Friday, October 30, 2015

Exciting Things Are Happening

Sitting down last night to write this post, I was struck by the exciting things that are happening for us Killer Chicks.  And I'm pretty damn proud of us all.

JB Lynn launched TWO books recently.  Until Proven Innocent - Unjustly Accused Book 1 - a romantic suspense centering on a woman wrongly convicted of murder and someone kidnapping children in the town where she lives after she's exonerated (even though the townsfolk won't let her forget she was convicted).  Gritty stuff.  Gripping.  And then there's The Hitwoman Hires a Manny - the 11th book in her Neurotic Hitwoman series.  The whole series is fun and light with an undercurrent of heart running through it.  It's got mystery and romance and talking pets.  Awesome stuff.

Karyn Good recently released Exposed - in her Aspen Lake series. Karyn's in also a romantic suspense centering around a disgraced model and her efforts to rebuild her life when no one seems to want her to succeed.  Add in a hunky carpenter, an overprotective father, and a religious cultist.  Nail biter.

And I'm getting ready to launch BloodFlow - a political thriller / tech suspense with dastardly plots and government intrigue and an unlikely trio of friends bent on tracking down a killer only to find the bad guy might not be the worst of their problems.  (Due out 11/24/15.)

Like I said, exciting things are happening.  Of course.  We're the Killer Chicks.  Right?  Three gals who thrive on excitement - as long as it's within the pages of a book.  ;o)

An additional piece of excitement.  My paranormal suspense - Wish in One Hand - is on sale right now for 99c.  Make a wish and snag a bit of genie magic for a limited time.

Anything exciting happening in your life?  Anything to look forward to?  Anything we should know? 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Release Day! THE HITWOMAN HIRES A MANNY

Another installment in the CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN is here!

Time to find out what kind of trouble Maggie's getting into this time!


Inept hitwoman Maggie Lee has a lot to juggle. 

She’s about to start a new job, her niece, Katie, who she is responsible for, is finally coming home from the hospital, and her ever “helpful” aunt has hired someone to help with her care. 

Fresh out of the Navy, Angel Delveccio is not anyone’s idea of a typical nanny. 

Which is convenient, considering Maggie’s life is anything but typical. 

With the help of her snarky lizard, moody cat, and goofy dog, Maggie tries to solve the cold case of her sister’s disappearance, while contending with the present day threat of a violent ex-con, all while playing instant “mom” and trying to ease Katie’s transition into her new home. 

Can Maggie juggle it all? Or will all of these distractions prove to be deadly? 


KOBO

available on Nook and iBooks soon!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Hello My Name is Karyn and I'm a Perfectionist

Funny how I didn't think of myself as a perfectionist but know myself to be an anxious person. When I did a little digging I came to realize I am a perfectionist. I also learned that perfectionists are often anxious people. Which makes sense when you think about the cycle of thought it creates. About a year ago I decided my everyday life (ha, is there any other kind?) was lacking some much needed scheduling and organization. I've made great strides in achieving that goal. I still procrastinate over certain things. Writing down appointments continues to be a challenge. Seems so simple. And I don't why it's hard, only that it is. Probably because I don't want to deal with most of those appointments. Procrastination? Also a symptom of anxiety. 
So while I continue to work on last year's goal, it's time to add a new one. Dealing the perfectionist part of the equation. I've done some work with cognitive behavioual therapy and know about self-talk. Very helpful. Highly recommend looking into it if you feel in need of some useful suggestions to get you back on track.

Here are some quotes on perfectionism:
The world doesn’t reward perfectionists; it rewards finishers.  - Kristen Lamb
This post at Writer Unboxed titled Good Enough by M.J. Rose about conquering perfectionism.
If we allow ourselves to remain at the mercy of our desire for perfection, not only will the perfect elude us, so will the good.” – Alex Lickerman, M.D. in Happiness in this World
The Harvard Business Review: How To Escape Perfectionism.
But the world doesn’t reward perfection. It rewards productivity. And productivity can only be achieved through imperfection. Make a decision. Follow through. Learn from the outcome. Repeat over and over and over again. It’s the scientific method of trial and error. Only by wading through the imperfect can we begin to achieve glimpses of the perfect.
Check out The Feel Good Lifestyle blog and Pia Savoie’s post on From Perfection to Action: 5 Simple Tips to (Finally) Free Yourself from Perfectionism.
The allure of perfection is like a mirage. It cannot be achieved, because there is no final destination.
I’m going to work on the letting go of perfect, especially when it comes to my writing. To strive for quality, but not at the expense of finishing. To try new approaches. To stretch my wings. To help others reach their dreams.
To imperfection.
To honesty.
To effort.
To being enough.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Thank Goodness for Friends

I wish I was better at this marketing thing.  If I was, I would've marketed this month as Cascading Sale Month or Countdown Deal Month or something.  Of course, if I was more heads-up about marketing, I would've realized I needed to have some sales last month and could've planned for all this better instead of leaving it all to the last minute.  But I didn't, so here I am. 

It seems to me that writers are not the best marketers.  We can write pages and pages of entertaining prose.  We can make you think, or make you cry, or make you laugh, or give you the shivers with our words, but when it comes time to write marketing copy (back cover blurbs, ads, taglines, etc.), we freeze. 

I cast around looking for someone to help me.  Thankfully, I have kind friends.  They cast around looking for someone to help them, too.  Because while we are all awesome and insightful with other people's stuff, we suck at our own.  It's tragic, really.  Or it would be if we weren't all open to helping each other.

I mean, we could pay someone to write copy for us.  (And sometimes we do.)  We can't all afford that, though, and I think that finding another writer - one who understand you and what you're trying to achieve - can be a better alternative.  Maybe that's just me. 

But like I said, I'm not good at this.

And on that note, you may have noticed from the image up there that Accidental Death is on sale.  Last week, Dying Embers was on sale.  Next week, Wish in One Hand will be on sale.  Cascading Sale Month.  See?

Gah.  I'm so bad at this.

Thank goodness for friends. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Festival of Reading!

I'm looking forward to attending the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading this weekend.

I went last year and had a great time and this year's line-up of authors (Judy Blume! Be still my pre-teen heart) is just as impressive. The list is too long to post (you can see it here).

There's nothing better than being surrounded by hundreds (maybe thousands? I'm a writer, not an abacus!) of enthusiastic readers of all ages.

Unless of course you get to see a couple of your personal pals basking in the glow of a readership that hangs on their every word.

I'm looking forward to seeing my friends Kimberly Karalius and Phillippe Diederich enthrall the masses with tales about their writing adventures.

Let me introduce them to you:

KIMBERLY KARALIUS author of LOVE FORTUNES AND OTHER DISASTERS



Kimberly Karalius is the author of Love Fortunes and Other Disasters and its forthcoming sequel Love Charms and Other Catastrophes (May 2016). If you gave her a wish bone, she would wish fervently for snow in Florida. Her love for 90s cartoons (or any cartoons, really) knows no bounds. She might be the only person you know who can be completely engrossed in watching silent films. Being in Florida certainly has one big perk: going to Disney World. Which she does. Frequently. 


Love is real in the town of Grimbaud and Fallon Dupree has dreamed of attending high school there for years. After all, generations of Duprees have successfully followed the (100% accurate!) love fortunes from Zita’s famous Love Charms Shop to happily marry their high school sweethearts. It’s a tradition. So she is both stunned and devastated when her fortune states that she will NEVER find love.
Fortunately, Fallon isn’t the only student with a terrible love fortune, and a rebellion is brewing. Fallon is determined to take control of her own fate—even if it means working with a notorious heartbreaker like Sebastian.
Will Fallon and Sebastian be able to overthrow Zita’s tyranny and fall in love?

Find it on AMAZON and other major retailers!


Phillippe Diederich author of SOFRITO









Monday, October 19, 2015

Five Signs You're In Love With A Great Book

Isn't it just the best feeling? Loving a book. They're always there for you whenever you need them. They don't talk back. They don't have sports playing on the television - all day long. They don't call you incessantly to ask who you're voting for on election day. And like today, they comfort you while you wait for your daughter to come out of surgery - nothing serious, dental work. But I worry. Then I worry some more so I have all the worry bases covered. This is why books are essential to my continued well-being.

They just give.



Five Signs You Might Be In Love With A Great Book:

  1. You take it to bed with you. Night after night. You hold it. It does things for you another book can't.
  2. You read a line then lift your head to stare off into space thinking that is the best sentence in the history of sentences. Could be sweet talk, dirty talk, sparkly details, dark thoughts, either or it's so freaking awesome your heart grows three sizes.
  3. You tell every single person you know, those you don't, and the neighbor's dog about this great book you're reading. You're crushed when only the dog gets it.
  4. You don't eat until the last page is read. You've thanked the powers that be you can pee while you read. And that your boss believed your lame-assed excuse for missing work that day.
  5. You're a book lender. You love sharing books. Except not this book. Someone asks to borrow it and you pretend you've misplaced it (ha) or have already lent it to someone else (no way in Hell). Because you've already put in on the Special Shelf. The one that's booby trapped. If someone dares touch it they're going to lose a hand because this is a book you'll be reading again. The day will come when you need the comfort of those characters, that story, and the things it made you feel.

That's how you know you're hooked and happy to stay that way. And when it ends, it ends. But it's never goodbye.

It's also how you know you're just a little bit nuts. In the best possible way.




Friday, October 16, 2015

Such a Deal - Bargain Time

I don't know if you've heard, perhaps you have, but my first novel, Dying Embers, is on sale through tomorrow night.  The ebook is marked down from $2.99 to 99 cents, and the paperback is marked down from $12.99 to $9.99
While supplies last... Oh, who am I kidding?  There's no inventory.  Each book is produced just for you at the time of your order, so they'll last for as long as Amazon exists.  But the sale will only last 'til Saturday night, so you best get a move on.

Don't let a deal like this pass you by. 

From the cover copy:

Dwelling on the past can be murder.
Emma Sweet looks more like a trophy wife than a killer, but as she watches her cheating husband burn alive in his Mercedes, she knows her trophy life is over. Every man she ever loved hurt her. Now it’s time to hurt them back. As she travels from state to state, crossing a name off her list each time she ends a life, she’s only one step ahead of Agent Douglas. She doesn’t care if she gets caught really, as long as the last name on her list—the first man to break her heart—gets the justice he’s earned before the law catches up with her.

With the memory of a fatal house fire looming over her, no one can blame Jace Douglas for being pyrophobic, but agents with the Serial Crimes Investigation Unit don’t get to pick and choose assignments. When a series of murders all have the same killing signature, she can’t let the flames of her past interfere with the job. Alongside one pushy—and altogether too attractive—detective, she embarks on a cross-country manhunt to catch a killer before another man dies.


Tell your friends. Tell your family.  Tell your local bookclub, your library, your sewing circle.  Tell your exes - because, hey, they might need a little bit of 'looking over their shoulder' time*.

And to everyone who's already bought a copy, THANKS!  To everyone who's bought a copy and reviewed it, YOU ROCK!  It's really been an amazing journey and I owe it all to my friends, my family, my fans, and readers everywhere.  :HUGS:

*just kidding. I do not, in any way, advocate frightening your lost loves.  That's Emma's mission, and she's a psycho.  Don't be a psycho. ;o)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

This week I'm working on...

It's almost 5pm and I just realized I was supposed to put up a blog post today.

Sorry, B.E. and Karyn!

So what should I talk about since I obviously don't have anything planned?

((cue chirping crickets))

Since I can't think of anything, I'll just share the first draft of the opening of Hitwoman 12 so that at least you'll know that I didn't just forget blogging. I'm working hard.

You know its going to be a bad day when your future rides on your ability to catch a chicken.

My name is Maggie Lee and I’d never caught a chicken in my life. (Unless you count the time in the supermarket my mentally unstable mother decided that a bird would make an excellent projectile to chuck at the butcher’s head. But that bird was dead and wrapped in plastic, which, you can trust me on this, makes catching it easier.)

Despite my lack of barnyard expertise, I found myself running around a backyard in a neighborhood where there are more needle tracks than chicken tracks trying to catch a ball of black, brown and red feathers. Every time I got near the bird, it would flap its wings and race away, squawking at me indignantly.

I’d already performed a triple sow cow, or Salchow if you want to be technical about it, but since I was chasing a farm yard animal, I’m calling it a sow cow.  Said move had resulted in me sprawling headfirst into the dirt. Now my knees were sore, my palms were scraped and my dignity was dinged.


There would be no perfect 10  for me. At the rate I was going, the score was Chicken: 5, Maggie: Negative 3.

I'm having a ball writing this one. Can you tell?

Hitwoman 11 should be out in the next couple of weeks!  And I'm hoping to put this one out in December!  

God approves.  ;-)


Monday, October 12, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner Cooking Debacle

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. I love long weekends. It means food, people, and getting together. I love to feed people. So, with a light heart and the best of intentions we invited the usual suspects to our house for dinner.

And so it begins.

And it's all good! Turkey is ready to be stuffed. Ham is waiting in the wings. Potatoes, coleslaw, carrots, pickles and such are in the house. Buns and dessert coming with guests.


It's go time! I've got my game face on. Also my favourite t-shirt, because if you're cooking enough food to feed Liechtenstein confidence is everything, even if a teeny tiny part of me is hoping the whole skull and crossbones print thing isn't an omen.

Cue the power outage.

Bird has been in the oven for a couple of hours. Ham needs to go in. Bad, very bad. You kind of need electricity for this sort of thing.

Or do you?

Not when you have a gas barbeque, you don't. Plan B. Meat moved outside. Keeping in mind we usually use it to grill things not roast giant birds. But once again, it's all good.

Cue the gale force winds and rain.

Pours a tumbler of honey cinnamon vodka and Pepsi. Better. Begin to relax.

Jack goes to check on things: Mumbles about a problem.

I ignore him because I just don't want to know.

Jack, rather desperately: "Karyn! We have a problem."

Chugs down drink: "What!?!"

Cue raging grease fire.

I like to think at this point even the unflappable Martha Stewart would become a bit flustered. We rush into action pelted by the wind and rain, which is not putting out the fire by the way! But it is doing a number on my hair. And yes, I care about those types of things. Fire is out and we save the f*@^#$g bird.

Bird transfered to back into a roaster, because I'm not using my embarrassingly-costly-I'm-never-doing-this-again new roaster on the BBQ.  Deep breath.  It's all good. Turkey is slightly mauled looking, but so are we.

Take nap, which seemed like a good idea at the time. I think it was a combination of exhaustion and booze.

Wake up. Remember the ham. Poor ham. At least it's not under done.

Still no power. Getting rather dark inside the house. Only going to get darker. Need to find candles. Time to let go of the fantasy of mashed potatoes and gravy. Light every single candle we own.

Power comes back on.

Just enough time to peel, cook, and mash potatoes. Deal with the carrots. Make the gravy. Turkey is very done, but by now so am I, and about to be carved.

Time to give thanks, eat and watch some baseball. Okay, I only watched because everyone else was, but still: GO BLUE JAYS!

Fall into bed exhausted. But thankful. Because now I have a story to tell.



Friday, October 9, 2015

Autumn Happiness

Autumn in the Ozarks isn't quite in full gear yet.  The leaves are just barely turning.  The temps are teasing me with their hot and cool routine. But it's so close I can taste it in the air.

The geese are beginning to make their ways across the sky, passing through to their winter vacation homes. The first sapsucker has returned.

The mums are a riot of color.  I love mums for this very reason.  They bloom when just about everything else is done.  The only other flower blooming in my yard right now are the marigolds.  They make me happy, too.


It's time to replace the furnace filters and take the AC units out of the windows.  We took our unit out of the garage window (Max lives in style, doncha know) and discovered a bat underneath it.  I hope he was only planning on staying there for one day because I had to evict him.  It wouldn't have been a good place to winter anyway.

It's finally cool enough to make soups and stews and chili again.  And other things that take a long time in the oven and would otherwise make the house unbearable during the summer months.  Yesterday, I baked a ham.  It was like a little holiday dinner on a Thursday.

The caterpillars are out in force, finding a space to metamorphose (spelled that right first try... yay).  Driving to Walmart yesterday was a study in avoiding woolly-bears.  They have a special place in my heart.  My little fuzzy brown and black friends from childhood.

We also had an eastern tiger swallowtail caterpillar on the house.  I hope he found a place to turn into an adult.  Those are so beautiful.

What are some things that are making you happy this time of year? 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What are you afraid of?

It seems like I've been having a lot of conversations about fear lately.

Not things like this


or this

or  this



No, I've been having conversations about stuff like this

I've had conversations about failure, or more specifically the fear of failure, with a lot of people, but the most interesting conversation was with my physical therapist.  (I had knee surgery a couple of months ago and I'm working to regain use of my knee.)

He told me to do something and I said, "I can't."

"No!" he yelled.

(He yells that A LOT...but means it in the best possible way.)

"You're failing to try," he lectured.

FAILING TO TRY 

How many of us are guilty of that in many aspects of our life?

I am.

A LOT.

So now I'm trying to be aware of when I fail to try. 

(And yes, I'm mentally yelling, "No!" at myself whenever I catch myself doing it.)


I'll share something, I'm afraid of failing at:

Later this month, I'll be releasing my romantic suspense novel UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT.

I haven't put out such a dark book since 2011.  I'm afraid it won't find an audience. I'm afraid those that find it will hate it. I'm afraid that I've wasted a lot of time and money on a project that will end up being a massive failure.

I caught myself "failing to try" to make the book a success when I realized I was putting off purchasing advertising. After all, if I don't put the word out that the book exists, its failure won't be my fault, right?

Right?!?!

"NO!!!!"



Tell me Killer Friends: What are you afraid of? And how do you combat your fears?







Monday, October 5, 2015

I Do Love A Man In A Suit!

You know how they say a suit is to women what lingerie to is men?

You won’t get an argument out of me!
After all, my husband walks out our door in one every work day morning. After twenty-five years, it still works for me.

And then there's the tv show, Suits. Which I love!


Mr. Darcy. Obviously. 


Random guy in field with dog.


If I were to caption this? Good job, boy. I think we've found the dump site.

What about you? What about your favorite hero? What would he leave the house in: Three Piece Suit, Head to Toe Leather, Uniform all the Way, or Cape and Spandex, Baby?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Writer Fuel - Savory Chili

Well, the weather is beginning to cool, and I'm up to my underoos in alligators with writing.  What's a girl to do?  Make chili.  It's quick.  It's easy.  And there are always leftovers, which saves me from having to cook another night.  Or when I'm deep in the trenches, I can tell Hubs to forage and he'll heat some leftovers for himself.

Now, my chili isn't spicy.  It's savory.  And oh, so good.  But that's my opinion.  Here's the recipe.  If you try it, let me know.

Savory Chili

1 lb 90% lean ground beef
1 can pinto beans
1 can dark read kidney beans
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can tomato soup
1/3 packet chili seasoning (McCormicks or Walmart or whatever)
1 beef bouillon cube
2 T dried onion flakes
onion powder, salt, pepper, chili powder to taste.

Brown ground beef (using a little salt and pepper to make the burger yummy).  While it's browning, get out the crock pot.  Open all the cans and dump them into the crock pot.  Turn the crock pot on high and stir.  Add in the chili seasoning packet stuff. Stir.  When the beef is done, dump it into the crock pot.  Stir.  Add in the bouillon cube and the onion flakes.  Stir.  Add other seasonings to your taste.  Stir.  Put the lid on and forget about it for a while - stirring when you happen to think about it.  Taste it once it gets hot and add more seasonings if you like. Should take about 4 hours. Serve hot with crackers or corn chips or cheese.  Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.  I usually have enough for two meals for two, or a dinner and a couple lunches.  =o)

Enjoy!