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.)

TreatMeRigh-lg

So there you are. Now, back to October.

pumpkin-man

Trick or Treat!

I’ve spent the last few weeks brewing up this Halloween treat in my cauldron of doom, just for my mischievous readers. I’m not going to blurb what goes on in this story, because Halloween is about spooky surprises and scary monsters. And candy. And pumpkins.

Enjoy!

Click the pic below to download the PDF. (As this is a free story, this is the only format it’s going to be available in.)

TreatMeRigh-lg

Cover art and formatting done by the wonderfully talented IndigoChick Designs.

In Memoriam

My dear friend Skyla Dawn Cameron lost her aunt this week.

My contribution to the Evil for Judy tribute was to write a short story using Judy’s favorite character of mine. She was a huge fan of Billy and the Stranger Things series, so before she passed I wrote her a Tuckerization vignette that Skyla took to the hospital and read to her. I’m told Judy enjoyed the story.

Judy passed away shortly afterward, but the thing about stories is that they are forever. Judy the human may have gone on to the next adventure, but her memory lives on. Now, through fiction, that memory will continue to live. That’s one of the cool things about fiction – it can immortalize someone as much as eviscerate them.

I debated awhile about offering this story for my readers. I talked with Skyla about it, and she tells me Judy would appreciate it. I didn’t want to share it without approval – it was a personal thing; meant to be read only by those directly involved. But if no one else ever reads it, they won’t know Judy.

This story was written for her, but I offer it here for everyone to read. The only thing I ask in return is that it not be uploaded anywhere for sale. Other than that, share away. Spread her memory far and wide. I have immortalized her in fiction. Share her with the world.

Best,
Dina

Click the pic to download the PDF. This is the only format this story is going to be available in, and it will always be free. Cover art and formatting by Skyla Dawn Cameron of IndigoChick Designs.

LastRide-draft

Bite Me: A Stranger Things Story (Free)

As promised, one man-wolf (not wolf-man), free for your viewing pleasure.

It’s hard not to be resentful when someone comes along and takes everything over, and Billy has had enough. Just because someone saved your life doesn’t mean they own it.

Set between Time Heals and the unpublished Death Knell, this story focuses on Billy the man-wolf (not wolf-man) and his uneasy relationship with Noth, the young hellhound with whom he must now share all that’s dear to him.

BiteMeST

Bite Me: A Stranger Things Story
(Note: This story is only available in PDF format for the foreseeable future. If you would like another format, I’m sorry. You’ll have to make do.)

Here is the promised story I wrote for the Dina Wants A Shiny Thing “fundraiser.” I put “fundraiser” in quotation marks because this isn’t really about raising funds. Raising funds is a side effect of this story. Why a side effect?

Because it’s completely up to you to toss some pennies my way for this story.

This story is for you. Absolutely and totally free. Go on. Open it. Download it. Save a copy to your hard drive for your reading pleasure. All I ask is that you not upload it to pirate sites/torrent it. Why not? Because pirates are assholes and THIS IS ALREADY HERE FOR FREE. Also, you can’t upload the “donate” button to a torrent site, and it’s right here on this page with the story for everyone to see. Pirates don’t pay for things. Because they’re pirates. You get it. However, if you want to sacrifice your daily latte to the Shiny Thing fund today, I’d be appreciative.

Now, I’m not going to suggest an amount – I’m going to leave that up to you. I would remind you that the average price of an entire paperback novel is somewhere around $8.00US while a hardcover runs about $25.00US, and this is a short story. This is maybe a tenth of a novel here. When I talk about donating pennies, that’s exactly what I mean. However, your pennies are exactly that – yours. I’m not going to tell you how to spend them.

Here’s the button to do that:

Now, what’s the shiny thing I want? This. I want this:

Image by Design Toscano

Image by Design Toscano

You expected it to be yarn, didn’t you? I can understand that. Tell you what. If this little story makes enough, I’ll get the statue AND some yarn. Hell, I may go wild and buy yarn AND tea with my newfound riches. You never know what no-goodness I’ll get up to with cash in hand.

But I don’t expect something for nothing, so here’s your story. If you want to read it before you dig through the couch cushions for loose change (no old M&Ms, please – they are not accepted currency in my country. Don’t ask how I know this.), go right ahead. This story is free to everyone. Should you decide at some point that you wish to fund the Shiny Thing, click on the “donate” button you see up there and put a few coins in my tip jar. And hey, if you can’t or don’t want to fund the shiny, that’s cool. The story is there for you to read for free.

When the shiny thing comes, I will remove the donate link and print out every donor’s name on a sticker and affix it to the bottom of the statue, so that I will always remember those who made it possible. It will rest in a place of honor by my desk and inspire me to write more.

Thank you all in advance for your pennies. I very much appreciate each and every one of you.

Living For September

I know.

I know how long it’s been since I last blogged here. (A month today, I see.) Honestly, I have no excuse for that other than general apathy. I am still blogging every other Monday over at the Evil League of Evil Writers with the “Ask Dr. Dina” series I’ve been writing since January, but other than that, haven’t been doing much with the online thing.

Yes, I’ve been busy. I’m working on stuff both professional and personal, and most of you who read my blogs/tweets/FB/whatever know I’m not a real joiner/sharer-type. (Yes, I’m aware of the irony of an anti-social person on social networks. Go with it.)

Blogging/Twittering/IRL socializing takes a back seat to a lot of things. It’s not real high on my priority list. Now, when I have something to say, I say it. When I have thoughts that I think are interesting, I share them (usually – politics/religiosity/activism are generally things I keep to myself for various reasons). When I’ve got something going on I think you’ll be interested to know, I’ll tell you (if I can). When I need to rant, I rant. (You all KNOW I rant….)

I don’t blog just for the hell of it. I know a few people who update their blogs daily for whatever reason, and if that works for them, yay! Some people need that connection. Some people have a rabid fanbase that gets bitchy if that person isn’t there to constantly entertain them with what they ate for breakfast that morning. Some people need to feel like they’re part of something, like they’re being heard.

I don’t have those needs, and if you’re one of my fans, you don’t have the need for me to entertain you daily, which is good, because I ain’t gonna.

I’m an introvert and always have been. As I’ve gotten older, that’s become a larger part of my nature. Oh, I can socialize. I’m not afraid to, or shy or anything. I’m just not very social. As I said above, human contact isn’t all that high on my priority list. This leads to a lot of “are you still alive?”-type questions, and for that I apologize. I know friends and fans worry when I “go dark” (so to speak – points if you get the reference!), but I promise you all, someone would let you all know if some tragedy (or on-purposory, like, you know…jail for some type of crime ending in “-cide”) occurred. Probably Skyla Dawn Cameron. She’s always a good one to pester if you’re worried about my silences.

Also, I’m pretty much in a type of reverse hibernation during the summer months. Summer in my area brings a lot of things that I have absolutely no desire to be involved in or associated with in any fashion, so I pretty much just go to ground from May through September. When the tourists and the Daystar go south for the winter, I come back out. Summer means long, hot, bright days full of people. Fall and winter mean long, cool, dark, quiet nights. Hot tea, warm socks, darkness, short days, darkness…did I mention it’s darker in the winter? Like lots of it? For a long time?

I may have.

So yeah. Summertime is not Dina-time. I’ll be around a lot more in about six more weeks. Even more in about nine weeks, when the autumnal equinox comes and the days start getting shorter. So don’t worry if you don’t see me around much until then. If I’ve got something of interest or import to say, I’ll post. Or if I have a rant that I need to let out.

Until then.

Oh, for those wondering, Death Knell (Stranger Things III) is on track still for a Fall 2013 release. No specific date yet, but I’m thinking late October, early November, but that could change. More as it develops.

No Promises, But…

…I have this idea. Well, sort of. I was randomly looking at something and then someone who enables my evil suggested something and and one thing led to another and….

Here’s the thing. I want to know if anyone reading this would be interested in a Billy short story.

If I were to write a Billy short and put it up here as kind of a donation/fundraiser/penny-tossage thing, would anyone be interested in that? It would be totally self-serving. Because there’s Something I Want. As all the pennies I’m saving this year are going For Scotland, this would be an extraneous thing to indulge a completely selfish “Dina Wants A Shiny” thing.

Normally this wouldn’t be an issue as I would just tell He Who Enables My Crazy that “I wish to own this shiny thing” and it would appear because he loves me. However this year, I am being good. I have forsaken my yarn. I have said “no” to new Lord Vader things for my collection.

But this shiny I want. This I greatly desire. No, I’m not telling you what it is just yet, but those who have seen it have all said the same thing: “You must own that.”

For this shiny, I will write an exclusive short story I will offer to you, my readers, in exchange for some pennies tossed at the Shiny Thing Fund I will set up if this idea generates enough interest.

Now, I’m busy writing Stranger Things III (Death Knell), so I need to know if there’s enough interest in a short in order to spend time on it. So, I created a poll:

Feel free to comment. I don’t discriminate between encouragement and dissuasion.

Do keep in mind that this eviltry is still in the “idea” stage, and I’m just gauging interest. It might go absolutely nowhere, so don’t get your hopes up. We’ll see. If there is enough interest, I will post a link/pic to the shiny thing I’ll be raising the money for.

Time Heals Is Here!

It’s been a long time coming, but today’s the day.

Time Heals is out today!

Now, as I’ve said before, I’ll be doing a two-week promotional blog tour, and I promised shiny things.

I keep my promises.

EDIT: 04/03/2013 THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO WINNER CASSEY BRIGGS!

As we did with All Wounds, this is going to be the huge Time Heals Giveaway Post!

For this book, I’ve done something special. For you, my wonderful fans who not only enable but encourage my crazy, I’ve made something.

Something especially for today.

For this book.

For this release.

I’ve had it done for awhile and I’m so pleased to offer it to you now.

For this book, I’ve hand-knitted an item Rebecca wears in Time Heals. A gray cowl.

Cowl-Flat

Me modeling the different ways to wear this cowl.

Me modeling the different ways to wear this cowl.

The cowl is knit in Tahki Yarns Montana – 100% Pure New Wool in All-Natural Colors Made In Italy according to the label. It’s a thick beautiful natural gray, and 100% wool, so if you’re allergic to wool, my condolences. Though I don’t use Red Heart yarn (I’m a fiber snob, okay?), the pattern I used for this cowl is from them, so for those interested in knitting their own, there it is.

As I didn’t use the yarn the pattern calls for, the cowl requires some special care. Handwash only, no iron, no dryer, etc. I’ll send care instructions along with it to the winner of the giveaway. Just keep this in mind when entering.

But wait, there’s more!

Also up for grabs are:

A swag packet that includes a bookmark, bookplate, a set of vampire teeth, and samples of ALL FOUR of the custom tea blends I’ve made at Adagio Teas.

This is just an example photo. There will be four sample packets of tea included in this giveaway.

This is just an example photo. There will be four sample packets of tea included in this giveaway.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a book release giveaway if I weren’t giving away the book as well, now would it?

Not only am I giving away a signed copy of Time Heals (Stranger Things #2)

TH Cover

…I’m also including a signed copy of All Wounds (Stranger Things #1) to get you in the Stranger Things mood.*
Cover AW Small

I don’t know about you, but I hate finding out a book I want to read is in the middle of a series I haven’t read from the beginning! Hopefully this fixes all that!

Now, how can you win this prize pack of awesome?

I’m going to make you work for it.

You will have to blog, vlog, tweet, (No Facebooking!** – they have rules about this sort of thing, so Facebook entries are void and prohibited and barred from this giveaway) or otherwise pimp this giveaway somewhere online. It doesn’t have to be all of them, but the more you do it, the more entries you’ll get! This contest is open to all over the age of 13 regardless of location. International okay. Void where prohibited, blah blah blah.

Here’s the hard part – I’m not going to hunt down your entries.

YOU MUST COMMENT ON THIS BLOG ENTRY ON MY WEBSITE WITH LINKS TO THE PLACES YOU’VE PIMPED THE GIVEAWAY. (DMs, messages, comments on mirror sites like Livejournal, and emails do not apply! Only comments on the website will be counted! Also, comments are always moderated so they won’t show up right away!)

Each link or whatever counts as an entry. You can do this once a day from the moment you read this until the giveaway ends at 11:59:59PM Pacific Standard Time, Tuesday, April 1, 2013 but they have to be unique links. No using the same links over and over. Each entry must be a new entry.

The more you pimp the giveaway and let me know you’ve done it, the better your chances of winning!

When the giveaway is over, The Almighty Random Number Generator will choose the winner.

If you win, again, I’m not hunting you down. Leave me a way to get in touch with you that’s NOT through Facebook. They have weird rules about that sort of thing.

Recap:

What: Dina’s Time Heals Giveaway

Up for grabs: Rebecca’s hand-knit gray cowl, swag packet with four tea samples, signed copy of Time Heals, and a signed copy of All Wounds.

Time: Now Through Midnight PST Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How To Enter: Blog, vlog, tweet, or otherwise pimp (NO FACEBOOKING!**) this giveaway and comment on this giveaway post on my website with the links to where you pimped it. No reusing linkage.

International okay, open to all over age 13. Void where prohibited, la la la.

Now go forth and pimp to enter! (Goldfish platform shoes not included.)

*If you already have a signed copy of All Wounds, we’ll work something out.

** If you want to make a post on Facebook telling people about this giveaway, you may do so, HOWEVER – these will not and cannot count toward your entries in this giveaway. From the linked post: You can simply post a link on your page to the contest. And, to be fully safe, I would also include this disclosure, “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.”

Quick Updatey Thing

Five Things Make A Post!

1 – The Evil Auction is over, but we’re still working on coordinating people, payments, and donors, so bear with us on any delays. And there have been a lot of delays. I’m not going to say any more about that. I’m stabby and harried enough as it is.

2 – The second book in the Stranger Things series, Time Heals, is in the final stages of being prepped for release on March 26, so I’m a little busy with that at the moment, too.

3 – I’ve mentioned it before, but my friend Skyla Dawn Cameron is raising money for the MS Walk in her area in May, and she’d appreciate your sponsorship.

4 – There is eviltry afoot. I can’t share it with you right now, but I can tease you with “I know something you don’t know!” Stay tuned. Should be able to announce it in the next couple weeks. A lot of it depends on time and so on, and that’s kind of in short supply at the moment.

5 – This one is kind of cheating, as it’s similar to #4 up there, but it involves tea. That is all.

What? I said, “That is all!” That rant that’s forthcoming? Yeah…I’m still working on that. I’m so busy at the moment I can only growl occasionally when I remember it’s there.