Owens, Robin D.
Owens, Robin D.
ADDRESSES: Home and office—P.O. Box 12616, Denver, CO 80212. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer and novelist.
AWARDS, HONORS: Paranormal Excellence Award for Romantic Literature for Best New author and Best Fantasy/Magical Romance, both 2001, both for Heart Mate, Best Fantasy/Magical Romance, 2003, and Best Futuristic, 2004, for Heart Duel; RITA Award for Best Paranormal Romance, Romance Writers of America, 2002, for Heart Mate; Beacon Contest first-place winner in paranormal category, 2002; Writer of the Year Award, Denver Area Science-Fiction Association, 2002; Writer of the Year Award, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, 2004; Golden Lungfish Award, Denver Area Science-Fiction Association, 2004; PRISM award for Best Futuristic, 2004, for Heart Thief; Reviewer's International Organization Award of Excellence for Best Futuristic, 2005, for Heart Duel.
(With Sherrilyn Kenyon and Rebecca York) What Dreams May Come (three novellas), Berkley Sensation (New York, NY), 2005.
Guardian of Honor, Luna (New York, NY), 2005.
Sorceress of Faith, Luna (New York, NY), 2006.
"CELTA" SERIES; FANTASY ROMANCE NOVELS
Heart Mate, Jove Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Heart Thief, Berkley Sensation (New York, NY), 2003.
Heart Duel, Berkley Sensation (New York, NY), 2004.
Heart Choice, Berkley Sensation (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Robin D. Owens is a prolific author of novels in the fantasy romance genre. She is a winner of the RITA award given by the Romance Writers of America, several Paranormal Excellence awards for romantic literature awards, and a number of awards in other categories. Though she has tried writing in other romance genres, such as paranormal suspense and Regency historicals, she has found her most comfortable narrative voice to be in futuristic and fantasy romance. A writer since a young age, Owens's work has consistently leaned toward fantasy. "I loved fairy tales, science fiction, fantasy and magic," she commented in an online interview for Writer's Space. "When I wrote as a child, it was always about imaginary worlds with maps to go along," she continued. "This hasn't changed." Owens also believes that the romance genre could go a long way towards ameliorating the age-old battle of the sexes. "I firmly believe that any man who reads a well-written romance will learn what a woman wants," she remarked on her home page.
Heart Mate is the first novel in Owens's "Celta" series. The premise here is that, hundreds of years ago, twenty-five families of colonists left Earth in three spaceships to find a new planet where their psychic abilities, called "flair," could be developed and used in peace without engendering the fear, distrust, and sometimes outright loathing of their fellow humans. The planet they found is called Celta in honor of their ancient Celtic beliefs. They named their main city Druida, and it is here, in an atmosphere blending magic, psychic powers, and ancient religious beliefs, that Owens spins her tales.
Rand T'Ash, the protagonist of Heart Mate, is a famed jeweler whose flair manifests in his exquisite lapidary artistry. Rand is also famous and respected for having overcome tremendous adversity in his youth, when his family was killed in a fire set by one of the rival families on Celta. After enduring a dreadful childhood in the slums of Downwind, he grows into an embittered adult who takes revenge on the ones who killed his family. Through supreme willpower and tremendous strength, Rand also rebuilds the Great House of Ash and assumes his rightful place as its head. Despite his accomplishments, he yearns for his heart mate, a special individual who could be his sublimely perfect mate. Meanwhile, he enjoys his life as a noted jeweler, and treasures his kinship with Zanth, his FamCat—a strong-willed, magic-wielding tomcat who shares a strong telepathic bond with Rand.
After consulting his daily oracle, Rand learns that on this particular day he will meet his heart mate. He is surprised to learn that she is Danith Mallow, a customer at his jewelry store who frequently purchases small items. Bound by rules that prohibit one from telling another that they are heart mates, and restricted from identifying himself by giving her the relationship-sealing Heartgift, Rand begins a clumsy courtship, which Danith wants nothing to do with. He showers her with gifts, but the physically imposing Rand frightens her, and she cannot imagine consorting with him in any way but as a customer in his store. Zanth instigates his own investigation of Danith, learning that her flair is exceptionally rare on Celta and that she is destined to become a legendary animal healer. Danith, for her part, feels that she is nobody special and cannot envision being heart mate to the famed and powerful lord T'Ash. Danith and Rand are destined to be together, but he despairs of ever being able to convince her to act on that destiny. Harriet Klausner, writing for the Best Reviews Web site, called the book a "jocular fantasy romance with a touch of mystery" that illustrates Owens's "ability to combine the varying elements into an entertaining novel that engages fans of all three genres."
In Heart Thief Ruis Elder, a son of the noble house of Celta, has been targeted by his evil uncle, Bucus T'Elder. Ruis is banished from Celta because of his lack of flair and his status as a null, an individual whose presence nullifies the psychic abilities of the flair-blessed around him. When Ailim D'Silverfir, a Celtan judge and strong empath, sees the mockery of a trial Ruis is forced to endure, she is outraged. She also must admit to herself that in Ruis's presence, she can finally find a measure of peace as her always-blaring thoughts and emotions of others that constantly bombard her through her psychic powers are dampened by his nullification ability. As the head of an impoverished house of Celta, Ailim tries to rescue her house from financial ruin. An association with Ruis is dangerous to her for many reasons, but she cannot resist him. As he tinkers with the technology in the ancient Earth spaceship Nuada's Sword, Ruis realizes that his feelings for Ailim are growing stronger. With the help of FamCat Samba, the daughter of Zanth from Heart Mate, Ruis tries to resuscitate the sentient ship. Soon, he knows he will have no choice but to go to Ailim, even though it means risking his life. Together, they uncover the machinations that led to his unjust banishment and work to reverse the sentence and bring justice to the villains who harmed him. The novel's setting is "fresh and totally captivating," commented Kristin Ramsdell in Library Journal, but it is the "well-developed characters, both human and animal, that make this story memorable." Booklist reviewer Diana Tixier Herald concluded that "Owens has crafted a fine romance that is also a successful science fantasy yarn with terrific world building."
With Guardian of Honor Owens begins a new series of magic-and fantasy-laced romances. In the land of Llandrana evil creatures are beginning to break through the magical barriers that protect the land. To save Llandrana from the encroaching evil, the Marshalls summon their champion: Alexa Fitzwater, a disillusioned lawyer on Earth. While she is in the mountains of Colorado, a magical silver doorway opens before her, and with little consideration she steps through, abandoning the life she knows to become savior of a faraway land governed by magic and threatened by evil. Lost and bewildered in her new world, she is immediately set upon by creatures in a test devised by the marshalls of Llandrana. Having proved herself worthy of being their champion, Alexa sets out to learn vital new skills and magics, assisted by mystical and handsome chevalier Bastien. If she can defeat the steadily encroaching forces that menace Llandrana, she will have to make another important decision: whether to return home or stay with Bastien in Llandrana forever. "Once again, Robin D. Owens gives us an alternative world, as richly defined as few futuristic/paranormal writers can deliver," commented DeborahAnne MacGillivray in Best Reviews. Kathy Boswell, in another Best Reviews article, declared the novel to be a "multi-faceted, fast paced gem of a book."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, June 1, 2003, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Heart Thief, p. 1753; April 1, 2004, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Heart Duel, p. 1356; August, 2005, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Heart Choice, p. 2006.
Library Journal, May 15, 2003, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Heart Thief, p. 74; June 1, 2005, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Heart Choice, p. 121.
All about Romance, http://www.likesbooks.com/ (November 28, 2005), Jennifer Keirans, review of Heart Thief; Liz Zink, review of Heart Duel; Noelle Leslie de la Cruz, review of Heart Mate.
Best Reviews, http://www.bestreviews.com/ (September 24, 2001), Cy Korte, review of Heart Mate; (October 26, 2001) Harriet Klausner, review of Heart Mate; (April 14, 2003) DeborahAnne MacGillivray review of Heart Mate; (May 8, 2003) DeborahAnne MacGillivray and Kathy Boswell, reviews of Heart Thief; (May 16, 2003) Sue Burke, review of Heart Thief; (May 21, 2003) Harriet Klausner, review of Heart Thief; (June 2, 2003) Denise Powers, review of Heart Thief; (January 11, 2004) Kathy Boswell, review of Heart Duel; (March 10, 2004) Nichole Keeton, review of Heart Duel; (August 17, 2004) DeborahAnne MacGillivray, review of Heart Duel; (December 1, 2004) Kathy Boswell, review of Heart Mate; (January 14, 2005)Sue Burke, review of Guardian of Honor; (January 15, 2005) DeborahAnne MacGillivray, review of Guardian of Honor; (January 25, 2005) Harriet Klausner, review of Guardian of Honor; (February 16, 2005) Kathy Boswell, review of Guardian of Honor; (June 8, 2005) Harriet Klausner, review of What Dreams May Come; (June 28, 2005) Harriet Klausner and Kathy Boswell, reviews of Heart Choice; (June 29, 2005) DeborahAnne MacGillivray, review of Heart Choice; (July 1, 2005) Judith Saul, review of What Dreams May Come; (August 5, 2005) DeborahAnne MacGillivray, review of What Dreams May Come.
BookLoons, http://www.bookloons.com/ (November 28, 2005), Martina Bexte, review of Guardian of Honor.
Robin D. Owens Home Page, http://www.robindowens.com (November 28, 2005).
Robin D. Owens Web log, http://www.robindownes.blogspot.com (November 28, 2005).
Writers Space, http://www.writerspace.com/ (November 28, 2005), interview with Owens.