Dec 19, 2013

Spending Christmas...

Christmas really is my favourite time of year. I'm lucky that my day job shuts up shop for the whole Christmas period, and combined with clever application of annual leave, tomorrow is my last working day of the year.

I've always felt Christmas, as well as being a time to spend with loved ones, should be a time to reflect on the year gone by, the things you've learned, lost, and gained. And a time to bring yourself back to a peaceful center. A time to do the things you love that help you relax, things you may have deprived yourself of during the rest of the year.

I like to get some video gaming in, as well as boardgaming if enough friends are free. Most ongoing rpg campaigns take a break over Christmas, so we've got to get our gaming fix somehow! I got myself "Fortune and Glory" for Christmas, a 1930s pulp adventure boardgame by Flying Frog. Can't wait to try it out.

This year I'm finally upgrading my pc, so any new video gaming will have to wait until that's all sorted out. Still, I got 6 years out of my current pc with only a minor RAM upgrade and new graphics card along the way, so it's served me well.

Aside from enjoying time with Jen and the girls, and getting ever more ready for the new baby's arrival next month, I'll also be taking some time to work on my Carver and McCain series, which I've decided to pitch as "Lethal Weapon with werewolves." It'll be fun. I think I'm more comfortable writing urban fantasy and investigative characters than just about any other, so as much as I'm looking forward to starting my re-drafting on Lady Raven, I'm really going to enjoy Carver and McCain. I'm also looking forward to starting the edits on Final Hope, but that's probably still a little while away. Plenty of time to get Nathan's last adventure ready!

And, after a long break, I'll be getting back to running tabletop games in the new year. We'll be picking up my Dresden Files campaign, "On The Run," so I'll be spending some of the Christmas break preparing new story arcs and plot hooks well in advance.

I'm definitely looking forward to Christmas this year, and I'm so excited to see the looks on the girls' faces when they see what Santa's bringing them.

How will you be spending Christmas?

Dec 16, 2013

One Year Old

This past Friday was my daughters' birthday. Yep, twins having their first birthday on Friday 13th.

Despite superstition, I've always found Friday 13th to be a really nice, pleasant day. Maybe it's just due to the superstition that I think an otherwise ordinary day is particularly good. This year was no different. I'd booked the day off work and we took the girls out for the day in our new car (a Daihatsu Terios was never going to fit three babies in the back, so we've upgraded to a 7-seater Ford Galaxy).

It's amazing to think that a whole year has gone by already. I've been off my game this year. It's been a lot of work, with plenty of new stress and a few let-downs and added workload, but Erica and Amy have been the best and easiest part of 2013. I don't know if we did anything in particular, if twins keep each other happy and calm, or we just got lucky, but they're so well-behaved and happy all the time.

On Saturday we had a small party for the girls, with some friends and family over. Unfortunately, since the girls decided that their morning nap time was less important than play-time and being adorable, they wound up very tired and cranky, and we had to delay cake, so some people missed that. Still, I have video of the girls blowing out their candles (with some help), and trying cake for the first time.

We also seem to have had a visitor. It appears in both, but the best image is in the second video there. Watch the top of the clip, near Conor's picture on the mantle, at around 14 seconds in.

I think someone stopped by to wish his little sisters a happy birthday.

Dec 13, 2013

Author Interview: Decadent Kane

Today is Erica and Amy's first birthday, so I'm going to be spending the day with all my girls, getting things ready for the party tomorrow. Since I won't be around, here's an interview I did with author Decadent Kane, about her debut erotica novel, Ribbon of Darkness, the first book in her The Trouble With Elves series.

1: Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I'm guessing you like it, too. But Christmas elves and erotica aren't the most obvious partners for a book. What was it that drew you to this?

The idea itself was a dare. And I can't turn down a dare to write a sexy Christmas elf story if my elven ears depended on it.

The rest, well, my characters took over. Ribbon started flaunting half-naked men on the covers of books and well, Draven showed up and the chase was on.

Besides, as you say it's not something people put together which means I can go anywhere I want with it as long as it stays hot and elfalicious.

2: Do you find it's easier to write your heroine or your hero? Who's more fun to write?

I had an easier time writing my hero, Draven aka- Santa's top spy. He was also the one I had more fun writing because his reactions to my leading elfess, Ribbon, were priceless. Giggles.

3: Finally, are you on the nice list, or the naughty list?

I prefer the naughty list this year…especially if Draven's on it…*swoons over own character*

Which list are you on, Paul?

I'm hoping it's the nice list, but I may have to plead the Fifth...

You can find out more about Decadent and her books by catching up with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or her blog.

You can pick up a copy of Ribbon of Darkness at Breathless Press.

Dec 9, 2013

Winding Down for Christmas

No, this won't be my final blog post of the year, but it is a little note to say I won't really be keeping to my regular schedule. Things are really busy in work and there's a lot to get in order, preparing for Erica and Amy's first birthday as well as Christmas, not to mention my writing. So while you'll still see me on Facebook and Twitter, and I will be posting to my blog, it'll be as I can manage it, and rather more "this is what I'm thinking about" than usual.

Hope everyone's enjoying the run up to Christmas!

Dec 5, 2013

Updates, Plans, and Working Titles

I was supposed to have a post about superhero movies today, but I didn't get it finished in time.

I've decided to stop posting my word count totals for Lady Raven. It becomes disheartening when you're only posting updates of about 1,200 extra words every two days. I'm just going to crack on and get the draft done so I can send it to my beta readers.

After that, I'm going to enjoy writing some urban fantasy again as I start on the first Carver & McCain book. I'm still trying to come up with a working title for that one. Something suitable for a paranormal mystery involving ritual sacrifice and clashing prejudices. Suggestions on a postcard.

This is also the book for which I auctioned off the chance to invent a character. So it'll be fun to see what the winner of that comes up with.

I'm also going to start researching for my next two floating projects. 

The Long Road will be a series about travelling monster hunters. Possibly an e-serial or a series of short, episodic novellas.

The Last Crimefighter will see a young man released from prison after serving a sentence for a crime he didn't commit, and returning to exact revenge. He'll receive help from an aging crimefighter, the last remnant of a time when heroes wore masks and justice was delivered with a gloved fist.

I'm really looking forward to these.

Dec 3, 2013

Cover Reveal: Return to Canterbury

Today I'm delighted to share in the cover reveal for Melissa Ann Goodwin's newest book, Return to Canterbury!

The sequel to her 2011 seasonal adventure, The Christmas Village, Return to Canterbury sees Jamie Reynolds on another time-travelling journey, reuniting with old friends.

Things have settled down for thirteen-year-old Jamie Reynolds since last Christmas. That’s when he time-traveled to 1932 and wound up in the town of Canterbury, Vermont. There he met Kelly and Christopher Pennysworth, who quickly became his best friends. Back in his own time again, he misses them every day. But, as the July 4th, 2008 holiday approaches, the biggest black cloud hovering over Jamie’s life is the mystery of what happened to his dad, who has been missing for almost a year.

Little does Jamie know that he will soon reunite with Kelly and Christopher for an adventure even bigger than their last. Together they’ll uncover a secret plot that threatens to destroy Canterbury. But will they be able to stop it before it’s too late? And will Jamie finally solve the mystery of his father’s disappearance? Return to Canterbury with us and find out!

Find out more about Melissa on her blog, and check out her books on Goodreads and Amazon.

Melissa Ann Goodwin grew up in Andover, MA, where she spent a happy childhood living in her imagination and writing stories in her head. It was only a matter of time before those stories spilled out onto the written page. The Christmas Village and its sequel, Return to Canterbury, are the culmination of a lifelong dream to write the sort of books that she loved to read as a child.

Goodwin has been published extensively in children’s and national magazines and won an top award for her poetry in the 2010 Writer's Digest National Poetry Competition. Her first book, The Christmas Village, won the 2013 Book Blogger Fair Award for Action/Adventure.