So you can read my books

Sunday, November 23, 2014



It is the calm after the storm ...

I drove all last night through some of the scariest, most terrible weather I can remember ...

This morning's sky is sparkling and fresh, 

gleaming from the torrential rains which rocked my blood courier van from one side of the interstate to the other.



Samuel McCord is alone. 

Meilori is off selecting her gown for the night's festivities, the Ball of Love and Madness.  

It is to celebrate the DEMETER entering the legendary Devil's Triangle.

Samuel is admiring the molten, sleepy head of the dawn peeking up over the horizon. 

Dr. Stewart, the ship's doctor, approaches him.

Footsteps to my left. I turned. Dr. Stewart. He looked gutted.

“Maija,” he said and explained everything.

“What about her?”

“I - I thought we had become --”

“Maija is like the sea. You never know all about her.”

“I was an old fool.”

“Lot of that going around.”

“Lady Meilori is her sister. I thought you would have some idea of how -- I mean -- just what I might have done to offend Maija.”

“How do you know you offended her?”

“She told me not to come to tonight’s Ball.”

“I’ll be damned.”


“She actually does care for you, doctor.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Things are set to get awfully ugly tonight at that Ball.”

“Maija knows this?”

“She’s part of it, doctor.”

He paled. “I knew she had a dark past.”

“Her present’s rather black, too.”

He looked anguished off into the horizon. “I sensed that. Good Lord, how can I be attracted to such a woman?”

“People are never one thing, doctor. There are always several faces behind the mask they show you.”

I reached out and squeezed his shoulder. “One of those faces cares, truly cares, for you. Just be glad it exists -- and that whatever you two share is real.”

He swallowed hard. “But if something criminal is being planned for that Ball, I should be there.”

I shook my head. “No. Let Maija have the knowledge that she saved you, and that in your heart she is still someone worthy of being loved.”

He smiled as if that heart were breaking. “You are not the typical policeman. You are a romantic.”

I put my gloved forefinger to my lips. “Shhh. You’ll ruin my reputation.”

He straightened as if a heavy weight had been lifted from his shoulders. “You’ll be there, won’t you?”

“Yes. I’ll stand in for you.”

He nodded and walked away. Soft footsteps behind me. I turned. Maija. She looked at me intensely for long moments.

“Thank you.”

“De nada.”

“This changes nothing between us. You will still be destroyed by the end of this evening, and I will play my part in it. Play it most wholeheartedly.”

“I would expect nothing less from a future empress.”

She looked hot into my eyes. “Fool! You will hold back against me for my silly attachment to the good-hearted doctor, will you not?”

“I imagine so.”

“It will be your undoing.”

“Probably will.”

“Then why do it?”

I shrugged. “Don’t know any other way to be.”

She studied me. 

“I shall feel the emptier tonight after what must be done is accomplished. Yours is a face I shall miss, strong without the cruelty of toughness, kind without the bruise of weakness. When I have rid the world of that face, I shall have deservedly earned the hatred of my sister -- and of myself.”

“Then don’t do it.”

She bled a smile. “I know of no other way to be.”
Below is the evocative STANDING THE STORM by the piano genius of William Joseph. 

Endure the darkness at the beginning, and you will reap the light and beauty of the tune -- much like what happens when you find the courage to "stand the storm."

 Reading my post to the music adds to the enjoyment I think.


  1. I'm so glad you survived driving through that storm. Reading the passage from your book again, thinking about surviving storms, which I feel I just have done, gave me a new take on both the book and that ball. There's so much more to you and your writing than may be apparent right away. It takes a while, but getting to know you is such a pleasure.

  2. PS
    Hibbs is a very lovely cub and the lessons he learned in the book should prepare him well for a long life, hopefully, somewhere with plenty of food and water. A better life than the bears have here right now.

  3. Inger:
    There were some unnerving moments when I wasn't so sure I would survive last night!

    What lovely things to say.

    You have indeed survived a severe storm, but no matter the winter, spring does eventually come.

    Hibbs is rather pleased with himself now with your words, but a few hours of blundering will restore his humility.

    His audiobook is just about to be released, narrated by the great Robert Rossmann.

    Yes, the poor bears starving by your place must tear at you. :-(

  4. Sorry about the storms.
    Her present's rather black, too - really like that line!

  5. Being true to ourselves isn't always easy - and sometimes not desirable (for others) either.
    I love that Sam McCord knows no other way - and appreciate that Maija is as well.

  6. Alex:
    And I'm just about to hit the blood roads again, too!

    Elephant's Child:
    Glad you liked my little snippet. :-)

  7. Good stuff, Roland.

    Take care on the roads!

    Oh, and why have you now got word verification?

  8. Wendy:
    Blogger forces word verification if you have not signed unto Google. Darn them!

  9. I loved the fragment that you shared, Roland, and the piano piece... Both are very inspiring.
    Take care of yourself.

  10. Hi Roland .. I had to wait to play the piano piece .. and it certainly is a great addition to your post-story. Driving in dangerous conditions is not fun .. and I'm always grateful when I or others get to the other end. Take care with the future blood runs ...

    Lovely comments here too .. cheers Hilary