Little Miss Lovesick Is Free Today Through Saturday

Little Miss Lovesick by Kitty BucholtzHi friends! I hope you’re having a great week! Maybe I can make it a tiny bit better. Would you like to read Little Miss Lovesick for free? You can if you download it from the Kindle Store either for your Kindle or your Kindle app on your computer, smart phone, or tablet.

I’m running a promotion this week, Tuesday through Saturday, to help readers who like sweet chick-lit romantic comedies find my book and give it a try. What I’m really hoping is that readers like you will leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, or wherever you like to leave and read reviews. This helps new readers to see what other people liked and disliked so they can decide if it’s a book they would enjoy.

Would you do me a favor? Please share this post with the social media buttons below. I’d be so happy to know you wanted to tell your friends about Little Miss Lovesick. 😀  And let me know if you liked this one. I’ve had two people tell me this week that they enjoyed it so much they want to read more set in the same area (my hometown of Traverse City, Michigan). Wow! Thank you, friends! If there’s a character whose story you’d particularly like to read, let me know in the comments below or via email. Maybe I can do that for you. :)

Meanwhile, Happy Reading!

Free Ebook of A Very Merry Superhero Wedding

Seems like almost every day I learn something new about how to please my readers and encourage new readers to give my books a try. And each new thing requires me to learn about ten other things to make that one thing work. Luckily, I kind of like learning new things!

Superhero in Disguise by Kitty Bucholtz, in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke seriesSo over the last few days I’ve been creating a system where you can get the first two books of my superhero urban fantasy series, Adventures of Lewis and Clarke, absolutely free! All you have to do is join my email newsletter list.

In chronological reading order, “Superhero in Disguise” is first, and it’s free everywhere you buy ebooks. You can download it right now (if you haven’t already) from your favorite ebook store and it will load right onto your ereader.

The second book, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, sells for $2.99. But if you subscribe to my newsletter, you will get access to the ebook for free as soon as you sign up. Kind of great, right?

A Very Merry Superhero Wedding book cover by Kitty BucholtzAlready a subscriber? You received an email last night with all the information on downloading both books. Already purchased A Very Merry Superhero Wedding? Let me know and I’ll make sure you get the next short story for free. My gift to you for being such a great fan! 😀

Speaking of which, I got a ton of writing done on the new story yesterday, and I hope to get it finished, formatted, and out to you in the next month or so! I think the final title is going to be My Bull-headed Superhero Valentine. I’m having so much fun with this story and I think you will, too.

So if you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so on the top right of this page. As soon as you do so, check your Inbox for an email from me with the links to the books. And enjoy!

If you’d like to do me a huge favor, I need more people who’ve read the books to post reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or Barnes and Noble. More reviews help other readers to know whether these would be books they’d like. If you would take the time, I’d be so grateful!

Meanwhile, happy reading!

3-superhero book covers

More Marvelous Marvel

When I opened the DVD box for Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday so I could watch it on my other monitor while I worked, I remembered that I still hadn’t gone to the Marvel web site to enter the code inside to unlock extra goodies.

I’ve never been to the Marvel site before. It’s got lots of fun stuff! Trailers, pictures, and even a quiz! Of course, I had to take it to find out which Avenger I am. Haha!

The results were inconclusive. If this were the Divergent movie, that’s what I would’ve ended up as – a divergent. I wasn’t a bit like Hulk, and barely at all like Iron Man, but I was fairly evenly spaced across the others, with Thor getting just a tiny bit more points. So I just downloaded a Thor desktop wallpaper to my iMac. 😀  I guess it’s good that the next Thor will be a woman so I can dress like “her”? Haha! I don’t know about that.

Here are my results:

Kitty's Marvel Quiz Results

And here is the link to the quiz. Which Avenger are you? Tell me in the comments! 😀

Receiving Helps You Grow

ribbonWe talk about “the gift of giving” in our society because people need to understand that giving to others and helping other people can benefit the giver as well. Once you experience the satisfaction and joy that comes with helping a person or organization in need, those feelings will often push you to give again and again until you find yourself looking for opportunities to help others.

When something good happens to you, like getting a raise at work, you may experience the desire to pass along a little of the good that came your way. Maybe you’ll take the family on vacation, tip your waiter more than normal, or hand some cash to the guy standing at the end of the freeway exit.

But what about when your life takes a turn the other direction? Depending on your personality, you are likely to tell your friends, “No, I’m fine, thanks” when they ask if you need anything. Despite tough times, you may not allow your friends to treat you to lunch let alone help you in a bigger way. It might be your pride that keeps you from accepting help, or it might be the feeling that everyone has hard times and you can get through it without adding a burden to your friends.

That’s perhaps a healthy (read: non-leech-like) attitude for a little while. No one wants a friend or a relative who is likely to ask for a loan at the least inconvenience. But some tough times are more than an inconvenience. Someone gets sick or loses their job, and it can quickly escalate to a huge problem. Then what do you do?

Keep in mind how you felt when you were able to do something nice for someone – treat a friend to lunch, give or loan someone the money to fix their car, give a friend a gift card so they can have a little fun in the midst of hard times. It felt good, didn’t it, like you’d made a small difference in the life of someone you cared about.

That’s the feeling you need to remember when someone offers to do something nice for you. That person is going to feel a little bit of joy and satisfaction when you accept their gift. If you say no, no, and no again, you’re denying them the good feeling of helping someone else. It may be hard – it probably will be hard – but as the arguments come to mind (and as they pass over your lips at first), you need to stop and take a breath, and smile, and say, “Thank you.”

And this is where receiving helps you grow.

Now you know what it feels like. Now you know how hard it is to smile and say thank you and accept the gift, no matter how big or small. Remember that feeling.

Because your life is going to turn around. You’re going to be able to start giving again, helping out a friend, treating someone to lunch, overtipping a single mom waitress. And it’s important that you learn to give with as much humility as you had to have to receive. You need to know how hard it can be to accept other people’s generosity so that you can give with an attitude that helps people accept your gifts.

Life is cyclical. The good times come and go. The bad times come and go. John and I have been in both places, and in all the places in between. We’ve had opportunities and circumstances that have allowed us to be enormously generous, and we have learned to love those times. It is so fun to help people once you get started! We’ve also had opportunities and circumstances where we had to take a deep breath, smile, and say thank you to other people’s enormous generosity, even though it was gut-wrenchingly difficult and we really wanted to say no.

Being on the receiving end of help is difficult. There are some people we will never be able to pay back. All we can do is promise everyone that we will pay it forward. But our circumstances have taught us once again how we need to act when we can start giving again. And we’ve begun to understand what Jesus meant when he said about giving, Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.

Giving in humility makes receiving in humility easier. And both will help you grow into a better person.

Countdown to Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers 2It’s almost time! Avengers 2 is almost here! Woo-hoo!!!

That means I’m turning away when a new trailer pops up on the TV or Facebook so I can be as surprised as possible with all the scenes and effects. I know I’m going to love it so I really want to see the whole thing for the first time in the theater. :)

Since John’s commute is so long, we’re going to see the movie on Saturday instead of Friday night. If we can, we’ll watch Avengers on Friday night when we get home. Though, as John said, we’ve seen the first one so many times that we don’t need to see it again.  :)  In any case, it’s going to be a great way to get started celebrating our 25th anniversary! Haha!

What about you? Are you going to watch it on opening weekend, or wait until the crowds die down?

What About Me? Searching Outside Myself

woman typing on keyboardMy entire life seems to revolve around my career.

Vacations are planned around conferences. Movies and dinners are delayed because I’m not done working yet. Calendars are filled almost entirely with writing or teaching related events and deadlines. Podcasts and writing workshops fill the space between my ears when walking, driving, or doing laundry.

And there, with strangers giving me advice on how to be more successful, I hear again that I need to get more involved with “other” communities, online or in person, and talk about something else. Because people want to get to know you as a person, not as a writer trying to sell them a book. Not as a real estate agent trying to sell them a house. Not as an Internet marketer trying to sell them “the next thing.”

And it finally occurred to me…what do I like to talk about besides writing and stories? Movies? (Those are stories.) Books? (Those are stories, even the nonfiction ones to some degree.) The practical effects of a life based on faith in Jesus Christ? (We kind of talk about that in Bible study and church.)

Have I forgotten what interests me outside of writing?

After a little thinking, I realize the answer is no. But in the struggle the last few years to just keep up with bills (and sometimes fall under that weight), a lot of what I do is less and less for love and more to just keep our heads above the water line.

And that’s not horrible.

But it is something to be aware of. Much as I wish I had time to get back to playing guitar and piano, that’s going to have to continue to wait a bit longer. Much as I enjoyed spending a couple hours a month building scrapbooks with friends, that is not in the cards right now. I’m trying to get back into running, but that isn’t a topic for extended and interesting conversations – you are running or you aren’t.

What about you? Have you gotten ensnared by your day-to-day responsibilities to the point where you don’t remember when was the last time you talked about something really interesting? If you’ve been able to keep up with a forum or blog on something you’re really interested in – that doesn’t revolve around your career – let me know. Every Facebook group I’m a part of has to do with my career. I don’t even know anymore how to find places to go online to chat with like-minded people about things that interest me that have nothing to do with writing or teaching.

But I’d like to find a couple places. Much as I love superheroes, I am woefully ignorant about the broad universe of comic books. Is there a good place people are chatting about it where I won’t be outcast as a newb? (This is pressing entirely too close to being about my career, but I really am interested in learning more because it’s cool.)

Is there a place where people are talking about Christian theology and philosophy in an interesting way that hits on ways to make it practical?

Question mark imageIf you’ve talked to me about topics that I seem to have found interesting, let me know! I seem to be hitting a wall when it comes to remembering what I’m interested in enough to chat with strangers about it.

And if you’ve started to notice this about yourself as well, that you are so engrossed in daily life that you don’t even remember what else you’re interested in, let me know in the comments what you’re going to do about it.

I don’t have a lot of time to spend outside of working and the things I already do. (My first priority after work is hanging out with John, which is where all the TV and movie watching comes in. :) ) But maybe I do need to add a little more balance to my life. I have no idea where I’m going to find the time, but it seems like I need to at least try.

Ideas?

P.S. Let me know if you’ve enjoyed these “Sunday Devotionals” the last few weeks. I’m trying something new on my blog – writing every Sunday about things that interest me from a spiritual growth standpoint. :)

Daredevil Renewed on Netflix!

Are you a fan of Daredevil yet on Netflix? If not, it may be because you haven’t watched it. John and I started watching the weekend it was released and we’re halfway through season 1. (We’d be done by now if we weren’t so busy with other things – like jobs! Haha!)

So I was super excited to read yesterday that it’s already been renewed for season 2! The only thing I’m not so sure about is that the article says they’re changing the show runners. (The show runners are responsible for the story and making the whole show follow their vision.)

On the other hand, Marvel Studios has been doing a great job the last few years in the film entertainment they’ve put out. So I’m going to go with the flow for now and trust that season two will be just as good. Meanwhile, I can hardly wait to finish watching season 1!

You can read the article I read here.

daredevil-show-logo-700x394

Starting Something That You Know Won’t Work

j0182826In general, my personality is such that it is difficult for me to start something I don’t think I’ll be good at, and nearly impossible for me to begin if I’m “sure” it won’t work. It seems like a waste of time and effort.

So the new Bible study topic our group just started is particularly interesting to me. It’s about finding the Messiah in the Old Testament. We all have a pretty good idea of the Messiah in the New Testament – Jesus was born a man even though he was also God, so that he could take the death penalty for sin for all people, and we could once more be reunited with our God and Creator. We know He did that because He loves us and doesn’t want us to be separated from Him.

I knew the Old Testament is full of prophecies of the coming Messiah, Jesus. But when we started at the beginning, we found the first prophecy that there would be a Savior coming to redeem us in the third chapter of the Bible. Hardly anything had happened yet in terms of the history of mankind, and already God made mention of His plan to deliver us from our sin. In fact, as our Bible study leader Doug pointed out, after Adam and Eve sinned God explained how we would be redeemed before he even told Adam and Eve what their punishment would be!

While we can’t be sure if Lucifer defied God and was kicked out of heaven before or after God created the world and mankind, we do know Lucifer had already fallen at some point after Adam and Eve were living in peace and without sin in the Garden of Eden. And that’s another piece of the story most of us know – Lucifer, as a serpent in the Garden, encouraged Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the only tree God told Adam and Eve not to eat from. So mankind, as well and Lucifer and some of the angels, also fell from God’s grace.

Now here is the part that has my head spinning. God is all-knowing, so He knew what was going to happen, knew we would disobey Him and knew He had to have a plan of redemption ready, and He went through with the whole thing anyway! He created us in His image, loved us from day one, knew we would turn our backs on Him and break His heart, but he created us anyway!

j0178844John and I chose not to have children for a lot of reasons, but one of them was that we weren’t sure we would be good parents, and one was that we didn’t want the heartbreak that having children seems to bring. God knew long before we all did what heartbreak children can bring and He chose to have children anyway. That’s just shocking and amazing to me. I can’t see myself ever starting something I knew wouldn’t work.

But then I think about all the books and stories I write. The whole point of a great piece of genre fiction is showing how seriously messed up things can get, and how it can work out in the end. A person can start out lonely and alone and be a large chunk of their own problem, but they can find love in the end. They can start out cut off from their family and hiding from the world and discover that they have super powers that can help make the world a better place. They can be kidnapped, forced to denounce everything that’s important, and still beat the devil in the end.

So many stories reflect the Big Picture Story of Mankind – life seems to start out well for the protagonists, then something trips them up and/or all hell breaks loose, and suddenly it’s hard to believe life can ever be good again. It’s hard to believe the protagonists will even survive, let alone find peace and happiness again. But there is always a plan that includes a satisfying and happy ending.

And like any good author, God figured out the plan to bring about a happy ending before he even started bringing the story to life.

Wow.

Writing SmileyStill wrapping my mind around that. But in addition to the hope this kind of grand design gives us all, I feel more hopeful as a writer of stories. I’m going to go start a new story that I “know” won’t work. The protagonist’s life is all messed up and I’m not sure yet how I’m going to help her fix it. Characters are going to die. Readers might not even like the story. The book may not be bought by a publisher. It may not work.

But I have a new burst of courage to try.

Stop and Say Hello This Saturday at the LA Times Festival of Books

LA Fest of Books logo

I’ve always wanted to go to the LA Times Festival of Books, but I’ve never been able to due to schedule conflicts, etc. This year I not only get to attend, I’ll be signing books there! Yay!

The Southern California chapters of Romance Writers of America are sharing a booth at the Festival this year, and several authors will be signing in two-hour blocks on Saturday and Sunday, April 18 and 19, 2015. I’m first up on Saturday morning from 10:00am to 12 noon, along with my new friend Mia Hopkins. We’ll be at booth 916 near the L.A. Times Stage.

I’d love to meet you if we haven’t met yet, or say hi again if we have. Stop by and chat for a minute. I’ll have all three stories in the superhero series, Adventures of Lewis and Clarke, available in print at discounted prices. Admission is free, and parking is $10. (It’s on the USC campus. Details on how to get there are on the web site.)

During our two-hour block, Mia is even bringing in some cowboy models so you can have a photo taken with them. 😉  Be sure to tell your friends!

Hope to see you there!

3-superhero book covers

Here is a press release for more information on our authors: Romance Authors at Festival of Books 2015 press release