Forged in Dreams and Magick: 5 Signed Copies and Other News . . .

Hello, everyone!

There are many exciting news items to report from the Kat Bastion Writing Desk, the first of which is a giveaway on Goodreads for the first 5 signed paperback copies of Forged in Dreams and Magick.

Goodreads Giveaway

The Goodreads Giveaway runs through September 26, 2013, which is the Thursday of release week. Add Forged in Dreams and Magick to your Goodreads shelves by clicking on its title and sign up for the giveaway with the “giveaway” or “enter to win” links in the widget below!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Forged in Dreams and Magick by Kat Bastion

Forged in Dreams and Magick

by Kat Bastion

Giveaway ends September 26, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

In Other News

AToMR Tours will be posting sign-ups for the Forged in Dreams and Magick Release Event Tour and the ARC Review Tour by next week. I’ll share the links of the tours once AToMR posts them.

Also, Bound by Wish and Mistletoe, the companion holiday novella in the Highland Legends Series, was sent to my editor on Monday. The romantic adventure has come together beautifully at about 45,000 words and will be released early this November, 2013.

Stay tuned for more updates as they come in!

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Happy Beltane!

Happy Beltane, my friends!

And for all those not yet in the know, Happy May 1st, 2013!

Maypole In Brentwood, California © 2012 by Jengod - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0

Maypole In Brentwood, California © 2012 by Jengod – http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0

Perhaps when you think of May Day, an image of maypoles with their dance and colorful ribbons comes to mind. 

Did you know that some believe the maypole itself is a phallic symbol?  It’s apparently discussed by Sigmund Freud himself.
(Not that I’ve had any such discussions.)

Hmmm…I wonder what Freud would say about my tendency to work sex into a discussion about Beltane. 
{runs far away from the couch}

What of the Gaelic celebrations of Beltane (on May 1st) and Samhain (Oct 31st-Nov 1st)?

Before I began writing Forged in Dreams and Magick, I’d only read of Samhain in fictional paranormal romance novels. My insatiable curiosity had been sparked.

When we think of Halloween and Day of the Dead, we get a close idea of Samhain.  It’s a day of pagan tradition when the barriers between the spirit world and the human world grow thin, and many believe…penetrable. 

Hence all the skeletons and ghosts…

Beltane

Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man celebrated Bealtuinn on May 1st to mark the beginning of summer.  It’s also a day where they believe the walls between the worlds of the living and the dead…and the humans and the fae…grow paper thin. 

Early records, dating back more than a millennium, speak of the druids walking cattle through bonfires to protect the herds and promote a good harvest. It’s said that Gaelic Beltane rituals in Scotland also celebrated the fertility and good health of their livestock, plants and people.

What does a writer do when her heroine is dropped into medieval Scotland just before the celebration of Beltane?
{smiles}  She lets her imagination run wild.

In Forged in Dreams and Magick, I bring to life a very special celebration of Beltane.  A colorful festival with Highland games, feasting, and of course…danger…lead us to the culmination of the event.  When our heroine walks between two blazing bonfires with the hero at her side, they embark on a journey that changes them both forever.

{whispers} But…those secrets will be revealed in due time…

I cannot wait to share more of Forged in Dreams and Magick the first novel in the Highland Legends series.

For now, Happy Beltane, everyone!  May this year bring all of us a fruitful harvest, so that we may share our abundance with others.

Until next time, my friends… {vanishes into the Highland mist}

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Highland Legends Series: Book Titles Reveal

If you prefer a bit of historical in your romance, love to fall in love with medieval Highlanders, or wonder about those enigmatic Highland Picts, then you will find everything you’re looking for and more with my Highland Legends series.

My debut novel, and the first book in the series, is set to release this fall with the holiday novella releasing just before Thanksgiving.

Without further ado, below is the unveiling of all four titles in the series:

Highland Legends Series

Forged in Dreams and Magick
Bound by Wish and Mistletoe ~ a holiday novella
Born of Mist and Legend
Found in Flame and Moonlight

Be sure to follow me and friend me in all my usual hangouts for updates as the weeks progress!

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Official Website

Meanwhile, I shall be working with an editor and cover designer…writing and tour planning! 

Lots of surprises are being planned for the next six months, including an excerpt, outtakes, and some very special interviews you won’t want to miss!

Until then…

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Highland Legends Series ~ Upcoming Book Titles Reveal

One week, my friends…

The Highland Legends series is coming…

On Monday, April 1st, 2013, all four titles of the Highland Legends series will be revealed.

I’m thrilled to have some of my favorite bloggers help participate in the reveal next week.  A big thank you in advance to all of them:

Bookish Temptations
Under The Covers Book Blog
That’s What I’m Talking About
Scandalicious Book Reviews
Literati Literature Lovers
The Book Queen’s Book Palace

Do you follow their blogs?  You should.  Fabulous book reviews, author interviews and chats, giveaways and much more await you from romance readers just like you and me.

Until the release of the foursome {smirks} a week from today…

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

On the Road to Published…

Hello, everyone!

In recent weeks I’ve been posting weather reports on Twitter from the Highlands.  Every morning before dawn, I race into the woods after my favorite alpha male characters and their feisty heroines, inking their adventures into stories to share with all of you.

If you hadn’t already noticed on either my website or my spirited Twitter posts, I write time-travel paranormal romances set mostly in the medieval Highlands of Scotland.

This fall, I’ll be bringing you the first story in the series.
{vibrates excitedly}

The 2013 Calendar

First Manuscript

The first award-winning manuscript in the series is nearly ready to publish.  Starting next week, I’ll be glued to my keyboard as I incorporate the insightful suggestions made by my beta readers.

In mid-April, the manuscript is going to a wonderful freelance editor.
{cringes, imagining a chainsaw ripping into my work of art} 

A creative summer will be filled with final edits, final proofing, cover art, and arranging a promotional tour.  

The first book is tentatively set for a September 2013 release date.

Holiday Novella

My early morning Twitter weather reports from Inverness, Scotland?

They’ve prepared me for the daily plunge into the snowy forests of the Highlands in a holiday novella I’m also penning for the series. 

Incorporating characters from all three of the longer novels, the novella will release in November of 2013.

Second Manuscript

Furious drafting of the second manuscript has begun.  While chasing after my characters to document their wild adventures, I’ve been typing two to three thousand words a day.

I anticipate an early 2014 release for the second book.

About the Stories

I’ve had such a blast combining my favorite genres–paranormal, romance, and the medieval Highlands–into my writing.  All the stories feature strong characters who go on a journey of self-discovery, finding unexpected love amid their turbulent adventures.

Many themes center on the difficulties in overcoming issues of trust and the rewards of learning acceptance.  Redemption will play a large role in the second and third novels of the series. 

Some of the stories will also highlight the great tragedy of human trafficking set within the timeframe of the stories.  The characters struggle with the grave injustice brought into their lives and learn to survive and thrive in spite of the darkness of their world.

The completed series will tell the stories of three siblings whose lives and clan are affected by a very unique kind of magick.
{refuses to give away spoilers} ;)

ARC Reviews and Blog Tours

Are you a book reviewer? 
Do you love paranormal romance, time-travel, or Highlander romances?

I’ve begun a list for ARC copies.  If you’re a book reviewer interested in reviewing the book for its release, and we’ve not yet spoken, please contact me via Twitter or by email.  I’d love to add you to the list.

If you participate on a blog or with a magazine and wish to be a part of any of the promotional tours, please email me your information and ideas.  I’d love to start building that list and calendar as well.

As I mentioned, I’m anticipating a release of the first book sometime in September 2013 and the novella sometime in November 2013, but will know firmer dates as the months progress.

Donations to Charities

In recent months, traveling along my own road of self-discovery, I’ve become a more selfless creature and strive to continue toward that end every day.

Both World Vision and Covenant House support efforts to fight human trafficking.  In November of 2012, the romantic poetry collection of Utterly Loved, with inspiring foreword by the incredible author and humanitarian Sylvain Reynard, was published to support those worthy charities.

With every other book I publish, a portion of the proceeds will go to an ever-growing list of charities in the hopes of raising awareness and increasing support for those that are lost in this world and in need of our love.

Final Thoughts

Now that I’m chronicling a rowdy clan of Highlanders, my weekly blog posts will transform into spontaneous musings.  I’ll occasionally wander out of the forest for a signal on my electronic devices.

My goals for the year are to get that first book into your hands by early fall and release that novella by the holidays.

Meanwhile, be sure to follow me on Twitter, where I try to say hello at least once or twice daily; “like” me on Facebook; and “friend” me on Goodreads.

Thank you for every bit of enthusiasm and support that you’ve given for my writing and for the charities I support.

Until the next blog post…
{disappears into the Highland mist, notepad and pen at the ready}

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

The Unspeakable Tragedy of Human Trafficking

Ready to get real on today’s blog?

Human Trafficking

A horrific topic that no amount of sugar coating ever makes easier to digest.

Last night, Mr. Bastion highlighted an hour-long show that was painful and heart-wrenching to watch.  I can’t imagine an hour better spent of my time.

In my opinion, everyone needs to see the 3AM Girls on Our America by Lisa Ling.

To see those who advocates are trying to help by rescuing children who’ve been victimized with no foreseeable escape is beyond moving.  You will learn who is taken, how they are taken, and why they can’t leave without significant help.  Then you will learn where it is happening.

Is it happening worldwide?  Yes.  Is it happening in your city?  Absolutely.

Did you see the article in the Huffington Post naming the single largest human trafficking event in the US?  The Super Bowl. 

I didn’t. 

Now whenever I see a major event, I will always remember those who are there against their will…wishing they were somewhere else.

Because of the harsh world we live in, we escape into movies.  We get lost in romance novels.  Writing and reading of heroes and heroines with happily ever afters helps bring happiness to our otherwise dreary lives.

Many of us have a lot to learn about the definition of despair.
{raises my hand}

What struck me most, of the many shocking things I learned last night in the program, was the level emotional abuse these children suffer under once they’ve fallen victim to human trafficking.  Oftentimes, they suffered emotional abuse from their homes long before they became lost on the streets.

The reason the emotional abuse impacted me so greatly? I’m a survivor of emotional abuse.  Not many people know that fact about me.  I suffered all my life at the hands of the ones children trust most in this world.  I’ve also suffered from the emotional cruelty of bullies.  I know how difficult it is to break free of the fear.  I understand how it seems like there may never be a sun to rise on the horizon of a new day.

I feel I was one of the lucky ones.  I didn’t run away from home.  No matter how bad it got for me, I endured my homelife with a silent vow to myself on a particularly bad night that I would get out the moment I could afford to support myself.  Through the emotional abuse, I somehow repaired all the chipping away of my self-esteem with something stronger.  Mr. Bastion met me at the critical moment in my life right as I took the leap away from my abuser and went out into the world.  His love and support was instrumental to my survival on my own.  He is forever my amazing foundation, as he can attest to the scar tissue and trust issues that I still deal with and recover from.  Our talks are great therapy for me and strengthen my resolve to help those who need that same foundation.

Those in human trafficking are kept there by similar emotional abuse, only they have fallen into the darkest, most dangerous realm of our world.  The odds are against them for getting out alone.  Fear, guilt, and manipulation make those children feel they owe it to their captors to remain.  They feel they have no other choice. 

No human on this planet should be trapped in a situation where freedom is not an option.  These children need an enormous amount of love and support to escape their circumstances into a better life.

I’m very new to the charity awareness scene.  While I’ve been raising awareness for charities that support helping human trafficking victims, including World Vision and Covenant House through the promotion of Utterly Loved, I’m learning how great the need is and how much help is required.  Click on both of these World Vision and Covenant House links to see the difference donations made in 2012 to help victims of human trafficking and how vast the problem is worldwide and in the United States.

A wonderful humanitarian, Sylvain Reynard, opened my eyes to the importance of raising awareness to help those in need through an author platform.  He is a huge supporter of both World Vision and Covenant House. 

Another author who’s just recently come to my attention through Sylvain Reynard is Heather Huffman.  She not only donates a portion of the proceeds of her books to help fight human trafficking, she also weaves the important issues into her stories.  Check out Heather Huffman’s website here and her What is Trafficking page, which has links to several groups that are involved in helping to save those lost children.

Utterly Loved, a book of romantic poetry with inspiring foreword by Sylvain Reynard that highlights the need for ongoing support for these charities, exists because of those lost children.  Every purchase of Utterly Loved not only raises awareness of those charities, but all the proceeds every sale (less costs and taxes) supports them.  Find Utterly Loved on Amazon, on Barnes and Noble and on Smashwords.

Our generosity will help save those young victims.  Spreading awareness of the issue is only the first step.  Getting involved is critical to making real change and saving lives.  Everyone deserves a safe home, a warm bed, a hot meal, and loving hugs.  Let’s make it happen for every one of them we can.

Why am I an eternal optimist?  Why do most of the posts you see on Twitter or on Facebook and in Utterly Loved reflect the love in this world?

Because I know that optimism is the only thing that saved me.  Believing there is a brighter tomorrow got me through every dark day.  Join me in the fight for brighter tomorrows for every lost child out there.  Let’s give those children the happily ever after they deserve.

Thank you for your enormous hearts and endless support.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Beloved Beta Readers

Hello, everyone.

As you all know, or will now be finding out, I’m a paranormal romance writer that stumbled into poetry accidentally with Utterly Loved.

I’m back in the saddle (my office chair), my fingers flying on the keyboard with a new paranormal romance story.  My new work-in-progress (WIP in writer lingo) is a holiday novella woven into the story lines of the series.  After that, it will be on to writing the second in the series.  I can’t wait to write the amazing stories unfolding in my head.

You’re probably all wondering:  What happened to the first story?

It’s currently a polished manuscript.  I’ve scheduled a freelance editor to edit the piece in the beginning of February.  If all goes well, the book will be published early to mid-summer.

In the meantime?  It’s with four beta readers.

Who are these beta readers?

They are dear trusted friends who love to read.

Collectively, they…
Held my hair in college when I hurled at the bar
Were the first to tell me, “That’s the story you need to write”
Consoled me when I was frustrated
Wiped away the tears
Cheered the successes
Sometimes know me better than I know myself

These are my people.  The ones I rely on.  My closest confidants.

I only decided last week to take each of them up on their offer to read my story.  This  project has been a part of my life for two years.  They are the ones who’ve shared my ups and downs along the way.  

I finally got the courage to let go and give my heart and soul to them.

Why now?

I had an enlightening hour-long conversation with a best-selling author who shared with me the value of her beta readers and why they’re so important to her.  She said they’re the only ones who truly know her.  Her most important goal was for them to be honest with her and, where warranted, tell her, “This sucks.”

We both laughed.  But the impact of what she said sank in.  She further explained how they will see things we can’t.  We writers are too close to our work to see certain things we need to know.  If we want to publish a page-turning story, one the reader can’t put down and thinks about long after they have, we have to know if there are slow sections, missing parts, or extraneous, excellently written fluff.

I decided she was right.  My friends wanted to be a part of the process.  Each of them had voiced that sentiment to me.  I also realized no one else would do.

They will all laugh when they read this blog post.  I impressed upon each of them to please relax, read, and enjoy the story.  But they had better tell me if they hit a slow part.  I demanded they tell me if any part of it sucked.  I have every confidence they will.  If it’s ever really bad, I hope they please break it to me gently over a drink. {laughs}

The really amazing thing for me?  They’re all from different backgrounds.  I’ve got swamp and city.  All are highly educated and intelligent, but some are analytical and some are creative.  Only one of them reads books in my paranormal romance genre.  One tells me they will give me their opinion when they are finished reading.  (I’m dying of suspense.)  Another is telling me chapter-by-chapter her thoughts.

So far? My chapter-by-chapter (non-paranormal-romance) girl is giving me such incredibly exciting feedback, I’m having to repeatedly ask her, “Are there any slow parts? Anything missing or extra?”  She’s replied with a resounding “NO!”

Her texts have said…
“I am speechless…”
“Never saw that coming!”
“You have this supernatural ability to take the reader to the edge of a heightened emotion and then drop them immediately into another.”
“I’m having to force myself to stop reading.  The flow…epic! Just when one scene is finishing up, another one, just as vital, comes into play.”
“It’s the perfect flow of detail and plot movement.”

She’s even dubbed the hero, a Highlander, “Scotty McHotty” … I just… {dies laughing}

I’m very interested to hear my other beta reader opinions.  I value them all. 

Thank you, my beloved beta readers.  I’m so very grateful for your friendship and support.  Don’t go easy on me.  Find me something that sucks…please!

It’s important to mention, that I have a fifth beta reader, my husband.  He read my manuscript months ago.  As my best friend, he told me where it sucked.  He also pulled me up out of my office chair the moment he finished, grabbed me by the shoulders, and stared at me hard as he said, “Anyone who ever tells you that you don’t have what it takes has no idea what they’re talking about.” 

Damn, I love that man, for both telling me where it sucked and convincing me I have talent.  That is why I love my friends.  They excel by having my back in every way needed… The love and the tough love.

My goal is to give you, the reader, the very best story possible.  I hope to transport you into an amazing story filled with medieval Highlanders, ancient Picts, magick, and a few other surprises I’m not yet ready to spoil for you.

Stay tuned for more updates on the upcoming release and my adventures in writing, editing, and publishing along the way.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Christmas Wish

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

Christmastime is my favorite time of year and holiday for so many reasons, but this year is a rare and special one for several more.  Those who’ve been a part of Utterly Loved know why. 

Thank you all for the support you’ve shown and for sharing your amazing generous hearts with the world.

Starting midday tomorrow, I’ll be off Twitter and the blog for a week.  I hope you all have a relaxing and loving time with friends and family.

