Category Archives: Books

A Warm Bear of a Place

Yesterday, we took our books and illustrations to Bear Bones Beer in Lewiston, Maine. It was part of a pop-up event sponsored by the Sunday Indie Market.

While we didn’t sell many books—it was a fairly quiet January Sunday at Bear Bones—we had one heck of a good time. First of all, Bear Bones is such a warm, inviting place to gather, whether you’re a beer drinker or not. There are wooden tables with chairs scattered here and there as well as comfortable chairs in front of a gas fireplace. (Alas, we did not take more pictures of the charming interior. What were we thinking?) In short, Bear Bones has a great vibe, a place to come on a cold day, to meet people and talk.

And talk we did, mostly with the other delightful vendors. We were lucky enough to be next Nate and Megan Chasse of Sweet & Savory Bakehouse. My oh my, what good bakers they are! Nate generously gave us a bag of mixed bagels, which we had with soup when we got home. Their bagels taste tangier than most bagels, and Clif and I had to be firm with ourselves and stop with just one each. We learned that Nate went to culinary school and that he and Megan are able to support themselves with the proceeds from their bakery.  Go team, Chasse!

I also had some time to sit in a comfy chair by the fireplace. I chatted with Sheri Withers Hollenbeck, one of the organizers of the Sunday Indie Market in Lewiston, and her mother, Bonita. So lovely to get to know them.

Food is not served at Bear Bones, but customers are allowed to bring in their own from other places. In a table not from where we were set up, a man brought in a whole cheese cake, which he shared with Nate and Megan and Clif and me. He even provided plates and spoons for us. It’s that kind of place.

When our stint was over, Clif got a baby beer—a $3 hobbit-sized glass of the Bear Bones IPA.  A nice way to end the day.

Readers, if you live in the Lewiston area and want a warm place to go on a cold winter’s day, head to Bear Bones Beer. They also host events such as trivia nights and open mics, so check out their events page before you go.

 

 

A Sparkling Time on Saturday

On Saturday, Clif and I had a pop-up table at Quiet City Books in Lewiston. Quiet City is surely one of the best little bookstores in Maine, with a wonderful selection of books and gifts for readers of all ages.

We were at the bookstore as part of an event called Sparkle Saturday, where the many stores and restaurants on Lisbon street opened their doors to welcome crafters and artists to set up tables.

The goal was to encourage people to come downtown and shop locally. If our experience was any indication, then I would have to say that Sparkle Saturday was a smashing success. Truly, we had our best day ever at a single event. How fun it was to watch people come into the bookstore, browse, stop at our table, buy books, and then head to the front counter with another armload of books to purchase from Courtney, the owner. Oh, the heart of this nerdy, wordy book girl was filled with joy.

Readers, I know I am preaching to the choir, but I want to emphasize how much it means to writers, crafters, artists, and local businesses when people buy their wares. Most of us have budgets as big as a minute, and it is a huge boost to have a day like Sparkle Saturday, where shoppers are out and about, planning to buy presents from someplace other than a big box store.

I got into the holiday spirit and bought an adorable felt Santa ornament from Maureen Andrew from Warm as Wool.

Maureen was also a vendor at Quiet City Books.

Finally, here is a shot of dusk in Lewiston as the moon rises over a building, casting a soft light on everything, bringing good cheer and hope to a small city that is still struggling but is beginning to find its way.

 

 

 

 

Celebrating with Seafood and a Whoopie Pie

It’s not every day that you get the first shipment of your new book. Therefore, when the box with copies of Library Lost came in, Clif and I decided to celebrate and go to the Red Barn for some of their delectable seafood and, of course, a whoopie pie. So good and so reasonably priced.

And speaking of Library Lost…my blogging friend Eliza asked how a copy might be ordered. Glad you asked, Eliza! For others who are wondering, all you have to do is click here, and it will take you to our Hinterlands Press website, where you can order a signed copy directly from us. The book can also be ordered through Amazon.

On another subject…the holidays are coming—tomorrow is December 1—and yesterday I went into the woods to gather pine and dried fern stalks for outside arrangements on our little deck.

I went midafternoon when this time of year the sun is setting and the woods are filled with shadows. There were lots of fern stalks by the little stream that runs behind our house and eventually makes its way to the Upper Narrows Pond.

There were some winterberries left, a bright punctuation against the white of winter. Fortunately, I had gathered winterberries a couple of weeks ago, when they were more plentiful.

And I came across this tree, covered with fungi.

Always something to notice in the woods, even in the winter.

Look What Came on a Snowy Day: Library Lost!

The books have arrived! Library Lost, the sequel to Maya and the Book of Everything, is now available. What a thrill to see them, so vibrant and red, in the box.

Library Lost is the second book in my Great Library Series. Two forces, Time and Chaos, battle each other for control of the mysterious Great Library, where all information flows. In the middle of this battle between Time and Chaos is one kid from Earth—Maya Hammond, who has traveled back in time, across the universe, and then home again with a Book of Everything from the Great Library.

In Library Lost, Maya is once again on the move, this time with an Apprentice Book named Ariel. As Chaos gains an edge, it doesn’t take long for the action to spiral into mayhem and destruction. However, Sydda, the Great Library’s director, has come up with a daring but dangerous plan that involves Maya.

But Maya has grave doubts. How can she ever prevail against such a powerful force as Chaos? How, indeed?

Library Lost can be ordered directly from Hinterlands Press. For orders in the United States, shipping is free, and you can get your very own signed copy of any of our books. We are also having a holiday sale: Order both Maya and the Book of Everything and Library Lost for $28, and again, shipping is free.

For those who like or need to order through Amazon, here are two special offers. Through the end of December, the Kindle version of Maya and the Book of Everything will be available for $0.99. And here is an even better deal: If you buy the paperback edition of Maya and the Book of Everything, the Kindle version is free.

My husband, Clif, and I will also be attending several fairs in Maine between now and Christmas. Central Maine readers, all you need to do is click the events button at the top of our Hinterlands website to see where we will be.

A heartfelt thanks to the many blogging friends who not only bought Maya and the Book of Everything but also took the time to write thoughtful reviews on their own blogs. I so appreciate this.

A reminder: The drawing for the free copy of Library Lost will be held on Thursday, November 29. There are still a couple of days to enter the contest, and I will mail the book anywhere on this planet. Anywhere.

Finally, the credo of the Great Library Series can be summed up in three words: Love Your Library.

But, blogging friends, you already love your libraries, don’t you?

 

At Quiet City Books

Yesterday, as part of Lewiston’s Sunday Indie Market, Clif and I went to Quiet City Books, where we had our own little table for our own little books.

Quiet City Books is one those shops that feels like home to all nerdy, wordy folks who love books. (Yes, that would include me.)  Courtney MacMunn Schlacter, the owner, has managed to tuck in bright, funky art and sweet little gifts among an astonishing assortment of books that appeal to readers young and old.

What a delightful way to spend a winter’s day. We sold some books and chatted with Courtney, who has a commitment to making Lewiston a better place. We talked about how too many people only hear what’s bad about Lewiston, a mill city that has seen better days, but nonetheless has a lot going for it.  Thanks to Courtney and other bright, creative people, Lewiston now has a hopeful spark.

So readers, if you live in the area and find yourself in Lewiston, stop by Quiet City Books, look at the art and the books and support this wonderful local store.

Brisk and Invigorating

Yesterday was a fine, brisk day. The sun was shining, but the air smelled cold and fresh, and if it weren’t for creaky knees, I would have been positively frisky. What can I say? I’m a Mainer, and for me the first touch of winter is always invigorating.

Even with creaky knees, I got a fair amount done. Up the road, where the winter berries grow, I clipped quite a few branches of these red beauties to use in a winter arrangement for the front deck.

On the way to get the Sunday paper, I stopped at Maranacook Lake to take a few pictures.

I found blue sky, blue water, and a beached boat

as well as golden and dried plants against the rippling lake.

When I got home, I raked the driveway, perhaps for the last time, but we shall see.

At the end of the short day, I was tucked on the couch with the orange cat on my lap and a cup of hot cocoa nearby. I am going back and forth between two books—A Manuel for Cleaning Women, a collection of  sad, moving, short stories by Lucia Berlin; and Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics by Stephen Greenblatt. Of the latter book, in brief, let’s just say that Shakespeare knew.