We got lucky. After three weeks of smoke that was often so thick I’d cough for a quarter hour if I had to go outside for much of anything, the skies cleared up. Not all at once, but in fits and starts. The danger from the fire appears to have bypassed us. Heartfelt thanks for all your kind wishes and prayers. Everything helped. I’m certain of it. At the moment, the Creek Fire is 312,000 acres and it’s 45% contained. What that means is they’ve got an impenetrable fireproof barrier around nearly half the fire. Unfortunately, the northeast side, which is what’s facing me, is part of the 55% uncontained part. Days are getting shorter. Nights are skirting freezing. All that is slowing its spread. This time. There will be a next time. I’m certain of it. The question is what I do in the meantime. I’ve called a couple of tree services to thin out the trees closest to my house. Not that it will do a whole lot of good since my neighbors have lots of trees. I’ve also considered aluminum siding. But that would be a major project. Maybe living in a forest is no longer viable? But urban areas are on fire too. It’s sort of a nowhere is safe anymore feeling that’s compounded by the C-19 pandemic. That’s a good lead-in to what I wanted to touch on today. I call it soul burnout. It’s when you get up in the morning, “breaking news” flashes across your phone or your iPad or however you tune in to the Internet, and you just feel numb. It’s sinking in that some changes wrought by Covid are going to be more-or-less permanent. Masks will be with us for a long while, as will social distancing. The current question isn’t how soon we’ll get back to “normal, but what modifications we’ll need to make to function at all. Our not-so-distant ancestors understood soul burnout all too well. Of course, they didn’t live nearly as long as we do. Plus, they were far too busy hunting down their next meal to worry much about esoteric concepts. For the most part, they all believed in something outside themselves. I’m not a big proponent of organized religions, but the mountains have been my retreat, my temple, the place that reminds me how truly insignificant I am in the grand scheme of everything. I remember walking over Mammoth Pass after the humongous windstorm of 2012 and seeing giant trees uprooted and canted at crazy angles. Tens of thousands of trees didn’t survive that event. Next summer, if the goddess grants me grace, I’ll walk through the burned places from this summer’s fires. I didn’t ski at all last winter. They closed the resort about the time we finally got snow. I didn’t backpack this summer. First it was Covid and the puppy needing to be older, but then it was the fires. For what it’s worth, I cannot recall a spring/summer when I didn’t head into the backcountry. I could focus on all the things I long for, that I miss. Instead, I’m working on a glass-half-full mentality. I find things to do every day that have meaning for me including volunteer work I’m doing by phone and Zoom. Meanwhile, the puppy has finally almost quit mouthing me. My house is slightly cleaner than it was. Never going to be nominated for housekeeper-of-the-year, and I can live with that. When I focus on now, I do okay. Burnout happens when we feel helpless—and hopeless. When we look into the future and see more of the same grim reality that’s been with us for months. It hasn’t gone anywhere, but neither do we need to look at it. Focus on small things. Find enjoyment in the little stuff. Laugh often. It’s restorative. I honestly believe it’s the only way through. As always I love hearing your stories.
Court of Rogues releases 10/13. If you get it now, it's just 2.99. I try to keep my series starters at that price until more books are out. Reivews are starting to come in on Court of Rogues. I'm always on pins and needles when I launch a new series and no one has seen it but me and my editor. So when I get comments like the ones below, it warms my author's soul.
"Every now and then, you start a book, not knowing exactly what to expect, and the next thing you know you flip the page, you’ve gotten to another REALLY good part, and you see...”Youve’ve reached the end of....” and all you want to do is scream out loud only to look around and realize it’s 3:30 am and the family’s all in bed. Court if Rogues was that kind of book for me. I picked it up and read it, cover to cover. I didn’t really notice the passage of time, until time ran out, at least from the book’s standpoint." And... "Court of Rogues is absolutely brilliant! Where the world-building and character development is flawless, the story-arc takes us in unexpected directions that makes it impossible to put the book down. I can’t wait until Midnight Court is available." ******** I took chances with Magick and Misfits. I built a version of Faery that's like many of my alternate worlds: my own. I've never been wedded to mainstream, and this series is no exception. The paperback for Court of Rogues is out now. The e-book is up for preorder everywhere. Click here for more information. Please let me know what you think once you've read it. Books two and three are done. Book four hit the 20K word mark, so it's coming along.
#Sale #Sale #Sale I'm featuring the first of my Soul Dance books for just .99 through my online store. Since Tarnished Beginnings is folded in with Tarnished Legacy in the paperback and audio versions, that means I've set the price on both books to just .99 through 10/10. The Romani people have always fascinated me. They were persecuted by the Nazis, but their trials began long before WWII. ****** No coupon code needed. Here are the links to Tarnished Beginnings and Tarnished Legacy in my store. You'll be offered a choice of ePub, mobi, or PDF formats on checkout. ******** If you'd rather listen, the audiobook, Tarnished Legacy, which contains books one and two, has been discounted to just 5.99 for 8.5 hours of listening. Check it out in Authors Direct here. ********
Here's a little bit about the four books in Soul Dance:
Shifters and gypsies hate each other, but they hate vampires more.
If they can’t set their differences aside and forge a new alliance, they’ve signed their own death warrants. And if magic dies out of the world, humans won’t be far behind.
Tairin Jabari was born in a caravan and has always believed she’s Romani. Why wouldn’t she? Her mother and father never suggested otherwise. The Rom have harsh rules. When Tairin’s first shift catches her unaware at thirteen, her father disappears, and the elders move with deadly speed to punish her mother for mating outside the blood.
Half Romani, Tairin’s no stranger to hiding her mixed blood from gypsy caravans. What she can’t hide is her perpetual youth, courtesy of her shifter heritage. Every few years, she drops out of sight, resurfacing in a new country to join a caravan where no one knows her. She’s overstayed her welcome where she is, but Germany is at war, and travel has become all but impossible for everyone targeted by the Reich.
Magic runs strong in Ilona, a gypsy seer. Powerful ability isn’t valued in Romani women, so she focuses her fortunetelling on inconsequential details. Nothing that could come back to haunt her caravan if a prediction went bad. Rounded up and dumped in Dachau prison camp, she has plenty of time to rue her decision to downplay her ability. If she’d taken the time to scry her own future, she’d still be free.
Long before Germany targeted the Romani people and sent them to prison camps, the Netherlands declared them undesirables. Yara’s caravan disbanded when she was fifteen to avoid being driven out of the country. Ten years have passed, and she’s been alone for most of that time hiding in caves and abandoned buildings. It’s been a lonely life, but at least she still has one. For now.
#Sale #Sale #Sale Since I'm showcasing older series, check out my Alphas in the Wild books. There are actually four of them. The first three are novella length, but the fourth, Fire Moon, is full length. I've reduced the price of Hello Darkness to just .99 through 10/10 You know the drill. Here's the link to Hello Darkness in my online store. ***** And here's a little bit about the books in the series:
Dark. Daunting. Unforgettable. Survival adds a demanding edge to love in the wilds.
Urban fantasy romance laced with myth and magic.
Go ahead! Tumble into second-chance love where magics collide and mountain gods are out for blood.
Hello Darkness: Earth magics collide, forcing Moira Shaughnessy to take a chance on a man who hurt her so badly she never forgave him. A ranger for the U.S. Park Service, Moira is in serious trouble. Fleeing from her cheating husband, a Native American shaman, she stumbles into the arms of a man she never thought she’d see again. He hurt her once by choosing his magic over her. Would she be a fool to take a chance on him now?
Alpine Attraction: Tina made a pact with the devil seven years ago. It’s time to pay the piper—or die. Independent to the nth degree, she meets everything in her life head-on—except love. Caught between misgivings and need, she signs on as team doctor for one of Craig’s climbing trips to the Andes. Though he was the love of her life, she pushed him away years before to keep him safe. Even if he doesn’t love her anymore, there’s still no one she’d rather have by her side in the mountains. And if she’s going to die, she wants to make things right between them.
A Run For Her Money: Sara’s day begins like any other. A routine extraction in tandem with a local Search and Rescue team. Routine crashes to a halt when she ends up trapped in a hut, high in the Sierras. Four days later, running out of food for herself and her dog, she makes a bold dash for safety. Jared’s walking the Muir Trail when all hell breaks loose. After hunkering beneath a boulder pile for days, he dares a difficult cross-country route, hoping it’ll put him into position to approach a backcountry ranger station. He locates the station, but it’s locked tight. He’s packing up to leave when a helicopter lands, with Sara at the helm. There’s no time to trade war stories. It takes a leap of faith, but they throw in their lot together. Can they face the impossible and come out the other side unscathed?
Fire Moon Cara, a mountain guide with a hard luck past and John, a doctor running as hard as he can from his own demons, become unlikely allies. Fire raging through the Sierras forces them away from their planned route and makes escape a dicey proposition.
Cara struggles to outwit the inferno before it’s too late. John’s long-denied psychic side escapes its bonds, refusing to be ignored any longer. He recognizes the fire for what it is: magical creatures bearing the worst news of all. Fire dragons want Earth for themselves, and they’ll stop at nothing to make it theirs. Protecting Cara from the destiny that’s finally hunted him down turns into John’s top priority, but spirit guides shanghai him, forcing his hand.
He never wanted a woman in his life. Too many complications—but something about Cara touches his heart.
She was burned out on men and vowed she’d spend the rest of her life in the mountains, guiding clients—but something about John sings to her soul.
If they can survive the dragons that set the earth ablaze, a different kind of heat just might bind them to each other. ****** Hello Darkness is just .99.
Drujok weighs 80 pounds now. He turned 8 months on 9/27. He's not growing nearly as fast, so I'm thinking maybe he'll top out around 100. He's chewing the edge of his bed in frustration during the presidential debates. LOLOLOL
That's it for this newsletter. See you in the middle of the month with more sales. I have treats planned for you, along with a trick or two. Happy Fall, everybody.