It was no small shock to come to the end of my Haven series … and discover a whole new story. Technically this isn’t a WIP, since it comes out in a week, but here’s a piece from HARBOR ABSOLUTION, hope you like it.

Eric came into the farmhouse with a hesitant step. “Verity,” he swallowed hard, “we need you to come outside.”

Ignoring him seemed like the wisest choice.

“Help us. Please?”

“I am not the ruler of Helm.”

“You are all we have.”

“Sucks to be you, huh?”

“Verity,” crouching beside me I watched from a disinterested space as he laid his hand on my arm. I couldn’t feel him. I couldn’t feel anything. “Verity, there’s a situation outside, girl. A bad one. We need you to lead us.”

“The last time I tried to lead, I got half of you killed.”

“No, girl,” his sigh made my hair move. I still felt … nothing. “The war is Cass’s fault. Not yours. No one blames you.”

“I blame myself.”

“We still need you, honey. Please come outside.”

Last time I went outside the slate tile where I stood dissolved into my bare feet and slowly moved up my legs. Looking down, I was not surprised to see that I was covered with a striped pattern, marking the places where I absorbed stone. The universe will always provide when you know how to ask. My problem was that I had asked not to feel any pain anymore. Not to feel anything at all.

So its solution was to turn me to stone.

I secretly hoped that someone would put me in the garden when there was nothing left of me but a pretty Verity statue, dressed in a miniskirt and baby doll tank.

And a great pair of heels.

Girl priorities. Get used to it.

He pulled my body from the chair where I sat staring into my Grandma’s empty hearth locked in the pain of the past. I had no family any more. Parents were gone. Grandma disappeared. Sister close to death last time I saw her, probably dead by now. Brother had been gone so long I was sure he was toast as well. Isn’t there some famous quote about being a destroyer? Oh yeah. J. Robert Oppenheimer said it at the trinity test in New Mexico. Of course, he stole it from the Bhagavad Gita. I guess I get to do some theft on him. “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

That. Was. Me.



From the final installment of Haven, HARBOR ABSOLUTION

“You lost the God-squad?”

Right. Willow’s bellow got me to refocus on the issue at hand. My sister and her friend’s pending mutiny. Tell me something. Do other teenagers have problems like these?

“They weren’t helping as much as watching.”

“Even watching is better than nothing,” Willow said.cropped-haven-opt1.jpg

Stepping in between the budding feud between Kai and the resident witch, oh, our only witch, seemed wise at that point. Crap. We need Willow. “It was the best thing to do under the circumstances. You have to understand, if they’re not willing to help all of us what good are they?”


“Why did Haydn tell me I had a choice between you and the Shade?”

Just as the last words cleared my lips, Cass’s shadow seemed to grow to a hundred times its normal size. A low rumbling laugh, the kind I heard that first day in the forest came taunting at me on the afternoon breeze. I guess taking a Shade vacation was not in my cards.

“Never mind.”

“You were made”—she looked away from me—“not born into this conflict. The only reason you’re at Haven is because I found you first.”

Deciding a change in topic would be wise, I shook my head as the shadow retracted back to normal size. Maybe it was my imagination? I did almost get eaten. That had to play hell with a girl’s senses. To think the twins wanted to come visit me. Over my dead body.

Hmm. Maybe I’d better stop mentioning my dead body. This is getting a little too possible in the scheme of things.


“Haydn”—my hand cupped his cheek—“it will be fine.”

“No matter what, doll face, I do not leave your side.”

“Don’t worry so much.” I tried to laugh off the momentousness of the up-and-coming confrontation.

“I. Do Not. Leave. You.”

Realizing that he wasn’t going to bend in this situation, I sighed. “Okay, Haydn. We’re a team no matter what. I got it.”


“I’ve never been a team before,” I whispered.

“This one is for keeps, Verity. Don’t ever forget it.”

How could you not love hearing that sentence come out of a cute boy’s lips? And he was more sexy man than angelic kid. I didn’t know if I wanted to kiss him or put him in a box and stick him in my pocket. Wow, did I ever wish that was the only test I was going to have to cope with over the next few hours. I wished even harder that I had some idea, any iota of a clue, as to what I was going to say to the Haven kids.

Or where I belonged.

Do they make compasses for life paths? Could I order a boatload of them for express delivery please?

Like right now?

Anyone? FedEx? Amazon.com? God? Oprah?

I’m begging, just in case I hadn’t been clear the million times I’d mentioned it before.


She remembered. The bright light. The scream of the brakes. The sickening feeling of impact, and then the world turning around and around, until it stopped. She smelled the gas, opened her eyes to see her parents deadly still and contorted as if they were broken dolls … and then she saw the flames building, blocking the windows … cutting off all hope of escape. And finally the eye-burning flash of the car exploding. Topsy remembered every moment of the crash that killed her parents.

And ended her fifteen years on earth.

When she opened her eyes after the car exploded, it was to see this beautiful black girl staring at her with an irritated look on her face. Now she knew she was the one they called Cassandra, and Cassandra stated Topsy was too nice to be a part of her crew. So she was brought here, and thrust at the one called Nyx, who was supposed to be burdened by her presence.

She closed her eyes on earth and opened them in hell.

Friday Freebies!

A piece from the sequel to Seat of God, Journey of Josephus … coming soon.

Baba, he called inside of his heart, what do I do?

Where am I to go?

Who am I?

Returning to Ethiopia meant poverty. It meant a life lived knowing he would never be able to solve the many problems he saw around him on a day-to-day basis. Service. Piety. Chastity. Ouch, that one was going to hurt, especially now. Even worse … there was obedience, which was worse than chastity.

Well, maybe.

Looking up at the gleaming white façade of the luxury hotel, he sighed with a heavy sense of resignation. She had been the one who had sent him away. She claimed she never wanted to see him again. There were many things his woman was. Silken sheets wrapped around velvet skin. Aged Scotch whisky voice with a constant purr of desire beneath it. Enchanting – often charming the thoughts out of his head; a brain prizing both intelligence and empathy – the most successful combination to have; razor wit cutting through all pretensions; and a talent so pure it had to have come from heaven itself. A soul that eased his mind and put a balm over the wounds he carried from his childhood’s isolation.

Savior. Lover. Friend. The beat of his heart.

She was all that and more … but she was not Ethiopian.

There was no way she would understand.

Besides, she had already decreed  she had no interest in seeing him.

Ever again. It was those two words she added to his dismissal that hurt him the most. They were so similar to the ones he was assured were not being said when the Priest sent him away when he was ten.

What hurt most was she knew well how those words would wound him.

His head fell forward. He had already started to make lists of the things he needed to do. What to sell. What to leave invested. How to explain it to his cousins.

Baba, he implored, please help me.

Power of the Book Club

Ahh, book clubs. They seem to be a theme of my life right now as I await possible wonderful news to share with everyone. Seat of God went through its first book club in June and I am so proud. I’m only sad I didn’t get to “sit in” at least via phone to discuss it with them. I can’t help but wonder if other authors are willing to do the same? I can’t think of many things cooler than hearing what people think about it. There doesn’t seem to be one central location for all book clubs to register, at least not one that doesn’t demand money. If there was, I would totally want to sign up.

Cover whore and proud of it

coverHello. My name is Gryffyn and I am a cover whore. I loved my first cover for Seat of God and considered myself blessed to have so many amazing artists willing to create a visual statement for it. My mindset at the time was definitely explosive, and the image of the earth being ripped apart by the Ark of the Covenant and the three religions that revere it made sense. I was frustrated and disillusioned with the legacy publisher who had shattered all of my childish author dreams, stressed from the reality of starting Avalerion, and freaked out by money (a common problem for 99.99% of all authors). But my mood had nothing to do with the message of the book. At its heart, Seat of God has always been about the magic of the human spirit’s acceptance of the concept of redemption. The characters in it have all made choices most people would question, even judge, but they are always trying to do the right thing. Even if their “right thing” lies far inside a gray territory. When Charlee Harris suggested after reading the book that it deserved a different image, I loved her design. It presents the metaphor of what the seat of God is with a simple chair. Is it for a man, woman or child? Or is it for something more than these forms and that’s why it’s empty. In my long history, I didn’t realize how much thought can go into one book cover. I only hope you like it as much as I do.

Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I wasn’t sure about doing a blog, and wondered why anyone would care about my crazy, crazy world. Then Tamara Thorne, http://tamarathorne.wordpress.com/ encouraged me to join the next Big Thing Blog Hop and here we are. Please come and visit my site’s forum as well for any of those lovely little pesky religion questions people like to throw at my head. Cheers!



What is the working title of your book? Journey of Josephus
Where did the idea come from for the book? After people finished reading Seat of God I always got the same questions: who were the other priests at the end? where did the students in the school come from? what happened to Josephus on his journey of finding the key to the lost Arc of the Covenant … so this one was born.
What genre does your book fall under? spiritual thriller
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I usually cast from my life so this is a rough question for me. Only actor I can think of at the moment is Mos Def would make an awesome Josephus.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Father Josephus, cast from the Ethiopian Church, sets out determined to find the lost Arc of the Covenant and solve his ancient family prophecy.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Avalerion Books will handle it.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Two months.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I don’t know many people who combine Ethiopian mythology with religion and history. I am a great fan of writers like James Rollins, Steve Berry and the incredible Stel Pavlou.
Who or What inspired you to write this book? There is a real priest who inspired Josephus, I’m not naming names for his protection.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I try to make everything in my books scientifically possible. I’ve met some amazing scientists in my time and when they talked about God it was always inspirational. This belief that the two can’t exist together is narrow-minded thinking … and the ONE thing I’m not is narrow minded.

Now I get to hot potato this thing to the next brilliant people in line. In one week check out the amazing Q.L. Pearce http://qlpearce.wordpress.com/ and the incredible Monica O’Rourke http://www.facebook.com/MonicaJORourke?fref=ts.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