It’s a Launch

So happy to be able to announce that after the publishing of three books during this pandemic, I am finally able to have a launch for A Sure Cure for Witchcraft.

Also, everyone is welcome to bring their witch’s hat. (I know you all have one!)

Please feel free to let your friends know. Everyone is welcome.

Walpurgisnacht

While researching for A Sure Cure for Witchcraft, I discovered many things. One was Walpurgisnacht, pronounced Val-purr-gess-nach-t.

Exactly what is Walpurgisnacht?

It’s the German word for Walpurgis Night.

I know, so what is Walpurgis Night?

It actually began centuries ago as a celebration of Spring on April 30th and is exactly six months from Hallowe’en. Somehow along the way things changes and it became a time when men and boys would gather to light large bonfires and make loud noises all night long because they believed it would chase away evil.

It is said that Walpurgisnacht took place on “the Brocken” which was the highest peak in the Hartz Mountain. It’s supposed to be a place where witches meet to celebrate evil.

Walpurgisnacht is mentioned several time in my upcoming book A Sure Cure for Witchcraft, both in the past as well as the present-day story thread. Readers will learn more about the superstition surrounding it. I found it fascinating. I love reading about superstitions and the beliefs people once had. While I realize that people had all sorts of beliefs back in the 18th century, some of them seem farfetched today. You’ll find plenty of these outdated superstitions in the book.

I found this song on YouTube by a German band known as Faun. To learn a bit more about the band click the link HERE. The song is kind of catchy. I’ve posted the English translation below the video for anyone interested in what they are singing.

In the night-sky tonight

The witches rise

Wild folk and Lilith’s kind

Lurking, secretly ride the winds. 

Let us wander to the fires

Whispering, reach for the stars

Both the good and the bad word

Take us (further) on and on tonight. 

In the meadows our dreams will ring

And the winds will sing our songs.

Let us leap over the fires with the sparks

On Walpurgis Night! 

Hear the fiddles, hear the fiddles,

The fires are kindled!

Follow the round dance, follow the round dance

On Walpurgis Night. 

Unruly in the fiddles’ play

Our nightly round dance spins

And we join, wild and free,

This old magic.

 

Only once in great circles

We dance in that way

Until the first light of morning

Breaks our dream-web.

In the meadows our dreams will ring

And the winds will sing our songs.

Let us leap over the fires with the sparks

On Walpurgis Night! 

Hear the fiddles, hear the fiddles,

The fires are kindled!

Follow the round dance, follow the round dance

On Walpurgis Night.

Next month A Sure Cure for Witchcraft will be hitting the bookstores. I’ll keep you updated as the time get closer so check back on my blog from time to time and I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.

A First Review

Did I say first review? Make that first and second.

Months before a book is published Advanced Reading copies are sent out to reviewers, to help build some buzz before publication day. The hope is that early review will be favourable and others will want to see what all the buzz is about.

As many of you know, my next book is due to be released in September. What started out as an idea of a story that would follow two characters across time, finally developed into a book that I’m excited to see released into the world.

The book already has a few ratings on GoodReads and a very first review has come in. You can read it HERE. As I was preparing this post another early review came in as well. HERE.

The cover was finalized a few weeks ago which means all that is left is for it to go off to the printer.

I’m excited about this book for a number of reasons. First and foremost because it was quite some time in the making, which I think I mentioned here already. But it is also about the belief in witchcraft that people had centuries ago, and when my German-speaking ancestors came here to Nova Scotia in the 1700’s, they brought many of those beliefs with them. Even in my lifetime, I have known people who believed a certain individual was a witch. That is something that has always fascinated me.

So now, as another book is about to make it’s way into the big scary world, I hope it will be welcomed with open arms. Of course, it doesn’t mean I can just sit back and wait for this to happen. I’m hard at work on a more contemporary YA novel, but I also have some other stories on the go. Hopefully, none of them will take over ten years to come to fruition.

And the Winner is.

As I mentioned in my last post, the Atlantic Book Awards were held last Thursday and GOOD MOTHERS DON’T was nominated for The Dartmouth Book Award. While I didn’t end up with the prize that evening, I still ended up feeling like a winner when these arrived on Saturday afternoon from my publisher.

So, the actual winner of the award was Lesley Crewe and her book THE SPOON STEALER. I’ve met Lesley and she’s so nice and funny, and I’m happy for her. Coincidentally, we both have the same publisher.

Today, I sent off the ARC queries for A SURE CURE FOR WITCHCRAFT to my editor. This means, the ARCs will soon be going off to print. It’s been a crazy busy time with two books coming out in one year and with last year’s book still getting some attention.

This Saturday, I’m set to do a virtual book launch for THE FAMILY WAY which is another first for me. It’s something that anyone on or off Facebook can attend. I’m not sure what to expect but I guess I’ll be soon finding out.

Now, it’s off to work on my next book. I’ve a few in the works but so it’ll be a race to see which one makes it to the finish line first.

The Atlantic Book Awards

It’s that time of the year again when the nominations for the Atlantic Book Awards are announced. I’m honoured and thrilled that Good Mothers Don’t has been short-listed for this year’s Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award, and thrilled to be in the company of such gifted writers.

The winners for all the awards will be announced later in May. Wish me luck!

The Family Way Book Trailer

In my last post, I mentioned that I’d be sharing the book trailer my oldest daughter made for THE FAMILY WAY. We had a blast working on it together, long distance. It was challenging but fun. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Saying Good Bye to THE FAMILY WAY

Just moments ago I said goodbye to THE FAMILY WAY. Honestly, I breathed a sigh of relief. This means, of course, that the files have now been sent off to the printer and we are coming into the home stretch. The April 13th release day is not that far away .

The Family Way is book #3 in the Cammie series. The first two books were of course FLYING WITH A BROKEN WING and CAMMIE TAKES FLIGHT.

Soon, I’ll be holding all our hard work in my hands. Yes, I did say “our hard work” because it takes many hands to get a book to publication. Can’t say enough good about the entire Nimbus team. Hard to believe this is my fifth book with them. I well remember when the publication of a book felt like an unattainable dream, one that I kept working toward even those times when I didn’t believe it would ever happen.

Here is the final cover, front and back. Call me silly, but I’m quite partial to the little pram on the book spine.  Some of you might recognize the building on the front as The Ideal Maternity Home. The Blurb on the back was written by Hadley Dyer, a writer I admire greatly. We met many years ago when her book, JOHNNY KELLOCK DIED TODAY was published and she later gave me some wonderful advice that I never forgot. And the fact that she’s a “Valley girl” is an added bonus. We actually attended the same high school–in different centuries of course.

The Family Way can be pre-ordered right now directly from Me, the author (Yes, I’ll take pre-orders too if you’re in the area! Simply message me on Facebook or through the CONTACT page of this blog. )You can also pre-order from your local  Independent bookstore,    Nimbus Publishing. Indigo  Amazon.ca  Amazon.com

Special Delivery, Unveiled.

Days before Christmas I mentioned  here on my blog that Miss Charlotte had received a special delivery from my awesome publisher, complete with a special note. I was feeling a little down that she wouldn’t be able to come to our home for Christmas this year, something she’d been doing for the past ten years. So, it was such a wonder gesture on my publisher’s part.

 

Needless to say, she was one happy girl. Miss Charlotte likes the cover as it is but it has yet to be finalized at this time, so we may see some changes when the book actually comes out.

What’s the book about? Well, for those of you who are familiar with the Cammie series, this book is the prequel to those.  Readers will finally find out who Cammie’s mother is.  Much of the book is set at the Ideal Maternity Home in East Chester, the infamous home of the Butterbox Babies. Here’s the back cover blurb.

Set in 1930 and based on true events, this middle-grade novel explores family secrets, set at the Ideal Maternity Home.

Tulia May lives in rural Nova Scotia with her mother, who works in the laundry of the nearby Ideal Maternity Home. It’s a place where unwed mothers can discreetly give birth, a place where adoptions by rich Americans can be quickly arranged. Tulia doesn’t think about the workings of the home much; mostly she hates being roped in to helping scrub the endless diapers. Her friend Finny Paul has suspicions that the home is holding sinister secrets — the worst being that unadoptable babies are being buried in butterboxes — but Tulia thinks he’s being ridiculous. When Tulia’s sister Becky ends up in the home, Tulia truly starts to consider Finny’s concerns. And when she and Finny discover what’s really going on there, she knows she has to act quickly to keep Becky’s baby safe.

Based on the true story of the Ideal Maternity Home, and its tragic Butterbox Babies, The Family Way is a thoughtful and engaging exploration of family and of Nova Scotia’s history. A stand-alone middle-grade novel, it also serves as a prequel to the critically acclaimed Cammie novels, Flying With a Broken Wing

Release date for The Family Way is April 2021. That’s only four months  from now. I’m so looking forward to sharing the rest of Cammie’s story with you all. In the mean time, I’ll be hard at work on the edits for my next novel, A Sure Cure for Witchcraft.

Special Delivery

Have I said how much I love my publisher? It is true. Here is just a small example as to why.

Awhile back, my awesome publisher sent out a special delivery package to my granddaughter who is in another province and won’t be able to make it to Nova Scotia for Christmas this year. It will be the first time in ten years that we won’t get to see her. 

The outside packaging was a little beat up when it arrived in the mailbox, but the wrapped item inside made the trip quite nicely.

So many times, it is the small things that end up meaning so very much. This special delivery went above and beyond. Thank you Kate, and everyone at Nimbus Publishing!

So, what’s inside you might ask? I can’t answer that before Christmas, wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise, you know.  You’ll have to check back in with me after Christmas to find out. But in the meanwhile you’re welcome to guess.

Hoping you all have a happy and safe holiday. 

 

The Family Way

Just a quick blog post to bring everyone up to speed about my next book.. Yes, there’s soon to be a next!

The title of the new book is The Family Way and is due to be published in April 2021.

The ARCs have been sent off to the printer awhile ago. We still have to finalize the cover for the actual book but there’s still plenty of time for that. If you remember, ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) are sent out early to reviewers and book sellers in advance of the actually book. To, hopefully, get people excited about the book before it actually comes out.

The Family Way is what we call a stand-alone middle-grade novel, but is also the prequel to my other two Cammie novels, Flying with a Broken Wing and Cammie Takes Flight. What that means is that you don’t have to have read the other two novels in order for this one to make sense. Thus the term—stand alone. The book is set at the infamous Ideal Maternity Home in East Chester in 1939, the year Cammie was born. If you’ve heard anything about The Butterbox Babies, this is where that true life story actually happened.

Here’s the back cover copy and will give you a bit of an idea what the book is about.:

Set in 1930 and based on true events, this middle-grade novel explores family secrets, set at the Ideal Maternity Home.

Tulia May lives in rural Nova Scotia with her mother, who works in the laundry of the nearby Ideal Maternity Home. It’s a place where unwed mothers can discreetly give birth, a place where adoptions by rich Americans can be quickly arranged. Tulia doesn’t think about the workings of the home much; mostly she hates being roped in to helping scrub the endless diapers. Her friend Finny Paul has suspicions that the home is holding sinister secrets—the worst being that unadoptable babies are being buried in butterboxes—but Tulia thinks he’s being ridiculous. When Tulia’s sister Becky ends up in the home, Tulia truly starts to consider Finny’s concerns. And when she and Finny discover what’s really going on there, she knows she has to act quickly to keep Becky’s baby safe.

Based on the true story of the Ideal Maternity Home, and its tragic Butterbox Babies, The Family Way is a thoughtful and engaging exploration of family and of Nova Scotia’s history. A stand-alone middle-grade novel, it also serves as a prequel to the critically acclaimed Cammie novels, Flying With a Broken Wing and Cammie Takes Flight.

When I have a finalized cover, I will share it here on my blog.  In the meantime, edits for yet another middle-grade book A Sure Cure for Witchcraft  will be getting underway in the next month or so. I actually started that book many years ago and have worked on it  off and on since then, trying to get it to a place where I’m satisfied with the end result.  I’m so happy that it is now going to be published in fall 2021. The story is set in Germany in the mid-1700’s and at the time when Foreign Protestants were immigrating to this country. It was actually where my ancestors on both sides of my mother’s family came from, so this book is especially important to me.

So that’s sort of it for now. I hope you’re finding some positive things in your life these days. It has been difficult for so many of us with the pandemic on, but despite the pandemic, life still goes on. That means we have to learn to adapt, to search for the joy in our lives, no matter how difficult that joy may be to find.

Have a wonderful November.

 

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