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We’re heading into Thanksgiving week here in the U.S, which just happens to be one of our busiest weeks of the year at my day-job, though our crazy-busy is Monday and Tuesday, and then we’ll be a little slower the rest of the week.  Which is why I took an extra day off, so I can do less work in the kitchen on Thursday and enjoy the holiday more than some years when I spent most of the day working in the kitchen.  I think Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday all year long, though it is probably the one that is the most work.  Hours and hours in the kitchen cooking, baking, and in under an hour, the meal is over.

I should probably finish planning our meal–I have no idea what is for dessert yet, and I haven’t figured out what I’ll be eating instead of turkey.  This is my first holiday season since I quit eating poultry, so no turkey for me this time.  Maybe I’ll just be satisfied with all the sides and dessert.  I don’t know, but I’ll figure it out in the next couple of days.

But in the meantime, I’m going to work my butt off at the day-job and get in some writing time between bread-baking (gotta have homemade sage and onion bread for the stuffing!).  And I hope that all of you who will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week have a wonderful day, with lots of amazing food and great company, and maybe even some reading time!  Next time, I should remember to share a little snippet of story, because we haven’t done that in a while.

Maybe some pumpkin cheesecake for dessert…

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I remember being a kid and being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up.  When you’re young, there are lots of things you might want to do when you’re a grown up.  I remember playing with a doctor kit and thinking I wanted to be a nurse–but that was way before science classes, which weren’t my strong suit.  I remember playing with my younger siblings and thinking how great it would be if I was a teacher when I grew up, but that idea went away as I got older–not nearly enough patience for that job.  When I was ten and started writing stories, I just knew I wanted to be a writer.

When you’re ten you have no idea how hard it will be to do the thing you want to do as a grown up, but if you’re lucky, no one will discourage you yet, and if you’re really lucky, you’ll get encouragement as you continue to work on it.  I was lucky there, as I had teachers all through high school who did that.  Many times, though, you’ll also hear about how hard something might be, and shouldn’t you have a back-up plan?

Sadly, lots of people will listen to those suggestions instead of the encouragers.

I admit that I let other voices sway me for a while.  Oh, sure I was still writing, but not seriously.  After all, succeeding as an author was really rare.  I heard it a lot, but I kept writing, just because I had to, not because I expected to ever publish any of it.

Then one year I discovered there was a nearby writers’ conference, so I went.  I met some amazing writers there, made some great friendships that have lasted twenty-odd years.   Even better, I started to think maybe I could really do something with my stories.

I’ve been trying to remember that feeling this spring, after the ups and downs with my publisher over the past year.  It’s been a challenge some days.  But I’ve been trying to just keep in mind the encouragement, rather than the helpful, practical voices suggesting other things, because this is the one thing I love, still love after all this time, and I know I can do this.

Have you had to ignore helpful, ‘well-meaning’ suggestions about something you love?  Or did you take it to heart for too long?  Me, I want to be a writer when I grow up, so I’m going back to my tiger shifters for a while.  How about you?

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Excerpt from Hunting Medusa:

Andrea rested her head n her folded arms on the kitchen table, only half listening to Kallan typing on his keyboard. She didn’t want to die just yet. She knew for sure she didn’t want to be mutilated before she died.

But she didn’t look forward to killing the Harvester either.

She never should have had sex with him. She knew it. She’d known it beforehand.

And she should definitely not still want him.

When the phone rang, it was a relief. For a few seconds. Until she realized it was Thalia. “My cousin.” She didn’t think she needed to explain her mental caller I.D. to him.

Kallan held her gaze for a long moment. “Don’t try to let her know what’s going on,” he said at last. “I know where a lot of your cousins are located, and I’m not the only one.”

Her heart pounded harder at the implication, but she got to her feet and picked up the receiver. “Hello, Thalia. How are you?”

“I’m fine, Andi, but I think you need to get away for a while.”

She frowned, feeling Kallan’s presence behind her. Close behind her. Close enough to hear her conversation. “What do you mean?” His body heat teased her.

“The Harvesters are out and about. I’m afraid for you.”

Andi shut her eyes for a second, then opened them again when he put his hands on her shoulders. She shot him a glare and moved away, back toward the table. “I’m fine.”

“Please don’t ignore this, Andi. You know I’m hardly ever wrong.”

That was true. But she wondered if her cousin realized she was very often late with her flashes of intuition. Far too late in this case. “Okay. I’ll give it some thought, all right? Mom said something the other day about visiting.” Gods, had it only been two days ago? “And Aunt Lydia just called yesterday too. I could go to see either of them if anything seems odd.”

His hands settled on her shoulders again, massaging the tense muscles there.

She didn’t bother to shrug him off this time. He was persistent. “I could even come visit with you,” she teased, forcing a lightness into her tone.

Her cousin cleared her throat. “I actually have company right now,” she said after a moment, and Andi could almost see her blushing. “You remember I met someone in Athens last summer? Well, he’s come again to stay for a while.” Even over the phone, the emotion in Thalia’s voice was obvious.

One more cousin safe—none of the cousins who’d fallen in love ever had the curse land on their heads. A tiny bit of relief made her relax further under Kallan’s touch. “That’s terrific, Thalia. When do the rest of us get to meet him?”

“We’re talking dates,” the other woman said, a hint of a smile in her tone now. “I’ll be sure to let you know.”

“Good. And thanks for the warning. I miss you.”

“I miss you, too. I’ve got to go, Andi. Talk to you soon. But promise you’ll be careful. Danger is coming from more than one direction.”

________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My lilacs are blooming like crazy this week, so spring is definitely here.  I suppose that means that, in addition to cutting them to bring in the house, I should also be clearing out the flower beds to get them ready for the new season. Instead, though, today, I’m going to enjoy the flowers I brought inside while I write.  I could write outside, but half the neighborhood has lawn mowers or other outdoor tools running, and even in the house, I can still hear them if I don’t have my headphones on.  So I’ll put my afternoon to good use by getting more words on pages.

I’m still working on my revamped writing goals for the rest of the year, and I’m counting that as my spring clean-up.  It kind of is, because otherwise, the rest of the year will be a shambling, disorganized mess, as far as my writing goals.  Probably otherwise, too, if I don’t get update this settled.  So I am aiming to finish this new writing plan before the end of this month.  I have to.

Before I get back to the writing, I have a little snippet of Medusa #2…

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Philomena let him seat her at a corner booth in the bright diner he found and didn’t protest when he told the waitress they both wanted the dinner special. She just kept thinking of her mother and Jason and the danger they were in because of her. Because if she didn’t think about that, she’d be thinking instead of the coming night and the monstrous bed in the tiny cabin she was about to share with Ryder. And that was unsafe territory after the past twenty-four hours, just as dangerous as the Harvesters, but in a much different manner.
“You’re thinking way too hard about this, Mena,” he said softly, stroking the back of her hand where it lay on the table.

She glanced up from her plate, aware of the warmth sliding up her arm from his touch. “How can I not?”
“Danny is going to make sure they’re safe.” His low voice was soothing, though it still sent a shiver up her spine in a way that was far from soothing. “They’ll be getting ready to travel tomorrow, then hit the road the following day.”
“Jason should be in school.” She didn’t let herself think of the other thing.
He smiled, setting his hand more securely over hers. “It’ll be fine, baby. I promise.”
She set her fork down. “You shouldn’t make promises like that. You can’t know for sure.”
His dark eyes went serious in a flash. “I will keep the two of you safe, Mena.”
Her stomach twisted at his words. “You should worry about keeping Jason safe first.”
“And how do you think he’d feel if I let something happen to you?” His grip on her hand tightened.

She looked away, swallowing. She didn’t want to think about that either.
“For all intents and purposes, you’re his mother, Mena. You’ve raised him since he was born. No–” he held up his other hand when she opened her mouth to protest– “just because she gave birth to him and physically lived there for a couple weeks afterward and sends him a birthday card when she thinks of it, that all means nothing. Desi is a lousy mother, but you aren’t, and Jason knows that. He’d be devastated if I let something happen to you.” He shot her a hard glance. “And even if I didn’t want you so bad my zipper’s about to burst, I’d need to keep you safe just because you’re family.”
That didn’t make her feel better. “So you have control issues and a knight in shining armor complex,” she said, lifting one shoulder.
He tugged on her hand, getting her attention again. “I may work well in protector mode, Mena, but I’m no knight in shining armor.” He held her gaze this time, his own heated. “Having a sheet of solid metal between us is my idea of torture.”

________________

Now I’m off to write.  I hope you all have a wonderful week!

 

 

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I’ve seen a lot of the view above this weekend.  Yes, the weather’s been nice, but when the words are coming, why would I not take dictation, right?  Okay, yes, I did get my regular household chores done yesterday, but still got new words into my manuscript.  Yes, I spent two solid hours in the kitchen today, but I still got to write.  That makes me happy.  I think work is going to be kind of crazy at least the next two days, and possibly longer.  My team at the day-job is short-handed at the moment, and vacation season is going to pick up soon, so my writing time may be impacted a bit.

The weather’s been very nice this week, though I haven’t touched the flower bed yet.  Maybe next weekend?  Today, it was actually hot, which made the kitchen rather unpleasant when I turned the oven on.  But dinner was already planned before I knew it would be 85 degrees.  The warm weather is probably going to have some of my flowers blooming early.  My lilac doesn’t look like the ones below yet, but the buds are much closer to blooming than they should be in the middle of April.  I love the smell, though.  I actually miss the honeysuckle that used to bloom in the neighbor’s yard in the spring–the scent would waft all over the neighborhood, and it reminds me of my grandma, who used to wear a honeysuckle perfume.

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Before I go back to the manuscript, how about a little snippet of tiger shifter?

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But Vivi was climbing into his bed in nothing but a pair of black panties trimmed in grey lace, and looking like he’d kicked her.
He yanked at his already-loosened tie and shrugged out of his blazer. By the time he climbed into bed beside her, Vivi had curled up with her eyes closed and her back to him. He rolled onto his side, sliding his hand down her arm to where her hand covered her belly.
“I’m sorry, Vivi.”

She made an indistinct sound, and her shoulder jerked a little, the rest of her stiff.
He put his face into her hair and inhaled. “I’m not angry at you.”
She didn’t say anything.
“I’ve been worrying about you being so sick, and with the rogues stirring up more trouble, well, I’m being a dick. I’m sorry.”
She exhaled roughly.
“And Berdine evidently tried to call her mom earlier and got hung up on for her trouble.”
Vivi rolled to face him, startling him. “What?” Outrage flared in her golden eyes.
“Mari said she was busy and hung up.” He still wanted to put his fist through a wall, just as he’d wanted to do when India had told him earlier.
“Why would she do that to her child? What kind of woman would–” She stopped. “Never mind.” She glared up at him.

Boris smiled and smoothed a wisp of dark hair back from her cheek. “Because she’s selfish.”
Vivi looked like she wanted to add something more to his observation, but she pinched her lips together instead.
“What did your parents do to you, Vivi?” he asked softly.
Her lips parted, and surprise widened her eyes.

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So how did you spend your spring weekend?  Doing lots of work, or playing hooky to enjoy the new season?

 

 

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Spring is really here.  I do love spring, with all of the pretty new growth on the trees and shrubs, and the abundance of flowers everywhere.  It feels like everything is new.  Of course not everything is, but why not take the opportunity to make something new?  Some things?  Like new goals.  A new coat of paint in a room that needs freshening up.  Maybe a new resolution in your personal life.  I actually like season changes better for starting new things and setting new goals than the new year.  The new year falls in the middle of winter, so it never feels like the right time to start new things to me.  I don’t know why, and it’s probably silly.  Maybe that’s why I never make New Year’s Resolutions.

New seasons, though, those feel like the right time to start fresh.

I’ve actually been writing like crazy lately, even with the day-job extra busy in the past few weeks.  I get to the office early in the mornings on purpose, early enough to get my giant cup of tea started and get my computer restarted so it’s ready to go when I actually have to start working.  And then I write.  Sometimes I get almost a half hour.  Sometimes it’s less, depending on which of my co-workers comes in early and is chatty.  And then if I get a lunch break, usually half of it is spent writing.  Sometimes more.  Yes, I should take a lunch break every day, but some days things are just too hectic.  But the writing is moving, which is wonderful.

I’ve been working on the fourth shifter story (yes, I know I need to finish rewriting the first one, but editing needs my laptop and I can’t do that at the day-job), and I have about 2/3 of it written.  I know it will need some rewriting and fine-tuning, but it’s moving along really well–I had to stop writing a scene the other day, because the characters are in a bad place, and it would be bad for me to be sitting at my desk sobbing in the middle of the office.  So I went back to it later.  But I’m pretty happy with it.  And I’m getting a better idea of things that still need to change in the first three stories in the series.  I know, plotting would help that, but my brain doesn’t work that way.

But as long as the writing is going well, I’m good.  I’ll keep going, with occasional breaks for rewrites.  I was going to wonder why I didn’t schedule any vacation days yet, but then I remembered I’m trying to hoard them for family emergencies this year.  So I’ll keep going with the time I get before and during the day-job and on the weekends and be happy for it.  Though I am still trying to refigure my writing goals for the year–which would be easier if I could decide whether I want to try to self-pub Hunting Medusa and the two follow-up stories, or try to market them elsewhere.

For now, though, I hope you’re enjoying early spring as much as I am, and here’s hoping for some fresh successes for all of us!

c 2090 Renee Silverman
Temecula August 2009

( Photo credit: Renee Silverman via Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

 

 

 

It actually feels like spring today.  Looks like it, too.  Okay, so it’s a little too soon for the snapdragons, but because I love them, I’m keeping them.  The mini daffodils that were blooming under the snow a couple weeks ago are still blooming in the flower bed, but they’re very lonely.  Still, it was nice enough today to open the kitchen window while I had the oven on, just so the house didn’t feel like an oven.

I think the craziness at work may settle down a little this week, so my fried brain will have a chance to recover.  I didn’t get a single thing accomplished yesterday.  Nothing.  So all of the weekend household chores had to happen today.  Which is why dinner was a one dish affair, prepped and stuffed into the oven hours ago.  The laundry is ongoing, but will be done soon, too.  Which means a little writing maybe, before The Walking Dead season finale.

I mentioned elsewhere that I’ve always looked forward to the season finale for this show–it’s been one of my favorites since it started–but this season has made me consider giving it up.  Actually, that isn’t true.  This started at the end of last season when the finale consisted of the characters driving around and around to avoid blocked roads instead of going home, until the bad guy got them.  The story is dragging, characters I’ve loved have been doing really stupid things, and the bad guy is rampaging all over, unchecked.  I hate it.  So I have a lot riding on tonight’s extra-long episode.  I want to love it again.  It would suck to have invested seven years of my television viewing in it and have to quit now.

But because I’ve been hating the writing all season, it’s been good for one thing, anyway–making me take a look at my own writing.  Am I keeping the story moving?  Are my characters behaving like morons or the intelligent humans I’ve claimed they are?  That probably wasn’t what the show’s writers were going for, but at least it hasn’t been a total waste of my Sunday nights since October.  I probably wouldn’t mind so much, except it is the only show I watch live anymore.  We got rid of our satellite service last year (which replaced cable eons ago), and went to streaming services instead–why pay for so many channels we’re not watching, right?–but we had to find a way to still see this one show.

So I’m crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath.  And in the meantime, I’ve got some writing time till that starts, and I’m going to make good use of it.  But before I go, how about a little snippet of tiger shifter #1?

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Harley felt better since he’d made up his mind. When he pulled up in front of the house, Tessa was just climbing out of her car.
He grinned and shoved his own door open. “Hey, Tessa.”
She stopped walking at the front step. “Hi, Harley.” She looked tired. Aside from the dark smudges beneath her eyes, she was too pale.
“Take pity on me.” He strode toward her.
She frowned, shifting her weight to one side. “What?”
“I’m starving. Don’t make me eat alone.”
“Harley, I really just–”
“Come on, honey. It’s only dinner. Somewhere casual, so you don’t even need to change.” She’d never seen him relentless before, but he could go there if necessary.
Clearly, she wanted to refuse.
“You need some supper, too.”
“Oh, Harley.” She sighed. “All right, but just something quick. I’m exhausted, and I wanted to go over to the house to do some clean-up.”
Point to Harley. He caught her elbow and steered her to his car. “When did you eat last?” He eased her into the passenger seat.
She frowned. “I don’t know. Last night, maybe. No, I had a granola bar earlier while I was in a meeting with Amy and David.”
He tsked at her. “You’re probably starving, too.” He closed the door, mentally congratulating himself for getting this far. And with far less hassle than he’d anticipated. She must really be tired.
He slid into his own seat and started the car again. “Anything in particular you’re hungry for?” He sneaked a sidelong glance at her and found she’d leaned her head back on the seat.
“It really doesn’t matter. We can go wherever you like.”

All sorts of inappropriate ideas sprang to mind, but he kept them to himself. It was far too soon to share those. “All right. Did you have a better day today?” Small talk. He could manage that till they got to the restaurant.
By the time he pulled into a parking space at Botticelli’s, Tessa had roused herself to polite conversation, and Harley thought this evening might turn out pretty well.

_________________

Here’s hoping for a great week ahead for all of us!

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( Photo credit: john.schultz via Foter.com / CC BY-SA )

I want to say it’s been a good week.  The beginning sure wasn’t, but the end was much better.  I’ve told you that I have a couple of sick family members, and I have a couple of friends who are going through some very difficult things now as well.  These things take up a lot of space in my thoughts these days, but I am trying not to worry so much about things I cannot control.  So when I have time to write, I am writing.  or editing, depending on the situation.  Today is for both.  Also, I’m watching a strange little movie called The Lovers with Josh Hartnett right now, while I write my blog post for the week.  I’m not in love with the story, but since I’ve invested so much time in it, I have to watch to the end now.  Plus, there is the eye-candy.  But if you haven’t watched it, I’d say even for the eye-candy, find a different movie to watch.  Or maybe re-watch Penny Dreadful instead, if Josh is your eye-candy of choice.

I’m wondering how other people manage to keep working and finding inspiration when there are so many bad things going on around them.  Some days, it’s really difficult not to worry, let alone how to summon up any creativity.  My brain is too full some days, which means I might only get a little work done, not the bigger chunks I hope for.

I think the inside of my brain some days looks like this…

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(  Photo credit: kevin dooley via Foter.com / CC BY )

Now imagine that tangle is moving, about five hundred miles an hour.  That is what my brain feels like some days.  How do you untangle that?  Or at least slow it down when you need to stop thinking so hard about one thing and redirect your brain to something else?   I can do it when I’m reading a great story, tune everything else out.  But with everything that’s been going on since last summer here, I’m finding it more of a challenge to do it otherwise.  But I am still making progress, which is a good thing, though it’s slower than I want.

So, while I go back to rewrites on tiger shifter #1, maybe a little snippet of story for you.

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Of the cats, only the tiger remained.
Smiling, she went inside to visit with him, but he was napping in the far corner of his cage, so instead, she headed for her office and collected her purse. She could get home without having to call for an escort. It was bad enough Joe had dragged himself out of bed early that morning to follow her to work. She didn’t want to get him back out of bed now.
Convinced, she climbed into her car and steered toward home.
It wasn’t until she was about fifteen minutes from the house that she realized the car behind her had been there for a while. She tried to brush away the concern, but her pulse quickened anyway. Stupid. She was just being paranoid, thanks to all this time with Harley and Boris trailing her back and forth.
Except the car got closer when she turned onto the next road.
Tessa frowned in the rearview mirror. “Are you kidding me?” She pressed her foot harder on the accelerator. The car behind her sped up, too. “Dammit.” There was no talking herself out of this now. She steered the car away from home when she got to the next intersection, doubling back in the opposite direction–toward India’s.

The other car kept pace with her, even on the twisting, windy portions of the road. But when she steered onto the route that led to the Wentworths’, the other driver must have finally realized her destination–he sped up again, coming closer and closer to her back bumper.
Tessa’s heart already beat too fast, but now it pumped so hard, her ribs hurt. She accelerated a little more. Then more.
The other car kept pace, even drew nearer.

Her mouth went dry. “Stupid ass,” she muttered.
When he bumped her, her heart stopped beating for a long, painful moment. The car shuddered a little, slipping before regaining traction. She pressed harder on the gas. Almost there–the gate at the end of the drive was just coming into view.
He hit her harder the second time, making the back end of the car swing out to the side, raising dust and gravel on the shoulder of the road.
Tessa realized she’d screamed even as she fought to make the car go where she wanted it to go. When she had it back on the road, she jammed her foot on the gas.

_______________

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( Photo credit: Fraser Mummery via Foter.com / CC BY )

See you next week!

 

I’m still wrapping my head around knowing that in a little over a week, my first book won’t be out in the world anymore.  At least until I figure out what to do with it and its two follow-up stories. I’m still thinking about that, and when I have made a decision and a plan, I’ll be sure to let you know.

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( Photo credit: DenisenFamily via Foter.com / CC BY-ND   )

In the meantime, I’m still working on my shifters, both rewriting the first book (again; I’ve almost reached the point where I hate the characters and the story, so I must be getting close to where it should be, at last!), and scribbling every day  on the fourth book (for a character I had not intended to write a book for, but he kept coming back to me, all broody and hot).

We’ve been having really ridiculously unseasonable weather here in PA this winter, but I’m still holding out hope that we might get a good snowstorm before this is all over.  It’s only February, and we’ve had snow much later than this in our neck of the woods.  I’m going to cross my fingers we get it.

And, while I go back to working on tiger shifter #4 and his winter story, I’ve go a little snippet from Hunting Medusa to share with you.  If you’ve wanted to get a copy, you only have about a week to do that before Samhain closes its doors forever.

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She glanced at him. “I’m fine. You should get some sleep while you can.”
He sighed, but didn’t reply.
She knew he didn’t sleep, though. Not for a long, long time. She stared out into the dark, trying not to think of the things he’d said to her. The accusation he’d made about her family earlier. That one hurt. The other declaration scared the hell out of her.
It also made her heart beat faster with pleasure.
That was not a good thing. She couldn’t have a man in love with her who intended to kill her.
Then again, that same man had also promised he’d die to protect her. He’d already lied to his family to keep her safe.
Kallan Tassos was a lot more complicated than she would have guessed.
Hours later, her brain had simply given up on trying to figure out the tangled mess of her life when she felt his hand on her shoulder. “My turn.”
She didn’t argue this time, getting slowly to her feet and stretching. He kissed the top of her head.

“Get some sleep, meli. I’ll keep watch.” His hand slid down her back, and he nudged her toward the sleeping bag.
Andi kicked off her boots and rolled into the blankets, which were still warm from his body. She inhaled deeply, his scent making her smile a little. He smelled good. She fell asleep thinking that.
When she woke, there was faint light outlining the cave opening where Kallan stood, every muscle tense.
“Is he coming?” She threw back the blankets and grabbed her boots.

“He’s somewhere on the mountain. And he’s got company.” He glanced over his shoulder at her, but it was still too dark to see his expression.
Her heart pounded crazily in her chest, making it hard to breathe evenly. She fumbled with the laces on her boots for a few seconds, then got to her feet. “How long?”
“If they follow our trail from yesterday, five hours or so. If they follow Stavros’s eye for magic, much less.” He moved away from the entrance. “Either way, we need to be gone long before he finds this place.”
She nodded, folding blankets with trembling hands.
“Andrea.” He caught her wrists as she wrestled the sleeping bag into submission.
She looked up and found his eyes dark with concern, but his jaw hard with determination.
“We’ll be fine.”
She swallowed and nodded. “Okay.” She had to trust him on this—that he would get her to safety and not hand her over to his cousin who wouldn’t care if they got the amulet or not before he wiped her off the face of the earth.
After all, he hadn’t killed her over the past few days when it would have been extremely easy.

She paused in her folding at that thought.
The Harvester hadn’t killed her.

________________

Hope you all have a great week!

 

 

We are missing out on the snow, again.  Our weather here this week has been extra-messed-up–mid-week it was 60, before the temps plummeted and we got a couple inches of heavy, wet snow that melted already, because the temperatures went back up into the 50s.  I want a real winter! Right now, it’s raining and looks like an early spring day more than a mid-winter day.  Of course, if we were a few states north, we would be getting buried in snow, and I would be thrilled about it.

So, what is a rainy Sunday good for?  Plenty, I suppose, like household chores and reading. Or visiting with family.  My day will probably combine some of the latter and a few of that first item.  And hopefully later some writing time before the second half of The Walking Dead season begins and our whole family settles in to watch.

I’m going to miss seeing some reader and writer friends today, but I got to see a whole lot of them yesterday, at the annual Valentine’s Day booksigning.  This was my third year of participating, and they’re always a lot of fun.  Talking books with readers and other authors is one of the best ways to spend a few hours, right?  This one was a little sad for me, though, because earlier in the week, we got the official news that my publisher is going to close up shop at the end of the month.  So I have to figure out what to do with Hunting Medusa (and the other two books in the trilogy, finally!) when I get my rights back.

Most publishers don’t want to publish a book that’s already been available from someone else, though it happens.  A better option, I suppose, is self-publishing the trilogy.  Scary thought!  I have to give this more time, to figure out the best thing to do, and then devising a plan to get it done.   Guess I’ll be reworking my writing goals for the year, once I figure this out.

Now, though, I need to go do some of those things on my rainy-Sunday list.  The pics below are some of what you missed if you weren’t at the booksigning yesterday.

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And, before I go, maybe a little bit of Hunting Medusa for you…

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“Aristotle Tassos.”
The elderly man started, jumping from his chair so the papers he held fluttered to the floor beside his desk.
Athena remained standing in the doorway to his office, watching his olive skin pale before he dropped to his knees, bowing his head.
“My Lady.” His voice shook.
“Your nephew has taken the Medusa away, Aristotle. How could a Tassos do that?” She glared, noting his silver hair was thinning far more than the last time She’d deigned to visit him.
“My Lady?” He straightened slightly, though not far enough to actually look directly at Her. “My nephews burn to kill the Medusa.”
“Not Kallan.” She watched his mouth drop open. “He has helped her escape.” She narrowed Her gaze on his stunned face. “How could you not know this about him?”
Her Harvester shook his head slowly. “I am so sorry, My Lady. I assure You I will find him. And her.”
“I am sure you will. I expect you will.” She set Her hands on Her hips. “Do not fail Me, Aristotle. It has been many years since your family has fulfilled its duty. It may be very bad for you and yours if you fail again.”
Aristotle nodded, bowing, his face flushed a ruddy color. Embarrassed, She was sure, by the reminder of the failures of recent years. Good. He and his should be humiliated to have been outwitted by the Medusas of the past several generations.
“I would hate to have to return to see you on this matter again, Aristotle,” She said, gentling Her tone just a little. “I understand you are loyal to Me, even if one of your number is no longer.”

His mouth tightened. “I will make sure we get her this time, My Lady.”
Athena nodded. “I will be monitoring your progress.”
She was gone before Aristotle looked up.

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Oh, one last thing!  If you’ve been meaning to pick up a copy of Hunting Medusa (or any other Samhain title) you’re running out of time now.  Plus I just realized this morning (2/12/17) that it is on sale in the Samhain store for half price, so it’s probably a really good time to grab it in its original form.

Valentine’s Day is this week, so here’s hoping for a much better week this week, full of love and chocolate!

 

Writing Hot

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( Photo credit: Frank Lindecke via Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

Yes, I’m sick this week.  Coughing from an annoying tickle in my throat.  I don’t do sick days.  The last time I had a day off for a medical issue of my own was when I had my gallbladder out a number of years ago.  I took a day off last month for someone else’s medical issue.  Today, I actually left work early because I felt so terrible, just so I could come home and rest.  So that blog title isn’t just about the sort of stories I write, but about the fever I’ve had on and off all week.  I would love it if went away now.  My brain doesn’t have room for creativity right now, when it’s full of hot and headache.  So, instead of thinking so hard I make the headache worse, I’m going to tell you about the Valentine’s Day booksigning I’ll be taking part in this year.

Saturday, February 11, 2017 from noon to 3 pm at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouse, I’ll be hanging out with around 18 other romance authors, talking books and signing them, too.  This is the third year I’ll be participating, and they are always so much fun.  Plus for the readers attending, there are always giveaway goodies.

And now, so my feverish brain can rest, I think just a little snippet of Hunting Medusa for you.

______________

Perhaps he was a sick bastard, he mused, slowing his pace as they went deeper into the woods and the trail narrowed. Realizing the woman he wanted most was his enemy had just turned his world upside-down. His family’s enemy, a monster created by the Goddess.
He frowned up at the dark canopy of leaves above them. He wondered if any other Harvester had ever been tempted by his quarry. Or had surrendered to the temptation. If so, he was certain he’d never find that in the lore.
“Wait.”
He stopped walking at her quiet command, his gaze shifting in the same direction she looked. A doe and her fawn looked poised for flight several yards away, the mother watching them closely. Kallan held his breath as the fawn bent back to the small patch of grass. From the corner of his eye, he saw Andrea’s smile. He caught her hand in his without thinking about it first.
Her fingers were stiff in his for a long moment, then relaxed a little.
He turned to look down at her, studying her. The top of her head reached his chin, her dark hair curling in the slight humidity. Her bright gaze stayed fixed on the deer, but he knew she was aware of him by the way her pulse skittered in the hollow of her throat.

“Did I hurt you?” He kept his tone low, trying not to frighten the nearby animals.
She didn’t move anything but her eyes, shifting her questioning gaze up to his face.
“Earlier. Was I too rough?”
Color washed up her cheeks, and she swallowed, turning her attention back to the doe and her fawn. “No.” It was barely a whisper, her reply.
His heart pounded a little harder as he thought about taking her here, right here in her forest. It was foolish. He couldn’t. She would never agree to it anyway.
But he couldn’t stop the images behind his eyes, not now that he knew what she looked like, what she felt like around him, the way she sounded.

When she turned to look up at him again, he realized he’d tightened his grip on her fingers. Her expression was quizzical, then awareness surfaced, turning her eyes darker, like midnight velvet.
Kallan lifted their joined hands slowly, giving her time to stop him. When she didn’t, he dragged his open mouth along her knuckles.
Her lips parted slightly.
He bit one of her knuckles lightly and felt her shiver. “Maybe I am sick,” he breathed. “But I still want you.”
She shut her eyes, her throat working as she swallowed. “Bad idea, Harvester.”
His jaw tightened. For some reason, hearing her use the name his family had claimed many generations ago made him angry. He wanted to hear her use his name instead. Preferably while they were naked in her bed, bodies joined intimately as they had been earlier.
Instead of protesting, though, he nibbled his way down her finger until he could capture the tip in his teeth, then sucked it into his mouth.

_______________

 

My shiny new cover art! isn't it pretty?

 

I hope you all stay healthy! And if the ick strikes your house, I hope you have a sufficient stash of reading material!