Monday, June 29, 2015

Is This Your Cat?

So the other evening it went like this:

(Me futzing around on the computer while Wallaby naps in his room and Arizona snoozes on the couch.)

(Car drives up Steepest Driveway Evah … moments later, a brisk knock sounds at the downstairs door.)

Me: Goes out onto upper porch to check out the situation. There's a strange man standing there, pretty big, looking kind of intense. However, the car is a minivan-ish thing, there are two kids in the back and a woman in the passenger side. Despite those episodes of Criminal Minds about serial killer families, I decide they're probably not an immediate threat, and go down the stairs. "Can I help you?"

Him: "We're Number Nine."

(There's probably a science fiction reference there, but I take it to mean that these are our neighbors a few houses down, who we know to wave at and occasionally return their dogs.)

Me: "Hi. Welcome to Nineteen."

Her: (Sticks arm out window.) "Is this your cat?"

Me: (Regards little black-and-white fluff ball with a mingled sensation of uh-oh, I'm in trouble and SQUEEEEE!) "Um, no."

Her: (Face falling.) "Darn. We were hoping … It just came into our yard. And we've got those two big dogs. It's really friendly … and there's that storm coming ..."

Me: (Puts on my "SUCKER" hat, steps forward and takes kitten.)

Kitten: (Correctly reading "SUCKER" sign.) Burrows under my chin and purrs. 

Me: (Realizing that kitty is pretty much an animated skeleton beneath the fluff.) "I guess I can ask around, and find her a home. Or maybe she can stay."

Neighbors: (General relief, some small talk--they seem like really nice people, actually, and we've got some stuff in common. Arizona and I really need to have that block party we keep talking about. Anyway, they take off.)

Me: (Regards house.) "Okay, kitten. Be cute!"

(We go upstairs.) 

Arizona: (Rouses. Blinks at kitten. Realizes it's not Pixel or Lucy. And then, because he's awesome, he says "Awww" and reaches out to take the kitten.) "Are you hungry, little one? You look hungry. Come on, we've got some squishy food in the other room."

[Later, after I put out some Facebook calls on the local forum, asking if anyone is missing a kitten, or wants one, and get a whole lot of "Congratulations on your new family member!" posts in return …]

Arizona: (Looks at me wearing purring kitten on my shoulder and the baby in my lap, while Pixel sits near my feet and Lucy hovers in the doorway, trying to look uninterested.) "I guess I should thank you for deciding to volunteer at the horse rescue. I thought you were kidding when you said you didn't dare work at a kitty rescue."

Me: "In my defense, it doesn't count as crazy until the cats outnumber the people. And, no, I'm not going to use that as logic for having another baby. I promise!" 

Because three feels like the exact right number to me, in both people and pets. So please join us in welcoming Bunker to the fold!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cutting Our Teeth and a NEW RELEASE!

Wallaby may look like the spitting image of his daddy at the same age, but he's very much my kid when it comes to responding to pain versus frustration. I dislocate my elbow biking? I pop it back into joint and walk a mile out of the woods to the car. The cable goes out in the middle of an episode of iZombie? I screech like a banshee. 

Similarly, when Wallaby gets a shot, his response is to glare at the nurse, but if he's trying to master a new skill and can't make his body work the way he wants it to? Watch out, eardrums! So it perhaps shouldn't have been a surprise that his first two teeth came in last week without much in the way of fanfare.

(On his part, at least. I may have been rather more dramatic when he unexpectedly bit down on a tender part of my anatomy. We're working on that.)

Dude … I've got teeth … (and some styling pool noodles taped to the edges of … well, everything that has an edge).

It's fitting, really, as kiddo's first two teeth coincided with the release of my first self-published e-book, a Mustang Ridge story about starting fresh. In fact, I'd like to share my Author's Note with you: 

Dear ReaderFriend,

This story is dedicated to new beginnings because recently so many things have begun anew in my life, including marriage, motherhood, and my honest (and occasionally successful) attempts to live in the moment and find something to love about every day, even the toughest ones.

That’s part of what makes Della and Max so interesting to me—she can always find something to love about old clothes (even the most shiny, flammable and shoulder-padded monstrosity), while he’s constantly looking ahead to his next job and shiny new gadget. So I love watching the two of them slow down and enjoy the time they have together … until poof! It’s over and they have to figure out what comes next.

For my part, I’m enjoying the moment, and am grateful to you, my ReaderFriend, for choosing to read Starting Over at Mustang Ridge. I hope that Max and Della’s story reminds you to find something to love about each and every day … And if you can’t, that it reminds you that sometimes a change of direction can be just what a girl needs!


Whether we're talking teeth or a new publishing venture, beginnings can be an exciting time! Thank you as always for sharing my weekly milestones, writerly and otherwise, and if you'd like to help out, please buy, read and review your own copy of Starting Over at Mustang Ridge for Kindle or Nook!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Spiders on Drugs

Howdy ReaderFriends! After a fun weekend with family, with science editing jobs piled up, the release of STARTING OVER AT MUSTANG RIDGE, and Wallaby cutting his first two lower teeth, I'm swamped! 

So please accept one of my favorite Youtube sillinesses (that word has too many of some letter or another, doesn't it?) in lieu of an actual post today, and keep an eye out for a real post when I'm out of the weeds and/or the new story goes live!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Cover Reveal and Stay Tuned!

Howdy, ReaderFriends! I'll keep this short today, because Wallaby is napping and I need every second for the editing cave--mostly because when he's awake these days, he's alternating between "Whee! I can roll onto my tummy!" and "Aaahhh! I'm stuck on my tummy!" (He's working on what to do with that pesky arm that keeps getting in the way of the return trip. Presumably, it'll come.)

Anyway, without further ado … Heads up for a new Jesse Hayworth release, this week or next! Remember the vintage store where Krista found her wedding dress? Well, its owner, Della Fyne, has a story of her own!

E-only, buy links coming soon. (AKA, as soon as I stop moving commas around and hit 'publish'.)

This was intended to be a novella, but wound up about twice that length, though shorter than my print books, so I'm calling it … er … a story? Whatever you want to call it, it'll be $2.99, and will be available on Kindle (at a minimum) this week or next-ish. We can say June 15, if you like :)

Here's the blurb:

In a town that loves its Wild West past, a handsome newcomer is looking to shake things up …

When single mom Della Fyne finds herself empty nesting at age thirty-seven, she knows its time to start a new life—or at least add a few new layers to her old one. But it’s not easy for the owner of the only vintage clothing store in the quaint town of Three Ridges, Wyoming to look forward rather than back … especially when she’s determined not to repeat past mistakes.

Contractor Max Ramsay likes things new and shiny. He and his crew are in town for the two months it will take them to modernize the old library, and this is his big chance to prove he’s got what it takes to move up in the family business. He doesn’t have time for last-minute changes coming from a busybody shopkeeper who’s got the mayor’s ear … even if she has a quick wit and more curves than a mountain road.

When the two wind up helping with the library’s grand reopening gala, their big debate—which is better, old or new?—turns into a series of double-or-nothing dares. Then dates. Then more. But as the library gala approaches, the bigger question looms: can there be a future for this small-town shopkeeper and a high-tech hunk from the city?

I'm super excited to share this story with you. So … stay tuned!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Tagline Wars

Taglines … We've all heard 'em (cue Booming Movie Voiceover Guy): 

The longer you wait, the harder it gets. (The 40 Year Old Virgin)

Earth. It was fun while it lasted. (Armageddon)

Her life was in their hands. Now her toe is in the mail. (The Big Lebowski)


Why are we talking about taglines, you might ask? Well, as I'm coming into the home stretch of putting together my first self-published Mustang Ridge book (more on that coming very soon!), I'm faced with doing stuff that my publishers usually handle … like coming up with a tagline. 

So, as one does, I enlisted some help--I gave my cover designer (and friend), Lena, a brief synopsis of the story, and asked for her suggestion. In doing so, however, I made a tactical error in forgetting that she once mocked up an Intrigue cover for me, entitled "The Shirtless Cowboy's Missing Cow," as a joke. (It was a very good cover, by the way. *fans self*) And so it shouldn't have come as any surprise when her first suggestion was: 

She has issues … He has a truck

Ha! Okay, so that's … accurate. Worse, it got stuck in my head. And nothing else I came up with sounded any better. So (second mistake) I asked my mom (who has read the story) what she thought. And she said:

"How about 'She has issues … He has a BIG truck'?"

Very helpful. Thanks, guys. Sigh. 

But as I go back to the drawing board, I'd like to share a couple of taglines with you, courtesy of two new books by very good friends of mine (click on the covers for Amazon links):

A sexy singles auction that comes with the prize of a lifetime …

This is the debut novel from my GalPal, Gail, and it's a hoot! I've read it, loved it, and am prouder than punch to see it in the book-flesh! It'll be on the digital shelves on June 23, but is available for preorder now.

How to unravel your straight-laced lover ...

This sexy Blaze (paperback in stores, digital book launching today!) comes from my buddy Regina, and is the second in her 'Art of Seduction' series. I highly recommend both!

In the meantime … 

(Doc Jess wanders off, muttering, "She has issues, he has a toolbelt?")