Author Archive

Around the World Giveaway

Written by Kay on . Posted in Contests and Give-A-Ways

Enter to possibly WIN a prize in our Around The World Giveaway, featuring bestselling authors Kay Bratt, Kate Danley, and Karen McQuestion. Prizes to include signed copies of books in tiny attaché cases and even a Kindle!

Enter Here: http://tinyurl.com/ntajo3g

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone for participating and the winners are….

Kindle: Megan Henn
Kate Danley pack: Brenda Stevens
Kay Bratt pack: Carol Zuba
Karen McQuestion pack: Wendy Weber

AroundTheWorld

New Release! Red Skies, set in the world of the Tales of the Scavenger’s Daughters

Written by Kay on . Posted in Book Recommendations, China-Inspired Book Recommendations

RedSkies-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

Red Skies by Kay Bratt

A companion novel set in the world of The Tales of the Scavenger’s Daughters

“I feel empty, as though I’m leaving behind a piece of myself.” As the daughter of the town scavenger, Mari grew up knowing hardship, but she could have never anticipated the struggles facing her as an adult. Feeling alone and isolated, she dreams of a better life. On the other side of town, a little girl is forced to live on the streets, but silently she longs for the one thing she’s never known–a family. Max, a struggling American photojournalist, arrives in China with only one goal in mind; to face his demons and put an end to his own unbearable suffering. In Red Skies, the fate of three people who’ve never met will converge in profound and unexpected ways.

From the bestselling author of ‘A Thread Unbroken’ comes a fresh glimpse into the life of Benfu’s remarkable family. Be swept up in this emotional yet hope filled story of Red Skies, set in the world of Kay Bratt’s ‘Tales of The Scavenger’s Daughters’.

*Red Skies is a companion novel to the series and can be enjoyed first, last, or in between the other books. It can stand alone or be read as part of the series. So dig in at any time! /352 pages

AVAILABLE HERE ON AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1hLjZdc

Amazon Reviewer Lee says: Red Skies is another remarkable book about the daughters of Benfu. Having already read “The Scavenger’s Daughters” and “Tangled Vines” and being captivated by their beautiful stories, I was eagerly anticipating what “Red Skies” would have to offer and I most certainly was not disappointed.

One of the most endearing qualities of Kay Bratt’s books is that she makes you care so very much about her characters and instead of just being a reader, you become a participant and cheerleader in their lives! This beautiful story has three main characters whose stories are told separately but as you read them you know that they are going to converge and the anticipation keeps you turning page after page! Kay’s books are hard to put down once you have started them because she draws you in a holds you on each word. Having read Kay’s other books I already knew a little bit about Mari (Marigold) but even without knowing her back story completely this book is SO worth reading. This book, like the others, will make you feel like you are in China and will break your heart when you realize it is written about China today.

You. Must. Read. This. Book. Three Souls by Janie Chang

Written by Kay on . Posted in Book Recommendations, China-Inspired Book Recommendations

Steeped in the tenacious traditions and rich culture of China, Three Souls by Janie Chang is a book that will captivate and keep you up at night to turn the pages. Packed with intrigue and emotional upheaval, I especially loved the way Song Leiyen, the main character, only gradually worked her way into my good graces until I found myself thinking of her each time I walked away from the story. Mark my words, this book is going to be a best seller!

Already one of my favorite books of the year!

Three Souls

Available on Amazon (Here)

House of Pleasure by Caddy Rowland

Written by Kay on . Posted in About Publishing

Caddy

Fueled by rage and disgust, Phoenix runs away from home. The situation there had become unbearable. In fact, things couldn’t get any worse. But they do. Betrayed in New York by a boy who she thought was a new friend, she finds herself taken prisoner by a low-class pimp. Then, when she thinks she’s on her way to her first seedy trick, Phoenix winds up locked in a limo with no way out. She wakes up in an illegal brothel in New Orleans. Phoenix vows she will find a way to destroy Antoine, the owner of the brothel. Instead of being Antoine’s prostitute, she’ll become his lover, his confidante, and pretty soon, his manager. And then, when he least suspects it, she’ll bring the entire house down. She better be damn good. There will only be one chance.

**Content Warning: This book is a drama meant for those over 18 and contains explicit scenes. Therefore, it contains adult themes and scenes which deal with a difficult topic.

BUY NOW AT AMAZON [HERE]

What reviewers are saying:

The subject matter is disturbing, there nothing pretty about the sex slave industry. The sad truth is it’s a reality in the world we live in. Ms. Rowland’s creative writing style and storytelling brings you in to that world where most of us have never been and keeps us there rooting for the underdog. -Amazon Reviewer

This was a very well written book about issues that are happening. The story line was intense and shows the growth of a young woman forced into the life she didn’t plan for herself. Although this book makes you think and reach into your soul for answers of why and how this could happen, it is also a tale of courage for herself and others that are caught up there with her. I found this to be a very good read and I am looking forward to the next book to follow the story through. -Amazon Reviewer

 

Dear Disappointed….

Written by Kay on . Posted in A Bratt's Life, How You Can Help A Child

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Dear Disappointed, I received your email yesterday. First, I thank you for reading my work and then taking the time to search me out on the internet, find my contact button, and grace me with your words of chastisement. While at first I was so upset that I had to pull off the road and convince myself I would not be sick, your message gave me something to think about for the rest of the day and into a sleepless night. I felt it would be appropriate to answer you here. First, your words after reading my novella, The Bridge:

I loved the story.  Simple and sweet.  Reading afterward, it was disappointing to see about your work in a Chinese orphanage.  How many children have you helped in the country in which you were born, raised, educated and benefited from taxpayer support?

Now, please forgive me if I can’t remember all that I have done, but before I answer your demand for a list of ways I’ve helped fellow Americans, can I just ask what is it that you expected me to do during my time in China? Did you expect me to simply enjoy the people’s land, rake in their money, eat their foods, and party myself to death? I apologize that when a situation of orphaned children presented itself, that I went out of my way to use my time, talents and compassion to make their lives just a tiny bit better. I guess that taking on the advocacy and supporting the surgery of little Le Men and Li Li should never have happened? Where would they be now? Most likely gone from this earth instead of adding unmeasurable joy to the forever families they finally joined.  And the girl we called Princess….her body deformed by the ravages of her disease but her eyes always pleading for someone to touch her, someone to love her. Where would she be? I know where she wouldn’t be—and that is in the arms of another volunteer who she now calls Mom.  And if you really want to see me fired up, what about the little girl named who was in an accident that resulted in her losing her leg, then her family. She was left to languish in an orphanage in China, forever branded to be discriminated against for the fate thrown her way. Without me and my team, and all the miraculous things that happened between, she wouldn’t be a part of an amazing family right now who love her for who she is–and who don’t look at her as a disabled child, but simply look at her as their amazingly resilient daughter.

Truly, if you read my memoir, Silent Tears, you’d see that my work in China resulted in children living a better quality of life because of the ways in which we helped the nannies, the facility, and therefore those who were in their care. Diapers, bedding, toys, even better milk for the babies! You’d also see that when we arrived, two to three children shared one bowl of congee (rice as you most assuredly call it) for every meal. The bowls were emptied and the children still cried in hunger. With our resources, we were able to make sure every child had a bowl of their own and went to bed with a full stomach. But then, I suppose since you weren’t there to see their streaked faces crying silent tears of abandonment or hunger, that it doesn’t touch you in the way that it did me. But I’m grateful others were able to ‘see’ it through my words and step up to do what they can from afar, even though the children aren’t in their country. For does it really matter where a child is if they need our help?

As you can see, I feel very passionate about the children I left behind in China. Just as I do any child that God puts in my path.  I suppose it wouldn’t kill me to admit that upon my return to the states, in addition to online volunteering for numerous organizations that support children in China, I physically worked full time (two years) for a non-profit organization that focuses on helping children build strong character, confidence and spirit.  Also during that time I spear-headed several outreach programs including one I called Zip Up A Smile in which we collected enough welcome bags of items to be used for an entire year at a (American) children’s shelter, sometimes the only thing a child has of their own after being jerked out of their homes.  I also headed another called Zip Up the Warmth in which we collected and handed out over 100 warm coats and backpacks to (American) children living in an low income neighborhood. Or maybe I should mention the two years I spent as a CASA Volunteer in which I acted as the voice of the child, even venturing into meth-infected neighborhoods and taking unpaid time from work to attend court hearings and events for my children (cases).  I gladly used my own funds for gasoline, clothing, hygiene items and gifts for (American) children assigned to me.  But most valuable was the time that I gave them—children who felt neglected and abandoned to sink or swim in the broken (American) foster system.  

I could tell you more that I’ve done to help in my “own” country—but really, what would be enough to balance out your disappointment in me? What most don’t know is that I suffer daily from a debilitating chronic condition that causes me great pain. I have for decades, yet I’ve refused to let it overcome my goal of making a difference in any small way I can. I encourage you to read my memoir, Silent Tears, to see if maybe a glimpse behind those walls makes you change your mind about being disappointed in someone who dares to try to help. Yet, really, if you don’t read my work and get it that I am passionate about advocating for children, whether they are Chinese or American, red, white, brown or black, then really I have nothing left to say, except just maybe one little question for you.

What have YOU done to make this world a better place?

Silent-Tears

 

 

Tangled Vines Launches Today!

Written by Kay on . Posted in Book Recommendations

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Today the second book in The Tales of The Scavenger’s Daughters is launched into the world. Tangled Vines is a story of one lost woman’s courage and a family who dares to dream they may see her again. I’m thrilled that I’ve heard from dozens of advanced readers that they love the book, so here’s hoping the rest of the world does too! Available here at Amazon. http://amzn.to/11d7Cxh

Official book description:

With the bad memories of the Cultural Revolution and a life of hard work behind them, Benfu and his treasured Calla Lily are content watching their daughters blossom—six young women who they adopted as their own. But when a clue to the whereabouts of the biological daughter they lost decades ago suddenly surfaces, they begin a frantic search to find their beloved Dahlia…

Li Jin has lived thirty years at the mercy of cruel foster parents and a bleak orphanage, often surviving on the streets. But now that she has a son, she must try to make a better life for them—even if it means withstanding the abuse of a seedy foreigner in exchange for a home. But when Erik’s treatment turns truly sadistic, she must find a way to escape once and for all…

A beautiful yet haunting story about the “lost girls” of China, Tangled Vines takes us on a journey of heartbreak and then hope as we witness a woman’s quest to change her fate and a family’s last chance to untangle the lies of the past.

Want to be on Kay’s Review Krew?

Written by Kay on . Posted in China-Inspired Book Recommendations, Contests and Give-A-Ways

 

I’m recruiting members for Kay’s Review Krew to receive ARCs  (Advanced Readers Copies) of Tangled Vines, the 2nd book in The Tales of The Scavenger’s Daughters!

SD

And let me tell you, members of Kay’s Review Krew get a few perks. First, they get to read my books before they are available to the public. Second, they are eligible for prizes. Once the first three books in the Tales of the Scavenger’s Daughters are out, members of the Review Krew who have read and posted a review for all three books will have their names in the drawing for some small prizes. I’ll give away several key chains….and a few bookmarks….so we’ll see!

making mini book charms key ring kay bratt 006making mini book charms  bratt 008

 

So, to be on Kay’s Review Krew, these are the guidelines:

1. You have read and posted a review on Amazon or GoodReads for book one in the series, The Scavenger’s Daughters

2. You agree to read and review the second book, Tangled Vines, and post a review in the week of the launch around December 10.

[[..and a plug about the book on December 10 to help my launch will earn you extra brownie points!]]

That’s it! Simple, yeah?

