ROW80 & Review of Six Train To Wisconsin

I’m always thrilled to receive ARCs from fellow authors, especially when they’re out of my chosen genre because chances are I may not otherwise pick up that book. Unfortunately, that means I certainly miss out on many gems. I’m glad I didn’t miss this one, a speculative fiction novel The Six Train to Wisconsin by Kourtney Heintz.

The lovely & talented Kourtney Heintz at a recent book signing.

The lovely & talented Ms. Kourtney Heintz
at a recent book signing.

I met Kourtney through the awesome vastness of the on-line writer community and jumped at the chance for an ARC of her book because, well, Wisconsin native here. You throw my state in the title of a book and I’m going to read it just to make sure you haven’t painted us beer-swilling Cheeseheads in a bad light. Which, never fear, is not the case.

SixTrainThe Six Train to Wisconsin (a 2012 semifinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition) is an emotionally charged book written with such skill that at times I became just as overwhelmed as the characters and had to come up for air. Oliver and Kai, husband and wife, have saved one another. They are both broken souls, both the other one’s salvation. But how far will you go to save the person you love? And how far will they allow you to go before that love is shattered?

For Kai, life has always been difficult. A telepath who loses control and finds it hard to block out the overwhelming emotional trauma of everyone within a half-mile radius, she is caught between wanting to help those in need, and the devastation that comes with the failure to do so. For Oliver, Kai is his life. He can’t bear to see her broken and giving up, so he  uproots her from their Manhattan life, and drags her unwillingly to Butternut, Wisconsin.

There’s only one problem with Butternut. All of Oliver’s demons reside there.

Suspense and intrigue follow when Oliver and Kai’s life begins to unravel even as Oliver is desperately fighting to hold the pieces together. Kidnapping, mystery, and a twist I never saw coming left me breathless by the end. The characters are well-drawn, and the writing tight and gripping. An honest tale of love, suspense, and sacrifice. I won’t call it an easy read. I will call it a must read. And, just so I don’t leave you thinking it’s all sombre intensity, there are some pretty humorous interactions between characters, and let’s not forget the turkey. If that one doesn’t make you at least giggle, then there may be no hope for you.

Okay, so on to a much overdue and woefully neglected ROW80 Update for those of you interested.

ROW80LogocopyOn April 1 my ROW80 goals were twofold:

  1. Finish the first draft of Emergence ~ A Darkness & Light Novel, Book Two. 
  2. Make significant headway on my urban fantasy/paranormal romance  tentatively being titled Crossing Paths. 

Somewhere along the way I decided to add a third project thanks mainly to how well it was received on WIPpet Wednesdays, as well as the prodding of fellow WIPpeteers using sharpened quills. The First House officially became a WIP that I intend to release as a serial with illustrations. Yes, giant nutball here.

So, where do I stand? As of this exact moment Goal #1 sits at 94,826/110k words. I hope to add to that count today. I’ve been adding to it nearly every day with the exception of the five I was out of town last week. Goal #2 now sits at 12,777 words. I have managed to add some each week so that’s good. Not sure it counts as “significant headway” but at least it’s something.

Now go get a copy of The Six Train to Wisconsin (By the way, did I mention I’ll be interviewing the awesome Kourtney Heintz right here on June 11? Well, I am. Make sure you stop by.) And go send some love to the other ROWers.



33 responses

  1. Sounds like an amazing read!

    And I’m sorry. Next time you offer a new WIP, I’ll tell you it sucks. Just to save you from more projects. 😉

    June 2, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    • You’re all a bunch of enablers, that’s all. 😉 It’s my own fault, I suppose. Next time I should keep the cover on my sandbox.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      • Enablers gonna enable.

        June 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm

  2. Thanks Katemsparkes! Kathi–wow. I’m feeling teary eyed–Thank you for such a terrific review! You captured my book so perfectly here. 🙂 Can’t wait for our Q&A.

    June 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    • I always enjoy making people cry . . . um . . . in a good way, that is! 😉

      June 2, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      • LOL. It was a very very good way. Just a rush of positive emotions overstimulating the tear ducts. 🙂

        June 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm

  3. Great review of Kourtney’s book! And I’m looking forward to your interview with her. 🙂 Now, get back to work on those WIPS!

    June 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    • Are you spying on me!!! How did you know I’ve only written 83 words today because — bright shiny! bright . . . er . . . yeah, back to work. . .

      June 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      • 300 so far today for me is an avalanche compared to these last few months. 😉 Please let it mean I’m coming out of this Sargasso Sea of stalled writing….

        June 2, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      • That’s what it means, all right! And you’re still ahead of me. I’m at 223. Going to take care of a quick little task, then try to get some more. Hopefully in the area of 800 more.

        June 2, 2013 at 6:58 pm

  4. This book sounds amazing. I just added it to my wish list!

    Good job on your goals. It looks like you’re doing great! Keep up that momentum.

    June 2, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    • Thanks Lauralynn! Hope you enjoy it. Kathi did an AMAZING job reviewing it. I felt like she got everything I was trying to do in the book. 🙂

      June 3, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      • Aw, thanks, Kourtney. 🙂

        June 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    • Thanks, Lauralynn. Hmm, I replied earlier this a.m. but it appears WP ate it. Note to self, no replies before breakfast. 😉 Hope everything is going well for you.

      June 3, 2013 at 6:40 pm

  5. Some of my favourite books have come from reading these kinds of rave reviews. Look forward to checking it out too!

    Love the new look website by the way, very dark and fantastically mysterious!

    June 3, 2013 at 1:04 am

    • I hope you enjoy Kourtney’s book as much as I did.

      Thanks — I’m still tweaking the new look, possibly. I get bored easily (just ask my husband about my moving furniture around!) and need to switch things up every now and again.

      June 3, 2013 at 5:17 am

    • Raewyn, I hope you like it– you can read the first few chapters free on Amazon. 🙂 I really like the new website too–great job Kathi!

      June 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm

  6. Pingback: June’s Blog Hop for Six Train | Kourtney Heintz's Journal

  7. Sounds like a great book. A sample of The Six Train is downloading to my Kindle as I type this. And you sound very busy! That’s great!!!

    June 3, 2013 at 8:58 am

    • Thanks L. Marie! Hope you enjoy the sample! 🙂 I’m so so thrilled with Kathi’s review!

      June 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    • Busy. Yeah. It’s like an addiction. Even when I’m sitting doing “nothing” my brain is always doing something. Someone find me the off switch!

      June 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm

  8. I will take time to look at the Six Train to Wisconsin. I know exactly what you mean about so many projects and so little time. I have even considered getting the translation software Dragon to just get my thoughts collected.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    • Hi Joe. Thanks for checking out my book! 🙂 I keep a project file filled with ideas that I want to get back to.

      June 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    • I’ve heard about Dragon, but don’t know anyone personally who uses it. I know when I try to use the speech recognition on my smartphone (ha!) I have to talk very slowly and distinctly. Drives me crazy and I usually have a shouting match with it before I’m done. 😉

      June 3, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      • I had a pinched nerve in my neck and used Dragon a few times. It takes a long time to recognize your speech. It’s frustrating to correct typos and mistakes. And it’s slow using commands to open programs. I still needed to type and use the mouse with my left hand. If you can’t type it is useful but not nearly as functional as I thought it would be. 🙂

        June 4, 2013 at 10:34 am

  9. Oooh, I love the new look for your blog 🙂 Juggling several projects sounds tough, but I’m sure you can manage! Don’t stop now!

    June 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    • Thanks, Eve. I’m a project addict. No chance of ever stopping. *sigh*

      June 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm

  10. I always forget how much I love a good review. It gives you enough to make you realise the book will be interesting, but doesn’t give everything away. It leaves you excited, curious, and annoyed that you still have to stay at work for another 4 hours before going home! Well done.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    • Thanks. 🙂 I personally shy away from reviews that lay out the whole plot like a synopsis. I think that’s why I try not to write them that way.

      June 4, 2013 at 4:59 am

      • Kathi, I hate those reviews too. I think you did a terrific job laying out the characters and the conflict and wetting readers’ appetites. Loved it! 🙂

        June 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

  11. Great book review. I was lucky enough to win an autographed copy of Kourtney’s book on her FB Book Launch and I am anxious to read it–especially after reading your review of it.

    June 4, 2013 at 8:11 am

    • Thanks Kathryn! I read this review and was blown away. She captured my book so well. It was amazing to read her words. 🙂

      June 4, 2013 at 10:36 am

    • An autographed copy! You are lucky. Now curl up on the couch and get busy reading. 😉

      June 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm

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