Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress):  Still working on revisions. Met with my critique partner and had her read the new beginning. She liked it much better and so do I.

News from the publishing world: This article is an Indie author's interpretation of Amazon's algorithms in relation to sales. The article is a little long but I thought well worth the time to read. Link: Rachel Aaron Numbers  

Quote of the week: "Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out." ~John Wooden. Something I need to remind myself of on a regular basis.

Health news: According to a new study from Tufts University, drinking soda or other sugary beverages can be just as detrimental to a person at a healthy weight as to an overweight person. Our bodies store excess calories as visceral fat. This type of fat is a dangerous form of adipose tissue that surrounds our internal organs. It can increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes. 

Random things: Now that the weather has gotten cooler, I've started making bread again. There's something about the process of kneading the dough, letting it rise, and kneading it again, then letting it rise once more before baking it that I find infinitely relaxing

Random photo of the week: 

Here's a picture of a loaf of olive bread I made late last week.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Finding Time

My day job schedule is changing soon so I won't have the hour and a half of writing time I used to have every day before starting dinner. I'm worried about how and where I'll find that time in my new schedule. I hope to be able to write on my lunch, but that may not always be possible. I'm going to try and write in the evenings while the boy child is playing video games, but again worry that may not happen due to other household chores I used to do during that time.

One thing I've heard a number of writers do is get up an hour earlier than they need to and write before starting their day. That's not something I really want to do or maybe try only as a last resort. I already get up at 5:00am six days a week. That being said, I'm asking everyone who works full time outside the home how and when do you find time to write while juggling family and home responsibilities. I'd love some suggestions I can try once my new schedule begins.

Friday, October 24, 2014

This I know for sure...

I don't watch a lot of sports, don't root for a certain team in a specific sport but every year when the World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, and Super Bowl comes around I find myself either watching the game(s) or searching the newspaper for the report of who won and the details.

What team do I hope wins?  The underdog. Always. There's just something amazing about a team who hasn't been to the "Big" game in decades having a chance to win it all. I think it's because we as a people always enjoy hearing about a person or team overcoming overwhelming odds to reach their goal whatever it may be. I think it gives us hope that we, too, can reach our own goals that at times can seem so far out of reach.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Please Welcome My Guest

Please welcome my guest, author J.C. McKenzie. Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

Today J.C. is allowing me to interview a character from her new novel, The Shucker's Booktique. Make sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the interview.

 Now on to the interview: 

What is your name?
Willa Eklund

Can you give us a little background information about yourself? 
I’m originally from Lewiston, but recently moved to Lobster Cove, Maine, to run my aunt’s bookstore. She’s gone missing, but I hope to keep her business afloat while I search for clues for her whereabouts.

Do you have any siblings? Any pets?  Do they play a large part in your story?
Yes, unfortunately. I have an overbearing mother and a gaggle of overbearing sisters just like her. They brow-beat me into almost every decision I’ve made. I’ve learned it’s just easier to give in than put up a fight.

How would you describe yourself? 
I like solitude and time away from my mother and sisters. I know I should be more assertive, but what’s the point? My opinion and what I want doesn’t really matter in the end.

Describe what your typical day is like.
After I get up and get ready, I head downstairs to the main floor of The Shucker’s Booktique. I read the news on my tablet and have coffee with my breakfast before opening up the store. There’s a little boy who loves the comic book section and there’s an over-the-top Irish lady who loves her romance novels. After close, I have some tea or a wine with my dinner to unwind and then head for bed. I love this new life of mine and feel I’m finally relaxing.

What was your first impression the hero?  Did it change as you grew to know him?
Lon? Oh my. He’s huge and there’s something fierce about him, like a hurricane. Sometimes I get a glimpse of otherworldly about him, but that’s just silly! Isn’t it? It must be the light and his pale, almost translucent complexion. He somehow scared and attracted me at the same time when I first saw him. My brain said, “run,” but my heart said, “leap forward.”

If you could do something forbidden, what would it be?  Why?
I would follow my heart and leap forward…to Lon.

What is your favorite time of day?  Why?
It used to be the quiet afternoons on Monday, the only day I get off now that I run the bookstore, but not anymore. Now I find I’m looking forward to the dark, stormy nights.


After her fiancé dumps her and her beloved Aunt Jenny goes missing, Willa Eklund travels to Lobster Cove with a broken heart to search for Jenny while running her bookstore. When a mysterious man visits the Shucker's Booktique on a stormy night drenched in rain and covered in mud, Willa's heart melts under his stormy gaze. She wants Lon and the answers he may have, but he also has a secret. Can Willa trust him?

Lon Devlin is a Tempest, a water sprite who can only take a human form during stormy nights. He rides the waves, lives by the tides, and nothing can hold him down, not even a beautiful woman. When he visits his mortal friend, he discovers she's missing and her intriguing niece has taken her place. He wants Willa, but he also wants answers. What happened to Jenny?


Thump! Thump! Thump!
No! She gasped. It couldn’t be. The banging on the front door of the booktique had to be a figment of her imagination. She couldn’t will Lon into existence. Why would he come back? Especially if he was involved. Unless…cold ice prickled up her spine…unless he needed to eliminate her to take care of loose ends.
No. Crazy thoughts, Willa. He could’ve taken care of her the night before. No, her heart hammered against her chest for a different reason. But it didn’t matter. The knocking on the door wouldn’t, couldn’t be him.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
Could it? She clutched her hot mug in both hands and turned toward the doorway leading to the bookstore. From the kitchen in the back room, she had a clear view through the store to the front door, but not who stood on the other side.
“Willa!” Lon growled. “Wake up and let me in!”
Willa gasped and almost dropped her cup. The tea sloshed around and some spilled over her hands. It burned, but she didn’t move. She couldn’t breathe. Somehow the air got trapped inside her throat. Why was he here? What did he want?
Oh God, let it be me!

Buy Links:  

You can get in touch with J.C. at any of these places:

Giveaway (October 15-22 only):
Rafflecopter Link 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Quickie Interview

I'm visiting Susana's Parlour today and doing a short interview. Susana's Parlour is a site dedicated to historical romance. Stop by and check out it out. Link: Susana's Parlour

Friday, October 17, 2014

This I know for sure...

I sometimes wonder if I'm maybe a bit self-absorbed. Like most people, I try to live a good life, treat people the way I want to be treated, and try to always say please and thank you to others who provide me with some sort of service whether it be a server in a restaurant or the cashier at the grocery store.

Have you ever watched a program or news report on television where someone has a terrible medical illness and they say, "I never asked 'why me'?"  Within the last three months, I've suffered what I feel are more than my share of life's struggles. Lately, I've been asking, "Why me? I try to be a good person. Why is this happening?" Thankfully, none of those things have been health related for myself or my mother, but they are causing financial struggles. I admire those people, wish I could be more like them, but I tend to fret and worry so I do ask "why me?" Does that make me less of a good person because I ask that question?

I don't know the answer. I do know I've been trying to worry less. (Easier said, than done.) My sister sent me a quote that reads, "Some times when things are falling apart, maybe they're just really falling into place." I repeat that quote to myself a lot. A friend told me to "let go and let God." I'm trying to let go and not worry so much but I'm afraid that He has so many people praying to him over their own troubles that my prayers just get lost in the chatter.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress):  Still working on revising the first draft. I'm also writing at least 1 page per day on the next book in the series. This way I feel like I'm still moving forward.

News from the publishing world: This link doesn't lead to publishing news, but I found it interesting and wanted to share. Link: Advice to Literary Agents

Quote of the week: "The greatest gift is the passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind." ~ Elizabeth Hardwick. 

Health news: According to the Journal of Nutrition, eating orange vegetables and avocados can increase your body's absorption of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a key nutrient for healthy eyesight and immune function.  Alas, I hate avocados.

Random things: Have you ever noticed that you buy a certain brand of cat or dog treat because your pet loves them and then halfway through the container, the cat/dog decides they don't like those treats after all?

Random photo of the week:

  A pattern for a knitted polar bear hat - I picked it up for my sister who makes different character hats for her twin girls.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Books on Your Shelf

"Few pleasures, for the true reader, rival the pleasure of browsing unhurriedly among books: old books, new books, library books, other people's books, one's own books - it does not matter whose or where." ~ Aidan Chambers

I came across this quote a few days ago and it started me thinking. What if someone I didn't know well, and if they didn't know I'm a writer, came to my home and perused my bookshelves? I have a wide variety of books, fiction and non-fiction. It's those non-fiction tomes that make me wonder what that stranger would think. 

Some of the more interesting titles in the non-fiction bookshelf are: The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, Crime and Detection, The Poisons and Antidotes Sourcebook, A Prisoner's Duty, Deadly Fighting Skills of the World, the US Army Survival Manual, Unarmed Combat Guide: Hand to Hand Fighting Skills, Extreme Survival Guide, The Regency Underworld, The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes, various books about life in the Regency period, various books about WWII and Vietnam, and one lonely book about Egypt -The Cultural Atlas of Ancient Egypt.

Would the person think I just had an interest in a wide variety of subjects, or because of those first few books I listed think I'm looking into ways to exact revenge on someone and not get caught? Given those first few books I listed, would they think I'm sympathetic to military type survivalist groups? 

Then I started thinking if my bookshelf might cause someone to wonder about what type of person I am, what would they think if they could see what I've looked up on my internet search history?

Do you have any books on your shelf that might make a stranger think twice about you?

Friday, October 10, 2014

This I know for sure...

One of the things I look forward to every fall is making apple butter with my mom. We didn't make it last year. Time got away from us and before we knew it, the holidays were here. With all the hustle and bustle that comes with them, there just didn't seem to be enough time to spend a day making the apple butter. All of my other family members were just as disappointed as I was. They usually each get a jar when they come for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

This weekend we're going to a local apple farm and picking the apples we need. The weather is supposed to be bright and sunny and in the high 50's - perfect fall weather. I'm going to try and talk her into making pumpkin butter this year too. We've never made it before. Wish me luck. :o)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): I revised the first five chapters, eliminating some wordiness and adding depth to the characters. (I hope. ;o) )

News from the publishing world: An interesting article, but I'm not sure I agree with the concept. Reading is very subjective. Link: Crowdsourced Editing

Quote of the week: "The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one's destiny to do, and then do it." ~ Henry Ford. While everyone has his or her own definition of success (mine is a bit different than what's stated here), I liked what this quote conveyed.

Health news: According to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine a strong mid-section can help ward off ACL tears by absorbing the brunt of the force on your joints and bones during a high-impact workout. As someone with really bad knees, I found this to be interesting.

Random things: The snapdragons I've been nurturing all summer long have finally started to September. I guess it is true that good things come to those who wait.

Random photo of the week:

This car was parked outside my local bank.