Monthly Archives: February 2015

Cover Reveal: Elizabeth Hunter’s THE SECRET

You may or may not know that I love fantasy books. LOVE. I have for as long as I can remember. I love urban fantasy and paranormal romance. I think that 65% of the beginnings of my PSM-relationship with Cat were due to our mutual love for this genre.

We have been keeping a rough score on who has done the best job of introducing high quality, awesomesauce fantasy to the other. We’re currently tied, even though the last two amazing authors she’s introduced me to have caused me to go on a reading binge.

One of those authors is Elizabeth Hunter. I have read just about everything she’s written that’s available for public consumption. I started with the Irin Chronicles and after getting through the first two in record time was aghast to find that the third hadn’t been released yet.

(What I’m saying is, you have time to catch up if you’re not there yet.)

The wait is almost over, though! ALMOST! I’m thrilled to be able to take part in the cover reveal for the third book in the Irin Chronicles, The Secret. (I’ll be even more thrilled to read it.)


Only when the darkness falls can you see the light of the stars.

For thousands of years, the scribes and singers of the Irin race have existed to protect humanity and guard the gifts of the Forgiven. They have lived in the shadows. They have kept their secrets.

But the Irin aren’t the only race with secrets.

Ava and Malachi have found each other, but wounds as deep as theirs don’t heal overnight. While the Irin world struggles to correct the power imbalance left by the Rending of the Irina, Malachi and Ava struggle to connect their past with their present.

The Fallen may scheme, but Ava has found her power and refuses to be an angel’s pawn. And while Malachi may have forgotten his history, the scribe’s relentless search for answers leads both him and his mate to the heart of the Irin power structure in Vienna, where knowledge is guarded more closely than gold and those with power will do anything to keep it.

Malachi and Ava have survived the darkness, but will they ever discover its secrets? A powerful cabal of the Fallen may hold the answers, but to surrender them, it wants the Irin race to finally face their enemies. Both those coming from the outside, and those raging within.

THE SECRET is the third book in the contemporary fantasy series, the Irin Chronicles, and the conclusion of Ava and Malachi’s journey. (Wait, the conclusion? CONCLUSION? NOOOOOO!) (The cover is a link. CLICK ON IT.)



The release date is March 31. Five weeks from yesterday.


“What are you thinking?” she asked.
He was thinking about Volund’s unexpected ability to invade his unconscious, but he didn’t want to bring it up. Luckily, his mind could turn to pleasant things very quickly when he was with her.
“Do you really want to know?”
“Yes. I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t.”
It was true. Ava wasn’t a woman who felt the need to fill the air with chatter. He wondered if years of traveling alone had trained it out of her, or if the constant voices that had once plagued her were company enough.
“I am thinking… you’re very beautiful.”
He loved the slight flush she gave him when he complimented her. It made the offer of his praise all the more satisfying.
“You’re the only one who’s ever said that,” she said.
He was surprised, but not overly. Humans could be very superficial, and Ava’s physical features were not the most astonishing thing about her. Pretty, but not uncommonly so. Clear skin. Dark hair. Her eyes were the most arresting part of her face, but only other Irin would recognize the unusual shade of gold as anything more than light brown or amber.
No, it wasn’t her physical features that were remarkable. And Malachi loved that only he saw the secret of his mate.
Her beauty lay in her mind and her heart. Quiet strength and resilient humor were not things valued enough by the world.
She gave him a quiet smile.
“You always did that,” she said. “Before. ‘Hmm.’ You’d be thinking something you didn’t want to say, but I knew it was about me when you would say, ‘Hmm.’”
“I often think about you.”
“That’s probably a good thing.”
They were sitting across from each other in the compartment. He put his foot on the edge of the bench beside her, enclosing them. Doing his best to block out the world. Ava set down her camera and slid a hand up his pant leg, her fingers playing along his skin.
“I think about you, too,” she said. “Some would say I’m obsessed.”
“And you take pictures of me when I sleep. I hear the clicking in my dreams. It’s borderline stalker behavior, really.”
“It’s settled then. We’re both certifiable.”


So – are you excited? You should be!  You should also join Elizabeth Hunter’s New Release Mailing List. And if you’re really feeling lucky and/or motivated, you can head over to her website or her Facebook page to participate in the ARC giveaway.

