Monthly Archives: April 2012

ROW 80


Sorry I’ve been gone but computer problems have made getting anything done difficult. I did write 3000 words this past week. And computer or not I’m ready to hop back into the ROW80 and get back on track.


So here are my goals-


1000 words per day- it can be blog or WIP but I must write before I can get onto the web

edit 1 chapter of book two that has been looked over by my critique group.

read blogs daily- including blogger so that reading them stays fun and doesn’t become a chore.

Play on FB and twitter 3x a daily no more then 15min at a time.

Pintrest 3x per week.

Blog 3x per week.



Start diet from personal training (not looking forward to this)

Exercise 5 days per week.

Read one book for spiritual/personal growth


How is everyone else doing??




High Kick Girl


So this high school Japanese girl has managed to become a great marital artist, yet in all of her training has missed the spiritual lessons of Karate. Anyway her teacher refuses to give her a black belt. In her desire to prove her strength, she makes a stupid (she is a teenager) choice and winds up in a gang.

You need a buddy to laugh and heckle at the movie with you, it will make this more fun. The martial arts is okay. The sensei is the best, but unfortunately he doesn’t fight until the end. However, you can watch Japanese girls in school girl uniforms fighting if that’s your thing.

If you’re a fan of Asian martial arts movies, I say go for it. Expect cheesiness and a predictable plot, but there are some fun martial arts, classic Karate philosophy, and girls in short pleated skirts.

Time Travel, WWE and Jennette Marie Powell


Today I have author Jennette Marie Powell blackmailed um I mean willingly hanging out with me. 🙂

Jennette Marie Powell is the author of several time travel and paranormal romance novels. A lifelong resident of the Dayton, Ohio area, she likes to dig beneath the surface and find the extraordinary beneath the mundane, whether in people, places, or historical events. While she has no desire to change the past, she enjoys learning about local history, particularly the early 20th century. Her preferred places to time travel are from her computer or Dayton’s Carillon Historical Park. By day, she wrangles data and websites in between excursions to search for the aliens and spacecraft that legends say are stashed away on the military base where she works.

1- How old were you when you fell in love with reading? Can you remember what book/ books it was that inspired you?

I can’t remember NOT reading! Or at least, being read to. The earliest favorite story I can remember is “The Cold-Blooded Penguin,” which was in a book that was part of a four-volume set of Disney stories. This story is about a penguin who couldn’t stand the cold in Antarctica, and finally pursued his dream of moving north by cutting a big boat out of the ice. My parents read that story to me so many times I’ll bet they can still recite it word for word! I blogged about it not too long ago.

2- What is your favorite guilty pleasure book? The one you’re embarrassed to let other people know you read. Come on you can tell us we’ll keep it a secret.

Well, it’s not really a book. I don’t feel guilty reading any of them! The only thing I can think of is web comics and blogs, because I usually read them at work – while taking a break, or waiting for a slow process on my computer, of course! If I’m stuck at work with nothing to do (hasn’t happened lately, thank goodness!), I’ve been known to get into some nice, juicy WWE fanfic.

I am a fanfic fan too.

3- When the zombie apocalypse comes what is going to be your weapon of choice?

I think I’ll just go hide in my daughter’s high school. According to her, there’s so little brain matter there, I doubt the zombies would go near the place!

LOL- that’s great.

4- If I was bitten by a zombie I have a list of people I want to bite. Who’s at the top of your list?

Politicians! Starting with the ones who keep calling my house. No, I’m not voting for you. Go away. OTOH, maybe not – if I’m looking for brains, my chances are probably better at my daughter’s school.

5- We’re all supposed to be eating healthy, but what naughty treat tempts you the most?

Mountain Dew! It’s soooo bad for you, and soooo yummy! Plus, you can’t beat that awesome combo of sugar and caffeine for a wakeup after lunch. I do limit myself to one can a day, though.

I’ve never gotten into soda- but it sounds addictive I think I’ll stay away just in case.

6- Naughty- confessions, what TV show do you love but hate to admit to watching?

Well, as you might guess from my comments above, that would definitely be WWE wrestling! All those hawt, muscular guys in tight pants! Add in the ridiculously absurd story lines, and who cares if it’s fake? Unfortunately, watching WWE is something I haven’t had time to do much of since I published and kicked my writing into higher gear, so I don’t know any of the story lines they’re doing now.

7- What do you love most about your current book?

I love taking supposedly ordinary people in an ordinary place, and giving them something “extra” – in this case, a psychic time travel ability – and throwing them into extraordinary situations that they go through hell to get out of. And believe me, they do go through hell in prehistoric Ohio in my upcoming release, Time’s Fugitive.

Time travel is so interesting, I love it.
8- Give us a super secret peek into what you’re working on next?

This summer I’m planning to release a science fiction romance called Hangar 18: Legacy, in which a psychic Air Force research psychologist is contacted by an extraterrestrial trapped somewhere beneath the military base where he works. His only hope of freeing the being – and keeping his sanity – is subliminal messaging software being developed by a woman who believes in neither the aliens nor the hero’s abilities. Hangar 18 isn’t as well-known as Area 51, but according to the legends, it’s where the alien bodies and spacecraft from the Roswell incident were initially taken, before Area 51. (Oh, and there is no Hangar 18. I checked. LOL)

Oooo sounds really good. I can’t wait.
9- What style of book do you secretly long to write, but are afraid to try and do?

I would love to write something uproariously funny! Yet, while I love comedy books and movies, I can’t write funny to save myself. Oh, there are amusing moments in my books every now and then, but that’s as much as I can muster. But as long as my readers enjoy my dark-and-serious stories, I’m good with that!

Comedy requires such great timing. It would be a challenge to try and write it.

One unwanted gift. One great wrong. One chance to make things right…
Tony Solomon never wanted to be a time traveler. But when a freak accident gifts him with the ability to travel in time, he becomes an unwilling initiate in the Saturn Society, a secret society of time travelers. Determined to prevent his daughter’s murder three years earlier, he violates the Society’s highest law and becomes a fugitive. But the Society refuses to tell Tony how to time-travel within his own life, so he seeks help from Charlotte, the woman whose life he saved during a prior trip to the past.
When Tony arrives in 1933 looking for answers, Charlotte is both thrilled and terrified to see her childhood hero. Loyal to the Society, she is honor-bound to bring to justice those who manipulate time for their own gain. In giving him sanctuary, she faces a terrible choice-condemn the man she loves and to whom she owes her life, or deny her deepest convictions by helping him escape and risk sharing his sentence.

Time’s Enemy is available in ebook and print at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and many other online retailers.

I know now that you have found out about Jennette you want to join me in following her. You can find her at facebook, twitter Goodreads, and her blog.

Blackmail Material


Okay I am still behind in my blogs- I’ve written several I’m hoping to create a few more and then turn them into my editor- so please excuse all of my mistakes this is raw ramblings.

So I have won two awards recently and this is the perfect time to honor them- see blogs come to those who ask *snickers* You love my editor now don’t you, Kilian would have stopped that.

I won the Sunshine award from Patricia Yager Delagrange Patricia blogs about animals I always learn something new from her blog and get to see the best pictures!

I also won the Versatile Blogger Award from the lyrical and poetic Bill Jones Jr.

For both awards I’m supposed to tell you things about myself. I’m going to try and pick stuff I haven’t mentioned before without incriminating myself too badly.

1- I was born in Atlanta, Georgia I left when I was four so I can’t do that sickly sweet southern female manipulation thing, but there are a few words like pecan that I say with a Southern accent sometimes.

2- I love snickers bars- love them.

3- I became vegetarian when I was sixteen while I was working at a health food store. Only time I stopped was during my first pregnancy when I had skin crawling intense food cravings.

4- I had an ancestor who fought in the Civil War named Zopher.

5- My last name is a combo of my first husbands name McKenna and my current hubby Johnson. I hyphenated only to keep my last name the same as my sons. My hubby wanting to be a family also took McKenna so he’s a Mckenna-Johnson and our daughters last name is Mckenna-Johnson.

6- I was sixteen when I fell in love for the first time, his name Michael Lawrence Price- I have no idea where he is now. I wish I knew.

7- A friend taught me how to do tequila shots out of Baby Loony Tunes sippy cups.

8- Muppet Treasure Island is one of my favorite movies. I made my son watch it a lot when he was little.

9- I ran track in High School- I wasn’t a valued member of the team.

10- I cried the first time I saw my son in a suit. He was fifteen, I think, and he looked so grown up I just couldn’t help but tear up. That might be one of his most embarrassing moments.

I nominate

Heather Hawkes a dear friend who blogs about homeschooling and her journey to becoming a lactation consultant.

Lani Wendt Young fellow YA author and half crazed mom. 🙂 She also posts pictures of lovely Samoan men with tattoos.

Lesann Berry who makes me laugh and blogged about a pirate festival I must go to one day!

Mhairi Simpson who’s journey I enjoy watching.


Marlene Dotterer who introduced me to Thomas Andrews the shipbuilder for the Titanic, a truly remarkable man.

So grab either award, post some info about yourself, and pass them on, or not 🙂

Statues and Swedish Pop


My blog posts that are ready to go are on my laptop- which isn’t working, so yesterday afternoon when I realized I didn’t have one prepped I panicked. I’d been up till 1am the nigh before woke a bit before 6am and worked all day- so my brain is basically mush. So I turn to youtube in the hopes of finding something moving/ gross/ funny whatever to entertain you.
Okay so I have combined my need to research with posting something for today. Here is a video of a couple performing statue, I need to write this from the woman’s POV not sure how I’m going to do that just yet, but hopefully it works out well.

And because it’s Monday we need to have music, so here is the Swedish Eurovison Song Contest performer Loreen with Euphoria. I like the song, the dance is very different- seems like a modern dance which is something I’m not use to with a pop song. What do you think?

The Trip


So these two comedians/impressionists travel through Northern England to review restaurants. For me this movie was a bit low on the food porn in spite of the fact that eating was a major part of the story.

It was fun and the country side beautiful, but I didn’t get into it that much, probably because one of the characters is a total jerk. I didn’t like him and I didn’t sympathize with him. The other guy was pleasant, but would slip into impersonating celebrities constantly which got a bit old.

I don’t know, for me this just didn’t work, but it might work for you. Check out the trailer and see.

Also I would keep it to older teens and adults for sex, language, and drug use.

I Don’t Need Hell I Have Pants in My Closet.


That time has come again. I am down to three pairs of pants I know fit. Well, one pair that is so baggy I have to belt them, a pair of yoga pants, and one pair that fit nicely. I need to go through all of the jeans in my closet to try and find a least one more pair that fits. The weather is warming up here, and so I begin to flip through my light-weight jeans, the ones hanging up fit a few months ago. At least I think they all fit.

Will they fit now? Do I dare try them on? First I have to decide if I can afford to spend the rest of the afternoon pouty with a bruised ego, because let’s face it after trying on the second pair of jeans that don’t fit, I will begin a downward spiral of deep pouting, hiding in a book, and getting nothing done.

It’s sad, yes I know, but hey . . . nope I don’t have anything witty to add, it’s just sad.

I can hear you “Um,hey, Alica how about getting rid of the pants that don’t fit and buying some new ones?”

Okay that sounds reasonable, but I’m a writer. Reasonable isn’t really what I do. Anyway the ones that are WAY too small are packed away and the ones in my closet will fit when I lose a few pounds. SNORT and how long have I been saying that?

Also, buying new pants means spending money on clothes at a size I’m not happy with,and that makes the pouty turn into bitter angry resentment, which is worse, trust me.

So I flip through my jeans and pick out a pair I remember wearing a lot last summer. Holding my breath and sucking in my tummy (like that helps) I pull them on.

Buttoned? YES!

Zipper? YES!

Woo-hoo! happy shimmy, I turn away from my closet. I won’t press my luck. One more pair to wear is enough right now, and who knows maybe all this working out will pay off and next time my closet will seem a little less like Hell.

I Am Not Perfect


I’ll give you a moment to recover from the shocking news . . . Better? good. As you know, I have recently published my first novel, which much to my surprise has not blazed across the literary sky crashed to earth and changed our very history.

However, it has been a major catalyst of growth. Not only putting myself out to the world to be judged(ACK!), but learning to let go, trust and face my biggest fear. People have found mistakes. *GASP* I wanted to melt like Elphaba in Oz when Dorothy threw water on her.

But nothing happened.

This was huge for me, because grammar and such is my weakest point, although I must point out the mistakes are things I should have caught, a word that should be plural that wasn’t, an ‘a’ that needed to be in the sentence. Stuff like that.

One problem with being self- published is I’m the only one to blame. At first I tried to be cool about it. It was a friend who gently mentioned it to me. Kind of a whispered, hey your zipper is down comment, one of love and not wanting me to show the world my undies.

So I’m pretending to be cool, then I didn’t get enough sleep, which means my brain starts to spiral down into depression while listing every mistake I have ever made in the past twenty years. This can go on for hours.

So, I forced myself to go to yoga and hated most of the class. I have never hated yoga before, but the teacher was challenging us, and my arms began to burn during the first down dog. See why sleep is important? Then she kept doing high lunge, which is not my pose. I almost cried several times. Had I been at a yoga studio I might have but this is a yoga class at the gym and so I sucked it up.
The teacher says something about going at your own pace, and how challenging these poses are, and that she’s proud of how well we’re doing. And it clicks. It’s more important that I show up, try, and work to improve then being perfect.

I will admit, because we’re all such close friends, that I did wrestle with myself over continuing to wallow in self-pity and pouting for the rest of the day or really accepting this new found grow-up wisdom and moving on. Before class was over I was feeling good again.

Writing, revising, and publishing a book is hard work, and I have learned a lot and will continue to learn a lot. I now have a new plan for editing so hopefully I’ll find these before my book gets to the reader. I am not selling perfection I am selling, I hope, a great story. Now I have read my book out loud (again) and corrected the mistakes I found, because while perfection isn’t the goal, improving is. To keep my fears of failure at bay I remind myself that I wrote 98,000 words, so even if 10% of them are wrong that’s still an ‘A’ 🙂

So if any of you enjoyed my story but felt you couldn’t give it a good review because of the mistakes email me, I’d love to give you a copy of the new improved Phoenix Child for your enjoyment. I don’t promise perfection, but improvement. And for those of you who enjoyed my story and were able to overlook my mistakes, thank you.

How do you deal with failure? Have you ever been afraid of something and then had it happen?

And to lighten our Monday some fun music, these women from Russia are too cute!

Burke and Hare


So here we have a British comedy with Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Jessica Hynes, Tim Curry, and this cast list alone should make you run out and get this movie. It’s a dark comedy about the Edinburgh medical school’s need for bodies in the early 1900’s. Two men down on their luck happen upon a newly dead body and sell it for a tidy sum. They need more money, and grave robbing is out. The local police guard the cemeteries closely. So they create their own dead bodies by killing people.

Even though they do this, I never once disliked them. I should: they were cold blooded killers, but the movie is done in such a way that you can’t help but like them, or at least I couldn’t.

You might not want to eat during this movie: there are autopsies being done. I’d keep it to older teens and adults due to the graphic nature.

Sexy Norsemen, Reality TV, and Kris Tualla


Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Kris Tualla a valued member of my local RWA chapter.

Kris Tualla, a dynamic award-winning and internationally published author of historical romances, writes with a fast-paced and succinct style. Her plots are full of twists, passion, and very satisfying outcomes! Kris started in 2006 with nothing but a nugget of a character in mind, and has created a dynasty – The Hansen Series. Norway is the new Scotland!

Kris is an active member of both Romance Writers of America and the Historical Novel Society. She is an enthusiastic speaker and teacher, and created Arizona Dreamin’ – Arizona’s first romance-reader event!

1. How old were you when you fell in love with reading? Can you remember what book/books inspired you?

My first “chapter books” were the animal stories by Thornton Burgess; I believe I was 8 when I began to devour them. By 11, I was reading every book of the “Black Stallion” series by Walter Farley. “Heidi” was another favorite – I had my mother’s copy from the 1930s and read it 5-6 times at least. Then I read “Gone With the Wind” in junior high. Twice.

I love the Black Stallion.

2. We all have favorite books, the books we read over and over again. What other books have you read more than twice?

I discovered Kathleen Woodiwiss in college (early 1970s) and read her first 6 novels repeatedly, all the way through the 1980s. In 2006, I discover Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series and read each of her first 4 books twice. The one book in my life which – when I read the last paragraph, I flipped to the front and immediately started it again – was “Shogun.”

My mother adored Shogun.

3. What is your favorite guilty pleasure? The one you’re embarrassed to let other people know about. Come on you can tell us, we’ll keep it a secret.

***Looks around for witnesses, then whispers her answer:*** Reality shows. But ONLY the “good” ones: Idol/X-Factor/America’s Got Talent… Biggest Loser… Bachelor/ette (my HUSBAND got me hooked!)… Celebrity Apprentice.

To counterbalance, I brag about watching Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Castle and White Collar.

Castle and White Collar are two of my favorites. I haven’t gotten into America’s Got Talent, but I love Britian’s Got Talent- I watch it on youtube.

4. If you were to write yourself into your book what kind of character would you be?

I am my heroines. I mean really, aren’t we all? They are the best of our intentions, the most polished of our skills, and a mirror to our own flaws. But in the end, we triumph.

I love that answer- it’s true my heroes and heroines have a lot of qualities that I wish I had.

5. What do you love most about your current book?

My hero. He’s a DEAF private investigator – “A Discreet Gentleman of Discovery” – in 1720s Norway. He’s intelligent, gorgeous, clever, beautiful, determined, so handsome, honorable… and deeply damaged. The heroine shakes up his carefully constructed world and over 3 books – so far – challenges every aspect of his existence. He is fundamentally changing, and healing, in the process.

Sounds wonderful- I love characters with unique characters.

6. If your book was turned into a movie who you play your main characters?

I have 6 books out, so I’ll use my Nicolas & Sydney trilogy to answer that: NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU and JENNIFER CONNELLY. I discovered Nikolaj in the 8-episode FOX series “New Amsterdam” when I was working on the trilogy and fell head-over-heels for this amazing Danish actor with the same name as my hero. He is currently starring as Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones.

Shoot. I just betrayed my real reason for watching, didn’t I? 😉

It’s okay we won’t tell. Great choices I would so watch them in a movie together.

7. Give us a super secret peek into what you’re working on next?

***Looks around AGAIN for witnesses, then whispers her answer even more softly:*** My discreet gentleman’s trilogy is in the hands of Desert Breeze Publishing and will be released in March, August and December of 2012. So now I’m going back to write Nicolas Hansen’s grandfather’s and father’s stories. Nicolas, himself, gave me the plot lines in “A Woman of Choice”:

“Martin Gunnar Hansen was born in Norway and emigrated to America at age twenty-seven. He met a good Norse girl on the ship and they were married by the captain. By the time the ship docked in Boston Harbor, my father was a month past conception.”


“My father applied here in Missouri for a land grant. Then he went back to Pennsylvania and told my mother that he was moving to the Missouri Territory and would she please come with him. She said ‘yes’ and they married in August of 1782. They moved to this land that same month, much to the consternation of her parents. Miss Kirsten Sven was their only child and they were not well pleased to have her go traipsing off to the unsettled wilderness.”

So many wonderful books to look forward to. Thanks so much for joining us here today Kris it’s been a lot of fun having you here. Because I know you want to keep up with Kris and all the great books she’s working on you can find her on Facebook, Blog, website, or find her @KrisTualla on Twitter. All of her books can be found here.

“A Discreet Gentleman of Discovery” – Passed over as heir to the Hansen dynasty because he was deaf, Brander Hansen’s life’s goal is to gain his own estate and prove his father’s decision wrong. Working as an investigator for hire in 1721 Christiania, Norway, he invests in a likely opportunity – until the lady of that same estate requests his assistance in saving her ancestral home.

To view the “A Discreet Gentleman of Discovery” silent trailer in ASL:

To view the traditional trailer: