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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 Michaels 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!


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?  


*  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  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 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!  


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--


 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!


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!!!!!


Taste For the Alien


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 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!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Nope, lost it!

 Birthday week is always wonderful--

And a little exhausting.

For example, today was the day of the two grandmas.

The first one arrived right before I started getting ready for aqua. The house was gross.  For those of you who are saying, "Heh heh heh…"



Absolutely disgusting.

Dishes--sink.  Trash-- ground.  Blankets--floor.  Dog--shirt.

Wait, scratch that.  Dog barking at the door, and Mate's mother, sweet little self-deprecating smile on her face as she waited for me to open the door.  She's such a lovely woman.  I had to invite her in.  It was…


And she made it worse by giving us our birthday cards with money in them.  (It used to be our age, doubled, plus a dollar.  Then we turned 45, and it was like, "Fuck it, have a fifty!")

But the funniest part of all was when I told her, "Yeah, I'll go get Chicken!  She'll be happy to see you!"

"Chicken!  Get up!  There's a Grandma here!"

"Fuck!  I'm up I'm up I'm up!"

She told me later that me and Mate had trained her well-- apparently nothing gets our kids up and moving with a lightning bolt up their asses like "Holy CRAP!  There's a Grandma here!"

Well, it's good to know we've instilled them with a reasonable fear.  Fear of God?  Well, they're pagan and/or agnostic.  Fear of us?  You can't fear what you pity.  Fear of bad neighborhoods?  Jesus, what did they grow up in?  But fear of GRANDMA'S?  Oh yeah.  They're terrified.  They'll do anything out of guilt, fear, and a desire for bras, Christmas cards, and banana nut muffins.


About bras.  See, Mate's mom was this morning, but my stepmom was this afternoon.  She was taking Chicken bra shopping and tennis shoes shopping, and in case you're wondering if Chicken really does fear all grandmas, I'll have you know she did the dishes.   You have to understand.  When she arrives during her breaks, we have to remind her that she lives here, even for a week.  Sloths move more.  Sloths in a coma move more.

So seriously-- the power of little old ladies.  Fear it.

And as for me?

I'm leaving for GRL and FREAKING OUT about it.  In case you were wondering.  You should be wondering.  I actually just bought clothes for no other reason than I couldn't remember if I had any. (If you saw what my room looked like, you'd laugh yourself sick.  Clothes?  I have them.  God.)

Also, I'm trying really hard to finish this Bluewater Bay thing with some semblance of being on time.  Considering I've got a week and a half to finish it, and I'm only halfway done I think I pretty much it the "I suck!" button on my deadline fear.

And I need to do shipping, and maybe get my hair dyed again, and I got my toes done as a present with Chicken (she got her fingers and toes done-- she looks smashing in deep claret.  I look like a goober in neon orange.  Grown up?  Fuck to the no.)  but everything else is…


I'm Dory.

I'm so Doried, it should be a new adjective!  

"How's she doing on the packing?"

"Oh, she's totally Doried-- she keeps running around the room with her hands over her head screaming 'I DON'T REMEMBER THESE FUCKING CLOTHES!'"

But I'm not so Doried that I don't realize that Part 6 of Beneath the Stain is out.  Now, I'm going to say this again, for those who didn't catch all the hoopla.  If you don't buy the serial from Dreamspinner, you don't get the extra content.  I mean, I totally get not wanting to read the serial as it comes out weekly, but if thou likest DVD extras in a movie, you may likest the extras here, and on October 17th, when the whole thing comes out from amazon and all those places, the serial installments with the extra content goes BYE BYE.  So, just sayin-- I get the desire to read it from the beginning to the end, but the extra stuff is worth it!

But if not, just the plain novel is pretty spiffy too.  I'll DEFINITELY be letting you know when that's going up.

And speaking of-- I've got a lot of great stuff for *kermit flail* this Monday, but by all means send me something this weekend if you haven't yet.  People are really responding to this, and I really love giving a little umph-umph back.

And with that, I'm going to bail-- Mate and I have a birthday date, and a trip to see Denzel in The Equalizer tonight.  Wish me happy steak!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Chicken, Kissing Squid

* Chicken walked in on Mate and I last night as we were watching television and holding hands.

"You guys are fucking adorable."

I'll take it.

*  Mate, yesterday morning, leaving while I was still asleep.

"Happy birthday.  You're aging gracefully."

Me, groggy as all hell:

"That's a lie.  I don't do anything gracefully."

*  Zoomboy was thrilled this morning because I bought him an official Darth Vader shirt, complete with little velcro cape on his shoulders.  This morning, he wore it to school.

Uhm, he forgot his backpack.  Remembered the cape.  Forgot his backpack.

*  Mate bought me a bluetooth speaker for my computer.  Uhm… remember those old panasonic commercials, where the guy sits in the recliner and gets blown away by sound?


Happy Birthday mom!

*  Is it just me or are the regular episodes of Castle so much better than the season finales and beginning of the season?  Doesn't matter.  Still very watchable.

*  Squish got a bright orange shirt with a pumpkin face on it.  She wore it to school today, with turquoise blue yoga pants.  I LOVE that kid.  She's insane, in the very best of ways.

*  Chicken went to the gym with me on Monday so she could read outside while I swam.  My instructor, Trina, went to chat with her and when she came back, she was in awe.

"Your daughter is stunningly beautiful."

I grinned.  "Yup.  Thems my genes!"

"Does she know?"

"Not a clue."

"Don't boys tell her?"

"She terrifies them."


I love my aqua instructors :-)

*  On the way home today, Chicken was talking about going to watch ZB and Mate at soccer practice, so she asked Zoomboy "When's your soccer?"

Zoomboy:  "Uhm, Wednesdays and Mondays and Saturdays sometime."

Me (with pride): "Yup.  That kid has my sense of time!"

Chicken: *flailing*  "Today is Wednesday, dumbass!"

ZB:  "I don't know.  Dad gets home and we go to soccer.  What time is that?"

Again, with the pride.

*  I"m waiting for Mate to get home to see if his people from work did anything for his birthday.  His buddy texted me last night to see if he'd like something-- a sandwich, cookies, whatever, and I was like, "Yeah, he'd love that!"

But I didn't want to give anything away, in case buddy couldn't come through.

So this morning I texted him:

"You at work?"

"Yeah.  What's up."


"Did you need me?"

"No.  No.  Happy Birthday!"

Because, you know.  That wasn't suspicious at all.  

*  I recently sent out a bunch of swag packs-- and they were late, but for once, not my fault.  See, the original swag packs were supposed to have lanyards in them, but I got the lanyards, and they were no bueno.  Not good.  The idea was to have the words Beneath the Stain interspersed with the outbreak monkey artwork.  Well, the Outbreak Monkey artwork looked--quite literally-- like a pigeon dropping.  So I had to decide on some other artwork and generally do a big punt for my entire swag concept, right?  Anyway, I kept one lanyard as I was trying to decide what to do with them.  (The company took them back, which is why I have no picture here-- I feel like that would be bad form, since I"m getting a refund.)  But Squish, after hearing me bitch about the lanyards and the swag for three days running, was apparently meditating on the lanyard as it hung from my keys.

"Mom, you know that design that looks like pigeon doo-doo?"


"On your key thing-- the one that says Beneath the Stain?"


"Maybe that's the stain!"

I laughed for the rest of the day.  Which was good.  It quelled some of my rage, quite honestly-- and it gave me an idea when I was signing the over 125 vellums to put into the signed books.

*  The turkeys were crossing the street.

One lingered.

I don't know why, but I could laugh at that fucking turkey all day.

I hope he makes you smile too!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Yet Another Thing to Blame FB for...

Okay-- so FB is doing this new timesuck thing… they've got celebrity lists, with things like, "Nine Power Couples that Can't be Beat!" or "15 Fashion Disasters These Celebs Wish They'd Seen Coming"-- and they're addictive. I can't read the mean ones-- I refuse to click a link that says, "8 Celebs that didn't lose their baby weight!" or "Celebrities that never should have hit the screen!" but some of the more positive ones, I'm like, "Oooh, yeah-- I wanna see that!" and BAM!  The website is always HEINOUSLY loaded with adds, so it slows my computer way the hell down, and WHAM! ZOOM! FUCK! There goes another ten minutes of my time that I didn't have.

But yeah.

I know how addicting the list can be.

And to top it off, Dan Skinner (who has done some of my favorite book covers-- The Locker Room, Super Sock Man, Clear Water and Bolt-Hole to name a few) asked us to name our hands down, number one teenage crush.


Amy's got lists on her mind again.

So I'm going to throw a couple of lists at you.  Don't hate me.  In fact, blame FaceBook!

List 1-- Embarrassing Celebrity Crushes Before I Was 20

1.  Roy from Emergency
2. Speed Racer
3. Shaun Cassidy
4.  The German Soldier from Summer of My German Soldier
5. Don Johnson
6. Bruce Willis
7. Tom Sellick
8. Captain Kirk
9. Bruce Springsteen
10. Gilligan  (This lasts one explains so much.)

List 2-- Embarrassing Celebrity Crushes After 40

1.  Bruce Springsteen
2.  Matty Shultz
3. Jensen Ackles
4. Misha Collins
5. Tyler Hoechlin
6. Dylan O'brien
7. Tyler Posey
8. Steven Ammell
9. Steven Bichon
10. Nathan Fillion

List 3-- 15 Characters I Keep Picturing Naked Together (I recognize these are hugely popular fan-doms in their own right, but I can't. Stop. Looking. At art.)

1. Stiles/Derek (Shocked, you are!)
2. Dean/Castiel (You may faint!)
3. Spock/Kirk (New version.)
4. Mav/Goose (Take my breath away!)
5. Andrew Garfield's Spiderman with Dane Haas's Green Goblin (Or Macquire/Franco-- take your pick.)
6.  McGarrett & Dano
7.  Lieutenant and Crane (Not all my fantasies are m/m)
8.  Tony Stark/Steve Rogers
9.  Winter  Soldier/ Captain America
10.  Sherlock/John (RDJ/Jude Law, OR Benedict/Martin version)
11.  Aragorn/Legolas
12.  Tauriel/Kili (Again. See not all fantasies being m/m)
13, The Arrow/Felicity (ahem!)
14. Franklin and Bash (on the other hand…)
15. Hamlet and Horatio (Don't lie. You've thought it too.)

List 4--11 things I Want to Make

1. Another Shawl For Me
2. A sweater for Zoomboy
3.  A hat for Mate
4. FINISH Squish's sweater
5. FINISH Chicken's blanket (possibly this week!)
6. A scrawl (scarf/shawl)  for my friend Berry Jello
7. A plain squishy scarf for my friend's son
8. A new hat with ears for my friend's daughter (If you detect a pattern in me making stuff for friends and friends kids, it's that they don't WASH THEIR EPIC DR. WHO SCARVES MULTIPLE TIMES AND THEN ASK ME WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WOOL) which brings me to #9
(In yarn, Steve would be much more attractive from the
other end.)
9. ABSOLUTELY NOT another scarf for Big T ever.  BUT a scarf to give to Becky who is donating her scarves to an LGBTQ homeless shelter after GRL.
10. Slipper socks for EVERYONE.
11. Cat-butt coasters.  Don't ask me why. I blame Tracy Tucker-Faul on FB. (Are we detecting a trend?)

List 5-- Bizarre Subjects That Appear Out of Nowhere In My House

1. How ZB got his OUTSTANDING science test scores from watching WAY TOO MUCH National Geographic and How Things Are Made.

2. What aliens in Star Wars are required to have some sort of environmental adaptation to interact with humans.

3. How the cat left a whisker in Squish's hair after a night of hard loving.

4. How much the dog loves my tits.

5.  How much the dog disdains everyone else's tits.

6.  How the girls at the local McDonald's are doing-- since they know me by name and all.

7.  How the team mom for Mate's team works as a receptionist for a funeral home and it's a rocking job.

8.  How I betray feminism by watching television shows with base misogynistic subtexts.

9.  How the boys are pretty anyway.

10.  How I managed to have a phone conversation with my stepmom about horse endowment, knotting, mpreg, and fanfic, and she finally had to bail because her embarrassment kicked in.  (I called this a win.  I also call it a good thing she doesn't read the blog, because alas, I don't think she'd find it as amusing as the rest of us do-- which is too bad.  I'd want to know that woman in the fabric store, wouldn't you?)

So there you go.  Remember-- I blame FaceBook.  You should too!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Chicken

Happy Birthday Chicken--

This is the first birthday you've had in which you've actually not been home.  In fact, this is the first birthday of any of my children in which I haven't been able to see my child on his or her birthday.  I know I'll see you Friday, but I do detect a bit of a trend.

When you and your brother were small we tried the BIG BIRTHDAYS-- we invited everyone we knew and attempted to entertain.  We weren't very good at it, but we tried.  I remember when your brother sobbed through his birthday party because he didn't realize the piñata was meant to be torn apart, and when you got spanked for kicking your babysitter in the shin.  In your defense, we had just moved away and asked her to come to your party because we knew you missed her--that was always your way.  The first time your brother came back from camp, you hauled off and slapped him in the face.  You are not kind to those who leave you, Chicken, even if it's not their fault.

It wasn't until Zoomboy turned three that I realize what a disservice we'd done you.  When he was three, we had a tiny birthday party, and grandma and grandpa came over and Auntie Wendy, and he got two toys and spent hours under the kitchen table playing with one little toy.  He was so happy.  We've kept the little kids' birthdays small ever since.  You and Big T would have been so happy if we'd only not told you that your BIRTHDAY would be the day that all wrongs were righted, all childhood sorrows ended, and when you were given friends forever and ever amen.  

But it was too late by then.  You and Big T were already prepped for the terrible cycle of anticipation and disappointment.  You know the song-- "Children waiting for the day they feel good, happy birthday, happy birthday…"  That was you.  Ice skating, Chuck E. Cheese, slumber parties, the entire soccer team over for pizza-- we tried so hard to make your birthday a HUGE EVENT, because that's how we felt about YOU-- that you were HUGE EVENTS in our lives, and we wanted to celebrate that.

Forgive us.  We were young.  Not that you're not HUGE EVENTS, but that the celebration needs to not be gaudy.  That you were both so sensitive to any and all fantasies about what life would be like on the BIG DAY that any let down only served to break your heart.  

Your heart has been broken many times.  

And you try so hard to be cynical and laid back now, like it doesn't really get to you that you can't count on life to give your heart the things it needs.  But you can't hide who you really are.  You can't hide that a pet rat gives you ridiculous happiness, or that having your cat come up and scratch you when you come home from school makes you proud that you brought the little sociopath up right.  You can't hide that you love children and you could play with them for hours (when I could barely play barbies with you for ten minutes, much to my shame) or that sometimes you just need a good cry.  You can't hide that you're disappointed in me because for all my feminism I still buy into the social lie that shaving your armpits is the natural order of things, or that you think pudgy mom with her warrior hamster knitting needles is more that a little ridiculous.  

But for all that you are smarter than us (aren't all twenty-year olds smarter than their parents?) you still love us.  You're still happy to hear from us, and text us about your grades and tell us about your day.  So today, your birthday is just another day for you, Chicken.  You set it up in your head to just be an average day, and you were sort of irritated that we called and texted because it's still a BIG DEAL to us that twenty years ago, mom walked into the hospital at 7:30 pm and you were born at 8:20 pm and they kicked us out at 10:30 am, and if you hadn't been so tough, my tiniest baby (8 lbs was small for my babies) you would not have survived that winter in the hills without heat, or the ventricle defect that might not have closed, or the time your brother tried to drown you with orange juice because mom couldn't get there fast enough and you were crying. 

So yes.  Your absence leaves a hole here in our tiny house, and even though we have more than enough crap and children to fill the hole physically, we miss you very very much.  We miss you on your birthday, and we will miss you as you go off to fulfill what I think is going to be a very very awesome promising future.  

Just remember to take that future one day at a time, Chicken.  Learn the lesson we did.  Don't live for the BIG EVENT or the FANTASTIC MOMENT.  Live for the small moments, the rat in the hood, the pretty pretty yarn, being right about something mom is wrong about, someday having a place where your psychopathic cat (or another psychopathic cat) may scratch your shins at will.  

Your life has been a collection of amazing, trying, painful, wonderful small moments.  I miss that you are not here everyday.  We have seen many grandmothers pass away, and before they've passed, every one of them has gone back in their minds to the time their children were young and lived at home, and they were loved and needed.  That's one of the things I look forward to in my old age, Chicken.  Reliving the time when you were young and lived at home, and you needed me.

But I'll never doubt your love.  

Happy Birthday, Chicken--