It’s Been A Long Time…

Mary RM editedIt’s been a very long time since my last post. I have no reason other than the usual one for many: a very full life outside of my writing life – along with some unexpected bumps in the road and a close family member’s ongoing recovery from a very difficult circumstance.

However, I am back, and I will strive to be more present here.

I have a backlog of recipes/cooking to offer up.

The Crimson Lady

The Crimson Lady, originally released in 2003 and re-released in 2012

I also have several interesting and quirky experiences to share, and some book talk too. I’m mulling ideas (and have begun a prequel novella to my medieval romance The Crimson Lady; The original novel follows Fiona Byrne in the years after she’d fled London and the notorious existence she’d had there. She’d been sold as a young woman into a life of sin, purchased by a powerful nobleman who is as depraved as he is handsome, and turned into England’s most desired courtesan: Giselle de Coeur, “The Crimson Lady”. The prequel is called “Becoming the Crimson Lady” and details just how she was transformed from a street urchin to the sought-after courtesan…and what led to her ultimate escape).

I have a few other ideas rolling around that are not tied to works I’ve already written, but we’ll see what transpires.

MooseTracks_CoverIn the meantime, my latest, “Fried Green Tomatoes of the Adirondacks style”, very loosely and semi-autobiographical novel Moose Tracks on the Road To Heaven is still available for only $3.99 in digital and $13.99 in trade-sized print.

I’m not reading too much lately, outside of material for work (endless papers, exams etc), but a title I’m reading a bit at a time, because it fascinates me, is Change the Story of Your Health: Using Shamanic and Jungian Techniques for Healing by Carl Greer, PhD, PsyD. Has anyone else read this book or something similar?

Lastly, the school year is finally wrapping up for 2017. This will mean more free time to write (and visit here!) but less than when I was building this site, due to some of those life circumstances I mentioned in the first paragraph. It will still be a change of schedule, and I am looking forward to embracing all that the summer has to offer, in my personal life, in the great beauty of nature, and in a bit of travel, writing, relaxation, and family time.

How about you? What are your plans for the next few months? I’d love to hear in the comments.

Thanks for visiting!

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!

 

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. 🙂

 

 

Cozy Imaginings

I suppose the fact that I have a vivid and active imagination isn’t a big surprise. Most fictions writers do.

One of the ways my imagination works often results in a kind of fun game. It’s something I’ve done since I was a little kid, and I’d have to amuse myself as we drove back and forth from shopping or one of the many activities I or my six sisters participated in.

0_6730f_ddb9f7d9_origIt can be triggered by something as simple as seeing a charming house like this one on the left, with its windows lit warmly from within…

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Or driving by an historic and lovely library…

pg304-6543Hill-304Or spotting a cozy home when I’m driving in the around town or in the country…

Without much effort, I can create an entire story in my mind about the people who live or work there.

Sometimes even a bend in the road makes a scene blossom, shifting my thoughts to a more personal connection. At those times, I often feel a sense of longing or nostalgia and a vision of what my own life might be like in the imagined setting.

Almost like an alternative reality daydream.

This happened to me a couple weeks ago, on my drive to work. I saw a road curving off to the left , the leaves of the trees on either side brilliant and lit with the morning sun, and the farmer’s fields all around warm in the glow.

It’s a road I’ve seen many times before, but the angle when I looked at it, or perhaps the way the sun dappled the leaves, set off the imaginative machine inside me.  I didn’t stop to snap a photo that day, because (as is usual) I had no extra time to spare in getting to work.

imageBut I stopped to take this picture on the left a day later.

The atmosphere had changed…it was misty that morning, and far less golden as the sun slowly rose, but it inspired me nonetheless.

I could suddenly picture a cozy home499b724fb9ca8231ab5f5765ef4366e1 (like this one on the right, perhaps)  just out of sight down the road and imagine living in it – only not the real me, but a fictional me, from the alternate reality, where I live out in the country, like when I was young. In this world, I am a homebody, gardening, baking, and wandering around outdoors, rather than going to work every day and busy with a multitude of tasks, chores, and responsibilities I have to accomplish.

It’s a pleasant fiction, and it makes my heart pang for a second.

Okay…so I’m ready to hear from you – am I odd to have imaginings like this, or can any of you relate (whether or not you’re a writer)? Please let me know in the comments. I promise I can handle it if you think I’m just odd, LOL. 🙂

Happy Friday – and Happy Night Before Halloween!

Pumpkin Stand

imageIt’s that time of year again…pumpkin stand time! I love seeing places like the one pictured as I drive back and forth to work – regular homes in the country – who put out their surplus of pumpkins for sale to anyone who wants to stop and put their money in the bucket.

It’s all done through an honor system, which I love as well. I’ve lived in or near the country all my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for all the glamour, shopping, and entertainments more metropolitan areas can offer. I’m definitely a Country Mouse! 🙂country mouse

Writing Pains

pen

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”
– William Faulkner

Writers, painters, poets, musicians and all others who create something from nothing…do you enjoy the rough draft process, or do you like more the process of editing, once all the raw material has been pulled out of you?