Friday, June 28, 2013

Welcome, Kathleen Irene Paterka!

Writing can be a lonely endeavor and the authors I communicate with are very special to me. Kathleen Irene Paterka is so lovely, warm, talented and funny, and I am very excited that she's here today to talk about her latest novel, Royal Secrets, which is now available for sale. Welcome, Kathleen!



I’ve always been fascinated with the British royals. What little girl doesn’t want to grow up and be a princess? How hard could it be? True, you might have to give up your privacy, but there’s no denying the job includes some great benefits. All the gold crowns and sparkling tiaras a girl would ever want to wear. An unlimited budget for the latest fashions and gorgeous shoes. A Cinderella coach with liveried footmen to take you wherever you need to go. Life in a Castle, with servants ready to attend to your every need. And on your wedding day? The British royal family certainly knows how to put on a wedding.

Brides! Weddings! I love them! My day job as staff writer at a real American castle which hosts numerous weddings (nearly 200 last year) feeds my fix for royalty and romance. When I began daydreaming about a plot for a new book, my love for all things royal and weddings came into play. But it wasn’t until my daughter Abby and her husband moved to Las Vegas a few years ago, that I really started thinking. Las Vegas, the wedding capital of the world. Voila! The framework for a new story was born.

Want to know a secret? Though my new novel ROYAL SECRETS has an “official” release date of July 1, 2013, it’s available now! ROYAL SECRETS tells the story of the Royal Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, and of Lily Lavender, whose family is distantly descended from the British royal family. Immersed in the regal world of weddings and romance, Lily grew up believing in brides, grooms and happily-ever-afters. It seemed her destiny and royal birthright to someday assume a position as wedding coordinator in their family-owned wedding chapel business. But when her mother Mimi’s third marriage eventually fails, Lily’s dreams of her own happily-ever-after quickly fade. She’s no longer interested in a life of assisting brides walk down the aisle into a life of disillusionment and possible divorce. Lily turns her back on The Royal Wedding Chapel and leaves Las Vegas to fashion a life of her own. Years later, Lily—now a single mom—discovers her teenage daughter has run off to Las Vegas, lured by Mimi to help run the chapel. Determined to save her daughter from the broken dreams of Sin City and the nonsensical world of which family fairy tales are made, Lily returns to Las Vegas. But nothing prepares Lily for the royal drama which awaits her… or the sins and secrets she stumbles across that threaten to close the chapel and ruin her family forever.

Sound interesting? Read on for the Prologue…




PROLOGUE
There’s a reason they call this town Sin City, my mother told me long ago when I questioned her about something I’d heard at school that day. But when I asked about the secrets part, Mimi had refused to explain. “You’re much too young to hear about such things, Lily,” she said and left it at that.
I wandered away, a confused eight-year-old, my head filled with even more questions. How could Las Vegas be full of sin and secrets when it was filled with so much sunshine? Growing up in this town, in the ornate, spacious villa behind Mimi’s Royal Wedding Chapel near the center of the Strip, I saw the glitz and glamour. It shimmered and sparkled like the beautiful brides in their wedding gowns gracing the aisles of the chapel. Peeking around the pews, I saw their glowing faces, heard the vows exchanged, witnessed the beginnings of so many happily-ever-afters.
And then I grew up.
It took a while—around the time Mimi’s third marriage, the one to Jack’s father, collapsed—for me to discover the truth. Las Vegas is full of sin and secrets. Most of them stay in Vegas, left behind to be cleaned up by maids and blackjack dealers who sweep away the debris. Others get carried home like guilty luggage, busting up marriages and businesses and causing bankruptcy.
I’m forty years old, and that na├»ve little girl I used to be disappeared long ago. She learned that happily ever after is merely an illusion and that sins and secrets can weigh just as heavy on your heart as our family’s heirloom tiara can weigh on your head. The dazzling crown, in the special display case behind bulletproof glass in the lobby of the Royal Wedding Chapel, gleams like the fortune it is worth. But the antique combs pinch and the diamond diadem is a burden. How my grandmother managed to keep the jewel-encrusted crown on her head when presented to the Queen is the stuff of which family legends are made. With my grandfather descended from British nobility and in distant line for the throne, the tiara is a priceless treasure, proof of our family’s heritage.
As far as I’m concerned, though, that tiara is exactly where it belongs: safely behind glass, viewed from a distance. It glitters and sparkles, but the pain isn’t worth it. Dare to wear it, as I did once, andjust like the secrets hidden in Sin Citythe pain and guilt will tear you down. I’m lucky I managed to yank it off in time.
And I refuse to allow that tiara to ruin my daughter’s life the way it almost ruined mine.

About Kathleen
Kathleen Irene Paterka is the author of numerous women’s fiction novels which embrace universal themes of home, family life and love, including ROYAL SECRETS and the James Bay series (FATTY PATTY, HOME FIRES, LOTTO LUCY and FOR I HAVE SINNED). Kathleen is the resident staff writer for Castle Farms, a world renowned castle listed on the National Historic Register, and co-author of the non-fiction book FOR THE LOVE OF A CASTLE, published in 2012. Having lived and studied abroad, Kathleen's educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Michigan University. She and her husband live in the beautiful north country of Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

Buy the book!
Amazon                     
Smashwords          

Connect with Kathleen!
Website          
Facebook       


18 comments:

  1. I can't wait to read this book! Congrats on yet another book launch!

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    1. Hi Brea! How lovely to see you! Thanks for dropping by! I'm excited about this book release...

      Want to know a secret? I wore a sparkling tiara (okay, it was rhinestones, NOT diamonds) while writing the novel. I like to think it kept me closer to the royals (LOL) and served as inspiration for all things royal and romantic.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~ Kathleen

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  2. Kathleen, this sounds like such a great read. I love weddings and royalty, too! Congratulations on the release! - Susie

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    1. Hi Susie!

      Thanks for dropping by today! I'm an avid royal watcher, and I love weddings, too (guess you figured that out by my post - LOL). Four weddings at our Castle tomorrow. Lots of brides. Lots of drama. That was part of my inspiration behind ROYAL SECRETS. Plus, I love the royalty aspect. I adore the British royals, and I'm so excited about William and Kate's upcoming baby. I can't wait to find out if it's a boy or a girl (my $$$ is on a girl).

      What do YOU think?

      ~ Kathleen

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  3. Kathleen is a wonderful writer, and I'm looking for to reading "Royal Secrets" as much as I enjoyed "Fatty Patty." Also, gorgeous cover!

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    1. Hi Martha,

      I'm blushing at the compliments. Thank you so much. I'm so glad you enjoyed FATTY PATTY. That was my first novel, and the 'overweight girl' theme really was one I took to heart, since I weighed 300 lbs. in high school (the weight is long gone, but the self-esteem issues never really go away).

      But when it came to ROYAL SECRETS, there wasn't so much angst. I had lots of fun indulging my fantasties with themes of royalty, romance, brides and weddings. And who doesn't love Las Vegas?

      P.S. I love the cover, too! My graphic arts designer did a simply marvelous job!

      ~ Kathleen

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  4. Sounds like a fun read. All the best with the new book, Kathleen.

    (I would like the clothes help - I'm not good at dressing myself! - and some of the perks of being a princess, but I'd rather be a nobody! All those cameras in your face every time you step out the door would turn me into an agoraphobic little princess!)

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    1. Hi Jackie,

      Wonderful to see you! And I'm just like you... I could use the clothes help, too! Although it would be odd having help when you didn't need it. I read once that Prince Charles' valet actually squeezes out the correct amount of toothpaste onto Prince Charles' toothbrush, and leaves it there in the bathroom for him when it's the appropriate time for him to 'tidy up'. (rolling my eyes). Good Lord, can you imagine? I love the thought of being a princess, but I'd like my privacy in the bathroom, thank you very much!

      Thanks for stopping by to chat, Jackie!

      ~ Kathleen

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  5. Kathleen, your new novel sounds like so much fun! And how fabulous is it that you wore a tiara while you wrote it? LOVE THAT!!

