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I was a storyteller before I could speak in fully formed sentences, or write words on paper. I know this because I have the kind of mom who tended to save things she deemed important—like a toddler’s markings on an old church collection envelope, or stick-figure drawings featuring imaginary characters. This is how I know that all my stories have always been about the same thing—an ordinary girl, facing extraordinary circumstances, whether it’s a kid up a tree with Bad Things after her…or a lonely young woman who suddenly discovers a family she’s never known.
But that’s just the spine of the story. For me, the magic happens when I discover just the right setting and tone for the story to unfold. I created the town of Archangel, in glorious Sonoma County, as the setting for THE APPLE ORCHARD, because I wanted to evoke that golden, sweep-you-away quality that comes over the reader as she sinks into the world of the story.
Besides the setting, my favorite aspect of this story is that often, the key to the present is found in the past, sometimes deeply buried. As Tess, the main character, uncovers the hidden dramas that have brought her to THE APPLE ORCHARD, she uncovers her own heart’s desire.
BIG NEWS: THE APPLE ORCHARD (have I mentioned the title enough?) is 50% off when you preorder from Barnes&Noble on April 3 and 4 only. So grab a copy for yourself, and maybe order an extra for your mom, your BFF, your local library…I do love a sale!
Today is the official pub day of Return to Willow Lake. I’m so grateful to all the readers who helped make it a bestseller in hardcover. Now, paperback fans will find it in stores. You can also find the book in audio and digital formats, and in lots of different languages.
The hardcover edition was published during an exciting time in my life.
And I’m excited about the paperback, but for me, there’s something bittersweet about the publication of this particular book. When I first conceived the story, I knew I would be dealing with some big issues
. However, I didn’t know how personal the central issue would become for me.
One of the storylines in the novel involves a young woman returning home to help her mother through the ordeal of breast cancer. Now, on the eve of the paperback publication, I’ve discovered that one of my best friends has just been diagnosed with cancer.
Loretta is a wife, a mom, a sister, a friend. She’s facing the fight of her life.
So in addition to the dedication in the printed book, I would like to unofficially dedicate the paperback edition to my beloved friend, Loretta. She’s sharing her journey on a blog, and I’m so proud of the courage and humor in her writing, and in the responses from her friends and family. Here’s a link to her most heart touching post. Keep the Kleenex handy. You’ve been warned. http://blog.lorettastanton.com/?p=114#comments
Elizabeth last year at her bridal shower. Good lord, we had such fun that day! And we’re telling all here.
Confession: It felt a little odd, having a Christmas book out before Halloween. I just couldn’t drum up that cozy, romantic mood that makes Christmas so special. The good news is, I ate the last of my Halloween candy for breakfast and NOW I’m ready to rock Christmas.
Here is a preview of Lakeshore Christmas. It’s worth opening the link because it gives you a few of the amazing recipes at the end. Remember my motto for this book: Bake some cookies. Save the library. Save the world.
You know, I’m so ready for Christmas now, I’m going to send somebody a signed book. You know the drill–write a Comment on this blog entry and you’re entered. In your comment, let us know the moment when you FINALLY feel the holiday season is here.
Winner will be picked via www.random.org on Sunday after I get home from the Fire in Fiction workshop. Which btw you should be coming to.
It’s completely awesome to be named “Royal Lady of Autumn Leaves.” Just ask Pat. Meet her in person at our booksigning at her shop.
|In her role as Royal Lady, Pat, owner of A Book for All Seasons will be traveling throughout the Pacific Northwest, representing Leavenworth at the festivals and parades around the region.|
A Book for All Seasons owner Pat Rutledge named Royal Lady of Autumn Leaves for 2009
As the 46th Royal Lady of the Autumn Leaves I want to welcome you to the Bavarian Village of Leavenworth. I know you will be thrilled with the wealth of activities we have in store for you. Whether you are looking for a quiet stroll through downtown, shopping and browsing boutiques or you’re revved for some whitewater rafting, hiking or skiing, there is no end to the possibilities for having a spectacular visit here. Come in the spring when the hillsides and mountains are ablaze with hundreds of thousands of balsam root flowers.
Surely you will want to visit us in the fall, as we host Washington State’s Autumn Leaf Festival in September, followed by three weekends of Oktoberfest.
Winter will dazzle you with our snow frosted mountains and town twinkling with millions of lights, making our Christmas Lightings one of the most magical weekends you will experience.
From shopping, to theater, from wineries to restaurants, from lodging to music, to the great outdoors of climbing, skiing and rafting ‑ Leavenworth offers all these world class experiences wrapped up in our own Bavarian hospitality.
Like Renee Zellweger’s famous line from Jerry McGuire,” You had me at Hello”, we are hoping Leavenworth will have you at Herzlich Wilkomen.
Royal Lady Pat Rutledge
Hands down, it’s got to be Leavenworth, in the Cascades. So cute, they used it on the cover of Lakeshore Christmas. Oh, and did I mention it’s a place where you can have Breakfast with A Flock of Angels?!
Okay, so maybe “angels” is a stretch and I’m not sure three constitutes a flock, but c’mon. On Saturday October 10, 10:00 AM – noon, breakfast with three angel-inspired authors: the authors of Angel Lane,Coffeehouse Angel, and Lakeshore Christmas! Sheila Roberts, Suzanne Selfors, and Susan Wiggs look forward to joining you at Eagle Creek Winery for a deliciously special breakfast and warm conversation. Breakfst includes, lox, bagel and cream cheese, apple strudel, grapes, a glass of Eagle Creek white wine, Starbucks coffee and a selection of teas.
Further details–including suggestions for accommodations–can be found here.
Here’s what I love about book shows.
Amy is as talented as she is gorgeous. I inhaled this book, a magical story in the tradition of Alice Hoffman. It’s getting starred reviews all over the place. Amy’s a songwriter (“Everything” by Michael Buble, anyone?) and a poet, and she brings her artistry to this novel. When you finish reading it, you’ll want to go on a quest to find the town of Avening. A fairy tale filled with a sense of wonder. Not to be missed. In stores October 6th–put it on your must-read list.
I’m a tough sell on memoirs, but this one is just so remarkable. Kevin‘s voice and point of view as a writer are as incredible as his personal story.
It’s a guy’s book by a guy’s guy, but you’re going to love it anyway.
Another one to put on your must-read list. In stores October 13.
Ready, set, read, people!
So I get this letter, hand written in “rage” mode: “I have just finished reading your book…terrible book…this one was awful…At least you didn’t use the F-word every other page…can’t believe I wasted my money…” A whole page of this, and then on the back, she writes: