Kathy Handley, author of Birds of Paradise, launches her blog tour

Monday, September 19, 2011
& book giveaway contest!

All hearts long for home, but home is more than a place--it is a sense of belonging. This search for belonging curves through Birds of Paradise like Route 66, allowing us to feel the unique way it touches each character’s life.

The story begins with a lonely trucker named Joe-Mack who gives a lift to Freddie, a runaway from Las Vegas. He drops Freddie in Hollywood with a wad of cash and a phone number, urging him to call if he ever needs help. Freddie finds refuge in a squat house with other runaways. There is danger in this lifestyle though, and when his friend Starlet disappears Freddie calls in Joe-Mack.

Of Birds of Paradise, the poet Kevin Donahue said “With their insides bleeding out bad memories, the runaways in Birds of Paradise are not only fleeing their past but also seeking their elusive threads of future happiness. Their griefs will break your heart, and their triumphs will restore it.”

Kathryn writes her settings with a skilled hand, those readers who have not traveled from Las Vegas to Hollywood will gain a clear sense of place; feeling the breeze, smelling the city grime. For those of us who have lived there, the road just slips away.

Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: Riverhaven Books (April 15, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1450761771
ISBN-13: 978-1450761772
Twitter Hashtag: #BirdsParadise
Birds of Paradise is available at Amazon in print or as e-book for Kindle.

Book Giveaway Contest: If you would like to win a copy of Birds of Paradise, please leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered in a random drawing. The giveaway contest closes this Thursday, September 22nd at 11:59 PM, PST. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #BirdsParadise, then come back and leave us a link to your tweet. We will announce the winner in the comments section of this post on the following day Friday, September 23rd. Good luck!

About the Author: Kathy first became fascinated with truckers and their CB radios in the 1950s when the family would travel on vacations. Later, her son-in-laws work with homeless children in Los Angeles inspired her to write Birds of Paradise with Joe-Mack as a trucker who picks up a runaway and later helps him out in Hollywood.

Kathy's empathy for kids who, underneath their bravado, want to be loved and accepted, lead her to her quirky characters in Birds of Paradise. Her goal was to have readers see beyond the kids’ crazy green hair and goofy attitudes to the thread of love and dignity in each of them.

Besides her passion for writing and connecting all kinds of friends, Kathy is all about family. Pictured here are: Kathy, Ed, Elizabeth, Carolyn, Mariana, Eric, Grace, and Le’o--while loving all of them she gives special attention to her grandson, Eric Nightingale, seated in front. Kathy and Eric have been giggling together since he was a tiny boy. One of his first huge chuckles came when he saw her in a 50s flowery bathing hat. He just cracked up. Kathy is involved with the planning of activities for Eric and his special needs pals and families and will donate a portion of book sales to organizations providing experiences for these wonderful children and their peers.

Kathy loves fiction of any length! She recently won Word Hustler’s Page-to-Screen Contest (2011) and currently serves as Prose Poetry Judge for the National League of American Pen Women Soul-Making Contest. A collection of her work has just been released under the title A World of Love and Envy (short fiction, flash-fiction, and poetry). She credits the folks at Grub Street, the creative writing center in Boston, for offering her the classes, encouragement, and schmoozing opportunities she needed to finally become a published novelist. Read Kathy's Grub Street post here.

Author Websites:

----------Interview by Robyn Chausse

WOW: You taught elementary school in California then moved to Vermont where you finally decided to write. Tell us about how your inner writer emerged.

Kathy: I loved reading in high school and college--from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Simone De Beauvoir. I’ve always loved stories, written and oral. After a few attempts at poetry, I began writing fiction at the age of 58 when my mom suggested I join a writing group. My experience since then taking classes, meeting authors, and continually learning more about craft and publication has been so very rewarding. I honor all my fellow writers, whether they are beginners or successfully published authors.

WOW: In Birds of Paradise you seem to have a good grasp of the issues facing young people. To what do you attribute that kind of insight and cultural tolerance?

Kathy: I attribute my interest and understanding to my family background, and personality--Irish, friendly, open, loving a good laugh, caring, spiritual, helpful, sensitive, and totally curious; my children and their friends; my own challenges as a teen. Also, teaching and living in L.A. for twenty years taught me the beauty of multicultural kids.

