Signs of Spring!

Today was the first really sunny and warm(ish) day since it officially became spring. The robins were everywhere, the snow is almost gone (except for the huge pile at the turn in the driveway). The sap is running like crazy, and we were thrilled to see that one of our hives of bees survived the winter. The garlic is poking up through the mulch, the chickens took their dust baths under the deck, and the alpacas were running and wrestling.

Now we start the process of cleaning up all of our vegetable garden areas, getting ready to till then plant. I can’t wait to see the early crops start growing in the next couple weeks!

Updates, updates, updates

This week has been full of meetings, rain, and (thankfully) melting snow. But it has also been a time of self-reflection as I have worked on promoting my novels and working on my memoir. My incredible editor pushes me like a great editor should, pushing me in my editing of the memoir, looking to make it the best possible book it can be. Obviously, when I am writing about the experience of losing our beloved son, Sam, that push can cause tears and re-opening of scabbed grief wounds. I have also started the formal process of looking for an agent to represent it, which is an interesting process as well. It makes me laugh how different the submission requirements are for different agents. Some want a query letter only, some a letter and proposal, some a letter/proposal/pages, and finally some a letter and pages.  I will keep you updated on the progress I make in the process!

 

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Hmmm….

It’s interesting how the continued cold weather is impacting my mood. I’m a Vermonter through and through. I like the four seasons, and by mid-October, I am truly looking forward to cold weather and snow. I never look forward to ice, but the cold and snow, absolutely. Somehow, this winter has seemed long. We’ve had snow on the ground pretty consistently for the last three months, with one amazing week when it all melted away and you could almost feel spring coming. But it’s the ice that has been the true problem. We had several ice storms in January that coated everything in a thick layer of ice, making moving outside treacherous. Keep in mind, our alpacas, bees and chickens all live down the hill from our house, and so getting to them and back (and walking the dog!) was a daily event complete with ice grippers on our boots. Then the ice finally melted, and even with the cold, it was better for mobility.

Then last week we got a bunch more snow, and as the top layer of it melted, then froze, we are back to skating down the hill, trying not to fall, all the while seeing the chickens and alpacas also struggling to keep their footing.

Sigh, I know spring in coming. Soon we all will be done sugaring as the nights get too warm, then we will see the first signs of green emerging — and I can’t wait!

Yay!!!!

 

MTICS final cover image

What a busy week it has been, and it is only Wednesday! We have had family events, work events, cold weather that impacted everything, and then, oh yeah, More Than I Can Say was published late yesterday! I wondered if after my first novel that the novelty (ha-ha) would wear off. It hasn’t. I have to admit that I was dancing around with excitement late yesterday as the book went live on Amazon, and then jumping up and down when the first review arrived (ARC — advanced review copy done prior to release).

I hope that you will visit my other author sites, to keep up-to-date on my projects and updates from other writers. You can follow me on Facebook at:

KFrancoeur/Anna Belle Rose FB

And my Twitter:

KF/ABR Twitter

My Amazon’s author’s page:

ABR Amazon Author’s Page

And finally, if you are interested in reading my latest novel, More Than I Can Say, it can be found at:

Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BK8VHHK

Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625267584

Winter Continues in Vermont

Today was the second day in a row with stunning sunshine in Vermont. Clear blue skies, very few clouds of any sort, the sun glinting off the endless white snow with blinding intensity. The beauty of the outside world is hard to describe, it was so breathtaking. But then, yes, it was breathtaking outside. Literally. When I awoke this morning to walk the dog under the stars, it was only 5 degrees outside, and it never made it past 25 today. The cold snap is predicted to last all week, with unseasonably cold weather, but thankfully, no more snow predicted this week at least.

Six years ago today, I was planting lettuce outside in the vegetable garden. Yes, I did plant it in the soil, then covered the row with a little hoop house, but it was warm enough to work the soil. Right now the soil is covered by almost 18 inches of snow. The cold weather means that the maple sap didn’t run today, and probably won’t run for the next week. The only good thing about that is that we are so busy this week, it would be hard to find time to boil the sap into syrup.

A novel by David Tindell

Today I am thrilled to share a post from David Tindell:

quest for vengeance

 

Quest for Vengeance

            On our honeymoon, my wife and I visited an exotic island. We had a great time as we celebrated the beginning of our new life together. Everything went well.

But suppose it hadn’t? Suppose something had gone wrong? And not just lost-a-suitcase, bad-sunburn wrong? What if my bride suddenly turned up…gone?

In Quest for Vengeance, it’s a year after the events of Quest for Honor, and brothers Mark and Jim Hayes are with their new brides on a honeymoon tour of Italy, the native country of Jim’s wife, Gina. The violence and danger of their recent past is behind them. In the city of Capua, a chance encounter with an old Army buddy of Mark’s leads to a festive reunion. While the guys swap stories at a trattoria, the gals make one last visit to the city’s boutiques. But there’s been one more chance encounter on this trip, and now that’s about to turn into the greatest challenge the brothers have ever faced.

Like the Hayes brothers, I grew up in Wisconsin, and like them, my two brothers and I wound up living considerable distances apart. Although we were never estranged, as Mark and Jim were, not being able to see them often created a distance between us that no amount of phone calls or emails could close. It’s only been in recent years that we have made efforts to get together more often. Our reunions have not been as dramatic as those of the Hayes brothers; we go to ballgames and museums, while Mark and Jim go to war.

Still, I don’t think what happens to Mark and Jim in the Quest novels is too much of a stretch. Mark’s military experiences are certainly not outside the realm of those for many of our soldiers, and while Jim’s encounters are somewhat out of the ordinary for the average American abroad, I myself have once or twice had situations overseas that could’ve developed into something a little too adventurous for my taste. Last summer, for example, Sue and I hiked the Salkantay Trail of Peru, and we never saw the armed guerillas our guide told us he faced on the same trek a few years earlier. But I had the feeling they weren’t too far away.

If something like that does happen to us, though, we can only hope we will face the situation with courage and honor. These are traits that are not inborn; they are learned, through dedication and self-discipline. Both the Quest series and my White Vixen novels feature protagonists who exemplify those traits. Yes, my fictional creations are highly-trained individuals, but they are not superheroes by any means. They are ordinary people who have chosen to train themselves to face whatever extraordinary challenges may come their way; indeed, to seek them out. Most of all, they have chosen to serve a higher calling. I don’t believe we were put here to simply meander through life. We were put here to strive, to achieve, to overcome our inevitable stumbles. When we choose this life, we are taking on challenges that will make our communities, our country, our world, a better place.

So come along with Mark and Jim, as they embark on their latest Quest. You can find the book here: http://amzn.to/2HnlFfN

 

Update!

MTICS final cover image

More Than I Can Say has passed through the final round of proofreading! Now we will set a release date in the next few days, and I can’t wait to see it launch.

Just in case you forgot what it’s about, here is the “blurb.”

Georgiana Hewitt seems to have it all. She is beautiful, professionally successful and financially secure. But her love life is pathetic. When her new boss, Jackson, accompanies her on a work trip, she fights her overwhelming attraction to him. She finally gives in, sharing several perfect nights with him, knowing it can only be a fling. Two months later, Georgiana is shocked to realize that she is pregnant, and heartbroken when she miscarries before she can tell Jack. Weeks later, when Jack finds out about the pregnancy, his rage and hurt drive him away. Can he forgive her, and can they have a future together?

A new release from Michael Poeltl

Today, I’m pleased to share a post about a recently released novel by Michael Poeltl.

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A.I. Insurrection – The General’s War Press Release. Feb, 15th, 2018

2162. Artificial intelligence claims sentience, but it’s the proof that will divide the world, and usher in the violent end to utopia, unless an uneasy alliance of adversaries can stop it.

A.I. Insurrection, the new release by Michael Poeltl, author of The Judas Syndrome trilogy, takes the author back to his roots of dystopian sci-fi. “This novel investigates global utopia and the struggle to maintain an unrealistic hold over everything and everyone,” Poeltl explains. “Certain aspects of humanity will never be satisfied with the thousand shades of grey a utopia will provide, no matter the spin. When faced with the threat of their robot slaves rebelling, distrust in the system begins to infect the general public, opening the door for a new world to emerge, and new leaders to rule.”  Discover how quickly a near-future utopian society can become a dystopian nightmare fueled by fear as the A.I. populace of United Earth become sentient and demand their freedoms.

Raymond Bellows, United Earth Chancellor, challenges the A.I. claims until an astonishing truth is revealed by Host: SENTA, one of hundreds of millions of individual robot Hosts who teams up with the Chancellor while struggling to discover her new-found awareness.  A secret coup schemes to over-throw the peaceful government, while a separate threat of human/tech hybrids who think the current regime is anything but idyllic arise from the Shadow net, taking direction from the mysterious Allfather avatar. In a three-sided war, humanity and humanity’s creation fight to claim their own place in an ever-evolving solar system.

“I believe science fictions fans, myself included, appreciate the complexities of artificial intelligence, and the moral questions which accompany it, like: when is intelligence consciousness? The novel also offers an exciting potential new proof of life for sentience.” Poeltl declares with an air of cloak-and-dagger surrounding the surprise reveal behind his new book.

Goodreads ratings for A.I. Insurrection are settling in at a respectable 4.25 stars and has one reviewer saying: “A great read for anyone who enjoys extensively built worlds, philosophical questions, and an ol’ fashioned A.I uprising.” – Ari Augustine.

This is Poeltl’s tenth book and the first of 2018. For more on Michael Poeltl and his books, visit his website: www.mikepoeltl.com Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or join him on Goodreads.

Update from Vermont

The weekend was full of cleaning the house, taking care of the animals, family time and other projects. Yesterday, I was able to spend a fair amount of time proofreading More Than I Can Say.

MTICS coming soon with cover FB

Then I was able to spend a little bit of time on writing on book 4. Tonight is too busy for either proofreading or writing, but hopefully, tomorrow will have a bit more time for those things.

Now, another storm is predicted for Vermont. So far this winter, the weather predictions have been horribly off. We’ve had predictions of heavy snow, and barely gotten a dusting, then had times of no snow predicted, and four inches have fallen. We’ll see what happens with this storm!