Wednesday, February 13, 2019

History of St. Valentine's Day ~ Happy #ValentinesDay #ValentinesDay2019

Valentine's Day is here, and in the tradition of dedicating my blog to a bit of history about certain holidays and traditions, I decided to look into the facts behind St. Valentine and the reasons we celebrate love and romance on February 14th.  Turns out, there is quite a bit of conflicting information regarding this particular saint and the holiday named for him. Disclaimer: as always, please keep in mind I am a romance author, not a historian!  

The name Valentine comes from the Latin word "valens" which means healthy or strong.  The derivation Valentine was a popular name between the 2nd and 8th centuries AD, which could explain part of the confusion surrounding this saint.


St. Valentine Kneeling in
Supplication by
David Teniers III
Public Domain
The Valentine remembered on February 14 was a third century Roman Saint martyred and buried in a cemetery on the Via Flaminia, an ancient Roman Road.  It's possible that early references to Saint Valentine actually referred to several saints with the same name.  Sources including The Catholic Encyclopedia mention three Saint Valentines connected to the February date: a Roman priest and a bishop, both buried along the Via Flaminia, and a saint in a Roman province of Africa. Some information points to the first two Valentines actually being the same person.

The details surrounding the acts and eventual martyrdom of Valentine are also hazy.  Common threads point to an account of Valentine performing a miracle (restoring the sight of a young girl), aiding Christians and encouraging others to embrace Christianity.  While imprisoned, he refused to renounce his faith and was executed.  

Pope Gelasius I established the Feast of Saint Valentine on February 14 in 496, acknowledging that while not many details were known about Valentine, his acts were known to God.


The more modern traditions connecting Saint Valentine's Day to romantic love date to the fourteenth century and are generally attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer, "the Father of English Literature", and his circle of friends.  In the Middle Ages, birds were thought to pair in mid-February, and in his poem "Parliament of Foules" there is mention of February 14th being the day birds as well as humans find a mate.  
Now that St. Valentine's Day is linked to celebrating romance, common themes include cards, flowers, candy, hearts, and of course, a focus on love stories.  Why not download a page-turning romance novel and enjoy the thrill of the characters' journeys as they fall in love?  Or send an e-copy to a friend or relative for less than the cost of a card!  All of my titles involve romance mixed with suspense, some with spooky paranormal elements and some with dangerous killers.  Take a peek at the tag lines below, and the links bring you to the blurbs!  Don't forget Amazon allows a free sample download, so you can check out the first few chapters.

DANGEROUS CURRENTS ~ steamy second chance romance filled with secrets and suspense...One fateful night tore them apart...will they get a second chance before a killer strikes?


Reading Review Wars on Dangerous Currents

For steamy romance mixed with spooky suspense, try #1 Kindle and #1 Nook Bestseller GULL HARBOR, where a medium encounters both a dangerous ghost and an ex-boyfriend in a sleepy Cape Cod town.  Also available on Audible


#1 Kindle Bestseller SILVER LAKE also involves a haunting mystery as a group of estranged friends reunite to try to solve their friend's disappearance...and two star-crossed lovers fight for a second chance.

In DIVINE FALL, an award-winning Young Adult Paranormal Romance, forbidden first love meets supernatural secrets as the last Nephilim seeks his revenge.  Suitable for teens!


In HAUNTED SOULS, a damaged soldier, a secret baby, and a haunting mystery collide for a steamy and spooky read.  Also on Audible!  


Celebrate the steamy this Valentine's Day!
(Editorial Review quotes from reviews of Haunted Souls)



My latest release won Best Romantic Suspense at N.N. Light's Book Heaven Reviews, and was part of the USA TODAY Bestselling Box Set Love Under Fire.  Now you can get this short novel on its own...or read it free with your Kindle Unlimited membership!  THE HAUNTING OF HILLWOOD FARM.


Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Reading!

Treat yourself to a page-turning new read!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

"Intense emotion" "Heart-stopping action" 5* #Review! #amreading #suspense #romance #book

A shiny new review from Page Princess for Dangerous Currents that has me grinning ear to ear!  Dangerous Currents is a steamy second-chance romance with suspense and dark secrets, and it's the only one of my novels without a paranormal element.  Of course, I have to tell the story that's in my head (or pick one of them, anyway), but I do like to challenge myself to try different things.  It definitely involves coming out of my comfort zone a bit.  For example, I have one Young Adult novel, Divine Fall, and I wrote that in first person POV (point-of-view) versus third, which involved a learning curve.

So hearing that the suspense plot in Dangerous Currents was "well thought out" and that "the build up was perfectly timed...the reveal was a beautifully orchestrated piece of heart-stopping action" made my day!  



One thing that does tie all my books together is the Romance element, and I have novels with varying degrees of heat level.  This one is one of my steamier ones, but what matters most to me is that the reader feels the connection between the characters, the undeniable chemistry, and roots for them overcome the obstacles in their path.  



So seeing "I loved the intense emotion that filled every page of this wonderful story" and "their attraction is palpable" means so much.  Even better, "she creates characters that I love and can believe in being real"!  Such a thrill for an author - all my characters are very real to me, and I miss hearing their voices every day when I type "the end".

You can read the entire review here: Page Princess Review of Dangerous Currents by Kathryn Knight

And if you'd like to try Dangerous Currents, it's available at the links below, and in paperback.  And reviews from wherever you purchased it are SO important to authors...it's the lifeblood that keeps us going.  Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading!








Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Exploring #Bourne Farm for Inspiration #amwriting #Ghosts #CapeCod #Falmouth #Travel

Bourne Farm, or Crowell-Bourne Farm, circa 1775
You wouldn't think a ghost mystery would require much research--part of the fun of writing paranormal elements is using your imagination.  But I've had to do research for every one of my books...some more than others.  Haunted Souls, in particular, took a huge amount of research.  The initial inspiration for that story came from a visit to the Old Jail here on Cape Cod--the oldest wooden jailhouse in the country, built circa 1690 and reputedly haunted.  For this particular plot, historical research was necessary, and also a great deal of research into the military background of one of the characters, who was an EOD tech (Explosive Ordinance Disposal).  You can read more details about the Old Jail in Barnstable Village and researching EOD in this post.

For my recent ghost mystery/romance, The Haunting of Hillwood Farm, I needed more information on historic farms located on Cape Cod.  The farm in my novel has been in the Turner family for generations, and Luke Turner is determined to save the property from development, despite financial struggles.  So I visited a few farms in person in addition to doing online research.


Crocker Pond on Bourne Farm
Crowell-Bourne Farm (in West Falmouth on Cape Cod in MA) probably served as the biggest inspiration, at least in terms of my vision for the landscape of Hillwood Farm.  The house was built in 1775 by Joseph Crowell, as you can see from the plaque on the building in the top photo.  Although there is no documentation to prove it, local lore says the structure on Bourne Farm was one of the first seven houses in West Falmouth.  This property is now owned by a private land trust, and consists of 49 acres of fields and woodlands.  It's listed on the National Registration of Historic Places, and visitors enjoy walking the miles of trails through the woods and appreciating the views.  We picked some apples from the orchards during our walk, and I'm sharing a few more pics below.


The cattle run...this used to be a passage for the
cattle to cross beneath the railroad tracks.  The
tracks above are now a bike path.


My hubby walking the trails (Otis the dog
must be further up ahead)


Otis posing in the cattle run
    

One other farm we visited was Taylor-Bray Farm in Yarmouth Port.  This farm was originally settled in 1639 when the area was still part of the Plymouth Colony.  I used some of the history of this farm as inspiration--specifically, Taylor-Bray was a working farm until 1941, harvesting hay and selling fruit.  The existing farm house there now was built in the late 1800s, and visitors are allowed to walk through when it's open.  The decor has been preserved, but in my mind's eye, my fictional farm house has had quite a lot of renovations throughout the years.


Sheep at Taylor-Bray Farm.  My fictional farm has horses.

While these two farms are now historic landmarks open to the public, there are a number of working farms on the Cape that still house families.  Those I researched online, or visited their produce stands to enjoy the fresh fruits and veggies!

All in all, this research was a fascinating look at some Cape Cod history, as well as inspiration for the setting.  But then my imagination took over.  Who is haunting Hillwood Farm?  And why?  You'll have to read the book to find out!  It's available on Kindle and paperback on Amazon, just follow the link below to read the blurb.  



Winner of Best Romantic Suspense 
at N.N. Light's Book Heaven Reviews!

And for more posts on historic sites on Cape Cod, check out a few of my other posts:  Historic Falmouth, Exploring Washburn Island (abandoned military base from WWII), Haunted Barnstable Village (deserted prisons anyone?), and Visiting Cuttyhunk Island (which is literally like time-traveling to a different decade!).  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Last Days on #NetGalley! Ghost Mystery + Romance ~ #books #bookreview

Short and sweet post:  The Haunting of Hillwood Farm is now available on NetGalley!  If you're a reviewer and you enjoy paranormal suspense, ghost mysteries, and romance, please request a copy!  From NetGalley reviewer M.H.: "Romance, supernatural, and danger elements are all present in a champion plot."  And I loved this admission from reviewer P.K.: "I almost missed an appointment because I did not want to put this book down."  Made my day!

Links, blurb, and excerpts below - Happy Haunted Reading!

After tragedy strikes, Callie Sinclair is left with a gift she never wanted—the ability to communicate with ghosts.  But when a desperate widow begs for her help, she reluctantly agrees to investigate the strange occurrences at Hillwood Farm.  She quickly realizes she’s dealing with a dangerous presence beyond anything she’s ever experienced, and something else becomes equally clear—the only other living person in the house, Mrs. Turner’s handsome grandson, thinks she’s a scam artist.  While she’d prefer to just ignore him, her heart beats a little faster every time he’s nearby.

Luke Turner doesn’t believe in spirits.  He’s moved back to restore the family farm, but living on the property serves a dual purpose—he can watch out for his grandmother.  He’s not happy about the sudden appearance of a self-described psychic, or his inexplicable attraction to her.  His initial suspicions crumble as evidence points to an actual haunting, but he’s still determined not to fall for Callie—the past has taught him it’s best to avoid relationships.

As Callie is drawn deeper into the mystery, she becomes the target of a vengeful spirit, and Luke can no longer fight his feelings for her.  Unable to resist their desire, passion ignites…even as the paranormal activity escalates to a final deadly confrontation.  

-->  The Haunting of Hillwood Farm on NetGalley

If you're not a NetGalley member but would like to purchase a copy, you can find it on Amazon...and reviews there are *very* much appreciated!

-->  The Haunting of Hillwood Farm on Amazon

"I clung to my tablet..." ~ N.N. Light's Book Heaven Reviews on
The Haunting of Hillwood Farm  (5+ stars, chosen as Best Romantic Suspense)

Want a little excerpt or two?  One peek at a scary scene, one peek at a sexy scene below!

With a sharp pop, the light went out, plunging the room into darkness.  Callie stilled, her heartbeat filling her ears.  Something rustled behind her, and the hairs on her bare arms prickled.  She was suddenly very sure she was not alone.  A soft moan floated through the blackness.  Panic gripped her, fierce and primal, clawing at her lungs.  Did she have a weapon?  Would it even work against whatever was here? 
She struggled for air, a rancid odor filling her nostrils as she slowly inhaled.  Death.  Decay.  Shadows shifted to her left, and her gaze jerked toward the movement.  Behind the solid mass of her reflection in the mirror, the gauzy outline of a face peered over her shoulder.  Empty eye sockets stared out from gray, filmy features, the hollow black holes somehow filled with menace.
A sob gathered in her chest, clogging her throat.  Please, God.  Let me wake up from this nightmare.  Something cold and wet brushed against her upper back, and she screamed.

* * *

When she turned around, Luke was standing in the doorway.  Her pulse jumped.  She’d forgotten to close the door.  One of the hazards of living alone for so long.
The corner of his mouth slid up.  “Sorry.  I didn’t mean to sneak up on you.”
She let out a breathy laugh.  “No worries.  I’m just glad it’s you.”
His brows lifted.  “Yeah?  Were you expecting someone else?” 
“Well, you never know in this house, right?”  She shrugged, and the twist in her towel loosened.  Clutching it to her chest, she managed a weak smile as she fumbled to secure it.  She could feel the weight of his stare even as she bent her head to check the new knot, and warmth pooled in her belly.  She glanced up, and their gazes locked.  The air crackled as the moment stretched out, and she recognized something in the depths of his eyes.  Hunger.  Could he see the same thing reflected back in hers?
Her breath caught, and she took an involuntary step toward him, as if drawn by a magnetic force.  Every nerve in her body tingled with desire.        
His gaze raked over her, slow and deliberate.  “Well, I just wanted to check in on you.  To see if you need anything.” 
She swallowed.  “Do you?”
He cocked his head, his brows pulling together.  “What?” 
“Um.  Need anything?”
He dragged a hand over his mouth, the muscles in his arm bunching with the movement.  “That’s a dangerous question to ask when you’re standing there in a towel.”

So thrilled that The Haunting of Hillwood Farm has been the #1 Most
Requested title from Backlit PR's NetGalley titles!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Reunion Romance + Ghost #Mystery~ Final #sale days! #99c #FridayReads #1 #Kindle Bestseller

Final days! My debut novel, SILVER LAKE, is currently on sale for 99 cents, and this sale ends on Jan. 28.  Part reunion romance, part ghost story, Silver Lake is a second-chance romance between two friends who never acted on their feelings in high school...will they get a second chance at first love?  It's also a mystery revolving around the disappearance of another of their friends, Brandy, who may be haunting the lake house where the group reunites in a last ditch effort to discover what happened to her during their senior year.  Brandy's ghost has a message to share...


A #1 Kindle Besteller ~ on SALE for 99 pennies!

And there's *more*! This novel is part of a Limited Time Amazon Promotion...purchase three of their selected titles at 99 cents by 1/28/2019, get a $3.00 credit for a purchase of another Kindle Exclusive Title.  There are over 550 titles available to choose from in this promo, with all sorts of genres represented, so take advantage of the sale prices and the future credit while the deal is still available!



"I could not put this book down...Romance, drama, renewal of friendships,
and ghosts...something for everyone." ~ A Novel Review, 5 Stars

You can read the blurb and grab your copy here:  SILVER LAKE on Amazon

And you can view the details of the Jan. Amazon Promotion and view ALL the titles that have been selected here:  Buy 3 for 99 c, Get $3 toward Select Kindle Exclusive Titles

Hurry!  Offer ends Jan. 28!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Amazon #Kindle Promo! Buy 3 at #99c get a $3 credit! #amreading #books #KindleDeals

A #1 Kindle Bestseller on sale for 99c!
I was so excited to learn that my debut novel, Silver Lake, was selected for one of the titles in this offer!  Right now, Amazon is offering a $3.00 credit toward a future Kindle selection purchase if you buy three titles from their list now--and there are over 550 books on the list, ALL on sale for 99 cents!





If you're expecting snow today like me (or have already been hit!), take a moment to peruse the list and pick some new reads to curl up with!  I have some recommendations below as well.  And if you enjoy a mix of spooky suspense and second-chance romance, give Silver Lake a try while it's on sale for 99 pennies!  The sale is valid until 1/28, so even if you don't choose three promoted titles, you get a great deal since this book is normally $3.99.

Silver Lake has been a #1 Kindle Bestseller multiple times over, and it's part reunion romance, part ghost story...a genre probably best described as "Paranormal Romantic Suspense".  It's a second chance romance between two friends who never acted on their feelings in high school...but it's also a mystery revolving around the disappearance of another of their friends, Brandy, who may be haunting the lake house where the group reunites in a last ditch effort to discover what happened to her during their senior year.


A haunting, an old flame, and secrets from the past...

If you're looking to grab a few more at 99 cents and get your promo credit, one of the books in the offer was on my 2016 Favorite Reads list-- Highland Surrender, so if you like Historical Romance, I recommend that story highly!  

My latest title, The Haunting of Hillwood Farm, was part of the USA TODAY Bestselling Box Set Love Under Fire.  One of my author friends from the set also had some of her books picked up for this promo:  In the Dark and Dark Harvest by Chris Patchell are suspense thrillers.

Here's the wording from their site:


Limited Time Offer


Purchase any three $0.99 eBooks from the selection below and receive $3 toward your next purchase of select Kindle Exclusive books. How it works:

1. Purchase three titles at $0.99 from the selection below by 11:59 p.m. (PDT) on January 28, 2019.
2. You will receive an email when the $3 credit has been applied to your account.
3. Use your credit on an eligible purchase of select Kindle Exclusive Books by 11:59 p.m. (PDT) on January 31, 2019. 

The entire list and offer details can be found here...offer ends by 1/28 so hurry!  Happy Shopping!






Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Haunting of Hillwood Farm is on #NetGalley! #Ghost #Mystery + #Romance #amreading #books #paranormal

Short and sweet post:  The Haunting of Hillwood Farm is now available on NetGalley!  If you're a reviewer and you enjoy paranormal suspense, ghost mysteries, and romance, please request a copy!  

Links,blurb, and excerpts below - Happy Haunted Reading!

After tragedy strikes, Callie Sinclair is left with a gift she never wanted—the ability to communicate with ghosts.  But when a desperate widow begs for her help, she reluctantly agrees to investigate the strange occurrences at Hillwood Farm.  She quickly realizes she’s dealing with a dangerous presence beyond anything she’s ever experienced, and something else becomes equally clear—the only other living person in the house, Mrs. Turner’s handsome grandson, thinks she’s a scam artist.  While she’d prefer to just ignore him, her heart beats a little faster every time he’s nearby.

Luke Turner doesn’t believe in spirits.  He’s moved back to restore the family farm, but living on the property serves a dual purpose—he can watch out for his grandmother.  He’s not happy about the sudden appearance of a self-described psychic, or his inexplicable attraction to her.  His initial suspicions crumble as evidence points to an actual haunting, but he’s still determined not to fall for Callie—the past has taught him it’s best to avoid relationships.

As Callie is drawn deeper into the mystery, she becomes the target of a vengeful spirit, and Luke can no longer fight his feelings for her.  Unable to resist their desire, passion ignites…even as the paranormal activity escalates to a final deadly confrontation.  

-->  The Haunting of Hillwood Farm on NetGalley

If you're not a NetGalley member but would like to purchase a copy, you can find it on Amazon...and reviews there are very much appreciated!

-->  The Haunting of Hillwood Farm on Amazon

"I clung to my tablet..." ~ N.N. Light's Book Heaven Reviews on
The Haunting of Hillwood Farm  (5+ stars, chosen as Best Romantic Suspense)

Want a little excerpt or two?  One peek at a scary scene, one peek at a sexy scene below!

With a sharp pop, the light went out, plunging the room into darkness.  Callie stilled, her heartbeat filling her ears.  Something rustled behind her, and the hairs on her bare arms prickled.  She was suddenly very sure she was not alone.  A soft moan floated through the blackness.  Panic gripped her, fierce and primal, clawing at her lungs.  Did she have a weapon?  Would it even work against whatever was here? 
She struggled for air, a rancid odor filling her nostrils as she slowly inhaled.  Death.  Decay.  Shadows shifted to her left, and her gaze jerked toward the movement.  Behind the solid mass of her reflection in the mirror, the gauzy outline of a face peered over her shoulder.  Empty eye sockets stared out from gray, filmy features, the hollow black holes somehow filled with menace.
A sob gathered in her chest, clogging her throat.  Please, God.  Let me wake up from this nightmare.  Something cold and wet brushed against her upper back, and she screamed.

* * *

When she turned around, Luke was standing in the doorway.  Her pulse jumped.  She’d forgotten to close the door.  One of the hazards of living alone for so long.
The corner of his mouth slid up.  “Sorry.  I didn’t mean to sneak up on you.”
She let out a breathy laugh.  “No worries.  I’m just glad it’s you.”
His brows lifted.  “Yeah?  Were you expecting someone else?” 
“Well, you never know in this house, right?”  She shrugged, and the twist in her towel loosened.  Clutching it to her chest, she managed a weak smile as she fumbled to secure it.  She could feel the weight of his stare even as she bent her head to check the new knot, and warmth pooled in her belly.  She glanced up, and their gazes locked.  The air crackled as the moment stretched out, and she recognized something in the depths of his eyes.  Hunger.  Could he see the same thing reflected back in hers?
Her breath caught, and she took an involuntary step toward him, as if drawn by a magnetic force.  Every nerve in her body tingled with desire.        
His gaze raked over her, slow and deliberate.  “Well, I just wanted to check in on you.  To see if you need anything.” 
She swallowed.  “Do you?”
He cocked his head, his brows pulling together.  “What?” 
“Um.  Need anything?”
He dragged a hand over his mouth, the muscles in his arm bunching with the movement.  “That’s a dangerous question to ask when you’re standing there in a towel.”