Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Guest Post and GIVEAWAY with author Linda Kage

Guest Post and GIVEAWAY with author Linda Kage

I am excited to day to be able to be a part of this tour! When the opportunity presented itself, I knew I had to act, so here we are today. When you are finished, you can stop by the other two blogs who are also posting for the tour today  BookSpark  and  Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf. You can also visit the other tour stops and leave a comment for your chance to win the tour-wide giveaway. Details to follow. There is a lot to tell you about, so let’s get started.
Please allow me to introduce to you:



Linda grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now she lives in Kansas with her husband, toddler daughter, and their nine cuckoo clocks. She works a day job in the acquisitions department of a university library and feels her life has been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing's always been a major part of her world, and she's thrilled to finally share some of her stories with other romance lovers.
You can find out more about Ms. Kage at the following places:

**The  Romance  Test**

Hi!  Linda Kage here. I read this totally great blog post by Jennifer Shirk about the five must-have elements that a romance novel must…well…have! 

To recap… the lovely Jennifer said for a story to be a romance it must have:

1.       The hero and heroine. A heroine we like enough to relate to, someone we can slip into her shoes and become her while reading her story.  Plus it must have a hero we ladies will fall in love with.
2.      Chemistry. Readers need to ‘feel’ the sparks arcing between the two main characters.
3.      Internal conflict. There has to be something besides outside forces keeping them apart. We readers like to make our characters work for their supper!
4.      Black Moment. Shirk called it that.  Some people call it that low, low point right before the big climax of the story, the point where you think the hero and heroine will never get together.
5.      Happily Ever After.  Ahhh….need I say more about what this one means?!

So using Jennifer’s Elements of Romance, I decided to put my story, The Color of Grace, under the knife to see how she holds up to the romance standard.  And yeesh, I’m starting to sweat a little.  It feels suddenly hot in here, do you feel hot? 

Ack, all anxiety aside, let’s start testing shall we?


Quality Characters?

Excerpt Sample :

Losing my grip on my camera, I tumbled backward against the padded wall mat, landing on my rump. The camera fell and skidded across the hardwood floor with a sickening thud.

“Oh, no!” I gasped and began crawling on hands and knees toward it as the visiting team streamed by, dodging around me. One size fourteen shoe tried to pulverize my fingers; I snatched my hand back just in time to save all five digits.

Only a single player paused. “Are you okay?”

“The camera,” was all I could croak. The yearbook teacher would kill me if I broke a piece of school property.

The Southeast player crouched next to me and picked it up since he blocked my way of reaching for it myself. I caught sight of his purple and white jersey out of the corner of my eye, but the rest was pretty much a blur because I focused all my attention on the Nikon.

“Thanks.” I snatched it from his outstretched hand and made cooing noises as I turned the lens this way and that, checking for cracks, scratches, and bruises.

Lingering at my side, the boy asked, “Is it broken?”

I was finally able to let out a relieved breath. “No. Thank God.” Thank God, thank God, thank God.

His hand, the same that had rescued my camera from the floor, flooded my field of vision as two fingers reached for the camera’s neck strap and gave it a wiggle to get my attention. “You know, this thingy here,” he said. “That’s to put around your neck so you don’t drop your camera when you get jostled.”

He was teasing me. I could hear it in the timbre of his voice. The jerk was trying to make light of my near camera-death experience.

The nerve.

I frowned and muttered back, “Really? And here I thought that was its carrying handle.”

Instead of turning as huffy as I had, he laughed. And, sweet mercy, that laugh went straight through me, tingling up the back of my spine and running along my nervous system to come out the ends of my fingers and toes. Its tone, its mere melodic quality, had me lifting my head so I could see its owner’s face.

As soon as I saw him, I jerked back and landed on my butt. Yeah, again.

His beauty was unreal. I had to blink repeatedly to make sure my fall hadn’t jostled my eyesight. But every time my lashes flickered open, I saw the boy clearly, in faultless, spectacular detail.


Still grinning over my sarcastic crack, he pushed to his feet and held out his hand to help me up. I glanced at his fingers, gaped as if I had no idea what they were, then shifted my gaze up to his face again because, well really, I couldn’t stop gawking at those stunning features.

