Trivia Queen–#MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

This week in the MFRW blog challenge we are talking about useless talents. It probably doesn’t get much more useless than trivia (which happens to be my superpower).

qimg_1535645907930That’s right. I am a trivia junkie. I am a multi-time champion of various trivia related events–think Geeks Who Drink and cruise trivia (I owned our Disney cruise this summer).

I’m not saying I know everything–that’s for dang sure. I’m weak on sports trivia and most political trivia (unless it’s the chronological order of presidents or British monarchy). I’m almost unbeatable at movies (especially classics) and (more…)

Collections of Collections | #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

Everyone should have at least one collection. There is nothing like that moment when you find a precious new piece to add to it. It also gives friends and family something–not only as a good gift, but as a reminder.

Every time I see Americana anything, I think of my mother, who taught American literature for most of her career and hosts a big 4th of July party every year. I think of Judy, my college boyfriend’s mom, every year I get out my “Santa’s Village” Christmas town (miniatures), because she gave me the first piece. My editor comes to mind when I see silly socks. I picture my dad when I see patches for various hikes in the Rocky Mountains (I got him started on those). I always loved the demitasse china cups my grandmother had. When she passed away, I received 4 and think of her every time I see them.

See what I mean? Memories.

Personally, I love collections. I’ve had several over the years–all of them more about the sentiment then the value. You could say I’m a collector of collections when you see the list…

  • Madame Alexander Dolls (as a child my mom got me started)
  • Christmas Decorations / Santa Clauses
  • Christmas Village (started by Judy)
  • Christmas Ornaments (started by my grandmother when I was a kid – 1 a year)
  • Halloween Decorations (because Halloween rocks)
  • My China Pattern (yeah, yeah, china is outdated. whatever. I love it.)
  • Elephant Figurines (trunks up of course)
  • Disney Movies (digital has made this so much easier)
  • Disney Kinkaide Paintings (I want all 15 of the small versions!)

I’m thinking of adding dragons to the list. What do you think? 🙂 What about you? Any cool collections?

 


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

Make Me Shudder #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

Irrational Fears… This topic feels timely because I just gave one of my heroes one of my irrational fears.
Honestly, I have several. I think most people do. The Indiana Jones movies tap into several. So do the Hobbit and LOTR movies. I bet you’re wondering what they are now.
Well, I’ll tell you…
Spiders
I can’t stand them. It’s something to do with a creature that tiny being able to kill a human. That and the pincers. *shudder* I can’t watch the Aragog scene in Harry Potter  or the Shelob scene in LOTR.
Heights
“But Abbie, weren’t you a skydiver?” you ask.
Yup. But please remember these are irrational fears. Planes don’t bother me. Edges of mountains, tall buildings, and the thought of plummeting to a gruesome death bothers me. A lot. And, yes, my favorite place is the Rocky Mountains.  What can I say. I’m an enigma.
Crowds
This is not so much a fear as an intense dislike. I am a natural introvert. Crowds of people stress me out. Interaction with groups of strangers is a struggle. I do much better in smaller group settings. I can do large groups and survive- even enjoy myself.  I just find it exhausting.
That’s about it. I don’t have issues with other things like the dark, flying, blood, snakes, rats, small spaces (okay elevators, but that’s more about dangling over a drop), germs, water, death, or other common fears.
How about you? What triggers your gut check reflex?
P.S. That hero is not a fan of snakes a la Indiana Jones. 🙂 But mostly because his brother got bit by a cottonmouth and almost died.

I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

Best (Recent) Writer Advice… #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

Isn’t it funny how the right advice comes along just when you need it? Kind of like when you learn a word you’d never heard before, and suddenly you hear it everywhere? There are piles of advice I’ve received over the years as a writer that I could list here. But if I did, I’d be here for days. Instead, how about I share the most recent best advice?

Lately, I’ve been working to make some of my scenes less…predictable. Mostly because I’ve written 27 books now, and I need to keep it fresh for myself. Lol. A friend went to a workshop recently (I wish I remembered more about the workshop. My friend can’t remember either.) and she shared this as the best takeaway.

Here it is: When coming up with a scene/plot point, start listing. Discard the first 5-10 you come up with, because those are obvious and will have been done. See if you can get to 15-25 idea on the list. That range of things will be the meat, the most interesting ideas you could come up with.

I’ve been applying this advice to everything (and have to say that it’s turned into one of my favorite exercises because it’s so fun to do).

Here’s an example. This week, I was trying to come up with a reason my cowboy, in my current WIP (Partnering the Playboy–Book 3 in my Hills of Texas), would need to do community service. I need a reason that’s actually honorable and endearing. Since the hero is a playboy and has a reputation for running a bit wild, the reason for his doing community service was easy. He got in a public fight. Pretty bad one. But what would make that honorable, particularly to the heroine? This is where that advice comes into play.

My first few ideas included:

  • a bet
  • hit on by another guy’s girlfriend
  • jealous other contender for a girl at a bar
  • the other guy hit a woman
  • defending the female bartender
  • his buddy started the fight (but he ended it)
  • someone owes money
  • breaking up another fight
  • for beating a dog
  • for hurting a cat

As you can see, these are all fairly predictable. Of course the hows and whys could make each more interesting. But I kept going.

I don’t want to give away what I eventually settled on, but let’s just say it involves an animal you wouldn’t want to tangle with. I add insult to injury by having his older brother–the county Sheriff–be the one to arrest him, and the heroine be the one to bail him out and come up with the community service that he’s assigned.

Should be fun! Yay for timely, fantastic advice!


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

 

Fresh Fiction Fresh Pick: Resisting the Rancher

FreshFiction-FreshPickResistingTheRanger-LARGESquee! I am so excited, because today (August 8, 2018), my newest release, RESISTING THE RANCHER is Fresh Fiction’s Fresh Pick of the day!

The Fresh Pick is chosen by a group of readers and is never a purchased advertisement or promotion. Fresh Fiction picked this book because it appeals to them and they like to share their diverse tastes in reading and hope you’ll give it a try.

A huge THANK YOU to Fresh Fiction for picking my book. I’m so honored.  🙂

1st, 2nd, or 3rd – The Person Make a Big Difference #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

Before I get into my personal preference, let’s touch on the different “persons” you can write from and make sure we’re all on the same page.

1st Person

1st person stories are written from a single point of view–that of the protagonist. The reader gets to float around inside that persons head seeing all their thoughts and every experience from their lens. The easiest way to identify 1st person is by the pronouns. Everything is I, me, we.

2nd Person

2nd person tends to be reserved more for manuals than fiction, but on the rare occasion this point of view can be used. 2nd person is about making the reader the protagonist in their head. Identify 2nd person again by the pronouns. Everything is directed at “you.”

3rd Person

3rd person is all about the person being talked about in that scene. This allows the reader to experience scenes from a less person, more “fly on the wall” type of perspective but still through the lens of individual character or characters. The identifiable pronouns in 3rd person are he, she, it, they.

Okay, now that we have that down, I’ll share. While I’ve written all 3, I am definitely a 3rd Person fan as both an author and a reader. Here’s why…

Not a Manual

My degree was in Technical Writing–essentially writing instructions an manuals. After having written many, I don’t think I could ever write fiction from this POV. It would be too much like writing a manual.

Not Breaking the 3rd Wall

I actually LOVE when a character breaks the 3rd wall and talks directly to the audience in TV or movies (think Deadpool or House of Cards). However, it’s much easier to pull off in a visual medium. Readers do not like short, jerky POV switches, which makes this technique dang hard to pull off in written fiction. Not my cup of tea.

Heroine & Hero POV

I write romance. Therefore, I want, nay, I NEED to see both the hero and the heroine’s points of view. I love to see what they are both thinking and experiencing as they move through their character arcs. This can absolutely be done in 1st, but I find it more difficult.  Maybe if each chapter is dedicated, but I find it comes off feeling…odd. Much easier from 3rd.

Insight into Multiple Characters

Same as with the above, I actually love to get scenes in secondary character POVs. Doable in 1st, but better in 3rd.

Less Angsty Internal Thoughts

This might be the Gen-Xer in me, but I find most of the fiction written in 1st Person POV these days is just…self-centered and whiny. All we hear are the character’s internal angsty thoughts and it’s very, me, me, me just by nature. I find 3rd person allows the reader to distance themselves from an overabundance of internal dialogue.

Now don’t get me wrong. I read plenty of books in 1st person and love them. 3rd just happens to be my preference. And yes, it probably dates me, but I’m okay with that. Lol. What about you? What’s your preference?

 


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

When I’m Not Writing… #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

I would love to say that when I’m not writing I have a life. But that would be a lie.

Sort of. I have my wonderful family, so frequently any time not spent on writing/books in some form or fashion is spent with them. My kids are at that stage where it’s constant activities, homework, and friends. Less “Mom Time” these days, because–let’s face it–I’m not cool enough any more. We do try to force upon them things like family vacations and game nights, just to remind them we still exist. We also live close to both sides of our family, so we spend time with them as well, which is awesome. It’s why we moved back to Texas a few years ago.

“But Kadie, what about other hobbies?” you ask.

Oh, my friends. My other hobbies include book cover design and helping other authors in their self-publishing journeys. These are my brain breaks and, believe it or not, I love doing that. Especially the graphic design. I can get lost in the visuals when I really want to. However, I think most would agree that this hobby still lands in the “writing realm.”

“Okay, so you still have to do things like exercise. Right?” 

Ummm… So a while ago I bought a treadmill desk. This wonderful invention allows me to walk and write at the same time. I will take 20 minutes or so to add things like hand weights, sit ups, push ups, etc. I used to run a ton, and every once in a while I get the bug. I go on an easy short jog, and my aging body proceeds to laugh in my face and break in some way that means no running for weeks.

“Friends? Movies? Dinners out?”

You’re starting to sound a little desperate. I will say that I do all three of those. Well…I don’t “do” my friends, but I spend time with them. Hubby and I are also huge movie buffs. For Mother’s Day he got me Movie Pass, so I can go any time. We also have a theater in our house with a projector and full screen and everything. When I watch at home, guess what I’m doing? Yup writing. Or editing. Or reading. Or book cover design.

“Please tell me you have SOMETHING.”

I will say that my favorite non-book thing to do is travel. Hubs and I love to travel, both with and without the kids. We have our annual trip to Estes Park, but we love doing lots of other things. In 2018 we’ve done a Caribbean cruise, skiing in Colorado, and have plans for trips to Vegas and Orlando this fall. That said, our trip to Estes was piggy-backed onto a writing conference in Denver. Orlando is also a writing conference. I also usually still spend a lot of that time writing. At the very least I take notes of impressions of a place, in case I want to use it in a future book.

So. There you have it. I have no life outside my writing. But the thing is… I am as happy as a clam dug deep into warm, wet sand. Writing is my lifelong dream and I get to do it everyday. Doesn’t get better than that!


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

Release Day – Resisting the Rancher!

Resisting the Rancher is finally here from Tule Southern Born!!!

Book #2 of The Hills of Texas series is a standalone, cowboy romance with an HEA…

BUY & READ NOW!

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ResistingTheRanger-LARGERusty Walker has spent her entire life trying to earn her tough, ranching father’s respect and approval by learning the business inside and out. But now her uncompromising parent has decreed she must marry if she wants to inherit. Worse, her husband has to be someone who can help her run the business. As if she needs it!

Williams Hill kissed Rusty in a bar in an act of temporary insanity, and lost his heart to her on the spot. Despite the complications to his own rodeo stock business, he agrees to marry the feisty red-head, hoping to woo her once they’re hitched. But she only views him with suspicion and resentment.

Can this soft-spoken Texas cowboy convince his proud wife, who’s never known unconditional love, that she is everything he wants?

BUY & READ NOW!

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EXCERPT

ResistingTheRancher-Banner“Hey.”

Rusty caught a whiff of cigarette smoke hanging around the man who’d taken the stool beside her. She didn’t bother to look over, keeping her eyes on her drink hoping he’d get the hint and go away.

No such luck.

He leaned forward and raised his voice. “Hey there, red.”

She turned her head and could now see he was swaying slightly. He gave a slow blink, trying to focus, obviously drunk. Great. She didn’t acknowledge the guy in any other way, but apparently looking at him was enough encouragement.

“Wanna drink?”

She held up her glass. “I’m good. Thanks.”

“My treat when you’re done with that.”

“I’m leaving when I’m done with this.” Maybe sooner at this rate.

He reached out and tugged on her arm. “Now don’t be like that.”

Rusty sighed. “I’m not interested.” She couldn’t be clearer than that.

The guy, who was good-looking enough—tall, blond, strong chin, and nice eyes—bristled visibly.

He straightened his back as his eyebrows lowered. “All I did was offer to buy you a drink.”

She turned back to the one she already had. “Thanks, but no thanks.”

“But—”

“Move along.” She waved a hand as though shooing a fly.

He stood suddenly, his stool scraping along the wooden floor with a screech of protest loud enough to be heard over the music and chatter. In the mirror, several heads turned in their direction. Travis and Dave stood up, ready to intervene, but before they could do anything, and even before the jerk could say anything else, let alone touch her, a large hand landed on her shoulder and spun her around in her seat.

“Sorry I’m late, baby,” the newcomer murmured.

Rusty only had time to register the new player in the scene was that Will guy with the blue, blue eyes before he leaned forward and kissed her.

She gave a little squeak of protest and he released her lips immediately. The sudden absence of warmth left her feeling slightly bereft, which was crazy since he’d barley brushed his lips across hers.

Before she could process what just happened, he leaned forward and whispered in her ear, “Follow along and we’ll get rid of this guy.”

Realizing he was now standing between her legs, she hid the shiver sliding down her spine by giving him a tiny nod. He pulled back and smiled down into her eyes. The blue of his eyes, up close like this, was nothing short of startling. The irises were rimmed in black which somehow made the blue even bluer. She could drown in those depths, like falling into the sky, or the deepest of oceans. She had the strangest urge to trace the cleft in his chin.

“Miss me?” he asked, loud enough for the ass on the other stool to hear.

“Of course,” she purred.

Some small part of her brain registered that wasn’t exactly a lie. She’d spent a ridiculous amount of time thinking about him given their two extremely brief shared moments. They hadn’t even been properly introduced or exchanged more than a handful of words.

“Me too,” he said as he lowered his lips to hers again.

BUY & READ NOW!

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Stranded on a Desert Island – #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

You know the game… if you were stranded on a desert island, assuming things like food, water, shelter, and clothing (and for me air conditioning) were taken care of at the most basic level for survival, what item would you choose to bring with you. In other words, what item can you NOT live without.

This is probably going to shock you, but it would be my… COMPUTER!

Are you shocked? No? The various reason why might surprised you a bit, though. Even without internet, and assuming I’ll have a way to charge said computer (my island, my rules – HA!), there are so many facets of my computer that would help me on a desert island. I’ll start with the obvious…

Writing My Books

Having my computer means I could spend all that time with some manner of distraction writing my books. Not just because I need to write my books (which I do), but to also give me a purpose. I don’t sit idly well.

Kindle App w/ Books

I have a lot of books on that app which (I think) can be accessed without internet as long as they were downloaded first (which most are). Entertainment and friends come out of books for me. It’s the next best thing to real people. (Sometimes a good book is better than real people.)

Some Movies and Music

Seeing other faces and hearing voices (not in my head) would help with the whole sanity thing I think.

Journal My Experience

On the off chance I don’t survive, this would be a good way to let my family know what happened (assuming someone discovers the island). Plus, I’d sneak clues in there about my buried treasure.

Calendar

The calendar would help me keep track of the days and time.

Reflective Surface

To possible signal passing ships or planes with.

Pictures of My Family

This is the biggie. If they’re physically not with me, I’d want my computer with pictures of them. I couldn’t live without some access to my family. They would be my reason to keep going and survive.

 

What about you? What item could you not live without?

 


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

Best Gift Ever: Zombies & a Silver Bullet

I count myself lucky. I grew up in a family of gift givers and I married a very thoughtful giver. It’s made me appreciate putting thought into the gifts I give, tailoring a present to the person and their unique interests or something you share. We’ll get to gift giving next week. This week on the MFRW Blog Challenge, we’re talking about the best gift we’ve ever received.

I didn’t have to think hard about this one, because I know my favorite gift. You might think it would be my engagement ring (which I adore), or my first car (which was a surprise from my parents). Or perhaps a gift like the blanket with mine and my husband’s names embroidered on it that was a wedding gift, or the baby blankets a friend knitted my kids, or the wonderful memory book given to us by our bridesmaids and groomsmen at our wedding. While all of those are wonderful and mean so much to me, my favorite is a little…unusual.

 

To give a little context: My dad likes to give coins as special gifts now and then. He researches the artwork and history and quality and all the things you research about coins. He likes to give particularly beautiful coins. Usually.

Meanwhile, my dad loves to tease me about my slight obsession with planning for random catastrophic events. I plan for the strangest things. For example, when we were living in California, with all of our family still in Texas, I came up with a plan for “if the apocalypse happens how do we meet back up.” That’s right. Because I assumed things like phone lines and cell phones would be knocked out. A little bit nuts, I’m well aware. I also love all things zombie–The Walking Dead, Resident Evil, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. Love them all.

For Christmas a few years ago, I received a gift from my dad. The card said “From Survivalist Santa” which cracked me up to begin with. Inside the bag I found a silver bullet (because werewolves), a regular coin, and a zombie version of that coin (the front on the left and the back is in the other picture).

To this day, this gift makes me smile because Dad both gets me and is teasing me at the same time. I should mention that I learned my paranoid planning from him. Lol.  I still have the bag and little note with all the items.

Thanks Dad! Love you. 🙂

What is your best gift ever?

 


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.