30 June 2009

Flawed Release Day!

It's here! Today is release day for Flawed, the sensual tale of a princess in dire need of a bit of help and the two shadow elves who fall head over heels for her.
Elves and magic and betrayal and hot, burn-up-the-sheets love - this novella has them all. This is a fantasy for adults, a love story for everyone who ever felt the weight of the world rested in the throw of a d20.
I hope you enjoy the story of Emilia, Rorek, and Jo'el.
Here's a snippet from the opening scene -

Attempting to calm herself from the ugly scene she had fled, she rolled her flushed face against the coolness of the wood. First one side, then the other, before she let the warming surface press against the useless dark rock that rested in her forehead. There was a distant sensation of pressure where the stone met her flesh, an unwanted reminder of her most obvious shortcoming. The stone that should have been a source of great magical power was nothing more than a daily reminder that she was, indeed, as flawed as a princess could be.

A low moan from the room behind her jerked her from her thoughts. Spinning around to find the source, Emilia stared openmouthed in surprise at the scene before her.

Gods alive.

Firelight cast a dim light over a couple near the fireplace. A large male body reclined across the brocade cushions of a finely carved settee, one long leg propped against the back of the small sofa and one braced on the floor. His thighs were spread wide, giving her a clear view of the naked muscled chest that rose from a slender waist. A cream-colored shirt of the finest shadowsilk was unbuttoned across his skin, framing the sculpted muscles and smooth ebony skin in light.

His head was thrown back in abandoned pleasure, allowing shadows to flicker across the planes of his face. A rising flame threw him into light, and then his features were cast again into the shadows. Through the haze of shock she felt a stab of recognition. Rorek Northmark, Lord Magician of Darkknell, the visiting ambassador and blood cousin to King Torek of the Shadow Elf, was sprawled in lusty abandon as she had never seen him before.

I'm giving away a copy of Flawed - this one is open to anyone who comments here or on my blog between now and midnight, July 2nd.

Happy reading!

24 June 2009

A Flawed Contest

The hotter it gets outside, the more I want to retreat into my cave. Lock out the world, tuck my legs under me, and type away the hours.

Unfortunately, there is no door on my cave. The real world intrudes often. Usually in the form of a sweetly pleading six year old (six for now - my baby will be seven next week!) or the hubby, who will sprawl on the couch and ask if I'm busy. No dear, never to busy for you.

But they've given me enough quiet time to keep my sanity. That's good enough for me.

I don't have a lot of travel ahead of me this summer. I won't be able to make the trip to DC for the RWA conference in July, and even the family trips to North Carolina and Kentucky that I had considered during the spring never came together. Too many things on my calendar, and not enough free time to string together travel days. A weekend getaway with the kids to Orlando and a short trip up to Alabama looks like it will have to be enough to keep my traveling feet satisfied for this year. But as long as I've got my family, my keyboard, and a book release to look forward to, it's all good to me.
Flawed releases next week! Only 7 days until my sexy elves are turned loose on the world. I think the warning that comes with this book says it all :

Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex (including m/m and m/f/m), naughty language, some magical sex along with sexual magic, a desperate princess and the men who love her, elves and spells and betrayal oh my! and enough heat to start small fires. Cold drink recommended.

So I've got a question for you. Do you like contests? How about really, really easy ones? I've got a copy of Flawed to give away, and it doesn't even require jumping through flaming hoops to enter.

Really, they don't get much easier than this. Drop me an email at ember @ embercase . com [remove the spaces] before Midnight EST on June 29th. Put the word Flawed in the title, and I'll enter you into a drawing for an ebook copy of Flawed. One entry per, please.

23 June 2009

Baltimore-Area Booksigning

If you happen to be in the Baltimore area this Saturday, you might want to drop in at the Parkside Restaurant anytime from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. DC Area Storytellers D. Renee Bagby (also a Samhain author), Stephanie Burke, Anthony Stevens and I will be reading from published stories and upcoming works, and signing and selling our books. Knowing this group, we'll probably manage to get into a fair amount of trouble too. I mean, they serve drinks and food at this place, and I saw Animal House at a very impressionable age. Just don't say you weren't warned...

