Intro Text

"Camilla: Indeed it's time. We all have laid aside disguise but you.
Stranger: I wear no mask."
- Robert W. Chambers, The King in Yellow

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Diary of an Apprentice Scent Hunter, Day 1

As I writer I have always had my own take on the infamous piece advice given to many aspiring writers - “write what you know.” Personally, I believe in knowing what I write instead. I may not know what it’s like to be an ancient Throrian Scientist, but I can sure find out.

This is why, as part of my work on the sequel to Digging in the Stars, I have decided to come back to Thror and become an Apprentice Scent-Maker in one of the most legendary scent laboratories in the Known Galaxies. I’m studying hard, hoping to make it all the way to Journeyman level. Unfortunately, I have yet to make it past the first chamber, where I am kept busy washing and polishing scent vials. I haven’t seen so much as a sliver of tree bark. Not worthy yet. This may not sound like the most exciting job in the universe, but it has its benefits.

The vials are magnificent, each more precious and elegant than the one before. Like Throrian scents, vials have their own meanings and symbolism and pairing a newly brewed scent with the right vial is a large part of the Scientist’s skill. Each vial is unique. The key moment  of the ceremony of ushering a young Throrian into adulthood (at the tender age of seventy-five) is the unveiling of his or her own signature essence, as unique as a fingerprint. The scent is presented in a custom-designed vial carved of rock crystal or semi-precious stone, cast in shimmering metal, or whittled out of polished sea-wood taken deep from the watery mantle of Thror’s frozen core. This scent will define the young Throrian for the rest of his or her life, announcing their presence, serving as an introduction and mixing with scents of conversation, command, entreaty, celebration or love.

These are some of the vials whose company I have been enjoying, all glowing from inside and shimmering with brilliant colors. I can’t wait until the day I’m deemed ready to know their meanings and feel the fragrances locked in their hearts. I hope my mentor will be that charming young scientist with the fuzzy rose-colored head tentacles and the timid smile. Everyone calls him Rosebud.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Digging in the Stars Releases Today!!!

Digging in the Stars arrives in the Milky Way galaxy today! Follow the Facebook party at and chack out my brand-new author website at for exclusive content on the book, details of upcoming events and signings or if you'd like to contact me. I'm always happy to hear from readers!

You can buy a paperback or Kindle copy at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, and other online retailers. I will also be selling and signing copies in person at my upcoming events.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Stratum 1 - The King

The first and highest Stratum had only one member - the king. These images show King Loreval the Magnificent, the uniter of the Nine Strata and the most legendary ruler of Thror. He was responsible for Thror’s Golden Age, but his glorious facade hid dark and terrible secrets. His multi-layered robes and ornate golden mask combined materials imported from different galaxies. His tomb was known as the most glamorous and exquisitely designed in all the known galaxies. This is the tomb that Carter and her friends will risk everything to uncover. Read Digging in the Stars to find out if they do!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Stratum 2 - The Nobility

Members of the Second Stratum, the Nobility, held most of the wealth and power of Thror in their webbed hands. The Vizier was always chosen from among the Second Stratum. Their impracticably long, ornate beaks, flowing robes, and floor-length, iridescent cerata were a mark of their privileged position and life of luxury and leisure. They were all ambitious, competitive, and dreamed of occupying the throne.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Stratum 3 - The Military

The third Stratum was occupied by the Military - the army of planet Thror. Their armor was designed to maintain the necessary level of moisture for long journeys on dry land, and was light and flexible enough for both running and swimming. Each of their sensitive cerata was enclosed in an individual sheath of pure Bjornium plates. Their scaly masks had short, sturdy, practical beaks. Their main weapons were poison darts and collapsible nets on long poles.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Stratum 4 - The Treasurers

The Treasurers were responsible for maintaining, calculating and increasing the wealth of the Nine Strata. They established trade relations with many other galaxies and were valued for their intellect, quick-wittedness and diplomatic abilities. One of the most famous Treasurers of ancient Thror, Vanadival, left behind extensive chronicles that are among our main sources of information about the Throrian Golden Age.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Stratum 5 - The Scientists

The Scientists created all the scents of Thror. That included personal scents, mood scents, formal scents for public speeches, and dark scents such as poisons and nose-clouders. Although they were among the Middle Strata their secret power was immense and they bore no fragrance of their own. As the Throrians say, “Silent of step and silent of scent, such is the way of the Scientists.” Always engaged in the process of creating and blending new scents, Scientists never traveled far from their lab without garlands of vials, sachets and portable burners. The nose plugs built into their work masks protected them from some of the more dangerous products of their trade.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Stratum 6 - The Artists

The Artists worked both the metals and minerals of Thror to create sculpture, relief carving, mosaics, architecture and textile designs. They were responsible for the sophisticated beauty of the Nine Strata. They designed the masks for all Nine Strata and used their own masks to show off their skills.