Update — how to order Of Grief, Garlic & Gratitude

Several of you have asked me when Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude will be released. Later this fall, people can pre-order the e-book or print version on amazon and other online retailers, and the e-book will be released in February 2019, with the print copies in retailers in May — and online orders will be filled then. But, I will have copies available for purchase at events and on this website later this fall. If you would like to reserve a copy, please FB message me, send a message through the contact/comments form on this webpage — and I will reserve a copy for you for purchase/delivery in the fall. Thank you all for your support!

The first reviews!

As the manuscript of Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude is now in its final, final, final round of proofreading prior to submitting it for the interior design/layout process, I have the excitement of the first reviews of it coming in. I am very proud to share some of them here:

“This book kept me it it’s grip from the beginning.  Beautifully written it took me through the roller coaster emotions of Loss of a child, Denial, Anger, Acceptance, Love, Joy and more.  Creatively written as a daily, weekly, monthly, annual personal journal, I found it hard to put down waiting for the story to keep unfolding.”


“I have been moved to tears by your lovely book, your honoring of Sam, your family, your community, and mostly the honoring of your own grief process.  This book is a part of Sam’s and your legacy – a healing for all of us, since we all experience grief and loss.  Thank you for writing this – for giving meaning to your suffering.  We are all the richer for it.”


“I thought it would be too painful for me to read your book. It was painful, but not too painful. Your balance of personal perspective, brutal honesty (including alerts to tirades and snarky comments), and lovely, happy times mixed among the unbearable grief kept me going. I wanted and needed to know how you and your family managed.”


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Cathartic? And a couple updates —

Over the weekend, a friend who has been in our lives for decades commented that writing Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude must have been cathartic for me. I nodded, and said yes, it had been.

But then I thought about that comment a lot. I thought about it when I was in the garden, and when I was cleaning the barn. I thought about it while proofreading and while arranging the details for my first (upcoming) radio interview about the book. Cathartic? Was it cathartic? So I googled the word, wondering if I was misunderstanding the meaning and found, as I thought, that it meant to cleanse or purge.

In the end, I came to the conclusion that no, writing it was not cathartic. It didn’t cleanse or allow me to purge feelings. Instead, I woulds say that I found it therapeutic, in that by carefully examining my feelings, and being pushed by my incredible editors to really reflect, that I have found some clarity. I didn’t purge any emotions, the grief is still as clear and complex now as it was the day before I started writing, but I have reflected a lot upon my journey.

Some updates:

With the release of the final cover design, some people have asked when the book will be available for purchase. Later in the fall (hopefully by sometime in October), I will be able to order hard-copy copies (not e-books) of the book, and will have them for sale at events and on this site, available for immediate shipping. At the same time, they will be available to pre-order on Amazon and other online retailers. The e-book (in various formats) will be available to download sometime in early February, and the paperback will be released formally in May 2019, and will be available to ship from online retailers and be in bookstores nationwide at that time.

Welcome Pamela Q. Fernandes!

Today I am thrilled to welcome author Pamela Q. Fernandes to my site. She has a new novel out entitled The Milanese Stars, and I can’t wait to read it!

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Pamela writes:

First, let me say thank you to Kris for featuring me here on her website. I’m Pamela Q. Fernandes and I write women’s fiction, romance, and speculative fiction.

The Milanese Stars is a heist romance. I’m a big fan of heist movies and books. I’ve watched the Italian Job at least eight times. And I wouldn’t mind watching it again. I also loved reading Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan despite its grim ending. I’m a sucker for HEA’s.  

A lot of heist stories had males that were planning and executing heists.

I toyed with the idea of a female mastermind behind the heist and ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’ So revenge fueled the plot and The Milanese Stars is about a woman who’s getting even!

Much of the story is based on the Damiani heist.

Here’s the Blurb:

The Milanese stars are missing from the famous Buccatino boutique. When American insurance investigator, Samuel Keane is called in to liaise with the polizia, he finds the whole heist odd.  

As he digs further into the history of the stars, he discovers a local barista, Vita, her friends and her physically challenged sister, all connected to them.

The more Samuel investigates, the more dangers he and Vita face. What will he do when he learns the heist of the decade isn’t about stealing pink diamonds…it’s about settling the score!

THE MILANESE STARS is available online.

Here’s the Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2wQkULy

Here’s the Goodreads link:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40490078-the-milanese-stars

Here’s the Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdqEuJlo7gs

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You can download a free advanced copy on Netgalley:



We have a cover design!

Long before I had a publishing contract on Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude, I could visualize what I wanted on the cover of the book. I had three ideas in my mind: a particular picture of Sam, heads of garlic and/or Sam’s favorite Tree of Life image.

Then, I signed a publishing contract on the book, and as part of that contract, the cover design process was delineated. So when I had my design conversation with the publisher on July 3rd, I gave my input, and then waited for 2-3 design concepts to come back to me for my input.

This Monday, three designs arrived via email. All three were absolutely stunning, very different from each other, but stunning. Any of the three would have made me proud if they had graced the cover of this book that is so important to me. But one of the three? As soon as I opened the file, I started to cry. It was exactly what I wanted.

So then I did as I had promised, I took all three designs to my family, and without giving my opinion of which one I wanted, I asked them for their thoughts. All of them said exactly what I had said — they loved all three, but that one was exactly what it should be. All of us teared up looking at the favorite design, filled with both the absolute joy and pride of this accomplishment, and the absolute unending pain of missing Sam.

This is the image we picked, the perfect cover for this book. This was one of Sam’s favorite pictures of himself, taken by his friend Allie when she was taking his senior high school photo. This is how we like to see Sam now in our minds, lying on that beautiful bench in the sunshine, surrounded by clouds, perfectly at peace.

I am proud to share the cover:

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And even now, after having looked at it at least a hundred times over the last few days, it still makes my breath catch, and still makes me tear up — with joy and grief.

Welcome to Linda Lingle!

Today I am pleased to welcome author Linda Lingle who recently published Dear Heart through Solstice Publishing!dear hear

Can love survive a nearly-forty-year separation? Can passion? And what happens to lovers who are separated for a life time? See how their destiny unfolds as the parted lovers dream about finding their way back to each other’s arms, and an unlikely guide emerges to light the path of their journey.

DEAR HEART by Linda Lingle

Deirdre Reid and Hartley (Lee) Tate feel an immediate attraction when they meet at the office where they will work together and fall in love.   There is only one problem:  they are married to others and Lee has four daughters to whom he is devoted.

For 15 months Deirdre and Lee carry on a passionate affair.  Then Lee’s wife is offered a big promotion across the country.  With his heart breaking, Lee leaves Deirdre in San Francisco and moves East with his family so his wife can advance her high-powered career.

Soon, unforeseen circumstances have Deirdre second-guessing her insistence on a clean break.  She resists every impulse to fly to Lee’s side, but on the first anniversary of their parting, Deirdre grows increasingly regretful and melancholy. Then she receives a surprising Christmas present which sets in motion a 38-year ritual that, against all odds, keeps alive the love she shared with Lee.

Get Deirdre’s story on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Heart-Linda-Lingle-ebook/dp/B07CX91BYM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531256747&sr=1-1&keywords=dear+heart+linda+lingle.

And stay tuned for Sweet Heart, Lee’s story of the bittersweet lifetime he lived without Deirdre, soon to be released by Solstice Publishing.


Heartbroken and resentful, Lee has a difficult time adjusting to his life without Deirdre and struggles to settle in to his new surroundings. Knowing he made the only decision a father could make does little to lessen Lee’s profound sense of loss. Although he tries to be upbeat and optimistic for the sake of his daughters, in the dark and quiet of his lonely nights, Lee relives the fifteen heady months that he spent with Deirdre and gives free rein to the anguish and bitterness he feels because he was forced to leave her. Then, his youngest daughter enlists Lee to help her find an elusive Christmas gift for her favorite teacher and everything changes.

As if guided by fate, Lee stumbles across a poignant reminder of his time with Deirdre and sets in motion the 38-year ritual that eased his heartbreak and sustained his hope for the future.

In this companion book to Dear Heart, we meet the people who populate Lee’s world, and learn the shocking secret he promised never to reveal.

For more information about the books and their author, visit:




The past weekend was a busy one, filled with love, laughter, family time, and lots of farming.

We started with cleaning chicken coops and the alpaca barn, sheared the alpacas, fed the bees, trellised the blueberry bushes, tied the tomatoes, picked gallons of cherries, then picked the vegetable garden. Buckets of pea pods, kale, lettuce, broccoli, basil, cabbage and zucchini soon filled the kitchen counter. Then we needed to pick blueberries, gooseberries, and the few baby cucumbers ready to pick. Walking back from the gardens, we realized that we had a couple garlic scapes still needing to be cut. Done!

What a great weekend it was!

It’s beginning to feel real!

Late today, I had the opportunity for a long conversation with the company publishing Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude. What a wonderful conversation! We talked cover designs, release timelines, and many other details. I felt so supported, and that my opinions were valued — how fortunate I am to be working with them.

After the conversation, I took a walk around our gardens, thinking about the conversation, and how it is finally beginning to feel real that this book will make it into published form. No matter how much I wish we’d never been thrust into this grief journey, I appreciate that I am being given the opportunity to take that grief and hopefully turn it into something that may help others.

I will keep you up to date on developments!

It’s a little bit warm in VT!

Vermont is in the midst of a heat-wave right now. Yesterday, for only the second time in my 40+ years in Vermont, my exterior house thermometer (not in the sun) registered 100 degrees. That doesn’t normally happen in Vermont! Yes, in the winter, we can get long periods of bitter cold, but we don’t do heat terribly well.

Over the last few days, we have had family visiting, and enjoyed hours of fun with the youngest members of the family. Our four year-old granddaughter helped me with a knitting project that I was silly enough to leave sitting in my basket next to the spinning wheel. Yes, she also helped with the spinning, but I forgot to take a picture of that.

Here is what my project looks like now. It is so good to have a helper!



Then, after we worked with the knitting, we went outside to explore. The chickens are lots of fun to chase! The alpacas decided staying far away from the fence was the best plan of action. Then we cooked a bit, including using the last of our garlic scapes and some of our home-grown mushrooms.


Then we wandered back outside to check out the blackberries — not ready yet, but we are clearly going to have a bumper crop.



Yesterday, we needed to spend some time in the bee hives, then clean the barn, and work in the garden. As we walked up the hill, absolutely drenched in sweat, we realized that we need to pick blueberries and cherries, so that will be the project after work today.

In all of this, we are making sure that all of our animals are doing okay. We know that like the people, Vermont animals aren’t used to this heat. Hopefully it will break soon!