Poll: I am considering working on a nonfanfic novel that I hope might be publishable. In which genre should I write? Vote Now!
Author has written 15 stories for Diablo, Patriot, Harry Potter, and Dragon Age.
This is Susan's daughter, Lesley.
I regret to inform you that my mother lost her battle with cancer yesterday morning, the 25th of April, 2016.
I want to thank all of you for the compassion and support you showed my mother during her long illness and in all of her beloved hobbies from writing to music to astronomy.
There will be a memorial posted towards the end of May, very soon. We would love to see you in Chicago for it. An obituary will be posted in the Naperville Sun.
Her wishes were for donations to The Nature Conservancy in lieu of flowers.
Much love and many thanks,
Drew and Lesley
03/29/15--Despite all my horrendous health problems (cancer, chemo) in the past six months, I have a story out this year. "Colony Collapse" is included in the anthology, "All That's Left of Yesterday." You can find the anthology at http:///All-Thats-Left-Yesterday…/…/0692367357. http:// / All-Thats-Left-Yesterday-Apocalypse/dp/ 0692367357/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453500819&sr=1-1&keywords=allthat
Enjoy... and review, if you have the time or inclination!
03/17/14-- My latest published story, "Birth Lottery," is out, in the anthology "Astronomical Odds." Look for it at Amazon (a paper copy will soon be available)
http:// /Astronomical-Odds-Third-Flatiron-Anthologies/ dp/0615986544/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453500897&sr=1-1&keywords=astronomicalodds
If you're interested in writing a review for Amazon, Smashwords, or Goodreads, contact Juliana Rew, the editor, at , and she'll give you a free review copy!
11/29/13--The illustrated, edited, and complete Victory at Ostagar is now up and can be found at
http:// / publications.html
Look at the menu to the left, and you will see the entry for "The World of Dragon Age." The story is in five volumes: The Girl Warden, Warden-Commander, Dragonslayer, Andraste's Champion, and The Red Queen.
Huge applause to JOdel, for her fantastic work!
My new website is up, with book reviews and links to my original fiction and to books I enjoy. Come visit The Day Dream!
3/02/13 A fun piece of fan art for Victory at Ostagar. Thanks, Girl-Chama!
http:// /tagged/ loghain-mac-tir
Woohoo! My story, Sabrina Fair, was published today by Buzzymag.
http:// / sabrina-fair-by-susan-nance-carhart/
Victory at Ostagar teams as of Satinalia: Dragon 9:30. Requested by some of you to tell the players in my monster story.
Key: H=human, D=dwarf, E=elf; m=mage, a=archer, ss=sword and shield, sd=sword and dagger, dd=double daggers, gs= greatsword, ax=double-bladed axe, 2x=double axes.
(I don’t like the artificial game mechanics of warrior vs. rogue)
Bronwyn: sd/ss Anders (Hm), Aveline (Hss), Leliana (Hsd), Jowan, (Hm), Carver (Hgs), Toliver (Hss), Cathair (Ea), Hakan (Dss), Soren (Dax), Morrigan (Hm), Zevran (Esd), Scout (dog!)
Alistair: ss Petra (Hm), Emrys (Hss), Nevin (Ha), Asa (Da), Ulfa (Dss), Oghren (Dax), Sten (Qunari gs), Siofranni (Ea) Adaia (Edd).
Astrid: ss Velanna (Em), Ailill (Ea), Liam (Hgs), Catriona (Ha), Aeron (Hsd), Askil (Dss), Falkor (Dss)
Tara: m Brosca (Ddd), Sigrun (D2x), Jukka (Dax), Darach (Ea), Walther (Hss), Griffith (Ha)
Danith: a Niall (Hm), Maeve (Hss), Quinn (Hgs), Idunn (Dss), Nuala (Ea), Steren (Ea), Ketil (D2x)
A story of mine published on the flashfiction online site 365 Tomorrows
Those of you who follow my Dragon Age fanfiction might recognize the genesis of the idea
Yes! Another sale!
01/05/12--"The Widening Gyre" in Horror, Humor, and Heroes, vol 3!
http:// / Horror-Humor-Heroes-Science-Fiction/dp/1468121545/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1325821814&sr=8-5
There is also a Kindle version. Feel free to purchase and/or leave a review on the amazon site.
