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.

SWEET HEART

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:

https://www.lindalinglebooks.com/.

 

Farming!

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!

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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.

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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!