22 June 2009

The Pre-Conference Breakdown

It happens every year, no matter what conference I'm planning to attend, I get the pre-conference breakdown. It's not an official diagnosis mind you, but some kind of internal chaos that hits my system when it knows I'll be traveling away from home to meet and greet and hobnob with my fellow writers. It's not that I don't enjoy myself once I get there, but the anxiety that enfolds me is rather daunting in the planning stage.

About a month out - like around now for instance - I start to think of all the reasons why I shouldn't go. 1) travel - until there is real teleportation, there will not be a safe way to travel from point A to point B. And even then, who says all your little molecules are going to get put back together correctly anyways. Lord knows, you might come out looking like a Picasso. Not pretty. 2) people - as an agoraphobic, putting about 900 people together in a room and telling them all to run find a place to sit before all the places are taken is not good. If the meals weren't included in the price of the conference, I'd probably go eat all mine in a restaurant or order room service. 3) agent/editor appnts. - Oh boy! So nerve wracking. The entire night before, I can't sleep. I sit in the chair across from the person who holds the fate of my writing career in their hands, and suddenly my mind goes blank. Forget putting the stuff on notecards, because I forget how to read as well. Heiroglyphics would probably be easier to neogiate in such a situation than the plain old garden variety alphabet. 4) wardrobe malfunctions - it doesn't matter how many new outfits I buy or pairs of shoes I bring along, they are never the right ones. NEVER! Clothes that fit nice and looked good before the trip, suddenly morph into potato sacks and shipping boxes. Hmmmm, I wonder if I pack just potato sacks and shipping boxes, if my luggage will morph them into Valentino clothes and Gucci shoes? Not worth the risk, I'm thinking.

All right, now that I've firmly got myself up on the ledge, anyone care to join me? What does your pre-conference breakdown include, or do you even have one?


21 June 2009

Grilling Your Hero

A.K.A. How To Get It Smoky and Hot

Welcome to the latest Agent Double D.3 Report. Spring is over, Summer is well and truly on it’s way and the pool, patio and garden beckon with tendril fingers of peace and tranquility. You simply know this is the time of year for sitting outside watching the sunset, the stars, your lover’s mooning... It’s also the time to escape those regular chores of the kitchen and dump upon your hunky hunk the responsibility of providing the evening repast. Mainly through that tried and trusted method of heroic cooking passed down from manly man to manly man over centuries of masculine generations. But is he really qualified in haut BBQ cuisine? Does he know a patty from a party, a steak from a stake, or a kebab from a rehab?

Never fear, our special Agent Double D.3 has risked life, limb, food poisoning and smoke inhalation to bring you this exclusive report on how to assess your hero’s grill skill, so come on in and check it out now with Agent Double D.3’s special guide on Grilling Your Hero.

Do you think you could be a superspy?

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Then take a peek at this contest here.

In the meantime, let's head back for

Agent Double D.3 Reports.

1. Vampires: With this delicious hunk, grilling on the BBQ is something you need to approach cautiously. Firstly, most BBQ’s are done in the afternoon, full sunlight, bright and warm days. Something guaranteed to give your beau instant sunburn even before the first beer is popped. Then, if you go and mention you’ll be preparing stakes, I mean, steaks. Well, chances are you won’t be seeing your fella for a least a few centuries, if then. Best thing to do with this chipper lover is to go ahead and have your party while he’s hip deep in his beauty sleep. Then later, with a bottle of his favorite blood type handy, you can await, naked and smoking, for your after BBQ desserts.

2. Werewolves: We all know that werewolves are party animals, and what better way to party than to have barely cooked New York Strip while basking beside the pool in his new Hawaiian swim shorts. All you’ll need is salt, grill and loads of fresh meat, to stoke your beloved up and recharge him for a night of furrish delights. Hmm. Yes. Just one thing though. Avoid having a BBQ close to the full moon. Not that the damage would be permanent but, dammit, the only thing you want charred on the grill is the steak, and that fur is awfully flammable. Of course, if you’ve been wanting him to have that full body shave…

3. Ghosts: Mention BBQ to a ghost and he’ll probably be thinking of a five hundred pound pig slowly roasted over an open fire for, ooh, four or five days. Not that he’d think anything special about it anyway since that’s the way the kitchens always cooked in his day. Probably the best thing here is to quietly let him drone on about the banquets you know he used to hold in his old mansion, (when the French chef specially imported from Spain cooked that delicious Greek food.) Meanwhile set your brother, father, male friend up with the latest in portable gas gadgetry and get something decent on the grill. Trust me, there’s nothing more off-putting to a good pork chop than to see it staring at you with a soggy apple in its mouth.

4. Invisible men: Super scientific geniuses like invisible men are just simply terrific—except when it comes to cooking on the grill. Once they’ve managed to explain the simple processes of carbon/charcoal combustion, the increased rate of cancer forming agents in the cooked food and the resultant pollution to the atmosphere, we’ll finally get on to the relative merits of gas vs. charcoal and comprehensive design critiques as to which grill cooks best for what and where. Really, if you want a BBQ, just cook it yourself before he gets home. That way at least you’ll get to eat tonight.

5. Mermen: Overall mermen tend to be allergic to flame—something to do with having spent most of their time underwater. Still, if you throw them a good mackerel or salmon they tend to do a pretty nifty job in charring it to tender, tasty perfection. Oh, if you’re looking for a little after party teaser, don’t let them get too carried away with the water filled spray bottle. If it happens to blow the flame in their face, well, anyone for blackened fish…

6. Incubus: Okay I’ll only say this once. Put the Brats down and step away. I mean, it’s not like your incubus beloved has anything else on his mind, ever. So why give him ideas by presenting food to remind him of his favorite occupation. Hell, anything food-like will remind him of his favorite occupation. Just give up on it lass, take your clothes off, go to bed and wait for him there. You know you’ll end up there anyway so why waste the time? Just make sure to take a big tub of Godiva chocolate ice cream with you. You’re going to need some sustenance after all.

7. Djinn: Your Djinn lover will be the most inventive and excellent when it comes to grilling on the BBQ. Well, okay, so it won’t actually be him doing the cooking, but hey, if you can cast a spell and make a thousand servant slaves instantly appear and put on a feast fit for the Maharajah, wouldn’t you? So why complain, just pull up that gold plated chair, sit yourself down at the carved emerald table, and enjoy. Oh, make sure your hunk magics up a gas mask for you. Breathing the smoke from a hundred cooking fires can be hazardous to your health. Not to mention half the counties fire engines will probably be waiting outside...

Agent Double D.3 report ends.

19 June 2009

A bright spot...

The way this past week has been, I'm not sure I'm looking forward to the rest of my summer. :( Controlled chaos is the only way I can describe it. Picture job hunting; computer/Internet woes; children fighting; and sleepless nights ... Yes, I feel a bit like I'm treading water and about to go under.

But things are looking up -- including getting our cyber school issues settled for the fall. The best thing this week? These arrived on my porch, quite unannounced:

It's silly, really, but there's just something about holding those gorgeous books in my own hands...

Yes, I think digital books are great. I agree with all the many reasons that many readers and authors prefer them hands-down over print. But still, well, I suppose I can't quite let go of that emotional bond I have with the printed page. Hours upon hours were spent taking turns reading outloud with my mother. There's a psychological connection for me there in the binding and off-white pages.

No, it wouldn't be any less of an accomplishment if my books were only published in Mobi, pdf, Kindle or whatever file you prefer. Honestly, it's the way things are going and I'm ready for the ride. It does make a lot more sense. But I would miss paperbacks if they were to ever completely disappear.

I know it sounds stupid, but that's just the way it is. :) Getting that box of printed author copies is one more thing that drives the point home in my often insecure mind: I have done what I set out to do. I have had a book published. I've told the story that I needed to tell and now everyone can enjoy it. So, after I fondle and adore the books for a while, I'll move on to the next work-in-progress. Because getting published is kind of like eating potato chips. I just can't stop with one... or two... or even three! ;)

15 June 2009

New Books and Vacation Fun

June is an exciting month for me. Two new releases - one in print and one in ebook. Since the ebook is a new paranormal, let's talk about that one first. INFERNO is the long-awaited sequel to LORDS OF THE WERE. It features Dante, the vampire bad boy we meet first in LORDS OF THE WERE, and his fey knight friend, Duncan. The heroine is a lone werewolf, sent to spy on Dante. What ensues is a scorching hot sexy adventure. The book comes out on June 30th from Samhain Publishing.

The second release this month - which really precedes the release of INFERNO - is JACI'S EXPERIMENT, the third book in my RESONANCE MATES series. Another hot menage novel, this book is set in a post-apocalyptic world where aliens have taken over and only a few psychically talented humans survive. To ensure the continuation of the human race, the humans must teach the aliens what it is to feel and especially what it is to love.

In addition to all this release excitement, I've been traveling since the beginning of the month, on a massive road trip that has taken me from coast to coast. I'm having a grand time, filing away all sorts of information on the country - its different terrains and flavors. Writers never really go on vacation - we're always storing away sights, sounds, tastes and smells to use in our books. So this trip is really "research"! LOL!

I'm having a great time and will report more about my travels when I get back home towards the end of the month. :)


13 June 2009

Divination: Celtic Ogham - Nuin

Welcome back to my series on Celtic Ogham divination! Today's symbol is Nuin (pronounced NEE-uhn).

Plant/Tree: Ash or Mountain Ash
Letter: N
Month: Mid-February to mid-March
Planet: Sun and Neptune; some sources say the Universe)
Animal: Snake
Color: Green or White (depending on source)
Element: Air and/or water
Stone: Turquoise
Deities: Odin, Neptune, Manannan

Ash is one of the three sacred Druid trees (oak, ash, thorn). It is common on nearly every continent, in almost every climate, and its dense wood has been used for oars, tool handles, weaving looms, weapons, wands and baseball bats. :) It's a tall tree (100+ feet) with deep roots; it's often used as the model for the "world tree" with roots that connect to the underworld and branches that support the heavens.

Nuin symbolizes harmony and balance in all things, and is seen as a bridge between the inner and outer worlds. Not surprisingly, its energy is calming and balancing.

The Celts thought that Ash connected the three circles of existence, which are variously interpreted as past/present/future or confusion/balance/creation.

When Nuin appears in your reading, it is reminding you that your every word and action has a consequence, a ripple affect that carries far beyond our own lifespans. You may be feeling bound, tied down, or locked into a chain of events, and need to seek balance and harmony between everyday life and your spiritual life. Tread softly in the natural world. Remember that no matter what problems you are having, there's no need to feel alone; though you feel the need to withdraw from what seems like a chaotic world, reach out and ask for advice and opinions.

As this symbol is sometimes seen as an aid to transition, it could be telling you to prepare for a significant shift in your future.

To view other posts in this series, click the "divination" tag below.

Carolan Ivey

10 June 2009

Do you own a Kindle?

I am so excited to announce that my romantic suspense, Deception, is being offered FREE to anyone who owns a Kindle. This is part of a program my publisher, Samhain, runs and i was extremely pleased to be included in it.

All you have to do is go here, click on the link and Deception will be downloaded to your Kindle for absolutely nothing. Nada. How can you pass this up? As my husband has taught my kids to say, "Free is for me!"

05 June 2009

My Spring...In Pictures

Three conferences in five weeks--and people wonder why I have no brain cells left. A lot of great memories. Tons of pictures. But no brain cells.

I still haven’t posted all of them on my Flickr page, but rather than do real work while I’m at a family wedding in Florida (and taking more pictures), I thought I’d give the readers of Beyond the Veil a sneak peek of the photos to come--and a good reason to start planning for the 2010 conference season.

First up is the Washington Romance Writers annual retreat, this year held in Leesburg VA, April 17-19. The featured speakers were P.C. Cast and Carla Neggers.

Here, P.C. gives new meaning to the phrase “Talk to the hand”. She also may have scarred one of the Hall’s waiters for life with her story of the centaur with, um, two.

Always one of the conference highlights, this year’s Romance Jeopardy (which is NOT FAIR) featured a do-wop theme, including a group sing-along featuring writers Kathleen Gilles Seidel and Karen Smith, and St. Martin’s editor Jennifer Enderlin. This is probably the worst picture of Jennifer evah, but I knew she’d appreciate the combination of expression and horns.

Next up was RavenCon 2009. Richmond’s premier sf/fantasy con served up a big helping of Edgar Allan Poe in honor of the writer’s 200th birthday. But oddly enough, the con’s ghost in residence was nowhere in evidence in the RavenCon edition of the Dead Authors Society.

But we did put on a good show, with costumes and everything. The channelers were (from left to right) Lyn Gardner (as artist and fantasist William Morris), yours truly (as Mary Shelley), Peter Prellwitz (as Louis L’Amour, whose western novels inspired Gene Roddenberry) and Laurel Anne Hill (as David Gemmel).

OK, I admit it, I haven’t read Harry Potter, but thanks to Luna-C, I’ve seen all seven books…in 45 minutes. No fooling. Of course, covering about a gazillion words in 45 minutes doesn’t leave a lot of room for frills. Here we see Snape snarking away, while fellow cast members change on stage for their next entrances.

If it’s Memorial Day, it must be Balticon, Baltimore’s long-running sf/fantasy con. Balticon is one of the most costume-rich conventions in the Mid-Atlantic region. It’s not just the Masquerade, but the dances and the LARP-ing too.

About that, I have only two words to say: steampunk pirate. This shot was taken at Dancing in the Gears, the con’s first steampunk ball. People were dancing quadrilles and promenades. I was too, thanks to a very nice man named Colin Wolfe, who partnered me in spite of my two left boots. (Thanks, Colin!)

But it wasn’t all about the dressing up. There was a lot of good writing info too, including “Escaping the Death Spiral”, the only panel I managed to catch with Steve Miller (one half of the Liaden Universe writing team--unfortunately, Sharon Lee couldn't make it). No, the session--featuring Patrick Thomas (l), Marshall S. Thomas (no relation) and Miller (r)--wasn’t an intense technical discussion focusing on gravitational vortexes. It was about what to do when your current book sells less than your last.

Wait, as any writer will tell you, that IS a black hole…

Anyway, the panelists came up with some good ideas on how to keep moving your writing and your career forward. Most resonant for me was Miller’s advice--keep connected with the fans. With cons like these in my life, that isn't a job; it's a total pleasure.

Jean Marie Ward

Chaos comes in waves...

Are you a believer that good and bad will find a balance no matter what? I am.

This has been a very good few weeks for me both personally and professionally. Samhain contracted my Maggie Award winning novel, ANGELIC AVENGER AKA "Bella", to start the tide of good things. Bella's story is particularly close to my heart because it was the first book I'd ever finished on my own. In it, I pushed a few boundaries and stepped outside the box discovering my voice as a writer as well as my originality as a storyteller. Signing that contract was one of the greatest moments in my writing life. We're aiming for an October release and I'll talk more about it as it goes through edits.

Great news for me, but then there's more. Does anyone remember Samhain's Tickle My Fantasy submission call? I wrote a jaunty little story for it that wasn't picked up. I sighed, tossed it in the files, and moved on...or so I thought. I couldn't get the story out of my mind so I popped it out, gave it a good read, and sent it off to The Wild Rose Press. The editor who read it liked it, but wanted it a bit more fleshed out. So back to work on it I went.

Four expansive revisions later, each one deepening and polishing the story, they offered a contract on it. I was over the moon. LOVE AT FIRST SHOT was great fun to work with and I'm glad TWRP is going to publish it.

But Karma is an evil thing. During the middle of all this, we moved the family from one state to another. I write this looking at remnants of packing material and the knowledge that there are still more boxes yet to be unloaded. And, personally, there are other issues heaped on the scales just to make sure I understand that good things can't happen without the bad.

The Scales are at a balance, but that's life, right?

And for my pitch of the week - Samhain's got the Sexy Shifter Books coming out at the end of the month...*insert evil laugh here*...June 23rd is going to be a really great day for readers.

03 June 2009

Selkies and other water shifters

I recently sold a novella (my first standalone novella) to Samhain. The heroine is a selkie. So I got curious to see what other selkies or ocean-creature shifters had been published by Samhain. I figured there would be a few and found six. In no particular order, I'm going to list them, and if I miss any let me know!

I'm giving some teasers from the blurbs. There look to be some interesting reads of all different sorts. I love to see different takes on this. Books 5 and 6 are coming soon, by the way, and not yet released, though I think they'll be great summer reads. (Mine's not out till August, and it's entitled Selkie Island.)

ETA: Added #7

  1. In the Shadow of the Selkie by M.A. duBarry
    In the dangerous world of the selkie underground, a selkie vampire king and a mortal woman join forces to fight the queen of darkness that would destroy them all.
  2. Heart of the Sea by Sela Carsen
    Can the promise of true love overcome a bitter Selkie curse? Ronan Burbank once had it all. Wealth, privilege, a thriving company. But one tragedy turned everything he touched to ash. Meriel Byrne’s life was fairytale perfect until the day she fell into the sea off the Rhode Island coast.
  3. Sealed With a Kiss by Lila Dubois
    When a man who isn’t human is accidentally enslaved by a woman who has no idea what he is, the result is magical. Signing up for a one-week adventure vacation, Helena expects to be kayaking in the Pacific, not having every sexual fantasy fulfilled in her guide’s bed. Ocean is more than he seems, his kayaking business a cover for his deepest secret.
  4. The Ocean's Shadow by Jennah Sharpe
    Storms erupt when a merman’s treasure is stolen from him. A dark, shadowy creature haunts the waters of Copperberry’s rugged coast. Feared by the villagers, he incites lust in the lonely women of the town. A servant, escaped from abusive employers, Claire never expected to live through the storm she threw herself into.
  5. Lycan Tides by Renee Wildes
    Selkie princess Finora is all too familiar with betrayal. Betrayal by her curiosity, which led her from the sea. By her body, which yielded to a handsome human under the full moon. By the human, who hid her skin and took its location with him to his grave.
  6. Tidal Wave by Vivian Arend
    After she’s gifted with a beautiful, dolphin-etched medallion, she finds herself surrounded by the golden boys of summers past. Her body is filled with longings she can’t explain and dreams of blue lights that turn into lovers. Joshua Marley and his cousin Anthony are merfolk, a people capable of living beneath the waves as either dolphin or human.
  7. Abhainn's Kiss by Carolan Ivey
    Hidden away on a misty island off the Irish coast all her life, Abhainn has no idea she is the last of her Faery race—until a troll tries to kill her. Her peaceful world shattered, she has only days to fulfill her destiny. She must defy a curse that dooms her to hide from the sun, and take her rightful place in the Great Circle on the Isle of Avalon.

01 June 2009


I walked in town on silver spurs that jingled too a song I sang to just a few...
~Lee Hazelwood.

I can’t help it. Since hearing this beautifully haunting song performed by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood on youtube (never mind that I heard this song in 1967, and in this clip the camera angle makes Nancy’s head appear to be on backwards) Summer Wine has incessantly ran through my mind for the past several days now. And even though it was produced way back in the pre stone age era of my youth, it’s still simply amazing.

It so deserves a short story, and I’m currently working on it. After all, who wouldn’t want to help Lee Hazelwood pass some time? Especially with a beautiful exotic woman an entire small western town is terrified of?

But as usual I digress.

Right now I’m thinking about summer wine. Not the kind you find in bottles, or causes silver spurs to get the infamous five finger discount. Instead I’m thinking about writing, books, and spending lots more time outside.

But first, the writing.

Everything stalled out after my return trip from the NETWO Writer’s Conference back in April. I’ll be blogging about that on my own site in the coming days when things slow down enough so I can. And I’ll be blogging about Author, Author too. I'm very excited about attending.

After the NETWO awesomeness came floods and bronchitis and me curled up in a recliner with my writing suffering as well as my swollen and badly infected lungs. While this was happening, my husband watched from our front porch as the rains came down hard, fast and continuous. The neighbor’s workshop wasn’t anchored down and was dangerously close to floating off.

The Red River as well as the Sulfur River climbed out of their banks and sprawled across low lying areas, washing out county roads and bridges. My husband and I contemplated where we’d flee to with two dogs and three cats in tow, and how we’d do it unless someone came for us in a flat bottomed boat, and whether the Haven Foundation could help us out if the house went under. Fortunately divine providence put an end to the rain, the house was safe, and we dried out before we all came down with a case of webbed feet.

Afterwards came the inevitable heat and humidity. And mosquitoes. Wildlife that usually keeps to itself in the dense pine forests and bayous behind our house started coming into town. I spoke to the local game warden who warned us of a bobcat running the neighborhood. Coyotes the size of greyhound buses were spotted near downtown. A few days later I saw a possum that weighed a good twenty pounds strutting across my yard. He saw me, paused long enough to give me the proverbial finger, and then went down to the swollen drainage ditches looking for lunch.

Oh that summer wine…

I got better, returned to my computer and resumed writing. As usual I have several projects going. Some are writing contests, and short stories, others are essays and blogs that have been back logged due to illness, flood and on occasional bouts of downright laziness

Of course there is the novel. A novel I promised the editor at Tor that I’d have ready by the end of the month, meaning May. But no, it didn’t’ quite happen. And even now that it’s sunny and I’m back at the cockpit of my imagination (i.e. the computer) the story doesn’t want to gel. Partly because I’m trying too hard and partly because I want to get out into the bright sunshine and start transplanting cannas that have overgrown their bed.

Oh woah, summer wine…

As I mentioned previously, I have a book signing scheduled in two weeks. I’ll be in Shreveport, Louisiana at the Author, Author Book festival. And if all goes well there’ll be another book signing scheduled with Books a Million in Texarkana. That is if we can get Books to cooperate. I had no idea that a friendly neighborhood booksigning would become Herculean feat.

The hold up? Books a Million uses a different distributor than Samhain and Mercer's has to be approved by Book’s distributor before they’ll ship it. The weird part is that they’ve got Mercer’s Bayou online but won’t just order them online. Huh? God I don’t know. WhenI asked I got a response that made me feel as woozy as I did the first time I attempted to work an algebra problem.

It’ll work out. I’m sure of it. It’s just gonna mean I’ll have to pass some time, and not in a happy-kinky-fun way Lee and Nancy was referring to either.

That summer wine…

And in the meantime, there are books. Not mine, of course, but there are some that I read as a summertime tradition, like Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and Stephen King’s Hearts in Atlantis which needs no critique, but others as well. Here’s a sample of my summer reading schedule. I don’t have any Samhain books listed because I’m not sure what I want yet. I’ll let you know soon tho.

Rebecca Wells, Ya Ya’s In Bloom.
I fell in love with the Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood and Little Altars Everywhere, and wanted to read the Ya Ya’s in Bloom but couldn’t afford a copy. So imagine my delight when I found it at the local library a few days ago. Southern awesomeness at it’s best.

Footprints in the Snow by Master Sheng Yen. I read this book initially because it was a review book, but became enamored of it. In this simply beautiful autobiography, Master Sheng talks about his life in China and then in Taiwan after fleeing Mao’s army. You don’t have to be Buddhist to appreciate this wonderful poignant story.

The Stand by Stephen King Yeah , yeah I read this last year but it was such a good read I think I’ll revisit the Boulder Free Zone again. It seems especially relevant since the H1N1 virus is out.

The Tower by Sarah Pinsborough. She’s a Leisure writer, and a horror author from Briton and an all around cool lady. I’ve done reviews of her books and her work simply blows me away. I can’t wait to read it.

Well that’ll do it for now. Enjoy your summer wine. And keep a lookout for those silver spurs. Lee, I’m sure, wants them back.