Thursday, 28 May 2015

Wishing for More Chances to Win Hutterite Diaries?

You got it!

I've been enjoying comments, verbal and written, in regards to my new book. It's always interesting to hear which stories have touched people, which one is their favourite, or the one they can relate with. I'm also grateful for the kind people who are helping promote my book via their blog/websites and hosting book launches. Thanks to my publisher, Herald Press, they're also hosting a giveaway. If you're wishing for another chance to win Hutterite Diaries, why not hop on over to:

 Amish Wisdom.

 Suzanne Woods Fisher's Author Spotlight. 


And for one more chance, also hosted by Herald Press and Menno Media, click on the Rafflecopter link below.

Good Luck!

If you live in my area, Hutterite Diaries is now also available at the Portage and District Art Centre Gallery and Gift Shop and at the HB Book Centre.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Hutterite Diaries Winner

First, my sincere thanks to all who entered this contest and for your interest in my book, Hutterite Diaries! Besides the joy of writing and publishing, it's rewarding to see people looking forward to reading your book, then enjoying the stories. I hope you all get to read it. Please do tell me about it when you do. I love to get your feedback! I'd also express my appreciation to Herald Press for supporting this giveaway!

The winner is Tabitha Wurtz, Oak River, MB. Congrats! My book will be heading your way soon. Enjoy!

Thanks again, to all who left a comment!

I had a wonderful time at our local library on Saturday. They hosted a book launch. I appreciate all Pat Calder did planning this event and all the people who attended. It turned out to be a an enjoyable and successful event!

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Grateful for Gutenberg's Invention

I've been thinking a lot about Gutenberg's printing press lately. Sometimes it seems, if we're not touched deeply by something, we simply take it for granted. Even after enjoying the skills of reading and writing for many, many years, I hardly ever stop to think where printing a book all began. And how far this industry has come since Johannes Gutenberg invented the first printing press around 1439. Sadly, he died a poor man and was never even recognized for his world-changing invention.

After getting my book, Hutterite Diaries published, I came away with a new appreciation for the time, thought and effort that goes into getting a book ready for publication. I know I've picked up thousands of books without ever thinking about that. Lately, every book I read is a reminder that a long list of people helped get it into my hands. Beside the author and illustrator (if it's a picture book) there are editors, marketers, designers, printers, distributors, booksellers, and probably a few more I couldn't think of. And let's not forget the people supporting authors in any number of ways during the writing process.

This also reminds me of an old typewriter I had as a teenager. A friend had given it to my dad; he must have known it's something I would love, for it ended up on my desk. I'm not sure what all I typed back then, besides some goose hatchery records for my dad. In any case, I know I totally enjoyed the clickety-clackety sounds my hunting and pecking efforts made. I may have felt like a real live secretary, each time I parked myself  in front of this writing wonder. I'm pretty sure it helped nurture my love for stringing words together. However, back then, I know publishing a book was not in any of my dreams yet.

Back to the present, it's not even a week since Hutterite Diaries was released and already I've seen a number of positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I've also gotten heartwarming emails like this one:
"The book arrived early afternoon Saturday.  I sat down to read after dinner and stayed up until I had finished it.  What a wonderful book!  You have a beautiful comfortable style of writing.  Your sad and happy childhood memories were very touching.  I felt as though you were talking to me in person.  I learned much on the slavery chapter.  I learned a lot about the heritage and, of course, enjoyed reading about my great grandfather.  I cannot even imagine what he was going through when he left his family and community.  But because of that brave move, I am here to read about it and that makes a big, important difference to me."

I was pleasantly surprised when a local columnist offered to promote my book. Her weekly column appears in the Portage Herald Press and on her blog Out of my Mind.
Thank you so much, Terrie. As always. your column is beautifully written, insightful and heart-warming. I'm truly humbled by your kind words! 

This afternoon I will be at the Portage Library, who offered to do a book launch. I'm looking forward to seeing who all will show up and sharing my book with them!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Bushman's Bar

Some friends of ours, Jo Jo Cornier and Dr. Karen Pain have developed a gluten-free bar. Its ingredients are from the Boreal Forest of Northern Canada. (The Hutterite connection to this bar is the fact that the picture on the wrapper above was painted by my sister, Sonia.) I've had the chance to taste this bar and love it. Because it's so rich, I've never been able to finish a whole bar, though. It's a very tasty, chewy treat indeed!

For more information on this, go to Boreal Berry Bar Inc. 
or Facebook.

"We would like to offer the following discount to any Colonies purchasing 6 or more boxes (there are one dozen bars in one box) in one order. We will provide free delivery anywhere around Portage, MacGregor and Austin Manitoba areas. Orders will need to be emailed to me (click on website above for contact info). If you order off our website you will get charged for shipping."
JoJo Cormier and Dr. Karen Pain.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Hutterite Diaries Release Date Giveaways!

There's icy rain pelting my window as I write, but I refuse to let it dampen my spirits. For I'm in a bit of a festive mood these days. No, not because of Victoria Day, a Canadian holiday which happens to fall on this date as well. 

The release date of my book has finally arrived. With the festive mood is also a heart full of gratitude for everybody who has supported me on this journey. Herald Press, the publisher, of course played a huge part in this venture. My sincere thanks to everybody there who had a hand in getting this book ready for the printer. It was especially enriching and enjoyable working closely with my editor, Valerie Weaver-Zercher and marketer, Jerilyn Schrock. 

I've had many people cheering me on - too many to name. You know who you are. Thanks so much for:
  • editing, 
  • sharing thoughts and ideas, 
  • repeatedly inquiring how things are going with the book, 
  • pre-ordering it, 
  • helping to promote it
  • any kind deed you did throughout this publishing journey  
Your emails, blog comments and phone calls were the wind in my sails. They helped keep my eyes on the goal and I was able to submit my manuscript before the deadline. Now that the book is released some other emotions surface; excitement for sure, but mixed with some trepidations. It's been rewarding to hear all positive feedback from people who've read it.
Sitting at my computer, writing and revising, I never gave much thought to the fact that I eventually will have to let my project go. I remember the final edits, it sometimes seemed I will never be done. So we had a number of 'final edits'. I found it difficult to stop tinkering and just tell myself, "Enough already and send it in." Letting go just wasn't easy. 

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the book. You can email me or leave a comment anytime. I would really appreciate it, if you'd also post your review on places like Amazon and Goodreads.

To celebrate the release of Hutterite Diaries, I'm having a giveaway. Just leave a comment along with your email address, (so I can notify you) and you will be entered in a draw, which will take place on May the 25th. Winner will be chosen via and announced here as well.

There's another chance for you to try to win my book. After leaving a comment here, just hop on over to Goodreads to enter. Good luck!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Our Farm Greenhouses

It's that time of year when greenhouses are bursting with colour and life. I love walking among the plants, breathe in the damp, fragrant air and see a wide variety of flowers all around me. I visited a family owned green house in our area last week - the owners are actually our friends, the Doherty family. I hadn't been there in a few years, so was very surprised how large their business has become. I walked in and was mesmerized by all the flowers; on tables, hanging from the ceiling (there are over 1,000 hanging pots!!)and on the floor! What a sight! I took a few pictures to show you:

I can't remember ever seeing so many healthy looking plants in one place.

If you're local, and still need some flowers, For this season, Our Farm is open everyday till 9:00 PM. For more information you can click here.  
When you visit this greenhouse, you can tell them Linda sent you. ((: And no, I did not get paid in any way for doing this. Like I said before, I enjoyed walking around there, visiting with the friendly staff and wanted to share my experience with you.

Your turn, tell me about your favourite greenhouse...or anything else flower related.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Be the Best You Can Be - Amy Newmark and Dr. Milton Boniuk

About the Book:

Self-esteem, tolerance, good values – these are gifts that will last children a lifetime and help them become successful adults. These stories, great for kids to discuss with parents and teachers, help them be the best they can be.

This collection shows kids positive role models to follow in its stories about making good choices, having confidence, and doing the right thing. Parents and grandparents will enjoy discussing the stories with children, making it a family event. Great for teachers to share with students, too.

This book harnesses the power of storytelling to inspire and teach kids, while also entertaining them. Key issues such as bullying, tolerance, and values are addressed in stories selected from Chicken Soup for the Soul’s vast library and represent the best on these topics from the company’s 22-year history.

This book is a joint project of Chicken Soup for the Soul and The Boniuk Foundation, which are working together to promote tolerance, respect, and compassion, inspiring young people and adults to embrace their differences, reject stereotypes, and make good choices. It’s part of a larger effort that includes additional books for teens, college students, parents, and grandparents, as well as a family television show every Saturday morning starting in October.

My Review:

This book would be a valuable addition to any school or home library. With sections like, 'Doing the Right Thing', 'Accepting Responsibility'  and 'Getting Through Tough Times', including many more relevant topics, children and teens could be inspired to make wise choices. This collection of personal accounts of children, who have faced the same issues they're having, would show them that their not alone with these struggles, and just like the writers in this book, they can get through them. If your looking for a book that can help instill values, one story a time, this would be an excellent choice.


In exchange for an honest review, Simon and Schuster, and Graf Martin Communications provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.