Friday, May 31, 2013

This I know for sure...

Sometimes when you wish for something to change and then it does, that change isn't always for the better and in the end things haven't really changed at all.  The circumstances may be slightly different, but the situation is largely the same. For example, a difficult co-worker gives notice that they are leaving and ends up training the new person and spreading lies and such to the new person thereby poisoning the new person's perspective before they get a chance to form their own impressions.

When I'm wishing for a change, I want a true change, not an exchange of one set of circumstances or another set so closely similar to the original scenerio that there might as well be no change to begin with.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day



As you celebrate, please remember the members of our military 
who have given their lives so we can have the freedoms 
we enjoy and lives we live today.
Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 24, 2013

This I know for sure...

As a child I was always told to treat people the way I would want to be treated.  It's a rule I still live by today. Unfortunately, it seems in today's society, people don't always do the same thing. Either it was something they were never taught or think that now they're an adult that rule no longer applies, especially in the workplace.

Unfortunately, some workplaces foster the competitive, dog eat dog, mentality among their staff. While my office isn't one of those environments, we do have a couple of people who don't hesitate to undermine others to make themselves look better. At those times, I want to say to them, "remember what you put out into the universe comes back to you." Some people call it karma and we all know the old adage about karma, that it can be a b*tch. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

An Unusual Research Fact

I'm visiting Crimson Romance and Wild Rose Press author Stephanie Cage today. Come find out a surprising fact I learned about a vicar while doing research for my current release.  Link: http://stephaniecagewriter.blogspot.com/2013/05/writer-wednesday-interview-katherine.html

Monday, May 20, 2013

Spring Planting

A couple of weeks ago, my 11 year old nephew and I planted some old flower seeds in starter pots. Being as the seeds were at least a year old, I warned him there was a chance nothing would grow. He checks the pots daily, watering them when they need it, and moving the pots around the porch to ensure they get sun. Surprisingly enough they are growing, flourishing even. Today we'll be planting them in bigger pots and I'm hoping we'll be transplanting them into the front yard in front of the rose bush in a few weeks when I know they'll be strong enough to withstand the summer rain storms we get every year.

 I'm known for not having much of a green thumb, in fact my family teases me that I have a black thumb because I even managed to kill a cactus plant in the past which needed practically no watering or attention. My nephew seems to enjoy watching the minute changes in the plants as each day passes so I've put him in charge of their care. As I watch him nurture the seedlings, it reminds me that he too has had to overcome adversity and with love and attention he is also thriving.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Thanks Mom

Sunday was Mother's Day. Stores have had flowers, chocolates, and cards on display for the last few weeks. I find myself thinking how sad that we only honor our mothers one day a year. Some of us have great relationships with our mothers, some of us not so much. I've always felt that we owe our mothers for the greatest gift we could ever receive -- Life.

I am lucky in that I have a great relationship with my mom. We are friends as well as mother and daughter. I think we are as close as we are because my mom became a single parent at a time when single parents were rare instead of the norm. Or perhaps it's because I appreciated all that she sacrificed when I was growing up. Or maybe it's a combination of the two. All I do know is that she's a huge part of my life and I'd be lost without her.



Photo - Mothers and Children http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMothers_and_children_II.jpg By J170504 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by George B. Petty, Chicago. [Public domain]




Monday, May 13, 2013

Please Welcome My Guest...



Please welcome my guest, contemporary romance author Leanne Davis. 

Tell us something about yourself both writing and not writing related.

I live in rainy pacific northwest just outside of Seattle. I live on acreage that requires a lot of my time…especially in the spring. But I love any excuse to get outside.

Do you have a writing routine?  Where do you usually do your writing?

I write any time both my kids are at school. I do editing all the time. I am always reading/polishing one of my novels. I use my kindle fire to highlight changes and next time I can, I make corrections. I create all the time. My head is always buzzing with characters talking, or interacting…or new problems getting made/resolved.

I work in my office upstairs. I don’t have internet access up there (on purpose) so I don’t get tempted to web surf so I actually have to work! I do my online stuff with my laptop.

A great idea to write on a computer that doesn't have internet access. Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one?

I write contemporary romance. My debut novel is a romantic suspense, but most of my follow up novels are contemporary. I don’t plan at this time to do any switching. I have about a dozen novels I want to write before I’ll be out of ideas…so I’m good right now.

How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse won’t cooperate?

I never give it a chance. When I can write, I write. It’s a job I don’t wait for inspiration to do it. If  I did, I’d never get anything down on paper. I had to train myself to write around little kids and busy schedules…so there wasn’t much time to coddle when I felt like writing or not. I try to be disciplined and write any time I can. Luckily my ideas usually start flowing the minute my hands hit the keyboard even if I think I’m not in the mood.

I wish ideas would flow as soon as my hands hit the keyboard. I usually end up wasting the first 15 minutes or so after I sit down before the words start coming. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

My contemporary settings don’t make for too unusual of research. I often base fictional towns on places I’ve been…so that’s easy enough to write about. I don’t create alternate universes…and most of my characters have jobs that are pretty easily researched. So research for me is a lot of time on Google, websites and the library. We travel around our state a lot, so I get physical descriptions off of that.

What’s the best writing advice you were ever given? 

Treat your writing as a job, not a hobby. It’s way too easy when unpublished to think, well this doesn’t really count as a job, so (insert multiple reasons why it’s not important to write). I read this in a book on writing processes…and it stuck. It freed me to give myself permission that when I was writing I was working, whether or not anyone else ever knew I was. And it also made me say no to outside things because I had to work, though most people didn’t know why I might be saying no. I appeared as a stay at home mom with not much else to distract me from that job. I was still hyper private that I wrote…it was a mental thing in giving me permission to write.

That is great advice. Lately, I've been in the hobby mindset and need to get back to the "this is a second job" mindset. What do you like to do in your leisure time?

I love to be outside. Luckily my husband does too and we spend much of our time camping and boating together. That also helps me refill my well to write.

Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.

Poison is a romantic suspense about a couple who rekindles their love after a decade apart and a bitter betrayal. It also has a sadistic villain who the heroin is trying to protect her young son from.

I downloaded Poison on my Kindle on Friday and can't wait to read it. Can you tell us a little about your next project?

I have started a new series. I love to write series! The first book is done and I’m into book #2. It is my River’s End Series about four brothers who own and operate a thousand acre horse ranch and how they struggle for independence from their heritage and search to find love.

Sounds interesting. Anything else you’d like to share?

The sequel to Poison, Notorious is due out soon (not sure when the exact release date will be) from The Wild Rose Press! I just got my beautiful new cover and you can peak at it on my website: www.leannedavis.net.

Blurb: On the run from her violent ex-husband, Cassie Reeves will do anything to keep her son safe, even if it means turning to a man she betrayed a decade ago. John Tyler now hates her as much as he once loved her--but Cassie has no choice.

John's quiet life as a small town doctor in Seaclusion, Washington has no place in it for the woman he turned his back on ten years ago. But when Cassie and her son land on his doorstep, he can't turn them away. The longer she stays, though, the harder it is to remember why he stopped loving her.

With her ex-husband closing in, Cassie soon realizes that only she can end what he has started. And as John and Cassie's mutual attraction reignites, she vows to do anything to protect her son and grab the happiness that has escaped her for so long.

          
            Poison kindle edition is on sale for $2.99 until the end of June!

Where to find me:

Leanne Davis
Romance you can relate to
Website  FB FanPage  Facebook  Twitter             

Friday, May 10, 2013

Gone Visiting Today

Today I'm visiting Christine Elaine Black's blog and answering some interesting questions. Stop by and check it out. Link: http://christineelaineblack.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Please Welcome My Guest...

Please welcome my guest, Romance Author Christine Elaine Black. Christine writes historical romance. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her family.

 Tell us something about yourself both writing and not writing related.

I originally ventured into publishing my work to inspire my daughter, an avid reader and writer. One day I hope we work on a project together. Unrelated to writing is the fact that we both love musical theatre and I volunteer in the costume department of my daughter’s youth theatre.

Do you have a writing routine?  Where do you usually do your writing?

My writing routine is varied but usually at night, after 9pm the opportunity arises. A computer is set up in the family room and that’s where I tap away at my current projects.

I'm impressed. I can't imagine starting to write after 9:00pm. My brain barely wants to function creatively when I write after I get home from work at 3:30pm. Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one?

I write romance, mainly historically themed, and romantic sagas with a plot and character driven story. Though I’ve written contemporary romance and young adult medieval/fantasy stories. I plan to publish all of them eventually.

How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse won’t cooperate?

If I’m hit with writer’s block I usually take a break from my current work and tinker with another project. Re-reading or editing helps me to think through the issues that crop up. Also, taking a complete break away from the project can help ideas flow freely. 

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

I’m not sure I’ve done any ‘strange’ things in the name of research. I read a lot of ancient and medieval historical fiction and I daydream about my stories and characters.

What’s the best writing advice you were ever given?

Wow, I’ve had lots of amazing advice but the best advice is to connect with other writers. Join a writers group and network with like-minded people. I like the philosophy of ‘pay it forward’ and I help fellow writers wherever I can as payback for all the fantastic help I’ve received along the way.     

Networking with other writers is great advice. What do you like to do in your leisure time?

My leisure time is spent with family. We enjoy theatre, movies, travel, museums and having themed dinner parties. 

Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.
 
My current release is Taurus, book II of the Imperial Desire series. A Roman girl runs from her brother, the emperor, into the hand of their sworn enemy. Taurus would do anything to provoke the Romans, even ruin an imperial sister. Can true love overcome lust, lies and deceit? Taurus is available from Amazon kindle exclusively until July 17th.

Can you tell us a little about your next project?

My next project is one I’m publishing within the coming month. A Rose for Lancaster, is a romance set during the war of the roses about a York woman forced into a marriage contract to please Henry VII. http://christineelaineblack.blogspot.ca/p/a-rose-for-lancaster.html

Sounds great! Anything else you’d like to share?

It’s been my pleasure to be a guest and many thanks, Katherine, for hosting me on your blog. Everyone is welcome to drop by my website, facebook and to find me on twitter using the links provided.   

 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Is Cooking Becoming A Lost Art?



The young women of my nephew’s generation (he’s 22) seem to take great pride in the fact that they can’t cook or as they say, “can’t boil water.”  Why is that I wonder?  Did their mothers not teach them how to cook or about the immense feeling of satisfaction when you make a meal or bread or a cake or anything else from scratch?  Did they not pass on the sense of pride one feels when given a compliment on how good something they’ve made tastes?  Or perhaps their mothers never learned to cook themselves.  It would be hard to pass on the art of cooking if one never learned themselves.

Maybe I find the concept of not knowing how to cook so foreign because I was taught to cook by a mother who very rarely uses anything out of a box or can.   I didn’t have a store bought cookie until I was a teenager and was at a friend’s house.  I’m only in my late 30’s so it’s not like store bought cookies were some new innovation.

I was four years old the first time I made cookies with my mother.  I remember kneeling on a dining room chair, helping my mom stir together the dry ingredients of a recipe, learning to crack an egg.  (She was smart enough to have me crack them in a separate bowl or else we would have eaten a lot of shell pieces with our cookies.)  She taught me how to use measuring cups and spoons by giving me my own bowl in which to measure flour, sugar, baking powder into.  Over the years we made all different kinds of cookies from chocolate chip, to peanut butter, to ginger snaps to oatmeal and more.  As I grew older, I graduated from doing more watching than cooking to being responsible for mixing the dry ingredients together, to mixing them with the wet ingredients, to being able to take the hot pan from the oven (this was a big deal to a 12 year old), to finally making the entire recipe by myself for the first time.

Unfortunately, now-a-days making cookies means buying a package from the refrigerated section of the grocery store and either breaking the pre-cut dough into pieces or slicing a log of dough into circles and tossing them in the oven. 

Baking cookies with my mother throughout the years are some of my fondest memories and maybe the reason why, as an adult, one of my favorite things to bake are cookies.

When I do hear someone say they don’t know how to cook, I want to tell them they can learn.  If you can read and follow directions, you can learn how to cook.  Get a cookbook that looks interesting, read through the recipes, and choose one to try.  This is how I made Coq Au Vin for the first time.  Yes, I know how to cook but I’d never made it before and didn’t know anyone who had.  The first time, the chicken came out a little dry.  The second time, the chicken stuck to the bottom of the pan, but the third time, the third time, it came out great.  You can learn to cook.  It just takes patience and practice.   

And start with something easy.  Like cookies.

(This first appeared in October 2011. My apologies for the reposting.)

Friday, May 3, 2013

This I know for sure...

As the weather becomes more and more beautiful each day, I find I'm suffering from spring fever. Sitting down in front of the computer each day after the day job is a struggle when all I really want to do is go outside and enjoy the wonderful weather. As you know from my previous post, I'm already struggling to get words on paper. This weekend I'm going to try writing while sitting on the front porch. It'll be interesting to see how much I accomplish because I live a semi-busy street in terms of pedestrian traffic and I love to people watch. Wish me luck! :o)