Books Make Me Happy

Books Make Me Happy Words & Music Monday

I’m talking books and music over at Books Make Me Happy talking about writing and living with music. Come say hey for a chance to win a copy of a Rainstick Cowbell album with the Marked Souls theme song.

The voices in my head

So last night I was uploading my new book — my first solo self publishing effort — to the online retailers. It was very late, and I was all alone except for the dog sleeping under my desk. I had an online radio station playing sort of loud, and I was singing along.

Normally I don’t listen to music with words when I’m writing because other people’s words distract me when I’m trying to come up with my own. But I was only doing housekeeping chores — copy’n’pasting, scrolling through windows, obsessively clicking refresh — so I was listening to songs with lyrics this time.

As I sang along, suddenly a low, eerie voice mumbled under mine. My heart kind of stuttered — I wasn’t expecting anybody else’s voice but mine — and I stopped singing. The voice stopped mumbling. The song went on by itself. I turned down my stereo and listened. The dog didn’t wake, and she’s quick to bark and scare me half to death, so…

I turned the music back up and continued on with my tasks.

Until the strange, rumbling voice interrupted again. Too low to make out under the song, but definitely out of place. It was repeating the same cadence… saying something… a message of some sort…

Now, the problem with uploading stories about demons late at night when you’re alone by yourself (except for the obviously incompetent watchdog who didn’t even react to clearly supernatural murmurings from the stereo) is that OF COURSE your imagination goes to the crazy.

I paused the music coming through the stereo and I waited tensely. The mumbling started again and I cranked the volume. It said “…devote yourself… become something else entirely… a legend… a story…”


I’d like to say I then leapt up from my computer, donned a cape (or maybe a feather boa; I write romances, after all) and charged into the night to deliver stories to the world.

But what I really did was Google the key words I’d hastily scribbled down. Turns out, it’s a quote from a Batman movie.

Damn it! Bruce Wayne stole my superhero call to adventure!

The only thing I can figure is that some sort of Batman pop-up was running unseen in the background while I was listening to the music, although my computer’s applications and processes task manager didn’t show anything odd. Also seems weird that it kept repeating that one phrase.

And actually, I guess in a way, I DID go out last night and deliver my story to the world. THE DARKEST NIGHT (OMG, I just realized this very second as I am typing it, that my story is called THE DARKEST NIGHT and Batman is the Dark Knight! Man, I LOVE when the universe is as crazy as me!) is now live:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Smashwords

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Or maybe I just need a nap.

Joy to the World!

Crossposted from Silk & Shadows

Currently working on: Last bits of Christmas prep
Mood: Festive

Last week, my XY who had been gone, out of the country, for two months finally returned home. And there is joy in Whoville!

He was touring Europe — Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy and Poland — as Rainstick Cowbell. Just a boy and a guitar, wandering narrow alleys to dive bars, literally singing for his supper. He hates the dry sound of club recordings, but here’s a glimpse of the life of a touring musician:

He got home just in time for the holiday madness. We went and cut our Christmas tree on Friday. And it was actually a sunny day in the Pacific Northwest!

I have almost completed our transition for regular tree lights to the new LED lights, which are super-trippy when I shone them on the walls. (Uhm, yes, there might have been spiced cider spiked with Hot Monkey Pepper Vodka involved.)


Since we don’t have much room in our house, we get the classic table-top Charlie Brown skinny tree. (Yes, the tree is slightly crooked; again, I blame the vodka cider.)


Having my sweetie home, my holiday madness under control, and a pretty tree decorating my picture window is reason enough for joy. What’s yours? Besides vodka cider ;)


European premiere of the SEDUCED BY SHADOWS theme song!

I haven’t revealed the existence of a SEDUCED BY SHADOWS theme song before now since I’ve been holding out for a mastered copy.  I’m hoping to have an MP3 download next spring before the release of FORGED OF SHADOWS.  Meanwhile, the song has been getting regular live play in the Portland area, and here’s the first recorded clip, captured at a show in Zabrze, Poland.

(You might want to skip to 1:40 unless you speak Polish.  If you ever meet me in a bar, ply me with a BFK, give me ten minutes until my cheeks get a little rosy, then ask me to sing the only Polish I know — a wonderful drinking song my grandma taught me.)

Thank you, Rainstick Cowbell, for the Euro shout-out.