Who wants to win a great pair of Halloween earrings??
Just leave a comment on your favorite answer from the interview (psst - I vote for number 10!)
Please welcome L.A. Kelley to Quill or Pill today:
First off - my standard - get-to-know-ya author questions...(drum roll please...)
1. How would your mother describe you in one word?
2. What is your favorite flower?
Strangely enough, I like the common daisy. It’s strong and tough with a touch of delicacy. You don’t need to fuss over a daisy. I like people the same way.
3. What is the most insane question you’ve ever been asked?
“You very nice pritty, so we fren, okay?” It came in a note thrown by a creepy waiter in a dive bar in Spain. It was not okay and we did not become fren. As a matter of fact, I got the hell out of there.
4. What word in the English language do you wish you had invented?
5. Where would you like to live?
I’ve never been one for heat and humidity, but ended up in Florida. Although, I can’t say the weather agrees with me, Florida is a good place for writing fantasy since every aspect of Mother Nature here is evil and tries to kill you. We have hurricanes, tornados, floods, brushfires, and giant sinkholes that will drag you to hell without even time to pack a change of underwear. With the most deaths, we’re even known as the Lightning Capital of the US. Not the Cute Fluffy Puppy capital, mind you. We’re the Sudden and Painful Death from the Sky Capital. All in all, I guess I’ll stay…but indoors.
6. What is the first quote that comes to your mind?
When you’re in jail a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, “Damn, that was fun.”…..Groucho Marx.
7. What do you miss about your childhood?
Getting into a Junior size.
8. What is the main fault in your character?
I tend to write heroines and heroes who lead with their hearts instead of their heads. This quality causes them to jump into situations without analyzing the consequences. Results can be dangerous, deadly, humorous, or just plain odd. Quirky situations work with my writing because I try to add humor wherever I can. Life is too short to be depressed.
9. Who is your favorite historical figure?
As far as literary figures, I vote for Jane Austen. Mr. Darcy is still the paragon by which I measure all heroes in historical romances. Had I been around back in the day, I would have hosted a lovely supper for Jane and friends. After which Jane and I would have linked arms, promenaded around the parlor, and made catty social commentary about the other guests. Scandalous!
As far as historical figures, a few of my favorite women are Captain Grace Hopper, Jackie Cochran, Barbara Jordan, and Nellie Bly. You may not have heard of any of them; women still get short shrift in history, but they’re all fascinating and worth checking out. I’d host another party, but bend the rules and also invite Stephanie Kwolek. She’s the inventor of Kevlar and still alive. Anyone who has a friend or loved one in the police or military owes her a round of applause.
10. Describe how you kiss in one word.
Mullet, like the hairstyle. All business up front and on the side, party in the rear. (All right that’s just weird. I have no idea what I’m saying.)
11. Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”
Death by Chocolate
The Naughty List Blurb:
Not your mama’s Christmas story unless she had too much egg nog or was born with a cheeky sense of humor.
Murder, mystical artifacts, an invisible demon with anger management issues, and an overbearing cupid—not what Rosalie Thatcher wished for on her Christmas list.
The holidays had always been a magical time for Rosalie, but not this year. Stephanie, her new manager at Penrose’s Department Store, is determined to make this season the most profitable in the store’s history, even if it sucks the life out of every employee. Introducing arbitrary rules and stealing the affections of Anthony, the cute temp Santa, were bad enough, but forcing Rosalie into the stupid elf hat was the worst. The worst, that is, until she meets a real E.L.F. (Elemental Life Form) named David and gets lassoed into a desperate hunt for the stolen Naughty and Nice List. Now all Rosalie and David must do is dodge a murderous invisible demon and recover the missing artifact before hellhounds track them down. The couple race against time for without the magical guidance of the Naughty and Nice List, the world will tumble toward eternal chaos.
The Naughty List is free on Kindle October 15 through October 19. Download your copy today.
Here’s the link: The Naughty List
Buy Link: The Naughty List is on Kindle. Softcover and other electronic formats will be available on December 6.
David sunk wearily into a chair in the break room, cradling a disposable cup in his hands. He appropriated the stale coffee from the pot someone forgot to empty out and clean. He barely noticed the bitter taste. Ten minute break…ten minutes was all he needed. The caffeine would keep him on his feet another couple of hours. He rubbed his eyes, willing away the crushing fatigue. Night after night David wandered Penrose’s four floors in a fruitless search, pulling open boxes, checking under counters. Although the nagging pull continued to graze his senses, The Book was nowhere to be found. He’d come no closer to pinning down the location than when he arrived. The mystical connection now appreciably slackened under his mental touch. David’s stomach knotted up in fear. Soon the link would disappear forever. Something alluded him—some special storage area, some door he hadn’t opened. Why couldn’t he find The Book?
In frustration, David drained the last of the coffee. He flung the cup to the wastebasket, overshot, and hit the corkboard on the wall. A clipboard crashed to the floor. He stifled a curse. Bending down to pick it up, his eyes strayed over the top sheet. “Motivation Memo from Stephanie Crowder to all Employees,” he read. “Below are daily reports from Sneaky Shoppers.” Oh brother, Stephanie is a real piece of work. She has her own secret police. He snorted in amusement scanning the list of ridiculous infractions.
“Now, now, Rosalie Thatcher of Customer Service,” he muttered. “Two transgressions—you’ll never get off the Naughty List with that attitude. Imagine, not remembering to say have a special holly jolly holly-day at Penrose’s. I see you were also caught without an elf hat.”
His lips twitched in an involuntary grin. His dad would appreciate the joke. As David replaced the clipboard, he suddenly remembered Rosalie. She was the girl he followed to the security office. The picture of the young brunette with a friendly natural smile popped into his mind. A smile like that couldn’t be faked. She liked people. She liked her job. He wondered how she felt about Penrose’s now.
David experienced a rush of guilt. All around the atmosphere had changed. He was super-sensitive to the yuletide. Magic in the air, holiday spirit, whatever—there was always something indefinably optimistic about this time of year. Even as a kid, before he understood family responsibilities, he sensed the truth. As easily as he now sensed the diminished effect of The Book. Whatever goodwill the season stirred up rapidly faded. Hard-working people like Rosalie paid the price of his stupid mistake.
The young man slipped out of the break room. He had enough time left to make one quick circuit of the first floor before staff trickled in. He worked from the front of Penrose’s to the back corner, ending up at Customer Service. For an instant, his spirits rose. A large box stashed underneath the counter wasn’t there the last time he checked. He ripped off the top, pawing through the contents. Fingering the garish green material, David didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The oversize ears stuck out like a genetic experiment gone horribly wrong. The lining felt like steel wool. Had the holiday spirit been reduced to this?
A wave of despair enveloped him. “I’m so sorry, Rosalie.”On impulse, David reached into his pocket. He pulled out a gold-wrapped chocolate bar saved for later, swiped from a stash hidden in the store manager’s office. David scribbled on a sticky pad and pressed the note to the wrapper. He slipped the candy under the counter just before a sudden murmur of voices broke the silence. The staff had arrived. He ducked behind a rack of clothing in the back as a girl walked up to the counter, an elf hat tucked under her arm.
She halted in mid-stride. A sharply dressed twentysomething in a skin tight pencil skirt swooped down on her. To get a better view, David carefully eased back the clothes hanging in front of his face. He saw Rosalie’s fingers clenched around the hat. He chuckled to himself. She’s pissed, but hides her aggravation well. Sadhri would definitely approve of her self-control.
“Stephanie,” Rosalie stated calmly, “the hats are extremely uncomfortable. Everyone hates them.”
“Nonsense, they’re fine.”
“If you simply try one on you’ll see—”
“I don’t have to. I know they’re fine. The hats put people in the holiday spirit and cheerful people spend more money.” Stephanie examined her perfect French manicure. “So close to Christmas is an awful time to be out of work.” Rosalie jammed the hat on her head without another word. “Excellent,” cooed Stephanie. “Keep that attitude up and your name will stop appearing on the Motivation Memo.” Without another word, she flounced off.
David knew he should dash-away. Every moment in the open was risky, but he couldn’t take his eyes off Rosalie in the idiotic hat. What would she do?
The young woman leaned against the counter glaring after Stephanie. She bobbled her head back and forth and spouted in a falsetto sing-song:
“I’m a special elf from Penrose’s
I wear the special hat
You are not a special elf
You’re a dirty rat
You don’t belong at Penrose’s
You don’t know how to play
Wiggle your tight ass out of here
Damn you, go away.”
David snorted. Rosalie stiffened and turned around.
“Who’s there?” she called.
Thanks for visiting Linda - much appreciated!