NL #90 December 19, 2021
Well, here we go again with lockdowns and closures in spite of the best efforts of most people to be vaccinated and cautious. It’s so disappointing, but the way of the world right now. Most importantly we need to keep paying attention and taking care of ourselves and each other.
It has been heartwarming to hear from so many readers who shared positive thoughts about how they were planning to make the most of special festivities this month. Whether your traditions are for Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanza, or even if you simply celebrate each day as it comes, I hope you have found joy in special moments.
One thing that remains constant through good times and bad is the magic of story and the love we all share for books. Books capture our hearts, souls and minds. No matter what genre, they transport us into different worlds that inspire, encourage and often challenge us. They carry us away.
Here’s a quote from the beloved author, Nora Ephron. I’ve shared it before and I’m sure will do so again. I can see you all nodding agreement as you read it.
“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.”
I love this illustration! I think it says it all, don’t you?
BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS could truly be the theme for this newsletter because I am now going to share more than a few opportunities for you to pick up some good ones!
It gives me great pleasure to share a few links to add even more bliss to your reading.
I’m fortunate to have three books on sale this month. If you have already done your book buying for yourself, you can always gift ebooks to friends. It’s so easy! On Amazon, simply click the link below the words “buy now”, where it says “buy for others.” Choose your friend and the date to deliver their special gift!
And speaking of special gifts, here’s a chance to win a Kindle Fire! We are celebrating December with this giveaway. The instructions are simple and you can enter as often as you like.
‘TIS THE SEASON FOR GIVING … SO HERE’S SOMETHING FOR YOU ~ December Kindle Fire Giveaway! ~ ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT TO ENTER! GOOD LUCK!
Enter to win a new Kindle Fire. Click the link below to enter.
Here’s how to get optional extra entries: Buy any of my books and get 10 extra entries for each purchase … AND THREE OF MY BOOKS ARE ON SALE THIS MONTH ~ BONUS! EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me a copy of the receipt for 10 extra entries.
THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS WITH FRIENDS. The contest will last for all of December so enter as often as you like.
Just click here to enter ~ https://kingsumo.com/…/kindle-fire-from-author-patricia…
I’m delighted that Amazon chose Drawing Lessons for a Literature & Fiction Kindle Book deal this month and there are ten days left to pick up an ebook for $.99. Be transported to the south of France and wander the enchanting streets of charming Arles or be fascinated by the famous white horses of the Camargue.
Double click on the book trailer video below to be carried into the story. You’ve probably seen the trailer before, but I love to share it!
The next book on sale is The First Noël at the Villa des Violettes, for $1.99 until the end of December. This series was written thanks to all of you! After so many requests from readers of my Provence trilogy to write more about all the characters, this Villa des Violettes mini-series evolved and this is Book #1.
Here’s the blurb: THE LOVE IN PROVENCE CHARACTERS ARE BACK …
Everything was going so well in Kat and Philippe’s life together. Then suddenly it wasn’t.
Roman ruins delayed the work on the Villa des Violettes. The Russian drug gang might be back in the neighbourhood. On top of that, Kat had worked herself into what Molly classified as a full blown “Christmas conundrum.” Kat wanted the holidays to work perfectly as she blended a Canadian Christmas with a Provençal Fête de Noêl for the first time in their new home. Now she’d lost her confidence and, with it, the holiday spirit.
Philippe hoped a weekend trip to the famous Christmas markets of Strasbourg would solve everything.
As it happened, things were about to get worse.
I loved writing all of these books and in this first one I particularly had fun when I had Philippe take Kat to the famous Christmas markets in Strasbourg. Unfortunately they are closed this year due to Covid, but you can enjoy a little visit there in this story. Click here for the link.
Did you know December is The Bridge Club Tenth Anniversary Edition’s first book anniversary (bookiversary)? Did this year fly by or what?
Fans of this story know it is the perfect gift for your BFFs! Especially friends who love the game of bridge because included in the book are eight excellent bridge lessons contributed by Canada’s bridge guru, Audrey Grant. It’s a real BONUS for those friends, but you don’t need to play bridge to want to read this story. It’s about the friendship of these women from age twenty onward and the game of bridge is simply a side issue.
Did you read how easy it is to gift an ebook that I share earlier in this letter? In case you missed the instructions, I repeat ~ On Amazon, simply click the link below the words “buy now”, where it says “buy for others.” Here’s the link.
“A deeply touching story about the bonds of friendship, about finding our way, and the ability to dig deep to navigate the most challenging turning points in life. Patricia Sands captures readers from the atmospheric outset, drawing us in to this group of strong women. A poignant tale that left me truly grateful for my friends.” —Alison Ragsdale, bestselling author of Dignity and Grace.
While I’m on the subject of The Bridge Club, it is the perfect segue to introduce you to author R.J. Lee, who writes books that also involve the game of bridge but in a very different way than mine. His involve mystery, murder and mayhem!
J. Lee follows in the mystery-writing footsteps of his father, R. Keene Lee, who wrote fighter pilot and detective stories for Fiction House, publishers of WINGS Magazine and other pulp fiction periodicals in the late ’40s and ’50s. Lee was born and grew up in the Mississippi River port of Natchez but also spent thirty years living in the Crescent City of New Orleans. A graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee) where he studied creative writing under Sewanee Review editor, Andrew Lytle, Lee now resides in Oxford, Mississippi.
Here’s the blurb for this fourth book in his delightful series, publishing in March 2022:
BLURB ~ After receiving a mysterious message to hurry to King’s home, Wendy almost collides with the man’s real-estate rival, running out the front door insisting he found King dead when he arrived. Not just dead, it turns out, but murdered—crowned with one of his own award plaques.
R.J. is giving away two print copies. Two winners! To enter please send an email to email@example.com and let us know if you like to play the game of bridge … or not! Being a player is definitely not a prerequisite for enjoying this entertaining story.
Congratulations to last month’s winners ~ Donna Neale, Nora Conyers and Allison Scianna.
I am always grateful to author friends who generously offer free books each month and I am certain you enjoy meeting authors here 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.
Now we’re going to talk about audiobooks! Are you a fan? I definitely am and most particularly when I am in the car. I love to listen on long road trips but also turn on an audiobook when I’m running errands. It’s fun to listen to another chapter or two in between stops … and I can tell you I’ve spent a few minutes sitting in parking lots when I needed to hear what was happening next in the story!
My good friend, bestselling author of The Exit Strategy and creator of the Best of Women’s Fiction podcast, Lainey Cameron has put together this awesome Holiday Audiobook Giveaway with fifteen authors. Here are the details.
To celebrate the holidays, 15 authors have teamed up to give away 5 audiobooks each to three lucky winners! This is your chance to win audiobooks from among the best titles in women’s fiction.
Enter at bit.ly/21-audio-giveaway
Being featured on the Best Of Women’s Fiction podcast is an honor, because it means an author was considered among the best in the genre. And each of these audiobooks will entertain and hold your attention.
I’d love if you took the time to enter, and good luck!
Giveaway ends December 31st!
All the Details:
* Enter and see full rules at bit.ly/21-audio-giveaway
* Giveaway ends December 31st, 2021 at 11.59pm ET
* Giveaway sponsored by Best of Women’s Fiction podcast
* Giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Instagram or Facebook
* By giving your email you are agreeing to join the email newsletter of the participating authors but may unsubscribe at any time
* US residents only
* 3 winners of 5 audiobooks each will be chosen randomly after December 31, 2021
#womensfiction #holidaygiveaway #audiobooks
I know that is all a lot of information to process but, if you take your time exploring every one of the above offers, I’m sure you will find something of interest. I mean … how could you not? Happy shopping and good luck with any of the giveaways you enter.
Now here’s a SAVE THE DATE message from our author team at Blue Sky Book Chat. On January 8th we are inviting you to the 2nd Annual Cabin Fever Event! We had such fun with this last year and hope you will join us again . Over 100 of your favourite authors will be dropping by during the day to chat with you and offer free books and other prizes. On January 9th, one lucky name will be drawn to win the Grand Prize and choose from three options shown in the graphic below. It’s guaranteed to be a great day … invite friends to join in!
Whew! That was quite a bundle of book news! Now I’ve got to get back to writing one. I’m getting close to the end of edits and hope there might even be a spring publishing date. Stay tuned!
One thing we can do while some of our socializing is restricted this year, is stay home and bake. Do you have special recipes that you only bring out at holiday time? In our family it is my grandmother’s shortbread recipe. My mother baked these with my children and I’ve carried on with all of our grandchildren.
Here’s my Gram’s shortbread recipe. Give it a try! It’s simple and delicious!
1. 1 lb. salted butter – softened overnight
2. 1-1/2 cups golden yellow (brown) sugar (no substitution, Gram insisted)
3. 4 cups enriched white flour
In a glass or ceramic bowl, mix #1 and #2 thoroughly by hand (this is important) and then gradually add #3, again mixing by hand, until dough does not stick to bowl.
Flatten with your hand and cut cookie shapes. Add sprinkles if you like.
Bake at 330 F for 10 to 12 minutes (depending on oven) on ungreased cookie sheets.
When cookies begin to look golden brown, they are done.
You can decide how dark you like them. Enjoy plain (our favorite) or add sprinkles before baking or icing when cool.
WARNING: these cookies are extremely addictive! Let me know if you try them.
With the current disturbing news about the Omicron virus and the new restrictions we need to support, I’m a bit reluctant to talk about travel. However, it’s good to be hopeful and get excited about the possibility, right? I’ve booked my travel to France for June 2022 and will keep you posted. I hope we can all make plans to follow some dreams in the coming year.
Here are a couple of streets I hope to stroll in June.
In the meantime, we need to focus on everyone getting vaccinated, wearing masks and social distancing until we vanquish these terrible germs once and for all.
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 and continue to be kind and helpful to each other.
Treasure the memories of past holidays and believe those times will return. Stay safe.
See you next year! 2021 be gone!