World Poetry Day ~ On Highland Time

In celebration of World Poetry Day (Thursday, March 21st, 2013), I created a poem that’s a teaser of my upcoming series.

It also happens to coincide with how I wake up every morning…

 

On Highland Time

A clock can’t hold the sands of time
The world hides vast dimensions
When mist burns off the heathered hills
Revealed are Highland Legends

 

Tricky how I worked the name of my upcoming series in there, don’t you think? {grins}

Actually, it’s a bit of a poetic synopsis.  Has anyone ever done a synopsis by poem?  I’m not sure, so there you have it, my friends.  Perhaps we just made history together.  And all for World Poetry Day.

Which brings me to my next thought…

Have you bought your copy of Utterly Loved yet?  Have you bought copies for friends and family? Celebrate poetry and share your gift with the world through the charities Utterly Loved supports, World Vision and Covenant House.  Be inspired by the brilliant foreword written by the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Sylvain Reynard.

Below are a few links where you can purchase copies of Utterly Loved.

Utterly Loved for Nook
Utterly Loved for Kindle
Utterly Loved in paperback on Amazon

Thank you for your continued support with Utterly Loved and the charities that each purchase supports.

As far as the Highland Legends series goes, stay tuned for an announcement of the names of all four book titles in the series…

Thank you for sharing in the love of poetry and romance, my friends.

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

Happy Valentine’s Day and Congratulations to the Giveaway Winner

Happy Valentine’s Day!

In celebration of romance, I wish you all a day filled with love.

A Valentine’s Day Prayer

  May you give and receive love
  If you seek it, may you find love
  May the lost in this world feel
  … Utterly Loved

Utterly Loved Valentine’s Day Giveaway Winner

The grand prize winner of a Kindle Fire chosen by Random.org is:

     Robert Zimmerman

Congratulations, Robert!

Thank you again to our anonymous supporter for donating the Kindle Fire to the winner.

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaways. 

Special appreciation to the participating blogs who hosted the three new poems created just for the occasion:

    THESUBCLUBbooks who shared Transformed
    Literati Literature Lovers who shared Indescribable Love
    Bookish Temptations who shared Temptation by Valentine

Be sure to visit their blogs for more Valentine’s Day excitement happening today and through the week.

Thank you to Goodreads, whose fabulous giveaway feature resulted in 1000 entries for 10 signed copies of Utterly Loved and almost half that number adding Utterly Loved to their “to be read” shelf.

Please be sure to share with everyone you know that Utterly Loved, with brilliant foreword by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Sylvain Reynard, is now available for Nook!

Utterly Loved for Nook
Utterly Loved for Kindle
Utterly Loved in paperback

Have a wonderful rest of your holiday, everyone!

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat Bastion

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Utterly Loved Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Rose Petal Heart

Valentine’s Day

Some subscribe to the notion that Valentine’s Day has been commercialized. They hold fast to the belief that love should be celebrated every day.

I’m in complete agreement.

Valentine’s Day to me, however, is a celebration of that daily love we each harbor in our hearts. Like an anniversary, it’s a milestone of sorts…a special holiday to rejoice in the existence of love of every kind.

For some, it will prompt a moment of courage mustered in the face of new love. 

Others will remember and appreciate decades of cherished love together.

In celebration of romantic love, we often gift:

Sinful chocolates
Fragrant roses
Heartfelt cards
Romantic dinners
Lace-trimmed satin

Might I also suggest…

Utterly Loved ~ The romantic book of poetry shared with the world for charity with an inspiring foreword graciously written by the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Sylvain Reynard.

Purchase Utterly Loved on Amazon 

Utterly Loved Book Cover

 

Utterly Loved Valentine’s Day Giveway

The Utterly Loved Valentine’s Day Giveaway is being held on three supportive blogs, on Goodreads, and in my @’s and emails. That’s right. There are multiple places to enter.

Giveaway Prizes

Signed copies of Utterly Loved
Signed poems by Kat Bastion
Grand Giveaway Prize ~ A Kindle Fire

How To Enter

1. Visit each of the three blogs each posting a new romantic poem:

February 3, 2013 ~  Transformed on THESUBCLUBbooks
February 6, 2013 ~  Indescribable Love on Literati Literature Lovers
February 11, 2013 ~ Temptation by Valentine Bookish Temptations

Entrants have the chance to win either a signed copy of Utterly Loved or a signed poem of their choice from any of my poems. All winners gain entry into the grand prize drawing on Valentine’s Day.

2.  Visit Goodreads.  Each entrant has a chance to win a signed copy of Utterly Loved. All winners gain entry into the grand prize drawing on Valentine’s Day.

Click on the link for the Goodreads Giveway

3.  In my Twitter @’s and website email, send me a picture of a paid receipt for Utterly Loved dated between 1/30/13 and 2/13/13 by midnight EST on February 13, 2013. Each book purchased in any format gains one entry into the grand prize drawing.

The Prize Donations

A generous supporter of Utterly Loved has donated the grand prize of the Kindle Fire. The winner for the Kindle Fire will be selected by Random.org from among all the entrants.

“I appreciate the domino effect of kindness and giving that you are a part of. It is through movements like this that people can show the rest of the world people do care. It is through this domino effect that I would like to join you. I would like to donate a Kindle Fire for you to promote and give away.”

Mr. Bastion and I are donating the cost of the other prizes.

For details about Utterly Loved, and the charities it supports, please see the Utterly Loved page

Thank you for being a part of Utterly Loved. By sharing our love with the world, we are transforming children’s lives with love, one book at a time. You are making the lost feel… Utterly Loved.

May everyone celebrate love of all kinds this Valentine’s Day and every day.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

 

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Book Recommendations From a Finicky Reader

I LOVE reading.  That said, I choose not to read while writing.  My reading abstinence helps me maintain my voice and stay motivated. {whispers} I’m easily distracted.

By the time I’m finally able to read, I’m starving for really great books. I search for the phenomenal reads.  If I find a paranormal romance? I’m in heaven.

After months of editing my paranormal romance manuscript last year, I took my first reading break in late September and read many spectacular books over the holidays. Most were outside my preferred genres.  The experience of stepping outside my comfortable reading box was highly rewarding.  I encourage everyone to do the same.

Books that blew me away among a field of a dozen very good books:

Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard (Romance)
Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard (Romance)
Iced by Karen Marie Moning (Fantasy)
Wallbanger by Alice Clayton (Comedy/Romance)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Young Adult/Fantasy)

My first read in late September? Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard. I chose well. In the beginning few pages, compelling writing drew me into the world of Gabriel’s Inferno while I sat in the middle of a chaotic airport. Over the course of a week, I fell in love with the characters, the story, and the author.  Gabriel’s Inferno  instantly became my favorite book and Sylvain Reynard my favorite author. Why? The complexities are great as to the reasons. It’s written differently, which I enjoyed.  The references to art and culture are so plentiful and detailed, I became a student in the professor’s class. Gabriel’s Inferno is a captivating sensual and poignant journey of love, hope and redemption written in a delightfully artistic manner.  A must read.

My second read? Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard, of course. I needed more of Gabriel and Julia.  Sylvain Reynard’s second book did not disappoint. Complex storylines emerged and wove together taking the reader on the ultimate journey of self-sacrifice, hope and love. The main character’s continuing transformation in this book, from a man past all hope of redemption to one who has been saved through love of many kinds, is an amazing must read.

The book I’d been waiting almost two years for? Iced by Karen Marie Moning.  I’ll admit I began reading with equal parts excitement and apprehension, as this is the first book in a spin-off series after her phenomenal Fever Series.  Could Moning match the stellar writing and intriguing story from the Fever Series?  Suffice it to say, she eclipsed it.  I couldn’t put the book down.  Her imagination is incredible and her writing and vivid imagery are flawless; you are there in her world. I highly recommend this book if you love fantasy, but to get the full effect, you may want to read her five-book Fever Series first.

A surprise love? Wallbanger by Alice Clayton. I didn’t think I was a fan of romantic comedy. Apparently, I am a huge fan of Alice Clayton’s brand of laughter and love.  What began as Caroline’s midnight irritation, turned into her neighbor’s well-earned nickname, and evolved into a wonderfully fun love story.  I fell in love with the characters and story through Clayton’s well-written humor. Even Clive, the heroine’s cat, had me in stitches.  What captured me the most in Wallbanger is the way the comedy endeared you to the characters.  I share the same sense of humor with the characters and found the exchanges very relatable. I wanted to be at their dinner parties.  In fact, I now find I want to go to Spain.  And bake… :)

An even bigger surprise? Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, my first Young Adult genre read. I’d never ventured into Young Adult, but was not disappointed.  It quickly became clear to me that Laini Taylor is a very special author.  She writes fantasy, a genre that I love, flawlessly.  The story was unique and fresh.  The way she unfolded events had me page-turning until the very end.  If you like fantasy, or even paranormal, I highly recommend this book.

All five of those incredible books are now cherished stories on my Kindle that I’ll be reading again when the time is right.  I hope you enjoy their well-written heartfelt stories as well.  Thank you to all the authors for sharing your imaginative worlds with us.

I’m adding those reviews to my Goodreads Page, which I’m still learning to navigate.  {laughs}  Stop by there and say hello! :)

Please share your thoughts.  What other stellar books have you read?  I need to start a list for my next writing break later this year!

Have a wonderful time reading, my friends!

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Resolutions… For a Lifetime

Happy New Year!

 

I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution.

Am I an exception to the masses? I’m not sure. Perhaps you could share your thoughts.

 

The idea had always seemed impermanent to me. Anyone I’d ever known who’d made a resolution made an attempt to curb excess of one sinful nature or another, only to abandon said restriction before the next legal holiday.

I’ve never exempted myself from those who have behaviors to modify.  I’m certainly sinful, just as any other person, being human after all, but I’ve never been moved to change with a “resolution.”

Until I had.

Reflecting back on the last few months of my life, I realize the major changes I had ever wanted to make in my life, the person I had always strived to be, had happened.  Events beyond my control flicked on a dusty switch that apparently had always been destined to shine a brilliant light.  I’d blinked in amazement as the darkened world around me suddenly glowed brightly.

Like all things new, however, there will forever be vast room for improvement. Infinite lessons await us as we seek to master… becoming our better self.

Coming off a landmark year for me as far as changes go, I’m embracing the next stage with the strong foundation of the last.  Truly, the first affirmation was admitting to myself that I haven’t changed.

… I’ve transformed.

As I dangle from the safety of my familiar cocoon, the moment has come to fly.  Time to stretch my wings.

I will endeavor to be who I was meant to be… the butterfly.

With beauty and grace, I accept who I am.  I will remind myself daily of what I was meant to do with my fragile life in this harsh and unforgiving world…

To live each precious moment to its fullest
To multi-task less and focus more
To think of others and act so they feel it
To love with all the fire and passion in my heart
To cherish those whose lives I touch
To stand strong amid the darkness and brighten it daily
To believe the smallest kindness matters
To give charitably in thought, word and deed at every opportunity
To honor the vessel in which my heart and soul reside
To write for the love of writing
To spread awareness of those in need of love
To save the world one book at a time…

The last resolution came about from publishing the romantic poems in Utterly Loved, and yet, from that one project, all the other tiny miracles within me strengthened and took hold.  One book pivotally changed me.  The belief in a singular collection of heartfelt poems delivered with a message powerful enough to change our world… transformed me.

Of course, there where many catalysts along the way, for which I am forever grateful… My readiness to accept change toward growth.  The humanitarian efforts of the author who wrote the inspiring foreword for Utterly Loved, Sylvain Reynard. The support of loved ones and new friends made along the way.

I look forward to the path unfolding before me. My journey is not for the year ahead.  The adventure I’m taking will be for a lifetime.

Please join me in embracing a lifetime of resolutions.  Our world will be a better place if everyone commits to spreading love in a place very much in need of the kindness of our hearts.

Begin by purchasing Utterly Loved.  For yourself.  For your friends.  Your library.  Your church.  Share the beautiful poetry with a serious message of saving those in need of everything we have to give.  Daily.

Purchase Utterly Loved in paperback
Purchase Utterly Loved in Kindle edition

So? I’m truly dying to know… 
Have you done New Year’s resolutions in years past?
What are your resolutions this year?
Are you ready to commit to Resolutions… For a Lifetime?
What are your ideas for lifetime resolutions?

Thank you, my friends.  Your support in spreading awareness of charity, in giving all you can to those in need, in purchasing and sharing the news of Utterly Loved, is deeply appreciated.  Have a happy, loving, and prosperous year to come… that you may share your abundance with others.  May love and hope spread like wildfire in our world.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

Oh… {slides back in before you leave}
P. S. ~ I have one more very important resolution to add…
         To keep my desk uncluttered for maximum creative writing flow! :)

© 2013 by Kat Bastion