Thrilling news: JOdel has completed the illustrated and edited version of The Best Revenge on her Red Hen site!
It is posted to her Red Hen website in three volumes:
The Accidental Guardian
Harry At Hogwarts
The Time of the Basilisk
It has a wonderful, cheerful feel appropriate to Harry's youth. They are large PDF files, so be patient as they load.
and scroll down. You can also explore the other great stories and essays published on the site, as well.
Thanks, Joyce! It's always an honor when you take a project of mine in hand.
The latest: A story published in Humor, Horror and Heroes, vol 2!
Here's the link to the amazon page. My story is "The Wild Field." I always knew that Masters in Russian History would be good for something!
Available in paperback and Kindle. An excellent Christmas present!
01/01/11 Plots in Ferelden: What I Think May Be Going On in Dragon 9:30
Cailan: Is planning to ditch Anora and marry someone else to produce an heir. Eamon is urging this vigorously. Cailan is fond of Anora, but when Orlesians get wind of a possible divorce, Celene moves into the picture. Thus, Cailan’s new goal is to unite Ferelden and Orlais and become Emperor.
Anora can be Teyrna of Gwaren. Can’t she?
Loghain won’t like it, but he has to remember who is King! Doesn’t he?
The peasants will rejoice. Won’t they? I could write at length about why a union with Orlais would be a disaster for Ferelden. Read about the union of England and Scotland under James VI/I. From the Scottish viewpoint, it benefited a handful of wealthy nobles who ran south to London to toady. Everybody else, not so much.
Eamon: Cailan must get rid of that commoner Anora and marry a noble bride. However, marrying a high noble Fereldan bride might compromise his own influence, so he is not much in favor of a Cousland marriage. He has no daughter of his own. No obviously eligible Bann’s daughter, and that would be a huge insult to the upper nobility anyway. Celene would bring peace and civilization to Ferelden, and make Isolde very, very happy. When Cailan goes to Val Royaux to live with his new bride, Eamon would be the logical choice for the new Viceroy of Ferelden.
Loghain has to go first, preferably of what appears to be an accident or natural causes. Anora may need to go shortly after, or be imprisoned for life, perhaps at Redcliffe. An alternative: a marriage to a loyal Orlesian from the north west of the empire, who will make certain that Anora never sees Ferelden again. Preferably, he would already have children. It would be best if Anora did not.
Cousland: (if he has a daughter) Cailan’s marriage to Anora is unsuccessful. Anora should be divorced, and allowed to retire with dignity and become heiress of Gwaren. Cailan needs a new, noble, younger bride, and Lady Cousland is perfect for the position. Has discussed Anora’s barren state with Howe, Bryland, Kendalls, Wulffe, and Guerrin.
He had originally planned for his daughter to marry Howe’s heir, so she would someday be Arlessa of Amaranthine. However, the years pass with no prince or princess. Had Nathaniel been heir, the Cousland girl would already have been married. That is how he puts off Howe earlier: Cousland’s daughter is older than Thomas, who is really too young to marry. But the years pass, and Bryce has a better prospect for her. There may well be a letter to Cailan to that effect. Cailan likes the idea of being Emperor more, so he’s putting Bryce off.
Bryce expects Loghain to be patriotic, but if he isn’t, the Couslands will need a military force uniting Highever, West Hill, Amaranthine, and South Reach. Doesn’t think he can get Urien or Eamon to support him. The guys who wanted him to be king will very likely back his daughter as queen. May actually have spoken to Howe about it, assuming he would be loyal. (see below).
If Cousland has no daughter, he may be angling to keep himself in play if something happens to Cailan (which could very well happen in battle). He is also in touch with the Orlesians, just to make sure they will be fine if he ascends the throne. Any private contact with a foreign monarch could be interpreted as treason by Cousland's enemies.
Loghain: Eamon has been overheard urging Cailan to dump Anora. No specific candidate was mentioned, but Eamon has also spoken to others about Anora's unsuitability. Cousland knew about this, and was using Guerrin as the stalking horse, to avoid dirtying his own hands.
If Cailan is killed in battle, Loghain may support his daughter’s claim to the throne, or may be forced to take it for himself—at least the substance if not the style. Who else is there? Bryce has apparently thrown in his lot with the Orlesians, or at least in the party that threatens Anora.
