My Take Away

We had beautiful weather for the big book launch and sale outside Open Book Coffee yesterday. Simply gorgeous. Except for a book signing at LaHave River Books last weekend, this was my first public event for my newly published book. Dang pandemic. But it’s good to see that some of these events are beginning to happen.

I finally got to do my first public reading of GOOD MOTHERS DON’T. Look at that beautiful blue sky.

I signed some books with the help of managing editor Whitney Moran. (Sorry Hubby cut your head off, Whitney. He’s not the best photographer but he does come to all my events!) Someone told me they purposely came to the event to get a signed copy of GOOD MOTHERS DON’T. That was music to this author’s ears. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it: I’m so grateful for the support I’ve received over the years.

I also came home with some great books I’m looking forward to reading. If you didn’t make the sale you missed out on some great bargains.

Finally, here’s my take away from the book launch and sale.  I’m taking it as a sign of good things to come!

I hope your Saturday was as fun as mine. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Reaching out to Readers

Have you read my book and enjoyed it? (Wait…maybe you shouldn’t don’t answer that… Just kidding…I think.) If you have read Good Mothers Don’t and would like to help out here’s something you can do.

I recently received this email from my publisher. 

We’re working really hard to find ways to get your books out in front of readers, and I’m reaching out with something that you can do to help. When you’re talking to friends, family and fans, encourage them to post a reviews of your book on places like Goodreads, Indigo and Amazon.

While reviews are important any time, they are even more so during this pandemic. I’ve got to be honest, this probably isn’t the best time to have a book released. With that said, I am so very grateful that it is finally out there in the world and finding its way into the hands of readers. Tomorrow, August 31st, the kindle edition will be released on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca .

My understanding is that you don’t have to have purchased your book on sites like Amazon in order to rate books and write reviews so long as you have an account there. If you’re reading this and know different, please share. I personally don’t purchase things online. My horrible internet plays a big role in that.

Some of you have already reviewed my book on GoodReads. Awesome! I really appreciate it more than you know. FYI you can also rate books without actually writing reviews, but if you want to write something even a one line review is fine. All these things can help gain attention for any book. Some people pay close attention to these ratings and reviews when deciding what they want to read.

To date, so many of my friends and family have shared the cover of my book with their friends on Facebook and that’s been really, really awesome. It’s put my book in front of people who might not have otherwise been aware of it. Word of mouth is a really powerful selling tool. I can’t say that enough.

So, I wanted to pass this message from publisher along to my family, friends and fans. If you have time and feel so inclined a rating or review on any of these sites would be very much appreciated. 

No- Launch- Book- Launch

Welcome to the No- Launch- Book- Launch of Good Mothers Don’t,  brought to you compliments of Covid 19 and Rural Internet Service. I’m so glad you could make it. I know, I know,–it’ just not the same, right? But hey, I’m not about to let the fact that I can’t have a regular book launch at the community centre, or even a virtual launch, get me down. When life gives you lemons you make lemonade, right?

We tried, we really did, to come up with a way to help celebrate the release of my new novel but there was that uncomfortable feeling lurking in the background, that sinister pandemic pointing it’s ugly finger like the grim reaper waiting to catch us off guard. We thought about ways to make it safe and fun like all the other launches we’ve had here at the community centre, but mask-wearing isn’t fun, neither is physical distancing, neither is allowing only a few people in the community centre at one time. And we wouldn’t have been able to offer a lunch. Well, you may as well forget having a gathering in East Dalhousie if there isn’t going to be a lunch. I’m serious; it’s almost mandatory in these parts.

So, I got thinking that if I had a No-Launch-Book-Launch, how could I make it fun and interesting. I thought about all the people I would invite, figuring on how the sky’s the limit when you’re hosting a No- Launch-Book- Launch. So here’s my guest list.:

Patrick Murphy—It was Patrick’s suggestion that I write this novel, so of course I’m going to invite him. I’ll be honest, I might have cursed a time or two in the beginning, I can’t be sure now, but I do remember that I made him promise to tell me if I was writing monkey crap. Yup, monkey crap–those were my exact words to him. Thankfully he didn’t tell me that or I would have stopped working on this novel years ago. I think he just felt sorry for me at that point. Honestly, I ‘m pretty sure neither of us thought I’d be able to pull this thing off—it was THAT bad. But I persevered—I’m small but stubborn. I think the turning point for me came when Elizabeth said, “I am well now. When the pink dawn draws near to my bedroom window I take comfort in those words.” That’s when I really started to “get” her and when I knew that, come hell or high water, I would write this novel.

Whitney Moran—Whitney was the first one to read the book when it was just a bunch of loose pages. She liked it and wanted to publish it and I wanted to give her a big hug, but you can’t really hug over email. Whitney has acquired five of my book (three more to come) and we haven’t once met. I know—how is that possible? I can tell you that she seems pretty down to earth, very kind and patient, so VERY patient. So, I’d definitely add her to my No-Launch-Book-Launch invitation list.

Penelope Jackson—I’ve worked on my last three books with Penelope. She probably knows me, as a writer, better than anyone else, meaning she knows how to bamboozle me into digging deeper and finding a better alternative for all of the awkward sentences I might have written, without her actually telling me how awkward some of my sentences are–see what I mean about awkward sentences? She also knows how I dislike it if I use the same word in too many places and will point that out to me. (Just so you know, I wanted to throw that word “bamboozle” into this post because it’s presently one of my favourite words. I just love the way it rolls off the tongue—bamboozle.)

Since this is my non-existing book launch, and I’m the host, and get to make up the guest list, I thought it would be really great to have Carol Bruneau, Christy-Ann Conlin and Linda Little pop in to say hi. These three wonderful writers blurbed my book–early praise, the publisher called it. (Please check their work out!) They said some pretty amazing things about Good Mothers Don’t which you’ll see when you open the cover. I’d really like to thank them in person. Such a generous thing for these writers to do for little old me—maybe scratch that word “old.”


I’m inviting our Prime Minister this time around–for sure. I think Good Mothers Don’t would make a great gift for Sophie, don’t you? Whether you like him or you don’t, I figure he’d draw a crowd once word got out that he was coming. There’s even a field near the community centre perfect for landing a helicopter, but that’s not even an issue with this No-Launch-Book-Launch. really, he has no excuse for being a no-show. I’m so excited.  If this was a regular Launch, I’m sure he’d want to speak to the audience, however briefly, (not moistly, although he would be wearing a mask I suppose) Just a suggestion here, but he could always pose for a selfie with my book. Bet that would go viral!

Leo Glavine—The Minister of Communitites, Culture and Heritage and our MLA out here in East Dalhousie—yes, that Leo Glavine. Many East Dalhousians know that Leo and I go back a LONG way. He taught me Geography when I was about fourteen at good old West Kings High. He comes to all my launches (which, oddly enough, usually coincide with an election year.) And while he’s there schmoozing with all of you, I hope he has a darn good explanation as to why we don’t have high-speed internet for an author who is trying to launch a new book and how a virtual launch is out of the question because of it. Believe me, I’ve asked him the High-speed question more than once over the years….. But, since this is a celebration of my new book, and not a debate about rural internet, he’s not likely to give an adequate answer. You know what politicians are like. (PS: I hope he’s reading this.)

Maria Panopalis and Jayson Baxter–obviously I’m going to invite the media. This is MY launch after all and that means I get to make up all the rules. These two gifted hosts entertain me over the supper hour. They’re a staple in our household. Can’t miss CTV News Atlantic every evening at 5:00 pm, I just can’t. I love all the heart-warming stories from around the Maritimes, especially during this pandemic. They constantly renew my faith in the human race with the stories they present. That’s exactly what we need during these times. Way to go Maria and Jayson!

Jann Arden–Who wouldn’t want the multi-talented Jann Arden at their book launch? Not only does she sing, she acts and she writes and she’s just so darn funny. I tweeted her book, “Feeding My Mother” after I read it and she even thanked me. That was a thrill! I wonder if her book sales soared after I tweeted it? 😉  I’m not expecting her to perform, that wouldn’t be fair but, if she insisted, she’d be more than welcome to sing “Good Mother” to keep with the theme. I love that song.

In the words of Michelangelo — The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.’ That is why I’m aiming really, really high by inviting my next guest. Please don’t think I’m off my rocker, just think of me as the author who dared to aim high. I’ve given it plenty of thought. And if for some reason I could only have one person at my No-Launch-Book-Launch it would be Ellen.–yup, THAT Ellen, the Ellen who doesn’t need to have her last name uttered because everyone just knows. It seems to me that she’s one of the kindest and most caring people on the planet. She does so much good in the world and right now the world can use as much good as we can get. And who knows, maybe when she’s able to film in front of a live  studio audience, she’ll give everyone in the audience a copy of GOOD MOTHERS DON’T. In fact, I’m pretty sure she will because she’s just THAT nice. Like I said, I’m aiming high, really really high. 😉  What we do know is that I won’t be a guest on the Ellen Show anytime soon, since I don’t have high-speed and she’s filming virtually these days. Guess we’ll just have to wait until this dang pandemic is over. Hope that’s Okay, Ellen.

No No-Launch-Book-Launch would be complete without my family and friends. Of course my family and friends are invited. What’s a celebration without all those important people in my life showing up? Besides, they’re also the ones most likely to come bearing gifts—yes, gifts. I know—they are spectacular.  I’ve receives flowers and potted plants, special mugs, Mars (FYI–the bar, not the planet), homemade jam, cards and one person even gifted me some Arnica at one of my launches. That’s why I love them! My mum will be there with bells on. You can be sure. She was the first person to read the book and she’s been spreading the word. It could be monkey crap, but she’s still talking it up like all good mother do

I’m also inviting the good people of the Forties Settlement where I set much of my novel. I love the people of the Forties, such a friendly bunch. I also have family ties there. And I love the landscape. It’s such a beautiful little community.

I’m inviting all of East Dalhousie, of course I am. East Dalhousie is my heart and soul. It’s where so many of my good friends live. It’s the place I wrote about in the Country Roads anthology many years ago.

So there’s my guest list, and since it’s my No-Launch-Book-Launch I can invite as many people as I want, no worries about crowd control or social distancing. We have plenty of space  on my blog. No mask-wearing at my No-Launch-Book -Launch because I would have had to insist that everyone wear one if this had been your “run of the mill pandemic book launch.” (Bet that’s something that doesn’t get uttered often. )


If you can think of anyone I left off my list or someone you think who’d love to come to my No-Launch-Book-Launch please feel free to add them in the comment section of this blog and remember the words of Michelangelo about aiming high. Invite anyone you’d like, even yourself, especially yourself..

And, because I put a lot of thought into this, I decided that it would be really great to have Margaret Atwood introduce me at my No- Launch- Book -Launch. She does have ties to Nova Scotia so no doubt she’d be anxious to come out to East Dalhousie. I mean, why wouldn’t she? I’ve gone to several of her events over the years and I kind of figure she owes me, not that I’m a tit-for-tat kind of person, because I’m not. Still, it would be really swell if she were to introduce me before I do a reading from the book. We writers need to stick together, right? And just imagine if she actually tweeted my book. $$$$$

After a grand intro by Margaret Atwood, and I’ve thanked all of you for coming, I’ll read an excerpt from my book. I hope you enjoy it. It’s the best I can do with under these circumstances. I hope you can appreciate the hoops I had to jump through to pull this reading off. Just click on the link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xv0wkDjZKp8

You can’t have a launch in East Dalhousie, even a No-Launch-Book-Launch, without serving a lunch; you just can’t. Ask anyone here. But then I already explained that.. Someone once told me that when people come to East Dalhousie they expect to be fed well. Here’s a sample from our last launch. Spectacular, right? That’s only half the table and I’m pretty sure the food was replenished a few times. Can’t say enough about the way people in this community come together on launch day. They’re the ones responsible for this spread, and really I couldn’t do any of this without the many helpers I’ve had over the years. 


Since sales are a part of any launch, even a No-Launch-Book-Launch, you can contact me if you’re in my area and we can make arrangements for a safe book sale. Just call or email ahead of time, maybe even stop me on the road. I have books. I can even sign one for you! You do want an author signed book, don’t you?

You can also order a book through your local Indie book store. Good Mothers Don’t is also available at  through Nimbus.ca,  at Coles and Chapters, and can be ordered on line at Chapter.ca and Amazon.ca.

Despite the circumstances surrounding the release of my book, I’m going to think positive thoughts. The book recently made the “Hottest Summer reads” list in the Globe and Mail and that was an absolute thrill to have my book be recognized in that way.

When all is said and done, saying thank you is the most important part of any launch. I thank all for coming to my No-Launch-Book-Launch. It has meant so VERY much to me. I hope you weren’t disappointed that we couldn’t have an in-person event. No one wanted this pandemic to happen but we’re all making the best of it under the circumstances. And think of all the famous people you’ve had the chance to hobnob with. It’s not as if that would have happened at a regular book launch.

If you’d like to leave a comment for me or if you have a suggestion of who else we should invite or if you want to add your name to let me know you’re out there, please do. One tiny thing you can do to help spread the word about my No-Launch-Book-Launch and the publication of GOOD MOTHER DON’T is to share this post on social media: share it, tweet it, shout it from the roof tops because when Margaret Atwood tweets it, and this thing goes viral, I promise, you’re going to want to be a part of that.  😉  

Thanks so much for coming and helping me celebrate today. All jokes aside, I’m making the best of the situation. I’m just so grateful to have my novel in print  and that some of you have already picked up a copy and even told me how much you’ve enjoyed it. I love seeing the pictures my Facebook friends have been posting  to let me know they have the book and helping to spread the word. That means the world; it really does. Thanks so much to all the wonderful people at Nimbus Publishing for believing in me and my  book!

And remember that no matter who you are, or where you’re from, whether you’re famous or just YOU (because I’m just me) you’re always welcome in East Dalhousie, not only on launch day –or No-Launch-Book-Launch Day as the case may be–but any day. Please know how very special you all are!

At Long Last–Good Mothers Don’t

After what turned out to be a challenging week, this was waiting for me on my doorstep when I got home from work. I’ve got to be honest, I was starting to wonder if June would actually be the month. Of course back when the world was normal, my book was to be out in time for Mother’s day. It just goes to show how things can change. But I am not complaining. Today, many business in Nova Scotia have opened up. There is a small light at the end of the tunnel and it is so very welcomed.


I am as pleased as can be with the books and so grateful to everyone at Nimbus Publishing. Having a adult fiction novel published has been my dream since forever. The books are absolutely beautiful. Hopefully, you’ll see that for yourself soon enough.

So, to update the update on the update. The books have arrived!!

Good Mothers Don’t–Guest Post

I’m not sure about you, but I was glad to see April come to an end. It was a challenging month on so many levels.

I’m looking forward to May and all that it brings. I’m also one month closer to the release of my first novel for adults which is very exciting. As many of you know, my original release date of April 30th was pushed ahead to June. Unfortunate, but it’s not the end of the world, and hopefully things in the world will be a bit better at that point.

In the meantime, I’m a guest of Darlene Foster’s blog today. HERE  Darlene has written a lovely review of Good Mother Don’t  from an ARC she received from my publisher awhile back and she’s has asked me a few questions as well. 

So what are you waiting for? Pop on over and say, hello! We will enjoy the company.

 

 

Update on the Good Mothers Don’t Update

With all that’s been going on in the world, with the pandemic and all, it seems our lives are constantly being updated. We hear one thing and then suddenly that has changed. It’s no wonder. Fighting an invisible enemy, one we have never come up against before, makes it that much more challenging. We are all trying to do the best we can.

In an earlier post I mentioned that my novel, GOOD MOTHERS DON’T was scheduled for release on April 30th. But there’s been a change of plans…Sorry, I know how most of you dislike change. I’ve  received a new book update and I wanted to let you all know that the release date has now been pushed ahead to June 1st. While I know this might be disappointing to some of you, I feel that under the circumstances, with the pandemic still shaking up our lives, it’s for the best.

That means you’ll have several more weeks to wait but I hope you will consider the wait worthwhile.

In the meantime, in case you missed it, there’s a lovely article on the book, written by Allison Lawlor, HERE that appeared in the Chronicle Herald.

I will try to keep you in the loop if anything new comes along or if there are further changes to this. 

I should also mention that my Cammie prequel, originally scheduled for publication this fall, has been pushed ahead to Spring 2021. I can also confirm that the title is THE FAMILY WAY. I’m really excited for this book as we finally, finally learn who Cammie’s mother is. There are also a few surprises along the way, things even I didn’t initially know when I started writing the book.

That’s it for now: stay home, stay safe, stay well, stay reading..

 

Good Mothers Don’t Update

Remember me? I’m the author whose book is due to be published in April.

*sigh* 

Normally this would be a happy time for me, with my friends making preparations for my book launch. (You all know who you are!)

We’ve had some amazing book launches here in East Dalhousie which is due to all the wonderfully supportive people who live, not on my community, but in many surrounding communities. Not to mention the many hands that have stepped in to help in the past. You’re all so awesome.

It goes without saying that with every launch there’s a bit of apprehension for the author, wondering if anyone will even show up. In so far as my last three book launches went, I had nothing to worry about. So many people came out to support me and I can’t even describe what that meant to me.

But this time things are different thanks to COVID-19. The community centre won’t be filled with my family and friends. I’ll be home alone with Hubby and my author copies of the book. Maybe I’ll have a glass of wine.

Of course the book can be ordered through those independent bookstores that are still operating, also through Amazon.ca Here and Chapters. ca Here.

or it can also be ordered directly from Nimbus Publishing Here right now they have a special on: free shipping for orders over $50. Make sure that if you’re ordering through them online, there’s a shipping code you need to use that is at the top of the site to get the free shipping.

So while we won’t all be getting together to help launch Good Mothers Don’t into the world, in the meantime you might want to read this lovely, lovely review of my book that my editor sent to me over the Easter weekend. It really helped raise my spirits!

Good Mothers Don’t Review

I will continue to keep you updated if I have anything else to share. And for anyone of you who have ordered or are planning to order my book online in lieu of a book launch I thank you so much!  While these may be very uncertain times right now, and for the foreseeable future, there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. But there are always bright spots along the way, like the publication of my first novel for adults. Now that’s good news!

Please feel free to share your good news in the comments below, big or small or maybe just something positive that happened to you. I’d like to hear about it. Things may not be the greatest right now but we’re going to get through this eventually.

Mid-Winter 2020 Catch-up

I love it when we get to February and the lengthening days can be readily seen. Not only that, February 2nd (Ground Hog Day or Candlemas Day, whatever you want to call it) marks the half-way point for winter. Yay! And while I know there can still be plenty of winter snow and ice in the forecast, knowing that we’ve reached that half-way point always fills me with hope.

February also means that there’s only a few more months until Good Mothers Don’t hits the bookshelves. Many of you who follow me on social media are already aware that it made the CBC list of Works of Canadian Fiction to watch for in spring 2020 which of course is very exiting for me, this being my first novel about to enter the adult world and all.

The book has received some wonderful blurbs from Carol Bruneau, Linda Little and Christy-Ann Conlin and have been posted on the Amazon site. Here.  I can’t tell you what it means to get such great endorsements from these three remarkable writers. There is also an excerpt posted on the site if you’re at all curious.

Right now, Good Mothers Don’t is available for pre-order at Independent books stores across the country, Chapters and Coles, as well as Amazon. Pre-ordering just means you’ll be one of the first to get your hands on a copy, hot off the press. It’s already received a few ratings on GoodReads and has actually been added by some readers which I’m totally thrilled about since there are still two months before publication!! If you’d like to add it to your own reading list or even read the first review on Goodreads, the link is here  written by Darlene Foster, the author of the Amanda Travel Series. You can check out her blog and her books here.

January saw me back into the edits for my next middle grade novel about to be published in fall 2020. It’s the prequel to the Cammie books and I’m excited for the story of Cammie’s first year to finally be revealed so you all can find out how Millie actually came to have Cammie and exactly who Cammie’s parents are. There is also a bit of a surprise at the end, something even I hadn’t seen coming until quite late into the writing.

This book is set in East Chester and revolves around the Ideal Maternity Home, the place where Cammie was born. Many of you already know much of the story behind the infamous home that buried stillborns in butterboxes. It was widely reported on. The story of the Butterbox Babies effected many people in Canada but also the United States, since many of the babies were adopted out to people in the US. Many of the “survivors” as still looking for their birth parents and the story is very relevant today even after all these years. If you haven’t yet heard of it, or want a little more information I have a link onto my blog HERE.

I’ll keep you updated on the book and share the cover, etc. when it’s available. (Yep, still working on a title for it) All this is still several months away so be patient!

I’m presently working on a YA novel that I began several years back and I’m hoping to set a realistic goal on completing it. I say realistic because this will be a busy spring for me with an up-coming book launch that my friends already have in the works. I mean how great is that? I’m already booked for several book club discussions and of course there will be book signings, etc. I’m not, by nature a goal-setter, but it worked well for me in the past. But, as I said, goals have to be realistic or else you’re just setting yourself up to fail. Don’t want to do that.

While I have several other books simmering along, I’m not going to look too far ahead or set too many goals at this point.

So, there you have my mid-winter catch-up. Now, we just need more sunshine and less snow and before you know it spring will be here.

Looking Forward to 2020

I have to admit, I’m feeling rather anxious for 2020 to arrive. I’ve said several times on this blog, over the years, that I always look forward to the new year coming and this year is no different. Not that a new year offers any special solutions to the challenges we might have encounter during the year, but it still fills me with a sense of newness for life as I anticipate what the year ahead will look like.

2019 had its challenges, but I came through the other side with my sense of humour and a love for life, and that’s the important part. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of great moments these past 365 days. I finished two books and signed book contracts for them both which, believe me, is something that every author loves to do. I worked on the edits for my first novel for adults, got to see the cover and read the blurbs written for “Good Mothers Don’t “ by authors whose work I admire. (I hope that’s a good sign that other will like the book as well.)

2020 will see me working on more edits, first for the Cammie prequel and then for another middle grade novel as the advance reading copies (ARCs) need to be ready for the fall as well even though it will not be out until the fall of 2021. (Seems confusing, doesn’t it?) That novel will be a bit different as it’s written in third person, something I don’t often do, only because I tend to enjoy first person novels for reading as well as writing. That particular book, however, seemed to call for a different approach. I also have several books I want to get back to writing in 2020. Plus there will be the usual book launches and signings that always go along with the publication of a new book. It’s sure to be a busy year. But I’m looking forward to it.

Last year, I made a promise that I’d complete the Cammie prequel and gave myself a deadline. I did the same with the next novel. Seems like something I’ll carry with me into 2020 as it worked out well this time. For now, that’s my writing goal for 2020, to finish another manuscript I’ve been working on.

I hope 2020 is good to all of you. I hope you make good memories and share some special moments with those you love.

Happy New Year and I’ll be back blogging in 2020. What are your plans for the year ahead?

Not Another Book

It’s been a very busy time for me with my first novel for adults about to be published in the spring and the ARCs soon going to print. While I’ve had three books published for kids, this one feels a bit different in some respects with a different audience. And while a lot of adults do read my kids book, I’m sure kids will not be reading this one. Just so you know, this doesn’t mean that I’ll no longer write for kids because I will. As many of you know I also have two books for kids coming out. The prequel to the Cammie books is scheduled for publication next fall, plus I have another book due out in Fall 2022, but wait….there’s more.

yes I did say more.

I just signed another contract for a book, set in Germany in the 1700’s that is due to be published in the Fall of 2021!

So it looks as though I’ll be quite busy for the next little while with edits and book promotions, and four books coming out in the next three years. I’ll continue to keep you in the loop, though. I’m sure the time will fly, and I’ll continue to work on new projects. I’ve got several books simmering along as we speak, which is nothing unusual for me, and hopefully, one day they’ll all see publication.

Today is the first day of December. I, for one, am glad to see November over and done with. I hope this month goes well for all of us as we make the first steps into December.

Thanks for reading!

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