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In 2017 I wrote a short story, “My Name is Joe: A Reflection.” It is a story about an elderly woman who reflects on her long marriage to her late husband. The story is about love that survives family issues, cultural changes, wars, and illness. My second story, “Willow Falls,” is about the strength of love and how it endures in spite of changes that can occur. Both stories have been published in Edify Fiction, an online magazine. The magazine is free and accepts submissions of short stories, photography, and poetry. I hope you will read my stories at: edifyfiction.com . Just click on issues and the ones below. And they are free. Also follow us (I do the social media for the magazine) on facebook for all kinds of information about submissions, writing news, and contests.

June 2017 Issue Page 17
February 2018 Issue Page 21

While writing is a major challenge–and very rewarding, I might add–promoting one’s work is even more of a challenge. Social media, ads, giveaways, word-of-mouth, book clubs–I’ve been trying them all. So, what works? I guess I just have to keep pushing. Don’t get me wrong–I’m not complaining. When I check my stats and see that books have been claimed on a giveaway I’m thrilled. No, I really am thrilled that someone wants to read my book. I just keep telling myself that patience is an important trait to have!!

“When Shadows Linger,” my first novel, is my pride and joy. It is set in Vermont and I’ll tell you why. We had just visited the state for the first time and I fell in love with its beauty. Having been born and raised in Wisconsin and living in Florida for over forty-seven years–I remember telling my husband that God must have put all of the beauty in Vermont. Anyway, it’s the story of a young woman who becomes widowed when her husband dies in a car accident in Wisconsin and she relocates to Vermont. Anyone who reads the story can picture themselves walking down Main Street in a small New England town. And I captured winter and holidays–I do pretty well with descriptions. Then I wrote the sequel, “The Primrose Garden.” With that book, I decided to try my hand at writing a mystery. Formulating the plan for the book, I decided that I wanted to divide it into “Book One and Book Two.” And I wanted to make it more diverse than Shadows was. So, I did–in several ways. As in any of my writing, I addressed issues that are prevalent in our society today–that’t my social work background kicking in. I hope you’ll read the books and let me know what you think.

Since I finished my new novel, “The Primrose Garden,” I have found myself not being able to focus on writing. Instead, I work on my website, Face Book, Instagram—and promoting the book. Oh—and reading, too.  But while I’m doing all of it, I keep telling myself to work on my new book. To me, that’s the exciting part of writing—everything that I’m doing with the social media, this website, and reading—is part of what makes me a “writer.” But I have to admit to myself, that it’s time to get back on track if I ever want this new novel to take shape. It’s historical fiction, which requires research, being organized (not my best trait) and patience with putting it together. But I’ll do it—I’m ready to get back to my book. I’ll keep you informed!!

As a child, my mother encouraged us to read–she said that it would take us on adventures. And she was right. I’ve always been an avid reader, which led to me wanting to write. What girls didn’t like to read about the Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew? Of course, my reading tastes have changed over the years. I love mysteries, legal thrillers, women’s fiction, and novels about social issues. Like everyone else, I have my favorite authors–Jodi Piccoult, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, Lisa Gardner, Harlan Coben, Barbara Delinsky, Lisa Scottoline,–and others. Sometimes someone recommends something new and I wander out of my usual choices and am so happy that I did. The most recent recommendation ended up being a great book–“The Silent Patient,” by Alex Michaelides. It was fantastic–for those who enjoy psychological thrillers. If someone hadn’t told me about Jodi Piccoult a few years ago, I would have missed her wonderful books. So, how about you?– would you like to share your favorites? After all, how else can we learn about new reading experiences if not from each other?

When I published my first novelette, “Envelopes of Hope,” I did the cover myself (actually, my daughter-in-law did the illustration). And she did the same for “When Shadows Linger.” I thought that it would be expensive to have it done professionally. But I recently found someone who is professional and not expensive. And she does a fabulous job . Chris created the cover for my new book, “The Primrose Garden,” and a new cover for “When Shadows Linger.” I am so excited about the differences of the covers that I keep looking at them. I want to share my good fortune with anyone who needs a cover done–or the other products she has. This is her information: Chris Holmes. Her email is: cholmes@cfl.rr.com and her website is: http://whiterabbitgraphix.com/ . Chris answers emails quickly and does a beautiful job.

I find that writing is comprised of numerous steps–which is not a new discovery, I’m sure. Of course, first there has to be an idea for the story. And a genre–fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction. What will the length be–short story, novel, novella, flash. And the title–I, for one, find that I need a title right in the beginning. I may end up changing it, but probably not. For me, it’s almost like having an outline. Thoughts come easier when I have my title. Strange? Maybe–but it works for me. I’ve been fortunate (knock on wood) that my ideas flow; meaning that they just come to me as I write. Do I get stuck? Of course, but then I seem to get past it quickly. How about the setting? My novels are set in Vermont because that’s where I picture myself to be. Hey–it works for me. If you have read “When Shadows Linger,” and I hope you do if you haven’t, you’ll be able to picture yourself walking down Main Street in any New England town. I’ve been told that my descriptions are vivid. I can see as I continue writing that the depth of my characters has improved. The hardest part? Promoting my work–getting sales and reviews. But, I have no doubt that as time goes on, it will get better and better.

“Envelopes of Hope” is the first book that I wrote. It was inspired by a family member who had an addiction problem for many years. When she decided to change her life. she sent me a letter and thanked me for not giving up on her. The story is about a young girl who becomes lost in the dark world of drugs. With the love and support of her family, she finds her way out. The story was written with the hope of providing inspiration to those who have family members or other loved ones who may be involved with drugs or other issues. With our support, they can find their way to a successful life. The book is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle formats.

I not only finished, “The Primrose Garden,” but I spent many frustrating hours getting the ebook and paperback published–only to find that I somehow neglected to put page numbers in the paperback!! So, that has to be fixed. Aww–the world of the indie author is not an easy one. I’m really happy with the book, though. It’s longer than I thought it would be-almost 500 pages. But I think it is a good read–if you don’t mind me bragging a little. It’s available on Amazon–and will be on a goodreads giveaway. So, stay tuned for more news and please share with your friends.

I’m excited! My first book club meeting is on Tuesday at a Hadassah luncheon. “My Name is Rebecca: A Novelette” will be the star of the day. Busy getting all of this ready and I’ll keep you posted. Wish me good luck!

If you have read “About Me,” you know a little bit of my background. Sometimes, as we all know, pictures tell a story without words. That’s why, in my new Gallery posts, I’ve decided to post photos from years gone by. I hope you will visit that page–it’s a work in progress. I hope you enjoy my new Gallery–and would love to have comments.

I have recently joined two groups. One is the Florida Writer’s Association. I am looking forward to meeting people in my state who share the love of writing. The second group is Hadassah, the chapter in Weston, Florida. I am extremely proud to be a part of both groups and will keep you updated on activities.

Many articles that I have read state that a person cannot be a good author if they don’t read a lot. That makes sense to me, so I have been increasing my reading (even though I have always been an avid reader) and the genres that I read. I tend to stay with one genre at a time–some years back it became mysteries. I love legal mysteries–I think it has something to do with my childhood goal of wanting to be a lawyer. (I chose social work instead.) Anyway, I also read novels that address social issues, some romance, women’s fiction. I don’t have “one” favorite author–I have many. There are some books that I absolutely HAVE to preorder as soon as they are listed. Some of those are: Harlan Coben, Jodi Piccoult, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Scottoline, Barbara Delinsky, John Grisham. These are just a few. Would you like to share your favorites with me?

Happy First Day of Spring!! I am happy to say that it has been “chilly” here in South Florida–and I love it!! The more cool days we get before the relentless heat and humidity set in, the better. I’m at the final stage of perfecting “The Primrose Garden” before I publish it next month. I can’t wait to do the formatting and cover–just put it together. Self-publishing is a challenge all in itself. I’ll definitely keep you updated!!

Well, I may have met my deadline for finishing my book but, as any writer knows, it’s far from finished. I’ve proofread, edited, proofread, etc. and that’s all before I even give it to the editor. It’s a process–and a fascinating one. As I go through the book over and over, my mind is on the project that I started months ago. “My Name is Rebecca: A Novelette” was a challenge and I took great pride in it. I decided at that time to write more historical fiction, but a full length novel. Now I can dedicate more time to it–since I had started writing it months ago. The new book, “The Primrose Garden,” is a sequel to my first novel, “When Shadows Linger.” If you like to read mysteries, romance, and stories that deal with social issues and mental health concerns, you will love this book. Watch for a release date.