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The AH…Moment :)

Have you ever had one of those defining moments when as an author you realize someone actually gets you? Someone believes in your story and wants to share this with the world? Well, my “moment” came this week when I received the most incredible, gorgeous review. This is what it said:

“Flaherty’s Crossing by Kaylin McFarren is a deeply moving novel of not only love, but also of forgiveness. Kate, a fiercely independent married artist with a longing to be loved, receives a call she has been dreading, her father, Collin Flaherty, has passed away. Kate is already struggling with her marriage and is now faced with doubts about who her father truly was and if he stopped loving her when her mother passed away. Kate’s husband Drew, a high-powered attorney rapidly moving up the corporate ladder yet still overshadowed by the achievements of his now deceased father, is striving to make their marriage work and to convince Kate that he can indeed be there for her, believes in her, and loves her. Flaherty’s Crossing is a rollercoaster ride of events and emotions as McFarren delivers a delightful cast of characters, which include friends, family, hospice workers, and Kate’s gossipy neighbour Wanda, each delivering a special message to the narrative. The diner scene is a stroke of literary brilliance as Flaherty’s Crossing reminds the reader it is never too late to change, apologise, and forgive; a narrative that reminds one that love transcends time and place and can never die. To anyone looking for an insightful and uplifting novel, I highly recommend Flaherty’s Crossing.”

• JENNIFER, Rundpinne

Thank you, Jennifer! You’re an awesome writer as well. 🙂

FLAHERTY’S CROSSING By Kaylin McFarren
Available at: http://www.champagnebooks.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_12&products_id=357

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Kaylin’s Virtual Book Tour

"Kaylin's Debut Novel"

From Pacific Northwest's award-winning author Kaylin McFarren comes a powerful novel about love, loss, and the power of forgiveness... Flaherty's Crossing

Eight months ago, I went to a friend’s book signing event. I looked around in this large chain store and was amazed by the small turn out. In fact, had this USA Today best-selling author not been stationed near the coffee bar, there would have been eight people to welcome her release. Even though she performed a reading and answered questions, she sold only five books. Now I’ve been told this isn’t typical. Should authors send out invitations in their communities, they might sell as many as two hundred books. Yet as I considered the possibility of sitting at a table for hours on end, hoping someone would notice me, I came to the conclusion there had to be a better way.

I contacted Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours to connect my book with interested readers through the medium of weblogs and personal websites. In a nutshell, this three-month tour consisted of visiting a given number of websites in a given about of time, the same as I would do at stores during a real book tour. At these stops, I was interviewed on-line, participated in radio podcasts, took over sites for the day, answered questions from readers, and had my book reviewed many, many times

Is it true that word-of-mouth is the best means of advertising? I would venture to say yes – there’s no doubt about it. And this is definitely a way to get a jump-start on it.  If you’re looking for immediate gratification, exposure, books sales and fun without sitting behind a wheel or in an airport, consider virtual book tours.  My travel arrangements were made for me, I had no luggage to pack, and there were no empty book stores or filled boxes to content with. 😀

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Amazing Review!! :D

Flaherty’s Crossing by Kaylin McFarren is a deeply moving novel of not only love, but also of forgiveness. Kate, a fiercely independent married artist with a longing to be loved, receives a call she has been dreading, her father, Collin Flaherty, has passed away. Kate is already struggling with her marriage and is now faced with doubts about who her father truly was and if he stopped loving her when her mother passed away. Kate’s husband Drew, a high-powered attorney rapidly moving up the corporate ladder yet still overshadowed by the achievements of his now deceased father, is striving to make their marriage work and to convince Kate that he can indeed be there for her, believes in her, and loves her. Flaherty’s Crossing is a rollercoaster ride of events and emotions as McFarren delivers a delightful cast of characters, which include friends, family, hospice workers, and Kate’s gossipy neighbour Wanda, each delivering a special message to the narrative. The diner scene is a stroke of literary brilliance as Flaherty’s Crossing reminds the reader it is never too late to change, apologise, and forgive; a narrative that reminds one that love transcends time and place and can never die. To anyone looking for an insightful and uplifting novel, I highly recommend Flaherty’s Crossing.

Reviewed by Jennifer, Rundpinne

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A bicyclist watched as two Irishmen were working in a park: one was digging holes and the other was immediately filling them in again.

“Tell me,” said the bicyclist, “What on earth are you two doing?”

“Well,” said the digger, “Usually, there are three of us. I dig, O’Hara plants the tree and Sean here fills in the hole. Today, O’Hara is away unwell, but that doesn’t mean Sean and I have to take the day off, now does it?”

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How Deep Is Your Well?

Short Irish Story

Murphy and O’Brien go out into the woods, they come a clearing and see an abandoned well.

“I wonder how deep that well is?” Murphy asked.

O’Brien said, “There’s one way we could figure it out.”

“What’s that?”

“We drop something down it, we time how long it takes to hit the bottom, you multiply that time 32 feet per second squared, the rate at which objects fall in a vacuum, subtract a little for wind resistance and we’ve got the depth of the well.”

“What are you going to drop down it?” Murphy quizzed.

Then O’Brien looked all around. He saw this big heavy log lying on the ground.  He squatted down next to it and using his legs correctly, he got it up onto his shoulders. He staggered over to the edge of the well, dropped it in and they both started counting, “One hippopotamus, two hippopotamus, three…”

SPLASH!

“Three seconds!” Murphy yelled.

O’Brien said, “Quick, multiply that times 32 feet per second squared!”

“Two hundred eighty-eight feet,” Murphy said. “Subtract a little for wind resistance, let’s say 18 feet. The depth of that well is 270 feet deep.” Suddenly he reached out, pushing O’Brien backwards. “Look out!” he shouted, just as a goat ran between them, jumping head first down the well.

Murphy stared after it, completely perplexed. “My God, I’ve never seen anything like that.”

Just then a farmer walked into the clearing. “What’s going on here boys?” he asked.

O’Brien piped up, “We just figured out the depth of this well to be about 270 feet deep and then the strangest thing happened. A goat ran between the two of us and jumped straight down it.”

The farmer blew out a sign.”‘Thank heaven it wasn’t one of my goats,” he said.

“How do you know it wasn’t?” Murphy asked.

And the farmer replied, “Because all of my goats are tethered to big heavy logs.”

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CONTEST: Win a t-shirt (valued at $35) and free PDF copy of Flaherty’s Crossing by visiting and leaving comments on Ann’s blog. Don’t forget your email address so Kaylin can contact you if you win. http://www.annlory.blogspot.com/

AL: Hi Kaylin Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.

Kaylin: I’ve truly been looking forward to this. Thank you, Ann.

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Kaylin: Well, I’ve been enjoying the wonderful spring weather we’re having here in Oregon. The birds are chirping, our gardens are in full bloom, and for the past week, fishermen have been out on the river trying to catch Chinook Salmon. It’s so fun watching all the outdoor activity, it’s a struggle to get anything done inside.

AL: Please tell us about your newest release, Flaherty’s Crossing. For the readers: This is a wonderful sentiment of love. 100% of the proceeds on this book will be donated to the Cancer Research Center at Providence Medical Center in her father’s name.

Kaylin: Flaherty’s Crossing is a story about choices and how they affect the rest of our lives. It’s about finding faith in our selves and in others, realizing there are often two sides to every argument, and learning to forgive the ones we love before it’s too late.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Kaylin: At this time, I’m working on an action-adventure manuscript titled Severed Threads, which I’m hoping to wrap up very soon. Here’s the story in a nutshell: Believing herself responsible for her father’s fatal diving accident, Rachel Lyons has withdrawn from the world and assumed a safe position at a foundation office. When called upon by a museum director to assist her former love interest with the recovery of a priceless artifact from a sunken galleon, she has no intention of cooperating – until her brother is kidnapped by a drug-dealing gangster. In order to save him and gain control over her own life, Rachel must not only overcome her greatest fears, but also relive the circumstances that lead to her father’s death. When this on-going adventure comes to a final end, there will be three page-turning stories in the Severed Threads series.

AL: How much research time do you put into most of your books?

Kaylin: Flaherty’s Crossing was truly a labor of love. Since it was based on my personal account, research was relatively limited. Not so with Severed Threads. I’ve spent the better part of five months in libraries, engaged in interviews, documenting and researching online. Since ancient Chinese history, scuba diving equipment, trade routes and dozens of other elements were involved, accuracy is most important.

AL: How do you decide upon your settings? What about the names of characters? Do you ever change either mid-stream into a story?

Kaylin: In regard to settings, I tend to gravitate towards familiar locations and townships, but I’ve also discovered that traveling overseas extensively has allowed me to incorporate my experiences in unexpected ways. I’m totally convinced settings are like characters, needing to serve a purpose. In Flaherty’s Crossing, Kate’s estranged father lived in an isolated lake-side cabin. Her journey down a winding mountain road reflects her distorted reality and brings her to a major crossroads in her life.

As far as names in a story, sometimes I change my secondary characters’ identities, looks, and traits, But for the most part, I have a pretty good sense of who my heroes and heroines are from the get-go and try to stay consistent throughout my writing.

AL: Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters wanted to go in another direction. What did you do in such a situation?

Kaylin: Not so much with Flaherty’s Crossing. But with action-adventure or romantic suspense, my characters seem to want to go in all sorts of the directions, which is probably why I’m writing my next story as a series. Although I’m a professed pantster, I’m finding that giving myself and my “counterparts” perimeters in a pre-written summary helps.

AL: Okay, Kaylin, grab a glass of wine, a tissue and some chocolates, we’re about to get personal. After you lost your father, you began writing Flaherty’s Crossing, did this give you the closure you needed, the outlet in which to pour your heart? Is this the book that set your course in writing? I too have lost loved ones to cancer, my grandfather in 2006 and my father-in-law in September.

Kaylin: {sipping a glass of wine}. Well, I can honestly say Flaherty’s Crossing became the source of my salvation. My father and I never had the ability to truly communicate… that is until he was diagnosed with colon cancer. I spent months at his bedside, hearing stories and learning about his past. Then one day, I received a dreaded phone call. When I arrived, my mother told me he’d been holding on, waiting for me. He sat up in bed and kissed me goodbye. Then he was gone. I was torn apart – hurt, angry, confused. I needed an avenue to vent, a medium to pour out my emotions, and I found it in writing. What originally started as a memoir to honor my father evolved into a fictional account. But somehow I could never let go of it. I just couldn’t get that last chapter written. The manuscript went into a desk drawer for years and then one day, my eldest daughter convinced me to pick it up again.

Tweaking, editing, and polishing this manuscript was like opening an old wound. But in the process of analyzing my feelings, I realized this was something I needed to do. I had to bring closure to a sad chapter in my life. And strangely, in finding this completion, I opened a new page by renewing my interest in writing. And there’s something more. Now that this book is released, I know it has a far greater purpose. When readers purchase copies of Flaherty’s Crossing, they’ll not only enjoy a fun, inspirational story, they will help make a difference in everyone’s life by directly contributing to cancer research.

I’ve been told time and time again, the best stories come out of the worst times in our lives. My hope is that you find this is the case for you as well, Ann.

AL: What do you like best about living on the west coast? You said in your bio that you hug to it and keep your family close.

Kaylin: I guess I’m a “sun” baby at heart, since I enjoy relatively temperate climates. My home makes it possible to drive one hour north to snowy mountains, two hours south to the coast, an hour east to the desert, and all the while I have nature wrapping its arms around me like a warm crazy quilt.

AL: What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Kaylin: I would have to say ride on an elephant in Thailand through a winding jungle. Quite the experience!

AL: If you have two hours of free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why?

Kaylin: I’d write non-stop if I could, but I would relish the time spent with my family around a dinner table more – watching my husband, children, and grandchildren eat, drink, laugh, and talk over each other. They’re just too much fun!

AL: Silly question… In your next life, if you came back as a critter, what would it be?

Kaylin: Oh, definitely a fat, sassy cat. You get to sleep, stretch, hunt, eat…do whatever you want, and there’s always someone around to scratch and pamper you.

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Kaylin: Here’s one of my favorites: If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance. — George Bernard Shaw

AL: Thanks so much for sharing and for joining us this week, Kaylin.

Kaylin: My thanks to you, Ann. {hugs} I look forward to dropping by and visiting your readers throughout the week!
AL: If you’d like to find out more about Kaylin please visit:
http://www.kaylinmcfarren.com/
http://www.flahertyscrossing.com/

FEATURED TITLE: FLAHERTY’S CROSSING

Blurb:

From Pacific Northwest’s award-winning author Kaylin McFarren comes a powerful novel about love, loss, and the power of forgiveness… Flaherty’s Crossing.

Successful yet emotionally stifled artist Kate Flaherty stands at the deathbed of her estranged father, conflicted by his morphine-induced confession exposing his part in her mother’s death. While racing home, Kate’s car mishap leads her to a soul-searching discussion with a lone diner employee, prompting Kate to confront the true reasons her marriage hangs in the balance. When her night takes an unexpected turn, however, she flees for her life, a life desperate for faith that can only be found through her ability to forgive.

Excerpt:

As Kate’s car jounced over the rough highway lining the Puget Sound, a layer of fog lifting from the dark waters swallowed the beams of her headlights. The ocean welcomed her back with its hazy abyss. The sounds of undulating static evidenced waves crashing on the shore. A crisp breeze brushed against her face, delivering a trace of salt to her tongue.

She tried to remember how many years it had been since she’d spent time near the sea. Crabbing, fishing, water skiing: all her happiest memories with her dad had taken place by the water. As well as the most terrifying day of her life.

Kate closed the window. She turned on the radio and flipped through the channels, all crackling between towers. A political debate. Advice for the lovelorn. The brain-itching chorus of “Gypsy Soul.” She clicked it off.

Her wheels screeched as she flew around another curve and onto the connecting highway. She released her foot from the gas pedal but, resisting the instinct to use the brakes, she shoved her foot back down to accelerate. Perhaps her way of defying death, or a desperate search for control.

She lifted her phone and called home again, only to hear the same message on the machine.

Where was he?

Suddenly, Drew’s words came back to her: “Maybe we need to take a break.”

They’d had plenty of arguments in the past, but never before had he mentioned separating. What if he viewed her unexplained absence tonight as blatant apathy?

Apprehension raised her blood pressure, burned the tips of her ears.

She speed dialed Drew’s lifeline: his cell phone. It went straight to voicemail: “You’ve reached Drew Coleman with Milton, Sidis, and Stricklen. I’ll be out of town until Monday. If this is an urgent matter, you can reach my assistant at…”

As Kate anxiously waited for the beep, she noted darkness in Drew’s voice, a seriousness that had replaced the fun-loving spirit she’d fallen in love with.

“Drew, I’m on my way home,” she said. “I’m heading back from my father’s. I’ll explain when I see you. Anyway, there was a detour. I just took highway sixteen off one-o-six, so I shouldn’t be more than forty minutes away…”

The glow of her headlights bounced off something ahead.

It was an animal. A deer. Standing sideways in her lane.

Kate dropped the phone. “No, no, no!” she yelled, jamming the brake pedal to the floor. She yanked back on the steering wheel as if pulling a B-52 out of a nosedive.

In exaggerated slow motion, the deer turned its head toward her. No fear in its eyes. No attempt to move. Either at peace with its fate or unwavering in its defiance.

The car’s beams elongated the creature’s shadow across the road, the distance between them vanishing. There wasn’t time to stop–they were going to collide.

Kate screamed, swerving into the hole of blackness off the edge of the highway. Every muscle in her body clenched, preparing for impact.

REMEMBER: Win a t-shirt (valued at $35) and free PDF copy of Flaherty’s Crossing by visiting and leaving comments on Ann’s blog. Don’t forget your email address so Kaylin can contact you if you win.

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