Monday, December 30, 2013

My Favorite Reads of 2013 - Kathryn Knight

Reading is my absolute favorite pastime, and I'm absolutely never, ever without a book.  Before I got my Kindle, I was highly dependent on some type of reading light...and often amazed at how many friends' and family members' guest rooms were missing this necessary feature.  Cut to me in my p.j.s, creeping through houses late at night, stealing lamps from other rooms.  But how can I possibly go to sleep without reading a chapter or two?  Or ten?  Inconceivable.  To me, waiting for an appointment or a doctor running late is enjoyable...because I have my book.

Last year, I listed my favorite books of 2012 by their genre.  I'll do the same this year, pulling my favorite 2013 reads from my Goodreads list:

Historical Romance:  The Bronze Horseman series by Paullina Simons

The Bronze Horseman showed up on my Goodreads page as a suggestion based on my love for Outlander, Gone with the Wind, Pillars of the Earth, and The Winter Rose.  I had a few doubts when I started--WWII-era Leningrad does not have the same romantic flair as the Scottish highlands of the 18th century--but I am so, so glad I pushed through the opening scene as we meet the family and the Stalin regime announces the Soviet Union is at war.  I was literally captivated by this book.  Entranced.  Obsessed, even...I have found myself talking about it at parties on more than one occasion.  Every romance author knows conflict is key...and for a series, there needs to be multiple, believable conflicts.  Simons delivers this brilliantly, if painfully.  My heart aches for the characters and what they have to go through, and the horrors of war are brought to life by the author's attention to detail and meticulous research.  And yet throughout it all, a beautiful and poignant love between two amazing characters endures.  I'm almost finished with the second in the series, Tatiana and Alexander, and as soon as I'm done with this post, I'm headed anxiously back into their adventure. 

Psychological Suspense/Thrillers: Lexicon by Max Barry

This novel was recommended by several people I trust--otherwise, I'm not sure I would have tried it, based on the blurb describing a school that teaches the 'art of persuasion'.  But, these readers share my passion for certain other books, and their excitement had me interested.  And then the first page of Lexicon had me hooked.  This book is so much more than the description can even attempt to cover.  It's a page-turning thriller with dark humor, crisp dialog, powerful romance, ancient mystery, and a frightening look at the possibilities that arise from a dependence on technology and the ease of data collection.

Young Adult: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

I spent most of 2013 writing a YA paranormal romance manuscript.  So I tried to read a lot of YA romance novels along the way, to help keep me in the right frame of mind.  This one stood out for me by leaps and bounds.  The Sea of Tranquility was a stunning debut novel.  The usual "insta-love" cliché was deftly avoided, and the reader is allowed to enjoy the anticipation and tension between two compelling characters.  While this could result in slow pacing, Millay inserts enough hints at complicated backstories (and trickles the information in as the relationship grows) to keep the suspense level up.  These characters were highly developed and believable, the story original and brilliant, and the emotions were raw and authentic. A must-read for romance lovers.

Historical Fiction: Winter of the World by Ken Follett

This is the second book in the amazing Century Trilogy (Fall of Giants, set during WWI, came first).  Descendants of the families portrayed in Fall of Giants give the reader a look into the dramatic turmoil and destruction of WWII.  Winter of the World is historical fiction at its best, with no departure from the amazing level of intrigue and pacing that I've come to anticipate from Ken Follett. I learn more about history from his books than I ever did in school thanks to his exciting plot twists, interesting details, and character interactions. 

These novels are, of course, a fraction of what I read in 2013...but the books listed above are the ones that kept me glued to the pages late into the night...and thinking about the characters when I couldn't be with them.  Those are the hallmarks of a great read for me.  What were your favorite reads of 2013?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

New #Kindle? Fill it with #romance with a gift card #giveaway!

Did you get a Kindle for Christmas?  I did!  I'm so excited, I'd been using the free Kindle application for my laptop, and that method of reading e-books was getting cumbersome, to say the least.  I can't wait to fill it with my TBR list.  And I'm hoping my ghost story/romance novels SILVER LAKE and GULL HARBOR will land on some new Kindles this week as well!
SILVER LAKE was a 2013
Finalist in Paranormal
Romance at RomCon!

To celebrate the season and promote new reads, I'm giving away a $20 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner.  You can enter no matter what your reading preference is by commenting below.  Earn EXTRA entries into the drawing by doing one or all of the following things (each gets an additional entry into my sophisticated paper-slip-out-of-a-hat selection system):

1.  Join this blog:  easy, just click the blue button over in the right hand column.
2.  LIKE my Facebook page:  Kathryn Knight books
3.  Follow me on Twitter:  @k_knightbooks
GULL HARBOR - a Kindle
Bestseller for 19 consecutive weeks!

If you do any or all of these (or have done in the past), make sure you let me know in the comment section below!  Visitors with Nook or iPad, I believe you can convert Kindle books into any format (or use the gc for anything from Amazon).  I'll draw a name on New Year's Day.  Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Get your #Kindle a Christmas gift! #romance & gift card #giveaway

My publisher is hosting a fun event on The Wild Rose Press blog.  Each day brings one or two holiday posts from our authors, with chances to win prizes.  In addition, an entry into the Rafflecopter on the main blog page gives you the chance to win one of 25- $25 gift cards for books!

My post is called "Christmas in Paradise"... last year, our gift to ourselves was just that, a trip to literal Paradise Island in the Bahamas to finally see the famous Atlantis resort.  We spent the holiday there, with our very best friends. 

To enter the Rafflecopter drawings, click this link:  The Wild Rose Press blog

To enter the Kindle (or Nook or pdf) SILVER LAKE giveaway, leave a comment below!

To receive more than one entry into the SILVER LAKE giveaway, you can LIKE my FB page  
and/or Join This Site (the blue button over to the right in the side column).

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Our disastrous skiing weekend - Vacations gone wrong

I'm writing this blog post from the safety of our hotel room, because I refuse to go back out there.  Typing is a little difficult, since the fingertips of my right hand are numb with frostbite blisters.  And I can't move my upper body much, since my neck and shoulders have locked up.

Last night, as my friend cried in my arms in the hotel lobby, she said, "why do I think this is going to end up in your next book?"  I had to laugh, but so far both my novels take place in the sultry summertime, not at a freezing ski resort in Vermont on the coldest weekend of the year thus far.  But maybe if I set one in the winter in the future, I'll bring in some of the events of this past weekend. 

I'm not a huge fan of skiing to begin with.  My perfect vacation involves a great book, a warm beach, and a blender drink.  But I live in New England, and my husband and sons like to ski.  My husband and younger son are especially good.  We are friends with a ski-loving mom with two boys, and she suggested we all go together to their favorite ski resort.

Our first indication of trouble was the weather report.  A huge storm was predicted for Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning.  But we'd purchased lift tickets and rentals in advance, and it was too late to cancel our reservations without a fee.  We decided to just go.

We had to leave home on Friday evening, somewhat late since my husband's work scheduled a Christmas get-together for the afternoon.  I frantically packed, telling my 15-year-old son to make sure he had his winter coat.  Most of the time, he refuses to wear one.  But he found it (after pulling out a windbreaker and saying "is this it?") and I told him it was his job to bring it.

Four and a half hours later, we're unpacking the car at 10:30 at night.  My teenager is not wearing a coat, and it's negative 4 degrees outside.  When we tell him to go get it, he returns looking very upset.  He's forgotten it.  For a ski weekend.

My sons, after the borrowed gray coat arrived, before
the frost nip on the cheek appeared
Luckily our friend was leaving early in the morning, and she brought him an extra coat.  We could all laugh.  For a while.  The ski conditions were not good - icy and absolutely frigid.  The temperature at the top of the mountain was negative ten degrees.  After each run, we had to get inside to warm up.  My younger son had a suspicious-looking ribbon of red across his cheek which the medic deemed "frost nip".  We told him he was done for the day.

Why I didn't decide I was done for the day was beyond me.  I don't really like skiing.  It was bitter cold.  But I'd only had one run at that point (because I gave up my jacket for my son until the extra one arrived), and I wanted to get my money's worth.  I also wanted to do better, since my first run had been somewhat out of control.  Jokingly, I said I needed to "conquer the mountain" (from a green circle standpoint).

Me, still believing I was covered up enough
to head back to the top one more time

The ride on the ski lift was pure torture.  The biting wind cut through every layer of protection we had on.  We stopped at the halfway point and skied down.  Success - much better on my part.

Did I end it there?  Oh, no.  Because I wanted to take a picture from the very top.  A flipping picture.  One more run, I said.  My husband accompanied me all the way up, and I could barely feel my fingers, even inside my gloves, with hand warmers, by the time we got to the top.  I was so cold I had trouble grasping my poles.  At least that's what I'm going with, since what happened next was so absurd.  Somehow, I missed actually exiting the lift.  My husband pushed off, skied away, and I was still sitting on the lift, now looking at several feet between me and the snow below.  I only knew I didn't want to stay on that lift one more minute.  I panicked and jumped.  Yes, that's right, I threw myself off the lift, into the packed snow, and I faceplanted in what must have been hilarious from anyone else's viewpoint.  (This probably explains my locked neck muscles today).

Once I was up and my skis were back on, I said this is it, picture, down the hill, done with this.  Possibly forever.  My hand were already so cold, and what do I do?  I take off my glove to snap the picture.  My flesh froze so quickly I couldn't move my fingers.  I had trouble putting my phone back away, and I honestly couldn't close my fingers around the zipper of my pocket to zip it up.  My fingers simply didn't work.  Somehow I got my glove back on, got to my husband, and together we got the zipper up.  But the damage was done.  My hand was immobile, and I still had to get down the mountain.  Somehow I made it with no further spills.

Here's the picture that cost me my fingertips.  Worth it?

At the bottom, I raced right into the lounge and practically pushed everyone out of the way of the fire.  I tried to warm my hand, which is probably not the right thing to do.  My fingers burned with searing pain as blood tried to return to the damaged tissue.  We put in yet another call to the medic, but left before he got there.  Why, you ask?

Because my phone started ringing--it was my friend, calling from the mountain.  With the ski patrol.  Because her son had fallen off his snowboard and broken his arm.

She took him to the ER, we took her other son and went to dinner.  There was only one restaurant open in the resort, and it was very, very cold.  The manager came over and apologized profusely; it seemed the boiler had broken down.  Outside, the wind was whipping itself into a frenzy as the storm bore down on us.

Back in our room, I googled frostbite.  It seems I had a first degree case, blisters on my fingertips.  Reversible, thankfully.  I waited to hear from my friend, on her way back from the hospital to the resort.  She sent me a picture of her son, wearing a cast up to his shoulder.  He's a trooper, he was in good spirits.

However, her car is not 4-wheel-drive, and she began slipping along the back roads to the hotel due to the storm conditions.  She was getting very scared, and then she came upon a flipped SUV on the other side of the road.  Another car had stopped to help already.  Somehow she managed to keep her young son from seeing it, since he'd once seen an accident occur and had been traumatized for quite some time.  But once she got here safely and got him into their room, she called and asked me to meet her in the lobby.  There, she was free to cry without scaring her sons.  She's one of the strongest women I know, but the events of the day had taken their toll.

Aside from injuries, we were all safe and alive, though.  The emotions needed to come out so we could eventually try to laugh.  Which we did, over a glass of wine.  We don't know what happened with the flipped SUV, but someone had already stopped to help, and those cars are tough.  I'm praying everyone was belted in and that airbags deployed.

This morning, the storm is over, and conditions are perfect.  Lots of powder, no ice, and the temperature is up to a balmy 20 degrees above zero.  But I refuse to go back out there.  So here I sit, happy to have warm coffee in my damaged hand and a hot shower in my future.  Our friend's son with the cast is of course confined to his room as well, but he has his phone and a tv, and he's okay. 

I'm at my computer, working on the very last chapter of my third manuscript.  Which, ironically, I started last February on a ski vacation in Canada.  I'll probably finish ten months of hard work today.  So, in addition from some crazy incidents that will become funny memories, I'll have a completed Young Adult Paranormal Romance manuscript.  I'll take the good with the bad, and be grateful that our two families emerged with minor injuries that will heal, as well as some hilarious shared stories to eventually look back on.

Have you ever had a vacation turn into a disaster?  Feel free to share!

Monday, December 9, 2013

25 x $25 Gift Cards, #Free Cookbook, & 25% off #Sale - #Romance

Big things are happening on my publisher's website this month!  You can download our FREE 2013 "Holiday Garden Gourmet" Cookbook HERE...all you need to do is create a free account and download to your Kindle, Nook, iPad, or laptop (pdf file).  A bunch of the authors of The Wild Rose Press contributed to the cookbook, including yours truly.  My recipe, "Gull Harbor Diner Meatloaf", is really my mom's recipe, which everyone in our family loves.  Our theme this year was different regions, so you'll find author recipes grouped by country or culture.

Our The Wild Rose Press blog is hopping with holiday-themed posts going up twice a day.  There's a rafflecopter on our BLOG PAGE, so when you visit, you can enter to win one of 25 $25 gift cards to The Wild Rose Press website.  Those are pretty good odds, and since you'll already have your account from the cookbook download, you'll be able to start shopping for new romance reads immediately if you win!

Finally, all our digital titles are 25% off this month!  Load up your e-reader for the holidays HERE.  And of course, I'll suggest my suspenseful ghost stories/steamy romances - SILVER LAKE and GULL HARBOR.  You can click directly on the highlighted titles to take you to our TWRP website, and you'll see the blurbs and excerpts as well.

Happy holidays!  Take time out from the hustle to enjoy the season and treat yourself!

Monday, December 2, 2013

25 Days of Christmas - 25 x $25 gift card #giveaway #romance #TWRP

December is here!  To celebrate the upcoming holidays, my publishing house, The Wild Rose Press, is giving away twenty-five $25 gift cards to our online store, where you can purchase all genres of romance in any format you choose - print or e books.  Plus, each day in December leading up to Christmas, our TWRP blog will feature a holiday-themed post by one of our authors, some of which also offer additional prizes.  I've entered the link below, and the Rafflecopter entry can be found right at the end of the day's featured post:

With 25 winners, the odds are pretty good!  Enter to win, and remember to grab copies of SILVER LAKE and GULL HARBOR with your gift card if you enjoy paranormal romance and romantic suspense - both novels are suspenseful ghost stories spiked with steamy romance.  Good luck!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

99¢ #BlackFriday sale: a steamy romance read for your travels!

Short and sweet post, because the holidays are upon us!  GULL HARBOR is on sale for one last week, until Friday (yes, THE Black Friday).  Whether you're traveling, waiting in lines, or trying to escape from your family for a few moments, a fast-paced, suspenseful ghost story spiked with steamy romance will make the most of your time.  99 cents on Kindle and Nook only - links below, along with the blurb.  Happy Thanksgiving!

A #1 Kindle Bestseller, less than a buck!

Kindle link

Nook link 

Want to see the story board?  Check out the pictures I used for inspiration on Pinterest!

When Claire Linden’s job sends her to the sleepy town of Gull Harbor, she never expects to encounter her ex-boyfriend. As a medium, the prospect of tackling a haunted house is less daunting than seeing Max Baron again. Throughout their passionate college relationship, he promised to love her forever. Then, without explanation, he abandoned her on graduation day.
Max never intended to break Claire's heart—a cruel ultimatum forced him to disappear from her life. While he's shocked to find her in Gull Harbor, he isn't surprised by the bitter resentment she feels for him...or the fiery attraction that remains between them.
Claire is determined to rid her temporary home of its aggressive ghost, but Max soon realizes she's facing a danger beyond the paranormal. When Claire risks everything to help a desperate spirit, Max must race to save her—before another tragedy tears them apart forever.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

99c Paranormal #Romance Bestseller! #Kindledeals

What an exciting weekend!  GULL HARBOR was put on a 99 cent sale for the first time ever, and it shot onto 3 Amazon Bestseller lists, hitting #1 in Paranormal Romance > Ghosts and Paranormal Romance > Psychics.  It's sitting on Page 1 of the "Ghost" category along with amazing paranormal romance novels like THE HOST and TWILIGHT, although how either of those books landed in the "Ghost" category is beyond me, considering the paranormal elements are aliens and vampires, respectively.  Regardless, it's a thrill to be in such Bestseller company.

Woo hoo!  Three
Amazon Bestseller Lists!

GULL HARBOR really does contain a ghost--a very angry spirit whose frightening and destructive behavior drives the new owners of an isolated Cape Cod house to hire a psychic medium.  Claire Linden arrives in the sleepy beachside town of Gull Harbor ready to tackle a haunted house and prove herself worthy of her gifts.  However, she never expects to encounter Max Baron, the man who promised to love her forever back in college, then disappeared from her life without a hint of an explanation.  As Claire begins to unravel the mystery behind the haunting, Max is forced to share his secret to try to stay close enough to Claire to help protect her from a danger that extends beyond the paranormal.

Click the title to check out the back cover blurb...and grab your copy of GULL HARBOR while it's less than a buck!

Kindle link

Nook link  

Want to see the story board?  Check out the pictures I used for inspiration on Pinterest!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Historical Romance in #Reign - Kathryn Knight

After Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance is my favorite genre--to read and to watch (I've yet to try writing it--hopefully someday!).  So for me, Thursday night television has become even better this fall, with an old favorite The Vampire Diaries followed by the new show Reign on the CW. 

I love to find out some of the actual background of these characters based on historical figures, so I did a little research.  I'll share only the facts I learned that don't possibly spoil the plot of the show!  I've also included a few fun facts about the three main characters: Mary, Francis, and Sebastian (Bash), as well as the actors who portray them.

Francis, Mary, and Bash on the new hit show Reign on CW

Mary Stuart was born December 8, 1542, at Linlithgow Palace in Scotland to James V, King of Scots, and Mary of Guise, his French second wife.  She was the only legitimate child of James to survive him.  Six days after her birth, James died, and Mary acceded to the throne as the Queen of Scots.  As Mary was an infant, Scotland was ruled by regents until she became an adult. 

King Henry VIII of England attempted to take advantage of this situation by arranging a marriage between Mary and his son Edward when Mary was six months old.  The marriage treaty was later rejected, and the French King, Henry II, proposed to unite Scotland and France with a marriage between Mary and the Dauphin Francis. 

With this marriage contract in place, five-year-old Mary spent the next 13 years at French Court.  She was beautiful and charming, and became a favorite of many at court, with the exception of Catherine de' Medici, King Henry's wife.

A Portrait of Francis and Mary

Reign is set in the French Court in 1557.  In the show, 15-year-old Mary of Scots is played by Adelaide Kane, who is a 23-year-old actress originally from Australia.

Toby Regbo plays the Dauphin (Heir Apparent) of France, Francis II.  In 1557, Francis would have been 13 years old.  Toby is a 22-year-old actor born in London, England.    History states that the actual Francis II was abnormally short and suffered from a stutter--the show's Francis, portrayed by Toby, is a very different character.  Fun facts about actor Toby Regbo:  the surname Regbo was made up by an ancestor to replace the more common last name Hanson; Toby is related to all of the twenty or so Regbos in the world.  Toby also starred as a young Albus Dumbledore in one of the Harry Potter films.

Torrance Coombs, age 30, plays the other heartthrob on the show--the illegitimate son of King Henry, Sebastian (or "Bash").  As far as I can tell, Bash is a purely fictional character, although the relationship between Henry and his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, who is Bash's mother in the show, was very real.  It is believed that Diane became Henry's mistress when she was 35 and he was 16, and despite Henry's marriage, Diane would remain his lifelong companion and as such, the most powerful woman in France.

In the show, there is also a ghostly woman named Clarissa who haunts the passageways (I can't wait to find out more about her--as you can tell from my books, I do love ghosts!) and helps Mary.  Nostradamus also has a prominent role, and this French apothecary and seer was in fact greatly admired by Catherine.  She read his almanacs in 1555, and summoned him to Paris to explain what sounded like dire predictions for the royal family.  She had him draw up horoscopes for her children and appointed him to prominent positions.

So...any other facts about life at French court might give away the future plot of Reign, and I can't wait to see where they go with the story.  I already love the characters.  I have a strong "love triangle" feeling for the future--so here's your chance for predictions!  Who would you chose for Mary?  Who will she end up with?  Chime in! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

#FREE print books - Kathryn Knight

Last year, I received a shipment of my debut novel, SILVER LAKE, to bring to book signings and presentations.  About 10 print copies had damaged covers: white spots, scratches, etc.  My publisher immediately replaced the damaged books at no charge, and I put the scratched ones away.

I wouldn't try to sell them, since they are imperfect.  As an author, I simply can't throw them away.  But they're not doing much good sitting in a box, either.

So, I'm having a "Damaged Cover Liquidation"!  I will send out these print copies to the first 10 people to request them, and I'll even cover the shipping!  (Book rate shipping - it's a little slower, but it's also cheaper).  The only thing I ask in return: an honest review left at a minimum of two sites (Amazon, Goodreads, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, etc.).  A Facebook "Like" on my page would be nice too, but not necessary :)

Little scratches, white marks, etc...but inside is just fine - SILVER LAKE was a Finalist in Paranormal Romance at RomCon 2013!


So, how to get your free book?  Just leave a comment below WITH (1) an email address (so I can touch base to get a shipping address), and (2) a mention of the two sites where you'll leave a review.  No addresses need to be left on a public blog - just an email is fine and I'll contact you from there.  Check out the blurb HERE, and thanks for stopping by!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween winners of sugar-free treats! Kathryn Knight

I had a busy month - October is a great time for ghost stories!  I gave a presentation on my books at a local library, ran an Amazon gift card giveaway, contributed prizes to the All Romance Halloween Party, and participated in the Snarkology Paranormal Blog Hop.  I drew some winners today - drumroll -

Winner of the $20 Amazon gift card - Sherry!  We'd love to hear what you end up "treating" yourself to!  Enjoy!

Winner of an e-copy of GULL HARBOR - Meghan!  I hope you enjoy the read, and reviews are always appreciated if you have time!

Winner of the $60 Amazon gift card Blog Hop Raffle - Silvia!  Congratulations!  Have fun shopping.

A big thank you to everyone who participated in all the events...I sincerely appreciate all the comments, likes, follows, etc.  Happy November :)

"Breakfast with the Authors" October Event

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Origin of #Halloween - #Paranormal Postings

The month of October conjures 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.  In the town next to ours, a large farm designs an incredibly creepy haunted house each year.  It’s out in the woods, almost pitch black inside, and people are hiding in corners to jump out at you.  There’s no guide, so sometimes a group takes a wrong turn, only to discover a ghoul standing behind them.  I scream the entire time, but it’s fun, because in the back of my head I know it’s not real.
Steamy Romance &
Spooky Suspense
The medium in GULL HARBOR, however, spends her summer in a truly haunted house.  Claire Linden arrives in Gull Harbor ready to take on an aggressive ghost—now that she’s embraced her psychic gift, she’s confident she’ll be able to rid her temporary home of the restless spirit that drove the owners to hire her.  However, she doesn’t expect to encounter Max Baron, the man who promised to love her forever, then abandoned her without an explanation five years ago.  As Claire unravels the truth behind the haunting, Max must share his secret in order to stay close enough to help protect the woman he still loves from a danger that extends beyond the paranormal…

If you like that story, try SILVER LAKE as well...another suspenseful ghost story/mystery with plenty of romance.  Will Rain and Jason get another chance at first love before a desperate spirit tears them apart again...forever?

What happened to Brandy?  Her ghost has a message to share...

Happy Halloween and Happy Haunted Reading!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Treat! $20 Amazon GC #giveaway - Kathryn Knight

Happy Halloween!  No tricks, just a treat for one lucky winner!  I'm raffling off a $20 gift card from Amazon on Oct. 31st to celebrate the perfect month for my spooky ghost stories.  Of course, there's some steamy romance in my books too, so you'll find plenty of heat to balance the chills in both SILVER LAKE and GULL HARBOR.  Suspenseful hauntings, star-crossed lovers, and secrets from the past...something for everyone!  Check out the blurbs in the links above, and you can read the first few chapters on Amazon.  And leave a comment below to enter the drawing :)

How to enter: 

Leave a comment below, with an email address where I can contact you should you win.  Let me know in the comment as well if you should receive extra entries (see below).

How to receive extra entries:

Like my FaceBook page:  Facebook

Follow me on Twitter:  Twitter

Follow my blog:  blue "Join this Site" button over on right side bar ---->

I would NEVER forget my fans who have already liked, followed, etc.  Just let me know if you've done that already in the past, and you get your extra entries as well.  Good luck!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The curse of THE EXORCIST - #paranormal postings

The theme of my blog this month is Paranormal/Halloween (surprising, I know). But I love October, because I’m a big fan of anything paranormal—books and movies especially. While I do read horror, the paranormal novels I write aren’t designed to fit into that genre. I aim to create mysterious, spooky, and suspenseful (but not gory) ghost stories. Thankfully, many readers have claimed certain scenes sent shivers up their spine, which is exactly the kind of reaction I intended. Many have also said they stayed up all night reading one of my books--hopefully that was because they couldn’t put it down, and not because they were afraid to turn off the lights!

The scariest book I ever read was THE EXORCIST, by William Peter Blatty, in part because it’s based on a true incident that happened in the DC area, not far from where I grew up (the actual exorcism was performed on a young boy from Cottage City, MD). Part of the movie was filmed in Georgetown (I’ve visited the so-called “Exorcist steps” many’s definitely creepy), and I think the film is even scarier than the book. The terrifying visuals were heightened by the unconventional methods director William Friedkin used to get real reactions from the actors—slapping one actor in the face and firing a gun behind another are just two examples.

Then of course there is the so-called curse surrounding the film. In the early 1970s, not everything was documented for reality TV, so there are conflicting accounts of the strange occurrences. It’s said that between 4 and 9 people associated with the film died during filming or shortly after the release. An unexplained fire destroyed the MacNeil residence movie set—with the odd exception of the character Regan’s bedroom—causing a 6 week delay in production. At the Italian premier of the film, a 400-year-old cross near the theater was destroyed by a bolt of lightning.

The paranormal element in my first novel, SILVER LAKE, is of a less terrifying variety: the ghost, Brandy, is desperate to communicate with her living friends. She has a message to share, and she won’t rest until the secret is exposed. In order to help, Rain and Jason must reunite, and together they’ll face not only a haunted lake house, but their own painful past.

The ghost in GULL HARBOR is much more menacing…this angry poltergeist has driven the owners of the house away with its malicious behavior. Psychic medium Claire arrives in Cape Cod determined to connect with the dangerous spirit, but finding her ex-boyfriend Max in the same seaside town complicates matters. Soon they’ll both discover the danger to Claire extends even beyond the paranormal.

The wonderful thing about the romance genre is that readers can lose themselves in the tension of the book, knowing that eventually a happy ending is in store. If a couple seems cursed, we romance readers know they will find a way around it somehow and end up together. So while I enjoy being temporarily scared by stories of the supernatural, I prefer my “paranormal” to be followed by “romance”, so I can connect emotionally with the characters and rest assured that I will be rewarded with a Happily Ever After.

I hope you’ll check back at the end of October to participate in the Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop! Dozens of paranormal authors are participating, with tons of prizes along the way. In the meantime, what are some of your favorite paranormal books and movies?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Obsession with #Ghosts - Kathryn Knight

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—I was hooked.  I read that book over and over again throughout my childhood.  I’ve read it to my children.  When I see a looking glass ball in someone’s yard, the young ghost of the fictional Emily is still the first thing that jumps into my thoughts.

Since that book, the blend of romance and ghosts has always been my favorite.  For me, a mysterious and spooky paranormal element combined with a tension-filled romantic relationship is the perfect recipe for an exciting read.

It’s no surprise, then, that both of my paranormal romance novels involve spirits in desperate need of help.  Still, I’ve never actually seen a ghost.  Not for lack of trying, however.  I’ve been on ghost tours and visited rumored haunted locations.  Nevertheless, I firmly believe the spirits of loved ones survive the body’s passing, mostly because of something that happened to me last Christmas.

I had a particularly joyous Christmas in 2011, because I had just received my first publishing contract for Silver Lake.  I was also in the midst of writing my second manuscript, Gull Harbor, which has a medium as a heroine.  So when I heard there was a medium at a Christmas party I was attending, I was eager to speak with him.

As I asked him general questions pertaining to his talent, he looked distracted.  Finally, he said, “There’s someone here to speak with you.  Is that okay?”

With a nod and a gulp, I listened to what he had to say.  It wasn’t exact sentences, but I immediately knew who it was—my mother, who died when I was 25.  I had never met this man—in fact, I lived in a town 2 hours away.  I didn’t pay him a dime.  But he was hitting details of my life spot-on, including a recent trip I made with my kids to deliver Christmas presents to our local animal shelter (Mom and I shared a love of all animals).

There were so many things he said that sent shivers down my spine, but at one point he kept saying, “Wild Flowers?  I’m getting wild flowers.”  And then it clicked for me: my biggest dream had recently come true—I had sold my manuscript to The Wild Rose Press.

Seeing Silver Lake published after years of hard work is truly a dream come true.  And I’m thankful that it seems on some level, my mother is looking down, sharing it with me.  While I find that infinitely comforting, my writing will probably continue to feature a spookier kind of ghost: the kind that has to haunt the hero and heroine to get its message through.  The kind that raises a few goose bumps on the reader’s arm.  And hopefully, the kind that keeps the pages turning, well into the night. 

Get ready for Halloween with Jason and Rain as they struggle to solve the mystery of their friend’s disappearance.  Along the way, they fight against the attraction that still exists between them.  Will they eventually give in to their feelings? 

Or visit Cape Cod’s Gull Harbor, where medium Claire Linden must face the aggressive ghost haunting her client’s house and the ex-boyfriend who mysteriously abandoned her after graduation.  Can Max protect Claire from a danger that extends beyond the paranormal?

Friday, October 4, 2013

A #Haunting Interview at "On Writing" - Kathryn Knight

It's that time of year!  I LOVE all things paranormal, especially ghost stories, which is what I write (spiked with steamy romance, of course).  I'm being hosted at the "On Writing" blog, stop by!

Happy October!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Black cats, Halloween, & a ghost story #giveaway

I love black cats.  I adopted two from a shelter 15 years ago, when they were about 6 months old. 
Sadly, Shadow passed away last year, but the other is still going strong, even in his advanced years.  Spazzy has some white on his face and paws, and earned his name as a crazy kitten.  He is constantly on the prowl for a lap to snuggle in, so the minute you sit down in my house, be prepared to stay put a while.

Shadow’s name fit him as well.  He was skittish and wary, but also sweet and loving.  He was scared of most people, yet I saw him chase neighborhood dogs off our property more than once.  Shadow was completely black—dark and sleek and beautiful.  I would never think of him as a symbol of bad luck, but I can see how people might view black cats as mysterious and otherworldly.

I miss my Shadow kitty dearly

The ancient Egyptians believed cats had magical powers, and regarded them as sacred.  In fact, they worshipped 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.  Silver Lake, my debut paranormal romance, revolves around a restless spirit—the ghost, Brandy, is desperate to communicate with her living friends.  In order to help, Rain and Jason must reunite, and together they’ll face not only a haunted lake house, but their own painful past. 
My Spazzy kitty
loves boxes
            And while not central to the story, our heroine, Rain, owns a black cat named Minx.  I hope you’ll take a moment to read Silver Lake's blurb below!  If you'd like to enter the giveaway for a free e-copy, please leave a comment with contact info.  If you follow on Facebook or twitter, I will enter your name another time for each site!  Happy almost-Halloween J


Rain Anderson can't decide which is more unsettling—encountering the ghost of her missing friend, or reuniting with the man whose love she foolishly rejected. But one thing is certain: the past has come back to haunt her, quite literally.

Five years ago, Rain's tight-knit group of high school friends unraveled when one vanished during their senior year. Now, a parent's deathbed request has reunited the friends at Silver Lake, including Jason Lansing, the man Rain discarded. Rain and Jason discover the powerful attraction between them has survived, but though Jason is willing to forgive, he can't let himself forget. The possibility of falling for Rain again is too risky.

Slamming doors, crashing objects, flaring fires—clearly the ghost has a message to share. As Rain and Jason struggle to unravel the truth, they must face a desperate spirit in need of help…and a burning passion that refuses to die.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall Blowout Sale at #TWRP - Stock up!

My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, is having a fantastic sale right now!  ALL of our digital titles are half price - yes, everything on our website.  It's easy to register and download the formats for Kindle, Nook, or even a pdf.  If you're unsure which format is for you, here's a quick explanation.

In addition, print books are 25% off, with free shipping on orders that total over $50.  So stock up on some great fall romance reads!

And since October is around the bend, you might be in the mood for something a little spooky - here's the link to my two paranormals, Silver Lake and Gull Harbor, which contain suspenseful ghost stories along with steamy romance.  It's a potent combination that will keep you turning the pages - addictive reads that are much healthier than candy!  So stock up today and settle in under a warm blanket :)  Happy reading...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fall Into Romance Hop - Prizes!

Welcome to my stop along the TRR's Fall Into Romance Blog Hop!  I'm showcasing Affinity, by LaVerne Clark, and giving away a copy of Silver Lake to one lucky commenter!

LaVerne and I both write for the paranormal romance line at The Wild Rose Press, and her fantasy novella Affinity is an action-packed read that will hook you from the opening pages!  I loved heroine Jenna's ability to connect with animals in her mind--it's a fresh twist to the shape-shifter idea.  Of course, Jenna's affinity makes her different, and therefore wary of others--for good reason, it turns out.  But she risks exposure to save the life of a little boy, and draws the attention of Nick, a sexy, jaded cop.  Unfortunately, she also draws the attention of someone with much more evil intentions...

I've included the blurb below, as well as info about her new release which is going FREE in a few days.  Also check out the ways to enter into the drawing for an e-copy of Silver Lake!  Thanks for stopping by - happy Fall :)

Affinity, by LaVerne Clark:

When Jenna Thomas breaks her arm as a child, a routine x-ray wakens an abnormality in her DNA, a legacy her family carries from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Labeled a freak since then because of her ability to ‘call’ creatures and take on their attributes, she keeps to herself as an adult, not letting anyone close. But that all changes the day she saves a young boy from drowning in extraordinary circumstances, and the story goes viral.

Nick Hawke, an off-duty policeman catches the end of the drama and investigates the incident, not sure what to believe. His cynicism and growing attraction to Jenna are put to the test when word of her abilities gets out, thrusting her into the limelight and the attention of a dangerous man who will stop at nothing to have her under his control.

LaVerne's books are set in New Zealand, a land of myths and magic.  Her latest release, Beyond the Shadows, will be FREE on Amazon from September 17th to the 21st.  Make sure to download the Kindle version during these freebie days to get a taste of the paranormal in New Zealand!
Finally, if you'd like to enter to win a spooky paranormal romance involving a haunting, an old flame, a reunion between former friends, and secrets from the past - enter the Silver Lake drawing!  Just leave a comment with a way to contact you - I do raffles the old-fashioned way - pieces of paper in a bowl, lol.  I'll put your name in once for each of the following things:
The Silver Lake Amazon link is HERE if you'd like to take a look.  Halloween is fast approaching, and great reads are healthier than candy, so stock up now!
The TRR Blog Hop goes from Sept. 13 - 21, and if you register on their site and click the yellow button below, a program will ensure you visit each participating blog during the time frame, so you don't miss an opportunity to find your next read or win a prize! 

The Romance Reviews Hop


Monday, September 9, 2013

Ian Somerhalder vs. Drew Fuller

Getting my nails done is one of my guilty pleasures, but I tell myself I need to do it, since I do a lot of book signings and I want my hands to look nice.  The place I go usually has a movie playing (although I always bring a book and attempt to balance it on my lap).  But the other day I got sucked into a film called The Ultimate Gift, the main reason being I couldn't stop looking at the very hot lead male actor.  I was certain I'd never seen him before, yet he reminded me of another actor.  When I got home, I brought up pictures of Drew Fuller on my computer, and it hit me:  he resembled Ian Somerhalder, one of my favorite actors whose Damon character made my Top Five Bad Boys with Good Hearts post.  That post has been my blog's second most popular post, with over 7,300 hits.

The picture I used in Bad Boys with Good Hearts

My most popular post of all time, clocking in at 55,550 more hits for a grand total of 62,850 compared Charlie Hunnam vs. Travis Fimmel.  So, in that vein, I bring you Ian Somerhalder vs. Drew Fuller.  How will this comparison stack up?

These two hotties are close in age and definitely share some desirable masculine traits.  In addition, they both began modeling as preteens, rising to represent major brands before transitioning to acting.  Their breakout roles occurred on television shows involving time travel, and both men have now crossed over to the big screen as well.  Here are some stats, and more eye candy to enjoy!

Ian Joseph Somerhalder:
  • Born December 8, 1978 (34) in Louisiana
  • French, English, Irish and Choctaw descent
  • Began as a model, signed a major contract by age 11
  • Breakout role - Boone Carlyle on Lost
  • Current role - Damon Salvatore on Vampire Diaries

Andrew Alan "Drew" Fuller:
  • Born May 19, 1980 (33) in California
  • Scottish, Russian, and English descent
  • Began as a model, appearing on a magazine cover at age 12
  • Breakout role - Chris Halliwell on Charmed
  • Current role - Trevor LeBlanc on Army Wives

So who's your pick?  It's an easy choice for me (assuming I had to chose, lol) - Lost was one of my very favorite shows.  Damon Salvatore is one of my very favorite characters.  Ian Somerhalder loves animals and promotes pet rescue/adoption.  And the final kicker--while looking for pictures for this blog, I realized I had used a shot of Ian on a motorcycle as inspiration for the character of Max in my Gull Harbor Pinterest board, and not even realized it was him!  I'd googled "hot guy on motorcycle" and immediately zeroed in on that one, which was a side view with no identifying names.  So in this case, Ian has my vote, and if you haven't read Gull Harbor yet, you'll LOVE Max!

I love a man who fights for animals