COVER REVEAL: The Well Below the Valley, by Katherine Lampe

Katherine Lampe is a Twitter buddy and fellow independent author.  I reviewed the first book in her Caitlyn Ross miniseries last year and enjoyed it a lot; this is book seven.  This will be a big week for her around here, because she’s doing a guest post for me later this week too.  

The cover is by the most excellent Matt Davis, who I plan on working with myself just as soon as I find the right project.


Six months after the birth of her daughter, Caitlin Ross’s life is in a tailspin. Still suffering from what he endured at the hands of his former lover, her husband, Timber MacDuff, has drawn away. The gods have stopped speaking, except for vague hints in bad dreams. Unwilling to face reality, Caitlin goes about her daily routine as if nothing has changed while deep inside she longs for distraction.

When the county sheriff asks for help with a puzzling situation, Caitlin believes her prayers have been answered. A rancher has drowned in the middle of a desert, and the means appear supernatural. The case is right up Caitlin’s alley, but her interest pits her against Timber, who insists getting involved is too dangerous now that she’s a mother. Neither he nor Caitlin realizes a greater danger awaits. Strange events in Gordarosa have brought the area to the attention of a group known as Shade Tracers. Mundane mortals, they’ve taken it upon themselves to protect humanity from magic—with deadly force, if necessary. One holds Caitlin responsible for a personal tragedy, and will stop at nothing to see justice done..

Past and present converge in Caitlin’s darkest adventure yet. With her own life at stake, she must journey through time to uncover the truth behind the Shade Tracer’s obsession. Success could provide the key to solving the local mystery. Failure will doom her to a life on the run, forever hunted.

The Well Below the Valley will be released in print and electronic editions August 2, 2016.


Just then, some odd flickers from the BLM land adjacent our property caught my eyes. Shading them with my hand, I squinted into the distance. A flash. A beat, and then another. No regular rhythm. They seemed to originate from the low hill from which we often watched the moonrise.

Some kids dicking around with a mirror. BLM land was public property, and this section lay convenient to town. Bored local teens partied there. Timber and I combed the ground a couple of times a month, picking up the trash they left behind.

I bent to retrieve my basket. As I straightened, the light flashed again, this time with a distinctive quality hard to define. Less like a mirror. More like a flame. I’d just settled on the difference when something whizzed past my left ear, and a cluster of berries fell off the rowan tree at the center of the garden. A split second later, a sharp CRACK! rang through the air.

My jaw dropped. What the hell? I lifted my eyes from the rowan berries to the hilltop in time to see the light flash again. At the same time, panicked voice shouted not three feet behind me.

“Jesus Christ, Caitlin! Get DOWN!”

A heavy object struck my back, knocking me to the ground. My basket flew from my hand, spilling my harvest. I hit the earth with a shock that drove the wind from my lungs. AS I lay there, cheek in damp soil, the intense, green scent of bruised tomato vines clogged my nose. A foot from my head, a pepper plant exploded. CRACK! Understanding washed over me, and I began to shake.

Someone was shooting at me.

About the Series

Rural Gordarosa looks like any small mountain town, with stunning scenery and locals who enjoy gossip. Witch Caitlin Ross knows, however, that there’s more to her hometown than meets the mundane eye. The caretaker at the local theater isn’t human, for example. And her best friend’s uncle is a demon. Sometimes Otherworldly forces get out of control, and Caitlin has to step in to put things right.

Walking the line between Urban Fantasy and Magical Realism, the Caitlin Ross series is unique in being written with a polytheistic Pagan world view, in which the gods are often as flawed as humans and the other is not necessarily monstrous. The books give readers access to a world where magic is an ordinary part of life, but, for all that, never commonplace. By presenting enchantment as a given, they highlight the wonder in the every day.

About the Author

Musician, DJ, and unrepentant Iconoclast, Katherine Lampe studied at the University of Michigan with Ken Mikolowski, and at Naropa University with Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. The daughter of an English teacher and a self-professed heretic masquerading as a Presbyterian minister, she is interested in the individual’s relationship with the divine. Her work explores the interaction of the supernatural and the mundane in the lives of real people.

Memorial Day

Miss you, Grandpa.


Just to make sure we’re clear…

…this is what a chimpanzee can do to a small creature that it finds in its enclosure and doesn’t want there.  I suspect there is not much weight difference between a toddler and a large raccoon.  There is, however, an enormous difference between the strength level of a chimpanzee and a silverback gorilla:


I just figured, judging from the chatter I’ve seen on the internet today, that this might be a useful thing to think about.

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Insane Idiosyncrasies Edition


If we were having coffee, I’d be in a better mood than I am right now, because I’m not drinking coffee.  (Note that it is probably best to interpret this post less as whining and more as look what an idiot I am.  Calibrate your expectations accordingly.)

Our coffee maker took a shit a couple of weeks ago, developing a leak toward the base somewhere that necessitated its immediate replacement.  The new hotness was a more expensive & more technologically complicated edition.  It had a timer on it!  My wife was super happy, as you could set everything up before bed and have hot coffee already brewed when you get out of the shower in the morning.

Sounds great, right?  It also has an auto shutoff, meaning that there’s no more early-afternoon trips that feature one of us saying Did you shut the coffee maker off? because it automatically shuts itself off after some predetermined amount of time.  And for whatever reason I haven’t taken the time to figure out how the timer works and how it can be adjusted, which means that there have been several times since we got the new coffee maker where I’ve wanted coffee and not had any, because for some reason the idea of reheated coffee creeps me out.  Once that shit gets cold, it’s permanently undrinkable.

Note that I drink iced coffee every now and again.  If it’s cold on purpose, that’s fine.  If it’s cold because it got cold, it cannot be made hot again.

Yes.  I know.

That doesn’t make any sense at all.  I am aware of the problem and I have top people working on it.

I just wandered into the kitchen– yes, I know, it’s a quarter to twelve, shut up— ready for a hot cup of coffee only to be greeted with what was best lukewarm liquid that wouldn’t have been hot at all once I added milk to it.  Turning the pot back on or putting the cup in the microwave is existentially impossible, and making a new pot seems wasteful.  So no coffee for me this morning, again, because I’m too damn dumb/lazy to figure out how to extend that auto shutoff feature by another hour or two or, better, just disable it altogether.

I am not very bright, is what I’m saying here.  On the plus side, I discovered cold pizza in the fridge that I didn’t know was there, so the morning isn’t a complete loss.

How’re you?

That time of year again