Second, sometimes life sends along a little reality check, reminding us how good we have it. And it has been good. Becca and I discovered another university is using The Emotion Thesaurus in their curriculum, which is unbelievably awesome. We also received our first book advance (Becca joked on Facebook that after 10 years of trying to place our books in North America, our first advance is coming from a Korean Publisher!) This feels pretty good too, considering we have had so many close calls with our fiction, yet no actual deals yet. And best of all, every day we hear from writers about the Emotion Thesaurus and the blog, and the difference they are making in their writing. No matter how frustrated we get with publishing, this is what gives us strength. We love you guys.
On the personal side of things, I moved at the end of June. We decided as a family to try the 'country living' thing, and move out of the million+ city of Calgary to half an hour outside of it. The community of Redwood Meadows is beautiful--tons of trees, only a few hundred homes, lots of yard and privacy and nature. There's a golf course too, because that's hubby's thing.
Then right in the middle of the move, our province of Alberta flooded. As in state-of-emergency flooded. People were evacuated. Homes swept away. Bridges connecting the city and surrounding towns collapsed, cutting people off. Animals stranded in fields started to drown.
Our Calgary home was by a river, so we were evacuated. The entire community of Redwood Meadows was evacuated because it too runs alongside a waterway. This video surfaced of a home being swept downriver...a 5 minute drive from the home I was to move into in only a few days.
That feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop...it is awful. I was glued to media coverage, hoping for some word, because at that time we owned both homes and you cannot buy flood insurance here. Bragg Creek, the town closest to Redwood Meadows, was severely damaged. Our community website sent out sporadic updates like "berm is in danger of breaching" and "flooding is imminent." I seriously wondered what we would do if both homes were lost.
|My new office!|
You can't even imagine the gratitude I feel writing this in my new home. My dry home. Disasters are awful, and as I watch Toronto and their flood situation, I feel terrible for them. But dark times also bring out the best in people, and we saw a lot of that too. So many people worked together (and are still working!) to fix the damage around us.
I thought I'd do a gratitude giveaway to celebrate. Three of my friends have brand spanking new books out--so new I haven't even had a chance to read them with all that's going on. But I can't wait to! So, if you'd like some summer reads, leave me a comment!
How I Lost You is a signed paperback. This draw is open to Canada and the US.
"Grace and Kya always do everything together, and nothing can get in the way of their friendship. They have a pact: Sisters Before Misters. Buds Before Studs.
Only Grace knows what Kya's been through, or how much she needs someone to stick by her. No matter what. Besides, Kya keeps life exciting—pulling Grace into things she'd never dare to do on her own. But inch by inch, daring is starting to turn dangerous. And Grace will have to decide how far she can go to save her friendship with Kya...before she ends up losing everything else."
Firelands is an ebook, open internationally.
"Eighty years in the future, America has devolved into a totalitarian theocracy. The ruling Josephites clone the only seeds that grow in the post-apocalyptic climate, allowing their Prophet to control who eats, who starves, and who burns in the ritual fires that atone for society.
Subsisting on the fringes, Archer risks violation and death each day as she scours the forest for game to feed her people. When a Josephite refugee seeks sanctuary in her home, Archer is driven to chance a desperate gamble—a gamble that will bring down the Prophet and deliver seeds and freedom, or end in a fiery death for herself and for everyone she loves."
"The new author in today's publishing world is a cyborg of sorts—part human, part machine. Branding has broken free of marketing’s shackles and merged with personal identity. If we want to thrive in our new environment, we need to adapt, to apply technology as an extension of our humanness.
This is not a book to teach you 1,000 ways to blast people with advertising. The WANA Way is different than anything you’ve likely encountered. It is constructed using the timelessness of art, blended with the strength of human relationships."
TO ENTER: Leave me a comment and tell me where you're from and if you've ever had a close call or natural disaster where you live. That's it, no hoops! (BUT I appreciate social sharing because it helps to let others know about these great new reads!) If you have a book preference, tell me that as well. Good luck! :)
CONTEST NOW CLOSED. Thanks so much for entering and sharing your stories!