Showing posts from May, 2016

Memorial Day--More Personal Than You Might Think

In all the years of this blog, I've never posted about Memorial Day, which is rather strange looking back on it. Memorial Day is a holiday that touches most Americans peripherally--first barbecue, first day the pool's open, first day of summer. But I grew up in a military town, in a family with strong military roots. Memorial Day has always meant a little more to me. After all, growing up in Clarksville, TN which is the host city for Ft. Campbell, KY (home of the famed 101st Airborne and the 502nd Special Forces when I was growing up) makes Memorial Day more important.

Soldiers were a part of my everyday life. You can't go anywhere in Clarksville without running into the military--a fact the community has embraced and takes pride in. So, the cemeteries in my hometown are full of military graves--some of those graves hold members of my family. My father is a veteran, as is his. Many of my uncles were career military, officers and gentlemen all. And many of my friends joined…

Why Reviewing Books You Enjoy Is So Important

Being an author is difficult--at any level. Few writers--usually only the big names--are provided marketing by their publishers. Even writers who are signed by the Big Six publishers don't get marketing support. For the small press or self-published writer, any promotions have to be undertaken by the author. 

Some have the finances to buy a marketing company. But those don't always work. When I was at Musa, we hired a marketing firm for a big name author--a NYT Bestselling, Nebula award-winning, made famous by a blockbuster movie author. We invested thousands of dollars in marketing his book, which was a sequel to the book that had made him famous in the first place. 
Didn't pay off. It was like pouring that money down a black hole. And this was a reputable marketing company, one that had a portfolio of success stories longer than the list of books I've edited. 
So what drives book sales for a small-press or self-published author? Reviews. Not just the professional rev…

Sexual Assaults and College Campuses--Not Just An Athlete Problem

All right--let's start off with a healthy dose of reality here and clear the college football issues out of the way. 

I do not care which school it is. I'm not 'anti-Baylor'. The university I am loyal to with athletics is also under an investigation and has been sued under Title IX for 'creating a culture that promotes rape'. If during the course of that investigation the University of Tennessee is found to have created that alleged culture, my narrative in this blog will not change one iota and I will DEMAND that any UT official that participated in or colluded with the deliberate protection of star athletes, the shaming and ignoring of victims, and selling their souls to win football games like Baylor obviously has, should be IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED and subject to criminal prosecution to the fullest extant of the law. 
And if that loses me some followers from Vol Nation, that's just fine by me. You can read the Pepper-Hamilton report about the Bay…

A Little Controversy Over Intolerance--Stop Acting like Idiots Please

Author's note--if you are strongly anti-gay, anti-cursing, or anti-common sense, stop reading now.

You know--I try and try to keep politics off this blog. I really do. I talk about writing and my books and football and old legends about paranormal events and asshattery (lately at least). Got into a bit of a discussion last week on the uses of the First Amendment and the doctrine of free speech. 

But today, I'm throwing caution to the wind. It's time to speak out frankly about prejudice and bigotry in America and how that's negatively impacting our political system which is, frankly, broken. This presidential election is a good example of how broken it is. 
Over the past few years, I've noticed a disturbing trend. There's a growing surge of intolerance in our country--bigotry is being fueled by political opportunists and boy, have they found a surprisingly fertile ground to operate upon. I never thought that the issues of race, gender, and orientation would stil…

First Excerpt up from The Redemption of Asphodel!

The second book in The Asphodel Cycle, The Redemption of Asphodel, will be available for pre-order on May 30 on Amazon, and will go on sale June 6. Check out my website and Amazon author's page for more details!
Chapter One (partial)
Two hours later, I joined the men in the library, freshly clad in a warm, loose woolen gown and with my damp hair hanging down my back. As I walked in, Mariol saluted me with his glass. “Today was beautifully done, Tamsen.” “I don’t see what was so beautiful about it,” I said irritably. “I got stuck in the middle of this entire mess, which is precisely where I didn’t want to be.” “I think that at this point, you need to be right in the middle of it,” Mariol corrected me. “You don’t need to be some center of activity away from the Court now. Let’s keep you as the mediator and above the messy politics. That will serve us better in the long run.” I gave him a steady look. “Mariol, if I were away from the Court, the last thing I would be is a center of act…

Time To Talk A Little Volunteer Magic

Anyone who's followed my blog for the past few years is very much aware that I am a passionate college football fan. One of those annoying ones who will watch any game, any time during the season and will re-watch particular favorites on the DVR the other nine months of the year. And anyone who knows me on any level is very well aware that my LOVE is reserved for only one teamand that's the Tennessee Volunteers. I come by it naturally--Tennessee born and bred with practically every member of my family sporting orange and white. And when I was a wild child, doing theater up and down the eastern seaboard, I perfected my love of the Vols through two things--understanding the game of football in a way few women back then did, and bartending at a sports bar in Florida, where for one week every fall I was the most unpopular girl with the busiest bar in the Florida Keys. 

No matter how long I tended bar or where, I have never worn any colors but my own school's.Every bar owner w…