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

Blurb:

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



















Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ghosts & Romance! 99c #Kindledeal on SILVER LAKE

Got 99 cents burning a hole in your pocket?  Spend some time with a suspenseful mix of romance/ghost story...An old flame, a haunting, and secrets from the past converge at a summer house on Silver Lake.  Try this paranormal romance on KINDLE or NOOK and celebrate my debut novel's one year birthday!  Last week's blog post was about the week Silver Lake came out, so I'll keep this one short...Just links above to the e-formats and more links below to the Silver Lake Pinterest board, because it's fun to see the inspiration behind the characters and the setting.  And check out the blurb below.  If you give it a read, I love feedback...comments and reviews are always welcome and appreciated.  Happy reading!


 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Charlie Hunnam vs. Travis Fimmel - Kathryn Knight

Charlie Hunnam as Jax Teller
I began watching Sons of Anarchy after hearing a lot of buzz about the show on social media platforms.  Loosely inspired by Hamlet, the plot seemed guaranteed to provide plenty of conflict and tension--the stuff authors live on.  As a romance novelist, the complicated relationship between former high school sweethearts Jax Teller, the VP of an outlaw motorcycle gang, and Tara Knowles, the upstanding pediatric doctor, drew me in and kept me hooked.  Both of my books involve a hero and heroine with a painful history who are drawn together again by fate--I love second chances for couples that are "meant to be."  But if I'm honest, a big reason I continue to watch SOA is due to Charile Hunnam, the amazingly hot actor cast in the role of Jax Teller.


Travis Fimmel 
plays Ragnar Lothbrok
A few weeks ago I decided to try Vikings, the new show on the history channel, as historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine.  As we were introduced to the main character, my jaw dropped--I thought Charlie Hunnam had moved over to a new series.  I studied the actor playing Ragnar Lothbrok (no great hardship there), and the only difference I could find at first was a scar and the eye and hair color--things that could easily be changed for television.  I did a quick google search to discover this was actually a completely different actor by the name of Travis Fimmel.


side-by-side screen shots
To me, they look like they could be twins.  But they are not related.  Plenty of people see the resemblance though, according to questions on the internet.  So I did a little comparison of these two beautiful men, and it seems they have more in common than just amazing genes and acting talent.









Charlie Hunnam:
  • Born April 10, 1980 (33) in England
  • 6'1" tall
  • discovered clowning around in a shoe shop by a production manager
  • currently starring in the lead role on Sons of Anarchy


Travis Fimmel:
  • Born July 15, 1979 (34) in Australia
  • 6' tall
  • discovered working out in a gym by a talent scout for a modeling agency
  • currently starring in the lead role on Vikings
While the two shows are separated by vast differences in time (Sons of Anarchy: present-day California; Vikings: medieval Scandinavia), they involve very similar themes: family, brotherhood, and a strong protagonist who challenges a stubborn leader with new ideas.  Both characters struggle to protect their loved ones while fighting to change the direction of their club/community.  Both characters become brutal killers when necessary.  They are "Bad Boys with Good Hearts"...a mix I personally find hard to resist.  In fact, I made a list of my top 5 fictional characters with these qualities, and it's been my most popular post to date.  Vikings hadn't aired when I wrote that one, but Ragnar would be on the list today.  Click the yellow link to see where I ranked Jax Teller!

Thankfully, despite the title of the blog, we don't have to choose one or the other...we viewers can have both.  And if anyone is faced with the real-life dilemma of choosing between these two, all I can say is that would truly be a tough (but enviable) choice!

P.S. More pics on my Pinterest board!  And if you enjoy heroes with a bad-boy streak who'll do anything to protect the women they love, try one of my novels: GULL HARBOR, SILVER LAKE, or DIVINE FALL.  Or all three!  You can find the hot men I used as inspiration on the Pinterest storyboards for each title, as well :)