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

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pavonine

Pavonine-- means peacock like.  Sorta like this mask.  Which I adored.  Anyway-- good picture, good word-- way to start the blog!

Anyway-- so I promised you traveling home stories, and I've got some kid at home stories, and it's gonna be outta sequence, because, well, I've got gumbo for brains today.  Just do.

But first…

Have a Slitten-- I don't know why, but this bit of graphic design is both disturbing and delightful, and if I ever saw one in real life, I'd scream, faint and die.  So, you know.  Enjoy.

Okay-- traveling home--

First off, ZAM and I have shared a cab from the hotel to the airport like what?  Three times now?  I just want to say, I could  not ask for a more delightful traveling companion.  The fact that she travels with two full sized purple suitcases just adds to the ZAM mystique, and I wish we could have the whole plane ride back instead of just the cab ride.

Second off-- Ally Blue, Sarah Frantz and I all ended up on the same plane together.  Since I never get to talk to Ally, and I adore Sarah (and she's my editor in chief at Riptide, y'all-- so if you find an editor in chief that you love, that's a special thing.  I have three, and I'm like, "Most blessed writer EVER!) so even though we were tired and a little drifty, I felt very safe on that plane :-)  And since one of the things we talked about was airport art, I took a picture of Sac Metro's very uninspiring airport art down by the baggage claim.  Yup folks.  It's a veritable tower of unclaimed luggage.  As art.  That's my city, y'all.





Third off-- also on that plane.  Well, I'm pretty sure I talked to a Corbin Fisher model.  I could be wrong. But there was a stunning young man wearing cargo shorts getting on at O'Hare, and we were going to Atlanta.  I was like, "Your destination must be in the south," and he was like, "Jacksonville, Ma'am."  He was sweet, self-possessed, and did I mention the stunning?  And the whole time, I was thinking, "Where have I seen this kid before…?"

And then when I saw him get off in Atlanta, it hit me.

Oh.

Oh!

Oh….

So it got me thinking, "What is the etiquette for this?"  I know some of the bigger named adult performers get recognized all the time.  Ty Roderick, Jake Bass, Connor-- they're sort of unmistakeable, and I would imagine they get gushed on in public (okay-- get your mind out of the gutter-- mine went there already)  all the time.  But this guy-- he'd only shot a couple of scenes, and hadn't really banked on his body yet.  So, what?  "Hey, do I know you?  Wait-- are you seven inches long and circumcised?  Oh!  You must be Drake!  You look really good having sex with other guys-- when are you coming again?"

Or maybe just, "Did you used to work for Corbin Fisher?"  Probably that last one-- because only people interested in gay porn would know what Corbin Fisher was, and those folks wouldn't cast any judgments, I hope.

But there needs to be Miss Manners post about this, because I'd be interested in seeing how to go about it.  I mean, yanno… there are some other, aherm, faces, I'd recognize…

Fourth off-- (okay… the counting was a bad idea, but I'm sort of stuck with it now…)-- the kids made out like bandits this trip.  Okay-- part of that was you guys.  People had VERY family friendly swag this year.  Mt. Snow's rainbow rings and Lisa Henry's kangaroo key chains were very much appreciated, as were Amber Kell's dragons and Toni Griffin's… uhm… sheep?  (They were squeezy!)  Rowan Speedwell's charms were very much beloved as well.  And then, the box of people gifts arrived-- the Mayhew jelly, the charming Mrs. Squirrel, the yoga frog, and the Alpaca Bag (And Squish got the pun too!) were all big hits.

And mom stopped at the airport in Chicago and bought a couple of hooded sweatshirts that said Chicago on them-- and the kids ADORED those and wore nothing else.  So, you know, win!  Thanks everyone for helping to make my homecoming better-- in all sincerity, your generosity humbled me :-)

Fifth off-- Mate made a tactical error and decided to try to carve Halloween pumpkins while I was gone.  They were only half carved when I got home.  And then one was hollow and one was carved.  (ZB's pumpkin-- done like The Eye of Sauron by his request, because ZB is awesome.)  And then they were BOTH moldy rotting dead food on my kitchen floor, attracting fruit flies and causing family discord.

Uhm, I'll buy two more pumpkins next week.  Because that sort of thing can't be done early-- sorry, Mate, but it was a good try.

Sixth off?  The Halloween costumes have been completed, and none too soon because my kids are going to Jackson with my parents again this weekend for the great RV Halloween trick or treat event.  I'm picking them up from school, then getting Mate, and we're driving up to see all of the costumes and my parents and everything.  We might even bring the obnoxious little dog.

So ZB is going to be a Creeper from Minecraft-- we made the costume-- or rather Mate made the costume and I gave suggestions-- and this one was a direct hit and a score on Mate's part.  It's the picture up top, and like I said, my idea, his execution.  Go team!  Squish is going to be a Spiderman Cat.  No, I don't get it either.  But she was adamant, and it took two stores.  I'm sure she'll look charming.  I'll post pictures!  But when we were in the Party City, looking for her costume, I saw this wall of masks.  I love these.  LOVE THEM. And I decided I want ALL THE MASKS.  So now you know.

And on that note?  I must away!  But I am as happy as the cat in the dog bed to be home.

Happy weekend everybody!




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

And I'm Home and STAIN Is Out

Hey all-- I'm sort of in the "sleep mode" after GRL, but I do have a couple of adventure stories saved for my next post. In the meantime, Beneath the Stain is out as a complete book from Amazon.com, ARe, and Dreamspinner Press.  

For those of you who have been hearing about this book forever, this here is the book as A WHOLE.  Not as a serial, not in chunks, just one streamlined (God, I hope) volume.  

When I first wrote this book, this format was how I intended it be released.  I cut out the extras, because I wanted to tell an epic story, but I didn't want to lose people.  When I pitched this story to Lynn West, this was the story arc, to the last T, that I wanted people to see.

I know people have loved the serial, but even the people who loved the bonus scenes the most wanted to see what it would be like to read about Mackey and Trav from beginning to end.  

Here's your chance folks-- enjoy!  

I'll be back on Thursday with my travel stories.  Yeah, I've got a few!

In the meantime--

BENEATH THE STAIN

Beneath the Stain on Amazon
Beneath the Stain on Dreamspinner Press
Beneath the Stain on ARe

Description
In a town as small as Tyson, CA, everybody knew the four brothers with the four different fathers—and their penchant for making good music when they weren't getting into trouble. For Mackey Sanders, playing in Outbreak Monkey with his brothers and their friends—especially Grant Adams—made Tyson bearable. But Grant has plans for getting Mackey and the Sanders boys out of Tyson, even if that means staying behind. 

Between the heartbreak of leaving Grant and the terrifying, glamorous life of rock stardom, Mackey is adrift and sinking fast. When he's hit rock bottom, Trav Ford shows up, courtesy of their record company and a producer who wants to see what Mackey can do if he doesn't flame out first. But cleaning up his act means coming clean about Grant, and that's not easy to do or say. Mackey might make it with Trav's help—but Trav's not sure he's going to survive falling in love with Mackey. 

Mackey James Sanders comes with a whole lot of messy, painful baggage, and law-and-order Trav doesn't do messy or painful. And just when Trav thinks they may have mastered every demon in Mackey's past, the biggest, baddest demon of all comes knocking.


***



Beneath the Stain on Amazon
Beneath the Stain on Dreamspinner Press

Beneath the Stain on ARe

Excerpt:
You Can’t Always Get What You Want



… from the Mighty Hunter Gazette—April 20

And special news, our very own homegrown band, Outbreak Monkey, will be performing a six-song set between D.J. Boomer’s dance music at the Graham Winters High School prom. The band, headed by McKay “Mackey” Sanders on lead vocals, Jeff Sanders on bass and their brother Kell Sanders on lead guitar, also features Grant Adams on second lead and Stevie Harris on drum set. All members are Graham Winters High School students and we are proud to have them play!



THE FIRST time McKay Sanders kissed his brother’s best friend, Grant, they were getting high in a burned-out car in the field behind Mackey’s apartment building. Kellogg, who looked old enough to buy even though he’d just turned eighteen, had spent ten dollars the brothers didn’t have on cheap Muscat. By the time Grant—whose father had money—brought out the pot, Kellogg, Jefferson, and Stevie were passed out on the old camp blanket Stevie had brought from his dad’s garage.

It was a celebration, of sorts, for landing the prom gig.

The older kids had hogged all the Muscat, though, and Mackey felt left out. Kellogg kept saying it wasn’t right to get his little brother drunk, and Mackey kept saying it wasn’t right to drink in front of him, but by the time Kellogg was too drunk to argue, there wasn’t any wine left.

Jefferson and Stevie had finished off the other bottle all by themselves—just sitting quietly, not making any waves like they usually did, passing the bottle between them.

“Boy, you two argue a lot,” Grant said after Kell let out a gut-buster of a yawn and fell asleep quick as a baby.

Mackey grunted and prodded at his older brother with his toe. The three brothers present looked nothing alike. Kell was built like a tank, with rounded shoulders, a brown-eyed glare, and plain brown hair that he buzz-cut short to his scalp. He was like born practicality, which was why hoarding the wine rankled Mackey so badly. An expenditure like that wasn’t going to happen again.

“He gets mad,” Mackey said, letting out a sigh. He slouched back inside the shelter of the car, peering through the doorframe at the iron gray sky. “He’s the one who takes care of us, you know? But not in the band.”

It was true.

Kell could play guitar ably enough, but Mackey….

“You can play everything,” Grant said with admiration. “You’re the one who puts the songs together, figures out who should be playing what. And the shit you write on your own….”

Mackey smiled at him a little shyly. Grant had the most interesting face, with a long, straight nose, full pink lips, and almond-shaped hazel eyes. When Grant looked at him with admiration, it stopped his breath and pulled rubber bands in his stomach. “I just….” He stopped because Grant was reaching into his pocket, and he pulled out a baggie full of weed and papers. “Ooh….”

Grant looked down at the other three, who were sleeping soundly in the late afternoon chill. “I was gonna share,” he said mischievously, “but Kell was a dick about the wine, so I thought you and me?” Mackey nodded, captivated by the thrill of the forbidden—and by the way that cherry-ripe mouth pulled up at the corners when Grant smiled.

“I’ve never, uhm….”

Grant shrugged. “Me and Kell do sometimes. But, you know, Kell’s usually a good guy.”

Mackey reflected on his sleeping brother. Kell was a good guy. For example, Mackey had a confused memory of their youngest brother Cheever’s dad, the one dad they thought would stick around beyond giving the baby a first name. Cheever’s dad hadn’t been very patient, and he’d hated Mackey. Well, Mackey was sort of a smartass. He’d probably had that fist coming. But that hadn’t stopped Kell from stepping up and hitting Enos Cheever right back. Mackey and Kell had both needed stitches after that, but their mom had kicked Enos Cheever out—child support or no child support. That was okay. Kell and Jeff had been almost old enough to work by then. They’d only needed assistance for a couple of months.

“He doesn’t like it that I can boss him around,” Mackey said glumly. “He… he’s the leader, right? But… but I hear the music, and it just makes sense, you know? And… and you can’t do it wrong just ’cause it’ll hurt Kell’s feelings. It’s augh!” He was waving his hands around, trying to find words, which was funny, because Mackey actually wrote songs. He closed his eyes, ignoring Grant rolling a number, and tried to make a song out of it.

“He wants to keep me happy and he wants to keep me fed, he makes sure that I’ve got blankets and a place to sleep in a bed, but the music in my heart is like a freight train. It goes and it goes and when I stop it, it’s like pain, but my brother doesn’t see it doesn’t hear it doesn’t feel it, and all there is to do is shove him out of the way. Don’t want to hit my brother with the freight train.”

Mackey’s eyes smarted, because the friction with Kell hurt. They were tight. They had to be tight, because Tyson, California, had a population of ten thousand, and it was a small enough town that the woman with the four sons and four fathers was sort of famous. They had to have each other’s backs or Cheever wouldn’t have survived kindergarten.

Mackey blinked and took a deep breath, then coughed.

Damn, pot was strong.

He gazed at Grant, who was staring back in awe over the glowing ember of the joint. Grant held the smoke for a minute and exhaled, shaking his head. “God, it’s gorgeous when you do that,” he said, his voice choked.

“Do what?” Mackey asked, not able to stop staring at him.

“Pull music out of the air,” Grant said, the dreamy smile on his full lips maybe a side effect of the pot, but maybe not. Grant was sitting in the back of the car, his feet at the foot of the blanket the others were sleeping on. He passed Mackey the doobie around the doorframe, and Mackey regarded the joint with a little bit of fear.

“Just inhale?” he asked nervously, and Grant grinned.

“Never done this before?” he confirmed, taking the doobie back.

Mackey shook his head, knowing his face was flushing in spite of the iron mountain chill.

“Here,” Grant murmured, taking another hit. He stood up, still holding the smoke in his lungs, and knelt in front of Mackey, so close their lips almost brushed. Mackey’s mouth fell open, because, holy God, Grant was right there, and Mackey had been trying not to look at him like he had wanted him right there since he was twelve years old.

Grant took his open mouth for invitation and exhaled, right between Mackey’s parted lips.

Mackey’s inhale was so gentle, the smoke hardly tickled. He didn’t choke or cough like he’d seen other people do, just breathed in subtle-like, afraid to startle Grant or make him move in any way. His exhale was even quieter, letting the smoke trickle out through his lips and his nose, where it stung.

He swallowed, his mouth dry from the smoke and from the way Grant was staring at him, seemingly as mesmerized as he was by those golden eyes and moist red mouth. “How’s Sam?” he asked, because Samantha Peters had been Grant’s shadow for the past year.

“Not here,” Grant whispered, and the movement made their lips touch.

Mackey closed his eyes, because Grant started this, and Mackey was fourteen to his seventeen. Grant would know what to do.

Grant’s lips on his were whisper-soft, then angel-soft, then Grant’s tongue swept into his mouth, acrid with the bitter taste of weed, but something in it was sweet. Something in it made Mackey open his mouth to beg for more.

Grant took advantage, pushing him back against the seat, taking his mouth more, and more and more, until Mackey was pressed against the burned-out seat frame, his hands buried in the thick top strip of Grant’s hair, his lips being bruised and his mouth plundered by his brother’s best friend.

The smell of pot smoke sharpened, turned plastic, and Grant jerked his head back.

“Shit,” he muttered. The joint had fallen onto the blanket at their feet, and he spent a moment stomping it out as it smoldered. When he’d killed the ember, he glanced at Mackey sheepishly.

“Got lost in your eyes,” he said, and Mackey watched curiously as two red crescents surfaced on his sharp cheekbones, like disappearing ink coming to life.

“I could get lost in you a lot,” Mackey confessed, feeling brave and bold, and Grant found something to look at far away.

“Mackey, maybe don’t count on me like that, okay?”

Mackey had to search far away too. Well, of course, right? Two guys get high and they do something crazy—didn’t mean shit, did it.

Didn’t mean a goddamned thing. “Yeah, well. You know. Strong weed, right?”

“Yeah,” Grant murmured. “Strong.” His hand was firm on Mackey’s shoulder then, and Mackey closed his eyes as he felt the rasp of Grant’s chilled palm against his cheek. “Stronger’n shame.”

Mackey had to. Had to see his face.

Grant was blinking hard, and they both knew he’d deny it, but one hit of pot didn’t give you eyeballs that red.

At their feet, Kell gave a moan and rolled over, and that was the cue for everyone to wake up. They were headachy and sick, and it was lucky Grant had brought a six-pack of water, of all things, so they could at least rinse out their mouths after they puked.

Grant had driven them out to the vacant field in his mom’s minivan, and later that evening, he stopped and let them run inside the grocery store to buy noodles and spaghetti sauce for dinner. They’d promised their mom they’d take care of groceries if she let them get away with not watching Cheever for the afternoon. When they got to the Sanders boys’ apartment complex, Grant and Kell were giving each other shit in the front seat. Mackey stared out the window and let their banter wash over him, just like he ignored Jefferson and Stevie talking in quiet undertones about comic books and naked girl pictures. Jeff and Kell had best friends. Mackey had brothers—six of them, if he counted Cheever’s little friend Kevin, which he did.

“So, is Sam excited you get to play at the prom?” Kell asked, laughing.

“Yeah,” Grant said. For a moment he caught Mackey’s gaze in the rearview, and then he glanced back toward the road. “She wants to dress pretty and dance with me in a suit.”

Mackey didn’t make a noise or anything, but suddenly he knew, knew like it had been branded on his skin, that Grant didn’t want to dance with a girl in a dress. And that it would hurt worse than orange juice on chapped lips, but Mackey was going to have to watch him do it.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What Kind of Bee Am I?

So-- lots o' random tonight, and, alas, not many great pictures for it.  I didn't realize until I sat down to write that A. My shitty pictures are still shitty, and B. I haven't taken any.  The picture of Andrew Grey and Poppy Denison here was like my first--and one of my best--and I bless Queen Andrew and Princess Poppy for posing for it.  (And for coming up with that caption too!)  It's one of the few I have this year.

I'm not sure why that is… I love having pictures to put on the blog, but I'm horrible at taking them, but I think it's more than that.  I think that I've gotten better at being in the moment when I'm at these things and part of being in the moment is not hanging out behind the camera.  So, sorry for the scanty pictures-- but that doesn't mean I'm not having a fantastic time.

Some highlights from this GRL 2014-- not all of them actually at the convention, mind you-- are as follows:

*  I told Zoomboy that the hotel was built on hexagons.  He responded, "Hexagons?  What kind of bee does that make you?  A worker?  A drone?  Or a queen?"

"A drone?"

"The drones have sex with the queens, Mom."

"Definitely a queen."

*  I had a blast at the Riptide dinner on Thursday, but I came back to my room and suddenly felt… uhm… Not great.  Now, people have been coming to my room to jammie (yes, it's a verb, so what?) pretty much all con, and that night my incredible mess hosted Andrew Grey, Nessa Warin, Shannon Shell, Jessie Potts, Jaime Samms, and the lovely Mary Calmes.  I asked everybody-- very casually-- if they had any Tums on hand, and in three minutes…

Andrew had called his husband and Dominic showed up with tums and an antacid, Mary went out and got me tea, water, and pretzels, and everyone else just made room and let me lay down and get better.

For the record?

I love my friends!

*  This morning I attended the panel to see Rhys Ford, Andrew Grey, and Eden Winters, who were all amazing.  However, Rhys…

Again-- I love my friends.

There I was, knitting quietly, listening to her talk, because she's brilliant, and she stops and says, "Seriously, Amy Lane, what in the fuck are you knitting?  It looks like a sweater for a snake!"

"Uhm… fingerless mitts."

"Jesus-- that's not what it looks like."

I'm not sure what I replied then… something, uhm, well, more funny than gracious.  Anyway, she proceeded with her Q&A and somebody asked her about who she was going to kill next, and how she'd better not kill off some of her most beloved secondary characters.  To which she said, "You know who I'm not going kill off?  The damned dog.  I'm not going to kill the damned dog.  Unlike, say, Amy "Fuck the Horse" Lane!"

Thanks, Rhys.  I love you too.  (The funniest part of this was that Chicken was sending me texts saying, "Rhys!  Tell Rhys Hi!  Give her hugs!  I miss her!"  I was like, "Wench!")

So, still love my friends!

*  I had a panel with the incomparable Deanna Wadsworth and Jet Mykles on World Building-- I'm not sure how much wisdom I imparted about world building, but I do know that everybody laughed a whole lot, and Deanna and Jet's Bad-Libs were the absolute awesomest!

*  We also did an author lounge thingy, which sort of turned into a mini signing-- but it was a chance to interact with readers-- and you know what?  When someone tells me that my knitting books gave them knitting--and then knitting gave them their sanity through a really rough time in their lives?  That makes me unutterably proud.  Knit, guys. Crochet.  Go out into the world and craft your hearts out.  Creating something out of good will and hard work is never a bad thing.


*  Speaking of knitting (and other things…)  I'd like to say thank you.  A variety of amazing readers gifted me with some sort of awesome, quirky, fun and adorable things.  The picture is posted above, and I'd like to thank Karrie Jax who made the lovely meme posters, Kate and Andrea for the Al-pack-a bag, Rhae Camden for the SQUIRREL! Mary my Mary for the knitting accessory bag featuring Batman and Robin kissing, Sherri Mt. Snow for the gorgeous yarn, Caroline (I think! Sorry!) for the gorgeous dragon pin, Dani Elle Maas for the German chocolate, and Vicki Thompson for the Whidbey Island chocolate (not pictured) and my glorious bracelet featuring my crown as the Queen of Angst (right above the chocolate ;-) Also of note is the Chain Mail Scarf that Alex Whitehall made me--it's not the pattern of the scarf, because she didn't have it yet, but the idea of it, the chain mail, the protection, the comfort?  That's what the scarf is all about, and she made it for me, and it made me cry.

So thank you everybody-- I'm so glad I moved your hearts, because you certainly moved mine, and not just the folks with the presents.  Everyone who shared a story of their own with me has paid me back for my own stories in spades, so thank you, all.

I've loved sharing time with you all :-)

*  And I'll leave you with Mary, packing up the DSP table-- the book seller's room was a great place to be this week, because, well, books, and also because I met new people too.  One of them was Hans Hirschi, who runs his own publishing company with his own books, and he has been just awesome to talk to-- and he came all the way from Sweden to be here.  I hope he had fun, because I know we all loved him!

And now, it's almost 2 a.m., and I'm going to be downstairs around nine.

Time to go to bed--but believe me, tonight (even though I missed the masquerade!) I'm definitely counting my blessings.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

10 New Things I Did Not Know

1.  I actually got a good deal on a cab from O'Hare-- I am shocked, I tell you, shocked, because usually I am the last person to get a bargain.  American Taxi, people, it's a good thing.

2.  It's hard to pick who you want to go eat with when your choices are so varied and SO AWESOME!  Among others in this pic are RJ Scott, Erika Orrick, Nicole Dennis, Amber Kell, Stephanie Hecht and MC Houle!  DUDES!

3.  It's also hard when you see the table next to you is filled with equally awesome and amazing people!  (Okay-- I'm embarrassed-- I can name some of these people, but my eyes aren't good enough to make out everyone in the picture.  I knew everyone when I took the picture, can that be good enough!)

4.  Banks who freak out because suddenly your credit card is being used 2000 miles away, do not make things easy.

5.  When you give Rowan McAlister $20 to buy you diet coke and chocolate, she gets you diet coke and CHOCOLATE, and you may have to depend upon the kindness of friends to help you make it through!

6.  A hotel built in hexagons is a great concept, and it looks pretty, but apparently I'm not made to fit into the hive mind, because I have spent the last two days lost as holy fuck.

7.  You know it's a long hike to the conference center when the concierge overhears you telling a friend that it's "hella fuckin' far" and the guy laughs and says, "You're being kind."

8.  I cannot follow a schedule without Mary.  I thought i could, but apparently when I'm not the only one involved on the schedule, cause I'm trying to make my friends' events too, I need help.  Just do.

9.  Americans have such a heinous reputation as bad eaters that the nice man from Sweden who runs his own publishing company (of which he's the only writer atm) brought apples as swag.  They're big, shiny apples-- I bet he's everybody's best friend tomorrow.  (Hans was lovely to talk to, as well!)

10.  Nothing can spice up an already wonderful day like a really awesome mention in a lovely and articulate article!

11.  (Because I can't count)  Apparently waking up early countermands that whole time differentiation thing, because one o'clock Chicago time feels exactly like one o'clock California time.  I don' know why-- but it's true, which is why I keep nodding off!

Night!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

One Movie to Rule Them All

And once again it's time for more random chunks of my life-- it's like Amy Lane kibble, for your consumption.  (Delicacy or fast food-- you be the judge!)  Seriously-- my next blog will be from GRL, and I am FINALLY letting myself get excited about seeing everybody.  I usually don't let excitement creep in until I'm relatively sure I'm going to get out the door on time.  Well, no promises I'll have everything I need, but I think I might make it.  Saying.  It could happen. 
So… now for the kibble!

*  On Friday I managed to make it to most of my errands, including the pharmacy.  At the pharmacy I bought laxatives, several boxes of tampax and pads, and a fuckton of chocolate.  The sales clerk looked at me and said, "So, do you have any fun plans for the weekend?"

"Yeah," I said, knowing the irony would escape him, "I"m going to a soccer tournament!"

"That's awesome!  Have a fun time!"

* Appropos of that last item.  

Saturday was Squish's soccer tournament, wherein she and her team of fierce fighting furies whirled their way into four straight losses.  She was happy-- especially when I highlighted the team face paint with my makeup bag, because halloween shit lasts a minute and a half, but lipstick and eye-liner-- that shits forever, y'all.  

 So anyway-- regarding the tampax, the laxatives, and the chocolate?  I had to hike to the porta-john several times to deal with all of the fun things hinted above, in a situation with no running water.
You know those fat women with resting bitch face that look like they've spent the entirety of their lives eating their rage? No?  Well, as of Saturday, you knew ME.  Yes folks, if I had unbottled my rage after my third trip to try to contain my uterus as it turned inside out in a place with no running water, there would have been no survivors.  I was the lie of the jolly fat woman on Saturday-- and poor Mate, who was valiantly leading his own team into last place on a whole other field, knew it.  He was so nice to me.  

Today, I had no rage.  My uterus is still doing a few backflips, but my resting bitch face has eased up, I took a nap, spent some family time watching LotR, and got some more errands done.  I may NEVER get to the bottom of the giant laundry monster eating my bedroom, but for now, the world is safe.  But beware.  If you see a woman grimly hiking her way from a porta-john with a sweater tied around her waist in 90 degree heat?  

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!

*  So, today was Zoomboy's last game.  (No, don't ask if they won.  Why does everybody ask that?  If they win, I'll be all celebratory and pictures of dancing zebras and shit. If I don't say anything, assume we lost, because, well, they are my children with my genes, and I can't even live in a city with a winning sports team, much less give birth to athletes.  Although Squish comes close-- she works her ass off as goalie.  Anyway…)

Zoomboy's friend, Gabe, has two adorable twin baby brothers, and an irrepressible and wonderful mother, who are my favorite reasons to go to Zoomboy's games.  (That and watching Mate coach. Today he yelled, "SCORE A GOAL NOW!" several times.  I burst out laughing and asked if that EVER worked.  His co-coaches laughed their asses off too, because apparently, no.  That doesn't work EVER.)  Anyway, Thelma was there with the babies, and, OMG-- THEY WERE BALD!

"You shaved their heads!"

Thelma was irritated.  "It's a Kenyan thing," she said in disgust.  "Their father made them--they do it right before their first birthday."

We all mourned the fuzzy black curls-- they were so soft. But I had to admit-- having no hair made their enormous brown eyes look even bigger.  I swear these kids are anime babies-- real human babies cannot possibly be that cute.  But their mother is sort of a dynamo, and I adore her, so perhaps that's just her karma.  

BTW? I sang a Shins song to them  ("Present Past" I think is the name) and they adored it.  I love babies who listen to me sing.

btw-- this video is WEIRDLY reminiscent of The Deep of the Sound which is the project I'm currently working on.  I mean… it's weird, because I JUST SAW IT and the book is more than halfway done. 

* The funniest part was when Mate, in the middle of the second half, turned a circle three times and finally spotted Zoomboy-- who was playing with the babies instead of waiting to go back on the field.  "Zoomboy, do you want to play?" he asked in exasperation.  
At the end of the game, he was like, "He played an awesome first half, but he always gets lost at the break.  I mean… he goes to play with the twins and I forget I need to play him.  He's my son!"  

That's okay.  I think it means Mate's a really good coach--and seriously.  We told ZB he had another soccer game today, and his response was, "Will the twins be there?"

I, uhm, don't think soccer is really the focus of his weekends.  But that's okay.  He adores playing with babies. That's my Zoomboy.

*  And speaking of Zoomboy…
Since he loves movies with catalogue mythology and he loves sci-fi fantasy, we've been telling him he needs to watch The Lord of the Rings for over a year.

Today, after three soccer games-- and the last one, folks, was played in a blazing, dusty wind, that just seemed to suck the sacred will to live from our bones-- he apparently decided to go for it.

We just finished shotgunning all three movies.  My boy?  My beautiful, sensitive boy?

Cried like a baby at the end.

His sister didn't get it-- and wouldn't stop talking-- but my boy, the one who plays with little kids and takes special care not to kill his fish?

My boy got it.

So, he got the ADHD, and he got that.  Sometimes Goddess is evenhanded in her gifts, yanno?

* And speaking of gifts?

This lovely meme was made for me by the even lovelier Jaime Samms, who, you may recall, was recently featured in *kermit flail* Monday.  

Anyway-- the quote is from this month's Amy's Lane, and I'm not ashamed to admit it: seeing my words on a picture this pretty fills me with an enormous sense of pride.  THANKS JAIME!!!  

And that's all for now.  My hormones have ebbed, the family is all sleeping, the Shins are singing dreamily on my computer, and for the moment, the world is safe.

Talk to y'all from Chicago!






Thursday, October 9, 2014

I'm Dorying Hard!

No thread holding this one together-- it's all random, and welcome to the brain-party, pal!

*  Mate had a fundraiser today for his soccer team.  We spent two hours sitting outside of Pinkberry yoghurt saying, "Here-- give them this flyer at the counter and they'll give us money."  Most folks were really cool about it, but some folks looked at us like we were trying to pull a scam.  *shakes head*  But it helped that there was a Scorpions banner inside the store, looking very official and all.  We actually joined Mate after Squish's practice-- he was there for two hours without us.  Why would we do this, you may ask?  Because it's the closest thing to private time we've gotten all week.


*  I shipped my packages to GRL today.  I think they'll get there too early.  I'm losing my nut about this, actually.

*  Zoomboy and I angsted at each other today.  "Mommmm… why can't you get me Halloween stuff tomorrow!"

"Zoomboy I have to go shopping and get your meds and get groceries and get, uhm, female things--"

"Well what about the next day?"

"I have to go to soccer tournaments and get dinner and do laundry and--

"Well what about Sunday!"

"You have soccer tournaments and there's laundry and packing and printing stuff out and…"

"Well when can we do it?"

"JEBUS, Zoomboy!  We've got three weeks!"

Mate watched all of this with bemusement.

"You're enjoying this, aren't you?"  I snapped.

"Yeah, it's even more fun when you two and Big T are in the same room."

"Just remember," I snarled, "I am the communicator."

He nodded.  "Pretty sad, really."

Yeah-- not all sweetness and light here.

*  Speaking of which… Mate found a giant moth carcass outside the front door.  He was so cute.  He brought it inside and set it on the table.  "Here-- show the kids-- they'll like it!"

I did, cause it was sort of cool, and the kids crapped their pants.

"MOOOOMMMMM!!! What, did Dad suddenly become the CAT?  Get it out get it out get it out get it out get it out!"

*shakes head*  I can't believe they're the same kids who captured lizards and chased pigeons.  Wow. Adolescence and too much perfume is just a heartbeat away.

*  I have, today, no fewer than three times, jerked upright and screamed into an empty house, "HOLY FUCK, I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT THAT!"  Uhm, it's just gonna get worse until Tuesday.

*  The Bells of Times Square is available for pre-sale on amazon.com.  Apparently you can get the paperback now (I'm not sure if anyone knows this.)

I heard this song today that totally reminded me of this book-- except… well, instead of Willie, it was Walter.  *sob*  (I must have been close.  I sent it to Mary and she said mean things back.)



*  Is anyone else as mad at Oliver Queen as I am?

*  Today I blogged here and here.  (One of those is for Queer  Romance Month-- there's some great essays there, you'll enjoy them.  The first one is my Amy's Lane post for Green's Hill.)

*  And today is it.  Beneath the Stain, Part 7 is finally out.  Those of you who have been waiting until you could get the whole thing, hie thee hither to Dreamspinner Press, because the serial packages with the bonus materials GO AWAY as of next Friday.  All gone.  Bye bye.  Not available when the thing goes.  But it's going to be out on amazon.com next week, and on ARe too, for those who have been waiting.  I'm excited to see it go mainstream, but I'm also sort of sad.

We had a real sweet little reading group going on FB-- small enough to be intimate, big enough to be a fantastic party, and yeah.  I'm gonna miss that.  You'll recognize the FB people-- they'll all have bags under their eyes from staying up too late tonight and crying.  Hey-- in the last 24 hours I've gotten a picture of tears on someone's pillow (it was sopping) and was told that for the first time someone knew what it was to cry until they threw up.  

Yeah.  I think it's that painful.

Can't wait to read it, right?

And my next blog will be Sunday-- let's see if I survive two days of soccer tournament while prepping for GRL while editing Vulnerable while finishing The Deep of the Sound.  

Yup.  Let's just see!

Monday, October 6, 2014

*kermit flail* Monday, October!

Okay-- I've got to tell you, I worried about starting this *kermit flail* thing.  I was like, A. Nobody is going to want to post on my blog, B. OMG what if they do want to post to my blog, will my squirrel be able to keep up? and C. What if they post to my blog and nobody cares and nothing happens!

So far, only the squirrel has been a problem, and I tend to bribe him with chocolate on Sundays, so we're good to go!

And this month is particularly special, because we have some *kermit flail* returnees, which makes me think that maybe they've gotten some hits from this feature, and that makes me feel really good.  This community has treated me well, and I love to give back, and, even better?  I even get a shout out in two of these books, and I'm tickled purple!

So enjoy your *kermit flail*  this week-- and by all means, if you have a book you'd like featured, drop me a line! I may tug back!


Okay-- this first author was my cohort in crime on NPR this summer, and every time I see her online, she is quirky, pixilated, and generally awesome.  I'm so looking forward to reading her next installment in the Bone books, and when she contacted me in a "Help me, Amy, I've got FIVE releases this month and no time to do promotion!" I was like, "YAYAYAY! I GET TO HAVE KIM ON MY BLOG!!!"  

So everybody welcome three of Kim Field's new releases-- and take note of the last one, The Festivus Miracle, because Kim is giving all her proceeds to Doctors Without Borders.  See? She's so awesome she actually spreads the awesomesauce!

Everybody give a YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY for Kim Fielding!

Bone Dry (book 3 in the Bones series):
Ery Phillips’s muse is MIA. He’s pretty sure his job as a graphic designer is to blame, because let’s face it, what kind of muse wants to draw grocery store logos and catheterized penises?

When Ery’s friends Dylan and Chris head off on a European vacation, Ery jumps at the chance to stay on their farm, hoping a stint in the country will encourage his muse to reappear. To be sure, the farm has attracted a few oddities—Dylan is a werewolf and the place was recently haunted—but Ery isn’t canceling his plans just because his friends warn him that there’s something strange going on in their pond. What he doesn’t expect is Karl, a beautiful naked man who appears at the water’s edge.

With Karl as his inspiration, Ery creates amazing paintings and begins to achieve the success he had previously only dreamed of. But Karl comes with certain challenges, causing Ery to question his own goals. Creating the life of his dreams with an unusual beloved may be more challenge than Ery can handle.
Releases Oct 10.

***
“The Dance” in Bones:
Vodou. Obeah. Santeria. These religions seem mysterious and dark to the uninitiated, but the truth is often very different. Still, while they hold the potential for great power, they can be dangerous to those who don’t take appropriate precautions. Interfering with the spirits is best left to those who know what they’re doing, for when the proper respect isn’t shown, trouble can follow. In these four novellas, steamy nights of possession and exotic ritual will trigger forbidden passion and love. You cannot hide your desires from the loa, or from the maddening spell of the drums. Four acclaimed m/m authors imagine homoerotic love under the spell of Voodoo.
Releases Oct 27.

***
The Festivus Miracle:
It’s finals week during Tony McNeil’s second year in law school, and he’s struggling to keep up. Frankly, he’d rather be cooking. Then he meets first-year student Eddie Cohen-Fernandez, who’s heartsick over missing his family’s annual Festivus celebration. Tony can use his culinary skills to lift Eddie’s spirits, but finding long-term happiness? That just might require a Festivus miracle.
Releases Nov 1.


All the royalties from Festivus go to Doctors Without Borders. 



Kim wasn't the only buddy with two releases this month.  My adored Rhys Ford, the woman who minds my beautiful Chicken while she is far away from home, has two releases out this month as well!  Now Rhys is the person who will take your kid out for her birthday and make sure she eats her veggies, and treat you like a queen when you come visit her home--


But never, not once, ask for a favor.  I had to beg her to pimp her wonderful stories on my blog this week.  But they are wonderful stories-- so it's totally worth it.  


Rhys, my darling, my dork fish, I love you--now everyone greet her with a giant YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!! 



Creature Feature: Volume 2

Two Men. One Apocalypse.


Rise of the Revenants by Poppy Dennison

Vampyres are on the loose in Detroit, and novice hunter Taz Cohen is on the job. The mission seems simple: stop the vamps. But Taz knows nothing about the mythical creatures, so he’s in for the fight of his life. Then he meets insanely attractive construction worker Darren Foster, who jumps into the battle with both feet. Sparks and bullets fly as they struggle against the vampyre horde and their attraction to each other. Avoiding gruesome death from the undead might be easier than shielding their hearts from each other.



Legacy of Blood and Death by Rhys Ford

For Javi Navarro, Detroit will become another blood-splattered city in his rearview mirror after he puts its dead back into the ground. Expecting an easy hunting job, Javi instead finds a kiss of ancient vampyres on the hunt for a descendant of their long-dead creator.

Reclusive Ciarnan Mac Gerailt abandoned his family legacy of blood and death magic after it nearly destroyed him. Unfortunately for Ciarnan, the Motor City can only be saved if he resumes his dark arts and joins forces with Javi Navarro, the hunter who brought the vampyre apocalypse—and hope for the future—straight to Ciarnan’s front door.

Buy Link



Paranormal investigator Wolf Kincaid knows what his foot tastes like.
Mostly because he stuck it firmly in his mouth when his lover, Tristan Pryce, accidentally drugged him with a batch of psychotropic baklava. Needing to patch things up between them, Wolf drags Tristan to San Luis Obispo, hoping Tristan’s medium ability can help evict a troublesome spirit haunting an old farmhouse.

With Wolf’s sister handling Hoxne Grange’s spectral visitors, Tristan finds himself in the unique position of being able to leave home for the first time in forever, but Wolf’s roughshod treatment is the least of his worries. Tristan’s ad-hoc portal for passing spirits seems to be getting fewer and fewer guests, and despite his concern he’s broken his home, Tristan agrees to help Wolf’s cousin, Sey, kick her poltergeist to the proverbial curb.

San Luis Obispo brings its own bushel of troubles. Tristan’s ghost whispering skill is challenged not only by a terrorizing haunting but also by Wolf’s skeptical older cousin, Cin. Bookended by a pair of aggressive Kincaids, Tristan soon finds himself in a spectral battle that threatens not only his sanity but also his relationship with Wolf, the first man he’s ever loved.




This next author is well known to me, because she has interviewed me on her blog before, and because she's come to me on occasion for advice.  (Yeah, I know-- strange for me too!) But she's always kind, and always a joy to talk to, and I'm so excited to give a shout out to her first Dreamspinner Press release, King of Snowflakes.  Everybody give a big shout out and a *kermit flail* to Michele Fogal!  

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!! 






Blurb:
Grade twelve is flying by like a pride parade of gay freedom and love until Skyler finds his gorgeous downtown boyfriend cheating on him over Christmas break. The breakup leaves him raw and not up to ignoring the usual gay taunts from soccer star Ryan and his teammates. 

When Skyler loses it, he’s surprised to find a straight jock like Ryan knows what it’s like to have your heart broken and what it’s like not to belong. Behind his cocky smile, Ryan is feeling hopeless about his grades, his chances of getting into university, and his lack of real friends. 

When Ryan invites him on a family ski trip, Skyler thinks escaping the city will let him lick his very private wounds in peace. He doesn’t count on Ryan’s warmth and affection amid the grandiose snow-covered mountains with their wonderland white trees, or the magical way Ryan’s silky hair fills with perfect six-point snowflakes. He certainly doesn’t expect Ryan to have secrets of his own that could burn them both--or lead to Skyler’s first truly loving relationship.

Jamie Samms is known for her delicate, crystalline prose and her haunted characters.  And, of course, her brilliantly crocheted purses that she shows on FB, and I'd like to take some credit for those, because I gave her the idea for how to knit or crochet without math, and I'm proud of that.  (Anything that helps abolish maths, I'm all for.)  But seriously-- about this book, she was kind enough to give me a shout out in the dedication, and I feel humbled, and a little undeserving.  I mean, all I did was come up with a name…

And the rest, you'll have to find out for yourselves :-)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the stunning Ms. Jaime Samms--

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!  




 Singer Coby Kennedy and his drummer twin, Bruce, have a band called Patchwork Heaven. They have been rising steadily up the country music charts, but unfortunately, that rise has attracted unwanted attention. Faced with anonymous letters, sinister gifts, and the wanton destruction of their personal space, they hire The Detail, a specialized security firm. Coby never anticipated Gregor, The Detail's owner and his personal guard, would be quite so intriguing. 

As the stalker gets closer and more violent and questions pile up, Gregor fears his past might get in the way of him finding who is threatening his client when he becomes suspect number one. Even though Coby is convinced Gregor is not behind the threat, Gregor is not sure he's the right man to keep Coby safe, either from the stalker, or from his own interest in the singer.




And this last one…

Well, I've read Elisabeth Staab's vampires, and they're wonderful, and she texts me funny quirky things and occasionally blames me for telling the rest of the world she's going to be at Panera.  (Sh… don't tell her I told you!)  She is doing the "package thang" with a bunch of her bundle buddies, and it is a steal for only $.99!  So enjoy the bargain, and everybody give a giant blood-thirsty welcome to Elisabeth Staab and her entourage!

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!

Seductive Supernaturals - 12 Tales of Shapeshifters, Vampires, & sexy supernaturals - for only 99 cents!

buy links:


Bad boys, tortured alpha heroes, and kick-ass heroines all come together in 12 steamy full-length paranormal romance novels and novellas from NY Times, USA Today, and national bestselling authors! Whether you’re looking for tantalizing dark tales or the humorous side of the supernatural, you’ll get werewolves, vampires, fallen angels, monster hunters, and ghosts—every one of them a hot temptation you won’t be able to resist… 

DIABLO SPRINGS by Erin Quinn: Gracie Beck vowed that she would never to return to Diablo Springs, but the haunted town lures her back—along with the man who betrayed her years ago. Reilly broke her heart with his lies. Now, he wants a second chance to win her, but can they survive the ghosts of Diablo Springs? 

VAMPIRE REBORN by Caridad Pineiro: Would you be reborn for love? Ryder Latimer, sexy Southern vampire, will have to make one of the most difficult choices in his undead life: Become human again or protect his new wife and child. 

SHADOW FALL by Erin Kellison: Just discovering her magic, ballerina Annabella Ames didn’t mean to summon a dark wolf from Twilight, nor the tempting fallen angel Custo Santovari, who has no place in Heaven. The cunning wolf stalks them relentlessly, and danger seduces as they fight for redemption and love. 

NIGHT ANGEL by Lisa Kessler: When Colin Flynn returns home to Ireland, the immortal Night Walker's flesh has healed, but the scars hide a broken spirit. Juliana Duffy plays piano in spite of her deafness, challenging him to redefine himself and find the strength to battle an ancient enemy. 

SHADOWS TILL SUNRISE by Chris Marie Green: Two monster hunters fighting a star-crossed attraction and one bloodthirsty phantom leaving a trail of death… Can love survive till the sun rises? 

A SHADOW AT TWILIGHT by Mary Leo: They say Hotel Colorado is haunted, but when Dillon Spencer appears in his hotel room to find Hilly Thompson, his assistant, soaking in the tub, he begins to question whether or not he’s alive, dead, or caught in another dimension. 

MORE THAN FIENDS by Maureen Child: At 32, Cassidy Burke discovers she’s a legendary Demon Duster. But she’s got bigger problems than some pesky demons. Like, Logan Miller--first love, baby daddy to her genius daughter is back. Then there’s Devlin Cole, a walking orgasm with too many secrets. Cassidy’s life is out of control and about to get way too interesting. 

IMMORTAL POSSESSION by Cassi Carver: When Dr. Evelyn Vale is paired with Immortal Bounty’s sexy commander to go undercover and infiltrate a supernatural body-trafficking ring, she’s eager to get to work. Until she learns the catch… To crack this case, he’ll need to possess her body. 

FOREVER ROSE by Janet Wellington: Tarot cards predict a dangerous journey for Taylor Rose, but she doesn’t expect to travel back to 1888 San Diego. What the cards didn’t predict was falling for a man bent on revenge, a helpful ghost, and spooky séances. Is she there to prevent a murder or to find love? 

WELCOME HOME, VAMPIRE by Theresa Meyers: Corporal Cole Wagner lost his humanity in war – literally. Turned into a vampire by the military’s Vector Force, he’s the ultimate weapon, but when he returns home to set the past right, will the enemy stop at nothing to get him, including threatening the life of the woman he loved, and lost, before? 

VAMPIRE MAGIC (Blood Genie, books 1 and 2) by Sheri Whitefeather: Two tenderly romantic, wildly erotic stories featuring supernatural hybrids (vampires/genies) who grant wishes for the exchange of blood. 

WILD NIGHTS WITH A LONE WOLF by Elisabeth Staab: A mandatory vacation lands Agent Sherri Walker in bed with a local werewolf. Asher Hughes walked away from his outlaw pack but couldn't ditch the bad blood. Together they’ll have to pull off one hell of an act to get out of treacherous territory alive.

Now this last one is not really a "book".  It is, in fact, sort of a literary experiment.  Maria Chiara is an avid fan of the Little Goddess books, so much so that she and her buddies got together and translated Vulnerable into Italian.  She is currently writing a book of her own-- in English!  (She's written one in Italian already--because she's wonderful.)  She is going to post a chapter at a time, and she'd like your feedback, so if you'd like to see how she's doing with this whole polyglot thing, by all means, stop by!

Everybody give a HUGE *kermit flail* for Miss Maria Chiara!!!!!

YAYAYAYAYAYYAYAYAY!!! 

Taste For the Alien



Oh…  

And about Mackey. 

So, the last installment of Beneath the Stain is out on Friday-- uhm YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!  

Then, the following Friday, October 17th, the complete book, SANS BONUS MATERIAL will be available on ARe and Amazon.  I know that a lot of you are waiting for this event to buy the book (and I'm excited, because I want to see what EVERYBODY thinks) but I wanted to remind you of two things.

A.  You won't be able to get the bonus materials anywhere but Dreamspinnerpress.com and  it WON'T be available after the wider release.  So if you've been waiting to get the whole thing until it's all out, this is the time to grab it from the publishers website.  HOWEVER, the book itself is written as a complete work, so if the bonus content really isn't what grabs you, but swallowing the book whole is, you'll be in good company.





B. If you've read the book as it's been released in serial form, and you loved it, I would love to see your review on Amazon when it's released.  I love the comments so far-- even the ones that say, "Damn you, Amy!  I can't breathe from the snot and my nose is raw!"  So I'd like to thank those of you who have been following along with the serial--if you've been among those who loved it, by all means shout this one out!