NL #100 April 28, 2023
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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.
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Patricia Sands, Author
2405 Lakeshore Blvd W., Etobicoke
Ontario M8V 1C6 Canada
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Hey everyone! Join all of us who host the Women’s Fiction Fans FB page on Tuesday, March 28th, for our spring fling! We love to connect with our readers and share thoughts and comments about books you love or simply about reading in general … or anything else that’s on your mind. Ask us questions at the party, enter all the great giveaways we have planned and feel free to invite your friends!
Don’t forget to keep refreshing your FB page. That’s how you can keep up with the conversation threads. I know it gets a bit crazy at times … but you all make it so much fun!
Here’s what the schedule looks like … see you there!
Enter the special code word from the party in a comment here, for a chance to win a free audiobook of The Bridge Club! Good luck everyone!
The winner will be announced in my April newsletter. Have you subscribed yet?
The link is over there in the column to the right ============>
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.
Many of you are accustomed to seeing me involved in writing events and projects with Christine Nolfi. Collaboration is just one of the many rich and satisfying aspects of a writer’s world. Christine has also now been signed by Lake Union Publishing so we have even more opportunities to interact.
Hi Christine! It’s great fun to have you stop by for a chat!
Patricia, many thanks for the opportunity to stop by your blog! For those readers who are unaware, Patricia and I have been friends for quite a long time. She’s one of the first authors I had the luck of meeting when I began publishing.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions and give us a glimpse into your writing world.
PS ~ Have you always been drawn to writing? Was there a particular time in your life when you knew you simply had a story to share with the world?
CN ~ Like many novelists, I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t writing stories! In childhood, I had the other kids on the street convinced fairies had hidden treasures we’d find if we searched hard enough, and in high school, the literary magazine gave my stories front page billing. For many years I worked in public relations. When my children were in elementary school, I finally put storytelling front and center—the Liberty Series was the result.
CN ~ Absolutely. I’ve had the luck of an interesting life, meeting an abundance of unusual people over the years. Many of my plots begin with a memory or an idea drawn from those past experiences. For example, the underlying story of Birdie finding her roots in Treasure Me is drawn from my personal history: my French ancestors were among the first families to settle in Charleston, South Carolina in the 1680s.
PS ~ When you begin a story, do you have an outline or do you have a particular writing style?
CN ~ I can’t begin work until a general outline becomes clear, and I’m certain of the main characters’ deep motivations and desires. The plot evolves and often changes as the characters come to life on the page.
PS ~ Is there a particular novel of yours that is your favorite? Why that one?
CN ~ Although I’ve fallen in love with characters of each novel I’ve written, THE TREE OF EVERLASTING KNOWLEDGE holds a special place in my heart. The themes underpinning the story were drawn directly from my experiences as an adoptive mother. In fact, several of the scenes in the novel were inspired by actual events. Like the book’s heroine, I underwent a personal transformation while helping my children put the nightmare of an abusive early childhood behind them.
PS ~ You create strong, engaging characters in all of your stories. Are any of those personalities based on people you have actually met?
CN ~ I suspect my characters represent an amalgam of personalities I’ve met over the years. I never begin work with the notion of representing an actual person in one of my novels.
PS ~ Your new Wheaten Terrier pup, Lucy, looks like such fun and I’m sure she offers great diversion to your day. What else do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
CN ~ We adore Lucy! Barry and I moved to Charleston five years ago; in many ways, we’re still in tourist mode. We love strolling the beach, visiting the historical sites—Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the U.S., a distinctive the city shares with Boston. Lately I’ve begun researching my Postell ancestry—two weeks ago, I visited the oldest French Huguenot church, appropriately located on Church Street, and discovered the man hosting the tours was a distant cousin. The next thirty minutes were spent in astonishment as he described our ancestral connection to many of the founding families of Charleston.
PS ~ Congratulations on recently signing a contract with Amazon Publishing’s Lake Union, the women’s fiction imprint. Can you give us a sneak peek at what you will be writing for them and a publication date?
CN ~ Like the Liberty Series, the new series for Lake Union will feature a small town with a cast of quirky characters. I’ve had too much fun writing the debut to call this work! The first book will release in February 2017. The second book will release in July 2017. I hope readers enjoy these new books—I’d love to write ten or more installments for the new series!
Christine’s bio ~
Some writers are gifted with an unusual life and I’m certainly one of those. I’ve lived in Ohio, Virginia, California, Utah and now South Carolina. In college I was featured on the front page of the Houston Post for a lark that erased all my debt. I met my four adopted children for the first time in the sweltering heat of the tropics. I helped build several companies and was lucky enough to earn a living doing what I love best–writing–in a PR firm I owned.
In 2004 I made the wisest and most irrational decision of my life–I began writing fiction full-time. All those years of hard work pay off daily in sweet notes and comments by readers. Please continue the mail, tweets and comments on FaceBook, GoodReads and other sites. I cherish your support and love chatting with readers.
Discover more information about Christine’s books on her Amazon Author Page.