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!

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.

Local Books For Your Winter Reading Pleasure

From time to time I like to give a shout out to some authors and their books. It’s been awhile. Actually, longer than I thought once I got looking back on old posts. Since I do like local (as many of you know) this shout out is for some local books that have recently come onto my radar. I wanted to mention books that I hadn’t previously mentioned on my blog, books that are new to me! From picture books to novels, I really don’t care. A book is a book no matter what age you are. I hope you’ll check some of these books out this winter when you’re curled up by the fire on a cold blustery night.

Explosion Newsie by Jacqueline Halsey.

imagesOn December 6, 1917, two ships collided in the busy wartime harbour of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The resulting explosion was the biggest man-made blast prior to the development of nuclear weapons. It flattened one fifth of the city. Thousands of people were killed that day and thousands more injured or made homeless. One lucky survivor, ten-year-old newsie Macky, has a key job to do — get the news out.

The beautiful and compelling illustrations in this book help tell the story of what it was like to be a working child of ten in the city that day. Macky, an unreliable and fun-loving boy, has to deliver the news to a confused and wrecked city where the only way to know what happened to missing loved ones was to read the local newspaper.

Red Coat Brigade by Vernon Oickleimages (1)

On a warm, beautiful sunny day in June 1782, the women and young children of the village of Chester come together to defend their still-fledgling settlement against the invading and much more well-armed Americans. Armed only with their cunning and imagination, this rag-tag group of settlers pushed back the marauding intruders without the loss of a single life. In this fictional account of those events, veteran author Vernon Oickle weaves facts and legend to tell a story that has become part of Nova Scotia’s heritage and folklore.

 

These Good Hands by Carol Bruneau

downloadSet in the early autumn of 1943, the These Good Hands interweaves the biography of French sculptor Camille Claudel and the story of the nurse who cares for her during the final days of her thirty-year incarceration in France’s Montdevergues Asylum. Biographers have suggested that Claudel survived her long internment by writing letters, few of which left the asylum because of her strict sequestration; in Bruneau’s novel, these letters are reimagined in a series, penned to her younger self, the sculptor, popularly known as Rodin’s tragic mistress. They trace the trajectory of her career in Belle Époque Paris and her descent into the stigmatizing illness that destroyed it. The nurse’s story is revealed in her journal, which describes her labours and the ethical dilemma she eventually confronts. Through her letters, Camille relives the limits of her perseverance, and through her journal, Nurse confronts the limits of hers; these limits include the faith these women have in themselves, in the then-current advances in psychiatric medicine, and in a God whose existence is challenged by the war raging outside the enclosed world of the asylum. In her dying days, Camille teaches the nurse lessons in compassion and, ultimately, in what it means to endure.

Lonely Angels by Heather D. Veinotte

As a medium, Kelsey Gordon has had to deal with people’s distain of her gifts for most of her life. 51RqiF2VF7L._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Through her firm, “Gordon’s Agency” she’s been hired by the Mayor’s Task Force of the city of Bridgeview to help find three little girls that have vanished without a trace. As soon as she’s introduced to the very handsome Lieutenant Jake Carson, she feels his contempt for what she stands for and realizes that this assignment will not be an easy one. The murderer must be found, but she knows if she and Jake work together, her heart will be lost to a man who detests what she is. Lieutenant Jake Carson is stunned to learn that his uncle has hired a medium to work on the task force when he knew what his nephew thought of so called psychics. Anyone who declares that they have psychic powers are the lowest life form on the planet, but Jake has no choice but to work with her. To make matters worse, he can’t keep his eyes off of this beautiful, but phony Kelsey Gordon. Time is running out. Kelsey’s life is threatened by the murderer and to complicate the situation they’re fighting the sexual cord that’s pulling them closer.

Random Acts By Valerie Sherrard

download (1)In the haze of a food-induced stupor, Zoey Dalton and her best friends Bean and Jenna make a pledge to begin performing random acts of kindness—anonymously. Their previous track record for altruism is pretty much a flat line, so anything they do to help others is bound to be an improvement.

Or is it?

What if the random acts of kindness are unwanted and misunderstood? What if, instead of spreading joy and good will, the trio’s actions stir up trouble, wreak havoc and maybe even cause bodily harm? That, of course, would be a different story.

This story, in fact.

Scotia Sinker by Alison Delory

download (2)Cameron and Erin take a new adventure in their cardboard box — this time, to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean! In Lunar Lifter, the first story in their adventure-packed series, they used magic markers to transform their box into a spaceship that took them to the moon. Now, when they find their damaged Lunar Lifter on the beach, they use their remaining pens to repair and transform it into a small submarine called Scotia Sinker. Their new adventure pulls them far from home, deep into the ocean’s wild waters where many thrills and threats await. Here, Cameron and Erin need all their bravery, wits and the help of some interesting aquatic friends to outrun a fearsome predator.

 

Just Beneath My Skin by Darren Greer

download (3)In the small town of North River, every day that goes by bleeds into the next. Poverty begets hopelessness, hopelessness breeds violence, violence causes despair. The only way to change fate, a minister tells his son, is to leave. The minister’s son, Jake MacNeil, chooses to ignore his father’s advice. Only when he realizes what has become of his life – working a grueling dead-end job, living with a drunk, friends with a murderer – does he decide to make something of himself. But nothing comes without a cost: in choosing freedom, Jake abandons his own son, Nathan, to the care of the boy’s abusive mother. Years later, a reformed Jake comes back for Nathan, to finally set things right. But in North River, everything comes around again; and when a dangerous figure from the past becomes hell-bent on dragging the new Jake “back down where he belongs”, three generations of MacNeil men must come together to pay the full price of hope. Gritty, unrelenting, yet peppered with Darren Greer’s trademark mix of wit and poignance, Just Beneath My Skin is the work of an author at the height of his game.

Grist by Linda Little

download (4)“This is the story of how you were loved,” Penelope MacLaughlin whispers to her granddaughter. Penelope MacLaughlin marries a miller and gradually discovers he is not as she imagined. Nonetheless she remains determined to make the best of life at the lonely mill up the Gunn Brook as she struggles to build a home around her husband’s eccentricities. His increasing absence leaves Penelope to run the mill herself, providing her with a living but also destroying the people she loves most. Penelope struggles with loss and isolation, and suffers the gradual erosion of her sense of self. A series of betrayals leaves her with nothing but the mill and her determination to save her grandchildren from their disturbed father. While she can prepare her grandsons for independence, her granddaughter is too young and so receives the greater gift: the story that made them all.

Somewhere I Belong by Glenna Jenkins

download (5)In Somewhere I Belong, we meet young P.J. Kavanaugh at North Boston Station. His father has died, the Depression is on, and his mother is moving them back home. They settle in, and P.J. makes new friends. But the P.E.I. winter is harsh, the farm chores endless, and his teacher a drunken bully. He soon wants to go home; the problem is how.

A letter arrives from Aunt Mayme announcing a Babe Ruth charity baseball game in the old neighbourhood. But Ma won’t let him go. P.J is devastated. The weeks pass, then there is an accident on the farm. P.J. becomes a hero and Ma changes her mind. He travels to Boston, sees his friends, watches Babe Ruth hit a home run, and renews his attachment to the place. But his eagerness to return to the Island makes him wonder where he really belongs.

Amazing Grace by Lesley Crewe

download (6)Can you really move forward without putting the past to rest?

Grace Willingdon has everything she needs. For fifteen years she’s lived in a trailer overlooking Bras d’Or Lakes in postcard-perfect Baddeck, Cape Breton, with Fletcher Parsons, a giant teddy bear who’s not even her husband. But Grace’s blissful life is rudely interrupted when her estranged son calls from New York City, worried about his teenaged daughter.

Before she knows it, Grace finds herself the temporary guardian of her self-absorbed, city-slicker granddaughter, Melissa. Trapped between a past she’s been struggling to resolve and a present that keeps her on her toes, Grace decides to finally tell her story. Either the truth will absolve her, or cost her everything.

Crackling with Lesley Crewe’s celebrated wit and humour, Amazing Grace is a heartfelt tale of enduring love and forgiveness, and the deep roots of family.

Hopefully, you’ll get the chance to take some of these books out for a test drive this winter. You might be amazed at how much local talent we have here in the Maritimes. Keep warm and Happy Reading! If you’d like to give a shout out to a local book in the comment section please do. I love promoting local. 

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Follow Laura Best on WordPress.com
  • Available now.

  • Laura Best

  • Blog Stats

    • 86,390 hits