Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Welcome to my newest blog. I've decided that it's easier to find my name on the web rather than my other blog site, Teen's Pen. I've decided to move my posts over to this page and design it differently to reflect more of the books I am writing. So, this blog will have different features such as ABOUT ME and DREAMING DANGEROUSLY, which is exclusively about that book, and TEEN'S PEN will be about writing tips. I'm also adding a page about books I've read and reviewed.

For One More Day

For One More DayFor One More Day by Mitch Albom

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished this in like two hours, but I loved it. I had to reread the prologue and the epilogue too, since there was a bit of the unexpected. I love how Mitch Albom mixes reality with what occurs in the mind. It makes you wonder what reality really is - is it just what exists presently in our own mind or is it what the constructs outside of our own minds dictate. Since I wrote a lot about what happens in the mind and I have been thinking about it so obsessively for my three YA novels, I love to ponder this question.

I bought this book a couple of years ago when it first came out and I allowed this little gem to sit on my shelf that long without reading it. I love it though and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves their mother or who has contemplated suicide to read it. Wonderful and quick read. Excellently written and edited.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Just Finished Reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, the book was okay. If someone never saw pictures like those before and had never read anything about kids with superpowers before, they might like it more than I did. The peculiar children were difficult to distinguish from one another because the characterization was so shallow. Even Ellen, who is one of the main characters did not seem to have much depth, and the fact that she falls in love with her childhood sweetheart's grandson is just in a word...creepy. I think this book would have been way more interesting from the viewpoint of the grandfather and told from the time period of when he was a boy. The main character, Jacob, was kind of hard to like. He redeems himself by trying to save everyone, but this book could have been better. A little more humor, a lot more characterization of minor characters so we can at least tell them apart, and a love interest who wasn't already in love with the main character's grandfather would have improved this book and I would have given it a higher rating. With this said, I still liked the book as something a thirteen or fourteen year old boy might read and will recommend it to those students who I think might enjoy its "peculiarities."

View all my reviews

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)Across the Universe by Beth Revis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amy, a teen from the 21st century is frozen, along with her parents, and spends 250 years, flying in the bottom of a space ship toward a new planet. Her parents are to be part of the group who helps terraform the new planet to make it habitable for more Earth colonizers. However, she is woken fifty years before the ship, Godspeed, is scheduled to land because someone unplugs her and leaves her to die.

Luckily, Elder, a young man who is being trained to become the leader of the people who inhabit the ship, finds her and helps her get medical treatment.

As Amy tries to figure out the ship and why she was unplugged along with several other people, who end up dying, Elder tries to figure out why certain information is being kept from him by Eldest, the leader of the ship.

This book reminded me of Lois Lowry's The Giver, Jonah and Elder are very similar in that they both grew up in their dystopian societies. Amy reminds me of Wanderer from Stephenie Meyer's The Host. She is like a fish out of water and is often in danger from the strange, genetically altered humans who have grown up on the ship. Like Wanderer, Amy has a strong sense of the value of human life. So does Elder, but he has been so misinformed by his society, that Amy has to inform him of the realiities of human history as much as she can remember.

Wonderfully developed characters and setting. The ship, itself, is almost a character, too. I did figure out one of the characters before Amy and Elder figure it out; however, I still wasn't sure if he/she (not revealing that) was a good person or an evil one.

A real page turner.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Latest update

Even though I didn't make the deadline for NaNoWrMo, I'm very excited that I did get 1/3 of the book finished and the rest of it is mostly planned out. I slowed down when I realized I didn't know where the book was going to go, but I've been doing a lot of thinking about it, and now, I have a much better idea than before this November's competition. I'm a one scene a day kind of gal. I realized that doing the competition meant that I had to write three scenes a day while working full time as a language arts teacher might be biting off more than I can chew. (Excuse the cliche).

On a good note, though, Dreaming Dangerously sales keep trickling in, even though I don't have much of an advertising budget. I have quite a few people who want to read the book on Goodreads and I have reviewers who want to review it. All in all, I think the book is doing really well.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Okay, I've updated my NaNoWrMo word count everywhere else, but here. I'm at 9,196 words. Although I should be at around 11,200 words, I am proud of myself because I haven't written much in three days. I picked up my laptop around 5pm tonight and wrote almost 4,000 words! So, now all I have to make up is 2,000 words. Another thing is that I'm almost one-fifth of the way through this first draft. I want to go back and revise so badly, but I know I should just keep plowing through. The ideas are coming a little easier now. It seems that I can now think up a goal for each scene, which is cool. I'm not writing in chapters right now, just scenes. I'll be writing Scene 11 tomorrow in the second part of the book!!! I can't believe I'm already at the beginning of the middle of the book! So exciting! By next Sunday, I should be half-way done at the midpoint!

I want to talk about what's going on with my characters so badly. I will say this - Will and Cassie are both narrating book 3 because they are not in the same locations - that is all I'm saying at this point.

Cassie is the narrator of Book 1 - Dreaming Dangerously
Will is the narrator of Book 2 - Darkness Descends
Both will be narrating Book 3 - When Dreams Will Come

Friday, November 4, 2011

Met my goal for tonight!

I know I'm not writing much here, but it is getting late. I did want to post that I'm up to 4,888 words for Book 3 and I've met my NaNoWrMo goal for the third night in a row! I still feel like I am groping around in the dark since I don't have a real outline of scenes this time. I didn't have time to plan it all out like I did on the first two books, however, it seems to be okay since I know what I want to do in each part and I know how I want the book to end. I just don't have scene or chapter goals. I'm just writing off the top of my head like I do when I write journal entries in my classroom when I'm writing with my 8th graders. I'm not worrying about word choices and art. I'm strictly getting that first layer of plot, dialogue and setting down and making sure my characters are staying in character. It's also more challenging with this book because I have more than one narrator this time.

Very happy this evening.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

National Novel Writing Month Day 1

Well, I got off to a pretty good start. I wrote ten pages in my journal, which translates into 1500 words. However, when I typed it up, I started revising already and whittled it down by a hundred. That's okay, though, at least I got started!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Nook Book

I'm a Nook Book now! Here's the link: Dreaming Dangerously on Nook

I've had a great week! Two Book Signings and sold $140 worth of Dreaming Dangerously! I've met some great people, too.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Passwords, Passwords, I can't remember my Passwords

Lamentations and Salutations,

Don't you hate it when you can't remember your password for a particular account? Silly me, I have too many to keep up with, and I'm not about to write them down for just anyone to find it. It's such a hassle to change your password, too. I have to pretend I forgot my password so that I can reset it. Then, I have to type in those warped, squiggly letters that hurt your eyes when you try to decipher what they are, especially when they morph into each other! (Reminds me of trying to text after I've had a beer.)

Anyway, that's my rant for today.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Songs I listened to while writing Dreaming Dangerously:

These songs are in no particular order.
  1. Calling You - Blue October
  2. One Thing - Finger Eleven
  3. Lovesong - The Cure and Adele
  4. Savior - 30 Seconds to Mars
  5. Love You 'Till the End - The Pogues
  6. Runaway - Linkin Park
  7. On My Own - The Used
  8. By Myself - Linkin Park
  9. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
  10. Wicked Garden - Stone Temple Pilots
  11. Beautiful Lie - 30 Seconds to Mars
  12. My Sundown - Jimmy Eat World
  13. Dark Blue - Jack's Mannequin
  14. Be Yourself - Audioslace
  15. Light Up the Sky - Yellowcard
  16. Heroes - Shinedown
  17. Fake - Shinedown
  18. Weight of the World - Evanescence
  19. Here By Me  - 3 Doors Down
  20. Falling Away with You - Muse
  21. Home - Daughtry
  22. Pain - Jimmy Eat World
  23. With Me - Sum 41
  24. I Don't Wanna Be In Love - Good Charlotte
  25. Lullaby - James
  26. Read My Mind - The Killers

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Amazon.com dropped the price of my book, Dreaming Dangerously, to $10.76 to give my customers a 28% savings!  That is so totally awesome!

So, you don't have to go to Create Space to get the best deal. Just go to Amazon.com, here's the direct link to my book: Dreaming Dangerously.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Figuring it All Out

It's exhausting trying to figure out how to promote my book. I finally created a fan page on Facebook entitled Dreaming Dangerously. I need to put together a media kit, some posters and I was even thinking of designing a t-shirt, too. Something like this:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I need a Weekend Getaway

I need to stop thinking about Book sales, cleaning my house, thinking about grading papers and lesson plans. I need to get away somewhere...gotta talk to the hubbie to see what we can do. Even just a weekend on the beach would be nice - Indian Rocks...sounds nice.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dreaming Dangerously is on Amazon!

Support a poor teacher!

Buy my book, Dreaming Dangerously !

It's on Amazon.com now, finally!

Click here for a SNEAK PEAK!  And there's a trailer
OR if you go through my create space eStore: https://www.createspace.com/3670689 and Copy and Paste this code into the discount code box, you can get $4.00 off the cover price!

Here's the code:    FMSHHT7U

Come on! You know you want to buy it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Book is now available on AMAZON.COM!!!