He had the greenest eyes I’d ever seen, a pale, sparkly, jewel-kind of green, like the birthstone for August. Peridot. Yeah, he had peridot green eyes. And his smile was absolute flawlessness—flawless full lips, flawless teeth, flawless laugh line wrinkling the corner of his flawless mouth, which was framed in wider cheekbones with a slimmer jaw. He had the longest lashes known to humankind and fixed his silky-straight, sandy-colored hair in a fashionable manner with the shaggy bangs pushed to the side just far enough to see out from under them. His eyebrows were a shade darker, which only seemed to highlight his peridot eyes with a vivid intensity instead of detracting from his overall looks. He had to be flawless inside and out.

He was all things handsome and unattainable.

And way out of my nerdy league.

“Need some help up?”



Excerpt Sample :

“Are you okay?” he asked in harmony with my third apology. Then he laughed that delightfully musical laugh of his, drawing my attention back to his face. As our gazes caught and held, his smile dropped, as did the chuckle in his throat.

“Hi,” he said, his voice breathless as if staring at me affected him the same exact bulldozing way it affected me.

“Hi,” I wheezed back and looked away before I melted into a puddle of adoration at his feet.


Internal conflict?

Excerpt Sample :

“I’m Ryder.”

Startled because he hadn’t shrugged me off for a loser and left, I jolted and glanced up to take in his purple and white Southeast uniform. He was number forty-two. I had no idea why that detail stuck in my head but it seemed easier to focus on his jersey than to look back into his too-beautiful-for-his-Southeast-jersey green eyes.

He flashed his pearly whites with a knowing grin as if he realized exactly how awestruck I felt. “And you are…?” he prompted.

My mouth opened. Then closed. Then opened again. Not a word came out. My vocal chords had failed me. The most handsome boy I’d ever seen wanted to know my name.

As my brain wrapped around that fact, my thoughts fizzled and spurted out.


That was the only word to flash in bright neon lights through my head. I needed to get out of there before he realized I was a nobody.

“Not interested,” I blurted, more in a mummy trance than from actually thinking my answer through, because why, oh heavens, why I said not interested I still don’t know.


Black moment?

Excerpt Sample :

“So, you’re popular then?” she asked, sounding suddenly gloomy.

“Popular?” I almost laughed in her face. “Hardly. My friends and I at Hillsburg are actually called a nerd herd. Why? Are Kiera and Todd and all them the in-crowd here?”

Laina glanced around before she leaned confidentially closer. “Oh, yeah.”

I wrinkled my nose. “Seriously?” The word popular had always turned me off, maybe because all the popular people I’d ever known seemed so two-faced and artificial. I couldn’t really pinpoint the origin of my distaste. I just knew learning Ryder Yates was one of them made me feel even more disappointed.

Laina nodded, eager to spill all the exciting gossip. “Cory and Mindy get crowned the Homecoming King and Queen every year. Except maybe this year. With Kiera dating Ryder now, I bet they’ll win. They’re like the most sexually active couple in school, you know.”

Everything she said after that blew right over my head and floated off into the unheard. Ryder Yates and his awful girlfriend were the most sexually active couple in school, huh?

Until that moment, I hadn’t thought my day could get any worse.

I was so, so wrong.


Happily Ever After?

Excerpt Sample :

As if reading every funky feeling I possessed, Ryder opened his arms. I flew toward him and hugged him hard. His warmth enveloped me until I empathized with the glove, knowing I had also just found my way home again after being lost in a cold, miserable winter.


Well?  Results please?  What do you think?  Do we have a romance here or not?  Leave your answer in the comment section for a chance to win an ebook copy of The Color of Grace!

~Linda Kage


When my mother remarried after thirteen years of being a widow, I had to move to a new town and enroll in a new school. Suddenly thrust into an entirely different kind of life, I just wanted to go home. I didn’t want to meet new people, didn’t want to leave my old friends, didn’t want to become a third wheel to my mom and her husband….and I really didn’t want to see Ryder Yates again. Ugh, I still don’t know why I turned down that too-good-to-be-true boy who flirted with me when we were attending separate schools.

But honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was worse.

Who knew becoming lost in a new life could help a girl find her true colors?

“But what’re you taking a picture of?”

“The glove.”

Swerving back around, Ryder arched a questionable eyebrow at the article of winter wear in the snow. “The glove?”

Concentrating on setting the phone’s camera mode to capture, I held the screen in position as I neared the glove for a good close up.

Ryder moved in with me. I paused to send him a scowl over my shoulder. He paused too, glancing briefly at me before returning his attention to the glove. “I don’t get it.”

Gritting my teeth, I turned back to my task and tipped the phone sideways for a vertical portrait shot before tilting it back, preferring the original landscape mode. Focusing all my attention on finding the perfect pose, I scooted a little to the right and then the left, testing the light from each angle before I made up my mind and took the shot.

As the final product froze on my screen, my face lit with pleasure. “Perfect. Isn’t it wonderful?” I spun around to show off my masterpiece before I remembered the boy behind me was the one person I didn’t want to be around just then.

Ryder looked down at the picture. “It…” He scratched his head, then raised his gaze and laughed. “Honestly, it looks like a glove. What am I supposed to see?”

My face fell. He didn’t understand. I don’t know why I was disappointed. There was no chance Ryder Yates would ever be anything to me, but the fact that he didn’t share my passion let me down. Just like everything else I’d learned about him today.

“You’re supposed to see whatever you want to see. Feel whatever you want to feel.”

He concentrated hard as he glanced back down at the camera screen before he looked up and quietly asked, “So what do you see?”

Touched beyond words he cared anything about my opinion, I bit my lip as I studied the shot. After thinking it through, I gave my answer. “Well…there’s only one glove. Right away, I wonder, where’s the other glove? How did it become separated from its mate? Does it feel lost and confused without its other half? It looks lonely. Cold. Like an outsider that has no one to turn to, nowhere to go. And the stark contrast of the white snow against the bright colors of the glove makes the lines crisp and clear. It makes that feeling of alienated loneliness crisp and clear. The purity of the snow gives the purity of the glove’s solitude a stronger effect.”

When I finished talking, I held my breath, realizing how far off the deep end and into my musings I’d gone. Slowly, I lifted my face, desperate to know his response. Did he think I was crazy? Totally out there? Or wise and philosophical? The response I feared most was that he’d laugh, making fun of my foolish prattle.

Title : The Color of Grace
Author : Linda Kage
Genre : Contemporary YA Romance / YA Chick-Lit
Publisher : Whiskey Creek Press
ISBN : 978-1-61160-307-1
Length : 81,000 words - 333 pages
Release Date : September 15, 2012
Readership : Typically Girl, ages 13 & up
Formats : Ebook, in Print

Buy Links :

Whiskey Creek Press
Amazon Kindle
Barnes and Noble Nook

In Print:

Whiskey Creek Press

**TOUR  WIDE  GIVEAWAY (Giveaway 1)**
$30 Gift Card
(1 only, available on ALL stops)
The gift card is a tour-wide prize. Any commenter who visits any blog stop on the tour has a chance to win.
Click here for the rest of the tour schedule!

**BLOG GIVEAWAY (Giveaway 2)**
Ms. Kage has generously offered a digital copy of her book – up for grabs to anyone who would like the chance to take have it for their very own. Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form to be entered. The only required entry is to comment on the post. All other entries are optional.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I want to than Ms. Kage so much for being here today and allowing me to be a part of this tour. I had a lot of fun!  I hope that you all enjoyed getting to know a little about Ms. Kage and her book. Be sure to add THE COLOR OF GRACE to your TBR lists! Best of luck to all of you who enter and until next time …


  1. Thanks so much for letting me visit on your blog today, Kendra!! You've made it look so lovely. And thanks for allowing my super long post, ack. I hadn't realized I'd written so much.

    1. You are more than welcome, Ms. Kage! I really appreciate you allowing me to help out with this tour. :) And you didn't write that much ~ plus it gave the readers a bunch of excerpts to look forward to, so it is win, win. Best of luck on the release!

  2. What a fun post. Thanks Linda and Kendra, what a pretty blog!!

    1. Hi Elie,
      Thanks so much for stopping by and spending some time with us today. I am so glad that you enjoyed the post and thank you for the compliment. Good luck to you in the contest.

  3. Love this line:
    "melted into a puddle of adoration"
    Boy, do they have chemistry :)

    1. Hi Carol,
      That is a pretty fabulous line. I definitely agree with you there. I appreciate you taking some time to spend with us today. I hope that you enjoyed yourself and were able to find out more about the book and author that you didn't know before.

  4. I like the 5 points of a story...I never really categorized it like that, but it makes sense!

    1. I agreee with you. The categorization is new to me as well, but I really enjoyed seeing in broken down. Made perfect sense to me as I read it. :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. The Color of Grace seems to pass with flying colors judging by the 5 must-have romance elements :)

    1. BookSpark ~ I couldn't have said it better myself. :)


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