What can I say? Things have definitely changed since the last time I sat down to write to you. I was unsure what to write here… so much has been said by so many … and in many instances, so well.
One thing of which we still can be certain: the sun will rise and set every day. And that’s a good thing to hold onto.
I would ask how you are doing but I know most of us have the same answer. We are just doing. Hanging in. Waiting. Hoping. Reassuring our children and grandchildren. My wish is that you and your loved ones are staying well. For those who sadly have to fight the virus, our hearts are with you. If you have lost your job, our governments are working to help you and let’s believe those jobs will be waiting for you when the virus is gone.
And some are doing so much more. People providing essential services are the true heroes of this crisis and we owe them more than we can express. From health care workers to first responders through a long list all the way through to truck drivers and people stocking the store shelves. So many people are going above and beyond what is normally asked.
If you are like me, there are moments when we want to say “Stop the world and let me off.” But we have to stay the course. And we will. All around the globe. We are all fighting this together and have strong and intelligent leaders in the scientific community who are informing and guiding the leaders of our countries. For this we are grateful.
What has inspired me the most is how people are reaching out … it seems everyone is, really … to family and friends and talking, connecting even more than before the crisis. Perhaps it is because we all have so much more time to do it. Since we can’t actually be together, we are finding ways to still feel we are not alone. In my family, we are saying thank goodness for FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and any other free program that allows us to get together virtually.
And thank goodness for books! I’ve been doing more reading than ever. Have you?
This quote of Nora Ephron’s says it all:
“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”
Here are this month’s great giveaways. As always, to enter simply send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This month let us know where you live and what is helping you most to shelter in place. Please specify your choice of book. With it being difficult to get to the post office these days, we are offering ebooks exclusively. All winning names are randomly drawn. Good luck! Bonne chance!
Giveaway #1 ~ My good friend, Heather Burch, is offering two ebooks of her top fan favourite novel, One Lavender Ribbon. Heather has always been drawn to epic tales about love and loss. “If I can make you laugh, cry, feel something deeply, if you want to hug those you love … I’ve done my job.” She is a bestselling author of contemporary fiction. A quote from her novel, One Lavender Ribbon can be seen at the John’s Creek Veteran’s Memorial Walk near Atlanta where her words are required reading for those who enter the memorial park. Heather lives in Missouri with her husband and sweet dog, Cooper.
Blurb: Reeling from a bitter divorce, Adrienne Carter abandons Chicago and retreats to the sun, sand, and beauty of Southern Florida, throwing herself into the restoration of a dilapidated old Victorian beach house. Early into the renovations, she discovers a tin box hidden away in the attic that reveals the emotional letters from a WWII paratrooper to a young woman who lived in the house more than a half-century earlier.
The old letters—incredibly poetic and romantic—transcend time, and they arouse in Adrienne a curiosity that leads her to track down the writer of the letters. William “Pops” Bryant is now an old man living in a nearby town with his handsome but overprotective grandson, Will. As Adrienne begins to unravel the secrets of the letters (and the Bryants), she finds herself not yet willing to give up entirely on love.
Giveaway #2 ~ Loretta Nyhan is offering two ebooks of her new release, The Other Family. Loretta is the newest member of the author team hosting the Blue Sky Book Club. THE OTHER FAMILY is her sixth novel. When she is not writing, she is knitting, baking, and doing all kinds of things her high school self would have found hilarious. Loretta’s great sense of humour is also hilarious! She lives with her “wonderfully blended, Brady-Bunch family” in the Chicago area.
Blurb: With a dissolving marriage, strained finances, and her life in flux, Ally Anderson longs for normal. Her greatest concerns, though, are the health problems of her young daughter, Kylie. Symptoms point to a compromised immune system, but every doctor they’ve seen has a different theory. Then comes hope for some clarity.
It’s possible that Kylie’s illness is genetic, but Ally is adopted. A DNA test opens up an entirely new path. And where it leads is a surprise: to an aunt Ally never knew existed. She’s a little wild, very welcoming, and ready to share more of the family history than Ally ever imagined.
Coping with a skeptical soon-to-be-ex husband, weathering the cautions of her own resistant mother, and getting maddeningly close to the healing Kylie needs, Ally is determined to regain control of her life. This is her chance to embrace uncertainty and the beauty of family—both the one she was born into and the one she chose.
Giveaway #3 ~ Barbara Davis, also a sister Blue Sky Book Chat author, is offering two ebooks of The Wishing Tide. After twelve years in the jewelry industry, Barbara surrendered to the muse, leaving the corporate world in order to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. When not writing she’s an avid reader, foodie, and lover of music, a rabid football fan, and a devoted Florida Gator. Her joyful enthusiasm for life is catching! Barbara lives with her husband and cat in Dover, New Hampshire.
Blurb: Five years ago, Lane Kramer moved to Starry Point, North Carolina, certain the quaint island village was the place to start anew. Now the owner of a charming seaside inn, she’s set aside her dreams of being a novelist and of finding love again. When English professor Michael Forrester appears on Lane’s doorstep in the middle of a storm, he claims he’s only seeking a quiet place to write his book. Yet he seems eerily familiar with the island, leaving Lane wondering if he is quite what he appears.
Meanwhile, Mary Quinn has become a common sight, appearing each morning on the dunes behind the inn, to stare wistfully out to sea. Lane is surprised to find a friendship developing with the older woman, who possesses a unique brand of wisdom, despite her tenuous grip on reality.
As Lane slowly unravels Mary’s story and a fragile relationship between Lane and Michael blooms, Lane realizes the three share a common bond. But when a decades-old secret suddenly casts its shadow over them, Lane must choose between protecting her heart and fighting for the life—and the love—she wants.
I hope you enjoy meeting authors who might be new to you and connecting with those you already follow. Savour their books, find out more about the writers and pass along their information to your friends. Write a short review, thanks! The best way to hear about a good book is by word of mouth from dedicated readers like you. And trust me, we all appreciate that more than you know.
Congratulations to last month’s winners! It was SO much fun to offer the lovefest of books that were all about France!
Audrey Wick Maarja
Paris Rose Shepperd
Joy Isley, Lisa Harness, Clare O’Beara, Bonnie Karoly, Marlene Gagnon
Usually at this time of year, I’m preparing to leave for France and always excited about it. Like so many other people who have had to cancel or postpone plans and special events, I won’t be going anywhere overseas in the near future. We’ve had to postpone our women’s tours to 2021 and look forward to doing them then. The only thing I, and so many of you, want now is to be with our kids and grandkids. My husband and I are on Day 10 of our 14-day quarantine after returning from Florida. And even when finished this weekend, we will be staying home like everyone else until we are assured the coast is clear. Who knows when that will be.
Let’s flatten the curve!
And now, just because … here are a few photos that I hope will give you some pleasure. How could I not post some photos of France, no matter what is going on? We must keep dreaming!
Rather than share a recipe this month, here’s a photo of our grandpup, Georgia. We miss being able to walk with her and give her hugs. She makes us smile and feel happy whenever we see her. I hope she does the same for you. For those of you sheltering at home with pets, you are so fortunate! Hug them often! And if you do not have a pet at home with you, feel free to print out this photo (like my SIL does! 🙂 ) and let Georgia bring you a smile any time.
Keep informed. Follow instructions. Stay well. Keep reading! Know you are cared for.
Stay well, my friends, be kind to one another, read a lot and appreciate every single day. Profitez de tous les jours! I’m reminded on a regular basis that the best part of being an author is hearing from readers. I value the messages i receive from you. Thanks also for sharing my books with your friends and for the reviews you write. It’s all most appreciated and inspiring. See you next month!