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Ransome Trilogy Readers—I Need Your Feedback!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Readers of my Ransome Trilogy, I need your help with my new story!

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a new Royal Navy–Regency romance novel this year, The Spymaster’s Daughter. After several months of being “stuck” (because I tried to write it “by the seat of my pants,” the way I used to write years and years ago before I was published, and discovered I just can’t write that way anymore), I’m getting geared up to try to get the characters and story idea revamped/revisualized and get it finished by the end of National Novel Writing Month (11/30/16).

So here’s how you can help me (part 1).

In the Ransome Trilogy, there are two main female characters—Julia Witherington and Charlotte Ransome.

There are things I like and dislike about both of these characters—aspects and character traits I want to make sure my new heroine has—but I don’t want her to be too similar to them, since this is a totally new story. So the feedback I’m looking for is:

What do you like most about Julia? What would you change about Julia? What do you dislike about Julia?

What do you like most about Charlotte? What would you change about Charlotte? What do you dislike about Charlotte?

What would you most like to see in a new heroine in a story set around the same time?

Feel free to post in the comments below or you can contact me directly/privately.

I’ve Lost that Loving Feeling (for writing)…

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

sad-puppyI just posted this on Facebook, but thought I’d expand my reach as much as I could by posting it here, too.

I need your help—your support.

I’ve forgotten what it means to love writing. To love creating characters and storylines and conflicts and happy endings.

If you’ve ever been in a place in which you’ve had to regain your love for something you once had a passion for, how did you do it?

Help me, oh my lovely readers. You’re my only hope.😉

It’s Reading Report Time! (September 2016)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy First Monday of September, everyone.
It’s Reading Report Time!

Open Book by Dave Dugdale

Open Book by Dave Dugdale

Tell us what you’ve finished over the last month, what you’re currently reading, and what’s on your To Be Read stack/list. And if you’ve reviewed the books you’ve read somewhere, please include links!

To format your text, click here for an HTML cheat-sheet. If you want to embed your links in your text (like my “click here” links) instead of just pasting the link into your comment, click here.

  • What book(s) did you finish reading (or listening to) since the last update?

  • What are you currently reading and/or listening to?

  • What’s the next book on your To Be Read stack/list?

Blogging Through ‘Scene & Structure’–Chapter 5: “Structure in Macrocosm: Scenes with Results”

Thursday, September 1, 2016

I thought I’d try something a little different today. Let me know what you think!


Blogging Through ‘Scene and Structure’–Chapter 1: “The Structure of Modern Fiction”

Blogging Through ‘Scene and Structure’–Chapter 2: “Strategy: How to Start Your Story and How to End It”

Blogging Through ‘Scene and Structure’–Chapter 3: “Structure in Microcosm: Cause and Effect”

Blogging Through ‘Scene & Structure’–Chapter 4: “Structure in Larger Elements: The Scene”

100 Random Questions

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Fun questionnaire I found online that killed my afternoon. If you use on your own site, please leave a link in the comments!

  1. Spotify, SoundCloud, or Pandora?
    Pandora (usually either on Classic Rock or Instrumental Soundtracks)
  2. Is your room messy or clean?
    Controlled chaos
  3. What color are your eyes?
    Gray with a hint of olive green
  4. Do you like your name? why?
    I go by a nickname I chose (Kaye) and I love my old-fashioned, classic full name, Katherine.
  5. What is your relationship status?
    As anyone who knows me should know—lifelong single
  6. Describe your personality in 3 words or less
    Sarcastic, pessimistic, supportive
  7. What color hair do you have?
    Nice ‘n’ Easy 4W/120B, Natural Dark Caramel Brown
  8. What kind of car do you drive? color?
    2013 Ford Escape
  9. Walmart or Target?
  10. How would you describe your fashion style?
    Lazy comfort
  11. Favorite social media account?
  12. What size bed do you have?
    Full, on an antique bedstead
  13. Any siblings?
    One sister, two years older than me
  14. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? why?
    In a Nashville where there is no rushhour traffic, and where it doesn’t get above 85 degrees in the summer.😉
  15. Favorite Snapchat filter?
    Don’t use Snapchat
  16. Favorite makeup brand(s)
    NYX, Revlon, Cover Girl
  17. How many times a week do you wash your hair?
    Since I work from home, usually only every other day
  18. Favorite TV show?
    Criminal Minds
  19. Shoe size?
    10.5 (US), which is one of the hardest sizes to come by
  20. How tall are you?
  21. Sandals or sneakers?
    90% sneakers, 10% sandals
  22. Do you go to the gym?
    Um . . . I pay for a gym membership every month.
  23. Describe your dream date.
    October 22—a day when it’s clear that fall has good and truly arrived.😀
  24. How much money do you have in your wallet at the moment?
  25. What color socks are you wearing?
    Bright pink
  26. How many pillows do you sleep with?
    One, but it’s a body pillow, so it’s like sleeping with two or three
  27. Do you have a job? What do you do?
    My full-time job is as an academic editor for Northcentral University. My part-time job is as a freelance editor and fiction writer.
  28. How many Facebook friends do you have?
  29. What’s the last thing you bought online?
    Two Northcentral University T-shirts and an NCU licence plate frame
  30. What’s your favorite candle scent?
    Autumn scents (cinnamon, spices) or citrus
  31. 3 favorite boy names
    William, David, Andrew
  32. 3 favorite girl names
    Julia, Katherine, Caylor
  33. Favorite actor?
    Oded Fehr
  34. Favorite actress?
    Katharine Hepburn
  35. Who is your celebrity crush?
    Which one?
  36. Favorite movie?
    Currently, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  37. Last book you finished?
    Dog on It by Spencer Quinn
  38. Money or brains?
  39. Do you have a nickname?
    My grad school friends call me Kiki
  40. Have you ever had surgery?
    3x: left wrist, 1998 (remove a cyst from inside the carpal tunnel); lower back, 2003 (ruptured disc L4, bulging disc L5); right ankle, 2010 (twice–once to repair multiple breaks, again to remove one of the screws)
  41. 5 favorite singers/bands
    Whitesnake, Queen, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Steve Tyrell
  42. Do you take any medications daily?
    Too many to list here, both prescriptions and supplements
  43. What is your skin type? (oily, dry, etc.)
    Dry with eczema and psoriasis (currently controlled by medication)
  44. What is your biggest fear?
    Being alone for the rest of my life.
  45. How many kids do you want?
  46. What’s your go-to hair style?
    Messy pixie
  47. What type of house do you live in? (big, small; new, old; modern; etc.)
    Small, old, without enough closet space—but it’s a house and not an apartment!
  48. Who is your role model?
    My mom
  49. What and when was the last compliment you received?
    Yesterday, that I have beautiful eyes
  50. What was the last text you sent?
    “Chip [my agent] is in my sights. Waiting to talk to him.”
  51. How old were you when you found out Santa wasn’t real?
    What? Santa isn’t real?!?!
  52. What is your dream car?
    The one I have, but with all the bells and whistles (foot-activated lift-gate, sun/moon roof, backup camera, auto parking assist, etc.—oh, and hybrid, too)
  53. Opinion on smoking?
    It’s gross and stupid (oh, and I’m extremely allergic)
  54. Where did you go to college? What is your degree(s) in?
    New Mexico State University (1 semester, major: Secondary Ed); Louisiana State University (5.5 semesters, major: Creative Writing, minor: history); Trevecca Nazarene University (BA, English, writing specialization); Seton Hill University (MA, Writing Popular Fiction)
  55. What is your dream job?
    Publisher of a university press
  56. Would you rather live in rural areas or the suburbs?
    Suburbs (more amenities)
  57. Do you take shampoo and conditioner bottles from hotels?
    Only if I’ve opened/partially used them—I find they’re usually a scent I’m allergic to, though
  58. Do you have freckles?
  59. Do you smile for pictures?
    When I can’t avoid them, yes
  60. How many pictures do you have on your phone?
    182—most are stored on my computer
  61. Have you ever peed in the woods?
    Probably, when I was little and we lived in Alaska and actually had woods to go into.
  62. Do you still watch cartoons?
    Nope, ‘cuz they just don’t make them like they used to.
  63. Do you prefer chicken nuggets from Wendy’s or McDonald’s?
    I prefer chicken fingers from Zaxby’s
  64. Favorite dipping sauce?
    Texas Pete buffalo wing sauce mixed with Marzetti Ultimate Blue Cheese salad dressing
  65. What do you wear to bed?
    Tank top or cotton camisole with cotton-knit pajama pants
  66. Have you ever won a spelling bee?
    I have a hard time spelling out loud—I need to write it down.
  67. What are your hobbies?
    Does binge watching shows on Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu count as a hobby? No? Okay . . . knitting and crocheting, then.
  68. Can you draw?
    Yes, sort of.
  69. Do you play an instrument?
    I took piano lessons for about six months when I was in junior high. It wasn’t for me.
  70. What was the last concert you attended?
    Michael Buble, at least eight years ago.
  71. Tea or coffee?
    Coffee in the AM, iced tea the rest of the day, hot tea at night.
  72. Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts?
  73. Do you want to get married?
    Yes, eventually
  74. What is your first crush’s first and last initial?
  75. If you’re a woman, would you/did you change your last name when you marry(ied)?
    Depends on what his last name is. I’ve had my last name for 45 years and counting. It would be hard to learn to go by another name after all these years.
  76. What color looks best on you?
  77. Do you miss anyone right now?
    My family.
  78. Do you sleep with your door open or closed?
    Because I live alone, I sleep with it open. When I’m anywhere else, I close the door.
  79. Do you believe in ghosts?
  80. What is your biggest pet peeve?
    Bad grammar.
  81. Last person you called.
    Mom and Dad (on Mom’s birthday, via Skype)
  82. Favorite ice cream flavor?
    Mint chocolate chip
  83. Regular oreos or golden oreos?
  84. Chocolate or rainbow sprinkles?
  85. What shirt are you wearing?
    “We Are Nashville” T-shirt
  86. What is your phone background?
    Pink and purple stripes
  87. Are you an extrovert or an introvert?
    I’m an outgoing introvert.
  88. Do you like it when people play with your hair?
    Yes, though it never happens anymore now that it’s super short.
  89. Do you like your neighbors?
    For the most part, yes. I live in a great neighborhood.
  90. Do you wash your face? at night? in the morning?
    Usually only in the morning, except on the rare occasions when I wear makeup, and then I wash it as soon as I get home.
  91. Have you ever been high?
    Does laughing gas at the dentist count?
  92. Have you ever been drunk?
    Tipsy, but not full-out drunk.
  93. Last thing you ate?
    A dill pickle.
  94. Favorite lyrics right now.
    “Rise Up” from Hamilton
  95. Summer or winter?
  96. Morning or night?
    Night, defiitely!
  97. Dark, milk, or white chocolate?
    Caramel (with dark chocolate).
  98. Favorite month?
  99. What is your zodiac sign?
  100. Who was the last person you cried in front of?
    Probably my mom, but it’s been a while.

Books Read in 2016: ‘North and South’ by Elizabeth Gaskell (3 stars)

Friday, August 12, 2016

North & South by Elizabeth GaskellNorth and South
by Elizabeth Gaskell
My rating: 3 stars

Book Summary:
North and South depicts a young woman discovering herself, in a nuanced portrayal of what divides people, and what brings them together.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s compassionate, richly dramatic novel features one of the most original and fully-rounded female characters in Victorian fiction, Margaret Hale. It shows how, forced to move from the country to an industrial town, she develops a passionate sense of social justice, and a turbulent relationship with mill-owner John Thornton.

My GR Status Update(s):
06/10 . . .marked as: currently-reading

06/17 . . .13.0% Instead of a quiet, middle-aged clergyman, a young lady came forward with frank dignity . . . Her dress was very plain: . . . a dark silk gown, without any trimming or flounce; a large Indian shawl, which hung about her in long, heavy folds, and which she wore as an empress wears her drapery. . . . the simple, straight, unabashed look which showed that his being there was of no concern to the beautiful countenance…


06/19 . . .20.0% This scene. –>

06/22 . . .32.0% “Mother,” said he, stopping and bravely speaking out the truth, “I wish you would like Miss Hale.” | “Why?” asked she, startled by his earnest yet tender manner. “You’re never thinking of marrying her?—a girl without a penny.” | “She would never have me,” said he…

06/23 . . .41.0% “Mother–Mother!” cried he; “come down–they are gone, and Miss Hale is hurt!” He bore her into the dining room, and laid her on the sofa there… looking on her pure white face, the sense of what she was to him came upon him so keenly that he spoke it out in his pain: “Oh, my Margaret—my Margaret! No one can tell what you are to me! Dead–cold as you lie there, you are the only woman I ever loved! …”

06/24 . . .49.0% Death of Bessy Higgins. The character of Nicholas Higgins is much more rough/drunk/violent in the book than how he was written (and portrayed by Brendan Coyle) in the 2004 miniseries.

06/27 . . .marked as: read

My Review:
I usually enjoy the book more than the movie, but in this case I much prefer the miniseries to the book. Not only did the film adaptation manage to cut out a lot of info-dumps about the mills and the strike, it also managed to make Margaret a much more likable character.

Time to watch the film version!

North & South (Elizabeth Gaskell) Book Review |

My rating matrix:
5 STARS = one of the best I’ve ever read
4 STARS = a great read, highly recommended
3 STARS = it was okay
2 STARS = I didn’t enjoy it all that much, not recommended
1 STAR = DNF (did not finish)

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Fun Friday (a little early): The ROGUE ONE Trailer Is Finally Here!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What a Thursday night! Watched Simone Manuel come from behind for a gold medal in the women’s 100-meter freestyle, saw the new Rogue One trailer, and then was immediately treated to seeing Michael Phelps receive his most recent gold medal.

For me, this was the most important part of the evening:😉

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