The Stillburrow Crush Blog Tour

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Like I mentioned in my last post, my February schedule is a bit unpredictable right now. But I do know a couple blogs have been interested in interviewing me about my upcoming debut novel.

Like TODAY for instance. Kathy at the Bookworm Nation blog has interviewed me. So, please hop over that way to check it out!

The rest of my Blog Tour Schedule I currently have is very sketchy with details, so I hope to be able to drop in every once in a while with specific dates and links.

But I'll give you what I have so far.

The Stillburrow Crush Blog Tour Schedule

-October 6, 2009 - Interview at Happily Ever After

-TODAY (January 27, 2010) - Interview at Bookworm Nation

-February 2010 - Interview at Tales of the Ravenous Teen Reader

-February 2010 - Interview at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf

-February 24 or 25, 2010 - Guest Post at The Book Butterfly

-February 28, 2010 - Interview at This Writer's Life

-April 19, 2010 - Interview at The Long and Short of It : Aurora

-September 19, 2010 - Interview at Teens Read Too

Once I get more precise dates and direct links to interviews, I'll let you know.

February Updates

Monday, January 25, 2010
Because I have no idea how my February is going to progress, I have blogs scheduled to post twice a week from now until March. Whenever I get a moment to pop in with any live announcements (like a new baby or the print copy of my book becoming available for preorder), I will.

I will also try to visit everyone else's blog for as long as I'm able. But if I don't get around to participating in the blogospehere for a while, I'll give you a quick run down of how February will go around here.

To kick off the month, I'll give a baby update. I've heard rumors I might get a 3-D sonogram at my next doctor's appointment, so I'll provide pictures if that happens. IF that post doesn't air, then I've already given birth and the next baby update will be about weight and length with real-life pictuers (not just fuzzy black & white sonogram shots).

On Thursday, February 4, I'll be interviewing Nancy J. Parra here. So, make sure to stop by for that treat. It'll be lots of fun.

I'm also scheduled to go on to other blogs and give interviews, but I'll post what details I have about those on January 27th.

And finally, starting Tuesday, February 16th, I'll be running a ten-day countdown to the release of my first book, The Stillburrow Crush, where there will be something here every morning for you to enjoy until the release of my book.

So, that's my schedule for the next month. If I get sucked away on Mommy duty, I hope everyone takes care and stays well.

Best wishes from Linda.

Friday Forwards - # 1

Friday, January 22, 2010
Okay, you can admit it....You receive those funny anecdotes forwarded to you on your email from family and friends too, don't you? Well, I have a file of them growing, and I've decided I'm just going to have to start sharing them. Besides, everyone else has cutsie day of the week alliterations on their blogs. Teaser Tuesday, Wish I Knew Wednesday, Fill in Friday. So, here's mine : Friday Forwards.

I have no idea where they originate : But if anyone ever finds out, let me know so I can credit the source. And if you have some great jokes you receive on your emails, please feel free to forward them to me at Linda(at)Linda Kage(dot)com and I'll make sure they get posted (but they have to be clean--public forum here, remember!!).

True or not, some of these are hilarious:

Men Are Just Happier People

  • If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
  • If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla and Four-eyes.


  • When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
  • When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.


  • A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
  • A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.


  • A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel .
  • The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.


  • A woman has the last word in any argument.
  • Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.


  • A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
  • A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.


  • A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
  • A successful woman is one who can find such a man.


  • A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
  • A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.


  • A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
  • A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.


  • Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
  • Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

OFFSPRING...Ah, children.

  • A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
  • A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.


  • A married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing!

Bad Boys Don't Play Hero -- CH 6

Sunday, January 17, 2010
On August 17, 2009, I decided to host a short, young adult, free-read story on my website, uploading a chapter a month until the whole thing was posted. I did this in anticipation of my debut novel's big release date, February 26, 2010. I titled my short story Bad Boys Don't Play Hero, and just like I said I'd do, I uploaded a chapter a month.

Well, the end has finally arrived! Today you can finish the story...I even added an epilogue for you to enjoy. Click HERE to begin or end your Bad Boy adventure with Nick and Kiernan.

And so, a month from, uh...yesterday, I'll begin the countdown to the REAL story we've all been waiting for (well, okay, maybe it's just me that's been waiting forever for it!!), THE STILLBURROW CRUSH!!!!

But for now, please enjoy:

Bad Boys Don't Play Hero

On the baby front, my little girl is officially due to be born one month from today. WOW. So, who wants to start the bet: Will I make it that long or will she come sooner? And will she really be a girl, or surprise us all with...gasp...boy parts?

The Trouble with Tomboys - Release Date

Thursday, January 14, 2010
My second book, The Trouble with Tomboys, has a release date. It will be available in ebook on Friday, August 6, 2010 and print copy sometime shortly before or after that (SQUEAL!!). So, keep your calendars open.

I don't think I've shared the blurb on my blog yet--though it's been up on my website for a few weeks--so I'll do that now:


Pilot B.J. Gilmore is Tommy Creek, Texas’s tough tomboy who loves to fly planes and gamble and doesn’t give a whip what anyone thinks or says about her…until Grady Rawlings steps into her life.


Heir to an oil dynasty, Grady has inner demons to battle. Ever since his wife and unborn child died two and half years ago, he’s developed a deep-seated hatred for sympathy and can’t handle anyone feeling sorry for him or treating him like some pitiful widower.


Grady hires B.J,'s plane service to fly him to Houston for an overnight business trip. While there, she coaxes him into accompanying her to a late dinner, where she decides it’s time for him to move on with his life. A month later, she turns up pregnant with his baby, and neither of them is prepared for the chaos that follows.

I've also had a video trailer for The Trouble With Tomboys uploaded on my YouTube Page for a few weeks. But if you haven't checked that out yet, you can go HERE to watch it.

BUT...I have not had an excerpt posted, giving anyone a sneak peek at the story, until TODAY. So, head on over to if you'd like to get a taste of Grady and B.J.

If you have any more questions about the story, maybe the following will provide the answer you seek:

The Trouble with Tomboys
Publisher :
The Wild Rose Press, Champagne Line
Digital Price : $ 6.00, Print Price : $ 12.99

Release Date : August 6, 2010
ISBN : 1-60154-790-0
Pages: 250
Rating : Hot

Honest Scrap Award

Monday, January 11, 2010
Way back in November, I won the "Honest Scrap Award" from Tricia J. O'Brien at her blog, Talespinning (by the way, thank you so much for thinking of me, Tricia).

The rules of winning this award went a little something like : Give ten honest pieces of information about yourself, then pass the award on to ten more people to do that same. Well, who really follows the rules anymore??

I think I'll give my ten honest tidbits, and then as Simone from The Romantic Query Letter and the Happily Ever After Blog so eloquently put it, I'll only pass on "by consent." So, if anyone is willing to play, I will gladly bestow this treasure upon you!! Just let me know.

And now for my brutal truths:

1. I've never been to the ocean...any ocean.

2. My first memory comes from my fifth birthday. The Schawns Ice Cream man stopped by our house, and as I was following him into the garage, where he loaded our chest freezer with untold delights, I announced, "Today's my birthday." When he asked how old I was, I held up a full hand and said, "Five." (I know, exciting first memory huh? Makes me hungry for some Rocky Road, though.)

3. I tried my first alcoholic beverage when I was nineteen. My twenty-one-year old (then) boyfriend (now husband) bought me some wine coolers because I was curious about how they tasted.

4. All my school mascots, starting from Kindergarten and going through college, have been... Eagles, Lancers, Red Devils, and Gorillas.

5. My first car (bought exclusively for me; not just something I borrowed from someone else to drive) was a 1988, brown Oldsmobile Cutless Supreme. Bought for $750, it had cruise control (which didn't work), electric seats (also did not work), windows (diddo), and locks....and lasted about two months before breathing its last.

6. I finished writing my first full manuscript when I was sixteen. It was about 115,000 words long, titled "The Tangled Web," and was a romantic suspense, which is currently hidden in the furthest depths of my closet, never to see the light of day again (yeah, it was that bad).

7. I played the nativity scene's Mary in Kindergarten for my school's Christmas play (my one and only acting gig).

8. I was raised in the Church of the Brethren, but converted to Lutheran (WELS, then Missouri Synod) when I met my husband.

9. My first baby is due to be born in exactly one month and six days from today.

10. My husband's birthday was four days ago, and I still haven't gotten him a present yet (VBG).

Those are my truths, or whatever you want to call them. If anyone else would like to confess some honest scraps of info about yourself, let me know...I'll gladly pass the award along.

