Cammie Takes Flight: Cover Reveal

At last, after weeks of promising, I’m ready to share the cover for Cammie Takes Flight with the rest of the world. Some of you have already seen a version of the cover because, let’s face it, you’re privileged and you know it!  The release date is April 30th and, for Canadians,  the book is available for pre-order on Amazon.ca  and Chapters.ca right now!

The launch for the book will likely take place in May but things are in the very early stages of planning so there’s nothing definite at the moment. As more info on the launch etc. come up I’ll be sure to share either here or on Facebook, possibly both.  The book launch is open to the public so anyone and everyone can come. Make sure to spread the word far and wide. No special invitation required. The more the merrier–that’s how we do things here in East Dalhousie.  For anyone flying in from out of the country, I’ll reserve you a room at the hotel here in East Dalhousie. (Okay that’s a bit of joke since we don’t have a hotel here, but I’m sure we can make some arrangements!)  I’d love to have the Prime Minister attend, but he’ll probably be too busy. Still, perhaps if I  sent out a special invite and if he’s flying by that day, maybe he’ll give a little wave. It would be cool if the Queen could come too, and I’d be really impressed if Margaret Atwood put in an appearance… but….Oh well, as Cammie loves to dream so do I.  Dream big; fly high-words to live by. The truth is I’ll be pleased to have my family, friends and community come out to help celebrate with me as Cammie finally takes flight.

And because all books have a front and a back cover, I’ll share the back cover as well. Love the quote they used on the back. It was a bit of a surprise to me, but a pleasant one , especially when I realized I was acquainted with the author of this review written for The Children’s Writers’ Guild. Thanks Darlene Foster– I thought this was kind of cool.

So finally, all the hard work of writing and revising and editing is  about to pay off and my book, my baby, will be going off to the printer very soon.  One day in the coming weeks I’ll receive a notice in my mailbox that a parcel has arrived with my complimentary copies. It’s been a long and exciting journey. But it doesn’t stop here. It is the hope of every author that their words will make a lasting impression on their readers. Now that would be a dream come true–for me and for Cammie!

 

Dinosaurs, Crowns and Twins

I just got to the point where I’d had enough. I was completely fed up. And so, a week ago I decided to slay the dinosaur in my house—yes, I did say dinosaur. Yes, I did say slay. Let me explain.

She was simply taking up too much room with her slow, uncontrolled, unpredictable moves. Not to mention all the grumbling that was left in her wake. As far as dinosaurs go, she wasn’t really so bad, not like your run-of-the-mill T-rex or even stegosaurus which I venture to guess would be next to impossible to cohabitate with. My dinosaur was clunky and pre-historic but I brought her home when she was newly hatched. We bonded. I knew her every clunk, thump and grind. I wasn’t always appreciative of her. (You know how you tend to take all those dinosaurs in your life for granted.) She allowed me to check email, and Facebook, but she wasn’t so nice to me when I visited my friends in blogland. Sometimes she simply refused to budge. She didn’t want me to *like* any of you, and she didn’t want me to make any comments on your posts. Sometimes, she even forced me to go to the local c@p site to upload photos to my own blog. Imagine that.

Power can go to a dinosaur’s head.

Overtime, she became too independent for her own good. We were becoming disconnected. Yet, I resisted…and resisted. Even though I grumbled and complained. Finally, I just had enough. I mean, how long can you cohabitate with a dinosaur and be happy?

Life’s too short not to be happy with your dinosaur.

So, she’s gone, put to rest, retired, withdrawn, given the boot.

My life will be a bit easier.

Saturday was the launching of Jan Coate’s brand new picture book, The King of Keji at The Box of Delights in Wolfville. Can you imagine a better name for a bookstore? I had a great time. The book’s illustrator, Patsy MacKinnon was also at the launch. Crowns were made for the kids which was pretty cool. Did I get a crown? You bet. In fact, I got two for the little people in my life. I didn’t want to push it by asking for one for myself. Seriously, the crown-making was a big hit with the kids and worked in well with the picture book. Jan read the story which many of you know is set at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Park right here in Nova Scotia. Patsy explained a bit about how she creates the illustrations. I believe she said she worked on them for about six months. I love the colours she used.

While he didn't make the book launch, Levi was happy with his crown and book!

While he didn’t make the book launch, Levi was happy with his crown and book!

When you get married and have twins;
Don’t come to me for safety pins.

Speaking of dinosaurs, how out-dated is that verse? Perhaps as out-dated as autograph books which I’m writing into my next story. Does anyone use safety pins or cloth diapers these days? Autograph books?

While on the subject of twins… Some of you already know that we’re about to be blessed with twins this time around. Master Levi is going to be a big brother at the ripe old age of 22 months. There’s no quicker way for a child to grow up then to become an older sibling. I know a mom and dad who are going to be BUSY in the future; September, or so we’re told. Hard to say with twins. We’re all so excited. Being a nanny and guppy is pretty darn cool.

So, that’s my news for now. What’s news in your corner?

Book Launch Hangover

I’ve been suffering for a few days from a hangover–a book launch hangover, that is. This entire week has been like a whirlwind for so many reasons, not all of them book launch related. Still, it’s been difficult to get my head back where it needs to be. That’s the problem with a hangover–or so I’m told–the brain takes awhile to kick into gear. The launch went wonderfully last Sunday, and the weather couldn’t have been any nicer. For me, it was as much about my book as it was a community of friends and family all coming together as one. Pretty cool. While there was a lot of photo taking that day, I didn’t have a lot of my own to share. My camera was kind of on the wrong setting, but ah well. I’ll still share a few of the better ones. You’ll find them under the “Flying With a Broken Wing” tab HERE. Already people have read the book and so far most of them seem to like it. It’s not easy putting your work out there to be scrutinized by others. Some have asked if a sequel is coming , and that’s never a bad thing for a writer to hear. Cammie’s story is far from over, people. Let’s hope it doesn’t take me another two or three years to write it.  🙂 So for now the hoopla is over. I couldn’t have asked for a better book launch. I received flowers, cards, chocolate, and at least one hundred hugs. I’m still smiling. What does the future hold for this little book of mine? Hopefully, those who read it will enjoy it. That’s all a writer can ask for.

Shopping Dilemma

I wanted to call this post “Shopping Sucks” but decided against it. A title with the word “Sucks” in it would pretty much suck. It would be a whiny, miserable post that would likely put me in a lousy mood.

Maybe I’m the one who sucks when it comes to shopping.

The truth is, I’m shopping for something to wear to a few public appearances, Word on the Street and my book launch, both of them a week apart. It’s not that I haven’t been looking. I have, honest, I have. But the truth is when you’re “petite” there’s not a whole lot to choose from. The petite section is VERY small in the ladies shop. Kind of ironic, don’t you think?

Today , I was out and about in the rain, trying to find something I like, something that looked good on me. I didn’t have much luck. I’m a sorry excuse for a shopper. My sense of fashion is pretty much non-existing. The girls in the shops were exasperated with me. I was exasperated with me. I don’t like patterns. When you explain that horizontal stripes do not look good on a “petite” woman, they roll their eyes. So sue me. I don’t like stripes. I don’t like polka dots. I don’t like colours all smeared together like some finger painting Miss Charlotte would do. I don’t like the patterns my mother wore when I was growing up. I don’t like large flowers. I don’t like frills. I don’t like baggy. Nor am I looking to show any cleavage. I don’t like certain colours on me. Does this make me fussy?

So what do I like? Something simple, but tasteful. Solid colours are good. I like red, and blue, and purple, and burgundy, and green. I like black. No, do not suggest orange to me. Orange is nice, but it’s not my colour. Some pattern would be okay under the right circumstances. What circumstances you might ask? Ah, that’s the tricky part. I’ll know it when I see it. And yes, some of the things I looked at were nice in their own way, but would look much better on someone who wasn’t five feet tall in heels.

Anyway, tomorrow’s another day. I’ve not been defeated. I’m heading out again. This time I’m Valley bound. I’ll take off in a totally different direction. I won’t stop until I’ve found the outfit for me. Surely, there is something out there I like and will look good on me.

Wish my luck!

 Do you have as hard a time shopping as what I do? Do you have any tips to give me? I could sure use some advice.

A First Review

9781771080385A first review of “Flying with A Broken Wing,” is in Atlantic Books Today. Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out. My book is on Pg 18. A pleasant surprise for me, but can you imagine how painstaking it was to try and download with dial-up? I waited for over an hour and still couldn’t see the whole magazine. Luckily, random pages downloaded before some of the others and I was able to read the review of my book. One thing is for sure, you can’t beat good old paper. I’m going to pick up a copy at the bookstore next time I get into town so I can read ALL the magazine.

So the reality of a freshly soon-to-be-published book is starting to really seep in. Only 25 days until the book launch!!!

Time Flies

Do you ever wish you could stretch time out or at least stop it for a few days to catch up on some things?

I’m in awe of how quickly the summer is going. Although I suspect it goes quickly for everyone, it seems as though here in the country it simply flies by. Summer is a busy time. I’ve been working in the garden, working at my job, trying to squeeze in some writing time, not to mention preparing for the upcoming release of my book. A lot of juggling to do. There are worse things in life though, like being bored out of one’s tree. So I’ll try not to complain about all the things in my life that keep me busy.

Publicity for the book is soon underway. I have my first interview next week for a small publication that is distributed to all the homes in the surrounding area. I might have mentioned that I’ll be reading this year again at Word on the Street on the 22nd of September and of course the book launch is tentatively scheduled for the 29th. As well as email invites, Nimbus will send out snail mail invitations so I’m in the process of gathering addresses and making a list. Unfortunately, I can’t find my list from four years ago so I’m basically starting from scratch again.

I want to mention that I’ve added a new tab on my blog for the new book. There’s an excerpt there as well for anyone who is interested in reading it. I shared it yesterday with my Facebook friends. I”m still hoping to put together a book trailer for this book, although I’ll make no promises at this point. Much of it depends upon my daughter and how much time we’ll get when she next visits.

The contest to enter a chance to win JoAnn Yhard’s new book, Buried Secrets at Louisbourg is open until next Friday. Don’t forget to enter. JoAnn shared her thoughts on writing a sequel.

How is your summer going? Do you have any tips on slowing down time because I could sure use some.  😉

 

Let the Excitement Begin

A friend recently asked if I was excited. She was of course speaking about the upcoming release of my new book and I knew immediately what she was referring to. Not that I’m physic or anything, it just seems that’s all I have on my mind these days. It’s kind of a big deal for me. My answer was something like, “not yet.”  Can you believe it? Truthfully, it felt so far into the future with still two months to go, and I was feeling kind of tired from the heat that evening. Really, it must have been the sweltering heat that sent my excitement scurrying for the corner. A rung out dishcloth would have had more enthusiasm in that heat.

But I want to change my answer. Yes, Torry, I’m starting to get excited! I’m soon hoping to see what the back cover copy looks like for my book and I’ll share it here once I do. I don’t expect any big changes to the cover as the image really is the focal point, and I love it more with each passing day.

At the moment a tentative date has been set for the launch, although at this point it’s a bit early. Apparently books can sometimes get hung up at the printers and we may have to change things around a bit. Can’t have a book launch without books!  I’ve also recently learned that I’ll be reading at Halifax Word on the Street, which I’m quite excited about. It’s always a bit unnerving reading from your book for the very first time in public, and you can believe I’ll be practicing like mad before September 22. I do a lot of readings in church and that really helps, and in ten days, I’ll be reading at my sister’s wedding. Can hardly wait for that (the wedding, not necessarily the reading!)

So even with all this going on, I still need to stay focused and keep writing. That’s sometimes the difficult part. Despite what other might believe, we writers often struggle to stay motivated, especially when we’re going as we try and smooth out any of the rough patches in our plot and bring our characters to life. I wish it wasn’t so. I wish I could say that words flow as smooth as silk all the time and all I need to do is show up at the computer. I’m half-way through a first draft on another novel and I’d really like to have that first draft finished by the end of summer. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. So many things can set our schedules off.

That’s it for the moment. I’m struggling to visit blogs these days and totally not liking Feedly. Maybe it’s just because I haven’t logged in enough times, or often enough, to become familiar with it. If I don’t soon warm up to it, I’ll have to come up with another system to keep track of you all.

 

I hope your summer is turning out to be everything you hoped it would be. What excites you this summer?

I Just Can’t Like You Anymore

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of problems liking people, which is new for me since I generally get along well with others. Here’s the scoop. I’ll start with Facebook. I love Facebook, don’t get me wrong, but this past while I’ve noticed, I no sooner “like” something then I notice that “like” has been taken away, disappeared into the great wide world of the Internet. Zappo! Poof! I don’t think it’s just me and my slow connection since others seem to agree with, but not everyone. Some say it hasn’t been a problem for them. And it’s not just the likeability thing. I’m sometimes told I can’t comment or else the comment I make disappears too. Well, okay, I’ll accept that, but when I want to comment on my own status it’s a bit annoying to be told I’m not allowed to.

Is it fair to knock these free services? I’m not sure. Do we have a right to certain expectations? I kind of think so since the whole idea is for us to interact with one another. Free or not, it’s difficult not to find yourself grumbling a time or two when these things mess up so frequently.

Since were on the subject of likes:

Now onto WordPress. I love the “like “ button we now have, because let’s face it sometimes we just don’t have time to think up a comment or sometimes we just have nothing to add, but still want to say, “Hey, I liked your post!” It’s a support thing and it’s great. However, most of the time my “like” button won’t load. This, I’m fairly sure is because of my connection and not a whole lot I can do about it. Every now and then I’m surprised when everything loads properly. So, it’s not that I don’t “like” you all anymore. Really it’s not you…it’s me.

The last of the proofreading for my book was done over the long weekend. I swear no matter how many times something is proofread, by yourself and others, those nasty little typos are bound to appear from out of nowhere. It’s seems inevitable. Yet we all hope. My editor says it’s impossible to catch them all. It’s soon off to the printers! I’ve been in touch with the Publicist from Nimbus and we’ve discussed launch dates although at this point it’s a bit tricky since there’s always the chance that things will get tied up at the printers. Can’t have a launch if the books have been delayed, right? For now, I have a tentative date since I needed to book the community centre ahead of time. No official announcement yet.  It’s all moving straight ahead.

Today Miss Charlotte comes to visit and we’re pretty excited. She hasn’t been down since Christmas. Hopefully, she’ll find lots to do and the weather will be great.

So, that’s my bit of news for the week. What are you all up to this week? Are any of you are having a problem “liking” people?

The Power of Harmony—Book Launch

Last Saturday we headed off to Wolfville in the beautiful Annapolis Valley to attend the book launch for my good friend, and writing pal, Jan Coates’ new book, “The Power of Harmony.” Okay, so the weather could have been nicer that day, but many great events happen in the wake of some nasty weather.

 DSC03724I’d never been to this charming little bookstore, and I have to say it was a real treat. It’s called “Box of Delights.” What a  wonderful name for a bookstore. Don’t you think? Look, there’s Jan’s book in the window. Cool!

DSC03725

As you can see, Jan’s book is in good company, finding a spot on the shelf right beside “The Hunger Games.” I take this as a sign of good things to come. Let’s not forget, her last book, A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk, was short listed for the Governor General Award. How mind boggling is that?

 DSC03716Here’s Jan looking all authorish and serious while discussing her new book.

DSC03720

 Happy birthday to The Power of Harmony, may this book live a long and prosperous life.  To find out more about Jan and her books you can check out her blog right here. 

Time was Flying While I was Chasing Spies

There was something suspicious going on at the Dempsey Corner Orchards more than just your usual Saturday afternoon goings on. I got wind of it a few weeks ago when a very suspicious email arrived in my inbox from, one, Allison Maher. Well, curiousity killing the cat and all, I decided to take a drive out to the Annapolis Valley and case the joint out, see what all the hub-bub was about. I’d been there previously, last November, when Star Dobson had a book signing,  (I blogged about it here) so I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for. Still, I figured there’d be a few spies in the bunch, and I’m not just talking about apples.

Saturday was the book launch for Allison Maher’s second juvenile novel, “Time Flies When You’re Chasing Spies.” It has the same characters as her first novel, “I, the Spy.” Okay,  so I guess that’s spy talk for sequel. It was held right at the farm where Allison lives. Now, you have to see this place to appreciate it to the fullest. For those of you who haven’t been there before, I’ll give you a quick tour of the building where the launch was held, but there’s plenty more outside to tickle your fancy. Really, a great place to take the family if you’re looking for a place that fully appreciates life on a small farm in Nova Scotia.

I arrived early and quickly located the building where I figured all the spies would be hanging out. They’re a close-knit bunch so I figured they’d be swarming the place. I looked in every nook and cranny. If there were any spies about I aimed to flush them out.

I went incognito. Sometimes you’ve got to. When spies are involved you can’t take any chance. Here’s my disguise. Snazzy, don’t you think? Hmm, maybe snazzy isn’t quite the word.

I checked the loft. The coast was clear. Not another living soul in sight, but plenty of interesting things here..

 Still, I had the feeling that I was being watched. It was kind of a baaaaad feeling. That’s when I discovered something I hadn’t expected.  Lamb Chop of all people…People?  Hmmmm.. She was playing it kind of cool if you asked me, hiding amongst a bunch of Lamb Chop clones.  Clever indeed!

I questioned the hobby horse. If anyone in that loft was in the know, I figured it had to be the horse. No luck. I was back to square one.

Once I determined there were no spies in the loft I went back down to where the books were displayed. I got distracted on my way past the kitchen. Check out these Mile High apple pies. They’re big enough for spies to hide in I wager, but I wasn’t about to do anymore digging.

Around about this time I was starting to get anxious. When you’re dealing in the world of spies, crime and under-cover work you can’t be too careful. I decided to track down this Allison Maher, this writer of fiction, this perpetrator of book launches, just to hear her side of the story. I mean it was her gig after all, the rest of us just came along for the ride, and to get a signed book I might add. I caught up to her seconds before she ducked behind a whole stack of books. She thought she’d lost me. This is one sneaky author, folks. She’s got all the right moves, got them down mighty pat for someone who says she simply writes about this world of spies and crime.  To tell the truth, I was starting to doubt her story a little. Hmmm, could be she’s been up close and personal about some of the spies she’s been writing about way late into the wee hours of the morning. Slippery, that one is but, I’ll tell you, she met her match.

So there you have my statement of the  events from last Saturday’s book launch , others might very well have their own story to tell. Does time really fly when you’re chasing spies? You betcha.

All jokes aside, it was a lovely afternoon, and Allison is certainly a good sport. Not to mention entertaining as old heck. I’m looking forward to reading her book and wish her all the best.

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