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Interview with Kim from Read Your Writes

 

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Today I’m interviewing Kim from Read Your Writes Book Reviews! Kim recently celebrated her 4-year blogging anniversary.

Kim’s a bit shy and a whole lot private.

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We’re going to get to know her better today. I’ve got to say, as much fun as it is to talk about myself, this interview was even better.

So let’s get started. 

Welcome, Kim! Let’s start with the most obvious. What got you into blogging and reviewing? What keeps you going?

Hmm.  Okay, so here’s the long story.  On a Thanksgiving trip to Texas, my nephew wanted to go to the movies.  He insisted we see Twilight.  I complained the whole way there.  Then I fell in love with the movie and wanted to know more about the series.  But the book was freaking long.  I mean seriously, who reads a book that’s 500+ pages?  On the same trip, my mother gave me my first Nora Roberts book saying, “Your head is always in the clouds, you can read this.”  I started reading the book there and on the airplane ride back.  I thought, “Hey, reading isn’t so bad.”  I then decided to give Twilight a try.

I got into blogging because being a stay-at-home mom sucks.  It’s boring and you’re by yourself all the time.  Let’s face it, there’s just so much communication you can have with a two year old.  And I’m sure my husband got tired of me calling him at work for absolutely nothing at all.  He’s actually the one who came up with the idea of me blogging.  That way I could be behind the computer (because I’m shy) and still interact with people.  Plus I wasn’t going to Target every day, buying things I didn’t need, just to talk to the cashiers.

What keeps me going?  I love reading books and getting to interact with people.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really nice authors and some not so nice ones.  I don’t get paid for this, but reviewing and blogging is a job.  It’s a pretty cool one too.

Tell us the first scene from a book you’ve reviewed that immediately pops into your head. No cheating! (And yes, you will be judged.)

Okay. The first scene that pops in my head is from Victoria James’ The Best Man’s Baby.  The heroine finds out she’s pregnant by her best friend’s husband’s brother and said brother (Jake) has been MIA since the night they were together. There’s a barbeque and Jake shows up with one of his flings. The heroine is upset and walks up to him and says, “Welcome home daddy,”as she sticks the pregnancy test stick in his burger.

Obviously, you’re well-read and read across a lot of genres. What’s your biggest turn-off? (It can be anything—cover, blurb, writing, combination of all of the above….) What’s the fingernails-on-the-chalkboard for you?

I’m a visual person.  Covers grab my attention.  If I don’t like the cover, then I’m not wasting my time reading the blurb.  I know that sounds bad, but it happens.  Now, if it’s an author I like I just ignore the cover (okay I still think to myself this is bad), but still read the book.

I hate getting cold emails from tour companies I’ve never heard of.  I only use a select few, because there are A LOT of bad ones out there.

I also hate group emails where the person is so rude that they don’t bother to BCC people.  Oh and authors signing me up for their newsletters without asking me.  I know you signed me up because the email is going to the wrong account.

You have children and they’re never going to see this—so which one would you give away? And under what circumstances?

I went through hell for my kids.  They’re stuck with me FOREVER!  Even when I’m dead, I want them to hear my voice in their heads.

When authors ask you for favours –*ahem*—what’s your initial reaction? Again, no cheating!

What kind of favor are you talking about?  If you ask about helping to hide a dead body.  NOT going to happen.  I can’t go to jail.  I wouldn’t last there.

Now, if you’re talking appearing on the blog, I’m cool with that.  Usually, I spend about 5 minutes being excited someone asked to appear.  But it’s also the way I’m approached.  I have a name, so use it.  If someone wants me to read their book and I can’t I tend to feel really bad.

If you could get away with murder, which fictional character would you kill? How would you do it?

Oh. I just got this wicked smile on my face.  I’m sure there are several.  But the first character to pop into my head is the mother from Wendy S. Marcus’ Loving You Is Easy.  The mother is/was all about status.  She didn’t care that her daughter was date raped by her boyfriend and his friend.  The boyfriend had prominent, elicit parents.  The mother thought her daughter should be happy that he was dating her.

Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Melissa Marr walk into a bar. All three are hitting on Lee Child. Who do you root for?

I found my love of reading through Nora Roberts, so I have to root for her.

Boxers, briefs, or boxer-briefs? Loincloth? (Sorry—just watched Tarzan last week….) White or black socks? What’s your opinion on ball caps?

Boxers and I don’t care.  Ball caps worn backwards.

Of the critters currently roaming your back yard—which would you eat first if that zombie apocalypse ever strikes?

You’re funny.  Well, there is Thomas the snake in the backyard.  Since I gave him a name, I can’t possibly kill and eat him. Plus, there’s the issue of me being afraid of snakes.  The lizards creep me out too.  There’s the frogs, but I’m sure they’re slimy.  I guess I’m going to have to go with one of the squirrels.  I’m sure I can figure out how to cook it. I’m just not sure how to catch it and kill it.  Okay, I’m royally screwed here.  I’m going to starve to death and the zombies who I don’t like are going to kill me.

And let’s end with another obvious question… Who’s your second favourite author? (Because we’re just going to go ahead and assume that your first is me.)

Wow. You aren’t nice at all.  Second favorite author…..I have a slew of favorite authors.  There’s absolutely NO way I can give them numbers.

Okay Ms. Paula, this was fun.  Thanks for putting me on the spot.  I now understand what you authors go through, when I ask you questions.  But seriously, thank you for asking me to appear on your blog.  If anyone cares (please care), they can find me online at these places.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Bloglovin’

Kim, thanks for being here! You are truly a good sport—despite being a sissy when it comes to zombies ’n squirrel-killin’… I bet you’ll get over that pretty quick. Especially if they’re zombie squirrels.

Don’t eat those ones.

And because interviews are so much fun, next week I’ll introduce readers to three of the male characters from my Spy Games series. (Trust me, Kim. You got off easy.)

Readers, if you have any questions for Kim, be sure to leave them in the comments below. She’s a little cagey about her criminal past, though. Be sensitive.

Have a happy week! And don’t forget to follow her!

There’s More of Me to Love

I have a shiny new red bicycle!

 

Not exactly as shown

Not exactly as shown

It’s no big secret that writing is a sedentary and solitary occupation. It’s possible I spend way too much time at the computer–although my word count contradicts me. Consequently, I might have put on a few (and I’m understating this) pounds.

The Foreign Guy and I have been trying find an athletic activity to do together, but our options are limited. We don’t share the same interests.

I love to run. I plan to get back into running. But arthritis has settled into a toe I broke years ago, and for the past few months, running has not been an enjoyable experience. Plus, the Foreign Guy hates to run. HATES it, despite being a sports-minded guy and a  speedskater in a former life.

Love the pink

Love the pink

I got a side eye when I suggested yoga. We both hate it, but I’m willing to stretch while watching television at night. I wouldn’t call what I do yoga–not in the traditional sense–but at least I’m off the sofa. He doesn’t care what I call it. He’s having no part of it.

This isn't exactly as shown either.

This isn’t exactly as shown either.

I can’t swim and I have no desire to learn. Which is funny because I spent fifteen years of my life at pools with my sons for swimming lessons, training sessions, and competitions.

That leaves us with bicycling.

The Foreign Guy grew up on a bicycle. He can bicycle circles around me. The last time we visited his family, I was rear-ended by another cyclist (who’d never seen a grown woman take three tries to get a bike in motion), drove into his friend’s parents’ shrubbery, and narrowly avoided being taken out  by a car hauling a trailer. Good luck was with me that day.

So in between books being written, and books being released, (for the latest, check out www.paulaaltenburg.com), I plan to take up a new hobby and lose the winter muffin top.

And before I forget, Her Spy to Have is on sale for 99 cents for the month of July! Plus, the third book in the series, His Spy at Night, will be coming in September.

Be sure to leave me a note and tell me how you plan to get your exercise this summer.

What’s your favourite activity?

 

 

Writing for Fun or Profit

Fun or Profit-

 

It’s no secret that I write mostly for women.

Mostly. Not entirely.

When I was little and read books written for boys–and there were many–in my head, if there wasn’t one, I always inserted a girl. IMHO, girl perspectives brought something extra to those stories. While boy books made me think, I looked for books that also made me feel. Those weren’t as common as you’d expect.

As a teenager I was reading westerns I borrowed from my father and Harlequin romances supplied my grandmother. That’s how I got my thinking/feeling fix. (I once referred to Louis L’Amours as romances for guys and I thought the male librarian was going to have a stroke.)

I got my start reading fantasy a little later in life with Thieves’ World. Those books had female protagonists. They were kickass. I was hooked. I moved on to Piers Anthony’s Chronicles of Immortality. After that it was Guy Gavriel Kay, David Eddings, and Terry Goodkind.

But that’s not all I read. Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and M.M. Kaye all factored in.

These days, as a writer, my optimal mix is 50% romance and 50% plot. While I write primarily for women, I want my books to also appeal to those male readers who want a story that makes them feel as well as think.

This book is about cowboys and aliens, and a kickass female sheriff who’s also a retired gunfighter.

There aren’t any cowboys, aliens or demons. There are Canadian spies!

This cover is so misleading. It’s about cowboys and demons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of this brings me to the point of my post. Yes, I write for profit. This is my career and I love it. But I also write for fun. I want to share what I love with my reades, and I love ideas  (and apparently cowboys). I love exploring “What ifs.” I have enough story outlines to take me through the next decade.

I hope you’ll join me.

 

Her Spy to Hold Releases on Tuesday

Kale and Irina’s story is the second book in my Spy Games series and it’s coming on Tuesday!

 

I’ve got a soft spot for Kale. He’s a bit of a jock, affable and fun-loving, and he’s met his match with Irina. She’s serious, super smart, and more than able to hold her own with a spy who lies for a living. He thinks he’s pretty good at it until he meets her.

Two can play this particular game.

When software engineer Dr. Irina Glasov’s top secret project is compromised, Irina has no one she can trust and only one place to turn.

Canadian Security Intelligence Services officer Kale Martin is ready to step up to the plate. Finished with his latest assignment, he’s all-in to help the reserved but very sexy Dr. Glasov find her man. Getting the brilliant doctor to let down her guard long enough for things to heat up between them quickly becomes a game Kale plays to win.

Irina’s not foolish enough to trust her heart to a man who lies for a living, and she knows he’s been lying to her. That doesn’t mean she’s not willing to play along.

Unfortunately, a cyberstalker is playing with her, too. Irina soon has no choice but to put all her faith in Kale, because with a higher priority case unfolding for CSIS, he’s left on his own to investigate. Can they work together to figure out who’s hacking into her computer before her reputation is ruined?

Or is Kale the one who will ruin her? 

You can read the first chapter here.

In keeping with my current spy obsession,  I picked up a new book a few weeks ago from a writer friend. Her name is Cindy Anstey and her YA release Love, Lies and Spies is really good. This is her first book and it’s already climbing the charts. If you like Jane Austen, give it a try:

 

Don’t you love that cover?

Back to me.

If you want to read Her Spy to Have, the first in my Spy Games series featuring Isabelle and Garrett, before you pick up the second book, you can find all the buy links on my website.

And be sure to check back to my website on Tuesday so you can pick up your copy of Her Spy to Hold. The third book, His Spy at Night, is coming in September so stay tuned for updates on Harry and Marlies’s story.

The Spy Games series:

  • Her Spy to Have, Book One ~ Available Now
  • Her Spy to Hold, Book Two ~ May 24th
  • His Spy at Night, Book Three ~ September 2016
  • Book Four, TBA

Happy reading!