Goodbye July

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
This has been a record-breaking month for me.

I published my first self-published stories, I made it to the top 114 (I know, just 14 away from the top 100--so close!!) on Amazon Kindle books, and I got my second-to-worst case of poison ivy, all in this month. Okay, that poison ivy one wasn't exactly record-breaking, but second place needs recognition sometimes too!!

Coming up in August (even though I know we have two more days to go of July):  Price of a Kiss will have it's big cover reveal one week from today.  And my baby girl starts pre-school!  Can you just believe that? Seems like only yesterday I was anxious to find out if she was going to be a girl or a boy, and now she's getting ready for pre-school.

Sniff, sniff!

I can't decide if she's going to be a singer, dancer, or meteorologist. She's always dancing around the place and singing whenever she's doing pretty much anything.  But I've never met a three-year-old so in tuned to the weather.  She even likes to get on the iPad and check the weather map. If she spots rain coverage anywhere in the world, she gets excited. "Mama, it's raining. It's raining!" And I'm all like, "Yeah.  Two thousand miles away."

When I was driving us home for work last night, she was gazing out the car window at the clouds and said, "I think it's going to rain."  And she was right. It rained so hard at our house last night, it knocked out the electricity I don't remember how many times, which really got the kiddo going.  She had to call daddy at work to see if he was okay because she was worried" about him. Then she asked when he was coming home so he could come protect us. It was too cute to listen to.

Back to writing news: I'm really happy about how well people are liking Fighting Fate.  I'm so glad because it really is one of my favorites.

And that's all I have to say today!  Stay dry.

There are five weeks to go until PRICE OF A KISS is released for the world to read. But you can get started today by taking in a sneak peek quote from my wonky heroine, Reese:

I read it all for the HEA!

Friday, July 26, 2013
There has been a good response for the new release of Fighting Fate, so I'm riding a happy high today!  (See, told you happiness beats perfection!!)

But what I totally adore is the picture collage the blogger on 2 Girls Book Blog made for their review.  Totally amazing, and it fits the story to a T!  She even put the blueberry muffins in there!  Awww. And I love how she chose Aria from Pretty Little Liars to play my heroine, Paige. That's one of my favorite shows.

I also found out this week that there will be a little feature of Fighting Fate this Sunday on the blog Book Chick City for their Sunday Love-in post. I'm giving a sneak peek of my favorite scene and why I love it.

Which got me to thinking...what makes me love a certain scene over all the others?  Heck, what makes me love a certain book over all the others?

What makes you fall in love with a story?

I've decided it isn't amazing writing that makes me love a book, though okay, that really helps.

It isn't an amazing plot I fall for, because I've fallen for stories where I hate the plot (example: a love triangle--I despise them--where the heroine sneaks out of her boyfriend's bed to tiptoe across the hall and crawl under the covers with her lover. Not my cup-of-tea at all. But, yeah, I gave that book a 5-star rating)

I'm not even clenched by an amazing character that grows and redeems all past mistakes, turning into a beautiful human being, though I will stop reading if I totally don't like the main character.

What I really think I'm a sucker for is intense emotions. Gut-wrenching angst that physical makes my stomach hurt. But I also have to have comedic relief. Lots of witty lines with some playful banter.

Most of all, I think I have to have a happily-ever-after love story. The heroes and heroines I adore best have to have chemistry where they share moments that tell you no one else would be as perfect for either of these people as they are for each other.

A plot can be simple or complex. The characters can be shy or outgoing. Doesn't matter to me. I read it all for the HEA and to see how people overcome all the insurmountable obstacles that get in the path of their love.

Okay, your turn! What pulls you into a story the most?

Since FIGHTING FATE came out last week, I'm doing teaser quotes to celebrate. This scene is one of the first eye-opening scenes for the heroine, where she learns the hero isn't quite the monster she always thought he was.

Happiness Beats Perfection

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
I think television shows are teaching my three-year-old strange things. Yeah, imagine that.

A couple months ago, she started using "Oh, crackers," as a kind of expletive. I had no idea HOW she came up with that term; no one I know uses "crackers" for anything except food references. Then I watched Jake and the Never Land Pirates with her, and what do you know, The bird likes to say, "Crackers!"

Then came her interpretation of a cat sleeping. She'll fake snore and follow it up with "meow, meow." I just figured out this weekend that this came from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.

She quotes Daniel Tiger constantly. If she wants me to take a bite of her banana (which I won't; I hate bananas), she's all like, "Daniel the Tiger says try new food, it might taste good." She even sings the quote. Or if she wants me to help her with a game she's playing on her iPad and I get frustrated because I lost the level too, she starts singing some Daniel Tiger song, telling me not to give up and to try again. There is also a Daniel Tiger song for going potty and picking up your toys, which she sings when she does both.

She might have learned this one from me, but nowadays when we approach a door, she races ahead to hold it open and say, "After you, my lady." The hubby gave her a strange look when she did that for him; he's just not used to being called 'my lady,' I guess.

And when you ask her a question, instead of just saying Yes or yeah, she says, "Yep, indeed." I have no clue where she picked that one up. The girl is definitely a sponge though.

Two more sponges in my life over the next two weeks will be How to Resist Prince Charming and Kiss it Better. They're going to be soaking up reviews because they're currently on a review tour!! Yay!

If you want to read what people are saying about either book, you can follow the tour on these days at these blogs:

Lots of thanks to Lisa at Tasty Book Tours for setting it up.

And my biggest self-publishing fear came true. It's so sad, and I feel a little sick--okay, really sick about it. I've seen reviews for stories where readers get upset over the bad editing, and I told myself I wouldn't be one of those.

Since How to Resist Prince Charming and Kiss it Better were both published before, I didn't pay a professional to look them over again since an editor and proofreader had already gone over the first version, and frankly, I didn't think they'd sell that well (They didn't the first publishing trip through). So I just re-read them over, and over, and over again (until I never wanted to look at them again).

It feels like I spent all day scrubbing my house clean, taking care to wash the windows precisely, mop the floors, pick up the clutter, polish the wood, put away the dishes, sterilize the bathrooms, only to have an open house where people stepped inside and gasped. "Oh, my God. Look at this mess."

**Morale plummeting**

So, I guess I missed some spots on my stories. How many, I have no idea. Too embarrassed to check it out just yet. At least two people have commented on editing issues.  One person was even kind enough to address me specifically in her review: "Again I say to the author - edit, edit, edit!" So, yep indeed. I feel all amazing about that.

I've paid two professionals so far to edit/proofread Price of a Kiss, and I have no idea how many times I've read it through myself (and am STILL reading through it), but this time around, I asked my huge family to help me look at it just one more time. (That's another favorite saying of Lydia's lately: "Just one more time.") I have the most amazing family. Seriously. Lots of relatives are actually willing to help!

I shouldn't whine about my bad-grammar reviews, though, because honestly, I'm blown away by how many people actually do like my the republished stories. I guess I was just striving for 100% flawless perfection. And I should've just been striving for happiness instead! That might actually be a reachable goal, plus I'd be much...happier in the end!

Good life lesson right there!  Daniel Tiger totally needs to make a song about it. :)

How have you been?


There are six weeks to go until PRICE OF A KISS is released for the world to read.  But you can get started today by taking in a sneak peek quote from my wonky heroine, Reese:

Editing ruined me.

Friday, July 19, 2013
Since this is such a busy month publishing-wise for me, I was starting to feel as if I had been doing nothing but overloading my blog with promotional stuff lately. Buy this, buy that, buy...ack. Enough. But then I thought, that's kind of why I have a blog, and visitors probably expect it since it IS an author's blog and everything.

Still...even I'm kind of getting tired of hearing about all the new books to buy and sale items available in Linda Kage land, so...I'm not going to talk about how next week starts a new review tour for two of my stories over at Tasty Book  I will not.

Let's talk about... 


Yeah. Chocolate is wonderful. Tastes great, makes me happy. Wish I had some. Man, I don't have any chocolate.  Now I want chocolate. Ugh.

New topic. How about editing?

I was reading this story that other day, and some things in it began to annoy me. These things never used to annoy me. In fact, I probably never would've noticed them if I'd never had a critique partner, or never had a story edited, or never read a self-help writing book. But I have, and these issues have been drummed into my head as do-no-do's. And now I'm ruined. Ruined! If I see them in a story these days, I'm all like, "ummmmm, that author wasn't supposed to do that. I'm gonna tell my editor."

You know exactly what I'm talking about, don't you?  For example:

Instead of:
I felt myself lose my temper.
You're supposed to say:
I lost my temper.

The "felt" word was all over this story I just read, and since I've been told repeatedly to use "feel" as little as possible, it started to irritate me when I read "I felt myself" do all kinds of things four times in one paragraph. This didn't use to bother me. Heck, I probably wouldn't have even noticed it back when. But now I do, and it's miserable. I can't read some books without my internal editor clicking on. Damn you, proper-story-writing-etiquette.

Are there any editor-induced pet peeves you've accumulated since learning the "rules?" I think I have a couple.

--I freak when someone spells "to" when they need to use "too."
--Or "your" when it's actually "you're."
--"Laughed" and "smiled" are not supposed to be used as dialogue tags.
--Addressing a person by name in EVERY line is bad, mmm-kay?
--But when you do address them, at least put commas around their names! Geesh.

I know you have some to add!  Go ahead! It's fine!! (Even if it's how the overuse of exclamation points is taboo!!!!)

I'm totally digging my PRICE OF A KISS countdown quotes that I'm posting at the bottom of every Tuesday blog, so I thought since it just released that I'd do teaser quotes for FIGHTING FATE on Fridays. It doesn't seem like cramming-my-story-down-your-throat promoting either, it's just fun. So, to celebrate the release week of FIGHTING FATE, here is my first quote to share.

If you've read the blurb for FIGHTING FATE, you might be wondering, "what kind of girl could possibly grow feelings for her brother's killer?" Well, here's a glimpse of just that type:

SURPRISE!! New Release (Fighting Fate) and Big Book Sale (The Color of Grace)!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Guess what! Guess what!

My new adult story, Fighting Fate (formally called Cry) has a cover! Woo Hoo. Don't you just love it.  Yeah, I do too. Very classy.

And guess what again!

It's available to buy...TODAY!

I know; Surprise!

I don't think I've actually told you yet what this story is about, so here is the blurb:

Forgiving your brother's murderer may be noble, but falling in love with him borders on betrayal.

When Paige Zukowski enrolls at Granton University in honor of her dead brother, she has no idea fate will land her on the same campus with the very guy who killed him. But Logan Xander isn't quite the murderer she's always believed him to be.

A day hasn't passed since the tragedy that Logan doesn't wish he could go back and undo everything. It doesn't take Paige long to realize he's suffered as much as she has. Forgiving him for ruining her life might not be so impossible after all. But when she actually starts to like him and realizes he likes her in return, their true anguish begins.

It's available at Omnific Publishing, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble

Now...onto my next big news.

Have you signed up for great-deal updates on ebooks at yet?

Well, if you haven't, I'll just tell you about a great deal going on from today until Friday (7/19/2013) for my story THE COLOR OF GRACE!!

The ebook format is super cheap at both Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook. It's only 99 cents! (hmm...isn't that a quote in a popular song??)


The Color of Grace is one of my favorites. Since they say your stories are like your children, you probably shouldn't have favorites, but I do, and this is one of mine.

Out of all the manuscripts I've written, I think my top four favorites are The Color of Grace, Fighting Fate (and not just because today it it's release day. REALLY!), Hot Commodity, and Price of a Kiss.

And since I went and mentioned Price of a Kiss, I guess I'll get to my countdown for that story now!  So...let's hear something fun and slightly meaningless from Reese!

In seven weeks, PRICE OF A KISS will go live! To prepare, here is what my wonky heroine, Reese, has to say today for the quote countdown:

Smile! It’s Friday!

Friday, July 12, 2013
I’m in a good mood because my ranking at Amazon got better and better throughout the week. It’s a constant-state-of-shock kind of happiness, but I’ll take it!

Oh, and I heard from the publicist at Omnific Publishing, and they have already contacted bloggers to review my story, Fighting Fate (formally called “Cry”). After learning all things self-publishing these past few months and doing all the blog-contacts for review requests for Price of a Kiss myself, I’m not quite sure what to do now.

I almost feel lazy over here, just letting the publisher handle so much!

So I tried to write. But my work-in-progress stories seem to grow by the day. I’ll get an idea for a new story and work on that. Then the next day, I’ll get a new idea for another story, and I don’t want to forget that one, so I’ll start on it. Then I’ll wake up the next morning, and it’ll start all over again. So, I think I have about a dozen chapter ones finished lately, but I can’t settle on what to work on next.

Seems like I’ve been afflicted with this issue before, and it has passed, so I hope this one passes too!

Until one special story steals all my time, leaving the others in the dust, I continue to shoots bow targets with my husband. He about has me talked into trying to deer hunt this next season. But I’m not entirely convinced I want to do that yet. Right now, I’m just satisfied with shooting at non-moving things!

Well, that’s about all I have to say today. Enjoy your weekend!

Week One = Success!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013
I've seen a rough draft sample of my cover for Price of a Kiss and, wow, it's amazing!  The big reveal date for that is August 6th, which I can't believe it already less than a month away. I know, WOW! I've also seen a rough draft sample of the cover for Cry Fighting Fate. And it's pretty sweet too.

Feels like I have all these secret delights hidden up my sleeve until I can spring them on you one of these days soon.

In other news:

My first week of self publishing has gone well. At Amazon, I decided to go the $2.99 route for Kiss it Better and the $0.99 price for How to Resist Prince Charming. I'm making less royalties from the cheaper one, but I wanted to see how much of a difference it made between the two. And, um, yeah, I've noticed a difference.

On Amazon, the contemporary adult romance story, which is priced at $2.99, sold six copies in week one.  That's good for me. Pretty typical! I'm always tickled every time I see that someone has bought one of my books! I just hope they like it!

The new adult story however (and new adult is popular right now, keep in mind), priced at $0.99, sold more like 600 copies in the first week.

Yes, that's completely, record breaking for me and probably a once-in-a-lifetime event. I was so excited and disbelieving, I had to take a picture of my rating just so I can come back to in in five years and see that I really did do that well once upon a time! It's not in the top 100, but wow, top 598 works for me! I mean, it REALLY works for me!

Other vendors aren't selling my books that hot, and I haven't even gotten them on Barnes and Noble yet because I think Smashwords is a little backlogged on getting things distributed, which is fine. But I'm still blown away by my first week in Indie land.

The husband thinks I need to celebrate by getting a new bow!!

And now for my countdown quote of the day! In eight weeks, PRICE OF A KISS will go live!  To prepare, here is what my wonky heroine, Reese, has to say today:

Happy Post-Fourth of July!

Friday, July 5, 2013
My kid is so weird; I love her to pieces!!

We had planned on going to my mom's to celebrate the Fourth of July on Thursday evening, so on Wednesday after work, I decided to take Lydia to the firework stand and get her some small things to light off that evening. We invited my sister and her family over to make a small party of it.

The evening was fun, and at the end of the night, I had Lydia hold the flashlight while she and I went around the yard looking for trash to throw away.  And apparently, to a three-year-old, picking up old fireworks in the dark is like Easter Egg hunting or something. She had a blast.

The next morning, when I was trying to sleep in since I didn't have to go to work (woot!), little kiddo came crawling into bed with us, begging "Can we go outside and pick up trash?"

Really!  True story.

So, I was telling all this to another sister at the big family party the next night, and she said, "Maybe you can turn the lights out and have her pick up the toys in her room with a flashlight."  Genius! I had never thought of that, but I bet the kiddo would totally go for it.

Why is it the best idea never come from me?!

So that's how the holidays went for me: food, family, and fun. I hope yours went well. 

Have a great weekend!

Released (again): HOW TO RESIST PRINCE CHARMING and KISS IT BETTER available now!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Well, I did it!!

I have self published two books. After my beloved epublisher, Whispers Publishing, went out of business, I decided to practice up on self publishing. This way, I'd hopefully know what I was doing by the time September rolled around and my big story Price of a Kiss came out.

It appears I met with some success, because...

Mature New Adult Romance
is once again available for sale

In Ebook at:
and more places coming soon

for a happy $0.99

And in Print at:
and Amazon

for $8.50


Contemporary Adult Romance
is also republished and available!

In Ebook at: 
And more places coming soon
for a $2.99

And in Print at:
and Amazon

for $6.99


It's week nine on my PRICE OF A KISS countdown. I'm excited today because I heard from the cover artist yesterday. I think she's getting ready to work on my cover!!  Woo Hoo.  But until then, I know you're curious to read what my wonky heroine, Reese, has to say today: