Category Archives: Tim’s Magic Christmas

Organization is essential when travelling…

… no matter where you’re going – business, pleasure – organization is the key. It’s taken us the better part of the summer to come up with the way to pack the car so that everything fits in for our assorted “goods and chattels” that we haul to and from outdoor events.

black beauty

If not Black Beauty (pictured above), it’s the older sibling “Big Red” a 2006 version of the same car – 2-door Chevy Cobalt – that we use to go to the markets.

Other vendors have told me, they can’t believe how much I can get in to such a small space. I say the vehicle is just like Mary Poppins’ magic carpet bag.

This past Sunday when we loaded up to come home from the Mallorytown Country Market, I documented each step in the process. And yes, we used Big Red. It’s home every day and can be kept partially loaded during the week as I use Black Beauty for my work commute. And, hubby is retired so he came up with a way that he can get all the assorted accoutrements to fit in the trunk (boot) of this one.

organization

 

First in, the two boxes of canopy weights. They look much better than bags of bricks, water bottles, and any other heavy object you can anchor yourself down with. (The bottle of windshield washer fluid is a permanent fixture.) Setting up and tearing down does create some mess… dried dirt from parking lots (car parks) and bits of dried grass and leaves from natural settings.

organization

First in is the folded six-foot table.

organization

Followed by the smaller four-foot one. I know you’re thinking, why not put it in with the handle where you can reach it. We’ve tried turning it the 90 degrees and the rest of the stuff just doesn’t fit.

Add the smaller totes of books…

organization

organization

Followed by the table clothes and two of the larger totes. Keep watching… it gets better.

organization

Add another tote of promotional material, containing postcards, business cards, bookmarks and my assorted easels and business card holders for price tags etc., (even some WD40 for when the canopy gets a bit stiff)… but we’re not done yet. My author banner is tucked in there nicely on one side and so is my illuminated Secret of Hillcrest House sign.

organization

Add the box of tools (screwdrivers, lock nut remover for the wheels, and other assorted goods and sundries, most importantly the cash box) and that’s the trunk packed. Pretty amazing, eh?

Moving on to the back seat…

organization

There’s a folded tarp, and one of the white side panels for my “Wonderful White” canopy, my lovely squishy, anti-fatigue mats for venues on pavement, and two folding chairs.

organization

Fold up the canopy and shove it in on top of the chairs. Even my funky “bag holder” a piece of 4×4 with coat hooks on each side has a place…

organization

And finally, my purse and bag that has all my extra goodies in it (batteries and cables for my debit machine, wet wipes, safety pins, ledger that I keep track of my sales and mileage…)

This past Sunday, there was even room for a bag of corn on the cob and my track shoes (after Saturday’s rain, I wanted to be prepared for wet grass).

 

 

Today is Book Lovers Day!

Happy Book Lovers Day!

This unique holiday can also be celebrated on the first Saturday in November. So why not celebrate it both days?

book

bookHardcover, paperback, ebook. What’s your preference? Both have their advantages. Ebooks are usually less expensive than a paperback and definitely more so than a hardcover.

One hundred books on an e-reader weigh far less than the same number of physical books and take up a lot less space – better for travel.

For the person who likes mystery and suspense with romance…

book

When a contemporary teen is transported back in time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past…

Nineteen year old Sarah Shand finds herself in Victorian Era Aberdeenshire, Scotland and has no idea how she got there. Her last memory is of being at the stone circle on the family farm in the year 2010.

Despite having difficulty coming to terms with her situation, Sarah quickly learns she must keep her true identity a secret. Still, she feels stifled by the Victorians’ confining social practices, including arranged marriages between wealthy and influential families, and confronts them head on then suffers the consequences.

When Sarah realizes she has fallen in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, she faces an agonizing decision. Does she try to find her way back to 2010 or remain in the past with the man she loves?

Buy links for A Shadow in the Past can be found here.

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For those who prefer short stories…

book

The Consequences Collection is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

The Consequences Collection is available for the kindle on all amazon platforms and in epub format at lulu.com

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A middle grade Christmas novelette…

book

For Tim Frost, Christmas 2011 is a washout. No Santa. No presents. Nothing. His father lost his job when the mill closed and now the family is on the verge of losing their home.

A chance encounter with Nick Kringle, a modern-day Santa Claus teaches Tim that the greatest gift you receive is the gift of giving.

Tim’s Magic Christmas is currently only available in paperback. To find out how to get your copy, contact me via email. Watch for it coming in kindle and epub formats.

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And a little bit of supernatural with spicy romance set in a wonderfully, spooky haunted house…

secret

Sometimes there’s more to a house than bricks and mortar.

Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.
Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.
Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel The Secret of Hillcrest House?

Melanie Robertson-King’s latest novel serves up a delightful blend of the supernatural and spicy romance, Lynn L. Clark, author of The Home Child, and Fire Whisperer & Circle of Souls: Two Novellas of the Supernatural, & The Accusers

Intrigue, dark buried secrets, hot romance and a neat twist in the tale make this riveting reading, Sheryl Browne, MA Creative Writing, Choc Lit Author

A fun read that keeps you guessing right up to the surprise ending, Dayna Leigh Cheser, Author of Janelle’s Time, Moria’s Time, Adelle’s Time, & Logan’s Time

 

May 2016 at the Prescott Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market

After only having done the market once in 2015 (invited by a friend for Christmas in July), and having fun at the event, I decided to contact the “head honcho”, “grand poobah”, “big cheese” about becoming a regular this year for at least the Saturdays when I’m not already committed elsewhere or it’s not raining. Even with a canopy, books and rain don’t mix.

The first Saturday I went was the grand opening of the market for the season – May 14th.

I swear my car is like Mary Poppins’s carpet bag. You pop the trunk and more and more stuff keeps coming out – plastic totes of books and accessories, weights for the canopy legs, tables. And then there’s the canopy that rides cross-ways in the back seat along with the chairs. See why I refer to my car as a magic carpet bag?

May 14, 2016

May 14, 2016The tartan cover on the table to the left is the one hubby scored in the silent auction at the Friendly Circle Showcase in Long Sault on May 7th. It’s very pretty and if a body had to wrap up in it on a chilly morning, it would be lovely and warm. One small problem tho’ when it’s on the table and there are books and what-not on it… I’ve not quite mastered yanking a table covering out from under what’s on the surface without disturbing things… LOL!

So, on my first outing I sold 1 copy of The Secret of Hillcrest House. I only sold a single book at Christmas in July the previous year so I wasn’t disappointed. It’s fun. It’s social and selling books is a bonus. Mind you, I’d be happy making back the 2016 registration fee.

Things picked up the following Saturday – May 21st.

May 21, 2016

May 21, 2016

I didn’t get the same drive-through stall as the previous week but got the one next to it. I love these spots! They’re so handy for unloading and setting up… and tearing down at the end of the day.

People seemed glad to see I was back (and not just a flash in the pan). And more asked if I would be there all summer. By the time this event came around, I had my bluetooth debit/credit card reader. I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of times I’ve heard ‘if you only took debit’. I have a Square but here in Canada it’s only credit card transactions – and it saved me a few otherwise lost sales over the years.

So this second week at the market, I sold 1 copy of The Secret of Hillcrest House, 1 copy of The Consequences Collection, and 1 copy of Tim’s Magic Christmas.

In the first two weeks of being a regular vendor, I made back the cost of the annual registration. Happy girl!!!

Moving along to the last Saturday in May – May 28th.

Construction work on the light standards in the parking lot meant the loss of a minimum of 4 stalls. But as they’re on a first-come, first-serve basis, I still managed to get one of my drive-through ones.

By now the banner I had created at Vistaprint (a cross between my website header and my business card), my new bookmarks (more like the website in that my picture is on them) and my matching tartan tablecloths had arrived.

May 28, 2016

May 28, 2016

This was a good day, albeit a scorcher. My boots almost match the tablecloths. I wearing the vest bought along with the long one (mid to lower calf length) that I wore at the Long Sault event.

Sales were event better on this day. I sold 2 copies of The Consequences Collection and 2 copies of A Shadow in the Past. So I made my registration fee twice over now! Woot! And I’ve still not used my debit/credit card reader.

The only downer on the day was when we attempted to take down the canopy, the left front corner wouldn’t come down for love nor money. But with help from the vendor next to us, a screwdriver and hammer from another across the way and a Swiss army stocking stuffer, we managed to get the blasted thing down and packed into the car. Now to source just the parts we need for it. Only used 6 times and the plastic centre post cap is twisted as are some of the plastic parts in the roof braces.

Bought another one the following day – less money and comes with a side curtain. We’ll see how much better (if any) it performs. Surely, we’ll get six uses out it. The old one is currently relegated to home use where it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t want to fold down – everything we need is at hand.

Fingers crossed that all the Saturdays in June give us good weather even though we need rain desperately. Overnight and Monday to Friday are my choices, although I don’t have a lot of say in the matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New book, new clothes, new season…

The new show season has arrived!

new book

It’s been some time since I’ve done an event. A bit rusty getting the tartan throw centered on the table. That coupled with having 4 books to display added to the confusion.

The sign I had for A Shadow in the Past got damaged in transit last year so I have to create a new one. I’m looking at getting a banner made for it and getting the stand to put it in. I have an easel and that’s fine but it does take up a lot of space.

So, the new book – The Secret of Hillcrest House – is on the end at the right in the picture. It was quite bright in the hall, but the picture mounted on foam board behind the books has the windows in the attic cut out and battery-operated LED lights behind them.

The new clothes. I bought the long ‘suede’ vest (as well as a short fringed one) and the white sweater from simons.ca. Ever since being in their store on a trip to Quebec City, I fell in love with their clothing.

new book

new book

new book

The only drawback with the long vest is static cling. And when a body walked, the fringes wrapped around the legs. That’s just a minor detail. The tartan boots were brought out of retirement from last year.

While sales at the Friendly Circle Showcase on Saturday were slow, it was fun to see everyone again and make plans for other events later on in the year.

So a recap of the day. I only sold 2 copies of The Secret of Hillcrest House. When I went through my spiel, I described it as supernatural with ‘spicy’ romance. One of the women said my comment made her giggle.

Before Saturday’s show, I had sold 14 paperbacks of The Secret of Hillcrest House and 10 kindle copies.

If you want to find out more about any of my books, you can find them on my website’s books page.

 

The 2015 season has ended…

The Merrickville Christmas Craft and Concession Show marked the end of the 2015 season, well for me anyway. There could be others this weekend or next but I’m so far behind in everything, I think I’m ahead… I’m not exaggerating.

December 12th – Community Centre, Merrickville, ON

appearances

My display with multi-coloured battery operated LED lights to make it look festive.

This was my last event of the 2015 season. It’s hard to believe it’s less than two weeks before Christmas. Yikes! Where has the year gone?

It was a good day on the sales front for me starting before the official opening time of the show when I sold 1 copy of A Shadow in the Past. Before the day was finished, I added sales of 1 copy of The Consequences Collection, and 4 copies of Tim’s Magic Christmas.

I’m looking forward to the 2016 season and hope to attend even more events next year.

 

Christmas on the Clyde in Lanark, ON

It’s been ages since I’ve been to Lanark. I’ve been close twice this year when I did shows at McDonalds Corners but never quite made it here. Christmas on the Clyde has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Clyde
My display

The Civitan Club isn’t right in Lanark but just on the outskirts. Lovely big hall and my table was front and centre as people came in the door. I thought that would be the perfect place and I’d sell books hand over fist. Nice thought… but it didn’t quite turn out that way.