My book, Dreaming Dangerously , is finally availble for purchase on Amazon.com both as paperback and Kindle. Click on this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1466223677 . If you buy it please leave a review at Amazon!!!

I've just published Dreaming Dangerously as an eBook on  Goodreads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/store/pay/93922?back_url=%2Freader%2F13915-dreaming-dangerously for the same price of $2.99, which can be read on any ePub reader. If you buy it and read it, please leave a REVIEW!!! I would LOVE to hear what you think!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Title of my Book: Dreaming Dangerously
My full name: Kathleen Harsch

If you want the eBook, it's $2.99 on Amazon.com for Kindle, type in the title or my name. Or better yet, copy it from here and paste it into the search box.

If you want the paperback, it's 14.95, but I'm giving a special 25% discount to my Facebook Friends. You go to the following link, which is Create Space, a company with Amazon. Click on buy book. Then type in this code FMSHHT7U in the discount code box. (Or copy the code from here and paste the code in the box)

My book is not available in hardback.

Here's the website: https://www.createspace.com/3670689

I would be happy to autograph your book, if you visit me at BPMS. I'm still in room 107.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I'm on Amazon Kindle. I bought a copy so I could download it onto my phone and computer to see what it looks like. So, far I like the way it looks.

Hoping for paperback to be available by this weekend. I'll be putting a discount on this website. So keep coming back to visit to get a discount on the paperback book, which retails for $14.95.
Here's the trailer:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Book Trailer!!!

Here's the book trailer for Dreaming Dangerously. The eBook should be available on Kindle this evening. After my paperback proof copy is checked, I will make the book version available here through Create Space, Amazon.com and soon at BAMM.com (Booksamillion.com). SOO EXCITED!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Waiting on Kindle Review

I've finally published Dreaming Dangerously on Kindle. However, it takes 24 hours to review and put up on the site to go on sale. Also, I revised my proof copy for Create Space and uploaded it to that site for review. I will have to order another proof copy before I can actually put the book up for sale. The moment it goes on sale. I'm letting everyone know.

My next post will include the Book Trailer for Dreaming Dangerously.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Getting Book Ready for Kindle

Now Reading: The Nine Lives of Cloe King

I'm getting Dreaming Dangerously ready for Kindle. I'm sorry that it won't have a Table of Contents that actually works, but I can't seem to get the HTML code right. I had to reformat the file twice trying to strip the code down to bare, basic minimum, but still the Table of Contents is not working like it should - meaning it works at the beginning of the book, but doesn't work with the Table of Contents button on Kindle, and I am not a programmer.

I'm also supposed to get my proof copy of the book from Create Space on Friday. I can't wait to finally see my book in print!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Publisher Has My Book Now

WHAT I'M READING: The Nine Lives of Cloe King It's quite a bit different from the TV show.

I am waiting for approval from Create Space for my files that I sent to them for my book, Dreaming Dangerously. As soon as I hear back from them, I can set up all the selling channels for my book. It's getting closer!!!

Also, although it will be about 5-10 days to become available on Amazon.com, I'm not sure about the eBook on Kindle. Dreaming Dangerously won't be available in stores for like a month or two. I'm not even sure which bookstores will carry it, but we'll see.

Also, I've created a book trailer, which some of you have seen already (not in finished form). I will be posting it here, on Goodreads and on Facebook as soon as I hear back from Create Space when my book will go on sale. I want to include that in the book trailer.

Peace Out!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Making a Book Trailer

Microsoft Movie Maker has gotten so much easier to use!!! I just created another book trailer, and this time it only took me two hours instead of two days!!!

I will be loading the trailer up here, on Facebook and at goodreads as well as amazon, when I get ready to put it on presale.

I'm so excited. I can't wait! But I want to do this right - I'm making sure I have everything in place before I launch the presale.

Here's a prototype of my cover:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Writing Acknowledgements

I'm creating my acknowledgements and About the author pages for Dreaming Dangerously. I am so excited about finally publishing this book!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Watching Iron Chef

Hubby and I are watching Iron Chef tonight. The special ingredient - sea weed. I'd rather eat sea weed than walk around on it like at Howard Park Beach. Slimy. But in a salad or wrapped around sushi - AWESOME!!! My favorite thing to order at our fav. Japanese restaurant is the seaweed salad. It has lots of seafood, but great veggies, too. The only time I'll eat a radish is in that salad because the Sushi chefs shred the radishes superfine and rinse it well so it's not bitter.

If you like Iron Chef - comment!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Sound of Rain

Still reading: The Book Thief

It's been raining all day here today. I love the sound of rain, and I'm always trying to come up with descriptions for it, even when I'm busy cleaning my house.

My eight-year-old son has been building a Droid base with Legos all day. He's really into watching videos created by kids who build Star Wars scenes with Lego bricks, and this is his third base he's created this summer.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer's Almost Over

As I cleaned in my classroom today, I realized just how soon it's going to be for the 2011-2012 school year! I'm excited, but anxious at the same time. Teachers get anxious, too, especially the night before the first day of school. I always have these weird dreams about my class going out of control. (It's because I'm a control freak - the oldest of three girls - the responsible one). Anyway, I am usually pretty bored on my first day because I have to talk about the rules and procedures. I talk more on my first day of school than I do any other school day, and I talk A LOT!!! It's just that I have to go over so much information at one time. I'm having fun hanging posters and decorating my bulletin boards. This year, I'm going to try to stay organized. We'll see how that goes. I hope my 8th graders from last year will have a great 9th grade year. I will really miss them!


Currently reading: The Book Thief

I just signed up today for goodreads. I didn't know about it before. It's a place where you can review books you've read and keep track of those books, books you're reading and books you'd like to read. You can also friend people on there, share with Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and some other places. They have an iPhone app, too. Awesome website.

Check it out.

Also, I'm signed up there as my name - Kathie Harsch. I hope to be putting my books up for review soon - Yay!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Snagging an Agent

Book I'm currently reading: Sweep: Book of Shadows Book 1by Cate Tiernan***

Just read: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting *****

Okay, so I think I've got a good hook for my query, and even for my first page. I've revised nine times, had three different beta readers over the last two years. So, I decided to sign up for Query Tracker, which is a snazzy little program by the way, and it's FREE, and I sent off to three agents. (My goal is one agent a day until my list is exhausted, but so far I'm a little slower than that.)

I already heard back from one. Apparently my first five pages didn't reel her in to want more. So, I revised and started with my second chapter instead. I've always liked that chapter, but one of my beta readers thought I should start with a different chapter, and at the time, it made sense. After reading my first chapter again, I decided it doesn't make sense to start like that anymore.

Now, I'm thinking I need another full on revision before I try to send it off to another agent. A couple of things need to be added or rearranged, and maybe even readded from a previous revision. AHHH!!!

Writers aren't kidding when we say revision is the hardest work. It is. The whole problem with the industry though is that agents are inundated with so many queries and sample chapters that they can't really give any feedback as to why something didn't grab their attention. Right now, the market is tough. Even at the bookstores in the Teen section, I noticed few new writers and mostly the same dark vampire books that have been on the shelves for years. Yet, when I talk to my students they are TIRED of vampires and werewolves. They want something different. Dystopia is hot right now, but unfortunately, my book is not  set in a dystopia.

I've been told over and over again by friends, by other authors' websites, by agent websites: DON'T GIVE UP - keep writing and keep sending it out. So, there you have it. I have to keep baiting my hook and casting that reel until I get lucky enough to snag an agent.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Summer Goals

Book I'm currently reading: The Passage by Justin Cronin

In order to be a successful writer, you have to set goals for yourself. The only way I was able to write three books in three years was through creating goals for myself and then meeting them over time. It takes consistency and clear vision.

Here are my writing goals this summer that I have to post. This will make me more likely to meet them.

1st: Rewrite my synopsis and update my query letter to find an agent who will represent me for Dreaming Dangerously, Book 1 of the Children of the Psi series.

2nd: Continue working on book two Darkness Descends revision.

3rd: Plot third book in series What Dreams Will Come, so I can start writing pieces of it once I'm finished with book 2.

The great thing is that I already have a marketing plan in several different increments, so that I can also discuss this with an agent/editor.

Finally, Will and Cassie might be out in book form - may the Children of the Psi prevail!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We all Make Mistakes

This blog is from a language arts assignment written by my daughter, Erin in her journal:

If we all make mistakes
Then how come people judge us for it?
If we all make mistakes
Then how come we treat them so cruelly?
How come we treat them like their terrible?
Why do people make them seem so stupid or rude?
Why do we pick on them?
Why do we ruin their souls?
Why do we treat them like their ignorant?
Why are they so much different from us?
Why do we give them death threats?
Why do we follow the others?
I bet you're wondering who I mean by "them."
I mean people...
People who have made a mistake...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Get MATCHED up with the right book!

Hey Girls!
Looking for a great teen read? Matched is an excellent set-in-the-near-future kind of book about a young girl who not only meets her MATCH, she meets two of them. One is her best friend, and the other is a young man whose parents were outcasts, an undesireable. Here's the book trailer for it.