Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Perfect for fans of Robopocalypse, this action-packed science-fiction debut introduces a chilling future and an unforgettable heroine with a powerful role to play in the battle for humanity’s survival.

The machines have risen, but not out of malice. They were simply following a command: to stop the endless wars that have plagued the world throughout history. Their solution was perfectly logical. To end the fighting, they decided to end the human race.

A potent symbol of the resistance, Rhona Long has served on the front lines of the conflict since the first Machinations began—until she is killed during a rescue mission gone wrong. Now Rhona awakens to find herself transported to a new body, complete with her DNA, her personality, even her memories. She is a clone . . . of herself.

Trapped in the shadow of the life she once knew, the reincarnated Rhona must find her place among old friends and newfound enemies—and quickly. For the machines are inching closer to exterminating humans for good. And only Rhona, whoever she is now, can save them.

Pre-order Machinations today!

And don’t forget to add it to your list on Goodreads!


Hayley Stone has lived her entire life in sunny California, where the weather is usually perfect and nothing as exciting as a robot apocalypse ever happens. When not reading or writing, she freelances as a graphic designer, falls in love with videogame characters, and analyzes buildings for velociraptor entry points. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in German from California State University, Sacramento.

Machinations is her debut novel, releasing June 14th, 2016 from Hydra/Random House.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

No Jeans. How Sad.

I had to go shopping yesterday. I am about to start substitute teaching, and my typical wardrobe doesn't fit the bill. Apparently, tees with book covers and sarcasm don't scream, "I am a grown-up and you will respect me."

Who knew?

Also, no jeans.

I am bereft.

Okay, not really. I don't mind dressing like an adult from time to time, but finding clothes that fit and make me feel good isn't an easy task. Especially since I am cheap. I don't want to spend more than $5-10 on a shirt. But I'm learning, other than when I find something great at a thrift store, clothes that work for me cost more money.

I hate that.

I want to spend my money on books and food and travel. Not clothes. Especially not clothes that aren't fun.

I loved shopping when I was a teenager. I wandered the local outlet mall yesterday, wondering what changed. I came up with a few things that probably are obvious. For instance, as a teen, my money paid my car insurance, filled my gas tank, and was otherwise all for me. I did tithe. I know, what kind of abnormal teen was I, right? But, really, all of that left quite a bit to spend on clothes and movies and the cover cost to go dancing in the Vista.

I wasn't worried about buying a house, sending kids to college, buying kids cars, covering youth trips and summer camp. I wasn't worried. Period.

Add my existential thoughts while shopping... You know the ones. I stare at the excess, the fountains and fire pits and fancy statues that adorn our local shopping area, and I am baffled. Why do we need all this? We are building temples to consumerism. I don't like being a part of that machine. I want to opt out.

But I need clothes to wear to work.

And someone explain to me why so many shirts are see-thru and cropped? I feel like I have to choose between complicated combinations to make an outfit or dressing like I remember my grandmother dressing when she was alive. Where is the in-between? Am I just too impatient to dig for it? Sure, if I want to buy the see-thru blouse, I can then put a cami under it, but that means making sure I have a cami that will look good under it, and that means buying another item, and then, I will probably need a sweater to go over it, because even with a cami, it is still see-thru. So I am basically just wearing the cami, right?

I used to love clothes and fashion, but now I wish someone else would dress me each morning.

Just to be contradictory, I do love Project Runway. Maybe when I am JK Rowling* I can hire one of the Project Runway designers to outfit me. Problem solved.

So, that is where I am. I spent an entire morning in outlet stores. I left with one pair of grey pants (marked down from $80 to $20, score!), a black sweater, and a purple sweater. It's a start. Now can I go to the bookstore?

*I harbor no illusions to being JK Rowling, either literally or metaphorically. It is just a joke we have in our family that all of the giant expensive dreams can happen one day when I am JK Rowling. Ha Ha. Funny. ;)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Currently: Your Third Most Common Month for Madness

Current Books: I'm reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert with my morning coffee and Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan the rest of the time. In the car, I'm playing Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Current Playlist: I've been listening to songs friends have suggested to match my 2016 theme, Daring.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Not packing today. We are buying a house, and I should be packing today, but there are so many things that need doing, and I am leaving on another road trip tomorrow, so I am procrastinating. I'm not sure this counts as a guilty pleasure. It's just a guilty relief.

Current Color: Grey, deep charcoal grey and light silver grey... all the grey.

Current Food: I'm eating a dark chocolate granola bar as I type this.

Current Drink: Last month, I realized I have been dehydrated, so I am upping my water intake.

Current Favorite Favorite: The Middle Sisters... a group made up of current writers on Middle Places and some former writers for Middle Places. I am watching as they pull together to support a sister again, and they blow my mind in the best kind of way.

Current Wishlist: Mostly things that aren't buyable... to have my step daughter be a bigger part of our lives, to give my friend her mother back, to know the answers...

Current Needs: Money for this summer's month-long jaunt to Honduras

Current Triumph: I had a poem selected to be published an a great lit journal and I have been writing short stories.

Current Bane-Of-My-Existence: Preteen hormones and science fair projects

Current Indulgence: I'm sitting on the couch with my heated slippers on, taking the time to do this blog post.

Current Mood: Both optimistic and heavy, motivated and exhausted

Current Outfit: Dark jeans, my Wizard of Oz long-sleeved tee from Out of Print, a black and white sweater, and those heated slippers I mentioned

Current #1 Blessing: My husband, as usual... Only one of us can travel for the visitation and funeral of a friend's mother this weekend, and he immediately decided it should be me. There is every good reason for him to go instead, but he is letting me do this, and I am grateful.

Current Quote: “If I am not actively creating something, then I am probably actively destroying something” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear 

Current Photo:

Title taken from: “Lots of people go mad in January. Not as many as in May, of course. Nor June. But January is your third most common month for madness.” ― Karen Joy Fowler, Sarah Canary

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