The Lure of The Great Alpha Male Re-Blogged

Since I’m writing about Great Alpha Males in the Highlands, and everyone seems to be drawn to this page, I decided to share with you again what seems to be on all of our minds… I hope you enjoy. ūüėČ

Talk To The Shoe

The Lure of the Great Alpha Male

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

We all want him.  Not just any alpha male.  
We all want the Great Alpha Male.

The Alpha Male…

An alpha doesn’t walk into a room.  He commands it.  Without effort, he could defeat every male there.  The intangible vibe pouring off those broad shoulders announces the danger louder than a bull horn.  Every other wise man in the room heeds the warning.

Every single woman responds to the dominant presence.  Instinctually.

Something primal takes over.

Our hair gets fluffed without thought.

Perfectly glossed lips get licked.

Shirts are pulled down lower, chests stuck out further, hips swayed another degree right and left in an unconscious effort to gain the spectacular male’s notice.

The mating dance has begun. 
He surveys the group of potential females. 

Each woman hopes for a chance to be the one…
The female above all…

View original post 370 more words

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

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… ūüôā

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! ūüôā

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! ūüôā

© 2013 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

Winners List for 12 Days of Utterly Loved Giveaway

In an effort to consolidate blog posts and spare those who get every post by email, I’m creating this master list for winners of the 12 Days of Utterly Loved Event and Giveaway. Please check here daily for updates on the winners chosen by Random.org.

Thank you, everyone, for continuing to purchase copies of Utterly Loved with Foreword by New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Sylvain Reynard for yourself, for friends, for the charities the project helps promote.  Together, we can make a world of difference.  Thank you for being a part of the difference.

The Daily Winner

The winner of Day 12 of the 12 Days of Utterly Loved Giveaway as chosen by Random.org, receiving a signed copy, a $25 Amazon gift card and a 1-in-12 chance to win a Kindle Fire is:

SimpleBrandy

Congratulations, SimpleBrandy.¬† Please email me¬†through my blog contact form¬†with how you’d like your signed copy addressed. ūüôā

Daily winners who now have a 1-in-12 chance to win a Kindle Fire:

SimpleBrandy
kitkat1192
decelle2
katrinalowe77
TwiArcady90
AmeliaOesmani
ElyseB_17
daisypinay
Iam_meee_
Iam_mee_
daisypinay
katrinalowe77

Shortly, have Random.org select a name from the list of 12 Daily Winners for the Grand Prize Giveaway… A Kindle Fire.¬† A¬†separate blog post will announce the winner of the Kindle Fire.

Enjoy poetry, share awareness, and help those in need to feel … Utterly Loved.

Buy Utterly Loved on Amazon

Happy Holidays, my friends.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

12 Reasons to Buy Utterly Loved ~ Plus Giveaway

Utterly Loved Book Cover

 

In the season of giving, where abundance trumps the daily grind, Utterly Loved has been released on Amazon to brighten your life and change the world.

 

Are you fond of lists for checking them twice?
Twelve reasons Utterly Loved is so nice…

1.¬†¬† Charity funding. All Proceeds, less costs and taxes,¬†go to World Vision and Covenant House.¬† The mission for Utterly Loved is to help those lost in the world, those who’ve never had a chance to know love, feel… Utterly Loved.

2.   New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Sylvain Reynard wrote the brilliant foreword on humanitarianism.

3.   The books make excellent gifts for your loved ones.

4.¬†¬† There are 21 love poems… 14 have never been published before.

5.   23 inspirational quotes are sprinkled between the poems.

6.¬†¬† Utterly Loved fits into a stocking… a big stocking…

7.¬†¬† You’ll have the perfect holiday party exchange gift for under $10.

8.¬†¬† It’s an Amazon #1 Best Seller. (All the cool elves are buying it.)

9.   The poems touch on all aspects of love.

10. Nature is threaded through many of the poems.

11.  The cover art rocks.

12. Charity awareness.  Every book you buy, every gift you give, every person you share the news of Utterly loved with, sends ripples of love globally.  Your small act will make a world of difference.

Utterly Loved went on sale on Amazon on November 29, 2012.  Due to the overwhelming support for the project, it skyrocketed to #1 New Releases Best Selling Love Poems, hit #4 New Releases Best Selling Poetry and hit #1 Best Selling Love Poems.

No dollar will ever line my pocket. All proceeds, less costs and taxes, will be donated to selected charities. So far, I’ve chosen World Vision and Covenant House.

I hope you find plenty of reasons to buy Utterly Loved.  Please tell all your social worlds and everyone you know about Utterly Loved.

Buy two copies. Buy twenty.

Standing together around the world we each do a small part to have a big impact. United we can help those who desperately need it to feel… Utterly Loved.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

Purchase Utterly Loved on Amazon

And now… For the signed copy giveaway…

There are several ways to enter. The more you participate, the more entries you will earn to win a signed copy of Utterly Loved.  There are 8 possible ways to enter.  Multiple entries are encouraged.

