Beta Reader Love!

Three cheers to all my Beta readers! Without you, my dreams would remain in the creative writing abyss and collect tons of dust. Thanks for undertaking the task!

The Guardians is set for launch on Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks at the end of August and will soon be gracing e-book and print shelves in the near future.

Here’s a little taste of what’s to come:

Anna’s return to normal life screeches to a halt when Department 126 orders her to track down the Spear of Destiny. When sinister forces and betrayals turn the hunter into prey, Anna must rely on instinct and a little help from her guardian angel. 

Traipsing the globe, Anna struggles in her newfound role as a Protector. Her fledgling abilities are tested. Between time travel lessons gone afoul and discovering powerful healing skills, Anna must uncover the Department’s mole before it is too late. And when a mysterious letter arrives, Anna learns not everything is as it seems.

And it wouldn’t be complete without the cover!

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Grab The Protectorate today and enjoy the ride!

Tell me what you think! Comment below about the cover and/or thoughts on The Protectorate. And from me to you, have a wonderful day!

Happy reading,

K.D.

Binge Worthy TV and Writing

Hello, my friends! It’s been a couple of busy weeks. The second book of The Protectorate series is still being retyped after a data loss earlier this year, and life has gotten in the way. BUT I’m happy to report that it’s almost time to release it for all my wonderful readers to consume.

I have also been knee deep in birthday planning, painting, researching for book number three, parenting, and just trying to stay afloat and in one piece. As everyone knows, life likes to sucker punch and jerk people around, and I’m no different. However, I’m riding this one out, and I’m enjoying the ride so to speak. Help comes in the form of TV. Specifically, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

Oh, the beauty of binge worthy tv at my very fingertips. They call to me, lulling me to “Pick me, Pick me!” AND, of course, I’m more than willing to oblige. What’s on the TV, you ask? DC’s Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow have me riveted.

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Now, let me start by saying that I’ve been immersed in reading and writing for a couple of years now. It’s rare for me to binge watch anything, but when I do, it’s all or nothing. Thus the term binge;-) Having said that, I haven’t watched a couple seasons of anything listed above.

*gasp*

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At this moment, I imagine the indignant words spewing forth from your mouths, the horror at my inattention to some of the most fascinating shows on TV, am I right? Let me stop you right now. Save the popcorn you want to throw at the computer, save the warranted indignation. I am in the process of rectifying the abysmal oversight, and I’m happy to report that I have caught up on all of Arrow, season two of The Flash (working on the rest), and I’m watching season three of Legends.

Okay! Now that I’ve cleared the air, let me just say that I absolutely love these shows. There are those that only watch DC and those that favor Marvel, but I’m in both camps. By the way, I’m a Star Wars and Star Trek junkie, too. Thought I’d put that out there. It may be unthinkable for diehard fans, but I am who I am.

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Anyway, recently I’ve been watching Legends, and I had an epiphany that relates to writing. For anyone that watches these shows, or others similar in nature, there are the good guys and the bad. I was watching last night and got to a climatic plot point with Rip on Legends, and I seriously wanted to throw something at the TV. At the beginning of the series, Rip was portrayed as a damaged, but lovable, character that recruited this team full of misfits to save the world from extermination. To be honest, I got excited when the series came out because Arthur Darvill was cast as Rip. I’m also a Dr. Who fan, and I just knew that he’d make this show a must see, and I was right. Well, at least for me.

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At any rate, I was drooling at the bit when it came out, and I was not disappointed. The character drew the audience in. He was mysterious, serious, and in control. I. Was. Hooked. Needless to say, I rode the waverider with the crew, and lamented when at the end of season one that two characters left. How could the second season be any better? Heavy heart in hand, I watched. Except, I was surprised. They didn’t disappoint in their hilarious, yet serious, trials and tribulations. This time, though, Rip’s character underwent a vast personality change, and I found myself loathing him. How could Arthur Darvill be sooooo vile? Pulling my hair, heart in my stomach, I watched the unthinkable happen, and I wasn’t enthused. I tried to separate the actor from the character, and it was difficult to say the least. I thought, gosh this man can act!

It got so bad that I actually wanted the Legends to kill Rip! Yep, I said it. He needed to be squelched. Destroyed. Annihilated. And then the gut churning, hair pulling, white knuckled response stopped.

PLOT TWIST!

Rip was saved. Evil had not won. His lovable, encouraging personality had been restored, and I lamented over ever thinking that he should have been killed. Oh, the shame!

And then it hit me! 1) Arthur Darvill is an incredible actor (the other cast members, too!) and 2) Those writers need a bottle of champagne, a raise, and some applause. You see they’ve drawn the audience in to the point of disgust, raised blood pressures, and beer spillage. The writers have cast a spell on us lulling us to love, hate, then love again. This is story writing. This is what we as writers yearn to do. We spend thousands of hours pouring over our words, taking classes, getting critiques, developmental editing, copyediting, etc… The list goes on and on. This storyline was an Ah Ha moment in my life as an author.

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What was that, you say? It’s a great idea to take a step back. It’s pivotal to watch a play, ballet, sports, movies, and TV. As an author, it’s critical to be able to learn character development, what draws an audience in, and sometimes it’s not in a book. Sometimes it’s not in a class. Sometimes, it’s in a play, the beauty of a ballet, and also in binge watching TV.

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So with my hat in my hand, I thank the writers and actors in Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow for their expert plot twists, their character development, and for some good TV. Thank you for allowing this weary writer to regain perspective and relax. You have my undying gratitude.

I want to hear from you! What are some shows that you watch for fun? Tell me! Comment below, and until the next time, keep working on your dreams, keep putting one foot in front of the other, and keep believing. We’ve got this!

Cheers,

K.D.

P.S. Make sure to get up and walk around a bit while binge watching. Gets the blood pumping and makes it more entertaining!

 

To Write or Paint?

Hello friends! Another week, another adventure. Well, an adventure into painting that is. After staring at my walls, trying to come up with the latest plot twist, I decided it was well past time to repaint them. After years of family abuse of pen marks, pencil drawings, paint explosions, and other various tried and tested tortures they have suffered, I grasped that five gallon paint vat, mixed it until my fingers ached, and poured the vaporous mixture into the bucket.

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How I relished the silky taupe that would soon make my walls bright and cheery again.

After about five minutes of staring down at the paint, glistening eyes and all (drat the vapors), I swiped them dry with my shirtsleeve and with gusto I tackled the nearest wall. Roll after roll it took on a sparkly sheen. Up and down the ladder I went, cutting in near the ceiling and at the baseboards, and when all was said and done, I stood, shoulders squared, chin up, and beamed at that gloriously painted wall.

Of course, I felt proud. Who wouldn’t?! Muscles I hadn’t felt in decades gave me a swift ‘Hello’ in the form of stabbing, shooting pains, and my legs trembled at the exertion, but I was not going to let anything dampen the exultation thrumming through my veins.

Satisfied, I stepped back and turned around, half expecting congratulatory slaps on the back for a job well done, but no matter. I was proud. Proud…

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And then, with a feeling of impending doom, I viewed the multiple walls yearning to be painted, and an overwhelming panic ensued. What. Have. I. Done????

*sigh*

Buck up soldier! Time to get the paint on, am I right?! So, I rolled up those imaginary sleeves, tightened that ponytail, and stared down those walls that taunted me from around the room. I would not perish! They were going down.

The ladder, which I thought helpful, turned traitorous with each painful step, and the endless sight of unpainted walls mocked me, but I kept on. Swipe after painful swipe, I tackled those obstinate walls, and when three were done (did I mention that I’ve got 18 walls to paint?) I leaned against the kitchen counter and exhaled.

Now, four days later, I’m still painting, and I’d rather be writing. I will NEVER complain about writing again. I think I’ll be dreaming about walls for the foreseeable future, but there was a silver lining in all the drudgery.

First, I’m sore which means I’m building muscle. Score! Second, I’m proud of those freshly painted walls. It was time, and third, painting shares similarities with writing.

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I know some might think I’ve inhaled too much vapor, but hear me out. Painting requires attention to detail. It also requires dedication and determination. I know that many writers would agree that to make it as an author, we must be both dedicated and determined because it’s easy to just give up. However, where’s the fun in that? Moreover, painting utilizes layers to cover up flaws or enhance them, and so does writing.

Anyway, I’ve had a crash course in painting, and once completed, I will not be painting walls ever again. However, I’m grateful for the ability to do it, and I appreciate those that paint for a living. You all get the biggest of high fives!

So, after I complete this painting excursion over the next few days, I will cherish my time for writing all the more. What about you? I want to hear from you. What are you up to? TV, movies, books, or painting, I want to hear about it. Leave a comment, and join the fun!

Happy reading,

K.D.

Put the Book Down!

Hello, friends! Another week, another blog post. It’s been a jam-packed week of research, editing, and rewriting. But the common theme? Books!

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Historical books, suspense, dystopian, and all things fantasy litter my desk and clutter my shelves. I’ve got the U.S. Civil War on the brain for my next novel, and I’m devouring Origin by Dan Brown at night. Hour long slogs, interrupting an already claustrophobic day of work, through Nashville traffic gets my family to ballet practice, but it’s SO worth it.

I sit in sweet solitude parked in a crammed lot of extrovert parents, and I sink down in the driver’s seat, sunglasses donned and sun visor down, as my introvert self avoids contact of any nature. I relish each turn of the page. Black script jumps off the pages and enlightens a middle-aged mind, taking me on a far off adventure, or reminding me of the importance of history (lest it repeat itself!).

Ah, the wonder of those sweet hours (yes, hours) of alone time where the usual day’s stressors (painting walls, laundry that could rival the Himalayan mountains, annoying solicitors that don’t take no for an answer, sticky floors yet to be cleaned, and a yard threatening to swallow us whole if not cut) can thunderously dissolve and books become my salvation.

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Of course, as a writer, books are my life. However wonderful I know that they are, to a non book lover (gasp), they are quite the nuisance. Although, I have to say that my loved ones appreciate my infatuation with the written words, they do find them rather cumbersome to walk around.

So, what would any sane writer do to tackle this all too familiar issue? Kindle, you say! Kobo, Amazon, Apple and other sites grant the reader’s delight in thousands of books all at our digital fingertips! Hundreds can be stored in a teeny, tiny space. Gone are the paper cuts, stubbed toes, and bruised hips. What more could anyone want, am I right?!

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Wrong!

You see, after all is said and done, there’s nothing I love more than the smell of a good book. The tangible nature entices; the sound of pages turning (sigh). It delights my neuronal synapses in a way that the digital copy can not. Don’t get me wrong. I still read digitally, but my LOVE awaits in those paperbacks yearning to be bought (my sweet precious).

Of course, the clutter continues, and until I can afford a decent library the size of the Smithsonian comes my way, I will continue to buy those darlings. I hope my family and friends will grunt (silently), bear it, and understand (probably not). If not, it’s been a fun ride. How I’ll miss their faces;-)

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Just kidding!!! I’m building shelves and determining which ones I’ll give to our local library and shelters. They shall not burden my family longer, and yet, when the last breath leaves this mortal body, may my lovely family surround me, and a novel be ever clutched to my chest.

I want to hear from you! Who else is a book hoarder? What are you currently reading? I look forward to your comments.

Happy reading,

K.D.

Cherry Blossoms, The National Mall, and Books

Hello, my friends! What a wonderful Spring we’re having. A thin, yellow sheet of pollen dusts my car at the budding births of plants, but I, and my looming headaches, refuse to cave to the abyss of sinus misery that comes with the brilliant waves of green grass and colorful spread of flowers covering flowerbeds near and far. No, I will exude enthusiasm for the abounding beauty, and thank my lucky stars, too.

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Why is that, you ask? Well, to be perfectly blunt, I try a bit of optimism sprinkled with the daily drudgery of paying bills, chronic illness, and the pitter patter of children’s feet that turn into a thundering herd the second an ill-conceived slight has been batted from one to the other. Mount Vesuvius erupts, and I try to stay calm in spite of the earsplitting castigations spewed forth from once angelic offspring.

Yes, a vacation was needed, and a vacation, of sorts, I got. My first trip with the family in over five years began with a car ride to the Carolinas. Never having visited where some of my ancestors perched a blue moon ago, I walked in their footsteps, and placed flowers on a relative’s grave that I wished I could have known. Poignant, uplifting, and soul cleansing, the walk through history did these middle-aged bones good. All in all, the Carolinas were a breath of fresh air in the otherwise shrinking world that I currently reside. It was a chance to step outside and take off the many hats that we all juggle and remember, think, and observe with a quiet gratitude for those who treaded through harrowing paths before mine.

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As if that wasn’t enough, off we headed with our brood to a surprise destination. Planned on the sly, my children were sleuths in the dead of night, planning and betting where we’d end up. Sadly, the surprise turned out to be all in my head as they adeptly figured out that Washington D.C. was our destination.

Oh Washington, how sweet the cherry blossoms sway. Throngs of people and motorists swarm your streets to immerse in your secrets, history, and high-priced lodgings. Pink tipped extremities burned and tingled in your gale force winds that not even a thick, fur lined coat (not real fur, folks!) could shut out. We grace your city streets full of honking motorists, braved our way through endless bag checks, metal detectors, and x-ray machines to enter the belly of the beast known as The National Mall.

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Now, for anyone NOT familiar with The National Mall, it is not a mall at all. Instead of filled with storefronts and eateries, it is jam-packed with ancient relics, noble attire, and precious stones that would make an historian apoplectic. Museums, my friends, that go on for miles, and you can’t visit them all. No-ho-ho! We would have needed to stay a couple of weeks or more to purview the multitude of historical papers, inventions, and history that abounds behind those hallowed walls. Free to the public, one could bask in the glory of dinosaurs, mineral ores and precious gemstones, ancient Egyptian mummies, and stuffed animals galore.

Of course, my family had a predestined path of visiting the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of American History, and the American Air and Space Museum. Pounding foot to pavement, we must have walked several miles each day to take in the sights, including the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. I have to say, though, that The National Archives took my breath away.

Of all the places we visited, The National Archives was the quietest. The U.S. Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the granddaddy of them all, The U.S. Constitution were kept in a dim room, stationed under thick, bulletproof glass, and surrounded by guards. The faded ink could not hide the significance of those beautiful documents. Nothing could break the reverie that I felt in those few moments as we all patiently waited in line to see what those Founding Fathers signed all those years ago.

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One by one, man, woman, and child filed in orderly fashion. Some pointed, some asked questions to the armed guards, but all were respectful. Of course, I’m brimming with pride as the wide-eyed wonder of my children peered at those documents that have been burned into their memory banks from multiple school lessons. I stood a little bit taller explaining the significance of each document to my children. When at last we viewed The U.S. Constitution, I admit that I held back a tear. Not wanting to draw attention, I pointed out the signatures to my children and hesitated for a second before walking off in awe.

So, as my family is making our way down the marbled staircase to exit the building, I glance down at my youngest son, who is in the second grade, and I enthusiastically stated how happy I was to have seen those documents with my own eyes to which he replied, “They only displayed a part of The U.S. Constitution.” In my astonishment, I stared down at him, stopped on the stairwell. “What?” I asked. He said, “They only showed through Article Four. That’s not right.”

In my chagrin and in an attempt to not snicker, I proceeded down the stairwell and out the door. Now, I’m exceptionally proud of my son for knowing that there are more than four articles to The U.S. Constitution. I’d be willing to bet that lots of adults probably don’t remember that. However, as little as he is, I can assure you that the whole document was there. Drat those little legs!

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Anyway, we walked, watched, and walked some more, trying to see as much as our sore feet would allow. At the end of two days, we were exhausted. Happy, but exhausted. So, ready to throw in the towel, we awoke the next morning wondering what was next. And that’s when my other dream came true.

Packed back into the cramped car, we all passed the time listening to the radio while stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. I, like my children, took in the countryside of Maryland as we headed North to … Gettysburg. As a huge history nerd, I’ve always wanted to visit, but time, money, and circumstances never allowed me the honor. So, when my spouse sprung it on us the night before, I was thrilled to say the least. The 70 mile journey took an hour and a half, but it was well worth it. Snuggled into the countryside and just across the Pennsylvania border, we arrived.

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Since I’d learned a lot over the years from my father and brother about Gettysburg, I anticipated a few things. However, I was taken aback at the scope of the battlefield. I have walked a few Civil War sites in my time, but there was no walking Gettysburg. The Visitor’s Center was a treasure trove of relics, an outstanding movie narrated by Morgan Freeman, and a cafeteria that met my youngest’s approval.

After spending a couple of hours at the Visitor’s Center, the kids and I got our picture taken by the metal statue of Abraham Lincoln and off we went to buckle up for a three hour audio ride around the park. Although I do have to mention that I picked up a few books in the store about Lincoln, the Civil War, and Civil War Pharmacy. All of which will be used for the third installment of The Protectorate series!

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In a nutshell, we had a great time. Even my kids didn’t complain. All in all, I’d say it was a win. Of course, I wouldn’t take toddlers or babies as you wouldn’t get your money’s worth, but it’s a must for any history lover out there.

After returning home, I took the time to reminisce about our quick break to the Carolinas, D.C., and Gettysburg, and my spouse and I decided we’d take on The Freedom Trail next, but for now I’ll cherish the memories and am grateful for a much needed respite.

As for book news, I’ll give you this little tidbit to nibble upon. The Guardians is being edited as I write, and I’m happy to say that publication is right around the corner. Book cover is done, and rewrites have been worked. So, stay tuned!

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© photo by IM²

What about you?! What trips have you taken recently? Do you have a favorite vacation spot? Are you a history lover? Comment below!

Until then, happy reading!

K.D.

Suspense Books to Movie Adaptations

Hello from Music City! While the temperature waits to decide if it wants to warm up or plunge into the land of tundra, I’m busy writing, reading, and searching for everything book related. I’ve recently stumbled across a list by Bookbub about 10 books in the works for 2018 movie adaptations.

I have to say that I love movies, always have, but I get a little squirmy when books are made into movies. Movies/TV series condense or change plots of novels/series of books that can either be cheered by the masses or struck down by deafening boos. And I hear/read more of the negatives than positives. However, there are those that spark the fancy of readers (Harry Potter rings a bell!).

So, with that in mind, I’m curious as to your thoughts! Take a look at the list by clicking this link and comment below about which ones, if any, you’re interested in seeing. I’ve attached “The Cuckoo’s Calling” trailer for your viewing pleasure. Happy watching and happy reading!

KD

 

 

Sorting Hats and Computer Crashes!

Hello all!

First of all, I’ve had quite the interesting weekend. My computer crashed and all my backups were lost, EXCEPT that I always keep a written copy on hand. Although I’ll have to retype the entire manuscript, which will undoubtedly take me uncountable hours, I’ll have to push back the release date for The Guardians. BUT I’m grateful! No working from scratch for me;-)

So, I decided I needed some fun in my life, and that led me to J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore.

At the Pottermore.com website you can find lots of fun and exciting things to do. Have you tried it yet???  Let me know where the sorting hat put you! Don’t forget to get your patronus and wand!

For your viewing pleasure, I’ve attached a video of some of the cast getting sorted.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Happy reading,

KD

Cover Reveal and New Year Tidings!

Hello! I hope everyone had a pleasant New Year’s celebration, and I hope most are avoiding the nasty flu virus that’s spreading throughout most of the USA. Last year was productive, and I’m excited for 2018. I’m off to the races with the next in The Protectorate series with The Guardians set to debut either at the end of January or February.

Anna’s harrowing journey continues into her prophetic past as we rejoice in her triumphs and cry right along with her in her trials. On a worldwide rat race to uncover the mysteries surrounding her birth and the inherited role she must assume, Anna struggles for answers where friends become enemies and family are not who they seem.

I invite you to take this adventure with Anna in the second book of the series: The Guardians! Write a review and/or contact me on Twitter, FB, or here when you do.

Additionally, it wouldn’t be a new year without a new reading list. I’m up to my eyeballs in work and pleasure books, and I’m determined to read them all. Overachiever? Perhaps. Bibliophile? Absolutely!

At present, I’m reading Magnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard, Scarlet: The Lunar Chronicles, Archie Greene and the Alchemists’ Curse, Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, My Dirty Fairytale, Paranoia: The Story of Jenni, and Origin to name a few. Yes, I read multiple books at once as it helps tremendously with my writing, meaning more wonderful books to churn out for my fantastic readers! Romance, YA, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery: I love them ALL. So, if you’ve got any you’re reading, please comment below and tell me which ones I should add to my TBR list of 2018.

So now, without further ado, I’m excited to present the cover for The Guardians.

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© protected image by IM²/Innovations Publications

Happy reading,

K.D.

 

The Guardians: The Protectorate Series Book 2 Update

Hello world! It’s been awhile. I’ve been up to my ears in completing my second book in The Protectorate series, and I must say that I’m thrilled it’s almost completed. Edits are underway along with rewrites, and I’m gearing up for my wonderful Beta readers to devour The Guardians and give me feedback. I’m most excited to show everyone the next cover, but that will have to wait for another few weeks while I wrangle with the rewrites. So, keep an eye out for it. You won’t be disappointed!

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Since the projected sale date for The Guardians will be sometime in January, now is the time to buy The Protectorate and gobble it up! It’s perfect reading on those long family trips traipsing about the countryside, congested city streets, or even across town during the hectic months of November and December. And for an excuse to slip away from too much family time, The Protectorate will provide the escape your sanity may need;-) Plus, it’s easily portable as an e-book! What more could you want?! Okay, so maybe a glass of vino, hot cocoa, or steaming cup of tea would be a nice addition, and don’t forget a warm blanket to snuggle up with by the fire. Those pesky relatives that we love will melt into the background, and you’ll be whisked away on a thrilling ride of mystery, intrigue, and mayhem.

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By autumncozy on Tumblr

So, for now, I’ll sign off and wish you a happy and productive day! But before I do, I’d love to know what you are up to these next couple of months. Who is taking part in NanoWriMo this month? What fun stuff are you writing or working on? What part of the world do you live in? Please leave a comment!

Happy reading, Happy writing!

K.D.