Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Inception Meets Maui Meets Award Season

My first published novel, The Dream Jumper's Promise, (look to your right) is nominated for Best Indie First Book by the readers associated with Indie Romance Convention. I'm touched that somebody or somebodies nominated my lil ole book. Of course I think it's an awesome read full of twists and surprises and has one of the best love stories ever, but then I wrote it. 60 Reviews with 4.5 stars out of 5 is really good, I think, and I'm thrilled to be able to say it's nominated for something. But then, if you know me, you also know that I am no stranger to self promotion. As an actress and singer for almost 30 years, I don't have any problem telling people I'm amazingly fantastic because if I don't believe it, no one else will.
Back to me and my award:
This is the link to vote but unfortunately I am not tech savvy enough to know how to insert a real link into my blog to instantly transport you to this page. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I need to get successful enough to warrant a secretary/computer genius person. Maybe if I win this award on Monday...
I'm proud of my book and how hard it's working to reach its readers who I believe are middle aged women who love Hawaii and eat pasta on Thursday with a fork and spoon. However, I've found that men like the story too and so now I'm not sure who wants to read it the most. The novel has a mystery that satisfies the curious mind, a tropical setting that will have you smelling the plumeria and feeling the warm trade wind on your face, and a romance that will have you puckering up without realizing it as you read about Jamey and Tina (and Noble).
If you like reading, and don't mind paying 99 cents for several days worth of quality entertainment, click on the book cover to the right, buy my book, read it and vote for me on Monday. And while you're at it, go ahead and write me a nice review (see my blog on how to write a review) on Amazon and then go ahead and buy my other book Necessary Detour. If you like that one, I'll redirect you to my novella that is a lot like being on The Bachelor. According to my reviews it's really 'cute'.
Both The Dream Jumper's Promise and Necessary Detour will be available in print next week for those of you who appreciate holding the printed version in your hands. I know I do.
Anyone who likes my books will be happy to know that the second Dream Jumper novel is plotted and will be out this summer. It's set in Nicaragua.
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I'm Nominated for the Liebster Award!

So how does the Liebster Award work? Here are the rules:

Thank the person who nominated you (Much Appreciation 
Post eleven random facts about yourself. Answer the eleven questions asked by the person who nominated you. Think of a new set of eleven questions and nominate eleven others to answer them.
Sounds like fun!
So, here we go:
Random Facts:
1. I'm afraid of talking on the phone.
2. I'm Canadian, born in Belleville Ontario, thank you and excuse me
3. I own a lot of coats, like some own a lot of shoes
4. My great great uncle was pioneer missionary in China
5. I'm cuckoo for babies and dogs. Nuts. Love 'em!
6. I like to paint rooms, rearrange furniture and decorate
7. I used to weigh almost 200 pounds (5'3") for about 3 years. Thanks Slimfast
8. I warmed up an audience for Maya Angelou once on Maui
9. I was the BluBlocker sunglasses infommercial host on international TV
10. Downton Abbey Fan
11. Gonna write my memoir soon and it's called The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Girl 

From Brooke:
Now...what questions do I want the authors I nominate to answer?
Brooke's Questions, Kim's answers. Maybe a bit boring.

1. Who is on your auto-buy list? I'm not even sure what this means. I am so not techie. At All.
2. What celebrity would you like to make out with right now? Sawyer from LOST
3. What is your worst personality flaw? Stubborn, disorganised, Lackidaisical. 
4. What restaurant anywhere in the world would you love to eat in, and why? Hula Grill, Maui - Love the setting on Kaanapali Beach and the amazing Opakapaka
5. What is your personal motto? Make the world a better place
6. What three words best describe your personality? Chill, Happy, Determined
7. What was your worst nightmare about? Witches chasing me around the house when I was 5
8. What three songs are the most played on you iPod (or the like) right now? Swedish House Mafia- Don't You Worry Child, U2's ONE, Taylor Swift Trouble
9. If you could go anywhere with your significant other this weekend, where would it be? My cousin's house in Nicaragua. Hubby has never been and he'd love it!
10. If they made a reality show about you, what would it be called? Kimmy's Busy World
11. If you could choose any time period to live in other than your own, what would it be and why? I like it here and now. I wouldn't want to do without TV, computers, phones and I don't want to see what happens in the future, unless it's to see future grandchildren grow up.

Now I need to nominate 11 others and make up some questions for them! Hmm, let's see.
Christine Cook Fairchild, Lisa Costantino, Kelley Harrell, Carol Mason, Carolyn Estes,  Alicia Dean, Rebecca Clarke, Julie Branagh, Kaylea Cross, Lori Leger, Niecey Roy
Post 11 Random things about yourself, then answer my thought-provoking questions and send me your answers at or on FB :
1. If you could be a recipe, what would it be?
2. How many times a day do you say a swear word?
3. What's your favorite song right now that when it comes on the radio, you sing along?
4. Where is the farthest from home you've gone?
5. Why am I so likable?
6. Dream car, if you could drive anything and kids didn't come.
7. Make up a funny name for a book about romance among sanitation workers.
8. If you could wake up to any face tomorrow, whose would it be?
9. Body?
10. Coke or Pepsi?
11. How do you know me, or do you?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Freaky Dreams-Had Any?

Dreams can be freaky. Just the thought of going off somewhere with strangers while you sleep is enough to keep anyone awake. Anyone or anything can enter your dream life to attack or torment. Conversely, you can do anything within a dream, be anyone you want. Wouldn’t it be FAN-Freaky-TASTIC to just set an order for a dream about your favorite movie star or a tropical vacation and then go to sleep knowing it would be your REM entertainment? 

Some believe you can. I tried it the other night but it kind of backfired. I was thinking about Hugh Jackman singing to me when I went to sleep but instead of dreaming of Wolverine or Van Helsing, I had a dream that I was Chuck Norris's girlfriend and he was REALLY standoffish. (I'd been tossing around Chuck Norris jokes with my daughter earlier) Maybe the trick is to think of your dreamy boyfriend earlier in the day then try to forget him so it gets pushed back to the hindbrain. Read on...
Some experts think that dreams are nothing but your pesky hindbrain’s need for stimulation while the body has gone to sleep. During REM (Rapid Eye Movement or Deep Sleep) messages are sent to the front brain to keep active and those messages link up with your memories and feelings to concoct a dream. Here’s a funny example: In a study, dreamers who wore red colored glasses before sleep had dreams that involved the color red. Taking this further, I’m wondering if I went to sleep with photos of Hugh Jackman taped to my eyeballs...

If you were hoping that dreams were more mysterious, keep reading. Something truly freaky is coming. Not everyone believes that your dream themes stem from sexual frustrations. Even Freud. Many scientists who have analyzed dreams have no explanations or interpretations but most agree that if you’re being chased, it probably means you’re afraid of something in waking life.

There is a whole, huge dream dictionary online where you can retrieve specifics but again, no one knows for sure what a dream means. Some common themes such as public nudity, losing teeth, and flying, continue to baffle even the best psychiatrists. I think we can all agree if you dream you have gone to a PTA meeting stark-naked, you have repressed insecurities and feelings of not being well liked by your peers. Can we move on to less obvious ideas now?

Flying is supposedly linked to sexual feelings but I disagree. I’d like to agree because I dream of flying all the time and I’m damned good at it. An expert, in fact. 'Nuff said.

My recurring dream theme is about entering a house with rooms, and doors, and connections to more rooms that never seem to end. Often the top floor is haunted by something evil, the wind swirling around ominously, spirits taunting me to climb the stairs etc. Sometimes I must rescue something up there. Once it was my mother who’d recently died. She was a tiny owl and I set her free out a window. But usually I avoid the top floor knowing that it is the worst form of evil there is and the likelihood of getting out is not good. I don’t even venture to the floor just below it in case something grabs me. According to dream sites, the house is me, my mind, and the attic is supposed to be my intellect. So what I get from this is: I’m afraid to be intelligent. Is that what you got too? In real life, I am not a cerebral Rhodes scholar type person whose thirst for knowledge drives me to distraction. I’m a people person (I like to say, cheerfully). So maybe my hindbrain wants more and my front brain thinks it’s a bad idea to get too smart. I don’t know.

Lucid dreams are when you know you’re dreaming within your dream. Ever done that? I remember as early as five years old having a dream about my kindergarten teacher throwing me down the stairs (don’t ask) and me saying to her that it was fine that she was about to send me flying because it was only a dream.

Then, there are things called W.I.L.D. dreams and I’m not talking about what you might think. Wake Induced Lucid Dreams are the holy grail of lucid dreaming. It’s a method of going from fully awake to a lucid dream of vivid proportions. Supposedly it takes a ton of practice and very few can do it. This is where ordering your dream might kick in nicely.

During the time you are in REM at night, you are dreaming, whether you remember them or not. If you are woken during REM, you are more likely to remember your dream. Try this idea by setting an alarm clock. You could be rewarded by remembering one. 

Here’s the freaky part I was telling you about. There is such a thing as a precognitive dream where you dream something that comes true. Now this idea is completely inexplicable in scientific terms and not well received by anyone who tends to think logically. However, Mark Twain once had a vivid precognitive dream showing his beloved brother in a coffin with an arrangement of roses on his chest, only to have it come true within the month. His brother was killed in a tugboat explosion and ended up in a coffin exactly like the one in the dream, right down to the one red rose in the midst of all the white roses. Charles Dickens had two supernatural experiences involving dreams. Once, his dead father visited him in a dream and Charles awoke to find him sitting on the edge of his bed. The second time, he dreamed of his sister in law who’d recently died. He’d loved her in real life and had several dreams of meeting her in his dreams. After one such dream, he awoke to see her apparition floating in his bedroom, eventually disappearing through the room’s ceiling. I did not know this when I wrote The Dream Jumper’s Promise but found this very interesting. If you read my book, you’ll see why.

In that novel I take the idea of lucid dreaming and W.I.L.D. dreaming one step further to a level where you are able to share dreams with another person. I honestly thought I made this up but it turns out there is such a thing as a shared dream. And it turns out there is a movie called "Inception" about this too. When I saw the ad for that movie a few years ago, I was angry that they’d somehow stolen my idea but I finished editing the book and eventually published anyways. I’m glad I did because there are many differences in how the writer of "Inception" and I approach dream jumping. For one, my jumper doesn’t intravenously squirt anything into his veins. He enters the dream through a psychic connection, matching his breathing to his subject’s. Luckily Jamey Dunn (my hero) is a moral person and would never jump into someone’s dream to swindle a Fortune 500 business man.

In The Dream Jumper’s Promise, Jamey and his former love Tina, (who has just lost her husband) share dreams to try to find out what happened the day the husband went surfing and never returned. I wanted to call it a paranormal theme but there are no vampires or shape shifters. Then I wanted to call it romantic suspense but it’s got this para aspect. Maybe someday Amazon Kindle will have a category within paranormal called Dream Jumping. You never know.
Obviously I find dreaming extremely fascinating. How about you? Had any strange dreams lately? Let's hear!

Monday, March 4, 2013

How To Write A Book Review

I have most of my epiphanies in the shower and today was no exception. Here's my amazing realization for today:
Non-writers find it difficult to write a review for a book they like. I almost slapped myself on the forehead when I realized that it's probably hard for people to write what they liked about a book if they, themselves, are not writers.They are the blessed readers so why should they be able to write?
And so my friends, here is my blog on how to write a quick review to help support your favorite writers and ensure that they won't spend the week in the fetal position wondering why no one has reviewed the book that took them two years of their life to write.
Short Version:

Fill in the blanks
"I just finished reading___ and ____it."

Long Version:

First, to review, you sometimes have to buy the book, then usually wait a day or two. Amazon has a little old school teacher in a room timing how long it takes you to read a book and won't let you review even if you're a graduate of the Evelyn Woods speed reading course until she says the time is up. When you're ready, go to the book's Amazon page, click on 'like' on anything associated with this author to do a very good deed, then scroll down the page where you found the book for sale and click on 'Write a Review'.

First it asks you to rate how many stars you'd give it. 5 is fantastic and this means that you enjoyed the book immensely. Not necessarily that it will be awarded the Golden Amazing Book of the Universe Award but just that it was a great read for that type of book. Eg) if it's romance, don't judge it by a Pulitzer Winning Novel about World Peace. And remember, you can give anyone you want 5 Stars. You don't have to save just one to give out in your whole lifetime.
3 Stars is a bit of a downer for most authors so keep that in mind if you go to hit 3 but really liked the book. As my mother said, if you can't say anything nice...
I tend to only review the books I really like. The world does not need my rant if I didn't like something. But that is entirely up to you.
Then move on to the box where you must use a set amount of characters to describe your experience with the book. This does not have to be beautifully written and if it is, the review is often removed. Amazon thinks authors should not review each other's books and again, that schoolteacher in a little room will notice a gorgeously written review and pull it before you can sign your name.
In your review of the book you just finished, you can start by saying that you enjoyed the book, it was a fun distraction, a beautifully written novel, made you laugh out loud, loved the characters, related to the setting, the humor, the dialogue, liked the writer's style, look forward to more books from this author who didn't disappoint. This type of feedback is lovely to read, as an author. No need to write something unique. A compliment is always unique. If it's hard to fill up the necessary words, say I can highly recommend this book to anyone who likes______.
Here is a simple, yet wonderful review of one of my books:
"Great Book!"

If you feel compelled to write something negative, then remember the critique rule - sandwich your negative comment between two compliments. Writers are sensitive people and they get the idea if you didn't appreciate one aspect of the book. No need to get carried away. I once read a three paragraph rant about a book that made me want to read it right away (and verbally pummel the person who wrote the review).
You don' t need to use your real name. Choose a user name and be anonymous. (A scathing review written anonymously is considered as a chicken-shit move among authors BTW). Click when you are done and know that you have helped further a writer's career by taking the time to lend your endorsement. I guarantee that for the moment the author reads your positive review,they are thanking you in their hearts and letting out a big sigh to say 'someone out there liked what I did'.
If you are a Goodreads user, copy your review and paste it to Goodreads so the author can be liked over there too.

If you read this blog because you want to write a review, I commend you. Thank you from all the authors out there who check daily to see if anyone likes their books.

Over and out.

Kim Hornsby is the Amazon Bestselling Author of The Dream Jumper's Promise, a three-time award winner with over 65,000 downloads and 223 reviews. She lives in the Seattle area and writes novels while trying to keep a clean house and raise two children to not be thugs.