So if you can meet the two guidelines above and want to be on the Krew, let me know by either sending me a pm on Facebook (here) or by using the contact me tab on my website (here) and let me know you want to be on the KRK and what name you reviewed the first book under so I can double-check!

IMPORTANT: I only have so many slots and available books. So there will be a cut off. For book one, I met the quote for recipients within a few days.

Also, I’ll need to know if you prefer a Kindle version or print. And Riley says to hurry up already….

Riley_Tangled Vines

True Love Still Exists

Written by Kay on . Posted in China News & Tidbits

Who doesn’t like a fairytale love story?

Dreams, Dreams, Dreams

Written by Kay on . Posted in A Bratt's Life

dreaming

 

I’m a dreamer. Not in an adjective sort of way. But truly, a habitual dreamer.

I’ve always had very detailed and creative dreams. I’ve also suffered through years of night terrors, but that’s a different story. This morning I awoke with one of those dreams that you are brought out of too quickly and you wish you could go back and finish it. For in my dream, I was left devastated. And it’s dragged me down all morning. It went like this….

Ben, Amanda, and I were in a foreign country that according to the people and landscape could have been Vietnam. A few of his business colleagues were also there, so I’m thinking maybe we were there for a look-see for a possibly upcoming move? I don’t know but we were right in the middle of a huge festival and it was hot and very crowded, and Amanda was only a toddler. Suddenly, something happened and the crowd went crazy. People were running, disappearing down side streets and into buildings, etc..

I found myself alone. No purse, no husband, and most terrifying of all…no Amanda.

I freaked out, screaming and crying for Ben and Amanda. I ran down streets, up alleys, etc.. trying to find them. For hours it seemed I searched, until it was dark and the only people around were rifle-toting soldiers (mean ones) and beggars and homeless people. I didn’t give up, though. I was exhausted, slogging through the streets but finally I thought I heard her voice. I kept going, following it until I was sure it was her, calling out and sobbing, “Mama…Mama….” over and over. I came closer and realized her voice was coming from a window in a tall building. I crept up some stone steps and through a huge antique-looking door, and found myself in a cavernous room. It was really dark but moonlight came in through the window enough that I could make out the tiny figures of at least a hundred or so babies and toddlers, all dressed in white gauzy sleeping clothes. Most were sleeping but I could still hear Amanda’s cry.

I whispered to her that Mama was there, and I followed her voice until I found her with her arms outstretched to me. In the corner a nanny slept and I reached down and snatched Amanda up and ran out with her. We both sobbed as I told her I was so sorry I had lost her. Then I carried her up and down more streets, searching for Ben. Finally, when I thought I’d drop from exhaustion, I saw a tiny lit shop.

We entered what looked like a small clothing store. The shopkeeper was a middle-aged Asian woman and she waved me in. Thankful for a safe place, I came in and gently lay Amanda down on a bench. My arms were so tired they were like limp noodles and I sorted through racks of clothing trying to find something to put on Amanda to ward of the chilly night temperatures.

I heard a noise at the door and turned to find a tall, white man enter. He began bargaining with the woman until I realized I was not in a clothing store, but instead a small brothel. I immediately went to pick up Amanda to take her and go, but she was gone!

I felt tears running down my face as I tore the shop apart looking for her. I reached up to wipe them and realized they weren’t tears, it was moisture from my dog, Riley’s, tongue as he tried to wake me. The dream disappeared.

I’m not sure if Riley sensed my despair, but he’s never woke me like that so I can only assume he did. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to resume my search for Amanda. So now my heart has been heavy all morning as the details of the dream swirl in my mind, pleading with me to figure out what it means.

I can only assume that because we are going through some medical scares with Amanda, my instinct to mother her and protect her has initiated a yearning for her to be a baby again. But I have to come to terms with the fact that she is growing up and is at college, and though she needs me, I can’t protect her from everything. Which is obvious in my dream as I failed to protect her twice.

Motherhood.

It’s a scary thing.