Thursday, March 16, 2017

Winter Arrived

After a crazy warm winter, we had a dose of the arctic. Ouch.

Fruit trees have flowered a month early. Last night it went down to 16 degrees. Needless to say, we aren't getting any apricots this year. Luckily my cherry and apple trees hadn't flowered yet.

But that's just my little patch. I'm not a fruit farmer. Some of them have lost their entire crop for this year.

We get to go to the grocery store and pick out fruit that comes in from all over the world. I don't think it sinks in until you see the reports on the news about how devastating this can be. The county south of me is mostly apple orchards. The year we had the Easter freeze they lost them all. It was considered a natural disaster and they were able to apply for aid.

It's hard to understand in a time when food is readily available for most of us, how fragile farming is. Fruit trees won't rebloom. A crop wiped out by flood or tornado can't always be resown. We have become spoiled with ease of access. If one farm or orchard fails, we can get produce from another. Maybe.

By Sunday we will be back to short-sleeve weather. But the damage has already been done.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Little Stressed Out

There's a lot going on right now and it has me feeling more than a little stressed.

The renovations on the house are coming along nicely but... I work at home. Power tools in the background are hard to block out. I'm used to being on my own with the three cats. Having a man or two banging around the house is a distraction. I'm torn between trying to ignore them and feeling guilty for not making them lunch. (My family feeds all guests.)

As a result, I'm not getting as much work done as I would like. I had planned to have the current WIP to my first reader by now. Not going to happen. That changes the schedules for everything else I've planned this year. Bummer.

The crazy spring weather has made things worse.

First, my allergies went on overload. I'm still tinkering with combinations of medication to get things under control. Brain fog, sinus headaches, eyes so itchy I've scratched them raw, congestion like concrete. So I have a swollen raccoon face and can't breathe. Ugh.

Second, warm weather means yard work. I've been working in the yard pretty regularly ripping out the honeysuckle and briars that are strangling everything else. And I only got a small patch of poison ivy on one arm so far... But I keep thinking that I am behind schedule because of May weather in February. I was all ready to start putting seed in when I remembered what month it was. Sheesh.

So today is catch up day. I need to review the marketing and redo my writing deadlines and, oh yeah, WRITE!


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Kitties!

I haven't got much to say, so I thought I'd turn the blog over to the girls.

Mallory has been working out on my trampoline.

Rascal has been helping me with some paperwork.

And Bertie has been keeping an eye on the plants in the sunroom.

As you can see - all very busy.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Busy Month

February is a busy month. Lots of promotions going on.

Starting this weekend! Here's a great place to grab a bunch of great books:


If you're looking for some space opera with aliens and a lost civilization, hop over to  Patty's website to get Facade for 99c.

If you haven't yet started my post-apocalyptic series - A Changed World - you're in luck. Lethal Seasons, book 1 will be free on Amazon from 2/15 - 2/19. (Regular price until 2/14 and after 2/19) Book 4 is coming out this fall.

And if you're looking for a good mystery, White Lies is still 99c through the end of the month.

Whew.

In the mean time, I am still working hard on the sequel to Facade. As is the way with these things, the story is not coming out as originally intended, but in a much better way. Some random events have come together in a surprising serendipity of plot lines. I need to follow it down a bit more before I commit to it entirely, but it's looking good.

I'm jotting down notes for the 4th book in A Changed World. Fear not, Angus, Tillie, Wisp and Nick will be back this fall.

And the fantasy book is on back burner while I think about how much more needs to go into it.

So I'd better get back to work!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

White Lies Only 99 Cents

I am experimenting with having my mysteries "wide", that is at various retailers instead of exclusive to Amazon. To launch this, I lowered the price on the White Lies ebook to 99cents. You can now find it online at Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo and others in addition to Amazon.

The market keeps changing and I am doing my best to stay abreast of it. New opportunities for advertising pop up and get overrun in no time. The author blogs and forums that I follow usually tout the latest trend and warn when it is no longer effective. But it all still feels like I'm running uphill in loose sand.

And it all comes down to product, which I am told, I need a lot more of, so I'm off to do writing.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Naomi Novik - My New Favorite Author

I don't remember where I read a review or recommendation of her book Uprooted. But it intrigued me enough to check it out. I liked her writing, enjoyed the book and went looking for more. That's when I discovered her dragon books.

The Temeraire series could probably be summed up as the Napoleonic Wars with dragons. But if I had read that, I wouldn't have tried it. Alternate histories are not something I read very often. The characters are the heart of the series and what has made me love it. There are battles and some interesting history along the way. (Not sure how much is true.)

I've been plowing through the series, book after book, quite gleefully. I discovered the other day that book 9 is the last book. I will be very curious to see how it is all wrapped up. Right now I am in the middle of book 6. I might need to slow down a little, now that I know it has an end.

Some of the books have more battles than others. I have to admit to skimming those parts a bit. Especially if my favorite characters aren't front and center.

The thing that constantly amazes me is the time it takes to travel or get news. A journey from England to Africa is said to take months. Letters can only travel as fast as a ship or a horse (or courier dragon!) can get them there. Moving troops and supplies and ships is an endeavor of weeks or months. Everything happens at a slower pace because it has to and plans must be drawn up a year in advance.

So if you're looking for a great dragon series, look her up.