Archive for the ‘Yay Me!’ Category

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 Amazon.com in its Kindle version, which is here: http://www.amazon.com/Beth-Anderson/e/B000APMRR4 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 FOG
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 Amazon.com 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

The Writing World,Yay Me! | 2 Comments  

March 26, 2011

News from B. A.

Well, have I got news for y’all! Lots of it, actually.

No, no, I’m not getting married again. I’m like Liz Taylor (God rest her soul, I can’t believe she’s gone), I am NEVER, EVER, NEVER!!! going to get married again. There, that’s settled. The line of available guys can disperse now, unless you just want to take me out to dinner. Or to the ballgame. Or a NASCAR race, hint hint.

But I do have Incredibly Exciting News! I’ve just signed with KRILL PRESS so they can publish my brand new, never before seen book, RAVEN TALKS BACK. Publication date will be sometime in June and you can bet I’ll update you on the exact date. The e-book versions will be available first, both Kindle and Nook (hurrah!) and the print version will come along a couple of weeks later.

This is SUCH a great time to be publishing a book with a new, to me, and exciting pub house that focuses only on Mystery and Suspense. Those guys at Krill really know what they’re doing and in addition to doing all the right things and gradually growing their company over the past couple, three years, they have been assembling quite a stable of authors, all of them, I’m delighted to say, fabulous writers. I’m honored just to be in their company, seriously. I know I’m rarely serious, but this time I definitely am. Go check them out at
http://www.krillpress.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Krill-Press/204288575609?ref=ts .
Be sure to ‘like’ them so you can keep up with all their news because hopefully I’ll be in it from time to time and so will a whole passel of great authors you’ll love.
And by the way, if you’d like to friend me at Facebook, here’s my url there:
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=745430010 .
Yes, I’m identified by a number on my url, not a name. I only get the name when you click on the number. I didn’t get there in time to beat out another Beth Anderson for the name/url thing, but you know how I am. If something new comes along, I’m a Taurus and I might try it in about ten years. We do tend to plod.

Thankfully I have my alter ego, Hotclue, to keep me from getting too ploddy. That’s her entire job, which you’ll find out about as you follow my blog. Right here. Yes, this is it! You found me! I mean us! Me and Hotclue, the Dynamic Duo! Not to mention my primary occasional guest bloggers, DenaliDawg the Food Thief, BooBoo the Night Cuddler (who only cuddles with me, everyone else, look out!), and Sarge, The Wonder Cat, who flies from the garage rooftop from time to time, a sight to behold.

Another note: If you’re going to be anywhere near the Schaumberg, Illinois Public library on Saturday, April 9th, be sure and stop in because I’ll be there presenting a workshop on writing a synopsis with a group called Gotta Write, with a few other mystery writers. That’s going to be the first in many appearances, so stay tuned. If you can’t attend, I’ll tell you all about it after it’s over. But you really should come. You’ll learn something and it’s FREE! Yay!

And ANOTHER note: I’m going to be traveling around the blogosphere very soon with a series of blog appearances where I’ll mouth off on any number of subjects pertaining to writing. This blog tour is called the Mystery We Write 2011 Blog Tour. (Catchy, huh?) I’ll be posting the entire itinerary on my Press Page within the next few days as soon as I find it in all those new envelopes on my desktop. In addition to me appearing on 12 other websites for 12 weeks straight, the others in the group will be appearing here with their blogs for the same 12 weeks. It sounds complicated, but our Fearless Leader, Anne K. Albert, a courageous woman if there ever was one, has made it look easy. Bless her heart, when I first heard about this I thought, this is going to be like herding cats for whoever makes the schedule, but it’s all working out and you’ll see the evidence right here, when you read 12 blogs by other authors. Not all at once, you understand. Once a week. In between I’ll pop in to try and keep you happy.

Anyhow, back to my book. This is a book I’ve been talking about for a while, mainly to myself and my long-suffering crit partners, and finally after a long hiatus, I snapped to a few months back and finished it the way I wanted it. No more year-long disasters with agents whose only goal in life is to either make money off of you and then destroy you, or just destroy you. I was going to do it my way this time and I did, and now you’ll be able to read it soon. The best thing is, the e-books will be priced low enough so that people in these financially hard times will be able to buy it easily. $2.99 for the e-book. A real deal. I don’t know the paperback cover price yet. In fact, I don’t even know what it looks like. Yet. I can only hope it has a photo of Brad Pitt on the cover, but I’m not holding my breath for that. 😉

So if you have a Nook or a Kindle, or even if you don’t, stay tuned and I’ll let you know where and when you can snap up this book for a song. It takes place in Valdez, Alaska, in the summertime. It’s a mainstream murder mystery, like my other books have been, but it’s still unlike any other I’ve ever written. When you read it, you’ll see why. I like to keep outdoing myself with my books. It’s so much easier on everybody if I’m just competing with myself. So far I’m WINNING! (Charlie Sheen doesn’t have the lock on that, at least.)

I’ll be telling you a bit about it week to week now, and shortly, after I get my book cover graphic, there will be an entire page on my Books page with a couple, three chapters on it to hopefully make you rabid to get at the whole book. Meantime, I’ll tell you some about it and introduce you to my cast of wonderful characters who are OH, so real to me. So much so that when I wrote THE END a few weeks ago, I found tears rolling down my cheeks because I thought I was saying goodbye to people I really love.

HOWEVER, here’s more news. This book is going to be the first in a series so it’s highly possible you’re never going to get rid of me and my chattering blogs as I move through the other books. Book two is filtering into my mind pretty quickly. Now all I have to do is get the plot set in my mind (and in a notebook) and I’ll be good to go.

Nite for now, folks, or peeps if you’re stopping by from Facebook. Be back in a few days with more about RAVEN TALKS BACK and whatever else is going on in my life. Don’t worry, if things get too boring, I’ll let Hotclue make up something. You really ought to sign up for my newsletter too. I even put recipes there. I’ll probably even put some on here from time to time. Leave a comment and tell me what you’d like to cook, I’ll give you a great recipe for it in my next blog.

Come back soon, ya hear me? I’ll leave the porch light on for you.
XOXOXOXOXO,
Beth and Hotclue and Denali and BooBoo and Sarge.

 

The Writing World,Yay Me! | 5 Comments  

November 29, 2006

I Really AM Hot Stuff and I Just Proved It!

So. Beth decided to pull a Hotclue and disappear on Thanksgiving day and stick me with cooking the entire dinner. She didn’t tell me this ahead of time, the rat. Just all of a sudden Thanksgiving morning, before any of the dressing and all the rest of the stuff was started she turned and said, “Hots, I’ve made an executive decision.”

What’s that?” I asked, innocently polishing my toenails, trying to decide between the tiger-striped blouse or the red see-through one, thinking about heading off to Barbados with Count Babbalallapaloozo before all the grunt work associated with these interminable holiday dinners began.

“I’m leaving and you’re cooking,” she announced.

I looked up. “Say WHAT?”

“You’re cooking today. Buh bye, toots!” And with that, Beth disappeared into the ether, which I thought only I knew how to do because after all, I perfected it. But zap! Just like that, she was gone and I was stuck.

In her defense, she did leave the mashed sweet potatoes and the two pies she made the previous day. Big of her. There I am, faced with this humongous turkey that I’m supposed to somehow stuff and bake and have ready by two o’clock when our guests were due to arrive. Make that my guests, Beth had already split.

Well, good sport that I am, I decided to give it a go, so I went online to the Food Network to find out what went into stuffing.

First of all, is it dressing or stuffing? Is it only officially stuffing if it’s actually IN the turkey? How does it get there? When I read the directions my jaw dropped and all I could think of was, “Ewwww!”

I actually had to put my hands in that mess and stick it inside of that raw turkey? Double Ewwww!

But Beth wasn’t coming back, so okay, I printed out the recipe. Chop this, simmer that, add some of this, a few of those. It couldn’t be all that bad, except for the touching the inside of the turkey part. (Triple Ewwww!)

Obviously I was going to have to run out to the drug store for some surgical gloves, since there was no way in hell I was touching the clammy insides of that turkey.

The drugstore was closed. I had to touch the turkey.

So okay, I chopped and sliced and diced and simmered and stirred and finally I had a big pan full of what looked like something a college jock would heave after the first big sorority bash of the year. But I took a huge deep breath anyhow and grabbed a handful and shoved it in. There was no way I was going to eat this, you understand, but we had guests coming. They’d never know.

After an hour of cursing it was stuffed although half of it fell out while I struggled to get it into the pan. I scooped it back up and stuffed it back where the sun didn’t shine in THAT bird and shoved the whole mess into the oven, praying the Count would call soon and rescue me.

No call yet, so I read the rest of the recipe.

Baste it every once in a while. Okay, I could handle once in a while.

About an hour later, while I was looking up a recipe for green bean casserole, which had sounded innocent enough until I saw a photo of it, which reminded me of the stuffing, I realized I hadn’t basted the turkey yet.

I opened the oven door and without giving it any serious consideration ahead of time I reached in and pulled the pan out. It was only then I realized I wasn’t using a potholder. Stung like crazy frickin’ hell, and as I stood there looking at my fingertips turning red, white and bluer than Bush’s face when Malacki stiffed him for dinner, it dawned on me what I’d done.

Well, I did what any other normal person would have done. I ran cold water on it until I realized that wasn’t helping at all and in fact, was only making it worse. Curses! I went running for the hall closet, where Beth usually keeps all kinds of weird ointments I’ve never used, but surely, SURELY, she had something for burns.

She didn’t.

I stood in the hallway thinking about it and while I was thinking, decided to at least, if nothing else, put some antibiotic cream on it. I knew that, at least, was in the medicine cabinet. You know, the one you always look in when you’re in someone else’s house?

No burn ointment, but I spotted a tube of some toothache medicine, thought about it a minute, then I figured well, it works on teeth and gums, doesn’t it?

So on the off-chance I squeezed some on my burned fingers and stood watching while the miracle happened.

I’m telling you, I’m so damn brilliant I should be Times Magazine’s Person of the Year, I really should. The burning stopped after about five minutes and it never came back. My fingers never blistered, never hurt again, didn’t turn red at all.

I’ve invented a whole new use for toothache medicine. Am I incredible or what? This is almost as good as the time I invented a great tool for getting leaves out of gutters. Never did anything with that either, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

My fingers are all perfectly well and accounted for, although the truth is, I really burnt hell out of them, you could see it. But you didn’t see it for long. And why not?

Hey, because I did the Hotclue thing, that’s why not. I put toothache medicine on them.

Ta ta for now, my loves. My guests are gone, the dinner was wonderful, I gave them all of the leftovers just to annoy Beth, and I’m off to the Bahamas for the weekend, since it looks like we’re going to get whomped with snow here in Chicago.

Come back again soon, ya hear me? I love y’all, you KNOW I do. And now you know what to do for burned fingers next time you get stuck cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Unorthadox, maybe, but any port in a storm, right?

Hots Herself, still cookin’ as usual! (At least the guys all say I do.) 😉

Yay Me! | 4 Comments  

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