The Start of Something New: Exile Blog Tour and Giveaway


In a lot of ways, 2015 was a hard year for me. There were some health scares with people close to me. I spent a large part of the year dealing with prolonged injury recovery for my horse and adjusting to live in the city after 14 years living in the country. I have also spent the last several months handling my own injury recovery thanks to my dog, Teagan (I love him, really I do) feeling it necessary to leave his bone on the top step in the middle of the night.

On the up side, I started 2015 with the lofty goal of getting another book published. I ended the year with three more books released into the wild. Dissident (Forbidden Things #1), The Girl and the Clockwork Conspiracy (Clockwork Enterprises #2), and Exile (Forbidden Things #2) have all joined my debut novel, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, out in the world. In 2016, I'm planning the released of the next two books in both series along with the introduction of something new that I'm very excited about.

To kick off the new year, I'm taking Exile on a virtual tour coordinated by Masquerade Book Tours. The stops are listed below. Join me and get involved for the glorious fun of it and for chance to win one of two $25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift cards.

May your 2016 be amazing (and full of books)!

Exile Tour Schedule

January 4th
Natural Bri @ Masquerade Crew (Review)
Charline's Blog and More... (Guest Post)
Hope. Dreams. Life... Love (Pick a Playlist)

January 5th
Foofy * Not Foofy (Review)
Boom Baby Reviews (Author Interview)
Teatime and Books (Spotlight)

January 6th
The Plotting Field (Review)
Girl of 1000 Wonders (Spotlight)
The Book Bag (Spotlight)

January 7th
DJ's Book Corner (Guest Post)
Celticlady's Reviews (Spotlight)
Paranormaly Yours (Author Interview)

January 8th
Moonwalker @ Masquerade Crew (Review)
Ogitchida Kwe's Book Blog (Pick a Playlist)
Indy Book Fairy (Spotlight)

Not a Clockwork Dog

The release of my debut novel, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, rushed in on the heels of a whirlwind move from a house we’d lived in for fourteen years. Fourteen years is exactly long enough to forget how dreadful moving is and to accumulate a ton of stuff. funny-pictures-kitten-helps-you-move

With the move and all the prep work for the book release, I barely had a free minute for anything else. This made it the perfect time to adopt a dog. (There may be something wrong with me).

Meet eight-month-old Teagan.


In a mere couple of weeks, he’s become an integral part of the family. Even the cats are reluctantly accepting him into their domain (possibly in the hopes of dispatching him when we aren’t looking).


Teagan puts out a lot of effort to fit in. He’s learned not to be too forward with the cats and picked up the idea of Frisbee like a champ (though he’s still having a little trouble with the idea of giving the Frisbee back).


He’s gone on several adventures around the new neighborhood with us and even showed off his excellent manners at brunch on the patio of a local restaurant.

Waiting for the drop.

Last night, we decided to have a nice dinner in to celebrate the book release. Overwhelmed with the excitement in the house, Teagan helped himself to a lovely cut of uncooked steak off the counter…

He did make amends by helping cook in a rather unexpected torrential downpour, possibly in hopes of getting another go at the steak.

Grillin' in the rain.

He may not be a cat and he may not always get things right, but he’s a fantastic addition to the family.

Welcome home Teags. I'm hoping you'll have many more chances to snatch a celebratory steak off the counter.


Long Silence

Barrensmall The blog has been very quiet lately. Despite my best efforts, I can’t get my cat to write posts for me.

Too busy to blog.

If I haven’t been blogging, what have I been doing?

Writing and editing books. Yeah, I know. Who does that?


I have one book that should be ready to send to my agent soon and another that will be ready hopefully by November (before the madness of NaNoWriMo because I will be doing that again). I have a third book that I may burn in frustration, but I haven’t quite given up on it yet, and a novella that I plan to start sending out in August.

But that alone isn’t enough to keep a blog in the black like this.

As I mentioned in my previous post Life Changes and Getting Comfortable with Spiders, I’m also getting my house ready to sell. This involves packing,




and many other frustrating, stressful and time-consuming tasks.

