Okay – August was a not-so-good month. It’s been super hot and had no rain. We didn’t get to travel. I lost a dear friend of fifty years’ standing, which in itself might (once the immediate hurt is over) be regarded as a blessing. She had been in bad mental and physical health and had not even known who I was for a couple of years. It is a pain, yes, but believe me, death is not always the worse alternative.
And just to complete this wail of woe, I had a terrible birthday. Oh, the day itself was pleasant – lots of cards and phone calls from friends and The Husband took me out for a lovely dinner, but it was the number. It was a BIG one. I call it my Sunset Strip birthday. (You fellow boomers should understand that.)
Then just to make things perfect, sometimes when we work on a book it goes well – not slick like heavy cream, but it without too much sturm und drang. Then sometimes… I have been wrestling with The Book That Will Not Die to the point that I am starting to believe I have no skill as a writer, that I am a total poseur, that I really should consider taking up a new career as a streetsweeper… you know. This too shall pass – it always has before. Just not soon enough. Plus, our little dog has been very sick, but it looks like she’s recuperating well.
On the good side (and yes, there is always a good side!) I’ve been asked to participate in the organizing committee of the Literary Fair (temporary title) coming in March from the Dallas Women’s Forum, as well on working on a new fundraising project. I’ll tell you more later – it’s not happening until March, so when we have final information you’ll get it. We also got to go to a Samuel Lynne Gallery showing, which was special because it was in their new display area at the very luxurious Thompson Hotel. Very nice! The Husband even bought us some champagne!
My republishing blitz is going right on – getting towards the end, believe it or not – and there were some great releases – three of them! – in August.
First of all, there was INHERITANCE OF SHADOWS, one of my top prizewinners and a rattling good tale exploring the thin edge that separates reality from fantasy. Note – this book was originally written under the name of Janis Susan May, but as I’ve been republishing my horror/fantasy books I decided to put them under the name of J. S. May in order to brand them more clearly. But – under any name it’s a good story!
Aurora Mathis is coming home. Back to Merrywood, an estate she doesn’t remember. Back to the house in which her father died by his own hand. Back to where she is believed to have witnessed his death.
Charles Mathis captivated millions of readers with a series of eerie fantasy novels before taking his own life when Aurora was just a toddler. Raised by her repressive and ultra-religious mother, Aurora tried to hide from his infamy but now she wants to learn about the man she never knew.
She agrees to attend a convention honoring her father’s work but on arrival is filled with a gnawing sense of unease. Not only does she begin dreaming of the strange, inhuman beings who populated her father’s books, but she is shocked and angry to find Corwin Warrender, her old love, her old enemy, is an invited guest with an agenda of his own. When she starts receiving odd gifts and seeing the mysterious robed figure of a Mediator, the most unknown and fearsome creature her father created, Aurora worries she may be losing her mind.
As the happenings around her turn from odd to dangerous, Aurora begins to wonder if the magical world her father created may not be completely fictional…
The middle of the month release is a contemporary romance called CHRISTMAS CACTUS. (Just to start getting us in the Christmas spirit – it’s coming in just a few weeks, believe it or not!)
On assignment to do a story about the romantic magic of the Cactus Inn Lise Bergere is disgruntled. It has been a year since her boyfriend Drew unceremoniously dumped her and she finds the idea of romance distasteful.
To Lise’s surprise her boss Martin shows up, apparently hoping that the romantic atmosphere will influence her to accept his proposal. Then Drew, the man who broke her heart, arrives apparently intent on reviving what was between them, and just to complicate things Helga, the dumpy and unattractive office manager at Lise’s magazine appears to try for one last, desperate chance at fixing Martin’s interest.
Lise must write her story, sort everything out, and decide what she really wants… then see if she can get it. Is the Cactus Inn really magic when it comes to romance?
The third release is coming on August 30, a contemporary semi-gothic mystery called THE HOUSE WITH THE RED DOOR, set on a plantation in South Carolina. Assistant to a volatile writer of over-the-top romances, the heroine finds herself falling for the plantation’s moody master even as she begins to believe that the house is occupied by a malign ghost.
Writers’ assistant Bettina Kershaw accompanies her glamorous but demanding novelist boss to Porte Rouge, a luxurious South Carolina plantation house to research a new book. Bettina expects hard work; she does not expect the handsome wealthy owner to be attracted to her, nor the ghost of the house to attempt murder. Old debts and rivalries simmer just below the civilized surface, and life at Porte Rouge suddenly becomes very dangerous.
And that’s it for this time… Hope all of you stay safe and cool!