Monday, September 28, 2015

The "Voice" of In Heaven's Shadow

It's Monday and I'm back from the UK! I'll tell you all about that one in a future post but today I want to give a shout-out to Long and Short Reviews, which is hosting me today, showcasing one of my favorite books: In Heaven's Shadow. For a bunch of reasons I do really love this Civil War blend of ghost story and fantasy, not least because it was all kinds of fun writing the main characters. My article today talks about the "voice" of this story and how it developed from the very first line that popped into my head.

Even as a writer I can't explain where the words in my head come from or why it is so impossible for me to outline a story in advance. I need that blank page in order to even start a book, and I never know what will show up. But, in looking back at writing the first page of In Heaven's Shadow, even I get an inkling into how my subconscious works. It's kinda fascinating, actually...

Hop on along to Long and Short Reviews and read about the process of writing this novel. Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a $15 Amazon gift certificate at the end of the tour. I hope to see you there!

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Archeolibrarian Digs In Heaven's Shadow

It's Monday and another stop on my Goddess Fish virtual blog tour. Today we're at the Archeolibrarian, which "digs" good books in a wide range of genres, including fantasy. I have an article up there today talking about all the things I wish I had known when I was first starting out in the writing biz. Oh, my, the ignorance... Makes me blush to think how naive I was!

To learn why rejection isn't always a bad thing and my top 8 tips for new writers, hop on along to the Archeolibrarian today. Leave a comment on the article and you'll be entered to win a $15 Amazon gift certificate (and no, you don't have to spend it on my books!).

See you there!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Books Chatter about In Heaven's Shadow today!

My virtual blog tour continues today at Books Chatter with an in-depth interview. Flora asked some interesting questions about In Heaven's Shadow, the characters (both living and non-living!), and what makes this book unique. One thing she asked gave me pause and made me step back ten years to ponder the answer. That was "How much of yourself is reflected in the book?"

Hoo boy! That one dug a little deeper than she knows. The answer is one reason it took me a couple of years to finish In Heaven's Shadow after a flying start in the 2004 NaNoWriMo writing challenge. Sometimes what we write strikes pretty close to home.

I hope you'll check out the complete interview at Books Chatter today. I would love to hear your thoughts on the book and the interview. If you leave a comment there you will be entered to win a $15 Amazon gift certificate in appreciation for your interest.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Smoke-free and loving it

So, after a whole month of living in the smokiest state in the union, we got rain last weekend that washed the air clean and cooled the whole place down. Like, thirty degrees. From low 90s to mid-60s, and chilly enough at night to need a fire in the woodstove. My whole body is wondering how we got to Antarctica so fast. It is always amazing to me how 70 degrees can feel like an oven in the spring and a refrigerator in the fall.

The camper is off the truck and back on its blocks, with only minor cussing in the process. It was such a pleasure to haul all the memorabilia and legal stuff out of the truck and back into the house! I do not feel so guilty leaving the place even to buy groceries now. I have a fair hope that the house and barn will still be standing when I get home.

Being a cancer patient, I am forced to think about survival every blinkin' day, but there really is nothing like a natural disaster to make you appreciate what you have or what you stand to lose. My heart hurts for all the families that were burned out and lost everything but each other. And that is the essential thing, isn't it? Things can be replaced, for the most part. Even the most precious memento does not, in the end, give us life; it only enriches it. The real treasure is in the people around you, the ones you will go on with. They can't be replaced, and so any day you get out with your lives is a good day, however horrendous the shock of coming home to a pile of ashes.

Thus far our state has been lucky. The death toll has been low, but even one life lost is too many. Send a few good wishes our way that the rains continue and the fires die out soon, before that number changes, or anyone else loses their homes. Thanks!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Chatting with Lisa Hazelton today

I had a fun interview with Lisa Hazelton today at Lisa Hazelton's Reviews and Interviews site, talking about the inspiration for my Civil War ghost story/fantasy In Heaven's Shadow. When I sit down to write I never know where ideas are going to come from. Does anyone? But in this case, my muse or my psyche or whatever puts ideas forward from the deepest, darkest depths of the subconscious clearly had something in mind.

Find out what that was by reading the whole interview on Lisa's site. And while you're there, leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a $15 Amazon gift certificate. It's all courtesy of the fabulous ladies at Goddess Fish Promotions, who work pretty hard to put good books in front of new readers. Thank you, Lisa, and thank you, ladies!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Where oh where have all the good jeans gone?

So, okay, I'm getting ready for a trip to faraway places, which means (yay!) I get to shop for clothes. Unfortunately, this means shopping for jeans. Holy smokes, The last jeans I bought were acquired two years ago, and my, how times have changed. I had no idea.

I am a rider. I have a farm. I need to like, you know, wear something sturdy outside when building fence, hauling hay, etc. Women's jeans are... stretchy! Stretttttcccccchy! You cannot find anything that is NOT stretchy! They're soft! They're slimming! They're relaxed fit! They're....useless. I spent all afternoon hunting through the usual places for decent jeans that might last more than two weeks, slinking in vain from name brand shelf to name brand shelf to clearance rack. All stretchy. I spot Levi's, good old Levi's, inventor of the practical work pant, and guess what? They're EXTRA STRETCHY! And there is nothing under a size 10. Since when did I become a size 6, and even those hang on me like clothes on a line? I guess I'm supposed to buy a size 4 and squirm my way into them, letting the material ooze around all my bulges like swamp water engulfing the back 40. I am NOT a size 4! Yet (get this), the Daisy Mae-sized super-shorts are actual, real denim! Non-stretchy. Pre-shrunk. Faded just a little. Perfect! Exactly what I'm looking for. can only get it in shorts that barely cover the necessities.

So now, with steam seeping from my ears, I try the local farm store and go for the men's jeans that used to fit so well. Those sizes haven't changed since I was a tomboy down on the farm 'cause the manufacturers feel no need to flatter men into thinking they're smaller and fitter than they are. But alas, ye old standbys don't fit anymore either. I am in no way shrunken to the stick I was this spring when I was much sicker than I am right now. So what am I to make of the nicely fitting waist and hips and the acres of extra material stolen from Omar the Tentmaker billowing around my chubby little legs, eh? It seems women are either supposed to paint their jeans on or swim in them. Sigh.

Anybody have recommendations for jeans that actually fit AND have a useful life of more than three hours? I am SO listening.