My return to writing…

I know, it’s been a loooong time, but I have a really good excuse…honest.

In 2014 – right as I was publishing Legendary Magic, my husband had a medical crisis that hit us completely out of the blue.  One day we were wandering the art galleries in Vermont, the next we were in the Emergency Room.  Thus began the hardest time in my life.  Three years of worry, stress, and eventually savoring every moment until the inevitable happened.

I should mention that half way through my husband’s illness, my mother’s heart condition worsened…so I learned how to be a two-location caregiver.  I should also mention they died four months apart.

Four months.  Yup.

My two biggest supports were both gone and I had to learn how to stand completely on my own and recover from repeated trauma and stress.  Fortunately, I have those skills (and a whole bunch of other ones I was surprised to learn were within me).

But it’s time to put my life back together and that means balancing my writing with my art, but first there’s something I absolutely have to do:  start my own resource blog for caregivers.  It’s not an easy lot in life, but (if you can keep your sanity) it is rewarding.

Needless to say, there wasn’t a whole lot of time to write.  There wasn’t a whole lot of time for anything, really.  But I have mental notes and all sorts of new angles running around my head and now that my powers of concentration are back, I’m diving right in.  I’m drafting the blog posts right now, and I’ll put up a link as soon as I title it (I might need a bit of help on that one) and figure out if I want the entire thing to go live at once or to space out the posts.  Decisions, decisions…

So as soon as the blog is ready, I’ll let you know.  Then it’s back to Arienne and the gang, as well as Cally, Cleo, and a few new characters I want you all to meet.

So here we go.  Back to a whole different life.


R. Leonia Shea

NaNoWriMo progress


I’m moving right along with my NaNoWriMo project – I’ve had two prolific days following two days when I just couldn’t find the time to write.  Once I’m in the groove, though, I should be able to do a good 5,000 words today – that’ll bring me above the progress line!

New Cover for NaNoWriMo project!


So I took a little time yesterday to work on the cover of my new novel.  I’ve actually had the artwork done for quite some time – but since NaNoWriMo started I’m feeling like I will actually have it done (maybe in time for all of the new Christmas Kindles)!

Inspiration Files for NaNoWriMo


It’s day 5 of NaNoWriMo and I’m over 10,000 words in to a new Romance series I’ve been rolling around in my head for several years now.  As I write, I am imagining some of my favorite locations along the North Shore of Boston (like the photo above which I took at Halibut Point State Park).

I was going to finish the fourth book in the Relic Hunter Series, but life’s been a bit stressful these past few years and I decided to make this year the year of relaxation writing.  You see, that’s how this whole writing thing started for me.  I began to seriously write in order to deal with conflict I had between wanting adventures and the current state of my life at the time which prevented me from having adventures.  My elderly dog was diabetic and blind – so the summer adventures we’d always shared as a family were put on hold for the dog’s comfort.  I don’t regret those precious moments I spent with my husband and our dog in the air-conditioned comfort of our home; those long summer days with Sandy gave life to the Relic Hunter series.

So this year, I decided to go back to my roots and begin writing in a new genre – not only for the escapism pleasure of my readers – but as therapy for myself.  Through writing, I can revisit some of my favorite places in the world – places where I have been happiest and most at peace – and then give those emotions to my characters.  In a way, I am vicariously living through my characters (and at times re-living), but isn’t that the goal of every writer?

At the end of November I will have finished my novel.  I’m not 100% sure of the title yet, but I know the series will be sub-titled “A Mulligan’s Cove Romance”.  If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, look me up – I could always use a few writing buddies!


Coming Soon….


As I prep for NaNoWriMo, I thought it was time I finished a Relic Hunter Short that I’ve been working on for a while.  I just got the cover done…What do you think???

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

It’s nearly that time of year again and I’ve been busily prepping for National Novel Writing Month.  For the first time, I decided to try working from an outline – now that may seem like a no-brainer, but in all honesty, I have never used an outline with any degree of fidelity.  Sure, I outline upon occasion, but when my fingers are on the keyboard the story usually just flows.  Then my outline is completely obsolete after a few chapters.   I manage to wind my self back to the ending I had planned, but the twists and turns of the story line are completely spontaneous.

But then again, the last time that happened I had oodles of time to concentrate and these days I’m rather short on time – not to mention my powers of concentration match those of your average fruit fly.    So outlining it shall be!

I don’t anticipate getting through the entire first draft of Jealous Magic (the latest in the Relic Hunter Series) but I do plan on getting the bulk of the scenes crafted.  I hope to not let my NaNoWriMo group down (like I did the last time I participated).  I hope to keep moving forward and not getting stuck on the details.  So I’ve put a few safeguards in place to prevent being derailed by my usual demons…

I have a cover for Jealous Magic (I write best when I have the cover already done – I think it provides me with a little motivation).

I have the ending written. (It might change, but I have a hard time not obsessing over where the story’s going to finally end up – so when I write it first, I can relax and let my characters take me on the journey).

I still need to log into the NaNoWriMo site and re-join my group (if they’ll have me :)).

And probably 387 other things I didn’t think of.  But for now, it’s full steam ahead –  I even have an outline to prove it!



This Gang is just…AWESOME!

I love it when one of my favorite author sites features me as the author of the day.  If you’re an indie (like me) or a traditionally published author then check out AwesomeGang for promotions and their features.  They’re really an incredible site devoted to promoting all authors (and most of the authors help promote other authors and give such generous advice).  It’s really amazing and here’s their website link Awesome Gang and you can find them on Facebook and Twitter and even on Pinterest!

Sneak Preview – A Wayward Witch

I’m too excited to keep one of Evan Robeson’s cases to myself.  Here’s a sneak peak at his very own story:  A Wayward Witch

The knock on the door was nothing if not authoritative. I grumbled and swore under my breath before reluctantly slamming my work back in the cabinet and trudging to the door. I flung it open without looking out the peep hole, and was startled to find one of Boston’s finest looking wide-eyed and flustered. I made a note to dial back on the irritation I felt at being interrupted.

“Mr. Robeson?” He asked, settling down into something resembling belligerent.

“Yes, officer. How can I help you?” I forced neutrality into my voice.

“We need to investigate a complaint filed by your neighbor, Mr. Durham.”

I didn’t hide the sigh. “What is it now? I’m the high wizard in some cult that tortures small animals?” I put on my best weary expression and ran my hand down my face.

The officer quickly hid a smile. “Um, actually Mr. Robeson, he claims you put something in his water supply.”

I grinned. “Actually, he probably thinks I ‘cursed’ his water, right? What did I put in it…eye of newt, wing of bat?” I shook my head sadly and stood aside, gesturing for the policeman to enter my townhouse. “Come on in, Officer. You might as well call me Evan, I think we’re going to be seeing quite a bit of each other.” I stood aside and the officer entered, glancing around with mild curiosity.

“Nice place.” He commented, and followed me through the rooms to the kitchen at the back of the house.

“Thanks. High Evil Wizard pays pretty well.” I replied, not hiding the grin in my voice or on my face. “You see, Mr. Durham is convinced I’m an evil wizard so everything that goes wrong at his place must be my fault.  In reality, I’m an attorney.” I paused next to my suit jacket which was hung on the back of my sofa and fished out a card. I handed it to him with a shrug. “I’m sorry you got called for this, officer. May I offer you some water or maybe an iced tea?”

The officer declined and glanced at my card. It was a heavy cardstock with my name in raised black letters and a fictitious law firm name. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a real attorney, but my employer is a little paranoid – and justifiably so. I watched as the cop flipped open his small black book and began reading his notes to me.

“Mr. Durham says his water has been running black for the past two days. He suspects you somehow caused it because you’re in a disagreement over a parking spot.”

“I can’t explain his water situation, but yes, he does complain that I usually manage to get a parking space right out front. He thinks it’s magic.” I smiled and spread my hands wide as if I had no explanation for Mr. Durham’s crazy ideas.

“Magic?” The officer tried to hide a grin, but the corners of his mouth twitched just enough to give him away.

“I come home at odd hours, and there’s usually one open space in front of the two houses when I get here. Mr. Durham comes home at 5:15 every night, and there’s no parking anywhere on this block. Probably because everyone else gets home at 5:10, but he thinks I use some sort of magic to clear out a space for myself.” I laughed and leaned against the counter, holding my hands out in surrender.

“Did you have words over it two days ago?”

“Yes. Mr. Durham parked his car down the street, and it was my bad luck to get a spot right out front of my house when he finally got to his own door. He made some snide comment, and I’d had a bit of a long day and told him I made the other car disappear. I suppose I probably shouldn’t have said there was no point in being a wizard if you couldn’t at least get decent parking.” I pulled a contrite look and shrugged. “You see, this has been going on for a few months now, and I’ve tried to explain it rationally, but there’s no reasoning with the man. This time, I changed my tactic and lied to him. I told him I was using magic, thinking he’d realize the absurdity of that, but apparently I overestimated him.” I laughed. “Who would have expected him to take me seriously?”

I forced some calm energy out of myself, giving the officer an apologetic shrug for good measure.

The officer nodded sympathetically and finally closed his notebook gently. He assured me he would alert the city water commission about the problem and speak to Mr. Durham again. I smiled, nodded, and thanked him wearily. I even shook his hand at the door. Really, a wizard with nothing better to do than get good parking spaces and screw with my neighbor’s water?

Maybe that’s what retired wizards do, but I had bigger fish to fry at that moment.


Stay tuned for more from Evan – as well as sneak peak of my new novel co-authored with April Chanderon and the debut of my new series! After all, it is NaNoWriMo!

What the bad times taught this author

I had one of those dark years where everything in life changes and it takes a long time to put the pieces back together and find “the new normal” – but here’s what I learned from the experience:

1.)  Books transport you out of the stress and despair and into a whole other world where people have bigger problems than you.  In this way, they give you perspective  and they entertain you when you think there’s nothing on the planet that you can focus on.  I will be forever grateful to Mercy Thompson (a great heroine from Patricia Briggs) and Jane Yellowrock (another of my “girlfriends” from Faith Hunter) for keeping me company on some really dark days.  Those two series brought me through the scariest time in my life – and even made me laugh when I didn’t think I could.  I went from therapy writing to therapy reading but I’m on my way back again.

2.)  Writing takes tremendous concentration – and when I’m stressed I have the attention span of a gnat.  I haven’t been able to string two coherent sentences together for an entire year but…

3.)  Research is the first step toward recovery.  I might not have been able to write, but I sure did put in some late nights at the computer researching for my next books.  I haven’t lost the passion to write, just the time and focus – but that’s shifting back.  Arienne’s on a new adventure, there’s a new heroine with a mystery to solve, and two other books I’m co-authoring with my good friend April Chanderon.  2016 should be an exciting year!

4.)  At my core, I weathered the storm quite well.  My characters have the same ability – when other people might crumble, they don’t – when sane people would give up, they forge ahead.  There’s a little part of the author in every character – and I’m sure I’m not the only author who stitches together characters with bits and pieces of myself.

5.)  I still write “smart, fun fantasy” because everyone needs an escape.  That won’t change because I learned that escaping into a good book is salvation – and I am more than willing to have Arienne, Callie, and Cleo hold someone else’s hand through the scary times life sometimes brings.