directly from Prizm Books or from the usual Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Google Books.

Posted in Before the New Moon Rises | Tagged , ,

Meanwhile back at….the shrine near Corinth

In a story, there are always people off stage. We follow the main characters into the action, but what are those left behind thinking and doing? Off stage at a point that would be late in my new book Before the New Moon Rises, a priestess of the God of Healing looks for a sign of what transpires beyond her reach.

Leaning on her cane, Echidna slowly climbed the path through the ancient oak trees to the pass above the shrine. The way the shrine sheltered at the base of the mountain, she could not see the new moon rise without this climb. One of the young girls accompanied her with a torch to light her way back once darkness descended.HPIM1282

When the last crescent of the old moon had been stained blood red two mornings earlier, she told those who served under her that the goddess spoke of hope as well as warning. She still believed that was the message, but with Poseidon plotting in so many places, she worried.

She stepped on a loose rock and the pain in her hip made her gasp. She laid a hand on the shoulder of the girl to reassure her. Aging joints did not have the flexibility or the sturdiness they once had.

Where are you now Panacea? she wondered. The younger priestess had rushed to Mycenae the day the crescent moon rose red trying to ascertain what disasters Poseidon sparked. Echidna feared it was an attack on the city Tiryns, but she could not be sure.

A little further, and the two stepped out from the enclosing forest onto a rocky ledge. The path continued north to skirt the city of Corinth, but this was the spot she sought. The sky slowly darkened to the colour of tarnished bronze. A single star shone in the north east. As the rim of the sun fell beneath the horizon, a flash of red light shot upward revealing the tiny horn of the new moon, red as rich wine.

A sharp intake of breath from her companion was the only sound. A birthing moon, she thought. Something new is beginning. She sighed. She had no idea what the goddess was up to. And birthing was the most dangerous of moments for a woman and the baby. Still, she felt that this was a promise from the goddess.

News would come. Until then, she could only wait. Echidna looked down at the young girl who looked relieved but also a little nervous. “Come let us light that torch you carry, and we will descend. I am sure you are more than ready for your evening meal.”


The book can be purchased from the publisher Prizm Books. Paperbacks are now available  and Barnes and Noble is the most efficient for that unless you live near me (Ontario near Owen Sound.)

Posted in Before the New Moon Rises | Tagged , , , ,

Meet author Nikko Lee

Nikko Lee is another of the great authors who writes for Prizm Books. Catch a peek at her book trailer. Then learn a bit more about her.I asked her:

What do you have in mind for your next

writing project?DSCN1105b

I’m currently working on a BDSM thriller. Psychiatrist Jacob Riley is used to being in control, especially in the bedroom. The murder of a former submissive thrusts him into the middle of the investigation. He must find the killer before he becomes the prime suspect.

Is there anything you remember which prompted you to start writing? When do you remember first wanting to write?

I can remember writing my first story that was not a school assignment in seventh grade. For me, it was a way of confronting feelings and emotions that were bottled up in my head. I was always very shy and, at least in my fictional worlds, my characters acted in ways that sometimes I wished I had the courage to act.

How long did it take you to write this book?

Wolf Creek started off as a National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) project. In 2012, I took an outline that I had written the previous summer and dedicated the month of November to writing the first draft. I did manage to write 50,000 words of the novel during the month. Needless to say it took a lot more writing and re-writing before the finished manuscript that I started shopping around last year. Three days before my daughter was born, I signed the contract with Prizm.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I would love to find a book that I’d written for sale in an airport. I want to write stories that entertain and allow people to escape the mundane of the everyday.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

Sometimes I find that my most productive writing sessions occur in a busy environment. I used to write during class in high school. A busy café or a work meeting provides suitable background and allows me to focus on creativity instead of being bored. But it requires a little bit of stealth. The outline for Wolf Creek was written during a basic first aid course. Don’t worry, I still passed the course.

Do you have a day job as well as writing?

My educational background is in genetics. My day job as a scientific curator keeps me immersed in mouse genetic research.

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so how do you get past it?

I experienced a long writer’s block when I started undergraduate studies. I’d finished my first novella about a drug company using a small town as an unwitting test population. After that, I didn’t feel the passion to write until I discovered erotica. I started writing short pieces for myself, then for online groups in a roleplay community. There’s nothing better for a writer’s ego that an appreciating audience. Whenever I hit a block, I try to remember why I write and what I love about my story. That usually gets me writing again.

What’s your passion in life?

Writing is high on my list of passions. I’m also an avid hiker. My husband and I are slowly making our way north along the Long Trail by hiking sections every year. I’m a volunteer search and rescue team member. Generally, I love being outdoors.

You can buy Wolf Creek from Prizm Books. Life as a gay omega werewolf is no fairy tale.


For more about Nikko:

Facebook Author page:




Twitter: #omegasrule


Posted in A good story | Tagged , , ,

Before the New Moon Rises: Excerpt

A minor character in my first novel, Moon of the Goddess, has to step up and take on a major task in Before the New Moon Rises. In this excerpt we see Brizo, prince of Ephyra, as he heads off to confront one of Poseidon’s plots.


cover for emailing - Copy

With his hand on the tiller, Brizo watched the single white sail billow as he tacked across the light wind from the north. The second ship followed precisely the same path in the quiet waters. The dolphins that had followed all day shifted their track as well. Their presence gave Brizo a sense of ease: experience had taught that no predators were near as long as these swimmers followed.

Brizo steered the boat around a small island that rose as high as two ship-masts from the water. Swirling patterns had been cut by waves into the rock. There was a hint of green at the top of the cliff, but nothing grew on the sheer face. “Watch for outcroppings,” he called to Apro, whom he had assigned to the prow as watcher.

The sailor did not even raise a hand to acknowledge the command. Fair enough, Brizo thought. Apro knew that it was his job in unknown waters. Even as sheer as the cliffs of this island appeared, there could be rocks just under the waves. He pressed the rudder to steer the ship farther from that possibility.

Since they had put up the sail a handspan earlier, his companions had been sharing stories of shark hunts as they lounged on the rowing benches. These beasts and the larger whales were uncommon but not unknown in these waters. The eldest of Brizo’s companions had hunted shark successfully, and the men hung on his story as they let the wind carry the boat forward.

When the storytelling had begun, Apro complained that it was bad luck to speak of sea monsters while on the water. Others ignored him, but he kept grumbling. That was when Brizo ordered him to relieve the watchman in the bow. Looking at the man’s back, Brizo wondered if this sailor was going to keep being difficult. It would not help morale if he continued complaining. And he seems determined to undermine my authority.

The successful story the older sailor told encouraged the others, but given Eurynome’s concern, Brizo did not think this was an ordinary shark they hunted. Brizo ran through the tales of sea monsters he had heard since childhood. In many, it seemed that the beasts attacked at this time of day when the sailors rested from rowing and let the sail do the work. That is what happened to Jason, according to the poets. When they came near the island of the sirens, the bird-women’s captivating song drove them to take down the sail and to row toward the hazardous rocks. In that story, Herakles figured out what was happening and told Orpheus to sing. The glorious music of the master musician was stronger than the call of the sirens. Jason and his crew rowed past safely and journeyed on to achieve their hunt.

Brizo’s crew were ordinary men, not demi-gods and heroes, but he would give his companions a strong fighting chance. When they got near Corfu, they would shift back to oars. He trusted them more than the wind. Poseidon could stir up a storm in an instant. That god might have left the area, but if he was looking for revenge, the Earthshaker could make the breeze disappear or call up a violent wind just when they met the white shark.

Studying the eastern horizon, he saw a break in the mountains of the mainland. He knew that marked the place where a river flowed into a fertile delta. They were getting close to their destination. He turned the ship so that they angled north-west. When they passed the next small island, he saw a dark shadow above the water, the island of Corfu.

“River valley to the east,” called Apro from the prow. “Steer dead straight for Corfu.”

Brizo pressed his lips together. The sailor stated the obvious as if his captain had not noticed. And he likes to give orders. At least the captain of the second boat was following his lead precisely. He would have to find a way to keep Apro in line.

The boat bounced as they headed into the open channel between the mainland and the large island of Corfu. When they were close enough to pick out the shape of the shoreline, Brizo decided it was time to shift back to rowing. “Sails down,” he called. “Oars in locks.”

“Sails would take us in more smoothly,” Apro objected.

“Watchers, be alert for any sign of the creature.” Brizo held Apro’s eyes until the sailor turned back to his post, then made sure the other captain acknowledged his call.

“Should we prepare weapons?” one of the sailors asked.

“A spearman in front and one here beside the rudder,” Brizo answered. Again, he relayed the instruction to the other boat. Rowers took up their positions.

“Brizo,” said the man in the first bench, “the dolphins are gone.”

“Alert!” Brizo shouted. There could be any number of reasons for the dolphins to leave, from boredom to hunger. But their departure might also point to danger.

The boats bounced as they rowed directly into the wind. Only the caller now spoke as he set the timing for the rowers.

“Disturbance!” called the captain at the tiller of the second boat. “Straight behind!”

“Spears ready.” Brizo scanned the water. A line of ripples ran across the surface as if a large school of fish in tight formation swam just under the waves. No fish swam at that speed. The creature came.

A white fin cut through the surface, chasing the second boat. The creature would hit it in a moment.

“Hold!” Brizo commanded.

The men dug their oars in. The sailors stretched their necks to see what happened with their companions’ ship.

The fin disappeared as if the creature dove. Then, the boat heeled to one side, and several rowers were thrown from their benches. The captain at the rudder struggled to hold steady. The white fin surfaced beside the boat and carved a path back toward it. The boat twisted, and the captain was flung aside. A moment later, the fin appeared, driving straight toward Brizo.

The other captain steadied himself. “Three oars and the rudder gone,” he called. “Bit right through.”

“Oars up!” Brizo shouted. He let go the rudder, and the ship turned slowly across the wind. The oarsmen could right it when the creature passed. The fin dove out of sight a ship length behind them. Where will you attack?

Something hit from below causing the boat to spin. A sharp crack right beneath him, and he knew the rudder was cut through. “Straighten us out, then oars up!” The rowers pulled the boat back into line.

“It comes again!” One of the sailors pointed to the fin that came straight at the side of the boat. “Can it bite through the hull?”

Just as the creature reached them, it twisted, pressing its body against the side of the ship. The boat listed, and men swayed on their benches.

The spearman beside him spoke up. “I can see its back. Do I throw?”

Brizo hesitated for one second. If they only angered the creature, it would do no good, but it felt wrong to sit like a toy for it to play with. “All your might.”

The creature came up on the other side, tearing one oar. then ramming the side of the ship. The boat tipped, taking on water. Two men started baling. The spearman waited until the white fin rose on his side of the boat. He drew back his arm and threw.

The spear bounced off the hard hide of the shark as it would off a bronze shield. The creature swung its head out of the water, showing teeth sharp as knives, then it dove. The water slowly calmed, and both ships became still.

“Didn’t even wound it,” said the spearman.

“Row for shore,” Brizo called. “Neither of us waits for the other. Get to land.”

Suddenly, the fin appeared right by the other boat, and the shark rammed the prow. With no rudder, the boat spun and rocked, but the rowers straightened it and pulled hard. A crack and another sailor was thrown from his bench, his oar broken.

Brizo picked up a spear. His hand clenched it hard. They were going to lose more of the oars, but without a rudder, he could not order the sail up.

“Straight ahead!” called Apro. “It’s coming!”

“Row hard! We’ll try to ram it,” Brizo called. “Be ready to lift oars. Make the call, Apro.”

Apro glared over his shoulder, then turned back to the water. “Row. Row hard. Steady. Lift!”

With one motion, the rowers lifted their oars. The fin of the creature turned, skimming past on the port side of the boat. Its tail thrashed, and it turned away. At two ship-lengths out, it turned and rammed the boat.

The creature surfaced, jaws open wide. Brizo threw his spear into the mouth. The weapon bounced, but the creature halted. A narrow stream of blood flowed from its mouth.

“Hard forward,” Brizo called. His men responded with all their strength.

Again, the shark harried one ship and then the other. The rowers lifted their oars on command, and no more were lost, though the ships spun each time the shark hit. Ever so slowly, the shore approached. Four ship-lengths out, and the shark stopped hitting them. The white fin circled once, and again. Then with a slash of its tail, it swam away.

Brizo watched the creature cut a straight line away from them toward the north, watched until he could not distinguish the fin from the white caps of the waves. He did not think they had injured it enough to drive it away. More likely, the beast knew it had forced them to land.

The sailors put their backs into the rowing. They had seen their enemy, angered it. They had lost several oars and both rudders. They now knew it could cut through oak like a blade through unripened cheese.

“Where do we land?” called the captain of the other boat.

“First beach,” called Brizo. They would not risk sailing to the nearest village in case the beast returned. This night they would set up camp, and in the morning, they would cross over land to find the nearest fishing village for supplies and information. The shark had won this first encounter.

Posted in Before the New Moon Rises | Tagged , , , , ,

Meanwhile back on…Olympus

The lovely author Lorna George is hosting me today on her blog. You can visit to get a look at what is happening on Mount Olympus between books one and two. This visit to England is only possible on a virtual tour. I’m at home working on the next novel, which takes place here where I live.

Posted in Before the New Moon Rises, Old Greek Stories retold | Tagged ,

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

In old western movies and TV shows where most of the action is somewhere out on the range, there was a segment that took the viewer back to the ranch to see what was going on at home. It occurred to me that in between a book and it’s sequel, there is quite a lot happening off stage. So as the sequel to my first novel (Moon of the Goddess) is released, I am going to do a series of “meanwhile off stage” posts. The blog tour will be happening in a number of places thanks to the great author’s who are hosting me on their sites. I will let you know here where to visit to catch up with me as of Wednesday Dec 9th.

Meanwhile, Before the New Moon Rises is available for pre-order now from Prizm Books

cover for emailing - Copy

Posted in Before the New Moon Rises, Greek Stories | Tagged , , , ,