Saturday, August 17, 2019

Celebrating #BlackCatAppreciationDay and Researching Superstitions ~ Love My #BlackCats #Rescue #Cats

Max and Jinx <3
It’s black cat appreciation day!  I absolutely love black cats…I have had many in the past, and I have two right now.  Most people ask if this is due to my fascination with the paranormal, as most of my novels involve spooky ghost mysteries.  And that’s probably part of it—but a few other things weigh in.  For one thing, I think black cats are beautiful.  But I also am a strong supporter of pet rescue and adoption, and black cats are over-represented at shelters, which could be in part because many people are consciously or even subconsciously affected by the superstition surrounding black cats.  So, today’s post is dedicated to how this idea that black cats are unlucky came about.

The ancient Egyptians believed cats had magical powers, and regarded them as sacred.  In fact, they worshiped a feline goddess known as Bastet.  On the other hand, Druids feared cats.  All cats are nocturnal and appear dark as they creep through the night, sure-footed and stealthy even with no light to see by.  This gave all cats a mystical aura, but the color black has often been associated with sinister forces.

Black cats, along with bats and spiders, have long been considered by some to be bad omens.  Some cultures believed witches could turn into cats in order to avoid capture.  Black cats were also thought to be familiars—low ranking demons tasked with serving and protecting a witch.

Even with a limited understanding of diseases, societies throughout history were also able to see the connection between cats and outbreaks of plague.  Cats control rodent populations, and rats are carriers of many diseases deadly to humans.  This added to the idea that cats had powers beyond human comprehension.

Thus, an association with witchcraft and the occult, superstition, fear, and awe combined to make black cats a symbol of Halloween, the night when the barrier between the paranormal and physical worlds grows thin.

So, there you have it…a few reasons black cats are considered unlucky by some.  Personally, I cross paths with my Max and Jinx dozens of times each day, and so far I’m no worse for the wear.  So celebrate your beautiful black cats!  And, if you enjoy a little spooky suspense like me, try one of my books…there’s some steamy romance in their as well, so something for everyone!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

My Teen is Reading Again! #Books for Boys #amreading #YA

My son reading one of the ASOIAF
books on the London tube during a 2016 trip

Hands down, reading is my favorite pastime, and I love books so much, I write them as well.  I've always tried to get my two sons into reading, with varying results.  My younger son, who is now 17 (!!!!) was always the bigger reader, but they both could be hooked with a really great story.  The problem is, I can't always find those really compelling novels that will pull them in immediately.  And because I'm an author, they know terms like "the hook", "the conflict", "the author's voice", etc.  It's hard to argue if they tell me they can't connect with the characters or the pacing is slow. 

So, five years ago, I started blogging about some of the books and series they really loved (links to those posts are below).  I have three posts over the years with titles they've enjoyed.  My oldest son is now in college, with a summer internship in full swing as well, so his time is limited.  But my younger son has a lot of downtime this summer, and I really wanted to get him reading again.  I say "again", because we hit a roadblock a few years ago.  In 2016, he read the A Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones), tearing through all five enormous books currently out (and I'd read them as well, so I do know there are adult scenes but my feeling has always been if my kids are reading, I'm happy, whatever it is).  The problem arose because those books are so incredible, so intricately plotted, so full of danger and battles and dragons and betrayals, so exciting and action-packed, that nothing he started reading afterwards could compare.  I tried several books that are similar in theme or genre, but he just kept saying they weren't as good and losing interest.   

I'm sad to say this went on for almost 3 years.  We tried The Dark Tower series, other Stephen King books, River God, Swan Song...all great books that I loved.  He would put them down after the first chapter.  The only novels he read were for school, and I generally don't find our school makes very compelling picks.

But this summer, I said we're going to get back into reading for pleasure.  I started with an Amazon search of books related in purchase history to the Quarantine series, which both my kids loved and couldn't put down.  I found a title called Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne.  He loved it!  This is a YA thriller revolving around a busload of kids of different ages trying to survive in a supermarket after an apocalyptic event.  Thankfully, there were two more books in the series, so we had July covered.

A few of my next picks didn't grab his attention, but another thing happened...he rented the first Lord of the Rings movie.  I was surprised he hadn't seen those movies already with his brother or his friends.  But now he's saying he'd like to read the books too (despite already seeing the movies)...yay!  That's how he got into the Game of Thrones books, so I'm hopeful.  And when a series is *his* idea, and not mine, it makes it all the more likely he'll keep reading.  And here on Cape, the kids don't go back to school until after Labor Day, so we have a few more weeks of beach reading relaxation!

Other recommendations over the years:

Books for Boys

Books for Boys 2

Books for Boys 3

Friday, August 9, 2019

5* #Review! "Passion...past hurts...Brilliant" Reunion #Romance + #Ghost Mystery #FridayReads #Paranormal

Sharing a review of Silver Lake I *LOVE* from the Nom de Plume Book Review site!  This book has a special place in my heart, as it was my debut novel and I lived with the characters and the plot growing in my imagination for years before I decided to try to write it.  Then I spent years editing and revising it until I received my first publishing contract (December 16, 2011...not that the date is seared in my brain or anything :) )

Silver Lake is a reunion romance and ghost mystery...a story of second chances, painful secrets, friendship, loss, and the desire to solve a five-year-old disappearance, even in the face of frightening paranormal activity.  

I've pulled out a few favorite quotes (I wish this review had been around when my editor and I were working on the novel's blurb and tag lines...NDP Reviews has a real talent for creating enticing summaries!).  

"Chills, people!"

"Kathryn Knight is my go-to author for romantic suspense because this is just WHAT. SHE. DOES. BEST."

"Brandy had disappeared years before, and it tore their group of friends apart.  Rain, Allie, A.J., and Jason all went their separate ways, unable to face the trauma of their loss.  Now, though, it's time to find the truth, even if that means facing the truth of their own lives as well."

"For Rain, seeing Jason again means facing their inescapable attraction and the reality that he will likely never forgive her.  While mysterious puddles of water appear, doors slam, and the ghost appears again and again, Jason and Rain wade through the intensity of passion and past hurts to find justice for Brandy."

"How does someone come up with a plot like this?  This isn't normal.  It's brilliant."

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Bathroom Makeover ~ From 90s Mauve to #FarmHouse Coastal! #FixerUpper Style Cape Cod #Remodel

So thrilled with how it all came together!  Wall color is Hale Navy.
After months of delays, the glass for our master bathroom shower was just installed, which means the entire remodel is officially DONE!  I couldn't wait to post the pics of the bedroom, so they're already up, but now I can share the bathroom pics as well.

One of the things I asked to have to
remind me of my grandparents...for
reason I always like this painting, and
if the medium was right, so did my
Grandma Renie.
I can't find any before pics, which is a was just as bad as the master bedroom in both decor and design.  For one thing, I still had the ratty (but frequently washed) shower curtain from our first house...I couldn't seem to part with it because it matched this watercolor painting I'd brought from my grandparent's house after my grandmother passed away.  And I was so attached to the painting...not just because I liked it enough to ask my uncle, when they were cleaning out the house, if I could have it.  But also because it reminded me of my grandparents, and even more compelling, because one time when I was at a psychic medium show (researching my main character's abilities for Gull Harbor), a medium picked me out of the crowd and told me my grandmother "was happy I had the painting."  My mind was blown...I'd never seen this medium, I hadn't signed up for anything, it was cash at the door and an auditorium full of people.  And I don't think it was a lucky guess, as she also talked about the charm bracelet of my grandmother's that I held on to as well.  

So, the shower curtain and painting matched, although they were both a somewhat dated combination of mauve and green.  Our vanity was small, one sink, and my husband had long since relinquished all the counter space to me and moved his things into the hall bathroom, sharing space with our teen boys.  As the only female in the house, this struck me as fair.  But our bathroom sink didn't work very well, and the shower itself was a nightmare that I can't bear to elaborate on.

As I mentioned when posting about the bedroom, decorating doesn't come easily to me, but researching things does.  Again, I relied a lot on Pinterest!  Here's a link to the specific board for the bathroom.  Pics below...thanks for coming by and let me know what you think in the comments section!

I'm proud of the tobacco basket/wreath design...I found the
metal tobacco basket at a vintage re-sale shop, and the
wreath came from Luckett's in Virginia.

Bottles collected from flea markets and antique shops.
Terrarium and faux plant from Marshall's.

To view the bedroom pics, click here.

And I should not forget the closet space...the before closet and after is below!

A photo from demo-day. 
That narrow space under the eves was the closet...sloped ceilings and
a hidden window, with folding doors that took up space.

New closet area in a different part of the room!
So much more storage, better use of space, and a little
bench and window <3  Color is Lakeshore Green.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Tornadoes and Sharks...Just Summertime on Cape Cod #CapeCod #tornadoes

*Free use photo -- not the actual Cape tornado
I've lived on Cape Cod for twenty years now, and the summertime shark influx has been an ongoing annual occurrence since about 2009.  Before that, the Cape didn't have a lot of reports of Great White sharks (despite the fact that the 1975 hit movie Jaws was filmed on Martha's Vineyard...view a few pics of local settings in this post).  The first time I really remember hearing a lot about sharks here was in 2004, when a 15-foot Great White shark became somewhat stuck in a body of water near Wood's Hole.  That shark drew tons of attention, a lot of curious boaters, and became the first Great White tagged with a satellite tracking device in the Atlantic before it was coaxed back out into the open ocean by experts.  Sightings now happen all the time, and sadly, we had a shark attack fatality last year--the first deadly shark attack in MA since one in Buzzards Bay in 1936.

With the Cape being a peninsula surrounded by water, in addition to sharks and other sea life, we do often get wild weather as well: Nor'Easters, hurricanes, blizzards, etc.  A few of them were significant enough for me to write about on my blog, so with this past week's bizarre tornado touch-down, I took a little look back to some of the other crazy weather events I discussed on my blog since I started it in 2012.

Hurricane Sandy devastated a great deal of the East Coast in October of 2012, but the Cape escaped the majority of its wrath (and that was a relief--Sandy was a deadly, destructive hurricane).  While we only got the fringes of Sandy, we were hit with a rough Nor'Easter about two weeks later.  What I remember about that one is that a downed power line started a fire in our tree (Sandy's sister storm) and also how a true friend came through for me at an important time.

In 2014, we had a terrible blizzard that blanketed the Cape the first weekend of school February break...and of course the night before we were due to leave to take our kids to Disney (all park tickets bought in advance cause I'm a planner).  While we made it to Florida, our older son had a terrible injury the day we got back.  (Blizzards, Blackouts, and Broken Legs).

In 2015 there was Juno, or "Snowmageddon 2015".  That led to a post about some of the other blizzards we've experienced here, and also the disastrous blizzard-related skiing trip. (Blizzard of 2015/Snowmageddon)

But tornadoes?  It's just been announced that we actually had THREE tornadoes last week.  Before that, there was one in Wood's Hole (Wood's Hole again?) last October...before that, 1977 and then 1968.  

Thankfully, my understanding thus far is that no injuries occurred...although there was extensive damage, and there is footage of the roof being ripped off a Yarmouth hotel which is mind-boggling.

My family spent a lot of time in our basement Monday night and Tuesday during the day.  While taking cover in the basement with my younger son on Tuesday, we heard water splattering, and I opened the storage room door to find water pouring through the two small windows.  When the tornado warning lifted for our area, we ran outside to find the window wells overflowing with the amount of rain that had slammed down in such a short period of time.  We took buckets and bailed the window wells while getting soaked...every step in our yard had us sinking into swampy puddles of mud and mulch.  We spent the rest of the afternoon learning how to use our wet-vac, and getting our work-out in as we carried tubs of water up the stairs to empty.  Definitely a day I won't forget soon, but the most important thing is that while our house was damp, it was still standing...and more importantly, no injuries reported despite three tornadoes during the busiest season here.

So it literally has been a "Sharknado" summer here on Cape Cod...I do hope things calm down a bit and that everyone who comes here (including our revolving-door house guests coming in August) gets a chance to relax and have a safe and wonderful visit.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Signing #Books in #Harwich! Cape Cod #Author #Romance #Suspense #CapeCod #Barnstable

Edited to add:

Due to the recent tornado--yes, tornado--on the Cape, the Harwich Farmers' Market is cancelled this week.  We're having some crazy weather here this summer!  Hopefully it will be back on next week, in which case I will be there on August 1st.

I have a table this Thursday, July 25, at the Harwich Farmers' Market from 3 pm to 6 pm, and I'll be signing books along with fellow Cape Cod author Katie O'Sullivan!  We both write for the same publisher, and many of our books are set on Cape Cod.  Our genres include Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Young Adult Fantasy.  Come check out all the Farmers' Market has to offer ~ fresh produce, baked goods, crafts, artwork, plants, handmade soaps and lotions, and of course, visit our table and grab your next beach read!  Signed books make great souvenirs and gifts.

The Harwich Farmers' Market is at Brooks Academy, 80 Parallel Street in Harwich.

Harwich Farmers' Market Facebook Page can be found here

Titles and book descriptions by Kathryn Knight can be found here

Titles and book descriptions by Katie O'Sullivan can be found here

All our books are available online as e-books as well.  My titles set on Cape Cod include:

Gull Harbor ~ A dangerous ghost and an ex-boyfriend await psychic Claire Linden in Cape Cod's Gull Harbor...
A #1 Amazon and B&N Bestseller
Steamy Romance + Ghost Mystery
also an audiobook!

Haunted Souls ~ A damaged solider, a secret baby, and a haunting mystery collide in Haunted Souls...
A Top 3 Books of 2016
Steamy Romance + Ghost Mystery
also an audiobook!

Dangerous Currents ~ One fateful night tore them apart...will they get a second chance before a killer strikes?
A 2019 Summer Read Recommendation in Cape Cod's IN SEASON Magazine
Steamy second-chance romance filled with secrets and suspense

The Haunting of Hillwood Farm ~ A dangerous ghost brings them together...but will they survive long enough to find happiness?
Romantic Suspense/Ghost Mystery
A USA TODAY Bestseller
Best Romantic Suspense of 2018 at Book Heaven Reviews
A Top 40 Paranormal Romance Pick at Reedsy
A RONE Award Finalist at InD'Tale Magazine
also an audiobook!

Friday, July 19, 2019

An #Author Interview at Rad Reader Reviews! #Romance #Suspense and #writingtips #RomanticSuspense

One fateful night tore them apart...
will they get a second chance
before a killer strikes?
A few months ago, Rad Reader Reviews read my Romantic Suspense novel Dangerous Currents and asked to do an author interview, to which I enthusiastically replied I'd be thrilled!  They asked a number of really in-depth questions about the plot, characters, writing in general, and we even both contributed our picks for actors to portray the characters should the story ever hit the screen (a girl can dream, right?) and our thoughts on songs that capture the story!

I'm sharing a link to the interview below, but warning...there are a few plot twist spoilers.  So if you haven't read this steamy second-chance romance filled with secrets and suspense, grab a new beach read and come visit the beaches of Cape Cod to share Malorie and Dean's story.  Then let me know which actors and songs you think fit best!  

Dangerous Currents as a book store-recommended read in
Cape Cod's IN SEASON Magazine!

This title was recently listed in Cape Cod's IN SEASON Magazine as a recommended summer read, which was so exciting!  More on that here.

Links to retailers and the interview are below...thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading!

Find DANGEROUS CURRENTS in print and e-book on: