|View in browserNewsletter #78 May 28, 2020|
Here comes June! May seemed to blow by in the blink of an eye, in spite of continuing to shelter at home. How was it for you?
Along with all my writing projects, I continued to treat myself to reading more books in a month than I ever have before. I also visited with a few wonderful book clubs via Zoom, which is always a lot of fun. (I’d love to visit with yours!) There were many family/friends Zoom chats and online bridge games too. Seriously, our social calendar was b u s y … and we didn’t have to dress up!
The best news here is that our Corona Virus numbers continue to decrease. Another reason to celebrate is that spring finally arrived in Toronto. What a difference it makes to go out for a walk in warm sunshine and see beautiful blossoms all around. I hope you are experiencing the same good weather and seeing the same kind of beauty around you.
I spend a good deal of time lingering in my photos which I love to share on social media and here with you. I also use the images as writing prompts … and even more, as a way to feel pure pleasure. Particularly now when we can’t necessarily go where we may want to be. That, as you know, for me is the south of France. So here are a few shots for us to enjoy together, almost as if we were there at this time of year.
The newsletter header shot is a park in Nice and this gorgeous tree below is a jacaranda, always in bloom at this time. The first time I ever saw one was in Australia and I was surprised to discover them in France. Do you have these where you live?I’ve been busy working on preparing box sets of The Villa des Violettes Complete Collection and can now tell you that these ebooks are available on Amazon, Kobo, and Nook. All three novellas that were published last year are together here. The print copy is also available and it’s a BIG book! Lots of good reading there. 🙂
So much of what we do in writing is a collaborative experience. My friend, renowned Florida Everglades artist and conservationist, JoAnn Sanborn, created the wagon full of violets for these sets and inside you still see the wonderful covers created by Clare Strohman and Donna Fedele. The formatting talents of Carolyn Ring pulled everything together. I’m so grateful for their friendship and the opportunity to work together. These days I am busy working on the 10th anniversary edition of The Bridge Club which will publish in the autumn. It’s great fun for me to be back on the pages with these women. As I work, I’m listening to the music from the 1960’s on as the story works through the decades and I’m loving it! I will keep you updated as things progress. It’s hard to believe it is ten years this summer since the book was first published! The original story will have a new edit and there will be an entirely new chapter added at the end bringing you up to date on these great friends. I’m honoured and excited to share with you that there will be eight brand new bridge hands contributed by Canada’s own international bridge expert, Audrey Grant! How cool is that?
There also will be a new cover, on which we’ve already begun to work.June is going to bring a big sale from Amazon for the Love in Provence trilogy. With over 2000 reviews and a 4.3 out of 5 star rating, readers all over the world love these stories. All three ebooks will all be available for $.99 each in the USA for the whole month. Now is the time to pick them up as gifts for others if you already have yours. The sale begins June 1. Click right here for your copies.Alrighty, time to show you this month’s giveaways. I’m happy to say that all three authors are Lake Union Publishing ‘sisters’ and Sandi Kahn Shelton is also part of our very special author team at Blue Sky Book Chat. As always, to enter simply send your email to email@example.com. This month let us know what you are most looking forward to doing once the world around you opens up little by little. Please specify your choice of book. All winning names are randomly drawn. Good luck! Bonne chance!
Giveaway #1 ~ Sandi Kahn Shelton aka Maddie Dawson is offering an ebook and a print copy of her hot off the press new release A Happy Catastrophe. Her bio is long and hilarious. The short story is that she grew up in the South, born into a family of outrageous storytellers–the kind of storytellers who would sit on the dock by the lake in the evening and claim that everything they say is THE absolute truth, like, stack-of-Bibles true. The more outlandish the story, the more it likely it was to be true. Or so they said. Today she lives in Connecticut and turned out pretty normal, as she says: married, children, dishes in the sink, deadlines, laundry, sleep deprivation, toothpaste cap lost, cashmere sweater in the dryer by accident. Connect with Sandi by clicking here.Here’s the blurb: Marnie MacGraw and Patrick Delaney have been in love for a few years now, enough to realize that they are imperfectly perfect together. Still, there are some things that maybe need a little attention. Marnie’s ebullient; he’s brooding. She thrives on change; he prefers stability. She sees marriage and parenthood in their future, but he can’t see beyond the shadow of an earlier tragedy.Then an eight-year-old surprise from Patrick’s past shows up on their doorstep, cartwheeling into their lives and spinning things in all directions. While it’s not exactly the change she envisioned, it looks like instant family to Marnie. But Patrick, afraid of being hurt again, retreats further into himself. Suddenly, two very different pieces of a beautiful puzzle find it harder and harder to fit. How can Marnie trust in the magic of the universe when it seems to be doing its best to knock her off her feet?But some love stories are worth waiting for. And what’s love without a little chaos anyway?
Giveaway #2 ~ Camille Noe Págan is offering one ebook and one print copy of her recent novel, This Won’t End Well. I love her quirky characters and laugh-out-loud humour. In her words, her fiction focuses on love, loss, and making the most of this wonderfully messy life. She is also a journalist specializing in health, (articles in The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Parade, Time, or WebMD.) and most recently served as the health editor at Real Simple magazine. She has lived in Brooklyn and Chicago and is now settled in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband, two children and a nutty dog (her words!). Connect with Camille by clicking here.Here’s the blurb: No new people: that’s Annie Mercer’s vow. It’s bad enough that her boss sabotaged her chemistry career and her best friend tried to cure her with crystals. But after her fiancé, Jon, asks for space while he’s gallivanting around Paris, Annie decides she needs space too—from everyone. Yet when Harper moves in next door, Annie can’t help but train a watchful eye on the glamorous but fragile young woman. And if keeping Harper safe requires teaming up with Mo, a maddeningly optimistic amateur detective, who is she to mind her own business?Soon Annie has let not one but two new people into her life. Then Jon reappears—and he wants her to join him in France. She’s pretty sure letting anyone get close won’t end well. So she must decide: Is another shot at happiness worth the risk?
Giveaway #3 ~ Steena Holmes has a brand new release, The Perfect Secret, and she is offering a print copy to one lucky reader. Steena and I met ten years ago when we were both new to publishing and I treasure our friendship. She lives in in Calgary with her husband, three daughters and assorted dogs, including the cutest muse ever, Charlie. In Steena’s words, “For me, realizing my passion was to write, that THAT is who I am, I started to find joy in the roles I played in my life. Mother, wife, friend, entrepreneur … Now everything I do is about my passion. Whether it’s traveling, writing, enjoying each cup of coffee or snuggling with my sweet Charlie…I am determined to live my life with passion and live it fully.”
Connect with Steena by clicking here.Here’s the blurb: Everyone has secrets—some deadlier than others. She was on cloud nine after accepting an offer of a lifetime. A simpler life than what she was accustomed to. What could go wrong? Starla Bishop learned to survive in the foster-care-to-jail system in New York City. There she learned the tools and skills she put to work later to con jewel thieves, drug traffickers, and mobsters out their fortunes. Now fresh out of her latest stint in jail, she accepts a too-good-to-refuse offer—a perfect life on a silver platter. Starla has everything she ever wished for: a simpler life, a normal life, a new start with new job, a straight job—as receptionist for Soil and Springs Landscaping run by a famous botanist. And it got even better—a whirlwind romance and engagement to her boss’s charming ex-husband.
But everything comes with a price. When bodies start turning up in the gardens of her employer, Soil and Springs Landscaping, Starla and her fiancé are hauled into jail for questioning. The revelation of Starla’s secret, previous life and her special skills make her a prime suspect.
How much does Starla want the perfect life, and did she use her special skills to keep it, or is this just her biggest con yet? The shocking truth is closer than anyone thinks?
Everyone has secrets, some worth killing for.
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 trust me, we all appreciate that more than you know.
Here are the lucky winners from last month: Lynn Washington Rettig, Fran Thomson, Veneta, Clare O’Beara, Lysette Lam,
Linda Moore, Karen Mercer, Michele Waite,
Don’t forget to sign up for our Blue Sky Book Chat monthly newsletter! Have you joined our group of welcoming book lovers? Do you pop by our page to join in the great chat and giveaways? I hang out there every day with good friends Bette Lee Crosby, Alison Ragsdale, Peggy Lampman, Sandi Kahn Shelton, Marilyn Simon Rothstein, Judy Keim, Barbara Davis-author, Kerry Schafer, Loretta Nyhan~ join us!
Blue Sky Book Chat followers and friends will now be able to sign up for our newsletter!! We’re excited to be able to offer you this chance to know more about us, our books, and, of course, to have some bookish fun! Sign up now to get a free download of our favorite recipes!! Here’s the link: https://bit.ly/2Smq0I5
Are you getting tired of cooking during these days of home confinement? I know I am! I envy people who love to prepare three meals a day … day after day. You are blessed!For all those Francophiles who would like to serve some traditional French cuisine, Rachel Ray has put together a fabulous collection of recipes … EASY recipes … the kind I love! Take your pick from thirty recipes right here. Bon appétit!Hang in there, everyone. We are slowly making progress against this terrible virus. 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”. 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 continue 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 are mentioned below.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.
Please stay safe. 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!
Patricia Sands, AuthorPO Box 175, Toronto
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Love In Provence series
Wherever you are, I hope you are warm and safe. There are so many crazy weather patterns in the world today, we never know what is coming next. I hope this photo brings a little Côte d’Azur warmth to you!
But I do know what is coming next in my writing world … Book 3 in the Villa des Violettes series. The cover reveal is happening today on a few special Facebook pages like the buzzabulous A Novel Bee, the exciting book review group The Write Review and my book loving reader group, Patricia’s Readers’ Rendezvous. I’ll share more details about the new book in the next few days. I’m happy to be bringing the Love in Provence characters back to you again for a visit.
Bon weekend tout le monde!
If you are in France (or Louisiana, hello N’awlins!), it’s again time to celebrate … oui … bien sûr … more food! Don’t you love it? This time it’s all about a rich, almond cream (frangipane) enveloped by layers of light, flaky pastry (feuilleté).
Another joyful opportunity to bring friends and family around the table to share La Galette des Rois/The Kings’ Cake, takes place on the first Sunday of January or January 6th and recognizes Epiphany, the arrival of the three wise men (Magis). The history of this special pastry can be traced to Roman times.
If you read my Love in Provence series, Kat first finds out about the tradition in Book #2, Promises to Keep.
During the French Revolution, the name was replaced with ‘Gâteau de l’Égalité’ (equality cake), as the word ‘king’ was a little out of fashion!
It’s so popular, many patisseries make the scrumptious cake through the entire month of January.
The cake is cut in the specific number of slices for the people present, with one extra symbolic slice for the first poor person passing by. The youngest child (or the most innocent adult, if no children are present, which can result in great hilarity) goes under the table and calls out who will receive each slice to ensure fair distribution. The greatest excitement comes when one person discovers la fève (a lucky charm) hidden in a single slice. Just don’t accidentally bit down on it … they’re usually a small porcelain or plastic trinket!
Click here to read an excellent account of the history and traditions of this special fête by my friend, Margo Lestz.
NEWS FLASH! The ebook of Drawing Lessons is on sale for January ~ $.99 ~ I love it when Amazon offers our books to more readers by putting on promotions. If you haven’t read this engaging story, set around Arles and the Camargue, now’s your chance! If you are one of thousands who have read and enjoyed it, pick up a copy or two for friends. It’s so easy to gift from Amazon. Happy reading! Bonne lecture! Eat it with cake. 🙂
This sale is over at the end of June, so don’t miss out!
I’m always happy when I see a message from Amazon Marketing letting me know one of my novels is on sale. Along with word of mouth, these sales are the best way for readers to discover new stories. For those of you who already have these ebooks, now’s the time to do some shopping for birthdays or other special occasions for friends and family. Just click here ~ happy shopping!
Did you know that the Villa des Violettes series continues the story of the characters from these books? Thanks to so many requests from readers, it’s been fun for me to continue writing about Kat’s ongoing adventures in the south of France. I’m glad you are enjoying them too.