Good Morning, Vitamin C


Apparently my body wanted something only to be found in potato-leek soup last night, because I had two bowls, went to bed afterward, and am feeling much better this morning. The quiet, shaky sense of returning strength–I hesitate to call it health–is entirely welcome. It’s akin to the relief after one finishes throwing up and slumps trembling near the cold porcelain of a commode, knowing illness will return in a short while but savoring the temporary relief.

So to speak. And you’re welcome for that mental image, I’m sure. Still, it’s the only one that comes close to expressing the feeling.

This morning the sun came through the deck door, making everything on the dining room table glow. The oranges looked good; I could almost taste the light and vitamin C in each one just by watching.

A bowl of soup, a pile of oranges in morning light–such are the simple things that end up saving us. Short-term relief or not, I’ll take it. Maybe if I sleep enough today the tremulous sense of survival will strengthen.

I wish you a sunny Friday and a peaceful weekend, my beloveds. Be gentle with yourselves; we’ve all been through a lot lately.

Over and out.

Some Magic, and Some Mystery

I’m still ill and only upright for short periods of time, so I’ve got something a little different for you today, dear ones. I’m participating in an upcoming ebook box set with a collection of some very fine writers, and just LOOK at this beautiful cover!



Secrets mixed with magic can be deadly.

Secrets have the power to protect or destroy. Forgotten lore, mysterious weapons, and magical libraries can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Covert missions, secret societies, and lost memories can provide salvation. Prepare for adventure and unlock the many secrets in MAGIC & MYSTERY!

Delve into these exciting worlds with USA Today and International best-selling authors Megg Jensen, Lilith Saintcrow, Krista D. Ball, Skyla Dawn Cameron, Jane Glatt, and Rhonda Parrish.

This collection of 6 novels includes:
•DAUGHTER OF DRAGON ASH (Artifacts of Indarra Book 1) – by Megg Jensen
•SOLOMON’S SEAL (Livi Talbot Book 1) – by Skyla Dawn Cameron
•A MAGICAL INHERITANCE (Ladies Occult Society Book 1) – by Krista D. Ball
•ONE IN THE HAND – by Rhonda Parrish
•PIRATES & PRIVATEERS (The Intelligencers Book 1) – by Jane Glatt
•DESIRES, KNOWN – by Lilith Saintcrow

On sale April 9, 2021; available for preorder through Amazon, Amazon CA, Amazon UK, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Apple.


My particular offering for this ebook set is Desires, Known, my genie-and-accountant romance packed with snark and not a little gore. This is a limited-time, limited-edition set only in ebook, and it’s chock-full of amazing. I was thrilled to be asked to participate.

And now, since I’ve been out of commission for days and look to be out for still more, I have a few fires to put out while I’m upright and conscious. Pretty sure I’ll run out of steam in an hour or so and have to stagger down the hall, barely making it to the bed before I collapse. I hate being ill, and whatever this is, it’s awful. It doesn’t seem to be Covid, though, since I’ve been able to smell all the way through, there’s no fever, and no digestive upsets. (More than you wanted to know, I’m sure.)

The more I rest, the better it will be later. At least, that’s the hope.

See you in a bit…

Safely in Springtime

I survived another release day, and made it through the weekend after finishing yet another awfully hard revise. Now I can go back to actual creation, for some short while.

Unless, of course, I want to proof an omnibus. It’s gotta happen, and yet I have a deep and severe case of the Don’t Wannas. All I wanna do is write, dammit, preferably with some video game music going in the background.

I was real, real close to paying for a month or so of WoW this weekend too, but Borderlands scratched the itch. I’m still not sure if Blizzard deserves my cash. Until my conscience is easy on that account, I’m going to have to refrain.

Although listening to Darnassus music on loop is good for certain kinds of writing. Video game soundtracks are designed to be immersive and easily looped, which makes them great for wrestling with plot problems.

Anyway, I should send off the revision today and take the dogs for a walk. I’m slow and logy this morning, probably because of the wild weather sweeping through. My writing partner reported big fat wet snowflakes (someone’s shaking Baba Yaga’s counterpane) this morning, though they didn’t stick; my sinuses warm me there will be barometric fluctuations. Fortunately I’ve written with atmospheric pressure changes sending spikes through my skull before.

It might even add something to a combat scene. Who knows?

Anyway, the wild weather and plum blossoms have us safely in springtime. The dogs are gleeful and we did a lot of cleaning this past weekend. There was even mopping, which is one of my Least Favorite Things, especially since I didn’t have the damn spoons for it all last year. Bit by bit, the rebuilding continues.

Time to throw another hoodie on and get out the door. I mean, the dogs could technically walk themselves, but they don’t make good choices. It’s best I go along to keep them from chasing something they shouldn’t.

*wanders away, humming about manic Mondays*

RELEASE DAY: Damage

Good morning, everyone! We’ll get to the Friday photo in a bit. It’s a release day! That’s right, today Damage is out in the world.


Damage

Keeping her safe will be his hardest assignment yet. . .

Reeling from trauma and divorce, Cara Halperin takes what should be a simple job with an expensive agency. As a nanny to rich children, she shouldn’t have much to worry about, and her job is just complex enough to keep her from brooding. Unfortunately, the agency’s sent her into a trap.

Vincent Desmarais wants to go back into the field, but instead, he’s put on leave. The diagnosis? PTSD. No problem–he can pick up security work on the side to keep himself sharp–that is, if the side work isn’t just as dangerous as the bloody places he’s longing to get back to.

When the lights go out, Cara and her young charge have only one option: to trust the new security guy. Vincent finds himself unwilling to abandon them to fate or let them out of his sight. If the trio wants to stay alive, they’ve got to trust each other. . .

. . .but that may just be what their enemies are counting on.

Now available from Barnes & Noble, Apple, Amazon, and Kobo.


It’s strange to see stuff I worked on during lockdown (not the book itself, but the publication and production process) reach release. Publication takes a long time, which means we’ve been in lockdown for what seems like bloody well forever. But the book–my love song to a particular movie starring Matthias Schoenaerts–is out now, it’s live, and I’m going to be spending most of the day roaming the house and twitching from release-day nerves.

You’d think it would get easier after so many titles. Alas.

As for the Friday photo, get a load of this guy.



Yep, that’s Boxnoggin attempting to disembowel one of my favorite couch pillows. I gather–and this is my translation, so it might be a little blurry–that it “looked at him funny.” Fortunately he didn’t manage to eat much of the stuffing, so that was all right. And I had another slightly less wounded pillow to stuff into the case too. Small mercies.

Have a good weekend, everyone. I’ll be trying to recover from release day and revisions at once. Multitasking self-care saves time, right?

Right? (If I’m not right, don’t tell me…)

Over and out.

Magnolia, I Say


One of the local magnolias has finally burst its fuzzy bounds, but the flowers aren’t quite ready yet. We have a lot of these trees in the neighborhood. They’re second in popularity only to roses; it seems like everyone gets a few of each to put in their yard. They’re pretty for a few brief moments in spring, then there’s some cleanup and they’re nice trees with waxy green all summer, providing welcome shade.

The sheer amount of magnolias surprises a lot of transplants to the area. Everyone thinks they’re deep-South trees, and I suppose they’re probably happier there. But we have whole streets of them, and Portland just over the river is called the Rose City.

Of more interest to me each year are the plum trees. We had a giant one in the backyard of the old place, and every year when it bloomed I knew things were going to be okay. I’m forced to other plum-tree measures in this house. The cherries are all in bloom now, but the plums haven’t quite gotten there yet.

I can wait a little longer. This week’s been very stressful, and I haven’t gotten the work I need to done. Maybe once the electrician leaves today1 I can take a deep breath.

At least, that’s the hope. But in the meantime, I have the cherries and the magnolias to remind me that things may, indeed, work out. In fact, they’ve worked out so far.

I just hope the trend continues.

COVER REVEAL: Damage

That’s right–my subscribers got this cover reveal before the weekend, but now it’s out in the world! Meet the first Ghost Squad novel, beloveds!


Damage

Keeping her safe will be his hardest assignment yet. . .

Reeling from trauma and divorce, Cara Halperin takes what should be a simple job with an expensive agency. As a nanny to rich children, she shouldn’t have much to worry about, and her job is just complex enough to keep her from brooding. Unfortunately, the agency’s sent her into a trap.

Vincent Desmarais wants to go back into the field, but instead, he’s put on leave. The diagnosis? PTSD. No problem–he can pick up security work on the side to keep himself sharp–that is, if the side work isn’t just as dangerous as the bloody places he’s longing to get back to.

When the lights go out, Cara and her young charge have only one option: to trust the new security guy. Vincent finds himself unwilling to abandon them to fate or let them out of his sight. If the trio wants to stay alive, they’ve got to trust each other. . .

. . .but that may just be what their enemies are counting on.

Now available for preorder from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Kobo.


Isn’t it lovely? I really like that the heroine looks exactly like she did in my head–which doesn’t happen a lot, as you well know. I’m also looking forward to writing a few more Squad books; the next one is already assembling itself inside my head. I like writing romance a great deal.

For those asking about other platforms, it will be available, they just take some time for preorder links to populate. (Looking at you, Apple.)

Long-time subscribers will also know that this particular book is my love song to a certain movie starring Matthias Schoenaerts; they also got to see bits and pieces while I was writing it.

I do write a lot of love songs, come to think of it. I’m gonna call that a good thing.

Anyway, we’ve got this book to look forward to at the end of March, my dears. I’m already nervous over an upcoming release day, but that’s usual. I figured, what with it being the Monday after Daylight Savings, not to mention the Ides of March, we could all use something pretty, and this certainly qualifies.

I’m going to go finish my coffee and hope a pleasant day befalls us all. And maybe hyperventilate into a paper bag because a cover reveal means a release day approaching like a slinking lion, and those always play havoc with my nerves…

Undefeated Ferns

Since the injury last week I haven’t been able to run as much, and I’ve been taking it very slow and easy. Which means I’ll walk the dogs, then take myself for a ramble instead of a run. Said rambles often go through a local park, where there’s a particular bit of trail that goes through what could be temperate rain forest if it were left to itself.

Of course, humans being what they are, it can’t be. But still.

In summer, this is a solid wall of green. Now almost all the leaves have dropped and one can hear the freeway much more clearly, as well as see a bit of the houses outside the park. But that’s not really what I focus on.

I look at the ferns coming up, bright and new, spreading bit by bit each winter. Everything else is dying back, but the ferns are all “FUCK YOU, IT IS MY TIME TO SHINE AND GROW NOW, GET THE FUCK OUTTA MY WAY!”

…or something like that. The blackberries are holding on a little longer, too, but they’re expected to be stubborn. It’s the ferns’ seeming delicacy that gets to me–fragile, and yet absolutely unwilling to admit defeat.

May we all remember to be relentless, not fearless, as 202 winds to a close and tries to get its last few shots in.