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Bear With Me

Please #bear with me! It’s been a while since I posted anything, but this is my first day off from the ranch in a while and every other free minute I’ve had has been taken up with writing my latest novel. It’s the third book in my Darkest Kynd series, and it features my #chimera character, Urick, who is part grizzly bear.

Compliments of Kuchera at Dreamstime Photos.

Compliments of Kuchera at Dreamstime Photos.

Not only has ranching and writing kept me busy, but I’ve got a new release slated for June 28, 2016. It’s the first book in my Darkest Kynd series, titled Lover In Stone, and I’m wicked excited about sharing it with the public.
There’s a lot of work involved in a new book release, but somehow I’m managing to juggle everything. Besides, hanging out with Uri the Bear Chimera is fun!

~S.C. Dane

Crossed-eyes

#editing #romance #new release
When blogging, I’m supposed to say something witty and/or engaging. Not right now, I can’t. I just finished doing final edits on my May/June release of “Lover In Stone” and my brain is fuh-ried. Not that the book needed a shit-ton of rework, it’s just that I’ve read the manuscript now a total of 1,000,000 and one times. Gotta get it perfect for my readers, you know.

Sneak peek at the cover:

Lover In Stone_FNL

~S. C. Dane

“How To Throw Away A Perfectly Good Husband” #divorce #publishing #nomadic lifestyle

How To Throw Away A Perfectly Good Husband

I thought the title was going to be an introduction to this blog. Turns out—no. As I put my fingertips to the keys, I’m not sure what’s going to sprinkle across the page. I already wrote one blog on this topic, shared with you some personal stuff about being a paranormal romance novelist, a nomad, and a divorcee.

    For those of you who aren’t detectives: I didn’t post it. Instead, I got hit by my techie-gremlin again. What’s a techie-gremlin, you wonder? A snag in my computer experience that behaves like a sentient being. You think my toast has fallen peanut butter side down, don’t you? Probably it has, but there’s no denying the existence of this something. It’s like Jiminy Cricket hovering over my shoulder, only he has a magic wand to halt the internet. Every time I’ve tried to post something that later bit me on the ass, my techie-gremlin tried to interfere.

    He popped in again with the last post I wanted to publish about throwing away a perfectly good husband. I was having no problems navigating, playing, or adjusting my blog until I hit “publish.” I tried it several times, had success with other functions, browsed around on the internet, and returned to re-post. Nada.

    So, given this has happened too many times to ignore, I sat back and wondered if I shouldn’t be airing detes about my marriage. Or, if it’s all right to blab, maybe I need to rephrase things. For our purposes this time, I’m only going to publish the stuff I wrote about writing. So, release your breath, here it is:

… (this follows what the techie-gremlin didn’t want me to share.)So, I stepped off my porch. And I stepped. Until the individual steps became a walk, one which got increasingly easier as I gained momentum, as I felt the titillation of freedom only the open road can give.

Of course, the first book I ever wrote told so much about myself it was practically a personality profile. Living vicariously through my characters? Hell, yes. I did a lot of running and exploring out on the Great Heath of my home town, which is where my first novel began. Did I hope to be thrown a lifeline in the form a sexy wolf-man? Oh, my, who wouldn’t? The people who knew me and read the book, Luna: Book One of The Luna Chronicle, wondered if the reason I ran on the heath everyday was because I did have a wolf-man out there.

They weren’t far off in their suspicions. Writing the book was an adventure in escapism, so every time I headed out to the bog, Luna and her supporting characters came with me. As I ventured through the wind-stunted forests like a white-tailed deer, events in the storyline unfolded. By the time my lungs were wheezing, I was ready to return to the box of my house and sketch my imagined world to life: once written upon the page, Luna-Beth’s world became real.

Little did I know then that Beth’s leaving everything behind to follow her wolf-man would presage my own experience (minus the wolf-man, boo-hiss!). Like my title character, I could no longer stay in a world where I just didn’t fit.

My husband—bless his understanding heart for a thousand years to come—stayed behind while I traipsed forward, armed only with my intuition, a bit of courage, and raw faith that readers would love my characters as much as I do.

    Later, I’ll try again to share the madness behind my motivation. Here’s hoping I can. In the meantime, keep in mind that the title for this blog is more appropriate than the dress code at a Catholic school. I really did throw away a perfectly good husband when I set out to discover more of the world and my place in it. Maybe you’ve done the same. If so, I’d love to hear from you. Who knows, maybe a little dialogue will lull Jiminy Cricket and his magic wand to sleep. Winks!

~S.C. Dane

Wolf-Love, Installment #4

Wolf-Love

Installment #4

    Sometimes life handed Sofia a biscuit and played nice. Rare times for which she was utterly grateful, just as she was during these hours it was taking her and the new guy to clean out the chicken coop.

    He wasn’t uttering a single word. Well, he cursed about the stench and muttered other oaths she didn’t quite hear, but not once did he try to start a conversation with her. Even though she caught him a couple of times with his eyes pinned on her. Which should have been reason enough to puncture his innards with her pitchfork.

    Except his green eyed gaze got her mind spiraling in on itself, sending it roaming down memory lane and onto side trails. By the time she realized how long she’d been traipsing through her brain, the moments were long passed. The man beside her was no longer watching her, but was diligently heaving cakes of straw-thatched chicken shit out the door.

    Then she found herself eyeing him, appreciating the long, thick muscles of his back sliding like serpents under his sweaty shirt. There was something about him, aside from the fact his voice swam through her blood like little fishes. She wasn’t put off by him, and that in itself was enough to worry her.

    She didn’t like people.

    Which was why the job on the farm was so perfect. She spent a lot of time alone, if she didn’t count the presence of the livestock as company. When the other employees tried engaging her in small talk, she sent them shuffling off with a cold, level stare. Eventually they’d learned to just leave her be with her dog. Yeah, it meant doing much of the heavy work by herself, but in her mind it was a fair trade-off.

    Because interacting with people was a real bitch, and she’d never figured out how to do it properly. It seemed every time they opened their mouths to speak, their body language defied the words passing across their lips. People constantly sent Sofia mixed signals.

    And that got her in trouble.

    Because the confused messages twisted her stomach and sent chills scurrying across her skin like a thousand mouse feet, lifting the fine hairs on her nape. Unless, of course, she challenged them. Which ended badly, too. Fighting made her feel great at the time, but the trouble it caused afterward left her feeling like a tiny, bobbing raft in an ocean of sharks.

    How many foster homes had she been in?

    “…disgusting way to eat…”

    Sofia snipped off her lapse into the past. The new guy was bitching about something, but she didn’t catch what, just the feel of his voice in her body. She watched him stab at the floor, twist his grip on the wooden handle of his pitchfork, and toss.

    Well, there was nothing confusing about his current state. The oaths pouring out of his mouth definitely matched the intensity of his attack on the chicken coop. Even the hens sat quiet on their roosts and didn’t squabble like they usually did. Uh-uh. They were silent as nuns.

    A reluctant smile tugged at her lips. Yeah. Okay. So this guy German had something going for him she found herself liking. But it would only be a matter of time before she’d catch him acting and speaking the way everyone else did. Eventually, she’d catch him in a lie. Because people always lied.

In the meantime, she didn’t think there was anything wrong with snatching glimpses of him when his back was turned. No harm in spying while he was close. She quit shoveling to rest her chin on the handle of her pitchfork.

The guy was easing his way toward the chickens, who were lined up on their roost like suspects at an inquisition. He sidled close, like a predator sneaking up on its prey. Quiet. Utterly focused, even with his eyes averted to the ground. He was listening, his head tilted just so, his ear trained on the roost. The man moved incrementally closer, his biceps bunching as he lifted his arm ever so slowly.

Sofia watched, just as transfixed as the dumb chickens. She saw when his knees bent to the tiniest degree as he readied his body to lunge. She couldn’t drag her eyes off him. As close as he’d inched, there was no way he was going to miss nabbing a bird.

Her grip tightened around the handle hard enough she noticed herself trembling with anticipation. She wanted him to snag the chicken with an intensity that snapped her back to the situation. What the hell was she doing? Palavering after a man who got his jollies scaring the hens? Nope. Something better. She was enjoying how German’s body moved. At over six feet tall and carrying muscle that was sharply defined but not bulky, the man moved lightly. Quick, yet seemingly conscientious of his every move, as though he was hyper aware of his surroundings.

    Yet, just as she was going to turn back to her work, he caught himself. His empty hand fisted as he shot a look over his shoulder at her. As if he’d been caught red-handed. Doing what, exactly? Certainly not something that warranted the spark of worry she saw in those green eyes. As quick as it flashed, it was gone, replaced by a hard glare and subtle lift of his upper lip, like he was snarling some threat at her.

    “Get over yourself,” she grumbled. Without waiting for some insulting retort, Sofia turned her back on him and resumed stabbing at the straw-matted chicken shit. The nerve of the guy. She’d plastered that same look on countless others, so she wasn’t cowed by his.

Still, she kept to herself while they went back to work, even as she continued to steal glances the way he did. But not once did they speak to each other. By the time the job was finished and Sofia mounted the tractor to haul off the manure spreader, that damned grin was tugging her lips again.

    Shoveling shit hadn’t turned out to be half bad. But again, she should be worried, not masking a smile that wanted to beam out of her big as day. Interactions with people usually didn’t end well, she’d do well to remember that. Pushing her lips into a hard line, Sofia scouted the way clear for Sol before putting the tractor in gear, then chugged off away from the chicken coop with her dog faithfully trotting several paces behind her. Forget about looking back.

    She knew who followed her, and she knew who watched her go.

~S.C. Dane

 Installment #5 coming next Saturday, November 30, 2013. Or sooner. So stay tuned!

#Road-trekking and Making One’s Home

I’ve been in Indiana for a month and half, having traveled here from Connecticut, and before that Maine. It has taken me a year and a half to get to this Midwestern state from my original starting point: Jonesport, Maine. I might as well have rocketed to the moon, it’s that different. First, my launching pad is coastal. Jonesport sits with her toes in the ocean, and most of her residents earn their livings from the bounty that ocean provides. My first re-fueling station on my travels was North Stonington, CT, which happens to sit mighty close to the historically famous Mystic Seaport.

I didn’t stray far from the scent of briny fog. Plus, I was still in New England, where Yankee sarcasm and ingenuity still thrive hale and strong.

Third stop on my road trek? A moonscape compared to the craggy coast and its spiking spruce trees. Indiana is flat in comparison, with acres upon acres of corn and soybeans. As I drove with one eye on the pavement stretching endlessly before me, and the other scanning the scenery, I developed a queer sensation in my gut. Yes, the sky stretched marvelously above me. Which wasn’t unusual. I’ve been on the ocean with no land in sight.

Land was the difference here. I was traveling across solid ground, not fathoms of an alien world beneath my keel.

Oh, and what a strange land it was compared to what I’m used to! With all that farmland flattened out on either side of me as I drove along, I delved deeper into that hollowness that was my gut. The deduction? All this agriculture without an animal in sight was unsettling. What my farming friends in New England would give for a quarter of the wide open acreage! Think of the many types of vegetables they could plant. They could feed their small collection of livestock right from what they yielded on the farm. Goats, pigs, cows—nothing would go hungry, no pastures chewed down to the roots. Imagine the grazing rotations!

Alas, my Maine heart was saddened by the lack of such diversity. Corn and soybeans. Corn and soybeans. Corn and soybeans.

Not only is the land different, but so, too, are the homes. Granted, I’m generalizing here, but it seems I see more squat houses here in Indiana. Neither do many of the homes have large windows through which to enjoy the view. My suspicions? Tornadoes. Those sovereign entities of hell that would lay waste to the glass walled, high-reaching homes of the northeast.

You wonder then, what with my skin draped ’round my bones without their heart, why I’ve decided to stay in Indiana for a bit?

Frankly, at first, I wondered the same thing. Why didn’t I tuck tail and run back from whence I came?

Well, I’m not big on judging first impressions. I like to give things a little time for their true threads of gold to shine. Staying on in Indiana has achieved what I was hoping it would. With the dust settled from my move and the pace at the farm having grown into routine, I’m gleaning the gems from my daily living. The horses are now familiar, our relationships forming through daily interactions. My early morning hikes to the barn are resplendent with glittering stars in a wide, pre-dawn sky.

It’s the folks here, too, who have allowed me to coax my battered heart back out into the sunlight. A strange landscape this may be, but the people, as they are in New England, are the salt of the earth. They are not alien, but kind and generous. From what I’ve seen so far, they work damn hard for what they have, and are quick to stick out a hand to help a neighbor. Just like the folks I left back home.

So, here I’ll nest for the time being, writing novels and shoveling horse manure, until my longing to travel tickles my feet again.

~S.C. Dane

#Pants Down

Oopsie! I got caught with my pants down. It’s the weekend already, and somehow I lost an entire week. How does a person blast through entire days and lose track? You all know what I mean. Wasn’t it just two days ago you were cranking yourself out of bed to start your work week? You were a little refreshed, having had the weekend off. Maybe by Sunday night you were tired from your never-ending list of things to do, but Monday morning comes and you’re feeling all right. The coffee’s brewed, you know what to wear. And the routine revs its motor, hustling you and the family out the door.

Whoa. Several days have passed since then. For me, another weekend has, too. I confess to not only getting lost in my day job, but also in my latest fictional creation. I’m on book two of a gargoyle series, and I’m getting sucked into it every time I open that document. The good thing is I’m spiraling deep into the world I’ve conjured. The bad news is that while I might be busy writing, I’m not writing for my blog and the people who follow it.

Sorry about that. But the story has threaded itself to my skin, tugging at me when I should be doing other things. But cripes, I’m hanging out with sexy and dangerous heroes. To heck with my real life skidding by like kids in socks on a hardwood floor, mama’s a little distracted here.

Therefore, I offer a sincere apology to my readers who look forward to the weekly posts. I hope when the new gargoyle series goes public you’ll enjoy it enough to forgive my distraction and my bumbling. Meanwhile, it’s Sunday night. Already. Again. Time to get the coffee pot ready to brew for 6 a.m. and remember to throw that last load of clothes into the dryer.

Till next week,

~S.C. Dane