Friday, March 24, 2017

Susan Wingate -- Heroes, Clones, and Writing the Great American Thriller



Check it out here.
 This week we are excited to air a brand new interview with one of our podcast heroes, Amazon best-selling author Susan Wingate. A lot of laughter in this one as it is always a fun interview with Susan. We delve into her latest woman's thriller she is working on, and dream about clones helping us get everything done. She also gave us a behind the scenes of her ongoing success and how she uses google analytics and book awards to promote book sales. What your clone doing today?

Monday, March 13, 2017

#Giveaway of Stealing Time on Goodreads



Don't Miss Out in this Great Opportunity


Enter to win one of five paperback copies of Stealing Time! 

I am gearing up for the release of the second book in the Stealing Time Series this summer and to get you ready I'm offering up five paperback copies of the first in this exciting series. Find out more about the book on my website: www.kjwaters.com. 

Click below to enter this giveaway! 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Stealing Time by K.J. Waters

Stealing Time

by K.J. Waters

Giveaway ends May 21, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Need a sample of Stealing Time? Click here to read a chapter.

Sign up for my newsletter to get updates and special offers here.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Blondie and the #BookCover #Podcast


Suzanne's original book cover designed by Blondie's Custom Book Covers featuring
photo's we orchestrated for Suzanne.

I'm excited to bring you this podcast featuring Suzanne Kelman, Jody Smyers, and I where we discuss the elements that make a great book cover. My expertise comes from our book cover business, Blondie's Custom Book Covers where Jody is my book cover designer and professional photographer, and Blondie's secret weapon for our amazing cover designs.

In this episode we discuss Suzanne's first book cover that we designed, as an example of what elements to consider when hiring someone to create a book cover for you. As the very first thing your readers will see, your cover is a crucial part of packaging your book.  

For Suzanne's cover, we went above and beyond your typical design strategy by providing a custom photo shoot with six models and numerous props all orchestrated by Suzanne's cover vision. 

You can see the new cover designed by the publisher that picked her up after her book was released, Lake Union Press, an arm of Amazon publishing here.  Since being picked up my Lake Union, the world has embraced her novel and she has become an international best selling novelist. If you haven't already, you should check out The Rejected Writer's Book Club. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Stellar Stealing Time Goodreads Reviews

Stealing Time Reviews


I just found these amazing reviews on my time travel romantic suspense novel Stealing Time.

I'm very excited to offer the first five chapters of the second book, Shattering Time, if you sign up for my newsletter here. Or you can read the first two chapters on my website here.


Shattering Time will be released this summer. Stay tuned for another blog post on the anatomy of my book cover. Yesterday my book cover biz partner, Jody Smyers and I had a photo shoot at an antique clock shop for the cover.

If you haven't yet read Stealing Time, now is your chance to be ready for the continuation of the story with Ronnie Andrews. It's only $2.99 for ebook or $14.99 for paperback.  I can even send you a signed copy for $14.99 plus shipping, just connect with me on facebook here or my website.

I'd love for you to check it out Click on the link here:


Reviews on Goodreads



 Stealing Time: Book 1


 
by 
18206153
's review 
Jan 10, 2017

it was amazing

This was a great read. I rate it 4.5 (rounding up to 5, since 1/2 points aren't available to me here). I was immediately sucked into the suspenseful storm of this story. I liked the fact that there were two simultaneous storylines running, one following Ronnie and the other following Steph. Just as I began to become too nervous for Ronnie, I was allowed a "break" by checking in on Steph. Then things would start to get pretty intense with her, and we'd flip back to Ronnie. I also really appreciated the amount of research Ms. Waters put into this project. Her depiction of the 18th century was very believable (reminding us just how lucky we are to live in modern times), as was the reality of riding out a major hurricane. The reason for my "1/2 point rating deduction" is the ending. Obviously with "Book 1" in the title, one can anticipate unfinished business at the end of the book. That being said, I expected to walk away from the book with some sense of completion, much like walking away from the 1st movies in the original Star Wars trilogy - unfinished business, but also some completion. The existing abrupt cliffhanger wouldn't have been so bad if there had been a warning in the book's description (as you sometimes find with other books). Write away, Ms. Waters; I anxiously await book 2!


Thomas Whaley rated it it was amazing
As an avid fan of ANYTHING 17th or 18th century AND once addicted (...maybe still) to Quantum Leap, when I stumbled across Stealing Time, by author KJ Waters, I couldn't resist adding it to my long list of things to do! Being a teacher, father of two and busy author myself, I find it very difficult to read as much as I would like, but once I began reading Stealing Time, it did not seem to be a challenge at all. The realistic mental imagery of 18th century London, perfectly mixed with the enticement of a perfect storm, time travel and spicy characters kept me on the edge of my seat. KJ Waters undoubtedly researched her history! I found her book to be historically refreshing and educational, rather than eye-rolling and inaccurate, which I have encountered in other "time-travelish" books.

Stealing Time is pleasantly packed with believable, well-developed characters worth investing your time with. They all keep you involved, and I applaud the Ms. Waters with the flawless way the characters differ based on the century they were from. This must have been a challenge.

If you are looking for a suspenseful, historical, witch-hunt of a journey - read STEALING TIME...and like me, you'll be impatiently waiting for round two.
Marcha Fox
Jun 15, 2016
Jun 15, 2016Marcha Fox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: time travel fans, historical fiction fans, 18th Century England buffs, thriller fans
I have three fairly basic criteria that will earn a book an instant 5-star review: It's makes me laugh, it makes me cry, and it keeps me up past my bedtime. As you have probably guessed, "Stealing Time" definitely hit the mark.

I also have tremendous respect for an author who takes nine years to bring a book to completion. Now, of course, this is really bad news if you have to wait that long for the next episode, which hopefully won't be the case! But IMHO, there's a certain richness that a novel achieves with time versus those that are kicked out in a few weeks. No offense to those who do so, of course, I'm probably just jealous, because I'm another one who takes a while to finish up a book. Sometimes much longer than nine years, but that's another story. What I'm getting at is the quality of the characters, imagery and plot details show when a book, like a fine wine, has aged a bit, giving the author time to rethink, embellish and perfect their story. Yeah. Like a fine wine.

As a time travel story, this one is outstanding. The mechanism that transfers the heroine, Ronnie, back in time is in the realm of science fiction, i.e., credible, but not belabored. Thus, this is not true science fiction fodder, but more in the realm for those who love historical fiction since the majority of the story takes place in 18th Century England with some flashbacks (or would it be flashforwards?) to Florida enduring Hurricane Charley, back in 2004, which precipitated the transfer.

The research for this period of time was incredible. The reader is truly transferred back in time to a world so different than ours it feels like another planet. If you don't think the world has made any progress in the past two hundred fifty years, you definitely need to read this book. While today's world definitely has its problems and fundamental human nature doesn't change, it's incredible to get a glimpse of what England was like back in 1752. Wow. I, for one, am reminded how lucky I am to be living in this century. There are plenty of undercover lessons here, too, with regard to superstitious and unreasonable beliefs that drive a culture, in this case the ridiculous view of what qualified a woman as a witch and how she was subsequently tried and treated. Chilling and horrifying are the first words that come to mind.

The imagery and action was absolutely breathtaking, especially the last fourth of the book, at which point I just sucked it up regardless of the late hour and finished. Since this is the first book in a trilogy, I knew everything wouldn't be solved, but it did provide a satisfying ending, though there were certainly plenty of unanswered questions to drive the reader's hunger for the next volume. I highly recommend this well-written story to anyone who loves a thriller, historical fiction or romanticizes the past. Believe me when I say we have come much farther than you may think.
(less)


Seumas Gallacher
Apr 02, 2016Seumas Gallacher rated it it was amazing
...an intricately woven story with compelling strands... at the height of a powerful hurricane in Florida, a time warp envelops the lead female character, hurtling her across time and continents... from the modern day back to the eighteenth century, and transporting her to Olde London... but there’s more intriguing changes... her identity subsumes from her current persona to a completely different woman...even her appearance is altered... the single constant is her own mind, and therein lies the plot... dreadful, terrifying circumstances impact her new form with accusations from her ‘brother’ of witchcraft, leading to trials and travails of prison and impending death by hanging... but all is not completely lost... a distant ‘cousin’ emerges to attempt to rescue her... back in the present, the hurricane continues to rage with deft switching of scenes, stealing time twixt the old and the new... a clever novel, and a great tester for the ensuing books in the trilogy...

Jan 25, 2015Graeme Ing
Jan 25, 2015Graeme Ing rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: time-travel
Roller coaster of a book that had me hooked. The 18th century London scenes are very well researched and written , and authentic in every detail. I really felt the past come alive. From the very beginning things go awry, and I was constantly wondering how the heroine was going to get herself back to the present. Great historical characters that were truly believable and in many cases hateful and cruel. I guess those were tough times!

Things just keep going from bad to worse. Waters mastered the pacing, drama and tension wonderfully. So many times I thought the worst was over for Ronnie and she landed right back into danger. Great story, right up to the end, and a fascinating hint at a mystery that will probably pan out in the sequels.

Super time travel book, especially if 18th century England interests you. Buy it.
(less)


Suzanne Kelman
Aug 05, 2015Suzanne Kelman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read 2 times
Wow, K J Waters successfully keeps you turning the page and on the edge of your seat at the same time. Skillfully written, Stealing Time is a time travel adventure that has all the dramatic elements of a love story in the package of a fantasy thriller. The heroine, Ronnie, finds herself thrust back into a different time to an earlier century during a powerful Hurricane in Florida. But time travel is the least of her worries as she fights to prove who she is and return to her time before there are dire consequences. A very clever concept, nicely executed by a wonderful storyteller. (less)

Thomas Whaley
Mar 25, 2016Thomas Whaley rated it it was amazing
As an avid fan of ANYTHING 17th or 18th century AND once addicted (...maybe still) to Quantum Leap, when I stumbled across Stealing Time, by author KJ Waters, I couldn't resist adding it to my long list of things to do! Being a teacher, father of two and busy author myself, I find it very difficult to read as much as I would like, but once I began reading Stealing Time, it did not seem to be a challenge at all. The realistic mental imagery of 18th century London, perfectly mixed with the enticement of a perfect storm, time travel and spicy characters kept me on the edge of my seat. KJ Waters undoubtedly researched her history! I found her book to be historically refreshing and educational, rather than eye-rolling and inaccurate, which I have encountered in other "time-travelish" books.

Stealing Time is pleasantly packed with believable, well-developed characters worth investing your time with. They all keep you involved, and I applaud the Ms. Waters with the flawless way the characters differ based on the century they were from. This must have been a challenge.

If you are looking for a suspenseful, historical, witch-hunt of a journey - read STEALING TIME...and like me, you'll be impatiently waiting for round two.
 (less)
Carlie Cullen
Jun 22, 2015Carlie Cullen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I was intrigued by the blurb on this book, especially as it mentioned Hurricane Charley which I experienced in 2004, so although it’s not the sort of book I would normally read, I was interested enough to give it a go and I’m glad I did.

The concept of the plot was very original and I liked the way Waters constructed the method for the time travel to take place. She weaved the plot well and it certainly kept me turning the pages. KJ had certainly done her research about London and the time period. Factually it was very accurate, especially when it came to how women were treated more as chattels to be sold into a loveless marriage to advance the standing or financial position of the family. She’d also done her homework on what happened to women who were accused of witchcraft. The detail she included gave the reader an accurate picture, but I’m glad to say there wasn’t an info dump. The author intertwined it with the plot so it read as a natural progression within the story.

The detail included in the hurricane scenes was scarily realistic. Trees crashing through roofs, bringing down power lines, loss of power and water – these were all things I remembered only too well!

The main character, Ronnie, was well crafted. She had depth, was realistic, and relatable. When Ronnie became Regina, after the time travel incident, the confusion and desperation she felt was palpable – something which isn’t easy to achieve without over-emphasising. However, the author accomplished it with ease. I enjoyed the blossoming love between Ronnie/Regina and Matthias and I hope they meet again in the future. Matthias was the perfect gentleman, perhaps a little too perfect, but I liked him just the same. Jack, Regina’s brother, on the other hand, was a monster and I had a hard time believing parts of his story. I couldn’t understand how a man could treat his sister in such a horrendous way and then denounce her as a witch and all because she didn’t encourage the suitor of an arranged marriage. It seemed to me that his behaviour was way too extreme for the circumstances, which made his character less realistic.

The supporting cast were well thought out and, for the most part, likeable. Jeffery wasn’t a character I warmed to, probably because he used Ronnie for his own ends and was cheating on her too. Those directly involved in the Hurricane Charley part of the story showed myriad emotions and reacted as most people would under the same circumstances; this was very well done. I particularly liked the two main characters in this section.

The writing flowed nicely, the story lines were easy to follow, and the descriptions of places and events were extremely well written, without going over-the-top.

My only real criticism was that the proof reader didn’t do the greatest of jobs, which lost it a star from me. However, this didn’t spoil my enjoyment too much. Overall, this was a page turner for me; I found myself invested in the story and characters to the extent that I really want to get my hands on book two. For a debut novel, I would have to say this is one of the best I’ve read in a while and would definitely recommend it.

I received a free copy of this book in return for an unbiased and honest review.
 (less)
Balroop Singh
Aug 20, 2016Balroop Singh rated it really liked it
I stumbled upon this book through a tweet and downloaded it just because I was not reading any book at that time. I was surprised at its flow, tenacity and the way it could captivate me. I have never read a book so fast!
I had no idea about its plot, which transported me to another century in the past and the way K. J. Waters has handled it is indeed gripping. She could draw out all those innate emotions of hatred, love revulsion and empathy spontaneously for the characters of 18th century, laying bare the challenges that the women of that century had to face! It could have been so hard to live in those dark times, with barbaric laws.
This is a wonderful novel, very gripping and alluring till the last page.
 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Ultimate Agent-- Cover Reveal

The Ultimate Agent Cover Reveal 


I don't usually post book releases but I've been captured by my buddy Derek Borne's excitement about his upcoming release. If you're into superhero spy novels from an up and coming author click on that preorder link and let's give him a boost. 

Click here to preorde

Derek has the perfect mix of originality and creative flair that should make this an exceptional tale. Plus he is smart enough to ask my advice here and there. 
#CoverReveal #TheUltimateAgent #DerekBorne #ComingSoon #SuperheroSpy
Pre-Order on Amazon here: myBook.to/UltimateAgent 
Add To GoodReads TBR Here: https://goo.gl/Y0MK9K
Official Website: www.derekborne.weebly.com
Release Date: April 15, 2017

Synopsis:

WARNING: THIS MISSIVE CONTAINS CLASSIFIED INFORMATION

Your Mission:
Undertake an adventure of epic, global, and dire proportions.

 Agent #524 - Devon Bertrand

Once a normal civilian, Agent Bertrand has been recruited by the Ultimate Agency—a secret organization of the world’s best spies. Now, after undergoing genetic upgrades, he has become a superhuman agent dedicated to fighting against all threats against the nation he now calls home.


Agent #146 - Brett Gallagher

A brilliant scientist, Dr. Gallagher invents and utilizes technologically advanced gadgets and weapons to fight against national security threats like a modern day superhero.



The Target – Supervillian Maximus Romanov

Employed by a mysterious Russian terrorist group, Romanov is a superhuman operative wreaking havoc in the United States.




Mission Data – Confidential
Join Agent Devon Bertrand and Agent Brett Gallagher on a mission to stop Romanov from destroying the United States. As Bertrand and Gallagher work to discover why Maximus harbors a deep hatred toward America, they uncover a conspiracy brewing against the Ultimate Agency, and one man will make the ultimate sacrifice.


Ultimate Agency Director -- Franklin Thomas

Frank can be rough around the edges, but deep down has a heart of gold.




Agent #531, Jade Hatheway
Jade sparks a jealous tension between Devon and Brett.



Supervillian Valeriya Romanov
Valeriya is Maximus' step-sister, who joins the mysterious Russian terrorist organization. 



Lord Konstantin Kozlov

Kozlov is the mastermind behind the Russian organization with a twisted agenda. 



Thursday, January 19, 2017

In the Spotlight -- My Interview with SJ Hermann and MJ LaBeff

I'm In the Spotlight this week!

My latest podcast interview is available here on Zcast, a platform connected to twitter. This interview aired live on Twitter last Tuesday, January 10, 2017 and has had a great response ranking near the top of that platform's ratings. Woot woot!

Click on the link here to listen to an in depth interview about my writing process, the Stealing Time Series, the truth behind my short-story Blow,  my future writing projects, and a really clever Hurricane round in which I stumble a few times. It was a lot of fun on the other side of the mic for a change.

Interview with SJ Hermann and MJ LaBeff.

I had a blast hanging out with SJ Hermann and MJ LaBeff on SJ's brand spanking new podcast, In the Spotlight. Be sure to catch his weekly show on Tuesday nights at 8:00 central on Zcast and Twitter.



I won SJ's "Hot off my Kindle Award" contest for Suspense/Thrillers this fall and this is a follow up to that incredible honor. Thank you SJ for your support and creative energy!

Please take a minute to sign up for my newsletter to get the first six chapters of my upcoming novel Shattering Time, book 2 in the Stealing Time series. You can sign up on my website here.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Blondie’s Reflections in Mirror Lake – Yosemite National Park

Blondie’s Reflections in Mirror Lake – Yosemite National Park June 2016


This past summer I took a break from the book writing and marketing journey and took my family on on another adventure of a lifetime exploring five national parks. Here is quick story about the first day we went to Yosemite National Park. If you'd like to keep up to date with my book journey follow my free newsletter full of updates and freebies here.

Late June, 2016

The mountain air was dry and crisp as we packed the car with our picnic. My husband, three kids, mother-in-law, sister- in-law, and I had been eager to explore another of our magnificent national parks. A few years ago we explored the wonders of Yellowstone together and had been truly a magical experience. See my two blogs here and here on that amazing trip. Okay, that is partly a lie. Six of us were giddy with excitement. My son was being dragged along for the experience. What he really wanted to do was stay in the cool, bug-free basement of the cabin we’d rented just outside of Yosemite and alternate studying science and playing games with his friends online.


We had jackets just in case the weather app lied again. A few days prior it promised cool temps at Sequoia National Park, but was a big fat lie. It was 90 degrees and we managed to hike with jeans carrying our jackets and sweating profusely. This time we wore shorts and tank tops expecting the heat despite the promised high of 62. In Yosemite Valley, a cartoon of a blazing sun and 97 degrees posted on the information center board told us what we had in store. We jumped on the shuttle to Mirror Lake Trail that was only two miles, just about the right length for Shorty to not completely suffer, with the added bonus of a cool lake at the midpoint to cool off.

The bus had standing room only but that wasn’t so bad until the second stop where a sardine can-esque scenario ensued. Poor little Shorty was smashed in the front with me. To our chagrin, an enormous man got on the bus squeezing in the last possible space right between us. It wasn’t too bad until he lifted his arm to hold onto the railing on the ceiling giving me a front and center view of something that still haunts me -- a glaring red rash and loads of armpit hair. I peeked around the fuzz and made a face at eight-year-old Shorty. She looked terrified. I couldn’t help but be grateful for the fact that it was the beginning of the day and the potential for fresher air was still at hand. The Scottish word ‘oxter’ rolled around in my mind endlessly until he got off the bus with gobs of other park-goers to allow us to sit in a diseased-armpit free zone.

At stop number seventeen we exited the bus and we joked about it being as crowded as Disney, not exactly what we had expected. One of us had the bright idea to wait a few minutes to let the hordes of people from the bus meander ahead as we enjoyed the gorgeousness of the giant white pines, and redwood lined path calling out to us. When most of the crowd was out of view, we started along the path following Tenaya Creek.  


About a mile uphill we came to a clearing with magnificent views of Half Dome and dozens of people swimming in a calmer area at the head of the creek. The water widened to a narrow lake with stunning mountain views all around. You know me, I was itching to get in that water. We shucked shoes and crossed a small stream to get to what used to be the middle of the lake, feet squishing in the ice-cold mud.



Years ago, they dredged the area to create a lake that would mirror the mountains, hence it’s name. As the years passed they made the choice to stop dredging and let nature take its course. Now it sports two small halves of a stream with an island in the middle. 

We waded across the water braving the bone-chilling temps with little Shorty thigh-deep complaining of how much it hurt her little bones. My ankles were screaming to get out of there but my mind told it to hush since the water was so refreshing. The two men folk wanted a longer walk so they walked around the lake, or so they said. Truth be told the boy didn’t want to wade through the water. We reunited with them about a half an hour later as they sloshed through lake. I recognized the steam coming out of my son’s ears and his hunched body language letting me know to tread carefully. He emerged from the water shoes still on his feet and a seething hatred for all things natural, despite his love of science. Turns out the path around the lake was blocked and they had no choice but to wade through the longest part of the lake.  


We made our way back down the path along a tree-lined road with the boy doing his best to swat every flying insect within a ten-foot radius of his delicate “I prefer the indoors” and “haven’t I been put through enough today” self. The rest of us were in heaven with the huge trees creating dappled shade (might I add desperately needed shade) and fresh air. Living in Dirtville, any trees are a welcome sight, but these were magnificent giants bigger than any trees I’d ever seen. My sister and mother in law, two very well-traveled ladies, were greatly enamored with the stunning views of sheer granite cliffs above us and occasional burned out forest as we walked.



We stopped for lunch back in the village after another crowded shuttle ride, but absent offensive body parts in my face (thank God) and spent some time in the air-conditioned Ansel Adams museum and other stores. The hardier folks in our group (and more nature loving) went on another hike as my beautiful darlings ate ice cream in the cool bug-free zone.

I sipped on coffee and discussed twitter pages of the politicians running for President with my son, who critiqued their worthiness on twitter. His analysis: Some were more genuine than others, and one definitely had a staff member do all the social media posts. At least I could talk to him without the incessant question of ‘couldn’t we walk faster’ or ‘when are we going home’ inserted every other sentence. The poor boy was just not cut out for the rest of his nature-loving family. He should have raised by a pack of nerds.  

After buying Shorty a cute stuffed black bear at the grocery store we made our way out of the park snapping pictures of Half Dome, El Capitan, and the enormous cliffs. About a half hour out of the park it was 105 and ridiculously hot. Our rental home was down a long dirt road deep in the woods where the devastating effects of the 5-year drought and an infestation of a beetle that targeted smaller pine trees left as many brown trees as green ones. The boy immediately retired to the cool solitude of the basement to recover from his torturous day out in one of the most spectacular National Parks our country has to offer. The rest of us retired to make dinner with cold white wine in the delicious air conditioned upstairs to make dinner and talk of our adventures of the day.



I counted my blessings to be surrounded by family in such a spectacular place in the world. How was I so lucky to be able to afford this vacation and the love of such amazing people? I hoped my kids would realize what a unique adventure they had just experienced and maybe even bring their kids here someday. I felt sorry for the people who were raised by a pack of nerds and never venture out to experience such stunning nature and, despite the crowds, a national treasure.


Please see my post about the Petrified Forest National Park here, Blondie in the Crystal Forest for more of our amazing California vacation soon. If you like my writing feel free to check out my books here