Sorry for the confusion

Several of you let me know that a post showed up that was very confusing, a password protected item. This wasn’t supposed to show up generally, but it was completely intentional on my part, at least that there was a password and a document behind it.

Not that it’s any big secret what it is: I’m giving a presentation and instead of killing 99 trees, I thought I would host a PDF file with all my show and tell slides where the attendees could download it. Since the actual document will make less than no sense without the accompanying talk, I wasn’t going to subject everyone to it. Instead, I’ve made you all question either my sanity or the security of the blog.

Sorry about that!  The blog is secure, my sanity is questionable, and I’ve figured out the stumbling block in the current WIP, so I should have something to show everyone soon.

In the meantime, have a picture of Mark from Fall Down the Mountain.

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You heard that right: Save a Horse, Dive a Cowboy

That attention-getter of a title goes with Kayla Jameth’s new shifter novel. I’ve asked her to join me on the blog so we can find out what’s behind that title.

Also–I’ve read it, and there is certainly some diving going on. 😉  Hey, Kayla! Over here!

K: Hello, Pam! Thanks for hosting me today to talk about Save a Horse, Dive a Cowboy.

P: Glad to have you.

K: You don’t have any Stormtroopers or bear shifters hiding around, do you?

P: Of course! Dillon and Sawyer brought Davie  for a visit. And oh–Lon did say he might drop by later.

K: Really?! Uwah! <Fangirling> I hope so.

P: <Chuckle> I’m sure he’ll be glad to hear it. But we’re here today to talk about your latest story. Tell us a little something about Shep and Charlie. Because that cowboy is giving the horse quite the dreamy-eye.

K: Charlie “Hoss” Running Horse is a Native American mustang shifter. His mother is the shaman and lead mare of his herd. He and Shep met in high school and that’s all he needed to find his partner.

Shep was smitten. He spent his time in school watching out for Charlie, kicking ass, and taking names. They’ve together ever since. When his dad passed away, Charlie moved into the ranch foreman’s house with Shep and everything has been good.

Until… One day, at the swimming hole, Coyote sees the pair and takes a shine to Shep. Now Charlie has to go if Coyote is to get his man.

Coyote steals Charlie’s medicine horseshoe and tosses it into the water, trapping Charlie in his horse’s body. He will do whatever he must to have Shep.

Now Shep has to find a way to retrieve the shoe and return Charlie to his human form before it’s too late and Charlie is trapped as a horse forever.

Excerpt:

They turned west, riding into the sunset. Well, soon enough it would be a sunset. Right now it was just really bright sunlight boring into Charlie’s eyes and obscuring his vision. He’d have to focus on the trail to avoid laming himself. Good thing he could rely on Shep to guide him around any real dangers.

Dust puffed under his feet and settled on his legs. That and his dried sweat made him itch. He couldn’t wait to get in the shower.

A sharp pain on his rump startled him into bucking and kicking.

Shep shifted his weight forward and followed his every move. “Whoa, Hoss!”

Charlie stopped so suddenly, he felt the horseshoe shift again.

Just a deerfly. Now he felt like an idiot. Fortunately, horses couldn’t blush; although, he’d heard that rabbits could.

He turned his head and met Shep’s eye, hoping to convey his apology, earning him another pat on the shoulder.

“I’m okay. But it was good practice for saddle bronc riding. Should I enter this year?”

He tossed his head and crow hopped, but didn’t budge Shep. He could have tried a little harder, really bucked; after all, his partner had a good seat. The horseshoe thumped against his hoof and he stopped. This business with the shoe was getting worrisome.

A fly buzzed behind him again and this time he settled for swishing his tail. He hated the damn things. At least it wasn’t a horsefly. Those things were vicious.

“Maybe you should use more of that fly repellant you call aftershave.”

Haha… Charlie snorted and considered making Shep walk home.

Shep shifted his weight forward. Charlie took the hint and set off. Clip, clop, clip, clop… The trip home always seemed to take longer than reaching their goal.

Something dust-colored darted across his path. He threw his head up and reared, startling like some green-broke colt. His hooves struck the ground on either side of a quivering jackrabbit. The poor animal screamed and brushed against his fetlock as it made a dash for the scrub bordering the trail.

A fluffy little bunny. How flipping embarrassing.

He stood with legs braced, still snorting. His rib cage expanded and contracted spastically under the girth.

“That was close. You didn’t hurt yourself, did you?” Shep slung a leg over and dismounted. He smoothed gentle fingers over Charlie’s legs and examined his hooves. “Other than the horseshoe, I think you’re fine.”

Shep picked up a stone and tried to pound one of the nails back in. A partial success, but they both knew it would work its way back out again.

His breathing slowed, but he could still feel the adrenaline burning in his veins. Maybe a lope would take the edge off.

“Feeling better?” Shep scratched between his ears, calming them both.

He nodded and gave a breathy sigh, nuzzling against Shep’s chest.

Shep uncapped the canteen and took a few swallows. Then he took his hat off and smacked it against his leg, sending up a puff of dust. He poured water into his sweat-stained Stetson and held it up for Charlie.

He drank the salty water in a few quick draws.

Clapping the hat back on his head, Shep mounted. Once he had settled, Charlie took off at a lope.

“In a rush to get home?”

Charlie snorted and stretched out. He still had some relatively smooth flatlands before he reached the outcroppings. When the last of the frantic energy began to ebb, he dropped down to a jog, and then a walk. He felt a little better.

More rocks littered the ground. Soon boulders took their place. He could see the stone outcroppings ahead. Shep’s deft hands on the reins helped him make his way through the maze where a stone bruise could leave him lame.

Before they reached the outcroppings, a snake slithered out in front of him. The unmistakable buzz of a rattlesnake filled the air. Heat flushed his skin and then a chill filled his veins. What. The. Hell?

He didn’t have room to jump the rattler. Once more he rose in the air, pivoted and came down outside the irate serpent’s strike range.

“Back! Get away from it!” Shep shouted.

Charlie agreed with him whole-heartedly. He started backing, ears flicking forward and then to his rider, trusting Shep to guide him with little movements of the reins.

“Just like we practiced it for that reining class,” Shep encouraged.

Yeah, they’d done this before. Nothing difficult, just tighter quarters and the risk of being lamed if he stepped wrong.

“I’ve got you. I won’t let anything happen.” Shep spoke slowly and evenly, soothing the disquiet in Charlie’s soul.

When they finally left the boulders behind, Charlie stood trembling.

Shep dropped from his back and pulled his head into a hug. “I’m really starting to hate today.” He glanced around. “We’ll take the long way. I don’t want to risk anything else jumping out at us at this point.”

Charlie sighed, but Shep was right. If they stayed in the open, nothing else should happen. If something did while they were cutting through the rocks, they could get hurt. Good thing Shep was a bronc rider or they’d have been in trouble today.

“Thirsty?” When he nodded, Shep gave him the last of the water.

They walked for a while, side-by-side, until Charlie stopped and looked pointedly at the saddle.

“Are you saying I’m too slow?”

He nudged the stirrup with his nose. If they kept on at this rate, it would be dark before they reached the ranch.

Charlie hadn’t gone two strides when a roadrunner darted in front of him with… a coyote on its tail. Seriously?! I thought that shit only happened in cartoons.

The coyote slowed and winked at him. Actually winked. Could this day get any weirder?

“You’ve got to be shitting me!”

The coyote circled Charlie and came up behind them, much closer than he liked. Coyotes usually left larger animals alone, but this one was acting strange. Could it be rabid?

The slinking shadow took another step closer and Charlie cow-kicked. His horseshoe went flying.

“Finally!” A voice he didn’t recognize shouted in triumph. The coyote snatched the glittering curve of metal out of the air and ran away.

“Hey! We need that!” Shep tugged on the hackamore, whirling Charlie, and set heels to his flanks.

Charlie didn’t even think about it, he jolted into a gallop. He had to have that horseshoe or he’d spend the rest of his life as a horse, slowly losing his humanity.

Burdened with a rider, he couldn’t seem to catch up with the coyote. But stopping to offload Shep would only insure he wouldn’t overtake the damn thing. At least, this way he could keep the mangy beast within sight and see what it did with his horseshoe.

He did manage to slowly gain on the coyote. If this went on long enough, he might catch up.

Ahead, he could see the cenote coming into view. Was the coyote headed toward the sinkhole?

He caught up with the coyote in time to watch his horseshoe arc into the air and splash into the water. The coyote grinned and disappeared into the brush with a flick of its tail.

Abso-fucking-lutely unbelievable.

 

****************

Shep’s just your average all-American cowboy. He runs his own ranch and rides the occasional saddle bronc. Nothing special there. Unless you look too closely at his boyfriend.

Descended from a long line of Native American mustang shifters, Charlie “Hoss” Running Horse is anything but average.

When Coyote takes a shine to Shep, he decides that Hoss has got to go. With the theft of the medicine horseshoe that allows Hoss to shift from mustang to human, Coyote sets his evil plan to have his way with Shep in motion.

Will Shep be able to save Hoss before it’s too late? Or will Coyote’s plan come to fruition?

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple

Snow on the Mountain, now in French

Still on the preorder page at Dreamspinner, but I have my print copy already! (And you can too, if you love turning paper pages and want to hear Jake murmuring screaming, “Oui, oui!” to Kurt. Had to fix that, because of the kitchen scene. Heh.)   Or park the Avalanche on your reader, in mobi, epub, or pdf. Because Snow on the Mountain is now Avalanche sur la Montagne.

Suite de Brasier sur la montagne

Les Montagnes, tome 2

La poudreuse, les pentes magnifiques et les élégants hôtels de la station sélect de Wapiti Creek attirent les experts et les plus fortunés, mais pour Jake Landon et Kurt Carlson, l’attrait vient du travail. Skieur novice, Jake a été assigné au télésiège de la piste pour débutants, mais Kurt craint d’être obligé de pelleter de la neige tout l’hiver. Enseigner dans une école de ski privée devrait être le boulot de ses rêves, mais ce travail provoque les rires et les regards en coin de ses nouveaux amis.

Tout l’été, Jake et Kurt sont restés seuls dans la nature. Si Jake voulait rester dans le placard, ça n’avait pas d’importance. Maintenant, ils doivent gérer leur relation en public, et les jumeaux de cinq ans qui ont désigné Jake comme camarade de ski sont aussi nuisibles que le pisteur qui craque pour lui. Les amis potentiels, les collègues vicieux et les périls de la montagne pourraient provoquer la fin de leur couple, mais pour Kurt et Jake, le plus grand danger vient de l’autre.

Thank you, Dreamspinner and Julianne Nova!  On preorder now, and available to read on August 15. 

Whoooo! Um, what’s whoo! in French?

At the Rainbow Bridge

“Thirty-five pounds of cats” in my author bio always drew a chuckle, and sometimes emails from readers measuring their pets in avoir-dupois.  Our two cats, Max and Joe, were enough to describe in this goofy way. They were big boys, even when time and age trimmed them down and I had to edit down the poundage.

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They liked being together, or possibly one wasn’t allowed to have a choice sleeping spot or lap to himself. They didn’t divvy up Mom’s lap and Dad’s lap: one was squashed by two cats while the other had none.

Max didn’t follow Joe onto the computer desk, where he supervised the publishing process. How Rocky Ridge Books gets a new story out without Publishing Cat’s direction I hardly know, though we have fewer COK* typos.

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Rather than chronicle their aging, I didn’t revise. Then when the harshest revision happened, and we lost Joe a few months ago, I updated the pet count to Old Man Cat.

Max and Youngerson shared a birthday, or so YS declared when we brought home the adult feline who was approximately the same age.

Youngerson is twenty now. Tall and strong and with the world ahead of him. And Max was twenty, too.

Max was a terrific playmate for two small boys: gentle, tolerant, inclined to stay where he was put. I would occasionally find him wearing little boy shorts, T-shirts, and five socks.  He definitely had an opinion on the wardrobe, you could see it in his eyebrows, but he never once offered to scratch.

They were always special pals in a way that left Olderson out: kitty cuddles were part of bedtime, but no matter whose bed Max was in at lights-out, he was in Youngerson’s bed by morning.  What might have been more room with a smaller boy persisted when the boy grew to six feet tall. “A man and his cat, it’s a beautiful thing,” I would joke when I found Max snuggled up against YS’s neck, and it was.

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Somehow the one space Joe never contested was Max’s territory beside Youngerson.

Olderson grew up and became a dog person and partner to a lovely young lady, and I changed my bio again, from living with two rowdy proto-adults to only one. And of course, with Old Man Cat.

Worn thin with age and medical issues, Max burned through several of his nine lives. He wore himself thinner hunting for his lost cuddle buddy.  Today, they are together again.

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And now P.D. Singer lives with her husband, one proto-adult, and a deficiency of cats.

 

*Cat on Keyboard