Sunday, October 25, 2020

20 Questions with Linda Karimo Author of BABY BEAR'S SPAGHETTI MISADVENTURES @karimolinda #20Questions

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Today's guest is Linda Karimo, author of the children's picture book, BABY BEAR'S SPAGHETTI MISADVENTURES. Linda is here today to answer 20 questions about her life, writing and goals.

  1. . Are you a morning writer or a night writer?


Definitely a morning writer. When the clock reaches the dinner hour, my brain starts to snooze. Luckily I eat my dinner earlier in the afternoon.


  1. Do you outline or are you a pantster?

Most of the time I create a basic book outline. From there I look at each item and further define specific points that I want to make.


As a children’s book author my general outline would be different scenes in the book. Within the scenes I define what each of my characters might be doing. My writing is very heavily dialog driven and there are occasions when I just write what I feel and figure out later where each scene starts and ends. It is far easier to write too much text than to struggle to increase the content.


  1. Which comes first – plot or character?

In the case of my series of children’s picture books it is fairly easy to define my two characters in the first book: Baby Bear’s Spaghetti Misadventure. The characters are Mama Bear and Baby Bear. When I have defined in my head how each of them will react given different life situations, it is time to start creating the outline for a plot idea that I have chosen.


As more characters arrive in future books in this series then they will go through the same development as I am doing with Mama Bear and Baby Bear.


The reality is, children’s picture books are the most challenging type of literature to write and produce. You have to engage an adult audience (the people who hand over the money and are likely to be the ones reading your book every single day!). Still, you also have to engage the children, who will beg their money-wielding parents to buy the book and read it to them every day.

Additionally, you only have a limit of 1000 words to communicate an entire story, with inciting incident, climactic moment, and final resolution, to the full satisfaction of both adult and child. For kids over age 8 who will be reading chapter books, the writing is like an adult novel.


  1. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?

Definitely quiet for sure. I multi-task but it was a lot easier when I was younger, grin.


  1. Favorite TV show?

Hands down, my favorite show is Jeopardy. I’ve been watching it since it came on air, seems like centuries ago. It keeps my brain stimulated and therefore I write easier.


  1. Favorite type of music?

That would be country music at this point in my life. The artists and song writers tell stories that people can relate to in their day-to-day lives. I have been to countless concerts and music festivals and the only thing that is starting to bother me is thee increasing volume coming from the stage. It makes it more difficult to appreciate a ballad when the sound is at a reasonable level.


 Also classical and opera have come to be important to me. My mother introduced me to these types of music at a young age. My favorite opera singer was Luciano Pavarotti and more recently Andrea Bocelli. Puccini, in my opinion was the most lyrical composer of opera music in particular La Bohème. Regarding classical, my preference is for composers that wrote music for the piano, namely Tchaikovsky with his Piano Concerto No. 1.


  1. Favorite craft besides writing?

My passion has always been cooking. When being rushed just to put something together in a flash, this is not what I like at all. As for sweets, I leave that to others far more proficient with that plate on the menu. In particular my interest leans toward discovering different ethnic foods from around the world. On several holidays I would cook for a crowd always inviting someone who didn’t have a place to celebrate the day.


  1. Do you play a musical instrument?

I don’t play an instrument at this point in my life. When I was young the accordion attracted me and I knew how to read music. Being visually impaired, I memorized all the tunes that I played.


As an adult I played keyboard/organ, not the piano since my fingers are small and trying to reach an octave would have been painful. My ear was rather sharp enabling me to pick out the melody and relying on sheet music to give me the chord structure. 



  1. Single or married?

Happily married for the second time. My first husband died of cancer.

 In a couple of weeks we will celebrate our tenth anniversary.


10.  Children or no?

No children but I rely on my wonderful childhood to write my children’s picture books. My sister had two boys and I have spent countless hours with them as they grew to manhood and still keep up with their lives on a frequent basis.


11.  Pets?

As a child we always had a cat roaming around the house. Decades later, a friend told me about a cat that had been abused and she knew that I was partial to those that are black and white. It was a match in heaven.


We were companions for each other during difficult moments and times of joy. He lived for almost 16 years and unfortunately I had to put him down before he reached his birthday. It was quite a month, first losing my best friend, burying my first husband and a day later putting down my Lumpycat.


People say that you should get another cat but it was not for me. We were just too close and I live my life now with his sweet memory.


12.  Favorite place to write?

 We have a room where I have my office and a sundry of other things. My husband uses our dining room table as his domain.

13.  Favorite restaurant?

For Italian food, there is a restaurant in the next village, Capriccio 2 which has been around for decades. This establishment has been so helpful through this Pandemic as we could order from them and have our goodies delivered.


For steak, that would be the Outback Steakhouse for sure.

 Nothing like a juicy strip steak on the barbie, aye mate!


14.  Do you work outside the home?

Most of my life has been centered around work at home. First as an accountant for thirty years, followed by serving as a B2B Copywriter and finally now as a children’s book author.


My family had a business that transcended down through the years. It was the reason that I decided to work for myself, no boss, just my discipline to get the work done for my clients.


15.  What was the name of the last movie you saw?

My movie watching is not a current interest for me as I preferred some of the ones that were classics. My favorite one would be Sound of Music. I have traveled to Switzerland and Austria and my love of scenery makes this my favorite.


Titanic, Oh, God! Mr. Mom, Caddyshack, Silkwood and many others are on my list.


16.  Favorite outdoor activity?

That would be my love of listening to the waves as they roll to and from the shore. It pulls me toward Miami Beach in recent years and in earlier days to the Caribbean.


 Sitting out on the balcony early in the morning listening to the waves and letting my mind relax is clearly my favorite outdoor activity. It is just so restful helping me to move forward in life with focus.


17.  Pet peeve?

When thinking about this, I would have to say that it is very hard to listen to young people use the word “like” in every sentence, sometimes more. The ones who do this might be very bright, intelligent young adults but you would never know it by the way that they speak. It is also hard to tell how they communicate on paper as their texts are so full of abbreviations.


 There are some studies that show that writing coherently is definitely an issue. They are our future and one can hope that some way they will improve with age.


18. Your goal in life?

My goal in life has changed over the years depending on what my focus was at the time. Now I want to make enough money to get out of debt, be able to travel with my husband when and if this Pandemic becomes a thing of the past.


 My children’s Picture Books teach young kids simple life skills all having fun with my Baby Bear character. I hope that my books make it easier for parents to care for their children and make learning easier for them during these difficult times.


19. Your most exciting moment?

There were so many memorable moments in my lifetime that picking just one would leave the rest categorized as second best, and that was not the case. Here are just a few that top the list: making my First Holy Communion, landing my first full-time job as an Accountant in a world dominated by men in that field, my trips to Miami Beach after meeting an older lady that would be a friend of mine for decades, marrying my first husband all dressed in white-a young girl’s dream and reading the first email from Pedro, who would later become my second husband after the death of the first to cancer.


It gave me great joy to watch Pedro as he stared transfixed, looking out the window of our plane that would land at Liberty Airport in New Jersey. He was just about to stand on American soil for the first time. What joy I would have going forward showing him all about the culture and all that goes with it.


 Finally, I was so proud and had to blink back tears as I watched my Pedro becomes an American citizen, pledging under oath to preserve and protect.


We are now in business working together to write-edit-publish children’s books.


20. The love of your life?


In the memoir that I wrote about my mother’s life, I Know My Way Memoir: Always Remember to Color the Sky Blue. The subject came up when she tried to explain how different her two husbands were. She explained that there should not be a comparison as they were as different as apples and oranges. For her, it was her first husband that would always be her true love. That is so because my mother and her first husband had just gone through too much together for it to be anything else.


So, having lost my first husband to cancer as my mother did, I find myself having been blessed with my earlier marriage in lots of ways.


But, as for my dear current husband, Pedro…

 We complement each other. He’s definitely the love of my life. As with my mother, Pedro and I have been through so much with his immigration papers and getting used to a new culture. It’s interesting to mention how I just sit back and watch children naturally gravitate to this man of mine.

Back in the Stone Age, well maybe not that far back…

When Linda Karimo was very young, she learned to read at the knee of her Irish immigrant grandmother. Nannie, as she was known to the family, was just learning English herself.

They read all the classic children’s stories together. There was one in particular that became the inspiration for Linda’s current series of children’s books.

Moving forward, Linda was always a ravenous reader. She would often read all the books by a given author and then go onto yet another great fiction author. Espionage, legal, medical, suspense, and some “who done it” were her game.

Her day job as a Copywriter paid the bills while she dreamed of writing an extraordinary series of children’s books.

So, what childhood story prompted Linda to write a series about those characters?

It was Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Linda’s nickname was always Goldilocks.

She transports her readers into the world of bears whose lives are not much different than humans, just bear style.

She has a conversational style of writing and wants her readers to feel a part of the action taking place, not just looking through the window watching it all going by.

A Lifetime full of love and compassion!










Meet Mama Bear and her sweet little bear child, Baby Bear.

Sometimes he doesn’t do what Mama Bear says, sound familiar?

This one particular day when Mama Bear was cooking spaghetti and meatballs, Baby

Bear bounced his ball against the cave wall.

Baby Bear knew it was on the forbidden list.

He did it anyway.

Mama Bear gave him the look.

He did it again.

Find out what happened to Mama Bear’s spaghetti dinner and naughty Baby Bear.


Amazon →

Thursday, October 22, 2020

On Our Fall Reading List! A PERFECT STORM by Mike Martin @mike54martin

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Mike Martin

Sgt. Windflower is back, untangling another swirling mystery, this one bringing the meth crisis and biker gangs to the quiet Newfoundland town of Grand Bank, feeling the sting of their deadly tentacles reaching all the way from Las Vegas.  He’s working with his familiar crew of RCMP characters – but wait, are some of the faces changing? New challenges for Jones, an unknown side of Smithson reveals itself, and what ever happened to Tizzard?  In the midst of putting the pieces of the puzzle together, Windflower and his beloved Sheila also find themselves navigating sorrows and surprises on the family front.

Come back to Grand Bank for more fun, food and cool, clean, Canadian crime fiction with Sgt. Windflower Mysteries.


Amazon →


Chapter One

Eddie Tizzard passed his card over the sensor and pushed the door open. He flicked on the light. “Holy jumpins,” he said when he saw what was on the bed in his hotel room— thousands of dollars strewn around like confetti. When he looked closer, he saw something else. There, right in the middle of the bed, was a very red, very large bloodstain.

His first instinct was to run. But his years as an RCMP officer got the best of him, and he had another look around. Soon the source of the blood became obvious. It was a man in a suit lying face down in the bathroom with a visible hole in the back of his head. Tizzard should have trusted his first instinct because when he did decide to leave the room, he walked directly into the path of who he would later find out was the head of hotel security.

He was remembering all of this as he sat in a holding cell with a dozen other men in the Las Vegas jail. Tizzard had gone to Vegas for private detective training, having decided on a new career path after leaving the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or the Mounties. Technically, he was on leave for the rest of the year, but he doubted he’d ever return to his old job. He’d applied for and received his firearms license, but he wanted a certificate to put on the walls of his new office, that is when he got an office. That seemed very far away right now, about as far as he could get from his home in Newfoundland on the eastern tip of Canada.

He’d watched enough police shows on TV to know that he could make one phone call. But nobody had said when he could do that. The duty officer kind of smirked when he pushed him into the lock-up with his dozen new friends and told him, “Yeah, yeah, coming right up.”

Tizzard was confused but tried to look like he fit in with his fellow cell mates. They, in turn, looked like they were measuring his clothes to see if they might be a fit. As long as they don’t find out that I used to be a cop, I’ll be OK, thought Tizzard as he backed up as far as he could into a corner.

It seemed like he had waited forever, but as several of his new friends came in for a closer look, he heard his name called, “Tizzard, Tizzard.”

“That’s me,” he said and pushed by the two large men who had got the closest.

The duty cop opened the door, and Tizzard walked along the hallway to an interview room. He was pushed inside, and the door clicked shut behind him. It was a small, windowless room with a camera in the ceiling, a mirror on the wall, a single chair on one side of a table, and two on the other. Tizzard knew the drill and took a seat on the one-chair side. Then he waited, again. Feels like home, he thought. Just not my home.

On the other side of the continent Mayor Sheila Hillier was wrapping up her town council meeting and was on her way to meet Moira Stoodley who was babysitting her daughter, Amelia Louise. The meeting had been made unpleasant by a couple of contentious issues, including whether the older buildings in the downtown core of Grand Bank should be modernized or restored to maintain their historic character. But Sheila also realized that most of the tension was really about who would replace her as mayor in the election only a couple of weeks away.

Jacqueline Wilson was Sheila’s preference, but there was another candidate, Phil Bennett, who was leading the anti-tax faction of council. Every meeting, Bennett would try to disrupt things to show how influential he thought he could be, but Sheila would have none of it and would put him back in line. Bennett’s behaviour in itself was more than enough reason for her to want to leave, she thought.

Sheila had decided to go back to school part-time, eventually do an MBA once she had cleared up her scholastic records and completed the course load for an old degree program she had started several years earlier. Politics had never really been her thing, even though she was very good at it. She had only taken the mayor’s job to try to improve the town’s economy. And she had succeeded, mostly. The Town of Grand Bank’s fish plant was now operating on a regular basis with a quota for crab and the sea urchins considered a delicacy in Japan and China. The town also had a recycling factory and a solar panel fabrication plant.

Half of the town’s people wanted to not just preserve the past but to live in it. The other half wanted to blow it all up and start over. They had no use for the old and wanted everything to be modern, like the way it was in St. John’s or even nearby Marystown. It seemed there was no middle ground for the residents of Grand Bank, yet Sheila was sure you could have the best of both worlds. Getting others to agree with her, though, seemed impossible.

Sheila gathered up her things and drove to the Mug-Up, which was known through much of the province to be the best little café there was in Grand Bank. That it was the only café in Grand Bank was usually not mentioned. Sheila had owned the place years ago but gave it up after a horrific car accident left her with a slight limp and no desire to stand all day. Moira and her husband, Herb, had taken it over, and it was there that she found Amelia Louise sitting at a table with her Poppy Herb.

“Mama, mama,” she shrieked as Sheila’s heart melted. “Ook, ook.”

“I think she’s got talent,” said Herb Stoodley.

Sheila examined the crayon scrawls on the paper and murmured her approval. “It’s so nice,” she said. “Is it Lady, your doggie?” she asked, making a leap of faith based on the fact that there was one small circle on top of a large mass of scratches.

Amelia Louise smiled and nodded her head up and down emphatically. She had always been able to somehow say no, but now the 20-month-old toddler was happy to signify yes with a grand gesture.

“Well, thank you,” said Sheila. “And thank you, Herb. And here’s Moira, too. Thank you, Moira, for looking after her.”

“It’s our pleasure,” said Moira, wiping her hands on her apron. “I was just finishing off some baking.”

“Em,” said Amelia Louise. “Ook, ook,”

“I can see,” said Moira. “Has Poppy Herb been nice to you?”

“She’s like our baby, too,” said Herb. “It’s easy to be nice to her. ‘Those that do teach young babes, do it with gentle means and easy tasks.’”

“Okay, my soon-to-be-famous artist, let’s go,” said Sheila as she put on Amelia Louise’s jacket. Once outside again, Sheila noticed the November air had lost any tinge of summer warmth, and the wind was picking up, making it a bit of an adventure to walk the short distance to their house. Sheila tried to carry her daughter, but Amelia Louise was determined to walk on her own, while examining every leaf that blew their way.

When they got home, Molly the cat watched them carefully as they came up the walkway. The dog, Lady, was more directly affectionate and showed how much she had missed them both by almost knocking them over in the hall. The only one missing from the happy family was Sheila’s husband and the father of Amelia Louise, Sergeant Winston Windflower of the RCMP Grand Bank Detachment. He was at work, but Sheila expected to hear from him soon because his stomach would be rumbling any minute now, and he’d want to know what was on for dinner.

Mike Martin was born in St. John’s, NL on the east coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have been published in various publications across North America.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune, and A Long Ways from Home, followed by A Tangled Web, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year, and Darkest Before the Dawn, which won the 2018 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award. Fire, Fog and Water was the eighth in the series. He has also published Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries, a Sgt. Windflower Book of Christmas past and present.

He is Past Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers and a member of the Newfoundland Writing Guild and Ottawa Independent Writers.

A Perfect Storm is the latest book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series.





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McKenna Grey
Romantic Suspense / Thriller

In the shadow of Alaska’s Chugach Mountains, a darkness lurks and threatens a quiet coastal village in The Wicked Cries Wolf, the third book in the Kyndall Family Thriller series.

A woman desperate for solitude. A man with an enemy he can’t see. A dangerous game neither wants to play.

International bestselling author Meaghan Ryers has gained wealth, success, and fame . . . and all she wants is to be left alone. When her sister suggests she escape to someplace quiet where no one will find her, Meaghan picks a spot on the map and heads for Alaska.

Sheriff Donovan Kyndall of Stewart’s Crossing, Alaska, arrives at the scene of a car fire after receiving a mysterious call. He doesn’t expect a woman from out of town to be at the scene, begging him to believe someone was killed. As clues into the fire emerge, Donovan has to ask himself how she’s connected and how a caller knows details from his own tragic past.

As the truth is revealed, Donovan and Meaghan are entangled in a puzzle of lies, treachery, and clues they must decode if they are to survive.


The Dragon’s Staircase is a mind boggling adventure that will keep you guessing until the last page." Night Owl Reviews, Top Pick

"Holy smokes! This is one suspenseful, anxiety-ridden, skin-crawling tale of murder, mystery, and psychological creepiness. Looking for a hard-to-figure-out mystery with a side order of nail biting? Then look no further!"  InD'tale Magazine on The Dragon's Staircase

“McKenna Grey & Everly Archard, I loved this book! I was captured, terrorized, thrilled, and couldn’t put it down. I loved the first book in the Kyndall Family Thrillers, “The Dragon’s Staircase”, and this one ... well I read it in one day! I love all the Kyndall family characters and their love and protectiveness towards each other. Your mix of romance and thriller really is astounding! I cannot wait for book number three about Donovan Kyndall to come out.” —Kindle Reviewer on Shadow of the Forgotten

“I was literally at the edge of my seat. The suspense level is amazing.”

—Donna McBroom-Theriot, My Life, One Story at a Time

“I’m amazed at how smooth these two authors have combined their talents into one fabulous story." –Linda Thompson, Host of

“THE DRAGON’S STAIRCASE by McKenna Grey and Everly Archard is romantic suspense full of thrills and spine-tingling moments. The twist at the end is as unexpected as it is disconcerting . . . the story keeps you guessing at every turn. This is a great start to a series that promises to be full of wonderful surprises."

Readers’ Favorite

"LOVED! LOVED! LOVED Shadow of the Forgotten, written by McKenna Grey and Everly Archard. A suspenseful story that makes you feel excited or anxious about what is going to happen next. It starts with fast action and it keeps going on until the very end. You won’t be disappointed! These authors have nicely woven endearing characters into a wilderness background that adds a touch of mystery. It's gripping from the start to finish.” —Nicole Laverdure on Shadow of the Forgotten

“Beware, this new series is highly addictive! It’s suspenseful, mysterious, and riveting! You won’t want to miss it!" —Nicole Laverdure on “Blade of Death”

"A well written story and well developed characters . . . give the reader an exciting ride of investigation and the gentleness of a protective loving relationship."

—Lyn Ehley, Book Reviewer







All titles in this series can be read as stand-alone books.

“Blade of Death” – Short Story Prequel

The Dragon’s Staircase – Book One

Shadow of the Forgotten – Book Two

The Wicked Cries Wolf - Book Three



Fire snaked into his lungs. Suffocating. Debilitating. He couldn’t breathe, his body immobile. He clawed at the air, at the coarse rope binding his feet, at everything his hands managed to reach. Why were his hands free?

Is this how someone feels when they burn?

Helios promised him there would be consequences. It had only been one more fire, one more kill. He had craved it more than he feared Helios’s warning.

One more mistake.

Smoke curled upward from the flames, dancing up the walls in a seductive swirl of lights and sound. The crackling of gunshots echoed somewhere beyond the steel door.

No chance of escape.

He didn’t deserve to die this way. His scream lodged deep in his lungs, so deep it burned his insides. A round of hacking coughs escaped his scorched lips. He desperately wanted water or a beer. Yes, when he got out of this—if he made it—he’d down a whole six-pack of Bud Light and thank whatever powers that be for his salvation.

I’ll be good. If you let me live, God, I’ll be good forever.

Did he hear his name coming back to him from the darkness beyond the flames? Yes, but from where, exactly?


It’s only in my head. No. No, no, no!

He heard shouts, or was fear mocking him? He yanked at the ropes around his ankles and brought away flesh covered in his own blood. Why couldn’t he move?

The door pounded. No, someone pounded on the door. The blaze caressed the floor around him, moving closer with a lover’s passion, inch by inch. He heard the loud crash this time and was certain someone stood on the other side of the door. A gust of air whooshed into the room and the fire found new life. It tormented him, licked his skin. A scream escaped, louder now because of the burn. Two strong bodies in masks lifted him away from the center of the inferno. His eyes remained opened, even as the sensation of floating carried him away from the chamber. He’d promised to be good and he would be. No man or woman or creature walking the earth could claim to be so good as he from this moment on and into forever.

Darkness consumed his whispered thanks while a cacophony of sirens trumpeted his fall into oblivion.



McKenna Grey is the contemporary alter-ego of an award-winning, historical romance author. She writes romantic suspense, including the Kyndall Family series, and heartwarming, small-town romance to break up the murder and mayhem. She enjoys a quiet life in the northern Rocky Mountains.



McKenna Grey is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

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