Political Rant #2

Over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of violence in the good ole US of A. Psychos are going on shooting rampages in theaters, malls and most recently (again) a school. We have people screaming online about gun control and God (the Christian God, not any of the others), oh yeah and let’s not forget that the world will be ending next week. I find all of this knee jerk reaction to what’s going on a) very predictable and b) very modern human. Come on folks there isn’t just one problem here, there are several. Let’s take a moment and look at things from the little bit that we know, ‘cause a majority of these folks that go on these shooting rampages end up taking their own lives. For that I would like to say “thank you for saving the tax payers tons of cash on your food, housing and trial because we know our own politicians don’t mind spending the money on other useless shit.” (that last part is a rant for another day)

So folks are screaming for gun control. Really, you really think that becoming a nanny state like Great Briton is the way to go. You really want to outlaw weapons and then punish everyone who might think about defending themselves. Did any of you twits even stop to realize that in countries that have strict weapon control, it starts with guns and before you know it, it’s illegal to own a carving knife because people might kill someone with it? (I’m not making this stuff up.) Actually there are more people attacked every year by knives and baseball bats than guns. Sure you can kill more people in one attack with a gun, but really. People are saying that times are changing and that we no longer needed guns as is allowed for in the Bill of Rights. Sorry we do still need guns. I live in the mountains of Colorado. We have bears, mountain lions and coyotes wander through our place from time to time. I like knowing that there are loaded weapons around in case I need to defend myself, my people, or my critters. (No we don’t normally have small children around.) My baseball bat won’t do much against a bear, but it sits near the front door with the rifle anyway. Yeah, I don’t exactly see the point of claiming someone needs an AK47 for hunting. Bambi never stood a chance. Oh wait, Dick Chaney likes taking his friends out with fully automatic weapons to hunt quail…yeah he was hunting quail. (sorry wandered off topic.) I totally believe that an armed society is a polite society. If everyone had a gun, and there was a greater chance that criminals would get shot while perpetrating their crimes, they might think a couple times before going out and doing the things they do. Sure we might have a bit of a die off as people adjusted to everyone being able to defend themselves, but population control is a major issue in our world today too.

For the religious nut jobs out there that are screaming if “God” was in the schools we wouldn’t have these shootings…WTF??? Really, you really think that would solve anything. How many priest, pastures, deacons and other people in positions of power in your own churches are guilty of crimes against humanity? How well does your god keep the children safe? He doesn’t, you just feel better forcing your religion down everyone’s throat. What is better in these cases, having a child die instantly by a bullet from an unknown gunman, or slowly over time each time a “respected” pedophile priest pulls him into an office to perform unspeakable acts on a regular basis and then when he gets caught runs to a higher member of the church to help cover up the act. Both options are unthinkable and rob children of their lives. If people want god in school, send your children to religious run education. Now this also begs the question of which God? Yours, mine, or everyones? You do realize that across the world there are thousands of deities worshiped every day. Yours isn’t the one true god, no matter what BS you’ve been feed for the past two thousand years. There are a few of the deities out there that would feed off the energies of these senseless acts. Do you really want them in our schools? America is a country founded on religious freedom. One of the prime tenants of religious freedom is separation of church and state. (we don’t want to become another Afghanistan.)This is something that folks have forgotten over the past few years. We all have the freedom to worship as we please and who we please. Don’t forget that.

I saw a ludicrous post yesterday that people who couldn’t move out of the US should pull their children out of public schools and home school them…Yeah that works. Sorry I’ve know some home schooled people, once in a while they turn out okay…most of the time you can look at them and go “You were home schooled weren’t you?” Home schooling isn’t the answer, if anything it makes the problem worse because instead of raising children who have the ability to deal with others, (properly socialized) you normally end up with adults who are not prepared to deal with the world outside the home. (I’m not even going into the lack of basic learning skills like forming complete and proper sentences.) Schools may not be 100% safe. Nowhere is. People die walking in the park. They die in cars. They die in airplanes. We are, for the most part, human, it doesn’t take much to physically kill us. What we have to fight against is people, religions, corporations, and governments killing us mentally. We evolved very complex brains, and we are quickly forgetting how to use them.

Now there are solutions to these problems that are plaguing out world. You might ask, what are they. (Trigger the folks music, tie dye, and hippy beads, no pot smoke, I’m allergic) But seriously folks, LOVE is a big part of the answer. Out world is eaten up by hate and misunderstanding. Even groups that profess to love everyone, or tout the power of love, pour out tons of hate energy every day. Now, I’m not saying you have to go out and love everyone, some folks are beyond love, sorry I know that sounds contradictory, but the second part of this is being smart and intelligent. I don’t advocate anyone doing anything blindly, that’s stupid and sheep like. But I think that if more people had more love in their lives there would be less senseless violence. Love starts at home. True love, unconditional love should be the core to every family unit out there. This is something that our society, our world is lacking. People are so set on having everything their way and their way only, that they can’t see beyond themselves. How can we expect our children to love when we can’t show them what it means? If it’s more important for you to get your hair done than make sure your child has a good meal, what kind of message does that send? If it’s more important for you to spend time on facebook than read your child a story when you put them to bed, (don’t get me started on the importance of reading) what kind of message does that send? If you can’t be bothered to play with your kids because you’re watching TV or playing video games and they go to their grandmother and say “grandma, I’m lonely,” how is that shaping your child’s life? (Hopefully they have a grandma who loves them) Love starts at home folks. Don’t tell your kids “Get away from me you bother me!” or “I can’t deal with you!” all you’re doing is telling them you don’t love them. If you expect them to understand that the expensive bike you bought them is love, you’re wrong, and you’re shaping them to expect that from everyone in the future, and that makes for some really messed up adults. This is really simple. Oh yeah and it just might, well probably would, help prevent a lot of the mental disorders out there. If your kids see you having to get high, drunk, stoned or whatever to deal with life, that’s not showing them love, that’s wallowing in self pitty and destruction and helps perpetuate that mentally in future generations. As a world, we are too wrapped up in our individual selves to understand the idea of loving others.

Look at some of the information that has been released about yesterday’s school shooting. (I limit myself from using names on things because names are power and I don’t want to empower this type of behavior anymore than the mass media already does.) The shooter was not mentally stable, on meds, he started off by shooting his own mother. No one, no matter how unstable, if they had felt true unconditional love from a parent, should be able to kill their parent. He then took her gun (her gun, not his, gun control wouldn’t have helped here) and went to the school where he killed members of her class. Most likely he felt they were a part of her, probably that she loved them more than she loved him. The odds are that love, not gun control and not god in schools, would have prevented this tragedy.

In our busy modern world where it’s hard to make financial ends meet on just one income, parents often have to work multiple jobs to provide for their families. That aspect of our world is getting harder by the day. Sometimes the easy route is to turn to drugs, alcohol and focus on yourself to get through (although if you weren’t smoking, drinking, whatever how much more money would you have for bills? Another rant for another time.) If you have children, pets, family or anyone who depends on you, don’t expect them to understand that you’re stressed by life or upset by things. You have to be stronger than the world around you. The love starts with you. If we want this world of ours to change, it’s not going to be a quick change. Our world didn’t get into the mire it is now over night. It’s going to be a long arduous process that’s going to take a lot of work. The first step is to step outside ourselves and love the people around us, really care about the people closest to us. And hopefully, like the green grass that comes up with the spring rains, they will spread that love out to others and things will change. We will stop destroying everything and everyone around us to get attention. If people reach out to one another and receive the love they so desperately want and need, this world will be a better place. More love, less hate, more compassion, less greed. I think that is what this world needs. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met over the years that never got real love as children and are starving for it as adults, but don’t know how to accept it. We have to break that cycle if we want real change in our world.

(Okay this political rant is now over. Time to get back to my regular fiction writing and you can go back to your hating or stop and think about loving folks and make a change.)


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Odd Political Rant (possibly part 1)

I want to start this off by saying that right now I’m inhabited by several of the seven dwarves, Happy, Dock and Dopy are not in residence and Grumpy is having fits. So if I offend anyone, not really sorry, but folks need to see the world for what it really is, or at the very least get a look at how I see it through my years of observation. I try to stay out of politics and don’t discuss religion with everyone I meet because it’s just not worth the arguments. Over time the shit just builds up and eventually it comes pouring out sorta like what my allergies are doing to me here lately. Also debating if this is going to be the start of a couple of blog posts or just one. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

So after that introduction to this, onto a bit of ranting…

I watched this video this morning put out by NOM…yeah every so often I watch shit like this just to see what the opposition is saying about me and my way of life. Right now with the election bearing down on us like a pack of blind buffalo determined to plow over everything in their path without seeing anything around them. So this video and so much of the rest of it has just boiled over with me. Am I pro marriage equality??? HELL YES!!! That said I’m tired of hearing about it. The politico has been using this as a smoke screen for over twenty years. Let’s distract people by something that in the BIG SCHEME of things doesn’t matter. Eventually we will have marriage equality in this country, just accept it, live with it and stop fighting it, there are more important things in the world that worrying about who is who. While we have been distracted by this, unemployment has gone through the roof, the country’s debt has sky rocketed, we are waging wars for no reason other than building another bloody oil pipeline (check into this one folks, Halliburton Oil was told they couldn’t build an oil pipeline from the Black Sea to the Indian Ocean so a short time later 9-11 happened and we went to war. Yeah they covered this one up. BTW the pipeline is being built while our troops defend the builders.) So while all this is going on, why are the churches worrying about gay marriage?

We have people in the Middle East doing their best to put women back in chains in the name of their religion. Oh wait, that’s happening over here too. People are screaming about the government telling people that birth control has to be provided to any woman who wants it. WOW what an idea, population control. No unwanted children. Why shouldn’t every child born be born to a loving family that wants it? Of course for years I’ve thought that people should have to undergo licensing to have children. I had to do that to be a falconer, why shouldn’t Buba and Cloe have to do that to bring life into the world and be expected to care for it. A few years ago during Bush II years they were pushing abstinence only sex ed…yeah that works let’s see the number of unwanted/unplanned pregnancies go up. Speaking of that, do these anti abortionist actually think they will be helping our world. One of the most stupid things I’ve seen recently was an attempt to outlaw masturbation…saying that it was killing unborn children…yeah the millions of unborn children I’ve killed is incredible. By forcing women to bear unwanted children creates even more problems for society by creating future adults with mental problems. On the whole, children born of loving, wanting parents turn out a whole lot better than children who are viewed as burdens rather than gifts. EVERY CHILD DESERVES A LOVING FAMILY!!! Our planet is already over populated do not force unloved children into this world, you are doing a disservice to both the child, the mother, and the planet. If people don’t want children then they should be sterilized. Sorry but don’t use abortion as repeated birth control. I’ve met people who’ve had dozens of abortions, that can be fixed by fixing the female. It amazes me that we are still fighting over this too. Sorry easy fixes here. Nice easy science based education can solve a lot of the problems here. Oh yeah, there’s nothing in the bible about abortion folks, stop waving that book around on this one.

Now while we’re talking politics here, why can’t these damned people tell the truth? This week there was a republican that claimed his opponent had voted for obamacare…his opponent has never held office, he couldn’t have. But the truth doesn’t matter, lies help spread fear around. Keep people afraid and they are more apt to do what you want them to. The news reports have been running fact checking on the candidates, both local and federal. WOW. Some of these guys couldn’t tell a truth if you strapped them to a chair and injected them with truth serum. The sad thing is that the American people believe all this crap that is being spewed around. WE NEED TO WAKE UP PEOPLE! We’ve been lied to for several generations now and it’s only getting worse. I noted when Bush II was in office that it was like they weren’t even trying to hide the lies anymore, and it’s just gotten worse with time. They are hoping that we aren’t paying attention for more than a couple of seconds. When Obama took office, the republicans said that their goal was to make sure that he was going to be a one term president…do they bother to bring that up now???NO!!! They don’t bother to point out that the failed programs are ones that they made sure would fail, they just point the finger at the person they want to appear at fault. These are the same closested fools that keep voting down equal rights legislation while getting caught in the bathroom screwing the male interns.

I got a chuckle out of the picture today of Ryan doing dishes in a soup kitchen where the manager of the place said that he barged in, wanted a photo op, grabbed a clean pot and had a couple of pictures taken of him spraying water on it. The man probably hasn’t washed a dish in years, since his mother told the maid to take the night off when he was being punished for something. (No real clue on that one, it just sounds good) This on the same day that it comes out that he told Focus on the Family that he’d do what he could to get anti-gay legislation passed. Yeah more smoke and mirrors. Sorry I wouldn’t vote for him if he came out of the closet tomorrow, but people will vote for him because he’s attractive and charismatic, while he plays so well to the false fears that he and his party members fan the flames of. It obvious that they don’t care about people other than the big corps who pay them the big bucks. The real puppet masters in all this, the bankers and corporations. Throw in the churches and you have the big picture. (BTW, back in time Eisenhower warned that the religious right was trying to get control of the republican party and when that happened it wouldn’t be good for the USA.)

So I’ve gone on a bit today…still have more that I’d like to point out. We’ll see how much hate mail I get over this and see if Grumpy is still running amok tomorrow. Later this week, hopefully we’ll get back to more writing related stuff.

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Guest Blogging today

Check out the guest blog today. I’m over at Paranormal Cravings as part of their wer and shifters month.
We’re even having a give away.Image

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Doctor Gnome is released into the world

After months of work and the diligence of my editor, the fantasy steampunk novel Doctor Gnome, which many folks read and commented on as it came out piece by piece here on the blog, is now available along with two short stories “Sword’s Honor” wrapping up a loose end from DG and “Becoming Lady K” which begins exploring the past of the mysterious mistress of the Fragrance Guild. Mel Kary did an awesome cover for me without me even asking her to. She’s great. Image

So it’s available on amazon and smashwords.

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As writers, we hear a lot about perspective. It’s how we write books. It’s the core of what we do. So how often do we step back and analyze what is really going on in individuals’ perspective in real life? How do the people around us perceive things and how can knowing more about that help our writing? Delving into the minds of our friends and family can be very interesting and very scary all at the same time.

There’s a new fad going around, actually it was a couple of weeks ago and it may have run its course. Folks were putting together four to eight pictures around a common theme with captions of this is what society sees, this is what my mom thinks…this is what I think I do…and this is what I really do. Each of these pictures was vastly different and in many cases were accurate for the perspective that was being portrayed. I thought about putting together one of those pictures for falconers, but one appeared before I found time in my writing schedule to get it done, and it was very similar to what I had thought to do, telling me that the person who put it together had a perspective very similar to my own.

Using the theme of falconry is a good way to show perspective because it is something that not many people understand, but a fair number have an opinion on. A few months ago, I received a DM from some writer I’d followed on twitter asking me to unfollow her because I was a falconer and she thought it was a form of animal abuse. Now, I’ve heard of falconers abusing their animals, just like I have heard of regular pet owners abusing their pets, and people abusing each other. You can’t paint everyone with the same brush. The odds are in this woman’s mind we tie our birds down, starve them and don’t allow them to be birds. For me at least this is very far from true. My birds have all had the good life. If the weather gets extreme, they get brought into the house. If they don’t have a successful hunt when we go out, they get to eat anyway. If something disastrous happens, they get to go to the vet. And if they appear unhappy, they get to go back to the wild. That’s what any responsible falconer should be doing. On the other extreme some people perceive falconry as a sport of pageantry as depicted in medieval tapestries and stories. Boy, sometimes when the snow is blowing and the bunnies are hiding too well and the bird gets pissy about the situation, I wish we had all the pageantry of old. Truth is it can be cold, wet, stickery, (ask my friend Chuck who had to go to the hospital after getting a hand full of cactus while trying to help his bird subdue a jack rabbit) and sometimes just downright miserable. We do it for the love of the birds. I personally don’t know any falconer who doesn’t love their birds. But I’m in the sport/lifestyle and I have an insider’s perspective.

Sometimes, getting into the heads of the people around us to try and figure out why they act a certain way helps us become better writers. I look at the woman who dislikes falconry. The odds are she’s just seen things on TV, in print, and so on, that show what the person wanted to see. Or she may be one of these people who thinks all dogs, cats, horses, cows and raptors must be free, any animal that is not running wild is abused. Can I get inside her head? Can I understand her angle? Would she make a good, fully formed character in a story? As a writer these are things I need to ask myself, and in doing so, hopefully open myself up to more ideas in the future.

Every person thinks that their action is the right thing to do when they are doing it. In their perspective they are acting for the better. Sometimes as outsiders, we stop and wonder what motivates a person to do what they are doing. Finding that motivation, can be extremely hard. We have to step outside of our comfort zones and work to create interesting points of view. Only by doing that can we create characters that go beyond the standard cardboard characters that we see every day in print and on the screen. Dig in and figure out the perspective of people. Figure out why they do the things they do.

Start with your fami8ly, friends and neighbors. Why do they do what they do? What forces shaped them in the people they are today? Do you need to talk to them and find out who they really are? Can you figure it out without digging? Normally we need to dig a bit to really figure people out, to bring their character to life. Why is she a bitch? Is there a reason he freaks out in traffic? Why is her hair red when her eyebrows are blonde? Is there a story behind the baseball cap he’s always wearing? Finding out things like this about people you know can help you shape the people on your pages. The better you know people, the better you can write them and make them intriguing.

Details, our readers are always looking for details, moving outside our own perspectives and looking at other people’s help us to bring things to greater life. Get out there and add more details, details that may be counter to what you are used to experiencing. Try and see why someone might hate something you love. Reading changes people’s lives. Maybe by creatively shaping a character, you can help shape a reader’s perspective and bring them a new way of seeing the world.

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Blog Hop winners

Wow what an awesome weekend we had thanks to everyone who hopped on by for the blog hop. We had a lot of fun. I decided to up our prizes and give away two sets of books…drum roll please…and the winners are… Sea Witch Reviews and Laura Buschman. You two should be receiving emails from me shortly. Again thanks to everyone who stopped by and everyone who commented.

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A special Easter Story

Sorry this is running a bit slow for the Easter Blog Hop. Here’s a special Yellow Sky Easter story from A.M. Burns just for the blog hop. Thanks to Laura Culley, our wonderful editor, for the fast return on this one.

Be Very, Very Quiet

by A.M. Burns

Alex Carlson crouched down behind the thick evergreen hedge. A heavy full moon eased its way below the western horizon. The wind still held a slight chill; just enough to remind him that winter had not yet totally surrendered to spring.

“You know how silly this looks?” he asked his half-dragon lover, Tal O’Duirwood, who knelt at his side.

“We have to be quiet,” Tal reminded him sharply through their telepathic link. “From what I can tell, the creature has extremely sharp hearing.”

Alex resisted sighing. “You know most people stop believing in the Easter Bunny when they are nine or ten. You’re almost two thousand.” They’d been having the debate for two days now, ever since Tal packed them up in Colorado and started driving toward Hershey, Pennsylvania. Tal said they were after an unknown creature that only appeared on the third full moon of the year. For the past hundred years it had attacked the chocolate factory, leaving devastation in its wake. Every year, when Tal wasn’t on assignment for the Coalition of Magical Creatures, he’d tried to catch the beast.

“It’s not the Easter Bunny,” Tal grumbled. “Although I suspect it may be magical. I want to find out more about it.”

Alex knew that was the crux of the whole thing. Relentless pursuit of knowledge was the drive that sustained Tal through his long life. If he stumbled on something he didn’t know, he’d dig until he knew everything about it. The library in their Colorado mountain home contained works as far back as the earliest recorded history, and then some.

“So we sit here in the dark and wait?” Alex asked, shifting to relieve a cramp that started in his left leg. “You know, if we had guns I’d feel like Elmer Fudd.”

Tal touched his shoulder and pulled him into a tight embrace, wrapping his strong arms around Alex’s chest. His body heat chased some of the chill from the night air.

“It will give us a little quiet time,” he said.

Alex leaned back against Tal. He always felt perfectly safe, sound and contented with Tal’s arms around him. It would have made the night go by faster if they’d been lying on the ground enjoying themselves, but they had to remain silent and vigilant for whatever hopped past.

The night drifted by as the two waited. Then something moved.

Several hundred yards down the hedge from where they crouched, something exploded out of the evergreens. In the near darkness, just after moon set, it scurried across the deserted parking lot heading for the factory.

“There it goes!” Tal whispered as he leapt over the hedge to follow.

The creature stopped and stared as the two ran toward it. Standing nearly six feet tall with long floppy ears and a round white tail, the thing looked like a two-legged rabbit. An ear-splitting scream ruptured the quiet night as the thing took off, running for the far side of the parking lot.

Tal didn’t pause, and as he ran, he shifted to his dragon form. One second the dark-haired man was running down the parking lot, the next a black dragon launched into the sky. Alex could only watch as the bunny beast ran for its life. He knew Tal wouldn’t hurt it if he could help it, but now his lover was chasing the unknown, and he wouldn’t pause until he caught it. If the chase lasted too long, there was a chance it might bring up his blood lust. Alex had only seen it a couple of times when Tal was really hungry, but it got messy.

The dragon’s wings covered the distance across the parking lot quickly. As he reached out for the creature, it ducked and rolled across the pavement. Tal back winged, but was going too fast and slid face first into the hedge.

Alex paused and launched a magical leven bolt at the thing. The blue energy bolt illuminated the rabbit thing’s fur as it flattened out just in time for the magical attack to fly over it. Then, with another scream, the beast was up and running again.

Tal shook himself out of the hedge, evergreen branches flying in all directions. His sapphire eyes searched the dark parking lot for their prey. Alex fired another leven bolt. Again the bunny beast dodged it. Tal launched back into the air. The prey ran down the narrow alley between two buildings, too tight a spot for the dragon to follow. Tal landed on the nearest building and peered down the alley, casting magical balls of light in after their prey.

“Where’d he go?” Alex shouted as he ran toward the alley.

“I can’t see him,” Tal replied. “Hopefully you can flush him out. I’ve never seen anything like it. Finally some real proof this thing exists.”

Guided by Tal’s magical lights, Alex ran into the alley. The sticky sweet smell of rancid chocolate choked the air. His shoes squished with each step. Large paw prints, visible in the magical light, vanished halfway down the alley near a set of stairs leading up into the building. With his first step, movement above him caught Alex’s attention.

“Alex, look out!” Tal shouted.

Something large and furry slammed into him, knocking Alex down into the sticky alleyway. Reflexively, he punched up into the furry belly. A rewarding “ooooffff” sound escaped his attacker. Magic welled around them as Tal’s voice chanted out a spell. The bunny beast, struggled to get away, but Alex grabbed hold of one of its massive ears and held on. It swung a furred hand hard into his face.

Pain wracked his nose, but Alex held on as Tal’s spell swirled around them. The magic grew and the rabbit thing shrank until Alex held onto a normal ear of a short round young man dressed in a robin’s-egg blue bathrobe. Sweat ran down from the man’s curly brown hair and mingled with the tears streaming from his wide, terror-filled, brown eyes.

“Oh God, the guys never said there was a dragon guarding this place,” the man stammered as Alex let go of his ear.

“What are you?” Tal asked.

The man paled, and his nose twitched. “A wererabbit,” he replied.

“I’ve never heard of wererabbits,” Tal said.

“Of course you haven’t,” the man said. “We stay hidden. Would it help if I said I’d never heard of dragons?”

Tal shrugged. “How many of you are there?”

“A few here and there,” the man answered, regaining some of his composure. “Most of us died out back during the black plague. We weren’t immune to it like other wers were.”

“So why do you raid this place every year?” Tal asked. Alex could tell his lover was fighting back his blood lust. He’d never seen Tal stop a hunt without killing something.

The wererabbit shrugged. “It’s sort of a rite of passage among my kind. Every year, one of us is chosen to hit this place and bring back as much chocolate as we can. Years ago, as legends go, they used to actually leave special things out for us. You know, like the Old World folks used to leave milk out for the fairies. I guess with corporate greed so strong now, they don’t do it anymore, so it’s a little harder. But we still send someone in each year to see what we can get.” He looked at his feet and sighed. “I guess this year there won’t be any chocolate for us. I had to be the one to get caught by the dragon.”

Alex looked at Tal, his heart going out to the wererabbit. “Come on, let’s help him out.”

Tal sighed and glared. “What’s your name rabbit?”

“Fred,” he replied with a gulp.

“Fred,” Alex said before Tal could. “We’re going help you get the biggest haul of chocolate your friends will remember.”

The wererabbit’s face lit up. “Really?”

“Yeah,” Tal sighed again.


Later, Alex sprawled on the motel-room bed, broke off a piece of chocolate bunny and fed it to Tal. The dragon was still grumpy from having to break off his hunt, but a bit of after-fight sex had taken the edge off him.

“Well, so now we know where the legends of the Easter Bunny come from,” Alex said, running his fingers up through Tal’s thick black hair. “They seem like a nice enough bunch.”

“I’m trying to figure out how to file a report on this,” Tal said bending his head to kiss Alex.

“Just tell the office that we discovered a new species,” Alex replied. “Something unexpected. You know we could just keep quiet about them. They’re basically harmless. It’s not like they’re going to run through the world attacking people with their big gnashing teeth or throwing colored eggs at folks.’

Tal ruffled Alex’s red hair. “So, just keep it our little secret?”

Alex took a bite of the chocolate and grinned. “Yeah, and if we want, we can show up every year, scare the new guy that gets sent in for the chocolate and get more sweets.”

Tal hugged him tightly and kissed him. “I love you.”

Alex chuckled. “I love you too.”

Then, in stereo, they said to each other “Happy Easter.”

The End

So please leave comments and share. The comments on this post and the last one will all be entered into the contest for the 2 ebooks, “Perfect Love” and “Perfect Trust” to be done after midnight April 8th.

For more Yellow Sky stories, following Tal and Alex’s many adventures be sure to check out our main webpage http://www.mystichawker.com or A.M.s site http://www.amburns.com

Hoopy Easter every one.

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Easter Blog Hop

Most embarrassingly I nearly forgot about the blog hop. Over the next three days we will be running a contest in conjunction with the Easter Blog Hop. This also means that I will be doing a post this weekend that will be easter/spring themed. Look for something on Saturday. In the meantime, folks who leave comments on this post and then on the holiday post will be entered to win digital copies of “Perfect Love” and “Perfect Trouble.” I’ll send out a code for “Perfect Love” on Monday to the winner, then after “Perfect Trouble” is published I’ll send out a code for it as well.

Good Luck and Hoppy Easter.

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Slow Blogging

Wanted to let everyone know blogging is going to be slow during April since I’m participating in the A to Z challenge over on at http://www.amburns.com and so there won’t be too much on here while I work on that.

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Dr Gnome final part


Gavin claimed Buck’s sword from Grizzelhand’s lifeless fingers. The blade was still intact, still sharp. Loosing the scabbard from around the troll’s chest was a bigger struggle. The creature was huge, and nearly more than the elf could roll over on his own, but Gavin wasn’t about to leave any part of Buck’s legacy behind. With a herculean effort, he managed to get the troll on its side so he could reach the buckle and free the sheath. He remembered the last time he’d handed Buck the sheathed weapon, the morning before their trek into the jungle. Sliding the blade home, he turned and walked from the room.

The first wisps of smoke curled up from the shaft the moving platform traveled in. The warrior knew the fire below must be spreading. He wondered where Alchemy and Doctor Gnome had disappeared to. Before retrieving the sword, he’d looked at the chute they’d slid down, there was no way his broad shoulders were going to fit. If the fire was spreading he’d have to get out of the complex and onto the hillside. But he should try and find the elf woman Alchemy had brought in with him.

Gavin stepped onto the platform and pulled on the rope like he’d seen Alchemy do. Nothing happened. He yanked harder. Still nothing. He wondered if the fire was somehow affecting the thing. The right side of the platform was open to two ropes running up and down. Alchemy had said that he and the woman had been taken down several floors.

Checking both his sword and Buck’s to make sure they were secure, Gavin grabbed hold of a rope and began working his way down the shaft. As he went down, the smoke grew thicker. There at each opening in the shaft he saw more people ran down the metal hallways carrying various items to safety.

When the smoke was almost more than he could deal with, Gavin spotted the hallway he and Alchemy had first entered the platform from. The pile of dead trolls still lay nearby. He swung a bit to get some momentum for his jump. Letting go of the rope, he deftly cleared the distance from the rope to the hallway.

Gavin stared down the hallway. Through the thick smoke, he spotted a small figure moving. The warrior dashed for the figure. He caught her as she turned the corner down the next hall.

The little woman screamed and kicked at him. He realized it was a gnome. She was small enough that he could hold her out at arm’s length so her kicking legs couldn’t connect with anything delicate.

“I don’t want to hurt you!” he shouted at her.

“Then put me down,” she screeched back. “We have to get out of here.”

“I know. You have an elf woman prisoner. Where is she?”

“Mister Pond’s mistress?” the gnome woman asked with a sneer.

“That’s her,” Gavin replied.

“She’s down this way,” said the gnome woman, pointing down the hall.

“Take me to her,” he growled. He set her back down. The little woman looked up at him as if trying to judge his demeanor. She paled.

“This way,” she said, scurrying off down the hall.

They passed the pile of dead goblins. The gnome stopped at a door. “She’s in here.”

“Then open the door,” replied Gavin, glaring at the woman.

She fumbled for something in her pocket, then pulled out a key ring. It took her several tried to find the right key before she opened the door. A young violet haired elf charged the door, then stopped to stare.

“Are you Dolce?” Gavin asked.

She nodded. “Who are you?”

“I’m Alchemy’s friend Gavin, we need to get out of here,” he replied.

“Where’s Alchemy?” the elf woman asked.

“He went after Doctor Gnome,” said Gavin fighting back a cough that threatened to come out as the smoke thickened.

“We need to get out of here,” the gnome woman complained.

“Can you get us out?” Gavin asked.

“We have to go up,” she replied. “Too much smoke to go down. Someone said the dragon pens are ablaze.”

Gavin nodded. “That’s right. How do we go up?”

“The stairs are this way, or we can take the lift.”

“The lift’s not working,” said Gavin with a shake of his head. “I had to climb down the rope to get to this level.”

“Come on then,” the gnome woman said starting back down the hall the way they’d come.

Gavin grabbed Dolce’s arm. “Come on, if I don’t get you out Alchemy will come looking for you.”

The elf woman paled at the sight of the dead goblins. “Oh my Gods!”

“Don’t worry, we did more damage to them than they did to us,” Gavin replied, not needing to breaking stride to keep up with the hurrying little gnome.

“You did that?” Dolce asked, clinging to Gavin’s arm.

“Alchemy and I did a little while ago,” the warrior replied.

“Then you were the racket I heard earlier.” Her voice took on a distance, as if she were trying to find a way to understand.

“Here,” the gnome woman stopped at another door. Something behind them crashed, the whole complex shook and a thick cloud of black smoke billowed over them.

“Come on!” Gavin shouted, scooping up the gnome under his arm to carry her up the stairs. The little woman didn’t squirm as the elf ran. Dolce’s longer legs kept up easily as they raced upwards. As they passed other doorways on the stairs, more people crowded around them trying to reach safety. Moving upwards helped get them out of the smoke, but the complex continued to shake.

Darkness of the hillside night greeted them as they emerged from the top of the stairs onto the peak of Manticore Hill. Gavin set the gnome woman down and bent over with his hands on his knees to catch his breath. His chest heaved with the effort to get them up the stairs and free of the complex. Under his feet, the ground shook and an explosion rocked the hillside.

“Hey, it’s an elf!” a troll voice shouted.

Around Gavin, swords slid noisily out of their scabbards. He sighed and drew his sword as Dolce screamed.




Fire blazed from the passage the dragons used to get out of the complex. Alchemy circled the dragon around the hill, trying to find safe passage in. He had to find Gavin and Dolce. With any luck Gavin had managed to find a way out. But the wizard just knew that Dolce was still locked in a cell somewhere in the burning complex.

Down below a troll shouted, “Hey, it’s an elf!”

Alchemy scanned the dark hillside as the dragon soared over. He spotted naked swords glistening in the moonlight of the three moons high overhead. A flash of purple hair in the circle of trolls gave him a target as Dolce screamed. With a tight mental rein, he angled the dragon low over the hilltop. Hoping he had enough control for the situation, the wizard aimed his mount as his friends.

Dolce’s screams carried on the wind as the dragon snatched her and Gavin off the top of the hill.

“Don’t struggle, it’s me, Alchemy!” the wizard shouted as the dragon gained altitude. He pointed them toward the tiny lights in the jungle he presumed were Beautimore.

Minutes later, Alchemy angled the dragon down toward a large clearing in the jungle just outside town. He jumped down from the beast’s back and landed next to his friends. Gavin swept him up in a huge hug.

“You made it!” the warrior whooped.

“And so did you!” Alchemy replied, returning the hug. “And you got Dolce out.”

When Gavin set him down, the wizard scooped the woman up in his arms. It felt good to hold her. As their lips met, her kiss was as sweet as it had been earlier, it seemed much longer than just a few hours since he kissed her lips.

“I so glad you’re safe,” he said softly into her long hair that now smelled of smoke.

“Me too,” she smiled at him.

“So what happened to Doctor Gnome?” Gavin asked, looking from his friend to the dragon that stood calmly nearby.

“Eaten by a dragon,” Alchemy replied. “Problem solved.”

“So what do we do with this one?” the warrior wondered.

“Set him free,” the wizard said. “Give me a hand and we’ll be done with it.” He jumped back up to the control saddle. Even in the light of three moons, he had trouble finding all the straps and buckles holding the saddle. Alchemy pulled out his wand, “Flash.” A small ball of lightning floated near the tip of the wand, using the light Alchemy got the saddle loose. He tossed it down to Gavin. Strange cords ran from the saddle up to the reins and the metal piece near the dragon’s ear.

“Keep your hand on the cantle until I’m done,” Alchemy instructed his friend. “We don’t need him deciding to eat me this close to setting him free.”

“What do I do?” Gavin asked.

“Just think calming thoughts to him,” the wizard replied. “That should do the trick.” Using the ridges along the dragon’s spine for hand and foot holds, he worked his way up the dragon’s powerful neck to reach its head. He pulled the leather bridle free, letting it fall to the ground, then he grabbed the metal piece and pulled.

At first it didn’t budge. Then, it popped free. Little bits of scale and flesh came with it from where the dragon’s skin had grown over the piece that was much larger than the little bit extending above the dark scaly hide. The dragon roared in pain and threw its head back. Alchemy grabbed hold of the creature’s horns and hung on for all his might. Without looking around, the dragon launched itself into the night sky. The powerful wings beat to escape the pull of gravity.

“Alchemy!” Dolce screamed below them.

Letting go with his right hand, Alchemy reached for his wand. Once it was firmly in his grasp, he pointed it toward the ground. “Cushion!” he screamed as he let go with his left hand. The last of his magic flowed out of him as he fell. His head spun, and everything went black before he landed.




Soft delicate humming filled his ears as Alchemy’s head cleared. Something soft cushioned his head, and a warm cloth rested on his forehead. He opened his eyes to soft candle light reflecting off the purple highlights of Dolce’s hair as she leaned over him.

“You are awake,” she said with a smile.

“So did I die and you are the Goddess come to lead me onto my next life?” he asked, reaching for her delicate hand.

She laughed softly. “You did fall fairly far, but no. You’ll survive.”

“Where are we?”

“Gavin brought you back to your room at The Lady’s Pleasure.”

He caught her hand and kissed it. “So then, perhaps I should ask what is the lady’s pleasure tonight?”

She laughed at him as he pulled her down to his lips. “Alchemy are you really up for filling my pleasure?”

His head cleared further as their lips touched. “My dear, I’m always up to filling my lady’s pleasure.” He rolled her over on the bed with all thoughts of evil gnomes and firebirds out of his mind as he worked his hands across her body, ready to lose himself for a while in her gifts, hoping that K wouldn’t be calling him anytime soon.



The End

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