Book of the Month! NaBloPoMo #3


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A couple of nights ago a delightful woman by the name of Virginia Kerth called to interview me. Me, the small town old gal who lives in the woods, me. She wanted me to know that it was her turn to choose the book of the month for her book club. And she chose mine. She chose mine! A book club in Kansas is going to read Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club. They will meet afterwards, review it, discuss it, chew on it for a while and then decide whether or not it is a good read. I am beyond thrilled!

Virginia is such a sweet person that I wanted to interview her. We talked on the phone like long lost friends finding each other at last. Without giving any details of her private life, I can tell you that she is an avid book reader (duh), and apparently a social butterfly. She must know how to entertain as well because she told me her plans for the book club meeting which will be at her home, include creating the refreshments around all things Louisiana and the Old Ladies’ Club. Isn’t that a hoot? She will be serving shrimp, pecan pie and rum drinks with little umbrellas in them. (You have to read the book to understand that.)

By the time I hung up the phone, my head had swelled beyond what I thought it ever could. And then I got out of bed, put my slippers on, let the dogs go out, made the cat go out, fed the fish, and fixed a cup of blueberry tea. Then I got kind of scared. What if they don’t like it? What if it’s a bust? Virginia told me that she would let me know what the club thinks of it and she promised me she would tell me about ALL the reviews – good and bad. Ok, that will shrink a swelled head down to size in a hurry. So all I could do was talk to God about it. I realized He has always given me the desires of my heart. And I know He has great plans for me. And I believe that through Him I can soar like eagles. What the heck am I worried about? I am so weird.

I think the night Virginia called was the same day I found out that my book is on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17397862-secrets-of-the-old-ladies-club?ac) and on Books A Million online (http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Secrets-Old-Ladies-Club/Nan-Tubre/9781475975123?id=5831605601006). Can you imagine that? I got so excited about it I am hosting a book give-away on the Goodreads site. I’m giving away a copy to five lucky people. You’ll have to go here to enter: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway. The last day to enter is Dec 3rd and Goodreads will select the winners.

I also have a give-away on my facebook author page. It runs through November 15th. All you have to do is find the post mentioning the give-away, share it with your friends and ‘like’ my page. My two year old granddaughter will select that winner. Don’t ask.

Oh, and how could I forget…if you want a copy of my book, send a message to me and I give you the details.

It would be a huge help to me if you would offer a comment or two here. Don’t be shy, share me with your friends! I’ll just love you forever for that.

And don’t forget to pray for peace.

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What have I been doing, you ask?


There is more to me than meets the eye… not saying that’s always a good thing…but it has it’s advantages. I’ve shared some of my work outside of writing at the end of this post. I love my life.

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Bwahahahah!

I have renewed enthusiasm concerning my novel, Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club. One lesson I learned early on about self-publishing is that it’s hard to get the book out there, especially if you cannot afford a marketing package. So you can imagine how excited I was to get a phone call from a group of ladies at the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism in Ville Platte bidding me to come for a cup of coffee. If you are not from Louisiana, let me tell you that when you are invited for coffee by anyone, it’s a sign – a good one. I was so excited about the coffee klatch, even having the tire on my brand new car go flat on the way didn’t discourage me, although I do admit to being nervous for arriving late. Nervous? Not much! I was a basket case. But come to find out, the people I met were awesome and equally as excited as I was. It appeared that my 15 minutes of fame was extended to an entire 16 minutes. They thought they had a celebrity in the house. Who, me? The one who stuttered and had sweaty palms? The one who worried for many an hour about choosing a suitable outfit from my vast array of jeans and tee shirts for this coffee/meeting? Yes, me.

Worrying is pointless and I must re-learn over and over that it accomplishes nothing. The coffee klatch was a success. It started out with me saying a few words about the characters in my book, then, to my relief, the room exploded into hilarity as, one by one, the ladies reported ways in which they identified with my characters. One story shared led to another, and another and before long, all of us were laughing, slapping our knees, and gasping for air until someone passed a box of tissues to mop up the dripping Niagra of tears while we caught our breath. We couldn’t help it. Old ladies are fun.

So to cap it off, I was asked to give a little talk during the Chamber of Tourism dinner, which I did last Wednesday. And to the October Chamber of Commerce dinner coming up. And someone asked me to speak to the Rotary Club. Add to that, the person in charge of ordering books for Evangeline parish (not county, c’mon, we live in Louisiana) informed me that she had ordered copies of my book for every library in the parish. I. am. surprised. And can’t believe how blessed I am. The author of this blog does not ‘do’ social activity well. I break out in hives, blank-outs, and nausea when I meet people I don’t know. Usually. The good news is when I talk about my book, I rarely have to finish a sentence before someone else in the group takes over and within moments everyone is talking and laughing at the same time. That’s what makes it easy. I start, someone else finishes. I just sit back with a smile on my face, nod my head, and have a good time.

Truthfully, I don’t know how it happened that I have gone from 15 minutes of fame to at least 19 minutes now. I just started with some crazy old lady busting out of my head to get her story on paper. Or something like that anyway. If you have ever written a story, you know that the characters come to life in a unique and delightful way. Once you write about them, they move in. They don’t leave. It’s wonderful.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

In an earlier post I’ve mentioned that I have a habit of going through what my husband and step-son call ‘phases’, meaning I go off on a tangent with one of my many hobbies until I have come completely undone. It’s fun. To my husband’s surprise, or perhaps disdain, I rather like it.

My latest burst of energy produced some pretty positive results. Here are a few pictures:

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A bold statement-of-faith necklace and a St. Theresa Chaplet prayer beads.

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A one-decade rosary with a locket crucifix, a one decade world peace rosary with a “drop of His blood”

These are listed in my etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ToLoveAlways

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And some five decade tee-tiny little rosaries made for baby’s baptism, or keep one close beside you in your pocket, or give it as the perfect original shower gift.

And these little darlings are not yet listed, but soon…

Oh, and don’t forget to pray for peace, ya’ll. God answers prayers. We wait for His time, but continue our vigil of prayer.

WHY CARE WHAT YOU WEAR?


Warning: Another totally self-centered blog post!

The coolest thing happened when I was in town yesterday. I went to FedEx (formerly Kinkos) to have some posters made of the book cover of my recently released novel, Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club. I approached the salesperson and made my request which he promptly rejected. This very professional man informed me that he would be unable to copy the book cover because of copyright laws, to which I replied: “It’s my book.”
Him: Yes, it is your book but I can’t copy the cover unless you wrote the book.
Me: I did.
Him: You wrote the book?
Me: Yes, I did.
Him (annoyed): Then you won’t mind showing me some ID please. (looking like the cat that ate the canary)
Me (pleased): Will my driver’s license do?
Him (deflated and annoyed) Ummm. Ok. (examining my license closely) I have a form for you to sign allowing me to make a copy.
A woman was standing next to me at the counter listening to all of this. After the posters were printed, she asked to see them and, whooo boy, she got all excited and ordered a book on the spot!

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I am so humbled when God puts blessings like this one in my life. Who deserves such love and mercy? It amazes me. You know, a person doesn’t really have to look far to see the blessings God plants. Of course, to me, the incident at FedEx was a huge one, but it was only one of many blessings delivered my way yesterday. First of all, (you know the saying) I woke up! I had the means to make a meal, a home to clean up, animals to care for, a loving husband’s attention. Then there was a tank of gas to drive 50 miles to town on, a good report at the doctor’s office, and so forth. Then for Him to throw in the bonus blessing of affirmation like He did at FedEx?? All I can say is WoW. Thank You Lord!

Yesterday was a pretty big day for me because I also made personal preparations for my two upcoming book signings. By personal, I mean I bought a new outfit and the cutest dang sandals you’d ever want to see. I went a little against my usual casual t-shirt and jeans look, and went for a da-a-arling white crinkle-ly embroidered long skirt. So feminine! I bought a turquoise blue fishnet top to wear with it, and I thought they would be perfect together until I went to hang them up in the closet at home. There, I spotted the lacey looking pink sweater I wore for the Author’s Picture on my book cover. It MUST be the one to wear with the white skirt! At least for the evening book signing on May 10th. It will be at LeVillage in Eunice, Louisiana at 6pm. in combination with Felicia Wiggins’ Market Preview/Wine&Cheese get together. She is a darling for hosting me at the “Meet the Author/ Book signing”. See her fb page here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/levillageguesthouse?fref=ts

The turquoise top will not miss it’s fifteen minutes of fame. I’ll wear that with a tank top and white capris for the first book signing at Somethin’Snazzy in Alexandria, La. on May 7th from 4-6pm. My host is the owner of Somethin’Snazzy, Lisa Holt. See her website here: http://www.somethinsnazzy.com/

To add a little icing on the cake, I found THE cutest pair of sandals that will suit both outfits!
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YA’LL COME ON OUT!

Ok, so why care what you wear? Well, I’ve done the easy part – writing the book. The hard part is me dealing with the public on a personal level. It’s not about who comes and who doesn’t. It’s not about who likes the book or who doesn’t. It’s not about selling the book either. It’s about putting myself out there. I’ve never been a good salesperson, especially when it comes to selling myself. (hey, now.) Call it a lack of confidence, self-esteem, whatever. It is what it is, and it is deep-seated. I seem to come undone when I’m involved with people and noise. It’s really odd because I’ve done some public speaking/teaching and, after I’ve gone outside to vomit first, I rather enjoy it. When I was teaching watercolor workshops, I LOVED seeing student’s eyes light up as they developed their painting into a thing of beauty. When I was given the privilege of delivering a eulogy for someone I cared deeply about, my voice shook a little at first, but then I was able to convey, with passion, how beautifully his life impacted so many people.

If I can do that, I’ll manage at my own book signing!

How I Really Feel


Folks, can I tell you how much fun publishing a book can be??  It’s a lot of fun, but it is kind of nerve wracking as well.  Not kind of.  It is nerve wracking.  There is so much to think about, to plan, to consider.  Decisions have to be made regarding various things like book signings, how many books to have on hand, etc.  And angst over whether anybody is going to like my story (which I happen to love).  That’s a big one right there, and it can be a monster if I let it.  Thankfully, I have had only good reviews so far but then, I do have a huge extended family if you know what I mean, wink*wink.  I’m not sure if anyone I don’t know has read the book. 

When you look at the big picture, it doesn’t matter who likes it and who doesn’t.  Really.  At least that’s what I think.  Ok, now insert a picture of a famous star at the Oscars…”Just being nominated is an honor!”  Of course it is!  As per my book, just being read is an honor whether said reader likes it or not. Some will like it, some will not. Keep in mind this is how I really feel.

There is nothing like a little perspective to bring a person out of the clouds and down to earth.  Fame and fortune?   They don’t matter.  Name recognition?  New York Times Best Selling List?  Nope.  Okay, Okay, a little dishonesty there.  That might matter a little bit.  North Korea firing a nuclear bomb?  That Matters.  Loss of a loved one?  It Matters.  An autistic child or a healthy newborn baby?  Yes, they matter.  Being content, happy, joyful over what- the ordinary?  Matters big time.  How we treat the earth is mega-important.  How we are poisoning our minds and bodies with technology. Well, how important is that?  The way we treat each other, ie; friends, loved ones, enemies, aquaintences, strangers, people with different religions, skin color, sexual orientation – Do we love or do we condemn? 

Yes, it’s fun to be a published author, even if the kudos are home-grown (actually, they are the best!) and even if I get no recognition at all.  The first couple of weeks were pretty heady, I must say.  But there’s nothing like getting jerked back into reality by what is on TV or in the newspaper, and there is nothing like getting slammed in the gut by bad news to bring a person back into reality.  Reality is not about accomplishments or fame and fortune.

My spiritual journey is never ending and my God makes it a point to drive that fact home every so often.  Such is the case with all of this book publishing stuff.  In His gentle way, He has reminded me that my purpose on this earth is not solely to accomplish ticking off the items on my bucket list (writing a book was #1).  I may never know the purpose for which He created me, but I do know that if I surrender to His will for my life, I will have accomplished something more important than just publishing an ol’ book.  I am reminded of a song from a cd by John Michael Talbot.  “Christ has no body here but yours.  No hands, no feet on earth but yours.”  It is in doing His will that we are doing something important.  Helping the poor, righting the wrongs, world peace, loving one another despite our differences.  Is it possible?  Comparing those attributes with – oh, I don’t know – publishing a book for example, which is more important?

Disclaimer:  I am not saying that I can’t or shouldn’t enjoy the process of writing and publishing.  Au Contrere!  I’m having a blast and I hope to write many more books!  I do have personal goals that I want to accomplish.  But I have to put things into perspective.  I am saying that I haven’t forgotten that there are a few more important things that really matter, things I have to do while I am here on this earth.  Nothing grandiose, just stuff like keeping my head out of the clouds and my feet on the ground.  That’s how I really feel.

If you are so inclined, please pray with me.

Most Holy and Blessed Trinity,

Thank you for giving us this day and for the blessings you have sent, especially those we aren’t yet aware of.  We need you Lord God.  And we need to thank and praise you for you are a merciful God and you have a plan for each of us.  There is so much wrong with the world today.  We are a lost people with no perspective of what the really important things are.  Help us to overcome, Lord.  You have put us here to be your hands and feet.  Help us to serve You and mankind for Your greater glory.  We need your strength and your mercy.  We need instructions on being kind to each other and to the earth.  Come, Holy Spirit, come. We want to work for world peace and an end to suffering and fear.   Show us how we must decrease so that You will increase and that by doing so, we fulfill the plan You have set before us.  

Thank you for the examples of piety You have sent – Your holy Blessed Mother Mary, all the saints, blessed Mother Theresa and more.  Quicken our minds that we remember them and all they believed in.   Teach us to be humble and to put others before us.

Lord, we ask a lot but we know that You are a mighty God and You love us with an enduring love that never fails.  Thank You.  Thank You.

In the name of Your beautiful Son Jesus,

Amen.

 

Dreams really do come true! (call me Cinderella)


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I never had mean ugly step-sisters and I already have my prince so what is it that could get me so excited?  MY BOOK IS PUBLISHED!  Yay me!

So this is my very own dream come true, the very first listing on my Bucket List, something I have always wanted to do.  All of that.  I am very happy about it.  It’s not about money (not at all because royalties are NOT what you would think!) and it’s not about dreaming of the best seller’s lists.  It’s about finally having the confidence to allow myself to have a dream and strive to bring it to fruition.  I am almost 59 years old and for about 55 of those years I have wanted to be a writer.  Oh, I have writen but only to myself.  I was too shy (believe it or not) to share that part of me with anyone else.  THE OLD LADIES’ CLUB isn’t actually my first book but, honestly, it’s the only one that I liked enough to pursue publishing, unless of course you count the one I really loved that I lost somewhere into cyber-space.  Not tech-savvy, not confident, I gave up on that one.  But I do hope to ressurect it one day.  Maybe.

The next one I wrote – whoooo boy – I must have been in a really bad place mentally because it was horrible!  Glad I didn’t share that with anyone.  It was full of blood, murder, suspense and mystery.  I’m leaving that one in the manuscript graveyard.  ewwww.  Trust me, you wouldn’t want to read it.

The next one I wrote was another mystery but not nearly as ugly.  I kind of enjoyed that but because I needed to concentrate on the old ladies in my head, I had to set it aside.  I’ll go back to it one day.

The one I want to write now feels like it’s going to be a good one.  It, too, is a mystery and a throw-back to my days in the medical field.  Based on an actual conversation I had with a patient, I will elaborate, exaggerate, and infer poetic license to flesh out the story.  I can’t wait!

So back to THE OLD LADIES’ CLUB…..   It was very difficult, at first, to keep all of the characters of the story in their place.  They are a rowdy bunch and usually do what they want to.  The story is about five best friends who live in a retirement community built by two of their sons specifically for them.  At this late date, their lives are turned upside down and around and around when a new resident moves in and decades old secrets are spilled.  My old ladies are funny, charming, adventurous, and feel like they have never aged.  They like traveling, helping others, romance and each other.  They don’t like people who lie, sneak around, or try to use them.

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I hope you read my book and enjoy it as much as I did writing it – that is, except for the editing part – I may never get over that!  If you’re interested, it can be purchased from http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-of-the-old-ladies-club-nan-tubre/1114583438  or  http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Old-Ladies-Club-Tubre/dp/1475975147/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362781680&sr=8-1&keywords=secrets+of+the+old+ladies+club

Of course it wouldn’t hurt to ask your local book store or library to order it from Iuniverse.  It comes in hard-cover, paperback, and ebook!