Blog


Collected here you will find news about my books and events, musings on the writing life, recipes (every now and then), and whatever else I'm in the mood to share ;)


Monadnock Pastoral Poetry retreat

 

April 27 through April 29, 2018

 

Join us for a weekend writing retreat in beautiful Southern New Hampshire.

 

Participants meet in small workshop groups to develop their craft. There are readings throughout the weekend and time to relax and enjoy the lovely setting. 

 

The registration deadline is March 23, 2018. Click here to sign up.

 

 

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In Just-- / Spring

 

 

 

 The Worcester County Poetry Association and Tower Hill Botanical Garden are happy to present a spring-themed poetry reading and open mic on April 22 at 2:00. 

 

I will be hosting the event, which will feature poets Heather Treseler and Henry Walters. Poets are invited to sign up for the open mic beginning at 1:45. 

 

The event is included in admission to Tower Hill.

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Monadnock Pastoral Poetry retreat

 

Join us for a weekend writing retreat in beautiful Southern New Hampshire.

 

Participants meet in small workshop groups to develop their craft. There are readings throughout the weekend and time to relax and enjoy the lovely setting. 

 

The registration deadline is March 21, 2017. Click here to sign up.

 

Last year was my first as mentor at this conference, and it was a phenomenal experience. I hope you can join us this year!

 

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French Macarons

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Sourdough Heaven

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Worcester Storytellers, March 24

I'm excited to announce that I'll be the featured storyteller at Worcester Storytellers in March. Host Kristina England has kindly invited me to share stories from last summer's epic "Todyssey" road trip.

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

7:00

Annie's Book Stop

65 James Street

Worcester, MA

Quick Pork Dinner

A quick dinner for busy days
A quick dinner for busy days
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Mini Crustless Spinach Quiche

Mini Quiche with a Side of Bacon
Mini Quiche with a Side of Bacon
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Simple, Silky Carrot-Ginger Soup

Big Batch Soup for Chilly Days
Big Batch Soup for Chilly Days
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Chocolate Babka

Chocolate Babka -- The Perfect Snow Day Project
Chocolate Babka -- The Perfect Snow Day Project
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Oat Flour Sugar Cookies

Super easy cut-out cookies
Super easy cut-out cookies
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Brussels Sprout Fries

Thinly sliced Brussels Sprouts before roasting.
Thinly sliced Brussels Sprouts before roasting.
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Today is LAUNCH DAY!

Today's the big day!

 

 

 

Early readers, my book needs your help. If you enjoyed What She Inherits, please take a moment to post a review on Amazon or GoodReads! 

 

Thanks for all your support!

 

 

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Why Preorder?


Where to PreOrder

Launch day for What She Inherits is right around the corner! I am so excited to share my latest work with readers, I can hardly wait.

 

The eBook will be available for download on January 10, but you can order it today! Then, when it goes on sale, it'll be delivered directly to your device and you can be among the first to read it.

 

By preordering the book, you also help me reach more readers. It's all about discoverability. Here's how it works:

 

When you preorder a book, it is not registered as a sale until launch day. When the book goes live, all the advance sales are logged at once, sending a book rapidly up the sales rankings. The higher a book's sales ranking, the more likely readers are to discover it via browsing and keyword searches. Additionally, books with higher sales rankings are more likely to be recommended to readers via the retailer's automated suggestions. 

 

If you're planning to read What She Inherits, please take a moment to preorder it today! Thank you for your support.

 

Looking for a print edition? You can get yours today--before they go on sale to the general public--but clicking the button below! 


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Friends and Family Secret Sale!

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Bancroft Young Writers' Conference

November 19-20, 2016

Bancroft School, Worcester, MA

 

I am happy to say I'll once again be serving as a mentor at the Bancroft Young Writers' Conference this year. The event is open to students grades 7-12. Preregistration is required. For more details at the register, visit this link.

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What She Inherits Now Available for PREORDER!

I'm very excited to say that What She Inherits is now available for preorder as an ebook!

 

Unfortunately the book won't be ready for Christmas this year, but it can be one of your first books of 2017. It will be released on January 10, 2017.

 

If you'd like your book to be delivered your reading device as soon as it is available, preorder it today!

 

As a special thank you to all who supported my Kindle Scout campaign, you can use the coupon code below to preorder the ebook for FREE from Smashwords. Just enter the coupon code at checkout between now and December 24!

 

Smashwords Coupon Code GK86K

 

You can buy books from Smashwords and send them to Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and other devices. 

 

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't allow any coupon codes, so if you prefer to get your book there, I can't make it discounted at this time.

 

For information about how to read books from Smashwords on your reading device, whatever that device may be, check out these FAQs.


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Self-Publishing Workshop, Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library

On November 10 and 6:30 PM, I will be leading an Introduction to Self-Publishing Workshop at the Public LIbrary in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. This event is free and open to the public! 


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The Bad News and the Good News

 

Well, friends, I got the bad news today. Kindle Scout has passed on my book, surely their loss, because it's a good novel and one that I know my readers will enjoy.

 

When I decided to try a Kindle Scout campaign, I knew that public failure was an option, and it was the scariest part about the whole endeavor. As a writer, I am accustomed to rejection. I've racked up nearly 100 agent rejections for this novel alone. But those rejections are private. This time, since I asked all of you to help, I also find myself having to admit defeat, and let me tell you, it is not fun.

 

Even though Kindle Scout chose to pass on my book, I am proud of the work I put into my campaign and I am so grateful for all of your support throughout. I hope you'll read What She Inherits when it comes out in early 2017 (details to follow); I hope you won't think less of it for being self-published.

 

As for the good news: I'm working on putting in place a marketing plan for my book launch, and I'll have an exact publication date soon, so stay tuned!

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Now the Waiting Begins

Well, friends, the public phase of my Kindle Scout campaign is finally over. Sigh of relief. And now, the worst part begins. I thought the endless self-promotion was the worst part, but now I remember how miserable waiting is.

 

This morning, I got an email alerting me that my book is now "in review." The email also said, "You will receive an email from us in the next few business days notifying you whether your book has been selected for publication by Kindle Press." Oh boy. Next few business days... So for the next few business days checking my email will be torture.

 

Thank you for all your support for the past thirty days. If you'd like to see the final stats of my campaign, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

 

Stay tuned for updates!

 

 

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Beta Readers Weigh In!

"The story unfolds in a way that is both heartfelt and suspenseful. The characters are interesting and strong, tender and real. This novel makes readers examine their own relationships and think about what family really means."

 

 

 

We've crossed the half-way point of my Kindle Scout Campaign! It's going really well. My book was "Hot and Trending" for the all of first ten days and for part of each of the days since. Lots of new readers have discovered it, and I'm cautiously optimistic about the possible outcome.

 

Since I'm sure you're all tired of hearing me tell you about the book, I asked my kind beta readers, who already did me the favor of reading earlier drafts and helping me perfect the novel, to do one more favor and to share their thoughts.

 

Full disclosure, all of my beta readers were my family and friends, people who know and love me, and are therefore, obviously totally unbiased.  They are also remarkably eloquent; they've definitely done a better job describing the book than I have. The quote at the the top of this post was from one of them, and here's what the rest had to say:

 

"What She Inherits is an intriguing tale of discovery and reconciliation...This wonderful ghost story will enthrall you from its beginning and captivate you to its surprising conclusion." *

 

 

"Exceptional book! I was drawn in immediately by the twists and turns and enthralled by the mysticism ... The unexpected genetic predispositions put the characters on a collision course with much at stake. A GREAT READ! " *

 

 

"I loved the way the two seemingly unrelated storylines wove together—unexpected, sad, and hopeful at the same time."

 

 

 

*Spoilers removed!

 

 

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Kindle Scout Update!

My Kindle Scout campaign has been up-and-running for one week, and I have been blown away by the response so far. In addition to voting, so many of you have offered kind words about the cover, blurb, and sample chapters, and I have appreciated it. I've been working on this so long, trying to get it just right, and it makes me so happy to know that my efforts are working.


Thanks to all of you who visited the campaign and nominated What She Inherits! Due to your efforts, the book has been "hot and trending" since the day it launched!


So far, visits from people who found about my campaign on social media or my website account for slightly less than half of the total views. The rest are people who came to the Kindle Scout site, noticed my book in the listings, and viewed it. 


As the week has gone on the ratio has began to gradually shift towards more views from within Kindle Scout than from external links, which is a sign of success. It means people who don't know me, who aren't my friends and family and Twitter followers, are taking an interest in the novel. Of course those people wouldn't have found the book at all if it weren't from traffic you all provided by visiting the page!  


In the end the editors will decide whether or not to publish my book, but I can't help but feel cautiously optimistic. Even if Kindle Scout doesn't pick it, I can only consider the experience a success. I was honestly terrified to take on a public effort at getting a publishing contract. No one wants to risk public failure. Now, though, I realize that I have a lot of people in my corner, and that is the best sign of success I could ask for.


Just so you know, I cannot see who has nominated the book, so if you'd like me to know you've cast a vote, drop me a note or menion it on social media!


Still haven't nominated?! Click here!

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Kindle Scout: Your Questions Answered

Thank you all for the support you've shown since I announced my Kindle Scout campaign! My readers are the best!

 

A lot of people have been asking questions about the nomination process and how they can get in on the FREE ADVANCE COPIES of What She Inherits, so I thought I'd take a minute to share more information.
 
Do I need a Kindle to nominate a book for Kindle Scout?
 
No! 
No Kindle needed at all. All you need is an Amazon account.
 
Can I still get a free advance copy of the book even if I don't have a Kindle?
Yes!
The advance copies are ebooks, but you do not need a Kindle to read them. You can read Kindle books on iPads, android tablets, iPhones, android smart phones, and computers. All you need is an Amazon account and a free Kindle app. You can download Kindle apps here and get more instructions. Sound good? Click here to nominate!
 
What if I don't like reading ebooks?
 
I know ebooks aren't everyone's preferred format. Sadly I can't give away free advance copies of print books, but once the book is published, you'll be able to buy it in print in your choice of paperback or hardcover. 
 
