Welcome to my home on the web. You may have noted the mountains in the banner are the misty Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Did you know time traveling Highlanders live there? Read about them in the Highland Gardens series. Curious about the big cat? Florida panther~from the Crimson Storm paranormal novel, Sea Panther.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Celebrate the 5oth Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with a Sale on the Fantasy Romance ‘Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon’




Wow! July 20th, 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Where did the time go?

The Lunar Module Eagle landed on the moon’s surface at 4:17 p.m. EDT with, if I can believe what I read, less than thirty seconds of fuel remaining. The moon walk took place six hours later.

"…one small step for (a) man,
 one giant leap for mankind."
-Neil Armstrong


I was at girl scout camp in Pennsylvania at the time. We hiked up the hill from the tent sites to the activity center where the counselors had set up a television and we watched the events unfold. ‘Twas exciting. When I returned home from camp, I learned my dad had named our new beagle puppy ‘Moon Shot Duke’. The thought still makes me smile.

I’ve held a special place in my heart for the ‘moon’ ever since.

What are your memories from when Apollo 11 landed on the moon’s surface?


Continue reading for an excerpt from Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon. And then, please share in the comments your memories from the Apollo 11 moon landing. If you were too young or not born at the time, share your thoughts on what you know of the event.


Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon…


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Blue Ridge Mountains, near the Village of Anderson Creek

Finn inhaled deeply. His lungs filled with fresh mountain air. For the first time in months, he was free of fawning women. Free of the awkward position they put him in.
Patrick’s sword sliced past his face, drawing him from his thoughts. Rain streamed over his bare chest, mixing with sweat. He needed to pay attention. If he weren’t more careful, he’d do a face-plant in the mud.
“You fight like a lass, MacIntyre,” Patrick taunted.
“Hilt is slippery.” Finn cursed under his breath and sought a better grip.
“You must learn to fight under every circumstance. That includes rain. Could save your miserable life someday.”
Grunting, Finn barely ducked the next assault.
Patrick pulled back. “Enough!” He dropped the point of his claymore to the ground and scowled. “’Tis obvious you are not paying attention.”
Trying to catch his breath, Finn gulped air. He glared at his cousin-in-law. “This is supposed to be just for fun.”
“Ach, then. You must try harder to have fun, lad.” Humor lit Patrick’s blue eyes, and he unloosed the leather strip holding back his long chestnut hair. Patrick MacLachlan was a primitive man; to him a workout with the large two-handed sword was child’s play. “At times I forget we live in a modern world.”
Finn shook his head. “You are my fiercest opponent.”
Patrick laughed and placed a hand on Finn’s wet shoulder. “Come. The bairns are at the inn for Rory’s Thursday morning story time. Let us go and warm ourselves by the fire and listen to the old Highlander tell his tales.”
Finn yanked on a soaked t-shirt and followed Patrick across the wet lawn.
About twenty-five eagerly waiting children sat on the plush carpet in the parlor of the Whispering Pines Inn while gossiping moms relaxed on overstuffed floral sofas. A few dads stood nearby, appearing disinterested. Finn knew better. Everyone loved hearing Rory’s stories.
The crackling fire brought much-needed warmth to the dreary mountain morning. Finn joined Patrick at the hearth, hoping his clothes would dry.
Conversation ended when Rory MacNaughton entered from the rear door, his carved walking stick at his side. The elderly gentleman wore dress slacks, a brown tweed jacket with leather patches at the elbows, and a tam covering his white hair. He greeted individuals as he crossed the room and eased onto the tall stool at the center of the parlor. With an age-spotted hand, he motioned for his audience to move closer.
Alert eyes sparkling, Rory glanced at Finn and grinned. One of the men standing nearby snickered. Finn groaned, sure he knew the yarn the storyteller would regale them with.
Taking a deep breath, Rory began…
“The Sithichean, the faeries of the ancient Highlands, had a special affinity for moonstones. Enamored by the pale, lustrous, blue color resembling that of moonlight, they found the best of these unique stones on the shores of their sensuous faerie paradise Tir-nan-Óg—land o’ heart’s desire—having washed ashore on the tides when the sun god and moon maiden were in a particular heavenly harmony.”
Rory leaned forward. “Ye ken this miraculous occurrence happens only once in three, seven-year cycles of the moon…”
He held up an index finger. “Just once in a verra blue moon,” he whispered.
A hush fell across the parlor.
“Handfuls of these precious stones belonged to a beautiful flame-haired faerie with eyes the color and brightness of the most costly emeralds.”
“Caitrina?” a precocious little girl, with red curls and freckles sprinkled across her nose, whispered. Her blond-haired friend giggled, and Rory smiled at the pair.
“She bestowed upon the moonstones magical powers, gifting them to deserving mortals. Some of these charmed stones had the ability to reunite lost lovers. Others gave the bearer the gift of second sight. One especially large gemstone she forged into the hilt of a magnificent Highland claymore, and with a kiss enchanted it with extraordinary power.”
His eyes wide, a boy in front pointed at Finn.
Finn glanced down. He must be a sight, his soaked shirt clinging to his chest and his wet kilt slung low on his hips. He’d grown his hair long and now the knotty, wet strands hung around his shoulders in disarray. Beside him, his sheathed sword leaned against the stone of the fireplace, the large moonstone in its cross-section plain to see.
Rory chuckled, locking gazes with him. With tight lips, Finn shook his head no. He didn’t want the kids to think his sword was the one of which Rory spoke.
“Over the ages, the sword brought many a worthy warrior fame and fortune. That was until the day an evil, dark power used it.” Rory’s voice rose and his pace quickened. “This could not be borne. With green eyes shooting flames of fire, the one who fashioned the splendid weapon cast it far away to vanish in the Sands of Time.”
The storyteller lowered his voice an octave and slowed his speech. “There are those who believe the lost sword of the fae has been found.”
Finn refused to listen to more of the man’s fantasy. He signaled to Patrick he was leaving.
Patrick followed him into the foyer. “Why the rush, lad?”
“My claymore doesn’t have supernatural powers. It’s just an antique sword.”
“Ach, well. Dinnae take offense. Rory means nae insult. He merely wishes for the bairns to believe in a wee bit of magic. Nae harm in that.”


Hope you have a magical day!

~Dawn Marie

Friday, June 21, 2019

Happy Summer Solstice



I love the extra hours of sunlight we have at this time of the year. I hope to spend the day in the garden.

How do you plan to spend the summer solstice?

Hope you have a fabulous day and a magical weekend!

~Dawn Marie

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Happy Spring!


Happy first day of spring! I love this time of year. Birds are singing sweet songs dressed in their mating plumage. Bulbs blindly planted during the autumn are emerging from the soil, providing bright smiles. Day length–amount of sunlight–is increasing. And the weather is warming. Oh, happy days!

Spring begins in the northern hemisphere this afternoon with the vernal equinox at 5:58 PM EDT. The length of day and night will be nearly equal. And guess what else? A full moon will brighten our skies at 9:43 PM EDT. This will be the third and final supermoon of 2019. How special is that? Very! According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the last time a full moon closely coincided with the spring equinox was in March 2000. The last time they happened on the same date was on March 20, 1981.

What do you plan to do on this first day of Spring?


Since there will be a full moon tonight perhaps a vampire / shapeshifter story is in order. Have you read Sea Panther yet?


e-Book available at Amazon,
B&NKobo, and Apple.

Can love mend a fractured soul?

After evading arrest for Jacobite activities, Scottish nobleman Robert MacLachlan turns privateer. A Caribbean Voodoo priestess curses him to an eternal existence as a vampire shifter torn between the dual natures of a Florida panther and an immortal blood-thirsting man. For centuries, he seeks to reverse the black magic whilst maintaining his honor. Cruising the twenty-first century Atlantic, he becomes shorthanded to sail his 90-foot yacht, Sea Panther. The last thing he wants is a female crew member and the call of her blood.

Although she swore never to sail again after her father died in a sailing accident, Kimberly Scot answers the captain’s crew wanted ad to escape a hit man. She’s lost everything, her fiancé, her job, and most of her money, along with money belonging to her ex-clients. A taste of Kimberly’s blood convinces Robert she is the one woman who can claim the panther’s heart. To break the curse, they travel back in time to where it all began—Jamaica 1715.


~Dawn Marie


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day


During my dating years, I dreaded Valentine's day. When the day arrived, I'd smile bravely at the gals who received flowers at the office from their significant others. More often than not, I didn't have a guy in my life because I worked too much. Or the guy in my life wasn't into sending flowers.

My way of enjoying Valentine's day was with a romantic book.

Now that I'm married to my hero, I don't worry about receiving flowers on a specific holiday. We celebrate our love every day of the year. But I still enjoy a romantic read on Valentine's Day.

This year I'm reading A Royal Christmas: Featuring Waiting for a Duke Like You and A Prince in Her Stocking by Shana Galen.

What are you reading?

~Dawn Marie

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Supernatural Birds


After singing its heart out, a wren joins the cardinals, titmice, and chickadees at the feeders. Juncos (also known as snowbirds) swoop in from the mountains and mingle with sparrows and doves foraging within the garden beds. Herons wade in the creek.

Birds--symbols of power and freedom--have often been featured in the mythology and folklore of many countries. From prominent figures in creation stories to messengers of the deities to mediators between humans and the supernatural world, birds represent, strength, love, and wisdom.

Perhaps that is why so many of us enjoy watching birds. Birds have uncanny smarts. If you're lucky, you can observe supernatural bird behaviors in your backyard.

Many birds build elaborate nests without ever getting lessons. They just know how to do it through instinct.


Some birds are born knowing how to navigate by instinct. Hummingbirds hatch during the summer in North America then fly solo a thousand miles or more to their wintering habitat in the tropics, without the guidance of a parent or a flock. In the spring, a hummingbird may return to the place where it began its journey, using its amazing memory. Perhaps you might see one in your backyard hovering around the spot where your sugar feeder previously hung, even though you haven't put the feeder out as of yet. I've seen this occur in my backyard. When I do, I rush to get the cleaned feeder hung. I want to keep the hummers coming to my backyard.


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Members of the crow family--jays, ravens, magpies, etc.--have incredible memories. They excel at hiding things and then finding them












Green herons dine on small fish. They've been seen dropping pieces of bread or other bait to lure fish to the surface. Amazing. Right?








I enjoy writing birds into my romance stories...

 

From Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon, Book 2 in the Highland Gardens series:



She marched across the ridge, her hair blowing in the wind. A loud, rapid kek kek kek kek kek sounded before the whish of wings and the large bird landed on her outstretched arm.

“Trystan, you’ve returned to our mountain. I’m glad to see you, my friend.”

The peregrine falcon murmured close to Caitrina’s ear.

“Ah, you want to feel the sun on your face again. Aye, I imagine the northern tundra was verra cold.”



What happens when a twenty-first century business executive is expected to fulfill a prophecy given at the birth of a sixteenth-century seer? Of course, he must raise his sword in her defense.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo.


~Dawn Marie


*blog post originally shared at Supernatural Superlatives