First peek: Magical Journey video & excerpt (and win an advance copy)

I’ve always loved this solstice season of short days and long, cold nights. It is as if all of nature is reminding me: it’s time to slow down, be quiet, turn inward and embrace the darkness.

Yet, with a new book about to be published – my memoir, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment, will be in stores on January 8 — my task this December is all about going forth and spreading the word.

The good news for me: I know I can call on you, my readers here, to help me generate a bit of essential pre-publication action.

The good news for you: We don’t even have to leave our comfy armchairs in order to create a little “buzz.” (No fancy clothes or bullhorns needed.)

What you can do to help:

1. Watch the video, and then share it on Facebook and with all your friends. There’s a “SHARE” button on the top frame of the player above. (Don’t see a “SHARE” button on your screen? Click HERE instead, and copy & paste the link at the top of the page.)

My video for The Gift of an Ordinary Day, which I simply emailed out to 200 friends three years ago, has had nearly 1.7 million views on YouTube. This one, as you’ll see, is completely different, but it’s just as close to my heart. Hope it speaks to yours, too.

2. Click HERE – and read an excerpt. And then share that, too.

3. And finally, pre-order your own copy of MAGICAL JOURNEY now. (Click HERE to do that.)

First review just in, from Publishers Weekly: “An intensely moving tribute to the importance of enjoying every moment of life. . .[Kenison’s] journey will inspire tears and determination, and remind readers that anything, ‘done from the heart, changes the world in some small way for the better.’”

“Why pre-order?” you may ask.

Well, two reasons: First, your book will be delivered to your doorstep on January 8, the same day Magical Journey is released (and that is just a nice thing to look forward to, a week after New Year’s). And, even more important, pre-orders and online activity are the booksellers’ best indication that “something is happening” with a new book. Which means they are more likely to have it in stock, to put it on their front tables, and to let other readers know “it’s here!”

Thank you! (And please do let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you!)

Meanwhile, my early holiday gift to YOU:

I’m waiting to receive my very first finished author’s copy of Magical Journey (it should be arriving any day now). And I’ve decided to sign and personalize it to give away to one of you. Here’s how to enter to win:

Take any – or preferably ALL THREE — of the helpful actions above, and then leave me a comment here. I’ll pick one winner, at random, after entries close at midnight on Tuesday, Dec. 11. If you win, you’ll have your copy before they are available in stores. (In fact, you should even receive it before Christmas – and I’ll gift wrap it myself.) Good luck to all!

for my reflections & inspiration

your comments

  1. I enjoyed watching the video clip and am adding this book to my read list! Thank you for your encouragement!

  2. Shawn Trotter says:

    Katrina, really looking forward to reading your new book, curled up in front of the fire, enjoying the darkness of a winter night in Canada. In case I don’t win the book, it is on my Christmas list.

  3. Taryn Mason says:

    I just watched the video for your new book. What a great way to start off my day! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They are inspiring. I’m really looking forward to reading your new book!

  4. Martha chabinsky says:

    Lovely as always Katrina…..i am looking forward to delving into this new work. You inspire me. We have many friends and interests in common, and I do hope to meet you some day. Blessings on the path.

  5. Done, done and done! Can’t wait to read it, and also to share your words with all my friends!

  6. Your style of writing is wonderful. I can picture and feel right along with you. Looking forward to reading the rest!

  7. Connie KEARINS says:

    Congratulations and Merry Christmas!

  8. Beautiful. It will be my Christmas present to myself. I can’t wait to read it!

  9. Rebecca Bennett says:

    Your words have been an inspiration and an encouragement to me. I am SO looking forward to reading your latest book!

  10. Looking forward to this next book Katrina! As with your first book, I hear this book speaking directly to me in many ways. I am turning 50 this week, have 2 children the same age, the younger a 19 year old girl who is struggling with her identity and life turning out different to than the “plan.
    My husband was the one who lost his breadwinning job 7 years ago, and now he is 55 and a financially secure present and future are not in place. Challenging times for sure. I too lost my best friend 3 years ago to a 17 year battle with breast cancer, she was only 45!
    Our home is up for sale where we raised the kids and developed the best friendships with the neighbors, traditions I’m afraid to lose!
    Sorry for rambling, but your writing is truly a gift to us all Katrina.
    Have you thought about perhaps trying to become a professor? Because you truly are a wonderful teacher with wonderful insight to life that would be invaluable to students of all ages!

  11. I thoroughly enjoyed your first book – but that’s an understatement. I connected with you in that book. You eloquently share feelings that rumble inside me, and take me on your journey. I can’t wait for Magical Journey!

  12. Shared your video and your HP article. Your friends from home are all supporting your success. You truly have a gift with words.

  13. Nancy Kanell says:

    I am so looking forward to reading your latest book. Your books always seem to come at the right time for me, much as your letter came at the right time for you. Best of luck with the launch.

  14. Elissa Smith says:

    Thank you Katrina. Another gift. That is what I think of your writing… it is a gift to your readers… Your writing speaks to my soul… You spoke in your reading from Magical Journey about how we should accept and rejoice in our vulneraablity… I am so much in agreement with you… As much as I have been hurt in my lifetime I am truly grateful that I have lived…

    Below is from my share post about Magical Journey. Thank You Elissa Smith

    A lot of what Katrina Kenison says is simply common sense flavored with kindness… stop and smell the roses… love, laugh, forgive yourself and others…. even cry… Live… Yes I have heard much of what she says before but these kind words of encouragement and wisdom are worth reading again… I love the gentle reflective way she writes… Her books are sort of like a gift to ourselves… a gentle reminder… encouragement to live and savour life more fully… I am worth this gift to myself… and so are you.

  15. Sueann Robbins says:

    Hi Katrina!
    I LOVED the video and can hardly wait for January 8th.! Let’s start thinking about that magazine! A little competition for Oprah can never hurt!
    Have a blessed and relaxing holiday with your family-
    Sueann Robbins
    Coatesville, PA

  16. As I read the excerpt of the book and nod my head continuously with tears in my eyes; I am painfully, gratefully, and happily aware that my baby turns 15 today. Your words remind me to savor every moment, to be fully present with him today and every day that he will still allow me in. I will not be distracted by my pile of work or anything else especially today, so as always thank u for pulling me back to what matters. Of course I shared this with everyone and would love to read this book a bit early on the beach in Mexico over Christmas break while treasuring my boys and family time together!

  17. I shared your video on Facebook. I am looking forward to reading it! Well done! Lovely lovely lovely, my dear! Oprah is crazy not to love you.

  18. I am very much looking forward to your new book, each of your previous books has helped me enormously, our kids are similar ages. I’ve shared the video and excerpt, would love a sneak peek.

  19. simply beautiful, can’t wait to read your poetry!

  20. Shared — and the book is at the top of my Christmas list! I LOVED the video, loved seeing real live shots from a place I’ve only imagined in my head, and am dying to read the book. Enjoy this solstice season.

  21. I’m looking forward to your new book and all the wisdom it will include. I love your writing because it is REAL LIFE thoughts and feelings that most of us experience – but you’ve put it into words for us. Thank you!

    Missing New Hampshire terribly,

  22. I just watched the video and read the excerpt and shared them… as I watched/read, it not only spoke to me BUT also I was thinking of all the people in my life I want to buy the book for. Thank you.

  23. Katrina,
    I watched this video while my nine year old son sits in the next room, his dark hair and love for music reminding me of your son in the video clip. Can it be possible that soon I will kiss him goodbye and watch him stride away down some busy city street? How your lovely words tug at my heart and draw tears to my eyes. I cannot wait to read your book which I pre-orderded as a Christmas present for myself.
    God bless,

  24. In this world of so much uncertainty and confusion you have reminded us of what is really important in life. The world is blessed to have you and your talents. My heartfelt gratitude for sharing yourself to make a difference in the hearts of so many people. God bless you.

  25. Beautiful, Katrina–Best wishes to you, as your book takes a magical journey into many,many homes and libraries! Looking forward to reading this book soon!

  26. Ahhhhh….Katrina, it’s beautiful..I’m crying already! I love hearing your voice (I assume that’s you), seeing your son and husband and your lovely house. Such a gift to catch a glimpse of you in your everyday.

    Sharing on Facebook and Twitter now…

  27. I am so excited to read your latest book, Katrina. I shared your video and link on my Facebook page. I cannot fathom how you, who never met me in person, can express what is in my heart better and more beautifully than I can. It never ceases to amaze me. You are truly an inspiration to me.

  28. Cindy McGraw says:

    Can’t wait. The video was touching! The Gift of an Ordinary Day spoke to my heart and I can’t wait to read this next insightful piece and once again feel the peace her previous books brought to my being! Great job!!!

  29. So excited for this book Katrina! I wrote a post about my adoration of your writing(set to publish this week)and put up the video and of course, bought the book.

  30. Oh my goodness I am standing here sniffling and crying after watching
    your amazing video. This is such a beautiful beautiful bit of magic
    you have created.

    It’s so clear that your gift is to bring each of us to the center of
    ourselves, back home.

    I really needed to hear this now. Thank you!! Ah. Off to take my soggy
    happy self to my mat. What a different day I will have now because of
    this. Thank you!!!

  31. I loved your other two books– they are dog-eared and worn from repeated readings– and I can’t wait to read this one either. You have a real gift with words and ability to capture your life (and the life of your family) that makes others strive to do the same and be better for it.

  32. thank you for this exquisite offering, katrina. watched, read, shared. thrilled always to honor the beauty and wisdom you invite us to experience. grateful to and for you.

  33. MKCountryman says:

    This was wonderful. And I didn’t cry! Your books I can never read in one sitting; they are like meditations..and I ALWAYS cry. hmmmm, maybe I will get an audio version if its easier for me to get through hearing it….. Lovely, just lovely.

  34. Dear Ms. Kenison
    Three clicks with tears free, and I am ordering my first read for January. By all accounts, and recommended by Michell D., I will receive a lovely book to read early in the Wintery months of 2013. I am beyond mid-life,,,,my loss is a husband I dearly loved for 50 years, to a sudden massive heart attack. To say I fell off the cliff of grief is a mild statement. I describe it more as my life being blasted into million slivers lying on the ground…as if a tornado hit directly in my heart. Painfully I am picking up those pieces, and beginning to move forward now after 3years and 10 months. My God has been with me in every step, in every breath of air, in love, grace, and reflecting patience with me. So…although my story is alittle different than yours, I just know I will treasure your new book and find solace for my soul.
    Bonnie Walker,

  35. Milagros Gagliano says:

    I have shared on Facebook and Google plus. I will be adding this to my reading list.

  36. I loved the video, as much as I loved the first one. The gift of an ordinary day has been a dear companion through these years of being a mother to 4 teenagers.
    I look forward to reading your new book.

  37. I’ve loved your previous books and am looking forward to this one. The video is great and I shared it on FB.

  38. I watched your video and felt inspired. I’m going through a really rough time in my life–the death of my 30-year marriage–and the advice you give seems exactly right for me…and for anyone, really.

    It’s so easy for us to lose ourselves in the midst of LIFE.

    Thanks for this.

  39. I am so eager to read Magical Journey (preordered a couple of weeks ago) – and am so appreciative that I discovered Mitten Strings for God and Gift of an Ordinary Day while my children are still young. Your words reverberate in my mind and help me to treasure what I have now while also staying mindful of the life transitions that are ahead. Have a wonderful holiday season and a peaceful new year. 🙂

  40. The video clip is beautiful, I look forward to the New Year and curling up with this book. Your writing is a precious gift to all.

  41. Your book is at the head of my Christmas wish list – I can’t wait to read it! Loved the video and the excerpt as well. Christmas blessings and all the best with the book and everything else in 2013!

  42. Susan Todd says:

    I can’t wait to read your new book! I’m feeling a little “stuck” right now and thinking it’s just what I need to move me from this place.

  43. Nandini Kambi says:

    hi Katrina
    I have read, watched and shared! It is amazing how you manage to touch a chord in people’s hearts with your writing!

  44. Dearest Katrina -just pre-ordered 3 copies. LOVED!! your video and thank you again for the gift of yourself — this gift you give courageously, unselfishly, authentically…..with all your heart and soul. You are such a beautiful soul. Looking forward to reading your Magical Journey…..and sharing it with my friends. With love and admiration as always, Melody.

  45. A beautiful, moving video that speaks to my soul. I’ve forwarded it to friends who might not be familiar with you and reminded those who are to click on the link to take a moment for themselves. And actually, my pre-ordering started a few weeks back when you first announced it. What a wonderful thing to look forward to in the new year! Much thanks and kindness for all that you do for all of us! Happy Holidays, Katrina!

  46. Oh, Katrina, the video is radiant! I have already pre-ordered your book and can’t wait to read it. I can’t imagine a better way to welcome 2013.

    Thank you for the gift of your words. (And now I must stop crying so I can see well enough to drive preschool carpool! xo

  47. Beautiful! I reread your first book almost once a year if not more.. and adored your second one. I can’t wait for this new chapter!

  48. I watched and shared your video everywhere I could possibly think of sharing. Thank you, a truly wonderful way to start my day!

  49. Congratulations and Merry Christmas! Thank you for such a lovely video. Brought tears to my eyes.

  50. Gift of an Ordinary Day came at such an opportune time in my life that it seemed like a miracle. I am eager to read your new book!

  51. Ashley Baisley says:

    Of course, the video is fabulous and the excerpt is my afternoon treat – two sleeping babies and a cup of tea awaits me. Blessings to you my friend and congratulations on this book and achievement. I told my mother to pre-order for me, so technically, I think I’ve done all 3 things you asked of me. Blessings to you and Steve this Christmas season!

  52. Sherri Smith says:

    Another beauiful video!I’ve read the “The Gift of An Ordinary day” and “Mitten Strings for God” Looking foward this new book. Thank you for always inspiring me.

  53. Martie Grant says:

    Oh Katrina, I read the free excerpt and love it! I can’t wait until the book is out. I’ve shared the video, the free exceprt and pre-ordered the book 🙂

    The way in which you write truly speaks to me, and being that you’re about 5 years ahead of me (my oldest is in grade 7) I feel as though I am cheating a bit in knowing what is to come 🙂

    Thank you again for writing from your soul.

  54. Just absolutely beautiful. I am weepy just thinking of the possibilities. Your message comes at a great time in my life where I am literally choosing love at a difficult time. I will share your video and excerpt with my readers at Awesomely Awake and they will absolutely appreciate the message. I just realized how we have many of the same blog roll friends but haven’t connected ourselves. I am a big fan. I hope to meet you in January when you visit Lil Om and the lovely Pleasance.

  55. Stunning. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your gift of words.

  56. samantha irish says:

    you were a lovely, kind-hearted girl in high school and i can see that you haven’t changed in all the fundamental ways that really count. you’ve grown, and aged, and evolved. you will continue to change as you grow older, as do we all, but in your words i hear the same soul. i’ve really enjoyed your books, following your life since i moved away from milford. i look forward to reading this one.

  57. I can’t wait to read your new book. I have the others and reread them alot. The video speaks to my heart. I send love to everything and everyone. When I do,,,, I find that I am smiling. 🙂 I would love to read your new book asap. Thank you for your inspiration with your words.

  58. Shavaun McGinty says:

    Enjoyed the clip. I’m assuming that’s the house you renovated in Gift of an Ordinary Day? So cool to be able to see it after reading about it! Will look forward to Magic Journey.

  59. D. Matthews says:

    If that’s your home in the video, I love it! Love the scenery as well. Can’t wait to read your book Katrina.

  60. Off to share! Your writing is a gift to all. Can’t wait to read Magical Journey.

  61. Beautiful video! I can’t wait to read the book. I shared this on FB with all my friends!

  62. I thought you might be interested in the fact that i just referenced your trailer in a post on my blog at

  63. Joni Bouchard says:

    Hi Katrina. In anticipation of your new book, I’ve watched, I’ve read, I’ve shared and emailed news of your new book with all my friends and I can’t wait for my very own copy of Magical Journey. You know my story; how I am trying to live with the loss of my precious son (Will) and how you have inspired me to live for and love all the perfectly ordinary days that I had with him… now they are my most cherished memories. As I read your excerpt, again I see and hear myself through your words. The “what now?” is a big question and as I try to find meaning in my life without my youngest son, the one that would still give me such purpose in his young life, I only know now that someday I WILL find the answer that is right for me. I have learned that there will never be anything as difficult as what I am having to live through and knowing that takes away my fears, my worries about “what now?”. Your words always seem to resonate with me. And I love that. One day I would love to meet you, Katrina. And one day, I think I will. One day. Good luck with your new book, Katrina, and safe travels on your continual “magical journey”.

  64. Already pre-ordered, weeks ago in a needy moment, knowing what good food for my soul that read will be.

    Loved your video and would love to be able to give a copy away. Thanks for the chance to win!

    (Can I admit that I loved getting to see a glimpse of that kitchen I remember reading about in Gifts of an Ordinary Day? It was a highlight for me!)

  65. I watched the video and ordered 6 books. Can’t wait to read the new book. Three years ago, Ordinary Day changed my perspective and my life – really looking forward to this – thanks for continuing to write and share yourself with us!

  66. Laura Schanck says:

    I am so excited to add your new book to the little stack of mitten strings and gift of an ordinary day which sit on my bedside table with a kneeling angel on top. You words go directly to my heart and live there. Thank you for all you share…..most importantly, yourself. Peace….Laura

  67. I look forward to getting your book in the new year. Pre-ordered! And I linked to the video on Facebook. Thanks!

  68. I am anxiously awaiting your new book. In the meantime, I am reading The Gift of an Ordinary Day again. Your words flow off the page and make it difficult to put down the book. You are a friend to all of us. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

  69. Martha T. says:

    Can’t wait to read the rest of this book! Liked you on FB so all my friends can read it also. Thanks for the opportunity to win your copy.

  70. Diane Bascom says:

    I am delighted to spread the word about Magical Journey, and I look forward to reading it in January. Congratulations on what I’m confident will be a next Best Seller, Katrina. You are an inspiration to everyone who has the privilege to “meet” you!

  71. Betsy Brent says:

    I am so excited about the release of your new book! Thank you for putting yourself out there – so many of us are so grateful. Love and Hugs.

  72. What a great video! I’m looking forward to reading the book. It will be my first read in 2013. I shared the video on FB.

    I could so relate to the book excerpt related to your son. We are struggling with how to help our son now. He was recently diagnosed with ADD, but we are now realizing there are other learning disabilities involved. It is a painful process for a parent to walk through.

    Thank you for bearing your soul for others. It helps to know we are not alone.

  73. Grisel Esmé Levene says:

    I can’t wait to read this latest book. I know I wil enjoy your writing just like the last two book. However, I will buy the my copy at the Toadstool and support my local book store. Thanks!

  74. Hi Katrina!
    I shared your goodies all over the place! I describe your writing like this, “it feels like taking a walk in the woods with a best friend” I look forward to reading your new book!


  75. Katrina,
    I am so happy to tell all my friends about you and your new book. Your writing has touched and inspired me. Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us.

    I can hardly wait to get my hands on your next book. Just wish it were here in time for Christmas gifts.

    Love you.

  76. I shared your video on Facebook. You inspire me as a writer, as a mom and as a person.

    Thank you!

    I can’t wait to read your new book!

  77. Just ordered your new book – my mom is giving me the book as a Christmas present and it will arrive on my mom’s 97th birthday. I can’t wait to read it. I read the excerpt and watched the video – both so well done. You truly speak to my soul. What a gift you have. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. I am most grateful.

  78. I have pre-ordered your new book through (as I live in Canada). I look forward to cozy winter evenings by the fire with your gracious words in hand.

  79. I’ve just watched the video for “Ordinary Day” again. It warms my heart on so many levels. I also watched the video for “Magical Journeys” for the first time. Can’t wait for the book to be released. I’m sure I will be recommending it to all of my friends, as I already have with The Gift of an Ordinary Day. Thank you.

  80. My bliss? Heading to my cozy corner and reading your new book! Thank you for offering such a delightful gift.

    • Just watched your beautiful video and pinned your book to my loving “for me” board on Pinterest. I can’t wait to hold your treasured book in my hands! xo

  81. Grace Jacobs says:

    As I read the excerpt…I again felt that validation and support your words so often give me. Your journey is so familiar to me and your words are the same that spin in my head and heart. My life has been dedicated to my daughters for nearly 20 years and now on the brink of their womanhood…how do I continue to live and to grow….as they move out into the world. Thank you for helping me know I am not alone and this is an opportunity for me to seize and grow from – Can’t wait to read more. Be well. grace

  82. Loved your book trailer. So New England (I lived there for a long time) and so inspiring. I was a childless mother of a different sort and know what you mean about the separation and the ache for the child. Off to new and brave chapters of life… Indeed you did a beautiful job of raising a self-caring son who calls to say he is doing all right. That’s just sweet.

    I have shared your trailer on Tweeter and FB because the idea of contentment helps us connect to ourselves. Best wishes on this book. I would love to read it in its entirety.


  83. Carolyn White says:

    Dearest Katrina! I have become your Central FL promo agent! Have ordered copies to become “Belated But Worth The Wait” gifts! Your Thanksgiving blog allowed me to smell your mother’s kitchen! The blog about the Christmas books brought tears to my eyes as I remembered those special books chosen every year for the boys! Your words bring such loy to my life each day. For that I thank you. I cannot wait to take your magical journey! Much love to you and Steve! Mom,Dad and Little John also!

  84. Absolutely beautiful, as always, Katrina! And I signed up for my 200-hour yoga teacher certification this morning!

  85. I’ve posted the video on my facebook wall and a link to the PDF file on Priscilla Gillman’s post about her interview with you. Particularly loved “Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry”

  86. So much of the trailer resonated with me. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  87. Marek Wayne says:

    The excerpt is wonderfully written and I can see how it will resonate with the many mothers (and fathers) in the world – the happiness, the decisions, the emptiness, and life’s transitions. A real read.
    All the best wishes for you and the book 🙂

  88. Susan Rogge says:

    I picked up your book “Gift of an Ordinary Day” while browsing in Hasting last year. I’m not much of a reader, but becoming more so. Your book has helped me desire to read more. I was overcome with many emotions as I related to so many things you spoke about in the book. I have gone through many transitions in my life, two divorces, much counseling and after being a stay-at-home mom raising five children, I graduated college with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, earned my CPA and working a job I love. With three teens still in high school and on their way to college, I have cherished your insight, your frustrations, inhibitions, and your victories. I am anxious to read your new book, “Magical Journey”. I’d love to meet you, have a cup of coffee, and share. God bless you.

  89. A beautiful video. Looking forward to another great read!

  90. I have read your other books, and love them all. My dearest friend in my mothering journey just notified me that your new book is due out soon. I am thrilled to read it, and I am sure it will speak to me in the way your other books have. Thank you for writing about your experience as a mother. As a mother of 4, I think about my role as a mother very often. At the present time I would say that motherhood defines who I am, but I do think about the years ahead as my children grow, and what will become of my life. Can’t wait to read your book on January 8th, thanks!

  91. Congratulations, Katrina! I can’t wait to curl up with your latest book. The video brought be to comforting tears–especially seeing you with your family. Your soothing and and inspiring words always get to the very core of my heart. I also have two sons–they are still in the Mitten Strings for God stages 🙂 I feel like we are kindred souls. You always seem to say the words that I need to hear. Blessings to you, and thank you for sharing yourself with the world.

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