What I read in January

My last blog post was about some of the books I read during the last quarter of 2015, and I promised my next post would be about my reading so far this year. Actually, this post will just cover four books I read in January.

After enjoying Allen Eskens’ debut novel, The Life We Bury, in 2014, I looked forward to his second book. I read The Guise of Another in January. It had more violence than I thought necessary, but perhaps I was just still in the Christmas spirit. It was an intriguing story and a page turner like his first book. I hope he keeps writing novels.

Somehow I failed to read David Ignatius’ The Director, when it was released last May. I remedied that oversight in January. I’m a big David Ignatius fan, and The Director did not disappoint.

Michael Eury is the author of several local history books here in Cabarrus County, NC. His latest rendering, Legendary Locals of Cabarrus County is a delightful collection of the life stories of Cabarrus Countians who have made a lasting mark on the southern piedmont of NC. Michael asked me to make recommendations for the people from Harrisburg that he should include in the book. I was thrilled to have a hand in that. The book turned out great!

My name finally rose to the top of the public library’s waitlist for Janet Evanovich’s Tricky Twenty-Two. Fans of Ms. Evanovich eagerly await the next installment of this chronologically-numbered Stephanie Plum series every fall. I try to get on the waitlist at the library as soon as her annual release is on order. When I need a laugh out loud book to read, give me Stephanie Plum!

As a writer, I want people to support their local independent bookstore. As a writer, I also want people to support their local public library system. No matter how you choose to get your books, just get them!

Happy reading! (Now, I need to get back to The Guilty, by David Baldacci!)

2014 was an exciting writing year for me

Most people take December 31 or January 1 to reflect on the last year. Leave it to me to wait a few days. I can procrastinate with the best of them! Looking back on 2014, I realize what an exciting writing year it was for me.

I celebrated the following firsts: (1) My first book, a vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, was published on August 25 by Arcadia Publishing; (2) My first author event was held at the public library in Harrisburg, North Carolina, on September 11; and (3) My first book launch was held on September 21.

In the last three months of 2014, I had additional author events at public libraries in Cabarrus and Haywood Counties, North Carolina.

Two whirlwind trips to the mountains of North Carolina in December to promote my book, to thank bookstore owners for selling my book, and to introduce my book to other bookstore and gift shop owners were my first forays into commercial book promotion.

In my spare time, I have done a bit of research in preparation for submitting an author proposal to Arcadia Publishing for a Piedmont North Carolina vintage postcard book in 2015, but most of my time has been spent promoting the Blue Ridge Mountains book. That book is my primary focus. I have two author events scheduled in April and May. With the holidays behind me, it is time to turn my attention to lining up additional author events this spring and summer.

Last week I took time to write a 1,899-word piece to enter in the Southern California Genealogical Society’s 2014 GENEii Nonfiction Writing Contest. I’ll talk more about that and my subject matter in another blog post this month. The winner will be announced on May 1, 2015.

Sometimes I don’t think I get much accomplished. It’s gratifying to take a few minutes on December 31, January 1, or even January 4 to remember what I did in the last year. Will I be as productive in 2015? Stay tuned!