All posts by Marie Sexton

Update, Or: How Karma Bit Me On the Ass

Hiatus Over (Mostly)

I posted back in August that I was on a bit of a hiatus from writing. But the truth is, I started writing again sometime in mid- to late-October. I’m sure a few people are saying, “that didn’t take long.” But the hiatus actually started back in January of 2016. It just took me until August to admit it publicly. And I guess by that point, I was already getting tired of it.

At any rate, whatever the reasoning: Yes, I’m writing again, although I’m taking it very slow, one day at a time, trying not to force things. Still hoping to reclaim that feeling of wanting to write, rather than feeling that I have to write.

Some days it works better than others.

So, What’s Up?

Karma: Image from Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book

I recently wrapped up a short novel called The Well. This is the first thing I’ve completed since January 2016, and it feels pretty damned good. The funny thing is, this is sort of Karma’s way of biting me in the ass. See, I’ve been kicking this story idea around for years. It involves a group of high school students who decide to spend the night in an abandoned and supposedly haunted house. The next morning, one of them has disappeared without a trace. The thing is, I wasn’t ever entirely sure what happened to her. It wasn’t until last fall that all the pieces fell into place.

But what does that have to do with karma?

Remember the post I did a few months ago about my literary pet peeves? One of the things I hate more than anything is flashbacks. I have very little patience for them. I find them terribly tedious.

And so of course this story ended up being full of them.

I tried to get around it. Really, I did. I spent several weeks trying to figure out how to tell the story without moving back and forth in time, but in the end, somebody told me to quit fucking around and tell the story the way it needed to be told. And so, I did. About two-thirds of the story is set in modern day, but the other one-third is set twelve years earlier.

When Can We Read It?

I don’t know yet how or when it will be published. I’ll probably self-publish it in about April, but there are still a couple of other options I’m considering. Whatever happens, I’ll post about it here, as soon as I know anything.

Samhain

As most of you have probably heard, Samhain is closing. Again. Or, for the first time. Except for that other time when they were closing but then weren’t.

Whatever.

This means two of my books will need new homes. Family Man, which I co-wrote with Heidi Cullinan, will be re-released by Dreamspinner Press, but I don’t know exactly when. Damned If You Do will be re-released by me, probably in April or so. I also plan to have audio of that one out around the same time.

As always, details will be posted here on my blog, as I receive them.

What’s Next?

There’s only one project I’m actively working on — a scifi novel I’m cowriting with Cari Z. We’re getting close to having a finished first draft, but we’re a long way from being officially “finished.” I have no idea if or when that story will be published.

Other than that, I’m honestly not sure what I’ll work on next. I have a football story I’ve been stalling on for ages. I also have two abandoned stories from several years ago, each with just a hint of BDSM, that might work together as the start of a new contemporary series. I’m still brainstorming the details. I’m also sort of considering a sequel to Trailer Trash, but it would be quite dark and angsty, and I’m not sure I want to go there.

For now, I guess I’ll just be plugging away on the scifi with Cari Z, until I get a good handle on one of those other projects.

Patreon Reminder

In case you missed it, I’m now on Patreon. Please consider supporting me there, if you feel so inclined. If not, no worries! I appreciate all the support I receive from readers, whether on or off Patreon. But, just so you know, Patreon supporters at the $7+ level will have the first glimpse of The Well next month. 🙂

That’s all for now! Thanks so much for all your support!

I’m on Patreon!

I’ve been debating Patreon for months now. Today, I took the plunge. I can’t really say that I “decided” to join. It was more of a sudden, inexplicable desire to try something new. I’m freaking out about it a bit. I’m still not entirely sure it’s a good fit for me, but I guess I’ll never know until I try. And so…

I’ve decided to try.

If you’re interested in becoming a Patron, you can find me here. If you have no interest in becoming a Patron, that’s fine. I absolutely understand. I’m truly very grateful to any of you who have been kind enough to buy one of my books, whether you choose to sponsor me on Patreon or not.

If you *do* decide to become a Patron, just know that I’m anticipating a bit of a learning curve. I hope you’ll be patient as I bungle around, trying to figure out how it works.   🙂

Thanks again.

For Those Who Are Wondering…

Matt and Jared had a lovely Christmas, and are now cuddled up on the couch watching the game. Things aren’t as tense as they were when their teams played a couple of weeks ago. While Jared and I would never give up on our Broncos, we’re also realistic about our chances. If and when the Broncos are eliminated, we’ll side with Matt and be Chiefs fans for the postseason. (Just like Matt sided with us when the tables were turned last year.)

My family also had a wonderful Christmas, although we were short a brother-in-law. Hubby gave me the #1 item on my wish list — a new heavy duty sewing machine. I can’t wait to try it out, but it’ll have to wait until 2017, because first thing tomorrow morning, DD and I will begin the long drive to Louisiana to visit family.

The longer I’m away from Twitter, the less I miss it, but the boredom of driving through Kansas will be the real test. 😉

To everybody out there — whatever or however you celebrate this time of year, I hope it’s full of happiness, love, and joy.

Merry Christmas, from Matt, Jared, and me. 

Family-Friendly “Horror” Movies, Pennsylvania, and Holiday Wishes

Happy Holidays!!

Before I decided to write my soul-searching post, I’d been considering a post of an entirely different nature. I’m actually looking for suggestions on a couple of small things.

Family-Friendly Horror Movies?

My daughter, aged twelve, has been swept up in the Five Nights at Freddy’s mania. The problem is, they’ve announced a FNAF movie, to be released in 2018. Up until recently, DD had never watched a horror movie at all, but she’s determined to be ready to see this movie in theaters when it’s released. To this end, she essentially decided to go into training. Horror movie training, that is, with me as her coach.

The problem?

Well, I’m a big fan of horror movies, so I was ready and willing to help her out. But it turns out my idea of a “beginner” movie — Final Destination or Nightmare on Elm Street — was more than she could handle. So we’re taking a step back.

We need horror movies that aren’t quite horror movies.

So far, we’ve managed Coraline, Arachnophobia, and Watcher in the Woods. Tonight, we’re trying The Thing (the original — I figured the goofy special effects will nullify most of the horror). Other movies on our “to be watched” list include Tremors, Alien, and Beetlejuice. But after that, I’m sort of out of ideas.

So, I’m looking for suggestions: can you recommend a not-quite-horror movie that’s pretty low-key, and appropriate for a squeamish 12-year old?

Are You Familiar with Pennsylvania?

Also, I’d like to talk to somebody who’s familiar with Pennsylvania, but not necessarily Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. Specifically, I’m looking for somebody who knows the rural (I think it’s rural!) area around Altoona. So if you’re familiar with that region, please let me know. Maybe leave your email address, and I’ll get in touch sometime after the first of the year.

It’s That Time of Year

It’s always busy this time of year. I’m sure almost everybody reading this is in the same boat as me, wondering how it could possibly be Christmas already. Between hockey games, football games, holiday parties, a (very minor) upcoming surgery, and a trip to Louisiana to visit my uncle and grandmother, I feel like I won’t have a free minute until 2017.

Still, things are good. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with the entire family. We threw a surprise party for my MIL’s 76th birthday (we totally missed her 75th, because we’re bad children — but this way, she was extra surprised). My daughter’s musical theater class just had their performances of Tom Sawyer this weekend, and she did great (she played Muff, the bank robber). DD’s also learning to bake, which is actually pretty amazing (even if it is bad for my waistline).

Giving Thanks

Cat Tree + Christmas Tree

I could make a list of the things I have to be grateful for, but it’d be lengthy. I’m thankful that my daughter is happy and healthy. (If only her grades were decent, she’d be perfect!) I’m glad to have my family close. I’m glad we can keep the home warm, have our entire family over for Thanksgiving dinner and/or Christmas brunch, and still put presents under the tree without having to stress. We’re not wealthy, by any stretch of the imagination, but we’re still “rich” in the ways that truly count. So I’m grateful for that.

Also, despite all my bellyaching over my career, please know that I am eternally grateful for every one of you who’s ever decided to take a chance on one of my books. I’m especially thankful to those of you who keep coming back for more. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here at all. I’d have had to go back to my EDJ (working for doctors) years ago. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to *not* be doing that. 🙂 So… thank you. I mean that.

Happy Holiday!

And finally, whatever or however you celebrate this time of year, I want to wish you all a happy and peaceful holiday season.

 

Authenticity, Soul Searching, and What I’ve Learned from Mother Theresa

Background

Promises CoverWhen I first sat down back in the summer of 2009 and started writing about two guys named Matt and Jared, I had no idea what kind of journey I was starting. Yes, I was attempting — for the first time ever, really — to write a story. Yes, there was a tiny hope that maybe it’d turn out good enough to be published. There was a seedling of the idea that maybe this was what I was really meant to do with my life. But at no time did I have even an inkling of the type of soul-searching this career choice would create.

I’m starting this blog post without a clear idea of where it’s going (that’s nothing new), so please bear with me.

The last few years have been trying for me, and it’s been difficult to even grasp what was making it that way. But it was all sort of a downward spiral that culminated last January in the INdecision to quit writing.

Indecision?

I know that sentence doesn’t make a lot of sense. But it wasn’t a “decision,” really. It was indecision, all the way…

It’s like the other night. My husband and I were watching the Raiders versus the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. (Hey, NFL? Nobody likes Thursday night games!) It was the end of the third quarter, and the Chiefs were up, but it looked like the Raiders might pull something together (or, to be more accurate, it looked like the Chiefs might decide to fumble it all away), and I said to my husband, “I can’t decide if I’m going to watch the fourth quarter, or go to bed.”

Fast forward forty-five minutes, when it’s suddenly the two-minute warning, and I’m still parked on the couch, thinking about going to bed. I realized I’d never actually made the decision to stay up and watch the end of the game. I’d spent the entire quarter trying to make up my mind, and as a result, saw the rest of the game anyway.

That’s kind of how it went with my indecision to quit writing. I never decided to quit, but my indecision carried me all the way from January to August, when I finally announced my “hiatus”. But all of it was a culmination of a battle I’d been fighting for two or three years – a battle to determine exactly why my career felt like slow death rather than accomplishment. 

Continue reading… →

Winter Oranges Now in Audio!

Winter Oranges is now available as an audio book, narrated by Nick J. Russo.

winteroranges_audiobookJason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of L.A., and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.

There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.

But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.

Find the audiobook here:

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Winter-Oranges-Audiobook/B01N1OZ3Z3/

 

Upcoming Translations: Suffisamment Normal, Coming Jan 3

For my French readers, the translation of Normal Enough will be available on January 3rd.

La guerre des moteurs, numéro hors série

o-suffisamment-normalQu’est-ce qui est “normal” ?

Quand Brandon Kenner entre dans le garage de Kasey Ralston avec sa Chevelle SS 454 de 1970, Kasey est sous le choc, à la fois à cause de l’homme et de sa voiture. Mais Kasey cache un secret des plus embarrassants : son amour pour les vieilles muscle cars qui va bien au-delà de ce que l’on pourrait considérer comme normal. Cet attrait inhabituel avait con-duit Kasey à rester isolé — à l’écart de sa famille, et même à distance de ses collègues de travail.

Mais quand Brandon découvre le secret du mécano, il n’est pas repoussé. En fait, il trouve même Kasey intrigant, et est bien déterminé à l’avoir pour lui tout seul.

Absolument tout chez Brandon fait ronronner le moteur de Kasey, et il est plus que motivé à se salir les mains en compagnie de cet homme des plus charmants. Les inquiétudes de Ka-sey viennent plus de ce qui pourrait se passer ensuite. Y a-t-il une chance pour qu’ils aient un futur ensemble ? Dans le passé, l’espoir d’une relation à long terme l’avait toujours con-duit à de cruelles déceptions. Mais Kasey ne peut s’empêcher d’espérer qu’en dépit de ses penchants, Brandon sera l’exception.

PREORDER IT HERE

More Obnoxious Commercials, Or: #SlackerMomsUnite

If yesterday’s post is any indication, I suppose I’m already on the subject of ridiculous commercials, so let’s go ahead and talk about this one:

Honestly, if a woman said this to me, I’m not sure what I’d do. Well. First, I’d have to pick my jaw up off the floor. But after that? Probably one of these three things:

  1. Punch her square in the face.
  2. Say, “Oh, you’re one of those moms. Excuse me. So sorry. I’m just going to go sit over there, with the other slacker moms. You know. The ones like me, who pulled their kid’s shirt out of the hamper ten minutes before we were due to be here and were just relieved to find it didn’t have any obvious stains on it.”
  3. Recommend she make an appointment with her doctor to up her dosage, because whatever meds she’s on just aren’t working.

Did I miss one?

Random Babbling

It seems like a good time for some random updates and babbling. I’ll be talking audio books, Twitter, idiotic Verizon commercials, and yummy chicken dinners. 🙂

Etsy

en_isell_1First of all, I’ve finally opened an Etsy shop. Some of you know I’ve had the bags and wallets I make on sale in my Selz bookstore, but the shipping options there are incredibly limited. Still, I’ve been hesitant to wade into Etsy, because I worry that my sewing just isn’t good enough, but after receiving encouragement from just about everybody I know, I decided to give it a shot. So, for those who are interested, you can find the bags and purses I make at https://www.etsy.com/shop/MarieSextonBags.

audioAudio

Trailer Trash is now available in audio, narrated by John Solo. You can find that here:

Amazon

Audible

Winter Oranges will also be available in audio sometime in the next few weeks.

Social Media Boycott

Continue reading… →

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