Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Congrats and a Call to Action on My First Line

Congrats to Holly and Sarah, my first and second place winners in the Romance is in the Air blog hop! I'll be sending their gifts soon.

Here's what's happening in my writing world. I'm currently working on a teenage witch series. I'm still super excited about it, which is good because I plan on writing about five of them. But I'm not super excited about my first line. And first lines are important. So, here's the first bit. If you can think of a better first line, I'd love to hear it. The first three chapters in all their unedited glory can be found here.work-in-progress-share

Rage is like that. It builds up inside of you, like pressure in a teapot, until finally when the steam is so hot, so big, you let go—because really, there isn’t another choice. And everyone lets go differently. Some use body language—tight lips, a simple eye-roll. Some make noise and throw things against the wall. Others swear and name call. A few actually become violent, and throw punches or people.
Some of us burn stuff.
Although, not always intentionally.
It happened in Biology when Troy, the kid that liked to chew paper, blinked at me through his Stephen Hawking glasses and told me that he would be honored to go the dance with me. If it had just been Troy, I wouldn’t have been so mad, but Troy was the final paper-chewer that blew my cool—literally. Earlier that day, I’d learned that I had supposedly also asked Harrison, the kid that wore a Justin Bieber button on the lapel of school blazer, and Frankel, the lead singer of the Wanna-be Lounge Lizards, a band that serenaded the Hartly cafeteria every Friday. Three dates to Homecoming. I didn’t even want one.
And so when I found out Melissa Blankley was to blame, I blew it. Literally. And everything caught fire.
Don’t ask me how. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before.
And because it was so frightening, I hope that nothing ever happens like that again.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Romance is in the Air Blog Hop

Welcome to my Romance is in the Air Blog Hop. I'm offering three prizes.

First prize:
E-copies of all the books in my Beyond trilogy.

Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent, a 2014 I Heart Indie's finalist: When Petra Baron goes into the fortuneteller’s tent at a Renaissance fair, she expects to leave with a date to prom. Instead, she walks out into Elizabethan England, where she meets gypsies, a demon dog and a kindred spirit in Emory Ravenswood. Can Petra and Emory have a future while trapped in the past? Or is anything possible Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent? 
 Beyond the Sleepy Hollow: With a collection of the writings of Washington Irving in her hand and a prayer that the nine-pin playing ghosts that gave carried away Rip Van Winkle will give her drink of their ale, Petra Baron heads into another time defying adventure Beyond the Hollow.
Beyond the Pale: After their encounter with the Headless Horseman in the Sleepy Hollow cemetery, Petra Baron and her immortal boyfriend, Emory Ravenswood, find themselves thrust into the bustle of modern-day New York City, where the dangers are both living and dead.

Second Prize:
An e-copy of my clean romance, Love at the Apple Blossom Inn
A small town girl.

A rock star living a lie.
Their paths cross and lead them down a road neither of them expected to find: love at the Apple Blossom Inn.
Janey knows that life doesn’t come with a happy-ending guarantee. She needs to keep her feet securely on the ground working two jobs, going to school, and caring for her little brother. She has no time or room for romance.
After an accident leaves his charmed life in ruins, Derrick abandons his Hollywood lifestyle and checks into rehab. The world believes that Derrick Cordell the rock star is dead. And despite his beating heart and breathing lungs, that’s exactly how he feels until, disguised and living incognito in the tiny town of Rose Arbor, Washington, he meets Janey, who loves him as plain old Eric Roudell, the wanna-be music teacher.
But secrets have a way of unraveling. When Janey discovers the truth about Eric/Derrick, how can she love someone she doesn’t even know? Especially since love is not on her to-do list?

Third prize: 
Everyone wins! You can get this collection of 13 paranormal stories for free! (It includes Beyond the Fortuneteller's Tent.) To claim this prize click here: 13 Paranormal Stories
How do you win?
Follow my blog. Be sure to leave your email addie in comments so I'll know where to send your prize. Thanks for stopping by! 

P.S. I'm starting something new. It's a live chapter share. Every week I'm going to post the first chapter of my current work in progress. Right now, I'm writing a teen witch book, the first in a series. You can read that here:

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Anyone Else Read The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells?

I both loved and hated this book. I think I loved it until the last ten or so pages--which makes my hate more bitter than if I'd been meh until then. I loved the prose. I loved the tension. I loved all the pretty sentences that made me stop and think about the people we love and lose.
But I really hated the ending. I think Greer took an easy out. Greta didn't arc--she just sort of flattened and picked an easy road. By so doing, she made all the other Greta's subject to her choice, and that made her seem weak, selfish, and cruel.
I think it would have been much more satisfying if she had realized that life is simply what we make of it. We don't get to choose who lives, dies or stays. We have to go forward, making the best of things.

But Greer did write pages and pages of lovely prose. Here's some of my favorite lines.

You can't marry such hopes--they won't be faithful.

What is the perfect world--except the one that needs you?

I understand that it wasn't that you didn't want to be with me anymore, but you didn't want to be yourself--the one you were with me.

It was wearying, getting everything wrong.

A shift in the weather, and we are a different person.

The darkness had drained all color, so we were in silent-movie tones.

They aren't fixed, they're just back.

There is the thing you hope for, and then beyond it, there is the thing you dare not hope for.

Everybody knows the thing that would change your life, and yet no one is friend enough to tell you.

They think I should be someone else.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

An Open Day

Yesterday I had an open day. An open day in a week sandwiched between a week with my daughter, her new baby and her family, and the upcoming week that I’ll spend my aging, ailing parents. I had promised myself that I would write, but when I sat down nothing came.
My thoughts circled around my hospitalized stepmother, all the things that I had neglected the week I was at my daughters, and all the stuff I need to do before I leave for the week in Arlington. And in the scope of all those circling thoughts, my time-travel story just seemed really, really unimportant.
And to compound my glumness, it was also my mother’s birthday. She died almost 40 years ago. The coincidence of my stepmother’s most likely imminent death so close to my mom’s birthday struck me. My stepmother was my mother’s best friend. When I was little, before their family moved away from my home town, my stepmother’s daughter was also my best friend.
My 93 year old dad in his garden

In a couple of days, I’ll be at my dad’s house—the house where I was born and raised. Someday that house will probably belong to someone else. I don’t even know how that will feel.
Today, I’m back at my computer. My time-travel story doesn’t seem as insignificant today as it did yesterday, because I know love circles around. New babies arrive, people we think will always be there pass away…or sometimes just leave. But love—it’s always there if we have open hearts. I think it’s a gift from God.
the deer who enjoy my dad's garden

I also know that my stories are incapable of telling people that. When I think of what love really is—how big, overwhelming, complicated and yet basic—any story is grossly inadequate.

And yet, I can try. It seems the least I can do. Besides, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

If Rocks Could Talk. Learning to Listen to Your Inner Voice

Take a medium size rock and hold it front of your face. What do you see? Can you see anything other than the rock? Turn to your neighbor, but continue to hold the rock in front of you. Can you focus on your friend? Can you read the expression in their eyes? Can you feel their worries, or help them with what they might need?

Now take your rock and hold it palm up, arm extended. That's better isn't it? You can see your neighbor. You can see in every direction. You can walk where ever you choose. But keep holding the rock aloft for one, two, five minutes, and what happens?

According to Wikipedia, animism (from Latin animus "soullife")[1] is the worldview that non-human entities (animals, plants, and inanimate objects or phenomena) possess a spiritual essence. Animism encompasses the belief that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical (or material) world, and souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in some other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment, including thunder, wind, and shadows.

And so, consider this--if the rock you're holding could talk, what would it say? Let's say this rock loves you, wants the best for you, and wants you to live your very best life. What would the rock say? Don't you think the rock would say, "For pity sake, put me down. Move on."?

Is there a rock you're holding that you just can't let go? Is it a sin? Is it an addiction? Is it a toxic relationship? Maybe it's a grudge. Maybe you've been hurt, and you're carrying a pain that is crippling you.

Give your rock a voice--a loving voice--and what does your rock say? Listen close to that inner voice inside of you. What is your rock saying?
ART BY PAUL BOND  http://www.paulbondart.com/Gallery/Gallery-2_mobile.php

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Playing With Memes

I've discovered Canva! And I'm pretty much in love! It's simple to make my own personal memes. (And to think that not too long ago, I didn't even know what a meme was, or why I would want one.) I'm still experimenting.

Here's the latest review for Stuck With You
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't put it down until you've finished!! January 13, 2015
By Greta
Format:Kindle Edition
This novella is a quick read that is such great fun you won't put it down until you've finished it! What a voice Kristy Tate has! Refreshing, delightful, and humorous! Reading about her wonderfully likable characters is such a treat! Andie needs to get her life together. And rich boy Whit is not the answer. He seems like a good guy, but he's had it so easy his whole life - can he and do-gooder Andie ever really see eye to eye? And once they start falling for one another, does it matter...? This delectable morsel is one you will want to read in one delicious bite!

Love at the Apple Blossom is so brand new, it only has one review. If you'd like to read it in exchange for an honest review, please e-mail me at kristyswords@yahoo.com
Here's it's one and only, lonely review
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific page turner romance set in the Pacific Northwest January 9, 2015
Verified Purchase
Started the book in the middle of the night, intending to only read a bit before turning in, and instead inhaled half the book. I adored the setting and was glad to see several others set in the small Washington town Rose Arbor. Great side characters. Was really rooting for Eric and Janey. Had a satisfying ending. Would recommend for anyone who loves short romances set in the Pacific Northwest.

Beyond the Fortuneteller's Tent as 17 reviews, but Beyond the Pale and Beyond the Hollow each only have two. Here are the two from Beyond the Pale, the final book in the series.

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! January 5, 2015
By Anon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is really a great book (and series), one of the best I have read in awhile, very original and detailed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the twists and turns. December 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This series I so enjoyed. Couldn't wait to get the next book. Thanks for writing what could be if only...

This is a review from A Ghost of a Second Chance, the first book in the Rose Arbor series. All of the books can be read independently.

4.0 out of 5 stars It'll make you smile. July 31, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Did I enjoy this book: Absolutely. I was in the mood for some escapism, so bodies swapped at death, grandmotherly ghosts, and the occasional flying cookie were just what I needed. Tate managed to tackle a broken marriage, the loss of loved ones, and some tricky family relationships without losing her light-hearted tone, and I appreciated that. Typically I’d say the resolutions were just a bit too perfect, but I guess I’m feeling soft and snugly today, because I won’t. Everyone needs a fairy tale ending sometimes.