Awards and Hedgehogs

Magic-Breaks-smMagic Breaks won Romantic Times Readers Choice Award in Urban fantasy.  Thank you so much, guys, that is super awesome.

We are very excited fro RT this year. It is held in Dallas, so for once we can drive instead of flying.  We are hoping for a relaxed schedule this year.

Gordon and I are mostly moderating things this year.  Here is our barely readable schedule  as of now.

Panel, Wednesday, May 13, 2015 – 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Dinner with JS, Wednesday, May 13, 2015 – 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Meeting with TJ, Thursday, May 14, 2015 – 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Panel, Thursday, May 14, 2015 – 2:45pm to 3:45pm
Panel, Friday, May 15, 2015 – 2:45pm to 3:45pm
Avon event: Friday, May 15, 2015 – 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Awards Ceremony: Friday, May 15, 2015 – 7:00 pm –
Penguin event, Saturday, May 16, 2015 – 3:00pm to 4:15pm

More details in a much more understandable form can be found here.

If you are an author we know and you would like to meet, please email me.  If you are a reader, and would like a reader fun time hang out thing, please comment so I’ll know if we need to schedule one.  These things tend to be really informal.  we find a room or a bar and you get to ask whatever you want and get whatever you want signed.  I usually bring ARCs, but I am not sure if we will have them in time for this RT.

In other news I was trying to buy dog food, when Gordon looked through the bin of dog toys and found… this!

20150414_083412 20150414_083444

20150414_083430 It’s Orro!

Hehehe.  The dogs are not getting this one.  He is mine!  He makes a snorting noise when you squeeze him.  I died.

We are working on the copy edit, so SiP is kind of up in the air.  The downside to copyedits is that you can only do so much of them in a row, so if my hair appointment doesn’t take three hours, I can knock some out. It’s a big pivotal scene and we don’t want it to suck.

Texas Library Association Conference

Texas Library Association Conference

We have been invited to attend Texas Library Association Annual Conference (http://txla.org/.)  We will be there all day Thursday.

Austin, TX—TLA CONFERENCE

Thursday, April 16

LOCATION: Austin Convention Center
500 E. Cesar Chavez St.
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-404-4000

10:00-11:00 AM: STEAMPUNK & FANTASY: THE LURE OF THE DISTANT WORLDS (LOCATION: ROOM 16 AB, LEVEL 4)

Panelists: Ilona Andrews, Thomas Willeford, C.C. Hunter, and Sophie Jaff

From alternate histories to alternate realities, steampunk and fantasy authors reveal the creative aspect of rending foreign worlds and the emotional spark of finding universal lessons that draw in readers.

11:00 AM: PENGUIN-RANDOM SIGNING (LOCATION: ROOM 16AB, LEVEL 4)

There will be a signing immediately following the panel in the same room. We will be signing copies of Magic Breaks.

1:50 PM: HARPERCOLLINS SIGNING (BOOTH #1342)

We will be signing Burn For Me in the Harpercollins booth from 2:00-3:00 PM

If you are attending, come see us!

***

This week is crazy.

Monday: Go to Costco, buy things for teacher’s lounge, drive into Austin, (screw you, Mopac) pick up kid by 2:00 pm, drive to Round Rock to a specialist by 3:00 pm, while Gordon takes Kid 1 to view the apartment.

Tuesday:  Appointment at 12:00 for me, appointment at 1:30 for Gordon.

Wednesday: Something is here that I do not remember

Thursday: An all day Texas library Association Annual Conference appearance.

Things that must be done before Thursday: hair.  If one more family member mentions my grey hair, I will get one of those bug zappers and defend myself.  Must call in the groomer, because the Shih Tzu looks like a mop.  Also must call in to pharmacy for refills.  Also Kid 2 just called and she has to present her goals and year plan to us at a student led conference this week. Must pay taxes.  So much taxes.

Must finish Sweep in Peace.

Girls

I try not to talk about the kids too much, but if Kid 1 reads the comments on the previous post, she might decide that her honor might be impugned.  Her driving honor.  Oh noes. A few people asked what is going on with the kids.  So personal post, you’ve been warned.

Kid 1 has a car.  It’s huge and black and a few years old.  We bought it used, but the owner had taken a good care of it. She didn’t want a small car.  I think she felt safer in a larger one.

(As an aside, one day we should buy a new car.  We have never done that and when people talk about a new car smell, I just make funny faces at them.  It kills me to buy something that will depreciate the moment we drive it off the lot.)

Kid 1 has been driving for a couple of years now and most of the time when we go out, she gets the keys in a rather imperious manner, waves them around, and announces that she is driving.  I used to have fear of flying and for a while, when she started, I would get the same anxiety when she drove.  Now I just sit back.  I didn’t want her to drive into Austin, because it is hell.  There are several lane changes which must be done at 5 mph on what is normally a 75 mph road, because the cars line up so densely.

Kid 1 has been accepted to Concordia University and she got a partial scholarship.  We are very proud.  It’s a small private university about twenty minutes from us.  It has an excellent reputation and her plan is to do at least first couple of years to knock out her general education and then perhaps transfer to UT or A&M.  Right now she is aiming for Sports Broadcasting, but that may change.  She is graduating from high school in forty days.  :)

She has a boyfriend and they are planning on moving in together.  That freaks me out, but given that she will be nineteen this year, it probably shouldn’t.  Unfortunately, her old job wasn’t working out with her hours, so she is looking for a new one.

The girls do go to different schools.  Awhile ago Kid 2 got in a fight.  She was a substitute target.  The attacker, a larger girl, was actually mad at Kid 2’s friend because her ex-boyfriend decided to date her and Kid 2 jumped to her friend’s defense.  Words were said, Kid 2 turned to leave for class, and the bigger girl jumped her from behind.  When I got to school, the other child was bleeding and bruised and her clothes were torn.  Kid 2 was relatively unscathed but they both wanted to fight more.

We didn’t press charges.  I am not a fan of pressing charges unless the situation is truly out of control.  However, I became alarmed when the school attempted to present the situation as mutual combat.  According to them, the proper avenue was for Kid 2 to cry for help and because she defended herself, she was just as guilty as the child who attacked her from behind.  I had seen the video of the fight.   (Because kids are idiots and they record everything.)  There was no time to cry for help. The girl outweighed by about 30 lbs and she was very angry. Not to mention that if you cry for help in this situation, you are asking for a target on your back.  The school had nearly doubled its student body in the last four years.  The freshman class alone this year is over two thousand students.  It’s like a prison yard in the hallways.  You can’t show any weakness.

I became very concerned when we kept asking what measures they were planning to take to prevent the next fight and getting no answer.  Basically, their plan was to punish everyone involved with a couple of weeks of in school suspension and that’s it.  If another fight happened, they would both be more severely disciplined, but there didn’t seem to be any plan to prevent the confrontation from happening beyond the general instructions to Kid 2 to go look for an adult when the other girl and her group came by. There was only so much they could do. Kid 2 fights like her life is on the line. We didn’t want anyone hurt.  We also had difficulty moving away from the fight, because the kids subtweet and fight on social media and it is very difficult to put a stop to it.  We can stop it on our end, but it kept going on the other side.  Sooner or later it would explode again.

While Kid 2 was in in-school suspension, her grades went up.  I asked her about it and she said that nobody was disturbing her and she was allowed to work at her own pace.  Clearly, Kid 2 and the school didn’t work together.  We began looking at other schools. One of the schools was a private college prep in Austin.  Kid 2 loved it.  She walked into Khabele and in ten minutes her entire composure changed. She desperately wanted to go there.  We warned her that to make it, she would have to get up at 6:00 am, ride the metro into Austin, and then walk a mile. She didn’t care.  She loved it and could she please go there.

There is more stuff there with the public school.  Maybe I will tell you more after Kid 1 graduates.  It will probably make your hair stand on end. If I could take Kid 1 out, I would, but she is a senior is about to be done.

Kid 2 worked her butt off and met requirements for Khabele – I have to tell you, I’ve applied to colleges that were easier to get into – and she is very happy to be there.  She gets up on schedule, rides the public transport like a champ, and we got her a bike for her mile on foot, as Downtown makes everyone a little nervous.  We just went to an art show where her drawing was presented as part of a fund-raising auction.

Eye-and-butterfly

She doesn’t consider art to be her strong point – she is a writer – but Gordon and I were both very impressed.  I am torn – on one hand I hope that someone buys it, on other I want to buy it. :)

And that’s it for Kid 1 and Kid 2. When commenting, please remember that these are my children.  Thank you in advance for being respectful.

The Domain

The Domain

Kids had a lovely fight at the celebration dinner on Thrusday, because that just how we roll, and so here is how my Friday went.  Keep in mind that usually Gordon drives everywhere so I decided to give him a break.

6:00 am Get up.

6:50 am Drive Kid 2 to the Metro station.

6:55 am Make a strategic decision that she was too tired to walk a mile to school.  Turn around.  Get blanket, get a different backpack (zipper broke,) and a pillow from the house.

7:10 am Drive Kid 2 to Austin to her school.

7:15- 7:55 am Inch my way up the 183 and Mopac through hell traffic.  Screw you, Mopac.

8:00 am After about a minute of shaking, wake up Kid 2. Deposit child at school.

8:25 am (Yeah, that’s the traffic difference) Get home.  Wake up Kid 1.

10:00 am Take Kid 1 to Round Rock for an appointment with a specialist.

10:45 am Be lost in a labyrinthine plaza.  Lots of buildings, nothing is marked.  Call specialist. Back up twenty feet to the right building.  Park.

12:00 Be done with appointment.  Specialist is awesome, makes sense, and we make a plan.

12:35 pm Take Kid 1 to lunch at Chili’s.  Have a nice mom-daughter lunch.

1:30 pm Get home.  Collapse for one hour. Try to convince Gordon to go with us to Domain.  Not succeed – he said one fight this week was plenty, thank you.

3:00 pm Take Kid 1 to pick up Kid 2. Leave early in anticipation of some traffic.

3:40 pm Wait for Kid 2.

4:00 pm Pick up Kid 2, inch my way down Mopac to Burnette Road and Domain.

4:40 pm Eleven miles later (!) get to Domain.  Screw you, Mopac.

4:45 pm How is it that Kid 1 gets lost when following simple direction such as “make two lefts, then a right,” but is able to perfectly navigate Domain’s twisted Celtic knot of roads that looks like someone put a bunch of upscale stores into a cocktail shaker, shook them up, and dumped them in the middle of Austin?

4:50 pm Commence shopping for summer clothes.

5:15 pm Complete Forever Twenty One.  Obtain a whole bunch of stuff for $200 (they had a sale.)

5:20 pm Shop in some other store, whose name I do not remember.

5:45 pm Get some stuff, buy it, reach the door, Kid 2 decided that she did want the shoes, go back, stand in line again, buy the cute shoes.

6:00 pm  Eat at California Pizza.  OMG, yummy.  Carbs are so delicious.  Get Strawberry Shortcake to go for Gordon.  Tex cute pictures of the girls to him.  We had a lovely time.  He missed out.

6: 30 pm Try to buy Candy Yum Yum lipstick for Kid 2.  Mourn that it was sold out.  After much deliberation, purchase Pink Pigeon instead.  Console heartbroken Kid 2.

6:38 pm Leave the parking lot.  Kid 2 decides Pink Pigeon rocks.

7:10 pm Almost home.  Kid 1 reports text from her dad.  He is starving.  Can we pick up something?

7:15 pm  Hi, I need a steak to go.

7:45 pm Get home.  Crawl upstairs, fold a small load of laundry, watch two episodes of Ink Master, pass out.

Normally it’s not that hectic, but somehow it just all ended up being packed into this crazy day.  So full speed ahead on SiP today, until 2:00 pm, because Kid 2’s artwork is being showcased for the Big Bang Event at her school, and we are not missing that, which means we are driving into Austin.

A few hours…

A few hours...

The next chunk of SiP went to proofreaders, so you should have Part 3 and 4 today.  :)  We have plans for dinner tonight with the kids, so I don’t know if the second chunk will be up tonight or tomorrow.

58K.  Progress.

Looking for a good content editor

This is more to the self-published folks who happen to read this blog.  I always feel awkward asking directly.  People may not want to volunteer information, so a blog post works better. We will need a good content editor for Sweep in Peace.  I want to specify that we are not looking for a copy edit type of editor, but someone who makes suggestions as to plot and cohesiveness of the narrative.  The indie content editors are like unicorns.  It’s so hard to find one.

We pay well and I don’t want to take chances, so if you have any suggestions, could you please drop me a line at ilonaandrews at fastmail dot us?  Thank you.

Winning and Sweep in Peace

Winning and Sweep in Peace

First things first, new chapter of Sweep in Peace is up.  We are heading into the finale. The hope is to finish in the next few days so updates will be put up as they are written.

Second, we have soundly trashed that upstart Ilona Andrews in the finale of Dabwaha.  Congratulations to us for kicking her ass and thank you for all of your awesome assistance and votes.  We are glad you enjoyed the debate.  :)

Third, a poll.  You can select more than one option, although please don’t pick yes and no at the same time.  I am trying to figure out if I should redesign the front page.

I do know that latest news, appearance, and updates on the state of the series are on the front page under the Enter At Your Risk Option

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...