Indie Author Fringe 2017 ~ March 18 ~ you’re invited!

It’s that time of year again! The London Book Fair is on as we speak (March 14 -16). That means we should be getting ready for the INDIE AUTHOR FRINGE 2017, this Saturday, organized by ALLi ~ the Alliance of Independent Authors.

There’s no better one day blitz of the most up-to-date information, guidance and ideas for indie authors. It’s available to everyone everywhere ~ and ~ tadaaaa ~ it’s FREE!

This amazing day is specifically geared to writers interested in self-publishing but, trust me, there is a ton of information that every writer will find informative no matter how or where you are published. There are sessions for beginners, emerging and advanced authors, together with discounts, deals and all sorts of special giveaways.

To check out all the speakers and presentations, click here.

Prepare your beverage of choice, put your feet up, wear whatever you like and get ready to discover more publishing/writing information in one place than you ever dreamed possible. The action begins at 10 a.m. (GMT i.e. London time). Click right here if you want to see what time that means in your corner of the world.

Running 24 sessions over 24 continuous hours allows authors round the globe, to attend some live sessions, no matter where they’re located. (But don’t worry, you aren’t expected to stay up all night! You can always catch up later. Read how when you register.)

Register right now and find out how to attend, together with details of the fantastic lineup of speakers, sessions, competitions and giveaways. *See* you there! Oh … and tell all your writing friends!

Click on this “Register Here” link and plan your day! It will take you to the banner displayed below and you will be on your way.

This free Online Conference runs three times a year, fringe to London Book Fair (March 18th 2017), Book Expo (June 3rd 2017) and Frankfurt Book Fair (October 14th 2017).

International Women’s Day 2017

What’s happening in your community to recognize this important day?

Be sure to visit the IWD2017 FB page and website ~ there’s so much of value there from around the world! Share these messages and be a constant reminder. #BeBoldForChange #IWD2017

For all of the daughters, granddaughters and generations to come …

PARTY TIME IS NOW! MARCH 7~4:30 to 9:00 EST

IT’S PARTY TIME! ~ IF YOU’VE POPPED OVER FROM THE TWITTER CHAT, SIMPLY LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG OR NEWSLETTER (LINKS TO THE RIGHT —-> )

AND LET ME KNOW WHICH BOOK YOU WOULD LIKE TO WIN.

GOOD LUCK/BONNE CHANCE!

I’ll announce the winner in a post here and in my March newsletter.

WE’RE HAVING A PARTY AND YOU’RE INVITED!

Beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7th, there will be over 30 Lake Union authors dropping by this link and waiting to chat with you, Twitter-style. As only Twitter can be, it will be fast and furious and great fun!

Every author will be giving away books and who knows what else!?!

30 x ? = a whole lot of great reads to add to your bookshelf, both ebooks & print

Two people will win a print copy of The Promise of Provence or whichever book in the series you might want … and I just might add a surprise or two to that. Come along and see!

 

I hope you will join us to share thoughts and comments about books you love or simply about reading and writing in general … or anything else that’s on your mind. Ask us questions, enter our giveaways and, by all means, please invite your friends! Share this link with them. Don’t forget to click on “Going” to let us know you will be there.

All of us will be popping in and out through the five hours of fun. But for sure I will be there from 6:00 to 6:45 EST, hanging out with Steena Holmes, Virginia Franken, Christine Nolfi and Barbara Taylor Sissel.

Use #LakeUnionAuthors to participate.

Mark you calendar ~ March 7th starting at 4:30 EST.

Settle in with your beverage of choice, a snack or two, and join in the chat!

Writers love talking with readers and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about the how, what, where and why we write. Nothing is sacred!

There will be 37 of us participating ~ many of whom you already know and the rest you definitely will want to know!  There’s something for everyone in the stories we write, including women’s fiction, historical, contemporary, mystery, romance, humor.

We’re all looking forward to seeing you there! 

March 7th beginning at 4:30 EST. Hash tag #LakeUnionAuthors 

Christine Nolfi’s sweet new release!

Christine Nolfi’s latest novel is released today!

It’s a classic heartwarming and entertaining story in the style we’ve all come to expect and love from her.

Here are the details straight from Christine herself!

Welcome to Sweet Lake

Booklist gave me happy feet when they said my February 28th release “…has such a charming small-town vibe and endearing characters that readers will find themselves falling in love with quirky Sweet Lake and hoping for a series.”

There’s no need for hoping: look for the second book The Comfort of Secrets in summer, 2017.

If you’ve read the Liberty Series, you know I love writing stand-alone stories without cliffhangers, and with characters reappearing in later books. Creating a fictional town packed with eccentric, heartwarming people that readers will enjoy visiting time and again—is there anything more exciting? For me, there isn’t.

In Sweet Lake, Linnie Wayfair battles to wrest control of the family’s inn, a historic Ohio landmark, from her flamboyant, filmmaker brother. During the tussle for control, she inadvertently sparks a romance with his attorney. Not that she thinks romance is a great idea: the tourist town of Sweet Lake, Ohio is dying. If she doesn’t turn the Wayfair Inn around, her beloved hometown will be all but shuttered.

She has help along the way from her two closest friends, Jada and Cat. She’s also aided by a group of older women in town who refuse to see the inn shut down. The Sweet Lake Sirens intervene on Linnie’s behalf in hilarious, and often poignant ways.

I don’t want to give all the fun away. Let me leave you with this quote from Kirkus Reviews: “The theme that ‘any event capable of breaking a woman could break her open instead, to reveal her true beauty and power’ reveals itself in surprising ways. In this uplifting and charming story, each room of the inn is filled with friendship, forgiveness, and love.”

Award-winning author Christine Nolfi provides readers with heartwarming and inspiring fiction. Her debut Treasure Me is a Next Generation Indie Awards finalist. The Midwest Book Review lists the books in the Liberty Series as “highly recommended” and her novels have enjoyed bestseller status. Look for her 2017 series, Sweet Lake.

Join her mailing list by clicking here.

Christine’s website ~ click here.

Goodreads page ~ click here.

Facebook page ~ click here.

Christine on Twitter @christinenolfi

Link to Sweet Lake on Amazon by clicking here. 

Link to the Liberty Series on Amazon by clicking here.

A love story, part 2 + elephants

Here’s  another kind of love story I am happy to share with you. You may recall reading about my friend Jacquie Gauthier here on the blog last April. Click here to see the post. 

I love Jacquie’s story for a long list of reasons, but mainly because she took a chance with life. Volunteering in the South Sudan, an email romance, elopement, moving from Canada to South Africa … as I’ve said before, she’s a true possibilitarian! We’re in touch online regularly, but I thought it was time to bring an update to all of you. You’re going to love how her adventure is playing out!

PS ~ Welcome back, Jacquie! We’re all looking forward to reading your update.

JG ~ Thanks, Patricia! I’m happy to be here again! In the lingering spirit of Valentine’s Day this week, I’ve been reflecting on how lucky I am in love!

It’s been seven years since I met Johann while on an Aid trip to South Sudan. After a six month email courtship, we eloped and soon after we moved to his native South Africa. Not only do I have an ongoing love affair with the man I married, I’m totally besotted with this beautiful country, its people and its incredible wildlife .
We won’t be celebrating this Valentine’s Day together; Johann is currently away working as a medic on the set of a reality television show being shot on location in the bush. We won’t see each other for another few weeks, but that’s normal for us.

PS ~ It sounds like you are adjusting very well to your “new normal”.

JG ~ The nature of our life together has taught us to be flexible and to appreciate any time that we spend together. I’m no longer very attached to celebrating holidays or anniversaries on a specific date.We can make any day special by taking a drive down to our favourite spot in the dry riverbed and enjoying a sunset picnic while we wait to see which animals will choose to join us!

PS ~ That sounds idyllic and a way of life most of us can’t even imagine. I know you have become involved in some important projects involving conservation and the environment.

JG ~ Absolutely! I’m loving all the projects I’m creating or becoming involved with. It’s clear to me that conservation has to be achieved through poverty alleviation. Early childhood education is critically important, so I’ve been working with a wonderful NGO called Nourish on a project called Rise.

The goal is to provide safe, clean and stimulating environments for pre-schoolers to give them a solid foundation. We also strive to incorporate environmental education so the children grow up feeling more connected to the environment. Many of the local children live only a few kilometers away from Kruger National Park, but have never seen an elephant. That has to change for them to become passionate protectors of their natural heritage. www.nourish.org.za

PS ~ Last year you told us about your exciting new venture with Alicia Fordyce, Two Girls and an Elephant. I love your tagline ~ Art with Attitude.

JG ~ Two Girls and an Elephant ~ Art continues to be a passion project. It’s always so satisfying to create beautiful images, and even more so when that leads to raising money for Elephants Alive.

There have been many setbacks on the road to elephant conservation in the last several months, but those have been completely overshadowed by the monumental decision of the Chinese government to shut down the ivory carving factories in that country.

PS ~ YES! What fantastic news that was!

JG ~ The closures are scheduled to start next month, and I believe this change in policy and in attitude will make a huge difference in the efforts to save the elephants! www.twogirlsandanelephant.com and www.elephantsalive.org

PS ~ You are one busy lady! Even so, I know you have some good book news for us.

JG ~ I’m thrilled to say that the first draft of my new book is finished! I expect to release Twenty Eight Elephants ( and other every day miracles) in October. Meanwhile, the German version of The Gift of an Elephant will be available on Amazon soon!

PS ~ Yay! We will all look forward to that! What else is up next for you?

I expect to be back in Canada in October and November to launch the new book, and speak at several events, including the Power of the Purse women’s conferences. Dates and venues still to be confirmed, but I will post the information on Facebook and on my Amazon Author’s page as soon as the details are finalized.

PS ~ See you in the fall, Jacquie. Keep doing what you are doing and thanks for stopping by here to bring us all up to date!

Want to see more of Jacquie’s fabulous photography and learn about life in South Africa? You can connect with her through the links above.

Happy Valentine’s Day~One Billion Rising

Bonne Saint-Valentin! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Along with heart and flowers, there’s so much to celebrate about love today and every day. So I want to share this link to my February 14th message from previous years as this information can never be repeated too often. I hope you find a couple of minutes to check it out. Be sure to watch the video.

I’m posting this on the 13th so you can check to see what’s happening in your community tomorrow. Join in … if you are not snowed in!

One Billion Rising 2017 is an international campaign to end the exploitation of women. Here’s a way we can all make a contribution. Click here to see events happening around the world today.
“Like” the Facebook page. Follow on Twitter. Let’s all do our part!

One more way you can help is to share this post. Let’s spread the word far and wide.

And please remember it all starts right here … with you:

Are there One Billion Rising activities in your town? Share them here with us!

The countdown is on … start packing!

It’s official! Our 2017 tour, Promenade En Provence, is filled to capacity with sixteen enthusiastic women who will spend twelve glorious days in June, exploring the beauty of the south of France with me and my good friend, fellow author Susan Sommers

Click here to visit Susan’s informative new website , Power Source For Women. On our trip, Susan will accompany those interested on morning walks and easy hikes along scenic routes. Her new book, Love Your Body ~ Embrace Your Life offers a wonderful combination of fitness, nutrition, spirituality, and health for women of all ages.

I will be waiting in France for you at the hotel. We can begin our time together with a toast on the beach!

Arrivals will be coming from Canada, the U.S.A. and the U.K., and we’ll make our first rendezvous at the elegant Hôtel Beau Rivage (my favourite!) in Nice. With the glistening turquoise Mediterranean across the street and the famous daily market of Cours Saleya in the old town just steps away, there’s not a better place to begin.

Each day will bring a new adventure with guided day trips to stunning nearby destinations, but there will also be plenty of time to rest, shop, or take a dip in the Med.

After six days, we will settle into the ancient walled town of Avignon. With just one hotel change during the entire trip, we can get comfortable once again. Our day trips will take us to picturesque medieval villages in the storied countryside of Provence, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, as well as endless fields of sunflowers and lavender.

 

I promise you an experience also filled with fine food, good company, laughter and lovely new friendships.

It’s such a pleasure to share my love of this exquisite part of the world on these tours. I’m already hearing from many who are eager to walk the same streets and discover the villages and scenery they read about in the Love In Provence series. We will do it all! On y va!

Susan, along with Debbie Ross, owner of the Womens Travel Network, will be hosting a Meet and Greet in May for anyone joining us from the Toronto area. Thanks to Debbie’s expertise for organizing all of the many details that make a trip like this possible!

Click here for photos of previous tours … and start planning your packing! I will be posting some packing tips later and also will send a list of great books you may want to read in advance. 

Are you excited? Susan and I can’t wait!

 

Travel theme: Game ~ Photo challenge

It’s been a while since I’ve joined in one of these photo challenges.

Boules or pétanque is a game played in the smallest villages right through to the grandest cities in France. It’s a storied part of the culture and a standard of daily routines. Click on the links above for more details … and there are plenty!

Observing, pondering, commenting … it’s all part of the game!

Mastering the technique!

A game in the Place du Jeu de Boules, the famous pétanque pitch in Saint-Paul de Vence and apéros at the Café de la Place (below) are timeless traditions. The under-stated sculpture honours the game and those who play. You can organize a lesson there if you visit.

Have you played or watched a game? Do you call it bocce, boules, or pétanque?  Here’s some Provençal history about the game.

It’s always so much fun to see the variety of participating entries in the photo challenge, click on this link and enjoy! I find it’s a great way to take a relaxing break from … whatever, and I hope you do too.

Are you on Instagram? I am and would love to connect with you. You can find me there @patricialsands  and I look forward to following you. 

Have you discovered The Happiness in Between?

Let’s give a hearty welcome to the talented Grace Greene! Thanks so much for dropping by.

Patricia, thank you for inviting me to meet your readers. For those who don’t know me, I’m a USA Today Bestselling author and I write women’s fiction set in Virginia, along with sweet romance with inspirational elements set at the beach in Emerald Isle, NC. The Virginia books are mostly single titles (standalones) set in the rural areas outside of Richmond and my upcoming Jan. 31st release, THE HAPPINESS IN BETWEEN, is one of those.

Between what you think you want and what you find = The Happiness In Between.

THE HAPPINESS IN BETWEEN highlights the protagonist, a woman named Sandra, who tried to please everyone and ended up pleasing no one. I feel a ton of empathy with Sandra who tried to do everything asked of her, yet who never felt in-step with her peers or even with the expectations of the adults she tried to emulate and please. Though, to others, she appeared to succeed at school and marriage, it never felt true within herself and she couldn’t keep it together. For those of us who don’t easily fit in, we know that no matter how hard you try to hide your awkwardness behind a polished social demeanor, eventually it will break you.

Luckily, my situation wasn’t as extreme as Sandra’s, but as an adult I would look around me and see people struggling for the approval of others instead of finding their own way. Living for external approval is a sure path to misery.

In THE HAPPINESS IN BETWEEN Sandra wants yet another chance to remake her life, but to succeed, she must first understand the core problem—herself. Unfortunately, to accept one’s own flaws requires belief in oneself, and her self-confidence is sorely lacking. Not her courage, though. She dredges up enough to run away from her manipulative husband, but she’ll need a lot more to make a real difference in her life. She goes into hiding at Cub Creek where she’ll find peace and quiet, but the hope she finds within herself may be the true key to a happier life.

Order the ebook, print book or audio before release day and you’ll get the Amazon lowest price guarantee: The Happiness In Between.

I love to hear from readers! You are always welcome to contact me via my website, GraceGreene.com

P.S. Grace is a member of the exciting new Women’s Fiction Fans Facebook page. She joins 7 other Women’s Fiction authors (in alphabetical order) Bette Lee Crosby, Ashley Farley, Barbara Hinske, Andrea Hurst, Dete Meserve, Christine Nolfi, and me!

We hope you will take a minute to pop over to the Women’s Fiction Fans page and join us.  You will find daily opportunities to chat, and share information about your favourite books, with us and tons of other readers. We’ll be doing regular giveaways and look forward to learning more about all of you.

 

 

Our June trip to Provence ~ are you coming?

 

Now that 2017 is underway, our women’s trip to Provence feels like it is just around the corner. As always when we do one of these fabulous trips, I’m already excited about it! I’ve received emails from several of the women who are coming with us and they can’t wait too. The countdown is on!

Our hotel in Nice is in the photo above on the Promenade des Anglais and just down the street from the daily market. There’ll be time to shop and go to the beach.

We spend a day in Antibes and visit the market where Kat met Philippe! ===>

At the moment, there are just four spots left out of the 16 offered. I’m posting info here about the trip in case you haven’t read about it. Please feel free to share it too.

Here’s the link to the women’s tour of the south of France that I will accompany from June 6 to 18. My friend and fellow author, Susan Sommers, goes with me. She writes non-fiction books about fitness for women over 50 and organizes some pleasant walks during the trip (purely optional in case you would rather shop!).
The cost of the tour (including daily breakfast and 11 dinners) CA $4995 and at the moment that cost is roughly US$3700. Plus airfare. It’s extremely well-priced for all that is offered AND it’s very personal, relaxed and a lot of fun.
You can find photos of the two previous tours on my website by clicking here.
 
I’m happy to answer any questions. We’ve had wonderful mother/daughter, sisters, and best friends combinations join us. Women who  have come on their own have all enjoyed the trip and made great friendships. It truly is a very special experience.
Many of the women who join us have read the Love in Provence series and are thrilled to explore the same places as Katherine does in the story.
I’ve put together a reading list to share and will post it here soon, as well as sending it to all on the tour.
Thanks for spreading the word … and, even better, for coming along with us on this great escape!