Writer’s Digest Contest Win + Summer Blog Hiatus

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The Writer’s Digest contest results are in and I came in first place!


Thank you so much to everyone who voted for my sentence. It took me weeks to craft that little bugger. Coming in first place was such an unexpected pleasure. I’ve been battling a lot of self doubt offline this summer and it really reaffirmed why I do this. Thank you!



In addition to all the work that goes into creating Highway Thirteen to Manhattan, I am also doing a cover redo and internal formatting update to address typos I discovered over the past few years in The Six Train to Wisconsin.

It’s keeping me incredibly busy. But I’m loving the results. The new cover is featured above. It’s already up on the ebook on Amazon, on Goodreads, and on NetGalley. I still have to finalize the internal formatting of all the ebooks and the paperback and the paperback cover.

And then there’s Highway Thirteen to Manhattan’s final paperback and ebook formatting and wrap around cover to still finish up.

I’m also revising The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts’ sequel. I’m polishing up a short story submission, and I’m working on my entry for Pitch Wars next week.

I have a week long writing immersion workshop coming up in September for my WIP too.

Then there’s all the promo stuff for Highway Thirteen. Requesting reviews, sending out ARCs, buying ad space, lining up events for the fall, etc.

It’s an ambitious to-do list, so I’m going to take a blog hiatus starting August 1 and going until September 16.

I’ll be around on Facebook and Twitter, but summer is  a slow time in the blogosphere and it’s the right time to take a little break before the major promo push of October-December.

Have a terrific rest of the summer! I’ll see you in mid-September!

If you’d like to win an ARC of Highway Thirteen to Manhattan, there’s a Goodreads giveaway going on right now!

Posted in book launch, publishing, revision, wrtiting | Tagged , , , , | 26 Comments

Highway Thirteen to Manhattan is Available from NetGalley


Last week was the big cover reveal for Highway Thirteen to Manhattan. The ebook advance reader copy is now available on NetGalley for review.If you’re a blogger, librarian, teacher, or media, you can request it from: https://www.netgalley.com/pub/AureaBluePress

The first book in The Six Train to Wisconsin series is also available on NetGalley so reviewers can follow Kai and Oliver’s story from the beginning.

If you’d like to win a free paperback advance reader copy of Highway Thirteen to Manhattan, make sure you add it to you Want to Read List on Goodreads. Goodreads will automatically let you know when a giveaway is going on. The first one starts on July 19.


Many thanks to my amazing street team, The Cheeseheads, for helping me with the cover of Highway Thirteen to Manhattan!

The paperback ARC is now officially in production–woohoo! I should have those in late July to start distributing.

I’m now one week into revising The Unbelievables Book 2. I have to get it to my editor by the end of September. I’m switching off between 3 hours of revising and 4 hours of proofreading ebook and paperback proofs for the re-release of The Six Train to Wisconsin.






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Highway Thirteen to Manhattan Cover Reveal Blog Tour


Today is the big reveal of the cover for Highway Thirteen to Manhattan, the highly anticipated sequel to the award winning book, The Six Train to Wisconsin!

Please stop by any of these blogs today to check out the cover. I’m closing comments and asking that you show some blog love to these awesome bloggers who shared their space with me today. I’ll be making the rounds and reply to all comments there.

My blog buddy Mayumi on Bonus Parts is posting my cover and a little background on the creation process. You can read all about it on her blog this week!
Blogger Amanda at Novel Addiction also shared my cover reveal.

Many thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for organizing a terrific cover reveal for me on these amazing blogs!

I also booked a cover reveal with Sage’s Blog Tours. So the cover will also be featured on these blogs today with a giveaway!
It’s a one-day giveaway of advance reader copies of Highway Thirteen to Manhattan through them. The giveaway link is on most of these blog posts below. Make sure you enter today!
Posted in blog tour, cover reveal, Giveaways, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Happy July Fourth!




IMG_1349 My favorite beach at low tide. Longest friendship I’ve ever had. Love you Linds!


Johnny Ad’s platter. Clam strips, scallops, shrimp, and fish. With lobster salad, cole slaw, a roll, and fries. The perfect size for sharing!


Mama turkey and 7 baby turkeys in my back yard. Every time I see a turkey I feel excited about Highway Thirteen’s release!

Hope everyone has a wonderful July Fourth! I’m closing comments so you can enjoy the holiday!

See you next week–when it’s Highway Thirteen to Manhattan’s cover reveal!!!

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Book Club and Berry Picking


Last Thursday, I was invited to a CT book club to discuss TGWIG. It’s really cool to sit down with readers and talk about the characters and the story.

The hostess had every make a “ghost” or “supernatural” themed food item. We had ghost white pizza with olive slices for eyes, mystery meatballs, shrimp cocktail, antipasto bread, risotto balls, and a magic cheese ball.

She even made a delicious blood orange cocktail for the event too. I should have taken pictures but I totally forgot in the moment.

One member read it in two days which was awesome to hear. Another mentioned how she planned to share it with her granddaughter and it gave them something to talk about. It was an incredibly fun night!


I finished proofing the ebook ARC for Highway Thirteen to Manhattan. Which meant I got a full day off.  I only checked email and Facebook that day.

Mom and I headed to Lyman Orchards for an afternoon of berry picking. We arrived at the end of strawberry season and the beginning of raspberry season.

We managed to scavenge a couple pounds of strawberries and easily picked 4 pounds of raspberries.

At the strawberry patch, Mom and I discover we have completely different approaches to picking. She moves quickly up and down the row, scanning the plants. I crouch down and slowly and methodically search through the leaves for hidden gems. So while I move 20 feet, she cover a mile in twenty minutes.

At one point, I look up and she’s in the same row as me, but on the other side of the field.

Then I notice this brother and sister picking together, sharing a basket and talking as they meander around searching for strawberries. Evidently, their berry picking methods were a match.

Ma and I are completely incompatible. Her methods seem haphazard to me and she finds my method extremely frustrating.

I had to laugh that berry picking together for us was picking berries in the same field.


Ma picking strawberries


Lyman Orchards strawberry field


My strawberries and my canteen


A very hot and sunny selfie


My raspberries


Raspberry field


Ma and I picking raspberries “together”


the view


raspberry bush

When I was a little girl, we used to have blackberry bushes growing in our yard. Every summer, Ma and I would spend time out there picking them. And catching fireflies. That’s what summer always meant to me.

Picking the berries reminded me of how much I loved it back then.  I found it incredibly relaxing to search for berries and pull them gently off the branch. Sometimes they fell right  into my bucket.

I was in a long sleeve shirt and pants because I hate sunlight. This was super helpful because raspberry bushes have tons of thorns. I only got cut once. I heard a guy a few rows over yelp a few times about the thorns. Ma was in shorts and a T-shirt. She got scratched up way more than I did. Then again it might be our differing methods.

We spent almost two hours in the fields in the early afternoon. It was in the eighties and the sun beat down on us. There was a slight breeze that came far too infrequently. I was drenched in sweat. I considered that my work out for the day.

We stopped at Guida’s on the way home for a bacon cheeseburger and vanilla milk shake to replenish my depleted energy. There are no photos because I inhaled it.

What did you do this weekend? Anything relaxing?



Posted in author appearance, Personal | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

The Week in Review

The past week has been very work intensive with proofing the ARC for Highway Thirteen to Manhattan. It’s amazing what you catch on the thirtieth read when it’s actually laid out like a book. I’m working on the ebook with Rik from Wild Seas Formatting. He’s fast, he’s responsive, and I love working with him.

I’ve hired two companies to organize the cover reveal, Bewitching Book Tours and Sage’s Book Tours. It will be revealed on July 11.

I’m figuring out the author swag and am constantly passing things by my trusted team: my editor, my crit partner, parents, a close friend, and the most amazing street team, The Cheeseheads. It’s so helpful to have that many sets of eyes go over stuff. Thank you so much to everyone who responds to my emails and posts. I couldn’t do what I do without your awesome feedback!

Hope you are having a great week. What are some of the highlights from your week?

Posted in author appearance, Food and Cooking, Personal, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

I’m a Finalist in the WD Contest #74



WD Contest Finalist

I’ve been entering contests this year to get my work out there to a larger audience. Short stories and flash fiction also happen to be great ways to keep your writing muscles in shape.

So a month ago, I tried my hand at one of Writer’s Digest’s contests. It’s based on a photo. You have to write the first line of the story in less than 25 words. Well, I submitted and promptly forgot about it.

Then on Friday I got an email saying that I’m a finalist in the WD Your Story #74 Contest! The twelve finalists are listed on the Writer’s Digest website and they are letting readers vote on the winner.

Please vote for the entry you think is the best (Mine is option E). You can comment on the WD page or send them a quick email.


I really and truly appreciate your support!


Barnes & Noble B-Fest

In other exciting news, I spent the weekend at the Waterbury Barnes and Noble as part of their national Teen Book Festival, B-Fest. I sold some books, chatted with some cool readers, and met some awesome authors. It was a great weekend!

barnes and noble signing 1

Michael Slaughter, Joseph Adomavicia, me, and Patrick Freivald.

Michael writes motivational non-fiction, Joseph has a beautiful collection of poetry, and Patrick has terrific horror novels and short stories.

barnes and noble signing 2

Here’s me at the table.:)

Update on Highway Thirteen to Manhattan

I’m wrapping up line edits of Highway Thirteen to Manhattan this week. What a journey it’s been to get the book here. Next it goes to the layout team for the ARC, which will be available in mid-July in ebook and paperback format.

If anyone is a book reviewer or librarian and would like to request an ARC, please email me at: kourtney.heintz(at)yahoo.com or comment below.

If you’d love to win an ARC, keep your eyes peeled for my Goodreads giveaways of ARCs this summer. I’ll also do a couple ARC giveaways on my blog, too. The ebook ARC will be available on Netgalley too.

Lastly, I’m planning the cover reveal for the week of July 10-17. If any blogger would like to participate, let me know and I will send you the back cover summary, cover image, and anything else you might need.


Posted in author appearance, book festival, book release, Contest, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

The Secret Reason I Write


When I was a little girl, I used to wish for one superpower: to be invisible. I didn’t want people to see me. I didn’t want to be looked at or teased. I wanted to be there but not be perceived.

I also was curious. Deeply and irrevocably curious about what other families were like. I wanted to sneak into their homes and watch them. See how the dad and mom interacted. What a family dinner at their house looked like. I wanted to walk through their house without anyone knowing and just see who they were when they thought no one was watching.

It took me years to realize that dream. And it’s not quite how I imagined it. You see, when I am writing, I disappear. The characters become real and I fade away.

I escape anything and everything in my own life and become a part of their world. I can smell and see the places they inhabit. I get to walk through someone else’s world without anyone noticing.

It’s the closest I can come to invisible and it feels extraordinary.

Do you have a secret reason you write?


Reminder: June 11 & 12 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. I will be at the Waterbury Barnes and Noble (235 Union Street) for the Teen Book Weekend signing books and giving out freebies. Stop by and enter my giveaway to win a B&N giftcard from me!

Posted in Personal, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments