Friday Sinema: Soundtrack

So. I did a thing. Okay, I’ve done lots of things but this is a new thing. Previously, I set up a playlist thingy in Spotify and posted it on the Penumbra Papers playlist page here on the site. This time around, I did something a little more…portable. I did a “mix list” on YouTube. You can click and listen to all the songs back-to-back. While you’re reading or just relaxing. Happy Firday. I’m taking the weeknd off. Siren test, Mexican food with the family, and more softball! Have a good one, whatever your plans.

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal Hoedown

Yesterday was a brain day. And there are days when I don’t brain well at all. When it comes to formatting and making sure everything is right because one, I’m a professional and two, I’m a professional. That said, I’m a writer, not a publisher, though I’ve become one in this self-publishing world. I’ve been stuck in my chair at my desk for two weeks now. Edits, revisions, and formatting is far more demanding and time-consuming than writing. Writing comes in fits and starts. The process after? Yeah, gotta knuckle down and that that $#!+ done. Then the Universe popped in to say hi and remind all us writers that other stuff is important too.

Often, Silver, the very most spiritual thing one can do is get busy. Physically busy. Hoeing, chopping, planting. Connecting, moving, grooving. Dipping, swirling, twirling.

Especially dipping, swirling, twirling.

2, 3, 4 –
The Universe
© http://www.tut.com ®

Yes, Silver, “hoeing” is a word.

So, I’m taking the big U’s advice. I’m going hoeing, even if it’s just a walk around the block with Jake.  And then I’m watching lots and lots of softball so the mush that is currently my brain can begine to function like a real brain. So…I’m off… 5, 6, 7, 8…

Pssst – New Release Alert! Click on the cover up there on the right and go grab your copy of GHOSTS & THE ANCIENT STONES.

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Wednesday Words: Witches, Warlocks, and Wizards–Oh My!

Another Hump Day, another week of Wednesday Words. Today’s #1lineWed THEME is **WICHES, WARLOCKS, WIZARDS.” It just so happens that GHOSTS & THE ANCIENT STONES has those in spades. 😉 This snippet is from early in the book. Sade and Caleb just left the Director’s office and she gets a message…
****
They split up, Sade headed to her office on the far side of the small bullpen. The MAGIC Unit wasn’t huge. A few agents moved in and out, mainly for training, though Sade supervised a few agents in addition to Caleb. She found a message on her desk.

Agent Marquis—some guy named Chris Saint John called.
He’s flying into Reagan via private jet tonight. Says he’ll meet
you here sometime after 8.

Sade stared at the message, choking on the slightly hysterical bubble of laughter welling in her throat. Chris? Saint John? Dear lord. She’d have to burn the evidence of her incompetent agent. Kristian St. John had never been called “Chris” in his life. But why was Sinjen coming here? Okay. She knew why he was coming. To see her. Because she’d canceled his trip a few weeks ago. It had been almost a month—okay, over a month since they’d last been together.

Wanting to bang her head against the desk, she wadded up the message instead. Then she smoothed it out and fed it through the small shredder next to her desk. Scrunching her fingers through her hair, she pretended she wasn’t getting a headache. She missed Sinjen. Way more than she wanted to. Which spelled trouble. Which she didn’t need any more of, given her current case. But at the same time, being apart from him was almost a physical ache and that scared the bejeebus out of her. She’d made some discreet inquiries but had come up blank. Yes, Werewolves tended to mate for life if they found their true mate. And yes, they could feel the pull if they were apart for too long. Dragons also mated, and there was some sort of mystical bond formed, but not one of her informants would elucidate.

Gargoyles bonded. Sort of. It was a conscious act and the bond could be broken by either party. Elves and the Fae? She let out a groan. They married for power, prestige, and progeny. Witches and warlocks were basically Human and wizards were just…a pain in her ass, but basically souped-up-on-magical-steroids Human. Then there were Vampires. They didn’t mate. They didn’t marry. They didn’t do Humans except for sex and blood. Vampires didn’t love. All she had to do was consider the master vampire who’d raised her. She’d been a pawn and she’d heard him admit that he would see her dead rather than lose his game with Oberon. If it became necessary.

She’d been three.

No. Vampires didn’t do love. Obsession? Maybe, but not love. Which didn’t explain Sinjen. Or did it?
****
FYI, I pulled the trigger on Amazon last night about 5:30 pm. It should be live any time now. I’ll be finishing the formatting for the other etailers and uploading the MS to Draft2Digital for distribution to other stores. I really hope y’all enjoy this book. It was hard to write, took forever, but I really think…nope. I’ll let y’all be the judge. Our question of the day: If you could only have one, what magical power would you pick?

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Tuesday Treats & Titles: Dalgona Coffee

I’d really thought I’d have GHOSTS & THE ANCIENT STONES out int the wild by now, because I have all these “Sade” recipes stored up. Ah well. Next Tuesday! Until then, here’s something our favorite FBI agent loves to indulge in when she has the time and inclination.

Total Time: 10 Min.
Prep Time: 10 Min.
1 serving

Discover Dalgona Coffee, the trend that has swept social media! This whipped coffee, named for the way it tastes like Korean dalgona candy, uses only a few ingredients and a minute of mixing for a beautiful, mousse-like coffee experience. Dalgona coffee works great with any milk of your choice.

What You Need
2 Tbsp. MAXWELL HOUSE Instant Coffee
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. boiling water
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup ice cubes

Let’s Make It
1 – Combine coffee granules and sugar in small deep bowl. Add boiling water.
2 – Beat with mixer on high speed 1 min. or until thickened to mousse-like consistency.
3 – Pour milk into tall glass. Add ice.
4 – Top with coffee mixture.

Kitchen Tips
Tip 1 – Substitute: Prepare using your favorite variety of non-dairy milk.

Tip 2 – Substitute: Substitute granulated monk fruit sweetener or your favorite granular no-calorie sweetener for the sugar.

Tip 3 – Note: Instead of using the electric mixer to beat the coffee mixture, you can use a whisk to vigorously beat the coffee mixture by hand 5 min. or until thickened.

Want all the recipe details? CLICK over to My Food and Family. If you want to find out why coffee is Sade’s favorite, you can read any of the first four books in the Penumbra Papers series. If Amazon is your favorite store, click on the book covers to head over to the Amazon series page. If you prefer other e-tailers, click on these titles for a quick trip to the Books2Read universal page for each book. THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC is book 1 and set in New Orleans. Book 2, SEASON OF THE WITCH, pairs Sade and and master Vampire, Sinjen, for the first time as they deal with a  killer in Chicago. THE DEVIL’S CUT, book 3, introduces Sade’s Werewolf partner Caleb’s mate, Adele. THE SOUND OF SILENCE is the story of the Gargoyle Sentinel, Roman, and his little Witch, Verity. Book 5, GHOSTS & THE ANCIENT STONES, should hit the virutal shelves the end of this week. Sade and Sinjen’s story continues. Trust me, it’s one crazy ride. You’ll need the caffeine so make yourself some dalgona coffee and enjoy the trip. 😉

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Memorial Day Monday

Soldier silhouette, american flag and grave stones.Here in the States, it’s Memorial Day. Way back when, it was called Decoration Day and it was a time for families to decorate the graves of and commorate the memories of loved ones lost in the line of duty in the military. It’s a time to remember all those who made the supreme sacrifice so we can keep the hard-won rights we enjoy thanks to our Constitution. I try very hard not to get political in public but given the current state of affairs, my tongue is bloody more often than not.

Interesting conversation overheard:

Person (upon seeing a soldier in uniform): Oh, hey! It’s Memorial Day weekend. Thanks for your service! (Person walks off looking self-satisfied for “doing his duty” and complimenting an active duty soldier.

Soldier (calling after the dude): Memorial Day has nothing to do with my service and everything to do with remembering my brothers and sisters in arms who died serving this country.

Yeah. Pretty much sums it up.

In other news, I think I’m on my final pass of edits. Last weeks was a totla Charlie Foxtrot when it came to technological stuffs. My Word program glitched which made it look like my printer had glitched and I wasterd several days diagnosing the problem, wanting things right when I got edits back. My editor normally works off a hard copy but had to settle for working on-line because I couldn’t print. Anyway, the problem magically fixed itself, printing wise. I’ve discovered that all the typo fixes I’d made previously didn’t save. Yippee. Not. And yes, it has made the process longer. Still GHSOTS & THE ANCIENT STONES should be uploaded later this week.

Softball was crazy this weekend. Super-regionals were just that. OU swept Washington, run-ruling them in the second game. Yeah…really. (Psst. Washington was ranked as the 16th seed and they got twisted up by the “slight.”) There are two unranked teams playing–Georgia and James Madison. As of my setting this up, OSU has not played their 3rd game, as they split the first two with Texas. Now it’s winner takes all. I’ll come back to update…And I’m back! Pistols firing! The Cowgirls pulled it off in a nail-biter of a game. Scoreless until the 5th inning and the Cowgirls finally scored and kept the Longhorns from crossing home plate for the next two innings. Final score 2-0, Cowgirls going to the National Championship series!

LG and I went out to our favorite BBQ restaurant Saturday night. We took Jake and he was a little stressed at first because it was a new place. Once the crowd left and it got quieter, he settled in and the waitresses and manager all came to play with him. We hadn’t been in since the lock-down, occasionally ordering to-go but not often. Anyway, it was nice. We visited with the staff and were all social and everything. Also, maybe I sold some books, as they didn’t know I was an author. We’ll see.

TV has been baseball and softball. Go Cards! Go Cowgirls! Go Sooners! I have heard a rumor that Live PD might be back but not on A&E. I’m basically boycotting that channel for dropping my favorite show. No word on which network/channel will pick them up.

Reading/listening is mostly hit-n-miss due to edits. I’ll finish the current Elder Races book maybe today. Not sure if I’ll keep with the series or if I’ll switch to the new Molly Harper Mystic Bayou book that just dropped. We’ll see what’s up in my head.

Don’t have much else to reveal. My world is pretty much revolving around GHOSTS–editing, formatting, and getting it ready to go into the wild. It will be available in wide distribution and print so that means three versions of formatting. The print will take a bit longer because Only will need to do the full-sized cover after she gets the number of pages. It’s a science. 😄

So, my week ahead is all centered on getting the book into the hands of readers. And the start of the NCAA Softball WCWS. All games televised, though I miss the days when Only and I used to attend in person. Awesome M/D bonding time. What’s your week looking like?

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Friday Sinema: Kings and Queens

Most of you know that I have a playlist/soundtrack for each of the Penumbra Papers books. Roxette’s “She’s Got the Look” has always been Sade’s theme song. From the very beginning. Welpers, Sade might just have another theme song. At least for GHOSTS & THE ANCIENT STONES. What do you think? Does this remind of of her? (And yes, there will be a Youtube Mix List for this book on my channel. 😉 Have a great weekend!

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal Decisions

As each day goes by, I get closer and closer to releasing GHOSTS & THE ANCIENT STONES. This books scares me. A lot. One, it took so long to finish writing. Two, it’s not the book I started writing several years ago. Three, I took some chances (okay, I didn’t, the characters made me! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!). Four, while this story made me laugh and cry and there were more than a few tears (and not the blood and sweat kind but the all-the-feels kind), I don’t don’t know if readers will feel the same. Four, this series has never done as well as I’d always hoped it would and trying to figure out why is a whole ‘nother post. Five, I’m worried those who do read the series won’t like this book. So, when it’s ready and I pull the “trigger” on it’s release–probably sometime next week–I’m going to remember this message from the big U.

Next time you feel fear, Silver, either right after a major decision or just before one, it usually means you’re exactly where you need to be.

Nice,
The Universe
© http://www.tut.com ®

Funny, Silver, how good you are. Really good.

Because the fear will be real, baby. And I can only hope the book is as good as I think it is. Forget about me. I just want my words and books to be good. So tell me, what do you fear?

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Wednesday Words: Best of the Worst

So, there’s a “writing” competition, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. The point is to write the worst first line ever. And the best of those worst lines wins. It all started “on a dark and stormy night…” Today’s #1lineWed request is the worst line in a WIP. At the moment, with editor brain and no nails as my real editor and beta reader both peruse the book, I want to post one of my favorite first lines. So, without further ado. here is the opening to THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC.
****
This was only Day One of what was shaping up to be a bloody weird week and the gods had been drinking again. Too bad Sade Marquis didn’t have that option. She was on duty. Dammit. Not to mention it was only ten in the morning. However, if things got any stranger, she might change her mind.

She occupied the one booth that gave her a broad view of the whole place. Déjà Vu. All over again. Back in the early days, right after graduating from the FBI Academy, the New Orleans Field Office had been her first assignment. She’d leased an apartment upstairs from Déjà Vu. The bar-restaurant combo became a second home. Open twenty-four/seven, she could eat no matter the time of day.

Jax Martine—or as she liked to think of him “a Jax of all trades”—sailed by her table and two glasses of ice water appeared in his wake. He was human, but Sade would bet dollars to donuts there was a witch in his family tree. She glanced at her watch and wondered if she could squeeze in a late breakfast. She was meeting her partner, who had no concept of time. Werewolves were like that.

Catching Jax’s attention, Sade wiggled her fingers through a complicated series of gestures. A plate with eggs, bacon, and French toast—real French toast made from thick-cut slices of crusty French bread—appeared a few minutes later, along with two more glasses of ice water to replace the ones she’d drained.

She was on her third cup of post-breakfast coffee when two girls sitting at the bar stirred. Their attention swiveled to the front door, eyes on the prime specimen of fae male swaggering into the shadowed space. Back-lit by a sunshine nimbus, Ariel made quite an entrance. Sade looked to heaven for a reprieve that didn’t come. Her day just kept getting better and better.
****
And thus starts the story of FBI Agent Sade Marquis, her Werewolf partner, a gargoyle, a fae, and an infernal dragon. Along the way, there’s a very sexy vampire  And I’ll admit to a bit of prejudice about Sade and Sinjen. They are a pair of my favorite heros and heroines. Writers, have either a favorite line or one that’s awful? And readers, are there any lines that make you stare and go “huh?”? Or one that makes you go, “Oh!”?

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Tuesday Titles: Unequal

Unequal1cm - mdThe treat today is all for the mind. My good friend and sister-author has a book that you can grab for free until Friday. If alternative history future dystopian stories are your cat nip, this is totally the book for you. Heck, even if it isn’t, the book is FREE. FREE, y’all! It doesn’t cost to download or read. And you might just discover a new author to love because trust me, B.E. writes some awesome books in several different genres. So do it! UNEQUAL. Just click on the book cover or the title to grab your copy. Then grab your favorite treat and beverage of choice and settle in for a thrilling ride! 

Unequal free graphic-BESanderson

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Easy Monday

cancel mondayWow. What a week and weekend. So much busy. So much brain power. So much coffee! Today, I’m sitting back and relaxing. I finished edits on GHOSTS & THE ANCIENT STONES. It’s sitting for day before I go into formatting mode so that it’s ready once I get edits back and plug them in. The playlist is ready to go. Call me crazy but I always seem to do a playlist for each chapter in this series. The one for this book is crazy eclectic. No. Really. Also, it’ll be able to access through YouTube. I’ll post the link when I get a little closer to release day. Oh, I should mention that my editor and my beta reader have their copies so it’s not like I’m taking a day off from real work on the book.

My whole week and weenend was pretty much invested in getting the edits finished. That means my world was pretty narrow. That said, there were a few things that occurred that I’m cognizant of. 😉

Sports: NCAA D1 Softball Regionals! YAYAYAYAY despite me being a little (okay a LOT) PO’d at ESPN. LG finally figured out how to get the ESPN app “downloaded” on the smart TV so we could at least watch ESPEN3 on TV rather than computer monitor. My Cowgirls came throug their regional unscathed. This coming weekend, they’ll host somebody (Texas or Oregon–I was too lazy to come back and edit this after they played last night) this coming weekend. OU also won their regional and will play either Washington or Michigan. In baseball news, the Cardinals had a mixed bag but they went into last night’s game against the Cubs up 3 games. That works for me.

Editing was so intense, I didn’t do much book listening but I’m continuing a listen of Thea Harrison’s The Elders series. I’m on book 4, about a Djinn and the “Oracle of Louisville.” Her family moved from Delphi to Louisville at some point in history, and yes *that* oracle was an ancester. Anyway, it’s pretty interesting. I can’t believe it’s been several years since I read these books.

TV. What’s that? I’ve watched softball and baseball and I fall asleep almost as soon as I get under the covers. It happens. Mainly because I keep waking up at the buttcrack of dawn. Maybe now the edits are done, my brain will relax. According to LG, I was talking in my sleep the other night. I don’t talk in my sleep. Ever. He does sometimes but in all the years we’ve been married, I have never talked in my sleep. At least I said his name. 🙄

So that’s about it for me. Day off today. LG and I are going shopping for a new fan for the breakfast area in the kitchen. And printer paper. I’m going to catch up on some emails and messenger messages. And maybe take a nap. How are you going to deal with Monday?

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