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?

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
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.

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Word of Caution to Those Who Write Negative Reviews

Brevity by Dan Thompson

I'm probably breaking a sacred writers' code by telling the world this, but I'm going to breach my bonds anyway and try to reach out to those who write unkind reviews.

As a rule, most writers won't engage, or fire back when they get a nasty review, because we know that doing so typically only feeds the fire, BUT if you don't think that we don't talk about the your reviews (and laugh at them) privately, you're sadly mistaken.

I don't read my fellow writer friends reviews, but I know that my friends read mine because when I get a nasty review they respond. Each time, I'll get a number of private emails saying, yeah, saw the review--what a *. (Most of my writer friends have a more colorful vocabulary than me.)

I love Nora Roberts response to negative reviews. You can read that here BITE ME. I love how she said, if you don't want to go the party, don't go. If you don't like the party, leave.

I once heard Debbie Macomber read a review that said, "I hate all of your books. I've read every single one and I hate them all." Debbie has more than a 100 published novels. (She's an amazing public speaker.)

Stephen King once said that his childhood babysitter that used to sit on his face and fart was the preparation he needed for literary reviews.

So, while I'm not discouraging anyone from speaking their mind and sharing their opinion, remember what my uncle used to say. Opinions are like noses. Everyone has them and they're often covered with zits and full of boogers. 

Go ahead and poke your nose out and send your review into the world, but don't cry when it gets tweaked. Writers are people, too, and aren't above slapping a few noses. Chances are, the author you slam won't retaliate publicly, but I guarantee that author and probably a few of her friends will be taking your name in vain and calling you a *. And if you're okay with that, carry on, climb on your literary high horse, and spread your negativity. May God go with you, but, oh wait, He probably won't because He said do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

But, of course, that's just my opinion. I really have no idea what God would do, but I'm pretty sure that if you're passing out nasty reviews, that you don't know either.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Love at the Apple Blossom Inn

Do you like the white or green text?

What do you think of my blurb? Suggestions and critiques wanted.

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. If she wants a house, she has to buy her own and to do that, she needs keep her feet securely on the ground with her nose in a text book, and a realistic plan on her agenda. Working two jobs, going to school, and caring for her little brother—Janey doesn’t have time or room for romance.
After a drunken 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, a girl who loves him not as Derrick Cordell the rock star, but as plain old Eric Roudell, the wanna-be music  teacher. 
But secrets have a way of unraveling. How can Janey love someone she doesn’t even know? Especially since love was not on her to-do list.

I had thought I would publish this next week. But next week is looking scary. And the week after that isn't looking too good either. At this moment, I have a moment. That might not be true in the near future. My step-mother fell and broke her neck. My daughter is expecting a baby that should have been here yesterday. Right now, I'm at home in California, waiting to hear from my daughter in Vegas and my dad in Washington. I feel as if I'm sitting on the cusp of wave--but I'm not quite sure which way the tide is going to pull or where it's going to take me.

I may hit the publish button now, because I can. I'm not sure where I'll be tomorrow.

This, by the way, is one of the reasons why I love self publishing.