Esposito County Shifters: Omnibus Edition is Live!

Phoo. After a lot of work last night, a lot of uploading today, and a buttload of updating on this here website, I can now announce that Esposito County Shifters: Omnibus Edition is available for sale at Amazon, Google Play, and Smashwords, and once SW gives approval it’ll be sent on to B&N, Apple, Kobo, et al. I’m setting the price for now at $9.99 due to Amazon’s insistence on paying a 35% royalty rate on anything over $9.99, and frankly I’m too damn tired to split it into two for Amazon so that I can price it at $14.99 elsewhere. Never mind—consider it my gift to you.

Of course I still need to make the cover for the print version—the image at right is the ebook mockup, not what it’s going to look like in print—but I think I can knock that out tonight. The print length will be around 564 pages so that’s a nice, hefty book that I feel justified at pricing at $21.99 (possibly more—I need to see what Amazon thinks about that price).

In the meantime, however, I have writing to do this afternoon so I’m going to focus on Crystal Blade and see about getting 3K knocked out on that. Assuming I don’t take a nap over my keyboard—it’s very wet here in the clavicle of Texas at the moment and we’re under a tornado watch with threat of thunderstorms and hail later this evening, and I kinda want to take a lot of painkillers and go back to bed for a couple of hours.

But I have a small business to run, so I shall simply take the painkillers and work on Crystal Blade, tra la.

I Made a Pretty

Mind you, I was appalled to find out that CoverVault had closed before I was able to purchase their multi-book box set mockup kit (damn my cheap ways), but after hunting around I found another source of decent book box set mockup templates and spent the afternoon putting this together. As soon as I can get the ebook omnibus formatted and uploaded I’ll post buy links in all the usual places.

An amusing note about this graphic; I posted it on my FB page mainly to get some egoboo and my BFF asked me if the actual print books were going to come out like this. I explained that while I could put together a physical box set, it would cost at least four figures and I would need to wait until 1) I had that kind of money, and 2) it would be for a series where I could expect to recoup the initial costs. Frex, I could turn Paladins of Crystal into a physical box set because Why Choose romance readers love print books and would be willing to buy the box set so there’s a good chance I’d make back my money. But that sort of outlay for a novella series like ECS doesn’t make financial sense.

The print version of the omnibus, however, will be out soon and is going to look amazing.

Shifter Woods: Claw Is Live!

Shifter Woods: Claw, the fourth and final novella in the now COMPLETE Esposito County Shifters series is available on Amazon and Smashwords, and will be available from all ebook outlets in a few days!

Broke and on the run, she didn’t expect to find safety with a big, grumpy wolf shifter. But can he protect her from the humans who want her dead?

A halfling wolf shifter, Angela never felt like she belonged in the human or shifter realms. But when she gets sold out to the Chicago Outfit and has to run for her life, something guides her to Esposito County and the wolf pack leader who agrees to take care of her. But she’s not going to fall in love with him, and she’s definitely not his mate.

He assumed he was going to be alone for the rest of his life. And then a beautiful brunette showed up with trouble on her tail…

As leader of the local wolf pack, Matt’s life is one of lonely duty until he rescues a lovely halfling with a hauntingly familiar scent. She’s everything he ever wanted in a mate, and she’s running from deadly trouble. But Matt knows how to handle trouble and will destroy anyone who tries to take his angel away from him.

We’re in the Home Stretch

Claw‘s final edit has been finished, thank Cthulhu. Of course, the time change has completely messed with my time sense and has in effect stolen an hour that I kinda needed right now so that’s annoying.

Needless to say, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m relatively sure it’s not an oncoming train. If I can spend tomorrow running the final polish edits and putting everything into Vellum, I should be able to release at some point on Tuesday. It’s not going to be at midnight like it would be if I’d put it on pre-order, but it’ll still be out.

I’m sorry, I know this isn’t very interesting but it’s like I’m in the last mile of a marathon and I’m just telling myself I can do it, I can do it, put one foot in front of the other and at some point I’ll cross the finish line. J.J. getting so sick last week really stole away a lot of spoons and I don’t really have my stores built back up yet, but I will get there.

So, how much does Daylight Savings Time suck for you?

Getting Closer

I need to do something nice for myself this week because I am tired, people. I have two more chapters in Claw to edit before I can do the s/g/p pass and polish, I need to clean this entire damn house because the HVAC people are coming on 3/22 to do their system inspection, there’s the daily loads of laundry to run through the washer and dryer, I really need to carve out some time and get some jewelry made because I need money now and not in three months, I’m still checking on J.J. every couple of hours to make sure he doesn’t need anything, and then there’s the Patreon, the podcast, and all the other things I need to get set up but need a clear chunk of time to do so.

I guess it’s better than being bored. But man, I would absolutely love to have a cruise to look forward to right about now…

Crunch Time

I couldn’t release Shifter Woods: Claw last week due to J.J. trying to die on me, so barring him actually dying I am going to release it this upcoming week if it absolutely kills me.

I’m currently entering all the edits, then I have to do a spelling/gramma/punctuation check with Word’s spelling/grammar engine (which is stronger than Scrivener’s), then I have to do a final polish, THEN I’m going to import the MS into Vellum and put the book together there, then create the three different files needed for Amazon, Smashwords, and Google Play.

And then I get to import the other books in the series into Vellum and do the same tripartite thing for all of them, then upload to Amazon and Smashwords. Hopefully by St. Patrick’s Day all of the various outlets will have the books and they’ll be making me money.

Of course, once that’s all done I have to put together the omnibus. Apparently there’s a specific way to create the TOC for an omnibus in Vellum so I need to look that up again. Grah. I need clones.

Learned a New Skill Today

Did you know that if your cat is constipated because 1) he hasn’t eaten for five days and 2) his failing kidneys mean water goes straight through him so his stools get hard and painful, and you 3) don’t have a feline-specific enema on hand, that you can administer a warm water enema using a really, really small syringe?

Did you also know that once he’s produced a small nugget but can’t pass the main mass currently in his colon, that you can carefully inject more warm water up his poor straining pooper duper, then very, very gently get your fingers around said colon and help him squeeze it out?

Yeah, neither did I. Also didn’t know cats could sigh in relief but they can. In associated news J.J.’s GI tract is working and he’s pooping with a little help from his ‘rents. He will also be getting a daily stool softener from now on, and some feline-specific medical enemas are on their way from Amazon Just In Case (BTW, never use human enemas on a cat—the chemicals in it will completely trash the cat’s kidneys and possibly kill it).

In writing news I’m finishing up the edits on Shifter Woods: Claw in between squeezing poop out of my cat’s butt, so Claw will be out next Tuesday along with the Esposito County Shifters omnibus if it is the last thing I ever do. Phoo.

I’m Definitely Getting My Steps In

This is now my average day:

  • Wake up, get cleaned up and dressed
  • Come downstairs and feed the cats
  • Change J.J.’s bedding, give him a sponge bath, and make sure that he eats and drinks
  • Get him settled and comfortable, then get laundry started
  • Grab breakfast
  • Head upstairs for an hour to do some work
  • Come back downstairs to check on JJ and see if he wants to eat or drink
  • Switch the laundry from washer to dryer, start another load
  • Go back upstairs and continue to work
  • Continue to check on J.J. and the laundry every hour, taking time off at noon to eat lunch
  • Mid-afternoon, come down and give J.J. his sub-q fluids
  • Finish off the work day
  • Go out and do the food shopping
  • Make dinner
  • Clean/fix anything that needs to be cleaned/fixed (today I relubed the deck for the treadmill)
  • Cuddle J.J., tell him that he’s an awesome boy as he wobbles around the living room and kitchen, and get him situated on clean bedding
  • Go upstairs, take a shower, and crash hard

Mind you, things will ease up once J.J. feels better and everything settles down again (or, to be honest, he dies). But for now I’m splitting my time between taking care of him and writing/editing, with as much housework as I can fit in around the edges. Think good thoughts for me, please.

So … Um .. Well…

I was upstairs in the bathroom this morning when Lyndon burst in and told me that he’d tried offering J.J. a small bowl of Fancy Feast sirloin flavor to see if he was feeling any better before we took him to the vet’s office.

J.J. started eating the kibble.

After finishing up I came downstairs and checked out the Elderly Gentleman. J.J. still looked like death warmed over but his goopy eyes were clearing up, he seemed more alert, and he was indeed nibbling at kibble. I gave him 150 ml of sub-q fluid, then offered him some warmed kitten milk on the basis that if he was hungry I wanted him to eat something that was mild and easy to digest. He swallowed the whole 3 ml syringe.

Okay, then. I gave him a sponge bath, plopped him down on some clean bedding, and he watched Lyndon make some breakfast. Over the next four hours I slowly fed him an additional 9 ml of kitten milk for a total of 12 ml by noon. He seemed ready for a nap at that point so I got him situated on a bed and headed off to the vet to pick up a fresh banana bag and some more painkillers, then came home and went upstairs to work. About a half hour ago I came down and picked J.J. up, carrying him into the kitchen while I filled a bowl of water for another sponge bath. That’s when he hung over my arm and meowed meaningfully at the food bowls.

I am not one to miss a signal. I washed him, put him back on his bed, hurried off to fill a shallow dish with kibble, and came back to find him standing (albeit propped up against the side of the futon). I got him settled down again and he happily gobbled down about three tablespoons of kibble (for a cat who hasn’t had any solid food since Friday morning that was a LOT) followed by a big drink of water. After that he curled up and went back to sleep.

Now, he is still old and in end-stage renal failure, that hasn’t changed. He is still going to die, if not today then probably soon. But our milestone was, “If he starts eating again, we’ll cancel the appointment.” He started eating so we’re keeping up our side of the bargain. He hasn’t tried walking yet but since he did get up earlier I wouldn’t be surprised to find him hobbling around the place in a day or two.

I don’t know if it was the painkiller I gave him last night that allowed him to sleep, or the good thoughts coming from everyone, or the fact that he is one stubborn little cuss. But for the moment it seems that J.J. has followed in the footsteps of Arya Stark.

Palliative Care

Yesterday I put J.J. down in a patch of sunlight for an hour (his favorite thing in the world), then gave him 150 mls of sub-q fluids and got him very reluctantly to swallow about 3 ml of watered down Lick ‘n’ Lap. After that I gave him a long cuddle, reclining on the couch and letting him curl up on my chest with his head on my shoulder while I petted him and told him what an awesome cat he is, before putting him back on the futon to sleep.

He was in the same position this morning that he was in when I went to bed last night, and his bedding was soaked with urine. I bathed him, put him on clean bedding and switched out the wet pads and bedding, then ran out and picked up some kitten formula. He even more reluctantly swallowed about a ml before gagging, tossing his head back and forth, and holding his paws up in front of his mouth. So yeah, I think he’s officially done.

I’m working downstairs today so that I can listen for him and give him water every hour, change out his bedding as necessary, and give him cuddles. He still lifts his head when he hears my voice, but he doesn’t have the strength to get up or do much more than flick his tail. This is breaking Ramón’s heart because it makes J.J. still seem compos mentis, but I know how tired he is and I’d rather take him in to the vet now than make him suffer for another week or however long it would take before his body finally gives up.

His appointment is at 1:30 PM tomorrow. And I’m sitting here crying as I write this because I am going to miss him so damned much. But it’s the right thing to do.