TONIGHT IT BEGINS!

Well, according to timeanddate.com, the daylight will progressively, incrementally, get shorter and shorter each day until the middle of winter.

That’s right, bitches. It’s the Summer Solstice, or Litha, or Midsummer (in the Northern Hemisphere – Yule/Midwinter for the Southern), and that means THE DARKNESS RETURNS! (Shut up – I know it’s not the fall equinox, but it’s a start, and I’ll take it!)

In celebration, I wanted to let you all know that the Hauntings anthology I’m in with Skyla Dawn Cameron is up for sale, wherever you choose to buy books, in whatever format you desire. Go. Enjoy some ghosts and chill.

For tonight, darkness begins to fall….

Hauntings-kindle

Oh. I almost forgot. This blog used to cross-post to Livejournal, but given their recent asshattery, that’s not happening from now on. I’m looking into moving everything there over to Dreamwidth. We’ll see.

Ebooks Sent

Hello, all!

Quick break in my summer hiatus to say that if you were a contributor to my veterinary bill fundraiser, your e-book ARC of Hauntings has been sent in PDF format.

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Thank you again, very much, for those who contributed. If I owe you a hat, it’s in the process of being knit. I have 3 down, 9 more to go. Ya’ll kicked ass there. AND MADE ME KNIT WITH PINK YARN OMG. Sadists. *sniff* I’m so proud!

Torture Love

Shiny Things and Summer Sign-Off

It’s that time, all. You know the time. The bright thing is in the sky for way longer than I’m comfortable with, and the Fahrenheit temperature outside is flirting with numbers starting with 7. (Shut up – it’s a big deal where I live!) The tourists are lurking, the shrieklings will soon roam unchecked, and it is time for me to go to ground until my beloved September returns.

DOg Drags Blankie Bed

I leave you with a parting gift to tide you over until the darkness returns. My enabler handler platonic murder wife and fellow evil author of awesome, Skyla Dawn Cameron, blackmailed me asked me to contribute to her short story anthology, Hauntings. Look at this shiny cover. LOOK AT IT!

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Doesn’t that look awesome? Of course it was designed by Skyla. You should hire her for your graphic design things. Also, you should support her on Patreon, because without her, this story (and practically everything else of mine you’ve read) wouldn’t exist. You owe her, my darklings.

So what’s going on with that shiny thing up there? Well, here:

A drafty old house, or the steps of a creature lurking in the dark?

A trick of the light, or is the shadow in the corner of your eye something more?

A natural wind, or was that a whisper in your ear?

Read two tales of haunted houses that are not what they seem from (evil) paranormal authors Dina James and Skyla Dawn Cameron.

In RITUAL, a novella in Dina James’ Key to Hell series, Kyle Carillron knows every trick across the realms when it comes to dealing with the supernatural. Once a demon himself, the vampire has seen it all. When a divine assassin, half-angel Sebastian, comes to him with a scrap of paper discovered in a supposedly haunted house where some teenagers are playing Ouija, he can’t help but roll his eyes. But the paper has an unfamiliar symbol on it, written in human blood. Very little on the planes mystifies Kyle, but upon investigating the premises, he discovers evidence of a ritual with far with deeper consequences than humans attempting to contact the souls of the departed.

ASHFORD’S GHOST follows part-time adventurer and full-time mom Olivia Talbot in a novella continuation of Skyla Dawn Cameron’s Livi Talbot series. Four months ago, Livi successfully killed the afreet who abducted her family and tried to murder her. Then she took over his villa and made it her base of operations/home, as any respectable treasure hunter in need of better digs is wont to do. But this house is haunted, and she’s starting to think the ancient murderer she used the Seal of Solomon to destroy might not be entirely dead after all. Isolated in the house by a violent snowstorm, Livi is trapped with a dark force gathering strength by the hour, threatening not only the safety of her family but possibly her very sanity.

That’s right. Mine is a Kyle story. You’re welcome.

Right now, it’s up for ebook pre-order from your favorite bookish places: Kobo, iTunes, B&N, and The Evil Empire. It’s planned for release by the end of the month (May 2017).

For those who prefer print (I AM ONE OF YOU!), there will be a print edition as well, available sometime in the first or second week of June. I’d give you a firmer date, but it will depend on techy things that make my head hurt, so let’s just say “mid-June” and call it good.

This is the anthology promised to those who donated to my fundraiser. Those who donated $10 or more will be getting their ebook advanced copies before the end of the month, so if you want it early, you know where to go. You all have kicked ass when it comes to helping us out, but there’s still room for pennies and openings for some hats. (I’m up to 14 hats, ya’ll. FOURTEEN FUCKING HATS! HATS FOREVER! I can honestly say I did not expect this, but I am totally not complaining. It’s for my babies. I will knit ALL THE HATS for my babies.) If you missed the part about the fundraiser, clicky the piccy to see what the fuck.

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Help Me I'm Poor

So that’s it for now. Go forth. Do shiny things. See you in September. (Possibly sooner. I have been tempted out of my reverse hibernation before, so you never know.)

Crow Pets Cat

Reinforcements Needed

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know about this because I have awesome, evil, enabling powerful friends.

YouCaringDina

You can click the image link to get the whole story, but the gist is I need help with a vet bill in the thousands. That’s where reinforcements come in.

Uh…you’re the reinforcements. Well, your pennies are. Dimes, too. Quarters if you can spare them. It’s not even a tip jar I’m putting out here, it’s a collection plate.

Help Me I'm Poor

As the graphic above says, though – don’t think this is all for nothing. I’m offering cool stuff in return for your assistance. (And don’t forget I offer a brutal critique service for writers as well!) The fundraising site gives you space to explain what you’re about, so head on over there for the whole story so I don’t repeat myself.

I Need Help Penny

Thanks in advance for your help. If you can’t help out with pennies, a signal boost would be just as appreciated. I have awesome friends, fans, and family, and you all know I hate beyond words asking for help, but this isn’t about me. This is for my animals.

I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good

So…there’s this…thing. It’s not really a SEKRIT thing, it’s just a…work in progress thing. My enabler handler friend Skyla Dawn Cameron has a project coming out soon [Patreon link: PAY UP, BECAUSE SHE IS MADE OF WIN] and has, despite both my better judgment AND willingness to participate in such shenanigans (who am I kidding? I’m always up for shenanigans!), convinced me to join her in its fruition. (She has a knack for doing this – she knows what buttons to push/tribute to offer.)

I can’t say much right now, as it’s still in development, but once the details are hammered out, I will share it with you.

I am up to no good. There will be vampires involved.

Can’t Talk, Resisting

2016 was a hell of a year for many reasons, not the least of which was the United States Presidential election. Now I’m not going to say much here, because I still despise politics [This went on way longer than I thought], but I will say this:

RESIST, MOTHERFUCKERS. Make no mistake – this is what tyranny looks like. This is what fascism looks like. NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL. Bigoted Nazi assholes being appointed left and right with zero Senate confirmation, people being fired because they won’t enforce illegal orders (huh…why does that sound familiar? I guess they should consider themselves lucky that they weren’t hung in the town square on public television, but baby steps, amirite?) on and on and on and on. And we’re only 10 days into this shit.

SPN Not Cool

It’s easy to compare things we don’t like to Nazis. But the current administration (not duly elected, but that’s another issue) is straight up, self-admitted Nazis, and yes, you should be worried.

Hate Nazis

More than that, you should be angry. It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on (unless you, yourself, are an actual Nazi as well, in which case you are the problem being discussed here and need to leave before somethin’ bad happen to you.), this affects you.

Punch Nazi

This bullshit travel ban thing? Yeah. That applies to me, to my overseas friends wanting to visit, to anyone and everyone living here or who wants to leave here.

No, this is not alarmist rhetoric, and no, it will not all work out in the end. As I said in one of my previous posts, I am on the list of undesirables. I am broken, mouthy, and intelligent, and these are all things the current administration wants to be rid of. Next up, they’ll be getting rid of the internet and other social media, because those are tools used to fact-check, scrutinize, call bullshit on, and organize the resistance.

If you think this doesn’t affect you, you are wrong. Even if you live in some remote area, or another country, you are wrong. I could provide you link after link of stories around the world showing how this shit-show is affecting everyone, but I’m not your fucking mother and you can find out this shit for yourself if you bother to look.

If you can bear to look.

SPN Dean hands a tissue

The UK is protesting Orange Fuckwit’s planned visit and petitioning Parliament to refuse him a state visit with the Queen. China is gearing up to nuke us (also, we owe them a shit-ton of money, and they could call in their loans any second and we’d be shit out of luck, because who do you think is going to pay for that?). Canada just had a shooting at one of their mosques by some fucking ignorant white supremacists asshole (IN CANADA! CANADIAN!) who is a supporter of Douchnozzle McTinyhands of the Towers.

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As I said, I could go on, but you don’t need me telling you which way the wind is blowing. I’m posting this now because there’s a better-than-average chance I won’t be able to before the year is out. These are dark times. This isn’t a game or a joke or one of my stories. This is real life, which is stranger than any fiction.

My household and those of my extended family on both sides runs almost entirely on money from the government. We are military, and former military, and retired military. We are public servants and disabled veterans. Someone you know besides me depends on their Medicare, Social Security, the Affordable Care Act, and other programs put in place to support those in need. Those who have served.

This isn’t about Republicans and Democrats. This is about the humane versus the inhumane.

Now you all know me. I don’t have a lot of respect for humanity as a species, but injustice and bullying and cruelty don’t fly with me. The current administration is nothing but a bunch of outright liars, thieves, con artists and bullies. I will fight them with everything I have, which granted isn’t all that much these days. I’m little and broken and will still fight. And I will win.

Misha SPN Fuck You

Fight with me.

Do not be silent. Do not cower in your homes, hoping the coming storm spares you (hint: it won’t). This is happening. You want it on your feet, or on your fuckin’ knees?

Is it all too much for you? Here. Read this, take a breath, make a cup of tea, watch an episode of your favorite show, get back to the fight. Everyone needs a cookie now and then.

Cats laser pong

But get back to the fight. Here, I wrote something to help you all clarify things.

My personal holy book says the world will end in fire. While I’m not convinced this Tangerine Menace is the Beast, I have to admit the description is fairly accurate. After all, even the experts are breaking with tradition and calling him out on his absolute fuckwittery.

Someone needs to remind this little fascist wannabe dictator that he and his fucking cronies are (TEMPORARY!) public servants and work for us. WE pay their salary, and we will not let our country (OUR PLANET) be stripped of fucking everything so he can live in his gold-plated tower and look down on us like some bad 70s dystopian movie.

So that’s all for now. I’m still alive. However, that may change in the coming few weeks, especially if I can’t get my medication thanks to Douchenozzle’s next idea pulling assistance from veterans. I could (and very likely will, but I hope not) lose my home as well because we won’t be able to make the mortgage if he pulls their pay for whatever fuckwit reason he comes up with to “keep Americans safe.” (WE ARE NOT PAYING FOR YOUR FUCKING WALL, ASSHOLE!)

burning car

RESIST, MOTHERFUCKERS!

P.S. Yes, I’m still writing. It’s amazing, but I am. So there’s that. I will write until I die. You want more stories, it’s in your best interest to fight with me and make sure I stay alive. Just sayin’.

(Comments closed because I don’t want to engage in a debate. There’s nothing to debate. Your arguments are fucking invalid and RUSSIA STOLE OUR ELECTION IN ORDER TO BRING ABOUT THIS NIGHTMARE. FUCK YOU!)

Holiday Season 2016

I didn’t post my usual holiday rant this year for various reasons. Mostly apathy. Seriously. I have run out of fucks to give this year. Not that I have all that many to begin with, mind. So, yeah.

It’s been a hell of year, and I’m done now. We got the Sithmas tree up, but thought it best to decorate with lights and topper only given that Wyrd Cat (the now year-old kitten who joined the household this June who was born without one of her eyes and has only about 20% vision in the existing one) is both a climber and intensely curious about everything, especially shiny things (she can see light and movement, so sparkly things are her favorite).

So far she’s only disturbed the tree a little bit. Next year (if there is a Sithmas next year, given the current political situation…I don’t know…EVERYWHERE), we may put ornaments on it. This year, though? The tree with lights is plenty good enough. That’s honestly all the holiday spirit I could muster, and you all know Sithmas is my favorite holiday. Here, have last year’s as a reminder of what we usually do:

Beige-Sithmas-1

On that note, whatever you celebrate this time of year (or not! No judgment here!) – Christmas (Christian or not), Mawlid al-Nabi (Muslim), Chanukah (Jewish), Yule (pagan), Kwanzaa (African) – have a Happy, Merry, or Blessed.

Here’s hoping 2017 isn’t as much of a shit-filled Twinkie in a dumpster tire fire.

And before anyone asks, yes. I’m still unsafe to be around. SHE WAS MY FRIEND.

You know how there’s these supposed stages of grief? Yeah, those don’t apply to me. I have been viciously wounded, and pain makes me angry. (All right, fine – I realize “anger” is a terribly vague word to use to describe me, because that’s my default setting. This is a little different.) I have…interesting responses to pain. By “interesting” I mean…uh….

Yeah. I’ll come back when I’m able to drink tea with another person again. That might be awhile*.

Anyone who is stupid enough to think (let alone say aloud in my presence) “she was just a cat,” I refer you to John Wick.

bee-eye-color

See you all sometime in 2017. Provided, of course, there is still an Internet. All things considered, we’ll probably be nuked by China sometime in January.

*comments still closed

You Need A Hero Giveaway

“…a land in turmoil cried out for a hero…”

Given recent socio-economic-political circumstances in the United States, there has been much to despair about. Like many others, I have thought a great deal about what I can do about them, and there’s not a whole lot I can.

You see, like Kameron Hurley, I have a chronic illness. I am on the List of Undesirables and while I may not be one of the first casualties of this new authoritarian regime (and make no mistake, people…this is an authoritarian regime on the rise. This is not alarmist speech – this is fact), I will most likely be a casualty at some point.

But it is not this day.

This day, I still draw breath, and if I can do that, I can still fight. All I really have left to do that with are words and yarn, and those are powerful things. They can be the most deadly of weapons, and I am here to arm you.

Together with my enabler handler friend Skyla Dawn Cameron, we bring to you pointy objects of mayhem.

herogiveaway (Shiny graphic made by bitchin’ designer, Skyla Dawn Cameron of Indigo Chick Designs)

Like all implements of destruction, these do not come free, however. These will cost you a donation to someplace that will help shield those in greatest need. Those higher on the list of undesirables than I.

My chosen organizations for your support are The Trevor Project and the Trans Lifeline. For every dollar you donate to these, you get an entry into the giveaway for these shiny things:

Lot 1 – The Hero Package:
Special Edition* copies of both All Wounds and Time Heals
– a copy of my short story collection Legends of the Destrati
– a hand-knit Hero of Canton Cunning Hat (to be knit upon confirmation of win)
– black tea mug (cozy not included unless you’re both really really nice [by which I mean “generous”] and you’re willing to wait for me to make one)
– yummy tea I will personally choose for you

cunning-hero-hat-giveaway
mug-hug

Lot 2 – The Rescue Package:
Special Edition* copies of both All Wounds and Time Heals
– a copy of my short story collection Legends of the Destrati
– hand-knit Cowl of Justice
– black tea mug (see above about the cozy being included)
– yummy tea

cowl-of-justice-giveaway

To enter – after you’ve donated, forward your email receipt from the charity in question to dina at dinajames dot com to be entered. Donations from November 1 onward are eligible for entry, so if you’ve already donated before this went live, pass me your receipt and I’ll enter you.

Donate $20 to Trevor Project? Get twenty entries. Donate $10 to Trans Lifeline and $10 to Trevor Project? Get twenty entries. Donate $5 to Trans Lifeline? Get five entries. The more you give, the more chances you get, but even donating as little as $1 gets you in the running. You have until 11:59PST on November 30 to enter.

It doesn’t stop there: next head over to Skyla Dawn Cameron’s site where donations to Planned Parenthood and/or RAINN will enter you to win yet another amazing hero prize pack as well.

We all need heroes some time in our lives. Be one with your donation.

This giveaway is open to international readers. My giveaway, my postage. Tell your friends.

*These Special Editions were made as prizes for giveaways and at signings. The only way to get one of these is through one of those, and there weren’t many made. They’re super shiny!

And Then There Were Four….

It’s a long story, and one for which I haven’t words nor energy nor coherence to tell. I may also be slightly inebriated, as we held a private little Irish wake tonight for one of our four-legged horde.

bee-mailing-box

You may have heard me refer to the Little Broken Cat on Twitter. Her name was Beebee (as in B.B. for Brokeback – not the mountain; her congenital condition). We called her Bee for short. She was born with kyphosis (“hunchback” in the non-Fancy Medical Speak) as well as some fused vertebrae in her lower spine. What this meant for her is that she was partially paralyzed from the middle of her back. She had trouble controlling her rear legs, and had some unknown (and unknowable without lots of invasive tests and surgeries which were deemed unnecessary) internal damage. She had trouble going to the litter box and issues with her bathrooming, but was otherwise healthy.

She was a shelter kitten, and by law they cannot adopt out an animal they know to have a life-threatening or unstable condition.

Basically, we were her only hope for any kind of life at all. She was deemed “unadoptable” and slated for euthanasia.

The vet called us and asked if we would have a look at her. Now, I wrote something somewhere when we brought her home that I can’t find now despite looking {ETA: 12/2016 – found it.], but I remember saying something about how we didn’t hesitate. It was just after Thanksgiving 2010. We jumped in the car. They brought her in, we took one look at how she moved (very well, thank you, despite her little wobble and stiff-legged gait) and nodded to the tech. We would take her home as soon as she was ready to go. We paid the adoption fee and they kept her for shots and her spay, and I got a little broken kitten for my birthday (December 2). She was about 5 months old.

back-of-chair-kitten

Fast forward six years. For the past several weeks, Bee hadn’t been herself. She began having more bad days than usual, and you could see she was in pain if you knew her well enough. Now, she had medication, but it stopped helping with her pain, and did more harm than good in regard to her other issues. For weeks we went back and forth to the vet, trying to find some way to get ahead of the avalanche heading for our girl.

I’m not going to go into detail here about the last ten days. For one, I don’t want to relive them right now, and for another, they’re not important. All that’s important is we did everything we could, and could not fix the Little Broken Cat this time. After much consulting with many medical authorities, friends, and family, the decision was made. We had to help her in the only way we had left.

This morning, we held her tight as we said goodbye to our special girl. She brought so much joy to our lives and we will miss her very much. There is a very big hole in the James Household right now, and it’s going to take some time to patch up.

Rest well, Bee-girl. We love you.

bee-play

P.S. If you’ve enjoyed anything I’ve written over the past six years, you have Bee to thank for it. She was my constant companion and very special friend, and the comments are closed because it is best to leave me the fuck alone while I sort the damage done to my soul. Leave the tea outside the door and back away slowly.

usual-state-of-affairs

Octoberness

So it’s October. Summer in the northern hemisphere is officially dead and gone, without even a hint of it on the breeze (FINALLY!). Everything now is pumpkins and apples and fleece and flannel.

I kicked off the month over at the Evil League of Evil Writers with a post about playing nicely with others.

I had more, but I’m too busy purring about the fact that it’s October to think more.

evil laugh gif Tom

Oh, I suppose I could say something about how I have a Halloween freebie story I wrote last year up on the site. (It’s the same one as last year, so if you’ve read that one already, there’s nothing new. Just thought I’d throw out the reminder, because hey, Halloween and pumpkins, and that gorgeous cover by Skyla Dawn Cameron of IndigoChick Designs.)

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So there you are. Now, back to October.

pumpkin-man