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

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Dammit Mom!

 Things 2,3, and 4 were gathered around this afternoon before I went grocery shopping. I'd needed to root through my little shoulder-sling for something and I pulled out a ziploc baggie full of Hershey's kisses--a thing I do NOT keep stocked because... *flails* REASONS!

"Mom?" Says Thing 2.

"Yeah," I said, trying to remember what I needed from the store. "A nice man gave me candy while I was walking today."

"From his panel van????" Squeaks Thing 4.

"No, no. From his SUV. It was no big deal. I was walking the dogs in the residential part of the neighborhood and he pulled alongside and said I looked happy from behind. I think that's because I just dyed my hair and it doesn't match my face yet."

"You looked happy?" This was Thing 3.

"Well, uhm. Yes. Anyway, he was old... er... well, his hair was all gray, so maybe ten years older than Dad and I. So not old. Advanced middle age."

"A creepy old man in a panel van said you looked happy?" I have no idea who said this--they all seemed horrified, so I kept talking.

"He was a very sweet suburban guy who apparently goes by his pharmacy once a week and gives out chocolate to say thank you. He didn't have enough so he had to go buy more because he didn't like disappointing people. And he was driving a newish SUV. It was fine. He couldn't have pulled me in through the window--I'm too big."

A sort of numbness has set in. Even Mate has stopped working in the kitchen and is staring at me. 

"So he just saw you walking and gave you... chocolate?" he asked.

"Well, yeah. See, his dad had a heart replacement at 82 and lived to be 93 and his takeaway was 'Treat each day as a gift.' And the guy liked to spread that kind of happiness. So, you know. He was trying to be the gift. He wanted to make the world a better place."

"By giving chocolate." This is Thing 4. She's still horrified.

"I had one," I said. "There doesn't appear to be any hallucinogenic effects. Do you guys want the rest?"

"NO!" They all cry. "Some random stranger in a panel van tells you his life story and gives you drugs and you come home to give them to US???"

"He was a very nice man," I tell them again. "And the chocolate seems fine. And I don't know his life story--he just seemed very happy."

"Because he gave you drugged chocolate."

"Well, maybe it's Prozac. I mean, aren't most of us on that anyway?"


​Whatever. I just woke up from my nap and I'm in the mood for sweets and there are ten more Hershey's kisses on a bag on my coffee table. Go me!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Pending Graduations

 So, without my consent or approval, my children have apparently grown.

I mean, yes, normally we age at a rate of 24 hours a day, but in this case there are milestones that are sort of blowing my mind.

The first indicator that children are growing is that Big T, my oldest, is GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE. For those of you who have followed my blog since the beginning (when the kids were like, "Sure, Mom, you can post our picture, whatever," as opposed to, "DENY YOU HAVE SPAWNED!" which is kind of what we're doing now) will remember my oldest son. You saw him at a sweet and awkward 13--still with braces--about two months after the Youngest was born. I expressed concerns then--he was diagnosed with a developmental disability focused around his communication centers, and every milestone and victory was documented.

Keep in mind, this was a child whom, we were told, "Might even learn to read by the time he hits 8th grade." Or, "Might be able to get a job after high school."

To which, I would like to say, "This is a grown-assed man who has lived on his own for four years, paying his own rent, and has continued to go to college and advocate for himself. He has a driver's license (which I fully admit I wasn't sure he could get and his father deserves SCADS of credit for helping him achieve) and (VERY importantly) the love of an amazing woman whom I hope my family doesn't drive away because she's awesome. And he's getting a college degree in English, the one subject he was not supposed to do well in at ALL."

Folks--my pride here is no small thing.

And the second indicator is that ZoomBoy is GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL. Now, you may be thinking, "But we know ZoomBoy is sort of brilliant, so..."

Well, this year was the suck. It was the suck for EVERYBODY. And I've heard some people going, "My kid just LOVED distance learning--they took to it like duck to water. They may never go into a classroom again." Which is great--I mean GREAT for them. I know some kids like that and I'm happy they've got a new way to learn. I've also heard some parents going, "Well, my kid hated it but they persevered because MY kid's a TROOPER, and they will do what is right!" Well, also, good for you. I'm glad you kid has that kind of constitution.

My kid wanted to die.  And I don't mean that as in, "If this zit doesn't go away I may DAIEEEEE!" I mean he was so depressed he couldn't eat and we were doing periodic wellness checks as well as sweeps for sharp objects. We had to hide all the belts. And I didn't talk about it then because I could barely function because three of my kids were in that place and I was worried catatonic. 

When he started to come around and level out, our focus was less on "Well, let's kick it into gear and graduate!" and more on, "Hey, you get to see your friends! Now for fucks sake EAT SOMETHING." But his grades started to swing around and independent study became less of a colossal chore for all of us. We still didn't think he was going to graduate--he would have to take two semesters of English in a couple of weeks and we didn't see that happening and then...

Last week the school contacted us and said, "Uhm, by the way, we decided to FUCK the last year of English for all the students. Fuck it all. Who cares. They survived the pandemic and we're so glad they're here. Have you ordered your cap and gown yet?" To which Mate and I replied, "That's great--and EEK! NO WE HAVE NOT!"

And suddenly ZoomBoy has rehearsal for a couple of performances that the drama teacher managed to squeeze out of this highly traumatic year. 

So, A. If you don't hear from me on social media on Thursday and Friday I'm AT A PLAY and AT A GRADUATION CELEBRATION, and B. HOLY CRAP--HOO-FRICKIN-RAY!

I mean--I know there are still repercussions. We gave ZoomBoy a gap year to get his drivers license and try out for community theater and apply for junior college and get a shitty job so he has some motivation for school. Thanks to California's refusal to let kids be kids, he doesn't turn 18 until mid-November anyway--and I think he needs the time to grow up. 

Big T is going into the teaching credential program that is currently driving his younger sister batshit insane. (I have not spoken about this on social media, but please believe me. It is true.) The credential program wasn't easy for me--I had so much internal growing I needed to do before I could walk into a classroom and believe they should listen to me. My kids each have different issues, but it's the same thing. Teaching is constant self-evaluation and internal reckoning of "Why am I doing this again?"

And that's fucking hard.

So of course they're not done growing yet--but then I'M not done growing yet. But for the moment, they've reached some specific milestones and I'm proud. 

So let's hear it for graduation. Let's hear it for accomplishing something over the last year PERIOD. And let's hear it for Big T and ZoomBoy, who have both worried me shitless at different times over the years, but, for this moment here, are doing okay. 

Saturday, May 15, 2021

He Regrets Nothing

 Nebula was unusually vocal tonight, because apparently that's how furry psychopaths with murder-mittens get in the spring.

So there he is, stalking back and forth from the back yard to the hallway, talking to us.

"Meow! Meow! Meow! Come check this out! It's great! It's fantastic! It's marvelous!"

Youngest Child comes along and coos,  "BABY! How you doing, handsome man--OMG IT'S A LIZARD!!!"

Mate and I automatically pause the movie we're watching and sit up. "What--wait--is it dead?"

Youngest Child dances around going, "What do I do? What do I do? What--"

"Get a napkin and pick it up!" we cry. "Throw it out in the front planter!"

"Get away from him you murdering freak!" Apparently Nebula did not WANT the lizard stolen from his grasp and taken away.

So ZoomBoy comes out and holds the cat aloft--like, no shit. Aloft. In the air, legs outstretched, reaching for the fuckin' lizard.

"What do I do?" Youngest Child wails. "What if it's dead?"

"Then throw it outside to be with the other dead animals in the planter!" Mate and I cry. At this point we're not getting up to trample the ground where cat and lizard have contended. Youngest Child is already scarred, right? We don't need to see this.

"What if it's alive?" they scream. 

"Well throw it outside to be with the live ones!" we reply--and remember, ZoomBoy is still bearing the cat aloft, who is batting his murder-mittens int he direction of the lizard because SOMEBODY GIVE HIM BACK HIS LIZARD! 


Mate and I almost move at this point--but YC is heading for the kitchen and we're in the living room and hopefully safe from skittering lizards. 

"Get it!" Mate urges helpfully. "You know. Before it gets under the stove."

"Got it! Outside?"

"YES!" we urge in tandem.

"Are you sure?"

"YES!" And, as they move to send the lizard back with his lizardy brethren, we tell ZoomBoy, "And put the cat down. He's fine. He was just being a cat."

Cat is wild-eyed, paws still out, and you can practically read the I REGRET NOTHING caption under his freaked out face. 

The lizard is gone, the cat has stalked off, and the offspring have returned to their rooms. 

I walk down the hall to find the cat sprawled in front of Youngest Child's door. I knock and say, "I'm opening your door."


"Because your cat is staring at it."


"So he's STARING AT IT. Do you want him to go out and kill again?"

"No. Fine. Just let the little psychopath in here."

"Well, he likes you. And you don't resemble a lizard."


"Yes," I agree, as I open the door for the cat. He stares in, mildly interested, and I leave him to his dance as I walk down the hall.

Yeah. We all know who owns the place. If he drops a dead thing on my pillow as I sleep, there's going to be screaming in the morning. 

Monday, May 10, 2021


 I am... humbled, I guess.

I was looking forward to Mother's Day--Mate ordered me some things I'd really wanted, and we were going to order takeout steak and eat it while watching the comfort movie of my choice. I'd plans to go see bio-mom in the morning--we took her lunch and flowers and a book--and then we were going to come home and relax.

It was that simple.

There were some things I didn't count on though.

I knew #2 child was going to go have brunch with my stepmom and then swing by--and that was fine. Big T was going to drive over, and I figured there'd be flowers. That was all--and I was happy. I was giving myself permission to blow off my diet and eat steak and pie and to watch movies and knit. 

Seriously--all I wanted.

I did not count on Chicken coming by with lots of presents--including the Chicken Run stuffies she got from a friend's collection, just for me, the Batman crochet hook and the absolutely charming book about yarn. I didn't count on the lovely cards from Big T and his girlfriend, and the big batch of roses (or the tulips Mate got yesterday, just for me :-)  I didn't count on going down for a nap and having Mate assemble the winder/swift/ironing board combo into exactly the thing I wanted but he didn't like any of the ones they offered on the internet. And a yarn bowl that just humbled me with its beauty.

And I didn't count on saying, "Which of Mom's comfort movies do you want to watch?" and having Big T say, "Pride and Prejudice--the Colin Firth one. I haven't seen that."

Be still my fluttering little heart.

I mean, I went down for my nap in the middle of it, but when I woke up, it was STILL ON. (Remember, it's six episodes long!) And not only that, but Mate and T and I were watching it and making commentary and even ZoomBoy and YC (Youngest Child) were in the room. In fact, YC had the line of the day.

Mate: Wow--did you see the disclaimer in the corner? This is MA for sexual content. (Remember, we don't see so much as an ankle in six hours of television.)  

YC: You just can't escape the eye-fucking, dad. 

And no, you can't. We commented throughout, and stopped and listened to our favorite parts and I didn't have to tie anyone down, drug them, or listen to, "Oh God, Mom, please no!"

And there was steak.

It was HEAVEN. 

And, to top it off, my stepmom and dad came in, left a plant--and their love--and breezed out. 

Stepmom: It's supposed to be the one plant you can't kill.

Mate: Challenge accepted.

And on the one hand, I get it.  We've had a rough year--all of us. The chance to get together and spend time in company without worry and without fear--that was glorious.

But on the other hand, I feel really spoiled. And I get that not everybody had the greatest parents--Mother's Day is not a fun thing for a lot of people. Some people have lost their mothers and Goddess, that sucks.

I just really want all those kind nurturing souls who surround me to know this feeling. Appreciated--and really spoiled. 

I want you to have someone to bring you your favorite meal and watch your favorite movie. I want unexpected flowers for you, and hugs. I want your favorite people to surround you unexpectedly, and happy things to follow.

Happy Mother's Day everyone--however you need that to be. May your hearts be spoiled for joy. 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Kermit Flail-- May!!!!!!!


Wow, did May get here quickly--and my dance card is sort of full! My oldest son is graduating from college (yay!) and my third child may graduate from high school. (Quarantine was rough on some of our students--if he can graduate we'll be super excited, but it might not happen until August.) I've got a couple of classes lined up to teach, and a couple of releases coming up, including the sequel to the Mastermind, all of which are happening in June!

But that's me--what YOU need are some stellar reads, and to that end, I've hit up some STELLAR writers--Andrew Grey, Dirk Grayson,  Kate McMurray, R.L. Merrill, and Andy Gallo all have new releases this month, and that deserves some celebration! Sizzling romance help us anticipate the hot summer months--what could be better, right?

So, folks, let's flail!

Let's start with Andy Gallo, who started out writing fantasy under Andrew Q Gordon but who is now writing contemporary--and doing a grand job of it! 

Better to Believe

by Andy Gallo 

Fall for your best friend’s brother, just don’t break his heart.

Coury Henderson has wanted to play professional baseball since he threw his first pitch. If he’s drafted, he’s off to Tiny Town, USA to earn his ticket to the majors. But a freak injury threatens to derail his dream. If that weren’t enough, his graduation is in jeopardy. Physical therapy might solve the first hurdle, but he’ll need a tutor who is aces in science to solve the second.

A tutor like Liam, his best friend’s little brother.

But when did Liam grow up to be such a hottie?

Liam Wright has crushed on his brother’s best friend since he was twelve. He jumps at the chance to tutor Coury and spend time alone together.

Not that anything could happen between them . . . as nice as Coury is to him, jocks don’t go for nerds.

So why does everything they do feel like a date?

"Better to Believe" is a best friend’s brother-to-lovers, nerd-jock, slow-burn M/M romance with a guaranteed HEA. This new adult, college age novel can be read as a standalone. The Harrison Campus series can be read in any order.

Buy Here

Next, we've got the FABULOUS Kate McMurray with a romance based on one of my favorite tropes--cats and dogs!

Like Cats and Dogs

by Kate McMurray

Can you fight like cats and dogs, and still be perfect for each other?

Things are getting ruff in this Brooklyn neighborhood when new veterinarian Caleb Fitch moves in next door to the Whitman Street Cat Cafe and gets on the wrong side of cafe owner Lauren Harlow. Lauren has a few things to teach the new vet on the block, and rescuing kittens is only the start…

Lauren can’t ignore the fact that she is instantly attracted to Caleb, but he gets her even more riled up when he argues with her about how best to treat the cats in her care. Determined to smooth things over, Caleb comes to the rescue when a new litter of abandoned kittens is left on Lauren’s doorstep, and they confront the fiery attraction that’s been building between them from the start. But saving the baby kittens is only the first challenge Lauren and Caleb have to face, and when a real estate developer comes sniffing around their block, they’ll have to work together, or risk losing everything…

Buy Here

Woohoo!  And next, we have Andrew Grey and his dashing alter-ego, Dirk Greyson, who each have a recent release!

Fate's Attraction

by Dirk Greyson

Even a wolf shifter can’t defeat fate.

Vladimir Corelia is the second son of the pack alpha. He’s happy with his role in the pack, but it seems the fates have other ideas. When the man he finds living in a cave, caring for a shifter baby and a litter of wolf pups, turns out to be his mate, it begins a chain of events that puts the whole pack in jeopardy.

Frankie Bowers can’t remember anything except a powerful sense of danger. He only knows he can’t go home. With no way to defend himself, he has to rely on Vladimir, a perfect stranger who happens to be his mate, to protect him and the young he’s looking after.

While Vladimir and Frankie’s attraction as mates grows stronger every day, so does the threat to their relationship—and to the pack. As Frankie regains his memory, the threat grows more and more ominous. Vladimir and Frankie must rise to the challenge if they hope to have any chance at the future the fates might have in store.

Heavy Lifting

by Andrew Grey

Would-be journalist Reg Applewhite is a slight, geeky guy who knows from high school experience that he’s the perfect size to be shoved into a locker. He writes for his sister’s fashion and gossip blogs and is very understandably reluctant when assigned to cover a local bodybuilding competition for material.

Jack Ponte is a physical god, with a perfect body, poise, and intense eyes. But it’s his grace that captures Reg’s attention, and when Reg asks for an interview, Jack agrees. After all, he’s looking for a life after bodybuilding, and Reg’s blogs offer a chance at something less fleeting.

During the interview, they discover mutual interests in fashion and video games that lead to friendship and deeper feelings neither expects. Reg finds it hard to believe that a god-man like Jack would see anything in him, and Jack is just as shocked when Reg seems to see beyond his looks to the person inside. But there is a price to pay for everything, and Jack draws the kind of unwanted attention that could threaten to pull them apart… or worse. Together they need to figure out a way to lift each other up and push through the challenges.


And last--but CERTAINLY not least is our lovely Ro, R.L. Merrill, who has a Sherif meets tree-trimmer story that has, as is her trademark, the heart of rock and roll.

You Fell First

R. L. Merrill

Things get dirty when a deputy saves a tree trimmer, and sweet when she turns out to be exactly what he needs.

A deputy sheriff and a tree trimmer meet during storm cleanup on a treacherous road and literally fall for each other in the line of duty. Calvin wants to explore their connection and Flor is game. Then things get sticky when his hard-earned sobriety is threatened and her pride is bruised. Their chemistry can’t be ignored, but can they get past their personal obstacles? It’ll take some getting dirty to get to the sweet in this story of broken hearts and fresh starts.

And finally...

Every May, I participate in a fundraiser during which I donate a portion of my proceeds--usually from specific books-- to the Keith Milano Memorial Fund for suicide prevention and the promotion of mental health. This cause means a great deal to me, and I usually donate money from books that at least touch on the theme of mental health awareness. 

This year is no different, and because Dane--a character who is introduced in Winter Ball but who gets his own story in  Fall Through Spring--is struggling with bipolar disorder, I thought it would be appropriate to donate a part of my proceeds from any book int his series sold in May. If you've read it, thank you--I know Dane's story wasn't easy. But if you haven't, you may want to check it out. The guys in this series are a mix of working and middle class, and, in the words of one of the people who got me my start in this business, feature guys working shit out. 

I've always found that the most charming part of falling in love.