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Friday, June 30, 2017

Manny Get Your Guy

Manny Get Your Guy

By Amy Lane

The Mannies

Starting over and falling in love.

Tino Robbins’s sister, Nica, and her husband, Jacob, are expecting their fifth child. Fortunately, Nica’s best friend, Taylor Cochran, is back in town, released from PT and in need of a job.

After years in the service and recovering from grave injury, Taylor has grown a lot from the callow troublemaker he’d been in high school. Now he’s hoping for a fresh start with Nica and her family.

Jacob’s cousin Brandon lives above the garage and thinks “Taylor the manny” is a bad idea. Taylor might be great at protecting civilians from a zombie apocalypse, but is he any good with kids?

Turns out Taylor’s a natural. As he tries to fit in, using common sense and dry wit, Brandon realizes that Taylor doesn’t just love their family—he’s desperate to be part of it. And just like that, Brandon wants Taylor to be part of his future.

Okay--so, remember Jakey and Nica in The Virgin Manny?  Well, it's ten years later, and they're working on their fifth kid!  Nica has helped Jakey build his businesses until they're solid, and they have a nice house in the suburbs but it's filled to bursting. 

So Jacob's cousin, Brandon, who lives over the garage suggests that he helps build an addition to the house, and that they get a nanny.  Nica--who has been in touch with her friend Taylor and has forgiven him for leading her on in high school--knows just the guy.

Taylor hasn't had it easy since he came out to Nica. His folks weren't awesome, and his time in the military ended with an RPG explosion. He's back at home, building up his life, and he needs a job until his grant kicks in, and he can start school.  But still... he feels bad enough for how he treated Nica in high school, that he's a little bit leery about watching her children. He's a soldier--and an ex-player-- what does he know about kids?

Well, a surprising amount really. He watched Sammy and Nica's little sister--and frankly, smart, compassionate men can watch children. It's not rocket science, it's human science, and I'm always surprised at the people who think it's funny to watch guys make asses of themselves in the child-rearing front. If women can walk into a computer science firm and make the men look like weenies (and they can) men are perfectly capable of getting kids dressed and out the door. (Honestly--perpetrating the "men are idiots around children" myth does not do women's rights any good.)

Taylor's problem isn't in the logistics of the kids--it's in the emotional consequences of being a part of Nica's family again. HIs heart is bruised, and he was such a little shit as an adolescent, he's pretty sure he doesn't get nice things.

Brandon is a nice thing. He is, in fact, a nice boy on the whole. And once he realizes that his OWN preconceptions about Taylor were way off base, he realizes what Taylor really DOES need help with.

The loneliness that wraps like Kevlar around his heart.

I loved writing this book. The kids parts were fun--and I wish there'd been room for more of them--but the Taylor and Brandon parts were my favorite. Every time they were on page together, I felt like they were the only two characters in the book. 

I hope you guys love them--enjoy them--and this series as well.  

For those of you who have already fallen in love with the Mannies, Sammy (who we see here as a high school student) is next, in Stand by Your Manny, and after that we have Dustin, who is MORE than a handful at nine in Manny Get Your Guy, and will continue to be an ornery little prick in A Fool and His Manny.  

But for now, just enjoy Taylor and Brandon. Brandon has a morbid metaphor problem, and Taylor has never met a problem he couldn't throw himself on top of and let detonate. They were great fun for me to write--and hopefully for you to read!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

High ten!

Quick post tonight--

Mate and I were watching season three of Miss Fisher's mysteries.

The initial setup was in a woman's sanitarium.  A woman walked into the room, dropped her drawers, and cut to outside. The lights dimmed, and the woman is found dead, electrocuted.

Someone onscreen said, "Was she reading with a lamp?"

I laughed. "For a minute there," I said, "I thought it was... you know."

Mate was all "What?"

"A vibrator. They used to plug into the wall."

Mate looked at me sort of oddly. "Seriously?"

"Oh yeah."

"Back then?"

"They used to short whole apartment buildings. I've read accounts of it."

"Well then--"

And at this point, on screen, Miss Fisher makes a very blatant innuendo about what the woman was doing with an electric appliance (which is missing) and no knickers, while found electrocuted.

And Mate looks at me with admiration. "Well done! Go you! Look at what you know!"

I stood up and took my high ten.

I mean, it's a very limited set of information, but, you know, surprisingly useful.

Also, I wouldn't touch my privates with one of those things for any money-- google "Antique plug in vibrators" with pictures and feel the buzz!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Manny Get Your Guy: Blog Tour

So, the blog tour of Manny Get Your Guy has started, and will continue into next week. Like I have in the past, I'm going to make a master post here, and update it on occasion when I get new dates. We're in luck though, because as of this posting, four of the dates have already gone up!

Anyway-- I had fun writing this story--the reformed bad boy is one of of my favorite tropes, as is (you may have guessed) the cocky, confident, alpha younger man. In this case, Taylor--the bad boy-- is already sex on legs. Adding the toppy younger guy was like icing on the cake--so much fun!

So here are my blog tour dates, and some charming kid stories from long, long ago that you might not have caught before.

Also, eventually, I promise to tell the story behind Gecko Pliskin and Escape from Oregon.

So enjoy!

Buttons and the Pit

It was a lovely morning, so I took the kids and the dogs for a walk today. (I got tired of them becoming solids and playing video games... I remember that being a life goal, but my parents thwarted me too.)

They enjoyed the walk, and I enjoyed them, and after we dropped the dogs off we went to Babetta's and bought buttons.

I offered Chicken a choice of three and she picked the witchy ones--the ones with the pentagram, and those were my favorites anyway.

Now, I'm looking at this sweater and trying to decide what I've done wrong, and I think it comes down to the pit.  Once again I didn't trust I'd have enough room when the truth was I had plenty. I need to pit earlier, and I need to not make up so much room under the arm, because I think that's where the bunching comes from.

And, yes, I own a pattern book to tell me how this works but I'm an idiot and if I don't muddle through it with, well, this is my third sweater, I'll never figure it out.

Anyway--I tried to take a nap, but Steve woke me up. She felt I was being rude. Feel free to tell her what I thought of that, yeah?

And then I put the buttons on.

And Squish is modeling it, but Chicken has... well, my people call them boobs, which Squish does not yet have. I think the sweater might fit a little better if given some room for all that pit. I shall be taking notes when she comes and tries it on.

But seriously--I"m proud of it. And it's done. (Okay, I could block it.)  I think she might actually wear it, and I am content!

Oh-- Manny Get Your Guy is out on July 1st-- that's SATURDAY, believe it or not. I am most excited!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


* Note--this is political satire, and I'm really angry at our political system right now. The following is going to be gross, disgusting, and amoral--just like our GOP and the scabrous rancid treasonous sphincter pustule rotting in the White House.

... Somewhere, in a fetid darkened closet, with a sticky floor and cum-rags that crackle, the following is happening...

Ryan: Is he coming?

McConnell: McCain? No--he's still pretending he thinks the health care bill is good for children.

Rubio: Moron. What about... you know...

McConnell: Our Russian friend? Alas, no--he's in his own closet with Trump.

Pence: Oh man--I hear theirs has running water and clean rags.

Hatch: And sunlight. Blessed, blessed sunlight.

McConnell: The things we do are better in the dark.

Ryan: Oh! Wait! What was that!

McConnell: Did it feel like thick wet lips embracing your unholy member?

Ryan: Sort of...

McConnell: That was Kushner. It's his favorite part of the proceedings.

Ryan: Ew.

Pence *whispering*: We're lucky. Sometimes it's the other guy and I swear he's got a forked tongue.

Hatch: DeVos tried it once, but she had too many teeth. And that KellyAnne woman.  *collective shudder* I've barely healed the scars.

Rubio: And that Huckabee woman never stops talking.

Spicer: She's doing her job!

Hatch: Who invited you?

Spicer: You mean... you mean I wasn't invited? But I always get invited to the circle jerks!

McConnell: This, gentleman, is not about sex. This is about the satisfaction we can only get by serving our country. Erections out!

*chorus* Ready, Turtle Man.

McConnell: I am circumcised like all good Christians and you know it. Let's begin:

Who's gonna get sick?

*chorus* Milennials

Who's gonna get evicted?

*shudder* Grandma...

Who's gonna get arrested?

*collective moans* Brown *ecstatic whimper* people.

Who's gonna shoot themselves with their own guns?

Cruz *out of rhythm*: Oh my God oh my God EVERYBODY! I'M COMING!!!!

Ryan: Oh Jesus--there goes my boner. Kushner, could you clean that guy up? Every goddamned time...

McConnell: Heh heh--that's why I bring up guns first. Go on, Ted. You know the President is waiting.

Cruz: Oh yes. Do you think Putin dropped a big load for me this time? I can clean it up... it'll be... amazing...

McConnell: Sure. Now go. The rest of us need to finish.

*Cruz leaves*

Ryan: Putz. The whole point is to be the last man standing.

McConnell: Let's resume.

Who's gonna starve at school?

*low whisper* Children.

And who's gonna get pregnant and stay uneducated?

*grows stronger*  Women!

And who's gonna have to work until they're seventy?

*grows stronger* Everybody!


*stronger* Everybody!



Ryan: Oh God, I"m close!

Pence: Be strong, brother! Think of my wife!

Ryan: Ew!

Pence: You're such a good Christian.

McConnell: And who's gonna get sick?

*ecstatically* Children!

McConnell: And who's gonna die first?

*getting more frantic* Disabled hildren!

McConnell: And who're we gonna blame?

*frenzied now* Women!

McConnell: And who's gonna grieve?

*barely holding on* Everybody!

McConnell: And who we gonna screw?

*shrieking* Everybody!

McConnell: And who's gonna hurt the worst?

*frothing at the mouth* CHILDREN!





McConnell: *seductively* Isn't it lovely, my brothers? Watch the horror, the destruction! Think of the power, the glorious power! Imagine your feet, crackling the bones of our old, our young, our helpless, while the women bow in service.. and then...

*weeping with the need to come* Yes?

...and then...?

Oh God... please... tell us...

...and then!!!!


McConnell: We...*stroke* blame *stroke* everything *stroke* ON THEM!





Ryan: You came first.

Pence: I did not.

Ryan: Did too.

Pence: So did not.



Ryan: You came twice.

Pence: Mmm... it was worth it.

McConnell: Faster, Kushner, you've got the whole GOP to go.

Ryan: Spicer, you maybe wanna help him out a little?

Spicer: I'm part of it! Look at me!  *gets down on hand and knees*  This'll get ratings, for sure!

McConnell: You want ratings? Wait until we tell everybody the new health care plan is better than Obama's...

Pence: Think they'll buy it--ouch!  KellyAnne, were you even invited?

Ryan: Who cares? Mm... nice job, Sean... a little to the left...

*fade to even blacker*

Sunday, June 25, 2017


As I've grown older, I've developed a profound respect for those people who love the "unloveable".

The people who can look beyond the drawbacks of mental illness and see the person struggling to overcome it--and love them.

The people who can look beyond a physical abnormality, or a personality defect, and see all that is good and noble inside.

And the people like Kane, who can look at slimy, scaly, sticky things with bizarre mating habits and outrageous peen, and not only proclaim his love but make them good homes and keep them happy.

This is the second year my friend has hired the "bug lady" to come with her portable zoo and let the little kids touch the "untouchable" animals.

Last year, devastated by the tragedy in Orlando at the Pulse Nightclub which had happened the night before, I was forced to ask myself, why is it so hard for humans to see past the ugly dogma of "odd" or the "different" and see to the beautiful humans inside?  Especially when this happy young woman could hold a sticky frog or a ridged lizard or even a Vinegaroon (*shudder*) and see something lovely and perfect and love it.

This year, the tragedy wasn't quite so sharp in my mind, but the wonder she had in all of the animals--that was still infectious and lovely.

And Chicken, Squish, and ZoomBoy thought so too.

Chicken and I got to hold Christian, the large Bearded Lizard (Tad Cooper!) for a long time, and when Christian was done with me, I got to hold the big Enchilada, the monitor, for a good ten minutes. We both fell in love. Complete and total love. Whenever Enchilada blepped, his tongue tickled my armpit. It was adorable.

I will continue to hold amazing love for the people who can look beyond what we're "supposed" to love and find the beauty inside all living things.

And I will continue to marvel that as I let my mind and heart expand, I am sometimes much like those people--happiest when I am with my fellow lizards.

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Brief Announcement about GRL

I'm sorry-- I should have done this a while ago, but time got away from me.

I had to withdraw from GRL this year. I had an opportunity to teach classes in a similar time frame, and as much as I love attending GRL, this was a chance to get back to do something I really loved, if only for a moment.

I apologize to everyone who was looking forward to seeing me there--believe me, I miss you too.  My readers are--have always been--the absolute best people. Meeting them, partying with them--that's always been a big deal for me.

I'm sorry I won't be able to do it at this venue this year.  (I love Colorado, too!)

Thank you to everyone for understanding--

I'll be in the Seattle area the weekend right after, if that helps?


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sliced Chicken

 So I had very few goals for today. The mercury was supposed to hit 109, and for me, that means huddling in the air conditioning--and, more than that, keeping all but a few of the lights off and not using any major appliances until after 7.

Brownouts are no joke and they're not any damned fun either.

So I got the dogs to the park and through most of their walk by 9:30. Took them home, went and got coffee, then went grocery shopping. Home by 11:30, groceries put away and lunch by 12.

Woohoo! Life goals complete! Nothing to do but write and take that elusive nap. (My stepmom had like a four day streak of waking me up in the middle of my nap. I was a snarling snapping disaster, for real.)

So I went down for the nap at 1:48. At 2:01, Chicken called, and she's gotten really good at this.

"Mom, I'm going to be okay, but I need you to come pick me up and take me to the hospital to get my knee stitched up."

0.0  "Because..."

"I fell taking out the garbage and sliced it open."

"Can you get someone from work to take you, and I'll be there ASAP?"  I said as I jumped out of bed, slid on my shoes and ran for my keys.

 "No, because I'm at home."

"That's good to know--wait. You got hurt--"

"Taking the garbage out at home."


"I don't know what else to tell you."

"That's the important stuff. I'll be there in fifteen."  As I dodged out of the house I hollered to the kids (who hadn't moved, as far as I could tell, since I'd made them help me with groceries) "Bye guys--your sister needs stitches! Back in a few!"


Anyway-- so yeah. That's where part of my day went. I brought her home and let her huddle in the AC, fed her, sent her home with food, the usual. But as we were driving home and I was offering to get her comfort Starbucks, I said, "You know, I thought your little brother was going to be the kid who spent all his time at the hospital. But you were the one who dropped him on his head so I should have known."

And of all things, THAT made her laugh.

So she's going to be fine--but I did have an interesting time telling her brother he could use the kitchen cleaning wet wipes to clean the blood off the floor. I think he thought we needed some sort of special acid solvent, like assassins or something.

And  oh! I got my copies of Manny Get Your Guy today-- SO excited! Did you get yours?  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Quiet Summer Days

ZoomBoy and Squish at Mate's Kid's to Work Day.
They were all so proud--yes, including Mate.
So yes, I forgot to blog last night.

It's just that... that... we don't DO anything right now.

I mean, my entire day is a quest to get the dogs out on their walks so I can get back before it's 90 degrees and too hot on their little paws.


Today, I have some pictures, and I'll caption them, and then go write, cause Bobby Green is going swimmingly, and I'm having so much fun!

Oh Mom! Do we have to go to the park AGAIN!
So here you go-- a quiet summer day, in pictures. Everything but the pool, where we spent an hour, and it was too hot for the aqua instructor to teach.

Tomorrow, I may skip the dog's walk. It's supposed to be 110 tomorrow-- which means it's 90 degrees by nine in the morning, and, hey-- that's when it's best for a dog to just run outside, pee, and come back in and pant at us like she's accomplished something!

Here, ZoomBoy-- grab my phone and take
a picture of that fire as we creep past.
Got it? Good.
In fact, my big thing tomorrow may be getting in and out of the grocery story before 9:30 a.m..  And then coming home and turning most of the lights off so the kids can watch TV and I can write in relative coolness.

*sigh* On FRIDAY I'll get buttons for the sweater.

And in the meantime--enjoy the pictures!

According to directions, this orchid will thrive
if I deny it water, sunlight, and dignity.
Best plant I've ever had.

A boy and his floof. 

Chicken's sweater--modeled by Squish,
is all done except for the buttons.
I bought the yarn in random quantities and
designed the sweater with what I had.
I'm insufferably pleased. 
All hail the magnificent Floof!

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Next Generation

So, the sun is trying to kill us dead today. I didn't do much, but what I did do filled me with great pride because seriously--I wanted to be huddled in the air conditioning with a book trying to pretend our politicians weren't rooting the sun right the fuck on.

Anyway-- left at 8:30 to take the dogs for a walk so we didn't all get heat stroke. I figured out why I'm staying at the park for walkies, when I'm pretty sure crazy twat lady has forgotten who I am.

The park is 90% in the shade. Until it gets a little cooler, I"m thinking the park is gonna be my jam.

Anyway-- dropped Geoffie off at the groomers on my way home, then went to get my swimming bag out of the car and realized the side door wouldn't close.


I came in, called the Honda service department, and prepared for disappointment.

Now see, I like our service guy, but he's not, uh, well... truthful, I guess. And last time, we got a girl instead, and I thought, "Okay, she'll be more dependable than Rog," but then she tried to convince me that you couldn't run the radio for more than a couple of minutes without running the battery down, and anybody who has been to a drive-in movie knows that's bullshit, but apparently it was easier to feed me bullshit than to fix my goddamned battery.


I called Rog, he suggested I have the car towed, open door and all, because, well, he's Rog.

Anyway, after saying vaguely, "Sure, I'll think about it," I called Mate who was like, "I hate to agree with Rog on this one but..."

And I said, "Fine. I'll go out in an hour and check. Maybe the car will change its mind about petty betrayals."

Mate said, "Tell me how it goes," and did NOT ask out loud how he ended up being married to a complete nut job, which totally justifies my purchase of the expensive wrist thing he got for Father's Day yesterday. (BTW? When you take this thing off, it does bright lights and vibrations in an attempt to revive you to your senses because it thinks you're DEAD. THEN it turns off. My DOGS don't even care about me that much.)

So after an hour, I had Squish do it, because I just didn't want to think about the car, dammit.

She came back in and said, "What button did you push that time they locked the automatic door opener thingie out and you had to call the Honda people as we were traveling down the road so we could pick my brother up? Remember? When I had to climb into the back seat from the front seat? And you were really embarrassed?"

"Uh, it's right next to the steering wheel. It's a little sliding button--slide it so the red part is hidden."

She came back and said "After I did that, I could shut the door myself."

So there you go, folks. That is how my eleven year old daughter outsmarted me (not hard), her father (very hard) and one not incredibly bright guy whose entire job it is to figure out how to run a Honda Odyssey.

HER generation isn't gonna be dumb enough to end up with an idiot traitor in the Whitehouse, and senators who want to kill poor people in congress.

But I'm hoping they'll be kind, and pity the generation that was.

Poor Little Sausage...

* First of all, thank you to everybody who saw the picture on FB and wished me and Mate a happy anniversary. We spent it apart because of recital, but then, that happens a lot this time of year.  We're used to it. But we're very glad to still be married, so that works well for us.

And today, Mate got a kickass Father's Day gift, as well as the gift of doing nothing. Seriously--I got takeout, took the dogs for a walk, picked up and dropped off Big T--he got to sit and do soccer stuff, and recover from yesterday. If that was how he wanted to spend his Father's Day, I didn't mind--he's a good Mate and deserves the best

*  Second of all, thank you to everybody who wished ZoomBoy better health. If you didn't catch the FB posts, he was sick for recital AND rehearsal this year, spiking a nasty fever for about four days. He wanted to perform so bad. We dosed him up for rehearsal on Friday, but by the time we got him to the theater he'd wilted like lettuce in a steam room. Mate took him home and I got to see Squish's dress rehearsal, but ZoomBoy stayed home on Saturday and so did I. It was so surreal, us being home when Squish, Chicken, and Mate were off giving their best to the performance.

I THINK he's better--his last dose of meds has worked really well to get him almost to normal, but in the meantime--man. This was supposed to be this year. His dance teacher said it. All of the people who have been watching him dance for years said it--he got his confidence this year, learned how to rub some funk on it. Dammit, he was fun to watch! So it hurt, when he was supposed to be in costume with Squish, to see him lying on the couch, so still he was bumming out the dogs. Hopefully he'll be better in time to perform at the State Fair, and I'll be here to watch him and not at RWA.

*  Third of all, my stepmom sent me photos, and then  Big T went through our old pictures to see what he could find.  There were a lot more--but the reason I picked these two is that they were taken almost in the same place, about twelve years apart.

Also? In the black and white one you can (if you look closely) see a cat in the corner.

He's supposed to be there, but it's sort of haunting the way that cat showed up ;-)                      

Friday, June 16, 2017

Where is He?--SuperBat

** So, tomorrow is supposed to be dress rehearsal followed by recital on Saturday, but ZoomBoy has a nasty fever, and everybody else is feeling a little punk. If things explode, this could be the year of the recital that didn't happen-- for us, anyway. Everybody cross your fingers.

*  *  *

As Superman, he admired NightWing and held Dick Greyson in considerable esteem. He knew what a demanding perfectionistic nightmare Batman could be, both as a colleague and a lover, and he didn't blame Dick for kiting off to New York to start his own gig.

As Clark Kent, he wanted to kick the little shit's liver in for not getting it.

There had been a fifteen year difference between them--Bruce Wayne had broken it off, given him his own practice as it were, because he hadn't wanted to be the boy's world.

It was the oldest, dumbest reason in the book--the wounded warrior brush off, the noble no--and Dick had been too callow, too young, to see it for what it was.

Clark Kent has spent the next five years chasing one very stubborn millionaire as a result, because that aggressive little snot had broken Bruce's heart.

So turning to Dick Greyson was sort of the last resort, the thing Clark Kent refused to do, until he'd exhausted all other avenues.


"I have no idea."


"You asked me an hour ago, Clark. All we know up here is the censors indicate he's still alive and his vitals aren't in distress."

Clark growled. "We don't have a lock on location?"

"No, because he disconnected the lock on location because he's an asshole. You know he's an asshole. Why does this surprise you?"  Diana knew very little about emotionally constipated men--even heroic ones. Sometimes Clark wanted to be mean and suggest she actually fall in love with someone not the long-dead and sainted Steve Trevor, just so she could show more patience with his problems, but then, he wouldn't wish this awful gut-churning worry on a snake, much less his best friend.

"I'm not surprised that he's an asshole!" he retorted. "I'm surprised that he's missing."

She grunted and fiddled with the keyboard at her workstation, which was usually code for Diana is bored and humoring you, so get ready to have the screen go black. "Did he tell you he was going somewhere?"


"Did you ask Alfred?"

Clark was hovering, like he did when wearing the tight leather outfit, and he shifted from foot to foot, even as he hovered. "I did. He said he didn't know where he'd gone, but he was expected back an hour ago."

"Did he seem worried?"

"No, Diana, he didn't seem worried. But Alfred is used to seeing him come back in tiny pieces, so not much worries him."

"Okay, okay--don't snap my head off!"

Clark scrubbed fingers through his hair and sighed. "I'm sorry," he conceded. He didn't want to tell her that he'd been expecting something like this. "I was rude."

"Has he been showing any signs that things are off?" she inquired delicately.

Hell. "Nightmares," he said shortly.

Suddenly she stopped fiddling, and her bored expression took on the overtones of compassion. "It's been almost a year since the bomber," she said softly. "That?"

"I think there's a scene from that in there," Clark told her bitterly. "Did you know he was abducted as a child? He remembers part of it, but I looked it up. He was four years old, and he almost drowned, and sometimes he dreams about that and--"

"His parents?" Diana's antennae were practically vibrating--or they would have been if she'd been born with any.  "Wait..."  She grunted, and sent him a link.

Clark pressed the link and studied it, appalled.  "Oh hells. It's pissing down rain outside.  Do you really think he'd be--"

"In the rain, grieving over his loved ones?" she asked archly. "He saw them gunned down in front of him.  Clark? Clark?  Goddammit. At least say good--"

"I'm in the air. I'll be out of contact for a few. Please don't listen."


He heard the distinct sound of her com being shut off as he zoomed through the sleet to the tiny alleyway behind a theater, in what was now the shitty side of town.

Batman, scourge of the night, terror of the ungodly, was sitting crosslegged under an overhang.  He wasn't wearing his cape and cowl--not this night--but was in a pair of sopping wet black jeans and a black turtleneck, with super shiny boots.

Superman recognized that stance--meditation, deep thought, brooding.  Two red roses lay crossed in front of him.

Lightly he touched down, not wanting to intrude, but thinking Bruce had been there for hours.

His fingers and lips were bluish, and Clark knew he could take a lot of punishment--but why?  (Besides, he got super weird when he was sick and God, could they just avoid a replay of the teddy bear incident? That would be tremendous, it really would.)

"You're not supposed to be here."

Asshole. He hadn't even opened his eyes.

"Don't care, really."

Oh that got his attention. "This is important--"

"That you torture yourself? That your self-flagellation continues? That you sit here and grieve again for your parents' deaths and for the death of the happy child you could have been?"



Bruce stood up, so wet he didn't even bother brushing himself off. "I beg your pardon?"

"Yeah, no. Not by yourself.  Not for hours. What in the hell?" Irrational anger flooded his veins, but Clark figured Bruce was such a stubborn, irritating asshole, irrationality might be his best defense.

"This is my time of grieving!" And in spite of the fact that he wasn't wearing his mask, his voice sank deeply, like Batman, and Clark got a first row seat to the depths of the darkness he masked with his costume.

He'd seen this show. Not his favorite, but he could see it through till the end.

"Fine." Clark continued to hover, just two or three feet up, arms crossed in front of him. "Deal me in. I'm off com. How long we in for?"

Bruce Wayne gaped at him, his lower lip full and vulnerable in a way it probably hadn't been as a child. "I'm sorry--you're what?"

Clark crossed his arms. "You know--you've been gone for about four hours--you're moving stiffly, I'd say you spent three and a half of them here. The Batcycle is hidden behind that dumpster over there, so you're planning on a dangerous ride home. You obviously can't be trusted to be here by yourself so I'll hang with you. How much longer?"

"What?" His voice rose to a shriek.

"How much longer," Clark repeated, like he was stupid. "How much longer do I have to wait and watch you suffer in the rain alone. I'll do it, I just want to know how long we've got, because if we're going to be here until you get hypothermia, I need to tell Alfred to set up."

He was expecting the swing at his midsection, and even as he landed, he expected the one at his jaw. He blocked both--strong, hard punches, in spite of Bruce's mortality, he still trained like a boss--but they both knew even if he landed them, Superman could pretty much withstand anything Bruce Wayne in jeans and a turtleneck could dish out.

The fury of the succeeding blows was almost a relief--a temper tantrum, and some of the blows landed--a particularly hard one to his nose that stung--and Clark just fielded them, took them, let Bruce exhaust himself.  When the final haymaker went wide, he opened his arms and took that muscled, struggling body into his embrace, holding, just holding, until Bruce Wayne went limp in his arms.

"I hate you for this," Bruce muttered.

"I know you do."  Oh God, he was so cold. He was shivering, and Clark was afraid he'd squeeze too tight, destroy his fragile mortal, just trying to keep him safe from himself.

"I was trying to tell them I was..."  Oh. Oh--the hardest word of all.

"Happy," Clark whispered near his temple.

"Yeah."  Clark could feel the heat of tears against his neck, but he didn't say anything.  They stood there, in the rain, until his breath grew normal.

"Hold on," Clark said. He hit his intercom. "Alfred, could you hit auto drive on the  cycle and call it home."

"Yes sir.  Anything else?"

Bruce's shivering was almost out of control.  "We'll need the steam room heated."

"My pleasure, sir. I'll start dinner as well."

"Thank you Alfred."  So easy to get used to that man, taking care of their every need.

"How am I getting home?" Bruce asked, teeth chattering.

"You are home," Clark whispered, hovering them both in the air for a moment before he titled forward and took off.

Naked, in the steam room, Bruce stared straight ahead, heart obviously in a far away place, as they sat warming up. Clark was about to tell him to snap out of it, when Bruce turned suddenly, back in his own body, vital and present again, and kissed Clark hard on the mouth.

Clark responded, hands coming up to Bruce's ribs, wanting to touch but not sure if the touch would be welcome in the humid heat.

Bruce grunted, and then the richest man in Gotham slid down to his knees before Clark Kent, tugged his towel out of the way, and engulfed his cock in one thrust. Clark grunted, tugging on his hair but not hard. God, yes! He'd been worried and frustrated and angry! And as his hips bucked, body responding to Bruce's tongue and gripping fist, he felt that emotion, that worry and frustration, channeled into the passion of fucking Bruce's mouth.

For his part, Bruce was swallowing him past his gag reflex, drooling, stroking, like he needed cock to live.

Maybe he did.

Clark went from zero to flying in a few thrusts, in a few strokes, and when he came, Bruce took it all, swallowing everything, , letting only a little out to glaze his lips.

Bruce grunted, tilting his head back, and then looked down at his lover, who was staring at him hungrily, come coating his mouth, dripping from his chin,  like that had not been, wouldn't ever be enough.

"Shower," Clark commanded, lifting him by the armpits and zooming out of the steam room. He barely remembered to turn it off on his way out. Then they were in the shower, water cooler after the room, soap slick as Clark used it to make his fingers slippery enough to penetrate Bruce as he splayed his legs, face pressed against the wall.

"Yes," Bruce begged roughly. "All of it."

"Don't want to hurt you," Clark ground out, thrusting in and out of him but feeling the swell and ache at his groin. He was hard again. He needed--needed all of it. Needed Bruce's submission, his domination, all.

"Just fuck me," Bruce snarled. "C'mon, Clark--I know you know how!"

Bruce topped--almost always. But not this time. Not tonight.  Clark sheathed himself as gently as possible, and Bruce thrust back. Gah! Hot! He was so hot inside! Like the turmoil in his heart heated all of the other places as well! Clark thrust again, and again, letting some of his inner animal take over, being humanly rough.  He locked his hand against the back of Bruce's neck and growled, not having the words for the anger, for the pain of watching the man he loved suffer, of not being allowed to help.

Bruce didn't have any words of his own, but he reached down between his legs and let his orgasm do the talking. His back arched at Clark's next thrust, and his scream of climax, of rage, echoed through the shower like the slap of their wet flesh. Bruce's asshole rippled around Clark's cock, and Clark bit his own hand so he wouldn't crunch through flesh and bone by biting Bruce's shoulder.

Even as he screamed and collapsed, exhausted, at Bruce's back, he knew this wasn't over--not this night--not by a longshot.

They made it out of the shower and to the bed--this time Clark topped, and used lube. They managed to clean up before cleaning up became sixty-nineing, Clark hovering over Bruce's body, swallowing him down, in spite of his amazing width.  They were still breathless from sixty-nineing when Clark had to take him again, howling into the mattress, inarticulate as hell.

Dawn found them, bruised, despoiled, dripping and exhausted, sprawled naked on the bed. Clark wasn't sure if his cock had one more fuck in it for his entire life and he didn't want to tempt fate by asking it for anything else for the next ten to twelve hours.

"I've got one question," Clark panted as sunlight crept in through the gauze drapes because they'd forgotten to close the backup drapes the night before. "One question, and I'll never mention it again."

"Just show up when you're not want--" Clark nipped his earlobe. "Okay. Fine. Question."

"Does Dick know?"

Bruce grunted.  "Yeah-- that was the fight that drove him away."

Inside, Clark's heart began to beat regularly for the first time since the day before. "I'm not going anywhere," he mumbled.

"I figured,"  Bruce pulled in a deep breath, the settling kind of breath a man made before he fell asleep.

"Do you mind?" Clark asked, his heart stalling in his chest now. He'd been accused of a lot of brave things, but that had to have been one of the bravest, asking that question.

"You earned it," Bruce said. He fumbled for a button on his nightstand, and the blackout drapes chugged around the giant bay windows.  "You can put up with me for this long, you earned about anything."

"Just want you," Clark said.  He'd tell nobody, not even Diana, about the little happy dance his heart was doing right now. He had Bruce, and Bruce was happy. About that other thing? That petty jealousy thing? Nobody would ever need to know.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Backstage Activities

So last year, I had 10 little girls with three costume changes and a whole lot of downtime. It was hot, it was sweaty, there was one kid who's shoelace always came untied, always had to potty, and could find gum in a country in which gum was outlawed and there was no gum EVER.

I brought coloring books, snacks, and as much patience as I could muster, and apparently a giant trash compactor for my memory, because Chicken had to REMIND me how awful last year was.

This year, we've got kids with five or six costume changes and three different companies they have to run and be a part of--but you know what?

Those kids know exactly where they're supposed to be when they're supposed to be there and I can tell them to tie their own shoes and if three people have to go to the bathroom all I need is another adult and not a bottle of baby powder and a packet of baby wipes.

But they do get antsy.

So for my own kids (and I finally get my own kids backstage) we  brought crafts.

ZoomBoy has learned to latch hook and Squish has learned to crochet.

One of their numbers is "Hair Up" (if you watch the video at the top you'll hear the basic song--it's sort of adorable--they're wearing "wigs" made of bathroom scrubbies--CUTE!) and when I was teaching Squish how to crochet, she started with with a color so bright it made (her words) "her eyeballs vomit".

We ran out of that yarn and couldn't find anymore, so we went with more "eyeball vomit" colors in multiple strands.

And the results are a "troll stole" since she gets to wear brightly colored clothes as her costume.

Anyway--she's so proud.

I'm proud of her.

And she's starting on a blanket to work backstage for the rest of rehearsal and recital.

*happy sigh*

Best backstage mom gig yet.

Hair Up!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The End--mostly.

Little Goddess: Book Five
Volume Two

By Amy Lane

The elf queen who infected the werewolf population isn’t going away—and neither are the two heartbeats that will soon be the children in Cory’s arms.

Cory’s used to throwing herself physically into the fray, but as their enemy gets closer and more dangerous, she’s forced to choose between her safety and the people sworn to protect her. Her guardians are tired of worrying about Cory and her unborn children, and Cory is getting plain tired.

The preternatural world isn’t her only worry—basic human birthing rituals are going to be a pain in the ass for a woman whose children will be sidhe. Cory’s mother is still fuzzy on the concept of a polyamorous multispecies marriage and sets her up with an OBGYN obsessed with the inhuman silhouettes of her babies.

Cory doesn’t want her children born in the middle of a turf war, but the people she and Green have nurtured and fought for aren’t about to let her face this enemy alone. This battle is for queen and home, and the babies quickening in Cory’s body are a symbol of hope. Cory’s going to have to give up the idea of being a weapon and embrace the idea of being a mother, or she’ll let down those depending on her most.

* * *

So to start with--the entire series is on sale. (I think I've posted about this a lot!) Every book except the last two is either free or reduced--you can find them HERE at amazon, or HERE at DSPP but your other outlets will have them too.

And to finish with...

Well, I'm having a hard time writing this blogpost, because for the moment, this book is the end.

I left it in a good place. There are some threads I can follow in the future, but for right now... we can take a breath. There's peace. Cory and her lovers are together, and the babies are safe and all is right with the world.

But I'm not ready for it to be like that, honestly. This was my baby-- for a while, I was the only one who believed in her. Then Elizabeth and Lynn believed in her, and that seemed to be enough.

I was reminded that she's grown a little this morning, when someone sent me a 5* review (HERE at LoveBytes) in which a long time devoted reader of my Little Goddess waxed lyrical and broke my heart.

She's not a blockbuster--she may never be. She's not a bestseller--and again, I guess that's what was meant to happen. But she was my first. Her first book was derivative and Mary Sue and all the things people accuse it of being because it was MY first, and I was finding my voice. Her second book--Wounded--was WAY THE HELL BETTER, because it was all Cory and all Bracken, and all Green, and I was learning the characters who are way different than you are sometimes your very very favorites. The third one was painful and overwrought--I was in a painful, stretched thin place in my life, during which I sat in the front seat of my car and tried to stop crying before I put on my makeup and went in to work. I had a boss who hated me--chased me down a corridor while seven months pregnant and stalked my class to catch my kids falling asleep. The fourth one was kick ass because it was my sixth book and I had some confidence and I was learning to trust myself and I had a BLAST.

And this one--the fifth--was my fiftieth book, maybe. And I was pretty sure it wasn't going to make as much as a lot of my others. And it was a labor (pun intended) of love.

I loved going back to this world. I loved writing complex storylines with multiple points of view. I loved writing girl parts of all things--you don't know how much you miss tits until you've written nothing but peen for six years. I loved seeing 200K of world building and development culminate into something big and glorious. You don't get to write a lot of that in romance. People prefer 70-90K books, and world building scares people--and publishers--a LOT.

But I had to write it. I'd left people in the lurch for over seven years by the time it came out. That wasn't nice--it was time.

So anyway, it's out today--and I love it, and I'm proud of it. And I know I love all of them, and I'm proud of all of them, but this one's special.

She was my first, and this is her last, at least for a while.

If you haven't read her-- now is the time. If you have, I hope you love this final installment.

And if you do love it?

Let me know.

It's sort of a gift.

Social Media

Okay-- so some of you may have noticed I've been playing with social media these days. Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr-- there are ways of simul-posting on these things so one post = maximum exposure, and I guess that's what it's all about.

I'm not great at it yet--I'll grant you--but I'd forgotten one of the great things about social media that makes me want to try harder.

I mean, social media is not always great. Let's face it--Twitter helped build the monstrous traitorous abominable shitbird in the White House, and we will need to be forever wary it doesn't happen again. Some of the most horrible moments of my professional life have happened on social media, and some of the OTHER most horrible moments of my personal life have needed to be kept off social media, sometimes under penalty of law.

Kids get stalked, bullied, and sexted on social media. I fear it for my children's sake.  Very often even well-meaning people build a juggernaut of single-minded cyber-screeching that kills all thought and nuance like an invasive species of fish kills all kinder, more nuanced creatures and leaves environmental devastation in its wake.

There are some real minuses to instantaneous communication, and in the last eleven years since I've started blogging, I think our world has been changed by it and not always for the better.

But some good things have happened too.

I've made calls to my state and federal leadership based on information on social media. I've seen brilliant ideas kickstarted into reality, because that whirlwind is sometimes harnessed for good. Beautiful pictures can be made quickly on the computer and shared endlessly the same way, and people who have spent their entire lives in isolation and sorrow have suddenly discovered their tribe--and freedom--from the same media that can also do so much damage.

It all depends on how it's used.

So anyway, today on instagram, I posted this picture of ZoomBoy.

Bless his heart, I bought him a latchhooking kit when I bought his sister some blanket yarn to crochet, and he's been throwing himself into the craft full speed ahead.

So I got into the car and he held out his latch-hook and started to sing, "Oh I-I-I got latch-hooked on a feeling, I'm high on believing, that you're in rug with me!"

And I lost it. Of course-- he's ZoomBoy and totally funny and awesome, and this picture was proof, and I figured the story was what Instagram was for, right?

And then I got a response from someone I hadn't heard from in a long time--the kids' day care provider from when I taught English. She was originally my student, and her mother ran the day care facility (at home). I was leery of  hiring the parent of a student, because what if the student was an asshole, right? But I loved this kid-- she was funny and smart and pretty much awesome,and her mother was one of the nicest people on earth-- what was not to trust, right? So her parents went back to Dominica (where it was warmer and Mom was happier) and the kids stayed here and got educations and jobs and started families.

I brought Squish to the young woman's baby shower because we were both so happy to hear from her, but of course, we'd lost touch since then.

Anyway-- today, she contacted me on Instagram and said, "Is that ZoomBoy? He's SO BIG!"  I sent her a scrapbook of kid pictures taken recently (okay--I sent EVERYBODY a scrapbook of kid pictures taken recently, because still learning, so forgive me if you plowed through that looking for a punchline!) and I went back in her history and saw pictures of her son.

Who is also SO BIG.

She said she's going to show her mom my little scrapbook, and I got a little verklempt.

So I guess there you go. Add one more thing--one GOOD thing that can happen on social media.

I'm so glad it happened to me!

Sunday, June 11, 2017


New AudioBook Out
So, I don't have much to report, mostly because, after what feels like a month of heavy duty weekends--way back to frickin' RT, it feels like-- this weekend had an empty day.

Like, nothing to do today.

Now, I was going to make a go at folding clothes, butt, uh, the two naps got in the way.

You heard me.


No walkies.

No shopping.

Mate took ZoomBoy to a mini-rehearsal and to a birthday party. I picked him up.

The. End.

I probably could have made the day busy.

I could have written 3K.

I could have written a ficlet.

I could definitely have cleaned something.

What I chose to do--between naps--was watch movies and work on Chicken's sweater. I had to rip out the sleeve twice to get it to fit, but I think this third time was the charm.  Either way--I think I'm gonna leave it as is. If she has to tell people I made it like a bat for a reason, I'm down with that.

And that's the end.

I may try to make my word quota tonight, but honestly? If I'm falling asleep? I'm just gonna go.

Cause if you hit a wall after a month and a half of running, it's best to just lie there for a little and catch your breath before charging through it and heading for the next wall down the line.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Punny Day

Well, not really.

Actually it was a BUSY day.

Took Squish to school, came home.

Mate had picked Chicken up and brought her home (her car was in the shop) so I took her to work.

Came home.

Picked ZoomBoy up.

Came home.

Picked Squish up.

Came home.


Went to recital rehearsal.

Volunteered and was basically ignored by the lady I was supposed to be there to help. I mean I helped, but she was NOT friendly. The kids weren't either-- they knew here and not me. Uncomfortable. Seriously.

But that didn't mean I didn't meet some old friends.

For example, Barry, who is the father to two grown children that I've watched grow up over the past nineteen years. His birthday was tonight, and he was wearing a T-shirt that said, "60 Years, the Legend Begins, 1957-2017". We gave him a fair amount of grief for this, by the way, and he took it with a smile.

And then I said, "Wait!  Does that mean from now on we call you 'Legend-Barry'?"

He wasn't sure whether to kill me or hug me. He settled on the hug, but then Mate wrote "Legend" over his name on his name tag and Chicken called him Legend-Barry.

I"m pretty sure he wished he'd gone for kill.

Heh heh heh.

So, being on a roll, when my friend told me she was having stomach problems, I responded with a perfectly innocent, "I'm sorry. That blows."

She DEFINITELY wanted to kill me.

And then ZoomBoy said, "Mom, I bet I can say the alphabet faster than you. You go first."

So I said, "The alphabet."


Seriously-- I couldn't lose.

Not that tomorrow won't be busy and will probably suck and people who don't like/don't know me are going to be asking me to do things again--but that's okay.

Today was a genuinely punny day.  We only get so many, right?