Creative Award Contest WINNER!

Monday, May 31, 2010
I have a WINNER for my creative award contest.

Nancy J. Parra guessed it right.

I told six truths and one lie. The lie was #3. My kitchen is NOT decorated in sunflowers but GRAPES.

Thanks everyone for playing. This was fun. Nancy, I'll be sending you a copy of Lisa Kleypas's newest release, Married by Morning. I just finished my copy this Saturday. Loved it.


Hope everyone has a good Memorial Day.

Friday Forwards - #9

Friday, May 28, 2010
Important Women's Health Issue:

* Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
* Do you suffer from shyness?
* Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?
* Do you suffer exhaustion from the day to day grind?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas.

Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions.
Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with a regiment of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had.

Stop hiding and start living...with Margaritas.

Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include:
- Dizziness
- Nausea
- Vomiting
- Incarceration
- Loss of motor control
- Loss of clothing
- Loss of money
- Table dancing
- Headache
- Dehydration
- Dry mouth
- And a desire to sing Karaoke

* The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
* The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.
* The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.
* The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically converse with others without spitting.

Creative Writer Award

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Rebecca J. Vickery has passed on the Creative Liar--I mean, Writer--Award to me.

So, to begin with, I have to tell either six truths and one lie, OR six lies and one truth about myself, making YOU figure out which is which.

Then I need give some kind of prize. Ergo, the first commenter to decide if I've made up six lies or six truths and then correctly picks the odd-man-out will be our winner. This person will be sent a copy of Lisa Kleypas's new arrival, Married by Morning. I've been waiting forever for this book in her Hathaway series to come out--so excited to read it!! I'll pick a winner on Saturday, so I guess the deadline is Friday night then.

And finally, I have to pass the award on to SEVEN other creative writers. This is who I hereby bestow the honor:

NOW...Here is my "creative" list of things for you to guess from. Good luck!

1. I grew up on a dairy farm, but have never milked a cow. Crazy, huh?
2. I have a birthmark next to my belly button. It's shaped like some odd country on a map.
3. My kitchen is decorated with a sunflower theme; Hey, I'm from Kansas.
4. I'm in the same writing group as Julie Garwood. I know, cool, right?
5. I'm married to a cop. Yeah, I'm a sucker for a man in a uniform.
6. I went to Mt. Rushmore my senior year of high school with the History Club. Long trip.
7. I've only wrecked one car in my life. Yep, totalled it.

Lessons Learned...The Acceptance Way

Friday, May 21, 2010
So, I've been writing this series of blogs called Lessons Learned...The Rejection Way, hoping to help other writers learn their lesson by reading about my rejections. I've been rejected for things like info dumping, reactive characters, easy endings, unlikable characters, and over telling.

But it gets a little depressing to always focus on the negative.

Thus, today I'm going to talk about what a writer actually does RIGHT to get themselves published. And here's a happy little secret before I start: All those reasons up there I've received rejections...I've done them--yes, ALL of them--and still sold my story.

I'm guessing right about now, you're wondering, "Then what in the world do I need to do to get my book noticed by a freaking publisher or agent?" Answer: Who really knows, but I think it takes a collaborative effort of tying the plot, characters, setting, tone, and author's voice into a fascinating story to catch a reader's attention.

Here's an example.

I was scanning Amazon for a new romantic suspense author. When I saw One Scream Away by Kate Brady in the "readers also bought these" section under some of my favorite romantic suspense authors, I googled her and checked out her website. After reading the first few lines of the excerpt she provided for this story, I immediately bought the book.

Here's one TOTALLY AMAZING paragraph from that excerpt:
Chevy Bankes looked down at the woman. Lila Beckenridge, her driver’s license said, the photo showing razor-sharp cheekbones and hair scraped into a bun. A dancer, he’d decided while roping her ankles—callused feet and spaghetti-thin body, the faint odor of perspiration layered beneath her perfume.
We have plot (Chevy is going to murder Lila--duh), character (he's a psycho murderer that kills complete strangers; she's a dancer and it's obvious she puts her all into that endeavor), setting (it's vividly understandable we're at the murder scene that's about to take place), tone (romantic suspense, no doubt--or at least it's clearly suspenseful at this point), and voice (just look at all those colorful descriptions and lively verbs Brady uses--razor-sharp cheekbones, hair scraped into a bun, callused feet, spaghetti-thin body, perspiration layered...--outstanding!).
It's no wonder this author sold her book. There's all that story already packed into one little paragraph. She makes each word count toward the collective goal.
I suppose that's my lesson for the day: Make each word count. If a word, line, paragraph, or chapter doesn't add to the plot, character, setting, tone, or voice do you really need to keep it?
Yeah. Just think about it! And good luck with your manuscript.

