As Kristine Overbrook I enjoy playing with the paranormal.  I find something comforting in describing what goes bump in the night, even if it’s something dangerous.

I’m sure you’ve all heard that truth is stranger than fiction.  My fun comes in trying to top the truth.  My only rule is that there must be a happy ending.  Like a rollercoaster, just because you end up safe at the end doesn’t mean you won’t have a heck of a ride.

Little Traditions

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Our Tree

Our Tree

I’ve been struggling with Christmas this year.  For a variety of reasons, it has been hard to get into the Christmas mood. 

I began remembering when my brother and I were little.  We would sneak into the living room Christmas morning, while our parents slept.  They had been up the night before wrapping gifts till the wee hours.  We would identify which gifts were for whom, and then we would pick which to open first. 

After that we would move on to the stockings.  We would lay the stocking on the coffee table then ever so meticulously we would remove each item from the stocking.  Ohhing and Aahhing, then we would place everything back the way it was, in the same order and position so just in case the parents’ coffee had made them more alert by the time we got to the stockings they wouldn’t know we peeked.

Finally, we would spend the rest of the time waiting playing with the board game or coloring book they left unwrapped under the tree to keep us occupied.  The television stayed off.

We did this every year.  Though I don’t remember having a coloring book when I was fifteen, but it was still tradition to chill quietly in the living room till the parents woke…or eleven o’clock came.  We couldn’t let them sleep all day.

Did you have little when you were growing up?

SALE…SALE…SALE

BoCreatures of the Moon_cvr.inddth of my novels are for sale this month on Amazon.  $1.99.

Creatures of the Moon was first published July of last year.  My first novel’s birthday!

If you haven’t already picked up your eBook you can follow this link and download either one of my books now.  If you have an iPod or iPhone, don’t worry you can download the kindle app for free at iTunes.  You don’t have to feel left out if you don’t have a device, Amazon also has an eReader for your computer.

If you prefer real books–I must admit, I still do–both books are available in paperback.Once Upon a Couch

While my books are a great value at any time, Crimson Romance, has decided to offer all Crimson Romance books for $1.99 for the entire month of July!  So after you’re done enjoying my novels, take a look at some of the other great titles they have to offer.

I don’t normally post what could be construed as an advertisement, but I would hate for you to miss out on a great deal.

Happy Reading!

Pink

I’m not talking about the singer–though I love her stuff–I mean the color. Pink. All over my head.Cotton Candy

This year I’ve taken to coloring my hair. For my anniversary, in February, I went blonde. It was a difficult change. I had to muster all of my courage. Then it was very difficult to get use to. I’ve been a brunette of one shade or another for all of my life. When I looked in the mirror, it wasn’t me. As the months passed I came to enjoy the blonde. The reason why they have more fun is because they get tons of positive attention. I had more come hither smiles from men in the five months I was blonde than I ever did as a brunette.

After I found the courage to go blonde, Hubby mentioned how he would be interested to see what I would look like as a redhead. To be honest, I was a little curious too. I picked up the stuff and did my hair for father’s day. I chose the wrong dye. The directions said rinse until the water runs clear. I kept rinsing and it kept coming out. Then, instead of the deep raspberry my hair should have been it was pink cotton candy with streaks of the old blonde with brunette roots. Ack!

Upside? Hubby thinks it’s cute and doesn’t want me to change it. Unfortunately, that is also the downside. I’ve got cotton candy on my head for Pete’s sake. When he actually caught me pouting (I haven’t pouted since I was ten) he said for me to do whatever I had to so I could be happy.

At least I work from home; otherwise I would have to call in sick until this is resolved. The day job would have an absolute bird.

The problem now? I have to go out in public to get the stuff to fix it. Do I wear the insanity proudly or do I put it in a bun and wear a ball cap?

Did you see that?

My son graduated this past Saturday. Yes, I’m the mother of a high school graduate. No, I didn’t have him when I was twelve. I just look that good.Cap

We’ve struggled with grades this year. He got a part time job at the beginning of the year and I think that took away the energy and time he would have used for studying. If I had it to do over again would I forbid him to work…no, but perhaps I would have insisted he wait a month or two until his grades were higher.

But, despite the job and other distractions, he passed. Our family spent Saturday morning at his commencement. The valedictorian won national awards for the debate team, and his speech was inspirational. So much so, I wish it were on you tube so I could share it with you.

 
A strange thing happened to me while we waited for the ceremony to begin.

 
We arrived at the school at 8:00 am. The ceremony didn’t start until 10:00, but my son wanted to be sure we got the best seats.
The gymnasium has a stage in it and was decorated beautifully. Chairs were set upon the stage to hold the graduating class. All ninety of them. In front of the stage were row upon row of chairs. Some reserved for the school board, some for guest speakers, and some for the press. Our family sat directly behind the school board, on the proper side to see my son’s face as he walked across the stage.

 
Eventually, people started filling in. At 9:00 they really began to arrive. Quite a few would stand at the front near us with their hands on their hips and loudly lament that they missed the “good seats.” (It pays to get there extremely early.) On our row, there was another family on the other end, which left two seats between us and the family next to us. Most other groups had over five and therefore no use for our two seats.

 
About 9:30 a man come up the row behind me. He leaned down into my field of vision and asked, “Is this seat taken?”

 
I gestured toward the chair next to me. “No, it’s all yours.”

 
“Thanks,” he said. Then he griped the seat, lifted it over his head, and walked away with it.

 
The woman from the other family on my row, whom I’d been chatting with, blinked a few times. “I guess he took you literally.”

 
Of course, I immediately wrote it down. As I’ve said before, sometimes real life is where awesome stories are born.  I think my husband, mother-in-law, and daughter laughed more at me than they did at him.

Have you ever been so surprised by someone’s actions you have to look around to be sure others saw it too?

Names can evoke memories

The east coast of America is about to be hit by tropical storm Andrea. This is not new. Tropical storms and hurricanes hit the U.S. all the time. The part that gets me is the name.

Andrea was one if my best friends growing up. Of our trio, she was the bravest and most advanced. I was older and couldn’t care less about my appearance; she pinned me to the ground and brushed my hair. I just did the math, it was 30 years ago. Yikes!!

All these memories, and more, come to mind when I hear her name. So what about you? Is there a name that evokes memories for you?

Body Language Wisdom

When I was young, like four or five, my parents would tell me I could do anything.  They said it a lot, and I believed them. As the years passed I heard it less and less.  I guess then thought they got that point across. As a teen I heard why things weren’t possible. I did hear the goal was to reach for the stars. My dad would say, “Prove to me it’s possible.” But, when I was told that I would never be an architect because I didn’t do well in math, I gave up. Why dream? I began to fear trying something new, because what if I failed. I didn’t want to hear, “You’re doing it wrong, stop it.” I didn’t even want to hear, “Prove it to me.”

“Prove it” always seemed like a dare.  Dare to not be a failure.

When I moved out, got married, and started my family I realized that when I wanted something I couldn’t give up. It wasn’t a prove-it-challenge.  My husband worked, but if we wanted extra money I needed to get a job. It was logic, plain and simple.  Not a mind game.  Just do it.  The interviews were terrifying, but I got a job.

The thought of going back to school scared me.  I really wasn’t a fan of high school.  Even answering a roll call gave me the jitters.  The only way I could get a better job was to get a college degree.  I pushed myself.  When I had to speak in class I was almost paralyzed with fear.  I would fight the panic.  I’d hold my head high, roll my shoulders back, and be confident.  When the speech was over I’d shake so bad sometimes I’d have to close my eyes.

Thankfully, I’m stubborn.  I’ve always been stubborn.  I do a thing because I want to.  The more afraid I am, the more I need to do it.  The problem is getting past the fear.  I’ve always seen it as leaping off a cliff.  Just take a deep breath and jump.  (I’m more than a little afraid of heights)

Well, what if it was easier than that?  What if two minutes standing like Wonder Woman would make me feel powerful enough to face my fears?  What if instead of hunching at my desk in dread, assumed a smile and sat up straight?

Below is a fantastic TED talk by Amy Cuddy about body language.  I can’t wait to put some of this into practice.

What’s up?

Hello.  {grips hand warmly} How are you?  It’s been too long, it really has.

They say the rule of thumb when blogging is to have new material every week.  Unfortunately, unless I tell all of you the personal details of my personal life (read: the things I wouldn’t share with my mother) I can’t come up with that much material. Boring life.  My husband hasn’t been attacked by bees lately.   :)  Unless you want to hear about my dogs.  Hey, that’s a thought.  Watch for doggie stories.

Today, I’m popping in to affirm I am working on a sequel to Creatures of the Moon.  Do you want to know what happened to Detective Lydia Davis’s partner, Sergeant Adams?  He was last seen being wheeled away in an ambulance.  Stay tuned.

One more thing before I go.  Brenda Novak, a fabulous romance author is currently holding her auction for diabetes research here.  I’m high bidder on a couple things as I type this.  :)  They’ve got some really nice items over there, and it’s a great cause.  Pop in and check it out.

I’ve copied the following from Brenda Novak’s website:

As a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, Brenda has been able to count on her fans and her peers to support her annual online auctions, which runs May 1 – May 31st, helping her raise over $1.6 million so far!

Brenda is an active mother of five whose youngest son, Thad, was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at the age of five. There began her personal crusade to fight a disease that affects millions. The 2011 statistics on diabetes are alarming — and clearly establish a challenge Brenda is trying to meet: improve lives by helping to raise money to battle this devastating disease. Data released by the ADA January 26, 2011 reveals there are 25.8 million children and adults in the United States — thus 8.3% of the population have diabetes. Another 79 million people have prediabetes. In 2010, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed.

There are many ways you can participate and help Brenda raise money toward a cure:

Two books for 2013

I have two books to get out this year. Both are half done. Both are sequels to books released in 2012. I must decide which to work on first.

Do you want to know what happened to Eric Adams, last seen injured at the end of Creatures of the Moon?

Or would you rather another installment of Dr Josie Lester’s adventures in Villa Hollow?

Both of these stories are screaming to be written. I’ve found myself switching off between the two.

Do any of you have an opinion?

Winners of our Share and Retweet drive

Thank you all for your support this last week. The biggest challenge for an author is getting the word out. With your help we’ve made a fantastic start.

I’ve placed everyone’s name or twitter handle on a slip of paper, placed it in a bowl, closed my eyes and drew two names…

I’m happy to announce the winners:

Trish StJohn
And
Karen Y. Bynum

Congratulations ladies!

Once Upon a Couch RELEASE DAY!!

 

Available December 10, 2012 wherever eBooks are sold

Available December 10, 2012 wherever eBooks are sold

 

Today is Once Upon a Couch’s release day! Happy birthday to my light paranormal romance, may you transport many readers to the town of Villa Hollow.

And now, the very last excerpt. This client, Amanda, is the one that turns Josie’s world upside-down. Josie’s first impression of Amanda certainly isn’t the most normal.

After closing the front door behind George, she turned to find Amanda on all fours sniffing the sofa cushions. Okay, sure. A perverse part of her wanted to wait to observe what the woman would do next. Unfortunately, the professional side said, “Excuse me.”

Amanda lifted her head and sniffed.

“Did you still want to talk?” Josie asked.

Amanda rose from the floor, her head tilted to one side. The hem of her skirt had hiked up to reveal about three inches of slip, and one of her shoes lay discarded on the floor behind her.

“Amanda?”

She sniffed again and tilted her head the other way.

“Amanda.” Josie spoke louder. She could be having a seizure. “Amanda.”

Her eyes refocused, and she seemed to wake. “Sorry, I blanked out there for a minute,” she said, smoothing her skirt and retrieving her shoe. “Are you ready for me now?”

“Yes, please go on in. I’ll get the paperwork.” Josie retrieved the clipboard and flipped through the pages.

Amanda worked as a real estate agent and lived alone. In the space where clients could list issues they wanted to work on, she’d started to write, but after the first few words, I think I may have, the pen trailed off the page. Apparently, around that time, she’d begun to sniff the furniture.

This is it.  The last day of our Share and Retweet drive.  So share and tweet this post to get the word out.  You have until midnight tonight to spread the word!  Tomorrow I will post the winner of our gift basket giveaway.