Release Round Up!

Hi folks!

This is going to be a busy few months for me, in terms of publishing, so I thought I’d give y’all the heads up.

Just last week I released THE HOUND OF BAR HARBORVILLE!

HoundFinalIt’s a story with Jane and Anyan, from Anyan’s point of view. Thanks to everyone who bought it and huge thanks to everyone who has reviewed it! If you haven’t yet, and you’ve read it, I’d really appreciate a review. It can be short, they just really help us beat those algorithm thingies! ;)

Next month will be VERY busy. My big release is, of course, JINN AND JUICE, coming out in digital release (paperback to follow in about six months). It’s getting great blurbs and people seem to enjoy it… and it’s SO cheap on digital, only $2.99!


Another big release for me is the hardcover version of DEAD BUT NOT FORGOTTEN, which features my story, “Borderline Dead.” I’ll also be doing a signing with Charlaine Harris and some of the other anthology authors, at Murder by the Book on December 3rd.

dead but not forgotten_front mech.indd

Also in December, I’ll be releasing another Jane short story, this one called THE RYU MORGUE. It’ll be about Ryu and Maeve–Has our favorite baobhan sith metrosexual met his match??

January will then see the release of THE SATYR OF ST. GILES, in which Graeme finally gets his comeuppance.

Anything you’re particularly excited for? Because I’m so glad to be having a busy few publishing months after a busy work year last year. :) And thank you for all of your continued support. Jane’s fans are AMAZING!

New York Comic Con Recap!

Howdy folks! Hope y’all are well and excited for the release of THE HOUND OF BAR HARBORVILLE, my Jane True story which comes out tomorrow. WHAT? I know. It happened so fast. You can follow the linkieloo above to pre-order it, and please do!

But I’ve been super busy the past week. I was a guest at New York Comic Con…and it was insane! First off, upon arriving at our hotel, The Yotel, I was greeted by my spirit animal:


I know, right! Terrifying. I now know what a love child of myself and a moose would produce. Anyway, we came in on Wednesday so I would be ready for Thursday at the con…which meant that we had Wednesday night to play. And play we did! My lovely friend (and amazing artist) Lyla came with for the first half of the trip. Aren’t we cute!


And soon enough we found ourselves in one of my favorite NYC bars, Beekman Bar and Books. There we were joined by my very old friend Wendy. I say “very old” because we realized it was TWELVE years since we met in Spain, and at that point there was not enough alcohol in the world to make me feel less freaked out. Although we did our damnedest. ;)


The next morning meant it was time for me to go to work. We could see the crowds forming at Javits from our hotel window, a daunting sight. Apparently, word on the skreets is that this NYCC was bigger even than San Diego Comic Con. It certainly felt that way.


But the good people at Orbit Books took excellent care of me, as usual, during my booth signing. We gave away TONS of copies of Tempest Rising. And I kept running into lovely human beans like Dana Cameron, whom I adore. YAY! I also got to hide behind the Hachette Booth…


And hide I did! Thursday was the slowest day but OMG the people!


We did venture out some, though. Mostly to take adorable pictures. My agent, the wonderful and talented Rebecca Strauss, was with us that day as well, and she took us to lunch and took photos…


The next day I didn’t have to be at NYCC and we definitely needed a respite. Luckily, our lovely friend Lindsay came in from Pittsburgh to take second shift as my Official Con Escort, as Lyla had to get home that night. But we had all Friday to be tourists. We went to the MAD, which I adored. Then we walked the High Line. SO FUN:


It was a great day out, ending in an Indian feast before Lyla had to catch the bus home. And the next day, I was back at NYCC, doing my panel and official autographing. Lindsay took a ton of pics, which is great, not least as I learned I make very absurd hand gestures when I talk. Here I am cupping something:



And I appear to be going for a lay up in this one:


You can see a video of the WHOLE panel below. My fellow guests were pretty amazing (mother of Yoda? YES.) and I think we had a pretty rad conversation:

That day was super intense, but I met lovely people and did a ton of business and was very glad to be there and very glad to get out. SO MANY PEOPLE. Did I mention there were a lot of people?

Luckily, I got to come home on Sunday, and have two days off to catch up on school work and prepare for the release of my Jane short story.

Thanks so much to Orbit, to Rebecca, to Lyla and Lindsay and Wendy, and to NYCC and the Yotel for a great time. I’m nearly recovered. Ish. ;) xoxoxo

Swag and Such: My New York Comic Con 2014 Schedule

Hey folks! Next week is NYCC 2014 and I’ll be attending Thursday the 9th and Saturday the 11th. If you’re there, you should come see me!

Here’s where you can catch me:




Where: Orbit/Yen (Hachette)

When: Thursday, 2:00 pm

THERE WILL BE GIVEAWAYS! ;) At least till they run out…


Where: 1B03

When: Saturday,  3:00-3:45

More here


Where: Autographing Table 19

When: Saturday, 4:00-5:00

More here

Books will be available for purchase

EXCERPT THIS!: or, Anyan Rides Again!

Hello my pretties!

Today I’ve got an excerpt from THE HOUND OF BAR HARBORVILLE for you! I’m so excited about this little story! It’s so fun slipping back into Jane and Anyan’s world. And this story is from Anyan’s point of view, which was also super fun.

Without further ado, here’s the excerpt! The whole shebang will be available October 15, 2014.


Of course, lunch wasn’t just lunch. After we’d eaten our weight in Bar Harbor lobster—I’ll never understand why vacation lobster tastes so much better than our normal, Rockabill lobster, considering it’s the same damned lobster—Jane spotted an “adorable” gallery, and then another, and then another. After that she had to have an ice cream, and then a cocktail, and then another cocktail, and then there was another gallery, and then it was time for dinner, and then a nightcap. Somehow she conned me into ice cream again. Then we called home to check on the twins and Jane’s dad, who had everything well in hand. By the time we got back to the hotel, it was eight o’clock and I was very, very ready for our bed, if not for sleeping.

A shiny brass call bell was sitting on the desk at the hotel, and I gave it a mighty clap when we arrived, carrying what felt like dozens of shopping bags filled with tourist tat and some nice pieces of local art.

And then we waited.

And waited.

“That’s weird,” said Jane, and she clapped the bell again.

This time it was Timmy who shambled out of the hidden door behind the desk.

“Hullo,” he said listlessly, staring at us.

“Hello,” said Jane, straightening her spine with an expectant air.

Timmy’s dull brown gaze shifted between us like he wasn’t quite sure who we were or what we were doing there. His graying blonde hair hung into his eyes, contributing to the boyish air that clung to him, despite his obviously being middle-aged.

“We’re the Barghests,” I explained. “You carried our luggage to our room earlier today.”

“Okay,” said Timmy.

More silence.

“Could we go to our room now?” Jane asked gently.

“Okay.” Timmy didn’t have a very wide repertoire of responses, apparently.

“We don’t have a key,” said Jane. “Or a room number.

“Okay,” said Timmy, but this time he did move, first to take a key from under the desk and then to lead us up the stairs with a slow, determined tread.

Our room number was 13. Jane nudged me, but at that point I didn’t care if we had to kick a black cat and walk directly under a ladder to get into our room. Timmy pushed open the door and stood back, handing me the key as I followed Jane into the room. When I turned around to tip the man, he was gone, disappeared like a ghost.

I felt the hair on my arms rise and I reminded myself that I was Anyan Barghest, scourge of the supernatural world, and I shouldn’t be afraid of a middle-aged boutique hotel valet with the IQ of a toddler.

“It’s gorgeous,” Jane breathed as we set our shopping bags down next to the door and I turned to shut the door. “Look at that bed!”

The bed was huge and very elegantly made up. A four-poster draped in fabric, it was utterly romantic and incredibly practical for tying someone to. There was also the advertised chaise lounge and the fireplace and, when we poked our head in the bathroom, the enormous tub and equally large shower.

I turned to Jane, who put a hand on my chest.

“Not so fast, puppy. I need a shower. And to put on something special for our special night.”

“You already are special,” I said. “You can’t get any specialer…”

Well played, I congratulated myself. For I had my own special plans for tonight that had counted on Jane’s usual nightly ritual of a shower or bath before bed.

“It’ll take me twenty minutes, tops,” she said. “Think you can survive for that long?”

I sighed. “I guess. If I have to.” I bent to kiss her, meaning it to be just a quickie, but it deepened and soon we were almost too deep into it, ready to forget both of our separate missions. Champagne, I reminded myself. Candles. Shit girls like.

And with that I managed to pull back. “Get ready,” I said, giving her a soft kiss before she gathered up a few things from her little suitcase and went into the bathroom and shut the door.

I sprang into action.

From my own suitcase I pulled out three pillar candles I’d stashed amongst my clothes and the kit that Grizzie and Iris had handed me the following evening. I opened it to find a baggie full of rose petals, a bottle of massage oil, a pair of handcuffs that were not the fuzzy sex kind but real, honest-to-god handcuffs, a variety of toys, and a bunch of bananas. I hoped the bananas were for us to eat to keep our strength up, but with those two I probably didn’t want to know.

I placed one candle on the bureau across from the bed, by the door, one on the mantle above the fireplace, and one on the left-hand nightstand. I pulled from the earth’s magic, using a small burst of power to light each candle as I set it down. Then I strew the rose petals on the bed, looking at the clock. I still had fifteen minutes to carry out my plan.

Creeping out the door, I turned off the lights, looking back to check the scene. I had to admit, it looked good. I’d not bothered with the fire, as it was a warm night, but the candles lit the room with a soft glow that left most of the room, especially the bed, plunged in velvety shadow.

It looked warm and mysterious and sexy, like my Jane.

Then the candle next to bed guttered in a draft and went out, leaving the fabric-draped four-poster bed in total darkness. I nearly went to relight it, not trusting my aim with fire to do it from the doorway without lighting the bed on fire. Then I decided it could wait till I got back; getting the food and booze was more important.

It was Jane I was dealing with, after all.

Downstairs, there was no one at the desk and no one answered the bell this time when I slapped it impatiently. After a few minutes of waiting, I decided to take matters into my own hands and went behind the desk to push open the secret door there. It led into a small office, through which I could see a large kitchen.


I went to the refrigerator and pulled it open. Sure enough, there was a large paper bag that said “Barghest” on it. Inside I found the champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries I’d had delivered to the hotel for our arrival. A little rummaging in cupboards and I found a few flutes and a silver tray, upon which I arranged everything. I debated whether to open the champagne there, in the kitchen, but figured I’d do it in the bedroom, especially as there was no one to help me open doors or anything.

Where the hell is the staff? I wondered. It felt like we had the whole place to ourselves, which was odd considering part of the Chateau’s outrageous price tag was its promise of first-class service.

The champagne flutes jittered on the tray as I carried everything through the secret door and back up the stairs to our room. I figured that in the time I’d waited at the desk and then helped myself, I’d been about twenty minutes. I’d wanted everything set up before Jane came out of the shower, but arriving with it on the tray wouldn’t be too shabby.

I did have three of her favorite things, after all. On the tray was food and booze.

And the third thing is my doggie style, I thought smugly as I carefully nudged open the door, trying to be as quiet as possible in case she was still in the bathroom and I might yet manage to surprise her.

Only I was the one who was surprised.

For Jane was doing a sexy little shimmy for another man.

Even with my sharp barghest eyesight, I couldn’t see whom he was through the thick darkness created by the curtains of the four-poster bed. All I could see was that someone was in the bed, and Jane was standing just a few feet in front of me, facing the stranger and sliding her robe down her shoulders to reveal an absolutely stunning lingerie set.

“Who is that in our bed and why are you dancing for him?” I said, keeping my voice carefully neutral, not least because I’d registered something very odd about the man.

He wasn’t moving. Not even when Jane revealed her lace-covered tatas, which should have created some sort of reaction.

And speaking of Jane…

“EEEEEK!” she squealed at the sound of my voice, drawing her robe up and jumping away from where I stood, then shrieking again and jumping back towards me as her head swiveled toward its mystery occupant.

“What the fuck?” she shouted, lunging for the light switch even as I reached to flick it on.

She turned on her heel and we both looked at the figure in our bed.

It was our host, Jack(ques). He was propped up on the pillows, the covers—that I’d so carefully strewn with rose petals—pulled over his thighs.

He was very naked.

He was also very dead.

His eyes stared forward, his color already pallid. I couldn’t see any signs of blood or bruising or any other trauma, but he was definitely dead.

Jane looked at me, eyes wide. I looked back at Jane. Then I swore, moving just far enough into the room to set the tray down on a small table by the door before steering her away by the elbow to go call the human police.

So much for our romantic getaway.

Hope you liked it! Here’s the link to more info, and where you can find buy buttons as they’re available!


Hi folks!

Just posting with some fun news. There are no more Jane True novels on the horizon, BUT I always said I may do some short stories…and I am!

They’re super fun, super fast reads for the established Jane True fan. I’ve got three planned so far: THE HOUND OF BAR HARBORVILLE, THE RYU MORGUE, and THE SATYR OF SAINT GILES.

“The Hound of Bar Harborville” is up first! Here’s the cover, done by the ever fabulous Mark Henry:


Here’s what it’s about:

Anyan can’t wait to get Jane away for a romantic getaway to Bar Harbor – their first since the twins were born. But everything goes awry when Anyan catches Jane accidentally sexy dancing for another man…who happens to be quite dead. Jane, convinced there’s been foul play, wants to investigate, but Anyan just wants to get it on. One naughty wager later and Jane gets her way…but will Anyan eventually get his way with her?

The story is from Anyan’s point of view, and it’ll be out October 15th. I’m posting buy buttons as I’m able to, and you can already pre-order from a few venues here.

I’m writing “The Ryu Morgue” right now, and it’s about Ryu and Maeve, the human he meets in the Initiative, whom we hear about in Tempest Reborn. That should be available in December, after the release of Jinn and Juice and my Sookieverse story, in November.

Finally, “The Satyr of Saint Giles” will be coming out in January, and that’s where Graeme, the sadistic satyr, finally gets his comeuppance.

So be excited! Be very excited! Jane stories are coming at you.

You know her! You love her! You wanted more of her! xoxoxo

Speech! Speech!

We have a summer reading program at my school, Seton Hill University, and I’m head of the committee. This year we read The Book Thief (amazing read) and we all discussed it an then we had a Gallery at which I gave a speech. A few people have asked for the speech, so here it is!

Hello and welcome to all of you: our incoming class as well as our faculty and staff. My name is Dr. Nicole Peeler and I would like to thank you on behalf of the Summer Reading Committee. We very much appreciate your taking part in this event.

Today we are here because all of you read the same book, Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief. It’s very long, as I’m some of you were painfully aware. And it’s not exactly a happy read, what with virtually all the characters dead at the end. The subject matter is also grim: concentration camps, genocide, the bombing of civilian targets, all narrated by death itself. Such a book may seem a strange welcome at a time that is full of promise, excitement, and hope.

And yet I would argue that this book is one of hope. As much as it is an exploration of the evil committed in the name of grandiose ideologies, it is also a story of love. It is a story of everyday people caught up in something much larger than themselves, who still manage to act with kindness and even, at times, with heroism. It is also a book in which these good people die.

We are more familiar with happier narratives. Those in which people who act with kindness not only survive, but are recognized and rewarded for their brave acts. Stories like the one told in The Book Thief are, quite frankly, depressing. And, we may ask ourselves, what is the point of such a sad tale? What can we take from a book that makes us doubt the fairness of the universe?

What I take from this book, and what we, as a committee, hope to share with you, are just these sorts of questions, rather than answers. The book asks, what could ordinary Germans have done when confronted with the barbaric, unstoppable machine that was Hitler’s Third Reich? And by asking that question, we must ask, what can any of us do when confronted with issues that are bigger than we are and that we know we can’t fix singlehandledly?

One answer, of course, is to remain silent. To shut our eyes, our ears, and our hearts. Another answer, a far more uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous answer, is to engage with the issue and do something, anything, to create even a thimbleful of change.

We do not live in Liesel’s Germany, but many of you have undoubtedly felt powerless in the face of the history unfolding around us. You have watched footage from Gaza, Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. You have seen tanks on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. You have opened Facebook to pictures of beaten children or animals, or read headlines about Ebola outbreaks, suicide, or rape culture in your Twitter feed.

And you’ve probably felt, as I have so many times in my lifetime but especially in this past year, completely helpless. How can any one of us fix these huge issues plaguing our world? The answer is we can’t. And yet we can do something, and this is where The Book Thief comes in.

The Book Thief is about doing something to make a difference. Notice I said, something—not everything. It’s about effecting changes, not fixing a problem. And for as many problems as we see around us, we can also find opportunities to help all over the place.

The Summer Reading Committee has provided a banner that you will find at the table to the right of the stage. This morning, we challenge you to think of one issue that has bothered you in the past, but that you’ve been silent about. Something like poverty, or marriage equality, or voting rights. We ask you to write that issue on the banner and make a commitment to yourself to take even the smallest action.

Dr. Tim Crain is going to speak to you next. He’s going to talk to you about the National Center for Holocaust Education, and about Seton Hill’s commitment to Catholic social teaching and our commitment, as an institution, to social justice. When Dr. Crain finishes his talk, you’ll be turned loose to investigate the tables along the walls, all of which offer opportunities for involvement either here at Seton Hill or in Westmoreland County. This Saturday is also Seton Hill’s Labor of Love, run by Campus Ministry who has a table here today. This event is a great way to take the first step into engagement with your community.

And while you’re visiting the tables, please take a few moments to watch the Dance Club, led by Professor TaMara Swank, as well as the PowerPoint of holocaust related art created by Prof. Maureen Vissat. For that’s another lesson The Book Thief teaches: that art is absolutely a form of engagement with the world. And this is our ultimate mission here at Seton Hill, as faculty, as students, and as staff: to engage with the world we live in. Thank you, and please welcome Dr. Tim Crain.

When Our Parents Are Fighting

Some of you may know that my publishing company, Hachette, is feuding with Amazon. Others of you may be sweetly oblivious, because I’m not sure how much it affects individual readers. For consumers, it probably isn’t yet a big deal.

But this feud is a big deal for authors. I’m not going to go into the nuts and bolts, mostly because it’s super complicated, I don’t fully understand everything, and if you Google “Amazon Hachette feud” you’ll probably get 1,000 sources and opinions far more informed than me. I am pretty sure about one thing, however, and that’s the fact that this fight is one of Goliath versus Goliath, which makes picking a horse to bet on pretty difficult (even if one of those horses is, technically, your own).

That said, there’s one thing I’m absolutely sure about, and that’s who is really getting screwed in this pootch-house: the authors. Now, technically I’m one of Hachette’s authors, so I’m really bemoaning my own sad fate, here. But my next book isn’t due out until November, by which time Amazon could very well have bought Hachette and I’ll have been handed my red pill and complimentary sippie cup of water. But right now there are a lot of authors getting hit really hard by this feud. After all, no one wins when mommy and daddy fight.

This feud really sucks for those authors, not least because they didn’t have pre-order buttons for months and pre-orders are what publishing companies use to decide whether to make new deals, and how much to pay out in those deals. And I don’t just mean Hachette is looking at those numbers, cuz they should be giving a brother a break, right? Unfortunately, book sellers look at these numbers to determine what they want to order to put in their stores. And other publishing companies have the same numbers, and all they see is that Debut Author Sacrificia Lambe had like no sales, and because she’s a debut, they don’t know if it’s because of the feud or if it’s because her book was simply destined to tank. And they don’t know if a new series didn’t take off because of the feud, or because it didn’t have a freaking buy button for ninety years.

Such authors are kinda screwed, and it really sucks. Especially because one of these authors is my friend.

She’s being a total trooper and she’s not complaining and she gets that this is a business and blah blah blah but I’m her friend and I’m kind of a Tiger Friend and I’m all RAWR RAGE.

So here’s my proposition: BUY HER BOOK.

2014-05-15 21.57.36I don’t care where you buy it from. I’m not going to tell you where to shop. I’m just asking you to buy it. Because she’s a great writer and, as a reader, I kinda want to show The Powers That Be that I’ll get the damned book the day it comes out, whatever they do with buttons or orders or shipments or whatever.

Whose book is it? It’s my buddy’s book: Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells. It is the second book in the series, so you might have to just go ahead and buy the first book if you haven’t read it already. Really stick it to the man.

Because Jaye is an amazing writer and writing is her job. She takes it so seriously and she loves it so much and she wants to do what all writers do: to tell stories and get them into the hands of readers so y’all will love us and send us chocolate.

What we don’t really want to do is  have to scramble around the feet of Goliath and Goliath, trying not to get stepped on while they grapple. Writers aren’t known for their athleticism, quite frankly, and that’s some dangerous shit.

So go buy Jaye’s book. You’ll love it and you’ll have shown TPTB that no matter how much they squall, we have ways of reaching our readers. (I would like you to say that last sentence in a German and/or Russian accent. I know, I’m demanding as hell.) And I’m giving you a picture of us bar crawling, dressed as nuns, in NOLA, as payment.

Now send me some chocolate. xoxoxoxo

Pittsburgh Appearance!

Hello my friends!

Just a quick note to let y’all know that I’ll be appearing next weekend at CONFLUENCE, a local SF/F con here in Pittsburgh.

They’ve got me doing roughly a gajillion things, so if you want to find out more about Jinn and Juice or how to make killer chili, sign up and come see me! Here’s a link to the schedule.

In other news, I’ve been invited to join THE HOLY TACO CHURCH. Sign up now to receive recipes, events, and upcoming releases from authors like me, Jaye Wells, Kevin Hearne, and Chuck Wendig. Rad!

I’m going to go have cocktails now, because it’s That Time of Day. Cocktail time. xoxo

COVER REVEAL! Jinn and Juice

Hey folks!

I’m so happy to show you the beautiful cover Orbit Books made for Jinn and Juice!

The art is Nathalia Suellen, and the design is Lauren Panepinto. I think they outdid themselves. And who recognizes that city in the background???


(click to embiggen!)

Please let me know what you think of Lyla! xoxo

Where Have I Been All Your Life?

Hey folks!

Sorry I’ve been so MIA but life has been crazy! Awesome, but crazy. Right as school ended, I went to the RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans. I go to RT every year and I always have a great time, but this one was absolutely fabulous. It was in NOLA! My favorite place on earth! So how could I not have fun?

I also got to be on a panel with Charlaine Harris, who is sorta my ultimate hero, so I was fangirling like crazy. I was lucky enough to be picked to participate in Charlaine’s Sookieverse Anthology Dead But Not Forgotten, which came out in audiobook that week. So the antho participants attending the convention were taken to breakfast by the lovely folks at Audible and then we were on a panel together.

I was on a bunch of other panels and had a very busy con overall, and the cherry on top was receiving an RT Book Reviewers Award for Best UF Protagonist. RT was my first big convention as a published author, which I attended to promote Tempest Rising and it felt very “full circle” to receive this award for the sixth, and final, book in the Jane True series, Tempest Reborn.

Here are some pics from the con, in no particular order:

I think I make a great romance heroine, don’t you?


I had to include this one of Mark Henry, snapped seconds after he first got to the con, road-piña colada in hand. We always look to Mark to set the tone.


Jaye Wells and I roomed together. And ate a lot together. Here she is having a moment with our first dessert experience of the con, which involved a brownie made with foie gras. Speaking of setting the tone…


In general there was a lot of eating. Mark ate all the mystery shellfish, which we appreciated. Here he is, going in with what I think is a reasonable amount of trepidation for something that came from a shell that we didn’t order and can’t identify:


And Jaye spent a lot of time in contemplation. While wearing a nun’s habit.


Here we are, dressed as nuns, at the absinthe bar in Pirate Alley and eating beignets. This is the kind of thing that just happens in New Orleans, where everything is dreamlike and sticky with powdered sugar. Why do you think I visit so many times a year?


I had beautiful dates for the awards ceremony, Ms. Jaye and Ms. Liliana Hart:



And I got to take home this beauty:


And my dates and I may have hit the road sodies ourselves a few times:


Also the Tums:


And we baptized the stunningly gorgeous courtyard of the W French Quarter with one of our famed Live Erotic Readings. The other patrons were thrilled:


And just in case you forgot, I won an award (and wore a ladybug dress):


So RT was amazing. Even more amazing than usual, but how can anything not be amazing in New Orleans? I took two days of actual vacation time after the con, and spent them mostly by the pool:


Besides being a pool bunny, I also got to spend quality time with some friends from New Orleans, especially my girl Jennette, the Hooping Queen of NOLA. It was great to catch up!

Meanwhile, I really needed those few days of respite. For those of you who don’t know, I’m also a full-time professor, and this year was a doozie at work. A good doozie! But a doozie.

First I went up for promotion, which is a LOT of work. I was successful and am now an Associate Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing, but the work and stress that went into it was a lot. We also did program review for the English program, and I was on that committee. So that was a lot of work all year, too.

But the big change for me occurred when my colleague who directs our MFA in Writing Popular Fiction got sick. He’s doing much better, but was out for the whole second semester. Dr. Lee McClain and I stepped up to co-direct the program, so that was a ton of work that I was not anticipating. It all turned out well, however. My colleague Dr. Wendland is doing much better (and just released his awesome new SF novel The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes) and should be back in the saddle soon. But it turned out he was in the process of semi-retiring anyway, and was planning on stepping down as director at the end of the coming year. So he and I will continue to co-direct the MFA program this coming year, and then I’ll be director when he steps down. Which means I’m about eight years ahead of my career plan, but that’s fine by me. I really enjoy the MFA and getting more involved is something I find challenging in the best way, and equally rewarding.

And last week we had the first residency with me as one of the directors. It was soooooo busy but also very, very fun. The students are great and it was very rewarding to be the public face of the program, doing the speeches at graduation, etc. So I had a great time.

I am also exhausted.

So I’m going to cut this short (okay, admittedly kinda long) and go do laundry. I’m leaving for a few days to go visit friends in Vermont, and after that the summer will be packed with work. I’ve got revisions on two books waiting for me, a program to run, a new course to develop for our undergraduate creative writing department…and I’ve also got my little house to enjoy, my fabulous friends to have fun with, and my very patient boyfriend to cuddle.

My life has been extra crazy, but I am extra grateful for all of my opportunities and the wonderful people I have to rely on for incredible amounts of support.

Also for taxidermied griffins, to help me express my school spirit.

Go Griffins!