The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts Update


It’s time to share the official back cover summary for The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts:

She tried to ignore them. But some things won’t be ignored.

Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut.

The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton.

But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time—and their own bodies—before their souls slip away forever.


The cover reveal is coming up on April 6th! Several awesome blog buddies are also going to share the cover on their blogs. We’ll be kicking off a Rafflecopter ARC giveaway that day too!


If you’d like to add The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts to your Goodreads To-Read list, you can find it here:

Posted in Giveaways, new release, Promotion, publishing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

How to Break a Heart Reblog

I’m down with the flu. Fever, body aches, cough, unable to breathe awfulness. So I thought I’d repost an old post from 2010 that didn’t get much love.

Posted in Ramblings, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The Pleasure of Reading

It’s been a while since I got lost in the pages of a book. Giving myself over to the pleasure of the story and enjoying it.

My brain is hardwired to analyze story. To note the pacing, look for the hook, examine the bond with the main character, to study the story arc, and catalog the character development.

Even when I watch tv shows or movies, my mind is focused on the story structure. I can tell you exactly why a story works or it doesn’t.

But that all fell away as I read Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner. The beauty of her writing sucked me in. I fell deeper and deeper into the story until I was completely immersed in it. Enjoying every moment with Liza.

And I realized this is why people read. For the pleasure of getting lost in something so much bigger than themselves. To care and to be carried away with the characters on a journey unlike any I’ve ever taken.

I missed this. Though a lifelong reader, I hadn’t taken off my writer hat in years. And it took this book to remind me that it’s important to be a reader. To stay 100% in the story and not think about why it’s working. To read solely for the pleasure of reading.

I am so thrilled that I got to meet Janni at the Tucson Festival of Books last year. She signed my copy, “For Kourtney, Listen to your magic!”

I don’t think she had any idea how important that message would be to me as I struggle through revisions of Six Train’s sequel. How personal it felt in that moment when I finished her book and the magic of it still hummed in my veins.

This is a book that I will treasure.

Because a good book makes you smile, but a great book energizes your soul.

And this is a great book!

Posted in Book Review, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

A Week Without My Laptop


Last week my laptop went down. A major hardware problem made it malfunction. I still had Apple Care protection so I called in and then sent my laptop off to the Apple Engineers.

It completely derailed my week. Because despite having backups to Time Machine and a flash drive full of pertinent files and an email with my top ten files, I no longer had a computer to work on them.

After I talked to Apple Support and got the worst case scenario–2 weeks without my laptop,  I cried like my boyfriend of five years just broke up with me. A violent emotional reaction over a computer. A tiny part of my mind knew I was overreacting, but the hysterical sobbing and frustration had to run its course.

This was such bad timing. I am on tight schedule with TGWIG and Six Train’s sequel. And I could potentially be without a computer for 2 weeks. Panic. Sheer panic. And loss. Such loss. I can’t lose two work weeks.

Next began a series of trouble shooting techniques. Most of which only led to more trouble.

I tried firing up the old Mac from 2007. It still worked, but the battery had swelled up and was unusable. So I was left solely with a/c power and a fickle cord that easily slipped out.

For email and social media, I relied on my iPad. It’s nowhere near as easy to navigate as my laptop, but it was a decent filler.

My entire work week ground to a halt. I was supposed to be creating the series bible for The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts. But I didn’t have Scrivener on my old laptop and it’s OS wasn’t compatible with Scrivener.

And then the worst thing happened. I couldn’t figure out which draft of Six Train’s sequel was the most recent one. I had a printed version that was 451 pages and an electronic one that was 378 pages. I felt like I was going to lose my mind.

I spent hours trying to figure it out. And I couldn’t. That was weeks of work potentially gone. My mind was at its breaking point.

I never realized that my Mac wasn’t just a computer. It was my ally. My business partner. And my daily companion at work. Without it, I was lost. Fumbling through the day. Barely productive.

Luckily, Apple was able to turn around the laptop in a flash. I called in on Monday, got the Fed Ex box on Wednesday, shipped it back Wednesday afternoon, they got it Thursday morning and shipped it back Thursday before midnight. I woke up Friday to an email that my laptop was coming home around 10:30 am.

I spent most of Friday moving Time Machine to the laptop and getting everything back up and running again. I’m so happy to have my old friend back.

And I’m thinking about getting some repairs done to my old Mac. A new battery. Some memory upgrades. So that it can be a backup if this ever happens again.

Have you ever had a complete tech meltdown? What did you do?

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , , , , , | 31 Comments

The Beauty of Choice


A few years back, I got to know this amazing blogger, August McLaughlin. She started out as a blogging mentor and quickly became a friend. I am honored to be participating in her Beauty of a Woman Blogfest for the third year in a row!

For me, the beauty of a woman isn’t in trying to meet some ideal size or lose a certain number of inches.

It’s about making choices. Deciding who you want to be and becoming that person.

Making decisions that are right for you.

I’ve always done well in this realm in the academic and the career, but never with my body.  Or at least only in spurts.

The last few years, I felt like I was stuck inside this body that I had no control over it.

I accepted that this was just how it was and I gave up.

Then I saw someone older, who was struggling with far worse chronic conditions, and he looked and felt amazing.

And that’s when I realized I had choices.

Difficult decisions I could make.

The ability to change course was mine, if I took it.

So I did.

For me, it’s been about focusing on becoming stronger. Exercising more. Slowly and gradually increasing my workout time each week.

 Choosing to make better decisions about where to allocate my time & choosing to get up from my desk and move more.

Little choices that add up.

With food, it’s been about speaking up and speaking out. At restaurants, I focus on meals that are better for my eating regimen. I ask them to make substitutions or not put things on my plate.

I take charge of my eating.

I say no to dessert.

Then I go home and have some fruit.

It’s a daily struggle to make good, healthy decisions, but it makes me feel stronger and healthier.

Most importantly, I am an active participant in my health. I make choices. I don’t sit on the sidelines and accept things as they are. I change things.

If something doesn’t work for me, I speak up.

And to me that’s what makes a woman beautiful.

When she takes charge of her life and charts her own course.

Whether it be with her health, her career, her social life, or her family.

A beautiful woman knows how to set boundaries, embraces no, and learns when to say yes to the opportunities in her life.

To see more inspiring posts, please visit: Beauty of a Woman Blogfest 2015

Posted in beauty, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Do You Like Who You’ve Become?

A couple months back, I was listening to Bastille’s song “Weight of Living Part 2″, and the lyrics echoed inside my mind.

Do you like the person you’ve become?

It made me stop and reevaluate where I was and who I was. At the time my answer was no.

So I tinkered with my lifestyle.

I don’t like feeling sluggish and off. Being constantly bloated and swollen. Those are all side effects of not controlling my blood sugar issues.

I finally re-committed to a healthier eating regimen. The one that multiple doctors have told me is tailored to deal with my insulin resistance. The one where I feel stronger and more energetic. The one where the side effects of the insulin resistance fade away. The one that works when I’m diligent.

I also increased my workouts from 60 to 80 minutes a day. More time devoted to strengthening my body. Building muscle also helps with the insulin resistance.

I hate that I have this chronic condition that I have to deal with. I hate that I can’t eat whatever I want without major consequences. I hate that I’ve had this since I was 22. I hate that I’ve had it under control and then let it spiral back out of control.

Because when I manage it, I manage it really well. But like any chronic condition, it’s exhausting to be on top of it all the time.

People don’t make it easier either. Especially at parties or group dinners. They say, “Oh one cheat day won’t hurt. Or come on just try it. Or I don’t know how you do that, it’s so restrictive. Or that can’t be healthy.”

But the thing is, when you have insulin problems, everything you eat matters. Every cheat moment counts. And it sets off a horrible reaction within your body. Once I splurge, I can’t unsplurge. I am a sugar addict. If my body gets a hit, I crave it and I need more and more to deliver the same level of satisfaction.

I don’t want to be that person anymore. The one who feels out of control in her own body. So I’m going to become the person I want to be. The person I need to be in order to be healthy.

And I like my days so much better now. There is no guilt. Because I know I am being good to myself. There is no frustration because I can fit my clothes again and I don’t have to lie that everything is shrinking.

Most importantly, I can say I like who I’ve become.

Do you like who you’ve become? Is there something that you’d like to work on?

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts Finds a New Publisher!


So after everything that happened last year, The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts has a new publisher! It’s a small press called Beckett Publishing Group.

They will be publishing The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts in August 2015!

It’s the first manuscript I ever wrote and I started working on it back in 2006. After years or workshopping and revising, it sold to Harlequin in 2013. But in 2014, Harlequin shut down the imprint that was publishing my novel and the rights reverted back to me.

At the time, it felt like my entire world was imploding. Luckily, I have some amazing author buddies and blog friends who reached out and and supported me. My parents and my friends were also there to cheer me up. They all kept me going when giving up would have been the logical thing to do.

And now, I have a new publisher! Sometimes you just have to stay in the game no matter how unlikely it feels that things will turn around. Because that’s usually five minutes before they do.

I’ve been hard at work on line edits. Despite the editorial revisions I already completed with Harlequin, we had massive work to do to get the book through line edits. I think I’ve read this book more than any other book I’ve worked on. We’re wrapping up the copyediting phase now.

Stay tuned for updates on the back cover summary and the cover reveal. I’ll also have a limited number of ARCs to give away in May!


In Six Train news, The Chocolate Expo went well! I sold 21 books in 4 hours and had two online purchases from the event. Met a ton of cool people and handed out lots of bookmarks so it was a very successful event!



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In other news, we have been bombarded with snow in CT. The goldens still want to play ball. The new game is find the ball in the snow pile. We have piles that are easily 5-6 feet high. And this week we are bracing for major snow again. Because of the chronic below freezing temperatures, our driveway is a skating rink.


I signed up for the NESCBWI Spring Conference. Super excited to spend a weekend with children’s book authors. The panels look amazing!


I am also in my last week of this teaching term. I taught basic keyboarding and business writing skills. It’s been challenging and exciting. I’ve gotten invested in my students and I really want to see them do well. Class prep and correcting tests and quizzes has taken up a good chunk of time, but hopefully I’ll get some of the same courses next term so that I’ll have the materials ready to go.

Posted in author appearance, Conferences, Personal, publishing, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Five Years of Blogging


Okay not a 5th blog birthday cake, but you get the gist.

February is my fifth February blogging and my blog’s fifth birthday.

So I thought we’d look back at a post from each February of my blog’s life.

 February 2010:

Character Birthing

My first ever post to this blog–before I knew how to insert links or images. I was living on Wall Street and writing part time back then.

 February 2011:

I <3 Venezia

 I was on a daily posting schedule during my trip to Italy. Pictures in posts weren’t happening because I didn’t have the ability to move them from my camera to my iPad.

February 2012:

The Things My Grandma Says

I’ve shifted to a five day a week blogging schedule. Hanging out lots with Grandma H and capturing the hilarity that is her.

February 2013:

Just Breathe

I’m posting a few times a week now. Gearing up for my debut novel’s launch.

February 2014:

Last Week’s Events and Such

Posting a couple times a week and I’m doing author events–talks, workshops and signings!

February 2015:

Weekly posts now.  And that would be today’s post. :)

Posted in blogging, Personal, Ramblings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments