Sunday, July 29, 2018

Britt-Marie Was Here

Some time ago, my little old aunt (who lives in Australia and shuffles off to Italy for several months of every year) suggested I read A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman (an author I had never heard of).

Well, reading Ove led me to Beartown which led me to Brit-Marie Was Here. Next up My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry.

Britt-Marie Was Here

Why do I like Backman’s books so much? They’re about people, regular ordinary people living their lives as best they can. Why do Backman’s characters sing in our hearts? For me, it’s because he takes us into their inner most being. We see their very essence—beliefs, struggles, and desires which become ours as we read. We want for them, what they want for themselves, we recognize our own strengths and foibles as we see theirs. Through his characters, Backman presents philosophical questions that we don’t consider as we hustle about our daily routines, but probably should.

An added bonus is Backman’s beautiful writing style. So pick up one and enjoy! Click here.


Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s SorryBritt-Marie Was HereBeartownUs Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

5 Reasons to hate Bookbub

5 Reasons to Hate Bookbub

As an author:
  1. Snagging a spot
Here’s a recent Bookbub ad.
A Town Like AliceBy Nevil Shute
“A ripping tale of budding romance and grace under pressure” (The Times): Thrust together by war in Malaya, Jean and Joe reunite years later to invigorate a small town in the Australian outback. A thoughtful, poignant classic with over 16,000 five-star ratings on Goodreads.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Nevil Shute and I’ve read all his books. But how’s a new author to compete with 16,000 five star ratings?

Remember trying to get a job and not being able to because you had no experience, but you couldn’t get experience because you couldn’t get a job.

Well, that’s what Bookbub feels like.
  1. Cost
If listed for $1.99 book ad will cost $1791.
If listed for $0.99 the ad will cost $1127.
If listed for free the ad will cost $712.

If a writer had that kind of money to throw around, they’d already be a bestselling author and wouldn’t need Bookbub.
  1. Time
Apply, get rejected. Apply, get rejected. Apply, get rejected. You get the picture. One publisher said it took her 6 years to get a spot for one of her authors.

As a reader:
  1. Blurbs
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book
In this New York Times bestseller
From a #1 New York Times bestselling author
In this “bewitching” New York Times bestseller
In this #1 New York Times bestseller

Really!? ALL these books are on the New York Times best seller list? NOT. Google them if you don’t believe me.
  1. Blurbs
Okay, I know I said blurbs already, but that was just the opening line. How about the actual book description?

When retired cop Jones Cooper receives an unexpected visit, he plunges into an intricate mystery. “Will have you racing to the last page” 

Kate Bishop gets caught in the investigation of a brutal slaying — and discovers a strange ability that could make her the next target. “Fast-paced, riveting, and scary. It will leave the reader breathless”

Preacher’s daughter Catherine Grace escapes her small town — only to discover that the place she left may be exactly where she belongs.

Many readers may be okay with these brief blurbs and get the book anyway (especially if it’s free), but personally, I prefer more information before I spend my money.

SO, why have I tried (unsuccessfully) for a Bookbub ad? I caved because Bookbub has the greatest reach and I'd really like for more readers to find my books. Isn't that the goal of every author?

If I ever get a spot, I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Safekeeping by Jessamyn Hope

Safekeeping: A Novel by [Hope, Jessamyn]

Of the many elements that come together in a great novel, we count on the characters to drive the story, to elicit emotions inspiring pity, fear, empathy, and above all love.

In Safekeeping, author Hope delivers. This is not your typical, building a kibbutz story. Rather it is a coming together of a diverse lot of people during the dying days of kibbutz life.

Nothing will be the same as Ziva remembers from her days of founding the kibbutz. Nor will everyone find what they are seeking, but then, isn’t that “real” life? Despite the lack of a “happily ever after ending,” the tale comes to its proper conclusion and there is satisfaction in that.


It’s 1994 and Adam, a drug addict from New York City, arrives at a kibbutz in Israel with a medieval sapphire brooch. To redress a past crime, he must give the priceless heirloom to a woman his grandfather loved when he was a Holocaust refugee on the kibbutz fifty years earlier. But first, he has to track this mystery woman down—a task that proves more complicated than expected.

On the kibbutz Adam joins other lost souls: Ulya, the ambitious and beautiful Soviet émigrée; Farid, the lovelorn Palestinian farmhand; Claudette, the French Canadian Catholic with OCD; Ofir, the Israeli teenager wounded in a bus bombing; and Ziva, the old Socialist Zionist firebrand who founded the kibbutz.

Driven together by love, hostility, hope, and fear, their fates become forever entangled as they each get one last shot at redemption.

In the middle of that fateful summer glows the magnificent brooch with its perilous history spanning three continents and seven centuries. With insight and beauty, Safekeeping tackles that most human of questions: How can we expect to find meaning and happiness when we know that nothing lasts?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Is this what it takes for a bookstore to survive?

I walk in expecting to see books.

Instead I find blankets,

and serving dishes. Yes, I'm going to read while my guests visit.

and this little guy which I was tempted to buy. After all it had a built in screw driver.

I passed by more dishes, ornaments, toss cushions, purses, greeting cards and paper products ( which made some sense in a book store), skin care products and then spotted diapers and wipes. Who can read with a baby in the house?

Well maybe if you plunk them into one of these....

Yes, there were books too. I made it to the till with my choices and ran into these counters.

Oh, and let's not bypass these for that baby.

And these for ourselves on a cold winter's night.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Happy Canada Day

Proud to be Canadian!

Dan Aykroyd

Martin Short

Mike Myers