Friday, July 11, 2014

New Book Release Week events

First up:  the nice reviews which I may or may not have shown you, but here we are again because I love them so much.

HERE'S a good review (I plan on memorizing for those off days)

AND here

AND here:

HEY! HERE IS A GIVE AWAY -- win a copy here:

And the blog tour continues with a lovely bunch of antique filthy words here. Lots of naked people at the cupoporn site.

There's this article about shape-shifter tropes I enjoy and play with at Boys in Our books blog

And FINALLY another giveway today at cup-o-porn

Happy New Book Week to Me!!

And don't forget, until July 15, Predator's Passion (the first book set in this alternate world) is only 99 cents.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Happy release day to me!

Revealing the Beast is out today!

Desire that runs deeper than blood…
Solitary Shifters, Book 2

Colt Easton is easygoing, fun loving, good with little kids…and he occasionally turns into a beast capable of ripping out a man’s throat. It’s a family secret he’d be more than happy to keep—if there wasn’t a little boy’s life at stake.
A deathbed confession revealed the child could carry Easton blood. The only way Colt can monitor the boy is with a job at his day-care center. The problem? New laws decree that all shifters be tagged. No blood test, no job.
Dr. Jasper Glen is instantly drawn to the outgoing Colt and is certain any child would be safe in the handsome shifter’s care. He ought to know—he’s been studying shifters for years, even invented the blood test that now, to his shame, the government is using against them.
All it takes is a quick vial switch. Except Jasper’s good deed blows the lid off a secret he didn’t even know he was keeping. And triggers a chain of events that makes them all moving targets.
Warning: Contains hot shifter seduction, government goons, and a mad scientist.

Here's a nice review of it
As a reader, I’ve read many shifter themed books, but Revealing the Beast had a definite freshness to the storyline that made it a very addictive, thought-provoking read. Highly recommended!

Friday, July 04, 2014

C3 likes big black tails

chickens going about job of pecking, scratching
wait, hold on, there's something C3 adores
different angle because different incident. Happens A LOT
several seconds later, old dog gets up and moves

This is what happens every time the dog lies down.

C3 spots the dog and comes over.

Why? Because she adores the dog's tail.

It's all fine until she starts trying to remove individual hairs.

 Dog is sad I don't leave them loose and alone together

No, really, it's okay because the dog is in love too. She's fascinated by C3 and her sisters. The dog is so captivated, she drools as she watches them.

I used to suppose that if I did leave them alone, I'd come back to find a pile of feathers and a burping dog. Now I'm not as sure. C3 might have intimidated the dog with her tail-lovin' ways. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014


first let's do this because I read it and was bowled over. 
“Grief can destroy you --or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn't allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it's over and you're alone, you begin to see that it wasn't just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can't get off your knees for a long time, you're driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.”

--Dean Koontz one of those Odd Thomas books.  

Echoes of Our Town, a play that always annoyed me because it's almost impossible not to be caught and dragged along by that very sentiment.

Still with me? 

Okay. I'm doing the emotional thing because I've spent most of the last week or so in panic mode adjusting to the fact that someday in my future, maybe soon, maybe later, I'm going to have to have heart surgery--valve replacement. The thing wrong with my heart, aortic regurgitation, is something they see in people who are in their 70s or who have bad genes. (The people with really, REALLY bad genes get the operation in their teens.)

One more test and we'll know if I get to be left alone for a while or if I have to have a life interrupted sooner rather than later. 

WARNING: If one more person tells me "it's standard procedure! all good! You'll be fine!" I will deck that person. Once this adjustment period ends, I'll be able to smile and nod and say "so I hear." But first I need to be mad and panicky about the fact. I declare this as my right. I haul up my weenie response flag and wave it high. 

Yes, I know plenty of people have it worse. Yes, I shall get some perspective, Rothwell. Yes, I know--that even if  I keeled over now, I've had a good run, better than many people-- even ones I've known and loved and lost. 

But still: Adjustment period. 

Yesterday I saw a lady walking around in Marshalls in scrubs and almost passed out with the sudden flood of panic I saw in that costume all of it: hospital/pain/helplessness/anaesthesthia/bedpans/recovery/death/[worst of all]panic. For someone who doesn't spend a lot of time in Marshalls,I tend to have a lot of major emotional moments there. 

Today, I had a stress test and passed with flying colors--name them, I saw them RED GREEN YELLOW PINK. All the colors--why? Because I am now allowed to exercise again. 

And yesterday's rush of fear was matched by a rush of joy that almost knocked me over. I don't even like exercise but being told that I'm allowed to run....God, it was wonderful. 

Tomorrow, one of those MRIs with radioactive dye to look for aneurisms.

This is all common, all normal. Part of any life**. I'm still making room for it in mine.


**any life with good healthcare and an excellent GP who does a good exam. And don't you be reminding me of that. Jesus, I know should be grateful Shut. Up. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Latest Chicken Taste Contest

Before you start to slaver and think yum, chicken, no...this is about the chickens' taste not ours.
Yum. Chicken kabobs grilled....peanut satay sauce.

Not that.

This is all about what the chickens prefer. I created A CONTEST!!! I pitted my usual treat for them vs. some Chinese stir-fry vegetables.

Which do you think chickens would prefer? I really didn't know. The last time I tried this test, the apple lost.

 So I turned on the lights of Iron Chef Studio.  I placed the two pans side by side and asked our judges to examine and pick their favorite dish.

 Chicken Three takes the first peck of the New Stuff. She has the most discerning palate of the group, first to recognize the tastiness of oats and moths.

 And, as always, Chicken Three is also the one with the most to say: tap, tap, tap. I think repeatedly thumping plastic is a method of communication.

 Spotchy is also willing to try the food. She seemed most interested in plain rice, maybe because it looks like oats. 
 "What is this crap?" says Shelly Duval. "Are you freaking trying to poison us again? What is it? I'm going to flap around now and give you the cold dino eye, because man, what are you trying to do to me?"

Flapping over, she tries a bit of rice.

judges cluster at winning display
 The clear winner as always: A shovel full of dirt.  Once again, they make it clear that shovel full of dirt with some worms (delivered in my old chicken broiler pan), is heaven.
Home cooking at its best -- always beats restaurant fare.

Monday, June 16, 2014

As Promised

For Pity's Sake

I did this, fool that I am.

All those comments later, I feel the following announcement is the only possible response post-that-particular-post:

Very soon I plan on changing my name(s) and moving to a cabin in Vermont miles from anything, including a public library.

I'm going to raise goats, chickens, and owls and forget how to use the keyboard. I'll write all my stories long-hand and then curse the publishers who send me form rejection letters. I won't be able to get on the internet to curse them publicly, so within a day or so I'll grow hoarse yelling at the sky. 

I will miss's lists and the kitty pictures. I will also miss Gawker, God save me, and that's part of the reason I must go. 

I'll let you know what name I pick, so you and the rejecting editors can send me reponses via USPS. 

Friday, June 13, 2014


I have the worst taste in music. I know because my kids have told me so -- and they know because they've caught glimpses of my running music list. Let's just say there's some Josh Groban on there and leave it at that. Run away.

BIMD (back in my day) you had mix tapes. Party mix tapes, driving mix tapes, dance mix tapes. Now my "tapes" are all about my goals, not to enjoy. Work music and running music--those are the two times I use music. Key point is I use, not enjoy, music these days.

Work music is basically a Pandora channel of movie theme music. Sometimes I listen to Chopin or other classical works, but only when I'm writing a historical. Otherwise my pacing is off. When I work, the music has no words.

Running music...nothing I'd sit around and listen to on my own, except perhaps Bittersweet Orchestra or National. And my kids introduced me to most of those bits.

* * *

In other news, chickens grow up fast. Usually I mean chickens, referring to my own nearly adult (sob) punkins. This time I mean something more literal.

That statement holds true for either value of chicken.

Oh hey, something funny about that picture. On the far right is a pan. I have roasted hundreds of chickens in that thing. Now it's a favorite resting spot for walking, breathing chickens. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What's more fun than getting a contract offer for a story?

Getting a nice note along with it.

Good afternoon. Thank you for submitting “Gent and Lamplighter”—what a lovely story! I enjoyed it immensely and am very interested in acquiring John and Giles’ romance for the Heroes and Heartbreakers short fiction program.

“Gent and Lamplighter” is not only beautifully written, but features realistic, warm-hearted characters that I think our readers would instantly fall for and want to see get that well deserved HEA.

I love this.  My heart cockles have been warmed all day.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

have you taken the picture yet? now?

 I need a picture for an article and rather than have the reporter haul out to my house, we agreed that I could try. Linda could try, that meant.  Which of them works as a promo shot?
best-selling author!

Here's my old promo shot. But it's from 2004 so that won't work.

I sure looked nice then. Fewer pounds, lots more hair, more subtle wrinkles. This was professionally done.

Fast forward ten years. Linda took these this morning at Barnes and Noble. Thanks, Linda!

foofy hair!

your favorite kindergarten teacher!
forehead wrinkles!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

On Meeting a Stranger

No matter what the circumstances, everyone must have a touch of uncertainty that flashes, perhaps unconsciously, through them. Why are we bothering? What will this person want from me? What do I want from her? Will this meeting matter in the long run? Does it make a difference in the short? 

There might be excitement in that initial instant, maybe interest that is sometimes even sexual. But this second of impact—less than a second, sometimes longer—is intrusion into the solitude.

Chances are you'll soon be thinking of the next meeting, or the next words you’ll say, or which way to the bathroom, or what shall I eat for lunch. 

BUT for a tick at that first meeting, perhaps a heartbeat in length, instinct is there and it cuts through the rules and civilization to make one a apprehensive animal. 
where did this picture come from?
I don't know.

No wonder social fear rules some people’s lives.

Sometimes that flash is looking into the abyss and realizing how alone we are in these meat suits. At best it’s interesting brush with the unknown, meeting up with potential: here is someone who can hurt you, give you pleasure, ignore you, bore you, and you must be prepared to meet any one of these possibilities without the fine communication sources animals have. 

Too bad the animal that rears up for these moments doesn't provide more help. A hand shake or a nod or rote words of greeting aren’t as honest as a butt sniff, but they're all we have to go by.

Friday, May 23, 2014


Chickens are smarter than I suspected and they have definite personalities. This is bad news for me because I really love their meat. But the more creatures I meet and get to know.....sigh.

I wonder why more back-yard farmers don't end up vegetarians. I'm talking about the people who name their critters and hang out with them one on one. Big factory farms--not so much. I bet you push any creature into a large enough herd and there aren't individuals any more so they stop being real. The creatures all together turns into something that makes noise, poops and moves, a walking unharvested crop--horror novel time here because that probably includes people. (Mmm. New York lunch crowd takes on a more sinister meaning.)

And what about all those words like "harvesting" and "culling"?  The military has nothing on farming for the euphemisms.

Oh. My. God.

Not only am I turning into a vegetarian, I'm apparently turning into one of those sorts. EEeeiiiiii!!! I better go eat a steak or something.

In that last post I was Author C by the way. People have asked me who author B was and man, I'd tell you all, but Author A said it was bad enough that I put this out there, she didn't want any more information to go out. Not my secret and I've done enough.

Why did I write that? A fit of temper. Maybe Author B will recognize herself and be ashamed? I sure hope so.

A's argument was that B must be very busy and can't see to everything herself.

My answer is hogwash.

I might buy that she's busy but I've actually met some successful authors and I can say bullshit (or hogwash) with emphasis and a sneer.

For instance I've met a few authors who has reached greater success than B, but still manage to say "yay" and "congrats!" to people or even help them out. I'm thinking of someone like Kristan Higgins who actually is friendly even when it's not necessary. She hasn't adopted that Gracious Grand Dame manner that authors occasionally acquire when they meet success and move in with it for a few years.

I don't mind the Gracious GD manner, btw, but it is pretty funny to run into when you knew the author before.

I've met K H a few times, maybe six, but she still knows who I am (although not getting names or faces isn't really something I should be sneering about since I can barely recognize the people I live with). She doesn't owe me any favors, not like B owes A. I didn't know her before she became successful. But I know without a doubt that if I asked her for help and she turned me down, she would do it personally and maybe even with style.

And yeah, being really busy is a side-effect of success and I expect those people don't have time. But plenty of big names have manners and as far as I'm concerned that's defined as being nice--perhaps even going out of your way on occasion--with people who can't do anything for you and have no power over you.

Clearly that goes double for people whom you knew before and who helped you back when they weren't so powerless. Freaking ladder climbers are one thing, pushing away the people who propped that ladder up for you? Gah.