Gepetka, Prince of Gypsies is now available!

Am I excited? Yes!

In honor of daughter Irene's service in the US Navy, and on the day which she has officially become a civilian again, I present to you Book 3 in the Kingdom of the Falcon series.


They are short on tact:

Subconsciously she touched the cut on her forehead and asked, “Is it that bad?”

His trance was abruptly broken.“Oh, no,” he waffled, “Well, it is sort of … yeah, it looks pretty bad.”

Long on humor:

She gave him a sidelong look and, leaning toward him, whispered, “An old woman, smelling of liquor, asked if you beat me.”

… “I said I hit you twice as hard as you hit me.”

Completely unpredictable:

The razor-sharp belt dagger was drawn deftly and the frightened Gypsy pricked his thumb deeply. The family of the warlord jumped at the sudden move and the blood welled up deep red and convincing.

And primed for adventure:

The crack across his nose sent him sprawling and, in an instant, Lord Nolridge possessed the sword.    …

Gepetka found his voice first and asked what everyone was thinking. “How did you learn that?”

As Lord Nolridge climbed onto Gepetka's cart, he gave the young man a pained look, then slowly replied, “I suppose the same way you learned to be a Gypsy.”

The Mysterious Gypsy Queen

All who seek, find. But, all that is found is not sought.   -Gypsy Queen, late 13th century

One of the most challenging parts about writing fiction, to me anyway, is channeling characters that are unlike myself. I draw from people I know and people I do not always understand. But to develop a character, especially one that is smarter than me, takes a lot of work. It is easy to write about the village idiot. That character has no deep or conflicting motivations. And, as a bonus, there is also plenty of “live” material around to observe.

The Gypsy Queen is quite a different story. She has always held fascination for me. She is dangerous, but not threatening. She can predict people with uncanny accuracy, yet lives marginally above the lifestyle of a nun. There is no contract binding her people to her, yet they remain staunchly loyal to one another. And she is self-educated, but at times with much deeper wisdom than those with multiple degrees of education.

In Gepetka, there is an under-story of the development of the Gypsy Queen interwoven into the background fabric of the main story.

In truth, that was sort of by accident. But once I found her, I really liked her. I hope you do too.

Once Upon a Time

There was a little girl named Vanessa. She grew up much like every other little girl, you know, in about three minutes. She had two sisters, Rochelle and Irene, who also grew up faster than their daddy wanted. That seems to be a redundancy about life in general.

The three sisters took a walk in the woods one day. To their amazement, they discovered a spooky path winding through the weeping willows near a hidden brook that seemingly had no source. Naturally they took the spooky path and discovered it led to an elvish house built into the base of an ancient elm tree. The whole scene seemed surreal. There were creatures of all varieties living in the tree. Over the door was an inscription in ancient runes. And as luck would have it, the door to the house was unlocked.

Naturally they … ?

A) Deciphered the runes by memory.

B) Took about 3000 photographs.

C) Befriended all the little creatures around and in the house.

Okay, so the story was completely fake, but the multiple choice was actually … a trick question. It was not a multiple choice at all, but an all of the above. If you know them, you know which one did which option in our little fairy tale.

It might seem that the three distinct personalities of my daughters could impose a particular challenge in writing books for them. Well, it's too late to worry about that now, because Book 3 is almost ready to print!

Book 1, Blood Trail of the Falcon, was written as a college graduation gift for Vanessa. Book 2, Ascent of the Falcon, was written as a college graduation gift for Rochelle. And Book 3, Gepetka, Prince of Gypsies, was written as a Navy graduation gift for Irene.

That Navy graduation day is coming up in a few weeks. The Navy does not make any fanfare for people who have completed their contract and are moving on. But we will celebrate somehow. And (hopefully) we will have a copy of Gepetka for Irene on that day.

I am proud of each of my kid's accomplishments. And this is a commemoration of Irene's service in the U.S. Navy.