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Preview: Shauna Roberts' For Love Of Words

Shauna Roberts

Updated: 2018-03-06T00:55:14.900-05:00


New short story published


I took part in an anthology with some other people in OCC-RWA, my local Romance Writers of America chapter. We just published it as a Kindle ebook, and it will soon be out in trade paperback.

Secrets of Moonlight Cove contains six short romances by six authors, set in the small California beach town of Moonlight Cove, where everyone has a secret…
Here is our brand-new trailer, which went up last night:

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This is the first trailer I've ever made, and I'm pleased with how it turned out. My husband, David Malueg, lent his voice for the narration.

You can find the book at Amazon at

Ice Magic, Fire Magic is an award finalist


Ice Magic, Fire Magic, my 2015 fantasy novel, has finaled in the Holt Medallion Award contest in the Novel with Strong Romantic Elements.

The award luncheon will be Saturday. Unfortunately, I can't get to Virginia to attend, but I've got my fingers crossed that the final-round judges like it! 

Stuff in my yard: The Monarch butterfly


I set my alarm for 5:45 am so that I would not miss the emergence of the Monarch from its chrysalis.I missed it. It was already out and hanging from a stick. It was still dark outside, so I didn't even try to get a picture. I went back to bed but was too excited to sleep. So I showered and dressed, and by then it was light enough to photograph.First shot of butterfly. Note the empty chrysalis hanging from a stick at upper left.Butterfly is ready for life and tries to escape its box.Facts: Butterflies can be handled when young; I look awful in the mornings.The black dots on the lower wings close to the torso identifies it as a male.Butterfly rests on a finger.Butterfly's faceButterfly rests on butterfly bush (Buddleja sp.) in butterfly garden. Still restingEmpty chrysalisI planted milkweed (Asclepius sp.) in two of our xeriscaped bird and butterfly gardens. I have been checking them every other day or so but have not yet found any more caterpillars. I'll keep looking. We had a lot of fun with this caterpillar.[...]

Tomorrow our Monarch butterfly emerges


Our Monarch caterpillar turned into a chrysalis April 5, and today the chrysalis finally turned dark. If you look carefully, you can see the orange and black wings through the chrysalis, which is becoming transparent.

Stuff in my yard: My caterpillar transforms


In my last blog post (, I had a photo of a Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) caterpillar, fifth instar, on a milkweed plant in my yard. I brought it inside, put it in a lettuce container with some sticks, and fed it milkweed every day. Yesterday, it stopped eating and roamed its enclosure in apparent distress. About 8:30 pm when we checked it, it was hanging in a J shape, the sign that it is preparing to shed its last skin and reveal a chrysalis:Monarch caterpillar in J shape(Please excuse the poor picture you see if you blow it up. The light was bad, and I had forgotten we had a tiny, usually useless tripod. This was taken at about 1/20 s.)This morning, I checked the caterpillar several times, and at about 10 am, it was wiggling around. After the first shot, I set up the camera on the tripod. Over the next few minutes, the caterpillar's skin peeled off:Then it did what one book calls the "chrysalis dance" to get completely rid of its skin:beginning of chrysalis danceYou can see above that at first, the previous stripes were still visible. Two hours later, it looked like this:The chrysalis is fully formed but still has dead skin attached and light striping. Once the old skin drops off, I'll be able to discover whether it's female or male.Now to wait. According to my caterpillar book, it will turn into goo inside and slowly reconstitute itself as a butterfly. It should emerge from the chrysalis in one to two weeks. I'll photograph its emergence for you if I'm lucky enough to see it.Meanwhile, I'll continue to check my milkweed plant for eggs and more caterpillars. [...]

Stuff in my yard


In creating my first waterwise garden, I included a milkweed plant. Yes, one single milkweed plant in a garden full of plants that attract butterflies.

Then I learned how much milkweed Monarch caterpillars eat.

I planted another milkweed in the first garden and eight in the second garden.

In the fall, Monarchs were hanging out by the plants, and I think they laid some eggs, but the plants also had lots of aphids. No caterpillars, though.

