Monday, October 3, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaway!: Author - Katherine L Holmes

 Windward Cover

Today, I’m thrilled to have author Katherine L. Holmes visit The Happy Booker to talk about her wonderful new middle grade book The House in Windward Leaves. She is also generously offering two lucky winners an ecopy of her book via Smashwords or in Kindle format. Find out how you can enter below!

smaller meIf you’re a fantasy reader, here's a new release for the grade school children in your life.  The House in Windward Leaves began as a short story that I wrote for a Halloween storytelling at The Loft literary center in Minneapolis.  Most of the book takes place on a star where costumes make the kids. 

Because children run the star, it’s both commonsense and madcap.  This fantasy has more moments of humor than terror, having been inspired by Roald Dahl.  But the horror on Mistral's star is its static state.  What would happen if you were stuck in your costume?

That's a horror adults know.  The House in Windward Leaves is part adventure, part satire.  After all, aren't our fantasy identities a part of us?  And isn't the world we live in a menagerie of fantasies come true?

Before I ever blocked as I writer, I blocked about my Halloween costume. I don’t know why it was so meaningful. My maternal grandfather’s birthday was on October 31. And one of my first stories was about Halloween – “The Witch Who Stole the Unicef Boxes.” Although our neighborhood group especially liked to visit mystery residents on Halloween night, we didn’t act out our costumes much. Adults ritually guessed our costumes and real identities.

What I really relished in my childhood and after were Halloween parties. My family gave one in our basement and it was a better year when there was a party to attend. Lights behind ghosts and scare tactics were all more fun because the hosts acted out their costume identities. Someone usually got hold of a prom dress and after a few years of witches, ghosts, and Frankensteins, the real life costumes and the more creative ones caused the most sensation. The wishful ones, a friend dressing ostentatiously as a tourist, stayed in the memory. Costumes connect in The House in Windward Leaves - “if it is possible to blend in with so many freaks.”


Windward CoverGoodreads summary:

Halloween night, the wayward Sadie and her neighborhood friends slip past cardboard cut-outs of the painter Mistral and a lady at the leaf-covered house on Windward Road. Looking at a wall mural, they are transported beyond the room to a Halloween party on a star where their costumes become real.

As Fortuneteller, Sadie only has to look in her crystal ball to help the others with their transformations. Her friend Candy has become the Homecoming Queen. The neighbor boy has become George Washington and his brother is a musician in the star band. Sadie's brother turns into a zebra and her sister begins blessing people because she is a priest.
Other children in Sadie's grade school make up a bizarre community of star people who crown the Queen and watch the President's revolt. That begins the adventures of Sadie and her enchanted friends.
Then Mistral's woman friend finds that her star-of-sapphire necklace is missing. After the gangster Riff Raff is accused, he displays a map and riddles for a treasure hunt. The winner must locate the Tooth Fairy, pass by a weredog, and follow directions to an invisible unicorn to be granted a boon from Enchanter Mistral. But other wishes have to be discovered.

Thanks so much Katherine for explaining the inspiration for The House of Windward Leaves! It sounds exciting! And definitely just the book to start off the month of October, with Halloween just around the corner! The House in Windward Leaves is available at, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Find out more about Katherine and her writing at her blog here:


Katherine is giving away 2 ecopies of The House in Windward Leaves either via Smashwords or in Kindle format. To enter, simply leave a comment about your most memorable Halloween costume along with your email address or some way to contact you if you win. The two giveaway winners will be chosen on Oct. 9 by and I will email them at that time to find out which format they prefer. Giveaway is International. You are not required to follow my blog to enter but I do appreciate each and every follower!


Jacky Williamson said...

When I was 11 I begged and begged my mother to let me be a clown for halloween. Boy was that a mistake. She found this used home made halloween costume at the local thrift store. It was heavy and covered in red yarn. She painted my face and put this crazy wig on my head and off I went. 2 minutes later I looked like a melting clown - it was 93 degrees in Arizona that day.


Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

This sounds really good! Some of my most fond memories of growing up revolve around Halloween. My birthday is October 15th so several times I had Halloween birthday parties. Although Christmas is my number one favorite, Halloween has always come in a very close second. Another great thing about my Halloween memories is that my mom is/was an expert seamstress and she used to sew us the most wonderful costumes. My favorite was in third grade, when she made me a Betsy Ross authentic Colonial dress. It was awesome! (I was a history buff, even back then)

Thank you for the giveaway and also for my win in your Banned Books Week giveaway! I'm now following your blog. =O)


Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

I'm losing my mind! I was already following you. =O) Excuse my brainlessness!

j. barrett said...

w pink pig costume with the twisty wire tail. then the best part of halloween was going with my dad, he was a constable and would watch an elementary school for several hours 1-2 nights prior to halloween and he would take me with him. i spent all my time reading in their libraries. the best memory of my dad
jbarrett5 at

Julie said...

Mine was actually as an adult! I went to a party a few years ago and I rented a Queen of Hearts costume, and it was beautiful! It was a long ball gown with really drapey sleeves, and I looked pretty good! I took pictures, of course, cuz I'll probably never look that good in a costume again!
Thanks for an awesome giveaway:)
jwitt33 at live dot com

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