Start the week with ILONA FRIDL

Monday, August 30, 2010
Muriel tightened her fingers around Josh’s arm as she led him from the dance floor and into the kitchen. “I have to talk to you, and I don’t want to be interrupted this time.”

His eyes turned serious. “What is it?”

“I was going to tell you, and then Addy waved us into the office. The fight between Gladys and her son reminded me. I was at the courthouse the other day and overheard a conversation between Manfred and someone who I think was his lawyer. Anyway, the man told Manfred he had to prevent his mother spending the estate, and she should be stopped one way or another.”

Josh looked at her steadily. “This was out in public?”

“No. I was walking past an office door and recognized Manfred’s voice.”

“When did you hear his voice? You were upstairs during the fund-raiser.”

“Remember, I heard the fight he and his mother had at the stage door.”

He wiped his hand slowly over his mouth. “We should definitely ask her again to drop the backing. He may be thinking of bringing legal action against us.” He clasped her hand in his. “Come on, let’s get back to the party. We’ll do something about this first thing tomorrow.”

Returning from the kitchen, Muriel and Josh passed Amelia, sitting with Lester at one of the tables by the wall Muriel couldn't help but notice several long red scratches on Amelia’s arm. “Oh, honey, did you get hurt?”

Amelia looked down and took out her handkerchief and dabbed at the blood. Her face was pale and drawn.

Lester spoke up. “That happened when her brooch loosened. The pin must have scratched her arm.” He seemed to be tending her, so Muriel and Josh took to the dance floor once again.

Fifteen minutes later, Muriel saw Addy come out of the office door. She paused in front of the restaurant's decorative mirror only long enough to smooth her hair before rejoining the festivities.

She was getting some punch, assisted by Muriel, when Zeke came up behind her. “What happened to you?”

“I went to the apartment to put my feet up. I was feeling dizzy.”

Turning her so he could look in her face, he voiced his concern. “Are you all right?”

“Just a little tired, that’s all.”

You just read an excerpt from:
Golden North
Ilona Fridl


Today, we’re here with Wild Rose Press author, Ilona Fridl.

Linda Kage: Ilona, tell us a little about you and what you write please.

Ilona Fridl: I've been writing historical suspense romance, so far. I've got some ideas for other genres, but haven't started exploring them, yet.

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

Ilona Fridl: It's still in my computer. I may rework it and try to sell it. It tended to be too wordy. The second story that sold, I streamlined quite a bit before I sent it in.

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

Ilona Fridl: I'm relatively new as a novel writer. My first book, Silver Screen Heroes, was released last year. It was the first of the Dangerous Times series. The second book, Golden North, was released August 20th. I've just about finished the third book, Bronze Skies.

Kage: So, what story are we going to talk about today?

Ilona Fridl: My new novel, Golden North, is book two in my series, Dangerous Times. It picks up where book one, Silver Screen Heroes, leaves off. Addy and Zeke Shafer arrive in Juneau, Alaska to help his brother, Josh, fix up an old theater and restaurant, Golden North. Of course, the couple are on the run from the crime family, Giovanni, whom were caught by the police through Zeke and Addy's help. Addy's cousin, Muriel, was married to the boss' son, who was killed in the raid. She follows Addy to Alaska after the Giovannis threaten to take her new-born daughter. In the novel is a murder mystery and plenty of suspense. It was released by The Wild Rose Press on August 20th.

Josh Shafer has purchased an old run-down theater and bar in Juneau, Alaskan Territory to get away from his abusive father. He invites his brother, Zeke, and Zeke's new wife, Addy, who are on the run from a crime family, to come and help him.

Muriel Giovanni, Addy's cousin, was married into the crime family, but her husband was killed. Now with a new daughter, the Giovannis want the child. With the help of her parents, the young widow takes her baby and follows her cousin to Alaska, where hopefully the family won't find her. Or will they?


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

Ilona Fridl: It depends how they do the sex scenes. I'd guess either a PG-13 or R.

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

Ilona Fridl: Hands down, a whodunit.

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

Ilona Fridl: I think it would be the time frame. The 1920s aren't written about that much and it's a wonderful action-packed time of the 1900s. Juneau, Alaska hasn't had many books written with that as a setting.

Kage:What was the easiest part to write?

Ilona Fridl: With me, I love to write dialogue. I guess you can chalk that up to my theater training. I visualize the characters, like I'm watching a movie, and know what they are saying and doing.

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

Ilona Fridl: Josh Shafer, on the surface, is a shining jewel. A personable young man with a big heart. Underneath, he has serious self-doubts because of an abusive father.

Muriel Giovanni is still scarred from her association with the crime family and is wary of what people will think of her. She gains confidence from the strong family bonds and Josh's love for her.

What I learned from them is, no matter the hardships and trials in the past, you can overcome them. It may not be easy, but tempered steel is the strongest.

Kage: Ilona, 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?

Ilona Fridl: I want to thank everyone who purchased Silver Screen Heroes and promise that Golden North is as exciting as the first book.

Now that Ilona has totally made us want to buy her book, she was kind enough to provide us with a a buy link to Golden North: eBook, Paperback.

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

-Newsletter Group:
-Facebook: Ilona Fridl

Up for Book fo the Week!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The "Long and the Short of It" romance reviewers run a weekly contest for people to vote on which book looks like the best based on its review.

My story "­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­The Trouble with Tomboys" was reviewed by them this week and is up for Book of the Week. Voting runs from Saturday, August 28th through Sunday August 29th: So, if you'd like to help me win best book of the week, just go to

today or tomorrow and click on my book title. Thanks so much.


Friday, August 27, 2010
I picked THREE winners instead of two like I said I would. So, honestly, everyone had a better chance of winning than they originally thought.

The lucky person who won a paperback copy of The Trouble with Tomboys is:

Lydia Kang
(she hosts a lovely blog over at The Word is My Oyster, by the way).

And the two people who each won an ebook copy of The Trouble with Tomboys are:

Roxy L.


Krista P.

Sadly, no one guessed the mystery of my heroine's name, so no Amazon gift cards were awarded. Sorry. If you're curious, the answer to B.J.'s real name is...yeah, you never would've guessed...Banner Jewel.

Totally insane, right? Okay, yes, but there's a story behind it, so don't knock it outright.

That's all I have for today. Congrats to the winners. I hope you enjoy your prize.

It's Here - No Joke

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Yay! The interview that was supposed to post yesterday is live today. Due to illness, it had to be put off a day. But it's up now--I've actually seen it! So, please click HERE if you'd like to read my interview with the lovely Claire Ashgrove. Thanks!

Interview at Claire's Place

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The third stop on my mini blog tour halts today at From the Muse, a blog hosted by Claire Ashgrove. So, that's where I am this morning. Hop over and say hey!

If you missed the first two blog interviews, they took place at Molly's Musings on August 10th (Lydia came along for that one and did splendid; she stole the show!).

And the first interview took place at Romance Books R Us on August 7th.

Other than that, I'll be back here on Friday (my mom's birthday--WooT!) to announce contest winners.

PS: As of 7:30 am, the interview hasn't been posted yet, so until it airs, I'll just tell you about this wonderful review I found this morning for The Trouble with Tomboys! The Long and Short of It Reviews gave her a 5 out of 5 books. Just read all the amazing things they had to say:

"One rough around the edges, smart-mouthed tomboy is no match for Tommy Creek Texas’s too good to be true golden boy, but when they come together it’s hotter than a Texas wildfire.

Ms Kage gives us a most unique plot/story line in her contemporary romance The Trouble with Tomboys by giving her readers a 180 twist to this all to common James Dean-esque bad boy hero paired with Miss Goody-Two-Shoes heroine out to win his heart and change his wild ways. Ms Kage in her storytelling majesty gives us airplane flying, cigar smoking, potty mouth BJ Gilmore and couples her with too good for his britches not to mention too sexy for his shirt widower Grady Rawlings and then she let’s the games begin. And begin they do as she throws us into this incomparable tale with her Texas drawl dialogue that flows throughout the novel and throwing in some hard living, hard talking scenes that pop from the pages into our mind as she paints her words into pictures we can actually visualize.

Her characters are all so important to her story and they all lend a hand in the telling of the tale from the one liner all the way to the stars and supporting cast of players. Her hero, Grady and heroine, BJ outshine the rest as she takes us through the trials and tribulations of their romance. Her readers will cry with them, laugh with them and pull for them as they stumble their inept way to their most deserved happy ever after. The romance is funny and sad, it’s heartwrenching and heartwarming and her audience will feel then entire spectrum of emotions right along with her characters. Her love scenes are very physical, visceral and descriptive and yet we see and feel the longing of the couple and the love that evolves.

So brace yourselves for one wild ride with this exceptional debut novel [actually, this is my second book, but it's my first Adult romance] by a name that you will soon be I’m sure hearing a lot more of. The Trouble with Tomboys is one of those novels that will stick with you long after you read The End. If you’re looking for an unforgettable read with memorable characters and a story that will stick with you, look no farther than The Trouble with Tomboys. Oh and Kudos to you Ms. Linda Kage, keep up the excellent work."

PS on my PS: Well, it's no longer August 24, and my interview did not air at Claire's place. I'm so sorry for directing everyone that way to read an interview that wasn't posted.

Start the week with Michele Hart

Monday, August 23, 2010
[This excerpt is rated R for violence, language, and sexual reference. All the good stuff. :)]

The Whip

Spun around in her bindings tied above her head, Rachel focused on Jack observing his former cellmates shooting dice near the hall’s great hearth. The traitor. It was like he hardly noticed her strung up for a lashing, his prison buddies looking forward to her vicious flogging. Heartlessly calm and detached, he intermittently checked the currently inactive scene of her soon torture, not very interested.

“Jack…” she called out to him. He cast a lazy look her way.

“If Quattro beats me, you can’t use me the way you want to in the mountains.”

“What makes you think stripes on your back would stop me?”

God, she hoped Jack was bluffing. She really couldn’t tell if he were a good guy or a bad guy. Was it okay with him to rape her in the woods while she was wounded? She shuddered.

Jack rose from his table, abandoning his meal.. His sight burned into hers, risk in his holographic sky-blue eyes. A low-grade anxiety pulsed through her. He sashayed over to where Quattro had left the whip on the floor behind her.

“You want to see her punished, Quattro?” Jack brushed the dust from his hands.

“I insist upon it,” the mobster replied.

“Do you want her frightened?” Jack picked the whip up, suddenly too attracted to it.

Quattro’s gross grin rose. “I want to hear her shriek in terror and fear me, you, and every man here.”

Rachel was well on her way to all that. She feared every sadistic criminal in the room, but Jack. And he was fixing that right now. She stiffened to keep from shaking. She watched Jack pull the lash through his hand as if he appreciated the braid…or measured it. Others took notice. He took another step back, nonchalantly taking a position. Her heart pumped harder, and her breath quickened. He wasn’t going to do it, was he…going to beat her?

“Hold still, Rachel…” he said low, getting a feel for the grip. She mashed herself against the wall in dread of the lash.

Then Jack reared back and struck. The whip loudly snapped so close to her back, she felt the ripple in the air through the thin cotton of her techsuit. Rachel felt a shocking sting shoot through her body, and she shrieked. But she hadn’t felt the whip dig into her flesh.

“You b@%#!*d!” she shouted at him, awaiting the agony and so fearful of the pain, she nearly started to weep. “I swear to God, I’ll find a way to kill you for this!”

Her terror thrilled Quattro so much, he applauded.

“You’re a passivist, Rachel Marie,” Jack said, berating her. “You can’t kill a thing.”

She couldn’t yet feel the pain, though she didn’t think the hall cold enough to truly numb her from the agony of a lash. She opened her eyes and watched Jack’s audience grow. Where was the pain?

Jack reared back with the whip again. Rachel pinched her eyes shut and screamed in terror again, certain he wouldn’t miss a second time. The strike ripped the material of the techsuit down her back. Except for blood-curdling horror and a puff of slapped air, she felt no physical pain or even any contact. The second strike caused the audience to cheer.

A third strike still brought out her terrified cry and more of Quattro’s acclamation. The leather braid never met her back. Of course, it didn’t. Jack hadn’t missed a shot since he was twelve. If he missed the shot, it was because he meant to miss.

Bets started going down to see how many stripes she’d last.

Jack halted the entertainment cold, staring at them. She didn’t know what he was thinking. She wondered if he thought them vacant, psychotic souls, if he wanted to burn their hearts out with the laser gun strapped to his thigh. He broke away from some tormenting theme of thought, and began to roll the whip. Thinking the bloodsport over too early, the malicious crowd found other things to distract them, their breakfasts, games of dice.

“Quattro,” Jack bothered to finally say something as he coiled the whip and tied it, “beating her for an audience of your enemies isn’t such a good move, though I’m sure it would conjure a wicked orgasm for you and your men. If you torture her before your enemy, she becomes a hero. If you kill her, she becomes a martyr. Heroes and martyrs fuel rebellion. You may start a fire you can’t contain.”

Rachel caught up with her racing breath. The panic attack slowly eased The sweat risen from her body in fear of supersized agony made her colder.
“You got the fear and loathing from her you wanted, the juicy fear and loathing,” Jack told him, “so let my property go.”

Realizing Jack hadn’t beaten her at all when her back wasn’t bleeding, Quattro was stopped cold by a thought. The hovercraft the gangster sat upon gave a spit. “You can’t possibly think I should let the insolent b@#&h go without a serious blooding, do you?”

“You should care more that your beds aren’t razed by blue armies. You’re done with her.”

“Your first f#$% in the free worlds hasn’t softened your black heart, has it?”

Jack rolled stunning, digitally perfect blue eyes.

“For as many men as I’ve seen you kill, you’re not much of a woman-beater. You’re already softer than you were in prison.”

Jack paused. Quattro hit a raw nerve. Rachel wished she knew his thoughts.

“I have more control than you,” Jack told him with a dead-eyed stare, his finger in the gangster’s face. “Don’t mistake that for weakness. I have control of every thing in this room.”

The statement shut Quattro’s foul drunken mouth.

“You’re very reckless today.” Jack passed him the whip.

“She’s not getting any more punishment than she just got,” Jack told him. “If I allow you to beat her, she’ll never survive the mountains with me for my purpose. She pilots the only ship around capable of traveling the wormhole in one piece. Leave her correction to me. I’ll make her want to die. Release my property, now that you’ve gotten your rocks off seeing her terrorized. That’s all you required.”

“I hope she cuts your throat in the middle of the night.”

“If you couldn’t get the job done after five years of trying, she can’t.”

“You sleep with your eyes open.”

Rachel watched Jack. He was magical. He knew just what to say to make Quattro do his bidding, the cold timing required, and the guts and confidence to pull it off, not to mention his dead-on aim. He was impressive.


Later, she had to know…

“What were you thinking when you were staging my beating and watching your audience thrill to the show?”

Jack surveyed the west mountains with the binoculars, and then the sea line. Rachel considered he might not answer the question until he replied, “I was thinking of how I wanted to kill all the sick degenerates for getting off on a weaker creature’s fear and pain.”

At the time, he’d looked like murder was on his mind.

Maybe that’s what happens to a good man’s soul when he serves time in Hell. He becomes the cold executioner.

You've just read an excerpt from:
Luminous Nights
Michele Hart
Available in e-book ISBN#: 1-60601-884-1

I've decided to start an interview series. So every Monday (and the occasional Friday) you stop by, you can meet a new author. Today, we're starting the series with a birthday girl! Please welcome Michele Hart.

Linda Kage: Good morning, Michele. Tell us a little about you and what you write please.

MH: I mainly call myself a Sci-Fi Romance author, though I have an Erotic Romantic Suspense title and a Greek Myth Romantic Comedy title, as well. I have two upcoming projects to write, both Sci-Fi Romances, so that’s what you’ll see from me for a while to come.

Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?
MH: (smiles widely) Oh, lordy. Without the guidance of an experienced author and with no knowledge of the industry, the first thing I wrote was a 9-book series. Of course, unsalable. It is in forever storage. It wasn’t bad for a first effort. Because of it, I
fear no word count!

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

MH: I’ve got stories for different tastes. Check my web site for reviews on all of them.
My first story, a Contemporary Erotic Romantic Suspense novel, is Looks Are Deceiving, available at Siren-BookStrand. If you like short stories and are looking for a laugh, I have the Greek Myth Romantic Comedy, No Funny Stuff!, a tale for Thalia, the muse of comedy. You can find it at The Wild Rose Press. For Sci-Fi Romance, I have a short story, Zero-G, at All Romance e-books. The proceeds of Zero-G go to the American Heart Association, so you can read for charity on that one. For novel-sized Sci-Fi Romance, Mind-Blown is available at BookStrand, and Luminous Nights is available tomorrow!
***horns toot, doves are released***

Kage:So, what story are we going to talk about today?

MH:Today, I get to talk about my new release, a Sci-Fi Romantic Adventure called Luminous Nights. BookStrand is helping me bring it to you. If you like a lot of action, Luminous Nights seldom sits still. It comes out tomorrow.


Luminous Nights
Michele Hart

Cop or convict?
How many faces can one man own?

An assassin wearing a holographic mask and a prison tattoo boards Rachel’s freighter during a prison riot, intent on collecting gadgets capable of changing a man’s identity from the black-market gang who'd stolen them. She’s never sure of Jack's identity nor his goal, but he claims to be an Alliance I-Marshal. Cop or convict? The clues never stop contradicting. Rachel's horrified to find the bright holographic mask conceals the gruesome face of a monster. And the badge doesn’t slow him from murdering people right before her eyes.

When Rachel learns Jack will trade innocent lives for the digital miracles, she determines to make the mercenary grow a heart. How could a stone-cold killer kiss her so hotly? How could she kiss such a dangerous deceiver?

Jack has done years in prison to learn who’d stolen the remaining Gemini ticks, 3-D magic. Nothing will keep him from gaining extreme-technology capable of unleashing galaxy-wide chaos. Forget feelings for Rachel. She can’t stop him from killing everyone involved.

Kage:What would Luminous Nights be rated if it were a movie?

MH:Luminous Nights is rated R. It’s a Sensual Romance, which is a step less erotic than Erotic Romances..

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

MH:Luminous Nights fits a couple of great clichés. I love clichés. The story is about the cost of vengeance on a man’s soul. It’s definitely Beauty and the Beast story and a Save-the-World adventure.

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

MH: Alien chocolate makes several appearances in Luminous Nights, and Jack and Rachel debate whether the candy is a powerful aphrodisiac, as it’s rumored to be. Turns out, Rachel thoroughly loses that debate.

Kage: (Still licking lips from that last image!)What was the easiest part to write?

MH: There isn’t an element that comes more easily than others for me. I don’t plan much about my stories. I’m a pantser, flying by the seat of my pants, for the most part. For at least the rough draft, pantsers are like witnesses recording the scenes as opposed to planners who actively and consciously conjure the elements. There are times when I don’t see the next scene in my head, and that’s usually when I need to walk away and rest. Luminous Nights came very easily. The first few scenes left Rachel, guilty of smuggling, with a badge-waving imposter wearing a holographic mask aboard her ship. I wanted to see how such a smooth operator as Jack, used to women falling all over him, was going to melt an iceberg like Rachel. :-) Brain-scrambling chocolate helped. I just kept asking, “What comes next?” I can imagine that’s how most pantsers do it.

By the way, that’s how you end up writing an unsalable 9-book story, being unable to stop asking, “What comes next?”!

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

MH: I really loved Jack because he was based on someone I know. All Jack’s slick operation and smooth manipulation came from him. It was like giving my friend a super weapon and a job to do. I loved Jack’s girl Rachel because she didn’t fall for his lines. Until he brought out the Big Guns. :-) Who can fight the Big Guns?

Kage:Michele, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. But now that you've totally made us want to buy your book, where can we get our hands on a copy?

MH: Luminous Nights’s Buy Link:
Go ahead and pre-order, so you won’t miss it.
Here are reviews and excerpts here:

I’m at Come over, have some coffee. Read some blurbs and excerpts, cruise the reviews, watch a few book trailers.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Linda. Thanks to all the readers out there, as well.

Read and live an adventure. Have an action-packed day.

Friday Forwards - #14

Friday, August 20, 2010
Before I start today's Forwards, I simply must congratulate some writing acquaintances of mine who've struck it rich in the publishing world lately. So...

Congratulations to: Heather Snow, who not only was a finalist in RWA's Golden Heart but just landed a super-awesome agent, Barbara Poelle from the Irene Goodman Agency.

Congratulations to: Claire Ashgrove, who not only took on agent Jewelann Cone from Cascade Literary Agency but just made a three-book deal with TOR (that's right: I said TOR!!!).

Congratulations to : Elisabeth Burke, who not only was a finalist in RWA's Golden Heart but also just landed agent Jewelann Cone from Cascade Literary Agency.

Congratulations to: Nancy J. Parra. She sold a story to Avalon Books. I can't wait to get my hands on Counterfeit Bride whenever it comes out; that excerpt on her website is so fun!!

and Congratulations to: Jackie Bannon, who had Deidre Knight request to read a partial of not one, but two of her stories!!! Good luck, Jackie!

Man, I have some talented friends. Whew! And now that I'm out of breath from all the celebrating, let the Friday Forwards begin...........

Read out loud the text inside the triangle below.

More than likely you said, "A bird in the bush," and........ if this IS what YOU said, then you failed to see that the word THE is repeated twice! Sorry, look again.

Next, let's play with some words. What do you see?

In black you can read the word GOOD, in white the word EVIL (inside each black letter is a white letter). It's all very physiological too, because it visualize the concept that good can't exist without evil (or the absence of good is evil ).
Now, what do you see?

You may not see it at first, but the white spaces read the word optical, the blue landscape reads the word illusion. Look again! Can you see why this painting is called an optical illusion?
What do you see here?

This one is quite tricky! The word TEACH reflects as LEARN.
Last one.

What do you see?

You probably read the word ME in brown, but....... when you look through ME you will see YOU!

Do you need to look again?

Lesson Learned...Big Time

Monday, August 16, 2010
Why I’m a writer and not a banker:

From the memoirs of Clueless Linda.

Okay, so I received my first royalty payment a couple months back, right. Yay! Excited me, I went into Paypal where my money had been sent, and from there I electronically transferred the cash into my bank account. Then I checked my account to see if the deposit had been made.

It hadn’t.

So, I waited.

Checked a few days later.

Still no royalty money.

From this point, my wonderful husband who isn’t a spineless, meek coward like his dear wife and isn’t afraid to get a little stern and demand answers, spent an hour and a half on the phone with Paypal and the bank before everyone figured out Clueless Linda (yes, that’s me) put in a 3 instead of a 2 somewhere in her checking account number (or maybe it was the other way around—I can’t recall…I’m clueless here, remember!). So, my first royalty payment EVER was deposited into someone else’s account.

Paypal changed the account number and fixed things on their end, but the money they’d already deposited never did show up in my account. That awesome man I married made a couple more calls, until finally the bank told him they couldn’t take the money out of someone else’s account until that account owner came to them and told them the deposit isn’t theirs.
It wasn’t like this was millions of dollars or anything. Not even thousands. Okay, geesh, not even hundreds.

But HELLO…I’ve never worked so hard for a couple measly bucks in my entire life.

I started my book in 2002, pouring blood and sweat into the rough draft for months. Then rewrote, revised, and edited my heart out. Next, I chewed off all my fingernails as I waited for beta readers to go through it. Then, after bawling over their comments (actually, they weren’t that bad of comments, but I have a somewhat fragile ego), I busted my butt to fix all the mistakes.

After I don’t know how many edits, I started the submission process. Rejections, tears, rejections, tears, rejections…you get the point. Throw in more editing, and that’s how the next five years progressed. Until holy smokes, I sold my story.

Yes, euphoria.

But after selling, there was rewriting.

Next came icky promoting (picture me forcing myself to step out of my nice, shy comfort zone to become an irritating author that pushed her new book in everyone’s faces).

Then the story was released…only for reviews to start. Most reviews were better than I ever expected them to be. But, yeah, not everyone liked my tale, so more stress and tears followed.
From 2002 to 2010, eight long years of toiling, I received my first royalty check at last! Only to lose it because I typed in one wrong number.

Is that crazy or what?

I don’t care if it was only ONE FREAKING DOLLAR, I earned that check more than I’ve ever earned ANY check in my entire life.

So, all I’ve got to say is the person who got my precious money better enjoy every cent.

Seriously though, I have to shake my head and laugh about this. Otherwise, I’d break down and cry (again).

And there is my Lesson Learned for this month. Make sure ALL your numbers are right.

Twelth Guest Posting

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Yep, it's the twelfth, so I'm off guest blogging today at both

Romance Books "R" Us (adult romance blogsite)


The Climbing Roses of the Wild Rose Press (YA romance blogsite).

I'll be back here on Monday to present a "Lessons Learned" post. Have a great weekend.

Interviewed at Molly Daniels Blog

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Molly Daniels has interviewed me on her blog : Molly's Musings. So that's where I am today. And yes, Lydia will be there too (she might only be able to say MA, BA, and DA these days, but trust me, the woman still knows how to give her opinion about things)!!

Before you go, though, my first story, the young adult romance, got all jealous because The Trouble with Tomboys has been hogging the lime light recently. Ergo, The Stillburrow Crush would like to announce a few new reviews she's received lately.

A Top Pick from Night Owl Reviews, she rated a 4.75 out of 5:
"The Stillburrow Crush has already made it into my book discussions, and I have already recommended this book be read. Linda Kage is an author I will whole heartedly follow, and in fact, I have already purchased another one of her stories. She took a clichéd book topic and made it new, and she most certainly made it exciting.

To conclude, The Stillburrow Crush Is a MUST read and I hope girls and women of all ages read this. The Stillburrow Crush more than exceeded my expectations."

And Amaterasu Reads Reviews gave her a 5 out of 5:

"I think of this book as my luckiest find for the year. No other book has topped it in my list...These are real issues they were facing. Its about family, love and acceptance of what we really are. The characters felt real, their emotions mirroring those that we feel. Linda Kage has written a marvelous story about love and the choices we make in that shapes our lives."

Okay, I'm done with you now. Have fun at Molly's! Thanks.

Interview - Romance Books "R" Us

Saturday, August 7, 2010
The Trouble with Tomboys released yesterday (in case you weren't aware), so of course I have a contest running to win free copies on my website (HERE). It closes on Friday, August 13th, and I'll announce winners within the month.

But meanwhile, Romance Books "R" Us interviewed me today about The Trouble with Tomboys. If you're interested, feel free to check it out.

During the interview, I provide a never-before posted excerpt of the story. I know...exciting, right!!

And that's all I have to report for now. Take care.

TTWT Review

Friday, August 6, 2010
The Trouble with Tomboys is officially released today!!!!

And I already have my first review.

Here's what Single Titles : We Love Fiction had to day about TTWT:

(4 Star Rating)

"When B.J. and Grady spend one night of passion together, only to have an unexpected surprise a month later, the two opposites are thrown together whether they like it or not.

B.J. Gilmore likes cigars, poker, and flying her plane. When Grady Rawlings, a widower with an unapproachable demeanor, needs a pilot; B.J. plans for his overnight business trip. B.J. is not put off by his rough exterior and pushes Grady to experience something he has not felt in awhile; being alive. After a one night affair, they part and go their separate ways until a month later when B.J. finds she is pregnant.

Trouble With Tomboys throws together a by the rules follower Grady, with a feisty wildcat B.J causing quite a ruckus in their wake. B.J. is not one to beat around the bush; her refreshing honesty will have her winning a place in readers hearts. Enormously entertaining and a difficult book to put down." --Reviewer: Emily

And I didn't even pay them to say this. Aren't they just the sweetest?

If you'd like another opinion, check out what Lydia thought of TTWT when I handed her a copy.

See. She thinks the story is totally drool-worthy. Yum!

I know, you simply MUST get your own now, right? Well, here are a few buy links.

Paperback : The Wild Rose Press Books-A-Million

Ebook : The Wild Rose Press

Hope you enjoyed TTWT's countdown party. We will now return to regular programming...I think. Wait. Since when has anything I've ever said been regular?

Oh, well. See you later anyway.

TTWT Countdown : DAY 1

Thursday, August 5, 2010
For the last day on my countdown to the release of The Trouble with Tomboys, I have sitting across from me in plush, comfy chairs the hero and heroine of my novel: Grady Rawlings and B.J. Gilmore. They’ve agreed to come in for an interview to help celebrate DAY 1.

ME: Welcome to my blog, you two.

GRADY: Thank you, Ms. Kage. It’s an honor to be here.

BJ: Whatever.

ME: (A bit discombobulated by my heroine’s slouched and bored demeanor, I fumble through my notes until I finally find my interview question. Ah! Here they are. Clear throat.) Okay. First question. What are your biggest fears and greatest joys in life?

BJ: (Snorts) Biggest fears? What kind of pansy question is that?

GRADY: B.J. (his voice is full of reprimand)

BJ: What? It’s a stupid, corny question. Next thing we know, she’ll be asking how we met, like we’re on some lame, dating show.

(At this point, I blush and madly scratch out the next question on my list)

GRADY: Regardless, please keep in mind this woman invented us. We wouldn’t even exit if she hadn’t put us down on a paper in the first place. Humor her, will you?

BJ: (Big sigh, eyes rolling) Fine. Grady’s biggest fear is losing someone he loves.

GRADY: (Teeth gnashing) I think I can answer for myself.

BJ: Right. Like you were going to admit that aloud?

GRADY: If you think turning the lime light on me just so you won’t have to say how scared of snakes you are—

BJ: I’M NOT SCARED OF SNAKES! Just because I don’t like the disgusting, slimy—

GRADY: Oh, gimme a break. You scream every time you see—

ME: (Lifting hands and waving them madly) Guys! Whoa. Hold up, there. Let’s not start a fight over such a simple question.

BJ: (Quirking an eyebrow my way) Who says we’re fighting?

(I’m the one who lets out a big sigh this time. After taking a moment to calm myself, I continue)

ME: Maybe we should just move on to the next question. What are your greatest joys in life?

BJ: I think you need to put one of those “Need to be eighteen” warnings up before I can answer that question. Seriously. (She hitches her thumb toward Grady) Look at what I’m married to here. What do you think my greatest joys are?

GRADY: (Laughs)

(It’s a rich, full sound that takes my attention away from B.J. I still think it’s strange to hear his laughter, I kind of get caught staring at him. He has such a beautiful smile; it lights up his entire face, and I feel all smug I created such a handsome hero)

BJ: (Scowling) Hey, I know he’s eye candy and all, but could you stop undressing my man with your eyes.

(This time my blush is more like a total body sunburn; I swear even my toes are red. I clear my throat and quickly look away)

ME: Maybe interviewing you two was a bad idea.

BJ: Gee, you think?

ME: Alrighty then. That about wraps up this enlightening interview. B.J. Grady. It was a pleasure to meet you in blogosphere.

GRADY: The pleasure was ours, ma’am. We appreciate the effort you went through to get our story out there for the world to read.

(Not even daring to look at him, I hold back a little shiver as his low, Texas drawl works through me. But, wow, does that man have a great voice.

From the corner of my eye, I watch him take B.J.’s elbow and escort her off into the sunset. And there goes my plans for a grand interview. Sigh.)

So…since my characters aren’t really the interrogating type, I think I’ll spend the rest of this post, thanking everyone who helped me make my book possible.

Oooh! Dedication time.

To my great, wonderful, awesome, amazing, handsome husband. This one is for you. You’re the inspiration behind all my stories because you let me know happy endings aren’t just in fiction. Every day I discover something new to love about you. Thank you so much for marrying me.

And to the rest of my family (there’s just too many of you to name, sorry): Your unending love and support makes it really hard to write about tragic, tortured characters, but it encourages me to keep on trying anyway.

To Claire Ashgrove and Jackie Bannon who made me think TTWT actually had some substance to it. Thank you so much for the critique and ego boost. It was exactly what I needed.

Finally, to my editor for this story at The Wild Rose Press: Stephanie Parent. Thank you so much for putting up with me. You rock.

And with that, I bid you farewell. Tomorrow's the big day! SQUEAL.

TTWT Countdown : Day 2

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

There are TWO days left until The Wild Rose Press releases my adult romance, The Trouble with Tomboys, and the countdown party here is going hot and heavy.

If you missed the first day of the countdown, you may not be aware I'm throwing a contest to win a copy of the book, so check out my CONTEST PAGE on my website if you'd like to enter.


Have a little fun now and play this contest on my blog instead.

Here's what's happening:

The heroine’s name in The Trouble with Tomboys is B.J. Gilmore (hopefully you’ve caught onto that fact by now!!). But if you read the deleted prologue yesterday in my outtake excerpt, you’ll know Grady tries to find out what the B and J represent way back when he’s seventeen. She refuses to tell him her full name, and he doesn’t get his answer (well, HALF his answer) until minutes before marrying her.

So, I gotta know… can you figure out B.J.’s full name? I’ll give everyone three guesses. Leave your B.J. answers in the comments section and if someone actually gets the answer right by the end of tomorrow--August 5, 2010--then I’ll send a $25 Gift Card from to the first person who guesses correctly.

Have fun; guess away!

And don’t worry if you don’t win anything here, there’s still that chance for you on my contest page over at my website. You don’t have to guess anything there to enter, just toss your name into the drawing!!

TTWT Countdown : Day 3

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I deleted The Trouble with Tomboys' Prologue from my original version. So, for Day THREE of the TTWT Countdown party, I've brought it back for you to enjoy before the story is available and you start on Chapter One.

So...I hope you enjoy!

See you again tomorrow.

(Raw and Unedited!)

--In fear of having a super long post, I've only provided a portion of the deleted scene.
Click HERE to read the ENTIRE prologue--

Twelve-year old B.J. Gilmore slouched, good and relaxed, in the middle of her sofa, watching NASCAR and eating from a microwave bag of Orville Redenbacher when her seventeen-year-old babysitter plopped down next to her.

“Where’s Rudy?” Amy asked, shaking a closed bottle of pale pink fingernail polish.

“Don’t know.” As she answered, B.J. tossed a single fluff of popcorn into the air so she could try to catch it with her teeth. When she did, she glowed in triumph and munched happily, leaning around her sitter to see the television.

Amy let out an annoyed sigh. “You know, B.J., it’s not considered ladylike to throw food in the air and catch it with your mouth.”

B.J. rolled her eyes. Humph. As if she wanted to be a lady. All the supposed ladies she knew were stuck up snobs who only liked to gossip about everybody else behind their backs. Why in the world would she want to be like that? Besides, if being a lady meant she had to wear a dress, then she’d rather pass anyhow.

Defiantly tossing another kernel in the air, she once again caught it in her teeth. “Cool,” she said, grinning over and nudging Amy with her elbow. “Did you see that? Two times in a row.”

“Yes,” Amy replied dryly. “It was soooo impressive.”

B.J. frowned, folding her arms over her chest as she turned her attention back to the race. Well, she thought it was impressive.

Crossing a pair of tanned legs, Amy stopped shaking her bottle and twisted the cap off. She applied the lacquered polish and hummed lightly under her breath. B.J. figured she was trying to make a point that all ladies should cross their legs and sit with their backs as stiff as sheetrock while singing a pretty tune. Well, no way was B.J. going to do that. She was going to stay slouched there until—

The smell of the polish finally hit her. Wrinkling her nose, she lifted the collar of her t-shirt, covered all her breathing holes, and stared wide-eyed at the opened bottle. “Lord have mercy, Ames. That crap stinks to high Heaven.”

“But doesn’t it look nice.” Amy grinned and held out her hand to admire her finished thumbnail.

B.J. lifted a brow. “Whatever.”

At her blasé answer, her babysitter sucked in a breath and sent her a brief, irritated glance. “Don’t tell me you’ve never worn fingernail polish before?”

“No,” B.J. spat, appalled.

Living with a widowed father, two older brothers, and one younger brother, B.J. had to guess this was the first time fingernail polish had ever found its way inside her home.

But fingernail polish? Bluck.

“You’ve got to be kidding me?” Amy said, her eyes wide before they gave a single long-lashed blink.

B.J. snorted. “Why would I put that junk on? It’s gross.”

“Gross?” Amy repeated, and threw her head back to laugh. “You know, B.J.,” she added on a delighted sigh. “You have the oddest notion about what’s gross. I bet you’d like fingernail polish if you used it.”

“Yeah, well, I’ll just take your word for it,” B.J. grumbled, crossing her arms over her chest and hiding her nails behind her armpits so her beautiful and extremely girly babysitter couldn’t see the mangled mess.

She knew what was coming even before Amy said, “Want me to paint your nails?”

“Hell, no.”

“B. J.” Amy sighed. “Please watch your language.”

“Heck no,” B.J. revised. “Get that stinking goo away from me.”

“Oh, come on,” Amy coaxed. “Just let me do it this once.”


“You’ll like it. I promise.”

“No. I promise I won’t.”

Firmly screwing the cap back on, Amy said, “Just give me your hand. We’ll test one finger first and if you don’t like it, I swear I’ll take it off.”

“How about we don’t and say we did?”

“Give me your hand already.”


Without warning, Amy dived for B.J.’s arm and tried to pry her hand from behind her back. What followed was a brief wrestle of which B.J. refused to budge and Amy worked harder. Finally, B. J. leapt off the couch and ran for all she was worth.

Amy chased after her.

Every time her sitter caught a hold of her, B.J. managed to wiggle free and dash off again. She could tell the seventeen-year old had grown tired five minutes later because Amy started taking longer to find her. She was hiding in the kitchen pantry and grinning over her stealth when the doorbell rang. Knowing Amy would be busy answering it, B.J. inched open the closet. When she saw the coast was clear, she stepped out and curiously wandered toward the front room to see who was calling.

Amy’s boyfriend had come to visit.

“I rented a movie,” he announced as Amy him let inside.

“How sweet,” She cooed, then grinned and sighed as she slumped her back against the door after shutting it, her gaze one huge pool of adoration.

B.J. rolled her eyes at her sitter’s way-too-obvious affection, even though her own thoughts turned kind of mushy themselves. But good golly, Miss Molly. Seventeen-year old Grady Rawlings had to be the most beautiful human on earth. He towered over six feet by a good four inches, though he looked taller because of his lean, wrangly frame. He may have been in tennis shoes and a baseball cap, but he was undeniably prime Texas stock.

And though B.J. was one hundred percent tomboy, she was also one hundred percent boy crazy about her babysitter’s boyfriend. As Amy leaned in for a kiss, B.J. watched with fixed fascination. Grady closed his eyes when he pressed his mouth to Amy’s. She wondered why. Did it make Amy taste better? How’d he know where to put his lips when he couldn’t see nothing?

He lifted his hand to capture the back of his girlfriend’s head. B.J. studied his wide fingers spreading across Amy’s scalp, speculating what it’d feel like to have a boy’s mouth pressed against hers. Amy certainly seemed to like it. She melted against him and gave him a dewy, dazed smile when he pulled back. In return, Grady sent her a smile that made B.J.’s stomach feel funny.

Before she could duck out of sight, he lifted his face, and his eyes moved across the room, pinning her to the spot.

Feeling frozen, B.J. gaped back.

“Hey, B.J.,” he said, his gaze changing from the heavy-lidded look he’d been giving Amy to a wide, friendly grin.

Go HERE to finish the scene!

