Friday, March 30, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

The last week and a half has been a whirlwind! I never appreciated the work an author puts in when they are promoting their book.
The good news is that I don't have to travel (physically) around the country to promote Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart. I can do all my "traveling" and promoting from my dining room table. In my pajamas. Or from my college campus while I'm on my break. Technology does certainly make that part of it easier.
Plus I don't have to be away from my family. I can count on one hand the time I have spent away from my canine kids. 1 night from my little bear, but the others? I've never been away from them, at least not overnight.
I spent a day with my friend, Karen Ranney, on her Warm Fuzzies blog. Today, I'll be at Manic Readers giving away a couple of e-copies of KotGDH. Saturday, I have GOT TO clean up this house. Then, Sunday, you can pop in to visit me at my friend Virginia's blog.
Between studying, working on the next few books in the series, blogging my little heart out, etc., you can see what I mean by whirlwind. *bows head* I am humbled by the thought that I have so many friends who are willing to help me promote this book. There is my blessing for you this week: May you be blessed by friends who lift you up and let you shine! (Just remember that from time to time, you need to lift THEM up so THEY can shine as well.)
So, for now, I'm off to prepare for my college classes. If you feel the urge to drop me a line or comment where I'm blogging, you will get an answer, I promise. It just may take me a bit to get to it. Because for the next few days, the whirlwind will continue and that is a VERY good thing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Beautiful Weather

Two weeks ago, I woke up to this. It's beautiful as can be, but it makes getting around a little more difficult. We can do it, but I prefer to hibernate during weather like this. I curl up inside and read (or write),  only going outside when the dogs need to go.
Yesterday was gorgeous out. We took a little trip to one of our favorite places. We went to Escanaba. While all of the ice is off the water here, we noticed a sheet of ice over the water in the marina. A little unbelievable with the weather we've been having.
I got out and took a few pictures as we stopped at the park. This is The Lighthouse Museum. Isn't she a stunning building? I love lighthouses anyway, but this one is special:)
I know, I know, I know. You're probably thinking, "What on earth is she thinking? That is hideous." I saw this ship on a previous trip (when I didn't have my camera) and thought how strong and proud she must have been in her day. I'll bet she was quite majestic as she would cut through the water with her full crew. If you close your eyes while you're standing there, I would bet you could almost hear the crew calling to one another from a day long ago.
We also stopped off at Sayklly's for our chocolate fix. Be careful if you order candy from this place! It has a way of being addicting!! *grin* I'm addicted to their milk chocolate raspberry whip and the English toffee. We won't even talk about the sea salt caramels! *eyes roll in ecstasy* But yesterday they had something new. I'm talking mind-blowing new...milk chocolate candies filled with vanilla buttercream and topped with just the right amount of sea salt. *steps up to podium* My name is Gemma K. and I am a chocaholic!
Then, there is The Record Rack. It's a store that sells pre-owned DVDs, video games, music, etc. The coolest couple owns it and you can always find something new in their bins. I have a hubby with a DVD addiction, but with these prices, I can't complain. If you have a chance, pop in and see the variety of goodies that they have for purchase.
I'm going to post the links on My Favorite Things page so you will always be able to find them. I just wanted to share a little bit of my Spring Break adventures with you. I hope you had a smidgen of the fun I did.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Soundtrack for Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart

Music is a HUGE part of my life and always has been. From the time I can remember, there was always music being played. Whether it was Dad's reel to reel, the 8-track player, records, or simply the radio, music enveloped me at a very young age. I can remember singing along with Tanya Tucker's "Delta Dawn" and "What's Your Mama's Name?" before I could understand what the songs were even about.
My love of music only grew. My dad loves to listen to Hank Williams, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, and Hank Snow. My mom, well, her musical influence on me was The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, and The Monkees. My grandpa simply enjoyed any sort of country music. Then there was my grandma. She enjoyed country music, but she also had some records that were different. Grandma gave me the love for the oldies. You know, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, and Dean Martin. Oh boy! I just love listening to them. With so many varieties of music, how could my mind be anything other than open to ALL genres? Then, I married a metal head! He LOVES his metal music and 80s hair bands. What's funny is that over the last 20 years, his music has crept into my music shelf and mine into his. I have everything from Celtic music to Rob Zombie on my Mp3 player. It's quite funny.
So, I wanted to share my playlist with you. These are the songs I listened to as I wrote Bowie and Ana's love story.
Billy Currington- Little Bit Lonely
Billy Currington- Let Me Down Easy
Billy Currington- Everything
Brandi Carlile- The Story
Eden's Edge- Amen
The Dixie Chicks- I'm Not Ready to Make Nice
Eric Clapton- Wonderful Tonight
Eric Clapton- It's In the Way That You Move It
Jake Owen- Barefoot Blue Jean Night
Lady Antebellum- If I Knew Then
Lady Antebellum- Something 'Bout a Woman
Luke Bryan- Do I
Nickelback- Dark Horse (the entire album!)
Snow Patrol- Chasing Cars
Spill Canvas- Our Song
Thompson Square- Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not
Trisha Yearwood- Real Live Woman
Not to mention the nights where I just turned on Pandora radio and let  it play as I typed away.
Now, you can see where my head was as I wrote. The 2nd book in the Cedar River series (which I'm working on now) has a heavy Celtic Thunder playlist. I have no idea why, but it works.
Have a Happy Sunday!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I Feel Special

I want to share something special with you. Last night, I was sitting on the sofa with my husband who was playing with his Kindle Fire. Or so I thought. Whatever he was doing, he was intense. Normally he plays games on it, talking (or yelling) at the Kindle as he plays. But not last night. Last night, he was being awfully quiet (and if you have a man in your life, you know that that isn't always good.)
I was working on some promo stuff for the new book and not paying as much attention as I should. He looked at me and said, "I'm on Chapter 2." I looked up from the laptop and said, "Huh?" (Don't I sound intelligent? LOL) "Chapter 2. I'm reading your book." After I picked my mouth up off the floor, I could only stare at him.
Let me explain: I'm married to a man (whom I love dearly) who avoids most books like the plague. If he can listen to it or watch it, he is all over it, but to pick up a book? I've only seen it happen on extremely rare occasions. I believe he says he's read the first 4 (and 1/2 of the 5th) books in the Harry Potter series. I also know for a fact that he has read The Thief of Always by Clive Barker a few times. But a romance? Never!!
Then, he returns his attention back to MY book. He made it quite a ways into the story and then he turned to me, "What were the bullets filled with?" I was able to smile and told him to keep reading. He did and when he discovered the mysterious ingredient, I got a smile. Apparently, I did a good job in my choice.
He eventually put the book down and we had a discussion...ABOUT A BOOK!!!! I've been waiting for 20 years for this to happen!
*rubs chin* Hmmm...maybe I should have done with whole "getting published" thing sooner!
I hope you enjoy it as much as my darling husband is. According to him, it is quite "readable and leaves you wanting to know more." That's the best review I could ever ask for!!
If you've picked up Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart, drop me a line at and tell me what you think. I'm working on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th book in The Cedar River series with a possible spin off.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

It's Heeeeere

It took a little longer than anticipated, but Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart is available for  purchase. You can get it for your E-reader, your Nook, your Kindle, any (electronic) way you want it. You can always look under the tab, BOOKS AND EXCERPTS, for the links. Or they are up on my Facebook page

LEAP OF FAITH PUBLISHING                     BARNES AND NOBLE                AMAZON

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Christmas in March

Today feels like Christmas Eve, my first date, my wedding day and winning the lottery all rolled into one GIANT ball.
Let me explain: At the age of 30, I made a list. It was a list of things I wanted to do before I reached 40 years of age. On that list were things like:
1) Fall in forever love- May 1992
2) Learn to say "no"- October 2004
3) Have children- 12/1998 (I just didn't realize my kids would be of the furry, four-legged variety.
4) Join a book group- July 2008
5) Go to a movie alone- May 2005
You get the point, right? Well, on this list is also the goal of publishing a book. Tomorrow (March 15) my dream comes true! It will be 2 months and 10 days before my 40th birthday.
Let me tell you something about the back story to Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart- I have been writing since I was probably 10 years old. I wrote the class poem for my senior class. I wrote a lot of poetry. Then, I tried my hand at stories. They were always contemporary romances. I've never shied away from sex in my stories, but I've also never considered myself to be extremely imaginative. Paranormal/urban fantasy authors have LOADS of imagination. I simply write what I know, good, wholesome, "normal".
Then, one day, it happened: I had a dream. I dreamt of golden dragons in flight, a shifter in every sort of animal, and a beautiful place that can't be described with mere words (I just hope I did it justice). I tried to ignore the voices in my head, but Anastasia (my heroine) would NOT be ignored. Her and I went round and round. I really didn't like this girl, but I sat down to write out the dream.
It came together and a book began to form. I felt my life falling out from under me, but I kept writing. Then, something happened. Bowie (my golden dragon hero) stepped in and began to tell me his side of things. It all came together and I sent it in. I had no delusions when I submitted it, but Leap of Faith Publishing sent me an e-mail with a contract. Not bad for someone who really had no intention of being a paranormal author, huh? (I love reading paranormal/urban fantasy. Please don't think I don't. This genre is all over my bookshelves. I just didn't think I could do it.)
As of today, I'm working on books 2, 3, 4 and 5's ideas are jotted down. Plus at least one spin-off.
So, if you will, please help me celebrate my Christmas in March.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Times, They Are A'Changin'

I hate the time change! As the daughter of a former farmer, I get it. Really, I do. I just despise it. Even as a kid, the Daylight Savings Time was not my friend.
I think it is the "spring ahead" that I really have issues with, especially this year. As a college student, who is surviving on WAY too little sleep anyway, I don't need to lose another hour. Good grief!  No, I don't have one of these types of alarm clocks. I have an annoying digital one that beeps at me. Increasing in the speed of the beeps until it is one long continuous beep.
As a teenager, I learned to put my clock on the other side of the room. This way, I was forced to get up to shut it off. If the clock is beside my bed, I tend to hit snooze...A LOT!!
I know a lot of you are probably reading this and thinking, "I bet she gets wet tongues to get her up as well," (since I have 5 dogs). You would bet wrong. Instead, I get those looks like most of you get from your human children. I imagine my canine kids are saying, "Oh, gods! Are you serious? It's still dark out. And you expect me to go outside and do what? You're off your rocker." Maybe I am.
Times, they are a'changin'- I'm preparing for mid-terms. Funny enough, it's not as bad as it seems. I have a quiz in Pop Culture which shouldn't be too difficult, but then there is the chapter test in algebra. EEK! Most of it, I get. I hated math and loved algebra. Go figure! I've been out of school since June 1990. Somewhere in the last 20+ years, algebra changed.
Now, there are things called "integers" and "polynomials" and "linear equations". Funny enough, I am picking up on this, too. I still long for the days when 2+2=4. My life was so much simpler then.
Times, they are a'changin'- I have a book coming out this week. Not just any book, an e-book.
I have read a lot of e-books. It comes with the job of being a reviewer, but I never had an e-book reader...until now. When my Kindle Fire arrived in my mailbox, I opened it with trepidation. It is beautiful and compact. It does amazing things. Can I write on it? If I wanted to, I could. I prefer a keyboard though. But I did download a few books to read on my Kindle...and I LOVE it! I'm the woman who always has a book in her purse, bag, or hand. I carry one with me everywhere I go. Now? I can carry as many as I want. I think I have 20 or so on my Kindle. It's awesome! Will I continue to buy paperbacks? You betcha, but if I want to try out an author who is only on e-book I have that option now.
Times, they are a'changin'- I am an author. With a published book. I have been a farmer's daughter, a student, a baby-sitter, a day-care worker, a wife, a domestic goddess, a caretaker, a kennel assistant at a vet clinic, a great-aunt to an amazing little boy, and now, a college student. I've always written things, from poems to stories. I have an entire town who lives in my head. Yes, I hear their voices constantly. It makes life hard at times...especially when my Botany professor is going over the finer points of photosynthesis and respiration. Yet, I have characters from the town of Cedar River who are screaming at me to "WRITE, GODSDAMMIT, WRITE!" (The characters are coming to a very...ahem...interesting scene and they are both a little impatient.) I had the same problem with Ana from Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart. I wanted her to be a wolf-shifter, but the storyline would freeze and I didn't know where to go next. Then, the little bitch began to yell at me! "I'm a puma-shifter!" There were a few unkind words tossed back in forth between us (imagine my husband's face as I'm arguing with my imaginary "friends") and I finally did it her way. I hesitated about having her fall in love with Bowie, a dragon shifter, but once again, Ana called me a few names, put me in my place, and here we are. I have a finished book. I'm working on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the series as well as a couple of spin-offs. I've learned to just type and let the characters take me where I need to be. It's just easier and I get to keep some dignity.
Times, they are a changin'- And you aren't going to find my complaining about least not too much.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Book Cover Has Arrived!!!!

Oh my goodness! You cannot even imagine what has been going on around here! In the midst of the chaos that is my life, all these wonderful things have occurred.
I'm in the midst of studying for mid-terms and preparing for a week of rest (Spring Break). I'm really looking forward to sleeping in past 6 am and making a dent in my TBR list.
Then, this lovely gem arrived in my inbox yesterday morning. I spotted it as I was getting ready to leave for class. Are you ready? I'm so delighted with it!
Yes, I'm sure wherever you are in the world you can hear the "squee" coming from the Upper Peninsula.
This is Bowie Golden and Anastasia Plum. Aren't they gorgeous?
I'll post the blurb as soon as it's ready to rock!!
Should I mention the release date? I didn't? For shame!! Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart is set to be released March 15, 2012!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Learning as I Go

Patience...something I have very little of, but need a tremendous amount of. I'm pacing the floor (in my mind) with trepidation, excitement and fear.
If you follow me here, then you know I signed a new contract in late January. I don't have a release date yet, but we're working on it. All the edits are turned in and now I'm waiting. And waiting. And waiting. (See where the need for patience comes in?)
It's not as if I don't have things to do. Mid-term exams are quickly approaching. The house could definitely use a thorough cleaning. My "to be read" pile is out of control. But my mind keeps going back to this new book and "shouldn't I be doing something"?
Then, it happened! A lightning bolt shot out of the blue (okay, I was playing games on Facebook)! My friend, Lesli/Tymber, put up a post about this new book she has out. Well, if I can trust anyone, I trust Lesli/Tymber. She tells you exactly like it is whether it's what you want to hear or not. Anyhoo, her book is entitled, Pimp Yourself: Easy, Painless, and Cheap Self-Promotion for Writers. I've downloaded it to my Kindle and opened the first chapter. Because she doesn't pull any punches, I've learned from my friend that I'm behind in my promotions! EEK! Seriously? But there is still hope for me! I can get myself out there for people to see.
So this week, I'm on a mission: First, I'm going to set up a Facebook account. Second, A Twitter account (I hate Twitter, but I'll do what I must). Third, I'll finish reading Pimp Yourself. Of course, I'll also continue working on the next book in the series (I'm 14, 000 words in) and study! Oh, and I'll probably have to take a break to clean because, honestly? For two people, this house is horrendous. Not Hoarders bad, just bad!
Alright all! I'll keep you up to date on the book when I have information, but for now, you can see I'm trying to promote...ME! I'll probably post things where I offend people, but I'm not doing it intentionally. I'm very vocal about what I believe in.
Have a wonderful week!