Monday, January 30, 2017

Tangled in Texas - Spotlight Scavenger Hunt




It's Almost Here!

Wait...wait...wait...wait...BAM! After what seems like an eternity, the release of Tangled in Texas is suddenly upon us. Officially, it's scheduled for February 7th but I'm hearing from readers who pre-ordered and have already received their copies! 

The cyber-tour begins January 30th, and this time around we set it up as a scavenger hunt. There are ten different posts spread over twenty blogs. We had designed the hunt so each post contained a keyword in boldface, but unfortunately, when the bloggers cut and pasted the tips into their sites the formatting didn't always go along, which means sometimes there is no boldface keyword. In those cases, pick out what you think is the main topic of the tip, I'll know what you mean. Collect all ten keywords and post them in the comments on this post, along with your snail mail address. 

I have set the comments so only I can see them, so A. Your personal information won't be visible to the public, and B. Nobody can cheat off of your test paper. 

Everyone who completes the scavenger hunt will get a free album download and signed CD cover from Jared Rogerson, whose song Ninety or Nothin' is the theme of leading man Delon's comeback from a major injury. Head over to Jared Rogerson Music to hear the kind of country music you wish was still on the radio, and pick out your favorite album.




Check back here every day to see which site has posted the latest excerpt and one of my ten tips on how to sort the real cowboys from the wanna-bes, each link will go live the day the blog in question runs the day's tip.

Romance Reviews Today - 1/30/17

I Love Romance - 2/1/17

Just Contemporary Romance - 2/1/17

The Sassy Bookster -  2/2/17

Joyfully Reviewed - 2/3/17

Romance Junkies - 2/3/17

Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance - 2/3/17

Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess - 2/5/17

Em & M Books - 2/5/17

The Romance Studio - 2/6/17

Queen of All She Reads - 2/6/17

Moonlight Rendezvous - 2/6/17

What Is That Book About - 2/6/17

Booklover Sue - 2/9/17

Book Loving Pixies - 2/10/17

Those Crazy Book Chicks - 2/11/17

Reviews By Crystal - 2/13/17

StoreyBook Reviews - 2/15/17

Buried Under Romance - 2/16/17

From the TBR Pile - 2/18/17

When the tour is all wrapped up on 2/18/17, there will be a grand prize drawing from all of the complete entries for the scavenger hunt. Get your entries in by Sunday, 2/19/17 at 5 pm MST.

No, you don't get the saddle. Just the bag, which is the perfect size for a laptop. Or lots of books.



In the meantime, I hope you'll play along and visit all the awesome bloggers who help keep authors in business.

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CONTEST CLOSED!!

Congrats to Cathy Lieber for winning the book bag.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tiny Home on the Range

Since it's Throwback Thurday, I would just like all of you to know that we are SO far ahead of the curve on this whole tiny home craze. When we moved back to Montana we took up residence in the bunkhouse. Two adults, a toddler, a full grown Border collie in approximately 450 square feet. We survived the first six months with our minds and our marriage mostly intact, mostly because we arrived in the spring and spent a lot of time outside. But there was no way we were going through the winter with the kid sleeping on a futon in the kitchen.
The answer to our fervent prayers was a wooden granary built by my grandfather and mostly unused. Come fall, we shoveled out a pile of fertilizer from one side, a pile of old barley from the other (funny, you never see THAT on the home improvement shows) jacked the granary up onto a pair of telephone poles for runners and dragged it half a mile across the hayfield to set it on the concrete pad we'd poured for a floor.
We learned many things in this process. First, it was easier than you'd think to saw the old floor off and bolt the building to the concrete. Second, these old granaries are lined on the inside with plywood to resist the outward pressure of tons of wheat or barley. And my grandfather was a real over-achiever when it came to nailing on siding and roofing. Which was probably why the building was in such great shape, but we weren't feeling as thankful as we might have while we pulled out those ten thousand nails. Especially when the dust, grain chaff and mouse turds began raining down on our heads.
Also, because like most things the process took a bit longer than expected, I learned that when the temperature is hovering around zero, you don't hold that extra new nail in your mouth. Think tongues and flagpoles. Ouch.
But we finally got it stripped, insulated (six-inch walls in cold, windy country are AWESOME), wrapped in moisture/wind barrier and sided in particle board, at which point we could hack a couple of holes through into the old part of the bunkhouse and triple our square footage. We also added an attic so I could unload the last of our worldly possessions from the tack room of the horse trailer.
After a couple of years of the kid sleeping on a mattress in the living room, we added a wing with another bedroom and a porch, a quick three-year project. And last summer we decided to put on real siding (mostly because my mother was tired of looking at the peeling, faded particle board and offered to pay Dale and Richard Bird to come out and do the work.)
One of these days, I might even get around to doing something with those plywood interior walls.

**Note that the tractor is larger than the original bunkhouse.








Want more stories of the sublime and the ridiculous out here on the range? Subscribe to my newsletter, Rock Soup for the Cowboy Soul, by clicking on the gold button in the top right corner of my home page:  KariLynnDell.com

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Not that I'm procrastinating or anything....

...but this damn book is not cooperating, AND I got a pretty cool shot of Hollywood with the Super Moon rising in the background, but the resolution wasn't great so I decided to run it through this awesome app called Prisma ( http://prisma-ai.com/ ) that applies all kinds of artsy effects. And you can adjust the intensity of the effect, all the way from just giving it a paint stroke look in the first example to totally abstract in the third. And since there are about twenty different effects to choose from....yeah, I could basically do this all day. 

But I will suck it up and get back to the writing of words. In the meantime, you can decide which version you like the best. 








Thursday, October 06, 2016

Write It and They Shall Come...to Pass

~~~~~
Once again, my real life is mirroring something I made up. In the early chapters of Reckless in Texas, there's a scene where Violet's son, Beni, has a couple of the adults helping him test out some new cereal. This actually did happen with my son before I wrote the book. He's still miffed that Max the Cowdog didn't magically learn to play fetch when he ate his Reeses Puffs. Dang false advertising.
The rest of it I made up. It goes like this:
Beni reached into his box, fished out a few chocolate
puffs, and handed one to each of his companions. “Ready?”
They nodded gravely.
“Okay, go.”
All three popped the cereal into their mouths and
chewed. Beni scrunched his eyes shut as if waiting
for a firecracker to explode. After a few seconds, he
opened one eye to peek at Cole, who shook his head.
Beni opened the other eye to check with Joe, who did
the same.
Beni heaved a mournful sigh. “It’s not working.”
Violet looked at her mother, who shrugged.
Pushing open the screen door, Violet went out onto
the deck. “Why the sad face, little man?”
“There’s something wrong with this cereal.” Beni
scowled at the box. “On TV, they said amazing things
will happen if you eat it.”
Violet had to work to keep an appropriately solemn
expression. “What kind of amazing things?”
“I don’t know, but we’ve been eating and eating it—”
“And not one single monkey has flown out of my
ass,” Joe drawled.
Cole made a noise that sounded like a chocolate puff
going down the wrong pipe.
Beni giggled. “You said a bad word.”
“Oh sh—I mean, shoot. I didn’t mean—”
Violet strangled another laugh and gave Beni a stern
look. “Sometimes big people say those words. Doesn’t
mean you can.”
“But, Mommy—”
“No.” She turned to Cole before Beni could drag
her into a debate about exactly which words were offlimits,
requiring him to say all of them. “You still want
to gather those two-year-old bulls?”
~~~~~
Back to the present. Night before last I was working away at the computer when my son strolled up and said, "So, Mom, other than shit, damn and F#%&, what words can't I say?"
I scraped up my jaw and demanded, "Where did you hear those words?"
"You and Daddy."
And this, my friends, is why taking your kids along when you work cows is not always a good idea.
~~~~

Friday, April 08, 2016

The First Step is a Doozy

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You know what they say, the first step is a doozy.
This calf was about five minutes old when the video starts. I cut out all the parts where he stopped to catch his breath between attempts, the original video was fifteen minutes long. He was born breech, which means he was head down, and if you're not Johnny-on-the-Spot to assist the cow by pulling the calf out, they'll usually drown. Even when you are they tend to have fluid in their lungs, so seeing this one get right up and at 'em was fantastic.
I know the birth of a living creature is supposed to be an incredible sight to behold. Personally, I think it's mostly slimy. But this part never fails to amaze me. And to come back an hour later and see him trying to buck...that's downright miraculous.




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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

My Grandpa, the Legend



This coming Saturday my grandfather, Melvin Icenoggle, will be inducted into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. He's always been a legend in our minds, and it's pretty cool to see others recognize his accomplishments.

His father died of appendicitis before he was born, so by the age of twelve Grandpa was earning his own keep, exercising race horses at the Tanforan race course in San Francisco and farming with four and six horse teams in Oregon.

As a cowboy, he competed in all three roughstock events, wrestled steers, occasionally roped calves, and put a little extra money in his pockets by also providing entertainment in the form of stunts like Roman riding races, climbing aboard a bucking horse in a steel washtub filled with flour to imitate smoke as the horse blew out of the chute, and one of his crazier inventions, a 'bull chariot'.



As a rodeo producer, he often acted as both stock contractor and contestant. If they were short of entries in any of the roughstock events, he'd ride, then hustle behind the chutes, change shirts, and ride again under a different name, just to be sure the crowd got their money's worth.



My grandfather was one of the founding members of the Montana Rodeo Association and also built the original, wooden jackleg indoor arena that was used at Montana State University and College National Finals rodeos for over twenty years. He was a horse trainer, a logger, a farrier and in his later years, long time custodian of the fieldhouse at Montana State.



We will be gathering in Great Falls on Saturday to celebrate his exploits, and no doubt learn about a whole lot more that can't fit into a press release. Hope to see some of my Montana friends at the induction ceremony, and that you'll stop by afterward as our family gathers poolside at the Heritage Inn.

***

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On the Mend

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November may be fall in most places, but for us it is traditionally the first month of winter. Each year we engage in our annual race to finish any and all maintenance or improvement projects that cannot be done once the ground freezes--driving fence posts, repairing roads, cleaning feedlots--and every year we push it right to the limit. One fall my husband trenched in the plumbing for our new porch in the dark, as the snow fell and the temperature dropped. By morning the ground was frozen solid. The next fall we scrambled to get the foundation for the same porch poured before the weather got too cold for concrete to set properly. (This is a sterling example of the rate at which home improvement occurs around here, by the way.)

This year my husband rented a backhoe for the fall fix-it rush. His last project, again completed as the snow began to fall, was cleaning out the south reservoir. The soil out there is a gumbo clay that stuck in the bucket, then partially froze overnight. Before hauling the backhoe to town he spent most of an afternoon chiseling muck with a crowbar. Then he hauled a few hundred pounds of salt and mineral out to the cows. Then he pitched hay in all of the round bale feeders. The next morning, he couldn't bend his left elbow.

A few days before all this, we got our initial warning blast of snow--the week we all weaned and shipped calves, as per usual. While helping my cousins gather, my horse stepped in a snow-covered badger hole and pancaked, slamming me down on my right side. Thanks to the five layers of clothes that made it nearly impossible to climb on said horse, I bounced pretty well, but it sored my shoulder up enough that for the first few days it was difficult to reach over my head or behind my back.

Yesterday we stopped by the house for a Pepsi break and Greg proudly demonstrated that he is now able to bend his elbow far enough to reach his mouth. He asked how my shoulder was doing.

I said it was much better, and in my usual, high brow fashion added, "We're both doing great. You can pick your nose and I can wipe my butt."

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