Bullet Train Joyride

Can’t stop! Having surgery soon!

You ever feel like you’re on a train that’s going too fast, but then you look at the control room and the engineer who keeps the accelerator on is you, and the brakeman who refuses to slow down is you, and the coal-shoveler is you, and you all realize you should probably slow down but you’re all so busy doing your jobs that slowing down makes no sense?

This is my life right now. My kids are starting school next month, which means shelling out SO MUCH MONEY because they’ve outgrown their pants, shoes, school supplies, and coats. I’m juggling notes from my critique buddies (aka beta readers) for Bai Treason so I can wrap it up and send it to my publisher with a bow on top. I’m also plotting out and researching my next project, which will not be a Bai book so it might just have a non-punny title (right now I’m leaning toward Tranquility Land).

Why am I in such a rush? Why is everything so urgent? Why is the bullet train that is my life careening around corners and blasting through level crossings? Surgeries. Two of them.

All summer, I’ve blissfully denied that I’m having surgery soon because the first one isn’t happening until September and hey, that’s a whole season away. Ages away!

Now, however, September is breathing down my neck. It’s running its back-to-school fingers through my hair and whispering sweet shopping lists in my ear and suddenly I’m very aware of the fact that all of this will come crashing to a halt soon.

I’m not one of those people who has surgery and then moves on like nothing happened. It’s extremely disruptive for me. Pain, pain meds, nausea from pain meds, physical therapy, the unavoidable torture that is crutches, it’s all disruptive. My first surgery, in September, should mess things up for a week or so, and then things will hopefully go back to normal.

The surgery at the end of October, however, is a big one. A doozy, you could say. That one will keep me on crutches for six to eight weeks. I’ll lose all my muscle tone in my left leg again and have to learn how to walk for the second time in as many years. It’s going to be a challenge, and you can trust me on this because I’ve already done it.

So I guess you could say the reason my bullet train life is speeding out of control is because I know my awesome, reckless train has to pull in for some scheduled maintenance soon so I’m getting some joyriding in while I can.

The only thing I can do is hope this scheduled maintenance keeps me on the rails for a long time. Fingers crossed.

Special Offer!

Like all good authors, I ordered a ton of copies of my new book when it came out and guess what? Now I have to store all these books! Maybe you can help me store some of them…On YOUR bookshelf.

I’m offering a deal on an autographed copy of Take the Bai Road. For just $15, I’ll send you an autographed copy of the book. That covers the cost of the book and shipping. I’ll even inscribe it with a message to you or a loved one if you’re hoping to give it to someone as a gift.

This offer will only last while I have books to sell, so get cracking. Just send me an email to erikamitchellbooks@gmail.com with your mailing address and I’ll send you my PayPal info. Easy as that.

You guys, please help me find a place for these books. Trust me, they’ll look GREAT at your house :)

This is What Comes of Leaving the House

This dog has nothing to do with this post, I just like how annoyed he seems by what he has to put up with.

I was invited to a cocktail party Saturday by some of the wonderful people I met at ThrillerFest last week, and it was hands down my most interesting evening of the week. Now, Wes has been gone since early Tuesday morning, so my bar for interesting is set pretty low these days, but even by normal standards it was noteworthy.

To start the evening off, I did my hair and makeup alone but when it was time to get dressed my five year old daughter took over. When I told her I was going to a grown-up party, she considered all my dresses before selecting the black and white tea-length dress I bought on a whim last month. It was a little dressy for the occasion, but I went with it because 1) I’m not arguing fashion with my daughter and 2) she was so enthusiastic about her sartorial victory, only a monster would have taken that away from her.

I drove Wes’s Mustang out to Seattle for the party, which is always a dicey proposition when I’m feeling pretty because I get kind of cocky when I feel pretty and my driving reflects that. I’m telling you, you haven’t truly passed someone until you’ve passed them in a Mustang. I had my sunglasses on, my Girl Power playlist going, and I was feeling good.

I parked in an adjacent neighborhood to where the party was because I knew I could find parking there and then just took an Uber the rest of the way. My first driver was a 23-year old Chinese-American man who regaled me with stories about his mother’s intimidation techniques. When I told him about Bai, my character, and how a reviewer had recently commented that it seemed unlikely to him that Bai’s parents would disapprove of his chosen profession, my Uber driver laughed and said I’d nailed it.

Gotta admit, that felt pretty good.

The party itself was a lot of fun. Great food, killer view, and I was surrounded by stage actors and the people who love them. Actors make for very diverting company, it turns out.

My Uber driver for the ride home was a guy who’d moved here from Palestine six years ago. He holds a Master’s degree in comparative literature and says driving for Uber is the price he pays for picking that field of study. He also expounded on his views of the Israel/Palestine dispute, which I didn’t feel qualified to comment on so I just listened instead.

Do you see what comes of leaving the house, intrepid readers? You meet interesting people and get to do interesting things.

Win a Road Trip with a Spy

Hello, faithful readers! I’m back on the west coast, mostly over my jet lag, and working hard on Bai Treason (book #3 of the Bai Hsu series, and the last one for a while).

I just wanted to make sure you all know about the giveaway that’s going on over at Goodreads right now. You can win a paperback copy of Take the Bai Road, but you only have a few more days to enter!

Good luck!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Take the Bai Road by Erika Mitchell

Take the Bai Road

by Erika Mitchell

Giveaway ends July 25, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

This Story Has Everything

You guys, I’m so excited! It’s always been on my bucket list to participate in an anthology, so when I was invited to contribute a story to Close to the Bones by my writer friend A.C. Fuller, I said yes without even considering the answers to either of these very important considerations:

  • Did I have time to write a new story? No, I did not. I was in the middle of revisions and edits for TAKE THE BAI ROAD and the revisions for BAI TREASON were waiting patiently for me to get to them. I absolutely did not have time.
  • Did I have an idea for a new story? Oh, um, nope. No, I did not. And because  I had very little practice writing in a shorter medium, most of my ideas turned out to be too long.

I didn’t let a little thing like no time and no idea stop me, though. I forged ahead, determined to play with the the real authors, all of whom have contributed to anthologies throughout the course of their careers.

To be honest, it felt really good to write something new. I’ve been living in Revisions Land so long, I’d forgotten the wild abandon of throwing words onto a blank page. With a lot of help from my critique partners and beta readers, several of whom lovingly pointed out to me that a short story is short so the beginning should just get to the point already thankyouverymuch, I was able to carve a solidly entertaining short story out of the long, rambling stream of consciousness that is my mind.

Where am I going with all this? Ha! Yes. The point. You’d like it, please.

The point is this: I wrote a short story called The Spy Who Came in from the East Coast (name that classic espionage reference!) and it’s available now for purchase in an anthology that finally came out today!

What’s the story about? CIA case officer Bai Hsu, of course, and what happens when he goes home to visit his disapproving parents for the first time since he joined the CIA. It takes place after the events of TAKE THE BAI ROAD, so be aware of the order in which you read them.

In this story, you’ll find out what Bai’s REAL name is (Bai Hsu is his official cover name), meet his parents, and get to know some truly violent members of LA’s gangland underworld.

via GIPHY

In the immortal words of Stefan, this story has everything: humor, sarcasm, a car chase, gunfights, and Chinese home cooking.

So go pick up a copy of CLOSE TO THE BONES (which will only be available on Amazon), available now for a freaking STEAL of a price at just $0.99. It has stories from ten other authors, too, so get thee to a pool STAT, put up your feet, and enjoy.

Happy reading!