Rhode Island Authors Showcase


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It starts this Monday, November 18 and runs all week, through Sunday, November 24. I hope you’ll join me online at Facebook (yes, this is a Facebook event) here

The Rhode Island Authors Showcase will feature 30 authors of varying genres (something for everyone!) – each author is giving away a prize at his or her Facebook page. I have a sweet chocolate sampler up for grabs. The chocolate is local (of course), from The Chocolate Delicacy in Warwick, Rhode Island. Dark, milk, white – it’s all there!

Each day you can visit the pages of the featured authors (four or five per day). Once you’ve visited and answered their questions, come back to the main page and answer the question of the day. Participate all seven days and you could win our Grand Prize, a $250 Amazon gift card, just in time for some serious holiday shopping. We’ve got a Bonus Prize as well for the runner-up, a Rhode Island-themed gift basket valued at $50.

I hope you’ll join in the fun! And don’t forget, locals – the Rhode Island Authors Expo is coming up on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. Over 125 local authors will have signed books available! There will also be informative panels, author spotlights, the best raffles around, and Santa! Free parking, free admission.

 

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!

Come see me on Saturday, December 7 at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet in Cranston, RI, where I’ll have all my books for sale!

Home Stretch


The Happy Ever After series #8

We’re halfway through this wonderful month and it isn’t slowing down one bit. Look! I have a cover for my new novel! And here’s the series, all three books.

Now, if you’ve been following along, you will remember that when I wrote A Jingle Valley Wedding back in 2015, I hadn’t thought a lot about a sequel. But a number of people did remark that when the book ended, they were not ready for the story to be finished. I kept that in the back of my mind, even as I wrote Villa del Sol and even as I wrote April in Galway. At the end of April, our character April Tweed has an idea – to be married at the wedding venue her old friend Julie Tate had created on a farm in western Massachusetts. By this time last year, I knew I’d be combining both A Jingle Valley Wedding and April in Galway into a new novel. And, in a first for this author, there’s a happy ever after. Imagine that!

Cover All's Well in Jingle Valley SERIES Book 3

All’s Well in Jingle Valley won’t be released until December 2, and print copies will be available at the 7th Annual Rhode Island Authors Expo, on Saturday, December 7. But you can pre-order it now! Just click HERE and the ebook will magically drop into your Kindle on December 2. I’ve never done a pre-order before, so I don’t know whether it’s a brilliant marketing tool or not.

Meanwhile, my novel Bits of Broken Glass is just 99 cents to download through the end of this month. In November, I’ll discount the first two books in The Happy Ever After series, so you can catch up before reading All’s Well. 

And if you’re on Facebook, please join me in the Wicked Good Hop starting this Monday, October 21, where you can win books and prizes. And again next month, join in at the Rhode Island Authors Showcase November 18-24, where the Grand Prize is a $250 Amazon gift card! Yes, both of these events are Facebook-only events.

Following this blog is not only smart, it can save you money!

 

What I Read in August


beach reads

As summer winds down (it’s not over! it’s not over!), so does my reading list. I tried to cram in as much beach reading as I could this year, trying to balance reading with writing. But as edits and revisions took over my life for this new novel, I was only able to read five books. Still, they were good ones:

summer 69 Elin Hilderbrand (Queen of the Summer Beach Read) released this one in June, just in time for a summer beach read. As the author herself turned 50 in July, she tells a story about four siblings (sisters Blair, Kirby, and Jessie, brother Tiger) who each experience that memorable summer in different ways. The moon landing, Woodstock, and the Chappaquiddick incident on ‘the other island’ are all featured. Definitely a must-read. I bought my copy at Ink Fish Books

before I stopped by my other favorite local bookstore, Stillwater Books, and found this one. Looked good, so I picked it up. OMG. This book! As soon as I finished it, I told my husband he had to read it. He’s really into it. It’s a novel based on a real-life scandal, involving the kidnapping of poor children and selling them to wealthy families. Heartwrenching but ultimately hopeful.

blessings She’s probably my favorite author, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t read this book. It was part of my library’s big book sale (yes, I filled a giant tote bag!). It took me a little longer to be invested in this one, but Quindlen never disappoints me. This book was first published in 2002, and delves into family secrets and why they’re kept. Beautifully crafted, with rich descriptions and characters you can almost feel sitting next to you.

Winter This one I downloaded through my library’s program (I don’t think Hilderbrand needs the money, so why not spend on local and indie books?). Maybe I missed it, but this is part of a series. The ending left me feeling unsatisfied, but that was because there’s a sequel coming. Apparently the sequel drops in early October. Still a good book, but if you’re a fast reader like me, maybe it’s better to wait until all the books are out.

kitchen yarns I also downloaded this one through my library. It’s a collection of essays, with recipes. Unfortunately, I knew most of these stories already, and they seemed somewhat disjointed (introducing us to her grandmother Mama Rose once was sufficient). The recipes were fine, although a chapter devoted to butchering a pig was, to me, revolting. Still, Hood can write, and many will find this book charming.

 

So, no more “What I  Read” posts for a while. I need to get this book done!

However, if you love reading as much as I do, and if you’re on Facebook, we’ve got a great event coming up November 18. It’s a Rhode Island Authors Showcase featuring a variety of authors. Each one will have something to give away, and the Grand Prize is a $250 Amazon gift card, just in time for some serious shopping. You can find the link HERE and it’s all online. I hope you’ll join us!

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Book-a-Day #Giveaway Featuring Author Martha Reynolds


Leave a comment on today’s post and you’re eligible to win this author’s giveaway. Each day in November that you comment gives you an entry into the Grand Prize giveaway at the end of the month! (Print copies for US residents only, please. If you live outside the US and win, you’ll receive a digital copy of this book.)

April in Galway is a story about second chances. A couple of years ago, I watched the British comedy-drama series “Last Tango in Halifax,” which begins with former childhood sweethearts, now in their seventies. They reunite via social media, and learn that through a terribly misintentioned event, they were separated. This set-up was the inspiration for April in Galway, though my characters are in their late forties. And while my characters aren’t based on real people, I do know of one very happy couple who were classmates of mine in high school (they weren’t sweethearts then), but found each other later in life and are deliriously happy together! Another character was inspired by a young woman I spent only a few hours with, but who had a profound effect.

As I write, I try to envision who might play the role of a character (so that when the Lifetime Channel comes calling, I’ll be ready – haha). Here are April Tweed, Bill Flanagan, and Connor Whelan as I pictured them:

Rachel Weisz as April John C. Reilly Marcus Wareing as Connor

Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, and Chef Marcus Wareing

April in Galway ends with a definite feel for a sequel, and I’ve already begun mapping it out. My self-imposed goal of releasing a book a year is on track, and the sequel to this one, which will tie in to one of my previous books (surprise!), will be ready by next December.

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I’m the author of eight novels, including the Amazon bestsellers Chocolate for Breakfast and Bits of Broken Glass. My seventh novel, Villa del Sol, received the 2018 Book Award in Literary Fiction by the Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE). I’ve written for Magnificat magazine and my very short poem was read by journalist Connie Schultz during National Public Radio’s “Tell Me More” poetry challenge. Find my books online and locally at Stillwater Books.

I’m giving away a print copy of April in Galway to one person selected at random. Just leave a comment on this post and the winner will be chosen in a week.

Hope to see you on Saturday, December 1 at the RI Author Expo!

Book-a-Day #Giveaway Featuring Author Alison O’Donnell


Leave a comment on today’s post and you’re eligible to win this author’s giveaway. Each day in November that you comment gives you an entry into the Grand Prize giveaway at the end of the month! (Print copies for US residents only, please. If you live outside the US and win, you’ll receive a digital copy of the book.)

 

Stupid Cupid Alison O'Donnell

Even experienced daters are often left with questions on the process and the games that are played. Over the span of 30 years I have been on well over 100 horrendous dates– and lived to tell about it!! I’ve learned much and impart that wisdom throughout the hilarious pages of Stupid Cupid as only a SWF comedian can! This is an easy read, written in snippets, each one immediately followed by a moral so others don’t have to suffer as I did! It took two years to complete and I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished, especially since people seem to LOVE it! The book currently has a 4.9-star score on Amazon.com!

Stupid Cupid ~ A Survivor’s Guide to Online Dating is a hilarious self-help relationship book offering practical advice for both men and women. A fun read for any adult, it chronicles 100 really awful dates I’ve been on, 100% true! Each snippet (easy reading!) is immediately followed by practical advice. Married folks tell me it gives them a new appreciation for their spouse (It’s a jungle out here!!). Online dating is the modern way for singles to meet– very topical!– but it can be daunting if you don’t know the ropes!

Alison O'Donnell

Alison O’Donnell was accidentally born in Connecticut, but is a lifelong native Rhode Islander. A self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, Alison has been skydiving, bungee jumping, hot air ballooning, scuba diving with sharks, zip lining, exceeding the speed limit halfway around the world, and is the mother of one teenage daughter. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Rhode Island College, a Secondary English teacher certification from Providence College, and a Master’s from the School of Hard Knocks. A creature of the stage, she has performed comedy in the Southern New England area for more than half her life, and played with various local bands as a singer/musician. In her spare time, Alison enjoys hiking with her two bichons, Rhett and Scarlett. She has taught high school English for the past 17 years, and doesn’t really know what she wants to be when she grows up. Here is her website

Alison is giving away a print copy of Stupid Cupid – just leave a comment on this post to be eligible!

Hope to see you on Saturday, December 1 for the RI Author Expo!

Book-a-Day #Giveaway Featuring Author ‘Post’ Mark


Leave a comment on today’s blog post and you’re eligible to win this author’s giveaway. Each day in November that you comment gives you an entry into the Grand Prize drawing at the end of the month! (Print copies for US residents only, please. If you live outside the US and win, you’ll receive a digital copy of the book.)

For those of you who intently follow Martha Reynolds Writes, you’ve probably read my posts in the past and know that working as one of Santa’s elves is rewarding, but not always easy.  This year is no exception, but not because I spent months slaving over another storybook, or have a bunch of kids’ tales to tell.
Now I finally have activity books to go with each of my storybooks, ‘Post’ Mark—Santa’s Misfit Postman, and ‘Post’ Mark—The North Pole Postman Visits Rhode Island.  While very exciting, it was much more of a feat than I had ever imagined.  “How hard can it really be to have my illustrator draw a bunch of pictures for a couple of coloring books,” I thought.
That was until I had to come up with 32 different creative ideas for the activities, and give the illustrator instructions on what I was trying to achieve with each one.  It was a part of my brain I hadn’t used before, or certainly not for a while.  As a writer, I’m used to conveying messages with words, and this had to be done strictly with black and white drawings.
I also wanted to tie the activities in with the common core, so teachers could use these books in their classroom.  Not only should the activities be fun, but they need to have an educational purpose.
I am very lucky to have an illustrator, and a graphic designer who were both patient, and helpful throughout the editing process.  With their tremendous help, we were able to produce coloring and activity books that hit the mark.  Now, we should be all set when book number three is written, and hopefully can produce the activity book simultaneously with the storybook.
My book giveaway for 2018 will be a copy of both activity books.  Please visit my website, www.northpolepostman.com if you are interested in purchasing ‘Post’ Mark—The North Pole Postman Visits Rhode Island, or ‘Post’ Mark—Santa’s Misfit Postman.
PostMark
Hope to see you on Saturday, December 1 at the Rhode Island Author Expo!