Sunday, June 30, 2013

Common mistakes...

Here's another edition of common mistakes I see in MSs I read, and even in some published books!

There is a difference between 'chord' and 'cord'.  A chord is a series of musical notes.  So if something gets to you, it strikes a chord.  If you strike a cord, you're probably hitting a piece of rope.

If you're starting a lawnmower or outboard motor, you're pulling a cord.

I've seen this one two or three times in the last week or so, and thought it might be time to clear it up.  Another one I keep seeing is 'heroine' and 'heroin'.  There's a big difference guys!  Your heroine is the feisty female lead in your story.  Heroin is a very addictive opiate.  Mixing those two up can make for some very giggle-worthy phrases, believe me!

What are some other common mistakes you see?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things (2)

This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

Well, I've had a terrible cold this week, so I'm very thankful I seem to be getting over that!

The one positive thing about having been sick was that I had some time to read.  I finished four books in three days which I don't think I've done since before I had kids.

The programme for the Film Festival came out yesterday, so I have the pleasure of wading through and picking out which are my must-sees, which are my maybes and which I can probably give a miss.

What small things are you celebrating this week?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Holding Her Close

I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Allyson Lindt's new book to review!  So here goes....

Coming hot on the heels of author Allyson Lindt’s debut novel, Conflict of Interest, Holding her Close is not so much a sequel, as a companion novel.  It shares characters and a world with Conflict of Interest, but the action occurs before that novel’s timeframe.

Zach and Rae were high school sweethearts.  Since their explosive breakup, they’ve avoided one another – something that has been difficult since Rae’s best friend, Scott, is Zach’s business partner.

Now Scott and Zach are in the midst of a crisis as their successful gaming company is undergoing a hostile takeover.  When Rae walks into the mess, suddenly neither she nor Zach can keep their minds off each other.

Zach proposes a one nigh fling to get it out of their system.  Rae agrees, but the sex is better than either of them had ever dreamed it could be, and soon, “just this once”, has become “just one more time.”

Complicating matters is the fact Rae thinks she knows how to fix the business problems both men are having.  Scott is willing to listen, but Zach refuses even to open an ear to her.

This is a hot romance with some of the steamiest sex scenes I’ve read in a contemporary romance novel.  But there’s a lot more to this book than just sex.  The characters are layered and nuanced, growing and changing through the experiences they deal with through the novel.  To begin with I thought Zach was an arrogant ass and was sorry to see Rae fall for his lines, but as the novel progresses, what makes Zach tick becomes clearer and his behavior is completely understandable. 

The idea that these two have been holding a torch for each other for over ten years lends urgency to the proceedings.  Neither will be able to move on as long as the other remains tantalizingly nearby.  So the stakes in this relationship are already sky high. 

Lindt obviously knows the world her characters inhabit well, and offers cubicle dwellers a chance to indulge their own fantasies of sex on a boardroom table or in an alcove away from a buzzing conference.

Fast paced, sexy and easy to relate to, Holding Her Close is a must for any office worker who thinks romance can’t happen in the workplace.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things

This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

1. I finished STUMPED.

2. I started a new WIP (at least in my head - the actual writing starts tonight).
3. We managed to survive the storms without damage or losing power like our neighbors did.
4. My son turned 6!

I think that's enough celebrating for one week.  What do you have to celebrate this week?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I think Stumped is finished....  I got my last notes from my CP yesterday, spent a few hours tweaking, polishing and writing a new scene, and now I think I'm done.  I'll leave it alone for a week now, then do a final read through to make sure everything hangs together and there aren't any huge, glaring errors I missed, but then, *gulp*, it's back into the query trenches for me.

I love this book.  I love Ozzy and his single-mindedness, his odd moments of introspection and his occasional kindnesses.  I just hope other people love it as much as I do.  I know it's a tough one, so I'm prepared for plenty of rejection.  But it's also unlike anything else I've read before, and unique is good, right?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Probably not news.

I'm totally technologically retarded, so this is probably not news to any of you.  But I just discovered the most phenomenally useful editing tool!

I can send my manuscript, as a Word document, to my Kindle and read it the way I read a large number of published books.  Reading it on the Kindle gives me a whole new way of looking at the text, and things that may not have crossed my radar on the laptop screen, suddenly leap out at me.

And it's easy!  You just email the document to the @kindle address you're given when you set up your Kindle account, and go to the 'manage my Kindle' page on the Amazon website, and send the document to whatever device you want to read it on (for me, it's my iPhone).  Easy-peasy!

Is this something you knew you could do?  Do you do it?  Can it be done on other e-readers?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


My amazing critique partner and all-around best friend just got a book deal!

Publisher's Marketplace ~ Deals June 11, 2013:
Lexa Cain’s SOUL CUTTER, a teen who outs fake psychics on YouTube overcomes her epic skepticism when she confronts a legendary Soul Cutter while in Egypt tracking down her missing mother, to Lea Schizas at MuseItUp Publishing for publication in December 2013 by Michelle Johnson at Inklings Literary Agency. (World English)

This is an amazing story, and I urge every single one of my blog readers to make a note of the title and to grab it as soon as it comes out in December.  I know I will be!

So for now, congratulations Lexa!  I'm so incredibly happy for you.  It just goes to show that hard work really does pay off!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Not writing

I'm still not writing.  I'm tinkering.  Revising.  Playing with queries and synopses.  I'm beta reading and critiquing.

But I'm not writing.

And it feels weird.

I'm always working on something.  I always have more ideas than I know what to do with.  But right now, I feel like I'm tapped out.  I can't even imagine sitting in front of a blank document and starting again.  I don't feel like it's something I can do, even though the evidence is sitting on the shelf behind me - I've written 9 novels. I know I can do it.

Have you ever been in s slump like this?  How did you get out of it?  Is it a matter of pushing through the lethargy and just writing something, anything?  Or do I tinker and read and relax until an idea burns through me like a meteor and forces me to the computer?

I've tried the forcing myself method.  I even wrote a proposal for the book and a first chapter.  But I hated it and didn't feel any passion or excitement for it.  An I'm sure that translated onto the page.  So I left that alone.  It'll still be there if I ever feel any fire for the story.

I have an idea for a new story that has my interest piqued, but it's complicated and difficult and I'm not sure I'm a good enough writer to pull it off.  I'm thinking through all the angles on it, but at this stage there is too much unknown for me to start writing.  My main character doesn't even have a name!

So should I feel guilty about not writing anything, or should I just go with it?  When the right story comes, I'll know?

Friday, June 7, 2013


I just woke my entire household up.  Not to mention giving myself such a fright I almost shot my chair halfway across the room!


I clicked a link on Twitter to read an article or blog post (I'm so traumatized I can't even remember now) and an ad on the page yelled at me.

The volume was up on my computer, and it was really LOUD.  Loud enough to wake up my youngest son who sleeps like a brick.  Loud enough to wake up my partner who was working until 2am.  Loud enough to coax my older son out of his bedroom where he was reading.

I guess it got my attention, but the noise was so shocking, I shut the page right away and have no idea what the ad might have been for.  And I don't imagine I'm the only one.  I just don't expect webpages to make noise unless I press 'play' or something.  When they do, it frightens me.  I think I need to remember to keep my volume turned down.  Just in case.

Has this ever happened to you?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

In The Bedroom

It's been a while since I shared any actual writing here, so here's a little short story that was originally published on Everyday Fiction.  Enjoy!

By Kate Larkindale

The beach was darkening, the pile of driftwood my brothers and I had painstakingly collected ready to be set alight.  Kids ran and shouted across the sand while balls and Frisbees flew through the air.  Behind us, on the long sloping lawn that led from the beach house to the sand, I could hear the laughter and clinking glasses of our parents and the other adults.  It was Saturday night, and our turn to host the weekly barbeque.

Apart from the babies, I was the youngest on our side of the bay that summer, and therefore largely invisible.  I threaded my way through the group of boys playing Frisbee, heading for the water.  I could see my oldest brother, Danny, swimming out towards the end of the jetty.  Above him, silhouetted against the setting sun, Marty and Shaun stood, waiting for him to get near enough that they could frighten him by diving in on either side of him. They’d been trying to catch him out all summer, with no success.

I danced along the shoreline, dragging my toes to make cryptic squiggles in the sand.  At the end of the cove, I made out two figures up against the rocks.  As I drew nearer, I recognized my brother, Luke, and his girlfriend, Louise.  Making a face I turned back, towards the dock and the activity.  Luke’s pre-occupation with Louise was spoiling my summer.  We’d always been a team, despite the eight years between our ages.  But this summer, he’d been gone, always with Louise, even when he was physically with us.

Danny stepped out of the water just in front of me, shaking water off his hair in a spray of jewel-like droplets, catching the last of the late summer twilight.
“What about lighting that fire now?” he said, his deep voice booming out over the accumulated noise.   He caught sight of me and draped a well-muscled arm across my shoulders, soaking my thin t-shirt.  “Wanna help me, Squirt?”
“Sure!” I replied, scampering up the beach after him like an over-eager puppy.

Faces became alien in the flickering firelight; weird shadows cast across familiar features.  I sat in the sand watching as Luke and Louise joined the group, sitting far too close to each other, his hand under the short hem of her skirt.  I glanced away and saw Danny watching them too, his jaw clenched so tightly I could see muscles jumping under the skin like small fish.

“Food’s up!” someone yelled from the lawn.  There was a stampede of feet as twelve teenagers, and me, sprinted towards the picnic table on the lawn.  Elbows dug into me as I tried to help myself to charred meat and salad.
“Here!” Luke shoved a plate full of food into my hands.  “You’ll get trampled if you stay here.”  Gratefully I took it, ducking out of the melee and finding myself a quiet spot on the lawn to eat.

I wandered back to the table to deposit my plate and ran into my mother who was refilling her glass.
“Aren’t you freezing?” she asked, words a little mushy from three or four glasses of chardonnay.  “Go put some more clothes on.”
“I’m okay,” I mumbled, but ended up heading to the house anyway, the sound of adult laughter following me all the way.

I couldn’t find my sweater in the room I shared with Marty and Shaun. Remembering I’d left it in Luke and Danny’s room the day before, I ran across the gravel driveway, stones sticking to the soles of my feet.  The stairway that led to the room over the garage was dark, but I knew it well enough that I didn’t switch on the light.  At the top of the stairs I paused.  A weird dancing light came through the part-open doorway. 

I tiptoed a little closer, heart pounding in my chest.  A moaning sound came from inside the room, then a low cry.  The hair stood up on the back of my neck, certain a ghost or other spectre would sail through the doorway at any second.  When none came, I stepped closer, pushing the door a little so that I could see a slice of the room, illuminated by candles on the windowsill.  Gooseflesh crawled across my arms as the moaning came again.

Moving slightly, I saw Danny.  His back was to me, bare as he writhed in bed, beads of sweat standing out on his shoulders, trickling between his shoulder blades.  He moved in a strange rhythm, panting for breath as it grew faster, more urgent.  I pushed the door open further and saw the dark curls hanging off the side of the bed, Louise’s back arching as she moved towards Danny, mouth open as if to devour him.

I didn’t know exactly what I was seeing, but knew it was wrong.  Louise was Luke’s girlfriend, not Danny’s. Louise cried out, fingers claw-like as they clutched at Danny’s massive shoulders.  He moved again, pushing against her, and I saw his face contort into something that looked like a grimace of pain as he collapsed on top of her.  As I fled down the stairs, my sweater forgotten, I heard their heavy breathing following me.

Luke said nothing when I found him wandering the tide-line and told him what I’d seen.  His jaw tightened, just as Danny’s had earlier.  He walked a few steps further then ran, his long legs covering more ground than mine ever could as he sprinted towards the house. His fists were clenched, jaw still clamped down as if on a wad of tobacco.

Louise kept her distance for the rest of the summer, ignoring both Danny and Luke, even after their bruises had faded and their fury had hardened into resentment.

Monday, June 3, 2013


I'm so thrilled with the responses I got to my pitches in this weekend's WIP It Good Blogfest!  Ever since I first had the idea for Stumped, I've been worried people wouldn't want to read it.  I mean, a book about sex and disability is always going to be kind of a difficult sell.  Especially when the main character is as witty and profane as Ozzy.

But seeing so many positive comments has given me more confidence in the story.  I feel like it's about 80% there now, so a few more tweaks and polishes should have it ready for querying. Which is nerve wracking.  And means I need to get off my ass and write a synopsis.

I guess maybe it will be a few weeks before I get onto writing that new book I've been thinking about.  I know that if I start writing something new, I won't get onto sending Stumped out.  And I think I need to do that.

So thank you to everyone who was so positive about my crazy little book.  You've given me some much needed confidence.