If I don't plan to read the ebook, should I still nominate What She Inherits on Kindle Scout?
Yes, please!
The more nominations the book receives the easier it will be for other prospective readers to find and nominate the book. Ready to nominate? Click here!
 
Will I still be able to get a free advance copy of the ebook even if it isn't selected for Kindle Press?
 
If Kindle Press doesn't pick up my book, I will move forward with self-publishing, and there will be chances for you to become an early reader, but for now I'm focusing my efforts on Kindle Scout success!
 
What can I do to help What She Inherits find a home at Kindle Press?
First, visit Kindle Scout and nominate the book! Then tell all your friends. Sharing news about the book via Facebook, Twitter and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth goes a long way toward creating that elusive thing called "buzz." 
To nominate What She Inherits, click the button below!
Thank you!
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Want a FREE ADVANCE COPY of my New Novel?

Hello friends!

 

Thanks for your kind response to my cover reveal last week. When I first shared it, I mentioned that there would be opportunities for you, my loyal readers, to score advance copies of the book, and today I want to tell you about the first of those!

 

Here's the short version:

 

If you'd like a FREE ADVANCE COPY of What She Inherits, click the "Visit Kindle Scout Now!" button below and nominate my book for the Kindle Scout program!

 

When you visit Kindle Scout, you can also learn more about the book and read a sample of the first few chapters.

 

To learn more about what Kindle Scout is, why I'm submitting my book to it, and how you can help me make this novel a success, read on!

    

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New Novel Cover Reveal!

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's official! I'm continuing down the path of self-publishing with my third novel, What She Inherits.

 

I anticipate an early 2017 publication date.

 

Why so long, you ask? I know you're all eager to read it, and I hate to keep you waiting, but I've decided to take a slow and steady pace as I get this book ready for public consumption. For my other books, I had only the vaguest notions of what a book launch marketing plan might look like. Now I have a much clearer idea and I plan to have a plan this time around.

 

Don't worry, though, loyal readers like you will have opportunities to snag advance copies, so stay tuned!

 

For now, you'll have to be satisfied with the possibilities presented by this lovely cover art. It looks like a book you want to read, doesn't it?

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Recommended: Magic Lessons Podcast & Book

 A big shout out to my friend Stephanie Monahan, author of 33 Valentines and The Mean Girl Apologies, who recommended the podcast Magic Lessons to me a few weeks ago. 

 

Stephanie and I both read Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic  when it came out in 2015 and we both found it to be a nice pep talk for creative people. In fact I keep my copy on the coffee table in my reading nook so I can flip back through it when I need a boost.

 

I'm not much of a podcast listener, though, so I hadn't tried Gilbert's follow up to the book, the Magic Lessons podcast. Typically if I'm listening to recordings of someone talking, I'm listening to an audiobook of a novel. But Steph hasn't steered me wrong yet with her recommendations, so I gave it a try, and I'm hooked. 

 

Each episode features a "normal" person who Gilbert has selected from hundreds of applicants for personal creative coaching. She talks to them and gives them creative homework, and then she calls in one of her famous friends to offer their advice. The famous friends are writers, comedians, life coaches, and so on, who share their experiences and wisdom. 

 

Gilbert and her friends are all fantastic at clearly articulating the obstacles, real and imagined, creative people face when try to create, and they are also excellent cheerleaders, urging us all to push past fear and make art. If you need a little birdie on your shoulder who will give you permission to create and keep nudging you until you do it, this podcast is for you.

 

Yes, Gilbert sometimes gets a little mystical and new-agey, and yes, that's sort of corny, but it's also refreshing to hear someone be so sincere, open, and honest. 

 

And if you've never seen Gilbert's TED talk on the subject of creativity, you should check it out!

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Upcoming Self-Publishing Workshop

I'm very excited to say that the Peabody Library in Peabody, MA, has invited me to offer my workshop, Introduction to Self-Publishing, on October 6, 2016.

 

The workshop will begin at 7:00 and lasts about an hour and a half. It is free and open to the public, so if you're feeling overwhelmed by the process of self-publishing, this is a great chance to learn about the basics! 

 

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Writer Seeks Agent, or How to Lose Your Mind

 

People often asking me if I'm writing anything new and when my next book is coming out. It's so very nice of them to ask. I'm always working on something, always writing, because a writer who isn't writing is a monster. And, in the past year, I did finish a manuscript that will be my next novel. 

 

Instead of going straight into self-publishing, however, I have decided to give the traditional route another try. Why? Because I'm a glutton for punishment and enjoy rejection. 

 

Also because I want to give my book the best chance of reaching the largest possible audience, and I think a traditional publisher can help me with that. 

 

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The Glamorous Writer's Life

Hello, dear readers!

 

Longtime followers will recall that for about five years, I kept a little blog over on blogger where I shared random thoughts about reading, writing, and whatever was on my mind. Last year, I shut down that site. I was suffering from blog-fatigue and devoting every extra second of writing time I could find to novel writing.

 

Lately, though, I've been missing having a public space to share my random musings, so I have launched this new and improved blog.

 

Stay tuned for news about my new novel and for other little tidbits from my glamorous life as a full-time teacher who happens to write books. 

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