Col. Vincent Rallis consents to an interview

If you've read Syphon's Song, then you know that Vincent Rallis is the book's hero. He's the strong, silent type. No doubt about that. Ever since he came into his mage power in his early teens, he's been forced to separate himself from the rest of his family and friends. His power is so strong he has a hard time tolerating other mages' energy. But that all changes when he finds Bronte, a syphon mage. She syphons away enough of his power that he's able to relax, at least occasionally. 

Apparently Bronte's had more of an affect than I anticipated, judging by the interview with author Rebekah R. Ganiere. I can hardly believe he consented to being interviewed by a Non-mage in the first place, much less the things he tells her. 

See for yourself. You can find the interview here: Vampires & Werewolves & Zombies

Let me know what you think. 

Happy reading. And may you always syphon the good vibes of life. 

Blog Tour Schedule for Syphon's Song

Click on the blogs' name below to find Syphon's Song on tour and find out all kinds of odd things about me. Hope to see you there! There is a giveaway, after all...

June 23, 2014    Girl Meets Books

June 23, 2014    Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock

June 23, 2014    Naughty Edition Reviews

June 23, 2014    Crazy Four Books

June 24, 2014    Books Direct

June 24, 2014    Melissa MacKinnon

June 25, 2014    Ebook Escapes

June 25, 2014    Booklover Sue

June 25, 2014    Tower of Babel

June 26, 2014    CBY Book Club

June 26, 2014    D'eBook Sharing Book Reviews

June 26, 2014    Coffee Break

June 27, 2014    The Indigo Quill

June 27, 2014    Paranormal Romance Fans for Life

June 30, 2014    Magic and Mayhem

A short love story for the Spring Fling Blog Hop

Welcome to the Spring Fling Blog Hop! Over fifty authors and bloggers have joined together to bring you some amazing posts, great giveaways and lots of fun! Don't forget to enter the rafflecopter to win a Kindle tablet, gift cards, paperbacks and swag and be sure to check out the other blogs taking part.

Leave me a comment below about how your spring is going…the good, the bad, the sneezy, the beautifully blooming…and I'll put your name in a e-hat for a $5.00 Amazon gift card. Be sure to leave your email address. 

And now to the story...

A Short Tale of an Interrupted Romance

Once upon a time, Spring stepped gently into a frozen world and whispered into the sleepy ears of hibernating life. She brought with her the tender rays of the sun’s warmth to entice green leaves and sweet song birds to dwell once more on the trees. But bitter Winter, determined to hold on to his reign, often pushed aside her gentle touch, and cold descended time and again over the newly blossoming world. Yet Spring persevered with quiet strength, brushing Winter away whenever he tried to prevail. Life rejoiced, sparkling under the soft touch of her rays. 

When Summer noticed the blossoming world, a jealous burn grew in her heart. Refusing to let Spring’s soft beauty outshine her, she cast her hot, bright light upon the newly blooming life. While the world’s gaze was captivated by Summer’s radiance, Spring slipped away. 

With her tender rays of sunshine flowing behind her, she dashed back to her lover’s arms. Fall, a charming young man, greeted his love with a kiss to soothe away the hurt of Summer’s burn. His cool lips were just right for Spring. Sharing smiles and soft touches, the two reunited, letting the breeze carry away the sorrow of their parting. 

In each moment they had together, Spring and Fall lived happily.

The End

****

Spring is such a gentle time of year, yet how often do we get frustrated with her for not arriving soon enough, for not keeping winter’s chill off our backs for good? Now that you know her tale, perhaps you’ll find it easier to bask in what she can offer.  

Remember to leave me a comment about your spring. Include your email address for a chance to win a $5.00 Amazon gift card.

Blog Tour Schedule for Syphon's Song

Stop by my tour sites and find out all kinds of stuff you never thought you'd want to know about me. Click on the blogs' names below to get to the tour stops. Hope to see you there!

There's a giveaway too!

April 21, 2014    The Book Addict

April 21, 2014    Nicky Peacock-Author

April 22, 2014    Preternatura

April 22, 2014    3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy & Sissy, too!

April 23, 2014    Marsha A Moore

April 24, 2014    The Library Mistress

April 25, 2014    Pembroke Sinclair

April 25, 2014    Eden Ashe

April 28, 2014    Book Bliss

April 28, 2014    Clutter Your Kindle

A sneak peek from Syphon's Song

Syphon's Song has been released! Early! I found out from my mother who found out from her neighbor who happened to be searching Amazon. You too can find the book on Amazon. No search necessary. Just click here.

In honor of the release, here's sneak peek...

Vincent closed the distance between them and walked around to stand in front of her. He stroked the back of his hand against her cheek. “Give me a chance. That’s all I want.” His gentle words matched his touch.

“You want more than a chance.” She focused past his shoulder, peeking over his superior height. Tall trees reached scantily clad limbs into the crisp, blue sky and hid whatever shed such glorious vibes.

“I can’t be sorry about this.” He brushed her cheek again, his focus burning through her. Unlike her, whatever lurked in the woods didn’t call to him. “Since I came into my power, I’ve learned to grab on to every bit of good life offers. I sensed you the moment you arrived today. I recognized that tug on my energy as if I’d known you my whole life instead of a handful of hours thirteen years ago—your syphon reaching out and tapping my energy.”

“Yes, like a pipe channeling waste into the sewer. Useful, I’ll give you that.”

“You mock this because you’re afraid of it. But I’m not.”

Easy for him to say. He wasn’t the one who’d face the fire.

The Happiness Checklist

Thanks to Twitter, I’ve found a new website with lots of interesting info to devour. It’s called Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

Here’s one of my favorite posts so far:

10 Things to Make You Happy Every Day

  1. Get out in nature.
  2. Exercise
  3. Spend time with family and friends
  4. Express gratitude
  5. Meditate
  6. Get enough sleep 
  7. Challenge yourself
  8. Laugh
  9. Touch someone
  10. Be optimistic

Check out the site for more details on each one.

happiness checklist photo.JPG

I’ve written down this list on a tiny Post-It -- a challenge to get it all on there -- and taped it to my kitchen window, next to my current writing spot. (See it there beneath the reindeer?)

So far today, I’ve accomplished #4, but I’m optimistic I can get at least eight of them in today. Since I’ve just taken care of #10 with that statement, two down! 

If you were wondering, meditating and getting enough sleep are the tough ones for me. (One of the most interesting recommendations of the original post was to set an alarm to remind you when it's time to GO to bed, not just when it's time to wake up. Although I confess I did that yesterday and I still didn't go to bed on time.)

How about you? Can you make these ten things an every day habit?

 

What happens when a romance writer encounters Emil Cioran

emil cioran.jpg

It’s not hard to guess where I got the above quote. Pinterest, a gold mine of images that are often hard to trace back to their original artists and never mind copyright issues because we’re all having too much fun gobbling up this mind-grabbing collection of visual candy. Myself included. (I had to get that off my chest.  It’s been sitting there for a long time. Now back to the show. And afterwards, back to pinning. Feel free to come with me. I’m here, by the way.)

This is what I take from the above quote: 

Write what you’re afraid to say. Write the dark truths that linger in the deep crevasses of your mind. Since I write fiction, I’ll let my characters say or think the confidences I would never share. Doing so will make for a memorable book that smart publishers will snap up.

When I pinned that quote, I didn't know that Emil Cioran, if he were still alive, would likely scoff at this. He might roll his eyes. He might turn and stomp away. 

Cioran was an Romanian essayist born in 1911. His first book was the prize-winning On the Heights of Despair. His other works include The Trouble with Being Born and A Short History of Decay.  

Do you know of him? 

I did not. And after Googling him, I now know he’s not the writer I want to emulate, despite the fact that he has 700 quotes on Goodreads and a bunch of fans for his 78 nicely starred works. (By the way, none of my Facebook friends like him, but I could be the first.)  

In the case of the above quote, Pinterest’s visual candy is a snapshot taken through a sugared lens, sweetening a pessimist who explored death and suicide in much of his writing.

  Emil Cioran

Emil Cioran

“No one recovers from the disease of being born, a deadly wound if there ever was one.”

 

“A book is a suicide postponed.”

 

“If we could truly see ourselves the way others see us we’d disappear on the spot.”

 

 

 

I had no idea. 

For Pete’s sake, I write romance.

I write:

“They lived happily ever after.” 

My characters quite possibly live in the old castle pictured high above and are HAPPY because despite the photo’s gray sky, love shines a ray of light everywhere it dwells. Especially in a castle. With a handsome, kind prince.

My lesson from this morning’s session of Googling Emil Cioran is this:

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  Anais Nin

And that’s okay. So long as we go through life understanding that we don’t know the whole story of anything except ourselves. And we only know ourselves after a great deal of thinking and pondering and pinning quotes that resonate with us even when the speaker would never EVER have considered reading a romance novel.  

But he probably should have.   

 

 

 

A spontaneous move

Sometimes you've got to go with the flow. I should know by now that when it comes to technology I need to quit resisting and just adapt. In that Darwinian spirit, I've finally moved my site to Squarespace 6 which might not mean anything to you. You probably didn't know I was holding onto my Squarespace 5 site by the tips of my very confused fingers. Today I lost my grip. I landed here among a plethora of handsome men.  

Yes, that's right. Handsome men. They originally populated this template right and left, page after page.

You might be wondering where they are. I deleted them and now I, too, am wondering where they are. I'm pretty sure they are trapped in the ether. I have no idea how to retrieve them, so I shall do what I always do when invisible men are trapped. I shall fish a heroine out of my mind and send her out to the rescue. I'll let you know how it goes.

 

 

Sun Day

Rays of sunshine filter through the leaves and land on my writing table. It's been such a cloudy, rainy summer around Atlanta that this is a rare sight, and I treasure it all the more. I've had to abandon the spot for writing lately ... my words were as clouded as the sun. 

I had forgotten what it looked like. Its gleam through the trees is as real as raindrops, glitter from a golden world that doesn't translate to human touch until it sears your skin.

I'm tempted to wake up my kids and say, "come play in the sun!" Considering how grey it's been, there's a chance they might appreciate it.

So on this Sun Day, I will dance in the sunshine ... or maybe in the memory of sunshine. It's fading already. 

(I'm better at haikus)

I can’t catch a break. They’ve all blown away.

I’m slowly slogging through a really shitty day.

Tomorrow might be better. I’ll make it there somehow.

But who’s to say I’ll have to wait. Good could come now.

 

Or if not, chocolot!

Confessions of a Reading Mom

A note came home from the teacher yesterday.  It said my son was reading in class instead of doing research.  I was stunned.  He was reading?  Reading?  Yes!  At first I didn’t understand that the teacher meant this to be a bad thing.  That this was a “I’m sending a note home to your mother” note.  After all, I had written her emails, set up meetings, spoken to her in the hallway . . . all to discuss possible tactics to lure him into a book.  I thought she meant it as a note of success!  

Apparently not.

The truth is my son had to explain to me that this was a reprimand.  I totally didn’t get it.  The note was in his homework folder.  I thought his homework was to do the research since he hadn't done it in class and he could forgo the usual homework of reading for 20 minutes.  

But no.

I am a rule follower.  Always have been.  But NOT ‘always will be.’  The older I get, the more I realize that the rules, though intended to guide and order, also confine.  Sometimes rules are needlessly self-imposed.  There’s a whole other world out there if you step outside them.  I’m a little late to the game in realizing this.  For my son, that world includes a book called Just Annoying.  It was a book I’d picked out for him . . . hoping . . . fingers crossed . . . that it might capture his interest.  (The author has another book titled The Day My Butt Went Psycho.  And I will get it if there’s a chance it can open my son’s heart to reading.) 

I’m not going to tell my son to break the rules.  I’m not that kind of mom.  But right or wrong, I said, clearly and concisely, eye to eye: I’m not mad about this.  

Now go out there and read!

I have a book hangover

Last night was nothing new.  I looked over at the clock and it said 10:37.  Late, but not too late.  The next time I looked up from my book the clock said 11:11.  Too late to ensure a good morning.  By the time I finished the book it was 12:30.  

Instead of catching zzzz's, I read Catching Fire.  All I can say is that I’m glad I waited to read the second Hunger Games book.  The third book is already out.  If I had to wait a year to find out what happens next, I would have been a mad reader.

Instead I am merely a hungover reader.  One who is wise enough to know it is a good thing I do not have the third book in my house.  And since my eyes are protesting over too much screen-reading, I will have make a trip to the physical bookstore to get it.  It will be at least a few days before I can get there.  Enough time to start catching up on sleep.  But really, do you ever catch up?

Fortunately, I do know who Katniss ends up with.  And that’s a good thing.  Because otherwise, I would have been a very mad reader.  (But I won’t tell you unless you ask.  Because one reader’s good thing is another reader’s book ruined.  And a book lover would NEVER do that to a fellow bookie.)

Book it to the hen house

Stranded on a desert island, I’d want books.  Well, first I’d want water but after that books.  Okay -- water, food, shelter, and then books.  Without books, I think I’d end up lost in made-up stories swimming through my solitary but well-entertained mind.  (Note to self: when stranded on a desert island and sans books, scribble stories in the sand to prevent insanity.)    

 If you can relate to any of this (well, maybe not the scribbling sandy stories part), check out The Little Read Hens on Facebook and here.  We’re book lovers, and every Wednesday we chat about books on Facebook.  Our inaugural discussion is The List.  You know that list of your five favorite people, dead or alive, that you’d like to invite to dinner?  We’re taking a slightly different approach.  We’re talking about fictional characters who, if they knocked on our doors, we’d lead them to the boudoir instead of the dining room.  

So come join us in the hen house on Wednesday and share your list of favorite leading men . . .  whether they’re charmingly bespectacled intellectuals, fanged night dwellers, or anything in between.

Hope to see you there.

Path of adventure

Sometimes you have to trust that the path of life will take you where you need to be.  Actually, you should do that all time because there really is no other path to walk.  It’s not like you can hop over to the next trail and walk someone else’s life for awhile.  Your life.  Your path.    

Nowhere is this clearer than in a labyrinth.  I learned that the other day.  I’ve always been intrigued by labyrinths.  There are some around here, mostly in churches, but I’d never been to one.  So during my last hour at the Serenbe Inn, I followed their not-exactly-to-scale map to get to the labyrinth.  The path there went under an arbor, over a wooden bridge that crossed a small lake, and into a woods dotted with Greek statues.  For a moment I thought the first statue was a person, a strangely slender person of unusual skin color.  I admit I was a little on edge.  I was worried about someone else being around.  I didn’t want a witness for my first time walking a labyrinth.  What if I didn’t do it right?  Plus I was having some difficulty with the map and had made a couple of wrong turns.  But it led me true, mostly, and I found the entrance.  

Serenbe’s labyrinth is laid out with stones and you can enter to the left or the right.  I had to make a choice.  Already the labyrinth was mirroring life, and I really didn’t like it.  What if I choose the wrong the way?  Was there a correct way to start?  Was it like a bike path and there were unwritten rules somewhere?  I looked around.  There were no instructions anywhere.  A little podium of sorts stood close by, but there was nothing on it.  I was pretty sure the instructions had blown away.  

I choose left.     

I walked the first loop of the labyrinth only to find that it brought me surprisingly close to the center.  This was bad!  I’d just gotten started and I was almost done.  Left was surely the wrong way to begin.  Take the wrong road, make the wrong choice, and the (meditative) path of life is short!  There was so much I hadn’t explored.  But just before the center, the trail turned and turned again.  

The labyrinth worked -- twisting and turning, following a path to the center, a journey within.  While my thoughts didn’t dissipate and leave me with a peaceful mind, they did become clearer.  After all there was nothing to do but walk . . . and occasionally glance around to make sure no one else was coming . . . a steady rhythm jostling thoughts into order so they become easier to examine even if they don’t melt away.

The center still came too soon.  I plopped down on one of the five stone blocks in the middle like it was a natural part of the process.  I now know it’s not.  When I got home I googled labyrinths.  I’m pretty sure Serenbe’s labyrinth is laid out like the one at Chartres, but a traditional Chartres labyrinth has no seats in the middle and has only one way to enter: left.  I’d chosen correctly.  I was so proud of my natural labyrinth walking instincts.  Okay, so pride has no place in a meditative walk.  I know.  I need practice. 

After a few minutes of sitting in the center with my thoughts, I walked out following the path I’d taken in.  That is part of the journey, to take out into the world what is discovered within. 

(Strangely enough, that is exactly what the novel I just finished writing is all about.  Walking the path of life, listening to the voice within, finding your true self . . .  all with alien gods and true love mixed in.  I know  . . . I can hardly believe it either!)  

I want to go back to Serenbe just to walk the labyrinth again.  And for the food, too.  And the quiet.  And that table on the lakehouse porch I claimed for own.  Okay, basically for the overall fabulousness that is Serenbe.  

When I go back I’ll head to the labyrinth first.  I’ll be sure to pack my tennis shoes just for that.  You should too.

For when you walk the path of life, wear comfortable shoes.

THE END

It's done.  The first draft of my third book.  This one is a sci-fi romance.  The title is still undecided.  Shamaness?  Soul's Breath?  Soul Possession?  That's just a few from a long list.  

Building the world took a long time.  So did the plot for that matter.  I finished eight days past my original (self-imposed) deadline.  (I hate missing deadlines, but I thought I was going to be later than that.)  

It's a relief to be done and to know that I pulled the plot together.  At least I think I did.  We'll see how the second draft goes!

Celebrated with frappuccinos with the kids.  (Sans coffee for them, of course.)

YAY!

 

 

Pardon the Proselytization

I like to think I’m pretty good at vocabulary.  I’m okay with that not-so-humble opinion since I have plenty of other opinions about myself that fall far below humble and make up for that boast.  Yesterday I learned a new word while reading some old photocopies from an unknown knitting book.  There are no clues to the title or author on the copies else I would give credit.  Until yesterday I had never read past the first page of the copies, even though they’ve been in my possession for a least fifteen years.  (Fifteen!?)  Here’s what I read: 

The tendency of sweaters to Ride-Up-At-The-Back and Droop-At-The-Front is a knitter’s (and a wearer’s) bugbear.

Bugbear.  It’s a new word for me.  (Along with the phrases Ride-Up-At-The-Back and Droop-At-The-Front.  The capitalization is the original author’s.)  Starting now, I’m going to find as many reasons to use bugbear as I possibly can.  I’m also going to teach it to my children because that is what a good mother is supposed to do.  

Perhaps you already knew about bugbear?  It could very well be that my knowledge of words is not what I thought it was.  

I was so tickled by my newfound word that I planned to read the quote aloud to my darling friend and fellow knitter when I met her for coffee, but I forgot.  Typical.  But maybe that’s for the best.  Really, I don’t have many friends who read aloud to me.  So maybe I should stifle my urges to read aloud to them?  (I’m so sorry, CBC friends.)  

I might have forgotten about bugbear completely except that as I was typing a text message yesterday, iPhone incorrectly autocorrected my word to . . . uh huh, that’s right . . . bugbear.  

It was a message from fate.  I was meant to learn a new word.  And in case you didn’t know the word either, I am here to spread the bugbear gospel.  From the New Oxford American Dictionary:

bug • bear |ˈbəgˌbe(ə)r|

noun

a cause of obsessive fear, irritation, or loathing.

archaic an imaginary being invoked to frighten children, typically a sort of hobgoblin supposed to devour them.

ORIGIN late 16th cent.: probably from obsolete bug [bogey] (of unknown origin) + bear 2 .

But really, there’s no need to be obsessively fearful about Ride-Up-At-The-Back and Droop-At-The-Front.  That’s a waste of energy.  If you want to be obsessively fearful about something, worry about the poltergeists that are surely in my closet and have been ever since I was six years old and I saw Poltergeist, the movie.  And really, don’t let your six year old watch Poltergeist.  (In the interest of full disclosure and so my mother doesn’t feel like she has to jump to her own defense, it was the babysitter who put the movie on.)

So there you go.  Either you, too, learned a new word or you learned that the Queen of Laundry doesn’t know as much as you thought she knew.  

I hope you have a bugbear-free day.  (That’s eight times I’ve used bugbear.  Oo!  Nine . . .)  And may you never Ride-Up-At-The-Back or Droop-At-The-Front.

Literary Fiber. It's good for you.

I love to read.  I really love to read romance novels.  And if they have a bit of magic in them, all the better.  Romance novels are like eating chocolate.  Delicious, smooth, sweet, blissful.  But sometimes you need something with a little more protein, a few more vitamins, a bit more fiber.

Here's my reading list for my 2012 dose of literary fiber.  (Not including monthly supplements from book club books.)

The City and the City by China Mieville

Embassytown by China Mieville

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell by Susanna Clarke (I'm trying, but oh my goodness, the footnotes are killing me.)

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Arthur and George by Julian Barnes 

Let's talk about the new year

The number one domestic performance improvement needed in my household in 2012 is . . . (insert drumroll) . . .  to have all of my Christmas shopping done and all of my children’s presents wrapped BEFORE they get out of school for winter break.

Someone remind me of this.  Please.