As if that weren’t enough, we had our last big 4th of July party at this house. Along with the half-day party, 45-minute fireworks show, and live singer at intermission, we added a fire troupe performance by Dragon Steps to intermission this year.


Add to that the simple tasks of life—apparently sleep is a necessary thing—something had to give. So what haven’t I been doing?

You guessed it. Blogging.

Life Changes and Getting Comfortable with Spiders

Yeah. I know. Sounds like such a serious title. To be honest, my life has had way too much serious lately, so I’m hoping to keep this light. For that, you need kittehs. h8EE3DD3A

I’ve been stacking on the life changes lately. Sprinting out of my realm of safety and security as if it were on fire. Some of the things I've been dealing with are:

  • A death in the family (not getting deep into this as it would go against the keeping it light plan).
  • This thing I’m waiting on (don’t want to jinx it by talking about it too much).
  • This thing my husband is waiting on (yeah, don’t want to jinx that either).
  • Some other stuff (no, I don’t think that’s too vague).
  • Preparing our house to put on the market so that we can move into the city. This one I’ll talk about.

There’s little good about getting a house ready to sell. Inevitably, the moment you decide to sell, you start noticing all the things that are wrong with the house and property that fell off the radar into the selective blindness we all get when we just don't have enough time. The lawn needs some TLC, the carpet is actually heinously ugly, the walls aren’t much better, the barn needs cleaning up, and you have way too much junk lying around.


To start things rolling, you hire someone for the yard work, which seems like a good plan. Then they get sick and someone in their family dies and you can’t really be mad about it, right? You’ve been sick a few times lately and you’ve had a recent death in the family. You should totally understand. Still, you’re secretly somewhat mad about it because the work isn’t getting done and, after all that time spent searching your soul and reconciling with selling your house, you want to get it done NOW.

And then...


Yes. You decide to paint the interior. No big. You start painting the walls in one room, and this is when you realize not only how much you hated the wall color, but that the ceiling is an awful shade of pale pinkish-gray and the dark wood trim looks like hell. Now you have to paint the ceilings and the trim too. What started as a one or two weekend project is now a several month long arduous task. Not to mention, you still have to find time for work and play (yes, play is necessary to keep you from turning into a bug-eyed spastic lunatic). If you haven’t caught on yet, this is one of those things where the more you do, the more you feel like you need to do.

But that’s not why we’re here. We’re here because we like to talk about spiders.

hF9D06D22 No?

Well, I like to talk about them.

I live in the Pacific Northwest. This is an amazing place. It’s beautiful, a wee bit damp, and full of critters, critters that are largely non-venomous/poisonous. I feel rather safe wrangling a random snake or moving spiders out of the house. That isn’t to say that there aren’t spiders I prefer not to tangle with, but the likelihood of encountering something that can do serious damage or even threaten your life is slim.

This always seemed a good thing to me until last week. I was in southern Oregon visiting family and I had a few small spider encounters.

The Jumper:

h4A2BE49BYou know how I feel about these guys if you’ve been following my blog for long. If not, you can find out more in my post Talking with Spiders: The House Rules. As I’ve said before, jumping spiders are cute as hell and the one I found crawling along my pant leg was double-cute with sugar on top. He was tiny and would have been a perfect model for a jumping spider plush toy.


I caught him on my hand, he was so small I couldn’t even feel it as he crawled along my fingers, and relocated him to a windowsill. When my husband poked a finger at him, he crouched back and held his front bits up in a valiant display of ferocity that made me giggle. Love those fuzzy little blokes.

The next spider wasn’t a jumper. He was one of those black widow shaped ones that I express a less tolerant attitude toward in my earlier post about spiders. Still, I’m always trying to give everyone a fair chance so, recalling the jumping spider I’d moved the prior day, I caught this little critter up on my sleeve and moved it outside. It was then, as I dropped it off on the porch, that I realized it really did look an awful lot like a black widow. In fact, given that I was in southern Oregon, the odds seemed good that it could have been one.


I guess that’s what happens when you get too used to feeling safe all the time.

So there you have it. Life lessons from a spider wrangler and a few reasons not to sell your house.

Happy adventuring!