Finally, I'd like to thank the lovely blogger, Natalie Bahm, for passing along this beautiful bouquet of virtual flowers to me at the end of December. This is yet another blog award, called "From Me to You." Thank you so much, Natalie. I'm honored.

And that's all I have to report today! Toodles.

Lessons Learned...The Rejection Way - #2

Friday, January 8, 2010
Proactive vs. Reactive Characters

Here's a topic I had never even considered...until I received a rejection for it. Oops.

So, tell me, other writing friends out there, what drives YOUR characters? Their own wants and goals or an overwhelmingly strong plot? Apparently, the correct answer is their own wants and goals. I received a rejection once because my characters were less proactive and more reactive.

A reactive character is someone who merely reacts to events happening to them in the story--outside influences drive the plot.

A proactive character makes events happen by pushing the plot forward themselves--THEY drive the plot.

Here's a lame example of reactive: A story starts with a woman receiving a hostage note from the antagonist, saying "I have your daughter. If you want her back, leave me a grand in the trash can on Fifth and Vine." Of course, when she gets there, another note has been left, telling her to go to another place...and thus she's pushed along a certain path, forced to REACT to all these events happening to her. This would be a reactive character.

A proactive character would be (and sorry, here's another lame example): A story about a woman who feels her husband might be cheating on her, so she visits this house where she suspects Miss Mistress lives, and gets herself into a whole tangle of problems by pushing her curiosity forward and breaking & entering the place, therefore having to hide in a closet when someone comes home, only to hear who the alleged marriage wrecker is REALLY spending her time with.

Can you see the difference? You can get a better feel of the proactive character's personality because her actions come from internal drive, do we really know what the reactive character is like? The Kidnapper is controlling her, making her act how he wants her to, keeping us from seeing her true personality.

It's possible this is merely a subjective issue, and some editors might not feel so strongly about it, not really caring what drives the plot as long as the story is good and characters are distinctive. But I happened to find one editor that did care (go me!).

It's something to think about when submitting your story anyway; do the characters stand out or does the plot, and does the editor/agent you want to submit to prefer plot-driven or character-driven stories?

The Baby Countdown

Monday, January 4, 2010
By the end of January, my baby will be considered full term, so I'm going to say the countdown is now ONE MONTH until 'any time now,' though the official due date is six and half weeks away.

One month to go. It doesn't seem real. Sure, it feels real enough with someone constantly pressing on my bladder and lungs, reminding me she's in there. Looks real enough--no one can mistake the big-bellied waddle of a preggo. But, still...I don't know if I can truly believe it until she's all gooey and crying in my arms.

Last month, the hubby and I attended child birthing classes. Shudder. The first thing they showed us was "the video." Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. The live birth video. Except this showed FOUR live births. The hubby had watched Discovery Health before and he'd seen such videos. He might've even seen animals birth their young, but me... nope. I was raised on a dairy farm, and still...I'd never seen anything like this before.

I thought I was going to pass out. But holy cow, what they showed is supposed to happen to me?! My first thought was, "I can't do that. OMG, I CANNOT do that." Except...well, yes I most certainly am going to do that. I began to panic; think I scared my baby because she began to kick around in my stomach, which reminded me even more I wasn't going to get out of the whole birthing process. I think the only reason I totally didn't lose it was because everyone else taking the class watched the video without passing out; I refused to be the only one. So, I held steady, even if my husband lost all feeling his hand I was squeezing.

But don't worry. I've calmed down since then. I think (hope, wish, pray) I'm done with having panic spells and will be okay from here on out. I just keep telling myself, every other mother in the world has done this, plus I don't have to watch the process from the view they showed on the video, and DRUGS, lots of drugs will get me through.

The second week of class, when they showed yet another video, I didn't even think about hyperventilating; I actually laughed at the part when the woman looked down and said, "It doesn't look like a baby."

This month will be "baby shower" month. My family is throwing me a shower, a friend is throwing another, and my church is hosting a third. Whew. There's so many people to help take care of me, I can't even begin to show my appreciation. Still...I hope they know what I'm going to need more than I do, because I haven't got a clue. There are a couple Dr. Seuss posters on my wall for my nursery's Dr. Seuss theme, and I've accumulated some baby clothes, but other than than I need everything. Thank goodness someone is donating/loaning me a crib, bassinet, rocking chair, and changing table.

