Winner, Sequel, and Hoar Frost

CongratsCongratulations, Vicky Ostler!!! You are the winner of Taylor Dean’s two books–Lancaster House and Middle AisleYEA!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I’ve given the author your email so she can contact you about whether you want those in print or ebooks. Thanks to everyone who entered a comment last week. I wish everyone could win.

Last week the mailman brought me a sweet treat that I’ve devoured for the past few days. The proof copy for my second book, Secret Keepers, came in a beautiful manila envelope. I’ve read the whole thing with picky eyes and used my red pen liberally. It’s amazing all the small things I don’t catch on the computer screen.

Secret KeepersMy goal is to get all the changes made this week and submitted to Createspace for their approval process. Once they okay it, I’ll order one more proof copy to recheck, and then hopefully I can hit that glorious PUBLISH button.

Sorry it’s taken so long. I’ve learned my lesson and will never make promises again about when a sequel will be done. I will give my MOM answer from now on (you know the one they give when kids ask “Are we there yet?”)…and say, “Not long now”.

To prepare for the upcoming release of Secret Keepers (sometime before I die), I’m giving away Eyes of Light for the rest of January (ebook only). To get one, LIKE my author Facebook page and message me that you would like a copy. I will send you a Smashwords free coupon code. Also, check out my website to see a slideshow of settings from each book.

Now to end this post, I will make you shiver with Hoar Frost. It has an awful sounding name, but it’s pretty. Life has been chilly this year in my part of Idaho (the coldest it’s been in the 7 years I’ve lived here). But I’ve learned things.

2013-01-20 2013 Jan Frost

  1. You won’t die of frost bite when you take your gloves off for a few seconds in -3 temps to take pictures of Hoar Frost. But your fingers will NEVER warm up again, unless you dunk them in hot chocolate as soon as you walk in the door. Messy, but necessary.
  2. When lakes are frozen, the fish underneath the ice are NOT frozen. My husband and son went ice-fishing last week. The temperature was -32 (do not glance over that negative symbol. It means Krypton Cold!). I think it got up to 6 degrees or something warm like that while they were out on that frozen lake catching non-frozen fish.
  3. I like my 4 wheel drive truck when the roads are snowy and icy.
  4. I don’t like the same truck in 2 wheel drive mode. It doesn’t go anywhere on the ice; the back tires just spin in vain.
  5. You must walk with tiny mincing steps in the store parking lots to avoid landing on your butt (that’s embarrassing).
  6. Ice sculptures magically appear all around your yard in this weather, usually around rain gutters or chains.
  7. Bare foot 12 year old boys like to take hammers to those same ice sculptures (even in 3 degree weather).
  8. Boys are dumb…or numb. Same thing. At the high school, I saw boys wearing only T-shirts one morning when I dropped off my daughter (the temperature read 1 degree. Yikes!).
  9. I hate inversions. They are the only weather phenomenon that make me wish for wind…to blow the bad air away.
  10. You can have fun in -20 degree weather…but only if you’re dressed for it (which means NOT what the teenage boys wear in high school)

That’s what I’ve learned from this crazy-cold winter. How’s the weather in your neck of the woods? Have you learned anything worthwhile…or have you seen crazy teenage boys do dumb/numb things that make you wonder about them? Or do you live on a balmy paradise island and are eating chilled pineapple right now? If your answer is the last one, can I come visit you?

Char Signature

33 thoughts on “Winner, Sequel, and Hoar Frost

  1. Wow! Great post. Love the cover of Secret Keepers and those tree sculptures are amazing (wish I could see larger versions of them). The slideshows at your website are a great idea. Have you considered having some bookmarks made with those scenes to promote your books?

    As you know it’s summer over here and we’re enjoying all the summer fruits like cherries and nectarines, but we’re also looking forward to the cooler weather when autumn arrives in less than six weeks.

    • Thanks, Justin. I guess I shouldn’t have made the collage. I thought you’d be able to click on it and see a larger version, but not so (and I was too lazy last night to redo it when I made the post). It was super cool! Enjoy those cherries and nectarines…and the heat. Winter is not my favorite season, but I endure it because I know it makes the three seasons that come afterward that much better. .

    • Snow is nice (when it’s not wet and sleety). It’s so cold here that all the snow everywhere has turned icy. My son threw a ‘snowball’ at his dad, and it bounced off his back completely in tact. Ouch!

  2. Inversions are the worst part of our weather here in Walla Walla. Otherwise, we’re very blessed. I remember ice fishing near Colville in much warmer weather than that, and I almost hoped not to catch fish, because that meant taking my gloves off. Putting them next to warm spots on my body was my best hope for re-warming. I also remember moonlight skiing near the lakes just east of Colville in zero degrees Fahrenheit. I thought THAT was cold! The beauty of nordic skiing is that you can get moving to warm your body and there are no frigid chair lifts to chill on. Even then, my extremities, aka hands and toes, were cold! Brrrrrrr!!!!!

    • Luckily for my husband, Cabella’s was hosting an ice-fishing event, and every time they caught a fish, they’d head over to a table and men there would clean their fish and even deep fry them for them if they wanted. I will only go with them if that luxury is available next time. I’ve never done nordic skiing at night yet, but love it during the day. In fact, we went today and it was 20 degrees warmer on top of the mountain than in the valley. Weird. We left 14 degrees in Boise to 40 degrees on top of Bogus. And the air was clean and sunny. It looked like a white ocean cloud below us covering the valley. Ick. And we were stripping off all our warm clothes because it seemed so HOT!

  3. Actually, the temperature when we went ice fishing got down to -30 on the drive there, but it had warmed up to a balmy -20 by the time we arrived at the lake. It sounds terrible, but we had a great time, and we are already planning to go again.

    • Yeah, I have stopped worrying about you guys. I think you’ll be freezing your buns off, and then you come back smiling and telling me how much fun you had! You just confuse me.

  4. These boughs were decked with hoary! Just couldn’t resist.
    I will quit complaining about 7 degrees this morning.
    I’m really looking forward to your next book!!!

  5. Okay, 41 and partly sunny now sounds downright tropical! Lest everyone think I’m a total weather wimp, I did grow up with winter temperatures that often reached well below 0 Fahrenheit. And wind chills could dip to -60F or worse! Of course, neither my husband or I plan to retire back in the Midwest. 😉

    The cover looks great for Book 2, and you don’t want to rush those edits. Better to take a bit more time to catch everything you can. “We’ll be there when we’re there.” 🙂

    • Yikes! -60 sounds terrible beyond terrible. Good idea not to retire to those temps. Not good for the arthritis, right? And thanks for the pat on the back for being tediously slow on my edits. I really like the editing process (I’m weird), but I can be a little obsessive over it. It’s hard for me to finally say…”Okay…it is done.”

  6. Lovely trees and snow photos. But trust me, you’re not selling me on Idaho in the winter! We don’t get too cold here but still, lots of freezing temperatures these past few weeks (it’s 80 degrees today, go figure). I can’t believe the number of kids showing at school with shorts and T-shirts. Elementary school kids! What the heck are the parents thinking?

    • I never suggest people come visit me in the winter. I don’t enjoy winter, so why would I ask them to come see me when I hate life? I do love the winter sports like nordic skiing and stuff like that, but not enough that I’d cry if winter just went away. Actually, after last year’s wimpy winter with no snow until the end of January (and worrying about enough water for the next year), I’m good with this winter dropping some white stuff. But I’m ready for the temps to go above freezing again. And maybe the schools should put in their dress codes a little clause about wearing at least “long sleeves” during the winter if the temperature is below freezing.

  7. Congrats! You are so close now. Must be a great feeling. 🙂 And yes, agreed on the boy thing. I’m not sure why middle-school and high-school age boys think wearing a coat is uncool, but apparently it is. And yes, some of them even wear shorts in the winter. That’s fine if you live in Florida, but Ohio and Idaho? Me thinks not.

    Lovely pics, by the way.

    • Yes, our neighbor (8th grade) wore shorts last week when it was 3 degrees one morning on my thermometer. And he has to walk 5 minutes to the bus stop with my son. Thankfully, he must have a half brain, because he told my son he wasn’t going to do the shorts thing again. He was cold.

  8. These photos are fantastic and I love the cover of Secret Keepers – well done 😉

    I hope the final proof goes well, don’t rush it – it’ll happen 😀

    • Thanks, Dianne. And I haven’t rushed it. It’s been in the editing process for months now. It will be good when it’s finally done.

  9. ooooh… can’t wait – am reading Eyes of light now… 😀 hooked…
    Love the shots of the frost – i didn’t know that they are called Hoar frost 😉
    Congrats on the 2nd book!

    • Glad you’re liking the 1st book, Sandra. I’m working my heart out trying to get these last edits done on the 2nd one. I wish I was faster. And you know, I didn’t know it was called hoar frost either, till someone else called it that and I looked it up. Not my favorite name for such a pretty phenomenon.

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