The Christmas Eve Surprise

Friday, December 20, 2013
Being the want-to-stay-at-home-and-read-all-the-time introvert I am, I find it incredibly hard to make friends. So when I come across someone who clicks, I count it as a huge blessing. One huge blessing in my life is author Ivy Bateman. We met online in the blogging world and have supported each other in our writing endeavors ever since.

So when I heard she was having a book release today, you know I had to cheer her on. She writes the most inventive stories I’ve ever read.  I have no idea where this woman gets her ideas, but each tale she tells is completely original...and freaking steamy hot (since she happens to write erotic novellas)!

Christmas Eve Surprise is no different. For this one, I actually know where the idea came from and still...still!...the slant she took on O. Henry’s famous holiday story is ingenious.

This is my favorite Ivy Bateman story yet (though, okay, I tend to say that after each one she writes), and not just because she dedicated it to me (oh yeah, you heard that right!! This one’s for me, baby), but this short, tasty thing actually ends with a happily ever after.  I love to tease her because none of the couples in her stories have gone off into the sunset together at the end.  Until now! (you can thank me for that... okay, fine, you can thank Ivy for that!)

I’m so proud and completely excited to give the mike to Ivy and let her give you a glimpse into her head, showing us where some of her story inspirations comes from...or hmm, how her story inspirations get lost!

Inspiration Lost and Found

First off, thank-you, thank-you to the lovely Linda for having me on her blog today! I'm so happy to be sharing space in her niche in the cyber world on release day! Christmas Eve Surprise is out and about and ready to be purchased. It's a warm and funny Christmas story, perfect for reading by a cozy fire…or on the bus…or in the tub; where ever you prefer to read your digital stories!

So, the other day I was trying to think of a topic for this blog post. I've written quite a few over the last week or so due to my promo tour for this release. I always try hard to come up original topics for each post, but it's not always easy. Anyway, I was in the shower, thinking away when inspiration hit and before I got out of the shower, I had the post half written in my head!

However, when I sat down to write it, it was gone! I couldn't remember a single word let alone the topic! I was quite annoyed with myself for not having taken time to at least write the idea down so that I wouldn't forget! Now, I ask you, why does this happen? And not just with writing but with many things: books you want to buy, gifts for friends or family that you think will be perfect, that song that you have to buy right now because you can't believe you've lived this long without it AND then! You go to buy it or at least remember your fabulous idea and it's disappeared; just vanished from your head like it never existed. I'm not really looking for answers so much as giving a general wondering some word play.

Tired of trying to remember the fantastic blog topic that didn't want to scurry out from under the other pile of things I need to remember to do, I went and told my husband of my woe. He said that the loss of inspiration sounded like a good topic in itself. I agreed and said it was a good idea and he said that I was welcome and that he was awesome. I also agree. He is awesome and very helpful.

And as you can see, this blog post is basically about his suggestion, but to expand or side step just a little, my story Christmas Eve Surprise is actually an idea inspired by my husband that had to wait. Last year he suggested I write a Christmas story based on Gift of the Magi, a tale we both enjoy, but I just couldn't get into it. I had a kernel of an idea, but I wasn't in the head space to write something as nice as this story turned out to be. Instead I wrote Baby, You're Cold Inside (this week on Breathless Press it's only 99 Cents!) which was based on A Christmas Carol and although it's a fun story, it's a much darker and well, colder tale. I had very little trouble writing it so clearly it was a story that at that point in time I needed to write. This year however, has been a bit of rough one emotionally and personally and I was only too happy to turn my focus to something fun, light hearted, warm and happy.

From time to time inspiration is lost in the shuffle of life, but eventually it may let itself be rediscovered and be exactly what you need at the exact time you need it.

I wish all of you the very best of the season.

Ivy Bateman

Story Blurb:

It's Christmas time and Tim and Stella are on the hunt for the perfect Christmas gifts for each other. Since last Christmas, their hot love life has cooled substantially. Tim feels he's to blame and Stella thinks it's her fault, but this Christmas both of them have put a lot of thought into how to make the other happy and put the fire back in the bedroom. However, with such unorthodox gifts ready to be revealed, will their Christmas Eve present opening be a pleasant surprise or an unwelcome one?

Excerpt (beware: it's racy!):

As the weeks crept closer and closer to Christmas Eve, Tim had had begun to worry that he wouldn't find a man that would have sex with him in front of Stella. He had fixated so much on this fantasy-fulfilling evening being his Christmas present to her that he'd not taken the time to find her another gift. Both he and Stella took finding each other the perfect gift very seriously. It wouldn't do if she was to present him with a gift she'd put a lot of thought into, like the beautiful chain she'd gotten him for his fob watch last year, only to be presented in return with a cardigan she didn't like or a hat she'd never wear.

He pulled out a key, unlocked his desk drawer, got out his black book, and pored over all of his carefully written notes. Tim looked at the dozens of entries he'd written about most of the single and attractive men in his office. None of them had seemed to be someone who would be willing to have a night of hot man sex in front of his wife. He felt doomed to give Stella a gift she would remember forever, but only because it was one he hadn't put any thought into. With a heavy heart he closed his black book and returned it to the drawer.

As he was locking it, his boss Terry walked in with an extremely good-looking man. The stranger filled his office with a god-like presence.

Ivy's books are available from the Breathless Press Website:
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Sold a Book!!

Monday, December 16, 2013
So after all my wonderful beta readers gave me a ton of feedback for my Granton University Book 2 story, I went through it again with all their varied opinions in mind and did a little revising.  After that, I sent it off to a publisher for their opinion and guess what?  They offered me a contract to publish it! 

I've filled out my half of the paperwork and am waiting for everything to be finalized.  Once I'm through that, I can hopefully pass along more details about it.  But needless to say I'm pretty excited about the whole deal!

Actually, it seems to be a good news week for me all around (except for this sore throat and runny nose I have that keeps getting better and then coming back. BLUCK!).

I'm already around 48,000 words into my next book.  Yay!

Addicted to Ansley is coming out in Large Print Hardback from Thorndike Press either this month or next. It even received a fancy new cover for the occasion.

And my story A Fallow Heart was mentioned on the blog Red Hot Reads last week as one of six top reads in 2013 for reviewer Shelly (Bless you, Shelly)!

But that's not all!  My kiddo has memorized all her lines for the Christmas Program she has to be in this Sunday evening. I tell you what; it just makes your heart swell with pride to watch your baby get up for the first time with a microphone and rattle off a couple sentences you've been drumming into her head for weeks.  She nailed it during her practice (in her adorable three-year-old speak), but we'll see how she does in front of a crowd during the actual program.

And that's all the updates I have in Linda Kage world this week!  This Friday, I'll be back to brag about one of my friends who has a Christmas story releasing this week. It's definitely a page-turner!

So...what's been up with you?

2013 Favorites

Friday, December 6, 2013
I haven’t gotten to read much in the past month or so and it’s beginning to wear on me. Reading withdrawals. Hard to think. Can’t...breathe...

So, with my book cravings in full force, I decided it’s a good time to list my 2013 favorites I’ve read this year. They might have been published earlier but this is when I finally got my lazy self to read them.

And I know, I should probably wait until the absolute end of the year, because it always happens without fail, I find this totally amazing novel I just adore on December 31st and it never makes my favorites list, but...I’ve got nothing else to talk about today. So, here’s what stories had me all ablaze in 2013 (Yes, it was a very Armentroutly , Hooverish, New Adult year for me!):

-Obsidian (Lux, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
-Onyx (Lux, #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
-Origin (Lux, #4)  by Jennifer L. Armentrout
-Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout
-Hopeless (Hopeless, #1) by Colleen Hoover
-Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2) by Colleen Hoover
-Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, #2.5) by Colleen Hoover
-A Little Too Far (A Little Too Far, #1) by Lisa Desrochers
-Bully (Fall Away, #1)  by Penelope Douglas  
-Real (Real, #1)  by Katy Evans
-Redesigned (Off the Subject, #2) by Denise Grover Swank
-Second Chance Boyfriend (Drew + Fable, #2) by Monica Murphy
-Tangled (Tangled, #1) by Emma Chase

But there’s some big anticipated stories in my kindle right now that could possibly make this list. Titles like:

-Bitter Sweet Love (The Dark Elements, #0.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
-Crash into You by Katie McGarry
-The Devil Wears Kilts by Suzanne Enoch
-Sentinel (Last Covenant Book) Jennifer L. Armentrout
-Crossing Paths by Melanie Stinnett
-Torn by Monica Murphy
-Blood and Champagne (Bloodlines, #2) by J.D. Thompson
-Sweet Home by Tillie Cole 

Okay, your turn!!  What were some of your favorite books in 2013 and what are you looking forward to next year?