Have A Very Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 23, 2011


This is my last post until 2012!!! I'm taking off work next week and everything. Hopefully I'll be sane by the time I return in January!

So I will wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year now.


(viewers of this video beware: if you suffer from epileptic seizures, there is a lot of lights flashing, but it's sooo cool. I'm doing this to my house next year...I wish!)


The Winner of my Christmas Present Giveaway is:

JENNIFER SHIRK

And don't forget tomorrow on Christmas Eve, Champagne Books will sell Hot Commodity for only $.99!! Here's the link: http://champagnebooks.com/shop/index.php




Season's Greetings to you from LINDA KAGE!!

Giveaway Prizes

Monday, December 19, 2011
At the end of last year, I listed all the books I'd won in contests and giveaways throughout 2010. So I decided to do it again this year. I can't remember if-or-what I won early in 2011, but boy have the prizes rolled in this past month.

'Tis the season for sure!!!

I would love to thank:

...Allison Knight, who provided a giveaway of her highland historical, Battlesong, in a recent Champagne Books chat, which I won.

...Annie Rayburn, author of Bittersweet Obsessions, a paranormal sci fi romance. I won a copy of that book on a contest in Carol Kilgore's Tiki Hut.

...Jessica Nelson, who gave away not one but TWO books on her blog BookingIt! There, I won inspirational romance stories Polar Bear Plunge by Linda S. Glaz and Savannah's Gift by Camille Eide!

...Claire Ashgrove. She has a giveaway of her books on her blog every Monday (Yeah, I know! Too cool!). From there, I won paranormal romance novella, Tormented by Darkness.

...and AllRomance eBooks is having a free book a day on the twelve days of Christmas. I won a contemporary interracial romance story there called Black Butterfly by Sienna Mynx.



***

And here, the year isn't even over yet. Who knows what else could happen before 2012 rolls around!

Finally in the giving Christmas spirit myself, I have decided to throw a little giveaway contest here on this blog! About time, huh!!

So... If you won a prize this year, tell us about it. If not, feel free to rant about that! Pretty much just leave any kind of comment below and you'll be entered in my Christmas present giveaway.

I would like to gift someone with the complete works of Linda Kage in PDF ebook (geez, it makes me sound all important when I say it that way...The Complete Works...heehee!). I'll even throw in ARC ebooks of my two forthcoming novels, The Best Mistake & The Right to Remain Mine.

That makes nine books total! And if you'd like to pick and choose from the nine (ie: you have a copy of one or two of them already, so you only want five books, or some of the stories don't look like something you'd enjoy, thus you only want two), that's perfectly fine with me! Whatever.

I'll announce the winner on Friday! Good luck with all the Christmas Contests you guys have entered this festive season....


The Horrors of Christmas Cards

Friday, December 16, 2011
Well, I survived. Barely. But what an awful experience.

I ordered our cute, Walgreens photo Christmas cards with an adorable picture of the hubby helping my baby put the star on the Christmas tree (see below!). Then I had another picture of her in her Christmas dress standing in front of the tree. It was a bit blurry but too sweet to keep out, so I put it in the smaller frame next to the "star" picture.


Yeah, all was good and well there. The order processed within the day and by that evening we had the pretty cards in our possession. I'd typed up a nice letter and had the hubby proof it to make sure it read okay.

And then the big day came. Stuffing and addressing letters.

Oh, the horror.

I used to have everyone's name in my computer where I typed up quick labels and was done with that part. But we got a new computer this year, ergo no names were in the new system. So I had to hunt up everyone who was supposed to be on the list and print out all the names...yes, with my awful handwriting.

What's worse, I always make mistakes and have to cross out, mark off or line through. Without fail, I put the wrong address with the wrong person's name...more than once. Once I wrote in one family member on two envelopes...you get the gist, I suppose.

After scrounging up what was hopefully an up-do-date list of people to send cards to, the assembly line began.

Hubby decided to 'help.' Yeah. HELP!!!! As I scribbled out addresses on the envelopes, he stuffed the pictures and letters (letters which we soon learned need to be physically cut to fit into the short envelopes, ugh), then he stamped and sealed.

Since he'd had a bad day at work, he was already in a mood....which in hindsight makes me wish I just would've said, "You sit on the couch, dear, and watch TV. I got this." But I didn't. Oh, why didn't I?

So the kid whined down out our feet the entire time, demanding constant attention and stringing toys and whatnot across the house in retaliation (oh, you know she did it just to get even!), while the husband and I bickered back and forth. Do we really need to send a card to "these" people? Honestly?

I kept checking my emails, hoping people I'd asked for current addresses might've responded.

And halfway through addressing envelopes, the freaking envelopes ran out! We only got enough envelopes to fit half the cards. So, we pulled out the ugly security envelopes we use to send out bills.

Then we ran out of cards to fit everyone on the list. I scurried to print out pictures on our home printer. The sad thing was, the people we like most were at the bottom of the list and got shafted on the cute Walgreen cards.

Then the big argument began over whether Great Aunt Dorothy REALLY needed a card because she probably wouldn't remember who we were anyway.

I didn't strangle hubby, thankfully, but I did walk out the room once, and so did he. I made him finish the cards since I wasn't doing 'anything' right (I know, there's going to be coal in my stocking this year). While he did that, I cleaned up the mess our child had made. I would die for this wonderful man, really, but stuff Christmas cards with him again? No, thank you.

Meanwhile, the kiddo found a baggie of animal crackers to eat, so at least she didn't starve!!

To conclude, a handful of cards went into our mailbox this morning to be delivered. And all three of us survived the night!

I KNOW I missed sending cards to lots of important people, but as of right now, I'm not sending any more this year. And with that, I'm all Ba-hum-bug. Give me a book to read or write any day. I am not a good Christmas Card sender.

Okay, I'm not the best book writer either, but at least I find joy in that!

So, I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas. Just don't expect a card from me this year!

More Book Trailers!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Well, I got a book trailer finished for my February story, The Right to Remain Mine. I'm showing it over at The Writers Vineyard today since it's my day to guest post there. It felt like a ho-hum trailer.

It's felt like a ho-hum month all around actually, and I really don't know why. I've been blessed with so many things. My family is safe and okay, I'm safe and okay. I've sold some of my stories and even held them in my hands and smelled the lovely pages. I've received royalties, and yet...I think I've fallen into that nasty rut where I just want more. MORE! I want what I've seen people more fortunate than me have gotten.

What a greedy, greedy girl I've become.

Well, it's time to give back...somehow. So, okay, how about I offer my story HOT COMMODITY to everyone for $0.99 on Christmas Eve? Okay, done!

Alright, alright, that was the publisher's decision. But it's still exciting to share. One December 24th, my story will be available to buy for one buck at Champagne Books! On the twelves days of Christmas, they're offering different stories each day to sell for ninety-nine cents and I was lucky to catch the 24th.

Since they already took care of that, I guess I'll just have to find something else selfless to do. Ideas anyone?

A Page with Kage (3)

Friday, December 9, 2011
Round three of my "Page with Kage" series starts now! Here's another excerpt from a story on my all-time favorites list.

I've returned to crush on historical romance again today, celebrating Julia Quinn's An Offer from a Gentleman. It had a spicy heat rating and this is one of my favorite scenes because the moment Benedict first sees Sophie never fails to take my breath away. I think I fall in love with her right along with him. It's just so sigh-worthy.


EXCERPT:

With a sigh, Benedict started to make this way toward the lemonade table. He could practically taste that brandy, smooth and mellow in his mouth, but he supposed that a glass of lemonade would tide him over for a few minutes.

"Miss Featherington!" he called out, trying not to shudder when three Miss Featheringtons turned around. With what he knew could not possibly be anything but the weakest of smiles, he added, "Er, Penelope, that is."

From about ten feet away, Penelope beamed at him, and Benedict was reminded that he actually liked Penelope Featherington. Truly, she wouldn't be considered so antidotal if she weren't always lumped together with her unfortunate sisters, who could easily make a grown man wish himself aboard a ship to Australia.

He'd nearly closed the gap between them when he heard a low rumble of whispers rippling across the ballroom behind him. he knew he ought to keep going and get this duty-dance over with, but God help him, his curiosity got the best of him and he turned around.

And found himself facing what had to be the most breath-taking woman he'd ever seen.

He couldn't even tell if she was beautiful. Her hair was a rather ordinary dark blond, and with her mask tied securely around her head he couldn't even see half her face.

But there was something about her that held him mesmerized. It was her smile, the shape of her eyes, the way she held herself and looked about the ballroom as if she'd never seen a more glorious sight than the silly members of the ton all dressed up in ridiculous costume.

Her beauty came from within.

She shimmered. She glowed.

She was utterly radiant, and Benedict suddenly realized that it was because she looked so damned happy. Happy to be where she was, happy to be who she was.

Happy in a way Benedict could barely remember. His was a good life, it was true, maybe even a great life. He had seven wonderful siblings, a loving mother, and scores of friends. But this woman--

This woman knew joy.

And Benedict had to know her.

Penelope forgotten, he pushed his way through the crowd until he was but a few steps from her side.


~~Julia Quinn provides lots a great info and a chapter one excerpt for this story on her website.~~

What a Weekend.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Well, I now have a new sister-in-law. My husband's brother got hitched this weekend, and I'd say "hitched" is the proper word here because they were married in boots and cowboy hats inside an indoor roping arena. Knowing nothing about horses and roping and all that, I found it to be quite an experience.

This was a second marriage, so they didn't make a big deal about it. In fact, my husband found out he was the best man a couple minutes before the I do's!! It was like, "here, stand up here with us, hold the ring for me, give it to the plaid-shirted preacher guy when he asks for it, then sign as witness when we're done."

It was lovely though. The hubby and I lost track of our daughter and she got into the arena with the galloping horses and riders only once, so that wasn't too bad. Okay, fine, it scared the bejesus out of me, and I didn't let her down the rest of the night...a fact which she did NOT appreciate.

What's worse, we found out that morning she had an ear infection, so she was kind of cranky to start with. This is her first ear infection, poor thing. The night before the wedding, she cried as I haven't seen her cry in a long time. She'd been sickly with a runny nose all week. But we didn't notice the wax draining out of her ear until the next morning, which was a Saturday, of course. So we had to take her to the hospital emergency room's urgent care. Ugh.

She's finally starting to feel a little better, even though I have to gag medicine down her for another eight days. I'm hoping she'll begin sleeping throughout the night again...real soon.

Those things kept me busy enough. But to top off that, my writing bud, Miranda received a bad review from RT Book Reviews. It wasn't just the worst review she ever received, I swear it's the worst review I've ever READ! The woman was inconsolable.

She was even too afraid to let her husband see it because she feared he'd think worse of her for writing such a story to horrify this reviewer the way she did. It was an erotic horror/romantic suspense story, so yes, it's supposed to disturb the reader to some extent, but she certainly didn't mean to disturb anyone this way.

I know what she was trying to accomplish. She wanted to show how the heroine went to extreme measures to heal herself after a harrowing event. I could see where she was going with the story, but it was shocking to see someone else interpret it in entirely a different, appalling way. The reviewer was totally grossed out.

Miranda was ready to give up writing altogether. She thought all her writing friends would dissociate themselves with her because she wrote such disturbing material. She actually went through the stages of grief: Sorrow, anger, denial. I think she's finally beginning to accept and move on, but whew, it was harsh there for a while.

Problem is, this is her first and only review on the book so far, so it's hard to say if everyone will see the story the way this one reviewer did, or if it was just one person construing her own way. The reviewer DID get a couple facts in the story wrong, though they were close enough I could see how she could make them if she'd been reading fast or skimming. Still...I'm crossing my fingers Miranda will get another more-favorable (even a two-star at this point) review to help boost her ego a little bit.

How do you all help a friend when they've hit such a low point? I tried to tell her that at least three other people had to have read the story before it was published and no one mentioned any of that bad stuff, so it really couldn't be THAT bad, but that didn't help her..at all.

Ideas??

She's Baaaack!!! Welcome, Linda LaRoque.

Monday, December 5, 2011
A week or so ago (on Black Friday), Linda LaRogue visited us, explaining the history of undergarments. If you missed her lovely post, you can go here (Guest Post + Giveaway = Linda LaRogue) to check it out.

Well, today we're back with her to spotlight her book releasing TODAY!!!!


BORN IN ICE

This futuristic romantic suspense story grew from a dream, one of a woman frozen in a block of ice and found by fishermen from an undersea world. She’s taken to their home and with the help of advanced medical technology, she recovers. In time she learns she must learn to fit into their social system, one different from what she’s known.

Blurb:

Pulled from an icy grave…into a world of doubt and danger.

Frozen in ice for seventy-five years, Zana Forrester suffers the agony of rebirth to learn her son is dead, and her daughter's whereabouts is unknown. The year is 2155. A man's soothing voice and gray eyes haunt her drug induced dreams. When she recovers, she meets their owner and finds her heart in danger. But, a relationship isn’t a consideration; she must find her daughter.

Brock Callahan is drawn to the beautiful woman taken aboard his salvage ship. He's determined she'll be his wife and a mother to his young daughter, but he vows not to love her. All the women he’s loved died. While Zana searches for her daughter, Brock must protect Zana from the evil that threatens.


My editor for Champagne Books has graciously given permission for me to post the Prologue and Chapter One of Born in Ice, so for 10 days I’ll be sharing another installment.

Prologue – 2


Lifting Jonathan, she passed through the automatic-sealing dead-air
space to the garage. Though she’d turned on the exhaust system earlier and
started the Polar Excursion to let it warm, the moisture from her breath
formed ice crystals in the air. Even in the garage, the thermometer read
minus twenty-nine degrees Celsius.

A squirming Jonathan babbled, “Go bye-bye,” as she locked him in
his car seat. The baby was fully dressed under his protective outerwear
designed for particularly low temperatures. His clunky gloves kept him from
removing the knitted facemask that covered his sensitive skin. She probably
looked as strange as he did in her suit, the hood trimmed with silver fake fur
to match her face covering.

With her remote control, she turned off the exhaust and pushed the
door opener. She backed out and turned down the hill. The big tires on the
powerful all-terrain vehicle designed especially for extremely cold weather,
traversed over the snow and ice like an Aspen skier on snow skies. The
darkened windows cut the stunning glare from the sun on snow and ice. Just
before his accident, David bought the truck for her. He didn’t want her and
the kids out in something unreliable. It had been a Godsend since his death. It
could and would continue to operate in all kinds of conditions, giving her
independence she valued in getting the supplies they needed. Other families
weren’t as lucky, and she helped them when she could.

It had been two years since David died, buried under a mountain of
snow while trying to rescue a family whose home was covered under an
avalanche. The hill behind the house literally slid down on top burying them
all. Twenty men had perished that day as well as the six-member family
inside. Zana feared the cold, ice, and snow would be the death of them all
before long.

The trip into town never ceased to make her nervous. It was always a
relief to get supplies and return home. Today was no different. Her dread
eased as they neared the four-lane bridge that crossed a small waterway. The
road wove close to the drop-off into the bay, and the snow-covered hills on
the opposite side rose majestically toward the sky. In five minutes they’d
have left this eerie pass behind.

Her heart stopped at the rumble in the distance and then pounded in
her chest when the carpet of white moved. No, no, no! She stomped the
accelerator in an attempt to outrun the avalanche. Oh, God, please let me
make it. The vehicle rushed forward, and snow hit the road behind her. A
nervous giggle escaped her lips. She’d made it. A gigantic wave of white
moved under and over them blocking everything from view. They were
thrust forward as if from a cannon. The last words she heard were Jonathan’s
terrified scream, “Mamaaa!” And her last thought was, Oh Katy. I’m so
sorry, sweetheart.



Available TODAY at Champagne Books.


ABOUT LINDA LaROQUE

Linda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her right shoulder. Forty years passed before she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face.

A retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people, Linda’s stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Midwest. She is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers.

website | blog | facebook | twitter


Tune in tomorrow for the 3rd installment. I’ll be on Dawn Alexander’s blog at http://www.chasingsomeday.blogspot.com


Please leave a comment today to be entered into a drawing for an ecopy of A Way Back, my time travel set in the 1930s oil fields of Texas. Your name will also be entered in the GRAND PRIZE drawing for my blog tour—a KINDLE. A name will be draw at the end of my tour on December 16th.

I also have a release contest going. Sign up for my newsletter by emailing me at linda@lindalaroque.com with Born in Ice in the subject line. Your name will be added to the drawing for this rhinestone frog pin. For each of my releases I try to find a piece of jewelry significant to the story. After reading Born in Ice you’ll understand why I chose this frog.


Thank you, Linda, for having me here today, and thank you readers for stopping by. Good luck in all the give-a-ways!

Happy Reading and Writing!

Linda

If I'd been in NaNo

Friday, December 2, 2011
I would have fallen short of the glory of Nano-dom!

I did not join NaNoWriMo. But if I had been in the national novel writing month craze and tried to finish penning 50,000 words throughout all of November, I only would've been four thousand short of my goal. Altogether, I'd say that was pretty good...for me.

It's interesting how each person's goals vary. I had a writing friend who averages over 5,000 words a day. I know, sickening, huh. But it's also inspiring.

Makes me wonder how they came up with the number 50,000 to be everyone's goal. For some, that's a walk in the park. For others, its impossible. I wonder what would happen if people were able to set their own goal for the Nano Month.

Which reminds me: This week I met my 2011 Goodreads Reading Challenge!!! I know...you may congratulate me now (he)! I was able to set my own goals. I decided I was going to try to read 65 books. And I did it!!! With a month to spare. It feels so good to meet a challenge.

Have you challenged yourself lately? Met any relieving goals?

The year's coming to an end; it's time to see how much you've accomplished...and getting closer to the time to set new goals in January. Are you ready???

Recovered Yet?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I still feel like I'm dragging from the holiday break.

I didn't even do that much. On Wednesday night, we had a girls' night (okay, two boys came along) and watched Breaking Dawn at the theater. Thursday was turkey at two family stops. Friday, yeah, was lazy day at home with the family. Then Saturday was a freezing, rainy, windy but really fun football game with the husband. Of course, on Sunday, little kiddo got sick from being around so many people on Thanksgiving. Then, Monday, I was so busy trying to work on the story edits I didn't get done over the holidays, I didn't have time to blog visit anyone.

Now it's time to catch up, and the more I try to get done, the more things pile up higher. I think I need another break...but maybe not a "holiday" break!!

Anyway, due to popular demand from the comments on my last blog, I guess I'll tell you all a little about The Right to Remain Mine, which is my next release coming out in February.

It's about the lovely lady lawyer, Willow DeVane, who meets big, tough (and sexy) cop Raith Malloy while he's writing out a parking ticket for her car. To say the least, their relationship gets off to a rocky start.

They argue every time they see each other. But after she's attacked, he argues with her, prodding her into agreeing to take from self defense lessons from him. From there, they argue themselves right into bed with each other, then argue themselves into a kind of sort of relationship. Of course, they argue themselves right back out of the kind of sort of relationship until she learns there's a stalker out to get her. And they argue themselves into each others' arms once again.

If you can't tell, they argue a lot!! I've never written two more stubborn people than Willow and Raith.

And that's a little bit of what the story is about. How are all you guys faring after your holiday "break"?

New Cover - The Right to Remain Mine

Monday, November 28, 2011

Here's my new book cover for The Right to Remain Mine!!! I'm totally loving it. The purples are so pretty. Purple is my favorite color. I just keep staring at it!

So, anyway, this is what's big in my life today? How about you all? Did you have a good Thanksgiving??

Guest Post + Giveaway = LINDA LAROQUE!!

Friday, November 25, 2011
Today I'm just going to sit back, relax, and let the fabulous author Linda LaRoque take over the reins. So, okay, Linda...Take us away!)


Women’s Undergarments in the Nineteenth Century


In A Marshal of Her Own, Dessa Wade resists the idea of wearing a corset but is informed she’ll be ostracized by the women in the community if she doesn’t. Being a modern gal, Dessa doesn’t much care what the womenfolk’ think about her, but her friends do.

Back in the 1950s we wore waist cinchers, girdles and hose, even to school on occasion. So, I have a little idea of what wearing whale bone might feel like. I imagine some of you out there know also. Back in 1976 after giving birth to my last child I was told to wear a girdle to help me get back in shape. I suffered through the torture for probably thirty seconds and then the garment was trashed.

Knickers, called drawers because they were drawn on, were first worn in the eighteen hundreds. Have you ever wondered why we say a pair of knickers or a pair of panties? They were actually two separate legs joined together at the waist. Some drawers came to just below the knees; others, called pantalettes, worn only by girls after the 1830s, were longer and decorated with frills.

Under their dress, a long chemise was worn. It protected the skin from the corset and helped keep the corset clean. Made of cotton, the chemise was cheaper and easier to launder than the corset. By the late nineteenth century, hoops had disappeared; silhouettes were slimmer, so women wore a petticoat or two under their dress. Often trim, tucks, or pleats sewn onto the garment added fullness, as did a heavy dose of starch. In the winter, a flannel petticoat was worn and helped keep her legs warm.

Thank goodness we live in the modern age!

References:
http://www.localhistories.org/underwear.html
http://www.knowlesville.com/vintage/getting-dressed-02.html
http://www.knowlesville.com/vintage/getting-dressed-04.html


About Linda LaRoque

Linda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her right shoulder. Forty years passed before she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face.

A retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people, Linda’s stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Midwest. She is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers.



Linda's Story : A Marshall of her Own


Blurb:

Despite rumors of “strange doings” at a cabin in Fredericksburg, investigative reporter Dessa Wade books the cottage from which lawyer, Charity Dawson, disappeared in 2008. Dessa is intent on solving the mystery. Instead, she is caught in the mystery that surrounds the cabin and finds herself in 1890 in a shootout between the Faraday Gang and a US Marshal.

Marshal Cole Jeffers doesn’t believe Miss Wade is a time traveler. He admits she’s innocent of being an outlaw, but thinks she knows more about the gang than she’s telling. When she’s kidnapped by Zeke Faraday, Cole is determined to rescue her. He’s longed for a woman of his own, and Dessa Wade just might be the one—if she’ll commit to the past.

EXCERPT:

Dessa stood still and watched as they conversed. Something stank to high heaven about this entire situation. Why were the cops chasing robbers on horseback? It’s not like Fredericksburg was that isolated. She glanced at the captured men. The boy moaned, and she made a step to go over and help him. The Marshal spun, and the expression in his eye froze her in place.

“He needs first aid.”

“He’s fine. The Doc will tend to him when we get to the jail.”

“You could at least call 911 and let them patch him up for you.” She nodded to the man lying so still with his eyes closed. “Your other prisoner doesn’t look so good. He’s going to die on you if you don’t start CPR or get him some help.”

“Lady, no one is going to hear a yell from out here. Never heard of any 911 or CPR.” He propped the hand not holding the shotgun on his hip and threw her a disgusted look. “Are you blind? That man is dead, shot through the heart.”

Her head swam for a moment, and she struggled not to give in to the sensation and faint. She drew in deep gulps of air. “Well...well..., what about the coroner and the meat wagon, not to mention the CSI folks? If you don’t get them to record the scene, how are you going to cover your butt? The authorities might say you shot him in cold blood.”

He looked at her like she’d sprouted an extra head. “I don’t know what the hell you are talking about woman. No one will question my authority. I’m the law in this county. Now, be quiet, or I’m going to gag you.”




A Marshal of Her Own will be available now at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and other online book stores. It is the sequel to A Law of Her Own, available at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble.com and other online book stores. I’m awaiting a release date for A Love of His Own, the third story in the Prairie, Texas series.


My release contest for A Marshal of Her Own began November 9th. I’ll be giving away this vintage rhinestone typewriter pin. To enter the drawing, go to my website or blog and sign up for my newsletter. Don’t forget to verify your email address. If you already receive it, email me at linda@lindalaroque.com with A Marshal of Her Own contest in the subject line. Contest ends December 15, 2011.

Leave me a comment or ask a question today and you’ll be entered into a drawing for an ecopy of A Law of Her Own.

Also, today’s blog post is part of 2 blog tours—this one for A Marshal of Her Own and starting December 4th, one for Born in Ice. Follow along each day and leave a comment to be entered into the grand prize drawing and learn about my Born in Ice contest.

The Blog Tour schedule will be posted on my blog and website. It will last 25 days and the Grand Prize is a Kindle. Leave a comment each day and your name will be entered 25 times. Pretty good odds, huh?

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Linda!

Tomorrow, Nov. 26th, I’ll be on W. Lynn Chantale’s blog at http://wlynnchantale-decadentdecisions.blogspot.com/. Lynn has interviewed Dessa Wade.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Linda LaRoque
Writing Romance With a Twist in Time
www.LindaLaRoque.com
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Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011









Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Book Trailer Fun

Monday, November 21, 2011
I'm been making lots of book trailers lately it seems. But I just can't help it. They're so fun, yet frustrating, yet totally rewarding once the final result is complete.

My latest is for my story, The Best Mistake, which comes out in March. And I've been thinking up ideas for The Right to Remain Mine, releasing in February.

Here's what I have for The Best Mistake:



I also finished a trailer for Miranda Stowe on her Snatcher series book: Saved from a Killer. It is now in the You Gotta Reads Video contest.

I think I'm most proud of this book trailer. I needed my husband's acting talent to complete it, which was...an experience. Don't ask how many cans of soda pop were sacrificed in the making of this film. Yeesh. He only had one line too! Actually, his big problem was forgetting to take off his wedding ring!!! I finally figured out how to smudge his fingers out though and ended up using his first take.

Anyway, it's over at YouGottaReadVideos.blogspot.com if you want to see that one too. And if you love is as much as I do, or even half as much, feel free to vote on it. It's number 18 in the voting polls (located at the top on the far right column).

Jessica Nelson has a book trailer up for her upcoming story. She did a pretty cool job on that.

Other than that, I can't think up any of my fav authors with new trailers, though I do so love watching Katalina Leon's book trailers. She's amazing with them. Here's her YouTube page full of book trailers if you want to see true art in the book trailering craft!!

What are some book trailers you truly love?

Bugs in the Vineyard

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I'm not here today. I'm over at The Writers Vineyard, talking about bugs...okay, just one bug.

You can check it out at:

www.TheWritersVineyard.com

Happy Wednesday.

Do you...?

Monday, November 14, 2011
Do you ever find yourself with too much to do any never enough time to do it? You wish you had more hands to accomplish all your goals? Do you ever wish there were more hours in the day? Do I sound like a cheesy advertisement that’s going to next ask you to send me a hundred bucks in return for a tacky self-help pamphlet?

Well, feel free to send me money; I could use the cash! (Hey a girl can try). But don’t expect a self-help pamphlet in return. Actually, I could use a handy self-help pamphlet myself (though I won’t be sending anyone a hundred bucks for it!!). 

There’s just so much to do and I never get any of it done. And if I do accomplish something, I always feel so guilty because I know I should’ve spent that time doing something more productive elsewhere.
I read all these blogs about people needing more time to write. Well, I think I’m in the opposite boat right now. I’ve been writing…too much. Nothing else is getting done. And whenever I try to sneak off to write, I’m discovered in, like, thirty seconds. Which only makes me feel more guilty about all this writing I can't stop doing.

Yesterday, the family was camped out on the couch: my husband was watching football on TV, the kid had thieved my iPad and was watching PBS Kids clips. When the hubby fell asleep and the girl grew engrossed in Cat in the Hat, I snuck off. Two minutes later, the hubby’s yelling, the kid’s crying and my fingers are typing as fast as they can to squeeze in two more sentences before a little toddler is crawling into my lap and trying to reach for everything on the desk and the husband is scowling in the doorway asking, “Where’d you go?”

Geesh. So the house is a mess, the fam’s feeling neglected, and work is slipping….how do I make myself give the writing time a little breaky-poo so I can concentrate on REAL LIFE for a while??

Sigh, I feel like such a mess. Will be happy when this hectic era passes, yet I’m sure I’ll miss it once it’s gone.

A Page with Kage (2)

Friday, November 11, 2011
Hi! It's the second round for my "Page with Kage" series, where I share a bit of my favorite scenes from my favorite stories with you and tell you why I love them so much.

Today, I'm in love with a short, paranormal romance novella called "Winter Born" by Sherrilyn Kenyon. It can be found in the Stroke of Midnight anthology and has a hot heat rating. I like this scene because Kenyon packed so much sexy tension in such a short amount of space, it simply crackled with electric intensity.

EXCERPT:

Warning: Language may be a tad explicit for some audiences

Dante headed out of the vendor’s area, toward the escalator. He’d barely reached it when he smelled the pantheress again. He turned sharply to the left expecting to see her.

She wasn’t there.

Still, he was hard for her. Ready. The animal inside was growling for a taste of her body.

He headed up the escalator to escape the scent.

It seemed to grow stronger.

His head low, he scanned the crowd intently, but there was none of his people there.

Closing his eyes, he sniffed the air. Her fragrance was subtle now. And it was…

He whirled around.

There was no woman there, only Romeo and he wreaked of the pantheress. Dante couldn’t stop himself from sniffing Romeo who immediately shoved him away.

“Man, you skeeve me when you do that. And don’t do it in public. Someone might get the wrong idea about us.”

He ignored his brother’s reprimanding tone. “Where is she?” Dante demanded.

“Out of reach.”

Her scent washed over him, even stronger than before. His body was raw. Needful. Every part of him craved her.

And it wasn’t taking no for an answer.

“Where?” he growled.

Romeo shook his head.

But then he didn’t have to tell him. Every hormone in his body sensed her. Against his will, Dante took off at a run as he cut through the crowd toward the elevator.

Without thought, he flashed himself from the lobby to the sixteenth floor.

The scent was even stronger here.

More desirable.

More intense.

Dante stalked his way down the hall until he found her door. He couldn’t breathe as her scent filled his entire being.

Leaning his head against the wood, he closed his eyes and fought the sudden urge to kick the door in.

That would probably scare her and it wouldn’t do to have an audience for what he intended to do with her.

He knocked on the door with a clenched fist and waited until a small, petite brunette opened it. She had large, lavender eyes and long hair that curled around an oval face.

His breathing ragged, he stared at her, wanting her with every piece of him.


~~Documentation: I copied this EXCERPT off the Sherrilyn Kenyon website.~~

Stay out of the Kitchen

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I've been skimming the workbook, "Writing the Breakout Novel" by Donald Maas, hoping to glean a few writing tips from it, which I am, and I came across a part where he advised authors not to write kitchen scenes.

He says (and I'm paraphrasing because I don't have the book in front of me) they're boring, nothing happens in them, and they don't develop the story at all. If you do have to use them, you're supposed to add action or some big major plot twist, lots of tension, or something to make it worth a reader's while.

Curious if I messed up and wrote a kitchen scene (or two), I thought back to my three stories I have coming out in the future, and you know what...all THREE of them have scenes that take place in the kitchen. Sigh. Guess I'm just a typical kitchen-scene author.

In The Right to Remain Mine (coming in Feb), the heroine learns the heroes first name in a kitchen scene, then an intruder breaks into her house, which starts a physical brawl in another kitchen scene. Actually, there were a bunch of scenes that took place in the kitchen in that book. Hmm. I'm all confused if they were worthwhile scenes though.

In The Best Mistake (coming in March), the heroine realizes the hero is actually the owner of the company where she works in their kitchen scene. It seemed like a big, revealing moment to me. Hopefully it's not something that should've been deleted because I've already finished editing the final round in that book.

The Color of Grace (who knows when that is coming out) has a handful of kitchen scenes as well. But I personally felt like I needed those because they showed the growing tension between Grace and her mother.

Maas's writing advice really makes you look at your story though. I swear I went through every kitchen scene I've ever written, and more times than not, I realized they really didn't need to be in the story. It just felt like filler that stalled out the plot and went nowhere.

Do you have kitchen scenes in your book? Do they really need to be there? Or can you jazz them up so that the scene is integral for the plot of your story?

It's something to think about anyway.

We Survived the Earthquake!

Monday, November 7, 2011
There was a small earthquake in central Oklahoma on Saturday night, and apparently some people in my area felt the tremor. Cool, huh?

This morning, when I dropped the kiddo off at my mother-in-law's who babysits her while I'm at work (I know, I'm a lucky SOB, huh? Or would I be a DOB since I'm a girl?...shrug), she immediately asked if we survived the earthquake.

She felt it herself at about 11pm on Saturday night. She and her hubby were watching the late news, and they were talking about the quake in OK on the television. About that time, my in-laws heard the rumble, like thunder (though it wasn't stormy at all), their dishes rattled, and the TV flickered off.

I was dead asleep by 11pm, so I heard and felt nothing.

And that's my big earthquake story, coming at you from Southeast Kansas.

If you can't tell, not much is going on with me. Been busy in my writing cave...writing.

Happy Monday!

Cover - The Best Mistake

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Here is the final cover for my humorous contemporary novella, THE BEST MISTAKE! It was designed by artist Debby Taylor.

When I first saw this cover a few weeks ago on her site, before any official cover was sent to me, ta different couple graced the forefront. But I guess that couple didn't past muster, because this is the couple that was on it when I got it.

I guess I could see why the first couple didn't work. The heroine was much too skinny, and my heroine is by no means a toothpick in the book. Then, the hero is supposed to have blond hair, which was extra dark on the first couple. (though I have to confess; I thought the first cover hero was better looking--I know, shame on me). The heroine on the first cover wore a beautiful blue dress, and the fancy dress she wears in the story is blue, so that actually fit better. But, I dunno. This is how it ended. So.... ta da!

I also have a release day for THE BEST MISTAKE. It will be available exclusively in ebook on MARCH 14, 2012 at The Wild Rose Press.

In other Linda Kage writing news, I found a new review on The Romance Studio website for The Trouble for Tomboys, which has been out for over a year now. What a happy surprise. Here's what Jaye over at TRS had to say:

"At first, B.J. Gilmore's rough talk put me off. However, I soon realized that, underneath the gruff exterior, was a kind, loving and very feminine woman. The author has done an excellent job in creating the backgrounds for the main characters. B.J.'s tomboy characteristics, which come from growing up with a father and brothers, but no mother, are well defined and natural to her character. The grieving widower's actions are also realistic and well drawn. The author has written two characters who balance each other beautifully. The settings are excellent, putting the reader right in the scenes, the emotions beautifully done. I loved the way the writer dealt with B.J.'s lack of knowledge of how a female should act. The main characters battle their way into loving one another, right up to a wonderful conclusion.

I really loved this book, and definitely grew to care for the characters."


Then to top that off, The Long and Short of it Reviews just contacted me with yet another review. My sweet romance, A Man for Mia, fell under the gun for this one. But, whew, she passed with a 4-star rating as well. Poinsettia had so many nice things to say, I can't post it all without having a super long blog, so I'll just show you a glimpse of the last two concluding paragraphs. And here they are:

"A Man for Mia certainly deals with a lot of serious issues. Infidelity, abandonment, and death are all touched on. However, I must say that Ms. Kage sprinkled in just the right amount of lighter scenes to keep the story from being too ponderous. I particularly like the scene when Mia and Drew go out on their “not date” and have pizza. When Mia and Drew finally relax and flirt a little, sparks fly. I really felt that was when they started to click as a couple, and I eagerly anticipated their happy ending.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to read A Man for Mia. I recommend it to anyone seeking a touching story of love, loss, and hope. Read it with a box of tissues close at hand."

Which room in your house is haunted???

Monday, October 31, 2011


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Nothing creeps me out more than spooky real-life ghost stories. So, I gotta talk about spooky real-life ghosts today, of course!!

The husband had to go into work at 3AM last Friday morning. So when Lydia woke a bit before five, I changed her diaper, got her a tippy cup of chocolate milk, and dragged her into bed with me so I could nap until the alarm clock went off.

After about two or three minutes of us snuggling under the covers together, this huge BANG, CRASH, BOOM echoed through the house (I know, cool sound effects, huh!). As I wondered why this always always had to happen when the husband was gone, I realize what caused the sound.

Apparently, the doorway into my library/computer room does not like baby gates put across it. That was the third or fourth time it fell down without anyone being near it. And this very same gate has been put up in front of other doorways in the house, never having the same problem in those doorways.

I've had to get up in the middle of the night before with the Lydia and I've seen the computer screen blaring the screen saver in the library. Okay, fine, I'd left the computer on. But after a while, it goes into this dormant sleep mode and doesn't wake up unless someone wiggles the mouse or clicks on the keyboard, so something had to have disturbed it. (In reality, I'm guessing some update program popped up and activated it somehow, but this is October 31st, so work me on this one).


Thus, I've decided...if there is a haunted room in my house, it would have to be the computer / library room. The problem is I have no idea who would be haunting it. The house is only three years old and we're the only residents who've ever lived here. On the other hand, the ground we built on is old Indian ground. My husband has even found an arrowhead out in the yard. Maybe we've ticked off some ancient native Americans wanting our house off their resting place.

Makes you wonder!

So, if you had to pick out a room in your house to be inhibited by paranormal activity, which room would it be...and why?

Happy Hump Day with MARIE ROSE DUFOUR

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Liz woke up with the sounds of waves crashing in her ears. Confident of the lack of beachfront property within her condo, she wondered what destiny had in mind for her now. She sat up looking around at her surroundings. Lying under a beautiful canopy tent draped with yards and yards of gauzy royal blue material swaying gently in the breeze, and keeping the rays of the sun from beating down on her body. Liz ran her hands over the bedding beneath her. It felt softer and smoother than the highest count Egyptian cotton sheets bought in Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

The beautiful beach reminded her of pictures of exquisite Caribbean beaches with turquoise waves and miles and miles of powdery white sand. The gentle breezes lightly ruffled her hair as she walked down the beach to the edge of the water which rose up to meet her feet, tickling her toes.

“Well, Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas anymore,” she said looking up at a foreign sky with two moons in the distance.

“I must be dreaming. I read so much information about Serralia I’m dreaming about it in Technicolor. Damn! This is one realistic mother of a dream.”

Suddenly, her senses went on high alert. She didn’t know if the air around her had changed or if her body sensed another person behind her, but she knew she was no longer alone and somehow her mate stood behind her.

Two strong bronze hands slowly encircled her waist, pulling her gently back to into a lean, hard body. Liz sighed. This felt right. She snuggled deeper into the embrace. Nothing ever felt this right before. She could stand here in the safety of his arms forever.

“I’ve been waiting for you. I thought you would never get here,” she whispered.

“I’m sorry it took so long. I never let myself believe you existed.”

“I read your file.” The hands moving on her stomach stilled. “I’m sorry for what you had to go through alone. I would have been there for you if I had known.”

“I wouldn’t have been there if I had faith I would find you someday.” Dragon’s chest expanded letting her love and comfort wash over him. “So you know?”

“About everything that happened to you when you were taken prisoner? Yes, I know. I know you lost an eye and still wear an eye patch. I bet it makes you look rakishly handsome.”

She felt the chuckle in his chest before she heard it. The heat of his body warmed her back and aroused her body.

“I have never been told such a thing.”

“Well, I’m sure it does.”

She stroked the muscular forearms at her waist with light caresses. His body trembled behind her.

“We’ve never met in person, but I already feel connected to you. Is it normal?”

“The bonding happens when we are connected as mates. Normal. I don’t know. Right, yes.”

“Do you know about me?” she whispered.

“I know you are perfect.” He leaned down and sweetly kissed the top of her head.
Liz stilled, she might as well tell him about her marriage. She didn’t want any secrets between them.

“I was married before,” she blurted out nervously. “He was not a nice man. He hurt me, not only physically, but verbally too. It took a long time, but I left him.”

Dragon fully stilled behind her. All the wonderful stroking stopped. Her stomach dropped down to her feet. S@%t! I’ve ruined this already. She knew her mistake of a marriage would follow her around for the rest of her life. She knew it.

“You don’t know how much pain it causes me to know how much pain you had to endure. I would gladly be tortured again if it meant taking it away from you. You never have to be afraid with me. I would sooner cut off my own arm than hurt a hair on this beautiful head.”

Liz nodded, the lump in her throat making any physical speech impossible.

“I realize it might be a while before you believe this, but it is true.”

“I do believe you. I don’t know why, but I do.”

“Good. Now, we can continue what we started here.”

Callused thumbs again stroked her stomach making it quiver and her pulse quicken. If this was what he could do to her body with only his thumbs, she might actually die from pleasure. She smiled thinking about what her obituary would say. Woman dies from having the most intense sexual experience of her life, then her brain stopped working; her body took over and went into overload.

********************BLURB********************
You just read an excerpt from:
FATED MATES
by
Marie Rose Dufour

Buy Link: Secret Cravings Publishing
*********************************************



Linda Kage: It's about time I host another interview. So let's get this week rolling with author MARIE ROSE DUFOUR. Hey, Marie Rose Dufour!!! Why don't you tell us a little about you and what you write please.

Marie:I am the oldest of four children who always was making up stories growing up. My head is constantly filled with them. I live in Rhode Island with my husband and two very curious cats who think they are people. I write erotica. My first book is a sci-fi erotic romance. My second book is a contemporary/fantasy story set in Ireland.



Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?



Marie: The first book I ever wrote was when I was thirteen. It was about a girl who walked into a mirror into an another dimension. I still someday might rewrite that story using a parallel dimensional twist. I don’t know what happened to it. I probably threw it away. The first book I wrote as an adult is Fated Mates which was published by Secret Cravings Publishing.


Kage:What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like?



Marie: My next story Irish Rising is coming out in March. I am currently writing book two in the Fated Mates series.


Kage: Which story are we going to talk about today?



Marie: Fated Mates is a sci-fi erotic romance. Imagine if Earth had been visited by
ancient aliens and they found out that we were suitable as mates. Some people were taken to colonize a new planet but when suitable mates started to dwindle, they came back to Earth to search for more. This story is about a school teacher named Liz, who doesn’t believe in love anymore afteran abusive marriage and a scarred Serralian warrior who never hoped to find love. It was released on September 19th, from Secret Cravings Publishing.


********************BLURB********************
*****
by
Marie Rose Dufour

We know that we are no longer alone in the universe. Descendants of Earthly ancestors have returned to find the other halves of themselves, their destined mates.

Dragon, a scarred Serralian warrior drawn to the planet of his ancestors, never believed the Goddess had a mate for him but no matter what he believes, he’s unable to resist the pull of the planet deep within in soul.

Liz, a curvy teacher who escaped an abusive marriage three years earlier is afraid to take another chance on love. Tired of being a
bystander in her own love life, she participates in an ancient ritual to identify Serralian mates. Taking that chance changes her life forever. Can these two people overcome their pasts to become each other’s true Fated Mates?
*********************************************


Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?



Marie: Since I write erotica, if Fated Mates was a movie, it would be rated NC-17..


Kage: If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?



Marie: Hmmm…that’s a tough one. I guess I would say, true love exits even if it has to travel across the universe to be found.


Kage:Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit FATED MATES under, what makes this book so unique from every other book out there?



Marie: I would say the element of being “fated” or destined to be with a certain someone. In Fated Mates, Sacred Stones determine
if people are meant to be together, almost as if it were destined in the stars.



Kage:What was the easiest part to write?



Marie: The beginning of the story is always the easiest for me to write. The beginning of Fated Mates came to me in a dream. I know it’s going to sound weird but sometimes my characters nag me and won’t leave me alone until I tell their story.


Kage:What do you like most about the main character(s) and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?



Marie: I like how my main characters are flawed. They are easy to relate to, they are far from perfect. Although the main character Dragon, is near and dear to my heart. Don’t tell my husband but I fell in love with him as I wrote. What I learned is my male characters are usually more formed in my head than my female characters. I find them a lot easier to write. I wonder what that says
about me???


Kage:Marie, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?



Marie: I just hope people enjoy reading Fated Mates as much as I enjoyed writing it.



If you're still curious about Marie, here are other places to find her on the web:

Website: www.marierosedufour.com

Blog: http://marierosedufour.blogspot.com

Facebook: Marie Rose Dufour

Twitter: Marie_R_Dufour

Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing

Goodreads: Marie Rose Dufour



Happy For my Friends!!

Monday, October 24, 2011
I'm just chillin' around here today, celebrating good news for my blogger friends.

First off, it's a book release day for MOLLY DANIELS!!! Her story, Love on the Rocks, is available at Secret Cravings Publishing. Here's a little sneaky-peek of one of her excerpts she posted on her blog last week.

EXCERPT:

"Y'know, you're awfully pretty, lady. How'd you like a beer?"

Elicia looked at the short man, whose greasy hair fell past his shoulders. "No thanks, you're drunk."

He pulled himself up straight. "Am not. I'm jus' getting started. Wha's your name?"

Instead of answering, Elicia moved past the group to the other side of the flames and joined another group, this time discussing the campus policy on coed dorms. She had voiced her opinion when she was jostled again by the same guy.

“Hey, pretty lady, I'm Ron. Wha's your name again?"

“I'm not telling you my name. You're drunk." Elicia sniffed and turned her back on him.

"Now tha's not very nice. I jus' wanna know, can I get you a beer?"

"No thanks." Elicia excused herself and moved on.

The third group of people she joined were gossiping about a couple's sexual activities, and when she saw Ron approach, she headed for Eric's side and slipped her arm through his.

Eric looked surprised. Elicia whispered, “I can't get rid of this guy over there...please, just play along?"



***************


Then, I'm also celebrating for MARIE ROSE DUFOUR who sold her second book, Irish Rising, last week to...can you guess? Yep, to Secret Cravings Publishing ! Wow, Secret Cravings sure is signing up some totally sweet authors lately.

So, congrats to all. I'm very excited for you.

Voting Starts Today!

Friday, October 21, 2011
In a moment of insanity, I entered my book trailer for KISS IT BETTER into the You Gotta Read Videos monthly contest. And today, the voting starts and goes through OCTOBER 26th.

I'm not asking you to go vote for my video or anything (okay, maybe I am...please), but my video entry for KISS IT BETTER is #17 if you want to hop over to YouGottaReadvVdeos.Blogspot.Com and check it out.

What are some crazy contests you've entered in your lifetime? Win any of them?

Writing Tip at the Vineyard

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
It's my day be a guest at the The Writers Vineyard, where I created a new writing term (well, as far as I know, no one's ever used it before, but I'm not much of an original, so I have a bad feeling it may not be new....sigh).

You can check it out at:

www.TheWritersVineyard.com





Oh, and I think I know a happy little secret. I was browsing The Wild Rose Press website on Monday, and clicking on links for their cover artists, wondering who was going to design the cover for my story, The Best Mistake, when I clicked on Debby Taylor's site.

I saw the title of this one book first. And when I read The Best Mistake, I gasped. Wow, someone else had a book out with the same title as me. So I glanced at the author, and gasped again. Wow, someone had the same name as me!!! Then it finally clicked, wow, that's the cover for MY book!!

Nothing is official yet. I haven't gotten an email from the publisher letting me know this is MY book cover, but it was still thrilling to see. If you want to take a peek at it, too, it's over at http://www.dcagraphics.com/.

The Skeleton in my Closet

Monday, October 17, 2011
Today, I'm talking about closets. Literal closets.

The first closet in this topic is my closet at home. After trying my daughter's Halloween outfit for this year on her, she for some reason ran into my closet and began to play. So, of course, I had to share a picture of the cutest little skeleton to ever invade my closet.

Isn't she just adorable? Well, I think so.

The second closet I'd like to discuss is my closet at work.

In the opening scene of my soon-to-be-released novella, The Best Mistake, my heroine is stocking paper in a supply closet. And it just so happens, the inspiration for that came from real life. My real life. As an assistant acquisitions librarian in an academic library, I am also in charge of ordering supplies. One thing I buy on a monthly basis is printer paper. The staff and students (needing to print assignments for classes) go through roughly a hundred reams of paper--give or take--each month. And if my student employee is on break or if I'm between employees, it is my job to stock the supply closet once a paper order comes in.

I was putting away paper one day when the magical scene in question came to me, which goes to show you, even my boring ol' life can come in handy every once in a while.

Something I discovered halfway through writing the rest of the manuscript, however, is that I have absolutely no talent in Math. Okay, fine, I always knew I had no talent in math, but for some reason I calculated each ream of paper weighing in at five pounds (this is after seeing how a ten-ream box weighed twenty pounds. I know, don't ask.) when in fact, a single ream only weighs two pounds.

That little eye-opener stopped my in my writing tracks. Technically, it wouldn't have altered much of the story if I had changed the poundage to the correct sum, though I kinda liked my heroine's fear of a half-ton truck falling on her. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to keep it 'as is' only for her to find out later on that she'd miscalculated in the very beginning, in effect helping round out her character as Deri "the Mistake" Crandall.

So actually, my mistake became Deri's mistake and in turn made her more realistic...and funny (I was totally going for humor in this novella).

And there you have it, the inspiration behind the Supply Closet of Death in The Best Mistake, which will be released sometime in the future from The Wild Rose Press!

Have you ever gotten inspiration from strange little moments like this?

Here's my very own Supply Closet at work!


===================
Blurb For:
THE BEST MISTAKE
by Linda Kage
===================

Deri "The Mistake" Crandall wants nothing more than the love and acceptance from a family. After her mother dies, she finally discovers who her father is—except he and his family aren't exactly everything she's dreamed of. Not about to let a little thing like that bother her, she strives her hardest to fit in. Though honest to a fault, she even lies to gain their affection. But who could have predicted the one man with whom she immediately clicks is the very millionaire her grandfather orders her to betray?


Cole Harrety’s life is all about work and ignoring play, until a petite, curvy bundle of quirky woman literally tumbles into his lap. From the moment he loses a staring contest with her, he knows Deri is exactly what's been missing from his mundane life and no other woman will ever compete with her.


With a web of deception already woven, can their new bond survive a shattered trust?



===================

"The" Supply Closet Scene From:
THE BEST MISTAKE
by Linda Kage
===================


She’d go down in the history books for this, she was sure.

She could see the headlines now: Deri Crandall, first woman to be squashed to death by printer paper. A noteworthy event indeed.


Deri cringed as the six-tiered metal shelf swayed and groaned after she hauled another three reams onto the second-to-top rung. On an average, the entire building of Harrety International used two hundred packages of paper each month. And it all sat right here, stored on this shelf in this tiny supply closet.


Figuring as she worked, she concluded at five pounds per ream, two hundred of these suckers would put her up there at a thousand pounds. The rickety old shelf she stocked didn’t look as if it could hold ten pounds, much less a whole thousand.

A thousand pounds of paper. That’d be like having a half-ton truck fall on her if this baby went down. Deri lurched back and eyed the support beams anew. No way could this rusted hunk of metal sustain an entire truck. She glanced at the five full boxes sitting on the floor, waiting to be shelved.


Patrick hadn’t warned her about over-piling when he’d told her to put the new shipment of paper away. Still, she had her doubts. Glancing at the doorway leading from the supply closet, she bit her lip. Temptation to flee seized her, but she remained rooted in her cheap flats, determined to proceed.

Careful to bend at the knees instead of the waist because the seams in her skirt had screeched in protest the first time she’d tried bending the other way, she scooped another armful of paper into her grasp, sneezing when cardboard dust fluttered up her nose.


The entire Beecham clan might think she was the family screw-up, but she was by no means a quitter. She’d see this through, just as she’d successfully find her way into her family’s acceptance. And if gaining their respect started in this tiny, airless room, risking life and limb by monotonously hauling stack after stack of paper onto a shelf, then by God, she’d do it.

If nothing else, maybe it’d prompt her father into attending her graveside service.

Half an hour later, the muscles in her arms wept while sweat made her cheeks glow an unhealthy puce, plastering her dark bangs flush against her forehead. But every ream lay in neat order on the shelves. And fortunately, she hadn’t needed to become a human pancake in the process.


After breaking down all the now-empty boxes that had held the paper reams and lugging them to the recycling room, she hunted up her supervisor, wondering what new and unique torture he wanted to afflict on her next......

A Page with Kage (1)

Friday, October 14, 2011
My creative juices feel like they're running dry lately, so...I'm starting a new series on my blog called "A Page with Kage" where I share one page of a scene from a story I've read that I just adore.

I'm staring my happy series with Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas. This is a regency romance with a steamy rating. And I love this excerpt because it holds one of my favorite first lines that I'll always remember.

EXCERPT:

Chapter One

London
The Rutledge Hotel
May 1852


Her chances of a decent marriage were about to be dashed--and all because of a ferret.

Unfortunately Poppy Hathaway had pursued Dodger halfway through Rutledge Hotel before she recalled an important fact: to a ferret, a straight line included six zigs and seven zags.

"Dodger," Poppy said desperately. "Come back. I'll give you a biscuit, any of my hair ribbons, anything! Oh, I'm going to make a scarf out of you..."

As soon as she caught her sister's pet, Poppy swore she was going to alert the management of Rutledge that Beatrix was harboring wild creatures in their family suite, which was definitely against hotel policy. Of course, that might cause the entire Hathaway clan to be forcibly removed from the premises.

At the moment, Poppy didn't care.

Dodger had stolen a love letter that had been sent to her from Michael Bayning, and nothing in the world mattered except retrieving it. All the situation needed was for Dodger to hide the blasted thing in some public place where it would be discovered.

~~Documentation: I copied this EXCERPT off the "start reading now" at Amazon.~~

God Bless Morale

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
My husband is a Green Bay Packers fan. So this past Sunday night after putting the kiddo to bed, I crawled onto the couch with him to watch a little of the game, saying I’d go to bed at the end of the third quarter.

Well, by the end of the third quarter, I was as glued to the television as he was. It was just so interesting to watch. At the beginning of the game, the Atlanta Falcons were psyched with home field advantage and a winning attitude. They were so confident. Then a vital Packers player got hurt, and they took immediate advantage of that weak spot. It didn’t look good for Green Bay.

To say the least, my hubby was in a crabby mood by the time I was able to watch the game with him. But then the strangest thing happened. Green Bay made a really good play. Then they made another awesome play. Next thing we know, the Falcons made a big mistake.

And just like that, the morale of the game shifted. Packer spirits grew and Falcon’s self-assurance dwindled. It seemed to happen in the blink of an eye.

I see the same kind of thing happen with my writing. I get a review where the reader pointed out all these details that could’ve been better, and I duck my head with that, geesh yeah, I messed up there. Then an editor finds all these glaringly obvious mistakes that a person would think should be caught even before the rough draft was written. My morale plummets. My drive to tell more stories shrivels, and I ache to hide away somewhere safe and warm and eat ice cream.

Then a nice word comes along unexpectedly. And like an April rain shower, the grass immediately turns green. I lift my face, glance around. Everyone is smiling, the sun is shining. Yep, birds are singing. And I want to write again. I’m actually eager to revise a manuscript.

Maybe that makes me bipolar, but I say it simply makes me human. It’s just so easy to be dragged down or lifted up. At this point of the blog, you’d think maybe I should say finding that happy medium would be the ultimate goal. But nope, I think not. I say, embrace both the ups and the downs.

(warning: Linda is now going into preach mode now)

I’m reminded of the middle grade story, Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days by Stephen Manes. Tired of always messing up, the main character decides to become the perfect person. After stumbling across a book in the library, he tries to follow the rules of perfection, only to realize perfect people did nothing but sit around properly and drink tea all day. Turns out perfect was boring.

If you never made any mistakes, if you never failed to reach your goals, if you messed up more than once, then those moments when you finally do it right, when you finally get what you’ve been striving for won’t be so utterly amazing.

You’d have a dull, humdrum existence without some kind of failure.

So just remember, next time morale is down and the world looks foggy and grey and miserable, it’s times like this that will make those sunny days even sweeter.

Green Bay won their game on Sunday, and the victory was so much better than if they'd started off looking good.

Here’s to the good…and the bad. Happy Wednesday.