Saturday, September 29, 2012

Are You Ready to Give Up?

As a writer we have daily "opportunities" if you will to either keep going or to give up.

We might receive a poor review, a returned manuscript, a harsh critique, but if we are wise we'll keep on going.

No writer is perfect. We all make mistakes, have things to learn, and must continue forward despite the way life dishes out the dirt.

I really love dirt.

When I was a kid I'd make tunnels in the moist stuff and take my little cars on adventures. I had superb garages, endless roads and a thousand mud particles underneath my fingernails, but it felt so good to be a part of it.

photo by goat_girl_photos, courtesy of Flickr
Ever make a mud pie?

Just add water.

How I love mud pies!

When I got too dirty outside my mom would make me wash up, but I was always out the doors again for some more dirt.

Today, consider washing up as a sort of 'looking at the dirt that has just been thrown at you.' See it on your hands, inside your fingernails, up your arms, and as the warm water washes the stuff down the drain, see your clean hands ready to keep on creating. 

If you're ready to give up like I was a couple of days ago--don't. Sit down right now and write. I mean it. You'll feel a lot better.

Kathryn



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Do I typically post reviews on my site?

Well, that depends. I have posted my own, but I have never posted a review that I have given to someone else.

But there comes a time for change and you just might be getting the first glimpse. I enjoyed reading Shelby's Plan and it was fun writing up the review.

If you're a romance reader I think you should read it. If you're not, I still think you should read it. I'm not a typical romance reader or writer so it was good for me to step out of the box a bit and read something I usually pass by on the bookshelves.

And now, the review:

Shelby, mother of two, has a plan. After the loss of her husband killed in the line of duty, she decides that she'll never marry a cop again. But after her move to Salt Lake City with her boys, hoping to start anew and begin her studies in nursing, Shelby meets Keith, an undercover cop whose sudden interest travels far beyond a mere friendship in a new city. With time, love blossoms, and Shelby is caught between the love she is beginning to feel for a cop and her own dreams of finishing school and marrying a doctor.

Cops die, and she never wants to go through that experience again.
Michelle Renea Anderson's crisp writing keeps you reading and begging for more.  Expect humor, some touching scenes, and a book filled with love and acceptance.

Find Shelby's Plan at: http://www.amazon.com/Shelbys-Plan-Michelle-Renea-Anderson/dp/0803492006.
 

Change

I know it's not Christmas yet, but I have been feeling it. Have you?

The weather is cooler, the leaves in my back yard sprinkled across the grass like granola. I have no other way to describe it. I am amazed at the changes that have occurred in only a few short weeks.

Just last month I was in Texas, where the air was heavy with heat and I was expected to drink more water just so I could keep going. Two weeks after I'd returned I began to notice the changes in weather. I called my daughter in Texas. She'd noticed it, too. Instead of over 100 degrees, they were at 92.


Change. All we really know about it is that it will continue to occur. And as the seasons change and fall turns to winter and winter to spring and spring to summer, we'll finish writing that book and start another. We may decide to take a class on writing or to attend a conference.
 
In a nutshell, we'll grow.

I look with wondering awe at some of my earliest work, wondering when the change happened. When awkwardly constructed phrases turned into something worth reading.

And I am glad for change.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Getting Ideas for Your Next Book

I don't know about you, but by the time one book is finished, or nearly finished, I am thinking of book two. And often, my ideas come when I least expect them.


video

This happened to me recently while at the bank. I was discussing with the bank teller about my new book, "Scrambled," (because I always share my new book with potential readers) and she seemed interested, so I gave her a short synopsis. Looking to the right I noticed an interesting office. The office was decked out with shoes. There was a shoe calendar on the wall behind a desk and a small, red shoe hanging on the hook. There were also pictures of shoes on the walls.

I said to the teller, "Boy, that person sure loves shoes."

"You should see them. She always has on a new pair."

Just then the woman walked by. Sure enough, she was wearing some sparkling red shoes.

That got me to thinking. What about a teenage detective, some amateur teen sleuth that is addicted to shoes. Depending on the mystery, she chooses a different pair for the occasion.

That visit to the bank was incredible. I got an idea for a new series of teen books (that you should be seeing at about the 4th book in the Susan Sleuth series) because I was observant at the bank.

Getting ideas, the best ones anyway, come when you least expect them, or when you're in an environment to receive them.

