What a week!

Speaking of prizes, congrats to the two winners of VENUS ENVY arcs this week… PamK and Wende will both be getting their very own advanced copies in the mail very soon. Sure hope you enjoy them!

Great news this morning! VENUS ENVY was reviewed by Publishers Weekly. How rocking is that? I haven’t determined yet if it is just online or in print also. Here are some of the highlights:

Told from the alternating viewpoints of Venus and Rachel, the story puts a fresh spin on the classic fairy godmother story, and Venus—catty and generous with her barbed wit—is cut from different cloth than the standard well-behaved fairy.




McKelden’s sharp sense of humor pulls plenty of weight.


Works for me!! 

It’s too late now for me to tell all about my, um, adventures this week. Oh, I can tell you about one of them, I guess.

So, on Thursday, after two days of just too much drama around here, I’m outside doing the mundane chore of cleaning a cat box (UGH!) when all of a sudden, I feel what feels like a bite on my leg. I smack the side of my leg, thinking, “Oh, shit! I got these jeans off the bathroom floor this morning…what if there was a spider in them?!” Like I would have had a spider in my pants all day without noticing. Right. (Notice I’m not chastizing myself for leaving my clothes on the floor all night, just trying to decide the logic of not noticing a spider in them, which wouldn’t even have a chance to be there if I didn’t leave my clothes on the floor in the first place.)

I let go and return to cleaning the cat box (figuring it was just a sticker or something), when I feel this bite again! Damn! That hurts! I smack my leg again, feel nothing, but decide I’d better get the pants off quick. As I turn to go into the house, I feel yet another bite!!


Don’t try to picture me running through the house, stripping off my pants as I go. It wasn’t pretty. I get to the bathroom, throw my pants on the floor and proceed to stomp the heck out of them, just in case whatever had sunk its fangs into me was still alive.

When I am completely sure IT is dead, I inspect my leg. Sure enough, there are two fang marks, about a quarter inch apart, as well as a third bump forming another quarter inch from them, forming a triangle. All three spots are swelling already. I begin to panic. I mean, I’m a medical transcriptionist. I’ve typed reports before. I know what happens when spider bites go bad.

While taking a wire bristled scrub brush and antibacterial soap to my leg…okay, it wasn’t a wire brush, but it kinda felt like one with the vigorousness of my attack on it…I wonder what I should do. Take Benadryl? Go to the emergency room NOW instead of tomorrow, when I’m sure I’ll be waking up to a half gangrenous leg wound? (Oh, who was I kidding, I wouldn’t be waking up tomorrow, because there was no way I’d be able to sleep while worrying about flesh-eating disease taking over. I’d be awake all night. Maybe I should just sleep in the bathroom with the light on, so I’d know at what exact moment the spider venom took over my body.)

After scrubbing, I apply a generous layer of antibiotic ointment to the now mountainous fang marks on my leg. I change into a pair of shorts so nothing can obstruct my view of my leg as it loses color and begins to fester. The jeans go straight into the wash pile without another glance, as there is no way I am sticking my hand in them to see if Mr. Spidey is still alive.

I have to go out and finish the litter cleaning (wouldn’t do to die with stinky cat smell in the house), so I hobble toward the back door again, trying to decide if I should menton to my husband where the life insurance policies are kept just in case the spider venom takes over more quickly than I anticipate and I don’t even make it through the night. As I open the back door, I prayed I won’t see The Spider Who Shall Not Be Named, because I know that actually seeing it will just freak me out further (can we say phobia?).

But as the door opens fully, a stray ray of sunshine slips inside, and as I step over the threshold I see it. It is upside down, legs in the air, wiggling just a little in its final agonizing breaths. It is black…with little yellow stripes. And at one time–probably right before I brained it by slamming its head between my fist and my calf–it had been able to fly. As in right up my pant leg.

It was a yellow jacket. A simple bee.

I nearly sink to the floor in praise. I’m not going to die! I’m not going to lose a leg to flesh-eating disease or be struck mad by spider venom! Halleluah!

Then I stomp that sucker flat and kick his dead body out into the driveway.

Little bastard. Sting me why don’t you?