Kat's Blog

Kat's Blog

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

All Day Event!

All the authors and staff with MuseItUp, MuseItHot and MuseItYoung are over at Publishing Trove today. We are answering any and all questions, sharing blurbs and excerpts, and just basically having a good time. So click on the link below and come join in the fun. Hope to see you there.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Featured Today!

My upcoming Muse It Hot release, The Lighthouse is being featured today over at Imaginaria Archives. I'd love to see you all there. Come and say hi.

You can read a blurb for my story and an excerpt, the entire Prologue!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Want To Share

Most people haven't heard of Enigma. It was a fluke I discovered their music. But it's so beautiful and powerful. If you'd like to hear them click here to see their video for Mea Culpa. Excellent song. They just keep getting better.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yay for Sarah Masters!

My dear friend Sarah Masters has a new realease today, Inferno. Check out the blurb.


Lee buries his mother, confused with the feelings her death has inspired. He thought he’d feel free, but emotions he didn’t expect come to the fore. After an altercation with an old school friend, they pack up Ryan’s things and head for Biddingford and Lee’s cabin. Something isn’t right, though, and Ryan and Lee face a frightening adversary who just can’t let the past go…

Check out blog for more info on how to get your own copy. Her books are dynomite!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Frozen Cover Blog!

Frozen by Kat Holmes

My mom has put up on her blog a cover blog for my upcoming Muse It Hot release, Frozen. I absolutely love it. So, if you'd just like the barest teaser of what my story is about click on this link.

Thank you mom for such a wonderful tribute to a story I love. Frozen, book 1 in the Artica Lights series will release from Muse It Hot Publishing in April, 2011.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Day I'll Never Forget!

It started like any other day. I hated getting up early and going to work. I was eager for the weekend though it was only the beginning of the week. Same old same old. My mom drove me to work and I headed in.

At the time I worked in Burlington, New Jersey as a corporate auditor. I slid my id card through the time clock and headed to my desk to start the day. I fired up the computer and pulled out the first batch of reports I'd be working on. Then I attempted, and let me stress that word attempted, to get into the audits program.

Much to my surprise and everyone else's in my department, we couldn't get in. Oh boy what could possibly be wrong? Tech was called and we all spent quite a bit of time walking around while tech worked on our computers. Because of this, most of us, actually all of us had no clue about the drama unfolding in New York. Then, at 10 am while our computers were still acting like something out of the Twilight Zone, my boss's husband called her at work.

His news wasn't good. The towers had been hit. Now we knew why our computers weren't working. The network was based in a building around the corner from the two towers. The techs managed to hook us up to another network line so we could work, but in that time we learned both towers had fallen and that bridges were being closed. Every employee who lived in Pennsylvania was released so they could get home before the shutdown.

I went to the employee cafeteria to find out what was going on and that's when it happened. We learned of a plane going down in Pennsylvania. No news about exactly where and I hit panic mode. My mom and I both live right outside Philadelphia and since I didn't know where the plane went down I frantically try calling her. Nothing, no answer. The phone just rang and rang.

I tried again and again all through the afternoon. I was sick with worry. I emailed her from my work computer. Still nothing. The fear was just eating at me. Finally at 3 in the afternoon I get an email from her. She's okay. The plane didn't go down anywhere near her. I just felt this huge wave of relief. I didn't dare stand because I don't think my legs would have supported me. I just broke down at work and cried.

When 5 came and she picked me up I'd never been so happy to see her in my life. But then we got home and I got to see the actual footage of what had happened. The images of people jumping from the top of the towers rather than burning to death broke me. I didn't stop crying all night.

It was early in the week. I had several more days of work to get through. The next day it felt weird to just about everyone at work. We were all quiet and subdued. There was no joking. I actually didn't even feel like myself. I was numb, there's no other way to describe it. That went on for days. It was like I was just going through the motions.

I got lucky on 9/11. My mom and brother were both unharmed. But so many people lost loved ones that day. No matter how many years pass, every time the anniversary comes up I still feel that weird kind of numbness. I'll never forget where I was and what I was doing on that day. The irony is the building that is at the center of the mosque controversy in New York is the building that once housed my former company's network that wasn't working that day. It just makes it even stranger.

To everyone affected that day either with loss or just the fear of loss as was my case, you are all in my heart and prayers. We will NEVER forget.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Congrats For A Friend!

I want to congratulate a friend of mine and her husband on the birth of their new baby. Renee Rocca and her husband Frank who run Lyrical Press are wonderful people and I am just so happy for you. She's an absolutely adorable little girl.

Mom's Newest Cover!

Mom has a new cover for her dark fiction tale, Twilight Comes. The cover was done by that amazingly talented cover artist, Delilah K. Stephans. Isn't it gorgeous? I love the lightning in the background.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

I want to wish everyone a very happy and fun-filled Labor Day. Whether you are out grilling with family and friends, have taken a trip down to the beach, or are justa staying home with a good book, may your holiday be a great one.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Coming Soon From Muse It Hot!

I am so pleased to share with you my story, The Lighthouse which will be released January 01, 2011 from Muse It Hot Publishing. The beautiful cover was done by Muse's very talented cover art Goddess, Delilah K. Stephens and she so captured the feel and heart of this book. I hope you will enjoy it and to whet your appetite, here's a brief blurb. I will be posting an excerpt to my website very soon so stay tuned for that.

When Rachel Westmont inherits a lighthouse from an aunt she didn’t even know she had, she’s overjoyed. The news couldn’t have come at a better time. Newly divorced from a self-serving doctor, the change of scenery is just what she needs. So she packs up and leaves California for a little island off the coast of Maine.

Rachel falls in love with both Star Island and the beautiful lighthouse and cottage she’s inherited. But, odd things begin to happen right from the first day. Cold chills permeate the cottage and books fly off the shelves. And someone seems to be playing pranks on her.

But when the ante gets upped and someone tries to kill her, Rachel must turn to hunky local sheriff Craig Lewis for protection. Now bodies are turning up, people are getting hurt, and Rachel is starting to suspect her aunt didn’t die a natural death. Can Craig stop a killer from claiming Rachel as their next victim? A little help from a ghost may be in order.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Goodies For Readers

It’s time, dear readers, to announce what we have in store for you...one surprise at a time.

Beginning October 1st, and on the first of each month, one lucky reader will win a FREE e-book.

The rules you ask?

Simple: join our discussions, ask questions to our authors, have fun with us, that’s it. Participate and you have a chance to be one of our monthly winners.

To join our readers group go here:


Give your friends the link above and ask them to join us too. Come October things are going to begin hopping and a'bobbin' all over the place.

But that’s not all:

Join us in our readers group for our December 1st Launch Party and you have a chance to be one of our two lucky winners:

First prize: a year’s worth of ebooks (12 in total)

Second prize: six month’s worth of ebooks (6 in total)

Hold on, we’ve got more...

Between October 1st and 31st we’ll be hosting a Masquerade Blog Festival where each day one of our authors will entertain you with a variety of posts, from short stories, recipes, historical facts of the Halloween season, to decorating tips. In-between these posts there will be random YouTube videos posted and the first reader who jumps in the loop and calls out the title of the song posted will have his or her choice of any one of our released or soon to be released e-books. If soon-to-be-released you will receive the e-book once it debuts.

So tell your friends to join us because we’ve got tons of goodies in store for you each month.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The End Of Silence

I've been good. I've kept my mouth shut as was required by the non-disclosure agreement, or NDA that I signed. But today is the 1st of September and my NDA expired yesterday. I will be silent no longer. I hope that in speaking out I can help another author, either already established or just starting out avoid the pit I fell into.

Not all publishers are equal. And some can be hazards just waiting to ensnare you in their webs. Last year, much to my amazement and pleasure, my first ever story was contracted by an e-publisher. I was new and naive. I had no reason to wonder why this publisher would demand I sign an NDA stating I wouldn't speak out about anything that went on there. Big mistake.

First warning, if you are EVER asked to sign an NDA agreement, move on to another publisher. It means they are trying to hide something. Stupidly, I signed and learned all too quickly what they wanted to hide. The place had major problems. Staff member after staff member quit working for this publisher. Editors, cover artists, even the webmistress.

And authors were bailing out too. I thought in the beginning it was just sour grapes and people not being grateful for the opportunity. Boy did I learn. I guess I had to go through the living hell these people endured to understand the truth. And I am not being melodramatic when I say living hell. Let me outline my little adventure.

My first novel entitled Voice In The Night was slated to be released on March 18th of this year. That was a Thursday. That Tuesday I was admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery to remove a kidney stone that was blocking my urinary tract. Not their fault and I don't blame for them that. But, time revealed that this would be an ongoing serious health issue due to an overactive parathyroid.

My publisher was made aware of this and that until the gland could be removed, which is still pending by the way, that I was not doing too well. Also, she was notified that I am severely epileptic and because of this, my mom has power of attorney over my medical issues and my finances. Now we need to backtrack a bit to October of 2009.

I submitted the first book in a series called Working Under Covers and was introduced to my editor for that. We began edits. I had NO contract and was constantly emailing them to ask for the paperwork. I couldn't even advertise this story that we were already doing edits on because I had no contract. It took the head of the ART department getting involved before I was ever sent a contract.

After that, I subbed several more stories in that series and a stand alone novel. I heard nothing. In January I actually called the publisher and asked her what was up and she said she had someone assessing it as we spoke. Months past. March came, I ended up in the hospital, and my first book came out. Okay, by this time I figured they weren't interested in my stand alone novel so I subbed it to a new house.

It got contracted by the new house the beginning of May, the 4th of May to be exact. Now mind you, I didn't have to sign an NDA with this new house. So I'm going along happily when I hear from my content editor letting me know as soon as my cover is finished Working Under Covers is going to release. Okay, we get the cover done and nothing happens so I have no idea when this book will release.

The following Wednesday at 10 at night, the publisher calls me and tells me it's coming out in 3 hours. That's all the notice I had. 3 hours. Now just a few weeks prior the website for the publisher had crashed. So even though I needed to quickly promo this book coming out the publisher kept me on the phone talking until 3 in the morning. The website was slowly being rebuilt and she wanted someone to gab with while she got all the new releases up.

She also wanted to bad mouth the new webmistress, the one who took over after the previous webmistress quit. She blamed the new webmistress for the website crash and said the new webmistress had hurt her deeply. She also wanted to bad mouth a new publishing house and its publisher. It just so happened to be the publisher I had contracted my new story with. I didn't want to play that game so I got off the phone.

Next day she found out, I guess by going into their website that I'd signed with this new house and she messaged me online demanding I deny that I'd gone to this house. When I couldn't do that I was subjected to more bad mouthing of this new house. She had me so stressed by the end of the session I had a violent seizure. My mother was less than pleased and wanted to deal with her then and there but I prevented it. I still wanted to avoid trouble with my publisher.

Now, over the next few weeks I get slammed with stuff. My pub wants me to send her all my subbed stories and paperwork. I'd sent this stuff to my editor but she said my editor couldn't be trusted. I did what she wanted. Then, in June, less than a full month from the time Working Under Covers came out I get an email from the cover artist saying that book two would release as soon as she finished the cover.

This threw me because I hadn't even finished edits on this story. Later that same day I got an email from the lines editor with my edits telling me to get them done quickly because it was releasing that week. Thankfully, the cover wasn't done quickly enough for it to release because I discovered after I'd sent the edits back that words were missing and it needed to be fixed. So I was able to get that fixed. Then I heard nothing more.

Then came the infamous day of Wednesday again. 5 hours before this time the publisher calls to tell me book 2 will be releasing. Again I have to scramble. Now I'm upset. Book one hasn't really had a chance to shine and they are already releasing book 2 again with no notice. I get my author copy and there's a Trojan virus attached to it that crashes my mom's computer. I emailed the publisher to let her know and to this day she's never responded about the virus. I complain to my editor.

My editor had also signed up to do edits for my new publishing house and that made her a target. She's getting the feeling she's going to be fired so she lets the publisher have the truth about how upset I am at the early release. To put it bluntly, the you know what hits the fan. I'm done. I officially email her that I am severing ties with her company.

Now remember, I have never heard from her regarding the virus, but she responded to this email like lightning. She removed all my books from the catalogue and pulled me off the author loop. She stripped away everything I had out and all my author rights. So, since she broke her own contract, I sent her an official notice via certified mail that I wanted the rights to all my work returned to me. I also discovered and included in the letter that she had released book 2 in my series called Heart Of The Queen without a contract.

I was shocked when I realized it, but she actually stole my manuscript from me. She never responded to my letter, so close to the deadline I gave her I emailed her to remind her that the cut-off date was coming up. She answered that by saying I owed them money for edits and covers and until I paid I would not get my rights back. Also, until they received a copy of my mom's power of attorney, which legally they do not require in spite of what they say, they couldn't actually send anything to me. They are holding my work hostage!

By her own contract, the moment she pulled everything off the catalogue SHE broke the contract. I was going to let my contract run out and just not sub anything new. I owe them nothing and I know for a fact neither my editor nor my cover artist for the first book was paid a dime. I'm not certain about the cover artist for my two books in the series but I doubt she'll be paid either.

Since leaving, I have learned I am not the only one she's done this too. There is a vast list of authors she has just run roughshod over. She doesn't pay them and she ignores their demands for the rights to their work. I wish I had known it sooner but this publisher is listed in Preditors and Editors as one of the worst to be avoided. This battle is ongoing. I am having to file charges on the illegal publication of Heart Of The Queen. My mom spoke to the police yesterday who informed us how to proceed.

This has been an absolute nightmare. I am not going to sugarcoat what this woman put me through. She published one of my stories with no contract and then went on to hold everything I submitted hostage. It sank me into a depression like you wouldn't believe. My mother feared for me that's how depressed I was.

It's thanks to my new publishing house that I pulled out of it. They have been beyond supportive and all the people are just amazing. I am truly blessed to be there. But now, for all you authors out there who are looking for a home for your work, I have one thing to say. Unless you want to endure what I and many others have gone through and continue to go through, do your homework. This issue is ongoing but I am done covering for them. The publishing house is Red Rose Publishing.

My advice, before you sub to any house, check preditors and editors, talk to some of the authors with that house. Ask questions. And, if you are ever asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement, walk the other way as fast as you.