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Check out my website: Modesty is for Suckers

Yup--the picture kind of says all you need to know about the personal side of who I am. Professionally, I am an author, and a fantasy editor with Hadley Rille Books since January 2011.

It's here! Beyond the Gate, available on Amazon

Returning to the Vale after university, Linhare is thrust into the long-standing grudges and precarious alliances that maintain her realm. But there is more to the peace than political intrigue: Ambition. Secrets. And a terrible deed, recorded in a scarred, red journal, that should have remained forever secret.
Wait's secret.
Unearthing his past was an accident; keeping it to herself was not. Then the damning journal vanishes, heralding a spiral of betrayal and dark magic that casts Linhare from Vales Gate and into a world of bolleys and Drumbul Lords, of gobbets and ghasty-haints. A world from which Linhare has little hope of returning--until Wait falls into Fae to pursue her, bringing with him hope, love, and more truth than she can bear.
Truth cannot remain entombed forever. Only long enough...

Publisher's Weekly says:
DeFino’s third novel, a romantic fantasy set in the same world as Finder and A Time Never Lived, follows the adventures of “gracious and genial” Princess Linhare, a veritable paragon of ladylike virtues. Returning to the Vale after six years at university, intrigue and treachery soon leave her stranded in the land of fae. The stoically fierce and barnacle-loyal guard Wait, burdened with a dark secret and a cursed past that only Linhare’s forgiveness and love can alleviate, soon rushes after. Along with Linhare’s best friend, Jinna, and Jinna’s lover, Egalfo, they embark on an Odyssey-like quest—with cursed pirate ships, a mad Dread Queen, seductive fairy lords, and treacherous slavers—to return to a kingdom very different from the one they left. Though hampered by slow pacing and repeated substitutions of romantic clichés for character development, the story unfolds into a quietly surprising and unexpectedly satisfying conclusion.

New! An original fairy tale, by me!
Jingle5cover"I haven't read an original fairy tale in ages, and now I'm reminded of what I've
missed. Jingle, the story of a beautiful child born to a terrible fate and the
catkin who loved her, is equal to anything Barbara Leonie Picard ever wrote.
Beautiful language, a simple story, and best of all, it felt fantastic the way
so little fantasy does today." Amazon reviewer

My critically acclaimed debut novel, Finder, was published in November 2010 by Hadley Rille Books. What? You don't think it was critically acclaimed? Well here's my proof:

"...DeFino’s first novel creates an exotic desert environment as a backdrop to the story of a young man’s coming-of-age and a young woman’s search for the only family she has left. VERDICT Compelling characters and a fascinating world background make this a good addition to most fantasy collections." ~Library Journal

To see the whole review, you can go here: Library Journal Review
Amazon Reviews
Goodreads reviews
And if you'd like to read a sample chapter of Finder <--there you go.

Feel free to wander about, see what's up. If you get bored here, head on over to the blog sisters-in-Hadley Rille Books (and one brother!) and I put up, Heroines of Fantas here we have all sorts of interesting guests.

Newly released (May 2012) A Time Never Lived

Publishers' Weekly says: A Time Never Lived Terri-Lynne DeFino Hadley Rille (Ingram, dist.), $28 (358p) ISBN 978-0-98496-702-5 This gripping sequel to 2010's Finder brings family drama and magical legend to life. When the psychic Finder Ethen and his beloved Zihariel disappear during their search for the lost Spice Way across the Iabba Desert, the focus shifts to Ethen's son, Victorio, whose Finding talent appears to have failed, and whose relationship with the mercurial Cesilee has grown strained in the wake of her affair with artifact-hunter Sulman "Sully" Kahvek. After a fiery vision of a burning landscape, Victorio, fearing for his father, sets out in pursuit of Ethen, with Cesilee and lonely nobleman Lord Dorquin Shiel in tow. Joined as well by the treasure-seeking Sully and the mysterious Myrie Raleven, Victorio's party begins a dangerous quest across a magnificently-depicted multicultural fantasy world for the legendary city of Valadur. This is a memorable saga of supernatural power and human love from the increasingly impressive DeFino. (May)
All my books are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-million, and just about any local or indie bookstore near you (if you ask nicely.)

Anyone audio?

Hey-oo! My audiobook is FINALLY finished! Woohoo! And I got some to give away. All I ask is that, in exchange, you leave me a review at one (or all!) of the various places to leave them--Goodreads, Audible, itunes, and/or Amazon.

Please do not message me here! PM me on Facebook, or email me at bogwitch 64 (at) aol (dot) com.
(You know the deal. No spaces, at or dot.)

I've a new blog post up at Modesty is for Suckers. I keep trying to cut and paste it in here but either LJ or my crazy-ass computer won't let me do it.

Because mtlawson asked...

I meant to mirror posts here, and then totally forgot. It's been a nutty morning, trying to keep up with all the emails generated by my "new" blog. I will never get a handle on Twitter, that's for damn sure. Anyway--mirroring that post here:
Why Romance?

I am a diehard fantasy fan. I read it. I write it. I watch it. I decorate my house with it. I tattoo it on my skin. My three published novels are fantasy, and I’ve another in the process. I also work as a fantasy editor with Hadley Rille Books. And yet the novel I just wrote and sold is romance (Seeking Carolina, Kensington/Lyrical. October 2015.) The one I am working on now is as well. The publisher releasing these books is best known as a publisher of romance.


Many of those who know me as a fantasy writer have expressed this, eyebrow raised–or, at least, I imagine so. These are the people I must now question whether or not they’ve actually read any of my work, because while it is most assuredly fantasy, it is also romance.

Traditional, HEA romance? No. Seeking Carolina does not fit the parameters of a strict romance either. The story itself focuses at least as much on four sisters as the romantic element. However, the story itself is heavily driven by the romance, as is Finder, A Time Never Lived, and Beyond the Gate. Even my fairy tale, Jingle.

Life revolves around love. Romantic love. Familial love. Platonic love. Having it. Not having it. Wanting it. Avoiding it. Being hurt by it, bereft of it, in it. Love begins in a myriad of ways, but always ends in tears. At least, for one person, even if those tears are of releif. I cannot imagine a story without love at the core. I’m not saying that love and romance must be the focus of a story, or even exist as a plotline. But it’s there. It drives our characters. I would be interested to know if anyone can come up with a story not driven by love.

So when people ask me, “So…romance?” I am going to say, “Yes, romance,” and end it there. I’ve not abandoned fantasy for a more lucrative genre. I’ve been writing fantasy for…egads, twenty years now. It’s time for a little switch-up. Maybe I’ll find some new fans, and maybe–just maybe–they’ll read some of my fantasy work and realize, “Hey, I do like fantasy!”

But that’s a story for another time.

For anyone interested...

Modesty is for Suckers is LIVE!

(I can't help being sad whenever I come in here. Truly sad.)
I have an actual website sort of thing. It's a work in progress, but I'm getting there. It's modestyisforsuckers.com :) Of course.

Will it replace LJ?? I'm really not sure. Try as I do to keep this blog going, I find it slipping away, and that makes me really, really sad. I suppose things happen, life changes, and new normals replace the old. We'll see what happens.

The Contract is Signed!

The contract is signed, and all is a go--now I can announce that Kensington Publishing will be publishing Seeking Carolina--my first step out into romantic women's fiction--under their Lyrical Imprint, for an October 2015 release. I. Am. Over. The. Moon.

This is a huge step for me. Out of my comfort zone on so many levels. Into a big press. Into romanctic women's fiction. Into the romance world were the fans are as ravenous as they are devoted. I adore the women I'm working with: the fabulous Penny Barber will be my editor, and already I feel as if I've known her forever; and Renee Rocco, who I have had some conversation with--editor to editor--who is also ridiculously fun and down-to-earth. She sold her small press to Kensington in January, but retains her hold on Lyrical as She-Who-Runs-The-Show. It's the perfect balance of big and small that I was hoping for. I get the family feel I have always adored with Hadley Rille Books, but I also get the power of a very large, very successful, very established press behind me, too.

I have to say, the draw of this bigger press is something I never thought would appeal--I have little to no control over any of it. My pub date. My editor. My cover. I am the author. I wrote the thing. It is my work. For this experience, I am so happy to let it rest there. No so with HRB. We are like a commune. A family of artists working together to produce the best art we can. Totally different experience. I am lucky to have both.

As far as HRB goes, it is still my heart of hearts. Eric has been able to take over many of his old duties, but I am--as ever--his right hand. I have no intention of that changing. Ever. Not by my actions, anyway. Sorry, Eric, but you are stuck with your curious-oyster-sparkle-queen.

Gioia-Bean smiles!


I don't want to hear it's gas. It's a smile! :)


Lies? Or Stories?

I just finished reading A Land More Kind Than Home by Wylie Cash, and in his note from the author*, he said this:

"...I wish I knew then what I know now: As a six-year-old, you're called a liar when you tell a story that you know isn't true. But if you can keep telling stories and wait just a few more years, people will eventually call you a writer. Even when they know your stories aren't true."
Wylie Cash
(A Land More Kind Than Home)

I just thought that was really faboo, so I'm sharing it with you. And this too, because my daughter is hilarious, and I am a proud mama.
Mommy Lies

*The part that came before that in his author's note--as a six-year-old, he embellished a story about the family trip to the beach, because he thought "swimming and playing in the sand" was way too boring. Instead, he told a friend his dad had buried him up to his neck and a sandcrab got hold of his big toe and nearly snapped it off before his dad dug him out.

Hello, again, hello*

Just when you think it's safe to go back in the water...and I'm afraid it will be this way for a while yet. Eric continues to recover. We are even starting up publishing again with Harriet Goodchild's amazing novel, After the Ruin, to be released early 2015. I had the honor of "editing" this one, and editing is in quotes because this book needed nothing of the sort. It is perfection, and though I actually did work on it with Harriet, it was a magical thing that happens only rarely.

I don't think I posted about the indiegogo campaign in here, have I? It was in the works before Eric's stroke. Hadley Rille Books got too big for its britches, but the money necessary to buy it new duds just wasn't there. We are small, and small usually means a bunch of pros working for the love of it all. That works for very small, but HRB no longer was, and we needed to expand. Eric's stroke forestalled things, and made them a little more dire, so we decided to go ahead with the campaign. Here it is. No pressure, no worries. We appreciate a boost in here, on your blog, twitter, FB, any social media you happen to frequent.
HRB indiegogo

And if you've gotten this far, you deserve a reward--how about...
FREE AUDIOBOOK--Priestess and the Slave by Jenny Blackford, in exchange for an honest review.

(Scroll to about the middle of her post for details.)

*Collapse )

I'm blaming Queenoftheskies!

I told you I shouldn't say it "out loud"!!! :)

I am able to comment on some flisters, and not others. peadarog, yours is one of them! Just wanted to say--the etymology thing brings tears to my eyes! Language and the connections between them and the HISTORY of words--truly, makes me weep joy.

Last week...oy

Last week:

Monday: My son, who has been on pain meds for a year now, finally got off them, and spent the week sicker-than-sick.

Tuesday and Friday: Visits to his doc to get things under control, both physically and mentally. Damn--does it ever end for this young man?

Wednesday: passwords were changed without my knowledge. Can we say, "freak out???" All is now well. And this was also the day the phone never stopped ringing. There was one point that I had the landline on one ear, the cell on the other, and while trying to field both calls, the landline call waiting kept beeping, and I was getting texts on the cell from two other people. Crazy.

Thursday: Stem cell injections for my boy. Grueling experience. They took fat from his belly, and marrow from his hip bone. I was not allowed to stay for that part, but they did let me sit with him while they stuck 18 gauge needles into his leg about 20 times. Not something a mama wants to see. :(

Friday: Eric went home, hopefully, for good--but the reason wasn't so good. His dad died and he went home for the funeral. He was quite old (95) but it still hits hard.

I also finished listening to my audio for Beyond the Gate. Woohoo! I clicked "approve" yesterday, and now it is up to the ACX team to give it the last listen. Hopefully, two weeks will see it out.

On a side note--I have decided that I have to treat LJ the way I do FB--if I miss a day or two (or seven!) I can't go back and catch up. I know--it's a crazy idea to even attempt to fulfill! Yet that is what I've always done in here, because I want to see what you all have to say.

If I missed anything big, link me!

Dave Matthews Band!

My superfabulous stepson surprised me with tix to the Dave Matthews concert at the PNC Bank Arts Center down in NJ last night. I was over the moon! Great seats. Great night. Great company, just me, Frankie D and Frankie D Jr. I am a lucky one, I am!

It's Gobbet Season!

It's Gobbet season! What's a Gobbet? They are faekind in Beyond the Gate, shapeshifters whose natural form is a bit of fluff. As all things tend to, they come from my own experience, and this is it...

Gobbet Season

Cottonwood pollen. Yup! Starting the end of May and floating through early June, the fluff sails and clumps in drifts around here like snow. Here's a short excerpt, in honor of the season.

Gobbets!Collapse )

Kind of tummy-rumble-bumbling...

It has been a long time since I wrote a query letter or a synopsis for myself. I've helped friends and colleagues with theirs, but my own? Haven't written either since Finder, and that was back in 2009. Since then, I've enjoyed four happy, successful years with Hadley Rille Books. And now?? Seeking Carolina doesn't fit HRB parameters. We have a definite niche, and contemporary romantic fiction is not one of them. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I didn't write Seeking Carolina for HRB. I wrote it specifically because it was outside of HRB. So an-agent hunting I go.

It's not the hunt or the fear of rejection that has my tummy rumble-bumbling, but excitement. My heart is in small press, truly and quite deeply. It is such an exciting, innovative and creative place to be. It's where writers can write outside the lines, on subjects not necessarily supported by "the norm."

There's a part of me that wants to give "bigger" a chance, see if I can squeeze my way in. What am I missing? What is there to learn? To experience? I am a curious oyster, as you well know, and once bitten, I must learn all there is to learn. It may turn out I don't like what I learn, but I'm never going to know if I don't try.

My query is written, my synopsis (a much easier task abbreviating 70K words than 135K!) is complete, and I've one agent on my radar right now. I will find others, but she's my top pick, so--what the hell? It's a place to start.

I do have alternatives, should I decide this isn't for me, or big-press world decides I'm not for them. I've had one offer to publish by a small press, and it is tempting me--but the curious oyster will not rest. We'll see.


GrandWilliam wipes me the hell out. He's sweet and fun and energetic and adorable and amazing and did I mention ENERGETIC?? Egads, the boy is perpetual motion.

He wanted nothing to do with the coming baby sister, and gave me a frowny and steadfast NO when I told him Mommy and Daddy were bringing baby Gioia home to live with them. But he came around, first saying "she's very cute" and then showing her his cars despite the fact that her eyes were firmly shut.

My GrandGioia was born on May 28th, at 4:33 in the afternoon. She weighed a whopping 9 lbs, 1.7 oz, and measured 22 inches. She came out looking like a prize fighter, and the child deserves a heavyweight belt for it! Within days, she's round and pink and perfect. Now, some pics.
pics if you want themCollapse )


Gioia has arrived

May 28th at 4:33. 9 lbs 1 oz, and 22 inches long, My itty bitty baby GrandGioia!
grampaand gioia
first pic

Bitterly, Connecticut

That little, magical, fictional town is in my heart these days. I wrote Seeking Carolina because I needed something that wasn't sunk so deeply into Hadley Rille Books. As way leads on to way, so too did story lead on to story, and Promises to Keep was born on Saturday. I have another one in my head, set in this small town. I have a feeling in the pit of my writerly gut that The Shadows One Walks is not going to worm its way back into my heart until Eric is back at the helm and I am just a writer/editor with Hadley Rille Books again.

As I have done with my fantasy novels, so too am I doing with my Bitterly books--they connect. Pass-by characters in the first will step into bigger places in the second, and the same goes for the third still only a blip on my radar screen. There is something about connecting things that just happens when I write. Most of the time, these connections are there for those who will recognize them, but won't detract from the story for those who don't. We'll see. I'm really happy where I am right now; and though The Shadows One Walks calls to me, I know that's not where I'm supposed to be right now.

Anyway--two days, two posts. Wow! Look at me! So I'll end this here and get to work, because there's a whole lot of stuff ahead, and the day's getting away from me.


The Bogwitch is Back!

Well, it has been a crazy few months. Being editor-in-chief at Hadley Rille Books has been kinda fun, very frustrating, and immensely rewarding. I learn by doing, thank goodness, because I had to learn a LOT on the spot, on the job, with dire consequences staring back in my face--but I did it. Right now, Hadley Rille Books is floating along peacefully, awaiting whatever future is in store.

There are many things happening during this "lull." We released High Maga, by Karin Gastreich. Now THAT was a trip! Thankfully, we Heroines of Fantasy banded together to hold our beloved press together. We got it out, and it's doing well. Our audiobooks are moving along, not without some glitches along the way, but I just approved our very first one, Eolyn, also by Karin Gastreich. It should be live in a couple of weeks. Beyond the Gate is right behind it. I'm listening to it right now. My narrator made me cry this morning! This is a good thing.

The family is doing well. Baby Gioia Elizabeth is due to arrive within the next few weeks. My daughter is VERY ready to meet her own daughter. GrandWilliam is having nothing of this, mostly turning his head and pretending not to hear anyone who mentions his baby sister. I'm fairly confident he will be fine once she arrives. He's a sweet little monster.

Chris finished his first semester of college in three years, and did well. He is having stem-cell therapy on his leg in the hopes of regenerating some of the muscle and nerve function there. Grace left the International School she was working for in NYC and will instead work with another French preschool, this one in Manhattan. The first school was for French families who plan on returning to France and don't want to assimilate their kids, while the new school is more about assimilating to both cultures. It's a good switch. More money, farther away, but all-in-all, better. Scott's musical career is BUSY. Is there $ yet? Well, more than there's ever been, but that's still not much. He's very happy though. Hearing a roaring crowd has got to do wonders for the ego, no?

Oh--me? Are you asking about how I've been doing over the last few months of my absence? Hmm...well...let me see...I FINISHED A BOOK! Seeking Carolina. Totally out of my wheelhouse. Contemporary romantic magical women's fiction. How's that for a category. I love it. I dashed it out, first draft to third, in three months. Only 70K (as compared to my usual 150K tomes!) and just the right size for what it is. For this one, I'm going to try getting an agent, maybe going that route if things work out. We'll see. Right now, it's out with alpha-readers. I still have time.

This book is not for HRB. First, we don't publish this kind of thing. Second, I purposely NEEDED to write something that wasn't for Eric. It has been heartbreaking and heartwarming, watching his struggle. He's doing well, but it's such a long, hard road back. I am immersed in HRB every day. In my writing world, I needed something outside of it.

And a second novel, set in this same town but with different characters--was born on Saturday. Promises to Keep--a ghost story. Actually, Seeking Carolina had ghosts in it too, but PtK is going to have one as a major character, not peripheral ones.

So, that's my story. I have missed LJ world! I have missed blogging. But now that my stint at Heroines of Fantasy is done, and things have smoothed out a bit with HRB, I find the pull too hard to resist.

Bopping in

Coming in to post this leaves me a bit melancholy. I miss this world and those in it. I come in and skim through posts, touch a few familiar "faces" and :::poof::: I'm gone again. I wish it were not necessary, but right now, it is.

I am writing like mad. 55K in the last month and a half. That is my focus right now. I haven't written with this kind of joyful abandon since writing Finder, and it feels mah-velous. Seeking Carolina is a story I've had locked away for about a year. Stepping off The Shadows One Walks after Eric's stroke freed it. I am beyond pleased with what I've done.

Speaking of Eric--he is doing well. His road back to himself will be a long one, but he's well and definitely on the path. Because the right half of his brain was so impacted, he's having trouble with the left side of his body--and that includes reading and writing. He improves daily and works SO HARD, because he is not one to sit around watching TV. Wow, is he not! For the forseeable future, I'm still the big boss at Hadley Rille Books. With Karin (Gastreich) and Kim (Vandervort) taking on many of the tasks, we've been able to set HRB on an even keel, and were even able to bring Karin's new release, High Maga, to press. I'm quite proud of us.

The family is doing fine. Little Gioia Elizabeth is nearly cooked! Her timer will ding in another month and a half. I cannot wait to meet her. GrandWilliam is a right-little boy now, talking like a real person, cracking jokes, being a monster. He's the apple of his Nonnie's eye. My son will be having another procedure once school is out--intensive 3-6 month ordeal that, if it is successful, will give him a good deal of his leg function back. IF being the operative word here--we are very hopeful. Hmmm...what else. Oh, yes...


And with that, I shall leave you with this: