Writing While Spelunking…

shutterstock_93664576 SpelunkngThe time of year has arrived.

When this girl, who abhors tight spaces and is deathly afraid of heights, goes cave diving.

Okay. Not exactly cave diving, as in underwater tanks and fish, but certainly rappelling into the great depths of my mind to find what mysteries lie undiscovered…

In other words: I’ve entered my writing cave.

Never fear.

Every writer braves the solitary element, countless times. One must pass through the gauntlet to arrive safely on the other side.

Our motivation? The promise of the prize. The journey. The destination. While the entire exercise is no easy feat, it is an honored rite of passage.

Harrowing at times, the key to a successful expedition is preparedness. The rest? We trust by faith.

Spelunking is cave exploration (in my phobic mind, to the depths of the earth.) Dangerous. Exciting. Traveling to places no man has gone before. The reward is the ability to share an incredible story.

Entering one’s writing cave has some parallels to spelunking, and I shall heed their common life-saving advice:

  • Research to the point of total preparedness
  • Bring essential equipment: flashlight, chocolate, Twitter access…
  • If you encounter what seems like an impassable block, don’t panic. Take deep breaths until you find your path.
  • Embrace the darkness, bravely traversing until you find the light.
  • Understand you have to get a little dirty for a big payoff ;)

Writing while spelunking is the epitome of multi-tasking and a challenge I welcome. I shall endeavor to reach out to Twitter daily and Facebook and my blog on an intermittent basis, although it is possible that signal strength during various parts of my journey could be patchy at best.

Pray that I make it out safely in the end.

Notes of well wishes will be greatly welcomed.

If you don’t hear from me for several days in a row, send food. It’s possible we got trapped in a landslide. But don’t worry. I’m not alone. I’ve brought the biggest, baddest, alpha male to keep me company.

{smiles slowly}

Oh, yes. My journey is being guided by Skorpius. I have faith he’ll keep me safe and see this epic odyssey through. He insists on finally sharing his story with the world, after all. The title of the novel I’m working on is Born of Mist and Legend (100% Skorpius approved.)

While I’m negotiating corridors tighter than I’d like to think about until absolutely necessary, please continue to watch over my affairs. The incredible support you’ve shown thus far has been amazing, and has carried both Highland Legends Series titles on the Amazon Best Seller lists since their releases. I trust you all implicitly to guide others in promoting and protecting my books at their tender young age.
(Contact information is listed in the back, in case of emergency.)

Whether you seek to join me in exploring hidden secrets buried deep in caves history, are taking a lunch break from work, or looking for a relaxing scorching nightcap to an evening, both Forged in Dreams and Magick and Bound by Wish and Mistletoe will keep us connected in our hearts, even if we’re thousands of miles apart.

Forged in Dreams and Magick Cover

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe Cover

And should you want to join me in helping those most lost in this world, while enjoying or gifting romantic poetry as we approach Valentine’s Day, please consider a purchase of Utterly Loved.

Utterly Loved Book Cover

Happy reading, everyone! And wish me a safe and happy spelunking! :)

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2014 by Kat Bastion

An Angel Turned Santa Claus ~ Mistletoe Madness

Hello, everyone!

Yesterday, That’s What I’m Talking About posted a Bound by Wish and Mistletoe outtake of the snarky angel Skorpius on a Christmas shopping excursion.

Please see below for the beginning of An Angel Turned Santa Claus and click on the link to see the rest.

Plus there’s a giveaway! Enter to win a signed set of Amazon Best Sellers Forged in Dreams and Magick and Bound by Wish and Mistletoe.

MistletoeMadness

Kat Bastion

Book: Bound by Wish and Mistletoe
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Self-Published

An Angel Turned Santa Claus

In the crisp night, perfect rare snowflakes fell over Santa Monica Boulevard, and traffic two blocks down either direction had miraculously detoured, when I felt a gentle tug on my right wing. I huffed out an annoyed sigh and glanced down, meeting Gunna’s big blue eyes. Cherub cheeks, rosy from the sudden freezing temperatures, plumped as her cute smile widened.

Dropping my gaze further, I found one of my still-attached feathers between her fingers. Her tiny thumb brushed down its coal-black length.

“Skorpius, can I have one?”

I snorted. “Can I pluck a blond ringlet from your head?”

Indignant, she dropped the feather. “No! You canna have my hair!” She glanced at Connell then back to me, the three year old incredulous at the suggestion.

(Click here for the rest of An Angel Turned Santa Claus & Giveaway!)

Thank you for taking the time to read the outtake. I hope you enjoy.

Happy Highland Holidays!

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Holiday Reading Treats and Blog Stocking-Stuffer Giveaways!

Do you feel the crisp bite in the air?

Are fragrant pine boughs scenting your living rooms and ginger-spiced lattes warming your mugs?

When you close your eyes, do visions of quiet corners with captivating books dance in your head?

{sings} It’s the mooost wonderful time…of the year…

What books will you be stuffing into stockings and your e-reader this holiday season?

Recent 5 Star Favorites of Mine…

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire ~ On sale for $1.99!

The Thrill of It by Lauren Blakely

The Weight of Words by Georgina Guthrie ~ Seriously, people. I can’t believe this wonderful book is only $2.99.

Also, Frontline by Alexandra Richland is a great action-adventure romance (a favorite genre) ~ And it’s going on blog tour from December 2nd through the 16th hosted by AToMR Tours!

One I’ve Been Waiting All Year For?

Gabriel’s Redemption by Sylvain Reynard. It releases tomorrow! You can pre-order through most online retailers.

Other Exciting Happenings:

MistletoeMadness

The exciting Mistletoe Madness holiday-themed tour jointly hosted by That’s What I’m Talking About and The Book Nympho starts today! Fun author guest posts and outtakes will help promote their recent holiday releases. 

My Mistletoe Madness post will be on That’s What I’m Talking About on December 10th, a fun outtake from Skorpius. I’m giving away a signed set of my two Highland Legends Series books, Forged in Dreams and Magick and Bound by Wish and Mistletoe for the event.

Also, Biblio Belles launched their newly merged website, and they’re having a fabulous Kick-Off Giveaway, including a signed set of  Forged in Dreams and Magick and Bound by Wish and Mistletoe. Be sure to follow their blog and enter for a chance to win one of over 100 prizes.

Martini Times Romance celebrates their one-year blogiversary December 16th-31st by hosting the “Giveaway That Gives Back” to benefit the Star of Hope Mission. I’ve donated a signed set of books (and perhaps a reader email interview) to the wonderful charitable cause.

Sabina’s Adventures in Reading is hosting a December Giveaway, including eBook copies of Forged in Dreams and Magick and Bound by Wish and Mistletoe

UPDATE (as of 12/9/13): Another new giveaway is MsRomanticReads Christmas Giveaway. 60 books are being given away, including a signed set of Forged in Dreams and Magick and Bound by Wish and Mistletoe.

Great Stocking & E-Reader Stuffers

Of course, if you haven’t yet discovered one (or all) of my books yet, I hope you take the time to do so this holiday season.

A portion of net proceeds of all of my books go to the charities outlined on my Charity Support and Awareness page.

All three titles are Amazon Best Sellers with 4.5-5 star ratings, making excellent gifts for yourself or loved ones.

Forged in Dreams and Magick Cover

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe Cover

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Utterly Loved Book Cover

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Giving Thanks and Sharing the Bounty

A huge thank you to everyone who shared the news and purchased versions of my books last week in support of the charities. The books sold in all formats during the week totaled 171, resulting in just over $400 in net proceeds going toward the charities. Your enthusiasm and support for me and the incredibly worthy causes is greatly appreciated.

Have a safe and wonderful time this holiday season. Bring an unexpected smile to someone. Give when and where you can.

Escape the craziness of reality with a good book! Or a few!

And help us all find other fabulous books!

What books will you be gifting to yourself and others?

:)

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Giving Thanks and Sharing the Bounty

Hello, my friends.

During a week of giving thanks for blessings, two writing milestones are occurring. In celebration of the occasion, I’ve decided to share with others first.

What milestones?

Due to the wonderful support and enthusiasm for Forged in Dreams and Magick, not only has the title remained on the Amazon Best Seller lists since October 1st, but this week, the dollars slid from red into the black. Forged in Dreams and Magick broke even this weekend.

This week also marks the one year anniversary of the release of Utterly Loved, a book of poetry shared with the world for charity. More about Utterly Loved can be found here.

When we come together for Thanksgiving, it’s to share our bounty with others. As my Charity Support and Awareness page explains, I’m sharing portions of my proceeds with charities.

But this week?

Charities get the first slice of the pie. And then some.

They will get ALL of the net proceeds. From now through this Sunday, net proceeds of all three books, Forged in Dreams and Magick, Bound by Wish and Mistletoe, and Utterly Loved, in every format, will go to charity.

Please join in on the celebration by sharing the news with your friends, family, and social media. If you haven’t yet purchased digital or paperback copies for yourself or others, please consider doing so this week. All three of the Amazon Best Sellers are well priced and make wonderful gifts.

Below are the book descriptions and several easy links for your convenience. Digital versions are available at most online locations.

 

Forged in Dreams and Magick

The award-winning #1 Amazon Best Seller…

Chosen by Fresh Fiction as their Fresh Pick for October 22, 2013:

Isobel MacInnes wakes up in present-day California, lunches in medieval Scotland, and by ten days’ end, falls in love with a man and his country, only to lose them in a heart-wrenching twist of fate . . .

Found in the arms of her second soul mate . . .

Forced to balance the delicate strands of time between two millennia . . .

Shocked by revelations rewriting the very foundations of history . . . of everything.

Isobel, a rising-star archaeology student, is dropped into two ancient worlds without warning . . . or her permission. Her fiery spirit resists the dependency thrust upon her. Amid frustration at her lack of control, she helplessly falls in love. Twice.

She struggles to adjust to the unimaginable demands of two leaders of men—a laird in the thirteenth-century Highlands and a Pict chieftain in a more ancient Scotland. Isobel transforms from an academic, hell-bent on obtaining archaeological recognition, to a woman striving to care for those she loves, and ultimately . . . into a fearless warrior risking everything to protect them.

Easy Links: Forged in Dreams and Magick Cover

Amazon Kindle
Nook
Kobo
All Romance eBooks

Amazon paperback

Add to Goodreads Button

 

 

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe

The 4.5 Star, Top Ten Amazon Best Seller:

Desperate to honor a life-long promise, Susanna MacEalan escapes her abusive clan with the fierce determination of never falling under the power of a man. Ever.

Aggravated by shallow-hearted pursuing lasses, Robert Brodie, commander of his clan’s elite guard, has foresworn scheming women. Forever.

When magick transforms Brodie Castle into a Christmas wonderland, the two despondent souls find solace in a most unexpected place . . . each other’s arms.

Amid a whirlwind of escalating events, Susanna’s traumatic past threatens Robert’s ability to protect the one woman meant for him. In a harrowing moment, as her fears and demons coalesce, will hope, faith, and love be enough to save them?

Easy Links: Bound by Wish and Mistletoe Cover

Amazon Kindle
Nook
Kobo
All Romance eBooks

Amazon paperback

Add to Goodreads Button

 

 

Utterly Loved

The 4.5 Star, #1 Amazon Best Seller in Love Poetry

Foreword by New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author Sylvain Reynard.

Utterly Loved Book Cover

Amazon Kindle
Nook
Kobo

Amazon paperback

Add to Goodreads Button

 

 

 

Thank you for all of your continued support. Together we can make a difference in this world, one small act at a time.

Your humble and grateful shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Release Day! Bound by Wish and Mistletoe is LIVE!

It’s Bound by Wish and Mistletoe release day!

I’m thrilled to finally share the holiday novella in the Highland Legend Series with you!

Epic action-adventure, paranormal, Highlanders, and scorching holiday romance are only a click away!

Visit your favorite online retailer to purchase your copy today.
Please tell your friends about Bound by Wish and Mistletoe too!

Only $2.99 in eBook.
The beautiful paperback is $8.99!

Easy Links: Bound by Wish and Mistletoe Cover

Amazon Kindle
Nook
Kobo
All Romance eBooks

Amazon paperback

Add to Goodreads Button

Release Day Appreciation Giveaways

If on Twitter, please share news about Bound by Wish and Mistletoe with buy links. Throughout November 5th, eBook copies and signed paperbacks will be randomly given away among those who help me spread the word! Be sure to use the hashtag #HighlandHolidays when announced for the giveaways!

Review Appreciation Gifts

I’d to like send a thank you gift to you for reading Bound by Wish and Mistletoe and posting your review to the online retailers. If you post a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and/or All Romance eBooks, please email info(at)katbastion(dot)com your review link and mailing address.

You will receive the second of two beautiful bookmarks in the Highland Legends series. The first is also available with your review of Forged in Dreams and Magick. Collect them both to receive an exclusive outtake, the letter Isobel wrote to her professor, on parchment paper, signed by Isobel.

~~~

Thank you all for your support. I hope you enjoy Bound by Wish and Mistletoe!

Keep Warm.

Grab a Highlander!

{grins}

Your humble but vibrating shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

‘Twas the Night Before Release Day…

‘Twas the night before release day,
when all through the Twittersphere
Not a creature was stirring,
not even Highland reindeer;

The eBooks were hung
at online retailers with care,
In hopes that romance readers
soon would be there.

{grins}

{sings} It’s beginning to look a lot like Highland Christmaaas…

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe Cover

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We are down to mere hours, my friends!

The publish buttons have all been pushed.

Tomorrow, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and All Romance eBooks will have Bound by Wish and Mistletoe for sale!

At only $2.99, the 176 page holiday novella is a great introduction to the Highland Legend Series and a great addition to the world many of you have come to love.

The gorgeous stocking-stuffer-sized paperback is priced at $8.99!

{whispers} We’re also in the final hours of the Amazon Top 10 Best Seller Forged in Dreams and Magick at the reduced price $1.99.

I look forward to sharing the Bound by Wish and Mistletoe holiday adventure with all of you tomorrow!

Be sure to stay tuned all week on your social channels as AToMR Tours and fabulous bloggers share excerpts, guest posts, and ARC reviews of Bound by Wish and Mistletoe!

Also, if on Twitter, please share news about Bound by Wish and Mistletoe with buy links. Throughout November 5th, eBook copies and signed paperbacks will be randomly given away among those who help spread the word!

Thank you so much for the ongoing support. Every post, reblog, share, Tweet, buy, review, and words of praise are greatly appreciated.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Are You Out of Order? The Importance of Standing Alone in a Series.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Annnd . . . Happy Eve of Release Day for Bound by Wish and Mistletoe!

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe Cover

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Which brings me to an interesting topic: series reading order and the importance of making each book stand alone.

Have you ever read books in a series out of order?

I must say, I rarely do so. I’m an “in-order” kinda gal.
{whispers} See “OCD” in Merriam-Websters.

My personal preference aside, for many, an initial exposure to an author is not the first book written in a series.

That an adventurous reader might delve into books outside of linear order brings an interesting challenge to an author. How do we provide enough “catch-up” information, without overburdening with a back-story dump? Which secrets can we reveal from the previous story line, without stealing away the thrill of discovery?

A wise author sees the benefit of capturing a reader’s attention in the middle of a series. If the story is crafted well, teasing just enough to entice curiosity, the reader will go back and collect your previous books, starting from the beginning.

When writing Bound by Wish and Mistletoe, I had multifaceted goals. I wanted to bring those who loved Forged in Dreams and Magick more of the world and characters before publishing Born of Mist and Legend in 2014. I also happen to love Christmas, and couldn’t wait to celebrate it with the Brodie Clan. But a powerful reason Bound by Wish and Mistletoe exists: to introduce new readers to the series, who haven’t yet discovered Forged in Dreams and Magick.

I wrote the holiday novella with all of those thoughts in mind, applying some acquired skill and much intuition. Woven subtly throughout the story, I hinted at previous secrets, without giving everything away. In key locations, I teased out delicious morsels, but left others partially hidden—giving the readers a glimpse that there was more to the story.

When it came time for editing, something wonderful happened. Both my beta readers and developmental editor gave the story an enthusiastic approval, making no mention of the back story to the series. Ahhh . . . but they’d all read Forged in Dreams and Magick. A much-needed perspective came from the copy editor, who was brand new to the series. His insightful comments about where he got lost, and the suggestions he made about providing hints and clues without giving too much away, were invaluable.

Shortly thereafter, Bound by Wish and Mistletoe was released in ARC (advanced reader copy) form to reviewers and posted on NetGalley. It was NetGalley, however, that first provided feedback of how well the novella could stand on its own story.

In fact, I was quite surprised at how many reviewers chose to read Bound by Wish and Mistletoe first, even though they’d requested both titles simultaneously. To every one of those reviewers who jumped into the Highland Legends Series out of order, thank you. I’m immensely grateful for the honest reviews you provided.

So how did Bound by Wish and Mistetoe do as a stand-alone story? Spectacularly. Many reviewers new to my writing gave it 5 stars!

One reviewer commented that she would rate it either 4 or 5 stars, but had to read Forged in Dreams and Magick first before she decided. I was thrilled when she rated Forged in Dreams and Magick with 4 stars and then gave Bound by Wish and Mistletoe 5 stars!

“This is the 1st book I’ve read by Kat Bastion and it won’t be the last. The story had me hooked from the 1st few sentences and held my attention until I finished it….I originally read this book without previously reading the 1st book in this series…While I really enjoyed Bound by Wish and Mistletoe as a standalone, it became totally awesome after I read Forged in Dreams and Magick.” ~ Linda on Goodreads/NetGalley

In or out of order, authors have much to gain by a writing a story that holds its own within the greater series. When you enthrall readers with your latest edition, but tease with glimpses of secrets, they’ll devour your series, ravenous for more of your writing and the story world.

As a side note, I did something interesting with my holiday novella, Bound by Wish and Mistletoe. Although the Book 1.5 novella is written after Book 1 and before Book 2, the story timeline is not exactly in that order. The events occurring within Bound by Wish and Mistletoe actually happen at about the 70% timeline mark of Born of Mist and Legend. {smirks}

Well, I think that’s enough teasing for one day. :)

Oh, and a reminder! Today’s the last day the Amazon Top 10 Best Seller Forged in Dreams and Magick is reduced to $1.99 on eBook!

Forged in Dreams and Magick Cover

Reduced! $1.99 til November 5th!

Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

I look forward to sharing Bound by Wish and Mistletoe with all of you tomorrow on release day!

If on Twitter, please share news about Bound by Wish and Mistletoe with buy links. Throughout November 5th, eBook copies and signed paperbacks will be randomly given away among those who help me spread the word!

Thank you so much for the ongoing support. Every post, reblog, share, Tweet, buy, review, and words of praise are greatly appreciated.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion