COVER REVEAL!

TADA!!! Here is the cover of my next book. This is the second book in the Rosewood series. I’ve named it, Flames of Rosewood.

I literally wrote the last sentence today and sent it out for people to beta read. Hopefully, by the end of January this book will be in an editor’s capable hands. If all goes right with the world, Flames of Rosewood will be available for sale by March 1st. Fingers crossed.

In book two, the life and times of Gloria Larson in the small town of Rosewood, Nebraska, continues. You’ll meet new characters and Gloria and her Thorns will have new mysteries to solve. The ending put a smile on my face when I wrote it. The very ending has a surprise that leaves me itching to start writing Book Three!

Now is a good time to read Thorns of Rosewood as the digital version is now on sale for .99 cents! (Normally $2.99) Read Thorns first, then when Flames comes out, you’ll be ready!

Buy Thorns of Rosewood for .99 cents on Amazon for Kindle, B&N for Nook, or Smashwords for any format. Happy reading and spread the word—Flames of Rosewood is coming out soon!

As Much as I Want to Breathe

Today I presented a program to a neighboring community’s Rotary Club. Civic clubs are often comprised of business professionals, and they are a pleasure to speak to as they are good listeners and appreciative of other’s efforts. I’m becoming more comfortable speaking in front of groups. It’s a great opportunity to network, meet new friends, and gain new readers.

Civic organizations often focus on students of area schools. This club, the Schuyler Rotary Club, has a student of the week, as does my home town’s club. Today’s student was a Latino young man named Victor.

Victor took his moment at the microphone to talk about his interests and to thank the group for choosing him as the student of the week. It was easy to admire this young man who was humble and grateful. His interests were in creativity and the arts. It sounded as though he had discovered his love for creating things, and as a creative person, I could relate.

One thing he said made a huge impact. He spoke from the heart when he said, “If someone held me underwater and I wanted more than anything to take a breath of air… that’s how much I want to create things—as much as I want to breathe.”

Wow.

That’s the kind of passion I wish for every young person looking to choose a career. I want that kind of passion and clear desire in what I do. And from the mouth of a young and first generation citizen of our country—like my grandparents and great grandparents were—I want great ideas and words such as his to be heard.

Way to go Rotary. Way to go Victor. I’m glad I got to meet him and hear a new way to think about passion for creativity. Every moment really is an opportunity to learn something new, and we really never know where new knowledge will come from.

Bake on Saturday

My mother was quite the baker. I don’t remember cookies or pies so much, but she made breads. Maybe she was like me and just couldn’t make a cookie to save her life. Mine are never shaped nicely. They’re usually overdone or underdone. I can even mess up store-bought cookie dough. But bread, I can make. Go figure.

I liked this recipe because it actually says it tastes better the next day and keeps for a week. We’ll be enjoying it for breakfast tomorrow morning. It’s a little Christmas tradition some families have. Do you have Christmas baking traditions? What are they?

Another Free Book

I’m feeling gifty this month. Tis the season. I gave away a free signed copy of Casting Stones to Donna Wilder for commenting here on my blog.

Now I’m going to give away a free signed copy of my book, Recipes For Revenge, to one person who comments on my author Facebook page. Yeah, I’m switching it up. I want to find out where I get the most comments. This social media thing is an experiment waiting to happen.

So, go to this link. Like my Facebook page. Comment with at minimum your name, but conversations are great, too. Whatever you choose. I’ll pick one winner, probably on Sunday. Then I’ll mail the book. Give it as a gift or let it be my gift to you.

Now, about this book, Recipes For Revenge, a Four-Course Novel. I published this in 2012 and it been one of those books people have had fun with. It’s four (five actually) short stories. Each story has a different main character and a different problem revolving around a bad boy in their life. Fates step in and teach that bad boy a lesson. The lesson happens to be served by a recipe. Yes, each of the story’s main characters have that one special recipe they’re known for. I include that recipe at the beginning of the story, but there is a little secret ingredient I don’t add to the actual recipe, but gets added in the story. I’d advise leaving that ingredient out if you choose to make the recipes. Oh, and every recipe is a good one. I’ve tried them all. The cookies are especially delightful. Oh, and good news… if you don’t end up being the person who wins the signed print copy of this book, it’s available on Amazon and B&N as an e-book for only .99 cents. You can afford to buy it anyway!

So, I’m tickled if you comment here, but my goal is to see your name under this post on my Facebook page. So if you comment here, that’s fine, but I hope you’ll then go and put your name on my FB page… oh and while you’re there, “like” the page. Thanks!

A Gift of Reading

Many of my friends who are writers achieved a goal this month. They participated and won something called Nanowrimo—an acronym for National Novel Writing Month. And it’s grown to be a world-wide event. The winners claim the prize of having written a first draft of a new novel in one month. Technically, 50,000 words. The spirit of competition drives the writers, and the prize is twofold: a pat on the back you give yourself at the end because, by golly, it’s a big deal to write 50,000 words of anything! The other prize is the actual novel. I participated back in 2010.  The novel I wrote happened to be the first book I published, Casting Stones. It’s still selling and I have to say, it’s a book I couldn’t stop thinking about when I wrote it, a book I hated while I was editing it, and a book I have come to love like a first-born child. I read it every year, and every year I like it more.

My writing has grown and maybe even improved since then (5 more books under my belt to date.) But, as far as stories go, I would have to say Casting Stones is still a favorite of mine. The characters are very real to me, and I am proud of the book. So, thank you, Nanowrimo! You showed me I could write a book.

A few thoughts about this novel. It’s a tale about a woman who needs a husband. A woman so broken she doesn’t know how to love, only how to judge. The man she desires could be any man. Strong, yet with weaknesses. Life deals him the hardest of blows and the woman brings him salvation, but it’s a binding , suffocating weight. He isn’t saved, as much as imprisoned. The man’s hard times seem never-ending, but he finds a true savior in an old friend. Sacrifices are made, to be sure, and hands are dirtied, but in the end, the man finds joy and love and peace. Was it worth it? Was it justified? These are all questions I put to the reader as I tell the tale of James Raven and Esther Barton. Set in Nebraska and Missouri, this story’s timeline runs from the ’20s through the ’50s. It’s an emotional experience meant to make the reader think and rethink. It may make the reader cry. It may make the reader angry at moments. But there is a message, and maybe it’s different for every reader.

Casting Stones was originally written as three different books—Prelude, Casting Stones, & Conclusions.  A year later I decided to combine all three parts into one book. I called it the Unabridged version. Now the book is only available with all three parts, and the name is simply, Casting Stones. This book is available in print and as an ebook.

If you’ve read this book, I thank you. If you purchased this book, I thank you even more! (editors aren’t cheap!) If you’ve helped me promote it, or given it as a gift, you are a treasure to me! But if you haven’t read it, or haven’t gifted it, I hope you’ll consider giving it to anyone who enjoys thought-provoking literary fiction. It is time to buy gifts, you know. Christmas is literally weeks away. This small artist would certainly appreciate your support during the 2014 holiday season. I noticed Amazon is offering 30% off on online orders. The book is $12, $10.69 for Prime members, and now with an additional 30% off, you save even more.

Win a free print copy of Casting Stones—my gift of reading to you—just add your email address to your comment at the bottom of this post on my blog, or email me directly at ginabarlean@gmail.com. One winner will be chosen. I will mail the book to the winner.