A Good Home, Gratitude, New Book - Myrtle's Game

Flowers – and Thanks

Author-gardener-library professional Sheryl Normandeau has this quote on her blog and it sums up my own situation well:

“I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.” – Jennifer Yane.

I’m far behind on blogging and promoting the new book.  So your helping Lauren and me — by buying it, recommending it to schools, libraries and  parents and sending us supportive messages —  matters more than I can adequately describe.

These flowers are to thank you for your recent support of Myrtle’s new adventures.

Blog Photo - Flowers Orange

Special thanks to the following Myrtle the Purple Turtle fans:

Sheryl Normandeau, the Alberta writer, nature-lover and library professional; Sheryl’s posts and books are treats to the mind, soul and stomach.

Jennifer O’Meara, an outstanding Canadian journalist who will one day publish a book of her own, I know.

Blog Photo - Amaryllis striped CU

Lavinia Ross, the unique musician-writer and vineyard owner in Oregon, who, with husband Rick, runs Salmon Brook Farms. Listening to your music now, Lavinia!

Wendy MacDonald, the British Columbia writer-photographer-podcaster whose soulful poetry, pictures, prose and strong faith are a balm to the spirit.

Blog Photo - Spring 2018 Trillium duo

Laurie Graves, whose own fictional character Maya makes me wish I had a Book of Everything and could time-travel too!

Blessings to you all!








A Good Home

Celebrating Courage, Creativity and Grit.

via Celebrating Courage, Creativity and Grit.

I’m honoured to be in the company of these fabulous women, including the remarkable person who wrote this post. Thank you, Gallivanta.

A Good Home, Books

Buy Indie, Borrow the Big Bestsellers

A few Christmases ago, when my loved ones asked what I “really” wanted for Christmas, I gave them a list of book titles.  All were by Indie authors, or published by Indie/small presses. Some had multiple reviews, some only one or two. 

blog photo - what we hold in our hands by kim aubrey
What We Hold in Our Hands
blog photo - book cover teresa madeleno
“Girl Power” by Teresa Madeleno
blog photo - book cover valerie wint- the longer run
The Longer Run by Valerie Wint

And when I chose gifts for special occasions, it was either a potted bulb or a book by an Indie author, or both. (Sometimes, a bottle of wine replaced the plant.)

I’ve continued that pattern.

blog photo - crossing limbo by shane josephs
Crossing Limbo by Shane Joseph

Where suitable, I also read excerpts to the Memoir-writing group that I coach. It’s important to celebrate strong, but lesser-known writers.

Oh, I read the big bestsellers by the famous authors. But I’m not part of that club and they won’t miss my purchase. I have limited funds; I choose to support authors whose books are published by tiny presses, or by themselves.

blog photo - fortunate isle book cover
Fortunate Isle by Ronald MacKay

The way I see it, the bigtime authors will still get my support, via the public library.  Local libraries are among my favourite places on earth and librarians are stars. I borrow the famous books there.

But Indie authors and presses need my money. 

blog photo - book cover shirley harris slaughter

blog photo - shirley harris slaughter
Shirley Harris- Slaughter

I don’t buy any-and-all Indie books, of course. I pass over badly-written books, ones with too many typos, or whose subject or plot doesn’t appeal to my taste. 

But I buy books by bloggers whose writing I admire, books by members of my authors’ group, or ones whose reviews (often by other bloggers or word-of-mouth) make them worth the money.

blog photo - dog bone soup by bette stevens
Dog Bone Soup by Bette A Stevens

I need to do more reviews, though. One night recently, I remembered: I hadn’t reviewed some of the Indie books I had read earlier. So I reread them and posted the first reviews online. (More later.)

As I write, I’ve just finished reading two books, one borrowed from the library (Julian Barnes’ prize-winning The Sense of an Ending) and Laurie Graves’ Indie-published Library Lost, which I bought. Both compelled my attention; both were superbly written.

blog photo - library lost by laurie graves
Library Lost by Laurie Graves

Library Lost is the second in the Maya and the Book of Everything series. Brilliantly plotted with well-drawn characters, both books have delightful twists and turns. 

I love a well-written book, and I know how difficult it is to produce one. When a good book is also produced by an independent author or small press, I appreciate it even more.




A Good Home

Life moves in such surprising ways – Guest Post by Cynthia Reyes…

I’m honoured to have my behind-the-scenes tale published by Chris Graham, literary blogger. Chris is a great champion of writers and the independent publishing sector, and someone we authors admire tremendously. I hope you like this:

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

I once wrote a story to comfort my young daughter Lauren, who felt rejected by classmates for bringing her beloved black Cabbage Patch doll to school. Lauren was deeply hurt by their rejection.

The bedtime story I wrote for Lauren was about a purple turtle who goes to extreme lengths to change her colour so she can fit in with the others. Myrtle the purple turtle became part of our family’s life but we had no idea how she would affect our lives in the decades to come.


Fast forward nearly 28 years to October 2017: Myrtle makes her big debut. Her story, illustrated by artist Jo Robinson, is published. It receives rave reviews from readers and various media.

Canadian Living, Canada’s top magazine on family, food and home, publishes a glowing review:

Inspired by the experience of one of her own daughters, Canadian writer Cynthia Reyes has…

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