♥♥♥♥♥ YOU GOTTA READ THIS BOOK ♥♥♥♥♥
Bernadette Murphy likes her life. Really, she does. What’s wrong with carrying around an extra ten pounds from fertility treatments? Or having your dog kicked out of obedience school? Again?
What’s that saying about the devil you know? For Bernie, it’s the devil she never expected that changes everything.
Her father’s sudden death leaves a gaping void in her life and is one in a series of events that rock her world. Her husband leaves for another woman, and her best friend announces an unplanned pregnancy at the age of forty-one. Bernie’s behavior goes from acting out to out of hand, and she finds herself in trouble at home, out of work and banned from the mall after a confrontation at the cosmetic counter.
When her mother hands over her father’s book of cryptograms, Bernie realizes his encoded lessons in living might be exactly what she needs to survive. From dealing with her family’s grief to bonding with her best friend’s thirteen-year-old daughter, from dieting and dating to mindless almost-sex with the landscaper, Bernie discovers what her father always knew.
In life, you either choose to sing a rainbow, or you don’t.
For Bernie, the singing is about to begin.
~*~*~*~*~ Review ~*~*~*~*~
It’s not often that I come across a book like this. Where there is something that everyone can relate to–death and grieving, teenage angst, unexpected pregnancy, a romantic relationship that’s falling apart, and family troubles. Oh, and a misbehaved dog. Don’t forget the dog. But even more, Chasing Rainbows is unique because it’ll make you cry, then make you laugh before the tears are even dry on your cheeks.
Those of you who know me know that I HATE to cry. I avoid it at all cost, but I can tell you that with Bernie I cried for different reasons. I cried because I could relate to her, I could understand what she was going through. There is something so inherently loveable about her that I cried because I wanted to help her, but I didn’t know how. That, folks, is the mark of a good book, where you get sucked into the story deep enough to feel that the characters are your best friends, that somehow you’re a member of their circle. You grieve when they grieve, you want to deck the cosmetics girl after them and then spend the rest of your life eluding capture from mall security right along side. And that’s what Kathleen Long has given us in Chasing Rainbows.
And yet despite the wacky humor and intense pain of the characters, Chasing Rainbows rings true, truer than true. Characterization? Story ideas? Editing? I say, a little of all three mixed with the conversational voice of Kathleen Long. I have to admit that when I saw that Chasing Rainbows had 500 plus pages I was a little daunted. With my schedule that would mean a week-long commitment. And yet before I knew it, I had read the first 200 pages in one sitting and was sad when the book ended for me the very next day.
So my thanks goes out to Kathleen Long for a story that’s well-written, well-told, and well-worth the read! Kudos to you!!
~*~*~*~*~ About Kathleen Long ~*~*~*~*~
A long time ago, in an elementary school far, far away, a very young Kathleen scribbled a story idea in her journal. Then she wrote another, and another. She added several poems, the lyrics to a song or two, a love letter to David Cassidy, and so on and so on. While her early writings never saw the light of day, many of her later works did. And while she did not marry David Cassidy, Kathleen did marry her own Prince Charming. Together, they are raising one drama queen and one obedience-challenged border collie mix in a kingdom divided between suburban Philadelphia and the Jersey shore.
Kathleen is the RITA® nominated, RIO Award and two-time Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence winning author of fourteen novels of contemporary romance, romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Her additional honors include National Readers Choice, Holt Medallion, and Booksellers Best award nominations.
She divides her time between plotting her next book, bribing her little one to pick up her toys, and begging the dog to heel. Life is good. Very, very good.
Connect with Kathleen!
Buy the Book!
Buy link for Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005VHT1ZM
Buy link for Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chasing-rainbows-kathleen-long/1106660600?ean=2940013295476&itm=1&usri=chasing%2brainbows
~*~*~*~* Giveaway *~*~*~*~
Everyone who leaves a comment below will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card! If you purchase your copy of Chasing Rainbows before March 12 and send your receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, you will get five bonus entries!**
~*~*~*~*~ The Interview ~*~*~*~*~
Kathleen: Hi Amie! Thanks so much for your questions and for inviting me to visit and talk a bit about CHASING RAINBOWS.
Amie: Thanks so much for coming. You may have noticed that I’m a little obsessed with the art of self-publication. So tell me, when did you decide to take the self-pub plunge?
Kathleen: Deciding to self-publish was a big step for me. I’d published thirteen books the traditional way – two for Kensington Publishing and eleven for Harlequin. Because of that, my brain was fully wrapped around the way New York publishing worked. Then I hit a dry spell and saw three proposals make the rounds and remain unsold. All the while, CHASING RAINBOWS sat on my computer and waited.
CHASING RAINBOWS was my first women’s fiction, and as such, my agent hadn’t wanted to shop the project. At the time, she’d wanted me to focus on building my romantic suspense career, so I had. I began to see friends and acquaintances have decent success with self-publishing, and I began to think…and think…and think about putting RAINBOWS out into the world. Lori Devoti, who does an incredible job of formatting, had an opening in her schedule. She offered me a chance to send her CHASING RAINBOWS. I gave Bernie’s story one last edit and sent it off.
Within a matter of days, the book was live. I’m so glad I took the plunge.
Amie: Me too! Is your book available in print as well as in e-formats? How did you find the printer?
Kathleen: Yes, CHASING RAINBOWS is available in print in addition to the various e-formats. I decided to use CreateSpace because of the convenience and ease of managing their system. I loved being able to handle formatting, uploading and distribution choices through their dashboard. I’ve heard other authors complain about formatting difficulties, but once I decided on a trim size and paper type, I used the template they offer and literally cut and pasted my book into their layout. The process was a breeze!
The cover was a bit more difficult, and I have an advantage because I’ve done graphic design in the past. Even so, my spacing was off for the spine, but the CreateSpace review process caught my error and suggested a fix. I’d say, “piece of cake,” but I’d be lying. That part of the process was tedious, and my brain still hurts. In the end, I love how polished the finished print book looks, however.
Amie: Well worth the effort I’d say. Tell me about the artwork. Who did the cover?
Kathleen:I designed the cover for CHASING RAINBOWS last spring. I’d thought about self-publishing at that time, and I’d searched for royalty-free stock photos. I’d tried a variety of images. I’d designed sample covers, and I’d had my friends weigh in on a choice of designs. The cover for RAINBOWS sat on my computer, along with the manuscript, for months. When I made my overnight decision to go for it, the cover was basically ready. I made a few minor tweaks to the fonts, and I was done. The art is actually a combination of two royalty-free photos.
Amie: Fabulous job. The cover is very appropriate and eye-catching. Who did your edits and how many reads did you have before you said, “it’s time?”
Kathleen: CHASING RAINBOWS came to life over a period of three years – in between nine contracted books and the birth of our daughter. It’s safe to say I edited most of the book at least six or seven times, which is a lot for me. I tend to put a lot of time into the planning of a book. I find the writing comes quickly after that.
For RAINBOWS, much of the story is based on real life, so the writing process was quite emotional. I took my time, and I let the story sit between edits. I also am blessed with a group of friends who are incredible authors. During the course of writing the book, authors Sheila Raye, Janice Lynn, Tawny Weber and Beth Andrews each offered wonderful plotting and editing advice. During the past year, author Anna Sugden read and commented on the full book and made characterization suggestions that were incredible. I could not have finished, edited and polished this book without my amazing friends!
Amie: Tell me about successes and things you wish you’d done differently.
Kathleen: CHASING RAINBOWS met with incredible success a few months out of the gate. The book spent multiple weeks on the IndieReader bestseller list, the Wall Street Journal bestseller list and hit the USA TODAY bestseller list. The entire experience left me breathless and humbled.
But, unlike my other titles, I handled the marketing for RAINBOWS after the book’s release. Because of the ease of self-publishing and how quickly I was able to upload the book for sale, I published BEFORE I planned things like review submissions, book tours, and social media promo. I would not do that again. I’m planning ahead now for my new release this spring!
I do want to share one invaluable tip! Two of my friends who have successfully self-published, authors Lindsey Brookes and Mona Risk, pointed me in the direction of the Yahoo group, Indie Romance Ink. I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve learned from the wonderful authors there. I’m still learning as I go, which is one of the exciting things about the ever-changing world of self-publishing.
Amie: Great advice. Thanks! Now, tell us about your book.
CHASING RAINBOWS is the story of Bernadette Murphy’s journey out of a life that’s stagnated into a life brimming with possibility.
Amie: Where did the story idea come from?
Kathleen: Much of CHASING RAINBOWS was inspired by true life. Bernie’s father dies in exactly the same way my father died. Like Bernie, my father’s death left me reeling, and the grief I felt made me realize I’d never fully dealt with the death of my infant daughter a few years earlier. In CHASING RAINBOWS, I took those two events in my life and twisted them into the fictional world of Bernadette Murphy. I piled on issues relating to family, friendship, self-esteem and career, and the story was born.
I’ve heard countless writers speak about the book of their heart, never fully understanding what they meant. I wrote contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Fun? Yes. Books of my heart? No.
Then I wrote CHASING RAINBOWS. Now, I understand.
Amie: What one thing do you want the reader to walk away with after reading this book?
Kathleen: The book often quotes Bernie’s fictional father. “If life, you either choose to sing a rainbow, or you don’t.” I hope readers will take away the realization that no matter what might be happening in your life at any given moment, it’s never too late to start singing.
Bernie and her story let me stretch my creativity to explore a mix of quirky humor and poignant moments. I love that Bernie is not perfect. As a matter of fact, she’s far from perfect. She makes mistakes. She thinks selfish thoughts. She fails. Yet, she reaches a point in her life at which she decides to get up and try again. She decides to move forward.
If you’ve faced loss, infertility, divorce, disappointment, I believe you’ll find something relatable about Bernie.
Amie: Are you going to try your hand at self-publishing again?
Kathleen: My answer to that question is a big, fat YES! I love the opportunity to bring stories to life that might not otherwise find a home. My next story, VANISHED, is a romantic thriller that made it to a few editorial board meetings in New York but was ultimately rejected. Now, I can let readers decide whether or not they enjoy the story.
These are amazing times for authors and readers, and I’m loving every moment.
Thank you, Amie, for letting me visit with you and your readers today!
Amie: Thanks for coming! Here are Kathleen’s links again–
Don’t forget to follow Kathleen Long on her blog tour:
And as always, thanks for stopping by!
Lots of <3–Amie