There will be three paper ARCs of NIGHT SHIFT anthology given away at tomorrow’s signing. We bought those tear-away raffle tickets, so hopefully this will go smoothly.
I don’t know how this happened. I like colors. I typically don’t like grey clothes, but somehow here I am. You can’t see it, but the soft capri pants I’m wearing are grey too.
I took Kid 2 to the outlet mall the other day. By the way, American Apparel ads are creepy. Just thought I’d put that out there. The clothes are okay, but the ads are creepy and we had a lovely discussion about sexual exploitation of men and women, because AA is an equal opportunity offender. There were more ads with girls than with boys, but boy ads were also creepy. It’s interesting because some things that I get really disturbed by completely pass her okay check because her reasoning is different from mine. But anyway, back to shirts.
I was going to buy some cheap T-shirts. I have very specific needs: they must be light (fabric, not color) and soft. I love printed T’s but most of them are too thick and heavy. I also prefer a V-neck or a wide neck. I found some T-shirts. Forty bucks a piece.
I’m pretty hard on T shirts. I cook, I do housework, I bathe pets, I spill things on myself… Forty bucks is out of the question. What I need is a place where I can order a bunch of different, relatively light-weight not-grey colorful T-shirts, preferably on-line. Does anybody have any suggestions where such T-shirts can bought for a woman of plump size?
Sarah of Smart Bitches Trashy Books and Jane of Dear Author run an awesome monthly podcast. Unfortunately their latest podcast didn’t record and Sarah asked on Twitter if anybody Scyped. I Scype with my father so I volunteered to chat about books with her. Gordon wasn’t here to restrain me from saying unprofessional things, so I went to weird places with it. Poor Sarah did her best to steer me back on to the path, but I think she gave up about halfway and just started laughing. So if you’re in the mood for unintentionally hilarious TMI podcast, here it is.
Tyrone glanced at the gathering. “Most of these assholes are here every day. Good luck getting their attention though. Half of them are drunk, half of them are hung over, and the other half don’t give a shit.”
When you’re a writer, sometimes the simplest things shortcircuit you. This is Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta which was used as the inspiration for the Mercenary Guild. I’ve spent half and hour yesterday trying to find the right way to describe the balconies. I am still not happy with it but I have to move on.
Salem, the black cat in the photo, rapidly gained weight this year. It wasn’t much by human standards, about two pounds, but we became very worried. She is mostly an inside cat. She goes outside once in a while strictly for recreation purposes and stays close to the house so we knew nobody else was feeding her. We curtailed her diet and kept her inside, but weight gain mysteriously continued. We had rescued a shelter kitten before and he died suddenly of FIP. FIP infection is not typical in older female cats, but it was on the back of everyone’s mind. One day I reached over to pet her belly and she snapped at me, which she never does. Kid 2 and I immediately freaked out.
We stuffed Salem into a crate – a three man operation, one to hold the crate, one to hold the cat, and one to fold her legs because crate is not her favorite – and rushed her to the vet.
Vet: That is a lot of weight gain for 4 weeks… I don’t feel any tumors. We need an X-ray, but I don’t know if I am going to be able to get a radiologist today.
Us: Please, please do the best you can.
Vet: I’ll try. It’s will be a little expensive…
Us: We don’t care.
Vet: I will do my best.
An hour later phone call:
Vet: I got a radiologist! We are going to check her in half an hour!
We hold our collective breath for half an hour.
Half an hour later, phone call.
Vet: We found the issue.
Us: What is it?
Vet: Your cat is enormously fat.
She is not fat. She is just furry.
Sookie, the Olde English Bulldogge, is going through terrible twos. She wouldn’t let other dogs be this morning even after a spirited run through the yard and some game time, so she was put into a time out.
A while ago we featured a snippet from a YA writer. Several of you (actually a surprisingly large number of you) asked if anything was happening or developing with that and when another snippet would be posted. The YA writer is still working on it and has volunteered another snippet for your amusement.
The YA writer isn’t looking for a detailed critique, but your reader reactions would be greatly appreciated. This is a for-fun snippet. The protagonist is fifteen years old and she had seen something at a friend’s house that deeply unnerved her.
I’d be lying if I were to say that I didn’t doubt a bit whether or not I’d be able to make it home through the woods without Devin at my side that night. It was excruciatingly dark, and the lack of light made everything look the same. But after what I had just witnessed, I couldn’t have given less of a shit. I couldn’t even wrap my head around what I saw. There was no logical explanation. What Ivan did was not normal.
And by that, I don’t mean the kind of not normal you sometimes encounter in school. That kind of not normal is like that one kid who sometimes sits in front of you and seems to have a strange obsession with smelling every paper that touches his desk.
That was something else entirely. It freaked me out.
I trudged through the woods, thinking a million thoughts a second. In the back of my mind, I felt like might have been a little rude for taking off the way I did. But could they blame me? I just hoped that next time I saw his parents they wouldn’t tiptoe around me like I was about to break or anything.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop thinking about those eyes. The color was so vibrantly orange. It was one of the strangest, scariest things I had seen in my life. Then I remembered what started their confrontation in the first place.
Hasn’t it always been like this, though?
I had became so sidetracked with my emotions that I didn’t even notice I was back to the main Crittenden house. A sigh of relief escaped me. I knew my way home from there. I checked my phone to see if I was going to make it before curfew.
Nine pm. I’d still have time to go to the garden and read. Whenever I got too strung out, no matter what time it was, I’d grab a book and recline on my hammock in the backyard. The hammock sat behind a wall of overgrown bushes, so if you were to look from the back porch, you wouldn’t even know there was more yard behind the shrubbery. It was so peaceful back there, it always managed to soothe me.
The front door was unlocked when I reached my home, so I didn’t even make an effort of notifying anyone that I had returned. I went upstairs and grabbed a book by my favorite author, James Myers.
Nancy doesn’t understand why I read his books. It’s not that she disapproves; she loves the fact I enjoy reading. I think what bothers her is that they always revolve around tragic things happening to teens. The one I happened to grab was Run The Game; my personal favorite of his. It’s about a teenage coke head who falls in love with a fourteen year old prostitute. It ends with her screwing him over, and her pimp feeding him to a bunch of rabid badgers. I don’t know how he had a pack of rabid badgers, but that was honestly my favorite part.
I poured myself a glass of sweet tea and stepped outside, eager to snuggle into my hammock and finally chill out. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw it was already occupied.
A boy my age with dark brown, almost black, hair was sprawled out on my hammock, his face hidden in a copy of King Henry V.
I cleared my throat.
No answer. How rude. First he was in my hammock and now he was pretending I didn’t exist. I dropped my polite manner like it was hot. “What the hell are you doing?”
He continued to read. Maybe he was asleep…
The boy turned the page.
“Hey! Look at me when I’m talking to you.”
For Neila and Montana. More to come. ~IA.
Julie stomped into the kitchen and landed in a chair, tossing her blond hair out of her face. A long smear of dirt crossed her left cheek and chin. More dirt stained her jeans. When I found her on the street years ago, she was starved, almost waifish. She was fifteen now. Good food and constant training were paying off: her arms showed definition, her shoulders widened, and she held herself with the kind of ready assurance that came from knowing an attack could come at any moment and being confident you can repel it.
“I want a new horse.”
I raised an eyebrow at her.
Curran shouldered his way into the kitchen from the back porch. Blond, broad-shouldered, and muscular, he moved like a predator even in his human form. It didn’t matter if he wore fur, beat-up jeans and a simple grey sweatshirt like right now or nothing at all, his body always possessed a coiled, barely contained strength. A month ago he had gone to our first job together in his other shape and the client had locked himself in the car and refused to come out. Curran turned human, but the client still fired us. Apparently Curran was still too scary. No matter what kind of clothes he wore, they did nothing to tone down his face. When you looked into Curran’s clear grey eyes, you knew that he could explode with violence at a moment’s notice and he would be brutal and efficient about it. Except when he looked at me, like now. His eyes were lit up with warm golden sparks. He stepped close to me and brushed a kiss on my lips. Mmm.
“That’s nice,” Julie said. “I still want a new horse.”
“Request denied,” Curran told her.
I flipped my pancake. This ought to be interesting.
“Because want is not a need.” Curran leaned against the island. “I saw you in the pasture. You don’t want a new horse. You require a new horse. Lay your case out.”
“I hate him,” Julie said.
I glanced through the window at the pasture, where an enormous black Friesian stalked in circles along the fence. The Friesian used to belong to Hugh d’Ambray, my father’s warlord. Killing Hugh was my life’s ambition. I’ve tried twice now and he had dodged death with magic. That’s okay. Third time would be the charm.
After our last encounter we ended up with Hugh’s Friesian, and Curran, who didn’t care for horses, for some reason chose to keep him when we retired from running the shapeshifter Pack. The stallion was impressive and Julie decided to ride him to school. I told her it was a bad idea, but she insisted.
“Take the emotion out of it,” Curran said. “You will persuade the other person if you make them understand the reasons behind your request. You have to demonstrate that in your place they would come to the same conclusion. Once they agree with you, saying no to you becomes much harder because they would be arguing with themselves.”
Once a Beastlord, always a Beastlord. Curran had ruled over fifteen hundred shapeshifters for seventeen years before he walked away from all of it a month and a half ago. Old habits died hard and in his case, they probably never would.
Guilt bit at me. Curran was the Beastlord and I had been his Consort, until my father gave me a choice. Either I walked away from the position of power in the Pack or he would attack the city. Thousands of lives on one end, being the Consort on the other. I chose to walk away. We weren’t ready to fight him. People would die because of me, and in the end we would lose. I couldn’t take the guilt, so I left the Pack to buy us time. Curran chose to be with me. The Pack wasn’t happy, but he gave them no choice.
Julie thought about it. “He doesn’t obey any of my commands and he keeps trying to throw me off.”
“You’re not heavy enough,” I said. “Hugh weighs over two hundred pounds, closer to two fifty in full armor. You’re too light. Hugh isn’t gentle with his horses either.”
Julie glared at the Friesian. “He is stupid.”
“He is dense. It makes him easier to train, because he doesn’t get creative.” I poured more pancake batter into the pan.
“And mean. Last time I took him to school, he tried to break through the stall to fight with another horse.”
“He’s a war stallion,” Curran said. “He’s been taught to view every other horse as a challenge.”
Julie’s eyes narrowed. “If I keep getting hurt, it will cause both of you emotional distress and you will have to pay for my medical bills. If I lose control of him, he may injure another horse and you would be financially responsible for the damages.”
Curran nodded. “Valid points. Bring it home.”
“I need a normal horse,” Julie said. “Someone I can ride to school and leave in the school stables without any of us worrying about it. A city horse, who would respond well to commands and wouldn’t throw me and hurt me.”
Today I bring you Hidden Legacy website. It’s a work in progress, but right now it already has all sorts of cool goodies and a giant excerpt. Also it has a new cover with a shiny quote from Sherrilyn Kenyon. Shiny!
We are planning to add a map – Julie is working on it and it will be gorgeous – more crazy circles, wallpapers, possibly a quiz. I am making noises at Gordon about Rogan POV, but right now he is knee-deep in Jim’s POV set right after Curran’s Shocking Announcement (TM). It’s basically a bunch of pack alphas going, “Whaaaaaaat?”
Well, this is for my great promotional efforts. On to a more personal post.