Housing Stuff Is Happening!

ESO Housing

ESO housing stuff, that is. Naturally. My real-world dwelling is still a crappy old apartment.

I took five days off as a birthday gift to myself. Needless to say, I’ve done nothing much productive, and spent a whole hell of a lot of time gaming. (I actually did some 3D artwork. Shh, don’t tell anyone I accomplished something!) And, wonder of wonders, I’ve started sorting out some of my housing disasters! Despite the frustrations of lag, frame drop, and miserable low frame rates brought on by the release of the latest chapter.

So. Two places got minor updates a few weeks ago that I completely forgot about until I used them for fast travel and surprised myself. Here they are, Linchal Grand Manor with its new purple-flowering trees, and Potentate’s Retreat with a big statue that has an amazingly bright light.

Stuff I actually did this weekend, as opposed to stumbling across by accident, was a whole ton of gardening. Daggerfall Overlook was a big mess up until a couple days ago. There were a couple things inside, and the big barn outside was packed with plants.

Yes, as a matter of fact, those big trees do stick right through the roof. I tossed ’em in there for storage. But they’ve all come out now, and found nice places to grow in. The inside of the house is still super empty, but I made one small improvement, something that goes along with the backstory of the family that currently owns the estate. The ancestor that earned enough money to buy the place killed a dragon, you see…

The other place to have a dramatic change was the Thieves’ Oasis. This overgrown and thoroughly awesome place is going to be a shared home base for all of my characters, at least the ones I have now. I plopped some random things in there a while back, and made, of course, a mess.

Today I used the house to travel to and discovered that I’d made an even bigger mess outside.

Once again, I dropped all the future landscaping in a big pile and ignored it. Today, encouraged by my success with the other big pile of plants, I dove right in and started planting. Then I even managed to start organizing the stuff inside.

And yes, I know. It’s downright ridiculous to plant big trees on rooftop terraces. But that’s where I want them, and that’s where they’ll stay!

There you have it, folks, the result of me finally getting organized enough to do something with my virtual houses! Who knows when they’ll be finished, but at least they’ve been properly started.

My Land

personal

Rather than tell a long, involved story, with too much information, and likely boring the life out of anyone who reads this, I’ll try to keep this simple. I love the desert. I’ve been trying to buy a bit of desert for over twenty years, and failing. This time, it worked!

My criteria for buying land have always been the same. Between two and forty acres, preferably desert, low or no down payment, low monthly payment, residential zoning preferred but recreational will do in a pinch. This time, I found a place that fits all of the above! 2.53 acres, high desert, very far away from anyone else. The price is more than the land is worth, but I don’t care, because the payments are low and it’ll be paid off in six years. Not to mention the “no credit check” part of the financing. That’s worth paying a little extra, because it meant there was no chance they’d say no.

If all goes well, I will pay off the loan, then find a way to plop a mobile home or a cabin on the place, and have a chance to retire from full-time ass-busting sixty hours a week dog grooming. *does happy dance*

If all doesn’t go well, and I can’t put a home on the land anytime soon, no problem! Because it’s up at about 8000 feet, in a high valley that is very far away from any light pollution, and I have a place to take my telescope! *does more happy dance*

The place is located smack up against Wild Horse Mesa, in the San Luis Valley. Wild horses actually live there, so it’s open range. No fences allowed. The whole drive down there I was wondering if there was any way I could get cactus to grow at such a high altitude, where the winters get colder than crap. No worries, the place is covered in little prickly pears! And horse shit! I’m probably the only person that’s not a biologist that gets insanely happy over a pile of shit. But weird or not, I’m totally thrilled to have piles of wild horse crap all over the place. I also spotted elk and deer turds, and of course lots of rabbit crap. I saw tracks from something that might have been either a bighorn sheep–no, I don’t know for sure they live out there–or, more likely, an antelope. No matter what critter left the tracks, I’m happy to have it. Wildlife is awesome.

Enough blabbing. Check out my little piece of the high desert. And, for anyone who cares about such things, I have a decent view of Mount Blanca, one of the Four Sacred Mountains. That is just plain amazing.

PROMO: Hearts Ablaze

Promo

A.D. Ellis has a new contemporary MM romance out: “Hearts Ablaze.”

Chase Steele and Xander Copperfield are down on their luck, as similar as they are different, and ready for a love they didn’t even realize they’d been waiting on their whole lives.

With two gorgeous “tough guys” discovering and exploring their true selves, Hearts Ablaze is a steamy, slow-burn, friends-to-lovers, opposites attract, bisexual awakening romance.

*This is the first book in the Forged in the City series.*

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About the Series:

Love will find you whether you’re ready for it or not. Join the men of the Forged in the City series as they navigate the twists and turns of falling in love when it’s least expected. This series contains steamy, M/M age-gap, opposites-attract, friends-to-lovers romance tropes.

Series Link


Giveaway

A.D. is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

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Excerpt

Hearts Ablaze Meme

As I quietly opened the door, I was overcome with nervous anticipation. Sage and Bode were nice, they invited me to stay, there was no reason to feel like I was intruding or needed to sneak around.

Yet, I found myself just outside of the kitchen eavesdropping on Sage and Bode. I hadn’t meant to slink in the shadows and listen to their conversation, I just wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted to be and their words caught my attention. Before I knew what was happening, I was spying like a damn spying spier.

“Think about it. It’s like fate. Remember when you didn’t want me to move in here? You did everything you could to convince the guys to pick someone else. But you ended up with me and it turned out to be fabulous.” Sage’s words were low and persuasive. “Ginny finds her long-lost nephew, he discovers his aunt and a sister he never knew, and it looked very much like he and Xan are totally hitting it off.”

“Babe, he’s a complete stranger.” Bode’s words were gruff.

“Ginny had his records checked. You checked his records—even had Mark check them which I’m still not okay with. We could run a complete check for employment.” Sage paused and I heard the soft noises of a gentle kiss.

Bode groaned.

I was a total perv hiding in the shadows and getting turned on knowing Sage and Bode were kissing.

“We need an employee. We have an extra room.” Sage was laying it on thick. “We could help bring two siblings together and maybe even strike a love connection.”

Bode began to speak, but I missed what he said because I nearly shit myself as Rosie gripped my hand and basically screamed, “Whatcha doin? Why you hidin?”

Sage and Bode stuck their heads out of the kitchen and I prayed to melt into a puddle right there. Rosie shrugged when she realized it wasn’t a game and went back to playing with Oliver.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to listen in.” My words poured from me like the pathetic excuse they were. “Really, I came for coffee, heard Sage and didn’t want to interrupt. By the time I realized you were talking about me, it was too late and I was frozen.” I ran a hand over my face, my cheeks on fire. “Shit, I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t sweat it,” Sage assured and waved a dismissive hand in the air. “Coffee?”

Since I wasn’t lucky enough to die on the spot, I nodded and entered the kitchen. “Yes, please.”

“Well, what would you think?” Bode leaned against the counter.

“About?” I stammered.

Sage beamed at Bode. It was clear Sage had won. Something told me Sage often won when it came to winning over Bode.

“Sage is right. We do need an employee at The Lizard. We lost quite a few people to college graduation or busy school schedules.” Bode shrugged. “We planned on inviting you to be around as much as possible to build a relationship with Rosie. If you’d be willing to have a complete background check, the position and room are yours.”

I stared at him for years. Decades even.

“What’s wrong with him? Did I break him?” Bode scowled and spoke out of the corner of his mouth to Sage.

Sage chuckled and moved closer to me. He pushed my jaw up. “Close your mouth, sweetie.” He stepped between me and Bode. “Chase, would you like a job at The Salty Lizard? It’s not glamorous or exciting.” He frowned. “Actually, it can be kinda exciting sometimes. And it’s always fun. Great people.” He dipped his head to catch my eyes. “Chase? Job? You want it?”

I nodded and tried to work my sandpapery thick tongue. “Yes, yes, of course, I want it.” I tried to breathe, but my lungs seemed to be faltering.

“We have a room here. You’d pay rent, but it’s a decent price. We’d set some ground rules. You’d have to be okay living with kids.” Sage spoke slowly as if trying to explain quantum physics to me. “Would you like the room?”

“I, um, I just can’t. I mean, yes, of course I’d want the room, but I can’t ask you guys to give me a job, give me a room, and let me hang with my sister. It’s too much.” I moved to the right and leaned against the sink.

“Want to talk about the rent and salary? Make a decision from there?” Sage patted my arm.

I nodded mutely.

Sage went to check on the kids and set them up with crayons and coloring books along with Kidz Bop on a tablet.


Author Bio

A.D. Ellis is an Indiana girl, born and raised. She spends much of her time in central Indiana as an instructional coach/teacher in the inner city of Indianapolis, being a mom to two amazing school-aged children, and wondering how she and her husband of almost two decades have managed to not drive each other insane. A lot of her time is also devoted to phone call avoidance and her hatred of cooking.

She loves chocolate, wine with friends, pizza, crocheting and naps along with reading and writing romance. These loves don’t leave much time for housework, much to the chagrin of her husband. Who would pick cleaning the house over a nap or a good book? She uses any extra time to increase her fluency in sarcasm.

Author Website: https://www.adellisauthor.com

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ESO: Domus Phrasticus

ESO Housing

*happy dance*

I got it, I got it! Yay! After months of trying to save gold, spending all my gold, remembering I was supposed to save my gold… I finally have the house on the edge of Craglorn.

It’s funny, I tend to feel a tiny bit guilty when I buy an ESO house with crowns, just because I don’t like people blatantly flaunting their ability to buy stuff, and some of the ESO houses are freaking expensive with real-world money. So I feel a little bit bad. Just a bit, because I earn every bit of the money I spend, but enough. But when I worked in the game for ages and ages to earn a pile of gold instead of just dropping some cash on crowns and buying it the easy way… suffice it to say I was really ridiculously proud of myself today.

So here it is in the raw, unfurnished state, the Domus Phrasticus:

While I was rejoicing in my new acquisition, I also decided what my next housing project will be. Two of my characters are related, and one of the houses is their ancestral home, so I figured I’d better finish decorating that place. Since, of course, I already know the backstory of the characters, and what the ancestral home should look like, and precisely why one of them has been living in the Domus Phrasticus for the last ten years or so… Shh! Don’t tell anybody I just bought it! 😉

A brief update on my ESO housing project…

ESO Housing

A while back, I decided “no more houses unless I can buy them with in-game gold,” at least for a little while, because I needed to focus on paying real-life bills and not spending more bucks on in-game houses that do me absolutely no good in the real world. That resolve broke briefly when I saw the Thieves’ Oasis–an absolute no-brainer, I had to have that house–but I’ve behaved myself very well.

And now, after much effort and the creation of three new characters to supplement my daily writ income, I’m on the verge of success. Tomorrow I’ll have enough in-game gold to buy the Domus Phrasticus. At 295,000 gold, it was a genuine struggle for me to save the bucks, because I tend to spend in-game money just as fast as I do real life money.

And just wait, someday soon I’ll most likely inflict whatever I go through decorating it upon you, along with the backstory of the character who’s going to live there! =^..^=

PROMO: Warrior’s Way

Promo

Warrior's Way - M.J. Calabrese

M.J. Calabrese has a new Gay/Bi mystery thriller out: “Warrior’s Way.” And there’s a giveaway!

Friends since childhood, Albuquerque detective Eagle Woodard and criminal profiler Adam Coulter are dragged into a serial killer case. Gay couples are being murdered and tortured and the FBI needs their help to capture the sadistic murderer.

Deciding to implement a plan to trap the killer, Adam and Eagle go undercover as an involved gay couple. Or is it really pretend?

Faced with their toughest challenge yet, they must find the active serial killer before he strikes again. With the powers that be not cooperating and the killer proving to be elusive, will Eagle and Adam be able to stop the murderer while navigating their changing relationship?

Please Note: This is the first book in an ongoing story arc. Although the case is solved, the relationship ends on a cliffhanger. Contains graphic violence and scenes of torture.

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Giveaway

M.J. is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

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Excerpt

Warriors Way Meme

The cool wind attacked Eagle Woodard’s body as he fell head over heels. He tumbled, body tightly tucked as he cleared the modified Cessna, momentarily catching sight of the blue, cloudless horizon before stretching out to embrace the air. Below him, the rust toned surrealist canvas of desert and mountains began to take shape as he allowed himself to freefall through the biting tempest. The winds transformed his tanned face, warping it into a mad, Joker-esque grin.

The former Army Ranger set his plan into motion.  Pulling his muscular arms tightly against his torso, the angle of his descent began to change. ‘I feel the need, the need for speed.’ If the wind hadn’t been so brutal, he would’ve laughed. How many times had they used those iconic words in training? At 38, it felt like a lifetime ago.

Eagle tilted his head down. He pressed his legs together with toes pointed toward the heavens, becoming a human bullet streaking through the atmosphere. He could feel the friction heating his head and shoulders. His dark, goggle covered eyes flickered to the left, quickly gauging his altitude in relation to the horizon. One…, two…, three seconds passed.

Eagle reveled in the multitude of sensations inundating his body. The angry roar of the wind deafened him. The white noise of the rushing air blotted out all sound except for the popping of the black, nylon jumpsuit. The wind strained the cloth protecting him almost to its limit. The powerful, talon-like turbulence threatened to shred his clothes, leaving him bare and unprotected from the tempest. The bee sting lash of his long, raven ponytail as it whipped against his neck and face revitalized and reddened his brown skin.

Four…, five…, six…, seven…, eight.’  With an eerie calm, Woodard counted the seconds. As he drew closer and closer to terra firma, his confidence in his abilities never wavered. Here he was master. Here he was the great bird of his people’s folklore. He was the embodiment of Atsáh, the Eagle, swooping with deadly accuracy toward his prey on the ground.

The Albuquerque homicide Detective didn’t need to see his altimeter. He knew he only had a few more moments of precious freedom. Reluctantly, his right hand moved reflexively to the left side of his chest. Gripping the cold metal ring, he tugged.

A grunt of air was forced from his lungs. The nylon straps crisscrossing his body suddenly tightened, drawing him up. Eagle grimaced as pain seared up his back. The sudden opening of his parachute at this rate of speed aggravated more than one old injury. Gravity, the purveyor of his discomfort, pressed his chin to his chest for an instant before the strain of rapid deceleration eased.

With skill born of countless jumps, Eagle maneuvered the billowing canopy toward his destination. Calculating the high desert cross winds, he made a last-minute correction which allowed him to plant his right foot firmly onto the center of the large, white cross target. As his left foot touched down, he leaned back, encouraging his chute to take the rest of the breeze until it collapsed and fell impotent to the sand. Instantly, the tall man began to gather the yards of thin ripstop nylon and cord into his arms, beating down any last show of resistance from the exuberant ram-air parachute.

Turning, Eagle reached up and pulled his goggles from his face just as his cell phone rang. Pulling it from his zippered pocket, he grimaced at the sight of the familiar number.

“I thought I was supposed to have a day off, Captain.”

“You do, but I’ve got an FBI agent here that needs to talk with you. Says you knew his brother. Here, talk to him.”

“Detective Woodard, my name is Kessler. Rick Kessler. I think you served with my brother, Dean, in the Army.”

The voice and the name triggered unpleasant memories of a time he had tried to bury. He couldn’t tell if it was his Spanish or Navajo side sending a warning chill up his spine. Suddenly, Eagle realized the man on the other end of the line was waiting.

“Yeah, sorry. Yeah, I remember Dean. He died in Afghanistan, didn’t he? Sorry.”

What Woodard remembered was what a closeted bastard the guy had been and how he’d used the knowledge of Eagle’s own closeted sexuality against him. Threatening to report him and risking dishonorable discharge at best…, or death if members of their team found out. He didn’t mourn Dean Kessler’s passing when he got word that some insurgents finished him. “Captain said you were with the FBI?”

“Yes. Detective Woodard, I’ve heard a lot about you and Dr. Coulter. I was very impressed when you apprehended Martin Devoreaux. I read the case report. You and Dr. Coulter are quite the team. The good doctor’s a legend at the bureau. His book on  Ritual Behaviorism Among Serial Killers is mandatory reading now at the academy.”

“Oh, Adam would love to hear that.” Eagle rolled his eyes. The last thing Adam Coulter needed was something to bolster his ego.

“If it’s alright, I really need to talk with both of you about a case I’m working. I think you might be able to help me.”

“Today?”

“No. I’m still putting some final touches on a plan I’ve got in motion. How about tomorrow morning at your home? I want to keep this as low key as possible. Strictly, on a need to know basis, so I’d prefer it if your Captain and I met with you and Coulter privately.”

Eagle unzipped his jumpsuit from chin to navel. “What time?”

“0900?”

“Sure. Tell Cap to bring the creamer.”

Pocketing his phone, Eagle gathered his parachute from the ground and slowly made his way to his truck. Stowing the chute away, he unzipped his jumpsuit the rest of the way. Dragging it down off his shoulders, he revealed a tan-colored work shirt and jeans. He pushed the loose-fitting black nylon from around his narrow waist. Wrestling the last couple of inches of fabric over his shoes, Eagle jerked the material free and tossed it behind the driver’s seat completing his impromptu striptease. He looked up toward the sun before glancing at his watch.

“Yeah…, I know, I’m late.” He said to no one, but the wind.


Author Bio

Warriors Way author logo - M.J. Calabrese

My mother now regrets her fateful words she offered the day I came home from our small town library in Palm Springs, California (yes, I’m a Cali girl) complaining that there were no more books to read. “Then why don’t you write some.”

My father never saw his old Remington portable until I entered college and they gifted me an IBM Selectric. By then I had produced at least two dozen unpublishable novels which make me cringe when I read them today.

I found inspiration in innumerable odd jobs (from migrant work as a Date palm pollinator to the person who cleans the washing machines at the launderette to professional Dominatrix) for stories. After a stint in Rehab for Alcohol and Heroin abuse (so when I write those scenes, I know what I’m talking about), I cleaned up and have stayed that way for 29 years. (Me and Sir Elton, LOL). My gypsy lifestyle gave me a unique perspective on the different people who inhabited the Washington, Oregon, Arizona, California, and New Mexico areas where I have lived.

After 3 very bad marriages to men, I finally figured out what was wrong and fell in love with a woman when I lived in Portland, OR 23 years ago. We’ve been married since 2008 (yes it was legal in California at that time). We now live in Asheville, NC and love the people in this liberal and accepting corner of the mountains of North Carolina.

Author Website: https://www.mjcalabrese.com

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