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This is an Opinionated Blog

The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They are subject to change without notice.

I’m Asking for Votes

July 3, 2014

Best Novella

Best Novella

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I have become a finalist for Best Novella of 2014 – however – in order to 'win' I need at least 20 votes. Your vote would go a long way to helping put 'The Emissary' in the top spot.

This is the link where you can vote: e-Festival of Words – Best Novella

You must register in order to vote. It’s free and I’ve never had any spam from this site.

“The Emissary: Journey” the first book of “Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse.” I’m getting ready to send the second installment of the series to the copy editor.

“The Emissary” is a horse story as well as an adventure tale. The McLeod sisters use their horses to fight, as the Roman’s did, and as sentries with a keen sense of smell. I have always thought that horses were a better choice for the Zombie Apocalypse because of their instincts and the fact they eat grass not gasoline. The bow is the weapon of choice for the McLeod sisters because bows are quiet and arrows are reusable. The McLeods prefer stealth and agility over loud engines and bullets.

“The Emissary” is about how women could survive the Zombie Apocalypse – without the sterotypical roles of helpless-female or heartless Amazon. It’s my way of exploring the Apocalypse from a completely female point of view – cooperation, team work, empowering the weak and protecting the helpless, with a touch of humor.

The McLeod sisters are down-to-earth girls who have complete confidence in their training, their horses and each other. The Davidson clansmen who think they’re superior with their trucks and machine guns are in for a surprise.

Please feel free to get the e-book here:

The Emissary: Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse it is free on Smashwords.

The Emissary: Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse – Amazon US The e-book is $0.99 here.

The Emissary: Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse – Amazon UK The e-book is 0.99 here.

In a world where the dead walk the land, Bethany McLeod must leave the safety of her fortress home to take her sisters Alexis, Dani and Julie cross-country to Fort Chatten, Kentucky. Alexis McLeod is a healer, nurse and pharmacist, eager to prove herself at Fort Chatten. Led by Bethany, the four sisters risk their lives to help the struggling Davidson clan.

It’s just three years since the Zombie Apocalypse. The McLeod and Davidson’s clans survive in a world where the muerto viviente – walking dead – infest the cities and towns. Armed to the teeth, the sisters are horse archers, a light cavalry quiet enough to avoid the muerto, or fast enough to outrun them. Militia, marauders and mad-men abound, the stinking dead walk the land, eating everything in their path.

Can four women and six horses make a hundred mile journey through the Zombie Apocalypse and arrive alive? What will they find if they get to Fort Chatten?

This story is suitable for all ages.

Don’t go change that channel!

Finalist! Best Novella of 2014

July 1, 2014

2014nominee

WOW!

“The Emissary: Journey” which is the first book of “Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse” has made the finals for Best Novella of 2014.

Now, it needs your votes.

However, the site is now DOWN.

LOL

I guess I’m not the only person who is broadcasting their good fortune…and begging for votes.

I wil post the links as soon as the site is back up.

Don’t go change that channel!

Grumpy’s Fleece II

June 22, 2014

Digital Camera

This matted mess is what I started with. Very discouraging to have the fleece turn into these nast matts. However, all is not lost.

Digital Camera

This is a fleece picking machine. A small one that is very powerful. See those razor sharp nails? They pick apart the fleece. What you get is in the next photo.

Digital Camera

Soft and fluffy again. The fleece just needs carded and spun. Or dyed, carded and spun.

Digital Camera

Pictures are worth a thousand words, right? In this case the word is “HOT” a thousand times. LOL

Digital Camera

Even the flowers are wilted in the heat, drip irrigation can’t keep up with the heat. Might have to turn it to the highest setting.

Grumpy’s Fleece

June 21, 2014

Shearing photos

So I made the skirting table out of bird netting and PVC pipe. It’s a nice, large surface, and half the fleece fit on it. I shook a lot of dirt out of the fleece before I washed a small part of it.

Three changes of water with soap, two rinses and a stint in the spin cycle later. Well, it was okay, fairly clean, and of course, matted.

I ran it through the picker and got a soft cloud of lovely fluff. I carded some of it.

Tomorrow I start spinning this fluff into yarn.

There will be pictures, I promise.

Got Fleece? Oh Yes!

June 18, 2014

Shearing photos

Half of Grumpy’s fleece.

The deed is done for the year. I have 4 bags of fleece, my back is completely trashed, but I couldn’t be happier with the yield.

I was really worried about Grumpy. I knew the weather was going to get hot and I knew he was carrying 3 inches of fleece all over his body. I also knew he wasn’t going to go down quietly. Poor little guy had been handled very little until he came here. So he’s little more than a wild animal.

The photo above is half of Grumpy’s fleece.

I had to make up a skirting table in a hurry. I had originally thought to use something else, something removable, but it was too much work. This way we used plastic pipe and bird netting I already had. It’s worked perfectly, so far. The fleece is a bit damp, so it’s going to sit outside for the night. By afternoon it should be ready to re-bag or wash.

Likely I’ll wash a big batch of it. I’ve got a serious itch to get my hands on this stuff. I want to dye it in deep moody blues and mix in lots of pretty sparkle. I’m thinking sweater, or large shawl.

 

Shearing Time

A lock of hair, staple length appears to be at least 3 inches. Yowza!

I don’t know micron counts. But I know soft – this is really soft. Filthy dusty, but really soft. I left it outside to air, and the gentle breeze and a bit of shaking has taken the second cuts and a bunch of dust out.

After I dye half of it in blues, I’ll dye a bunch of greens, mix the green with some chestnut for a woodsy color of yarn. Then, I don’t know. Maybe card up a bunch to spin…into art yarn?

I’ve seen Sheri’s photos of her goats, so I’m leaning towards getting some mohair locks. I think alpaca and mohair is going to make a crazy soft yarn. Something a knitter would flip over.

Digital Camera

PigPen and Grumpy

 

The guys aren’t happy. There’s been a lot of fighting, with PigPen instigating it. That dark patch on Grumpy is a long scratch with a nasty looking bruise under it.

 

Alpacas Shorn

June 17, 2014

I was starting to panic – Grumpy was carrying two bags of fleece on his little body. I knew he was suffering.

But I found a woman who would shear them for us. I helped, and the guys seemed to appreciate that it was me who held them and talked to them. They came back to the barn for food afterwards, which is always a good sign.

We have 4 bags of fleece from three alpacas. Grumpy’s is longer and bulkier than the others.

I’m going to start working on the fleeces tonight. Going to build a skirting table for the fleece and pick the second cuts and fiber out of it. The dirt will need to be washed out. Over and over again.

Swallow the Moon is #Free

June 3, 2014

swallowcover-100dpi

Swallow the Moon is #Free Amazon US

Swallow the Moon FREE on Amazon Australia.

Swallow the Moon – Free in Canada!

Swallow the Moon – Free in the UK!

Not sure why they did this. But Swallow the Moon is now free at Amazon US and AU.

Get your free copy now!

Amazon gave away over 450 copies yesterday. I’m amazed at how much support I got from my friends to spread the word.

Right now, the e-book is riding high at #5 on the Romance, Paranormal, Ghost list.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #638 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#5 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Paranormal > Ghosts
#6 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Holidays

I was just reading up on the Passive Voice blog about villians i.e. Maleficent.

I get to blow my own horn on this blog. LOL So I will say that characters who are ‘Pure Good’ or ‘Pure Evil’ bore me to tears. I don’t read horror, slasher or killer thriller because too often the villian is ‘Pure Evil.’

I’ve blogged about “Villians Who Eat Babies for Breakfast” in a post called ‘Over Kill’.

I’m careful to use a very light touch with “Swallow the Moon” – I give the reader plenty wiggle room to wonder how the story is going to turn out. There are levels of evil and I try to hit them all.

I’m loving this short time on the Best Seller’s List. I’m going to let it go until Amazon gives away at least 3k ebooks. Then I’ll track down the site that triggered this round of freebies and raise the price back to $0.99.

We’ll see how long it takes to get there.

Stay tuned!

“Swallow the Moon” is back at $.99 after a week as a freebie. Amazon gave away almost 1k ebooks.

That was fun!

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