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

Highlander – Alpha Incarnate

Highlander – Alpha Incarnate

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

 

Those of you who’ve been following my adventure know that I’ve just finished my manuscript. This weekend, while doing my final read through, I’ve had the incredible pleasure of falling in love with my Highland and Pict warriors all over again.

As I described in an earlier post, The Lure of the Great Alpha Male, I have a love for a powerful primal man who is brought to his knees by love. He’s an impenetrable force of nature, yet no matter how hard he fights it or denies it, he is felled by one woman. In my opinion, the romance of such a story is unrivalled.

Great Alpha Males take many forms. Sylvain Reynard’s Gabriel’s Inferno has the tortured, sinful academic, Gabriel. {shivers} Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series has the primal Barrons. {sighs} I could go on… and on…

There is one place and time on earth, however, where Great Alpha Males were born and bred. Unique among great warriors across the globe and through time, geography, circumstance, and lore shaped them.

The quintessential Great Alpha Male?

The Highlander.

The landscape had a great hand in shaping the warriors forged in the Highlands of Scotland. Unforgiving. Rugged. Harsh. Cold.

Agendas of other warfaring nations played a role. Centuries of Viking and English invasions bred strong warriors to defend home and land.

Men that lived hard? Played hard.

And, those kind of men? … Loved hard.

Nothing instigates my imagination more than envisioning a man who dedicated his life training and fighting to protect those he loves, until one true love takes him by surprise, and…

Knocks him down with a feather.

Destroys him with a whisper.

But first, the beast needs to be tamed. And don’t you want to be the one who breaks him?

Wouldn’t you love to be dropped into medieval Scotland, a damsel in distress, but feisty as hell at having been dumped there in the first place? (No coffee, internet, or movies, of course.)

In a dress with bindings too tight around your ribs and a neckline too low for modesty, you stand in the center of a castle’s Great Hall downing a goblet of ale, trying to make sense of why you’re there. Women eye you with barely restrained hostility. At that moment, the feeling is mutual.

The heavy oak door creaks open on iron hinges. A dozen men enter, arguing over a clan dispute. Their footfalls echo into the room. Massive chests and bared arms glisten in the firelight. For some inexplicable reason, one stands out from the others.

The air crackles with electricity like a charge before the storm. Power emanates from him.

A pulse of heat spears through you, catching you by surprise. You gasp.

His dark gaze locks onto you.

No one needs to tell you he’s master there. You feel it.

Did he just growl?

Your heartbeat accelerates.

He stalks forward.

Hungry eyes paralyze you.

You swallow hard.

A slow smile tells you he’s going to devour you whole, and it has nothing to do with food.

The cup falls from your hand.

Lightning reflexes catch it.

Your eyes close as you inhale the scent of earth and woods.

He is hunter.

You are prey.

Hot breath caresses your neck.

You sigh as heat travels down, warming more intimate places.

Fragments of thoughts fall out of your head…

Where has he been? What makes him tick? Who has his heart? Why has he locked onto you?

Wouldn’t you like to know?

{smiles slowly}

I know of a girl from California who found herself lost in the past. Stay tuned as I tease you all incessantly until I can tell you all about it… {smirks} 

For a tiny excerpt, please see my website Contest Excerpt and see what has the judges raving.  Here are some of the Awards & Comments.

Meanwhile, share your favorite Highlander in a movie or a book.

Me? I fell in love with Brodick in Julie Garwood’s Ransom. {sighs}

 

Your Favorite Shoe,

Kat

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

The Twitter Trap – Social Media: Blessing and Curse

The Twitter Trap – Social Media: Blessing and Curse
© 2012 – Kat Bastion

Have you been sucked into the Twitter Trap? How to use this valuable social media tool to your advantage as a writer may seem like a straight-forward concept, but there are writers who get it and those who don’t. In the social media craze too many are missing the point.

Who am I to say so?  {WARNING: Self-promotion moment…dusts off and puts on my marketing-major hat} Besides creating and implementing successful marketing campaigns for businesses, I’ve expressed a keen interest in all things marketing; specifically what works and what doesn’t. This post is my opinion and is based on observation alone.

Now, back to Twitter…

If used correctly, Twitter is a fabulous place for networking with like-minded people. It’s a quick and easy way to connect with many who have the same interests as you. If your followers like what you have to say, they’ll RT (Retweet) your post to their followers. Then, they’ll tell two friends…and so on…

Ahhhh…but therein lies the key to success, doesn’t it?

1. You have to network. That means talk to people. Carry on meaningful dialog. Post about your favorite books, the melting of your keyboard at a steamy love scene you’re writing, or a survey about who is hotter: Jericho Barrons or… well… just that Barrons melts your panties.

2. Dialog is two-sided. Check out the person replying to your post. If their bio or timeline seems interesting, follow them back, so you can see what they have to say and engage them on occasion. No one enjoys being the only one to strike up the conversation, or you come off as stuck-up. #JustSayin

3. Have something interesting to say. Provide your followers with something of value. An inspiring poem. Your favorite quote. Something funny that happened to you that day. Your amazing very first blog post that you’re so damn proud of. {gestures up and down along the side of this post with a hand flourish}

Where do so many go wrong?

Some rarely or never engage other people and only post about themselves. Their timelines are filled posts that say: Love me. Buy my book. Like my Facebook page. Love me. Buy my book. Like my Facebook page. Over and over…and over again.

Others may engage your replies with a comment back, but never follow you. No matter how many times you talk to them. If they aren’t famous and don’t have a million followers who buy their books, songs, movies, etc. purely for the love of their work, they appear unapproachable after a while.

Oftentimes, the only interaction some narcissistic people have with other people is thanking people for loving them (RTing their self-love.) Who’s their target market? Zombies?

If all they post is repetitive regurgitation of how much they love themselves, I have to wonder…who’s paying attention? Duplicate boring posts get blurred into the background of the timeline. Like flier-blindness at an overcrowded bulletin board, no one reads what you have to say when nothing is fresh or new. The poster of the mundane loses followers, or a discerning person looking at their timeline never follows at all.

The goal is to get people to buy your amazing book, right? Does following 25,000 people and having 25,000 followers translate into people buying and loving your book? Maybe the zombies. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a decaying eyeball falling onto a page I’ve carefully crafted—the undead are not my target market. 

No matter what social-media train you’re on, it’s important to spend the time to make quality connections. Very busy and famous rock bands, actors, and authors make the time to connect with their fan base on Twitter, because it’s so easy to do. More importantly, they see the value enormous value in it. It makes them human and relatable.

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! …. We all have to be careful of our time on Twitter. The lure of escaping into another realm can be addictive, and the time-suck can deaden creativity. In order to keep our writing flowing, we have to watch how often and when we visit social media. Make sure the time you allot to Twitter counts. Engage others, follow people that you like, and have something interesting to say.

Think about your goals. Are you trying to gather the largest number of followers and likes? Or, are you trying to write the best book, novel, short-story, poetry?

Most importantly, make sure most of your creative time is spent polishing your work to be the very best piece ever written. Because at the end of the day, nothing sells a book faster than rave reviews spreading like wildfire across the meaningful network that you’ve successfully created.

I hope you enjoyed this first blogpost of mine! Please comment, share and RT if you enjoyed it. {nothing wrong with a touch self-love…smirks}

Kat

© 2012 – Kat Bastion