War Bonds

Happy 2nd birthday War Bonds!

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Two years ago today, I was humbled and amazed by the turnout for the launch of my first book.

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In the five years it took to write and publish War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation, I lost so many of the couples featured. It broke my heart that some weren’t there to see their stories in print.

In the two years since publication, I’ve lost several more. Each death leaves an ache in my heart.

Yet at the front row of the book launch party many of my War Bonds couples were present as well as widows and widowers. They were in awe of the size of the crowd and watched with joy as every single copy of War Bonds sold out at Auntie’s Bookstore.

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I’ve learned a lot about publishing, publicity, book tours and public speaking over the last two years– knowledge I know will serve me well when my next book  comes out.

Today I’m still somewhat disbelieving that War Bonds is on bookshelves, in libraries and for sale in bookstores all over the world.

I’m so thankful for those who stood with me during the long journey from idea to pub party.

Thankful for readers who bought the book, read the book, reviewed the book and recommended it to others.

Thankful for bookstore owners, civic groups and organizations who invited me to share the message that true love can survive anything– even a world war.

But more than anything I’m thankful for my War Bonds family. They opened their hearts, homes and lives to me and allowed me to poke around. Then they trusted me to share their stories with the world.

What a journey.

What a blessing.

What a privilege.

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War Bonds

Library Friends are the Best!

I don’t know any authors who are not passionate about public libraries– and I know a lot of authors!

I’ve had a library card since I was six years old. No, I’m not going to tell you how long ago that was.

When the opportunity came to serve on the newly formed Friends of the Spokane County Library District board, I jumped at the chance. For two years I’ve worked alongside some wonderful community volunteers, library lovers and fabulous library admin staff.

We drafted a mission statement: Inspiring passionate lifelong learners to invest in their community libraries, hosted two After Hours at the Library events and raised lots of $$ to supplement library programming. Here’s a few of last year’s highlights.

  • Sponsored NaNoWriMo Readiness Conference
  • Provided funds for Mica Peak High School Great Stories Book Club
  • Provided funds for small business owners/employer workshop series
  • Provided funds for Thinking Money Exhibit and related programming
  • Provided funds for Spokane Is Reading

But after two years on the board it’s time for me to move on to a new volunteer project I’m equally passionate about (more on that in another blog).

Perhaps it’s time for one of you to step up and serve? Check out the website. Become a friend. And contact Spokane County Library District at 509.893.8233 to see if serving on the board would be a fit for you.

I may be off the board for now, but I remain passionately committed to supporting our public libraries and the programming they provide.

Here are some photos of our most recent After Hours event. Long live our libraries!

 

War Bonds

Sharing space with C.S. Lewis

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A friend posted this picture on Facebook the other day. His home had been badly damaged in a fire and the remodel is almost complete.

He just got his new bookshelves in his library and is happily placing his collection on the shelves.

So. There’s War Bonds nestled between The Screwtape Letters and The Inspirational Writings of C. S. Lewis.

As far as bookshelf real estate goes, nothing could make me happier.

A spot on the New York Times Bestseller List might be nice. A Pulitzer Prize? Well, that would be swell. But for now, sharing space with one of my all-time favorite authors feels mighty fine!

How do you arrange your bookshelves? By author? Subject? Color? Favorites? Genre?

War Bonds

Favorite Moments

I just finished a series of author events for the Spokane County Library District.

“Bonds of Love and Remembrance” paired stories from War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation with music of the era from Hot Club of Spokane.

We had such a great time at each of the four libraries we visited.

At every event a reader will tell me about their parents or grandparents, or about a family member who served in WWll. The stories are heartwarming and it’s a wonderful thing to trigger happy memories.

My two favorite moments from these events also came from attendees.

A lady at Moran Prairie came up to have her book signed and ask how Milo and Thor are doing. Those aren’t my kids– those are my cats! She said she enjoys reading about their adventures in my column in the Spokesman Review.

And a toddler tapped my knee at Spokane Valley Library, and said, “Thank you for WEEDING (reading)!”

Is it any wonder why I love libraries so much?

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War Bonds

Two down, two to go

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Hot Club of Spokane

We’ve had two great “Bonds of Love and Remembrance” events this week, one in Cheney, WA., sponsored by the Friends of the Cheney Library and one in Deer Park, WA., sponsored by the Friends of the Deer Park Library.

These events combine the music of the Greatest Generation with stories from War Bonds.

Hot Club of Spokane sets the tone with sweet songs like “The Nearness of You” and “Stars Fell on Alabama,” then I share a few excerpts from War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation.

Spokane County Library District specifically wanted these events during the first week of December to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day and honor the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our county.

You still have to time to catch us. We’ll be at Moran Prairie Library Tuesday, December 8 and at Spokane Valley Library Wednesday, December 9. Both events are at 7 PM and admittance is free.

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War Bonds

Recapping Night at the Library

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Auntie’s Bookstore was on hand with copies of the author’s books.

What a great event! Night at the Library featured readings by six authors. PEN/​Robert W. Bingham Award winner Shawn Vestal read from his soon-to-be-published novel Daredevils. Sharma Shields read from The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac.  Bruce Holbert read from his as yet unpublished 3rd novel. I shared from War Bonds and poets Maya Jewell Zeller and Laura Read, shared some of their work.

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Best of all, new friends were added to the Friends of the Spokane County Library, so we can schedule more fantastic programs like this!

Thanks so much to all who attended and for all who support their local libraries!

War Bonds

Lifelong Love of Libraries

When I was a child my dad was in the Air Force, so we moved a lot. Finding the library in each new town made the transitions easier– walking through the doors felt like coming home, no matter where those doors were.

That’s why it’s such a thrill to find copies of War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation on library shelves.

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And tomorrow I’ll be one of six featured authors at a special event called Night at the Library.

Night at the Library invite

Emceed by KXLY’s Kris Crocker, the event will showcase The Friends of the Library and provide information on how you too, can be a member! It’s free! Snacks are provided, a no-host wine bar will be available and Auntie’s Bookstore will be on hand so you can purchase signed copies of your favorite authors latest books!

I love libraries and I hope you do too!

War Bonds

Night at the Library

Night at the Library

Really excited about this upcoming FREE event! Enjoy short readings by six local authors, including myselfSharma Shields, Bruce Holbert and Shawn Vestal. Mingle among the stacks, have some tasty treats,grab some wine at the no-host bar and purchase selected books from Aunties Bookstore.

Hope to see you September 17, 7 PM at Spokane County Library, Argonne Branch, 4322 N Argonne Rd Spokane, WA

War Bonds

Special guests at War Bonds reading

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Dean and Betty Ratzman, June 23, 1946

So delighted that Dean and Betty Ratzman will join me at Wednesday’s War Bonds event at the North Spokane Library!

The Ratzmans have been married for 69 years. Their story is featured in chapter 18, “Letters From Home.”

Here’s a chance to meet a couple from the Greatest Generation and have them sign your copy of War Bonds. Auntie’s Bookstore will be handling sales and 10% of all copies purchased will go to the Friends of Spokane Country Library!