Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Exploring Washburn Island #CapeCod #vacation #travel Cape Cod

A sailboat washed ashore on Washburn
I love exploring new places, whether far away or close to home, but it's especially exciting to "discover" the hidden gems in your own backyard (for me, that's now Cape Cod).  A few summers ago, we visited Cuttyhunk, a secluded oasis in the Elizabeth Island chain only accessible by private boat.  It was like being in another world.  People do live there year-round...about 86, to be exact.  This summer, we spent a day on Washburn Island, a completely undeveloped island located in Falmouth.  Again, this is an island only accessible by private boat, and there is almost nothing there except for some primitive camping grounds.  Well, not nothing, really.  There's history, beauty, and undisturbed nature.  In fact, nature has reclaimed the remnants of the human intervention of the past, and it's slightly eerie to walk amongst the "ruins" and imagine the structures that once carved out space on the island.

Washburn Island is located in Waquoit Bay, and has, at times, been connected to the mainland via man-made bridges or changes in geography.  The Native American name for the island was Menauhant, and in the 1700 and 1800s, it was used for livestock grazing and small farms.  In the late 1800s, the island was acquired by Henry Bryant, who built a house and facilitated the installation of a hand ferry for passage to the mainland.

A small part of the house that once stood on Collin's Hill

After Bryant's death, his widow eventually sold the island to a group of investors.  The only property developed was purchased by Fred and Fannie Collins, and the remains of their summer home is visible on Collins' Hill.

One of the investors, Henry Washburn, purchased the remainder of the island, and he and his wife Florence moved into the Bryant House.  A fire destroyed the property in 1926, and after Henry's death, Florence allowed the island to be used for recreational purposes.

Rusted remains of military vehicles
When the United States entered WWII, the need for amphibious training became tantamount to military success.  The Federal Government leased the area and reconnected Washburn Island to the mainland via a sand causeway and a wooden bridge.  The island was soon the home to roads, buildings, drill fields, parade grounds, obstacle courses, docks, and piers.  After the war, the island was returned to Florence Washburn, who again allowed locals to enjoy the location.  Eventually, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts acquired the island, and it's now part of the Waquoit Bay Reserve.  Visitors may enjoy the beach, hike the trails, and camp (with reservations).

The one time I did camp there, we had little time for anything but setting up camp and then tearing it back down for our one-night stay.  But during our recent day trip, I was able to see so much more of the island, and really appreciate this historic and pristine piece of Cape Cod. And, on our journey, we found an actual message in a bottle, washed up on the sand!  The letter inside asked for a response, and as a writer, I was thrilled to comply.  Already, ideas about a character finding a message in a bottle are providing the inspiration for a new novel.

In the meantime, my latest Work-In-Progress, tentatively titled Dangerous Currents, does involve the Waquoit Nature reserve, if not Washburn Island itself.  I love drawing from local history for my stories, as I've done with Gull Harbor and Haunted Souls.  If you'd like to visit Cape Cod via my novels (along with some steamy romance and spooky suspense), check out the links!  And if you get to visit here in person, don't miss the beauty and history of Washburn Island.  

My husband walking the trail that was once a paved road
used by army vehicles during WWII

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

"#Paranormal #Romance Perfection" 5* #Book #Review! "Deliciously Haunting"

The tweet's caption read "yes, 6 stars" ~ woot!
A review of my reunion romance + ghost mystery Gull Harbor is up at Nom de Plume Reviews, and it's going down as one of my favorite reviews of all time!  The first I saw of it was on Twitter, and the tweet caption called it a "6 Star" heart soared as I scrambled to click the link.

I do a happy dance any time I hear someone enjoyed one of my stories, because that's why I write.  Not for myself, but to hopefully give a reader the hours of pleasure and entertainment that I feel when I find a book that really grabs my attention and never lets go. My goal is always to put readers into the story and connect them with the characters so deeply they feel the emotions: the pull of chemistry, the roller coaster of falling in love, the fear of danger, the pain of betrayal, the adrenaline of suspense, the heat of a kiss.

This review really made me feel that I'd succeeded in that: 

"This electric current in my body is unbearable!  Kathryn Knight has this way of manifesting spider-chills up my arms!  I can't help but let these emotions engulf me."

"Gull Harbor is deliciously haunting.  My favorite passages keep reverberating through my mind reminding me of the journey 
Max and I are on Claire are on."

"Here I am living vicariously through Claire; I was bitter toward Max and now I am vulnerable."

Check out the review in its entirety here: Nom de Plume Book Reviews - Gull Harbor, and if you enjoy steamy romance mixed with some spooky suspense, give Gull Harbor a try!  And if you'd like to see more of Claire and Max, download Haunted Souls as well...these characters make an appearance in Haunted Souls, and the hero and heroine of this story, Brett and Emily, have an equally intense journey to their Happily Ever After.  Happy Reading!

A dangerous ghost and an ex-boyfriend await Claire in GULL HARBOR...
~ A #1 Kindle Bestseller ~

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Celebrating #blackcatappreciationday + researching #superstitions! #cats

Max and Jinx - 2 yr. old brothers
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!

Monday, August 14, 2017

GULL HARBOR #Review! #Ghosts, #Suspense, + #Romance

Kam's Place has a new review of Gull Harbor up, with an excerpt to enjoy as well!  It's always a great feeling to read that your novel provided enjoyment (and a few chills!) ~ that's why I write, to hopefully give readers a story that sucks you in and doesn't let go.  If you like steamy romance mixed with spooky suspense, give it a try!  

Some of my favorite quotes from this review: 

"Kathryn really did have me wondering what if..."

"I could feel Claire's determination, frustration, and her unwillingness to give up."

"Readers will enjoy this ghostly tale which has love, suspense, and multiple HEAs" (Happy Ever Afters)

Read the full review here, and you can download the sample (or buy the book for less than a fancy coffee drink!) on Amazon here.  Happy Reading!

A little teaser from one of my favorite scenes!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

I'm Joining #Book Fairies on #BookLoversDay! #IBelieveinBookFairies

I'm so excited to get involved in this new (well, new to me!) project: The Book Fairies "hide books around the world for people to find, read, and then leave for the next person" - such a great way to share a love of reading and connect people throughout the world with each other and new books to discover!

Books donated by the Author Panel novelists,
getting ready to get shipped to Book Fairies!

I heard about this program via my author friend K.R. Conway, another local Cape Cod author with whom I've done a number of events (most recently the Author Panel on Cape Cod Author Night following the 2017 Teen Writers Conference).  There were 12 Authors there, and we all agreed to donate some of our books to go out together, in packages, to volunteers K.R. has lined up around the U.S. and even the world!  They will be our book fairies, hiding the various books around their towns and leaving clues via social media to help interested readers find them!

I've donated 5 books so far, can't wait to see where they go!

Authors and Readers, check out the website if you'd like to get involved: The Book Fairies.  And spread the word!  The hashtag is #IBelieveinBookFairies, and you can also find the official social media accounts associated with your part of the world here.

Happy Book Lovers Day!  

Sunday, August 6, 2017

HAUNTED SOULS in Still Moments Magazine #romance #ghosts

Always exciting to find your book featured in a publication!  Still Moments was a print magazine that is now an online "ezine", focused on highlighting romance novels along with interviews, reviews, articles, recipes, photos, etc.  

I was thrilled to see my latest novel, a steamy romance mixed with a haunting mystery, was featured and reviewed in the July edition.  The reviewer called the scenes between Tyler, Emily and Brett's son, and the spirit in their home "captivating", and said the "details behind the mystery hold your attention".  

See the entire review here: Haunted Souls - Still Moments

Want to download it, put your feet up, and get lost in the story?  Find the Kindle link here: 

Steamy Romance meets Spooky Suspense ~
A Top 3 Read of 2016 at Read!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How Small Promo Efforts Lead to Big Things! #writingtips #amwriting

Making time for promotion, and then actually finding effective ways to get your name out there, can be a real challenge for authors—especially when we’re deeply involved in a story and we’d prefer to stay in our fictional world and write.  But putting yourself out there can really pay off as well, and I’m sharing today how doing local events and getting my name in the paper led to a dream-come-true opportunity—signing books beside the “Queen of Suspense”, Mary Higgins Clark, as well as many other very well-known authors whose books I have enjoyed.  This post originally appeared as an "Authors Boosting Authors" (ABA) installment in an ongoing series organized by an author friend who also writes for my publisher--check out other posts for more insights and ideas on writing and promo here!

Last spring, I received an email asking if I would be interested in participating in an author panel and book signing event at the end of the summer, with no details other than the proceeds would benefit Dream Day on Cape Cod, an organization bringing children with life-threatening illnesses to Cape Cod for relaxation and vacation time with family.  I had no idea who the other authors on the panel would be, but I immediately said yes—a chance to help children and gain visibility for my novels in a win/win.  I didn’t learn the identity of the author panel until a few weeks prior to the event, and you should have seen my expression when I opened the promotional flier and saw “Mary Higgins Clark” next to my name.  Then I saw other very well-known names such as Hank Phillipi Ryan, Sally Cabot Gunning, and Jacquelyn Mitchard and nearly fell off my stool at the kitchen island.

A dream come true!  Signing books alongside Mary Higgins Clark

A little background into what this meant to me.  I’ve always been a voracious reader, and throughout my childhood, my father would bring home stacks of library books each week, selected with the help of the local librarian.  That’s how I discovered a ghost story/sweet romance entitled Jane-Emily, a novel which inspired my own books many years later.  But when I would inevitably finish all the library books in a few days, I’d turn to raiding my mother’s bookcase.  And that’s how I first found Mary Higgins Clark’s debut novel, Where Are The Children?

I can still remember my pulse racing as I tore through the pages.  I quickly hunted down the two other paperbacks we owned, A Stranger is Watching and The Cradle Will Fall.  Over the years, I read all three again many times in between waiting for new releases.  And before I began writing my debut novel, Silver Lake, I re-read Where Are The Children? as a lesson on building tension and suspense.  I was surprised to discover the book was set on Cape Cod, a place which meant little to me as a child, but has now become my home for the last 18 years. 

What a great night the event was!  It was held at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, and it was entitled Art, Word, and Wine, organized by and benefiting Dream Day on Cape Cod.  There were nine authors in total, each with a large table displaying our books, bios, and cards, and while we signed books there, Brewster Book Store employees took care of the sales.  Local shops offered wine tasting and appetizers, and there was a large raffle table as well.  We had a 45 minute author panel with a quick Q&A session; for the most part, we signed books at our tables and chatted with attendees.

My table at Art, Word, and Wine

I was able to chat quite a bit with Mary Higgins Clark and Hank Phillipi Ryan, whose tables were near mine.  What an honor!  Mary Higgins Clark signed my author panel name card on request, and was so very gracious about it, and Hank Phillipi Ryan suggested I Facebook friend her.  Done!  Quite a few of my friends came to the event, as well as a number of members of the gym where I work.  I met a lot of new people as well, including the County Administrator of Barnstable, who works right near the Old Haunted Jail from my novel Haunted Souls (which he purchased and said he enjoyed very much in follow-up emails!).  Since the building in that area (Barnstable Village) are so old and filled with history—and possibly ghosts, per our local paranormal society—he offered to give me a tour of some areas “off limits” to the general public, which was a fabulous experience.  The pictures and notes can be found in this post; and for a taste of some Cape Cod spooky suspense mixed with steamy romance, give my latest release, Haunted Souls, a try!

Haunted Souls was one of the Top 3 Books of 2016 at Read!
A damaged soldier, a secret baby, and a haunting mystery...
Coming to Audible Dec. 2017!

**If you're in the Cape Cod area, I'll be participating in another author panel this Friday--this one is comprised specifically of Authors of Young Adult fiction, and again, I'm thrilled to be participating with some very famous authors!  More info on that event can be found here.

In the ABA series, posts end with a specific writing tip and a specific promo tip, so here are mine...please share yours in the comments below! 

Writing Tip:  This goes along with trying to balance time between writing, promo, and life in general, and it speaks to me because I’m not a speedy writer.  It’s advice from Chris Bohjalian, an author I enjoy, who writes in several genres.  “Write one terrific sentence. Don’t worry about anything else – not where the story is going, not where it should end. Don’t pressure yourself to write 500 or 1,000 words this morning. Just write 10 or 15 ones that are very, very sound.” – Chris Bohjalian, from his Goodreads author page Q & A.

Promo Tip:  Again, relating to this post…get your name out there!  Every time I do an event, whether it’s a book signing, a reading, a class, etc., I make sure the event is listed on the online events calendars of all the local publications.  It’s something you can easily do yourself, and it’s free promotion, and it also leads to bigger things.  Aside from the book signing I discussed above, I’ve been contacted and asked to display my books at a local bank, appear at a salon open house, talk to a high school creative writing class…so many opportunities pop up just from letting people in the community know that I write novels!

Happy Writing!