Green's Hill-Amy Lane's Home - News

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Damned Car

My day was way more boring than it had to be.

Last time we had the car serviced, I said, "Hey--the battery died after I played music in the car for twenty minutes"

And the woman told me, "Well, you're not supposed to do that. Batteries die."

And I just gaped at her, because if that was true, there would have been no drive in movie industry. Yes, SOME of the cars needed jump starts, but if the entire goddamned movie theater couldn't move at the end of a movie because people listened to the movie through their car radios, then nobody would have come back ever again.

But I was done that day--I have 0x0=i0 patience with car service people anyway. I frequently infuriate Mate by going to the Quick Change oil place--the place where you drive your car in, stay in the passenger seat, listen to music from your radio, and watch hot young men run around your car and check all the fluids. They bring your dogs doggie treats and they bring you coffee or juice or chocolate, and the service takes less than an hour, so THAT brings me joy.

In that case, we just decided we would replace the goddamned battery if it died again.

Mate bought me a juice box-- a battery charger that you charge when your car is running.  Then when your car DIES you can jump start it from the juice box--it's pretty ingenious. You can also charge your cell phone and a few other things from it, and generally, it goes down with water and an emergency blanket as  a handy thing to have.

But the car was still balking--WHAH-wha-wha-wha-WHA-wha-wha-wha whenever we started it, so I took it in today.

And they were running WAY behind, so Mate took me home, went to work, picked the kids up and then took me to go get the damned car.

In the meantime, I texted Mate, "Hey! Car guys called! Guess how much!"

He sends back, "$500"

"How did you know?"

"It doesn't matter if we take it in to get the window's washed, it costs $500."

He's right of course.

So, my day was boring, the dogs got no walkies, I got no pool, but the car got a new battery and that's going to be that.

Okay, fine. I guess I could have walked the dogs around the neighborhood... but that's the other thing.

I really did get some writing done!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

ZoomBoy Grows Taller

Busy weekend!

Chicken's birthday was today, but we had a family dinner at Wong's which is sort of tradition. I surprised Chicken with clothes and pie, but her real present was concert tickets, and she texted me from the event and it sounded like she had fun.

Anyway-- we had to do the dinner on Friday because she had the concert today (her actual birthday) and ZoomBoy had the Homecoming dance last night.

Now, here's the thing.

Mate and I--eternally shy, Mate and I--didn't come even close to having the social life this boy has.

He asked a girl to the dance--and got a "soft no"--she wasn't going period, but she was very flattered to be asked. So he asked me for money (and he does anything we ask around here, so I was glad to give it) and bought his ticket, and then asked politely for us to go shopping.

"For what?" I asked.

"AAA batteries and deodorant."

Hahahahaha... like any woman with a kid going to a dance and another kid having a birthday and another kid just cheerfully along for the ride ever just walked into Target and bought batteries and deodorant.

I mean we bought the batteries--and the Desperado scented Old Spice (and just look at the picture--I could have gotten him BearGlove and HawkRidge and still not scratched the surface of the Old Spice imprint insanity) but we also got  ZoomBoy some slick new "school dance" clothes.

Oh--and we got Chicken an Eeyore union suit and Squish... well, a unicorn.

Unicorn pajamas.

Because, seriously.

But anyway-- Chicken was watching ZoomBoy and Squish on Homecoming dance night while we took in a movie and dinner for our birthdays. (Mate is going to be gone next weekend, and I shall be turning fifty alone... aloooooooooone.... ALLLLOOOOOOOOOONE....)  and that was all planned.

PLANNED I tell you, PLANNED, a week ago, right down to me texting two different times to people for Chicken's birthday dinner because we hadn't counted on Homecoming, THAT kind of planned.

What we didn't plan for was the morning before Homecoming, Mate knocked on the kitchen door with stuff on his hands, and ZoomBoy went TEAR-ASSING THROUGH THE KITCHEN, skidded his foot on a mat on the tile, and landed on his ass.

You heard me.    

