Monday, June 29, 2015

One Year Past Perfect is out!

My next single-title contemporary romance, One Year Past Perfect, is now available in the Kindle store and will be available on the Nook within a few days. Think of it as a modern riff on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The back cover blurb:

"Dr. Katti Thompson arrives in Honolulu to not only settle her great-aunt's estate but also to find the older woman's scandalous diary. If there are family secrets hidden within, Katti wants to read them while sitting on the deck of the beach house she's inherited. But when she arrives, she finds the house occupied by three handsome Latin men--and they are reading the diary. The solution is obvious: Katti moves in as the new housekeeper.

Widower Cesar Osorio has risen from valet's son on a Costa Rican coffee plantation to international fame as a singer and performer. His albums have sold millions but he wants this hotel gig to be his last. Now he just has to find the nerve to tell his brother-in-law and manager. It would help if his attention wasn't diverted by the new housekeeper who acts like she owns the place.

One may be too old, one may be too young, but the one with the sad smile… he might be just right, even if, at thirty-six, Katti is one year past perfect"

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Friday, June 26, 2015

A sale to Woman's World Magazine!

Yippee! Yeah! Hooray!

I received a contract for a short piece of romance fiction from Woman's World Magazine. It'll be in issue 34, out mid-August. The piece is entitled "Tricks up our Sleeves."

This is the third time one of my pieces will be in Woman's World. I'm thrilled!

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Friday, June 19, 2015

The squirrel, the feeder, the window ledge, and me

For the time being, we'll switch our attention on the animal world from the back yard where I have been soundly outfoxed in the twine wars, having neither a photo of the rascal taking my twine or another missing piece. The current focus shall be on the breakfast room window ledge and fence.

Furthermore, if I didn't have a witness, I'd probably not tell this true tale because it does seem a bit calculating on the part of the squirrel. But I do have a witness, so here goes.

We've had so much blowing rain that I haven't restocked the bird feeder which hangs on the fence or the window ledge where I dispense bird food. Keep in mind, we only provide sunflower seed. None of this millet nonsense for my picky birds. And squirrels. But the rain seems gone and as the cardinals get on the fence and chirp bad things about me, I relented this morning and poured seed onto the ledge.

I would have stocked the feeder also, but the cap which keeps water out has gone missing. The squirrels have a very bad habit of knocking it and the funnel off onto the ground. Usually, I find them, dry them out and fill the feeder only to watch the squirrels sit on the fence, take the top off and put their little paws in. I think the cap may have disappeared in the rain, washed away into the street and beyond. That said, after the performance witnessed this morning, I think I'll just get rid of the feeder.

Sunflower seed dispensed, a friend comes over and we remark on flowers, the neighborhood, the squirrel who seems intent on eating the seed. I'll knock on the window, he scurries off, returns about 10 seconds later and we repeat this show. My friend thinks this is quite funny (it's about to get hilarious) and advises that I cannot win. I know this, but I can't give in so easily either.

And then the final straw. I knock on the window, he (it could be she) twitches the tail, slides over on the fence top to the bird feeder and pees in it! Hit the hole! We watch this offering slide down the inside of the feeder. Really? Has it come to this that squirrels make social commentary? He then scampers off the fence, across the street and into the neighbor's yard.

My friend cannot contain her laughter and I must admit it has its moments of ha-ha. And I might still be laughing, but he was back 30 minutes later.


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Monday, June 08, 2015

To snare the miscreant

Per my last post, I'd decided to defeat the miscreant who was snitching my twine by using the green elastic tape on my patio umbrella and to train the mandevilla to the arbor post. I set the game camera to record so I could know what was happening.

Precisely this: nothing. Not a nibble, not a bite. Either said miscreant, be it crow or raccoon, has left the vicinity, no longer needs my twine, or is waiting me out until I turn the camera off. So today, I tied twine about the umbrella. I did not remove the elastic tape, but I must admit to baiting the trap.

So far, it's animal world 2, Kay 0. I'm still hoping for a tie. Or at least not to be skunked.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Once again, I face a worthy opponent

It's not like I'm a stranger to this. For years, I've been at the mercy/beck'n'call of four-footed creatures. They either act like they own me (the cats and I suppose they do, as in "dogs have masters, cats have staff") or they trample all over my efforts to maintain some sort of decorum in the back yard. Raccoons, possums, squirrels.

And now I face a new conundrum. I know the raccoons are back because the cats' water bowl is periodically tipped over and I have a new photo of them on the game camera. But I'm not sure the raccoons are up to this latest bit of deviltry.

Let me explain.

After losing several patio table umbrellas to high winds/ice, I have finally learned that lesson and keep the current one tied down unless we're under it. Also, I love mandevillas and have three of them spaced around the patio. Two are climbing up torch poles and then to the fence. One I am trying very hard to coax up the arbor piling. To that end, I tied garden twine around the pole and the mandevilla. All was going well until I looked and the twine was gone. And the patio umbrella tie. No evidence of either.

Not on the ground, not blown to the other side of the yard. Hmmm. Now, who would take them? So, I tied twine again and a slight piece of rope I half-hitched around the umbrella. (I knew macrame knotting would eventually come in handy.) Two days later, they were gone.

I can cross several suspects off my list: neither cats, possums, or squirrels are capable of this. Raccoons are dextrous enough, but why? And then a friend suggested that most clever of birds, the crow.

We have crows. I've heard them. I've tied that green elastic garden stuff around the pole and the umbrella this time. Double knotted. And the game camera is aimed at the table.

I'm ready. Bring it on.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

How our minister made her point

Memorial Day, which we all too often tend to forget is not about barbecues and the banks and post office being closed on Monday, was brought home to our congregation this morning by a very moving service at our church.

Our pastor read the Gettysburg Address, then had various members of the congregation read Memorial Day proclamations from Presidents Truman, Johnson, Reagan, and Obama. Then she read the names of the soldiers killed this year. There were about 40 of them. She gave their name, rank, home town and place of duty. As she read each name, a member of the congregation rose and exited. One less person. And then one less. And one less, until all the names were read.

I have at times thought in moments of disaster how many people would be gone from our town. With the last Nepal earthquake pf 8000 dead, that would be 80% of our town. That's shocking. But to see them disappear one by one… point taken.

A moving service with a powerful message, listened to by one less person at a time.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Market research

A self-published author's work really only begins once she's written the book, added a cover and formatting, and found the appropriate channels for selling it. Then the work of telling the world (and not just the friends and relatives) begins. Where to market it? How? How much to spend? How do you know if it the expense was worth it?

Actually, I think the answer to the last question is the easy one. Have you cleared expenses (formatting, cover, editing) and made a profit?

That aside, the name of the game is marketing. I've tried various sites at various price points (Fiverr, Free Kindle Books and Tips, Smartbitchestrashybooks, Dear Author to name a few) with up-and-down results. So, on to the next one,

I'll be advertising T's Trial for 99 cents there on Friday, May 22. In the meantime, the Kindle edition is already at 99 cents and will be through Tuesday. So, here's hoping the best marketing can work now: word of mouth.

There is no marketing better than the recommendation of a fellow reader. And for that, I thank you.

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