TAKE JOY: Staying in the Moment

I hate washing dishes!

I hate washing dishes!

No, that’s not a picture of my kitchen!  But anyone who knows me knows that I hate washing dishes. I do it when I must, but I’d much rather watch tv or read a book after dinner. While I love getting up to a clean kitchen in the morning, it never seems worth it the night before.

So there I was, scrubbing the previous night’s pans and thinking about all the other things I could be doing. Writing. Organizing my office. Loafing on the couch with a book! Grumbling doesn’t help, I told myself. So my mind wandered to what was for dinner, how to solve a plot problem in Rescue, the fact that I needed to go to the bank for my son, and on and on.  You know, all the side-effects of a too-busy brain.


There were more on the bird feeder above!

And then a cardinal flew past the window. I watched him peck at the bird seed and I smiled as I became aware of my surroundings.

The sun shone gloriously on that snow-covered day. Chickadees, nuthatches and cardinals lunched until a blue jay bullied his way in. Inside, the soapy dishwater was warm and smooth on my hands. I had a rack full of gleaming pans, clear counters, and a sense of accomplishment. The refrigerator hummed in the daytime quiet of the house and I had a great day ahead of me.

I’m not particularly good at staying in the moment, at being present. “Mindfulness”, if you will.  I think too much and don’t take time to feel, to be truly aware of what I am doing. But when I do, the joy comes.

16140423229_74ba88e2c5_zThere is pleasure in doing a task, no matter how monotonous, and it’s more than simply crossing something off the to-do list. If we can stay aware of the sensory feelings – the touch of water, the airiness of the bubbles, the pressure of our fingers – it slows us down and helps us stay in the moment. It doesn’t matter if it’s mowing the lawn, raking leaves, scrubbing the floor, or (like me) washing dishes.  In some mysterious way, staying in the moment helps cultivate joy.

I’m not an expert. I struggle to turn down the activity level of my brain and focus on what I’m doing. But I’m going to make this my effort to Take Joy this week, and I’ll let you know how I do.

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Inseparable Partners: Joy and Gratitude

We’ve heard it a million times: “Count your blessings.”

Count Blessings Mousepad AmazonSometimes it’s said with a wry smile – “Count your blessings – things could be worse!”

Sometimes it’s given as advice, as if being grateful for what we have will magically take away all our worries.

Sometimes we roll our eyes and try not to hit the person who said it just carry on.

But sometimes we take it into our hearts and are truly thankful for what we’ve been given.  And with that gratitude comes joy.

If someone feels joy without being grateful, isn’t that 2310969291_10a0933517_zreally just a moment of pleasure? Climbing a mountain on a sunny day, or feeling the wind rush as you ski down a smooth, snowy slope, or warming yourself by a blazing fire – those are very pleasurable sensations, but without gratitude for the sunshine or your body’s physical ability, it isn’t true joy . . . at least not the joy that we’re talking about, the joy that permeates the soul.

When you combine the warmth of the sun, the beauty of mountain flowers, or the view from the peak with thanks to God for providing them, that’s when He fills you with joy.

15286173374_592d6d8827_zYou can shovel a foot of snow, heart pounding and sweat freezing, and then toast yourself in front of the fire until you’ve recovered. You’ve done your chore and now you’re warm, and you’re glad. But if you add a gratitude for the beauty of the snow, the health to do the shoveling, and the fact that you even have a fireplace – that’s when your soul feels joy, not just satisfaction or relief.

Actually, I think it’s more than just gratitude bringing joy – I think true joy brings gratitude as well.

13609536_dc9c473c26_oThere are moments when we are blessed with a sense of joy, when warmth and contentment fill our beings. For me, I can’t help but be grateful in those moments for all that surrounds me. For the sunshine or snow or rain, for a kitchen to cook in, for a warm house with soft beds and plenty of blankets, for the happy noise my guys make when they come home. For birds to feed and stories to write and friends to visit.

Joy and gratitude can’t be separated – what are you grateful for as you Take Joy?

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TBR Pile Challenge: The Maze Runner

Oh, the agony!  James Dashner’s The Maze Runner stared at me for three days before I was allowed to read it.  It was finally my turn at the library, so I picked it up – but because it was part of my “2015 TBR Pile Challenge,” I couldn’t start it until the new year!

This YA dystopian story has a unique premise: teenage boys have been sent one by one to an area where necessities are provided for them and they govern themselves, but they’re not only surrounded by a maze with deadly creatures, their memories have been wiped and they know nothing about their past except their names.  Runners are sent out daily to explore the maze (which keeps changing) to find a way out.

The first third of the book actually felt a bit slow to me.  It’s not as tightly written as The Hunger Games and I felt like we spent too much time in Thomas’s head as he wondered what was going on.  (I actually put Maze Runner down for a while to go back to a very different book set in Africa – Milele Safari, which I’ll review later.)

Once Thomas got past figuring out how the teens had their community set up and what the dangers were, the story picked up.  He started trying to work out the problems, pushing the boundaries, and both the tension and pace rose.  It led to an intriguing resolution, which I can’t even tell you about without spoilers!  Aarrgghh!  Suffice it to say that the kids discover the set-up and are in more danger than ever, leading to the rest of the series.

I’ll give it 3-1/2 stars – I liked it and I’ll probably watch the movie now and compare, but I don’t know if I’ll read the sequels.  I consider the book okay for younger teens – the characters have created their own swear words so there’s no obscenities in the dialogue, and the fantasy violence isn’t too outrageous.

Have you read The Maze Runner?  What did you think?  And how would you compare the movie?

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My New Year’s Word is …

I’ve already regaled you with why I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions anymore – are you ready for why I didn’t pick “balance” as my word for 2015?

Reason #1: I’m too serious. Seriously!

Reason #2: I spend too much time thinking.

The Thinker, RodinI’m always thinking of what’s coming up: What I’m cooking for dinner, what errands I need to run, what chores are waiting, what I’m going to blog about or what’s the next scene I’m writing in Shimmer 2.

I think of how my children are doing (being a parent to adults is a whole nuther ballgame) and wonder what I can do to help. And wonder if I’m doing too much, poking my nose in where it doesn’t belong anymore.

Scriptures, Book of Mormon, Bible

Image courtesy of LDS Media Library

I study scriptures and try to figure out how to apply them in my life, which leads me to thinking about changes and sorting out what to do: what’s right vs. what’s just in the front of my mind.  I wonder if the Lord is pleased with how I’m living my life, if I’m spending too much time and energy on books and if they’re even the books I should be writing.

And so I’m always thinking about things – things I want to do, things I need to do, things I ought to have done.

And yet . . .

I am blessed in innumerable ways. With family whom I love dearly, with more than basic food and shelter, with time and freedom and health. And especially with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Shouldn’t someone be able to see the joy of my life in my face? Shouldn’t I be more consistently aware of it?

dc69Ldqc9Unfortunately, because I’m focused on what I have to do or what’s coming up, several things happen. First, unless I’m in a relaxed situation not thinking about any of that, nobody meeting me would think I’m particularly happy. The concerns show on my face, not the good things. Second, I don’t feel the joy that I ought to very often.

So while pondering my word for the new year, these thoughts have taken precedence. Instead of “Balance,” I’m choosing Joy.

Joy by itself can have several connotations: happiness, delight, momentary pleasure. If I link Joy with rejoice, it brings a deeper meaning to mind – a deep and abiding feeling that permeates the soul.

More specifically,

I’m choosing to “Take Joy!

I don’t want to just Have Joy – that sounds like I’m waiting for someone else to drop it in my lap.

I don’t need to Find Joy – Joy is already here.

But “Take Joy” is an active phrase, something that puts the responsibility on me to reach out and grasp it.

Photo by Bruce Robertson

Photo by Bruce Robertson

There is much joy in my life. I have a solid, loving marriage and three children who have grown into awesome young adults.   I have a great son-in-law and time to spend with the Cutest Granddaughter in the World. I have a supportive husband who works hard at his job to bless us with the necessities of life – a warm house, a choice of food to eat, reliable cars, and new clothes once in a while. Not only that, but he supports me in my writing instead of expecting me to earn a steady paycheck.  I have enough of a yard to let me grow fresh vegetables, flowers that make me smile, and a huge backyard maple from which I can feed my little bird friends. I have a mother and brother and sister whom I don’t get to see much, but with whom I share loving relationships.

So this year, 2015, I’m going to Take Joy.

