Tag Archives: New Adventures

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Cruisin’ Alaska

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This is my third Alaskan cruise. The first was almost twenty years ago and the second about eight years ago. A lot has changed since that first trip, and yet, there’s not much you can do to truly change Alaska itself.

The first time I went our ship sailed into Glacier Bay and to a spot where three huge glaciers plunged into the ocean. They towered above us and we were lucky enough to have a section half the size of our cruise ship break off of one and into the water while we where there. Amazing. Beautiful. There are hardly words to describe it.

The second time our ship sailed into the same bay, but the glaciers had lost much of their luster. Two had almost stopped moving and turned grey (like snow on the roads after a couple of days) and they had all receded quite a bit.

This time we went into a fjord. As you can see, it was a bit misty. No glaciers at the water line, but man was it beautiful! My 83 year old dad came to our balcony to sit and watch the giant mountains slide by.

However, I was still missing the glacier experience. Lucky for us, the whole family was booked on a flight up to see the ice field above Juneau.

This was my first time on a float plane. Instead of the rough ride I had expected, most of the trip was smooth. Taking off and landing on water was much less harrowing than I thought it would be.

Once again, I can’t explain seeing these colossal glaciers from the air, so I’ll attach some pictures. The pilot joked that the small hand towels were for the tears of joy that we would shed on the trip. (They were actually for wiping the windows for the first little bit) He wasn’t far off for me. I almost cried.

The next day five of us took a bike ride down from the summit of a pass to Skagway. Emphasis on down, not up. That was also amazing! The sun came out for the first time and we got beautiful pictures. Also, a sunburned nose for me.

All-in-all a wonderful trip. With epic clouds all over the place!

I should get back to writing this week.

Should being the key word there.


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The About Face Groom

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I have a new release today!

My second book of the Last Play Christmas Romances is out here.

Today I thought I would tell you the story behind my pen name. I decided to use a pen name, because while my Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy books are pretty clean, they are not squeaky clean—like Hallmark clean.

I don’t know about you guys, but when I find a writer I like, I often read all of their books. An easy way to pick up negative reviews is by giving your readers certain expectations and then not fulfilling them.

For instance, Karly Stratford fans are now expecting sweet, clean romance books. That means no swearing, no sex (or even a mention of it really), and keeping innuendos and talk of beer and stuff like that to a minimum. The fans know what they want, and when they don’t get it, they get angry.

So, I didn’t want a new fan of Karly’s to jump into my Jagged Scars Series which has some mild swearing and a lot of fighting / violence. The books are not for the same readers.

That’s why I took a pen name for my sweet romance books. Next year I plan to put a book out for Karly every quarter. Certainly not as fast as most romance writers, but since it’s a secondary genre, I’m okay with it.

Some authors have a hard time coming up with a pen name, but this one came pretty easily to me. You see, my mom’s maiden name is Karlene Stratford. I thought Karlene was a bit old-fashioned, so I changed it to Karly.

Now my poor mom has had dementia for years, and while she still remembers most people, we can have the same conversation four times in ten minutes. So she doesn’t know I’ve borrowed her name, but I think if she knew, she’d be okay with it.


The About Face Groom is 0.99 today only!

How much would you bet on true love this Christmas Season?

Leon Reyes, tight end for the Denver Storm, plans to spend the Christmas break training and playing video games with his childhood buddies. His plans don’t change when quarterback Will Kent bets him to contact his first love and try to rekindle the flame, because his first love is happily married with two kids. What Leon didn’t count on was rescuing his back-door neighbor and junior-high crush, Sadie Jones from a dog attack. His friends then double-dog-dare Leon to bring Sadie to the block party, and Leon never backs down from a dare. The dare leads to a kiss, and Leon is swept away by things he’d forgotten about Sadie. Things he didn’t realized he wanted.

All Sadie Jones wants is a quiet Christmas to finish her business proposal and forget her jerk of an ex, Brian. When she hears Leon and his buddies in their back yard she goes over to tell them to shut up so she can work, but ends up getting attacked by a dog, and saved by Leon. When he asks her to the block party she accepts. When he kisses her she slaps him. When he decides to make it his personal mission to help her rekindle her inspiration for writing she begins to remember why she had a crush on him all growing up, and why she keeps saying yes when he asks her out.

When Sadie’s ex tries to take her proposal, and Leon sends his massive Twitter following after the guy, everything falls apart. Can they put their own issues aside and salvage their budding relationship, or will the Grinch get his way?

Check out Amazon for the rest of the series as well!









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A Brave New World

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Note: Sorry if you got a strange update from my blog yesterday that didn’t link to anything. The hubby and I were trying to get something to work and didn’t realize we’d made it live then taken it down, so sorry about that.

I woke up this morning, and didn’t have to go to work.

Which is strange, because I’ve been getting up and getting ready to head out the door since I was a little kid. Showering is my morning coffee, and I may or may not be addicted to McDonald’s breakfast.

But things have changed. I “retired” from my day job ten days ago. This is what a couple of amazing guys from my work made me as a retirement present. The shield is already on my wall, and the helmet (3D printed) is on  my desk!


One chapter in my life has ended, and another has begun. The adventure of being a:

Full-Time Author!

What does this entail?

Well, first off it means I get up, get dressed and workout first thing. I’ve never been a morning workout person, so this is going to be interesting. Today (Day 1) I discovered that our Wii isn’t hooked up to YouTube for whatever reason, so I dragged my kicking bag into the family room and beat the crap out of it for thirty minutes. I’m way out of shape.

I’ve made a daily schedule for myself, because if I don’t, I get sucked into the interwebs for more time than I care to reveal.

I’m giving my inner author, whom I discovered is basically the girl from Tangled, her very own time every afternoon so she can come out and play. Hopefully this will make her happy and give my creative juices a boost.

My daily schedule is longer than the hours at my day job. Almost every author will tell you that this is normal.

Perhaps the most intimidating part of the adventure is that I am in charge of my own fate. If I fail, it’s on me. If I don’t write, it’s on me. If I neglect marketing, it’s on me. I no longer have the excuse of my day job to keep me from succeeding. I can no longer justify complaints about a lack of time to devote to being more healthy.

Changes for you will include two things right away.

First, I will be blogging every week. Not every-other month, like last year.

Second, I’m going to be instituting Flash Fiction Friday here on my blog. Each Friday I will be writing and publishing a short story. 1,000 words or less. There will be a whole write up about it this coming Friday, so stay tuned for that. It’s going to be fun and ridiculous. Who doesn’t want that?

Thanks for sticking with my through my author adventure up to this point, and I promise it’s only going to get better and better!

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