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Well, I'm back. It's been a crazypants month over here, and blogging got lost in the shuffle - but that's just how it goes. Quite a lot has happened, though! I had some lovely overnight guests who were headed west from the Carolinas; enjoyed a visit from an old friend (who prefers to remain nameless); finished up my part in a group project (also a secret for now); I wrapped up a major rewrite on The Agony House; watched all of Stranger Things and loved it; voted in the TN primaries; fell in love with the lady Ghostbusters; licensed some official murdery jewelry; bought some hilarious and relevant merch; kind of died at the season finale of 12 Monkeys; spent a week fighting a medical billing error that got sent to collections; did so much yardwork you would not freaking believe; kicked around with a hell of a guy who was passing through; gave an owl a new hairdo; got a new fence; got a replacement gate for the new fence; and probably a bunch more stuff that I'm totally forgetting.

It's been a long month.

And now...I'm back to working on my rewrites for the next Wild Cards project (due at the end of this month), and then I will probably get back to work on The Toll (due November 1), and meanwhile I will continue to work on production for The Agony House. And do DragonCon. All while trying to promote a new book.


You guys, The Family Plot come out NEXT MONTH. And because LIFE IS GOOD it has garnered a starred Publishers Weekly review! ::Kermit flails::

    When Dahlia Dutton’s father sends her and a small crew to salvage a house near Lookout Mountain, Tenn., she finds that what you don’t know can hurt you in Priest’s spectacular modern haunted-house story. Dahlia is no stranger to ghosts, whether she’s being emotionally haunted by a failed marriage or by the metaphorical spirits that linger in old buildings. The concept of home salvage disturbing ghosts is brilliant, and while common elements of haunted house stories are certainly present (a mysterious owner with family secrets, locked rooms, unnatural storms, etc.), Priest (Boneshaker) handles them with tremendous skill, putting the pieces together to keep the reader guessing and more than a little scared. The characters are given a compelling reason to stay (the family business will fail if this job falls through) and their interpersonal dynamics humanize them, making them more than just cannon fodder as the hauntings increase in severity. Priest has written an excellent modern house story from start to finish.

The early Goodreads reviews are smashing, too - though there are a few complaints with the ARC's flap copy. It's drawn from an early proposal, and though it kind of contains spoilers, most of those spoilers are wrong. (For the draft evolved and deviated from the original pitch.) So...yeah. Just ignore that! Think of the PW review instead! I've been describing it as "the DIY Network meets Ted Raimi," so if that works better for you, feel free to come at it from that angle.

SPEAKING OF GOODREADS. If you are the sort of person to participate on that fine site, you can ENTER TO WIN A FREE COPY BY CLICKING THIS-HERE LINK! So get clicking! Throw your name in the hat!

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In other news, as (briefly) mentioned above - our fence finally got finished. It took about twice as long as we hoped, and when it was finished, the gate crapped out on us within about a week. It was just too heavy; the entrance to the yard is fully five feet wide, and the hinges were stretching and bowing (even though the fence guy added an extra set). So we had to order a custom black aluminum number. It took a couple of weeks, but now it's installed and looking great.

The whole fence line looks marvelous, if I do say so myself - for I added half a dozen rose bushes and a coral bark Japanese maple. In the rain. Because it's too damn hot here to do any work in the yard when the sun is either up, or out.

On the left: That used to be a privet hedge covering a twisted chain link fence. (Some of those roses were present already; I cut them back before the fence work.) The privet was about 9 feet high and six feet wide. It was awful. On the right: That's what it looks like now, from the back door. SO MUCH BETTER.

* * *

All pets are doing well. So well, in fact, that the other day we achieved a milestone - deliberate, voluntary cuddling on the part of the cats.

I, for one, was stunned. And delighted. But mostly stunned. The "ladies" get along pretty well - they hang out a lot, and take turns on the bed, and even play a game of whappity-paws every once in awhile. But this is the first straight-up snuggle that we've seen.

* * *

Greyson gets his share of Quinnie cuddles, too. It's adorable, but not so surprising. She likes to follow him around and use his feet for a pillow.

Greyson also had a number of playdates with his best friend Luna. Their playdates all end the same way: two happy, tired dogs...covered in each other's drool.

* * *

And on that note, I believe I'll wrap up this post and call it a night. Thanks so much for reading, everybody - and I will try to be a little better about my updates, from here on out. Pinky swears!


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 5th, 2016 03:08 am (UTC)
And One Cat to Rule them All!
Aug. 5th, 2016 11:39 am (UTC)

It's so good to see you

Aug. 5th, 2016 02:45 pm (UTC)
I've already pre-ordered copies of your book for my little indie bookstore. :)
Aug. 6th, 2016 08:46 pm (UTC)
I am really looking forward to this book. Good stuff!
Aug. 7th, 2016 03:26 pm (UTC)
New book! YAAAY!!!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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