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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Okay--so two nights ago, I won NanoWrimo.

I'm working on the sequel to Fish Out of Water, tentatively titled Red Fish, Dead Fish, and it's about 75K in. The first one was 95K, I think this one will be about the same, so, yeah--almost done-- yay!

Uh, of course, the point of Nano is to write 50K words in a month--and yes, I do this most months. This year, for some reason, I'm a little behind--I'll be at about 550K by the end of the year. Most years I make 600-750. Either A. Old age is catching up with me, B. I made two more trips this year than I'd been planning, C. I had a LOT of editing this year that I didn't have last year, or D. I've been making a concerted effort to clean the house and make that a priority because I'm going to be stuck here for a while.

I'm thinking it's E. All of the above.

Anyway-- 50K a month is a solid, productive working schedule for me--I'm happy with that.

But here's the thing--

When you're always writing--and always have a project underway--starting a novel on Nov. 1st and finishing on Nov. 30 isn't always possible even if you make the word count--even if you make more!  (For instance, I'm going to be at about 55K tonight--so, more!)

Some people are finishing one project and starting another in the middle of the month.

Some people have already started a long project and are working on the middle.

Now I've done both--this is the seventh time I think I've entered and won, so I've got my ways of keeping track of what I'm entering.

In this case, the words "emotional coma" were only used once in the entire manuscript. I'd go back to where those words were used--that was where I started writing on Nov. 1st--and select from that part of the manuscript on.

So, I'd like scroll down.

50,000 words of just... scrolling.

Took over a minute.

I'd lose track of how many micronaps I took in between.

I'd start applying moisturizer, doing my hair,  cleaning my desk with my other hand, all while I scrolled down the remainder of my work so I could enter it.

The night I won... I entered what I'd written three times.

The first time, I was five-hundred words short.

The second time I was seventy-two words short.

The third time, I made it.

But I began thinking while I was scrolling that last time (because it's a MINUTE of just SCROLLING, and I got BORED) that this was a curious hoop to use to test a person's stamina.

It sort of made me wish I could just BAM start one book on November 1st and work until the end.

For no other reason than to push Windows + A/ Windows + C/ Windows +V and have the whole thing done.

Maybe next year.

For now?  I'm just glad I'm done.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Whew-- That was close!

Mate and I try not to be bad parents.
We don't shelter our children, but we don't expose them to too much sex and violence on television.

We talk respectfully of everyone except politicians. (Most notably the racist, fascist, bigoted fucker in the White House, because we want them to know that facts matter, and this idiot wouldn't know a fact if it pissed on his feet.)

We don't let them hang out online with anyone who says the F-word more than mom.

We don't watch horror movies or porn or anything that's going to give them nightmares while they're in the same room. 

We generally try not to desensitize them to the big mysteries of adulthood while not letting the big scary things be a smack in the face like a dead fish, either.

So, tonight, when we were watching @midnight, and young Mr. Hardwick was pretending to take two cocks at a time, we changed the channel. Also, because Mate had checked live feed for the show and saw they were discussing Santa Claus, and he didn't want to pay for therapy bills that way either. 

Mate changed to the Simpson's marathon.

Where we watched a parody of Run, Lola, Run, a commercial for a KY product that made it so you don't have to imagine your grandmother to stave off orgasm, and a commercial for Adam and Eve Adult Toys and Lingerie. 


Fuck it. 

I'm just going to have him watch The Hangover, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Superbad this weekend, and then they'll know everything, including what not to do with a ping-pong ball!  

It'll be a lot less work. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

OMG You Have a Dog?

Made an appointment for the doc today and they gave me a time slot at 11:40. I parked (no easy feat-- Roseville is swarming with SUV's and big trucks and all the parking spaces are fitted for  MG convertibles) and was walking across to my med building when my phone rang.

It was my doctor-- he thought we were having a phone appointment.

I tried to convince him we weren't.

He was very confused.

He said to come in anyway and I said "Good! Be there in two minutes!"

Anyway, when I got there, he sheepishly admitted the appointment was in office, and I WAS supposed to be there, and then we started talking about my problem.

The question of exercise came up and I talked about walking the dogs came up.

"You have dogs?"

I showed him the cover to Freckles, and then he got out his phone.

And showed me a small dog just like her.

I about died.

There's no point to this story except you can really get some personal service from Kaiser if you and your dog bond over adorable dogs.

I have to admit, when I wrote this story, I was unaware of this perk--but I'm passing it on to you!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

And then I was naked.

 Okay-- so first of all, Summer Lessons is out, and so far folks are liking it-- that's always nice to hear :-)

Second of all, we drove up to Grass Valley for a craft fair on Saturday.

Now, this was sort of funny. My stepmom was talking about a girl's day out a few weeks ago. I couldn't make it then, and I was depressed because it was at a craft fair, and I love them.

We started talking about craft fairs, and a week later she said, "There's one in Grass Valley!"

"Oh, great! I wonder if Mate would want to come!"  See--I'd forgotten completely about the girl's day, because Mate likes to do different stuff, and, well, I've been missing time with Mate that didn't involve a sports object of some sort.

Anyway-- stepmom bailed because it's partially an outdoor venue, and because it was pissing down rain.

But Mate, who gets all excited about squelching rain in his tennis shoes was all excited to go, so we went.

And we had a great deal of fun.

And we bought Christmas presents, both cool and odd. (Christmas ornaments made out of goose eggs. I was immune to their charms, but Mate was enchanted.)

And ZoomBoy got a whole new batch of bath bombs--those bath salt things that dissolve when you toss them in? He loves them--and he was particularly bedazzled by one called Reindeer Poop. One bath bomb and our house smelled like gingerbread and evergreen.

And so did ZoomBoy--he was thrilled!

Squish got herself a cocktail hat that is FABulous--now it just needs a dress.

Dad got my parents the perfect Christmas gift--and me?

I bought yarn.


Alpaca/wool in 620 yard put ups. It was just too delicious not to!

And on the way home?

We stopped at a Beach Hut, and discovered these.

They were weird. But at least they weren't a usual Saturday, right?

So anyway--

Everybody got home and napped and dried off, and I went to serve pie, because it was the sort of day that deserved pie, really, and a terrible thing happened.

See, if you follow me on Twitter, you know that I went to take the dogs for a walk, and I had to juggle dogs, leash, phone, and, oh my God--pants!  We were down to the two pairs of pants in my collection that I ordered when I was sure I was the size of a full grown bull elephant.

Now in fact, I'm only the size of a modest hippopotamus, but these pants...

These pants are bull elephant pants.

I was pulling them up all day at the craft fair. Walking between the buildings in the pissing down rain went like this: Squelch, squelch, yank, squelch, yank, squelch, yank, squelch, squelch, squelch, "I gotta to to the bathroom!" because by then my underwear had fallen down inside the pants and then I came out and resumed the cycle again.

But I made it, right? I made it home, took them off to nap, put them back on to resume my day, and here I was, all safe and sound in the kitchen, slicing pie.

I came to the living room with a slice of pie in each hand, ready to hand them to Mate and Squish, when it happened.

Yup, right around my ankles.

I stood there for a moment, feeling stupid as Mate and Zoomboy dissolved into hoots of laughter.

With dignity I stepped out of my pants and went to give them their pie when I felt the full horror of my situation descend.

"Take the pie!" I begged. "Take the pie! My underwear are--fuck!"

Mate managed to say "Look away, child, look away!" (ala DeadPool) before he lost his shit. Squish had to grab the pie while I pulled up my underwear and stepped back into my pants.

"What are you doing?" she asked, laughing.

"Recovering my dignity so I can get the other two pieces of pie," I told her, as composedly as I could.

"You mean you have some left?"


"No, dignity. I knew you had pie."

"Well good, because no, that was apparently the last dignity I'll ever have."

Mate and ZB dissolved into laughter again and I sat down with my pie.

As I stuffed a bite in my mouth, Mate said, "You know, your pants have been trying to do that all weekend."

"Well now that they've fulfilled their mission, I think I need to turn them into a craft project, don't you?"

He chuckled, and I went back to planning something for the pants that involved a roller-cutter and lots of tiny pieces.

But even if I used them to spell out the word, I think my dignity is never coming back.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Summer Lessons and Black Friday

So, a long time ago, back when Squish was a teeny baby, I used to go shopping on Black Friday. I had a friend who'd get me at 5 in the morning, we'd gas up on coffee and hit the stories.

It was horrible.

I remember once, we were at Target, and I just sort of noped out of all that chaos and hunched over my full cart of crap and knit until she found me and dragged me someplace equally as awful.

Since then, Mate and I have made it a point to go out together. A. He keeps me from spending so much money, and B. He knows which electronic things they want and need, and that really helps.  C. As sort of a side benny, I get to go out to lunch with my husband--win!

Anyway--I miss that friend-- she was a casualty of the teaching job debacle--but I don't ever miss going out on Black Friday.

I'm going to stay home and make chicken and stuffing instead. This is important, mind you-- I didn't cook yesterday, and when people offered me leftovers, I took them for Big T and Chicken instead, because starving students, I remember it well.  (They ended up with an entire pie and a loaf of bread--I'm like, damn, I don't think I ever walked away with that much when I was their age!)

So, Black Friday is going to be a decent time for me, which is good--because I have a book coming out!

Yes-- Summer Lessons is out today.  Now, I don't have quite the huge blog tour planned like I did for Freckles, but I do have a few stops where I've written some original content, and I'll post that here too.

Now, a few words about Summer Lessons-- this book sort of walks the knife edge between yellow and orange. There's a lot of humor in this book, but unlike Freckles, there's some pain and some tears too. I know there are a couple of parts that made my eyes burn through the final edit. Be ready for them-- but be ready for the laughter too. I know Mason and Terry took my by surprise every single time.

Summer Lessons

by Amy Lane

a Winter Ball novel

Mason Hayes’s love life has a long history of losers who don’t see that Mason’s heart is as deep and tender as his mouth is awkward. He wants kindness, he wants love—and he wants someone who thinks sex is as fantastic as he does. When Terry Jefferson first asks him out, Mason thinks it’s a fluke: Mason is too old, too boring, and too blurty to interest someone as young and hot as his friend’s soccer teammate.

The truth is much more painful: Mason and Terry are perfectly compatible, and they totally get each other. But Terry is still living with his toxic, suffocating parent and Mason doesn’t want to be a sugar daddy. Watching Terry struggle to find himself is a long lesson in patience, but Mason needs to trust that the end result will be worth it, because finally, he’s found a man worth sharing his heart with.

Cover Artist: Anne Cain

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Dreamspinner
Buy at ARe

Blog Appearances:

Mason and Terry Character Interview at Grave Tells

Alpha Book Club

Joyfully Jay

Diverse Reader

Love Bytes

 I hope everybody's weekend is lovely, and your shopping painless!  And let me know if you like Mason and Terry-- don't worry, Carpenter and Dane ARE going to get their story told!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Well, at least I cooked...

 I am cooking for two different Thanksgivings tomorrow-- there were requests made...

My stepsister requested bread and German cabbage.

My mom's family requested three pies.

That's an awful lot of cooking to specific order for someone who can't make ramen without discovering some wonderful new flavor using the spices on the back of the stove.

Mate got home tonight from a King's game and I'm like, "Here, taste this."

For those of you who love the Geico commercials, I'll just leave this here...

Mate puts whipped cream on it.

"What is it?

"It's an experiment."

"An experimental what?"

"An experimental pie. What's it taste like?"


"So it doesn't taste like anything?"

"Well, it tastes like pie."

"Okay, so it's not good."

"I didn't say that. Here, have a bite."

"It's not bad right?"

"Well, why do you need to know?"

"Okay, so I told my sister I'd be bringing German cabbage and bread, but I might not need to do the bread because my cousin Leanne is making bread like crazy, and my bread came out a little crusty--"

"Heh heh heh..."

"So, yeah, crusty. Anyway so I'm bringing the Chaneys pies, three of them, but I made four pies, but one of the pies was this--"

"What's in it anyway?"

"Pumpkin, vanilla pudding, and chocolate chips--"

"This should really taste better than that."

"Right? So anyway, do I give the Chaneys the cherry and two pumpkin pies, and take the experimental pie to my sister's house with the German cabbage, or do I throw the experimental pie at the Chaneys cause we're not eating there and bring a pumpkin or a cherry pie to my sister's house."

"Where are we going again?"

"Keep up here, hon-- what do I do with the pie?"

"Nothing. I just finished it."

"Should I assume then that it wasn't a complete failure?"

"Yeah. Do that. Assume away."

"Okay. I'll bring it to my sister's along with the bread that's only okay. And the German cabbage which should be outstanding."

"I like your German cabbage."

"Apparently better than my pie."

"I don't know--I may have to eat some of the other one to see if it's better than I thought it was."

"Aces. I'll bring that one to my sister's house."

"Where are we going again?"

"Here... let me draw a schematic while I"m trying to decide whether or not to make an apple pie in the morning."

"Did you get a nap today?"

*yawn *  "No."

"Yeah. Don't. Go draw up the schematic. I'm going to finish off the pie."

So, I guess the pie is all right. But then, it's hard to kill anything that gets whipped cream and pre-made crust.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hey-- who ate the wool carrots?

Or, you know-- yarn barf.

So, in random news today...

*  Chicken's new job is by a movie theater, and it's $5 Tuesday. In celebration, Mate took the morning off and I took the kids (who have the day off) and we met Chicken to see Newt Scamander.  I adored it--very much.  But it does beg the question-- why don't people ever look at subtext? Seriously--the people other voters have put in power in this country are a LOT like the bad guys in the Harry Potter stories.

Even their rhetoric is the same--their euphemisms, their illogical nationalistic jingoism.

They're the same bad guys from 1984 and V For Vendetta and  the same bad guys from every movie about WWII and movies about the KKK and...

Why does half the country not see that these are BAD. GUYS? Do they go watch Harry Potter movies and WWII movies and hear people talk about purebloods and muggles and think, "Oh, that J.K. Rowling, she pulled those concepts out of thin air with no basis in reality at all!"

I mean, I think we need to make Harry Potter--all movies including the new one--required viewing, for this reason alone. If we can make a clear case for Donald Trump being Voldemort, maybe we'd hit impeachment that much sooner.

*  And on a less serious note, I am DROWNING in work, but I took the kids to the movies because it's sort of my motherly duty and Squish had half days ALL LAST WEEK and is going out of her mind with boredom.

So imagine the taste of irony when my stepmom called up and asked if the kids wanted to go see the new Harry Potter movie tonight.


* Also, my cat needs to stop gazing tragically into her own reflection in the sliding glass door. I cannot tell the difference between intense feline introspection and "Dammit, I've gotta pee!"

*  And briefly about the picture...

So, I was working on Squish's sweater when the snarl got pulled out of the rabbit's mouth. Mate saw it and started laughing and I tried to take a picture around the dog. The dog heard Mate laughing and felt me squirming and took off, getting snarled in my yarn and pulling more yarn barf out of the rabbit's mouth.

And the rest of us could not stop laughing.

Poor dog.

Lucky rabbit!

Monday, November 21, 2016

The things you forget about birthday parties...

*  Cleaning house is a family endeavor

*  It usually lasts beyond the party

*  Other people's children are a lot louder than yours

*  But sometimes a lot more fun too

*  Taking middle schoolers bowling can be terrifying

*  That one kid looks like he's gonna loop the ball right into someone else's lane

*  You're a much better bowler if you pretend the pins are members of Trump's cabinet

*  Yes, I smashed the horrible and inhuman Alt-Right today on lane 6 at the AMF, why do you ask?

*  You always order too much pizza

*  The only thing more frustrating than ordering too much pizza is when relatives show up early, eat their own pizza, and then won't even help you out by eating some of what you ordered for them.

* My sister didn't eat any cake, either.

*  BTW--Ice cream cake really is much better when the ice cream is soft

*  Also? If you put an ice cream cake in an ice chest and cover it with blankets, as long as the temps are in the low sixties it will last nearly three hours without getting soupy.

*  Your friend really is your friend if she helps you eat some of your leftover pizza

*  You like her kid better too

*  Plans to say, edit or write after the family crashes in a post bday coma are probably best shelved for tomorrow.

*  The blog better not go on to long either

*  Because seriously, you've been up since seven cleaning the damned house

*  But odds are good nobody will mess it up until tomorrow morning!

*  Night!

Scorched Haven--Finale

Hey all!

Rampant, part 2 is coming out this week, along with Summer Lessons  and Freckles is out and doing just fine.

Quickening is under edit, and The Virgin Manny is all up on the website-- whew. I've been telling you that I wrote 260,000 words in 2015 that were on a long publishing release schedule... well, guess what's all coming out next year!

Anyway-- it's time for the finale of Scorched Haven, like I promised.

Now, eventually, I'm going to gather all this together and convert it to .pdf and put it on my website as a freebie--and hopefully pay someone to help me edit it, because I am fully aware that it does not showcase the best of my typing skills. (That is apparently what happens when you wait until midnight to write 3K installments of a serial--color me not shocked.)

But ticks and flaws and all, here is the last part of it--I hope you've enjoyed falling in love with Zeb and Colton as much as I have :-)

And oh!

If you haven't yet read the other 12 installments, well, here are the links!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12

 Alrighty then... okay... let's see, let's see...

Where were we?

Oh yes.

They were home.

 *  *  *

"Why aren't we in your room?"

Zeb looked up from dumping his duffel bag on the chest of drawers in the corner.

"I have a roommate," he said with a little shrug. "Nice guy--were-kitty. They don't bond as mates and he likes poly. Not my thing, so we weren't likely to bond together."

Colton frowned and looked around the room--which was, all things considered, pretty nice. Wooden king-sized bed featuring a sort of fractal rainbow design on the quilt, with hangings on the walls to match. The wood paneling in evidence in all of the hill was here, a light-colored wood, that made much of the sun coming in from the window over the headboard.

"It's a nice room," Zeb said defensively. His bare feet squished happily in the plush area rug. Yeah, it was nice. Better than his student flat had been, even before he'd sold all his possessions for drugs.

"Well yeah, it's nice!" Colton half-laughed. "But it doesn't make any sense. You do realize we shouldn't have a window to jack from here, right?"

Oh. That.

"It's... well, nobody talks about that here. It's sort of elven magic, but real subtle like. The elves like sunlight and the vampires need half the hill to be underground."

"Oh shit--right!"

He had to smile at Colton's enthusiasm. The kid sort of took to this life like he was born to it. It had taken Zeb three years to accustom himself to the casual magic that permeated every breath he took.

"Yeah. So don't ask me how we have a window--but the only rooms that don't have windows are the rooms that wouldn't see sunlight if half the mountain sheared off.  Green's doing his best to feed everybody's soul, you know?"

Colton nodded, and tucked a piece of hair behind his ear. "So, uh..."

"I'll shower," Zeb said promptly. They'd both thrown up on that horrible ride. "And nap. Green will probably call a banquet tomorrow to explain shit. In the meantime..."  Zeb bit his lip. This was so embarrassing. "Green will probably come get you. Don't, uh, feel bad for anything that happens. I mean, even if we were going to bond, or already bonded, it would happen. It's... it's how Green gets to know people. It will make you feel good, trust me. There's no shame involved at all."

That scowl was lethal. "I'm not just going to cheat on you because we're not--"

Zeb grabbed his hand, shivering with reaction just from the contact. He took a step into Colton's space and breathed in, feeling that smell surrounding him again. They'd been inside each other, again and again and again. In his entire life, Zeb had never committed to anything--not even Green's Hill, with the fervor he'd committed to this young man.

"It's not cheating," he said softly, nosing the hollow of Colton's neck. Colton shuddered and tilted his head back. "It's answering to your ultimate pack alpha. There might not even be sex involved--and even if you come, it won't feel like sex. It'll be... important."  Zeb took a step back, fighting the erection that had become an almost permanent thing since he'd awakened that morning, replete and exhausted, in Colton's arms.  "I'm going to shower first," he said, feeling grubby and road worn. "And brush my teeth. Uh, if you want food, go into the kitchen and--oh!"

Tiny glowing lights had ably to be washed--and then, bless everybody, a platter of what looked like tri-tip, complete with biscuits and gravy and steamed veggies, appeared.

With two forks.

"I guess there's snacks," Zeb said, smiling faintly.  The meat smelled great--but he wasn't a new werewolf. He could wait. "I'll be out in a few. Save some if you can."

If he couldn't, Zeb knew where to go.

He set the shower to parboil and coated the sponge in body wash. The last three days--Ritchie's death, his own wounding, then Colton, all of the world, all of his heart and body about Colton--lay heavy on his skin. Maybe he could wash some of it off, right? Maybe he could scrub and scrub and let the days run down the drain in a swirl of dirt. Maybe if he rinsed off the scent of Colton's come on his skin, he could erase the way his heart ached at the thought of Colton moving into his own room, discovering the other creatures there at the hill.

He'd been so fine, so noble, going down on one knee before their leader. Learning the ins and outs of this world from Zeb's hurried, half-distracted explanations.

Zebulon, third spear carrier on the left, was not a mate for that fine young man.

The his chest hurt, and his throat, and his eyes burned. He stayed under the water until that went away, and he was worn from letting it out.

When he got back out, Lady Cory was sitting on the bed, looking exhausted but interested, as she spoke to Colton, who was sitting across from her on a room chair.

"So he crashed through a guard rail!" she said, her voice holding the thrill of someone asking about a fight at school. "That's sick." She looked up at Zeb, who stood with a towel around his waist, feeling stupid. "He's telling me about your mad-ass driving skills--I'm totally impressed!"

Zeb flushed, feeling unworthy. "It's amazing what you can do with the right motivation," he mumbled.

"Right?" She grinned at both of them. "Did you see Bracken fly? I mean, not his favorite, right? He wobbles--but dudes, you should have seen us at the thing, with the place? When we sprang the new werewolf and the half-elf. It was pretty amazing."

"The thing with the place?" Zeb asked, winking at her over his shoulder. He was rooting around the drawers to see if he could find some sweats or something.

"Well, you missed a lot while you were gone." She grew quiet then. "We're sorry about Ritchie--I know you guys weren't close, but it's hard to lose someone. And he was your friend."

Zeb paused, boxers and pajama bottoms that had just magically appeared in his drawers in hand. "Thank you," he said, moved. "I... I liked him, you know?"

"Well, five hours in a car will do that," she said back seriously, and he could have kissed her just for understanding. Then she turned back to Colton. "Now, Green usually likes to talk to all the new recruits--but he's sort of got his hands busy tonight. Do you think you can wait until tomorrow?"

Colton nodded unhappily. "Do I have to sleep with him?" he asked baldly, and Zeb wanted to bang his head against the dresser.

She regarded him with the sober attention of a judge. "Not have to--and it's not really 'sleeping' or 'sex'." A wicked grin appeared. "I mean, yeah, sometimes it is. But sometimes it's just talking, in private, to someone who won't judge you for the thing in your heart that you fear the most.  So don't worry about it. If it's sex, it's sex. If it's not it's still time with Green-- and that's important." She grimaced. "You are really lucky, you know? I mean, Zeb might not have told you, but usually bites don't work like that--especially not when you're so close to death. You must have been really damned strong--but more than that."

"More?" Zeb asked, surprised.

"Oh yes." She nodded and wrapped her arms around her knees. She was wearing stretchy shorts and a ginormous white T -shirt over them--Zeb had seen her dress for a formal audience and look stunning, but here, in their temporary room, she looked very domestic. A plain young woman with freckles and thick curly hair and a bold nose.

Her power was almost more terrifying like this.

"See," she said, talking to both of them earnestly. "What you have to understand is that it doesn't always work--not the were-creature bite, not the vampire bite. I mean, it works mostly here because Adrian chose a lot of you, and if he didn't, his people did. And he just sort of knew, right? Who would fit in? Who would welcome the transition? But some of our people--like Jack? Teague's mate? He's such a stubborn asshole, Teague almost couldn't keep him alive long enough to meet with Green, so he could accept the change in his life. And Charlie-- Charlie was dying of cancer. He got the bite, but he was so weak Whim had to invoke the power of the Goddess to change him."  She half-smiled. "It was pretty awesome, actually--I mean, that's what everybody says. They wouldn't let me go."

That last thing was spoken so wistfully, Zeb had no choice but to accept that there were some parts of being Queen that he wouldn't want a damned thing to do with.

"So why do you think it worked with me?" Colton asked her--but respectfully, as though he understood how much she would have loved to have been involved in everybody's life.

"Oh! Because Zeb was already half in love with you," she said, and Zeb sucked in a breath.

"We'd only just met," he said, not having anywhere good to look. Colton was staring at him, hunger in his eyes. The bedspread and wall hangings were damned bright. And Lady Cory looked so surprised.

"You didn't know?" she asked. "Neither of you?"

Colton was glaring at him now--Zeb could feel it. "He keeps trying to tell me that I'll get here and it'll be some sort of porn-ucopia and I won't want him anymore."

Cory snorted--an unladylike sound. "Bullshit. Zeb, look at me!"

He did, and her eyes were incredibly, sincerely, velvet green/brown.

"Are you paying attention?"

  He nodded.

"Good. Because you couldn't have saved his life if you hadn't cared for him. And if by some miracle he'd lived, he would have ripped you to shreds after his first change--especially because it didn't happen supervised, or during a moon.  Even the way he changed was Goddess-given. Zeb, you must have fallen in love with him at first sight. Because your heart--the power of your heart alone--is the only reason he's here."

Zeb couldn't look at her anymore, but the only place he could look was into Colton's wet, limpid eyes. "Your voice," he said weakly, exposed--literally, naked. "I was hiding under that porch, and I wished... everything for you. I was rooting for you to get laid until I realized he was a douchebag, and then... I just wanted more."

Colton nodded.

"I'm nothing special," he said quietly. "I'm a small-town guy with a narrow mind. But you saved me from all that. Why won't you let me save you?"

Zeb blinked. "From what?" But he felt it--the yawning void of nothing that he had been. The quiet despair of being the third spear carrier on the left.

"From being invisible to yourself," Colton said, standing.

Lady Cory popped off the bed and padded out, shutting the door quietly behind her, and Colton approached and stroked the side of his face with gentle fingertips.

"I'm going to shower," he said softly. "I'm gong to take about a minute and a half. Eat the leftovers--you're going to need your strength."

Zeb just gaped at him, and Colton turned toward the bathroom. He paused at the doorway--"Don't bother putting on your pajamas," he warned.

Zeb let them fall into the drawer, and headed for the tray which sat on the end table. He pulled back the covers and sat down thoughtfully, towel still wrapped around his waist, and managed a couple of bites of meat before Colton came back into the room--damp and smelling like body wash--and naked.

Zeb dropped the fork with a clatter. "Uh--"

"Are you ready for this?" Colton asked. He stood in front of Zeb, so Zeb was eye level with his crotch, and he managed a sarcastic eyebrow-lift as looked up at Colton's face.

"Very funny," Colton told him, dropping to a crouch. He leaned forward and kissed him, a kiss devoid of desperation and fear for their lives--but still very much full of the passion that had driven them for the past days.

Zeb opened for him, holding nothing back. Why should he? His queen and leader had already laid his secrets bare. Colton knew--had known from the very beginning, that Zeb was his for the taking.

Colton pressed him back into the bed, kissing relentlessly, hands moving over Zeb's body with sure possession.

Zeb was his--all his. They'd done this dance, and Zeb had conceded. The only difference was that Colton knew any objection he'd made had been pretense and bullshit anyway and now they both knew it.

Colton covered Zeb's body with his own, their skin soft and silky together, as Colton sucked on his neck and jaw hard enough to leave love bites. Zeb bucked at the zing of pain, and Colton bit his neck harder.

"No more hiding," he growled into Zeb's ear. "Whose are you?"

"Yours," Zeb breathed willingly.

"Who wants you?"

"You do."

"Who loves me?"

Three remarkable days.  Three days that changed his life more profoundly than the bite that pulled him into this world, this amazing world that he would never leave.

"I do."

"I love you too," Colton growled. He shoved two fingers into Zeb's mouth and Zeb sucked.  Colton pulled them out and Zeb gasped, "Lube in the drawer."

Colton paused to grin, the grin making him boyish and young.  "Lube would be good," he said, lowering his hand to tease Zeb's entrance anyway. Zeb flailed for the drawer as Colton penetrated one finger and rubbed, the harsh friction making him crazy stupid needy.

"Here," he gasped as Colton penetrated with the other finger. "He---eeerrrr..."

Ah! the mix of pain and pleasure--almost... almost... then Colton fumbled with the lube bottle, and the sudden cooling of slick on Zeb's sphincter was an arousal in itself.

Colton laughed softly and kept stretching him, fingers scissoring as Zeb spread his thighs in abandon.

He would give himself to the boy--this man--again and again and again. And he wouldn't feel used, or used up, he would feel rebuilt and reborn, every time Colton took him.

Colton poised his erection at the slicked, stretched entrance of Zeb's body, and Zeb moaned.


"I belong here," Colton told him, thrusting in.

He did--he belonged in Zeb's body just as surely as they both belonged in Green's Hill.

"Yes..." Zeb breathed again, and as Colton began his stroke, rocking back and forth.  "Yes--Goddess, Colton, all of me. Take all of me!"

"I thought you'd never ask."

Colton's flurry of thrusts left Zeb breathless and pleading, aching for climax, cock throbbing for release.

And repossession.

Forever and ever again and again.

Colton's hand on him, gripping him into orgasm was almost anti-climactic next to the revelation that Zeb was already bonded. This man's every touch was magic on his skin, on his soul. He was the most important thing in Colton's life, and Colton wanted it that way.

Colton wanted him.

Zebulon's deep throated groan of come resonated through his entire body. Colton must have felt it, because he gave his own cry of climax, and fell into Zeb's arms, rutting still, even as Zeb wrapped his arms and legs around Colton's body.

"You love me," Colton panted, as though Zeb's soul hadn't been bared for him just moments ago.

"I love you," he confessed.

"I love you back," Colton told him, an almost shy smile pulling at his mo uth.


Colton kissed him then, with such incredible sweetness he wanted to cry.

And then he wanted to do it again.

Colton was a new werewolf after all.

*  *  *

Cory sat in the common room, knitting, and Green huffed in, looking miffed.

"Are they still at it?" she asked, amused.

"It's been hours!" he complained good-naturedly. "Usually new recruits are, you know, sort of anxious to meet me, right?"

Cory laughed softly, and Green regarded her, knowing his expression was fond and not caring.

"Are we feeling slighted, oh fearless leader?" she asked, voice all sweetness and sarcasm.

He rolled his eyes. "I have things to do this morning, you know. I was sort of hoping to make sure the poor kid isn't going to hate it here."

"Well, judging by the great schmoopy eye-fucking they were giving each other last night when I went in to visit, I think he's going to be okay."

Green rolled his eyes. "I still have to--"

"I know." She set her knitting down and stood, rubbing her hands up and down his arms. Her touch sent a wave of yearning right to the pit of his groin. Yes, he spent much of his day serving his people--but Cory, always Cory, was so much different than that.  "I'll tell you what. You let them have round four or five or twelve or whatever, and you and me..."

She raised her eyebrows and smiled prettily.

He reached under her bottom and pulled her up until she was straddling his waist. "We make hay while we have a quiet house, right?"

"Every chance we get."

Enemies were out there and allies were uncertain. Their children were, even now, growing in her body, making her every breath more of a burden.

But love and lovemaking were the fire in their blood that reminded them that they were alive, and that  even the worst that could happen was not a tragedy if love had been made and had when the Goddess gave them means.

Her mouth opened for his, and he carried her, kissing and moaning, hands roaming his chest and back, into his room.

He closed the door behind him and made sure it was locked for good measure. Lovemaking was sacred in Green's house, and he was going to make love to his beloved.

It was his most heartfelt prayer for the safety of all he watched over.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Chicken Night

I didn't mean for this to happen.

I remember when I was a kid, and people used to joke about how "Monday was meatloaf night, and anything was better than meatloaf night..." Or how some families had "Taco Tuesdays".

No, I thought--anything is better than to be that predictable.

Of course, that was before soccer and dance and choir recitals and indoor soccer games and snack Thursdays came along--so apparently certain food on certain nights is an inescapable part of parenthood. I mean, Chipotle Wednesdays have been a staple for ten years.

But the last couple of years I've been trying to cook more often (don't laugh!) and although I wouldn't call myself a great cook, I do have a few things I do well.

Apparently, chicken is one of them.

It all started about fifteen years ago, when I asked the family what they wanted for Christmas. Big T said, "Fried chicken!"

I destroyed the kitchen and fried me some chicken!  I'd seen my mom do it--how hard could it be?

Well, apparently it was a success, because the kids asked for fried chicken every Christmas after that. The little kids now think that fried chicken with potatoes is what you eat for Christmas--doesn't every family eat fried chicken and garlic potatoes?

And a couple of years ago, ZoomBoy asked me to cook chicken some day NOT Christmas.

At first I was reluctant. Real fried chicken, with the breading and the eggs is a messy, artery clogging mishegas--good for special occasions but I was not ready to just pull it out on the fly.  Then it occurred to me that I could, possibly, pan fry the chicken without the breading, just using the seasoning that made it so good. (Plus curry. Curry makes everything better. So my pan-fried chicken has curry, chili powder, garlic salt, and lemon pepper. And it's delicious.)  And then, when pan frying felt too heavy, I pulled out the simmer sauces. Well, not the simmer sauces the grocery store makes, because those are bland--I do a bottle of ultra cheap barbecue sauce and a bottle of ultra cheap Italian dressing, and simmer the chicken until tender.

And I simmer or pan fry a LOT of chicken.

Like four big bags of frozen chicken if I'm simmering. Or two big trays of boneless skinless thighs if I'm pan-frying. The idea was that we would have chicken for the next couple of days after chicken night. Cold lunches, in salads, for snacks-- chicken GOOOOOOD, right?  Also if I used the simmer sauces, I'd cook noodles in them afterwards and have noodles. Yum. Food for a WEEK, right?


Once we have had chicken for days and noodles too. It was last week, after Big T moved out. I was like, "Holy God, how did we manage to keep this extra chicken for three days! This is amazing! This is incredible! This is exactly what chicken night was founded for--at last, we have discovered the true meaning of chicken night I am a grown up, I am adulting, I am SO PROUD!"

Tonight, I made the mistake of telling Chicken that it was, well, chicken night.

She stopped by after a day of granola bars and coffee and had some chicken. Then she made a carry out package for Big T, so he wouldn't feel left out.

I went into the kitchen to put away leftovers and was confronted with one lunch helping of chicken and noodles.

And the knowledge that chicken night was a thing--a real thing. I'd offered Mate and the kids a choice tonight--either I could go watch their last practice of the season, or I could stay home and cook chicken and hot chocolate.

They picked chicken night.

Chicken stopped by on purpose for chicken night.

She brought some to her brother to make him happy and not feel left out.

Chicken night is a THING.

Even if leftovers are, sadly, NOT.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Woman's Place

So, this is a story from my weekend--

I was in Babetta's, my Local Yarn Store, buying some lace yarn because I'm saying, PI shawls. They're a thing.

 Anyway-- as I was making my purchase, aware that Mate and the kids were in the car, waiting for me, a family walked in.

Indian, dressed in their Sunday best--Mom in a pant suit, Dad with a tie and jacket, grown daughter wearing a spectacular silk sheathe, gold silk wrap, and knee-high boots. (She was stunning--I'm always surprised when people just go for it in color and style in our dusty corner of the world. San Francisco? I wouldn't have batted an eyelash, but here? She was glorious.)

Anyway, they walked in, looking for coffee.

"Oh, do they have other things besides coffee?"

"Yes," said Gustine, Babetta's niece who works Sundays. "We have cookies and some biscotti, and Italian sodas."

"Oh, good," said Mom. "So it's a good coffee place."

By this time Daughter had looked around a bit--and Babetta's is pretty big, with a lot to offer. Spinning, weaving, yarn bags and accessories, class fliers--the store space used to be a gym, and seriously--it's packed.

"No, Maman--it's more than just a coffee place."

"Yes," Mom said, looking around. "It's a woman's place."

And Dad, hearing this--and taking a look himself, took a respectful step outside to sit in front of the store in the chairs and tables Babetta keeps there.

I paid for my purchases and left, and thought about that sort of magical understanding between the women, who saw the colors and the crafts and the things of interest, and Dad, who knew it wasn't something he'd be interested in, but wanted to give his wife and daughter their own time without his pressure for them to hurry.  I thought of the daughter's glorious silk Sunday best, and the perfect, accented voices.

And I hoped there is always room in the world for what is different, and always room in all of us to enjoy the differences and celebrate the things we have in common--like womens' places and bright colors and coffee.

I know the world is scary right now--I am afraid for friends, for students in my children's school, for kids my husband coaches, for every ally I know. The day before the trip to Babetta's I'd had a chance to talk to Mate's assistant coach on Squish's team. He is African American--and the captain of the S.W.A.T. team on the local police force, and he and his family cried on November 8th too. He was afraid for his children--but he and my husband were out, coaching their girls, making the day as bright and happy and healthy as they possibly could.

We need to hold on to those small good moments of peace when we see them. They're what we're fighting for.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lucky 13

So, the big kids have moved into an apartment together, and just the little kids are at home.

And ZoomBoy turned 13 today.

Someone remembered when the blog was just started--ten and a half years ago, a couple of months after Squish was born.  We called Squish "Ladybug" then, because of a cardigan I'd made her when I was pregnant, and called ZoomBoy The Cave Troll.  

It's from a moment in The Fellowship of the Ring, when the group is in the mines of Moria, and they're overrun with orcs. Our heroes are outmanned and outgunned, and Boromir takes a look at the situation and comes back and says, "They have... a cave troll."  Because dude--the cave troll is overkill, right?

That was our ZoomBoy.

He was bright, sharp, clever from the very beginning. (I think the word Mate used with the must venom was "cunning" when he escaped the living room for the umpteenth time after we'd set the place up as a big playpen.)  Among "Cave Troll" stories that I wouldn't mind remembering are the following moments:

*  He used to scream outrageously whenever his "plan" of whatever had been interrupted. When the kids asked me, "Mom, what's wrong with him NOW?" I'd reply, "He was born on November 15th, 2003."  "So?" "That's all I got. That's the reason he's being such a pissant--now worship the baby god until he stops!"

*  I was a little afraid of making the big kids "worship the baby god", in case we would spoil him rotten. But in his turn, when Squish was born, he worshipped the baby god himself, and Squish, when presented with smaller children, knows the schtick. Apparently "worship the baby god" becomes code for taking care of people and animals smaller and more vulnerable than yourself and judging the big kids' behavior, it seems to stick. (Makes you wonder who stepped on the Republicans' balls when they were little, right?)

* When he was two and a half, Chicken dropped him on his head--literally--and he needed a half-inch cut over his eye stitched. We told them both that he got one shitty test to blame on her--but he had to choose it well. So far, he has not played that card.

*  When Squish was able to crawl, he used to use her to get into mischief. Once, when Chicken told him to stay out of her room, he pushed an ice chest down the hall and boosted Squish onto the top of it. And had HER open the door.

*  He and Dennis Quaid (the big orange tom cat we used to have) had a love/hate relationship. They loved each other, but he loved Dennis Quaid in ways the cat HATED. One of their best moments was when Chicken pretended to lay down on top of the cat. Watching ZoomBoy run around her, shoving at her shoulder and her head and trying to shove her up so she didn't crush the cat was pretty hilarious--and also a nice lesson that, just because he held that cat upside down and squeezed him, it didn't mean there wasn't love there.

*  Before Squish was born, he didn't talk. Like, didn't talk. At all. When he was 2 1/2, about a month before I was due, I had a day set aside to start the ginormous snowball of phone calls that was getting early childhood intervention involved--I'd been through this before with Big T, and oh, shit, I was going to have to do it with ZoomBoy.

That day--THAT DAY--I was pouring him milk for snack. "Hey, Zoomboy, do you want some milk? We have chocolate milk today, would you like some?"

"Yes, Mama, I'd love chocolate milk. Chocolate milk is nummy!"


The little shit.

*  When he was five, he hid in the coffee table--it's got a high level and a low level.  He did this while cable guys were going in and out of the house. We thought he was out wandering the neighborhood. (Some of you may remember there was precedent, which I used as an anecdote in Racing for the Sun.) I was cruising around the block in the car, trying not to LOSE MY FUCKING SHIT when I decided it was time to call the police. As I was pulling into the driveway, he ran out of the house shouting, "Mom! Mom! Mom! I was playing hide and seek and NONE OF YOU found me!"

I almost slapped him. I seriously almost smacked the living hell out of him. That I didn't is one of the wonders of human nature.

* The ocean is his favorite place in the world. We have pictures of Chicken holding him to calm him down at the ocean, and I kept thinking about Hamlet--"as when the sea and sky contend together"--this is Zoomboy. Sometimes calm and serene and sometimes he's the sea and sky contending for supremacy. That's just my boy.

*  The famous "stop playing with your wiener" scene in Forever Promised... uh, yeah. If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about. Yup--ZoomBoy.

*  As he's grown, he's gotten increasingly interested in making us laugh. HIs older brother used to get discouraged. "He's so funny. Sometimes, I steal his material for FB."

Yeah, him and me both.

I could do this all night.

I could.  So many interesting moments--so many times he has stood out in my mind as an absolutely fascinating person.  (Hey-- the Socrates award in 6th grade for thinking outside the box comes to mind.)

But he turned 13 today and everybody was asking him how he liked being a teenager.  "Well, I think it's like turning into a cat. I expect to get hairy, have mood swings, and sleep all the time. It'll be great!"

Yup-- that's my boy!

I cannot thank the world or the universe or the gods or the goddess enough for him. He's wonderful.

Tonight he opened his present from his big sister--it was the journal from Gravity Falls. As soon as he saw it he went and fetched his Dipper Hat, so he could read the journal in the appropriate frame of mind.

Soon--much, much too soon, he's going to be an incredibly interesting adult.

Right now, he's my odd little duck, my quirky little buddy, my Cave Troll.

My beloved ZoomBoy.

Happy birthday, ZoomBoy. I hope all your stories get laughs and have happy endings.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Fine Line Between Yellow and Orange

 So Freckles is out--YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!   Most of the reviews are good--not the ones posted on Amazon, but I swear, the ones excerpted under the book info are real too ;-)

Most of the people who liked Freckles took one look at that adorable puppy on the box and knew what they were going to get.

Absolute fluff.

And regular guys, of course.  With a little bit of a life lesson thrown in.

And that's the fun thing about winter holiday stories-- you can write absolute pure lemon yellow fluffy and not feel bad about it. It's like that chocolate marzipan your mom makes and you pig out whenever you're near it.  It's Solstice, eating sweets doesn't make you a bad person.

That being said, Freckles was possibly the lightest thing I've ever written. When I look at Winter Ball, for instance--that was also pretty happy golden yellow. Except when it wasn't.

Yeah--there were some painful moments in that book--some unexpectedly tender times when Skip and Richie made my throat close up and brought me to tears. The scene where it's raining and they're laying in bed and Skip tries to tell Richie he loves him--just typing that hurts my heart a little. But the scene where Skip has a coughing fit on the soccer field--that makes me crack up. Every time.

And I've always known I've written on a continuum.  There were some genuinely funny moments in Keeping Promise Rock. Even Beneath the Stain had some moments that made me smirk.  Mackey-- God, such a smartass. (When Blake cried on him for forty-five minutes--God, pure karma.)

I don't think I've ever felt that knife edge between laughter and tears so acutely as when I was proofreading Summer Lessons. 

There are some moments in this book that rip my heart out. I'm not expecting them. They're not like Crick and Deacon moments, when the world is coming to an end. I'm writing the next Fish Out of Water right now and Jackson is gutting me like a goddamned fish--pun not intended, but not bad, really.

This is different. These aren't super-heroes like Jackson or Deacon. There is nothing larger than life about them. But one minute they're okay and the next minute you see into the painful, unnoticed tragedies that we fall victim to in everyday life. They don't make headlines, and even when they're talked about, the day to day of them doesn't really hit you--even if you're one of the people living with the problem.

I think that's why I love Mason and Terry's story so much. These are everybody's problems. These are the people who never get their story told--and that doesn't mean they don't hurt as much as everybody else, it just means they don't see themselves as special enough to even have a book.

But shouldn't we all be special enough to have a book?

One of the nicest compliments somebody paid me about Freckles was that Sandy and Carter felt real. REAL. They were people you could walk into as you crossed the street in the morning. Even when I'm writing rock stars or stock brokers or horse ranchers or private detectives, I like to think these people are real. The have soft and vulnerable sides and funny sides and weaknesses and strengths. I guess that's why this whole marketing idea of the three different flavors of Amy was so late in coming. For one thing, I write EVERYBODY.

For another...

I write everybody.

Life on a continuum. From the profoundly happy moments of looking into the soulful eyes of your first dog...

To the small painful moments of telling your best friends that they're your best friends even when you don't seem to fit...

To the big crashes, like in Beneath the Stain or Keeping Promise Rock, where the lives of the everyday man assume the grandeur and richness of a Shakespearean hero doomed by his own flaws.

So I guess that's why I'm always surprised when people hit my extremely fluffy or my extremely dark and talk about "This isn't my favorite flavor of Amy Lane."

I know to an outsider, not skating the rails of my inward ponderings, they probably seem like very different flavors.

But to me, it's white chocolate sliding to chocolate so dark light cannot escape its surface.

All chocolate is delicious, right?

But not for some people--Mate, for example, thinks dark chocolate is a stain on mankind's candy-making blotter. I think white chocolate needs to be on a pretzel.

But I like that books like Winter Ball and Summer Lessons have both flavors swirled together--but distinctly enough to taste.

This makes me very happy.

I hope it makes my readers happy too.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Freckles--Blog Tour


our Titles: 

Okay, guys--

I have written ten posts on this tour--and of course there's a giveaway.  But mostly, there's funny adorable dog stories for anyone who follows the blog on a regular basis.

In short, if you wanted more dirt on Geoffie and Johnnie, this is the place to get it. 

So be sure to check out Freckles--it should be available from amazon and ARe tomorrow. And definitely check out the blog tour, because hey-- free content with adorable pups. 

We need some frickin adorable pups right now.

Available at Amazon, Are, and Riptide

Stops for this tour:

November 14, 2016 Diverse Reader
November 14, 2016 Man2Mantastic
November 14, 2016 Alpha Book Club
November 14, 2016 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
November 14, 2016 Love Bytes Reviews
November 15, 2016 Prism Book Alliance
November 15, 2016 Booklover Sue
November 15, 2016 Erotica for All
November 15, 2016 Creative Deeds
November 15, 2016 My Fiction Nook
November 16, 2016 The Jeep Diva
November 16, 2016 The Day Before You Came
November 16, 2016 Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
November 16, 2016 The Novel Approach
November 16, 2016 Book Reviews and More by Kathy
November 17, 2016 GGR-Review
November 17, 2016 Dog-Eared Daydreams
November 17, 2016 Delighted Reader
November 17, 2016 Sinfully Gay Romance
November 17, 2016 Joyfully Jay
November 18, 2016 Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews
November 18, 2016 Bayou Book Junkie
November 18, 2016 OMG Reads
November 18, 2016 Two Chicks Obsessed
November 18, 2016 MM Good Book Reviews