Thursday, December 5, 2013

Aloha to KC Klein and HUSTLIN' TEXAS

The cover of HUSTLIN' TEXAS reminds me when I lived in Biloxi, Mississippi, attending the Communications Officer Training course.   My buddies and I played pool at the local dive bar.   Twenty something years later, my kids now play pool with me at the base community center.   This fulfills one of my goals to spend time with my kids doing something they like.  KC Klein prepared a special post about goals ...

Goal Monsters ... NFL Mascots
Pro Bowl in Aloha Stadium 

Beating the Goal Monster

Goals. The end of the year is looming and the annual take-stock-and-see-how-you-did this year is just around the corner.

I’m on a wonderful writers’ loop, The Lalas, where we do a goal assessment at the beginning of every year. All my fellow writers post their goals into a group file, halfway through the year we do a check in, and then in December we see what we can cross off and what we need to add.

Goals have been good to me. I’ve met some pretty big ones in my life, one being the release of my latest book, Hustlin’ Texas.

But the truth is I’ve never really been a good goal setter. I mean, I always write them down. I start off with good intentions, but then as soon as the ink dries I get anxious.

What if I fail?

What if I don’t do well?

What if I don’t make any of my goals?

And then there’s the limiting belief that I can never pat myself on the back. So, even if I do accomplish a goal, I tend to minimize it or dismiss it out of hand. Need an example? Here’s one. For as long as I’ve been a member of RWA I’ve wanted to achieve PAN status. I truly lusted after that stupid name-tag at Nationals.

Those people have reached a goal.

Those writers have made it.

Well, I’ve reached PAN status, but I still have the paperwork sitting on my desk for months. It seems like once I’ve met the goal, the goal loses its luster. The achieving of it holds no value.

I don’t like this. Living life this way sets me up for never being satisfied, and while some might think that’s a good thing, I tend to strive for contentment in my life. I think happiness lies in the art of being content. And let there be no question, it is an art. Why do I say art? Art is practice. To live in the moment and find contentment takes practice.

But here’s the thing. Here’s the truth. This writing for a living is hard stuff. If the competition with other authors isn’t enough to make you crazy (She got a bigger advance than me. She’s made a list. Her Amazon ranking is higher than mine.) than the competition with yourself surely will. (Is this book as good as the last? Will it sell well? Will people like me?)

So this would seem that I’m not pro-goaler. That’s not true either. I’m always optimistic that I will accomplish my goals, the bigger the better. I just think I haven’t found the right method yet.

I’ve done vision boards. Here’s a picture of them. I have them hanging in my entryway. 


I’ve done a goal book. 

I’ve done Astrid which is a to-do check list app for your smart phone. I’ve recently seen a picture of a dry-erase goal board system. The concept seems to be that you write the five or so most important goals in order and then erase as you go. Here’s a picture that one of my Lalas posted on the loop.

I am going to try this next. I like the simplicity and the FOCUS statement. I seem to be lacking focus lately. So when I get a dry erase board, (have to go buy one) and I get a dry-erase marker (put that on the list, also) I think my focus statement and number one goal will be to write an hour each day.

At this point, I’m not at all sure how I’m going to manage one hour a day with work, kids, and any type of life, but I did it today and hope to duplicate it tomorrow. I guess that’s really what goals are all about. It’s not the big ones, (New York Times bestselling author. Six-figure advance. Thousands of fans anxiously waiting for my next book.) but it’s the striving of trying to do better than the day before. It’s those little steps that get you to the bigger ones. The little habits that you build your life around and ground your foundation on, and if we each just did a little better, a little more than we did yesterday we just might find we’ve built a better life altogether.

Kim thanks so much for having me back on again. As always it’s a pleasure to be here. I’m really excited about doing a giveaway for my latest book in the Texas Fever series, Hustlin’ Texas. I hope you’ll help me pick a winner. 

Mahalo, KC, for motivating us!

KC offers us an excerpt from HUSTLIN' TEXAS

Jett knew exactly when Nikki caught sight of him because two things happened. A warm open smile eased her features, transforming her face into the young girl he’d known years back. And his gut tightened as if he’d just been given an invitation—a thought he spit out of his mind like he would gum that had lost its taste.

Nikki strutted down the aisle as if she was walking down a red carpet lined with paparazzi. Dang, she looked like a wet dream. Not his wet dream of course—he appreciated his women a bit more put together and a lot more grown up—but he was sure she’d be gracing someone’s fantasies tonight.

Nikki slid onto the bench opposite his without bothering to ask—like she ever had.

“Hi there,” she said, without a trace of Texas accent. He wondered how long that would last.

“Hi there.” His greeting was edged with a challenge.

And there they sat like they had a dozen times before—like there was no past between them. Like they hadn’t had one night of extremely hot sex, and he hadn’t practically begged her to give them a chance. But now, with her greenish-blue eyes smudged with black eyeliner and the f-you attitude she wore like a superhero’s cape, he had to wonder if she even remembered.

Then her impish eyes softened, and her naked lips slipped into a sexy smile only Nikki could pull off.

Jett felt his jaw muscle twitch.

Every man had his thing, and if Jett was out drinking with the guys, he’d label himself a “boob man.” Saying he was a “lip man” didn’t quite cut it. But there was something about bare lips, unadorned with color or sticky gloss, ready for kissing, which made him want to nibble.

“Miss me?” Nikki pulled his cup closer to her and added cream and sugar. She took his knife and stirred. He watched his black coffee turn the color of mud.

“Like stomach cancer.”

She made a soft tsking sound. “Ah then, you thought of me often.”

Jett pressed his teeth together, not appreciating how close to the truth she’d come. He caught her eye and made sure she watched as his gaze traveled down her shirt—Christ, she really was wearing a black bra—then back up to her face. “All class, Nik.”

She didn’t blink, just picked up his newspaper and scanned the front page. “Ouch, Rangers lost 21 to 7 in overtime. Hope you didn’t have money on that game.”

He grabbed the paper and quickly found the headline: “Rangers Win in Blow Out,” then threw the paper back on the table, pissed he’d been taken in so easily.

She laughed.

Jett knew that laugh. It was the same laugh that had suckered him into thinking there was more heart to Nikki than she’d let on. He knew better now.

“Why are you here, Nik?”

“That’s a fine welcome, Jett.” She scooted down in the booth as if she hadn’t a care, but Jett knew better. She placed the heel of those damn platform shoes on his seat—right between his legs.

He almost smiled—almost. Who did she think she was playing with? One of her college boys? He shook his head instead. “Well then, let me try that again. When are you leaving, Nik? Seems to me, you got the running away part down better than the coming home part.”

Like shutters snapping shut on windows, she blinked and her eyes lost that smoldering look. She sat up and reached for his toast, gooped purple jelly on it, and then took a bite. “I’ll be leaving soon. Won’t be here long.”

“Just long enough to get into trouble?”

Her eyes narrowed, and he surprised himself by missing the playfulness of the moment before.

“Long enough to clear my ledger.”

His gut tightened, but he refused to let his pasted-on smile slip. “You always had a knack for owing the wrong people.”

“And who are the right people, Jett? The Averys? Not much of a difference between politicians and criminals.”

“That difference, of course, being the law. But that’s all subjective, right, Nik?”

She laughed and plucked some scrambled egg off his plate with her fingers.

Jett had to look away when she licked her lips.

Ginger walked over and set a glass of ice water before Nikki. “Here you go, sugar. Looks like you need this. Don’t worry, you rest up a bit, and Jett will get you on home.”

Thanks, Ginger. Why did everyone insist on putting Nikki in his lap? She wasn’t his responsibility.

Nikki looked up at the older woman and showed one of her more genuine smiles. “Thanks, Ginger. You’re the best.”

Jett couldn’t remember the last time Nikki had flashed one of those his way. Not that he cared. It just annoyed him that he couldn’t pinpoint the last time. Or maybe he did, and he just didn’t want to remember.

Jett watched as Nikki’s gaze zeroed in on the table across from them. Mrs. Burns’s pinched face and spiteful glare was tough to ignore, but with her husband’s gaping mouth and glazed-over look, his lecherous stare was even harder.

A shadow of something flickered across Nikki’s face. On another person he would’ve named it hurt, but on Nikki one could never be sure. Then it was gone, her chin came up, and her eyes took on an expression that never boded well for man or devil.

Nikki cast a hooded glance at the old woman, turned to Mr. Burns and blew him a moist, sexy kiss that would’ve done Marilyn Monroe proud.

The sound that came from Mrs. Burns could’ve made dogs howl on a moonless night. She was up and dragging Mr. Burns out by the arm, not even stopping to pay their bill.

Jett looked at the empty table and the half-eaten breakfasts. He calculated the extra he’d put in his tip to cover the couple’s bill. It wasn’t Ginger’s fault Nikki had the manners of an alley cat.

He took his time turning back to Nikki, already knowing what he’d see. “Really?”

She lifted a careless shoulder. “Not my fault her old man’s a perv,” she said around a bite of toast.

“Never is, Nik. Do me a favor: Don’t talk. No, better yet, don’t make eye contact with anyone else while you’re in town.”

“Sure thing, boss.” She dusted her hands free of crumbs, signaling she was finished eating.

Jett looked at his plate and put down his fork. The remains of his breakfast had been drowned in ketchup, de-crusted, and his coffee turned into chocolate milk.

He glanced at the empty table across from them, and then back at the half-girl, half-woman in front of him. And he couldn’t help wondering how the hell he’d gotten back into the business of cleaning up after Nikki Logan.

KC is giving away an ecopy of HUSTLIN' TEXAS to one randomly selected commenter,

“Sassy, sexy, fun, but sweet at heart, KC Klein knows how to spin a tall Texas yarn.”—Lori Wilde

“A sexy read. KC Klein’s hero is as hot as a Texan summer’s day. KC is an author to watch..” —Rachel Gibson

Only one person in Oak Groves is happy to see bad girl Nikki Logan back in town…

Oak Groves’ most beloved bachelor, Jett Avery, lives by a simple set of rules. Getting involved with a complicated woman isn’t one of them. He learned that the hard way two years ago when he spent one of the most incredible nights of his life with Nikki Logan. But then she hightailed it out of town, never to be seen again—until now. It might be time to break one of those rules…

Picking up the pieces of her life, Nikki is back in Oak Groves, face to face with the one man she’s done her best to forget. But she has her reasons for being here—and they don’t include winding up in bed with Jett. Especially since he’ll never forgive her once he finds out the truth about why she’s back…

To enter the giveaway, 

1.  Leave a comment about a goal for the coming year.   Mine is to finish putting pictures in photo albums!

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, December 14, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Saturday, December 15.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

To learn more about KC and her books, check out her social media:

Twitter: @kckleinbooks
Amazon Author page:
Goodreads: link



  1. I would like to organize my books - it's a bit helter skelter at the moment!

  2. Hey Catslady... I'd just like to get all my books in one place....scattered all throught the!!!

  3. My goal is to stop being so lazy next year and get off the couch!

  4. My goal is to exercise more and eat healthier, some things I did start this year and want to go more.

  5. My main goal is to finally unpack and organize my books. Which is a huge task, as I packed in a hurry and just thew them in boxes. Now I have to resort and alphabetize. Sad thing is I did it to myself! And the 2nd goal is to create and hoard reading time. I have too many good books waiting to be read!

  6. My goal is to declutter and to donate unused items.

    Marcy Shuler

  7. Well, I'm afraid I'm a bit like KC's methods of goal setting. Mine is to do better about cleaning house. I keep a neat house, and the bathroom and kitchen are kept clean, but you can write your name (really) in the dust on table tops and ceiling fan blades and on carpet-free wood floors dust bunnies play -- a lot. Sigh. I just can't make myself take on the task I hate the most: dusting. Grrr But I need to do it, so I'm setting a 2014 goal to improve my habit in that regard. Thanks for the post and the reminder of my goal. :-(

  8. My goal is get better at the marketing and social media aspect of our business. I really like Marcy's goal, too.

  9. My goal for 2014 is to try and exercise more. I also want to add all my little scrap-booking bits that I've bought to my picture albums.

  10. My goal is to learn to be happy without my beloved deceased husband, and to lose weight.