Torture Much?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Movie quote to reflect upon while reading this post (plus, this is one of my hubby's favorite movies, and I love it when he quotes it, so I had to share :) !!)

" gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. ‘Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win.” --The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

We have two months left before the deadline to pay for my daughter's pre-school in the fall. But we haven't paid yet.


Because said stubborn daughter refuses to sit on the potty to go number two. And she can't go to pre-school unless she's completely potty trained, so...we've been forcing the issue lately, trying pretty much everything to get her adjusted to this new way of life before the end of June.

And I gotta tell you, I suck at this. I'm a total push over. My husband can stand there and make her sit while she's screaming and crying, begging to get off the potty, but I just melt and start crying too. I can't handle to see her so upset. I want her to do it on her own without any prodding, but time is running short.

I gotta get mean!

I think I'm having similar problems with my book peeps. My problem with them isn't to coax them to go to the bathroom, of course, but it's forcing them to do things they hate.

A blog I recently read talked about a book the blogger had critiqued. She said it had amazing writing and wonderful characters but the plot was something like "boy meets girl, they have a great time together, fall in love, and life happily every after."  Which is great but, yeah, really boring.

Every story need problems, conflict, TORTURE to make it worth our readers' time.

Just like I shouldn't let my kiddo get off the potty to poop, I shouldn't let my characters have anything they want without a huge, uphill, awful, painful, angst-ridden battle.  But it's just so hard to keep their happiness away from them. I love them all. I want to give them rainbows and sunshine all the time.

It is a constant struggle for me to torture my book characters. I guess I could be all smug and snooty and say, "I'm just too nice; that's my problem," but in this instance. Nice is bad. Here is where I..."gotta be mean, I mean plumb, mad-dog mean."

And so, that is my goal in my next book: to try to be meaner to my fictional creations!

Have you been mean enough to your characters lately?

New Hobby

Friday, April 26, 2013
So, when I'm not writing stories, watching my never-wants-to-do-anything-by-herself three-year-old, working my full time job, editing, reading other people's stories, up keeping my online networking presence, or occasionally doing a little cooking and cleaning, I know you're just DYING to know what I do in all my free time.


Well, I'm gonna tell you anyway.

The husband loves it whenever I do something with him that he likes to do, so when I told him I'd absolutely love to go see a play or musical someday, he gave me a dirty look and told me, "good luck with that."  Then, a few years later, about a month ago, I told him archery might be kind of cool to learn. So, the very next day, I came home from work to find he'd bought me a new bow!

He even got a bunch of cool purple and pink gadgets to make it look all girly for me, saying "I never thought I'd get into customizing a bow before." But he totally got into it this time! It was like watching my niece go down the fingernail painting aisle at Wal-mart. I call all the pink and purple stuff my bow bling!!

Anyway, I know you're super curious to know...just how good of a shot am I?

Well, I'm no Katniss Everdeen, that's for darn sure.

So far, I pretty much suck. It was really embarrassing when I first tried to pull back the string for the first time. Couldn't even pull it back. So the hubs adjusted the setting until I could pull back forty pounds, since this fancy pants bow (called a Diamond Core, if you're curious) can be adjusted from forty to seventy pounds (whatever that means!).

Eventually, I learned how to pull it back, NOT to dry fire it, to find all my anchor points, and keep my draw firm.  The first time I flung and arrow, from ten yards...I totally missed the target. I am now down from five arrows to four, since one has been forever eaten by the field by our house. 

I didn't give up though. No, no. I kept shooting. And the husband kept adjusting sights and the peep and all that good stuff to set it up to my specifications.  After I became used to drawing back forty pounds, he moved it up to fifty...without telling me (but I can still do it, oh yeah, building up a little arm muscle!).

And can shoot at twenty yards.  Yesterday, I shot my first decent pattern. I dropped one arrow a little (we'll blame the wind on that one because it WAS really windy). 

And now I gotta brag.  Just look at that group! Isn't it totally amazing?  Well it's the best I've done yet. By looking at all the holes in the target, you can probably tell that I usually don't even get close to the bulls eye.

What are some things you do when your life is not in a state of total-chaos busy??

New Cover : How to Resist Prince Charming

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
At the end of June, my 2010 story How to Resist Prince Charming will no longer be available through its publisher.
So, I have decided to re-release it in July by myself once all the publishing rights revert back to me.

There will be new/altered scenes.

It will have a more affordable price.

The genre will be reclassified as Mature New Adult Romance.

It will be available in both ebook (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, AllRomance Ebooks, and Smashwords) and print (CreateSpace).

And even though the cover artist for the current edition has let me use this cover for future publications, I thought with all the other new features it's getting, it needed a new look too.

So, I browsed around and contacted StanzAlone Design for some help. This woman is a saint, I kid you not. I don't know how many times I made her alter things because I got all font picky. But we finally settled on something that made me say, "Oh yeah, I'll take that one!" And life was good.

So....introducing the future look of HOW TO RESIST PRINCE CHARMING:


To resist the perfect man, please follow these simple rules:

Step 1: Never make eye contact.
Step 2: Never smile at him.
Step 3: Never agree to anything he suggests.

Or better yet, just follow Lenna Davenport's example and give in to temptation, sparking a whole tangle of passion, forbidden romance, mounting secrets and deceit. She meets her prince charming at her father’s company Christmas party. Problem is he happens to be her dad’s new boss. Worse problem is, her dad totally hates him.

But what Daddy doesn’t know…

Braxton Farris takes over Farris Industries out of family obligation and expects his new employees might resent his youth and inexperience. What he doesn’t anticipate is the level of contempt Tom Davenport carries for him. Nor does he count on falling for Tom’s daughter. When he and Lenna start a secret affair, a disaster of corporate proportions is bound to follow. But to be together, they must decide if the fallout is worth it.

Tastes Like Cookies

Friday, April 19, 2013
Parenting is sooo full of one worry after another. Beginning at pregnancy, I watched what I ate so my baby would have a healthy balance of food, watched what I did so I wouldn’t hurt her and somehow leave a permanent physical scar on her even before she was born, took all the proper prenatal vitamins so she’d get plenty of every nutritious element she needed.

Then came birthing worries. What if there were complications, the umbilical cord got wrapped around her throat, she got tangled, or suffocated, or anything?

Once she was here, the old pregnancy/birthing worries might’ve suddenly become a thing of the past, but then I worried about SIDS, or dropping her, or getting enough milk. All that good stuff.

We enrolled in the Parents as Teachers program because I worried I wouldn’t know everything I needed to teach her all she needed to know for her mental develop. I mean, who wants their kid to be behind when they start school?

As each phase passed and the worries assigned to that age faded away. But a new crop always sprang up to take their place.

These days, I wonder what’ll happen if she gets up in the middle of the nights and finds a way to unlock the door and take a midnight stroll outside with all the neighborhood coyotes.

Or what if she refuses to poop in the potty for the rest of her life? She can seriously hold it if forced to sit there, and her stubborn streak is miles loner than mine--sadly. It gives her lots of gas, so then I start worrying, GREAT, is she going to be the “stinky” kid when she starts school? I don't want her to be an outcast.

I can’t make this child eat, either. We can get her to sit at the table with us at mealtime, but we have to promise prizes, or beg, or threaten to take things away to actually make her put food in her mouth. Then we have to cajole some more to make her SWALLOW the food. It’s so aggravating and frustrating. I get this urge to wrap my hands around her neck and shake her while screaming, “I love you so much, I just want you to be healthy, damn EAT,” which is all a huge contradiction, but I can't help it.

So, yeah, the kid refuses to eat cake, but oh my, does she love to pick her nose and eat her boogers.  I know, totally gross. And now I’m back to worrying she’s going to be one of THOSE kids with no friends when she gets older because she’s a freaking booger eater.

We’ve tried to help her kick this nasty habit, honest, but she’ll go off and hide under a table to pick and munch. I glanced back at her in her car seat when I was driving the other day, and she snapped her hand from her mouth with a guilty little expression. I knew exactly what she’d been up to.

“Were you eating a booger?” I demanded.

She wisely did not answer, already pleading the fifth.

So I had to figure out the appeal. I tried with the whole “Why do you do that?” and got nothing. So I asked, “What do they taste like?” I mean, if they’re better than cake in her eyes, there has to be something appealing, right? After thinking up her favorite food, I asked, “Do they taste like cookies?”

And, great, she giggled thinking this was hilarious. “Yeah,” she said. “They taste like cookies.”

The next time I caught her in the act a few days later, she once again told me they were “so good” and tasted like cookies (her memory astounds me—probably because I took those awesome prenatal vitamins with the Omega-3 DHA to support healthy fetal brain and eye development, but anyway...). Then she came up with the phrase “Cookie Boogers”, which I thought was pretty brilliant, but I didn’t tell her so. She didn't need a reason to repeat it over and over again.

And there you have it. People are being hurt and killed in college stabbings, marathon races, and fertilizer plant explosions, while I’m over here worried about my kid eating her own boogers. You don’t have to tell me, I know my priorities are all out of whack. But seriously, how do I get her to kick this habit??

Meanwhile - Over in my Writing Cave:

I’ve been swamped with editing times four. I simultaneously worked on re-reading and editing four stories these past few weeks. I’ve finished with two for the time being. Still working on two more, and I have worked on no new manuscripts in that time (ho hum).

But I have two new covers for my re-releases coming out in February.

 If anyone wants to help me reveal my cover on your blogs for the redone version of KISS IT BETTER, feel free to sign up for the Cover Reveal Party over at Tasty Book Tours. Reveal date will be Friday, May 24th. 

I’m beginning to run a little low on the book-stuff funds, so come Tuesday, I’m just going to show off my new cover here on this blog alone for the redone version of How to Resist Prince Charming (no big reveal party there, sorry).

And...That’s what’s going on with me lately. What about you?

A Quick Hi!

Friday, April 12, 2013
I've kept myself busy this week editing. With the re-release of two of my stories coming in July, I've been learning formatting too.  I think I actually have one of my books ready for CreateSpace!  I know, how cool is that?  We'll see how well I did there in a couple months, though.

I'm getting two new covers for those two reprinted stories.  One is completed, and I must say it is KICK ASS. I liked it so much I had to contact someone about setting up one of them fancy Cover Reveal parties for it!  But that'll be in a few months, so na-ner-na-ner na-ner, you gotta wait to see it. I know, I'm so evil, huh?

I haven't gotten much reading done lately, and I feel kind of out of the loop. Must read soon (my hands are starting to shake; the withdrawals are coming on strong).

And that's about all I have to report today. I have lots to look forward to in the second half of the year so I'm preparing for all that. Nothing special. Maybe I'll have something more interesting to say on Tuesday (I can always hope).  See you then!

Happy Tornado Season!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
HI!! It's a bright, cheery Tuesday morning here, but we have our first threat of the season for a possible tornado this evening. Have to wait to see how that plays out (hopefully, with a nice, gentle rain shower and no twisty winds!). Just yesterday, my hubby bought us two new red bud trees, so I'm praying they don't get damaged.

In my writing corner, I have all kinds of stuff going on. I received paperback copies of both ADDICTED TO ANSLEY and A FALLOW HEART. The lovely Lydia is displaying them for your viewing pleasure below. Oh, and I tossed it a picture of one of the people she draws, because they're just too cute not to share!

Okay, back to book talk...One of my publishers is going out of business in June.  I know...sniff, sniff, sob, sob.  This is one of my favorite publishers too. They always paid royalties early, treated authors with courtesy and respect, had an editor AND a proofreader go over each story before publication. They even sent out personal letters when  you were selling good to congratulate you.  I'm definitely going to miss them.

But this means I'll have stories going out of print soon. I've decided to self-publish them in July. I've contacted a couple cover artists for new covers, and Amber Skyze (who just signed a contract on a new story...YAY!) was a huge help in getting me some formatting information.

I think this will be good practice for when my big PRICE OF A KISS story is ready to be published later on in August or September.  On that story, I'm reading through it one last time before I send it off to my editor. 

The story I have coming out from Omnific Publishing has started its editing phase, and I've filled out a cover art form for it. I think it's going to stick with the title CRY because no one has said anything different.

And I've been coming up with plot ideas for lots of new stories. Nothing has really grabbed me yet and made me work on it exclusively, but I am having trouble on a title for this one that's been whirling through my brain. What to you think of A GLIMPSE OF LOVE.  My family nixed A Glimpse of Us, Glimpsing Forever, and A Glimpse Come True. (Yes, is HAS to have 'glimpse' in the title!!!). Ooh, I just thought of ONCE UPON A GLIMPSE. Does that sound like it could be a YA romance book??

So that's what's been going on with me these past couple of weeks. What have you been up to?

Solomon's Compass by Carol Kilgore

Friday, April 5, 2013

Today, I'm steering away from futuristic Christian thrillers and helping mapping a course toward romantic suspense with:

Solomon's Compass by Carol Kilgore

Just in this week (April 2nd)

A missing belt—her uncle’s prized possession. The lure of buried treasure. And a sexy former SEAL who makes U.S. Coast Guard Commander Taylor Campbell crazy. What more could any woman want. Right?

Taylor is in Rock Harbor, Texas, on a quest to unearth her uncle’s treasure—a journey far outside the realm of her real life. There’s one glitch. Taylor's certain the buried treasure was all in Uncle Randy's dementia-riddled mind. Now he’s dead.

Former SEAL Jake Solomon is in Rock Harbor under false pretenses to protect Taylor from the fate that befell her uncle and the other members of a tight circle of Coast Guardsmen called the Compass Points who served together on Point boats in Vietnam.

Jake is definitely not supposed to become involved with Taylor. That was his first mistake. Taylor is attracted to Jake as well, but she refuses to wait for him to locate the killer when she knows her plan will force her uncle’s murderer into action.

But the killer's actions are just what Jake is afraid of.

SOLOMON’S COMPASS is available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
For more information on Carol:

The Moses Conspiracy

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
My blog tour is over! So, now that I'm tired of talking about my books, I'm going to talk about other people's stories this week!

Today, it's all about: THE MOSES CONSPIRACY

A trip to post-terrorized Washington, D.C. in 2025 and a buggy accident in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania set in motion events that expose a diabolical plan to destroy the Christian community. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy.

Susan J. Reinhardt has written a futuristic Christian Thriller that was inspired by the following :
My late husband and I visited Gettysburg prior to Christmas in 2004. While standing in the old town square, surrounded by history, I could "hear" the forefathers' voices. However, they were like fading echoes.

After several failed attempts to write non-fiction pieces, I put it on the back burner and prayed for direction. In August 2005, my husband and I were talking about "the Gettysburg experience," and he said, "That's it! That's your book! And you'll write it in 4 months and call it Ghosts of the Past."

I thought he was crazy, but caught the vision. The name changed to Echoes of the Past and later to The Moses Conspiracy. When I sat down at the computer, I had no clue what I was going to write. By Christmas 2005, I had 55,000 words.

For more information about Susan or her story, feel free to visit: