Alligators Overhead Trailer

Monday, August 22, 2016

Failure Cancelled For The Day

I'm really tired of failing, and I think it's time to stop doing that. So I'm setting some non-failure-no-that's-not-happening goals for today. On this day I will not fail. I will succeed. 

  • I will write three amazing sentences. (low expectations also helps)
  • I will finish reading the two books I'm into and loving.
  • I will cook an "Ahh Factor" dinner that even I can say, "Oh, my!" when I take that first bite.
  • I will take a walk in the woods and Bill Bryson will envy me.

For one day I will not fail.  Yay!

I've learned that failing and getting up and moving ahead means I'm stronger than I ever imagined. I'm only here for a short time, so while I'm here I want to succeed. I know I'll have more failure along the way in the future. Just not today. Today Failure's cancelled.

So much for philosophy 101 and on to Monday-Morphing-into-Goddess-Writer Person.

I made a huge decision yesterday--huge, in like I said, "Okay, fish or cut bait, Lee." And I actually started to write book three of the Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster series. So I'm into research and. . . are you ready? I'm learning new things. 

Did you know that the name, Plantagenet, came from planta genista, the Latin for yellow broom flower, which the Counts of Anjou wore as an emblem on their helmets? Hillary probably knows this, but until yesterday I didn't. I just pull it out of my garden every chance I get. Terrible stuff.

And did you know that Richard the Lion Heart was the first king to be a knight?

And did you know that he and his family spoke French and not English, although they were the rulers of England? 

I'm so jazzed about all of this and the possibilities for Pete and Weasel and book three.

Hope you'll visit Literary Rambles today. The Dragons and I are paying a visit to that wonderful blog.

My Quote of the Week: "The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper." W.B. Yeats

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

#WEP August Garden Delights

When you say the word garden, you immediately have an image of lush ferns, stately trees and bountiful harvests of fruit, vegetables and flowers. When I first stood looking at the land in front of our house, the only things I saw were the remains of a burned down house and an industrial sized crop of weeds growing through the old debris.

Well I love a challenge or I would write books now, would I? I knew I couldn't let this three-quarters of an acre defeat me. So I started in one corner and kept moving until I got to the next one. It took a few months, and ever since I first started shoveling and digging, I've seen my garden through many seasons. Some lush. Some dry. Some fallow. But always a reward when I walk through it or have a quiet moment to sit in it.

In the picture below you can see a cement foundation post. 

Here's  the same foundation post, but it now has a birdhouse perched on top, and something green instead of brown around it. 

This is the back corner with the foundation wall. Before.

I like after so much better. That's a giant dragonfly perched on top of a stubborn rebar thing that I couldn't get rid of. Nobody sees the rebar now; they just see the dragonfly. 

And across from this I put the first pond. Digging for that pond took me three days. Do not mention rocks to me. Ever. But it was worthwhile. Lots of critters visit my little pond all year.

After I cleared this part, I found my Griffin to stand watch over the garden.

He's such a good Griffin.

Some of you have seen my editing spot before, but I'll post it again because it's by my bigger pond and one of my favorite spots in the garden. It faces the canyon and on cool days you can hear the creek below. 

The fish are always there to greet me. "Whatcha editing today?"

I've written tons of things in this garden space. In fact, I have a whole collection called Garden Lessons. I always meant to publish those, but maybe these lessons are only for me. But here's one thought in haiku form that I enjoy.

A day of spring:
                        a hamlet where not anyone
                           is doing anything. 

So there it is. My #WEP contribution to gardens. I'm looking forward to seeing other contributions about gardens on your blogs. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mid-August and Hot News from Mark Noce, Between Two Fires

Mark's my Featured Follower for August, and he's written one beautifully hot book. Here's my REVIEW.

Here's some praise from Bestselling Authors for Between Two Fires

“A spirited ride through a turbulent slice of Welsh history!” – Paula Brackston, NYT Bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter

“A fast-paced read that has a wonderfully visual style and some memorable characters. Mark Noce combines Welsh history with a touch of folkloric magic in this promising debut novel. Lady Branwen is a strong and engaging narrator and the turbulent setting of early medieval Wales makes a fine backdrop for an action-packed story.” – Juliet Marillier, Bestselling author of Daughter of the Forest and Wolfskin

Synopsis of Between Two Fires

Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales’ last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King.

But this fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen herself becomes the target of assassinations and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan her world threatens to tear itself apart. Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.

Release Date: August 23, 2016

Connect with Mark

Mark Noce writes historical fiction with a passion, and eagerly reads everything from fantasy to literature. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s an avid traveler and backpacker, particularly in Europe and North America. He earned his BA and MA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he also met his beautiful wife. By day, he works as a Technical Writer, having spent much of his career at places like Google and Facebook. In addition to writing novels, he also writes short fiction online. When not reading or writing, he’s probably listening to U2, sailing his dad’s boat, or gardening with his family.
His debut novel, Between Two Fires, is being published by Thomas Dunne Books (an imprint of St. Martin's Press and Macmillan). It is the first in a series of historical fiction novels set in medieval Wales.

Here's something about why he chose this period to write about. It's very interesting.

Hi Lee, thanks for having me here today!

Writing Between Two Fires of course begs the question, why write about a story set in early medieval Wales? 

I’m fascinated by any “dark age” period of history. Not just a tale about civilization collapsing or backwards technology, but eras that have largely been lost to the modern historical record. We know very little about Wales around the year 600 AD aside from a few ruins, a handful of rare texts, and some oral legends. 

As an author, I feel that historical fiction allows us a way to bridge the gap and extrapolate a little further than historians can comfortable go. 

This is a double-edged sword of course, giving me both freedom as another author to create a compelling narrative, but it also comes with a responsibility to make a believable, even probably setting in which my characters inhabit. 

We’ve literally lost the names of some of the kingdoms and kings who ruled during this period, let alone the happenings of the common people. To me, that’s too much of a mystery to resist, and I have to admit, I had a lot of fun researching and coming up with the early medieval world for my protagonist, Branwen.

I sincerely hope you enjoy it!


And did I say August was HOT? Yes, I did. So many new books out, and I'm pleased to say that Sign of the Green Dragon is launched. Thanks again to all who helped me out and continue to lend a hand. It has some great reviews for which I am always very grateful.

Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. Buried treasure.

This book has more twists than a dragon's tail.

Buy now on 

The Quote of the Week: "If you're creative, you get busier as you get older." Tony Bennett. And he should know.

I'll be around to see everyone, but I'll be a little late in some cases. I have some family things to do this week. And then there's always the garden that takes more time this month.