Monday, March 30, 2015

Adventures at iHop!

So, this happened. We stopped at iHop when we were on holidays because, hello, pancakes. A very loud conversation between the manager (she was as big as my leg), the cook (who wasn't paying attention), and the cook's 'old lady' (she couldn't have been more than 25) took place. It was about cigerettes, which Matthew's old lady was dropping off. It wasn't angry, just loud. Very, very loud. Like how can someone that tiny have that big of a voice loud. And how could Matthew not hear her?

~~~~~~~
It went like this:

(The Setup) The manager is at the front of the store accepting Matthew's cigerette delivery. Oh yeah, in between them there's a long-haired, tattooed man laying on the floor, blocking traffice, and fixing something under the till. I'm sure at the end of his shift he put on his leather jacket and rode his Harley-Davidson home.

Manager: "Matthew, do you want to talk to your old lady?"

No response.

Manager: "Matthew! Do you want to talk to your old lady?"

Still no response.

Manager: "MATTHEW! Doyouwanttotalktoyouroldlady?"

Nothing but silence.

By this time Matthew's old lady is trying to signal her to stop, it's all fine, she's talk to him later. Which is not happening much to the delight of the rest of us. Or maybe it was just me.

Manager: "MATTHEW. Do. You. Want. To. Talk. To. Your. Old. Lady?"

Apparently, Matthew is deaf. Or busy, you know, cooking stuff. At which point, she marches into the back, Matthew's old lady escapes out the door, and Matthew finally gets his smokes, which I'm hoping he doesn't use until he's on break.

My husband looks at me. "This is going in a book, isn't it?"

Me. "Oh, you know it."

~~~~~~~~~~
You might not think it's a very exciting conversation but for me it's gold. Maybe because the scene would have played out so differently had it been me in any of the three roles. 1. Had I been Matthew's old lady, I would never have brought him smokes in the first place because there was a gas station right next door. Next door!  2. If I were the manager, I would have walked to the back of the kitchen and asked him directly. I seldom raise my voice. I'm not partial to  inviting a place full of strangers into my conversations. 3. If I had been Matthew I would have hiked my butt over to the gas station instead of causing drama.

For me, it was a great example of how others react in certain situations and how I can apply reactions to different characters.

We all, no matter who we are or what we do, get our inspiration from somewhere. In this case, I don't even need to admit to eavesdropping.

 What are some ordinary places or circumstances you gain inspiration from?

I also like to take pictures! Here's to the upcoming weekend and Easter festivities for those who partake.



Friday, March 27, 2015

Delving Into the Criminal Mindset

Personally, I'm fascinated by the human mind.  Always have been.  I want to know what makes other people tick. Hell, I even majored in psychology when I first went to college.  (Until the thought of actually working with the insane creeped me out too bad to envision a future in the field.) Only in the last ten years or so I've switched from wanting to know what goes on in the average individual's head to wanting to explore what makes up the criminal mind. 

Oh, I have my theories.  I employ some of them in my writing, but I really have no data to back them up.  Just a thought or two and some personal experience to make my fictional characters real. 

I also watch a lot of crime TV.  On any given day, you can find me watching at least an hour or two of a true crime show.  Dateline, 48 hours, anything on Investigation Discovery, Cold Justice, Cold Case Files... You get the gist.  I love the show The Killer Speaks because they actually talk to killers, so you get a glimpse into what's going on in their heads. 

Recently, I picked up a copy of Inside the Criminal Mind by Stanton Samenow.  I only just started reading it, but already, it's brilliant.  He's been studying criminals since the year I was born, so I'm guessing he pretty much knows what he's talking about.

I like to think my killers ring true already, but I want to make them better.  I want them to be more believable.  And the best way to do that - short of becoming a criminal myself - is to study them.  I want to know what turns a perfect, potentially normal baby into a killer, so I can bring them to your living room in the totally safe pages of a book. 

And then, of course, I want to catch them and either kill them in my books or see them locked away forever between the pages of a novel.

Or like I told another writer years ago - Crime writers are the safest people to be around in the world.  We let out all our aggressions on paper rather than in real life.  ;o)

Why do you read or write crime fiction? 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Florida Creativity Weekend + An Announcement

Recap:

 I survived my first Florida Creativity Weekend!

 One of the best things about this conference was the diversity of the attendees...the youngest participant I spoke with is 13, the oldest was probably nearing 80. Everyone brought a different perspective and different energy to the weekend.

There weren't too many "artists" there, but a lot of teachers, business consultants, and non-profit developers.

 I say I survived it because the first day consisted of six or seven hours with of improvisational acting work. Basically it was non-stop exercises and Whose Line Is It Anyway games.

 I wasn't sure I could handle that since it's wayyyy outside my comfort zone. I'd actually made the deal with myself that if I tried it and hated it (or puked, fainted or died) I could leave during the lunch break.

 I didn't leave and I actually enjoyed myself. AND I learned some interesting things about myself along the way. Win-Win-Win!

 Talk about working your creative muscles. My brain was sore afterward!

 My favorite session on the second day, Nurturing Creativity, was led by Ismet Mamnoon. She's an amazing woman Check out her Ted talk HERE.

 And my favorite session on the last day was my own. ((wink wink)) I spoke about tips and tricks to silence your inner critic. So much fun and lots of interesting questions and comments.

 All in all, an interesting conference!

  Announcement:

 CATNAPPED! Matchmaker Mystery 3 will be released on Monday, March 30th!


Cats have nine lives.
People don’t.

When cyber-sleuth Pete Hanlon goes to the gym, he has no idea he’ll reconnect with the red-hot woman he shared a single, memorable dance with at his brother’s wedding.

Coolly confident ex-cop Alyssa Montgomery agreed to help out a friend, but soon discovers she must deliver the ransom for a stolen cat. Worse, she needs Pete Hanlon’s help to save the kitty and solve a potentially deadly mystery.

Can the two work out their differences in time to figure out what’s really going on before something terrible happens?

Or will they miss out on their one chance at love?

Tell me Killer Friends: What did YOU do this weekend?



Monday, March 23, 2015

Facebook Parties and Selling Stuff

While I'm writing this blog post, I'm attendng a jewelry party on Facebook. In the old days you used to have to go to someone's house to attend these kinds of parties. Remember Pampered Chef? Let's not talk about the paper, ink pads, and stamps taking up space in my office closet from the Stamping Up parties I attended. I'm still using candles and tealights I bought 5 years ago at a candle party. How about cleaning supplies from Norwex? Clothing - don't remember the name. Tupperware? Mary Kay? I've attended them all.

Perhaps I have will-spend-money-on-anything tattooed on my forehead?

Update: I didn't buy anything!

Now I feel mean.

What is wrong with me?

Although, the party is open for another twenty-four hours I could still cave and buy something. And make my friend happy. You'd think at my age I'd be able to say no to buying something I don't want and not feel guilty. But, no.

Sigh.

This is why you want to invite me to these kind of parties.



How about you? What home parties have you attended? Hosted? I know there are lots of author events happening on Facebook?What is the last one, if any, you've attended? Did you have fun? Win a prize? Is it less pressure? More pressure?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Morning

A minute ago I looked at Hubs and said, "It's Friday.  Isn't it?"  To which he replied, "Yep" and I remembered that I had a post to post here at Killer Chicks.

It really does all blur together when you aren't working for anyone but yourself.  One day smears into another and before you know it, you have deadlines approaching and appointments you need to get to and commitments you almost forgot about. 

Most things now make it onto the calendar and into the date book.  Yesterday looks like this:

:redacted: out of office
Pay bills
Landscaping
bank

All those things got done and remembered, etc.  Today I have a note that my new bookmarks are due, but since those arrived yesterday afternoon, the day is pretty clear.  Too bad I didn't write a note to write a post. 

I have the calendar - a plain-jane, dates only no pictures thing - hanging on the wall above my desk, so I can't miss it.  My date book is sitting on the desk above my keyboard, so I can't miss that either.  But if I don't write things down on either one, and I trust to my untrustworthy memory, I'm pretty screwed.  The problem is when I have a recurring thing I need to do, and I write it down on every day I need to do it, it becomes meaningless.  My eyes see 'write a post' on every Friday, and they learn to ignore it.  It's always there, why look at it? 

For the record, I tried using Outlook - and the appointment function which would plaster a warning on my monitor when I had something I had to do.  And I always forget to open the damn program - thereby negating its ability to warn me of approaching appointments.  :eyeroll: 

Anyway, I am getting better at keeping track of the things I need to do on the days I need to do them.  I just need to find a better way to remind myself exactly what day it is. 

Today is Friday.  And it's morning.

And I need more coffee.

What about you?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Five paranormals to sink your teeth into

Former Killer Chick, Jennifer Colgan is part of a new boxed set available on Amazon!


A box set deal - Five authors, five books - $0.99

Get your copy at




First Taste ~ Five Paranormal Romances you can sink your teeth into...

Scorching hot romance immersed in paranormal worlds where normal is anything
but, and danger lurks in every darkened corner. From fire breathing dragons to
trolls bent on destruction, from vampires to demons and the hunters who chase
them, this five author bundle will get your heart racing and leave you yearning
for more.

Anthology includes: Sexy Vampires, Monster Hunters and Huntresses, Alpha Males,
Dragons, Creatures that will make your toes curl, Demons, Fated Mates,
Shapeshifters, Wielders of Magic, and much more.

So, are you ready for your First Taste?


Elianne Adams takes us to a world of
dragon shifters in her steamy fantasy romance:
 
Call of the Dragon




On
the brink of extinction, the people of Avalore are desperate to find their long
lost queen. When Drake finally finds her, all he has to do is keep Rhia safe,
and bring her home. But can he keep from doing what his dragon demands - claim
her as his mate? Heat level: 4

Jennifer Colgan shows us the
darkest side of the undead life in her sizzling vampire tale:

Living La Vida Muerta

Elena
Talbot betrayed her sister for a chance at immortality. Now, ensconced in the
dark world of Chicago's undead, she clings to vampire investigator Lucas Vitale
- the person who helped her find herself and her sanity after the gut
wrenching, soul-stealing transformation from human to vampire. When her quest
for fulfillment brings her too close to his long-hidden secret, he casts her
out - and only after she's gone does he realize there's no point in living 'the
dead life' without her. Heat level: 3

Rinelle Grey enthralls us with
her magical fantasy adventure:

Twin Curse

Bound
by magic, united by love. Her bond to her sister tied her to another man, but
that couldn't stop them falling in love. Heat level: 3

Kenzi Kreel introduces us to
her Infernal Fates series in her dark paranormal romance:

One True Thing

Samantha
thought Lincoln, the love of her life, was dead--but now he's back and at her
door, telling her stories about demons and hunters, shadows and secret wars.
Lincoln knows he shouldn't have revealed himself to Samantha, but there's a
target on her back, and he'll do whatever it takes to protect her from the
coming darkness. Heat level: 3

and LilyMarie gives us a glimpse of the Forbidden in book one of her monster hunter
series:

Forbidden Bond

Kat
Riley, former monster hunter, is not enjoying her retirement. She just walked
into the middle of a feud between Council vampires and a sexy, charming
half-blood vampire. The attraction is immediate - and she wants nothing to do
with him. Michael Blakely is running - from his past, from what he is, from
vampires who want him dead. Or worse. When he runs straight into Kat, he
expects his end. Instead, she protects him, and is drawn into a battle she has
no business being part of. Desire pulls them to each other, but when her world
is turned upside down, can she trust the one man whose past might destroy them
both? Heat level: 4

Heat levels:
1 ~ sweet: closed door
2 ~ hot: heavy kissing, some heavy petting and sexy touching, out of the room
sex
3 ~ steamy: sex scenes, but more romantic
4 ~ scorching: explicit sex scenes


Friday, March 13, 2015

A Little Snippet

Good morning, Killer Friends.  Sorry I'm late, but this time change really has me screwed up.  Anyway, my lateness is your gain because, since I can't think of anything scintillating to talk about, I'm going to give you a little snippet of Dying Embers.



“What do you want, Emma? What can I do for you?”
“Just one thing, and then I’ll be gone. I need you to trace this call. I need you to come and find me. So I…” The line went silent for a split second. In the background, Jace thought she could hear a muffled grunting. “So I can get help. Come and find me, Agent Douglas. Will you help me?”
“Of course I will.” She scribbled a note for Ben to start tracing the call, but he already had Dallas on the job. “We know what Fleming did to you. Let me bring you in and you can explain everything—”
More laughter drifted over the receiver, now tinged with hysteria. “What Fleming did to me? You have no idea what he did, but if you think you do, maybe I picked the wrong person to rely on. If you really believe what I think you believe, you’re as stereotypically stupid as good old Barney Fife.” Emma’s voice grew cold and hard. “Now do the world a favor and stop thinking. I’m leaving my cell phone on so you can find me. I won’t be talking to you any more, though. I have something I need to do before you get here.”
As promised, the line remained open, but no more words issued from the connection. In the distance, Jace heard the sound of tires over gravel—a man shouting for help—and then silence.
Until she heard the one sound she would never forget, no matter how hard she tried. The sound of flames licking hungrily, and the sound of screaming as the flames ate their prey alive.


I hope you enjoyed that little snippet.  If you haven't already gotten a copy of Dying Embers, it's available for Kindle, and in print through Amazon, B&N, Createspace, etc. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Something's still missing

Arrrrrrgggghhhhh!

I've worked hard on Catnapped: Matchmaker Mystery 3.

My editor worked hard on it.

I worked hard to implement  the changes my editor suggested.

And yet

AND YET

It still feels like there's something missing.

I just can't put my finger in on what it is.

WHAT IS IT????

It's certainly not missing any characters. Not only do we meet a couple of new characters in this third book in the series, but there are a lot of people who show up from other books. A LOT. (And it was sooo much fun weaving them in.)

It's driving me nuts.

I've tried all of my usual tricks like walking, driving, showering, and vacuuming. (Seriously, when I'm stuck I make a point of doing mindless tasks...usually it helps, but not today.)

Arrrrrgggghhhh!

On a significantly less frustrating note.  I received my paperback copy of DYING EMBERS by B.E. Sanderson this week. As one reviewer said, "Sparks fly and people die".


Tell me Killer Friends: What's frustrating for you this week? And what's making you happy?

Monday, March 9, 2015

5 Reasons To Love March!

This is the month I start to feel like spring might actually happen. It’s also the birth month of Albert Einstein, Wyatt Earp, and Johann Sebastian Bach.  We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and beware the Ides of March.



5 Reasons I Happy To Welcome In March!

  1. NCAA March Madness College Basketball, which I enjoy watching even though I’m not typically a sports person.
  2. International Women’s Day (March 8) – This year’s theme is Make It Happen.
  3. Deep (A Stage Dive Novel) by Kylie Scott releases.
  4. The days are longer, the sun is brighter, and my winter hibernation is almost over.
  5. But the best reason for enjoying this March is the fact I’m on holidays and spending some time in wonderful San Diego, California. A first for me.


What’s your favourite thing about March?


Friday, March 6, 2015

Forced Niceness

This morning I saw a news article talking about a man was attacked for shoveling another man's sidewalk.  The way they presented the event at first was as if this good Samaritan got attacked for being nice.

Except it doesn't sound like that's the way it played out.

Young dude takes it upon himself to shovel older dude's sidewalk.  Older dude says he doesn't want his sidewalk shoveled.  Younger dude gives him lip and keeps doing it anyway.  Older dude shoves him and blows snow in his face.  Older dude is now facing assault.

Oddly enough, this reminded me of something a few years back when I was in Colorado.  Our new neighbors decided they were going to shovel our driveway for us.  Without asking.  I told them not to - very nicely - and got attitude.  But they stopped.  The next time they started shoveling my driveway, I had to go out again and nicely ask them to knock it off.  I had my reasons.  I offered my reasons and they looked at me like I was nuts.

Nuts or not, though, my reasons were my reasons and they should've respected that.  Not tried to force their supposed niceness on me.

Now, I don't know what older dude's reasons were, but the young guy should've respected him and his right to his property.  He should've asked permission - 'Hey, would it be okay to shovel your sidewalk?' and if the other guy said, 'no', he should've gone on about his day. But he didn't and when he was told to stop, he didn't bother.  "I'm doing something nice, dammit, and you're going to appreciate it whether you want to or not."

Maybe older dude had landscaping along that sidewalk he didn't want the younger dude messing up.  Lord knows I've accidentally chunked up my own lawn along the edges of sidewalks and driveways enough to know it happens.  And that was me on my own lawn.  How could the younger dude possibly know what the older dude might've planted there?  Could've been prize-winning crocuses.  Either way it doesn't matter because it wasn't his place to force his niceness on someone else. 

Maybe the older dude was just nuts.  :shrug:  Who knows?

Sure there should never have been shoving or blowing of snow into anyone's face.  But it probably could've been avoided with common courtesy rather than 'niceness'.  But maybe that's just me.  Now the older dude is facing assault charges.  But is the younger dude facing trespassing charges?

Just sayin'.

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Another book, another month, another year over

Thought I'd just share some quick updates since it's my first post of the month.


ANOTHER BOOK

I finished writing the third Matchmaker Mystery and it's with my editor. While it's a stand-alone story, I had a lot of fun weaving in characters from the other Matchmaker books. I even snuck an extra one from the Hitwoman books in!

Right now I'm working on the blurb and getting ready to order the cover. Can't wait to see what my cover artist comes up with this time.

I also finished another book. (Don't be impressed. I started it in 2009!)  Can't really say anything about that one except it's with my agent, and will just wait to see what happens.


ANOTHER MONTH

In case you missed it, Amazon readers were kind enough to make last month's new release THE HITWOMAN'S DOWNWARD DOG a best seller. Thank you!

Last month was also great because I became the very proud human half of a Therapy Dog Team! Smudge and I passed all our tests and we're now ready to start our visits.


ANOTHER YEAR

Yesterday was my birthday and it was a great one. I felt so supported and loved by so many people. 



So what's up with the next book/month/year?


NEXT BOOK

I'm having a ball working on book ten in the Neurotic Hitwoman Series, THE HITWOMAN'S ACT OF CONTRITION.  



NEXT MONTH

I'm excited to be attending (and leading a workshop at) the FLORIDA CREATIVITY WEEKEND.  


NEXT YEAR

I'm not sure what this next year holds, but I'm looking forward to it.


Tell me Killer Friends: What sorts of good things have happened to you in the past month? What are you looking forward to this month?




Monday, March 2, 2015

Dating in the '80s

I not a believer in wishing time away but thank goodness February is done and it's March! And this March is special because I'm celebrating my 25th Wedding Anniversary.

This means we starting dating in the '80's. I'm not going to lie, I miss the eighties. Big hair, shoulder pads, tight and bright clothing. Flashdance, Back to the Future, Beverly Hills Cop,  Oh my gosh, remember The Blue Lagoon! That was our 50 Shades of Grey. One of my personal all time favourites - Bull Durham. Of course, Ferris Buehler's Day Off.


Dirty Dancing! How I loved Patrick Swayze. 


What I learned from the movies? Make the most of a situation, even a bad one!


Dating in the '80's was nothing like dating now. It was Pre-eHarmony and Match dot com. You could in fact miss a call. Or if you still lived at home, your mom might answer. Or worse, your dad. Your amount of privacy was determined by the length of the phone cord. You either never heard from the other person again or you broke up in person. There was no sexting. No sharing of your relationship status with the whole world. You let people know by holding hands in public (this could be a small town thing). You went out on a date - the guy came to the door. Or your dad came out while and your mom watched from the front window.

Here's the flash fiction version of my fairy tale. Two people got married. Holy crap were they young. The story continues.



What are your dating memories?