How to Make Your Own DIY Bath Bomb!

Hey bookworms!

Who out there has read my Soul Stripper series? If you love paranormal and love my character Julian and all his sexy, forbidden love angel-ness, then you’ll love these peppermint scented bath bombs! They’re easy to make at home and Danielle Eaton and I put together a little video to show you how to make them! =) So, pop one into your next bubble bath and crack open Soul Stripper!


Julian’s Peppermint Bath Bomb Recipe:
½ Cup Baking Soda
¼ Cup Epsom Salt
¼ Cup Cornstarch
¼ Cup Citric Acid
2 Tsp Castor Oil
2 Tsp Witch Hazel
1 Tsp Essential Oil (Peppermint)

Mix the dry ingredients first. Then in a small bowl mix the wet ingredients. Add in small increments (like one drop at a time) of the wet mixture while stirring the dry ingredients. Pack together in molds and let them set for at least two hours. Then, pop them out of the molds and allow them to air dry overnight.

To read my Soul Stripper series, follow me on Amazon and you can get the first book in the series here :
Soul Stripper (Book #1)
“What a ride! I can’t wait to see what happens next in this fantastic new series!” –Caitlin Crews, USA Today bestselling author
It’s called Sin City for a reason. Nowhere else are the temptations so great, the sex so good, and the demons so bad. . .
By day, Monica is a barista in a local café. It doesn’t pay a lot but it puts her up close and personal with her sexy boss, Drew. Unfortunately that’s as far as a succubus can go unless she wants to take his soul. Monica needs mind blowing sex to sustain her and she finds her victims every night at a local strip club where she’s an exotic dancer. But when her powers begin to diminish and her fellow succubi start turning up dead, all bets are off. Monica realizes she’s the one immortal who has a chance in hell of making things right. . .

 

I Should Be…

Writing. I should be writing right now. But I’m not. Well, I guess you could argue I’m BLOGGING which is SORT OF writing, but I think my editor would argue with you considering this book is due in ::checks watch:: a couple of months.

It’s like my brain knows that my heart’s not into it, so every time I sit down and open that document, it wanders. It more than wanders…my damn brain breaks free of its leash and goes tearing through the neighborhood like an escaped dog.

This is how my brain works to avoid buckling down:
“It’s time to write, Kat. Write. Write. Sit down and use your fingers to move across the keyboard. Write. Wright. Wright brothers. Airplanes. Flying. Travel. Croatia–man, I want to go back to Croatia. I wonder how our friends that we met on our honeymoon are doing? She worked in PR for DSW. Oh, is DSW having any sales? Hm, no. Maybe Zappos has something. Oh, that’s right, free shipping. Oh, wait, now that I’ve bought something I should get rid of something. What’s in my closet? Awww, my monkey slippers! I love these things. Monkeys are adorable. I wish I could adopt a monkey…is that legal in Brooklyn?”

THIS IS HOW MY MIND WORKS. ::sigh:: So, anyway, time to get back to writing.

Style File! Summer Casual

I was looking back through my archives (thanks to a weird influx of spam comments. UGH, SPAM! I shake my fist at you!), and I realized it had been a while since I’d put together a virtual outfit that I’ll never own. ::sigh:: But one can dream, right?

So, here is my summer casual style file! Although I love the look of jeans, in the NYC heat and humidity, I just cannot stand to put denim onto my body. I end up spending most of my time in skirts and dresses and rompers.

The meat of the outfit, is this little dress/romper. I wish it was a little longer, as I don’t tend to wear things THIS short, but still. It’s super cute and looks very cool.

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I would add a belt to it, simply because with my body type, styles work better when they accentuate my waist. I’d go with a skinny camel colored belt, so that I could accessorize with browns–and wear these absolutely fabulous shoes! I’m completely lusting after them.ddfa4c530216c83d72a4ce8ac1d33bd8a8d7551bd87ff31debb878304fd756d9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, no outfit is complete without a handbag and in summertime? You can’t leave the house without a pair of sunglasses!

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Precious Memories and Adventures of Being an Auntie

While home last week, I went through my old bedroom to clear out the stuff I no longer want or need. Unfortunately for me and the cleansing process, my old bedroom is now my niece and nephew’s bedroom when they come visit my parents.
I’m completely clueless as to how parents manage to get ANYTHING at all done around the house, or you know, at ALL in life with two little ankle biters running around. The entire time, I had to keep one eye on them in case they fell out a window or something and then try to go through the massive piles of junk in my old bedroom. Not to mention, any old toy I found, they IMMEDIATELY had to have and so ::shrug:: there went any hope of trying to toss it in the garbage.

At one point, I came across a shoebox full of old pictures. I went through every image, showing Addy and Harrison along the way the pictures of their mommy and daddy when they first started dating. But mostly within that box were images that really meant very little to me. Images of people blinking or a random shot of all of us sitting around the family room watching tv (I mean seriously, why even take that picture???). Or it was a crappy disposable camera that always had the look of a foggy room. You know the ones I’m talking about. So, I kept a small handful of the pictures and threw the rest away.

Oh, boy was that a mistake.

Addy threw herself onto the trash bag, reaching in for the images. She looked up at me, big blue eyes filling with tears and asked, “You’re throwing these away?”

I told her yes and explained that I kept the ones that meant a lot to me, but the rest weren’t needed any longer.

Well, by her next reaction, you would have thought that I told her I just threw away her kitten after peeing all over its head. She face planted onto the floor, bursting into a fit of tears, crying out, “YOU’RE THROWING AWAY MEMORIES, AUNT COLLEEN! PRECIOUS MEMORIES!”

Holy. Shit. Ever want to feel like a terrible aunt and an awful human being? Yeah, try throwing out pictures in front of a five year old.

So, at this point, I just wanted her to stop crying–I was pretty sure that any minute now my sister would burst through the door and accuse me of abusing her children or something, so I attempted to take the photos back from her and I was all, “Yeah, yeah, okay, I’ll keep them. Calm down.”

She wrenched the pictures from me with her sticky, candy covered fingers and said, “No! You don’t deserve them anymore!”

….

The moral of the story here? I’m so not ready to be a parent.

Characterization and Digging Deep

This past weekend, I spoke at a great organization called Girls Write Now about romance as a genre and my personal process in developing characters and plot.

There are a lot of reasons a girl like me should hesitate before speaking in front of a group of teens.

1) I say f*ck. A lot. I think I managed to make it through my whole speech without a single curse word. Though, once I had to stop myself from saying badass–and it came out badbutt. Which made me sound like a total geek.

2) I wore pleather pants to the talk. Really, really tight pleather pants and as I walked in front of the group of lovely women, I had the realization of how inappropriate they may be.

C) I write EROTICA. And not sweet sex scenes by candlelight. I write ball-slapping erotica that hits you in the face with sweat and bodily fluids.

Sooooooo, yeah. Despite these little things about me, the wonderful ladies at Girls Write Now still invited me out. And during this chat, we also discussed how romance can be empowering and the previous tropes about the damsel in distress are fading with each new genre and generation. I, personally, love a good tale of a woman being swept off her feet, but I also love to read about a strong woman saving a man, too. The beauty of this genre is that there REALLY is something for everyone.

On my subway ride home, I began reading last year’s anthology from the Girls Write Now organization. It features essays and stories and poems from both the younger girls within the group as well as the mentors guiding each girl along their writerly path. And I have to say–these ladies are a talented bunch! Check out the website; check out the book. And consider buying it. Not only will you get some incredible writing, but your money will be going to a great cause.

Other than discussing my start with writing and how I got published and romance as a genre–I discussed my process in character development. When I’m developing a character, I dig deep. Really deep. I think it’s the past actress within me that wants to get deep into the mushy goo inside each of my characters and really know their motivations behind each scene. ‘Method Writing’ I’ve heard it called before.

Through reading amazing books such as Screenplay, The Comic Toolbox, Story and Plot, On Writing, Bird by Bird etc. I’ve managed to put together a series of questions and worksheets (that are admittedly not my own brilliant questions…just simply other questions I’ve gathered from various sources). Here are those questions I ask myself for any of the students or any other writers out there looking to dig a little deeper into their characters.

Step One. The Character Picture.
This is essentially the quick iPhone picture of your character. The things you’d be able to tell about him or her within a few minutes of meeting them. Example: Sarah has brown, curly hair, green eyes and olive skin. She lives in LA. She’s curvy and confident.

Step Two. The Character Sketch.
This provides a more in depth look at all my main characters and expands on the character picture information. This is where you reveal more depth about their psychology and past. So, for example, let’s say that Sarah was bulimic as a teenager. She almost died from malnourishment but pulled through and now she loves her curves.

Step Three. Revealing Scenes.
This part of the process helps you outline the potential scenes that will reveal categories and aspects of each character. So for example, you wouldn’t want to come right out and say that Sarah is a recovering bulimic. But if she all of a sudden is pulled into judging a beauty pageant and then when she’s backstage she hears a mother telling her daughter not to eat that candy because she’ll look fat on stage. That’s really interesting. We could see her muscles tense. Maybe she just barely stops herself from speaking out and instead, leaves the girl a ‘good luck’ snickers bar on her dressing table. That would be a very revealing scene for Sarah without having to state a super obvious observation about Sarah.

CHARACTER PICTURE QUESTIONS:

Book Title:

Character Name:

Age:

Ethnicity:

Height:

Weight:

Hair:

Eyes:

Education:

Residence:

Job:

Birth sign:

Religion:

Style of Dress:

Distinguishing Marks:

FAVORITE THINGS:

Music:

Food:

Color:

Pastime:

Hobbies:

Entertainment:

FACTS:
Children:

Pets:

General Outlook:

If you were to meet this character on the street, what would your first impression be?

Why?

What does this character need to learn and/or accomplish by the end of the story?

How will you foreshadow this ending in the story’s beginning?

CHARACTER SKETCH:

Family Situation:

Family Secrets:

Worst Fear:

Greatest Hope:

Skills:

Weakness:

Prized Possession:

Vulnerability:

Regrets:

Quirks:
Traumas:

Feelings about setting:

Overall Attitude:

Fears:
Joys:

Awards:

Degrees:

Dreams and Ambitions:

MOTIVATION

Top Priorities:

Favorite Things and People:

Obsessions:

Guilts:

CHARACTER ARC

Lessons to Learn:

Intended character changes:

REVEALING SCENES:

Scenes to reveal appearance:

Scenes to reveal quirks:

Scenes to reveal a character lesson:

Scenes to reveal motivation:

Scenes to reveal skills/weaknesses:

Scenes to reveal Trauma:

 

Style File – Autumn Casual in the Wild

Hey folks!

How’s everyone’s week been? Any fellow NaNoWriMo writers out there working on their manuscripts? They say that week one of NaNoWriMo is the easiest for most. Something I’ve definitely found to be true. I’ve made time to write almost every day and am ahead of the curve on my next series.

BUT, that’s not what I wanna talk about today. I looked at my past posts and realized I haven’t done a Style File entry in a while! And now that it’s fall (yay, fall!) and it’s getting dark so early, I thought it’d be a good chance to add to the style files.

This week’s was easy because this outfit was already put together for me on Pinterest. I just love leopard and animal prints (when used in moderation, of course).  I also love, love, looooove the combination of browns and blacks in an outfit. I remember growing up, my sister used to always yell at me for wearing a brown shirt with black jeans (and admittedly, when I was eight, I’m sure I was doing it ALL WRONG), but even back then, there was something about that color combination that grabbed me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, with this outfit, I love the pencil jeans (that aren’t super, super skinny), camel/yellow colored cashmere sweater, down vest and leopard shoes. I would add to this outfit gold and brown eyeshadow and liner and a casual but polished ponytail, like these:

 

Now, if only I had the face and body of Ms. Theron to pull off the whole outfit! =0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And lastly, I’ve included one more fabulous example of a brown and black ensemble that just couldn’t be ignored.

How HOTT is this outfit?? It’s basically a tie between this one and the one above. I would keep the makeup the same, but wear my hair down in loose waves.

 

All right, all! Have a lovely weekend!

 

 

Xox,

Kat

Rough Week

Well, this has certainly been a rough week for us here in our Brooklyn Headquarters. As most of you probably have seen already, we have been fostering a kitten that we found (literally) on its birthday. He was one day old when he was found in the street and we’ve been nursing him back to health by bottle feeding and lots and lots of love.

Our big puppy (not so much a puppy, as he’s about nine years old) took the little kitten under his “paw” if you will and has become a big mama to him in many ways. Our dog, Red is just about the greatest dog you could ask for. He’s sweet as can be, so obedient, gently, loyal. Everything you could want and ask for in a canine companion.

Then, last Tuesday–the day that Soul Survivor hit the shelves–our world was shattered. We were told that Red has canine lymphoma. A very aggressive cancer of the immune system. The good news is–that when treated quickly and correctly, a dog has a 70-90% chance of reaching remission. The bad news is–that these treatments are quite costly.

With no treatment, Red has been given anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months at the most. With the treatments, anywhere from 1-3 years is expected. We’ve been very lucky in that we have been granted a discount of 25% for these treatments from the wonderful fund Frankie’s Friends. If you haven’t heard of this group, please go check them out. They are wonderful.

But of course, 75% of a lot of money is still a lot of money. We haven’t given up on big mister yet, though. We are still currently exploring other avenues to help fund Red’s chemo. One of the first ideas I had was incorporating our sweet new kitten and our other pup, Bebop (a chihuahua) into little products to sell. I’ve started creating blank greeting cards using my photography and design skills which we are selling here! Go check them out and/or if you want, I can take your order through the email/contact page listed here on this website (Katana.Collins@gmail.com).

For those who have gone through this or are currently going through lymphoma on your beloved furry family member, feel free to email or message me any time. I’ll be documenting and writing about Red’s journey here. Our number one goal is to keep his quality of life good. While chemo of course has its ups and downs, as long as he’s still his normal happy self 80% of the time, we’ll continue the course.

My next post about Red will outline the first symptoms we noticed and what the process of diagnosis was. And I’m sorry for anyone else who has to go through this…but hopefully our experiences will help you understand better what is happening with your pet.

More later, my friends! It’s a beautiful day out and I plan on enjoying it with Red.

Release Day!!!

It’s finally here!!!! Soul Survivor is out and for sale! You can pick it up at any major book retailer, Amazon, Barnes and Noble or your indie bookstore as well.

AND if you haven’t yet read Soul Stripper (the first in the series), it’s a great time to buy at only $1.99!

Also, this kitten really, REALLY wants you to go buy your copy now! =0)

Soul Stripper Launch Party! ~NYC

Hey guys! Consider this your cordial invitation to my Soul Stripper 1940s themed launch party!

It’s gonna be a ton of fun and I don’t know about you…but I’LL be in costume. =0) Also, we’ll have an area to sign up for the ‘draft’ (to enter for prizes), books (of course!), original prints on watercolor paper drawn by my husband, Sean Gordon Murphy, delicious cupcakes, appetizers, drink specials and MORE!

If you’re in the city, come on by and say hello!

Saturday, June 15, 2013
4pm-6pm
at Manhattan Proper (6 Murray St, NY, NY)

SOUL STRIPPER Book Trailer!

Hey all–

It’s finally ready and uploaded. Go check out the Soul Stripper Book trailer! Special thanks to Jason Kip Photography, Tin Cup Cafe, Kevin MacLeod, Rachel Loebs and Ryan Garrison. It was a lofty goal to actually film a trailer completely on our own (ie – not hiring an outside company), but I think it came out pretty darn good. And I have uber talented friends that made it completely possible.
I’ll post a longer blog about the process next week! In the meantime, enjoy!

(I can’t believe we’re only a week away from Soul Stripper’s Release Day!!!!!!)