Friday, August 17, 2018

PHOTO FRIDAY - Black Cat Appreciation

I so got this!

Meet my Spirit kitty. He is a 7th generation panther. He adopted me almost 13 years ago.


When Bob is home, he has to curl up in the crook of Bob's arm during coffee in the morning for a nap. We've never allowed animals on the table/ counters. But Bob started this when Spirit was only 8 weeks old.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

WRITING TIP THURSDAY - Kayelle Allen



One of my favorite tips is how to increase the emotional aspect of a story. Instead of adding words that tell us how a character feels, layer aspects of emotion into the setting. Readers will pick up on the emotion created by the setting and assume what the character feels. For example, in the opening of my book Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, it's obvious how he feels, based on his perception of the setting.

Would this incessant nightmare of darkness never end? The steaming, lightless rainforest stank of alien spores and enough flowers to choke the dead. Let the rescue party inhale, but this cloying scent left a sickening taste in his mouth. 

WOW!  Going back through my manuscript again :-) Thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Kayelle Allen + Freebie!

Today we are shining the spotlight on Kayelle Allen.


Let's get to know Kayelle. Thanks for joining me today!

BIO:
Kayelle Allen did a tour in the US Navy, where she climbed around airplanes (on the ground, thankfully) fixing black boxes that helped pilots find their way home.
She wrote her first science fiction novel at 18 and to this day, it's hidden under the bed, where she vows it will remain. Gems from it, however, launched several series in her galaxy-wide universe of stories.

From childhood, Kayelle was the victim of an overactive imagination and inherited the Irish gift of gab from her mother. From her father, she got a healthy respect for mechanical things.
No wonder she writes Science Fiction and Fantasy peopled with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She's been married so long she's tenured.

Here's my FIVE:

I' always asked 'where do you get your ideas'. So, where do you get yours?
I can't keep them from coming. I have a vivid imagination. My problem is limiting them!

Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?
I can get everything all at once, but usually it's the characters. Once I know their names, they bloom fully born. It's weird, but that's how I write.

Which of your heroines most represent you, or the 'you' you'd like to be? Why?
Mehfawni Ruh from For Women Only. She's wise, intelligent, loving, sweet, and compassionate. She's also a kick-ass warrior who doesn't deal well with fools.

What is the single most important part of writing for you?
Evoking a response in the reader. If I can make the reader feel an emotion that the character feels, I have done my job. I tell that character's story as faithfully as possible.

What's the most romantic thing a guy can do (or has done) for you?
My husband spent months looking for a teddy bear that resembled one I'd had as a child. The bear had been lost in a fire when I was fifteen. For him to go to so much trouble -- literally scouring the city -- to find that bear, meant the world to me. It brought back so many wonderful memories. Is it any wonder I call my hubby Bear?

Here's the THREE additional Kayelle chose:

How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
Always. Since I could hold a crayon. My first written word was cat, and I told my mother that now I could write a story about cats. Is it any wonder one of my scifi creatures is a race of catlike humanoids? I think not.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
Pick up At the Mercy of Her Pleasure. It's a sweet romance with adult concepts. It introduces the Tarthian Empire and all its important citizens. Besides, it's a fun read and will make you laugh out loud. It also pulls your heart-strings and makes you sad. At the Mercy has a very wonderful happy ending with a huge twist. One reviewer said she recommended reading it twice because going back, you find hints throughout the story that you missed on the first read. I'm very proud of this book.

What is your writing routine once you start a book?
I write early in the morning. Now and then, a particular scene keeps me up at night. For the most part, though, I'm an early riser. I am at my best right after I roll out of bed. It's not unusual to find me up at four in the morning when I'm on a roll with a story. I submit chapters to my critique group, edit based on their feedback.

For the Bringer of Chaos series, I've used a story editor as well. Although she thinks of herself as more of a "story shaper" -- Patricia Cook is fabulous at helping me keep on track with the plot and make sure all my ducks are in a row. She will catch inconsistencies and places where I can tighten the plot and layer in emotion or action. I've come to depend on her advice and am very happy she is part of my critique group.

When I've finished the first draft, I send it to a few beta readers. My friends Jean P and Barbara B have been reading for me for many years now. Once I get their feedback, I make other changes and send it off to my final editor, Barb Caffrey. It takes me about four months to complete a book from start to finish. I then allow two months for edits. It's important to let a story sit and settle before deciding it's final. There are all sorts of things you forget to do or add or say. That settle time allows me to go back and make changes if needed.

Let's talk about your book, FORGED IN FIRE


BLURB:

Blurb
When the immortal Pietas is marooned on a barren world with no food and few survival tools, he knows it could be worse. He could be alone. But that's the problem. He's not.
Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped inside their pods and it's up to Pietas to free them. He can't release one at a time. It's all or nothing. He's facing over five hundred thousand hungry, thirsty, homeless immortals who will call on him for rescue and he has no way to answer.
It's not all bad. The beautiful telepathic warrior he's loved for lifetimes is at his side. He's bonded with a sentient panther. He hates humans but the one dumped on this planet with him has become a trusted friend.
Before Pietas can build shelter, figure out how to grow food, or set up a government, he must take back command from a ruthless enemy he's fought for centuries. His brutal, merciless father.
Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever...

Excerpt

In this scene from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, the immortal king must accept yet another delay in reaching his destination, one he's tried to find for months. His lover, the telepath and warrior, Joss, hasn't been much help.

Giving in to her request for time, Pietas indicated the route Joss wanted to take. "Let's go your way."
"Thank you for listening to me." She took Pietas by the hand, reached up, and dragged a fingertip down the cleft in his chin. "This world is stunning. I hate that so much of it will be spoiled by our being here."
"Why? Has my mother released environmental impact studies?"
"No, she--" The look Joss sent his way resembled pity. "You'll see. Not far now."
"You've been saying 'not far' for hours. Did I not teach you to mark trails?"
"I'm sorry, Pietas. It won't happen again."
Oh, but it would. She wouldn't mean for it to happen, but it would. He'd tried for centuries to teach her how to find her way, to no avail. He kissed her cheek and drew her into his arms, savoring her warmth.
"Joss." He placed his mouth near her ear. "You couldn't find your way out of a round room with one door."
She jerked up her head and looked at him, eyes wide.
"And I adore you for it."


I've only recently begun reading more Sci-Fi - I'm looking forward to adding this to my list. 

Kayelle has brought a surprise for everyone today. You receive a FREE download of an Adult Coloring Book - Original art based on the characters in Kayelle Allen's books! Click Below:


You can purchase your copy of FORGED IN FIRE through the following links:


You will find Kayelle Allen at the Social Media sites listed below:







Monday, August 13, 2018

WRITING RETREAT RECAP

Good morning, friends.

Wow, what a week!
I left last Monday to spend five days in Eureka Springs AR. Eureka Springs is where the Planned to Perfection series is set. An Ozarks Christmas releases October 11th so I've been busy trying to get the revisions in order so I can get a copy out to beta readers no later than this coming Friday. Ack!!!
They say time flies when you're having fun. I have to say that while this was a working trip, I always enjoy any time I can get in the quaint Victorian tourist town.

One of the icon places is the Crescent Hotel:

  

The Crescent Hotel has housed many things over its lifetime. According to encounters (my own included) and TAPS, some residents never leave. From that upper deck, outside the Sky Bar, you can see the Christ of the Ozarks, over at The Passion Play:


After stopping in Springfield MO for lunch and a quick meet-up with my sister, her daughter and SO, I headed for Cassville MO. There I stopped to see my bestie Rose Sartin. She just had her first book released last fall. I featured her HERE. I wanted to make arrangements to have lunch when I came back through on Friday.


By the time I reached the Inn of the Ozarks Monday afternoon, I was too tired to do much of anything except unpack/ set up and call it a day. I zoned out to Ninja Warrior qualifiers in Indianapolis.

Tuesday, I put my BIC -HOK until time to dress for dinner. I have a scene in An Ozarks Christmas where Brendan and Stephanie have a little adult time to iron out some things. Brendan knew he needed someplace Stephanie couldn't just get up and walk away. She'd have to face some things. So I thought this the perfect setting.


We took the lunch train last summer with the girls but this was the first for dinner. A beautiful setting on a vintage rail dining car:


Table for 1 please:


Menu consisted of:
     Tomato Basil Soup:

     Garden Salad

     Entree (I chose the Prime Rib)
with Rice Pilaf and Steamed Vegetables in Hollandaise Sauce

     Dinner Rolls (scrumptious!)
I ate one then saved the other three to eat with my soup on Wednesday
Went great with the Chicken Dumpling from Myrtie Mae's

     Baked Alaska... in the form of:

Jessica pushing the Baked Alaska Engine
Periodically she would stop for photographs then toot the whistle and move on.



An enjoyable evening. I chose to sit alone so I could be aware of how voices carried throughout the train and make copious notes without being rude to a dinner partner. I did chat briefly with a lovely couple across the isle then met up with them again on Thursday at the buffet at Myrtie Mae's 

I didn't do anything Wednesday except work. Thursday I did walk up to the Crescent and had a drink in the Sky Bar. I brought 12 bbq wings back to my room for dinner. 

Friday morning I loaded up and headed back to Springfield. Made that stop in Cassville for Rose to tell me all about her week at the RWA conference in Denver and a quick stop at my sister's to check out her garden. 
Dinner with Skiz at Mikado's Chinese/ Seafood Buffet.
Spent the night in Springfield then attended the Sleuth's Ink meeting on Saturday.  Bob drove in Saturday morning to go to the gun show then met me afterwards. We did dinner at Mikado's then came home. 

I am so happy to be at my own desk, doing my own thing, with my hubby near by. I still have revisions work to do but I got a lot accomplished on my alone time. 

I highly recommend time away from everyday house stuff to really get yourself into your  novel when it comes to revisions. Even if you can only be gone a night or two, take it! You'll be happier with the end result.

Now I need a vacation :-D







Friday, August 10, 2018

PHOTO FRIDAY - Skyscraper Appreciation Day

One of my bucket list items is to stand at Top of the Rock and see the NY city skyline from a 360* viewpoint.


What skyscraper would you most like to see?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA

Hello everyone!

I'm enjoying a fabulous week in Eureka Springs Arkansas at the Inn of the Ozarks. This hotel is the only one I'll stay. The rooms are always clean, the staff amazing to work with. Great food at their restaurant, Myrtie May's....

I could go on, but I brought you here today to introduce you to a special little friend. Her name is Minx. She owns my author buddy, June Faver. June will be dropping by September 4, 5 and 6th to show off her first traditional-published release, Do or Die Cowboy.  Man, wait til you meet Tyler Garret. Y'all are going to fall in head over cowboy boots for this one.

Okay, back to Minx. June's neighbor took this video of her little dog and June didn't have any way to view it so asked if I would help her out.

June says: This is Minx, my Rat Terrier/Chihuahua rescue girl. She's been my constant companion for 9 years. I didn't even know I needed a dog until I brought this little sweetie home.
Emoji

June, this one's for you!





Friday, August 3, 2018

PHOTO FRIDAY - Watermelon Crawl

Watermelon is always a good treat on a hot summer day. Whether you eat the traditional slice or have some form of smoothie/ drink, the flood of memories that can accompany that flavor are endless.



If you add a bit of libation to that smoothie, you may be doing this: