Friday, June 12, 2015

Introducing An Absence of Light By Meradeth Houston

Today I'm part of an exciting blog tour for our blogging friend, Meradeth Houston.

Meradeth's book, An Absence of Light, is now available in eBook and paperback.

From the first page, Meradeth grabs you with her powerful, intense storytelling. When Leah's entire family is killed, she has to go on the run, but there's no escaping the shadows. They've haunted her throughout her life, but while on the road, she meets two people who also see the creatures. Working with them, she works hard to find a way to get rid of the creatures before they can kill anyone else. The story draws you in and doesn't let you go but what really resonated with me was Leah. Meradeth created a character with depth, giving us a kick-butt character with just enough vulnerability to make us fall in love with her. 

Scroll down to read more about Meradeth's book, which you can buy here.


Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now. 

She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought. 

When Leah stumbles across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever.


I've never been a big fan of talking about myself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about me: 

  • I'm a California girl. This generally means I talk too fast and use "like" a lot. 
  • I have my doctorate in molecular anthropology. Translation: I sequence dead people's DNA and spend a whole lot of time in a lab, which I love. 
  • I've been writing since I was 11 years old. It's my hobby, my passion, and I'm so happy to get to share my work! 
  • My other passion is teaching. There's nothing more fun than getting a classroom of college kids fired up about anthropology! 
  • If I could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because I'm terrified of heights.
Contact info:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

There's an Odor in the Air

Monday I shared my first story about my life in the country. "In the country" means ten minutes from all the amenities you'd need and about two minutes from the lake, but life sure feels country-like out here.

Last Tuesday night, we learned just how country this peninsula is. Our dog was enjoying her last bathroom break of the night when she saw something in the bushes.

I, meanwhile, was getting ready for bed. Suddenly, the dog came running in, bringing the strangest odor I've ever smelled in my life with her.

What was that...?

She'd encountered a skunk, my husband said after one whiff.

It sure didn't smell like any skunk I'd ever smelled. It smelled like tear gas or bomb smoke. It was a horrible scent that immediately invaded the air.

So we locked her in the bathroom and did what anyone does when facing...well, anything these days. We Googled.

According to Mythbusters, the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap concoction long recommended by experts was the best way. 

We tried it. It was somewhat successful.

However, getting it out of the house was another matter. The next morning, I opened windows, put bowls of vinegar around the house, and sprayed Lysol. I also ordered some shampoo and spray, since I could still smell a small hint of skunk on our dog.

It arrived Friday afternoon. Friday around midnight, it happened again. I was asleep when my dog came running in, drying herself off on the comforter. That smell!

So we shampooed her. We sprayed the comforter down. Not a trace of scent. The next morning, she smelled fruity. The house still had traces of skunk, though. So I opened the windows, turned on all the fans, and set vinegar around again. Once the windows were closed, I sprayed the professional stuff.

The house smells normal once again. I know MythBusters takes a scientific approach, but my sniffer says the professional sprays and shampoos work best!

Monday, June 08, 2015

I Moved...Now Where Am I?

One of the last tasks of my move was registering our home alarm with the city. I went online, filled out the application, and submitted it.

Five minutes later, an email came in. It was from the City of Gallatin.

"Are you in the city?" she asked.

Two months ago, that question would have confused me. Having lived here for a month, though, I'm familiar with the "city" thing. We're on a peninsula...

Which means we aren't "in the city."

Four miles up the road is a grocery store the size of a megamall. A couple of miles from that is a Starbucks. Yet we aren't within city limits because we're on a peninsula.

Does that mean I'm in the country now?

I moved here from Nashville...30 minutes away. We had Nashville electric and Nashville water. It took me two days to straighten out where our utilities were here. We're on Nashville electric, Gallatin gas, and White House water. White House is a random city about 25 minutes away.

We had to pay someone to pick up our trash. A private trash picker-upper. Because we're "not in Gallatin." Yet our mailing address is Gallatin, Tennessee.

It's all very foreign to me! But I do know one thing...Gallatin Gas and White House Water are the nicest people you'll ever call. And the postal workers act like they actually like their lives. In Nashville, every employee we encountered seemed suicidal.

So maybe "country living" isn't so bad after all. Especially if there's a Starbucks and about a billion restaurants within a ten-minute drive!