WOW: On your 60th birthday you received a very special gift—tell us a little about Eric.

Kathy: On my 60th birthday, Eric Nightingale was born at two pounds. After three months in the hospital, he came home and we began his journey with him towards a healthy and happy life full of wonderful experiences and great love. Eric’s courage and laughter has taught me and my whole family many life lessons. We set new goals and also began to reach out to other families with special needs children.

WOW: You mentioned that you will be giving a portion of the proceeds from Birds of Paradise to help children like Eric...

Kathy: My hubby and I are paying for book expenses out of pocket. The proceeds will go to organizations that sponsor activities for children with cerebral palsy and their typical peers. Activities will include dance parties, bowling, swimming, trips to Disney, skating parties, Read-A-Thons, etc. We are open to suggestions...

WOW: It’s so wonderful to offer these children opportunities to laugh, play, and be carefree. Kathy, you actually have two books finished, Birds of Paradise and A World of Love and Envy which is a collection of poetry and short fiction. What’s next?

Kathy: In tandem with promotion for my two books, I’m considering three projects:

- A nonfiction book that is kind of a light self-help manual called The Hotel Cure. It was inspired by Jamie Cat Callan, author of Bonjour Happiness.

- An expansion of the short story in A World of Love and Envy, Short Fiction, Flash Fiction, and Poetry, called “Up, Baby,” into a novel length story.

- A book project with my grandson, Eric, about a boy who challenges the world to know him and his ability although he has Cerebral Palsy.

WOW: Eric is ready to write a book, how wonderful! And what a heartwarming experience for a grandmother and grandson to share. Speaking of sharing, what is the most important lesson you have learned about life or writing that you can share with us today?

Kathy: Live, love, laugh and learn--forget sadness.

When you feel yourself slipping into a funky mood, remember “Life Starts Every Day,” this is according to my lovely friend, Diane Biggs.

Glean insight into life and situations by listening and watching for tiny details when in the company of brilliance (ex. grandchildren). Take a lesson from their capacity for curiosity and unconditional love.

WOW: I can almost feel the silence as everyone takes in those beautiful thoughts. Thank you, Kathy, it’s been a pleasure.

----------Blog Tour Dates

Tuesday, September 20 @ CMash Loves to Read
Guilty pleasure reading! Join the discussion and win a copy of Birds of Paradise.

Wednesday, September 21 @ Choices
Come on over to choices and meet Kathy! Today Madeline hosts an interview.

Thursday, September 22 @ Words from the Heart
It's all about the power to give. Today, we discuss supporting others. Join the discussion and enter to win a copy of Birds of Paradise.

Friday, September 23 @ Lori’s Reading Corner
Passionate about something? Pass it on! We'd like to pass a book on to you--enter to win!

Tuesday, September 27 @ Mom~E~Centric
Did you know that writing a book can be heroic? Find out more and enter the giveaway!

Wednesday, September 28 @ Tracy’s Treasure of Books
Pull your reader into your story! Let's talk about writing the setting. P.S. You might win a book!

Monday, October 3 @ From the TBR Pile
Let's go visit Autumn! Today she shares her review of Birds of Paradise and offers a copy to you.

Tuesday, October 4 @ Meryl Content Maven
Readers want them, are you prepared? Today we discuss book club questions. Enter to win a copy of Birds of Paradise.

Wednesday, October 5 @ White Elephants
Runaways and homeless teens are today's topic over at White Elephants.

Thursday, October 6 @ The Gift
Get to know Kathy! Join Chynna & Kathy for an informative interview.

Saturday, October 8 @ The Gift
Pour a cup of tea and settle back as Chynna shares her review of Birds of Paradise.

Monday, October 10 @ Selling Books
Come by for an interview with Kathy Handley.

Tuesday, October 11 @ Thoughts in Progress
Today Kathy talks about writing...from a certain perspective. Enter the giveaway!

Wednesday, October 12 @ Writer Inspired
When it comes to contests--go for the big ones! Kathryn shares her experience, and enter the book giveaway.

Thursday, October 13 @ The Nostalgic Librarian
What does the librarian think about Birds of Paradise? Come find out and enter to win a copy!

Friday, October 14 @ Capability Mom
Come join the fun! Today Kathy discusses indie publishing, Nancy shares her review of Birds of Paradise and someone wins a book!

Sunday, October 16 @ Thoughts in Progress
Come to the Sunday Salon! Mason reviews Birds of Paradise.

To view all of our touring authors, check out our Events Calendar here.

Get involved!

If you have a blog or website and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email Jodi and Robyn at blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com

Book Giveaway Contest: Enter to win a copy of Birds of Paradise by Kathy Handley. Here's how you enter:

1. For your first entry, just leave a comment on this post! Leave a comment or ask Kathy a question to be entered in the random drawing.

2. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #BirdsParadise, then come back and leave us a link to your tweet.

The giveaway contest closes this Thursday, September 22nd, at 11:59 pm, PST. We will announce the winner in the comments section of this post the following day--Friday, September 23rd, and if we have the winner's email address from the comments section, we will also notify the winner via email.

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Wow, you didn't start writing until age 58! That is so inspiring; congrats on your successes!

Unknown said...

Writing--great follow-up to teaching!
Best with books!

Unknown said...

Tweet athttp://twitter.com/#!/PM27

annette rey said...

The Birds of Paradise plot sounds intriguing - a young person connecting with a trucker and seeking his help. I want to read it and hope the young ones find their way - see, the characters are already real to me.

annette rey said...

My tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23BirdsParadise

Renee G said...

Would love to read this. It sounds like a great story.

Jennie Kay Writes said...

I would love to read this! :)

ckalmes1 said...

Knowing that you wrote your first novel at 58 gives me 6 more years to write my first novel!!! I can't wait to read Birds of Paradise. Our family was a foster family for 15 years and saw the heartbreak of children who were cast aside by parents, usually for selfish reasons. Your book sounds like it gets to the heart and soul of these young kids as they struggle out in the world on their own. Again, I can't wait to read it! Congratulations!

slb3334 said...

I would love this.


Valerie Taylor Mabrey said...

Thanks for the contest great prize

vmkids3 at msn dot com

Candice Coghill said...

Birds of Paradise just jumped to the top of my must-read list ! I worked with runaway and homeless youth for 20 of my 38 years in social services, and they still hold a special place in my heart. At any one time, there still are over a million on the streets in the U.S. I look forward so much to reading your book !

Edwina said...

This book sounds wonderful and I would love to read it!


Edwina said...

I did tweet this, but I don't see the complete address. So, my tweet is @ECowgill www.twitter.com

Robert P said...

Thank you for the contest and giving away a nice prize!

happyskunky at yahoo dot com

dollsstory said...

Wow!! My inspiration for this week!! I'm 68, a former teacher, working on my first book after slowly making my way through two writing courses. I'd love this book having known a few characters like this.

Cindy Kerschner said...

Kathy seems like an exceptional person, loving Mom and Grandmom and a wonderful grandmother for Eric to have in his life. I'm willing to bet her enthusiasm, spunk and uplifting outlook shows in her novels. Best of luck to her! I'd love to win a copy of Bird of Paradise! Thanks for the contest!

esldiane@gmail.com said...

As a 54 year old want to be writer... What made you finally go ahead and actually do it?
Diane Baum

susansmoaks said...

do you think it's possible to write a book about your own life?
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

WOW! said...

Happy Friday!

Thank you for all your comments. :) We held a random drawing via random.org and the winner is... Jenny Kay Writes!

Congratulations, Jenny Kay Writes, you've won a signed copy of Birds of Paradise by Kathy Handley! I didn't see an email addy on your profile, so please email us at blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com with your mailing address and we will pass it along to Kathy for you.

For everyone else: be sure to check out the rest of the stops on this tour for more giveaways and fantastic advice from Kathy Handley.

And remember, if you purchase this book, the proceeds will go to organizations that sponsor activities for children with cerebral palsy.

Happy reading!

kathrynhandley said...

Dear Friends,
I am so grateful that you are interested in my book. Robyn and all the gals on the tour have provided a fabulous venue for me to get the word out.
I want to wish you all happy reading and happy writing!
Love, Kathy

kathrynhandley said...

I forgot to include my facebook address: kathrynhopehandley

Friend me if you wish ~ xKathy

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