Poisons Eamon to get rid of his influence. Howe is going to contact him about the Couslands. Bryce supports getting rid of Anora, and possibly wished to supplant Loghain’s daughter with his own. Now the stakes are higher. Loghain has received intelligence that Bryce supports the Orlesians, and wants the kingship. (though Gaider has said that Loghain did not collude in the murder of the Couslands)
Howe: Has resented Bryce for some time. Originally wanted Fergus to marry Delilah. That did not happen, which explains why he’s so nasty about Oriana and Oren. Unspecified problems with Nathaniel, but did consider making Thomas heir to Amaranthine, and then bringing back Nathaniel to marry Bronwyn, in order to have a chance at Highever. (Fergus could be killed in battle, and small boys don’t always live to adulthood) Maybe that is why Thomas is the heir to Amaranthine. As the Cousland daughter is unmarried, that might do--either Thomas or Nathaniel, really…
Until the talk about Anora starts. Howe feels the country needs Loghain more than it needs anybody else. Ditching Anora means killing Loghain, which Howe thinks is a really, really bad idea. What does Guerrin want, anyway? Suspicious of that Orlesian wife. Howe genuinely hates the Orlesians.
Then Bryce gets on the ditch-Anora bandwagon, and Howe is instantly suspicious. It looks like his children are going to be cut off from any hope of Highever, because the most suitable candidate for Queen would certainly be the Cousland daughter. Delilah is lovely, but Lady Cousland outranks her. That is very galling.
Howe has nothing to gain by Cailan divorcing Anora. (unless the Couslands are all dead and Cailan were to marry Delilah—a plan B of sorts) He is not convinced that Anora is barren, and the country cannot spare Loghain. Perhaps the problem is not that Cailan needs a new wife, as much as that Anora might need a new husband. Nathaniel might be of use after all. He is told to stay in the Free Marches, so as not to be embroiled in the coming mess.
I would posit that even if there were no evidence that Bryce was after the throne—let’s say that Bryce was merely in with (or appeared to be in with) the Cailan/Celene marriage or even just the Cousland/Cailan marriage--Howe would still consider it treason, even though what Bryce “wrote” is not treasonous, in the strictest sense, because it reflects what the King himself is considering. Therefore, there was no point in taking it before Cailan for judgement. That could explain why the Couslands had to be eliminated, rather than arresting Bryce.
So in DAO, what is Howe after?
He hates the GW, and so he and Loghain have that in common.
Also sincerely hates the Orlesians, ditto.
Feels the country needs Loghain, and so is fine with poisoning Eamon.
Anora is on the throne for now, but Howe would prefer Loghain to take the kingship. He encouraged him to have the crown made. At the Landsmeet, Loghain was going to go for the throne, and Howe was going to back him up. Eamon could not have opposed him alone. Without the Warden PC, Loghain is King. Of course, Ferelden then goes up in flames, because no one understands the nature of the darkspawn danger.
In exchange, Anora would marry Nathaniel, after an appropriate time. He would thus be prince-consort of the Princess Royal, and Howe’s grandson would be King of Ferelden. That’s worth a lot of killing.
There’s a lot of gratuitous sadism involved, which still suggests that something had gone wrong in between Howe’s ears. Blight disease, or blood mages.
The Orlesians: They want Ferelden back, of course. Celene has several strings to her bow, I suspect. She is working through Isolde on Eamon. She may have sent out feelers to Bryce. She is angling to catch Cailan. If she cannot get Cailan, then a Cousland vassal-king would do very well. Once the Couslands are dead, that possibility is cut off. Once Cailan is dead, that one is, too. The last option--the worst, in her opinion--is to let the Blight have Ferelden and pick up the pieces later. She knows about the Wardens, because I am certain that every head of state knows the essential Warden secrets. Every head of state, that is, but Loghain, who has been the de facto king of Ferelden for thirty years. Duncan disliked him too much to bend the rules. Maric knew the facts. Cailan however, did not, since we know that he kept Maric's sword 'for the Archdemon.' Maybe Duncan was babying him.
Duncan: is a negligent Warden-Commander. Sorry, guys. The Wardens have been in Ferelden for 20 years, and there are only two dozen Wardens? With well-disposed kings? Don’t blame it on Loghain. Once the Wardens are there, nothing prevents Duncan recruiting, or requesting transfers from all over Thedas. There are plenty of places he can go to get people. Furthermore, since I am convinced that all Thedosian heads of state are privy to the important warden secret of why the Grey Wardens are necessary, Duncan has been very remiss. Cailan really doesn’t know how an Archdemon is killed. That was critical information in planning the Battle of Ostagar. Cailan needed to know it, and Loghain needed to know it. Of course, if people behave intelligently, you have no plot.
Come on. Duncan’s good at getting on with the kings, but has no real strategic plan for fighting the Archdemon, except to stand in front of everybody. He must have been talking to Wynne.
He never went to Soldier's Peak--in twenty years? And he recruited Jory. ‘Nuf said.
And finally: What is that huge Blood Mage coven up to?
Maybe the blood mages have been controlling or making use of the Arls of Denerim for years. Vaughan Kendalls is as sadistic as Rendon Howe. We don't have evidence that Howe WAS sadistic until he became Arl of Denerim. Why has the Chantry not sensed the presence of such a nest of Blood Magic, or done something about it if they had?
Why not control the King? Too conspicuous? Perhaps. As long as the Arls of Denerim confine their vices to the alienage, nobody really cares. If the King started on a rampage in say, Gwaren, there might be a revolt. Still, you can make an argument that a lot of the major players in Ferelden start behaving in odd, violent, and uncharacteristic ways just before the story starts.
07/27/10-- A bit more updating
I'm working diligently on the sequel to The Best Revenge. The Best Revenge: Time of the Basilisk covers the second half of Harry's first year, and is listed below. I'm having great fun with it.
I'm also enjoying writing fanfiction about the Bioware game Dragon Age. My two stories are independent of each other, but both are equally dear to me.
In Chapter Six of The Keening Blade I refer to a medieval French song, L'homme armé.
If you want to hear it go here http:///song/Mawkin-Causley/lhomme-arme?m=0 and put up with the very long introduction. The arrangement and English translation belong to Mawkin Causley.
To hear the tune and original lyrics of The Wild Fereldan Girl go here:
Maude's version is much slower and more lyrical, but the tune is the same.
Dragon Age Plot Mabari Puppies—free to a good home!
1. Cousland walks into the Great Hall to speak to her father and Arl Howe. With her is Nathaniel Howe, just back from the Free Marches.
2. At the Landsmeet, both the PC and Alistair are declared ineligible to duel (or even to choose a champion) due to being underage. Arl Eamon has to fight, and loses.
3. The PC speaks privately to Loghain prior to the Landsmeet, and manages to persuade him that the Wardens are essential. A compromise is hammered out. This may involve
4. No Duncan at Highever. Cousland PC escapes and raises the teyrnir against Howe. Civil war in the North.
5. The mage PC never goes to Ostagar. Escapes imprisonment and takes part in in Uldred’s uprising, which succeeds. Uldred is put down, and the PC takes command of the Tower. The mages fight for freedom against the Chantry.
6. Arl Eamon dies of the poison. Find another nobleman to aid in the struggle against the Blight. Or—nobody knows about the Urn.
7. The Orlesians really do attack, because they think they can sack Ferelden, take over, and not have to fight the Blight on Orlesian soil.
8. Duncan finds non-Orlesian Wardens to supplement the forces at Ostagar.
9. Don’t hit me, but Alistair is secretly evil, and taking Orlesian gold. Plotting to kill Cailan in battle, which is why he’s furious about being sent to the Tower of Ishal. Delays lighting the beacon deliberately and attacks PC when ogre killed. The PC can (a.) Die (b.) Crawl out and report to Loghain
10. The young and inexperienced Wardens do the sensible thing and take ship for the nearest port with wardens: either Ostwick, Jader, or Kirkwall. Hey, they all have Wardens. They get help, and reenter the country without Loghain knowing about it.
11. Sorry, folks, but Alistair is killed at Ostagar. PC on his/her own, and he/she knows even less than Alistair does.
12. Uldred is allowed to light a beacon using magic. PC and Alistair in front lines.
13. Cailan is finally persuaded by Loghain that the ‘one big bardic battle’ strategy is suicide, and settles down to a war of attrition, holding the darkspawn horde off, while the Wardens raise their allies (since it is actually explained to Loghain that these allies have no territorial ambitions in Ferelden.)
14. Loghain charges against his better judgment. The army of Ferelden is destroyed, and nearly the entire noble and officer classes.
15. Anora is pregnant.
16. A company of Wardens from another country--say Ostwick--show up to do their duty instead of sitting on their hands. Their commander has a private talk with Loghain, explains the situation, and takes the two young Wardens under his/her command.
07/01/09 Hmmm--I suppose the time has come to update my profile.
OK--the boring old stuff:
I have degrees in history and in music, and have been interested in historical fiction all my life. I have a serious day job, but also play piano professionally (piano four hands, mostly 19th French). I've studied harp for the past two years, and I'm finally getting pretty good at it. I'm an ardent science-fiction and fantasy fan, and have raised my daughter to be one too. Obviously, I adore Harry Potter and love the well-written fanfiction based on it.
I'm also an active amateur astronomer from the age of thirteen (but that's a whole other life). My great goal is to retire, that I may go back to grad school and pursue my first love, classical studies.
I do seem to have a thing for underdogs.(And yes, when eleven-year-olds are labeled "evil," I think the term underdog applies.) I'm just a revisionist at heart.
Eventually I'm going to get back to my original writing, but for now I'm still enjoying the wonderful world of fanfiction.
The Prefect's Portrait
Egyptian mythology. Necromancy. Snape as fairy godfather. Going toe-to-toe with Voldemort...
This story is still dear to my heart, even though it is a sixth year AU written before the revelation of the horcruxes.
The complete, reedited, and illustrated version of The Prefect's Portait is available at
This will take you to JOdel's publications menu. You will find the story listed. It is graphics-heavy, so please allow plenty of time for it to load.
JOdel has done it in a ravishing Art Nouveau style. I am beyond enchanted to have a story of mine illustrated by Alphonse Mucha. Hail JOdel!
The Prefect's Portrait was nominated for a Multifaceted Award in two categories, Intelligence, and Best Hermione Fic.
The Garden Gate
A one-shot glimpse of the childhood of Sirius Black, told from a muggle point of view, inspired by E. Nesbit.
The Golden Age
My jaundiced response to The Deathly Hallows. The story sprawls from the end of the War to twenty-years after, prying into the dark corners of the wizarding world. Drugs, illegitimacy, the Irish Question, and why overwhelming sexual attraction can be a misfortune. Happy endings are fleeting. My most ambiguous ending ever.
There is a superior Red Hen version of this story as well. Very Art Deco, this time. Thanks, JOdel. See the above link.
The Best Revenge
Snape saves Harry from the Dursleys--yet again! My current work-in-progress. I've used many "but what about?" moments I've had throughout canon.
On my website, I've posted some remarks from a reader, Harold Ancell, who independently came to the conclusion that the Dursleys were doing very well off Harry's enforced residence with them. His spreadsheet of Harry's Child benefits is posted here:
I love doing historical research--especially when inspired by the appalling bad history of the 2000 film, The Patriot. Between the teeth-grinding wrongness of the plot and the charm of Jason Isaacs, I found the film a wonderful springboard for fanfiction. I've used it to experiment with a variety of genres: historical romance, time-travel, action/adventure, and horror.
Et In Arcadia Ego
My first long fanfiction, and one dear to me. Lots of battles, lots of action. In this story I attempted to remain true to canon, while fixing the history as far as possible, especially in the latter half of the story.
Hag-ridden: A Tavington Halloween Tale
Short horror story, inspired by my research into South Carolina folklore.
God Save the King! How Thomas found his destiny
I enjoyed writing this a lot. I know all about sibling rivalry and the strange places it can take you. A butterfly flaps its wings--no--make that a boy really, really likes red coats--and history warps out of all recognition...
Born on the Fourth of July
Wilkins-centric: written for the Tavington fiction Site 4th of July Challenge. The Loyalists interest me. How many Americans know anything real about them?
Mary Sue in the 18th Century
An anthology of time-travel fics. Some are flip, some are cynical, some are wistfully nostalgic. The 18th century is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
I had such fun with this. Very long, very thoroughly researched historical romance. Some of my fanfics have morphed into original fiction on my website.
I appreciate feedback. Some of my best ideas have come through reviews and emails!
Amhran Comhrac (11)
Catherine Cook (9)
Kalina Lea (4)
Lady Khali (3)
Lilith Morgana (22)
Six of Twelve (26)