Wednesday, October 19

Found On Kristina's Desk - Again

Periodically, I look around my office space and realize - wow, it's been a while since I cleaned off my desk...and I start cleaning and realize there are things here that...shouldn't be. Today, I'm telling you what's on my desk while cleaning my desk because I also have a blog to write..You know, the old two birds/one stone thing. Although, wouldn't this be three birds/one stone? Anywho, here we go, cleaning off my desk and telling you guys what I find buried in the depths.

A sheet of Jamberry Nail Wraps (I am so, so addicted). What's weird about this is the sheet is filled with only the tiny bits of wraps left over after cutting/filing the excess. Why do I keep this stuff? *trashes*

A band-aid. Still in its wrapper, thank goodness, or I might scare you guys. *saves for later*

My Tom-Tom Multisport watch. And my defunct VivoFit II. These have actually only been on my desk since Monday, when I brought it here to charge post-workout. And I'm using it again on Friday, so I should just leave it here, right? *saves* And an aside, I'm wearing my Apple Watch...and I've never really been a watch girl, but here I am. One girl, three very different watches.

My fortune from a few weeks ago when RadioMan and I went to the Chinese restaurant. That's a picture of it above. You guys know how I love fortunes, this one, though, I think I'm going to keep for a while...I like the message! PS: Margie, that coaster under the fortune is still my's with me every day and I love it! *saves*

A used (and also expired) rewards certificate from DSW. Boots people, I loves the boots...but since I've already redeemed this one... *tosses it into the trash*

Unsharpened pencils with no erasers. Why are pencil erasers so flimsy all of a sudden? These erasers fell out as soon as bebe opened the package. Mental note: do not buy this brand of pencils again. *trashes*

bebe's stack of books she bought at the book fair this week (we kept her to four, I'm not quite sure how). She was supposed to put them on her bookshelf, but apparently my desk got in her say. *saves*

My first iPod Touch...which is basically useless now because it's operating system is so old...but I can't get rid of it because RadioMan and bebe had it engraved and the message is...funny and sweet and silly and it makes me smile. *saves*

There is more, but I'm tired of cleaning up I have a book to write so the rest of the mess will have to wait. What is on your desk that makes you smile?

Tuesday, October 18

Writing . . . And Other Stuff

I've been writing, faithfully, every morning for the last fifteen days--that's my report in for this week about the 21-Day Writing Challenge. I'm doing it.

I have to tell you honestly that I wasn't at all sure I would be able to do it even for a week, let alone for over two weeks with less than one week to go. I've made commitments before--told myself I was going to write everyday and it lasted about two or three days. But this time, I am determined and I think maybe it's because I need to prove to myself that I am still a writer.

Oh, I know--in my head--that I am a writer, but for the last couple of years, life has gotten in the way and I've allowed other stuff to take priority. I'd convinced myself that I was tired of the Women of Willow Bay, that I didn't have any new story ideas anyway, and that maybe I was really meant to be an editor, not a writer. Well, I think I am meant to be an editor--I'm a darn good copy editor and I really love fixing other people's stories. But that doesn't mean I can't also write my own stories, which are still wandering around up there, filling up my thoughts.

Something interesting that's come of my writing is that I'm reading for pleasure again. Not that I've ever stopped reading, but I have to confess, I was more skimming through books other people had recommended or that I found for free on Amazon or through one of the lists I subscribe to, I'll grant you some of the books you get for free are not fabulous--heck, some of the books you pay for aren't all that great, but I simply couldn't get interested in anything I'd downloaded on my Kindle. But right now, I'm reading The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown and it's very good. Plus, I've got several others loaded that I'm anxious to get to. I'm not sure why writing has rekindled (get what I did there? ha!) my interest in reading, but I'm really happy it has!

Next week, I'll take a look at how the 21-Day Challenge has affected my writing and my life and where I think I might be headed for the long term, but for now . . . well, I'm still here, I'm still writing, and that's something.

Monday, October 17

Casting Call for BOILING POINT by Alison Henderson

The Wranglers are happy to welcome author Alison Henderson back to the writers' ranch. 

I’m thrilled to be back at Word Wranglers to share my excitement about my new book BOILING POINT. Thanks for the invite, Liz!

BOILING POINT is the second installment in my Phoenix, Ltd. female bodyguard series, and I hope everyone will find it as much fun to read as I did to write. It features hidden identities, a hockey-playing detective hero, and a cooking robot. Here’s the blurb:

Zoe Hargrove’s first solo assignment as a bodyguard is off to a rocky start. On the way to her client’s lakeside estate, a pair of kamikaze bikers nearly runs her off the road. Upon arrival, she learns she’ll be working undercover as a personal chef—a potential disaster since she can barely burn water—while secretly protecting the client’s pregnant wife from a potential assailant. To top things off, her culinary assistant will be the client’s latest invention—a robotic sous chef named GRAMPA.

And if that isn’t enough, the couple’s dangerously handsome chauffeur, who looks more like a prize fighter than a car jockey, glowers at her as if she’s about to steal the silver. Zoe soon suspects he’s hiding secrets of his own, but can she uncover them in time to stop the escaped criminal who threatens them all?

Many writers choose models or actors as physical inspiration for their characters, but I’ve never done that. My characters have always originated strictly in my imagination. For this book, however, I thought it might be fun to consider who I would cast in the lead roles if BOILING POINT were ever made into a movie, and you can play along.

We’ll begin with the character’s descriptions, as seen through each other’s eyes, the first time they meet.

Zoë Hargrove:

“Now that she was here, he had to admit the new chef was a stunner—tall and lithe, with the long, lean muscles of a dancer beneath her form-fitting gray suit. And those legs. She had to know what spiky heels did to her legs, not to mention a man’s libido. Normally, he went for long-haired blondes, but Zoë Hargrove’s chin-length dark hair formed the perfect frame for a pair of big, heavily-lashed, green eyes. All in all, a very nice package.”

For the role of Zoë, I chose Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Many of you may know her from her early scream queen roles in horror movies, but I pictured her as she appeared in this summer’s biting political satire TV series, “BrainDead.” Here’s a photo of her looking exactly like my bodyguard heroine.

Dominic “Nick” Rosetti:

“She was tall, especially in the burgundy stilettos she’d chosen that morning to compliment her charcoal suit, but this man was several inches taller and heavily built, like a professional athlete just past his prime. He wore a black suit with a white shirt and black tie, and a black-brimmed cap dangled from the fingers of one hand. Black hair curled above a strong, square forehead and prominent nose that listed to the right, as if it had been broken a time or two. But it was the intense expression in his dark eyes that made her stomach clench. She was used to masculine appreciation, but this was different. This man wasn’t undressing her with his eyes; he meant to flay her open to discover her secrets. And the lines between his brows suggested he didn’t like what he saw.”

Nick was easy. He’s Gerard Butler. He just is. See what I mean?

These two spend the first part of the book dancing around each other like a pair of fencers, but when they get together, sparks fly. Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:

Nick hesitated, as if weighing what she’d told him, then dropped his hands. “I should go.”
She knew then she didn’t want him to leave. He was so big and solid. So safe. “No, stay.”
“Are you sure?”
She nodded and reached for his hands, placing them on her waist.
His touch remained light, almost reluctant. “I guess we could go into the living room and watch TV if you want.”
“I don’t want to watch TV.” She leaned forward and lifted her face.
His hands slid behind her back and pulled her against his chest as his mouth descended. Gone was the tentative, gentle lover who’d touched her cheek so softly only moments before. In his place was a powerful, hungry man, eager to taste all she was willing to give.
Zoë could do little more than hold on while his lips forged a hot trail down the side of her face, past her ear, and along her jaw before settling firmly on her mouth. Her brain switched to auto-pilot, and sensation took over. Like a match to kindling, tiny flames of desire spread until they threatened to envelop her. After a few minutes—or hours—Nick ended the kiss with a series of seductive little nips that did nothing to cool her off.
If that was a pre-date kiss, she might incinerate if they ever went on an official date.
When he loosened his grip, she eased back until she could see his face. A pair of deep lines creased his brow and disappeared beneath his bandage. He looked worried. Or angry. Not exactly the reaction a woman wanted from a man who had just singed every nerve ending in her body.
She crossed her arms in front of her chest, putting a few more inches between them. “Don’t tell me how we’re not going to do this again. That line’s getting old.”
He pulled her back into his arms and dropped a quick kiss on her forehead. “I wasn’t going to. I was going to say we’d better wrap this case up fast, because I don’t know how I’m going to survive until we do.”
“Good.” Her voice was muffled against his chest.
His laugh rumbled in her ear. “You want to see me suffer?”
      “I should have known. Bloodthirsty as well as beautiful.”

Thanks for playing along with me today. BOILING POINT is available exclusively from Amazon, for Kindle and in paperback, as well as FREE for Kindle Unlimited members, at


Saturday, October 15

To Indie Publish or Not to Indie Publish

Would he self-publish if he were alive today?
With apologies to Shakespeare, that is the question. I’ve talked in previous weeks about the series I’m working on called ‘Love in the North Woods’. The first book in the series is mostly done (still waiting for feedback from some of my beta readers), and the time to do something with it is fast approaching.

I’ve never done this before, but I’m seriously thinking about self-publishing this series.

Am I crazy? Quite possibly.

Here’s my thought process. If I publish these books myself, I get to control everything, from the cover art to the price. I get to keep something like 70% of revenues. Of course, that also means I’m responsible for everything – editing, cover art, formatting, marketing and on and on and on. And that scares me. The upfront costs will be steep.

My only foray into self-publishing happened this past year. I have the print rights for five books that I published with a small ebook publisher, so I decided to get my three book Left at the Altar series into print. I hired someone to format it, and I had the original cover art adjusted for print. But the books had already been professionally edited and the covers were in existence. With a new series, I’d be starting from scratch.

I wouldn’t have the backing of a publisher if I went out on my own. I haven’t exactly set the world on fire with my sales, so does it even make sense to self-publish?

So how about you, fellow Word Wranglers and faithful readers? Have any of you self-published? What was your experience? Or should I stick to my original plan to pitch my series at the Surrey International Writers Conference and go the traditional route? Readers, are you willing to take a chance on a self-published book?

Friday, October 14

I'll Show you Mine... You Show me Yours ;-)

As you read this, my family is on our way to our annual Mecca: Disney World. It’s Fall Break and we’re getting away from it all for a week of complete immersion into another world. And I’m only feeling a slight twinge of guilt that it means one more week of me not writing on my story.

This is family time. And fun time. And go go go until we pass out time. And the best part about it is how this is the one time where we’re pretty much all in agreement about what to do, where to go, and our desire to fit in as much as humanly possible into our vacation.

So, since I’m traveling to the most magical place on earth, and it’s Friday, I thought I’d just have some fun today: My five favorite Disney Movies. I admit, this is cheating a little bit, because The Mouse now owns both the Star Wars and Pixar franchises, so it would probably be easier to list my favorite non-Disney movies. But the fun lies in whittling down all the Disney awesomeness into just five movies. Here goes, in no particular order:

“Up.” Maybe because I’m married to a crabby ole Mr. Frederickson, but this movie has heart and soul, and a hundred quotable lines my family uses daily. Squirrel!

“Big Hero 6.” Exciting and poignant. And hands-down the best low-battery-induced drunk scene in Hollywood. Not to mention an animated cameo of Stan Lee. I can’t understand why you don’t understand that this movie is AWESOME!

“Fantasia.” The former dancer in me loves the evolution of the music from shapeless colors to mini vignette stories. My kiddos loved watching it as they grew up. Hubby has a kindred soul in Chernabog. And yes, there’s a wine scene.

“Finding Nemo.”  In my house, all animated movies are compared to this one, and often found lacking. Even though we enjoy our animated films—and not just because we have kids, but because they are usually unique and innovative and cutting edge—there are few which truly match the excellence of this one. Call us snobs, but we often say “I really liked it… But it’s no Finding Nemo.”

“Empire Strikes Back.” Unlike the others, it’s not animated. Unlike the others, I watched is as an impressionable young teen. While “Star Wars” was world-as-I-know-it-shattering for me, the growing romance and tension between Han Solo and Princess Leia in “Empire Strikes Back” struck a chord in me and finally resonated fully when I began writing romance. This is what I’m meant to do.

On a side note, I asked Hubby what his favorite Disney movie was. He looked at me like I'd grown two heads... duh! I should have remembered: "Sleeping Beauty." Then he looked at my list and smirked. Those aren't true Disney movies... they just got bought by Disney!

(geez, what a snob! ;-)

So, I’ve shown you my favorite Disney movies…. What are yours?