Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Top 5 Bookworm Hacks You Need To Know

This post is courtesy of Chelsea Parker from Pillow Talk Books. While I've never "drowned" a book in the tub, there is so much I can relate to especially with Number 2 - Finding Books Cheap. As a writer I'd like to say I've bought all my books full price. But as a reader I must say that I've bought books full price, half price, borrowed from friend or library and even bought them worn and well-loved at garage sales.  So here goes - enjoy...


The Top 5 Bookworm Hacks You need To Know:

1. Keeping Books Dry

We've all been at the end of a long, stressful day, when all you want to do is kick back with your favorite book and a hot bath. Only, you don't really feel like fiddling with your one-size-fits-none book tray, and you're not in the mood for blow drying your paperback after the inevitable surprise dipping in the tub. If you attach your book to something retractable, like a leash, you'll never have to worry about wet books again.

2. Finding Books Cheap

Balancing your book addiction and your budget gets a lot easier with bookworm hacks headed towards trimming costs down. Start off by changing your shopping habits! Wait for sales at stores, or hit up the sale events that libraries use to weed their collections. you can also find amazing books on daily deal sites like mine.

3. Moving Your Personal Library

Big moves require big planning, and trying to transfer a large number of books from point A to point B can be hard on your collection and your back. Instead of giving in to the temptation to load up as many boxes as you can, ration your books out. If you pack a box half full, then add softer things, like linens and towels on top, you'll cut down on the weight and provide built in cushioning for your book stash.

4. Bookworms and Book Bags

No bookworm hacks list is complete without book bags. They're one of the best ways to keep your books in order, cut down on buying habits, or make transportation that much easier. Bringing a book bag wherever you go is both environmentally friendly and safer than risking a plastic bag rip. Dedicated book bags can also be turned into handy reminders, if you have an overdue book problem. Hang the bag, or bags, on an easily visible hook, slap on a chalk or whiteboard patch and write down the due date.

5. Keeping your "To Read" List Trim

Having trouble keeping track of "what's next" on your reading list? Do you end up skipping over long-awaited titles to new books you maybe shouldn't have bought? Try leaving your planned next book out on a table, in the bathroom, or somewhere else you're likely to stumble over it. This also works for a book you've been having trouble keeping up with!

Being a bookworm isn't a job for the faint of heart, but anyone can use these 
tips to enjoy a good book, or two--or even two hundred.

Chelsea Parker is the scheduling editor at Pillow Talk Books.  Pillow Talk Books sends out daily emails filled with romance books from all genres. Stop by and sign up to start receiving great romance reads daily.  

Saturday, January 5, 2019

And the World Spins Into Another Year!

2018 was a tough year, there's no other way to put it.  I've seen enough emergency rooms, hospitals and doctors' offices to last me through 2019. Each time it wasn't for me but for other family members. Fortunately, everyone made it through and fingers crossed - it's all behind us.

But on to the rest of my year - getting my MIL settled in a care home. Turned out to be a lot more involved than any of us planned, and a lot more challenging. But now, she's there, and I think, for the most part, she's happy. Sometimes you can only do what you can do.

If you've kept up with my blog, I'm a dog lover without a dog - or is that pet lover without a pet, as I have had other types of pets? Anyway, these days I'm satisfying my love of creatures by enjoying the dogs of others, even those that unexpectedly arrive on my doorstep.

So, other news of the year included finding one lost dog on icy streets. A performance to get a frightened dog into the truck in freezing cold weather while keeping your balance on an icy street. It all turned out well. With fliers everywhere and the help of facebook - she did find home. But not before spending a comfortable afternoon in my living room mooching whatever treats she could and keeping out of the cold. In other news, the year has seen a small string of doggy houseguests - no not lost and found, there was only one of those - well, okay there was one other - also home safely.

Unfortunately there were a few furry friends in my circle that I said goodbye to in 2018. Jas and Gemma - you will be missed.

And on a happier note - a shoutout to two of my favourite Sunday morning coffee guys (yes they are both dogs): Dexter and Toby.

And on to book news:

My new two-book mini series, American Armor, will be
published by Harlequin Intrigue, September 2019 and October 2019.  I'm excited to see Wanted by the Marshal and Marshal on a Mission in print. More online and, of course, you can sign up for my newsletter to be at the front-end of the news. Linkups for that are also on my website. There'll be lots coming soon - so check it out!

From the Dust and Ring of Desire, will be released in audio book sometime in 2019. They are my first two books - and prove that yes I can write something besides love and death or, oops, I mean romantic suspense.

This year I actually made a New Year's resolution - truthfully a few resolutions. One that I know I'll keep is the books I'll be writing this year. So there's more romantic suspense coming at you - more on that  later in the year.

Cheers to 2019 may it be better than 2018 or at least equal to that and all the years that came before!


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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

And Thus a Romantic Suspense Book Is Born – a Ten Part Series

The idea for a story hits me somewhere - anywhere, usually some place where my cell phone is missing and even an archaic pencil is nowhere to be found. Thrilled with the idea, I charge forward anyway. And from there the days roll out and  it could go like this...

Part One - The start of the story. What a brilliant idea. Love it.
Part Two – How the heck is that going to happen? That doesn’t make sense. What idiot came up with this? This is doomed. More coffee – much more!!
Part Three – Still no light – just one dark tunnel of going no-where. Obviously, it was a ridiculous idea and I need to think of something else.
Part Four – Can’t do this. It's going nowhere and my heroine, well – I love my hero and heroine, they love each other. It’s just this darn swampy plot that they can’t get out of. 
A reader with one of my books, in The Dead Sea.
Part Five – Maybe the characters need another complication to get things moving.
Part Six – Too much complication. They’re sinking. Everyone is doomed or already dead. There are few characters left and I’m guessing no happily ever after.
Part Seven – More coffee
Part Eight – Eureka – bells and whistles sound and I rise shrieking from my chair. The neighbors call for a curb on noise.
Part Nine – Coffee-fueled writing
Part Ten – The beauty of love rises over evil once again – I write - The end.

Now, everyone including me, can enjoy the story!

FYI - it was stories like this, where plot and writer randomly lost their way, that have dragged me reluctantly toward the fine idea of an outline!

Ryshia Kennie
..a world you never imagined!

On Twitter:  @ryshiakennie

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Price of Love

I was reminded the other day  of why I write romance. There is nothing better than that warm and fuzzy ending. You can kill as many people (bad guys, of course) as you like but in the end, everything is going to work out for your couple. They'll find each other and they'll find love. And - they'll be happy from then to eternity. It's the one guarantee, happy ever after.
My MIL and I

I was telling my MIL that as we walked in the remnants of good fall weather, and the last of the leaves hung tenaciously on. She's one of my best listeners and sounding boards when it comes to my books. While she struggles with her memory, when it comes to the dilemmas of fiction writing, she's on it. I can always count on at least one piece of sage advice.

Back to: love and the guaranteed happily ever after. In life, that's unfortunately, not quite how it works. I don't often think about that as the majority of my stories never face that reality. But a chance meeting this fall reminded me of all that and then some. It was as haunting as the story highlighted by the theme music of this long ago movie - Love Story...

And so, the story goes:

It was a beautiful fall day so I took my mother in law for a walk and to a nearby craft sale.  At one of the tables, a small man stood in a dull shirt that I imagined was as elderly as he was. He carved pictures in wood. Not just any picture, but stories intricately crafted and moments he explained of life that he'd seen or experienced. After what looking over his work and listening to what I thought was his story, I was ready to move on but my MIL likes to chat. And she'll keep asking questions as long as someone is willing to answer them. Soon I knew a little too much about the artist's life. And it was then that the story took a turn that none of us could escape from. He began telling us about his dog that had been his wife's. The dog hadn't liked him until his wife died. On that day, the dog moved from the foot of the bed to his wife's side of the bed. And he looked so lost when he said now it was just him and the dog. But, the saddest bit was that today was their sixtieth wedding anniversary. He said he just had to get out and so here he was at the craft sale, selling his goods.
My happily ever after took the pic.

I wished I could rewrite his story and give him the happily ever after I'm sure he deserved. And then I realized that he'd had his happy ever after. He'd had his love. Now, he was standing alone on the pier with all his memories behind him and a stretch of life ahead that he needed to navigate alone. That harsh fact is the price of love. I see it every day, my MIL is a widow and my mother is a widow too. But that day it really hit home.

And on the way home, my MIL only reminded me of that pier as she told me how much she missed her own husband.  I'd known that, but today just brought everything home.

I'd never thought so clearly of the price of love before.

We all have our stories. Some of us have love, some had, and some may still be waiting.  In my stories they lose and they love and they lose only to win in the end. That's not always how life works but in those stories, for a few hours we twist it to make it all that we dream of.

A disclaimer - while this happened a few weeks ago - life and a book got in the way. But that book is now off and another is stirring. In the meantime, snow arrived, yes in November and even before that. But I'm posting this anyway. This was what mid-October looked like in Saskatchewan.

Ryshia Kennie
..a world you never imagined!

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The Dead Sea and a whole other  story!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

One Hundred Years - So Much to Remember

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the First World War officially came to an end. 
Since then, the poppy became the symbol of remembrance in many countries. That was the result of a poem written by a Canadian Artillery, field-surgeon. If you can even begin to imagine, he wrote the poem in the midst of battle in 1915. Now one hundred years since that war ended, the poem lives on.

So today I'll leave you with your own thoughts and the poem that couldn't say any of it any better.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, saw dawn, felt sunset glow
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you with failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

by: John McCrae

Ryshia Kennie

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Life Happens - Keep Writing!

Waiting for surgery to finish.
So Ma D, my MIL, has been in a care home for most of the year. Things were chugging along fine until the beginning of July when her stomach became bloated and she felt sick. A trip to the doctor led to a trip to the emergency room. We arrived at three o'clock in the afternoon on a Saturday, to find out emergency meant a four hour wait, unless you're bleeding out. And, that's just to be assigned a bed. By the time the exam and tests were done and it was clear that this was at least an overnight stay, it was almost morning. Hospitals are not great for small children - there's one crying down the hall because of the threat of a needle. I feel bad for his fear but it's not so great at this end of the hall either. Emergency rooms are not good for confused elderly either. She's upset and I don't blame her. We can't leave until she's settled. Three thirty in the morning and she's finally sleeping. We sneak home for a few hours sleep and are back by 8:00 a.m. By noon we have the grim news - surgery. Nothing major but when you're elderly, every surgery can be major. Gall bladder needs to come out.

Four hours before surgery - I step out of her room for less than a minute and on my return there are crumbs on her gown. "What did you eat," I ask waiting for the worst.
"A cookie," she says with a smile.
I'm thinking, trying to figure out where she might have gotten a cookie and then I see the offending purse that goes everywhere with her. There's nothing much in it but apparently there was a cookie. Fortunately, after I fessed up to the surgeon, the surgery was still a go.

And so a week in the hospital, a week of days by her bedside and she's finally sent home - looking fine with a drain.

The drain. I know it's going to be a problem and less than a week later it is. She pulls it out. Although, that's not quite the story. We figure out later that she's clipped it neatly off, leaving a hunk of plastic still inside. Back at the emergency there's no indication that anything is still inside. Maybe infection and a round of antibiotics and another overnighter, will fix the problem we're told. It does for a few days. But the pain comes back - two more visits to the emergency, one by ambulance, and a second admission uncovers the culprit causing the  severe abdominal pain that comes and goes and for some reason, can't be easily detected. But the hunk of plastic roaming around her abdomen is finally caught. Now another surgery to remove it. Yes, sigh - this has been the month of July. I know every corner of the hospital, where to go to read quietly, where to find the best coffee, where to get a bit of fresh air - and... where to pull out a pen and paper and get writing the old fashioned way.

As the surgeon gives the green light and authorizes discharge, I smile and look forward to putting our hospital days behind us. But the surgeon isn't done, he asks Ma D what she thinks about being discharged. And, her response surprises me as she answers with a big smile:

"I'm quite comfortable. Maybe tomorrow."

Some stuff, you just can't make up.

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