DebisZoo

Fantasy worlds. Magical inhabitants. Timeless battles between Good and Evil.

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A Room with a Scream

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When we moved to our idyllic little house in the mountains, I was so happy (still am!). A small slab of mountain behind us, and one across the freeway. Freeway? Yes, the freeway, or at least a small section of road, is visible from our front yard. And our picture window. But when we were viewing the house, we sat inside with the doors and windows closed, and then with the windows open, and we couldn’t hear anything, so we decided that really didn’t matter. We’re still in the beautiful mountains, in our sweet, little village. NOTE: There is also a substation next door, but I’ve addressed that in an earlier post.

The day comes when we move our furniture from the city to our little cottage in the–yeah, yeah you get it. We now live in the mountains. After an exhausting day of directing the movers where to put what (they don’t follow directions very well so there was a lot more work to do after they left), it’s time to make the bed and fall into it! It’s so quiet, serene, cold… we like it cold. It’s November, in the mount–yes. We open the windows and snuggle under our quilts. The bedroom cat crawls under. She’s like, what the hell? It’s cold out there! NOTE: Anny Catt (bedroom cat) is 4 lbs of terror; she hates everything on earth but hubby, tolerates me, tries to kill our other 5 cats on sight (remember, she weighs 4 lbs) so she lives in our bedroom. One of our cats weighs 18 lbs, another 20, the others aren’t much smaller A fight is not a pretty sight.

So, we’re all fast asleep, when in the middle of the night, coyotes run by. We’re accustomed to that, we had them running through the arroyo behind our old house, howling and freaking out the cats. It’s kind of a cool sound, sometimes it makes the hair on my airs rise, but it so nature! Only these coyotes sound like they’re standing under our window! They are so loud, they wake me up, my heart pounding. They go rushing by, probably running in the dry creek bed behind our house, or alongside the mountain on the other side of the creek. But they go by fairly quickly and me, hubby, and cat soon so back to sleep.

And then it happens. A ghastly scream breaks the dawn. We both fly up. Cat runs further under the quilts, growling. Silence, then another scream, and another. Dear God, is someone killing someone in our backyard? Hubby runs to the window and slams it shut. No dear, you can’t make the killer go away by shutting a window. By the time he gets to the other window, the next scream ends with a tiny, doodle-doo… Another scream-doodle-doo. It’s a freaking rooster. It sounds like a woman being stabbed to death! I swear!

“Why aren’t the damned coyotes eating that thing?” I demand blearily. “Is that what they’re doing down here, hunting for it?” Can we call animal control? Probably not, we’re living in nature now! Hubby Googles, “how long do roosters live?”

It’s now March and that damned thing wakes us up at dawn nearly every morning, unless we sleep with the windows shut, which we rarely do. Even in the middle of winter, they’re open a crack. Apparently, that’s all the room the sound needs to filter through.

I’m at wits end. I’ve wondered if there’s such a thing as a noise-sensitive floodlight. Or, we can get a screaming goat. You’ve seen them on YouTube. They also sound like a murder victim. If the rooster awakened them, would they scream back? Maybe an airhorn? I don’t know; it’s hard to think rationally at 6 a.m.

So, that’s the view from the bedroom.

In other news regarding the view from my office (substation), we’ve contacted the electric company. The bemused gentleman who came and looked agreed–we need something to put between our house and the eyesore. He wonders why the people who lived here before didn’t do it. I don’t care. I just want to look out my office window and not see an EMP-machine living next door.

Self-Quarantined? I'd Like to Invite You to Read Books One and Two from an Epic Fantasy Series

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The first two books from my series, The Ring-Witches of Nesht, Dragon Rings and Dragon’s Revenge are on sale through 04/04/2020, for .99 each! And as always, both are free on KU.

Something dark and terrible is striking unseen in the night, bringing death and ruin to the peaceable lands of Nesht, and then vanishing back into the cold mists of the surrounding mountains. Two powerful Ring-Witches, Mayra and Wolfe, join uneasy forces to investigate the ongoing—and very puzzling—destruction. How can something be formidable enough to incinerate entire villages and tracts of forests, slaughtering people and animals, yet leave behind massive amounts of valuable gold and jewels? What do these savage invaders want? As they investigate, they hear and feel a large, powerful presence—but it refuses to show itself. When they probe, it brings scorching, mind-rending pain to Mayra—and then inconsolably apologizes for its actions! When Mayra finds a huge, bloodstained talon, she finally knows what that destructive force is—a dragon. A creature so long unseen they are a myth. Once upon a time, dragons treasured witches as allies. What has changed? Why are they attacking humans? Mayra and Wolfe must learn the truth and stop a war the humans cannot possibly win. But joining the dragons would be more than just betraying their king, it could mean their deaths. For Mayra and Wolfe and their small, fierce assembly of witches learn that there are some things worth more than a life. Some causes that even mighty dragons will die for. https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Rings-Ring-Witches-Nesht-Book-ebook/dp/B075H39PVD/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Powerful Ring-Witches, Mayra and Wolfe have fled their kingdom, accompanied by their witch-warrior friends, escaping with the dragons they rescued. But once they reach the dragon’s cold homeland, they find an empty Aerie. Where are the dragon females and the younglings? Barely do the witches have time to rest before they are winging their way to rescue the stolen dragons—but this one is challenging from the beginning. The witches quickly find themselves trapped in a vast system of caverns with Hagan, an evil, fanatical dragon. With his helpers—a greedy shapeshifter and a wrathful gnome, he has stolen something precious from the dragons and hidden it away. Mayra is running out of time. If she doesn’t wrest a powerful talisman from Hagan’s control before he can use it, he will take control of all the noble dragons that Mayra loves. Hagan threatens to kill his hostages—the female dragons and their tiny offspring, unless Mayra leaves him to collect his terrible treasure from its hiding place. Can Mayra and Wolfe rescue the dragons—large and small—and the talisman before Hagan and his irrational accomplices destroy all that the mighty dragons hold dearest to them? It won’t be as easy this time, for Hagan, a wielder of dark dragon magic, dares the humans to battle him—the most savagely horrific dragon ever hatched. https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Rings-Ring-Witches-Nesht-Book-ebook/dp/B075H39PVD/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8tore

A Room with a “View”

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We moved to our wee village in November, 2019. When we purchased our property, we knew (since we can hardly avoid seeing it) that there was a bit of an eyesore on it, that is, the village substation which takes its royal place as part of our property. We went ahead and purchased it because we were aware of laws that require the electric company (EC) to put up landscaping to make our property a bit more pleasant. We can’t imagine why the previous owners never requested the EC plant trees to hide the Decepticon from view, but getting the EC to pay for and plant landscaping is just the sort of challenge Steven (hubby) lives for.

This Blight is what I see out my office window. Steven brushed up on the pertinent laws and contacted the EC. According to them there is money in the budget, and they sent someone out to have a look. We contacted them again yesterday, after giving them two months to think about our plight. The conversation:

EC: Yes, we should get trees. However… trees must be watered. Where will this water come from?

Steven: We have city water, and a well that we use to water our property. You can use that. We just want the Blight hidden so my lovely, patient wife doesn’t look out her window and think of Transformers, versus the elves and witches she prefers to write about.

EC: Hmm… not sure if that’s doable. We’ll get back to you soon!

So, here we are. I am sitting at my desk, looking out my window at the Blight. We installed lovely burgundy mini-blinds, so I can shut those, but then my cats can’t look out at the birds (those of us with cats know what blinds that are attempting to thwart a cat look like). I will update my woeful tale if or when details become available.

The View from my Office

“Summerbird Rises”

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I have just reissued “Summerbird Rises” with a new beginning and pages of new content. If you own the book, delete it from your library and download it again.

If you haven’t gotten it, you are missing a magical tale that tells of a young woman raised in the wrong non-magical realm who is returned to her birthplace to learn the powerful elemental magic she should have been taught as a child. Summerbird has spent a lifetime hiding her inept magic; she quickly realizes that she needs more than new magic to survive the formidable and scheming inhabitants of her new home. Not to mention the evil abomination that suddenly threatens that realm. Can she find the resilience and courage to face a being that shouldn’t exist? She’s been alone almost all her life. She never expected to find friends, even a family, and now must protect them while completing a daunting task. And perhaps afterward, she’ll find time for some revenge.

“Summerbird Rises” is available on Amazon at Smrbd for .99 the week of March 9, 2020

https://www.amazon.com/Summerbird-Rises-Act-Entreaty-Book-ebook/dp/B01M17B0FZ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522531156&sr=8-1&keywords=summerbird+rises

The Warrior Vegetarian

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In my series, The Ring-Witches of Nesht, the female protagonist, Mayra, is a vegetarian. So is one of the males in her group of witch-warrior adventurers.

In Dragon Rings, a chef serves Mayra a delicious stew—I’ll let her describe it:

Mayra sank into her bed, pleasantly full of savory stew. She had enjoyed the thick creation, made from various vegetables and grain that a resourceful cook had used to create a thin dough. He had then shaped the dough into wide noodles—Mayra had smiled at the funny word. The kitchen retainer explained how he had cut the dough into long, threadlike pieces—the noodles—boiled them with the stew, and allowed them to soak up the spicy flavors. It was delicious. She would have to track down the means to prepare such food for herself. With thickly buttered fresh bread and crisp, sweet fruit, her solitary meal had been a feast.

from “Dragon Rings

While the gang is traveling, they take her food choices in stride. She simply ensures she has something nutritional to eat while the others are chowing down on a side of some sort of ungulate. Also, they are aware that she doesn’t want to watch any preparation.

In Dragon’s Revenge, Mayra and the other vegetarian in her crew eat fish for the first time. Again, from her perspective:

Mayra leaned back against Wolfe, savoring the warmth of the fire as it grew, fed with small pieces of wood, and enjoying feeling full. The fish—well, they were fish. Unintelligent, neither magnificent nor spirited, not the typical food of one who had always been a strict herbivore—but Wolfe had at last gotten her to try the cold, scaly things, convincing her that their nutritive value was essential to her well-being. Two of the witches had cooked the repulsive things within leaves that had made them tender and sweet, and almost palatable.

from “Dragon’s Revenge”

At last, we know Mayra’s reason for not eating meat—she sees animals as intelligent, spirited beings not deserving to be eaten. She does have trouble explaining that to dragons, but these great beasts are altruistic and they try to understand. Gaulte, their leader, has bonded with Mayra, and they will not be eating in front of the humans. That might say a lot about dragon table manners–dainty they are not, and they are considerate.

It would have been simpler never to have made Mayra a vegetarian, but it was such an essential part of her personality. In a world of warriors, being unwilling to eat meat is a shortcoming that others might perceive as a weakness which must be defended. But I never have either of the two vegetarians have to defend their choice. Accepting her choice is a testament as to how the witches feel about each other, and ultimately, how the dragons feel about them, as well. Dragons know all humans are odd, and some are more peculiar than others, but they have proven themselves to be fierce warriors, and because of the Enhancement Rings they wear, they are part of the dragons.

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Dragon Rings

Purchase on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Rings-Ring-Witches-Nesht-Book-ebook/dp/B075H39PVD/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

2.99 $

Pay with PayPal

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Dragon’s Revenge

Purchase on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QWQDCLQ?ref_=dbs_pwh_calw_1&storeType=ebooks

3.99 $

Pay with PayPal

Autumn Returns (Again), Bringing Soup and Socks

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I want to make this an annual posting, as Autumn comes every year (I hope!), so if you’ve read it before–read it again! Maybe I snuck some stuff in below and you’ll never know!

Autumn is my favorite season, and not just because it’s so beautiful, nor because that’s the season when I used to have a birthday, back when I celebrated such an occasion. Alas, I stopped having birthdays two years ago, when the aging process stopped for me. I do love all the best wishes from my friends, but mentally, they are simply, Happy Happy Day. Which could mean anything! Just don’t forget the Happy Day present. And cake.

No, autumn is putting-on-your-sock-in-the house weather. Getting out your sweaters and long-sleeved shirts. Turning on the heater in the morning. Autumn means hearty soup for dinner and leftovers for lunch. Filling the birdfeeders so the birds can stock up on their way south. Digging up the garden and raking leaves (*snrk* I don’t do that anymore, since I had an a-fib, I lug oxygen around with me. See, I told you there would be changes!). 

I decided to add that part above quite intentionally, because as the years pass, we have things happen in our lives. But Autumn, and the other seasons, still pass. This is going to briefly turn into an object lesson. Get out there, rake some leaves, then kick them all over the place. Even better, have your kids/grandlings rake them up, and then kick them…you know the rest. Enjoy each season for what it brings.

As I did previously, I’ll finish with reminding you that family is so important to keep with you; they will be the ones to help you through the changes that time brings. Autumn means Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming and those are also my favorites–the holidays that bind families and make memories. But Spring is planting flowers, going camping, planning your summer vacation, and Summer is going on that vacation (unless you live in NM like me, then it’s sweating your butt off and figuring out how quickly you can move from your air conditioned car to the air conditioned store/house/hospital). And thank goodness, it’s Winter again! Freezing off my butt now–my butt is never happy.

I’ll close this time by noting that I’m not very good at these heart-felt posts, but that’s OK. A lot of my readers (yeah, my fantasy is kind of dark) have trouble relating to them! So enjoy life. You only get one.

A Scene is a Thing of Beauty…

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What does that mean? To me, a scene or a plot point or a character is a Thing I created. I made is as surely as if I had gone to work Monday morning, clocked in–if you ever did that sort of thing–and sat down at a desk, or a machine, or in a company vehicle, and produced a Thing. Therefore…

Don’t you hate it when you’re plotting and preparing a scene and you write it and work it and twist it and BOOM! It isn’t going to work. It doesn’t have the oomph you wanted or it isn’t going to take the reader where you want them to go. You love that Thing. It spoke to you, it had meaning. It was your baby!

What do you do? Euthanize and bury it? Highlight and delete it? Shudder. That’s awful! No, there is an alternative…

I, in a manner of speaking, set up that scene/character/plot point so in the future, I can “plagiarize” myself! I cut and paste it into a file called OLD EXTRAS. Yes, you put the scene and plotting aside and visit them once in a while, just to remind you what’s there! Who knows, maybe someday, the scene, or parts of it, might be able to be tweaked and used somewhere else. Just like old fabric, reclaimed yarn, or pieces of wood or hardware, you can recycle them. Your old noodle worked hard to create that Thing and make it just right. Just like that leftover piece of prime rib…

Never waste a great idea.

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