An exciting change!



Today I launched an online book store on this site! While my novels are all available in paperback and e-book on and and in some brick and mortar book stores, I also wanted to make them available in another venue. On this site, they are priced lower (for paperback) than on those other sites, as I am able to offer an author’s discount. When my memoir is published, it will also be available here.

The three novels can be found by clicking on “The Book Store” at the top of my website (under my name). That will take you to a page where you can order my books in paperback copies, and I will ship them directly out to you via priority mail. As of right now, I am only shipping within the United States, but that may change soon.

If you would like me to sign the book, please let me know to whom and anything special you would like me to include in the comments field when you are ordering.

The link to the book store is:

My Book Store

If you order more than one book (or more than one copy of the book), you will only be charged one shipping fee.

The weekend on a farm…

It was another busy weekend at our house, thankfully a long one. Due to lots of visiting family lately, and the need to get the garden in, the housecleaning had been neglected for far too long and many other things around home needed attention.

First thing Saturday, we ran a couple errands, including getting the last two seedlings for the garden (leeks and a dill plant since the chickens ate the last one). Then we came home and cleaned the house top to bottom, even washing our endless hardwood floors as the pollen is streaming in through the windows right now. After that, there was mowing, watering, feeding the animals, and getting the equipment ready for honey extraction on Sunday.

On Sunday, we started the extraction process bright and early. Hours and hours of back-breaking work later, we had almost seven gallons of gorgeous raw honey. Then we had to clean all the equipment, take care of our more than 30 chicks, weed some, clean the big animal barn, and finally get the super boxes and frames/foundations ready to add to the hives on Monday.

On Monday, we added the supers to the hives, fed the bees, weeded, watered, planted the last row of broccoli and cabbage, got out the hummingbird feeders and made food for them, had a conference call with my publisher for Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude, then had a wonderful family meal with the extended family.

Phew! What a wonderful weekend with time with family and time with nature.

Giving Thanks Today and Everyday

On this Memorial Day, I thought a lot about the men and women across the centuries who have protected our freedoms and sacrificed for us. One of those men and women was particularly on my mind today — my grandfather, Alfred Holsman.


This is a picture of him on the day he was leaving for World War I. I never had the opportunity to meet him as he died many years before I was born — actually, he died when my dad (his son) was only about four years old. I know very little about him, other than that he had immigrated to this country from Eastern Europe, was married twice, had three children, was fiercely patriotic, and spoke many languages. The language part always interested me because I love learning world languages, and learn them easily, but neither of my parents have that interest. I always wondered where my ability came from, then I found out that my grandfather was a court translator in Boston. How cool!

My grandfather proudly served in World War I, wanting to serve his adopted country. When World War II came around, he was heartbroken that he was too old and ill to be able to re-enlist.

So on this day of remembrance, I give thanks for those who have served and those who serve now.

Patience is NOT one of my virtues!

It is another busy time of year. The school year is coming to an end, bringing with it the transitions in and out of classes of students. The garden needs planting, the lawn needs mowing almost constantly, the bees need to be cared for, and the alpacas need shearing. Then, in the midst of it, yes, I try to remember to send out tweets and posts about my three published books, and work on editing my memoir.

Now the memoir is in the hands of an editor, again, and I am waiting for my first formal call with my author’s team at the publishing house working with me on this book. I can’t wait to talk to them about the timeline for publishing, and get moving on the details like the cover. While I wait for that call, I’m also putting together my launch team (which still sounds like something for NASA) and contacting people about reviews and quotes. I have to remind myself that while the call on Monday seems so far from now, really, it is almost here. In the meantime, I can work on details that I control, and try to enjoy the process.

As I wait, I can enjoy seeing how Sam’s garlic is flourishing — any day now we should see the first garlic scapes appearing. Not only are they beautiful to look at as they grow, they are delicious!


News about Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude



As many of you know, I have been writing a memoir over the last several years. No, I really didn’t start out thinking that my life was interesting enough, or had inspirational fodder enough to write a book about it. But after the death of our son Sam, I started posting regularly on Facebook about the grieving process, and specifically, how the process of systematically looking at what I could be grateful about helped me move forward.

I think that writing a memoir is difficult no matter what. I mean, reflecting upon your own life is not something most humans do easily. In my case, reflecting on what Sam’s loss meant to me, to my life, to how I look at life — that was a challenge. Often in the writing I would find myself crying without even realizing it, and sometimes I had to stop because it was too raw.

Finishing it (okay, finishing the almost final version of it) was a relief, and something to celebrate. My editor has been a saint through this process, helping guide me even when she knew I might react emotionally to her suggestions.

Through the last couple months, I had finally reached the point of sending out a couple queries to agents and to a couple publishing houses that don’t require agents. I started small, figuring that if I got rejected, I would just keep trying.

Miracle of miracles, it didn’t get rejected at all. In fact, way sooner that I could ever have expected, I have signed a publishing contract on Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude. I am so excited to be able to work with the publishing team on getting it into the final format, and getting it out into the world.

My hope is that this book will help someone feel not as alone, and feel like even on the darkest day, there is a path to joy and peace, no matter how broken you feel.


A trip down memory lane, sort of…

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to Massachusetts to Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester for a book signing event. What a great trip we had, although it was (as always with us) laden with so many emotions.


The book event? Just plain fun. Laughter, loved ones, and new friends — all together for an afternoon of joy.

After the event, we (my husband and I) went to our hotel, and passed the hospital where the first Anna Belle Rose had died. I have to admit, it hit me — the last time I’d been in that part of Worcester was on that night.

The next day, we went to West Brookfield to visit her grave, and those of my grandfather, cousin Michael, and my aunt and uncle. The pride and joy I feel about my writing career is something I so wish they are were still alive to experience with me — but planting flowers for them in the rain helped me feel like they were part of the experience.

Then we drove around the town, saw my grandparents house, familiar landmarks, stuck our toes in the lake. All the while, I kept talking about good memories — memories full of love, laughter, joy and fierce loyalty.

Now, as I reflect on the last few days, what a wonderful mix of old memories and new ones, all tied together by love.