TTWT Countdown : Day 4

Monday, August 2, 2010
This is day FOUR in the countdown party for the release of my adult romance. Today, I'd like to introduce all THE PLAYERS in The Trouble with Tomboys. In addition to their name and what part they play in the story, a couple characters have allowed me to quote them.

Enjoy! I'll see you again tomorrow for day three.



B. J. Gilmore : HEROINE
“What can I say? My lucky number’s two. And when I get two twos, I figure, hell... Might as well bluff, huh?”


Jebediah (JEB) Gilmore : B.J.’s Father:
“I’m still your pappy, and that gives me the right to worry about you iffin’ I want to.”


Dellie Gilmore : B.J.’s deceased Mother


Buck Gilmore : B.J.’s Oldest Brother


Phyllis Gilmore : Buck’s Wife


Little Girl Gilmore : Buck’s daughter (I can’t recall naming her… how awful of me)


Leroy Gilmore : B.J.’s Older Brother, though younger than Buck
“Woo-wee, little sister. You sure hog-tied him around your little finger, didn’t ya?”


Rudy Gilmore : B.J.’s Younger Brother
“Don’t even start. I’ll be out and ready to go in a few minutes.”



Grady Rawlings : HERO
“Why can’t everyone just leave me alone?”


Amy Bennett-Rawlings : Grady’s deceased wife and second or third cousin of B.J.’s (she was some kind of distant relation anyway)


Bennett : Grady’s deceased son


Tucker Rawlings : Grady’s father
“I get a little overprotective and irrational when it comes to my children.”


Tara Rose Rawlings : Grady’s mother
“It’s D.J., right? D.J. Gilmore?”

Granger Rawlings : Grady’s grandfather
“Missy, I’m way too young to croak yet.”


Jo Ellen Gerhardt : Grady’s younger sister
“Honey, do you have any idea what you’re getting yourself into? You’re going to have a baby. A baby.”

Cooper Gerhardt : Jo Ellen’s husband
“Thanks…I think. Just don’t go mentioning that night again, okay?”

Tanner Gerhardt : Jo Ellen’s infant son

Emma Leigh : Grady’s younger sister & Jo Ellen’s twin

Bran : Emma Leigh’s husband

Caine Rawlings : Grady’s youngest brother
“Don’t tell. Not knowing will bug him to death.”



Ralphie “The Junkyard” Smardo : B.J.’s best friend
“I shoulda known better. And you were right. Nan’s already done heard about it and thinks I cheated on her.”


Pete Smardo : Ralph’s father
“If you lose us those tires, boy, it’s coming out of your wallet.”


Nan Lundy : Ralph’s girlfriend
“That’s my man, so keep your damn paws off.”



Dr. Carl : B.J.’s OBGYN
“This gal here has about the most ideal equipment for a pregnant woman I’ve seen in a long time.”


Lara Alberts : Receptionist at Dr. Carl’s Office
“Well, hey there, B.J. I didn’t realize it was time for your yearly already. I thought you visited more around the end of the…Oh my! You’re…you’re…”


Gabe Watson : Gossipmonger at Gas Station
"We’ll know soon enough when she starts growing a pooch or not.”


Ulrick Pullson : Gossipmonger at Gas Station
“I just want to know who supposedly knocked her up.”

Rick Hopper : Some guy who wrecked his truck


Hammond Weatherly : Houston businessman who does business with Rawlings Oil.
“Was it a boy or girl?”
Sal : Waitress at Tommy Creek Diner


Della : Sorry, I can’t tell you who she is and give any of the story away. But don’t worry, you’ll find out in the Epilogue!


Jace : Once again, sorry, you’ll have to find out who this is on your own.
So....which character intrigues you the most???

The Trouble with Tomboys Countdown

Sunday, August 1, 2010
It's five days until my first contemporary adult romance story is officially available to purchase in all its formats (ebook and paperback), so YEP I'm throwing another countdown party to celebrate.

With my first YA story, I had a ten-day countdown, but that seemed to last WAY TOO long, so I'm shortening it to five this time around to see if that goes better.

On the first day of this countdown, I guess I should provide you with a blurb, video, and excerpt in order to let you know just what story we're throwing a countdown party for! And without further ado:

The Trouble with Tomboys
By Linda Kage
Available : August 6, 2010
from The Wild Rose Press


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 heard about five minutes ago that someone had knocked up B.J. Gilmore.”

That finally evoked the response he’d expected. Her face drained of color, and she dropped her bag of popcorn, spilling kernels around her bare feet.

“Who told you that?”

Grady folded his arms and stared hard. “I overheard Gabe Watson telling Ulrick Pullson about it at Herb’s Quick Stop. Both of them already knew.”

“Who?” she demanded, and then she shook her head furiously. “I...I just wasn’t sure how to announce it,” she answered quietly. “I mean, was there any way to break it to you easily?” Grady opened his mouth, but B.J. hurried to add, “One thing was sure, I definitely wasn’t going to tell anyone else until you knew.”

She stopped suddenly as if just realizing something. Then she scowled and pressed her hands to her hips, snapping, “Wait a second. What even makes you think this is your kid?”

She’d already given it away, but his answer was a quiet, heartfelt, “Because I’m not that lucky.”

B.J. looked like she was going to cry, and he felt like a heel for saying such a thing. He wasn’t typically a rude man. But B.J. wasn’t the type to break down and bawl when her feelings were hurt either. So, why did the two of them together seem to bring out the worst in each other?

God, he wanted to scrub his face with his hands and mutter, “What a disaster,” but he didn’t want to hurt her any further. She already looked like she was on the edge and might crumble any second.

He sighed then and really did scrub his face with his hands.

“I guess we’ll need to get married,” he announced, sounding none too pleased.

If you'd like to enter my contest in an attempt to win a free copy (print or ebook) of this story, then head right on over to my contest page HERE and sign up. Good luck!

I'll see you all tomorrow for DAY 4 of the TTWT Countdown!