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Sunday, March 19, 2017

One Month To Veiled Menace Giveaway Celebration

I can't believe it--Veiled Menace is coming out in less than one month! The book releases on April 18th, which is suddenly closer than I thought it was. Look out for various giveaways and other promos, including an exclusive excerpt, on a few different blogs, as well as here. In the meanwhile, let's start with this fun giveaway!

Veiled Menace notebook, postcard, magnet, a $10 Amazon gift card, a witch broom, and chocolate!
I put the gift card in there so the winner could buy a copy of the book if he or she wants to, although of course you could use it for anything you want. Since VEILED MAGIC (the first book in the series) and VEILED MENACE are each only $4.99, you could actually get them both! (If you haven't bought the first one yet.)

Entering is simple--just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. You can still click on things like "Follow the blog" for credit if you've already done it. And there is a special "fill in the blank" extra credit option where you can choose to do something nice for me, whether it is spreading the word so others will learn about the books, posting a review, or buying a book. (You don't need to do any of these options to be entered.)

The book is only out in eBook form, but if you don't have an eReader, you can always read it for free on your computer using the Kindle app. And I'll be giving away a Kindle Fire HD Tablet in my last giveaway here, as well as one on Fresh Fiction, so who knows, maybe you'll have one soon!

One last note: Berkley, my publisher, still hasn't decided whether or not to give me a contract for additional Rider or Baba Yaga books. If the pre-orders for this book are really good, it might help to give them a push in the right direction. Just sayin'.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Snowpocalypse 2017

So, about that storm...

It turns out that my area was one of the hardest hit by the storm now being referred to as either Stella or Snowpocalypse 2017. As of today we were still under a state of emergency, and all schools and most businesses were closed (including mine). Things are expected to go back to quasi-normal tomorrow, although we'll be digging out for some time. We were lucky in one thing, though, which was that the snow that fell was fairly light, so we didn't lose power. Whew.

I ended up getting about 33 inches of snow, or just under three feet--almost all of which fell in the first day. We've also got blowing winds, though, so the snow is piling up and then moving around. And it is expected to stay cold for at least the next week, so unlike many March snows, this one isn't going to disappear any time soon. Ironically, calendar spring is next Tuesday. [Insert hysterical laughter here.]

Here are some pictures from today:

Thank goodness for my plow guy. If I'd had to shovel this, I'd be here until it melted.

 I coped with this storm this morning the only way I could...with Magic the cat on my lap, a new Katie Fforde book from across the pond, hot chocolate in a mug made by my friend Chris, and BACON.

These bird feeders used to be a lot further from the ground. Look at the snow piled on top!

When the wind kicked up...

Believe it or not, that's my garden back there somewhere. That white expanse, in theory, is my driveway behind the house.

This was AFTER the first pass by the plow yesterday.

Not getting that car out any time soon...

Look how high the snow is!

I think I saw two cars yesterday and two today. At least today the mail delivery was back on.

Has anyone seen my yardstick?

A bright spot in all the white.

The good news is that the worst of it is over (as is my impromptu snow day sale) and I lived to tell the tale. Is it spring yet?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snow Day Sale

Holy crap, it's snowing, people.

This is the first official blizzard in NY State since something like 1993, and apparently it is making up for lost time. They'd predicted 14-18" for my area (Delaware/Otsego Country) and I'd hoped they were wrong. Which they were, but in the opposite direction of what I'd had in mind. We're already at 16" at my house and it is still coming down like crazy, and not expected to stop until sometime tomorrow afternoon or evening. They have upped the expected snowfall total to "up to 30 inches." Can I just say, "NO, THANK YOU"?

This was at 10:30 this morning (it's about 1PM right now).

Outside the back door

There's driveway under there somewhere

Garden? What garden?

Yes, that says 12" -- at 10:30 in the morning.

Believe it or not, there is a driveway between those 2 rows of trees...
So, I'm not going anywhere today. I'll be working on Veiled Menace (Veiled Magic #3) and revisions for the 365 Day book for Llewellyn, plus obsessively watching April the giraffe, who is going to give birth any minute now. [Anyone else watching her? Here's a fun fact--the animal park she lives in is about 45 minutes from me. I plan to go visit her and her baby this summer.] Plus, maybe napping with cats.

If you've got a snow day too, what are you planning to do? Read, maybe?

Because the snowstorm is making me a little stir-crazy, I'm going to do something a bit different. I'm having an impromptu Snow Day Sale! Just because I can. Here's the deal:

You can chose one or more of these options, and email me at magicmysticminerva at yahoo to tell me you want to take advantage of the sale. Free shipping is only for USA folks, I'm afraid, but I'll figure out some kind of a deal for those who are out of the country on a per person basis. (Payment will be through Paypal. It's easy.)