So Brave…

That’s what people say about me. I’m assuming. Today I was a chaperone for Alvie’s field trip. There were six two year olds and eight preschoolers. (Also four teachers and two preschool parents.) We rode the bus. Transferred to the MAX light rail, and then! We! Went! Into! A! Tunnel! Surprisingly, there was more to the trip than that, although I think a good 33% of the kids might have been satisfied with that (at least if riding the elevator – or alligator as Alvie says – was also part of the trip).

But wait! There’s More! We went to the Children’s Museum. Do you know what they have at the children’s museum?

CHILDREN! But not in handy display cases like I’d expected. No! They were free-range, like visiting a petting zoo. So many kids. Everywhere.

How I felt by the end of our time at the Museum.

How I felt by the end of our time at the Museum.

Also unexpected? We had to bring them back! That’s right, thirteen children and six adults had to go back on the elevator, on the MAX train, out of the tunnel, and then on a bus. (90% success in getting back as many as we started with isn’t too bad, right?)

It actually wasn’t too bad. For the most part, the two-year-old class was pretty well behaved. Or at least as well behaved (if not slightly better) than you’d expect a group of two year olds to be in a place that is like a giant playground of small-person-sized stuff for them to play with.

Alvie had a great time. Not only did we get to ride a MAX train into a TUNNEL, we also walked by a steam train AND there were trains to play with in the museum.

He went straight to this. Like he doesn't have five million trains at home.

He went straight to this. Like he doesn’t have five million trains at home.

We did manage to tear him away from this room (something for which he may someday forgive me) and found a few other fun places to play.

Yes, that is my child climbing out of a kennel in the "Pet Hospital" play area.

Yes, that is my child climbing out of a kennel in the “Pet Hospital” play area.

The last stop before lunch was almost as awesome as trains, because it was so messy!

That smock was completely useless. I do not even know how he ended up so wet, but he has a special gift.

That smock was completely useless. I do not even know how he ended up so wet, but he has a special gift.

My big boy. As much as I really, really dislike things like this (hordes of small children) I love watching him learn and explore and say, “Mommy, let me show you how it works.”

Gah. One of the cats must be slicing onions. Upstairs in my office. With their complete lack of opposable thumbs. There is no other explanation for this mysterious moistening of my eyeballs. Damn cats.

Follow me. I know what I'm doing.

Follow me. I know what I’m doing.


Three (3!) Things Thursday – Pants on Fire Edition

1. Remember when I said on *checks calendar* that I was going to do a book review on Wednesday and one on Friday? Did you enjoy yesterday’s review? You did not? Because it wasn’t there? Yeah. About that…so I have pneumonia. Which is not the bronchitis I was afraid I had at this point last week. It’s been making it difficult to wake up in the morning because my body thinks sleep is more important than waking early to write. (It also thinks not coughing is more important than exercising, something I am supporting.)

This is how I feel now.

This is how I feel now.

2. Speaking of writing, I had promised to finish the draft of the novel I’m working on by the end of the month. I have written approximately 1300 words in the last week (damn you, pneumonia! and double damn to Alvie’s ear infection). That is not enough to finish this. I’m going to have to push hard over the next 9 days to make my goal.

Day 004

The writing cave

3. The five point action plan I mentioned last week? The one with breakfast and lunch and no wine for dinner? That’s been going quite well! Go me! The activity levels need to be bumped up, but as soon as I can hit a brisk walk without coughing up a lunch, I feel that I’ll be doing well. I have a 5K April 4, my first outdoor triathlon (sprint!) on 5/9, and an Olympic tri on June 7. I also need to run a 10K at some point in April. The one thing that all of these races have in common? Every single one has a medal for all finishers.

I only race for medals.

I only race for medals.

The More You Know – Braindump

Pssstt!  Hey you…yeah you. Did you know that it was Tuesday? Tuesday afternoon to be even more precise. In fact, for some of you, it’s probably Tuesday evening (or possibly Wednesday morning).

I’d meant to have a book review for you today. I have two brewing (oooh! Suspense!).

Coming up later this week (probably Wednesday AND Friday – if you’re good) are reviews of Margaret Atwood’s “Negotiations With the Dead” and my book club’s Feb Book o’ the Month “Girl on a Train.” Trust me when I tell you that you want to join this book club. DOOO EEEEET!  We are mainly active on our Facebook page but have a Goodreads presence as well. My PSM Cat is pretty much the head goddess of the bookclub. (I am first runner up goddess. These are titles I may or may not have just invented.) She makes up drinks for us to drink. It’s awesome.

Ummm….so you have that to look forward to!

awesome dean

I have things! I want to share with you, but I cannot, due to the universally acknowledged power of jinxing. Soon, my loyal readership (most of whom are here for (a) some kind of foot fetish shot, (b) hoping for accidental cleavage, or (c) hoping that I’ll use brobdingnagian in a sentence) I will tell you things that will excite approximately one of you! I KNOW! The excitement is pretty much non-stop around here.

My news makes me squee ALMOST as much as this picture does.

My news makes me squee ALMOST as much as this picture does.

Other pressing questions!

If you, a parent, were to receive a box containing the following items: (1) bloody animal heart, (2) picture of your child obviously taken by a crazy stalker, and (3) a knife through both of the aforementioned items, what would you do? If I told you that you were a character in a novel or movie, does that change your answer?

the gentlemen

And one last item! I mailed about 20 ridiculous business cards to people around the country today. If you, too, would like your very own mildly profane and highly ridiculous card, please let me know!  You can send your address to gazellesoncrack (at) gmail (dot) com and I will get back to you ASAPs. It’s pretty much the entirety of my 2015 marketing budget!  (I am willing to mail overseas as well, in case you were wondering, my two overseas readers. It would not take brobdingnagian effort.)


Happy Tuesday!

Brain. Dead. Send Help (and gin)

It is Friday. TFIF. (Freya is my new goddess and I will be invoking her in all things that require divine invocation. My general atheistic stance remains pretty firm, though, so don’t worry!)

I am pretty sure that no one will read this, because not only is it Friday, it is Friday before a long holiday weekend. So I am going to navel gaze.

Has anyone ever done a vision board or a declaration of clarity or some kind of exercise that helps them get to the root of who they are and what they want? I tend to be more of a “develop a problem statement, get to the root cause of the problem, brainstorm solutions, and implement” and less into the more touchy feely stuff.

But I am not thrilled with where I’m at right now and the way I see it I have two choices.

  1. Continue in current career path that is not terrible, pays decently, and is currently fairly high stress.
  2. Don’t do that.
Option 3: Just say screw it and go to a movie.

Option 3: Just say screw it and go to a movie.

If I choose #2, I know what I want to do, and due to my (checks notes) propensity to offer “inordinately long explanations” (hat tip to Cromer), so does my PSM, but that way lies dragons. And also less financial security. (Or maybe the dragons are the lowered financial security.)

I’ve never been a firm believer that everyone needs to “follow their dreams” career wise. I actually think that’s rather shit advice. I mean, my dream is to be a stay-at-home-Amy and have someone support me in the manner in which I’d like to become accustomed, and also to have a house keeper. And a pool boy. Possibly also a pool, but let’s not get carried away.

I think it’s perfectly reasonable to find a career that you don’t hate and that pays money and just do it and save your passion for your life outside of work.

But what happens when you don’t have the time or energy for a life outside of work? I’m sure that eventually Bean will start sleeping again. (I’m wondering if the stress of staying dry all night is what’s interfering with his sleep? He’s really emotionally invested in it, and is NOT SLEEPING OH MY GODDESS.)

However, my calendar at work is getting fuller and fuller, and soon I’m not sure I’ll have any time to actually get any work done, which means I’m start bringing home more than just email answering. (On a typical workday, I receive between 100-200 emails. I am wicked popular. Today, however, I’ve only received about 30 by 11 am. Friday before a holiday weekend is good.)

If I do go with Option Two above, I have approximately two and a half years before I make that change. Two point five years of planning. And scheming. There are five things that I need to get done in that time.

(Five is such a random number that I just pulled out of my ass. Let’s see what I actually come up with.)

  1. Build up a substantial savings
  2. Publish something academically
  3. Become proficient at Swedish
  4. Write like a crazy person and edit like a sane one (I have four readers who are (I assume) eagerly awaiting the first draft of my first novel
  5. Polish my lady balls (definitely grasping at straws for number five)

I am doing a big sportsing this year, too. I am eagerly awaiting my training plan from my coach. Training starts in one month. I’m probably supposed to be doing some pre-training that doesn’t involve self-centered whinging, deep coughs, and qualifying for the wine Olympics.

Blah Blah Blah

tl;dr – I am crazy and tonight I’m drinking a French 75.