May 1, 2011

LIFE! The Good and the Bad

Talk about life interfering!  A week and a half ago, the same week my book, RAVEN TALKS BACK, went up at in its Kindle version, which is here: on my author page, along with my other three Kindle books, the pipe that brings water into my house broke. I don’t know which one to talk about first because one is wonderful and one is traumatic. Let’s do traumatic first, then we’ll get into the good stuff.

Just three years ago, two months after my husband passed away, the outgoing sewer pipes in my house broke and I had to have my kitchen floor broken and dug up and all the new PVC sewer pipes re-routed outside of the house. Eight foot square hole in my kitchen, where it all began, and although the pipes work just fine, my kitchen floor has never been the same. Neither has my bank account, because homeowner insurance no longer covers almost everything, it covers almost nothing. But I got the problem fixed and life went on.

Until the middle of the night on Thursday, the day before Good Friday. When nobody wants to do anything. My daughter and I both woke up to the sound of a strange hissing sound and discovered my living room and hallway had become flooded with incoming water. We’re talking REALLY flooded.  I’d put towels down. Ten minutes later it would be wet again. It. Would. Not. Stop.

On Saturday I rented a shop vac. That helped some, but this success was fleeting because I had a real flood and there was no stopping it. I shop vac’ed all weekend, even when I had company for Easter dinner, but the flooding just got worse.

Monday I started the ball rolling with a plumber, but the cost was/is monstrously high and I had to find out how much the insurance would pay. I soon discovered it would pay approximately one fourth of what it cost.

BUT we set up the repair to be done this past Friday. It took them just one day to fix it. Two more holes in my foundation, one where the water control was, one in my living room, where the underground pipe actually broke.

My insurance company sent a company that does mold control. They came today, did a masterful cleanup job, pulling up the soaked carpets–living room, hallway, and surprise! My daughter’s bedroom floor was also wet, which we didn’t even know about because everything was so wet we never took our shoes off. (It’s the little things that get ya, right?)

So, sooner or later we’ll have new carpeting, meantime, we have four water/mold removal machines going 24/7 that sound like Boeing 747’s, which explains why I’m up in the middle of the night writing this.  Who can sleep through that?

Oh, DanaliDawg, Sarge, BooBoo, and my daughter can, apparently. Me, the noise has kept me awake most of the night. The good news is, it’s getting dry in here. A couple more days of this and I’ll feel like I’ve moved to Arizona, without all the unconcealed carrying laws.

So that was the bad, and it’s kept me from even thinking about blogging, even though this week was the Kindle launch of my new book. I’m very happy about that, although I also can’t wait to see the print book which will be sometime this month. Happy May, by the way. For a lot of us, especially the people down south here in the US, I hope May is a whole lot better than April was.

I want to introduce Raven to you, as I said I would last time I posted. I am going to post the first three chapters of my book here on my website’s Books page as soon as my webmaster can get to it, but meantime, I’d like to let you read just the first page here so you’ll know where Raven comes from and how she thinks. That’s really why I have this first page the way it is in the first place, because what it leads into is a mainstream murder mystey in Valdez, Alaska, where I spent a few months a few years ago, and on my very first day there fell completely in love with the fog and the haunting ambiance of Valdez, Alaska, enough to write an entire book about it.

Here we go. Folks, meet Raven on the first page of RAVEN TALKS BACK:

The spirits of my ancestors live in the towering Chugach Mountains that surround my world in Valdez. I know they are there. I can see them most mornings, great cottony masses of gray fog rolling down the mountains, sinister characters in a black and white movie, shivering and mourning their inevitable disintegration above the marina before they disappear over Prince William Sound. They call to me through that fog, whispering my name. I hear them, soft, desolate sounds you can only hear if you’re really a part of this beautiful land.

My people will tell my story to future generations of Athabascans, and tourists from the lower forty-eight who come to walk through our villages and see for themselves how little is left of what we were. We have no written ancient history. Everything known about our past has evolved only because of stories told in the dark of night before our children go to sleep, when wind screams over the mountaintops and roars down through the passes, bringing the icy chill of our glaciers spiraling into our homes in spite of insulation invented by modern man. The wind is still bitter and we know it.

Even so, we lead a lovely, slow-paced life in this part of Alaska, where flowers burst with fragrant beauty everywhere in the summertime, and deep undercurrents of love and laughter seem to hover beneath the surface of our daily lives.

At least to me it had always been that way, until the Saturday morning in early June, when my world of gentle laughter disappeared and violent death entered the soft space I had occupied all my adult life.

–End of Excerpt–

As you can see, Raven is a somewhat soft, spiritual person, not religion-wise especially, but it’s the nature of Athabascans to be soft-spoken and a bit reticent. At least, in the beginning she is. Raven is married to a Caucasian man, they have three children, one of whom is temporarily emotionally crippled because he saw the body in their back yard first. No head, no hands, just a rock with a face painted on where her head would have been. What is left of her body is covered with scarification, many, many raised tattooes.  And so the story begins.

Raven and Jack O’Banion, the Valdez chief of police, share alternate chapters. Hers are always in first person, his are in third person. It’s a wonderful, compelling way to tell a story like this and I had a great time writing it. It has lived in my mind for years now, and is finally going out into the world all by itself.

Right now it’s at Amazon at the link I gave you above, in its Kindle version.  A Barnes & Noble Nook version will be uploaded soon, and the beautiful print version will go to print sometime this month. I hope you’ll give it a try.

My publisher, Krill Press, is pricing the Kindle version at $2.99 because the lower cost books sell a lot more than if it’s priced higher. If you don’t have a Kindle Reader, you can download a Kindle app free at and read it on a computer or laptop or any number of reading devices, i-phones, etc. I really love my little Kindle Reader, but I also like to read on my computer, so whatever way you choose, I hope you’ll love reading it as much as I did writing it.

Cheers for now, as I am officially finally getting sleepy. I think I’ll sleep in here with Denalidawg though, since it’s a lot quieter. Nitey night, and please do bookmark the link I gave you above and maybe give it a try.

In case you were wondering, although it turns quickly into a mainstream murder mystery after that first page, that first page is the very soul of Raven Morressey, who finally, in the end, to save her family, had to talk back.

Come back soon. I’ll try to post weekly from now on, unless something else happens. Pray for me that it doesn’t. Stop by. I’ll leave the porch light on for you,

XOXOXO, Beth and DenaliDawg and Sarge and BooBoo

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2 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. How awful for all that flooding. Homeowners insurance sure isn’t what it used to be. Hopefully things will work out for the best as soon as possible.

    Congrats on Raven. It is a FANTASTIC story that will have sales to the stars, my friend.

  2. Oh, I hope you’re right, Melissa. I’ll be years paying this flood off.







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