WOW! What a Month!
Wow! May has been a very busy and wonderful month for me. It started with the release of ELLI, a Second Chance Novel AND my first book signing on May 1st. I was honored to be the keynote speaker for the wonderful Louisiana Volunteers for Community and Family. I’m not using the adjective wonderful without total sincerity and accuracy. This is a group of individuals who commit their time and talents to help others in their communities. Their work includes providing recovery material after natural disasters (like Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav), raising money for scholarships, working to eradicate illiteracy and so much more. After the keynote address, I autographed my fresh-off-the-press copies of ELLI to the conventioneers who so graciously bought my books. It was great meeting the LAVFC and especially to hug and thank them for making my community and world a better place to live. You can see some photos from the day by going to FOR FUN and then PHOTO GALLERY right here on my website.
Busy! Busy!! Busy!!!
May continued with blog tours, interviews and another book signing at BENT PAGES BOOKSTORE AND CAFÉ in Houma, Louisiana. I really enjoyed this book signing with owners Kay Levine and Molly Bolden, too! What fun! I was able to share the day with my cousin and writing companion, Stella Barcelona. Stella and I released our books together on May 1st. We have titled our appearances and speaking engagements together this way:TWO COUSINS…TWO VOICES…TWO STORIES. That’s because we both write women’s fiction in the romance sub-genre, but we write very different types of stories. My writer’s voice is lighter with a focus on characters, emotion, and humor. Stella writes a dark, romantic suspense. I think both of our books have something for readers who basically like a good story with a happily-ever-after ending. Her book is titled DECEIVED. Now, back to the regular scheduled program…commercial over..lol..just kidding. The book signing at Bent Pages was so much fun. They prepared lemonade and cookies for those who walked into the store to enjoy. We got to meet some wonderful people and see old friends. We even had a raffle for a door prize, which reader Kenneth Chauvin won! Once again, photos from this day are posted in the PHOTO GALLERY.
The purpose of it all…
The release of my book gave me a very special opportunity to visit Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at TGMC to give my nurses and doctors a copy of ELLI. I can’t tell you how special it was for me to hand a book I wrote to each one of the people who touched my life in such a profound way. I penned a love-note of sorts inside each book I handed out, but it was the dedication that I really wanted them to see. I had thanked these wonderful people (yeah, I know, I’m using the adjective wonderful again…but I really, really mean it) in the dedication and I wanted to make sure they knew how much I appreciated and loved them. It was also an opportunity to let them know that ALL of the book’s proceeds will be donated to the cancer center to help women fighting breast cancer with their unmet needs. We discussed ways the money generated could help patients. NOW, WE JUST NEED TO SELL BOOKS SO THERE IS MONEY TO DO WHAT IS NEEDED! (Hint. Hint.)
Friends Fight Together
Speaking of raising money…RT14 Booklovers Convention in New Orleans was the place for that! WOWSA! Cherry Adair, Stella, and I had our FRIENDS FIGHT TOGETHERfundraiser at the Downtown Marriott. We had three HUGE raffles of overstuffed pirogues that held prizes that included Designer Michael Kors’ purses, a Movada watch, art, wine, a Roosevelt Hotel Executive Suite in New Orleans, a weekend at a beautiful Winery in the Pacific Northwest, a Stun Gun from Cancer Survivor Linda Mashburn, Honey Baked Ham $100 gift card, plus more…so much more…a lot more…tons more, oodles more. We also had the oh-so-fun PHOTO-TO-GEAUX Photo booth where friends joined together to take pictures…sometimes with a book cover model. Once again, you can see some of these photos on my website PHOTO GALLERY.The RT Booklovers Convention attendees were tremendously generous. We are humbled to announce that FRIENDS FIGHT TOGETHER raised an astounding $10,001!!! We couldn’t have done that without the wonderful (yes, it is the perfect adjective here, too) support of the RT convention attendees, RT staff, and volunteers who made the fundraiser happen (sending virtual hugs to all RT peeps), and all of the amazing sponsors who donated the lovely prizes. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU
Visiting Angela Hill
As a major footnote to the RT New Orleans Convention…Because of RT and FRIENDS FIGHT TOGETHER, I had the opportunity to be a guest on the Angela Hill—An Open Mind Radio Show with Cherry and Stella. It is on clear channel WWL 870 AM in New Orleans. It was really great to spend a full hour on the air with New Orleans broadcasting legend Angela Hill. The hour zipped by as if it were only a minute—LOL. As you probably know, I was a broadcast journalist for over 25 years outside of the New Orleans area. Angela is the ALPHA of broadcasters in the New Orleans market. Being able to share the microphone with her while being with my dear friends was quite an honor. I’m grateful that she allowed Cherry, Stella, and me to speak about our efforts to raise money to help women with their unmet needs as they are fighting breast cancer. And…I was really tickled to be able to tell her about ELLI and how the story was inspired by my experience battling breast cancer and by the stories of other people who were battling cancer alongside of me. I wish time allowed for me to share how the wonderful staff at Mary Bird Perkins inspired me to keep writing. I was able to tell her and the gazillion radio listeners (ok that is a bit of an exaggeration) how Cherry and Stella encouraged me during the tough times. Oh…enough chit-chat on this. You can listen to the radio archived broadcast by clicking on this link.
Yep, there was more!
May also brought fun blog interviews and giveaways with Ramblings From a Chaotic Mindand Smart and Savvy Steph. On May 29th, I was the guest blogger for Romancing the Genres. I have also been interviewed for The Caribbean Accent Book Reviews (June 2nd) and The Reading Café (June 18th). And…because I’m feeling really generous, LOL, you can win special giveaways on those sites, too! You just have to not be related to me…and try! WOWSA…I sure hope you win!
Well, the summer is filling up with more fun events…book signings, speaking engagements, babysitting, grocery shopping, naps (I hope, j/k). One of the BIG Reader events I’ll be part of is RomCon 2014 in Denver, June 19-22nd. Click on FOR FUN, then EVENTS CALENDAR for more info. Don’t forget to return often to my website to see if more fun things have been added (I promise not to list my naps, although if I can squeeze one in I think it is noteworthy!). Hopefully, I will be coming to a place near you. I would love to meet you! That would be WONDERFUL (Yep, I said it again..and I meant it, too)!
Well, time is ticking…I have to get back to writing Jewel and Beau’s story. Oh, I am loving it…and I am having fun with Tante Izzy who is struggling with a little bit of peer-rivalry from Jewel’s grandmother. Jewel, a Second Chance Novel will be available late in 2014! Be healthy and happy.
Elli, a Second Chance Novel ISBN 9780996075015