The Vintner’s Daughter Wins Bronze!

RF_bronze-shiny-webI am honored and thrilled that The Vintner’s Daughter has been awarded the bronze medal for Historical Fiction in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest! The winners were announced on September 1, 2015. Click here to see the complete list of winners and click here to read the 5-star review. Thank you Readers’ Favorite!

Writer’s Digest Conference 2015!

WDvert_colorThe Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC is where my author career started and I’m thrilled to be returning again this year as a speaker! This weekend, July 31-Aug 2, I’ll be presenting “The New Era of Publishing: Combining Traditional & Partnership Publishing for Success” with my agent, April Eberhardt, “Beyond Bookstores: Selling Your Book in Unexpected Ways & Places” with author Anjali Mitter Duva, and I’ll be participating in the panel discussion of “Breaking In: First-time Novelists Share How They Got Their Books Published.” For more information and the session schedule, click here or follow #WDC15 and @WritersDigest on Twitter!

Fundraiser at Jimmy’s Southside Tavern in Darien!

Please join my family and me (and your friends in Darien) for dinner or apps at Jimmy’s Southside Tavern in Darien on Thursday night to help raise funds for the Fiorenza family, whose youngest son, Marcello, is battling leukemia for the second time. Click on the flyer link below for more info or to donate – and thank you!

May 14 Fundraiser for Marcello


Join me at Grub Street’s #Muse15 Next Weekend!


I’m excited to attend Grub Street’s Muse and the Marketplace conference in Boston next weekend! On Friday, May 1, publicist Sharon Bially and I will be presenting “Using Out-of-the-Box Author Promo to Connect with More Readers”! Click here to learn more or to register! It promises to be a fun and inspiring weekend – I hope to see you there!

Editing Advice from the Pulpwood Queens’ Book Club Authors!

As I’ve mentioned, I was thrilled to attend this year’s annual Pulpwood Queens‘ Girlfriend Weekend in Nacogdoches, TX. The PQs are the largest meeting and discussing book club in the world, led by book maven Kathy Murphy, with over 650 chapters. Not only was I able to connect with readers from all over the country, but I also met over thirty accomplished authors. As the “new kid on the block,” I thought it would be fun to solicit their best editing advice. Here are the pearls of wisdom they were kind enough to share!

PulpwoodQ“I had thirty people go over my book with a fine-tooth comb, looking for errors. You want to make your book as clean and neat as possible. Today, it’s up to the author to make sure everything is truly edited before publication, which is not the way it used to be. That is my advice: check, check, and double check. You will lose credibility if your book contains errors.”

–Kathy Murphy, author of The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life


catestoffaithRead your writing out loud. If it sounds clunky to you, it will to the reader.”

–Christa Allan, author of Test of Faith






Engage the reader’s senses–sight, smell, sounds–as much as possible.”

–Holly Michael, author of Crooked Lines





book-copyGet a professional edit. Whatever it costs is money well spent. Do not have a friend, family member or your English teacher edit. You need a pro who can be objective.”

–Jennie Helderman, author of As the Sycamore Grows




Don’t become discouraged. Killing_Fields_Cover-210Most of us have been rejected at one time or another. It’s part of the writing life.”

–Kathryn Casey, author of Deliver Us





magnolia‘Only you can keep you from writing.’ This advice, from PQ author Kimberly Willis Holt, helped me quit making excuses and jump into fiction.”

–Judy Christie, author of Magnolia Market





thestorykeepercoverlr‘When you think it’s perfect, go back and cut ten percent,’ is the best advice I’ve ever received. Combing through the first version of the book with a goal of cutting ten percent makes you take a hard look at the fluff.”

–Lisa Wingate, author of The Story Keeper





Consider all your back-story as salt and sprinkle lightly through the entire book on a need-to-know basis. Too much in one spot spoils the spot – it’s the stuff readers will skip over because it’s passive and uninteresting until they love your character. And let it come out naturally in introspection or conversation — no info dumps!

–Caryl Lawrence McAdoo, author of Vow Unbroken



heart-wide-openDon’t get it right, get it written. Knock those words down and then scrutinize them!”

–Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, author of Heart Wide Open





lakehouse2First write with your eyes shut. Stare at a ceiling or out a window and ask: what is this scene about? Then close your eyes, dive into the setting, the emotions, the tastes, then sit back and listen. When you sense it all, begin to write.”

–Marci Nault, author of The Lake House




cuban-connection-m-l-malcolm-paperback-cover-artRead dialogue out loud. It’s the best way to test it for authenticity. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, the best thing I ever did to improve my writing was to take a short story class at a community college. Helped in the same way. Also, I often recommend the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King. Immensely helpful.”

–Mary Lee Wolfe Malcolm, author of The Cuban Connection



hatmakersheart“Good is better than fast. Take time to let the ideas/story marinate. And I often write with my eyes shut and picture/feel the scene before me.”

–Carla Stewart, author of The Hatmaker’s Heart





TheGravityofBirdsRead poetry while you’re working on your book. It reminds you of the power of brevity, and the importance of choosing each word carefully.”

–Tracy Guzeman, author of The Gravity of Birds






Don’t read your favorite authors while you’re writing. That’s like trying to lose weight while reading Vogue. You’ll die a death of comparison.”

–Jamie Ford, author of Songs of Willow Frost





The-Promise-Paperback-Cover-web“I read a poem every night before bedtime. The other thing I do is tell myself that each writer has his/her own process. Writing is not a contest to see who gets to the finish line first. It’s not a numbers game about who has written the most books. What’s important to me is that I’ve done my best. Whatever that might be!

–Ann Weisgarber, The Promise



mrshydecropped“Writing poetry teaches you the discipline of editing which is a great tool to have when writing a novel. In a poem you are forced to distill your idea and thoughts into the most compact form to create a picture.” –Holly Joy Bowden, author of Mrs. Hyde


Thank you Copperfish Books!

Thank you so much, Cathy and Serena of Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida for hosting me on Tuesday night! These ladies are passionate about reading and learning and I was honored to hold a book talk and signing at Copperfish on Mardi Gras evening! We drank wine, ate cheese, and discussed reading, writing, and wine making with a full house of readers. Thanks for such a fun evening!!



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Love stories and wine pairings for Valentine’s Day!

Don’t have a valentine? So what? Pair these love stories with wine and you’ll have a ready-made date and an evening filled with laughter, romance and intrigue!

xo Kristen

Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet

The Hatmaker’s Heart by Carla Stewart with 2012 SeaGlass Sauvignon Blanc

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford with 2010 Bouchaine Carneros Pinot Noir

Persuasion by Jane Austen with Donelan Wines’ 2012 Nancie Chardonnay

Somerset by Leila Meacham with 2012 Beringer Vineyards Pinot Grigio “Founders Estate”

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte with 2012 Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon

The Pulpwood Queens’ Texas Book Club Extravaganza!

PQ Stamp of Approval (1)I’m honored to announce that The Vintner’s Daughter has been selected by Kathy Murphy as a Pulpwood Queens bonus book selection for February! As many of you know, from my recent social media posts, I had the pleasure of spending the Jan 15-18 weekend with tiara-wearing Pulpwood Queen Book Club members and over thirty accomplished authors at the 15th Annual Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend in Nacogdoches, TX. Kathy Murphy started the Pulpwood Queens Book Club out of her beauty salon in East Texas fifteen years ago, and it has blossomed into the largest meeting and discussing book club ever, with over 650 chapters worldwide!

Girlfriend Weekend is a celebration of good books and friendship–with flashes of cheetah-print and pink feather boas–and a wonderful silent auction to support the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Our hosts, Pulpwood Queen Kathy Murphy and NYT Bestselling Author Jamie Ford, guided us through an exciting weekend of Texas barbecque, author talks and signings, The Great Big Ball of Hair Ball (amazing costumes), and the announcement that Dreamworks is making Kathy’s autobiography, The Pulpwood Queen’s Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life, into a big-screen movie!

Thank you, Pulpwood Queens and my fellow authors, for a fabulous time! To join a Pulpwood Queens Book Club near you, to start your own, or to sign up for Girlfriend Weekend 2016, click here!

15th Annual Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend

15th Annual Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend
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