Selah March

February 10, 2009

Help. There’s a piano in my kitchen and I can’t get up.

Filed under: Family,Fictionwise,New release,Reviews,Writing — Selah March @ 5:05 pm

Let me ‘splain.

No, there is too much.

Let me sum up.

It’s not a large kitchen. Not for a family of five. Which makes sense, as it’s in the middle of a rather small house – too small to easily accommodate even relatively slight renovations like the refinishing of floors and the painting of rooms while said family is in residence.

And yet…

The piano? It doesn’t fit in any room that isn’t currently undergoing renovation. Except, of course, the kitchen. Which is also the only room where there is currently any seating. And the room where the dogs live. And the room where the kids do their homework, and my husband does charting late into the night.

*whimper*

It gives a whole new perspective on how the pioneers lived, which is to say ON TOP OF EACH OTHER.

Me? I like my solitude. Over the past ten days, when I’m not struggling to put a meal on the covered-with-sawdust table or fighting for three square feet around the sink to wash dishes, I’ve been locked in my bedroom – and sometimes my van – trying to write.

IT’S NOT GOING WELL.

Another week and it’s all over. No more floor-sanders or paint fumes or workmen in their BIG, LOUD BOOTS. The piano returns to its rightful place of honor in the space that once was a dining room and is now a family room-slash-office. No more hot dogs served in the master bedroom because the kitchen table is unusable. No more drinking straight from the two-liter bottle of Coke Zero so I have fewer dishes to wash.

So to everyone whose emails and phone messages I’ve read and heard but didn’t have time to answer, and all my crit partners whose work I’ve neglected in the midst of my season in Renovation Hell, I apologize, and plead extenuating circumstances (several of which I haven’t mentioned here). I’ll get with you shortly and spill all the horrific details.

That’s not a promise. More of a threat, in fact.


In the meantime, YEAR OF THE CAT made Amber Allure’s Top Ten Bestseller list for January, and garnered a couple of really nice reviews.

4 Stars from Rainbow Reviews: “Year of the Cat is the tale of Etienne and Jacques, their adventures, and is, in the end, a tale of love and redemption. Full of densely woven images, [Year of the Cat] does not disappoint.” ~Carole, Rainbow Reviews

4.5 Nymphs from Literary Nymphs: “Selah March writes of love, betrayal, forgiveness and personal-growth in Year of the Cat. Etienne has lived in his books and has no ‘street smarts’. Jacques has lived, done what he must to survive and has no qualms taking necessary risks. From the moment they met, Jacques felt something for the younger man that he wasn’t ready to identify. There were moments where I wanted to hit Jacques with a skillet, but I had to remember this was Etienne’s adventure; his time to learn and grow. There were hard lessons and sacrifices made by both men, but love is a powerful tool. This is definitely a story you don’t want to miss.” ~Scandalous Minx, Literary Nymphs Reviews

Also, WILD HORSES is now available at Fictionwise.

***

One week. I hear that’s a century in piano-in-the-kitchen years.

January 23, 2009

Wanna hear a fairytale?

Filed under: blah blah blah,Family — Selah March @ 1:19 pm

Once upon a time (1990, to be exact) on a cold day in January, a twenty-three-year-old preschool teacher dragged a single large suitcase, four cardboard boxes and a few garbage bags full of extra clothes into the house of a handsome young doctor and his two-year-old little boy.

The young doctor was heartbroken – newly separated from his wife, who’d left him to move to California and “find herself.” The preschool teacher was homeless, having worn out her welcome on the sofas and guest-beds and floors of her friends, and unable to afford an apartment of her own, even while cleaning houses on the weekends.

The little boy was confused, unhappy, and desperately in need of mothering.

The preschool teacher had come to play Mary Poppins on a strictly temporary basis. She’d end up staying for what’s turning out to be the rest of her life.

The stuff of your classic Harlequin Romance, you say? Bet you can even envision the cover, can’t you? Something with a grinning couple – she’s petite and wearing a sweater set, he’s got a white lab coat and a stethoscope – and a cute toddler. Maybe a puppy.

But wait! Now cut the heroine’s hair very short, except for a skinny, braided tail that reaches her butt, and die it purple. (No shit – PURPLE). Stick several piercings in her ears and roll a pack of cigarettes in her shirtsleeve. Take the hero out of that lab coat and stick him in tied-dyed scrubs, and trade the stethoscope for an electric guitar. His hair is longer, too…yeah, longer than that…no, seriously…LONGER…

The toddler can stay cute, but switch out the puppy for an iguana named Napoleon.

Okay. Not so Harlequin anymore. But the Goals, Motivation and Conflict remain the same, right? And the happily-ever-after?

Skip ahead nineteen years. The little boy is twenty-one now, and still living at home (which is another story altogether). His younger brother and sister still occasionally ask to hear the story of “how mom and dad met and got together.”

I always begin the story with “once upon a time.” I always finish it with “all happy endings are a Work In Progress.”

It seems to work for them. Which is good, because it sure as hell works for me.  🙂

Happy weekend, folks.

March 20, 2008

Refugee from Laundryland.

Filed under: blah blah blah,Family,WIP — Selah March @ 12:07 pm
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First a note for Miss Kate, who so politely inquired about the state of my plumbing: Got the biopsy results yesterday and the trouble is entirely benign, though still in need of a spot of surgery, thank you kindly for asking. 🙂

So it’s been raining. Maybe you’ve noticed. And while we certainly aren’t floating away like certain areas of the country, poor things, we are decidedly…damp. Moist, even. And not in the good way.

As a result, we’re filming our own version of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. It’s called FLOODED BASEMENT, BROKEN WASHER.

In other news, All Romance eBooks is offering a new Free Read program, and they’ve contracted the short novella I wrote for PBW’s Ebook Challenge, “Dark of the Day.” You can find it here — a free download in PDF and HTML.

In still other news, the sequel to SEVEN YEAR ACHE (known alternately as “Brokeback on Crack”) is proceeding nicely.

Here. Have an unedited excerpt from WILD HORSES, due out from Amber Allure/Amber Quill Press sometime in July:

* * *

“And this is our new hired hand, Kris Killborn.”

Kris stepped up, removing his hat and wiping his brow with the back of one grimy wrist. The blond guy moved first to shake his hand. Kris looked close, waiting to see if the big man would remember their earlier meeting in the diner.

“Hey, I’m Dex Egan.” Nothing. A practiced smile, a strong grip, and no recognition whatsoever.

The fat little fuck who called himself Troy Abrams shook Kris’s hand, too, without appearing to know him. But the tall, skinny one in the shirt with the letters embroidered over the left tit looked Kris square in the face. “Gaelen Ramsey, at your service.”

Yeah, this one remembered. His sneer said it all.

Kris let it slide. He couldn’t afford to make trouble no matter how bad his fingers itched to curl up into a fist.

Then the fourth member of the group stepped forward — the only one who hadn’t made an impression back at the diner — and all the prideful irritation simmering under Kris’s skin seeped away.

“Blake Talbot.” His voice was deep but smooth at the same time, with the edges worn down to nothing by a heavy drawl. The sun glinted off the silver ring on the third finger of the hand he offered Kris. “Good to meet you.”

He smiled, and it caught Kris by surprise. Like when he did the hung-over walk of shame out of some dude’s apartment on a Sunday morning and got smacked in the face by a sunrise right out of one of those paintings that sold for half a grand in a Missoula gallery. Not as pretty a Rafe — nah, nobody’s as pretty as Rafe — but there was something in how this Blake Talbot’s light brown hair fell in a wave over his forehead, and in the flicker of his lashes over his dark blue eyes. In the way his nose was a little too long and his mouth a touch too wide for his face. Something in the shape of his jaw and the curve of his smile that made Kris want to know how he’d look backed up against a wall and begging for it.

JT cleared his throat, and Kris jerked his hand away. While the others discussed plans for an afternoon trail ride, he stared out at the mountains and tried to pull his shit together. No matter what kind of signals he was picking up from this Talbot guy, the guests were off-limits — hadn’t Rafe said as much? And Kris needed this job. More than he needed to get laid, even.

Plus he was probably reading it wrong. What did some college boy from back east want with him?

But when he glanced back again, Talbot caught his eye and held it for a long count of five. Kris offered up a wink and a grin, and Talbot ducked his head and showed his dimples in a way that made something in Kris’s chest twist around and whine for mercy.

“Sandwiches in the kitchen, Killborn,” Rafe said, looking at him funny. “Go wash up. We’ve got another half-mile of fence to check before I need to start supper for the guests.”

Kris nodded, his eyes on the way Talbot’s ass filled out the dark denim of his too-new jeans as he walked away.

“Don’t even think about it,” Rafe whispered as he passed him.

Kris smirked and spit in the dust. No doubt Rafe’s advice was well meant, but it had come a wink and one slow, shy smile too late.

* * *

January 10, 2007

I saw Mommy maiming Santa Claus…

Filed under: blah blah blah,Deadlines,Family,WIP,Writing — Selah March @ 10:59 am
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Okay, this is the deal: Christmas — and, in fact, the entire 2006 Holiday Season — tried to eat my face.

It was a bloody battle. I nearly surrendered when the fully-decorated tree fell down in the middle of the living room — FOR THE SECOND TIME IN THREE DAYS — an hour before my parents were due to arrive. I completed my shopping on the 24th, and my wrapping with literally moments to spare. The ham was overcooked, as were the green beans, because I was worried about the eggnog.

And that was just Round 1. Christmas with the inlaws in the wilds of Western Pennsylvania was Round 2, and if you’ve never driven six hours through the pouring rain in weekend traffic with three bickering children, a brewing migraine, and broken windshield wipers? I recommend it as a test of a mother’s love. Mine is in damned fine shape, as proven by the fact that all three spawn continue to breathe without the assistance of a tube.

And heaven bless patient editors. If I ever again undertake to meet two deadlines within days of Christmas? Well, never mind. It’ll never happen. I think my husband will see me buried under the house first.

“I don’t know, officer. She was here last night. Telling me about her brand new story that’s due on New Year’s Eve. Seemed real excited about it. Then — poof. She was gone. Left her van, her clothes…even her purse. Don’t know where she went, but we sure will miss her. Eggnog? It’s really good. Yeah, she always did make great eggnog. Oh, mind the tree. It’s a little wobbly.”

SelahMarch.com – Romance of Dubious Virtue

November 10, 2006

Scenes Between A Mother And Daughter: Part I

Filed under: blah blah blah,Family — Selah March @ 9:45 am
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I have a nine-year-old daughter who is a tad on the precocious side. The following conversation took place last night, shortly after the completion of the evening meal.

Daughter: Mom, can I get the DVD of The Parent Trap?

Me: No.

Daughter: Why not?

Me: No.

Daughter: *sighs with arms crossed over nonexistent chest* But WHY NOT??

Me: *glares in general direction of dog who is attempting to eviscerate a bag of leftovers I forgot to toss in the trash* Because I hate that movie. I’ve always hated that movie. I hated that movie when it starred Hayley Mills, and I hate it now that it stars Lindsey Lohan before she got boobies. No.

Daughter: What’s to hate? It’s Disney. Disney is good, wholesome entertainment.

Me: *sets down silverware caddy with loud, jangling thud on counter* What you don’t know about Disney would fill a book. Do you know what a Nazi sympathizer is?

Daughter: *rolls eyes*

Me: Do you know what a subliminal message is?

Daughter: Mom–

Me: Plus, they employ Billy Ray Cyrus. What’s wholesome about THAT, I’d like to know.

Daughter: Mom? Topic?

Me: That movie is evil, sweet-cheeks. EVIL. Think about it: two adults decide they can’t get along well enough to continue their marriage, so they decide to divorce and live on opposite ends of the country/world, never allowing either of their daughters to know she has a twin. An IDENTICAL TWIN. Not to mention depriving said daughters of all contact with their other PARENT. Talk about self-centered, immature, irresponsible asswipes.

Daughter: Mom, you promised you wouldn’t use that word anymore. I’m telling Dad.

Me: And then they get all bent out of shape when the kids pull a fast one. Like the KIDS are the ones with the problems. I tell you, it bugged me when it was Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara pulling this self-indulgent shit…

Daughter: Who?

Me: …and it bugs me now that it’s Dennis Quaid and what’s-her-name. The British chick.

Daughter: Natasha Richardson.

Me: Right. I mean, I understand a marriage not working out, but to split up siblings? And twins? And then they do this big scene where they can’t even remember WHY they didn’t get along, and it all turns out to be over nothing? I want to call Social Services on their spoiled asses. In real life, this situation would lead to major anger and abandonment issues for the kids, not to mention a lifetime of therapy. But Disney passes it off as a fun ROMP. *runs out of steam*

*long pause*

Daughter: Missed your nap today, huh?

Me: Yeah.

Daughter: So about that DVD?

Me: Put it on your Christmas list. Maybe Santa’s a shill for the Mouse, too.

Daughter: Mom–

Me: Go do your homework.

SelahMarch.com – Romance of Dubious Virtue

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