Posts Tagged ‘love’

Rx for Romance

Saturday, February 13th, 2016


Today is Valentine’s Day, dedicated to lovers and romantics everywhere. May you and your sweetheart live happily ever after.

It’s also the second day of the IndieBRAG “Be Still My Heart” Romance Blog Hop!

Following is an excerpt from B.R.A.G. Medallion winner The Vision—Green Stone of Healing® Book OneThis sweeping speculative fiction series is packed with romance that spans multiple lives and chronicles the explosive clash of passion, politics, and piety in a doomed island nation called Azgard.

Win a free Nook, Kindle, or .pdf copy of this novel! Simply leave a comment below with your name and valid email address and you are entered to win.

First-gThe Visioneneration heroine Helen Andros is a physician with a gift of healing and a green gem with hidden potentials in a land sharply divided by race, rank, and wealth inequality. Her life has just turned upside down due to the very public revelation of the identity of her father, a powerful Toltec lord whose secret affair with Helen’s Turanian mother ended tragically decades ago.

Helen struggles with her feelings about her new-found parent. She also refuses to acknowledge her deep love for her commanding officer, Col. Jackson Orlando, since becoming involved with a despised half-breed could ruin his promising military career.

She has just brought Orlando back from the edge of death and is treating him privately during a dinner for the political allies of her father…. 

Healing a Secret Love 

Several footmen carried Orlando to a bedroom near the servants’ quarters. Helen accompanied him, happy to have a legitimate excuse for leaving the drawing room. Lord Justin went with her, also wanting to escape notice and to be helpful.

After they departed, Prince Enoch turned to Sudras. “Why did you not intervene earlier, Grand Master?”

“My lord prince, if I am ever in the same condition as that unfortunate young officer, I hope the person treating me is Doctor Andros,” Sudras replied. “Her abilities as a physician far exceed those of anyone I have ever witnessed, including my own.”

He located the empty syringe and retrieved it. “My lords, Lady Consort, Judith, I don’t use this word very often, and certainly not lightly. Tonight you witnessed a miracle. That man was a corpse; there’s no doubt in my mind. I gave up on him, but not Doctor Andros. There’s no rational explanation for how she did it, yet she brought him back.”

Sudras took a glass of pepper brandy and swallowed the contents in one gulp.

“To answer your question, my lord prince, the best thing I could do for the colonel was stay out of her way until I could provide very specific assistance, which I was honored to do.”


StoneScribeHelen directed Lord Justin and the servants to remove Orlando’s shirt and place him on his stomach so she could get a good look at his back. Just as she suspected, some of the welts were oozing fluid and pus.

“Infection,” she murmured. “What a surprise.”

She would have to lance, clean, and close the contaminated wounds. She wondered how much of his body was covered with welts. Two weeks ago she would have simply looked for herself and no one would have cared. Things were different now.

“If you wouldn’t mind,” she said to Lord Justin. She explained what to look for and then turned away.

“There’s one infected welt on his upper left thigh,” Lord Justin said.

She had her kinsman turn the colonel on his back to make it easier to insert the catheter into his wrist. As they were preparing, Orlando opened his eyes and blinked, trying to focus.

Having taped the catheter in place, Helen stopped and smiled. She moistened a cloth and used it to wipe the sweat from his face and neck.

“Welcome back, Jackson.” She spoke as if she were addressing Lillie or some other young child.

“What happened?”

She poured the water into a glass and offered it to him, placing her arm behind his head to hold it upright so that he could drink more easily.

“You died, Colonel,” she replied. “But you cannot get away from me that easily. Face it, you’re stuck with me: the medical officer from hell. Which, come to think of it, is somewhere I almost got to visit earlier this week.”

Helen put the glass back on the table after he had consumed the entire contents. Orlando tried to sit up. “I’m on duty, Lieutenant.”

She put her hands on top of his shoulders, pressed him back down onto the bed. “We’ve already had this argument, Colonel. You lost.”

He gave her another warning look. He was close to putting her on report, again. “Do I have to remind you that I outrank you, Lieutenant?”

“That’s not much of an accomplishment, Colonel. Everybody and his dog outranks me.”

Damn your impudence, woman.

Lord Justin could not help smiling. He was in a chair on the other side of the bed, his long legs stretched in front of him.

Helen retrieved a fluid bag and hung it on the stand she had set up. “And may I remind you, Colonel? Any medical officer may remove any officer of any rank from active duty, if, in that medical officer’s professional opinion, the aforesaid officer is unfit or too ill.”

He scowled, pretending, as usual, that he was angry with her. All he really wanted to do, even in this miserably afflicted condition, was take her in his arms and kiss her.

“I know you may find it hard to believe, Colonel, but I have read every volume of the military code of conduct, and all the officer regulations handbooks.”

“Indeed, Lieutenant, very hard to believe.”

She searched in the box of medical supplies for a syringe and an anesthetic. “I just tend to ignore the really stupid rules, which leaves out ninety-five percent of everything written.”

“A soldier simply cannot pick and choose which rules to obey, Lieutenant, and which to ignore.”

“How boringly consistent, Colonel.”

She filled the syringe with the anesthetic. She did not want to risk putting him under; he might not wake up from it. She would have to numb the areas around the infected welts in order to work on them.

He saw the needle. “What are you doing, Lieutenant?”

“Taking full advantage of the situation, Colonel. After all, not every lowly lieutenant gets to stick it to her CO.”

Lord Justin guffawed. Orlando did not trust himself to speak.

Helen decided to go for the shoulder wounds first, until the slow-acting sedative that she had mixed in with the solution had a chance to take effect. After Orlando turned on his stomach and they arranged the drip stand, Helen studied the locations of the infected welts in order to know where to inject the anesthetic. She inserted the needle so skillfully he did not feel it. 

The wounds were essentially untended; she opened and cleaned most of them, even some of the uninfected ones that looked especially deep. She used the sealer she found in the medical bag to close them to minimize scarring.

She worked from the top of his back to the welt on his thigh. By the time she was finished, the sedative had put her patient to sleep. Lord Justin placed the colonel on his back, removing the rest of his outer clothing, dressing him in a nightshirt.

Before leaving, Helen sat next to the bed for a few minutes, holding Orlando’s hand in hers, feeling the anger and gratitude she had held in check in order to treat him. She was incensed over his unnecessary suffering and thankful he had refused to reveal anything.

She kissed his forehead. “Get better soon, Jackson. I don’t know who I’m going to torment until you do.”

Author flees judgment, not Jesus

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Mega-bestselling author Anne Rice has quit Christianity, according to her Facebook blog post.

“I quit being a Christian,” she writes. “In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life…”

What Ms. Rice objects to are not the actual teachings of Jesus, but all the judgments others have attached to his message. Jesus told his followers that God is unconditional love.

Unconditional love  means love without judgments, standards, expectations, or hooks. Unconditional love is love without any limitations. It most emphatically is not the so-called love exhibited by Christian political conservatives. 

Most of those who heard Jesus did not understand him and do not truly comprehend his message even now. Hence they insist on judging and condemning, when Jesus did no such thing, and still claim to be his followers.

Just as radical conservatives hijack and pervert Islam in the Middle East for their theocratic ends, so radical conservatives twist and distort Christianity for similar political goals in this country.

Let us hope that many others become as fed up (and as vocal about it) as Ms. Rice with the unloving, uncharitable words and deeds of the militant Christian right. There is hope yet that this nation will avoid becoming a Christian theocracy, which is the goal of far-right Christian conservatives. 

Some People Just Need Killing…

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Theocrats Put Death Mark on Heroine,
Punish Father in Fantasy Saga’s 3rd Book

Lancaster, Texas (July 16, 2008) — Some people just need killing.

Will the ones to die be Helen Andros, outspoken first-generation heroine of the Green Stone of Healing® fantasy saga, and her newly reconciled father?

The astonishing sequel to The Vision and Fallout, The Scorpions Strike debuts today in paperback and ebook versions. Helen and Lord James Mordecai endure proscription and savage punishment by the state-sanctioned Temple of Kronos.

Under a Temple death mark, Helen learns basic energy manipulation from Maguari, the otherworldly Mist-Weaver, and first uses her green gem for healing and saving lives. Lord James’ political enemies hound him relentlessly and a treacherous ally plots his assassination.

The Scorpions Strike is fast-paced, action-packed and full of surprises,” writes Anne Garber, managing director of “Just when you think you have figured out where these events might be heading, everything you imagined is thrown out the window.”

Calling the series “masterful,” Garber concludes, “Hooray for Helen Andros and the behaviour-models she has spawned. What an important void this character, and C.L. Talmadge’s inspirational story have filled!”

HealingStone Books today also made The Vision and Fallout available as paperbacks. Readers may browse through all three books online for free at

The first two novels in the series have drawn high praise.

“Exceptional job of writing, and keeping this story tightly together in a genre that is certainly difficult to do such, our author is top-notch,” Shirley P. Johnson writes about Fallout in Midwest Book Review. “If you love an intense read, packed with sinister power seekers, grueling heartless characters, yet laced with mystical moments, the lure of peace and healing, and the hope that goodness will prevail, this read is for you.”

“Helen is a formidable protagonist,” Kirkus Discoveries says about The Vision.

Over several generations of strong female characters, the saga explores what happens when politics and piety collide–how state support for an exclusionary religion leads to worldwide cataclysm and the utter destruction of an island nation called Azgard.

Author C.L. Talmadge describes the series as, “a blue-state version of ‘end-of-the-world’ fiction without a traditional religious viewpoint. Instead, it examines alternative spiritual themes and sets forth a different interpretation of free will and good and evil.”

Throughout the tale, the heroines and their mysterious jewel offer a healing, inclusive alternative to a government that persecutes those who do not look like or share the religious beliefs of the ones in power.

Readers who become fond of Helen and other characters will be delighted that they reincarnate, affirming that not even death can separate loved ones (or enemies).

Talmadge’s writing career began in 1976. A political columnist syndicated by North Star Writers Group, she has been on staff or freelanced for numerous media including Business Week, the Dallas Times Herald, Forbes, the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times and Reuters America.

The author discusses this latest book and how the series speaks to events today:

The Scorpions Strike
Paperback:       $16.95
Pages:      248
ISBN:      978-9800537-5-3

eBook:   $6.95
Format:    .pdf only
Pages:    312
ISBN:   978-0-9800537-2-2