For now, I wanted to share with you my…

Christmas Wish

In a rush I burst outside, spinning
Whirling wonders dance bright in the night
Soft lacy white treasure from above
Incandescent in the pale moonlight

From without I spy our festiveness
Frosted pane frames most romantic scene
Glittering baubles hang from the tree
Ribbon topped gifts, cocoa topped with cream

Cold seeps in, the bitter night chilling
I stand defiant, slippered and robed
Something’s missing from my holiday
A silent vow from within takes hold

Hushed snow falls from skies round the planet
Gazes drift up to same brightest star
Many cast dreams of warm loving homes
Some will pray for rescue from afar

A wish drifts forth strengthened by its mass
More prized than any gleaming present
To the lost, those who long to be found
May their hearts warm from gifts heaven sent

Let hope ignite around the world
Miracles for those who dare to want
All under the same star-blazoned sky
Power as one shone magnificent

 

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

Utterly Loved on Kindle and A Kindle Fire Winner!

In true Utterly Loved fashion, everything happens poetically.

Utterly Loved released in Kindle version… on the very day someone wins a Kindle Fire.

The support for Utterly Loved has been huge and heartfelt.  Your efforts have helped Utterly Loved stay at the top of the charts, bringing awareness to two wonderful charities, World Vision and Covenant House.  Please join me with continued support for Utterly Loved and these deserving charities throughout the year.

As a thank you for your participation, signed copies and Amazon gift cards have been won by randomly selected supporters.  The prizes were donated to the cause by the Bastion family.  Mr. Bastion and I are tremendously grateful for all you do for Utterly Loved.

Now is the time for a big thank you to one lucky winner…

The Kindle Fire Winner, chosen by Random.org from 12 Daily Winners:
{hears a tiny drum roll in my head}

Congratulations, katrinalowe77!
You’ve won the Grand Prize of a Kindle Fire!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the promotional events of Utterly Loved.  In small steps, we are igniting a wildfire of hope that will make a difference in children’s lives worldwide. 

Can you feel it?  {smiles huge} …  I do.

We have only just begun…

23 inspirational quotes, 21 romantic poems, 5 star reviews, 1 brilliant foreword by Sylvain Reynard.  Infinite Hope… Utterly Loved.

Buy Utterly Loved in paperback
Buy Utterly Loved on Kindle

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, my friends.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

Hold On In The Night

Hello, everyone.

Utterly Loved, the book of romantic poetry for charity, with a brilliant foreword by Sylvain Reynard on humanitarianism, has been out almost three weeks.  It’s doing well in paperback sales, but we need to do more.  Within days, it will also be out in a Kindle version.  I hope you buy both and encourage everyone you know to do the same.

Not long ago, I mentioned that after I completed the romantic poems of Utterly Loved, two more poems of a different sort flowed hot and furious onto the page.  The additional heartfelt words were not love poems.

They were a battle cry.

They are about those lost.
They are about the fight.

 

Hold On In The Night

Can you remember?
Unencumbered fresh air into your lungs
Racing barefoot on cool grass in the park
Blue-sky days before a bright world turned stark

Do you still have dreams?
Fearsome warriors destroy stone prison walls
Alone stand beautiful forgotten
Disbelieving flee heart’s desolation

Will you hear the cry?
Across the globe on every continent
Invincible gather armed for righteous
Fury flows deep at human injustice

Have you seen our light?
Fiery rising sun scorching harsh landscape
A million wild horses charge unbridled
Dark captors meet their maker reconciled

Are you ready to fight?
Blind faith fiercely grasps boldly outstretched hand
Devastation laid to rest from plunder
Frightening history ripped asunder

Hold on in the night.
In every shallow ragged breath you take
With each hard swallow, eyes pinched in mourning
Never lose hope… a new dawn is coming

 

Please join me in the fight. There are millions of lost children who need our help, need us to care, need our love.  Buy Utterly Loved

Tell two friends.  Tell twenty. 

Only through awareness, donation, and activism will we make a better place in this world for those who, without the actions of those like us, would never have a chance.

Buy Utterly Loved on Amazon

With 23 inspirational quotes, 21 love poems, incredible 5 star reviews, an amazing foreword by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Sylvain Reynard, and the endeavor all about supporting the very worthwhile charities, World Vision and Covenant House, there is something in Utterly Loved for everyone.

Contact me if you need links to European Channels for Amazon, as it’s also available now through Amazon in Great Britain, Spain, Deutschland, France and Italy.

Thank you for all your support, my friends.  Together, we are making a difference in lives.  We are making the lost feel… Utterly Loved.

Your humble shoe,

Kat Bastion

 

© 2012 by Kat Bastion