~ Comment below to share about your purchase of Utterly Loved.

~ Copy the below phrase and post onto Twitter or post any comment sharing about your purchase of Utterly Loved (you must include the hashtag #BuyUtterlyLoved)

     I bought Utterly Loved with Foreword by Sylvain Reynard. Romantic poetry with proceeds to charity. #BuyUtterlyLoved http://amzn.to/SsmarW

~  Tweet again at least 4 hours later with the same #BuyUtterlyLoved hashtag and you will earn one separate entry per every 4 hour Tweet.

~ Post on FB so the hashtag #BuyUtterlyLoved hashtag appears onto Twitter and earn another entry.

That’s 8 possible entries.

Disclaimers:  The contest runs for 24 hours on December 3rd, 2012 from 07:01am EST to December 4rd, 2012 at 07:01am EST.  Winner will need to email proof of purchase to receive the signed copy.  Giveaway is international where allowed.  Winner will be chosen by Random.org. 

The bottom line? 

You help with every purchase.  You help by spreading the news of Utterly Loved so others purchase.  Small acts of kindness make a world of difference.  Thank you for being a part of the difference.

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

Utterly Loved Release Week Giveaways & Schedule

Hello, my friends.

On the heels of an unexpected early release for Utterly Loved with Foreword by Sylvain Reynard, and the book still rocketing to #1 on Amazon New Releases Best Sellers Love Poems, #1 on Amazon Best Sellers Love Poems, and #4 on Amazon Best New Releases Poetry, a very exciting Release Week is lined up with Utterly Loved signed copy giveaways.  A schedule of upcoming events that will be updated with links as they post, links to blogs who have already posted stories about Utterly Loved, and links to purchase Utterly Loved all appear below.

Utterly Loved Release Week Schedule with a signed copy giveaway of Utterly Loved on each blog:

12/01/12 ~ Destiny or Free Will on That’s What I’m Talking About
12/01/12 ~ Undone a poem from Utterly Loved on THESUBCLUBbooks
12/03/12 ~ Twelve Reasons to Buy Utterly Loved on Talk To The Shoe
12/04/12 ~ Utterly Loved 5 Star Review on Bookish Temptations
12/05/12 ~ Utterly Loved Feature on Girl Who Reads
12/05/12 ~ Utterly Loved Feature on Fiction Vixen
12/06/12 ~ Utterly Loved 5 Star Review on Literati Literature Lovers
12/07/12 ~ Everyone Deserves Happily Ever After on Kindles & Wine

12/08/12 ~ 12 Days of Utterly Loved In Time For Christmas Event
Signed copies, Amazon gift cards, and a grand giveaway Kindle Fire? Oh. My.

Please read the wonderful posts already shared about Utterly Loved:

11/20/12 ~ The Story of Utterly Loved on Under The Covers Book Blog
11/21/12 ~ Interview on Literati Literature Lovers
11/28/12 ~ Foreword Author Reveal on Bookish Temptations ~
  The story behind Sylvain Reynard and Utterly Loved.

For more information on Utterly Loved and the charities it benefits, visit the Utterly Loved ~ Foreword by Sylvain Reynard page.

Please buy your copy of Utterly Loved today.  Buy twenty.  They make great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers.

Standing together around the world, we each can do a small part to have a big impact.  United, we can help those who desperately need it to feel… Utterly Loved.

Thank you for all your support of Utterly Loved and wanting to help change our world.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat Bastion

Buy Utterly Loved at Amazon
Internationally buy Utterly Loved at CreateSpace

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

Utterly Loved Hit Number One on Amazon Best Seller List

One day after release, Utterly Loved with Foreword by Sylvain Reynard is a #1 Amazon Best Seller.

Thank you for all your tremendous support.  Due to your enthusiasm and excitement for Utterly Loved and the charities it champions, it currently sits at #1 for Love Poems and hit #4 for Poetry on the Amazon Hot New Releases Best Seller Lists.

Your spirit of giving during the holiday season is making this possible.  I hope Utterly Loved continues to inspire such selfless acts of love.

Please see the Utterly Loved page on the sidebar under menu for more information on Utterly Loved, the charities it supports, and links for you to purchase.

Thank you for your amazing generosity.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

Utterly Loved Release Day!

In true Utterly Loved whirlwind fashion, Utterly Loved with Foreword by Sylvain Reynard surprised us all with a release day less than ten hours after submission instead of 5-7 business days.

Please see the new page on this blog dedicated to Utterly Loved, which can also be accessed under Menu on the left sidebar.

On the page you will find the latest information about Utterly Loved, links to purchase the book, and links to the charities Utterly Loved will be helping.

Please share, like, and comment on the page.

Please share the news of Utterly Loved with all your social worlds.¬† Together we can make those in desperate need feel… Utterly Loved.

Thank you for all your help and support.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat Bastion

© 2012 by Kat Bastion