Nocturnal Lives

Musings from the mind of Amanda S. Green – Mother, Writer, Possessed by Cats

Author: Amanda (Page 1 of 80)

It’s not a joke

I Have kept silent for the most part about the sudden spate of sexual harassment accusations coming out of Hollywood and Washington DC. Yes, I blogged about how no one should be surprised about Hollywood. The casting couch has been one of the most well-known secrets for decades. Politicians acting the same way is nothing new either. A study of the history of some of the presidents of the last half of the 20th Century should prove that. Eisenhower’s military driver was supposedly his mistress at one point (I say supposedly because I have not researched it or verified reports). Kennedy was, to be blunt, a womanizer. Then you have LBJ and if you, like me, are a Texan, you’ve heard all sorts of rumors about him. I could keep on, but I won’t.

Here’s something to think about. Things have changed. There was a time when the media not only turned a blind eye to such behavior by our politicians or other “notables”, now they only do so in a selective manner. We’ve seen that already with regard to Harvey Weinstein and, more importantly, with the allegations Corey Feldman has made of late. If someone like me, who takes little notice of what goes on out in the glitz of Hollyweird has heard the rumors, you know the media. When those rumors went beyond the casting couch to grown men  and women abusing minor children, where was the media? Where was it when Feldman and others started talking about this years ago?

Now the latest lynching — er reporting — party revolves around sexual harassment allegations being laid against politicians, some elected and some running for election. There are also those against men who haven’t held office is decades but now, suddenly, behavior supposedly occurring decades ago is being brought to light.

The latest allegation to be made public happened yesterday. Sen. Al Franken, former comic (at least he thinks he was), has been accused of inappropriate behavior a decade ago. Unlike most of the other allegations leveled against others, there is a photograph of him reaching toward a sleeping woman’s breast and mugging for the camera as he does so.

The reaction to this revelation hasn’t surprised me. He’s apologized and sworn that he will cooperate with an ethics investigation. Dowd has tried to spin Franken’s actions as not being harassment or abuse because he was “joking”, or some other equally stupid explanation. I have no doubt that sort of justification by a Republisan would have been met with derision. But Franken is one of the darlings of the party.

Here’s the thing. I don’t like the way this country, and especially the so-called journalists, have decided it is all right to not only conduct trial by media but to presume guilt until proven innocent. Worse is the tendency of all too many to assume one is guilty based not on the cicurmstances being alleged but on what their political party happens to be. It doesn’t work that way, folks. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to turn the same hard look on those you agree with politically that you do on those sitting across the aisle from you.

If you sit there and condemn President Trump for what some women say he did and if you also believe he should step down as President because of that, you should hold Franken to the same level of accountability. Conversely, if you are lighting the pitchforks to go after Franken, you sure as hell should be doing the same with every other man — and woman — who stands similarly accused.

But how about doing something novel? How about not deciding on a man’s or woman’s future based on allegations and innuendo? How about letting them face their accusers. Instead of having tear-filled press conferences with Gloria Allred sitting there feeding the accusers their lines, let them sit before an ethics commission or, duh, a court of law and be subject to cross-examination?

I do not automatically doubt a woman who claims she has been abused or harassed. Far from it, in fact. But I also don’t subscribe to the idea that we have to automatically believe them. I worked in law enforcement long enough to have seen situations where a man was accused of crimes by a woman, crimes he did not commit.

I am also tired of certain people who have been the most vocal in the cries for condemnation against many of those currently being accused of harassment or worse also being the ones who defended Bill Clinton and did their best to eviscerate his accusers. Yes, I’m looking straight at Hillary and those who did all they could to protect Clinton to the detriment of those who leveled accusations of sexual misconduct against him.

We are on a very slippery slope right now, one we need to take a hard look at before we go any further. Yes, these accusations need to see the light of day. Yes, the voters have the right to know about them. But the men and women being accused also have the right to defend themselves. They have the right to point out possible motivation for such accusations to be made. We, the public, can only reach an informed decision abut the validity of the accusations after we know both sides of the story.

Besides, if you want me to take your concerns about Moore or any other conservative politician seriously, you have to take mine about Franken and Biden and Clinton seriously. In other words, apply the same standards to both sides of the political spectrum. If you don’t, you are not helping the women’s movement. You are, in fact, harming it by making it nothing more than a political agenda tool.

But I’ll go one better. Every one of those men and women who have been harassed or assaulted need to file criminal charges where they can and civil cases. I have no use for anyone who takes advantage of someone else, especially if they have used their “position of power” to do so. However,  every person who has falsely alleged harassment or abuse, no matter what the reason, needs to face judgment and punishment as well. This issue is too important and too pervasive not to hold to this. We don’t want those who cry “Wolf!” make it where we don’t believe someone when they come forward with a valid accusation.

Most of all, we need the media to quit playing favorites and get back to reporting the news, not trying to make it or manipulate it.

On writing and Biden and more

It’s Wednesday, mid-way through the work week. Unless you’re a writer. If you are, you know the work week never ends. You never know when an idea will strike or when you’ll see an image that inspires you. Since it’s Wednesday, it also means I’m blogging at Victory Girls. Today’s post has to do with former VP Joe Biden, the gift that keeps on giving.

Let’s start with good ole “Uncle Joe”. You have to have been living under a rock this last week or so not to know he’s been on a media blitz tour promoting his new book. It’s no surprise that he’s asked time and again what he thinks about President Trump, Hillary’s book and whether or not he is going to run for president in the next election.

Yet, what is missing in each of these interviews are questions about his clearly inappropriate behavior toward women, behavior that was noted in the media in 2015. Oh, he gets to go on and one about gun control, including embarrassing himself by basically saying the hero in the Sutherland Springs tragedy shouldn’t have been able to own the AR-15 used to save lives by stopping the gunman. Not that either is surprising. It simply shows the double-standard of the media and the Dems, in particular.

On the writing front, things are progressing. I’ve a title for the short story/novella (proper classification will depend on final edits and word count) set in the Eerie Side of the Tracks universe. Now to figure out the cover. Once that’s done, the reveal will be made on the blog and FB. Hopefully, edits will continue of Light Magic today. Yesterday, I went back to firming up the plot on the next Sword of the Gods book. So, the projects are progressing.

To be honest, the only problem I’m having with writing right now is that there are too many stories fighting for my attention. Well, that and the fact the injured knee still isn’t amenable to sitting at the desk. So I am having to adapt to doing most of my work on a tablet.

Now I need to run. Well, to be honest, I need to fall face first into bed. I was up most of the night with a very sick kitty. She seems to be all right now but she’ll be heading to the vet later today. But, for now, I need rest or I am going to fall asleep right here. Until later!

Grab the popcorn

Novembers have always been interesting. There are the elections and all the related issues, some more “interesting” than others depending on the year. There is Thanksgiving. For writers, there’s NaNoWriMo. And that’s just to name a few. But now, on top of all that, there is the soap opera that is the NFL. More on that in a moment.

Let’s start with NaNo. I share my thoughts on it over at Mad Genius Club today. The short version is that NaNo can be a useful tool for writers. By setting a goal and having accountability, by telling the internal editor to stay silent for a month, a writer can get into the habit of writing. I know that sounds strange, but it is very easy to be pushed away form the writing habit by real life demands. NaNo can refocus the writing — if you let it.

This is where I grab the popcorn. Yesterday, I posted both here and at Victory Girls about the ongoing soap opera that is the NFL. Since then, things have only gotten worse — or better, depending on your point of view. Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, wants $50 million as salary, more than $10 million above what he is currently making. He also wants a private jet for his personal use FOR LIFE. Add to that health insurance for his entire family FOR LIFE. I don’t know about you, but I’d love that sort of pay and benefits, especially if I ran a company that is in worse shape now than when I took it over.

Jerry Jones wants accountability. He says his demand is not personal toward Goodell but toward the office of the commissioner. He say the commissioner has too much power without enough checks and balances. From what I’ve seen over the last few years, I’d have to agree with him. And I don’t like Jones. For me to agree with him on anything takes a lot.

But Goodell and certain other owners don’t like it. Members of the committee responsible for negotiating the contract with Goodell have now served Jones with a cease and desist letter. Jones needs to shut up and play the good little owner or they might take action against him. They can fine him. They can suspend him. They can try to take his beloved Cowboys away from him.

Is there anyone who thinks this will end well for the league?

Yep, it is popcorn and beer time. If you need me, I’ll be over here, writing and waiting for the shoe to drop. If Goodell and company aren’t careful, they might find out that Jerry Jones isn’t just a nightmare but he is their worst nightmare. This is going to fun to watch, certainly more entertaining than the current season has been.

Are you kidding me?

Those of you who are regular readers know I usually start the morning with coffee — necessary to function — and checking the news. This morning, I turned on the local Fox affiliate. That isn’t the channel I usually watch for local news. I’ll be honest, one of the newsreaders drives me up the wall. But it was the only local news on at the time and I hadn’t seen anything but national news for a couple of days. Just as I was about to switch the TV off, the sportscast came on. The tease for it was enough to keep me watching. Oh. My. Ghu. If the sportscaster is right, we may be about to see the end of the NFL as we know it.

It is no surprise that the NFL is suffering a crisis right now. Viewership, especially of the Sunday and Monday night games is down, really down. That means advertising dollars are being impacted. Worse in a lot of ways, attendance at a number of games are down as well. As easy as it would be to say the trouble started with the National Anthem protests, it didn’t. The NFL’s long history of failing to deal with players who continually violate the drug policy, who have abused their spouses or women they were dating, and then of over-reacting when they finally realized the public had had enough started the decline. But the National Anthem protests by some players and the NFL’s failure to address it was the final straw for a number of fans.

Goodell can get up there and talk about how he wants to support his players and how this isn’t really a protest against the National Anthem but the average working person — the average fan — doesn’t buy it. After all, if they were to go out and do something that harmed their employer’s brand, they would be disciplined. Instead of seeing the NFL players facing any consequences for their actions, once again, they see a very different standard being applied.

And yet, Goodell and company continue to ignore the problem. Instead, they have worked with the various networks to make sure the players aren’t being shown being disrespectful of the Anthem. They are hoping for the “out of sight, out of mind” adage to become true. Except it isn’t going away and it won’t.

If that isn’t bad enough, it now seems that there are some NFL owners who are so out of touch with their fans, they think the way to deal with the controversy is to try to force Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, out of the league. The Fox sportscaster this morning discussed the news circulating recently that a group of owners want to use the “nuclear option” in every owner’s contract when they buy a team. This option basically says that if a certain percentage of owners decide another owner is acting in a manner detrimental to the league, they can vote to force him or her to sell the team.

What is Jerry Jones’ sin? He isn’t backing off of his derision for the protests. Nor is he backing off his demand that Goodell should actually work AND accomplish things to move the league forward. In other words, he is listening to his fans and knows his money comes from them and not from the few players who want to make a political tatement at the beginning of a game. He knows that the head of the league should have the good of the entire league in mind when he acts and not the feelings of a few of the players.

If these owners are foolish enough to actually try to force Jones to comply with their BS demands, I hope they are ready for the fallout. For one, Jones isn’t going to go down without a fight and he will leave bodies, at least metaphorically speaking, in his wake. But that isn’t what they should fear. They should be trembling in their boots at the thought of how their actions will look to the fans, the people who buy tickets to the games, who buy their merchandise, who watch the games on TV and then buy products from sponsors. This action could very well tell the NFL fabric apart, leaving the league in tatters.

How long until these owners realize who has the real power here and it isn’t them and it isn’t the players. Those with the real power are the fans and they have already fired the warning shot. If the NFL under Roger Goodell continues on its current course, it will go down in flames and there is no guarantee it will rise from the ashes like a phoenix.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying the college football season and looking forward for baseball to return.

 

It’s Done!

I know. I know. I was supposed to be back a couple of days ago with a review of the iPad Pro and more blogging. I got waylaid, first by the injured knee and then by writing. I’ll admit I worried that the injury would bring most, if not all, of my writing to a standstill. I can’t sit at the desk right now to work. I can’t sit in the recliner or on the sofa with the knee elevated and work on the laptop. It is too much weight and pressure on the knee. But, to my surprise, the iPad Pro turned out to be a better solution than I’d dare hope and, as a result, the final draft of the re-imagined Light Magic.

I picked up the iPad Pro about two weeks ago. It was on a whim a and I got a really good deal on it. Part of the reason for getting it is because I am trying to migrate all my writing and editing to my MacBook Pro and having an iPad to take with me when I’m away from the house would let me keep with the “Apple means writing” mindset. Part of it was less selfish. My mother has been using a second gen iPad I gave her years ago. To say it is on its last legs is being kind. I’ve been looking for a replacement, one she wouldn’t have to learn a new OS on. So i wanted to know what the real differences were between the iPad and the iPad Pro and if the differences were something she would need or want.

I did my research. I decided not to spend the additional money for the newest version of the iPad Pro, choosing instead to go with a refurbed 9.7” version. I got a great deal on it and, using the money I saved, bought an Apple Pencil to go along with it. They came in and I started working with them. Then I injured the knee and knew I needed to find a way to write or I’d be blowing not just one deadline but at least three if the damage to the knee was as bad as I feared.

I’d bought one of the most recommended Bluetooth keyboards and cases for the iPad Pro but it suffered the same problems so many of its kind do. There was a lag between typing a word and that word showing up on the screen. That lag got worse the lower the keyboard’s power. You had to carry the charge cord with you or find yourself suddenly unable to use the keyboard while out and about.

But it was the lag or the drag or whatever you want to call it that bothered me the most and made it almost impossible to use if I was going to do any serious writing on the iPad. I bit the bullet, trolled various sites and found the Apple keyboard for the iPad Pro at a really good price. (Mind you, I’m cheap and did not pay retail or close to it for any of this).

Oh. My. Goodness.

The keyboard is totally awesome. It doesn’t rely on Bluetooth or wireless connections. There is a connector on the iPad it hooks into magnetically. That is how it communicates with the tablet and where it gets its power. The one real drawback, other than the fact it isn’t a full-sized keyboard — is that the keyboard isn’t back lit. But the feel of the keys is much better than I’d expected and I like the sound of them. Better yet, the keyboard keeps up with me and I don’t have to wait for it to catch up. Huzzah!

the Apple Pencil is wonderful for making notes or for annotating a manuscript. The batter life on both it and the iPad Pro are much better than I’d dared hope. I can work most of the day, pausing only for a short time to give the iPad a quick charge. Then I plug it in overnight.

To give you an idea of how much I have written on the iPad Pro since getting it, in this past week, I have managed close to 40k words on it. I have the work saved on the iPad and have emailed it to myself. I can save it to Dropbox or any of the other major cloud storage sites. In fact, I have been writing this blog post on the iPad Pro using the Apple keyboard.

it isn’t for everyone and I certainly don’t want to do all my writing all the time on it. I also can’t do my conversion on it because the program I use — Vellum — isn’t available on iOS. But for something that is portable and able to do what I want and need when writing and stand up to my writing schedule (at least so far), I highly recommend the iPad Pro.

 

Catching up, blogging and more

After taking a fall over the weekend — thank you, dog and mud — I’ve been hobbled and finding a comfortable position to write has been challenging. However, I have managed to get a little work and some blogging done. Better yet, last night I was finally able to get back to work on Light Magic. Maybe the enforced time away helped or maybe my subconscious had been working even when I wasn’t at the keyboard. Whatever the explanation, I’m happy because I managed to get a couple of thousand words done before the knee started hurting too badly to let me continue. In other words, I’m catching up.

catching up post

BN Kitchen // http://barnesandnoblekitchen.com

Even though I missed posting here yesterday, I did manage to get my Mad Genius Club post up. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, go take a look. I discuss the latest “bestest, greatest plan” to come out of Barnes & Noble. The bookseller is once again trying to reinvent itself, this time with Barnes & Noble Kitchens. These new stores are halving the number of titles they will sell in order to have a full restaurant. You can now go in, eat and drink (yes, beer and wine will be sold). Better yet (and yes, my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek), you can take your wine into the store and shop as you drink.

I also have a post up this morning over at Victory Girls. I love being part of that blog. Not only do I respect my fellow bloggers a great deal (try being a conservative or libertarian woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind these days), but I love the fact they aren’t afraid to write about issues important to them.

The premise of my post at VG this morning is simple. It wasn’t the law that failed the people of Sutherland Springs but the implementation of it. We need to look past the flogging of their favorite political horse by the liberals to identify what the real issue is. Then we need to deal with it. More gun control wouldn’t have stopped what happened. We need to remember the victims and their loved ones. I included links in the post if anyone wants to know how to help them.

That’s about it for now. I’ll be back later — hopefully today but possibly tomorrow — with a review. Those of you who have been following me on MGC, know I’ve switched most of my writing related duties to my MacBook Air. A week or so ago, I came into possession of an iPad Pro and Apple pencil. I’ll be reviewing them from the point of view of a writer.

Because I know some of us could use a laugh this morning, here’s one of the funniest skits (imo) from the Carol Burnett Show. Okay, it’s not as funny as the siamese elephant skit but it ranks right up there with it. While you enjoy it, I’m off to find more coffee and then it’s back to work. I have a lot of catching up to do.

It’s Monday and the Knee-Jerk Reactions Run Wild

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Sutherland Springs. No one can deny what happened was a tragedy. A church and a community have been decimated by yesterday’s events. However, instead of rushing to judgment and politicizing the events, we need to step back, breathe and wait for the facts. Not that it will stop any of the usual suspects who couldn’t wait to take to Twitter to beat their favorite political horse.

The homepage for the Dallas Morning News and, from what I’m told, the front page of today’s paper, showed it didn’t hesitate to jump on the gun control bandwagon long before much information had been learned about the shooter. ABC News made sure to condemn President Trump for saying this isn’t the time to call for more gun control and comparing it to how quickly he called for immigration control after the tragedy in New York. I guess ABC can’t see that there was a direct tie between the immigration of the DRIVER in the NY attack and what happened. Besides, it won’t miss an opportunity to attack the President.

Right now, there is still little hard evidence known about the why of yesterday’s attack or how the shooter got his weapons. I’ve seen all sorts of condemnations for Texas for allowing him to get the AR. I’ve seen federal gun control laws attacked. But all were knee-jerk reactions, reactions that ignore the fact that the shooter would have done much more damage had one of the men living near the church not legally owned a gun, grabbed it and used it to drive the shooter away before more people could be killed or injured.

From what Governor Abbott said this morning — and he will know more than any of the so-called pundits and Hollywood stars who helped cover up the actions of Harvey Weinstein and who knows how many others for years — the shooter applied for and was denied a state concealed carry permit. So Texas law and procedures worked. Where someone or something fell down was when, after he was denied the CCL, he was allowed to purchase the AR. We are still waiting to find out what happened then. It is possible information the State learned doing a background check on him (and by using his prints) was different from what the store received when he purchased the AR.

But here’s the thing. We don’t know. So quit rushing to judgment and wait the hell for the facts to come in. Until then, you are doing no one any good.

Let us focus on what’s important right now — the family of those killed or injured, the town that lost so many and the church where approximately half of its congregation was either killed or injured. Ask what you can do to help them. Show the same grace in the face of what happened that they are.

He has it right

This morning, as I was painting a cabinet for my bathroom, I heard an interview with a former college professor of mine. Pretty much anyone in the DFW area who listens to the news is familiar with Dr. Alan Saxe. A small man with a huge heart, he has never met a topic he isn’t willing to research and discuss. Today, he took on the topic of political correctness and how it is silencing a number of Americans because they are too afraid to speak for fear of what others will think.

Dr. Saxe is a small man, not someone you would normally look twice at. Back in the Dark Ages when he was my Political Science prof at the University of Texas at Austin, he was energy personified. That was the first thing that struck me. The second was his joy for teaching and for making his students think. I had him for at least four classes, probably more. He was my favorite professor. It didn’t matter that we disagreed on a number of political issues. When we did, it was a civilized disagreement, one where we could discuss our views and learn.

And boy did I learn from him and, as today proved, he is still teaching any and all who are willing to listen and think.

To the surprise of the radio interviewer, Dr. Saxe said this trend toward being afraid of what we say started in the ’50s and ’60s, with the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. Society was changing and words that had been accepted, if not necessarily acceptable, were now forbidden. These words became loaded and the use of them, even innocently, could mark you as, at be, unenlightened, and at worst a racist.

Social media increased this trend. As Dr. Saxe said, we are too quick to use the term “hate speech”, diluting its meaning and impact. We are just as quick to call someone a racist or Nazi, often to simply silence points of view we don’t agree with. It is a dangerous trend, one that needs to not only be slowed but stopped.

As Dr. Saxe said, he teaches people to think, to consider the context and the meaning of a word withing the context. He noted that the quickest and easiest way to avoid a number of the pitfalls we face today with so many trying to silence speech they don’t agree with is to simply think and be nice. No name-calling, no shouting down to silence an opinion that doesn’t match our own. Discussion and consideration.

What a revolutionary idea — not.

One thing that dawned on me as I listened to Dr. Saxe (beyond the fact he isn’t as liberal as he was years ago — or at least he doesn’t seem to be on certain issues) is that two of my favorite instructors, the two who taught me the most about critical thinking and really listening to what others say and framing discussions only after listening were two of the the most liberal. Of course, back then, a Texas liberal was a conservative most everywhere else in the country.

But I digress.

Dr. Saxe was right when he said we are on a slippery slope where free speech is concerned. We have to stand up for our ideas and quit being afraid to speak. Sure, we might say something to hurt someone’s feelings but no one ever guaranteed any of us a life where we wouldn’t get upset or insulted. It is up to us to listen to what people said, learn from it and learn how to discuss issues we don’t agree upon.

Happy Halloween!

Just a short post this morning. I’ve got a post up at Mad Genius Club this morning. Please go have a look. I talk about some of the “tricks” and “treats” we see today in the world of publishing and more. I’d also like to remind everyone that I have the following three titles for sale through today.

Witchfire Burning (Now on sale for $2.99)

Long before the Others made their existence known to the world, Mossy Creek was their haven. Being from the wrong side of the tracks meant you weren’t what the rest of the world considered “normal”.

Normal was all Quinn O’Donnell wanted from life. Growing up on the “wrong side of the tracks”, she had been the only normal in the family. The moment she was old enough, she left and began life as far from her Texas hometown as possible. Now she has a job she enjoys and a daughter she loves more than life itself. Their life is normal, REALLY normal, until her daughter starts calling forth fire and wind.

Quinn knows they must go back so her mother can help five-year-old Ali learn how to control her new talents. But in Mossy Creek nothing is ever simple. Quinn’s mother has gone missing. Secrets from Quinn’s past start coming back to haunt her.

And the family home is more than a little sentient.

Can Quinn keep everyone — particularly Ali — safe? And will she ever get back her illusion of normalcy?

Skeletons in the Closet (Now on sale for $0.99)

Lexie Smithson’s family had never been what most folks would call “normal”. They had more than their fair share of oddballs and loners and even crazy cat ladies. Most families in Mossy Creek did, especially if they lived on the “wrong side of the tracks”. But things took a decidedly sharp turn to the left of weird the day Lexie’s sister came home from school, complaining about how Old Serena Duchamp had given her the evil eye. When her mother decided it would be a good thing to confront the town’s resident witch, Lexie knew life would never be the same. How could it when their loved ones began returning to the old homestead the day after their funerals. Lexie knew she should be happy none of her neighbors reported mutilated cattle or corpses with missing brains. But that can be hard to do when your loved ones have passed but not passed on.

Skeletons in the Closet is a novella set in the Eerie Side of the Tracks universe. It is the first of a series featuring Lexie, her family – both living and dead, not to mention furry – and their friends.

Nocturnal Haunts (Now on sale for $0.99)

Lt. Mackenzie Santos has seen just about everything in more than ten years as a cop. The last few months have certainly shown her more than she’d ever expected. She’s learned that real monsters don’t always hide under the bed or in the closet. They walk the streets and can exist in the best of families.

When she’s called out to a crime scene and has to face the possibility that there are even more monsters walking the Earth than she knew, she finds herself longing for the days before she started turning furry with the full moon.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m going to do some reading today. When I’m not, there are movies to watch and writing to be done. So, what are you doing this Halloween?

Halloween Reading Special Redux

Finally! The three titles I put up for sale are finally ON SALE. The price drop is good only through tomorrow. Two, Skeletons in the Closet and Nocturnal Haunts, are short reads. The third, Witchfire Burning, is a full-length novel. So, welcome to the Halloween Reading Special Redux.

Witchfire Burning (Now on sale for $2.99)

Long before the Others made their existence known to the world, Mossy Creek was their haven. Being from the wrong side of the tracks meant you weren’t what the rest of the world considered “normal”.

Normal was all Quinn O’Donnell wanted from life. Growing up on the “wrong side of the tracks”, she had been the only normal in the family. The moment she was old enough, she left and began life as far from her Texas hometown as possible. Now she has a job she enjoys and a daughter she loves more than life itself. Their life is normal, REALLY normal, until her daughter starts calling forth fire and wind.

Quinn knows they must go back so her mother can help five-year-old Ali learn how to control her new talents. But in Mossy Creek nothing is ever simple. Quinn’s mother has gone missing. Secrets from Quinn’s past start coming back to haunt her.

And the family home is more than a little sentient.

Can Quinn keep everyone — particularly Ali — safe? And will she ever get back her illusion of normalcy?

Skeletons in the Closet (Now on sale for $0.99)

Lexie Smithson’s family had never been what most folks would call “normal”. They had more than their fair share of oddballs and loners and even crazy cat ladies. Most families in Mossy Creek did, especially if they lived on the “wrong side of the tracks”. But things took a decidedly sharp turn to the left of weird the day Lexie’s sister came home from school, complaining about how Old Serena Duchamp had given her the evil eye. When her mother decided it would be a good thing to confront the town’s resident witch, Lexie knew life would never be the same. How could it when their loved ones began returning to the old homestead the day after their funerals. Lexie knew she should be happy none of her neighbors reported mutilated cattle or corpses with missing brains. But that can be hard to do when your loved ones have passed but not passed on.

Skeletons in the Closet is a novella set in the Eerie Side of the Tracks universe. It is the first of a series featuring Lexie, her family – both living and dead, not to mention furry – and their friends.

Nocturnal Haunts (Now on sale for $0.99)

Lt. Mackenzie Santos has seen just about everything in more than ten years as a cop. The last few months have certainly shown her more than she’d ever expected. She’s learned that real monsters don’t always hide under the bed or in the closet. They walk the streets and can exist in the best of families.

When she’s called out to a crime scene and has to face the possibility that there are even more monsters walking the Earth than she knew, she finds herself longing for the days before she started turning furry with the full moon.

*  *  *

I always loved Halloween as a kid and I still do. Tomorrow it looks like the fun will be spoiled by rain. So I’m going to curl up with some good books and scary movies and enjoy myself. Here’s hoping you have a great Halloween.

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