Killer Orange Excerpt

This is the same excerpt that I posted to my Facebook today so apologies if you see this twice.

This is one of my favorite scenes from “Killer Orange” my new novella coming out at the end of August.

“Ah yes, nice to meet you. You’re the divorced artist,” he said, giving her a slight wink. His face seemed to radiate with a natural glow, and she couldn’t imagine he had an evil bone in his body. He seemed so good-natured and relaxed.

She frowned slightly at what he called her. “Wow, news gets around fast. I only talked to a few other neighbors this morning about such personal things.”

“OH!” he exclaimed shrilly, which for a second, almost made her wonder about his sexuality. His movements seemed exaggerated, and he looked rather upset he’d seemed to say such a thing so casually. “I am very sorry. I didn’t talk to any other neighbors. I’m just friends with Jill.”


“Jill Highland, the lady who sold you the house,” he said with a too-bright smile.

“Oh! The real estate lady from ReMax. I see. That makes sense. She practically knows my social security number,” Rebecca mused, and she eyed Daniel suspiciously. “She didn’t tell you that, did she?”


H.K. Rowe


Bit by Bit

The August deadline for my next book Killer Orange is looming close. Of course, I am glad I didn’t specify a deadline day in August because now it’s looking like August 31st will be the day.

I apologize for neglecting this blog, but in reality, any morsel of freedom I’ve had lately has been devoted to writing and editing this book. I am THIS close to sending out to beta readers. Thankfully it’s a shorter story, the same length as Unbridled.

Once that’s out in the hands of my betas, I’ll be working on the cover design, and then editing again when I get feedback. The formatting process doesn’t take me too long (hello, designer!) but I really want to be careful with the editing process for this book more than anything else.

So that’s where things are. Look forward to some excerpts, and maybe a reduced price of Unbridled coming up. I will still be doing a book giveaway on Goodreads but I haven’t been able to order print copies yet more than anything to begin that.

Well, back to my work day and then hopefully writing time later!


I can relate…

Removed from Google Play

So I got a notification today that Google Play has removed my book “Unbridled” for violating content. I’m pretty sure the violation was the “pseudo-incest” which the book has, since Elekta and Ethan are cousins but not related by blood. Elekta is adopted, in fact, but still engages in sexual acts with Ethan.

I honestly don’t remember reading in their terms that pseudo-incest was not accepted. Nor do remember my book ever being approved by Google Play Books. I remember uploading it, getting warnings that it wasn’t approved and that I needed to enter my bank information (but I don’t think I did) and figured it wasn’t accepted. No biggie. Google Play doesn’t have the name Amazon or the Nook has in books.

I didn’t even advertise it here, mostly because I honestly never remembered Google ever approving it.

So oh well! It is what it is.

I’m still drafting “Killer Orange” and I’m hoping to send out to beta readers Sunday night. I need to get going on this! Plus, I’m really excited about creating my cover for it. I have a really good idea for it.

Soon I’ll be posting more excerpts. Stay tuned!

Have a good weekend everyone!

I swear, I won’t talk about my day job here!

Editing “Killer Orange” is going well, but the process is too slow for my tastes. Well, maybe I’m a harsh boss on myself, but I want it to be done and in my beta readers hands YESTERDAY. Does anyone have a TARDIS I can borrow?


“Blazing Heat” continues to grow, and I hate when the story is stuck in my brain ready to be typed and I can’t work on it. Time seems to be my enemy too.

The day job sucks up a lot of mental power, especially lately. I have two important UX projects with big clients, and then I have another project with a client that is prone to email chains of design changes. Fun.

Some days I stop and wonder, “Where did the time go? Am I getting older?”

More stories are coming! And I will be partaking in a Goodreads giveaway soon, and I’ll probably price Unbridled cheaper for a small amount of time when one of the other books come out.

To add to all that, I must be bonkers for consider squeezing in freelancing gigs too.

Well the family has to eat, I guess!

Until next time,

H.K. Rowe

The Story of My Macbook

The skies are booming tonight in South Elgin. I have an anxious beagle leaning against me, ears up and listening as fireworks go off randomly. Once awhile he turns to me and looks into my eyes or licks my hand.

He’s not too keen on the noises apparently.

I’m trying to wrap up one of my short stories, but honestly, I’m anxious and a little tired. It was a rough week at work. I felt overwhelmed by numerous tasks and job roles, and sometimes I feel like I’m going through an identity crisis. The constant struggle between having ten dollars left in the bank account a week before payday and more led me to the decision to take on more part time work. I’ll probably hunt for jobs on oDesk this weekend.

At my SLA job, I told my supervisor I could take on another client. After doing so, my husband asked me when I’d have a day off. I said I wouldn’t. Because on those free nights, I’d be here, in my bedroom, writing on my Mac. Writing, writing, and more writing. Drafting too, but I count that as part of the process.

Then my thoughts wander to my Mac, how much comfort it’s given me over the years. It’s one of my most precious gifts. My husband surprised me with a Macbook Pro in 2007 on Black Friday. It ran Leopard (hey, it was cutting edge back then!) and even though he got the inexpensive version, he knew I needed it to write. He knew that if I continued to write up in my office, he’d hardly get to see me. I’m lucky I can write anywhere. Well… sometimes if the TV is too distracting I have to leave, but most of the time I can zone out into my writing, leaving the outside world behind. Ultimately, he wanted me to have a more mobile way of writing. I thank him for it.

Over the years, my Mac has become deprecated, but I still love it. I’ve had to replace a charger cord, a battery, a disk drive. I’ve added memory too. I upgraded it to Snow Leopard, and finally to Lion. It won’t go farther than that. It’s too old but that’s okay. This last winter the hard drive fried. I was really sad. We couldn’t afford another Mac; that was a luxury I didn’t have. So I shopped around for PCs. I used my work laptop for a while. Meh, it’s not the same. I’m okay with Windows 8, but there’s something about a Mac environment that I just missed.

So…looking at my funds and my options. I googled how much it would take to replace the hard drive. I searched my model on Amazon, and then I searched on YouTube (Gods Bless it!) how to replace a hard drive in a 2007 Macbook Pro. I found both! The HD was only $40! I could certainly swing that over a new computer. Plus, if I failed, I was only out forty bucks. I could still shop around for new ones. I could still use my work computer. So I got the new HD, realized I didn’t have a screw driver small enough to take the computer casing off, so husband and I headed to Home Depot and bought the tool I needed that night. (Plus, I got a new tool, so that was good!)

I spent pretty much the whole night until about 1 AM putting it together and then getting software installed. Getting the HD in didn’t take as long, but I got it in my head to put Linux and Mac on it, and out of frustration, I just used Ubuntu for a while. I…I tried to like it. For a couple of months I gave it a shot. I think the thing that wrecked it for me were the key commands. I was on a Mac and yet the key commands were just not the same.

So I started over. I installed Snow Leopard on it, and then Lion (because it was a download from the store) and yay! It’s back! Some things have changed. After awhile my Mac starts to chug and act labored. The casing gets too hot after a while. And my vast iTunes library is gone. I mean, it’s not gone. I brought back the Time machine files, but not everything was perfectly restored. Frankly, I’m keeping things light on my old friend. I’m using her for writing and net surfing and that’s about it. I installed Gimp and LibreOffice, but other than that, I use it mostly with Chrome. It works well enough.

And I got my old friend back. Here’s hoping the old girl gets me through a few more stories down the way. Cheers, H.K. Rowe


Fanfiction – Or, How I Learned To Write

A really good read for those who used fanfic as a foundation for writing original work…

Aether House

Fanfiction gets a bad reputation from many, including George R.R. Martin and my own dad. They dismiss it as “lazy. ” As in “go write your own stories you punk kid!”

Let me tell you, there is nothing lazy about writing three 100k+ word novels. And that is exactly what I did when I was in Heroes fandom in high school, along with ~25 short stories, and 5 novellas. I clocked in probably 600,000 words in the span of three years. And you can bet I became a better writer for it.

No, I did not learn how to create believable original characters, but I did learn how to write realistic speech. I learned how to take some deep, meta looks at the psyches of fictional people, and how to write arcs of growth, and how to create chemistry between characters.

True, I didn’t learn how to world build….but I…

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A last minute diddy


So my submission for a short story anthology called Athena’s Daughters II is off! I’m happy to be able to put something together for it.

Whee! Fingers crossed!

Storms are coming through the Chicagoland area, and as scary as they seem, I rather like them. It’s been a rough Monday for me so I feel relaxed at chilling in bed with my Macbook on my lap while I write and catch up with my blogs.

We got the dogs back this morning too from the kennel. We were gone for vacation this last weekend and they haven’t been home. I missed them, and they were obviously mad because they’ve been vocal terrors all night. Whiskey decided to steal a pork sandwich right off my husband’s plate. But…that’s a beagle for you!

Looking forward to the 4th of July weekend. I hope for lots of writing! I was thinking of Camp Nanowrimo, but I’m too busy with other things. I have to start drafting Killer Orange this month, plus finish my short story Blazing Heat! I also have stories to read and submit feedback for other writers.

Good thing I’m so busy. It’s a broke month! LOL.


H.K. Rowe