What if the Apocalypse Caught Up With Us!

Marked by Fortune came out a few years ago. 100K word post-apocalyptic urban fantasy, it's a coming of age story about a young human mage raised by wizards. It takes place in the Eastern Sierra and got lovely reviews when it was newer.
I put a yummy new cover on it, and I'm hoping you'll love it as much as I do. Not just the cover, but what's inside.
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Magic levies a steep price on anyone brave enough or stupid enough to dabble in it.

Wizards never forgave Ned for not being one of them. They didn’t exactly come out and say his life was expendable, but they didn’t have to. He figured it out fast enough when they conscripted him into their long-running war the second he was old enough to fight. Isolated, different, he puzzled out how his brand of magic worked on his own.

Fleeing the tide of doom wiping out humanity, Amanda and her family escape to a remote corner of California, where they eke out a hardscrabble existence. With her parents at each other’s throats and her brother mysteriously gone, Amanda encounters malevolent power beyond her wildest imaginings. Captured by the Undead, she’s about to join their ranks when Ned shows up.

Defying a direct order from his wizard battle lord, Ned dives into the fray. He might not know Amanda, but it doesn’t matter. She’s in trouble and needs his magic.

It’s good enough for him.
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It's been a while since I added to this blog. I've decided to piggyback on what I send to my newsletter family. I hope you enjoy my ramblings!

It’s funny how I run across something and it turns into a veritable cascade of ideas. In this instance, someone posted an article on FB about how the cancer industry doesn’t care about curing anyone. The article went on to say that cancer has turned into big business, and if they cure everyone they’ll work themselves right out of a job.

First off, the premise is absurd. No matter how many cancers we cure, there will always be more.
Modern medicine has come up with cures for many, many types of cancer that were incurable as little as twenty years ago. And I’m grateful for the research models that underwrote those cures. Some of the newer interventions that utilize the body’s immune system show great promise too.

Do I think the newer medicines should cost upward of $200K/year? Of course not, but that’s more a political issue than a medical one. Here in the U.S. we spend double per capita for medical interventions than any other industrialized nation with poorer results on key indicators like heart disease, cancer, overall lifespan, etc. etc.

Like so many Internet articles, the “cancer industry” one got a few things right. Way more people are being diagnosed with cancer now than fifty years ago. There are a couple of reasons for that. The first is we have far better and more sophisticated tests, ones that allow us to detect cancers no one could find a generation back.

The second reason for the proliferation of cancers is, unfortunately, us. We live a far more sedentary lifestyle than our parents and certainly than our grandparents did. What we eat (or don’t eat) also plays a part. Does anyone who exercises and eats right also get cancer? Or course they do. Adele Davis comes to mind. (If anyone else remembers her.)

But this is an odds game. Part of it is the genes you were born with and part of it is what you do with them. It has become more challenging—and expensive—to shop for food that supports our bodies. In many ways, this is part of the ongoing war on poverty.

Clean air, uncontaminated water, and healthy food should be readily available to everyone. So should quality healthcare. Emphasis on should. There are so many days I’m ashamed of my country, ashamed of how we’ve failed to provide basic necessities to so many.

I donate to worthy causes, but it’s never anywhere near enough to make a difference. I recycle. I try to use my car as little as possible. Sometimes I think I should stop writing books and put my money where my mouth is, and then I remind myself I’m no longer a young woman. Politics has become a dirty game, and I’m positive one more voice wouldn’t make any difference at all.

Each of us does what we can. My compromise is I call both California senators’ offices on a regular basis. My congressional representative stopped answering his phone months back. He’s not running again, which is probably a good thing.

Stay tuned for my four-part series on surviving the holidays!


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