Blog Entries

09/21/2016... What The CPR Course Forgot to Mention...
06/21/2016... Driving The Mean Streets of the Police Training Facility
02/11/2016... Guest on "Amethyst Eyes Celebrate Love Blog"
01/12/2016... Rescue Me GoodReads Giveaway Winner
12/19/2015... Guest on Monique DeVeres' blog "Dish The Pie With Monique and guest"
07/20/2015... K.D. Goes to Jail #jaildogs #OperationSecondChance #jail #Poetry might be great, but ya can't beat suspense research!
07/16/2015... Jeff Murphy of Murphy City Library takes delivery of BLACKMAIL, WHITE LIES, CODE PRODIGAL and RESCUE ME, big books added to the Murphy City Library, part of the Nantahala Regional Library system. Next time ya hit the whitewater, come check 'em out! (er... don't take the books on the river with ya, 'k?)
07/10/2015... Cindy Loven gives another promotional boost this time, to RESCUE ME, at June Foster's blog
07/03/2015... Cindy Loven gives a promotional boost to CODE PRODIGAL at June Foster's Blog
04 /27 & 28/ 2015... Guest on The Barn Door Bookloft with RESCUE ME (We Have Escaped)
03/11/2015... Guest on Taking It To The Streets of Omaha "Time to Take Off Your Happy Face."
02/13/2015... Guest on Southern Writer's Magazine Blogspot "Forget Mary Sunshine. Overcoming Writer's Block the Cranky Pragmatic Way"
08/28/2014... WHITE LIES Sneak Peak of Sweet (Chapter) Sixteen -- Alex searches for a Cypher substitute
08/25/2014... Guest on Kimberly Rose Johnson's Blog -- Code Prodigal
05/15/2014... Guest on Barn Door Book Loft Blog -- Code Prodigal
05/15/2014... Guest on Carol Moye's Compelled To Write Blog -- Code Prodigal
05/07/2014... Guest on Ada Brownwell's Ink from an Earthen Vessel Blog -- Code Prodigal
05/01/2014... WHITE LIES TIP PAGE

09/21/2016 What the CPR course didn't tell you...

The salutation from the lady leaving Publix was unusual.
“They’re calling 9-1-1.”
Oh crap! –The toxic chemical aisle’s all the way on the other side of the store. The only fast defense nearby is a well-aimed shopping cart.
(It’s …been a weird year.)
“What happened?” says a calm voice I am renting from Central Casting.
“A man collapsed at the registers.”
Oh, good, it’s not a whacko. I nod and she leaves.
What’s the 1 cent coupon deal today?
The poster on the door announces ‘crackers’ which is perfect because Beloved’s at home suffering through a GI bug from seventh level of Hades and we’re out of stock.
What are you DOING checking the 1 cent deal?
In movies, if they needed to call 9-1-1, no one responding has grocery lists on their mind.
I walk into the store and see three people clustered around a guy on the floor. He’s flat on his stomach and not moving. A man’s taking his pulse while two women lean over him.
Are you going to do this or not?
My feet are bossy and have already decided. CPR classes are taking over as I approach.

“I have some First Aid training, do you need any assistance?”
Please say “no”.
They nod and back away from the guy like I have a magic wand in my hand and they don’t want to get any overspill.
“What happened?”
“He just collapsed here.”
“He has a pulse.”
There’s no medical alert around his neck or on his wrist. He’s wearing a wedding band. His cell’s in a holster on his hip. I kneel beside him. (Can you imagine what it must feel like to be face down and unable to move on a hard, cold, grocery store floor during flu season?) He’s making a weird gurgling noise.
Airway. Move him to recovery position.
“Sir, I’m a volunteer emergency responder, I’m going to roll you onto your side,” I announce. (I hate it when medical people just DO things to me without warning.)
He is not a big man, but he is a powerless one. His bodyweight feels like a soft bag of cement and limbs drag behind like a soaking wet sleeping bag.
One of the others gasps and a flickering glance tells you why. His lips are purple, face grey-white. He’s emitting thick spittle and strangling. Now that he’s on his side, he’s contracting at the waist a little too.
“He needs CPR”, the pulse taker announces.
“Yes,” agrees a store employee.
They’re looking at me and I’m staring at a mouth full of white slime.
Fortunately, I carry a CPR quick kit with me. It dangles from my keys and when people ask about it, they usually manage not to roll their eyes when I say what it’s for, at least, not until my back’s turned. The great thing about it at this moment is, the Oh-Crap-Where-Are-the-EMTs part of my brain has been activated, and putting on gloves is buying me time to reboot the CPR course.
On his back.
I roll him on his back and he’s choking before I can angle his head.
The course says on his back is supposed to be a good thing.
He can’t keep still enough to remain with his head popped back in the open airway position, either.
Head tilted is supposed to be a good thing.
He’s gasping, and choking, and flexing, and distressed.
Pulse taker’s getting distressed. Store employee’s getting distressed. There are other figures in the far periphery of my mind who should be charged for the show they’re watching, and they’d better be getting distressed and not buying bags of popcorn or Jujubees. I’m really wishing I drank, ‘cause there’s vodka in this store and I’m legal to buy it.
Clear the airway.
When you take the class, that sounds so clinical and neat, procedural even. It sounds like it’s all about the patient.
It might be, but it’s also CPR talk for “ain’t gonna blow into that mouth full of slime, even with a little barrier thingy”. (Seriously, I’m so not girly-girl ESPN offers me free service, Chuck Norris calls for intimidation tips, Mike Rowe tips his hat get the idea. If you’ve taken CPR with the idea you’d try it for a stranger if the situation presented itself, get the little mouth guard kit.)
EMTs… You can show any time now.
“I need paper towels.”
Store employee hands me one. O-N-E. Maybe too many people are using one cent coupons.
“I need more paper towels.”
I lean over the man’s face. “I’m going to clear your mouth, sir.”
A quick finger swipe proves I wasn’t kidding about the paper towels. I think he’s trying NOT to bite me, but you’d have to read his post to know for sure. I’m very grateful someone manufactures plastic gloves.
He’s still gasping for air, but his head’s pinking up now. His lips look more natural and his eyes aren’t dilated anymore. He can’t keep the open airway position, though.
“I’m going to roll you onto your side.”
Pulse Checker and Employee are still waiting for chest compressions and a slimy kiss. Maybe they noticed the pepper spray I carry on a retractable cord (a very …weird year) because they’re not complaining, but they’re irked at me for the guy’s sake.
“You’re doing very well. Your color’s already improved. Your respirations are dropping.”
Should I have said ‘respirations’? Is that reassuring or confusing?
“Your pulse is good. Your eyes look good. You’re doing well. Hang in there. The EMTs are on their way.”
Everyone else thinks the last two lines are just for him.
Where ARE those people?
“You’re doing very well. Try to relax. Focus on breathing.”
His hip feels bumpy against my thigh. The phone holster. “I’m going to take your phone, sir.”
Pulse taker’s long gone so I hand it to Store Employee.
“He’s married. Let’s see if we can contact his wife.”
“I.C.E.”, she nods.
I’m hoping it’s that easy. (Many people program an I.C.E. number, In Case of Emergency.) “Or Home. Or whoever he called last, or most, if it’ll tell you that.”
“There’s a Serita.”
Serita was happily at work. Now she’s scared silly (I’m good at that, even by remote).
“Is he on any meds? Does he have something?”
He has seizures, and meds for them.
Meds need an eensy change in dosage, and this guy really oughta program an I.C.E. in his phone.
EMTs… Where are you?
“You’re doing very well. Your color looks good. Your eyes look good. Hang on, the EMTs are coming.”
A lady approaches and waits for me to look up. “Is he getting better?”
“Much better than a few minutes ago.”
She leans over and touches him and prays for healing. I touch him too, in part for him and in part ‘cause I’m hoping there’s God overspill involved.
EMTs, my Mema could drive faster WITHOUT lights and siren…
Someone comes up and announces they’re here.
“Here” is not here. “Here” is the parking lot. The EMTs must be walking on crutches, flirting with the Hallmark store gal, and buying a paper to get a one cent coupon. “The EMTs are here. Hang on. You’re doing well.”
They arrive and I clear out of the way.
One asks, “What happened?”
“He was on the floor when I arrived. Face down, non-responsive. We turned him over and his mouth was cyanotic, pupils dilated, pulse good, respirations fast, gasping. Cleared airway and put him in recovery position and he’s much improved already.”
He looks surprised. “You an EMT?”
“CERT.” Now I’m surprised, ‘cause he nods like he’s familiar with the program. He has me thinking maybe instead of begging Wal-mart for a job, I should check out being an EMT. (As long as I get to drive.)
They start readying a gurney.
“His name is James. He has a history of seizures. His wife has been contacted. That’s his phone.”
They take the phone and start chatting up Serita. People start checking out their groceries. Store Employee has a nametag that reads, ‘Linda’. Linda offers me an anti-bacterial wipe for my hands.
“Thanks, but I came in here needing to use the restroom anyway.”
Kinda forgot about that.
“Thanks for your help, Linda.”
Linda says something appropriate and I nod.

No one talks to you afterward which is unfortunate because there’s an unpleasant adrenaline rush to it that takes a while to fade. It’s not like the fun adrenaline when you’re dating and newly in Love, or the scary adrenaline when you’re testing the limits of a four wheel drive. You can control how intense that adrenaline is. This kind of scary adrenaline is because a life is in your hands and but Life is out of your control, and even when things seem to be going well, you are keenly aware of the mental scrambling no one else could see. People on facebook make you feel good afterward, but people at the scene kind of back away like you’re contagious. Your husband says he’s proud, but it’s the guy who needed his battery jumped off later in the afternoon who calls you a hero.
(Alas, the automotive patient was DOA, from the sound of it, victim of a bad solenoid.) If you’re going to ruin your stats, I figure that’s the way to do it.

The story’s long enough for more than one moral:

-Boy Scouts aren’t stupid. Be prepared.

-If you think you’d be willing to do CPR on a stranger, carry gloves and the mouth guard.

-If you think you can’t help and someone appears to have it all in hand, ask if you can help. They may need someone to call the wife, or get the towels.

-Tell someone ‘good job’ even if they looked calm. Give them someone to talk to for a minute if they seem willing. Maybe even vocalize for them, “That had to be scary.”

-Put an I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) on your phone if you want someone who loves you at the hospital with you. (And I’ve been in enough, and with enough people in them to PROMISE you, you do!)

There are methods and apps for putting an I.C.E on most phones even if it is locked. Use them

-If no one else can access your phone, put your I.C.E number on medical tape affixed to it.

-Walk in confidence. You can trust your training, even if it’s old.

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06/21/2016 Driving the Mean Streets of the Police Training Academy

Tonight I exploited the opportunity to spend time with some instructors at GCPD, hearing tales of trainer terror and driving the low speed EVOC course of a major police training facility. Cadets must pass EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operator Course) in order to graduate. If you're thinking it's your regular loop around 285, you are mistaken. Over half of the last class of cadets mastered climbing six foot walls, legalese, and tasting pepper spray, yet flunked out because of the rigor of this course, or the equally tough firearms requirements.

Rigor’s essential. An officer will spends about ten percent of their time out of the car, which means to do this gig, you’d better like driving 90% of your day and better be good at it. No snuggling in during thunder or ice stormed roads either. Officers must drive in all weather conditions, under any degree of stress, or more deadly, the nonchalance born of a quiet night. Officers have accidents, and mastery of this course will save lives. No one argues the importance of these skills and passing the test weighs heavy on everyone.

The instructor outlines the tale: cadets flex leg muscles, crack jokes or go silent, all subtle cues to the stress they’re under prior to running the track. They’d rather cope by lifting weights, running like the wind, tossing back a boilermaker, (or sucking their thumbs), but the situation doesn’t allow for it, so jokes fly and finger joints pop. One cadet notices the testing instructor pacing several hundred yards along the end of the track, back and forth, as one by one, his latest class runs the gauntlet and hits the “street”.

“You’re more nervous than we are!” they accuse.

The instructor’s too experienced to bluff away the truth. “You’re worried about one test. I’m worried about all of you.”

Tonight The Eliminator looks daunting enough and unlike time on the cozy indoor simulators, no one’s fighting for first slot on this course. It has tight three point turns, lots of backing up, a few slalom runs, some hairpins, a figure eight and eight tiny reindeer. OK, instead of flying toy delivery critters make that traffic cones, five hundred fifty traffic cones, all over an asphalt plane, and all ours to play with. My passenger’s a sister citizen police academy grad who clearly drew the short straw. She’s a driving professional who weaves a school bus through traffic all day while calculating derivatives and cherry picking top stocks in her head (or whatever it is school bus drivers do instead of wringing thirty shrieking necks, which I suppose, technically should probably be on the list of verboten “distracted driver” activities, but no judge would fault them if a few went 'missing' every now and then). This course is hers to rule.

Naturally somehow, I’M the first one driving. (Driving, right. I’m trying to remember the doggone thing.)

It’s easy, right? Step 1- Climb in vehicle. Crown skull on the industrial strength dome light. No, seriously. You could bake a wedding cake tier in this thing, it’s that big (and hard). The brief encounter with the Combat Dome Light immediately gives me a weird headache. Blink a few times, suppress words innocent bus drivers should never hear, and ignore head while trying to fold, spindle and mutilate long legs and strappy heel sandals into driver compartment. This seat makes a transcontinental flight in coach with an evil short person on Full Recline in front of you feel luxurious. I manage to take off the right strappy sandal, because I can’t maneuver the pedals with it on, it’s THAT tight. Check surroundings, looking for incidentals, like the gear shift, ah, there we are!, and mirrors. Notice the rear of the car is higher than the front. Try to see out back window, (an odd habit of mine when driving in reverse), especially when either the mirror will not angle down any further, or the button that looks to control it actually shoots lazer beams at tailgaters. (This could explain why several classmates start limping away from the car).

Push bare foot on floorboard to raise up and try to see out back window.

Crown skull on roof, but HURRAY! I see something!

It’s stars. (Unfortunately, not part of the course). I figured I might leave a little DNA evidence in the form of sweat on this vehicle, but didn’t count on donating some O+ while I’m at it.

Expertly master putting on the seatbelt, check passenger’s insurance and next of kin data, and crank vehicle before she figures out door lock and escapes.

OK, no worries. It’s a simple little course. You just ease between these two tall cones here. Now, go-straight-hard-right-straight-hard-left-oblique-right-oblique-left-then-right-thenSTOPfor-pity’s-sake,STOP-reverse-oblique-switch-oblique-can’t-see-anything,not cone, not road, not anything-listen-to-passenger-who-is-shorter-than-you&therefore,closerTOcones-YOUFOOL!NEVERLISTENtoPASSENGER!-hitCONE{{TOLD~YOU!!}}-listen-to-classmates-YOUIDIOT!...NEVER>>EVER<<LISTENtoCLASSMATES!!!!!WhatAreYouTHINKING?!?didyaLearnNOTHINGfromtheExplodingPopsiclesIncidentOf’08?-hitCONE-dragSCREAMINGcone-under-car-hitANOTHER-listen-to-pleas-for-mercy-THINK-it’s-cones-it’s actually-instructor-dying-laughing-HE’SaboutTOhemmorhage-on-the-course(bonusPOINTSfor-missing-blood). Repeat crowning head several times while trying to find SOME way to see the course.

Just doing my part to ease the tension of the evening....

I’m actually pretty good going forward. Zipped down the slalom, whipped around the corner, barreled through the straightaway, braked for the hard right, could do the figure eight all day, accelerated through the hairpin turn (THAT’LL teach sidekick to give me bad directions!) In other words, the people snickering at me at the end of the course wet their pants as we zipped down toward them to the finish.
Just don’t ever ask me to reverse one of those demon rides.
HELPFUL TRAINING OFFICER righting a cone: “Why do you keep killing Jacob? What did Jacob ever do to you?”
“OFFICER” HARP- “Watch it, fella! I can take out your knees with this puppy. ”
HELPFUL TRAINING OFFICER looks at “Jacob” and realizes I DON’T seem to miss. ...Backs away slowly.
“HELPFUL” CLASSMATES- “Just head for that cone.”
*Editor’s Note- Kindly recall there are five hundred and fifty, count ‘em, FIFTY cones on the course. “THAT cone”.
Yeah, not nearly the helpful advice they think it is.
…Or DO they?
HELPFUL TRAINING OFFICER: “Just back up using a hard turn.”
“OFFICER” HARP follows instruction, executes perfect maneuver- “Know whut? Yer about half smart!”

My ride is over, but many more cones perish before the night’s done and more hearts beat in sympathy to nervous cadets and their instructors. Great people, both teaching and learning, and another reason this kind of research is a fave activity of this suspense author. (All to protect and serve you, Dear Reader. All to serve you.)
But for now, I’m back in the driver’s seat to put away one of the toys at the end of the session an' well, lookee here! I found the blue lights switch on the first try! (Clearly a natural).

Hop in. There’s a doughnut in hot oil that needs rescuing and we’re just the two for the job.

Ya'll stay safe now.

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02/11/2016 Guest on "Amethyst Eyes Celebrate Love Blog"

Celebrate Love Blog Series, with K.D. Harp’s WHAT A TANGLED WED

Well now that my unit will be outdoors over the next 4 days, temperatures have decided to drop to -40. Did I mention that they sleep out in the snow? The first night is spent in a tent, but the others in either a quinsy or some form of individual snow shelter. Yeah, no comment.

Sooo to keep warm let's turn our attention to our next author, K.D. Harp, and her book, What a Tangled Wed. Hmm, I thought that was a typo, at first, lol.
Oh, although this is a fun but short interview, we do have a character interview to share too. And since we're going to try and avoid going out in the cold, settle down to read while I fix some hot cocoa.

Do you write full time?
No. I write OVERtime. (Unfortunately, there’s no bonus pay involved.) Now does that fall into the 'midnight to three in the morning' category?

How much of your life is set aside for writing?
Too much. If the non-writing authorly chores (testing promotional sites, edits, reedits, proofing, spellchecking, yelling at my stubborn hard-of-hearing voice to text software, checking in at GoodReads, cover design, editing some more, remembering to tweet, buying emergency voodoo dolls in case of bad review, etc.,) weren’t enough, I write a lot of romantic suspense, so the basically the entire universe is research. I can’t pin a barbecue recipe without thinking about putting it in a story, or kiss my husband without trying to remember How It’s Done, you know, for a scene. (Fortunately he doesn’t get stage fright often.) Sounds like he has his hands full!

Where does the inspiration for your main character and story come from?
While nowhere near as wealthy as Pierce, my older brother was a brilliant engineer, successful enough with his crowd and drew the romantic attentions of more women than he counted upon. What A Tangled Wed was dedicated on the occasion of his marriage to the lovely Susan, the one woman who could give as good as she got, and so much more! As fate would have it an editor showed interest in another project and ‘Wed was shelved. I found the lost draft mere weeks after he died suddenly of a brain tumor. Naturally, my whole schedule was scrapped to complete it. I’d always thought of romantic comedy as being pretty lightweight on the Meaningful Writing Scale, but crafting this book helped me work through my own grief many, many times. If it can distract someone else from what they’re going through, so much the better! HUGS

How much research went into your story?
Way, way more than expected! I usually write romantic suspense, a world where authors chat about gunshot residue, poisons and body decomposition farms over lunch. Frankly, I figured romantic comedy to be a cakewalk research-wise, but ended up setting the schedule back to accommodate investigating all the ‘getting it right’ details. You’ll find pins of floral arrangements, Georgia resorts, French train tickets, luxury entertainment in Dubai, Nepalese disaster photos, the world’s most expensive and exotic aphrodisiac, a to-die-for ice cream bombe recipe, and a bunch of other stuff researched for What A Tangled Wed here: ( Ooh, now that sounds like fun stuff to sift through, especially since you've gathered it all into one place for us!

What is the message behind the story?
All of my work has an underlying theme of supporting women in demanding more for themselves from their man than Western entertainment generally endorses these days. Beyonce’s on the right track with “put a ring on it”. There’s empowerment! Expect to be respected. There’s a huge difference between lust and love, and too many times women settle for being in a relationship, any relationship or a nice physical buzz and sacrifice (or don’t even acknowledge) their other needs. Set the standard to your scale. Be willing to walk out if you’re not respected, and don’t settle for giving more than you’re getting in return. That’s a foundation for a love that can last your lifetime and you deserve it!
(My publicist is afraid I’m about to jump up on your desk and start yelling at passersby. …Don’t blame her, really. I CAN get a bit het up. …I’m supposed to curtsey politely now before you call security.) Oh, no worries, I already cleared off my desk-top for you and was wondering when you were going to take this on the road.

Thanks so much for letting me share some time with you and your readers, Debbie! You are most welcome.

Rescue Me Goodreads Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Kathy C. of Buffalo Grove, IL! You've won the GoodReads Giveaway of RESCUE ME!

12/19/2015 Guest on Monique DeVeres' blog "Dish The Pie With Monique and guest"

Dish The Pie With Monique and KD Harp

Please help me to welcome my first guest to Dish The Pie. KD Harp is here to share her favourite pie recipe and to tell us a little about her latest RomCom What a Tangled Wed.

Hello and welcome, KD. Love the title, by the way, but before we go any further I have to ask…

Do you like desserts? What is your favourite and would you share the recipe with us?

A favorite dessert, do people have a favorite? At this time of year, gluten-free, lactose free, versatile, super easy FORGOTTEN COOKIES would be high on the list.

Family lore is they get their name because it’s a meringue based fluff you stick into the oven and ‘forget’ overnight. Nothing like their visual cousin, divinity, these are light as air, melt in your mouth delights; The Krispy Kreme doughnut of the cookie world. They are the cookie yin to rich fudgy Mississippi Mud yang and look great displayed against darker confections on giveaway platters.

Easy, easy, easy, and if you’re handy with a piping bag, you can fit it with a large tip and pipe out fancypants swirls. Use your still hot oven as it cools down from prepping dinner, and you’re not just baking cookies, you’re doing it in an eco-friendly way.

The original recipe called for regular sized toll house morsels and chopped nuts, but we’ve found over the years this base supports 2 cups of whatever inclusion you want to add. You can divide the base into a cereal bowl to make several kinds in one sitting, great for getting a variety of flavors for small households (…or photoshoots). Smaller mix-ins (mini-morsels, mini M&M’s, chopped candy) give the final cookie a rougher exterior texture and crunchier mouthfeel than whole sized M&M’s, Craisins, or toll house chips.

Monique: Sounds delicious! And here is the recipe.


Forgotten Cookies
the official dessert of KD Harp’s What A Tangled Wed

Preheat oven to 350F (175C)

BEAT two egg whites until stiff. (While you’re waiting, line a cookie pan with wax paper. I make Martha Stewart’s chocolate babka with the leftover yolks.)
Add 1/8 teaspoon (heavy pinch) of salt.
Gradually add 2/3rds cup (150grams) white sugar.

Beat a couple minutes, until stiff peaks form.
This makes a brilliant white, sweet, and neutrally tasting base.

Choose up to 2 cups (454 grams+/-) of mix-ins.
Original recipe: half tollhouse morsels, half chopped pecans.
Things that work great: M&M’s, mini M&M’s, chopped Andes mints, chopped peppermints (the soft melt puffed kind, not the hard candy cane type)

Things we haven’t tried yet: Craisins, chopped peanut butter cups, Skittles.

(If you wish to tint the base, do it while whipping, not at the fold in stage.)

FOLD in your mix-in. Drop by soup spoonful on wax paper. (The shape it falls is the shape it bakes)

Into oven. OVEN OFF! Read a good book and ‘forget’ it for
a couple of hours minimum.

Bakes best on a clear, non-rainy day but does well even in the humid South. Stores very well in airtight container; theoretically for weeks if, like Mom, you’re good at hiding them from human predators. If you use butter or spray oil instead of wax paper, you’ll be able to taste it. When done with high volume sugar substitutes like Splenda or stevia, the result is not as sweet, and flatter.

Monique: KD, have you ever eaten pie for breakfast? If so, what was it?

KD: I went pie crazy one Thanksgiving all homemade; traditional apple-walnut oat, chocolate chip pie, pecan pie, chocolate pecan pie, a low-fat low-cal chocolate pudding pie along with my mother-in-law’s pumpkin chiffon pies. You know how normal families scramble for turkey casserole recipes for leftovers on Friday night? We had pie for breakfast! It was great, but the BEST pie I had for breakfast would be pizza pie, at my brother’s apartment, when we were all fresh out of college. I’d totally forgotten that, until you asked. Thanks for bringing another fond moment to mind!

Monique: My-oh-my! That’s a lot of pie. I love pie, but I couldn’t face that much pie. My hat off to you.

Monique: How important is humour to you?

KD: Humor is second to God’s presence for emotional survival to me. I’ve endured abuse, chronic illness and just this past year, found myself writing romantic comedy while mourning the sudden loss of my brother to brain cancer, (the same brother who inspired the book!) To say this took more courage than anticipated is a gross understatement. Grief has its place and serves us well, but being able to find humor, or miracle of miracles, actually laugh, gave me tangible hope to the promise that I’ll make it through each trial.

Monique: I’m so sorry for your loss, KD. Sometimes tragedy helps us to appreciate the humour in life.

Monique: How often do you laugh?

KD: Everyday, and I may be missing some of the Official Good Mom things in life, but when we were dining out, my son mentioned we were the only table in the place busting out in laughter, so I’m doing something right! We can fixate on what’s wrong, or seek whatever joy we can find. The choice is ours. It’s not always easy, but it’s always ours.

Monique: Snap! My family is exactly like that… Laughter wherever we go. Wise words, KD. Yes we can choose whether to keep our joy or allow someone to take it.

Monique: Which movie is your all-time favourite? The one you watch so often you know every line?

KD: Hands down, THE PRINCESS BRIDE! Here are several characters enduring trial and not letting go of their sense of humor, nor their intelligence, not for a second. Each is serious about their devotion to others, without taking themselves too seriously. What’s not to love?

Monique: This is my husband’s all-time favourite movie, too. 

Monique: Love is a leap of faith. When do you think is the perfect moment to say “I Love You” for the first time? Do you believe in playing safe and waiting for the person you’re dating to say it first? Or are you happy to say it as soon as you feel it?

KD: These are not words I toss about casually. I had to say it once I was reasonably certain I was in love and we were alone. Exact words: “You’re not obligated or anything, but you should know I think I’m in love with you.” It just wasn’t fair to be getting so attached to someone, without him knowing the stakes on my end. He needed to know who was sitting across from him, and be able to walk out ASAP if it wasn’t what he wanted instead of continuing unaware, thinking I was still at a less invested level. I knew what I wanted, but love does not demand its own way. He needed the freedom to choose me, as I chose him.

Monique: I agree. I Love You is not to be thrown around lightly. LOL, I just love your opening speech. But you didn’t tell us…did he run, or did he stay? Did he say it back?

KD: A tale for another day. (Leave me SOME mystery, will ya? I'm in the suspense biz!) Thanks so much for inviting me to stop in, and for providing a great excuse to make some cookies!

Monique: It was a joy to spend time with you, KD. I hope you made enough cookies for everyone…

7/20/2015 K.D. Goes to Jail

A person can be TOO detail oriented perhaps...
I had the chance to tour the local #jail last night. There's a long list of Stuff You Can't Take With You, like sunglasses, keys, your phone... which got me wondering about #WhatToWear.
(This is what I get for writing #suspense. You can bet #AmyTan never has this problem...)
Anyhoo, settled on jeans, a loose sweater and despite the heat, gave up the #precious #summer #flipflops for solid, comfy walking shoes used for volunteering.
...Only to find most of the women present a flipping and a flopping their way through this particular #HallofJustice.with nary a batted eye.
(And chattering. LOTS OF casual chatter.)
Jail is many things, but loud is not one of them so imagine someone yodeling in a library. Now, give them several competitors and few howling dogs and you get a sense of what walking this jail with these people is like. This group had best stay on the correct side of the Law, because we just plain aren't READY for jail time. We fail the ‘don’t bring sunglasses’ test, the walk to the right test, and just about every polite instruction given, at least almost all the women do. It's second nature to them, their assumed Right as free citizens.
It's not intentional, but the chatter jars against the long, silent halls, the polite vigilance of the guards, and the required culture for inmates whose every move is at the direction of a guard and understandably not to be questioned. Things we take for granted are NOT to be taken for granted. An inmate must stop walking if we’re nearby and waits for us to pass before they can continue. Doesn’t matter that we’re tourists on holiday and they might have some task to accomplish.
It feels …different, like a caste system. It’s not America. It’s Europe, a long time ago, or the Middle East if you’re female. (Yeah, I know, it’s called JAIL. I believe in JAIL. I think too many people cycle out without getting the training to be more than someone who will cycle back in again. Pro Jail. But Jail Ain’t America. You’ve left your stuff behind. You’ve left your loved ones behind. You’ve left the COUNTRY.)
One gives up far more than where one is located when incarcerated.
Now, I had any sense of Right to Gab beaten out of me as a child and can't help wondering what the employees and residents here think of all this. My companions’ Freedom of Speech is both harmless and (unintentionally) quite #InYourFace, like the family with 5 kids can be to an infertile couple. I turned to one of our escorts as we entered a housing unit and catch his gaze. "It's usually a WHOLE lot quieter in these halls, isn't it?"
He seems relieved someone could connect a dot or two in this crowd, but didn't check my shoes, (no doubt instinctively sensing I’d make a model inmate), and opting to look me hard in the eye.
That'd be an affirmative.
(BTW, if you're on a jail tour and NOT in the mood to get the undivided attention of a yard full of inmates, walk AHEAD of the gabbing gerties, not BEHIND them, 'cause by the time they chirp the group’s presence to the universe, and the locals get to the window to check out the noise, it's just and a glass square full of faces, some sad, some inscrutable, some hostile, all Zoo Curious, only the tour’s the group getting gawked at.)
There was no need for any of the guards to keep track of the tour’s location or progress. We have Gab-dar pinging our every move.
We visit a housing unit. The showers are curtained off from the common room for dining, watching TV. The men in our group are shuttled to the far end of the room, away from the plastic veil that doesn’t make it to the floor.
I see no feet on the tile and remonstrate myself for even looking.
But you look.
Inmates are readying new admissions boxes with blanket and pillow for future residents. Every phone available in use as the women talk to someone outside about the life they’ve left behind, and the one they wait to return to one day, if it’s still waiting for them. A few watch TV, a few more hang out outside, with the never used but pristine volleyball net. (What’s up with all this ball-less volleyball?)
We speak to the officers, to each other, and a pod full of people do but do not exist. It's like walking into someone's dorm and ignoring all the students.
For the most part, the students are ignoring us, too.
Time to move on.
We visit a special unit where inmates train and rehabilitate dogs. Officer Lamb runs the unit and is enthusiastic and proud of the results here, for all involved. Some of the animals are injured, others have behavioral issues, all leave this program having been loved, cared for, trained and nurtured by an inmate, who in turn has a four-legged friend to pour out his heart, and gained skills in patience, communication and responsibility. Inmate Fredricks sports a shaved Mohawk and introduces us to Sheba, a dog whose face its own mother couldn’t love but her trainer does. Sheba’s been physically abused but has formed a deep attachment to Fredricks. She does the basic “sit” “stay” “leave it” commands, works a leash, and soon runs through others he’s thought of which might help her new owners. “Back up!”, he commands, explaining the scenario of arriving home with groceries and needing an excited Sheba to make way at the door. Sheba’s probably a pitbull mix of some sort and NOT small. It’s a handy perk for her future owner to have, and while I’ve had dogs who needed this skill, I wouldn’t have thought to train it into one, but he has, and he’s proud of her.
There’s not a lot of pride in this place.
I do my best to keep my ducks in a row, was absolutely mortified when Mrs. Turrentine mistook me for someone else and had me sit on the stage during lunch for ‘talking in class’ that I didn’t do. I told her she was mistaken. She brushed it off, said the experience would build character or some such nonsense. They quip here, about a room full of people to be processed in, all of whom, ‘didn’t do anything’ and I know unlike skeptical teachers flexing their authority over innocent 7th graders, people generally don’t wind up getting fingerprinted for doing nothing.
This facility’s cleaner than some hospitals I’ve visited, a far cry from any of the gruesome movies my kid has to watch for his summer history assignment. There’s a dentist who visits, and they’d pick up the tab for the $10/day it costs me to be able to breathe. It is safe from storms and feeds every resident three meals a day. It is orderly, and predictable, and generally calm, which beats vast chunks of the world outside.
IIRC, almost half the admissions involve domestic violence on some level. I wince at the thought of so much anger and unhappiness out there, having survived it for years and thank God for the home I've had as an adult.
I vow to up the ante on writing books where women demand more from men than good pecs and white teeth.
If you look for it, you find the basics of life here, sunshine and wind, the passage of time, and the games idle minds can play. I know firsthand the power of animals in our lives, but watching Sheba with her handler who will love her and watch her go, thinking of shower curtains facing a dining hall, the prospect of a sandwich and chips for lunch …day after day after day, makes me very glad I’m outside, and very aware how the Bigtime Mrs. Turrentines of this world can gain power and steal our freedom of speech, and our freedom, in the blink of an eye and a moment of careless authority.
The right to gab your way down the hall is tenuous. The difference between those of us outside and those in is Justice.
We descend a stair, go through a tunnel and surface back at the main entrance, where a hint of the night’s oppressive humidity defeats the air conditioning, but you still breathe easier anyway. Jokes are made about headcounts and I stop myself from Buddy Systeming the moment.
Of course we’re all out.
It’s where we’re supposed to be.
It’s where we want to be.
It’s where the current state of America still lets us be.
I hear a ‘flip’ and a ‘flop’ ahead of me and flash back on the memory of a man we watched being fingerprinted. You only get as far as booking before ya realize the OTHER population wearing flip flops here would be ...the inmates.
Yeah. I'll stick to the ugly walkers, thanks.

LOOKING FOR WAYS TO #MakeADifference?-
Over 250 animals have gone on to live with families thanks to the #OpertionSecondChance program which is paid for entirely by donation. (They’ve started a cat program for women inmates, too.) Learn more about OPERATION SECOND CHANCE and read a most compelling letter on its power to transform written by one of the inmates at #jaildogs
#KROGER card holders! Help out for free at

Register with ID number 25365, Society of Humane Friends of GA

If your business wants to partner with them, please email (There’s also a donation box at the front desk of main entrance to the jail, open 24/7. )
Tell ‘em the author, K.D. Harp sent ya. They won’t know who the heck I am, but it’ll give ‘em something new to contemplate, keep ‘em on their toes.

07/10/2015. Cindy Loven gives another promotional boost, this time, to RESCUE ME at June Foster's blog.

7/03/2015 Cindy Loven gives CODE PRODIGAL a shout out on author June Foster's blog. How nice is that? If you're familiar with Prodigal's cover copy, you've seen this, but it reads SO much prettier on June's site than mine....

4/27/2015 Guest on The Barn Door Bookloft with RESCUE ME (We Have Escaped)

A Warm Welcome to K.D. Harp
Can you tell us a bit about your family, and what it is like where you live?

I live with the world’s finest husband and son and most skilled mooch of a dog in a suburb of Atlanta much like fictional Spencer. It’s big enough to have big box stores and fast food chains, small enough you recognize the cars on the highway and Mom ‘n Pop restaurants have a fighting chance of survival. It’s doing well enough most folks can afford to be civic minded, (or at least I cross paths with a high percentage of people like that.) I am blessed.

Is there a story behind RESCUE ME?

A couple of them, actually.

Heather’s backstory, being betrayed by her church family when her church leader husband gets caught cheating on her, is loosely based on real events in the life of a dedicated pastor’s wife I know and respect. In both cases, people confused their anger against the husband’s sins against them with the innocent victimized wife. We don’t have to go far to find similar instances of church people attacking their own wounded, and it’s alienated a lot of good folk from organized faith. My hope is Heather’s story will make people think twice about how they handle themselves when times get rough inside their sanctuary, and that any other victims out there might take comfort from Heather’s perspective, or at the very least, feel less alone and possibly understood.

In the course of research, I got interested in and joined Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) a few years ago. It’s the kind of self-empowering thing a woman so poorly treated would be smart to pursue during her healing, so Heather’s a CERT because she’d want to move forward, and I also get to raise awareness of this opportunity. Regular citizens can prepare for disasters and train to self-rescue, and if they so choose, assist others in times of crisis. CERTS can be found worldwide and I encourage anyone who can take a class to do so, (even if they have no intention of rescuing cops from swollen rivers). Contact your local emergency management agency for details.

What is the last thing you wrote?

The first title in the Fighting For The Heart of Spencer series is CODE PRODIGAL. Ike helps a military buddy protect his young niece and competes with him for the affections of Brianna Parrish, world’s most courageous summer camp director.

What’s your favorite genre of writing?

Romantic Suspense, hands down! It’s got action, nail-biting, the tug of heartstrings, adventure, high stakes, and usually some good laughs. (I suppose if we set in 1776, it’d cover ALL the fiction bases). Best of all, the research is tons of fun. How do I shoot an arrow? Fire a gun? Whack a guy in a padded suit with a foam baton for defense class practice? Defeat zip ties around my heroine’s wrists without a knife or scissors? You can’t beat the research, and No Corsets Required!

What’s the most unusual plot twist you ever wrote?

In a different series the heroine died. (This is the problem with being character driven and giving them loose rein. They sometimes go over the cliff before you can stop them.) It was what would’ve happened in a real life scenario and she went for it. Fortunately my hero had different opinion on the matter, (and more resources than I), or it’d be a very short series.

How much research do you have to do for the genre in which you write?

Accuracy, or at least, plausibility is key, so the research takes more effort than I thought.
Aside from details of locale, there are more critical factors like how a character would talk or behave. I grossly underestimated the number of volunteer hours, ride-alongs and police department courses for citizens an author can take before they can attempt a reasonable representation of what police work is like or at least not do stupid things like having them run with live guns pointed forward or go after known armed suspects without wearing vests and such. (I am very annoying to sit with when watching movies and TV crime shows as a result.) I’m grateful for the kind words people have offered about my stories thus far, but the highest compliment I’ve gotten was a policewoman who told me she summed my works up to a colleague: “She gets it right.”
HUGE sigh of relief! That’s the goal, but it ain’t as simple as I’d thought… Tons of fun learning, though.

How do you find the time to write?

You do not find time to write. It’s like finding time to do your taxes or go out for exercise. You MAKE time. You give up lunches with friends or the notion a house that never embarrasses you with roving bands of rabid dust bunnies thundering across the plains. You commit to it (and sometimes, the characters kidnap you until the wee hours of the morning.)

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so how often do you get it? How do you fix it?

Oh, I believe, and the best way to contract a bad case of it is to write an article about how to get over it! True story: No sooner had I sent a piece off on overcoming writer’s block to Southern Writer’s Magazine Suite T blogspot, than my brain seized like an old engine on winter morning. NOT pretty. (Ask me if God has a sense of humor….) The article’s mirrored at: if you’re curious. I got over it by leaning on the outline for direction and forging ahead, pretty much like I wrote in the piece. I’m a pantser at heart and prefer to have the characters do what they’d do, not what an outline tells them to do. I hate outlines generally, but it sure saved me this time.

They’re also handy for making sure you’re going to hit your target release.

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?

I am doing that now. MURDER BY MASCARADE is the working title of a piece targeted at a popular secular publisher years ago. It got favorable interest from an editor but found out I was in a high risk pregnancy (complete bedrest, no stress of any kind) and quit the project. Years later, the “baby” is over six feet tall and counting and I’m thinking MBM would be much improved by adding its unspoken faith subplot and launching it instead as another faith-infused romantic suspense.

What are your five favorite words?

I love you unconditionally, eternally.

How do people react when they find out you write?

I’m new to the game and not well known enough to impress anyone with it, if that’s what you mean. Worse, a year into the process, I decided to withdraw CODE PRODIGAL from a well-known house and went Indie with it. As a result, most people look like they’re desperately refraining from patting me on the head. Run along and play, Dear. Avid readers will ask follow up questions, not because of an interest in me per se, but because books and the whole process are their thing. I know if they’ve read something I wrote when I see them the next time. I’m much more popular then! …Very gratifying and rather humbling, seeing real people affected by my fake ones.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

For the FIGHTING FOR THE HEART OF SPENCER series, the next title is not finalized. It’s a prequel to CODE PRODIGAL, and will explore the story of the missing mother in PRODIGAL, Katie Ballestra Doyle and her fight for survival as a key witness prior to the murder trial of her ex-husband.

It is tentatively scheduled for February 2016.

Thanks for asking, and for having me here. This has been fun -- almost as fun as having an enthusiastic police K-9 attempt to rip my (well padded) arm off. THANKS!

Back Cover Copy RESCUE ME
A hurricane's a bad time to learn why people say 'no good deed goes unpunished'.
For Sergeant Ike Porter, a solo rescue of two citizens stranded in raging flood waters should earn him the final gold star on his way to a slot on Georgia's new anti-gang task force. When his victims' car slams into the rescue boat, both Ike and the tin can passing for a rescue vessel sustain damage, leaving the three of them high and far from dry.

It could be worse.

He could be Heather Harmon, the CERT emergency response volunteer who sees their plight and tows them all to safety. Heather thinks fast on her feet, but has no way of knowing the same tool she used to save the flood victims is fresh from a murder.
It isn't often a cop gets rescued by a civilian. Widower Ike is quickly smitten with this brave woman and isn't about to let the sins of her ex interfere with their future, but he doesn't quite know the solution to helping Heather let go.
...Or that rescuing a killer has made her his next unwitting target.

Picking up a cop boyfriend should be pretty handy under such dire circumstances, but as the bodies pile up and evidence of murder mounts against Heather, close proximity to law enforcement becomes a double-edged sword for them both. Sharpshooters like Ike aren't known for their Cassanova skills and he soon learns voicing your doubts is a real romance killer....

Heather distances herself from his protection, leaving the field wide open for the murderer to strike again, frame his heroic victim, and walk away clean. ...All while rubbing every bit of it in Ike's face. Heather and Ike's faith in God is strong enough to sustain them individually, but if they can't show some faith in each other, history will repeat itself. Heather will face off with a practiced killer alone, Ike may lose his last shot at love, but this time, he'll know he had the power to save her.

3/11/2015 Guest on Taking It To The Streets of Omaha

Code Prodigal by K. D. Harp

Cast Your Cares Oh, the games we Christians play, acting happy when our heart is breaking and shouting hallelujahs while searching for a place to hide… indefinitely. Today author and blogger K.D. Harp shares some thought provoking thoughts on spiritual self-denial.

Take Off Your Happy Face by K.D. Harp

And God said: “By all means, vent… to Me.”

Every life has trial, each heart, pain. The key to weathering the storm is having something stronger than yourself to hold on to, to shelter you. God does not call us to be stoic models of faith that reject our sorrows but look more like denial of reality to outsiders. We are not to pretend the thorn in our side has no power, but to cry out to Him in our loneliness or pain. …And listen for the answer.

“Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” 1Peter 5:7

So easy to quote, isn’t it? So much harder to live in dark hours, surrendering our cares to someone we can’t even see. We know we’re growing in our faith when our priorities shift from being all about us and our concerns, to being all about honoring God, but this verse reminds us, God gets it. He didn’t come down here and live amongst us and have no clue.

A brief look at the life of any of Christ’s disciples proves the Christian walk isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but there’s a growing cultural stamp of spiritual ‘be happy’ that limits what God can do in our lives by obsessing on prosperity and flat out refusing to admit we have cares at all. If Job walked the earth today, they’d be the first to point fingers.

Now, we can play the “everything’s fine” game but a massive case of spiritual denial won’t change hard truth, and we limit our authenticity with believers who are struggling. As Brianna Parrish in CODE PRODIGAL would say, telling God our concerns isn’t just something to do to gain comfort, “It’s also an order. ‘Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you’. That’s not my opinion. It’s a directive from God. My opinion? Ya might as well cast ‘em all.”

Me too, Brianna! It makes perfect sense. God constantly refers to Himself as a father figure, and any good father wants his child to trust him enough to love them even if they don’t always understand what He wants for them. God loves truth, so He prefers people who are straight with Him, and given that He’s omniscient (knows all), it’s not only somewhat insulting, it’s a waste of time pretending everything’s fine when it isn’t. God prefers our doubts or questions to our distance, even well-intended I-have-faith-and-nothing-harms-me distance.

A father expects questions from a child they love. A dictator does not.

We have a Father who wants a relationship. We need never fear any question we may have. (He already knows our hearts, so we’re busted anyway.) We are not to let someone spiritually intimidate us into thinking true faith is blind trust, or that questioning God shows a lack of faith. We have the courage to question God because of our faith. We trust we are loved regardless, loved Divinely, unconditionally, for our true selves. We question because we’re human. He gave us a brain and expects us to use it, and our faith is strong enough to turn to Him for answers, even when the answers aren’t pretty, and we don’t feel like SuperBelievers asking them.

Obviously the notion of The Almighty Creator of The Universe giving one whit for our little (and big) problems can be hard for us peons to swallow. We trust, acknowledge the pains in our hearts, and question, not to accuse, but to seek truth and find a path to strength so we might be perfect and complete, truly lacking in nothing.

The choice is braver than pretending something we don’t feel. God knows already. Cast your cares.

He cares for you.

Writer's Block

2-13-15 Guest on Southern Magazine's Suite T Blogspot where I rant on Writer's Block and the Sunshine-y Solutions That Make Me Gag

The next great novel waits within you, and you’ve come down with a case of writer’s block. Join the club. Or cry in your coffee. Wail to the sun. Whatever you do, don’t complain to non-writers, who don’t understand the problem and won’t care. (The phrase ‘writer’s block’ is as meaningful as ‘tennis elbow’ is to a couch potato). Don’t complain to seasoned writers either, because we see writer’s block as a rite of passage. You’re not REALLY a pet owner until you’ve dealt with that first public puppy indiscretion unprepared, and you’re not REALLY a writer until you’ve wrestled with a Muse who is feeding the world’s worst case of PMS and using it as an excuse to give you the Silent Treatment. All the gut-wrenching writer insecurity whirling about in your psyche from writer’s block just makes it all the more authentic to us.

On the up side, it is a malady as common as the cold, and remedies abound. Google the term and find suggestions for everything from changing location, getting a new look, meeting new people, listening to music, indulging in some sort of recreation, and my (sarcasm on) favorite, changing your attitude. I know, the world has become a positive thinking place which can cure anything from world hatred to panty hose runs, but I’m not this sort of person, and when I read suggestions like this for anything, I quickly tend to picture someone curing their writer ailment by plaiting their extensions into gravity defying Wendy’s logo braids, and singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” while hopscotching through a police station holding cell for fun. The image takes all the attitude actions and rolls them into one: new hair, new people, and song styling exercise guaranteed to get you a story of one sort or another…

Most of the useful suggestions involve something encouraging you to write anyway, essentially something that looks like denial of the writer’s block dilemma, but is in actuality, hard truth. You don’t really have writer’s block, dear writer. You’re not focused on the work of writing. You’re in love with the play of it.

You are the gal with the totally planned out wedding who isn’t even dating.

Denial Class suggestions involve working even when you think you can’t, i.e., has writer’s block. Commit to a set number of words per day, or better yet, a given amount of time. I like the time strategies because if your mind is truly blank after word wrestling for X minutes or hours, you’ve proven your dedication to the project. The minimum number of words strategy can work wonders too, though, especially if you set a ridiculously easy number of words, (even as low as ten if necessary), some number that your normal writer self just laughs at, and doesn’t take seriously as a goal. Even on a Writer’s Block Day, that ridiculous number is attainable, and once we’ve met the minimum, most of us are off and running down some writing path, because of the jump start it gives.

Or, READ. Read the text you were writing when the block occurred. Go back deep in the text, to the beginning if necessary. Immerse yourself in the story from a reader’s perspective. What do you want for these fake people, (sorry), characters on the page? What would be the worst thing to happen to them? …What’s that? You don’t have a text? OK, if starting the story is the problem, then read its predecessor, with the same mentality, and make note of what your mind conjures.

Oh c’mon! You’ve got writer’s block on your first book? Some would say read the book that inspires you to want to try writing and take note of the elements you want to emulate. Isn’t that sweet? So encouraging. So academic. While the Positive Penelopes amongst you are trading warm fuzzies whilst admiring a classic or bestseller, before you pragmatists run a finger down your throats at the thought, hang with me. For you folks, read the poorly written drivel that somehow got published which convinced you that you could do better, and this time, take note of all the ways to improve it.

Bingo. There’s your start, the elements you believe a good story requires. …Time to fill in the blanks. Now that you have it, don’t get sidetracked fretting over titles, character names or (some people actually DO this) a pen name. (Priorities people. You need no pen name until sometime AFTER you’ve actually penned something.) As for the story, use whatever character name comes to mind and don’t sweat it. It can be changed later with a simple Replace All, as long as you’re smart enough not to use a name like “Ike” (Guilty. This name will earn you the thrill of correcting a few hundred bizarre words that used to be ‘like’, ‘strike’, ‘pike’, etc.) If your mind’s such a blank you have to write XX and XY instead of a character name, just do it. The names will come later. Don’t slow their story as it trickles out.

The same strategy goes for impressive phraseology, extensive descriptions of people or place, and any other element that is flexible and can change. A story is a tough thing to craft, a line-up description, dismembered body, or resort’s high rollers poker room, not so much.
Bottom line on writer’s block: quit whining about how it’s hard, and write. If it were easy to craft a book, even Amazon couldn’t hold all the new titles. Write drivel if you have to, and edit it later (unless you score a three book deal from your pile of rubbish, in which case, publish and inspire someone else to take up the profession).


WHITE LIES Sneak Peek of

Sweet (Chapter) Sixteen --

Alex searches for a Cypher substitute...

It'd been a long night, and Alexandra was two minutes shy of the shakes.

Chocolate. I need chocolate. I need it bad. She flung the comforter off and grabbed her robe. She cinched it as she scrambled downstairs. There’s got to be some chocolate in this house.

She tried to think, but her objective made this impossible.

I need it. …Smooth, silky, chocolate milk. …Moist, steamy, hot chocolate. …A big brick of long, hard, …graham crackers.

No, no, no, you want CHOCOLATE. …The real stuff. …CHOCOLATE.

Yeah, but not plain ones. The kind with nuts, hard ones, big ones, like, almonds... Whole ones, rounded, hard, crunchy nuts I can wrap my tongue around and then just CRUSH with my teeth… There have to be some here.

Alexandra emptied the pantry with frantic fingers. …Chocolate baking bar. She sighed and put it on the counter, just in case.

She couldn’t be that bad off, could she?

…Cocoa powder. Can you snort it?

Will wasn’t there, so the Good Example thing wasn’t an issue. I dunno. Maybe I should Google that first. It might throw my brain into chocoholic shock or something.
No time for Google.

Alexandra ditched the cocoa powder and hung her head in frustration.

God takes care of fools and idiots, for lo and behold, there before her, sat Will’s snack box. She dragged it off the shelf and dumped it out on the countertop. Cheese crackers, pretzels, some suckers left over from Halloween… Trash that. Cinnamon graham animals, brownie bars…

Brownie bars. Her fingers shook a bit as she ripped the cellophane off and shoved half of it in her anxious mouth. C’mon… c’mon…

She waited to feel the tiger tamed. Her teeth pierced the soft dough and her tongue lingered a few milliseconds on the simulated frosting before it was history. Alexandra shoved the second half in her mouth and scrounged through the box for another. She ate it in a far more ladylike three bites. (OK, two and a half, and she made a disgusting slorping sound that would’ve made Will proud.)

Her fingers scrambled through the pile of treats, scattering them across the countertop. Crap. It was the last one.

Cookies. She could bake some cookies! That’d take another ten minutes.

I don’t HAVE another ten minutes.

She pulled the dough balls out from the freezer. The golf ball-sized shape pleased her. She gnawed one of the raw dough balls while she filled a tray with more and shoved them in the oven. This isn’t right. While it was sweet, and she liked the hapless resistance of the frozen dough against the onslaught of her teeth, it just wasn’t right.

Alexandra ran fingers through her hair and scanned the cabinetry. …Nothing.

She scrambled downstairs to the basement pantry. Chocolate sprinkles, brownie mix… Hmm. Alexandra tore open the mix, wet a finger and dipped it in the powder. Good enough I suppose, but this is going to take forever.

She dropped the box when she spied the jar on the shelf. A cloud of dark brownie dust rose in the air, teased her nose and settled on everything in the area. Alexandra had bigger things to worry about.

Chocolate peanut butter... Alexandra grabbed the container and breached the vacuum seal with the grace and strength of the Incredible Hulk. She ripped back the inner seal that normally protected the creamy wholesome contents from women like her. The scent wafted up to her nose and she let out a soft growl.

It didn’t last. Dang, dang, DANG. The spoons are upstairs.

Oh, Will doesn’t eat it, anyway.

She pierced the silken skin veiling the top layer with a finger, and swiped in, digging deep into its pure, undefiled, flesh. It yielded to her without a whimper of protest. Alexandra smiled and wrapped her mouth around it. She took her time; made it wait for her. Oh, heaven. Smooth, silky…

Alexandra rolled the sweet slug toward her throat, teased it with her tongue and sent it on to purgatory.

Take that.

She dug more out of the jar, and kept digging with relentless disdain until it was half empty and her fist prevented her from sating herself with any more without some sort of food retrieval tool thingy.

They need to invent that.

…I could. I could invent some device that gets the last half of the chocolate peanut butter out of the jar. I’d be rich. But for now…

Alexandra searched the shelves again.

Pay dirt. A long flat confectioner’s box winked at her, perched in a perky fashion alongside a stash of flour. It posed for her in its pretty gold foil wrapper, flaunted its “dark chocolate” label, called to her in a husky siren voice, one used frilly wrapper shell even flirted from under the demure edges of the lid, and then, the box pleaded to her.

Take me, take me now.

Alexandra yanked it from the shelf, ripped off the pretty little lid and tossed it aside without a care. She smiled with evil intent at her latest victim. Poor thing, you have no way of knowing my plans, no hope of thwarting them. You’re POWERLESS in my hands. She slid her back down the wall, dragging the helpless box of candy down with her. They hit the floor together. Entrapped in her fingers, it dangled helplessly over her outspread thighs.

You’re mine. I’ll have you.

8/25/2014 Guest on Kimberly Rose Johnson's Blog

Code Prodigal by K. D. Harp

K.D. Harp is with us this week to share about her book Code Prodigal. Welcome, K.D. please tell us about your book.
CODE PRODIGAL’s my second published work, the first targeted at the Christian bookseller’s market. I’m pleased it made the semi-finals in the highly competitive and prestigious American Christian Fiction Awards GENESIS contest.
Featuring Boone (a Marine home from OPS) and Brianna (Summer camp director), it has the bad guy mayhem and hero/heroine bravery you’d expect in a romantic suspense. The two pair up to fill in for Boone’s sister (Brianna’s friend) to watch over his niece. In the world history of babysitting, it’s never been this difficult, and falling in love only makes things trickier. (The full backcover copy appears on my website
I like how they struggle with balancing not only the gifts each has that can benefit the other, but also the give and take all new relationships have:
How far do I go with advice or help?
What’s too much too soon?
I also like how it goes beyond the story’s faith aspect being represented just by a “Christian” sounding business or people attending church between run-ins with the bad guys. When they aren’t confronting Mafia kingpins, Brianna and Boone explore relevant faith issues like:
Is questioning God the same as a lack of faith?
Is having concerns the affront to God so many churches seem to teach in this age of prosperity and positive thoughts?
While such spiritual aspects might appeal to some readers, it also portrays Christians more the way we really live, rather than how we’re usually depicted. I haven’t met any real couple that didn’t have a God given libido, but many CBA offerings gloss over that. (I make CBA editors uncomfortable, but I could let my father-in-law read Prodigal, and he’s a Class A guy.)
There’s thought behind the ‘edge’. Prodigal‘s series is a potential cross-over from my other True Colors series, targeted at the ‘regular’ ABA market. I want to encourage and entertain people of faith with it, but I also want to give insight into how we live to people unfamiliar with our culture. So many people think of us as passionless non-thinkers, it’s important to me to make sure my characters aren’t just smart and courageous, but also (while by no means even PG-rated) have ALL the aspects of humanity real people are given.
All manner of media undermines Godly values everywhere we turn. One of my goals is to use entertainment to affirm strong character values in the next generation of the faith, so pretending we don’t have physical desires would miss the mark. No point in writing, if I fail in that mission.
God willing, my work is a fun reinforcement of values which have served me well, and can serve today‘s (and tomorrow‘s) young adults.

What is next for you?
If I stay on schedule, the second in the far edgier “True Colors” series, WHITE LIES comes out this fall, just under a year shy of the release of its predecessor, BLACKMAIL. (WHITE LIES took fourth place in the nationwide Hook, Line & Sinker! Contest. How cool is that?)
The next piece in CODE PRODIGAL’S “Fighting for the Heart of Spencer” series, RESCUE ME, is due out next Spring.
(You can subscribe to a newsletter with head’s up on all releases at which also features cover previews and is where I play with backcover copy for upcoming titles if you’re into that sort of thing.)
If you’re newsletter phobic like I am, (my letter’s just announcements, no recipes, cute stories, vacation pics, or embroidery patterns, sorry), you can pop in on facebook at
Oh yeah! I’m supposed to craftily sneak in a plea to “Like” K.D. Harp, Author on facebook somewhere in this interview. Something less desperate than say, my local news team does. (Those people seriously need some friends or a hobby or something.)

Did you or do you have anything fun planned for this summer?
My father always talked about going to Alaska, something we wanted to do but couldn’t fund. He died last summer, and left my brother and I enough to make the trip this year. Alaska’s a beautiful, inspiring hunk of God country for sure and we all had a great time, doing this trip to the max. My husband and I are usually pretty frugal, the type to buy a two liter and reuse ice and cups from the fast food place, but this trip was in memory of Dad, so we flew over fijords and even sprang for the ATV run near Denali. It reminded me of bouncing along in Dad’s truck as a child, and hikes with him in our local wilderness. Back then, you could even drink from creeks or rivers you came across, and he taught us what to look for, and how to cup our hands and slake our thirst in the days before water bottles. That adventure occurred on Dad’s birthday, and as we finished the trek (running up a stretch of dry river bed) the guides invited us to hop off and collect rocks from an old quarry. Someone pointed to a trickle of water coming down the hill, nothing bigger than a garden hose’s output, which fast became a rivulet, and would soon be a summer stream. The guide explained we’d witnessed the arrival of glacier melt, the first of the season. Hard to find water purer than this. It would become a mountain creek within hours and arrived at that spot just as we did.
My brother, always faster on his feet than me, bent over and cupped his hands to snare a taste of glacier and I followed, remembering our hikes with Dad. He would’ve loved this. It’s neat how God can layer a moment if we stop to observe.
As we jounced home, making full use of any rut or ridge to maximize our fun, my son, who drew the short straw and rode with me,commented no one else in the group was game to choose a rock or taste the previous winter.
He’d hit on something big and the reason behind our trip: live life as full as you can while you can.
I just had to go all MOM on him. “You know I preach caution. But some people are afraid to look spontaneous and they waste opportunities like this,” I said. “You be different. Be the one looking for the rock. Push for the best. Taste the water. Standing to the side and watching is no way to live.”
He nodded and smiled-
…and held on for dear life.

I’m sorry about your dad, but what a wonderful tribute to his life and legacy!
Do you have a favorite spot in which to write?

It’s a treehouse overlooking a deer run with electrical power, ceiling fan, and rocker. It has a phone which only connects calls from people I want to talk with, and never needs maintenance. Oh hang on. You didn’t say ‘fantasy spot’ to write. In reality, I have an office, which stores extra copies of books and old rejection letters among other things. I actually work with a laptop, sometimes in a park or restaurant/cafe, once on a beach, (yeah, I know, beaches are for READING books, not writing them) but most often looking out at the woods through my family room window.

What is your favorite sweet treat?
It’s either a chocolate/chocolate fudge homemade seven layer cake of refrigerated decadence I make on rare occasions, or chocolate coconut covered macadamias by Mauna Loa, (You sense a theme here…)
We discovered them on an anniversary trip (romantically chaperoned by our young son. …I know, I know. They’re going to take away my RWA and ACFW membership cards when this gets out…)
Fortunately, I’m too lazy to make the cake and the candy is VERY hard to come by unless you live in Hawaii, or I’d be immobile.

If you weren’t a writer what do you think you would be doing?
I’d be in medicine or nursing somehow. I loved the science of it, and the heart. We can’t have enough good people in those fields. Almost did it anyway, but my own health issues tracked me toward something more flexible, like writing.
Whatever I do, I want to make a positive difference.
Thanks for inviting me. This has been fun.

5/15-16/2014 Guest on Barn Door Book Loft Blog

Code Prodigal by K. D. Harp

Welcome, back, K.D. Is there a story behind your book CODE PRODIGAL?
It’s the story of why I write at all. I’m so tired of romance that can’t see the totality of the people involved. I understand the temptation. Suspense in particular is difficult to expand characterization. You’re juggling a suspense thread, a romance thread, and for many brick and mortar publishers, they want this done in only 75,000 words. I love to multi-layer a scene, but come on! The end result is writers using physical behaviors as shorthand for emotions. There’s never a real-life consequence for these behaviors, of course. I like smart people of character who’ll stand their ground on who they are, what they believe and what they’re going to tolerate in their world.

Oh dear. Stop me. I AM ranting…

What distracts you from writing the easiest? 
Same as anyone else, daily life, be it replacing stair balusters, getting the oil changed, or the “business” end of writing, contacting editors, blog tours, or entering a contest to garner good critique and maybe some more credibility. You know, glamorous exciting things, like scoring my son’s favorite school lunch snack.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? (Book recommendations very welcome!)
My all-time favorite books would include C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters. I love the imagination behind it and live the spiritual struggle far too often. He’s so on the mark, and helps me break down an unexpected hurdle into something to get all Spiritual Warrior Princess about, and conquer. (…Especially useful when at my weakest.)

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
I love my heroines, so for this book, it’s gotta be Brianna. They’re usually average gals thrown into far from average circumstances who use their smarts and courage to do things any of us could do, if we were in the same circumstances and had a heart to battle evil (and a love of MacGyver). We have so many RoboHeroes in entertainment venues these days. It’s hard for me to relate to them. I love my regular gals doing extraordinary things.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Not sure if it’s quirky, but my husband and I were invited by friends to visit Budapest. The two of us were on the subway and a group of teens/early twenty-somethings got on board, but they moved single file and cut between me and my husband. In the end, they encircled him as he held onto the strap hanging from the ceiling. He didn’t have to use public transportation to go to college like I did, and didn’t get any odd vibes. I looked at him to warn him something was up, noted he had a good grip on the strap, and cinched his grip on our day pack and the hand in his pocket looked plenty relaxed.
Then I recounted hands…

I put mine in my husband’s pocket and removed the hand of one of the strangers, which freaked him out. (At the time, Hungarians were known for thievery, but were non-confrontational). They all bolted off the subway car as soon as the doors opened; which thankfully, was almost immediately. I guess he timed the pickpocket to happen just as it was time to go.)

We got off at the NEXT stop, even though it wasn’t where we were headed, made tracks for a park across the street from the station, found a huge tree to back up against and watched EVERYone  ANYwhere near us for a good fifteen minutes while we calmed back down.

(Ever since, I’ve made it a point to add “Stop, thief!” and “Help! Police!” to the foreign phrases I learn.)

…and you see why I don’t just love suspense, it seems to want me to live it, too. Ask me about facing down the point of a fully-drawn arrow sometime…

What is your favorite season of the year?  
Living in Atlanta with allergies, there’s no question it’s FALL! The colors of Spring (without the pollen counts) and lovely invigorating crisp humidity free air… (Doesn’t hurt that I met my husband in the Fall, either!)

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
The next in the “Fighting for the Heart of Spencer” series is RESCUE ME. Police Sgt.Ike Porter is trying to rescue a couple stranded in the midst of a hurricane ravaged river, when an upstream dam breaks, and they ALL need a hand. Fortunately, Heather Harmon, a CERT volunteer, (Community Emergency Response Team. I serve on my local board, btw. Even if you can’t help others, it’s got great training in case of a disaster. Check it out!)

Where were we?
Heather’s working a home nearby and saves the first responder’s life. Unfortunately for her, she’s just left a murder scene and is marked up with all sorts of evidence, including using the murder weapon to save Ike…
God willing, it’s out for Christmas of this year.

Back Cover Copy, BIO, and Book giveway details: (deleted)

5/15/2014 Guest on Carol Moye's Compelled To Write Blog

K. D. Harp Faith Infused Fiction

KD Harp: Faith Infused Fiction
KD Harp

What's the story behind your latest book?

It's the story of why I write at all. I'm so tired of romance that can't see the totality of the people involved. I understand the temptation. Suspense in particular is difficult to expand characterization. You're juggling a suspense thread, a romance thread, and for many brick and mortar publishers, they want this done in only 75,000 words. Not much room for characterization and backstory, and a villain's running amok through everything too. I love to multi-layer a scene, using setting, action, dialogue to reflect more than one thread's progress, but come on! The end result is, most writers use physical behaviors as shorthand for emotions. (We copulated. That means we're in LUV. Fifteen minutes of court TV shows can prove otherwise, but they persist in the myth).There's never a real-life consequence for these behaviors of course, and I suppose if it's a fantasy piece, that's appropriate. Where's the romance in that? People are totally shorting themselves settling for this in their fiction and their lives. I like smart people of character who'll stand their ground on who they are, what they believe and what they're going to tolerate in their world. Oh dear. The deal was, you're supposed to stop me when I'm ranting.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Pulling it from consideration by a major house.

CODE PRODIGAL sat with an editor for a year. I commented on and received every edit she wanted in fast, good humor. After gentle pings every quarter to see how things were going and getting out of office auto-replies, I saw a cattle call from the house for more submissions.That'll make ya think. I'd also read industry news about the house in the interim and wasn't so keen on them anymore, so I rewrote the story with the depth I wanted, but without the length requirements I could not accommodate. I wrote a longer, more satisfying version which borrowed a character from my other series, TRUE COLORS. I LOVE this cross series visit (it keeps them from Doing Stupid Just To Facilitate The Plot) and it meshes with the overall purpose of my career. Meanwhile, the SPENCER world also grew more characters to marry off. Add in this possible character rights nightmare of that situation, one book published by this house, the others with shared characters published independently, and it's a no brainer to withdraw it. I have others which may fit with a big house someday, but this piece isn't right for publishers who won't negotiate, and no sane starting author would think they would. ...I try to be sane. On occasion. (Incidentally, the editor, a very nice lady, kindly responded within minutes with a lovely don't be a stranger type reply. Go figure! Despite the horror stories I hear at writer watering holes, 90% of the editors and agents I've interacted with thus far have been very supportive and kind, enthusiastic, even connecting me someone who's a better fit, and flat out stating they hope it finds a home, it's just not the right fit for theirs. The other 10% weren't unkind, they just were having an off day and missed the Next Literary Genius in their midst) cough, choke. Sorry. Something caught in mah throat there.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring writers?

Listen to what the pack advises, see what seems to be the current universal truths and choose your own path. This is harder than it sounds, because as independent as authors like to think they are, in groups they are pack animals, often repeating rhetoric with no firsthand experience to back it up. If a thousand people say jump off the cliff and your gut says hold on thar, Babba-Louie, smile at the people in the room and listen to your gut. Listen to what they say, not the bottom line rule. Experienced authors often give the rationale behind their advice, often the numbers behind it, and there ARE kind people who are generous to share their experience. It's the why of the rule which matters most to you, not the rule. Don't balance following every rule thrown out there, with having your own voice. Have your voice and see if the rules enhance it. Your bottom line is producing the most engaging, entertaining time with your pages as you can. People get very knee-jerk about those writer rules, too.
For instance, prologues are verboten these days to industry types. I love an appropriate prologue, as do my fans thus far. Everyone else can hate them. Mine make my villains someone to fear without jerking offstage to where they are in the middle of my hero and heroine's story. They are crucial. My readers know the bad guys way better than my principals ever will. My principals can intelligently munch pizza right next to a psychopath while my readers are screaming at them to ask for a box and GET OUT! I still have editors/other writers going knee-jerk because instead of Chapter One, I labelled the material correctly, with a Forbidden Prologue. Hmm. FORBIDDEN PROLOGUE might make a good publishing world murder mystery ...Write the thing. Write it badly if that's the only way it can exist. (By the way, I just violated The Rules by using an adverb and the word that and no one died as a result. You probably did not even NOTICE.) Fix your MS later. WRITE IT. You are playing writer if writing time isn't built into your life. (You, in the back, stop whining about your schedule. We've all had classes to take or people in the hospital. Take the computer to the hospital and work while your loved one sleeps.) You are PLAYING if you aren't doing it. You're not a parent if you're thinking about having children. Don't tell me you're a writer if you aren't writing. More importantly, quit lying to yourself.

Find authors: local groups who meet for coffee, online groups, industry recognized ones, but if you're planning an Indie career, measure what national organizations can truly do for you. Beyond a conference where you can takes some classes, many existing groups don't acknowledge Indie writers. Do go to some conferences and test the fit. (If trad pub is your goal, go the Cheaper, Closer, Easy Way: my local RWA conference is a better place to score face time with editors/agents than national will ever be.) If you want to traditional or hybrid publish someday, the bare minimum you've GOT to have is something to show the professionals you're serious about your career. Even that's not a sure credential. I am gobsmacked to meet people who've paid out and attended conferences for YEARS without publishing or even querying. Get connected to the players, at least enough to learn how to make your work better. Risk your work. Query editors. Enter contests. It makes you get tougher. You'll get impartial industry feedback. You might even score a contract. (I want 10% or at least an adoring mention in your dedication and good review on at least one of mine!) When feedback hurts your feelings, you'll be that much closer to being ready to get bad reviews, and you have insight in what you can do to make your work ever better.(My alternate plan is a stockpile of tissues.) Remember, it's about learning what you've missed to make your product shine, not collecting praise. When you win, you've added the term award-winning author to your resume. You'll be working now in less of a vacuum, knowing someone who doesn't love you, personally loves your work. This is invaluable on those down days, and we all have down days. MOST IMPORTANT- Concentrate on your product. If you're debating pen names and font types, your head is not where it needs to be. Write something worth reading again. (You, in the back, that's MY tagline. Get your own!) No one's gonna care if its Garamond or Times New Roman if you havent delivered on the story. If your brain's still arguing with me about this, your head is definitely not where it needs to be. Want proof? Most beginner authors wont even publish paperback. It'll be electronic. AND THE READER will choose the font size and type, because they rule on electronic formatting and your precious download of Fantasia Gothic Impressa will not see the light of day.

Now, go like me on Facebook or write me a fabulous review in penance for doubting.

What do your fans mean to you?

A little background- God's gotten me through far worse than the most embarrassing writing career, if that's my fate, so no worries. Family and friends have been kind and supportive all along. My fans- they put their money where their mouth is. I remain flabbergasted at how humbling that feels and hope it NEVER changes. When they offer words of support in the midst of their busy days, it never fails to touch my heart. They stopped in the middle of all they are juggling to encourage me. I save that stuff for down days. So in a nutshell, their encouragement means the world to me. (My peers are busy with their own careers. We don't have a joint project where everyone scores a lunch together to celebrate at the end. The End is a solo effort, followed by publishing tasks, marketing tasks, the growing concern about editing the next in the series, and getting that first draft rolling on the one which is three books down the pike going again) Bottom line, my boss works me like a dog and unless I'm in the field doing research, this is a very solitary business. Without doubt, I'm FAR more attached to my supporters (an elite group of especially bright and kind persons) than they are to me. They have a chorus line of authors entertaining them. I just happen to be court jester of the day.

What are you working on next?

Thanks for asking! (Boy, do you know how to get an author in the palm of your hand, or whut?) My sister series, American Booksellers oriented TRUE COLORS, which is far more gritty than Spencer (language, violence). WHITE LIES, the second in that series, is due out before Thanksgiving and it's exciting to be getting reader prods to get that one in the public's hands. WHITE LIES took fourth place in the multi-national Hook, Line, & Sinker! Awards and is in third edit now. It'll percolate while I draft back cover copy, and complete the cover design for softcover editions. (You can peek at the cover on my website.) Then, hopefully, a final read-through edit, (Stop snickering at me! It could happen!) and it's released to the four winds to find its place in this world. The next in the Christian Booksellers oriented Fighting for the Heart of Spencer series is RESCUE ME. Police Sgt. Ike Porter is rescuing a couple stranded in the midst of a hurricane ravaged river when an upstream dam breaks, and they ALL need a hand. Fortunately, Heather Harmon, a CERT volunteer, (Community Emergency Response Team) is working a home nearby and saves them. Unfortunately for her, shes just left a murder scene and is marked up with all sorts of evidence, including using the murder weapon to save Ike and company ) RESCUE is past initial edits but needs a final chapter by chapter edit and a read-thorough. Worse, its cover hasn't even been drafted. My boss stinks, I tell you. (I serve on my local CERT board, by the way. Even if you can't help others, it's got great training for yourself and your family in case of a disaster. Check it out!)

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?

Truthful answer: Sleeping or buying groceries. Oh, and pretending I keep house. Fantasy answer (which doesn't occur often enough these days): traveling, on a ride-along, four-wheeling in the Jeep, shooting my bow, remodeling the house, listening to Andrea Bocelli, beating the pants off the local cops at trivia. Note to self: Schedule Trivia Night for next week.

Back Cover Copy & BIO: (deleted)

Note from Blog Author C.Moye:

In addition to enjoying reading KDs response to my interview questions, I read the prologues of Blackmail (True Colors) and Code Prodigal. They are both really exciting. So many twists and turns and so much excitement before the story even begins! Im looking forward to reading both at a later point.

5/7/2014 Guest on Ada Brownwell's Ink from an Earthen Vessel Blog

We Can't Give Jesus Our Burdens Unless We Acknowledge We Have Them

(Ada asked for a short essay. She didn't realize I was once paid by the word...)

1Peter 5:13 “Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you.”

Life has hurled enough stones my way that like you, I’ve had a few cares. Because of them, I better understand the unimaginable support one can get from a Spirit who cannot be touched, but can touch your heart. While people complained about ‘stolen’ baby names, the luxury car they couldn’t afford, or the sprain they got trying to make middle-aged bodies play young people’s games, I endured personal betrayals ranging from simple defamation to outright abuse, over a decade of infertility, and three early miscarriages; all situations that break marriages and people.

Thanks to God, here I sit, still married, and while a bit dinged, unbroken.

The beautiful thing in these struggles has not been what I see so many in the faith do. I didn’t try to rationalize bad things into something spiritually pretty. The beautiful thing is enduring ugliness and pain, and clinging ever harder to God’s promise throughout the process. And when a trial is past, the greatest gift on the sunny end of a struggle is: knowing when the going gets awful, we can’t help but stick to God, even when we don’t understand, even when it’s not our will.
“Write something encouraging,” Ada Brownell said. I can’t think of anything more encouraging than this for getting through the day by day of living on this earth.

So why do people of faith not only refuse to cast their cares, they don’t even acknowledge them?
Look at Death. You can’t break sod on a new grave without someone pulling out a “Death where is thy sting?” quote as a spiritual challenge to anyone openly mourning. Their message is clear: You should only be happy for dear Sister Beloved who is now with the Lord. If you aren’t so full of joy like me about where they’ve gone, something’s wrong with your faith.
Oh yeah?

Then why is it written “to everything there is a season, a time to rejoice, a time to mourn?”

That’s Old Testament, they might argue. We live under a Risen Lord.

We sure do. And, we’re to follow Him, right?  So why did the Son of God, who knew He could conquer death, let his friend Lazarus die, and bring him back from the dead, after he wept over him before witnesses?
I mean, come on. Jesus knows He’s going to heal his friend. He of all people knows about Eternal Life and what we have waiting for us on the Other Side of mortality. He should be happy for his dead friend, right? Or, He could just walk up and declare Lazarus was only sleeping and have him join him for some water turned into wine.

If there’s anyone in this town that doesn’t need to mourn Lazarus, it’s Jesus.

But he does.

Shortest verse in the Bible: Jesus wept.

Since He knows He’s about to heal his friend, logically the only reason He did this is to offer a role model for us. It’s OK to weep. (At least, it’s OK to Jesus).

Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you. This is not a spiritual Band-Aid for emotional boo-boos. It isn’t a kiss-and-make-it-better promise. This is instruction from God the most High.

…Talk to me. Tell me what’s on your mind. Share with me. Having acknowledged it; let it go. Give it to me. Surrender control of the situation.

But we can’t surrender if we won’t admit it exists.

“Cast your cares,” He says.

Acknowledge Christian life isn’t all the sunshine and roses so many wish it to be. You don’t have to deny it hurts. He knows. We don’t have to spirit speak our way out of admitting that while a miscarriage may have prevented someone living a life with mental or physical deformities, it still hurts. Being judged and rejected unfairly may be God’s method of getting you or a loved one out of harm’s way, but it hurts. The death of a Godly person means they’re finally where they’ve wanted to be for a long time, but they’re not with you now, and that hurts.

Lazarus is going to be dead until I resurrect him a few seconds from now. I think I’ll cry.

Why would He do that?

Cast your cares. All of them.
The most Godly people aren’t the ones rejecting loss believing this somehow pleases God. It’s not the ones refusing to admit while death doesn’t have the sting of damnation any longer, it does still have a sting of loss. They’re the ones who will weep, like Jesus did, and they love God despite their loss and pain, like He did. 
When we’ve been there and done that, it affirms our faith like no season of sunshine and rainbows ever will.

How’s that for encouragement?

-Yours and His,

K.D. Harp


White Lies deals with fictional domestic violence. As promised in the afterward of WHITE LIES, here are some tips for people involved in the real life situation that I hope you and your loved ones never need:

Anyone in an emergency situation should call 9-1-1.
For information describing what domestic violence is, and exit strategies for victims,
visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline. has a particularly impressive site for exit strategy ideas and precautions for victims ready to reclaim their lives.
United States: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
United Kingdom: call Women’s Aid at 0808 2000 247.
Australia: call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732.
WORLDWIDE search for shelters: 
International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies
U.S. based state-by-state search shelter sites:  and
(These search sites are not complete listings. There may be help closer to you.)
When searching on the internet, consider keywords including: the name of your town, “women’s”, “shelter”, “sister”, “domestic”, & “violence”. Note some shelters have obvious philosophical agendas beyond the basic principal of helping women in need. This can either be a plus (or a minus) to your experience, and is something to consider when reaching out to them.
Smart phone owners may want to consider the ASPIRE phone app. In addition to resources for domestic violence victims which you can hide with a tap, users can type in emergency contacts and a personalized message in advance so they can quickly get help using an app page that looks like a basic newsreader. When activated by a user, the app pulls GPS data and even starts the camera and microphone, so with an unthreatening series of taps, a victim can alert pre-selected friends and law enforcement and also start building their case. (Do test to see how the APP affects your device’s energy drain and remember to charge it or carry backup power. Powerful software could save your life, but a dead phone’s not going to be able to help you.)


And Remember:
This is LOVE: Love is patient and kind.
LOVE is not boastful or proud.
It doesn’t demand its own way.
It isn’t irritable or touchy or glad about injustice.
Instead, it rejoices in the Truth.  
(paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13)

Some argue the Bible tells a woman to obey her husband. That’s true.
The instruction is linked to and comes AFTER the command to her husband, to love her like Christ loved the church. (A husband therefore, should love his wife so much he’d suffer and die for her if need be.)
The passages are meant to call each partner to mutual support, not to enslave one to the other. You were not created to be harmed or disrespected. Value yourself as God values you. Choose the better life intended for you. Love rejoices in truth.
In Love,