Another case in point.


I was working through some issues with my mother's divorce and remarriage a few years ago. As a young child, the divorce of my parents hit hard. And one day it occurred to me that if I wrote down my feelings I might be able to work through the trauma. What came later was a fictional novel called, "A River of Stones." In it, the main character, Samantha, must find out who she is  and her place in the world after her mother divorces and re-marries.

The best ideas often come from writing prompts or class assignments. "Scrambled," came from a college assignment.

Getting ideas for your next book doesn't need to create a headache, but a joy. Here's to your next joyful discovery!

Kathryn 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What's the Hardest Part of Being a Writer?

What's the hardest part of being a writer?

I sometimes struggle with others taking my writing seriously. But when I finally stopped searching for a "job" and began my own company I think the realization hit many that what I really wanted to do was work for myself.


Photo by lett -^=, courtesy of Flickr
Sometimes I have a hard time getting to work. Because I'm at home and the house is screaming to be cleaned or the grandchildren are screaming to have some time or I'm screaming for a break, I have a difficult time focusing on the job at hand.

Writing isn't always fun. Really? Writing is work and sometimes the writing itself is a struggle. But when this happens, I pull out another writing project or spend a few moments working on a writing prompt.

Sometimes it's hard waiting for the money to come in. I don't get a regular paycheck, and sometimes I get a little stressed about that, but the stressing comes less now as my focus has changed to more important things like sharing and helping others with their own writing.


Photo by: noricum, courtesy of Flickr

Sometimes I have too many projects and so can't focus on the most important one at hand. I get ideas often, but that doesn't mean I can do everything at the same time. Many projects are put on the back burner until the finishing up of a particular project leaves room for a new one.

The hardest part of being a writer, for me, shifts every day and depends on my mood. But I don't let a day go by without writing something.

Because I need to write.

What the hardest part of being a writer, for you? Share your thoughts.



Monday, September 24, 2012

Are Writers too Serious?

Hi everyone!

I couldn't resist sharing this picture. Yesterday, I was at my sisters and my mother (bless her heart) braided my hair as I sat visiting with family. My sister, Leah, is visiting from California and she took the picture.

If you think writers are a serious bunch, always behind  the computer, sitting alone and looking forlorn, struggling to get the next line out, think again.

Yes, we're crazy too and like to have a bit of fun.

So, what do you think, do the braids make me look younger? Or just crazy?


Having a bit of fun

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Book Reviews

Book Reviews.

I love getting book reviews (usually) because I learn something about my own writing. I learn:
  • What works
  • What doesn't
  • New discoveries
I got such a review today that took me through all of these ideas and I'd like to share them with you.



Scrambled (A Susan Sleuth Mystery)
Kathryn Elizabeth Jones
Ideacreationspress
2012
Cozy Mystery Genre
5 stars

Sometimes we think the grass is always greener on the other side and that’s exactly what Jenny (AKA Susan) thought. Unable to have children, adoption not working and a controlling husband that just kept gaining weight, Susan takes off to start a new life. Instead of getting out of a mess that her life was in she steps into a bigger one, this one involving murder. Renting a room in an old rundown hotel she becomes the house keeper in it. Now she is involved in the middle of a murder and she is being accused. Now who can she trust. Who is trying to pin the murder on her. Out of all the residents that live there there is one she thinks she can trust – Mrs Boaz or can she. Receiving threating notes and things showing up in her room to implicate her, does Susan dare stay here or flee for her life.

I really enjoyed the book once I got into it and understood the characters. It was a little slow in the beginning but then it picked up pace and I kept reading to find out who was who. The cover picture of the book at first threw me and I wondered what scrambled eggs had to do with the  story line but then I finally found out. When you get upset you scramble eggs. I feel anyone who loves  the cozy mystery genre will enjoy this debut book of the Susan Sleuth Mysteries. I would like to see more of her  detective work in progress.

I would like to thank Ms. Jones for the review copy and giving me the chance to read her book. Excellent start to a new series.
 
I have heard from other reviewers that this book is a little bit difficult to get in to. And I am reminded again that starting a novel with action is often preferable to narration. In the second book, "Sunny Side-Up," coming out next year, the first line is action.

I like that this reviewer mentions that the main character struggles with heavy issues, and thinks that life can be better if she leaves home. This is one of the reasons my cozy isn't found in the traditional cozy stack. The back story is important to this cozy as is also the depth of the main character.  

What surprised me was the mention of the cover and the thought, "When you get upset you scramble eggs." While this is true, the use of the word "Scrambled" also represents the people living in the old hotel.


Thank you, Lynn, for the review.







Thursday, September 20, 2012

What's Your Purpose as an Author?

Yesterday I had a talk with one of my daughters. Part of the conversation had to do with my purpose as an author. She was a bit confused.

"I thought you wrote inspirational books," she said.

She was right, of course. I'd written three of them and my fourth, well, it was a cozy mystery. A bit out of the same realm.

Fortunately, I'd worked through the same issue myself just a few months prior before deciding to release Scrambled. I wondered: "Will people like it that I've switched genre's?" "Will they see my purpose as miss-managed?"

What I realized then just as I do now is that every author is filled to the brim with ideas and not all of them run the same wave. C.S. Lewis himself was known to write fantasy as well as nonfiction. He wrote for adults as well as children.

And while I'm the first to admit that a  mystery story is a cry from a Christian fiction novel, there are surprisingly some elements that remain the same. 

 
  • Like to figure things out about your life; make it better? Read a Christian fiction or nonfiction book.
 

  • Like to figure things out when it comes to sleuthing? Want to discover "who did it" even before the author releases the news? Read a mystery.
I'd like to think that my purpose as a writer is not only to share the goodness of God but the joy of life. I'd like to think that sometimes we just need an escape and a good mystery can do that. We also need to get the good old left brain working to figure things out.

And I'd like to think that I can do both.

What's your purpose as an author? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Writing as a Career

For years we (my husband and I) have struggled to put food on the table, and while he has always been the mainstay, I have also tried to have something going on the sidelines.

For the most part I worked retail and that included the retail hours at the local home improvement store. I hated that job. Or maybe I didn't hate it exactly, it was just hard for me to enjoy it. I was attending school at the time (in my 40s) for my degree in Mass Communication, and I found myself studying for tests in between customers and letting my heart wander into overgrown writing paths.

Since starting school and having a job too, I'd done little writing for myself. The writing I did came from assignments that had to be done and often brought me little joy.

I have since discovered that writing as a career is an interesting thing. To really make it work you must be well known and the writing you do must be satisfactory or better. And in order to be well known and to have good writing, you must not only make time to write but you must know how to market or know someone who knows how to market for you--more money.

Photo by: Beat Machine, courtesy of Flickr
Though I can say now that the majority of my time is delegated to writing and marketing, this has not always been the case. Still, in my minds eye I could see myself living out my writing career dream.

My writing career really began that moment years ago when I was sick and pregnant and needed something to take my mind off of it. It continued as I raised my children, went back to school, and began my own writing services company.

The moment I began to take my writing seriously, the seed called "writing" planted itself in the ground and began to grow. I had some time in the beginning to pursue it, less time later to grow it, but as the plant has grown and I have been more focused on this dream, I have been given more opportunities to pursue it as a career.
You may have experienced this yourself or maybe you're struggling with kids, those dangling participles that keep hanging on your legs every time you sit down to write.


Photo by: eekoliteW, courtesy of Flickr

Believe me, I know how you feel. But don't give up. Continue to see your career in writing as a reality; work your way to it, sort of like climbing that mountain, eager to see the top. When you get there, call out to me, I am still working my way through the trees.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

3 Writing Prompts that Will get You Writing Again

Some days the words are just hard to get out. Like the lack of rain coming down on a hot day, we may find that we're more inclined to take a nap than to work on our project.

Projects often get heavy. If we're writing a novel, we may be weighed down by the plot or a particular character who is simply not working. We may find that we lack time to write. We work full-time and would rather get some shut eye. We may not want to work on our project at all. But in the end, we know we need to write--something--and that's why writers usually turn to a writing prompt when they get stuck.

Photo by: Bright Meadow, courtesy of Flickr
I have shared writing prompts before. But today, I want to get you writing with no preparation. That means, no magazine ads to tear out, no book to grab to write about the first sentence you point to, no going for a walk and enjoying the beauties of nature. These all work, of course, but sometimes we just want to get started. Now. At our computer.

So here goes:

1. Start with the letter A. In the first sentence the first word you write needs to begin with A. The second sentence must begin with B and so on until the end of the alphabet. The clincher is that the sentences must connect. They can't be random sentences but must create something.

After you're creation, read over it. Discover the gems inside and write a poem, a short story or the beginning of your next novel.


Photo by: Kalexanderson, courtesy of Flickr


2. Close your eyes. Take in the senses you experience with your eyes closed. Try to stay connected to your senses for at least 5 minutes. If someone is with you, have them tell you when your time is up. When you open your eyes, write about all of the things you experienced. Perhaps you heard traffic in the distance. Did you smell anything surprising? Was it hard to keep your eyes closed? Were you checking the clock? Describe your experience.

Many of us have a difficult time using our five senses when we write. Sight is easy, but taste? A lot harder to come by. When we scatter the five senses throughout our work the reader not only enjoys what they're reading, they tend to experience the scenes more vividly.

3. Play some music from your computer. Write the way the music makes you feel. Depending on the song you'll end up with something romantic, mysterious, or even funny. Be open to writing in a different genre. After the song is over, go through what you have written and see what you find.

While the first writing prompt is more thinking in nature than experiencing, I have included it because there are times when nothing comes unless we first have an outline. At other times, it's the freedom we experience outside of the box that brings in our next creation.

Something we all want.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Handling Criticism

I don't know about you but handling criticism, whether it is filled with love or a scathing review is a bit like taking a bite out of that great looking cookie only to discover the chef accidentally used salt instead of sugar.

None of us like criticism; it's the next best thing to cleaning out the bathroom toilet. Still, once the criticism is looked at certain decisions about your work can be made for improvement.

1. The critique is right on the money. I'm going to make changes.
2. The critique is a nut job; or at best, just the personal opinion of the critiquer.
3. The critique is a manifestation of the critiquers own insecurities.

Looking at these various responses, they all feel the same to me in the beginning. I may feel somewhat insulted, somehow not understood, and suddenly I am either angry or feeling insecure about my work.

Years ago I entered a contest. The entries had been painstakingly worked on. When I didn't win a single award I looked at the judges comments. Some were helpful. Others were scathing and I wondered how the judge thought I'd ever write again if I based my opinion on my work from their review.

Fortunately, I didn't.

One of the hardest things to take in is unsolicited critiques; those that come to you without you even asking for them. But these, like the others, can be purposeful for your work if you let them.

Photo by: Arry_B, courtesy of Flickr
But you have to let them in.

My new book, Scrambled, is a cozy mystery but it doesn't run typically cozy. It has an amateur sleuth, a murder, even some quirky instances played out by the main character who knows nothing about solving a mystery. But it is more serious than the typical cozy. Susan not only has a back story, she lives in the real world where separation from a long-time marriage is possible. And so my cozy takes on a deeper level than some.

Is this okay, even if some readers think my story is more of a suspense novel?

I think so. Keeping things interesting in your writing, keeps the readership coming. And I can't help but think that a cozy can also create some great suspense--if you let it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

League of Utah Writer's Conference

Need some help with your first novel? What to learn the intricacies of short story telling or non-fiction?

Then you'll not want to miss the League of Utah Writer's Conference.

It starts today and continues through tomorrow. Yes, you can still sign up at the door and get in on most of the fun including meeting with an editor or agent.

I will be around on SATURDAY so you might want to look me up at one of the sales tables. I would LOVE to discuss with you your new book whether it be fiction or nonfiction. If you're ready to have your work published, or just about, Idea Creations Press will be there to answer your questions and to give you a special 'conference only' deal.

I will also have my books for purchase at a discount and free gifts!

Please come by. I would love to meet you.

Kathryn


Newest book
published by Idea Creations Press
video
Newest Kindle pamphlet on Book Marketing:
Only .99 cents!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Taking Your Time as a Writer

I don't know about you but this new book I've been writing I want to sell--yesterday. I'm excited because I feel as if I've got some pretty good stuff to share.

The problem?

I am not finished with the book and I haven't had anyone read over it yet!

Years ago I thought my first serious piece of writing EVER WRITTEN would sell.

What?

That's right. I thought that all I had to do was put pen to paper, type the story out and it would sell.  Unfortunately, it took 8 long years before I made my first sale and I was writing almost daily!

If you're a beginning writing this revelation may discourage you. You may wonder if all the years of practicing is worth the wait.



Photo by: chocolate-dessert-recipes.com, courtesy of Flickr
It is.

Taking your time as a writer is a bit like waiting for the chocolate cake to come out of the oven. You begin by getting out all of the ingredients. Mixing up the batter. Putting the batter in the pan. Cooking it at the correct temperature. Getting the cake out when the buzzer dings and letting the cake cool. After the cake cools you frost it and then maybe you don't eat it right away because you're waiting for the party to start.

Sure, a cake isn't going to bake for years but you're still going to have to go through the steps. Missing a step is like forgetting to turn on the oven or trying to frost the cake while it's still warm.

Believe me, I know.

I like learning from other writers and I still do. And in order to learn one must be open to feedback of every kind, not all of it desired.

Photo by: chocolate-dessert-recipes.com, courtesy of Flickr
In the long run, it's going to be a long run so be prepared to learn all you can.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ready, Set, Write!

I'm not one for races, either running in them or watching them, but I do like to read stories about athletes who have beat the odds; say they have lost their leg and now have a prosthetic one, or they fall on the track and still manage to finish the race.


Photo by: sophiea, courtesy of Flickr
Writers are really a lot like racers. They get ready for their event by doing some research and practicing their craft, they get set when they sit at their computer and get their computer screen on and their fingers reading to type.

Ready, set, write!

It's often easy to get distracted from writing, especially if you have so many other things to do, and who doesn't? But I'd like you to know something.


Photo by: vancouverfilmschool, courtesy of Flickr
Writing doesn't just take talent it takes movement. That means each and every day a good writer who wants to become great at what he/she does must get ready, get set, and write, even if he/she doesn't want to. Even if there doesn't appear to be enough time. Even if other folks, meaning friends and family, don't GET IT.

Especially then.

I write every day, without fail. Even if I don't feel like it. Even if my back hurts (and it's hurt a lot lately) even if others are telling me that I spend far too much time on the craft.

I do it not only because I LOVE it, but because with each experience, each writing opportunity, I get to know myself that much better, and I get to share what I love with you.

Ready, set, write!

Here's to your success!

Kathryn

Monday, September 10, 2012

Are You a Writer? Getting Paid What You're Worth

There's been a lot of talk lately about getting paid what your worth--at least in the circles that I am a part of. And I guess this has a lot to do with the economy.

If we don't have a current job, we're searching for any job that will work.
If we do have a job, we're hoping for better. Always hoping for better.

A few of us do what we truly love, and if it's writing, we find that we love what we do (we'd better) while still dreaming of the big bucks to make it all worth it.

The funny thing about writing is, in my opinion, that it is all worth it, yes, even when we're not bringing in the bucks we think we're worth.

Photo by: MSVG, courtesy of Flickr
Getting paid what you're worth is kind of like finding a needle in a haystack--you know it's there, but the task in finding that needle makes your eyes sore and your knees weak.

And perhaps that's where we need to get. On our knees.

I am always happiest when I'm not thinking about the money I "should" be making but using my gifts and talents. When I am listening to God. When I care more about his agenda for me and less on the agenda I'd like to create for myself. And this takes a bit of daring. It's not easy to give up the control we think we have.

My husband recently got a new job and this was after much soul searching, waiting, and enjoying the life that was currently present for us. Getting that job was as much about being appreciative for what we had then as it was opening up the mind for greater things.

As a writer I don't have to be the mainstream income provider, but there are things I do to pitch in. And I find I am pitching in the best when I am more focused on creation and reaching out to others, more than I am on how much money I expect to get from my efforts.

It's always been that way for me.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Marketing Your Book on a Budget

This is my last day of heavy book promotion for my new book, Scrambled, and I thank everyone for sticking with me. As a thank you I am offering my short Kindle book, "Marketing Your Book on a Budget," for .99 cents.

Yes, this is the standard price, and a really great one I might add. In it you'll find resources for getting book reviews, gaining interviews, getting free advertising and more. It's a short read with links to many of the places I've gone for book promotion and the many great people who have a desire to help budding as well as established authors for FREE.

Remember, much of what you do as an author to promote your work does not have to cost you a penny. Yes, it will cost you some time and some growing experience, but everything in Marketing Your Book on a Budget is either free or very low cost.

Because I am an author too, I realize that authors (as a general rule) need all the help they can get with the funds needed to promote their work, and I can't see paying for something that is generously given out by someone else because he/she cares about writers and their success.

Keep in mind that once you purchase this handy pamplet, you'll want to be on the list for future FREE YEARLY updates. Just follow the instructions at the end of the book.

I thank everyone who has and who continues to be generous with me!

A BIG THANK YOU TO YOU ALL!

Love,

Kathryn
 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 2 of the Scrambled Deal

Hey readers and writers,

Today is the final day to get Scrambled for $6.49. Haven't picked it up yet? Well, it's not to late.

Besides this good news, I wanted to thank you again for your support. I love writing, but I also love sharing what I've written.

If you haven't had a chance to read the first chapter of Scrambled, here it is.

Love,

Kathryn



Eating Out
 
Six months later a thought occurred to her that the fat man had been the catalyst; her last straw, her wake up call.
“Are you open?” the man had asked. His voice had been deep and yawning like the Grand Canyon.
“Of course.” She looked up. The man was fat—even more endowed than her own husband who’d gained a mere seventy pounds since their wedding day 20 years ago. Fat oozed like soft butter from his great waistline. His black and white checkered shirt, though buttoned, gaped to his belly, revealing a matted mass of hair. She tried not to stare at it. The word “pig,” came to mind.
“Did you find everything all right?” she asked.
“Just ring me up,” he growled, scratching his unshaven face. “I have an appointment.”
If someone had said, ‘Make a wish, Susan,” she would have wished for freedom in that moment—freedom from the customer, and all those to follow; freedom from her horrible job and marriage, freedom from unavailable friends and broken down cars. She would work a bit somewhere else, and then travel to some exotic location. Perhaps Paris or Hawaii…
“Miss!”
Susan felt the crisp dollar bill in her hand. “Sorry, sir,” she said, handing the disgruntled customer his change. She watched his back-end leave the store. Blubber, bump. Blubber, bump. Blubber, bump…
It was the fat man who had finally given her the courage to take care of herself for the first time. Perhaps it was not a conscious choice, but it was definitely a choice. She left work that day never to return, got on a bus, leaving her rotten car in the parking lot—her fat husband wondering where she’d gone. She hadn’t looked back.
Occasionally, like today, when the hotel lights burned deeply into her skull, and her eyes felt heavy from the tasks of serving, she would remember. The terrible times when she tried to get pregnant. His anger about her job, or the way she folded his underwear. She would think about the way he spoke to her; hardly, and then, harshly, as if the words he had meant to say to her long ago needed to come out now in one heated rush.
Also, the short moments of tenderness—her broken-down heap of a car that had still managed to get her to work, the doughnuts and candy bars that always made it into the kitchen cupboards and then quite naturally were fed by him into her open mouth—because he always shared what he bought for himself. All those moments that made her life one with him. And now she was left with an aloneness she couldn’t begin to understand.
“Jenny?” The pounding on Susan’s front door made her blink. She would never get used to her new name even if she lived to be a hundred years old. She stood, walked to the solid piece of wood called her door, and peered wearily out the keyhole even though she didn’t need to.
“What is it this time, John?” Tonight, John seemed to be wearing some sort of pullover sweater and blue jeans. His short, red hair was combed down the middle, and splayed to either side like the opening entrails of a fish. She might have laughed if she hadn’t cared for him. He was the dorkiest man she’d ever met, albeit the nicest.
“Cup of sugar?” She could see the white cup held eagerly in his left hand. He pushed it forward to the keyhole.
“I’m tired tonight.”
She removed her eye from the keyhole, wondering if he blushed. He always turned red whenever she spoke of anything having to do with sleep, or darkness, or her new down comforter. She wasn’t sure why unless certain words created in him a desire for something he would never get from her. Was it her imagination, or could she feel him going red beyond the door? And he was probably grinning too, now that he’d managed to breathe a little more evenly.
