Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Surviving Christmas

Whew! Had a wonderful Christmas whether we could afford it or not. The biggest problem was where to put the things in the 'absolutely necessary and the best I could do' things - you know, which line of credit could stand it I mean. Well, we did it I think. Anyway, we ate. We had a few (practical) gifts. We celebrated. We enjoyed. Now the the question for 2010 - can we survive and get our debts back down to a (reasonably) manageable level and still eat and have a roof over our heads? I think so. I hope so. We're working on it. LOL. Getting some of these debts down to managable is my only resolution for the new year aside from the one I make and break every year: "Engage brain before putting mouth in gear!"
Happy New year and good luck to all of us - oh yeah, one more thing.
The publisher who gave me a contract on my Merrivale series (Zumaya Publications, their new mystery imprint, Enigma) arranged for me to do a blog tour at Pump Up Your Book so please do visit and leave comments or questions on my guest blogs. Go to Pump Up Your Book and visit all of them. I'll answer every question and really enjoy meeting new readers and writers and fellow bloggers too.
Happy New year and good luck to all of us. Break's over!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Free Excerpt/Take Time to Laugh

Here's a day-brightener for friends, fellow readers and writers. It's an excerpt from my LIGHTEN UP which is now on Kindle for $0.99.

Tis the season of more feelings than Peace on Earth and jolly whoopee. If the madding crowd doesn't stampede and stomp you to death in the mall, and you don't have a stroke from frustration trying to find someone to wait on you, the other shoppers will take deadly aim at you as you cringe in your car at the mercy of traffic lights (both working and non-working) in the snarl of traffic where you've got hemmed in and can't move in any direction.

All the scary scenes aren't in the movies set on a dark and stormy night. Some of them are right out in bright sunlight in the middle of a mob of lunitics, all bad-mouthing each other for the delay in their ritual celebration of peace on earth, good will toward men (which doesn't include their vehicles.)

The worst is yet to come. Some of the things you'e had delivered or managed to get into the trunk of your car are in boxes stenciled with the three words that can make any family man's blood run cold - Some Assembly Required. This is the absolute epitome of understatement. What's in that innocent looking cardboard carton is a lot of bits and pieces along with a little plastic sack labeled hardware. There's also a leaflet with 'simple' instructions for the simpleton who bought the thing. Included, is a picture of the product the way it's supposed to look - if all the pieces are there; you have an engineering degree; and there are no interruptions; and you are blessed with the patience of Job.

You lay out all the neatly numbered pieces, never mind the hardware yet. This is the point where you notice the instructions are in English, Spanish, and French, implying any simpleton in any location in the world should be able to do this job, so you should be able to also. This is the first stab of self coubt packed into this Pandora's Box of troubles.

All the big and little odd shaped pieces have numbers or letters on them. Some of them have both, the hardware too. It helps to keep the picture of the finished product where you can see it. It may begin to look like you're getting there by the time you get most of it assembled. In some cases reasembled, because piece E should have been insered in chunk 10A before putting 10A into slot 2B.

By now you are sure you will be through by Christmas. But Christmas what year? The next stage is when the monster, if you use just a little imagination, resembles the pictue of the finished product. So you decide you can do witout shelves three and four. And what difference does it make if you don't put on that door that you had on upside down and had to remove on that extra shelf? Who need it, anyway? The thing is now functional and somewhat resembles the picture, give or take a couple of shelves. So you call it done.

The struggle it took to get that far makes you wonder how the French and Spanish buyers made out with their projects. As you close the instructions, on the back side of the brochure there's more print in some other foreign language. The picture looks like a screwdriver being inserted into an electical outlet. I bet that cuts down on the number of complaints!

Break's over - Merry Christmas! :-)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Audio Books Coming Soon!

Hope everyone is looking over the three books I put on Kindle since two of them are small enough to order to read on your computer if you want to. There are audio books coming in the near future too - it's really going to be hard to get away from me isn't it? You may as well give up and order a couple of my books.:-)

I'm thrilled that when Books in Motion schedules Spanish Eyes for their audios, MP3s and other goodies I'll be published in all formats. Of course, I'd be a lot more thrilled if I weren't still squeezing ink cartridges out of the grocery list. It really is true that a writer must write. I like to write as well as read and I plan to keep writing as long as I can see the monitor.

My Merrivale series will begin in December (this month!) with The Devil in Merrivale and The Nelson Scandal will follow next year, there will be a new one each year. Come visit Merrivale and also when you visit here, please sign my guest book and leave a Hi! or a comment. I love meeting readers and other writers and would like to hear from you.

Five Star will publish my Dead on Arrival in January of 2010, the first of a new mystery series. Merrywinds, a young adult adventure novel will follow in December of 2010.

Whatever you're reading, have fun and enjoy this beautiful fall weather.

Break's over!