Sunday, November 29, 2015

Purse Confessions

Purse. Handbag. Pocketbook. Satchel. Wallet. Whatever you call the thing you carry around with you containing all the essentials. Unless you're one of those people who stuff things in pockets on the fly out the door, you own one.

Me? I love my purse. I've carried one around for forever. And here you have it, the contents of my purse.

A wallet.
Perscription sunglasses.
Book swag.
Crumpled receipts.
Hand cream. 
Two lipsticks. 
Dental floss.
One bandaid.

What kind of writer doesn't carry a notebook? I do have Evernote on my phone. I'm feeling pretty righteous about toting around only two tubes of lipstick and one tube of lipgloss. In the past there have been many more. I have a thing for lipstick.

I thought it would be fun to give you a hint of what my current heroine carries around with her. This work-in-progress is the third book in my Aspen Lake series. My heroine's name is Grace Bighill. Her life's kind of a mess right now. Okay, it's been a mess for awhile, going way, way back. And if you've lived in a small town you know there always seems to be families that see more than their share of drama. When folks gossip, they're usually the source. Some of it true, most of it not. In my small town of Aspen Lake that family is the Bighill family.

What's in your wallet?

In this scene Grace Bighill,  her sister Hope, and Constable Micheal Davenport are at a town hall meeting.

Hope nudged him. "Got any gum?"
Mike barely glanced at her mouthing the word, "No."
Another jab. "Ask Grace."
He didn't need to. She was already digging around in her oversized bag causing a ball of yarn to roll out. More furtive searching. From somewhere behind them came a warning shush.
"Crap. Hold this." Grace whispered the words into his ear, right before she dropped her wallet in his lap, along with knitting needles, sunscreen, and a water bottle. Followed by a pen, an earring, and her phone. Was that the top half of her bikini?
He stared down at the growing mountain of stuff trying not to think about the last item, or that purple palm trees were now his favourite thing. He had less personal clutter in his entire condo. Eventually she unearthed a tiny case of TicTacs. Because, of course, she would have to have the loudest option possible. She shoved them into his hand. "Here."
He bit his tongue and passed them on. Grace scooped up her things. He sat stoic and very, very still while her hands dived into his lap. One unfortunate brush over his fly and he shifted in his chair and held his breath. 
"Thanks, sweetie." Hope popped a couple in her mouth. "Want one?"

Friday, November 27, 2015

It's the Friday After Thanksgiving, What's up With You?

We were sitting around yesterday discussing today and trying to figure out when The Day After Thanksgiving morphed into Black Friday.  I'm thinking sometime in the mid to late '90s, but that could be my memory.  Before then it was Day After Thanksgiving Sales.  The women-folk of my family would get load into one or two cars and head off to the MALL - the one that had the Toys-R-Us across the street because we had many small children in the family.  It was a fun day.  We'd shop 'til we had our Christmas lists taken care of, eat a nice lunch out, and then go home. 

I imagine it wouldn't be like that these days.  I haven't been out on a Black Friday in years.  :shudder:

Today, like most Fridays (after Thanksgiving or otherwise), I'll be home.  The only difference is on other Fridays if I needed to go out, I would.  Today, I'm hiding.  I stocked up on everything like a blizzard was approaching, so I don't run out of anything before Monday.  The furor should've died down by then.

Today, I'll lay around like a fat dog because I gorged myself yesterday.

I didn't do a lick of work yesterday, so there's that, too.  I'm 20K into the reword on In Deep Wish and I said I'd have it to my editor by the end of next week.  Doable, but not if I take too many more days off.

The forecast for these parts is several days of torrential rain, so any other activities I'll be doing will be inside.  I only like going out in the rain if it's warm, and this is not warm.

So, for me, it's a quiet Friday hanging out with the Hubs. 

What's up with you today?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tis the day before Thanksgiving (in the US)

I thought it would be fun to ask (and answer) a few questions:

White meat or dark?

Either, I don't love or hate either.

Favorite side dish:

Mashed potatoes

Favorite dessert:

Cranberry apple pie or pumpkin pie

It's not Thanksgiving without____________:



Not me.

Football?  If so, who are you rooting for? If not, what do you do instead?

No football for me. I'll be reading B.E. Sanderson's latest release BloodFlow.

Wishing everyone who's celebrating a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bringing Your A Game and Other Cliches

If commercials and magazines are to be believed the upcoming season is all about bringing your A game. I don't have an A game when it comes to shopping, wrapping, or cooking. But I've got sit, read, and visit locked up.!

We all know successful holiday management should be a team effort. There is no 'i' in team after all. So why do I feel so alone while making my holiday lists? You know what word has an 'i'?  Village, which is what it takes to pull this whole thing off. There's also an 'i' in insanity. And let's face it, the holidays are a slippery slope, my friends. Maintain your sanity at all costs.

But apparently the best defense is a good offense. But since I'm not a sports person I don't know what that means. Time to force the players to buy into the coach's system. And that's me - the holiday coach. And it's a must win game. So, the pressure's on.

Go big or go home, baby!

I'm just kidding, do whatever you want. Wear what you want, reindeer antlers go with everything. Eat want you want. Sing. Laugh. Take a nap.

Know where else you're supposed to bring your A game? The bedroom.

Eight purple passages are up for the prize every author dreads, the annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction award. Can Erica Jong beat Morrissey to the sweetspot? 

The Guardian's Bad Sex Award 2015 contenders in quotes. Perhaps they should leave the writing of sex scenes to the professionals genre fiction authors.

* Using sports analogies in the bedroom can be hazardous to

Have a wonderful Monday! And remember: Put Your Game Face On.

What's your favourite sport's cliche?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Clutter Clutter Everywhere

Sitting at my desk as I write this, I am struck by the massive clutter.  This happens when I'm busy.  No time to file.  No time to tuck things back into their rightful places.  So where it lands, it stays until I'm nit busy anymore.  Or until I get so fed up I tidy everything in a manic whirlwind that will leave me unable to find anything afterwards.

Right now, I have a receipt for something or other sitting right there in front of me, partially covering my framed pic of the parents.  (Sorry, Dad.) Next to that is a note with some numbers I need to transcribe into the checkbook.  My datebook sits on top of a notepad where I jot important information.  On top of my computer are two printed recipes that need to migrate into the kitchen and be placed in the recipe binder.  On the floor beside me are a stack of printed receipts for self-pub expenses that need to be entered into my spreadsheet and then filed.  Next to those on the floor are pages of Fertile Ground - printed and hand-written, along with a spiral notebook that appears to contain edit notes for Accidental Death. 


But that's not the worst of it.  My harddrive is a total mess.  I have things in my download folder that need to be moved to where they actually belong - not the least of which are the new cover images for Wish in One Hand.  Wish in One Hand files are also scattered between my old Djinnocide folder and my new WIOH folder.  I need to rename the Djinn2 folder to In Deep Wish.  Saved receipts need to be stuffed into the SelfPubBiz folder.  I have old copies of EVERYTHING cluttered into EVERYWHERE.  I mean, seriously, do I need to keep all those old queries?  The early drafts of books I've already published?

I'm such a pack rat.  But as this self-publishing machine continues to roll along and pick up more books, I'm having a harder time finding anything on here.  Arrgghh.

We won't talk about my desktop.  What I typically do there is take the files that are cluttering my desktop and drag them to another file.  So guess what?  That other file is totally crammed with crap. 

It's on my to-do list to clean up the 'puter.  With the launch of BloodFlow fast approaching and Wish in One Hand on sale and populating to other distribution sites, and all the marketing that goes with both, who wants to place a bet on whether the hard drive cleanup gets done any time soon? 

Do you have clutter?  What do you do about it?  Do you take care of things the minute you're done with them or does life get in the way?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Our 1000th post giveaway!

Many thanks to B.E. for pointing out that this is the 1000th post from the Killer Chicks.

We've had some amazing ladies as contributors over the years, so I thought it only fitting I give them a shout-out.

Our current contributors:

B.E.'s latest release WISH IN ONE HAND is just 99 cents!

‘Be careful what you wish for.’ 
In hindsight, Jo Mayweather should’ve taken those words seriously back in 1926. Of course, spoiled brat, flapper-girl that she was, Jo probably would’ve made the not-so-clever wish that turned her into a genie anyway.  

Being endowed with phenomenal power may have its perks but, for the most part, life’s been a pain in her tiny hiney. After running into a ‘slash first, ask questions never’ genie, her problems only worsen. Some demented thing is making wishes that can’t be granted and djinn are dying. Now, instead of freeing her brethren from their bonds, Jo has a killer to neutralize.  

If she’d kept her mouth shut ninety years ago, she wouldn’t be in this mess. But she’s got a job to do despite some reject from a bad B-movie trying to ruin everything she’s worked so hard for. Too bad this time doing her job might get her killed.  

Or worse—enslaved again.

Buy it on AMAZON
And don't forget to pre-order her next book BloodFlow

Karyn's latest release is EXPOSED

Kate Logan needs a safe haven, a place to start over after her modeling career disintegrates in scandal. But her hometown of Aspen Lake isn’t the sanctuary she hoped. Her vow of a low-key life is disrupted by a break-in and other strange happenings at her boutique. As the chair of Aspen Lake’s Gothic Revival Festival, she’s also drawn the ire of a religious fanatic. Kate is up to her stilettos in drama and intrigue including one sexy carpenter who’s determined to get in her way. 

New to town, Seth Stone is seeking inspiration and solitude to concentrate on his art. Short on funds, he agrees to take on a second job restoring the damage to Kate’s Closet. Trouble erupts along with the desire to get to know Kate better. When he’s used as a pawn in a smear campaign against his gorgeous boss Seth fights back. But now the whole town is watching. Including the man determined to further his own agenda. Time is running out with nowhere to hide.

Buy it on AMAZON

Our former contributor:

Bernadette's newest release FORBIDDEN WORLDS is a boxed set containing 7 steamy sci-fi novellas


Lea Vargas’s only chance to save her sister lies in enslaving herself to bounty hunter Damon Cantor, the only man to ever escape a forbidden world.  


Before Charity Foster loses her life, she’ll lose her heart to the man assigned to capture her. 


Nola Rule’s mission is genetic espionage. Her target is Tarrant Kane. Every move she makes is a calculated risk and the greatest danger she faces is falling in love. 


Fletcher Gray doesn’t particularly want a sex slave, but he gets one anyway after he frees Talia Lory from a vat of the galaxy’s most powerful aphrodisiac. 


Tess agrees to have her consciousness downloaded into a prototype android body named Sydney. Now physically perfect and stunningly beautiful, she learns far more about her own sexuality than she thought possible. But after seven days, she also discovers the consequences of giving herself over to her every wicked desire.  


When Mara Zander’s dream man walks out of the pounding surf to claim her, she discovers he’s much more than just a fantasy. 


Renna must fulfill her destiny and submit to an ancient ritual at the Temple of the Sun God. Can she give up the man she loves to ensure peace on her world? 

Buy it on AMAZON


Jennifer's latest release is WONDERLAND

Fans of Chelsea Cain and Lisa Gardner will devour this edgy thriller about the gruesome secrets hidden beneath a small-town amusement park. From the author of Creep, Freak, and The Butcher, Jennifer Hillier's "fine knack for creating hideous killers" (Booklist) is vividly on display.

Welcome to Wonderland. By day, it's a magical place boasting a certain retro charm. Excited children, hands sticky with cotton candy, run frenetically from the Giant Octopus ride to the Spinning Sombrero, while the tinkling carnival music of the giant Wonder Wheel--the oldest Ferris wheel in the Pacific Northwest--fills the air. But before daybreak, an eerie feeling descends. Maybe it's the Clown Museum, home to creepy wax replicas of movie stars and a massive collection of antique porcelain dolls. Or maybe it's the terrifyingly real House of Horrors. Or...maybe it's the dead, decaying body left in the midway for all the Wonder Workers to see.

Vanessa Castro's first day as deputy police chief of Seaside, Washington, is off to a bang. The unidentifiable homeless man rotting inside the tiny town's main tourist attraction is strange enough, but now a teenage employee--whose defiant picture at the top of the Wonder Wheel went viral that same morning--is missing. As the clues in those seemingly disparate crimes lead her down a mysterious shared path of missing persons that goes back decades, she suspects the seedy rumors surrounding the amusement park's dark history might just be true. She moved to Seaside to escape her own scandalous past, but has she brought her family to the center of an insidious killer's twisted game? Acclaimed author Jennifer Hillier's bone-chilling thriller is masterful and fast-paced, hurtling toward a shocking, bloody conclusion.

But it on AMAZON

Don't miss Joann's TIN LILY

Just because you survive doesn’t mean you’re alive. 

One moment fifteen-year-old Lily Berkenshire is sitting in her bedroom, favorite song blaring through her earbuds, history book open on her lap. The next, her alcoholic father is shooting and killing her mother. Then he’s pointing the gun at Lily and pulling the trigger. Click. He’s out of bullets. 

For now. 

When she moves to Seattle to live with her aunt, Lily retreats into peaceful, dissociative trances to escape the shattered nightmare that is her life. Soon, though, she discovers a beautiful boy who wants to take her out, a therapist who wants to help her heal and new friends who believe she can find wholeness again. 

But her father wants something else entirely. He is hunting her and unless Lily confronts and heals the devastation inside her, she’ll forfeit her life to a father determined to end it. 

From the first shot to the final, terrifying showdown, Tin Lily is an edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller.
Buy it on AMAZON


My latest release is THE HITWOMAN HIRES A MANNY

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? 

Buy it on AMAZON

My heartfelt thanks to Joann, Jennifer, Bernadette, Karyn and B.E.  for joining me on this wild and crazy adventure!

OKAY KILLER FRIENDS:  Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win your choice of an ebook from any of us. Three winners will be announced next Wednesday!

Monday, November 16, 2015

It's The Little Things

It's the little things that give you comfort when other areas of your life seem out of control. When you don't understand why things have to be the way they are and you're at a loss as to what to do to make things better. It's times like these, when I'm trying to make my way back to solid ground, that I remind myself all I can do is take the next small step.

Here are some of the things that work for me.

Stretch: Do it on the couch. Do it at yoga class. Do it while cooking dinner.

Purposeful Breathing: Does that make any kind of sense? I breathe in for 3 seconds and out for 3 seconds. For 3 minutes. On my yoga mat. In the middle of my living room. First thing in the morning while the water is boiling for tea.

Color: Add a splash to your day. Whether it's on paper, the wall, or to your lips.  

Flowers. They make everything better. Even if it's a dandelion in a shot glass.

Momentos: I love having little reminders of past good times around me. This little bowl has rocks from various beaches we've visited. There's one full of shells. Photos on shelves. 

Nature: Take a hike. Urban or rural, it's all good exercise.

What little things make you smile? Release a little tension? Bring you back to center?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sneak Peek - BloodFlow

It's Friday? Wait, what?  Seriously, though, I meant to have this post already scheduled, but life intruded.  I'm hoping to have my latest book - BloodFlow - uploaded for pre-order sometime today which should make it live by tomorrow.  While you're waiting, here's a little snippet to whet your appetite...

“I’m too old for this cloak and dagger shit,” she told her reflection as she adjusted her rearview for the dozenth time. “As soon as I hand this over, I’m telling Miranda everything.” Losing herself in how she would phrase her apology, she drove on autopilot over pavement she traveled frequently.
“Son of a—” she said as something made her car jump and the wheel jerked in her hands. A big, black SUV was feet from her right rear bumper. “Hey! Watch where you’re—”
The tank of a vehicle hit her again. Harder. Fighting to keep her car on the road, she spared one hand to reach for her cell phone. Three little numbers and the authorities would know what was occurring. She could only hope the people she reached weren’t connected somehow with the persons trying to run her off the road.
Vic heard the words “Nine-One-One. What’s your emergency?” as a third thump hit her on the right rear side. In that instant, she lost her battle to control the car. She slid from the roadway toward a stand of towering trees before she had the chance to bark out her location.
The airbags exploded in her face when the grill impacted its first obstacle.
Oak. Why did it have to be oak? wandered through her mind right before consciousness slipped away.
When she opened her eyes again, she couldn’t tell whether she’d been sitting there minutes or hours. She hurt like hell. As the sound of sirens swam at her through the darkness, an observation hit her almost as hard as the oak. Someone left her passenger door open.
Another came in rapid succession: Her satchel was gone.

Prove you’re an American! Join your elected officials and get implanted today!
The highest levels of the government believe Project Hermes is the best way to control America’s immigration problem. A simple microchip carrying a citizen’s information will allow officials to sort out who belongs—and who doesn’t.  Harmless.
Unless the chip carries more than just information.
Agent Miranda Kruz of the Terrorism Task Force has reason to believe something is very wrong with Project Hermes.  People are dying and the clues all point to a microchip implant. But Randi’s superiors don’t want anything or anyone interfering with their pet project. They’re threatening her job, her loved ones, and her life to keep her from revealing their secret. With the help of medical examiner, Vic Hammond, and electronics engineer, Jack Davis, Randi has to uncover the truth and make it public before anyone else is targeted for death.
Locating the madmen behind these executions will be hard enough—stopping them might just be impossible.

Keep an eye out here.  I'll post a link when the book is actually available for pre-order! 

BloodFlow is available for pre-order!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sneak peek at the next Hitwoman book

I'm on deadline this week, which means wringing a blog post from my tired brain is like trying to get water from a stone.

Instead, I'll share a first (unedited) glimpse of Hitwoman 12.


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 farmyard 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.

If I’d still had the ability to talk to animals, I could have reasoned with the bashful bird, but I’d lost that capacity after getting a knock on the noggin during a car crash, which was why, I was chasing a damn chicken.

“Amost got him that time,” my friend Armani yelled.

I looked back at where she stood on the cement stoop of a rundown house.

It was her fault I was there. Her fault I was running around like a maniac trying to catch the wayward fowl.

Go see the shaman,” she’d said. “You’ll be able to talk to the animals.”

Tell me Killer Friends: Have YOU ever caught a chicken?

Monday, November 9, 2015

My Writing Space - Photo Diary Style

First off, you're probably noticing it's very yellow. When I looked up colours that inspire creativity yellow was at the top of the list. I think they meant a buttercup yellow or maybe a lemon yellow instead of this flying-to-close-to-the-sun yellow. Also the carpet is blue. Which is not my fault. It was like that when we moved in. But it's all good, if I'm ever in danger of forgetting the 80s I just look down.

This is my self-help shelf. Say that three times fast.

Essentials. My computer, of course. I start my day with tea and sometimes a smoothie. 

I admit it. I like jewelry. But when things get serious it comes off.

My bulletin board with it's quotes and names of book to read, possible title of books to write, and a reminder to breathe.

And finally my muse! See all the ideas sparking out of her head? And that's it. A look at where the head-thumping, hand-wringing, and staring at my computer magic happens. What does your creative space look like?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Tips for Winning and Surviving NaNo

NaNoWriMo started on Sunday. National Novel Writing Month. A month approached with much fear and trepidation and anxiety and stress by writers and would-be writers around the world.  (Maybe it should be InNoWriMo for the International participants.)

For me, NaNo is something to look forward to.  I've been a willing participant - both officially and un - since about 2006.  For me, it's a time for me to set aside everything else and just write.  And my family knows that during November, I am less available, which makes it a tad easier.  (Except this year. I'm too busy getting ready for BloodFlow to launch.) 

Anyway, the point is I don't freak out over NaNo. Which might be why the fear, trepidation, anxiety, and stress might not hit me as hard as most.

How could I possibly be so relaxed about NaNo, you ask?

Here are a few tips I've learned over the years:

1)  Recognize that you are NOT going to write a whole book.  50K words is rarely enough to get you from CHAPTER ONE to THE END - even in first draft form.  You're going to slop over into December.  And that's okay.

2)  No one is going to whip you with a thousand al dente noodles if you don't write 50K words in November.  The point is actually NOT to write 50K in November.  It's to write as many words as you can in November.  For some people that might mean 30K.  For others, 65K.  The point, at least from my perspective, is to make a commitment to set your butt down and write.  Make writing important enough to set aside x amount of time during a 30 day span and work toward actually finishing a whole novel.

3)  Cut yourself some slack.  If something major happens in your life during the month of November, don't stress.  Life's too short to angst over not getting a paper certificate you have to print out yourself and a cute 'winner' graphic to post on your blog.  Move the rest of your writing days to a time when you can write.  Make the commitment and do it.  Then make your own certificate and sparkly graphic. And if someone gets in your face about it, tell them to bugger off. 

4)  You're only accountable to yourself.  Even if you chose to use the official NaNoWriMo site. 

5)  Give yourself permission to suck.  That's probably the best advice I ever got about writing.  Followed closely by - You can fix it later, but you can't fix an empty page.  If you're going to type 1667 words a day on average, you have to silence your internal editor.  This is also called 'Dirty Drafting'.  It's expected to not be the cleanest thing.  You have 2016 to edit. Write now.  If it sucks today, push through. 

There are other things, of course - like make a plan beforehand or cook freezer-friendly meals in October - but you'll get those down as you go.  And they're things that you learn over the course of growing as a writer anyway.  They might even be things that are particular to you.  For instance, I learned I write better between after dinner and bedtime.

So, kick back and relax.  Have some coffee.  Set your buns down.  Put your fingers on the keyboard.  Write away.  Seriously.  I know it sounds daunting, but it'll be okay.  :hugs:

And just so you know, every book I've published so far this year started out as a NaNo project.  And they all sucked until after I edited them.  Hell, Wish in One Hand was totally re-written twice before it reached the point where I could edit it into a publishable novel.  ;o)