Saturday, August 30, 2008

Announcing Mia King's next novel

Author Mia King is celebrating the release of her 2nd novel, SWEET LIFE (Berkley Books), on Tues, September 2nd, so swing by her site at and check it out. She has a great gift basket give-away you don't want to miss!

SWEET LIFE is the story of Marissa Price, a corporate exec who leaves her career and the island of Manhattan for the island of Hawaii when her husband Paul is offered a new job. It seems like the perfect opportunity to save her marriage, regain her sense of self, and reconnect with her eight-year-old daughter, Pansy. But the family’s new house is a fixer-upper at best, her daughter wants to be homeschooled, and what needs fixing the most—her marriage—is the first to crumble when Paul announces he wants some time apart to find himself. Pulled in opposite directions, Marissa is faced with the most important decision of her life—a choice that will define who she is, what she wants, and where her happiness lies.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Preparing for a busy fall

I've been away on a mini family vacation (saw a grizzy bear + two cubs; watched my husband flip a canoe in the middle of a lake; took a dip in Radium Hot Springs) and am just now getting unpacked and reorganized.

ie., I have ten snail mail packages on my desk that were promised to readers from Edson, Alberta to Nova Scotia, New Jersey, Ohio, even Paris, that will finally be delivered to the post office tomorrow. For those who've been waiting on me, sorry it's taken so long!

My website is also being 'refreshed' and I'm hoping to have that posted and off my list within a week. It's clean up time at my end, and after my kids go back to school Sept 2nd, my husband will be heading into a fall with tons of travel all over the globe, which means I'll be writing 5-6 nights/week from 8 pm to 1:00 a.m. during Sep/Oct/Nov so I can get this new novel finished and polished to a shine.

Note to self: must add loads of espresso to my grocery list.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hello, criminals? You picked the wrong neighborhood

I sleep with a baseball bat beside my bed. A steel baseball bat. I also keep my car alarm on my night table and have trigger alarms on my patio doors and windows. Oh, and I have our dog, a 165 pound beast no stranger wants to meet in the dark. Which brings me to what happened a few nights ago...

Three semi-inebriated young guys broke into our neighbor's truck, stole their GPS system, then egged my living room window while arguing about whether or not they should break into our house next. My husband and one of the neighbor kids (who had his bedroom window open) heard them.

It was late and I was hanging up wet laundry when I heard a few crashes (eggs being pitched at my living room window.) By the time I made it upstairs all I saw was my husband's foot going out the front door along with the flash of a steel baseball bat. I followed, carrying damp laundry and a clothes hanger. I heard my husband yell, stepped onto the front porch and saw the back end of him disappear through the trees. I also heard a voice say, "Holy ----! We're in trouble!"

Running, I followed all the way to the end of our street and when I caught up to my husband, he and our neighbors were already breaking into groups to hunt down the culprits (who, in their haste, had dropped the stolen GPS system.)

Hello, thieves? You picked the wrong neighborhood to launch careers as criminals. My husband's a marathoner who can run like stink without adrenaline. And that truck you broke into? The guy who owns it manages the firehouse and that was a thermal camera he was using to track your progress through the bush. And that tall guy who joined my husband searching for you as you huddled down by the river, crapping your pants? He has his black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Oh, and that woman carrying wet laundry and a clothes hanger? Consider yourself lucky you managed to get away and didn't have to contend with her. Trust me, she's worse than all of them put together when she's mad.

P.S. We know where you live.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Help! I have sagging bookshelves

I have this rule. I only keep two copies of each of my novels (whether French, German, Greek, Danish, Italian, Large Print, Clean Living version, etc.) and still I'm finding it takes more bookshelf space than I have. Time for a few give-a-ways!

If you'd like a French copy of The Tin Box or The Penny Tree (or if you know someone who's French and would like to give them a treat) I'll autograph and mail a copy to the first person who sends me an email for each book.

I'm also giving away two English hardcovers of The Tin Box, one trade paperback of The Penny Tree, and two trade paperback copies of The Silver Compass. Oh, and if there's anyone out there who'd like a Danish copy of The Tin Box, I have one of those up for grabs as well.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The art of eavesdropping

It really is an art form, you know, one that needs constant practice and refinement if you want to master it with any subtlety and finesse (enough that your husband doesn't lose patience with you in a restaurant.)

ie., while having dinner out last week with my hubby, I listened in on a heated conversation between an unhappy couple next to us (they finally agreed to disagree about their son's choice for a wife) while also eavesdropping on an eyebrow raising "we only have an hour " let's-eat-and-get-out-of-here talk between a couple at the opposite table who looked like they'd slipped off their wedding bands at the door (trust me, all the signs of an affair were there.) Beyond that, a woman and her friend were at a corner table, one wiping away tears while the other said, "He really wasn't worth it."

I know. It's invasive and impolite, but (shrug) I can't help it. It's not intentional, more like a multi-tasking reflex I can't control. I'm an author after all and on a subconscious level I'm always looking for new material, but beyond that... I really do find people and what they go through fascinating. No crime there, right? To be fair, I also listen in on my own family. For example, yesterday, I overheard a chat between my nine-year-old and his buddy that enlightened me on a child's point of view when it comes to the development of the human brain (potentially good material for some future novel.) It went like this:

My son: "You don't really have a brain until you're two. Until then it's just mush, like Jello. From two until five it grows, then when you turn five the protective cover falls off and your brain starts soaking up everything everybody says to you and everything you see on TV."

Other kid (looking skeptical): "Huh... Do you think your brain has changed since your cover came off?"

My son: "Oh, yeah! Until I was five, speed meant nothing to me! I'd ride down a big hill on my bike or go on a rollercoaster and I didn't care cuz I didn't know anything about death or dying. I won't do any of that now, though. Now I know too much."

Time to fess up, bloggers. Are any of you shameless eavesdroppers like me?

Friday, August 8, 2008

The weight of a good chapter

I spoke with a book club from Sacramento last night, a group who took the time to read all three of my novels before setting up the call with me. (How great is that!? Thanks again, guys!) One woman asked what I aspire to achieve each day when I sit down at my computer. "And please don't say you aspire to write a bestseller," she added, "because for any author that's a given. Tell us what you hope to achieve day by day."

That's easy. You know what it's like when you're reading a good book and you're tired and you think, "I'll just finish this chapter and then I'll turn off the light" but then you can't help yourself so you read the opening of the next chapter and... ooomph... you get sucked right back in?

There. That's what I aspire for each day (which is, of course, what every author aims for.) To have readers so invested in the weight of the chapter I'm working on that they can't stop reading, which of course means working on a story so compelling each chapter feels like its own rich little book. I'm not saying I've managed to achieve this with every chapter I've ever written, but it is what I aim for each day as I continue to grow as an author.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The best way to enjoy Kananaskis country? Bring your own bear

As usual, the revolving door that is our guest room has been busy this summer. Friends were just here from Winnipeg and to make sure they had fun we took them up to Kananaskis country for a few days. Of course, we kennel our dog (Sullivan aka Sully) like anyone else, but we also bring him with us when it makes sense, and this was one of those times. In case you can't read it, the yellow sign below says Warning: Bear in Area.

The Delta at Kananaskis Village takes dogs and every time we go ours creates his own little stir. Some people stare, others back away. Many ask if they can take a picture. Size aside (165 lbs) few consider him menacing though, probably because he usually carries a stuffed yellow toy in his mouth.

All that said, it really was a peaceful couple of days and here are a few snapshots to prove it. (If you love the mountains and you've never been through Kananaskis in the Rockies, check it out sometime. It's one of those "must see and do" places to go.)