Better Late Than Never: Or, More Proofs

More proofs for your delectation, ladies and gentlemen! This time, Masque. The tardiness of this post can be attributed to Christmas with all its fun and fury and flurry.

Behold!

WP_20141229_11_54_24_Pro WP_20141229_11_54_50_Pro WP_20141229_11_54_38_Pro WP_20141229_11_55_04_Pro

Masque can be preordered on both Kobo and Kindle, and will be out on Feb 1, 2015! Paperback will be available from Feb 1st, from either CreateSpace or Amazon.

Merry Christmas

“For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” -Luke 2:11

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” -1 Timothy 1:15

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” -Luke 2:14

Born to die upon Calvary,

Jesus suffered, my sins to forgive:

Born to die upon Calvary-

He was wounded that I might live.

-Ron Hamilton

Merry Christmas, guys.

Adventures In Retail: ‘Tis The Season (Or, The Fight Before Christmas)

I don’t wear a Christmas shirt to work (a long story where I got kicked out for wearing a shirt that had Christmas Scripture verses on it) but I do wear a nice, tiny, red hat with green ribbons. It’s my pride and joy this Christmas. It’s perky and fun and jingly.

Christmas Hat

I was wearing it today when I got back from lunch, tilted at a rakish angle above my bun. When I got back to the service desk (which I run with a rod of iron) I was informed that a woman in one of the checkout queues was about to have hysterics as she claimed she’d been assaulted. Crazy Cow 1, hereafter designated CC1, was in the line with her four or five year old son, who was packing groceries onto the belt like the awesome little kid he is, while she shook and hyperventilated and gasped: “Where are the cops? He assaulted me, last time he broke me jaw!” and similar.

I understand that the cops have already been called, so I sit CC1 down on the bench in front of the service desk while I help the kid put all the groceries through. When that’s done, I sit with both of them, continuing to assure CC1 that I won’t let her (cousin? boyfriend? both?) attack her, and that the police will be there soon. All this time, let it be understood, CC1 is shaking, gasping, and having hysterics, while her awesome kid is sitting there being cool about the whole thing.

The police are busy, it seems, and twenty minutes after they were first called, haven’t shown. CC1 shows every sign of going into a rage-induced fit, so I think it best to call the cops again, who tell me they’re awfully sorry but they’re very busy and they’ll get someone out to us when they can. So I’m on still the phone with the cops when an older dame (Crazy Cow 2, or CC2) approaches CC1. She looks bogan but relatively clean. I think she’s going to comfort CC1.

No such luck. CC2 speaks literally four words to CC1, who then proceeds to leap onto the bench she was sitting on, and start screaming at CC2 to get away from her. I’m on the phone to the cops, remember? Well, not for long. CC1 is dancing about on her bench screaming: “Get away from me, get away from me!” which CC2 evidently takes as provocation, because she starts swinging. Then CC1 starts swinging. Me? I’m in the middle, shoving CC1 away from CC2, and CC2 away from CC1. Imagine the air rent with screams and profanity and inarticulate rage.

My phone, of course, is sent flying. Ah heck, I think. There goes my brand new phone. CC2 is trying to punch me in an attempt to get to CC1. CC1 is leaping on my back in an attempt to get at CC2. My scarf is torn off and flung aside, with my battered badge somewhere under the Christmas tree. Awesome Kid is sobbing on the bench, scared to death.

By the skin of my teeth I keep them apart until someone hauls CC1 off my back, which reminds her that she’s meant to be the victim, so she goes and hides in our toilets. (Leaving Awesome Kid behind, BTW.) I’m shouting as loudly as I can for CC2 to get out of my store, which she eventually does, leaving me to pick up Awesome Kid and cuddle him until the cops show up- about thirty seconds later. CC1 has forgotten she has a kid, so I keep cuddling Awesome Kid until everyone is bundled into cop cars and hustled away (another half hour).

By this point I’m sporting strangulation marks around my neck, am feeling bruises that won’t come out until tomorrow, have lost my scarf and badge, and am feeling like I fought the battle of the century.

But you know what? My hat stayed on. This is a fighter of a hat, ladies and gentlemen. I was sure it was gonna get knocked off, tearing out handfuls of hair as it did. They tell me that at one point I was just a tiny hat bobbing around in the middle of the scrum. But against all the odds, my little hat survived. If that’s not the fighter’s spirit, I don’t know what is. It deserves to live again next year.

To everyone out there in retail at this time of year, good luck. I hope your days are uneventful and your customers wonderful. To everyone else: try not to start fistfights at my service desk. Thanks. I appreciate it.

Merry Christmas.

