The Mystery Release Date

Friday, August 31, 2012
I know Whiskey Creek Press is releasing my story THE COLOR OF GRACE in September. But I don't know which day exactly!  They only release books on the first of the month and the fifteenth of the month, so...

There is a fifty percent chance my book will be available tomorrow.

And there is a fifty percent chance it won't be available for another two weeks.

Don't you just love the mystery of it all?  Well, I don't!  I wanna know now!! Actually, it is kind of an anticipation builder, always wondering, not quite knowing. But still...I really would like to know!

Would you rather be surprised with your book's release date, or do you want to know the exact day, hour and second?

In anticipation of my possible release, here's a little book trailer for you to watch:

Oh, and look!!  My paperback copies of Grace arrived in the mail this week! Lydia was determined to pose with her tongue sticking out, so...sorry about that.
While I was off oohing and ahhing over my new book, the little goober stole my camera and started taking pictures.  She got a fairly decent shot of our new fish.  So, here's what "Tadpole" looks like if you were curious.
Come back monday to reveal the Mystery of The Color of Grace book release!!
Until then, Happy Friday!

Armchair Explorer

Monday, August 27, 2012
I learned the term "armchair explorer" from Suzanne Arruda, who is a local author in my area.  She's a neat lady and writes the Jade Del Cameron mystery series about an American woman adventurer in 1920's Africa.

But anyway, I thought the term could apply to me fairly easily too. I've never strayed too far from home.  I could probably name all the states I've been to on my fingers.  Let's see: Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota (got to see Mount Rushmore!), Illinois, and...oh, yeah. We crossed into the Texas border so I could say I'd been to Texas.  That makes nine states I've been to.

Yeah, I don't get out much. So I rely on books, movies, and the Internet to get my traveling curiosities fulfilled, all from the safe, comfortable cushion in my armchair.

But in books and movies, I've gotten to experience different times and places, some made up, some real. And through the Internet I've make some amazing friends from places like Canada, Barbados, Scotland, Germany, the Philippines.

Still.  I'd like to be able to get out a little more and experience some of these things in real time. I'd like to run my bare toes through the green, green grass in Ireland, and get all dizzy when I look down into the Grand Canyon.  I'd like to walk into the replica at Hogwarts at Disney World (or wherever it is!).  I'd like to climb the Eiffel Tower, or maybe brush off some crumbling dust from a Pyramid in Egypt.  Just to say I did. 

What about you?  What are some places you'd like to go?  Or are you a real-life explorer and have been to all the seven wonders?

All I have to say is thank God for books and movies and the Internet. I'd be very bored right now without them!

Bla, Bla, Bla...Happy Friday!

Friday, August 24, 2012
I guest posted at The Writers Vineyard on Wednesday. If you want to read it, here's the link:

I talked about deleting stuff in my stories I don't want to delete. Yeah, this is the second time I've talked about that this month! Not very original of me. My creative juices for new blog posts ideas are running dry. But not much is happening in my world at the moment. Nothing awful (whew), and nothing amazing (ho-hum). I'm just kind of here.

Bla, bla, bla!

Feels like I'm waiting for that next big step. I know I should be doing something productive with my time, like, oh, maybe...finishing the next book.  But I'm too antsy for September and October to arrive, it's hard to concentrate on anything in the hear and now.

Have you ever had that problem? How'd you fix it?

Toothless No More

Monday, August 20, 2012
Almost exactly a year ago, the dentist stole one of my teeth. Guess he thought he needed it more than I did, though the cavity-ridden baby tooth that never fell out hadn't done me much good except give me an abscess.

So I've been going around with this gap back there about five teeth back where no one can see it. This last Friday, however, I got preliminary work done for a bridge. Did you know to get a bridge, they have to sand down the two teeth on either side of the gap and pretty much put three fake teeth in there.  Well, I didn't know that.  Quite the shocker.

I got four shots to numb the area, but before my two and half hours was up with them, I could feel stuff where I don't think I should've been feeling anything. One of my new little nub teeth that got shaved down began to throb like crazy.  And after they packed quartz (at least I swear they called it quartz) in around my gums, my jaws were aching from being open for so long. By the time I picked up the kiddo afterward, I had a nice headache to go with it.

The husband was in a mood when we got home because he had to go into work...on his day off. And the two-year-old hadn't had enough of a nap, so she was crabby too. Her dad kept telling her to settle down because mama didn't feel good. She didn't understand until I told her I was "sick."

Upon hearing the word "sick," she had to pull out her Fisher-Price medical kit to make me feel better. After she checked my heartbeat, velcroed the blood pressure cuff around my wrist, gave me a shot from her plastic needle, and gagged me with her otoscope, I finally took two Ibuprofen and within five minutes, I felt pretty darn good.

And I haven't felt any pain since. Which makes me wonder...why didn't I take the drugs as soon as I got home?? Seriously!

Anyway, the mold they took of my teeth has been sent to the lab and I should have a nice new crown on September 4th!  For now, there's a temporary filler in there that looks like a piece of  dried out, white gum someone tried to mold into teeth.  I've made my tongue sore, investigating the area.  But it just feels so funny with all those new bumps and grooves in there.

So yeah, that's what's been going on in the exciting life of Linda Kage!!! Oh, and I actually got some writing done this weekend, and a minor bit of reading too.

Then today, a blogger I'd sent an advanced reading copy of THE COLOR OF GRACE to totally made my day by sending me an email. She'd started reading my story for review this morning and she finished it by noon. She said she'd only intended to get in one or two chapters today. But once she started, she had to read the whole thing.  Yeah, I'm pretty much over the moon right now. The week has started good!!!

Anything new or happy happening in your world?

Deletion Doldrums

Friday, August 17, 2012
Have you ever deleted something in your story you just LOVE, something that made you feel witty and brilliant for even creating it, but you know it was unneeded or redundant or whatever, so it had to go?  Well, I have.  A lot.  My latest slaughtered preciousssss is still calling out to me, making me miss it more and more.  So I just gotta share it, here and now, with you. That way, I'll feel as if it at least had a chance to free it's beautiful little voice.

Thank you so much for sharing this moment with me!

Okay, so leading up to this line, my heroine Grace has a boy flirt with her, right.  Afterward, she runs off to tell her friend about it.  When she points him out to her buddy Bridget, Bridget says....

“Holy Hosanna, Grace. He’s gorgeous. Just gorgeous.” She patted me approvingly as if it were my fault Ryder Yates was gorgeous.

His looks were his own doings, of course. It wasn’t as if I’d formed him out of clay with my bare hands. But Bridget seemed determined to congratulate me on a job well done.

And the redundant lines I had to massacre was that entire second paragraph there. It's gone.  ALL GONE!  Oooooh (that's my howl of acute pain, by the way).  I miss it.  I miss it so much.

Do you have any beloved lines you had to vanquish? Please share them now.  I'd love to hear those beautiful deleted words. Heck, we can call this a spontaneous Authors Anonymous meeting if you like.

If not, okay. Keep them to yourself then! But have a nice Friday anyway!

The "Check Up"

Monday, August 13, 2012
In setting up my book tour for The Color of Grace, I had a couple bloggers willing to help me out but unable to host a post for me in the range of days I wanted. So...some of the articles I wrote for tour will take place sooner!

Like today sooner!!! 

Jodie from Books For Company agreed to let me be a guest on her blog, so that's where I am today, talking about the "CHECK UP!" 

And visiting Books for Company is also the first opportunity anyone has to enter a contest to win an ebook copy of "The Color of Grace." 

So that's where I am today!  Hope to see you there!

Linda's Hodgepodge

Friday, August 10, 2012
I wasn't sure what to talk about today; I came up with about fifty different ideas but they drifted off about as soon as they came, so I'll just gloss over some of the ones I remember!


So after our tadpole/frog debacle, we got Lydia a new pet: a beta fish, which is supposed to survive a nuclear blast...or near to it! The kiddo calls it "tadpole," which kind of dooms the poor thing in my eyes, but whatever. We'll see how well this critter survives. Tomorrow, Tadpole will have lasted a week in the Kage house!


There have been a couple deaths in my stratosphere lately, people I kinda of/not really know. My friend who is the very person who set me up with my husband lost her brother early this week. He was only thirty-four, married and a father of three.  I guess he was mowing his yard and lay down in his hammock after he finished. His mom found him passed away like that some time later. Cause of death is unknown. Hubby and I went to the visitation on Wednesday night, and I felt awful for every member of his family; each of them seemed to deal with the tragedy with a different coping method.

Then I learned my beloved writing mentor at Champagne Books passed away. I only met author Nan D. Arnold through email but she was so very kind to me with a quirky, infectious humor. She told me last February she had cancer and her current book would probably be her last. A year and five months later, she had published two more stories until she "booked a flight on sweet chariot airlines" as she called in on her website in July.  I'll miss her supportive emails, and hope her family is doing okay.


During all this, I still worked on setting up my blog tour for my Color of Grace book. I was bitten by an insane bug and feverishly kept contacting blogger after blogger.  And you can't email just anyone, you know.  I had to go into their site, check out how professional they make their reviews, see if they even like my genre, read their about-me page and their review policy page.  It takes time, time I shouldn't be wasting because I already had enough tour stops set up, but I became obsessed.  After contacting seventy-five people, I finally told myself I had to STOP!.  Stop the madness.

Out of those seventy-five, thirty responded, saying they'd love to be in my tour!  Five bloggers responded to regretfully decline.  And ALL the rest, I never heard from--I don't know why, maybe I had bad breath!! Then on top of that, three people volunteered.  That gives me thirty-three stops which will take place for twelve days at the beginning of October.  Sounds pretty darn good to me, so yeah, I'm definitely stopping the madness now!

Good news, though! One of the bloggers I sent a request this week said she'd review my book.  Less than twenty-four hours later, she'd already posted on Goodreads how much she liked it but couldn't talk about it until October!  So, that totally did my heart good!!


And since I've been working on about, oh ten or so stories, at the moment, my muse decided to throw another story idea into the mix, so I wrote about 1500 words on a totally new story this week. I can pound out a lot of words on any given day when I really get into writing, but the next day, I don't know, I get bored with that story, and I just have to work on another unfinished manuscript. Doesn't seem to matter how much I write a week, nothing's getting finished because I'm working on too many stories at once, so it doesn't feel like I'm accomplishing much. Of course, a couple years down the road, I'll finally reach the end of all eleven of my WIPS and have eleven books at once to revise.  UGH!


This is my last topic change, I swear!

I haven't gotten a lot of reading done lately. My to-be-read pile had grown dangerously big, and I kind of miss slipping into someone else's fiction land for a while.  Here's hoping, this weekend, I can get a little reading in!  Do you feel like you have withdraws if you don't read a new book for a while?

Have a great weekend!

All the Good Ones Are Already Taken

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Do you ever feel like really famous authors steal character names? Like an amazing athlete, we now have to retire that jersey.

Seriously, will anyone ever be able to have a heroine named Scarlett without every reader thinking of Gone with the Wind?

I read a wolf shape-shifter story my critique partner wrote a few years back (great story, by the way!) and the hero's name was Jacob. So, of course, I pictured the wolf shape-shifter from Twilight the whole time, thinking Taylor Lautner is WAY too young to be doing some of this stuff, I don't care how yummy his teenage chest is! Of course, my friend hadn't read the Twilight books, so she wasn't similarly affected, but I was sure some other readers would be.

Which comes to the point of my pondering.  Christian was my great-grandfather's name and I just love it; I want--really bad--to make the hero in my story be "Christian".  But with the most-talked about book selling at the number one spot today with a Christian as the main character, will every reader out there picture a messed up, kinky, control freak billionaire instead of the shy young adult teen I want to portray?

I don't want to change his name.  *pout, pout, pout* But honestly, do you think that would be wise?

Too Late

Friday, August 3, 2012

My two-year-old goes through movie/TV watching phases.  It started out with the Fresh Beat Band.  Every day, she wanted to watch Kiki, Kiki, Kiki (Kiki is a member in the Fresh Beat Band, btw).  From the Fresh Beat Band, we discovered the Color Crew.

Then we moved on to Alvin and the Chipmunks.  She watched the "Meet the Wolfman" chipmunk movie so much, she began to quote it. Her favorite part is when Mr. Talbot snaps out the words "GOOD...NIGHT!" She'll still use that same tone of voice he does in the movie just for fun when saying good night to us.  She also likes to quote Alvin when he's watching the Madame Raya commercial, and says "Too late!"

After the chipmunks, she moved on to Mickey Mouse. Then there was a brief stint with Tom and Jerry and The Little Mermaid.  Currently, she's all things Big Bad Wolf. We cruise YouTube for any hint of family-friendly big bad wolf teasers.

Anyway, to the point of my post!  My "too late" title just reminded me of the kiddo's love for quoting movies and how she mimics the line so well, which got me off onto my distracted tangent. Sorry about that!

So I was going through my edits for The Color of Grace, and my editor informed me I spelled somersault wrong.  No, I was never a spelling bee champion.  I had spelled it summersault, of course!  Good to know how it was really spelled, huh? We patched that up and moved on to the next error.

Weeks passed. My manuscript moved along in the production process and was turned in to the senior editor. I thought nothing of my somersault/summersault faux pas until I was playing around on the living room floor with the kiddo on evening after work.

"Hey, let's do somersaults," I suggested, which now I wonder WHY I did that.  Somersaults freaking hurt when you start to age a little and haven't done them in a few decades.  But we rolled around on the floor regardless, mama whimpering every time her back cracked.

In the middle of all the rolling and groaning, I was reminded how somersaults was correctly spelled...when it struck me: Why in God's name had I used the word somersault in the first place?  GASP!  In the context of the story, the main character is attending a high school basketball game and her friend announces she is going to take pictures of the cheerleaders doing somersaults and back flips.   

But why in the world would high school cheerleaders be rolling around on the floor doing somersaults?  What I really wanted them to be doing was cartwheels or maybe handsprings! Anything but immature somersaults. Major palm-to-forehead moment.  And now, in the voice of my two-year-old, it's TOO LATE!

Okay, I realize this is a minor thing in the world of anyone who is not me.  Really, who else cares?  But I care, and this is my blog, so I'm ranting!!  It bugs me.  I want to go back into my story and FIX it, but it's already sent out.  Too late. Story published. Almost anyway.

This is the reason I can't go back and read my own book after it's really published. When I find one little glitch out of fifty thousand--or how many other--words there are, I worry and stress for days, wishing I could go back and change that one thing.  I'd be so quick and harmless about it. It'd be so easy to fix.  But it's too late.

Or maybe not.  My fingers are crossed that I'll get the manuscript back just one more time before it's finalized and published for one last read-over.  There's still a month before the big release.  It could happen.

What stresses me even more: I sent an ARC off to a reviewer to read the book and one of her most recent tweets says, "that moment when you're reading an arc and you spot a mistakes, and then you spazz for hours." So of course, I'm like OH MY GOD, she's talking about my somersaults, when in all honestly, she probably hasn't even gotten to my book yet, or maybe she IS on my book and it's some other glaringly huge problem I no doubt missed.  Who knows? Well, she does.  But I certainly don't!

The truth remains: I simply cannot read my published works because ignorance is bliss.  I'd rather be happy and totally unaware...unless there's still a chance I can fix something!

What about you other authors out there? Can you read your finished, unable-to-alter products? Do you worry and obsess about the problems you do find? Or am I just a total freak?!


I couldn't handle it; so I straight-out asked Miss Blogger if it was my story.  It was not. Whew.

Then, that evening, I received my book for one last read-through. Double-whew.  And guess what. I was totally wrong.  Somersaults wasn't used in context with the cheerleaders doing backflips at all; it was used in the context of the character's heart doing somersaults.  Geesh! I'm something else, aren't I?

But I did find a few other errors like an "over" that should be "oven" and "turning" that should be "turned.  So, that's all good and fixed.

SEE!  I told you there was nothing to worry about. :)

My Purple Ribbon Baby

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Just have to announce:  My niece took this picture of my daughter a couple weeks ago to enter it into the county fair for her 4-H project.The fair started this week.

Grandma and Grandpa took my kiddo there this morning to see all the animals. They called just a few minutes ago to report Lydia's picture received a purple ribbon!!

Way to go, Alaina, for your wonderful photography skills!!  

Personally, I think she should've gotten a grand champion prize, but I guess purple will do.

In other news, we just got back from a lake trip yesterday. Sooo fun. But seriously, it's nice to know someone who knows someone who ones a lake house and will let you stay there! 

I was all worried the kiddo would want to jump into the water and try to swim off by herself, but once we first put her in, she clung to me the entire time.  Even when she relaxed and started having fun, she didn't stray away, which let me enjoy the water too.

We had a boat ride and she got to experience her first jet ski. Her daddy now has her trained to beg me to let him buy a boat.  Ugh.  Seriously, why do we need a boat?  We live in KANSAS!  He'd only get to use it a couple times a year...not to mention the whole fact that we can't afford one.

When we got home yesterday, ninety-seven messages were waiting in my Linda Kage email box.  Double ugh. After unpacking and trying to settle back in, I had to go through my book edits and turn those in before my deadline was up.  Now, I need to go back to my messages and answer everyone's letters!

Why is it that going on vacation to relax leaves you even more tired and sore when you return?  Still, I'd do it again next weekend if I could!

So, that's what I've been up to this week. I was without internet service for almost three days...and survived.  I know, amazing huh?

Though it feels more like a Monday than a Wednesday to me, I hope you all have a happy Wednesday!!