Life

Happy Book Birthday to Blood Heir!

Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews is out today!! I haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet, because by the time it was done with copyedits, I was too deep in deadline hell to pester Ilona for a copy. But now it’s waiting for me on my Kindle, and I’m so excited to read it tonight! I’ve been in a reading slump since turning in New Shiny, so I’m hoping this breaks me out of it. :)

From award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an all-new novel set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring Julie Lennart-Olsen, Kate and Curran’s ward.

Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.

Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name—Aurelia Ryder—drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.

If Aurelia’s true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she’d ever loved could threaten everything.

One small misstep could lead to disaster. But for Aurelia, facing disaster is easy; it’s relationships that are hard.

Read an excerpt on Ilona’s site!

Get your copy!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo | Bookshop


We had snow last weekend, which is always fun, especially when you can stay home and not drive. Mr. M and I spent an hour outside checking out the wintry change. Kids were playing on impromptu sleds, mostly plastic storage bin lids and water equipment (boogie boards, pool inflatables, etc) because we don’t get snow often enough for real sleds.

We made a few snowballs, but didn’t throw them because it was the wet, heavy kind of snow that turns snowballs into deadly ice missiles. It would’ve been great for building forts, though, and we did see quite a few snowmen, including this little guy who had a carrot nose and everything.

This week, I’m working on the site. I’m planning to update the theme in the next few days, so if you see any weirdness, that’s to be expected while I work out the bugs. The change shouldn’t be too drastic, but the site is overdue for a little cleanup.

I hope you all are staying warm and healthy! The first week of 2021 was a little rough, but I remain optimistic that the rest of the year is going to improve. I hope. 💕

Merry Christmas!

Our gas-log fireplace with a fire burning for the first time. A tile hearth and the very edge of our lit Christmas tree.
Our fireplace works! Who knew?

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! This year has been a little rough (massive understatement), but I hope you are enjoying some peace and happiness as the year draws to a close.

This is the first year we’re not visiting our family for the holidays, and I think it would be a lot rougher if I hadn’t been on deadline this month. But I’ve worked for 25+ days straight, so time sort of lost all meaning.

BUT…

THE BOOK IS DONE!!!! 🎉🎉🎉

Well, the rough draft is done, as of about 8:30 last night. It still needs some pretty serious edits, but at least I made it to the end. Everything else can be fixed, so huge weight lifted. If you’ve been around for a while, then you know that writing this year has been super difficult for me. At the beginning of December, I wasn’t sure I would hit my early January deadline because I needed to write so much.

But I did it!

I wrote nearly 44k words this month. For comparison, in November, when I was also super worried about the deadline, I wrote 12k. (You can see why I was worried.)

I’m chalking it up as a Christmas miracle.

We don’t have any big plans today, since it’s just Mr. M and me, but we bought some nice steaks for dinner, and now that the book is done, I’m going to enjoy a day off. Edits can wait until tomorrow.

I hope you and yours have a good day, and if you’re not seeing family this year to keep others safe, know that your kindness and generosity is appreciated. 💕

Happy holidays, and I wish you all the best in 2021!

Ted Lasso

It’s been quite a while since I’ve binged a new show in just a few days, but this weekend I devoured the entire season of Ted Lasso. It’s ten episodes, each about 30 minutes, and Mr. M and I watched them all between Friday and Sunday.

Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso on AppleTV+

Ted Lasso, the title character, is an American football coach who is hired to coach a Premier League football club in England—despite having no experience coaching soccer.

You don’t need to know anything about either soccer or football to enjoy the show, as the sports part is far more minimal than you’d expect for a show about a sports coach. At its heart, it’s a show about people, relationships, friendship, and respect.

The writing is superb, and the acting does it justice. The show is at turns hilarious and heartbreaking, but gently heartbreaking, if that’s a thing. Overall, it’s low angst but full of emotion. Ted is both relentlessly optimistic and genuinely kind, in a way that’s neither naive nor fake. It’s a soothing balm on the dumpster fire of 2020.

The only bad part is that it’s only available on AppleTV+, and I know no one needs another streaming service. Apple offers a seven day free trial, so you could easily watch the whole show during the trial. And if you’ve already used your trial, a month is only $5, and really, the amount of optimism and comfort packed into this show is worth $5 (in my opinion, obviously).

Want to check it out? Here’s the trailer:

I’m so excited that it’s already been renewed for a second season. ☺️

Being Creative in 2020

Some people thrive on adversity. I am not one of them. If a time machine dropped me in some other time and place, I would immediately meet an unfortunate end, and probably in the stupidest possible way. Oh, you mean I wasn’t supposed to pet that saber-tooth cat? But it was so fluffy!

So while Taylor Swift is busy dropping a new album that she wrote and recorded while stuck at home, I am… not. I write slowly in the best of times and 2020 definitely doesn’t qualify.

In the entire month of May, I wrote the same number of words (in total!) that I can write in one really good day.

Yeah…

So if you’re struggling to create this year, know that you’re not alone. Don’t listen to the people (hi, mom!) who tell you that you should be super productive because you’re stuck at home and can’t go anywhere. Mental health is important for creativity, and stress and anxiety aren’t great for mental health—and there’s plenty of stress and anxiety this year.

The myth of the tortured, starving artist, is just that—a myth. Sure, some people probably thrive on chaos, because nothing is ever one-size-fits-all, but I am not one of them. I have two deadlines upcoming, and I’m behind on both. Usually, this would fill me with panic, but this year the best I can summon is a detached sort of dread. I’m all panicked out.

But I continue to trudge onward because that’s all I can do. New Shiny is over 30k, and TQT just crossed 30k, too. I was trying to get TQT done by the end of the month, but that’s just not going to happen unless some sort of miracle occurs.

But, lest you think it’s all doom and gloom around here, I sent the first six chapters of New Shiny off to Mr M and my bff, and they both loved it, so that’s nice. They are biased, naturally, but at least it’s not completely terrible. :)

Now back to the writing cave, Batman. Be kind to each other, wear a mask, and hang in there!

P.S. If you’re in the US, don’t forget to register to vote! And if it’s a been a while, check your registration to ensure you haven’t been dropped from the voter rolls. Even if it hasn’t, it’s a good idea to check. November isn’t that far away and many states have registration deadlines that are quickly approaching.

Birthday Week

My birthday is this week, so I’m celebrating with my annual Birthday Week™. It mainly involves me singing “It’s my birthday!” to myself at random times throughout the week.

Rona kind of put a damper on any kind of celebration, but my bff came over and brought Italian cream cake and wine for a patio chat, so it wasn’t all bad.

This is my last year in my thirties. Honestly, I thought I’d feel more grown up by now, but I don’t. I certainly have my shit together more than I did when I was a baby fresh out of college, but I don’t feel older.

At least I don’t until I hurt myself by sleeping wrong. Then I feel about 110.

The last few years have been especially fabulous. I have five books out, three of them with a big publisher. And I completed my first trilogy! My author copies for CR came in, and the books are so pretty together. 😍

I also have a new trilogy under contract, which is another dream come true. Maybe I can make this writing thing work for me, which is very much not guaranteed, even with a publisher. But I can keep writing because all of you lovely people read my books, so thank you! You made the last year of my thirties a memorable one. 💕

And if you want to give yourself a present for my birthday, I suggest taking some time to read! If you need something new, check out my books and my recommendations for books I loved. Happy reading!