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COVER REVEAL: Angry Macey

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This is kind of a spontaneous cover reveal. I am headed to Utopia in just over a day and I am feeling very energized. I am very excited about this upcoming project that I have been working on for months. It is the work closest to my heart. (Hey, I see you there, judging me. Stop that!) It should be out this fall. No presale yet, but I am getting very close to that and will be sure to let you know.

Without further ado, here is the cover for Angry Macey:

The forthcoming Angry Macey by Jennifer Friess

Everyone feels like they are guided at some point in their lives. But what if you were guided to do something terrible? What if you were too angry to even care about the carnage you were about to inflict?

Meet Macey.

Mid-life crisis. Mental breakdown. Payback. Revenge.

This book has an edgier cover, which is in part due to the subject matter, but also I used a new cover designer. She is Creative Paramita and her website is www.creativeparamita.com. Check her out for all your cover needs!

Oh, and I have another surprise for you. This is what I spent today working on instead of writing. I think it was well worth it ;-D

NOTE: None of these three colors is natural.

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

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Tic-Tac-DOH!

This is a little tail that will show you again what a powerful manifester I am when I set my mind to something. (A great past post on this subject is Pharamacy Giraffe.)

When I was little, for some holiday (seems like maybe it was Easter), I received a silly little tic-tac-toe game. It featured cats and mice as the playing pieces. Now, I never really played with it that much. I was an only child of a mother who purchased board games for me, but didn’t like to play them. So, I played it by myself until I got bored. It spent a lot of time sitting on the shelf collecting dust. One day, and I feel like I must have been in 2nd or 3rd grade, because it was very soon after we moved into our trailer, I was playing with this very game when something TRAGIC happened…

Cat & Mouse Tic-Tac-Toe copyright 1982 Giftco, Inc.

Cat & Mouse Tic-Tac-Toe, copyright 1982 Giftco, Inc.

Let’s back up for a moment here. Let me tell you something about my trailer. It was in a trailer park, so there really wasn’t much yard. I spent a lot of time sitting on the concrete steps, playing or reading or whatever. They were plain and boring and hard. They did not even have a railing up to the door as so many other trailers had.

What it DID have was a giant gap between the steps and the skirting (the metal trim around the bottom of a mobile home that covers up all the pipes and wheels and crap that are underneath it). My mom always cautioned me not to lose toys or anything down there. She was not going to retrieve them. I was a little kid. My mom had proven she could do almost anything. So then why couldn’t she move four concrete steps? I figured she just didn’t want to. I also suggested that we just shove the steps up closer to the house. But she explained about how the ground moves due to the freezing and thawing. And to illustrate her point, there was already a dent in the skirting from the years prior to us living there.

A picture of the steps. And my gramma. Because I miss her very much.

A picture of the steps. And my gramma. Because I miss her very much.

So, one fateful day, a mouse from my tic-tac-toe game fell BEHIND the steps! That fast, my game became tic-tac-DOH, as Homer Simpson would say. I cried and cried that I wanted it back. What good was a tic-tac-toe game with only 8 pieces? (What is a tic-tac-toe game good for at all, really? It is usually played with only a paper and pen!) I kept thinking there must be a way to move those steps.

I eventually put a pink pencil eraser with the set, to simulate the missing pink mouse. For years, I looked at those steps and knew that mouse was behind them, just out of my reach. Sure, other things fell back there over the years. Some things we could push out using a yard stick (meter stick, if you are international). I lived there for 15 years. And as much school studies, college tests, and pop culture trivia as I crammed into my brains in that time, I NEVER forgot about that little mouse, all alone, hungry and cold, behind those steps. Day after day he suffered back there in silence. I never gave up hope that one day I might see him again. I kept the game all those years, after all. A game I didn’t even play.

Then one day, that all changed…

After I moved out and then my mother, the landlord pulled our trailer out and sat it up by the road, for sale to the best offer. That is terribly depressing, but what happened next was NOT!

My old home was just pulled out to the curb to be sold for best offer.

My old home was just pulled out to the curb to be sold for best offer.

My then-boyfriend (now-husband) and I went to poke around the old homestead. The home where I had spent the formative years of my life, now brutally removed, leaving nothing but two long slabs of concrete, some water lines, and some blue-stained dirt.*

Can you guess what I looked for?

Can you guess WHAT I FOUND?!!

I found my mouse!

The mouse that was under my house!

I couldn’t wait to call my mom and tell her SHE WAS WRONG! She said I would never get that mouse back, BUT I DID!

NEVER SAY NEVER!

YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS!

The miraculous mouse from under the house!

The miraculous mouse from under the house!

I had spent so much time thinking we needed to move the steps, I never thought of moving the trailer. Which is silly, because the trailer HAS wheels; the steps do not. Once I returned home, I reunited that little mouse with his family! You can’t tell it in the picture, but that mouse is little dirtier, looks a little more tired than the other mice in the set. He has some dirt in the creases of his body. And I could give him a good bath and remove it, but I won’t. It is his badge of honor of what he survived. I want to know which one is the miraculous mouse, the one who was braver than all the other mice. The one who went where no plastic mouse had gone before, and returned to tell the tail (Even his tail is still intact!).

I realize that no one really needed to ever hear this story except me, but I have put it on here anyway. Don’t you wish you had the ten minutes back that it spent for you to read that? No matter what you think, I think there is a lesson to be learned there, somewhere. Never give up on the mouse under your house.

Maybe the lesson is that I need some therapy…

* When we moved into that trailer, there was a state mandate for all the drain pipes to be updated to be bigger. That was work was completed (or so we thought) before we moved in. All the drains in the entire structure were on the side under the house–except the drain for the washing machine. My mom sold the washer and dryer that came with the trailer right after we moved in, and we never had another until about a year before we moved out. Apparently, we only learned through my snooping of the old homestead, in all those years the drain for the washer had never been hooked into the rest of the sewer pipes. Every time my mom had done laundry for a year (and let me tell you, that woman does A LOT of laundry), all the water had gone on the ground underneath the trailer. We always sort of wondered why you could smell Downy outside so well when doing the wash, even when the windows were all closed. So in our wake, we left a big blue puddle of fabric softener.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
The Wind Could Blow a BugAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It NEW RELEASE!
Be Careful What You Wish For – COMING JANUARY 2016!

Jennifer The Pink & Purple Fairy

Stories of Fairies, Elves, and Little People, by Francine L. Trevens, Published by Playmore, Inc., Copyright 1979

Stories of Fairies, Elves, and Little People, by Francine L. Trevens, Published by Playmore, Inc., Copyright 1979

I have a book that I got as a child. It is called Stories of Fairies, Elves, and Little People by Francine L. Trevens. I think I got it for Christmas or Easter or something from the weird neighbors next door. I think they were religious people, so it is sort of a strange gift to give someone, but whatever. It isn’t a book anyone would have ever heard of. It looks like maybe it would was sold at the dime store. Maybe it came in one of those big pre-packed, impersonal Easter baskets from the grocery store, with coloring books and a plastic bunny bank.

The book was made up of many short stories about fairies, sprites, goblins, and trolls. And to be honest, most of them are pretty horrible. Just not quality literature at all. Probably just written for the paycheck.

But one story interested me. It was called Have You Ever Seen a Pink Leprechaun? The star of the story was a pink and purple pixie named Jennifer. (Dang, I could have sworn she was a fairy? Hence, the name of the post.) Oh-wow. Coincidence. That just so happens to be my name. As I got the book just as I was beginning to learn how to read, I of course went through and circled my name everywhere that I saw it in the story.

The story is actually about a family of leprechauns who find a pink and purple baby on their front porch. She is not only a different species and color than the family raising her, she is also the only girl child. To make matters worse, they call her “Orphie” (short for Orphan). Her leprechaun “brothers” pick on her mercilessly.

Then one day the fair comes to town. But it is not just any fair. It is a PINK & PURPLE fair! All the people there look just like Oprhie!

Then her father, King of the Pixies, shows up and explains to her that they have been looking for her all along. That they traveled around the countryside holding fairs, hoping someone would be like, “Hey, you guys look like the orphan that lives down the road from me.”

Jennifer and her father, the Pixie King, are reunited.  Illustrated by Jesse Zerner.

Jennifer and her father, the Pixie King, are reunited. Illustrated by Jesse Zerner.

Being a kid whose father died before I was born, I thought this was a pretty cool concept. A father who loves his daughter so much that he never stops looking for her? That is powerful. AND they ride on a unicorn. But wait, it gets even better!

Then the pixie father goes to pay off the leprechauns and to take Jennifer (Orphie’s real name) home. But then they fight over her. I had such a small family growing up you couldn’t have sneezed or they would have blown away. It seemed great to me that this pixie, with my name, decked out in awesome colors, should be loved by two families so much.

Except that isn’t really what it is like in the book. In the book, each side just seems greedy and fights over her like property just because the other side wants her. In the end, Jennifer decides to go live with her dad, but plans to visit the leprechauns during the summer and on school vacations. It is like one big, colorful divorce.

So, even now, sometimes I think of that story and Jennifer, the pink and purple fairy. (Hey, I have been thinking of it that way for like 30 years, I am not going to correct my brain now.) And if I mention it, people just look at me funny, because they have never heard of the story.

But now you have. I hope you found that it enriched your life.

…And they lived happily ever after.

What I Learned This Week – 9/23/12

This week I learned that I shouldn’t order from Forever21.com. I tried to order a dress and a scarf I was intending to incorporate into my Halloween costume this year. (Sorry–Top Secret. You will have to come back on Halloween to find out what I am going to dress as.) I ordered my items on Friday, September 14th. Now, I realize that is a Friday. But by Thursday, September 20th, I had received no shipping email and my order status still said “NEW” when I looked it up on their website. So, I sent an email to customer service. As of today, Sunday,September 23rd, I have received absolutely no reply and my order status still says “NEW”. I have looked it up so many times now that I have the order number memorized.

I guess maybe they realized I am not 21. Nor a size O. At this point, I really don’t care if I get my order. I can make my costume from odds and ends around the house I already own. The dress was quite cute and I would probably be able to wear it for other occasions as well. But I won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t come. I just wish they would tell me that, sooner, rather than later. And I will be really pissed if they only ship me the scarf! It was a add on purchase. I don’t want to pay $6.95 in shipping just for a scarf I could buy at Walmart.

There is a phone number on their website, so I guess next week I will call that and probably talk to some nice folks in India.

[UPDATE: I did call customer service (weeks ago), and the chick told me she would tell the warehouse to ship my order immediately and would refund my shipping charge once my order shipped. A few days later I received a generic email response that said I would be notified when my order shipped.

As of 10/8/12, I have received no notice that my order has shipped and my order still shows a status of “NEW” on the website. I guess I won’t have an awesome Halloween costume afterall:( My sympathies to all the other customers who are in the same situation.]

[FURTHER UPDATE: I finally received a shipping notice on 10/19, and my order arrived by 2nd day air (which I did not select) on October 22. Only took 38 days to receive. And my accessory went Out of Stock in that time.]

This week I also learned how to put songs on my cell phone! Now, I got this cell phone in the spring of 2011. While the phone has a SD card slot, I had no way to connect the phone to my old desktop computer. I tried a USB cord. That didn’t work for pictures, so I didn’t even think about trying to use it for music. And my iTunes was screwed up on that puter anyway.

I got a laptop for Christmas of 2011. I was ecstatic that it had an SD drive built-in. That meant to get photos off my phone, I no longer had to email them to myself, one by one by one by one by… I could just now slap in the SD card into my puter and go to town with downloading and organizing. And I still didn’t give a thought to music and my celly. (I notice I am lapsing into my own brand of slang. Swarry.)

Then my asbestos friend said how much she would love to put her music on her phone. That got me thinking. Friday I bought Pink’s new album off Amazon.com for $5. Now, this is a big step for me. I bought it not knowing if I could make it go into my iTunes account or not. After a few tries, I did. Then I was like “Let’s try to put it on my cell phone!” And it worked! Very easily! So I threw some more songs onto my cell phone SD card. …And I ran into the inevitable problem–not all of my files were mp3, which is all that my phone would recognize and play. But after a brief tussle with iTunes, I managed to convert most of the songs I wanted into mp3 and shove them onto my celly. (There were just a few that were über ultra super protected that it would not let me. Although technically I know a way to get around that too, if I wanted.)

And as I happily listened to my songs on my cell phone last night, I realized how much happier I am with daily music in my life:)

I’m not stalking you. is NOW ON FACEBOOK! “Like” that I’m not stalking you and get an update when there is a new post to read. (It is sort of like YOU are stalking ME.)

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