Good Morning…

So, I own this shirt:

And I was wearing it the other day when I went outside to…

Wait, WTF was I doing outside? Rarely happens. Anyway, must’ve been a compelling reason, like an Amazon box gone astray. And I saw one of my neighbors while wearing my shirt.

Neighbor: Do you wear that T-shirt around your son?

Me: Yes. He’s having trouble sounding out assassin.

Neighbor: *frowns* Do you think that sends the right message?

Me: It’s fine. It’s not like he knows I have them.

Neighbor: *blinks*

Me: Have a great day!

Zoo: We’re definitely not getting invited to the mid-winter party.

Me: That’s just another perk!

Mirror Me Release Day and other news…

(I refer to Tyler and SEJ in this post because I’m cross-posting 🙂

I’ve started and stopped this post a million times. But here goes: Lots of family shit = unhappy writer. And my muse doesn’t like things like constant phone calls and hospitals. I can write through a lot of things, but this particular brick wall I ran into (aka my mother)—it just didn’t work.

She’s getting…better. Ish. It’s a lot of complicated shit and a long road ahead. Coupled with the death of my dad last year, it’s just been a lot. I owe a lot of people a lot of books, readers and editors alike. And writing in general has been challenging. I couldn’t write on some of the stuff I was supposed to write on and then when I did write on things I was supposed to write on, there were issues (and yes, I’ll get into those at another time).

So here’s the deal—in order to get myself back on the horse, I started working on things that were the most far along in the process. It’s not a matter of doing more Tyler than SEJ things (which is what some readers have been writing to ask about)—it’s about balancing the two names.

Which means, as of today, you’ll start seeing the first book in the Mirror series, Mirror Me, up for purchase. It’s up at Amazon right now —and the blurb is below. (FYI it’s a Tyler book—it’s an m/f but book 2 in the series will be an m/m. Oh, and each book is stand-alone)MirrorMe_200x300

Kayla Peters hasn’t been Claire Cooper for six years…but the past is about to catch up with her, and nothing will ever be the same.

Kayla’s in witness protection, being hidden from her twin sister by the U.S. Marshals Office. When Kayla moves in next to a former Special Forces operative, she discovers that he’s got a dark, dangerous past of his own..and that he might be the only person who could help her survive.

Teige doesn’t want to like Kayla. Since the death of his CO and Teige’s retirement from Delta Force, he’d been taking on the most dangerous jobs, pressing the luck he feels had followed him his entire life. He’s convinced it’ll run out, because he knows no one can be that lucky all the time. And when he discovers who Kayla really is, and what kind of trouble’s following her, he realizes he’s up against the most dangerous—and personal—job of his career.

Next month, Rule of Thirds (book 2 in the series—the m/m) will be out, followed quickly by Temperance: Defiance Book 4 (also an m/m by Tyler).

Why this order of things? Well, I’ve been working on Mirror Me for a long time in between other projects and it was in the editing stages already, as was Temperance. I’m also almost done with Irreplaceable: Section 8 Book 4 (also Tyler) — no new date with NAL on that because I need to hand it in to get it on the schedule.

Also, I’m slowly working on SEJ’s If I Ever (Prophet 4) because that book deserves care, and I don’t want to rush it. But it’s close.

But again, I hesitated to write this post, because whenever I got close to ‘getting ready’ to publish or get back out here, there would be another setback. I mean, I’m literally looking over my shoulder (and glaring at the fucking phone, daring it to ring) as I type this. I’d tell someone, “Things are much better,” and then it would be like, literally, the next day, “Oh look, pneumonia! Medication issue! Stroke! ER visit for a fall! Lifeline is calling…again.

So just…be kind. That’s all I ask. And most of you have been—the letters I’ve gotten have been awesome and I appreciate all your patience and your want of my books. I can’t promise I’ll be out there all that much, because I’d honestly rather given my time to the writing, and I think you all deserve that too, but who knows.

What I do know? My son started Kindergarden…and the drop off / pick up shit? It’s like the hunger games meets thunderdome. WTF? Pray for me…

Birds, birds everywhere…

So okay, about a year ago, a bird was flying around in our basement, which is attached to our garage, so it’s like no big mystery how it got in there.

But then I was all paranoid and stated asking Zoo questions like, what color was the bird? What color was the bird exactly? Because I had to figure out if it was an omen of death.

He wasn’t all that helpful, and got tired of me showing him googled pictures of birds and asking, does this look like the bird?

I finally decided it didn’t count at all since it didn’t come in through a window, but rather, an open garage door and then a door. Maybe.

The woodpecker came a few months later, drumming the shit out of our wooden shed. And then I think that same summer, a bird flew directly at my head. Seriously, if I didn’t duck, I probably would have died. Or been hurt. Or…something.

Anyway, so the other night I tell Zoo, a bird flew into me again.

Zoo: What do you mean, again?

Steph: It happened last year too.

Zoo: Something is really wrong with you.

Steph: With me, or the birds?


So anyway, the sparrow flew through the openings of a wrought iron fence around the patio into my thigh and I screamed and brushed at it and touched it because it happened so fast I really didn’t know what it was. And the sparrow was on the ground looking at me and kind of fluttered its wing and then it flew away. Like, the bird might’ve been giving me the bird. Gus, the incredible bird dog, did nothing. Because he’s a bird dog who does not notice birds at all. Seriously – he’ll walk into his pen and the birds sit on the ground waiting for him and then they fly into his face and scare him, and he runs back to me all freaked out.

I’m wondering if the bird wanted to attack me. Or if maybe I’m invisible to birds? Or maybe I have the power of invisibility and it just turns on at weird times? Like when I’m around birds? Or maybe the birds are working with the spiders and the crickets? There are so many possibilities.

Anyway, I went inside and asked my mother if I was going to die of bird flu. Wondered if I should change my pants. Because, hi, a bird just flew into me.

Her response? Wash your hands really well.

Has this ever happened to you? I mean, it doesn’t seem to have happened to anyone in the world because I googled things like, what does it mean if birds keep flying into you? and came up with nothing.

I was pretending it meant something good but then I found out some jackhole used my address to register their car and had to call the police. So right now, if I had to say, a bird flying into your thigh means someone is going to use your home address to register their 94 Impala.



What do you mean the world’s ending in 2012?

That’s what my mother said during Christmas dinner when I mentioned the whole Mayan prediction of the world ending in December 2012.  I really though this was something everyone and their mother (obviously not) knew about, but she clearly hadn’t gotten the news.

Her next response?  If you think I’m dying in 2012, you’re crazy.

Point taken – sorry Mayans – she’s not going anywhere.

And after thinking about it for a few more minutes, she added, Imagine if I was the only one here?  Who would do my nails?!

I hope your Christmas was wonderful and that you all laughed and ate as much as we did here.  And um, hello blizzard heading rapidly to New York as I type…looks like it’s going to be impressive.


We spent part of last week in Pittsburgh for the kid’s (planned) spinal surgery –  and she’s doing wel.l (I can’t say that too much or the karma gods come down and wreak havoc so…) We’re just happy to be home and that our trees are back. GusBananas

Tiny, tiny trees compared to what we had.  *sobs*  I need them to grow like 3 feet overnight because let me tell you – seeing my neighbor these last weeks has MORE than made up for the 10 years he was hidden behind trees.  So yes, I talk to them a lot and tell them that’s what they need to do.  I hope they listen better than Gus.  Because Gus seems to act like that’s not his name.  He must think, Man, that Gus must be a real pain in the ass because she’s always calling his name…

Anyway, Zane’s book revisions are done and Cam’s galleys are done (that’s pretty much my last step before it becomes a real book, so that’s good) – now I dive back into Mace’s book (I’m tentatively calling it In The Air Tonight but I don’t know if that will stick.)  But I’m really loving it – I’ve been waiting a couple of years to write it and it’s all new and fun and shiny.

Which means, give me a few weeks and I’ll start whining for sure.

What’s up with everyone?  Enjoying the weather?  Any good news / fun news?

the song remains the same…

I promise that all my blog post titles won’t be song lyrics.


So Zoo’s alarm clock (aka my cube) woke me up to La Isla Bonita.  And you know when you’ve got a lyric in your mind wrong and you know it’s wrong but you can’t stop singing it wrong?

Yeah, I keeping hearing, young girls with eyes like potatoes, in my ear.  And I know that can’t be right.  Who has eyes like potataoes?

It’s like when my friend told me she thought the song, Big Old Jet Airliner was really, big ole chad had a rhino, and ruined the song for me.

There’s also a line in Cinderelmo where I swear the king says, cake and eat it (because, hi, cake – who wouldn’t want to eat cake?) but Zoo’s like, he’s saying, take an edict.

Granted, the edict line makes way more sense, but it’s Elmo.  He’s always got too many questions, he’s always scared of something and he’s always screwing up, so common sense isn’t really his friend.  So I’m sticking by my cake and eat it line.

Anyway, I have a lot to do – some last minute revisions on Zane and I almost can’t bear to drag myself through the manuscript again.  Don’t get me wrong – I love the book – love the way it’s turned out and the edits will only make it stronger but…I don’t want to!  (mature, I know) I want to work on shiny new stories, like Mace, where things still make sense and I have a lot to discover.

But I will be good and finish Zane.  I’m armed with candy.  A large, price club mixed bag of candy that includes Twix.  The Twix will inspire me.  If I can stop singing about the young girls with eyes like potatoes to myself…