Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Origins of #Halloween ~ Happy #Halloween2020! #Paranormal #HalloweenReads

 

This year, Halloween looks very different in a lot of ways.  But I still love the spooky season, and the month of October continues to conjure up images of turning leaves, hayrides, pumpkins, scarecrows, black cats, and of course Halloween decorations.  I love learning about the origin of the holidays we celebrate, so I did a bit of (admittedly rudimentary) research to discover some of the reasons we dress up and try to scare each other on October 31st.


Originally known as All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween is linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain.  This last day of autumn was considered the time of year when the barrier between the paranormal and physical worlds grew thin. 

The Christian holiday of All Saints’ Day (All Hallows) also influenced Halloween.  It was said that the souls awaiting release on November 1st had one last night to extract revenge on their enemies before leaving the earth.  Cautious Christians would disguise themselves with masks to avoid recognition.


The custom of carving pumpkins originated from a Samhain practice of remembering souls with turnip lanterns.  Trick-or-treating can be traced back to “souling”, a medieval practice which involved the poor and hungry travelling door-to-door and offering to pray for the dead in return for food.

My favorite Halloween tradition is visiting haunted houses (well, staged haunted houses for entertainment...I do visit actual haunted houses as much as possible at any time during the year).  This year, there weren't many options, but I'm still enjoying the scary movies!  And I've got some candy ready to go in the event we get trick-or-treaters.

If you like spooky reads, I hope you'll check out some of my ghost mystery romantic suspense novels!  They can all be found along the top tab, or by clicking the covers to the left.  Happy Halloween and Happy Haunted Reading!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Visit the Hair-Raising #Halloween Book Fair! Thrillers #Paranormal #Horror #Books for Oct. #amreading #KU

 'Tis the season for spooky reads!  Need some new titles sure to send a shiver down your spine?  Visit the Hair-Raising Thrillers, Suspense, and Horror Book Fair and choose from 42 titles - all FREE for members of Kindle Unlimited - that will get you ready for the Halloween Season!


HAIR-RAISING THRILLERS, SUSPENSE, + HORROR FOR OCTOBER BOOK FAIR




Monday, October 5, 2020

Exploring Old Jail Preserve! #Book Setting #CapeCod #Ghosts #Paranormal #Mystery #amreading

 

During the initial Covid stay-at-home order, my husband and I started doing a lot of outdoor activities…many new hikes and trails.  We searched for locations on Cape Cod that we had not explored yet, such as trails found throughout Brewster.

Nine months later, the routine has stuck, and this weekend we did a hike in Barnstable Village.  While the trails were new, the location had significance…the Old Jail Lane Preserve plays a significant part in one of my novels, Haunted Souls.



This piece of conservation land is huge, and we traversed several trails and enjoyed the peaceful scenery.
  While I shouldn’t go into how this area plays a part in the novel (spoilers!), I can talk about how I came to learn about the actual Old Jail that the property refers to.


The Old Jail in Barnstable Village
The Old Jail in Barnstable Village
The initial knowledge of the Old Jail came from a ghost tour I went on with my sister in Cape Cod’s Barnstable Village.  It’s probably somewhat obvious that I am a fan of ghosts and other spooky subjects, and my sister is the same way.  Every time we get together, we have scary movie marathons since no one else will watch them with us.  So when she came for a visit that summer, we decided to check out a “Haunted Tour” put on by the Cape and Islands Paranormal Research Society.  It offered a guided walk to haunted places and historical sites, and it started and ended at the Old Jail.

 

I’d never even heard of the Old Jail, and it’s truly a historic gem.  It’s the oldest wooden jail house in the entire country, actually, and is thought to have been built in 1690, on orders from the Plymouth and MA Bay Colony Courts.  It was in use until the 1800s, and was moved around a bit, eventually attached to a barn.  It was rediscovered in 1968, detached from the barn, and moved next to the Coast Guard museum on 6A.

 

The structure itself is quite small, containing three cells which held large numbers of people sometimes.  According to our guide, conditions were rough and people had to take turns lying down to sleep when cells were crowded.  As you can imagine, many people died, and the site is considered actively haunted.

 

Goody Hallett, the lover of the infamous pirate Samuel Bellamy, was imprisoned there in 1716, and is said to be one of the ghosts in residence.  If you’re so inclined, you can even pay to spend the night at the Jail.  On our tour, we were shown photographs with shadowy figures taken by volunteers who work in the jail house.  A few of the volunteers shared their stories as well, and one claimed that a ghost had followed them home and engaged in some poltergeist-like activities.  Well, that got my attention right way, and my imagination started churning.  My sister had her little daughter with her, and I started to wonder what would happen if a young child with sensitive abilities took pity on a lost soul, and actually invited a ghost to come home with them.  The initial idea for Haunted Souls was born.


Also on Audible!

If you enjoy spooky suspense mixed with steamy romance, I hope you’ll check out some of my books…and enjoy the photos of the Old Jail Lane Preserve!





Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The #Book That Made Me Love #Paranormal #Romance ~ #ghosts #amreading #amwriting

This year I had my seventh novel, Ghost Moon, published, and similar to my first novel, Silver Lake, it involves a ghost mystery mixed with romantic suspense.  In fact, five out of the seven feature this spooky and sometimes steamy combination.  So today I'm looking back at the book from my youth that inspired me to write my own stories someday.


I adore ghost stories, which is probably pretty clear from my novels…and while I do try to elicit a few shivers up my readers’ spines, the hauntings in my novels are more mysteries than horror.  My plots revolve around a ghost who has some unfinished business that the characters need to unravel before the spirit can rest in peace.  After all, even ghosts need goals and motivation to make the story work!


A haunting, an old flame, and secrets from the past...
Silver Lake is a #1 Amazon Bestseller


Of course, romance is a big part of my novels as well, because I love love stories as well!  Who doesn’t want to see a meant-to-be couple finally get their Happily Ever After, once they’ve managed to overcome all the obstacles in their way?  Readers get to experience all those emotions associated with falling in love while rooting for the characters to find their way to each other.

So, yeah, I have a thing for ghost mysteries mixed with romance.  What started this? 

Well, when I was in second grade, my father brought home the usual weekly stack of chapter books the local librarian had recommended for me.  Generally, the books revolved around horses, my main interest as an 8-year-old girl.  But sometimes other subject matter found its way into the pile, and this time, there was a book entitled Jane-Emily, by Patricia Clapp.  The tag line read “A ghost story…and a love story”.  My first paranormal romance, this YA book is both a sweet romance and a spooky ghost story.  I was hooked.  I read that book over and over again throughout my childhood.  I made my best friend read it.  To this day, we're both still scared of those silvery reflecting balls that sit on pedestals in yards.

Fifteen years ago, I purchased my own copy (finally!) from ebay and read it to my kids.  The ghost of 12-year-old Emily still delivers chills even after all these years as she unleashes her wrath on 9-year-old Jane--but of course the romance piece was there as well between the hunky Doctor and Jane's young aunt Louisa.

My best friend and I *still* call
these Jane-Emily balls
This childhood favorite has made a lifetime mark, impacting what I write as an author--although the romantic element in my novels is decidedly steamier, as my books are meant for more mature readers.  But I still go back to revisit Jane-Emily from time to time--my copy from eBay sits on the bookshelf.  And I may never have discovered this book without my Dad's dedicated trips to the library to keep me reading for pleasure.

With Halloween approaching, and many activities still restricted, it's the perfect time to relax and get lost in a spooky page-turning romantic suspense!  Many of my books are on Audible as well, and a full list is on my Amazon page.  Happy Fall!





Wednesday, September 9, 2020

"Unparalleled #RomanticSuspense...Eerie, romantic, + totally binge-worthy" 5* #Book #Review! #amreading

Hello from my quarantine world, where I am stuck because I was exposed to Covid.  So far, I've tested negative and am feeling just fine, but I have 10 more days to go.  Neither my husband or I can go anywhere, so I'm taking the opportunity to catch up on blog posts!  Short and sweet today ~ sharing a FABULOUS review from Nom de Plume Book Reviews for Dangerous Currents, my steamy second-chance romantic suspense.  If you need an escape, grab a copy and visit Cape Cod for hot romance mixed with page-turning suspense!

I had to copy one of my favorite quotes below--

"Kathryn Knight has done it again.  This woman is unparalleled in how she tells Romantic Suspense.  Eerie, romantic, and totally binge-worthy.  I'll feast my eyes on Kathryn Knight's books any. freaking. day."

**(things that make this author happy dance even in isolation!)

--you can read the full review on Nom de Plume here!





Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Two Acknowledgement Mentions! #writerslife #writingcommunity #amwriting #amreading


Maybe a sequel to GHOST MOON will occur...
but if you haven't read Lark and Jesse's story,
and you enjoy Romantic Suspense
 and Ghost Mysteries,
I hope you'll check it out by clicking this image! 
On Audio too now!
This past month has been extra STRESSFUL (see here), but I'm excited to have hit a new milestone...twice! I received messages from two debut authors who mentioned me in their new novels' acknowledgements section.  What a fantastic honor!  One of the authors drove hours to meet me at a book signing back in 2013, and we've stayed in touch ever since.  The other was a student in one of my local writing classes, which I've been teaching for years now, having had so many people contact me to ask about the process and the industry.



With so much uncertainty and anxiety surrounding day-to-day life right now, it's a gift to have been recognized by two people who have made their dream a reality...it's no easy task!  I'm thrilled to have been a part of their writing journey.  Stay well everyone :)

Sunday, August 16, 2020

College and Covid ~ #BacktoSchool2020 Stress and Anxiety

August of 2020 was always going to be an emotional time for me.  Our older son would head to off to his senior year of college, and our younger son would begin his freshman year...we'd be "empty nesters" for the first time in 21 years.  

But I could never have imagined this scenario.  In March, as schools began shutting down, I saw all the plans for college visits for my younger son vanish.  We crossed an entire Spring Break trip of "Accepted Students Day" events off our calendar.  Senior year of high school was a wash, along with all the fun social activities that bond the class, reward their efforts, and create memories.

We made the best choice we could in terms of which school to attend, hoping--perhaps naively--that by summer, things would be better, and visits could at least be made during orientation.

That, of course, didn't happen.  Virtual orientation and trying to register with little guidance was confusing and stressful.

A "Gap Year" for our rising freshman was discussed...again, with very little information to go on.  The constant uncertainty has made every decision fraught with sickening stress...how can we weigh the options, when every single day brings changes?  With travel limited, jobs difficult to come by, and our community college offering online classes only, a Gap Year didn't seem like a good idea.  Just being away from any type of classroom and peer group since March was taking its toll.

We still imagined a college experience with roommates, events, and face-to-face classes in the fall, at that point.  But every day, we took a hit to those expectations.  At the school we chose, he won't be given a roommate, there won't be live events to help freshmen connect and socialize, and most classes are now online.  The fatigue of constantly waiting for disappointing news has worn us all down, not to mention made us doubt all the decisions we've made since this began.

I'm not trying to compare my stress and sadness to someone who has suffered from Covid, or lost a loved one.  I'm grateful we've remained healthy, and I understand the choices being made by schools are designed to keep the students and staff healthy.  But I can't stop thinking of the mental health costs, the tuition costs compared to the educational experience, the social obstacles, and the loss of important moments and milestones.  And of course I worry about sending my kids at all, during a pandemic.  But I have to trust they will take precautions while also finding a way to make the best of the situation.

The two different colleges our sons are going to are handling things very differently, as they are located in different parts of the country.  And on social media, I see moms of all ages sharing similar news of different counties doing different things, and similar concerns about how they are going to handle their unique situations. 

There are no easy choices, and no easy answers.  So I'm sending support to all the parents wrestling with these decisions, and trying to have faith that we've done the best we can, given the circumstances.  

Now, back to packing...and then diving into a book, because getting lost in a good story has always been a proven stress reliever for me.  In fact, with the amount of stress I'm feeling, I'm doing two books right now...one on Kindle, and one on Audible as I walk or fold laundry.  If anyone has a recommendation for a page-turning read, I'd love to hear it...we have long car rides ahead in the next few weeks as we step into this new phase of our lives. 

Doing my best to take things day-by-day...but getting lost in a
fictional world now and then is a relief!