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

Monday, April 19, 2021

Human Stories

 So, as I've mentioned, my mother (not to be confused with my stepmom, who I am usually praising on my blog) lives in an adult care home for the mentally ill. With the onset of the pandemic, I wasn't really able to visit her--but I've always been pretty good at sending her things. She's read every book I've put out, actually--although her grasp of them is a little thin. ("Oh honey--that book about the boys who just wanted to play was so funny! Why didn't they just let them play! That was so weird!" for the records, she was reading the Locker Room.)

Anyway-- I've been sending her letters this last year--sometimes one a week, sometimes one a month--and usually a little gift of some sort. Most lately it was some Bath & Bodywork samples and a little pencil case from Michael's, with a guinea pig-acorn on the front. 

Today, however, I was determined to see her. Mate and I had our shots--I was pretty sure her group home would have been one of the first ones vaccinated, given that the residents would NOT be okay with a face covering and many of them are elderly (and heavy smokers!) and it was time to go see her face to face.

First thing, I went to her room (she has a roommate--this is always tricky, because severely schizophrenic people with roommates seem to blame everything on their roommate. Everything. She's blamed her roommate--not always the same person--on everything from COVID to stray cats to God. God is bad--he doesn't let her watch the FOX News. I think that's proof that God is GOOD, but don't get me started there.) 

So I walk in, and I'm wearing a mask, because... *flails* We've been wearing a mask out in public for a YEAR and even if I'm vaccinated now, it protects other people and, well, it shows them that I respect their health. It's a whole thing. It's taken over Twitter and FB several times now. WEAR A MASK. But as I enter, she doesn't give me a second glance. 

"Uh, whatcha doin', Lex?" 

"Fixing my bed," she tells me. She is, in fact, making the bed from the ground up, so I stand back and watch her for a few moments. 

"Good to see you," I say.

She gives me a suspicious look and narrows her eyes--there is no recognition. ZERO recognition. Da nada. I am a stranger in her room, with a mask and a coffee drink, because I always bring her a coffee drink--it's not something she can get to easily from a walking distance. 

"Hi," I say, tentatively, and then I gave it up. I took off the mask. My liberalness was not going to mean a damn thing to her--but she did want to see my face.

Her entire face lit up. It's been over a year, although I made solid attempts to see her for her birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. (Their phone system is the SUCK--there is no way I can get hold of people before I stop by. I brought her an entire Thanksgiving dinner in a little carry out bag, and they told me she'd get to eat it.)

So we tried again. I gave her the coffee drink--and she LOVED it. ("This is DELICIOUS!" she said after wiping it out in one gulp. I told her next time I'd get a large.) And we looked at the letters.



All over--the wall was papered with the letters I'd sent her over the last year. The letters had pictures of the kids, pictures of us--and pictures of the animals. Like most of us, telling animal stories was my happy place. The kids weren't doing okay, Mate and I were trying not to spiral, but by golly, the animals were hilarious, and they made it into the letter.

So I took her outside to finish the rest of the coffee drink and we sat for a little while. I pulled out my phone and showed her more pictures--and this time, she lit up again and broke my heart. 

"Aw," she said, looking at the phone. "Nebula."

"Yes!" I told her the face eating story--it hadn't made it into the letter yet. Then I showed her another picture.

"Geoffie!" she said, like this was her dog. "The cutest dog in the world!"

"Yes!" I pulled out my knitting as I showed her other pictures.

"Dewey--you shaved him. He's not happy. ZoomBoy! Look how tall!"

And so on. And then she looked at me and said, "Look at what you're knitting!" (Crocheting, actually, but at this point I don't quibble. It's all yarn.)

"Yeah. Just a granny-triangle shawl. Simple knitting."

"I got the one you sent me. Did you see it in my room? I put it on my table! That one's prettier."

And so on. It was a short visit--she's usually only really happy for about ten minutes anyway. But it was a good ten minutes.

And after a year of sending letters into the void and getting--well, science fiction back, because what else would you classify, "God won't let us watch FOX News," and "Good to see you last weekend at that house party with the elephants!" (Not. Kidding.) it was nice to know that some part of being human, of living the same human story, had connected.

My bio-mom has always loved cats--even the big no-necked jungle escapee that used to haunt the gardens outside her group home and eat chickens. "Yeah, honey--he's a real motherfucker." I haven't lived with her since I was six years old, and it's not always easy to keep up a relationship with someone who writes you letters about weekends with your father when they've been divorced for 47 years and haven't seen each other since your wedding.  But I love cats too, and small dogs, and having animals in my home has never, ever been in question. And I get that from her (and my dad and stepmom too!) but cats, especially, from bio-mom. And it's good to know that we still have a language for human communication.

Even if it's not human at all. 


Thursday, April 15, 2021

And Back in Bed...

 This morning, Nebula was eating my face.

You heard that right.

Every morning, about seven--which is an hour before I get up--the cat bounds in with wet paws. Could be dew from his morning excursion, or it could be water from the dog bowl--we'll never know. He purrs, he sticks his head under my hand, and he drools.

On my face.

I am mostly asleep at this point--maybe ninety percent.

So he licks the drool off. And licks and licks and licks. And I can sense the hunger stirring within... so delicious. Good human. Much salt. Wonderful human. I loves it... I loves it... I want to--

"No," I mumble, moving my head. "No bitting."

So he starts licking again. Good human. So tasty. Wonderful human. Mmmm... I loves it... I want to... I want to...

"No."

I want to... I want to... I want to...

"Knock it off."

Please let me... please... oh, it tastes so good... so very good...

And today, my husband whispers, threatening as a troll. "Stop. Eating. People."

No! You taste delicious!

And then he bit my nose.

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Saddest Dog in the World

 Last night at 2:00 a.m., in a suburban neighborhood northeast of Sacramento, California, the following happened.

A woman--large, squishy, middle-age-ish, climbs into the king-sized bed she shares with her spouse of 34 years, and immediately realizes something is missing.

"Mate," she says hesitantly, "Where's the fuckin' dogs?"

"Wha?" he replies.

"Why are there no dogs in this bed?"

"I dunno. Geoffie! Get up here!"

There is excited wagging, scrabbling, and some whining at the base of the bed, and then, in a desperately brave leap, the 10 lb potato with fur scrabbles for safe purchase on a veritable sea of cotton bedspread. 

"That's my baby," the woman croons, and the potato proceeds to lick her face in the dark before disappearing under the covers. "Where's the other one?" the woman asks her spouse.

"I don't know," he responds, sounding puzzled. "Johnnie? Johnnie?"

From under the bed, there is heard a pathetic whine.

"Johnnie? Come here, boy. Come on!" the woman cries, desperate to get to sleep.

The dog is heard whining below the bed, playing a terrible game of "the floor is lava" as he attempts to gain access to the mattress by no pathway that makes sense.

"What's he doing?" the woman asks.

"He's not coming up any of the ways there's something to step on," her husband replies. "It's like..." He gets out his phone and shines some light on the situation. "OH."

"Oh?"

"There is a cat."

"Oh."

They sit in silence for a moment, contemplating the dilemma. And then the woman--an insensitive broad by all accounts, starts calling, "Here, Johnnie--c'mon, grow a sac and get the hell up here!"

And the man, easily led, joins her in her terrible dare. "Johnnie, come on! Come on, Johnnie! You can make it! She won't get you!"

Together the beg, plead, and desperately urge the poor animal into a colossal act of bravery. With a whine and a scurry, he scrabbles his way to the top of the mattress, to be greeted like the hero he is.

"Good boy, Johnnie--good boy! You didn't let that terrible cat get you, right? You're such a good boy! We love you baby! Come on, get under the covers! Good dog! Such a good dog!"

The dog slinks into his place of nighttime repose, at the feet of the people who asked him to risk almost certain death at the claws of the Terrible Cat.

He was, indeed, the Saddest Dog in all the World.


Monday, April 5, 2021

A Modest Little Flail--April!

 YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!



So I've said this before--I'm not the most responsible of flailers. I do not, as it were, go out and flog for my flails--usually people just sort of ask me as the month progresses, and by Sunday night when I'm putting together my Kermit Flail, BOOM! There it is. But this month has been busy and event filled for a lot of people, so I only have a couple of books to flail--and I'll admit it, one of them I'm just flailing because I'm personally excited about it and not because somebody asked me to flail. A sort of kidnap-flail, I guess you could say.

But that doesn't mean it's not fantastic. 

So let's start with one of my favorite flailers of all time, the lovely and adorable (and multi-award nominated!) Ms. E.J. Russell, who has a brand new story for us to enjoy. As usual it's a quirky romp of magic, sweetness, and love.




Purgatory Playhouse

A Magic Emporium novel

By E.J. Russell

Staging a musical in Purgatory can be absolute hell.

Lonnie Coleridge last saw the sun in 1968. Since then, he’s been consigned to Limbo, still wearing the same tie-dyed T-shirt and bell-bottomed jeans he had on when he left his life behind. He and others like him have one chance each year at redemption: produce a show for the Greek pantheon. Whoever pleases this very specific—and temperamental—fan group could earn the right to move on.

But after a literal act of god (*cough* Hermes *cough*) destroys their sets, lights, and costumes, the company needs emergency help to rebuild. Without it, all of them could poof out of existence forever.

Out-of-work theater technician TD Baylor has precisely three things on his cosmic wish list: a job, a place to stay, and a boyfriend who isn’t a total tool. He thinks he’s got the first two nailed when he gets a line on a two-week gig that includes room and board. So what if the job tip came from a guy who was leaning way too hard into the LOTR cosplay at a sketchy Halloween pop-up? At this point, TD doesn’t have anything more to lose, so he figures…what the hell.

He didn’t realize hell was the operative word.

When Lonnie greets him at the theater door, though...whoa. TD fantasizes that item number three could be within his reach. But then Lonnie gives him the bad news: This is Purgatory Playhouse, aka Theater of the Darned. In two weeks—if they’re lucky and can successfully mount a musical version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream—the company will return to Limbo after the curtain falls. If they’re not lucky?

Remember that part about hell?

Purgatory Playhouse is part of the multi-author Magic Emporium Series. Each book stands alone, but each one features an appearance by Marden’s Magic Emporium, a shop that can appear anywhere, but only once and only when someone’s in dire need. This book contains a theater techie who’s one couch surf away from homeless, a production assistant who’s sort of, um, not alive, Greek gods behaving very badly indeed, and a guaranteed HEA.

Amazon/Kindle Unlimited





This next one I'm featuring simply because I'm so thrilled to read it. Nobody needs an introduction to Mary Calmes--she's the defining voice of this genre, and a new book from her is cause for celebration. So here we have not just a Mary story, but a Mary werewolf story, and it looks so delicious I could eat it like steak. Come check out Muscle and Bone by Mary Calmes.


Muscle and Bone

by Mary Calmes

You belong to me and I know it down deep, in muscle and bone, where my wolf lives.
Avery Rhine isn’t an average homicide detective with the Chicago PD. In fact, Avery isn’t an average anything. Sure, as an omega he knows he’s at the bottom of the food chain, but that’s never slowed him down. He’s got a great life, complete with a loving family and a best friend who’d take a bullet for him, so what more could he possibly want or need? Except, maybe, for the world to change. And to find someone to spend more than one night with, but that isn’t high on his list of priorities. He’s never been one to believe in destiny or whatever else the fantasies sell about there being someone special out there meant just for him.

Then a chance encounter at a party changes everything.

Graeme Davenport has no delusions about finding his true mate. The consensus is that if an alpha doesn’t find their other half by the time they’re thirty, the chances of it ever happening go from slim to none. He’s not a mere alpha, though; Graeme is a cyne who sits at the pinnacle of lupine hierarchy, so he’s obligated by tradition and duty to choose an omega now, sign a contract, and bond with him. Love is not part of the equation.

When Graeme and Avery meet, their fierce attraction to each other flies in the face of reason and logic. Avery’s intense physical reaction to the alpha is something he’s never experienced before, while Graeme, who has always been the soul of discretion, loses all his inhibitions to desire for the man he wants to possess. They are two very different men trying to navigate expectations, separate reason from innate primal drive, and do it while working together to solve a murder.

It will take everything they are to find a middle ground, and to learn to trust in a fated kind of love.



And this last one is my own book to flail, and yes. I'm super excited about it. I mean, I say that a lot--probably because the books live inside my own head a lot--but this book is going out in mass market paperback, along with the entire rest of the series of seven, three of which I've finished. I love this series and this concept--it's high class Robin Hood, it's Leverage and Ocean's 11 with fabulous gay heroes. It's escapism and exciting escapades and true love and a family of thieves, conmen, and mercenaries who will hopefully melt your heart. 

It's the first book of the Long Con series, and you guys, I hope you LOVE it!



The Mastermind

Book 1: The Long Con

by Amy Lane 

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.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

All the Pretty Changes


I've made no secret about my children having a rough year. My pictures from last year at this time--Easter, Squish's birthday--mark a year in captivity, as it were, imprisoned by pandemic fear, depressed by a scary world. And while some things have gotten better, some things are getting better, and--you've all probably noticed--I've chosen to let my children do the most painful parts of their growing up this year unobserved. 

They are old enough to have a say in their privacy.

ZoomBoy still likes being on the blog and on FB--he's still enamored with making people laugh. Squish is much more private, and they have come out in various ways this year, and doing that without strangers observing is an unalienable right. 

But that doesn't mean I'm not going to celebrate their birthday.

Because my child got up early (for a weekend!) to bake a cake with their father, and that was part of their birthday celebration and that says so many good things about their character. They appreciated all their gifts--including the dorky ones mom gave--and we sat and watched My Little Pony and the Muppets and ate takeout and this beautiful homemade cake.

So while some things are private and should remain so, I think I'm safe to tell the world that I still love my dessert baby. They are still the sweetest, and they still fill me with deep delight.

Thank you, honey, for letting us share your special day.