Kathleen Long and...

Create Space
ISBN: 1466443723

What’s that saying about the devil you know? For Bernadette Murphy, it's the devil she never expected that changes everything. Her father’s sudden death leaves a gaping void in her life and is one in a series of events that rock her world. But with the discovery of her father’s book of cryptograms, Bernie realizes his encoded lessons in living may be exactly what she needs to survive. 
When Bernie finds herself in trouble at home, out of work and banned from the mall after a confrontation at the cosmetic counter, she discovers what her father always knew. In life, you either choose to sing a rainbow, or you don’t.
For Bernie, the singing is about to begin. 


Kathleen Long is a RITA® nominated, RIO Award and two-time Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence winning author of fourteen novels of contemporary romance, romantic suspense and women’s fiction.  Her additional honors include National Readers Choice, Holt Medallion, Booksellers Best, and Book Buyers Best award nominations. After a career spent spinning words for clients ranging from corporate CEOs to talking fruits and vegetables, she finds great joy spinning words for fictional characters, places and plots. She divides her time between suburban Philadelphia and the Jersey shore.

ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
KATHLEEN: Every day! There isn’t a moment in which my brain’s not working my latest WIP or plotting a new adventure. In the quiet before bedtime each night, I turn the pages of someone else’s story and lose myself. I think there’s no better way to quiet my mind and relax.

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading? 
KATHLEEN: Wow, tough question when your memory is as horrible as mine! I’m sure it was something by Dr. Seuss. Probably GO, DOG, GO. One of my favorites. I know that once I started reading like crazy, I was all about Nancy Drew. All Nancy Drew, all the time!

ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
KATHLEEN: Cinderella. No question. A dream is a wish your heart makes...how can you beat that?

ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
KATHLEEN: I’ve been exposed to many, many, many, many hours of SpongeBob, and I have to say I adore SpongeBob’s snail, Gary. That little guy is the most effective communicator I’ve ever seen. He says so much with every “Meow.” He tends to be a bit snarky, too. Extra points for that!

ANGI: What turns you off like nothing else?
KATHLEEN: Rude people. Impatient people. People who can’t be bothered to hold a door or say thank you. People who can’t be bothered to make eye contact and smile. People who don’t remember that a little kindness goes a long way. How do I really feel about this topic, right? ;o)

ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
KATHLEEN: Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, before having a five-year-old, I read everywhere and anywhere I could. Now, my only reading time is just before I call it a night. Early mornings are saved for writing, so reading gets the late-night time slot. As for how often? Every night!

ANGI: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?  
KATHLEEN: Both. I go back and forth and love both! Much like my writing, I’ve been known to go on a romantic comedy reading binge, followed by a suspense/thriller binge. Lately I’m devouring big stories of friendship and life and learning...all with heartwarming character growth and happy endings, of course.

ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
KATHLEEN: It’s a Wonderful Life. Sigh. Internal conflict, external conflict, life, love, loss, doubt...this story has it all. I love nothing more than stories that remind us life is what we make it, and often, the greatest adventure of all is the one we’re living each day. Every life has a story and every life matters. Love this movie!

ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
KATHLEEN: Hannibal Lecter. He’s evil, brilliant and oh-so-creepy.

Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?
KATHLEEN: I’d have to say sometimes yes and sometimes no. If she’s similar to me at all – neurotic, middle-aged, slightly-warped – then, yes. Otherwise, no. I enjoy the story for the story. I enjoy the characters, if well-developed, for who they are and for how they play out on the page.

ANGI: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans? 
KATHLEEN: I’d love to tell them to grab life every day and do their best to enjoy each moment. Have fun. Laugh until you cry. Love until your heart aches. Get out there and live life! 

In CHASING RAINBOWS, Bernie learns to do just this. There is so much truth behind Bernie’s story, yet the journey is pure fiction. That being said, I hope readers will come away from the story inspired, smiling and hopeful.

I’d also like to tell my readers I’m hard at work on new stories – more Body Hunters and a new small-town series full of quirky characters and poignant moments. I hope they’ll keep an eye out for both.
ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: I adore the title of your book, Kath. Tell us a little about how you came up with the idea for your story.
After my father died, we discovered a manuscript he’d written sixty years earlier. That got me to thinking about the treasures our loved ones leave behind, and it also got me thinking about a book of cryptogram quotes my father had given me several years before he died. I’d asked him to keep a journal of family stories, and he’d given me cryptograms...just like Bernie’s father in Chasing Rainbows.

In Chasing Rainbows, however, Bernie’s dad inscribes the journal with his favorite saying. “In life, you either choose to sing a rainbow or you don’t.”

I find a recurring theme in my writing deals with making the most of the life you have. Maybe that’s why I love “It’s a Wonderful Life” so much! But seriously, everyone has “stuff” in their life.

Everyone has heartache and disappointment, just as everyone has challenges and hope and joy.
Working through the grief of losing my dad helped me work through other issues I'd denied for a long time, like the loss of our first daughter. Much of Bernie's story is my story, so this truly is the book of my heart. That being said, the "what if" for this book hit me one day when I thought about my husband and I wondered, what if I didn't have a husband who hung in there through the messy times? My husband would like a disclaimer, by the way, that he is nothing like the husband in Chasing Rainbows. ;o)

Bernie's story was born. And while much of the subject matter is serious, the book is full of the quirky characters and warped humor I love so much. There’s a very sexy new neighbor, a dog who chases airplanes, a teenager who shaves off her eyebrows and eats peas as comfort food, and more.
I hope Chasing Rainbows will leave readers with a smile and the knowledge that life goes on, sometimes in the most unexpected ways!  

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment!  Thank you, Angi, for hosting me today on Get Lost In A Story!  

ORANGE you glad you stopped by? Kathleen is giving away three copies of Chasing Rainbows -- winner's choice of print or digital! 

YHELL-OW FANS… Kathleen Asks: What treasures have your loved ones have left you? Photo albums? Keepsakes? Journals? Recipes? What treasures from the past inspire you today? 

VIOLET KATHLEEN:   Website   Facebook
Email: kathleen@kathleenlong.com                 Twitter : @KLWords

UP NEXT: Look for more Body Hunters suspense titles as well as a new contemporary small-town series, coming in early 2012! 

READERS DON’T FORGET to follow us on Facebook & Twitter (#GetLostStories) for a daily update on who’s visiting GLIAS and what they might be giving away! Join Jill tomorrow for Brenna Aubrey and visit next week for Mia Marlow, Tessa Dare and more.  ~Angi


  1. i think for me is photo album

    the treasure thing that inspire me today is only do the good thing and never disappoint people around me ;)

    your books sound great.

    thank you


  2. Eli -- I love the sentiment of your comment. Thank you! And photo albums are truly treasures, aren't they? Thanks so much for stopping by today and thanks for your kind words! What a lovely way to start the day. ;o)

  3. Oops! I totally forgot to send Angi an excerpt for today's blog. The good news is that the first two chapters are posted on my site. If you're so inclined, pop on over to www.kathleenlong.com and click on the excerpt links from either the Home or Books page. Thanks!

  4. Hi! I can't wait to read this story, I losted my mom in 1992,and while we cleaned her house out she left each of her kids a journal, I had 2 for when I grew-up I was the most trouble one in the family, and I felt left out but really she loved us all different, she losted a baby after I was born at 11months and at that time men didn't show their feelings and my dad shut her out, then my twin brothers where born, anyways our lives changed-love each of my brothers even though we have gone our seperate ways, and we show our love differently, even my dad has gotten better thru the years since my mom and dad divorced, and since her death. I love your books-and I know I'm gonna enjoy Chasing Rainbows! Happy thanksgiving. carolefiore@yahoo.com

  5. Hi, Kath. Something I haven't told you yet...about what my mom left behind, sorta.

    I've always loved rainbows. When my mom died on my 32nd birthday, it was actually one of the best gifts I could ask for. She had suffered from lung cancer, and it was painful to watch her waste away in pain. The odd thing is, she left me rainbows. You see, the day she died (December 31), there was a full rainbow in the sky. More amazingly...every day from then until she was buried, there was a rainbow. It was as if she was telling me she was at peace now.

    Ever since then, when there has been an important event, there has been a rainbow. In the first year after she died, my niece was born. I was driving to work that morning, and I was just talking to my mom in the car. "Well, mom, you have a new niece. Wish you could see her." Suddenly, I looked off to the west, and there was a rainbow in the early morning sky. (Did you know rainbows only appear opposite the sun in the sky, and at a certain degree from the sun?)
    My brother (whose daughter that niece is) had a really hard time with my mom's death. He was the one who found her. So I told him about all the rainbows, and he said (atypically), "Well, I wish I could see one. Maybe I'd feel better."
    That weekend, I drove past my brother's house to visit the cemetery where mom is buried. As I came out of the cemetery, there was a rainbow in the sky opposite the exit. I quickly drove to my brother's and told him to get in the car. He did, and I drove him back to the cemetery. "See, mom sent you a rainbow." He couldn't believe it.

    Sometimes, you really do have to chase the rainbows!


  6. Carole -- I'm so glad you stopped by. Isn't that something that your mother, in her love, left you each a journal? I'm sorry for the heartache you've experienced, but thankful that you, your brothers and your father have each other still. Thanks for your kind words. I'm always thrilled to hear my books have provided a few hours of enjoyment and escape. BIG hugs to you, my friend. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Oh, Janet -- you gave me chills. I love, love, love your story. Now, I'm going to think of you and your mom every time I see a rainbow. What a gift! I'm so glad your brother got to see his rainbow, too!

  8. Oh, just realized...my mom had a granddaughter, not niece, lol! Helps to proofread. duh.

    There have been lots of other rainbows, too many to describe here.


  9. LOL, Janet. ;o) I knew exactly what you meant!

  10. thanks kat, i'm glad to be here, knowing new author and make a new friend and add my book list ;)

  11. Kathleen,
    Wonderful interview. Thank you so for sharing such a personal look at your life in helping us understand what inspires you and your stories. I'm with you, each day it's up to us to choose what to focus on. One of my favorite gifts of a loved one who passed away is a rolling pin. Every time I bake, I think of her. It's as if she's with me in the kitchen. Very special. Take care and I wish you continued success!

  12. Janet's story, and yours, Kath, are very inspiring. I was trying to think of what my parents left me and I guess I'd have to say the wisdom of right and wrong and a stack of untitled photos. My dad, on the other hand, left me Doves. Well, not really, but right after he died, a Dove perched itself on my patio and returned every day for a week. Now, whenever I see a Dove, I get a warm feeling and know it's him checking up on me.

    As writers we pull from our past for our stories, but yours sounds so intriguing, I definitely have to read it. Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us.

  13. Diana -- what a lovely gift and reminder. I can just imagine how wonderful it must be to think of your loved one each time you bake. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for sharing your special story! Much continued success to you, too. ;o)

  14. Carolyn -- your story reminds me of sitting on the beach, the summer after our firstborn died. A gorgeous monarch butterfly came and set down on my arm...and stayed there. I've never felt such a sense of peace in my life. It was as if Emily was right there with me, telling me she was all right. I smile whenever I see a monarch. I love your story -- and I'll never look at a dove the same way again. ;o) Hugs, my friend!

  15. "teenager who shaves off her eyebrows"

    Wonder where you got THAT idea?! LOL!

    So happy this story has finally made it's way out to the world! So happy and proud. Can't wait to see you again, Kath. Loved the interview!

  16. Good Morning, Kath, and welcome to GLIAS...but it looks like a lot of people beat me here this morning.

    I have my grandmother (Mommie) to thank for my love of reading. I was just telling my brother on Sunday that she read every day of her life. A romance novel (especially Harlequins) or the Bible. Every Day...never failed. Each of my grandparents gave me things, along with great recipies that I'm writing down for my own kids (and neices/nephews).

    When my Dad died, it took me a long time to realize how much he'd influenced my life. Common sense...well, got that from my Dad. No handouts, work hard, don't lie, get an education (even if you have to read the encyclopedias), and keep your word.

    Too many things to name...
    Thanks for the wonderful reminder, especially going into the Thanksgiving holiday.


  17. I've always known you are amazing, Kath, but now I am positive it's a fact. I loved your post and am so proud of you for getting this book out. You know you've contributed to my daughter becoming a reader and she still talks about how much she loves your stories. :)

    I have lots of treasures that have been left to me by loved ones. Today I'm saying it is five, three inch binders full of geneology that my Mom spent the last ten years of her life assembling. The books give me an insight to where my family has come from and pride in who they were - well, most of them anyway. ;)

    Hugs to you and wishes for lots of sales.

  18. LOL, Leslie! As you know, nothing's safe from me...especially not something as visual as a teen shaving off her eyebrows. I think what most amazes me about this book--now that it's officially been "born"--is how many life moments, conversations, etc. are woven throughout. I think we all do that as we write, but this one pulled so many together for me.

    Conversely, my life now has elements from the book. That border collie wannabe Bernie loves so much? Now we love our own more than we could have imagined. And the yellow bear Bernie saves at the end of the book because you never know what the future might hold? Mine sits proudly on a shelf in our little girl's room, a little girl who's most definitely our most amazing dream come true. Isn't life...and writing...amazing?

    Anyway, please thank she-who-shall-be-nameless for the eyebrows. ;o)

  19. Angi -- thank you so much for inviting me here to GLIAS! I love how thankful you are. ;o) I think the gift of reading is one of the most precious treasures one generation can hand to the next. I'm so glad your grandmother gave you that! Your father sounds as though he was a wonderful man, and I'm sure you miss him. And there you are, creating new memories and handing down family treasures to the next generation. ;o) ((Hugs)) and Happy Thanksgiving!!

  20. I love you madly, Paisley. Hope you know that! I'm so glad your daughter's enjoyed my books. Each time you remind me, it makes me incredibly happy.

    Boy, what magic those binders of family information much hold! And stories!! Knowing you, I can't think of anything more wonderful.

    I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving -- and I'm so proud of you for how you're putting yourself and your work out there! You ROCK!

  21. Great interview, love your books. One of the treasures is the oak kitchen table and chairs with the claw feet, I use it everyday. My dad gave it to me. Also have pic and such that I charish. My dad also loved to read so I guess I got that from him. My mother was a cook so I got my cooking skills from her. I charish everything about my parents and the memories they left us with.

  22. What a lovely comment, Virginia! Thank you for your kind words about my books, but thank you also for the reminder that much of our treasures can be found in the every day things/skills/loves we cherish.

    I'm loving everyone's comments and shared glimpses into your special memories.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Virginia!

  23. OH, Kath, Readers can get to your excert by clicking on RED THE EXCERPT? above. It takes you directly to Kathleen's webpage where chapter one is posted.


  24. Thanks, Angi! You're good. Have I mentioned that? ;o))

  25. A quick thank you to everyone for visiting with me today -- and thanks again to Angi and everyone here at GLIAS!

  26. Winners! I wanted to wait until this morning to pull winners, so using Random.org, here they are!

    Carole, Carolyn and Paisley! Congratulations. I'll email you each to find out whether you'd prefer a print or digital copy of CHASING RAINBOWS.

    Thanks again everyone for chatting with me yesterday and Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the day!