Announcing release of my friends’ book: Unthinkable Choice

I am pleased to announce that Unthinkable Choice, by Sampson and Lee Ann Parker was released on September 16, 2014. Sampson’s hand was caught in a piece of farm equipment on September 11, 2007, and he had to make the “unthinkable choice” to try to get free of the machinery as it was catching on fire. He lost his right arm. This book is Sampson and his wife’s story about the accident and its aftermath. Please go to amazon.com or Barnes & Noble and buy their book. Their story will make you realize how precious life is and how your life can turn in a split second.

Planning a book tour

Every day brings a new experience. I’m putting together my first book tour in the mountains of North Carolina. I’ve selected nine public libraries to contact. Speaking about my book is going to take me way out of my comfort zone, but I need to do it!

Amy Clipston gave a very interesting presentation on Monday night at Rocky River Presbyterian Church. She told us about how she is able to write Amish fiction without being Amish. She also talked about the journey her family took through the process of kidney transplantation. She is one busy and gracious lady! Check out her books and her website: http://www.amyclipston.com.

Amy Clipston author event tonight!

If you live in the Harrisburg/Concord area, come out tonight for an Amy Clipston speaking engagement hosted by Rocky River Readers Book Club at Rocky River Presbyterian Church, 7940 Rocky River Road, Concord, NC at 7:00 p.m. in the church sanctuary. Amy is a Christian fiction writer who specializes in writing Amish fiction. Even if you haven’t read any of Amy’s books, come out tonight to hear her speak. She will also have her books for sale.

Amy Clipston at Friends of the Harrisburg Library

Last night I had the privilege of hearing author Amy Clipston speak. She was the guest speaker at the annual meeting of the Friends of the Harrisburg (NC) Library.

Amy has written numerous Amish fiction books and YA books. I eagerly await the release of A Mother’s Secret, the sequel to A Hopeful Heart. These books are in her Heart of the Lancaster Grand Hotel Series.

Amy has also written The Gift of Love, about the journey she and her husband took through organ donation. I am at the top of the waiting list for it at the library.

Check out Amy’s website to learn more about her and her books. And if you aren’t a member of a local Friends of the Library organization, inquire about it at your public library.

The Dry Grass of August

Today was great fun! I got to hear Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August, speak at the public library in Kannapolis, NC. The event was well attended and she answered questions until there were no more. She’s a very entertaining speaker.

Discussions of The Dry Grass of August generate interesting questions and conversations about the days before and during the Civil Rights Movement. Today’s audience was a cross-section of ages and people who grew up in various parts of the United States. Today’s program brought several perspectives to light.

The discussion about race relations combined with A.J.’s talking about her writing and life experiences made for a very enjoyable afternoon.

I love hearing authors speak!

I got to hear Mark de Castrique speak again last night. He’s not only a good writer, he’s an entertaining and informative speaker.

I mailed a query letter to StarDate magazine today. I would be very pleased if they publish my article about the 1849 “Monroe” meteorite that landed in Cabarrus County. Time will tell.

I continue to research literary agents.

I’m back!

When I wrote on Christmas Day that I was ending a chapter in my writing life, I didn’t realize that I would completely drift away from my writing blog. I must be the worst blogger in history. I have good intentions of doing better in the future, but I think I’ve said that before.

Author A.J. Mayhew (The Dry Grass of August) gave me some excellent constructive criticism in January. As a result, I am reviewing my Spanish Coin manuscript with a more critical and educated eye. I’m slowly tightening up the dialog and look for word repetition. At the same time, I’m looking at the landscape and physical space in the manuscript and striving to describe the setting so that my future readers can better visualize Nancy Richardson’s home and the lay of the land in the Waxhaws. It’s tedious work, but I do enjoy it when I can set aside a block of uninterrupted time.

I’m also working on a magazine article proposal about the effect the Civil War had on the Rocky River Presbyterian Church congregation. It’s hard to break in as a freelance writer, so wish me luck!

In February, the Rocky River Readers Book Club read Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton. I’d read the book in 2010 but enjoyed reading it again. It’s a compelling story that makes the reader have serious thoughts about our justice system.

Other books I’ve read this year are The Midwife of Venice, by Roberta Rich; Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin; The Shunning, by Beverly Lewis; The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, by Wendy Welch; Fireflies in December, by Jennifer Erin Valent; and My Name is Mary Sutter, by Robin Oliveira. I recommend all of them to you. If you like historical fiction, My Name is Mary Sutter definitely needs to be on your reading list.

I just finished reading Fireflies in December on my Kindle and look forward to reading the sequels.

There are so many things I want to write about and read about, while sewing, quilting, and crocheting to put new items on Etsy to sell. HickoryRidgeCrafts is taking more of my time than writing lately. I’m struggling to strike a balance.

Hearing published authors inspires me

A few weeks ago the Rocky River Readers Book Club had the privilege of having Amy Clipston as our guest speaker. Amy writes Christian Fiction and has found a niche in writing about the Amish. If you get a chance, check out her books.

Sunday night the Rocky River Readers’ guest speaker was Anna Jean Mayhew. The Dry Grass of August, her first novel, was published in 2011 to rave reviews. It follows a 14-year-old white girl in Charlotte in 1954 as she learns first-hand how blacks are treated as second-class citizens. Anna Jean (who writes¬†under the pen name A.J. Mayhew), is working on her second novel. I can’t wait to read it!

Who would have thought a little community book club meeting at a church in a semi-rural area would attract two published authors in one year?