Holiday Postscript (aka Snippet III)

Just got back into town late this afternoon after spending Thanksgiving at my folks’ place in Georgia. My cousin and her husband from Plano, Texas came into town with their two kids and my other cousin, her husband and two kids also crashed at the house. Add my wild man to the crew and you’ve got all kinds of madness.

The best part was that the kids basically took care of themselves the whole time, and when they needed ANYTHING, my parents were so psyched to have a house full of screaming kids again after all these years, that they handled everything, giving us overworked, sleep-deprived parents a nice break. Of course, we used the opportunity to ingest vast quantities of tequila and moonshine.

Oh yeah, that’s how we get down.

So now I’m back to reality and need to blog but am kind of wrapped up in my Book Two writing and if I’m being really honest here, am just really fucking tired. Which, of course, means I’m going to cheat and publish a snippet from Book Two.

Here you go:

Ava sat cross-legged in bed with her blade resting in her lap, watching every move Carter made as he prepared to leave. Good riddance, she thought to herself, amazed it took this long for them to reach this point of no return, relieved it finally happened.

“Don’t come back to this room,” Ava spoke to Carter’s back as he dressed, “ever again.”

He remained silent.

“And once you get settled in one of the other wings in this building or wherever it is you plan to live, you might want to think about getting back to your share of the leadership of this Academy. I cannot constantly be expected to handle everything.”

“You don’t handle everything, Ava,” he turned back to her and replied flatly.

“Oh, but I do, Carter,” she smiled as if they were the closest of lovers, “you know it as well as I. Your father implored us to get married because he knew he couldn’t entrust the family power to you alone, his weak-minded, easily-tempted, malicious, only son. And your dearly departed mother, that monster of a woman, always understood I was a necessity to the family well-being, for you do nothing properly and have absolutely no foresight. The bottom line is everyone knows who is leading this family and unless you start holding your own and doing as I see fit, you will lose the little authority you have left.

“So you take that information with you, love, wherever you are headed tonight and you think on it, long and hard. And you keep telling yourself that Maxwell botched New York if that makes it easier to sleep at night, but we both know that is hardly the truth. Your son has eclipsed you, Carter, in all ways as a leader of this family. I know it, you know it and The Sanctum knows it. I can either act on that and publicly strip you of everything or I can allow you to continue your figurehead ways. The decision is all yours.”

 

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The Year of the Appliance

Apparently the appliances in my home all got together last year and agreed that, one-by-one, they would conk out in 2013.

The first casualty was my dryer. This past January, my babysitter called and said the dryer wasn’t putting out any heat; I told her to call my handyman, Gabriel, and have him take a look. He checked it out, explained the problem and also explained that because the part needing repair is so expensive, I would be better off simply buying a new one. I trust Gabriel one hundred percent, so $500 later we had a new dryer.

And not the fancy, bubble-looking one that Henry wants, mostly because I can’t see spending all that money on something that sits on my basement, away from prying eyes, but rather a simple, workhorse of a machine that I’m hoping will last a bit longer than its predecessor.

Next up on the dead-appliances list was my air conditioner. This passing particularly annoyed me because it was so premature. I only bought the thing four years ago so come on, really??! This is how you’re going to do me? Add on the fact that it’s a bitch to install and now I’m super irked. The thing sits in a box carved out of my kitchen wall and requires a handyman and an assistant to install. So there I was, calling Gabriel again.

[By the way, if you’re going to own an old house, with all its charm and quirks, trust when I say, you better have a Gabriel in your life. Otherwise, don’t even bother.]

Third in line was the water heater. I didn’t even see this one coming. We’ve only owned the house since 2006, so I figured we had a couple of more years on the heater. Again, the babysitter calls, only this time to say she went into the basement to do the laundry and it’s flooded.

These are words no homeowner wants to hear, especially a weary one like myself.

She tells me the water is coming from the water heater and she will put a bowl underneath to catch the spill. I tell her to call Gabriel and then proceed to pack up and head home from the office to assess the damage. I’m hoping it’s an easy fix.

I am such a fool.

On my walk home, Gabriel calls to tell me I need a new water heater and his friend, a licensed plumber, can purchase and install it for me that night. “Sure thing,” I say as I tally up my out-of-pocket costs and cringe. I then spend the next three hours cleaning my flooded basement.

Which leads me to the clincher. At 5:30 this morning I was woken by an enormous crash in my house. I mean, this thing was so loud, I literally shot out of bed, thinking something had exploded downstairs. After rubbing the sleep from my eyes and gathering my bearings, I called downstairs to my stepdaughter, who was getting ready for work, and learned that the large, condiment-laden, absolutely-necessary, heavy French door had fallen off the fridge.

Wha? Huh?

Oh, no you didn’t.

Un-freaking-believable.

I walked downstairs and sure enough, there she was and there it was, sprawled on the floor, completely unattached from the rest of the fridge and in fact, cracked on the bottom, thus ensuring it could not be reattached, lest I try to get handy. At this point, suffering from a serious case of appliance-fatigue, I simply unloaded everything from the door, reloaded it somewhere else or tossed it in the trash, propped the door back on its hinge and bought a new fridge. It’s being delivered tomorrow.

2013 will be remembered as the year the appliances won.

Post-script:

For those of you wondering why Henry never messes with this stuff, it’s because these are the things that fall under that annoying phrase that goes something like this: You wanted an old house, you deal. And I can’t even say anything because he’s right: we had an ultra-modern, huge loft and I wanted the old house. So now, here I am. Me, my house and my freaking appliances.

 

“I like the way you die, boy.” – Django

Pecan Pie

Full disclosure right off the bat: I am a HORRIBLE baker. Most everything I bake comes out  too hard or too dense or too crispy on the outside, raw on the inside. My biscuits could be used as weapons, my banana bread has its good moments, but mostly bad, and my cookies only taste right when pre-made by the good folks at Nestle.

But my pecan pie, now that is another story.

I do not play with pecan pie. And trust when I say, mine is a culinary masterpiece, legions above the rest.

I think the only other pie that can give me a run for my money is Momofuku Milk Bar’s Crack Pie. David Chang might disagree, but I’m willing to take him on, pie-to-pie.

Whenever Henry’s office has some sort of celebratory potluck, his coworkers all ask that he bring one of my pies. He says they’ve been known to randomly mention my pie in the middle of a conversation with him. My stepdaughter is addicted to it. And a friend just messaged me on Facebook, saying she woke up thinking of my pie.

It’s really that good.

I bring this up because a colleague at work reminded me yesterday that I still owe him a pie. I promised him one last year, then hurricane Sandy hit and the rest is history. So I’m going to fulfill last year’s promise this year and bake him a pie. I’m also going to bake pies for my assistant at work, two of my friends and for my neighbor’s Friendsgiving festivities next weekend.

I’m thinking right about now you wish we were good friends so I’d bake one for you, too.

“Uh huh, this is my shit. All the girls stomp your feet like this.” – Gwen Stefani

Happy

This week at work was brutal. My case has morphed into a monster with twenty arms, all moving at the same time, I have about 60 people working for me, three document productions running at the same time and meetings every time I turn around, all culminating in a request yesterday from a colleague that I improve certain aspects of my performance.

To call it a shit week would be an understatement of epic proportion.

Then yesterday around 4:45 I watched this video from Pharrell and no lie, I forgot everything, all the shit and stress and criticism and lost myself in the good vibes of “Happy”, so much so that I literally danced around my office.

At that moment, right then and there, I needed that song…badly.

I love me some little skateboard P.

First Interview

Today I was the featured author on Shonda Brock’s The Paranormal Blog for her post, Paranormal Wednesday. It was my first interview ever and to say I was psyched would be the understatement of the month.

1454686_497624093678314_565528764_a (this is my excited face)

It was so nice of Ms. Brock to include me in her blog and I can only hope to return the favor some time. In this field of indie authors, it’s crucial to have the support of your fellow writers so Ms. Brock’s gesture will not be forgotten.

Here’s a snippet of the interview:

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be? Oh my goodness, this is incredibly difficult to answer as I have so many “favorite” books, so to make it a tad easier, I’m going to stick with the fantasy genre, which of course, leads to my favorite girl, Hermione Granger. She never needed a boy to explain anything to her.

You can read the full post and interview here: http://www.shondabrock.com/#/blog/4559736266/Author-Madhuri-Blaylock-on-Paranormal-Wednesday/7004044

Again, a big shout out to Shonda Brock and her blog, The Paranormal Blog. You can find her at http://www.shondabrock.com/#/blog/4559736266.

 

“Illest pit bull in a skirt.” – Eve

A Broken Girl with Haunted Eyes is the Only Hope

BOOK ONE: THE GIRL

As you might already know, I’ve been developing a fantasy/YA trilogy called The Sanctum for much of 2013 (I feel like these days, I come with laptop attached) and after tons of research and many chats with folks in the publishing industry, have decided to launch the first book in the trilogy, The Girl, on my own via Amazon, Nook and iBooks (if I can ever figure out Apple’s insane uploading steps!).

The advice I’ve gotten from people within publishing is that the current state of the market prefers that a new author come to a publishing house with a social media following, a fan base that is loyal and secure. Most new authors use Facebook, Twitter, their own blogs and sites like Goodreads to create and nurture this fan base and sell their books, making them quite attractive to a publishing house since they’ve already established their own social media footprint.

To that end, I’ve created this blog, a Facebook page, a Goodreads page, an Amazon Author’s page and a Twitter feed, along with launching book one and researching and writing book two.

In order to grow my social media network, I’m reaching out to all of my friends and family and asking that you spread the word about the trilogy and book one, The Girl.

If you are on Facebook or via email, please share my page with your friends and the link to the book on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Book-One-The-Girl-Sanctum-ebook/dp/B00GLGOP2G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1384229075&sr=8-3&keywords=madhuri+blaylock.

The book is only $0.99 so is a great bargain for anyone who likes to read. And seriously, what else can you buy these days for under a dollar?!

The following is some information on Book One: The Girl to read and share with your friends:

The Sanctum, an all-powerful governing body founded by ten families, entrusted to maintain the peace amongst Magicals and ensure the ignorance of humans, has been corrupted by greed and savagery for generations, but is all Wyatt Clayworth has ever known.

A descendant of one of the Founding Families and Class A Warrior, Wyatt has always believed in the ways of The Sanctum, having grown up in the system and thrived under their leadership. A golden boy, renowned for his prowess and skill in battle, Wyatt has never questioned a mission or kill order until the night he crosses paths with a brutally injured and mysterious girl.

Scouring Central Park with his best friend and fellow Class A Warrior, Ryker Morrison, for the hybrid demon prophesied to bring an end to The Sanctum and destroy the world for Magicals and humans alike, Wyatt instead finds Dev and his whole life turns upside down. Told he was hunting a killing machine, hellbent on wreaking havoc and destruction upon all it encounters, Wyatt instead sees nothing more than a broken girl with haunted eyes and a bit of a death wish.

All Dev wants is for Wyatt to either kill her or leave her alone. When he refuses to do either, she finds herself being pulled into his life while being hunted by warriors everywhere she turns. Drawn to one another for reasons they cannot begin to explain to themselves, much less anyone else, Wyatt is determined to protect Dev and help her realize her mission to avenge the deaths of her family at the hands of The Sanctum. His abdication of his duties and his outright rejection of his responsibilities to The Sanctum create a maelstrom of events beyond anyone’s imagination.

Below are the links for my blog, pages and Twitter feed:

madhuriblaylock@wordpress.com

Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thesanctumtrilogy

Twitter at @madhuriblaylock

I would be so appreciative if you could share this information with your social network (via Facebook, email, Twitter, etc) and hopefully they’ll share it with their friends and so on and so forth. Liking the Facebook page and leaving reviews on Amazon is also super helpful.

Getting this thing off the ground is impossible without my friends so let me just say thanks so very much, even if all you do is read this message.

xxoo,

Madhuri

Five Stars!

Amazon five-star review for The Girl:

Ms. Blaylock’s “The Girl” proves itself to be an intriguing roller coaster ride into the inner workings of a distopic society governed by The Sanctum, a elite body willed by the gods to regulate all “magicals”. As prophetized by the gods, a savior of sorts shall come…. “The Girl”. With the coming of the Girl, The Sanctum’s inner workings are turned inside out, revealing an age old secret that could threaten those who have deceptively kept it, and push those who believe in the truth of the prophecy to rediscover their own personal convictions and join together for the sake of the Girl. Being not only a saga between good and evil, and “magicals” and man, “The Girl” is a story of young love, personal rediscovery, and acceptance of the unknown. With likable and some very dislikable characters that will have you rooting for sides, and a fluid writing style that keeps you pining for more, Ms. Blaylock’s first book in The Sanctum series is sure to keep you up all night reading. I am truly impressed with her style and story-telling, and cannot wait to see what she has in store for the next book!

Thank you so, so much, Arshalous Eich.