Moondancer drake

Author of Multicultural LGBTQ Speculative Fiction

Book One in the Heartbeat of the Earth series, Second edition

ISBN: 978-1-61929-264-2
Format: Trade Paper, ??? pages
Cover Price: $ ? (print) $ 9.99 (ebook)
Publication Date: January 2016
Publisher: Regal Crest Enterprises


This title is available from the
following Distributors: Ingram & Bella Distribution


Available by order through your favorite independent bookstore!


Shortlisted for the 2010 Golden Crown Literary Society award for Paranormal Romance.

Sky is a single mother struggling to support herself and Drake, her blind son, with hardheaded determination and a waitress' salary. Meg watches Sky stumble through one doomed relationship after another with the wrong men, never daring to reveal the secret love she has for Sky. When Sky learns that an aunt she's never known has left her a manor house, the three of them move to Green Grove, a town hidden away to anyone without magic in their blood. Not all the magic is good, however. The Sect, a dark magic group, wants Sky's new home and Sacru Teren, a magical place her family is bound by blood to protect. With the arrival of Roger Thompson, a charming local doctor that seems determined to sweep Sky off her feet, Meg is left with little but jealousy and doubt. Will the handsome doctor steal away their chance to be happy together, or will visions of Sky's past and the dark secret that past holds change everything?  


Drake’s novel features a compelling plot with nice pacing. The revelations don’t feel rushed, character reveals are nicely satisfying and the introduction of a queer romance between the two main female characters… well! Their love feels not only real but nicely sexy. This is an unusual entry into the world of paranormal romance because of its diverse cast, the types of magic featured, and the gothic rural/suburban vibe. ~ Maria of The Hathor Legacy blog (read more here)


Ancestral Magic is light entertaining reading that features a good story and strong characters. Sky is a strong woman who is buffeted by situations she doesn't want to be part of, but can't control. The reader can sympathize with her as she struggles to understand how the pieces of her life are finally fitting together. Meg's struggle to be the "best friend" to the woman she loves can have a familiar ring to women who think they can't reveal how they truly feel to their straight friends. The atmosphere of Green Grove rolls off of the pages, drawing the reader in and casting a spell that will make you wish there is going to be a sequel to this story. ~ Lynne Pierce (read more here)


"Moondancer Drake draws on indigenous history and ideology to create a rich "underworld" that exists right in plain view of contemporary America, in which battles and intrigue rage between warring clans--one seeking ultimate domination, the other fighting to prevent it. Ancient wisdom goes head-to-head with old animosities in this tension-laden cat-and-mouse game where the stakes are nothing less than the future of a lineage whose roots run deep in the sacred healing traditions of the Earth." ~ Andi Marquette, author of Land of Entrapment and State of Denial


Excerpt #1


Sky closed the ledger with a snap and leaned back in her chair, reaching her hands toward the ceiling. Her shoulders cracked, one after the other, and she groaned. Twice a month she went through the torture of paying bills. There was something masochistic about watching a bank account dwindle away, bit by bit, check after check. Things had always been tight, but lately she felt as if they were drowning in a sea of debt with no rescue boat in sight.

If it hadn’t been for the state funded programs available to them because of Drake’s disability, they never would have been able to afford his doctor bills or school equipment. Books in Braille were expensive enough when you had a son who was a voracious reader, but with Drake going to a school for the gifted, each of his textbooks had to be specially printed.


A year ago, Drake had insisted he wanted a dog like their neighbor Telisha’s. Sky applied to accredited training schools all over the country, but most insisted Drake was too young for one of their guide dogs. She gathered letters from his teachers and school, reports from therapists and doctors, and after a long battle, Drake’s application was finally accepted by a school in New Jersey.


Their friends and family had pitched in so they could pay Drake’s fees, which covered his room and board for the month he stayed at the guide dog school and the travel fare from Milwaukee to Morristown and back. Sky didn’t like taking charity, didn’t like feeling that she owed a debt to anyone, but she swallowed her pride for Drake’s sake.


From the day Jewel entered their lives, she had been a treasure. The freedom her son gained from having Jewel as his guide, and knowing Drake was never alone, brought Sky peace of mind. Vet bills and food for a seventy-pound Labrador were not easy on the budget, but even with the extra financial burden, Jewel was worth her weight in gold.


For his birthday next January, Sky wanted to give Drake a Braille printer and a computer. She had saved all year for the cash and had even looked into financing to get it. That, too, had fallen prey to the reality of their new situation and the limitations their reduced circumstances placed on any further plans. She wanted to make Drake’s life easier, to give her son everything he needed, but...

Sky sighed and gathered up the bills. Throwing on her coat, she checked her pocket for the keys and locked the front door on her way out. One more batch of bills paid to fend off the creditors, and a large hole burned in an already thin bank account. Just proof that no matter how tough things got, somehow she and Drake got by. Some months it was close, and lately she almost always came home tired, but they survived.


She walked across the sidewalk to the mailbox, the packet of filled envelopes held tightly in her hand. Things were starting to get desperate, and she wasn’t sure what more she could do. One more surprise, and the narrow ledge on which their lives precariously perched might just tumble out from under her little family.


“Mrs. Hawthorne?”


Sky looked back toward the apartment building and saw a man in a sharply pressed suit standing on the top step. Everything about him, from the serious look on his face to the well-shined shoes, said his was not a social call.

“It’s Ms., actually; I never took my husband’s last name.” She opened the door of the mailbox and slid the letters inside. Her heart raced. A lawyer? It had to be. She took a deep breath and turned to the man. “Can I help you, sir?”


The man walked down the cracked cement steps and crossed the sidewalk to her. “My name is Michael Kessing, Ms. Hawthorne, and I’m here to discuss an official matter with you.” He held out his card and she took it. “Is there somewhere we can talk? Over coffee perhaps?”


Sky eyed the card suspiciously. “Any reason why we can’t just talk right here?”

“Ms. Hawthorne, it’s been a long drive from Columbia County. I’d like to sit down and relax while we discuss this matter.” He pulled a leather wallet from the inside pocket of his coat and flipped it open to reveal his driver’s license. “I understand your caution, and I commend it, but what we have to discuss could take a while.”


She scanned the driver’s license carefully and matched it with the name on the business card in her hand. Sky checked her watch. It was three o’clock; Drake would be home on the bus in an hour and a half. “Can you tell me what this is about, Mr. Kessing?”


“Ms. Hawthorne, it will take a long time to give you the details of what I’ve been sent to discuss with you.” Mr. Kessing walked back to the steps and picked up the briefcase that he’d set there. “Suffice it to say, it would be quite advantageous for your family if you agree to this meeting.”


Sky chewed the inside of her cheek in thought. The last thing her family needed was more trouble. Panic welled inside her until she was sure she would choke on it. Best to get this over with so she could plan how to attack the new problem.

Sky pointed down the street. The cool fall air was making her arms and hands tingle and she rubbed her fingers together to warm them. “There’s a diner across from the casino on Clyborn. I’ll have to call someone to meet my son when he gets home from school and also let them know where I am.”


“Understandable.” Mr. Kessing nodded at her arms, which were covered in goosebumps. “You may want to get a jacket while you’re at it. I’ll meet you at the diner in fifteen minutes. Is that sufficient time?”


“Give me twenty; that should be fine.” Mr. Kessing’s hard-soled shoes clicked on the street as he crossed to the other side, apparently heading for the silver Acura RSX parked at the corner. Sky took several calming breaths and turned back toward the apartment building.


The tiny ledge her family perched upon was getting even shakier, and there was nothing to grab on to if they fell.


Excerpt #2


“I don’t know why she keeps doing that, Megan.” The gray-haired woman in the blue and green flowered housedress pursed her lips and shook her head.
Meg chuckled as she surveyed the damage that had been done to the screen on the elderly woman’s front door. There was an indentation in the mesh and a tear at about mid-calf height. Meg looked down at the beagle and smiled. “Maybe Angel just wants to see what’s going on in the neighborhood.”


“I’m sorry to drag you over here.”

“No trouble at all, Mrs. Bianchi.” Meg took the roll of dark screen out of her canvas bag, as well as the roll of spline. “I thought that instead of patching the hole this time, we might just replace the screen with some damage resistant wire cloth. That way Angel can have her view without ruining your screen.”


“You are such a good neighbor, Megan.” Mrs. Bianchi bent down and scratched between her dog’s floppy ears. “My son will be in town next week. He’s a very successful businessman, sells technology and doodads out East. He’s handsome and smart, quite a catch, and he’d adore a strong, independent woman like you.”

Meg suppressed a laugh. Mrs. Bianchi was well intentioned, but also a wee bit senile. “Mrs. Bianchi, I like women, remember?”


“Oh, yes. I forgot.” Mrs. Bianchi smiled and nodded. “You were dating that artist, weren’t you? Mindy, Mandy...”


“Marty.” Meg walked over to the screen and removed a flathead screwdriver from her toolbelt. “She went back to Jacksonville last month. Something about a job at a community center there.”


Mrs. Bianchi tutted sympathetically. “Pity. She seemed like a nice girl.” Angel barked and wagged his tail as he looked up at his owner


“Oh, yes. It’s time for your walk, isn’t it, sweetie? We’ll be back soon, Megan. Angel needs to...” Mrs. Bianchi’s voice lowered to a whisper, “to go potty.”

Meg’s face scrunched as she snickered. Mrs. Bianchi and her dog went out of the room toward the kitchen, and soon Meg heard the backdoor open and close with a thump.


The smile faded as her thoughts returned to Marty. She was a nice woman, and, in truth, the two of them had lasted longer than most of Meg’s relationships. Ten months she and Meg had been a couple before Marty decided their relationship just wasn’t going anywhere and moved on.


It went like that with every woman Meg had ever been with. They were all good women — strong, creative, and intelligent. Things would be going well — good times, great sex — and then after a while, it just all felt apart. They wanted commitment; they wanted emotional attachment. Meg just couldn’t give those things. How could she open her heart to someone else when she had long ago lost it to another?


Meg removed the metal frame of the screen from the door and pried out the spline holding the metal cloth in place. She didn’t mind jobs like this. People like Mrs. Bianchi were good neighbors, and her mother had considered the woman a good friend. Every week, the two older women would get together in Mrs. Bianchi’s kitchen to play poker and talk about their kids and grandkids.

When Peggy died, Mrs. Bianchi insisted on having the memorial at her house and cooked a big meal for the lot of them. Having her mother’s friend with them during that time brought Meg a lot of comfort, and in many ways, helping Mrs. Bianchi was like doing something special for her mom. Nothing else could match that feeling.


Meg slid the tape measure from her belt and measured the old screen, then, unrolled the new, sturdier cloth and marked the new screen off with a bit of chalk. She was about to start cutting when her cell phone vibrated in her shirt pocket.


“Crud.” Meg set the snips aside and pulled the telephone out of her pocket, flipping it open with her thumb. She checked the caller ID screen and grinned. She never minded that particular interruption. “Hey, Sky. What’s up?”


“Can you meet Drake after school today? I might be home late and I want to make sure someone’s with him.”


Meg could hear a tremor in Sky voice and her body tensed. “Sure I can. I’ll finish up here and be there in fifteen minutes.” After a moment’s hesitation, she said, “What’s going on?”


“Some lawyer wants to talk with me but he won’t say what it’s about. I told him to meet me down at Miss Katie’s.”


“I’ll call Kelly on my way to your place.” Meg rubbed her chin with her forefinger as she thought. “I think she’s on shift at the diner. Kelly’ll keep an eye out to make sure there’s no trouble.”


“I figure if we meet at Miss Katie’s, if it goes bad I can drown my sorrows in a plate of cheddar cheese fries and a big chocolate malt.”


Meg prided herself on being a healthy eater and the thought off all that grease and sugar in one sitting made her cringe. “Well, if for nothing else but the sake of your arteries, I hope it goes well.” Meg smiled as Sky chuckled on the other end. “See you back at your place?”


“Soon as I can.”


“It’ll be okay, Sky. No matter what he wants, we’ll fix it.” Meg flipped the phone closed and held it in her hand. She wished stuff like that was as easy to fix as a door or a faucet. Whatever this lawyer wanted, Meg didn’t imagine it was good.

“Was that Drake’s mom on the phone?” Mrs. Bianchi’s voice called from the kitchen.


Meg’s eyes widened and she turned toward the doorway. The old woman’s mind might be leaking a little, but her ears were as sharp as ever. “Yes, Mrs. Bianchi. I have to be there to meet him when he gets home from school as soon as I finish with your door.”


“Oh, that will work out fine then.” The smell of warm pumpkin and ginger wafted out into the hall as Angel pushed his way through the kitchen door. “Let me send you with some biscotti and zuppa. I have a nice thick minestra in an ice cream tub in the deep freezer. It’ll keep until the boy and his mother both get home.”


“Thanks, that would be nice.” Meg smiled as she turned back to finish repairing the screen door. Mrs. Bianchi was a very good person. Many times she’d sent Meg home with some of her zuppa. It was generally some sort of soup thickened with bread. La Zuppa fa sette cose Mrs. Bianchi called it. In Italy, that meant something that not only made you happy and content by filling your belly, but also healed your spirit. In this country it was called comfort food, and after that phone call, comfort sounded like exactly what her family would need tonight.