I had asked for a place where I could set up my easel and not affect foot traffic. The way the hall was set up, it worked perfectly.

Still, I met lots of interesting people and sold some books. Gotta like that part of it. By the end of the day, I sold 2 copies of Tim’s Magic Christmas and 1 copy of The Consequences Collection – the woman who bought it didn’t have enough cash with her in the morning and made a point of coming back in the afternoon before the sale ended so she could snag a copy for herself.

I’ll be back again next year… that is, if they’ll have me.

 

Not the Foreign Legion…

Yesterday, I took part in the craft show at the Mallorytown Legion.

Legion
My display

It was slow on the sales front despite plenty of foot traffic. But that’s to be expected when there are two other events taking place on the same day. Still, it was fun to connect with vendors and customers I’ve not seen since the last time I did this show (2 years ago).

When it was all over (but the crying – not really), I sold 2 copies of Tim’s Magic Christmas and 1 copy of A Shadow in the Past which is going to be in-flight reading on a trip to BC. My girl, Sarah, really gets around, she does.

Next Saturday I’m off to Lanark for the Civitan Club’s show. Maybe I’ll see you there?

 

 

 

Black Friday Freebie!

One day only – Black Friday

Black Friday only – FREE to the first fifteen people who leave a comment here on my blog between 00:01 and 12:00 Eastern Time Friday, November 27th, 2015…

The e-book version of Tim’s Magic Christmas!

Black Friday

Blurb:

For Tim Frost, Christmas 2011 is a washout. No Santa. No presents. Nothing. His father lost his job when the mill closed and now the family is on the verge of losing their home.

A chance encounter with Nick Kringle, a modern-day Santa Claus, teaches Tim that the greatest gift you can receive is the gift of giving.

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In your comment, let me know which format you would prefer your copy to be in – epub, mobi or pdf.

If you would prefer a print version, there is still time left to enter the giveaway over at Goodreads for your chance to win the signed proof of the paperback version of Tim’s Magic Christmas.

Ending November 30th! Goodreads Giveaway ~ Tim’s Magic Christmas

November 30th will be here before we know it!

Enter for your chance to win one signed proof copy of Tim’s Magic Christmas! The giveaway starts November 6th and runs to November 30th.

It could be the perfect gift for the middle grade reader on your Christmas list.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tim's Magic Christmas by Melanie Robertson-King

Tim’s Magic Christmas

by Melanie Robertson-King

Giveaway ends November 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

November

Blurb:

For Tim Frost, Christmas 2011 is a washout. No Santa. No presents. Nothing. His father lost his job when the mill closed and now the family is on the verge of losing their home.

A chance encounter with Nick Kringle, a modern-day Santa Claus, teaches Tim that the greatest gift you can receive is the gift of giving.

What readers are saying about Tim’s Magic Christmas:

Shawn Marie Simon ☆☆☆☆☆ – Tim’s Magic Christmas, by Melanie Robertson-King, is a heartfelt story about a young boy who feels he’s a burden to his struggling family. His parents are fighting, money is tight. Things are not good. Tim feels certain he is not going to get the Apple iPod he so desperately wanted for Christmas. He believes everybody would be better off if he ran away from home, so he takes the little money he has out of his piggy bank and catches a train to anywhere. What happens next is magical.

Lessons abound in this sweet book. The lessons are not only for children, they are for parents, too. Kids are more aware than parents often realize. They hear parents arguing, they feel the tension. Talk to them and let them know what’s going on in a way that is developmentally appropriate. They are part of the family and should not be left in the dark.

Of course there are lessons for kids as well in this magical story. Kids need to talk to their parents, too. Trust your parents to be there for you. Share your fears with them. Running away will not solve anything. Although, in this case, a miracle happened.

The last and most prevalent lesson is that giving is better than receiving. It’s not about how much you have, but about how much you give to others, and when you give to others, you get back so much more than you ever bargained for. Tim learned that the iPod he wanted was nothing compared to how good it felt to give to those who had so much less.

Beverly Stowe McClure ☆☆☆☆☆ – Christmas, that magical time of the year when children make their “wish” list for the gifts they hope to find under their trees. Sometimes, however, a child’s wishes may not be answered in the way he or she had hoped, but perhaps in an even better way.

In TIM’S MAGIC CHRISTMAS, Author Melanie Robertson-King’s new story for children, the holidays are fast approaching, and Tim Frost wants an iPod for Christmas. There’s one problem. His father has lost his job and money is scarce. His parents can barely pay the bills and buy groceries, much less buy expensive gifts for their children. So, Tim, thinking like a sixth-grader how he can help his family in these tough times, decides to take the $35 and change he’s saved and run away from home. Without him, his parents will have one less mouth to feed.

Little does Tim know the surprises that await him when he rides the bus away from his home town. The places he goes and the people he meets give Tim a new understanding of the true magic of Christmas. Melanie Robertson-King has written a beautiful story about giving and sharing and discovering what’s truly important in life. I recommend this story for school libraries, public libraries, and your own private library. It will renew your faith and hope in our world and the gentle people in it.

Joan Y Edwards ☆☆☆☆☆ – Sixth grader, Tim Frost doesn’t realize how much his family loves him. He wants an expensive gift for Christmas and runs away when his family has a money shortage at Christmas. He takes a bus to the big city of Toronto and almost gets run over. Willing to wash dishes for food, he learns from a trucker how worried his parents must be. When a trucker shows him how he can help the homeless and hungry in his hometown, Tim goes back home, content not to have an expensive iPod for Christmas. He learns that the real joy of Christmas is in giving.

The author keeps the readers wondering if Tim could survive in the city and if he would decide to go back home. I kept wondering what I would do if I was in Tim’s shoes.

Janet K Brown ☆☆☆☆☆ – Tim’s Magic Christmas is a heart-warming tale of a boy who uses his six-grade wisdom to solve his family’s financial problems. It is a Christmas he’ll never forget. This book is appropriate for any child old enough to read a chapter book. The author teaches a lesson without hitting the child over the head. I found it easy to follow and typical of what my thirteen-year-old grandson might come up with. King’s main character enchants the reader. A fresh perspective for a wonderful holiday.

 

Bath time! and not in the tub

Ho Ho Ho! Yesterday was the Christmas Bazaar and Silent Auction at the Bath Public School

Bath**********

It was a great day in Bath yesterday. Cozy in the primary hall but lots of foot traffic nonetheless. Because of the width of the hall, it was difficult to get a good picture of my display. Some of the things that are visible in this photo are usually hidden by the magic of camera angles.

Bath
my display
Bath
Me with my display looking festive (?)

Another thing with it being so cozy was anything close to the edge of the table had to be constantly straightened up. But that’s a minor detail. I did get lots of compliments on my display which is always music to my ears.

So how did I do, I hear you ask. Could I have a drum roll please…

Day 1

I sold 7 copies of A Shadow in the Past and 7 copies of Tim’s Magic Christmas! One of the sales of Tim was using my Square credit card reader.

We weren’t to pack up until after 3:00 and if we did, we wouldn’t be invited back next year. I couldn’t have packed up at that time if I tried. I still had customers at 3:00. One was a young man who stood quietly in front of the table so as not to interrupt the woman who was buying a copy of A Shadow in the Past at the time. He was very polite and asked a lot of questions about writing and publishing a book and wanted to know if he could buy a copy of Tim’s Magic Christmas. This young man was in the target age group for the book (his mum was at the table beside me) so with money he got from his parents and grandparents, he bought the book which I gladly signed for him.

I’ll be back in Bath next year and I hope I run into this polite young man again. I’d love to know what he thought of Tim’s Magic Christmas.

Oh, and I even managed to stay on track writing every day for #NaNoWriMo. It was longhand and I didn’t get it typed up until this morning but I managed 316 words.