Inferiority Complex

We’re writers. We’re meant to be at least slightly neurotic. But there’s that day, every so often, when we’ll be reading a good book. I mean a really good book: solid to fantastic plot, fascinating characters we fall in love with and weep for, and the absolute perfect pacing; all wrapped in a superbly crafted structure.

You take a thought break to bask in the gloriousness of it, grinning foolishly to yourself. Then it hits you.

I’ll never be this good. This is the Van Gough of books. If I live until I’m fifty and keep writing better and better, I’m still never gonna be as good as this bloke.

And you know, that can be good. I’m not one of those people who thinks it’s damaging to the human psyche to admit to actual inferiority. You’re never gonna be as good as at least one girl or bloke out there, and sometimes that knowledge spurs you on to do better. Anything that gets us in front of that computer/notepad/whatever to write and grow, is a good thing.

But it’s also good to remember that writing is a growing thing. The first books of at least two of my favourite authors, had I read them first, would not have inspired me to read more of their work. I can literally see the growth as I read through those early books. You’re not going to be the best you can be right now. You’re going to have to work on it. Your first book is most likely not going to be your best. You’ve still got so much to learn. I’ve still got so much to learn- and practise, and put in to practise.

Who knows, one day we may be that good. But if we never had anything that spurred us on to be better, we’d probably never get there.

Embrace the inferiority. Just don’t let it stop you from being better.

Sound And Fury

I couldn’t really think of a blog post this week. Yanno: work, the dog, the hubby . . . a new tv show . . .

So you’re going to get 250-500 words of sound and fury, signifying nothing* about my week so far.

#1 on my list of nonsense is that my husband makes a great roast.**

#2 is that my dog stinks. I mean really honks. Can’t give her a bath because a.) no time and b.)when there is time it’s too late in the day for her to dry without leaving the whole house smelling of wet dog.***

#3 is kept for the smug, happy thought of the book I’m planning on reading next.****

#4’s job is to mention that I’m dying for a cuppa.

#5: Did I mention I really want a cuppa? A cup of tea is the best medicine. And I won’t say no to a couple of scotch fingers with that.

#6 would like to offer up the proud knowledge that I’ve figured out the kinks in a story I’ve been thinking about for years, making it properly writable at last *****

#7 is, happily for you, the end of this nonsense. Go do something productive with your day. I’ll be over here having a cuppa.

*Yup. You got it. I’m the idiot. You’re very clever.

**By this I mean that he cooked me a great roast, not that I cooked and ate him.

***Yes. Stinky dog smell is infinitely preferable to wet dog smell. Wet dog smell burrows into stuff.

****Re-reading Diana Wynne Jones’ Deep Secret, in case you wanted to know.

*****I have no time to write said book, of course. I have a schedule of four publications for next year, one of which I have yet to write, one of which is yet to be quite finished, and the third of which is on its last edits. The fourth is done, though. Go me!

Behold The Beauteous Cover Art!

I’ve been very busy these last few days, finishing final edits of my MS Masque. Likewise busy has been the very talented Joleene Naylor, finishing up the cover of Masque for me.

Happy mortals, feast your eyes on the beauteous cover art! Then go ahead and preorder Masque from Amazon or Kobo. Publication date is set for 1st February, 2015. Two months, guys!

MASQUE - 2500

And if you’re like me and need a blurb to read, scroll down. Adieu. I’m off to gloat a little more over my cover art.

 

    Beauty met the Beast, and there was . . . bloody murder?

            It’s the Annual Ambassadorial Ball in Glause, and Lady Isabella Farrah, the daughter of New Civet’s Ambassador, is feeling pleasantly scintillated. 

In the library is Lord Pecus, a charming gentleman whose double mask hides a beastly face, and who has decided that Isabella is the very person to break the Pecus curse. 

In the ball-room is young Lord Topher, who is rapidly falling in love with an older woman. 

And in the card-room, lying in a pool of his own blood, is the body of one of Isabella’s oldest friends: Raoul, Civet’s Head Guardsman.  The papers sewn into his sash seem to suggest espionage gone wrong, but Isabella is not so certain.

Lord Pecus, as Commander of the Watch, is of the opinion that Isabella should keep out of the investigation and out of danger.  Isabella is of the opinion that it is her murder to investigate, and that what a certain Beast-Lord doesn’t know won’t hurt him.  . . .    

Will Isabella find the murderer before Lord Pecus does, or will she end her investigation as a bloody spatter on the parlour floor?

 

Note: I’m currently sending Masque out for review, so if you’re interested in getting your hot little hands on a free review copy, email me at gingellwrites (AT) gmail.com. I’ll send a digital or physical copy of Masque to you for the purposes of a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, etc. All honest reviews are welcomed, and I understand that not everyone is going to love me and my books. (Odd, but there it is . . .)