Sunday, September 29, 2013

MIssing You

Life is funny. Sometimes it feels like we're all in these boats, bobbing around in the ocean. The funny thing about the ocean is that it's HUGE. Covers something like 70% of the world, meaning we're clinging to about 30% of our planet, the rare rocky bits.

Well, we're in those metaphorical boats and no one is in OUR boat. Even our kids are in boats that are sometimes moored on the side of ours and other times they're attached to other boats (Whether at daycare, visiting folks, or when they finally set off on their own adventures) but never IN our boat. Unless, well, you're pregnant. I guess that would be the metaphorical exception.

We might fall in love--tie our boat to someone else's. We might have times in our life when we're surrounded by other boats...but at the end of the day, you wake up with yourself.

Missing You

Sometimes we don't realize how important some of the other boats we encounter are.
Like today, I'm missing my Aunt Lee. When the water got rough, when things were good, I always knew I could call her and she'd listen.

We can chart the course for our boat like everyone else. We can follow in the wake of others and it will make for an easy ride.

Or we can set off on our own. That means we're going to find storms, monsters, all sorts of bad things and there's a chance no one will be around to help us get out of whatever scrapes we get into.

Setting off on your own is rough. It means you might fail. You might get a hole in your boat, you might flip the darn thing in a hurricane. No one is going to be around, not for sure, to rescue you if you go overboard or are attacked.

But it also means you might find happiness or something wonderful you never dreamed of.

I've been in my own boat for a long time. Sometimes I get impatient because the waters are rough and I don't have a life jacket. Most of the time though...

I keep my eye on the horizon and keep plodding along.

Guess the point of this whole thing was, Miss you, Aunt Lee. I carry you with me, in my heart, and I wish I could hear your voice again, even for a moment.

Love you,

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Spotlight on...Eden Glenn!

Today we have a special guest...Eden Glenn!

Some Q&A with Eden...

1.     Who is your favorite character in this book and why? 

My favorite character in Phoenix Reborn is Tameron Murphy. I spent many years being a care giver and can relate to the mixed burden/joy that is. When I finished the story I realized it was a lot about that journey of seeking help and getting relief so you can enjoy the things that brought you to love the person in the first place. Often that love gets buried under the day to day struggle.

2.     What inspires you for your stories?  

I find inspiration in everyday things. The Amethyst Desire Collection came to me when I saw an amethyst necklace. The first story a menage’ erotic romance “Raynia’s Magic” came from that first contact with the pendant. Other stories have emerged with the ‘perhaps’ magical pendant being featured as a prop.

3.     Tell us something no one else knows about you.  

Humm, let’s see. I was taught to swim by a Weekie Wachie Mermaid.

4.     What genre classification would you put on your book and what would you consider the heat level of the romance? 

My stories are short novella’s and novellettes at this juncture. They are all definitely erotic romance. Some are paranormal, some contemporary and one even a historic. The couple parings range from male/male, female/female and all combinations of menage’ and polyamorous partnering. Phoenix Reborn is an erotic paranormal lesbian romance featuring two strong women shapeshifters.

5.    When did you start writing and what kicked off your passion to be an author?

Funny question. I wrote my first romance when I was 14. It was a western. Think Zane Grey meets Twilight via Shades of Grey. I remember thinking it was wonderful and it involved a lot of kidnapping, bondage in panoramic western settings. LOL. It was horrible. I don’t even know where it ended up. I wrote it by hand in a notebook. Oh how far authors have come since then.

In 2005 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and to escape the reality of that stage of my life I started writing again. This time is was an erotic space romance. Think Star Wars meets Spartacus. Equally horrible. However, that led me to find the Romance Writers of America and sparked my involvement with First Coast Romance Writers. I finally had the opportunity to start learning the craft of writing.

Phoenix Reborn  
By Eden Glenn
Publisher: Rebel Ink Press

~Buy Links~

Phoenix shifter, Phyro Khant, and her dragon bodyguard, Tameron Murphy, are two loners that bonded together for love and safety. But their never-ending need to evade the dark witches that hunt Phyro for her Phoenix tears, blood and more, has worn them down and flat lined their relationship.

When Tam purchases Phyro an amethyst pendant from Salynne’s Crystals and Thyme, her efforts to imbue the stone with protective power backfires and grabs them with a spell previously coded into the stone. The magic ignites an inferno of passion the two lovers can’t seem to quench with any amount of sex.

Will their explosive passion be enough to teach them how to trust in time to accept the help they need from outsiders or will the witches win their final bid for power and control of the phoenix magic?


Her eyes fluttered shut. She slowed her breathing, sinking deeper to a place of in between. She drifted in and out of consciousness wishing she could remember what had happened to leave her in this battered state, naked on the ground. Naked seemed to indicate that at some juncture she had shifted to avian form to escape someone. How else could she have gotten this deep into the forest? She couldn’t worry about being safe or not, there wasn’t energy to fight. Be calm and let her Phoenix nature do its job. She’d trust to come out the other side stronger.

She willed her body to heal and grasped at wisps of memory. A metaphysical pull tugged inside her, one of loss and longing. Struggling to sit up, she gasped for breath in shallow pants. The raw clenched energy twisted her again. Tam! She needed to be home with her mate. Something had drawn her from their apartment without leaving word for Tam that she would be away. Phyro shook her head trying to clear her thoughts. No… bad idea, too soon. She groaned and lay back. Damn. Five minutes more. The setting sun warmed her skin.

The energy wrenched her again. Her shape dissolved and reformed without conscious thought or will to follow the summons of her chosen mate. She took to the air in Phoenix form with a scream of exhilaration at her freedom, flying toward the source.

About the Author

Eden Glenn and her partner "the Lady Librarian" live in the eastern lee of the Appalachian Mountains outside of Asheville, NC in a quaint home brimming of southern charm. The cottage is surrounded by beautiful southern gardens that bloom year round and give Eden lots of garden projects to enjoy. Their family includes a cat and a lovable nuisance dog (Lab X Great Dane) that should be in Japan. Eden has blue eyes, but her hair color is subject to change without notice.

Romance so hot it burns off the page. Leave your safe world behind.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

My hugs and love go out to the parents of autistic children

I've sat on this story for about a day because I wasn't sure how to put into words my heartache and grief that a family is struggling this hard and that no intervention saved them from what happened.

Kelli Stapleton has written a blog for some time chronicling her struggles and triumphs raising a very aggressive autistic child. Her extremely open and honest journey can be viewed on her blog, The Status Woe, and she's even posted videos of trying to make the behavior plan work...

I think that video gets me the most. After the inciting incident, it looks like the intervention specialists or counselors send Kelli across the room and you see her huddled in the doorway with her fists pressed to her mouth while she watches her child and can't help.

To say that Kelli seemed like an intelligent woman who, when faced with challenges, tried to rise up and meet them isn't a leap.

To say that being a caregiver to a child who...

God, I'm crying. Gimme a second here.

Kelli looks like she loves her child. I don't think lack of love had a thing to do with the horrible falling of dominoes that drove her to do something so...

Basically, I think I just wanted to say that caregivers? It's okay for it to be too much sometimes. We all feel isolated, like no one gets what we're going through. Like we're alone, holding this Atlas variety weight on our shoulders, and no one is going to ever lift it.

We can't always make the right choices. We can't always be perfect--no parent is and yet as a caregiver to a special needs child, we're expected to be.

Ask for help. Walk away. Run away if you have to.

Know you're not alone.

I wish I could give you all a big hug and tell you it's okay to have weak moments. To be scared. To not know what to do.

It's okay to fail. You can fix almost anything.


I'm going to cry about this some more now. If you are a caregiver, take a moment today to take a good clean breath. Close your eyes and really just let it all go, if even for just a second.

If you know a caregiver, tell them they're not alone. Give them a big hug, man. They might need it.

I think the part in her last blog that got me the most was, "I have to admit that I’m suffering from a severe case of battle fatigue.  I’m so happy that Issy has successfully completed treatment.  It was a miracle making that happen.  But I never once had any peace or rest."


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Gimme!! My birthday request

Some of you got me wonderful gifts...

From my adopted mom, who went and paid my car insurance for me since I hadn't gotten to it, to my writerfriend who got me a kickass Van Gogh Exploding TARDIS mug, I got some very cool presents.

A bunch of you? You didn't get me anything *wails!*

So, I have a request. This will make it all better, I promise. But first I have to tell you a story...

I couldn't sleep the night before my birthday. We're having a weird heatwave in Ohio and I don't have ac, only two small fans. Usually, that's more than enough, but the night of the 10th/eve of the 11th? Sweltering in my remodeled barn home. When it finally cooled enough that I could attempt to sleep, I moved to my bed...

And stabbed my heel on a piece of glass from godknows where. Blood squirted out of my foot and onto my favorite quilt. Bawling, because I ruined my favorite quilt with my stupid blood, I yanked out the glass and rinsed my foot. I put a bandage on it and tried to sleep for a couple hours.

I was waked on the morning of my birthday by my boys yelling at me. One forgot a book, just little things, but they were angry voices and neither remembered it was my birthday before they headed off to school. Since today is my one 'late' day a week, I won't see either of the cranky testosterone junkies until bedtime tonight.

I then headed to the living room to sit in my favorite chair. The cat joined me, seating herself on the back--which is fine. Sweet even that she wanted to hang out with me.

You know, until she horked a hairball on my shoulder. My daughter, as if feeling out of the make mom miserable campaign, started complaining about the lack of ham in the refrigerator. I'd bought bagels and philly, but I forgot HAM??? It was unacceptable, she advised me.

But you know what? Compared to 2001, this birthday ROCKS.

I'm not watching people fall to their death, search for their family members, stare at the skies not knowing when the next horror will come or where it will hit.

On my birthday in 2001, I woke up to a beautiful sunshiney day. All three of my babies (and since the youngest was less than a month old, the term babies actually applies) woke in great moods and we were hanging out in my living room with the sliding glass door open to let in as much sun and fresh air as possible. I haven't always had the best of health so I'd been told I probably wouldn't survive the delivery of my now one month old I was celebrating a birthday win--I shouldn't be around to see this birthday. How cool is this?

When my mom called, I figured she was merely calling to say, "Happy Birthday!"

Instead, she asked, "Are you watching the tv?"
"Yup," I chirped. "Rugrats."
"Turn on the news."
Her tone sent chills rushing across my arms and I shook my head as if to rid myself of the feeling of foreboding. "What channel?"
"Doesn't matter."

It didn't matter. I fell to my knees when the second plane hit. When people fell like paper from the windows, I wept. When the tower fell, I sprung into action.

I needed to protect my kids. Take them somewhere safe. I wasn't sure where 'safe' was, but I'm near the Canadian border--within a few hours of driving range to that border. If America was under attack, I needed to get my children OUT of America.

I'd like to say I had thoughts of helping others, but my first parental instinct was to protect my kids. Only later did I want to do something for others beyond my babies.

I packed them up, a few days of clothes and food and diapers. Stopped at my mother's on my way out of town to see them say on the news that they'd closed the borders. It seemed we weren't running after all.

I went to my son's grandmothers and began the vigil so many kept that day. Watching the news, watching the replays, weeping. Worrying. Upon leaving her house, I saw long lines at the gas stations, closed businesses, a small town brought to a screeching halt by the events of the day.

Once I got back to my apartment, I put the kids to bed early to begin my nighttime vigil of the news. They aired constant streaming information that day. Darkness had overtaken our village by the time the knock came at the sliding glass door.

My dear friend, Ryan, stood outside, a sixpack of Mike's Hard Lemonade in hand. "Happy Birthday," he said. Suddenly I remembered. It was my birthday. He was the only one who remembered. I told him as much and he gave his signature crooked and self-deprecating grin. "This is kind of for me. I figured I wouldn't get any sleep unless you drank some. It will calm you down."

He stayed that night. I drank one of the drinks and curled up on one couch while he stretched out on another, both facing the television and the horrific news as it streamed. Knowing he was near, that it wasn't just me here to protect my babies from whatever new terror the night could bring, allowed me to get some sleep.

That horrible birthday taught me one important thing...

1. None of the things we spend so much time and energy worrying about really matter.

It's not about the gifts, the one upping of the Joneses, the what are you wearing or who are your friends. It's about family. It's about friends who are there for you when you're scared in the dark. It's about people who know you need them and show up even when you don't ask.

Which made me look at all future birthdays in a whole new light. I like presents (I like CAKE. Man, do I love cake.) but if I never got another one? I could live with that.

Sooooo now you're wondering what I want for my birthday since I said I didn't want presents, but I titled this post, "GIMME!!"

Could everyone who reads this far do me a favor, instead? One random act of kindness.

If it's anonymous, all the better. On my birthday in 2001, people did some awesome acts of kindness. Maybe they weren't enough to balance out the horror, but they did amazing things. People who owned boats pulled off the most massive and fast evacuation in all of history. People gave water to those walking out of the Battery. People went into those towers and died trying to save strangers.

I don't expect anyone to rush into a burning building, but could you do something? Buy a stranger's coffee, pick up a piece of litter from the street, if you see someone crying-hold their hand. Just one act--I'm not greedy, after all.

If everyone who reads this does just one little thing, my birthday will be the best birthday ever. You don't have to tell me what thing you did (You're welcome to. I always love hearing from you all, so tell me whatever. I actually answer, too, so long as you're not trying to sell me something/date me from another country/ask to see my breasts.) just do it. I don't have to know what it was or that you did it. You'll know you did...and it will mean a lot to me, regardless.

So, yes, this is my birthday request. I love you guys. Thanks for reading one old lady's rambling.


*kermit armflapping* RUNAWAY GROOM IS UP FOR PREORDER!! *more armflapping*

So, those of you who've followed me for awhile know I'm super excited about my January release with Samhain Publishing, Runaway Groom. From Lucky Sevens posts to cover art reveals to teasers...I'm just super excited about this book.


Yeah. That goes on the list of coolest birthday presents ever. Thank you, Samhain!!

So, if you've somehow missed out on all my blathering about this book, let me tell you a little something about it.

About the Book

On Sale: January 2014
Book 1 of the Watkin's Pond Series. "Small town can mean big romance."
BUY LINK!! Preorder now on Amazon, pretty please!

The groom is back in town.

Abigail lost her best friend years ago when he ditched her at the altar like a loaf of stale bread. Now he’s back and determined to do whatever he has to—even lie, apparently—to get under her skin. Although he makes her hormones rev to life in a way that no one has since he left, she is equally determined not to fall for his boy-next-door charm.

His bride-to-be is somewhat reluctant.

Braxton Dean was too young and stupid to know better when he walked away. Years of trying to fill the Abby-shaped hole in his heart have left him empty, and now he’s going to win back his girl—or get over her. But first he needs answers. Particularly why she never responded to any of his letters.

It might take a whole town to make this wedding happen.

With the help of their friends, the two battle it out. The army? An entire town of busybodies. The prize? Happily ever after.

Warning: Contains indignant old ladies, steamy sex (but not with indignant old ladies), seduction cake, and condom bouquets. Yes, we went there.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Random stuff I write for school #1

Am I Okay?

“Where am I?”

I didn’t even want to answer. In less than a minute, she’d forget she asked. What would it hurt if I simply waited her out? As some unseen force took control of my vocal cords, shoving out words, I hear myself say, “The hospital.”

“Oh, am I okay?”

There was the million dollar question. Every parent worries about days like this one. What started out as a simple stomach flu, or so we thought, resulted in our family doctor ordering us to the hospital for tests. Even the nurses and doctors in the ER thought it was silly—this kid obviously suffered from intestinal flu, nothing more or less, and should simply be watched for dehydration, but if the doc orders tests, tests they will run.

“Where am I?”

“The hospital.” I leaned back in the hard plastic chair. It squeaked in protest and I folded my hands over my face. First they’d run a white blood cell test. Obviously, if something was wrong, the white blood cell count would be through the roof. In the meantime, they’d put her on IV fluids and got some fenegren going to stop the nausea. She became drowsy and the white blood cell count results came back low, if anything.

“Am I okay?”

But they didn’t want to miss something so they ran a c-cell test. That test came back inconclusive. I remember worrying because I was late for work and losing money. The fluids and medicine obviously helped…why were they wasting more time? But they wanted to do an ultrasound—even though everything suggested she didn’t have anything major wrong—so she drank some nasty stuff before dozing back off. They ran their test and I paced the floor in my fast food uniform, the smell of old pizza and grease competing with the acrid bite of disinfectant.

“Where am I?”

“The hospital,” I answered again, almost out of habit by this point.

A man came in, his face permanently embedded on my memory. He looked like Colonel Sanders from the chicken place. He held a clipboard and seemed to be impatient and in a hurry. “Do you want Rainbow Babies or Cleveland Clinic?”

I blinked at him.

“Am I okay?” Her voice seemed to be getting stronger, but it was still the same two questions so I just reached out for her hand. I remembered staring at the king of chicken in complete confusion. “For what?”

“For the emergency surgery.”

“What? Do you have the right room?”

Colonel Sanders explained that my daughter had appendicitis, worse that it’d gone gangrene and her immune system had probably shut down days ago. Now her other systems were following suit in a massive collapse and she’d need surgery to survive.

“Where am I?”

“The hospital.” They’d rushed her away and I’d followed along. She kept sleeping, drowsy from both her illness and the meds, while my heart beat as hard as a cop at the door of a crack house. I gave up trying to guess what would come next, begging whatever gods might be listening not to take my baby girl away.

“Am I okay?”

“Yes,” I whispered, trying to find my voice past my fear. She’d be okay. She had to be.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Raising Kane releases and I get to pepper Heather Long with questions...

I've been super lucky to be able to call Heather Long my friend for a while now. Of course I couldn't wait to blog about her newest release in the Fevered Hearts series, Raising Kane. When she said I could question her...well, I couldn't resist asking some questions as a fangirl.

When the spirit fever struck a town, a village or an outpost, it left few if any survivors. The white man blamed the Indian saying they used their mojo on them. The Indians blamed the white man for angering the spirits. The survivors knew it didn’t matter. The Fevered were forever changed.


A gift he needs to tame… 

 Kid feels what the world around him feels, he is a raw, bleeding nerve, and he can’t control the pain anymore. After lashing out at everyone he loves, he agrees to an exile atop Quanto’s mountain to learn to control the power he wields. Desperate to end it, Kid battles with Wyatt the eldest Morning Star—hoping against hope that the man will kill him. He longs only for peace…

 A gift she wants to harness… 

Evelyn Lang grew up with a territorial judge for a father, and a secret—her father’s Fevered ability passed to her. When he’s killed in broad daylight in a little town in Kansas after freeing a slave, Lang is no longer bound by her father’s oath to never use her ability—now she must train it. She travels across hostile territory in search of the man who trained her father. She longs only for vengeance…

Tempestuous passions, opposing needs, and impulsive decisions divide them… 

 Conflicting goals put Kid and Evelyn in direct opposition. Her hunger for justice cuts him, but Quanto refuses his requests to train alone. Forced to train together, they must confront their deepest fears if they are ever to achieve their greatest desire….

 His pain. Her obsession. Their battle

Putting Heather on the Spot - Questions for the Author

Because every release is a little different, we're kicking off our release week with a Q&A brought to you by the readers! The following questions are some that I have received from readers of the Fevered Hearts series--and from my girls who were there from day one.  Do you have a question? Head over to the website and submit it or post it in a comment and I'll answer--as best I can--either here or in the next round of Q& A.

On the pendants that guide the children of a Fevered to the mountain, if Quanto dies, will the Pendants change to send people to the ranch? Or will they go away?

The pendants are a physical construct, theoretically they won’t change or disappear if/when Quanto dies—I stress the word theoretically because as much as I know, the future is always mutable.

Can the Fevered that Quanto trained find their way to the ranch?  Can other Fevered children find their way to Dorado?

I grouped these two questions together because the same answer applies. Anyone can find Dorado, the town itself isn’t hidden. That said, they are also not advertising the presence of the Fevered—but word does travel.

Why did Delilah freak out when she saw Wyatt?

The answer was right there on the page. She thought that he was the man she called Father.

Why do Jason's eyes glow?

Sneaky, but we haven’t answered that on the page yet. Winks

What kind of underwear do the women wear?

Different kinds, though I’ve a website around here somewhere that my fantastic crit partner sent me if I really need the details.

How much research do you have to do to write a historical PLUS add all of the paranormal elements--which do seem to have a lot of basis in science?

Research varies. I studied Texas history in school and I’ve done an extensive amount of research on different tribes, geographical challenges and the political issues facing the state during the 1850s. I don’t touch on all of them. Because Dorado is fictional and located well away from the larger population centers, I can make them far more insular. But the arrival of the army in book 4 has allowed for tension to continue to mount.  I try to make sure the gear and tools they had available is covered. I had to research stagecoach lines and the extension of rail lines and what went where. I also had to make sure I had a fair amount of understanding how long it would take to travel from one place to another. I really didn’t want the Mountain to be like the one in Krull – it hopped around all over the place.

That said, I do have some fluidity in the nature of their gifts and that travel from various points in different weather can speed up or slow down their travel. It also helps if you know exactly where you’re going.

As for the science of all of it, magic has its place—but the Spirit Fever is also a virus, so I use what I know of viruses and how they mutate based on their interaction with DNA to allow for different “strains” of Fevered.

And is that more information than you wanted?

Where in Texas today would Dorado be?

About fifty miles give or take due west of Austin/San Antonio region in Hill Country.

Do you feel the social construct helps frame your story because it's historical or would these characters interact in much the same way in modern America?

I think the nature of their upbringing in that era and the need to be wholly self-sufficient really does contribute to how these characters interact with each other. Distance—particularly when you can’t just run around the corner to see someone or pick up a phone—makes the time spent together more valuable. So while they might have interacted in some of the same ways in their interpersonal relationships, I really do think the 1850s setting plays a huge role!

Are there going to be any future Fevered who have arranged marriages destroyed when they bond with a Fevered? (Many marriages in the 1800s were arranged, after all.)

Another sneaky one…and to that I can only say no comment.  

Whew! Tough questions! Do you have a question about Fevered Hearts? Feel free to post.  ~ Heather