Waking Up Kids.

There are three species of animals in this house.

Cats.

Dogs.

A manchild. He’s eight. He’s five feet tall and weighs one hundred pounds.

I am, at various times, tasked with waking/relocating these beasts as demanded. Cats are the easist; I make cooing noises in my ridiculous pet voice, they glare at me, flick their tails, and leave.

Dogs are a bit more complex. If it’s cold outside, or raining– then they’re comfortable, and that means they have no interest in moving. I may be required to physically lift and transfer them to another area. I may bribe them with food (usually what I’m eating) or I may coax them on the rare occasions they’re feeling charitable.

The kid is a different story.

For one thing, I feel an enormous sense of wonder watching him sleep. Yes, it’s vaguely creepy to hover over my spawn and keep repeating, “Aww, would you just look at him!”. If he were older, he’d most likely open a baleful eye and ask me to stop making him feel like the subject of a study on overbearing parents.

More often than not, what I feel is guilt. Here’s the kid– five blankets, all strewn about like a crime scene after a hurricane, limbs in positions that would make a Yogi proud, and gusty sighs of contentment. Here I come, ready to disgorge him from this toasty nest and ask him to go to school. I don’t like doing it. I’d rather drink coffee and let the kid sleep, then start school at a civilized hour– around ten would be nice– and do away with the feeling that I’m some cruel warden who works in reverse. Winter mornings are the worst. I certainly don’t want to be up and out among eight hundred screaming kids, why would he?

Today, he slid from bed and thumped across the floor with a half-smile. It took a little of my guilt away. At least until tomorrow, when I have to rouse him again.

Just ten more years, kid. But for now, I might let him sleep for a few more minutes. It’s good for both of us, I think.

Getting Older.

As we roll into 2017, I’m one year closer to being fifty.

I can’t believe it.

Regardless, due too eating to much between the hours of 1-3AM, which is apparently when I MUST HAVE CAKE, I started running last year. I love it.

But, I only like running outside, and in the heat. The hotter the better, which leaves me in a lurch right now as Tennessee is in the midst of our own Arctic Winter. And then summer, and then winter again, but mostly winter.

So, I started a pushup challenge with myself. I did forty pushups (not all at once) about three weeks ago. Today, I just did four hundred. Again, not all at once, but you get the picture. To my horror, I seem to kind of like them, and I can do them anywhere that gravity exists. I think the goal is to run outside with no shirt (and not scare people) this summer, which means I’ve got five months to go. I’m keeping a log book, and when it’s time to run, I’ll add up my pushups and see just how many it takes to turn back the clock a bit.

In other news, I really appreciate Oreo Thins being sold in convenient single-serving packages of forty.

2017: The Bells of Wonder

Let’s talk about our goals.

I have a few. Some are likely, some are certain, and some are an outright challenge to myself. I like those. They assure me of taking my craft seriously, as well as continued growth.

They are, in no particular order:

  1. Write three books.
  2. Write three short stories for anthologies.
  3. Produce three audiobooks.
  4. Drink a lot of coffee.
  5. Whiten my teeth.
  6. Repeat as needed.

Specific characters: what’s next?

The sequel to Heartborn will arrive in March. Livvy is going to learn a lot more about her new world, and more to the point, what happened to her old world. Angels aren’t always agents of good, and their presence walks the line between war and wonder. Sometimes, their world might seem too brutal for someone like Livvy, but I think the angels should worry about how they fit into her plans.

She’s tough, and smart, and her heart is pure. That goes a long way, even in a world filled with war and lies.

What about Carlie?

Excellent question!

Carlie has a big year planned. I started wondering about her next challenges. Are they internal? External?

How about both.

Carlie needs pressure to grow, and I’ve found the perfect way to let her explore her magic, love Wulfric, and grow into the witch who will ultimately cradle Halfway in her protective grasp. Halfway Drowned will arrive in late summer, and the villains are fantastic. One of them even wears gym socks with rings, so you know he’s a terrible person.*

*If you really like gym socks with rings, and do it in a retro way, that’s cool.

Ring. Wally. Risa. It’s time.

I’ve thought long and hard about The Fearless and their path.

And now, I have it. I will be repackaging the entire series to introduce a project I’ve wanted to write for three years– book five of The Fearless is well underway, but the side project is near and dear to my heart.

It’s no secret that I love Delphine, but her backstory hasn’t been explained enough to match the depth of her intellect, will, and sexuality. I’ll fix that in 2017. I’ve got a stack of research and a keyboard, and Delphine will have her own story. Soon.

Yes Terry but pie.

Naturally, I’ll be heavily engaged in the following activities as well:

  1. Eating
  2. Eating pie.
  3. Eating cake, pie, and other bakes things.
  4. Running.
  5. Pushups.
  6. Wondering why my weight stays relatively level.

New Team Members

I’d like to introduce Jessica Herring as my web designer. She’ll be bringing the site up to speed in a clean, friendly format. I hope to interact with a lot more readers this year– my calendar is full, but still growing. Hope to see you at an event!

Najla, Amalia, and my Bookish Circle of Trust (You know who you are!) will continue to produce the cover art I love, with a special shout out to Staci Hart for her brilliant imagery on Heartborn.

More to come. I’d love to hear from you about great books, food, events, or whatever. Let’s chat.

Here’s to your best year ever. Thanks for reading.

Cheers,

News Graphic

2017 Vlog: Now with more Bad Guys and Hooligans!

I haven’t been very active with my vlog and Youtube channel. That changes this year. Thanks to a suggestion from Jess at The Audiobookworm, I’m going to start uploading videos that talk about where I find my villains.

Rather, where I find such terrible villains.

The answer is history. I teach college history, so this seems like a Super Duper Win, and it’s a great excuse to chat about the people and things I’ve seen that either gave me nightmares or inspired me to write books. Sometimes, the two are one in the same. If you have a favorite story from history, let me know! I’m always curious about what’s out there, lurking in the shadows of time.

Who knows—you may give me my next baddie. Or hero. Let’s discuss, shall we?

Cheers for now, Bookfriends.

News Graphic

New For 2017: Books, Travel, and Mild Exercise.

So many shiny things to look forward to.

I hope your holidays are warm and bright. Mine have been filled with an embarrassment of riches, which will lead me to overeat, undersleep, and caffeinate like I’m going to swim to Mars.

After this period of eating and eating and then napping, I’m entering what I call the “Winter of My Discontent”. This is when I begin various exercise challenges followed by pulled muscles, mild anger, and wheezing.

Oh, there will be wheezing.

There are now word counters on my website, so you can see the progress of each book. At current rates, 2017 looks to be busy. I’ll have three titles, two short stories (more on those later) and two audiobooks. I also have new art, graphics, bookmarks, and other various goodies that I’ll be giving away at author events. I think you’ll love the new look of everything; it was time to freshen the place up, so to speak.

My travel calendar is full, and getting fuller. Or fullerer. Regardless, you know what I mean—I start the year off in beautiful Roanoke, Virginia, on January 28th. It’s a fantastic city, and I’ll be there twice during the year. If you haven’t been—go. They have all the things I love crammed into an old city filed with new life and American charm.

I’ll send out mailings as events are added; I hope to schedule signings in the Carolinas, Midwest, and California. Do you have a suggestion for a signing? Let me know—I love small events in interesting places.

See you this year, Bookfriends. Cheers!

Paging Clark Griswold: It’s Christmas time.

I’ve reached a compromise with my wife.

I wanted 250,000 Christmas lights, a small nuclear reactor to power the system, and live reindeer.

She wanted light-up Christmas trees that have a vaguely Dr. Seuss-like quality; whimsical and fun.

I like them. As you may have guessed, that isn’t 250,000 lights, but it’ll do. It turns out that an unlicensed nuclear plant is both expensive and frowned upon, so I’ll hold off until later and/or whenever portable nukes become a thing.

Our search for trees was critical, as we have more than one Christmas tree in the house. Since we have somewhere between one and three hundred cats (I think), we have little trees placed high in *relatively* safe areas. Meet one of our little trees.

That’s tucked away in my son’s room, and yes– that’s a VCR. He likes old technology, and he’s convinced that he can reinvent the American obsession with videotapes. Since he’s eight, I won’t call him a hipster, just an optimist.

We found the trees at a local lot. It was dusk, and cool, and the perfect night for tree hunting.

All in all, it’s been an amazing December and we’re just getting warmed up. Wherever you are, may this season be warm and bright.

Cheers,
Terry

Jezebel and the Rabbit

This Tuesday, something happened that is a (sadly) common part of my life. 

Taking my son to school, I noticed a rabbit sitting in a driveway. From her body language, I knew she was badly wounded. I stop, approach her carefully, and pick her up. She’s shaking, in pain, and scared.


I’ve been rescuing animals since I was a child. My dad taught me to love animals, respect their plight, and above all else, render aid when and where I could. In the past month, I’ve handled a possum, a crow, five kittens, a rabbit, and snakes, frogs, and turtles. In truth, I have pulled over to escort woolly bear caterpillars across the road (I find them charming and oddly funny). 

I am a magnet for turtles. This is known.



The bunny’s injuries were too severe, and I knew it. We drove across town to the animal hospital, and she was given peace. My wife kindly said, “Her last few moments were warm.” I do this a lot– every time, it’s hard, and every time, a bit of me stays with the small life that just ended. I’m okay at first, but like a tide returning to shore, the feelings catch up with me. I cry, think about what it means to help (it’s not always easy) and move on. In more than forty years, it doesn’t get easier. Ever.

What I’m going to write now is something I’ve been considering for several days. As a writer, I have to be– polite? Careful? I must choose my words, because my living comes from the sale of books to kind people who believe in my stories.

Therefore, I’m comfortable with the following departure. 

A few days ago, Jezebel published this:
http://theslot.jezebel.com/an-october-surprise-for-mike-pences-dog-death-1788255412

Let’s read that headline together: “An October Surprise For Mike Pence’s Dog: Death”.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I don’t like politicians. That doesn’t matter here, at least not to me. Jezebel is a site that combines snarky exploitation along with the journalistic integrity of Gawker. They’re not journalists; they write clickbait about private lives and scandal to earn money. That’s it. They earn money from pain, or shame, or curiosity. 

That headline is beyond the pale. Even for the appalling standards of clickbaiters, it’s sick. It’s the lowest common denominator in a field dominated by exploitation and stupidity. I’d say they have no shame, but that’s redundant. 

I’ve never read Jezebel, or the *author* of that piece, one Brendan O’Conner. I certainly won’t start now. I will, however, tell my readers to consider who you’re supporting when you click on anything from their site. 

For me? I won’t forget this article. I leave that decision to you. Thanks for reading.

Terry


Jewelry Giveaway. Fun Stuff.

Two things:

I have a Publishing Assistant. Her name is Amy and she’s wonderful. We’ve known each other for some time (she’s a SERIOUS book lover), and here is her first giveaway in honor of the new book.
One of the items is this lovely bracelet, made by my friend Kelli Clark Brown.
Enter, win, share with friends, all that stuff.
And say hi to Amy!
Cheers,
Terry

Are you in Kindle Unlimited? I need your help.

Reach out to me at terrymaggertbooks.com, I have a favor to ask.

It seems that there’s a glitch in the Amazon features and I’d like to run a test— it won’t cost you any money, but it would help me out tremendously. All you have to do is get one of my titles (most are in KU), read a few pages, and tell me how many. That’s it.

Thanks in advance!

Terry

My titles: My Amazon Page

Outlander Casting, Audiobooks, and Candy

It’s October.

That means that eating peanut butter cups every day isn’t just fun, it’s patriotic. I consider it my solemn duty to support the United States economy by consuming as much candy as possible in and around holidays where gorging on chocolate is perfectly acceptable. Did you know that Reese’s has a peanut butter cup the size of a manhole cover? It’s true. They weigh a pound. Before anyone asks, YES I have a source and YES I will be eating them, quietly in my car why I think about my life and where it’s going but it’s so good and I think I can finish before–

Anyway.

So, Outlander announced a few tidbits, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. First, they’re giving us EVEN more Culodden– which really makes sense, as the event is nothing short of apocalyptic for Claire, Jamie, and the wider world they inhabit. Some of the images are nothing short of emotional terrorism. The mood, the lighting– it’s all there.


Let me tell you– there’s nothing glorious in the dead. That image captures the desolation of the Scottish way of life, and what must be an utter horror show in Claire’s heart as she walks the killing grounds. I love the books, but the visual nature of this upcoming season will, for me, clinch this series as among my all-time favorites. To sum up: expect me to unleash my Inner Basic White Girl next season. I’ll more or less react as follows:


Another thing. Am I the only one who feels a deep sense of anger at the British Empire in general after I watch this show? I think the Queen is likely a delightful lady. Kate’s lovely, the kid are predictably cute, but reading and watching about how the Scots were gutted leaves me simmering with righteous indignation. It speaks to the power of the story and show that I can feel like I need to go back in time and personally vanquish the redcoats and their empire.


Bonus for inclusion of my manatee meme.

A few more days until Heartborn comes out in audio. Julia Whelan is unreal. Here’s her official bio:

Julia Whelan has appeared in many films and television series, most notably ABC’s Once And Again. After receiving a degree in English and Creative Writing at Middlebury College and Oxford University, Julia began narrating audiobooks. She’s recorded hundreds of novels across all genres and has received multiple Earphones and Audie Awards. She is repeatedly named one of Audiofile Magazine’s Best Voices and was Audible’s Narrator of the Year.

And, meet Julia:



So, if you’d love to hear a book come to life, I can help you out. Heartborn goes live at Audible this week.

Time to write. And maybe eat candy. All at once.

Cheers!
Terry