Thursday, August 28, 2014

Horror Story

Her baby was gone. She woke up alone, in the dark, and reached for the comforting, sleeping shape of her baby but it was gone. 

She wanted to cry out but something had been jammed down her throat, cold and plastic. A tube, right, right…this was the hospital. They did that in hospitals, but she had to talk, to tell someone, the baby was more important than comfort. She reached for her face and the tube blocking her throat.  Pain then more tubes moved with her hand. Awful pinching, and pulling tubes she plucked at them.

The baby—she could hear it crying. 

Help me. The scream didn’t come to her mouth. She wasn’t strong enough to get the wretched thing from her throat which ached with plastic and tears.

She passed out. 

When she woke, she didn’t remember the baby immediately and when she did she wondered how she could have forgotten. Perhaps there’d been drugs. Had they moved her from a place she’d been comfortable, hoping she’d forget. Why was she here and in so much pain?

The baby. They’d taken it from her. God, please, who were these people? 

She called out, made a sound at last. Someone touched her arm. She shrank back because a stranger stroked her arm and pretended to know her, called her by name. Her skin felt as if it burned under that touch.

“My baby,” she managed to croak.

“You weren’t admitted because of a baby.”

Liar, she wanted to scream the word but was too afraid. The calm certainty in that stranger’s face confused her and, worse, made her own memories crumble and scramble but no. she wouldn’t be fooled. She’d come here because of the baby. 

“You’re lying."

“Try to rest,” the stranger said. “Please? Close your eyes for me?”

“Why would I do anything for you? You took my baby. Where is this place?” So much discomfort. Why wouldn’t they give her something for the pain? “It hurts.”

“Why am I here?”

“Why am I here?”

“Why am I here?”

“Where is my baby?”

They didn’t answer.  Or they did and the answers slipped away.

“Close your eyes.” The order was more impatient this time.  Fear made her obey.

The next time she came awake…what had happened to put her here in this place, surrounded by people she didn’t know.

“Where’s my son?”

“He had to go to work.”

That had to be wrong. If it had been a test, they failed--because now she remembered she came to the hospital for the baby. “You’re lying.”

But then the doctor came in, distracting everyone, even her, and he talked to her in a voice that was too loud and made her head hurt even more.

“Help me,” she whispered.

“We are, I promise,” he said in that horrible jolly voice they used. “You need to relax. Take a deep breath.”

“But…Wait.” She needed something, an urgency they hadn’t addressed. “I don’t know.”

She was in the hospital.  

They talked about healing times and the words drifted past in a mumble and when she asked the people standing at her bed to repeat, they grew impatient.  “I told you that already.”

“Why am I here? Where is my baby?”

“Here.” A dark-haired man said. She had never seen him before--she'd swear to that.

She peered at his arms looking for the bundle wrapped in a white cloth with faded blue bunnies, pilled with use. She knew that blanket, the precise size of that bundle as big as her meatloaf pan. The man’s arms were empty. “I don’t see him.”

“I’m your baby.”

She was too afraid to tell this hulking, grim-faced stranger he lied. Her heart slapped hard at the instant his face became familiar and she knew he wasn’t lying. So much worse. She opened her mouth and a strange cry filled the air. That was keening hers for a lost baby in a blue-and-white cloth.

She’d lost a baby, a child, she’d lost a life. The pain was too large for any single body to hold and it had to come out.

“Hush, hush,” another stranger touched her. “Ma’am. Please stop. You’ll be fine, fine, attagirl.”

Like she was a dog. Something cold touched her arm, on the inside. An IV, she knew that was it was. Something cold in the IV.

For the pain of having a baby, she said to herself. Though I wanted to have him naturally, maybe this was better? She was comforted for a minute and she slept.

Panic hit her when she woke alone, in the dark. Where was her baby?

Friday, August 22, 2014

weird book

I'm listening to Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Lost Prince and it's a funky book that didn't age well, not like her other books. Written just before WW1 it has a strange kind of worshipful attitude about righteous war and royal blood. There's a whacko religious feel to it, pseudo-zen stuff.

Also odd? There is no mention of the two kids' mothers. Not so much as A  Word. These two kids are only products of their fathers....and the Princely One is exactly image of his father who's the exact image of an ancestor who died 500 years earlier.

I can tell she was writing for boys who have no interest in female events but still, you'd think there'd be a passing remark, like 'golly, wish your mom could see you now!' And the only attractive female in it is an evil spy. I'm not at the end so maybe a woman will jump up and say, "yo, hey! Here I am, your mother whom you've never even given a passing thought to!"

There's a homoerotic vibe too, everyone falls for the kingly dad in a big way and they vibrate with joy when he's around. He calls his kid "comrade" and sends him off to danger because it's for Samavia! All is for Samavia!

The descriptions of the cities and mountains are cool and the freedom of their adventures would probably appeal to kids.



t's a strange book.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

that time a strange black man accosted me

I was shoveling snow and the stranger, a big guy, tapped me on the shoulder and scared the crap out of me. I was out of breath and hadn't been paying attention to my surroundings.

"Give me that shovel," he demanded.

I tried to argue with him, but no. "Humor me.  No way I can stand by and watch you do that." He grabbed the shovel--I think he pulled it from my hands--and finished uncovering our walk, the sidewalk in front of the house, and the car. It took a while because there was a lot of snow. When he was done, he handed back the shovel and walked off without another word.

I was nine months pregnant at the time and trying to get that baby out. I felt was a total hormonal mess of resentment and gratitude.

I never saw him again.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


back to promo. And look! You can win prizes.

From the GeminiGirls: 3 days of our favourite M/M Romance authors, with reviews, interviews and of course, giveaways.

Bonnie's interview!

Summer speaks!

Monday, August 18, 2014

echo chamber

I realized today why I don't blog here--nothing to do with the fact that no one comments. I never did this blog for the comments...I usually did it to avoid work or to air my opinions.

I'm tarred of opinions. I'm tarred of comments and people being tarred of things, sick and tarred. Tarred, tarred, tarred. Internet burnout. That includes my own opinions, as it turns out. I keep starting to write things and then stop because hey If I don't care what I think, why would anyone else?

spoiler: no one, except molly the dog who waggles her big ears and stares deep into my eyes every time I say a word. And that's freaky after a while.

My response isn't 11 on the  scale of screamingly negative, more meh... Definitely not HEY NO BLEH. because HEY NO BLEH shows up on the comment thread on any article in any part of the internet and I wish to avoid that.

HEY NO BLEH is a kick or a slap because people are wrong or you think they're wrong or they are mean or they are rude or they are trying to be funny and they're not or they are being too serious when the topic is just funny (lighten up for god's sake) or they are clueless or they are off-topic or they are sexist/racist/ageist.

and the kick or slap response to the stupidity--it turns into part of the endless emotionfest. It turns the convo up to 12 every time.

Goats still rock. They're not a passing thing, not like owls or raccoons.

And my chickens are fine, thank you.  C3 is more than fine. That hero hen lays an egg every single day of the week. I worry about the poor girl. I wish the others would take up the slack. She is the best chicken ever. The other two could use some lessons on having a pleasant personality and on laying eggs.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

one of those people

you know the ones who only use their blog to do promo?

I didn't want to be one of those people. At the moment I am.
Here's an article I wrote. Go comment. Thank you.  Please, please

I'm feeling slightly desperate about it, of course. Most promo puts me in a fingers trembling, head sweating sort of a mood. It's probably training.

But the fact is so many promotional efforts do not work and they don't work right out in public. Of course the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Q** Public are watching porny fun and not paying attention should made the whole thing less painful, because it's a nice quiet failure.

Somehow that never makes one feel better.

**Stands for Quigley. I'm not sure why or how, but that's what they said.

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.