New Release Questionnaire and Contest

With four new releases to choose from this month, perhaps you’re having problems deciding which of my stories to read first. This questionnaire will help you decide. Or maybe not. You should probably read them all anyway. But we have a contest too!

  • 1. Form of transportation
    • a. magic carpet
    • b. feet
    • c. 1939 Chevy pickup
    • d. RV
  • 2. Mythical creature
    • a. phoenix
    • b. demon
    • c. winged demon (yes, demon again; it’s a theme this month)
    • d. alien
  • 3. Location
    • a. desert
    • b. forest
    • c. American Midwest
    • d. American West Coast
  • 4. Food & beverage
    • a. groundnut stew and tea
    • b. dragonfish and water
    • c. pie and coffee
    • d. s’mores and whiskey
  • 5. Literary style/author
    • a. Arabian nights
    • b. Stephen King
    • c. Ray Bradbury or Dashiell Hammett
    • d. George RR Martin
  • 6. Classic movie actor
    • a. Yul Brenner
    • b. Boris Karloff
    • c. Robert Mitchum
    • d. Tab Hunter
  • 7. Color
    • a. orange
    • b. green
    • c. gray
    • d. sparkles
  • 8. Bad thoughts
    • a. homophobia
    • b. vengeance
    • c. corruption
    • d. despair
  • 9. Hobby
    • a. alchemy
    • b. fishing
    • c. swimming
    • d. writing
  • 10. Entertainment venue
    • a. park
    • b. dance club
    • c. carnival
    • d. bookstore
  • 11. Occupation
    • a. diplomat
    • b. healer
    • c. detective
    • d. editor
  • 12. Accessory
    • a. hair ribbon
    • b. sword
    • c. fedora
    • d. raincoat
  • 13. Cause of current predicament
    • a. state funeral
    • b. patricide
    • c. boss
    • d. drunken letter-writing
  • 14. Investment
    • a. feathers
    • b. weapons
    • c. silver
    • d. public utilities
  • 15. Myers Briggs personality type
    • a. ISTJ
    • b. ESTP
    • c. ISTP
    • d. INTJ
  • 16. Home’s best feature
    • a. lab space
    • b. sturdy door
    • c. near the beach
    • d. walking distance to bar
  • 17. Favorite urban area
    • a. Kokoto
    • b. city by the Reach
    • c. Kansas City or LA
    • d. Seattle, Portland, or San Francisco
  • 18. Sport
    • a. wrestling
    • b. fencing
    • c. swimming
    • d. running
  • 19. Body part
    • a. tongue
    • b. hands
    • c. horns
    • d. hair
  • 20. kink
    • a. sex on the floor
    • b. blindfolds
    • c. BDSM
    • d. electrosex

If your answers were mostly A: read Phoenix first PHOENIX_FBprofile_OptizimedForFeed

If your answers were mostly B: read The Downs first cover5

If your answers were mostly C: read Corruption first OHAH-1000x1595

If your answers were mostly D: read Astounding! first AstoundingFS

And when you’re done with your first choice? Read the others!


  • I’ll randomly choose one commenter to win.
  • Contest ends June 21 at noon PDT
  • Winner gets $10 Dreamspinner gift certificate and an e-copy of Grown-up
  • In your comment, tell us which June release the questionnaire picked for you–and anything else you want to add. Make sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win!


Growing Up

Today is my birthday. Yes, first day of spring–a good day to be born, I think. If you’re into astrological signs, you should know I’m an Aries and was born in the Chinese year of the ram, which probably means I’m stubborn. Just a bit.


Anyway, since I’m another year older–if not wiser–and since my novella Grown-up came out this week too, I’ve asked some people to share their thoughts on growing up. Share yours by commenting here. I’ll randomly choose one commenter on March 28, and that lucky person will win a signed print copy of Brute (which I’ll ship anywhere) plus a $10 Dreamspinner gift certificate.


For me, I think I finally felt like a ‘true’ grown-up the day the nurse handed me my daughter. I probably should have been more scared than I was, but I just wanted to hold and get to know her. Since that day, I realized what being a parent meant, the responsibilities that go with the fun and joy. That was when I realized, I’d finally made the leap to being a grown-up.

–Andrew Q. Gordon;, author of The Last Grand Master

I just hope I’ll never grow up completely. Sometimes one is in need of the inner child sooooo much.

–Kirsten H.

Being a grown-up is not all it’s cracked up to be. Don’t be in a hurry to get there because once you do, you will spend the rest of your life trying to recapture the joy and fun of being a child again.
Don’t spend more money than you make. It’s a simple, time-tested piece of advice, and yet something you tend to forget when you’re young. Credit cards are for emergencies, not to live off of. The things you buy because you think you absolutely cannot live without them take on new meaning when it takes years to pay them off.
People (including the furry kind) are more important and valuable than things. Never forget that.
There comes a point in your life when you’ve forgotten what it was like to be daring and take chances. Sometimes, that is the time to forget all the wise, sage advice about living within your means. Take a trip to a foreign country. Experience something outside your comfort zone. Take a risk. Because the truth of the matter is the older you get the faster time flies, and we only get one shot at life. Working to pay bills is not living, not to the fullest. If you’re going to go into debt, make it for experiences, not things.
There you have it: what I wish I could go back and tell my 20 year old self. 🙂
   –Sarah Madison,, author of Walk a Mile
I don’t have any children as you know, and I think I am less grown up than friends who have because I haven’t had to set an example/worry for them etc etc. 🙂 As for the best birthday present, without a doubt it was my mare, Mabel, giving me a beautiful filly foal unannounced on my birthday. Florence (registered name Dreamspinner) wasn’t due for another ten days, but when I went to see to Mabel on the morning of my birthday there she was up and having a drink of milk. I doubt I will ever top that for a present.
It’s hard growing up. I’m only a sophomore in high school and already people are making me think about college and after college and life (Mom). I don’t know if I’m going to get into the college of my choice. I don’t know what I’m going to major in. I don’t know what kind of job I want. Plus I’ll probably lose my friends (and possibly my boyfriend) when I go off to college. I don’t know how I’m going to support myself financially when I’m out of college. I don’t like growing up. I want to go back to elementary school, when life was easy and I didn’t constantly worry about my grades or my future.
–My older daughter, currently 15 years old
I remember looking down at my newborn daughter and having this “oh shit!” moment when I realized that I was the one responsible for her. I was the one she would look up to, to keep her safe, and take care of her. I wasn’t a kid anymore. I was the mom who would be taking care of the kid.

That said, I do my best to embrace the kid in me. She’s a geek who loves Japanese anime and manga, loves to wear costumes (Kim can tell you about my mermaid costume for GRL!), and writes stories she wants to read (angsty romances) about mermen, vampires, or just hot men. She’s got Star Trek Barbie and a purring tribble in her office, and collects mermen ornaments (so freaking cool). She’s also got a collection of genga (the artwork used to create computer-generated cells for animated shows) from Japanese anime.
  –Shira Anthony,, author of Blood and Rain

I think I first felt grown up when on my 18th birthday, I ordered my very first legal alcoholic drink (a Bloody Mary) at a bar and the bartender didn’t even bother to card me! I was very disappointed but I did feel pretty grown up to pass as 18. We could drink at that age back in the dinosaur days, and fortunately I was already 21 when they changed the law.

My very best birthday present was the official confirmation of my pregnancy on my 37th birthday! Emily was born 8 months later.

And my advice to someone is don’t rush to be grown up! Enjoy yourself while you don’t have many responsibilities because it all gets a little harder later. Of course, no one will listen to that if they’re over 12, but hey, gotta try!  🙂

  –Jon Treadway,

I believe you never stop growing up. With some family members in their 90s, the rest of us (even those in their 60s!) are often advised that we still have a lot of living to do. Each and every day, we’re learning and growing, sometimes fast and sometimes slow. It is an intense truth that you’re only as young as you feel. The trick is to never forget the core being of yourself, even as you stretch and grow. And to believe you’re never as old as you fear you are.

–Tray Ellis,, author of How Sweetly the Whippoorwill Sings


To Mortgage or Not to Mortgage… That’s When You Know

When did I first feel like a grown up? Oh, I remember the day clearly. It’s kind of hard to forget when you sign your life away, lol. In my middle twenties the hubby and I bought our first house. We’d been saving for a while and been looking even longer. Then he found the “one”. It was outside of the city limits and had a acre with a pond in the backyard. There were neighbors near us, but not so close you could reach out and touch them from your window. It was also in the last stages of being built, so we’d be the first to ever live there. It was a dream come true. The night before we went in to sign the papers we both suddenly looked at one another… and panicked, lol. Mortgage! Responsibility! OMG, when had we grown up, lol? That’s my first memory of being grown. 🙂

–M.A. Church, Decadent Delights, author of Trouble Comes in Threes

These days, I teach physiology and I love watching the annoyed faces when I explain to my students that technically twenty-five years is the mark of adulthood for most bodily systems. Who didn’t think they were already an adult at eighteen? Now many years later, I look on my eighteen year old self and laugh. For me, though, knowing I was an adult wasn’t the moment I realized how much of a foolish youth I’d been, it was the moment in my medical residency when I was told to come up with a limb salvage plan for a patient. It fell to me to decide a plan of action that would allow this person to save their limb and potentially their life and I would be the one leading the surgery. In that moment I knew I was an adult and boy, I didn’t want to be. I wanted someone to hold my hand and carry me through that moment. We both made it through fine, but there are still many days I would want to give up my adulthood if only for  a few hours.

–Jana Denardo,, author of Kept Tears

I went away to college at the age of eighteen. Eight hours away. Probably one of the best decisions I ever made. Within a few days of arrival, I already had a fledgling group of friends and we decided to go to the movies. I had the only car so I would be driving. When we got ready to leave, it struck me. I didn’t have to tell anyone where I was going, how long I would be gone, when I would be back, and even better, I didn’t have to ASK anyone. Massive wakeup call. I was a grown up. It was both exhilarating and terrifying. I’ve never looked back since!

–Katherine Halle,, author of Fixing the Hole

I’m not entirely sure I’ve admitted to myself I’m a grown-up yet. I think I prefer to imagine I’ll keep growing up until the day I die. There’s always going to be a part of me that is all kid. It definitely comes through in my writing in places, where many of my characters are gamers or just like to play. In the end, I think I’ll take Jimmy Buffett’s approach:

–Grace Duncan,, author of Healing

I knew I was a grown-up when, some time ago, I met the guy who bullied me mercilessly when I was in high school and I saw that time had not been kind to him, that I was more elegant, more cultivated, smarter, and that had been true forever, only that I couldn’t see it when I was a teenager. I think that as a grown-up we only get more perspective, but what makes us special is always there, and some people just can’t stand it.

–Emanuela Piasentini

Growing up, for me, seems like a great ball of confusion. I can sort out quite a number of memories about tough times, but only a few that shine in my mind as really precious. Like body surfing in Cronulla NSW with a full summer moon shining down from a cloudless sky—for once feeling that the group of other teens around me were truly friends. Or walking every day from the family campsite to the stable in town all by myself, and working so I could be with the horses and ride. But the first time I felt the weight of being grown up came out of a bad situation. I’m not going to describe that situation—too much of a bummer—but the result was I had to hitchhike from St. Joseph, Missouri “home” to Long Beach, California, in a tee shirt and jeans, barefoot, with 87 cents to my name. It was crazy, and I learned lots of things about people. For one most of them are good-hearted and will go out of their way to help a girl in need. I’ve never forgotten the kindnesses I received. But neither hitch-hiking solo or learning that people are better than we’re often led to believe gave me that. “yeah, this is what it means to be grown up” feeling. I experienced that the first time I ran into someone not so selfless, and I learned that sometimes a person has to say no—even if it’s scary as hell.

–Lou Sylvre,, author of A Shot of J & B

I’m not the person to ask about this. I am not sure anyone in my family has ever acted like a grown up, so I don’t know what that actually means. If looking outside yourself and doing things for other people is a sign of growing up, they did do that. Some of them. At times. But others didn’t – wouldn’t more than couldn’t – and it was just a mess. My ex-step-father, who is now in his 70’s, is the least grown up person I’ve ever known. And if you haven’t grown up by 70 you’re never going to. He hates responsibility and avoids it at all costs, and somehow this has worked out for him. It helped that his parents died and left him money, otherwise I have no idea how he’d get along. All I can say is try to be kind to other people (which he has never done). It’s the least you can do, and can be considered some sign of maturity.

–Andrea Speed,, author of Paris

I was one of those kids that seemed to grow up fast because I developed early. Grown men hit on me before I was even a teen. But it was years before I felt like an adult. I grew up a lot when my daughter was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit minutes after she was born; she spent the next two months there and even longer in the pediatric intensive care after that. I grew up more when I saw my mom—my hero—struggle to walk. That was eye opening and inspired many of my recently written words. I’ll be an orphan when she’s gone, which means I need to recue myself from all or learn how to say, “Help me.” And that’s the most recent moment of maturity, when I said, “I can’t handle this anymore.” I ended up quitting my teaching job and changing my life, taking responsibility for all my failures and successes. Isn’t that what growing up is all about?

–Posy Roberts,, author of Tangled Mind

The thing I look forward to when I grow up is having a phone that actually has internet connection and being on electronics when I want for as long as I want. And having a pet. Or several.

–My younger daughter, currently 12 years old

I figured I was finally a grown up when my younger brother got married. Actually, he eloped with his girlfriend and then got secretly married.
He was six years my junior and his girlfriend was about four years younger than him.
And they were both legal.  Made me realise I was old enough to do all those things. It was depressing.
–Sandra Bard, author of Divided Within

Growing up wasn’t a one-time realisation for me. There were a series of milestones that I then looked back on and understood that I had been growing up for some time. Regardless of whether or not I felt it.

I think the first milestone was when my mother left home. I was seven and suddenly thrust into the ‘family machine’, part of the processes that kept everyone fed, clean and clothed. Until then, I hadn’t taken any notice of how things got done or by whom. I’d just done my chores when asked and didn’t think any further about it. Suddenly, being responsible became a real thing. (btw, Mum leaving home was a good thing.)

The second milestone was when I met my first boyfriend. I was fifteen, he was twenty, and I suddenly became capable of making my own life decisions. Of course, most of the time, my decision was to let him decide how I was to live my life, but it was still a decision.

After that the milestones came thick and fast: choosing to pursue an education, just in case I really had to rely only on myself at some stage; having a child, someone who relied on me totally; living through abuse, stalking and depression; being adrift; finding my inner strength, my purpose. There was no time to think about growing up or what it meant during that tense and troubled twenty years.

Then I was through it, out the other side. Independent. Self-sufficient. Balanced. For the first time in my life I’d achieved a state of calm and contentment. That’s when I realised—at forty—that I was a grown-up. It’s not a bad place to be. 🙂

–E. E. Montgomery,

Grow up? Wait! What? Why???? NOOOO! Never! I hope I won’t grow up. In my head I’m 13 but I tell the boys I’m 16.  I don’t think anyone has to grow up or grow old we create our own realities… we write our own stories. Of course I deal in the grown up world and take care of my responsibilities but for the most part I stay in the role of playful teen. I focus on making everything fun (cleaning the house is a race, running errands is an adventure). I dance through activities like pumping gas if they didn’t want to dance they wouldn’t play music right? I practice random acts of kindness whenever I can even if it’s just to notice and admire something about a person’s appearance or to make them smile. I love the Black Veil Brides, Tokio Hotel and Adam Lambert.

–Z. Allora,,, author of Illusions & Dreams


When the Writing Gets Angsty

Jamie Fessenden just posted about how he’s having a tough time writing an emotionally difficult but essential scene. And I know just how he feels, because I just gave my MC an unexpected case of the flu, I think partly to delay getting to one of those hard scenes. There have been a couple of books where writing particular scenes just about devastated me (I’m talking about you, Tin Box and Motel. Pool.). But we still have to write them.

And yes, I know even as I’m writing that most of the characters will eventually get a happy ending. Readers realize that too, because these are romance books, after all. But we’ve come to love these guys over the course of the story, and their pain feels real.

So now I’m wondering. If you’re a writer, do you share this problem? How do you face it? If you’re a reader, how do you feel about reading these scenes? Do you have a strategy for getting through them (besides keeping Kleenex close at hand)?

And now’s where we can all put on our psychology hats. Why do we like the angst? We must, because even though it hurts, I keep writing it (as do many of my favorite authors), and we keep reading it.

And finally, what are some of the difficult scenes–in any book–that have touched you the most?

It’s the holidays, so to encourage you to be chatty, I’m doing a little giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fieldingpalooza Quiz & Contest

I hope you enjoyed the Fieldingpalooza blog tour and the new releases. October was quite a month!

festivus2I want to highlight the last of my new releases, which is available today. The Festivus Miracle is a sweet, romantic holiday story. And here’s the cool thing: I’m donating 100% of my royalties to Doctors Without Borders. (I actually donate all my self-published royalties to DWB, in fact.) I’d love to give them a big chunk of money, so please consider buying a copy and spreading the word.




And now there’s a quiz. I’m a university professor. I love giving quizzes. But unlike my students, you will have the answers available to you.

001You can find the answers by reading my guest blogs from the Fieldingpalooza tour. The complete list is here. Once you have your answers, send them to me using the contact form at the bottom of this post. The quiz ends at noon Pacific time November 10. The contestant with the most correct answers wins one of those bones swag bags, which includes a matching t-shirt and lots of goodies. I’ll also include the entire Ennek trilogy in print, plus a $10 gift certificate for Dreamspinner Press and a $10 gift certificate for Wayward Ink Publishing, and I’ll ship anywhere. If there’s a tie for high score, I’ll randomly choose one winner.

Good luck!

  1. Who makes a cameo appearance in Bone Dry?
  2. Where was Kim’s mother born?
  3. What song did Starbucks stick in Kim’s head?
  4. What author did Kim’s daughter just fall in love with?
  5. What’s the name of Ery Phillips’s car?
  6. Back in the day, how did Kim spend her Thursday nights?
  7. Which actresses does Kim’s muse resemble?
  8. A stranding at which airport inspired Kim’s story “Standby”?
  9. What language will Brute be translated into next year?
  10. The Festivus Miracle is set in which city where Kim once lived?
  11. How long has Kim been married?
  12. What did Kim’s older daughter dress as for Halloween?
  13. Kim is a licensed member of what?
  14. Which of Kim’s new releases has a character whose boyfriend recently died?
  15. Which mythology appears in Bone Dry?
  16. What comic book did Kim get in the mail?
  17. The royalties from The Festivus Miracle are going to which organization?
  18. Where does Kim do most of her writing?
  19. What’s the weirdest werecreature Kim can think of?
  20. What was Kim wearing around her neck in the recorded interview from GRL?
  21. What did Kim’s older daughter organize while Kim was in Chicago?
  22. What neighborhood in Paris did Kim stay in?



[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Quiz answers’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

October Fieldingpalooza Contests and Tour

It’s a busy time around here! October means FOUR new releases, and then a fifth release on November 1. To celebrate, a contest! Or really, multiple contests. Now, pay attention, because there’s a test at the end.

First off, we have three Rafflecopter giveaways. You can enter all three. If you comment, please specify which contest you’re commenting for. You can comment once for each if you like. 001This is one of the prizes: a tote bag filled with a T-shirt, swag, a surprise book of mine, and a bunch of bone-themed goodies. I’ll sign the bag if the winner wants me to, and I’ll ship anywhere.



Winners will be notified on November 1. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway

What are the new releases?

Brute in French on October 7


Bone Dry on October 10


“Standby” in the Stranded anthology on October 10

STRANDED-Final Cover

“The Dance” in the Bones anthology on October 27


The Festivus Miracle on November 1


And I’m doing a huge blog tour, so come visit these sites for interviews, trivia, and lots more. There’s another contest at the end!

On November 1, I will post a quiz. The answers to the quiz questions will be in all those guest posts–so it’s sort of a scavenger hunt. You’ll have one week to find the answers. Whoever gets the most answers correct wins one of those lovely bones swag bags, complete with t-shirt and goodies, plus a complete set of the Ennek trilogy in print (signed if you like), plus a $10 Dreamspinner gift certificate and a $10 Wayward Ink Publishing gift certificate. If there’s a tie, I’ll randomly choose a winner. So read all those guest posts–each one is different!–and keep an eye out for the end of tour quiz.

Pillar flash fiction contest winner

There were some really fantastic entries in the flash fiction contest. Look in the comments here to see them. All the authors should be congratulated, because it’s hard to write a story in 140 characters!

After a tough decision, the judges have chosen this beauty by Suki Fleet as the winner:

Sometimes he whispers “I love you, I adore you” down the phone before I sleep but most of the time we sleep together—his arms around my chest, his lips to my ear.

Congratulations, Suki! And thank you to everyone who entered. I hope you enjoyed playing.

Special thanks to Andrea Speed, Charley Descoteaux, and Bru Baker, our wonderful judges!

The Pillar Release Day — and Contest!

Today is release day for my newest novella, The Pillar! You can buy it at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, ARe, or other booksellers. To celebrate, I’m running a contest. Details are below, but first, the blurb:

During his youth, orphaned thief Faris was flogged at the pillar in the town square and left to die. But a kind old man saved him, gave him a home, and taught him a profession. Now Faris is the herbalist for the town of Zidar, taking care of the injured and ill. He remains lonely, haunted by his past, and insecure about how his community views him. One night, despite his reluctance, he saves a dying slave from the pillar.

A former soldier, Boro has spent the last decade as a brutalized slave. Herbs and ointment can heal his physical wounds, but both men carry scars that run deep. Bound by the constraints of law and social class in 15th century Bosnia, Faris and Boro must overcome powerful enemies to protect the fragile happiness they’ve found.

That lovely cover is by Shobana Appavu.

I’m really excited about this book and I fell hard for Faris and Boro. I hope you do too! Even if historicals aren’t usually your thing, give this one a try. Maybe you’ll discover you adore medieval Bosnia.

Now for the contest. I had such fun with the haiku contest that I wanted to try something else kind of different. Here are the rules:

  1. To enter, comment on this entry with a piece of m/m flash fiction no more than 140 characters long! Any rating is fine, but they must be your original words. Your characters can be your own originals or you can borrow guys from any of my books. (Please don’t use anybody else’s guys because we don’t have permission.)
  2. Make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.
  3. You may submit up to 3 entries.
  4. Contest ends August 20, 2014 at noon Pacific time.
  5. A panel of judges will choose the winner. The decision is final. The winner will receive a copy of the audiobook version of my award-winning fantasy novel, Brute.
  6. If there are more than 30 valid entries, we will choose a second place winner as well. The second-prize winner will receive a copy of the ebook version of my paranormal novel, Motel Pool.

If you have any questions, please email me: