28 March 2019

Remembering Dawn on the anniversary of her Birthday


portrait done from Dawn's last photo

We were so close, it's hard to think we never actually met.  Dawn Thompson breezed into my life, the belle of the ball - or so everyone thought.  Despite losing her eleven years ago, she lingers, still very much alive in my thoughts. 

And she gave me her sister Candy to watch over, to be my pal and constant companion.  I am facing losing another person dear to me--my husband--and Candy is right there at my elbow, giving me strength and support.

There is so much of Dawn in her novels.  I have discussed this with Candy--was she aware of how much of her was the fabric of her tales?  We both agree Dawn was totally unaware of these elements.  I recall our shared editor, Hilary Sares, saying she cried when she read the scene of the trees that were alive in Lord of the Deep.  A tree that ached to be a part of life, but with limbs rooted to the ground.  Or the angel in Lord of the Dark -- a poor thing couldn't sleep because his wings wouldn't retract.  Again, only to someone who knew Dawn closely would that make sense.  Dawn had the hardest time getting into bed every night, hard time sleeping because of the legs that no longer worked, the pain that dogged her every moment.

Dawn's high school graduation picture
Dawn's high school portrait

Never have I known someone so valiant in the face of adversity, never have I heard someone laugh at all that life flung at her.

I miss you, Dawn Thompson, but you “gave” me your sister.  Your last words to me was "Do not forget me."  How could I ever forget such a bright light in this sad sorry world?

Happy Birthday, special lady.









Coming Soon for her fans

20 March 2019

Remembering Allie Lanois -- gone a year, but not forgotten

The loss of a dear friend. 
 She was fiercely independent, but that independence was 
surpassed by her love of life and caring for her friends.

She is deeply missed

March 15, 2018

This was Allie's last Christmas present to me.  Tonight
I was struck by how much it looks like her when she was very young

10 March 2019

Wonderful Review for A Restless Knight


Had the music stopped, or had she just ceased to hear it? All she could do was stare into the dragon green eyes. Drown in them. This man was her destiny. Nothing else mattered. He removed the netting from her grasp and then dropped it.

Shaking, Challon took her face in both hands. The hunger in his eyes rippled, tangible. So strong, it nearly robbed her of breath. With a need, tempered with reverence, he took her mouth with his. Lightly at first. Then deeper, more desperate, more demanding. The primitive male desire to mate unleashed. Beneath it all was his need for her—in ways she knew he did not begin to understand.

She smiled. He would.

Lost in the power, Tamlyn was not aware of the hundreds of other people around them or their celebrating. To her, the world stood still, narrowed, until there was nothing but the star-filled night.

And Challon.

“Deborah writes as if she’s been in Medieval Scotland and can somehow, magically, take you back there with her to stand amidst the heather and mist of another time. This is breathtakingly beautiful, award caliber writing.” — New York Times bestselling author, Lynsay Sands.

My review:

*closes the book and feels rudely jerked back to the 21st century.*
Whew!!  What a trip!!  After a few moments to let go of reality and immerse myself in the Scotland highlands of the late 1200s, I also became a captive of the Dragon of Challon and didn't want to escape my captor. haha!

I loved how Deborah Macgillivray painted the world around me with her words - it was almost like standing there and watching the words grow and bloom a new reality all around me -- I could sense the heather and apple blossoms, see the waves of flowing grass, hear the startling cry from the crows, feel the cool misty fog enveloping around me... then add in the emotions of the characters and I was enraptured!  Toss in the smallest touch of mystic and a knight who's armor is not shining because he knows how to use it, and I'm enchanted.

Tamlyn charmed my heart with how strong and brave and defiant she was, but at the same time, she held a regal vulnerability, a softness, a gentleness to her.  I loved being in her head as she encountered Julian and fell for her man.  She truly was the perfect compliment to him, giving him the peace and calm and healing he so desperately needed.

Julian - the Black Dragon of Challon - his intensity, power, loyalty, determination, and protectiveness, along with his scary roughness, physical strength, and mental fortitude, overflowed from the pages into reality, gifting me with my favorite kind of hero - just with a sword and armor.  Oh, and the way he shows his love and affection and devotion to Tamlyn?  Watching it grow from an interesting challenge to intense love made me swoon over and over again.  And feeling his arms wrap around me..... er.. Tamlyn?  I'll take more of that, please. (so will she, I'm sure!)

This felt like the perfect never-ending story (said with much love and appreciation) - there was so much to Tamlyn and Julian's story that it could keep going on and on... and in fact, I still found myself wanting more.  Hopefully in future books in this series we'll get to keep tabs on the couple.  I also enjoyed how some famous historic characters were weaved into the story, making this feel as it was a true piece of history, and not simply a tale to while away a winter storm.

If you're a fan of epic and beautiful medieval tales, this is one that'll sweep you away!

Purchase links:

02 March 2019

Time for the best party a town ever throws -- Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras
a celebration of excess New Orleans style 
Tuesday March 5 this year

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday.  It is the day before Ash Wednesday--when you give up luxuries for Lent.  Facing weeks of doing without the things they enjoy, people went on merrymaking binges, knowing they would have to remain in their homes and fast afterward.  Carnival is another word you see associated for the festive period.  It comes from Medieval Latin, meaning remove the meat.

While several places around the world celebrate Carnival, New Orleans is likely the best known.  The very first Mardi Gras celebration there took place in March 1699.  French explorers, Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Sieur de Bienville, landed near what is known today as New Orleans.  Their party held a big celebration and christened the spot where they landed, calling it Pointe du Mardi Gras.

The King's Jester

Krewe Zulu Parade

The French settlers that followed celebrated the day with street parties, masquerade balls and lavish feasts.  However, when the Spanish took control of New Orleans, they were disgusted by the excesses, so they banned the celebrations and rituals.  This dictate remained until 1812 when Louisiana became a state.  In the late 1820s, groups of young men donned colorful costumes and paraded and danced through the streets.  The celebrations began to expand each year, until the first official Mardi Gras celebration was recorded about ten years later. 

The day is now a legal holiday in the state.

Krewe of Poseidon 

In the antebellum era of New Orleans the first Krewe was formed.  A Krewe is a secret society that sponsors a parade and ball.  The Mistick Krewe of Comus set the tone for all Mardi Gras celebrations thereafter.  Now there are many Krewes:   Poseidon, Rex, Orpheus, Bacchus, Endymion, Hermes, and Zulu are just a few-- so many their parades have to be on different days or times.

Bourbon Street

some parades are during the day, some at night

It's not advisable to wait to the last minute to go join the magnificent celebrations.  Finding rooms near is impossible, so plan ahead, book ahead!  Be sure to part take of a Poor Boy sandwich, Gumbo, Beignets, and especially don't miss having a big slice of King Cake.


Krewe Leviathan 

King Cake and King Cake Donuts

Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler