About Me

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I am a children's writer from the Virgin Islands. Growing up there was like living inside a history book; an imagination stimulator. Consequently I've been writing for just about forever. I am a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature and a member of SCBWI.

Blog Schedule

I post on Monday and Thursday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Carol Kilgore's SECRETS OF HONOR Contest

I'm delighted to have Carol guest posting on my blog. Let's make her feel all warm and welcomed as we sit around a sip our favorite adult beverage!

Thanks for hosting me, Bish. It’s fun to be on the blog of another Texas writer.

Bish and I live fairly close to one another by Texas standards – an hour and a half or so, depending on traffic and how closely you adhere to the speed limit. Yet we've never met in person. Maybe one day we’ll remedy that, especially since we share a love of the beach and the ocean.

We tried to put our heads together to think of something unique for this post, but we weren't terribly successful. Plus we were each busy with other projects at the time as well. So I decided to riff off of one of Bish’s suggestions and write about tropical drinks.

Sadly, the characters in SECRETS OF HONOR drank mostly coffee and water, as they were working during most of the story. Even so, beer, wine, and a few drinks made appearances, too. And there was one scene in which iced tea was the star – yes, you’ll need to read that scene for yourself J

But what beach book blog post would be complete without saying something about the beach. So I looked up the recipe for Sex on the Beach – it sounds much less gritty than the real thing, but just as potent!

It’s also appropriate since in my original thinking about this story, I envisioned a yummy sex-on-the-beach scene – that didn't make the final cut. Wouldn't you know.

But there is a scene in a hotel bar in Corpus Christi. Surely someone there was drinking a Sex on the Beach.

But we can’t forget these other beachy drinks: Mojito – Margarita – Daiquiri – Pina Colada.

So after I wrote this I asked Kat Marengo and Dave Krizak what their favorite tropical drink was.

Kat said hers was a Margarita – because it goes with Mexican food.

Dave said he wasn't fond of umbrellas, but he’d choose a Mojito.

I know they really meant Sex on the Beach but didn't want to fess up J




CONTEST INFO

Monday through Friday this week, I’m visiting five different blogs to promote my just-released novel, SECRETS OF HONOR. You can visit my blog, http://www.underthetikihut.blogspot.com, to see where I am each day. On each blog, I’ll give away a $5 Amazon Gift Card.  Everyone who comments on my posts will be entered into a drawing for a $5 Amazon Gift Card for that blog. So there will be five separate contests, and it will be possible to win all five, for a total of $25. Although what are the odds of that? Don’t ask me – math isn’t my BFF!

Winners will be announced next Monday on my blog, and I’ll make an effort to contact the winners over the weekend prior to the announcement.



SECRETS OF HONOR

By the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot. Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top priorities were so simple.

As an operative for a covert agency buried in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter of her dearest friend, it’s hard to say no.

Kat and Dave quickly learn the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and will require more than any of them bargained for.

The kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter of life or death will become more than a possibility.

U.S. Links:

This thriller was so much fun to write. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it.


AUTHOR BIO

Although Carol has deep Texas roots, she’s lived up and down the eastern seaboard and in other locations across the U.S. as a Coast Guard wife. She sees mystery and subterfuge everywhere. And she’s a sucker for a good love story—especially one with humor and mystery. Crime Fiction with a Kiss gives her the latitude to mix and match throughout the broad mystery and romance genres. Having flexibility makes her heart happy.

You can connect with Carol here:
Under the Tiki Hut blog:  http://www.underthetikihut.blogspot.com
Website with Monthly Contest: http://www.carolkilgore.net




Monday, September 15, 2014

Pictures of the Netherlands, Part Two

As promised, more pictures from the Netherlands. I've decided that brick is their national rock because they just don't have rocks like say, we do here in Texas which is a great place for a rock concert. Everything is made of brick, even most of the streets.
Inside the train station.
The Rijk Museum, home of
The Masters,
and I'm not talking golf.
Around Amsterdam.
Various canals in different cities.



The American Pilgrim Museum, is located in the oldest house in Leiden, built in the 1370. It is believed some pilgrims lived and preached in Leiden and left for America from its port. The people who own the building live up stairs. Down stairs are two small rooms which house the museum filled with artifacts.




 Everything inside the museum is touchable. Including being able to sit in a chair made in the 1200s and reading a prayer book printed in the 1600s.

At right is the hearth that was only discovered/uncovered in 1990s. It is the only known workable hearth from the era in the Netherlands.

They used peat because it didn't spark.









This modest, modern looking building in Leiden (left), is the home in which Rembrandt was born on July 15, 1606. On the right, the building with the steep peaked roof is where he went to school to learn Latin and had his first drawing lessons. The square in front of the school, through which he probably walked every day, was also the place where public executions were held.



Leiden's town hall.                                                                             One of the many churches.








There's much more, but I can't post about all of it without possibly boring you. For instance, the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands (over 400 years old), thousand year old brick walls, gardens, parks and zumps, World War II pillboxes, the Rijk Museum of Antiquities, a 400 year old orphanage, and driving on a 900 year old dike.

If you'd really like to see more, let me know. I'll squeeze it in somewhere!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pictures of The Netherlands, Part One

It's Patriot Day and remembering those who perished on 9/11 is important. 
A moment of silence would be most appropriate right now. 

***

So, did you figure out where I've been?

If you guessed The Netherlands, you'd be right! Below are just a few of the fabulous things I saw, places I went, things I did.



The Openair Museum:  Opened in 1918, here the Dutch have brought together historically significant windmills and buildings that were going to be lost, either through demolition or decay. Each structure was carefully dismantled and rebuilt on the site. The buildings trace the history of the Dutch and how they lived, from the poorest of sod homes, above, to a more elegant house below which sports a tile and thatch roof combo,

 to the fine examples of typical Amsterdam homes on the right.

During World War II the museum was used by Dutch refugees and The Resistance. But eventually the Germans did evacuate it and destroyed several buildings which have since been lovingly restored.

Of course there are plenty of windmills, all capable of being operated.



This one, on the left, is still used to show how grain is ground. They also demonstrate smithing, paper making and printing, and cheese making, to name a few.

As with every place you go in the Netherlands, this museum is also a working farm with gardens, pigs, chickens, cows, sheep and other farm animals.




The Kinderdijk (Child Dike or Child's Dike, "ij" is pronounced as a long i) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here are somewhere between 17 and 19 working water pumping mills, the first line of defense against rising water. All of the mills are tested at least once a year to make sure they are operational, though now three huge diesel engines turn three huge Archimedes screws instead.

Castle Loevestein, left, was built in the 1361 at the convergence of two rivers to protect the country and to demand fees from ships sailing the waters.                                                                                                                                               Castle De Haar, right, was built in the 1890s on the ruins of a much older castle.
The Rhine: The first time I crossed the Rhine I experienced an emotional rush that brought tears to my eyes. 

This particular area is the most trafficked stretch of river in the world.







Rotterdam, in the distance, is Europe's busiest port, and like The Hague (in Dutch Den Haag) was mostly destroyed during World War II. Out of the rubble new modern cities have emerged.
Come back Monday for pictures of Amsterdam, Leiden, and beautiful architecture!

Have you gone some place where you learned something completely new and different? 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Catching My Breath

Okay. I may be back, but I'm exhausted. Have to catch my breath. 
 Rembrandt and I will see you on the 11th.



Thanks to everyone who has signed up to help spread the word about the marvelous, the fabulous, and the heroic Marvin P. Tinkleberry! I'll be in touch.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IWSG and... A Cover Reveal

The brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, the 
purpose of the Insecure Writer's Support Group is: to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting is the first Wednesday of every month.

You can sign up HERE.


***

I'm not actually at my desk, in that, I'm not where I usually am. If you follow me on Facebook (my personal page) you know where I am and what I've been up too. (You should probably check it out.)


***


Even though I've been through this before, I still feel a bit insecure about my next publishing foray. Here it is, the cover for A Lizard's Tail. 
Artwork by the fabulous Adrienne Saldivar  who also did the cover and illustrations for 
Anansi and Company.

I also feel a bit insecure about asking for help, but I have to.

So here's my request. I'd like a little help showing off the cover and getting reviews ready for when my gallant hero hits Amazon. If you're interested and/or have the time, all you have to do is fill out the form below.

Once I get back from wherever it is I am (hint, hint look on FB) and I've recovered, hopefully around the 11th, I'll get in touch with those of you who have offered your time. 




Marvin and I say, THANK YOU! 

I won't have a usual Thursday post and Monday's (the 8th) will be quite abbreviated. I'll be back in full swing (hopefully) by Thursday, the 11th. See you then!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Last Day of Summer... Yeah, Right...

Labor Day, a holiday for all hard-working people. You can learn all about the history of Labor Day, HERE.

I'm not working hard at the moment, but I am playing hard and having the time of my life. If you want to know what it is I'm doing, you'll have to check out my personal Facebook page.

What are you doing this Labor Day... the "last" day of summer? Well, maybe in some places it's the last last day of summer, but in Texas the summer heat will be hanging on for a while yet. Which is a good excuse to go kayaking on the river.
Garner Labor Day
Got any Labor Day plans? Do you think of Labor Day as the last day of summer? Do you stop wearing white? :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Alternatives for Exciting

Alternatives is a recurring post in which I give synonyms for an over used word. Click on the tab "Over Used Words" for a "complete" list of over used words.



Today's word is:

ImageChef.com - Get codes for Facebook, Hi5, MySpace and more 


I chose the word exciting because for the past month or so I've been saying, "I'm so excited!" Or, "It's going to be so exciting!" Or variations on that theme. If you want to know why I've been SO EXCITED you'll have to check out my personal Facebook page.

Maybe now I can say,  "It's mind-blowing!"

Depending on how you use it, this list may come in handy for finding another way to say the same thing.

absorbing, action-packed, activating, aggravating, agitative, angering, animated, annoying, appealing, arousing, arresting, astonishing

bothersome, bracing, breathtaking

charged, commoving, compelling

dangerous, dramatic, dynamic

edgy, electric/electrifying, enchanting, energetic/energizing, engrossing, enraging, enthralling, erotic, exasperating, exhilarant/exhilarating/exhilarative, explosive, eye-popping

far out, fascinating, fiery, fine, flashy, frenetic, frenzied,

galling, galvanic/galvanizing, groovy, gripping

hair-raising, heart-stopping, heady, hectic, high-voltage

impelling, impressive, incendiary, inciting, inducing, inflammatory, inspirational/inspiring, instigating/instigative, interesting, intoxicating, intriguing, invigorating, irksome, irritaing

jeering

kinetic, kicky

lively, lusty

maddening, melodramatic, mind-bending, mind-blowing, mind-boggling, motivating/motivational/motivative moving

neat

overpowering, overwhelming

pesky

quickening

piquing, poignant, powerful, provocative/provoking

racy, rip-roaring, riveting, rousing

sensational, sexual, sexy, showy, spellbinding, spine-tingling, stimulating, stirring

tantalizing, taunting, teasing, triggering, thrilling, titillating, touching

upsetting

vexations, vexing, vitalizing

wild

zestful

Here's an exciting place.


Anything exciting happening in your world?