Camping and writing…it’s like chocolate and a good book.

    Four days of camping does wonders for the mind and soul.  No phones, no social networks, just a few necessities and my best friend Sean.  Scratching out words in a notebook while sitting by a campfire cleared away the sluggish thoughts and dusty cobwebs of winter and put me in touch with possibilities.  Before I wax poetically (oh-I hope it’s not too late!), let me just say that cutting out the clutter for a long weekend makes room for creation.

Happy Earth Day 🙂

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Sometimes a picture changes everything…

Sometimes a picture changes everything...

We were in the midst of writing the story of Stone Croft’s origins when I got a picture from my dad. It was a photo of my great, great grandparents in Neuburg am Rhein, Germany in the late 1800’s before they set sail for Philadelphia. My Nana Gee (Florence Ertel) was quite a lady. When we spent the night with her, me and my sisters (Crista and Katie) felt like we were the most important people in the world. That was how she made you feel, like you were a prodigy, a brilliant star that shone bright. She sang to us in german when we fell asleep, her voice a gentle comfort. We didn’t know what the words meant at that time, but they made us feel safe. I suppose it is no wonder that Crista, Katie and I each studied the language and feel a sense of home when we get the chance to use it. It is for more reasons than the memories alone that the current work has been moved forward in time to the late 1800’s. The heroine, Florence, has already captured my heart and while this is not the story of Nana Gee, I hope to connect with her again through this.

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Great day…off the beaten path at Gettysburg.

Great day...off the beaten path at Gettysburg.

We had the perfect weather for exploring one of our favorite places at Gettysburg, the triangle. The rocks in this small valley are unusual and demand a closer look. However, while nature presents a grand view from atop these boulders, it is impossible to forget the heated charge to Devil’s Den and imagine you can see the glimpse of blue or grey and hear the yell of battle.

Book Signing at The Iron Horse Inn, Strasburg, PA

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We had our first book signing on December 22nd at our favorite restaurant, The Iron Horse Inn.  We had so much fun, met a lot of people and sold a LOT of books, which meant a bigger donation to the Strasburg-Heisler Library.  We had some very fine John Hay cigars donated by Lauren and David Patrick, proprietors of the John Hay cigar shop in Intercourse, PA.

Excellent response to our 12/21 giveaway

Less than 24 hours after the promo began

Less than 24 hours after the promo began!

We joined Kindle Select three weeks ago and set up to use one of our free promo days.  We decided to do just one day and see what all the buzz was about…well, I can say with certainty that the next one will be two days!  In 24 hours My Life Untold was downloaded over 4,500 times.  We climbed to the #1 spot on the Free Historical Fiction list and to #38 overall.  The “bounce back” I read about is real and still alive 🙂   Before the big day we sent out notices to blogs and web sites that featured free books.  We had a lot of help from Laurie (http://lauries-interviews.blogspot.com/) – she has a wonderful website and was so much fun to work with.  The good folks at Peoplereads.com (http://www.peoplereads.com/) really pushed it and got results!  For the price ($4.99) we got the million dollar treatment-I said they would be our secret weapon, but I’m bad at keeping a secret!