Help! Please Enter My Name That Character Contest!

So there I was, sitting in front of a blank screen, the stupid big fat clock staring at me from the wall across the room. I would have been unnerved by the ticking if the clock had a ticker, but you know everything is digital these days–never mind, I digress. There I was, with the blank screen and the clock AND the DEADLINE.

Let me digress pause here to address the non-writers in the room–and I hope there are billions many of you–to let you know that the picture of the blissful artist working away in their turret spinning fancy words into mesmerizing stories is a bad joke hoax. We working stiffs authors really work at the kitchen table, the desk, the lazyboy chair, the drivers seat of the car (although we try to stop driving first), the dentist office waiting room … You get the picture.

Why? It’s the clock. And the deadline. Even if we don’t have a publisher or editor setting our deadline, we still have a deadline. Life throws them at us in the form of mortgage bills, grocery bills and the occasional prompt from a loving impatient reader.

What does any of this have to do with a Name That Character Contest you ask? Well, I don’t technically know if you’re asking, but Myren, my chauffeur, is asking and he’s the ridiculous unofficial stand-in for an below average reader for the purposes of this stupendous informative blog. I’ll tell you.

So there I was, not sitting in my turret, staring at the blank page and STUCK. Why was I stuck you ask? (Let’s not go over again how I know you’re asking.)

I was stuck because I needed a name for the bad guy and I couldn’t think of one. He was about to lower the hatchet and I had no idea what to call him.  X. That’s what I typed. Not for the first time. I was on page 152 and I had a story filled with X after X where the character’s name ought to be.

I threw down my pen closed my lap top (although this action lacks the dramatic appeal of throwing down a pen) and decided I needed to get rid of all those Xs. But how, you ask? (You’re so full of questions!)

Now backed into a corner, chased there by dozens of Xs, there was only one thing to do. Yes. I had to hold a Name That Character Contest!

(This is a true story, I swear.)

And so now, in order to get unstuck, in order to go on and complete my current work-in-progress, Beachcomber Love, I am reaching out and asking for your help, dear readers!

Enter the Stephanie Queen Name That Character Contest Here!

(Yes, there’s a prize in it for you, but I KNOW you’re really entering it to rescue me from my sticky spot.)

Here’s some details about Beachcomber Love and the character X:

BEACHCOMBER LOVE is the next novella in the Beachcomber Investigations romantic detective series. This bad guy, X, has come to town on Martha’s Vineyard from the mainland. He’s a he, a seedy low-life who mysteriously wants to extort money from the Lucky Parrot (local dive bar frequented by ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise and his partner/lover ex-Scotland Yard detective, Shana George, the hero and heroine)–and X thinks (incorrectly) that he can get away with it. Someone must have sent X to ruin Valentine’s Day. What’s his name?

Thank you so much for saving my life entering my contest to help me name X and get unstuck!

**Beachcomber Love will be released in the set A Valentine She’ll Remember, an anthology of 8 very special valentine romances, on February 1st. Look for it on Amazon for only $.99 or read the set for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Thank you for entering the contest!

Stephanie Queen

About USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen
A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she’s lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and her (real or imagined?) chauffeur, Myren.

Never Vacuum Again!

(Or…I’d Rather be Reading a Great Book!)
by Kathryn Johnson
“There’s never enough time in the day!” How often have you said that? I say that all the time.

Every day is just as busy for me as it is for you. We may have different jobs or routines, different professional or personal obligations. But we all feel as if we could use help managing our time to enable us to do the things we enjoy.

A few months ago, our vacuum cleaner died. I went on a frantic search for a replacement. Only to discover how expensive any of the highly rated ones had become. Yes, I could buy a cheap one, but would it last more than a few months? We have the usual dirt tracked in on my gardening shoes, and then there’s the cat. Fur: the evil abomination of vacuum cleaners. And then it struck me…those ads I’d seen for cute little robot vacuums. One of those, if it was effective, would not only clean my floors—it would buy me more time for reading, or for writing my books. Hmmm….more research.
I found a few brands that were highly rated. The top 5 on one review site were:

iRobot Roomba 880
Neato iBotvac
Samsung POWERbot
bObsweep bObi
Miele Scout
Prices ranged from $319. to $800. Whoa! Pretty pricey. But the much touted Dysons were up in the stratosphere too. And they didn’t do the work for you.

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I ended up purchasing the Roomba 880 after reading still more reviews. Check out his photo as he’s cleaning my balcony. Isn’t he cute!

Not everyone loves these machines. Some people seem to have trouble with one thing or another, or report them breaking down after a few months. I can only say that I love my little bot. He scoots around and sings out to me when he’s finished cleaning the room. And…the best thing of all: I get to finish writing another chapter of my latest book!

When Kathryn isn’t cuddling her fur-producing cat, Tempest, she’s writing books like her Affairs of State romantic-suspense series—featuring the exciting Mercy O’Brien.DSC_0102

 

 

 

Book #1, just .99, Books #2 and #3 $2.99 each.
Mercy Killing (#1) http://amzn.com/B00LXIZBZC
Hot Mercy (#2) http://amzn.com/B00P0A42FO
No Mercy (#3) http://amzn.com/B0140L4K32

Alicia Street

Alicia Street is a USA TODAY bestselling author and Daphne Award-winner often writing in collaboration with her husband, Roy, as well as on solo projects. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. A compulsive reader of every genre, she also loves watching old black-and-white movies and inventing new recipes for soups.
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