Winners have been announced! Click here to see if you won. Hello there! Sorry I've been away from blogging for so long. It has been a busy spring-into-summer around here. I've been writing like crazy on some projects I can't reveal yet. I do try to peek in on Twitter and Facebook with some regularity. If you want to follow me there too, just click the buttons you might see on the right. 🙂 Today I have good news! I am holding, in my hot little hands, six (6)! advance reader copies of CRUCIBLE ZERO, book #3--the final installment--of my House Immortal series. Book #2, INFINITY BELL left Matilda in quite a game-changer situation (shhh....no spoilers). CRUCIBLE ZERO picks up right where we left her: facing big decisions, changes, and chances. CRUCIBLE ZERO doesn't come out until September, but I'm going to give a copy to six commenters (chosen by the random number generator, natch) here on my blog.
Good news! I am very happy to announce that Tantor Media is releasing the last two books in my Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series in audio format. To all the fans who wondered if they'd ever get a chance to hear the rest of Allie's story, the answer is: yes! Book 8: Magic Without Mercy will be released May 13th Book 9: Magic For a Price will be released June 3rd Oh, and my newest series, the House Immortal books, are out in audio format too! Book #1, House Immortal and Book #2, Infinity Bell, are up and ready to be heard. 🙂
This weekend was the 2nd annual Cherry City Comic Con. I didn't attend last year's con due to poor planning on my part. But this year, I was determined to go. The convention reins have been taken up by new organizers and as far as I could see, the event prospered for it. I was only able to spend a couple hours there, but I can't tell you how DELIGHTED I was to have a comic convention right here in my home town! It was terrific to see people of all ages in costume, wearing favorite fandom shirts and accessories (I was wearing Supernatural, natch), strolling past the booths, and posing for photos. I was expecting a very small turn out simply because it's such a new convention, but was pleasantly surprised by the number of booths, artists, guests, attendees, and events. My favorite sights of the day had to be: a little boy grinning from ear to ear, clutching his newly purchased crocheted baby Groot in a terracotta pot, and a little girl jumping down the sidewalk with her new wooden Wonder Woman shield in hand. Oh, and the tiny Hulk and little Joker and Harley in the children's costume contest were pretty darn adorable. All this geeky goodness fit in one exhibition hall at our State Fair grounds. What a terrific start to an event that I hope will grow and grow. (Please excuse the blurry pics. I took a couple quick snaps, but then was busy just enjoying the convention to remember to get any good posed photos.)
This started out as a test post to see if some maintenance I've done here on the page is working, but then I decided why not do a quick catch up? At the beginning of the New Year, I decided I wanted to get out at least once a month and go somewhere within day-driving distance for a hike. Oregon has some amazing scenery, but over the last few years my long hours and seven-day work weeks haven't been exactly accommodating for real-life adventure. Hubby agreed he'd like to do some day hikes, and so we've headed out, one day each month, to go see what we can see. Last weekend hubby, sister, brother-in-law, and I hiked Abiqua Falls for the first time. This 92 foot falls is less than an hour's drive from my house and is stunning. The trail is a little muddy, steep, and rocky, but the surrounding forest is beautiful. And the destination? Worth it.
I want to write a post about the terrific time I had at the Rainforest Writer's Retreat last week--and I will. I promise! But first, the Octopus. So, when Patrick Swenson invited me to the Rainforest Writer's Retreat, my email was added to the group's loop. A few people started talking about the mysterious--and endangered--Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus whose major predator is Sasquatch. At the same time, I was asked if I might want to donate a prize to the raffle. Right then and there, I knew I'd have to knit a Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus as a giveaway prize. But how to do it? I'd never knitted one of the rare beasties before, and they are notoriously shy creatures. Luckily, I found this adorable Knitting Octopus pattern by Max Alexander. I was tempted to give him a fancy top hat, but this was an Octopus from the forests of the Pacific Northwest. He needed a beanie and a big cup of coffee. Since he was going to be found at a writer's retreat, I thought he might also have his laptop and editing pencil handy. Thus began the knitting. Our friendly little octopus wasn't always so friendly looking. Brace yourself for some disturbing photos: Here is his eye, strung out between metal needles! Here is his boneless body, hanging out with the tiny anarchy chicken with a sword. Spooky, right? But I knew I could knit the spook out of him. I knitted some accessories. First, a pencil: Then a wee little laptop: Then a cup of coffee: After a hat, some eyes, and some TLC, he finally came together. And here he is, Gallelego Pete, the first Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus in captivity: He has fully poseable tentacles and all of his accessories can be removed. He lived on my cabin mantel at the retreat, waiting for someone to pick him as their prize. I am SO pleased to say he was snatched up by fellow writer Maggie Croft, who also wrote more words than any of the rest of us during our session. I have been assured he will be in good company with other writerly-crafted creatures that currently abide in her home. Happily ever after.