When a reader writes…

This writer is thrilled.

A reader from Edgewood, Washington, took the time to send me this note and it made my day!

Hello Cindy,
This may be super random and I hope not weird.
I randomly picked up your War Bond book from my local library and I just have to tell you, this book is stunning! The couples in here inspire me to be a better wife and mom.
Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to gathering these important stories before they were lost forever.
Sincerely,
Elizabeth

Hooray for public libraries and for readers who are kind enough to share their thoughts with authors.

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What makes an author’s heart sing?

Reader reviews and newspaper views!

5.0 out of 5 stars…    I tried this book as I am a fan of Cindy’s column in the local newspaper and I am so glad I did

on April 13, 2017
I used to read regularly as a teenager but as a 50 something, not so much. However, I tried this book as I am a fan of Cindy’s column in the local newspaper and I am so glad I did. It was perfect for bedtime reading, each story was long enough to learn something about the couple and their situation, yet short enough to keep my interest in the book. It was astonishing how so many couples married so quickly yet the marriage lasted for so long and I found that my favorite stories were where they were both still alive.
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on April 13, 2017
There are a few books that I hang on to because I know I’ll be reading it again and again. War Bonds is just such a book. The stories are moving and inspirational and touch you with a hope that each of us will also experience that kind of everlasting love. Thank you to the couples who shared their stories and thank you Cindy Hval for a wonderfully written book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars… thought the book was done very well and I enjoyed the stories

  on April 13, 2017
I thought the book was done very well and I enjoyed the stories. My parents were of that generation and their’s was a great love story. Thank you Cindy for writing this book.
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In other news in a recent Spokesman Review story about which books are most frequently checked out at local libraries, Rachel Alexander reported “In Coeur d’Alene, Cindy Hval’s “War Bonds,” which tells love stories from the Greatest Generation, holds the No. 2 spot in 2015, with 20 checkouts.”
News  and reviews like these makes an author’s heart sing.

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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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!

 

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?

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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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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Military Family Month

November is Military Family Month and I’m delighted to have been invited to do a reading/signing at Fairchild Air Force Base.

I’ll be signing and selling copies of War Bonds at the Base Exchange from 3 – 5 PM and then doing a reading at the Base Library at 6 PM.

Our military families are so important and it’s a privilege to celebrate them.

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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!

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!

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