Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll for 2013 is now open
Once again my publisher – 4RV Publishing – is nominated in the Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll in a number of categories. Voting is easy. Click on the link beside each category listed below, select the 4RV title/author/artist etc., then scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your name and email address. And to confirm you’re not a spammer, enter the author’s name in the box beside the thumbnail of the book cover that’s there. You’ll receive a confirmation email with a link in it. Simply click on it to confirm your vote. (My debut novel, A Shadow in the Past, finished 3rd in its category in the 2012 P&E Readers’ Poll.)
4RV Publishing is nomininated in the following Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll categories:
It would be great to see 4RV finish first in each category but in order for that to happen, they need your votes. Only one vote per category, too. The Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll closes January 14, so don’t delay.
Friends of the Brockville Public Library presented their firstmerrybookmas at the 1000 Islands Mall, 2399 Parkedale Avenue, Brockville – 14th December, 2013.
I always take a photograph of my table once I get it set up but as luck would have it, my phone didn’t have enough oomph left to take a photo. Tried hubby’s, his automatically shut down the battery was so low. However, all was not lost. I took my iPad with me (fully charged) which does have a camera in it.
This was the first event where I had to provide my own table. OH picked up a folding 4′ long one back in early to mid November so that I’d have it. It worked beautifully! Doesn’t my set up look great?
Also, the handcart he picked up was a dream to load everything on to wheel my table and boxes of books and other accoutrements in and out of the mall. We didn’t have to provide chairs, but we took our own anyway and I’m glad we did.
This was a first for, not just the Friends of the Brockville Public Library, but for me, too. This was the first time at any event that The Consequences Collection out sold A Shadow in the Past. I even had one couple who couldn’t decide which book to buy so they bought one of each – his and hers.
We didn’t stay stuck out here in the middle of the mall all day. We moved over in front of one of the closed storefronts so people could only walk by in front of us. I had visions of the table getting jostled and my display toppled or people trying to walk behind us to look at the store’s sale display would be bumping us all day. I don’t know if that was a good thing or not, but I felt more comfortable knowing people couldn’t walk behind me.
The final sales tally … 7 copies of The Consequences Collection and 3 copies of A Shadow in the Past.
In most character interviews you see, it’s the character being interviewed. This time, it’s the character being the interviewer as opposed to the interviewee. My main character from A Shadow in the Past, Sarah Shand, interviewed me over at her blog, Sarah’s Place the other day.
We talked about A Shadow in the Past, the second book in that series, Shadows from her Past, author brand and other things. She asked some pretty tough questions. You can read the full interview here.
I live in rural Aberdeenshire with my parents, sister, and ginger and white cat, Murphy, on our farm (Gordonsfield) near the village of Kendonald.
When I’m not with them, I live in the year 1886 at Weetshill mansion with the laird Robert Robertson and his staff.
If you think going back to the past and knowing what you do now is fun, let me tell you, it isn’t. But then I’m probably telling tales out of school.
The best way to find out is to buy a copy of Melanie’s novel, A Shadow in the Past, and find out for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
Normally, since my husband is a Mallorytown native, he comes with me but this weekend I flew solo. Except for having to make numerous trips to and from the car to bring my loot inside myself, it wasn’t bad. Okay, so I didn’t have ‘eye candy’ at my table to attract the ladies. What can I say, he’s a flirt.
Still things went well. And I was no further than a Blackberry message away from my hubby all day so I could keep him apprised of my successes.
And at the end of the day my results were … drum roll, please …
3 sales of A Shadow in the Past
2 sales of The Consequences Collection
1 sale of the 2014 A Shadow in the Past calendar (images of locations in the novel)
and I was complimented on my display.
Although it was a great day for me, my mind was with the people in and around Glasgow who may have lost loved ones in a horrific helicopter crash on Friday, 29th November.
Nov 8th was Ladies Nite at Green Things Garden & Gifts and other participating merchants
In addition to Green Things where I set up, two other local businesses took part in the fun as well – Casual Living (who have been involved in previous years) and new comers Hall’s Apple Market (they have way more than just apples there).
This year I was set up in a different area than my first time out in 2012. It was extremely busy when I arrived so I rushed to get set up and it wasn’t until after I had everything out on the table that I realized I had forgotten my tartan throw that I use at most places. I had planned on using it as a topper over the red table cloth I had also been completely forgotten about until I saw it in the linen closet the other day and it begged “pick me! pick me!”. Still I think my table looked pretty good just as it was. What do you think?
See my funky coffee mugs there? I’ve got one for A Shadow in the Past and one for The Consequences Collection – both of which had candies in them.
Of course my usual accoutrements came along – postcards, bookmarks, business cards, easel to display a book on but I had more loot this year! I had another book, plus my 2014 A Shadow in the Past calendars! Luckily for me, I had another photo easel at home that I pressed into service for my anthology since the acrylic book easels I have on order haven’t arrived yet.
All in all, it was an extremely successful evening – 3 copies of A Shadow in the Past, 1 copy of The Consequences Collection, and 1A Shadow in the Past calendar.
Keep watching my appearances page for where I’ll be next and if you’re in the area, drop in. I’d love to see you.
Day 7 – Launch Day at the Rannes Hall in Kennethmont! – August 17, 2013
The big day was finally here! Was I nervous? A wee bit. Mostly because I still had no idea how many people were coming.
Besides my book launch today at the Rannes Hall, I appeared virtually on two blogs – one is my author friend, Nicky Wells’ Romance That Rocks Your World blog and I did an interview with Peggy Stanton over at Famous Five Plus so I hope you’ll pop over to these wonderful sites.
Compared to other days (especially our ‘free’ day), we did nothing. We both think we went in to Huntly that morning but for what, we can’t remember. We’d been there the night before. Still, we did something/went somewhere nearby in the morning and for the life of us, we have no recall whatsoever.
Fast forward to the afternoon… we loaded the car with books, book swag, door prizes and my silver sharpie pen for signing and made the short journey down the road. We could have easily walked, but trundling a suitcase behind us and me in my ‘ruby’ slippers, it wouldn’t have been a very comfortable walk.
I’m not sure when this sign popped up. I don’t remember seeing it the day before when we walked to the Old Kirkyard and we walked right past here – trash day, wheelie bin in front of the hall. I guess it ‘grew’ overnight.
Here it is – the venue for my book launch. Isn’t it a grand looking building? It’s home to many a Robbie Burns night and other functions.
When we pulled in to the car park, I was gobsmacked to see my friend, Bill Dunbar, still sitting in the vehicle beside us while his wife chatted by the side entrance with David, my Rannes Hall connection (and owner of Earlsfield Farm). He and Helen made the drive up from Quarriers Village for my launch. I got a huge hug from him as did Don (who insisted on it, since they’d come so far).
So, let’s go inside and see what it looks like in there. I have an advantage having been to a dance here in 2000 and seeing photos from Burns Night celebrations online.
My table was set up in front of the stage with alternating Canadian and Scottish flags affixed to it and three rows of seats were arranged in a semi-circle.
With the hall empty, it seemed even bigger than it really was. It was between 1:30 and 2:00 pm and so far it was only Bill and Helen, David, and Don and me. Nail biting time.
Soon, it went from hardly anyone to almost every seat filled. The original plan of doing my reading, followed by a Q&A session, then signing and selling kind of went out the window as people wanted to purchase their copy right away, or if they already had one, get it signed. Who was I to argue? It worked.
I had three draws for the following door prizes.
David wanted one of these so it was sheer serendipity when it was his wife’s ticket number that was drawn.
If our murky memories are correct, Helen Dunbar won the tote bag.
And the calendar was headed off to Dubai with a teenaged cousin of mine. And speaking of cousins…
Ian’s and Norman’s fathers were two of my Dad’s brothers who remained in Scotland. And it was Norman’s great-granddaughter who won the calendar.
By the time the afternoon’s event was over I sold… drum roll, please…
copies of A Shadow in the Past! Yippee!!!
People mingled afterwards over tea/coffee and shortbread before gradually saying their goodbyes and heading homeward. Once everyone was out of the hall, we did the same and went back to Earlsfield Farm to change and relax before going out to supper at The Hunters Moon in Auchleven.
In the end there were ten of us who went to supper. The food was amazing!
After our meal, we went over to Rhynie for the dance at the gala. There was a dance the night before for the younger crowd but they were all back in full force. I got bowled over trying to get in when security couldn’t wrestle a drunk out. Not the most auspicious start to the rest of the evening.
It was well after 1:00 the next morning when we finally got back to Earlsfield farm and we would be back on the road that morning heading south to Kelso.
No SEEKING SARAH SHAND today… we all know where she was. It will resume on Day 8.
The idea of driving into Aberdeen didn’t thrill me even though I’ve done it on previous trips but not all the way into the heart of the city. It probably wasn’t so much the idea of driving as it was the idea of finding a place to leave the car relatively close to the library for the entire day without having to run back periodically and pay to stay longer.
Even before we left Canada, we had pretty much decided on driving from Earlsfield Farm to Insch and catching the train there.
The station isn’t manned but there was a self-serve kiosk outside where you could purchase your tickets (in 2000 we bought our tickets on the train) so we did then hung out on the platform while we waited for the Inverness to Aberdeen train to arrive.
If you look really closely at the mountain in the background, you can see the tip of the hillfort just poking up.
The train arrived a few minutes before its scheduled departure time to allow folks already on the train to get off and those of us waiting time to board and get settled. It appeared that seats were at a premium because the majority in the carriage we were on had reserved tags inserted in the slot in the top of the seat back. We found a couple of empty seats reserved for stations the train had already passed through and took them. Who would book passage on a specific train then not turn up at the station? I know I certainly wouldn’t.
We passed by Aberdeen airport and as we did, a helicopter was landing. Seeing that sparked me to look for Bond’s headquarters (used in another manuscript in progress) as I had Google street-viewed them before. Knowing roughly where they were located and the colour of their building made it easier and I spotted it almost immediately.
The Central Library was a short walk up from the train station so we made our way there. I wanted to soak in some Aberdeen atmosphere and didn’t want to cart books about with us. I had already made arrangements to drop them off on our arrival.
On our way to the library, we saw this street sign and I just had to take a picture of it. It would have been better with hubby in the picture, too, but this will have to do… for now. Besides with the steps and the railings, I’m not sure how well I could have framed the entire shot with him in it.
After relieving ourselves of the bag of books and using the facilities, we went on a short tour of Aberdeen – across Rosemount Viaduct, which changes names to Schoolhill (where it passes over Denburn Road, and latterly Upperkirkgate. Schoolhill and Upperkirkgate were streets I mentioned in previous drafts of my novel. Then it was down Broad Street in front of the magnificent Marischal College building (now home to the Aberdeen City Council). Even on the opposite side of the street, the building was so massive I couldn’t get all of it into the frame at once, not to mention we were on a bit of a time constraint to see the things I wanted to and photograph them and get back to the library on time to go on our lunch date.
From Broad Street, we continued on Queen Street past the Grampian Police Headquarters then Shoe Lane where we reached King Street and turned right heading for the top of Union Street and the Castlegate.
Aberdeen in the sunshine is a truly, beautiful place. The granite buildings sparkle. After this brief photo session, we quickly returned to the library via Union Street and Union Terrace, alongside the Union Terrace Gardens.
We were a bit late getting back to the library, but not everyone who was going out to lunch was available. Once everyone was gathered by the main desk, we set out to this as yet undisclosed location. I remember we walked up Skene Terrace then kept going at the end of the street. I’m pretty sure we ended up on Huntly Street at Mi Amore (confirm with library staff) a lovely Italian, Mediterranean restaurant.
When we returned, I was given a tour of the local studies department which was the area that helped me so much with my research and will also play a role in the sequel to A Shadow in the Past.
My friend, 2009 Dundee International Book Prize winner, Chris Longmuir, came up from her seaside town by train to be there for me. We had a wee natter and I signed the copy of my book that she had bought from amazon.co.uk earlier in the year.
Another of my online writer friends, Bill Kirton popped in, too. It was brilliant to finally meet him in person. We chatted briefly before it was “show time”!
Only ten people had pre-registered for the event with the library so I was well chuffed to see more like twenty people filling the seats. I chose what I hoped was an enticing segment from early in A Shadow in the Past and began.
When I was finished my reading, I fielded questions and answers related to A Shadow in the Past and my friends, Chris and Bill, encouraged me to write a book on Home Children – possibly from the child’s point-of-view.
As if I hadn’t already been treated like royalty by the library staff, they presented me with a tote bag filled with books from their Local Studies Department and two Waterstones giftcards.
It was an amazing day. Everyone in attendance enjoyed by presentation but best of all, I sold and signed three copies of A Shadow in the Past.
When it was finally time to leave, Bill walked with us as far as Union Street where we said our goodbyes. Chris accompanied us as far as the train station where we parted company when she discovered there was a train home that she might be able to make.
Our train left shortly after Chris’s so we headed towards the platform and waited. It felt good to finally relax on the train and recall the day’s events. At the Insch station, we doddled about waiting for the car park to clear before we got in and headed for ‘home’ with a detour up to Huntly for a bite of supper (not that we needed it) so we grabbed a couple of sarnies and packets of crisps from the ASDA and a bottle of wine to replace the one mine hostess at Earlsfield cracked open when we arrived.
Later that evening, the guys cracked open mine host’s bottle of 18 year old Aberlour (after having our 18 year old Glenlivet the night before) and I carried on with wine. More than once, we toasted a successful day.
And before I forget… wait, I did forget… my bad. Anyway, better late than never, let’s play SEEKING SARAH SHAND!
BOOK LAUNCH DAY for A SHADOW IN THE PAST in SCOTLAND
After years of dreaming and wondering if my dream would ever come true, I’m happy to say that my Scottish Book Launch of A Shadow in the Past is happening. Yay! There was a lot of hard work and rejection slips along the way, but it’s finally happening.
But why is it so important to me that I launch my book in Scotland after being at its debut in the US then hosting a launch in my hometown?
Well, it’s this. My father came to Canada as a Scottish Home Child through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland in 1930. I fell in love with the country and its people right from the time I stepped off the plane on my first trip in 1993. Subsequent trips followed and the spark of a story came to me inspired by the area surrounding my father’s birthplace. That story grew into a novel and I promised myself that when I got published, I would host a launch in the Rannes Hall in Kennethmont, Aberdeenshire.
I would have left the giveaway open longer but as I’m off on holiday at the end of this week, it would be the end of the month or even into September before the winners were announced and prizes mailed out.
And I’ll close out this post with this little video (apologies for the advert at the beginning).
Welcome to the e-book Launch Party for A SHADOW IN THE PAST+ GIVEAWAY
The big day is finally here! I’m so excited. Today, I’m hosting the e-book launch party for my debut novel, A Shadow in the Past. I know I’ve been urging you not to download my novel and there’s been a really good reason behind this. If everyone waits until launch day – today – then my book will soar up the ratings at amazon, especially if everyone buys the kindle version… hint, hint…
When a contemporary teen is transported back through time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past…
Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages; powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.
Now that you know what the book is about – let’s PARTY!
Since A Shadow in the Past takes place in Scotland, I thought we’d start out with some Scottish music to get things started.
How about a little Old Blind Dogs to start things off with their song Bennachie.
The hill of Bennachie is in Aberdeenshire and not all that far from the fictitional village of Kendonald where A Shadow of the Past takes place.
I suppose you’re starting to get hungry. I know it’s not Scottish fayre, but let’s order in pizza. I know not everyone likes the same toppings, so you can all choose your own by clicking on this link.
While we’re waiting for our pizzas to arrive, I’ll put on some more music. Runrig is another one of my favourite Scottish bands, and when I’m listening to CDs when I’m driving, I love to crank the volume up for this song – Alba.
Pizza’s here! Too bad real delivery wasn’t this fast. I’ll just fetch us some bubbly that I’ve had chilling to celebrate with.
While we’re recharging our batteries with a bite to eat and a glass or two of bubbly, I’ll pop on 500 Miles by the Proclaimers. Every time I hear this song, I think of the movie Benny and Joon.
Anyone for dessert? It’s a hot day so I thought ice cream would be fitting. I’ve got it and frozen yogurt in case you prefer that along with waffle and sugar cones, dishes, and loads of toppings. I’ll set everything out on the kitchen island and we can make our own – sundaes or cones!
As my e-book launch party winds down, I must give you the most important links of all – the where to buy links!
You could win one of two A Shadow in the Past swag packs.
A Shadow in the Past 2014 wall calendar with photographs taken by me depicting the area(s) where the book was set.
To enter the draw, leave your answer to this question “If you could go back in time, what era would you like visit?” in the comments. A winner will be chosen randomly.
I hoped you enjoyed my launch party today but even more importantly, I hope you enjoy reading A Shadow in the Past as much as I enjoyed writing it.
My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King