Category Archives: Uncategorized

Save Your Readers 50% Off On KWL Titles–On Us!

Just thought I would share this for those of you who buy your e-books from Kobo. A 50% off sale – and you can get as many books as you like at half price using the promo code in the article. One code for however many books you want. Great deal!

Kobo Writing Life

Attention all Kobo Writing Life Authors!

Summer is officially here, and what better way to celebrate than with a 50% off sale–fully supported by Kobo?

This special sale will start in the U.S. today (June 22nd) and in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand on Saturday, June 25th. The sale ends in all territories on Monday, June 27th.

Customers will be able to redeem 50% off of any title published by KWL using the promo code 50JUN an unlimited number of times—so please, let your readers and fans know about this incredible opportunity to stack up on eBooks while they can!

See below the cut for the full rules & regulations of this sale. And as a reminder, this sale will not affect your royalties–this promotion is being fully supported by Kobo.

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Reminder: I’ve Moved to a New Blog

Since I’m still getting a fair amount of traffic here, six months after the move, I wanted to share the link for my new digs again. 🙂

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Kristy K. James

Yes, it’s true. I’ve taken the plunge and moved to a self-hosted blog…and have to say a HUGE thank you to Breeana Puttroff, author of one of my favorite series, The Dusk Gate Chronicles, for helping to get me started.


If you like my blog, and would like to continue to receive notices for when I post something new, just click on the link below, and subscribe again. I really hope you’ll follow me there because I appreciate all of you very much. 🙂

Please bear with me as the new site is under construction. I’m also moving my website there, so I’ll be playing around with themes, colors, pictures, and whatever new bells and whistles they have for me to get into trouble with utilize.

I’ll still drop in here, and at the website, for a while, just to put up some reminders for those who…

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Bank Statments and Surprises

The Saturday afternoon mail delivery brought with it a surprise. Well, maybe to call it a surprise isn’t the most accurate way to describe what this was. A surprise generally involves something nice (unless it’s prefaced with ‘unpleasant’). This wasn’t exactly pleasant. Nope. It looked like some sort of tax statement, and it looked like they’d taken some money out of my account for federal income taxes.

Since banks aren’t open long on weekends, I had to wait until Monday to figure out that it wasn’t a tax, it was for ‘other income.’  The problem was, they didn’t know what it meant, and neither did I. So the woman I talked to promised to find out for me.

And she did.

The other income was actually an iPod they sent me after I opened the account last summer. My old bank flagged my account every time I ordered something two days in a row from Amazon (I buy a lot of books). I wanted a bank that wouldn’t do that.

The woman who set up my account didn’t mention an iPod. And she sure as shooting didn’t say a word about it being ‘income’ I’d have to pay taxes on. If she had, I’d have said thanks, but no thanks. If I wanted one, I would  go to the store and buy it.

My daughter was pleased as punch when it came in the mail several weeks later. She’s the reason I had resisted buying one in the first place. In two years time, three cell phones met their electronic maker in the wash/rinse cycles, and one was crushed beneath the tires of my van. I naturally assumed that if her cell phones had short lifespans, something an inch square didn’t stand a chance.

Long story shorter, I’m going to pay $15.00 – $20.00 in income tax on that iPod. Sales tax would have only been $3.90. I’ll grant you that we’re getting it cheap, all things considered, but I’m still offended.

They assumed I opened the account because they sent a flyer through the mail, letting people know about the ‘gift.’ Unfortunately, in my house, if it looks like junk mail, it goes directly in the waste basket.

I wasn’t really awful, but I let the woman know that by not informing me about the iPod/other income/income tax when I opened the account, they not only made an assumption they had no business making, they denied me the right to decide whether I wanted their ‘gift’ or not.

The woman said she would let someone know, and I thought the matter had been dealt with.

Nope. Someone else called about two hours after I finally fell asleep yesterday morning. And this time I really wasn’t happy. Partly because I’d only had eleven hours sleep out of the past forty-eight, partly because I was tired of talking about it.

She just wanted me to know that, because of my experience, they were now going to require anyone wanting one of their ‘other income gifts’ to bring the flyer in with them. And all employees setting up accounts will have to explain that anyone accepting the gifts will have to pay income taxes on it, and not sales tax (which is a whole lot less).

So something good has come of it. At least no one else will wind up with a gift they neither asked for, nor wanted…and then have to pay for it.

Yes, this was a bit of a rant. Have any of you had an experience like mine? If so, what was your reaction? I know that even if the tax bill is $20.00, it isn’t going to make or break my budget, it’s just the principle of the thing.


Filed under Life, Uncategorized

It’s Like Riding Bicycle My Foot!

I can’t think of another ‘old saying’ that is more wrong than this one. If you learn something, no matter how much time has passed, you never forget…because it’s just like riding a bike. Yeah.


When I was a teenager, I rode my bike everywhere. I’m talking year-round, if too much snow and/or ice didn’t keep me from it. There’s no way to even guess how many miles my trusty two-wheeled transportation and I covered, but it was hundreds.

Then life happened. Kids, jobs…and a multitude of other excuses, so fast forward about twenty years.

The kids were at a 3-day Special Olympic event. For those that don’t know it, my son is autistic, and my daughter went along to help out. Missing them, and wanting them to come home to a nice surprise, I had a wonderful idea. I’ll buy us all…bikes. We’d been wanting them anyway, and it would be good way to get my video game addict son out of the house.

Were the kids surprised? Yup. But I was even more so. First, these were ten speed bikes, and the gears and braking system meant I actually had to read the manual. Not too far into it, I decided I would never understand the gears, so I would just play around with them until pedaling was comfortable.

The brakes, on the other hand, were a different story. Two sentences stood out above the others. Always apply the back brake first. Because, if you didn’t, if you applied the front brake first…you could flip your bike.

Okay, so I was going to make very sure I remembered which side the back brake was on.

Time to ride. My daughter and I went alone that first trip. I’m sure it’s an experience she’ll never forget.

First, I found that my bike was too big for me. Even after lowering the seat as far as it would go, it was still too high (no, I wasn’t smart enough to try it out in the store). How humiliating to have to stand on the bottom step of the porch to mount the darned thing…

But that, I discovered, was the least of my worries. I wobbled almost as much as I had when my dad taught me to ride at five years old. After a couple of minutes though, I kind of got the hang of it again, and off we went. Sort of. My daughter took to it like a duck to water. I, on the other hand… Well, let’s just say that I’m sure anyone driving past us thought I was drunk…

The second problem came about a block and a half later, when my daughter zipped around the corner. Which side of the handlebars was the back brake on? I thought I was doomed at that point, but I made it. Whew!

The third problem arose as we approached the next intersection…and she stopped her bike!

What are you DOING?” I shouted, nearly running into her back tire as I tried to remember which side the stupid brake was on (my memory sucks when I panic).

Turns out she kind of had to stop…for the car that speeding down the road. Of course that meant I had to stop, too. It also meant I had to drag the bike to the curb so I could get back on the too high seat.

It was then I started to wonder why they make the seat so hard. And WHY were there bumps on each side of it? Big bumps. Shouldn’t a seat be pretty flat?

Let’s just cut a long story short. I didn’t fall off the bike. Not even once. I did, however, look like an idiot. And I was never so glad to get home as I was that day. As I dismounted the torture device, making use of the porch step of course, I wasn’t sure I’d ever get on it again.

For one thing, I had forgotten how to ride a bicycle. And for another, a certain part of me felt like someone had strapped me on a metal folding chair, to which they’d taped a couple of walnuts…and then driven down ten miles of  washboard dirt road really fast.

I’m not even going to mention the next few trips with my son – who seemed to see an invisible target on me and my bike…

I was going to add a funny video about other graceful cyclists, but turns out they weren’t funny at all, so after some searching, I remembered one of my favorite songs. Bikes play a big part in it…


If you’d like read my new novelette series, Holding On To Yesterday – before it’s published, don’t to sign up for my newsletter. Just click here, fill the form out, and then confirm that you’d like to receive it when you get the email asking you whether you really want it or not.


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Holding On To Yesterday

As promised, here is the first scene of my new novelette, Holding On To Yesterday, part one in the Wishes In Time series. If you like what you read here, and would like the rest of the story before it’s published in book form, all you have to do is sign up for the newsletter by clicking on this link. There will be at least two more novelettes for this particular story, and possibly four. With each new one, I will only post the first scene on this blog, as well as my other one, with the rest to follow for subscribers only.

Because of the timing, installments will be emailed on 1/14, 1/28, 2/11 and 2/25, with publication scheduled for March 4. Hope you enjoy the story. 🙂

The raindrops pelting his face felt like the stings from a thousand ravenous fire ants as Kyle clawed his way across the spongy, water-soaked ground. A gale force wind pushed against him almost as though it were a living thing, determined to keep them apart, and yet he pressed on, inch by hard won inch.
  Still, he couldn’t get close enough to save her. He never got close enough. All he could do was watch, helpless, as she lay there dying, impaled by an impossibly huge tree limb. Its branches and leaves covered her like a shroud, leaving only her face, and one lifeless hand exposed.
  “You killed us.” Rather than being drowned out by the hellacious storm, Maggie’s soft accusation drifted across the distance, echoing in his head, cutting his heart in two. Blue eyes, filled with sadness, locked with his as she watched him fighting against the elements, determined to change the outcome this time.
  “No! I didn’t mean to,” Kyle cried, his hands fisting in the grass. Tears streamed down his face as he tried to explain, to make her understand. “I couldn’t get there in time, Mags. I was too late. I’m sorry! I’m so sorry.”
  “If you had ever wanted us, we’d have been home where we belonged. We’d be there with you now. Our daughter would be two years old.”
  Kyle had never understood why she always talked about a baby, but this was the first time she’d identified it as a girl. Why did she think they had a daughter? Because she’d desperately wanted to start a family? Because he hadn’t been ready, and he’d robbed her of the one thing she’d desired most? The pain that squeezed his chest felt like it might crush him. Thinking of a child in generic terms had somehow made it not as bad as it could have been. But – a daughter?
  Would she have had Maggie’s silky straight chestnut hair? Or would it be more like his, sandy blond with a tendency to curl? Her blue eyes, or his brown? If they’d had a daughter, she would be walking by now, maybe even talking so he could understand her.
  If he hadn’t killed Maggie. Killed her dream.
  The vision before him changed slightly. Instead of just Maggie lying there, he could see a pair of tiny legs sticking out, the head and torso hidden beneath a canopy of leaves. In a sick way it reminded him of the witch killed by a house in the movie about little people and a dancing scarecrow.
  Only it was his family who had been crushed by a falling limb during the storm. The family he could have had, only he’d hurt and chased them away because he hadn’t cared enough to make them his own. Freedom had mattered more to him in that one crucial moment than anything else. Even though he’d realized less than a day later that he’d been wrong, it had been too late. Before he could get to her, to tell her that she was his everything, to beg her to forgive him, she was gone.
  “Think about us,” Maggie whispered, as the vision wavered and began to fade.
  “No! Don’t leave,” he begged, reaching out to try and stop her. “Maggie, stay with me.”


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I have loved this video from the first time I saw it. Such a heart-wrenching visual about what can happen when someone drinks and drives. Tragedies like this don’t just affect the victims in the other car, it affects everyone who ever knew them.

I was surfing YouTube today and came across Simple Plan’s music video for their “Untitled (How Could This Happen to Me?)” song. I’ve heard the song a million times but not being a music video buff, had never seen the video or, to be honest, really paid deep attention to the lyrics and the story.

Until today.

At first I thought it was someone’s compilation put together to the music. Then I realized that no, the song actually tells the story of a car accident on a rainy night. A drunk driver crashes head-on into a car driven by a young girl, who dies. The drunk driver survives, uninjured. The story, told through the lyrics and powerful music, brought me to tears.

I was blow away by how the band incorporated the impact on all the unseen victims. When the cars collide, people in everyday activities are violently…

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