NL #100 April 28, 2023
Bonjour! In case you don’t receive my newsletter, I’m happy to share it with you
My memories of a spring visit to this chateau in the Loire Valley are keeping my spirits high today. With random snow alerts popping up on my phone screen, I’m still waiting for spring to truly arrive here in southern Ontario. How are things in your part of the world?
Here’s something that’s warming my heart these days. THE SECRETS WE HIDE was recently honoured with the Book Excellence Award for 2023 in the Women’s Fiction category. This international book awards competition recognizes books for their high quality design, writing and overall market appeal. I’m so proud of the recognition of this story and want to thank Tiffany Yates Martin for her superb editing skills and encouragement throughout the entire process.
Now here come the giveaways!
To celebrate the award, I’m giving away two ebooks of The Secrets We Hide this month along with the following two great giveaway opportunities!
CRAZY TO LEAVE YOU by Marilyn Simon Rothstein, who is offering two ebooks! This is Marilyn’s third novel and a hilarious but poignant story that is great entertainment.
Blurb: From the author of Husbands and Other Sharp Objects comes a witty, bighearted novel about the happy accidents that lead to love and second chances.Forty-one years old, the last of her friends to marry, and down to a size 12, Lauren Leo is in her gown and about to tie the knot. There’s just one thing missing: the groom. With one blindsiding text, Lauren is unceremoniously dumped at the altar.In the aftermath, her mother is an endless well of unsolicited advice (Stay on your diet and freeze your eggs). Her sisters only add to the Great Humiliation: one is planted on Lauren’s couch while the other is too perfect.Picking her heart up off the floor, Lauren turns to her work in advertising as she gathers courage to move on and plan her next step. She should know by now that nothing in life goes according to plan. What lies ahead is the road to self-acceptance and at long last feeling worthy. With a new way to measure love and success, Lauren chucks her scale—and finds a second chance in the most unexpected place.
Christine Nolfi is offering two ebooks of her most recent bestseller, A BRIGHTER FLAME. Check out her website to learn more about her busy life and many other novels.
Blurb: She’s always wanted a sense of belonging. The last place she expects to find it is home.Vale Lightner’s dreams turn to ash when the Pittsburgh bar she owns goes up in flames. Just like the past she escaped, very little seems salvageable. Facing unavoidable change, Vale returns to her hometown of Philadelphia to stay with her grandmother.She knows that returning also means facing everything she left behind: a mother and stepfather who shunted her into the background from the day they married, and her charmed and favored half sister, Blythe, who has abandoned a perfect marriage and is now at a crossroads of her own. Everyone has their secrets, and this reunited family racked by them is about to reach a crisis point.For a mother and her two daughters, this reunion is a chance for closure, newfound love, and forgiveness. As each of them reassesses her own memories of the past, only the truth can bring them together—in ways that could last forever. From the bestselling author of The Passing Storm comes a poignant novel about family secrets, healing, and the hope of second chances.
It’s always a pleasure to offer these giveaways to you! I hope you are pleased to meet authors who might be new to you and to connect 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. As always, to enter, simply send your email with your choice of book to firstname.lastname@example.org. This month share with us the title of your favourite read this month.
Both Christine and Marilyn are also on the author team of our Blue Sky Book Chat community. This is a fabulous and fun Facebook page where readers and writers gather to share book chat, have awesome giveaways and celebrate the love of literacy, life and laughter! Have you joined? If not, you will be glad you did. Just click here, answer two simple questions that Facebook insists we ask.
More book news! Lost At Sea is on sale for a couple of weeks at $1.99. If you have not picked this book up so you can cruise the sparkling Mediterranean, now is a good time for that. You might want to read the entire series! Each one is so different in setting and plot, you will experience a new vacation with each book! Ship Ahoy!
This Month’s Free Read!
As you know, I’ve joined with eleven other author friends to make a free book available to our loyal newsletter subscribers each month in 2023! There’s nothing to do except click on the Book Funnel link and download your copy.
We thought it would be a great way to say thanks to all of you! Of course, we would all be grateful if you could take a few minutes after you finish the book to post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, BookBub, KoBo, Barnes & Noble and wherever else books are sold. It takes a few extra moments to copy and paste the same review into each platform. A few short sentences expressing your feelings about the story is all that is needed and helps the author immensely. Thank you so very much in advance.
Here’s the link to this month’s book, Blind Eye by S.W. Hubbard.
Download before the end of the month.
In March I mentioned that a very good friend of mine, author Heather Burch, had recently been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.
Here is how she shared her news with us: “It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. Last week, John took me to the ER where we found out I have a very aggressive brain tumor. Although it is considered operable, between the brain surgery, chemotherapy and radiation I would have to undergo, the outcome is not favorable and would only extend my life by a few months. In those months, I would be very sick. Right now, I feel great. I’m enjoying time with family —sitting and talking and laughing a lot. I don’t feel sick. I’ve decided to opt out of treatment because the benefit does not outweigh the cost. So in the next three months, John and I plan to take our granddaughter Nevaeh to Disney World for her very first visit. The rest of my time I will spend visiting friends and with family and of course, John will be at my side every moment of every day. He withdrew from the Medical Dosimetry school that he’s been in for the last several months. They have guaranteed him a spot to return later—that makes me very happy. If you’re wondering, I have no fear. I am full of faith, and I know that when I step off this planet, I will step right into heaven. If you have my phone number, feel free to call or text me. I’m not able to answer every call, but if you leave a message, I will call you back when I can. Texting is pretty easy for me too so that’s a great option. I am very blessed by the circle of friends that I have had over the years. I cannot tell you how much you mean to me, and how valuable you are. Thank you for the support over the years and through this difficult time. Please believe me when I say we can feel your love and prayers.”
One thing I love about being an author is the way the writing community around the world supports each other. Author Cindy Kirk immediately set up a GoFundMe account to help Heather’s family cope with some of the many unexpected medical expenses. If there is any way you might be able to make a donation of any amount (every dollar counts), here is the link.
I thank you in advance. We never know when tragedy may strike any one of us. Millions of readers have enjoyed Heather’s bestselling books. Click here to check them out …why not order a few?
Memories of the South of France Tour
It will come as no surprise that I’ve begun counting the days until I get to spend time in France in September. I believe there is one spot open in our unforgettable 12-day Memories of the South of France tour (that is based on my novels and way too much fun!) from September 11 to 23.Come and join us or share the information with any friends ~ click here for all the details.
By now the Provençal sun is beginning to warm the soil, although days can still be chilly. The bushy, fragrant scrubland (the garrigue or maquis I often write about) in the limestone hills, forests, and along the Mediterranean coast, fills the air with scents of rosemary, wild thyme and Mediterranean pine. Before long, bursts of color will paint the landscape with purple-pink centranthus, yellow broom and red poppies. The visual feast begins … after this, bring on the sunflowers and lavender!
It’s also time for freshly harvested asparagus … white, purple and green … to appear in the local marchés. This is truly synonymous with spring in Provence. Of course there will be asparagus festivals … who celebrates food better than the French?
White asparagus is the most eagerly awaited. Vulnerable, it needs protection from the sun as it grows and is best lightly boiled or roasted until it is tender. My French friends assure me it is seldom eaten alone, but usually married with a sauce (the classics are hollandaise in the north, vinaigrette in the south). And it is devoured in abundance before it disappears in June.
Click here for an article that offers good information for serving this springtime delight! Are you a fan?
That’s it for now, my friends. Stay well, 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!
If you have read the The Bridge Club or any of the Love in Provencebooks or any of my novels and can find a minute to leave a short review on Amazon and Goodreads. I thank you in advance.
AmazonUS | AmazonCA | AmazonFR | B&N | iTunes
Patricia Sands, Author
2405 Lakeshore Blvd W., Etobicoke
Ontario M8V 1C6 Canada
You received this email because you signed up on my website.Unsubscribe
News Flash! The Secrets We Hide has received a Book Excellence Award!
Authors take a chance when they enter a book award competition, knowing there are thousands of excellent novels published to which ours will be compared. But this is part of the journey of publishing that helps writers grow and learn more about their craft. Yes, we do take chances.
I am incredibly excited to announce that I have been recognized as a Book Excellence Award Winner for my book, THE SECRETS WE HIDE, in the Women’s Fiction Category.
Out of thousands of books that were entered into the Book Excellence Awards competition, the notification of my award stated that my book was “selected for its high quality writing, design and overall market appeal”.
To view my complete award listing, you can click here. Since the award is new, the listing may not be complete yet.
I was delighted to see my dear friend, author Alison Ragsdale, winning the award for best novel in the Family Category. I highly recommend Dignity & Grace ~ a fine story! And what an honour us to be recognized in the Winner Category with the amazing Adriana Trigiani, beloved by millions around the world, who won in the Historical category.
The Secrets We Hide was released in August 2022 and is a captivating story of the highs and lows of life’s journey, including the complexities of living with a loved one with a mental illness and dealing with grief. The story is set in enticing locations in Hawaii, Japan and France, with hope, friendship, trust and love interwoven throughout.
The book is perfect for readers of Kristin Hannah and Jodi Picoult, who enjoy a story about second chances.
When you do read this story, I encourage you to leave a brief review where you purchase the book and also on Goodreads and Bookbub if possible (simply copy and paste it). Just say why you like the story (no need for anything longer, unless you wish to share more thoughts) and know that every review is greatly appreciated by authors.
Thanks so much for sharing in my good news! Happy reading!
April 1, 2023
If it’s Friday, it must be France …
Happy April 1st! I hope you enjoy this repost of mine. Some things never change!
Imagine my surprise the first time I was in France on April 1st and found children sticking paper fish on my back, whispering and giggling and then hollering “poisson d’avril”!
As Wikipedia explains: “In Italy, France and Belgium, children and adults traditionally tack paper fishes on each other’s back as a trick and shout “April fish!” in their local languages (pesce d’aprile!, poisson d’avril! and aprilvis! in Italian, French and Flemish, respectively). Such fish feature prominently on many late 19th- to early 20th-century French April Fools’ Day postcards.
I had no idea where the tradition began and, after a bit of searching, found this explanation on France Travel Guide.
“Although the origin of April Fools is obscure and debated, the most widely accepted explanation actually credits the “holiday” as starting in France. The most popular theory about the origin of April Fool’s Day involves the French calendar reform of the sixteenth century.
The theory goes like this: In 1564 King Charles IX of France reformed the calendar, moving the start of the year from the end of March to January 1. However, in a time without trains, a reliable post system or the internet, news often traveled slow and the uneducated, lower class people in rural France were the last to hear of and accept the new calendar. Those who failed to keep up with the change or who stubbornly clung to the old calendar system and continued to celebrate the New Year during the week that fell between March 25th and April 1st, had jokes played on them. Pranksters would surreptitiously stick paper fish to their backs. The victims of this prank were thus called Poisson d’avril, or April Fish—which, to this day, remains the French term for April Fools—and so the tradition was born.”
Boulangeries and patisseries deliciously get into the spirit with fish-shaped goodies. Oh … and did I mention the chocolatiers? Schools of fish of all sizes fill shop windows, the larger ones often filled with smaller treats. To a chocoholic, fish never tasted so good!
Since Easter usually falls around the same time, fish feature predominantly in shop windows through that holiday as well.
Maybe we should adopt a symbol for April Fool’s Day in North America, so there would be a good excuse to buy special chocolates on that day over here. Not that we ever really need an excuse for chocolate …
Wherever you are, have fun on April 1st and enjoy some chocolate.
My friend, author Margo Lestz, has this tidbit to share on her blog about April 1:
“The annual “April Fish” in Nice, France ~
The city of Nice has its own special April Fool’s joke. Normally there is a cannon shot every day at noon from a hill overlooking the town. (It’s really a firecracker, but it used to be a cannon so they still call it one. You can read more about it here.) This noonday boom alerts the people of Nice that it’s lunchtime and it goes off every day at exactly noon. That is, every day except on April 1st when the “cannon” goes off one hour early and everyone is thrown off schedule. If you are in Nice on April 1st listen carefully after the boom and you might be able to hear a shout from the hilltop – “April Fish!”
Take some time and visit her website, The Curious Rambler, for entertaining posts about traditions and history based on her extensive travels in France, Italy and England.
Are you a prankster on April 1st or do you just grit your teeth and hope the day will pass quickly? Is there one April Fool’s Day joke in particular that you will never forget?
Here’s something that’s no joke! All of the Sail Away series is now available in ebook and paperback. It was great fun to collaborate with seven author friends and write these stories to whisk you across several seas! No surprise, my story LOST AT SEA is set on a Mediterranean cruise. Readers of my books will have a smile when they suddenly see a brief appearance of some beloved characters! Of course there are a few ports of call in France ~ pourquoi pas??? ~ as the cruise goes from Barcelona to Sicily.
Each story has a different vibe as they are all standalone ~ quick, engaging and satisfying reads at around 200 pages each. Put your feet up and enjoy all the cruises!
See you next time! Happy reading!
I hope you have been following along with all the posts about our cool Sail Away series! Now that all nine books have been published, the authors are going to celebrate with a Zoom chat this evening on Kay Bratt’s Facebook author page. Join us from a comfy chair at home … a great way to travel! Party time!
There may be surprises!
See you there!
And here’s a great reminder, posted by Ev Bishop, about the entire series.
I’m so excited to share that ALL the books in Sail Away are out now! 🥰🥳In eBook AND print! These binge-worthy novellas are PERFECT for a weekend getaway – literally, like take them with you to read on a trip, OR (my favorite way to travel) from the comfort of your favorite reading chair!
FIRST BOOK IS STILL FREE!
Don’t wait another day. Sail away with me, Tammy Grace, Patricia Sands, Kay Bratt, Violet Howe, Sarah Elizabeth Bromke, Judy Keim, and Author Jessie Newton today!
Each of us will take you on a stand-alone sea adventure filled with friendship, healing, some romance, and all the heartfelt storytelling you crave.
Welcome Aboard, the prologue book, features a sneak peek into each of the Sail Away Series novellas. Grab them today and experience the waves, the wind, and the call of the birds in the Sail Away series!
★ Don’t miss a SAIL AWAY book!★
Book 1: Welcome Aboard – prologue book from all authors
Book 2: The Sound of the Sea by Jessie Newton
Book 3: Uncharted Waters by Tammy L. Grace
Book 4: A Not So Distant Shore by Ev Bishop
Book 5: Caroline, Adrift by Kay Bratt
Book 6: Moonlight on the Lido Deck by Violet Howe
Book 7: The Winning Tickets by Judith Keim
Book 8: Lost At Sea by Patricia Sands
Book 9: The Last Port of Call by Elizabeth Bromke
Here’s more good news to share!
Spring seems to be the season for giveaways, and I have another one for you!
This time, it’s a collection of FREE women’s fiction reads from over a dozen bestselling authors. Some of them you already know and love, and some may be new to you! Yes, you read that correctly, just go to this link and all the books listed are available to you FREE until March 28. Don’t miss this special opportunity!
I’ve included a copy of THE SECRETS WE HIDE, which recently won a book excellence award … YAY! If you haven’t read it yet, this is your opportunity to read it for free.
You are welcome! Enjoy adding free new reads to your TBR list! Happy Spring!