It’s Not Always About Me

Long before I ever had a book published it seemed important to me to support other authors. So you can imagine my glee when little by little I began to meet and get to know some of them! I’ll admit that many moons ago it didn’t seem so important to me, even way back when I was writing and publishing some of my stories in literary magazine. But then something changed and I don’t exactly know what. I started to realize that celebrating the success of other authors is also a way of celebrating my own success. Once I figured that out I  really started to feel like an author. And when I started to feel like an author, more and more opportunities came my way. I began to have work published in those literary magazines that, in the beginning, seemed so far out of reach as I wondered if I’d ever write to their standards. Things were looking up.

I’ve got to tell you, life can’t be all about me…me…me. And it shouldn’t be. No one likes a self-centred author no more than a self-centred human being. And so, because it’s not all about me, nor should it be, it’s time for me to give a shout-out for some books I’ve either read or plan to read in the near future. It’s a combination of kids and adult books from authors I’ve met in real life or from the blogging community.  Hopefully, a little something for everyone.. Enjoy!

Rain Shadow - CoverRain Shadow by Valerie Sherrard
Bethany knows that she is special. She doesn’t learn things as easily as her classmates do and that sometimes makes them mean to her. They call her names — including the really “bad” name. Even her mom and her sister Mira say unkind things at times. But Bethany has friends like her neighbour Mrs. Goldsborough as well as happy times with Daddy when he gets home from work. And now, Mira has promised to protect her from the bullies when the new school year begins. Then tragedy strikes, tearing Bethany’s world apart in way she could never have imagined, and she starts to wonder if there will ever be a place that feels like home again. For fans of The Gory Wing , this book is set in the fictitious town of Junction, Manitoba (setting for The Glory Wind) in this story.

I love the cover of this book! To find out more about Valerie and her many book, check out her blog. Here.

 

tumblr_ndsrj3YMpD1rzzbp4o1_500Gertrude at the Beach by Starr Dobson

Everyone’s favourite goat, Gertrude Allawishes, is back! School is out for the summer, and Starr and her family—even Gertrude—are heading to the cottage. Starr’s mom is worried Gertrude will get into trouble. But it isn’t long before Gertrude proves she is one loyal goat and saves the day.

Many of you know Starr Dobson, co-host of Live at Five for a number of years. This is a follow up to her popular picture book, My Goat Gertrude. The illustrations for this picture book are beautiful. To find out more about the artist , Dayle  Dodwell check out her site Here

 

9781771082570MacLean by  Allan Donaldson

This book is a reprinting and was originally published a few years back. It’s on my TBR list simply because I enjoyed his book, “The Case Against Owen Williams” so much.

Twenty-five years after the Great War, John Maclean is still struggling to carve out a meaningful existence in his small New Brunswick hometown.

One late summer day he embarks on a seemingly prosaic search for a little money, a little booze, and a birthday gift for his mother. But he’s haunted by memories—of war, of his cruel father, of opportunities wasted and lost—and each moment is shadowed by his bleak history. Shell-shocked and alcoholic, Maclean is divided between a lonely present and a violent past.

 

FC COVER--smFollowing Chelsea by Shari Green

Walking in the footsteps of a dead girl isn’t easy.

After her social life flatlines, seventeen-year-old Anna Richards wants nothing more than to lie low at her new school. But it seems Anna looks an awful lot like Chelsea, the sweet and popular girl who recently died, and Anna finds herself stepping into the void created by Chelsea’s absence.

Anna is determined to make the awkward situation work in her favor, because Chelsea didn’t just leave a spot open with the in-crowd; she also left a gorgeous—and now available—boyfriend. But it turns out that following Chelsea might be a lot more complicated than Anna expected.

I met Shari a few years back through WordPress and am so excited for publication of her first book. You can check out her site here.

 

evbishop_biggerthings_200pxBigger Things by Ev Bishop.

Best friends since childhood, Jen, Chelsea and Kyra know everything about each other. Or think they do.

Jen should be celebrating her whopping 121-pound weight loss. Instead she feels like she’s betrayed fat girls everywhere. Will anyone love her for who she is inside, fat or thin? More importantly, will she?

Chelsea appears to have it all—a husband, a family, a beautiful home—but plaguing memories threaten to destroy everything. In her desperation to maintain control, will she succumb to a compulsion that costs her life?

Kyra is sick of the superficial persona she’s worn for so long. It’s exhausting to pretend to be an airhead while running a successful business. But if she sheds her life-of-the-party façade, will she ever find the boyfriend she thinks she needs?

When a nervous breakdown leaves one of them fighting to survive, all their secrets are laid bare. To stay friends, they need to battle personal dragons, confront the past, and embrace change. But can they break free from the roles they’ve played so long? Or must they leave one another behind in order to move forward?

Click here to find out more about Ev and how to order Bigger Things.

alongthewayhome-christicorbett-453x680Along the Way Home by Christi Corbett

Kate Davis is intrigued when her father reveals his dream of starting a horse ranch in Oregon Territory. Settlers out west value a strong woman, and though she manages the financials of her father’s mercantile her competence earns her ridicule, not respect, from Virginia’s elite society. 

Jake Fitzpatrick, an experienced trail guide, wants land out west to raise cattle and crops. But dreams require money and he’s eating dandelion greens for dinner. So when a wealthy businessman offers double wages to guide his family across the Oregon Trail, Jake accepts with one stipulation—he is in complete control.

Departure day finds Kate clinging to her possessions as Jake demands she abandon all he deems frivolous, including her deceased mother’s heirlooms. Jake stands firm, refusing to let the whims of a headstrong woman jeopardize the wages he so desperately needs—even a beautiful one with fiery green eyes and a temper to match.

Trail life is a battle of wills between them until tragedy strikes, leaving Jake with an honor-bound promise to protect her from harm and Kate with a monumental choice—go back to everything she’s ever known or toward everything she’s ever wanted? Christi is also a blogging friend. Check out Christi’s WordPress site Here

downloadRocket Man by Jan Coates

If only Bob could go back to being the Mr. Invisible of his superhero days. Back when he wasn’t always being compared to his super-talented hardcore basketball god brother and perfect little sister. Back when Roy and Kyle didn’t know he existed. To make matters even worse, his dad is really sick and getting sicker.

When Bob begins planning a fundraiser basketball game in support of cancer research, things start to look up. With Roy being temporarily out of the picture after terrorizing some little kids, Bob finally gets a chance to play on the D1 basketball team and ends up helping Roy complete his community service. Maria seems to be becoming more than a friend, and even big brother James starts paying more attention to him, and gives Bob some pointers on how to become The Rocket Man. But cancer rears its ugly head again when a bad fall lands Dad in a wheelchair. Will he be strong enough to make it to the Hoop Heroes 4 Health game?

You can find out all about Jan  and her books by visiting her blog here.

buddyfordavidlargefront2Buddy For David by Carol Ann Hoel

I had the privileged of reading Carol’s book before it was published. Carol is another friend I met on WordPress. I’ve added a link to her blog here.

If you like Christian fiction you may want to give this a read.

Young David disappeared. The only clue was trapped inside the mind of his little sister Rachel. Experience the panic David felt, kidnapped and locked inside a cage. Delight in a Great White Pyrenees dog and a woodpecker playing their roles incidentally turning tragedy to good. If you have ever felt overwhelmed by grief or oppressed by a general sense of hopelessness, or discouraged by the trials of life, you will discover in the pages of this book a living, loving, and powerful God. Incidentally, you will be entertained. Read about this sweet family, the kind all of us might wish to call our own. Find out, immediately, that their lives are about to be molested by a tragic event. Meet the family, father, mother, children, and grandmother. Walk in the shoes of the sheriff and his staff, as they struggle to find and rescue David from his captors. Meet Buddy, a Great White Pyrenees dog, just a dog, not an angel, but a big, white, fluffy dog, that plays an integral part in this saga…

I hope you enjoy this  eclectic list of books. I wish each and every author all the best. Thank you for doing what you do. You’re awesome!

Move Over J.K. Rowling Cause Here I come!!

Okay, so the title is a supposed to be a joke. But hey, it never hurts to dream big. Right?

Seriously, though we all know about the success of the Harry Potter books. I loved reading the story behind the success, how a modest 1000 copies were printed of the first book because the publisher wasn’t sure it would sell. I mean they were taking a chance on a first time author. Right?

Reading about the success of others can either inspire us or depress us.
I prefer to let it inspire me. The truth is most of us won’t write a novel that will meet or surpass the phenomenal success of the Harry Potter series. But so what!

Shari Green recently blogged about redefining success in our lives (you can read Shari’s post here.) I liked it when Shari asked the question: Might you benefit from redefining what constitutes success as a writer for you?

Before and after my first novel came out many of my friends made the suggestion that wouldn’t it be wonderful if it became the next Harry Potter. Well yah, and while I’m all for dreaming big and being open to endless possibilities, at some point we have to look at life realistically.

But does that mean our success must pale along those best selling authors like Rowling, King, Atwood, etc? Do we all have to have sales that go through the roof in order for that sweet taste of success to be ours? I don’t think so.

Completing a novel is a huge big deal. Having one published is an even bigger deal.

Many people will talk about writing a book, but many will discover along the way that they don’t have what it takes to sit and write every day until they come to ….THE END. Having the desire to do something will not bring our dreams to fruition if we are not ready or able to do the work involved in order to have that dream realized.

Shortly after my novel came out, my family had a get-together at my mother’s house and surprised me with a plaque. Congratulations on the success of your first novel, Bitter, Sweet, it reads. For a split second I thought, success? My book’s been out less than a month. How can they use the word success?

Months later, I now look at this from a totally different perspective. Of course my book is a success, I wrote it, it’s been published, people have read it. I’m not going to turn around now and attach stipulations to this. There are many degrees of success in this world. Why do we think we have to go for something that is SO off scale, so out of balance, something that only a very few will ever experience, before we are satisfied? For a toddler, success is that very first step, not the millions of steps that come after. I’m not sure what will come after Bitter, Sweet. I have no crystal ball. All I have is the knowledge that regardless of what the future holds my book is already a success.

So what’s it really about?

Before the publication of “Bitter, Sweet” my oldest daughter and I had a conversation about the book and I remember saying that I didn’t want this whole experience to be just about sales. I know what you’re probably thinking, sales are important. Absolutely. Writers need to make a living too, so in one sense sales do matter. Not to mention that the publishing company needs to make money in order to stay in business.

But is that all that really matters? I sure hope not. I hope that somewhere, somehow this little story I wrote a few years back will mean much, much more to me than a few royalty cheques in the mail.

My daughter reminded me of our conversation recently when I mentioned that “Bitter, Sweet” was temporarily of stock on Amazon. (I concluded that perhaps they only had about four copies of the book in stock to begin with. I mean who really knows what that means?) Okay….so I’ve been spying on my book. I’ll admit that.

So is it all about sale, the very thing I didn’t want this to become? I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I can say in all honesty that no, it isn’t. For me this book is about so much more. It is about a whole community working together the day of the book launch to make it the most memorable event possible and, the little notes I received the day of the launch, the flowers, the well wishes and emails not only from my family and friends, but from perfect strangers who know nothing more about me other than the fact that I’ve written a book. This book is about the other authors on facebook— Helene Boudreau, Steve Vernon, Shari Green—- who have been helping to promote my book by writing reviews, giving out links to my book on Amazon for everyone on their friends list to see. It is about a blogger friend, Carol Garvin setting up an interview to help promote it as well– a dear lady who took the time to think up questions for the interview and using her valuable time just to help out another writer. It is the looks of excitement on people’s faces when they let me know they’ve been checking out the bookstores and it’s about the people who have never before entered a bookstore, let alone purchased a book, wanting copies of my book. It’s about the people who have taken the time to actually read the book and to tell me how much they enjoyed it. How cool is all that? It is about people in the blogging community cheering me on, dropping in to read my post and taking the time to leave comment. So far, this little book has brought out the best in a whole lot of people.

So, it is about more than sales. I’d say this little book  is doing pretty darn good for itself.

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