Friday, December 20, 2013


The Chrysanthemum and the Rose (Book 8) is now available!

Buy it in paperback or on Kindle
Buy it on the Nook
Buy it on other eReader devices

From the back cover:

There is peace in Derbyshire as a new generation of the Darcy family begins, but the younger Mr. and Mrs. Darcy set their sights far away, to Japan, an island nation closed off to all but a few foreigners. There they will travel to find Georgiana Darcy’s elusive former teacher, the wandering thief Mugin, so that she can finally complete her training before settling down to married life in the English countryside.

But getting into Japan, a country hostile to Westerners and controlled by the Tokugawa shogun, won’t be easy, and finding Mu Gin will be even harder. Is the young couple up to the challenge?

In Altman’s eighth novel, we travel far abroad to the dangerous world of 19th-Century Asia, where political tensions are high and danger is very real.    

Review Policy:

If you have reviewed most or all of my past books on Amazon, you are eligible to receive a paperback copy for review.

If you have reviewed at least one of my other books on Amazon, you are eligible to receive ab eBook copy on any format for review.

If you post a review of your own volition and give me a US postal address, I will send you a little Asian good luck charm thingy.

If any of these apply to you, contact me.


There will be some contests. I will be giving away only one copy of the paperback (it is expensive to buy and ship because it is so large) so you should look for that. I will also be giving away prizes and numerous eBook copies, so stay tuned!

Otherwise, happy reading!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

I don't know what to write in people's books

I don't even know how to use this type of pen
Yesterday I was asked to autograph a book I have a short story published in (it's coming out officially later - I'll post about that then) and I wrote, "Keep on truckin'!" Because seriously, I have no idea what to write in these things. I'm not famous enough to write nothing except my name if the person is standing in front of me. Famous authors either only put their name in or only put their name and the person's name in. I'm supposed to come up with something.

For book 1 I pretty much universally wrote, "Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy the book" or something to that effect, even though some of them were not going to read the book because they were friends or family members. I actually personalized one a little too much to give to one of Grandma's friends and my mom ended up cutting something I said (about loaning a car to someone?) right out of the page, leaving a little cut at the bottom. Then for a little while I tried, "It is a universal truth that a good author must be in want of a loyal reader" which ended up being way too long for my awful handwriting.

I'm just going to think out loud in this post about possible things to put in the book:

"Thanks for reading!"

"Keep on truckin'" (not valid if person is a trucker)

"If someone steals this book, may they be punched to death by wolves" (I actually put this in one of the books I assigned for Brandy but I misspelled wolves, which is why I need Brandy to edit everything I write in the first place)

"There's a spider on your back."

"[Insert witty comment here]"

"Thx! My handwriting is terrible."

"[Insert personal, moving comment here]"


"Welcome to Night Vale" (I love this show)

In other news, Book 8 is now available for Kindle and for all other eBook formats. It will be available in print when we finally get Createspace to not mess up the cover alignment, which will hopefully be this week. Then I'll do the "it's officially published" post and start doing some contests. One of them will be to win a paperback copy of the book, which is very heavy and expensive and therefore will only be open to US residents or people with a US mailing address. You probably want to enter that one. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Book 8 is almost ready! The copyediting is done, most of the formatting is done, and there's just some processing over at Createspace before it can released on all formats, which will hopefully be late next week or early the following week. Remember that Book 7 is still on sale until December 15th for the Kindle, and books 1-3 are on sale for some unknown amount of time (Sourcebooks decides these things, not me) so if you don't have them on Kindle but you can't go anywhere without them you'll want to scoop them up.

The print version of Book 8 will be a little pricey. There is nothing I can do about this; Amazon has a minimum price to print the book. I will just say this: You will be getting a lot of book for your money. Lots and lots of book.

Anyway. Motherhood.

In the romance/historical romance genre that I started out in, motherhood isn't addressed a lot. Usually the story is about the man and woman meet, usually under less than perfect circumstances, and then by the end of the book they're together, or by chapter 3 if it's regular romance and they need to get to the sex before the reader gets bored. With a lot of Pride and Prejudice sequels you need to have some plot before that (or don't) because Darcy and Elizabeth are already together, but unless there's something wrong with Elizabeth's child-bearing abilities and that's the plot (I have yet to see one where the problem was on Darcy's end), they usually pop out a kid within a year and all is well. And they are perfect parents. Darcy may be cold and Elizabeth independent, but G-ddamn if they aren't the best parents ever because any other possibility would be horribly depressing to us.

In certain instances in my large cast I decided "this relationship is going to be like this" and this relationship is going to be like that" and there were occasions were I just let the text flow as the characters acted like I thought they would. In real life, there are all different kinds of parents, and in real life once kids get older their relationship with their parents cannot be described as "perfect" unless things are creepy and weird and the kid needs a life. After the kids are about age 3 you need to start seeing a push-and-pull for both the mother and the child to be real.

One of the more awkward situations I got into with my fans was that people thought Georgie (Georgiana Bingley) was not really a good parent, which is a subject that comes up a lot in Book 8, but I think it's because her relationship with her daughter is harder to understand than the typical Regency "I love my kid to bits and now that they popped out of me my whole life is dedicated to tickling them or whatever" thing you see in fiction which certainly wasn't true to life. Mothers were expected to have servants take care of their children for the first three years, even to send them to another house if the current house was crowded to be raised by a wet nurse. Hanging around babies was not a Regency rich people thing to do, but Georgie also connects to her child (and her mother) differently than the original cast in that she's not outpouring with visible affection all the time, which is how a "good mother" acts in romance fiction. Just like you don't treat your child like you would a puppy doesn't mean you don't have a deep emotional connection that is the strongest thing in your life; it was just very hard for me to express it the way I felt was true to her character. At this point in the series I was more interested than being true to characters than genre norms, which you probably figured out by the fact that they also go to Japan.

Of course I'm probably preaching to moms to know way more than I do about the subject, but oh well. ;) That's right. It's 2013 and I'm finally into smilies. I'm a late bloomer.