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

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Counting Blessings

So I was walking the dogs in the rain, and feeling sorry for myself for a variety of reasons I won't bore you with because even I knew they were stupid.

The dogs were looking damned pathetic--as you can see here, the great flood was in progress and they couldn't believe I was making them do the terrible thing in the terrible place with the terrible water coming down from the sky, and I was ready to take that funk and rub it all where it hurt.

Anyway--the walkways were flooded so I did the thing where I swung wide into the residential area surrounding the park and then came back in where I thought the walkways were clear.

Thought being the operative word.

Anyway--the standing water was about six inches deep. I've done this before--it's a no brainer. You take off your shoes, roll up your pants and walk through, being careful not to step on the piles of leaves and the *shudder* worms. I assume there were worms. They were everywhere else, but I couldn't make myself look.

So I was finishing up my walk, shoes in hand, damp jeans flopping around my ankles because they'd fallen down midway through, and feeling woebegone, when I rounded the corner past the picnic area.

The picnic area is often used for birthday parties and such on the weekends--but in the mornings on the weekdays it's a gathering place for the homeless. No, this doesn't particularly scare me--they are frequently in the park, and so far the worst thing they've done is warn me about the big dog who ate a little dog the day before and how he was back and I may want to make mine stop barking. I did, I thanked the guy for my time, and it was all good.

There were a couple of guys there, talking about the rain.

"Yeah, yeah--it's really coming down today. But did you hear it last night?"

"Oh my God yeah--I was in the car last night and it was pounding down!"

I knew his car. It was parked a space away from mine. I'd seen it this past week, often full of stuff, sometimes disgorging it on the lawn and sometimes empty. It ran--or at least it's moved--but it was clear--this car was this guy's home.

I was taking the dogs to McD's for our breakfast and then going home to my not-so-clean house and planning to spend the rest of the day working.

I had slippers, clean clothes, extra sweaters, and ice water waiting for me, as well as a job I love and a bunch of celebrating coworkers, because whether you get the call or not, there's so much good will going on during RITA announcements you can wash off some of your earthly cares just participating in the congratulations.

And after that there was picking up my delightful children from school-- and Squish has not gotten any less wonderful and neither has ZoomBoy--and eventually my husband, who for some reason still likes to spend time with me after nearly thirty years.

And yeah--whine whine whine--that shit was still there. But so was the good stuff.

So I might not go walking in the rain tomorrow--there's supposed to be lightning, and the park is under a bunch of power lines, so, uh, no--but I'll definitely remember my lesson today.

I have too many blessings to count. I should at least give thanks that I have them.

Guess What's Coming to Your Local Book Store!

 So it was a really quiet day today. It rained a little, I picked up the kids--we watched a lot of TV tonight as a family which was nice. Mostly, I was writing, which I really need to do, along with a bunch of other stuff, so even though there's going to be Kermit Flail in two weeks, I thought this would be a good day to mention that these two books are on pre-sale!

Now, interesting thing about all these books-- the paperback release is Mass Market--even for Bonfires, which will be rereleased sometime in May. So, be aware--you can ask for these books at your local book store, and if you do, they might order extra copies.

And if they do, they'll be stacked in romance--not in erotica. Not in LGBTQ. But in romance. So, you know, someone else going to the bookstore to look for a book might find your favorite genre.

Might come to love it too.

Just saying.

It could be a very good thing, if you like these books enough to get them in paperback. Your local brick and mortar bookstore (or the bookstore website, if the delivery is the key) could carry these books. And that would be so cool.

So here's the blurbs for the ones available for presale--enjoy!


by Amy Lane

Bonfires: Book Two
Saying “I love you” doesn’t guarantee peace or a happy ending.

High school principal “Larx” Larkin was pretty sure he'd hit the jackpot when Deputy Sheriff Aaron George moved in with him, merging their two families as seamlessly as the chaos around them could possibly allow.

But when Larx’s pregnant daughter comes home unexpectedly and two of Larx’s students are put in danger, their tentative beginning comes crashing down around their ears.

Larx thought he was okay with the dangers of Aaron’s job, and Aaron thought he was okay with Larx's daughter—who is not okay—but when their worst fears are almost realized, it puts their hearts and their lives to the test. Larx and Aaron have never wanted anything as badly as they want a life together. Will they be able to make it work when the world is working hard to keep them apart?

Pre Order at DSP

Stand by Your Manny

by Amy Lane

The Mannies: Book Three

Learning to trust and falling in love.

Sammy Lowell has his hands full juggling his music, college, some pesky health problems, and making the uncles who raised him proud. He needs help fulfilling his after-school duties with his siblings. Nobody can be in two places at once—not even Sammy!

An injury puts Cooper Hoskins in a tough spot—if he can’t work, the foster sister he’s raising can’t eat. But years in the foster system have left Cooper short on trust, and opening up to accept help isn’t easy.

Luckily, family intervenes—Cooper needs a job so he can care for Felicity, and Sammy needs someone who can see past his illness to the wonderful things he has planned for his life. Each heals the damaged places in the other’s heart. But falling in love is a big responsibility for young men deep in family already. Can the two of them get past their fear of the immediate future to see forever with each other?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Travel Season -- A Regret Me Not Fic

I was actually planning another Regret Me Not fic this week and somebody prompted me by asking on FaceBook-- so definitely enjoy!

*  *  *

Hal loved Pierce's little sister Sasha, especially after spending a week with her and her adorable family over Christmas.

But he really hated her tiny suburban house.

"What are you--"

He flailed. "Sh!" He glared at Sasha and her hazel-green eyes--so much like her brother's--widened. "He's talking," he mouthed, hoping she'd catch on.

"To who?" To her credit, she didn't raise her voice, but she did raise her eyebrows.

"Cynthia," Hal whispered.

And now Sasha's eyes got really big. "Because why?"

Hal grimaced. Pierce had told him that New Years Eve was his and Cynthia's thing, and in the interest of being amicable exes, he'd promised he'd call her this New Years, just to say hi.

Hal personally thought she was a big ol' moo, and he'd just as soon she kept her bitchy self away from Pierce because the guy had been pretty beaten down when Hal had found him and as far Hal could see, Cynthia was most of the reason.

But then Pierce was a much better grownup than Hal had ever been, so Hal was going to trust his judgment on this one.

Sort of.

"Mom! Where's Uncle Pierce!"

It was fun to watch Sasha flail this time as she tried to keep her oldest, Darius, from running into the bedroom where Pierce was talking quietly.

"Ooolf! Hello, big man!" Pierce said, surprised. He still wasn't recovered 100% from his car wreck, but Hal had forced him around the block a couple of times a day and he peeked into the room and made sure that Pierce was still standing. "Where's your mom?"

"She and Uncle Hal are standing outside the doorway making faces at each other, but you're leaving tomorrow and you promised to play Monopoly until it's New Years or until I fell asleep--remember? One or the other. You promised."

"Sure. I'll be out in a minute. Tell Uncle Hal that I'm fine and he can stop eavesdropping now."

Hal scowled at Sasha, who chuckled back. "Small house," she said cheerfully. "Thin walls."

"Whatever," he mumbled, embarrassed. "I wasn't eavesdropping!" he called, before entering the room. Pierce was sitting on the bed, one arm around Darius, and closing up the conversation.

"Yeah, Cynthia--sorry--I gotta go. Apparently the world will end if I don't play Monopoly." His usual dry humor suddenly disappeared and the expression on his angular, arresting features became sober. "You're welcome, honey. I hope this year is better for both of us. Yeah. You too. Night."

"So can we go?" Darius demanded, and Pierce ruffled his hair.

"You go first and set up the game. I need to talk to Hal for a second, okay?"

"God, grownups suck," Darius grumbled--but he got up and headed for the door.  He rounded the corner and shouted, "Abi! You've got to set up the game or Uncle Pierce won't play!", leaving Hal and Pierce snickering in the aftermath.

Hal met Pierce's eyes and Pierce held out his arm.

God, he was warm. Hal snuggled into him, wrapping his arms around Pierce's waist and leaning his head on a sharp shoulder.

"You've got nothing to be worried about," Pierce said mildly. "She just wanted to touch base. You know--seven years is a long time to leave somebody cold."

"She could have made you feel like shit," Hal grumbled.

"Well, I could have too--"

"No you couldn't. You're too decent."

Pierce chuckled mirthlessly. "You know that's not true."

"Whatever. I don't care. What does 'You too' mean?"

Pierce stiffened. "Wow, you really were listening!"

"Seriously-- what was that a response to?"

Pierce sighed and tightened his arm. "She said 'I love you, Pierce. Take care,' and I said, 'You too.'"

Hal breathed in and breathed out. It had been a risk, taking Pierce up on his offer of love, his "Come with me. I love you. Let's be together." Even after a really nice week visiting with Pierce's sister, it was still hard to believe Pierce was all his.

"Do you?" he asked, hating himself. "Still love her?"

Pierce breathed in and out, weighing the question. "I'm trying to, but only as a friend. I swear."

Gah! "So, you know how tomorrow we were going to drive balls out and get to my parents', right?"


"Well, how about we drive balls out to Atlanta, which has a great theater scene and restaurants and some really cool historical sites, and spend three days there having all the sex in the world, and then drive to my parents in Charlotte?"

Pierce's low chuckle told him he wasn't fooled in the least. "You're stalling," he sang.

"Se-ex!" Hal sang back insistently.

"Well, since we've been here a week and have remained chaste as a nun's dreams--"

"That you know of."

"That I know of. Sure. I think we need to have some--"

Hal captured his mouth in a hard, forget-me-not kind of kiss.

Because Pierce got him. And would let him put off talking to his parents. And wouldn't lie to him about being in love with his ex.

And still wanted all the sex in the world.

Hal had to break the kiss off because Pierce was clinging to him raggedly, breathing hard. "Okay. So. Atlanta. Has a great theater scene," he panted.

"Smashing," Hal agreed, although he'd only heard this and hadn't seen anything himself.

"We'll never see it."

"Never," Hal said, taking his lean mouth again.

Pierce groaned throatily and pulled back. "Monopoly," he begged, and Hal conceded, only because it had been a week and if they didn't get up and go play Monopoly now they might break their, "Oh my God it's Pierce's sister's house and she has kids and what kind of monsters are we?" abstinence.

But Hal still heard the promise. Pierce had just broken up with a wife who'd made him hate himself for seven years, and could still say sincerely, "Love you back, take care."  Hal was going to be the spouse who made him feel wonderful about himself for the rest of his life. Hal could live with a return on that investment. In fact, he planned to.

*  *  *

The trip to Atlanta took more than ten hours, because fuck Atlanta and fuck traffic and fuck snakes in Georgia, that's why. By the time they made it into the hotel room-- the really super nice hotel room that Pierce had booked for them New Years morning, because he apparently hadn't figured out that he had the job yet and was still trying to impress Hal when Hal was doing the exact same thing--Pierce could barely move.

They'd stopped for food after the unfortunate snake incident, so as soon as Hal could get Pierce prone, he stripped off his clothes, grabbed some towels, and started to work on the muscles that had frozen in transit. After an hour of hard labor--because being a masseuse wasn't for the weak of heart or of hand--the tight lines of agony had released Pierce's jaw, and a couple of ibuprofen helped with some off the residual pain.  But they were exhausted by then, and the most Hal could manage was some television while Pierce mumbled about snakes and cowboys as he wandered to sleep.

The next morning, Hal woke up from a sound slumber to hear Pierce in the shower, singing.  He fell back asleep, and when he woke up again, there was a flat of coffees and a bag of pastries next to the bed, and Pierce was feathering a kiss along Hal's temple.

"Look who's all bright and shiny," Hal mumbled. "Last night you could barely move."

"Yeah, but I know a guy with really awesome hands," Pierce purred, his breath tracing a path down Hal's jaw, down his neck, down his shoulder.

"I do have awesome hands, don't I," Hal concede. He rolled to his back and kicked off the covers, inviting Pierce to kiss anywhere else he wanted.

What he wanted was to pull Hal's nipple into his mouth and suck.

"Nungh!" Hal's fingers tangled in Pierce's overlong, red-brown hair, and his body threatened to come off the bed. "Gah!"

Pierce hmmd around his nipple and teased slightly with his teeth, and Hal's entire body sang.

Oh God.

He'd finally found a man whose touch made him feel like a real person, a whole man who could give and receive pleasure without pain or uncertainty, and they'd spent the last week cuddling. 

His penis woke up and declared cuddling illegal and demanded all things carnal right now. 

"Pierce!" Hal gasped, arching his hips up, and Pierce let go of his nipple and kept kissing down.

"Are we impatient?" he asked, toying with the waistband to Hal's pricey satin boxers.

"If you suck my dick now, you can have my soul for all of eternity," Hal told him in complete earnestness.

Pierce chuckled and nudged at his hips. "Scoot over, soulless minion. I'll take you up on that offer, but I need room on the bed."

Hal did, and before Pierce could entertain any notions about teasing or trying to prolong the sex, Hal stripped off his boxers, because there was no reason to prolong something they were going to have nonstop for three days.

"You take all the mystery out of things," Pierce accused, settling his stiff body carefully so he could support his weight on his good shoulder and hold Hal in his other hand.

"Fuck mystery," Hal breathed. "Fuck mystery, fuck seduction. Just blow me now and next time I can, you know..."

"Fuck me..." Pierce whispered, his breath skating over Hal's damp cockhead and amping the whole thing up some more.

"I'll stretch you out so sweet," Hal promised, eyes closing dreamily. It took some work, because Pierce was still in recovery, but the results... God. He'd never had a lover so boneless, so accepting, so welcoming to his own.

All preparation was worth it. Just thinking about it made Hal harder, and oh God, Pierce's fingers were squeezing him just so, and his breath was hot and his tongue...

Hal gasped, shoulders coming off the mattress as Pierce plied his perfectly functioning tongue over his tip, his base, his frenulum, his slit... Oh God. Oh hell. Hal pressed the soles of his feet against the nice sheets and fought coming off the mattress entirely.

"Pierce..." he breathed. "Please. Oh God. Please..."

Pierce engulfed him, taking him all the way into the back of his throat and he cried out, and then again as Pierce squeezed his base and pulled his head up, letting Hal slide out until just his lips engulfed the bell.

And again, and again, and again and that's all it took before Hal screamed and came completely apart, tugging hard at Pierce's hair as he convulsed in orgasm.

Pierce pulled off of him, slurping gently, and rested his head against Hal's thigh. He gave Hal a dreamy smile and held out his hand to lace fingers together.

"You look really pleased with yourself old man," Hal panted. God, he loved Pierce when he was confident. He loved him falling apart and loved him when he was a crotchety old curmudgeon, too, but he was just so beautiful when he smiled like that, like he knew how to love and be loved in return.

"I just made my young lover come," Pierce said simply. "I'm a little proud."

"You should be. You should watch me gloat when we do what I've got planned tonight. It's gonna be major."

Pierce chuckled. "The sex or the gloating?"


"Fantastic. I've often said I was missing the erotic possibilities of a good gloat."

Hal giggled, because he was naked and replete, and he'd just had an orgasm before coffee.

"Well stay tuned for a romantic experience," he intoned, pushing up against the headboard and dislodging Pierce enough to make him sit up. "Now are you going to help me with breakfast?"

"Sure," Pierce said. "But I'm going to drag a chair over here because--"

"Wait, no, I'll get it!"

Oh God. Hal forgot sometimes. All the time. Pushing through to Atlanta the day before had been his awesome sucktastic idea. He couldn't forgive himself for the pain that had etched itself along Pierce's mouth.  He vaulted over the bed naked and grabbed the desk chair, shoving it around so Pierce could sit next to him with breakfast on the end table.

"Hal--" Pierce sighed--then laughed, probably because Hal's junk was flapping as he flailed about the room. "Okay, fine. Thank you."  With a sigh he pushed up from the bed using his cane and eased himself gingerly down onto the chair. "You know, there's some drawbacks to this road trip I hadn't anticipated."

Hal was busy pulling on his pajamas so he could scramble back into the bed and eat his breakfast.  "Yeah. I really do think three days here is going to be necessary. You'll need to be as loose as possible before we go visit my parents."

Pierce nodded. "Should I make reservations--"

"Yes," Hal said without hesitating. "Trust me, Pierce. I'd love to let you stay there--they've got a spa with a jacuzzi and a big pool. All the shit I'd like to let you spoil yourself with. But no. My parents will make you long for a bed of nails and a big granite slab before you spend the night there. Trust me."

Pierce grimaced, in that way that said, "I do trust you but you're young and we can't both have lost in the parent lottery, right?"

And Hal might have bridled at that once, but Pierce was already pulling out his phone and setting up reservations for Charlotte and Hal had to concede. Pierce did trust him.

Hal reached out as he was surfing his travel app, and cupped Pierce's cheek.

"What?" Pierce looked up and caught his hand.

"We can skip my parents," he said softly. "We can skip my parents and go to New York and see plays there and shave three days off our trip so we can get you home."

Pierce smiled slightly. "I'm not ready to go home. It's travel season. We're on a honeymoon."

Hal grinned. "Yeah you are.  Someday, there might even be a wedding."

"There'll be a season for that too. Now eat. Eat, and we can go exploring, and come back and use the pool."

"And the more sex?"

"Like I said--it's sex season."

Hal chuckled as dirty as he could. "My favorite time of year."

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Odds and Ends

So, getting back into the swing of things this weekend, and taking care of some odds and ends! This one's going to be a bullet point post, because if I'm lucky I can put together 2K for my word limit tonight, but I'm still a little tired and not feeling that lucky!

Here goes!

*  Mate really loves the hat I made him. It's pewter gray (so, manly male colors) and soft and it fits really well, and given all of the SUPER SHITTY hats I made him when I first started knitting, I'm sort of proud of what a perfect fit it is. It's like this is the hat he's had coming to him for the last twenty years. (Yes, twenty years ago I taught myself to crochet and then knit... wow.) Anyway--he was going to see a soccer game outside at night with the kids (and I stayed home and tried to catch up with fuckall EVERYTHING because SO BEHIND!) when he couldn't find it. He was crushed--he couldn't find his Republic scarf, either. (Name of the soccer team-- don't freak out, we haven't suddenly joined the other side.) Anyway-- I found it, and he was glad, and although we haven't found the soccer team scarf yet, I'm going to take the win. I mean, countless hours and countless dollars spent on my little hobby, and I made a thing, a simple thing, that my Mate likes. Win!

* Squish got a scratch on her eyeball--outside the iris and cornea--and while the red made us all go "OMG REALLY?" the cool part was the eyepatch. I mean, ZoomBoy fished out his pirate hat for the occasion. (And none of us took pictures? Frickin' REALLY?)

* We went up to Mate's mom's property two days in a row, and broke, I mean took the dogs. The first day, after wandering around BOTH stretches of property for quite some time, Geoffie decided to disappear just when we were going back. She finally came after much calling, after having rolled in the excrement of the fish-eating sasquatchean juggernaut of hell. At least we assume that's what she rolled in because OMG WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SMELL???? Like, we tried to wash it off her there, and her stench filled the car and then we put her in the bathtub and tried to cover it up with coconut shampoo and WE CAN STILL SMELL IT. If it wasn't for the "My Way" rendition I put up on instagram, it would be a development of heinous proportions.

As it is...

I have regrets
I rolled in poo
It wasn't new
Of that I'm certain. 

My mom is faint,
I smell of ewww
My stench today
Has seemed to worsen

And yet 
I'd run again
I'd roll in poo
Monday through Sunday
It's bliss
Oh so much bliss
Poo-day is FUN DAY...

* Anyway, we spent much time out in the spring air. We also spent some time becoming vegetables. Chicken came to facilitate this by watching TV with us, and the following things happened:

A. We went to Starbucks for cookies. Because Chicken.

B. I finished the sweater I made for Chicken's friend and her mother, who is undergoing chemo. Because Chicken.

C. I gave Chicken a pair of yoga pants with Pusheen on them that say "Let's Do it Later". Squish has an identical pair--I couldn't decide which one of them needed those pants more.

D. We watched Deception, the new police procedural featuring the quirky adorable magician and his impassive, very serious female law enforcement partner.

E. We watched Instinct, the new police procedural featuring the quirky adorable academic (Alan Cummings) and his impassive, very serious female law enforcement partner. (Alan Cumming's character in Instinct is ex-CIA and openly gay, so that's new, and awesome, but you gotta admit, the similarities are there...)

F. Before we left for back east, I saw scarves on sale at the shoe store--super warm, super soft, pale pink and gray and black and cream colored neck scarves that are just dreamy, marked down 70%. I bought one for Chicken--which she wore the entire time, and one for Squish, which she ignored and left here. Chicken saw the scarf laying around, wrapped it around her neck, and, well, wore it home. Because, Chicken.

G. I finally started work on Squish's hand made scarf, which she has been waiting for quite patiently, and which she asked for continually. I think she's much relieved to see it back in production--it's over halfway there.

And that's it-- we're catching up on our rest and trying to catch up on our work, and there you go. It's not exciting, but it's us.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Vacationing: The Lane Family Blizzard Hits the East Coast

 Okay--so we went back east.

The purpose of going back east was to see Mate's half-brother get married, but Mate also wanted to make the kids "see some culture" as it were, so in between "Hey, kids, you have to dress up in your best clothes and see a bunch of people you don't remember and be nice to them and try not to embarrass us but we would rather you embarrass us than hate us forever, so, you know, do your best," there was also, "Wait-- we're going to look at historical shit. Tell your teachers about this part, it will make us look like good parents."

The pictures are in random order, but I'll caption them in the order in which they're shown, because seriously, I haven't written in days and I'm way behind and formatting is just frickin' beyond me.

As you will see, it's been something of a week.

 About the Washington Monument:

Big T: I knew it was built by slaves, so that's nationally embarrassing, but I had no idea it was also a monument to bankruptcy and procrastination.

Me: And the reason Mom buys yarn in REALLY big batches, because that thing where the two different types of stone doesn't match is no bueno.

About Union Station:

The architecture is cool, but so is the fact that we can get all meta about taking pictures of the architecture in such a profound space.

About the kids with their grandfather:

Hi, Grandpa! Sure we'll stand for this photo op! It will give us something to do while surrounded by people we don't know at a wedding while we're dressed as well as we possibly can be and two of us are looking at the open bar with extreme longing.

About the open bar:

Me: Get me a vodka and cranberry.

Chicken: Sure.

Fifteen minutes later:

Me: Get me a vodka and cranberry since YOU FINISHED MINE OFF.

Chicken: Sullrrrrrrrrre....
 About the bus tour through DC on the top deck:

We thought we were all okay but then Mom got up and moved and we realized she was blocking the wind and our entire world turned to ice. MOM!!!

About the bus tour through DC at night:

Oh, it's so pretty!

I can't feel my feet.

But pretty!

I'm knitting as fast as I can but my fingers are sore and this hat isn't going to be done soon enough!

But pretty!

Jesus GOD could the cold be any more sucktastic?

Sooooo pretty...

We could have come in January, died from hypothermia, and have been stuck on this bus forever and ever and ever.

Selfie in front of the pretty?

For you, Mate, I will do anything.

*later that night

Want to feel my hands?


About the Lincoln Monument:

ZoomBoy: I have to pee!

Mate: I'll take you!

The rest of us: Are we supposed to follow this tour to the Viet Nam memorial?

Squish: My legs hurt. I'm so done. Can I just sit down in the freezing bus and die?

Chicken: Sure, honey. I'll take you. We can die together and they'll discover our frozen corpses in the corner in the morning.  Mine will be pickled in vodka.

Me and Trystan: Can you even see the memorial? We could see it in the day but now I'm just lost. Wait, is that even our bus? Oh my God are we going to spend our time walking down here after spending all day walking through museums and not get to see the Lincoln Memorial? No--no. Let's leave the tour and get some pictures of Lincoln since we really want to see it and then we can head back to the bus and hope Dad and ZoomBoy have visited the bathroom and we won't have to leave them in the thirty degree cold in the strange city at night.


Me and Mate, upon return to the bus: We saw Lincoln, that's what matters.

ZoomBoy: The bathrooms were WARM!

 --And seriously, Lincoln was wonderful. I'm so glad we got to see him, especially at night. I'm sure somebody can pull out something awful about him that I don't want to know about, but right now for me he's the guy who freed the slaves when he had people shouting at him not to, and he also spent four years sleeping with another guy and whether it was platonic or not, it just means he was comfortable with sleeping with another guy and that's cool too.
And here are my kids in the airport, singing C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E-S-O-N-G SONG! Which is a SpongeBob classic, and we all sang along.

Except for the people watching us who seemed to feel we shouldn't be out in public doing that. But it's the way we started the trip and the way we ended the trip and seriously, I'll do the Patrick part of that song in public any time. (For those of you who know that song, Patrick's part goes AU-BLAH-NUNGH-ACK-MMMFFF-SONG!!!!!!)

And this was our first trip to DC, where we met Andy Q and got photobombed by some random kid. I'm sure if you're from Sacramento or toured there in the last couple of years, you've got this same kid popping up in at least one of your pictures. IT's sort of his forte.

Now, we stayed in a hotel a couple of days, but for part of the time, we stayed with Mate's Aunt Marge and Uncle Tom, who are lovely people. Margie has a Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy set, and while they scare US, she's very fond of them, and Big T took advantage of Squish's SOUND sleeping to place a photo op.

I have to say, Squish was perhaps even less enamored of either of the Raggedy clan after she saw this picture than she had been beforehand, but Margie was thrilled to see the dolls getting some play.

Margie and Tom also live in a two-story house with a basement, and for my kids this was a big happy deal. I have to admit that for me, there were a few Kung Fu Panda moments: My old nemesis. Stairs. But Chicken got to sleep in the frilly pink bedroom of her most guarded high school dreams, although it DID have a Coraline door, but that was part of the charm.

And Andrew and his husband met us when we drove from Gaithersburg, MD to Normandy Falls, PA-- and that was wonderful.

Mate and the groomsmen-- and his brother, to our right.

Another child who knew nobody, was in her best dress for reasons she didn't know, and who just wanted to hide behind her parents until the noise went away.

My kids totally identified.
 And this is what happens when my kids go out in public.

In our defense it was a long drive, and we'd just told them that "flatbread" = "pizza", and their minds are a little blown.
 In front of MLK's picture at the Liberty Bell. Because we offered to take a picture of a nice family there, and they reciprocated--that's pretty much how we lucked into all of us at once.
As I've stated before, THAT CRACK WAS ALREADY THERE.
 Independence Hall.

And me and my children.

And did I mention the nut-shriveling cold?
 And Amy proves, once again, that her camera skills could possibly be the worst on the internet.

I think it was the stadium where the Eagles play.
 And I seriously would have made the entire trip to see the Star Ship Enterprise in real life.



Worth it.
 Mate and me.  Isn't he awesome?


He's awesome.
 Me: I'm gonna take a picture of the elephant.

Mate: Here-- here-- see what I"m doing? See?

Me: Sure! Watch me botch this pic!
 I may have mentioned Big T and I got a little lost while on the night tour at the Lincoln Memorial...
Now, through all the sight seeing, the plane trips, the tour busses, the driving from Maryland to Pennsylvania and back, I knitted. I knitted two pairs of fingerless mittens (because I left one pair at Normandy Falls, dammit!) and four hats. The last hat I was trying to finish on the night tour so I COULD WEAR IT because my scarf over my head wasn't enough, but my fingers were so stiff I didn't finish it until we got back to Mate's Aunt and Uncle's. So I gave it to Mate's Uncle, who spends his retirement as a handyman--and he was THRILLED. The brim (which rolls down to cover his ears) is made of the same yarn I used on Mate's hat--a chunky Malabrigo one-ply, kettle dyed pewter. The top is what I used for Big T's hat--Lion Brand, 20 wool/80 acrylic. It's a basic rolled brim hat, but the wool for the bottom was apparently so soft and warm around Tom's ears and neck that this became his best thing ever.

And I was glad, because he and Margie were so wonderful hosting us that I was happy I could give him a gift of appreciation. Now, what to get Margie...

And that's it. I mean, there were many more moments--I put some of them on Twitter/FB, but for now? I got my dogs back and we only need one cat to check in and seriously.

It's good to be home.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Packing: Me vs. My Husband

Me: Okay, so we're going to need eight days of clothing...

Mate:  Check.

Me: Eight pairs of underwear--

Mate: Check.

Me: Plust eight more pairs because screaming period has commenced.

Mate: And socks.

Me: ....

Mate: And coats.

Me: And six bras.


Me: And eight T-shirts.

Mate: And eight T-shirts.

Me: And four pairs of jeans.

Mate: And two pairs of jeans.

Me: And five sweaters to go over the T-shirts.

Mate: And one hooded Sweatshirt.

Me: And four days of semi-formal clothes because we're going to be in a nice hotel and there's going to be lunch and dinner and brunch and something in case I hate what I brought.

Mate: And two plaid work shirts.

Me: And one more outfit in the semi-formal class because you just never know and remember the screaming period.

Mate: ...

Me: And another pair of jeans because of the screaming period and God knows where that's going to end up.

Mate: ...

Me: And wedding clothes. One dress and a cardigan.

Mate: A suit.

Me: And an extra cardigan in case red looks too pop for this crowd.

Mate: A tie.

Me: And add something to the semi-formal clothes just in case oh my God this suitcase holding the formal clothes gets lost.

Mate: ...

Me: And a bathing suit.

Mate: Sure.

Me: And two pairs of shoes I can wear with the dress.

Mate:  Shiny shoes.

Me: And a pair of sandals I can wear in the hotel.

Mate: ...

Me: And an entire box of feminine hygiene because of the screaming period.

Mate: And Motrin.

Me: And another bottle of Motrin, yes, two at the very least.

Mate: ...

Me: And yarn--small bag, so I can make my hand warmers on the plane.

Mate: My phone.

Me: And a ball so I can make you a hat.

Mate: P.H.O.N.E.

Mate: And another ball so I can make Squish a hat.

Mate: You have a phone. I even gave you a power pack.

Me: And three balls of sock yarn in case we get kidnapped by knitting pirates who make me knit until  my screaming period is over.

Mate: I don't believe this.

Me: And my power pack and my Kindle and my phone.

Mate: Whatever.

Me: And a paperback book in case all the electronics die on the plane.

Mate: Sure.


Mate: *sigh* Here.

Me: And five random tampons shoved in various corners of the suitcase.

Mate: I'll live.

Me: And my purse, with a brush.

Mate: I'll use your brush.

Me: We don't have a spare body wash.

Mate: The hotel will provide.

Me: Okay. We might be done.

Mate: I don't believe you.

Me: What?

Mate: You'll be throwing shit in your pockets on the way out the door.

Me: Just because I've done this every other time you've ever seen me pack.

Mate: I'll just be sitting here. PLAYING ON MY PHONE.

Me: One more ball of yarn.

Mate: *yawn*

Me: Did I remember makeup?

Mate: I'm going to bed.



Monday, March 5, 2018

Kermit Flail MARCH!


So OMG-- this week!

I mean, got back from Daytona on Tuesday, and getting back on a plane on Wednesday and for a scant moment I thought, "You know, Amy... nobody's that excited about Kermit Flail..."

Except folks WERE excited.

And people sent me their stuff and I didn't have to ask and I felt GOOD because I LOVE being able to talk about other people's books and we've got some GREAT STUFF here today, because, well, you're all awesome!

L.E. Franks does not write enough!  She's funny, she's engaging, and if you haven't read her book Six Days to Get Lucky yet, you're in luck because it's being re-released AND we get her cover reveal. And the cover's adorable!  Jamie Samms has the delicate, lyrical prose of an angel, and her book, Wheels & Heels is going to be available from Riptide this month and that's SO exciting, and Kim Fielding, who is grounded and funny and writes awesome grumpy heroes has not one but TWO releases, and they're both on my blog today! WHEEEEEEEE!!!!! Add Ki Brightly to that with a book called Secret Seth-- which looks adorable--and you've got some fun March releases that will keep you happy during the last cold month, right?  

OH! And I've been waiting for this book...

I've got a secret love of writer's craft books, and I've already taken a look at Damon's book The A-Game and was so impressed, because it was about marketing which is not my forte but he made me love it. Well, I'm WAY SUPER MORE EXCITED about this book because it's about writing and I can't wait to read it and when I do I'll let you know how awesome it is-- because I've been to most of Damon's workshops and if this book has what I think it's gonna, it's gonna blow the top of your head off and THEN your socks for good measure, and I can't wait. 

So buckle in, folks. 

The Lane Family Circus is hitting the skies and some very awesome books are hitting the shelves!

Oh-- and did I mention? 

Red Fish, Dead Fish is out on audio-- WHEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Six Days to Get Lucky

by LE Franks


Mixologist Nick Valentine never thought love was in the cards, but after a scorching Valentine’s Day kiss from bouncer Davis “FatBoy” Newman, he’s beginning to think it’s possible. After four weeks of dry spell, Nick’s losing patience—it’s time FatBoy stop acting the gentleman and just throw him over the bar or Nick may just change his mind.

All FatBoy wants is a shot at winning Nick’s heart. As long as meddling bosses, an Irish hurling team and a bar riot don’t ruin his chances forever, he might just get lucky and take the man of his dreams, home.

The Little Library

by Kim Fielding

Elliott Thompson was once a historian with a promising academic future, but his involvement in a scandal meant a lost job, public shame, and a ruined love life. He took shelter in his rural California hometown, where he teaches online classes, hoards books, and despairs of his future. 

Simon Odisho has lost a job as well—to a bullet that sidelined his career in law enforcement. While his shattered knee recovers, he rethinks his job prospects and searches for the courage to come out to his close-knit but conservative extended family.

In an attempt to manage his overflowing book collection, Elliott builds a miniature neighborhood library in his front yard. The project puts him in touch with his neighbors—for better and worse—and introduces him to handsome, charming Simon. While romance blooms quickly between them, Elliott’s not willing to live in the closet, and his best career prospects might take him far away. His books have plenty to tell him about history, but they give him no clues about a future with Simon.

A Full Plate

by Kim Fielding

Opposites come together for a spicy surprise.

Bradford “Tully” Tolliver has everything—money, a great car, a beautiful condo, and a promising career as one of Portland’s hottest young lawyers. Sure, he puts in long hours and has no social life to speak of, but who needs romance when corporations pay top dollar for his expertise? He hesitates when a colleague asks if her cousin can live with him, but the arrangement will last less than a year, and then the cousin—Sage Filling—will return to his tiny hometown.

But Sage is handsome and intriguing, and his cooking makes Tully swoon. Sage has obligations back home, though, and Tully has offers he might not refuse from a persistent—and very wealthy—ex. Since Tully and Sage each have a full plate, can they make room for a side of love?

Wheels and Heels 

by Jaime Samms 

As a teenager, Ira Bedford fled a troubled home life and people who didn’t understand his penchant for feminine things. In the city, he fell in with Cedric, who found him work as an underage stripper. It took him years to escape Cedric’s influence and try to build a life of his own.

Now, he just wants to be left alone to create his art. But Cedric’s on-going harassment means Ira had to drop out of art school, is squatting in a friend’s apartment, and is still relying on his allure as a sexy, skirt-wearing exotic dancer to pay his bills.

Then he meets Jed. Part-time bartender and the apartment building’s superintendent, Jed is just the right mix of strong, kind, and protective to pull Ira out of hiding. He also welcomes Ira into his chosen family at the Hen and Hog Pub. But Ira yearns for more. Still, he doesn’t dare to hope that Jed will want him and his questionable past, his skirts and high heels, his hang-ups, and the profession he seems unable to escape. But Jed will do anything to prove him wrong.

Buy at Riptide

Secret Seth

by Ki Brightly

Tyler Faulkner lived for his work, constructing Hollywood sets. His designs were perfect, and he  xpected equal perfection from his crew and himself. But, talented as he was, he felt trapped. A creative clash with a producer left him out of more than just a job, and Tyler decided that maybe a new beginning was exactly what he needed.

Seth Goodwin was reliable. So rock-steady that his father made him a partner in the family construction business over his older brothers. Seth’s job was simple—he took a highly skilled crew out on the road to build ridiculously expensive projects for rich clients. Their success prompted Seth and his dad to hire a new designer.

Seth wasn’t so steady around Tyler. Tyler didn’t simply draw art; he forced it into reality, elbowing his way into Seth’s work crew and life, whether he wanted him there or not. But Seth had a secret he’s been keeping for a long while, and Tyler, flamboyant and verbose, wasn’t someone who fit in a closet, unless he was looking for the perfect shoes to go with his outfit. Would Seth and Tyler be able to make it work? Or would everyone’s secrets catch up with them?


by Damon Suede

Fascinating fiction starts with characters who make readers care. This Live Wire Writer Guide presents a simple, effective technique to sharpen your hook, charge your scenes, and amplify your voice whether you’re a beginner or an expert.

Most writing manuals skirt craft questions with gimmicks and quick fixes rather than plugging directly into your story’s power source. Energize your fiction and boost your career with
~ a new characterization method that jumpstarts drafting, crafting, revision, and pitching.
~ skill-builders to intensify language, stakes, and emotion for your readers.
~ battle-tested solutions for common traps, crutches, and habits.
~ a dynamic story-planning strategy effective for plotters and pantsers.
~ ample examples and exercises to help you upgrade fiction in any genre.

Blast past overused tics and types with storycraft that busts your ruts and awes your audience. Whether you like to wing it or bring it, Verbalize offers a fresh set of user-friendly, language-based tools to populate your pages and lay the foundations of unforgettable genre fiction.

Pre-Order from Amazon 

Red Fish, Dead Fish--

Fish Out of Water: Book Two

They must work together to stop a psychopath—and save each other.

Two months ago Jackson Rivers got shot while trying to save Ellery Cramer’s life. Not only is Jackson still suffering from his wounds, the triggerman remains at large—and the body count is mounting.

Jackson and Ellery have been trying to track down Tim Owens since Jackson got out of the hospital, but Owens’s time as a member of the department makes the DA reluctant to turn over any stones. When Owens starts going after people Jackson knows, Ellery’s instincts hit red alert. Hurt in a scuffle with drug-dealing squatters and trying damned hard not to grieve for a childhood spent in hell, Jackson is weak and vulnerable when Owens strikes.

Jackson gets away, but the fallout from the encounter might kill him. It’s not doing Ellery any favors either. When a police detective is abducted—and Jackson and Ellery hold the key to finding her—Ellery finds out exactly what he’s made of. He’s not the corporate shark who believes in winning at all costs; he’s the frightened lover trying to keep the man he cares for from self-destructing in his own valor.