Robin D. Owens, Lost Heart, and Summer Solstice (& Giveaway)

Happy Tuesday, one day past Summer Solstice! I’m off to the ophthalmologist today so he can tell me I’m the most nearsighted person he’s ever met (again), so I’m pleased today to turn today’s blog over to the awesome Robin D. Owens, who’ll talk about the solstice, her series, and her new book, LOST HEART. And there’s a giveaway at the end!
Take it away, Robin:

Hi, my name is Robin D. Owens and I write fantasy romance, fantasy with romantic subplot, and paranormal romance. I’ve been lucky enough to win the RITA® award from RWA, as well as other awards.  Most recently, Heart Legacy was named one of the top ten romances of 2015 by Library Journal.

I’m most known for my stories featuring intelligent animal companions with attitude (a redundancy when applied to cats).  And of the four series I’ve written, my readers’ favorite is the Celta HeartMate series, which is essentially a Regency society . . . with magic and Celtic traditions.

I also consider my writing light and humorous, however my comments below are more serious and about worldbuilding.

I chose this day to blog because it was the closest available to the Summer Solstice, which occurred yesterday in the northern hemisphere.  In the southern hemisphere they experienced the shortest day of the year.

The planet Celta was colonized four hundred years ago by Earth people with psi fleeing from persecution.  They decided they wanted a Celtic culture, and so I’ve written about people who celebrate the Divine Couple, the Lady and Lord.  Most of the time the religion is far in the background, but this is also a culture that prizes nature and celebrates the seasons, which would include the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.

So I’ve written rituals in several books.  Some ceremonies are not particularly religious, but all depend on magic — psi power — which I call Flair.  They’re performed in a circle with people linking hands.  I DO depend on research to make these feel good and right — at least to me.

For these rituals I’ve mined my reference books, websites, and finally crafted my own exactly as I want.

The point is that I respect the culture and world I’m building, I try to add layers that will make Druida City on the planet Celta, seem real to my readers.  I want people to accept the religion I craft as much as my characters do.  It’s a backdrop for their lives.

But it can also be very important because, like the Summer Solstice, it is a holiday and time to work some magic in the world.  The rituals should also be spiritually uplifting and give my characters some insights.

As I writer I use the rituals to help my characters grow, and I move the plot forward.

Sometimes I like researching and writing the rituals, sometimes I put it off because it isn’t writing that flows from my subconscious through my fingers and keyboard to land on the page.

owensThe first ritual I have in my series is, I believe, was a Healing Circle in Heart Duel, number 3 (they all have “Heart” in the title, so it makes it confusing for folks).  The latest I crafted was my first Wedding in my first self-published novella, Lost Heart.

Now, I’ve never done a Summer Solstice ritual in my work (maybe in Heart Sight, my work in progress), but I loved the Yule ritual in Heart Fate — complete with a goofy dog, Familiar Companion.

The hardest one to write was a “New Year’s/Samhain” ceremony (November 1), in the story Heart and Soul in the story collection of Hearts and Swords.  I consider that ritual as the best I’ve written, and one of my best pieces of writing, too.

Writers, especially those of fantasy, emphasize different aspects of their worlds, I really want these rituals in my work to be special and memorable to my readers as well as fulfilling the needs of the story.  And that’s why I blogged about them.

Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again!

For your information:  As I said I recently released my first self-published work, Lost Heart, a Celta Novella.  It’s $3.99 and about the size of a short book.  Here’s the blurb: 

Celta, a place of magic, telepathic animal companions, and romance . . . Lost Heart, a story rife with hidden agendas and dangerous secrets.

Barton Clover, Chief of Security for his large and noble family, is deeply aware of his responsibilities. When two young relatives repudiate the family and later disappear, he’s determined to find them and convince them to return. He has no time or inclination for love . . . but his family disapproves of his nothing-but-work life. They decree that he must visit a matchmaker or lose his position.

Enata Licorice, a revered librarian, has been doing research in a mysterious records vault . . . and is finding odd blanks in her memory. Lonely, she yearns for a good husband and arranges a matchmaking session of her own.

It’s love at first sight for Barton and Enata, but both are crucial members of their families. Clans who practice opposite lifestyles. And both families demand the couple’s time and attention, causing strife.

While trying to resolve their issues, Barton discovers Enata’s secret and they must work as a couple to resolve the puzzle that includes Barton’s missing relatives — if they dare. And if they fail, more than their own lives are lost.

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lost-heart-a-celta-novella-robin-owens/1123671206?ean=9781530586301

My website contains excerpts and extras (notes on the worldbuilding and books)
http://robindowens.com/

I am extremely active on facebook, especially in discussions about my work and others’:   https://www.facebook.com/robin.d.owens.73

And my pinterest page has lots of images I use to visualize my work:
https://www.pinterest.com/robindowens/

You can sign up here for my newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bYc2dT

Thanks, Robin! And I’ll give away one copy of LOST HEART to a commenter. Do you have a favorite of Robin’s books? Or, alternately, what’s your favorite fantasy novel?
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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban and paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense, currently living in Auburn, Alabama. Author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, and Belle Chasse (Nov 2016). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the upcoming Wilds of the Bayou series (Book 1, Wild Man's Curse) releases April 2016).

29 thoughts on “Robin D. Owens, Lost Heart, and Summer Solstice (& Giveaway)

  1. I absolutely love the Celta series! I reread Heart Mate at least once a year. Her couples are well developed and have real world problems. The familiars are terrific too! I want one for myself! I hope Vinnie will get a book as well. Lost Heart is a great read.

      • VINNI’S COMING? Awesome news, very excited about this news. He is such an interestingly deep character so it will be interesting to see how his and Avellana’s story goes.

  2. It’s a new author for me but after reading this blog post i definitively want to read Lost heart ( perhaps should i start with book 1 first so i will add it to my wishlist) i love when worldbuilding are so well thought and i do love celtic culture so it’s a great bonus but animal companion is what caught my interested the most

    as for a fantasy book/ universe i love i will say those by tamora Pierce as they are those that gave me the most good memories

    thank you a lot for the giveaway!

  3. Liz S. Thanks! Yes, I’m writing Vinni’s book now (he’s a boy we’ve watched grow up, the prophet of Celta). People live extremely long on Celta! Thanks for giving it a shot Miki! HeartMate is the first book, put out by Berkley!

    • Her Celta books ( Heart in each title) and her Amee book (starts with Guardian of Honor) are just so good. Robin has true skill in her world building. Hope you enjoy them. They are so worth the time.

  4. Robin does some of the best world building! I have read all of her books and the Heart series is my favorite because of her fantastic world building. The characters are so easy to connect with and grow with, because you are not stumbling over poorly written back stories or unfinished/sloppy world building. Thank you Robin for bringing us such lovable characters, fams we adore and a world we all wish we could visit!

  5. I’ve read all of Robin’s books and especially like the Celta series with the telepathic animals. I was particularly charmed by the cat in Nuada’s Sword who rode around in his own flying disc. (It’s been years since I read that one, so I don’t remember his name.) The cat companions with psychic powers were what sold me on her books, but I went on to read all the other series as well because of the interesting character developments and plots.

    As for the rituals in some of the books, I’ve enjoyed those. It’s been my experience that many things are amplified in a group, and I like how she uses that. My favorite one was I think a year’s end/beginning one that I actually copied down and used part of as my own New Year’s ritual that year : )

    Please keep writing quickly and prolifically! Maybe a new series with the animals as the main characters. >^..^<

  6. Love Robin D. Owens! I have to say I love ALL of her books, but the (Celta) Heart series are my favorite. All of her books usually take you to another world where her wonderful imagination creates such magic as to keep you hooked on every word..(For me anyway)

  7. I have Ghost Seer, book one in that series. Maybe I should give Celta HeartMate a try. Thanks for your blog today.

    • Yes, the Heart series and her Amee series starting Guardian of Honor are series that pull you in… And you, you lucky person, won’t have to even wait for the next books. I envy you. While I liked the seer books, I don’t reread them like I do the Heart and Amee books.

  8. I love all of the books that Robin Owens has put out. I have a few authors who’s work I go out of my way to collect and She made the short list with her Celta Series, although, oddly enough, it wasn’t the first one I picked up. 🙂

  9. I have to comment because I LOVE all the Celta series, which I read and re-read. I found the Hearts and Swords story collection and the “Heart and Soul” short story to be one of my favorites, and I agree about the detail and nuance in the ritual in H&S. I think it is one of my favorite stories. That said, if I am drawn at random, redraw – I already have Lost Heart (and every other book in the series) in print and e-book and I love it – but let someone else have it.

  10. At the moment my favorite fantasy novels happen to be the series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE by George RR Martin.

  11. My favorite book of Robin’s is probably Heart Thief or Fern & Captain Bountry’s (sp?) story in Hearts & Swords. I love reading about the Earth technology that survived. I like to imagine how current technology might evolve in a few thousand years.

    • You got the names right (and I just wrote write instead of right!). That was Heart and Sword, with Fern and Kelse Bountry, and because of that story I wanted the name of the collection to be Hearts and Swords, so I when I wrote the others, I knew I needed to add a sword to the story. Thank you!

  12. I haven’t read Ms. Owen’s books but they sound fabulous! I really like Michelle Sagara’s Elantra series. Thanks for sharing!

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