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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

An Update on Magic and Mystic

I'm sorry I haven't been around much this month (although if you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you can at least find me there). It's December, so I'm insanely busy running The Artisans's Guild and making jewelry to sell there, plus, you know, DECEMBER. But I've also been spending a lot of my time and energy taking care of Mystic and his sister Magic, both of whom are battling cancer. I won't kid you--it has been a tough time here, although well worth it.

Mystic the Magnificent, skinnier but still handsome

The kittens, as I still tend to think of them, although they're both fifteen, would be turning sixteen on January 11th. Barring a surprise development, Mystic will probably make it, although he gets skinnier and pickier about food all the time, and is on a bunch of expensive medicines. Magic, on the other hand...well, it is the season for miracles, so I guess we'll see. Right now I'm just praying she makes it through the Christmas holiday, when my vet is closed for 2 1/2 days, and I'm working at the shop (where people probably wouldn't appreciate me weeping all over their gifts).

For those of you who didn't already know, Mystic has been battling what we're pretty sure is some kind of lymphoma since May. No one, including my vet, expected him to still be here now, but my cats are nothing if not stubborn. He's gone from 16.8 lbs to about 11, and back in August we had to put him on pain meds for what we assumed was "hospice care" for the last few weeks of his life. Apparently they keep him feeling pretty good, since he's still here. I've given up trying to predict how long he will last, but our best guess is another month or two. In the  meanwhile, though, he is still feeling perky enough to play with his pal Angus and torment his sister, although I have to feed him 6-8 small meals a day and sit with him to encourage him to eat. Plus he gets fluids every other day, for the beginning of renal failure which was probably brought on by the cancer.

Boys will be boys


Best friends

The one good thing about how long this has dragged on is that it has given me time to make my peace with it, as much as is possible. Magic, well, that one is tougher.

"Why do you keep taking pictures of me?"

For one thing, we have an incredibly special relationship. I love all my cats, but Magic is also my familiar, and the only really snuggly one of the bunch. She sleeps by my head and purrs me to sleep each night, and sits on my lap while I eat breakfast. She supervises my writing (and everything else I do) and attends ritual. Plus, of course, she is so much a part of my writing career, I sometimes think she has a bigger fan base than I do!

Helping me write.

Reading at breakfast
 A couple of months ago, she had what I thought was a bad reaction to a rabies shot, and almost died. It turned out my vet saw something suspicious near her spleen on the x-rays and we shaved her belly (she did NOT approve) and did an ultrasound, which showed a cluster of grape-like cysts, almost certainly a different type of cancer. One of the cysts had burst, flooding her body with poison. We put her on prednisone, which might have shrunk the tumors (it is probably controlling the ones her brother has), but my vet always said it was a long shot, and when we did another ultrasound three weeks ago, it showed the tumors had grown to be massive. My vet (who is wonderful, and very supportive) called her "a ticking time bomb." Essentially, one of these--now much larger--cysts could burst at any moment and kill her. It isn't a matter of if, but rather, when. It is too large and chancy to operate on, and there is essentially nothing to do but wait, and be grateful for every moment of every day I still have her with me.

Poor little shaved belly kitty
 Ironically, despite this, she seems to be a perfectly normal (well, if any cat of mine could ever be called normal) and healthy cat. She did suddenly get very picky about food a couple of weeks ago, and there have been two times when she stopped eating (probably from nausea) and I thought, "This is it," only to have her perk up again. Today, she is feeling pretty good. Tomorrow is anyone's guess.

I lost their mom last March, and Samhain three years ago this coming December 28th, so the crazy cat lady with five cats will soon be down to one. They're going to drum me out of the CCL union!

In the meanwhile, I'm doing my best to stay positive, and keep them comfortable. I am incredibly grateful for all the support people have given me online--my peeps are the best. I am ESPECIALLY grateful for the folks who have signed up to support me on Patreon. I'm actually $53 away from being able to cover the monthly costs of Mystic's medication, which is huge. I love, love, love all my Patreon followers. If you're interesting in checking out the reward levels (which start as low as $1), you can see them HERE. (I'm even offering live online witchcraft classes, an "only available there" novel in installments, and private tarot readings.) Even if you aren't interested in doing that, all your messages and encouragement have meant the world to me.

All the Meds. Oy
 I know what's coming, although I don't know exactly when. And I know it is going to break my heart into a million pieces. But these cats have been one of the greatest blessings in my life, and the last fifteen plus years with them have been worth all these hard moments at the end. Love always comes with a price, but it also brings so much joy.

So despite the sadness here, the furball gang and I wish you a very Merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, and a blessed Yule.

"I will bite you."

"Sigh."



Friday, December 8, 2017

Witchcraft Classes Starting Up On Patreon


For those who are looking for a little magical study in their lives, the first of my live witchcraft classes is on Wednesday evening. This is available to my patrons who give $25 per month. That amount is right in line with what I would charge for a class at your local pagan store or in person. We'll be holding the class online, using video conference via Zoom. (If you can't join us online, the video can be viewed later.)

Our first class will focus on Yule with a Q&A to follow. The awesome part is that you get to suggest topics for future classes! There is a limit to the number of folks who can sign up for this so if you're interested, pledge at the $25 level on my Patreon page! 
 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Cover Reveal Veiled Enchantments!


Cover reveal time! Here's the cover for VEILED ENCHANTMENTS, the final installment in the VEILED MAGIC trilogy. It will be out March 20th, but you can preorder it most places now. You know, so you don't forget...

So, what do you think?


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Book Release Day!

It's finally here! Today is book release day for Dangerously Divine, the second book in the Riders series.


Magic the Cat is very excited, as you can see. Are you?

ALL THE BOOKS!
Be sure to let me know if you read the book and like it. And don't forget, the best way to help your favorite authors is to leave reviews (well, and buy books, of course).

Love you all lots,

Deborah, sitting here in the corner twitching and waiting to see if people love the new book...

Barnes & Noble |Amazon |KoboiTunes|Penguin


Friday, November 24, 2017

Short Short Story and Amazon Gift Card at Literary Escapism


And so it begins...

Release day for Dangerously Divine is right around the corner (Tuesday the 28th!), so I'm going to be popping up all over the Interwebs with fun things and giveaways. Today I'm kicking off the Black Friday short short story blitz at Literary Escapism with a short story about Gregori which takes place right before the events of Dangerously Divine. The poor man is trying to find the perfect Yule gifts for three Baba Yagas, their husbands, a teenage witch, and little Babs. Where on earth could he ever find something perfect for such an eclectic bunch? Find out the answer HERE

I'm also giving away a $25 Amazon gift card over at the blog, so be sure to enter the contest after you read the short story. I'd love, love, love it if you'd come back here and tell me what you thought!

Speaking of contests, don't forget to enter the one here on my blog http://deborahblake.blogspot.com/2017/11/huge-giveaway-for-dangerously-divine.html It's on through the end of the day Sunday. Or Monday. I can't remember. Either way, go enter now! (Check out the list of other giveaways on that post too.)

And the lovely Maria V. Snyder is doing a Thanksgiving giveaway of a few of her (FABULOUS) books, plus those of some of her favorite author pals. She surprised me by including a copy of Dangerously Charming as one of the giveaways. Isn't that sweet? Because the contests are for real readers, not just people who enter every contest they see, you have to answer questions to enter. But she said it was okay to tell my readers the answers, just in case they hadn't read her books (hint: you should, they're amazing). So you can use "Ari" and "Janco" or just put in "Deborah sent me" to enter. Maria's giveaway

If you haven't done it yet, you might also want to check out my new Patreon page. We're going to be doing lots of fun things over there, including a serialized never-before-seen humorous paranormal novel and monthly witchcraft classes, for people who sign up at certain levels. PATREON

But do come back here and tell me if you read the story, and if so, what you thought! Happy Black Friday all. I'm off to work at The Artisans' Guild.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Come Support Me on Patreon!



I have exciting news! I’ve decided (okay, been persuaded) to start a Patreon page. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Patreon, it is a way to support the authors (or artists, or various other types of creative people) whose work you enjoy. It is very simple. Patrons sign up to make a monthly contribution (as little as a dollar a month) to the “creator” of their choice, and in return get various rewards that are not available to the general public. The greater the monthly pledge, the more exciting the rewards.

Needless to say, not everyone can afford to do this, or will have any desire to support their favorite authors by doing anything more than buying books and leaving the occasional review. That’s just fine. But for others, it is an opportunity to be a part of the creative process, support folks they admire, and get fun and interesting rewards in the process. And those they support get to do what they love and worry just a little bit less about money.

To be honest, the deciding factor for me was the recent insane vet bills for my beloved cats. (Mystic is on a medicine that costs, I kid you not, $300/month. But without it, he wouldn't be here.) I didn’t want to do a Go Fund Me and just ask for money, and I’d already been playing around with the idea of doing a Patreon page, since it allows me to give back to the folks who support my efforts. It’s something of an experiment, and we’ll see how it goes.

But in the meanwhile, here it is. Feel free to follow this link and see what it is all about!

https://www.patreon.com/deborahblake 

Thanks in advance to anyone who jumps on board! *smooches*

Deborah

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Huge Giveaway for Dangerously Divine Release Day


It's almost here! Those of you who read Dangerously Charming back when it came out in October of 2016 have been waiting patiently for the second book in the Broken Riders series, and your patience is finally going to be rewarded! Dangerously Divine, Gregori's story, is coming out on November 28th, and I don't know about you all, but I am a little excited!

So naturally, I'm doing a big ol' giveaway. There are three prizes: a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card, a signed copy of the book, and the grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7 Tablet. Woot! I think Magic the Cat approves.






 I'm also going to be all over the interwebs in the next week and a half, doing guest blogs, and answering questions, and posting excerpts, and giving away Amazon gift cards, so be sure to check in at the following sites:

Fresh Fiction (November 21-Dec 15) $25 Amazon card Giveaway!
Literary Escapism (November 24th) Short short story about Gregori & $25 Amazon card Giveaway!
The Qwillery (November 25th) Excerpt and  $10 Amazon card Giveaway!
I Smell Sheep (November 26th) Spotlight and $25 Amazon card Giveaway! 
Bookalicious Babes Blog  (November 27th 5PM) Taking part in Tawna Fenske's release day event on Facebook. I'll be on the page giving things away and chatting for a half an hour at 5PM EST (2PM PST)
FangTastic Books  (November 28th--Release day!) Guest blog post and FIRE 7 TABLET Giveaway
Harlequin Junkie (November 29th) Q & A

There will probably be a few other things too, but my wonderful publisher is also doing a giveaway on both Rider books through November 24th. Enter HERE
 As well as a Goodreads giveaway of BOTH Riders books (through Nov 26th) HERE

 But in the meanwhile, be sure to enter my giveaway here too. As always, no purchase is necessary, and all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form. Yes, you get credit for things you have already done, like following me on Twitter (you do, don't you?). Counting down the days until Dangerously Divine is out in the world!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Patreon!

I'm launching a Patreon page to help support the cats and my writing. (This is a thing where people pledge monthly support to someone who creates some form of art, like writing.) And I'm wondering what rewards people would like for the various levels of support. Here's your big chance, people--tell me what you want, what you really, really want!

I put a poll up at the top of the page, and it will run for about a week. The options there are what I've been thinking about doing, but I am open to suggestions. (The way it works, everyone gets the simple rewards, no matter how much they pledge, and the more you pledge, the fancier the rewards get.) I'm also open to suggestions. So tell me what would get you excited about supporting my work?

What is Patreon?

Come on now, tell me what you want!

ETA: If you click "other" in the poll, leave a comment here to say what it is you want.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Dangerously Divine is Coming Giveaway


I can't believe it! DANGEROUSLY DIVINE will be out in less than a month! Release day is November 28th. Whoo hooo! I hope you are all as excited as I am to *finally* get to see the second book in The Broken Rider series out in the world. (The first one, DANGEROUSLY CHARMING, came out over a year ago, in October, and this one was supposed to be out in March this year, but got pushed back by the publishing company due to scheduling issues. So if it seems like there has been a long gap, you're not imagining things.)

Ta da!
The Broken Riders series is a spin-off from the Baba Yaga series, and follows the three Riders introduced in those books. DANGEROUSLY CHARMING, the first in the series, was Mikhail's story. DANGEROUSLY DIVINE follows the adventures of his brother Gregori Sun, the Red Rider. I had a lot of fun writing this book, which is set in Minnesota. (Fun fact: that's where my witchcraft book publisher, Llewellyn, is located, so I was able to pick the brain of my nonfiction editor for info for my fiction.) I really adore Gregori, although he isn't as flashy as his two brothers. Who is your favorite?


Here's what it is all about. (And don't believe the weird glitch in the listing Amazon has under their rankings. There are no vampires in the book. Oy.) Just in case you need to catch up, I'm going to give away a copy of the first book


The Riders: Three immortal brothers who kept the Baba Yagas safe, now stripped of their summons to protect. But fate is not finished with them—and their new callings are even more powerful...
 
Though his physical wounds have healed, Gregori Sun, the eldest of the Riders, remains in spiritual turmoil. His search for his mother, the one person able to heal his soul and save his life, is failing—until he crosses paths with a beautiful and fascinating librarian who might be the key to his salvation...
 
Ciera Evans’s bookish ways are just a guise. The product of a difficult past, she has dedicated her life to saving lost teens—by any means necessary. She works alone, but when a dark, brooding stranger proposes they team up to solve both their problems, she is tempted—in more ways than one...
 
After Ciera and Sun’s plans are derailed by dangerous enemies, they find themselves entangled in an ungodly affair—one that will force them to either find new strength together or be forever haunted by their pasts alone.


Just in case you need to catch up, I'm going to give away a copy of the first book, PLUS an ARC (advanced reader copy) of the new one! Plus, I have a couple of those cute key rings I had made for Dangerously Charming, so I'm going to throw one of those in too. Let's get this party started.

Two books, a key chain, and a few extra goodies

Only 3 of these left!

You might have to fight Magic for this one. She seems to think it is a cat toy.
As always, just use the Rafflecopter form below. You get credit for anything you do already (like following me on Twitter and signing up for my newsletter) and extra credit for leaving a comment, or a few other things. (Just as a note: Dangerously Charming hasn't had a review in EIGHT MONTHS! Sniffle. So if you read it and liked it, I'd be forever grateful if you'd pop over to Amazon, Goodreads, or B&N and leave a quick review. It doesn't have to be long or fancy.) No purchase necessary.

Although I'll be pretty happy if you preorder the book, of course.


Barnes & Noble |Amazon 


And watch this space, because there are all sorts of other good things coming up as we get closer to release day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fall Cleaning for Samhain



I know most people do their major “big clean” in the spring, but I’m actually a fall cleaning kind of girl. In the weeks leading up to Samhain (Halloween), as it starts to get darker and colder, I am always seized by the urge to do a deep clean of all the rooms in the house, straighten up and rearrange any clutter, and get rid of stuff I no longer use or need.

My minimalist holiday display.

I’m not sure if this is because on some level I know I’m about to be stuck mostly inside the house for the winter, or if it is a more spiritual urge brought on by the ending of one year and the desire to start clean for the next. (Samhain is considered to be both the end of the year and the start of the new year in the Pagan Wheel of the Year).

Either way, I start by dusting and rearranging my altars, and the shelves where I store and display my stones, cute little cat and dragons, and all the rest. Then I go through each room and do a much more thorough clean and neaten than usually gets accomplished in my weekly Saturday house cleaning. Ah! It feels so good to have everything (okay, most things) nice and tidy, at least for as long as it lasts.

The shelf over the couch.

The desk in the dining room and another shelf. Look, you can actually see the surface of the desk!

This is also the time when I do my yearly protection spell on my house and property, preparing it for the seasons to come. Do you do a spring cleaning, a fall cleaning, or something else entirely?

The stone circle behind the barn, weed-whacked and ready for ritual on Tuesday.

Happy fall!

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