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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Teaser for Paint It Black

So... It has occurred to me that I was so busy trying to make deadline in December that I didn't tell you all what I was making deadline for. 
The sequel to Beneath the Stain is coming out in August, in Mass Market Paperback, and I'm super excited about that. 
I might not have mentioned it, but all of the extras are out on Prolific Works now-- YOU CAN CLAIM YOUR COPY HERE. 
Anyway-- if you want to see the blurb for Paint It Black, it's UP ON AMAZON for mass market preorders, and if you want a sneak peak of it... 
Well, you have no further to look than right here:

from Paint it Black...

Cheever looked… young.
He was lying on his side, his cheek on the hand handcuffed to the bedrail. His vulpine features—a little longer in the jaw, but much like Mackey’s—stood out in stark relief against his tanned skin, pointed and vulnerable.
Blake double-checked on Marcia and moved his chair, waiting for the nurse and the orderly to settle Cheever’s monitors and medication before he settled in.
Cheever opened his eyes blearily as he heard the scrape of the chair across the floor.
“Blake?”
“Yeah, kid.”
“Mom?”
“Do you want me to call her?”
He watched then, the struggle over Cheever’s face, and his heart constricted in his chest. God, this boy wanted his mama so badly. But a room full of blow and his ass torn open for good measure—what kid wanted his mama to know that?
Not to mention that big incriminating bandage on his wrist.
Blake couldn’t hardly look at it.
“No,” Cheever whispered at last, his eyes filling.
Blake stood. He hadn’t seen this much emotion in the kid since the day Mackey had lost his shit at him for grabbing Briony’s boob. He came near the bed and smoothed Cheever’s hair back from his forehead like he had for Marcia.
“That there is the biggest fucking lie I’ve ever heard in my life,” he said mildly, as Cheever’s shoulders started to shake.
“Not like this,” Cheever sobbed.
“Son, that woman loves you—”
“Not like this!” he begged. “God, please. Not like….” More sobs filled the room, big and loud and noisy. He kept trying to cover his mouth so nobody could hear, but hey, he was handcuffed to the bed because he’d tried to hurt himself, so there they were, his messy emotions, pouring into the empty air.
Blake just stood there, smoothing that curly red hair back, and thought it was about fucking time.
The sobs died eventually, and Blake brought the chair close to the bed—and grabbed a box of Kleenex too, so he could clean the boy up.
“Blow,” he murmured automatically. He hadn’t known kids until Mackey brought his old lover’s little girl home. But first with Katy and then Kell and Briony’s kids, Kyrie and Kansas, and the triplets’ kids, Kyla and Kale—Blake had spent the last eight years becoming everybody’s favorite uncle, and loving every kid as the blessing he’d never been.
He knew how to get a kid to blow into a Kleenex, and how to clean up traces of tears, and even how to sing a kid to sleep if he was too keyed up to let his brain relax.
“I am not this person,” Cheever said, his voice lost, like a kitten in the rain. “I don’t cry. I don’t…. Oh God, I don’t do what….” His body started to tense up again, like he was going to lose it, and Blake wasn’t sure he had anything left in him to lose.
“Sweetheart, I need you to take a deep breath, okay?”
Cheever did, bless him, and nodded.
“’Kay. Now I’m going to talk, and if I bore you to sleep, that’s fine. But you start out listening, okay?”
A small nod, and Cheever’s enormous green eyes focused on Blake’s face like he held the magic keys to the kingdom.
“Good. Now here’s the thing. In eight years, we been seeing a stranger show up where Cheever Sanders was supposed to be. He said all the right things, and he did all the right things, but he never seemed like he wanted to be with us. So in eight years, I ain’t ever known who you were, Cheever. But today, I know you’re the kind of person that would make that little girl break out of rehab in her Eeyore slippers and stand in the middle of a cocaine tornado because she missed you and was worried. I know you’re so hurt inside, you don’t want to show your mama, when you want her here more than you want anything in the world. And I know there is shit in your heart—probably ugly, festering shit—that you ain’t shown nobody, not your brothers, who would lay down and die for you, and not your mama, who would bring you back to life. So now, I’m real fucking curious. Who in the hell is Cheever Sanders, and why was he hiding behind that shitty rich kid for the last eight years?”
“He’s nobody,” Cheever whispered. “He’s a sniveling baby, crying on the floor, just letting shit happen to him that nobody wants to know.”
Blake made a hurt sound. “I’ve been that kid,” he said softly. “That kid can grow into a decent person. You just gotta let him cry a little, let him know he’s heard.”
Cheever’s breath was long and shaky, and his eyes kept leaking tears, but that terrifying storm of weeping seemed to be kept at bay. “Who wants to listen to that kid?” Cheever asked after that long breath. “I sure don’t.”
“I do,” Blake said, surprising himself. “I’ve been waiting for that kid to talk to me for eight long goddamned years.”
Cheever’s eyes fastened hungrily on his face. “I wanted to not be a fuckup,” he moaned. “I wanted to be someone worth listening to.”
So needy. This kid—all his coolness, all his arrogance—he’d been trying to earn their approval?
Blake cupped his cheek. “Aw, kid. You wanted to not be a fuckup? You were born into the wrong damned family. We are fuckup city here. We just make that work for us. Welcome to Outbreak Monkey, right?”
That got a smile from Cheever, surprisingly enough. He used his free hand, the one not cuffed to the rail, to capture Blake’s palm against his cheek.
“I’m glad it was you,” he said, which surprised the hell out of Blake, “who found me.”
He didn’t say why, but his eyes fluttered closed, and Blake breathed a sigh of relief. That rot was still there, festering, needing to be bled out, but maybe Cheever’s heart could rest for a little bit before it did.


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Promised Moon/Fish-- The Surprise Visit, Part 3

Busy day! For starters, Geoffie got a hair cut, I got goodies in the mail, and I'm making progress on a shawl!

Also, Squish is amazing.

But other than that--it was a work day, and part of the work is wrapping up Fish in the next week. Which means wrapping up the Moon/Fish as well. Enjoy!

*  *  *

The Surprise Visit--Part 3

"Ellery!" Ellery's mother looked impeccable. Hair pulled back into a shortened bun, makeup done with razor line perfection, cool linen suit and sensible ecru pumps, Taylor Cramer never traveled with anything less than aplomb.

"Mother?"

But what in the fuck was she doing here.

"Ellery, who's at the door at fuck all'y'all in the morning?"

"Jackson, could you get my bags please?"

Ellery turned to find Jackson, mid pit-scratch, in his boxers having a panic attack.

"Oh dear God."

"Jackson, my mother's here."

"For sweet fuck's sake!"

Ellery grimaced. The weird thing was, he was almost certain Jackson liked his mother. Revered her in fact. But that didn't mean she didn't scare the crap out of him. "Jackson, maybe come get her bag like she asked."

"Hello, Lucy Satan," Jackson muttered as he came to the door. "Are you moving in?" His eyes bulged out and Ellery managed to look behind his mother.

"You brought a trunk?" he asked, his voice pitching in dismay.

"Don't get too excited, Ellery. Some of those are gifts for Jackson's family. Thank you so much, Jackson--I'll take the guest room, per usual."

Well yeah, but usually Ellery's mother had stayed with them when there was something wrong.

"Smells like dead grandma's," Jackson mumbled, wrinkling his nose.

Taylor Cramer smirked, and Ellery had to look twice to make sure it was his mother. "That's the perfume you bought me for Hanukah sweetheart. I'm so glad you like it."

"I thought it was Christmas," Jackson mumbled, still pulling the giant wheeled case behind him. "I am so confused."

Ellery took his mother's smaller case and kissed her cheek, ushering her in. "It's lovely to see you," he said diplomatically. "Is there an occasion?"

"Mm..." she said, smiling serenely, which told Ellery that yes, there was, but it wasn't like she was going to tell him. "Let's just say that I've become enchanted by your charming little valley, and I understand there are all sorts of outdoor spring activities that we should partake in. Jackson? Did you hear that?"

"I don't understand a word of it!" Jackson called back. He came plodding back into the living room as Ellery passed him on the way to the bedroom with the smaller case. "You're here so we can go outside?"

"Exactly," she said. "And I understand you have a new vehicle."

Jackson's eyes widened. "The tank?"

"The tank?" Ellery echoed, having settled as much as he could in the guest room.

"Yes. New, isn't it? Weren't your friends going to outfit it to make sure it was the last vehicle you would ever need?"

Sonny and Ace had retrofitted the SUV--an Infinity QX3--and reinforced the panels, removed padding, added bulletproof glass and added custom seatbelt webbing, not to mention several highly illegal things they'd done to the suspension and engine itself. The result was... well, a very sturdy vehicle.

"It might be," Ellery said diplomatically, "but I always thought it would be the last car you'd ever be caught dead in, much less escorted alive."

His mother patted his cheek. Patted his goddamned cheek. "Oh, Ellery. Son. Shows how much you really know about me. Now it's a lovely April day, the sun is shining. The birds are singing. Let's go get some donuts and go to the zoo, shall we?"

Jackson's eyes hadn't gotten any smaller, not since he'd opened them to see Taylor Cramer on the doorstep. "The zoo."

"Donuts?" Ellery squeaked. "You showed up on our porch to... to..."

"To go see the zoo and have donuts," she said happily. "I'll just make some coffee while you two shower and change. Hustle, boys. There's so much I want to see!"

The two of them stumbled into the bedroom, Ellery in the pajamas he'd been wearing when he'd opened the door, Jackson in his boxer shorts, both of them wearing the veil of confusion like a miasma.

"I..." Ellery struggled. Jackson's warm hand on his waist was not reassuring. "Please don't leave me because my mother has done the first spontaneous thing I've ever seen her do in thirty-one years."

Jackson half-laughed and kissed his neck. "I won't leave you. But you know, this doesn't seem spontaneous in the least. I'm pretty sure she's hiding something from us."

Ellery stared at him. "How would you even guess that?"

Jackson shrugged and gave a soft smile. "Hunch."

"But what do we do?"

"What would we do under normal circumstances?"

Ellery sighed and let his shoulders slump. "Anything my mother wanted."

Jackson nodded and kissed his neck again. "And hurry, counselor, or I'm going to do one or two things she might want me to do at all..."

Ellery hustled to the bathroom and heard his mother cooing at the cat in the sudden quiet.

His mother. There indefinitely. Oh dear lord, what had they done to deserve this?

*  *  *

Two days earlier:

Burton blew out a breath and dialed the number.

"Taylor Cramer," said Ellery's mother, her voice crisp and no-bullshit.

"Yes, ma'am. This is--"

"I remember you from the waiting room," she said, with hardly a wobble in her voice. "Is anything wrong with my son?"

God, she was quick. "No, ma'am. We just... I'm on a secure line, but I don't think you are."

"MM.  Understood. Where would you like me to call you from?"

"Sacramento," he said promptly. She would know what that meant.

"Indeed? Anywhere particular in Sacramento?"

"As many public places as possible."  He and Jason had it on good authority that this particular death squad liked to work in quiet and secret, and made things look like an accident. Well, try that if Ellery, Jackson, and Taylor were touring the outdoor delights of the city in the spring.

"For how long should I call you from there?"

Burton had no idea. "An indefinite length of time. I'll contact you when you can go back to using your home phone."

There was a silence. A long, uncomfortable silence, during which time Burton squirmed uncomfortably.

"When you contact me, you'd better have a damned good explanation for that, young man."

Burton blew out a sigh of relief. Well, yeah. She deserved no less. "You will, ma'am. I promise."

"Of course. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must procure some plane tickets and go shopping. I'm not arriving on that doorstep without copious amounts of random gifts, you understand?"

"Understood, ma'am. Happy travels."

"You too young man. And say hello to your young baker, while you're at it. I did enjoy meeting him as well."

Burton thought of Ernie, at home, making donuts. "I'll give him your regards, ma'am."

"Thank you."

Burton hung up and looked in agony at Jason Constance.

"So she's going to be with her son and his friend before the team gets to town."

"Confirmed," Burton told him, and then slumped forward. "Sir, are you ready for tomorrow?"

Constance frowned, obviously surprised. "Certainly, soldier. Why wouldn't I be?"

"Because you haven't met these people, and there is no telling what comes next."

Constance didn't seem to believe him, but Burton was actually relieved when he got home and Ernie was making apple fritters. It meant they had Ernie's witchiness on their side.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Moon/Fish tomorrow! I promise!

So, it's St. Patrick's Day, which is usually an excuse to drink beer and party, but we're not really party people, right?

But the big kids have a new roommate--and the girls are trying to find a two bedroom of their own so they don't have to room with two icky boys, and the new guy is trying to find a job and a car and do it while sleeping on the couch--

And I asked them all over for corned beef and cabbage today.

No, the house wasn't pristine.

No, the food wasn't super involved. Four corned beef briskets cooked in the insta-pot, (two at a time, with beer) and boiled new potatoes and something I'll call brain cabbage for lack of a better word. Mate went shopping and the regular stuff was all gone. All that was left was... I don't know... Kalebage? Cabuce? Lale?"  I have no idea what this vegetable was, but it wasn't the standard tough-as-plastic green cabbage that I've learned to love chopped in my salads and steamed with enough butter to choke a horse.

Each individual leaf of this cabbage was imprinted with little... cells. And it tasted different. But it wasn't lettuce, wasn't kale, wasn't cabbage. It was some unholy wedded monstrosity--it was the result of a polyamorous coupling of blasphemous green vegetables, and if it hadn't been so sweet after it was steamed, I'd denounce it as an abomination. As it is, I'll have to microwave the leftovers with a bit of butter and garlic salt, because you really can't go wrong there.

Anyway-- we had potato chips, and played Jackbox and watched a movie and it was a blast.

But it didn't give me a lot of time to work. (And yesterday... ugh. Let's just say I excavated the clean laundry until we reached the early fall strata which is where all our favorite summer clothes were, and leave it at that.)

So, I'm off to make more words--but I hope you all had a lovely weekend too. If nothing else I hope some of you got to open your doors and windows--spring is sneaking in.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Surprise Visit Part 2, a Moon/Fish crossover fic

 So, woke up at four a.m. to see Mate off at the Folsom airport, got up at 5:40 to take Chicken to the Sacramento airport to go fetch her friend (she's in the middle of roommate swap--joy!), and then got back at 7:00 a.m. in time to get the kids to school and take the dogs for a walk.

You may believe me when I say I slept for two hours and it still wasn't enough.

Anyway--I'm going to post a tiny transition segment of the Surprise Visit fit, and hope you forgive me for how short it is. I"m up at six in the morning again and oi, I do not sleep well when Mate is gone!

*  *  *

Surprise Visit--Part 2

After Burton left, Ernie wandered around disconsolately, fed the cats, cleaned up after baking, and then, as always happened when Burton left on business, his feet led him back to Ace and Sonny's.

"How long's he been gone?" Ace asked good naturedly, feeding Ernie the last of the tamale pie Ace had made on his night to cook. Ace had muscles like cannon shot and a handsome good-ol-boy face with a dent in his chin. He didn't look like he'd even admit to having a boyfriend much less cook for the one he had, but Ace was surprising that way.

"Left this morning," Ernie said, huffing out a sigh. "Ellery Cramer's mother is in danger. He got her to go to Sacramento so he's going to watch all three of them."

"Jesus," Sonny  muttered. "Are we even supposed to know shit like this?"

"Course we are." Ace sat down and sipped his after-dinner coffee slowly. "We're invisible. Like, nobody even knows we're here."

"How do you even say that?" Sonny demanded. "We make more noise than a sonic fucking boom. We blew up an army base Ace. How does nobody know who we are?"

Ernie snickered. "Because me and Burton and Jackson and Ellery and even Ellery's mother, I think, have worked very hard to make it that way," he said, surprised that Sonny hadn't realized this.

Judging by the blank look on Sonny's face, Sonny hadn't realized this. "Why would they do that?" he said in a small voice.

Jai--who was there because it was Tuesday night and apparently Jai appreciated Ace's cooking too--smiled softly at Sonny, but Ernie wasn't fooled. Jai's tightly held torch for Sonny Daye had changed to an out and out fondness, a soft spot that would never heal, but that didn't pain him anymore. He'd lied to Ernie about having a booty call that he met camping--oh yeah, he had the booty call, all right, but they guy wasn't married, and Jai did like him, and even though Ernie knew the truth, he was highly curious as to what had caused the lie.

"Because they see the value you have free to work on cars and not locked in a cage," Jai said, and Sonny looked at Ace with trouble still in his eyes.

"That sounds like charity," he muttered stubbornly.

"It's more like love," Ace said bluntly. "And it keeps my criminal ass in the free and clear, so I'm really fucking grateful. Do you know how long he's going to be gone?" Ace asked, obviously to change the subject, but also because he wanted to know if he should prep Burton's old room so Ernie could stay there.

Ernie thought about it. "A couple of days," he said, not sure what prompted him but trusting it just like he'd trusted his urge to make apple fritters. "And yes, thank you, I would very much appreciate a place to stay until he gets back."

Ace nodded. "Sonny, stop pouting about people taking care of you and help take care of Ernie. Also, one of you may want to take Duke for a walk--you know how excited he gets when Ernie comes over."

Back in the days before Burton had committed, Ernie had taken Duke wandering the desert at night. Duke had enjoyed their little forays--and probably missed their time together now--so Ernie made sure to come take him for a walk once or twice a week just for old times sake. When Burton was there they'd go together and talk desultorily about the way the desert smelled and what the stars could possibly mean, but without him, Ernie's brain--and therefor his psychic ability--tended to reach out into th e vasty world and bring back things Ernie was never sure what to do with.

There was nothing he could do to stop a bus crash or bank robbery. He told Burton, and hoped for the best. Occasionally his brain came back with stories of the serial killers he'd been asked to assess when part of Karl Lacey's illegal behavior modification project to create the perfect soldier. That he reported immediately, via text if Burton wasn't home, and Burton always told him when his contact with the "bugs" as he called them, because their brains were crawly twisted places, panned out.

So far Ernie was eight in eight for being a reliable bug catcher, and he was glad he could help, but really hated stumbling into a bug's brain when he was all alone and unprepared.

"I'd love some company," he said a little desperately, and Ace tilted his head like he heard the things Ernie wasn't saying.

"Jai, go with him," he said, and while Ace was their friend as well as their boss, it was obvious this was an order.

"Da," Jai said, not even bothering to complain.

They were about a mile out from Ace and Sonny's place when Jai said his first words. "You haven't said anything."

Ernie knew what he was talking about. "About your friend in the mountains? No. You lied to me so I wouldn't know, and I figured that meant you didn't want everybody else to know. Why not?"

Jai shrugged. "George is... he's a nurse. A good guy. I am not."

Ernie snorted. "That's hilarious," he muttered.

"No, no--I have--"

"Killed people. I know. You don't understand. I keep running into serial killers in my mind. It's why I wanted your company you know. Their brains are awful. Like bug warrens. Like little shit beetles crawling through their head."

"Lovely," Jai said, shuddering with revulsion. Jai was well over six feet tall with a shaved head and a black goatee. Watching him shudder was a treat in itself.

"Yeah. Well, I've known you for a while now, and your brain isn't like that. Your brain is all these neat little boxes. Well, one of your boxes has a guy named George in it, and he's bursting the box's seams. You're going to have to share him with Ace and Sonny or he's going to break your brain."

Jai groaned. "Ugh.  Could we go back now? I don't want to think about this right now."

"Sure." Truth tell, Ernie didn't want to either. He wanted to think about Burton, under the same sky he was under, looking out into the cloud mottled stars and thinking about Ernie like Ernie was thinking about--

"Burton's going to have to pull that thing," Ernie said, suddenly right back in the present. "And yell at Jackson to duck. And Jackson's going to duck and roll and there's going to be a crash and the music will explode and then Burton can come home."

Jai was staring at him.

"What?" Ernie said, shaking himself all over.

"That was the fucking creepiest thing I've ever seen."

Ernie groaned. "Well, keep into yourself, okay? I"ve got to text Burton so he knows what's coming."

"How on earth can he know what's coming from that?" Jai asked in wonder.

"Same way I knew how to make apple fritters, Jai. Shit just comes to us."

He typed as fast as he could and when he was done, he let out a breath.

Thanks kid.

Now some boyfriends would blow him off--but Burton had learned to trust him in the past six months.

And now they had to wait.

For his part, Ernie was very curious as to what it all meant.




Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Surprise Visit: A Moon/Fish Crossover Fic

So, enjoying writing me some Fish 4, and here is a thing I kept referring to, that didn't fit into the timeline, that I felt REALLY must be written.

Enjoy!

Surprise Visit

Burton looked at the information on his screen and blinked. He knew that name.

"Uh, Jace?"

Jason Constance looked harried, his appealing looking square-jawed features pale and haggard under his neatly trimmed goatee. Tracking down the trained mercenaries who'd been "modified" into psychopaths had taken a toll on them all these past months. Constance needed to get the hell away from headquarters, even if it was just to get laid and have drinks on the beach.

"Who is that?" he asked, blinking hard.

"Man, you are looking like shit. Can you get away from here for a minute?"

"Depends on who that is?"

"Remember Rivers and Cramer?"

"Taylor Cramer, Esquire--his father?"

Burton stared at him. "His mother. Man, I told you about meeting her two months ago. Look where she popped up."

Jason sat up as though stung. "Holy fucknuggets!"

"Yes, sir, that is mercenary chatter, and she does have a hit out on her, why do you ask?"

"Who's taking the contract? One of Lacey's guys?"

Burton frowned as he tried to interpret the chatter on his screen. "Looks like one of the guys working for Corduroy--something about Mrs. Cramer putting pressure on the military to investigate the organization, and see if any of the branches are utilizing them as a resource."

Jason's quiet snort told Burton that yes, a number of high ranking military intelligence officers were not looking forward to Ellery's mother shoving a magnifying glass up their sphincters.

"Only one?" he asked.

"Mm... nope. Two. But they're under strict orders to make it look like an accident, and to have no witnesses and no casualties. Anything looking like a hit that takes out civilians or other members of the family negates the contract."

Jason looked thoughtful. "So, uh, Rivers and Cramer--they can handle themselves?"

"Rivers, absolutely. Cramer follows Jackson's lead and tries to stay out of the way."  Unless he lost his temper because the bad guys were really awful, but Burton kept that to himself.

"Okay, do you have a relationship with Ms. Cramer?"

Burton's eyebrows did something complicated that made his face feel scrunched. "Define that?"

"Does. She. Know. You. Oh my God, Burton--Ernie would skin you alive!"

They were alone in the room, or he wouldn't have said that, but Burton smiled. His face went soft when he did that thinking about Ernie, but he couldn't help it. He'd trusted Jason with that info too--they'd had him out to dinner once or twice, always under the strictest of secrecy--and Ernie had been as gentle with Constance as he had been with the feral kittens he cared for on a regular basis. You'd think Burton's CO, hard bitten, tough as nails, as cold a killer as Lee had ever seen, wouldn't need to be treated with kid gloves, but Burton could see it too.

Constance was getting frayed at the edges and thin in spots. The trained serial killer thing had taken it out of all of them.

"She's met me before, sir. She wasn't at her best, but she'd remember me." You didn't forget the people in the waiting room when you were hoping to hear your son would live. Particularly when your son's lover was hanging on by a thread.

"Good. I need you to make contact and get her to the west coast. Ask her if she wouldn't like to visit her favorite kid. I want her in their company at all times--and you and me, we're going to be their shadows."

Burton blinked. "Are we taking out the targets, sir?"

"They're Corduroy, right?"

"Yessir."

"Then we capture and question and see if we can negate the contract. Unless their targets are in imminent danger, understood?"

"Understood."

"But first..."

Burton sighed. Even upset and holding Jackson Rivers together by force of will, Taylor Cramer was a  formidable woman.

*  *  *

"You're going where?"  Ernie was pretty psychic, but he didn't always know the details of Burton's little trips.

"Sacramento."  Burton ran his palm from Ernie's shoulder blades to the hollow above his round bottom. "Tomorrow morning. Me and Jason."

Ernie relaxed into the caress. "Well, if Jason's going with you, that's okay."  He looked up from the vat of boiling oil he was cooking pastries in. "And the apple fritters will still be fresh. You can take them with you!"

Burton blinked slowly. "Uh, why would I--"

"They're Lucy Satan's favorite," Ernie said. "If I make them and frost them tonight, they'll be ready tomorrow--but you'll probably have to wait until he next day to deliver them. You'll be talking to the bad guys. Anyway, here!"  Ernie took one of the cooled, iced fritters off the drying rack and pulled a piece from it. "Want a bite?"

Burton took the pastry from Ernie's fingers, completely entranced. The fritter was amazing--because Ernie could cook desserts and donuts like nobody's business--but it was Ernie himself who was mesmerizing.

Ernie caught the look and popped a piece of fritter in his mouth, blushing. "Uhm, Cruller?"

Burton moved behind him and started to kiss his neck. "Mm?"

"Do you want to do this before or after I finish with the fritters?"

"Before."

"Okay--I'll turn off the heat."  He reached out and did that, and put a lid on the deep fryer, and Burton kissed down his spine, rucking up his shirt when it got in the way. Ernie's body, lean, pale, with little freckles dotting his shoulders from recent forays into the southern California sun, was still as tender and delicious as the day Burton had first devoured him, back in October. Ernie dropped his chin to his chest and leaned into Burton's hard embrace. "Mmm... do you have plans for us to be more naked?"

"Oh yes."

"Do you want to sit in the hot tub first?"

"Nope."

"Shower? I'm all sweaty from cooking."

"Sure."

They'd purchased the house built int he middle of Victoriana for a song. The suburb had been meant to grow out in this direction, but businesses had failed and people decided that the desert was just not that exciting to live in, and as a result, Burton had about an hour commute to the secret military base in Barstow where he and Constance were not stationed.

Also, he and Ernie had a home, one with a really awesome hot tub, and a shower built for four, but those days were over for Ernie, and all Burton had ever wanted was the one.

The one lover--Ernie, as it turned out--who knew who and what he was and what he did for a living and saw the warm beating heart under the badass exterior. And who melted in Burton's hands like Burton was made to wear him like a second skin.

Burton soaped his body thoroughly in the shower, all his crevices, cleaning him, teasing him, chafing his nipples and slowly jacking his cock with a soapy washcloth. "Is that all you want clean?" Ernie taunted, spreading his legs and planting his hands against the wall. Burton took the washcloth and parted his cheeks, cleaning, and then poking and then stretching, with soap and three fingers, while Ernie urged him on.

Finally Burton pulled out his fingers and rinsed them both, and then, when he would have toweled them both off and taken him to the bedroom to make slow love to him, Ernie leapt into his arms instead.

The temperature in the shower jacked up to about a thousand degrees, and Ernie clung to  Burton's body while Burton positioned his cock at Ernie's cleaned and stretched entrance, while Ernie slid down ecstatically. Burton's knees trembled, and he shoved Ernie's back agains the shower wall and held him in place while he undulated his hips, slowly, slowly, slowly, until Ernie reached between them and grabbed his own cock, and squeezed hard enough to come.

The ejaculate fountained up to hit Ernie on the chin, but Ernie's head was back against the wall and his limbs were going slack around Burton's body, and Burton had no choice but to rocket his hips and rut into  Ernie's ass until he came too, his knees going out and both of them sliding to the ground in a not-so-clean heap of repletion.

"Burton?"

"Ung?"

"Water's going cold."

"You wreck me kid. You wreck me every fucking time."

"Good. You're leaving me for a week and I hate that."

"I'm sorry." And he was. Ernie had known this would be their lives--and for the most part their lives were pretty good. There was a surprising amount of time to have sex in the shower and other unusual places in their spacious ranch style house in the middle of the fucking desert.

But leaving him was never easy.

"I know, baby. Let's get out and go have round two in the bedroom. I want to rim you until you cry."

Burton's cock started to grow hard just thinking about it. He struggled to stand up without slipping and knocking his head and fucking up the op before he had a chance to leave for it.

They made it to the bedroom and Ernie made good on his promise and this time he topped, and Burton gave himself over, the few moments of his life not in control, and Ernie saw him to the finish as he always did.

They ate dinner then--soup Ernie had cooked earlier--and ate some more of Ernie's donuts while the apple fritters were cooking. It wasn't until they were eating the donuts, big glasses of milk next to them on the table, that it hit Burton.

"Hey--did you know I was going?"

Ernie took a nibble of crispy outside with icing. "No. But I knew I had to make apple fritters."

Burton took his own bite, going for the tender inside with the apple filling. "Because they're Ellery's mother's favorites?"

"Oddly enough I didn't know that until you said you were going to Sacramento. It's an imperfect system, Cruller. I'll let you know when I fine tune it enough to be useful."

Burton grinned at him. "You're pretty useful without the woo-woo stuff, Ernie. I'd rather have you fuck me like the god you are than tell me what my next op is."

Ernie grinned back. "Yeah? Good--because I always thought sex was way more fun than woo-woo shit." He took another bite of fritter. "But that doesn't mean I won't clue you in if I get a flash on your next op, okay?"

"Deal."

One more sleepy bout of love making for the road after that, and they fell asleep early, so Burton could get up two hours before dawn. Ernie must have gotten up some time in the night, because he'd taken a pink pastry box from the stacks of them he ordered and filled it with fritters. He'd filled another one with crullers, and wrote For Jason and Lee on top of it, which was nice. The one with the fritters said, Don't throw away, I'll know. 

Which was a nice way of telling Jackson and Ellery who sent the donuts without writing his name.

Burton sighed and put both boxes in the seat of his truck before starting off into the blackness of morning. Ernie had looked so sweet as he'd left, asleep, black lashes fanning his cheeks. Like an angel.

Devious little shit--he'd managed to convince Burton to make a six-hundred mile donut delivery while Burton was running an op.

But then, anything Burton could do that would let Ernie keep thinking he was a hero was okay with Burton.



Monday, March 11, 2019

Kermit Flail, March Addition!

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!

First of all, thank you all for being patient. I know you probably expected Kermit Flail in this space last week at this time, but, well, I was traveling from Daytona Beach home and it was not happening. I'm rested now (mostly!) and caught up (sort of!) and so ready to celebrate the nearness of spring!

And I do mean "nearness"-- it's still cold and wet and rainy here. I even caught a double rainbow on the way out of Captain Marvel today. By the way? That movie? See it!  But see? It's spring, so it's all the hope, but it's still rainy and the weather's a bit punk and it's definitely still time to read.

So here's some spring picks for you--well, and a Christmas pick, because Freckles was re-released this month, and woot!

First we have Andy Gallo and Better Be Sure-- now Andy has written under another pen name, Andrew Q. Gordon for his fantasy-- and this is one of his most recent forays into the contemporary world. As a person, there is nobody kinder, funnier, or more solid than Andy--and I can't wait to see what his contemporary stories look like. I bet they're as warm as his heart!

Next, we have J. Scott Coatsworth, my fearless leader in our local Sacramento writing group. Scott is also kind and funny and steadfast--but he is still riding the fantasy train and his award winning fiction is receiving lots and lots of notice these days. Also, he's my friend, like Andy, and I want him slathered in praise and whipped cream. But mostly praise. Come check him out!

And finally, a guy who really wouldn't mind the whipped cream, we have Parker Williams, and his newest book, Galen's Redemption, which is out in April. Now Parker is... well, he's sort of awesome. Online he's like a manic pixie dreamboy--with a healthy dose of good solid friend thrown in. Also? There's an Amy Lane couple doing a cameo in this one, so, you know... keep your eyes open for a couple of guys who may look familiar.

And finally we've got me, with Freckles and Familiar Demon. Because it's a long way until String Boys and you might need something to tide you over.

So Spring is coming, everybody-- and it's definitely time to celebrate. Sit down with a book and look at the rainbow--and remember, it's always a good day to flail! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!

Better Be Sure

by Andy Gallo

A Harrison Campus Story

When the stakes are this high, you better be sure you can win.

Jackson Murphy lost his parents to a boating accident, but they’re never far from his thoughts. He attends the same university as his parents, joined the same fraternity as his dad, and even lives in his father’s old room, along with his adopted brother, Marcus. Life brightens when he meets the man of his dreams.

Edward Knowles trades full-time college for working during the day and community college at night when his father’s factory closes. He intends to stay deep in the closet to keep his job in heating and cooling. But Jack pushes all his buttons.

Jack’s college rival challenges him to bring a date to the upcoming dance. He goads Jack into accepting even though failure means he and Marcus will lose their room and Jack must leave the fraternity.

Jack is falling hard for Ed, but Ed will never agree to go the dance. Ed—not knowing the stakes of the wager—has also made it clear that Jack taking another man will end their romance.

With pressure from friends and enemies alike, will Jack hold on to his legacy… or his heart.





Ithani

by J. Scott Coatsworth

 book Three of the Oberon Cycle trilogy


Time is running out.

After saving the world twice, Xander, Jameson and friends plunge headlong into a new crisis. The ithani--the aliens who broke the world--have reawakened from their hundred millennia-long slumber. When Xander and Jameson disappear in a flash, an already fractured world is thrown into chaos.

The ithani plans, laid a hundred thousand years before, are finally coming to pass, and they threaten all life on Erro. Venin and Alix go on a desperate search for their missing and find more than they bargained for. And Quince, Robin and Jessa discover a secret as old as the skythane themselves.

Will alien technology, unexpected help from the distant past, destiny and some good old-fashioned firepower be enough to defeat an enemy with the power to split a world? The final battle of the epic science fiction adventure that began in Skythane will decide the fate of lander and skythane alike. And in the north, the ithani rise….


BUY HERE 



Galen's Redemption

by Parker Williams


A Links In the Chain Story 

A rich man is about to set foot into an unknown world, while a Good Samaritan fears he’ll have to close the charity he’s spent his life building. Poised to lose it all, they might find what they need most in each other. 

Son of a wealthy importer, Galen Merriweather lives to broker deals, and he’s damn good at it. But it’s getting harder to ignore the kind of man his father is—a man who would pay Galen’s brother’s lover to leave… a man who’d demand Galen retrieve a quarter-million-dollar check from a struggling homeless shelter. Robert Kotke knows the money is too good to be true, but it’s a godsend that could help so many people. Still, he hands it over when Galen shows up. But he isn’t done with Galen yet, and he’s going to challenge everything Galen ever believed. Galen will face an impossible decision: the redemption he’s come to realize he wants, or the life he’d always dreamed of.



Freckles

by Amy Lane


Small dogs can make big changes… if you open your heart.


Carter Embree always hoped someone might rescue him from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.


Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who eases Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse of the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be “Super Pet Owner”—and decent boyfriend material to boot.


But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says goodbye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive. He can be a man who stands up for his principles!


He can be the owner of a small dog.

BUY HERE


Familiar Demon

by Amy Lane



Familiar Love: Book Two

For over a century, Edward Youngblood has been the logical one in a family of temperamental magical beings. But reason has not made him immune to passion, and Edward’s passion for Mullins, the family’s demon instructor, has only grown.


Mullins was lured into hell through desperation—and a fatal mistake. He’s done his best to hang onto his soul in the twisted realm of the underworld, and serving the Youngblood family when summoned has been his only joy. Edward concocts a plan to spring Mullins by collecting a series of items to perform an ancient ritual—an idea that terrifies Mullins. He can’t bear the thought of losing Edward and his brothers to a dangerous quest.


But every item in their collection is an adventure in brotherhood and magic, and as Mullins watches from the sidelines, he becomes more and more hopeful that they will succeed. When the time comes for Mullins to join the mission, can he find enough faith and hope to redeem himself and allow himself happiness in the arms of a man who would literally go to hell and back—and beyond—to have Mullins by his side?

Friday, March 8, 2019

Freckles--RE-release!

 Freckles

by Amy Lane

Small dogs can make big changes… if you open your heart.

Carter Embree always hoped someone might rescue him from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.

Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who eases Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse of the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be “Super Pet Owner”—and decent boyfriend material to boot.

But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says goodbye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive. He can be a man who stands up for his principles!

He can be the owner of a small dog.


I don't think Geoffie knows she's got a fan club--but it's true.

I mentioned once on FaceBook that I couldn't take three dogs walking without weaving a lanyard out of dog leashes, and five people piped up, "I bet that's Geoffie!"

Well, uh, yes. Yes it was. 

Geoffie was an accident of fate all around.

When ZoomBoy was in fifth grade (back when he was short!) his best friend Sam had a dog named Hercules, an Apple-headed Chihuahua of about a year old. Sam's mom had an older dog of around eleven, named Lily. 

One day, Sonia was petting Lily and she said, "Oh, Lily--you're getting fat!"  Then she felt a little more and said, "But that doesn't feel like fat."  And then the fat kicked. And she said, "But that's impossible-- we keep you separated from Hercules when you're in heat."

And then her husband said, "But what about when we left and my parents cared for the dogs."

And Sonia said, "That was what? Two months ago? What's the gestation time of a Shih Tzu?"

And they looked it up. And it was sixty-three days.
Which gave them exactly twelve hours warning before Lily whelped and there were puppies running around.

At the time, I only had Johnny, and he was a year old and a spoiled boy. He slept on my boobs (we called him a booby hamster) and he had me ALL TO HIMSELF. 

But these puppies. Oh my God. THE CUTE OF THESE PUPPIES. So we visited and picked out the... well, quirkiest of the puppies. She sort of rolled around in tubby little circles and aggressively licked my face and seemed the most gregarious--and the loudest--of all the other adorable puppies.

As it turned out, she was the smallest too. The other dogs grew to be ShihTzu sized, between 12 and 15 pounds, but this one has maxed out at eight, and that's only because I feed her too much crap--she should be around six.

And she is loud and she is bossy and she is always the dog in trouble. We have almost lost Geoffie twice, and each time the vet's office has been frantic and freaked out because when she is healthy and happy and a whirling ball of fur and energy she is their FAVORITE and she LOVES THEM and LICKS THEM and BARKS AT THEM and nobody could do these things with as much ENTHUSIASM and VIVACITY as this ridiculously tiny dog.

And as you can tell, she literally changes personality when she gets groomed. She goes from Scruffy and Tuffy dog to Princess and Duchess dog, with the buzz of the clippers, but her irrepressible lovability remains the same.

Johnnie will never be alone again, because Geoffie will always be on top of him, chewing on his ear. Every night right before Mate goes to bed, the dogs hear the call of LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE! And turn into the Looney Toons Tasmanian Devil as they tear up the living room. They are the terror of the dog park, made even MOAR terrifying by the addition of Guest Dog Gibbs.

And one absolutely miserable February, about three years ago, when I felt like I could do no right, she still adored me, and was one of three creatures in the world who I felt like I could trust not to stab me in the back. 

And THAT was when I wrote Freckles.

Freckles is an homage to the life changing properties of small nuisance dogs--all of them, the Johnnies, the Bruisers, the Brutuses, and the Guest-Dog-Gibbs. If it's small, loud and bound to get into trouble, it's a Freckles dog, and although the story is light with relatively little conflict, I've had people tell me that this is the story they go to again and again when they need to feel safe. 

The world is a safe place when you're being lurved on by your best friend. It just is.

So Freckles is being re-released this year from a different publisher--and although the cover is different, it's the same fluffy-happy-goodness in the book.

If you haven't read it yet, please enjoy my tribute to my small dog. May she live to lick my face for many years to come. 








Thursday, March 7, 2019

In the Rain--a Dawson/Jared fanfic

More con stories tomorrow, if I can remember them. In the meantime, this is for a friend, who might need it:

In the Rain--a Behind the Curtain Ficlet

A funeral, on any day, was the worst day ever.

The rain and the mud didn't even made it worse--it just reassured everybody that the small coffin was just as painful, just as tragic, as any onlooker could imagine.

Dawson stood next to Jared in the pouring rain and held the umbrella over their heads, while Jared clutched his cane and scowled into the gray muddle of somber faces. Dawson had no idea what he was thinking.

The child had been in Jared's special night class--her heart had given out suddenly, and her parents were devastated. Dawson hadn't known her--he volunteered with another class--but Darian had, and she was sobbing in Benji's arms next to them.

But Jared wasn't crying. Just that impassive scowl into the rain.

For the last week, he'd been like that. A ghost dancer in their apartment. He'd made dinner when it was his night, he'd done the dishes, paid the bills--even come to a show Dawson and Benji had been running.

But there had been no sudden smiles, no quiet laughter.

It was like the heart of him had always been meant to be here. In the rain. And Dawson wanted to scream.  He didn't though--just held the umbrella over his head and shivered.

The graveside service ended, and people trudged back to their cars, Dawson keeping the umbrella steady as Jared concentrated on not slipping in the mud. When they got to Dawson's car--a Chevy Impala as an upgrade to the Toyota that had pretty much rolled over and died--Jared got in silently and Dawson closed the door behind him before moving around to the driver's side. Once he sat down and started the car, he asked, "Whereto?"

He expected to hear, "Home!" but Jared surprised him.

"The zoo," he said.

"Really? In this--"

"Please?"

"Alrighty then."  Dawson didn't mention they were both in their best wool suits, or that their overcoats had soaked through. He didn't mention the umbrella still sopping wet in the back of the car. He just drove to the freeway and then the fifteen minutes to the zoo.

Of course it was practically empty, and Dawson had no idea what the person at the entrance thought of two grown men in funeral suits buying tickets, but he followed Jared as he walked to the giant bird pond near the front. After a moment of trying to figure out what his boyfriend was thinking, Dawson looked out at the birds.

And was surprised.

"This is the best day in the world for them," he said, surprised a little. Flamingos, it turned out, gave zero fucks about the rain. The ducks loved it. The other birds were fairly amused.

"Glad it's good for somebody," Jared said, also sounding surprised. He turned then and walked, to ignoring the reptile cage--thank God, although there was a giant gorilla in a sweatshirt and jeans with a teeny excited girl heading that way, because apparently Dawson and Jared weren't the only nut jobs in the rain.  Instead, though, they went to the red panda enclosure--and the pandas were draped about in the rain, seemingly oblivious.

The monkeys didn't mind it either.

In fact, nobody seemed to mind the rain, not even the two dumb humans trying desperately to stay under the umbrella.

At the end of the walk, Jared turned toward the bonobo cages and smiled a little. "She always wanted to dance like animals," he said randomly--maybe the second thing he'd said all day.

"Yeah? Which ones?"

"Depended on the day. Some days she wanted to dance like flamingos. Some days it was leopards. Some days it was zebras. And she'd tell me and Darian stories about why she was making her body go like the leopard or the zebra or the flamingo. And we'd look forward to it, you know?"

"I bet," Dawson said, heart aching. He'd heard them talking about this kid, Megan. But he hadn't heard this.

"And that last day, she wanted to dance like a turtle. Slow. and she wobbled her body back and forth. And she might not have felt s good, because she was slow all day, but we said it was okay, everybody got a turtle day."

Oh Jared. "You couldn't have known," Dawson said softly.

"I know. I mean, me and Darian, we were one part of her life, all week. But... but I like to think we were a part she looked forward to."

"Of course you were."  All the kids loved their studio. They had enough students that Jared was hiring another former dancer to come in on the nights he couldn't. Elena was a nice lady, with an orthopedist husband and a new daughter and an impossibly big Italian family--but she hadn't been there for this.

Jared let out a sigh, and wrapped his free hand around Dawson's waist, leaning his head on his shoulder. Dawson wrapped his arm around his shoulders and nuzzled his hair.

"I'm going to miss her," Jared said, voice breaking.

"I know, baby. I'm so sorry."

"Thanks for coming," Jared whispered.

"Where else would I be?"

There was nowhere else to be.  They stood there until Jared started to shiver, watching the monkeys play in the rain.

"Come on, baby," Dawson said, tugging gently. "Someday you'll see a kid dancing and it'll be a monkey day or a flamingo day, and you'll be okay again. And you'll remember Megan and it won't hurt."

"Yeah."

But Jared didn't move until Dawson cupped his wet cheek and pulled him in for a salty kiss. Dawson pulled back. "Someday, we'll come back here in the sunshine, and we'll teach your other kids how to dance like a turtle."

Jared nodded. "Promise?"

And Dawson heard it, the need to know that not all days would be this sad. Dawson had always been the one who could see sunshine in their future. He hadn't ever realized that was a gift, that it would define him, as an adult, as a lover, but here, now, looking at Jared's mercury blue eyes pleading for solace, he realized that it was his most precious commodity. His professor had once said he'd "earned his charmed life"--he hadn't ever known what that meant until now.

He found optimism and hope on this shitty day, and breathed it into Jared's tired heart.

He pulled back and smiled. "I promise. Let's go get warm, baby. Let's watch Animal Planet videos and make up dances for all your kids, okay? Your friend doesn't have to be gone forever, not when she's bringing you joy in your heart, right?"

Jared nodded, shaking a little. "Right."

Dawson guided him back to the car and when they got home, he set water heating for hot chocolate before he joined Jared in the shower.

Warmth seeped into their bones gradually, and soon the two of them were on the couch, cradling their chocolate, doing what Dawson had promised. Amber joined them, having spent the time after the funeral with Darian and Benji, and as they watched bonobos gambol across the screen, she looked up at Jared. "Why don't you ever make a dance like that?" she asked.

"Planning on it," Jared told her, leaning his head against Dawson's chest. Later, they would make love, very quietly, and Dawson would remember those moments, looking at the animals in the rain. The world sucked sometimes, in the cruelest ways. The fact that the human heart could be patched together again and again and again every time it was broken was one of the only reasons Dawson's lover was still walking around.

Dawson was grateful that he was the one with the duct tape and the glue to help Jared patch things up again. He didn't trust anybody else with the job.




Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Con Stories--Day 1

Okay-- so I'll admit it. I was not in great shape when I arrived in Tampa.

The plan was for Karen and her husband Martin to pick me up and then take me to their house. Karen and I would spend a day chilling and yarn shopping on Tuesday and then drive from Tampa to Daytona on Wednesday.  But Karen had a book signing in a tiny boutique book store Tuesday--and it was fun!  She had a group of readers gather around her--there were probably fifteen or so--and we sat in a small book store, surrounded by pictures of other authors who had enjoyed a book chat there.

It was pretty awesome. And her fans were the best! They very graciously asked me for my card, and I gave them over--it would be great if I got new readers, but they were just so charming to my friend that it's just fine if I'm not their cup of tea.

Anyway, Karen, being the most gracious and amazing hostess ever, offered to do a yarn crawl the next day. It took a while but we hit two stores and a really great restaurant for lunch. We arrived in Daytona around eight, and were both so tired we just got room service and went to bed. I'd been trying to finish edits, and honestly, I hadn't kicked being sick yet.

Thursday was a quiet day. There were people to see and meetings to be had, but I have to admit, I did a lot of quiet sitting and talking, and I slept late and went to bed early. I knew Friday would be bananas, and if I hadn't just taken a day to chill, I wouldn't have been up for it. As it was, I enjoyed every conversation I had on Thursday, including the one with my roommate, Kayla.

Kayla is a reader-turned-writer. She's super-genius level smart and charming and hilarious and her stories about helping with hurricane relief on St. Thomas were hysterical and wonderful and even though the roommate request came in late and I volunteered because I wanted her to be able to come, it turned out to be one of the best moments about the entire con. Kayla, if you're out there reading this, I will room with you any time, if you don't mind rooming with me.

Friday was registration--and Friday was the deadline for having a basket into their charity raffle.

Now I'm usually good for a decent basket--but, remember, sick!--so I had some swag and some books, and, well, a scarf I was mostly done with. I stayed up late Thursday after Kayla went to sleep trying to finish the scarf, and I managed it. I still felt bad, like my basket was sort of weak shit--but apparently the Amy-knit scarf was a big attraction. Melinda, who won it, I hope you stay warm!

Friday was a blur of panels and events and Flash Fiction and Cinema Craptastique. I loved it. Cinema Craptastique was featured probably the worst movie ever--Vikingdom, don't watch it without alcohol--and Flash Fiction had a change in order. I was seated between Lucienne Diver and Kiernan Kelly, and I hope I kept up with both those ladies because they were hilarious and sharp and I'm always afraid of being the weak link in the chain. Eric Asher and Kathy Lyons were in the beginning, Damon Suede was, as always, the anchor, and the result was, as Eric (who hosts these events a lot) "like regular Flash Fiction on steroids!"

I'll take that as a compliment!

And I'm going to leave the rest of the stories for tomorrow--because it's late and #amwriting too--but this convention remains one of the highlights of my year!






Monday, March 4, 2019

A Little Book News Before I Sleep!

So, Coastal Magic was a GREAT convention--I had the best time with the best people. I'm sure I'll have more stories tomorrow--but right now I've been up for almost 24 hours (give or take a nap in a plane that didn't leave the ground for two hours!) and I got business to take care of!

Anyway-- first things first.

If you didn't buy Familiar Demon because you missed Familiar Angel, well, Familiar Angel is ON SALE FOR $.99!!!

So it's a good time to take a gander at this series if you've put it off!

Also--

For those of you who have heard about Freckles, but haven't read it yet, and were sort of depressed because it was unavailable for a little while, well, it's OUT AGAIN ON MARCH 8TH!


And finally, for those of you who missed the cover reveal for String Boys--

Well, here you go.

It's out on May 28th and so pretty I want to cry.



So, I'll be sending out a newsletter (finally!) and I'll get to con news and my greeting home sometime this week.

But in the meantime, thanks for being patient--the convention was great and I had a wonderful time, but boy, after leaving here sick, I was just really exhausted the entire time. Blogging was not on my agenda.

And right now?

Sleep. Sleep is definitely my priority.

I promise, more stories tomorrow!

Amy