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Daedalus and Icarus Finally Make Sense: Area Woman Has Realization Everyone Else Had Ages Ago

Parenting fail: dad ignored his son's actual personality, thinking his boy would mind. Uh, seriously, dad. Know your son. He needed stealth wings. Not wax!

There’s a lot on my mind. 

Chicks in 5-inch heels walking around me nearby (maybe 6 inches? I’m not an expert at this weird, female ritualistic stuff. This is happening right now, in case that wasn’t clear). If you’re a chick in today’s world, in this beautiful, modern world which consists of a plethora of footwear options, why do this to yourself? 

Why? 

People in heels of that height literally walk like how a satyr would walk, if a satyr was a literal thing and not some abomination that sprung from the minds of weird men (you know what I mean). 

Ok, no one wants to think about that stuff. But I’m sorry. That’s how these half-human mythological creatures came about.

Anyway. Speaking of myth…I drive a lot in the summer to take my kids to their cousin’s houses where they can play with the wild abandon of kids in summer. That sounds like a movie title. 

I’ll sell it to the highest bidder….AAAAND sold, to Ron Howard (it sounds like a Ron Howard film, doesn’t it?)

So on today’s drive to my sister’s house (she lets me take naps on her sofa while the kids play, after I’ve exhausted my mental reserves thinking super hard about plot and clever film titles to sell to Ron Howard), I had the most beautiful realization: 

Daedulus and Icarus is REALLY about raising your child. 

Wait, does everyone already know this and I was just the slow kid in the back of the room taking the story for merely one about naming geological features? 

Hmm. Well. So everyone else is more clever than I am. Stop reading, if that’s the case. Because all my realizations will be massively boring to you. 

So yeah, it’s a story about being trapped in a fun-house type labyrinth with a minotaur breathing down your neck (will these creatures ever stop being everywhere in my life today?), but… 

The labyrinth is a metaphor for life. Because let’s be honest, we’re all adult enough here to realize that life is pure shit. Unless you’re the 1%, it’s basically total drudgery one hundred percent of the time. Once in a while, maybe a person gets a momentary vacation on a beach with margaritas. 

Yay, you. 

And save one for me. 

Where’s my margarita? Did you…*sniffle*…did you drink it? 

Guess what? While you were drinking my margarita, I fashioned you these wings made of wax and feathers, for parasailing. Yeah, it’s a super fun beachy past-time! Try them out! *snaps on built-to-fail wax-wings*

Just don’t go too close to the sun…(you’ll defy me, I know it, because that’s what you did with my margarita bahahaha, sweet vengeance!) 

Now then. Back to my soap-box rant…

The beach. Yeah. That is the rare moment. The rest of the time we’ve all got the hot, smelly breath of a minotaur on our necks, chasing us through blind twists and turns, stealing all our joy, robbing us of our peace. Taxing us. Being whatever monster is most popular at the moment. 

So look. I don’t know. I was just thinking. I was thinking about my kids in the back seat reading books, and how the goal is, finally, for me to give them their own set of wings. 

You do what you can, you know? You, the parent. You try hard not to destroy their spirits, but give them enough of a taste of boundaries so that they feel safe and loved. 

You also love them, unconditionally, and you do whatever mode of parenting is most popular at the moment (right now it’s NEVER tell your kid they’re bad, er, or something like that, I’m failing aren’t I? Oh god. They’re going to end up in jail!). 

But there are no guarantees. This is the shit the wings are made of. And hopefully it isn’t shit. Hopefully it isn’t wax and feathers. Let’s hope that we’re both giving our kids wings that are made of something much stronger and resilient than that. 

So that when the world heats up, when Facebook bullies gang up on them or the Twitter-verse decides to rain down hellfire and damnation on them for a minor slip up, they don’t fall into a sea of self-loathing and doubt and drown in it. 

When I realized that tidbit (which may not even be true, but I like it for me) about the meta-metaphor, I was like, oh man. That’s fucking beautiful. 

Then I got a bit sad, thinking of how shitty it is to feel like a failure as a parent. But that’s all we do. We build these wings for our kids and hope they can take flight and not meet an untimely demise through their own hubris and unwillingness to listen. 

I mean, perhaps the flaw is in the parent who believes that their kid is a copy of themself. Maybe, maybe buried beneath the idea of what Daedalus did is that he failed as a parent. He thought Icarus would listen. He thought Icaraus was wise like him. 

Oh hell no. By the by, I never talk like that. I never say “Oh hell no.” That just takes too much panache. I don’t have that IRL. It fit here. But don’t imagine ME saying it. Imagine fictional me saying it. 

Anyway. Oh hell no. 

Kids. Not wise. Well, at least, I wasn’t. I had to learn everything the hard way. 

Icarus was probably that sort of idiotic kid. Which means: Daedalus, WTF? You should know this about your child. You should have known that he needed wings made out of carbon fiber. So that they didn’t fucking melt.  

Here’s to us: parents who are building their kids their own set of wings. Wings without limitations. Daedalus made the mistake of thinking that his son would follow perfectly in his footsteps. What an idiot, right? 

Our kids are not copies of us. I hope my kids have enough stories about who they are, where they come from, the strength their ancestors had to fight against the odds and survive, to not give up if the wings I fasten to their shoulders melt a bit. 

I’m not a moron though, I’m making my kids wings made out of carbon fiber and stealth fighter materials. 

This metaphor? It’s off the chain. Or the rails. I lost it a while ago and I don’t have the strength to rein it in. 

How about if you try?

 

Heart of the Colossus Launch Day Giveaway

Wow, look at that! A launch AND a giveaway!

Welcome to the 3rd book in the Holly Drake series. This is the “everyone liked the steampunk gun” giveaway (and not so much the other steampunk swag) wherein the intrepid author reverts back to what WAS working, rather than trying something new and interesting.

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it as they say. They also say “guns kill people, people don’t kill people” (or do I have that backwards? That depends, I think, on your politics, but let’s leave those at the door and do a giveaway together!). This gun will kill no one, because it’s just a cool NERF gun made to look wickedly awesome.

And it can be yours if you’re the lucky chap or chappette whose name gets drawn at the end of July. So you’ve got to ask yourself, do you feel lucky? . . . I mean, really, do you? I wasn’t trying to reference a popular film or anything. This gun isn’t a 44 magnum and your name isn’t Gladstone Gander is it? Because he’s the luckiest duck alive. And…*pulls herself out of weird pop culture reference vortex*

Damn…

Just enter. Just do it.

And remember, you can enter by tweeting EVERY day!

➔Amazon U.S. https://amzn.to/2tjPKHo
➔Amazon universal link: http://mybook.to/HeartoftheColossus

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Cover Reveal: Heart of the Colossus

So here it is, the cover for Book 3 in the Holly Drake series! It comes out on July 12 and it will not be in Kindle Unlimited. I’m putting that announcement here now, so you can plan your future reading. 

Here’s why: Amazon has been having issues with page reads. I’m not really sure what’s happening, but I don’t want these bots to result in my books getting banned from Amazon altogether. So, I’m taking all my books out of Kindle Unlimited. I’m sorry to do this to my readers, and I am myself a subscriber. But I have absolutely no idea how I can protect myself from these supposed click-farms/bots or whatever. If Amazon came out with a definitive: do not use these promotion sites, do not do A, B, or C, then I could have some security in knowing what it is I can do to protect my books from being targeted. 

Anyway, this is supposed to be a happy post about my awesome cover! Thanks to Milo at Deranged Doctor for doing such a fucking bang-up job on making Holly Drake and her world come to life! I haven’t named book 4 yet, but there will be a book 4! So stick around!

Preorder on Amazon ➝ ➝ https://amzn.to/2tjPKHo

Just When You Think It’s Safe to Live, You Remember Death

This was me two weeks ago, playing a heist in GTA5 online. The FIRST heist. Shhhh. My team pretended they weren't super pissed. They were.

I turned 40 recently. F-O-R-T-Y. 

And you know, part of me wants to hide it. To leave everyone who doesn’t know me in real life kind of guessing. Like, “How old is that chick who wrote that book with a bad ass heroine who seriously kicks ass?” So that they’ll think I’m younger and much cooler and well, wait. I am cool. Heh heh. 

Yeah.  

Come on. YOUTH does not equal cool. OK. So if you are a young person, like say younger than 30, let me just give you a bit of advice (I know you want it!) . . .

Oh damn. Did I almost just turn into one of those curmudgeons that goes around telling younger people that they’re nothing special just because they’re young?

“In my day . . . *grumble, grumble* hey, kid, get of my lawn!” 

Well, at least I caught myself before I one hundred percent became a crotchety butthead. 

CRISIS AVERTED.  

My age doesn’t matter, guys! I’ll be fucking sky-diving at 80 with my blue hair whipping in the wind and my face on fire with happiness because that’s how I roll. 

Yeah. And that’s *ahem* how I’m planning my escape from the flesh . . . skydiving “accident” at 85. So, this is the only warning you’ll get, all you younger people who will want me to stick around well into my 120s. 

So now you know. I just turned 40. And so far it’s been pretty damn great. I let out a back-cracking sigh when it happened and then I had a party with my husband because I don’t do big group parties. I like to know the people I’m with. Like, really know them.

I probably should have emphasized really in that last sentence because know is starting to, I don’t know, look like a biblical sense of the word. 

But I’m gonna leave it because it’s funny. To me.

That’s how all my humor works. It’s me, not you. 😉

Anyway. The people in my life. I like to know what songs they like. I think I know what they love about themselves and I sort of know what they hate about themselves and I love them for both. 

So tonight, I was making this Spotify playlist for a friend who will never listen to it, because that’s also how I roll. I like to make them. And sometimes I never give them to the person because honestly, I don’t think they’d give a crap.

But it’s one way I remember the people I love, with music, and sort of like thinking, “Oh yeah, I remember how [insert name here] turned me on to Widespread Panic. What a cool jerkface they were. I miss them!” Except I don’t love Widespread much anymore. That was an ill-advised detour into Phish-like jambands. And I was never high enough to really appreciate it in the longterm. Not high. That’s key.  

I thought about all this stuff, and I realized this thing out of nowhere (sort of):  I have a lot of friends who’ve died. And I still remember them like they’re alive. 

So what I want to do is make a list of the friends I’ve lost. I know I’ve forgotten some of the people, which is kind of sucky of me. But as I get closer to my own old age, creeping closer to me like the River Lethe, that is my excuse: old age. Forgetfulness. 

If you’re reading this, thank god, you’re still alive. Drop me a line. Let’s hang out. Grab a drink. Have a chat. I fucking miss you. 

Christie B. How we met: 3rd grade. She was funny and interesting and I was jealous of her for being one of two children. Just the other day I remembered how, during college, she used to take a jar of pennies to the airport (pre-9/11) and fake-trip down the walkway and “spill” her jar of pennies. Then she’d clean them up and act embarrassed and secretly laugh at the situation. Her sense of humor was prime–and apparently quite physical and situational–and I am lucky that I knew her for so long. Her song, the one that I think of when I think of her: Faith Hill, “It Matters to Me.” Granted, Christie had a lot of songs she liked, but I’ll never forget her asking me if I was going to try singing, randomly, when worked at JCrew in Nashville to try to get a record deal, because that’s how Faith got discovered.

Drew. How we met: he was a customer at the indie record store where I worked during college. And he was sweet, and pretty damn adorable. He smoked and I thought I could influence him to maybe be a bit less cynical. For some reason I was less cynical than a lot of the people around me. Call it naivete. Because that’s what it was. Drew was studying something intriguing like environmental engineering (I made that up) because he was more interesting than me (English lit, gag). He acted tough and he wore square dark-framed glasses that were uber handsome on his face…His death was this random shock. I think it was a freak heart-attack when we were in our twenties. His song, and how i knew that he was a damn softy beneath that tough exterior: Rocky Votolato, “White Daisy Passing.” 

Eames. How we met: don’t remember, precisely, but we became rock climbing partners for a while. He was in a rough spot with his girlfriend, and I was in a rough spot with this guy (super ill-advised boyfriend, 14 years older than me, he dumped me for a YOUNGER girl, WTF?! Classy). At the time, my heart was raw and Eames’ heart was raw, and he was a better climber than I was (translate: he led all the climbs and set the route so I could just top-rope it ha ha ha ha, you wimp, you, Nik), so it was a match made in heaven. We hung out a lot and drove all over to climb. I kept a soft spot in my heart for Eames for a long long time. Though we spent a lot of time in the car driving to climbing haunts, I don’t remember what he listened to. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was something like DMB. He was a chill guy, who said words like “jonesin’ to get on the rock” and he wore Smith sunglasses and was always super cool and had beachy sensibilities. Good guy, old Eames.

I’m glad there’s only three. A lifetime is a long time to live without your friends. Not included here are the people who died in the traditional order of nature: my father, my grandmother, grandfather, uncles. 

Sometimes it just seems worth it to stop and take stock of what you have and what you’ve lost, I guess. So you don’t forget to appreciate the people you can still hold onto. 

Hands of the Colossus Steampunk Swag and $50 Giftcard Giveaway

Another wicked sweet launch, another wicked sweet giveaway. This one will flesh out your amazing steampunk cosplay gear. Those goggles, when worn correctly,  will increase your peacocking sensibilities to an 11 and you’ll be the life of every party, subway ride, and workplace water-cooler gossip session.

That watch? I heard (rumor? Maybe…) that it is actually capable of time-travel. Yep. It comes with a chain so you don’t lose it when you’re out and about, sporting your vest while peacocking to get the attention of birds everywhere (why are you always peacocking?).

I know that what you’re really here for is the eBook. But I’m also offering a signed paperback version of Hands of the Colossus, because as part of everyone’s peacocking HOME collection, you really ought to have great books in your bookcase. Signed, preferably. To impress geeks like me at all the parties you’re constantly throwing.

Tweet every day for more chances to win, and be sure to share and like on all your social media outlets.

God speed!

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That Moment When You’ve Written a Perfect Scene

The scene that I just wrote tonight, is perhaps the most perfect scene I’ve ever written.

Maybe it’s the mania talking–that feeling that comes after I’ve done something I think it is wicked awesome. Could be. I mean, it’s late, and I might have had one drink. And I might have gotten swept away in the song that I feel helped facilitate the scene (which I listened to on repeat), and so, in short, who knows?

I don’t know. I think the scene is perfect. It wasn’t easy to write either. I began it a few days ago, but it’s a night scene. A serious scene. And I was writing it while the sun ripped through the sky happily shining on everything, illuminating every last thing.

And this scene, is a poignant one. The setting is night. The emotion is sorrow and regret, and some form of penitence, mashed together with self-defense.

I couldn’t write it in the day. It needed to be night. And I needed to be in a certain frame of mind to tap into the emotions.

I’m still not sure if I did it justice for Holly Drake. I tried my best, and the readers (you!) will decide in the end if it works or not.

And tomorrow there’s a really good chance I’ll read back over it and laugh and ask, “What the fuck was I thinking?”

But right now, I feel like I’ve never written anything more tender and gentle about a character and her life than this one in this moment.

Holly Drake’s stories are sci-fi, steam punk, space opera. But I write real scenes about real grief and real joy. It’s not a love story, but there is love in it, and hope, and desire. And that’s because I think those are the things that make the excitement and adventure worth more than a monkey’s ass. Without the human grief and emotion, who really gives a shit about a wicked awesome scene where Holly is basically surfing through the sky on a thin slab of metal?

I ask you. What’s the point?

 

Oh, and here’s the amazing song I listened to on repeat. You’re welcome, my friend. You’re welcome.

Eye of the Colossus $50 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway

Hey so as part of the festivities over the launch of the Eye of the Colossus, I’m doing this giveaway. The big prize is obviously the signed paperback copy of Eye of the Colossus. The smaller bit is just the lame $50 giftcard (I mean, who even wants one of those things? Yuck). I know, right? But I’ll make you have it if you’re the winner, because that’s just part of the deal, though I know what you’re really here for is the wicked sweet cosplay aether blaster and the pendant (it came all the way from FRANCE, guys, FRANCE!).

So enter in as many ways as you can and remember, you can do the Tweet this message thing everyday for additional entries. 😉

God speed!

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Eye of the Colossus Cover Reveal

Ready for this? OK, so normally I want to have a post full of interesting things in addition to the cover reveal, but as it happens, I’m swamped with EVERYTHING at the moment. So I’m just going to throw this puppy up there and say thanks for coming by to check it out. Here is the pre-order link if you’re interested. There’s going to be more fun throughout the month of April leading up to the launch day on the 19th (giveaways, takeovers, etc!). So check back and like my Facebook page so you don’t miss a thing! 

Blurb: 

The City of Jade Spires, the biggest in the 6-moons, is a breathtaking symbol of hope and unity for the four races. But it’s also a hub of corruption. Holly Drake is proof of that. Fresh out of prison for a mistake framed to look like cold murder, she’s broke, jobless, and branded with a prison record.

When she lands a gig stealing back the Eye of the Colossus jewels, the chance for a big payout means she won’t have to depend on anyone else. She’s never had that kind of freedom. She’ll do it. Even if the work is only a shade lighter than outright crime.

But soon she finds herself pursued by thugs from the Shadow Coalition, an underworld government that wants her dead. Pulling off the heist without getting killed means putting trust in recruits she hardly knows. The clock is ticking to get the jewels, but a mistake now could be fatal. Chasing across the 6-moons to complete the job will test her grit and determination to succeed when everything is stacked against her. More than that, finding out just what secrets the 6-moons hold will either turn her into the hero the moon system needs, or destroy her…

Preorder on Amazon ➝ ➝ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSXR15C

Six Shadows Cover Reveal

Meet Detective Gabe Bach, of the City of Jade Spires. He enjoys long rides on the spireway, unfiltered IPAs, wearing a jacket during an eclipse (there are just a few in the 6-moons region) and digging into a good homicide case.

Coming soon….patrons will get it first (free, except not free, because it’s patronage and all that!), after that, get it on Amazon.

New Series Name Reveal

Hey! So great news. I’ve finally named the series I’ve been working on. It only took me FOREVER to name it. If you didn’t already know, I hate naming pretty much anything. Unless the name is the first thing that I come up with, the process is usually fraught with a lot of tension and stress.

Remember when I had 9 months to come up with the name of my son (first kid)? It took nearly the entire 9 months. I know there are people who actually have the baby in their arms and still no name. That’s pushing it A LITTLE far, guys. Come on. Give your kid a name!

Ok, so that’s not me. But I do struggle with it. Because names are EVERYTHING. Unlike that fine, fine Shakespeare quote: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet.”

Bull shit. Ha.

Want to have an argument about names and how important they are? Does anyone wish to challenge me? Come on! I’m breaking out my dueling gloves . . . I’m about to do some glove-slapping . . .

Please take two minutes to watch “Glove Slap” if you haven’t seen it already. It’s too good to pass up. And it will bring you pure joy and possibly some of the best lines you can incorporate into everyday life.

“Glove slap, I don’t take crap!” “I choose pistols at dawn!” “Oh why did I have to slap a guy who says ‘suh.'”  I could keep going . . . I mean, it’s never-ending. One of my top Simpsons episodes. Actually, this entire episode is so freaking good, empirically speaking. The entire, ENTIRE thing. 

Anyway, wow, what a tangent. Back on track.The series is officially named (well, not quite official, it can be changed until it’s got an ASIN assigned to it and I can’t change it without getting a new ASIN and whatnot). Here you go, in refreshing bullet-points with a side of lemonade: 

  • Eye of the Colossus: A Holly Drake Job Book 1
  • Hands of the Colossus: A Holly Drake Job Book 2
  • Heart of the Colossus: A Holly Drake Job Book 3

And beyond the Holly Drake Job bit, they fit under the umbrella “6-Moon Adventures” (still playing with this one.) First I’ll be releasing the Gabriel Bach short story. Gabe is loosely related to Holly–he’s a detective in the police force in the City of Jade Spires. Yeah, Spires! Right? Everyone loves a good spire.

It will all make sense someday . . .

The first to read Gabe’s story (which I haven’t named yet, but is nearly done), will be the subscribers to my Patreon, followed by the readers on my mailing list–people who’ve signed up via one of the forms on my website, either to nab “Feed 0.5” or “The Blue Blue Eyes of Dark Dark Space.” 

So if you’ve signed up that way, you’re in. Otherwise you’ll have to grab it through Amazon. It won’t be free on KU because then I can’t give it to my most loyal readers! Check back in a week or so to see the name of Gabe Bach’s short story or to see if I’ve revealed any covers. Because this stuff is happening quick!

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