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

Tuesday, March 30, 2021


 Not too much going on lately--it's been quiet in a good way. But I do have a few conversations for you:


Often, after I drive to the park, walk the dogs around the park and surrounding neighborhoods, and start the drive home, I will see Mate, who walks the extra three miles to and from the park. This spawned the following moments:

Me to Squish: Keep an eye out for your father as we drive by.

Squish: Why? So we can wave?

Me: No.

Squish: So we can taunt him? Neener-neener-neener, we're driving and you're not?

Me: Even worse.

Squish: What's worse?'

Me: We can offer him a ride home and he can face the dilemma--keep walking when he really hates exercise as much as I do, or accept the ride home and walk the rest of his steps around the house during television tonight. He hates that.

Squish: Woohoo! Where's dad! 


Me: Hello, stranger.

Mate: Hey--I just started out, so no ride home.

Me: Too bad. 

Mate: You're running late today--I thought you'd be home before I left.

Me: Well, the soccer field was empty so I took the dogs off lead and let them wander around and roll around. 

Mate: Nice.

Me: Not so much--apparently Geoffie thought it was a buffet.

Mate: *takes a step back from Geoffie who has been licking his nose through the open window* So...

Me: So yeah--it could be a leftover sandwich or it could be dog poop--what's her breath smell like.

Mate: Nice.

Me: Sorry.

And don't forget the arrival home. Usually my routine is to start the coffee, set up the ice, start the oatmeal, feed the dogs  wet food, and then run to take a shower. Today, I stopped by my desk to take off my shoes when ZoomBoy wanders in.

ZB: How long does it take to microwave leftover mac and cheese?

Me: How much?

ZB: *holds up a bowl*

Me: A minute and a half.

ZB: Oh! Here's your oatmeal. *walks into the living room and hands me a bowl*

Me: Thanks. *mimes licking the oatmeal out of the bowl*

ZB: What?

Me: *mimes some more*

ZB: What are you doing?

Me: *shows him the full bowl again and then does my dog impression again*

ZB: Wait... do you need a spoon?

Me: *nods*

I finally make it to shower and when I get out, Mate's here. 

Mate: You're only getting your coffee now?

Me: Well, ZB wanted to serve me breakfast at my desk, but he couldn't remember the important stuff.

Mate: You don't eat until after you shower?

Me: A spoon. Are you kidding? He wanted to have a meal with me--I would have eaten in a towel if that had been a requirement.

Mate: As long as you had a spoon.

Me: *nods*

So there we go-- the family at slightly normal function. Let's hear it for sunshine and school.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Just in Time for Spring Break

 So Mate and I both got our first shots--ftr (because everybody asks?) I got Pfizer, he got Moderna, and he's been sleepy, bitchy, and achy for the last two days. I on the other hand have been just fine. Not that I'm not grateful--I mean, I had menopause during a pandemic, so I got to be some of the seven dwarves too, but it is a little disconcerting. 

Now what?

Well, first of all, the kids are going back to school part time. For a week. Then, after a week's worth of vacation to recover, they're going back for the rest of the year.

This is bringing about mixed emotions. 

OTOH--Yay! People!

OTOH--EWW! People!

OTOH--Yay! We have something to do today!

OTOH--We have to wake up WHEN?

OTOH--My children are going to school!

OTOH--So... CAN ZB graduate, or, uhm, is he going to be a super-senior next year, because right now, he is several units shy.

OTOH--So... uhm, Squish has undergone some changes this year. How is that going to mesh with her classmates? What about both kids' psych appointments? Will Prozac work like Concerta for ZB? WILL THE ENTIRE FAMILY REMEMBER HOW TO HUMAN?

Also... I, uhm, suppose I should stop putting off getting my Real ID if I'm going to travel in 2022, right?

And there's always, "Oh God--did I forget the dog's appointments AGAIN????"

And now add, "Okay--the Magnificent Floof is going to need a hygiene shave."

And somewhere in there is, "I'm getting close to averaging 5,500 steps a day. Am I going be be able to push it to 6,000 before the heat hits?"

And there's always, "Does my uniform change?"

Oh--and, "Hey--is one of my adult children really moving back into the spare room that's filled to the gills with crap right now? Shit. Is that happening in MAY?"

*breathe* *breathe* *breathe* 

Well, in my last blog I talked about how I was finally getting to the place where I was coming up from air. And now, apparently real life has crashed above our little personal lake and is showering debris on us as we tread water.

It's okay though--we're a lot closer to being able to swim to shore. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

We're All Gonna Remember It Anyway

 I didn't want to talk about this because we can all finally see daylight--but somehow I have to.

As a country, we probably have to.

In January of last year, Mate went back east to see his father before his father passed. He came home and about a week later, I got sick. It felt like a normal bout of the flu, except for the coughing. Not productive, just incessant. I would wake up after coughing for two hours trying to get what felt like the last corner of phlegm from my lungs. I would finally go sleep sitting up in a chair, taking ibuprofen to soothe the ravages in my throat from trying to cough. 

I was tired--tired enough that cancelling my trip to Florida in February felt like the right move. Our finances were healing and I was still barely waddling around the block. 

And Mate started talking about the virus. He followed the news much more than I did a year ago--he was concerned. And I... I did what much of the rest of the country did. 

I thought to myself, "Well, if it was really bad, someone would do something. I mean I know THAT asshole is too stupid or self-involved, but there's safeguards, right?"

The Wednesday night before California went into lockdown, Mate and I were at a Fitz and the Tantrums concert. It was a smallish venue--Ace of Spades--and the concert was great. As we were there, in line (and thinking about being in line, without a mask, in a crowd, when our breath was puffing out in big clouds of white is horrifying right now) we got news that the King's Arena had cleared out while it was being seated for a basketball game. Two players from the other team had tested positive, and Sacramento was not playing.

I was scheduled to go on a trip on March 17th--and I wasn't sure if it was going to be canceled or not. To prep, I went and got my hair cut and my toes done, and then I went to eat at one of those sushi places where the sushi is carried around on conveyor belts. I was there, and Mate texted me, "Where are you?"

I told him, and he texted, "Shit--gotta make a U-ee."  He was passing where I was. He'd been sent home from work, and we both picked up the kids who'd been told that they wouldn't be going to school for the next couple of weeks.

And that was it.

Our world stopped.

Suddenly it was us, on the internet, with the people in our lives, going, "What do we do now?"

And our Federal government was doing... nothing.


And it was starting to drive me insane.

I found a website that reported COVID statistics and I checked it compulsively. I'm down to hitting refresh twice a day, but for a while I was checking it on the hour. It wasn't that I wanted people to be sick, or dying. It was that OUR WORLD HAD STOPPED, and nobody in power seemed to care. I wanted proof that I was not insane for wearing a mask to the store. Proof that we had pulled our children out of school for a reason. Proof that the thing the politicians (except for our governor and a couple of others) was real. 

We've all seen the Twitter posts after that, the memes, the articles on mental health. Watching my teenagers spiral into depression is something I don't... I can't talk about. Not now. And part of that is that it took place in our bubble, our house, a place none of us could escape from. And part of it was that they pulled me with them, and while I was able to claw myself out for air now and then, I was so worried, for so long, I'm still not okay. 

I will forever remember this last August and September as a time we wondered, everyday, if we would be able to breathe.

But I remember other moments, when my, "I'm Mom, I've got this," slipped completely. Mate and I usually take turns losing our shit on each other, and we did this year in ways I'd forgotten we'd learned when the kids were in diapers. But these were times when I couldn't pick myself up. Couldn't function until I remembered to breathe, and he had to remind me of what was real.

*  We drove to a park to walk the dogs and the parking lot was barred shut. This was early on in the pandemic, before it was widely known (and may Trump's nose fall off from syphilis for this) that it was airborne.Walking the dogs was--is--my touchstone. It's my meditation. In the past year it's become my passage back to reading, because I'm listening to audiobooks and have RIPPED through some of my favorite authors. It's my music time, when I need to let my mind wander. I've even listened to podcasts, and I never thought I'd be the type. But before that happened, we drove by the park and found it locked, and I pulled to the side of the road and sobbed.

And then we drove to another park that was tucked behind a neighborhood, so parking was on the street and you just walked right in, and we kept walking. 

But first, I saw this simple thing taken away from me, and I just fucking couldn't.

* Christmas, and we were ordering everybody's presents and some people were saying fuck it and going out shopping anyway and I was looking at COVID statistics and we were DYING BY THE THOUSANDS. Three-thousand people a day. That was a 9/11 a day. Sometimes more. Rarely less. And I couldn't find pajamas for my kids because EVERYBODY WAS WEARING PAJAMAS and...

Mate found me crocheting one of those fucking octopus hats for my children and sobbing because I couldn't find pajamas on my phone and had to calm me down. I'm not proud of that--but I don't see how I could have avoided it either. The kids were so depressed--ZoomBoy had lost so much weight, Squish was practically not speaking to us they were so catatonic with dread--and I was trying to hold it all together and NOTHING WAS HOLDING. Nothing was holding together. Nothing. 

Not even Christmas, when Mate and I were supposed to be Santa Claus and we were barely his drunk nephew, Barry Claus. 

Christmas came, and the hats were finished, and the kids were okay and everybody got pajamas--but that terrible, panicky realization that I couldn't fix it--I hadn't been able to fix it for much of a year--is going to natter at my peace for much of the rest of my life.

* February. February is such a shitty time for me anyway. I don't remember it being bad when I was a kid but as an adult, I remember entire Februaries where between the kids being sick and Mate and I being sick and teacher's meetings--I may as well have just bailed on teaching entirely. More recently it's been the end of the lonely sad time when I haven't spoken to my friends cross country in too long a period, and I am feeling adrift and lost in the world, because there's maybe three people besides Mate who speak fluent Amy and they're all busy until March. 

This February the country was recovering--recovering from the fascist government, from the insurrection, from our rage-and-twitter addiction. And then Chicken's cat died. And the cat started seizing when I was driving them to the vet so Chicken could have her put down. 

And Chicken didn't take it well, and I was Mom. I was the best Mom I could be. I was strong and compassionate, and I ran interference for her as she came unglued on pretty much everyone and I comforted her the best I could.

And then--AMA (Against Motherly Advice) she adopted a cat a week later and returned him two days after that because it was too goddamned soon.

And Mate said, "Yeah, I've got to take her to the SPCA to return this cat, dammit," and I... went to bed and cried. He saw my eyes welling, and I was like, "I can't. I...I can't. I just can't."

To my shame, there were other times I said this--talks with shrinks, moments with the kids--but this was the time I felt my entire body shutting down. I fled, in tears. 

I just couldn't.

Which is the familiar thread in all these stories. The painful nugget I gleaned. I never deluded myself that I could do it all. I never even deluded myself that I was a great mother. But I always thought trying counted for something and my entire life, I'd never quit trying anything. I'd done it. Maybe not pretty and maybe not perfect, but by fuck, I'd gotten it done, right?

But this year I discovered that fighting sadness is insidious when the entire world is fighting it too. I discovered that there were times I was as vulnerable as my children and I really could be left without reserves to fix myself and fix them too. 

I felt a stuttering in my try, and at my age, it was a terrifying thing to discover I could blow that gasket, and leak out all my fuel into the void.

Spring has returned--it's rained, and I feel cold blue-sky hope right now. Hopefully we all do. We no longer feel abandoned by our government (although people still piss us off) and I'm mildly cheered to see that the people I loved and respected at the beginning of this are still the people I love and respect now. 

And my HMO wants me to come get my shot (because apparently I'm a giant comorbidity, go figure) and I'm okay with that--hopeful even. My children might be able to see their friends before summer. 

But I'm not going to forget. None of us should. There was a time when our government let us down and we were all alone, and sometimes all we had were the things that kept us going in our home.

And when those things broke, we were broken too.

We need to remember this because we need to forgive other people when it happens to them. We need to remember how fragile we all are. We need to remember our world relies on the human ties we use to prop it up, and when those are strained, our houses threaten to topple. 

We need to help other people keep their houses strong so ours can be strong too.

We're all going to remember this last year anyway. We need to remember the times our hearts failed us--so we know it can happen. More happiness fuel can help--but so can a quieter engine. Smaller expectations. Bigger celebrations of the small things. 

My youngest child's birthday is coming on the third of April. We celebrated their birthday in quarantine last year, and they still might not be in school this year. 

We need to bake a cake and celebrate anyway. 

I know I am thrilled I have this person in my life to celebrate. If that is the only reason for takeout and cake, then that is good enough for me. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Kermit Flail--SPRING!


Whew! So February is always the longest, most excruciating month of the year for me--but this is March and spring's a coming! Let's celebrate with some fantastic new reads, shall we?

This month's Kermit Flail is super exciting to me because some of my favorite people just sort of put marvelous books in my lap and said, "Amy! Go forth and flail!" And this makes me happy--for one thing, because it gives me an excuse to talk to my friends, but for another, going forth and flailing is so exciting when I don't have to flog for books first!

And my friends are the best! Andrew Grey is here with a contemporary western, which is the genre he made his mark in and which he continues to excel in to this day! E.J. Russell, m/m romance's answer to Mary Janice Davison, is here with The King's Ex, and it promises to be delightful, fluffy, and just what we need to pull us out of the winter blues. And Andy Gallo was originally known for his fantasy series, but he has been co-writing with Anyta Sunday and together they are known for their thoughtful, sweet contemporaries. 

And while it's not out until April, the first book in my Long Con series is almost out--and I'm squeeing with excitement--as I hope all of you are.

So, are we ready to flail?

Better For You

by Andy Gallo and Anyta Sunday

A lonely bookworm. A struggling jock. A snowstorm that steers them together.


Charlie’s got five days working in the library to earn enough for Christmas. Being stuck in the frat house with his secret crush? Torture.

Rich, hot jocks don’t look twice at nerds like him . . .


Evan’s got five days to finish this stupid paper he can’t wrap his head around. Should he let the cute straight-A Charlie help him? Shit.

He’s gonna see how stupid he is . . .

Better For You is a fraternity brothers to lovers, M/M romance with a HEA. This New Adult, college, forced proximity, rich-boy poor-boy novella can be read as a standalone. The Harrison Campus series can be read in any order.

Buy Link

King’s Ex

A Royal Powers novel

by E.J. Russell

To escape an arranged marriage, the king needs a fake fiancé. Stat.

King Bastien’s father locked him into an ironclad betrothal contract with Lady Helena Rey when the two of them were only seven years old. Bas and Helena have never been friends—and not only because she marked their first meeting by dropping a frog down his shirt. He’s been unsuccessfully petitioning Parliament to annul the damn contract ever since he took the throne nine years ago. But with the deadline for officially confirming the engagement rapidly approaching, Bas is getting desperate.

Enter commoner Nico Pereira, manager of the Royal Crest Vineyards, who nurses a secret crush on the king. He’s at the New Palace to unveil a wine that’s the first joint venture between North and South Abarra. No problem, right? Except Nico has a secret: He has a superpower. Not a very strong superpower, but because powers are a privilege reserved for Royals, it still puts him at risk for arrest and prosecution. Nico can usually mask his limited foresight gift under the guise of being an incredibly efficient administrator. But when King Bastien asks him to be his fake fiancĂ©?

Well. Nico never saw that coming.

Nothing if not loyal, Nico accepts the faux-posal, although close proximity to Bastien makes him more than a little… uncomfortable, and the increased scrutiny of government officials threatens to expose his illegal ability. Good thing this engagement is temporary, because being the king’s ex will be a lot less onerous than prison or exile.

Or, if the attacks from a shadowy conspiracy continue, with being dead.

King’s Ex is a 52,000-word M/M superhero rom-com featuring a fake engagement, class differences, improbably pristine clothing, dueling secrets, a guaranteed HEA, and a kitten.

On Amazon/Kindle Unlimited

Get it here

Home and Family

Book 3 in Heart Home and Family

by Andrew Grey

Mark has worked on Clay and Dell’s farm for a year, and he’s now in charge of the care and feeding of their growing herd of goats. He’s worked hard to provide for himself and build a life of his own. But with the operation continuing to expand, additional help is needed.

Isaac lives in a self-sustaining, simple-life community a few miles up the road. He’s spent his life working and wondering what the outside world might be like. When his father requires him to earn outside money, he asks for a job at Clay and Dell’s farm.

What neither Mark nor Isaac expects is a friendship that quickly grows into something more. But their feelings for each other go against everything that Isaac has been taught, and acting on those feelings will mean leaving the only way of life he’s ever known.

Together, Isaac and Mark are going to need a great deal of strength to weather the storm that’s sure to head their way.

Buy Here  

Coming Soon--

The Mastermind

by Amy Lane

A Long Con Adventure

Once upon a time in Rome, Felix Salinger got caught picking his first pocket and Danny Mitchell saved his bacon. The two of them were inseparable… until they weren’t.

Twenty years after that first meeting, Danny returns to Chicago, the city he shared with Felix and their perfect, secret family, to save him again. Felix’s news network—the business that broke them apart—is under fire from an unscrupulous employee pointing the finger at Felix. An official investigation could topple their house of cards. The only way to prove Felix is innocent is to pull off their biggest con yet.

But though Felix still has the gift of grift, his reunion with Danny is bittersweet. Their ten-year separation left holes in their hearts that no amount of stolen property can fill. A green crew of young thieves looks to them for guidance as they negotiate old jewels and new threats to pull off the perfect heist—but the hardest job is proving that love is the only thing of value they’ve ever had.