CRIMSON FIRE by Mirren Hogan


crimson fire

She had power at her fingertips, but the world had other ideas.

Magic was the last thing on Tabia’s mind — until she discovered she could use it. When her father hands her over to the princess of a neighbouring country to pay his debts, she may have the chance to learn how to control her new abilities.

But her new mistress’ enemies have plans of their own. Caught up in a web of divided loyalties, coercion and betrayal, Tabia can trust no one.

Can she find a way to regain her freedom and return home — or will the struggle cost her the ultimate price?

Crimson Fire is the first book in a fantasy series by Mirren Hogan.

Feel the fire.

“a brilliant page-turner of an opening volume to her series”

“keeps you engaged throughout the story and leaves you wanting more”

“I love tales of magic, and this did not disappoint.”

Available now from Amazon


Ithaca Barnes and Noble signed copies

Don’t forget to buy my signed copies of the Liminal Key at Barnes and Noble Ithaca. I’m planning another writers’ workshop. If you like I can meet you for coffee and a chat about my books anytime I’m available. Let me know when you’d like to attend and drop me a line here, on Facebook, or one of my FB book pages of the same name as my novels:

Jack Cluewitt and the Imbrium Basin Murders


The Liminal Key

Myth of the Malthians

August 13th Book Signing

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The print version of Liminal Key is out. Buy it at Barnes and Noble or

Electronic versions can be bought at smashwords, All Romance ebooks, bookstrand and at Gypsy Shadow Publishing.


Meet the author August 13th at 2pm at Barnes and Noble in Ithaca New York.

Excerpt T-Rex Moonzine

Sink your teeth into author and editor of T-Rex Moonzine, Ruth J. Burroughs’


Collar City Vampyres


It’s darkest night in Albany, New York, a small city, the capital, on the Hudson River. It’s hot. It’s summer. It’s the year 1987 and the city is teaming with hungry vampires. But the two hoodlums stalking the young couple don’t want blood. They just want money for drugs. One has a knife and the other a gun. The young couple are drunk and stumbling down the dark alley. Mobile phones are few and far between and aren’t walking computers. Pay and rotary phones and mechanical cars have not gone extinct. And the pay phone was rotary, and by the time Cecil the Vampire Hunter, found them they were dying, and each number seemed to take forever to dial: nine-one-one.

Cecil stanched Kit’s bleeding with his jacket and made Lorraine halt the flow of hers with his shirt, then he stood up and stumbled over to the payphone. He searched his pocket, pulling out a handful of change. His hand shook and coins fell to the ground. He grabbed a plain Washington Liberty quarter, snapped up the handset and slipped the coin into the payphone. Dang. It wasn’t a push button one. His hands shaking, he dialed nine-one-one. Vladya answered, rolling his Rs, “What is your emergency?” he asked. “It’s me, Cecil. I’ve got dinner. They’re dying. 186 Sheridan Street, Sheridan Hollow, Albany, they’re bleeding out, so be quick about it.”



Earlier that day:


Dr. Kit E. and Lorraine, live in the building adjacent to the black artist Cecil, and can hear one side of his argument with Reggie, his deceased husband and ghost through the shared wall. Kit and Lorraine live in the same building with, three artists, two musicians and one playwright and thought they were all wonderful and crazy. For months Cecil Von Troy has been trying to convince them to move uptown and out of the violent neighborhood, whose peaceful denizens desperately wished they had the funds to leave. He told them that Sylvester von Albany was dead; Cecil was trying to cover both territories; he couldn’t protect them. But they didn’t want to move.

Emile Goldstein, the up-and-coming Tragicomedy playwright, lived here in their loft; so did the two Russian painters Polina Aleksandrova and Alisa Borisova. Jose Betancourt had his own sculpture gallery in the same building, and there were the soulful cellist and the lady with the wind instruments. And none of them were vampires, nor had any vampires attacked them, not even bats. They’d overheard his arguments with his dead husband and knew he was the Vampire Hunter for both Troy and Albany. Or at least, he thought he was. And they were charmed by it all.

Dr. Kit E. Purington just finished his studies at Albany Medical Hospital and was ready to start rotations and Lorraine Justice was studying at Albany Law school nights and working paralegal during the day, but they were both dirt poor; just scrapping by and loved every minute of it. They loved the easy walking distance to Washington Park, the state legislature, the south mall, the restaurants and all the drinking establishments.

Later tonight they would go out on the town. They hadn’t given any blood to the local Sheridan Hollow Neighborhood Association and the winged creatures of the night, restlessly perching near the Gargoyle sculptures at the rims of the skyscrapers, were getting hungry. And to them, Dr. Kit and Lorraine looked like dinner.


Cecil von Troy; stuffed the piece of paper in the pocket of his rain coat, 109 Second Street, Collar City, some Stacy Marsden, another client in his long list. Beads of rain water pelted in rivulets down his dark wool hair and brown skin but did not relieve the humidity. The smell of wet dog wafted up through his long wide nostrils and he knew the ghost of his husband, Reginald Utter, was somewhere close by. A chilly breeze confirmed Reggie’s presence on such a warm summer day. Cecil saw his own breath in the air like a winter day and his skin tingled.

Down the alley he went, all the while feeling Reggie padding behind him like a loyal dog. But Cecil didn’t want to deal with it now and stepped up the pace. They were having another spat about how to raise the children and Cecil didn’t think Reggie had any right to interfere, especially since he was dead.

T-Rex Moon is not available in pdf, e-book format, nor is it on a website. It is a print only magazine.

Purchase the print magazine here:



Good News on the Health Front

I just got my labs back last week and I’m in very good health. So good I gained four pounds. Not happy about that but I feel more of my old tastes returning. I had stopped liking probiotics this whole year in remission. From yogurt to kimchee of which I both loved previously. I’ve had kimchee cravings all week and that will be hard to return to because it makes a body smell like garlic a lot! But it’s so yummy and good for you. I like yogurt but I wish it weren’t so mass produced. I wish there were small manufacturers all over producing locally. I understand the lure of selling to billions of people but at what cost to our health and the health of our animal livestock?

I will have to switch from ice cream back to yogurt. Gotta see the good in cancer and that for me was not gaining a lot of weight. I was also lucky that I did not lose a lot either. I maintained. I was so blessed in that regard. My 55 year old metabolism just won’t be able to keep up with the calories in ice cream so I’ll have to cut back and do ices and yogurt and the occasional ice cream.

If you’ve read my previous post I had concerns the pain in my shoulder might be early onset lymphedema. Well. It’s not! It’s likely bursitis or tendonitis. You have no idea how happy I am to get that diagnosis. So far it’s winding down but I’ll keep an eye on it and go see a specialist if I have to. If you know anyone struggling with pain please have some Mercy and Compassion. Try to be empathetic. I’m able to manage it with simple Tylenol and or not using the shoulder until it’s healed. I can imagine how disabling persistent pain can be now, but I can’t imagine how hard it must be to endure without some kind of pain medicine, acupuncture or other therapy.

I may have gotten the shoulder injury from walking the dogs or repetitive stress at work, or both. As far as I’m concerned it is a sign of good health and athleticism. I am a true athlete. Not great mind you. Just good. Next year I’m definitely going to do some snow showing and cross-country skiing. More about T-Rex Moon in the next post.







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My Good Health in remission

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Most of you know I am a Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor. If you don’t and haven’t read my few posts on the subject. Read here for more:

This is an update on my continuing good health.

Part of good health is a state of mind and faith. By faith and good works I mean believing in that mustard seed. I’m posting this because there are a lot of new lymphoma patients who want to hear about long-term survivors in my FB group, the Lymphoma Club. It’s not a club my body wants to belong to. No choice in that. But my soul, and my mind are gratefully transformed. Only because I’ve chosen to become more spiritual and reaffirm my ever growing faith.

This beautiful healthy body I had taken for granted is not happy about being in the Lymphoma Club. It isn’t an easy journey.  I’ve heard a lot of people say, “it is what it is.” I use that in one of my novels. But I was angry about that phrase when I heard it used recently, not on the L.C. site, btw. So I’ve decided it is what it is, but also: “it is what I make it.” I can make it worse, or I can make it better.

I had periodontal disease before cancer so I was very afraid of what the 4 weeks of radiation would do to my jaw, salivary gland and teeth. I have the other gland and am still salivating. Contemplating radiation I figured I could take the dry mouth meds if I had to, because I had to get rid of the cancer. Most of my friends know that I had a very difficult time deciding on using radiation. I won’t know if I made the right decision. No one does until the percentage falls off and you either survive the treatment or fall off in the margins with the gamble. I had a 5 inch mass wrapped around my heart, sternum and vessels. There was no other treatment available to me at the time and I decided to use the full recommended treatment that had been around for many decades. It may not be the right choice for everyone. I don’t look back or wonder on my decision because certain things fell into place that helped me make the decision to take that leap. People I talked to who’d had cancer and their experiences helped me to make that decision. One, not taken lightly.

After radiation my gums looked a mess. It was frightening and I didn’t think I was covered under the insurance I have for dental care. So I used the only thing I knew how. The salt/baking soda recipe my nurse oncologist had taught me. And gentle brushing. I’m amazed out how healthy they look at times now.

[I was told I wasn’t covered by well-meaning friends. It turns out I may be covered. I’ll find out soon enough. Then I’ll be able to get some standard dental care.]

Prior to my cancer diagnosis I had given up on my teeth because no matter what I did it didn’t help. Well. I had to take very good care of my teeth during chemo and boy do I wish I’d taken better care of them prior to chemo. I use a salt baking soda mix my chemo nurse taught me. I still use it post chemo because my gums are so soft. 2 months post treatment the floss cut into my gum where I had radiation and I almost lost the loose tooth; I probably will eventually. I’m very gentle with my teeth and am going to try to save every one of them. My radiation oncologist did not sugar coat the possibilities but in Faith I hope for the best. I’m hanging on to that tooth until there’s no hope to keep it. Lol! When that tooth became inflamed I used salt and baking soda rinse to get rid of the bacteria and pain. It worked.

I was able to get a free exam today with x-rays. The dentist said I have had some bone loss in the jaw, not all due to radiation, and may lose more than the two that are loose. But like I said. Better than cancer. I’m going to look into extreme yoga and acupuncture as well as standard dental care. In the past Kundalini Yoga has helped relieve the symptoms of TMJ pain and acid reflux, in my opinion, due to the breathing techniques and the philosophy of being one with the Universe, i.e. letting go of anxiety over ego and death. “Spiritual Enlightenment”. Let me know what your experiences are with this.

I don’t give up on my teeth and gums just because they are weak. I brush gently with an electric tooth brush, and like I said the salt and baking soda rinse, per doctor’s orders. Some people on special diets may not be able to use salt.

I do take vitamin D with Tums. The calcium is so the D will metabolize. I take magnesium and B complex for the peripheral neuropathy. I was actually already on D and magnesium prior to the diagnosis but not quite so regularly as now. I’m on fish oil to prevent depression but was also on that prior to diagnosis. These seem like boring details but may be helpful for some people experiencing “extreme fatigue, impaired memory, muscle weakness, depression, increased sensitivity to cold, anxiety, etc. in spite of treatment being long over”. quote from Lymphoma Club FB.

Re: Chemo brain. I was forgetful before cancer so I’ve reduced intake of plaques in my diet. I haven’t noticed any difference, except that my memory has improved through due diligence. My doctor said that chemo brain doesn’t always happen and I decided I wasn’t going to get it. I had too many things I was in the middle of when I got the diagnosis. I had two e-books coming out and a lot of editing to do. So, currently I refuse to have any kind of chemo brain fog. I’m just too joyful and busy.

I did NOT like the cold weather these last 2 years. Looking seriously at a warmer clime. I’ve been having pain in my left shoulder, where I got a lot of radiation, and thought it was peripheral neuropathy. A friend’s phys therapist said it didn’t sound like that so I thought maybe it could be onset lymphedema, due to the radiation on the nodes there, so I’m having it checked out. My hair does not grow back on that side, under the arm. Don’t have to shave though. Lymphedema can be reversed if caught early; please correct me if I’m wrong, just read that on wikipedia. If you don’t know it, lymphedema can be very debilitating if not caught early, and post cancer care is not always available everywhere, so people, usually women, go a long time before they realize they have lymphedema. (loosely quoted from other sources) It helps to be knowledgeable. It helps that I like to read.

I experienced a mysterious heart pain in the pericardium region that lasted about 24 hours. I say that because except for a racing heart beat and about 7 out of 10 pain level they couldn’t find anything wrong on EKG or labs. So my regular pain meds that can exacerbate PVCs and cause the heart to beat faster were switched out. One was a sinus headache medicine, the ingredients of which may increase heart rate. And the other was a product used for period pain, even though I no longer have a menstrual cycle, it was my go-to pain relief for when I had aches and pains; one that I’ve used since age 16 or so. And the sinus meds I don’t know what I’ll do come spring when allergies kick in; I’ve used that product since age 18 or so; that’s a long time. My doc said I should use acetaminophen instead, and an gua expectorant or some such instead of the sinus meds. My echocardiogram stress test says my heart is above average healthy, probably from walking the dogs every day, even during chemo, except when it was too dark, or cold. I’m also not allowed to drink coffee, especially Frappuccino drinks anymore. Why is it that the good things in life are bad you?     ;-(

But through it all I got two 300 page novels I had written prior to my diagnosis out into the world. One was edited while on chemo. And I’ve recently completed the first issue of my science fiction magazine, T-Rex Moon.  If I can’t move from this cold weather by next winter I’m taking up cross-country skiing. I fighting to stay fit and to be Joy even in the darkest hour of the day.