Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

There Can Only Be One First

My darling rogue gave me 4 dozen roses to mark the occasion!

My first book, Duke by Day, Rogue by Night debuted Monday, October 29th via Crimson Romance. To celebrate, I hosted a book launch partay (because that’s what pirates do, don’t they?). Fortunately, many friends and family came to share this wonderful moment, like my blog sisters here at Okay, Listen Here.  The presence of well-wishing people in my house filled my home with joyful noise, a sound I shall always cherish. Surrounded by love, I rang in a first I've been striving to achieve since 1992, the publication of one of my books. The road has been long, but rewarding and I'm grateful for all that I've experienced on the journey to today.

More pirates arrived to share the spoils!

But there can be only one.

First baby’s cry.

First time trusting someone else to care for your darling prize.

First baby steps.


"Oh Jack!"

My book is walking on its own now. It left my caring arms and immediately leapt into readers' hands. And what a glorious and exhilarating feeling it is to get a direct message from the UK to explain a reader had stayed up reading my book until 2 a.m. on debut day, finished it and LOVED it! My first official fan is a fabulous lady who asked when the next book was coming out and who the hero was going to be.

Captain Guffald, of course!  (But she posed an alternate hero that has me pondering. And another book might be brewing!)

My devishly handsome rogue!

And that leads me to my next first.  The sophomore book.  Yes, now I get to finish the sequel, send it in and hopefully watch it soar too.  Life is like rungs on a ladder.  One step up may force you two steps back, but the way is always up, my friends.  No matter how many rungs number below you, there will always be another first step toward an achievement ahead.  Never give up!  Never surrender!

I’m ready for the challenge.  What challenges you today?

Katherine Bone

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Duke By Day, Rogue By Night

 "Gently bred women do not disobey their fathers, but the ship beneath Constance Danbury's feet accused her of not being gently born."

So begins our own Kathryn Bone's wonderful story--the one we all call "the pirate book" because that's what it was before it had a title or an ending, let alone a publisher.

Duke By Day, Rouge By Night is a delicious tale with plenty of adventure and intrigue, but it also has its share of Regency ballrooms, fashions, and "nice girls don't"--though they do.

Kathy's attention to historical detail so so phenomenal that you will learn a lot along the way.

It's a ship ride worth taking and you can buy a ticket here or from Crimson Romance.

Kathy, we love you and are so proud!
Kathy (in the pirate outfit, of course!) celebrates her debut with fellow Crimson author, left to right, Jean Hovey (half of Alicia Hunter Pace) M.V. Freeman, and Stephanie Jones (the other half of Alicia Hunter Pace)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cloud Atlas

There are some things that I am simply not smart enough to understand. Physics. String Theory. Who put the ram
in the rama lama ding dong.

And Cloud Atlas.Let me make clear that I am talking about the movie here, not the book. I have not read the book. I have not even seen all the movie, because there came a point where I could not take any more.

Some would say that one should not hold forth about something they have not seen in the whole. I say, that the fact that I had to leave is significant to my point. Besides, I lasted two thirds.

I don't know it if it was a time traveling situation or if there was a bunch of flashbacks and fast forwards. Like I said, not smart enough. But I do know this: it was one big old mess--not unlike a collage of stories on a wheel spinning at warp speed.

There was a composer and his helper in the 1930's, a lawyer on a tall ship with a Peruvian worm, and somebody digging up teeth on a cannibal island. There was an Oriental clone woman, who had been created for the purpose of being a waitress. Oh, and let's not forget the post-apocalyptic goatherd and Halle Berry, wearing some sort of white jumpsuit, being chased by  tattooed savages.

This was a three hour movie. After two hours, I turned to The Guy and said, "I cannot stand another single minute of this. Have fun. I'll be in the bookstore." I went there promptly.  Because I didn't have my Kindle with me, I found the Vicki Lewis Thompson werewolf book I am reading and parked myself in a comfortable chair.

I later found out The Guy, who is smart enough to understand it, didn't like it any better than I did. Well, I guess he did have to like it a little better. He stayed. Either that, or he is just tenacious.

CANDY CORN SHOT UPDATE: I promised Friday that I would let you know how the candy corn shots worked out. Not. Staying through Cloud Atlas was not the only thing I failed at this weekend. I failed to make these little gems because, though  I had everything else, I found that my ABC store does not carry vanilla schnapps Normally, I am not scared to mess with a recipe, but I was afraid they might not jell if I used, say, vanilla vodka. Also schnapps is sweet. So I bought a bottle of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum and a gallon of apple cider to take to the party. The next time I go to what I think of as God's Own Liquor Store in Nashville I will procure vanilla schnapps and make these--even if it's Christmas. 

Back to Cloud Atlas. Have yo ever left a movie? Ever wish you had?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Recipe Friday: Candy Corn Jello Shots

Okay, so I know I should have outgrown Jello shots some time last millennium. And I did. Mostly. But every year at the not-quiet-famous-but-I-talk-about-it-way-too-much Book Club Beach Trip we have Jello shots. Heart Breaker, Soul Shaker makes them and we slurp them down right on the beach under our umbrellas.

The Baby with Mr. The Baby. He was not with us.
This year, after she had a few,  The Baby got up and danced in the sand and sung some Bon Jovi. Then she sang Patsy Cline. Then she sang Cher. She was very cute and she really can sing.

Anyway. See what I mean about not being able to let that yearly infernal beach trip go? I swear that it's almost like, "This one time at band camp--I mean beach trip."

Moving on. We never have Jello shots this festive. I admit, I have not made these, but I am making them this weekend to take to a party and I will report in next week. I really don't see how one could go wrong with the ingredients.

Though, maybe they got it backwards. maybe the yellow should be in the bottom and the white on top. Hmm. I am going to try it both ways. 

Candy Corn Jell-O Shots

Mix the white layer first and fill your Jell-O shot cups about 1/3 full (about ¼ inch deep on a 2oz cup), then chill till firm. Mix the orange layer and fill the cups till they’re about 2/3 full. Keep in mind that you’ll need a little room at the top because you won’t be filling the cups to the brim with the final layer. After the orange layer has chilled, mix up the yellow layer and top off the shots. 

White Layer 

1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Vanilla Schnapps
Sprinkle the gelatin over the coconut milk and water in a saucepan and let sit for a few minutes. Heat over low heat, stirring, until the gelatin starts to dissolve. Add the sugar and stir till dissolved. Cool till just warm. Stir in the vanilla schnapps.

Orange Layer 

3 oz. pkg Orange Jell-O
1 cup water
4 oz. Orange sherbet (about one scoop)
1/2 cup Vanilla schnapps
3 Tbsp Butterscotch schnapps (optional)
Orange food coloring (if desired)
Bring the water to a boil. Add to Jell-O and stir till dissolved. Add sherbet while still warm and mix thoroughly as it melts. Allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla and butterscotch schnapps. Add a few drops of orange food coloring to make the color more vivid if you want to.

Yellow Layer 

3 oz. pkg Pineapple Jell-O
1 cup water
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup Vanilla schnapps
Yellow food coloring (if desired)
Bring the water to a boil. Add to Jell-O and stir till dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in coconut milk and vanilla schnapps. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring for more vivid color.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Once Upon a Time and the Frickin’ Family Perfect

nce upon a time there was this whacked-out art student who didn’t really know what the heck she wanted to be when she grew up.  Along came the brainiacal science student who knew exactly what he wanted and it had nothing to do with any artist, whacked out or not.  But soon they were in love and all plans got thrown overboard to make way for Mr. And Mrs. Artsy-Science Perfection.  Shortly thereafter, along came the Perfect Family, in order as things do.  Perfect Child Number One was beautiful in every way and perfect beyond belief, driving everyone insane with her planning disorders and timing terrors.  Perfect Child Number Two was just as lovely and perfect, with a little bit heavier dose of the artsy-whack than the first, exploring all mediums to build the perfect structure.  

And then came along the Wicked Queen to ruin everything.  Yep.  You know it!  The Wicked Queen of Late-Night-Trauma, in charge of all homework-drama given across the land.  It doesn’t really matter which assignment she gives.  No, it applies to all homework assignments that have to do with let’s-give-it-to-the-child-of-Perfect-Family…they can do it, yes they can!  And then the paint fumes and time and glue swirl together and mix into a Perfect Family Nightmare as they all lend a hand to make the perfect artsy-science homework turn out the way the Wicked Queen of Late-Night-Trauma has designed….Perfecto! 

And so my dear blog-followers, forgive me if you will.  But I have breathed in too many paint and glue fumes to make sense of the colorful words on the page.  And thus, I give to you the Frickin’ Family Perfect. 

And then we watched Once Upon a Time to regain our family sanity.

The End.

Do you have perfection genetic issues?  How about Sharpies….do you love them or hate them?  What about spray glue?  Ever watch Once Upon A Time…..? 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weekend with Friends

This past weekend I went on retreat with about 20 other writers.  Pantster and I drove up with the Fabulous Lynn Raye Harris to a wonderful bed and breakfast where we joined our chapter mates from Heart of Dixie.   It was mostly a weekend of  relaxation,  yet we got some work accomplished.

The cooler air of fall combined with the creative energy swirling around us seemed to bring out ideas as varied and wonderful as the autumn foliage.

 We saw some fantastic fall scenes and that got me in the mood to share some with you all. I thought these were gorgeous!

Where are some of your favorite places to see the colors of Fall?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crimson Romance Historical Webinar Event

In 6 days, my debut release, Duke by Day, Rogue by Night, will be available at Crimson Romance, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ITunes, and Sony.  (Downing a large dram of rum.  Please tell me I'm not having hallucinations!)

Months have passed since I first learned Crimson Romance wanted to publish my book, but it seems like yesterday I got the offer from my savvy editor for the first book in my Nelson's Tea series.  I feel doubly blessed to be working with Jennifer Lawler and the Crimson Romance team.  They've given me a phenomenal book cover and have treated me above and beyond awesome.  (Thanks, me hearties!  Raising a friendly flag in salute.)

While I've been learning the ropes by going through edits, galleys and galley edits, I was fortunate to have been asked by Jennifer to be part of a Crimson Romance Webinar on Historical Romance.  (Hoist the colors!  There will be ondits!)

If you haven't heard, the Webinar, of which I speak, me hearties, is this afternoon, October 23, from 3-4 p.m. (Eastern). I'll be joined by two other fabulous historical authors, Robyn Corum, author of Melinda Heads West, and Elizabeth Boyce, author of Once a Duchess.  After a short presentation on historical romance by Jennifer Lawler, the three of us will be available for a Q&A about historical romance, our writing process and writing journeys.

The compass points to Crimson Romance, my friends.  Give the webinar a try, won't you?

You can join this particular Webinar by going to Crimson Romance and clicking the join button.  It's that easy!

What do you like most about historical romance?

Katherine Bone

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rumpelstiltskin: Villain or Victim?

Does anyone except me think Rumpelstiltskin got a raw deal? I am not talking about the Mr. Gold Rumpelstiltskin of Once Upon a Time, though that is what made me starting thinking about it.

I know he wasn't lily white, riding around on his wooden spoon and trying to buy children, but let's think about this.

First, the king threatened to kill the miller's daughter if she didn't spin a room full of straw into gold. Rumpelstiltskin asked her what she'd give him to do it for her. She offered him her necklace and he accepted. Next, night same song, second verse, except she offered her ring. Again, he fulfilled the contract. Fair enough, though one does have to wonder what a poor miller's daughter was doing with jewelry  worth a room full of gold. I digress.

Moving on to the third night. The king did not threaten to kill her this time. He had become enamored with her and said if she would spin that room full of straw into gold, that he was marry her and she would never have to spin again.

At this point could she not have said, "No, thank you, Sire. I appreciate the offer, but I have been hanging out with a homeboy and he's expecting me back,"—all the while thinking: You miserable scum. I wouldn't marry you if you were the last creature to ever threaten to kill an innocent bystander. Of course you wouldn't say that to a greedy bloodthirsty king.

But no. She wanted to be queen. So she just waited around for Rumpelstiltskin. When she had nothing else to give him, she promised him her first born. Time goes on. She breeds with the king. Rumpelstiltskin shows up to collect what's his. She begs for mercy. He gives her three days to guess his name. When she cannot, she sends someone to spy on him until she finds out.

Then, when she tells him his name, he gives her that baby.

I am thinking if you can fly on a spoon and spin straw into gold, you can probably get out of Dodge with a baby.

I think we've got the wrong villain here. What do you think?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Recipe Friday: Toffee

I made toffee today to take to the Heart of Dixie annual retreat. Just so I don't deceive you, that is not a picture of my toffee, though it almost could be. I say almost because I didn't drizzle white chocolate on mine. Otherwise mine looks like that. Though I did make half with milk chocolate and half with white. I got that picture straight off Photobucket.

Chocolate Almond Toffee

6 oz. sliced almonds
1 lb. butter
2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
12 oz. chocolate chips—milk or semi sweet

Spray a cookie sheet (with sides) with nonstick spray.  Spread with half of the almonds.

Melt butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add sugar, salt, and vanilla.  Increase heat to high and stir, working butter into melted sugar.  You will think you have too much butter but you don't.  It will happen. 

Cook, stirring constantly, until it is the color of a Heath bar.  (You can cook it until it comes to 300 degrees on a candy thermometer, but I just cook by color.  Normally, I am a great believer in the candy thermometer but this is a shallow mixture and I find it works better to just watch it.)

Pour mixture over almonds, spreading to cover them.  It doesn't have to go all the way to the edges.

Sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Give it a minute for them to melt, and then spread chocolate to the edges of the toffee. Sprinkle with remaining almonds.

Refrigerate until hard—it doesn't take long, maybe an hour. Break into pieces.

The original recipe says to store it in the refrigerator but I never do.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nothin' But Cheetah Conundrums And Laundry

Blogging.  I got nothin’.  Nothin’, I tell ya!   I’ve now written three blogposts, none of which were worthy of tonight’s dinner napkin.  Sigh. What’s a girl to do except fess up?  I mean, if I write about the laundry, you’d run, right?  Well, in truth, there’s five more loads waiting their turn.  And if I tell you what I did for dinner, you’d gasp in fright.  Okay.  It was Kirby Lane Eggs, a recipe from a favorite haunt in Austin, TX.  And why?  Because all wrapped into one were the eggs, carbs and flavor and it got cooked in one pan in less than five minutes so I could eat and keep moving.  No side items either.  Some foodie I am, right?  Boring. 

So what do you do when there’s nothing in life to blog about?  I’ve never had this conundrum before.  Okay, there’s an idea….favorite words.  Conundrum.  I love that word!  It just waits to roll off my tongue with that “r” just begging to be rolled.  Co.  Nun.  Drrrrum.  Can’t you hear it?  Unlike Pickle, which just sticks it right out there.  Pickle!  Love that one too.  But my favorite of all times is the word Sensual.  I don’t know why, I just like it.  It feels right to say.  Weird, huh.  

And so I’ll close with cheetah print.  That’s what I bought today to finish out the costume of my murder mystery character, Hillary.  It’s that spooky time of year when murders and mayhem take place with my writer friends.  And sadly, this year there are no fake eyelashes or tattoos for me.  No glitter or sparkles of any kind.  Just some cheetah print and a flask.   And a bucket load of mischief!  Mwuahahaha……

What’s your favorite word?  Do you wear cheetah print?  How many loads of laundry do You have in the queue…..?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Writing With a Partner

Pantster and I are often asked questions about how we write together so I thought that might be an interesting topic for us to talk about today.

On our website we talk about our very different approaches to writing and life. "They  had no idea their writing styles would be so different but, upon reflection, they could have looked at their travel styles for a clue. Jean (Pantster) once got off a plane in London with eight dollars, an ATM card, no reservations of any kind, and vague idea that she wanted to go to the Victoria and Albert museum. When Stephanie (Plotter) travels, she arrives with a detailed concrete plan written in a notebook that she carries in a coordinating tote bag that matches her calendar and her shoes"

So true.. I like to know that the details are mapped out and confirmed, in writing, while  Jean likes to travel, well...by the seat of her pants. She likes the freedom to go where and when the whim strikes her, but I can't enjoy a trip like that for worrying about not having a place to lay my head. Maybe being a Christmas baby and hearing about how Mary and Joseph had to sleep in a stable created this need in me.  I KNOW I don't want to ever have to sleep in a stable or share a room with donkeys, sheep and cows!

Back to our partnership. This is how it works: one of  us will usually have a kernel of an idea, a character,  or even just a line of dialogue. Then we get together and toss around ideas for how it might become a story.  Sometimes they even start as a lark but then we decide that we like some element or another and the idea takes on a life of its own.

After we have the story idea we talk about major characters.  I like to call this part of our process, "Who is the bad guy?"  Sometimes our stories have actual bad guys.  Our fantasy stories, The Elven Brides of Lochmoor, have actual villeins. Well, one of them has a bad guy and one of them has a bad gal.  (I do love it when the bad guy turns out to be a bad girl!) Other times the "bad guy" in the story is the internal conflict tht comes between the hero and heroine.  Our contemporary Gone South series is this way.
 Jean thinks of this stage of the process as, "What would Tyden eat for breakfast?" because at this point she is really working to know the characters inside and out. 

After we have  the major characters and what they eat for breakfast sorted out, then we talk about the conflict.  We call this the "hurt them bad" part of the process. Our friend, the fabulous Lynn Raye Harris, taught us a lot about this because we just never wanted to hurt our people badly enough. We have finally resigned ourselves hurting them because it makes a more interesting story--so we just pile the misery  on.

The last part of the planning involves making diagram of scene ideas and some climax points .  When we physically start to write the story, Jean sits down to the computer and implements our plan.  She writes great scenes that get us from point A to point B, then sends them to me to read.  I read each and every word, usually twice.  We often take sentences apart word by word if they don't flow and feel right and word choice is very important .  We once had a two day debate over the use of the word "ass."  She won.

Our partnership works in a truly collaborative fashion.  We send work back and forth until we both feel that it is the best it can possibly be.  There are many projects in life that allow us to work with other people.  

What are some of the best partnerships you have ever been a part of?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bundles of Joy

Babies. Diapers. Unconditional love that lasts a lifetime and beyond. Sleepless nights. These are all pieces that create a bundle of joy.

Babies are indeed a bundle of joy, the continuation of humankind and the promise of tomorrow. In ancient cultures, a man would not claim a woman until after she’d given birth to his child. Successions to thrones depended upon legitimacy and Kings, like Henry the XIII, married over and over again in an attempt to produce a male heir.

For most of us, a baby is a gift unlike any other. I agree whole-heartedly. Especially as my oldest daughter is expecting her first child, my third grandchild. As a mother of four, I thought I’d seen and heard it all until this past weekend when I had the wonderful honor of attending her baby shower. I’d forgotten something very important about babies.

Babies are BIG business. (Set a course to the baby store, helmsman!)

Prior to the baby shower, we passed the time shopping around in a baby store. Boy, were my eyes ever opened!  Items I got by with when my children were small have evolved and are now digitalized, complete with sound systems.  (Say what?) A swing, not only swings (it’s purpose, right?) it creates a kangaroo’s gait, a bunny hop and so forth. A cuddly lamb pulses with ocean, rain, and wind that lulls a baby to sleep no matter where he/she might be, negating midnight rides around town.

Baby stores are freaking awesome, y'all!!!  And to be honest, I kind of went crazy. What was old was not new again. What was new, was PHENOMENAL!!! And boy, did it ever make me want to have another baby just to get the cool baby stuff. I even turned to LTC and proposed that very thing. I received a blackbearded scowl for my trouble. (Pirate!)

LTC and I are in a good place right now.  As grandparents, we like being able to spoil our grandchildren and hand them back, fully loaded with sugar.  Muahahhahaha!!!  Oh, the webs we weave when we spin... (Bring on the rum!)

Well, there is definitely the argument that pirates cannot be trusted when children and grandchildren are about. Kind of reminds me of the Naked Room Terry Bradshaw created in the movie Failure to Launch with Matthew McConaughey. Off-limits! There's no better place for a bare rudder, then a naked room.  But there's no place for a naked room when little ones are about. Again, another argument for preferring to send grandchildren home, fully stocked with sugar, and with their new doodads.

Have you been in a baby store lately?  What gadgets did you find outrageous or flat out genius?

Katherine Bone
Duke by Day, Rogue by Night 10/29 Crimson Romance


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Where Did That Elf Come From?

 If anyone had ever told Stephanie and me that we would create a world with elves, we would have laughed hard. We still aren't real sure where they came from. We just looked up one day and there they were. We don't read high fantasy. We don't read adventure fantasy. And we haven't written either one. These are romantic comedies set in a magical world.

Maybe we didn't create this world so much as we listened when these elves asserted themselves and wouldn't let us go. We love them. We think you might too. They are available in electronic format from Amazon. If you'd like to take a gaze, click on the titles.

In half-elf Farron Tain's world of magic and monsters, few have the ability to fight evil. But there is no question in Farron's mind that he can be the elite among the rare—a Bard. As for this nonsense about Bards having to find true love before they can reach their full power—well. That's ridiculous. He doesn’t need anything or anybody.

When Sylvana Allvar took the orphaned boy to raise, she knew he was special and she swore she'd help him find the path to. But will his own arrogance defeat him before the enemy can?

The Bard's Runaway Elven Bride



Ambree Tantallon is a highborn elf maiden, brought up in an elite society, where she has been sheltered from the atrocities of the world.  She has never encountered people of other races, violence, nor the crusaders who battle the monsters of the world. She will live for a thousand years. 


Farron Tain, who is half elf and half human, fights evil with magical music and sword.  His successes bring him riches and a brand of self-assuredness that crosses the line into arrogance.   Accustomed to his overwhelming charm paving the way for him, Farron never wastes a moment on self-doubt.



Elves usually marry for love, but renowned sorcerer Tylden Caldaron isn’t worried. He likes women. All women. There’s no reason why he can’t like this one. Besides, he’s tired of being alone, and he needs a magical amulet from Dariana’s father. He’s made bigger sacrifices than this trade. After all, he just killed a two-headed hydra. What’s one little marriage?


Dariana Silvan is the daughter of a powerful arch-mage and descendant of royalty. She doesn’t want much, just a life where she can fit in and be loved for herself. What she doesn’t want is an arranged marriage with a handsome rake who puts a whole new spin on "charming". But she's enchanting… and some magic is worth fighting for. 

                                                        ...ALWAYS SPELL BIG TROUBLE

Alicia Hunter Pace's richly drawn Elven Brides of Lochmoor Saga introduced me to a magical world I hated to leave.  Pace's characters will stay with me a long time, and I sincerely hope more Elven Brides are on the way!"

                                        ---- NYT Bestseller Vicki Lewis Thompson