Hello from sunny (and one day blessed rainy) Tucson! We’re front-loading all our research for my third novel, Jericho, this month. So far, we’ve taken a field trip to determine the exact location of the fictional town of Jericho north of Tucson, mined the Oracle Historical Society for early 19th century ephemera and photos, and visited the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, recently reopened post-COVID (doesn’t that sound wonderful, post-COVID?!)
In addition to research and writing, one of the most rewarding projects my husband and I do in Tucson is to volunteer at a refugee center downtown on Friday nights. Although our Spanish is limited, we do our best with simple sentences, translators, and dictionaries to assist with feeding, clothing, and housing immigrants from Central and South America. Each immigrant story is heartbreaking yet hopeful. In addition to teaching simple ESL, I also distribute books in Spanish to children. I love to see children’s faces light up when they receive a new book.
We’re also trying to get in a little bit of hiking, bicycling, and swimming before we head back to the Pacific Northwest in early June. But research and writing is my main focus this year on such a shortened stay here in the Sonoran Desert. I’m on a deadline, and I need to remind myself of that every morning, no matter how much the sun is shining!
So much to report! The biggest news is . . . drumroll . . . I have a contract for Jericho, due out Fall ’22 with my publisher, She Writes Press. This will be my third novel with publisher Brooke Warner, and I’m thrilled to announce this news.
The audiobook for Answer Creek is well underway with a nationally known voice actor through Orange Sky, a division of Findaway. Timeline is still slated for this June. As soon as it’s released, I’ll do one giveaway, so stay tuned.
And not to be left behind, Eliza Waite is now in its fifth printing since its release in 2016. Eliza has gained a worldwide following, and is still speaking to readers across the globe. She’s my first rock star protagonist, who’s led the way for Ada in Answer Creek and Ruby in Jericho.
Friend and sister author Susan J. Tweit, a nationally known botanist and poet, just released this gorgeous memoir, Bless the Birds: Living with Love in a Time of Dying. In this compelling and intimate account of the last year of her late husband Richard’s life, Susan chronicles a 4,000-mile journey they took together before Richard succumbed to brain cancer. Both lyrical and poignant, Bless the Birds is a must read for how to live and love in grace in a loved one’s waning days.
A Few Book Club Suggestions from El Con Book Club in Tucson:
The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson
Finding Dorothy, by Elizabeth Letts
The Splendid and The Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family and Defiance During the Blitz, by Erik Larsen
Cave in the Snow, by Vicki MacKenzie
Spring Sale Event – May 14-24 only!
Help support other female authors during this special limited-time online event. Over 50 eBooks at $0.99 each. This spring sale is a collaboration between my publisher (She Writes Press) and NewInBooks. Signup for the NewInBooks Newsletter to get first access to the sale at https://www.newinbooks.com/spring-2021-ebook-sale-signup/
There is just so much time in a day. Some days, I am a good steward of my time. Other days, not so much. I love the Mary Oliver quote: Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? This quote grounds me and gives me perspective. What I don’t accomplish today can be accomplished tomorrow or another day. What is most important is our relationships to one another as we walk this Earth together.
Be kind, my friends. There is no other way.
With love, and until next time, Happy Reading!