Category Archives: It All Comes Back to Buffy

Writerly Wednesday: WINNING! Edition

If you’re interested in winning (and who isn’t?), there are a couple contests open right now that super benefit me personally. I mean are awesome opportunities for you.

The first is to win a free Ilona Andrews book! I mean, she’s so good. SO GOOD! Free book!

Click the link to learn how to enter to win!


This second opportunity is amazeballs. Like super amazeballs. Look at all this Buffy stuff you can win? #buffyforever #whatwouldBuffydo #itallcomesbacktobuffy

This prize package, from the best TV show ever, is pretty fucking fantastic.

Click the image to win $500 worth of Buffy stuff (and sign up for some awesome author newsletters).


Update on the writing.

I am done with editing projects for the next month or so. That means I can really get back into the writing. I’m just about half way done with Eleanor #4. I think it’s harder to rewrite a book where I’m mining from something I had before than to write from scratch. It’s halfway between a rewrite and a first draft, and it’s driving me crazy. This might be the first year in ages I don’t win NaNoWriMo…and I’m worry really hard at being okay with that. I have my excuses at the ready.

  1. I’ve edited four novels and two novellas in the past 2 months.
  2. I’ve worked an average of 40 hours/week at the day job in the same time period
  3. I spent a week in Mexico where I didn’t get nearly as much work done as I’d hoped
  4. The last month, since returning from our trip, have been the most stressful parenting month I’ve experienced in 5.5 years. It’s not my story, it’s Bean’s, and he’s at an age where I need to start moderating what stories I tell, but suffice it to say, I’ve cried more in the last month than I have since I was drowning in post partum depression. Parenting is hard, yo.

But all those excuses aren’t really enough to explain why I’m so far behind my word goal. I was hoping to finish the book by the end of the month, but 12/15 is looking more realistic – and that’s only if I pull myself together and write.

Speaking of writing, the newsletter will be coming out next Wednesday – so if you want to catch up on Raj’s story before the newest chapter comes out – use the sidebar to subscribe!

(Psssst….there’s a small possibility that The Cardinal Gate will be on super Black Sale Friday – Cyber Monday Sale. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, you’ll have a chance starting Friday!)

Three Things Thursday: The Intern Edition


  1. A couple weeks ago, the Beer Guy and I got a new intern. We’d been toying with the idea for a while, and then I accidentally wandered onto the Humane Society’s website, and three days later Rupurrt Giles joined the family.

    New intern is photogenically representing the interests of the beer guy AND the author in one handy photo.


  2. The other cats are slowly getting used to the intruder. At this point, it appears that one of the biggest problems they’re having with him involves a Twitter account takeover.

    He’s settling right in, though. He chases the bigger cats, climbs all over the things he’s not supposed to climb on, and is getting really good at making a general nuisance of himself. Keyboards are one of Giles’s aka Ctrl-Z’s favorite places to settle.

    His typing skills could use some work.

    Of course, kittening is exhausting, and Giles spends a lot of time resting up for the next round of speeding through the house at top speed and chasing his own tail.

  3. The best part of this all, though, is watching Bean and Giles get on. Alvie was delighted beyond measure at the new surprise kitten when I brought him home last Friday (after nine – 9! – days apart) and has had a blast playing with the kitten.

    They are perfect for each other. So much energy and so much joy.

    It was nice to have Giles now since over the weekend, Mr. Fish (Alvie’s betta) died after only 18 months in residence. We had a funeral on Monday and Alvie delivered a stirring eulogy: “You were a good fish, Mr. Fish. I’m sorry you’re dead.”

    Fish burial under the eclipse shadows.

Book Review: Light’s Shadow

Light’s Shadow is the third (and final?) book in the Copper Falls trilogy by Colleen Vanderlinden. I have been anxiously waiting for this once since I finished the second in the series. I knew I wouldn’t have long to wait, because Colleen is a magical writing machine! She publishes fantastic stories every day! (That is an exaggeration, of course. It’s more like once a week.) (I’m not actually sure how often, I just know that her prolificness leaves me in awe. I’m beginning to suspect that her “home school” is just a book sweatshop.) (KIDDING!)

Although I picked this up via my Kindle Unlimited subscription, I should disclose that Colleen is a friend (and my editor) and we are locked in a fierce contest to see which of us can kill the most characters. She did alright in this book, but she really could’ve done better. Too much saving!

Disclosure: I am writing this pre-coffee, so there will probably be more parentheticals than are legally allowed.

The Cover

That hair! That dress! Those bosoms!


The Blurb

Born of the Light. Corrupted by Shadow.

After spending her entire life as a servant of the Light, Sophie Turner no longer knows where she fits into a world in which she’s been forced to become the very thing she’s come to hate. She doesn’t know herself anymore, and can’t seem to reconcile her strong belief in the tenets of Light as Shadow magic flows through her body, seducing her, tempting her to do the very things she swore she’d never do.

At the same time, her relationship with Calder Turcotte, the man she’s loved for practically her entire life, is on shaky ground. The things she had to do to break his curse haunt them both, and there’s a distance between them now that she doesn’t know if they can ever bridge.

All of that is bad enough, but when the alpha of the Copper Falls wolf pack ends up dead, Calder finds himself under suspicion for his murder, and it becomes abundantly clear that the quiet life Sophie and Calder crave is further from their reach than ever.

And when an ancient enemy returns to make his final move against Sophie, finally fulfilling his mission, she’ll be forced to rely on the tenuous alliances she’s made, as well as the Shadow magic she detests and distrusts, to save everything that matters to her.

A story of eternal love, forgiveness, and strength, Light’s Shadow is the final book in the Copper Falls paranormal romance trilogy.

The Review

I love the cover – it’s nice to see a more…buxom…woman gracing our fantasy stories (and not just your fantasies, Steve). I also really like Sophie. She’s a realistic blend of soft and strong.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners, wise-cracking, my-weaknesses-are-secret, kick-ass heroines as much as the next person, but Sophie has human weaknesses, and that makes her more realistic. (As realistic as a witch who can throw you out of windows with her brain can be, anyway.)

Her relationship with Calder builds along fits and starts of misunderstandings, deliberate (but necessary) heart-breaking deception, and temper tantrums. I get this. This (except for not being able to break trees with my mind) (and the deliberate but necessary heartbreak) is me (down to the fantastic tatas).

The story winds along at a very good pace, speeding along and then slowing down to let you catch your breath. Although I figured we were in a HEA situation (regardless of body count), there was nothing predictable about the path we took to get there.

There were some scenes that made me gasp out loud and shake my fist in a vaguely threatening manner. Things that pierced me to my soul. People had to make hard decisions and my heart broke more for those decisions than they did for Calder in the second book.

The Quotes

“I’ve never been insulted by someone quoting Emily Dickinson before. That’s new,” Sophie said, looking up at the gray clouds above.

“I try to bring a little class to my insults. Sometimes, anyway,” Esme said.

That delights me, because who doesn’t love an educated, snarky witch? (According to Giles, Emily Dickinson is a pretty good poet…for an American.)

She wasn’t perfect. He knew that. She could be cold and standoffish. She could say things sometimes, not realizing how much they hurt. And she had a bad habit of closing herself off from everyone exactly at those moments in which she needed them most.

To be honest, she sounds pretty damn perfect – at least according to that description. (Or does she sound like me? Out of my head, Vanderlinden!)

The Verdict

This book is a fantastic end to a fun and interesting trilogy, and you should go out and get it immediately. It’s on Amazon (and Kindle Unlimited), and I don’t think you’ll regret a thing. Solid 4.5 stars.

Too Many Words Wednesday

Remember yesterday when I was full of hope and optimism and had finished my digital book uploads and all was beautiful?


Yeah. So about that…

I got the proof of my paperback today and didn’t quite like the way the margins worked. It’s another 24 hour turnaround to make the changes, upload it, and make sure it looks right then proof again, but I’ve got time.

I fixed the margins. Swore for a bit. Then, I noticed something…odd. There was a typo. And another. And an extra space. And a couple names spelled wrong once each. And three end quotes facing the wrong direction. And then more things! And more! AND MOAR!


I have decided that everything is fixed now. I made changes, uploaded new digital files for the ebooks, and resubmitted the paperback for review. Funny story? Approximately 10 seconds after resubmitting the paperback file I saw ANOTHER error. It is admittedly a very, very small error. I was able to fix it in the ebooks, but I’m thinking that the paperbacks might just have one, eensy, weensy mistake. For character.


I see typos in most books that I read. They exist. I’m great at finding other people’s errors. But there is no way to 100% eradicate all typos, right? RIGHT?!

(I may have to fix the paperback file. I am ahead of schedule with it, so what’s one more change?)


***abrupt subject change***

Did you know that it’s only two days until my birthday? Did you? Well, if you were wondering what the perfect thing to get me forty 40th (such a milestone!) birthday, maybe go check this out…

Colder than a witch’s tits in a brass brassiere

Greetings from the frigid mountain region located somewhere in the middle part of the country!

Yesterday, I spent much of the day trying to get here (here is Breckenridge, Colorado). It was quite the adventure! The beer guy and I got to the airport about  an hour before our scheduled flight time of 10:45. A couple of minutes before we arrived, I got a text that our flight was delayed by an hour. This meant that we would have <20 minutes to make our connection in Salt Lake City.

By the time we got into the airport, we couldn’t even check in at the kiosk because the flight was late enough that there was no way to make the connection and we needed to rebook. What made that extra exciting is that we were a party of five. (But not like the show. Probably. I’ve never seen it, but I know that at least two of us are not orphans.)

The ticket agent was so patient as we tried to figure out the flight changes plus rebooking the shuttle that was to take us from the airport to Breckenridge. Two of our party had already gotten tickets and gone through security before the flight changes happened.

But finally, we were rebooked! Our flight, originally scheduled for the aforementioned 10:45 was now leaving at 1 pm and going through Seattle. Soooo, with time to kill in the airport, we did what any group of people heading to a beer festival in Colorado would do. We had drinks.

I had a French 79th, because of course I did. In addition to the gin and bubbles, it also had St. Germaine and rhubarb bitters. Also – next project is homemade rhubarb bitters.

We did eventually make it to Denver about three hours after originally scheduled, but about 40 minutes earlier than anticipated with the change in plans. After some scrambling and then a mad dash up an escalator carrying our bags, we made the 7 pm shuttle. (How do people breathe here? Every time I go up a slight incline, I feel like I need a lie down to recover.)

There were a lot of people squished into the shuttle, and I ended up situated in the exact right spot that every time we hit a bump, a seatbelt connector got really, really fresh with me. After 2+ hours of that, praying that my phone wouldn’t die because there was no way I was going to be able to survive that drive if I wasn’t distracted by werewolves, we finally made it.

It was shortly after getting into our condo that it occurred to my stomach that it hadn’t had more than an airline cookie and a bag of chips since about 8 am that morning.

We headed out into the very, very cold and very, very thin night air to track down sustenance.

There were nachos. And burgers. And beer.

The way back to the condo was a gradual uphill for 1/3 of a mile. So that was fun. (We saw a fox, though!)

This morning, I woke up to this:

So, yeah. That’s a bit colder than this lowland Portlander is used to. (It’s up to 9* now, which according to my weather app is “too fucking cold to think.”)

We finally ventured out about 11 in search of coffee and food. I tried to convince the beer guy that as the male, it was his duty to go out and fetch his mate food to show he cared for her (see above werewolf novel). He said he subscribed to the lion model, so we were at an impasse and both left the warmth and safety of the den.

It might be cold, but it is really pretty here. I’m not grabbing any of the realty fliers I’ve seen, but I’m not regretting this is much as I was when I saw that -12* this morning.


I’m currently holed up and refusing to leave a coffee shop, because I am a delicate flower who might freeze (even with two pairs of socks, my winter running tights under my jeans, and a thank top, long-sleeved shirt, formal hoodie, and winter coat, not to mention my scarf, gloves, and viking hat).

It’s really kind of fun, though…I like looking at the snow and mountains through a coffee shop window, and I do enjoy traveling with the beer guy, even if he isn’t a proper werewolf.


My plan for the next couple of days is to relax, to read, to write, and of course, to drink some beer…this is not a bad way to start off my year of me redux.

Happy 2017!