Green's Hill-Amy Lane's Home - News

Friday, November 21, 2014

We All Know I Took Both


So, packing for LA tonight and wondering how another Disneyland trip managed to sneak up on me when I'm fatter than ever.  That's okay though-- I've told every mother I know that we're having dinner in the park, and to a one, they got big dreamy smiles and unfocused eyes:

 "You're eating dinner in the park? No cooking? No cleaning? No getting ready for family?"

I, uhm, think I may have tapped into fantasy gold here.  I'm saying. The idea of a Thanksgiving dinner that is not labor intensive apparently floats everybody's boat!

So, that's coming up, all the ruckus to get ready has me turning circles-- and can I just say?  I'd like to give my kids' school district the big raspberry for the thinnest school month ever.  I mean, February used to be the big "lost" month, but November? They had three days off last week, this week has been half-days and teacher conferences, and next week is a vacation. Dudes. When do they go to school?

That being said, apparently my kids are doing pretty good when they're there.  Squish is pretty much on grade level--for fourth grade.  (You may recall, she should be in third grade this year.)  Anyway, she's probably going to be able to skip right into fifth next year. so, uhm, go Squish!  (She has an obscene number of tardies-- so does Zoomboy. I keep expecting to get SARBed, but the teachers are apparently so excited about nice kids who make no trouble and get all their jokes that they're like, "Fuggedabouddit!" Which is awesome, because that's the kind of teacher I was. I'm like sometimes, karma is not a bitch!)  And ZB is pretty much the same-- his only slow part (as in, he's with all his peers, but he's ahead in everything else) is writing strategies, and we figure this is because writing is so difficult for him (he has long fingers and awkward fine motor skills) that by the time he's written the first sentence, he's forgotten what he was writing.  I had the same problem when I was writing with pen--and when I wrote fast, my penmanship-- oi! So I suggested letting him keyboard and the teachers were all on board with that, so yay!

So to celebrate teachers, I've got this link here, because it's BEYOOTIFUL and because it says everything Orwell or I have ever said about political writing and how it butchers both language and reason.  (And before anyone thinks I'm too liberal here, I will tell you this-- I actually DID this with one of the Democratic fundraising e-mails too, and there was just as much red ink, which is why I stopped getting them.  Political idiocy transcends party. For reals.)

Teacher Grades Republican's Congressman's Paper

Now, some of the kid pictures I have here are from ZB's bday party, which I didn't talk about yet, but suffice it to say people came, our house was more or less as clean as it ever gets, lots of sweets were consumed, and ZB got presents.

And we all celebrated my ZB, which is pretty awesome. Also? I got his room clean.  I mean, not me personally because they take away your mom card if you can't delegate, but Dad and the kids all got his room clean with my nagging, planning, and prompting.  We bought a new area rug and then, genius, a beanbag chair. He's suddenly in love with his room again.  The room itself has more space to play, and suddenly, our house is bigger.  It's… amazing.  *fantastic shudder*  Dudes. I can't make this shit up.

Also this week, (did I mention it was sort of a busy week, considering we're packing to be gone all next week? DID I? *pushes panic back into the box*)  were the soccer banquets.  Squish's was held in an indoor soccer arena, and I guess it shows what a NON- competitor I am that I've never seen the point of "Hooray! We lived through soccer season! Let's go play indoor soccer!"  Squish was not impressed either. But she got her medal, and everyone pronounced her most improved and, as is very Squishlike, the hardest worker and most cheerful presence on the team.  God, I love my Squishy.

ZB's soccer banquet was notable because Mate had to talk and tell all of his players how much they improved and how proud he was of them, and then the team mom got up and said a few words about Mate--and she was so grateful.  Everyone was. It's funny. When you're young and stupid, and you assume winning is everything, you don't anticipate standing in a room with a regular guy, lots of gray hair and a shy smile, and being grateful to him, because he didn't try to teach your kids how to win, he taught them how to play.  Every parent in that room knew how special it was to find a soccer coach who had only that one thing in mind.  The fact that in our first year the closest thing to victory was a tie, and this year, we done a few, lost a few, and tied a few, says a whole lot about how far you can bring kids by just teaching them the fundamentals of the game and telling them to play with their heart.  And, of course, I'm proud of ZB too.

And other awesome things about Mate--

He actually found me a reason to play video games.  See?  Video Game Romance Scene (With Freddie Prinze Jr's voice!)  Seriously.. hot Inquisitor action is hinted at here. Be wary.

And he took me to the King's Game, where, as a friend suggested, I imagine all the guys with their clothes off and call it work.  Given that I just wrote about our guys Xander and Christian HERE on Amber Kell's Blog and have been flirting with the idea of a sequel for the last year, I'm thinking she wasn't far off.

And for the rest of my blog?

Well, my daughter destroyed my Tyler Hoechlin dreams by sending me this picture of the usually STUNNINGLY attractive Teen Wolf actor with a porn-stache-- we're hoping he's growing it for Mo-Vember (a charity movement) and that it won't be there for long, although, I can say I've never seen Bob of Bob's Burgers look sexier.

However, along with the killer of dreams photo there, she also sent me a link to some Out of Control VERY naughty NSFW Sterek  which I'll share with you.  Because porn reasons. Uhm, enjoy.

And so to leave you all--and hence get my ass in gear to pack-- I'm going to give you one last meme, and this one proves that sometimes, in the political arena, Picard might just edge out Kirk.  If nothing else, I'm pretty sure he kicks ass.















Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A few words about coming attractions...

 I admit it-- I'm working on something easy right now.  I didn't plan on easy-- and it's not that the work doesn't have it's challenges, but I have to admit, it's been a pretty intense year, work wise.

This was the year I finished Beneath the Stain, The Bells of Times Square, Black John, The Deep of the Sound, and Immortal. 

I consider these five things to be some of my best work.

So even if I'm still putting my all into something, if it's not ripping my heart out, I'm going to consider it just a wee bit easier--and honestly?  That's fine.  Just like as readers we don't always want to read the stuff that emotionally destroys us, as writers, we don't always want to write the stuff that leaves us two pints low with blood on the floor.

Sometimes, our favorite reads are the sweet ones, the quiet ones, two guys (or two girls or a girl and a guy) just working shit out.

There's still craftsmanship, and there's still heart, but there's not sixty-eleven trips to rehab and dead bodies and jagged, rusty, emotional detritus.

Sometimes, a whole lot of craft and skill and joy goes into just writing something with heart.

So, The Candy Man is coming out on December 3rd, and it's available for presale at Amazon and Dreamspinner  and Candy Man  is that kind of read.  It's kindly, gentle, there's some pain, but there's also a big floppy dog and a cat or two, and some genuinely sweet guys working shit out.  I loved being with these guys so much, that when I needed something short and sweet to come before Quickening (which I start next month so as to finish in March) and after The Deep of the Sound (which was actually due about a month before I got it in, because GRL, sick, and it just frickin' got long on me!) there were people from  The Candy Man who still needed their story told, and Bitter Taffy is the next book to do just that.  In a way, it's like my Granby universe-- the place with Jeremy Bunny and Craw and Stanley.  There's sweetness, there's heart, but it's going to leave us happy, fuzzy, with our hearts only a little battered, and our livers slightly less destroyed.  Like I said-- it was the perfect thing to work on right now.  I may try to run against form and write the next book in the series only two more books down, so that way, I can get a series out in a timely manner for once.  And see-- that'll be a change too.

But in the meantime, to prove I haven't gone soft, I've got The Bells of Times Square coming out on December 15th.  Available for presale at Amazon  and Riptide, if it seems like it's been on presale forever, that's because it has. See, Riptide had some faith in this one as a work of literature, and it's gotten some nice reviews.  I believe I've mentioned (and yes I'm gonna be dropping this bomb a lot, so's you knows) that it got rated a Top Pick in the January issue of Romantic Times--and I happen to have the review right there:

4.5 stars, Top Pick in Mainstream Literature
Lane understands the power true love has to survive hardship and make even the loneliest hearts feel whole. She manages to convey these enormous feelings in achingly simple, straightforward terms. This tale of family bonds and enduring love is no exception. Her insight into her courageous heroes, both young and old, makes this layered story real and compelling. The exquisite final scene is a guaranteed tearjerker, and an unforgettable testament to a love that defies time. 


It also received a review from Publisher's Weekly, and although not all of the review was flattering (not everybody is as excited about framing devices in a story as I am, and that's something not even legitimacy will cure) it did have some really nice quotes:

…A Florence Nightingale romance develops between the two men as they hide from Nazis and try to imagine a world where they can fight a just war and have a life together. The scenes with Nate and Walter are elegant and movingly rendered…"

So, considering I was let go from teaching because my administration considered M/M romance "porn", I'm calling these two reviews a win. For one thing, did you notice the category of The Bells of Times Square in the Romantic Times quote? It said "Mainstream Literature"-- not "gay fiction", not "erotica"-- and that's pretty special. That means that this piece holds up in any venue. I've maintained since the very beginning that the only difference between "romance" and "mainstream fiction" should be the guaranteed element of hope in the story, and I think I've done that, and, well, hell yes. I'm proud.

So, well, there's Bells.  

Also coming up is Black John, which is on its third edit right now.  Black John is the fourth book in the Johnnies series, and it features everybody's favorite coke fiend (yeah-- I can't even believe I wrote a book with this guy) on the rocky road to rehab.  I think I've said this before, but I'll definitely say it again-- John surprised me. I mean this book was dark. In its way, it was even darker than Beneath the Stain because Mackey hadn't hurt anybody when he was doing everybody's drugs.  John did. John hurt the guy he'd been pining for-- and he feels like crap. And to top it off, John's ex-- the guy who fucked him up in the first place-- has ended his life and left a big freaking mess for John to clean up--and a neighbor with his own addictions for John to fall in love with.  So yeah.  This one isn't the sweet and easy of Candy Man or Bitter Taffy-- but in spite of all of this, John had a dry, sarcastic, voice.  Unlike some of my characters, he's in his thirties, he's a survivor, and we see in this story that he's been down before and he's pulled himself up, and he is stronger, and a better person, than he's ever imagined. 

If the only thing standing between mainstream literature and romance literature is a sense of hope? Black John has a surprising amount of hope.  I'm a fan. 

And speaking of hope.  

So, I did mention that I was writing Bitter Taffy before Quickening.  Now the reason I'm not jumping on Quickening right away is because the earliest it will be released is 2016-- In the past few years the length between a story being accepted and a story being published has gotten longer, precisely so we can send stories to places like Publishers Weekly and Romantic Times Magazine, which is a good thing for Indie publishers and Gay Romance writers alike.  

But the other reason it will be a while for Quickening to be released is because we're currently re-releasing the entire series.  So, Black John comes out in late January, and Vulnerable with a brand new cover and brand new editing and everything, will be out on March 3rd. 

It's my first.  It's got an introduction written by Mary Calmes and Damon Suede, and another one written my yours truly and basically?  

It was a sentimental journey to revamp this book, from beginning to end.

I can't wait to get to the other ones.  It's gonna be a trip.  

So, there you go-- what's coming out, what I'm working on, what I'm excited about.  If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section, and I'll try to address them either on the blog or on FB-- 

And in the meantime?  Thanks for reading, keeping up with me, and loving the work.  I really do have the bestest readers in all explored space-- thank you so much for being part of this :-)

Peace out!

Amy








Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pizza Weekend

It's inevitable. 
It's the last day of soccer.  The last day of soccer.  

Squish's team won, ZB's team timed, and Squish had her banquet today. 

ZB gets his on Monday. 

ZB's birthday is today, but his party is tomorrow. 

Yes, you heard that. Pizza. Three days in a row.  

And cake and cookies…

Ugh.  *rubs stomach*

Yeah.  There's a reason we call it pizza weekend.  

But other than that, all the other stuff is pretty neat.  Squish assisted a goal, Mate got to coach both games (he's assistant coach for Squish's game, which means he's not always there) and I actually talked to the coaches at Squish's banquet.  I know this is gonna blow your minds, but I'm actually a little shy around the soccer people.  Uhm, I don't play soccer, I have no interest in sports, and my competitive nature is usually drugged by sugar and comatose.  I'm not your average soccer mom, and I'm always very conscious of the fact that, unless they read romance or like radical politics, we usually have one thing and one thing in common: our offspring participate in a game that my genetics have rendered it almost impossible for my own offspring to contribute to.  

I'm always a little embarrassed.  It's like, "Yup-- that goal she stopped?  That was her father.  That, uhm, distinctive run?  That's all me.  Sorry. The other kids got it too.  Yup.  So sorry. Blame me. Sorry!"

But this time there was a conversation.  Granted, it was about Mate, who wasn't there because he was coaching his game, but since Mate is so awesome, I had something to talk about.

Anyway…

So, oh yeah-- I sort of buried the lead under pizza.

ZoomBoy is eleven today.

He's all legs.  And big brown eyes. And creative ideas. And a catalog of information about fictional realms that I cannot even fathom.  

And joy. 

And imagination.

And lego specs.

And kindness toward children and small animals.  

And cruelty toward his sister followed by contrition.

And black and white stick drawing cartoons.

And puns.  

And computer genius.

And OUTRAGEOUS fibs. 

And feet.  Oh my God would you look at his feet?  They're bigger than mine! (But not as swollen and fat.)

And potential and possibility.

And mommy love.

And awesomeness.  Oh, Goddess, when we're talking about my ZoomBoy, let's talk about the awesomeness.  You're leggy wonderful quickly growing elbows, ears, and awesomeness.

And I love you.  Even when our ADHD is competing together for most obnoxious, I still love you.  Even when you win that contest.  

You make me so proud.

So, anyway-- tomorrow, there's pizza and cake and housecleaning.  And tired kids (who are already tired because soccer, soccer banquets, and housecleaning!)  

And ZB's friends and giant lego toys.  And a new area rug and a beanbag chair, and fun.

You're my bread and butter baby.  All white food, very dependable that way.  

And my joy.  

Happy Birthday, Zoomboy.  Don't worry about mom and dad eating too much pizza.  Tonight I made us soup and salad, and we'll use that to stay young and healthy for you.

As you grow into the stratosphere, beyond this world, into others, into the stars.

That's how you go ZOOM!  







Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Two Cylinders, One of them Sleeping


 Okay, so still sick-- which means I'm the world's must boring blogger.  I have accomplished a few things though.

I managed to finally (cause it's eight days late) write my November Amy's Lane.

It's about where our creativity comes from, and after it was finished and I'd published it already, I came to a stunning realization.  The more concrete reasoning we do in a piece of writing, the less the reader has to do, and the more intuiting they have to do about whether or not that reasoning aligns with their value system or not.  Which explains reader reaction to non-fiction and essay writing.  And the less concrete reasoning the writer does in a work, the more intuiting they do in presenting their argument-- and the more concrete reasoning the reader has to do, and this explains a reader's reaction to fiction.

And that will be another Amy's Lane, I'm sure.  Or, I shall look back upon it and declare it the mad ramblings of a sick woman.  Either way, we'll call it done.

Other thing.  In the article I say I've written 20,000 words of fiction.  5,000 words are a VERY short story for an April Fool's anthology for Ethan Day, who runs Wilde City Press.  I will tell you two things about this short.

A.  It's very hot.

B.  The names of the leads are Gordie and Steve, and they discuss the products of Geoff and Johnny's erotic enhancements.  So, well, yeah.  My household cats have been fanficced in alternative universe porn without point. I'm not sure if it's depravity or genius.  We'll have to wait until April to see!

The other 15K are toward a novella that will be the sequel to Candy Man.  The thing is, Candy Man had a character who screamed for a sequel, and I needed something short and relatively uncomplicated before I wrote Quickening.  Bitter Taffy looks like that's the perfect story to fit into the perfect time slot.  And like I say in the Amy's Lane essay, it's perfect to write when you're sick or need something comforting.  I'm thinking that's what kind of read it's going to be as well.

Oh-- and this is exciting.  Bell's of Times Square will be featured as a Top Pick in Romantic Times Magazine in February, with 4 1/2 Stars, and a lovely review, which I will probably quote later until you're sick of it.  And they're going to pull quotes from the review (and one from Publisher's Weekly which wasn't as flattering but which had a kick-ass quote) and put the quotes on the cover.  

I know. Silly and juvenile of me, but I'm playing with the big kids, and now one of my books will be dressed in big kids' clothes.

I like the way they fit.

Oh-- and the fish poster?

Saw it on FB, and I"m pretty sure it's the essence of all romance writing ever.  Don't touch my fish! But there's a lot of fish to write about.  That's a lot of stories. That gets mighty interesting, right?

Chicken is in the middle of finals right now, and hence the Bender and SpongeBob pictures.  But then, they could also be reacting to Rhys Ford's posted picture of the snake in the sweater.  Because that's what she thought I was knitting when she burst out in the middle of her panel with, "Amy Lane, what in the fuck are you knitting? A sweater for a snake?"

Well, it was a fingerless mitten.  Maybe it was a pair of pants, if the snake was particularly well endowed.

And on that thought, I'll leave you alone.  Probably looking like SpongeBob, because the idea of the snake wearing a fingerless mitten in an inappropriate manner would do that to anyone. 












Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blergh

In one of my Green's Hill Werewolf stories, (I think it's Changing,) I bring up the concept of "bad shit" anniversaries.  Really bad stuff happened to Cory in Wounded, and when that same time of the year rolls around in Changing, everybody is bound and determined to keep Cory out of the fight on the anniversary of the bad shit that happened in Wounded.  This pisses Cory off to no end, of course, and then, when bad shit does go down, she's all the way across the county, being taken care of while two of her husbands and her friends are in the middle of a bullet storm.

Bracken has it under control, of course, but he does have one of my favorite lines of all times.  "You think you're a big thing, little man? What you think of as a bloody corporate takeover is really a domestic dispute of biblical proportions, and you're in the middle."  (I probably mangled that-- but I was channeling Bracken when he said it so I'm calling it a win.)

Anyway-- when I wrote that story, I was mostly being tongue in cheek.  For some reason my entire family-- mom, dad, first round of kids-- had gotten really sick in February for, like three years running.  One year, I remember bleaching furniture, because literally all we as a family was flop around in our own sweat like dying fish-- for a week. Another year, I actually escaped the plague, but I spent two days putting cold peas on Big T and Chicken, while they did their dying fish impersonation all on their own.

I did not expect that idea of "bad shit anniversaries" to follow me through one set of kids to another, and to take root firmly in November.

When Zoomboy was born, he was exactly on time, and Strep D positive (we shall not go into the story of one more doctor not listening when Mate and I said "Please don't put fat pregnant woman on her back! Her labor will stall!" And then labor progresses like a freight train once they let me get up.)  His blood sugar dropped, he started to get listless, and he spent five days in NICU because he just wasn't waking up.

So we got him home, and there was this month of terror-- we knew he'd be susceptible to every bug in the world, so we didn't take him anywhere. We were afraid he'd stop waking up again.

Well… November has become our new bad shit anniversary.  If our family is going to catch anything at any time, it's going to be during October/November.

Four years ago when I'd just gotten pulled out of my classroom, I got sick almost immediately.  I've been sick pretty much every November since.  This year, it was a pinched nerve in my shoulder followed by a cold, and now Zoomboy shares my pain, and we're both useless lumps of flesh lolling about the house while the rest of the world zooms around us.

The worst thing about this is that there is a whole lot of stuff I want to get done.

The best thing about this is that I feel no guilt for not getting it done.  Example?  My deadline for Amy's Lane came and went, and I didn't notice for five days.  I'm going to get it up next week-- and hopefully stop forgetting it after that-- but I'm saying, that's the sort of thing that goes on during a bad shit anniversary.

Today I should have been writing Amy's Lane, and Mate wanted to go see Big Hero 6. Of course we saw the movie.  I huddled into my cardigan and let ZB cuddle with me (after I fed him a Motrin) and knitted because honestly, it was easier than saying, "No, I don't feel good enough to go anywhere."  I'm glad I did, because Big Hero 6? Worth it-- but you see what I mean?  Big T asked me a question about literature and I drew a big blank and said, "I can't brain today I have the dumb."  He thought I was making fun of him, but then I spent the next five minutes staring into space, so I think he realized I was telling the truth.

Anyway-- the one thing I did manage to do this weekend was take Squish to a birthday party at Berry Jello's place (and we were going to go out to a friend's dinner afterwards, but I felt way too icky to even think about it, and so did ZoomBoy) and the pictures of Squish are from that.

So now I'm putting my cardigan back on and sinking blissfully into my little world set on the Old Sac tourist waterfront, and writing the sequel to The Candy Man.  Speaking of which, I'm pretty sure I'm getting a presale link to that story and you'll see that.  And an Amy's Lane essay.  It's just…

Well, so easier to hide in my fiction than it is to write my facts.  My fiction is cozy and warm and gentle on my stomach and it puts a hood around my ears and even if it makes me cry, it gives me a cocoon of safety around my aching person.

If you need me, I'll be there.





Oh yeah-- I should mention this, because a lot of you made it happen-- Beneath the Stain received Book of the Month over at Love Bytes-- Thanks guys!  I'm glad my little rock star made your list-- thanks so much for rooting for him!-- Amy

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Moar Puppies!

Okay, so we went to visit the puppy again (and Sam and his delightful family!) and two things came of this.

A.  Johnny thinks the puppies are TERRIFYING.  He ran away, shook like a leaf, and yipped and snapped.  I'm a little worried about this, but we think if we keep introducing him to the puppies and nothing bad happens, maybe he'll chill.

Geoff!
B. The kids decided we should name the puppy-- a girl-- Geoff.  So that way, our animals would be Gordie, Steve, Johnny, and Geoff.  Can't you just see them?  All going off to work in the firm from Office Space, wearing their pocket protectors and their polyester shirts and ties?  Hey! Who're those guys?  Gordie, Steve, Johnny, and Geoff!  Damn-- Gordie and Steve seem to sleep a lot, and that Johnny guy is high strung.  And really, does Geoff sleep with everybody?

Yup.

And that way, I'd get up, drop the kids off, and spend another day at the office.

*choke* *giggle* *snort*

Best. Running Joke. Ever.  


* And in other news, Imma whine just a minute 'cause I've been feeling sorta blech.  I pinched a nerve in my shoulder last weekend, which meant I spent four days screaming "DON'T TOUCH ME!" and dosing heavy with the motrin, and now my stomach is curling in on itself and whimpering, "Lining… I used to have lining… wonderful stuff… protected from acid, kept me warm, helped me digest, NO FOR CHRIST'S SAKE NO MORE MOTRIN!!"


So, yanno.  There's that.  *whine* *whimper*  *whinge*  So now I'm done.

*  Anyway-- do notice the hot guy and the add for the DSP books on www.allromanceebooks.com -- and definitely notice that Beneath the Stain is one of them.  I always get a kick of seeing my books on banners like that… feels so official, yanno?  (And no.  It never gets old.  Neither does signing the contract, getting the box of author copies, seeing my cover art, or signing anything for readers.  Never.  Not once have I thought, "Oh, gees, I wish I didn't have to sign, open, look at, or epigraph… that's just boring."  Not once.  Always new, always happy, always awesome.  And now you know.)  So this is fun too!

*  One of the reasons we're putting off bringing the puppy home is that we're spending Thanksgiving in a very unusual place this year… DISNEYLAND.  Yeah.  Had to throw that in there.  Cause.  DISNEYLAND!  Anyway-- for anyone following Nano, should I check out completely that last week in November?  Now you know why.  DISNEYLAND.

*  And oh… did you notice the cover reveal?  I noticed the cover reveal… wasn't it an awesome cover?  Seriously!  Paul Richmond watercolored this (with some help from some pictures I sent him) and this is my sweet, adorable, heart-tugging  Christmas novella that will be out at the beginning of December.

I am so happy.  The next time you see this cover, it's gonna be with a link, but in the meantime, PUPPY!!!!!!  

Monday, November 3, 2014

*kermit flail* The November (Samhain) Version

Okay-- seriously-- I could not have planned this month's lineup any better if I'd tried.  Because here, at the height of Samhain, I've got urban fantasy, urban fantasy and nothing but the urban fantasy!  

And puppies.  (Did I reel you in with the puppy?  Good-- cause we're taking her home in December, and then you're going to see as many pictures of Treble the puppy as you've seen of Jonnie, Steve, and Gordie!)  

But mostly about the Urban Fantasy, which, as some of you might remember, is my wheelhouse, given The Little Goddess series and all.

In fact, the first author on the list is someone I met at a Coastal Magic--a Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy convention.

Lucienne Diver was awesome there.  She had a booth where she sold jewelry in the tiny vendor's room, and she sat and told me funny stories as I manned the DSP booth, and generally was charming and fun.  I was so excited to hear she had a new series coming out-- and even more excited when she wanted to pimp her books on my blog!  So, seriously, give a manic kermit flail and a massive puppy SQUEEEEEEEE!!!! for the amazing Miss Lucienne Diver!

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!




Bad Blood is a delightful urban fantasy, a clever mix of Janet Evanovich and Rick Riordan, and a true Lucienne Diver original." —Long and Short Reviews

“BAD BLOOD is a wonderful read. The mystery keeps the reader engaged, the action makes the reader want to roll with the punches, and the romance makes the senses tingle. This is a great book to coil up with on a lazy Sunday afternoon.” —Fresh Fiction

BAD BLOODLatter-Day Olympians, Book 1

The gods play…and mortals pay.
Tori Karacis’s family line may trace back to a drunken liaison between the god Pan and one of the immortal gorgons. Or…maybe it’s just coincidence that her glance can, literally, stop men in their tracks. While her fear of heights kept her out of the family aerobatic troupe, her extreme nosiness fits right in with her uncle’s P.I. business.

Except he’s disappeared on an Odyssean journey to find himself. Muddling through on her own, she’s reduced to hunting (not stalking, because that would just be weird) brass-bra’d Hollywood agent Circe Holland to deliver a message…only to witness her murder by what looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Suddenly, all of her family’s tall tales seem believable, especially when Apollo—the Apollo, who’s now hiding out among humans as an adult film star—appears in her office, looking to hire her. She knows the drill: canoodling with gods never works out well for humans, but she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Maybe it’s her genes. Maybe not.
Given her conflicted feelings for one hot and hardened cop, it’s a toss-up which will kill her quickest. The danger at her door…or her love life.

Warning: Contains pot-boiling passion between a heroine who may—or may not—be a descendant of Medusa, and a hot god and a hunky cop with the…equipment…to handle her, even on her worst bad-hair day. Beware of killer kisses, trickster gods and bearded grandmothers Who Know Everything.



Our next guest is…

Well, Ariel.  How can you read M/M and not know Ariel Tachna?  Not only not know her, but not know her Partnership in Blood series?  I read the first four and they broke my heart-- I loved them.  I haven't caught up with the rest of the series, but that's my bad-- anybody who loves The Little Goddess series will adore Ariel's Partnership series-- and we have the latest two in the series here, and that's awesome. Everybody give a standing ovation and a HEARTY *kermit flail* for Miss Ariel Tachna!  YAAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!



All his life, wizard Raphael Tarayaud has dreamed of a vampire—first as a friend, then as a lover. His search for his missing soul mate brings him to the attention of Sebastien Noyer, one of his childhood heroes. While Sebastien isn't his soul mate, he could be the perfect partner for Raphael's best friend Kylian Raffier.

As strange coincidences mount up, Raphael offers his research expertise to try and help Kylian and Sebastien understand what is happening to them, though the more he learns, the less he likes it. But it won’t keep him from fighting with everything he has to secure Kylian’s future.

When he finally meets Jean Bellaiche, former chef de la Cour and grieving widower, the meeting is disastrous, but Raphael can't let it go. He doesn’t stand a chance with Jean—who could compete with the ghost of Raymond Payet?—but nothing can stop him from dreaming.






For two years, Thierry has wanted the one thing Sebastien's past denies him: an Aveu de Sang. With the help of friends new and old, he has finally assembled a ritual that will give him a close approximation of the ultimate bond between vampire and mortal... if it succeeds.






Now Rowan McAllister is a big fan of this blog-- and I've featured her a couple of times because her favorite thing is fantasy-- so much so that she ventured into contemporary urban fantasy this time as a change of pace.  (BTW-- I'm regretting I don't have any pictures from GRL, because Rowan's other love is textiles, and if you can imagine a fabulously beautiful, really tall woman dressed SPECTACULARLY in both costume and formal affairs… Crap.  I really need pictures, dammit!)  

So imagine all of that imagination, focused on urban fantasy.  Yup.  It's gonna be good.

Ladies and gentlemen, give a hearty, happy, excited *kermit flail* for the lovely Ms. Rowan McAllister!  YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!



When absent-minded video game developer Jay Thurson impulsively follows his intuition westward, he never expects his rideshare to turn out to be a gun-toting madman. In an act of desperation, Jay turns to the gift he's long neglected and feared for help and leaps from the moving car on a dark and deserted back country road. 

Running for his life leads him to the doorstep of Adam Grauwacke, a roadside nursery owner and sometime vegetable farmer, whose affinity for the earth goes far beyond having a green thumb. Adam's world is ordered and predictable, dependable and safe, but despite having his dream farm and business, he’s always felt something's missing. When he welcomes Jay into his home, life seems to click for both men, and together they explore their gifts and their attraction. 

But harmony has no value if it is easily won, and a crazed gunman and volatile ex might be their end if Jay and Adam can’t learn to trust the strength of their bond.




And now, I'm happy to introduce something awesome-- something not a book.  

See, very often, our reviews come from book blogs that start small and grow.  They usually grow by literate responses to the written word, humor, and a sense of objectivity and positivity as they support authors in a genre they love.  I've seen the beginning of a lot of book blogs in the last five years, and every one has made this genre stronger--

So I"m really happy to be on the ground floor of this one--


One of the proprietors of It's About the Book, Faye, had this to say about her new enterprise:

Back in July Whit and I started a blog.  Our goal was to review both LGBTQ and het romantic fiction, or whatever we found to be interesting.  We never expected blogging to be easy, but we didn't expect self-promotion to be so hard.  As it turns out telling people over and over again they should read a good book is a lot different than telling people they need to follow your blog.  But, we really do want you to follow our blog.  Not so much for us, although we'd love that, but for the authors we host and the books we all review.  We don't review books because we love the feeling of foolishly taking on too many books then realizing we'll have to write those 6 reviews up at some point in the near future, but because we simply love books and can't stop talking about them.  So now, we're asking you to please follow our blog.  If you're not interested in doing so for the reviews and the occasional guest blog posts from authors, then do it for the cool coffee cup icons.  

So there you go-- A new book blog to check out!

And that about wraps up the Samhain version of *kermit flail* Monday-- that and Squish and Zoomboy, starring as a SpiderCat and a Creeper-- both of which made faithful rounds of our neighborhood on Hallow's Eve. 

The highlight of the evening was watching Zoomboy use his sister as a human shield as they tentatively approached a spooky house.  When the door opened and he leapt three feet in the air squealing like a wiener, his father and I could not laugh enough.

That being said, everybody have a wonderful week, and thanks for sharing in the *flail*!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

NANOWRIMO

So I pinched a nerve in my shoulder last night, falling asleep at the computer.

This has happened before, and now that I've used a cold pack and about six motrin, I'm feeling slightly better.  The kids have to decorate without me, and I'm afraid Mate and Trystan are on for carving the second pumpkin (because the first ones got all moldy because you don't carve pumpkins two weeks before Halloween, but that's not the point.

The point is, it's NANOWRIMO.

NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth is a brilliant exercise in masochism whereby authors and aspiring authors publicly publish their word count stats per day, to see if they can reach 50K in the span of a month.  For some people, it's a chance to get motivated by doing something that's usually solitary in a group, and for some people it's a chance to keep track of their novel stats and improve on their productivity.  For some people, it's mostly a chance to brag--and I have to admit, it's been very good to me.

Keeping Promise Rock was 119K and written in six weeks during 2009.  Alas, not during NANOWRIMO, but in October instead, so the next year, when NANOWRIMO came around, I wanted to use a skill I now knew I had, and make it official.  The result was The Locker Room, and yes-- as breakout novels go, that one was a doozy.  The next year, I chose to finish a book called Chase in  Shadow and start on Gambling Men, and that worked out rather well for me too.  The year after that, I wrote the bulk of Bolt-Hole, and last year, I wrote most of Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny's Lair.  

So yes.

I know I can beat NANO.

But the thing is…

See, last year, while I was working on Blackbird, several things happened-- and I'm not even sure I can remember them all.  One manuscript that should have been edited eons before November suddenly needed to be edited in two weeks-- with an accompanying blog tour that probably amounted to 15,000 words on it's own.  One manuscript that should have been released in February or March suddenly needed to be edited for release in January.  I was in the process of editing The Bitter Moon saga, and that was not going smoothly, and Going Up was getting the rookie treatment and I was suddenly turning into the bitch diva from hell that I'd always despised.

And in the middle of that-- and Thanksgiving for the fam, and Zoomboy's birthday (cause that's on the 15th) and the end of soccer (we call it "pizza weekend")-- I was very publicly writing 60,000 words of something I had already proved I could finish.

But I had this thing looming over my head.  This stupid, self-imposed thing.  A thing I usually really loved, but that I'd committed doing in public already-- I mean, people can go see your daily progress, right?  And I"m just too dumb to even lie about that, or to save it all up for the end, or to cheat in anyway, or even to quit, when I know that just this once, I'm totally outnumbered and out gunned.

December was just as stressful (and it was when I started Beneath the Stain--170K in 3 months) and by the time New Year's Eve rolled around, I was a bloated (gained 15 lbs!) angsty, neurotic, wreck with swollen feet and the disposition of a constipated troll.  I mean that was the place I was coming from when I wrote A Gentle Shove of Human Kindness-- let's just say that damaged divas and constipated trolls were my brethren at that time in my life.

Anyway-- not that November wouldn't have been a clusterfucking train wreck on it's own, after all, but on top of that I had NANOWRIMO?

Well, I did buy the damned sweatshirt and the T-shirt as well-- and you can bet your ass I wear them with pride.

But now NANO is rolling around again, and, well, I have the possibility of some of the same bullshit rolling around too.

And I want to do NANO-- it's treated me well, and it's fun, and adding your word count up by the day really does help to motivate a person, and…

And I pinched a nerve in my shoulder, and I'm stoned out of my mind with Motrin and the kids had to decorate the front porch because just standing up hurts and so does typing and…

And I can buy my own sweatshirt.

So I don't know.

I mean as much as I'd like to write 60K every month doesn't mean I can-- or even should.  I've always been about the craft and how the right words are more important than the number of words-- do I really want to make a million words when I'm not happy about the quality?  And I am sort of trying to take care of myself and my family.  I'm not excited that I was sitting here blogging while my kids were decorating.  I don't think it makes me a very good mother, to tell the truth.  Neither does going to bed at two in the morning and staggering around in a funk while they're getting ready for school.  And going out to eat a lot (which we haven't been doing lately) doesn't do it either.  Neither does writing during nightly TV family time, or not being in the moment when they need me the most.

But… well…

NANO has been awfully good to me.

I guess I'll figure it out on Saturday, right?  That's when I make all my best decisions-- the absolute moment when they need to be made.  And seriously-- how bad could it be, signing up for NANO and not making the deadline?

*looks sheepishly around at the number of people who could be watching*

Oh God.  Don't answer that. I'll have to answer that one on my own!