Friday, October 30, 2015

This I know for sure...

I know I'm early, but...

                                                         Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): Minor progress made this week. I'm hoping next week will be more productive.

Quote of the week: "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What I'm reading:  Hold Me by Susan Mallery. This is part of the Fool's Gold series.

Random things:  I bought a couple of different types of Post It Notes from Target last weekend. I use Post Its to help me keep track of things.

Random Photo of the Week:


                                   Here's a picture of the Post Its I mentioned above.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Please Welcome My Guest

Please welcome my guest, Romance Author Louise Lyndon. Louise grew up in country Victoria, Australia, before moving to England, where for sixteen years she soaked up the vibrancy of London and the medieval history of England. She has since returned to Australia and now lives in Melbourne.

In 2013, Louise won first prize in the historical romance category of the Crested Butte Sandy Writing Contest for her story, The Promise, which has since been retitled and is now known as, Of Love & Vengeance.

When not writing, Louise can be found covered in mud, crawling under barbed wire and hoisting herself over twelve foot walls!

Hi Louise, 
Tell us something about yourself both writing and not writing related.

Writing related – I’ve never wanted to do anything else, so I’ve never had a ‘back up’ plan just in case. I’ve never thought to myself I should get a degree in such and such and get my career (day job wise) going just in case writing doesn’t take off. Writing is what I’ve always wanted to do – and so I did it!

Non writing – I hate flying. With a passion. It’s not natural and if I was supposed to fly then I would have been born with wrings! I do take planes, but I don’t like it.

I'm not a big of flying myself. Do you have a writing routine?  Where do you usually do your writing?

I have a day job so the bulk of my writing is done on the weekend. I don’t have a special workspace set up. I generally just sit cross legged on the couch and punch out the words!

Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one?

I didn’t actively choose to write in the medieval period – that was the period where the characters just happened to come from. They didn’t fit anywhere else! But I like that period because I can have my heroes (and heroines) running about with swords. There is so much conflict and danger in that period that it’s a great time to write in.

I’m currently writing a contemporary – and it’s been both challenging and liberating at the same time. Challenging in the sense because I’ve been so used to writing dialogue with a historical slant, so I had to make them sound modern, after teaching myself not to sound modern. It was liberating because I didn’t have to stop and think, ‘did they do this back then and if so, how…’ I didn’t have to go and research how they would have cooked a chicken!

Switching from writing historical to contemporary myself, I completely understand what you mean. How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse won’t cooperate?

I force myself to write when my motivation isn’t there. Sometimes, it’s like pulling teeth, but I will not leave the laptop until at least 1000 words have been written. I live by the mantra that it’s easy to edit a page of badly written words than a page with no words.

That's a good mantra to live by. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

I did a Spartan Race! Google Spartan races…I wanted to know what it would feel like to put yourself through something like that. The training, the mindset, and while I may not have used anything from the race, I’ve definitely used the emotional side of it.

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

Write the story of your heart. Don’t worry about what is trending or selling at the moment. Write the story you want to write. I live by that advice every day.

Great advice! What do you like to do in your leisure time?

I’m a huge TV addict. I watch way too much of it. Films too. I read as well.

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

This is longer than a couple of sentences…I have issues with word counts!

Aveline de Bondeville is on the run. Determined to keep out of the hands of the cruel Raimbaut de Blois she will do whatever it takes to stay alive. And so when she finds herself in the company of Troy de Gysborne she must quickly decide if she can trust him. But can she confess to murder knowing it would mean her certain death?

Troy de Gysborne did the unthinkable; he tore the bonds of brotherhood and left a path of destruction in his wake. And now Troy must face those he betrayed, including the father who long ago renounced him. But to confess to the crime he committed will cost him everything. Including Aveline. But can he remain silent if it means losing the woman he loves?

Can you tell us a little about your next project?

It’s a contemporary romance. It’s got suspense. Murder. Danger. And of course a hunky hero and a kick butt heroine!

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

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been great to be here.

You're welcome. It's been fun having you as my guest.

BLURBAveline de Bondeville is on the run. Determined to keep out of the hands of the cruel Raimbaut de Blois she will do whatever it takes to stay alive. And so when she finds herself in the company of Troy de Gysborne she must quickly decide if she can trust him. But can she confess to murder knowing it would mean her certain death?

Troy de Gysborne did the unthinkable; he tore the bonds of brotherhood and left a path of destruction in his wake. And now Troy must face those he betrayed, including the father who long ago renounced him. But to confess to the crime he committed will cost him everything. Including Aveline. But can he remain silent if it means losing the woman he loves?

Excerpt:
Aveline’s scream burned her throat; she tasted blood. Eudes staggered forward, his eyes wide. He looked at her as he fell to his knees and then slumped forward. Bright red blood rushed from his wound and pooled on the ground. She looked at Raimbaut.

“This time you shall not escape.”

She picked up her skirts and ran headlong into the forest and did not slow her speed as branches slapped her in the face and tore at her arms. The ground beneath her feet was icy and uneven. She risked a glance over her shoulder and did not stop even though Raimbaut was nowhere to be seen. He may not have been behind her, but it did not mean he was not stalking her.

Sweat trickled down her face and burned her eyes. Her heart pumped, her lungs gasped for air. She came to a skidding stop and looked wildly around. Should she keep running straight, go left or right, or make her way back to Gysborne? She turned in a circle and shoved her hair from her eyes.

A twig snapped behind her. She stilled and held her breath. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a blur rush by. Was it an animal? Was it Raimbaut?

She ignored the pain in her chest and her sudden need to loosen her bladder. But she could not ignore her trembling. She clutched her arms to her chest. A sour taste flooded her mouth as she did not see how she would be lucky enough a second time to escape from Raimbaut.

BUY LINKS:
iBooks: http://tinyurl.com/odvzs9e

AUTHOR LINKS:
EMAIL:  louise_lyndon@yahoo.com
WEB:
  www.LouiseLyndon.com
FACEBOOK:
  www.facebook.com/pages/Louise-Lyndon/1472910852955051
TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/LouiseLyndon1
PINTEREST:
llyndon3513
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/LouiseLyndon



Friday, October 23, 2015

This I know for sure...

A poll by Surescripts of 1,000 US adults revealed that Americans spend an average of 5 minutes filling out doctors' forms, or a third of the time they actually spend with their doctors.

I found this interesting. I went to the doctor's office last Friday to have my ankle examined. I had to fill out all of the same forms I'd filled out 3 weeks ago. When I told the receptionist I'd just filled the forms out on September 26th. She gave me a look and said the forms are required to be completed if I wanted to see the doctor that day. Needless to say I completed the forms again.

To make matters worse, I sat in the waiting room for 45 minutes, was taken to the X-ray area, waited in that waiting area for 10 minutes, had the X-rays taken and then was led back to the main waiting room for another 15 minutes. I was finally called into an examining room where I waited 10 minutes more for the orthopedist to come in. He came in, looked at the x-rays, checked the flexibility of my foot, pressed in the area where the fracture was and pronounced it well healed with the x-ray showing new bone growth in the fracture area. He was in the room for a total of 5 minutes.

And I get to do it all over again next month because he wants to see how my ankle looks after I've been out of the orthopedic boot for a month. The best part of my appointment last Friday was that I no longer have to wear the boot. I will not miss it in the slightest. :o)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Please Welcome My Guest


Please welcome my guest, Romance author Barbara Bettis. A former health insurance claims adjuster, a former journalist, a former journalism teacher, Barbara Bettis plans never to be a “former” author. Currently, Barb supports her writing habit as an adjunct English instructor at a community college near her home in Missouri. 

Hi Barbara,
Tell us something about yourself both writing and not writing related.


When I’m really involved in a story, scenes come to me out of order and at odd times. I once woke up in the middle of the night—wide awake—and wrote a segment that had just worked itself out. I only wish I had more of those epiphanies!

Outside of writing, I love spending time with my grandchildren. Unfortunately now that they’re getting into the teen years, I don’t see them as much as I used to. But I’m going to have to grab one for the movies soon, or end up seeing the next installments of The Maze Runner and Catching Fire series—alone!

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

I sincerely wish I had a better routine. Some days, I can write effectively in the morning, other days, the afternoon, etc. I prefer to do my writing in my office, but it isn’t always available to me when grandchildren are here because it doubles as the spare bedroom. On those days, I grab my laptop and head to the living room where I have a comfy chair I can huddle down in.

Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one?

The medieval period has always fascinated me, and when the idea for my first book came, it just landed there. I’d visited Scotland a few years earlier, but this story wanted to be set in England, as have the subsequent ones. If I move to another, it may be Regency, because I like that period as well. I love history and find various eras intriguing—Viking, Renaissance, Greek, Roman are just a few. But I probably will content myself to read others’ books set in those periods.

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

I wish I had a handy-dandy list of sure-fire remedies that I could share. I don’t. I struggle with those issues. There are a couple of things, though, that often work. If it’s just a plot snag, I drive. For some reason, I can see a storyline much clearer then.  The other is to read something else, completely outside of my sub-genre. My subconscious seems to work on the problem while I grapple with topics totally unrelated.

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

Two things: Do not compare yourself to others, and write even if you aren’t ‘moved by the muse;’ if you keep waiting for inspiration to strike, you’ll lose the game.

What do you like to do in your leisure time?

I read, watch movies, spend time with friends and grandchildren. Really I’m a pretty boring person :o)

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

A renowned mercenary is forced to reevaluate his life’s goal when the lady he’s kidnapped shows him that revenge won’t make him happy. Only she can do that. The trouble is, she’s promised to another.

Can you tell us a little about your next project?

The story features characters from previous books. It tells how Lord Henry and Lady Katherine meet.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Both my medievals, SILVERHAWK and THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX, have been rereleased through Amazon.

Thanks so much for having me here, Katherine. 

Here’s a glimpse of  SILVERHAWK. 

BLURB:
He’s everything a proper lady should never want; she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

Sir Giles has come to England to kill his father, who seduced and betrayed his mother. First, however, he’ll seek sweet revenge—kidnap the old lord’s new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What’s a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.

Lady Emelin has had enough. Abandoned in a convent by her brother, she finally has a chance for home and family. Yet now she’s been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won’t allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape

Rescuing the intrepid lady—while hunting traitors—is a challenge Giles couldn’t anticipate.  But the greatest challenge to Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them. For he’s everything a proper lady should never want, and she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

Buy link for SILVERHAWK:  http://amzn.to/1WTz3KJ

You can visit Barbara at:

https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBettisAuthor                                                         www.twitter.com/BarbaraBettis


Monday, October 19, 2015

Apple Pie

In keeping with an Autumn upstate New York tradition, I made apple pie this past weekend. I usually make it every fall at least once. I thought I'd share my recipe - it's one that was my grandmother's and always a family favorite.

Apple Pie

Double Crust Pie Dough (recipe below) - If you don't want to make your own, I'm told Pillsbury's Refrigerated Pie Crust works just as well. (2 come in a box.)
6 cups (about 2 pounds) thinly sliced cooking apples. (I prefer using Granny Smith or Cortland.)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the pie dough to line a 9 inch pie plate. Trim the edge if necessary.  Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Add the sliced apples to the sugar mixture. Toss to coat well. Pour the apple sugar mixture into the prepared pie plate. Dot the top with pieces of the butter or margarine. Cut slits or a design of your choice into the remaining pie crust to allow steam to escape and place it on top of the filling. Seal and flute the edges of the pie crusts together. Cover the edges of the pie with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is a golden color.  Cool the pie on a rack.

Double Crust Pie Dough

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Crisco shortening
6 to 7 tablespoons cold water

In a medium mixing bowl, stir the flour and salt together. Cut in the shortening until the pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over the mixture. Gently toss with a fork and push to the side of the bowl. Repeat until all is moistened and you can form dough into two balls. On a lightly floured surface, flatten out one of the dough balls and roll from the center to the edges forming a 12 inch circle. Do the same with the second ball to form the top crust.


Friday, October 16, 2015

This I know for sure...

In 2012 my mom gave me a Buddhist wooden bead meditation bracelet for Christmas. You see, I'm a worrier. I try not to be but...  She says I worry more in a minute than most people worry in a lifetime. She thought the bracelet would be a way for me to let some of those worries go.

Even though I'm not a Buddhist, I find running my fingers over the beads soothing in times of stress. I've worn the bracelet every day since that Christmas. Until last week. The bracelet is double strung with a brown cord and one of the cords broke. I got it caught on the corner of a filing cabinet at work and didn't realize it until it was too late.

I was lucky enough to find the same type of cording, but have been haunting local craft stores looking for a beading needle with an eye big enough to thread the cord through, but have the needle itself still small enough to fit through the beads. It would probably be easier to just buy another bracelet, but I want to fix this one if I can. It's become sentimental. It's gone through some major worries with me.  And I feel a bit lost without it.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): A small step forward which is better than no forward momentum at all.

Quote of the week:  "Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

What I'm reading: I'm not reading anything at the moment. I finished Fatal Jeopardy (mentioned in last week's post) over the weekend and haven't settled on which book to read next.

Random things: Monday was like a beautiful summer day - bright and sunny and about 78 degrees. Today is supposed to be overcast, rainy, and about 56 degrees. Welcome to fall in upstate New York.
 
Random Photo of the Week:


                             A picture of the beautiful sky on Monday afternoon.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Late to the Party

A fellow writer that I'm friends with on Facebook started posting the occasional picture of her calendar/planner. I love how she decorates it with different items and themes. It made me want to find ways to better utilize my monthly calendar than just using it as a place to keep track of doctor and dental appointments and the like.

I complimented her on her calendar pages and she told me there's a whole movement for lack of a better word of people who do the same thing. Intrigued, I googled planner decorating and all kinds of links popped up ranging from YouTube How To videos, Pinterest pages, blogs, and more.  One of the blogs I liked the most is Mypurpleylife.com. It has a lot of information and is fun to look at. There are a number of pictures of her planner pages to give one ideas.

I've decided to give planner decorating a try myself. I've purchased a planner for 2016 and have started purchasing stickers, washi tape, decorative paper clips, and the like. Right now, I'm just purchasing whatever strikes my fancy or seems like something I'll want to use in some format or another. I'm hoping by decorating a weekly planner, it will also help keep me inspired and on track in my writing too.

Not wanting to wait until January, I've started decorating the monthly calendar I use for appointments that I mentioned above. It's been fun and in a way is making me even more impatient to be able to decorate the 2016 planner. I'm glad I decided to purchase one that's set up weekly instead of monthly because it'll give me more pages to decorate.  :o)

Have you heard of planner decorating before this post? Or am I the only one who is behind the times?