Monday, September 16, 2013

Welcome Guest Katy Lee!

Missy, here. I'm so pleased to introduce you to my friend and fellow Board member from the Faith, Hope and Love Chapter of RWA, Katy Lee! Katy's first book from Love Inspired Suspense will be out October 1 and is available at Harlequin NOW! It's also available for pre-order at other book sellers (see links at end of post).

And now, here's Katy...

Meanwhile, Back at the Distribution Center...

Katy Lee

Hello Seekerville! My name is Katy Lee and I am a new author of Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Before I was ever a writer, however, I was an avid reader…and still am.
At the beginning of each month, I make a stop at my local Walmart to peruse the book shelves of the latest releases. I don’t know about you, but for me, I love to see all those crisp, shiny covers sitting up there in their rows waiting for their new owners to pick them up and take them home. I might even do a little book maneuvering…er, I mean straightening of my favorite titles. You know, just to make sure they are neat and are looking their best for all passersby to see.

Now, with my first LIS, Warning Signs, releasing October 1st, I am counting down the days to when I will make my monthly trip to the store and get to see my own book up there for all to see. I might even pitch a tent and camp out all month. Just kidding, sort of. But anyway, as giddy as I am to see my books on the shelf, I was even more excited this past August to have the opportunity to see my books right off the press.

On August 9th, I dragged my family up to Buffalo, New York to the Harlequin Distribution Center. There I met a group of wonderful people who were so excited to meet a real-life author. I thought this was interesting, especially when I walked into the gigantic warehouse that housed over 50 million books all lined up neatly in their rows of pallets waiting to be shipped. Here were people who worked among books all day long. You’d think it would be no big deal seeing an author, but I suppose for them to meet an author behind one of the books they handle is like meeting a rock star behind the music you hear on the radio. They made me feel so special and even thanked me for writing. I was thrilled by their warm welcome…but by the end of tour, I was the one amazed by all they do. It turned out to be more than just moving books from the press to the shelves. By the end of the tour, they were the rock stars.

We started in the printing room, where shiny book covers flew off the press at a blinding rate. I watched how the employees inspected each of them and moved them down the line for the next stage in binding. Most printing is not done at this particular center, although they can handle small print runs of like 5,000 books if an order is put in after the initial print run. What this Distribution Center is mostly responsible for is what it does best. Distribute.

I was taken into the warehouse and watched boxes moving all around me and above me on a nifty conveyor belt that swooped down and up like a roller-coaster. Each box heading to a different shipping bin that would take them to the correct bookseller. When I came to the people packing these boxes, I watched them touch a computer screen to request a book(s) from a bookseller’s order. Then way back in the rafters a robot arm of some kind moved up and down the aisles and found the container with the correct book(s). It then sent them down on the belt for the packer to box up and send along on the roller-coaster. And this was no slow process. These people were cranking from one order to the next. With efficiency like that, I can see why.

But these employees don’t stop at efficiency. I was taken to the area where all the newest books sat on their pallets fresh off the press. Here was where the book club members have their boxes packed for their individual orders. (They get them before the stores do.) Each box is different because each buyer’s taste are different. Little specialty gifts are included to match those tastes. A newsletter with health and beauty tips are given. Something to show Harlequin is not just fulfilling an order, but that they also value their club members like family. This gigantic warehouse instantly became very personal.

Next I was led to an area where all my books had been brought down from their shelf and placed on the floor for me to see. Now, I was really smiling…and wondering how I am ever going to sell all these! So please, help a girl out! Get your copy today!

Thank you, Seekerville for having me in your virtual home. Readers, I love comments and questions, so ask away. And please look me up on Facebook and Twitter. You can find all links on my website

And at my website, be sure to check out my Lighthouse Photo Contest. I would love to fill my gallery with lighthouses from around the world.  Anyone else here love lighthouses like I do? Leave a comment today to be entered in a drawing for a $10 Starbucks gift card! (Please let us know you'd like to be entered.)

Oh, and by the way, on my travels through the warehouse, I spotted this pallet. Anyone know who these belong to?

Warning Signs

When a drug-smuggling ring rocks a small coastal town, the DEA sends Agent Owen Matthews to shut it down. A single father with a deaf son, Owen senses that the town's number one suspect—the high school's new principal—doesn't fit the profile. Miriam Hunter hoped to shrug off the stigma of her hearing impairment when she returned to Stepping Stones, Maine. But her recurring nightmares dredge up old memories that could prove her innocence—and uncover the truth behind a decades-old murder. Yet Owen's help may not be enough when someone decides to keep Miriam silenced—permanently.

As an Inspirational Romantic Suspense author, Katy Lee writes higher-purpose stories in high-speed worlds. Through her writing, ministries, and teaching, she dedicates her life to sharing tales of love, from the “greatest love story ever told” to those sweet romantic stories of falling in love. Katy and her husband are born New Englanders and love to travel with their three adventuresome children.  You can connect with Katy anytime at her website,


  1. Wow Katy! I'm do excited for you and I'll be looking for your book. I do a little selective rearranging at stores as well! I love to see my friends books prominently displayed.

    I'm a FHL member ad well and it is great to put a face with your name.

  2. Wow Katy! I'm do excited for you and I'll be looking for your book. I do a little selective rearranging at stores as well! I love to see my friends books prominently displayed.

    I'm a FHL member ad well and it is great to put a face with your name.

  3. Welcome, Katy! I really enjoyed your photos. I'm rooming with Debby right now at the ACFW conference, and I just showed her the photo of her books. She was thrilled! :)

  4. Congratulations Katy! I will definitely keep an eye out for your book. I worked with the deaf and hearing impaired for over five years when I lived in California so I know I'll enjoy you book.

    I tend to do a little "rearranging" on the bookshelves as well. I can never understand the people who stock the shelves at our WalMart, they just seem to toss the books on the shelves with no rhyme or reason. I always make sure the LIS lines are at eye level. :) Especially my favorite authors...

    Have a wonderful day!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  5. Hi Katy,

    I don't know which I'm more excited about, your book or that we share a love of lighthouses! Okay, your book.

    I just returned from vacation in Maine so I have some photos of Portland Head in the fog and Nubble in the sun. Not going to add much in variety, sorry.

    I really am so excited to read your book.

    Have a great Monday on Seekerville.

  6. Me again.

    Just actually read the lighthouse contest info - what a cool idea. Love it.

  7. Katy, congratulations! Thanks for the tour through the warehouse. That must have been exciting to see a huge stack of your books! :-) Good luck on sales.

    And please add my name to the drawing. :-)

  8. welcome Katy congrats on you LIS book.
    Is the other book Debby's?

    Dont enter me as I dont drink coffee and am not an america.

    Where did you get the idea for your book?

    (I may not get on much for the next few days Heading to the city in the morning to see the specialist about my wrist on Wed.

  9. Hi Terri, it's nice to put a face to you as well. :)

    Missy, thank you for inviting me! And glad I made Debby smile.

    Cindy, I am eager to hear what you think of Warning Signs! And thanks for the "straightening" of LIS. ;)

    Mary, my lighthouse companion, I hope I receive lots of lighthouse. :)

    And Mary Hicks, yes, it was very exciting!

    And Jenny, you got it...Debby.

    As for where I got my idea for the story, I used to teach children with special needs, some with hearing impairments. I learned to let them show me what they could do, before I assumed they couldn't. So when I sat down to write Warning Signs, my goal was to pass what I learned on.

    Thank you everyone for your comments!

  10. I know we have chatted somewhere about this book or about books. I think it was goodreads or was it LI chat. I remember you mentioning about the book.
    Mum was deaf in one ear and lost hearing in the other and it was interesting. She got good at lip reading taught herself and it made me try to be clearer and slower. Its amazing how much hearing impaired people can do and do do with the issue. I also know mum would often get things wrong cos she missed some of what was said or she didn't like asking people to repeat so would guess what was being said.

    (on that note I need to go to bed.)

  11. Sqqqquuueeeaaaaalllllllll!!!!!! Guess what I'm reading right now? Warning Signs! Such a clever title. I'm finding it hard to put down but I'm at work now so I have to. :-( Luckily I can read on the bus on the way home.

    What gave you the idea of creating a deaf heroine? And what kind of research did you have to do for that?

    Oh -- and I gasped at your bookshelf confession and now I've read the comments and see that I am not the only one who rearranges bookstore shelves on behalf of my fave authors. LOL. And I thought I was the lone wolf in that regard!

  12. Katy, Congrats on your debut book, Warning Signs! This sounds like a great read. I will be checking my Wal-Mart store to see if it is on the shelves. By the way, I'm an avid reader and I check the book section every time I go into Wal-Mart unless my schedule is tight.

    How long did it take your dream to have a book published and when did you know you wanted to be a writer/author?

    Please enter me in the contest. Thanks!

    Judy B

  13. Thank you Katy and congratulations on your release. What a thrill to see your pook in print!
    I too buy my LI books at Walmart, and I'm always looking for titles by people I know through this forum.
    Good luck with sales!
    Oh, and WHERE in New England are you from?
    Kathy Bailey
    Pre-pubbed in New Hampshire

  14. Katy - can I be nosey and ask about your journey to being published with LIS? How did you pitch the story idea to them?

  15. Wow, this sounds fantastic, Katy! Both the story line and your tour.

    And I am a big Maine light house fan. Of course, we have our famous Cape Hatteras lighthouse here in NC.

    Put me in for the drawing!

    Peace, Julie

  16. What a fabulous experience! Can't wait to purchase and 'rearrange' your books in the store ;)

  17. Hi Katy,
    What a wonderful experience to go to where they actually produce your book. I can only imagine the feeling. Congratulations on the new release and best wishes for many blessings much continued success.

  18. Kav, Squeal right back at you! I hope you enjoy the rest of the story. The kudos for the title go to my husband. I had to give a list of possibilities and that was his offering to the process.

    Yes, Jenny, I remember speaking with you in a chat. And have a good sleep. :)

    Judy, I always wrote stories when I was younger and in my teens. I remember my tenth gr. English teaching praising me for something I wrote. It felt nice, but I just shrugged it off not taking it very seriously. Most of the time I read, but in 2009 I was flying cross country, and the man sitting next to me asked me a questions that sparked a whole story in my head, and by the end of the trip, I had plotted the whole thing out and couldn't wait to get to my computer. It was like a light bulb switched on. And I've been writing ever since.

    Kathy, I'm in CT. My dad is from NH, North Conway, so we travel there to see family. Love NH!

    Terri, of course you can ask. I love telling how I sold to LIS. I put my name into the eharlequin community site for a pitch opportunity during the Happily Editor After day they held in 2012. They held another one in 2013, and I encouraged every writer who wanted to write for them to try. I was proof dreams do come true. :)

    Julie, if you happen to get your hands on a copy, make sure you take a picture at the your lighthouse. And peace to you, too. :)

    Gerri, thank you for your blessing, my friend!

  19. I Love The Harlequin Distribution Center in Depew!!!!!

    What a great bunch of folks work there and they love it when authors come to visit. Very cool!!!

    Katy Lee, welcome!!! How fun to have your debut novel released/releasing!


    I'm leaving some fresh coffee, chocolate and a nice broccoli slaw omelette/frittata for everyone... fresh is always better!

    And Vermont cheese because why wouldn't we eat Vermont cheese????

  20. I could feel your excitement as I read this, and I would completely be the same way! Such a fun post! Congrats!

    Please enter me.

    To Mary Connealy--My one and a half-year old niece was caught yesterday on my bed with your newest book. And we took a picture--an adorable picture! If you are on your Facebook soon, I friend-requested you and the picture is on my page. It's a good one!

  21. Fun, Katy!!! Loved this insider look at how books are printed and distributed! So much going on behind the scenes most of us never get to see!

    On my way home from ACFW so a looooooong day of flying and sitting in airports. And not-so-speedy Internet. :(

  22. Morning KATY, What a great post. I love seeing all the insider stuff. Now you know why LI's have to be a definite length--so they fit in all those pre-made distribution boxes.

    I know you were thrilled to see the pallets with your very own book. What a fun field trip.

  23. MARY C. Yes, lighthouses are really fun aren't they? Be sure and look at the cover of my new release which will be revealed on the 20th.

    KAV, I too rearrange books on the shelf all the time. shhhhhh

  24. CONGRATS Katy!

    So. Exciting. WAHOO!!!

    My hubby sent me up to the manufacturer when my books were produced. It was pawmazing.

    When the completed books zipped by, I grabbed the first one I could get (4th one) and BURST into tears. The poor gentleman helping me took my arm, very concerned. "What's wrong? What's wrong?"

    "Nothing," I sobbed. "It's just been 4 years of really hard work and I'm so happy."

    Poor guy! He looked so relieved. I have a wonderful photo of us, my red-rimmed eyes and all!

    Nothing like it.

    I look forward to reading your book and have let my cousin know about this post today. She's a writer also and ADORES lighthouses!

    Many more successes to you!!!

    And way to go all the ACFW folks. Have enjoyed attending vicariously!! ;)

  25. Ruth, they ARE a great bunch of folks. SO friendly.

    Yes, Courtney, it was quite exciting. I smiled all day long. :)

    Myra, hope you had a great conference! Wish I had been there. Maybe next year.

    Sandra, I really understand the book length now. It really is down to a science how they make it all work so beautifully and efficiently.

    And, May, thank you for sharing your experience at the presses. So exciting.


  26. Katy, it's so great to see these fun pictures of you at the distribution center. And seeing your family with you brought a smile to my face. Congratulations on your Love Inspired Suspense debut. It was an honor to read Warning Signs. I can't say enough good things about it! It's a wonderful, uplifting, suspenseful read. I'm so happy we're on this journey together. Wishing you much success on your debut and many more to come in the future.


  27. And thanks for the "positioning" of "Reunited with the Sheriff" next to Alison Stone's "Plain Pursuit." Awesome!

  28. Katy, it's so exciting to see you here at Seekerville! So looking forward to my trip to Walmart to add a copy of your book to the pile of LI books I grab each month. I was lucky enough to meet you this past summer at the LIRW Annual Editor/Agent luncheon. Wishing you lots of sales and success for Warning Signs!

  29. Hi Belle and Christina! Thank you for your kind words and support.

  30. Hey, Katy! Welcome.

    What does it mean..DRAG UP? Where you from girl? I just left Buffalo and a visit with my folks. We could have had lunch.

    Anyone hear of Buffalo Scooters? That's my brother, Joey.

    This is so cool. I should have done this when in town.

    So Katy, tell me about a typical writing day for you.

  31. Okay, I just saw the answer. CT. That's not traveling up to Buffalo. It's traveling sideways to Buffalo, LOL.

  32. And welcome to Belle. I just purchased Belle's debut release on my Kindle and look forward to purchasing Katy's.


  33. Hi Tina, I meant dragging as in none of them were exactly excited about traveling 7 hours to see my books. I can't imagine why....

    As for direction, I was under deadline so we could have been traveling in circles and I wouldn't have known. I sat in the way back of the van while husband drove.

    As for writing day....I homeschool so most writing gets done in the early evenings. I try for a few hundred words every day.

    I hope you enjoy the story! Loved Belle's!

  34. Hi Katy! Thanks for sharing - now I wanna take a trip up there to see! What a cool thing to see your first book being packed up for all those readers. Congrats on your new book. Like you, I love seeing each month's books on the store shelves. :)

  35. Hi Katy,
    I love lighthouses so much, I started a lighthouse charm bracelet of different lighthouses.

    Thanks so much for sharing today. Please add my name to the drawing. Thanks.

  36. Jackie, the bracelet sounds beautiful. What a great idea. Do you find most lighthouses offer a charm?

    Karen, I hope you get to go! :)

    I got to see Niagara Falls while there, too. I'd never been,

  37. Hi, Katy! I'd love to see so many books in one place! It would be better than a library. Congratulations on your LIS.

  38. Katy,

    Looks like a great place to visit.

    I get the urge to re-arrange the books at Walmart too. Many times I have to hunt for the historicals because they're in the wrong place. Hate that.

    I'll watch for your book when it comes out.

  39. Hi Seekerville,

    With my runny nose and pounding headache, I almost forgot to stop by today. Katy Lee, congrats on your debut novel. Visiting that distribution center must have been awesome. Maybe I can make it there one day. Don't think Ruthy lives too far away from it.

  40. Oh, and I should also say that Melissa is still in the hospital with her baby. He's jaundiced and it's not going away as quickly as the doctors would like, even with all the lights and everything. So if you all wouldn't mind praying.

    The WiFi for the maternity ward has been down for a couple weeks and evidently the IT department at the hospital in podunk Kansas isn't in a hurry to fix it. GRRRRR.... Don't those IT guys understand that authors have babies every now and then?????

  41. Thanks for the tour of the distribution center, Katy! Congratulations on seeing YOUR debut book! Yay!!!

    So I'm not the only one who "straightens" the books on the store bookshelves....looking guilty as I glance around to see if anyone is watching me.

    I'll be heading to Walmart to buy your book soon.

    P.S. Thanks for the work you do for FHL and BIAW!

  42. Cara Lynn, loved seeing them all in one place, but still love the library better. ;)

    Connie, I hate when they are out of place too. Sometimes I find them in the racks for Intrigue. Hello? That's not even the right line.

    Naomi, thank you for stopping by even with your cold, and I will pray for the baby to come home soon.

    Sherida, soooo nice to put a face with the name. And I'll get those BIAW numbers out this week to everyone. :) Everyone rocked!

  43. Congrats, Katy! Enjoyed pics of you at the distribution center. All the best with your debut. Praying for Melissa and Nathan.

  44. That was interesting. You don't often think about this side of the book business and it's good to see it.

    Yes, I'm interested in the drawing.

  45. Hi Katy
    Thanks for the tour. Your book looks really neat. Will have to remember to rearrange books next time I get to a WalMart. Will check for Kindle version since my bookshelves at home are overstuffed.

    I love lighthouses too. I haven't been to one lately. Your photo contest looks interesting. Again, thanks for showing us a little bit of behind the scenes.

  46. Katy, sorry I'm late. Just got home from ACFW.

    Loved all the pics and information about the distribution center. Amazing! Really amazing.

    How special that you were able to special that you shared your visit with us.

    And you took pictures of my book, The Soldier's Sister! Be still my heart! :) I had to enlarge the pic to ensure I was seeing the cover correctly. Thanks for making this author very happy. :)

  47. I"m finally home from ACFW! Will catch up on comments asap. Hadn't been home ten minutes when my son called to say he'd had a wreck. Thankfully, he's fine! But we're dealing with insurance stuff.

    So I'll check back as soon as I can.

    We had a wonderful time in Indy!

  48. Thank you, Pat, for your blessing.

    Walt, I only touched on the surface. I learned so much about the business on my tour. Even my husband grasped a bigger picture of what this business is about. Which is good because I just like to write books. ;)

    Thank you DebH. But remember it's not rearranging. It's straightening. ;) They can get so messy. We want those books to pop.

    Debby, I was so excited when I saw your pallet. I said stop the tour! I must take a picture of these books. :) Sorry it's a little blurred. Blame hubby. Glad I made you smile!

    Missy, A wreck???!!! Glad he's okay. Praise God. And thank you for inviting me to share!

  49. Thanks for the interesting 'tour,' Katy. What a treat it must have been for the distributors to have a visitor who appreciated their efforts to get those books into readers' hands.

    Does the center ever have tours for the public?

    Wishing you the best with your book!

    Nancy C
    P.S. Don't enter me in the giveaway :-)

  50. Katy, thanks for hanging out today! We're so excited about your book and loved having you!

  51. Naomi, thank you for the update! I have been thinking about them and praying for the baby. Please keep us updated. We look forward to good news!

  52. KATY!!! I just got home from ACFW hours ago, so forgive me for being late to the party.

    It is SUCH a pleasure to "meet" you here because I have seen your name EVERYWHERE it seems, so it's great to put a face (and a book) with the name.

    SUPER CONGRATS on your debut book and WOW, what a super tour you took us on at the Harlequin distribution plant -- VERY COOL, especially the pix of you on your stack of books. I'm jealous!!

    Good luck to you and may this be the first of many, MANY books!!


  53. Katy, you're so sweet! Congrats on your debut!

    Naomi, we were praying for sweet baby Nathan during ACFW! Of course, we'll continue. Sending love to Melissa and her little one.

    Missy, glad you're home safely. Sorry about your son's accident.

  54. So exciting!!! Look at those pallets of your books!! :D -- Jamie

  55. Wow. WHAT A LOT OF BOOKS!! Very cool.

  56. Thank you Julie, for having me here. And thank you, Jamie and Kate for stopping by. :) Yes, those are a lot of books. My husband had to heft me up.

  57. It's so exciting about your new book. Can't wait to read it. I love lighthouses, but the only lighthouses I've ever seen was on Martha Vineyard's Island. I was on a home missions trip up the east coast and we were able to go and visit the island. I was able to visit a couple of beautiful lighthouses.

    Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this giveaway. Please enter my name in the giveaway.
    Barbara Thompson

  58. That was an interesting post about the warehouse. I enjoyed visiting it through your post. Please enter me in the drawing for the gift card.