Eclipse Countdown

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Friday Forwards - #8

Friday, May 14, 2010
It's Friday Forwards time again (my sharing with you of funny emails I get forwarded to me). If anyone ever finds out where these forwards originate, let me know so I can credit the source. Also, 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!!).

The Mean Side of Marriage

At a cocktail party, one woman said to another, "Aren't you wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger?" The other replied, "Yes I am. I married the wrong man."
A lady inserted an ad in the classifies: HUSBAND WANTED. The next day, she received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing : You can have mine!
A young son asked his father, "Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?" The father replied, "I don't know, son. I'm still paying."
Just think, if it wasn't for marriage, men would go through life thinking they had no faults at all.
First guy says, "My wife's an angel." Second guy remarks, "You're lucky. Mine's still alive."
A woman's prayer : Dear Lord, I pray for the wisdom to understand a man, to love and to forgive him, and for the patience to withstand his mood. Because, Lord, if I pray for strength, I'll just beat him to death!
One day, a housework-challenged husband decided to wash his sweatshirt. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room he called, "What setting do I use on the washing machine?"
"It depends," the wife called back. "What does it say on your shirt?"
He yelled, "University of Oklahoma."
"It's just too hot to wear clothes today," Jack said as he stepped out of the shower. "Honey, what do you think the neighbors would say if I mowed the lawn like this?"
"Probably that I married you for your money," she replied.
Q: What does it mean when a man is in your bed, gasping for breath and calling your name?
A: You did not hold the pillow down long enough.
Man : "I'm going to make you the happiest woman ever."
Woman : "I'll miss you."

It's the Twelfth!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Know what this day means to me?

Guest Blogging.

Yep, I have agreed to post a blog on both


on the twelfth day of every month.

So today, if you're in the mood to chat with me on a YA blog, head over to Climbing Roses. If you want something adult and on the steamier side, check out RBRU. Or...if you want to see me at both places, you most certainly can do that too! But no pressure.


Friday, May 7, 2010
Happy May to everyone. Sorry, I'm a couple days late; I've been hunkered down in my lair, actually writing, and man does it feel good to create something new again. It's fresh and exciting and reminds me why I love to write so much. I've also submitted a couple manuscripts to different places. Feels like I'm back in the publishing game. Hopefully, I'll have some good news--like selling another book--in a couple months (cross your fingers)!

In other corners of my life, my little girl is three months old, and she's getting so big. We've had to move up clothing sizes twice now. I don't think she realizes she's still a baby though. She only wants to sit upright these days, can't stand it when you want to cradle her on her back. Ugg. I'm not ready for her to be quite this independent just yet.

I've returned to my day job. Actually, I returned about six weeks ago, but I'm back in the grove there, and going to visit my daughter everyday on my lunch break.

The hubby is ready for summer. His job's been keeping him busy and he can't wait for a break. Usually, he likes to ride his Harley when the weather warms, but since someone he knows recently died in a motorcycle accident, he's been thinking about trading his wheels in for something else. I try not to input my opinions about that and let him make up his own mind, though on one hand, I've love for him to be as safe as possible and sell the dangerous beast, on the other hand he looks really good all leathered up and straddling his hog.

Time has become a precious commodity in my world. Seems like everything I do makes me feel guilty. If I take the time to play with my baby, I think I should be cleaning the house. If I clean the house, I wonder if the husband needs some hubby-time. If I pay attention to him, I worry I need to work on my stories. If I work on my stories, I feel like I'm ignoring my baby. And around the cycle goes again. My blog time has suffered the most. But I try to slip a quick trip through blogosphere when I can.

Yep, I've become extremely domesticated, but I'm lovin' every second of it. I hope your life is progressing to your satisfaction.