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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Newsy Post

I've had a post ready to go for two weeks, but there's always something that keeps preempting it. Lots of stuff happening lately.

On the book front:
The good people at Indie Books Blog showcased The Devil To Pay on Tuesday. I'd been out of internet range most of yesterday, so I was a little late in talking about it. But pop over if you want to find out who my favorite authors are or why I decided to self-publish The Devil To Pay.

I also got a really nice review for The Devil To Pay from The Forbidden Bookshelf. I generally don't mention reviews here because I figure I'm the only one who'd be interested in them, but I dropped the ball and didn't get a chance to tweet my thanks the other day so I needed to do a proper penance. 

The sequel to The Devil To Pay is DONE. Yes, it has a title. No, I'm not going to spill the beans until after it's been to the editor. I'm just superstitious that way.

My CPs have it now. While they're picking at it, I'm going to start on the new cover. This story is going to revolve around ousted angel, Liam, so expect a sexy guy for the cover of ----- -- -----.

Around the country:
We had an earthquake on the northeast side of the US. Really rattled some nerves. According to the news, there was no major damage. Some folks in California were poking fun at NYers. Yeah, we'll see how tough they are the next time California gets snow.

My friend LD Masterson sent me a news article about author Christi Craig. Apparently, she used Texas's anti-littering slogan, Don't Mess With Texas for her book title. 

Sorry, but you can't do that with a trademarked slogan, especially one that's been used for decades and has had major celebrities appear in commercials repeating that slogan. I can't believe no one caught that.

It might seem odd that the Texas Department of Transportation wants to sue the author and Hachette Book Group, but I don't blame them. People are just too free in borrowing any old thing they see in the media. Unless something is in the public domain, it doesn't belong to you. Don't touch.

Personal front:
I have not opened Twitter or Facebook at all lately. It's been that busy. 

The heat is still with us. We've now beat the second longest triple-digit days on record. I've lost several trees and almost all my foundation plantings. Even my ajuga gave up the ghost. The Mexican heather has made it though. And the American beautyberry might survive if I keep watering it. Deer eat those berries so I want them to make it.

In the garden, only the okra is still producing. 

The chickens are doing well. I set them free during the day so they can find their own shade. But the rascals know the sound of my screen door opening and they come running out like voracious ants to see if I have anything for them. They're such mercenaries.

I've been through heatwaves, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, ice storms, and blizzards, but never an earthquake. Unless you count that one time when Greg rocked my--oh never mind, I'm sure you don't want to hear about that. :saucy grin:

Earthquakes scare me. I mean, where can you go? There's no warning.

What's the worst natural disaster you've ever survived?


Lynn Colt said...

Yesterday was my first earthquake, and it freaked me out quite a bit. Today, it doesn't seem real. An earthquake in DC? I'm glad I wasn't alone for it. When I got home, it took half an hour to soothe the cats--they were freaked too, poor things.

Hope the heat lifts for you soon!

Rula Sinara said...

I was at the dentist's office with my kids when yesterday's earthquake hit. I didn't 'feel' it because I was walking my boys to a room and a bit distracted. I thought one of them was shaking the toy machine (instead of gumballs) to get one out and told him to stop it. Yes, I said sorry after I realized it wasn't him LOL.

I experienced a much bigger quake when I was a kid, and woke up once not knowing a tornado had passed close enough during the night (in TX) that I could see damage from my window. It never woke me up!

Maria Zannini said...

Lynn, I don't blame you. And your poor fur-babies! I hope that was the last of the tremors. Excitement like that we don't need.

Maria Zannini said...

Rula! You slept through a tornado?

Ref: earthquake
I'll bet your son had a good snicker too.

Mason Canyon said...

We're still in a heat wave here too. The temperatures this week were suppose to be in the upper 80s, but we've almost hit 100 a couple of days and no rain. No tremors here thank goodness. Don't like the idea of my world being rocked that way. Have a great day.

Thoughts in Progress
Freelance Editing By Mason

Darke Conteur said...

When I was eight months pregnant with Sithboy, this area (and most of UpState New York) got hit with an ice storm. Three days of it. Power, cable, phone, everything was out. Two inches of ice on everything. It was beautiful and dangerous at the same time. Got some great pictures too.

Maria Zannini said...

Mason: It's almost as if we're under a bowl of high pressure. Here it is almost September too.

Darke: Thank goodness you didn't have to deliver in that storm. Wow!

Jayne said...

Maybe you could do a hangman game for us to guess the title of the new book - I am guessing that the middle word is In. Am I right? Will I have to wait and see? :)

I love the name of that plant - American Beautyberry. I don't think we have an equivalent in England. We have names like Crowfoot.

I'm sorry it is still so hot where you are, and hope you get some cooler weather soon. As for natural disasters, I remember a bad flood when I was very little and our garden disappearing under muddy water. I know I am lucky to not have any more experiences to relate! I have always been scared of Earthquakes ever since seeing the first Superman film as a kiddie.

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: hangman

Jayne! You are brilliant!

That's a great idea for a game. Now to figure out appropriate prizes and rules.

LD Masterson said...

I was doing a rain dance for you in the yard yesterday but the neighbors made me stop. Said I was scaring their dog.

We lived in Southern Calif. for a while so I got used to the small quakes but the year that Florida got hit with four hurricains in a row (2004?)I was doing Red Cross disaster response after the first one and ended up riding out the second one in an emergency shelter.

Hope you get some relief soon.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: I don't know that I'd ever get used to quakes. I think the scariest thing I ever saw was that big one in California where the highway collapsed.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

yeah, no thanks on the earthquakes. That's why i like living in MN. I mean, yeah we have tornadoes and blizzards, but we skip the earthquakes (mostly) and hurricanes.

Can't wait to hear the title and see the cover of the new book!

Barbara Ann Wright said...

A blizzard that snowed us in our house when we briefly lived in Arkansas as the worst. This heat wave/drought ranks pretty high, though it's not the worst of such I've lived through. Congrats on your reviews!

Krista D. Ball said...

The coolest natural disaster was when 10 feet of snow fell in a little less than 24 hours. We had to stay up all night digging to make sure we could get out of the house. It was almost a week before the schools opened, and the snow was piled higher than the bus.

The scariest was when I flew in a blizzard. We circled Halifax international until the plane ran out of fuel and did a side-ways skid down the runway, wings full of ice (like, you could look out your window and see the ice...), and the flight attendant going over the safety features of the plane over and over... It was a while before I flew after that. Never have been quite the same since. lol

Angela Brown said...

I experienced a small aftershock while living in San Diego four years ago. Didn't know what happened until it passed and THEN I got goosepimples. Yeah, I know, a little late for it.
It was eerie getting snow in Texas as an Easter present.
I only know of a friend who slept through a tornado that ripped houses apart all around her.

And Maria - how can you tease us Liam...coming back with angelic glory or demise...what will it be??? I'm on pins and needles.

Anonymous said...

Ooo, I like Jayne's idea...let's have a game of hangman to guess the title :)

I've been through lots of tremors but thankfully nothing huge, life threatening, or property damaging. A hurricane...sort of, just the tip of the storm hit land. Heatwaves and droughts, ice storms and blizzards...yep.

I just cleaned out the garden this morning. We're expecting another run of 115 plus heat the next 10 days and I'm hoping to replant for the fall/winter after this wave is over. :crossing fingers: I get a better harvest than I did last winter.

Stay cool Maria :)

jackie b central texas said...

Hurray on book 2, congrats on being able to allow the chickies to forage during the heatwave and without even seeing it can picture their squawks of hope every time you open the screen to go in or out!

Worst natural disaster is when my parents were flooded out in South Texas when I was a small child, Mom cannot swim and luckily for us a fireman was handy to keep her from floating away when they came to the end of our road with a truck to load up people to take them to town. The water rose that fast and the current was so strong that it was sweeping people off their feet as they walked only a few feet!

Worst natural disaster since getting married was in the late 90's when we were without power for 4 days in the middle of an ice storm in Houston, if it were not for the gas hot water heater and the fireplace having gas logs my dog and my poor fish in my fish tank would have all died. As it was we were unable to go anywhere by vehicle so lucky for us we also had a camp stove and a gas grill to cook or we would have gone hungry too.

Worst almost disaster came close to wiping out our neighborhood around 3 years ago when we had a wildfire start from a transformer burning out in the forested area behind us. It got probably 300 acres and not sure how many homes. No sleep for two days with that one thanks to the helicopters scooping water to pour on the blaze from tanks all around where we live. Those same tanks are bone dry now so we pray every day we have no more fires like that one or this time we will be right in the middle of it and lose everything like a lot of the surrounding country homes did behind us.

Maria just stay cool, plants can be replaced but you cannot as all your boys need you.

Maria Zannini said...

I didn't realize I'd be gone so long today.

Sarah: You get some monster blizzards your way, though.

Barbara: Blizzards are fine--until you lose power.

Krista: Holy crap! I don't think I'd fly for a while either after that. I don't want to see ice on my wings.

Angela: Oh, boy. Liam's in a lot of trouble this time.

Raelyn: I'm trying to figure out how to let people interact over several weeks. Not as easy as it looks.

Jackie: That wildfire sounded scary. I don't think I'd be able to sleep either.

Fire can get away from you in an instant.

PS Thank you for visiting me over at Indie Books Blog!

jackie b central texas said...

Maria you are so right fire can get out of control in a breath and there is no escaping it once it does. We live on a one way in and one way out road, luckily near the beginning of it close to Hwy 71 but still if enough fire got between us and the path out we would be roasted along with our pets and all the homes in our neighborhood. We have so many pine trees that are 50 foot and taller and they go up like firecrackers with no way of stopping it once it hops from tree to tree.

Right now we just literally pray every day that some idiot does not drop a lit cigarette, start a spark with a rock when they mow, a squirrel or a bird do not spark the high voltage electrical lines. I mean it takes nothing to start the blaze and so much manpower and resources to put out once it gets going.

I would have visited Indie blog yesterday had I known you posted there.

Kerri Cuev said...

Hello fellow Campaigner and farmer. I didn't feel the earthquake, I think beacuse I'm in the clouds, but weird. I have naughty chickens also. They are eating all my tomatos, the little stinkers want to become supper. They are smart when they want to be lol! Nice to meet you and I look forward to hearing more about your writing and criters :)

Dru said...

We had the Nor'ester and the big snow blizzard.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: I hear you. We've had some bad fires nearby, but not close to us.

Kerri: Good to meet you. I plan on visiting everyone this weekend. Just have to fight off a few more alligators. We'll talk soon!

Dru: You had some terrible snows just last year.

Carrie Butler said...

Hi, Maria! I'm in your Paranormal Romance group. Nice to meet you. :) That earthquake was so weird, wasn't it? We felt it all the way over here in Ohio!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Lots of news on your front. The worst natural disaster for me was a hurricane and flood when I was a teenager. All the bridges in our little town washed out and we didn't have electricity for a week.

Maria Zannini said...

Carrie: Good to meet you! I will be over to visit soon. I'm excited to be a part of this.

Susan: Hurricanes suck. Rita left us without power for 21 days.

Still, better a hurricane than being trapped in a blizzard.

Renee Miller said...

Do infestations of nasty, useless insects count as natural disasters? They sure feel like one.

Other than that, I can't really say I've experienced anything life threatening (for me). I'm one of those freaks that loves storms, quakes, etc. as long as I'm fairly certain people won't be hurt. I slept through a tornado when I was 16. I had one of those big old box fans in my window and woke up soaked with the fan on top of me. That was kind of scary. Later that day we heard how bad it really was, thankfully no one was killed, but there were so many injured and homes destroyed in areas near us. The strange thing was, until that point, I'd never experienced worse than a blizzard. And because I was a kid, those were pretty darn cool. No school for a week? Pfft. We were town kids. They sent us anyway.

By the way, there's a tornado watch for our area tonight. The thunder is rumbling like crazy and out power is flickering. I'm hoping it's just the thunderstorm. I can do without the excitement tonight.

Angelina Rain said...

I heard about that earthquake on the news last night. Scary.

Glad to see book 2 for the Second Chances series is coming soon. Will have to read it. :-) And with a hot guy on the cover. Yum!

Shelley Munro said...

We've had a few really bad storms in my area, but luckily there hasn't been anything too bad on the weather front.

I'm sorry to hear you've lost so many plants, but it sounds as if the chickens are thriving. Are you getting many eggs?

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

I live in England, and a few years ago we had the teeniest, tiniest tremor in the middle of the night - the most it did was rattle the door in the frame. (I just thought it was one of the kids trying to come in).

It was quite exciting to see the news the next day and discover we'd had a gen-yoo-wine earthquake. But I know if it had a been a 'proper, full-blown' one, I'd have been terrified.

I'm in your Paranormal Romance group by the way!

Maria Zannini said...

Renee: Locusts and frogs were considered plagues of biblical proportions so yes, I'd say insect infestations count.

Fleas are the hardest to get rid of. Even when they're gone you stay paranoid for months.

Angelina: I'm having a hard time finding a hot guy I can afford. (Story of my life.) LOL.

Shelley: Egg production has really dropped. I can't say that I blame them though.

Amanda: So great to meet you! Thank you for popping in. Looking forward to reading your posts.

Anonymous said...

Ref: I'm trying to figure out how to let people interact over several weeks. Not as easy as it looks.

Could you make the post a sticky at the top? Seems to me you did that once before for something.

Gail M Baugniet said...

Congratulations on completing your second novel, quite an accomplishment! I am 60k+ words into mine and still enjoying the storyline. That is always a good sign.

The East Coast earthquake has been the main topic of conversation this week. Yes, California residents are being blase about the 5.8. I hope they don't come to regret it.

I moved to Hawaii two weeks after Hurricane Iniki hit and only heard the horror stories. I was here for the 6.9 earthquake. Lots of damage but no one died. I can't imagine the pain caused by such tragedies as Hurricane Katrina, 9-11, or Japan's tsunami.

Katie Gates said...

Hi Maria, I linked over here from the Campaign. I'm also in the Adult-All Genres group. I'm sorry to hear that the earthquake rattled your nerves. I was here in LA for the Northridge quake, and it was intense. (All the other LA quakes I've experienced have just been, dare I say it... fun?) I love your statement re: "see how tough they are the next time California gets snow." Don't even suggest snow. Angelenos freak out when it RAINS! (Seriously, it's the top story on the 11:00 news.) And that makes me laugh, as I grew up in VA (about 45 miles from the recent epicenter) and spent my first 15 years of adulthood in NYC.

I enjoyed this post and look forward to reading more!

Maria Zannini said...

Raelynn: What's stumping me is how to give everyone a chance to participate.

Maybe I could give clues and let everyone sub their answers in a poll.


Gail: Welcome, Gail! Actually this is my 5th book. Four published and one in the oven.


Katie: Glad to meet you, Katie! I'll mosey over to your site later today.

PS I live in Texas so no earthquakes for me--and that's the way I want to keep it. :)