Halloween is tomorrow! What are you doing to prepare for it? Will you be taking munchkins out trick or treating? Or hitting up a fun party? I’ll be dressing up and throwing a party at my place as I do every year : ) I love Halloween!
Word Count: 5,520
What story I’m working on: Tale of Two Airships. Ramping up to the final section/big confrontation! And I got a new story percolating in my brain, something that’s starting to strike my inspiration once more.
What I’m editing/marketing: Got another round of edits in for Hunting for Spring, so I plowed through them, but I’ve also been pushing forward with edits of the Tuatha De Danaan story.
Hey y’all. It’s my turn to share what I lug around in my giant purse. I don’t always carry such a monstrosity but after I had kids the size of my purse grew exponentially and has stayed that way :-).
First, I have to share that I scored such a good deal on this purse, like 80% off, and my daughter found the matching wallet which cost me $10. So wow- that never happens to me. I’ve never even had a purse and wallet that match so I feel like a girl who is definitely wearing her big girl panties.
Ok, let’s get to it. Starting at the top and going clockwise this is what you’re looking at.
Giant pink folder is my passion planner. I know. I know. We have smart phones but it’s just not the same as writing down everything in the moment. My passion planner tells me what to do and when to do it. For all things work, child and writing.
Sometimes, I swap this out for my laptop. I never carry both or my purse would weight 10 pounds.
Slim black case is my stun gun. Yep, I carry a stun gun. Sometimes two. And I’m not afraid to use it. Veronica Mars is my idol.
Brown case with rubber band is a wallet of sorts. I’m a couponer and this keeps me organized for that. I once bought a year’s worth of toiletries including razors for $34.28. No lie.
Matching wallet! Holla!
Gum- never leave home without out it. Yes, I chew it obnoxiously. Sorry.
Pens and pencils.
Chick-fil-a card to get a discount. Cuz I eats there a lot 🙂 (she says with an accent)
My author postcards and business cards but the truth is I’m always nervous about handing them out.
Packet of tea and honey sticks. I probably drink 4-5 cups of tea a day. Hot and cold.
Lipstick. I usually carry more but my purse tipped in my car so the rest are rolling around on the passenger seat floorboard. I only grabbed up my favorites.
Motrin, hand sanitizer, and lotion that smells like yummy cake.
That’s it. That’s me in a nut shell. Oh, Yes, I carry feminine products. I see here that I have forgot to reload on those. Whoops.
Thanks Tracey and Jessica for letting me be a part of this. I love having this insiders look at everyone’s purse:-).
About the author:
Kristi Rose was raised in central Florida on boiled peanuts and iced tea. She’s been lucky enough to travel the world but now, a wife and mother, she’s resigned to traveling to the grocery store. No matter where she is, she enjoys watching people and wondering about their story. That’s what Kristi likes to write. Stories about everyday people, the love that brings them together, and their journey getting there. Kristi is a member of RWA. Romance Writer’s Weekly and The KickAss Chicks
Writer Wednesday is back with a vengeance, with more interviews delving into the psyche and zodiac signs of your favorite authors!
Today let’s welcome Shelli Rosewarne!
So to kick things off, what’s your favorite quote about writing?
Ooh, that’s a tough one, I have a whole ‘writing quotes’ folder lol. I think one of my favourites would have to be Neil Gaiman, ‘This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word in front of the other until it’s done. It’s that easy and that hard.’ That to me just sums it up. It can be both the hardest and the easiest thing in the world at times, but the main thing is always to just keep going with it.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Pretty much anything and everything! I write because otherwise the voices in my head would never give me a moment’s peace (and because now when I mention voices in my head people don’t think I’m completely and utterly crazy).
Writers are known to get attached to their characters–is there one you feel like you could write about forever?
Oh god, I could never pick just one. It would be like picking a favourite child! I get very attached to all my characters and it’s always a bit sad to have to say goodbye to them at the end of a story. Even the secondary characters often creep their way in, and frequently end up with their own story. I’m also terrible for falling for my villains and wanting to redeem them (I partly blame Loki in the Avengers films, who can resist Tom Hiddleston?) Most people who have read Love Reawakened have been asking me about Deacan and Carisa, who are technically secondary characters but have a bad habit of stealing the scene 🙂
Where would your dream vacation be?
I’m a keen photographer so I love places with gorgeous scenery. I was up in the Highlands about a month ago and just loved it, the area was stunning – plus got to see lots of castles lol! I’d love to go to somewhere like Iceland to see the Northern Lights. I also love city breaks, just being to wander round a new place, soak up the culture and see the sights. I’m not much for beach holidays, I have a bit too short an attention span and I burn too quickly 🙂
Oh man, I feel you on the burning front. As for projects–any new ones you’re excited about?
I usually have several WIPs on the go, so if I get stuck on one I can work on one of the others for a bit. Re-editing Love Reawakened has definitely got me back into that world, and am working on both a prequel, that will show how Emma and Garret first met, as well as book two in the series. There’s going to be at least three set in this world as Deacon and Carisa will need their own story as well. I’ve also started two more books with my wolf shifters and am probably going to go back to an angels story to see if I can get it finished before Christmas. It keeps me busy 🙂
When you’re not writing, are there any shows on air you check out?
Tough one. I watch quite a lot of series and don’t think I have a strict favourite, it changes a lot depending on what I’m in the mood for. I’m loving the new series of Gotham so far though and am really excited that The Walking Dead is back. Other things I’m enjoying at the moment are Once Upon a Time, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and am looking forward to Grimm coming back soon.
How about in the book-o-sphere?
I’ve just finished Born of Fury by Sherrilyn Kenyon, who is one of my favourite authors and a huge inspiration to me. I especially love her conflict build-up. You’re rooting so hard for the characters but at the same time are racking your brain for how on earth it’s ever going to be possible for them to be together with the obstacles in the way. I think next on my list is The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett, which I’m both dying to read and slightly dreading because I know it’s going to make me bawl my eyes out.
What’s your astrological sign?
Libra. Though I must admit I’m not a big believer in astrology. I know right – witches, zombies, necromancers, shifters, but astrology is a bit unbelievable 😉
What’s your biggest pet peeve in a story? Anything that will make you put a book down?
I like a strong story and relatable characters so I can get annoyed if that doesn’t happen for me. My biggest pet peeve is probably ‘lazy writing’ – where something hugely unbelievable and unrelated appears out of nowhere for the sole purpose of fixing all the obstacles in the story. I think that can sometimes be especially prevalent in genres like fantasy and paranormal, where you have options like magic that can give a ‘quick fix’. For me, it’s more important than ever in these genres that the realism is there to ground the other elements.
For Emma Strachan, raising zombies is all in a day’s work. A girl has to pay the bills somehow! But when what should be a simple raising goes horribly wrong, Emma is forced to ask for help from the one man she swore never to see again.
Garret is used to being a loner, as a necromancer he works best that way and frankly, with the dangers he faces every day, it’s easier not to have to look out for anyone else. When Emma shows up on his doorstep desperate for help, he vows to ignore the raging attraction between them – after all a pretty, fun-loving witch has no place in his world.
Can Emma and Garret put aside old resentments in order to try and defeat a zombie unlike anything they have seen before? When the dust settles, can they count on any future between them?
Just another Music Monday (try to not get Manic Monday stuck in your head…).
Today let’s welcome Michele Stegman to the blog to discuss Conquest of the Heart!
I don’t really listen to music when I write. If the radio happens to be on, I “tune” it out. Music is so powerful, that it becomes a distraction for me. But I do love music, especially classical music and opera, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Mussorgsky, Puccini, etc. I also love movie sound tracks such as Last of the Mohicans, Pirates of the Carribean, and Dances With Wolves. But my favorite way to enjoy music is to play the piano.
Sometimes I will stay up late and play the piano into the night, until 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. It seems such a personal time for me, alone with my piano and my music. And here I am living in a log cabin way out in the woods, with no neighbors nearby. I can’t even see the road from my cabin. And when my husband is at work, I am here by myself. But those nighttime hours are still special.
When I was a child, my first album was Nutcracker Suite. Sure, I liked popular music, too, and listened to it with friends, but classical music was what I really enjoyed, even in grade school.
Now, classical music is still my very favorite, but as the pianist for my church, I am appreciating anew the music I grew up with in church. I especially love finding new arrangements of hymns.
So how do I use music to help me write? Music has rhythm, of course, and so does writing. In the best music, there is a growing tension and then a release that is similar to writing those climatic scenes. I also find inspiration when I listen to grand, sweeping music. I can “see” what is happening when the music plays. And sometimes, that inspires scenes and ideas for new books. I just don’t listen while I write!
I’m working on a western romance set in Texas in 1869. It’s about a man who isn’t as bad as he thinks he is, but who still needs redemption and forgiveness, mainly from himself.
In 1067 England, Madeline, a Norman, wants a big, brash, never-defeated-in-battle, Norman knight. What she gets, by order of the king, is a wiry Saxon who once studied for the priesthood instead of warfare. But is this gentle man she is falling in love with entangled in the rebellion now sweeping the land?
Now she must conquer his heart.
Ranulf wants to marry the girl next door. What he gets, by order of the king, is a lush, strong Norman woman who just might be a spy reporting his every move. He wants her in every way a man can possibly want a woman. But can he trust his heart to a woman who might have been sent to root out the struggle for freedom his people are engaged in? How can they overcome the distrust they feel to find love?
This is my favorite time of year, when the leaves are all crunchy and the winds aren’t horribly cold yet. I love the chill of autumn and the excitement in the air as everyone embraces the weird in preparation for Halloween.
Word Count: 6,443 (starting to pick up steam on this book. Get it? Steampunk? Har har.)
What story I’m working on: Tale of Two Airships. I just got to a really sad scene that broke my heart, which is what pushed me out of my writing rut. Listened to the Clockwork Dolls‘ song Hold the Line the entire time.
What I’m editing/marketing: Editing the Tuatha De Danaan story at the moment, and loving these edits! Also just started working on the formatting for the revision of Airship, because I’d like to release that by the end of November or December!
When offered the chance to get purse-onal, I jumped on it. (Grin and bear it, I love my puns!) I have to admit though, it wasn’t until I spilled the contents out on the floor for the picture that I realized what a wonderful metaphor it was for myself. For any purse carrier, what you choose to put in that small space is a reflection of you, in some shape or form. After all, anyone with a heavy purse knows the burden of the beast weighing down your shoulders.
Without further ado, here’s mine and the contents:
First, note the ratty canvas bag that I’ve had for a couple years now. It’s frayed and covered in a splatter of fake zombie blood that just won’t come out. In case you hadn’t gathered, I’m quite a tomboy, and perfectly content toting around a functional bag I got for fifteen bucks at Big Lots. Although, I may need a new one soon as the bottom’s getting pretty worn.
Obviously, my wallet and keys are the essentials. To be noted, that Gamecube lanyard was given to me by one of my first boyfriends, well over ten years ago. Yep, since the time of Nintendo Gamecube. Hey, if it’s not broke, I don’t need to fix it. When I was a teenager, I used to wear boy pants and would always lose my keys from the pockets, hence the lanyard received. Same with my wallet—it was a hand-me-down from someone. I’m the queen of Goodwill and hand-me-downs.
Next in the queue of importance: my notebook, my planner, and my Kindle. Let’s be honest folks, a Kindle is a book nerd’s best friend, and the second I’m waiting somewhere or have a break at work, you can bet I’m tearing through another book. And the notebook is an author’s best friend. Likewise, if I’ve got time and a scene sneaks up on me, I’ll start jotting things down. As for the planner, I’m a Leslie Knope planning queen, even though I’ve got the memory of a goldfish—so the planner’s essential.
Now to tackle my weird nitty gritties. On the right hand side, I have a thumb drive loaded with pictures of our recent trip to Canada—my husband and I brought it with when we went to visit my folks. As for the little white square next to it, that’s my Square Reader that I take to events with me. Though, I have a couple floating around.
Next to those? The business cards are for my massage business—a massage therapist has to always be prepared. Underneath the cards is a sample of ginger from a different vendor than I normally use for tea. I’ve been meaning to take it out of my purse for awhile now, but it got sucked into the vortex. And of course, a pad—I mean, what lady doesn’t have some sort of pad or tampon in her purse? As for the pens, self explanatory due to the notebook. On top of that is my little name tag for work—if you squint and see the LMT, it stands for Licensed Massage Therapist.
But the oddities aren’t over! I’ve got a rock in the bottom of my purse, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out where it’s from. When I was a kid I had a huge rock collection and when I see cool ones or ones from important places, I like to pick them up…however, that’s useless if I can’t remember where it was from. (See, goldfish memory.) And bobby pins, which I just discovered how to use a year or two ago. Quit those appalled looks, I’m terrible at traditional ‘girl’ things. A hair tie is important, because when I give up on my half-assed effort at styling, I usually just throw it back into a ponytail. And the coin floating around is one from Canada, now useless to me here!
Finally, we’ve spotted something girly in my bag—makeup! But as with everything, for me it’s the bare essentials. I’ve got two chapsticks, an awesome lipstain that for as inexpensive it was works so wonderfully, and a dark brown eyeshadow crayon that I use to give my eyelids some contour. When I put on makeup for work it’s….either the lipstain or the eyeshadow. I don’t usually do both, because as we’ve stated before, I suck at dolling myself up on a day to day basis. Doesn’t mean I can’t commit for weddings or parties and whatnot, but on an average day, I’d rather spend the extra time reading or writing.
As for the contents of my purse, that’s all folks! But the fun doesn’t stop here—a bunch of fantastic blogs are participating every Friday, so keep tabs on #PurseDumpProject, and tag your own photos!
A modern day Renaissance-woman, Katherine McIntyre has learned soapmaking, beer brewing, tea blending, and most recently roasting coffee. Most of which make sure she’s hydrated and bathed while she spends the rest of her time writing. With a desire to travel and more imagination than she knows what to do with, all the stories jumping around in her head led to the logical route of jotting them down on paper. Not only can her poetry and prose be found in different magazines, but she’s had an array of novels and novellas published through Decadent Publishing, Boroughs Publishing, Hazardous Press, and Jupiter Gardens Press. For more casual content, she’s a regular contributor on CaffeineCrew.com, a geek news website.
Now that certain shows have returned, I feel the need to acknowledge the awesome. One such show that my husband and I were enamored with last year is the Flash. Quality. Just, quality. I’m fairly certain I cried every episode. While I am notorious for crying at emotional scenes, I have to actually connect to the characters to induce said tears–so I’ve watched shows where characters die and I’m not fazed.
And another mention that has me in stitches is a newcomer: Scream Queens. This is cheesy and silly as shit, I’ll admit that from the start. But it makes me laugh, a lot. And that makes it worth watching for me. Also, I have to admit, it’s rather fun for October since it gets me in that Halloween spirit!
On the book front, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the latest Kate Daniels, Magic Shifts. My husband is amazing and picked it up for me, and I tore through it incredibly fast. Those books are near and dear to my heart, mostly due to the witty dialogue and character relationships. Every time I pick up a Kate Daniels book, it’s like a reunion with old friends. Love them dearly.
As far as other books I’ve been reading, I just ripped through Hampire by Lana Moon, as well as When Dark Falls by Pippa Jay–both were delightful reads.
Key thing about taking an adventure doesn’t have to do with going to the most remote place on the planet or most talked about. The spirit of an adventure is exploring somewhere new, even if it’s just new to you.
So for me and my husband this past Valentine’s day, our date consisted of a wintry walk through a local park in Pennsylvania. While I had explored this place before, something about the light slow drifting down made the walk positively magical. The cold pinks your cheeks, chills your ears, and the fluffy snowflakes clung to my hair, my clothes–everything. But with so few people on the trails, the pale accumulations were pristine, and the snowfall didn’t accumulate so much as to deter our walk, just make it a bit more treacherous. Of course, that just makes it all the more thrilling.
It’s kind of a wonderful thing how other’s creativity breeds inspiration, and I love to see how that works so frequently with musicians and writers. So join in for another Music Monday!
Today let’s welcome Landra Graf with her book A Rose By Any Other Name
So what songs inspired this story?
Zombie by the Cranberries
– This song plays to the amount of violence my main characters have to deal with during the zombie epidemic. It’s not pretty nor is it happy.
Till I Hear It From You by the Gin Blossoms
– Whenever I listened to this song it brought to life my hero, Jason. He’s waiting for my heroine to wake up and realize he cares about her, wants more than just friendship, but he’s waiting for her to reciprocate.
La Vie En Rose by Louie Armstrong
– This is Rose’s song. She’s the main antagonist and it’s her theme. So naturally.
Living Dead Girl by Rob Zombie
– This is the song that got everything started, all the action in the story is inspired by this one.
I Don’t Want to Wait by Paula Cole
– I still remember this song from Dawson’s Creek (yes, I watched the show). Emmaline is so my Joey and she’s always been in love with essentially the ‘boy next door’. So when sparks finally fly this song helped everything along.
I just finished the second book in my alternate history romance series titled, The Raven Who Caught The Canary. I’ll be moving into some contemporary work for a little bit to wrap up a few projects I’ve never gotten around to completing.
Where can your readers find you? They can check me out at my website: http://landragraf.com or find me on twitter @landragraf. I’m also on facebook, pinterest, and a slew of other social media haunts. It won’t be too hard to locate me.
A Rose By Any Other Name
Zombies don’t belong in fairy tales….at least not those with a good chance of a happily ever after…
Jason Prince, Charming’s once-upon-a-time star jock, only attends his Charming high school reunion to find his way into the heart of a certain wallflower who had no date for the prom.
Shy, geeky, chemical engineer, Emma Fay has been keeping her love for Jason a secret because she knows Jason and Rose belong together. But, when Rose Briar pricks her finger, fulfilling a prophecy about death and a plague, she throws a wrench into the class reunion that not even the best planning committee can tackle.
Can Jason and Emma stop Zombie Beauty Rose before she turns their loved ones into her undead court and sends them forth to spread the infestation to the rest of the world? Or will human flesh become the daily special at diners everywhere? And will there be enough left of Jason and Emma for romance to blossom?