  • I will make a point of stopping to realize the joy in a particular moment.
  • I will not only count my blessings, but dig deeper into them.
  • I will try to live a bit more in the moment and realize the joy that moment contains.

And I will share that journey with you. I’m sure I will have ups and downs, joyful moments intermixed with days I forget about it.  I’m also sure I’m not the only one who has many blessings but doesn’t stop to acknowledge the joy.  And I know that since I’m a master at letting good intentions slide, blogging about Taking Joy will keep me from forgetting about it by February!

What about you? Do you already Take Joy? Do you have a different word to guide your life this year? Please share in the comments – enquiring minds want to know! 




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No 2015 New Year’s Resolutions for Me!

Image: "fanginhoon" via Freeimages.com

Credit: “fanginhoon” via Freeimages.com

I love lists, and always have.  I love goals, and always have.  Which means that I grew up thinking New Year’s Resolutions must have been created with me in mind.  (The phrase “it’s all about me” was also probably created with me in mind!)

I don’t think I ever included reading books in my childhood resolutions because I read constantly anyway, but my lists did have things like Earn Girl Scout Badges and Win 1st or 2nd at Horse Shows. As a young adult, I included things like Lose 10 Pounds and Keep a Journal. (Hmm, I’m still trying to do those!) Parenting school-age children, my goals were Keep School Papers Organized and Have Family Home Evening Weekly.

Last year made a change. I realized that because I’m easily motivated, I’m setting goals like these all through the year – New Year’s Resolutions were just another occasion to set new goals. So for 2014, I thought I’d join the people choosing a word to focus on for the year.

The problem is that by February, I had forgotten all about it – to the point that I don’t even remember what my word was! I went on setting and re-setting short-term goals through the year: keep up with my homework and finish the semester (and graduate!); publish Through the Shimmer of Time; lose some weight, or at least not gain any.

I spent the first half of the year scrambling, as I had done the last two years as a “mature” college student. After graduation, I was still scrambling – I got Shimmer out, made two back-to-back long trips, and found out just how much work it is to promote an indie book. So as December rolled around, I thought I had my word for next year:


Elisabetta Preziosa BB

E. Preziosa, 2012 Olympics via Wikimedia Commons  (I’ll bet she could balance anything!)

I need balance in my life. I have responsibilities as well as things that feed my soul, and I need to find time for all of them without feeling like I’m scrambling. Scrambling isn’t fun! So BALANCE seemed like a really good fit:  something that, if I focus on it, would make a huge difference in my life. And I could even blog about it – double points!

And then another word wormed its way into my mind, and BALANCE seems to have wiggled out the window. Not completely, because I think that this new word will bring balance for me in the process. But Balance began to feel like a to-do list – just one more thing to make sure I’m doing.

So what’s my new word for 2015?

Image via clipartbest.com

I’m not telling!

At least, not until next week. *evil grin*  Stay tuned for the big reveal on New Year’s Day, and then join me on the journey!

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2015 TBR Pile Challenge

Too Many Books! (photo by "jsmidt," freeimages.com)

Too Many Books!
(photo by “jsmidt,” freeimages.com)

I’ve never included reading goals in my new year’s resolutions because I read voraciously anyway. (Which is how I know words like voraciously.)  And I’ve never followed a reading list challenge because I like to read what I’m in the mood for at the time. I also like re-reading books.

I’ve seen some interesting reading challenges, though. One started as a “Read England” challenge and spawned a “Read America” challenge, the idea being to read a book set in each English county or American state.

I might do that someday, but the one that caught my eye for right now is one that focuses on my TBR Pile. For the uninitiated, TBR means “To Be Read,” and most readaholics have full e-readers and piles of unread print books.  “So many books, so little time” seems to be our slogan.

My bookcases are often double-stacked – no surprise there – but I used to have a particular shelf for books I hadn’t read yet, usually bought on sale or at a used bookstore or from the Friends of the Library. Like Lays Potato Chips, I can’t buy just one! My TBR shelf grew into two, then three, now all double-stacked. We won’t mention various piles on the floor.

And then I got a Kindle for Christmas a year or two ago.  Do you know how hard it is to resist books at $1.99?  I read the sample on Amazon to make sure the writing is decent and then it’s oh-so-easy to click BUY.  Voila! A shiny new e-book just waiting to be read.

Right now, the new book I downloaded just yesterday is waiting with about a hundred others.  Needless to say, when I saw a challenge that would focus on my ever-growing book list, I jumped on board.

2015tbrbuttonThe idea of Roof Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge is that you pick 12 books from your TBR list which you will read in the 12 months of 2015. You choose two books as alternates “just in case one or two of the books end up in the ‘can’t get through’ pile.”

Hmm . . . books I’ve been wanting to read, most of which I have – I can do this!

So I started my list, balancing out some classics (that I should have read long ago but never did) with some YA and Middle Grade that I’ve missed, plus some that I’ve bought and just haven’t gotten to. Plus a few more that the library will happily provide.  I ended up with about 20 that are calling to me now, and cut those down to this final list:

  1. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
  2. Silk Road – Colin Falconer
  3. Pride of Lions – Morgan Llywelyn
  4. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  5. Persuasion – Jane Austen
  6. To Say Nothing of the Dog – Connie Willis
  7. Red – Kait Nolan
  8. The Maze Runner – James Dashner (completed 1/6/15)
  9. Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery
  10. Percy Jackson & the Olympians series (at least two) – Rick Riordan
  11. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress – Rhoda Janzen
  12. Pentecost – J. F. Penn
  13. The Baker’s Daughter – Sarah McCoy
  14. The Agony and the Ecstasy – Irving Stone

I think the last two are my alternates, but I reserve the right to read any twelve of the fourteen that I happen to be in the mood for!  And to be honest, I think my goal is to read all of them anyway.  :)

As part of the challenge, I’ll be reviewing these on Amazon/Goodreads and probably blogging about them too.  When a review is up, I’ll link to it here. (EDITED TO ADD:  if the title has a link, click it to see my review.)

So what’s on your TBR list? And are you interested in the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge?






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The Redemption of Scrooge

I can never decide which version (and star) of A Christmas Carol is my favorite: George C Scott, Patrick Stewart, Albert Finney (mostly because of the song “Thank You Very Much,” although only disassociated with the fact that they’re thanking Scrooge for dying), or even, yes, The Muppets.  One of the things I like about the Muppets is that Gonzo narrates it with quotes directly from the book.  Anyway, I love them all and we watch at least one every year.

But today I want to share a blog by author and social media guru Kristen Lamb, talking about the meaning of the story, not just the acting and directing.  Why does it speak to us so deeply?  And can you separate the message from its Christian context?  She ponders the power of names, the power of words, and more.  So without further ado . . . heeeeeere’s Kristen:

Why Are Certain Stories Timeless? What Scrooge Can Teach Us About Great Writing

Screen Shot 2012-12-24 at 9.22.47 AM

One of my all-time favorite movies for the holidays is The Muppets Christmas Carol. I believe I’ve seen this movie a few hundred thousand times. I’ve worn out three VHS tapes and at least three DVDs. I play the movie over and over, mainly because, well, duh,  MUPPETS! I drive my husband nuts playing this movie over and over…and over.

I’m worse than a three-year-old.

Muppets aside, I also can’t get enough of the music. I love the story of A Christmas Carol no matter how many times I see it, no matter how many renditions, and I am certainly not alone. Charles Dickens’ story of a redeemed miser is a staple for holiday celebrations around the world and across the generations.

This story is virtually synonymous with “Christmas,” but why is it such a powerful story? Why has it spoken so deeply to so many? Why is it a story that never grows old? Today, I want to talk about a couple of the elements that speak to me, because they rest at the heart of great writing.

A Little Background

A Christmas Carol is a beautiful story, but I find it’s true beauty when it’s explained in the Christian context that inspired it. My son was watching Bubble Guppies and they tried (dismally) to tell the same story inserting “holiday” so as not to offend anyone, I presume.

Yet, the story fell flat.

The PC had ruined the beauty of this tale and made it more of a lesson about embracing shallow commercialism once a year than a story of love’s power to redeem the irredeemable. Thus, this post will use scriptural and religious references to explain why I believe this story is so moving and timeless.

The Power of Names

Naming characters can be vital. Great writers use the power of parsimony. Each element should serve as many purposes as possible. A name is more than a name. It has the power to be a story within a story.

I recall the moment I was first introduced to what would become my favorite hymn, Come Thou Fount of Many Blessings. One verse stood out:

Kristen expands on the power of names and talks about forgiveness, the way God changes people, and why He didn’t just cure Tiny Tim.  Click here to keep reading!

What’s your favorite version of A Christmas Carol?  Have you ever read the book?

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The Real Gift of Christmas

What’s your favorite Christmas gift?

For me as a child, it might have been a doll’s tea set, a flute, or another of Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books (the Island Stallion was my favorite).

As an adult, hmm . . . My child’s artwork, a small hand pressed into plaster-of-paris and painted at school?  The Lladro piece that fit me perfectly, sent by my husband while he was out on his submarine?  Mostly, it’s just being with my family.Lladro EmbroidererWhatever it is for me, whatever it is for you, this is the real gift – and it’s fast become my all-time favorite short Christmas video.

Share your thoughts in the comments below.  And take joy this Christmas season!

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Flunking NaNoWriMo, Finding a Writing Rhythm

Maybe Next Year!

Maybe Next Year!

I admit it:  I flunked NaNo this year.

I had great plans of using the month to crank out a down-and-dirty rough draft of Shimmer #2.  What I discovered was that a good story (not just a large word count), necessary historical research and a 30-day deadline do not make a good combination!

At about the 10,000 word mark, I discovered a resource that filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge about life in the canal construction camps of the 1830s.  Great info, but it also meant stopping to read, re-imagine and re-plot before I could move forward again.  And when local book signings and a marketing push on Mother-Daughter Book Reviews took over my brain, and NaNoWriMo went completely kaput.


On the other hand, when I was working on those 10,000 words, I discovered a great rhythm for my writing time!

As many of you know, my back isn’t always nice to me, but it’s much happier when I take regular breaks from the computer to get up and walk around.  So I decided to spend 25 minutes writing followed by 5 minutes of walking around the house (adapted from the Pomodoro technique).

freedom128Good decision, but how to avoid getting sidetracked?  Minesweeper Historical research beckons, you know!  Enter internet-blocking apps such as Anti-Social and Freedom, along with their timers.  I set mine for 25 minutes and voila, no Facebook, Twitter, email, or other online distractions until the time is up – and it won’t let me get back into it without re-booting the computer!  So even if I want to go browse, I can’t.

And you know what?  It works!

As long as I know what’s happening in my scene, I found that I can write 700-900 words in that 25 minute block, and about 600-800 in the next block.  I have to know where my scene is going, but as long as I take time to plan that, it’s all very productive.  I didn’t succeed in doing three blocks in a row during NaNo, but if I keep at it, that will come too.

There’s a lot more research to do, but now that my historical “daily life” gap is filled, I’m writing merrily away again.  Which is a good thing, because I have a commitment to have this book ready for a signing at Conner Prairie in May 2015.  Onwards!

Did you succeed at NaNoWriMo?  And what writing routine works best for you?  Leave a comment, because enquiring minds want to know!



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Author Interview: Kassandra Lamb & the Story Behind the Story

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Story, with a capital S. Why do we authors feel compelled to tell stories? Why do others read our stories?  Why do we choose one story to tell over another?

Mystery Author Kassandra Lamb

Kassandra Lamb

So I decided to interview a writer friend of mine who has just released the seventh book in her mystery series, and who also happens to be a retired psychologist, to see what her answers to these questions might be.

So let me introduce you to Kassandra Lamb, author of the Kate Huntington mystery series.

Hi, Kass, thanks for joining me today.

Thanks for having me, Jen.

We wouldn’t be writers if we didn’t have stories itching to come to life.  So why do you feel compelled to tell stories?

"Storyteller Under Sunny Skies," clay sculpture by Rose Pecos-SunRhodes, in The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

“Storyteller Under Sunny Skies,” clay sculpture by Rose Pecos-SunRhodes, in The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

*laughs* Have you ever seen one of those figurines of a Native American storyteller surrounded by children, some in her lap, some hanging over her shoulders? I’m convinced that was me in a former life.

I think human beings are storytellers by nature. Our earliest cultures used stories to entertain, to educate and to explore deeper issues in life.

People constantly ask me where I get my story ideas, and I’m sure you get the same question. How do you answer it?

The idea is not usually the hard part. We authors have over-active imaginations that love to contemplate the “what if’s” of life. What if this happened, or that happened?

My recent release came out of a thought I had about two years ago: What if a therapist was kidnapped by someone posing as a new client? It could happen oh-so-easily. Therapists trust that the people calling to set up appointments, and then walking into their offices for the first time, are on the up and up.

Where do you go from there with the “what if” thought?

I usually let it percolate for a bit. Some ideas fade out and are forgotten. (Jen’s note:  thank goodness!)  Others grow and a basic storyline starts to form in my mind.

You have an ongoing series with a character you know well. How do you decide which story idea to go with next?

Once I have a new idea, I ask myself if it works with my characters. Is there something in this new storyline that will push them to change and grow in some way? Sometimes I postpone an idea until later in the series, because it’s not right for where the characters are at that time.

When I first had the “what if” idea for a kidnapping from a therapy office, I assumed that my psychotherapist protagonist, Kate Huntington, would be the victim. But then it would have to be the last book in the series. No way would a therapist continue in private practice after that had happened to her! So I tabled the idea.

A few months later, it occurred to me that Kate’s former boss, Sally Ford, could be the victim, and Kate and her P.I. husband would be trying to find her before the kidnapper killed her.

So once you’ve decided on a particular plot line, what’s next?

I try to dig a little deeper. What will be the theme of this story?

Theme is the deeper meaning, the question or issue we want to explore so that our stories not only entertain but enrich our readers. I want them to come away from my stories with a new perspective on something that maybe they hadn’t thought about much before.

One of the things that really stirs my empathy is missing people. I’ve never had a loved one go missing, but I can imagine it tops the list of worst experiences ever. How do our overworked police departments respond? How do the individuals who care about the missing person cope (or not)?

Also, one of my objectives in each book is to give readers a sense of what it’s like to experience one or more psychological disorders. In this story, Fatal Forty-Eight, the reader gets a close-up view of a psychopathic serial killer.

Close up of a psychopath – shudder!  But this story is definitely more a thriller than your regular whodunit mystery. What made you decide to go that route?

In a thriller, the bad guy is revealed early on. The main characters may not know his name, but they at least have a general idea of who he is. And they’re trying to stop him from doing whatever heinous act he is planning.

This seemed the right way to go with this story. I wanted to show the readers the unfolding of the bad guy’s pathology, as well as the main characters’ attempts to find him before its too late for Sally.

Once you have the story idea, do you carefully outline the plot or are you more a seat-of-the-pants type writer?

I’m definitely more of a pantser. I like to see how the story pans out as I go along. I’m often surprised and delighted by where things go, especially when characters evolve in ways I hadn’t anticipated. In this story, several of the secondary characters did this.

One was the hard-nosed female police detective who’s had a minor role in previous books. Standing in her shoes was very enlightening as she has to tell people that someone they care about has been kidnapped by a killer.

The victim’s lover, Charles, was originally supposed to have only a few lines. But a good man wouldn’t just fade into the background as I’d intended he would. He’d pursue every avenue to find his woman. Early on, Charles is confronted by the fact that there’s very little he can do, and this sense of helplessness almost drives him crazy.

And then there’s the victim herself. Sally Ford was a minor player in my first three books. I’ve always liked her elegant style coupled with a no-nonsense mentality. I thoroughly enjoyed developing her character further in this story. She is someone I would want to know in real life.

Those were my questions for Kass, but now it’s your turn.  Did any of her answers surprise you?  Do you have anything you’d like to ask? Share your thoughts in the Comments section, and she and I will be popping in to answer!

Also, check out Kassandra’s new thriller below.  She’s holding a contest with some cool prizes, to celebrate her new release. Click HERE to check it out. You can enter several times.

Fatal 48 by Kassandra LambFatal 48

Celebration turns to nightmare when psychotherapist Kate Huntington’s guest of honor disappears en route to her own retirement party. Kate’s former boss, Sally Ford, has been kidnapped by a serial killer who holds his victims exactly forty-eight hours before killing them.

With time ticking away, the police allow Kate and her P.I. husband to help with the investigation. The FBI agents involved in the case have mixed reactions to the “civilian consultants.” The senior agent welcomes Kate’s assistance as he fine-tunes his psychological profile. His voluptuous, young partner is more by the book. She locks horns out in the field with Kate’s husband, while back at headquarters, misunderstandings abound.

But they can ill afford these distractions, when Sally’s time is about to expire.

Connect with Kassandra here:


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