What’s Going on with The Girl Who Saved Ghosts

Ebook ARCs

I’m really excited to announce that the ebook advance reader copies are up on NetGalley for The Girl Who Saved Ghosts (TGWSG)!

If you are a book blogger, reviewer, librarian, or media person, you can go and request it from my publisher here:

https://www.netgalley.com/pub/beckettpublishinggroup

Beckett Publishing Group should be listing the first book too for new reviewers.

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YABC Giveaway

Want to get your hands on The Girl Who Saved Ghosts this summer?

Young Adult Books Central is sponsoring an international giveaway of 4 paperback copies of the advance reader copy of TGWSG. There are only 17 days left to get your entries in!

Enter their giveaway here:

http://www.yabookscentral.com/blog/it-s-live-cover-reveal-1-48

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Pre-order Bonuses

I’m going to be announcing some really cool pre-order bonuses in my next author newsletter that goes out in ten days!

Like super cool stuff that I’ve spent months putting together for my biggest fans. Photos and videos of stuff you can’t find anywhere else. I am only making these bonuses available to subscribers to my author updates. So if you want a special behind the scenes peek at what went into creating The Unbelievables series, make sure to sign up for my author updates by going to the page below:

http://kourtneyheintz.com/contact

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Posted in book launch, Giveaways, new release, novels, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Cover Reveal Countdown!


We are 1 day away from the cover reveal for The Girl Who Saved Ghosts on June 27th! I can’t believe this day is almost here. I’ve been working on this book non-stop since January. And to be able to share the cover is so exciting and thrilling!

I have to thank Xpresso Book Tours for all their help with the cover reveal tour. Seriously, Giselle is a dream to work with and so responsive to emails. She’s made this cover reveal super easy on me. Hugs to Giselle!

I want to think my cover designer, Creative Paramita, for yet again bringing Kat to life in a way that makes my heart smile.

I have to thank Beckett Publishing Group for making sure I loved my cover and making this book a reality.

I also want to thank Young Adult Book Central for running a separate giveaway and hosting the cover reveal on their site too.

And most of all all, to you my reader, thank you for getting excited about the new book and coming to see the cover reveal. I hope you like it and I can’t wait to hear what you think!

 

How to see the cover on June 27th:

  1. Stop by this blog and click on any of the blogs below. All these amazing and generous bloggers are sharing my cover on June 27th as part of the Xpresso Book Tours cover reveal!
  2. If you leave a comment on any of these blogs, we can chat about the cover art.
  3. Enter the international giveaway to get 1 of 4 advance copies of The Girl Who Saved Ghosts months before it’s available for purchase. The giveaway is hosted by YA Books Central who are also revealing the cover today:

http://www.yabookscentral.com/blog/it-s-live-cover-reveal-1-48

Blog Name Blog URL
Adventures in Writing http://thhernandez.com/cover-reveal-the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-the-unbelievables-by-k-c-tansley
aggiesbookreview http://aggiesbookreview.blogspot.com/2017/06/k-c-tansley-girl-who-saved-ghosts-cover.html
Angels With Attitude Book Reviews https://angelswithattitudebookreviews-joelle.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by-kc-tansley.html
Ariane Joy http://twitter.com/arrrsevillano
Betwixt the Pages https://betwixtthesepages.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/cover-reveal-the-girl-who-saved-ghosts/
Book Bite Reviews http://www.bookbitereviews.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by.html
Booker T’s Farm: Books & Nails & Puppy Dog Tales http://bookertsfarm.blogspot.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts.html
Books, Dreams,Life http://booksdreamslife0829.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-cover-reveal.html
Carries Book Reviews https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/cover-reveal-the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by-k-c-tansley/
Cat’s Guilty Pleasure http://www.facebook.com/catherinewrightbooks
CBY Book Club http://cbybookclub.blogspot.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by.html
CGB Blog Tours https://cgbblogtours.blogspot.com/2017/06/xpresso-book-tours-girl-who-saved.html
Essentially Bookish https://essentiallybookish.blogspot.com/2017/06/reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts.html
Field of Bookish Dreams http://fieldofbookishdreams.blogspot.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts.html
For Love of Books4 https://forloveofbooks4.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/cover-reveal-for-the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by-k-c-tansley/
Freeing Fantasy http://freeingfantasy.com/girl-saved-ghosts-cover-reveal/
Full Moon Bites http://www.full-moon-bites.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by.html
Hauntedbybooks13 https://hauntedbybooks13.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by-kc-tansley.html
I Heart YA Books http://iheartyabooks.blogspot.com/2017/06/coverreveal-for-ya-fantasy-mystery-girl.html
Indy Book Fairy https://paranormalbookfairy.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-kc-tansley.html
Jazzy Book Reviews https://bookreviewsbyjasmine.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by-kc-tansley.html
Lovely Loveday https://lovelyloveday.com/2017/06/27/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-the-unbelievables-2-by-k-c-tansley
Lynchburg Mama http://www.lynchburgtnmama.com/girl-saved-ghosts-book-cover-reveal
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang! https://mellojune.com/cover-reveal-the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-bookboost-bookbuzz-ian1-fantasy-mystery-ya/
Mes Livres https://livresrecommende.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-2.html
MillsyLovesBooks http://millsylovesbooks.blogspot.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by.html
Movies, Shows, & Books http://moviesshowsnbooks.blogspot.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by.html
Musings From An Addicted Reader https://musingsfromanaddictedreader.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/cover-reveal-the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by-k-c-tansley/
My Timeout Book Blog http://mytimeoutbookblog1.blogspot.ca/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by.html
Ogitchida Kwe’s Book Blog http://ogitchidabookblog.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-reveal.html
Rabid Readers Book Blog https://www.facebook.com/RabidReadersBookBlog/
Ramblings of a Book Nerd http://www.booknerdramblings.com/2017/06/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-kc-tansley.html
Read, Write, & Travel https://paperdollsletter.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/cover-reveal-the-girl-who-saved-ghosts/
Reading for the Stars and Moon http://readingforthestarsmoon.blogspot.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by.html
Red’s Midnight Readers http://redsmidnightreaders.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by.html
 River Moose Reads  https://rivermoosebooks.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/cover-reveal-the-girl-who-saved-ghosts/
Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored https://saschadarlington.me/2017/06/27/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-cover-reveal/
Smada’s Book Smack https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by.html
Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog http://smokinhotreadsbookblog.blogspot.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by.html
So Few Books https://sofewbooks.blogspot.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-for-girl-who-saved-ghosts.html
So Many Books, So Little Time https://somanybookssolittletimebookgroup.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/cover-reveal-the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by-k-c-tansley/
T’s Stuff http://teresanoel.blogspot.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-for-girl-who-saved-ghosts.html
The Adventures of SacaKat https://sarahfairbairn.com/2017/06/27/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-cover-reveal/
The Avid Reader https://the-avidreader.blogspot.com/2017/06/27-cover-reveal-the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by-kc-tansley-XBT.html
The Bookworm Chronicles https://muretbookworm.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/cover-reveal-the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by-k-c-tansley/
The Cover Contessa http://www.thecovercontessa.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by.html
The Genre Minx Book Reviews http://www.thegenreminx.com/2017/06/27/cover-reveal-girl-saved-ghosts-k-c-tansley
The Literary Apothecary http://theliteraryapothecary.blogspot.com/2017/06/coverreveal-for-new-ya-mystery-who-save.html
The Reading Diaries http://www.thereadingdiaries.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts.html
The Reading Life http://anneclarence.wixsite.com/thereadinglife/single-post/2017/06/27/Cover-Reveal-The-Girl-Who-Saved-Ghosts-by-KC-Xpresso-Book-Tours
The Silver Dagger Scriptorium http://silver-dagger-scriptorium.weebly.com/book-tours/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-cover-reveal
Those Crazy Book Chicks https://www.facebook.com/Thosecrazybookchicks
Us Girls & A Book http://usgirlsandabook.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-girl-who-saved-ghosts-by-kc-tansley.html
 Author Tracker http://jessicahaight.blogspot.com/2017/06/cover-reveal-girl-who-saved-ghosts.html

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Posted in blog hop, blog tour, cover reveal, Giveaways, new release | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

What Makes A Wonderful Author Event?

Having great weather is essential for an outdoor event. It was sunny and 80s on Saturday for the Cheshire Strawberry Festival.

Planning ahead is the next best thing. All the books were in waterproof suitcases and bags. We positioned the table half a foot from the edge of the tent, just in cast rain tried to surprise us.

Having a booth buddy to work the event with me makes all the difference in the world. Rejection is tough. When you work a booth, you have to hand sell the books to every single person with the same enthusiasm as you did the first person that day. We literally pitch the books hundreds of times. Mom and I keep each other’s spirit up, take turns watching the cash box during bathroom breaks, and made sales all day.

Working with amazing organizers. Seriously, this was the best run event I’ve ever participated in. The First Congregational Church of Cheshire made this a dream day.

The second you pulled into the event area, people directed you to the proper check-in area. Then you were told where to go for your booth.

Each car was able to pull up right next to their booth to unload. And guess what? Boy Scouts helped you unload and set up your tent for you! What normally took Mom and me an hour to do, they did in 10 minutes. It was amazing.

Throughout the day, volunteers checked in to see how things were going and to get feedback. They even give their vendors $10 of coupons for food and drinks.

The event was held beside this beautiful national historic place and we were allowed to use the church’s restrooms instead of port-o-lets. That’s a big serving of kindness when you’re working an event for 7 hours.

The people were so friendly. Even when someone wasn’t interested in a book, the person was polite. That’s rare. I’ve worked events where you ask if someone likes to read and they look at you like you offered them a cold virus.

We sold lots of books and met lots of amazing people.

I left there in high spirits, feeling like the day was a huge success for me!

What makes a great author event for you? Or what do you wish authors would do when you go to their book signings?

 

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Love Paranormal and Urban Fantasy?

Enter this international giveaway of young adult and new adult books–ebooks and signed paperbacks and you might also win a $100 Amazon giftcard for…MORE BOOKS! (Giveaway ends June 18, so get your entries in now!)

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 http://www.ripleypatton.com/2017/05/ultimate-ya-na-paranormalurban-fantasy-giveaway/#sthash.eekX5GcK.dpbs

Posted in author appearance, Events, Giveaways, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

When’s the Next Author Signing?


 JOIN ME ON JUNE 10TH AT THE CHESHIRE STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL

Come on down for some great live entertainment, tasty food, and cool vendors!

Mark your calendar for  Saturday, June 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.! I’ll be at the Cheshire Strawberry Festival on the Green (111 Church Dr., Cheshire, CT) selling and signing books in Booth C9.

So if you’d like to meet me and have me autograph your book or take a photo together, please stop by this free event!

You can find directions and all the info you need on the Strawberry Festival’s website: http://www.funcheshireevents.com/info/cheshire-strawberry-festival-and-craft-fair

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I sent out an author update to all my email newsletter subscribers on May 31 about the event (from kourtney(dot)heintz (at)kourtneyheintz.com). If you didn’t receive it, please check your spam because the email included a free unpublished ghost story for all my newsletter subscribers.

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If you aren’t subscribed to my newsletter and you’d like to get a copy of the short story, just hop on over to my website and sign up for my author updates: http://kourtneyheintz.com/contact/

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Today is the last day to enter this Fantasy/Urban Fantasy giveway. You can win up to 28 ebooks including The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts!

Make sure you get your entry in today, June 5!

Posted in author appearance, Events, Giveaways | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

The Best 100 Novels Challenge

When I first read about the 100 Best Novels Challenge on Nathan Bransford’s blog, I thought this would be a fun challenge.  It was definitely fun at first, but then I reached 50 books and it got hard. Really hard. I’ve read tons of novels, but I got stuck on what makes a book a best novel.

For me, it was something that stuck with me years later, something that left an indelible mark on me, something I’ve reached for and reread, something I can still tell you something about now. Some of these inspired my own work. Some of these made me a better writer. Some had characters that resonated with me. Others had unique plots of world building. Some of these are just reads that I truly loved.

Then came the ranking. I did the best I could. But it’s hard to compare a YA vampire to a classic mystery and decide which is better. Especially since I adore the paranormal. Decisions, decisions.

Here is my list of the 100 best novels:

  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  2. Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (I read the French version)
  3. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll
  4. Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  5. Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
  6. The Witch of Black Bird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
  7. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  8. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  9. Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco
  10. The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
  11. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  12. The Ocean at the End of The Lane by Neil Gaiman
  13. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  14. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  15. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
  16. House of Spirits by Isabelle Allende
  17. 1984 by George Orwell
  18. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  19. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
  20. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
  21. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  22. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  23. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  24. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  25. No-No Boy by John Okada
  26. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  27. Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
  28. Animal Farm George Orwell
  29. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
  30. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  31. The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn
  32. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  33. Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
  34. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
  35. Ms. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  36. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  37. Ensnared by A.G. Howard
  38. The Velveteen Rabbit Margery Williams
  39. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.L. Milne
  40. The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig
  41. The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman
  42. Bones of Fairie by Janni Lee Simner
  43. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  44. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
  45. The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry
  46. Wait For Me An Na
  47. The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd
  48. The Murderer’s Daughters by Randy Sue Meyers
  49. An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris
  50. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
  51. Invincible by Dawn Metcalf
  52. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  53. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
  54. The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King
  55. L’etranger by Albert Camus
  56. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  57. The Hound of the Baskerville by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  58. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  59. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  60. To Kill A Mockingbird Harper Lee
  61. Franny and Zoey by J.D. Salinger
  62. Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
  63. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
  64. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  65. South of the Border West of the Sun by Haruki Marukami
  66. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  67. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  68. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
  69. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
  70. If Onions Could Spring Leeks Paige Shelton
  71. Double Up by Gretchen Archer
  72. Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
  73. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  74. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  75. Death’s Dream Kingdom by Jessica Penot
  76. Deadline by Chris Crutcher
  77. The Future of Us by Jay Asher
  78. Dead Harvest by Chris F. Holm
  79. Nightshade Andrea Cremer
  80. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
  81. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  82. The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  83. The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer by Jennifer Lynch
  84. Unhinged by A.G. Howard
  85. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
  86. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  87. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  88. Mischief Amanda Quick
  89. Witch Hill by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  90. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
  91. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  92. Caught by Harlen Coben
  93. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
  94. Storm Winds by Iris Johansen
  95. Fatal Fixer Upper by Jennie Bentley
  96. Heist Society Ally Carter
  97. Millicent Min Girl Genius by Lisa Yee
  98. Sun Blind by Gwen Hansen
  99. The Darkwater Liar’s Account by K. Lyn Wurth
  100. Slumber Party by Christopher Pike

After spending hours on this, I’m hesitant to tag anyone with this mighty task. So if anyone wants to participate, comment below with a link to your list and I’ll link to your post here in my post. And if you just want to share your top ten or chat about the books on my list, comment below.

 

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Posted in novels, reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

My Reading Round Up

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reorganizing all my books. This is a 1/3 of what I tackled. As I dusted and rearranged my books, I realized it was time for a reading round up here on the blog. Especially since I’ve given myself a Goodreads Reading Challenge of reading 39 books this year.

But first I want to disclose that I am now an Amazon Affiliate. The legal disclosure will now appear in the footer of my blog going forward. What that means is that any time I include an Amazon link on this blog, if you click on it and make a purchase, Amazon will then pay me a percentage based on what you buy. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but it’s a way for me to make a little more money and also track if sales happen from my links.

It in no way impacts my book reviews because I always write positive reviews of books because I feel there is an inherent conflict of interest in authors reviewing books and giving  negative reviews of other authors. If I don’t like a book, I simply don’t review it.

So far I have read 13 books this year. Instead of posting all those reviews here, I’ll just give you a one-sentence thought excerpted from my review. (The books are listed in chronological order of when they were read.)

The world building is exquisite and I never felt lost–not for a single second.

http://amzn.to/2pLcAoq

2.

The sequel was a terrific follow up and had me hooked from the first page.

http://amzn.to/2pLHKeR

3.

This is the best end to a trilogy that I’ve ever read.

http://amzn.to/2qfJocy

4.

I am in awe of how Ms. Clare can loop all these plot threads together so perfectly.

http://amzn.to/2r6bwiY

5.

This was a quick read and sure to delight fans of feel good romances with a Christian touch.

http://amzn.to/2rfFqyG

6.

My last book release had me dreading promotion, but Tim Grahl’s handbook has given me the tools and the perspective to dive into the next book launch with gusto.

http://amzn.to/2pL4pbW

7.

Once again Gretchen Archer delivers a lightning-fast, fantastically fun read in her Davis Way series. I’ve read every single one and each one is better than the last one–which is saying a lot because the first book was awesome!

http://amzn.to/2r5Fzra

8.

I would highly recommend this book to people with a passion for the ocean, an interest in marine environmental issues, or who wonder what ocean exploration might be like.

http://amzn.to/2qG3xcL

9.

Intricate plotting, cool mystery, sweet romantic subplot, and a host of Hollywood stars invading Star City, Utah, all conspired to create a great read.

http://amzn.to/2pLcOMp

10.

The concept for this book immediately grabbed my attention with a fate changer and a cursed fate.

http://amzn.to/2r5L4Go

11.

Wow, I am a definite fan of Dawn Metcalf and will read whatever she writes next!

http://amzn.to/2qjrNOG

12.

Little do they know that their pranks will awaken the actual ghosts and draw them into a terrifying secret…

http://amzn.to/2r6hUGM

13.

I had to read my own book again to work on the sequel. It counts toward my reading challenge. 😉 A time travel murder mystery filled with unbelievables–ghosts, spells, and curses.

http://amzn.to/2rflgEU

What have you been reading? Are you participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge this year?

Posted in reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Six Lessons Vertigo Taught Me

1. Appreciate the Small Things

From December through April, walking around outside went from impossible to challenging to doable with care. Being able to move my gaze around the yard while I am walking Emerson is a new treat.

2. Savor the Weird Superpowers

A side affect of the vertigo is that my eyes are still sensitive to movement and colors. It makes shopping very hard. But I notice every little change in the yard. I can spot a squirrel in a tree better than the dogs.

3. Do Less, Notice More

Each day, I have a to-do list. It’s not nearly as intense as it used to be. Many days, items carry over to the next day. I am actively doing less, but noticing so much more. My mind has time to play. To watch spring unfolding. New story ideas are germinating.

 

4. Not Much is Life or Death, Except Life or Death

Every book launch felt like life or death to me. I would sacrifice sleep, work 14-hour days for months on end, put off socializing, ignore my body, and neglect my mind–all in pursuit of that elusive success in sales. In my mind, effort would equate to success. I put so much stress on myself that my body was literally experiencing life or death stakes over something that was so not that.

 

5. Make Time for What Matters Now

Every day, I take the the goldens, Rora and Reagan, out for twenty-five minutes of play time. I also take Emerson out for ten minutes of explorer time. He hates walking, but if I let him lead me around the yard, he gets to pretend he’s Indiana Jones.

6. Balance is Elusive and Requires Work

If I stop doing my therapy exercises, my balance will erode. I have to make time every day to do my exercises and to push myself a little without pushing too hard. I am constantly running into new walls and learning when to back off and when to keep nudging.

Have you found an illness or a bad experience gave you unexpected insight or lessons you needed?

Posted in illness, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Why Friend Weekends Are the Best Weekends

Brett came to visit me and as always we found something new to explore: Kettletown State Park. It was a pretty easy trail for a mile. I haven’t hiked since last fall so it was nice to get out in nature. The weather was 60s and pretty and partly cloudy–perfect hiking weather.

I was delighted to learn I could go about 45 minutes before my brain started to feel fatigued (from the vertigo). Luckily we were near the road and could walk there which is much easier than navigating around tree roots and rocks.

The overcast day made everything seem a little sinister/haunted–which I loved. I may have to write  a short story about this place!

The sound of water rushing toward us was invigorating.

Afterward, we found an amazing Thai place nearby in Southbury–Samui. The lunch special was awesome soup & salad and entree for $11!

I

My Tom Yum soup had two nice shrimp and was packed with flavor.

The Chicken Pad Pik Pao was savory and delicious.

We split the mango and sticky rice. It’s the perfect way to end a meal. Tart and sweet and warm.

We did some belated birthday present opening for Brett and caught up over tea at home.

Then we headed to Ideal Tavern in Southington for dinner. I love this place. It’s got a nice setting and delicious twists on old favorites.

We started with the nachos with steak. And by the time we were finished, we looked at each other and admitted that we were kinda full. Seriously awesome nachos with caramelized onions, spicy-sweet pepper, guacamole, manchego cheese, and delicious steak pieces.

Then came my meal. The reuben with a side salad. Both were delightful. The reuben was packed with meat and the side salad had a pear vinagrette. My taste buds will be thanking me for the next week.

Brett got the mac and cheese, but it was a decadent not-your-mama’s mac and cheese.

We both ended up taking home half our dinners and having them for lunch the next day because we had to try their lemon tart. It had a caramelized marshmallow on the top and a strawberry rhubarb compote. Perfect balance of tart, tangy and super sweet.

We went home to curl up with a good movie and discovered Amazon Prime has a lot of junk. My Netflix was malfunctioning and Prime was our only option.

After 5 false starts–including annoying amateur short films which were bundled in with all the other horror movies–that we quit in 5-10 minutes, we settled on an 80s slasher flick, The House on Sorority Row. It was pretty funny–at least to us. We had a few rewind and rewatch and giggle moments.

Then we talked until we fell asleep.

It’s great to have someone to adventure with, who gets your humor, and enjoys the food you do.

Do you make time for a friend weekend? What are your favorite things to do?

 

Posted in Personal, Ramblings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Why Self-Hosting a Blog Became Important to Me

Welcome to my new blogging home! I kept everything I could about the old blog, including my 7 years of posts and my theme, and migrated it over to my website.

I’m sure lots of you are wondering why after 7 years with WordPress.com, I decided to self-host my blog on my own website.

It wasn’t a decision I undertook lightly because it was costly and time consuming.

I’d thought about it in the past as a way to increase traffic to my own website, but the cost had dissuaded me. Besides, everything was going great with WordPress.com. I didn’t have a need to switch.

But in November 2016 during the tail end of my blog tour for Highway Thirteen to Manhattan something awful happened: my blog was suspended by WordPress.com for violating the terms of service.

There was no warning. I just typed in the URL and got a this site is suspended for violating the terms of service page.

I emailed WordPress and they told me someone had notified them that my blog was spam and  therefore in violation of the terms of service because I was doing book promotion on my personal blog that they hosted.

Now, mind you, my blog is about MY AUTHOR JOURNEY. And I absolutely was posting about my book tour. But only about my book tour. I emailed with WordPress explaining this and they quickly reinstated my blog a few days later and apologized for the mistake.

This experience, however, shocked me. That my blog platform could be taken down so quickly without any notice during a blog tour told me that I could no longer remain with WordPress.com as my blog host. It was simply too risky.

I immediately contacted my amazing web designer and she began the steps to build my blog into my own website so that I could self-host it.

We began the process in December. It’s been months of migrating and checking and testing. I’m hopeful things will transition smoothly, but I’m sure there will be hiccups.

We were able to migrate all my blog subscribers, so you should still get updates about postings in your inbox. If anyone isn’t receiving them, please let me know and we will look into it.

Have any of my blog friends made the switch to self-hosting? How has your experience been?

 

 

 

Posted in blogging, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , | 30 Comments

The Story of the Door

 

Ah, the door. I promised a story, so here goes. A couple years back, I begged my old friend Ant to take me to Sleepy Hollow. I love the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Washington Irving. After reading Jessica Verday’s The Hollow, I had to visit the graveyard.

As we wandered the cemetery where the headless horseman took his legendary ride, we came across this mausoleum. I’ve always been fascinated by hourglasses and I took 6 photos–my norm for when I find something intriguing. The design lingered in the back of my mind.

A month later, I was working on my first draft of The Girl Who Saved Ghosts. I had this scene where Kat is led by her great aunts, Jacqueline and Vivian, to the center of power in her family’s home, Dumbarton. And this door popped into my mind.

Here’s  a sneak peek at the draft:

I stood there, staring at the door. It was a greenish-blue metal and had an hourglass sculpted on it. Carved above the hourglass was a crescent moon and below the hourglass was a sun.

I looked from Vivian to Jacqueline, bewildered. “What am I supposed to do?”

“Open this door. It protects the family’s power,” Jacqueline said.

There wasn’t a knob or a handle. No keyhole. Nothing. “How?”

“Touch the door. Let it know who you are and why you are here,” Vivian said.

Nothing like major existential questions. Who was I? Katarina Preston. Now Katarina Langley. I was a girl who spoke to ghosts and helped them with their reckonings. I was the Langley heir. A time traveler who changed the past. The one who protected the Radcliffes from supernatural harm.

Why I was here? That was complicated. I wanted to find out who my family was. And I was supposed to help Evan by returning the Kingsley dagger to him. And I needed training to use my powers to protect Joshua, Evan, and everyone else I cared about. I chewed on my lip and stared at the door. Was that enough? Was there more I had to tell it?

Suddenly, the hourglass came to life. The sand began flowing in reverse from bottom to top. When it was full, the door sprang open.

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If you add The Girl Who Saved Ghosts to your want-to-read list on Goodreads, you will receive alerts whenever I’m giving away an advance reader copy or a signed book. They will also let you know when the next book is the series is coming out.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34619522-the-girl-who-saved-ghosts

 

Posted in book release, Giveaways, inspiration, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments