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Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Little More of This

It needs a name. Because it is most definitely the next thing I'm working on that I won't claim to be working on because God Love Her comes first. Confused? Good, so am I.

It, like all stories, begins in one place and ends in quite another. Small minds expand. Opinions are worked over like hot iron in a forge. Writers are a bit like blacksmiths in that respect: we thrust characters into the fire and beat on them until they're in the shape we want...



The Magician


            There are two kinds of legends. There’s the big legends: the legends everyone knows. They’re embellished, and twisted, but the main threads run constant. Legends of kings, of presidents, of horrible wars. The sorts of legends that withstand centuries of time, and get put down in books.

            Then there are small legends: the local ones. The ones salted with the flavor of towns, of places, of small people with big stories to tell as they keep warm by the fire. Legends steeped in mystery, swirled in uncertainty, tasting of fear and dreams and wishes and tall tales. Legends that only exist on the lips of the tellers, that spill forth at the gentlest prodding of good whiskey, that live a generation, or two, or three, before they’re laid to rest in cold Southern ground somewhere.

            Liam Bennet was a small legend.

Release Day

Technically, today is release day. Though Made for Breaking has been available since Wednesday and I'm so very excited that people have been taking advantage of that! For the longest time, I wasn't sure I'd ever finish this book, and I've been surprised, humbled, tickled, etc. by its early sales. I just wanted to say happy Saturday and thank you kindly to my readers and downloaders. Writers write regardless of audience, because we can't keep our ideas contained, and it is such joy to share those ideas with others. Thank you for letting me share. Guess I better hurry up and get the sequel written, huh?

Made for Breaking can be downloaded here and ordered in paperback here. I hope to post teasers for the sequel, God Love Her, soon, so be on the lookout for that.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Rosewood Short - Part 10

Rosewood Short – Part 10


            Blue. That perfect, pearly shade of deep blue that was the purest autumn sky at moments, the glittering shine of summer pool water at others. The smooth, shiny fenders of the Chevelle. The glassy Caribbean Sea. It was the color of countless smiles, of grief, of laughter, of the warm inviting dark, and of supreme loneliness. It was the blue of so many nights, and so many days, and the ways they’d spent them. And now it was a blue that belonged to two little girls, both with heads of tangled black hair, one with her mother’s pixie face and the other with her father’s roman nose.

            Jo regarded them over the kitchen island in the main house, instantly suspicious. “What’ve you guys been up to?”

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Copper Rose

The horses got new shoes today, and look what my farrier brought me. He's a true old school cowboy, and is a real craftsman; he makes wood and tooled leather picture frames. He bronzed a pair of Cosmo's shoes for me so they'd keep forever. And he does all sorts of metal work.

This rose is made of copper and mounted on a piece of grounding wire. He says all the colors come out naturally when heating the metal. It's not painted at all. Isn't it cool? The petals and leaves were shaped by hand. I think it's just so pretty. And unlike the roses in the garden, it won't wilt. Now I've got to find a vase for it that won't tip over.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Who Needs a Release Day Anyway?

I'll let you in on a secret. Unless you're on the Ticketmaser website counting down the seconds until you can buy your way into the concert you've been waiting with baited breath for, most things go on sale in advance of release dates. I, for instance, always get my books situated before release day, just to make sure it's all working. In this spirit of situating, Made for Breaking was ready today, so it would be extra ready Saturday...and I've already got sales. *pause for moment of sheer excitement!!!* So why make everybody wait? The 99 cent Kindle download is available now, paperback soon to follow. It's on sale all this holiday weekend! Thank you, lovely readers. I needed a pick-me-up this week.

More of That Thing I'm Not Writing Yet

I'm not working on it yet, I swear! Not really...oh, that's a lie. It got some hits, so I thought I'd post the rest of what I have so far. I had to change "Lainey" to "Lily" because another Civil War Lainey was brought to my attention and I don't want to even smell like a copycat. I've had my work nicked before and it ain't fun - never want to be accused of such. So, Lainey is Lily instead. And again, I'm not working on it...

Except I am.

”Go inside, Lily. Now. And close the door.”

”Oh,” Lily gasped as she spied the men.

“Go–” There wasn’t enough time. Not now. They were close enough to make out both girls on the porch, their pale dresses drawing two sets of eyes in the shade of the roof. “Nevermind,” Rees said. Her voice sounded desperate in her ears; she hoped it didn’t sound that way to Lily. “Hand me the rifle.”

“But…it’s not loaded.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Are Y'all Ready?

Just a few more days!
Saturday, 8/31/13. Only 99 cents the first weekend.


I felt puny this past weekend, so it was a good chance to catch up with my reading list. I finished The Endearment.

It's not for everyone - certainly not readers my age looking for erotica. But Lavyrle Spencer is a talented storyteller with a flair for description who really does her research. Her historicals feel so real, so plausible, and are full to bursting with sensory detail. I've read her Morning Glory too, and both novels are very, very sweet. Her characters are middle-class to poor, with little money, making do in hard times, the emotions shining through. I really like her writing and, for me, her novels are a nice break from jaded contemporary fiction. Most of her works are no longer in circulation, but The Endearment was at Barnes & Noble.
Now I'm starting on The Name of the Wind - a complete change of pace.

From sweet historical romance to fantasy. I don't read a whole lot of fantasy. I love Tolkien's work so much - and now George R.R. Martin's - that I'm always leery about other series. My uncle loaned this to me (and my brother) and I'm finally getting to it. I'm only fifty pages in, but my interest is good and snared. I'm looking forward to the next 600 pages or so. I like the way Rothfuss writes, and that is an absolute must for me. A talented writer can convince me of almost anything.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rosewood Short - Part 9

Rosewood Short – Part 9


            “Hi, sweet boy.” Jade flattened her palm and Atlas shoved his velvet nose against it, blowing softly into her hand, whiskers tickling her skin. Her eyes moved down his sleek neck and she was prickled with a mild, warm sort of sadness. He’d lost some of his muscling: the high crest beneath his mane, the sleek curves down his spine, the deep grooves in his flanks. She couldn’t ride anymore, and wouldn’t be able to right away after the baby was born. And how quickly her horse had lost his fitness; it ebbed away and he was becoming soft and slender, happy in his long days of grazing, but making her feel guilty all the same.

            “You want him to have a bran mash tonight?” her working student, Casey, called as she lugged water buckets out to the hose to be scrubbed and rinsed.

            “Yeah.” Jade pulled the halves of her sweater together and suppressed a sudden shiver. “The weather’s changing.” Rain was rolling in slowly from the west, bringing colder air and a drop in barometric pressure. No sense courting colic if it could be helped.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Something New, Saving for Later

I posted a little series of snippets and flash fiction pieces...gosh...a year ago, or so. They're part of something I've always wanted to work on. There's this story that keeps coming back around. Some things just take a little longer to ferment. But one of these days, I'll get it written.

There were two men coming down the road, one half-a-head taller than the other. Long, drab brown coats marked them neither Confederate nor Yankee. The slender shapes of rifles sprouted over their shoulders. The wind brought the sound of their footfalls tunneling down the path. And one of them was whistling.
A rustle in the long grass beyond the porch drew her attention. It was Annabel, skinny and sun-browned as an Indian boy, her little ash wood short bow slung over one shoulder as she belly crawled through the stalks.
”Anna!” Rees hissed. ” Come back inside.”
Annabel ignored her. ”There's strangers coming,” she whispered, and crawled toward the road.
I should never have let Henry give her that, she thought, heart pounding wildly as the men drew closer. She could make out faces now, the hints of them. Narrow cheeks scruffy with beard and the strong ridges of noses. The taller one was dark-headed, and sharp-featured. The other not blonde and not redheaded, but between, and wore his hair to his shoulders. It was the tall one who whistled. ”Dixie.”
”Rees,” Lainey's voice called from the doorway. ”What are -”
”Hush. Go back inside.”
The men were close, now. The tall one wore his beard short, his hair a thick dark cap that curled over the shells of his ears. Under black brows, his eyes were round and bright...and skipping up to her. His companion was older, she saw. Perhaps forty. There were lines on his face. He watched her too, his gaze a hot, fixed thing from down the length of the lane, and Rees shivered.
”Rees -”
”Go inside, Lainey. Now. And close the door.”



You know my dog Riddick. He gets more post time than the horses, probably. I kinda like him.

You probably know who he's named after.

Yes, feel free to laugh at me. Everyone does. I just like the name. I wanted unique; there's thousands of Herculeses and Maxes and Dozers out there. Not too many Riddicks.

Anyway, I noticed something in the trailer for the new movie...

Riddick has his own Riddick. Pointy ears and all.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rosewood Short - Part 8

*This one's not so fluffy*
Rosewood Short – Part 8


            “Why does my mom keep sending you these matching damn outfits?”

            “Don’t talk bad about your mom,” Ellie protested, as she snapped a clip into Jane’s honeyed hair and then sent her off after her sister with a little push. The twins were in matching pale blue dresses with white Peter Pan collars. Jordan seemed unable to keep from making fun of his own children. Or his mother. “I like these dresses,” she defended. “They’re adorable.”

            He rolled his eyes. “God.”

Musical Inspiration

I love music. Everyone does, don't they? I mean, I've never heard anyone say, "God, I hate music." I always shake my head a little when someone is describing him or herself and says, "I love music," because I figure that's a bit of a given. Music is so social - it brings fans together - which can be strange considering I've never bumped into another writer who said, "Oh, really? AC/DC is totally my all time favorite band too!" That's never happened. (Though I know Stephen King is a big fan, so there's that). But whether it's arena rock or bluegrass, music is supremely inspiring to my writing. I have stories simmering away on low in the back of my head, waiting, and I wonder if they have the potential to grow into novels, or if they'll always be what-might-have-beens. Music is the key that unlocks them and brings them into focus, always. I get little obsessions with songs, or sets of songs, and it fuels the creative process like nothing else.

The last couple of weeks, I've been hitting The Civil Wars hard. Their second album releasing on the news that they're parting ways is a huge bummer. They're inspiring all these distracting plot ideas. Must...finish....current project. Ugh.

The lead single of the new album, "The One That Got Away," is my favorite. Listening on repeat.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Scott Antique Market

This little guy just happened to catch my eye two Saturdays ago at the Scott Antique Market. Isn't it cute? There were trays upon trays of enough shiny things to blind you, and I just stumbled across this little hair pin in the ten dollar pile. It was my first trip to Scott and the word of the day was: overwhelming.

The second weekend of every month, the Scott Antique Market takes over the Atlanta Expo Center. It fills two buildings, and a parking lot and a half. It is massive. From junk bits of metal stripped from old houses, to one-of-a-kind pieces too expensive to breathe on, it's an assortment of any and everything.

See what I spend my spare time doing? I never wonder why I'm single. Reason #423: I like antique furniture.

I didn't take any pictures of the outdoor area; it was too hot and miserable. But the

I love this blue settee. Very Delta's-Ireland-wedding

The old books were beautiful. All leather bound. All of them waaaaay out of my price range.
Lots of pretty iron work.
Joey's greyhound, in black.
And check out that lady's hair back behind it.
I loved this little horse statue, because it looked so much like Cosmo. But the seller wanted $275 for it. Nope!
So many rugs.
So much silver.
Very old stirrups. When I see old tack, I always wonder how someone managed to ride a horse with it.
I just love browsing, even if I can't buy. Taking mental scans for writing purposes.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Update on Made for Breaking

Never again, he'd promised himself. Never again was he going to let himself be weak.
~Drew, Made for Breaking
I'm doing my final read through on it now. Planned release date is August 31st!! So get ready. I'm so glad to finally bring this project to print and to embark on a new series. So look for the first Russell novel Saturday, August 31, and release weekend will also be a 99 cent weekend for Made for Breaking.

Monday Pics

Hummingbird Silhouettes

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rosewood Short - Part 7

*A short one today. The next few will all be part of the same day.*
Rosewood Short – Part 7


            “Baby. Honey…” Delta counted to ten in her head, and folded her arms across her chest. Patience, she reminded herself. She’d been born with none, but was acquiring some. Slowly. She had to. “Do you remember what time the guests are supposed to arrive?”

            Her husband was on his back in the middle of the great room rug, their oldest held suspended above him. Evan’s favorite game was “Superman” and he was laughing delightedly, as usual. Sitting beside them, Danny was sucking on a cracker and waiting for his turn. Somehow, she’d obtained this pack of boys she had no idea what to do with.

Friday, August 16, 2013

This Weekend

I almost forgot to announce it: this weekend, Shelter is available for only 99 cents for Kindle download.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Untitled Emo Poem

There's a reason my poetry tag has a question mark in it.
I'd rather love a ghost,
Than all your empty words.
Fiction was never as strange,
As all this twisted truth.
Ideas are always sweeter
Than all the bitter hurts.
Tell me where you're going,
So I don't have to come.
I'll find a way myself,
And leave you far behind. 

Forever-Inspiring Movies in No Particular Order: The Great Escape

The second Steve McQueen movie on the list. Not a coincidence. Though this ensemble cast is perfect all around. Amazing movie. It's a subtle, dignified kind of tension. And is based (at least somewhat) on true events, which makes the whole scheme that much more admirable.

(source: imdb)

(source: lassothemovies)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Writing Inspiration

Don't care if he's guilty
Don't care if he's not
He's good and he's bad
And he's all that I got
Oh, Lord, Oh, Lord
I'm begging you please
Don't take this sinner from me
Oh, don't take this sinner from me

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday Snippet: from God Love Her

A quick peek at what I'm working on today. Happy Sunday. Don't forget that today is the last day to get Better Than You, Fix You, and Whatever Remains for 99 cents.
He was in the living room when he sensed someone coming down the stairs. He slid into the foyer shadows and waited, listening, nerves itching as he felt more than heard a presence enter the darkness around him. By the time he’d made his move, he’d figured out who it was, but he couldn’t seem to help himself.

            His hands closed over Layla’s wrists. To her credit, she didn’t scream, but gasped; he heard the sound get stuck in her throat as he steered her backward into a pale rectangle of light coming in through the drawing room window. A white glow fell over her face, gilding her hair, skimming down the little slope of her nose, painting sparks in her giant green eyes. He watched her gaze dart to his face, and felt the tension leave her arms, though her pulse still hammered against his palms.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Rosewood Short - Part 6

*Mild Spoilers for Whatever Remains*

Rosewood Short – Part 6


            “You are enormous.”

            “You know what I miss most about you?” Jade said with a false, saccharine smile. “Sweet little moments like this.”

            Jeremy made a face at her. “I know.” His expression cleared, though, and in the wake of Jess’s departure, his eyes moved over her with unmasked concern. “You’re all right? Really?”

Through the Fog

I've started the last two mornings with a walk. A workout walk/jog. The afternoons have been so stormy and soupy that I decided, what the heck, I'll just get up and work out before I feed the horses. Before I do anything. Roll out of bed, jump into tights and sneakers, iPod in ears, and let's go. I've been feeling creatively foggy the last couple of weeks, so a change of routine was in order. This morning, ironically, it was literally foggy. Heavy, wet fog, which I love. And I got to watch the sun come up through it.

And my four-legged workout buddy loves to be up early, racing through the dew-slick grass. Or trotting down the driveway.

And what do you know - the brain fog started to recede. Everything makes so much sense early in the morning. Sometimes a little change, a little perspective, can make a big difference.

I'm rewriting my very first novel - the one I wrote while I was still in college. I've talked about it before. It, like its prequel, Made for Breaking, scares the hell out of me. Because it's scary to share it. Because it's the kind of story some people won't take well to. But it's coming along slowly. And even if God Love Her isn't taking shape quickly, I'm so happy with what little I've written of it. Really happy. Starting a new novel is uncertain and iffy most of the time, but not this one. This one feels right this time around. And that has to mean something, doesn't it?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

This Weekend

Reminder that this weekend is another 99 cent sale. This time, it's Better Than You, Fix You, and since it's loosely related, Whatever Remains. All three will be 99 cents for digital download. Take advantage of this, guys! If you want to, that is. Click on the covers for links.

Walker Series Book 3


                                                                     Walker Series Book 4

Forever-Inspiring Movies in No Particular Order: My Fair Lady

(source: thefilmexperience)
(source: Amazon)