My books

My books

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A book release and... real life.

I have a book release today.  And I'm very excited about it.  I love the 'Secrets of Neverwood' Anthology, I love my characters in 'The Growing Season', and I love the two writers I wrote the anthology with. G.B.Lindsey and Libby Drew are both people of prodigious talent, and I'm honored to have my name listed with theirs.  So, yes, I'm excited.  I'm also sad.

I'm sad because yesterday I moved my Dad, who I love more than anything on this earth, into assisted living for memory care and Alzheimer's.  Over the last year, I've been his full time caregiver.  And I've watched this wonderful, kind, brilliant man slowly fade away.  I promised him I would keep him home as long as I could, and I did.  But when he looked at me today, and I saw fear in his eyes...  God.  I may never be able to erase that from my mind.

I'm happy about the anthology release.  Very happy.  I believe all three novella's tell compelling stories about love, and loss, and growth.  But today, it's tempered with a heavy heart.

The first book in the Anthology is called 'One Door Closes'.  It seems particularly appropriate to me right now.  Man, I hope somewhere a window opened.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pollyanna's got nuthin' on me!

Someone on my Facebook had one of those little 'sayings' things posted on their page this morning.  I'm not a huge fan of the *IMPORTANT SAYINGS* ones.  I like the funny ones, or the ones with the warm and fuzzy animals.  But this one caught my attention.  I'm para-phrasing, but there was a picture of an arrow and it said: You have to pull an arrow back to launch it.  When you feel as if you're going backwards, just remember it's preparation to be a launched forward.  Or something like that.  And all I could think was, God, I hope so!!

My entire immediate family is on the cusp of change.  I'm moving Dad into a memory care unit this weekend. I've taken care of him at home for the last several years, but his needs have outdistanced my skills. Yesterday he suffered a seizure, which is apparently pretty common with Alzheimer's patients, but scared the beejezus out of me.  Alzheimer's is a hideous disease, and I've watched him slowly disappear inside a little old man who in no way resembles my dad.  I think he'll do better where he has a chance to make friends and the workers there already dote on him, which is great.  It's still breaking my heart.  I know it makes no sense, but I feel like I've failed him somehow.  My siblings have insisted I haven't, philosophically I KNOW I haven't.  Doesn't matter a damn.  It still hurts. But I can feel the outside edges of my patience fraying, and I hate that I'm not bigger than that, too.  And why yes, I am looking for reasons to feel sorry for myself.  Why do you ask?

I'm moving in with my daughter until she gets married in November, and then I will live alone for the first time in my life.  Ever.  How weird is that when you're my age?  My son is moving out of his apartment where he's lived for the last four years and nearer to his college.  I wish someone would explain to me how it is that two full time students don't qualify for low income housing?  I find this just another excuse my government uses to try to balance the budget on the back of college students, but don't get me started on THAT.  And I'm having spinal fusion surgery in August to hopefully deal with the crippling pain I've been living with for going on ten years. And just typing that makes my palms sweat.

I've had surgery before.  Appendectomy, hysterctomy, two c-sections.  I am not unfamiliar with just how 'healing' hospitals are.  But all of that was before my mother mysteriously developed a MRSA infection when she had her hip replaced.  And before my dad came out of anesthesia after he had HIS hip replaced on the slippery downhill slope of Alzheimer's.  And with previous surgeries, they weren't messing with my spinal cord.  And building an erector set inside my body. And telling me I'd need to wear a back brace for three months.  To be honest, I'm completely wigged out. And I don't do wigged out well.  Blargh.  Enough about that.

For the next three weeks, I'll be packing, packing, packing.  Getting Dad moved, then going through 68 years of accumulated junk.  Have I ever mentioned that my mother was a pack rat?  Well, she was.  There is so much crap in this house, but we are going to have one EPIC yard sale when it's over.  And then Goodwill.  Because my mom didn't buy inexpensive junk.  Just lots of it.

The new anthology, "Secrets of Neverwood" comes out on Monday, and I'm very excited about it.  Pride Promotions is doing an awesome job of publicizing it.  I see our very pretty covers everywhere, which is awesome.  And so far its reviewing well at Goodreads.  I don't pay a whole lot of attention reviews after the week of release, but it's very, very nice to see something you've slaved over being well received.

So, my Dad, my children and I move forward.  Things are very, very busy and challenging right now, but I know it's all going to be better.  Whole sale life changes can be difficult, but I know we're going to come out happier on the other side.

And why, yes.  I do answer to the name 'Pollyanna'!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Only sixteen days!

In just over two weeks, the Anthology written by G.B. Lindsey, Libby Drew and myself, 'Secrets of Neverwood', becomes available.  And I'm starting to feel that giddy, butterflies in the stomach feeling that hits before one of my titles goes live.  But it's different this time.  Headier.  And scarier.

Heady because I honestly feel that this collaboration was a complete success.  A tale of three foster brothers, the Anthology begins with G.B.'s "One Door Closes", and middle brother Calvin. Thoughtful and careful, Cal is trying to fulfill his foster mother Audrey's wishes and restore the crumbling Victorian mansion known as Neverwood to its former glory. He also longs to return it to what Audrey wanted it to be, a home for lost boys.  But repairing the old place is costing far more than he imagined, his foster brothers are no help in that regard, and the contractor who turns up to price out the job is the high school boyfriend Cal has never gotten over.  This is G.B.'s debut novel, and I just know once people discover the unique, musical quality of her 'voice', they're going to be clamoring for more.  I've admired her writing for years, and was so honored to be included in this project with her and with the equally brilliant Libby Drew.

My offering is titled "The Growing Season", and is the story of youngest brother, Danny. He's twenty-one years old, and has always been described as 'too pretty to be a boy'.  In looks he takes after his fashion model mother but for his diminutive height, but in attitude he's defensive, secretive and mouthy as hell.  The only thing he can contribute to the restoration of the property is his gift with growing things, and so he undertakes Audrey's beloved gardens, determined to return them to the lush city landmark they've always been.  Enter a handsome landscape architect with worries of his own, and from the moment they meet there's an undercurrent of tension and attraction.  But Danny has painful secrets to protect; can he really allow anyone close?

Libby's "The Lost Year" is the final book in the anthology, and features brother Devon, the eldest of the three .  A free lance photographer who has taken photos of everything from the devastation of a Columbian earthquake to the wandering street kids of Seattle, Devon has made a name for himself in his profession of choice.  Dark and faintly brooding, Devon lets no one close, allows no one entry into his closely held privacy.  Audrey tried.  Even her special brand of motherly affection couldn't tear down his self protective walls.  Then a man comes to him for help, a man who's thirteen year old child has been missing for a year.  A man who believes he sees his sons face in Devon's expose' on the street children of Seattle.  Unable to refuse his plea, Devon agrees to help him look for his son, and risks his heart in the process. 

The three books make up the "Secrets of Neverwood" anthology.  Throw in a well meaning ghost, a mysterious treasure and a particularly evil, hovering threat to the home they all love, and I hope readers will find the brothers engaging and Neverwood a place we'd all like to call home. After all, Audrey's heart and doors were always are still open, and she always has room for one more.