So you can read my books

Monday, October 2, 2023



Of course you balk at my post title,
since you are reading my blog, right?

But reading is on the decline.  

One in four (27%) of us have not read a book in the last year.

If we as authors write posts primarily to other authors, 

we are in essence singing to the choir.

It is like kissing your sister, convenient but leads nowhere ... 

unless your sister was Angelina Jolie ...

but that is another disturbing story.  Brrr.

John Locke, snake oil salesman 
and book review buyer that he was

actually had a good idea:

We must write to intrigue and entice potential READERS of what we write.

Google Searchers with an intriguing title

 But you must follow the title with a post 

that amuses, entertains, and persuades the reader that your prose is worth gambling 99 cents on.

 On the internet, you can walk away with a click if someone fails to interest you. 

This happens all the time.


Say your piece and stand by it.  

Wafflers are like warm tap water.  

Be hot.  Be cold.  

But write words of steel not water vapor.

You think most Indie Authors are Brand Whores?  

Say it.  Stand by it. 
Endure the storm and stand tall.  

That is what great spirits do.


In the documentary, "Conan Can't Stop," 

Conan explains how he gets through situations that are hard. 

He says he acts "as if."  

As if he belongs there. 

As if he knows what he's doing.  

As if everything is going to be a success -- 

no matter what he does, no matter what anyone says, no matter how hard it gets.

Write your blog, live the author life that way ...

Write As If people are reading 

and by golly you are going to entertain the socks off them.

Hey, it might even work! 

Sunday, October 1, 2023



Nazi wolves are at the door; Fallen Angels are in the sky. What else could go wrong for Major Richard Blaine?


“Life is a long preparation for something that never happens.”

― W.B. Yeats


I stiffened as the Voice I thought I left behind me rumbled in my mind.

‘The love that rose on stronger wings,

Unpalsied when he met with Death,

Is Comrade of the lesser faith

That sees the course of human things.’

“You read poetry?”

Again, that strange laughter. I am poetry.’

I felt an invisible finger prod my chest.

‘And only fools think they can leave Us behind, Richard Blaine. You are no fool. Now, is the time for you to stop acting as one. Your Spartans are waiting for you to speak. Chop. Chop.’

The Voice was right. My Spartans were looking at me as if they were dogs hearing a kitten bark.

‘Oh, tell our Rabbi Stein he is one of the very few blooms We have planted that make Us smile. We especially like his “God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposite’ s, so that you will have two wings to fly, not one.” Now, chop, chop!’

Theo and Amos had finished running down the stairs and went to either side of me. Amos elbowed Darael aside … politely. Smart of him.

I flicked my eyes to him. “Elohim says you make Him smile.”


Theo didn’t give me a chance to reply, for he gruffed,

“What the hell were those disgusting mounds of steaming flesh back in that office?”

“The remains of König’s guards. Guess they needed their own sentries against his madness.”

I turned to Porkins. “What’s this about me being back? I never left.”

Reese scoffed, “The hell you ….”

He stopped mid-sentence as Sister Ameal suddenly appeared in front of me. I could only imagine the look she was giving him. 

I imagine Medusa’s would have been gentler.

“Ah, yeah, you did, Major. One heartbeat, you were looking up at that angel there flying away. And the next, you were a column of smoke being blown away by the breeze.”

Sister Ameal said, “Smelling of burnt flesh reminiscent of Auschwitz.”

Amos grunted, “That last was not necessary, Sister.”

“Yes, it was, Rabbi … to remind all here of the depth of depravity against which we fight.”

I tried to soothe Amos’ ruffled feathers. 

“I always imagined if I did go up in a puff of smoke, it would smell of cinnamon.”

Rachel sniffed, “As a matter of fact, you do smell of cinnamon now.”

André looked uncomfortable. “Only the power of suggestion.”

His face said even he did not believe his words.

Helen abruptly went from angel to mortal again, snaring their attention better than if she yelled,

“Are you waiting for the shadows to eat the moon? Two hundred SS commandos are right at our door, and their three Tiger tanks will do the knocking for them.”

Johnny Knight nervously asked, “What about them Neah, Neim, … them hybrids whatevers?”

Darael scoffed, 

“They are lagging back to see if the psychotic Nazi troops with their clanking tanks can spare them the ignominy of having to soil their tentacles with our flesh.”

Vincent grunted, 

“Just let them get within rifle range, I’ll show them humiliation.”

Evans said, 

“That nun over there was going to give us a slideshow or something to show us just they all were doing when you showed up.”

I turned to her. “Slideshow?”

She snorted, “Simple language for simple minds.”

“Kit” Carson huffed, “We love you, too, Nun.”

Sister Ameal met my eyes. “I gather you would hold it against me if I killed that one?”

Carson swallowed, “I know I would, Lady.”

I shook my head. “Play nice.”

“This is me playing nice.”

“Slideshow, remember?”

Her brilliant white habit nodded once sharply. “Holographic projections of events in real time like so.”

She waved her open right palm in front of her and a flickering vista of the village as if seen from an airplane appeared across the blackened cement of the shattered road.

“Oh, man,” groaned Pablo Dimitri. “Oh, man. Oh, man!”

I didn’t blame Pablo. 

The village was surrounded by bristling troops. They seemed to number many more than two hundred. Many, many more.

Sister Ameal frowned disappointed at me. I was used to that look … kind of. All right. Not at all.

“Your Party Line filled with those tribal chieftains had quite an effect on Colonel Verner as he listened in. He now knows you were playing him for a fool. The increased troops are a direct result of his fury at that.”

Rachel gave me a wry “I told you so” look.

Helen sighed, “Richard will think of something. He always does.”

I was glad she thought so. I wasn’t so sure.

Sister Ameal said, 

“I can give your Spartans weapons that will deal with even this many troops. But they are cruel, savage, inhumane.”

Amos, still rubbed raw by the gas oven remarks from her, uncharacteristically said in a husk, “That is all right with me, Sister.”

She locked eyes with him. “I will remind you of that later.”

Sister Ameal drew in a deep, deep breath.

“These are terrible weapons. The Nazi are experimenting with crude versions of these on the Eastern front. 

Ironically enough, one hundred and ten years from now, the Russians themselves will have perfected them into a handheld version much like your Stinger missiles.”

I fought a shiver. What kind of weapons were they that they could affect the avatar of Sentient so?

She was still talking. “They call them Solntsepyokm, Blazing Sun.”

She turned my head to fully face her. “Who are your strongest stomached Spartans?”

I turned to Reese, but I shook my head at soft-hearted Porkins who objected. “Trent goes; I go.”

Reese said, “Franklin can reload for me.”

I nodded. “Jace, you and Knight. Theo, you and Ant.”

Amos said, “I go with Theo.”

“What the hell is going on here? Where the blue blazes am I?”

I turned around. Oh, why the hell not? It was helmetless General George S. Patton.

Saturday, September 30, 2023



St. Marok's Orphanage taught Major Richard Blaine to curb his impulsive nature, but under great stress, he acts impulsively ... 

and usually ends up in trouble ... but never so dire as now.


“The moon stays bright when it doesn’t avoid the night.”

– Rabbi Lt. Amos Stein


I looked up into the hell-sky as if for inspiration and only saw Helen’s flaming angel form frozen in an arc of supple beauty and grace.

For some odd reason, the words of the forgotten poet, Robert Herrick came to me:

“Weigh me the fire; or canst thou find

A way to measure out the wind?”

Helen was racing to a suicidal charge against one hundred Nephilim … just when I had a glimmer of an idea how I might save her and the rest of my Spartan 300 … but me, not so much.

Now, she was flying away before I could tell her … or was she?

I glanced at Darael. I could see he was smirking though his features were misty … but not that misty.

What did the science for which he held such distain teach us? What could be done once could be done again.

I am an impulsive person when under stress. A thought hits me, and I act upon it. I can no more hold back any more than it is in a thoroughbred stallion to race slowly.

I should have held back.

Since he was in my mind, what I planned was plain to him … but too late … for both of us.

“No!” Darael cried.

I put all my mind’s focus upon Helen, her essence, her very soul, the faint apricot perfume that wafted after her whenever she passed. 

All the sensations that embraced me when I held her image close in the darkest of nights.

It went faster than I dreamed … which should have clued me in right away that the dream had become nightmare.

I was drowning in a roaring maelstrom of madness worse even than when I awakened in the energy vortex within Sentient’s craft.

There was no up, no down, nothing my mind could grasp as sane or earthly or reasonable.

The fiery cataclysm arabesqued in currents of sizzling jade and searing silver.

“NO!” screamed Helen from all around me, though I could see her nowhere in this swirl of searing energies.

“You cannot be here!”

I put a shrug in my words though I couldn’t see myself any more than I could see Helen.

“Well ….” I began.

“Yes,” she snapped, her words billowing in my mind. “Obviously, you can. But you should not!”


She ignored me as was her habit when truly annoyed with me.

“You should have been vaporized the moment you entered my essence. I am in touch with the Infinite!”

I heard the capitol letter to “Infinite” without understanding it.

I sensed her attention elsewhere, and she snapped, “Darael! I should have known you were behind this!”

“No, fledging seraph. This intrusion into another seraph’s mind is beyond even me. This rash Son of Adam dragged me along with his rash impulsiveness.”

A low Voice, so modulated in waves of utter power and calm, it tremored the very marrow of my bones, spoke in a strange, bemused tone.

It possessed an air of massive antiquity.

‘Believe the provocateur, Helen Mayfair. Darael has a poet’s high, almost satanic, pride in what he can and cannot do.’

“Elohim!” They both cried out in sheer fear mingled with cavernous deep awe.

I did not need them to identify the Speaker.

 I could not say that I knew Him. Only One had the right to say that, and the sons of Man had murdered Him.

‘How quaint. You, the black sheep of all my experiments, take off your shoes, as it were, in my Presence.’

“The prayers of Curtis and Richard, my smallest Spartans … they are keeping me in one piece here, aren’t they, sir?”

Praying He had a sense of humor with a corresponding sense of the absurd, I ended with …”Over.”

Helen gasped, “Richard, are you addled?”

The deep, mellow laughter went on for an ice age or two, then, finally,

‘Yes, he is … as what might be expected of an orphan who has survived his season of Gehenna at St. Marok’s.’

I felt icy fingers brush back the forelock of hair that I knew deep down had not accompanied me into the essence of the seraph whom I hopelessly loved.

‘Do not be too sure it is hopeless, Richard Blaine. I am the Deity of the Impossible. And you are correct: the moment you entered within all that is Helen Mayfair, the glow of the Spartan helmet pins went out.”

His chuckle was not cold, nor was it kind.

‘They wailed at the  sight as if their sides had been pierced with a spear … 

and though both were an ocean apart, at the same moment, they began praying for you to be resurrected, of all  things.’

This time his chuckle echoed puzzlement.

 ‘So, what was there for me to do, but honor such childlike trust and love? Thus, is your unthinking act of kindness to two who could in no way benefit you rewarded.’

A sigh enveloped me.

‘You will be Man’s only briefly, whispering of the road between realities and the path into the stars. Yet soon theirs no longer.’

I felt a slap on my rump.

‘Now, off with you! It is time for you to pull a miracle out of your own hat for a change.’

Abruptly, I was in the midst of my Spartan 300.

Taylor gasped, “The Major’s back! And he’s glowing!”

Beside me, Darael groaned, “Of course, he is.”

Porkins gulped, “And the angel is on fire!”

“Which one?” grumped Reese.

I sighed. Things were back to normal:



“For thin is the veil betwixt man and the godless deep.

The skies are haunted by that which it were madness to know.

 Strange abominations pass evermore between earth and moon and athwart the galaxies.

Unnameable things have come to this world in alien horror and will come again.

Beware: the evil of the stars is not as the evil of this world.”

- Darael


 I walked to my table at Meilori's and paused. 

The ghost of Emily Dickinson was already sitting there, frowning at my open laptop.

She looked up.  "Dearest Roland, I am somewhat overwrought.  Could you help me?"

To my right, Mark Twain vigorously shook his head at me and gruffed, 

"Missy, you are always overwrought.  Why I declare most of your verses have hernias from being wrought over in knots."

Emily rolled her eyes at him and sighed, pointing to my laptop "Your words tear at me.  You ask: "Does the world need another writer?"

"I know how wretched and galling it feels to have one's carefully crafted words misunderstood or ignored."

{Thomas Bailey Aldrich, in a review of Emily Dickinson’s poetry published anonymously in the Atlantic Monthly, January, 1892:

"But the incoherence and formlessness of her —

I don't know how to designate them — versicles are fatal….

An eccentric, dreamy, half-educated recluse in an out-of-the-way New England village (or anywhere else) cannot with impunity set at defiance the laws of gravitation and grammar."

Mark knew how deeply those words had wounded Emily.

He snorted, "Emily, dear, whose name is familiar to the world today: yours or that jaybird Aldrich's?"

Mark bent over her slender shoulder and read my words.  

"Dang it all, why should we bother ourselves asking if our books are needed?  Is beauty needed?  Is humor needed?  Is love needed?"

The ghost of Hemingway paused beside us as Marlene Dietrich waited impatiently for him to pay attention to her again.

He said roughly.  "I see your point, Clemens.  We need to eat, sleep, and breathe ... all else is extra."

"No," Emily murmured.  

"For living souls must soar above mere appetite.  It is our yearning for beauty, for humor, for love that raises us above the level of an animal."

Marlene's ghost sat beside the poet and patted her hand.  

"As odd as it may appear after my spit-fire life, I agree with you.  

Why, one of your verses meant much to me my whole life --

 Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all."

Hemingway bent and read my words, too. Dang it all, I wrote those words to myself, not to all of Meilori's.

 Hemingway glared at me, "Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.

Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing.

He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates.

For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.

You know that fiction is possibly the roughest trade of all in writing.

You do not have the reference, the old important reference.

You have the sheet of blank paper, the pencil, and the obligation to invent truer than things can be true.

You have to take what is not palpable and make it completely palpable 

and also have it seem normal so that it can become a part of experience of the person who reads it."

Marlene rose abruptly, "Enough, Papa, you owe me a tango."

And off they went into the shadows.

Emily sighed, 

"Publication is the auction of the mind of man, and I prefer my bare-foot rank best as it affords me the freedom to write as I wish."

She looked off into the shadows that had swallowed Hemingway and Marlene.

"Success is counted sweetest By those who ne'er succeed. To comprehend a nectar Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple host Who took the flag to-day Can tell the definition, So clear, of victory!

As he, defeated, dying, On whose forbidden ear

The distant strains of triumph Burst agonized and clear!"

Emily looked up at me.  "I wonder if your friends will continue to write should success elude them?  

Are the words burning within them, as they are with me, to find life on the written page?"

Emily squinted to make out the head of Marlene in the darkness as she finished the verse which meant so much to the actress:

"And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me."

Friday, September 29, 2023


 It's time for a bit of whimsy: 

I even put myself in it

{872 words}

"Let me fall,

Let me climb,

There is a moment when fear

And dream must collide."


I am the last of my race. I am Tuatha de Danann. And, no, human, that does not mean elf, or fae, or damned. I take that last back. 

I am damned.

"Someone I am

Is waiting for courage,

The one I want,

The one I will become,

Will catch me."

I have no memories of my youth. Youth. The word is a mockery to me.

Though I look a young woman, I have lived centuries which I do remember. I remember when the sphinx had a nose,

when the pyramids were caressed by shimmering limestone,

and when courage and honor were not hollow words.

Yes, that long ago do I remember.

"Let me fall,

If I fall,

Though the phoenix

May or may not rise."

Then how do I even know I am Tuatha de Danann? The knowledge sings to me from the depths of my spirit in the night.

Its melody mocks with teasing glimpses of a time long gone, yet unborn.

"I will dance so freely,

Holding on to no one;

You can hold me only

If you, too, will fall

Away from all your

Useless fears and chains."

How do I know I am Sidhe? It is the face which mocks me from the mirror.

High cheekbones which seem intent on bursting up and out of flesh which shimmers as if coated with stardust.

A living waterfall of honey-wheat hair, looking more like a lion's mane than any other earthly term I could use.

Large, slanted fae eyes, chilling even me with their lack of warmth or mercy.

"So let me fall,

If I must fall,

There is no reason

To miss this one chance

This perfect moment;

Just let me fall."

But enough about me. What do you think about me? On second thought, do not tell me.

What care I what humans think of me? But I lie. I do care. At least about what one human thinks of me.

Roland Yeomans. DreamSinger. 

He is Lakota myth come to life. 

He is the shaman who sings dreams to life. And he will tell me my beginnings or die.

"So let me fall,

If I must fall,

I won't heed your warnings;

I won't hear them."

My mind is churning with images humans could not comprehend as I sway up the steps of the Art Nouveau house,

that is just one of the doorways into Roland’s psyche.

Just its name alone is punishment to think, much less speak: Jugendstilhaus in der Ainmillerstrabe.

Once it had been the home of the infamous Countess Franziska zu Reventlow,

her erotic lifestyle and cosmic nonsense had inspired and broken the hearts of an entire generation in Munich.

Now it has to settle for being the most elite restaurant in the city.

No knocking on the door. 

This restaurant is much too elite for that. Only a rare electronic key will work … a key based on the silicon ingrams of Roland’s own brain.

I have mine in my longer than human fingers. Roland had sung this establishment into being along with most of Munich back when he used the pen name, The Brothers Grimm.

I slide the key through the black slot whose color matches my short-skirted version of a S.S. uniform.

True, I am some seventy years out of date. But what is seventy years to a Tuatha de Danann?

A mere hiccup in time.

I remember Wagner trying to teach me German ... among other things. I go cold inside. 

I remember too much, feel too little.

I enjoy the glares of the pompous patrons as I roll my hips to the back table reserved for DreamSinger alone.

The maitre d' nearly breaks his neck getting to me, but I am already seated, making sure my short skirt is hiked up suitably indecent to induce doomed desire.

He stands trembling over me as I take out my copy of The Spirit as Adversary of the Soul by old Ludwig Klages from my skirt pocket.

I am almost through with his nonsense. Seeing how close he can come to the truth, while stumbling right past it always makes me chuckle.

The maitre d' isn't close to chuckling. "Fraulein, you simply cannot wear that uniform in here!"

"Sure I can. What is the matter? Afraid those power brokers to our right will find out your grandfather wore this uniform for real?"

He spins around so fast he leaves an after-image. Roland clears his throat across the table from me.

“He cannot help his past.”

I study this strange man. His eyes. By the White Lady, his eyes. 

They look as if they have seen all the pain in the world … and have felt most of it.

“I’m tired of this dancing, DreamSinger. Who am I?”

Roland looks truly surprised. “I thought you knew. You are my muse, La Belle Dame sans Merci .”

"Is that my name or my nature?"


I sit back in my chair. I had been right, after all. 

I am damned.

To read more adventures of Fallen, buy THE LAST FAE in Kindle, Print, or Audible: