Sunday, April 24, 2016

WeWriWa: Tomb Raider Meets VanHelsing


Just finished final page proofs for the reissue of MIDNIGHT SHADOWS, the most unique and adventurous of my Touched by Midnight vampire romance series. It’s a walk on the wild side because its main characters are both very human in a very deadly world filled with monsters. Our hero, Frank Cobb is the cynical spook from MIDNIGHT REDEEMER who’s in the mysterious jungles of Peru to capture a vampire for his governmental bosses. But his personal agenda of revenge takes an unexpected turn when he meets the woman he’s there to protect, the gutsy and strangely vulnerable myth-busting ethnologist, Sheba Reynard whose jobs is proving the demon he hunts isn’t real. Is she in for a surprise! Here’s a peek . . .
What’s happening to me? 

She pressed her face into the shelter of Cobb’s shoulder, her arms whipping about his neck in a circle the Jaws of Life couldn’t break, because that’s what he meant to her at the moment—life, safety, sanity—for those things wobbled in tenuous uncertainty as reality was pulled back toward the anchor he represented. 

Save me, Frank! 

From what, a threat that had stunned and so petrified her that, even now, she couldn’t grasp its enormity? Was she losing her mind? Nothing seemed real to her. 

Except the solidity of Frank Cobb’s embrace. 

He was real, and was here and strong and perhaps capable of fighting back her demons. If he didn’t think she was crazy. 

And she was very afraid she was.

I don’t have a new cover yet (waiting on pins and needles!) but here’s a look at MIDNIGHT SHADOWS, re-debuting at the end of next month.


MIDNIGHT SHADOWS

There are no monsters . . .
Myth-busting ethnologist, Sheba Reynard's life's work is proving that's true. While exposing hoaxes, she's also hiding from the frightening shadows in her past that say different. To find the missing pieces of her memory that continue to haunt her dreams, she must face the truth behind the nightmares . . . a truth that leads to madness or even death.

Death is only the beginning . . .
Frank Cobb knows monsters are real. He's pursued a wily vampire into the jungles of Peru, prepared to face a demon with only his very high, very human, skill set. But are his motives purely business-to bring the creature back for government research-or for a completely personal revenge? What he doesn't count on, is an annoyingly strong-willed woman getting in his way.

Forced together by circumstance, one must surrender their quest if the other is to survive.

"Ms. Gideon continues to run in the fore-front of the vampire romance genre. Non-stop action and passion combined in an exotic setting will definitely thrill fans, leaving them craving more. " Kathe Robin, Romantic Times



Happy weekend, fellow Warriors!!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

20 (Okay, so 19) Questions with Isabelle Drake: Getting to Know Your Favorite (or soon to be Favorite!) Writer



What can I say about Isabelle Drake? Wicked smart, fun, PR savvy like you wouldn’t believe. She tried to teach me the fine art of selfies over dinner but my arms just aren’t long enough (I’m kind of a T-Rex in that arena!). If you don’t follow her on Facebook to enjoy her whimsical outlooks on life and pulp Noir pin-ups, shame! She’s also an amazing and versatile writer I started following when books on disk first came out (she’s always been on the cutting edge!) who is now very successful as “The Nicer Side of Naughty” in the erotica market. I’m very excited to get my hands on her latest book, out TODAY! BEST FRIENDS NEVER is a new direction, the first book in her “Cherry Grove” series of YA whodunits, combining teen angst with a mystery to solve. I can’t wait to start reading . . . After you meet Isabelle and get a look at BEST FRIENDS NEVER, you’ll feel the same way.


Getting to know you:

1. Party dress or blue jeans?

I like to think I’m a party dress girl, but if I’m being honest I’m a jeans girl.

2. Spa day or gym workout?

Gym workout, if I have to pick. Why? Why must I pick?!! Seriously, an intense workout helps me think.

3. Night owl or early bird?

Night owl if I don’t have to work the next day. I love writing in the middle of the night.

4. Broadway or museum?

Visiting a museum restores my creativity; Broadway shows restore my spirit. So, it depends on what I’m needing.

5. Other creative outlets?

Gardening. That’s creative, right? All those colors and textures and planning how things will look as they grow together.

6. Favorite books from childhood?

1. Black Beauty from elementary.
2. Gone with the Wind from middle school.
3. Edgar Allen Poe stories from high school.


7. Three favorite movies?

1. Gone with the Wind
2. Tropic Thunder
3. THX 1138


8. What music are you listening to? (While you write?)

Disco on Pandora. If I’m really concentrating, I switch to my Lindsey Stirling station.

The Written word:

9. What type of fiction heroine would you be? Jane Eyre or Lara Croft?

Can I be combination of both? Delicate and refined but also a badass.

10. Favorite genre to read?

Like most other writers, I read all sorts of things. I love thrillers and old pulp paperbacks. I love beach reads and old Betty & Veronica comics.

11. What would you love to write that you haven’t?

A really gritty murder mystery. To see if I could write something so different from what I have been writing.

12. Fiction hero you would run off with?

Hayden, from my work in progress Servant of the Undead. He’s flawed by always trying to do the right thing even if doing the right thing takes him to scary places.

13. What are you reading right now?

The Bat, a crime novel, by Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo.

A Writer’s Life:

14. OCD plotter or free range pantser?

I usually start as a pantser then, after I stall out, do some plotting. I am the best and worst of both. LOL.

15. Live to write or write to live? Day job?

My day job is teaching writing! How awesome is that? Teaching composition keeps me attentive to the importance of audience and, of course, the students are awesome.

16. Do you have a set writing schedule?

I carry my tablet with me and work on a first draft as I can. If I’m doing revisions I carry the printed manuscript and work on that as I can. So, no, I don’t have a set schedule.

17. Solo muse or critique partner(s)?

If I use critique partners it is either after I have completed the first draft or when I get stuck on a plot points. I have to envision the story as a whole on my own before I can have a helpful discussion.

18. What’s on your desk?

Right now? An empty glass from last night’s Bulleit Rye, a stack of note pads I may have taken from hotels (The 3 on the top: Milford Plaza, New York; ‘Tween Waters Inn, Captiva Island, Florida, Renaissance Hotels, not sure where that one came from) and pile of sketch pads, colored pencils, and a tiny fuzzy kitten my sister made of me.

19. When can we get your next book and what’s it all about?

Best Friends Never comes out April 19. It’s the first book in my YA suspense series, Cherry Grove.



Here’s a bit about Best Friends Never:

Be careful who you keep secrets with, especially in picture-perfect Cherry Grove, a place where average isn’t good enough, and nothing is what it seems.

Lexi Welks wants two things—respect and a college acceptance letter that’ll get her out of too-good-to-be-true Cherry Grove. The problem is that the nasty, life-ruining secret she shares with Monica Sanders is about to go public. If their ugly truth comes out, her plans for college—not happening. And that’s only the beginning of her end.

Monica is the kind of student teachers adore—well-behaved, hard-working and always following the rules. She’s the kind of friend other girls follow—well-dressed, popular and always knowing the right thing to do. If only they knew the truth about her. The truth Lexi found out the hard way, after spending the past summer letting Monica talk her into doing things she knew could come back to ruin her.

Now it’s the first week of school and one of the seniors is missing. Lexi knows a thing or two about the circumstances of his disappearance, but she’s not talking. Neither is Monica. But wicked truths have a way of crawling to the surface and tearing through the most careful plans.

Want to check it out? Get it on 
Amazon.

Want to check out my other stuff? Go to my Amazon Page!

Or be social and visit me here . . . 






Sunday, April 10, 2016

WeWriWa: The Well Placed Scene Break


Since we were talking action and brotherly love last week, I’m continuing with one of my favorite devices from my shape-shifter W-I-P, PRINCE OF HONOR – the well placed scene break that says it all so I don’t have to. Sometimes, imagining what goes on between the lines is more fun than having to read them.

“I’ll be right out here,” Sylvia promised. 

When he looked back, she’d closed the door between them. Row stiffened, sensing her moving farther and farther away from him. When he reached for the door in alarm, a gesture from Cale put his king’s hulking bodyguard between him and it. 

“What’s going on, Cale?” 

“Remember I’m your brother and your king, and that Bull can rip your arms and legs off without breaking a sweat. There’s something I need to tell you and I want your promise you’ll hear me out before you react. Then, if you want to hit me, Bull won’t stop you.”

Cale sat on the made up couch holding a frozen Limearita can to one throbbing eye while the other tracked Turow’s travels back and forth across the living space. 

It had taken some doing to get Bull to wait in the hall, leaving him alone with his possibly fratricidal brother.

So . . . Did you need it spelled out or did that dramatic break give you the chance to picture it yourself?

Now for the recap to bridge the gap between action/reaction. Word count at almost 78K! Full steam ahead!

How’s your weekend going?

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

IWSG: That Siren Muse


Don’t you just hate it when the book you’re committed to finishing isn’t the one that’s calling to your imagination? As you’re dutifully pounding away at chapters, scenes filled with other characters, chasing along other plot lines, are flirting in your head. They intrude upon your sleep, co-pilot your drive home from work, sneak into your idle moments when fingers drum aimlessly on the keys. Because your mind wants to go in another direction than your intentions.

I’m 75K into my WIP. So close I can taste the last page. So why can’t the next book in my rotation leave me the heck alone?

I used to just ignore those whispered snips of dialogue thinking I’d remember them when I began that first chapter of the next project. But by then, of course, those dynamic paragraphs were forgotten, those witty repartees, MIA.


To silence these taunting demons, I started doing something that had my OCD soul screaming. When the pieces of plot started talking . . . I wrote them down. Simple, you say. But not for this hardline start-to-finish gal. Post-It notes littered the inside of my purse. Half pages of dialogue started filling up my lunch hour at work. I opened a file and started filling it with sections of plot and action and scenes. And suddenly I had a third of that next book written! Out of order (shudder) but ready to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle (I like puzzles!)

Moral to self: When you’re on a roll, roll with it. Inspiration sometimes only knocks once. Don’t keep it standing out in the cold. Invite it in and put on more coffee.

How do you deal with those pesky plot bunnies?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!


Twitter hashtag is #IWSG 

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the April 6th posting will be Megan Morgan, Chris Votey, Viola Fury, Christine Rains, Madeline Mora-Summonte, L.G. Keltner, Rachna Chhabria, and Patricia Lynne!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

WeWriWa: Action!


Just finished watching a bootlegged copy of Deadpool. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone! I never expected to enjoy it quite so much. Aside from the over-the-top effects and snarky dialogue, there was the blow-me-away action. I’m an action junkie. Love to watch it. Love to write it. So in honor of that adrenaline rush, I found a new scene in PRINCE OF HONOR, my shape-shifter W-I-P featuring a mixer up between two of my princely brothers (with language MUCH more subdued than said movie!) . . .
Checking the board as he entered the small terminal, he began to run toward the gate—still time. Out of breath, anxiety high, he hadn’t considered how he’d deal with the confrontation until he spotted Colin sprawled in the empty waiting area, his bags between his feet, another set in front of the seat next to him. 

Expression lit with a comical surprise, his brother started to get up, a smile beginning to form, the words, “Hey, Row, what are you doing-” scarcely out of his mouth when Turow’s fist shoved them down his throat. The force of the punch knocked Colin backwards, sending him tumbling over his seat, ass over elbows, to stretch out full length on the sturdy carpet, feet tangling in the line ropes to bring the stanchions down with a clatter. 

Row vaulted the emptied chair, anger fueling his momentum as he straddled the dazed form. 

“What the hell was that for?” One hand to his jaw, Colin quickly waved back the counter girl who’d started to reach for the phone in alarm, assuring, “It’s okay. Just family drama. We’re done.”

“We’re far from done, you sonuvabitch!”
Pack enough punch for a small scene? Sometimes they’re harder to write because emotion and action has to be conveyed in just a few sentences (10 in this case). Family squabbles are so much fun!

Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend and ideas are blossoming like the flowers in our yard – in spite of the snow we’re supposed to get here in Michigan. Bloom where you’re planted!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

WeWriWa: Romance Re-Vamped!


I love a new release . . . even when it’s an old release brought back to life! MIDNIGHT REDEEMER is reborn with its HOT new cover and updated text and ready for new readers!

Before I get back to the final quarter (oh, it’s just getting too good to walk away from!) of PRINCE OF HONOR, my shapeshifter W-I-P, I wanted to share another “bite” from returning vampire, Louis . . .

Protective instincts that had kept him alive for centuries surged to the forefront, demanding he take swift, unwaveringly brutal action to guard his secret from further exposure. Exquisite agony pierced through his gums as necessity and need combined. He’d been hungry for her from the very first, and now had an excuse to lose control. 

He could smell her fear entwined intoxicatingly with her femininity. Expectation brought the anticipated taste of her to whet his lips. His muscles coiled with predatory intention, until logic slapped the urges from him. 

If she knew who and what he was, why was she here? 

Curiosity reined in his hunger and quieted the defensive panic. Why place her life in peril unless the risk was worth the potential gain? 

What did she want from him?

Don’t eat that – you’ll regret it later! Don’t you hate it when logic gets in the way of a good snack?



Hunt or be hunted . . . A centuries-old obsession stalks a noble family fighting to hide their dark secret from an ever-changing world. Sink your teeth into Nancy Gideon's Touched by Midnight series.

Will his dream . . .

Centuries-old vampire Louis Redman is desperate to believe an inquisitive researcher's claim that she's close to finding a cure for his age-old curse. Determined to become human again, he must trust the lovely geneticist who has pushed her way into his guarded life . . . and heart . . . not to betray him to the government agency that wants to uncover his secrets for their own purposes.

. . . be the death of her?

Scientist Stacy Kimball discovers potential fame and the answer to immortality in a murder victim's blood sample. But as she gets closer to the truth, danger stalks her from the shadows. Who wants to silence her from making the breakthrough of a lifetime? Is it the agency that funds her work? The killer who’s terrorizing Seattle's night scene?

Or the mysterious Louis Redman, whose kisses seduce her beyond caring . . . ? 

ïïïïï

"A rare treat . . . this exciting thriller will keep you up all night as Ms. Gideon weaves her spell." — Romantic Times

"Nancy Gideon is one of the best supernatural writers on the market today!"— Midwest Book Review/BookWire

"Gideon's stories transcend the genre with action, adventure, mystery, horror, AND romance. Comparable in style to Dean Koontz."— Midnight Scribe Reviews


Happy Writing. I’m going to sneak some writing in before it’s off to finish my taxes. Talk about taking a “bite!”

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

WeWriWa: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder


For the past six months, ImaJinn Books has been repackaging my Touched by Midnight vampire romance series with new covers, giving me the opportunity to revisit stories I haven't read in nearly ten years in order to update the text and make format corrections. Time and distance has made these tasks both fun and enlightening-because I'm looking at the books almost like a new reader. Though I remember the plots and characters, I've been delighting in rediscovering the scenes, especially with MIDNIGHT REDEEMER, Book 6, which brings the series into modern day (or rather the year 2000, before my touch-up). Here's a sneak peek of what's coming out again for the first time at the end of this month:
During their conversation, the restaurant had made an entire revolution, the brightness of the Seattle cityscape becoming the opaqueness of the bay, and against that flat black mat, the restaurant’s interior shown clearly upon the glass. 

All, that is, except for Louis Redman. 

His chair was empty even though he occupied it, the glass of wine lifted as if by its own accord, though she could glance at him and see he clearly held it in his hand. 

The shock startled all else from her mind. 

This was no casual date, and she wasn’t certain Redman was even a man. 

There was a sudden flicker of light as Louis lit the candle centerpiece on their table. Even the small flame obscured the reflective quality of the windows. But Stacy could not forget what she’d seen . . . or what she had not seen. 

He didn’t photograph, and he had no reflection. 

What the hell was he?

Nothing particularly new in the vampire realm, but what excited me all over again was the visual way the mystery and interactions played out . . . like a series on cable. I could see it so clearly: The settings, the cut away shots, the flash back sequences to incorporate the historical precursors, the close-ups, even the special effects. Hmm. Maybe it's time to brush off those screen writing skills. Or maybe I need to take a break from the CW Network and get back to my W-I-P!

Have you had projects of yours just screaming out for TV/movie treatment? Pitch me your High Concept!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

WeWriWa: Feels Like the First Time


After dancing around the main characters’ long ago connection in PRINCE OF HONOR, my paranormal W-I-P, for months of sneak peeks, I thought I’d let you get a glimpse at how two such opposites could possibly come together with so much baggage pushing between them. It started with that first awkward, never forgotten experience . . . a kiss.

On the cusp of awkward maturity, he’d felt those stirrings of hot-blooded adolescence and curiosity that were the mainstay of conversation amongst his brothers. While Wesley, Stephen, Rico and Colin boasted of salacious and probably highly exaggerated sexual exploits, his cheeks burned and his imagination prowled as he lingered on the outskirts of their discussions. 

It was then Wes’s half-sister Sylvia appeared, a provocative early bloomer inflaming their imaginations with her barely-there skirt, twitching stride and bold interest in their attentions. 

As she’d strutted by, pretending not to hear their lusty speculations, Stephen, a bully even then, gave Turow a hard push in her direction, loudly goading him to make a move. Horrified at becoming the focus of attention, especially when hers turned his way, he froze, earning whooping laughs and ridicule from the others. 

It was the worst moment of his life . . . until the goddess he adored from afar changed everything about it. 

Without a word, she sashayed up to him, taking his hot face between cool hands and pressed her lips to his. When his jaw dropped, her tongue intruded. Tongue! The others stared, astonished and envious to think the quiet, bashful one amongst them would be the first to actually claim that coveted experience. 

Standing there, stunned stupid, Turow would have let the opportunity slip by him if she hadn’t gently whispered, “Close your eyes, grab my butt and give those jackasses something to talk about.”

Could anything be worse than adolescent love? Can you still remember your first clumsy, to die for encounter? Of course you can! Mine was immortalized in PRINCE OF SHADOWS. Sigh . . . It’s something you never forget: Those circumstances, that object of desire, the burst of feelings. But in the case of Turow and Sylvia, will the foundation of that innocent moment be enough to sustain them through the doubts and drama to come?

Happy Spring! Happy Writing, fellow Warriors!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

IWSG: It’s Never Beyond Repair!


I was able to make a trip back to my hometown two weekends ago to spend some time with my son, d-i-l and grandson. It was my first visit back since an abrupt and distressing move across the state just before the holidays. Besides seeing author friends and spending quality time with the family, I discovered something very important in relation to my writing life.



This handsome lad is my eight-year old grandson but he’s not the lesson. It’s the pasty, fowl looking fellow behind him. I inherited my mother’s porch goose some 15 years ago. Though I wasn’t particularly fond of it, I enjoyed the creative process of dressing it up for the holidays as a reminder of her. When it followed me to my apartment, there was no place to display it so it was tucked away in neglect on my third floor patio. I didn’t think much of it until 300 pounds of ice slid off the roof and crushed my patio chair and broke the goose’s neck. Poor thing with just a piece of heavy gauge wire holding severed head at an unattractive angle. When my sudden move came up, no one wanted to carry that heavy piece of damaged statuary down three flights of stairs, so the once proud family mascot was left behind. Until during my visit my son surprised me with Mom’s goose, neck replastered and good as new. I’d given up on my feathered friend too soon.

Lugging porch goose back to my new home, I was filled with nostalgia and excitement. It had taken the caring handiwork of my son to show me that I’d given up on something I’d once loved prematurely. All it took was a little TLC from another to make me appreciate it again.

It made me think of something else I’d dragged across the state, boxed and nearly forgotten. Those fragments of stories, those submitted, rejected and never retooled manuscripts I’d given up on, the long out of print books I had the rights to but never did anything with. Maybe I gave up on them too soon. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate their worth, to spruce them up, let others take a look at them to help me fix problems I thought irreparable.

What have you given up on and tucked away, thinking there was no point in trying to save it? It’s time to take it out, boot it up and see if that original spark fires again. Make spring cleaning into a time of creative rebirth.

Happy Spring (even though we still have to shovel to find it!)


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!


Twitter hashtag is #IWSG 

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the March 2nd posting will be Lauren Hennessy, Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy, Christine Rains, and Mary Aalgaard!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

WeWriWa: A Question of Motivation


Giving characters a plausible, relatable and compelling reason for what they do takes them from words on a page to sympathetic people we connect with. How to turn a hateful, selfish woman into someone readers want to champion? A daunting task. One I’ve been chipping away at for nearly 40,000 words by exploring what motivates the female protagonist in my paranormal W-I-P PRINCE OF HONOR. Hopefully, I’m getting closer with this internal moment:
Why would he do something like that, something so reckless, so dangerous, so . . . wonderful? 

No one had ever championed her before, even her mother’s actions from self-interest, not to protect her daughter. She’d spent her entire life bracing against attacks, so used to fighting her own battles the thought of someone else taking her part mystified, confused and alarmed her. 

Why? What reason did a prince in the selfishly arrogant House of Terriot have for flaunting the power of his king at the risk of his own life? 

Who was this strange, quixotic prince who bound her to him for reasons she didn’t understand? She was no bargain, no tender, loving mate—if anything, she was blight upon his chances to rise within their House. Was he fool? Didn’t he realize there was nothing to gain from weighting himself down with a pariah who only lay beside him because she had no other choice? 

What the hell was wrong with him and what did he want from her?
Self-doubt and curiosity seems to be opening Sylvia up to possibilities, and if I’m doing it right, will nudge the reader into her corner.

What hateful characters managed to win you over despite their best intentions to behave badly? Scarlet O’Hara, anyone?

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.


Happy Writing and Happy Early Spring (which can’t come too soon!)