She hopes to open shadowed eyes

It’s been quite a week over here at Chez Cherie, I tell you what. First of all, of course, there was Thanksgiving – which was smashing. Our orphan’s ball ended up at eleven people total, jammed in sideways between our dining table and a folding banquet table I picked up on the fly.

Yes, it was a tad cramped, alas – for although our house is about 2300 square feet, it was built by Victorians…who never passed up an opportunity to subdivide a room. But that was okay. We were all friends, and there was SO MUCH FOOD, YOU GUYS. We sent people home with leftovers, it’s been four days of leftovers, and we STILL have a fridge full of leftovers.

Also, we had an improvised bar ready. We know our friends, we do.
(And yes, there was hot butter rum mix in the fridge.)

There is…somewhat less booze left over than food. Que sera.

The next day, we put everything back to normal and dragged out the Christmas tree, which I won’t bore you with here. Suffice it to say, it is a very pretty tree, dolled up in a mostly tasteful fashion.

By which I mean, of all the ornaments on display there are only two Batman pieces and just one hip flask that says “CHEERS!” So we still have a ways to go before it’s ALL BATMAN AND BOOZE and we achieve MAXIMUM TASTEFULNESS.

Unless I have this backwards.

* * *

You know what it’s time for? IT’S TIME FOR A MAPLECROFT ROUNDUP!
[:: throws confetti ::]

    Via Matt Golden over at – “With its blend of Lovecraftian themes, Grand Guignol history, and sterling craft, the book was right up my alley and I loved it. Highly recommended.”

    Courtesy of LitStack – “Maplecroft triumphs on virtually every level, and the seamless positioning of fact with macabre fiction is spot on. Regardless of your propensity towards Lovecraftian horror stories, if you enjoy superior writing and well fleshed out characters, you are going to enjoy this novel.”

    The Passionate Foodie – Lists Maplecroft as one of his top ten novels for 2014!

    Over at Backtalk…Maplecroft is held up as an example of “What’s Awesome Right Now!”

    And finally, in real life houses – Are you curious about what Maplecroft (the actual, real-life house) looks like? It’s recently been bought, and the new owner has plans for a B&B. Click the link to see some shots; it’s beautiful in there.

* * *

In other news, I temporarily halted progress on The Family Plot because – as previously noted – I am utter shit when it comes to working on two projects at once, and I really needed to finish the Chapelwood rewrites since that deadline comes first. So I did. I sent off the revised manuscript last night, and I am pretty happy with it.

Somewhat to my surprise, it’s the longest book I’ve ever written – clocking in right around 120,000 words. I assume that some of my epic fantasy friends would laugh at that, but oh well. LAUGH AWAY, FOLKS. Laugh away.

* * *

In yet OTHER news, on Saturday, Greyson and The Cooj had a dog party AND a dog afterparty. An adorable time was had by all.

* * *

And here’s recent progress on my modern gothic ghost story about a salvage crew trapped in a doomed southern mansion – now with a crunchy murder ballad center and Bonus! clandestine cemetery where the stones don’t match the bodies (and were never meant to). As inspired by a (semi)true local legend:

    Project: The Family Plot
    Deadline: January 15, 2015
    New words written: 1846
    Present total word count: 85,898

    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Actually, almost all of that was back-fill – I figured out some things that needed to be folded in and/or reinforced, so that’s what this word-count is about. No forward progress to speak of, just fleshing out.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunts with dog; lunch with a friend; went to post office; went grocery shopping; did laundry.

    Other: Yes, this is a pitiful word count, considering I haven’t updated in nearly a week. IN MY DEFENSE…besides the holiday last Thursday, I put down The Family Plot in favor of wrapping up the rewrites on Chapelwood. So that’s what’s eaten up all my work time since last I posted.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 237,276

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