Friday, April 17, 2015

THE CAPTIVE IMPOSTER

Dawn, I'm so glad to have you here back at my blog this week! Welcome! Please give us an update—tell us about your latest release, The Captive Imposter.

Sent away for protection, hotel heiress Estella Everstone finds herself living undercover as a lady’s companion named Elle Stoneburner at one of her father’s opulent hotels in the mountains of Maine—the one she'd always loved best and always hoped to one day own, Everston. The one thing she doesn't like about the situation is that her ex-fiancĂ© is in the area and is set on marrying someone else. Reeling from her feelings of being unwanted and unworthy, Estella reluctantly forms a friendship with the gruff manager of Everston, Dexter Blakeley, who seems to have something against wealthy young socialites with too much money, although they are just the kind of people Everston caters to.

When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer she can't refuse. She sees no other choice aside from going back home to her family and accepts the position as companion to his sister. Throughout her interactions with Dexter, she can't deny the pull that's evidenced between them every time he comes near. Estella realizes that while she's been hiding behind a false name and identity, she’s never been freer to be herself than when she's with Dexter Blakeley. But will he still love her when he finds out she's Estella Everstone? She's not entirely sure.

You’ve done a marvelous job in your novels of transporting your reader into upper class Boston society and life at their summer resort. How did you go about your research?
I don’t really feel that I do a lot of “work” researching my novels… I just come across things from history that get my imagination going and then my characters show up! I attribute much of this ability to easily day-dreams things up to my ADD. I can get lost in my imagination so quickly, and so deeply! I love finding photographs online—even way before Pinterest was a thing! A photograph can transport me so quickly! 

Has being a busy mom of a little toddler had an effect on your writing? How do you find time to write and handle marketing in your busy day?

It’s been crazy and rough! I wasn’t getting much writing done while launching The Hesitant Heiress and The Bound Heart within three months of each other! By the time I had time to catch my breath, it was December and The Captive Imposter was set to release on February 1st! Fortunately Whitaker House understood my predicament and valued the time and energy I put in on launching those first two books. I rewrote the last half of The Captive Imposter in December and January and turned it in on the day it was originally set to release. Honestly, I don’t even remember how I did it! It’s all a blur to me now! God got me through it though—there’s no doubt about that! I’ve been planning and outlining my next book, and I plan to begin writing it in May.

Do you have a life verse or a guiding principle from scripture that has affected your writing?

I like to include the theme that God works all things together to bless those who love Him. He knows what is best for us through every day and phase of our lives, and even though it may not seem that things are going the way we want, or even that some difficult things happen to us… He uses EVERYTHING to eventually bring out ways to bless us in ways we could have never imagined. 

I agree, Dawn! He cares so deeply for His children and has a plan for each of us.

Would you care to share about what you will be working on next?

Yes! I’m not sure of the name yet, but Book 4 is definitely in the works! I really look forward to writing Vance Everstone and Violet Hawthorne’s story! It’s not technically part of The Everstone Chronicles, but a new yet-to-be-named three book series about some minor characters readers will have met while reading this first series. I’ve never written an “anti-hero” like Vance before, but I’m super excited! The story will start out at Everston, but will then move back to the Boston setting. Readers will visit some of the settings from the first two books again, plus some new, not so ritzy places too.  


Very exciting! I look forward to hearing more about your next book series! Thank you so much for joining me this week, Dawn.


Dawn Crandall didn't begin writing until her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming traditionally published, he encouraged her to quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writing The Hesitant Heiress. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn's first series with Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW's prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a finalist in 2013.

Other places to find Dawn and her generous book giveaways:


Sign up for my quarterly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bilhmv

Facebook: facebook.com/DawnCrandallWritesFirst

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/dawnwritesfirst

Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst / www.twitter.com/dawnwritesfirst

Author Website: www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com


To be entered in a drawing for an ebook copy of Dawn's latest
release, The Captive Imposter, please leave a comment or become a member of this site. Thank you! The drawing will
be next Saturday, April 25.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

M-FADD?

Lilybits, not large, but in charge.
Unfortunately, there is no special association for this crippling disorder, though it affects productivity the world over. Tasks are left undone, people go to work or school without lunch and there are unpaid library late fees everywhere! Keys and eye glasses are misplaced--and it's hard to find one without the other.

What disorder causes so much trouble in the fabric of life? M-Fadd is Menopausal Female Attention Deficit Disorder. And Mom has a really bad case. It becomes obvious when something like this happens: I gently remind Mom to scoop my princess potty by standing in the hallway near the laundry room and staring at her. “All right,” she says, “one more bon-bon and I will peel my lazy carcass off the couch to take care of you.” Well, maybe I’m exaggerating here. She’s not that lazy.

Anyway, when she finally jumps up to obey my wishes, Mom remembers that the clothes in the washing machine need to go in the dryer, but the items in the dryer need to be folded and put away. If the items in the dryer happen to be kitchen towels, then she takes them to put away in the drawer in the kitchen island. She notices that the island is cluttered and there are dishes in the sink. But before she does the dishes, she puts away a book that was sitting on the island and another one from the table. Pretty soon Mom is sitting down, reading, and leaving several tasks undone.

Two hours later . . . I am still waiting for her to scoop my princess potty, but now I’m also hungry! Since then, Mom has put down the book and is feeling inspired to write. She has the laptop on her lap, so I jump up to perch on her knee and stare at her. Okay, it’s more of a glare. She should realize by now, I am doing the kitty mind meld thing with her and sending important mental messages that I would like my dinner now! By the time she realizes it’s time to feed me, she also sees that it’s time to make dinner for her and Dad!

This slowness to read my telepathic messages is mostly likely another symptom of M-FADD.  And believe me, Mom is already slow enough. I have come to understand that I must occasionally exercise understanding and patience. While you would think this would come easily to a sensitive, intelligent creature like myself, my imperious nature doesn’t usually make such allowances. Sigh. Mom has told me patience is a virtue.


Mom has shared there isn’t a cure for this M-FADD, unfortunately, except for endlessly making lists and trying to remember to check them. Coffee helps with Mom’s alertness and a little chocolate never hurts.


Do you know anyone with M-FADD? Or do you have any suggestions to help curb its disastrous effects?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Zephyr Yarn? No Fooling!


Well, I didn’t know that yarn had different names like zephyr yarn? Did you? Zephyr yarn is any kind of really soft yarn made from synthetic materials or natural ones like wool and silk. Here’s a website which sells this kind of yarn, made from wool and silk, if you’d like to see what it looks like.

I’m wondering if it’s named after the soft west wind, known as the zephyr. Of course, this is only my pondering on the word’s origins.



Zephyr yarn is apparently the most useful for knitting lacy shawls and that kind of thing, but I’m thinking it’s most important property is being soft on kitty paws. If I could only get my claws on some, but Mom likes to knit with chunkier yarns that take less time to knit into something substantial, like a scarf. I keep telling her patience is a virtue. Wait a minute—maybe Mom told me that! I’d like to sink my claws into some zephyr yarn during my playtime. How do I get a hold of some? I suppose Mom would be upset if I used her charge card to order some. What do you think?

Doesn't this yarn look fun to play with?
Today we’ve hit the end of the alphabet, but thanks for joining me for this winter’s A to Z Meme. I hope you’ll come back and read my future musings of this feline life in captivity!

Here's a video for your amusement (Honestly, you humans don't need much to be amused.) of a cat playing with yarn:








Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yawn! Don't Yawn!

Lilybits, not large, but in charge!


Yawn!

Now that you’ve read that word, did you yawn? Yawns are contagious, you know, possibly due to the fact that humans can be empathetic. Sometimes I catch Mom yawning after I let loose one of my big cat yawns. This is theoretically all up for debate, of course.



Since people often connect yawning to sleepiness or boredom, you could see how a cat like myself might yawn quite a few times a day. After all we are smart enough to get more sleep than you humans do—sometimes up to 20 hours a day!


New research concludes that yawning is actually a form of cooling the brain. You open your mouth and suck all that cool air in. It hits tissue in your mouth and throat, cooling your blood stream and your brain is primed and ready to think better.


Of course, this makes a lot of sense for a cat like myself, who does lots of big thinking. I have to figure out new ways of being cute and begging for food successfully. I also have to make quick mathematical calculations before I take a leap from one piece of furniture to another. I’m also learning to communicate. Sometimes I can lead Mom over to the laundry room with a certain whine and look, so that she remembers to scoop the icky stuff in my princess potty.

What about you? What makes you yawn?

My apologies to my readers and fellow A to Z meme bloggers that so many links lead right back to this blog! I made a little mistake when linking this blog.




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

X-Axis=Nap, not Math

Lilybits, not large, but in charge!

Originally, I was going to write about xenon, since it’s a noble gas and I am surely descended from nobility at the very least, if not royalty! But xenon is colorless, odorless and tasteless. What a boring gas! Not only that, but xenon can be used as a general anesthetic. It really puts you to sleep!

Moving on: Now the X-axis is something I can get into to or, should I say, on top of. The x-axis is my favorite axis—it’s horizontal. Since it’s horizontal, I can nap on it. Or I can perch on top of it and look ferocious!



The world is filled with x-axis surfaces, which intersect with y-axis walls. Walls aren’t my favorite surfaces. They keep me confined and if you try to sleep on a wall, gravity will pull you down. The best I could do to hang onto the y-axis would be to grab onto a curtain with my claws and hold on for dear life.

Rene Descartes
Let me explain a little more, the x-axis is the horizontal axis of a two-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system. Ooh, that sounds like a secret society, doesn’t it? Or maybe something in outer space? You may discuss this while I clean my fur. Done yet? Okay, the system is actually named for Rene Descartes’ mathematical system. He’s one of those famous guys who lived a long time ago and had something to do with philosophy.



Some of my favorite x-axes are the shelf under the foyer table, Mom’s lap (which is a rather lumpy x-axis), the bed (also rather lumpy, but comfy) and a plain old carpeted floor. These fairly flat surfaces serve their purposes well. What are some of your favorite x-axis surfaces?





Monday, March 16, 2015

Fun Facts About Lilybits, a Versatile Blogger

It's time for another blog award, but this one is pure fun!

Lily and I were nominated by a very versatile blogger, who has been on the A to Z Meme blog hop along with me, Lisa Betz. Thank you, Lisa! I hope you will be blessed by her blog as I have been!


The Versatile Blogger Award simply requires that I share seven facts about myself. The seriousness or significance of said facts was not specified. So I decided to opt for silliness. And the epitome of
silliness is Lilybits at the helm!

But first, the rules for those who are nominated:
  1. Show the award on your blog
  2. Thank the person who nominated you.
  3. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 5 blogs.
  5. Link your nominee’s blogs and let them know.
Lilybits here: I had to wrestle the MacBook away from Mom, but she finally conceded that seven interesting facts about me would be more engaging, more fun, etc. Here we go:

1. I am a recovering tuna addict. Let me explain this for you, because I’m an unwilling recovering tuna addict. Mom doesn’t open cans of tuna as often any more, because I yowl like a siren passing down the street when she does. I fuss and scream, begging for tuna as though my life depends on it, just hoping for a mere taste. Indeed, at that moment, it seems my life depends on ingesting a taste of that canned delicacy. The mere scent of it sends me into fits of rubbing my ribs on the corner of the kitchen-island and following Mom obnoxiously. Unfortunately, I must eat only special canned food. Blah, blah, blah, blah. Boring!



2. I don’t have a tail. You may have noticed this in my photos—or not. I have been cruelly deprived of that proud appendage, because of an injury and infection. Eventually, because of all the pain my beautiful ringed tail was surgically removed. Hence, I am sometimes referred to as “Lilybits, the Tail-less Wonder.” Why not? 



3. One of my best friends, in my old life, was a dog. The crazy cat lady who brought me to Pet Smart, that fateful day, when Jack and Kathy became my adopted, nearly hairless parents (well, I am their fur baby), I rode in a cage with a dog! The rest of it has become fuzzy (no pun intended), since I’ve become the center of attention. Besides, the drugs they gave me when I had my surgery made me kind of confused. All I know is that if I came to Pet Smart in a cage with him and I wasn’t hissing, so he must have been my buddy.


4. I speak a few people words. The one I practice the most is “Mom.” This comes out more like a pitiful “Mrowm” and works well when I want something to eat, which is most of the time when I’m not sleeping. I’m pretty good at saying, “no.” I sound especially sassy when I don’t want to be picked up. I also will throw in an occasional “what” when I am fully engaged in watching the birds at the bird feeder and Mom calls me. I sound pretty sassy when I say that too.

5. I have a pretty sweet deal when Mom covers my pill pockets with pieces of freeze-dried chicken. I know she’s trying to get me to take my tummy medicine more easily, but sometimes I eat around the pill and spit it out. Then she works harder at covering the mushy pill pocket with freeze-dried chicken treats, since she hates pilling me, and I wind up with an extra treat! Hee hee!



6. I am apparently a dilute tiger tabby. Mom always refers to me as her little gray tabby, but I am more complicated than that. I have lovely tiger stripes that can be hard to see. And while my undercoat and belly seem to be a creamy taupe, the tips of my fur on my back, sides and legs are darker gray. I believe that’s called ticked. So I’m not sure if I’m a dilute, ticked, tiger tabby or just a tiger tabby with ticked fur. Hmm . . . What do you think? Mom reminds me I am of mixed lineage, while Dad is happy to refer to me as a mutt.



7. I don’t like chocolate! Mom was so worried about my getting poisoned by getting into her vast hoards of chocolate, but that icky brown stuff is no temptation for me! I suppose Mom thinks she enjoys eating chocolate so much everybody should love the stuff. Not! My tastes are much more discriminating. Give me meat, poultry or fish or perhaps a piece of fine melted cheese and given a chance, I won’t turn my nose up at bacon. But that chocolate stuff is not for me, unless it’s an M&M, which conveniently falls to the floor, so I may play with it. Chocolate in that form makes an excellent toy.

And for the Versatile Blogger Award, Mom and I nominate:





Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WHY Your Cat Makes You a Better Person

Lilybits, not large, but in charge!
Cats may not be good for your ego, but they make you a better person and here’s why:
Take my mom for example. She is needy beyond all reason, wanting to cuddle frequently, while I’m trying my best to be a cool cat. I force her to guess what makes me happy. If she makes me happy, then I’m glad to spend time with her. After the treats are given and chase and hide and seek game are finished, I may have time to curl up on her lap for awhile.



Mom is learning to be less selfish and put my needs first. Your cat can do this for you too.
Cats also keep humans from having inflated self-images, while dogs accept everything about you. Is this really good for a human? Cats snub their humans when it doesn’t suit their mood to be playful or cuddly or perhaps if they’re a bit insulted you left them all day. This makes for a more humble human. (Note to my feline friends: Don’t push your luck too far. Humans can be rather sensitive and we have to leave them with some sense of control and a shred of dignity.)



Cats are also such beautiful creatures they help you look better. After all, who will pay attention to you in your stretchy pants and stained t-shirt, when there is a beautiful, furry creature with large expressive eyes in the same room.

Feline pets keep you from being sloppy. No longer will you leave half-empty water glasses unattended in a room or partially eaten meat of any kind, for that matter.



I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. Having a feline companion is an excellent way to build character and make yourself more attractive. If you don’t already have one, run, don’t walk to your nearest pet adoption center and bring a cat home with you! Unless you’re allergic, of course. More is the pity for you, but you can always read my column, which I’m sure will affect you
positively.