Children of Shadows

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Today I’m proud to host my friend and fellow author, Joleene Naylor, as she tours the blogosphere promoting her latest Amaranthine novel, Children of Shadows.  She was kind enough to tell me why she writes about vampires, and some of the challenges she faces in doing so.  And stay tuned afterward – there’s a giveaway going on with some pretty awesome prizes.

Holy crap – I didn’t realize I just copied her words almost exactly till I glanced down just now. *sigh*  Oh, well – to the guest post! 🙂

joleene naylorHello! My name is Joleene Naylor, and I’m the author of the Amaranthine vampire series. I’d like thank Kay for hosting me today as I tour the blogosphere promoting my latest release, Children of Shadows.

A question most people ask me is why I write vampires. The truth is, it’s not the only thing I like to write. I’d actually like to do a fantasy series one day. But, right now I don’t have anything interesting to say in that genre. I don’t see any wrongs that need righted, or gaps that need filled, like I did with vampires.

When I started the Amaranthine series in 2005…

Remains

All that survives after our death are publications and people.

So look carefully after the words you write, the thoughts and publications you create, and how you love others.  For these are the only things that will remain.  -Susan Niebur

I was reading WordPress’s Blogging Through Breast Cancer post Wednesday morning and remembered Susan Niebur’s blog, Toddler Planet, which I always enjoyed reading.  She passed away from metastatic breast cancer in 2012, but her blog lives on.  Since it’s chock full of resources, I shared the link in the comments section of the WP round-up post.

The day before, my ex-husband became a father for the fourth time.  He and his wife welcomed another son to their family, but while she recovered from an emergency cesarean, he headed to a children’s hospital an hour and a half away to be with their son.  A crushed umbilical cord led to his arrival three weeks early and a host of problems.

These two things might, at first glance, seem unconnected, and maybe they are, but…

Thoughts for the day

No, it's not blood.  Someone had fun with the ketchup while Mommy's back was turned.

No, it’s not blood. Someone had fun with the ketchup while Mommy’s back was turned.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, mostly in a research vein as opposed to reading for fun (although I do enjoy my research).  Here are a few things I stumbled across today that really spoke to me:

Real, life-long security comes not from the barrel of a gun or from being able to spy on your fellow citizens like a Stasi informant; it comes with less harsh extremes of wealth and poverty and increased access to health care and education.  -David Byrne

Take a bunch of wolverines. Throw them into a roaring F5 tornado. That’s a toddler. It’ll tear through your home, shrieking and whirling about, scooping things up and depositing them elsewhere. It’ll lose things. It’ll destroy other things. It’ll change direction in the hair’s breadth of a moment — “I’m doing this no now I’m doing this other thing wait what’s that over there.”  -Chuck Wendig

Then last year, after my illness, turning 40 and most recently the death of a good friend, I realised that life is just too damn short NOT to be doing what I love. The planets kind of aligned, one of those epiphany moments.  -Sophie Tallis (emphasis mine)

All three articles are worth checking out in full (I truly related to Chuck Wendig’s post – I have two toddlers of my own, after all, and have felt the pain of a Duplo block embedded in my foot that he so hilariously references).  Happy Tuesday, y’all!

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Howdy!

The weather's been a bit wild lately.

The weather’s been a bit wild lately.

So I’ve been away for a while (yes, I know, a week isn’t exactly an eternity, but since I usually try to pop in here every couple of days, it is a while).  I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather lately, so I haven’t been overly active anywhere.

But!  I can say that within the next week, I’ll have a couple of bookish-type posts going up, as I’m currently reading Snort and Wobbles by the talented Will Macmillan Jones.  Tadpole and Bubbles will be helping me craft a review, which I’ll post here as soon as we’ve finished.  Then on Monday, I’m hosting the lovely Joleene Naylor as part of a blog tour for her recently-released book Children of Shadows, the sixth offering in her Amaranthine series.

And as our weather has given us no end of crazy lately, I hope to be back to posting some more lousy haiku in the near future.  It’s not the only thing that’s crazy around here, but hopefully I’ll be back to my old self in no time, now that I’ve been to my doctor (again).  So, in the meantime, I hope you’re all lovely and that you have a fabulous week, and I’ll see you when I see you! 🙂

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

How Star Trek improved my confidence in my writing skills

Seymour and I have been rewatching all things Star Trek since we were dating; we’ve taken care of the original series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and all the movies (although we’re not big fans of the reboot and I haven’t yet seen Into Darkness).  We’re halfway through our Enterprise rewatch at the moment (which is great because it means I’m that much closer to a rewatch of my beloved Voyager), having started Season 3 the other night.  Seymour’s been telling me about how awful the third season is; he’s not a big fan of the temporal cold war story arc or the Xindi story arc and frankly, I kind of agree with him on the temporal cold war thing.

Anyway, the point of this is that the season premiere of Season 3 had me laughing.  And facepalming.  The words, “What the hell?!” kept running through my head.  Sure, it started off okay – recap of the season finale, Xindi council meeting, theme song (which sucks now – they completely ruined it by jazzing it up).  But then they unveil the new command center, and that’s where it all went wrong:

The change is amazing

From this:

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It's another snowy day in Iowa.

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To this:

And now…

Full sprawl. How feline. :)

Full sprawl. How feline. 🙂

…further proof that my son is a bipedal cat:

This morning I was awakened by the sound of Thumper taking down the baby gate from his bedroom doorway.  (I really don’t know why I bother putting it up anymore since he knows how to take it down, but I do.  Maybe it’s for those extra few seconds I gain in which to prepare myself for battle with a two-year-old.)  He tiptoed through the hall, barged into our room, and climbed into bed next to me, where he sat on all fours and stared at me, grinning from ear to ear, his nose about an inch from mine.

When I finally opened my eyes to acknowledge his presence, he whispered, “Time to get up!”

If cats could talk, surely they’d say something similar.  And this, my friends, is why I am on my second 2L bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper.  The first one was gone by noon.

If you’ve got a cute kid story, share it below!  I could use a little cuteness on this dreary Friday afternoon.

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

 

Toddlers are like cats

And now, a change of pace.  I spent my weekend taking care of two sick guys, and Monday night was little different.  But Monday night was when we discovered that sick toddlers are a lot like cats, and if you read on, you’ll find out why.

Cricket came home from daycare Friday night feeling pretty rough.  Thirty-six hours of feverish cuddles had him on the mend, but by Saturday night, he’d managed to share the mystery fever with Thumper.

Time and Tylenol seemed to do the trick, but by the time Monday night rolled around…

Camera skills

IMG_20140301_104334Apparently, I’m not too shabby with a camera.  I’ve been an amateur photographer for a good decade and a half now (a little over that, actually), ever since I got my first camera for Christmas, and it’s something I love.  Most of the pictures that accompany my poems are ones that I’ve taken (unless otherwise noted).  It’s so much fun; I can’t imagine not having a camera to play around with.  And, while I do miss my old film cameras, it’s nice that with my DSLR, I can take as many pictures as I want without having to worry about paying to have bad pictures developed.  Of course, this has also made me a little more careless, I think, in my composition, but such is life.

But I digress.  When I post something new here, I usually head over to Facebook and share the link in a couple of groups I’m in.  Last week, my post “Lonesome Call” gathered a bit of attention there, as someone found my photo of a lone tree in a field near my hometown particularly inspiring.  She crafted a whole poem around the image, which I was quite flattered to read.  Apparently it’s been making its way around the web via Facebook, from what I can tell.  If you’d like to take a look for yourself, you can find it here.

If you decide to check it out, I hope you’ll enjoy. 🙂

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

How to keep things straight (or maybe not-so-straight)

Today I’m excited to have Jim Webster here with a guest post.  His book, Justice 4.1, releases today from Safkhet Publishing, and it sounds like a fantastic read.  But don’t take my word for it – here’s the blurb:

When a journalist is shot down in a backward area of Tsarina, Haldar Drom of the Governor’s Investigation Office is sent to investigate.  He uncovers a hidden medical facility dedicated to the production of Abate, a drug used for population control, as well as evidence of the implantation of pre-created embryos in women brought to Tsarina for the purpose.  He also discovers a deeper plot with far-reaching political ramifications.  A senior member of the Governor’s family, Doran Stilan, is running a personal feud with the major pirate/Starmancer Wayland Strang.  Indeed, he begins to suspect that Stilan may even be angling to take Strang’s place.

The medical facility is destroyed after it is attacked by mercenaries hired by Strang, and Drom has to travel off world to untangle the threads of the conspiracy.

Arriving back on Tsarina, he has to deal with a failed Starmancer attack, punish the guilty, and arrange for Doran Stilan to get what’s coming without undermining the position of the Governor.  To do this, he’ll need skill, know-how, and a whole lot of luck to ensure that the guilty face justice.

Talk about an action-packed book!  That’s a lot of things to keep track of.  With that in mind, here’s Jim to tell us a bit about how he keeps everything straight (or not-so-straight) while writing: