Meradeth Houston's Blog

March 27, 2015

Quick note: sign ups have been posted for the blog tour I'm doing for AN ABSENCE OF LIGHT in June with Xpresso Tours. You can check it out here! I'd love to see some familiar faces on the blog :)
Stifled Release Today we're celebrating the release of STIFLED, book two in the SUMMONED series by USA Today Bestselling author, Rainy Kaye. A dark twist on genie folklore, SUMMONED follows a reluctant criminal as he unravels the mystery of the paranormal bond controlling him. In STIFLED, Dimitri trails an elusive jinn and finds himself in the middle of a community keeping dark secrets. The SUMMONED series is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA. 
  Scroll down to pick up your copy of STIFLED, get SUMMONED for free for a limited time, and enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card.   

Stifled Final 2 PSDDimitri would like nothing more than to live a low-key life in Naples, Italy. His girlfriend, Syd, has other plans. After three months of researching, she is positive she has found a jinn on a killing spree in San Diego, California. Since Syd gave Dimitri the one thing he thought was out of reach, he feels obligated to use his ill-gained talents for her cause. A few hours back in the US proves that Dimitri and Syd didn't quite make the clean escape they had thought. As they trail the elusive jinn, someone else trails them. What should have been a simple trip to confirm once and for all if the jinn are living among humans, instead reveals a community keeping dark secrets. Unfortunately for Dim, the only way out is in. Get your copy here! Haven't read book one yet? No problem! It's currently FREE on Amazon.  
summoned_cover_final_biggerTwenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally. Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker. Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well. When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can’t tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn’t the type to tolerate secrets. Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl’s ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming—the wish that will destroy him.    
summoned free banner 
about_rainy_kaye rainykayeRainy Kaye is an aspiring overlord. In the mean time, she blogs at RainyoftheDark and writes paranormal novels from her lair somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA. Someone told her she's a USA Today Bestselling author. She thought there would be cake.      
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Published on March 27, 2015 04:00 • 3 views

March 25, 2015

Quick note: Thanks to Mary Waibel for the great blog-swap last week! I've chosen a winner from the commenters on her post and Elizabeth Varadan is the lucky chosen! Did you win anything? Might want to check out Mary's blog :)

I've been tinkering around with my WIP lately (tinkering is much too fun), and after a rejection that called attention to the chemistry between my leads, I've been pondering ways to ramp that up. Which is why you all are getting a post on it today :) You can thank the agent for it if you really want.

So, here's the thing: I was kind of floored at this comment on my manuscript. Because my leads full of chemistry for one another in my head. But sometimes that doesn't transfer completely to the page. But how does one make chemistry happen for two characters, or at least intensify it? I mean, it's not something I can cook up in a lab. (Okay, really, you didn't think I was going to *not* make a science joke, did you?)

I have started thinking about things that convey attraction between characters. This doesn't always have to be romantic of course, but I'm sticking with that end of the spectrum. One of the things that I see in a lot of books is the "tingly touch" syndrome. A casual touch ripples through the whole person. IMHO, this one's been used to death, but it can be done well.

The other thing I often see used is the "eye lock" issue. Now, we've all had this happen, but who though to use the word "lock" in there? Seems a bit painful. Still, catching sight of one another and sharing a private look? That's does have some chemistry, even if it's also been used a lot.

Okay, another might be the private joke that only the two of the share. This is one I love. Who doesn't like two characters that can laugh at something only the two of them get? It shows that they have a similar sense of humor and some common ground.

The last one that that's coming to mind is the "we're going to die so you have to love me" chemistry. I think the name says it all. While this works in action movies and some books, I always walk away knowing that something built on the terror of a horrible situation is bound to fail.

Now that I've shared some of the silly and serious ways that character chemistry gets used, it's your turn. Tell me, what's your favorite chemistry-filled moment? It can be a scene, characters, an action, whatever! I'm just definitely curious :)

One more super fun thing for today!

Title: A Change of Mind and Other StoriesAuthor: Nick WilfordGenre: Contemporary speculative fictionCover Design: Rebekah RomaniRelease Date: May 25th 2015

A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine.

In A Change of Mind, Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around.

But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be…

In Marissa, a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone.

The Dog God finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world.

In The Insomniac, a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him.

Hole In One sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition.

The Loner ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.


Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working, he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. You can find him hanging out on his blog or on Goodreads or Twitter.

Preorder Links: Amazon US, Amazon UKAdd it on Goodreads

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Published on March 25, 2015 04:00 • 3 views

March 23, 2015

I really only have one word for you all today: DRAGONS!! :)About the Book
Lauren Dailey is in break-up hell.
Stuck between moving on and letting go, she puts on a brave face while crying herself to sleep at night. But when a mysterious voice promises escape from her sadness, she is suddenly transported to a new world. And in this place, the slightest touch pulls her out of her tortured emotions into the mind of another - an empath.

The villagers - sweet Aerona and her mischievous twins, wise Siors, and hunky Cefin - welcome her and the blessings her empath powers bring. But this world is not without its dangers. The Anghenfil, a fire-breathing monster, has haunted the village for decades, and has a taste for empaths. And that mysterious voice promising escape from sadness? It's sounding more like a whisper tinged with smoke and embers.Preorder:
AmazonBarnes and NobleiBooksSneak Peek  "There," Cefin said, pointing to a pile of rocks that leaned against the side of the mountain. "That is where I found you."
"I was under there?" Lauren breathed. It was obviously a cave-in, and the boulders were thick and heavy. If any of them had fallen in the wrong place, she would have been crushed. It was a miracle she wasn't crushed.
She approached the pile and saw where Cefin must have dug her out. Seeing the size of the rocks, knowing how close she had come to not getting out, she felt a little sorry for being so angry with him. Although he was being an jerk right now, she wasn't sure she ever thanked him for saving her life.
"Hey," Lauren said, tossing him a sideways glance. "Thanks for saving me."
"Just hurry up," he huffed, pulling his spear off of his back. "The Anghenfil could be in any one of these caves."
"The right response is 'you're welcome'…" She walked up to the pile and began pushing aside any of the rocks she could, looking for anything strange. She tossed a fist-sized stone behind her and gasped."There's a cave here!" she called to Cefin, who was standing with his spear in his hand and not helping her whatsoever.
She sniffed and began tugging at a big rock, hoping that if she could move it a little bit, it would dislodge other ones, creating a larger hole, one that she could slip through. With a heave, she pushed with all of her might and it broke free, tumbling down into the blackness and taking Lauren with it. She landed in a heap in the dark, cool cave, coughing up dust and other particles. A small halo of light formed a circle on the ground, but didn't offer any other illumination in the cave. Pushing herself to her feet, she walked over to the hole and peered out, spying Cefin standing at attention.
"I'm fine, thanks for asking."
"Hurry up," Cefin snapped, his eyes glued to the skies.
"Yeah, yeah," Lauren rolled her eyes, disappearing into the darkness.
She stumbled around for a moment, feeling at the floor with her feet for anything that would give her a clue as to how she got here. Maybe she just needed to walk to the end of the cave and she'd wake up back in her own bed. She kicked the ground until she found the wall of the cave, placing her hands on the chilly stone to guide her. She kept to the wall, planting her feet firmly with every step to keep her balance.
Her foot caught on something and she fell, but not onto the hard ground, onto something firm…
And scaly.
In the darkness, a gigantic red eye opened.
She gasped, fear gripping her as she scrambled for the small pinhole in the distance that was the edge of the cave. "CEFIN!" she screamed, her voice echoing in the cave.
The monster was moving, and Lauren saw a flash of bright fire, illuminating the black body the size of an elephant.
She screamed and ran faster, hating herself for ever coming up here. She flung herself at the small hole, wriggling out as fast as she could. Cefin's spear was out, concern on his face.
"Lauren, quiet down, you'll wake the—"
"TOO LATE!" she screamed, pulling herself out of the cave and running past him as fast as her feet could carry her. "RUN!"About the Author S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in a small, suburban town in northwest Florida, she was seventeen before she realized that not all beach sand is white. From a young age, she has always been a long-winded individual, first verbally (to the chagrin of her ever-loving parents) and then eventually channeled into the many novels that dotted her Windows 98 computer in the early 2000s. After high school, she got the hell outta dodge and went to school near the nation's capital, where she somehow landed jobs at National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and the British Broadcasting Corporation, capping off her educational career with delivering the commencement address to 20,000 of her closest friends. She determined she'd goofed off long enough with that television nonsense and got a "real job" as an IT consultant. Yet she continued to write, developing 20 page standard operating procedures and then coming home to write novels about bounty hunters, teenage magic users, and other nonsense. After a severe quarter life crisis at age twenty-seven, she decided to finally get a move on and share those novels with the world in hopes that she will never have to write another SOP again.Follow on TwitterFollow on Facebook Follow on Goodreads
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Published on March 23, 2015 04:00 • 2 views

March 20, 2015

To most of the Facebook Fifteen, bullying Audrey Bales was just a game—until two deep cuts with a Swiss army knife changed everything forever. Audrey didn’t want attention anymore. After five weeks at Fairview High School, Audrey wanted to die.

The doctors did the only thing they could with her: they put her away.

But in Fairview, Virginia, the nightmare is only beginning. The chat session had not gone unobserved. The Facebook Fifteen have drawn the attention of an ancient evil that lives only to punish those who would prey upon the weak.

They are the ghosts of 1,000 dead children—1,000 suicides—and their master…

Their master likes Audrey Bales.

And as Audrey attempts to heal her mind and body, far from home, their master prepares for the revenge he will unleash upon her return.

I've been looking forward to this one my TBR list for a while (too long--my TBR is getting away from me!). It absolutely did not disappoint. I was sucked in and read it in a single day. The story is heart-rending and definitely dark, but there's splashes of humor here and there that help light the way. Possibly the best part was the great characterization. Each of the characters were very well fleshed out and leapt off the page. Even in the darkest situations, I could understand motivations and found myself cheering Audrey on, while seriously loathing a few of the Facebook Fifteen. Damanda doesn't shy away from the extremely tough subjects in this novel--suicide, bullying, punishments--but it works well and is very authentic. I highly recommend this, and the next two books in the series are high on my list!
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Published on March 20, 2015 04:00 • 8 views

March 17, 2015

One must do some cheering when a great new book comes out, right? Well, today's the official release day for MILAYNA by the awesome Michelle K. Pickett, and I just want to do a shout-out for her and her new series!!

From the bestselling author of PODs comes an unforgettable tale of action, intrigue, and following your heart in the midst of betrayal.

It’s hard being good all the time. Everyone needs to be bad once in a while. But for seventeen-year-old Milayna, being good isn’t a choice. It’s a job requirement. And it’s a job she can’t quit. Born a demi-angel, Milayna steps in when danger and demons threaten the people around her, but being half angel isn’t all halos and happiness. Azazel, Hell’s demon, wants Milayna’s power and he’ll do anything to get it. But he only has until her eighteenth birthday, after which she becomes untouchable.

With the help of other demi-angels, Milayna thwarts the trouble Azazel sends her way. Fighting by her side is Chay. He’s a demi-angel who's sinfully gorgeous, and Milayna falls hard. But is Chay her true love… or her nemesis in disguise?
When she learns of a traitor in her group, there’s no one she can trust… not even the one she loves. (Goodreads)
Doesn't that sound awesome? Be sure to wish Michelle congrats, and grab a copy!
And happy St. Patrick's Day, too! Hope you're enjoying some corned beef :)
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Published on March 17, 2015 04:00 • 4 views

March 16, 2015

Thanks for stopping by today! I have a treat of a post for you from Mary Waibel, and she's hosting me on her blog today, too! Say hello here and swing by her place to see what I have to say about getting luck ;) We are both holding giveaways, too, for one lucky commenter to receive an ebook of your choice from our backlists!

Guest Post by Mary Waibel
Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, a day when everyone is Irish and luck abounds. A perfect day to talk about lucky breaks, right?

When Meradeth suggested writing about lucky breaks in our writing careers, I instantly thought about getting my lucky break with MuseItUp Publishing.

Back in 2011, I sent out queries to several agents for a manuscript I’d been working on for a couple years. After receiving several requests for fulls, but never any offers of representation, I decided to stop my search and move on with my writing in a different way.

In March of 2012, I sent out a completed manuscript (different from the one I’d been seeking an agent with) to a few small publishing houses. Two e-mailed me back requesting the full, and I sent it off, knowing that it still may not go anywhere.

Four months later I opened my e-mail to find a response from MuseItUp offering me contract, and the rest is history. Since that first lucky break, I’ve published three books with MuseItUp, self-published a novella, and published another book with another house (BookFish Books, where I also work as an editor.)

But, if it wasn’t for that lucky break with MuseItUp, I’m not sure where I’d be today. And you wouldn’t get to read this lucky excerpt from Quest of the Hart.

Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of one of Mary's books!

Up close the sword wasn’t as big as she had first thought, but it was still much larger than a normal sword. Black leather was wrapped around the hilt, and the pommel was a large golden ball. A narrow strip of the steel blade glinted in the sunlight, the edge razor sharp.

She placed her hands around the hilt and squeezed the plain handle. Tugging gently, she wiggled the blade. It didn’t move. Warily, she pulled even harder. Her hands slipped, and she tumbled backwards, arms pinwheeling to keep herself from plummeting over the edge of the twenty-foot drop.

Breathing hard, Kaylee sidestepped around the fist until her back was to the shallow stream. Wrapping her hands around the hilt, she braced her feet against the fist and pulled as hard as she could. Her hands slipped to the pommel, and she fell into the stream behind her, water spraying over her head.

Gasping, she sat up and doubled over in a fit of coughing. She was soaked from head to toe, but nothing appeared to be broken, although her shoulder ached from the jarring impact. She shoved her hair from her face and her breath caught.

Wisps of red swirled in the water and she scrambled away. She let out a chuckle when she realized it was just blood and not something trying to attack her. A week ago, she would have fainted at the sight; now she watched in wonder as it swirled around her.

It took a moment for her to realize it was hers. Yanking her hand from the water, she looked for the source, shocked to find a small blade clenched in her fist. Blood oozed from deep gashes on her knuckles, but the dagger was all she could see.

It was a miniature version of Paladin’s sword—the pommel a small golden sphere, the hilt bound in black leather. The steel blade, sharp on both sides, narrowed to a deadly point. It clearly wasn’t the sword Navon had told her she would need, but perhaps it was enough to work, as she was certain she would never break the other free, let alone be able to carry it.

She slipped the dagger into her boot and sloshed across the stream to the bank. The first part of her quest was over. Now she just needed to reach Dun’Au.

About the Author:

YA author Mary Waibel’s love for fairytales and happy-ever fill the pages of her works. Whether penning stories in a medieval setting or a modern day school, magic and romance weave their way inside every tale. Strong female characters use both brain and brawn to save the day and win the heart of their men. Mary enjoys connecting with her readers
About the Book:

Princess Kaylee has never had to fight for anything. Her entire life has been arranged, even her marriage. But when Prince Devlin falls under an enchantment, she finds she is willing to do anything to save him, even if it means fighting a dragon.

Devlin's own sister, Princess Arabella, is behind the deadly plot. She wants the throne and will use any means necessary to gain it. Her perfect plan unravels, leaving Devlin caught in a magical sleep that is slowly spreading through the kingdom of Breniera. All Arabella needs to finish her spell and claim the crown is a drop of Kaylee's blood, but obtaining the single drop is proving more difficult than expected.

To save her betrothed, Kaylee embarks on a quest to find an ancient sword and gather a drop of dragon's blood, while trying to stay out of Arabella's traps. But Arabella's traps aren't the only danger. Time is everything. For once the last inhabitant of the kingdom falls asleep, the spell will be sealed, and not even true love's kiss will break it.
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Published on March 16, 2015 04:00 • 4 views

March 12, 2015

Check out the rest of March Madness!It's my distinct pleasure to host the amazing Marcie Kremer's hottie from Torch in the Forest today! Seriously, you *need* to go vote for Lord Hugh!!

Check it out on Goodreads!If you're like most women (and, if you're reading this blog, you probably are ☺), sometimes there is nothing more satisfying than to be able to prove a man wrong! It's especially fun to prove a man wrong when he is arrogant, condescending, and thinks you are a complete ninny. But, what is the fun in that? you might ask, because if he is such a jerk, why should you care? Ah, but here is the secret….Lord Hugh, whose blue eyes could pierce you through, truly has a soft heart underneath all that hard-earned shell, and he would honestly like nothing better than to find a woman he can trust and love with all his heart. Will he admit that, however? I don't think so!

In Marcie Kremer's historical romance, TORCH IN THE FOREST, Lady Eleanor has a task—she must prove herself capable of managing her forest lands and prove herself a worthy opponent for Lord Hugh, who won't give her the time of day. He doesn't believe there is a single woman in England whom he could trust or respect. When Eleanor realizes she is hopelessly attracted to a haughty Lord Hugh, who treats her with disrespect, she must find a way to convince him that he is wrong. To be able to turn a strong man around and force him to acknowledge his softer side is a challenge worthy of Eleanor's keen wit and intelligence. Whether Lord Hugh is fighting in the Crusades, riding to hounds, or facing down a local lord, he is a fearsome opponent. If you'd like to know how Eleanor deals with Lord Hugh, he of the intense blue gaze that sets her pulse racing, you'll need to read this intriguing book.

In the meantime, why not find a man of your own you can prove wrong?

Come on, this guy DESERVES your vote!! :)More about Torch in the Forest:

Eighteen-year-old widow Eleanor of Strathcombe is stunned to realize she has a powerful attraction to Hugh of Wykeham, the arrogant, neighboring lord returned from the Crusade. But he wants to marry her sister, and when he learns that poachers are running rampant he blames her and feuds with her over the control of their forest boundaries.

As she struggles to keep control of her forests and find the poachers, unsettling feelings confront her when she deals with Hugh, feelings she never felt in her brief, loveless marriage — feelings she tries to fight, because she knows Hugh to be a cold, harsh man who may have murdered his faithless wife in revenge — and who trusts no woman.

When she finds herself in the midst of a net of intrigue and lies, how will she find the courage to capture the conspirators, save herself and her sister, and overcome her feelings for Hugh?

NOW TO VOTE, and enter the giveaway! Do both in the rafflecopter:

">a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Published on March 12, 2015 04:00 • 7 views

March 9, 2015

It has been a whirlwind of a week, so the best way to jot it all down it definitely in a list! :)

Hello, Lord Hugh! You're going to want to
vote for this Knight in Shining Armor!
I GOT THE JOB!!! Yes, that totally warranted shouting :) I'll be starting as a tenure-track professor this coming fall at the University of Montana. I couldn't be more exited! And I get to put together my own lab, people!! Mad scientist in the making ;)I did nothing work related this weekend, and my to-do list is currently making my nauseous. LOL!Thursday has all kinds of fun going on. First of all, I'm helping the wonderful Marcie Kremer with her bid for world domination getting her amazing hero, Lord Hugh, to win the March Madness tournament. Her novel TORCH IN THE FOREST is awesome!! Please swing by and vote.Thursday is also the day I'm taking part in "Ask the Author and Her Publisher" event with Book Fish books (who is publishing Travelers, my YA time-travel novel this summer :) on twitter. Come join us, and check out #AskTheAuthor hashtag. Should be lots of fun!Is the room spinning, or is that just me? I'm not sure I can tell at the moment :) I think that's my cue to show you some fun pictures and go see about that to-do list. Or have more hot chocolate! This should be loads of fun--come say hi!!
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Published on March 09, 2015 04:00 • 12 views

March 4, 2015

Some of you know that I belong to the really fun Lightening Quick Reads short story blog. If you don't, well, I'm totally going to bombard you with it today ;) The blog is all about short stories--less than 5-10 minutes to read. We have a monthly theme and it's a blast to see how we all interpret that differently. March's theme is Luck, which seems appropriate with St. Patrick's Day nearing. So, today, I'm stealing Crytal's idea and going to give you a little teaser of my short for this month.

(This is the one that I mentioned before...the new MC's voice that's knocking around in my head and bound and determined to be let loose!)

It's all just a long as you know the rules.
New College Scarf :)Some might say I’m lucky, but I know better. It’s all in what you see. What you say. How you place your hands, and the way you walk. The length of time you make eye contact. All together it creates the image I need to guarantee everyone will like me. That I can ensure they will do what I want.

It’s a game. Pure and simple.

Or at least, this is what I tell myself to pass the time. The ticks of the clock that can stretch on infinitely if I allow my mind to wander. I count flecks of dandruff and know my boss has changed his shampoo. I watch the way my coworker tries to hide the blister on her heel from her new shoes with the tilt in her walk. I know that exactly 3,597 regular holes mark the ceiling, with the exception of the left corner near the window where the straight lines waver slightly and there’s a perforation missing.

Someone changed the water filter in the building last night—the coffee tastes better.

It’s easier this way. To pick apart the pieces to keep distracted. Dwelling’s a little too easy. The articles I read last night could keep anyone up. The upsurge in violence in Africa has me frightened. But no one wants to hear about that. No one wants to talk about the real world. No, it’s better to hide in the news-that-is-not-news, or at least news masked in the parody of some comedian. That’s not reality. It’s a bastardization of it. The real world is so chock full of problems I can understand why people willingly blind themselves; let themselves be led by the nose to the scandalous, the inane, the downright ridiculous. It’s easier that way.

Just like it’s easier to pretend I’m the same. It’s all part of the game.

“Those shoes look fabulous! I love how they match your shirt.” My smile tips up just enough, reaches my eyes with the right little crinkle at the sides. She’ll never know I can tell she’s been waiting to wear them for months. Something must have happened yesterday for her to drag them out. From the slight redness around her eyes, I’d put money on it being her husband.

“Oh! Thanks. I saw them and just couldn’t resist.” She blushes a little and I relax into the conversation. Just because I could analyze every word to figure out how well her two kids are doing in school (one’s struggling in English), or what her husband did (embezzled at work), it’s not like I have to. Or want to. Sometimes it really is easy to just let that all slide. A part of the game.

She doesn’t wobble quite so much when she walks away, her shoulders straighter. A little smile, this one not calculated for the perfect angle, touches my lips.

My computer dings with a new message and my heart picks up a notch. The thing with playing the game? There are days when I find myself arriving home and collapsing in a heap on my bed. My friends would come if I called them. We could go out and have a good time. But it’s not like I can explain the truth of the matter.

That there’s a part of me that’s lonely, that wishes I could discuss the potential the new algae carbon processing strains might have on reducing our environmental impact. That wants to do more than debate who’s going to be given a rose on the show my brain refuses to remember the title of, as if in some silent protest to the fact that I record and watch every episode (albeit on fast-forward) so I know what the ladies talk about at lunch.

But that changed about a month ago with the email in my inbox.

“Do you always read Schrödinger on the train? I always thought his views on his cat were rather morbid.”

It made me laugh.

The email though—no name, just initials and a generic @gmail account. Tracing it back to where it’d been sent from didn’t take much work. Whoever it was must have wanted to be found. But, that turned into dead end after dead end—all coffee houses in various parts of the city with no record of who the person behind the emails could be.

My response, amused, part of the game, was more because I had to know who this person was, especially if they managed to work out my email based off the only clue I could see in my outward appearance: the Oxford scarf I’d grabbed for no particular reason other than I felt nostalgic.

Someone else played the game. If that was the case, I was sure to win.

Curious about what happens next? You can keep reading here!
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Published on March 04, 2015 04:00 • 7 views

March 2, 2015

Happy Monday! How is everyone doing? We had all kinds of awesome sunshine this weekend, and despite the cold temps, that was glorious! I can't wait for spring, even if we've had a majorly mild winter here this year (three cheers for very little snow! I know it's bad for our water supply, but wow do I hate the snow!). Anyhow, I hope everyone's doing okay, keeping warm, and looking forward to spring (well, except for William :).

So, turning points. This week has a big one for me. It's been a long interview process at the

University of Montana (four months), after working here for nearly three years, and hopefully I'll have some news this week about whether or not I get a tenure line. What does that mean? Well, I've been a Visiting Assistant Professor for three years (basically an indentured servant--I teach twice the classes as everyone else, for half their pay), and tenure means I'll be a permanent faculty member and get to drop the "visiting." I'll get to finally get my own lab started, take on my own students (even though I've been doing this anyhow), and generally have a real "adult" job with some actual security. Well, at least a job that may allow me to make more than minimum wage. Might be kinda nice after years and years of school! ;)

I'm not bitter, really. Okay, maybe a little. But still. I love my job. I want to actually keep it.

After having to go through the insane process of interviewing, competing with people from around the world, and trying to not scream for months now, I should hear one way or the other this week. So, major turning point. My coworkers and I had no choice about how the interviews worked--it's University policy. Yay for policy...or not....

Honestly, I'm terrified. It's funny how big changes like this appear. Most of the time they're little things that slowly change our course, bit by bit, sometimes so gradual that we hardly even notice them. Other times there's this huge event that looms up and threatens to clobber us. (Let's not talk about my panic attacks lately...or the ulcer I'm surely giving myself.) I'm not sure which is more terrifying: the big event turning point is at least something we can see, but a gradual change can feel more out of our control. Both have major implications for our lives. I will say that I feel much more equipped to write about the anxiety of a big turning point now though!

Basically, this post is to say that if I seem a little nuts this week, that's why. And if I lose it on Friday and start posting expletive-laden posts around the web, you know what's up :)

Until then, I'm going to try not to eat everything in my house!
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Published on March 02, 2015 04:00 • 3 views