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Archive for the 'Horngate books' Category

Monday, February 20th, 2012
anybody seen my lungs?

I’m in the land of the hack/cough so hard it makes me want to throw up and I swear I keep losing my lungs. They just fly out of my head and get all lint and dog-hair covered, which is the source of my terrible coughing. Oh, and when I cough so hard, my head explodes and brain matter splatters everywhere. It’s a good day.

But, I have somewhat cleaned the bathroom. We are regrouting some tiles this holiday day. I know. You’re thinking you wish you were me with my glamorous life. If you want to come regrout my bathroom and live my glamorous hacky, coughy, regrouty life, please do. I will share.

You know that snippet I posted the other day? It was a draft of course. But I’ve gone back and poked at it and it’s significantly different now. And probably will be even more different in the final product. Mostly what is different is the small details that make it feel more real, more tense. Mostly everything still happens as it did.

The Nebula Award nominations have been posted. There’s some really good stuff on this list. But that said, I wonder who you’d put on the list of best novel for the year? Or best short story? Or best movie? No, I’m not looking for my books here. What did you read that you think belongs on a list like this?

Sunday, February 19th, 2012
I shall visit upon them plagues and horrors

Isn’t it funny how when you’re sick, you want to make everybody else miserable? And since the only people I can make miserable without compunction are my characters, guess what? Yep, a rheumatic fever outbreak. Not at Horngate, but nearby. It’s rather a nasty little disease. Did you know that? Anyhow, the problem is, they need witches to cure it since there are precious few antibiotics, but let’s face it, nobody’s all that thrilled about witches. As in, thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Now all this starts right when there’s a couple of kidnappings, a hostile magical being has moved in, some action on the angel front, a bizarre attack, some demon outbreaks, and oh, yeah, that startling thing I can’t tell you about. Because really, if you can’t stir in a little disease to a perfectly good apocalypse, when can you stir it in?

Saturday, February 18th, 2012
I had a plan

Today I had the plan of going to Missoula to do some location research on Blood Winter. Sadly I have now come down with the kid crap. Illness rarely keeps me awake unless it’s significant, and unless I am coughing. So I’m asleep last night and I wak up to terrible nausea and a sinus headache (that last from the storm moving in). And then I didn’t sleep. I also had some other issues along the TMI line of things. So today I spent a lot of time sitting and sleeping and drinking sprite and eating crackers. Here’s the weird thing. As nauseous as I am, I still want a double cheeseburger. Mind you, I’d probably throw it up, but I want it anyhow.

And random snippet:

The four guards started forward to pull him away, but Thor and Alexander turned deadly looks on them.

“Let the sawbones work,” Thor drawled, falling heavy into his Texas accent.

“He’s not a doctor, he’s a fucking sorcerer,” one growled.

“Actually, I’m a witch,” Gregory said mildly, not letting go of his new patient. “Sorcerers are much more powerful than I’ll ever be, and frequently they are mentally impaired. You really don’t want to mess around with the likes of them.”

“We don’t want to mess around with the likes of you,” sneered another guard, the muzzle of his gun rising to fix on Gregory’s chest.
Alexander made a hissing noise. “Do not even think about it.”

“Or what? I’ll kill you, too? Sounds like a pretty good plan to me.”

Alexander smiled a slow, crocodile smile. “Do you want to try?”

The other man blanched.

“All of you shut up and back off,” Gregory snapped. “it’s okay,” he told the woman gently. She looked scared half to death. “I will fix you up. Your kids too. You don’t have to be afraid.”

Friday, February 17th, 2012
Making contact

Dear character:
After that shocking thing happened, you appear way too happy about it. Stop it. You really aren’t. In fact, one of these days you’re going to find out how really unhappy you are and then, well, guess what? Things are going to get ugly. So prepare now.

Dear other character:
you are way too amused about the whole situation. I mean, talk about gallows humor.

Dear Max:
What the hell do you think you’re doing?

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

I’ve got a post up on Magical Words today on getting blindsided while writing. Come have a look.

And a snippet:

Alexander kicked aside snow until he found dirt and lowered Gregory down. Instantly he turned to Max. She was on her knees, pulling snow up over her melted flesh. He made harsh whining sound, stretching out for her and stopping when she flashed a look at him. Her eyelids were gone and most of her nose. Her hair was a matted black cap plastered to her skull. Her fingers were blackened stubs and her skin looked like melted wax.

His hands dropped and he swallowed bile. His Prime raged, clawing inside, shredding at his insides.

Thor had turned and was quietly retching. Gregory was struggling to stand.

“Let me—” he said and got no further.

A scouring blast of magic swept across them like the shock wave of a nuclear bomb. It brought with it a wind that rushed past with all the fury of a superheated tornado. Alexander pushed Max down into the snow and huddled over her to protect her. He felt her body quivering. Helplessness strangled him and he struggled to keep his Prime from overwhelming his mind. He was constantly fighting for dominance, to keep from sliding over the edge and disappearing entirely into his beast. He had thought he had gained mastery, or at least equilibrium, but when it came to his feelings for Max, all bets were off.

The snow in the trench melted instantly, leaving them in pools of tepid water and squelching mud. Gravel pelted them in a stinking hail. Then just as quickly, the wind stopped and the air dropped to well below zero. The water skimmed with a skin of ice. The temperature continued to drop. Thor wrapped Gregory in a hug, pulling the witch tight against him to keep him warm.

Saturday, January 21st, 2012
Not so important news

I think I’m going to make chicken enchilada chile tomorrow. Found a cool recipe and it seems a good choice for football watching. Anybody else out there planning football and food?

In other not so important news, Voodoo (dog) has managed to hurt his himself. Not sure how, but he’s not wanting to put a lot of weight on his back leg. Giving him Rimadyl and coddling him, but if he’s not better soon, he’ll be heading for the vet come Monday.

We finally got around to raking up some leaves. Only a few months or so after they fell. That’s not terribly slow, is it?

Did a couple of geocaches today. It was sleeting. Better than snowing, I spose.

Saw Shadow City at Walmart. That was exciting. At least in so much as there’s some distribution on it. Now if it’s getting bought. What? Nervous writers are nervous?

Speaking of books, I’m pushing through this sticky spot in Blood Winter. It’s sticky because it’s where a lot of things have to come together and weave out and it’s a place for being careful. So it’s slow. Hopefully after that, the pace of writing will pick up. I’ve got a number of new characters and of course the old, and trying to keep them all juggled is interesting. Entertaining even.

Worst part is I want to read some stuff and I haven’t any time!!! Noooo!!!

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
These things are true

The new printer arrived. Well, it looks new, though it’s probably refurbished, but the important thing is that it actually prints. Whoohoo! Actually, I had to delete all the previous software and redownload, so it wasn’t as easy as just plug and play, but I’ll take it and be grateful.

We are expecting a storm. The number of inches of snow to fall varies by forecast, though my best guess is somewhere between 1 and 10. Yeah, I’m going to hit that target with a shotgun blast. Uhhuh. If it snows, sledding may follow, though right now, the way the wind is whipping, I want to hunch down by the fire with some tea and a book and just stay there. Sadly, there is still work to be done. No rest from the day jobbery. I think I should probably dig out my snow boots.

Work on Blood Winter is continuing apace. which is to say, not as fast as I should like because things have not gone as expected plotwise. It’s really interesting to hear from people what they think will happen, since I thought I knew and now I’m really not so sure. I’m totally pantsing it at this point, though I do still know some things.

I can tell you there’s action. Lots. Did you expect different? Also, I struggled with whether or not to include Alexander’s POV. He’s not around in the first seven or eight chapters, and I wondered if it would be weird to bring him back in so late. Well, I decided weird or not, I would do it, and looking back, I think I’m liking the way that went. So hopefully it’s not terribly odd. I also thought about having Giselle’s point of view, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in her head yet. She’s still struggling with herself and I like how Max and she deal with one another without knowing what she’s thinking.

Monday, January 16th, 2012
Thank you

I want to say thanks to all of you. You’ve been terrific in reading my books, talking to bookstores, talking to librarians, passing recommendations for friends, reviewing me . . . All these things are tremendously important to writers. We are, as they say, a referral business. We survive and thrive based upon referrals. If you don’t talk about us, then we don’t succeed in this profession that we love so very much.

I don’t remember to say thank you enough, but know that I’m extremely grateful. And by way of thanks, a Blood Winter snippet:

She glared at the three men, her eyes brilliant blue. “Holy shit, how can you three breathe with all those male hormones flying around in here?” She waved a hand in front of her face to disperse invisible fumes.

Thor chuckled. “Don’t look at me. I don’t have a rooster in this fight.”

“Cock,” she corrected. “And I’ve not yet met a man who doesn’t have his in every fight,” she said. “Don’t feel bad that yours is just smaller than the other cocks on the playground,” she said with syrupy sweetness, patting his shoulder in mock sympathy.

Thor snorted and choked on his peanut butter.

Alexander grinned and Oz chuckled as Thor bent double, great coughs bellowing his ribs.

“Someday that mouth of yours is going to get you in real trouble,” Oz said to Lise, reaching out to take a powerbar from the cupboard.

“What else is new?” she said. “Is someone going to give him mouth to mouth or something? Before he dies?”

“Not me,” Oz said, biting into the bar. “I’m not kissing him.”

“Nor I,” Alexander said, licking peanut butter off the spoon.

“Well don’t look at me,” she said, brushing imaginary lint off the front of her shirt. “I don’t kiss men. Women taste better, smell better, and they are soft in all the right places.”

“Can’t argue with that,” Oz said with a wolfish grin.

“Nor can I,” Alexander said, humor rising up through the shroud of worry that encased him.

Thor at last straightened, his voice raspy. “I wouldn’t want any of you kissing me anyhow. Specially Lise. She’d probably bite off my tongue.”

She patted his butt. “No probablies about it, Tex. Now, aren’t you two supposed to be getting into bed? Dawn is just about to break. If you fry inside the RV, we’ll never get it clean.”

“Your concern for us is overwhelming,” Thor said, grabbing a jug of lemonade and sweeping up the rest of his food hoard into his arms.

“Somebody has to care,” Lise said with a pirate smile. “Where are we?”

Alexander explained. “Do try to hurry,” he added. Then as an afterthought, “but do not drive us into trouble.”

“Can’t have it both ways,” she said airily as she pulled a hunk of cheese out of the small refrigerator. She whipped out one of her knives and sliced off a piece, as she headed to the driver’s seat. “Either you want to go fast or you want to go safe. Which will it be?”

Monday, January 9th, 2012
A snippet from Blood Winter

So this is rough, but from Blood Winter:

“Quit wasting time,” Max said. “Give me your pain now.”


For a moment Max thought she was going to have to pull Giselle into the abyss, far away from any attack. Then suddenly an ugly, grinding sensation flowed through her wrists followed by an unholy itching. It chewed its way up her arms and sank into her bones. The feeling was relentless. It gnawed in places she couldn’t reach. Her fingers curled, her nails digging hard into Giselle’s wrists. Bones compressed and cracked. Giselle made a high pitched sound that instantly cut off. It was all Max could do not to let go and scrape at the merciless sensations enveloping her. But if she did, Giselle wouldn’t be able to concentrate.

“Fix this,” Max hissed through clenched teeth. She’d suffered plenty before—pain of every kind. But this was different. It found places she’d not realized existed and it inflammed them with a violent itch. She want to rip herself apart to get at it. It was indescribably horrific.

Giselle’s face was set in a mask of cold fury. Once again her body had become her own. Her magic lost it’s tangled, matted look and became elegant, roping around her in muscular vines. She wrenched one hand free and gripped Max’s wrist with the other. Giselle towed her to the wall with sharp, determined strides and slapped one hand flat to the stone.

Monday, December 26th, 2011
Day after christmas

Wow. What a lovely Christmas we had. Did you? First we had my in-laws over for a brunch (post stocking opening). It was lovely. They never really have done Christmas, and all their kids have moved out of state. Add into that that my Mother In Law has dementia and is really forgetting a lot. She’s also got diabetes and some other issues. So it was really good for us to all be together and they got to participate in the present opening with the kids, which they really enjoyed. Plus the dogs cuddled up a bunch with my MIL and she was really happy. I think they are going to get another dog soon. They lost theirs awhile ago, but I think T’s dad is thinking it will be good for both of the. I made her a shawl out of very soft yarn and she loved it. She’s cold a lot.

After that, the horde that is my family descended and we had a great time. My chocolate bourbon pecan pie was a hit. Yum.

Now the bad news was that in the last couple of days the very very ancient bed we’d been sleeping on broke. The box spring. NOw when I say old, I mean that it was at least 45 years old, possibly older. I am not lying. It is also not comfortable. Wish we’d thought to break it long ago. Anyhow, mom and I went out and shopped for a new spare room bed for us to sleep on and while we were out, went to Barnes and Noble and they had copies of Shadow City already out!!!! So I signed them and my other books (at the Galleria Barnes and NOble in Roseville, folks). Tomorrow I might get to the Birdcage B&N. And any other bookstores I can find.

So now the bed is on order and will arrive about when we leave. Ah well. At least there will be one next year. I’ve been walking a lot. It’s green and warm here. I’m loving it. And so are the dogs and the man and the kids.

Is there any interest in any Roseville/Sacramento local types who might want to come hang out at at Starbucks at B&N or something one day? If there is, I’ll set it up.

Also, tomorrow (Tuesday) I’ve an interview up at the Quillery. It’s a fun one. Questions I haven’t had.

And, once again. please please please spread the word about Shadow City! Tell your friends, write on your blog, post reviews on Amazon or wherever (good or bad, I’ll still love you). And also, I want to hear what you think of the book. Seriously!