In Bloom

imageOver the weekend, my backdoor garden has come into bloom.

Except for a bit of weeding (which I, sadly, rarely get to), this garden is self-sustaining, filled with perennials, many of them gifted to me by my dear father before he died. The tea roses are from cuttings he brought from the Homestead (originally brought there from his mother’s tea roses in Massachusetts). My Grandma Reed died the summer before I was born, but I feel like I “know” her a little through the stories my father told me about her quiet, intelligent nature, her inventive and hearty cooking, and her beautiful flower gardens.

The iris are quintessentially my father: he loved this kind of large, colorful – and some scented – iris. These are all gifts from him, with his favorite being what he called the “blue and whites” that are in the foreground. I feature one, even, in my family-life-love-loss-hope-filled novel Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven.

We spoke many times about the mysteries of life, the Universe, energies, and what the afterlife might hold. I detail some of those conversations and thoughts in the novel as well – but I like to think that the tangible  beauty of this garden speaks to that in a different way. It blooms every year, all on its own, bringing joy, a feast for the senses, and happy memories that keep uplifting emotions and treasured people in the forefront of my thoughts.

And it reminds me yet again that love might change form, but it never truly dies.

Print Advertising – Yes or No?

Moose Tracks SUM.16 Third Vertical V05I suppose that’s not really a fair question in that I’m committed to this first stab at print advertising…I’ve already paid the fee to have a print ad produced and for it to appear in in the Summer and Autumn quarterly issues of Foreword Reviews, in an effort to maximize on the news that Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven (which is on sale now!) has been named a finalist in their prestigious Book of the Year Awards.

As I’m sure you’ve already deduced, this is the ad. What do you think? It was created (with some back and forth input from me) by talented graphic designer Barbara Hodge, who works freelance but also works in a design capacity for Foreword Reviews as well. It will be 1/3 of a page in the glossy print magazine (which is also available to subscribers in a digital reader online).

I guess I’m tossing the question from the post’s title out there to see what any of your thoughts on the matter are. I don’t have a background in marketing, nor am I a large-scale book-buyer (though I do buy a LOT of books! 🙂 ).

Basically, I’m wondering whether or not you as a consumer believe that print ads have any effect on your purchasing choices…or if you are an author, if print ads have been successful or not for you or other authors you know? I’m trying a few different things, and though I realize there are many “free” ways to market (like a web presence etc), my efforts at that are often sporadic, as many of you who follow me here know, due to life/day job circumstances outside my control; that’s why I’m looking to widen the process where I can.

So…please chime in! Do print ads work for you as a reader, buyer, or author? What makes you “notice” and try the work of a new author? I’m open to any and all suggestions (though depending on the cost of them in time or money, I may not be able to actually put them into practice, LOL) 🙂

Fire away with your thoughts (and/or feedback on this particular ad…I’m all ears!)!

 

Award-Winning Novel SALE!

MooseTracks_CoverFor a limited time…my award-winning, full-length general fiction/women’s fiction novel Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven is available in e-book from Amazon for just $3.99! That’s $10 off the print price!

Described as “Fried Green Tomatoes meets Prairie Home Companion”, this novel is set in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains and is over 100,000 words/300+ trade size print pages. If you’ve been waiting to give something new a try, now is your chance.

For those who are new to this site, you can click on the title to be taken to the book page, where you can read an excerpt and learn more about the book. Click on the word “Amazon” above to be taken to the sale page for your e-book copy. In the meantime, from the back cover blurb:

“…Humorous, poignant, and endearing (Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven)…is a tender foray into the emotional landscape of family, friendship, and the kind of love that transcends boundaries, weaving an inspiring tale about what it means to hang on before learning to let go . . . and remembering how to keep living when you lose someone you love.”

I hope you’ll give it a try, and enjoy a new read at a bargain!

 

Happy Spring!

Although it’s quite chilly here in Upstate, New York, it’s been sunny and a lovely, brisk first day of Spring.

 

imageI put out my “spring-themed” flag in the front (I have 8 or so flags, to match the seasons, though I always seem to be adding more…I just put away the green spangled Saint Patrick’s Day flag).

 

 

imageAnd the first harbingers of Spring, since I can remember, have begun to poke their little blue heads from the soil next to the house. Apparently they’re called Scilla siberica (Siberian squill or wood squill). We always called them the “little blue flowers” when I was growing up. They spread a lovely-hued carpet of blooms next to the old homestead, and the autumn before my father died, he (presciently) dug me a rectangular bit of that turf from home and brought it the 1.5 hours or so to my house, so I could have a patch of them growing every Spring. Just another reason I love him and another reason to always think of him whenever I look at the beauty of those flowers.

 

Happy Spring to one and all!

2015 Book of The Year Finalist!

FINAL COVER MOOSE TRACKS

Feeling the #indielove! Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven has been chosen as a Foreword Reviews’ prestigious #INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards finalist in #General Fiction! In a competition with over 1500 other entrants, it’s pretty great to have made it this far. Stay tuned for the winner announcements at the end of June, at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, in Orlando, FL.

Click HERE to go to the list of General Fiction Finalists, and HERE if you want to go directly to the finalist page for Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven.

Woohoo! 🙂

Foreword Reviews “Reviewer’s Choice” Award!

FINAL COVER MOOSE TRACKSJust in time for Christmas…

I’m delighted to share that Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven has received a “Reviewer’s Choice” Award from Foreword Reviews, the preeminent Indie Book Review Quarterly.

Considering that the quarterly publishes more than 600 book reviews annually, this nod for Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven – one of only 15 chosen for the year – is a real honor, and I am thrilled.

Just click on FOREWORD REVIEWS right here and it will take you to the blog posting and the list of books named. Mine is the sixth one down, with the original review by Maya Fleischmann, along with some lovely commentary just before it, explaining why she chose my book as her favorite of 2015. 🙂

 

 

Author Talk FREE Event!


For those of you who might be near Central Upstate New York this weekend, November 28th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving…

image

My talk and signing will be at Jervis Public Library (613 N Washington St, Rome, NY 13440 Call: (315) 336-4570 for more information) in my old hometown – which was the inspiration for the fictional setting of Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven. I’ll be talking about converting real life into fiction, publishing, writing in general…and pretty much anything else anyone wants to know or have a conversation about.

I’d love to meet you there and chat! 🙂