Welcome to 2015


So this post is a long time coming. Part of the reason I’m such a bad blogger is because I never know what to write about. I do have some new book reviews coming, and have plans to host more authors as well, but with the holidays kicking everyone’s butts, time has flown by and here we are almost halfway through January. In any case, I thought I’d do a New Year’s type post, with a look ahead as to what’s coming, as far as me and my books are concerned.
I’ve already posted about Warrior’s Possession being released sometime this summer. Additionally, I’m hard at work on the next Magiste book, and this one takes us back to 13th century France. I’ve had to do quite a bit of research, since my main characters will be traveling to the New World, and that journey is way ahead of Columbus’. Most of the research has been along the lines of ships of the time, and the various Papal Inquisitions that took place during this time. The Spanish Inquisition that most are familiar with is still a couple hundred years away, but there were several others that came before. The Spanish Inquisition was by far the most far-reaching and long-lasting of them all, but the one started by Pope Innocent III was focused on the Cathars. The next pope continued the Inquisition, supported by King Louis IX, and it is during his reign that this book takes place. I’m having fun with the Marchand ancestors – they are quite the dark Enchanters, though the hero in this book, Henri Marchand, has some very conflicting feelings about that. He has his heroic side, such as rescuing the heroine, Chantal, but he also has his dark side, so it makes for lots of juicy emotional torment for him.
My Viking tale is also completed, and for now is being reviewed by a couple of agents. It’s another tale that I call true to the time, and there are scenes that can certainly make some folks uncomfortable, but hey, what’s a Gianna Simone book without a little questionable content, right? One agent in particular had requested revisions so I could resubmit and I did complete those and found she was absolutely right and it made the book so much better. I’m hoping one way or another to have some news about how Norseman’s Revenge is faring sometime in the spring.
On the personal side, I spent much of the fall traveling to various colleges with my daughter. She has applied to the top four on her list, and has already been accepted to her number one choice, the University of Scranton. Some days, I am dreading her leaving, and others I’m ready to take her out there right now! I suppose that’s typical of being the mother of a teenage girl, though I somehow managed to escape karma with her – she’s a really good, hardworking kid (I was a rotten teenager, rebellious and always in trouble). My son, on the other hand, while also a super kid, is going to more of a handful, I can tell already, but for now he’s only 10 and still loves his mommy. He’s become quite the hockey player this year – and his team just had a special event sponsored by the NJ Devils (I know, we’re NY Rangers fans, but the Devils sponsor a lot of NJ youth hockey events). They actually got to play on the ice at The Rock after the first period and he and all his teammates were thrilled beyond belief.
In other news, I am actively seeking a part time job – we need the money, though being unemployed does give us an edge when applying for college financial aid. But I need hours that will allow me to be home for the kids after school and still give me enough time to write, while bringing in some extra cash. The local bookstore didn’t want me, but since I’ve been out of retail for almost 30 years, I’m not surprised. 
So that’s the recap – stay tuned for more info on my books, some reviews and more. 
Happy 2015 – here’s hoping it’s happy, healthy and prosperous for everyone.

What Do You Buy for the Guy Who Wants Nothing?


Literally. My husband is THE most difficult person to buy presents for. Um, well, not quite. My mom is worse because she just buys herself whatever she wants whenever she wants. *waves* Hi Mom! 😀
Anyway, now that the holidays are upon us, it’s time for the phone calls from various family members, usually his. “What does he want?” “Does he have one of these?” “Do you think he’ll like this?”
And I never know what to say. I never know what the hell to get him myself, and I have the double pleasure of having to buy him something from the kids. I’m usually pretty easy – I always have a list of “love to have” things that I can tell people to pass along to those who ask. But my husband just refuses.
“Just get me a shirt, it’s all I want.” I just want to smack him sometimes. No one wants to buy him a shirt, not when he already has 879 of them! I try to explain there’s a big part of holiday gift-giving that focuses on the giver, and the thought they put into getting something they hope you’ll love. Asking me to tell them to just get him a shirt just kind of spoils it for me.
Even harder, is with his family, we pick names, and everyone is expected to spend a certain amount on the person whose name they picked. A shirt that will cover that amount will not be a shirt my husband wears.
Every year, I try to come up with something interesting. Something he might have fun with. Bought a tabletop casino game – blackjack, poker and craps. We like to do AC and gamble, so I thought he’d like that.

It’s in the closet. Has been for about six years now. Think we used it once.

The three teams in our house are the NY Rangers, the NY Giants, and the NY Mets. I’ve gotten jackets, calendars, mouse pads, framed prints of big moments. But you can only buy someone so much sports-related paraphernalia before it becomes just clutter. Though the 360 degree view picture of the Garden the night the Rangers won the cup in ’94 (we were there in our regular seats!) is in full view in the family room.
Tools often work, but he’s picky about what he wants and says he really needs. Again, I remind him holiday gifts are not about needing (though I’d be thrilled with a new microwave this year. Maybe a dishwasher? And we desperately need a new car), they’re about making someone happy. A shirt isn’t going to do that – not from his perspective anyway. If he was a woman and enjoyed clothes as I do, I might think he’d have a point. But I’ve seen him open shirts before, he gives it a nice perusal, says thank you with a kind. happy smile and puts it away.
I’m sorry, but when you open a Christmas gift, the reaction should be “Oh cool, this is really neat! Thank you so much! I love/wanted this!”  I try to pick gifts for people that will bring that reaction, because there’s nothing better than giving someone something they really would like but probably wouldn’t buy for themselves. When he stands in front of something and admires it, I know that’s something that he’d yell at me for spending the money on, but be thrilled I got if for him. I have had to tell him on several occasions to “STFU and just be glad I know what you want and took the time to get it for you!”
But anyway, here we are again. Here come the phone calls and the emails and my daughter cornering me to remind me we have to get Dad a “good” present. I know. I dread this about as much as I dread his birthday because it causes such stress, when all he has to do is just find me something he wants, no matter how frivolous it seems to him. Look in the catalogs, check the sale flyers and emails. Surely there’s got to be something to tickle his impractical side! No one wants to be practical with a holiday gift (though if someone wants to pick me up that microwave, I have no objections!), they want to please your inner child.
Maybe that’s the problem. He’s forgotten how to be a child. Good thing I haven’t! Not that it’s helping me much as I plan my shopping missions.