This blog is for those 18 and older.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Beta Read Ready (or Not)


        Hello, gentle readers! Hope you are all well and staying safe!
Let’s see…what shall we talk about today? Oh, I know! Yesterday, I sent Wife Wanted out to my beta readers. This is a big step because believe it or not, I never feel like my manuscripts are ready for eyes other than mine or my critique partner, but at some point, you gotta let go so I did. I struggled though, thinking I should read it over one more time, put it through the “editor” one more time looking for misspellings and grammar, give it one more day to just think about it a little more.
I was procrastinating and I know I was (I should have done it Friday or Saturday but waited until Sunday). Up until the moment I hit the “send” button (the email was already prepared and sitting in my draft folder), I still wasn’t sure it was ready, but sometimes, you just have to do it. Does that mean to say I don’t have doubts about the story? Hahahahaha! I always do, even after it’s been published and the whole world can see it.
In fact, it’s usually after it’s available to everyone that those doubts hit hardest! Then those famous words “shoulda, woulda, coulda” start playing havoc with my brain.
What’s the cure? I don’t know if there is any, but I would have to say just moving on to the next story helps (a little). It doesn’t stop the inner critic living in my brain (who sounds sorta like Meryl Strep in “The Devil Wears Prada”, kinda condescending, kinda cruel, and I’m sure, kinda right…come to think of it, it’s her voice I hear when I step on the scale, too!). Do I think it’s a good story? I do. Do I think readers will enjoy it? Well, I certainly hope so. I fell in love with my hero (but then again, I always do), but will everyone else? Ugh!!!!
In order to stop those questions from ramping up in my brain (and quiet that nasty, patronizing voice), I’m rushing full speed ahead into Wife Desired. Hope that works!

Stay well! Stay safe! And remember to spread kindness wherever you go!


Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Chemistry of Love by Sariah Wilson

 Chemistry may not hold interest to all, but chemists are people with the same feelings, ambitions, and heartache as anyone else.  

Anna Ellis loves her nerdy job as a cosmetic chemist.  She has her own lab at home, put together dollar by dollar in the most frugal way she is able to manage.  Her lab at work is complete with a best friend, a demeaning boss, and the desirably handsome son-of-owner, Craig Kimball, she rarely gets to see.  

Anna's goal, outside of her creations with chemicals, is to capture the love of  Craig.  She's sure he vividly remembers a parking lot encounter two years prior.

Anna, Anna who?  Craig is less enamored than Anna could imagine. Instead, she's invited to his engagement party where he proposes to Marco's, his brother's, ex-girlfriend.  

Marco hatches a plan to give payback to Craig, help Anna attain her true love (she thinks it's Craig-just a reminder), and help the makeup company they all work for thrive.

This involves a pretend relationship, which has to appear authentic between Marco and Anna.  So many emotions have to be incorporated either by choice or necessity.  Lust, Greed, jealousy, honesty, anger, and love.  Some are great, and others not so great.  

As the reader, you cannot tell the characters what to do, unfortunately.  You have to wait and see if they find the right chemistry with the right people.  A little hand-wringing and urging from the sidelines might help happiness and love prevail, even for the one who smells like sodium sulfate (the bad egg!).

Happy reading,



Friday, March 10, 2023



Good mornin’, ya’all.  Hope everyone out there is doing great!  Actually, it will be afternoon by the time I get this posted, so…good afternoon to ya, as well.  😊 

Okay, I got up this morning with no blog, no topic, no nothing, and wondered what the heck I could do to fill that white space. So, stumped, I decided to go into avoidance mode and fix something in the Foodi for dinner. I had ordered some groceries yesterday to try a new cabbage soup, so I thought that would be something good to have on hand for the weekend. Never made it before, but how hard can it be? 

Famous last words! We all know I’m renowned for my shortage of cooking skills. 

Well, the recipe I found online called for two quart size cans of tomato juice.  Okay, so I ordered two large cans of tomato juice with my groceries. Opened and poured those into the large pot, then added the can of green beans the recipe called for and a can of lima beans, which wasn’t in the recipe. 

Now, this is where the term haphazard comes in…I have never been good at being told what to do. It annoys me, so I seldom follow a recipe as written.  Not because I’m a better cook than the person who wrote it but because I’m a random soul. I just have trouble following convention and a recipe often strikes me as a set of orders. Uh…nooo. 

This is also where the train starts off the track. In goes the can of lima beans. Then I add the can of beef stock that is called for and beefy onion soup mix instead of the onion soup mix that is called for…just because. Now the train is veering even further off the tracks. I add the can of petite diced tomatoes instead of the can of whole stewed tomatoes that was called for…again, just because. Train is now venturing into no-man’s land. 

It is at this point that I lift my head and begin to wonder where the hell I am. The landmarks don’t look familiar. So I step back and assess the situation. I still have 10 stalks of celery to add, a half dozen carrots, and a full head of cabbage. But my pot is already almost full. 

WTH? How many people does this recipe feed?! 

Now I decide to go check the recipe again to see how much stinkin’ soup this recipe is supposed to make…which is in the other room.  Yeah, I know. I told you…haphazardrandomnot right. 

Well, crap! The recipe doesn’t say how much this will make. But clearly, it is intended to feed all of the inmates in our state prison…for two days! 

Okay, time to get creative because all this stuff will not fit in my pan, nor in any pan I have in the house.  😊  Yeah…now the train is all the way through no man’s land and headed toward a stinking cliff. 

I pour myself a cup of coffee and sit and think about this for a minute. I know what to do. I pull out a strainer and start scooping juice from the pot into a large bowl because I want to remove juice, but not green beans and lima beans. Well, this doesn’t work as expected because the pulp from the tomatoes and tomato juice are clogging the strainer and tomato juice is splattering everywhere except into my bowl. 

Time to switch to a colander that has bigger holes…because a disaster that moves faster is so much better than a slow one. 

Well, that actually works moderately well and I’m able to get 4 cups of juice removed…because, as it turns out, my damn tomato juice cans are 46 ounces and the cans called for in the recipe (which I didn’t need to follow) were 30 ounces. Sigh. Okay, I think the train is back on the tracks now. 


I pull out the onions and check the recipe because…well, maybe it’s just time to give the recipe a try. It calls for 2 full onions. What?  I look at the onion in my hand and it’s pretty big. That’s a lot of onions. I wonder if I need more juice. Okay…not yet.  Let’s just cut up one onion…because I’m now piloting the train cross-country on a sight-seeing trip. Turns out one onion looks like a LOT of onion. I’m not doing two. Let’s just move on to the celery. 


Apparently, WalMart allowed this guy to do my grocery shopping for me yesterday because in addition to packing my bags to about 25-30 pounds each and combining bread and tomatoes with canned goods, he also picked a bunch of totally rotten, moldy, and limp celery for me. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that happened in my fridge overnight! 

Okay, celery isn’t my favorite, so no problem. I empty about 1/3 of a small container of celery salt into the pot and call it good. Now, don’t freak out…I did taste the mixture as I went and it was fine.  😊  Says me.  LOL 

Now on to the carrots. Well, the recipe calls for 5 carrots. Hmmm…I’m pretty sure they mean 5 whole, large adult carrots. But I hate to peel carrots, so I have a bag of pre-peeled baby carrots. Okay, I fly by the seat of my pants (as if it’s the first time ever) and just start cutting up carrots and dropping them into the pot until it looks like there is enough orange in there. Good enough. 

The train is now picking up speed, but the course has been set. All of the called for ingredients have been addressed…they are not necessarily in the pot, but they have been given due consideration. Nothing to do now but let the train run and see if it ends up in the station or at the bottom of a ravine. 

I look around the kitchen at the horrendous mess and begin to clean up the carnage as I wonder what the hell I’m now going to do with 4 cups of tomato juice that also contains a little bit of beefy onion soup mix and the juice from green beans and lima beans. 

Actually, it turns out that is a recipe for a damn good Bloody Mary, which I am enjoying as I write this blog and my derailed batch of soup cooks in the kitchen. Who knows what dinner will taste like, but I’ve got 4 cups of drink mix to get rid of. By dinnertime, I won’t give a flying rat’s arse what that soup tastes like! 

Well, that’s my storyhaphazard and hairbrained, and I’m stickin’ to it. Hang on tight now ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast! 

Be sure to check out my books on sale at Amazon and Smashwords, as the half-price sale ends TODAY! And pick up some Butterscotch Martini Girl boxed sets while you are there. They are also half-price and when the sale ends, the sets are coming down and will no longer be offered anywhere. Today is totally your LAST CHANCE for these boxed sets and for the half-price sale. Here are the Amazon links...

Kayce's Books - AMAZON


Love ya,

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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Whoooo-hoooo! A New Story Begins

        Hello, gentle readers! Hope you are all well and staying safe!
So, now that Wife Wanted is pretty much finished (except for the last chapters to be critiqued and the beta read…oh, and the crying to get it all right), I get to start another story. It will be called Wife Desired and it’ll be the third book in the Wives of Bravado County. This time, the story revolves around the Sheriff of the town where my stories are set and his search for someone to love.
I love this part of the process—building my characters, finding names that fit them, outlining what will happen in the story. Oddly enough, I don’t do this part on the computer. It’s all long hand on a colored 8 ½ by 11 pad. Wife Wanted was a lovely lilac shade (and yes, I used purple ink). I think Wife Desired will be on green or maybe pink. I’m not sure yet. I’ll have to see what my local grocery store has in stock (I won’t go to Office Max because the temptation to get all kinds of office supplies is overwhelming—not sure if any of you have that problem, but I certainly do).
I already have a lot of the details sorted out (in my head) because that’s kinda how my brain works—close to the end on one, time to start thinking about the next and I finally settled on a name for my heroine. Now to figure out who she is. I already know who he is…he’s been in the last two books.
What else is happening besides that (and the rush of adrenaline that accompanies it)? The search for a New-to-Me car continues, but I think I’m getting close. And the day job is still crazy busy (I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon but it’s all good. Keeps those pistons in my brain functioning).
Stay well! Stay safe! And remember to spread kindness wherever you go!


Sunday, March 5, 2023



Woo Hoo! Hey, gang, Kayce here waving a big “Hey-Howdy” to everyone.  Just wanted to shoot out a quick post to let ya’all know that there is a huge online ebook sale going on all this week in the Smashwords online store. 

In celebration of Read an Ebook Week, many of the Smashwords authors have opted to offer huge discounts on their ebooks. 

So, hit the link below to check out my inventory of books and pick up any titles you don’t already have at 50% off the normal retail price. I have never before offered a discount like this across my full catalogue, so it’s a great time to pick up new books or buy a gift for a friend at great prices. And while you are there, take a look around and see which of your other favorite authors are also offering discounts. 


* * * * *   LIMITED TIME OFFER   * * * * * 

The sale starts today and runs through Saturday, March 11th. Go get your books NOW! 

Also, for those of you who are fans of the Butterscotch Martini Girls boxed sets, this week’s sale will be your last chance to get any of the four boxed sets currently on the market, as they will be coming down after the sale ends on Saturday and will no longer be available once they are gone. They make great gifts and are an excellent (and inexpensive) way to try new authors you may not have read before. LAST CHANCE…GET ‘EM NOW!

Well, that’s my story, discounted and deeply, and I’m stickin’ to it. Hang on tight now ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast!

Love ya,

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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Vicious (Sinners of Saint Book 1) by L.J. Shen

 L. J. Shen must be a greatly talented writer.  A reader can love a character and hate a character, but how can they change your opinion in a few hours of intense reading?

Emilia is the woman I love in the story.  She is artistic, loves to paint, will do anything for family, and works her behind off.  Originally from California, she relocated to New York City under the threat that her parents would be fired from their job and kicked out of their apartment if she didn't evacuate what she knew as her only home.

The hateful character has an appropriate name, Vicious.  That's what he is, and it appears impossible to make this rotten, evil person into a likeable part of anyone's life.  He's the one who made the threat along with teasing and acting mean to Emilia when she was a kid. 


Vicious and his childhood friends build a billion dollar business and it happens that he sees Emilia at her cocktail waitress job and lures her to temporarily work for his business.  She accepts under obligations to her sisters health.  Why else would she endure his horrible nature again?

The ironic thing is, they both fight their growing attachment to the other.  What could be right with Vicious making his evil layers peel off one by one?  What sob story can he have that will actually explain his couple of decades of torment to a woman?  How can Emilia, whom I constantly root for, let Vicious back into her life? It's not his money or connections.  

This romance is a page-flipper, and I dare you to put it down as L. J. Shen untangles a messy relationship!

Happy reading,



Friday, February 24, 2023


Hey, gang, how are ya’all? Doing good, I hope! It’s been great weather here in the Valley of the Sun…at least, great for me. I love colder weather and we’ve had a cooler than usual winter this year. YAY! Not everyone is happy about it, but this is my story, so I’m gonna call it a huge WIN.  😊 

Now, my tale today is all about the big question that is on my mind tonight…What the hell happened to the way things used to be? And when did “close enough” become the acceptable standard for delivery on a promise? 

Okay, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I’ll admit that. But I’m also reasonable and don’t expect perfection from everyone I meet. That would just be stupid. But I do miss the days when you could hire someone to do a project and they would do their best to give you what they said they would deliver…when you did business on a handshake and their word was their bond (and they valued it)…when they took pride in a job well done. 

All too often these days we run into the wall ‘o greed…that burning desert zone where it’s all about getting the biggest profit margin you can, even if it means short-cutting the process or lying to the customer about what you will deliver…or maybe setting up a help desk process manned completely by AI. Okay, I got a little excited and got us off topic. 


Well, I’m sittin’ at the edge of that hot zone with my feet dangling over the edge, wondering if I’m gonna finish this week pissed off as a wet rooster under a bucket, or if someone is going to restore my faith in human nature. Why? I’m glad you asked. 

I had a leak in my patio roof that was leaving a wet spot on the floor when it rained…then that leak turned into two leaks and two wet spots…then those wet spots became two rivers that eventually merged into one and ran the length of the enclosed patio wall every time it rained. Bottom line, I needed the roofing over the patio replaced. The house roof is only about 3 years old, but the patio roofing got a 2nd layer put on about 20 years ago, so it was time. 

So I got a referral to a roofing company and asked for an estimate to replace the patio roofing. Now, the house roof that was replaced about 3 years ago was twice the amount of the quote for the patio roof. Twice. That might sound reasonable until you realize that the house roof was probably 2300 square feet of roofing, all new drip cap, several lengths of fascia board, several pieces of plywood, working around 2 AC units and various exhaust vents with architectural shingles, and the project took a full crew 2 days to complete. The patio roof is less than 400 square feet with nothing to have to work around with peel and stick roofing, required no wood replacement whatsoever, and took about 10 manhours to complete…at half the price of a full roof replacement just three years prior. 

So, here we are in hyperinflation and using a different roofing company (because the previous company whom I LOVED went out of business during the pandemic), and I find that the pricing for roofing work has jumped to mind-boggling levels. Okay, I have a conversation with them to understand exactly what I’m getting for that price, how they will match colors, etc. I sign on the dotted line. 

Now they have me. 

The bottom line is that the two-man crew finished up by about 3pm and hurried away as I was rather loudly questioning why the hell my patio is now four different colors. I let them go. After all, they were not the guys who would be looking for the final check. Nor were they empowered to make any conciliatory offers. 

But they were the guys who did the work. So, where’s the pride in a job well done? How could they look at a house with a medium brown roof, a sand colored patio roof that is nowhere near the color of the roof, and dark brown trim that is supposed to be the same color as the rest of the trim on the house, which is gray…and call it good? 


Okay, this is where I came smack dab up against the loss of pride in a job well done. Oh, don’t get me wrong…it does appear that they did a good, solid job of applying the roofing. (We’ll see how it holds up if the predicted rain hits tonight.) But I was told the drip cap and any fascia board that had to be replaced would be painted to match the trim. Nope. Half of the back side of my house has dark brown trim, and the other half has gray trim. I’m sorry…this does not scream pride in my job to me. No one even questioned it. And when I did, the guy tried to tell me it wasn’t noticeable and ran like the wind. 


So, I fired off an email to the company who is still expecting the last half of the payment, explaining just how unhappy I am with their idea of what it means to come “as close to the color of the roof as possible” and with leaving me with a mishmash of colors and trim that doesn’t match anything else on the house. Never mind the fact that they haven’t lived up to their word. 

I am expecting that tomorrow will be the day when I find out if they restore my faith in human nature by trying to do something to make it right—or at least slightly more palatable. On the other hand, I could find myself running head-first into the corporate wall o’ greed. Being a project manager in a previous life, I understand budgets and profit margins…and I also know that there is a minimum of a 50% profit margin built into this job. The least I expect them to do is spring for a $50 can of paint and a man with a ladder to paint that damn trim—like they told me they would. 

So, cross your fingers that the door that opens tomorrow is Door Number One and they will at least try to soften the blow of a two-color roof that I will have to live with for at least the next 10 years of my life. After all…“close enough is good enough,” while wrong at its very core, still only applies if it’s actually close. This color difference would only count as “close” if you were a mole or a flatworm viewing the house from a distance of a mile-and-a-half. 


If I ever come “close enough” with any story I write, I expect my readers would send me a note demanding a rewrite…and they would be entitled to it…because I do not believe close enough is good enough. For me it never will be and I’m sad that for some, it has become the norm. 

I’m proud to say that it’s not good enough for any of the writers I know either. So, if you read a book that goes above and beyond, stand up for doing a great job…leave that book an outstanding review. Use that vehicle to tell the world that this is a book written by an author that delivered on their promise, took pride in their work, and did not believe close enough was good enough.

Well, that’s my story, disappointed and disillusioned, and I’m stickin’ to it. Hang on tight now ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast!

Love ya,

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