Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Wonderful World of Audiobooks

My long commute gives me plenty of time with nothing to do but drive, and as I usually don't have much time to read for pleasure, I got hooked on audio books. 

And grew to love them, couldn't get enough of them, then said, "What if?"

It's long been my dream to hear the Diversion series in audio book but, no matter how many works I listened to, I never found the right voice for Lucky. I talked with several narrators, but many were too busy with other projects or didn't want to take on a series. 

Then I met an amazing voice actor named Darcy Stark, who submitted auditions both for Diversion and for a short work, Highway Man. 

Oh, damn! He voiced the perfect Killian Desmond of Highway Man capturing the pain and elation of the man's journey. He even sung the song lyrics! I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome. I'll announce soon when the file goes live. 

But... He's also stared on the Diversion series, helping me make a dream come true. Stay tuned for more details later. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Back Where I Started

Some of you may have heard me talk about growing up on a Southern farm, and though it was late 60's and the 70's, my upbringing spoke of an earlier time. We didn't have air conditioning, dishwasher, or many luxuries my friends had at their houses, but on the flip side, we barely missed a beat when the power went out. Mom merely moved dinner from the kitchen to the hallway, where we had a wood stove, and neighbors thought we had power because lights shown from our windows. Ah, the many kerosene lanterns we had.

Though a perfectly good tractor waited in the barn, we plowed fields with a mule. I know, right? I didn't get it either.

I remember riding a horse through the snow, ax thrown over my shoulder, to break up the pond ice so animals could drink.

I was twelve. When my kids were twelve I barely let them out of the house without my being there.

We didn't have fashionable clothes and ate at a restaurant maybe once a year, usually a burger place.

Anyway, simpler times, but a very strict household. Therefore, all through my teen-aged years, my major thought was--leaving.

Oh, my God. If I could just get off that farm I'd be happy, or so I thought, being convinced that anywhere else had to be better.

Man, did I have a lot to learn. First off, I missed the twenty some odd barn cats, the dogs, chickens, ducks, geese, cows, etc. Next, growing up on a farm with limited exposure to anything non-farm, meant I wasn't prepared for the real world. Sure, I'd run into bad people, but those I'd learned to handle.

When the movies show the fresh-faced country kid getting off the bus in the big city and getting eaten alive by opportunists, well, I can relate.

Eventually I got my feet under me, though it took a while, stumbled my way through a series of bad choices, and came out the other side. Yes, I left the farm, running from myself, folks set to do me no good, and the past. As the song says, "Wherever you go, there you are."

I began writing as a way to cope with the world around me, met a great group of people, and set my foot on the road to where I am today.

The bottom dropped out of my life and I returned to my home state, needing the support of my family while I licked my wounds and decided what to do next. I'd totally forgotten who I was and where I came from, and when searching for yourself, where better to start than the last place you saw the real you?

I thrived beyond my wildest dreams. Dreams I thought out of reach came to hand, and then I reached farther.

Anyway, the reason for the overshare is this:

I'd sworn off relationships, having decided all I needed were friends, family and myself. It was then that I met someone I never dreamed existed: non-judging, supportive, and not wanting to shove me into a mold I couldn't conform to.

The most ironic part of this whole story is that I moved miles away, and more miles, and still more miles, living a nomadic lifestyle so different from what I knew.

And found myself five miles from where I started, back on a farm, and totally happy.


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Eddie's Helmet

There's an idea in my head that wants to be written, based around a motorcycle helmet. It's a tribute story, of sorts.

I met Eddie on the job, a man in his late sixties working as a security guard. We bonded over a mutual love of motorcycles. At the time he rode, I didn't, as I currently didn't own a bike and, due to vision limitations, wasn't likely to buy one.

Still, we relived glory days and always had something to talk about. Time went on, his health began to fade, and Eddie eventually sold his motorcycle. By then I'd started riding again, having met Bear, who owned a motorcycle.

One day while Eddie and I chatted, I mentioned how a full face helmet blocked all the wind, and half the joy of riding was wind in my face. He agreed.

Eddie brought me his helmet, complete with a half shield.

I cleaned it up, buffed out a few scratches, and bought a new visor. Whenever I rode, I wore Eddie's helmet.

Today for the first time after his passing, I donned the well-worn, well-loved headgear and climbed on the back of Bear's, now my husband, bike.

Eddie rode once more.

One day I'll sit down at the computer and a story worthy of this man's friendship will occur to me.

Friday, July 27, 2018

What I'm Reading - Runebinder by Alex R. Kahler

Daannnnng!

Runebinder by Alex R. Kahler started out with action, and kept the suspense up all the way. No repetition, but scene after scene of our heroes fighting for their lives. 

The author impressed me with the ability to pull the reader into this world, the US after magic returns, in what is called The Resurrection. I felt the desperation of our hero, how he clutched to any and every scrap of normalcy in an insane world. He survived the initial attack of the monsters to become a hunter, shielding what was left of mankind. Shutting out the past, he wants no reminders, not even his own name. He's given up Jeremy for Tenn, the name he now wears as a different person, in a different world, like a soldier who returns home with a nickname given by comrades in arms. 

The magic within him won't let him forget his past completely, and every time he uses it, his worse memories come to life. Everyone he knew and loved is dead. He's resolved himself to death soon too, as twenty years old is the life expectancy of a hunter, and Tenn is eighteen. 

I'll admit to being surprised at the level of gore and details in the battle scenes, this being a young adult, then remembering other YA stories filled with danger and pain. I found the words poetically woven together, and I backed up the audio book to replay favorite passages. 

War and loss have taken a toll and, never expecting to see someone he knows, he at first doesn't recognize the guy he crushed on at fifteen, especially when they meet in battle. Jarrett symbolizes hope, a possibility for a future, which is just what Tenn needs. He fantasizes about them making a life together because he needs reasons to keep going, to wake up every morning. 

When the hope dies, he survives for revenge. 

Then there is Tomas, the intriguing villain who is a lovely shade of gray, neither totally good or evil, or perhaps he's evil and occasionally does good for his own agenda. Either way, he is an excellent driver to the story. If it hadn't been for an awful deed performed when he meets Tenn, I might have even considered him a future love interest for the character I've grown to love. 

Tenn is a chosen one, sought after by many for their own purposes, but he's no golden child the world bows down to. He's gritty, hardened, though he still has a vulnerable heart. 

The twins were the perfect sidekicks for him, and though we know little about them, I'm hoping future installments will show us more of their lives and motivations. 

Highly recommended, one of the best books I've listened to this year, and I wish the sequel was on audio book. Well, guess I'll have to read it the old-fashioned way.

Oh, and daaaannnng again for the amazing cover and narration.

Friday, July 20, 2018

What I've Been Reading - Consorting with Dragons by Sera Trevor

I've gone through so many gay fantasy romance audiobooks lately that I'm worried some day I'll have listened to them all. Every single one. Then what? 

Then I try out a new to me author with a new release. 

It strikes me as odd that I don't write much fantasy romance when I love it so. Maybe it's time to write another.  Or I can just enjoy the lovely results of someone else's efforts. 

Like Consorting with Dragons by Sera Trevor. 

Wow. Just what I needed, when I needed it. The evil three hour daily commute means I go through audiobooks like nobody's business, and am rapidly burning through Audible's m/m romance fantasy catalog.

Just when I thought I'd read them all, here come this little gem!

New to me author, but the blurb offered many elements that made it a must read:
1) Main character from humble means needs a wealthy husband
2) Hints of a quirky personality
3) Dragons
4) Magic

And let's not forget the narrator who brought the characters to wonderful life.

Lovely story about a man who isn't perfect and is content not to be, tossed into a world he doesn't understand, but who does the best he can. And..... he falls in love with a man, not the king. In fact, for him, "king" is a drawback. But through it all, the hero's kind heart makes him shine among a sea of false jewels.

Angsty moments were balanced with laugh out loud funny ones, such as our hero Jasen babbling on about riding the queen of Grumhul's pet pig. For some reason Carol Burnett's Princess and the Pea skit came to mind whenever Jasen waxed poetic about the swamps of home. World building at its best!

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and wouldn't mind sitting on the sidelines taking in a rousing game of mud ball.

The only negative is that this author doesn't have any other books on audio that I could find, and the evil commute is still out there.
 

I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and highly recommend it. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Office, Part II

It's been a while since I've posted, but the evil day job has been more evil than usual, and I'm getting over a bout of sickness that left me bedridden for a few days.

But....

I'm back, with more pictures to share of the new office Bear is making for me. Remember how the shell looked? Well, it's changed a lot in two weeks.


The heating/cooling unit being wired in. 


Insulation! Yay!


Outlets being installed. 


Selecting paneling at the local home improvement store. 


Installing windows.


Windows are installed!

I have no idea when the office will be complete, and when your love is creating something for you in their spare time, well, whenever is fast enough. 

I can't wait to move in my office furniture! 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

New Office

Some of you may know that the romance author found her own romance and married last year. Cramming two houses worth of stuff into one didn't leave a whole lot of room for me to have an office.

After much planning and considering, the world's most supportive author spouse and I purchased a 10 foot by 20 foot shed, which we're fixing up to serve the purpose. I'll post pictures of the work in progress.

The starting point


 Left view
 Right view
Back view
Loading up on supplies at Lowe's

So far the place now has heating/air conditioning, temporary power, and several things bought, waiting to be installed. Stay tuned. This is a work in progress that I'm eager to see completed.