Little baby is doing good. The stubborn girl is still in "breech" position, but she has plenty of time to turn, so there's no need to worry yet. She's incredibly active in the morning, afternoon, and evening. She hasn't woken me in the middle of the night with her movements, so I'm hoping she keeps this pattern!

My check ups are coming every two weeks now, and my doctor--bless him--has told me I glow more than a lot of his other pregnant patients. I don't even care if he says that to all the women, I totally appreciate it. He gets an A+ for his people skills.

What I miss most now is being able to bend over. Honestly, this is getting out of hand. These days, if I drop something, I just kind of shrug and consider it gone forever. I'm also one of those slouchers. But if I want to breathe, I have to sit up straight (bluck), and that just makes my back hurt. Other than all that, I'm doing great. Any misery is totally worth it to get my hands on that gooey ball of screaming baby!

Okay, I think you're up-to-date. I have another ultrasound at the end of the month, so maybe I'll have more pictures to share come February. We'll see.

Happy New Year

Friday, January 1, 2010
I hope everyone had a great Christmas break (though I'm sure some of you had more work and less of a break).

I toally raked in the bookstore gift cards at Christmas, and the hubby got me a Wii Fit Plus so I can get back into shape when I'm on maternity leave. I saw all of my famly, even the members who had to drive six hours through ice and snow to get here.

Our first winter storm of the season hit my house at 4pm on Christmas Eve, so we didn't get to attend our Christmas Eve service at church. The next morning, snow drifts piled up three to four feet in front of our garage, but one of my wonderful brothers came with a snow plow to clear our driveway.

New Years Eve was spent with friends. I got to play DD since I stayed sober. All in all, it was a good, restful break for me. I'm sure my baby can't complain about all the good eats I fed her--she just might come out as one big chocolate bar!

As you can see, I'm back again, ready to read and write blogs!!! But, honestly, who wants to start the year with some deep-thinking post? Not I. So...

It's joke time. Here's a little something from

2004: I will read at least 20 good books a year.
2005: I will read at least 10 books a year.
2006: I will read 5 books a year.
2007: I will finish The Pelican Brief
2008: I will read some articles in the newspaper this year.
2009: I will read at least one article this year.
2010: I will try and finish the comics section this year.

2004: I will get my weight down below 180.
2005: I will watch my calories until I get below 190.
2006: I will follow my new diet religiously until I get below 200.
2007: I will try to develop a realistic attitude about my weight.
2008: I will work out 5 days a week.
2009: I will work out 3 days a week.
2010: I will try to drive past a gym at least once a week.

2004: I will not spend my money frivolously.
2005: I will pay off my bank loan promptly.
2006: I will pay off my bank loans promptly.
2007: I will be totally out of debt by 2008.
2008: I will begin making a strong effort to be out of debt by 2009.
2009: I will try to pay off the debt interest by 2010.
2010: I will try to be out of the country by 2011.

2007: I will try to be a better husband to Marge.
2008: I will not leave Marge.
2009: I will try for a reconciliation with Marge.
2010: I will try to be a better husband to Wanda.

2007: I will stop looking at other women.
2008: I will not get involved with Wanda.
2009: I will not let Wanda pressure me into another marriage.
2010: I will stop looking at other women.

2007: I will not let my boss push me around.
2008: I will not let my sadistic boss drive me to the point of suicide.
2009: I will stick up for my rights when my boss bullies me.
2010: I will tell Dr. Hodger and the group about my boss.

2007: I will not get upset when Charlie makes jokes about my baldness.
2008: I will not get annoyed when Charlie kids me about my toupee.
2009: I will not get angry when Charle tells the guys I wear a girdle.
2010: I will not speak to Charlie.

2007: I will not take a drink before 5:00 p.m.
2008: I will not touch the bottle before noon.
2009: I will not become a "problem drinker".
2010: I will not miss any AA meetings.

2007: I will see my dentist this year.
2008: I will have my cavities filled this year.
2009: I will have my root canal work done this year.
2010: I will get rid of my denture breath this year.

2007: I will go to church every Sunday.
2008: I will go to church as often as possible.
2009: I will set aside time each day for prayer and meditation.
2010: I will try to catch the late night sermonette on TV.