Monday, October 20, 2014

Leaping Lizards!

Today I'm visiting Mason Canyon at Thoughts in Progress where I'm talking about researching material for novels in general and a couple of things that relate specifically to my own research. I hope you'll drop in and say hi.

While I'm at Mason's, I seem to have done the cloning thing again--because here at the Tiki hut, I'm sharing Bish Denham's A LIZARD'S TAIL.

From the moment he hatches, Marvin P. Tinkleberry knows he is destined for greatness. For one, he has a marvelous, well-groomed tail. For another he can puff out his throat pouch in the most spectacular way. Maybe the other lizards in his colony don't take him seriously, but he knows the truth. It lives in the marrow of his bones; he's going to be a hero.

When a feral cat threatens the lives of all who live at Stone Wall in the Garden by the Sea, Marvin knows it's HIS destiny to get rid of the fearsome beast. Travelling Over the Hill to find help should be as easy as snapping up a sleeping moth. But it doesn't take long for Marvin to see that the world beyond Stone Wall is not the same as his pampered life back at the garden. From the deadly Sucker Cactus Forest to deadly mongooses, danger lurks around every corner and Marvin will have to decide if he's willing to be the hero he's long bragged about being.

Bish Denham was raised in the U. S. Virgin Islands. Her mother's side of the family has lived in the Caribbean for over one hundred years and she still has plenty of family there whom she visits regularly.

She says, "Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book. Columbus named the islands, Sir Francis Drake sailed through the area, and Alexander Hamilton was raised on St. Croix. Then there were the pirates who plied the waters. Life for me was magical, and through my writing I hope to pass on some of that magic."

Bish has known many lizards in her life. Marvin and Leeza are based on two that lived in her bedroom.

She is the author of Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Folk Tales which you can find on

Twitter: @BishDenham


Marvin P. Tinkleberry is such a fun character! I smiled every time I read his name. He has a positive attitude and sets off on his quest to save the lizards at Stone Wall filled with confidence.

Along the way, Marvin meets many characters, including El Grecko, the She-Beast, the Great Iguana, and more, including the lovely Leeza. He also encounters many challenges along the way, beginning with his trek across the Sucker Cactus Forest.

Although Marvin is a male lizard, A LIZARD’S TAIL is a great book for all young readers, both boys and girls, as well as for readers of any age who have remained young at heart.

Bish provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The free read was awesome, but it didn't change my opinion of the story or the rating I gave the book on Amazon and Goodreads, which would be the same even if I'd forked over my hard-earned dollars to purchase a print book. The book's solid. Check it out.

I will also be at the Texas Book Festival in Austin this Sunday, October 26, from 1-3 pm signing books at the Mystery Writers of America Southwest Chapter booth - Exhibitor Tent 3, Booth 320.  If you're going to be in Austin, drop by and say hi. I'd love to meet you in real life!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hot Diggity Doggies!

This is the week I hope to clear out all my backlog. Please wish me good luck with that!

So I'm sharing two short videos from yesterday. The first is Shiner going long for a Cheetos pass. The second is a mockingbird singing while the dogs ate dinner (you may need to turn your sound up to hear as it's not as loud on the video as it was outside). The dogs are spoiled--they get dinner and a show!



Even better, I'm participating in Medeia Sharif's fantastic cover reveal for her upcoming novel, VITAMINS AND DEATH.

YA Contemporary, Prizm Books
Release Date December 10, 2014

Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother’s briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High.

Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, Deidra thinks no one will figure out they’re the Battles from recent news and that they’re safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed her life.

Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.

Find Medeia

Monday, October 6, 2014

Alex and the Boy in my Dreams

This week I'm visiting Alex J. Cavanaugh, and my post there is so short that I'll give it all away if I tell you what it's about here :)

Since we're speaking about short things, I have to share with you a tiny part of a dream I had the other night. Live-In Handyman and I were at some sort of outdoor gathering, and all sorts of strange things kept happening to me.

This sort of thing is more or less normal in real life, and I don't remember more about this part of the dream.

Then this little boy walked up to me. He was about four, and I can still see him and his face. He had wavy short brown hair that fell over his forehead, dark eyebrows, and large round brown eyes. When he talked, his face was all moving muscles, especially his lips - very expressive.

He wore brown shoes and socks, brown shorts, a belt, and a plaid shirt that was brown and white and blue. He was holding a yellow balloon.

I'm telling you all this because if you know about dreams and what significance any of this has, please share!

This little boy is asking all kinds of questions about me and Live-In. I only recall two of them. He said, "Do you do farm stuff?" to which I replied, "Not so much."

Then he asked, "Do you do beach stuff?" and I said, "We do lots of beach stuff."

Then he was quiet for a few seconds, moving his feet around while he stared at me with those huge brown eyes.

Then he said, "You people never behave." And I woke up. I can still hear his voice.

Any ideas?

Do you have dreams like this?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Is it the weekend yet?

Tuesday, September 30, is the last day to enter this month's contest to win a copy of
Clarissa Draper's
All you have to do is click the big button at the top of right sidebar to go to the contest page and enter. Don't miss your chance!

A new contest begins on Wednesday, October 1. 
The October Author of the Month is Susan Swiderski. She will be giving away one signed copy of HOT FLASHES AND COLD LEMONADE and one copy of OLD BROADS WAXING POETIC.

Click the big button on Wednesday or later to enter!

Hope all of you had a great weekend and enjoyed some of your favorite things.

Here are some of the highlights of my weekend:

Lunch with my sister on Saturday. We live a couple of hours apart, so every month or so we meet halfway-ish for lunch. There are a few spots we like, and one of them is at The Rim, in San Antonio.

Usually when we meet there, one or both of us has shopping to do. This time it was both of us. Our family birthday season begins in October and runs through December. Knocked out a huge portion of that. Yay!

It's better when we shop together when we're giving gifts to the same person/people. We think much alike, and on Saturday there were several times we found ourselves interested in the same items. People look strangely at two women playing rock, paper, scissors in the aisle :)

Just part of one bag from one store:

Date Day with Live-In Handyman on Sunday. We shuttled out to a town about an hour away to play, eat barbeque, and poke around in little shops.

All in all, a wonderful and relaxing weekend. A NORMAL weekend, and exactly what I needed. Hope your weekend was just what you needed, too.

What did you do? Anything exciting?