Martha’s Big December Giveaway!


JINGLE VALLEY GIVEAWAY!

My 9th novel, All’s Well in Jingle Valley, is available for pre-order HERE and it will be released officially on Monday, December 2.

Cover All's Well in Jingle Valley SERIES Book 3

To celebrate the publication of this third book in The Happy Ever After series, I’m giving away a big box of prizes to one lucky winner. Here’s what’s included:

  • a black Eccolo journal with magnetized closure and a fancy pen to record your brightest thoughts (maybe this will be the year you write that novel?)
  • an Almond Cookie gift set from Carol’s Daughter, featuring Almond Cookie Softening Body Wash, Almond Cookie Frappe Body Lotion, and Almond Cookie Nourishing Hand Cream
  • A $10 Starbucks gift card
  • A set of postcards from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts (Dalton, Massachusetts is practically next door!)
  • a small box of maple sugar candy from Stockbridge
  • a Vera Bradley zip ID case in Romantic Paisley
  • and of course, a signed copy of All’s Well in Jingle Valley with a fabulous BookFlip bookmark
  • and a few more surprises!

There are many ways to earn entries, loyal readers! This giveaway will conclude on Monday, December 23, 2019 at midnight, and I will randomly select a winner on Tuesday, December 24.  (NOTE: If you live outside the U.S., I will send you an ebook and a gift card valued at $75)

Here’s how to earn entries:

  1. Pre-order the book no later than November 15. You can email me the link or screenshot. 3 entries
  2. Pre-order the book by December 1. Again, email the link or screenshot. (if you don’t know how to do this, then you can let me know you pre-ordered the book, and I will trust you!) 2 entries
  3. Post a review of the book on Amazon before December 13. 5 entries
  4. Post a review of the book on Amazon before December 22. 4 entries
  5. Share the book and on Facebook (tag me!) 3 entries
  6. Post a photo of the book on Instagram using hashtag #JingleValley 3 entries

As a bonus, I’ve lowered the price of A Jingle Valley Wedding to just 99 cents (ebook) all month, in case you haven’t read it yet. Get your copy HERE

And thank you for your continued support!

Is it still summer? Or autumn?


Well, this doesn’t look like summer! It’s September 13, still a week away from official fall. Some of you consider Labor Day the end of summer. And retailers? Ugh. It’s Halloween and Christmas already.

I haven’t packed away my white pants and flip-flops yet, and this is a wonderful time to go to the beach, even if I wear fleece and clutch my travel cup of hot coffee in those early morning hours.

These photos are from my walk today, so maybe it is autumn! I bought apples this week and made applesauce with cinnamon. I’ve been whirling up my breakfast shake with pumpkin pur√©e, cloves, nutmeg. That’s fall, right?

Apparently the neighbors are ready for October! But I’m a lifelong New Englander, so I know the temperature could climb back into the eighties this month. That pumpkin could turn to mush.

This evening I’m barefoot but wearing long sleeves. The windows are open, but I put the big quilt back on the bed. My husband needed his sweatshirt because I won’t close the windows. Come on, it’s 64 degrees at 6:30pm!

So….are you holding on to summer or sliding happily into autumn?

Celebrate It All


What would a birthday be without a blog post? After all, I wrote my first eight years ago, on my 53rd birthday.

When I turned 30, an old college friend convinced me to do it up big, stating, “No one cares when you turn 31.” True. So for most of us, these ‘milestone’ birthdays tend to be momentous.

Last year, when I told my soon-to-be-retired ophthalmologist that I was nearly 60, he chuckled and remarked that once you hit 60, those ‘milestones’ are every five years instead of every ten years. Yikes, I thought.

But he was (partially) right. There are fewer decades left. I’ve seen too many friends die too soon, dammit.

My pal Christine DePetrillo asks every Friday online, “What are you celebrating?” Some Fridays I don’t have an answer, but it’s not because I’m a pessimist. Yesterday I thought, well, I’m celebrating my birthday this weekend. Sixty-one is as much a celebration as sixty, maybe even more so.

So, I jumped waves at the beach today with my husband, sang along to songs on the radio, accepted lots of well wishes (thank you!) and will indulge in something sweet after dinner tonight. It’s all worth celebrating.

Forty Years Back


Nice, France

Forty years ago today, I boarded my first airplane and began a year abroad that would forever mark my life. The thirty or so students who went with me might well have the same thought – we all were impacted by a year in Switzerland, with no internet or cell phones.

My first novel, Chocolate for Breakfast, was (very) loosely based on that year. Like Bernadette Maguire, I was 20, naive (yes), and hopeful. Unlike Bernadette, I did not have an affair with a married man, nor did I get pregnant with his child. ūüėČ I recall explaining that to friends, who took my storytelling literally.

I’ve returned to my beloved Switzerland often – in 1981 to work as an au pair (there’s a book I should write), again a few years later, multiple times in the 1990s, and most recently in January 2017, where I was inspired to write Villa del Sol.

But the year that began on 28 September 1978 was my year. I don’t have any Cardinal beer to drink, no Giandor chocolate bar, and the Caf√© Chemin de Fer is now, I believe, an Indian restaurant. Things change, even in Fribourg, Switzerland.

“Mesdames et messieurs, it is time to go sleep!” ūüá®ūüá≠ūüá®ūüá≠ūüá®ūüá≠

It is the heat. And it is the humidity.


Nearly September. 95 degrees today. Heat index 104. Just like yesterday.

So who else is cranky? I know (at least) three people who live without air conditioning. I don’t know how they live, though. Our thermostat is set at 74 and I’m hot. But I’m grateful for A/C, especially at night.

I’ve never liked summer best. Fall is my favorite. How about you? Depending on where you live, you might not experience four distinct seasons. But by September, the sun rises later and it’s dark by 8:00 now, so I want that cool air to follow.

Meanwhile, I’ve finished the second round of edits for my new novel, so now it’s off to my trusted readers, who give me honest feedback. I sometimes can’t see a plot hole or a character who uses repetitive language, but they can! I’m still on track to have this book ready by December 1 – the day I’ll be at the Rhode Island Authors Expo!

Until then, I’m reading a lot (what are you reading?). I loved How to Walk Away by Katherine Center and Crossing the Bamboo Bridge by Mai Donohue (her memoir of growing up in Vietnam – you won’t be the same after reading it). I’m almost done with How Hard Can It Be? by the hilarious Allison Pearson, just started Alternate Side by the wonderful Anna Quindlen, and The Pendulum’s Truth by the very talented writing team of Leigh Brown and Vikki Corliss. Vacation next week means lots of reading!

Autumn will get here, eventually. You won’t hear me complain about the cold. Not me.

It’s #RIAuthor Month – Meet Heather Rigney


Heather books

Not all mermaids are nice, some are nasty ...¬†Enter the world of Evie (rhymes with¬†heavy) McFagan–crappy mother, funeral director, functioning alcoholic and all around hot mess. While nursing a hangover at the local playground, Evie encounters a merrow, or a mermaid disguised as a nursery school¬†mom. Evie instantly detects that the new chick is fishy–bad fishy–but who’s going to believe the town drunk? As Evie pulls on her Nancy Drew pants and does some half-baked detective¬†work, she uncovers a nefarious kettle of fish dating back to the 1600s. Weaving storylines dealing with Irish immigration, colonial outrage, and nautical mishaps,¬†Waking the Mermaid¬†is a wild, hysterical ride through Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay and a small town known as Pawtuxet Village.
Nicole Hill¬†from¬†Barnes and Noble Book Blog¬†writes: “You know what’s great about Rigney’s horror-ific (that’s horror-filled and terrific), hysterical debut novel? Besides the bloodthirsty merfolk, our antihero protagonist is an overweight, drunk, subpar mother, who also happens to be a funeral director. I can’t even describe the premise of this book without getting giddy, because how many times does a plot involve both vicious mermaids and Rhode Island colonists?”
Award-winning, Amazon bestseller¬†Waking the Merrow is the first in the¬†Merrow Trilogy, followed by¬†Hunting the Merrow and the soon to be released¬†(this December!)¬†Caging the Merrow.¬†¬†Due to the rising popularity of Heather Rigney’s trilogy, Rigney has attended over fourteen different book clubs in Rhode Island during the past three years.
You can find Heather’s books (print copies) at local bookstores or on¬†Amazon
You’re welcome to attend the¬†gala release¬†of¬†Caging the Merrow on Thursday, December 7, from 4:00-7:00pm¬†at¬†Nordstrom Cafe
Heather Rigney

Writer, artist, and underwater fire-breather, Heather Rigney likes to make stuff. Stuff with words, stuff with paint, stuff that’s pretty, and stuff that’s not. Heather’s stories reflect a dark, gothic childhood spent in the woods of northern Rhode Island. At the moment, she resides in Pawtuxet Village, RI with a family (both chosen and created) that she adores.

Follow Heather on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and at her website.

GIVEAWAY! Heather is giving away a signed paperback copy of Waking the Merrow to one lucky winner. All you have to do is comment on this blog post. The winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication of this blog post. US residents only, please.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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It’s #RIAuthor Month! Meet Mary Catherine Volk


Believe in Forever

 

Mary Catherine Volk is an author, spiritual medium, and inspirational speaker. Her book, Believe In Forever: How to Recognize Signs from Departed Loved Ones, is based on firsthand experiences and details the specific ways that contact with the other side occurs. Our loved ones send us signs to let us know they are at peace and that we will see each other again. This book teaches the reader how to navigate this new method of communication. The numerous stories in this book will give you chills as they touch your heart; teaching you to trust your own intuitive ability. Believe In Forever is a perfect book for anyone grieving a loss or curious about life after death. A personalized autographed copy of the book makes a wonderful holiday gift and is available on her website. www.marycatherinevolk.com

Mary Catherine Volk was given the gift of knowing that death is just a transition after experiencing a Near Death Experience at age six where she was greeted by her deceased grandfather, who told her that she would be all right and returned her to her hospital room. Mary has spent her life teaching and reassuring others that the signs they are receiving are indeed real messages of love. She is always delighted to see the shining light in people’s eyes when they receive confirmation of their unique signs. Once you acknowledge them, you will receive more. Ask and you shall receive!

Mary Catherine Volk

Mary Catherine lives by the sea in Narragansett, Rhode Island, where she enjoys the beach, writing, acting, learning, community and social activities and spending time with her daughters and two new grandchildren. She is founder and owner of www.insigniagems.com a jewelry company specializing in American flag jewelry. She is currently working on two new books: a sequel to Believe In Forever and a children’s book to teach parents how to answer their children‚Äôs questions about seeing departed loved ones or angels.

The book is available through¬†Stillwater River Publications,¬†the author’s website, on¬†Amazon¬†, and through local bookstores.

GIVEAWAY! The author is offering a print copy of Believe In Forever to one lucky recipient. All you have to do is leave a comment below. The winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication. US residents only, please.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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