Friday, November 28, 2014

Cookies!

First off, I hope everyone had a good day yesterday - whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not.  Second, if you did celebrate Turkey Day, I hope you didn't eat so much that you're sick of food, because I decided to post a recipe today. 

With the holidays approaching and junk, I thought I'd give you all a really super simple recipe for cookies that I enjoy making:

No Bake Cookies

1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups rolled oats

Combine cocoa, butter, sugar and milk in a medium saucepan.  Heat on low until the butter melts, then turn up the heat to medium high until the mixture comes to a rolling boil.  Stirring constantly, boil one minute EXACTLY.  (More means hard, gritty cookies.  Less means glop.)  Remove from heat and immediately add in peanut butter and vanilla.  Stir until smooth.  Add oats and stir until well blended.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto aluminum foil or wax paper.  Cool completely and store in a tightly sealed container.  (A big baggie works for me.)

The batch I made last weekend produced 40 cookies, but your mileage may vary based on cookie size. 

Use extreme caution when stirring the boiling mixture as it can tend to splash hot sugar up at you. Hot sugar HURTS.  Trust me.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What books are YOU thankful for?

Recently I recommended that a friend read PRESUMED INNOCENT by Scott Turow.  I LOVED this book when it came out…the movie, not so much…I suspect because I knew the twist.

I started thinking about what books I recommend most, those I'm most thankful for because I enjoyed them so much. Here's a terribly incomplete list, in no particular order (and as you can tell, all weren't chosen because I loved them as an adult, lol)

Where the Wild Things Are
Are You There God?  It's me Margaret
The Outsiders
To Kill a Mockingbird
Room
Charlotte's Web
It
Christine
Patriot Games
The Eagle Has Landed
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The 87th Precinct Mysteries
The Spenser Novels
The Spellman Files series
The Laura Ingalls Wilder series
Little Women
Most of the Harry Potter series
The Wizard of Oz Books
A Time to Kill

and on, and on, and on.

Tell me Killer Friends, what books are YOU thankful for?

WE are thankful that you stop by the blog. For those that celebrate, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Shopping Reminder Day

We know you've probably missed all of the gazillion ads urging you to shop, so we thought it important  to recognize the bizarre holiday Shopping Reminder Day.

What kind of shopper are you?

B.E.: I used to shop for holiday gifts so that I'd be pretty much done a week or two ahead of time, but now that the Kid's all growed up and on her own, I write a check to her and make sure I mail it with plenty of time to arrive so she can buy herself stuff.  I also order stuff online for the Moms. 

JB: I shop early…but I wrap late because I HATE wrapping.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Dialogue Thoughts

I’ve been watching a lot of movies while I recuperate from surgery. The Bourne Series is one of my favs. But just in case you think I’m being a complete slacker I’m also writing down lines of dialogue that inspire me. I like to think I’m channel all these bits and snippets I take note of when I get back to writing.

Dialogue should simply be a sound among other sounds, just something that comes out of the mouths of people whose eyes tell the story in visual terms.  Alfred Hitchcock
I love this bit of dialogue from the Bourne Identity. A great way to impart a lot of information while keeping it interesting.

I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab of the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not know who I am?


Action and adventure is my favourite category on Netflix. What kinds of movies take your mind off life?

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Wisdom of Eeyore

On the corner of my desk sits a tiny plastic figure of Eeyore.  He's flat on his butt, looking forlorn, and holding his tail - which as fallen off. Again.  (And he was incredibly dusty until I picked him up to write this post - but hey, I'll leave my poor housekeeping skills to another day.) 

Eeyore is my favorite Winnie the Pooh character.  Long, long ago, I was attracted to his whole dour, 'woe is me', pessimist schtick, and while I'm a much more positive person, I still love the dude.

In fact, I have some quotes from my old pal Eeyore to share with you today.

"This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated, if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it."

"When stuck in the river, it is best to dive and swim to the bank yourself before someone drops a large stone on your chest in an attempt to hoosh you there."

"They haven't got Brains, any of them, only grey fluff that's blown into their heads by mistake, and they don't Think."

Heh.  That Eeyore.  He kills me.  So wise. 

Who's your favorite Winnie the Pooh character? 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I miss him most first thing in the morning



Last week, I had to make the painful decision to put my little guy, Teddy, to sleep.

I shed a ridiculous amount of tears as I wrestled with making the choice, but the act of actually doing it felt right, and I'll always treasure the last, sweet moments we shared.

I miss him terribly, but it's the early mornings that are the worst.

I'm not a morning person and I hadn't realized just how reliant I'd become on his bouncy, sunny nature to start my days off right.

Every morning he'd jump up and greet me with unabashed joy.  He'd run to the door and look back at me with his bright eyes and perpetual grin, as if to say, "Let's go! It's a great day!"

It was his enthusiasm for life that pulled me through some of the darkest days of my own, and I miss his light.



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

False Confessions!

The 21st is False Confession Day. Make one here (just don't say something that could end up hurting you or others):


JB: I LOVE brussel sprouts, and lima beans, and people who take up more than one parking space, and people who conduct loud cell phone conversations while in public places, and jello!

B.E.:  I'm actually a dude.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Things You Learn at Writing Workshops!

I recently attended a writing conference in Surrey, British Columbia. One of the many helpful workshops was given by Dr. Kim Foster. Kim Foster is a suspense author as well as a practicing physician.



One of her workshops was How To Kill Your Characters Correctly. Who could resist? Certainly not me. That’s how I’m able to regale you with some interesting facts.

 CPR and Defibrillation (Prepare to be traumatized.)

  • CPR is generally not very successful. I know. Downer. (Probably because people administer it incorrectly and do not stick with it long enough.) In Emergency Rooms   resuscitative efforts last a really long time. Like an hour.
  • The purpose of CPR is to keep the blood flowing. It. Does. Not. Bring. You Back. To. Life. 
  • It’s not pretty. If done right you can count on cracked ribs. 
  • Defibrillation shocks the heart into stopping with the hope of resetting it. You would never use it on a heart that has not stopped beating. So when you’re watching the TV and the hospital cardiac monitor flatlines? There’s no pulling out the paddles and yelling clear.

 Bullet Wounds

Turns out your character will survive despite that bullet lodged in her shoulder. No need to dig it out with a penknife. Unless your character is a trauma surgeon in the possession of sterilized equipment and knockout drugs. Then go for it. Otherwise, chances are your character will live another day. The heat from the bullet actually helps cauterize the wound and helps prevent infection. Then it’s off to the hospital once they’ve escaped or been rescued from the desert, the cave, the haunted house, or the rodent-infested warehouse.

We talked about comas, knife wounds, poisons, and deadly infections. It was delightful.

Some helpful links:

Lab Tests Online (A public resource for information on lab tests and diseases.)

Med Terms (A medical dictionary for laypeople.)

The Writer’s Forensics Blog (Written by DP Lyle, MD)

 For me, it’s usually a case of ignorance is bliss. But I also trust the author has done their research. What about you? Does it need to be probable? Or will possible do?

Friday, November 14, 2014

My First Friday

I remembered! 

Hey, with as crazy as this month has been, I'm celebrating the little victories. 

Problem is, I'm so brain-fried, I have no idea what to talk about today. So here's a pretty picture:


That's what writing 60K words in a month will do to you folks.  (Yes, NaNo is 50K in a month, but my goal is 2K per day so I can have this finished by mid-December.)  So forgive my NaNo brain and enjoy the flowers.  They're the last wildflowers of the fall, I think.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date

Technically I'm not late YET.

The deadline for the ninth book in the CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN is Friday and I'm struggling to meet it, so this will be a short post.

Here's a quick peek at a snippet of an unedited scene:

Zeke frowned. “I suppose that since the police confiscated your tire iron you don’t have any other weapons in the car.”
I thought of the gun Ms. Whitehat had provided, in its hiding spot beneath the driver’s seat. “Just Barry Manilow.”
Zeke looked at me the way people often look at my mother who lives in a mental hospital.
“It’s a CD,” I explained hurriedly. “If you break it, it’s sharp and could cut someone. Want it?”
Instead of answering, Zeke marched resolutely toward the front door of the apartment building. I hurried to catch up with him.
As we drew near, I saw that the door wasn’t closed completely because someone had splintered the wood surrounding the lock.
Silently I followed Zeke through the doorway and up a flight of stairs, taking care to avoid the sticky pile of who-knows-what on the third step from the top.
Half the hallway bulbs were burnt out which meant the walk to 2C was eerily dim.
My stomach roiled queasily, but I wasn’t sure if it was because the place reeked of rotting garbage and stale pot smoke or plain nervousness.
Pausing outside of 2C, Zeke and I stared at one another.
“Now what?” he whispered.
“We knock.” Before he could protest, I rapped loudly on the door three times.
I held my breath, straining to hear the sounds of movement in the apartment. All I heard was a TV droning in the next door unit.
I reached for the doorknob. Miraculously it turned and the door slowly swung open.
“You can’t go in there.” Zeke grabbed my shoulder to prevent me from stepping inside.
I shook him off. “You stay here.”
“And do what?”
“Be a lookout. Warn me if someone’s coming.”
“How?”
“I dunno. A secret signal.”
“Like what? A bird caw?’
I nodded.
Cupping his hands to his mouth, Zeke called, “Caw! Caw!”
I winced. “That sounds more like a hamster on crack."

I know I'm not the only one working crazy-hard.

Tell me Killer Friends: What kinds of killer projects are YOU tackling this month?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In Honor of Veteran's Day

We'd like to thank all the men and women, along with their families, for the service and the sacrifices you've made.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Hi! I'm New Here!

Wow, I’m a Killer Chick. I’ve always wanted to say that. Just one more thing to cross of my wish list.

I’m so happy to be here with B.E. and JB adding to the mystery, murder, suspense, and mayhem. And the things we squeeze in around it. I thought it might be nice to share a few things about myself.

Five things you may not know about me:

1.  During my middle grade years, my best friend was fictional. I would not have survived my childhood half so well had I not read Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Seriously.

2.  I didn’t get my driving license until I was in my 30’s. Yes, major driving phobia conquered. Driving is still not my favorite thing to do. Especially, in winter. But I do it. I get around.

3.  I love dill pickles. I mean I REALLY love them. Except when they’re deep-fried. Then, yuck.

4.  I grew up on a farm. My Dad always said no girl of his would ever leave the farm without having milked a cow. He underestimated my stubbornness.

5.  My favorite television show is The Blacklist. Favorite movie – Speed. Favorite play – Wicked. Favorite song of the moment – Compass, Lady Antebellum

As far as writing goes, I write romantic suspense. I have two books out with a third coming sooner rather than later in 2015. You can find out more Karyn Good.

Care to share some of your favorite things? Song? Book? Movie?

I’ll see you here Mondays (in November). Or you can find me hanging out here:

Facebook  *  Twitter  *  Goodreads  *  Pinterest  *  Instagram  *

This summer we travelled to Prince Edward Island and visited the inspiration behind Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Run for office!

Even though it was Election Day in the States this week, we're not going to get into politics, but we're curious, have YOU ever run for anything?

B.E.: I was the president of my dormitory in college for a whole three weeks once.  I abdicated.  The gal who won vice president was much better for the job anyway.

JB: Not me.  I don't play well with others.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Quick Peek at THE HITWOMAN AND THE POISONED APPLE

After work, I returned to the hospital, hoping to visit with Katie and Patrick. Unfortunately, the first person I ran into, before I even entered the building, was Vinnie.
The steroid-fueled bodyguard watched me approach the building through narrowed eyes.
“You ever think about getting your eyes checked?” I asked as way of greeting.
“Why?”
“You squint a lot.”
“My eyes are fine. I wear contacts.”
“Okay.” I shrugged. “I just figured a guy who takes such pride in his appearance”—I gestured at his muscle-bound physique—“wouldn’t want to end up with wrinkles from squinting so much.”
He stared at me for a long moment, trying to determine whether I was making fun of him. Unable to, he finally said, “Pudding time.”
I’d have liked to tell him that I didn’t really have any interest in eating since I still had a constant uneasy feeling that left me nauseated, but as a rule, turning down a mob boss isn’t good for one’s health.  I walked inside the hospital, tossing over my shoulder, “At least consider investing in some sunglasses. They might help.”

The mobster’s henchman muttered something I couldn’t make out, but from his tone, I doubted he appreciated the advice.


It's out, Friday! Available for pre-order on Amazon now!


How do you solve a murder when the victim is still alive?

Maggie Lee’s murder mentor (and almost lover) Patrick Mulligan wants her to find out who poisoned him before it’s too late. Keeping the man she loves alive would be hard enough if all she had to worry about was not getting caught, but nothing’s ever that simple.

In between dealing with her strung out cat, searching for Patrick’s poisoner, meeting a deadline to deliver a mysterious gift for her mobster boss and keeping a curious reporter on his toes, she finds herself entangled in the complicated (and potentially dangerous) romantic affairs of her Aunt Susan and her semi-psychic friend Armani.

Hearts and lives are in peril.

Can the kooky, klutzy assassin save them? 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - Off the Grid by Karyn Good

For teaser Tuesday this week, I'd like to not only give you a teaser but to introduce you to the author - our newest Killer Chick - Karyn Good.  Welcome to the Killer Chicks, Karyn!

And now the teaser...

Sophie's brows rose. “I’m smart enough to know you’ve got a conflict of interest. You need to decide whether you can proceed fairly and objectively. Because yes, I believe her. Why would she lie to us?” 

God help him, her chin went up. Her eyes flashed with her need to take him down a peg. His fingers clenched inside his pockets. Her challenge, the heat of it, inspired absolute honesty.
“Because anyone who knows you or who’s familiar with your work knows you’ll do whatever it takes, go balls to the wall, to champion a victimized young woman from the Low Track. And if taking sides hands you a chance to take down the man who’s determined to clean up the Downtown Eastside, all the better. Jason Drummond is pain in your ass. Of course, they came to you.” And hell, since he was destroying any chance at a relationship he might as well go for it. “And I don’t know what your history is with Marnie, but you’re doing it as much for her as you are for Kellie. So maybe I need to be the one asking, how objective are you?”

“You see me as a do-gooder who doesn’t question facts, just reacts. Part of my job requires cutting through all the bullshit and believe me, I hear a lot of it. I’m a great lie-detector. Don’t confuse nonjudgmental with sucker. And, yes, Marnie is important to me. But I can be her friend and know she’s not perfect, far from it. I know even if I believe Kellie about paternity, I’ll need to double check anything coming out of Marnie’s mouth.” She inhaled a deep breath. Let it out. 

“Because...Marnie...she doesn’t have the greatest track record with the truth.” 

The dejection in her tone tugged at him. He resisted moving in closer. She had scoffed away all his attempts to explain Tiffany. She didn’t want to believe him. Or in him. “Just because Jason is a friend of mine doesn’t mean I’m not interested in getting to the truth.” He pointed at the door. “Or doing what’s best for that child in there. So let’s agree we both have agendas, but we’re most interested in the truth.”

From Karyn's About Me page:

"I grew up as a displaced city girl on a mixed cattle and grain farm in the midst of the Saskatchewan prairies. Among other things, I fed chickens, hilled potatoes, and developed a love of dill pickles. I've picked crab-apples, saskatoon berries, chokeberries, and battled grasshoppers.

Eventually, I graduated to a small prairie town and from there to a big prairie city, the word big being relative and somewhat exaggerated, with the relevant word being prairie. I thrive here in this vast open space with its sky, fields, sunshine, beaches, lakes...I could go on forever.

My high school yearbook makes mention of wishing to work in a bank, little did I know numbers and money managing gives me hives. So I married a numbers guy. We lost our minds and decided to become parents. Time passed and they morphed into teenagers. They remain one step ahead of us.
The whole time I read books. Lots and lots of books. Occasionally, I picked up a pen and paper or tapped out a few meagre pages of a story on a keyboard and dreamed of becoming a writer when I grew up. One day, after a rather significant birthday, the inevitable happened and I knew without question the time was right. What to write was never the issue. I'm a together forever type of girl with a love of alpha males and feisty females.

Member of the Saskatchewan Romance Writers (SRW) and the Romance Writers of America (RWA)."

Monday, November 3, 2014

Changes are Good Things... Honest.

Yeah, yeah, that subject up there is pretty rich coming from a self-avowed hater of change, but I do recognize it's good every once in a while.  Take the change I'm announcing today for this blog.  It's a good thing.

We're getting a new Killer Chick!  Starting next Monday, author Karyn Good will be joining our illustrious and infamous ranks.  Tomorrow, I'll be posting a teaser to Karyn's upcoming release OFF THE GRID to give you an introduction to her writing.  (Totally awesome stuff, btw.  If you haven't read her yet, go check her out.)  Which leads me to another change...

I won't be doing Mondays anymore - at least for the month of November.  Karyn will be taking over those.  While I'm all wrapped up with NaNo, I'll be moving to Fridays.  JB will be keeping Wednesdays.  And our Tuesdays and Thursdays will either be off days or random posts.  We'll see how it all works and re-evaluate after the first of the year.  Feel free to let us know what you think.  (Although we may not always incorporate suggestions, we're always happy to see what you think.) 

Keep your eyes peeled and stop by to see what's up. (As if you don't already.) 

As for other changes, I let it out on my personal blog, so I might as well here, too.  I'll be jumping into self-publishing after the first of the year sometime, so you all will finally get to read what I've been teasing about all this time.  Right now I'm still in the planning stages, but I'll let you know when things are firmed up and I have actual release dates and junk.

See, change is a good thing.  A nausea-making thing, but a good thing.

How do you feel about change?