Newsletter #85 March 20, 2021
Mea culpa ~ In response to many who asked, I did not write a February newsletter. My excuse is that it was a short month and I ran out of time. To be honest, I also had run out of inspiration … my Covid fatigue! Thanks for understanding … and for being so concerned.
It’s official! Spring arrived today! The Vernal (Spring) Equinox apparently arrived in our part of southern Ontario at 5:37, March 20. And for our friends south of the Equator, that is of course the Autumnal (Fall) Equinox. Whichever it is for you, I hope you are happy to see the seasonal change.
Grammar rules state emphatically that the seasons are common nouns and not capitalized, but that never feels quite right to me. They feel more important than that! Oh well …
Even though I won’t be in France to enjoy this season again this year, I keep thinking of all the wisteria that will be in bloom throughout the country right about now. This month’s header photo is a sweet reminder of that.
And here are a few more wisteria memories from France … if you’ve seen them before, please enjoy again.
It will be a good few months before we see those blooms here. Do you have abundant wisteria where you live?
At the first house I ever owned in Toronto, there was a lovely vine that had been around a long time. I drive past that house from time to time and smile to see it is still healthy and beautiful.
Does it feel like spring in your neighbourhood? Here in The Blue Mountains of southern Ontario, it does feel like winter is on its way out. BUT … and that’s a big BUT … we’ve been known to have snowstorms as late as May, so I’m not counting more cold weather out at this point. The good news for skiers up here is that there is still plenty of snow on the hills and we are enjoying that after the hills were in lockdown until a few weeks ago!
Have you been reading any books lately with intriguing locations? Corsica has been on my mind recently. That’s partly because my novella, A Season of Surprises, is on sale until the end of the month. It’s Book Two in the Villa des Violettes series and in that story Kat and Philippe spend some time touring Corsica on Philippe’s vintage motorcycle. If you have not read it, now’s the time to grab a copy! $.99 US until the end of the month. Click here for the link.
My husband and I and some friends took the car ferry from Nice one summer and spent five days touring around that stunning island. I will never forget driving up vertiginous windy roads through well-forested hills and rounding a corner to suddenly see a change to a breathtaking rocky landscape. The island’s rugged beauty is as captivating as the food and culture one discovers there. Corsica is definitely well worth a visit.
And now to this month’s giveaways. It’s a pleasure to introduce you to two more of the six authors who joined me on the Pulpwood Queens panel I mentioned in my last newsletter. Bette Lee Crosby was the sixth author and we are waiting another month or two for her newest novel to be released. Then she will visit the newsletter with a giveaway. Stay tuned! If you have not read anything by these authors before, you are going to be thrilled to learn about them now.
I am so grateful to all of my author friends who generously offer free books each month. To enter to win one of these books, you know the drill … send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and, this month, mention the location of a story you have recently read. Good luck/bonne chance with the random draws for winners!
Giveaway #1 ~ Laura Kemp is offering 2 ebooks of her debut novel, Evening In The Yellow Wood. She is a teacher who loves to write about her home state of Michigan. She is not only a talented writer, but also a beautiful singer. You may have seen her perform with her Irish band during our St. Patrick’s Day Literary Parade on March 1th. Annie McDonnell’s The Write Review has links to all the videos of this entertaining day! When not writing, Laura enjoys musical theatre, hiking, swimming, reading and performing with her Celtic band- Si Bhaeg Si Mohr. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and children as well as her dog, two hamsters, two gerbils, ten chickens, two horses and eight (and counting) cats.
Connect with Laura here.
Here’s the blurb: Abandoned by an eccentric father on the eve of her twelfth birthday, Justine Cook has lived with her fair share of unanswered questions. Now, ten years later she leaves her life in southern Michigan and heads north to the mysterious town of Lantern Creek after seeing his picture in a local newspaper. Once there, she discovers her father had been leading a double life and meets the autistic brother she never knew—a young man who is mute but able to read her mind.
When a local girl who looks like Justine is mysteriously murdered, she joins forces with sheriff’s deputy Dylan Locke to capture the killer. But the more they dig for clues to the past, the closer they come to discovering a secret someone will kill to protect. Justine begins to show signs of supernatural power and eventually must stop an immortal enemy that has hunted her family for generations.
Giveaway #2 ~ Diane Zinn is offering two ebooks of her debut novel, The All-Night Sun. Diane is originally from Long Island, New York. She formerly worked at AWP, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs and also created the Writer to Writer Mentorship Program, helping to match more than six hundred writers. She helped develop the #WritersServe project, which spotlights free writing workshops happening in settings such as hospitals, prisons, and shelters. Diane also taught creative writing for ten years at colleges in the Washington, DC area. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with her husband and daughter.
Connect with Diane here.
Here’s the blurb: Lauren Cress teaches writing at a small college outside of Washington, DC. In the classroom, she is poised, smart, and kind, well liked by her students and colleagues. But in her personal life, Lauren is troubled and isolated, still grappling with the sudden death of her parents ten years earlier. She seems to exist at a remove from everyone around her until a new student joins her class: charming, magnetic Siri, who appears to be everything Lauren wishes she could be. They fall headlong into an all-consuming friendship that makes Lauren feel as though she is reclaiming her lost adolescence.
When Siri invites her on a trip home to Sweden for the summer, Lauren impulsively accepts, intrigued by how Siri describes it: green, fresh, and new, everything just thawing out. But once there, Lauren finds herself drawn to Siri’s enigmatic, brooding brother, Magnus. Siri is resentful, and Lauren starts to see a new side of her friend: selfish, reckless, self-destructive, even cruel. On their last night together, Lauren accompanies Siri and her friends on a seaside camping trip to celebrate Midsommar’s Eve, a night when no one sleeps, boundaries blur, and under the light of the unsetting sun, things take a dark turn.
Ultimately, Lauren must acknowledge the truth of what happened with Siri and come to terms with her own tragic past in this gorgeously written, deeply felt debut about the transformative relationships that often come to us when things feel darkest.
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 last month’s winners: Sharon Haan, Laurie Nelson, Lisa Hudson, Sharon Person, Patricia Ratcliff, Peggy Clark.
Have you joined the Blue Sky Book Chat facebook group? If not, I hope you will click on that link and become part of our book-loving community. There’s nothing for you to do except enjoy the camaraderie and great information about books and authors.
One of the entertaining things you will find on Blue Sky are great author chats and this Sunday evening is not exception. Two weeks ago Bette Lee Crosby and Kay Bratt went viral!
Now here’s what we have going this Sunday (21st) ~ check out this graphic! I know! How exciting is this? The Chicken Sisters was a recent Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick and we’re excited to have K.J. Dell’Antonia dropping by! I hope you will join us. Mark your calendar and be sure to say hello. Here’s the link.
Speaking of sales, THE BRIDGE CLUB TENTH ANNIVERSARY EDITION remains on sale until the end of March. $.99 US.
With Mother’s Day coming up this is a great gift for mothers and grandmothers and bridge players too! Bridge is not a big part of the story, but at the end of eight chapters there is an in-depth bridge hand + advice for playing contributed by Canada’s bridge expert, Audry Grant. A real bonus for those who love the game!
I was lurking on Janine Marsh’s fabulous The Good Life France page and notice she had posted her recipe for Pain Perdu / French toast. Do you follow this site? If you don’t, you really should. There’s no other better place to find everything you want to know about France. I know I have shared another recipe for this before, but I trust everything Janine does. Here’s the recipe she shared! I’m going to make it tomorrow morning! Bon appétit.
I think we are all beginning to breathe a little easier as vaccinations roll out. But there’s still a lot we don’t know about Covid, so please continue to take care of each other and listen to the experts. We aren’t out of the woods yet but hopefully we are getting there.
My heart goes out to those suffering loss in so many ways.My gratitude and admiration to all those people 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 again. 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.
Spring is here and with it vaccinations and forward movement to better things. Keep believing!
If you have enjoyed this newsletter, please share it!