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    1. Hi Libby,

      Thanks so much for stopping by to chat! You know, I work at a fairy tale castle (my day job, believe it or not!) and they have this wonderful gift shop that sells tiaras... plus, I have an excellent perk called "employee discount". How could I resist? The tiara looks very similar to the one that Kate wore when she married William. I was right there with my tiara, glued to the telly (ooh, how British!), as she walked down the aisle to marry William. That was pure romance. You can tell they're so in love.

      The castle where I work (although it's hard to think of my job as work) has numerous weddings; four of them tomorrow, as a matter of fact. You learn quickly to deal with brides, and I thought it might be fun to write about them. My last novel, FOR I HAVE SINNED, was very serious, and so I had a good time playing with ROYAL SECRETS!

      Someday, I just might snap a photo of myself with the sparkling tiara, and post it on Facebook... what do you think?

      Thanks for stopping by to chat! Happy reading!

      ~ Kathleen

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  6. Hi Kathleen! Wow, that prologue was so beautifully written and completely drew me in! Can't wait to read the book! I'll be picturing you at a computer with your tiara as you were writing. I love that image! :-)

    Patricia

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    1. Hi Patricia,

      Thank you so much for such kind words! One of my CPs tried to get me to dump the Prologue; she kept telling me it wasn't necessary. But I really felt it set the tone for the novel. ROYAL SECRETS is just what the title says: it's about Las Vegas and the Royal Wedding Chapel. It's about brides. It's about royalty and romance. And it's also about relationships... especially the relationships that the women in the family have with each other. Lily is caught in the middle, between her mother Mimi and her daughter Tori. It's an interesting dilemna... a royal dilemna!

      And let's not forget that tiara! Lily's daughter Tori fell in love with all things royal and romantic on her 2nd birthday when her grandmother Mimi placed the tiara on her head, pronouncing her a 'real-life' princess. How's a mother (Lily) supposed to compete with diamonds and dynasty? I hope it makes for an interesting story with readers.

      Thanks for stopping by to chat, Patricia!

      ~ Kathleen

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  7. Well, being a Las Vegas native, naturally I must read this book! Congrats on the new release, Kathleen!

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    1. Hi Shelly!

      Thanks! You and I have something in common... my twin grandsons (who just turned 3 yrs. old on Tuesday) are also Las Vegas natives! My daughter Abby lives in Henderson with her family; she and her husband both teach. Abby was the one who suggested I write a book about Las Vegas wedding chapels. After a few trips out to visit, plus doing some research, I decided it might be good for a royal romantic romp through Sin City. My Abby also put me in touch with a woman who's lived in Las Vegas since the early 60's. She helped fill in the gaps with some of the necessary history (the Royal Wedding Chapel supposedly is one of the oldest on the strip). Researching the book was lots of fun. I went down to the Marriage License Bureau in Las Vegas and interviewed some of the couples waiting in line. I also spent considerable time chatting with the reps outside the Bureau... you probably know the ones I mean - they work for the different chapels, handing out leaflets, trying to sway couples to use 'their' chapel services.

      Ceasar's Palace also plays a vital part in the book. I had to use Ceasar's. Not only does it have an iconic history on the strip, my Abby was married in one of their beautiful indoor chapels. Ceasar's has a special place in my heart.

      I hope you enjoy the book, Shelly! And I hope you'll feel, after finishing it, that I did the story (and your wonderful city) justice!

      ~ Kathleen

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  8. Loved this book! I love tiaras ! The cover immediately draws you into the story and the
    writing keeps you reading. Buy this book!

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    1. Evelyn, big smooches! You are such a sweetie! Thank you for all the support and your friendship.

      xxoo ~ Kathleen

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  9. Love the prologue - very intriguing! It draws you in from the first sentence. Good luck with this Kathleen, it's going to do well I'm sure!

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    1. Hi Shani!

      Glad you enjoyed the Prologue... fingers crossed that readers find the rest of the novel just as intriguing!

      Thanks for stopping by to chat!

      ~ Kathleen

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