Sunday, December 29, 2013

I won't be posting earnings from here on out.

I won't be posting earnings from here on out. I've already proven that yes, money can be made at this gig and I don't need the ego boost. Also, I've run into some envy in my personal life, and though I'm better off for losing that particular connection and more productive as a result, I do get why people are close mouthed about their success.

My holiday has been very relaxing. I've read a lot of books and generally recharged. Yesterday I got some plotting done and I plan to do the same today. Watched a Discovery Channel TV marathon of Mermaids: New Evidence and a thing on Megalodon (Giant Shark) that uncharacteristically kept me highly entertained. It was followed by an interesting piece on Nessie by the River Monsters guy. Made sense to me, esp. the part where the Loch is too sparsely stocked with fish to support many large animals, but critters might swim in from the sea following salmon.

Regarding Tremor: to mushroom, or not to mushroom? That is the question. How evil and creative can I be? Leaning toward evil ;)

Amazing how reading about mushrooms removing heavy chemicals from toxic soil can translate in the creative mind.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Break

John brought home a cold that's trying to get me, but it's not bad yet, so I'm doing taxes. It's made a little more fun because I put the year's birthday, mother's day, etc. cards in the receipt pile. Nice to smile while doing paperwork :)

Made pot of chicken soup yesterday and it's nearly gone. Clearly, I need to start making it by the vat.

Been practicing guitar for the last few days and working out, limiting fat and carbs. My mission is to quit complaining about stuff and actually do something.

Reading body language book; very helpful stuff. I get overwhelmed in crowds; too much stimuli. Hopefully this will channel my natural body lang. reading gift in a way that will make people watching fun.

At some point will attempt GFCF cookie baking. This should be interesting.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Beware aniversaries

Been moody and lacked energy lately, couldn't figure out what was wrong. After I burst into tears over the washing machine, finally thought about my grandfather. Called my grandma and turns out it's the one year anniversary of his passing. ARGH! Apparently my subconscious won't let me ignore it. Wish I'd had warning.

At least that explains the dreams of death.

Yes, he's in a better place, yes, I'll see him again. Meanwhile, I've got a few hours of suck to survive. Thank God for house cleaning; it's my go-to therapy for stress.

At least it explains where my imagination went. System's overloaded, Captain! No room for daydreaming.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hated Man of Steel. Way to ruin another childhood superhero, Hollywood.

Looking forward to seeing the newest Hobbit, though. It's our Christmas family movie this year and we're all excited.

Got some Christmas shopping done yesterday, and John and I had lunch. We're at the age when we know what we're getting but we wrap it anyway because it's funner.

My daughter wants to make cupcakes today, so we'll see. Been feeling a bit run down the last couple of days and boys have an active virus. If this is the extent of my sickness, that would be great.

Here's some pics of our dog Buck. John got playful :)

Come on, Dad. I'm trying to watch Pacific Rim. You're ruining it for me.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Working n stuff

Made crepes for breakfast, working on SE, though the weather has changed and it's a bit tough to breath and think at the computer. wonder if a standing desk would be any better?

Discovered I can mix mineral makeup with my homemade lotion for a nice foundation. Other than the breathing/typing issue, I'm feeling fantastic these days, energetic and happy. I assume that whatever was in my store bought lotion was subtly dragging me down. Talking with the youngest (he's 13) about making lotion and lip balm to sell so he can make money. Not only is it the best lip balm ever, it's hard for a kid to make money. It would be good for him, and he wants to make soap, too.

I've made soap, and it's fun, but I don 't want to be the one to monitor the melting beef fat. If he wants to use veggie oils, that's another matter. It would be good for him to have a hobby.

Monday, December 2, 2013


We melted and filtered beeswax this weekend and made candles, lip balm and lotion. Not only is honey lip balm the best thing I've ever found for chapped lips, it's much tastier than Carmex. Bet it would be great on cracked heels.

Hm, Christmas is coming; Mom might appreciate some. With only three ingredients, it would be a snap to make.

Not only do I love the lotion, it's got no funky ingredients and feels awesome, silky smooth. It works on the face AND my ear infections? Gone. I'd had an "ah-hah" moment recently when I noticed that applying my store bought lotion caused instant ear pressure. My sinuses are clearing now, and during prime mold allergy season, too.

Never thought I'd be whipping up homemade chocolate sauce in the morning with my GF chocolate chip waffles, using wax and honey from my own hives to make my own skin care stuff or grinding my own beans to make flour. Life goes in unexpected directions, but I'm enjoying the ride.

Beeswax Lotion:

1/4 c coconut or olive oil
1/4 c olive oil (or oils of choice, such as sesame, almond or avocado, cocoa...)
1 tbsp grated beeswax
1/16 tsp essential oil, optional

1. Gently melt everything in a jar placed in a pot of gently simmering water. Stir, remove jar and allow to cool.


Mix powdered zinc with the basic lotion.

Honey Lip Balm:

1 tsp caster oil
1 tsp lanolin or coconut oil
1 tsp grated beeswax
1/2 tsp honey

I've always thought that if I ever sold a product, I'd print the recipe right on the bottle. My theory is that I know how to make a doughnut, but if I could buy one I definitely would. Most of us value convenience, and I think it would be a fabulous and fun way to market stuff.

Snippet: Destiny awaits

The urge to leave now was as strong as the one that had brought her here. By all appearances, those men had been locked up for some time, and she didn’t want to be standing there when they broke free.
She reached the sunlight and jogged down the winding path, eager to put distance between them. She wasn’t much of a jogger, but she was healthy and managed a mile before slowing to a fast walk. Feeling safer, she hurried along, wondering who those men were and why she’d felt compelled to help them. Not that she was cruel by nature, but the whole day had been bizarre. The jewelry, the cave, the man eating rocks…it was difficult to process.
She hit a soft spot on the trail and her foot sank up to the ankle. Startled, she lurched, nearly going to her knees. “What the…? There’s no mud out here.” They hadn’t had rain for weeks, and the rest of the path was hard dirt.
“Hello, dear.” Three women were ranged around Cara’s expanding mud hole. Bewildered, she struggled, her feet sinking a little more as the mud sucked at her shoes. “Hey, could you help me? I’m stuck.” She stuck out a hand in expectation.
It was ignored.
“We are helping,” a tall Polynesian woman said. Dressed in a short-sleeved red blouse, jean shorts and hiking boots, she seemed right at home. “I’m Destiny, by the way.”
“Providence,” the statuesque black woman introduced herself. She sized Cara up as if considering her for an important position. She wore a knee length white skirt with tiny pleats and golden sandals that laced up her calves; definitely not hiking apparel. Her top was an artfully tied white scarf that left one shoulder bare, and heavy linked gold disks circled her neck and wrists. A gold cord bound her hair, holding it back from her strong face. “We are the judges. Well done on setting the prisoners free.”
“Yes, well done. You may call me Fortune,” a pretty Spanish lady said, brushing her long, wavy red hair over her shoulder. “I see you’re wearing your wedding jewelry. Excellent. We can begin now.” She took a pouch out of her peasant blouse and a bottle from the pocket of her long green skirt. She took a handful of herbs and sprinkled it over the mud. “Blessings of sage for wisdom, rosemary for strength, wisdom and fidelity…”
“Is that for her or him?” Destiny quipped. “Because “playboy meets former human” sounds more like the plot of a naughty joke than a love story.”
“Tony Stark was a playboy, but Penny turned him around,” Providence argued, referencing the Iron Man movie.
“Do you mind?” Fortune growled. She cleared her throat. “And orange thyme, for refreshing courage. Destiny, you have the oil?”
“Of course. Destiny took a water pistol out of her pocket and squirted oil at Cara’s head.
“What are you doing?” Cara cried as she sank to her knees. The struggling was making her sink faster, but holding still didn’t help, and now she had oil that reeked of ginger and spruce dripping through her hair, stinging her eyes.
“Good question.” Providence sent a quizzical look at Destiny.
Destiny shrugged. “She’s anointed, isn’t she?” She glanced up the trail. “It would be best to finish soon. They’re almost free.”
“They have to feed. Right now they’re too weak to fight us.” Providence focused on Cara. “Be strong, Cara. He will be difficult at first, but he won’t be able to ignore his wedding tokens. He will be yours. Soon you will sleep, and wake to good fortune.”
“You’re crazy!” Cara shouted as the mud sank to her chest. She couldn’t believe they were just standing around, watching her sink. “Help me!”
“You will be all right,” Providence promised. “Providence be with you.”
“Destiny awaits,” Destiny said crisply, raising a sparkling copper vial. She let the contents fall in a trail of copper tears. Where it fell, it blazed, causing the mud to burst into light.

Cara’s body sizzled and dissolved as she slipped beneath the mud. Unable to fight the pain, she screamed, gaging as charged mud slid down her throat and filled her lungs. Choking, she thrashed as her body fell apart, ripped cell by cell from her being. Wrapped in pain, she gratefully gave into the darkness.
Sucktackular week with sparks of good stuff mixed in.

Thanksgiving went well, getting a massage today, so that's great. The kids put up the lights and tree yesterday and we listened to Christmas music. Made chocolate chip waffles today and getting some writing done. Will post a snippet soon.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Plots n suction cups

I'm dutifully trying to work on SE, but my stuffy ears are a huge distraction. I need magic ear unplugger, stat! Ooh, wonder if the mini suction cup from the cupping kit I got might do the trick? Works great on the face for sinus drainage. I'll try it.

Did work out a minor plot change that was gumming up the works.

Friday, November 22, 2013

B&N is making me crazy

I had it all figured out, then they changed formats. Have a headache now, praying I get this solved soon.

It's cold (for here) and sunny. I've been reading a great book, one I waffled on for a while. The sample wasn't enough to help me decide, but I finally bought Dragon Outcast by E.E. Knight. Glad I did.

Front Cover

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


John has this fear of "cheap" extension cords, that they'll fry under a big power load. To avoid having a giant extension cord under my bed for a measly lamp, clock and heating pad, I texted him the watts and the cord's specs, impressing the socks off him. He never thought I'd look, but underestimated how I love winning arguments with logic.

Cost of Walmart cord: $2. Winning an electrical debate with a mechanic: priceless.

We broke down and got Direct TV. They offered us the first year free, plus free installation, so I'm enjoying Food Network and the Cooking Channel again. Love the shows that makeover failing restaurants.

My computer turned off in the middle of work and I'm still plagued by asthma (does my body not like persimmons? Good thing I didn't plant a tree or I'd be ticked). Despite this, I delivered our daughter to the dentist and school without getting lost. Last time I took a wrong turn on the way home, got stuck in construction, detoured, stepped in overflowing toilet water when I stopped to use a bathroom, and generally took the long way home.

Mind you, I was using a GPS.

Having made it home without incident, I'm giving myself permission to slack off and breathe.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fuzzy day

Have a lovely ear/sinus thing going on thanks to rainy weather/seasonal allergies. Didn't get much sleep last night, so debating weather I'm clear headed enough to post links to Amazon and B&N on my site or if I should wait until tonight. Being in a hurry is a sure way to cause a disaster of some sort.

Thankfully, I bought groceries yesterday, so I can run around in sweats today and drink herbal "cold care" tea and fill my ears with garlic oil. Good times.

Wind Burn had a successful launch, so that was cool. Book releases always feel good.

I think I had a theme to this post at one time, but the pressure in my head has pushed it out. I'll hang it up and give it a go later.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hershey's Brownie Makeover

Mastered brownies! Finally, an gooey brownie with deep chocolate flavor without butter, soy or wheat. Suck it, chocolate craving! Do you know how hard it is to get proper flavor without dairy? This is a BIG DEAL.

Good thing I made two different batches in my experiment. Both were devoured by the next morning.

Important notes: Originally called for 2 cups of butter. I replaced it by making a mayonnaise-like emulsion with the oil and eggs. Worked like a charm. Might try to decrease the oil by a couple of tablespoons in next batch; think it will work fine.

It helps to remember that butter isn't solid fat, but an emulsion of fat and water.

I had to decrease the flour by half, because my bean flour mix has a lot of fiber and it would have been too dry otherwise.

One batch used a couple of tablespoons of walnut oil, which also was a tasty addition. I might try using brown sugar and see if it's even better, but that would be an impressive trick, since these rock.

Hershey's Brownie Makeover

1/2 c oil like grape seed or rice bran
4 eggs
1 3/4 c sugar (originally called for 2 c, but that was too sweet for me)
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c cocoa
1/2 c GF bean flour mix
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp coffee
1 tbsp caramel coffee syrup, optional

1. Put eggs in blender or food processor. With blender running, add a few drops of oil through the pour spout. Slowly add a very thin stream of oil to form an emulsion.
2. Add sugar, salt, vanilla, coffee.
3. Mix flour, baking powder in a bowl. Scrape blender contents into the bowl and mix. Bake at 350 F for 30 to 35 min. (touch the top of the brownie to test for doneness). A knife stuck into the batch will come out gooey at this point, and the top will barely wobble.

Note: If you add the sugar with the dry ingredients, you will have a chewier, more gooey brownie that tastes sweeter. My tasters preferred the delicate crackle top on the batch where the sugar was added to the blender. It was prettier, too.

Wind Burn is out!

Uploaded Wind Burn to Amazon and B&N, should show up there shortly. Already available at Smashwords.

She will make the north wind howl.

Tech Sergeant Gale Adam’s final flight over the North Pole is supposed to be routine; instead it changes her destiny.

Transformed by the Fates, tossed out of her KC-135, Gale is alone in the desolate arctic wilderness. Cursed with the power to destroy all she loves, can she prevent elemental Nitro from extinguishing her home, her family and their future?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sucky week

It's been a long, sucky week. Stuff happens, I get stressed, and writing is like wading through mud. Fun for Tremor and Cara, no so much for me. I need to plan something fun for Friday, because I need to break through the funk. Maybe we'll go to lunch at a new allergy friendly place I heard of, or I could plan a nice dinner.

Brussels sprouts, anyone?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wind Burn due out on the 15.

Wind Burn will be released Friday. Meanwhile I'm working on Scorched Earth.

My youngest wants to collect some of the goldfish someone released into a tiny pond in the field behind us. Sounds good to me, so I let him dig a small pond in the back yard. Pond liner is spendy, so we'll try waterproof black plastic first, concrete shell if that doesn't work.

We put new foam in the cushions of our second hand couch and used black duck tape to cover the peeling, chocolate brown vinyl. Actually looks fine, plus I get to torment my mom for a while :) Maybe I'll go couch hunting next year, but I want to take my time and get a quality couch I really like, maybe a sectional with one long cushion that would be comfortable for sleeping.

John had to buy a twin mattress for our oldest, who kept waking up with bad neck and shoulder pain. At 6"1 and 220 lbs, a squishy little mattress is not an option.

We made three peanut butter pies for my birthday and boy, were they good. Gotta try a flour-less chocolate cake next!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wind burn is off to the beta

Beta has the ball. I'm going to pry myself off my seat and seek out caffeine. Salutes, exits stage left.

GF Flour Mix, Name Swapping

The trouble with working with multiple books in a series is during dialogue, I get the names switched. Thank God Judy calls me on it, or we'd be wondering why Kira kissed Surge and Alicia is ticked off at Tremor. Creative daze does weird things to a book.

A reader asked for my GF flour mix, so here you go. Like so many seeming disasters (Dorchester folding, being forced in self-pubbing for grocery money, my allergies turning nuclear) it turned out to be a good thing I was forced to reformulate, because this mix is superior. Pancakes and waffles are fluffier and breads more sturdy, yet light.

I'm close to a GF bread with no xanthan gum that's tasty. Will post when I've perfected it.

GF Flour Mix

1 c toasted bean flour (I mill my own using white beans)
3/4 c rice flour
1/4 c starch
1 tsp pectin

1. Mix all and use.

Go here to see how to make bean flour edible (not raw tasting) with the microwave:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Birthday, Thor, Twinkle Lights

My birthday is Friday, and John and I are going to see Thor. He's already snuck a new tree in the back yard for me that I discovered while taking the dogs out. I'm going to keep the small spruce trimmed to a cute Christmas tree and possibly get solar powered twinkle lights. Will landscape around it with granite and the dished rocks that construction churns up around here.

It's snowing big fat flakes, so pretty. Bit annoying for asthma, though. Chugging along on edits. Hopefully I'll be done tomorrow and ready for my beta.

What with mom visiting, I wasn't cooking as much (she kind of takes over, and then my fridge gets full of stuff my allergic self can't eat). Kids love it, though.

Anyway, I've been tired and draggy. Finally figured out the flour mix I developed is why I was bursting with energy before. Now that I'm cooking again, I anticipate my energy going back to the high I've been accustomed to. Hopefully my breathing will return to normal, too.

Meanwhile, my good buddy has moved back in the neighborhood, so that's a great holiday present. Looking forward to making over the holiday favorites like green bean casserole and sweet potatoes with bacon. I'll have to consult the cookbooks once I'm done with edits.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Edits in progress

Old version:

Providence snapped a diamond collar around Gale’s neck and a ring on her left forefinger. It was so wide it covered the first joint and sparkled with diamonds. “Hang in there, dear. It will be over soon.”
A deep chill settled over Gale, sinking into her bones. Her breath frosted and she breathed in ice crystals, shuddering as the shards dug into her lungs and crawled along her veins, freezing all it touched. As the ice worked its way up from her extremities to her core, the pressure pushed the sharp ice crystals to her core, increasing the pain. It felt like the shards were frothing inside her, until finally they burst out of her mouth, taking her essence with it.
Gale crouched naked on the deck, mute with pain. Her old body laid there, eyes open and very dead.

After edits:

Providence snapped a diamond collar around Gale’s neck and slid a ring on her left forefinger. It was so wide it covered the first joint and sparkled with diamonds. “Hang in there, dear. It will be over soon.”
A deep chill settled over Gale, sinking into her bones. Her breath frosted and she breathed in ice crystals, shuddering as the shards dug viciously into her lungs and crawled along her veins in frozen fire, freezing all it touched. As the ice worked its way from her extremities to her organs, the pressure pushed the sharp ice crystals to her core, increasing the agony.
She couldn't scream with frozen lungs, but her eyes rolled wildly, begging for help, until the fluid inside froze and she went blind. Alone in the dark with the pain, she shook with terror. Shards frothed in her stomach, pushed up her throat like naked skin raked over crystallized snow, until they burst from her mouth, taking her essence with it.

Gale crouched naked on the deck, mute with pain. Her old body laid there, eyes open and very dead.
“Good job, ladies! I knew we could leave a body if worked at it. Now, off with you, Gale. Remember, the Fates are with you.” Providence made a shooing motion, and Gale was sucked out the gaping seal.

Showing verses telling. Pointing this could have been improved is why I have Judy. Look her up, guys.

Back to work.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers


This book has been game changing for me. I've struggled with so many things and finally have some answers, some healing.
Got edits for Wind Burn today! Nicely solves my lack of ambition and general lethargy. I blame the wet ground harboring mold and other nasties.

I've spent most of my career writing about dysfunctional families, so I did something different with Wind Burn, and I'm going to use positive models in more books.

Someone asked if Wind Burn will go paperback. Ebook sales dwarf paper sales, so while I'm not opposed to it, I'm going to prioritize it.

For example, I made $6.23 on CreateSpace in October, and that's with several books for sale. It simply makes more sense to concentrate on ebooks.

As it is, I have a hard time keeping up with the cooking and household chaos. Since I have to do all my own cooking due to allergies and I have three teens who eat like wolves, I'm a hopping chick. At least the family pitches in to keep the house clean.

Enough stalling. To the book!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Heavens to Mrgatroyd, killer gummy bears

Howling! Tears coming out of my eyes! COULD NOT STOP LAUGHING.
Going to forward this and maybe blog it. OMGosh! Thanks to my proofreader for the link. Awesome!
Subject: Heavens to Murgatroyd, indeed!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Smashwords stuff

Experimenting with the Smashwords pre-release option. Unfortunately, I'm a bit fuzzy with a stomach bug and nervous about posting an unedited manuscript, even for a short time. What if I forgot to update it, or died and it was stuck up there, ragged and horrible, forever?

At least I'm getting some of the set up work done. Wouldn't hurt to do that on B&N and Amazon, too. It'll be less to do (and potentially mess up) on release day.

Will get edits back in a couple of days, review, and send to beta. Hi, beta! I know what you're doing this weekend ;)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dracula, lunch, date

Going to take a nap so I can watch the Dracula premier on NBC. Found a safe restaurant to dine at by the river called Central Food. The chef is gluten free, and that gives me a lot of confidence dining.

Going to get some work done before having some quality time with my husband. Date time!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Snippet: Scorched Earth

Scorched Earth

One will find a love that shakes the earth itself.

Super-duper book blurb here.

Chapter 1

He was used to the weightlessness by now, but even 800 years couldn’t dull his body’s scream for the touch of earth. Trapped in a cave but cocooned in a cell of air, he could never touch the stone that remained forever tantalizingly out of reach. He was hungry, starved, and he was not alone. Two others shared his hell, though their cells reflected their nature.
Fire sat on a bare patch of floating earth surrounded by a sphere of water. Black as night and skeletal, he stared unseeing at the water.
Water’s cell was bone dry. Severely dehydrated, he looked like a sad old man and rarely spoke, unwilling to force the words past his parched throat. Once blue as the ocean, he’d faded to a sickly gray.
They’d long ago tried everything they could think of to break free. Over the years hope had dwindled, leaving them empty, despairing. If they could have ended it, they’d have welcomed death.
The earthquake was the first harbinger of change. Earth’s eyes snapped open as he sensed the earth shake. Though he couldn’t physically touch the ground, it gave him a brief burst of hope. Maybe…
As days went by, hope became depression…until, abruptly, he sensed the woman.

Cara wiggled her way through the crack in the earth, calling herself a fool. Something tugged at her, a music barely felt, a longing unfulfilled. Using her pen light, she navigated the fissure, turning sideways once to ease through. She’d planned a simple walk this morning to contemplate her twenty second birthday and exploring a cave wasn’t on the agenda.
She knew there was a cave at the end of the tunnel, and it bothered her that she was so certain. She was equally certain the quake that formed this crack had left it stable, but couldn’t have said how any more than she could ignore the urge to explore it.
The day had been so ordinary. Her parents had gone to Mexico to visit family, leaving her to watch the house. She’d made coffee, read the news online and checked the mail. The plain brown box inside intrigued her. Lacking a return postmark, it had been filled with popcorn packing and jewelry. The earrings were gold with a green stone that twinkled when she admired them in mirror. Delighted, she’d slipped the matching gold cuff on her left wrist and admired the way the “emeralds” sparkled in the early morning sun. It was when she’d tried to slip the cuff off that she discovered it wouldn’t budge. For all intents, it seemed welded to her wrist, and the clasp she’d sworn was there had melted away.
She’d assumed the gifts were from her parents, but now she suspected someone had pranked her. She wondered which of her friends was behind it, and who she’d have to skin.
Cara grimaced as she shimmied past a skinny place, strangely unconcerned about what would normally be a claustrophobic press of earth. She wondered now what would happen if she tried to remove the earrings. She’d been so distracted by the cuff she hadn’t tried.
The tunnel ahead began to brighten, and it had nothing to do with her penlight. She clicked it off, thinking she was approaching daylight…and stepped into a dream.
The cave was lit, but not by the sun. A glow illuminated three pitiful looking men in the oddest “cells” she could imagine. At least, she sensed they were cells, though only one resembled one in the traditional sense. She glanced at the one encased in a bubble of water, noting his intent stare, but it was the one floating before her that stole her attention. Pale and chalky, he appeared cracked like a weathered statue, a ragged cloth wrapped around his hips. His hair was white and sparse, but his eyes were very alive. Bronze with copper chasing, they focused on her with a single-minded intensity.
“What are you?” she whispered. Her instincts would normally caution her about releasing him, would make her question why he was locked up, but today everything in her cried out with the need to help. She looked around, but there was no obvious way to free him. She looked at the huddled figure in the cell to her left and winced at his obvious dehydration. That was something she could do. Taking her water bottle from her pack, she loosened the top and reached past the bars to set it on the floor.
The man stared at her and slowly unfolded his limbs. Moving painfully, he crawled like an arthritic old man across the stone floor, and it was all she could do not to try to move the water closer. Apparently she still had some shreds of caution, for she kept a respectable distance.
He reached the bottle and feebly undid the cap, inhaling like a junkie snuffing his latest hit. Astonishingly, the water rose out of the bottle as if he really were inhaling it, flowing into his mouth in a steady stream. He shuddered and bowed his head with a dry sob, clutching the empty bottle.
Cara swallowed her astonishment and looked around with wide eyes. She flushed as she met the intense stare of the chalky prisoner, glancing quickly to the water surrounding the withered black man. Moving to him, she cautiously undid her belt and flicked it at the water sphere, braced to let it go quickly if it tried to suck her in. Instead, the belt flicked the water and came away wet, dribbling water on the floor.
“Okay.” She slicked the water off her belt, put it back on and went back to the shriveled gray man. Did his color look a little better? That was assuming blue was his natural color, of course. “If you give me back the bottle, I can get you more water.”
He quickly pushed it through the bars.
Cara began to trek from the water to his cell, water dripping down her arm and forming a trail along the floor between cells. As soon as she got close, the withered man sucked the water to him. He was looking better all the time, and she glanced between the other two, wondering what she could do for them.
“Throw him a rock,” the blue man suggested, following her gaze to Chalky.
She started at his rough croak, but after a moment’s hesitation, set down the bottle and searched the cave until she found some loose stones. Lugging them to the floating man, she set them down and considered while he watched her with heart pounding intensity. Taking a breath, she lobbed the rock underhand, arching to his left.
He grabbed it like a lightning strike and held it to his chest, protecting it like a precious child. A green glow surrounded his hands, and when his hands fell away, the rock was gone.
Cara blinked, astonished, but quickly tossed him the rest. One by one, they were absorbed, and he began to look better, less corroded. Pleased, she turned back to fetch more, only to stop dead. A trickle of water was flowing from the water sphere along the trail of drips, slowly building as it went to the blue man. A glance showed the sphere seemed to be thinning around the black man.
The hair on her neck prickled in warning. She may have felt the need to help these guys, but she didn’t know them, didn’t even know what they were or why they were here. Not only were there three of them, but they had abilities she didn’t. It was time to leave, because from all appearances, they had things under control.
Acting like she was going for more rocks, she calmly stepped over the small stream and headed to the far wall. She passed the rock pile and kept on walking, hurrying through the tunnel.

Parents are gone

Parents are gone. Big, gusty sigh. Decompressed yesterday.

As a book is made, multiple versions exist. Today I had to search the computer for ten minutes to find the most recent, since it saved in an odd place. Whew! Saved it under a new name and took the time to (carefully) delete old copies. I don't want to rewrite a scene.

Honestly, it's worse than misplacing your car keys.

Wind Burn is scheduled for early November.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Why write books out of order?

I wrote Fire, Stone and Water out of order because that's how they came to me. I began Scorched Earth with good intentions, but had to set it aside when I realized that's not the one that flowed best at the time. Wind Burn came to me before Scorched Earth, so that had to be completed, too. Now I feel as if I know Tremor and Cara enough to complete their book. After all, their world and relationships are already in place.

I'm making a stronger effort to complete a series before moving on. It's nice to have a break between long books, and I always have ideas, but there are worlds I want to complete. Besides, my books have been shorter lately; I have that freedom since I'm not working to please a publisher.

I won't be writing a 20 book series of anything. Do it once, do it right, and move on. I like fresh stuff, unique, different. Much as I like Feehan, after a zillion books, there's always a waterfall with a hot springs, extra gross vampires, silly spells (really??) and stuff that gets repeated. And yet, I keep reading about Carpathians. What's wrong with me?

I think it's the Alpha male, marriage that lasts forever, no Dukes of Slut that appeals. The men are nice to the women, protective, concerned for their safety and happiness. Except for Zachariah, I think his name was. Abusive much? Not a favorite.

Have a stomach bug and rambling today. Think I'll go do something about it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Next up, Scorched Earth

While I wait on edits, decided to work on Scorched Earth. Was tempted to work on something else, but I have the elemental world on tap, so it was logical. I was worried I'd be burned out because it took so long to get the other stories done, but hopefully there won't be an major life distractions to slow this one. I'll post a snippet soon.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Wrote the blog, gotta send to get proofed, status report

We're weeks away from the release of Wind Burn. My proof reader is backed up (you go, girl!) so it'll take a couple of weeks, plus my beta still has to look at it. I can't wait!

My parents are still camped in the 35 ft RV in the back yard. Surprisingly, I'm still getting work done. Yay, gluten free! So much energy makes things a lot smoother, plus I've learned to make eggrolls and pie crust this week (had to throw out first crust; tasted like dog food, and dogs loved it). The eggrolls are a thin, papery crepe made with cornstarch, egg and water. Insert filling, roll and shallow fry. Yummy, crisp, light.

We also feasted on chili verde, salmon, steak, Chinese delicacies, apple crepes and assorted green stuff this week. Full bellies, good times.

Anyway, getting to work right away lets me get stuff done and still spend time with my parents. Win-win.

Wind Burn

She will make the north wind howl.

Tech Sergeant Gale Adam’s final flight over the North Pole is supposed to be routine; instead it changes her destiny. Transformed by the Fates, tossed out of her KC-135, Gale is alone in the desolate artic wilderness. Cursed with the power to destroy all she loves, can she prevent elemental Nitro from extinguishing her home, her family and their future?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Put The End on Wind Burn. Have to format, send to proof reader, then beta, then it's all yours, ladies.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Early Arival

My parents arrived yesterday, surprising me. John was in on it, the rat :) We went to Green Bluff and picked plums, and my parents were thrilled to eat a plum straight from the tree for once. They were amazed at the flavor of a perfectly ripe fruit, and it was fun.

Anyway, I'm using the morning to write. Very close to the end. Yippe!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Snippet: the family needs to know

Volunteered for 2nd Harvest food distribution yesterday. The work is fine, it's getting started on a Saturday morning that's rough. I'm not a morning person.

Successfully passed on some monster zucchini, so that was good. Mom can deal with the mass of squash and remaining tomatoes when she arrives.

So, snippet? I think so, too.

Frost didn’t rush her. He floated in front of her as if he had all the time in the world.
Gale finally stirred. “I want to see them.” She felt numb as Frost continued on. She dimly realized she was in shock, and as the landscape began to blur, she realized she was silently weeping.
Her parent’s cars were in the driveway. Frost found a tiny crack under the door where the weather stripping had peeled away and flowed into the house, pulling her with him. She shivered at the sensation of becoming wind, but forgot it as she saw her parents grieving on the couch. “Mom! Dad! I’m okay,” she cried, then checked as she realized they couldn’t hear her. Grief stricken, she fell to her knees beside them and hugged their knees. “Mom…” she choked, unable to go on.
Frost remained silently supportive a she vented her grief, telling her parents she loved them, that she was okay. Their grief finally calmed, and she thought for a moment they sensed her.
“We need to call her grandparents,” her mom finally said. “The family needs to know.”
Her dad gulped, swallowing a fresh wave of tears. “Our baby. My little girl.”
Gale hugged her knees, resting her face on them. “I’m still here, Dad. I love you.”
Her dad took a shuddering breath and pulled out his cell phone. He dialed. “Hello, Dad? I have bad news.”
Gale stood up and hugged her belly, unable to bear it, but unable to leave them in their grief. She stayed as relatives arrived full of tears and questions. She took no joy as the ripples of grief spread. She’d known she was loved, and the family was close. Her parents wouldn’t be alone.
But she was. She was an outsider burning from the inside. The pain wanted to bury her, and she finally retreated to her apartment over the family’s company air freight office. Being alone helped (she chose to ignore Frost), but as she looked around at the things she could no longer touch, she felt hollow. The contents of her kitchen, her clothes, her things, were no longer relevant. She couldn’t take a hot bath or eat ice cream. She couldn’t surf the net or watch her favorite DVDs. Her usual coping mechanisms were denied her. Her home, her old life was gone as surely as if a hurricane had ripped it away.
“I wish I could at least take the pictures,” she said, looking forlornly at the framed photos on the wall and trailing her fingers over the photo albums and scrapbooks. Her computer had hundreds of photos, too.
“That I can do,” Frost said firmly. “I’ll have my staff make copies and return the originals. We can even duplicate the electronic files.”
“You can?” she whispered, overcome. At least that was something. She sat on her bed, exhausted. Out of habit she reached for her teddy bear. The fur rippled as she touched it, but she couldn’t pick it up.
Her cat chose that moment to stir. Stretching, she hopped down from the back of the couch and headed for her litter box. Unaware of Gale’s presence, Huntress groomed and jumped onto the bed, leaping through Gale to settle on the bed in a contented heap.
Gale choked, “Huntress?” Her touch ruffled the cat’s fur. Annoyed, the cat jumped on the wide windowsill to watch the planes take off.
That was it. Gale fled, instinctively taking her cloud form and flowing under the door. She had to escape.
“Easy!” Frost said as he caught her shoulders, releasing her immediately when she twisted away. He opened a portal to Nitro’s house and stood aside, waiting.
Gale shot through the portal, grateful to escape. She shook with grief, raging at the Fates who’d stole her future and her family. The cold, clean air helped. She looked back as Frost emerged behind her.
He let her take a last look at her old home. “Your family will still be here,” he soothed. “You need a break.”
She looked away, and he closed the portal.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Cruising along

Turns out my parents will arrive Monday or Tuesday. I've got the ending and epilogue, just have to figure out how to fill in the gap that comes before. Odd when plot goes abc, zy, m on me. Shrug. Progress is progress.

Nice thing is I've already got a cover, so once I'm done, I can ship it to the proof reader and shorty, to my readers. The only question is whether I work on something else to take a break before Scorched Earth. I have a gargoyle idea...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Canada, snippets

My parents are in Canada and should arrive Saturday or Sunday. Thankfully, John's on furlong since the govt. has helpfully shut down. Excuse me, "slimmed down". Anyway, he's helping and I'm writing.

The story is coming in pieces, so I'm writing scenes as I get them rather than trying to find the whole plot. Whatever advances the book.

Snippets are about to get painful. You're moving into a tough stretch for Gale and might need tissues. I'll try to keep the emotional scenes together so you can get the whole feel, but be advised you're going to be want me to hurry up so that you can see some silver lining. I'm not going to rush, so keep it in mind if you think these will make you antsy.

I've got the final scene of the book done, but I have to connect a lot of dots before it's finished. Speaking of, back to work.

Snippet: she was a ghost

“The first thing you must learn is to draw upon the wind. It's easy and it should be instinctive,” Frost explained as they left the building and stepped outside onto the snowy plain. He demonstrated how to draw on the wind currents, pulling specific elements to her. “Helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, radon, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon are some the elements we command. There are others of course, and all of them have different value to us. Some are for feeding and others are for shaping. Also the different gases that we can eat have different nutritional value. For instance it would be a bad idea to try to live on nitrogen alone.” He smiled as if that were an understatement.
 If it was a joke, it went over Gale’s head. She didn't find it funny when he levitated them without warning either. She stiffened and her eyes went wide as he swiftly rose above the mansion.
“Easy,” Frost advised. “This is as natural as breathing.”
“I'm going to fall!”
“If you did, you would simply drift to the ground. Remember, you're no longer as dense as a human. Gravity does not affect you the same way.” His tone was sympathetic, but she sensed he was enjoying himself.
“You don't like me, do you?” Gale search frantically for way down. She imagined herself slowly drifting to earth and sighed with relief as her body obliged.
Frost watched with approval as her feet gently touched the snow. “I've never had a mother-in-law to torment before. It's fun.”
She glared at him. “I refuse to be your mother in law; you’re centuries older than I am.”
“Don't let my seniority upset you. I promise not to comment on your age…much.” He alighted next to her. “Ready to return to Fairbanks? I'll open a portal.”
She took a step back in surprise as an oval portal opened in the middle of downtown Fairbanks. “How did you do that? I thought we were going to fly!”
He shook his head. “A KC 135 has a top speed of 530 mph (853 km) at 30,000 feet. A category five hurricane, on the other hand, is a storm wind exceeding 156 mph ( or 136 knots/ 251 km). Even if you traveled at hurricane velocity, which I doubt you can do for long, it would take you a while to get back home.
“Fortunately, you have an old elemental at your disposal that can open portals.” He bowed.
She looked at him suspiciously. “Can all air elementals rattle off numbers like that?”
He shrugged. “I bet you can tell me how many miles you can travel in your car on a gallon of gas, average road speeds, and the general mileage on your vehicle. We remember numbers we use often, like anyone else.”
She studied the familiar landmarks, noting that it was later than she’d realized. Her parents must have been notified about her “death” by now. She couldn’t imagine what they were feeling. Had they called the family?
Realizing she was stalling, Gale stepped through the portal. Relieved to arrive in one piece, she looked around. They were in a busy Sam’s Club parking lot, but no one glanced at them. “Can they see us?” she asked uneasily.
“No. It takes an effort to become visible to the human eye. You have to learn to bend light rays, and it’s not easy. Which way?” He levitated both of them, looking at her for directions.
She gave him instructions, then asked, “But my family will see me, right? You can help, can’t you?”
 He took a long time to answer. “I know the theory, but I’ve never wished to make myself known to a human. My father can, of course, but he’s far older than I.”
Her shoulders slumped. She’d never imagined it would be this difficult. “I wanted to give my parents a hug, tell them I’m fine. They’ve got to be worried.”
Frost halted their forward motion, hovering as he stared at her sympathetically. “You won’t be able to touch them, Gale. Even if I manage to make you visible, your touch will feel like a gentle breeze, your voice that of the wind, very soft…if they can make it out.”

Gale held very still as she absorbed the news. As far as humans were concerned, she was a ghost.

Moving horror stories

When we were first married I had to clean the most disgusting bathroom in the universe. We were house sitting for my aunt’s ex, and Mom helped me clean. She had to coat the shower with toilet bowl cleaner and leave it for a bit to soften the sludge. Worked great, but the urine stench was horrible around the toilet; the fools had tiled it. I had to clean, put down baking soda, clean, etc. for days to remove the stench.

The worst was the master bedroom toilet. It wasn’t hooked to water, but they were using it anyway. It looked like someone had barfed and it was molding. I tossed a five gallon bucket of water on it to flush and the smell was so horrible, I nearly puked. I ran out of there like my tail was on fire. Grandpa had helped haul my stuff over, and Mom said he was jerking the winter plastic sheeting off the windows, muttering, “She doesn't have to live here.”

The kitchen took an entire day to clean. The formerly white curtains were brown and stiff with dirt. The floor was yellow and took hours to scrub (thank God, Mom helped). The fridge looked like a bloody bomb had gone off, there were bugs in the pantry, and the dishes in sink had been there so long some of the pans had been eaten through. There were several truckloads of garbage, and when a bag broke in the truck, maggots spilled out.

The only clean thing was the oven, because they only used it to reheat pizza.

I unzipped and washed the couch cushions, cringing at the brown stuff in the washing machine.
Mom drew the line at cleaning the boy’s room, bringing the boys from my aunt’s house. She made them collect a wheelbarrow worth of dog crap from from the small yard, too.

Mind you, John was in basic training. He came home to a sparkling trailer. Hmph. It did help us save up enough to buy our first place, so it was worth it.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fight scene, deadline, Iron Man 3

I'm in the middle of a fight scene and yawning. Didn't sleep well last night, either due to high wind or being irked. Nothing spoils a "relaxing" book like a kid who asks non-stop questions.

Granted, I was tired. I had to reformulated my trusty gluten free flour mix because the brand I was using was soy contaminated. (Really, Bob? You broke my heart.) That meant milling my own bean flour with the mill I bought and then toasting the flour in the microwave. I had to test it in a pancake mix to see how it worked, then mix a gallon batch for cooking, in addition to the million and one other things I had to do. So yeah, I was grumpy.

Tonight is supposed to be movie night with Iron Man 3 and popcorn. Should be fun, though I may keep the spray bottle at hand just in case the chatty kids need a jet. It's easier than growling at them to be quiet.

Today is going to be productive; I just need a few more cups of tea.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Time flies when I'm working. I've had a great time working on Wind Burn the last few days. Apparently an intense period of canning was exactly what I needed to shake the cobwebs off, because the story is flowing nicely. In fact, I need to take time to cook today before the family rebels. After this scene, maybe. I really want to get this done before my parents arrive. Talk about motivation.