Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Yellowstone Pics!

I just got home last night from vacation and I'm too tired to blog, so I'll do what everyone else does when they get back from vacation and just show you some of my unedited photos from the trip.

I went to Cody, WY, Yellowstone National Park, West Yellowstone, MT and Jackson Hole, WY. Breathtakingly beautiful spots.

Like I said, I haven't edited, but here are a few pictures .








Monday, June 27, 2016

Camping and Reading

I'm buried in camping equipment. Because, yes, we're going tenting for a couple of nights. Leaving the confines of our comfortable home to gambol about in the wilderness. Huddle around a fire in the evenings. And nosh on charred meat offerings. All that fun requires an amazing amount of...stuff.

Communal washrooms aside, it's all about fresh air, bird song, and night stars. Lazy days spent reading, snapping pictures and relaxing. Although I may go into Netflix withdrawal. But I'm be home in time to celebrate Canada Day on Friday. Because I do not want to be in a campground on a long weekend.

Here's a link you might find interesting:

Top Ten Books To Take Camping



Also, just a tiny reminder that if you're looking for a book to read this coming holiday weekend I've got three suggestions!







What are you up to this week?

Friday, June 24, 2016

Naming Things

I was standing at my bathroom window this morning watching a mama raccoon and her five babies, thinking 'well, Rocky and Rhody are obviously more like Rocky and Rhonda' (I've been calling the two adult raccoons by boy names) and wondering whether to name the babies, when it occurred to me that I name everything.

The local rabbit is BunBun. 

The local roadrunner is Randy.

All pileated woodpeckers are Wild Thing.  And all red-breasted woodpeckers are Buddy.

The resident wandering dog who lives in the next neighborhood is Butch.  (No clue where he actually lives or what his real name might be.)

The two small bucks are Bill and Ted.  Previous years' small bucks have been Spike, Jones, Pistol, and Elias.  (Once they get to be big bucks, I can't tell which one is which, so they lose their names.)  The two big bucks are The Enforcer and Don.

The twin doe sisters are... wait for it... The Sisters.  Not inventive, but it works for us.

We also had a small doe last year we called Teeny-Tiny Tina, but this year we have no small does, so she must've grown to full size.

But I don't just leave the naming for critters.  The big oak in our front yard is Oberon.  Our hydrangea is Henry.  The lilac is Linus.  The crepe myrtle is... well... Myrtle.  My little pathetic forsythia bush is Ferdinand.

Of course, I've passed this down to the Kid now, who has named a weasel in her yard 'Cheese'. 

What about you?  Do you name things?  What are some of your named things?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

New Release! THE HITWOMAN UNDER PRESSURE

So excited that the latest installment of the CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN series is out.




Maggie Lee's dedication to her family knows no limits.  

Even though her life is in chaos, she'll take any chance to repair her fractured family. 

All she has do is: 
Get out of the loony bin 
Eliminate the killer who’s hunting her sister 
Make sure her family doesn’t go off the rails (yup, this one’s the toughest) 

Thankfully she’s got the help of an ex-lover, a conman, and a sexy sailor, along with her psychic friend, her loyal, but bickering, pets, and her favorite mob boss. 

If only she could rely on them to help her stop the man who wants her sister dead. With two hitmen already killed for going after him, Maggie could use all the help she can get. 

Maggie’s skills (and sanity) are put to the test and the stakes have never been higher. 



AMAZON

KOBO

Monday, June 20, 2016

First Day Of Summer!

Today is the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. This year it's also accompanied by a strawberry moon which is kind of cool.


If you happen to live on the other side of the planet, like say in Australia, have a blast celebrating the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year.

In my neck of the woods and time zone it will occur at exactly 4:34 pm today. This is the moment in time when the Sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer.

Interesting Fact:

In ancient China, a ceremony was held on the summer solstice to celebrate the Earth, femininity, and the 'yin' forces. It complimented the winter solstice that paid tribute to the heavens, masculinity, and the 'yang' forces.


The summer solstice makes me think of one of my favourite books by Nora Roberts - The Three Sisters Island trilogy. It involves witches (the good kind), charms, spells, romance, and saving the place and people you love. 



Go forth and enjoy whatever the time of day! How do you celebrate the first day of summer?

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Hitwoman Under Pressure is Here!

I admit it.  I'm a huge fan of JB Lynn.  I met her first.  Then I read her books - which only served to highlight why I like this woman so much.  THEN she brought me on as a Killer Chick.  Friend - Fan - Colleague.

And I truly do love her books.  Which is why I am totally excited for yesterday's release of The Hitwoman Under Pressure.  It's the fifteenth book in her Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman series, and ya know, there's a reason why there are 15 of them.  They're so good, people like me keep badgering her for more. 

They all star Maggie Lee, the gutsy gal who would do anything for her niece - including taking contracts to kill people. Of course, all the people she's contracted to kill are really nasty people.  It would be hard to love Maggie if she was indiscriminate, and she is so lovable. You see, her niece was injured in a car accident - the one that killed little Katie's mom and dad.  So there's Maggie, suddenly responsible for a injured little girl and the mounting hospital bills, and becoming a hitwoman is pretty much her only way out. 

Oh, and the accident that injured Katie and killed her parents?  Maggie was in it, too.  Only she didn't sustain any major injuries.  What she did sustain was a newfound ability to talk to animals.

Fifteen books later, we've got a whole cavalcade of people in Maggie's life and a host of pets who keep Maggie safe and sane.  (Well, they try anyway.)

I haven't finished reading The Hitwoman Under Pressure yet, but so far, I'm loving it.  If you haven't tried this series yet, give it a whirl and come along for the ride, too.  You won't regret it. 

Oh, and here's the book description, so you know what this one is all about:

Maggie Lee's dedication to her family knows no limits.
Even though her life is in chaos, she'll take any chance to repair her fractured family.

All she has do is:
Get out of the loony bin
Eliminate the killer who’s hunting her sister
Make sure her family doesn’t go off the rails (yup, this one’s the toughest)

Thankfully she’s got the help of an ex-lover, a conman, and a sexy sailor, along with her psychic friend, her loyal, but bickering, pets, and her favorite mob boss.

If only she could rely on them to help her stop the man who wants her sister dead. With two hitmen already killed for going after him, Maggie could use all the help she can get.

Maggie’s skills (and sanity) are put to the test and the stakes have never been higher.

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Change of Scenery

Generally I like to write in my office. My office is my comfort zone. At least it is most days. But some days you just need a change of scenery, you know?


So yesterday I took it outside. To a place where the birds were singing and the breeze was gentle. I settled in with my laptop on my lap, my earbuds and country playlist firmly in place. In a spot where the sun shone and I had to duck giant-sized bees.

I needed to create the illusion of distance from all the tragedy and negativity in my social media feeds.  To give myself a chance to process a response while doing what soothes my soul.

I wish I was one of those writers who could channel their creativeness in coffee shops or plunk themselves down in any public place and write. But I get distracted with the comings and goings. I might have better luck in a library and perhaps I'll try that once my neighbourhood library is finished with it's renovations. The group of writers I coffee with once a month are organizing a writing retreat for October. I've never gone on a writing retreat and I'm excited. I hope it proves productive.

Because honestly? I'm not feeling very productive these days. But spring and summer are always challenging for me writing wise. I find I'm lacking discipline. Hey, wasn't that my word for the year?

Mike and Grace's story isn't going to write itself. Time to get my act together.

What do you do when you're struggling to connect with a project?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Let's Talk About Plants, Baby.

I had this great idea to do a post about reading and genres and how that equates to what I choose to write, but I'm pretty sure I already did that a few months ago.  I could write about current events, but we try to stay away from sensitive topics here at Killer Chicks, and chances are that no matter what I say, I will offend at least half our readers.  :waves:

Soooo...

Let's talk about plants, baby.  Let's talk about trees and leaves.  Let's talk about all the green things and the flowering things that may be.  Let's about plants.

And now that I have that song stuck in my head...

A while ago, I made plans for gardens beds around this house.  First, we made the front bed as part of our drainage project.  Big retaining wall to keep the rainwater away from the house and then between the retaining wall and the house, I put in a bed.  Then we also needed a retaining wall beside the driveway to encourage the rainwater to go south of the house rather than erode the foundation for our garage.  That's the main iris bed.  Then I created a shade bed on the north side because nothing would grow over there but moss.

But we never did anything with the south side along the garage. Until now. I started it.  I turned the earth halfway down the garage, put down fresh gardening soil, and plugged in my leftover iris bulbs.  Except it looks kinda pathetic right now.  So....

Yesterday at Wallyworld, I bought plants.  I mean, first I called the local greenhouse to see if she had what I really wanted - a white lilac bush and some hollyhocks.  Nope.  Apparently, I asked for them at the wrong time.  Derp.  I ended up buying two pots worth of coneflowers, a bunch of zinnias, and some marigolds.  (Can never go wrong with marigolds.)  They're pinks and reds and oranges and yellows.  It'll really brighten up yhe space over there.  And when I separate my irises again this fall, I'll put some of those down there, too.

I'll get hollyhocks next year.  And pine for a white lilac that will probably end up too big for that space anyway, so I'm better off without it.

Have you done any planting this year?  What did you put in?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cover Reveal -- THE HITWOMAN UNDER PRESSURE

THE HITWOMAN UNDER PRESSURE (Hitwoman 15) is with my copy editor and I'm hoping to have it out by the end of the month (but I'm going on vacation this month....a real vacation where I won't work ((GASP!!!))...so I'm not 100% sure if it'll make it this month or the very beginning of next).


If you're not caught up on reading the CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN series, now would be a good time. ((wink wink))

I'm very excited to be going to Yellowstone National Park for my vacation. It's been on my bucket list for many years and I'm thrilled to finally be doing it.  (And I must admit, I'm setting a book there...so I'll be observing everything with my writer's eye.)

Tell me Killer Friends: Have you been to Yellowstone? Where was your best vacation? Which destinations are on YOUR bucket list?






Monday, June 6, 2016

Five Random Things From Last Week

Seems to me I've been a little short coming up with blogging topics. With so much time spent outside these days, any butt in chair time has been spent revising my work-in-progress.

Actually, not all. I was hard at work last week creating a sign up form for my newsletter. To say thank you for signing up you'll receive my short story DO NOT DISTURB.

I've also been revising my work-in-progress which now has a tentative title of GONE. So yay to that!

And I made the most amazing homemade ginger ale.

Homemade Ginger Ale

Found on Oh She Glows

Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients:

·       3-inches fresh ginger root - grated
·       2 cups soda water
·       2 tbsp maple syrup
·       1 tbsp lemon juice)
·       Ice cubes

1. Drape a cheesecloth or milk nut bag over a bowl or jar, and grate ginger over top.
2. Once fully grated, squeeze out juice. (Should have about 1 tbsp of ginger juice after squeezing)
3. In a pitcher or jar, stir together ginger, soda water, sweetener, and lemon.
4. Serve chilled with a few ice cubes or frozen grapes, and add a glass straw for a party in your glass.

I'm also having fun doing a June book challenge on Instagram! Day 5: Book I'm currently reading!




I took a golf lesson. I used to like golf. But I'm determined to improve my game so I'm about to relearn some things.



Share some random things from last week!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Suspense and Fishing

Hey, All.  Sorry I'm late.  But I have a perfectly good excuse.  I spent yesterday fishing.

Okay, so maybe that's not the best of excuses, but woman cannot live by writing alone.  (Especially if she expects to stay sane.) 

So, anyway, I like to fish.  Not exactly the hobby one might expect from a suspense writer, but it works for me.  And, hey, it's suspenseful.  Seriously.  Think about it. 

You sit on the bank or the shore or the rocks, with your bait gently floating 3-6ft under a bobber, waiting.  Will something strike?  Will you set the hook in time to catch it in the mouth?  Will you successful reel it in or will it shake its head and get off?  Or will it head for the cover of the rocks or the underbrush and foul the line?

For that matter, if you get something on the line, what will it be?  Bluegill, sunfish, pumpkinseed?  Rock bass?  Spotted bass?  Something that one wouldn't expect to catch on a worm like a largemouth bass?

Will it be large enough to keep or too small?

Whatever it is, it strikes and the fight is on.  

The suspense is delicious.

Yesterday, I caught a bunch of fish - keepers and not - and then I caught the rigging set up from someone else's lost venture.  I don't know what they were trying to catch, but the artificial lure and the hook were way bigger than anything I've ever used.  (Hubs threw away the lure and the lines and kept the hook, etc.)  Treasures abound. 

The only thing that I don't like about fishing is the utter disregard some other people have for the spots they fish in.  Hubs and I always pick up our garbage, but we also pick up whatever garbage we see around us.  Unless it's monumental.  Like one spot we tried yesterday.  Seriously.  Gross.  Just because some area isn't 'government maintained' doesn't mean it has to be trashed.  I'd hate to see the pigsties these people live in if they can't manage to clean up after themselves in the wild.  Feh.

But enough about that.  Fishing.  It's my thing.  What's your thing?