The day of the dance, my kid sprained his ass.

Mate thought it was just a deep bruise, but judging by his troll-like walk I assessed it as sciatica, and it persisted in spite of icing, medication, and lots of sciatica stretches, because it was a REALLY HARD FALL.

So, he didn't plan for spraining his ass.

And honestly, he didn't plan for the tie, either. The tie was definitely a surprise. Big T sent me the pictures, and I said, "We decided to find the tie?" and ZB said, "Yes. Because I wanted a tie." "You couldn't have told me about the tie at Target so I could have gotten one that matched?" "I like that tie."  "Okay."

So, two unplanned things for Homecoming.

This morning, as he was online, gaming with his younger friends, I heard the following conversation:

"So, I fell down yesterday and broke my butt. No, seriously. Broke it. Tell 'em, Mom!"

"He fell down and sprained his ass! How old are your friends?"

"Eight. They're dad's friends' kids."

"Oh aces."

"So I did! I broke my butt and then I went to homecoming. And I danced. No, seriously. I slow danced. With a girl. Uh-huh. It's totally true."

So there you go. That's our ZoomBoy--getting a little bit older, and a little bit taller.

And spraining his ass and wearing a tie.

He might still need me for a little bit. Just saying.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Picking Out Cover Models

Also known as God Bless Reese Dante, because she puts up with this from me about four times a year...

So, he's got a thin nose, a pointed chin, he's in his thirties, lines by the eyes, hazel eyes, not blue, blue will do, can you make them bluish brown?

He's got a long build, okay, muscles are nice, I like muscles, I guess this guy's muscles are, yeah I got distracted my next guy will be built, I promise, but this guy needs long hair and is skinny and sort of like that guy from the show that you don't know, let me find a picture...


That took longer than I thought, no it's not stock photo, sorry, do you need one from the stock photo place, I hate that place, all those guys look too happy, what's the deal with the teeth?

And here's one--wait, he's 17? Oh that's embarrassing, how's this one--18? Oh wow. No, I"m not a perv I swear, but they're college age, and everybody under 30 looks like they're in high school to me.

Oh God. I'm too old to pick out a cute guy. I"m gonna get myself arrested, how bout him?

No, he's got a broad nose and a square jaw and brown hair--can we make him blond? With hazel eyes? And, yes. Lines by the eyes.

Cause he's not eighteen.

Well the other guy's in his twenties.

But neither of them are eighteen.

Okay, old guy, no muscles... well, not scrawny but... oh Lord. Yeah, no. I thought that guy would look good but not blond. Jesus, not a blond. I'm so sorry. I made you make that guy blond for six photos.

That was a crime against nature.

Look at more stock photos? Sure.

There's this one, but nose.

This one, but chin.

This one, but eyes.

This one but... oh God no what am I thinking I couldn't bone that even if I was thirty cause he gives me the creeps.

As, yes, I'm sure I'm doing to you. Mental picture erased, let's forget that model exists.

Okay, this guy, he's a blond, right? The eyes. Yeah. Hazel eyes. God, he's cute. Not that my guy was supposed to be cute--they're never cute on paper, but ugly guys don't sell books.

That sounded venal.

Well, it's a little venal.

I know--in real life, I go for guys that look just like that, but this is fantasy, I get it. We need to sell the fantasy.

This guy?

No, this guy?

With this guy?

Oh God no, those two people should never meet under any circumstances ever. If aliens ever put them under glass to mate they'd let the species die out before those two people spent more than a nanosecond  occupying the same space.

That guy? Blond?

Oh Jesus, what am I saying. I should have learned. NEVER FORCE BLOND!

That guy 's cute.

Yeah, he's the original young guy.

I don't know what to say--I know he's everywhere but there's a reason for that.

Whole world loves him.  Kittens want to purr in his arms, dogs want to lick his face, I want to lick his chest, let's go with him.

Unless, of course, he looks like that with this other guy.

Oh my God--that's like negative chemistry. You could put those two people in a cadmium rod and clean up nuclear spills.


This guy-- ugh. Never mind.

This guy, with glasses, a shorter jaw, a longer nose, caterpillar eyebrows, some gray in his beard and a hooded sweatshirt.

Oh my God--Mate?

Crap. That won't work. This guy's supposed to be thirty.

When did I forget what thirty looked like?

Oh. Yeah. Thirty didn't look like that when I was thirty.

This guy? Yeah. Not thirty.

Oh Jesus. This guy. No, I don't want him--he just looks like Putin. Please tell me nobody put Putin on a gay romance--I may gag.

Okay, this guy? I like this guy. YAY! We found a guy!

This guy?  Looks just like the other guy. That'll be great. OH MY GOD IT'S THE SAME GUY. How did I do that? We can have the same guy twice, except one of them's blond with long hair and one of them has glasses. People will think I'm writing twincest. Really weird twincest.

Okay, this guy. His hair needs to be red. The same red as my daughter's hair--her lightest color needs to be his darkest color. And he needs to be looking at me three quarters, but I still need to see his ass. What do you mean they can't do that--isn't that one shot? That model? Angelina Jolie?

Okay, fine. YOu're right. Tomb Raider isn't reality.


What about this guy?  Yeah.

You're right.


I give up.

Yes I do.

No, I do.

Deck chairs on the beach with a Christmas tree.

It'll be great. Nobody will buy it. They'll think it's haunted Christmas.

But won't have to look at another stock photography model with too darned many teeth.

Or, God save us all, Putin.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pretty pretty yarn...

So I got a new order of yarn in the mail--it's called Halloweentown (I think) and it's from Nerd Girl Yarns.   Now, if you go to the page and look around, you'll realize that they dye yarns in fandoms-- so, a lot of their yarns are named after, say, characters or lines from Dr. Who or The Avengers or Supernatural.


So, I was still tripping on the excitement of my Nerd Girl Yarn delivery, when I realized that, as the wave-crashing insanity of my whatever-sockyarn shawl continued, I was going to need, perhaps, some purple in my next sequence. (Trust me-- there IS a stripe sequence here--give it two or three more repeats and it will become clear.)

So, I was crawling through the sock archives when I discovered, THIS.

It was dyed (I believe) by a wonderful woman named Nancy Ianone who read the Green's Hill books ten years ago, and sent me a skein of sock yarn dyed around Green (the green!), Bracken (the brown gray), and Cory (the sunshine yellow:-)  It looks like the ocean--and probably would have been perfect for Wave Crash (as I've now dubbed it) but... but... it's so pretty. It was made JUST FOR MY GUYS.

I love it so.

But it did make me think.

One of my favorite things--and this is sock yarn I've kept-- was when Opal yarns put out Harry Potter color ways. I was able to get Ron Weasely and Albus Dumbledore.  I still have them--I look at them sometimes as I'm sifting through the archives and just pet them.

I love them so.

Now, I know not a lot of people respond on the blog itself--but I DO get a lot of responses on social media, so feel free to chat me up there.

What colors do your favorite characters make you think of?  Not just mine--although PLEASE if you have an idea for my characters, send me, by all means!  But any of your favorite characters--if you have a color way or a sock yarn or just a few bars on Colour Lovers, by all means send me a swatch.  What colors do you think best suit your favorite characters in books, film, or TV?  I mean, if you think about it, for visual literature, people spend HOURS looking at swatches and palettes-- it's only natural for us to pick up on those, right? And authors think about hair color, eye color, what kind of furniture this character would have, what they would like to wear--

What colors are your characters in love with?

I'm dying to find out...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Mate's Favorite Things

Movies--ALL movies, he has no particular favorites. In my memory, I only remember him NOT watching four or five movies to the end.
But he does have a few favorites, movies or television shows he'll stop anything for, stay up late for, tape and watch over and over again.   

You've Got e-Mail

Sleepless In Seattle

Hidden Figures

Apollo 13

The Right Stuff

Say Anything

Major League

The Fifth Element

The Princess Bride




Bob's Burgers


Rick and Morty

I am not quite like my Mate.

I love movies-- some movies.

Mate likes Paul Thomas Anderson Movies.

They creep me out.

Mate likes Rick and Morty and Bob's Burgers.

When I was a kid, I was forced to watch Heavy Metal and Wizards and Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat in the theater. 

They totally freaked me out. Sadly, I'm not a fan of grownup cartoons, animated blood, vomit, or semen. 

There, I said it.

I feel better.

But I too have some movies that I can watch again and again and again...

Say Anything

The Princess Bride

A Knight's Tale

Last of the Mohicans

The 13th Warrior


Die Hard 1, 3 & 4


Men in Black

Independence Day




Hidden Figures

Out of Sight

Ocean's 11

Logan Lucky

Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2

All 3 of the Star Trek reboots

Fifth Element

Midsomer Mysteries


Mate will put up with almost all of my movies and shows--except Supernatural. It sends him into the other room.

I haven't seen any of the last two seasons. This makes me want to cry.

But the thing is, they're close.

Not exact.

But close enough.

He favors more romance.

I favor more shit go boom.

He'll watch Newt Scamander's Fierce Creatures and Where to Find Them a dozen times and I can watch it to keep him company. I'll watch 1-7 of the Harry Potter movies at any time and he'll do the same.

I only mention this because there does come a time in your lives when your happiness depends on what you can do at the same time, in the same place, while in the house together.

It doesn't matter that I'm knitting and he's writing soccer e-mails--

What matters is that we can deal with the same TV while we're doing it.

It's something nobody tells you in romance books or relationship books. TV (or books or movies or music or other quiet domestic things like exercising together or walking the dogs or going beer tasting) can make the difference. 

And eventually, I will talk him and the kids into watching the next two seasons of Supernatural. 

Cause, you know. Winchester brothers. There it is.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Green's Hill Werewolves and Upcoming Projects...

 In the world of the Little Goddess
After a rocky start and some unexpected battles, Teague Sullivan may have found a home at Green’s Hill. With Jack and Katy by his side, he has the chance to achieve a happiness he only dreamed of during his impoverished childhood.

But much of Teague’s happiness depends upon being worthy of serving Green and Lady Cory, two leaders he’d die for and two people who gave him a chance to be a good man. Teague needs to serve them to feel worthy of love, but Jack resents anything that takes Teague away from his lovers, even his duty.

The three of them, Jack, Teague, and Katy, perform a delicate dance with an uncertain crescendo. What's more likely to destroy them? Jack's jealousy, Cory's wrath, or the true enemy, the rival wolf pack with the insane leaders who are trying to take over Green's turf? Teague Sullivan, who never thought much of himself, is suddenly the crux of everything he's ever loved. Can he become the man and alpha wolf his people need? 

Okay-- so the second volume of The Green's Hill Werewolves is coming out tomorrow, and folks on my FB Group (Amy Lane Anonymous--come join the madness!) have been asking for an "Update post"--sort of a "catch all" of what's coming up and what I"m working on now--and I'm happy to oblige.

First of all-- The Green's Hill Werewolves being re-released is sort of a big deal for me. I know I haven't jumped through hoops, but having these stories joint the rest in the Little Goddess world makes me very happy. Even today, after all these years I get people telling me, "You know, Teague is my favorite."
And that's hands down--even all of the other tortured heroes I've written, Teague is their favorite.
I love that. And I love that now that I've written Quickening, Parts 1 & 2, we get to see Teague rise to his full potential--but he starts here. In the werewolf stories that I originally wrote as a way to stretch my "sex writing muscles."  
And as a way to write heroes, male heroes, having sex without a girl present. Yes, I know there is Katy, and the threesome sex was AWESOME. 
The these guys were my first m/m couple, even if there's a girl in the mix.
So I'm proud and happy that they're covered so beautifully, and that people might get a chance to read them. 


After that?

Well, we have Familiar Angel, which should be up on DSP ANY DAY NOW. Like, before Friday at the latest. 
Now, I have talked about two angel stories--one, I've used "Tucker" as a shorthand, and that book is All the Rules of Heaven, which is an urban fantasy series. The first book of which should be out in April. This book here, Familiar Angel, is different.
Familiar Angel is part of a three book series, the Familiar series.  The first one is this October, Familiar Demon is next October, and Familiar Lover should be the October after that.
These stories center around three young men escaping a brothel, who stumble into a clearing where they see a sorceress, an angel, and a demon come together in power to rescue her demon lover.
In the course of the magical goings on, she makes the boys her familiars--and they become family. 
140 years later, the family business is rescuing victims of human trafficking--a cause dear to their hearts. 
But being heroes takes its toll, and each of the boys has to find their way to a forever lover who will keep their hearts as they risk their still youthful bodies. 
The first one is Harry's story. And for reference in the photo, Harry is the cat. 
Suriel is the angel. 
Together, they were beautiful.  
BTW? I'm gonna brag here? 
Cindy Dees, that's RITA AWARD WINNING Cindy Dees read my book and put a cover blurb on it. 
I almost swoon looking at that gorgeous, Cindy Dees blessed, Reese Dante cover every damned time.
And after that?
Well, I don't have a cover yet--but blame Irma on that because Reese Dante is doing the cover for that one, and she just got power back. 
Reese is on the case though, and I'll have a cover for Regret Me Not, my yearly Christmas novella, very soon.  It should be out in Late November
In the meantime, take a look at this:
This is the cover for a collection of my previous Christmas novellas--the ones that haven't been put into collections before (like Winter Courtship of Fur Bearing Critters, which is in the Granby Knitting Menagerie collection or Candy Man which is included in the paperback of Bitter Taffy) or weren't paperback length to start with, such as Winter Ball, Christmas Kitsch, or Freckles. 
These are my short novellas--most of them written for the Dreamspinner Advent Calendar.  They're between 20-30K in length, and guaranteed angst free and adorable, and now available in paperback as of December 25th.
You're welcome :-)
Now, after Christmas, coming out in February/March, is Bobby Green. No cover for that yet, but yes, it's the sequel to Black John, and it's 125K, and it's got some hard moments in it. Not as hard as John's book, but some moments.  
After Bobby is All the Rules of Heaven--which is being self produced because seriously, it clicks no boxes. In typical ME fashion, Heaven just isn't box-able, so I decided not to force it. It's urban fantasy, which means I'll write about Tucker and Angel whenever I have a minute, and it's set in Gold Country. And it DOES acknowledge the existence of Green's Hill, so in future books, there may be some cameos.
After Heaven, we have the third book in the Manny series, Stand by Your Manny. It should be out in May, and it's Sammy's story.  
For those of you wondering what I'm working on now?
Well, a character named Quinlan appears at the end of Sammy and Cooper's book, a sweet boy who takes care of Sammy when he's away from home and takes no for an answer. I'm working on Quinlan's story--which is also Dustin's story. Remember Dustin? The obnoxious little shit who catapulted lasagna onto Taylor's eyepatch? 
Well he's 14 in Stand by Your Manny, and 21 in A Fool and His Manny--and that's the story I'm working on right now. It should be the last of the Mannies, and I've really loved writing the Lowells/Robbins/Graysons. They feel like family.
Now, after Stand by Your Manny, things get a little up in the air.
I've finished the first in a "mixed" series-- m/f, m/m, and one m/m/f story. The series is called Stealing Home, and the first story, Seasons in the Sun is Juniper and Gus's second chance at love. The entire series is based around a fictional baseball team called the Sacramento Mud Wumpets, and I'm planning to release Juni in June, appropriately enough.
And after that...
Well, I can tell you what I'm working on in what order, but not when it comes out:
Now: A Fool and His Manny
Next: Crocus, sequel to Bonfires
After that: Give a Fish a Bicycle, sequel to Red Fish, Dead Fish
January-ish--Familiar Demon, sequel to Familiar Angel
February/March-ish--Pop Fly--sequel to Seasons in the Sun
April/May-ish--Fall Games--sequel to Winter Ball and Summer Lessons
May/June-ish--Christmas novella
July-ish--Triple Play--Sequel to Seasons in the Sun
And honestly, that's as far as I can plan without my little brain exploding.
So there you go. That's my scheduled work about a year in advance--enjoy!

And this weekend I...

Saw this movie:

Watched this kid play soccer:

Watched these animals play with this kid:

Slept in with these crapweasels:

Tried to teach ZoomBoy how to make swag:

Made it myself: 

And watched this show on DVR:

And shopped for groceries and wrote a little.

It's been sort of a busy two days!


Friday, September 15, 2017

Scary Movies

First of all, I got the picture from a FB page called 9Gags, and HERE'S THE LINK for more IT themed fun.  Go at your own risk--Tim Curry smoking a cigarette while dressed as Pennywise is pretty much the epitome of creepy.

Anyway, It is coming out, and the whole world has gone bug nuts with red balloons everywhere.

I don't think I'll watch it.

Just saying--I know my tolerance for scary stuff, and it's weird and varied, and on one hand I love it and on the other hand...

I'm a big fat weenie who would just as soon the rest of you all keep your weird scary fetishes to yourself.

Unless the story is really really goddamned good.

Here, in no particular order, is my response to scary stuff over the years. Feel free to analyze me based on this list, or share your own--but don't try to get me to sit through stuff that already freaks me out.

The X-Files-- yes.

Supernatural-- yes.

Poltergeist--both the old and the new one--but I liked the old one better.

Jaws-- absolutely.

Valentine's Day, the version with Jensen Ackles in it, which was, of course, the only reason I'd go see that movie--yeah. See Jensen Ackles as the only reason Chicken and I were even in the theater.

Paranormal Activity-- the kids had to nail me to the fuckin' couch to get me to stay.

The Ring-- not only am I sorry I went, because nightmares, but Mate was sorry I dragged him there, because nightmares.

The Exorcist, the TV series-- Yeah, I could have watched more of that shit.

American Horror Story-- I do not know what's wrong with you people. How do you even watch that shit, I can't sit through the previews.

The Sixth Sense-- Yes. And The Village. And Signs. And Unbreakable. But after that, my M. Night Shyamalan fixation sort of dissipates. Wait... wait... I liked the mermaid one too. Don't judge me.

Lake Placid-- because Betty White says the word "cocksuckers" and Bill Pullman flirts with Bridget Fonda.

The Conjuring-- Give it up. Mate and I almost wet our pants during the previews. In our defense, it doesn't help that well-meaning relatives have given both our daughters enough scary freaky china dolls to make Squish's room virtually unlivable.

Any of the other "Annabelle" movies--What did I just say? CREEPY. DOLL.

The Exorcist movie-- No. Once again, the previews alone make us cry. We're weak, wimpy and woeful.

Legion--Paul Bettany, without a shirt, looking badass. Yeah, there were demons, but... Paul Bettany. Without a shirt. You understand.

Walking Dead-- This one is rough. I'd watch it, Mate won't. *sigh*

Dawn of the Dead-- I saw it 12 years ago and still suffer nightmares. So, no.

Shawn of the Dead-- Absolutely. Will watch that one until the tape fades.

Nosferatu-- Course.

And American Werewolf in London-- Oh yeah.

Lost Boys-- DUDE!

Hm... gonna stop there, because I must go to bed sometime, but you get the picture.

Hit or miss, I think.

Maybe we'll watch It when it comes out on Netflix.

Maybe we'll watch the How to Train Your Dragon cartoons instead.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

5 Things

So, Wednesday night, when the day has been sort of a blur, and even if I have done anything really interesting, my brain is Kindergarten paste and I can't think through it.

And trust me. I haven't done anything interesting.

So, I"m going to do a 5 Things blog and call it a night.

Thing 1: Come vote for my cover HERE at the Emerald City Writer's Conference.   It's a Reese Dante cover, and she does such wonderful work-- I would love the world to see her genius!

Thing 2: A lot of people loved Gus from yesterday's blog post. *laughs quietly to self*  Someday soon, I need to post about Juni.

Think 3: I am still working on the uglier than sin shawl. *happy giggle* I adore it so.

Thing 4: Ted Cruz's Twitter account got caught looking at porn. Now, I don't care if he actuallylooked at porn and liked it or DIDN'T look at porn and like it. I don't care if masturbating weasels sneak into his room every night and leave weasel jizz on his computer. All I care about--all I REALLY care about is that this is the bozo who tried to make dildos illegal by claiming there was no constitutional right to massage one's genitals.

God, I wish he'd been caught watching GAY porn.

But then, so does most of Twitter.

Thing 5: ZoomBoy asked a girl to the homecoming dance. Once again my little nerd ball got shot down in flames, but damn.

Our little (getting bigger!) Lothario is going to get a "yes" one of these days, and then things are going to get REALLY difficult.

And it took me way to long to write that, because I kept forgetting what I was doing...

So, thing 6: SQUIRREL!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Little Bit o' Het


First of all, I present Eric Burdon and the Animals, doing "House of the Rising Sun", because OMG THEY WERE SO DAMNED YOUNG. I always imagined Eric looking, well, sort of thirty-ish and scarred and tough, but this kid looks barely young enough to be smoking behind the gas station, and his band mates aren't any older.  (Yes, I know they're lip-syncing for the video, but dammit, that kid had to sing this song at least once, right?)

So, since they won't let me embed it in my blog, go see it on YouTube-- it's fairly amazing.

I've actually had my head pretty far down the creativity rabbit hole--honestly, it makes it hard to blog.

But I  HAVE finished a book called Seasons in the Sun (tentatively) and its the first in a series of what should be seven books set mostly in the minor league baseball team called the Sacramento Mud Wumpets.

No, I don't know what a Mud Wumpet is, but seriously, I'd go see them play.


Since the book won't be out for a while--and, yes, it's my first time writing het in a while--I thought I'd give you a snippet of it, just to, you know, get your toes wet.

Also, nothing interesting at all is going on inside my head except knitting and writing the fourth Manny book.

So, here you go.

Mud Wumpets. Enjoy.

*  *  *

August Mortimer eyed the rookie pitcher at the mound in the first inning of the practice game and tried to decide if he had enough juice in his arm to beat the little bastard up.

He stretched, he jiggled, he rubbed, and then he wound, tight, lifting his leg to counterbalance, throwing his arm out, sweeping his leg back and…. Boom! Boofuckinyah!

The rookie cried, “Ouch!” and dropped the ball, and Gus chuckled to himself.

“Gee, Mr. Mortimer, I know you gotta be getting tired, so don’t worry about bringing the heat. We’re just practicing today, right?”

Little prick. Who in the hell was “Mr. Mortimer” anyway?

To his left, Dash Brosnan snickered from first base. “Gee, Augie, you didn’t have to sizzle the poor little bastard.”

Augie was his nickname—the one they put on the stat board when he was batting. Only the people who knew him before pro-ball called him Gus.

“Kid called him Mr. Mortimer,” Roscoe Tennyson drawled from third.

“Jesus. Fry the fucker.”

Gus pulled up a corner of his mouth, narrowed his eyes, and showed his teeth. “Sure.”

Batter? What batter.

By the end of the game—held early because it was officially pre-season--little Elvis Macklemore had to go ice his hand and Rufus Cowell, the pitching coach, was up in Gus’s grill.

“That was mean,” he said, spitting with practiced ease on the concrete of the dugout. He didn’t chew tobacco anymore—just gum. But Rufus was in his fifties, grizzled and sardonic, with jowls and a day’s growth of graying stubble at any time. Gus figured he just liked to spit.

“He called me Mr. Mortimer.”

“Oh, well then. By all means cook your arm and poke it with a stick to shut him down. That’s adult, Methuselah. That’ll get you through another season.”

“Fuck off.”

“Go ice your arm and apologize to the rookie.”

Gus grunted. “He’s too sweet.”

“Make sure he stays that way.”

Fine, fine. Wasn’t the kid’s fault Gus was in a mood. 

He overtook the kid on the way to the locker room. “Ice, kid,” he muttered. “Here—I’ll go to med bay and get you some.”

Kid was sweet looking—not tall, but short like his best friend in college. Curly hair, brown eyes, a sweet little pursed mouth. Yeah. Poor Tanner, following Jeremiah around, loyal as a puppy.

Gus owed that memory.

“Did I say something to make you made Mr—“

“Augie,” he bit out. “Kid—don’t you get it? The minute you take the scholarship, take the paycheck, take the material gain for that thing you love, the clock starts ticking. Nobody likes to hear it—you understand?”

Elvis bit his lip and nodded. “Sorry, si—Augie.”

“You’re straight out of high school, aren’t you, Elvis?”

“Two years of junior college before I took the draft,” he confirmed.

 Gus sighed. “Well, don’t let old bastards like me bother you. It’s a good game. Just, you know. Treat it with respect.”

The kid didn’t smile, but some of the kicked-puppy look faded and Gus felt marginally better.

“Stay there. I’ll go get ice.”

A half an hour later the kid was still sitting in the corner, looking surreptitiously at the guys in the shower, and Gus felt a sort of yank in his chest.

Tanner used to look like that.

He thought about going to say something to him—thought about what it could mean if he spoke up, said, “Hey, it’s okay—don’t grab anybody’s ass, but nobody’s going to know if you don’t tell them.”
Thought about how that might freak the kid out more.

Just about the time Gus thought, “Hey, I should text Tanner and find out,” he checked his phone and smiled.

Dinner w/me and Jer Saturday. Bring dessert. Inviting Juniper too. Well, it made sense. The season began in earnest next week. The blessings of a really early Easter and spring training were an extra week on the schedule to have practice games.

Presumptuous much? But Gus was smiling. Haven’t said hi since Christmas!

You could text too, you arrogant fuck.

Course I’ll come over. I might even bring dessert.

Did you see the thing about Juni?

Gus grimaced. Fourteen years, they’d managed to steer clear of each other. Of course, for some of those years, Gus had been playing for Atlanta, but for the last few months, he’d been here in Sacramento, within spitting distance of the first girl he’d ever loved.

Seeing her at Tanner and Jer’s small private Christmas party every year had burned. A different guy, every year, every one of them with glasses and a beard—hell, the last one had a man bun.

All of them wide-eyed at meeting the great Jeremiah Westfall, blind to the treasure at their side.
Or at least that’s how Gus saw it—he really was not excited by any of the guys she’d brought in to replace him over the years.

Juni, on the other hand, didn’t seem to be missing him at all.

Yeah. I heard. We’re grownups. We’ll deal.

You’re children, but you’ll still deal. Saturday, seven. See you then.


Well, good. He’d ask Tanner then, about talking to that poor scared kid. He’d read enough accounts of athletes coming out after their careers to know that one person—one good friend—could be the difference between a decent career and a whole lot of misery.

Watching Tanner and Jeremiah over the last nineteen years had hurt his heart.

He looked at his phone again and thought, You know where she’s working. You can be in town in time to see her before you meet at Tanner’s.

What would the purpose of that be?

You could see her, moron.

Well, yeah.


He could ask her how she’s doing. How’s life been treating her. If she managed to find the right manbun to make her happy.

If she’d taught anybody to fix their pitch using physics lately.

He could hear her voice in his head, frustrated, near tears actually, as she sat in the stands of the stadium at Davis... 

Seasons in the Sun

by Amy Lane