Today I went out and checked all the milkweed plants again and found a caterpillar! I put it—with the milkweed stem it was on, another milkweed stem, and several sticks of various diameters—into a large plastic spinach box in which I had poked a lot of holes.

The caterpillar has climbed onto the thickest, tallest stick and is sitting there. I hope we'll wake up to a beautiful chrysalis soon and then in a few days a butterfly.

I'll keep you updated.

See me live on Blab Wednesday night!


Brittlebush, a local desert plant now blooming
Wednesday night, March 23, I'll be on the interview show "Elena and Kitty Blabbing about Books" from 7 pm to 8 pm Pacific time.

You can watch me live (or watch the taped video anytime afterward) at

You may have to sign up with Blab first to view the interview, but I've done that myself recently, and it was easy.

Elena and Kitty tell me they'll be asking about my background, what I'm reading, and, of course, my writing and books. If you watch live, you can make comments and ask questions in the right column labeled "Live Chat." 

Hope to see you Wednesday night!

Appearances and other news


The Measure of a Man

My horror novelette "The Measure of a Man" is getting a new cover soon. It will continue to be available at

In addition, the audiobook should be out within a month, read by Justin James in his gorgeous voice.

Online interview

Michelle Knowlden interviewed me about writing in general and the genesis of Ice Magic, Fire Magic on her blog yesterday here.

Book signing

If you're in Southern California, I'll be selling and signing Claimed by the Enemy and Ice Magic, Fire Magic at The Lab anti-mall (whatever that is) in Costa Mesa on Saturday, March 26. The Orange County Writers Book Fair will last from 11 am to 4 pm and feature two dozen authors. Find out more about the fair at

I get Blabbed

On March 30 at 7 pm Pacific time, I'll be interviewed as part of a Blab. I don't quite know what a Blab is yet, but I do know you'll be able to watch it live on your computer or later from the archives. I'll put up more info later.

Romance Writers of America

If you're coming to San Diego in July for the Romance Writers of America's annual meeting, keep an eye out for me! I'll be there and hope to see many friends. For more information and to sign up, go to

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans


Government publications are not subject to copyright, so I am happy (and within the law!) to share the newest government guidelines for staying healthy. I hope you find them useful in your life.To read the article at its original site and have access to all the links there to more information, go here.Also, there's still a day left to enter my Goodreads contest to win a free copy of my new fantasy novel, Ice Magic, Fire Magic. Click on "Enter giveaway" in the Goodreads box at top right.✥✥✥✥✥Top 10 Things You Need to Know About the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for AmericansPosted on January 7, 2016 by ODPHPFacebookTwitterLinkedInThe Dietary Guidelines provides a clear path to help Americans eat healthfully, informed by a critical, and transparent review of the scientific evidence on nutrition.A lifetime of healthy eating helps to prevent chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes.Healthy eating is one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce the onset of disease. The Dietary Guidelines recommendations can help you make informed choices about eating for you and your family.The path to improving health through nutrition is to follow a healthy eating pattern that’s right for you. Eating patterns are the combination of foods and drinks you eat over time. A healthy eating pattern is adaptable to a person’s taste preferences, traditions, culture and budget.A healthy eating pattern includes:A variety of vegetables: dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy and other vegetablesFruits, especially whole fruitGrains, at least half of which are whole grainFat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beveragesA variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, and nuts and seedsOils, including those from plants: canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, and sunflower. Oils also are naturally present in nuts, seeds, seafood, olives, and avocados.Healthy eating patterns limit added sugars. Less than 10% of your daily calories should come from added sugars. provides more information about added sugars, which are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. This does not include naturally occurring sugars such as those consumed as part of milk and fruits. MyPlate has replaced earlier representations of good diets such as the Food Pyramid and the Four Food Groups.Healthy eating patterns limit saturated and trans fats. Less than 10% of your daily calories should come from saturated fats. Foods that are high in saturated fat include butter, whole milk, meats that are not labeled as lean, and tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil. Saturated fats should be replaced with unsaturated fats, such as canola or olive oilHealthy eating patterns limit sodium. Adults and children ages 14 years and over should limit sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day, and children younger than 14 years should consume even less. Use the Nutrition Facts label to check for sodium, especially in processed foods like pizza, pasta dishes, sauces, and soups.Most Americans can benefit from making small shifts in their daily eating habits to improve their health over the long run. Small shifts in food choices—over the course of a week, a day, or even a meal—can make a difference in working toward a healthy eating pattern that works for you.Remember physical activity! Regular physical activity is one of the most important things individuals can do to improve their health. According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical acti[...]

giveaway and other news


Goodreads giveaway 

Ice Magic, Fire Magic is currently a Goodreads giveaway book. To enter for a chance to win one of six copies, click on the widget at the top of the right column or go to

Sorry, but this time the contest is only open to those in the United States.


Cover redesign

I'm redesigning the cover of The Measure of the Man. The first draft at right gives you an idea of the direction I'm going.

The antique drawing of a 16th-century Portuguese carrack lets readers know the time period, and the blood-dripping title font, the dark edges, and the fire suggest violence.

The cover redesign was spurred by the upcoming release of the audiobook for The Measure of a Man. I'll announce it when it's available.

(image) I hope the new cover will better catch the eye of people who like dark fantasy and horror.

Several people have told me that the current cover at left, which shows Flores Island (where the story takes place) and only hints at the plot with a few drops of blood and the black carrack, did not look dark enough. Cover design is tough. I liked the contrast between the beautiful island and the blood dripping from the title, but apparently it was too subtle.

Strangest review of Ice Magic, Fire Magic ever


I stumbled across this bizarre review (? or possibly a description?) of my fantasy novel Ice Magic, Fire Magic at the site and wanted to share it with you:

One of a typical items have been todays adorn the day – your day . Ice Magic, Fire Magic (English Edition) is one ware the store’s is limited . The process of market place requirement that much, it can make Ice Magic, Fire Magic (English Edition) will cursorily sold out. Ice Magic, Fire Magic (English Edition) is made with the particulars for your appliance in use. A item that has a high taste perception , so you will be confident in using it. Ice Magic, Fire Magic (English Edition) I extremely highly recommend, and some members also strongly recommend .
For sale now at affordable price, promo discounts and super shipping. I’m very pleased with their qualities and highly recommend it to anyone hunting for a quality item with the latest features at an low. You can read testimony from buyers to find out more from their experience. Ice Magic, Fire Magic (English Edition) has worked beneficial for me and I hope it would do wonders on you too. So why spend any more time? Have Fun, you know where you can shop the best ones.
Some of the customer reviews speak that the Ice Magic, Fire Magic (English Edition) are splendid luggage. Also, It Is a pretty well product for the price. Its great for colony on a tight budget. Weve found pros and cons on this type of product. But overall, Its a supreme product and we are well recommend it! When you however want to know more details on this product, so read the reports of those who have already used it. 

Moon gods of ancient Mesopotamia


I'm taking part in another blog hop. This one starts today and lasts one week. It promotes Mocha Memoirs Press' new holiday releases as well as some of its backlist. There's a list of participating blogs below as well as a Rafflecopter whose prizes include ebooks, gift cards, and swag.But first, my own blog-hop post on the most important holiday in ancient Mesopotamia . . . one that celebrated barley and continues to be celebrated by millions of people to this day.✥✥✥✥✥The Akītu festival of Mesopotamia Barley, Hordeum vulgare vulgare [public domain]Behold a founder of civilization: Barley! Barley, a wild grass, was harvested in the Fertile Crescent to make beer perhaps 11,000 years ago. People then discovered how to make bread. Over time, people began planting barley in fields to have a more reliable source. Once they had control over the growth of barley, they selected for several traits that made the barley plant produce more barley. Eventually, most people of the Fertile Crescent settled down in villages near their barley fields.In Mesopotamia, barley beer and barley bread were daily staples. The earliest written records that mention the barley (akītu) festival date to the mid-2000s B.C.E. The festival celebrated the sowing of summer crops and the harvest of winter crops. However, only a small percentage of the documents created before then survive and have been translated. The akītu festival could have been millennia old by then. The barley festival outshone all the other festivals and marked the New Year. The festival was celebrated around the spring equinox and was called akītu (in Sumerian and Akkadian) or reš šattim (in late Akkadian dialects). Some Sumerian cities, such as Ur and Uruk, celebrated akītu at both the spring equinox and the fall equinox. Over time, the festival evolved, taking on additional meanings and adding new rituals. By the time of the Babylonians and the Assyrians, the spring and fall akītus, respectively, had become a complex and lavish 12-day extravaganza. Among many, many other events, the akītu now included feasts; dances; singing (both solemn hymns and bawdy songs); performances that included recitation of a creation epic and re-enactments of myths; religious rites; sacrifices; the humbling and penitence of the naked king followed by his crowning or re-crowning; and a procession in which the statue of the main god [Tammuz (or later Marduk) for the Babylonians and Ashur for the Assyrians] left his temple to face danger each year and conquer it, returning in a triumphant parade. Meanwhile, statues of lesser gods processed in new clothes to the temple of the main god to honor him.An aurochs, one of many beautiful reliefs in glazed brick that once made the Ishtar Gate (constructed about 575 B.C.E.) in Babylon one of the Seven Wonders of the World. During akītu, statues of deities were paraded through this gate and down a long avenue decorated with glazed bricks to the  temple of Marduk.  [Credit: Josep Renalias, used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license]The Persian king Cyrus the Great conquered Babylonia in 539 B.C.E. This conquest was not the end of the akītu festival, but rather the beginning of its expansion around the world.The Persians either adopted akītu from the Babylonians or enhanced their own existing spring festival with elements of akītu, such as the ritual "sacred marriage" between the king and a goddess (represented by either a priestess or a statue of the goddess). This Persian New Year festival later also integrated aspects of Zoroastrianism. It still ex[...]

Something different


Saturday, I was Puss in Boots, complete with sword and fuzzy tail:

An interview and a signing


Wendy Van Camp interviewed me at her blog "No Wasted Ink" today. If you have a moment, please check it out at She asked some interesting questions no one has ever asked me before.

If you're in southern California, don't forget that many local authors (including myself) as well as bestselling author Lauren Dane are signing Saturday, August 10, in Brea. 

The event is free, and there will be some door prizes. More info at

My signing on October 3 went well. Here are the authors at the beginning of the day, before we exhausted ourselves!

From left: Wendy Van Camp, DeAnna Cameron, Shauna Roberts, Greta Boris, Corey Holst, Rebecca Lang. Missing: Michelle Knowldon, PJ Colando

Don't forget that Goodreads is running a giveaway for Ice Magic, Fire Magic. Enter at right or go here.  

Ice Magic, Fire Magic appearances in October


Saturday, October 3

I'll be signing Ice Magic, Fire Magic and Claimed by the Enemy at the El Dorado High School Holiday Boutique on Saturday, October 3. I'll be at the Books on the Vine booth from noon to 1 pm. I'll be stopping by the booth off and on during the Holiday Boutique, which runs from 9 am to 3 pm.

El Dorado High School is at 651 Valencia Avenue, Placentia, California, in Orange County.

Saturday, October 10


I'll be signing Ice Magic, Fire Magic (and possibly Claimed by the Enemy) at the Orange County Book Lovers Event at the Embassy Suites Brea from 3:30 to 5 pm. This is a multiauthor signing featuring bestselling author Lauren Dane and about two dozen local authors.

The Embassy Suites Brea is at 900 East Birch Street, Brea, California, in Orange County.

Tuesday, October 13

I'll be reading an excerpt from Ice Magic, Fire Magic and autographing at the Lady Jane Salon OC along with Debra Mullins, Lisa Gail Green, and Pamela DuMond. The salon runs 7 to 9 pm.

The salon meets at the Gypsy Den Café at 211 West Center Street Promenade, Anaheim, California, in Orange County.

Goodreads giveaway, October 1–17

Or if you're feeling lucky, a Goodreads giveaway of Ice Magic, Fire Magic (for people in the United States and Canada only) will run from October 1 to October 17. The Goodreads box at right will become active October 1 and take you directly to the contest.

Stuff in my yard: waterwise garden #1


plate flower with sun and moonCalifornia is having a severe drought. As a result, county water providers have been providing funds off and on to reimburse people who rip out their lawns and either put in plastic grass (eek!) or xeriscape the space and use drip extravagance: a ceramic benchWe were out of town last year when the weather was cool enough to put in gardens. But I started thinking about what we could do on our property, which is slightly over 1 acre and was at the time about half lawn and half desert.This year, I started planning three gardens in earnest—a small Mexican-themed garden with very drought resistant native plants that would attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and birds; a large garden with paths, a bench, and drought-resistant plants that would attract wildlife and were either red or had red flowers; and a garden to occupy a 100-foot by 15-foot strip along the street that we can't see from the house.succulents and ceramic squirrelThe more I studied the rules and requirements of the reimbursement program, the more Byzantine it seemed. When the program ran out of money, I actually felt relieved. It was still worthwhile to plant the gardens because they would reduce our water bill. Excited from planning and not willing to wait for fall, I plunged into killing the grass in the Mexican garden. (And some people say that studying archaeology is impractical!)I finished the Mexican garden and most of the red garden before the heat started hitting the upper 90°s every day. The pictures above are some of the decorative elements. Below are more pictures. I'll post pix of the red garden when it's done.If you are interested in making your own waterwise garden, feel free to contact me with questions. You can see my idea files for the three gardens at Pinterest: garden 1: Mexican; garden 2: red; and garden 3: curbside.Bird bath I built from a hanging planter, the base of a birdbath whose top broke, an old saucer, a plant stake, two legs from a plastic bookcase, and some smooth rocks for short birds to stand on. The birdbath is anchored firmly in the ground, and although the top can be lifted off, I think I've made the whole thing Santa Ana wind–proof. Sadly, in two months, I have not seen a single bird try it out.Another plate flower. It contains five plates and bowls and a silvery center thing. I love plate flowers, and if they weren't so expensive, I would have put in many more. I probably should go to junk stores and get old plates so I can make my own.Thankfully, the birds do enjoy the fancy pole system for hanging feeders. This is right outside my office window so I can watch birds all day.I don't know what the purpose of these ceramic balls is, but until the decorative grasses grow bigger, they do a good job of filling in the spaces between them attractively.Each plant was tiny when it was put in, but after two months some are bushing out, and the milkweed is covered with eggs that I hope were laid by Monarch butterflies and not some creature that will eat all my plants.[...]

Ice Magic, Fire Magic paperback. Another award. Signings. Newsletter.


Paperback of Ice Magic, Fire Magic finally available

The trade paperback of Ice Magic, Fire Magic has reached online stores at last. Find it at Amazon at and at Barnes and Noble at

Another prize for Claimed by the Enemy

Claimed by the Enemy has won another award! It was the winner the "Ancient/Medieval/Renaissance" category in the 2015 Romancing the Novel contest, which was sponsored by the Hearts Through History Romance Writers.


I'll be signing Ice Magic, Fire Magic in October at three places. If you're in southern California and are interested in having your copy signed (copies will be for sale as well), check out the "News" tab at right.


The first issue of my newsletter went out last week. The prize this time was a $20 gift certificate to the winner's favorite online or brick-and-mortar bookstore.

It's not too late to sign up for the free newsletter and be eligible to win the gift certificate. Sign up here. If at anytime you decide you don't want to receive the newsletter anymore, there's a link at the bottom to click to unsubscribe.

Over the mountains and through the desert


Last weekend, I went to the second year of a new sf/f convention, Fandom Verse Expo 2015 in Antelope Valley.

Because the trip was long (2 hours each way) and I had a full day of panels and a booksigning, and because he was curious what the scenery would be like, my husband drove me. 

I took some pictures on highway 138, between I-15 and the con. Here are some of the better ones so that you can see a different type of desert landscape than I've posted before. Notice how the amount and type of vegetation changes over the stretch of highway, as well as the shape and smoothness or roughness of the mountains.

Ten years after


We left.We did our part for the neighborhood—we rebuilt, and we rebuilt quickly; I worked on a committee that applied for a revitalization grant for our shopping area; we exchanged contractors' names with everyone we knew and met—but we left New Orleans.Dad indulges my attempt to save the fridge, but Drosophila and mold thwarted me.Abandoned her, most New Orleaneans would say. A few friends and co-workers are still angry that we left.I don't defend our choice. It was the worst decision of my life and of my husband's life. Almost everything I've written since has a theme of loss, recovery, and resiliance. Feelings of estrangement and yearning permeate our lives, a homesickness for which the cure—moving back home—seems far away. Ten years after the flood that changed millions of people, writers and others are telling their stories. Articles on the Web This article explores why so many black people could not come back home to NOLA: from Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra members: Geographic profiles people of "grit and determination": Cotton opens a grocery store in the Lower Ninth: Eric Elie explains in rap style why people returned to New Orleans to live: hundred resiliant cities around the world and the challenges each faces: Michael White is determined that NOLA's musical heritage won't die: the federal levee flood to blame for all the dystopian sf/f of the past ten years?: for more news stories here, courtesy of the Times-Picayune: Dr. Bennett deBoisblancI used the Times-Picayune link to search for my pulmonologist, Bennett "Dr. Ben" deBoisblanc, and was disappointed to find no recent stories. He was one of the heroes of the storm, keeping flooded Charity Hospital running and people alive for several days until helicopters came to rescue the patients barely surviving without A/C or electricity. His efforts need to be remembered, so here are some old stories about his heroism and his own commentary on the medical crises during the flood:,8599,1218776,00.html's two essays in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine:"Black Hawk, Please Come Down":"A Letter From New Orleans Five Years Later" Sampling of Summer 2015 Books  Our ruined belongings piled at the curb, some unidentifiable.Warning: I haven't read any of these (although I did order some), so I don't know their quality.Wendell Pierce (yes, the actor), The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, A Play, and the City That Would Not Be BrokenRoberta Brandes Grantz, We're Still Here Ya Bastards: How the Pe[...]

Booksigning today


One last reminder—I'll be signing Ice Magic, Fire Magic at Mysterious Galaxy Books in San Diego today from 12 to 3 pm. The tentative list of local authors signing today is Better Hero Army, Ethan Howard, Joshua Rutherford, Abigal Borders, Shauna Roberts, Vic Warren, Marie Andreas, Ona Russell, Paula Margulies, Kristen Elise, Cynthia Diamond, Jan St. Louis, Selena Jones, Rachel Marks, Lynne Kennedy, and Teri MacIntosh. Most or all publish with small publishers and/or are indie authors.the new face of Mysterious Galaxy BooksMysterious Galaxy is at a new, larger location: 5943 Balboa AvenueSuite 100San Diego, CA 92111and it specializes in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery. (Yum!) It's a little tricky to find the first time, so drive around the shopping center and look for the storefront at right. It faces the back row of stores. Occasionally, another kind of book sneaks in to the store. Last time I was there, I bought a historical novel . . . although it was a rather strange novel that I think I need to read again. (John the Pupil by David Flusfeder, if anyone's curious.) Anyway, the store is worth driving an hour or two to check out if you like sf/f/h or mystery.  Today's an especially good day to go because there'll be refreshments at the author event.More info on the signing at  [...]

Booksignings start this Saturday


Although my fantasy novel Ice Magic, Fire Magic is not yet officially out in paperback yet, I'll be signing copies Saturday at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego from 12 to 3 pm. There will be a dozen other local indie and small-press authors also signing. So if you like sf, fantasy, or mystery, Mysterious Galaxy is the place to be on Saturday afternoon.I love this cover by Tom Vandenberg!Here's a list of the authors and their books: I'm hoping to get there early to check out the books because some look quite interesting.If you don't know where Mysterious Galaxy is, you should. It's the best place to find science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery in southern California. They have booksignings often, so it's worth a trip.How far a trip? It's at 5943 Balboa Avenue, Suite #100, San Diego, CA 92111. Find a map and directions at you can't make it, don't worry. The Kindle ebook of Ice Magic, Fire Magic is already available at You can order the other books from the signing directly from Mysterious Galaxy at, I have several other signings coming up. I'll keep the list on my "News" page as up to date as I can; here is what is there now:Lancaster, CaliforniaFandomVerse Expo 2015Labor Day weekend 2015I'll be signing Ice Magic, Fire Magic. Stay tuned for date and time.Placentia, Orange County, CaliforniaEl Dorado High School Holiday Boutique651 Valencia Avenue, PlacentiaSaturday, October 3, 2015I'll be signing Ice Magic, Fire Magic and Claimed by the Enemy at the Books on the Vine booth from noon to 1 pm. My novels will be available from 9 am to 3 pm, and I'll be stopping by the booth off and on during that time. There will be dozens of other vendors there selling holiday presents. Saratoga Springs, New YorkWorld Fantasy Convention 2015November 5–8, 2015I'll be signing Ice Magic, Fire Magic. Stay tuned for date and time.New OrleansNovember 2015 I'll be signing Ice Magic, Fire Magic. Stay tuned for location, date, and time.   Los AngelesLOSconThanksgiving weekend 2015 I expect to be signing Ice Magic, Fire Magic. Stay tuned for date and time.   [...]

Interview with author Vanessa MacLellan


Vanessa MacLellan's’s first novel, the time-travel fantasy Three Great Lies (Hadley Rille Books), officially comes out August 6 but it is already available.   Three Great Lies is the story of a half-human, half-elf woman and her struggle to find her place while, unbeknown to her, an ancient evil has awakened and plans to use her to destroy the world. ✥✥✥✥✥✥Welcome, Vanessa, and congratulations on the publication of your first novel! Please tell us a little about yourself.I'm a tattooed, vegetarian, outdoorsy woman with one head in the clouds and the other firmly settled in my hiking boots. I'm an environmental engineer by day and author, runner, reader, gamer, and naturalist by night (and weekends).When did you start writing, and why?When I was a wee lass I'd make up stories to tell my mother while she was gardening. I think it started there. My favorite subject was Baggy Piggy, who had a curly Q tail that never ended (I knew this, because I drew him incessantly with pink crayons). I remember, before I could even write, 'writing' (aka doodling) on paper and then reading these works to my great grandmother. Storytelling is in my blood. I guess that's enough of a reason why.Though the fact that I enjoy it doesn't hurt. I have little people in my head (Doesn't every author?) who want me to explore their worlds, flesh out their personalities and goals, and give them something to do. I can't take all the credit; it's partially their fault.What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write? I write speculative fiction. Mainly fantasy, though I mix horror and magical realism in there. I write fantasy because fantasy is what first got me excited about reading. I remember my older sister, Audrey, handing me the first of the Piers Anthony "Xanth" novels, and I was astounded at these magical places, characters with magical talents, all of the magical beasts. Magic. Magic. Magic. I wanted that. To live there. Be special. Be something more than just human.I read as much fantasy after that as I could. Tolkien, Eddings, Pratchet, Weiss and Hickman, Duncan. You know the era and the authors. Their books are what fueled me as a young reader. I hope to fuel other readers too.Another reason I write is that joy comes from creation and imagination. Of speculating: What if? and expanding from that. I am the master of my own universe; what is not to like?What is your latest book? Any forthcoming books?My debut novel, Three Great Lies, releases August 6th. It's fantasy, with historical and literary trappings. It carries a bit of a “Finding My Place in Life” theme.Jeannette Walker, a modern scientist, ends up in ancient, mythological Egypt. Though she constantly casts doubt on the existence of such a world, she has to learn to live in it. While trying to save her mummy friend's soul from a wicked tomb-robbing ring, she realizes a few important things about life. What those are, well, you'll have to read the book!I have one complete manuscript for a dark fantasy I'm currently shopping out and am working on a modern superhero series. There's always something I'm working on.  Tell us a little about the world of Three Great Lies.Ancient, mythological Egypt. It never rains. People's lives aren't equal. Prayers constantly dance upon lips. Beer is a meal. Sand is a major filler in the bread. Children of gods walk the street with the heads of animals and prophecy on their lips.To Jeannette it's, of course, a total shock. There are peopl[...]