Baby Squirrel Rescue!

Today, we had an overload of cuteness courtesy of a baby squirrel.

I found him in the front yard, confused and weak. I snatched him up from a feral cat, who was approaching him with bad intentions, took him inside, and began the process of Baby Squirrel Rescue.

Here are the highlights of the day:

  1. Baby squirrels like cashews.
  2. They can drink pedialyte and water as a mixture.
  3. They SNORE, and it’s insanely adorable. I know this because Noah (my son named him) fell asleep in my hand when his tummy was full, and he snored. It’s the best thing ever.

After he was strong enough, and stabilized, I put him under his tree and stood watch. Unfortunately, it became clear he was an orphan, but we had a wonderful solution. After a series of calls, I drove Noah to Walden’s Puddle, a wildlife sanctuary about an hour away.

It’s like heaven on earth. I met owls, squirrels, turkeys, possums, birds, snakes, and a pair of sassy turtles. Here’s the site– I’ll be supporting them from now on.

https://waldenspuddle.org/

Here’s an action shot of Noah enjoying his second cashew, which led to a nap.

He’s safe, happy, and on the road to recovery. It’s been an excellent Saturday, and Happy St. Patty’s Day to all my friends.

Some other news: We had a photo shoot for the new book, and it was AMAZING. Jade and Quinton were the perfect people, and Dottie Rainwater captured their essence perfectly. I can’t wait to show you the results. A Touch of Frost will be available on April 7th. and I hope you love the characters as much as I do.

Meet Jade (Sammie) and Quinton (Gideon).

Coming soon– trading cards, postcards, and posters. It’s going to be a fantastic release week!

Cheers,

Terry

Find Your Tribe.

Your tribe is the people outside your family who become family. That’s it. It can be simple to find them, or it can take years. For me, it took until I started writing as a serious pursuit, unlocking the years of memories about books, movies, comics, and art. All of these things fire my imagination like the inside of a star. It’s relentless and compelling and there is unalloyed joy in sharing it with people who not only like the things you like, but they get you.

So, back to back I’ve had two weekends with My Tribe. The first was Utopiacon, where fiction writers I know– and did not know– mingled with fans over three days of celebrating books. It’s a powerful sensation to realize that there are other humans who feel the same giddiness over books. Their imaginations share DNA with mine, and the overlapping areas of our fandoms are where we find common ground and bond (likely for life).

Then came LibertyCon. And this. . .headgear.

Your tribe foments creativity and laughter and thought. Your tribe makes you want to be better at what you do, and causes unabashed admiration for others who share your pursuit. It’s loud and grand and caring, and every minute of it flies by in a whirl of color and fun.

Something else happens, too. I’ve written five thousand words since coming home from the event, no small feat given my lack of sleep. Why is this? Simple. Your tribe stokes the boilers and makes creativity readily on tap. It’s a side effect of magical purpose, leaving you exhilarated and wide-eyed with the prospects of the coming days, eager to create and share.

I waited a long time to find my tribe, only to find that they were here all along. It’s up to you to find yours, but that’s the simplest part: find out where you can be weird, and revel in it.

Cheers for now. Gotta write. Maybe sleep. Mostly, write.

Terry

New Release Day: Moonborn

Moonborn is here. It’s in Kindle Unlimited and Amazon. I’m proud of this one, and the early reviews are excellent. I’ve already had a few readers pick out some DEEPLY hidden Easter Eggs (y’all are smart) and it’s been a fantastic week on twitter and across my social media in general.

Get yours here: Moonborn for Kindle

Tonight, I set up at Utopiacon in Nashville, where I’ll be immersed in All Things Bookish for the next four days. I’m stoked. So many writers. So many readers. So many people giving away candy, and not the kind you get in creepy vans (writers love chocolate. and booze. and coffee.)

Blogger friends– come by for your gift. You make my job easier, and I’m thankful.

If you’re around the area, stop by- there are some seriously talented people at the event. I’ll have book candles, books, bookmarks, and as a special treat, I’ll be wearing pants.

You’re welcome, World.

 

Why Book Covers Matter

Looks matter. Book covers matter. Or don’t they?

“I looked across the bar and saw her standing there, glass of wine in hand and her head thrown back in a laugh. At that moment, I could tell: she had a great personality.”

You might live to be one hundred years old and never hear that sentence, partially because no one will say it and you’ll be too busy arguing about expired coupons and the Good Old Days with the staff at Denny’s. I know because I’m *this* close to my senior discount and am already hearing the siren’s call of Early Bird Specials and Double Coupon Tuesday. I’m also a writer, and when I was in college the first time, (ahem), I was an artist. I understand that we’re visual creatures, and for those of us who love books, cover art matter. A lot.

Without a great cover, you’ll probably pass over the book. It’s a simple, brutal truth that there are good (and even great) books with terrible covers. A cover should tell– but not over tell– the story. It can be simple, or complex, or an image. It can be a person, character, or object that’s critical to the feel and arc of the book, but under no circumstances can it be of poor quality.

Book covers should transport us in much the same way that words do– but in the blink of an eye. I use concept art to express wonder, mystery– even fear and danger. Here are the covers for Heartborn and its sequel, Moonborn. In the details, there are constellations that have meaning, giving the reader something to search for as they go further down the path to my world.

With Moonborn, I want the sense of wonder, awe, and wide open skies, but with the added danger of a world tinged red by uncertainty. Is it blood? We’re trained to fear red. What does the red sky tell you?

 

I love color and motion, which is obvious with these covers. With that being said, I don’t only write YA, which led me to one of the more unusual cover decisions I had to make. I’d written a short story that was– for lack of a better term– zombie smut– but thoughtful, and intended to ask some uncomfortable questions about human sexuality. Whether or not I’ve succeeded is left to the reader, but the cover captured exactly what I wanted (Thanks, Staci!).

 

Once again, you might not know what it’s about, but it’s colorful, there’s an element of mystery, and it’s crisp. I tell other writers every time they ask me for advice– spend money on your editor, and spend money on your cover. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

In case you’re in the mood for “Horrotica”, as my friend quipped, you can get it here: https://www.amazon.com/Cool-Touch-Zombie-Love-Story-ebook/dp/B00UKS4EW2/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Moonborn will be available in three weeks, although the Grand Opening, so to say, will be at Utopiacon in Nashville. I’ll have plenty of copies, book candles, and swag. I highly recommend this event, check it out here: http://www.utopiacon.com/

Hope to see you there, and send me your favorite covers. What draws you to them? What turns you off? Let me know.

Cheers,

Terry

My Top Ten: Country Songs By Women

Nothing too fancy, I happened to hear my favorite country song by a female artist today, and thought about a list 
Here’s the good thing about lists: people will invariably disagree and tell me about other excellent music I’ve not heard before. I consider that a win/win.

So, without further ado:

1. Hands down, my favorite: Seven Year Ache by Rosanne Cash. It’s early-80s-electric piano at the top of the mountain. I love this song.



2. The Queen of Country, Loretta Lynn. This song is so amazingly redneck I can’t fathom anyone else singing these words. (Okay, maybe Dolly).


3. For sheer purity, there is nothing like the voice of Suzy Bogguss. It’s like bells in the wind, and this song about a rodeo and love and America ought to make you cry.



4. From the department of female empowerment ( take note, posers), an actual song about, you know, being an adult. Mary Chapin Carpenter is just so damned good, and she has the finest backup act in the history of the planet on “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her”.



5. Martina McBride has the kind of voice that puts an air raid siren to shame, but with a pitch and clarity that blow my mind. “Independence Day” makes me want to invade Europe, it’s that uplifting.


6.  Jo Dee Messina. Her first album is loaded with slick pop country, but this is the song that established her as worth listening to. 



7. Trisha Yearwood has a dozen songs that will never leave my memory. This one is her first, and in my mind, the best:

8. The early 80s were a time of muddled charts and excellent music. This is my favorite from that era. Juice Newton and “Angel of the Morning”. 




9. In the same vein, Charlie Dore was a late 70s artist who crossed genres without really trying. Pilot of the Airwaves captures a time when Disc Jockeys were giants, country had a twang, and there was a western US flair to a lot of hits. 


10. Last but not least, is “She Can’t Save Him” by Canadian artist Lisa Brokop. This song could actually be number one for me if the subject matter was more upbeat. Her voice is rich, full, and so riven with emotion you have to ask exactly what the hell American music executives are looking for in a singer



I await your additions.

Cheers,
Terry



































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