Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


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Early Black Friday Sale – Get My Book, Chronicles of Riss, For Only 99 Cents!

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Join the young mercenary sorceress Marissa “Riss” Cobalt as she recounts some of her early escapades, such as confronting evil sorcerers, searching for treasure, dueling metal golems, finding a stolen show dog, and more.

 

 

 

I’m kicking off the holiday shopping season with my own “Black Friday” sale!

Don’t miss this chance to get my e-book Fantasy short story collection, Chronicles of Riss (the prequel to the novel Kismet and Tell) on Amazon for the low, low price of only 99 cents!! That $2 off the SRP! What a bargain! 😀

Escape the hectic chaos of the Thanksgiving holiday with some fun, fantasy, magic, and mayhem, or get the book as a present for someone you know who’d like it.

Chronicles of Riss will be on sale all week, so you have plenty of time. I will keep it at the $0.99 sale price through Cyber Monday (11/28/2016).

Get Chronicles of Riss on Amazon here.

Get Kismet and Tell on Amazon  here (it’s also available in paperback).


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Live It Myself – One-liner Wednesday #1linerWeds

 

“If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself.” – Percy Jackson, The Lightning Thief

 

 

This post is part of One-liner Wednesday:
One-Liner Wednesday – Umm… Run?

(quote image is from my Pinterest)

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The Ghost In The Pub – An Excerpt From A Goddess Awakens #Halloween

For your Halloween reading pleasure, an excerpt from my current work in progress, in which one of the characters, Loren, has an experience with a ghost.

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Althea and Loren stood just inside the door and looked about them at the spacious room. To their left was the pub’s bar, a long oaken counter. On the wall behind the bar was a long shelf with bottles of liquor, glasses of various sizes, and mugs. At the end of the shelf there was a door that Loren figured must lead to the kitchen area. A dozen bar stools stood before the bar. On the wall to their right was a large fireplace full of ashes. Tables and chairs filled most of the space of the room. Empty lanterns were hung along the walls. Across the room from Althea and Loren was a staircase leading, Althea thought, to the sleeping quarters on the second floor. Thick wooden shutters covered two large windows, one on either side of the door. Cobwebs and a thick film of dust covered everything.

Anju wandered off into the room with his nose to the ground, following a spider that had caught his attention and stirring up puffs of dust with every sniff and sneeze.

“What a mess!” Loren complained. “It’ll take forever to clean this place and get it ready for business.”

“Maybe,” said Althea as she ran a finger through the dust on the top of a nearby table, “but it’ll be a nice change of pace, don’t you think? Relaxing, taking our time, cleaning and repairing the place…”A wistful smile crossed her lips. “I haven’t done any real domestic chores since my time at the orphanage. I’m looking forward to this.”

“Orphanage?” Loren asked in surprise, taking his eyes from a large cobweb in a corner that he had been watching – where there was a rather large spider wrapping a moth up in webbing – and focusing his gaze on his partner. “You never told me you had been in an orphanage, Althea.”

“I didn’t? I thought I had. Well, I was. My parents died when I was ten years of age, and since I had no other living relatives to take me, I got thrown into an orphanage. I didn’t stay there long, though – only a couple of years or so. The caretakers were nice enough, but I was never able to make friends with any of the kids. I’m really not sure why. But when I think on it now, it’s almost like they were afraid of me for some reason. What reason, I have no idea. I was a nice little girl and did nothing to cause any fear. Anyway, the loneliness became unbearable and one day – my thirteenth birthday, to be exact – I managed to run away from the orphanage. I haven’t had a home since.”

Her frankness at answering surprised Loren. She must be in a really good mood, he thought. She’s usually not this open about her past. Taking advantage of it, he asked another question. “So how did you end up hunting monsters? I’m pretty sure you didn’t learn that at the orphanage.”

“You’re right. I didn’t. Not long after I ran away from the orphanage, I met a wandering hunter. He was a kind, older man who was nice enough to take me on as his apprentice and teach me everything he knew. But it wasn’t long before I was alone again. After a couple of years of apprenticing with him, he was killed on the job one day while fighting orcs. I continued hunting, to keep my master’s memory alive.”

Althea’s green eyes shimmered with unshed tears in the afternoon sunlight streaming in through the open door. After a moment, a tear finally trickled down her cheek. Loren instinctively reached out to wipe the tear away. “I’m sorry, Althea,” he said softly. “I didn’t mean to drag up painful memories. I…” He trailed off as a chair scraped across the floor behind him, and he jumped and turned around. “What was that?” he asked with a trace of fear in his voice.

“Anju probably bumped a chair while nosing around,” Althea answered as she wiped her eyes. “Come on. Let’s check out the rest of the place and see what supplies we have.”

Althea headed for the door behind the bar. Loren followed her after a moment. “Are you sure it was Anju?” he asked as he stepped through the door after his partner.

“Who do you think it was? The ghost?” she teased.

Loren scowled and did not bother to dignify her taunt with a response.

They did not see the mug that left the shelf, floated through the air, and settled down atop the bar – seemingly by itself.

Althea and Loren were not the least bit surprised to find that dust and cobwebs covered everything in the kitchen area as well. It was a modest-sized room that they were in, with a good-sized table directly in the middle. A couple of stools stood by the table. Lining the wall were cupboards that upon inspection were found to be empty of food, and only a couple contained plates, bowls, and dining utensils. In one corner of the room sat a cast-iron stove with a pile of logs of firewood. Knives and other cooking utensils hung from an iron rack dangling from the ceiling over the table, along with various sizes of pots and pans. There were two other doors besides the one they had come through – one directly opposite the door back to the pub and one on the wall to the right of it. Checking out the doors, they found that the former led outside and the latter led to a large but barren pantry.

“That has to be the most depressing thing I’ve ever seen,” Loren remarked as he followed Althea from the kitchen back to the pub proper.

“What? All the dust and cobwebs?”

“No. I was referring to the total lack of food. I’ve never seen a kitchen so completely devoid of foodstuffs before. It’s unnatural.”

Althea paused and turned to look at the elf. “You’re hungry again, aren’t you? I bet you were hoping to find a little something to snack on, weren’t you?”

Loren gave her a wry smile. “You know me too well, Althea.”

“Just be glad you didn’t find anything. Any food in there would have been ten years old and definitely not good enough to eat.”

“You’re right. I…” He trailed off as his eyes caught sight of something behind his partner. His eyebrows rose in surprise. “Althea, was that there before?” he asked tentatively.

“Huh? Was what where, Loren?”

He pointed over her shoulder. “That mug sitting on top of the bar.”

Althea turned to look. “Oh, that? I… I don’t know, Loren. It may have been. I wasn’t paying all that much attention to minor details earlier when we looked around.”

“Well, I was, and I didn’t see it there.”

“Are you sure?”

Loren nodded. “It wasn’t there before we went into the kitchen.”

“Well, then, if you were that certain, why did you ask me?”

“I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t mistaken.”

“Oh. Well, then, I’m sorry I couldn’t confirm your suspicion. So, Loren, if you’re so sure it wasn’t there before, how did it get there?”

“Well, obviously, the ghost put it there.”

Althea rolled her eyes. “The ghost. Uh-huh. Right. Couldn’t it be just as likely, Loren, that someone saw us come in here, and decided to play a little prank on us while our backs were turned? We did leave the door wide open, after all.”

“I suppose,” he conceded after a moment’s consideration.

“Good. Then let’s lock up and head upstairs to check out the bedrooms and get some rest.”

Loren looked at her as if she were crazy.

“What?” Althea retorted for the look. “You said you were looking forward to sleeping in a nice warm bed for a change.”

“Yes, but I didn’t mean in a haunted house.”

“You got any other ideas? We don’t have the money to stay at an inn, you know.”

Loren sighed. “I know.”

“Okay. Then let’s go.”

Althea gathered their leather bags together and started for the stairs, but Loren did not move from his spot. “Althea…” he began.

She stopped at the foot of the stairs and turned to face to the elf. “Now what?” she snapped. His childish behavior regarding the ghost was beginning to get on her nerves.

“I’m still hungry.”

She tossed a leather bag at him, and he deftly caught it. “Here,” she said flatly. “We still have some rations left. Munch on them. We’ll get some real food tomorrow.”

“How? We’re broke.”

“We’ll pawn your other silver dagger, of course. Now come on. Lock up and let’s head upstairs.”

Scowling, Loren watched her start up the stairs with their other bag. Then he headed towards the front door to lock up. Once the door was locked, he headed back towards the stairs. He had not gone more than a couple of steps in the dark when he felt the room grow chilly and saw movement out of the corner of his left eye. Turning for a better look, he saw the mug on the bar lift into the air, float over to the liquor shelf, and settle down – by itself. Loren just stood there, stupefied. Then, before his very eyes, a man materialized behind the bar. He was in his late forties, had short dark hair, and wore a simple white shirt, brown pants, and an apron stained by various foods and beverages. And Loren could see the wall and liquor bar through him. The man smiled and waved hello to Loren, then vanished.

Loren just stood there a moment, stunned. “A…A…Althea!” he finally managed to stammer out, and ran up the stairs.

Upstairs, Althea had lit a small lantern and had already opened three of the four doors along the short hallway. There were two doors on each side of the hall. She was just about to open the fourth door when Loren called her name and ran up the stairs. “Oh, now what?” she muttered and turned to face the stairs. A moment later Loren reached the landing and stood facing Althea. His slanted chocolate-brown eyes were wide and he was breathing heavily.

“What’s wrong now, Loren?” Althea asked snidely.

“I…I…I saw the ghost, Althea,” he gasped out. “He…He smiled and waved at me.” Then the elf fainted dead away, falling forward, luckily, and landing on his face.

Althea rolled her eyes again. “Oh, for crying out loud,” she muttered. “Anju!” she called, and the white wolf stepped out of the first room on the right of the stairs. “Take your silly master into his room and make sure he gets some rest. He’s hallucinating now.”

Anju took hold of the collar of Loren’s shirt and cloak with his teeth and gently dragged the unconscious elf into the room. Then Althea shut the door, picked up the bag Loren had dropped when he fell, and returned to the door that she’d been about to open – next door to Loren’s room – when she was interrupted. She opened the door and stepped into the room.

Althea’s room looked just like Loren’s room and the room opposite it. They were moderate-sized bedrooms containing a small bed along the left wall, a desk under the room’s single window across from the door, and a bureau and mirror along the right wall. Even here cobwebs and dust covered everything. The fourth room, across the hall from Althea’s room, was the lavatory.

Althea took one look at the bed and smiled. She took off her sword and tossed it and the bags into a corner, shut the door behind her, ran over to the bed, and threw herself onto it. Lying on her back, she heaved a long sigh. This feels so good, she thought, then drifted off to sleep.

* * *


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Most Likely – One-liner Wednesday #1linerWeds

 

“It is most likely that I will die next to a pile of books I was meaning to read.” – Lemony Snicket

 

(And most likely, so will I.)

 

(quote image found on Pinterest)

This post is part of One-liner Wednesday:

One-Liner Wednesday – Wait, the fridge doesn’t have spell-check?!

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A Goddess Awakens Ch. 9 Excerpt

I’ve decided to share part of a chapter of my current work in progress, the fantasy novel A Goddess Awakens (working title). [I’ve not had a chance to work on it much lately, with Fiverr orders taking up most of my writing time, but I hope to get back to it soon.]

Chapter 9

In the middle of a wide forest clearing, a large marble building gleamed in the late afternoon light. The single-story structure stood rectangular in shape and had a gold-plated dome in the center of the roof which sunlight glinted brightly off of. Small gold-plated cupolas had been placed atop the four corners of the building, and a silver dragon statue sat atop each, as well as atop the dome. A stone wall a few hundred yards out surrounded the building.

Men of varying ages and wearing robes of varying colors were out in the courtyard. Some sat on benches scattered about, reading books. Others tended to a large vegetable garden off to one side. A few others were practicing swordsmanship with wooden swords. Occasionally, someone inside the building would walk by a window and pause to watch the people outside before continuing on.

This was the temple of the dragon god, Samaryu.

High above the temple, a falcon glided in lazy circles in the cloudless blue sky. Slowly, it made its way down, eventually landing on a branch of a tree on the edge of the clearing. There, it watched the temple and the people outside it with its beady black eyes.

After a while, the sky began to grow darker, and a gong sounded from the temple. The men in the courtyard stopped what they were doing and began returning inside the temple by way of a large set of oaken double doors in the front of the building.

The falcon’s head gave a slight nod as it whispered to itself in the voice of a young woman, “Now.” There was a brief flash of light which went unnoticed by the priests. When the light faded, a small brown bird had replaced the falcon.

The wren took off, flying towards the temple and the open doors. It flew slow enough and high enough not to draw the attention of the priests. It also made itself appear to be heading towards the roof, in case anyone was watching. At the last moment, just as the doors were closing, it slipped inside near the top of the doorway.

None of the priests noticed that the small bird had followed them in and roosted on the bust of a silver dragon over the door frame. As the priests made their way down the hallway, some going left, some right, and a few down the intersecting corridor straight ahead, Wren watched them and thought back to what Tarn had said about where the library was located.

When Raven had contacted her, Wren had been surprised. She had not expected to hear from her teacher for a while yet. She had been even more surprised by what Raven had asked her to do and why she wanted it done. She could understand Raven wanting to help Tarn, given their history together and the fact that Raven’s home was not far from the temple – only a few hours when flying as a bird – but the story about the swordswoman and elf was astonishing, as was High Priest Usiah’s actions. Yet as surprised by everything as she was, Wren was more excited to be part of the adventure her teacher was on – and to finally be using her thieving skills again. She had not used them much since becoming Raven’s student five years earlier and she was eager to make sure they had not become dull.

Once the priests were gone, Wren left her perch on the dragon bust and flew off down the torch-lit hallway to the left. When the hallway stopped going straight and branched to the right, she followed it. After a few hundred feet, she found a set of closed double doors, just as Tarn had said she would. She landed on the floor in front of the doors and looked around, making sure no one was nearby and that all the doors she had passed and all those further down the hallway were closed. Seeing that they were and that there was no one around, Wren changed back into human form. Following a brief flash of light, the small brown bird was gone and in its place stood a young woman of about eighteen years of age. Her shoulder-length mousy brown hair was pulled back into a small tail by a leather thong. She wore a brown cloth tunic over a loose white shirt and brown leggings. Across her waist was a leather belt to which she had attached a sheathed dagger on her left hip and a small leather bag on her right. Completing the ensemble were brown, soft leather boots.

Wren leaned an ear against the crack in the doors but could hear nothing from inside the library. Kneeling down, she peered through the keyhole with a jade-green eye. All she could see was darkness, though. She made a quick check that she was still alone then stood up, grasped one of the brass doorknobs, and turned it, only to find it locked. With a small sigh, she reached into the small bag on her belt and brought out a small purple cloth pouch. She made another check of the hallway then knelt down in front of the keyhole and opened the pouch, revealing an assortment of small metal sticks and hooks of varying shapes and thickness.

Wren studied the keyhole for a moment then selected a stick and hook from her pouch and stuck them in the keyhole. Giving them a few deft lifts and twists, she was rewarded after a few seconds with a slight click from the lock. With a small smile, she removed the lock picks and returned them to the pouch, then placed the pouch back in her bag. Wren then stood back up, checked the hallway once more, grasped the doorknob, and turned it.

The library door swung open with a slight creak that made Wren wince. She hurried inside the library and closed the door behind her.

Wren found herself engulfed in blackness. She reached into the little bag at her waist again and brought out a small glass sphere. She softly spoke a couple of words to the bauble and it started to glow with a soft white light. Wren tossed the sphere up into the air. The globe stopped and hovered just over her head. The light from the floating bauble only lit an area of about ten feet around Wren, but it was enough for the young mage to get her bearings and see what was around her.

Wren stood in the center aisle. On both sides of her were rows and rows of shelves full of books and scrolls. As she slowly made her way down the aisle, the floating globe moving with her, Wren could make out an occasional table and chair between some rows of shelves. She could also barely see, in the distance, unlit oil lamps on sconces hung intermittently on the walls.

When Wren reached the back of the library, she found herself faced with sets of shelves full of books and scrolls covering the back wall, just as Tarn had described. Recalling what the red priest had told her, Wren went over to the next to last set of shelves on her right. “Tarn said Usiah had reached out to this shelf,” she muttered to herself, thinking aloud. “He had to have touched something to get it to open. But what?”

She studied the shelves with a practiced eye. She saw scrolls and books about history and theology, theories on a variety of topics, collections of spells and poetry, and an assortment of other things. But nothing that seemed to stand out to Wren as out of the ordinary. Wren tried pulling on some of the books, thinking one might be a disguised trigger. But nothing happened, so she studied the shelves themselves. She carefully looked over the casing and the shelves the books and scrolls rested on and ran her fingers lightly over the edges, giving an occasional push or tap on the wood when a spot seemed a little suspicious.

About halfway down the set of shelves Wren found a place where a small spot felt slightly raised. A closer look revealed a barely visible small button in the center of a section of tree ring. If she had not been looking for it, she doubted she would have noticed it. Fairly certain this was what she was looking for, she pressed the button. A barely-heard click sounded, then the whole set of shelves quietly swung back into the wall like a door, leaving Wren staring in mild surprise at the black opening. Though she had been expecting it, it was still a little startling to see it.

The light from the globe floating over her head illuminated a little of the opening, showing the young mage that what the shelves hid was not a room but a narrow passageway. Not sure what may lay ahead, Wren placed her hand on the dagger at her hip, ready to draw it at a moment’s notice. Then she stepped into the darkness.

She had barely gone a few feet when she sensed the set of shelves close quietly behind her. As they did, she turned to look at the back of the shelves. She studied the wooden panel by the light of the globe, looking for the trigger to open the doorway when she was ready to leave. It didn’t take her long to find it, since it didn’t have to be hidden on this side of the passageway. The small lever was prominently displayed on the wall to the right of the panel, next to a lantern which Wren passed on using as she did not want to leave any trace of her presence. A simple pull on the lever when it was time to leave would open the door. Wren would just need to remember to step back out of the way after pulling it.

Having found out how to leave, Wren turned from the door and headed down the dark passageway, going slowly so she would not miss anything or run into something, since the globe’s light did not reach very far. But there was nothing to see.

The empty passageway ended after about fifty yards, bringing Wren to a stop at a closed wooden door. She grasped the handle to open the door, but found it locked. “Of course,” she muttered. Wren pulled out her pouch of lock picks from the small bag at her waist, studied the keyhole, and selected two picks. Within seconds, she heard the satisfying sound of the lock clicking. She put the lock picks away and opened the door.


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Useful Harry Potter Spells For Writers #SundayBlogShare #Writerslife #writer

I’d love to be able to use some of these! Even Rita Skeeter’s Quick-Quotes Quill would be useful 🙂


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Bring A Book – One-liner Wednesday #1linerWeds

 

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” – Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

 

(quote image found on Pinterest)

This post is part of One-Liner Wednesday:

One-Liner Wednesday – A Hostage Situation

 

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7 Signs You Might Be the Villain of a Story

Legends of Windemere

Venom: Lethal Protector Venom: Lethal Protector

Everyone believes they’re the heroes of the story.  Well, almost everyone outside of fiction since there are always the exceptions.  So, how can you tell if you’re really the villain?

  1. You have a lot of expendable minions wandering around your home.  I mean, you adopted them and gave them a job, which is very nice of you.  Still, they are very quick to rush to their demise on your orders.  Not to mention they’re all wearing the same uniforms, which gets confusing even with numbers on their backs.  It’s almost like they’ve been robbed of their individuality.  Is that what the Greeting Machine really does?
  2. People keep getting in the way of your plans.  Go out to dinner with your totally willing date?  A guy with a useless cape shows up to fight you before dessert.  Visit the bank to make a withdrawal?  An entire team of…

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7 Signs You’re a Destined Hero

Being a destined hero sure isn’t easy, is it?

Legends of Windemere

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The title is pretty self-explanatory.  Still, I should say something . . . Buy Crossing Bedlam for 99 cents because it has NOTHING to do with destiny.

  1. You get the feeling you’re being watched.  Not by anyone around you or anything in the shadows.  The laptop webcam has been covered by duct tape and the shades are drawn too.  Still, you can’t get over the idea that there is a large crowd of people watching your every move.  (If you’re on an HBO show then this includes bathing.)
  2. There is a strange mark on your body that is either easily covered or people ignore it unless it’s the focal point of an event.  You’re not sure where the thing came from or why getting laser surgery always results in the machine exploding.  The mark itches whenever you go near certain areas like libraries, graveyards, warehouses, or…

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