Saturday, December 16, 2017

Coming Soon: Commoner By Choice

The most difficult part of the birth of a new book is the waiting. You wait for it to be accepted by a publisher, you wait for your edits to come back, you wait for your reviews to come in, and you wait, agonized, for the day it's released.

I'm at that stage now. Everything is finished--I hope. But my release date isn't for two months yet. All I can do for now is try to get folks interested in reading Commoner By Choice, the tenth book in my "Behind the Ranges" series, when it does finally come out.

I've already introduced you to one of the characters. Demon is a mule, hardworking, even-tempered, patient. His photo has been on my website for a while, and I even let him be my profile photo on Facebook. He's on the book cover too, but all you see there is his backside, a pretty distinctive one, as he is an Appaloosa mule.

Book cover? That's right. I've got a cover! It shows the magnificence, the ruggedness of the mountains Micah King and Eliza Jane Dollarhide travel through on their desperate escape from the man who believes Eliza has stolen his inheritance, and will kill to get it back. Micah is there, too, astride Jezebel. And that's Eliza on Demon.

Two months! That's 62 days. On one hand, I wonder if I'll get everything done before 16 February, and on the other I dread how slow that time is going to pass. Just as it always used to in the last month before Christmas, or the final few weeks of a school year.

To fill the days a bit, I'll be posting an excerpt along about the first of the year. Even better, the ebook version of Commoner By Choice will be available for pre-order at Amazon, KOBO, and the iBookstore from New Years' Day or thereabouts.

I'll also be working to finalize the print version, for those of you who still like the feel of a book in your hands. It will be available around the middle of February, but I can't promise it will be the same day as the ebook release. I'll let you know.

Maybe those sixty-two days aren't going to drag as much as I'd feared. Sounds like I'll have plenty to keep me busy.

Be sure and check my website and my Facebook page for updates between now and 16 February, when you will hear from me again. At some to-be-announced point I'll be giving away some free e-copies of other "Behind the Ranges" titles. You could be a winner.

In the meantime, I invite you to view my annual holiday postcard--another antique--at my Gladhaus website. This one dates to sometime around 1912 to 1917, but without a postmark I can't pin it down to a definite year. I just know approximately when the sender was likely to have sent it to my great aunt.

Holiday cheers!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Jude's Low-Calorie, Now-and-Again Newsletter; April 2017

Well, hello again!
It's been a while since I posted, but today I have news worth telling. As of today my newest short story, Retirement Plan, is available at Amazon. It's only 99 cents to purchase, free to read if you're a member of Amazon Prime. There is a short description on my website, so I'll give you a little sample here:
I stood there, puzzled at the symmetry of the clearing. I bet myself that the circle of trees surrounding the venerable giant was perfectly round, that the widely scattered shrubs within their circle were placed at precise intervals. It wouldn't take a surveyor's transit to prove that the ancient tree was at the exact center of the clearing, either.
While I'd never worked as an engineer, I did complete three years as a civil engineering major before the auto wreck that landed me in a hospital for seven months. Still, I knew precise arcs and angles when I saw them.
As I stood there, not really thinking, but subconsciously putting together a blueprint in my mind, I saw a slight motion beside the tree. It pulled me from my introspection, so that when she stepped into view, I was all eyes.
She was no girl. There were silver strands among the russet ones, laugh and frown lines on the tanned face. Nor was she dressed in haut couture. Her pants were unpressed, with a few hanging threads at the hems. Her jacket showed signs of many launderings, and there was a patch on one elbow. She wore scuffed boots, ankle high I guessed, and on the left one the laces were knotted where they had broken.
Her smile, though, was young. What's that Rogers and Hammerstein song? "Younger than Springtime"? That's what her smile was, and it came not just from the plump pink lips but from leaf-green eyes.
"Hello," she said, and I fell in love.
If you like paranormal romance, or faerie tales, you'll enjoy Retirement Plan.

I have other news too. Sometime in the next year Book X of my "Behind the Ranges" series will appear. When and how is still up in the air, but it's written and has passed critique--well, it still needs a few holes filled and some rough edges polished. This one, for those of you familiar with the series, is Micah's story; He's the youngest King, all grown up and having an adventure. Only he's not venturing far from home. His adventure is practically next door to Cherry Vale, but that doesn't make it less exciting, dangerous, or rewarding. The working title is Commoner By Choice, and I will let you know when it's coming out as soon as I know.

And even more good news. Uncial Press has reduced the prices on a number of my older titles. If you've been waiting to complete your set of "Behind the Ranges" ebooks, or thinking about picking up one of my contemporary or Regency romances, now you can save on everything published before 2011. Visit your favorite ebookseller and go wild!

Spring may be coming to Portland at last. We had a miserable winter, the wettest February on record--and if you know Portland, you'll know that's really WET! As a little bonus, March's rainfall came close to a record. Usually by now I have my snow peas and onion sets planted, but it's been too wet to work the ground. The seeds would have drowned. Today the sun is shining, tomorrow it's going to rain again. Sigh!

As usual, I'd like to share a recipe, something to toss together when you're too tired to fuss with a fancy salad or just wanting a different taste. It's one of those happy accidents, invented when I didn't have all the ingredients I needed for my usual coleslaw dressing (I love cabbage in any form!). for lack of something more inspired, I call it

1-2 tbs ranch dressing (I use fat free, but any kind would work)
1-2 tbs Thai sweet chili sauce
Mix together and toss with shredded or chopped raw cabbage. Let stand for 15-30 minutes before serving.

You'll hear from me again when I have news. Until then, take care and be happy.