Art TRanscends


Hi Everybody,

This is a little tough for me to write. Not because I am at a loss for words. I have more than enough of those.

But because I feel impotent and want to do something.

I try to keep this blog, this space, free from the world in a way that allows room for all of us to escape. And I will continue to do that. But sometimes life, and history, require us to recognize the world in which we create our spaces.

Now is one such time.

Many of you know that my degrees are in history and English. Never while I was studying it did I think of how much I would hate living through so much history being made.

Sometimes those moments have been beautiful and worthy of celebration. But, more often than not, they break my heart.

Where were you when x happened?

How many times are we going to ask each other that?

For now, all I can say is that I was lucky enough to be among people who enjoy stories as much as I do, and people who escaped into worlds I created. That is a gift.


But, as an author who creates worlds in which war, death, sadness, cruelty, narcissism, and abuse happens I would be remiss not to recognize when a massive moment that encompasses all of these and directly connects to my books happens.

You see, the company that creates the beautiful covers for the dust jacket, paperback, and ebook of the Cinders in Midnight Glass series is from Lviv, Ukraine.

This morning I woke up to an email from them begging patience as they may be delayed because of the invasion of their country.

While their nation is attacked and their people face the fight of their lives, they are worried about their clients, and I… It made me cry.

I worry for these talented, kind, and wonderful people.

While I don’t know all the people that work for Miblart, please join me in putting out into the universe that Helen, Nadia, Tania and all the people they work with, love, and care about will be safe.

Also, this was part of the message that came from Helen this morning, and I trust she knows what is a good way to help. So, If you’re so inclined:

If you’re willing to support our country during these challenging times, please consider donating to :
Come Back Alive helping Ukraine and its Armed Forces 
Or official bank account for supporting Ukrainian army UA843000010000000047330992708


Now, I’m going to share a picture of some of their work, just so we can appreciate the way in which these people, a world away, let their art speak the same language as mine.


I am not forgetting about my last book recommendation for Black History Month.

Because another book to escape into when the world is either too much or not enough is never a bad thing.

This week, because it is the end of February and my birthday and I am claiming privilege, I’m going to suggest two books.

First, a book by an author who won all the awards because they damn well deserve them, AND managed to do the impossible and make me like a book with second person POV in it:

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemison.

Now this is a good introductory book into Jemison’s writing, but this is the first book in her fantasy series. She also has a dystopian series and a dystopian/sci-fi/horror series that has the second book coming out soon.

I am a big fan of Jemison’s books. If you want to check out The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, you can find it here:…

The second book I’m going to recommend is among my top five all time favorites.

Once, I heard a rumor that some school somewhere made this book required reading, but it is much more likely to be on the banned books list.

Even before the most recent wave of banning books, there have always been some places and some people who believe in the practice and this book was often on the hit list.

It should surprise no one that a younger me sought it out to read because of that. I’m nothing if not contrary.

So, one of my all time favorite books, by an author who had words lay down for her like lovers:

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

Don’t let the title fool you, this is not a religious book. This is a contemporary (to her time) novel about a woman who didn’t live by the rules.

It is beautifully written and the language in it makes me pause multiple times every time I read it to savor the words on the page.

Here is the link if you want to check it out:…

Also, I have to encourage everyone to check your libraries too. I would assume that most public libraries will have all of these books or they can get them for you.

We love a library!

The Voice In The Forest

Chapter 33


The lake, a black abyss in the night, was too quiet.

Most of the time there were frogs out here, insects, owls, something to suggest that life still existed, still went on even as I didn’t.

I couldn’t explain any of what was in my mind to Arabella.She would probably try and understand, she would undoubtedly try to fix it, but there was no fix for this.

Everything at that second seemed to be frozen with me, in this strange limbo of a half life, but it wasn’t. It kept moving. And she was part of it.

Once, I was too. That much was clear.

I had glimpses, flashes of that life where everyone could see me, engage with me.

But now, I was just this. 

No longer able to feel the cold in the same way, I shivered for no reason.

Turning away from the water, from the black eye of the forest around the house, was an act of will. It wasn’t the first time I found it difficult to leave this little place. It wasn’t the first time this place seemed to draw me here whether I was particularly troubled by something or not.

It was the first time that I felt I had anything to go back to when the struggle still held any sway over my mind at all.

Making my way across the lawn, the low light of the occasional window showed that the house wasn’t entirely asleep.

But there were no bright lights on.

There were no people wandering about. 

Ara herself must have still been sleeping. 


No matter what was going on with me, she didn’t deserve to be disturbed by it.

That was the problem, though.

She was being disturbed by it.Everything about this mission of hers to help me, to get me to move on to whatever came after for most people, was a block to her life and even threatened to have someone find out and send her back to her imprisonment in that asylum.

How her mother thought it was appropriate to lock up her daughter because she had a gift, I would never understand.

My foot stumbled and I paused in my slow ramble forward.

Did I understand?For some reason, just thinking it through in my head, wondering on her mother’s actions, shook something loose inside my head.

Once, long ago, for reasons I didn’t know and couldn’t even imagine, I was part of a decision to send someone to a place just like where Arabella was held.

Why that knowledge came to me, or how I knew it was accurate, I couldn’t grasp.

But it was true.

Even though I couldn’t think of who we sent, I just knew it was part of the life I once lived.

Looking up at her bedroom window, as black as the night sky beyond the edge of the roof, I wondered if she would forgive me when she found out.

Maybe we should stop our search for answers. Stop looking for my story so we could find a way to make it have a real ending.

If we did that, though, if we stopped looking and pretended that everything was fine for me in this in between and fine for Ara in her perilous balance living with me around, I would have to leave her.

Somehow, even though I was trapped here on the property, and she was the heir to everything, I would not be able to interact with her in the same way.

Well, that needed to happen anyway.

It was all too complicated already.

Either I would finish this long process of dying, or I would pretend I did.

Because I needed to let her go and live a life free of me and the trouble with the one I wasn’t able to live.

Taking a deep breath I didn’t actually need, I made my way around to the front of the house and into the door.

Just in time to hear her ear shattering scream and see her fly through the air from the top of the large main stairwell.
Ta da!

I hope that this week you’ll join me in putting positive thoughts into the universe for those who need them, and I hope that this letter had enough happy in it to help in some small way put a smile on your face.
As always, happy reading!

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