- Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Midwife of Normandy takes place in the late 17th century. The waggon Pierre Dupres used to transport his bolts of silk fabric to Dieppe would have resembled the one in this photo (minus the artistically posed pumpkins.)
We have a winner! The lucky number in the drawing for the free copy of Midwife of Normandy is 000280. Congratulations, Jan! Please contact me with your mailing address so I can send your book to you. And a big thank you to all who entered the drawing at the Cottonwood Library Book Fair. You will soon be notified of a special sale on the Kindle ebook version for only 99 cents.
On Saturday, November 10th, I will be signing copies of my books at the Cottonwood Library Book Fair, in connection with “Walkin’ on Main.” The weather will be beautiful and there will be many events happening in Old Town Cottonwood. Stop by and see me in one of my many historically themed costumes. Enter to win a free book!
I have always been a fan of bookstores. Today, I daresay most readers purchase their books online—either as paperbacks or ebooks. Kudos to brave independent book store owners who try to save their businesses.
This morning as I was perusing my local newspaper—The Camp Verde Bugle—I was touched by a letter to the editor written by the owner of “Hooked on Books” in nearby Cottonwood, Arizona. Circumstances forced him to either close his store or relocate to something more economical. Fortunately, he found a smaller but less expensive location and was helped moving and setting up 45,000 books to another spot by a host of volunteers. The following thoughts are excerpted from his letter:
“Books, their preservation and availability, are extremely important for mankind. Books are low tech; tangible; easily used and stored; can last for centuries; and have the distinction of being unalterable once in print and distributed. They are made of fibre and ink, but with their common availability the last 500 years even the poorest individual has access to them.
“For me books are more than objects to buy and sell and make money. Books represent the stored thoughts of people. Those stored thoughts are manifested in the books in many ways. [L]ook at words on a page and travel anywhere, even to places and settings that exist only in the mind of the author until the thoughts are put to paper. Once on paper the thoughts can be embraced by millions of people even to the point where people in conversation will talk about the characters and places mentioned in the book. The characters have now been embued with life by the creator, being the author. That is tremendous power a skilled writer with an imagination has. The characters can inform, stimulate, enthuse, bring tears of joy and sadness.”
During a recent car journey to Utah, along back roads where radio broadcasts were nonexistent and cell phone service sketchy at best, my husband and I had uninterrupted time to just plain converse. As the miles passed, our discussion turned to the characters in my novels as if they were living, breathing human acquaintances.
I confessed how difficult it had been to write about the deaths of some of my favorite characters in Lucina’s Destiny. It had taken a toll on my energy as author and creator of their lives. I recalled tears streaming down my face, dripping on the keyboard. Even during the rewriting and editing of those chapters, I understood the necessity of “doing away” with these characters but even so, my emotional response was sadness. (No spoilers here if you haven’t yet read the book. The novel is thought-provoking and some scenes will bring a smile to your face.)
In any case, I am glad I decided to release my novels in paperback, as well as ebook format. I take pleasure in knowing they “have the distinction of being unalterable, once in print.” Some day in the future, a dog-eared used copy of my work may end up for sale on the shelves at “Hooked on Books.”
Two years ago, as I was making final revisions to Midwife of Normandy, I found this image of a 17th century painting. It reminded me so much of Clare Dupres combing her daughter Lucina’s curls, that I changed the color of Clare’s wedding gown to match. This is the type of gown a French lady of quality would have worn back in 1684. And Clare did have a set of pearls that Jacques gave her for their anniversary.
When I researched the painting, I discovered that the child was actually a little boy! Yes, it was difficult back then to tell young boys from girls. So this would most likely have been her son Jean-Pierre. Continue reading
In July, the members of the Doll Book Club chose Midwife of Normandy for their monthly discussion. They recommended it to all their doll friends and look forward to reading Lucina’s Destiny at their next meeting!
FYI: Author Carole Penfield is an avid doll collector, as well as an enthusiastic reader of historical fiction novels. These are among the 200+ dolls in her personal collection.
Lucina’s Destiny, is the continuation of the family saga of the Dupres family. If you read book one, Midwife of Normandy, you will be familiar with midwife Clare, her son Jean-Pierre and daughter Lucina. Now you can read their adventures as they begin their new life in England.
Meet their new friends and neighbors in the village of Tunbridge, Kent. Eliza Weller befriends Lucina–she is the real life great-grandmother of famous author Jane Austen. Just a hint why I call this series “Secrets of the Austen Midwives.”
Can’t believe the year is half over. I’m making slow progress on Book Two, but I have a tentative title; Lucina’s Dilemma. I hope to have this sequel to Midwife of Normandy published in time for Christmas. Doing things backwards, I already have the cover designed although the book isn’t finished. Does anyone else write like this?
The Kindle Ebook edition of Midwife of Normandy will be on sale for the entire month of January, 2017 to celebrate a brand new year. If you haven’t read it yet, this is your chance to download the book at a rock bottom price. http://tinyurl.com/MidwifeNormandy