Monday, February 26, 2018

Visiting #vonTrapp Family Lodge, #Vermont #TheSoundofMusic #VT #Travel

I enjoy blogging about a number of topics besides writing and book news, and travel is one of them.  It's always fun to share my experience visiting someplace new, especially if I learn some interesting history or facts while I'm there.

The view along the main road through the resort

We spent a few days in Vermont recently, at the lovely von Trapp Family Lodge, and I learned a lot about the family that inspired the iconic "Sound of Music" story.  The movie is one of my all-time favorites, so to stay in a place where the family actually lived was very special, although learning some of the actual facts that aren't reflected correctly in the story threw me for a bit of a loop!  But as our guides often said, some of the real stories are even better.

A very old pic from my photo album!
1990 - a pic I took of the house used
in The Sound of Music film for
exterior shots.  Salzburg, Austria.
As a fan of the movie and the music, I was very excited to spend time at the resort in Stowe, Vermont, and learn a little more about the family.  Years and years ago, I was lucky enough to study abroad in Europe during college, and I took the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, Austria.  This mostly focused on the outdoor settings used in the film, such as the Mondsee Abbey (wedding scene), the two enormous houses used as the exterior of the von Trapp villa, the fountain, and gardens.  The surrounding mountains were also used as a backdrop, and in the scene of the family's final escape from the Nazi regime...but as I learned recently at the Lodge, the family actually fled via a train to Italy, then emigrated to the United States and settled in Vermont in the 1940s, on a farm surrounded by mountains reminiscent of Austria's Alps.

Today, their former home is a 2,400 acre resort, managed by the son of Maria's youngest son (there were actually 10 children in the family--Maria and the Captain had 3 of their own).  There is fascinating family history everywhere, and plenty of Austrian-inspired decor.  There is actually a family burial ground right near the main lodge, where Maria and the Captain are buried, in the same plot, surrounded by the graves of a number of their children.

The von Trapp Family Cemetery.  Maria and the Captain are buried together,
in the plot beneath the wreath-clad marker farthest to the right, near the cross.

On our first full day, I took a guided snowshoe tour up to The Chapel.  This stone structure was built by Werner von Trapp, one of the older sons, upon his return from WWII.  He served in the U.S. military, returning to Europe and essentially fighting against some of his own countrymen.  During one ferocious battle, he prayed for his survival, pledging to build a Chapel on his family's property if he were able to return home alive.  When he did, he set about keeping his promise, dragging stones up a steep hill by himself.  Offers of help were declined, as he insisted this was a project he needed to complete on his own.  In four years, it was finished, and it still stands in a clearing in the woods.  Inside, there are paper and pens available for any visitor wishing to write down a prayer and leave it in the prayer box.

The Chapel, completed around 1944

My hubby and I in front of the
Sugar House.  An unseasonally
warm day meant short sleeves
and no coats!
In three days, we by no means explored all the property, but a few other things we did on-site included cross-country skiing and a snowshoe hike to the Sugar House, a wooden structure in the woods where the von Trapp maple syrup is produced.  We were also delighted to find a brewery on-site, featuring von Trapp beers and traditional Austrian food.

We came home with some beer, some syrup, and a lot of great memories!  Definitely a wonderful resort with friendly employees and gorgeous scenery that allows visitors to enjoy nature.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Last days! Win #giftcards a #Kindle #books #jewelry #Rafflecopter

Final days to enter the Mystic Worlds Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Giveaway, sponsored by 33 fabulous authors!  This raffle ends on Feb. 28th, and a number of winners will be announced!  We have a bunch of great gifts up for grabs, including a Kindle Fire HD8, e-book prize packs (winner chooses the titles), Amazon gift cards, and a beautiful solid sterling silver Celtic wolf pendant. 

Win this pendant!
You can enter the Rafflecopter below, or enter from our website and peruse our book fair as well!  We have titles featuring shifters, vampires, ghosts, psychics, angels, and witches, most under $2.99!  I featured Divine Fall, which is a YA Paranormal Romance filled with forbidden first love and supernatural secrets, available for less than a buck on Kindle!  But I also have some steamier novels that fall into the "Paranormal Romantic Suspense" genre ~ hot, tension-filled romance spiked with a mysterious haunting...two of which have hit the #1 spot on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  Those titles are Gull HarborHaunted Souls, and Silver Lake.

Gull Harbor is now available as an Audiobook too!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Now on #Audible! Ghosts + #Romance ~ #1 #Kindle + #Nook Bestseller Gull Harbor

I'm so excited to announce the release of my first audiobook!  I personally love listening to audiobooks, and I'm a member of Audible, which gives me a credit a month to download a new audiobook for a low monthly fee.  In fact, I'm so addicted to listening to books while I'm driving or doing chores, I often have to take advantage of the extra credit sales.  So I am thrilled that my publisher brought Gull Harbor to the audio format, and I'm even more thrilled that I love the talented narrator we chose, because the narration can often make a break a listener's experience.

Loved this review by NDP
Book Reviews, and at the
bottom that is says "yes, 6 stars" -
Things that make an author smile!
I hope all readers get swept up
into the romance + suspense!
Gull Harbor is a popular book that has hit the #1 Bestseller spot on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble on several occasions.  It's a mix of steamy romance and spooky suspense...a second-chance at first love with a ghost mystery, and two of my most popular characters ever.  Enough people wanted to hear more about Max and Claire that I had them appear in my latest release, Haunted Souls, so readers could catch up with them.  And it worked perfectly, since Claire is a psychic medium, and Emily from Haunted Souls, also set on Cape Cod, needed help trying to get rid of a ghost who'd attached itself to her young son.

Haunted Souls is up next for audio, and it's about to go into production.  In the meantime, if you're an audiobook fan with an Audible credit waiting, or you'd like to try your first audiobook, please check out Gull Harbor and listen to the sample!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

History of St. Valentine's Day ~ Happy #ValentinesDay

Valentine's Day is here, and in the tradition of dedicating my blog to a bit of history about certain holidays and traditions (See New Year'sSaint Nick and Santa ClausFinding Easter's Date, and Saint Patrick for a few others), I decided to look into the facts behind St. Valentine and the reasons we celebrate love and romance on February 14th.  Turns out, there is quite a bit of conflicting information regarding this particular saint and the holiday named for him. Disclaimer: as always, please keep in mind I am a romance author by trade, not a historian!  

The name Valentine comes from the Latin word "valens" which means healthy or strong.  The derivation Valentine was a popular name between the 2nd and 8th centuries AD, which could explain part of the confusion surrounding this saint.

St. Valentine Kneeling in
Supplication by
David Teniers III
Public Domain
The Valentine remembered on February 14 was a third century Roman Saint martyred and buried in a cemetery on the Via Flaminia, an ancient Roman Road.  It's possible that early references to Saint Valentine actually referred to several saints with the same name.  Sources including The Catholic Encyclopedia mention three Saint Valentines connected to the February date: a Roman priest and a bishop, both buried along the Via Flaminia, and a saint in a Roman province of Africa. Some information points to the first two Valentines actually being the same person.

The details surrounding the acts and eventual martyrdom of Valentine are also hazy.  Common threads point to an account of Valentine performing a miracle (restoring the sight of a young girl), aiding Christians and encouraging others to embrace Christianity.  While imprisoned, he refused to renounce his faith and was executed.  

Pope Gelasius I established the Feast of Saint Valentine on February 14 in 496, acknowledging that while not many details were known about Valentine, his acts were known to God.

The more modern traditions connecting Saint Valentine's Day to romantic love date to the fourteenth century and are generally attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer, "the Father of English Literature", and his circle of friends.  In the Middle Ages, birds were thought to pair in mid-February, and in his poem "Parliament of Foules" there is mention of February 14th being the day birds as well as humans find a mate.  

Now that St. Valentine's Day is linked to celebrating romance, common themes include cards, flowers, candy, hearts, and of course, a focus on love stories.  Why not download a page-turning romance novel and enjoy the thrill of the characters' journeys as they fall in love?  For steamy romance mixed with spooky suspense, try #1 Kindle and Nook Bestseller GULL HARBOR, where a medium encounters both a dangerous ghost and an ex-boyfriend in a sleepy Cape Cod town. #1 Kindle Bestseller SILVER LAKE also involves a haunting mystery as a group of estranged friends reunite to try to solve their friend's disappearance...and two star-crossed lovers fight for a second chance.  In HAUNTED SOULS, a damaged soldier, a secret baby, and a haunting mystery collide for a steamy and spooky read.  In DIVINE FALL, an award-winning Young Adult Paranormal Romance, forbidden first love meets supernatural secrets as the last Nephilim seeks his revenge.

Celebrate the steamy this Valentine's Day!
(Editorial Review quotes from reviews of Haunted Souls)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

#ValentinesDay #Book Signing! #Falmouth Cape Cod #Author Event #CapeCod

It's the perfect season for love stories!
Valentine's Day is a great time to celebrate love, and I'm thrilled to be discussing writing romance at the West Falmouth Library this week, on Tuesday, February 13th!  For an added treat, light refreshments will be served (read: chocolate!), and my books will be available for signing and purchase.  The press release is below; if you're in the area, I'd love to see you there!

Join local bestselling author Kathryn Knight for a Valentine’s Day book event!  Ms. Knight will discuss writing romantic suspense and paranormal romance, developing characters, and finding a publisher, as well as answer questions about her writing journey and the publishing industry.  Her books will also be available for purchase and signing; titles include Silver Lake, Gull Harbor, Divine Fall, and Haunted Souls, several of which have been #1 Bestsellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Ms. Knight also regularly teaches Fiction Writing and Publication courses throughout Cape Cod and speaks at conferences.  Tuesday, February 13th at 4:00 pm at the West Falmouth Library, located at 575 W. Falmouth Hwy (Rt. 28A).  Attendance is free; light refreshments will be served.  

Saturday, February 10, 2018

A Love Story w/ Haunting Suspense for #ValentinesDay! #Netgalley #Books #Romance #Ghosts

For a few more days, Haunted Souls is available for read and review on NetGalley!  So if you're in the mood for some steamy romance to celebrate Valentine's Day, check it out!  A hot (but damaged) military hero, a secret baby, and a haunting mystery collide for a page-turning, suspenseful read, perfect for a few hours of relaxation and escape!  

One of the Top 3 Reads of 2016 at Read!

You can get more info and put in a request at the link below, just make sure you hurry, it's only up there until 2/15!

NetGalley Link - Haunted Souls

If you're not on NetGalley or miss the deadline but would still like to read it, no worries, it's available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes, as are all my other novels (with the exception of Silver Lake, which is exclusively on Kindle as an ebook but is also available in print).  Happy Reading and Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Win a #Kindle, #giftcards, #books, + jewelry! #Raffle #Giveaways #Paranormal #Romance

I'm excited to be a part of the Mystic Worlds Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Giveaway, sponsored by 33 fabulous authors.  We have a bunch of great gifts up for grabs, including a Kindle Fire HD8, e-book prize packs (winner chooses the titles), Amazon gift cards, and a beautiful solid sterling silver Celtic wolf pendant.  

by artist Paul Borda
Dryad Design
You can enter the Rafflecopter below, or enter from our website and peruse our book fair as well!  We have titles featuring shifters, vampires, ghosts, psychics, angels, and witches, most under $2.99!  I featured Divine Fall, which is a YA Paranormal Romance filled with forbidden first love and supernatural secrets, available for less than a buck on Kindle!  But I also have some steamier novels that fall into the "Paranormal Romantic Suspense" genre ~ hot, tension-filled romance spiked with a mysterious haunting...two of which have hit the #1 spot on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  Those titles are Gull Harbor, Haunted Souls, and Silver Lake.

A dangerous ghost & an ex-boyfriend await Claire
in Cape Cod's GULL HARBOR...

Thanks for stopping by ~ good luck all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Last Day to Enter! #Giveaway #Goodreads #YA #Paranormal #Romance

Ahhhh I've been SO busy--just finished novel #5, working on the editing and synopsis (ugh), gearing up for an audiobook release (yay), and starting a new writing class, I nearly forgot about this Goodreads Giveaway I scheduled to coincide with Valentine's Day!  Hurry if you'd like to enter, Feb. 4th is the last day!  You'll get a signed paperback during the perfect month for love stories.


Divine Fall is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance featuring forbidden first love and supernatural secrets:

After tragedy tears Jamie Brandt's life apart, her only goal is to finish high school so she can leave her small hometown behind. In the meantime, riding her horse is her main source of solace, until a mysterious stable hand shows up at the barn. There's something not quite right about the handsome new employee, and the more Jamie sees of him, the more determined she becomes to figure out what he's hiding. 

Dothan Reed came to historic Huntsville, Maryland, for one reason--revenge. But his plan can't move forward until he finds the missing piece he needs to enhance his powers. As the only surviving Nephilim, Dothan is not only weaker than full-blooded angels; his forbidden lineage makes him an outcast in both worlds. When he discovers Jamie is the key to locating an ancient weapon, he's forced to interact with a vulnerable human girl--a task that becomes more appealing with each encounter. 

Jamie soon learns Dothan isn't the only one with a dark secret. Each new revelation further threatens her safety, and Dothan's betrayal shatters her heart. Forgiving him seems impossible, but the thought of turning her back on him is equally painful. 

As their connection deepens, Dothan will have to make his own difficult choice: continue on his path of vengeance, or protect the girl he loves. And when Dothan's actions thrust Jamie into an unforeseen danger, he must seek the help of his enemy...or risk losing her forever.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Divine Fall by Kathryn  Knight

Divine Fall

by Kathryn Knight

Giveaway ends February 04, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

If you missed the deadline or want to make sure you grab your copy, you can also get the ebook on Kindle or Nook for less than a buck!