Friday, August 27, 2010

Kathleen's List of Splendid Things, Chapter 1

I'm going to give a book away today, and this is a splendid thing.
I have a new book out, and this is a many-splendored thing. The book is splendid, of course, but don't take my word for it. Get yourself a copy and see for yourself. Horse trainer Logan Wolf Track teams up with Army Sergeant Mary Tutan to train a wild horse as part of "Mustang Sally's Makeover Challenge." There's an excerpt on Amazon along with a brand new review to give you an idea of the story. My web site features the book, too.

I haven't had a chance to check the stores--September 1 is the official release date, but Amazon is shipping already--but one of the first things on my list of splendid things is seeing YOUR book with YOUR name on the cover sitting right there in on a bookstore shelf. That thrill never gets old.

ONCE A FATHER is the perfect title for this story. I love it when the editors like the title that I chose for the simple reason that it fits the book. Logan has two adopted sons--both prime candidates for books of their own--and once a father, always a father. We've probably mentioned a time or ten that writers don't always get the final say over their babies' names, er, their books' titles. Marketing gets lots of input, which is cool because we all want to sell books, but sometimes not so cool when you have to tell an audience what the title of your latest book is. Certain words sell Romance, and that fact has become increasingly important as key words become keys to the information kingdom. Father happens to be one of those words, along with cowboy, baby, bride, wedding and like that. Magic words come and go, but the aforementioned, like certain thrills, never seem to get old. Try to jam too many key words into a title and it can get pretty silly, even though they say it works in the marketplace.

But you know what sells non-fiction? Numbers in the title. 10 Ways. 20 Secrets. All too often the "ways" are pretty much common sense, and the book could have been published as a pamphlet, but it makes a catchy title--always catches my eye. Recently I saw a TV interview with Neil Pasricha, author of THE BOOK OF AWESOME. Now, the word awesome is about as tired as I am right now (It's 2 A.M.) but the book grew out of a blog called "The Top 1000 Awesome Things," and it's about small miracles and everyday joys, sort of like the little book "Happiness Is..." from way back in the day. Thinking them up is a feel-good exercise. Totally awesome.

Want to play? Let's play. I'm saying Splendid Things in honor of my son, who likes to say "Splendid!" I'll start.

--watching bats darting to and fro overhead at dusk (vacuuming up mosquitoes!)
--finding the clothes you left in the dryer folded and stacked on the bed
--a good blood pressure reading
--old toys
--the prairie sky on a clear night
--the prairie sky anytime
--exchanging a taste of what I got for a taste of what you got at a restaurant
--a full moon on a warm night
--the smell of cinnamon
--a really good down pillow
--the scent of snow
--a chorus of frogs
--a movie that has you clapping at the end
--a horse's ears
--a baby's feet

Once you get going it's hard to stop, so it's your turn. Splendid Things. I'll send an autographed copy of COOL HAND HANK--the book that precedes ONCE A FATHER in my Special Edition series--to one of our commenters.

P.S. While you're here, scroll down and click the free-mammograms-for-those-in-need button. The site is getting enough clicks to donate an average of 1 1/2 mammograms a day. That's splendid!


Linda Henderson said...

Splendid things to me are:

1. Playing with my grandkids
2. Loosing weight
3. Reading a good book
4. Watching a beautiful sunset
5. Finding a bargain
6. Noticing someone you went to school with looks older than you
7. Beautiful fall colors, it's my favorite season
8. The first fire in the fireplace
9. Lunch with a friend

These are just a few things that I think are splendid.

Laurie said...

A smile
A kiss
A hug
Birds singing in the spring
The smell of baking: apple pie, yeast bread,chocolate chip cookies
A call from my children
A Christmas tree all decked out
The smell of freshly cut pine trees.
A photo from a special moment

Virginia said...

A cool mountain breeze
A new babies smell, baby lotion.
Walking on a sandy beach
Coffee brewing
Watching stars at night
Swinging in the porch swing
Reading a good book
Having a whole day to do what you want with it.
Seeing an old friend

CrystalGB said...

Clean sheets on the bed
Sleeping in on the weekend
Children's laughter
Watching movies in bed on a rainy day
Girls' day out with my best friend
A romantic date with my husband
BBQ's with family

Virginia C said...

*The warmth of your cat's soft furry body curled around your aching stiff neck.
*Finding that one last m&m in the bottom of the bag.
*The smell of freshly brewing coffee early in the morning.
*Having your hand held by a small child.
*Reading a book that stays with you for a lifetime.
*Looking into the eyes of a devoted dog.
*Going to the movies by yourself so that you can really laugh and cry.
*Fresh, salty popcorn topped with melted real butter!
*A blanket of stars across a midnight sky.
*The sights and scents of Autumn.
*Remembering when you were little, and there was someone big to pick you up and keep you safe.
*Turning to the person beside you and realizing how lucky you are to have them in your life.

Leanne said...

What a SPLENDID blog Kathleen!:)

A walk on the beach
A joke that makes you belly laugh
Finishing the book.
And everyone else's wonderful lists!

Michele Hauf said...

The G-free, sugar-free chocolate cake my daughter made for my B-day last night. It was beyond splendid.


LSUReader said...

Some Splendid Things

My grandkids
Mardi Gras
Air conditioning
The movie “Casablanca” (especially the dialogue)
Christmas cards
Flying first-class on an international trip
Beatles music
Family pets
Reading a good book

Kathleen Eagle said...

Sugar-free chocolate, Michele? And beyond splendid? I need that recipe.

Happy birthday, Miss M! How about...

--smoke curling around the blackened wicks of tiny candles all blown out in one fell swoop.

Helen Brenna said...

I love everyone's lists. So delightful to read.

I'd add ...
Puppy breath
a cool breeze through an open windows
my son's laughter
my daughter's nose wiggling when she laughs really hard
a good workout
a clean car
a finished book (2nd that one)
a RITA nomination!

And Happy belated bday, Michele!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Ah, Beatles music, LSU! A recent splendor for me:

--my granddaughter singing her solo verse of "Let It Be" in a kids' version of Sgt. Pepper. Strong, fearless, and in tune!

--a new generation cherishing Beatles music

lois greiman said...

What a minute--someone folds your laundry, Kathy. I'm sorry, I can't get past that one.

And Michele, argh, I missed your birthday???

Michele Hauf said...

I will get that recipe, Kathy. It was amazing! If I hadn't known it was sugar-free in advance, I would have never guessed. But the most splendid part was that my daughter was so thoughtful to make the cake (knowing I'm off sugar lately), and bought all the necessary ingredients, and well, it was a labor of love. Made me feel splendid!

chey said...

Splendid things
-good books and time to read them
-electricity (can you tell we've had a lot of power failures here lately)
-running water (it's even worse to lose water)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Lois, what makes finding the laundry folded so special is the rarity of the event. Like finding a 4-leaf clover. How long has it been since you found a 4-leaf clover? Now, wasn't that special?

Kathleen Eagle said...

Chey, I hear you on that moment when the power comes back on and everyone goes, "Yay!" But quietly, 'cause you don't wanna jinx it.

Keri Ford said...


Splendid things for me lately (in order of happenings):

1. Making my 1st sale!
2. Making my 2nd sale!
3. Seeing how much son has come out of his shy shell with only one wk of preschool
4. Getting my 1st cover! (on my website,
5. Feeling the weather cool off!

Minna said...

Finishing a knitting project
Peanut butter sweets
Pave Maijanen's music

krisgils33 said...

hugs from my daughter
the smell of fresh cut grass
the lull of ocean waves
the furry softness of my dogs ears
a book where the HEA makes me sigh
the scent of a newborn baby
moms night out at CoCo Sala (if you're ever in the DC area, everything on the menu has chocolate in it)

catslady said...

A new book.
A cat's purr.
A child's giggle.
A hug (from anyone).
A whisper in your ear.
A lover's touch.
A glass of carbernet savignon.
A freshly ground cup of black coffee.
A good night's sleep.
A nice surprise.
A blog win :)

You're right - it's hard to stop lol.

catslady said...

Ok, sorry, I should have proofread - cabernet savignon.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Ah, chocolate. Ah, peanut butter. Ahhh Reese's.

More great combos:

Homegrown tomatoes and melted cheddar on Trader Joe's sprouted whole grain wheat bread

Potato chips in tomato soup

cream cheese and green olives on white bread

hot fudge sauce on peppermint stick ice cream

mmmm, get thee behind me cholesterol. No, no, not on me behind. Behind me. Out of sight, out of...mind? Well, reach, anyway.

Barbara E. said...

Reading a splendid book
Talking to my son
Riding a roller coaster
Finding out I won a book
My cat rubbing against me looking for some petting
Eating ice cream
A working computer
A phone call from my sis
A hug, especially from a friend
Emerald's Dark Cocoa Roast almonds
Having a paying job

It was fun to think about the things that make me happy. I enjoyed everyone's lists.

KylieBrant said...

I'm with you, Kathleen, it's splendid to be allowed to keep a title! Equally splendid that it's the weekend! Happy book launch!

Christie Ridgway said...


Book I can't put down + no interruptions.

Cinnamon rolls.

Glass of wine at end of a good work day.

Cool weather during a long run.

Pages done for the day (& I'm not there yet).

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your new book! It sounds wonderful. Some splendid things for me:
a kiss from my children
the purring of our cats
the smell of bread baking
a light rain
picking vegetables from plants you grew from seeds

Tessa said...

Splendid is... waking up each morning appreciating the possibilities of a newly-given day.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Maureen, the only things I grow from seed are carrots and different kinds of lettuce. I've tried, but I've never gotten strong enough tomato plants. It must feel like a major accomplishment!

I'm really interested in the "heritage seed" (have I got that right?) movement. Big agribusiness scares me, and the fact that they could own patents on every seed available to us is REALLY scary.

SusanMallery said...


Congratulations on a gorgeous cover and a lovely title! My splendid things...

- A dog's joy every time you return home
- Restaurant delivery
- A good book and nothing to do but read it
- Nordstrom's
- Watching Project Runway while on Twitter (The comments make me laugh!)
- The End.

karenk said...

splendid is...the blessing of a brand new day :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Kathleen Eagle said...

Thanks for stopping in, SusanM! I just came in from "furminating" my Lab mix, Beauty. She does shed, but that's her only fault. She is a Splendid!friend. To that welcome she gives me when I walk in the door, I'll add

...the attentive look in my dog's when I talk to her. No matter what I say, her eyes say, "Absolutely! Do go on."

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