Rainy Monday

So, yesterday was a work day, and I worked.  Five hundred words on an as-yet nameless short piece destined for a chapbook; and about 2,000 words on Fifth of Five.

Today. . .isn’t looking good on the work front.  Our very efficient agent has lined up a tour of our list of possible houses, which is going to eat most-if-not-all of the afternoon.  This morning, I need to do the dishes I ignored yesterday because — working, and also clean the cat fountain, which as decided to stop fountaining.  I Suspect Cat Fur in the motor; it’s happened before.  Somewhere in there, too, I need to call the doctor because This Has Gone on Long Enough, and wedge in an evening appointment.  Or maybe early tomorrow.

So that.

On the topic of shorter works (by which I mean not novels), is there a story you — yes, you! — would like to read?  I anticipate that we will be writing several new stories/new chapbooks, and we’re open to suggestions.  Let me know in comments.

And now. . .I’d better get with the dishes.

Everybody stay dry.

Oh:  Fifth of Five +/-39,000 of a theoretical +/-100,000 words
Titleless short story 500 words of whoknows

Snippet:  In the port city of Solcintra, on a certain day in the third relumma of the year called Phantione, a boy was delivered to the delm of Clan Serat, who did not want him.

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It’s seven o’clock and I wanna rock

I seem to have mislain my (old and falling apart) copy of The Prince and the Pauper.  Fortunately, I downloaded a copy from Project Gutenberg some time back.

Let’s see. . .yesterday was Friday — errand day in town.  We had an early appointment with a loan officer, who thinks far more of our finances than we do; which is fine, as she herself said.  No need to spend up to the limit, after all.

After the bank, we went next door to AAA, and had the nice lady make our train reservations To Memphis And Back Again.  We have tickets and receipt in hand.  Note to self: remember to forward receipt to the con for reimbursement.

After that, we went to the vet to pick up some cat food, to Tractor Supply for ditto, and to Hannaford, to pick up prescriptions and foodly things.  Came home, and had crab cakes and fresh steamed green beans for supper.  Mmmmm.

We hired a buyer’s agent, who has taken our modest list and will begin lining up showings, and I actually got some work done, too.

This morning, I read a short piece that will soon be posted for subscribers on our Patreon page (Belle participating by sitting on my lap, and purring.  Loudly.  Listeners will probably be able to hear her.  I hope they’ll be able to hear me.)  When I finish this blog post, I’ll do the dishes, and then! — I’ll sort laundry.

No, I don’t know how I stand the pace, either.

Fifth of Five now at 37,000ish words out of a probable, oh, let’s see. . .100,000?

Captain Waitley wasn’t quite what Portmaster Liu had been expecting.

No, scratch that, in a lot of ways, Captain Waitley was exactly what Portmaster Liu had been expecting: short for a Terran, tall for a Liaden, lean for the height she did have; shoulders showing attitude under a Jump jacket older and bigger than she was. Whatever else she was – and recklessly negligent wasn’t off the table, in Portmaster Liu’s not-exactly-objective opinion – Theo Waitley was definitely a member of Boss Conrad’s extended family, Clan Korval. Portmaster Liu had been spending a lot of time lately with the Boss and the Boss’s little brother, the Road Boss; she knew the family look when she saw it.

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In which the day is Thursday and Thursday is the day

First, because I know y’all have been holding your breath — two! editors give “Block Party” a thumbs-up, so that will be published to Baen.com on or about December 15, where you — yes, you! — may read it in all it’s glory, for free.

Second, I’ve spent the last two days under the weather — yes, I do wish the weather would pick on someone else, but there you have it.  Tuesday, I just threw in the towel, retired to the corner of the couch, dozed under a blanket of coon cats and read Wildfire at Midnight, possibly my least favorite Stewart, but next in publication order.  Yesterday, I started feeling well enough by evening to write about 2,000 words in a continuing direction in Fifth of Five, so that’s all good.  This morning, I’m definitely feeling more the thing; still, I’m lingering over coffee, keeping  a weather-eye out, before I go off to gym.

This morning, it is quite chilly, and I am wearing the fleece-lined-flannel shirt/jacket (it has sideseam pockets, which I suppose makes it a jacket, rather than a shirt), over the “If you can read this, I have your ring” tshirt.  Steve asked how the flannel shirt felt, and after I finished cooing about how soft and warm it was, wondered if I should buy another.  And, yanno; I’m seriously considering it.  Best. Shirt. Ever.  Even if it is orange.

I may have been remiss here in mentioning that the Narbonic Kickstarter has only 11 more days to go.  They have made their nut, and are into the stretch goals, but if you were a fan back in The Day, you know you want to check this out.

And that?  Is the news that’s fit to print.  I do believe I’ll go to gym.

Fifth of Five still weighing in the 35,000 range, what with this and that.

Snippet

Bitter Truth?” she asked, feeling her eyebrows rise. “Who names a tea Bitter Truth?”

“Obviously, the White Wing Beverage Company does, though in earnest or in jest, I dare not speculate.”

 

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Books read in 2017

55. Wildfire at Midnight, Mary Stewart (e) (re-read)
54. Madam, Will You Talk?, Mary Stewart (e) (re-read)
53. Princess Holy Aura, Ryk E. Spoor (e)
52.  Epitaph, Mary Doria Russell
51. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (e)
50. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (e)
49. The Cat Who Played Brahms, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
48. Where the Dead Lie, C.S. Harris
47. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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How would I know; why should I care?

The Box from LL Bean arrived.  The slippers are already on my feet, and the fleece-lined flannel shirt?  Baby, this garment is never coming off of my body.

Today’s regular mail brought royalties — that’s statements and checks — for electronic sales made through Baen.com.  So, yay! money in the mail.

Yesterday, we turned in “Block Party,” the requested seasonal story in support of Neogenesis.  This one was something of a challenge, because the request was for “seasonal,” and one naturally doesn’t like to disappoint one’s editor.  However, neither Liadens nor Surebleakeans can possibly celebrate “Christmas;” nor were we persuaded that they would celebrate any of the other winter holidays native to our own Earth.  What that meant was that we had to figure out the “notes” for a seasonal story, and try to construct an in-world story that hit those notesNot really sure we did it right, but our editor promises a quick reading.

Today, it’s back to the salt mines Fifth of Five.  But first?  Lunch, and perhaps even a nap.

Everybody have a good day.

Today’s blog post brought to you by two bands:  The Zombies, who did the original in 1965; and Santana, who covered it in 1977:  “She’s Not There.”

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Hearphones Update

Frequent readers of this journal will recall that Steve and I drove to Burlington Massachusetts back in mid-September in order to explore and experience the Bose Hearphones.  We undertook this pilgrimage because I am losing my hearing, as one does, and find it particularly difficult to hear my tablemates in restaurants and bars.  As a writer, of course, I spend much of my time in bars, hotel lobbies, restaurants, and other noisy places, so this deficiency was starting to affect my work.

So, the Hearphones, which not only have directional amplification, but noise-cancelling.  I took them with me to Baltimore, where they received a series of stern tests; the sternest of which was at The Tilted Kilt.

For those who are, as I was, ignorant of this eating establishment — it’s Hooters in Plaid.  It is also one of those places that believes that NOISE IS GOOD.  MORE NOISE MEANS WE’RE HAVING FUN!  LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF FUN!

In fact, The Tilted Kilt is exactly the kind of place that I have in the past actually bolted away from, once the door has been opened sufficiently for the din to escape; and I can feel it strip away whole decibel levels.

Sensing an Opportunity, however, I nodded to Steve and we went in to have lunch.  It was noisy.  Ghod, it was noisy.  An array of televisions were on and blaring over the bar, the music was blasting straight down — and it was just such a constant assault, you could barely pull together enough concentration to read the menu.

I put on the Hearphones, and — I could still hear the music, and it was LOUD.  And right then, I said to Steve, “These things don’t work.  I’m taking them back.”

. . .and I took the plugs out of my ears.

Oh.

My.

Ghod.

The Hearphones worked.  They really did work.  I couldn’t get the plugs back in fast enough.

“I’m keeping them,” I said to Steve.

Now, there was a downside.  Though I could, though the magic of technology, dampen the music to merely stupid levels, and I could zoom in on Steve, so I could hear him?

He, working with plain old, unaugmented human ears, couldn’t hear a word I said.

So, I’m keeping the Hearphones.  I still need to get used to hearing my own voice inside my ears, and listening to oneself eat is kinda off-putting, but with practice many things are possible.

Also, I seem to have overcome the early problems I had with keeping them charged — operator error due to misunderstanding regarding the controls.  I had assumed that they would turn themselves off after X time of not receiving a bluetooth signal from the phone.  Nope.  Gotta turn them OFF.

Here ends my report.

EDITED TO ADD:  Google is apparently not your friend in this, and even a search on BOSE HEARPHONES does not return a good result.  Therefore!  Here’s your link.

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Books read in 2017

54. Madam, Will You Talk?, Mary Stewart (e) (re-read)
53. Princess Holy Aura, Ryk E. Spoor (e)
52.  Epitaph, Mary Doria Russell
51. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (e)
50. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (e)
49. The Cat Who Played Brahms, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
48. Where the Dead Lie, C.S. Harris
47. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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Books read in 2017

53. Princess Holy Aura, Ryk E. Spoor (e)
52.  Epitaph, Mary Doria Russell
51. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (e)
50. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (e)
49. The Cat Who Played Brahms, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
48. Where the Dead Lie, C.S. Harris
47. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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Friday the Thirteenth

Excellent day; sunny and crisp.

I seem to have caught a cold; or a cold has caught me, so, in celebration, I’ve ordered in a pair of Mr. Bean’s Wicked Good Slippers and a flannel jacket-shirt lined with fleece, in orange plaid.  Because orange plaid was on sale, and brought the price down from Ruinous to Merely Outrageous.

What else?  I’ve meditated for two days in a row, been to the gym, and managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour.  I did sleep in this morning, but it wasn’t my fault!  Three coon cats ganged up on me and held me under the covers.

I have been remiss in mentioning here that Pinbeam Books has committed The Tomorrow Log to paper.  Here’s your link.  I note that it is also and has since 2011 been constantly available as an ebook from all the Usual Suspects, though Amazon seems unwilling to associate the two editions in its catalog.

I’ve been slowly slipping back into Fifth of Five, which does indeed seem to be aspiring to the working title Monkey Business.  We shall see.  In the meanwhile, I’m glad Neogenesis gave me all that practice in writing in chunks, ’cause that’s how this one wants to be written, too.  Yes, yes, I said never again.  The author is always the last to know.

Today, in honor of the cold, and despite sleeping in, I have placed NAP on the to-do list, along with the other glamorous tasks that fall to a working writer, such as cleaning the cat fountain, straightening away at least some of this stuff, doing the dishes, oh, and actually working on the manuscript.

I’ll try to get back to reporting progress, though a total word count isn’t really going to be possible — see writing in chunks, above.

Yesterday, then, I added 850 new words to the WIP and cleaned up some really rugged sentences.  The manuscript, in, I hesitate to say total, weighs in at something more-or-less close to 35,000 words.  This counts. . .cohesive chunks.

Everybody confused now?  Good.  Have a snippet:

The little Healer was not a monster, though he had wielded necessity like a surgeon’s knife, terrifying in his virtue.

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Books read in 2017

52.  Epitaph, Mary Doria Russell
51. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (e)
50. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (e)
49. The Cat Who Played Brahms, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
48. Where the Dead Lie, C.S. Harris
47. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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