Green's Hill-Amy Lane's Home - News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What you see...

He's doing the robot, can
you tell?
So my original plan was to blog yesterday, and to make it all pictures of Universal Studio, but my pictures didn't send and to be quite honest, I was so tired by that point that I couldn't brain words.

So today the pictures sent, but by then, I was balls deep in Disneyland with a phone that had no battery. (There's a special sort of hell for that… I just have to think of a name. I'll take suggestions with Greek and Latin roots, and anything beyond "Fuckin' phone!" will surpass my idea in both originality, creativity, and use of vocabulary.)  I have to say, if my phone had possessed more than vestigial power resources, I would have snapped a picture of the guy who sold us ice cream in Toon Town. He looked jUST LIKE Rico from Bitter Taffy, and dudes… Rico's worth looking at.


She's like the poster child for
Disney adorable.
It is once again late, I can't brain words, and i've 650 words to go before I win NANOWRIMO.  Oh-- and we have to go get Chicken and T from San Diego in the morning.

So, well, I'm going to deluge you with photos.  If I'm feeling generous, I'll add a caption. If I'm feeling brain dead I'll drool on the keyboard until I hit publish, and, well, no caption.

BTW-- remember that I'm WAY THE HELL FAT and I've been out of working out commission for about three weeks.  (Tweaked shoulder, head cold, rain.)  Mate tracked 18,000 steps on his FitBit, and given that I had to sit down and take five and skip a couple of rides, I figure that puts me between 12-14,000.


Can't brain, I've got the fricken exhausted.  

I'm pretty sure they were afraid to keep going.
Old, fat, and tired sucks. I'm gonna have to do something about that middle part. That's all I've got for you right there.

But my children were adorable-- and on the way home in the bus today, ZoomBoy talked to everybody. By the time people were done with that bus ride they knew our names and the sie of our feet.

And all sorts of stuff we would rather have not spilled in between.

I only seem to get these photos when Mate is alone with them.
Kids. Gotta love 'em cause you can't give them to someone else without paperwork.

Anyway-- these are somewhat out of order-- we did Universal Studios first, and Disnelyand today, but, you know.


At this point, he's unsure
what the deal is about.

Seriously-- the best thing about this classic picture in
the classic ride is that Mate caught the whole moment
on video and it made him queasy.

Guess who got to be a Jedi in training.
He almost wet his pants. 

This is Rhys Ford's cat. I gave Rhys
the scarf, but apparently it was really
meant for Neko.

This was taken with Rhys and her Horde/Crew at Zion Asian
Market. Andi, John, Felix, Marilyn, Paisley
Beth, Steve, and Andrea (and Rhys, of course!) it was SUCH
an awesome lunch. And ZB and Squish made their own legos
at Fashion Valley Mall while we were doing this, so it was

This is Mario Lopez. I was so embarrassed
taking this photo, but you guys?

Guess who won their own minions at the Despicable Me
Amusement Park with the clever name that I've totally forgotten?

SpongeBob. SPONGEBOB. Do we need other words?

Fun with special effects!

And we met Betty Boop!

The Mummy. btw-- the actor
was GREAT. He wasn't letting
them get away.

This one was Mate's favorite. He loves this movie.

My family in Hollywood. They're awesome enough for it.

Homer has to be there if we're eating a donut that big.

But all together is the only way to eat it.

Know what?
It really IS so FLUFFY!

Homer is his hear. God, I'm a bad

He's calling Mars-- they're not beaming stuff in fast enough, mom.
HIs directions are unclear.

Friday, November 21, 2014

We All Know I Took Both

So, packing for LA tonight and wondering how another Disneyland trip managed to sneak up on me when I'm fatter than ever.  That's okay though-- I've told every mother I know that we're having dinner in the park, and to a one, they got big dreamy smiles and unfocused eyes:

 "You're eating dinner in the park? No cooking? No cleaning? No getting ready for family?"

I, uhm, think I may have tapped into fantasy gold here.  I'm saying. The idea of a Thanksgiving dinner that is not labor intensive apparently floats everybody's boat!

So, that's coming up, all the ruckus to get ready has me turning circles-- and can I just say?  I'd like to give my kids' school district the big raspberry for the thinnest school month ever.  I mean, February used to be the big "lost" month, but November? They had three days off last week, this week has been half-days and teacher conferences, and next week is a vacation. Dudes. When do they go to school?

That being said, apparently my kids are doing pretty good when they're there.  Squish is pretty much on grade level--for fourth grade.  (You may recall, she should be in third grade this year.)  Anyway, she's probably going to be able to skip right into fifth next year. so, uhm, go Squish!  (She has an obscene number of tardies-- so does Zoomboy. I keep expecting to get SARBed, but the teachers are apparently so excited about nice kids who make no trouble and get all their jokes that they're like, "Fuggedabouddit!" Which is awesome, because that's the kind of teacher I was. I'm like sometimes, karma is not a bitch!)  And ZB is pretty much the same-- his only slow part (as in, he's with all his peers, but he's ahead in everything else) is writing strategies, and we figure this is because writing is so difficult for him (he has long fingers and awkward fine motor skills) that by the time he's written the first sentence, he's forgotten what he was writing.  I had the same problem when I was writing with pen--and when I wrote fast, my penmanship-- oi! So I suggested letting him keyboard and the teachers were all on board with that, so yay!

So to celebrate teachers, I've got this link here, because it's BEYOOTIFUL and because it says everything Orwell or I have ever said about political writing and how it butchers both language and reason.  (And before anyone thinks I'm too liberal here, I will tell you this-- I actually DID this with one of the Democratic fundraising e-mails too, and there was just as much red ink, which is why I stopped getting them.  Political idiocy transcends party. For reals.)

Teacher Grades Republican's Congressman's Paper

Now, some of the kid pictures I have here are from ZB's bday party, which I didn't talk about yet, but suffice it to say people came, our house was more or less as clean as it ever gets, lots of sweets were consumed, and ZB got presents.

And we all celebrated my ZB, which is pretty awesome. Also? I got his room clean.  I mean, not me personally because they take away your mom card if you can't delegate, but Dad and the kids all got his room clean with my nagging, planning, and prompting.  We bought a new area rug and then, genius, a beanbag chair. He's suddenly in love with his room again.  The room itself has more space to play, and suddenly, our house is bigger.  It's… amazing.  *fantastic shudder*  Dudes. I can't make this shit up.

Also this week, (did I mention it was sort of a busy week, considering we're packing to be gone all next week? DID I? *pushes panic back into the box*)  were the soccer banquets.  Squish's was held in an indoor soccer arena, and I guess it shows what a NON- competitor I am that I've never seen the point of "Hooray! We lived through soccer season! Let's go play indoor soccer!"  Squish was not impressed either. But she got her medal, and everyone pronounced her most improved and, as is very Squishlike, the hardest worker and most cheerful presence on the team.  God, I love my Squishy.

ZB's soccer banquet was notable because Mate had to talk and tell all of his players how much they improved and how proud he was of them, and then the team mom got up and said a few words about Mate--and she was so grateful.  Everyone was. It's funny. When you're young and stupid, and you assume winning is everything, you don't anticipate standing in a room with a regular guy, lots of gray hair and a shy smile, and being grateful to him, because he didn't try to teach your kids how to win, he taught them how to play.  Every parent in that room knew how special it was to find a soccer coach who had only that one thing in mind.  The fact that in our first year the closest thing to victory was a tie, and this year, we done a few, lost a few, and tied a few, says a whole lot about how far you can bring kids by just teaching them the fundamentals of the game and telling them to play with their heart.  And, of course, I'm proud of ZB too.

And other awesome things about Mate--

He actually found me a reason to play video games.  See?  Video Game Romance Scene (With Freddie Prinze Jr's voice!)  Seriously.. hot Inquisitor action is hinted at here. Be wary.

And he took me to the King's Game, where, as a friend suggested, I imagine all the guys with their clothes off and call it work.  Given that I just wrote about our guys Xander and Christian HERE on Amber Kell's Blog and have been flirting with the idea of a sequel for the last year, I'm thinking she wasn't far off.

And for the rest of my blog?

Well, my daughter destroyed my Tyler Hoechlin dreams by sending me this picture of the usually STUNNINGLY attractive Teen Wolf actor with a porn-stache-- we're hoping he's growing it for Mo-Vember (a charity movement) and that it won't be there for long, although, I can say I've never seen Bob of Bob's Burgers look sexier.

However, along with the killer of dreams photo there, she also sent me a link to some Out of Control VERY naughty NSFW Sterek  which I'll share with you.  Because porn reasons. Uhm, enjoy.

And so to leave you all--and hence get my ass in gear to pack-- I'm going to give you one last meme, and this one proves that sometimes, in the political arena, Picard might just edge out Kirk.  If nothing else, I'm pretty sure he kicks ass.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A few words about coming attractions...

 I admit it-- I'm working on something easy right now.  I didn't plan on easy-- and it's not that the work doesn't have it's challenges, but I have to admit, it's been a pretty intense year, work wise.

This was the year I finished Beneath the Stain, The Bells of Times Square, Black John, The Deep of the Sound, and Immortal. 

I consider these five things to be some of my best work.

So even if I'm still putting my all into something, if it's not ripping my heart out, I'm going to consider it just a wee bit easier--and honestly?  That's fine.  Just like as readers we don't always want to read the stuff that emotionally destroys us, as writers, we don't always want to write the stuff that leaves us two pints low with blood on the floor.

Sometimes, our favorite reads are the sweet ones, the quiet ones, two guys (or two girls or a girl and a guy) just working shit out.

There's still craftsmanship, and there's still heart, but there's not sixty-eleven trips to rehab and dead bodies and jagged, rusty, emotional detritus.

Sometimes, a whole lot of craft and skill and joy goes into just writing something with heart.

So, The Candy Man is coming out on December 3rd, and it's available for presale at Amazon and Dreamspinner  and Candy Man  is that kind of read.  It's kindly, gentle, there's some pain, but there's also a big floppy dog and a cat or two, and some genuinely sweet guys working shit out.  I loved being with these guys so much, that when I needed something short and sweet to come before Quickening (which I start next month so as to finish in March) and after The Deep of the Sound (which was actually due about a month before I got it in, because GRL, sick, and it just frickin' got long on me!) there were people from  The Candy Man who still needed their story told, and Bitter Taffy is the next book to do just that.  In a way, it's like my Granby universe-- the place with Jeremy Bunny and Craw and Stanley.  There's sweetness, there's heart, but it's going to leave us happy, fuzzy, with our hearts only a little battered, and our livers slightly less destroyed.  Like I said-- it was the perfect thing to work on right now.  I may try to run against form and write the next book in the series only two more books down, so that way, I can get a series out in a timely manner for once.  And see-- that'll be a change too.

But in the meantime, to prove I haven't gone soft, I've got The Bells of Times Square coming out on December 15th.  Available for presale at Amazon  and Riptide, if it seems like it's been on presale forever, that's because it has. See, Riptide had some faith in this one as a work of literature, and it's gotten some nice reviews.  I believe I've mentioned (and yes I'm gonna be dropping this bomb a lot, so's you knows) that it got rated a Top Pick in the January issue of Romantic Times--and I happen to have the review right there:

4.5 stars, Top Pick in Mainstream Literature
Lane understands the power true love has to survive hardship and make even the loneliest hearts feel whole. She manages to convey these enormous feelings in achingly simple, straightforward terms. This tale of family bonds and enduring love is no exception. Her insight into her courageous heroes, both young and old, makes this layered story real and compelling. The exquisite final scene is a guaranteed tearjerker, and an unforgettable testament to a love that defies time. 

It also received a review from Publisher's Weekly, and although not all of the review was flattering (not everybody is as excited about framing devices in a story as I am, and that's something not even legitimacy will cure) it did have some really nice quotes:

…A Florence Nightingale romance develops between the two men as they hide from Nazis and try to imagine a world where they can fight a just war and have a life together. The scenes with Nate and Walter are elegant and movingly rendered…"

So, considering I was let go from teaching because my administration considered M/M romance "porn", I'm calling these two reviews a win. For one thing, did you notice the category of The Bells of Times Square in the Romantic Times quote? It said "Mainstream Literature"-- not "gay fiction", not "erotica"-- and that's pretty special. That means that this piece holds up in any venue. I've maintained since the very beginning that the only difference between "romance" and "mainstream fiction" should be the guaranteed element of hope in the story, and I think I've done that, and, well, hell yes. I'm proud.

So, well, there's Bells.  

Also coming up is Black John, which is on its third edit right now.  Black John is the fourth book in the Johnnies series, and it features everybody's favorite coke fiend (yeah-- I can't even believe I wrote a book with this guy) on the rocky road to rehab.  I think I've said this before, but I'll definitely say it again-- John surprised me. I mean this book was dark. In its way, it was even darker than Beneath the Stain because Mackey hadn't hurt anybody when he was doing everybody's drugs.  John did. John hurt the guy he'd been pining for-- and he feels like crap. And to top it off, John's ex-- the guy who fucked him up in the first place-- has ended his life and left a big freaking mess for John to clean up--and a neighbor with his own addictions for John to fall in love with.  So yeah.  This one isn't the sweet and easy of Candy Man or Bitter Taffy-- but in spite of all of this, John had a dry, sarcastic, voice.  Unlike some of my characters, he's in his thirties, he's a survivor, and we see in this story that he's been down before and he's pulled himself up, and he is stronger, and a better person, than he's ever imagined. 

If the only thing standing between mainstream literature and romance literature is a sense of hope? Black John has a surprising amount of hope.  I'm a fan. 

And speaking of hope.  

So, I did mention that I was writing Bitter Taffy before Quickening.  Now the reason I'm not jumping on Quickening right away is because the earliest it will be released is 2016-- In the past few years the length between a story being accepted and a story being published has gotten longer, precisely so we can send stories to places like Publishers Weekly and Romantic Times Magazine, which is a good thing for Indie publishers and Gay Romance writers alike.  

But the other reason it will be a while for Quickening to be released is because we're currently re-releasing the entire series.  So, Black John comes out in late January, and Vulnerable with a brand new cover and brand new editing and everything, will be out on March 3rd. 

It's my first.  It's got an introduction written by Mary Calmes and Damon Suede, and another one written my yours truly and basically?  

It was a sentimental journey to revamp this book, from beginning to end.

I can't wait to get to the other ones.  It's gonna be a trip.  

So, there you go-- what's coming out, what I'm working on, what I'm excited about.  If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section, and I'll try to address them either on the blog or on FB-- 

And in the meantime?  Thanks for reading, keeping up with me, and loving the work.  I really do have the bestest readers in all explored space-- thank you so much for being part of this :-)

Peace out!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pizza Weekend

It's inevitable. 
It's the last day of soccer.  The last day of soccer.  

Squish's team won, ZB's team timed, and Squish had her banquet today. 

ZB gets his on Monday. 

ZB's birthday is today, but his party is tomorrow. 

Yes, you heard that. Pizza. Three days in a row.  

And cake and cookies…

Ugh.  *rubs stomach*

Yeah.  There's a reason we call it pizza weekend.  

But other than that, all the other stuff is pretty neat.  Squish assisted a goal, Mate got to coach both games (he's assistant coach for Squish's game, which means he's not always there) and I actually talked to the coaches at Squish's banquet.  I know this is gonna blow your minds, but I'm actually a little shy around the soccer people.  Uhm, I don't play soccer, I have no interest in sports, and my competitive nature is usually drugged by sugar and comatose.  I'm not your average soccer mom, and I'm always very conscious of the fact that, unless they read romance or like radical politics, we usually have one thing and one thing in common: our offspring participate in a game that my genetics have rendered it almost impossible for my own offspring to contribute to.  

I'm always a little embarrassed.  It's like, "Yup-- that goal she stopped?  That was her father.  That, uhm, distinctive run?  That's all me.  Sorry. The other kids got it too.  Yup.  So sorry. Blame me. Sorry!"

But this time there was a conversation.  Granted, it was about Mate, who wasn't there because he was coaching his game, but since Mate is so awesome, I had something to talk about.


So, oh yeah-- I sort of buried the lead under pizza.

ZoomBoy is eleven today.

He's all legs.  And big brown eyes. And creative ideas. And a catalog of information about fictional realms that I cannot even fathom.  

And joy. 

And imagination.

And lego specs.

And kindness toward children and small animals.  

And cruelty toward his sister followed by contrition.

And black and white stick drawing cartoons.

And puns.  

And computer genius.


And feet.  Oh my God would you look at his feet?  They're bigger than mine! (But not as swollen and fat.)

And potential and possibility.

And mommy love.

And awesomeness.  Oh, Goddess, when we're talking about my ZoomBoy, let's talk about the awesomeness.  You're leggy wonderful quickly growing elbows, ears, and awesomeness.

And I love you.  Even when our ADHD is competing together for most obnoxious, I still love you.  Even when you win that contest.  

You make me so proud.

So, anyway-- tomorrow, there's pizza and cake and housecleaning.  And tired kids (who are already tired because soccer, soccer banquets, and housecleaning!)  

And ZB's friends and giant lego toys.  And a new area rug and a beanbag chair, and fun.

You're my bread and butter baby.  All white food, very dependable that way.  

And my joy.  

Happy Birthday, Zoomboy.  Don't worry about mom and dad eating too much pizza.  Tonight I made us soup and salad, and we'll use that to stay young and healthy for you.

As you grow into the stratosphere, beyond this world, into others, into the stars.

That's how you go ZOOM!  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Two Cylinders, One of them Sleeping

 Okay, so still sick-- which means I'm the world's must boring blogger.  I have accomplished a few things though.

I managed to finally (cause it's eight days late) write my November Amy's Lane.

It's about where our creativity comes from, and after it was finished and I'd published it already, I came to a stunning realization.  The more concrete reasoning we do in a piece of writing, the less the reader has to do, and the more intuiting they have to do about whether or not that reasoning aligns with their value system or not.  Which explains reader reaction to non-fiction and essay writing.  And the less concrete reasoning the writer does in a work, the more intuiting they do in presenting their argument-- and the more concrete reasoning the reader has to do, and this explains a reader's reaction to fiction.

And that will be another Amy's Lane, I'm sure.  Or, I shall look back upon it and declare it the mad ramblings of a sick woman.  Either way, we'll call it done.

Other thing.  In the article I say I've written 20,000 words of fiction.  5,000 words are a VERY short story for an April Fool's anthology for Ethan Day, who runs Wilde City Press.  I will tell you two things about this short.

A.  It's very hot.

B.  The names of the leads are Gordie and Steve, and they discuss the products of Geoff and Johnny's erotic enhancements.  So, well, yeah.  My household cats have been fanficced in alternative universe porn without point. I'm not sure if it's depravity or genius.  We'll have to wait until April to see!

The other 15K are toward a novella that will be the sequel to Candy Man.  The thing is, Candy Man had a character who screamed for a sequel, and I needed something short and relatively uncomplicated before I wrote Quickening.  Bitter Taffy looks like that's the perfect story to fit into the perfect time slot.  And like I say in the Amy's Lane essay, it's perfect to write when you're sick or need something comforting.  I'm thinking that's what kind of read it's going to be as well.

Oh-- and this is exciting.  Bell's of Times Square will be featured as a Top Pick in Romantic Times Magazine in February, with 4 1/2 Stars, and a lovely review, which I will probably quote later until you're sick of it.  And they're going to pull quotes from the review (and one from Publisher's Weekly which wasn't as flattering but which had a kick-ass quote) and put the quotes on the cover.  

I know. Silly and juvenile of me, but I'm playing with the big kids, and now one of my books will be dressed in big kids' clothes.

I like the way they fit.

Oh-- and the fish poster?

Saw it on FB, and I"m pretty sure it's the essence of all romance writing ever.  Don't touch my fish! But there's a lot of fish to write about.  That's a lot of stories. That gets mighty interesting, right?

Chicken is in the middle of finals right now, and hence the Bender and SpongeBob pictures.  But then, they could also be reacting to Rhys Ford's posted picture of the snake in the sweater.  Because that's what she thought I was knitting when she burst out in the middle of her panel with, "Amy Lane, what in the fuck are you knitting? A sweater for a snake?"

Well, it was a fingerless mitten.  Maybe it was a pair of pants, if the snake was particularly well endowed.

And on that thought, I'll leave you alone.  Probably looking like SpongeBob, because the idea of the snake wearing a fingerless mitten in an inappropriate manner would do that to anyone. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014


In one of my Green's Hill Werewolf stories, (I think it's Changing,) I bring up the concept of "bad shit" anniversaries.  Really bad stuff happened to Cory in Wounded, and when that same time of the year rolls around in Changing, everybody is bound and determined to keep Cory out of the fight on the anniversary of the bad shit that happened in Wounded.  This pisses Cory off to no end, of course, and then, when bad shit does go down, she's all the way across the county, being taken care of while two of her husbands and her friends are in the middle of a bullet storm.

Bracken has it under control, of course, but he does have one of my favorite lines of all times.  "You think you're a big thing, little man? What you think of as a bloody corporate takeover is really a domestic dispute of biblical proportions, and you're in the middle."  (I probably mangled that-- but I was channeling Bracken when he said it so I'm calling it a win.)

Anyway-- when I wrote that story, I was mostly being tongue in cheek.  For some reason my entire family-- mom, dad, first round of kids-- had gotten really sick in February for, like three years running.  One year, I remember bleaching furniture, because literally all we as a family was flop around in our own sweat like dying fish-- for a week. Another year, I actually escaped the plague, but I spent two days putting cold peas on Big T and Chicken, while they did their dying fish impersonation all on their own.

I did not expect that idea of "bad shit anniversaries" to follow me through one set of kids to another, and to take root firmly in November.

When Zoomboy was born, he was exactly on time, and Strep D positive (we shall not go into the story of one more doctor not listening when Mate and I said "Please don't put fat pregnant woman on her back! Her labor will stall!" And then labor progresses like a freight train once they let me get up.)  His blood sugar dropped, he started to get listless, and he spent five days in NICU because he just wasn't waking up.

So we got him home, and there was this month of terror-- we knew he'd be susceptible to every bug in the world, so we didn't take him anywhere. We were afraid he'd stop waking up again.

Well… November has become our new bad shit anniversary.  If our family is going to catch anything at any time, it's going to be during October/November.

Four years ago when I'd just gotten pulled out of my classroom, I got sick almost immediately.  I've been sick pretty much every November since.  This year, it was a pinched nerve in my shoulder followed by a cold, and now Zoomboy shares my pain, and we're both useless lumps of flesh lolling about the house while the rest of the world zooms around us.

The worst thing about this is that there is a whole lot of stuff I want to get done.

The best thing about this is that I feel no guilt for not getting it done.  Example?  My deadline for Amy's Lane came and went, and I didn't notice for five days.  I'm going to get it up next week-- and hopefully stop forgetting it after that-- but I'm saying, that's the sort of thing that goes on during a bad shit anniversary.

Today I should have been writing Amy's Lane, and Mate wanted to go see Big Hero 6. Of course we saw the movie.  I huddled into my cardigan and let ZB cuddle with me (after I fed him a Motrin) and knitted because honestly, it was easier than saying, "No, I don't feel good enough to go anywhere."  I'm glad I did, because Big Hero 6? Worth it-- but you see what I mean?  Big T asked me a question about literature and I drew a big blank and said, "I can't brain today I have the dumb."  He thought I was making fun of him, but then I spent the next five minutes staring into space, so I think he realized I was telling the truth.

Anyway-- the one thing I did manage to do this weekend was take Squish to a birthday party at Berry Jello's place (and we were going to go out to a friend's dinner afterwards, but I felt way too icky to even think about it, and so did ZoomBoy) and the pictures of Squish are from that.

So now I'm putting my cardigan back on and sinking blissfully into my little world set on the Old Sac tourist waterfront, and writing the sequel to The Candy Man.  Speaking of which, I'm pretty sure I'm getting a presale link to that story and you'll see that.  And an Amy's Lane essay.  It's just…

Well, so easier to hide in my fiction than it is to write my facts.  My fiction is cozy and warm and gentle on my stomach and it puts a hood around my ears and even if it makes me cry, it gives me a cocoon of safety around my aching person.

If you need me, I'll be there.

Oh yeah-- I should mention this, because a lot of you made it happen-- Beneath the Stain received Book of the Month over at Love Bytes-- Thanks guys!  I'm glad my little rock star made your list-- thanks so much for rooting for him!-- Amy