“Come on Jenny.”
“Oh, all right.”
The dead bolt cracked heavily, the double set of chains flicked to the sides of the heavy door, and she turned the knob of her upstairs room. The Hotel Camaro, once a manor in the town of Walnut Hill, city of Hampshire, had plenty of solid wood even where it didn’t seem needed—above her bed, on one of the walls in the living room, even above her head on the carved cornices seen throughout the building. Everything reeked of oldness and renovation—though change would probably not happen in her lifetime—if ever. The owner, Carter Childs, held his money like a tight fisted kid with his only penny; except Carter had many pennies though he told everyone otherwise. The tramps that lived at the hotel were a continuous reflection of the future of the hotel and it’s lower than life standards.
John smiled. His slightly yellow teeth reminded Susan of the eggs she had boiling on the stove.
“You don’t mind getting the sugar yourself?”
“No problem. But are you sure you want eggs?” She could hear his large feet clunking to the pantry as she stirred the boiling eggs with a spoon.
Yes, the egg bomb incident. How could she forget? What had she been doing? Oh, yes. Carter wanted to see her, an overflowing toilet in room 10, he’d said—John’s room. And she’d left the boiling eggs on the stove. When the eggs exploded an hour later she was finishing with the water overflow mishap and had just re-entered the hallway. Carter was beyond angry when he heard. Her hotel room smelled like rotten eggs for days and she’d spent weeks walking outside and breathing in the musty city of Southern Hampshire before permanently returning to her room.
“You do look tired.”
John had the sugar in his white bowl, but like always, he was not returning to the door. “What can I do?”
“I just need some sleep.”
John blushed. “Okay,” he said, looking for a place to sit on the old brown couch—her only couch in the very sparse room.
“You’d better go.”
“Maybe I can help.”
“You promised.”
John rolled his large blue eyes. “I know,” he said, “but you need someone.”
It had taken Susan six long months to trust John with a few facts about her life; others she had made up to cover her identity. Her real name was one of them. That she’d never been married was another—a sure fire mistake she would later see more clearly. Perhaps John would have been less interested in her if he knew she had simply run away from her husband. She wondered what he would think of her if he knew of her shallow thoughts of him that had created this mess in the first place. She wondered if he’d understand that all of her thoughts weren’t shallow, that there was something else she never spoke of with anyone, the surest reason for her departure. Was he searching for her? Would she turn on the television one day only to discover her face on the small screen? Or would he be grateful? Was he pleased that she had left him? Would he want to find her simply to file the divorce papers? She wondered how long it had taken before he’d discovered she was missing. She was glad they had no children, but only for this reason; there would be no family missing her.
Except her mother of course; her father was dead, and her sister who lived in Virginia. Kate would have a fit, perhaps even look for her for awhile, and then she’d get caught up once more in the corporate life and forget all about her. Just like when they were kids and the doll collection was replaced by fake dollar bills and glittering coins purchased as a set from the grocery store. Kate would later become a teller, and then she would work her way up the company from Payroll Manager to Director of Human Resources. In addition to bossing all the people around, she would get her degree in management, leaving Susan behind to take on the menial jobs.
Susan would never attend college, would marry the first man who even took a look at her—her husband, Bob, and they would try to have children—without success of course. In the end, they would sit together, watch T.V. and he would eat and feed her what he’d bought.
Nothing stuck on her bones. But with him, it was almost like, by getting fat, he was getting pregnant instead of her. At first she’d joked about it. And then the joking made him watch television alone in the basement, sneak food at odd hours, and make excuses for his sorry life.
Susan turned to look at John. He had been silent for an unreasonable amount of time. “Sorry,” she started and then realized he was gone.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Scrambled for $6.49

Waiting to see if there's a special deal on the paperback copy of Scrambled? Well, your wish has been granted!

Today and tomorrow only, (that's September 6 & 7) purchase Scrambled for $6.49 from me and get an autographed copy! Get it at Amazon here. While you're there, check out my first two reviews--you'll see them listed under the Kindle version of the book.

If you happen to live near me and can drop by and pick up your copy, just contact me here or email me at kathy@ariverofstones.com to get your book for $6.49 (less shipping costs).

Thanks again! And happy reading!

Kathryn

See my latest guest blog here. Enter to win a copy of my book, Scrambled!

Watch this video!

video

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Feast on This

Fellow readers and writers!

Today is a wonderful day for more guest blogs. You'll find them at: Book Dailyhttp://www.bookdaily.com/authorresource/blog/post/1198455 and Mystery Writing is Murder: http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/.

A big THANK YOU to all those who have supported me thus far in my promotion efforts for Scrambled. The free Kindle day was a huge success!

Tomorrow, look for a special deal on a paperback copy of Scrambled, and if you're a writer, be sure and get your FREE book marketing booklet on Saturday.

Photo by Ed Yourdon, courtesy of Flickr
Feasting is a great thing, and not only to be had on Thanksgiving.

Have a great day!

Kathryn

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Better Late Than Never

Yes, I had planned on letting you in on today's fun this morning, but my body wasn't cooperating.  Suffice it to say I have been down in bed all day.

So this is it. Better late than never.

Check out my guest post on Booksnoop, especially if you want to learn a little bit about "What Your favorite Reading Haunt Says About You" http://www.thebooksnoop.com/.

Also, check out the book review at: http://cozymysterybookreviews.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/review-scrambled-by-kathryn-elizabeth-jones/

Tomorrow, there will be another guest post at Mystery Writing is Murder, and come Thursday I have a special deal for readers of paperbacks!

Love to you all,

Kathryn

Monday, September 3, 2012

New Pamplet on Book Marketing

Hello again,

With all of the hoopla with my new book Scrambled, I forgot
to mention that I have just published a handy pamplet entitled,
"Marketing Your book on a Budget."

How does an author best get book reviews? What of interviews, blogs and social media? How can a new author expect to be seen while crowding the lane with other authors of his/her genre?

Marketing Your Book on a Budget is tiny for a reason; any author can afford it. But be prepared for the endless information enclosed. You'll never wonder again about the best ways to speak up about your book, get free advertising, or learn why postcards can help you get the word out faster and easier than any other way.

Plus, once you have downloaded the Kindle version, expect yearly updates for FREE. Just contact us to register via the email at the end of the book. Never be in the dark again when it comes to marketing your book. See what little or no money will really attract!
 
 
 
 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Scrambled Egg Recipe

We're on day 2 of the release of my new book, Scrambled!

Here is a great scrambled egg recipe to use in creating your next breakfast! Better yet, make some eggs and sit down with my book, "Scrambled." You will be glad you did!



Rich and Creamy Scrambled Eggs

10 Eggs

½ Cup of Milk

2 Tbsp. Sour Cream

1 Cup Shredded Medium Cheddar Cheese or more if you like them really cheesy

2 Tbsp. Butter

Salt and Pepper and salsa to taste.
I like my eggs well blended.  Crack the eggs and place them in a blender with the milk and sour cream, blend for 30 – 60 seconds or until well mixed.
Place 12” frying pan on stove on medium heat.  Melt the butter.  Add eggs and sprinkle cheese over the eggs.
Use rubber spatula to turn eggs as they cook making sure that they do not burn.  When eggs are well cooked (no longer runny, but still moist, not slimy) serve.  Add Salt and Pepper and Salsa to taste.
ENJOY!



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Scrambled Life

Yes, today is the big day to get my cozy mystery, Scrambled for $2.99, but I also wanted to talk to you for a few minutes about what led up to this day.

Years ago, when I first began this cozy mystery I was in college. I was in my 40s and had decided to attend college to get my degree in Mass Communication. Of course, my degree was intitally English but that's another story.

One of my first classes was a creative writing class where the instructor actually allowed the class to write creatively--if you've ever taken a writing class in college you'll understand what I mean. Many classes tell you that they're a fiction writing class or a nonfiction class; far fewer of them deliver. What you're expected to write is some sort of acedemic piece, not something for the average reader who enjoys a great book.

What I found from this class, however, was that I was expected to use my imagination and I was expected to write what came from my heart. And I liked that just fine.

Even now, as I think about that class I am grateful for the assignment given to me to begin a short story of my choice because that's when Scrambled was born. After writing a few pages I realized that the short story was in actuality a book, but it took me far more years to actually finish it.

There was school to finish, a job to find, and many more life experiences that clouded this dream for awhile. And then my daughter read the book, and my two sisters.

I think it's true that honest feedback can help you to see what you've been missing and what you need to get back to, and my daughter and two sisters helped me to see that I needed to finish this book. But not only that, that I needed to make it a series.

So, here's book 1:

Book two will be out in 2013.

It's entitled, "Sunny Side-Up." Book three? I even have that one going in my mind. What do you think of the title, "Hard Boiled?"

Expect some fun in the next few years with the latest Susan Sleuth Mystery, and prepare yourself for the future for I have other surprises to come!

Kathryn
See a new video.