Monday, September 26, 2022

REVIEW: BEWITCHED: BOOKS OF WONDER #1 BY KATHERINE MOORE

 


Welcome back to the final week with Katherine Moore!!! It's been an incredible month getting to know and learning from Katherine and I just want to take a moment and thank her for hanging out with us!!! Thank you so much for joining us, Katherine!!! It has been so much fun!!! Now without further adieu, let's share about Katherine and her book, Bewitched: Books of Wonder #1 and then at the end I will share with you all my review!!!


BEWITCHED: BOOKS OF WONDER #1



Sometimes Rachel Hoffman feels like her life has gone full circle and there’s nowhere left to go.
She retreated to her small Pacific Northwest hometown after her 15-year marriage broke up. She lives in her parents’ house—they’re in Arizona—right next door to her childhood best friend, who is living in her parents’ house.
She can’t even look forward to empty nest syndrome because her stepdaughter followed her back to Chickadee Falls, WA and now attends nursing school at the local community college, though she lives off campus in a houseful of misfits where nobody cooks. Or cleans. Or even washes their sheets more than once every month or two.
But since meeting the enigmatic Peyton Buchanan on Halloween, Rachel’s life has gotten a lot more interesting.
For one thing, he knows she’s a witch.
For another, she knows he’s a vampire.
It’s…complicated.
And things get even more complicated when her elderly great aunt ends up dead but the corpse in the morgue barely looks like a teenager.
With a demon, a Norn, a vampire FBI agent, and a very grim grimoire, it's no wonder the local chief of police is looking at Rachel sideways.

First introduced in the short story “Midlife Magic,” Rachel and Peyton’s adventures continue in the Books of Wonder series.


PURCHASE ON AMAZON


JENNY'S REVIEW

This was interesting read.

The characters were awesome. I loved reading and getting to know each character within the story.

The storyline, I felt had some holes in it that didn't explain a whole lot and I felt like some parts needed more explaining. I have a few unanswered questions but maybe as the books progress, we will get more answers. Otherwise it's a great storyline with a great plot twist. Even though I gave it 4 stars, I do highly recommend it!!



KATHERINE MOORE



Katherine Moore is the USA Today bestselling pen name of screenwriter/editor Katherine Tomlinson. She also writes fantasy and urban fantasy as Kat Parrish, horror and mystery under her real name, and Gothic horror and darker romance as Katia Kozar. She has worked as a newspaper stringer, food writer, caterer, magazine editor, production company executive, film extra, and lifestyle reporter as well as ghostwriting dozens of advertorial ebooks for marketers. An Army brat, she loves to travel and is currently a digital nomad living in Portugal.

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR

NEWSLETTER FACEBOOK AMAZON GOODREADS 







Monday, September 19, 2022

EXCERPT: BEWITCHED: BOOKS OF WONDER #1 BY KATHERINE MOORE

 


Welcome back to BWWP!! this week, Katherine Moore is sharing with us an excerpt from her book Bewitched: Books of Wonder #1!! So let's not keep you all waiting!!!


BEWITCHED: BOOKS OF WONDER #1


EXCERPT

From the first chapter:


Bree had just left when I got the call about my Great Aunt Helen.

My stepdaughter had taken to doing her laundry at my house instead of at the home she shared with five housemates because she knew I always cooked for the rest of the week on Sunday so I could just heat something up for dinner and not have to worry about it. She also knew I always made extra for her because that’s what mothers do. Her own mother is a fan of frozen dinners and takeout and when I married her father, Bree reacted to my limited repertoire of home-cooked meals as if a Michelin-starred chef had moved into the home.

I remember she was particularly impressed with my macaroni and cheese because she’d only ever had the bright orange kind that came from a box. She’d never had a homemade birthday cake either, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I cheated and used boxed cake mixes, though I always made my own frosting because frosting is the best part of a birthday cake and frosting in a can just wasn’t festive enough for me.

She was on her last dryer cycle and finishing up a huge bowl of chili before she finally got around to bringing up the topic she wanted to talk to me about.

“So, Yuri’s birthday is next week and I was thinking of taking him to that Klimt exhibit up in Seattle,” she said casually, sprinkling some more shredded cheddar over the last bit of chili in her bowl and swirling it around to melt it.

Yuri, I thought.

I’d heard a lot about Yuri lately. He was one of Bree’s housemates, and also a classmate, studying for his nursing degree like she was.

“Yuri likes art?” I asked, trying not to sound too inquisitive. As far as I could tell from the few times I’d met him, Yuri didn’t like much of anything.

“He likes all things Belle poque,” she said. “Did you know Klimt liked cats?”

And as if on cue, Stryper appeared and rubbed his big head against Bree’s leg. She bent down so she could pet him with her left hand while she finished up her chili.

“I didn’t know that,” I said. Just about the only thing I knew about my favorite artist’s life was that he was a victim of the so-called Spanish flu. Knowing Klimt was a cat lover just made me like him all the more.

“What do you think?” she asked.

“It’s a great exhibit,” I said. Melanie and I had gone to see it right after Christmas. Walking “through” the paintings in the immersive exhibit was mesmerizing. We had seen more than one person who had apparently decided the experience would be enhanced by a little THC in their bloodstream, and Melanie expressed her regret at being fresh out of weed so she could try it that way herself.

I haven’t smoked in ages, not since college when my boyfriend gave me some that had jimson weed mixed in it and I got really sick.

I was just lucky there wasn’t paraquat on it. That could really have messed me up permanently.

“That’s what I’ve heard,” Bree said happily. “I’ll get the tickets tomorrow.”

I refrained from asking her why Yuri was so interested in the Belle poque but I couldn’t help but think about my new friend Peyton who had lived in Paris during that Gilded Age. Bree had met Peyton a few times and found him “intriguing,” but not, thank goodness, in any way that might lead to bedroom fantasies. After all, how would you process the concept that a man who looks like he’s in his late teens is actually a vampire who your middle-aged stepmother might be fantasizing about sleeping with as well?

Bree and I share a lot but we don’t share everything.

Anyway, the call about Aunt Helen was to tell me that she had died and that I was listed as the person to contact.

That’s weird, I thought. I had never seen much of my father’s aunt when I was a child and since I’d been back in Chickadee Falls, I’d seen her exactly once. Aunt Helen was dad’s only surviving relative but they hadn’t been close and she had rebuffed all my overtures and invitations. My father must have listed me as a contact when he and mom moved to Arizona.

The voice on the phone—a young woman by the sound of it—told me that I was named Helen’s sole heir and since Helen had taken care of everything before her death, the paperwork would be minimal and the time frame would be short. 

“When can you come by and pick up the keys?” the woman asked me.

“Keys?” I asked, knowing I sounded completely clueless.

“For the house and the cars,” she said.

Cars? Multiple cars?

“I’m free tomorrow,” I said, which was an understatement. My days aren’t exactly packed.

“Excellent,” she said. “I’ll meet you at the house at ten a.m.” She asked me if I needed directions and I told her I didn’t. My aunt’s house was a huge Craftsman that badly needed repainting and refurbishing and probably everyone in town knew where it was because it dominated an intersection near the town’s best grocery store.

“I’ll see you then,” I said and ended the call. I immediately dialed my best friend, knowing that even though it was late, she’d be up watching a baking show or tending to her nasty flock of peacocks. Her ex-husband had acquired the creatures as part of a get-rich quick scheme and dumped them on her at the same time he took off with his investors’ money, leaving her to deal with the Feds when they came knocking on the door of the house that had belonged to her parents once upon a time when we were girls.

Even though the peacocks were evil tempered and tended to drag their feathers through their own filth, Melanie felt bad for them and refused to sell them. They’re beautiful birds and their chicks are adorable but they screech all the time and really, how many peacock feathers can you use as decoration? Melanie uses them in the craft items she sells on Etsy but even she can’t keep up with the feather fall. She sometimes bundles a bunch and puts them out at the curb with a sign that says Free.

In some places the birds are raised for meat, but the one time I suggested the possibility of cooking one, I thought Melanie was going to throw up. She’s a more sensitive soul than I am, although just as much of a carnivore.

I often wondered if peacock would taste like duck.

AMAZON

Monday, September 12, 2022

AUTHOR Q&A: KATHERINE MOORE


 Hello and welcome back to Black Words-White Pages!! This week, I am sitting down with Katherine and have a little Q&A with her just so we all can get to know her a little more!!!! So without further adieu, let's get started!!!


KATHERINE MOORE

BWWP: Most of my favorite authors are indie or self-pubbed, what made you decide to go that route?

KM: I was originally “trad” published for my essays and short stories, including a Macmillan compilation of “bad boyfriend” stories (What Was I Thinking?) featuring stories from women from all over the country, including some celebrities. I was paid flat rates for those books rather than royalties. I also worked as an editor for clients of the “Big Five” publishers who weren’t “stars so they weren’t getting a lot of editorial support from their publishers. I found that depressing.

I was also absolutely astounded that trad published writers who were hugely talented, who had accolades like NYT Bestseller and sold a lot of books, had to supplement their income with teaching gigs and consulting jobs, and the like because their royalty split was so one-sided. I knew there were exceptions but in general, the people I knew who were making good money were indie authors or hybrid authors like Lee Goldberg. So being able to keep a larger portion of royalties sounded attractive.

I also loved the quick turnaround. Because I’d worked in trad publishing at one point in my twenties (I worked for a big media company that included a couple of niche publishing companies where I did everything from designing books to promoting them), I knew about the long, long lead times. Anyone who has ever tried to get an agent or submitted a book on their own knows the pace is glacial. I once had an agent take eight months to respond. Who has that kind of time? The industry has changed somewhat with people like Stephen King and James Patterson putting books out on a faster timeline but for most trad authors, it’s still business as usual.

I have a lot of stories I want to tell and I like writing in a lot of genres. Self-publishing allows me to do that.


BWWP: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

KM: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed finding just the right cover for my stories. When I first started out, premades weren’t the big deal they are now and friends created my covers. Then I discovered The Book Cover Designer, which has thousands of covers, some very affordable.

And little by little I started acquiring a stash. I haunt the cover sites on Facebook and when the designers have sales, I’ll often stock up. I think I bought ten Christmas romance covers last year because I knew I’d use them. I’ve won a couple of covers from designers and have gone back to them for additional custom covers so I can create trilogies. I have also sometimes written stories because I’ve been inspired by covers. Images suggest stories to me.


BWWP: Do you have a particular writing habit?

KM: I do not. I don’t like coffee, so I don’t have that ritual of brewing a cup (I like the way it smells, though) and then sitting down to write. I have been a full-time freelancer almost my entire working life, so I am very very lucky not to get writer’s block. I’m usually working on something for myself while also working on projects for my clients, so if I get stuck, I’ll take a walk and come back to another project for a little while.

I’m childless and share my apartment with my best friend. He is also a USA Today bestselling author who keeps long writing hours, so I can be very selfish with my own writing time and don’t have to worry about feeding kids or him on a regular schedule (he cooks for himself) or having to go to bed at a regular time if the creative juices are flowing because I have to get up and be functional by a certain time every morning because I have a traditional job.

I am in awe of writers who can run a household, have a job, raise kids and pets and still produce work. I took care of both my parents during their final illnesses and if I wrote 500 words a day between the cooking and cleaning and laundry and the general grief and stress, I counted myself lucky. I learned to write in the margins of life, snagging ten minutes here, half an hour there.


BWWP: If you had to choose anyone, which writer would you consider a mentor?

KM: I used to say the biggest influences on my writing were Jim Henson and Rod Serling. I have written a number of short stories and a lot of them have that signature Twilight Zone twist ending. And Henson because of the gentle lessons and wild humor of The Muppet Show. I loved that. The Muppet Christmas Carol is my absolute favorite adaptation of the novella.


BWWP: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

KM: I’m a huge fan of R.C. Barnes, who has a wonderful fantasy series featuring a young woman with a remarkable talent—she can read tattoos. The first two books are out—Ink for the Beloved and Ink for the Damned, and I recommend them highly.


BWWP: What is the hardest part of your writing?

KM: The marketing. When I was part of a “list run” for USA Today, the boxed set organizers wanted us to send out our newsletters at least once a week, but preferably more. And I just hated that because I know if I get a newsletter that’s basically just a request to buy, buy, buy, I start to lose interest. Also, I am not good with TikTok and Instagram and it feels like if writers don’t have all the social media platforms covered, they aren’t doing their jobs.

But social media monitoring can really eat up the day. I have a shamefully neglected blog that I’ve maintained for years and some years I post a lot—book reviews and recommendations—but this year I think I’ve posted something like twice a month. 


BWWP: Do you have any advice for other writers?

KM: The number one recommendation I’d make is to stop wasting time. Trying to carve time out of a busy life to write is hard. But if in your down time you’re keeping up with the Kardashians, or scrolling through TikTok for an hour every morning, that’s time you’re not writing. Of course, you have to take breaks, and wind down and relax. But it’s way too easy—and I know this from personal experience—to click on one YouTube video and then watch another and another. Baby goats in pajamas? I’m there. “Honest Trailers” for movies? Haven’t missed a one. “Doom-scrolling?” Guilty as charged. But as they say about drinking, “Know when to say when.”

Also. Just write. Even if it’s not perfect, write it down. I used to commute to my first job by bus and I would jot down ideas to pass the time. I would draft out short stories. Sometimes, and I know this sounds geeky, I would pick a theme for a collection of short stories and then I’d list ten or twenty possible short story titles that would tie in with the theme. Or I’d just be thinking about plots. I found I could amuse myself endlessly which was fortunate because my commute involved two buses, a walk, and around ninety minutes each way. every morning, that’s time you’re not writing. Of course, you have to take breaks, and wind down and relax. But it’s way too easy—and I know this from personal experience—to click on one YouTube video and then watch another and another. Baby goats in pajamas? I’m there. “Honest Trailers” for movies? Haven’t missed a one. “Doom-scrolling?” Guilty as charged. But as they say about drinking, “Know when to say when.”

Also. Just write. Even if it’s not perfect, write it down. I used to commute to my first job by bus and I would jot down ideas to pass the time. I would draft out short stories. Sometimes, and I know this sounds geeky, I would pick a theme for a collection of short stories and then I’d list ten or twenty possible short story titles that would tie in with the theme. Or I’d just be thinking about plots. I found I could amuse myself endlessly which was fortunate because my commute involved two buses, a walk, and around ninety minutes each way


BWWP: Describe yourself in three words.

KM: Seeker. Traveler. Activist.


BWWP: I know the characters are like children but if you could choose, who’s your favorite from your books? Of all time?

KM: My absolute favorite character (and I love them all) is from a script, not a book. My maternal grandmother lived with my family when I was a child and she was a force of nature. Small—I’m 5’1” and I towered over her—but she cast a long shadow. And she could be cantankerous or charming or stoic or feisty. She was an autodidact who had married a man twice her age and was widowed for decades. She was named Katherine. (As was my father’s stepmother, so there was never any question what I’d be named.)

Anyway, I wrote a small-town sf comedy in which an ensemble of mismatched people fight off a group of pterodactyls while holing up in a doc in a doc in a box clinic. And on of the characters is an old lady named Lula Binswanger. I channeled my grandmother into her and to this day, she is the character I’m proudest of.


BWWP: Any song or songs that could basically sum up the overall mood of your current book?

KM: Leonard Cohen wrote so many versions of “Hallelujah” that there’s probably one that fits my mood at any one time.

I hate to admit it, but I’m not really music-oriented. I preferred the Rolling Stones to the Beatles. But if I listen to music when I write, it tends to be soundtracks. Music with lyrics distracts me.


BWWP: Do you plot out your books or just freely write them and let the characters tell you what to do next?

I’m kind of a hybrid. I used to write a serial novel for AOL/Huffington Post and for each chapter, I basically knew the beats I needed to hit. I’m pretty much of a pantser when it comes to my romances, but the mystery stories need more structure. MY SF stuff belongs to a big world I’ve created, so I have to outline those to make sure I keep the timeline straight. But I love it when things happen that I didn’t expect. I just wrote a story for a boxed set that took a turn I did not expect.


BWWP: If you had to choose, who would you consider the biggest influence in your writing?

KM: So many writers influenced me. My parents read to me and my siblings from the time we could sit on their laps. (The first book I remember was The Poky Little Puppy.) I was a huge huge fan of Beverly Cleary. She was the first author I knew by name.) We always got books as presents for birthdays and Christmas. My parents were both readers—my mother favored mysteries; my father read nonfiction. The only thing my parents refused to let any of us read was comic books, so I didn’t grow up inside the MCU or DC universes. I read a couple of Superman and Batman comics at friends’ houses but I was reading “adult books” from the time I was about twelve. (YA and NA weren’t really a thing yet.) I read everything. There was a period when paperback horror was huge—those shiny, cut-out covers. I read Gothic romances. I read Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys and Cherry Ames and Trixie Belden. I read fantasy and science fiction. I read mysteries. My parents were fine with us reading genre, they knew we were getting the “classics” at school like Scarlet Letter and Moby Dick and “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.” The writers who really spoke to me were the late, great Tanith Lee, Stephen King, and William Shakespeare. Really, I am a total Shakespeare geek and have even retold some of his tales.


BWWP: What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us?

KM: One of the busiest times in my year is late summer when I’m prepping my clients to attend the American Film Market. My longest-running “day job” is working as a freelance story analyst, which means that I write book reports for a living—analyzing scripts and books for production companies who want to know if they should buy them. The idea of what’s commercial varies wildly because I have a lot of overseas clients, and they have different criteria. For example, the French love dark, strange, moody, angsty movies. The Israeli market loves raucous sex comedies. Action movies and horror do well across the world.) The prep usually lasts about three weeks and it is INTENSE, reading and writing reports on (sometimes) hundreds of scripts.

About three years ago, I started writing scripts myself and I’ve been lucky enough to have had some success in the low-budget world. I just had a Christmas movie made, and I’ve been contracted to write another one as well as a Valentine’s Day script. I love that because I’m leaning heavily into my “Katherine Moore” brand, which is cozy, holiday rom com stories.

It's those cozies I’m writing now. I have stories planned for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, all coming out in the next three months. For my pen name Kat Parrish, I’m really excited about a AF/space opera series I call “Hospital Planet.” There are three books so far, which will all publish monthly beginning in October. (Kildare, Salk, and Paracelsus—all my hospital planets are named after famous Earth doctors.) I wish I could give out a pre-order link but I’ve lost my pre-order privileges on until April.

I also have stories in a number of multi-author boxed sets and anthologies coming out. I’m a sucker for charity anthologies and I have trouble saying no. Here are a few collections that people may enjoy:

Paris Romance—Katherine Moore has a story about two rival translators falling in love. It’s on preorder here: https://geni.us/ParisRomance

I used to live in France and have a school kid’s fluency in French. It is a tricky language for non-native speakers, so the mistake that my heroine makes is one I have actually made…

Nightfall—Under my pen name Kat Parrish, I submitted a story called “As My City Burns,” which is a stand-alone tale in my L.A. Nocturne universe, which is a paranormal Los Angeles, a place I lived for decades. The prequel to the story is a novel contained in the permafree collection After Midnight. Here’s the preorder link for Nightfall: https://books2read.com/nightfallanthology

Twilight For the Dead—Under my pen name Katia Kozar, I just finished a creepy evil twin/ghost story called “Mercy Me” for this collection. It’ll be available in October.

Bases Loaded—Katherine Moore is doing an “enemies to lovers” story about a woman photographing a star baseball player. Sportsjinks ensue. My cousin is an absolute baseball fanatic. I will be consulting with him.


Here’s the preorder link
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B9QWV156


BWWP: Thank you so much, Katherine, for taking time to sit down and talk with me!! I have really enjoyed our time together and I have learned so much about you!! Thank you again!! Below are the links to where you can follow Katherine Moore!!


NEWSLETTER FACEBOOK AMAZON 

GOODREADS 



REVIEW: BEWITCHED: BOOKS OF WONDER #1 BY KATHERINE MOORE

  Welcome back to the final week with Katherine Moore!!! It's been an incredible month getting to know and learning from Katherine and I...