Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blondie on the Blog Hop -- The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing . . .

Welcome to the next big thing blog hop! Join the fun blog hopping our way through some new reads, including works in progress and new and upcoming releases. For those who haven't been part of a blog hop before, you read my blog and hop on over to the next blog link for more entertainment. In this case, two very creative indie authors who recently released their novels.

A big fancy 'thank you' to Shaunda Wegner for including me in this bloggertunity! Check out her blog and her soon to be released historical cookbook. Very cool concept! Don't miss her paranormal fiction books already available on Amazon.

Part of the Blog Hop is to introduce you to my work in progress by answering ten interview questions. I would love for you to comment below because you know that comments to a blogger are like crack to an addict. So get me high, baby!

I hope you'll take some time to follow the links to my author friends' blogs as well. They have some truly impressive books in print and a few in the works as well.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing

What is the working title of your book?

Stealing Time

Cover art for Stealing Time

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I've always been fascinated by time travel stories, especially ones that take you to the past. After a harrowing summer in Florida with four major hurricanes, the first striking only three days after I moved into the state, the idea to combine hurricanes and time travel into Stealing Time began brewing in my head. It wasn't until the following summer that I began working on it.

What genre does your book fall under?

Time Travel Thriller (Hey that's T cubed).

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Gerard Butler as Mike Walsh

The only actor I've pictured in the movie version of Stealing Time is a character in book two, Mike Walsh, who would be played by Gerard Butler. *Sigh* I'm not sure it's helpful to put anyone else in the reader's minds. I want them to imagine Ronnie, Jeffrey, Jack, Steph and Mathias on their own.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Wow, that's a toughie. Ronnie Andrews has a bad day or two? No, surely I can do better than that -- let me try again: Ronnie Andrews finds herself inexplicably thrown back in time during the worst hurricane to hit Central Florida in more than forty years.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will self publish this first one and maybe try for traditional publishing after I see how this one goes.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Ahem, you had to ask. OK, confession time: I've been working on this for 7 years. But . . . I will have 3 books completed by year 8ish. I've decided to split the story into 3 separate books and then I'll release them as a compilation at a later date. Why? I realized last spring that e-books were running a lot shorter than traditional pubs, at least in my genre. It occurred to me that people may not want a tome, even if it is amazing, er, really good. So Stealing Time will be a trilogy.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I like to compare my story to Michael Crichton's Timeline, in that it is science fiction that is more reality based than spaceships and weird creatures from the future. Timeline also has a healthy dose of historical fiction thrown in along with the sci-fi aspect, like Stealing Time. 

Other works that are similar, although I don't think anyone has tackled the material in the way that I have, are perhaps Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. This series is technically a fantasy set up as opposed to science fiction since the character is sent back in time via druid standing stones in the hills of Scotland instead of a time travel device.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I first decided to write a novel after becoming enamored (some may say obsessed) with Outlander. Diana has a book called the Outlandish Companion that describes the characters and tapestries of her vast novels. She also talks about her writing process and one section in particular describes how she writes a scene without knowing how it fits in to the rest of the story and then makes the connections afterwards.

I was very inspired by that, being similarly challenged with structure while having an abundance of creative ideas. The thought of a successful author having a creative rather than structured approach to the novel seemed a heck of a lot more plausible strategy for me. I've used some very helpful tools to give me the structure, which you can read about on my guest blog here that involves a book called The Marshall Plan, by Evan Marshall.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I rather like extreme weather.

If you are fascinated with weather, as I am, I've included a healthy dose of bad scary weather, written from actual experience. I've been in about 15 hurricanes in my lifetime and can easily convey the power and awe I felt during those storms.

I've also tackled the time travel component in a very original way, without spoiling it, I can only say as the story develops the method of time travel and the intricacies of how one is placed back in time is revealed and it is very complex.

If that's not enough, I've got a sexy blonde heroine as the main character and a tall, dark, and handsome accomplice to throw another curve ball in her unsettled world. Oh, I forgot to mention there is a mad scientist and a sadistic captor. Interested? I hope so!

Next week, stay tuned for more posts in The Next Big Thing blog hop. Watch for posts on November 7 from these authors:

G. A. Albrethsen -- http://gaalbrethsen.com

Alex Gouthro -- Jagouthro.blogspot.ca

Check them out now and learn about their current novels and works in progress.

Connect With Me

When I'm not working on Stealing Time you can find me on my social media at the links below. I hope to have my novel completed by spring 2013 with book two close behind.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blondie in the Pond -- Winning

Blondie in the Pond 
Listen to ‘Blondie in the Pond’ on Audioboo

I am sitting here in my wet bathing suit waiting for my turn in the shower after an amazing water filled day. We're in Maine for a week with our best friends and collective kids -- three boys and two girls.

Today we went for a picnic at Lily Pond just south of Bar Harbor, or as the locals say 'Bah ha-bah.' After a short walk down a wooded path we found the long expanse of the pond stretched before us -- all 3/4 mile of pristine Maine beauty. Not a single house was in site, nor any man made structure. Simply trees, rocks, and water -- glorious water.

Lily Pond, near Bar Harbor, Maine
My four year old daughter, Shorty, and my friend's three kids wasted no time getting in the water. My son hesitated on shore not sure if he wanted to get his feet wet. Was he related to me? Clearly he did not inherit my love of water. The fourteen year old identical twins were throwing a ball to Shorty and their sister, a 10 year old water bug.

The adults arranged all the paraphernalia on the beach -- chairs, blankets, snacks, and gear for the canoe. I stood there marveling at the view before me -- I had to get my feet in the water. I dumped everything I carried, kicked off my flip flops and squished through the muddy debris strewn bank.
I wiggled my toes in the water. Was it warm enough for me to swim? Warmer than the ocean but not as toasty as my southern roots would have liked. The sun was shining, the air was seventy-five degrees . . . it was possible.

I wiggled my toes in the water.
As I debated I noticed Michael and Cassie, my friend's kids already about 1/4 mile away swimming across the lake. I could see their blue and white life jackets in contrast to the dark water. A pang of jealousy hit me. I wanted to be neck deep in the pond.

Ian, the other twin, was eyeing his brother not wanting to be outdone. "Hey, do you want to swim across with me?" I asked.

His face lit up. "Yes." Including that exchange he'd said maybe four words to me the entire vacation. It was all I needed because I knew no other adult was able do the mile and a half swim. I was his only hope for catching his brother and 'winning' yet another competition.

I grabbed my goggles and steeled myself for the plunge in the cold water. His brother and sister were almost out of sight in the distance, just two small dots in the pond. They didn't know we were coming. I got to the point of no return where your bathing suit is still dry and you've not committed to anything yet. Surely if the 10 year old could swim in this icy water so could I. 

"You're coming right?" Ian asked with a tone of panic in his teenage voice.

In reply I dove in the cold water trying not to to scream like a little girl in a haunted house. After a few minutes of panting I warmed up and settled into the swim. "What if we saw a moose drinking on shore?" He asked."That would be so cool."

"Hopefully we won't see a bear." I am a strong swimmer but no match for a bear, especially if I had to protect Ian in the process. Rather a funny thought since Ian was four inches taller and outweighed me by a good twenty pounds.

This critter could ruin the whole day. Could I out swim it? 
I marveled at the eye level view of the pond surrounded by gorgeous trees on all sides. We continued to swim with Ian excitedly talking about the high school cross country team he was trying out for and his other summer plans. He probably said more words to me on this swim than he had in the 14 years I had known him.

About a half hour into our swim our friends showed up in the canoe. "How are you doing? Do you want to get in the canoe?" His mom asked Ian.

"No. I'm great." He was slightly out of breath but swam with gusto.

Shorty was in the boat too. "Hi Mom." She gave me a tentative high five.

My son looked at me like I'd lost my mind. "Hi Mom. Exactly why are you doing this?"

I laughed and marveled at how different we were. "Because it's amazing. Why don't you jump in and join us?" 

He had spent every second with the boys since our arrival in Maine, but this was one adventure he was going to pass on. "You couldn't pay me enough." He was right. It was just not his thing.

Ian's mom OK'd our progress so we continued on our quest. Our prey was in sight now. Close enough to hear, but not to make out what they were saying. They stuck out of the water with their life jackets making more work for them. The two reached the end of the lake and began swimming towards us and after about ten minutes they passed us. We kept our cool and casually said hello not letting on about the secret race.

After an hour and twenty minutes we were 1/4 mile from where we started and the two kids were about 100 yards ahead. I looked at Ian assessing his reserve. He was a strong swimmer and seemed to have a lot left in him. He reminded me of a race horse waiting for the jockey to let him loose for the finish. Just a few words to release him and win today's round of the endless competition with his brother. "Do you think we can catch him?" I asked.

He reminded me of a race horse waiting for the jockey to let him
loose for the finish.
Clear blue eyes stared back at me. "Go for it! I said. It was on like Donkey Kong with Ian's determination fueling him. His brother, used to their competition, was not going to make it easy for him. But for the moment Ian had the element of surprise.

I pulled my goggles down over my eyes and followed him in a sprint switching to freestyle for speed. I felt the adrenaline kicking in allowing me to push harder despite the hour plus in the water.
It wasn't long until Michael saw Ian splashing towards him and realized he was about to be ambushed. He tried to pull off the life jacket but it took too long. He abandoned it and began sprinting despite the bulk. Another ten minutes and the boys were battling it out near shore.

A few bystanders moved aside and watched them finish the race. Ian beat Michael by a few feet just before the shoreline. Both boys fell to the grass out of breath. Cassie followed close behind and I joined her. Ian looked at his watch. It took Cassie and Michael two hours to leisurely swim the mile and a half. Ian and I conquered Lily Pond in an hour and a half.

The race was on!
The boys talked excitedly as we picnicked on the grassy bank. Shorty hugged me glad to see me again and the canoers told us of their adventures. My son was happy to have the boys back on dry land and on his turf again.

Ian may have won the race but nobody enjoyed the experience more than I did. My thirst for big beautiful trees, and my heaven on earth of being in the water was quenched for the day. Tomorrow we're heading to Cadillac Mountain where the boys' competition will continue and this race will be forgotten. I, however, will cherish this memory for years pulling it out and caressing it as needed through the long cold winter. It will also serve to dampen my torment when I have to return to dirtville at the end of this vacation with no decent body of water for hundreds of miles. I may have finished last in the race but I am without a doubt the winner! 

If you like these Maine pictures check out a few more here: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/kj-waters.html.

Connect With Me

When I'm not working on Stealing Time you can find me on my social media at the links below. I hope to have my novel completed by spring 2013 with book two close behind.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Blondie on the Radio: Ghost Story

Listen to the Podcast of
My Appearance on Live From The Morgue 
Internet Radio

On September 29, 2012, I was a guest on the Live From The Morgue Internet radio show. Listen here: Blondie's Ghost Story! Join the fun where shared my ghost story and the group of paranormal investigators and ghost hunters shared their insights about my experience. After I tell my story there are several other guests and regulars on the show who share their stories as well.

If you're interested in listening to the entire ghost show click on the links below. My segment is the 'Ghost Show Part 3' but I appear briefly in the middle of the Ghost Show Part 1.

The show was a lot of fun and featured Brandy Green formerly of Ghost Hunter's International (Ghost Show Part 1), ghost hunters from PROOF, and Zero Point Paranormal. Ghost stories from Wolf and his Ghost Radar iPhone app (Ghost Story Part 2), Hell Raiser, Lord Dark Claw and many others.

If you're interested in hearing the full show click on the links below.

Ghost Show Part 1
Ghost Show Part 2
Ghost Show Part 3

Listen the Live From The Morgue Saturdays from 9 to midnight East coast time here.

Connect With Me

When I'm not working on Stealing Time you can find me on my social media at the links below. I hope to have my novel completed by spring 2013 with book two close behind.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Appearance on www.LiveFromTheMorgue.com

I appeared on this show Saturday, September 29. I will provide a link to the download from iTunes when it's available. 

Join Me Tonight for the Ghost Show on 
Live From The Morgue 
Internet Radio 

Hey, just wanted to let everyone know I'll be making my first public appearance on Live From the Morgue this Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 9pm  - 12 am east coast time. Click on the voice message below to get the full scoop.

 Voice Message: Listen to ‘Appearance on www.LiveFromTheMorgue.com’ on Audioboo

I've got a true ghost story that I will be sharing live on the show -- it will scare the pants off you! I've only told a few souls about it -- so be among the chosen few (insert evil laugh).

The show is looking for YOUR ghost stories so please call in today to leave a message of your ghost story and they will use it on the air. Please mention KJ so they know I sent you!

We'd love for you to call in on Saturday night as well to join the fun LIVE and share your ghost story. The site hosts an online chat during the show so I hope to see you there!

Call the show live with your ghost story on Saturday night or 

leave a message and they will use your story on the air. 

You can also leave a message here on audioboo.fm and they will air it on the show. BOO ME!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

And the Winner is . . . Cover Design Voting Results

Blondie's Cover Design Winner

For Stealing Time

A huge thank you for the outpouring of support for my novel design covers. I received excellent feedback from a lot of very talented people. I appreciate everyone who took the time to look over the choices and vote! 

And the winner is: (drumroll please!)

With 31 % of the vote Cover #4!:


In a close second place with 24% of the vote was cover #2


Which one am I using for the cover? Dunno until I'm about to publish, but perhaps a combo of fonts and backgrounds based on the excellent advice I received. What are your thoughts? 

I just set up a new webpage, please take a minute to check it out: kjwaters.com

Connect With Me

When I'm not working on Stealing Time you can find me on my social media at the links below. I hope to have my novel completed by spring 2013 with book two close behind.

Also, please check out my author friend's (J.A. Gouthro) new young adult novel, Sparks Ignite:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Blondies' Book Cover Artwork -- Stealing Time

Blondie's Book Cover
Artwork for Stealing Time

I've been working across the Internet with a professional photographer, Jody Smyers*, to create the cover for my first novel -- Stealing Time. I've narrowed it down to seven choices and would love for you to take a minute to vote for your favorite. I'll reveal the final version in a future blog. I'm new to this whole thing so any advice or constructive comments are welcome! Please let me know what you think. 

Synopsis of Stealing Time: 

Ronnie Andrews, a 28 year old blonde, finds herself inexplicably thrown back in time during Charley, the first hurricane to hit Central Florida in over forty years. 

She finds herself hopelessly entangled in the life of Jack Ingram, a Londoner, whose world is crumbling at the hands of an unprecedented shift in time. Join Ronnie on her adventures in my debut novel -- Stealing Time -- out this summer. Be sure to watch for the release of book two and three.







Thank you for stopping by "Blondie in the Water." I hope you took a minute to vote and comment. Voting is in the upper right corner of the blog. Comments are below. Would love to hear what you think of the cover designs! Did you like the choices? Which one did you choose?

Connect With Me

When I'm not working on Stealing Time you can find me on my social media at the links below. I hope to have my novel completed by spring 2013 with book two close behind.

*If you like the artwork drop Jody Smyers a line at @JoJo_Photo on twitter or check out his website at http://www.JodySmyersPhotography.com. Amazing photographer!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Blondie's Wrath

Wrath By Kirkus MacGowan 
Giveaway Contest Win $25 Amazon Gift Card and a Copy of Wrath

I normally don't promote anything on my blog but water and the novel I'm working on so this is unusual to say the least. However, Kirkus MacGowan, a good friend from twitter, is celebrating the launch of his book, Wrath, on August 28. Kirkus is one of the biggest supporters of my writing career so I hope you give him a warm welcome and take advantage of his contest.

Kirkus is giving away twenty FREE eBook copies of Wrath (A John Reeves Novel) in a format of your choice, and a $25 gift card to a random blog commenter. If we have a huge outpouring of support, he will increase the number of free copies accordingly.

The best part? It’s so easy! Just leave a comment on this blog post to enter the contest. Multiple comments will not gain you extra entries. However, you may gain extra entries by commenting on other blogs participating in the Wrath giveaway. Not sure what to say? Tell me what you think the significance of the blue rose on the cover of Wrath is or tell me what book you are reading right now. 

The contest ends at midnight, August 26, EST. Kirkus time will post the winners on his blog on the 27 along with the blog they commented on. On that post, he’ll tell the winners how to contact him for their winnings.

Not sure if you want a copy of Wrath?
Cover Design by www.ethinkgraphics.com, Copyright 2012
Tom Stronach, an avid reader and book reviewer, agreed to check out an advanced reading copy of Wrath. Head on over to his blog Is It Me? to check out the review. Click here.
If you prefer to read a sample of Wrath, click here to read the first chapter on Kirkus’ blog, Diapers, Bookmarks and Pipe Dreams.
What readers are saying about Wrath
I am lucky enough to have an advance copy and I can't get it out of my head! Wrath grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go! A few other readers checked out Wrath and here’s what they’re saying:
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!! The only problem I have with your books 
is that I can’t put them down!”
Wrath will stick with you for days after you finish reading.”
In my opinion it was even better than the first one!!”
Like Criminal Minds on paper!”
Giveaway Summary
1. Leave a comment on this post! That’s all it takes to enter. If you’re not sure what to write tell us what you think the significance of the blue rose is on the cover of Wrath. Or tell us what book you’re reading right now or maybe your favorite book this year. 
2. Head over to Kirkus’ blog on August 27 and see if your name is on the list of winners. Diapers, Bookmarks, and Pipe Dreams: http://www.kirkusmacgowan.info/blog/
If you’re not one of the lucky winners, you’ll still be able to grab an eBook copy for less than $5! Kirkus and I thank you for your support.
My Guest Blog

After you've commented on this blog, please check out my guest blog on Kirkus' site, called Stealing Time, that I wrote last month: Stealing Time Guest Blog. In it I talk about my struggle as a working parent. Kirkus has a lot of great articles on parenting and writing so poke around a bit if you have time. 

Connect With Me

When I'm not working on Stealing Time you can find me on my social media at the links below. I hope to have my novel completed by spring 2013 with book two close behind.