Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rites Of Spring!


Follow the link for more Rites of Spring Blogs and Prizes and a GRAND PRIZE--A Rafflecopter Prize!

Winters are harsh here in the high desert of Wyoming. Biting winds, icy roads and those long frigid winter nights followed by gray mornings. We have a later spring than much of the country but even knowing that when a mild sunny afternoon pops out I'm looking for signs of spring. In my front flower beds I planted crocus. They will come up even through snow. It is a delight to see them.

I grew up in Montana where the winters are even colder. Easter would arrive with chocolate bunnies and a new dress for church. A dress in pretty pastels--but since my mother made my dresses, it would be made out of double-knit (remember that?) and worn with white tights.  A winter weight dress in Easter Egg colors.

In my book Refugees On Urloon  my couple , who have worked together as captain and crew member, join an alien fertility festival. Both long for signs of spring in their lives after a long dark time. For the first time they acknowledge their desire for a different type of relationship between them--as lovers.


Liam appeared in front of her, blocking her way. His chest was bare , showing a thin, sculpted physique, bronze skin and small dark nipples. His shoulder was covered with a bright splash of yellow paint.
Svana had seen Liam in thin workout clothes at the gym, but this seemed so naked, even though he still wore his leggings. Their entire relationship for the past three years had been a work relationship, captain and crew. Looking at his bare chest, smiling face, and the globes of elura in his hands, it finally struck Svana that this was not work.
“I got decorated with my first globe. How come you’re still clothed and not dyed?”
Her gown suddenly felt heavy and too hot. “We were walking this way. We didn’t hunt many egg globes on the way here.” She walked past him to the crystal fence and peered down at the beach, feeling awkward. Svana knew how to act around Captain Ringel but not how to act around festival Liam.
“It’s still empty.”
Liam laughed and tossed several globes at her from a basket, discarded on the ground. She caught them instinctively and deposited them on the thick wall.
“Here, try this one.” Liam brought her a globe full of a frothy white substance.
Svana sat down on the wide wall and reached for it, gingerly. It was a creamy sweet drink, almost a pudding.
“I have elura,” Liam said, and drank his globe filled with clear liquid. He moved closer to her, grinning. “I can already feel the elura. Let’s find you some.” He rummaged through the basket and pulled out several clear globes and a few bright dye globes.
“I’ve had elura, Elaine found me some.”
One of the ship’s techs ran by, laughing.
“Oh my. Tech Chac is already naked and covered in dyes,” she said, watching the well-built young man cavort with a group of friends, all intent on covering each other with dye.
Liam followed her glance. “Figures. Even I’ve heard the gossip about how he peels off his clothes at any opportunity to show off his physique.”
“As well he should.”
Liam laughed.
All around, people discarded clothing and painted their bodies with bright fluorescent dyes: pink, green, blue, yellow and orange, making them part of the dancing aurora above.
Svana grabbed into the basket and got elura, now enjoying the familiar sting on first taste and the evaporation that left the tongue and mouth cool. Liam’s globe was dye. Svana laughed as he covered one arm in bright glistening blue.
Her next globe was dye. “No!”
Liam laughed, his eyes glinting wickedly. “Now you’ll have to take something off.”
Svana opened her mouth to protest and stopped. Why not? Liam was no longer her captain, the ship’s protocol was gone. The war was over. They would be here on Urloon for many long years, probably for the rest of their lives. What did it matter if she got a bit wild tonight? Still she hesitated.
“I was planning to watch the chandolay dance on the beach.”
“I understand.” He grinned and didn’t pressure her. Svana caught a glimpse of something. Disappointment? She grabbed a globe of elura. “If the elura worked like spirits back home I’d be inebriated. It’s insane, but I think I’ll get into the spirit of the Moonfest.” Svana grinned and pulled off her heavy layered gown. She wore a bodice, briefs and an underskirt beneath the gown, so she was far more dressed than most of the people dancing in the meadow, except now her arms were bare and her neckline was exposed. She stood with the gown in her hands, feeling awkward and wondering what to do with it. Liam took it from her and tossed it onto a table.

My DRAWING: On March 23rd I will pick a commentator on my blog to  receive an ebook copy of Refugees on Urloon and one other ebook of your choice from my Amazon page. Please leave your email with your comment so I can contact the winner. 


  1. You know how much I love your fertility festival! None better in SFR. What a good excerpt for Rites of Spring!

  2. Thanks for participating, Melisse! :)

  3. Shipboard romances are so much fun. Great excerpt! Lisacordes @ yah00 d0t c0m

  4. Loved reading that excerpt, putting this book on my tbr list.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  5. An excellent excerpt! I'd love to win, but I'm a Nook girl. :(

  6. L Van Horn--I think I have most books in epub so go ahead and enter.

  7. Thanks for the hop! mikiajanai@yahoo.com

  8. Awesome excerpt! Thanks for being part of the hop.

  9. I love wearing the light colors of spring, there are so many.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  10. Great tease from you book.

    I don't remember my first kiss. Guess it was that great since I don't remember. Hum? But I do remember the date of my first date with my hubby.

    Thanks for being in the blog hop.

  11. A winter weight dress in pastel colors--worn with white tights...That is such a great image. I can picture it in my head!
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  12. thank you for sharing in the hop!
    jukyjoauka at aol dot com