Tarot Option 1: (Limited to THREE SETS ONLY)
A copy of the Everyday Witch tarot deck set limited edition signed by both me and illustrator Elisabeth Alba, along with one of her special tins to put the cards in. The double-signed edition would normally be $35 and the tin would be $15, but for today I will have these three sets for $40 plus $5 shipping (shipping would normally be about $7). These are going to go fast, so grab them if you want them.

Or you could get a set signed just by me (which normally sells for $30) for $25 plus $5 shipping. (Be sure to specify which option you want.) This would be Tarot Option 2.

Part Two of the sale is for paperbacks signed by me. This includes Wickedly Dangerous, Wickedly Powerful, Wickedly Wonderful, and Dangerously Charming. These books are normally $7.99 and you can choose either one book with free shipping, or buy one get one half price (no free shipping).

If you want one of the Llewellyn books, I'll take 25% off of a signed copy, since they all vary in price.

All books will come with a few goodies, like bookmarks, magnets, postcards, and whatever else I feel like tossing in at the time :-)

No, the cat is not included.
The sale will continue as long as the snow does, which is expected to be late afternoon or evening on Wednesday the 15th, so if you want to take advantage of my storm-crazed brain, do it now! And be sure to spread the word...

Stay warm and safe, everyone who is in the path of this one.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Anniversaries Sweet and Sad

Happy March 1st, everyone! Only 20 days until Spring!

Today is special for two other reasons for me, The first, happy one, is that it is my Agent-versary! I can't believe I've been with the fabulous Elaine Spencer (and the wonderful Knight Agency) for SEVEN YEARS. Oh, my, how the time does fly. There is a lot to celebrate in those seven years, too. Elaine and I have both worked hard at forging a strong partnership, and at this point in our relationship, I can honestly say I can't think of any other agent I would rather be with. She cheers me on, celebrates with me when we have a win, commiserates with me when things don't go well, and is also a stellar First Reader and editor for my books (not all agents also edit, and she's great at it) so we can put out the best book possible for my beloved readers.

Those seven years have seen us sign a number of contracts together, including the three books in the Baba Yaga series, the first two in the Broken Rider series, three books in the Veiled Magic series, plus four novellas and my last four (I think) books for Llewellyn. The Llewellyn books would probably have come out even if I hadn't had an agent--the others, though, not likely. She is worth her price in pearls! (Don't worry, I didn't send her pearls, I sent her chocolate. I'm not crazy.)

The fabulous Elaine!
I can't believe that we don't have a picture of the two of us together (we've hung out in person at three separate RWA National conventions) but apparently, I don't. I'll have to remedy that this July when we meet up at the next one.

Thanks for everything you do, Elaine! Here's to another seven years of putting out great books together.


My other anniversary is a great deal sadder. Today it is a year since we lost my sweet Minerva, mother to Magic the Cat (Queen of the Universe) and Mystic the Magnificent. They haven't either of them been the same since she died, although they're doing okay. Mystic, in particular, has found solace in becoming snuggle buddies with pal Angus (who is just blissed out that he can now get on the bed, since Minerva used to hiss at him and chase him off, because it was her safe spot.)

Minerva and Mystic snuggled up together. They matched, except he is so much larger!

Magic, Minerva, and Mystic--the family in earlier days

Minerva in her last month
I brought them all home from the shelter together because in the end, I couldn't bear to separate this mama cat from two of her kittens. Best decision I ever made. She was a great mother, and although she was very timid with others, was incredibly sweet and loving with me and her babies. (It took her two years to sit on my lap--the folks at the shelter thought she might have been abused.) I miss her every day, but I am so grateful for that long-ago impulse that made me say yes. Seriously--look at that face! Who could have said no? I miss you, Mina. Thanks for being my cat.

Monday, February 27, 2017

For Jerry

Last week I had two uncles. This week I have one.

My Uncle Jerry lived in Stockton (with my mom's sister, my Aunt Sue), and it has been a long time since we were together. But I have fond memories of the entire family gathering at my grandmother's house in Schenectady, where Jerry would lecture and discuss and argue and joke with the rest of us, and let out that huge honking laugh of his.

Jerry with one of his grandchildren a few years back

A rare group family picture from about 20 years ago (the baby in the front is Athena, who is turning 22 next month!)
 That's my sister Sarah holding my niece Bri, my Aunt Susan holding my niece Addy, her husband Ross behind her, then my Aunt Sue with the red hair and glasses in the middle, Jerry, and my dad. In front is my beloved grandmother, and next to her my youngest sister Becky holding Athena. I was taking the picture. (I think my mom was off running errands or something.)
Sue and Jerry on their wedding day, from an old Polaroid
I was brought up Jewish, and Jerry was one of the few members of our family who stayed with the faith. So this is for him; the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead. My world is a little smaller without you in it, Uncle Jerry. Rest in peace.

English Translation

Glorified and hallowed is God's name,
in the world that God created, according to God's will,
and may God's majesty be revealed
in the days of our lifetime
and in the lifetime of all the house of Israel,
speedily and soon. And let us say, amen.
May God's great name be blessed always and forever.
Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled,
honored, raised up, and acclaimed
be the name of the Holy one, blessed be He
beyond every blessing hymn, praise, and consolation
that is uttered in the world. And let us say, amen.
May abundant peace from heaven, and life
be upon us and upon all Israel. And let us say, amen.
May God who makes peace in high places
make peace upon us and upon all Israel,
and let us say, amen.


Yitgadal v'yitkadash, shemey rabah.
Be'almah di'verah chir'utey
V'yamlich malchutey
Bechai'yeychon u'veyo'meychon
U'vechayey d'chol beit Yisrael
Ba'agalah u'vizman karim v'imru, amein.
Y'hey sh'mey rabah m'vorach le'alam u'le'almey almaya.
Yitbarach ve'yishtabach ve'yitpa'ar ve'yitromam ve'yitnasey
Ve'yit'hadar ve'yit'aleh ve'yit'halal
Sh'mey d'kudesha b'rich hu
L'eyla min kol birchata ve'shirata tush'bechata ve'nechemata
D'amiran b'alma v'imru, amen.
Yehey sh'lama raba min shemaya, ve'chayim
Aleynu ve'al kol yisrael ve'imru, amen.
Oseh shalom bimromav,
Hu ya'aseh shalom. Aleynu ve'al kol yisrael
V'imru, amen.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Good News Giveaway Post!

It seems like I'm spending a lot of time these days dealing with bad news, and trying not to spend too much time ranting on Facebook and Twitter :-) So I'm happy to have a bunch of good things to talk about. So happy, I'm doing a giveaway to celebrate. Some of you may have seen some of this stuff on Facebook, but I'm rounding it all up here today.

I have not one but TWO book cover reveals! One from Berkley for VEILED MENACE, the second book in the Veiled Magic series, coming out on April 18th (less than two  months away!) and up for preorder now.

I love it, don't you? Here's the blurb about the book:

Since Witches came out of the broom closet in the early twenty-first century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world…

Witch and police officer Donata Santori is no stranger to magical mayhem, but lately her life has been unexpectedly charmed. Her job as a Ghost Yanker now includes the occasional paranormal investigation, and she’s advancing her magical abilities with the help of an ancestor’s treasured spell book. And while both of her former love interests—reclusive half-Dragon art forger Peter Casaventi and disgraced Shapechanger Magnus Torvald—are nowhere to be found, she’s not averse to being wined and dined by wealthy businessman Anton Eastman.

But Eastman isn’t what he seems, and what he wants from Donata is far more than she’s willing to give. When a mysterious relic, the Pentacle Pentimento, resurfaces, along with Peter’s Dragon father and a shocking Santori family secret, Donata must fight to save herself, her friends, and just maybe the fate of the world from a magic as old as it is dangerous…
The second cover reveal is for my next Llewellyn book, coming out October 8th. A Year and a Day of Everyday Witchcraft is part devotional, part book of shadows, and all fun.

Here's the blurb for that one (also available for preorder...just sayin').
Connect with your witchy self every day using small, easy, and fun practices. This book features quick and meaningful ways to integrate witchcraft into your daily life, inspiring you to take your magick to a new level whether you’re a beginning or experienced practitioner.
Deborah Blake guides you on a journey through the Wheel of the Year, providing witchy wisdom, affirmations, spells, questions to ponder, and much more. From connecting with nature to connecting with deities, A Year and a Day of Everyday Witchcraft explores a variety of modern Pagan practices to help you get more in touch with your personal path of witchcraft.
That cat looks to me like he is about ready to get into some trouble...there's something a little dangerous in his eyes.

Speaking of dangerous, DANGEROUSLY CHARMING is up for a couple of awards! How cool is that? The first Rider book is in the finals for "Favorite SF/Fantasy/Futuristic Romance at the Australian Romance Readers Awards (I love my Aussie readers!) and also as "Best Paranormal Romance of 2016" at RT Book Reviews (formerly Romantic Times). That second one is HUGE in the field of romance writing, and I am thrilled just to be nominated.

I've also decided that I'm going to go to the RWA National Convention in Orlando this July, and found out I'll be rooming with the fabulous Maria V. Snyder. So that's one more thing to look forward to. I hope I'll see a few of you there. Be sure to tell me if you're going.

With VEILED MENACE out in less than two months, it is obviously time to start celebrating! Are you with me? I have a few VEILED MAGIC goodies left over, including a totebag, a notebook, and a couple of small things, like one of my favorite witch broom pens. As usual, all you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. And yes, you get credit for things you have already done, like following the blog or following me on Twitter.

Of course, what I'd really love is for people to preorder the books, and put up reviews, and such. But I'm way too dignified to beg. WAY too dignified. *snort* So go ahead, just enter the contest and have fun. (Although if you want to do those other things too...)

Magic the Cat approves of this giveaway.

Good news for everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Coastal Magic Convention Report: Part the Second

So, when last we left our intrepid heroine, she was suffering through a warm Florida sunset on her way to dinner with fun companions. It's a hard knock life, I say.

So...I'd been looking at the place we ended up going to dinner, since you could see the side of it from the hotel, but hadn't made it there last year. It was quite the experience! (I may have gotten 4-year-old-at-Disney excited. Just ask Lucienne. No, on the other hand, don't.) I present...Joe's Crab Shack (I highly recommend it if you happen to be in Daytona Beach).

The view from the beach.

The view as you walk down the pier toward the restaurant.

Inside. A very sensible suggestion. Which I followed, of course.

Princess Alethea's bib said: I got 99 problems but my crab ain't 1
 I had a bib too. Our waiter created each of them individually. I forget what it said. I was distracted by the seafood boil pot Alethea shared. It was heaven!

To make the evening even more amusing, about halfway through dinner all the waiters stopped what they were doing and went to the sides of the room, where they proceeded to do a synchronized dance. It was hysterical. In fact, the service, the food, and the atmosphere were stellar. I can't wait to go back next year, if I'm at the con.

Dancing waiters for the win!
 We were all stuffed, so the five of us shared this insane S'mores dessert. Heaven. We might have had to be rolled back to the hotel.

Friday night was also the dance party mixer, where Lucienne dragged me out onto the floor to dance a couple of times, gimpy knee and all. Lots of people dressed up as their favorite novel or movie characters. I loved these costumes so much, I dragged these two out into the hall so I could take their picture!

Author Graylin Fox and blogger Chelle Olson
 Lucienne wore her goddess costume from the afternoon, but I just wore, you know, clothes. Which apparently meant I should be attacked by a dinosaur. Yeesh.
Really, Lucienne? We can dress her up, but we can't take her out. And no, I have no idea where the dinosaur came from.

Can you tell we were having fun?
Thankfully, there are no pictures of my dancing. The bad knee did not add to my gracefulness, although it held up pretty well considering the insane amount of walking I did during the con.

Saturday morning started with another beautiful sunrise. A girl could get used to this.

The view from the 15th floor. Look, off in the distance, it's Joe's!
 First thing that morning I took part in a fun panel called "Remaking Mythology," with Alethea Kontis, Asa Maria Bradley, Lucienne, Gail Z. Martin, and Eric Asher.

Then I snuck out to the beach again for a while. Sigh.

My happy place.

Bare, sandy toes! No snow! My happy feet.
 Saturday lunch was a fun event called "Lunch with an Author," where readers got to sit and chat with the author they signed up to dine with. Then there was the group book signing.

Lisa Kessler and Princess Alethea looking adorable as usual.

Lucienne's gorgeous and charming husband Peter Wheeler rode his motorcycle in for the day to join us.
Afterward a bunch of us staggered back to Bubba Gump's to grab a late dinner (the book signing went until 7:30). Later that evening was Game Night, where authors hosted a table at which people could come and play a game with them. Lucienne brought Cards Against Humanity and we stayed up way too late having way too much fun.

Sunday morning Lucienne and I did our (now traditional, apparently) Mythology Jeopardy game panel. So much fun! I think you might be seeing a theme here. Now you know why I went a second year and may well go back next year as well. SO MUCH FUN and all the good peoples!

Which one of us is Alex Trebek?
All too soon I was on a plane going home, and back to this:

NOT ocean. Unless you count an ocean of snow.
But also back this, which makes it all okay.

Yay for great cat sitters! I'm not even sure the cats missed me.
All in all, another great event(hotel renovations aside, and that was really just an annoyance). Jennifer Morris, who puts on the con, does an amazing job. If you can, I'd highly recommend going next year. I hope I get to do it again. Maybe I'll see you there!