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

Self Discovery: A Theme in Forged in Dreams and Magick

Hello, my friends!

On October 1st, Forged in Dreams and Magick skyrocketed up the Amazon Best Seller’s list, reaching as high as #4 Scottish. It remained in the top ten for five consecutive days and has remained in the top twenty ever since. Yesterday and today it climbed yet again, hanging out in the top ten as high as #8 with the likes of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books.

October 1st also happened to be the day when a guest post I wrote, “Self-Discovery: A Theme in Forged in Dreams and Magick” appeared on Nikki’s blog, Ramblings of a Chaotic Mind.

Why is Forged in Dreams and Magick‘s ranking important to Self-discovery?

As I briefly alluded in my Goodreads profile, the last year and half has been a time of soul searching for me. Transitioning from a creature of selfish to one of selfless. Giving before receiving. Abandoning my ego, which had a firm hold of me, and looking outward to find meaning in life. Those who have read the quotes on my Twitter timeline and in Utterly Loved can see the mantras that have come from my odyssey. They are still my guiding thoughts.

I am… Always the student, seeking to master.

Well, it’s my personal self-discovery that led me to allocate a percentage of the net profits of all my books to select charities that fight against the tragedy of human trafficking. The more successful Forged in Dreams and Magick is, the greater my ability to help those who are lost in this world find their way home again.

You are all in this with me. I thank you for your kindness and generosity. I’m thrilled Forged in Dreams and Magick is doing so well, and I hope it continues so together we can make a huge difference in this world.

Here is the link to the guest post:

Self-Discovery: A Theme in Forged in Dreams and Magick

 

Should you want to buy a copy of Forged in Dreams and Magick, below are some easy links:

 

Easy Links: Forged in Dreams and Magick Cover

Amazon Kindle
Nook
Kobo
All Romance eBooks

Amazon paperback

Add to Goodreads Button

 

Thank you for your support, my friends! Every Twitter RT, shoutout, share, post, buy, review, and each time you tell a friend about Forged in Dreams and Magick helps tremendously. I’m grateful beyond words.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Exciting Highland Legends News!

Hello, everyone!

So many exciting things have been happening at the Kat Bastion Writing Desk, I’m not sure where to begin.

Heartfelt Appreciation

Most important on my mind is an expression of thanks to you all. I’m deeply grateful for all of your RTs on Twitter, your blog posts, your reviews, your buying Forged in Dreams and Magick in digital and/or the GORGEOUS paperback, your reading the story, your reviews on social sites and where the book is sold, and your sharing your excitement about it with your social media and your friends and family. I cannot express in words the heartfelt appreciation for all you do to support me, including the wonderful comments. I’m deeply grateful.

Forged in Dreams and Magick Cover

Add to Goodreads Button

Amazon Best Sellers Lists

Due to a sudden explosion of purchases today, through all of the collective support you’ve shown, Forged in Dreams and Magick has skyrocketed up the Amazon Best Sellers lists. As of the writing of this post, Forged in Dreams and Magick sits at #6 Scottish, #7 Medieval, and #8 Time Travel. Just…wow. Thank you.

Forged in Dreams and Magick Finally on Nook!

Eight days after Forged in Dreams and Magick’s release, the title is finally available on Nook!

Forged in Dreams and Magick Release Week Giveaway Extended

Now that the Nook version of Forged in Dreams and Magick is available, the thank you giveaway has been extended through midnight EST on Thursday October 3rd, 2013.

If you’ve purchased Forged in Dreams and Magick, during release week event, from 9/23 through 10/3, email your receipt to giveaways(at)katbastion(dot)com by 10/3/2013 for a chance to win one $50 or one of three $25 Amazon/BN/Kobo gift cards.

Review Thank You Gifts

I’d like to send a thank you gift to you for reading Forged in Dreams and Magick 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 first of two beautiful bookmarks in the Highland Legends series. The second will be available at the release of Bound by Wish and Mistletoe. Collect them both to receive an exclusive outtake, the letter Isobel wrote to her professor, on parchment paper, signed by Isobel.

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe Cover

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe on Goodreads

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe is up on Goodreads! There is also a giveaway. Enter to win 1 of 5 signed copies!

Add to Goodreads Button

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe on NetGalley

Bloggers and Reviewers! Bound by Wish and Mistletoe has now joined Forged in Dreams and Magick on NetGalley!

Request your review copy of
Bound by Wish and Mistletoe on NetGalley!

Tour Sign-Ups for Bound by Wish and Mistletoe

Bloggers! The AToMR Tour sign-ups for Bound by Wish and Mistletoe ARC Tour and Release Event are up! The tour is during release week, November 4th through 9th.

Sign up for the Bound by Wish and Mistletoe AToMR Event here!

Easy Purchase Links: 

Amazon Kindle
Nook
Kobo
All Romance eBooks

Amazon paperback

Thank you again for all of your support! I hope you all enjoy the epic action-adventure romance in both Forged in Dreams and Magick and Bound by Wish and Mistletoe!

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

You’re Invited…

talktotheshoe:

Thank you, Bookish Temptations! <3

~ Kat

Originally posted on Bookish Temptations:

Hey peeps!

We’re having a book launch party and you’re all invited…

View original 44 more words

Transparency in Self-Publishing Series: The Price of a Book

Good morning, everyone!

Today marks exactly four weeks until the release of Forged in Dreams and Magick, and it’s the perfect time to talk about a very important book-publishing decision.

The price of a book.

Do authors take this decision lightly? Is it arbitrary? Are there blindfolds and dart boards involved?

Not in my world.

There are many components of creating a book, and each one deserves proper attention with research and sound reasoning. While I spent my time over the last year writing and researching, I read along the way from many sources that the four most important elements of a successful book are the story, book description, cover, and price.

Although price is listed last in the list, I centered my attention around price earlier this year. Before I sent the story off to the editor. Before I had polished the book description. Before I had begun to research cover designers.

That is just how important the price of a book is to me. I’ll share with you why, what I found, and what I decided.

Best Price Picture from Shutterstock

Price in a Business Model

I suppose to be perfectly honest, I’d been researching price about twenty years ago. In my last year of obtaining a BSBA, we took a required course on business operations.

The entire semester was a rather unorthodox. The mission? Simple. Be the best team of six in selling widgets. (Yes, I kid you not. Widgets.) First place went to the company who made the most net profit.

We spent very little time in the classroom and an enormous amount of time in a computer lab with archaic machines (even for that time) blinking white cursors at us on black screens. Planning and strategy meetings were held in the business school lounge and the student union.

Of course, my team had to have two fashion divas on it {coughs}, so we ensured our widget was a luxury widget. There might (or might not) have been spying on the other teams to be sure that our widget was the highest-priced, highest-quality widget. {hides my mission impossible gear}

Now, we knew we had our work cut out for us. It only stood to reason that a well-run company with a low-priced product would sell well all on its own. The masses could afford the lowest price widget even if their product quality was sub-par. Our challenge was to compensate for our high price with the best strategy possible. From our budget, we apportioned a great amount of money to developing the best product. We spent the appropriate amount of money into distribution to reach those customers we were targeting. And we spent a large amount of money on marketing.

Miraculously, we came in second. I say miraculously, because in our bravado of thinking we could come out on top even though we’d emulated what every elite brand worldwide had ever done, we’d guessed wrong. Our thinking was flawed.

Guess who won first place in the semester? Who was always destined to win first place? The lowest-priced widget. The entire semester was designed to teach us all that nugget of information.

Aha! So, does that mean the lowest priced book will always make an author the most money possible?

Not exactly, my friends.

Keep reading . . .

Imputed Value

My research earlier this year on price and marketing included reading every article I could find from all sources, but mostly included self-publishing authors, Digital Book World, Publisher’s Weekly, The Huffington Post, Forbes, and the most important and ongoing one of all . . . diligent weekly scanning of the Amazon Best Sellers lists and an occasional glance at the New York Times Best Sellers list.

I first read about Imputed Value in Elle Lothlorien’s fabulous guest post on Joe Konrath’s A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Why Your Novel is a Tall, 6-Pump Vanilla, Breve Latte Grande, Extra Hot, Heavy Whipping Cream, Extra Dry Cappuccino (Or It Should Be).

Well, hell. If any of you have read Forged in Dreams and Magick’s early reviews on Goodreads, my book IS all that.

Tall? An alpha-male buffet.

Extra hot? Oh, the scorching, emotionally charged sex scenes . . .

Ooops . . . I digressed.

Lothlorien’s article beautifully illustrates the importance of price from the concept of the inherent value of the item. In other words, a higher price will command more attention simply because it’s perceived to have greater worth.

The college student in me flared to life, and I saw that she was on to something. But with that fashion-diva, second-place win under my education belt, I felt further research, thought, and study were in order.

Considering the Reader

In the fledgling stages of my consideration of book pricing, my first thoughts have been to the reader. The future buyers of my books have been a major factor in consideration of price all along.

That’s right. Ahead of my lining my pocket, I’m thinking of how the reader will be able to afford my book. I think it should be an important consideration of every single author.

I am that reader too.

I’m the reader who is so in love with her husband that when he argued against buying Clive Cussler’s latest release because it cost $12.99, I confiscated his Kindle and downloaded it as my “gift” to him.

I’m the reader who is so addicted to Karen Marie Moning’s writing, I wait on the edge of my seat for her new release and swallow the hard pill of the $14.99 Kindle price to be able to read it immediately.

I’m the reader who just discovered Nalini Singh’s incredible writing in her Psy/Changeling Series who blinks hard every time I download the next book in her already twelve-book series, each one at the Kindle cost of $7.99. You do the math. {hears my credit card groan}

Who decides those outrageously high prices?

I’ll give you a hint. It’s not the authors.

Publishers decide what you will pay for their books. More on publishers in just a moment . . .

In considering the reader, I’ve made a lot of decisions. Because I chose to self publish, I was able to have total control over the process: I wrote the best story possible by running it through several rounds of my own deep edits before my beta readers ever had the chance to give their opinion. I created the best book possible by hiring a professional editor, a professional proofreader, and a professional to do the formatting. I created the best cover possible by hiring a design professional known to create spectacular covers.

When putting the reader first with regard to price, I did not consider the writing hours logged in the over two years it took to write, edit, and promote the book. I did not consider the awards the book has garnered. I am not considering the early rave reviews the book is receiving.

Why? Because the fact that I could charge more for the book makes no difference to me. I want to ensure that readers can buy something of quality for a low price.

They are making the important decision to buy my book, and I want readers who do so to be glad they made the choice in every way.

A final consideration to the reader, which I felt was an important one, is the great amount of savings I realize in the book’s price versus net by being a self-published author. Rather than pocket those savings myself, my intention the entire time has always been to pass those savings on to the reader.

The Department of Justice: Apple, Publishers, and the Price-fixing Case

If you’re a writer, reader, or book blogger, and you haven’t caught wind of the Department of Justice cracking down against Apple and the big five publishers in Apple’s attempt to gain a competitive (and illegal) advantage over Amazon, visit this article and press release on Digital Book World: Department of Justice Wins Antitrust Suit Against Apple. I hope you take the time to read the article. It’s eye-opening.

The decisions of heavyweights in the industry affect the consumer. Us. The readers.

A snippet from the article’s included press release:

““As the department’s litigation team established at trial, Apple executives hoped to ensure that its e-book business would be free from retail price competition, causing consumers throughout the country to pay higher prices for many e-books. The evidence showed that the prices of the conspiring publishers’ e-books increased by an average of 18 percent as a result of the collusive effort led by Apple.”

Don’t despair! Digital Book World also has another fabulous article: Why Ebook Best-Seller Prices Will Continue to Decrease.

Did you happen to catch the last reason listed? {smiles slowly} . . . “3. The rise of self-publishing.”

MmmHmmm . . .

Best Seller Lists

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been scanning the Amazon Best Sellers lists and occasionally glancing at the New York Times Best Sellers list. I say occasional, because I only jumped over there a half a dozen times out of curiosity to see how staying power at the top spots in Amazon’s list translated into placement on the New York Times list.

What did I learn? What can any of you learn?

What I learned is that class in college taught me well. And keeping a watchful eye those lists, I continued to be a very diligent student.

I only watched a hand full of genre lists on Amazon. Namely those categories where my book would be listed, those categories of other books I read, and the hottest best sellers. Those include, under the category of romance: time travel, fantasy and futuristic, erotic, contemporary, and under the category of literature and fiction’s genre fiction: action adventure and coming of age.

(By the way, choosing categories is an entirely different research topic that came to light by watching those lists. I’ll likely share my findings on category selection in an upcoming Transparency in Self-Publishing Series post.)

By watching the lists on a daily or sometimes weekly basis, I learned something very valuable. Most of the time, the top of the list was dominated by books priced $3.99 or under. Any time a well-known best-selling author released a book, it sometimes rose to the top to take the number one spot in its category. If it did, it didn’t stay there long. Lower priced books edged out higher priced books. Those lower priced books, held their spots the longest.

In fact, as I’m typing this post at 10am EST on August 26, 2013, in the romance category, only two titles are greater than $4.99: Risky Business by Nora Roberts is at #13 priced at $5.38 and Burn by Maya Banks is #19 priced at $8.89.

The rest of the titles break out as follows:

8 at $ .99
5 at $3.99
2 at $4.99
2 at $2.99
1 at $1.99

If you watch those lists as I have, you see the same trend happen over and over again.

In the world of price, where the almighty dollar is king, the customers are speaking with power. The cream, as chosen by the reading public, floats to the top. The heavy-priced, even best-selling titles, sink.

The Best Price for a Book

There is no magic price for a book that guarantees the book’s success. Big publishers have been searching for years for the perfect recipe for a best seller, but they haven’t found it yet. Various elements increase the odds of a book’s success. My opinion is that after you write the best story possible, create the most compelling book description, and design an eye-catching book cover, price is the next most important element and carries a large amount of influence, perhaps equal or marginally greater in weight to a reader than each the other three to a debut author, a self-published author, or even a best-selling author.

I say equal or marginally greater influence, because cost is dictating purchasing behavior by readers. I see it on my Twitter timeline. Some are balking at $8.99. Some draw the line at $5.99. Many buy so many books, they have only a few of their favorite authors on auto-buy above $3.99.

Remember when I mentioned that I wanted to pass my cost savings on to the reader? Let me walk you through what I meant by that:

If I went through a big-five publisher at $9.99, it would only net me $.99 at the traditional 10%.

That’s right, 10% on the old-school contracts with publishers. (Now I heard some authors are fighting for 50% of digital sales. But most are losing. I’ve read the most business savvy are striking deals in the 30-35% range. Let’s be generous and assume 30%.) That brings the net to an author up to $3.00. Yay! Don’t celebrate yet. In most circumstances, agents serve as gatekeepers into the big publishers. They take 15%. So now we’re down to $2.55 net profit. before costs and taxes.

Well, guess what?

If I price my book at $3.99, at Amazon, I make about 70% of my list price, which is $2.79.
At Barnes and Noble the royalty is 65%, which at $3.99 makes me $2.59.
Both are equal to or greater than the net I would make at a big publishing house.

That calculation, and the fact that I wanted to pass the self-publishing savings on to my readers, swayed my decision to price at $3.99.

But then, I saw an article that set in stone the decision. The article, New Smashwords Survey Helps Authors Sell More Ebooks by Mark Coker, is a gold mine of information for us price-researching types. In particular, I love the yield graph results described in #6 and their closer look at it in #7:

“I predict that within three years, over 50% of the New York Times bestselling ebooks will be self-published ebooks. It’s possible I’m being too conservative.”

The gist of the entire article, however, demonstrates the point made by my wise instructor so many years ago in college.

{smiles slowly}

You can have the best book, the best description, the best cover, and the best marketing. But only if you have it priced low enough for the greatest amount of readers to buy it, will your book sell well.

Quality AND Low Price

Both quality and low price equals value to a consumer in any product or service. It means we the buyer are getting a good deal.

Please remember the value you receive when buying well-written books at low prices. In fact, write a great review of the books that you discover and love. Your taking the time to do so, helps in each book’s success. Which helps authors keep those book prices down. Which, in turn, helps readers to be able to afford to buy more books. And so on . . .

Eventually, as we celebrate and exercise the power we as readers and self-published authors have in our buying power, the book industry will take notice. They will realize that it’s not in raising prices for them to win that is key.

It’s in lowering prices so that everyone wins that is the most important pricing decision of all.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed my foray into The Price of a Book.

Let me know what you think!

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Hump Day: The Flirty Reader Celebrates the Sexy of Forged in Dreams and Magick

Last week on Wednesday, The Flirty Reader shared a spectacular Hump Day post. I loved it so much, I had to share it with all of you.

Especially since she said Forged in Dreams and Magick is a “must read” and rated it 5 stars on Goodreads with a review to come.

Thank you, The Flirty Reader. I’m thrilled you loved the book.

For everyone wanting to add “very hot sexy times” on your Hump Day . . . Enjoy . . .

(click on title/pic below for the full sexy post on The Flirty Reader)

Hump Day: Just An Excuse To Read Sexy Times

08/14/2013

Picture

~~~
Thank you again to The Flirty Reader, and to everyone for your continued support.
Your humble shoe,
~ Kat
© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Transparency in Self-Publishing Series: Extraordinary Book Bloggers

Wow. I am overwhelmed with how amazing the welcoming group of book bloggers (and reviewers) are.

I don’t even know where to begin with the gratitude I feel toward such a generous breed, but like all good stories, the beginning is usually a good place to start.

An Incorrect Prediction

The past is not always an accurate predictor of the future.

At the writing conferences I attended in 2010 and 2011, several workshops on social media wrinkled their noses at blogging. Back then, apparently something I’d not even become familiar with had already run its course. The prediction and advice with regard to an author blogging was: don’t bother.

Blogging was old hat. Not beneficial for an author’s career. A waste of time and effort.

Boy, have things changed. Rapidly.

Thankfully, I chose to look beyond the dated advice of a few and created my own blog in July of 2012. Meant to be a means for sharing publishing adventures and news about my upcoming books, it has grown into an opportunity to reach readers, other bloggers, and make connections and friends.

Fast Forward to Present day

Book blogging today has become a vast network of readers and reviewers connected by one thing . . . a love of books.

A vibrant community of book bloggers has blossomed, flourished, and continues to grow. Not only are book bloggers a trusted source of reviews and book recommendations for readers (and us authors who love to read), for many readers, book bloggers are the only source of recommendations for both self-published and traditionally published books.

The Brave Solicitation

As the upcoming release of Forged in Dreams and Magick approaches, I’m having more and more interaction with book bloggers. Initially, as a naturally shy person (yes, believe it or not it’s true), I felt enormous relief when I’d secured tour and promotion slots with AToMR Tours to gain reviews and exposure for before and through the release. After all, I didn’t have to ask all these people I don’t know directly. AToMR Tours would do it all for me.

Which they have and did, an invaluable service that I’m immensely grateful for.

But . . . I decided to become the brave warrior I depict in my novel and throw myself out there to solicit book bloggers who might not work with AToMR Tours. I crafted a professional letter, but tailored each email to the individual blog I was soliciting. If their interests in books fell in line with my own, I sought common ground with them in the very first paragraph of the email.

A Humble Approach

My request to the hundred and fifty (or so) bloggers I contacted was very humble. Because I was asking busy people, most who have kids and/or jobs and a TBR (to-be-read) book pile that rivals Mt. Everest, for something very valuable—their time and opinion—I was thankful they were even reading my email. I’d be thrilled for them to request my book.

In fact, after carefully reading each and every site’s review policies and scanning through their blog (which took 5-10 minutes, and I believe is the very least a requesting author should do when asking for hours and hours of their time reading your book and crafting their review of your hard work), I didn’t expect a response from many of them. Some specifically stated they would only reply if they were interested.

In anticipating my book request being among thousands they read through with bleary-eyed apathy, I set my expectation bar low.

The Unexpected Response

Replies began to populate my inbox. And it was not only what the overwhelming majority said but how they said it that surprised me.

First of all, a few responded with a line or two telling me how they really loved the book description, but were too buried under books that they were already committed to reviewing to have the time to review mine. I appreciated their even taking the time to respond.

A couple of the blogs said they wouldn’t have the time to review, but wanted to help me with the promotion of my book.

{blinks}

This was my first clue that I was the new kid on the block. I ask them for a favor, and even with their busy schedules, they want to help me. Incredibly grateful for space on their calendar, I resoundingly replied with excitement that I would love to included in a guest post or interview (or whatever they’d suggested) and thanked them for the opportunity.

Those that did reply requesting an ARC copy to review?

Thanked lil’ ol’ me for giving them the opportunity.

Thanked lil’ ol’ me for thinking of their blog.

And many? Asked me to also provide them with links once the book goes live to share and help promote the release to their social media networks. And they hadn’t even read my books yet.

Again, all I have to say is . . .

Wow. I am overwhelmed.

Above and Beyond

A small group of bloggers I’ve become close to over the last year (about six or so) have always cleared a place on their schedule for me. You know who you are, and I love you for all that you’ve done and continue to do to support my writing endeavors.

With other bloggers, we’d followed each other on Twitter for over a year, and although we’d only talked once or twice, the moment I struck up the heart-racing conversation with my request, they pulled me into their welcoming arms like I was long-lost family.

{takes a deep breath}

Wow.

And now that some of those bloggers have reviewed my book? They’re touting it on Goodreads, Twitter, their blogs, and even on other author’s blogs. And together we chat. And laugh. And commiserate. And swoon. It’s so amazing how coming together through a book can bond book lovers. I’m overwhelmed daily by the generosity of strangers who embraced me so readily as a friend.

Wow.

Speechless in Gratitude

Yep. This writer has gone speechless. The repetitive monosyllabic word “wow” keeps coming out. The medical diagnosis for my condition is “mind blown”, but I’m pretty sure they don’t make a pill for being humbled by such awesomeness, and frankly, I wouldn’t want the cure.

I guess that’s what happens when in today’s self-centered society, a class of people show you their hearts first. In my experience, book bloggers are leading by example, rewriting history about how people should treat one another. With kindness, acceptance, and grace.

~~~

So when eloquent words fail, and you try to describe how you feel the best way you can, sometimes simple words become the best.

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being the generous-hearted souls that you are.

In my opinion? Book bloggers are awesome! You all rock!

Your greatly humbled and appreciative shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Blogiversary Giveaway Winners

Happy Friday and Weekend, everyone!

It’s been an exciting week with my One-Year Blogiversary post and a trip down memory lane on Saturday and Bookish Temptations’ first Exclusive Teaser: Forged in Dreams and Magick post, a favorite picnic scene.

Enormous gratitude goes to Bookish Temptations for helping me share the teaser with everyone.

Thank you to all who left comments on both posts. I’m thrilled you loved the teaser and have enjoyed my blog posts throughout the last year. I appreciate the well wishes for the years to come! :)

And now . . . In celebration of the events of the week, I promised party favors to four lucky people who left comments.

The four winners who each will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Utterly Loved are . . .

{drumroll}

Brandy (@simplebrandy)
MitMaras
Tinadrg
Kat

The winners were chosen by Random.org.

Let me know who you’d like the signed copy made out to and provide your address through the Kat’s Connections’ contact form on either my blog or my website. Thank you everyone for participating and for your wonderful comments. They mean the world to me.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Talk to the Shoe One-Year Blogiversary ~ Celebration and Giveaway

Hello, my friends.

{tosses confetti and streamers}

Shutterstock Celebration with Champagne and Confetti

Happy Blogiversary
Talk to the Shoe!

Has it been an entire year already? So many incredible events happened over the course of these first 52 weeks, it feels like my first blog post went up only yesterday.

To commemorate a bustling year for a blog meant to chronicle my adventures in writing and publishing, I’ve decided to highlight memorable and favorite moments.

{sips champagne with you all and starts the slide show}

My First Blog Post

I was recently asked an interview question by Debra on her blog Words from Across Oceania:
“What do you think about social media as an avenue for getting independent writers out there?”
My answer: ” I think it’s unparalleled.”

On July 20, 2012, I penned my very first blog post:
The Twitter Trap – Social Media: Blessing and Curse.

It’s wonderful to look back at the thoughts and suggestions I gave after being on Twitter for a short six weeks. I’m forever grateful for learning the ropes while trusting my instincts.

Twitter is an unrivaled virtual coffee shop filled with friends just waiting to meet us and chat over a coffee and zero-calorie online danish about the latest web happenings and favorite book boyfriends
. . . or Highlanders . . . or shoes.

And let’s not forget the #StilettoSports discussions!

I’ve made wonderful friends on Twitter in the past year, lasting connections with kindhearted, generous, and supportive people who are there to interact, laugh, and share love.

The Most Popular Blog Post

On August 29, 2012,  something seismic happened . . .
I posted The Lure of the Great Alpha Male.

Wow.

That would be the post that had over 170 hits on my fledgling blog in one day. It also had 46 comments and a fun debate that spilled into Twitter over which of our alpha males was the hottest, resulting in a dead heat between Jericho Z. Barrons and one Gabriel O. Emerson, The Professor. And I still had yet to meet The Professor . . . {laughs}

It was my first post to be reblogged on a fabulous new-to-me back then blog Bookish Temptations. The Lure of the Great Alpha Male is still the most popular daily and weekly post on my blog. It has multiple daily views, and is often the first or second in views for the week. It seems the Lure of the Great Alpha Male is quite undeniable indeed.

Aftershocks from those great alpha males still occurring daily . . . ;)

My First Poem and Utterly Loved

September 12, 2012 brought to the blog and the world a most unexpected development. I created and shared my first poem Heaven… Found. Surprised to have poetry flow from my heart onto the page, I was thrilled when it was reblogged, liked, and shared on Twitter with everyone raving about the sensual poetry.

A burst of poetic creativity followed, which led to the publication of Utterly Loved, a book of romantic poetry for charity which includes a brilliant foreword written by the inspiring humanitarian and New York Times Bestselling Author Sylvain Reynard. Several other poems not included in Utterly Loved can be found in the poetry category on my blog.

A Most Uplifting Post 

On October 17, 2012, I gave a glimpse into who I am and how I live my life along with suggestions on how to increase your optimism in the post Adventures of an Optimist.

Throughout that day and the next, people contacted me on the blog and social media to let me know how my post brightened their day. To know that I helped others by sharing how I strive to be and stay positive made my day . . . and then some.

My First Guest Blog Post

By October of 2012, I’d posted just over dozen blog posts when I received my first invitation to write a guest post on another blog. The guest post, Embracing Sensuality, appeared Tamie’s blog Bookish Temptations for her one-year blogiversary celebration. I was and still am deeply honored to have been included.

A Glimpse of Heroes

In April 2013, in the wake of the devasting bombing at the Boston Marathon, I was invited by Jenn at Argyle Empire to participate in their fundraising efforts for the Red Cross in support of the bombing victims. As a part of those efforts, I shared an experience from my past with the American Red Cross. I revisited that heart-wrenching night and made a plea for donations to the American Red Cross and the Boston One Fund to support those charties in A Glimpse of Heroes. Jenn and Argyle Empire, thank you for wanting me to be a part of such a worthwhile cause.

Charity Support and Awareness Pages

In June of 2013, I became more involved in using my author platform to benefit charities, especially those that fight against human trafficking, by launching the Charity Support and Awareness pages on my blog and website. The page shares my thoughts and feelings, ways we can all help, and links to their various pages.

Highland Legends: Forged in Dreams and Magick

Throughout the entire year, hints and teasers have been posted about my upcoming release, from the series and book names, to the book description, and ultimately to the Cover Reveal on July 9th through AToMR Tours.

Take a peek at the cover described as “lush” and “stunning” and the description one said “hooked me immediately” for my debut Highlander, time-travel, paranormal romance novel Forged in Dreams and Magick.

~ ~ ~

And . . . there’s one more post I’d like to share as we step off memory lane into the future . . .

Teaser for Forged in Dreams and Magick

I’m thrilled to announce that an exclusive teaser for Forged in Dreams and Magick will be posted on Bookish Temptations on Monday, July 22, 2013. In just two days, that teaser post will mark the two month countdown to the release of Forged in Dreams and Magick on September 23, 2013.

Blogiversary Giveaway

I’m giving away a few party favors to commemorate my Blogiversary. Four winners will be chosen by Random.org. Each of the four winners will win a $25 Amazon gift card AND a signed copy of Utterly Loved!

It’s easy to enter. All you have to do is leave a comment on this Blogiversary post OR leave a comment on the Bookish Temptations’ Forged in Dreams and Magick teaser post. That’s it!
And if you leave a comment on each post? You’ll be entered twice! (Only two entries allowed per person.)

Comments until midnight EST on Thursday July 25, 2013 will qualify for entry to win the giveaway.

~ ~ ~

So leave those comments! I’d love to hear about your favorite moments from my blog over the year.

An enormous thank you to all my friends and followers. Your excitement, support, and love along my adventures on the road to published are deeply heartfelt and tremendously appreciated.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion