County Fair on a Friday

img_2359The kids are off school today because where I live a huge percentage of them are off this week showing their 4H animals at the fair. My eldest did the beef steer/chickens/waterfowl thing in 4H and I remember taking the week off work and staying there with him so he could tend to the steer and do those mid-day showings. He also rocked the cake auction, which has been a big plus on his dating resume.

img_2360My two youngest boys aren’t rocking anything but corndogs, deep fried Oreos, funnel cakes, and tons of rides. In typical Maryland fashion, the fall weather vanished today leaving us sweating in 90 degree temps with the aroma of fried food and cow poo all around.

Actually I love the county fair. This is the place where I can get on the Scrambler with my kids, contemplate buying a $20,000 tractor to mow the 1/10 acre of grass in my 2 acres of woods, and admire the arts and crafts entries.  It’s an annual tradition for us to go to the Demolition Derby, and I’m kinda bummed I didn’t get tickets for Foreigner or .38 Special this year.  I usually try to make it to the I-Grew-Up-In-The-80’s band. The fair also has a beer garden, which I’ve never been to as I’m always there with the kids. Maybe when they’re teenagers and ditch me to go hang with their friends, I’ll sit in the beer garden, throw back a few cold ones, and count down the seconds until the kids come racing back to get more money.

img_2361So no beer, but there was this.  The chainsaw artist had this amazing life-sized (I can only assume since I’ve never actually met one) Bigfoot carving.  If I had a few grand extra I totally would have bought this. I still might. I’m on their mailing list.

In writing news, Two Souls is back from edit. I’m reviewing this week, then it will go to the proofreader, then up for pre-order probably late next week. Release date looks like it might be October 17th.  BIG NEWS – Buy Two Souls in pre-order or the first week of release and you’ll get it for 99 cents.  After that it goes up to $3.99.  I’ve never done a release week discount before, so you’ll want to jump on this one!

Last Breath is now available on Audible. We’re working on Exodus, but don’t expect that until late Novemberish.

In the meantime, I’m working on Famine’s Feast (The Templar, Book 4) and wishing I’d picked up an extra bag of kettle corn. Mmmmm. Kettle Corn.

Dog Brain

This has nothing to do with books. Well, maybe it does.

This has nothing to do with books. Well, maybe it does.

Squirrel!

That’s totally me right now.  I’m waiting for Two Souls (my debut sci-fi novel) to come back from edit, so I’m putting in a few words on this book, a few words on that book, a few words on this other book.  I’ve promised you all a lot for the rest of the year, and I aim to please, but I’m not sure what order everything is going to be in release-wise.  I’m discovering that with 4 current series in 3 worlds, I need to be mindful of the muse.  If I’m writing casually, I can flit back and forth between them all, but when I get down to business and start putting in 3, 4, and even 7 thousand word days, I need to focus on one world. Just not sure which will be first.  Here’s what’s up:

Liberation – Nyalla’s adventures with the captive elves from Exodus (short story)
Cornucopia – Amber helping the humans in Hel. And having lots of sex.
Famine’s Feast – The forth Templar Novel with MOARRRR Dario in this one

Right now I’m also playing with the second book in the sci-fi series (A House Divided) as well as book 1 for a mystery series I’m launching next year under the pen name Libby Howard, but once I get Two Souls up for pre-order, I need to pick one of the above three and Focus.  Capital F focus. You all are welcome to vote, but the muse may choose to ignore you.  Just sayin.

In other news, if you haven’t started my bestselling Imp Series, now’s the time. This week only I have the box set with the first three books plus the Imp novella for only 99 cents.  Hooo-boy, that’s a heck of a deal.

Amazon
B&N
Kobo
Apple
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon AU

Even if you’ve already devoured the Imp Series, please spread the news. There are demons all over the world that need to hear the Good Word.

In other news, the Templar Series has finished it’s exclusive run with Amazon and is in the process of being loaded on other retailers.  Look for it in the next day or so!

Audio Tidings – Dead Rising is already live on Audible, and I just hit the “go” button for Last Breath, so expect to see it up there in the next few weeks.  We’re in production on Bare Bones right now and I fully intend to have it up and available by the end of October at the very latest. That will bring the Templar Series up to date. Exodus is going to be a bit slower due to my narrator’s schedule, but I’m hoping to have it to you all around Thanksgiving.

So go read books, drink rum, and….squirrel!

Business Travel

This corridor at O'Hare always makes me feel like I'm in the paint-chip section of Home Depot

This corridor at O’Hare always makes me feel like I’m in the paint-chip section of Home Depot

It may come as a surprise to some of you, but in addition to writing full-time, and parenting full-time, I also have the Corporate Day Job which has inspired many a Ruling Council Meeting.  Sadly I haven’t been served trays of bacon or had the opportunity to throw a pastry at scowling angels, but I have been in three days of meetings with my team outside of Chicago this week.  Meetings mean that evenings normally reserved for writing and family-type activities are now occupied with doing all the Day Job things that normally get done 9-5. So picture me in meetings during the day, then locked in a hotel room in the evenings answering e-mails and doing data analysis in Excel spreadsheets.  Yes, it’s almost on the level of 495 reports.

I may not have hit the NYT list yet, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express for the last three days, so expect literary greatness when I return.  Or at the very least progress on the Nyalla short story, which is next on deck.  Two Souls (the first in my sci-fi series) is off to edit, and I did squeak in some plot outlining on book 2 (A House Divided). I’ve also been reviewing audio files for Last Breath. Dead Rising is now available in audio, and I plan to have all three Templar books as well as Exodus (Angela Rysk is once again the voice of Sam) in audio by the end of the year.  Depending on when I wrap up Famine’s Feast (Templar IV) I hope to also have audio done or close to done on that book.

2016 will have seen 5-6 novels, 1 novella, and 1 short story released, plus some work on 2017 books; 4 novels in audio released, and additional marketing/branding to lay the groundwork for future enterprises.  All this while working at the Corporate Day Job and being a single parent to three children.  So please forgive me if I seem a bit snappy when my fans ask me when xxx book is due, or when this other book might be done in audio, or when books will be translated.  It’s on my to-do list.  I’ll get to it eventually. Someday.

In the meantime, I’m about to catch that jet-plane to head back to Maryland, to my family and my hellhounds, and my regular routine.  Carry on!

‘Cause I’m a 1978 woman…

BACON!!!

BACON!!!

Last week a Facebook friend shared a blog post that referenced the 1978’s ad for the cologne Enjoli with their catchy ear-worm of a jingle.  For you young’uns, the ad went:

I can bring home the bacon,
Fry it up in the pan,
And never let you forget you’re a man.
‘Cause I’m a woooooman, Enjoli.

The original blog post noted that this was an unattainable standard for modern women, where we’re expected to do it all and be “on” 24×7.  Back in 1978 (when I was 13), the ad totally appealed. Well, except for the cologne, it totally appealed.  I was more of a Loves Baby Soft wearing kinda gal back then. But the message did filter through my teen brain:  I too could be a tough-as-nails corporate woman, with my mega shoulder pad suit jacket, and a peplum, because clearly my butt isn’t big enough and requires fabric enhancement. And I could cook!  And I could throw on an evening dress and rock my man’s world! Have it all! Do it all! Yeah!

The ad continues to appeal to me today because BACON.  But my theme-song now is:

I can bring home the box of pre-cooked BACON,
Nuke it in the microwave,
Netflix and Chill. Maybe. If I’m in the mood.
‘Cause I’m over 50 and give zero fucks, Enjoli.

Or maybe this:

I can bring home the curbside carry-out,
Eat it straight from the container,
Swipe right or throw some batteries in the BOB.
‘Cause I’m a wooooman, Enjoli.

Is that a little too Leethu? Or maybe not enough Leethu? Make up your own lyrics and post them below!

Audio Books and Mini Golf

So my hump-day post is a day late.  Yep. That’s how I roll lately.

It’s August. The kids start school on Monday. It’s always bittersweet – the end of summer fun, but also the end of the “I’m bored” chorus. To celebrate, we’re all heading out to a local arcade to play putt-putt in the 90 degree heat, then retreat to Whack-A-Mole and skeeball inside.  I’m not particularly good at skeeball, but I love playing, so I’ll throw away $20 and divide any tickets I win between the boys so they can upgrade that shark pencil topper to three green plastic army men or perhaps a Chinese finger trap.

In Dead Risingother news, I’ve hit the release button on the Dead Rising audio. Wait – don’t rush to grab your wallets yet.  Audible needs a few weeks to quality check the files and prep them for distribution.  I’ll let everyone know as soon as it’s available.  The voice of Aria for this series is Elizabeth Phillips, and she’s already hard at work on Last Breath narration.  We’ll have all three Templar books in audio this fall, and quickly move on to produce Famine’s Feast once it’s released.

Angela Rysk and I have been communicating about the audio book for Exodus.  I know you all are chomping at the bit for that one, but she has another project she’s finishing up. I’m expecting it will be available for sale November sometime, so hang in there.

Revisions on Two Souls are coming along nicely!  Beta reader feedback on the first third had been positive. At this point I’m tweaking the final third and re-writing the two last battle scenes.  It looks like that one will release in September, then I will be turning my attention back to the Imp World with an Amber novella and a Nyalla short story.

So, if you all will excuse me, I have two starving hellhounds and two starving children to feed, then it’s off to mini-golf!