Newsletter #80 Aug 23, 2020
How is everyone doing as summer flies by? My friends in France have been letting me know how very hot it has been lately. La canicule, they call it , or la chaleur … what we call a heat wave, s c o r c h i n g!
So this header photo shows where I would be if I were in Antibes right now ~ Plage de la Gravette, my favourite beach. Click on that link for more photos and a bit of history. The setting is magnifique! That empty chair is reserved for you!I hope you enjoy a moment of fantasy reading about that beach. Here are a few more south of France beach photos to dream about.
I hope you and yours are well and coping through these continuing days of challenge and uncertainty. And now we have the unknowns about sending students back to school. I’m still struggling with all of it … and am cheating a bit in this newsletter by repeating words I sent you last month. I’m doing it because they are words that resonate so strongly with me and I hope they do to you too. So if you read last month’s newsletter, feel free to skip the next bit or read it all again and hopefully feel as I do.
“I have a confession to make. I didn’t write my newsletter in June. I simply did not know how to reach out in a meaningful way. I felt distraught at the impact of these confusing, challenging times that have been so devastating for so many. As much as I love communicating with you, I truly did not know where to begin. Thank you to those of you who wrote me to say they missed receiving the newsletter. You inspired me to give myself a shake.
Have you heard of “crisis fatigue”? Here’s a simple definition from WebMD “While crisis fatigue is not an official diagnosis, its effects are real. People can feel so overwhelmed that they’re unsure of how to move forward.” This is often mentioned these days and I think I’ve had a touch of that. Have you?
I believe we all hoped that by now the Corona Virus would not be rampant and the world would be finding a sense of normalcy once again. Sadly, there are many parts of the world where this is not the case. As we all struggle to help each other and to do the right thing to battle COVID-19 and its effect on our lives, I hope that books are helping to bring comfort, distraction and inspiration. I know I’ve been reading more than ever these past few months.
I’m reaching back to a previous newsletter to share again this quote from the late, great Nora Ephron,
For some laughter and relief, read any of her wonderful books. Click here to see them.
Speaking of reading, I wanted to share this message I received today with you. It is always a gift when readers share their thoughts with me. I feel such gratitude.
“Cher Patricia, Merci mille fois for helping me escape to France through these last few months. Holding up through quarantine was made bearable thanks to you bringing Kat’s journey to me daily. You helped me shift my attention to view someone else’s obstacles, observations and new found awareness. (and paraphrased slightly by me) It’s also been very therapeutic for my friend who is going through a separation. I told her about your books and they have done a world of good for her going through this transition in her life.” Truly, words such as these are an author’s best reward.
Thanks for understanding my desire to repeat all that. I hope you didn’t mind.
Do you have other thoughts about what reading brings to your life? Please send me an email and we will add your words to create another quote about the pleasure and importance of reading. In fact, that is what I would like you to send in your email to enter our giveaways this month. As usual, send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now it’s time for today’s great giveaways. Thank you to the generous writers, all three of which this month are Canadian and also sister authors of mine with Lake Union Publishing.
Giveaway #1 ~ Multi-talented Carol Cram is offering two ebooks of The Muse of Fire. An award-winning author of historical fiction and former educator who published 40+ academic textbooks, Carol is also the creator of Art in Fiction. This latter website features engaging podcasts with a variety of authors (including me J ~ but more of that later in this newsletter) and has become a favourite of many. I encourage you to visit the site. Carol and her husband live on beautiful Bowen Island, near Vancouver, B.C.Connect with Carol here.Here’s the blurb: Shakespeare’s sweeping themes meet the wit of Jane Austen in a mashup of theater riots and drawing room angst.
Based on real events, The Muse of Fire takes readers behind the scenes of London’s massive Covent Garden theater at the dawn of the 19thCentury. The intrigue, romance, and betrayal swirling around the actors offstage rivals anything they must perform onstage.
After the death of her mother, Grace Johnson follows her abusive father to London and discovers a passion for the stage. But she must fight against social norms to find her place as a Shakespearean actress in the fraught world of early 19th Century theater.
Aided by Ned, a foundling who takes charge backstage at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, Grace becomes ensnared by intrigues and setbacks that mar the pathway to stardom she craves.
Set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Old Price Riots of 1809, Grace and Ned find common purpose in a quest that threatens to tear both their worlds apart.
Winner of the Bronze for Best Historical Fiction from the Independent Publishers’ Awards and First in Category for the Goethe Awards.
Giveaway #2 ~ Chart-topping Suzy Krause is offering two ebooks of her newest release, Sorry I Missed You, an Amazon Best Seller. Suzy is a writer and a music lover. She’s been blogging for over a decade, but she also writes, from time to time, on various arts, entertainment, and lifestyle websites. She lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with her husband and young children … and once worked as a debt collector. Her blog posts are hilarious! Connect with Suzy hereHere’s the blurb: A poignant and heartwarming novel about friendship, ghosting, and searching for answers to life’s mysteries.When Mackenzie, Sunna, and Maude move into a converted rental house, they are strangers with only one thing in common—important people in their lives have “ghosted” them. Mackenzie’s sister, Sunna’s best friend, and Maude’s fiancé—all gone with no explanation.So when a mangled, near-indecipherable letter arrives in their shared mailbox—hinting at long-awaited answers—each tenant assumes it’s for her. The mismatched trio decides to stake out the coffee shop named in the letter—the only clue they have—and in the process, a bizarre kinship forms. But the more they learn about each other, the more questions (and suspicions) they begin to have. All the while, creepy sounds and strange happenings around the property suggest that the ghosts from their pasts might not be all that’s haunting them…Will any of the housemates find the closure they are looking for? Or are some doors meant to remain closed?Quirky, humorous, and utterly original, Sorry I Missed You is the perfect read for anyone who has ever felt haunted by their past (or by anything else).
Giveaway #3 ~ USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than thirty novels, Julianne MacLean is offering one ebook and one print copy of her most recent novel, A Fire Sparkling. Originally from Nova Scotia, she also has lived in New Zealand, Canada, and England. Currently Julianne resides on the east coast of Canada in a lakeside home with her husband and daughter.Connect with Julianne here.Here’s the blurb: A spellbinding novel about one woman’s love, loss, and courage during wartime.After a crushing betrayal by the man she loves, Gillian Gibbons flees to her family home for a much-needed escape, but when she finds an old photograph of her grandmother in the arms of a Nazi officer, Gillian’s life gets even more complicated. Rattled by the discovery, Gillian attempts to unravel the truth behind the photos, setting her off on an epic journey through the past.1939. England is on the brink of war as Vivian Hughes falls in love with a handsome British official, but when bombs begin to fall and Vivian’s happy life is destroyed in the blitz, she will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves…As Gillian learns more about her grandmother’s past, the old photo begins to make more sense. But for every question answered, a new one takes its place. Faced with a truth that is not at all what she expected, Gillian attempts to shine a light not only on the mysteries of her family’s past but also on her own future.This gorgeously written multigenerational saga is a heart-wrenching yet hopeful examination of one woman’s struggle to survive, perfect for fans of The Nightingale and Beneath a Scarlet Sky.
Good luck/Bonne chance! As always, 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 if you take a minute to thank an author when you win a free book or post a photo on Facebook, trust me, we all appreciate that more than you know.
Congratulations to the July newsletter winners: ~ oops, sorry …we are having a change of virtual assistants and I don’t have the winners’ names yet. Rest assured you will be contacted and your prizes sent. I’ll post your names in the next newsletter. Thanks for understanding.
As I mentioned above, Carol Cram is the creator of Art in Fiction, a curated database of novels inspired by the arts. As described on the website, “The Art In Fiction Podcast is a weekly show hosted by author and Art In Fiction founder Carol M. Cram. Join Carol as she delves into what makes great, arts-inspired fiction in a variety of genres, from historical fiction and mysteries to crime novels, thrillers, contemporary fiction, and more. Carol discusses writing topics and interviews a selection of top authors featured on Art In Fiction, a curated online database of novels inspired by the arts, from Music to Dance to Literature to Visual Arts and beyond.
Discover awesome novels and get the lowdown on what it takes to be a successful author of novels inspired by the arts.”
It was a pleasure to join her in a podcast where we discussed writing and the novel Drawing Lessons in particular. Click here to join us. Explore the other podcasts as well for entertaining and engaging interviews from a wide variety of genres.
Are blueberries in season where you live? Here’s a delicious recipe from Jill Colonna’s wonderful Mad About Macarons website (photo credit to Jill as well). Clafoutis is a classic French snack or dessert, often a favourite of school children when they first arrive home. Enjoy this Blueberry/Lemon offering!
Stay strong, everyone, and keep helping each other. I’m repeating myself here but these thoughts are on my mind constantly. If your health or that of someone you know has been affected, I hope the road to recovery is in sight. If there has been a tragic loss, please know everyone mourns with you.
So many of you are working from home and at the same time trying to take care of your family. Some of you are home schooling children and doing your best to keep your world and theirs revolving in some kind of “normal”. And now we have concerns about when schools will open and how teachers and students will be safe.
Families and friends are talking to each other more than ever before. Let’s keep that going.
So many of you have had your employment seriously impacted and are being forced to rethink how the rest of your life looks. You have strengths. Keep believing in yourself.
So many of you are taking risks every day and leaving the safety of your home to take care of the rest of us in a multitude of different ways.There are not enough words to express our gratitude and admiration to all of you, and also to all those people around that I see doing such thoughtful acts of kindness, day in and day out. Let’s keep believing that we will get through this by continuing to help each other.
I will keep sharing this graphic until the day comes when we can all do our part. No matter what, we will never stop saying thank you to all who keep life going for the rest of us.
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. Let’s follow guidelines, wear a mask outside and in crowds, and continue to be kind and helpful to each other. See you next month!
If you have enjoyed this newsletter, please share it!