How to Choose an Editor for You!

#Amazon #BAM #Kindle #barnesandnoble #Nook #ebooks #paperback #books
@lkkelley1 Author of the White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy

Many know me as LK Kelley, author of the White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy, but what you may not know is that I am also an independent and professional book, article, and web editor.   I thought I’d give you a few tips on how to choose and editor for You! 

“Editor” is more than just a title.  It’s a profession as much as any other.  But, it is far more than that since the title of “Book Editor” is even more specific. There are many of us out there in the big ole’ world, but not all are the same.  Here are some of my own suggestions as to how to find one that will work for YOU as an author.

First, I’m asked “Do you edit your own books?” The answer to that questions is “yes”.  But, that’s only because I have a couple of friends who are great at catching things.

I want to begin by saying that I have never met a perfect editor or author.  I would be truly foolish to say so.  Every author needs to remember this.  No matter how many times an editor edits, the truth is that even we can make errors that may not be caught.  So, how do I get around this?  I work one-on-one with each and every author editing one chapter at a time.  This is better than trying to edit a whole book all at once. I’ve found that this simple process works beautifully, and each of us catches something else.  So, here’s how to choose an editor for you whether you write for a publishing house, or independently.

Here are a few guidelines:
  1. The best editor is UNBIASED. Regardless of the book, an editor is not there to read your book. They are there to EDIT your book. Do we read your book while editing? Yes, but not for relaxation. We are immersed in making your book read well.  If an editor even bothers to express his/her own views, they are the wrong one for you!
  2. Make no mistake!  Readers WILL judge your books on its spelling, language, and punctuation. You must choose an editor who is skilled at this.  While no editor can be 100% perfect, this is as exact a science as possible.
  3. An author should have basic knowledge of  the language in which the book is written.  If it’s English, which is mine, then make sure the editor knows the language, punctuation, etc.  While there have been many changes throughout the years, no editor will know everything. However, there are basics that must be followed. 
  4. It is not necessary for a good editor to know either a topic nor a genre.  Why?  Because an editor’s basic task is to make your book READ well. 
  5. An editor should NEVER – EVER try to alter the intent of the author to such a degree that the author cannot recognize the stories within their books – either fiction or non-fiction.  This is imperative.  Period. End of line. 
  6. Continuity is terribly important.  Your readers WILL notice especially if they are total fans.  
  7. Cost is important as well.  While Independents are less expensive, remember that this is a real business. Our name goes on your book as well, so it’s important to us to edit to the best of our ability.  Cost can be figured either by word, or by page.  I charge by page. I also am affiliated with a small publisher ISOTUT, and edit for them as well. 
  8. A word to the wise…it’s fine to ask friends to edit for you, but unless they have exceptional skills in language and punctuation, don’t use them.

It’s just fine to ask questions of the editor.  Like other businesses, we give estimates based on the information the author gives to us. If he/she charges for this, go to the next one on your list. That editor is not for you.  I never charge for an estimate.  Everything is agreed upon, before payment is ever received. 

In short, authors.  Do your homework. Talk to the editor, and ASK QUESTIONS.  Some publishing houses have in-house editors.  Don’t slack on them, either.  ASK QUESTIONS. Like anything else you purchase – cars, homes, furniture, construction, home improvement, etc., ASK QUESTIONS.  You NEVER pick one of those without asking all types of questions, so why should an editor be any different?  

Remember…your name will be out there on your book(s) – F.O.R.E.V.E.R.  
Editing can be the difference in a mediocre book and a best seller!  And, you will hear it from your readers!

Dating Your Books – Should an Author Use Dates?

LKKelly Photo 6 DSC_0018aa
@lkkelley1 #lkkelley

Actually, to tell you the truth, I never even thought about this, before I wrote my White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy. This is a true dilemma for authors. Should we use dates  in our books?  After much thought, I came to this conclusion – It all depends on what your are writing!

For instance, one of the first examples that jumped into my mind was, of course, 1984 by George Orwell.  A problem with these types of books is that they are written in a current year, but actually “predicting” a future time. Readers take these books to heart, and actually wait to see if the situations described within the book come true. The other problem with this? It rarely, if ever, comes to pass. Once that future date is past, though, going back to read the book – well written or acclaimed – seems almost pointless to read, again, since it is past. Now, that’s not to say one can read it for entertainment purposes, but quite frankly, those readers who actually believed that this world would be that way at that time and date are sadly disappointed.

The same could be said with movies. “2001, A Space Odyssey” filmed in 1968 from Stanley Kubrick, for instance, is another example. In this future time, humans had not only built a space station (which actually did happen), but it was so large, it was a stopping point on the way to the moon. The shuttles that carried people were elaborate, and I absolutely loved the weightless scenes in it! Those were incredible especially for the time in which it was filmed. Of course, these have yet to come to pass even in 2015. But, our society had increased to the point that the world was united, and everything was peaceful. In addition, humans had progressed to a point where they invented an incredible interplanetary ship in order to carry a few men to Mars where the strange monolith’s signal was heard.

And, again, in “2010 – The Year We Made Contact” filmed in 1984 by Peter Hyams (coincidence?) the same could be held true. Of course, we all know that none of these things came to pass. And, those who thought we would be there when these years arrived, again, were disappointed. However, the entertainment factor was, and is, still wonderful!

The other type of future date and time are those that have nothing to do with predictions at all. And, there are many to choose from for examples.  “Harry Potter” by JK Rowling is just one. “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” are another. They are completely made up in an author/writer’s head, written down, and enjoyed by millions. These types of future dates are set so far in the future that we cannot identify with them in any way, because we know we will not be alive. And, the thought that these books, if possible, will survive could easily be destroyed. Even if they did make it, we really don’t care whether or not those readers believe in them. Many of these books are not only set far in the future, but they have nothing whatsoever to do with Earth, or this solar system, so thus, these books are timeless, and reading them are a never ending joy!

One other example, and I have to say this, because it is one of my all time favorite TV series! “Stargate-SG1”!  In this example, it is all done in the current time.  A couple of the episodes also dealt with wormholes as well as the future and the past as well.  However, what makes this timeless is the fact it’s a “secret government” operation. By doing this, it doesn’t matter whether it is current or not.  Because it’s secret, and we know it, then it has no bearing at all on dating.

The problem is that future dating in either a book, or film, or other writings, will date these venues, and if the time comes, and passes, and they do not occur, people will be disappointed.

Now, let’s look at the OTHER side of the equation.

Dating a book, or show, or movie in a current year that refers to a past date is completely different. That is because the past is…well…past. It has already occurred, and we know what happened. But, as they say…mankind never learns from the past, and we are doomed to repeat it. But, we can literally identify with our past where the same cannot be said of the future.

And, then, there are those which are set completely in the past, and these are timeless. Westerns, Wars, Medieval Knights, the Beginning of Mankind, Mythology, Legends, and more are really something we cannot identify with in our current day.

All books have some form of time involved even though we really don’t realize it. Perhaps a description of a vehicle, or a current event sneaks into our writings. Some of us do this on purpose, but without a date. However, it does date the book. Others of us add it into a book, and do not realize we have done so.

Dating in a book can either be a “main character”, or it could be so minor, no one pays attention to it.

I admit it. I didn’t ask myself that question. So, I realized, after the fact, that I did date my Trilogy! The descriptions of the vehicles are one clue. Jets are another, and even the clothing that my characters wear. And, yet, Cordone’s house is completely timeless, right? While where the house is located, and that it was hewn out of solid rock with elements that couldn’t possible be done by human hands, the fact is…yes. It is dated! How? The furniture and Deck. These all date my books.

However, simply because these do date the books, the fact is that, because I did not add a time period (date), it is still vague enough that they can be read over and over again, and this type of dating is actually not important. And, this is how most books are written. We can all “date” books if there is something in them, but as not only authors, but readers, we actually don’t care! We love our books! They are what comfort us during times of trouble; make us laugh when we need one; make us cry tears over the characters; make us angry at another one, and of course, make us love them and even desire them! In most cases, authors will not use a specific date or year. To do so might compromise our intent. So, while there may be elements that allow readers to date the books, which have no dates, becomes superfluous and really unimportant to them. They read our books to escape reality, to understand history, to become excited about mythology or legend, to feel the horrors of war, to laugh uproariously, to feel love and desire, and on and on. We, as authors, must bring these emotions through our words, and must contain all the emotional elements whenever possible.

I do want to urge all writers that no matter what you write, keep dating in mind as you write. And, if you set your books in the near future, remember that it will come and go, and will be judged by people who will be alive before, during, and after that date.

But, in truth, There is no real right or wrong way to pen your books (except with spelling, sentence, structure, and punctuation).  So, every author should ask themselves a question before they begin to write. Do I want my book to be dated? Or, do I want my book to be timeless by not dating it?

All we need to remember? It is our job and responsibility to entertain our readers! If you are excited about your story, it will show in your writing, and that is our specific intention! I am going out on a limb and say this:

Write with EMOTION! If you write it, your readers will EXPERIENCE it!”

@lkkelley1  #lkkelley  #whitewolfprophecy 

The White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy Official Website

Kaitlan Seneca O’Hara ~ The White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy

 
 Kaitlan Seneca O’Hara is the daughter of Canaan O’Hara, and the book editor for,the Seneca Publishing House in St Louis, Missouri.  It’s also her 27th birthday – the day that werewolves become, well. Werewolves.  She has a best friend, Sarah Collins, and her other two friends are Anita and Lynne. Oh, and she is utterly clueless that she is a werewolf until her Father’s life is threatened by a great evil.  But even more than that, Kaitlan is unaware that she has a mate. And, thanks to an ancient prophecy, her life is about to change forever.

Canaan decided to raise Kaitlan as a human when her Mother, Tara O’Hara, died in Childbirth. Unknown to her, her Father’s First, and best friend, Cordone Tristan Valon claimed her as his mate. Coincidentally, Cordone also delivered Kaitlan, since their clan’s Doctor was away.  Afterward, Cordone left the clan, and went into seclusion becoming the best selling author in the world for Seneca Publishing.  

Kaitlan met her best friend, Sarah Collins, while in grade school, and her first dose of reality that cruelty existed in the world existed.  She befriended Sarah, who became like her sister. 

Kaitlan is also engaged to a man named Steve, and discovers him in bed with another woman, causing her heart to break. 

Canaan finds his life in danger from and ancient evil known as Zanack.  And, Kaitlan’s life is in danger as well.  So, her Father sends her to Cordone in order to protect her. KaitlN and Cordone have had “words” over the phone since she was his editor…and by damn…he is the bane of her existence!  She has no intention of going to him until her Father orders her to do so. She’s helpless against his Alpha, and complies.  Canaan knows that he should have to,d her what and who she is, yet he never explained.  Now, it will be up to Cordone to do it and he isn’t happy! 

Kaitlan meets Cordone, and from there, her destiny calls her relentlessly.  Her first phase scares her to death, and she runs away. Cordone follows shocked to discover that not only is Kaitlan his mate, but becomes the White Wolf of an ancient prophecy telling of an evil that only  the White Wolf will be ab,e to defeat.  

And, everyone believed the White Wolf was a myth. But, as Kaitlan becomes this myth, it begins to usher in a whole new world for the supernaturals. 

But, Kaitlan was born to defeat Zanack. Once she has mated with Cordone, her three friends must also find their mates. The four women and their mates are thrown into an ending like no other. And Kailan will have to make the hardest decision i  her life to get rid of the evil of Zanack, and restore a timeline that has been torn asunder by hi.  

 

BOOK COVER DESIGN – How to Design Your Own, Unique Cover Updated 8/5/15

When I first wrote this blog, little did I realize that it would be my most POPULAR Blog of all.  I wanted to let other #authors out there realize they can design their own #bookcovers just like I did.  So, without further adieu, I hope you enjoy this Blog, and it helps your own ideas. And then, a little “imp” got into me, and I wanted to do something totally different I have never seen another #author do.
I wanted to have a bit of fun with my books.  Originally, it was an accident, but I decided to use it on ALL 3 of my books.
After you read the #blog, I #invite you to “Find the Wolf” on both books 1 & 2.

Good luck!  And, thank you for reading it! ~~~ #lkkelley

I chose to design my own from scratch using my own, personal photos, and those of a couple of great photogs!  Because of the cost to have someone else design it, and I despise the “pre-cover” designs which so many are using, I wanted it unique to my book, The White Wolf Prophecy ~ Mating ~ of the White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy.  I wrote all three books at the same time, and it helped me decide my first book cover.

Book Cover Design for The White Wolf Prophecy ~ Mating ~

First, I decided what I wanted based upon the locations in my book, and the descriptions of my characters.  In fact, in one case, I rewrote my hero’s description to fit in with the man I chose to be the hero. It’s pretty easy. I used Photoshop 9 for my book cover.  


And, believe me! If I CAN DO IT, so can you! 


Step 1

#DESIGN #CONCEPTS

1.  CHOOSING THE PHOTO:  I was lucky enough to have taken many photos on a trip to Colorado.  You can do the same thing by using one of your own photos even if it’s not exactly in the book, you can make it work. 


I decided upon 3 photos.  After deliberating for days, I decided upon photo #3 for its continuity.  It was perfect.  Step # 1 was done.  

#1 ~ Mt Evans
#2 ~ Mt Evans
#3 ~ Echo Lake 

 The final concept was done for the front and the back of the book.

FRONT
BACK

Step 2

Choosing #Character #Photos

2.  CHOOSING the concept design:  This was a bit harder.  I had to dig into my photo database to find just the right look.  I wanted something that would match, as best as possible, the characters in the book.  After a long search, I decided upon these.

CORDONE VALON
KAITLAN O’HARA

Next, I put my concepts together into 3 different ones.

#1
#2
#3

3.  I had my background, I had my faces, and I finally had at least a working concept.  Next, came Photo Shoots.

Step 3

#Photoshoots

Luckily, I just happened to have 2 people who were the PERFECT subjects. they were the same as in my original concept.   These are the photos that I decided upon. First, Kaitlan O’Hara:

#1
#2

Next, Cordone Valon:

  #1

  #2

After seeing these final choices, I chose Kaitlan # 2 and Cordone #2.  Now, I had to remove the backgrounds of both.  This, I believe, takes the longest time – especially when you have never done it before.  I can’t even count how many times I removed the backgrounds.

Step 4

#Assembling the #Final #Cover Design

4. After all of this, I had my faces, my photos, and all I needed to do was assemble the pieces together, and put a white wolf into it.

5. Again, and above, was my original concept.  As you can see, I placed them on the left side of the cover.  What I didn’t realize was that the faces would be cut off on the spine of the book. So, I had to redesign the concept into a workable design.  So, I reversed the photos when I was ready for my final design. But, then, I found another…

…HOLD THE PRESSES!

“DANGER WILL ROBINSON!”

HUGE OOPSIE AHEAD! 

6.  It was at this point that I thought I was almost done.  All I needed to do was to put the name of the book, and my name.  But, that was when I discovered, much to my dismay,  after I had thought I finished, I realized I had put what should be the back half for the book of Echo Lake on the book’s front!  I was really irritated.  Now, I had to go back and redo it to make it right. I’m going to admit to you that I was so angry at myself, I almost threw it out the window, and I was actually tempted to leave it as it was.  But, my gut, and my penchant for excellence, was telling me that I was taking the easy way out, and so, I redid the front – again.  But, I closed it all out, and didn’t bother to come back to it until a few days later, simply because I didn’t need to still have anger at myself.

7.  After a few days, I came back, and did it all over, again.  This time, though, I went slowly to make sure I had it right.  And, voila!  I had it!  I almost danced all over my house in glee!  Until my #publisher told me that I needed to move Kaitlan’s face over, and Cordone up a bit, because the characters would have their faces and hair partially removed.  So, here I went again!  I had to start again. But, this time, I got it right!

FINAL CONCEPT DESIGN

Step 5

FINISHING TOUCHES

8.  So, I slapped the Title of my Book and my name on the book, and then realized I didn’t know what font I wanted to use.  I experimented for a couple of days with different fonts, finally deciding upon one, and I was finally finished.  Saving it to 600 dpi, and 8.50 x 11.50 inches, I was finally finished, and off it went to the publisher.   But, it didn’t end there.  There were a couple more redos, because of the placement of the Title that was too big, and my name wasn’t big enough.  But, these didn’t take too long, and I was finally done, and the publisher was totally impressed by the final product!

And, here is the finished product:

What Did I Learn by 

Designing My Book Cover?

  • Pay attention to the placement on the book of photos
  • Save #photos to 600 DPI @ 11.50 x 8.50
  • Pay attention to the spine of the book cover
  • Have really great #photoshoots, or at least excellent photos already taken, and save each one of them to 600 DPI
  • When I had a good design, I saved the basics of that design so I could use it, and alter it if needed saving each of those as a separate file as well.
  • I also learned to save photos with no backgrounds especially if I changed anything at all.

I know that not everyone is able to design their own cover, they just don’t want to take the time hiring it done, or just pick a stock book cover.  But, I wanted my book cover to be different than everyone else’s out there.

Just like my book, it’s unique.  My characters are a completely new concept to the supernatural world, and are just as unique.  I wanted the same for my cover.  If you look just above Cordone’s right shoulder and into Kaitlan’s hair, you will see a “ghost” of a White Wolf.

This was actually a lot of fun – designing a book cover!  Fun, exciting, and not only am I proud of the story within the cover, but my cover is totally unique, and I did it!

The next book is being edited as I write this, and I am also about to design my cover for the second book in The White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy!

UPDATE

Using what I learned above, I assembled the cover for book 2.  I wanted my books to be uniform with slight changes so that anyone buying the books would be able to recognize them immediately.  This time it took me 1/4 of the time it took me the first time around, I invite you to judge the results. 

UPDATE 3

This is the final book of the White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy.  For this book, I had one place, and ONLY one place in mind!  It reminded me of my vision of the amazing Secret Pool in book #1.  This photo was taken by me with my amazing Character, Kaitlan Seneca O’Hara Valon (aka: Laura Kelley).  To get this photo was a huge undertaking.  It began by leaving Arvada, CO, on June 24th, 2014, travelling to Glenwood Springs, CO, where we stayed overnight so that we could get n early start walking 1 1/2 miles up to Hanging Lake, CO.  This place is like no other anywhere!  1 1/2 miles seems easy – except it was virtually straight up hiking, and took us a couple of hours to hike.  Below you will find some of the Promo photos that I took with not only Kaitlan, but her Father, Canaan as well as me.  I won’t go into the fact that I don’t like to be in pics, but I love to take them.  However, I had a SPECIFIC pose in mind from the 3rd book, and we tried to capture it. The last photo shows the photo that I would use as the final cover.

The photo below is the photo I chose for my final book cover. It is exactly as I imagined it, and I couldn’t be more happy with it! Putting it together was even faster than the first two, because, by now, I was experienced in the design process.  No. I’m not a professional, and would never say that I was. But, as I said at the first…I wanted a UNIQUE design for all 3 books that no one else had.  And, I had tons of fun doing it! 

http://firebird4554.wix.com/white-wolf-prophecy

9781615000500

#whitewolfprophecy

#lkkelley

#whitewolfprophecyblog

You can purchase my book right here, as well as at book stores around the area.

Don’t forget to  #followme on #Twitter for #updates!

#werewolf  #werewolves  #vampires  #paranormal  #fantasy  #werewolfromance  #elves  #lkkelley  #paranormalromance  #sciencefiction #whitewolfprophecy  #978165000500  #romance  #books  #bookcover  #bookcoverdesign  #blog  #hallofrecords  #colorado  #amazon  #barnesandnoble  #bam  #usa  #fortsmitharkansas  #arkansas  #authors  #writers

Thanks to:

 ElleKelle Productions – Laura Kelley

 Razorbackfoto – Matt Mclenahan

NOTE:  ALL PHOTOS ARE COPYRIGHTED BY AUTHOR – LK KELLEY

Official Website for the White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy 

Any use must be obtained by the author. Thank you.

© LK Kelley  2013

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

Valerie Penny has the best bookblogs E.V.E.R.! #lkkelley

Valerie Penny's Book Reviews

Coleen-NolanThe Girl on the Train is a best-selling novel by British author Paula Hawkins. The novel debuted at number one on the The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2015 list dated February 1, 2015. It was the first book recommended by a book group promoted by the ITV television programme, Loose Women. Coleen Nolan, the singer of  The Nolan Sisters fame suggested this book. I had not read anything by Paula Hawkins, but the title caught my interest.

Although Paula Hawkins was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, on 26 August, 1972, she now She was educated at Oxford University, Oxford, England and now lives in London. She worked as a journalist for many years before writing The Girl on the Train which is her first thriller, although it is her fifth novel. The earlier works are romantic fiction written under the pseudonym, Amy Silver. The Girl on theTrain has sold more than…

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A Neighbor of Unquestionable Honor

@lkkelley1
@lkkelley1 #Author of the White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy

Rarely do I do this, but today, I’m going to skip plugging my book, and tell you about an unbelievable neighbor of mine.

His name is Wilbur, and he’s probably between 80 and 90 years old.  Wilbur moved into the house next door about a year ago.  It was quite some time before I got to meet him, but when I did, I absolutely loved the little old man!  One day, while going to the mailbox, I saw Wilbur slowly trotting out to his box as well.  At that point, I went over to him, and introduced myself.  I spoke with him for a while, and he was not only kind, but he had something that is quite rare these days.  He had absolutely flawless manners!  We spoke for a while, and just before I went inside, I welcomed him to the neighborhood.

The more I got to know him, the more amazed I was.  I have rarely encountered someone so kind, and yet so humble that I doubt he even realizes it!

For a few months, we noticed that our trashcan had been moved up to the house, and while we suspected he had done it, we had no proof. And, since I didn’t see him that much, I never had a chance to ask.  But, he mowed his own lawn and did his own shopping.  It was a total surprise to me.  But, there was one tiny problem with the lawn.  The area between our houses is a steep hill, and he had trouble mowing it.  So, we decided to do it for him.  We just didn’t tell him. Much later, he came out to thank us for doing that for him.

Next thing I knew, he brought my trashcan up to the house after the garbage men emptied it.  We were puzzled, at first, wondering who would do such a kind thing.

And, then…nothing.  I didn’t see him for a very long time.  We were worried about him, but one day, he pulled out of his driveway, and waved.  We knew his children were watching out for him, but we wondered if maybe he’d been to the hospital for a while.  Never did find out.

Today, I saw Wilbur barely making it out to his mailbox with his cane – very slowly.  I drove into the driveway, and got out of the car.  He said, “Hi!”  and I responded in the same way.

Now, guys…here’s the rub!  This little old extremely kind man apologized to me!  Why?  Because he said that he hadn’t been bringing in my trashcan (which I had noticed recently) as he normally did!  He told me it was because he was “crippled” at the moment.  I almost dropped my mouth in shock.

Wilbur was APOLOGIZING for not bringing in my trashcan – that he very kindly had been doing!?  I was flabbergasted!  So much so, I thanked him for the kindness of doing it!  He apologized yet again, and I smiled and told him not to worry about it at all, and just to get some rest!  He didn’t need to do it – ever – yet, he was sorry he couldn’t do it lately!

I don’t know about you, but honestly, given what we hear every single day, having this man next to me is a true blessing!  I will never forget him as long as I live.  Such a simple gesture, and yet, he is the epitome of humble.  If he is like this, now, ladies…well…all I can say he would be the kind of man any of us would have fallen for head over heels if he was younger.

This type of kindness is so hard to find any more, it’s very sad that we are shocked when it does happen!

Manners and kindness will get someone somewhere so much faster than without them. All of us know others who wouldn’t lift a finger to help a cashier put a gallon of milk in their basket, or others who push up a cart loaded with the heaviest items possible, and leave to sit down waiting on a cashier to move them.  Others are rude to everyone, and there attitude is that of “I’m better than you”, and have no problem insulting others!  Even a cashier I know was told “You’re nothing but a cashier” by a customer!

But, this little old man goes out of his way to drag in a trashcan for his neighbor just because he wants to save her the trouble!  Wilbur beats out most others by this simple kindness.

I’ve always said that being kind and nice to others may seem outdated and old-fashioned, but quite frankly?  I’d rather sound outdated than join the rudeness of much of our society today.

It is said that one good deed deserves another, and Wilbur’s simple gesture snowballed with his neighbors. Wilbur is a true inspiration to all of us, and I’m honored just to have met him!  So, I just had to tell you guys all about my next door Neighbor who has what I call –

Unquestionable Honor!  

LK Kelley