Top six reasons I can’t be trusted to shop in October

Finally.

The moment I’ve been waiting for all year long: October. The best month on planet earth. The best month in Ohio! The best month IN THE UNIVERSE. Oh yes. Don’t even try to fight me on this. You can’t argue with October.

It’s the month of  the best most awesome holiday: Halloween. It’s the month the trees turn all pretty red, yellow, and orange. It’s the season of Trick or Treat, when I get to hand out full-size candies to the kids who are brave enough to come down our forgotten side street. It’s also the season for the last and best county fair in the state of Ohio: The Fairfield County Fair, home to funnel cakes and a farm combine demolition derby. Let that sink in. Not just a car derby, a combine derby. Oh. Yeah.  You heard that right.

Just look at the pile of giant farm-picked pumpkins on my front porch. The Halloween decorations joyfully strewn about the house. The smell of pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin burgers.

Have I mentioned that I love October? Oh, yes. I do.

But, if I’ve learned anything reading and writing fiction, it’s that all bright shining wonderful things come with an equally menacing dark side.

Cue needle scratching across a record. Here’s the dark side of October: I absolutely cannot under any circumstances be trusted in any virtual or real-world retail environment. Oh no. Not me. Something happens. Some sort of October Halloween Voodoo. It takes over. I get dizzy. Time is lost. When I come to, I have $100 worth of Halloween swag in the trunk of my car and I don’t even know how it happened.

Something happens. Some sort of October Halloween Voodoo. It takes over. I get dizzy. Time is lost. When I come to, I have $100 worth of Halloween swag in the trunk of my car and I don’t even know how it happened.

Exhibit A: My weekly trip to the grocery store. I do this fifty plus times a year. No incidents. No problems. But as soon as the pumpkins arrive in the produce department and the seasonal section is stocked with witches, spiders, and candy I lose control. Budget? What budget? Food? Who needs that?  I MUST BUY ALL of the bendable tinsel spiders and Starbucks Halloween mugs!

All of this is INSANE, considering I don’t really enjoy shopping and don’t like owning stuff. Until it’s Halloween stuff. Then I want ALL the stuff. GIVE ME ALL OF THE STUFF PLEASE OR I WILL DIE!

Seriously. Don’t believe me? Here are the top six reasons I can’t be trusted shopping in October.

DSC01934Reason 6. I went to Target yesterday to buy a birthday card and walked out with this. Meet Bob, my new sponge holder. And yes, he will be out all year.  Oh, and this is just the start. I love the tchotchkes. Vanilla hand soap in a black cat dispenser? Check. Every. Starbucks. Halloween. Mug. Check. Last week, I walked out of Trader Joe’s with a skull-shaped planter. I MUST HAVE THEM ALL.

 

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Reason 5. Yeah. I just bought not one, but a wheelbarrow full of ridiculous gourds at a farm stand in Stoutsville, and they, along with pumpkins bigger and heavier than elementary school children are now decorating my front porch. Seriously. They’re so ridiculous looking they’re cute. And it’s fall, the time of year we all must admit belongs to the squash. Let me be the first to welcome our gourd overlords. Hail Cucurbits!

 

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Reason 4. All the Halloween movies are on sale. This year’s indulgence? Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. If you haven’t seen this movie, you must. (caveat: If boob jokes offend you, seriously, it’s not for you!) Elvira and October are inextricably linked forever for me, maybe because I grew up in the 1980s. Every October in the 1980s, Coors put life-size cardboard cut outs of Elvira in the every beer aisle in America. Seriously.

So yeah. now I own this movie. Because I can’t be trusted. Gah! Last year’s haul? Saturday the 14th. YThat was my favorite movie when I was a kid. I watched it on a loop. Past purchases? Mad Monster Party, Beetlejuice, Sean of the Dead, The Worst Witch, Teen Witch. Need I go on? Ugh. Why do I love them soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much?

 

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Reason 3: I must own all the inflatables. Seriously. I MUST OWN ALL THE INFLATABLES!!! The taller, the bigger, the more awesome, the better. Seriously. This guy is as tall as my house and he is only the start. I have four more I haven’t put up yet. I have some that go in the backyard for the haunted trick or treat trail. I have some I haven’t gotten out of the box once because I don’t know where to put them. Serious problem people. As in, true friends don’t let me near the clearance aisle on Nov. 1, and my partner has placed a limit of one new inflatable per year.

And those lights that project images of dancing skeletons and ghosts onto your house and garage? Yeah. I’ll take ten.

 

DSC01946Reason 2: I must eat all the cereals. Boo Berry? Frankenberry? Count Chocula? NomNomNomNom. MUST.HAVE.ALL.OF.THEM. I don’t even eat cereal the rest of the year. Like never! But this cereal. Must eat. It transports me right back to 1983 with every (kinda? Maybe?) delicious bite. And oh, don’t think I’m dissing Count Chocula because he’s not in this picture. Oh, he was here, but we polished that cereal off first!

 

And that brings me to my final reason…

 

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Reason 1. THE CREATURE IS EVERYWHERE AND I LOOOOOOOOOVE HIM! Seriously. Look at me. I’m in my dining room wearing a brand new Creature from the Black Lagoon rubber mask that I picked up when I was supposed to be grocery shopping. Yeah. Refer back to Exhibit A. An innocent trip to buy milk and veggies shouldn’t lead me down the slippery slope of Universal Monster temptation. It’s not even a good Creature mask, but it landed in the cart, and I danced a jig of joy as I forked over the $20 for it. $20! A bargain! So…here I am. Wait…Why am I light-headed?  Ohmigod, I’m nearly dying in this thing. What’s that smell, rubber? Are there any air holes? WHERE ARE THE AIR HOLES? Woah boy. I better take this off and get back to work on Jess, Resurrected!

 

 

As always, thanks for spending a few minutes with me. Want to keep in touch?

You can join my mailing list for updates, cool news and deals on PNR and UF books, sign up here.

Or chat with me in my new facebook fan page.

Or, follow my Amazon author page for updates on new releases, or my Goodreads page!

 

What do writers do when they aren’t writing?

What do writers do when they aren’t writing? Pull weeds. Seriously. Like tons and tons and tons of weeds.

All right. Maybe most authors don’t pull as many as I do. But seriously, the planty little jerks need to lay off my garden!

Oh wait. Were you not expecting that? You probably imagined me lounging in my erudite home library, with row upon row of dusty leatherbound books, wearing an ascot and smoking a pipe while looking suitably smug and intellectual. That’s what authors do, right?

Yeah, Okay maybe. I could probably really rock an ascot. And I could definitely rock a Hugh Hefner style satin smoking jacket, which would be red, while I lounged around on a red velvet fainting couch eating bon bons while wearing maribou-trimmed high-heeled shoes. Oh my god. Why aren’t I doing that? I’m so gonna do that. Christmas is coming, right?

But alas, that is not what I’m doing today. I’m pulling weeds. I’m not wearing maribou, I’m wearing rubber boots. No smoking jacket or ascot, just ugly green garden gloves and a scowl as I shout expletives at the spiky rude Canada Thistle taking over my yard. Jerks.

A casual stroll through any of my bio pages will alert you to the fun fact that I am a hobby urban farmer. That means that I’m basically running a mini-farm on my lot in the suburbs. It’s an addiction. I’ve tried to break the habit, but I can’t. Geesh. I’m such a garden geek that I even completed a year-long urban farm mentoring program, with the goal of one day becoming a real farmer, selling at local markets.

I blame the tomatoes. Tomatoes are the gateway drug. You’ve never eaten a real tomato until you’ve eaten a homegrown backyard tomato, particularly an heirloom variety, that’s still warm from the sun because it’s just been picked. And the beets. It’s definitely the beets’ fault. And the lettuce, because darn it, having a garden in the backyard is so so so great when you’re lazy like me and don’t know what you’re eating for dinner until it’s already 6 p.m. and everybody’s hangry and clamoring by the stove.

What vegetable are we eating tonight? I don’t know. Let’s go see what’s ripe.

Writers? Yeah. We’re geeks. We like to read and we spend way way waaaay too much time indoors typing. And I’m a garden geek on top of it, which means I spend a lot of time hanging out with old ladies in silly hats, talking about plants and fungus and seeds and bees and well… you get the idea.

And, every August, I transform from modern free-wheeling woman to 18th century pioneer wife (almost like a reverse Clark Kent-Superman transformation), because that’s the month when I have to turn all of our tomatoes and apples into sauces and can them. Aw great. Now you know my deep dark secret. Don’t tell, okay? Especially don’t tell 20-year-old me because she’d be horrified.

“Garden? Canning? That doesn’t sound like a party!” she’d scream, then slap some liquid eyeliner on me and take me by the ear to the nearest rock show.

Now that the secret is out, this is the part where I go squee while I bore you with a photo tour of this year’s garden.

See? I wasn’t lying when I said you can’t beat my beets! Look at this puppy! It’s a Lutz Winter Keeper, for all you other geeks, and yes my nail polish matches!

 

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As always, thanks for spending a few minutes with me. Want to keep in touch?

You can join my mailing list for updates, cool news and deals on PNR and UF books, sign up here.

Or chat with me in my new facebook fan page.

Or, follow my Amazon author page for updates on new releases, or my Goodreads page!

I’m giving away 20 free ebooks!

3Enter to winWhat better way to show how much I appreciate all of you than to shower you with freebies? So let me officially announce: The Amazon giveaway is live!

Enter for a chance to win 1 of 20 Kindle copies of Jess, Rising: Guardians of Salt Creek Book One. 

The giveaway ends Oct. 18, 2017. Click here to enter!

*Sorry. You gotta live in the U.S. to enter!*

 

 

 

As always, thanks for spending a few minutes with me. Want to keep in touch?

You can join my mailing list for updates, cool news and deals on PNR and UF books, sign up here.

Or chat with me in my new facebook fan page.

Or, follow my Amazon author page for updates on new releases, or my Goodreads page!

 

I’m making book sausage!

sausageBook sausage. Wait, what?

“What the hell is up with the title on this page?”

Come on. I know you’re thinking that. Well, twist my arm, and I’ll tell you.

You know that old adage: No one wants to know how the sausage is made? I disagree. Sometimes, you just really really really really HAVE TO KNOW what unholy substance was ground up to make your meat. Or in this case, your book.

So, dear readers, I’ve decided to pull back the curtain, so you can see how I kill, chop, mold, stuff and grind all of the embarrassing/funny/sad/romantic/ <insert chosen emotion here> tidbits of my life into fiction for you.

This is your official notice. I’ve added a new feature to the back of all of my books and ebooks” The Book Sausage chapter. In it, I will get way way way too personal. I will tell you the tales from my real life that inspired the events in my novels. Or, just stuff that will make you laugh. Or cry. Or feel embarrassed for me, because, well, that’s kinda how my life goes. One gaff after another!

Book Sausage is more than a sausage. In some books, it’ll also be a sweet delicious pastry stuffed with creamy, melt-in-your-mouth extras, like links to bonus content and deleted scenes, as well as stories and content from my super-secret deep dark archives!

I’ve just added Book Sausage to the new paperback and ebook editions of Jess, Rising: Guardians of Salt Creek Book One.

I also have a super-duper special for Jess, Resurrected, which comes out Nov. 15. It has links to deleted romantic (as in total make-out action) scenes between Billy and Jess! Woot!

So stay tuned, and if you see a weird chapter in the end of your book, read it!

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As always, thanks for spending a few minutes with me. Want to keep in touch?

You can join my mailing list for updates, cool news and deals on PNR and UF books, sign up here.

Or chat with me in my new facebook fan page.

Or, follow my Amazon author page for updates on new releases, or my Goodreads page!

 

Boy, do I have some sweet sweet freebies for you!

Oh my gosh. The release of Jess: Resurrected, the second book in the Guardians of Salt Creek series, is right around the corner. To celebrate, I’m planning some super awesome giveaways for my super awesome fans and all of their friends. What’s coming down the pipeline, you ask?

Twist my arm, I’ll tell you!

Starting Friday, Sept. 29, I’ll be giving away twenty copies of Jess, Rising: Guardians of Salt Creek Book One via an Amazon giveaway. Once it’s live, all you have to do to enter is follow me on twitter or on my Amazon author page, or share the giveaway link on your twitter feed! Details will be posted here on the blog as soon as the giveaway is a go!

Update: The Amazon giveaway is a go! Enter for a chance to win here: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/46d1ca5d85a16365

In mid-November, I’ll be hosting my very first super swag for super fans giveaway to mark the release of Jess, Resurrected! Oh my gosh, so excited! I’ll be giving away signed paperbacks of book one and book two, along with a Dogeared sun necklace, and a $20 Amazon gift card. Woot! Details will be posted soon!

See? Isn’t the necklace sooo cute?necklace1

I want YOU for my book review team!

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I’m looking for some generous and lovely people to join my exclusive book review team. The team will receive free, early ebook copies (sorry, no paperbacks!) of my books so that they can write reviews. Once you’re on the team, you stay on the list until you stop requesting review copies or miss your review deadline.

Want to sign up? The link to the application is below. Although, please read carefully and only apply if you believe you can meet these requirements.

Right now, I’m looking for folks to review the Guardians of Salt Creek series, a teen/crossover paranormal romance and urban fantasy series. The first book, Jess, Rising, is out now. The second book, Jess, Resurrected, will be released on Nov. 15.

Do you enjoy paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels with teen main characters? Do you often review other products and books on Amazon?

Have you read and enjoyed Jess, Rising: Guardians of Salt Creek Book One? If not, are you interested in reading and reviewing book one before book two launches on Nov. 15? Are you willing to review both book one and two?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes? Yay. Awesome sauce. Join the club!

*Remember, We only distribute a limited number of ARCs for each book, so signing up doesn’t guarantee you a spot. If you’ve been selected, I’ll email you and send the ebook on or before before Oct. 30.

Still in? Great. Click here to apply.

Hard at work on Guardians of Salt Creek #3!

DSC00196 (1)Woo hoo look at me I’m typing!  Yes, dear fans, I am hard at work on the third book in the Guardians of Salt Creek series, and ehrmagosh, is it gonna keep you on the edge of your seat. Or your pillow, or… heck, the edge of wherever you read your books.

Want to know what happens? Yeah. I bet you do. And I’ll tell you. I’m going all George R.R. Martin all up in Salt Creek. Yep. People are dying. People you care about. People I care about. Sniff. But hey. Things have to get real bad for Jess, right? I mean, she can’t be pretty, and have infinite super powers, and a hot boyfriend and get to live happily ever after without a few (deadly) bumps in the road, or else we’d all totes hate her guts!

So yeah. I was thinking of you guys knowing you were totally dying for an update. And since this book needs to be all pretty and perfect and in your hands by February, I better get back to work now. So here I go, type…type..type..type…typing up plenty of Sexy. Kick Ass. Magic just for y’all!

 

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As always, thanks for spending a few minutes with me. Want to keep in touch?

You can join my mailing list for updates, cool news and deals on PNR and UF books, sign up here.

Or chat with me in my new facebook fan page.

Or, follow my Amazon author page for updates on new releases, or my Goodreads page!