The “I Love You” List … things you need to have in an emergency

Tragedies happen.

No one wants to think about funerals when they’re 21, but horrible things happen that can leave you incapacitated or killed at any age. This isn’t covered by high school, it’s rarely mentioned in college, but if you’re paying your own bills you need to make sure that your friends and family can take care of your accounts if the worst happens.

The I LOVE YOU box (or folder) is a quick way to gather all the information someone would need to take care of your house, pets, kids, and creative work in the event that you couldn’t be there due to death or severe injury. I know, this is morbid. No one wants to dwell on their death, especially when they’re young and healthy. You don’t want to think about leaving your pets, or your lover, or your kids. But the reality is… death won’t ignore you just because you ignore death.

Take it from someone who has sat with widows whose husbands never prepared for death, who saw a life insurance payout go to a stingy in-law rather than to the family, as someone who sat wide-eyed and shocked when the ex-wife was honored at a funeral but not the current spouse. If you don’t prepare for this, someone else will be left struggling to deal with it. For most adults who die suddenly, that means leaving a grieving partner to struggle through this (which is selfish), or allowing a distant family member to muddle through as best they can (which often ends terribly for those who knew you best).

Do a favor for the ones you love, and get the basic prep work for death handled now. Make a will. Make a will specifying what you want done with your creative works. Make sure anyone you care for (pets, kids, elderly relatives) will be provided for in the event of your death.

The bonus here is that knowing where all this information is will make everything from vacationing to paying taxes that much easier. So, get organized. You’ll thank yourself later.

The MUST HAVE Six:

  1. Account passwords. (where to find account and password info) 
  2. Bank Information
  3. Birth certificates
  4. Insurance Information (home, renter, VPP, auto, life, etc.)
  5. Medical Information
  6. Will

 

Below is an alphabetized list of additional items you may want to include in your box.

Appraisals for jewelry/furniture/etc.
Bank Information
Birth Certificates
Car Registration
Contact Information (next of kin, roommate, work associates, religious leader, ect)
Copies of IDs
Copy of passport/s
IEP/EFMP paperwork (Individual Education Plan/Exceptional Family Member Program paperwork for children)
Email accounts
Care Plan (this is a military thing – if you don’t know what it is, don’t worry)
List of family rules (so children have a sense of normalcy)
List of known allergies (for you, your pets, and your children)
Schedule
Special Traditions (things that would be done on birthdays or anniversaries)
Directions for handling of creative work (art, writing, poetry, ect – see This Post By Neil Gaiman)
Insurance Information (home, renter, VPP, auto, life, ect)
Marriage Certificate
Medical Information (immunizations list, list of known medical conditions for everyone in the house, doctor’s contact info, list of medications, veterinary information ect)
Medical history of close blood relatives (for doctor’s use if someone is incapacitated but not killed)
Mortgage Information
Most recent work contract/military orders/ect
Power of Attorney (general and specific allowing whomever you choose to close accounts for you or talk to banks)
Obituary Requests (where would you like it published, who should write it, ect)
Realtor Contact Number
Rental/Lease Agreement
School Information (contact numbers, school schedules, ect)
Social media accounts (including passwords and what you’d like done with your account)
Social security cards (copies or location where they are stored)
Stocks or Certificates
Vehicle titles
Vet Info For Pets
Will

Impulse Buy Book of the Week: NINE OF STARS by Laura Bickle

 


Following on the heels of her critically acclaimed prequel novels Dark Alchemy and Mercury Retrograde comes the first installment in Laura Bickle’s dark contemporary fantasy series, Nine of Stars, a Wildlands Novel

Winter has always been a deadly season in Temperance, but this time, there’s more to fear than just the cold…

As the daughter of an alchemist, Petra Dee has faced all manner of occult horrors—especially since her arrival in the small town of Temperance, Wyoming. But she can’t explain the creature now stalking the backcountry of Yellowstone, butchering wolves and leaving only their skins behind in the snow. Rumors surface of the return of Skinflint Jack, a nineteenth-century wraith that kills in fulfillment of an ancient bargain.

The new sheriff in town, Owen Rutherford, isn’t helping matters. He’s a dangerously haunted man on the trail of both an unsolved case and a fresh kill—a bizarre murder leading him right to Petra’s partner Gabriel. And while Gabe once had little to fear from the mortal world, he’s all too human now. This time, when violence hits close to home, there are no magical solutions.

It’s up to Petra and her coyote sidekick Sig to get ahead of both Owen and the unnatural being hunting them all—before the trail turns deathly cold.

 

$4.99
Amazon     HarperCollins       Kobo       GooglePlay       BN

“Bickle is well on her way to establishing her work as a cornerstone of her genre.”  – Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Following the prequels Dark Alchemy and Mercury Retrograde, Bickle’s series launch mixes alchemy, folklore, and Native American traditions with a wintry Western landscape that will intrigue fans of the Weird West subgenre.” – Library Journal

“Readers who like no-nonsense characters, the occult, Native American myths, and the modern Wild West will enjoy this. The writing is fun, compelling, and straight from the hip, with no apologies as to language used.” – Booklist

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology-Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.

More information about Laura’s work can be found at www.laurabickle.com

https://twitter.com/Laura_Bickle   https://www.facebook.com/Author.Laura.Bickle

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What’s Ahead In 2017

If 2016 was the year I was busy behind-the-scene, 2017 is the year you get to finally see all those stories I’ve been teasing for the last twelve months. Big things are coming and I’m excited.

SPRING RELEASES
THE DARKNESS AND GOOD ANTHOLOGY – a collection short stories written by Amy Laurens and myself. Most of these stories were first published on the Darkness & Good blog. The stories in the anthology have been edited, and in some cases expanded.
BODIES IN MOTION – In war, Selena Caryll and Titan Sciarra were bitter enemies. Now that the fleet is grounded and fighting for survival these two find that the best future is the one the build together (if they don’t kill each other first). This is a SFR novella that kicks off the new Newton’s Law universe.

SUMMER RELEASES
FOUNDATION STONES – Captain Kamara of the King’s Guard would rather see the king’s nephews hang than consider any of them as a replacement for her aging, childless liege, but when one of them frames her for the murder of the king… well, the enemy of her enemy is a man she’ll at least plan a prison break with. This is a fantasy novel that will be serialized on the blog over the summer.

FALL RELEASES TBA

WINTER RELEASES
FOUNDATION STONES – After being serialized on the blog I’ll collect the chapters, run through one more edit taking into account any comments left by readers, and publish the ebook in winter 2017.

 

Where am I moving this summer??? I still have no clue. My husband’s contract up here is ending and the people we’re renting from want to sell the house in July, so one way or another, we need to move in June. We have applications in across the country (and a few overseas) but I honestly have no idea where I’ll be at the end of 2017.

When are you going to write that one book? From Even Villains 4 to questions about Prime Sensations (will Kaleb’s brother get his own story?) there have been a lot of questions about adding to existing series. EV4 is on the schedule for writing after the move, but a lot of what get published in the fall and early 2018 depends on things in the background that I’m not supposed to talk about yet. The sooner a book sale announcement is made, the sooner I have to go edit that hush-hush novel. Take that as you will.

The other major factor here is that, this fall, my youngest starts kindergarten (you have no idea how weepy and old I feel saying that). I won’t just be in a new city, but I’ll have a whole new schedule to work with, one that allows me to have interruption-free writing time (theoretically… we all know how Murphy’s Law works in these situations). I’m keeping my fall schedule open to possibility. We’ll see what happens, where I am, and what deadline have magically appeared before I make any promises.

A Look Back At 2016

January 1, 2017, marked my two-year anniversary in Alaska. I spent 2016 learning to drive on ice (and not die), dodging moose (without dying), and chasing whales (while avoiding death). There was a bit of a theme in 2016.

I only had one book published in 2016, DECOHERENCE, but there was a lot going on behind the scenes. Let’s look at the writing stats.

Total Words Written In 2016: 364,000
Total Words Edited In 2016: 1,266,000
Best Writing Month: April
Best Editing Month: September
Worst Writing Month: July
Worst Editing Month: October
Projects Finished: 1 (Decoherence)
Projects That Will Be Finished Q1 2017 – 2 (Free Fall, Bodies in Motion)

Conclusion: I survived the winter slump that crushed me in 2015, yay! But October is consistently bad for me. There’s always a crush of business things to do, and a lot going on with school and family. But, my word count is improving and if I wasn’t writing daily, I was writing consistently. Honestly, even though it wasn’t my most productive publishing year, I think it went well. My writing improved a lot over the year. I finally figured out how to write a High Concept Pitch. And I think I’ve set myself up for a very successful 2017!

So… how was 2016 for you? Did you survive, or are you only reading this post because your crypt has wifi?

 

 

All Romance eBooks is Closing…. Now What?

At least some of you are aware by now that All Romance eBooks has announced they are closing their doors as of December 31st. And while none of my recent books were for sale at ARe, I know some of you originally purchased the Heroes and Villains series through them.
 
All Romance eBooks has decided to close it’s doors without honoring sales or royalties for books purchased one or after December 27th (a day before the announcement was made – I am hoping this is a typo, but no one has confirmed that belief yet). Because of that, I discourage you from purchasing anything else for ARe in the coming days, but do encourage you to download all your purchases and save them off site.
 
It’s always discouraging to see another indie site closed.
 
Like the small presses, indie sites like ARe have been hit hard by changes in the tax laws in the UK, and by the exponential growth of Amazon and the Kindle Unlimited program. Casual readers stick to the big sites, the big presses, and the big authors.
 
ARe was a wonderful place to find new romance authors that were often overlooked in the bigger stores, and despite their unhappy ending, they will be missed.
 
If any of you lose your copies of the Heroes & Villains series as ARe closes down, please use the link on my website (www.lianabrooks.com) to contact me. I’m more than happy to send you a replacement.
 
If you’re looking for a way to stop the wave of small press and small business closures, I recommend you check out your local bookstore and make it a goal in 2017 to order new books through them.
 
Check out IndieBound.com to find a local bookstore near you.
 
My pre-signed books can be ordered from Fireside Books in Palmer (goodbooksbadcoffee.com).
 
Supporting Indie bookstores puts money back in your community and allows unique and diverse voices to thrive.
 
<3 Liana <3

Impulse Buy Book of the Week: PROPHETS OF THE GHOST ANTS by Clark T. Carlton

Clark is the son of a barefoot Florida cowboy and a beauty queen from the Land of Cotton who ventured North to raise their children in the long shadow of New York City. When he was a teenager, his family moved from a blue collar, melting pot to a segregated and conservative enclave of Southern California, an event which forever altered his world view.

Some of his favorite books are the classics of science fiction, all of which have an element of fantasy if they involve time travel or traveling faster than the speed of light (or through a worm hole) to another solar system. As a child he had hopes of enlisting in Star Fleet Academy, but any physicist worth his neutrons will tell us that kind of space travel will never be possible. Clark is hanging on to the dream anyway.

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A Different America

The flags were flying at half-mast today in the cold wind. Anchorage is a young town by most American standards, but it remembers Pearl Harbor all too well. There’s still remnants of the world war and the cold war laying around. Bunkers, and batteries, and old forts built into cliffs at sea.

Anchorage is also a diverse town. The schools here are the most diverse in the nation, boasting students fluent in over 99 different languages. So I suppose it wasn’t surprising that I was driving to meet a Japanese woman for lunch. Our kids are in preschool together, and we hadn’t planned on Pearl Harbor Anniversary lunch, this is the first Wednesday of the month and on the first Wednesday of the month we have brunch.

The cold wind brought a touch of snow as I pulled up to a little cafe that boasts organic, fair-trade coffee (a favorite of my friends) and reindeer sausage (a local favorite).

We weren’t there to discuss politics, but life. She asked about Thanksgiving and told me she’d never learned to make a turkey. They had sushi for Thanksgiving (I love sushi and told her to invite me next year). We talked about the kids, and how we get them to do chores, and how we’re teaching them to cook. Her boys make an excellent fried chicken, she tells me. I’ve never made fried chicken so we agree to exchange recipes: her Japanese fried chicken for my American turkey.

Seventy-five years ago this kind of exchange probably didn’t happen. I’d like to think that there was at least one sensible pair of friends who watched the news in grave horror together that day, but continued to be friends despite the war and their cultures. I hope they talked about home towns and New Years traditions like I did with my friend today.

Because I believe in a different America than the one shown in TV shows or described by political extremists who are scared of everyone who isn’t white enough.

I grew up in towns thriving on diversity and mixed heritages. I grew up playing with kids who had dark eyes and brown skin. We spoke the same language: Spanish. We loved the same food: anything Mexican. We shopped in the same town: Tijuana.

I moved to Chicago and found people of darker colors. And the pale blonde down the street with washed out blue eyes, she was Canadian. I fell somewhere in between, with sun-browned skin that stayed a shade browner than the white people’s in the winter, and fair hair than turned ever darker the longer I stayed away from the salty Pacific. The people in the Midwest ate strange foods – hamburgers, meatloaf, and peanut-butter-pickle sandwhiches- but there was a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that made a decent horchata so it worked out. Here, English was the main language, but I heard Greek and Indian as well. My best friends were a Polish boy with too many constants in his last name, and a boy bused in from downtown Chicago. What did we have in common? Not much except a love of Calvin and Hobbes comics and Michael Crichton books (in 3rd grade… yes… we were THOSE kids).

All my life I’ve been surrounded by color. From pale white, nearly albino friends in my English class, to a friend so black they seemed to absorb light. They were unique individuals. Fascinating, fun, supportive, wonderful people. Our backgrounds didn’t matter.

The older I’ve gotten, the more people I’ve met, the more people I’ve met from outside America… and they’re all fantastic.

My Japanese friend and I spent 15 minutes debating the etymology of RURAL. Why? Because she was an English teacher before her husband’s job moved them to the states. She loves English literature and is happy to talk about books for hours. That’s what makes the USA so great… people from everywhere come together and share and become friends. We’re better because we’re different colors, come from different places, have different stories. That makes us special. That makes us strong.

Americas is great because it’s diverse. And a diverse America is the America I love.

I hope the next few years don’t destroy the America I love.

Editing Sale!

emergency-edits

Emergencies happen. Unexpected bills. An unplanned trip to the dentist’s office. Car problems. We’ve all been there.

Rather than sitting here fretting over emergencies though, I’m turning this into an opportunity. This week only, I’m opening up two new novel slots on my editing schedule, and offering discounts on developmental edits for the first three chapters of your novel, and submission packet critiques. With #SFFPit coming up, I want to make sure your opening pages are polished and beautiful.

The catch? If you want these special prices you need to book before December 12th, and the books needs to be emailed to me by December 15th.

Submission Packet Critique (synopsis, query, and first 5 pages) $25
First Chapter (up to 20 pages)  $50.00
First Three Chapters (up to 50 pages) $100.00
Entire Manuscript Critique $1.00 a page minimum of 200 pages.
Emergency Fee to Jump the Queue  $50
* all page counts are double-spaced, Times New Roman, size 12 font, formatted for Microsoft Word *

To reserve a space please contact me at liana.brooks1@gmail.com

These are for CONTENT EDITS only. I will address plot, pacing, and character development. It is recommended that you schedule a Line Edit with a reputable line editor to go over your final manuscript for typos and grammar errors.

Get all the details here.
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