Category Archives: book signing

Festival Pop Up Book Shop

Check out the Pop Up Shop during the Pages Promotions Virtual Book Festival open in February.

The idea for the PopUp Book Shop was simple.

“I wanted to make it easy for readers to find the books they fell in love with at the Blind Date events,” said festival organizer Diana Plopa of Pages Promotions, LLC.

The PopUp Book Shop is a single URL that connects readers with everyone at the Festival.

“By making it easier, I am hoping that more readers will buy Indie Author books, ” said Plopa.

http://www.pagespromotions.com/feb21shop.html#/

The virtual PopUp Book Shop will only be on the website until the end of the Festival. It will go away on March 1.

Just like in a regular bookstore you search by genre.

“Hopefully this will spur people on to buy rather than procrastinate,” said Plopa.

For those who books from different sources, book plates with authors’ signatures are available.

Find your next favorite book. Meet your next favorite author at the festival. Tonight will be a night of horror and the paranormal.

Copyright (c) 2021. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Emma’s Book Signings at Lowell Arts

Stop by at LowellArts next Sunday Dec. 13 between noon and 2 p.m. I will be signing my brand new book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” inside the classroom at the gallery.

I will be in good company of the Holiday Artists Market in the main gallery. Pick up a last minute gift or two.

You can ask me questions ahead of time by commenting in the section below or you can order my books directly from this site.

For event info click the link below.

https://fb.me/e/WcGGEEYn

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Advent 2020 ushers in Christmas spirit

Christmas spirit has arrived

By Emma Palova

This wintery December morning was the first time I appreciated its beauty sitting in the sunroom and watching the Advent candle flicker in the expectation of the sun rays to stream in.

The Advent season started on Sunday Nov. 29, 2020. Although I usually observed the four candles of Advent being lit at the church, I never really paid much attention to it due to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Often, I missed some of the Advent Sundays, because I probably went shopping for more things. Thus, I was surprised when I found out that one of the Advent candles is rose coloured for Gaudette Sunday on the third week of Advent.

However, this time due to the COVID-19 restrictions and increasing cases, we don’t go to church physically but watch the mass broadcast from the St. Andrews Cathedral in Grand Rapids. I found myself paying more attention to the spiritual preparation for Christmas than ever before.

I meditated in the morning before I started the day to streamline my thoughts and actions. This time I could just sit and watch the daylight come in after a very light night due to the full moon.

I have already gathered what I could as far as gifts and food; I have my poinsettia, pistachios, Manchego and Winternacht chocolate figurines from Aldi’s. Black Friday wasn’t as packed with deal hunters as usual. And there was no apres shopping dining due to the restaurants being closed until Dec. 7. So we stood outside in the November cold, drank cold beer and had a burrito from the Voodoo food truck in front of the New Union Brewery in Lowell. I have yet to buy the Christmas Eve fish from the Fishmonger of the Great Lakes tomorrow in Ada and meet with a very good friend.

Czech Christmas mass by Jakub Ryba

The mailman has been good to me. I have received most of the gifts on time that I could even delight myself over a set of beaded ornaments still with a tag “Made in Czechoslovakia” and a treasure trove of children’s mysteries from the Dubois Files by Ludington author Joan H. Young. Rarely, had I ever been able to examine what I had bought always in the rush to usher in the holiday spirit, and then pack it all up in the festive wrapping paper, that tears up so easily.

Somehow , the COVID-19 isolation reminded me of what the Christmas spirit is really about. When I received an email from Tres Bohemes with a link to Jakub Ryba’s Christmas mass yesterday, I knew that I finally had to pause and stop pretending that everything is back to normal.

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday alone with a delicious take-out from the Candlestone Resort- at least there was no mess in the kitchen. I had a well-attended book signing of “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” at LowellArts on Saturday with my friends and invitees showing up in different time slots-what more can I ask for. My next book signing will be on Dec. 13 from noon until 2 p.m. at LowellArts. Stop by for a last minute gift. I will be in good company of the Holiday Artists Market in the gallery.

My parents, Ella & Vaclav Konecny with my brother Vas came to wish us happy holidays and a farewell, as they are leaving for Venice, Florida on Saturday. We had a good chat abiding by the CDC rules wearing masks and social distancing. All holiday fights were preempted by the restrictions.

We were on the phone with our two kids: Emma and Jake to converse about the holidays. And no, I have not decorated yet or put up a Christmas tree or baked traditional Czech Christmas cookies. But we watched both “Christmas Vacation” and “Christmas Chronicles” together with Ludek on our red couch, and that’s all that matters.

And sadly, there will be no Santa parade except for the Drive-Thru one at the Kent County Fairgrounds this Saturday, and no old-fashioned Christmas at Fallasburg. But there will be other promising new things.

So, stay tuned how it all goes.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Great Lakes Writers @Expo

The show is on

Great Lakes Writers at the West Michigan Women’s Expo

Grand Rapids, MI- The Great Lakes Writers group will be at the 22nd West Michigan’s Women’s Expo at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids on March 13-15. They will be located in booth 976 inside the Exhibitors Hall.

Stop by and chat with authors, who have been sweeping the shores of the Great Lakes with the renaissance independent author movement. Join our @Michigan Authors group at http://michiganauthors.com/welcome/

The West Michigan Women’s Expo will feature over 350 exhibits, seminars, shopping and fun that aim to provide a weekend of entertainment, education, and enjoyment tailored to women and their families. 

“This year the 22 nd annual West MichiganWomen’s Expo will be larger.We are pleased to have you join us in the largest 2020 event for women in the West Michigan area,” said author/organizer Janet Vormittag.

Pictured authors below from left to right, top row and left to right bottom row:

Janet Vormittag, Joan Young, Robert Muladore, Emma Palova, Jean Davis, Melanie Hooyenga, Norma Lewis and Judith Wade.

Vormittag is an author, publisher and animal advocate. She is the founder and publisher of Cats and Dogs, a Magazine Devoted to Companion Animals, a free publication distributed in Western Michigan that promotes pet adoption and spay/neuter.

Most recently, the group expanded to the Lansing Women’s Expo held in February.

Following are the participating writers:

Great Lakes Writers
Sherry A. Burton
Jean Davis
Ellen Murray
Laura Holmes
Judith Wade
Norma Lewis
Christina Lonski
Kimberly Mocini
Robert Muladore
Nancy Sanders Pokerwinski  (Friday – sharing with Melanie)
Melanie Hooyenga (Saturday and Sunday – sharing with Nancy)
Kathy Spohn
Wendy Thomson
Janet Vormittag
Joan Young (Friday and Saturday –sharing with J.R. Armstrong)
J.R. Armstrong (Sunday – sharing with Joan Young)
Emma Palova

The Great Lakes Writers on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/976991479041183/about/

PUBLIC SHOW HOURS:
Friday, March 13 – 10:00am – 6:00pm, Saturday, March 14 – 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, March 15 – 11:00am – 4:00pm
DeVos Place
303 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids MI 49503

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Authors @West Michigan Women’s Expo

Included is a list of authors who will be present at the 22nd West Michigan Women’s Expo at Devos Hall from March 13 -March 15. The Great Lakes Writers booth is 976.

PUBLIC SHOW HOURS:
Friday, March 13 – 10:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday, March 14 – 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, March 15 – 11:00am – 4:00pm
DeVos Place
303 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids MI 49503

Great Lakes Writers
Sherry A. Burton
Jean Davis
Ellen Murray
Laura Holmes
Judith Wade
Norma Lewis
Christina Lonski
Kimberly Mocini
Robert Muladore
Nancy Sanders Pokerwinski  (Friday – sharing with Melanie)
Melanie Hooyenga (Saturday and Sunday – sharing with Nancy)
Kathy Spohn
Wendy Thomson
Janet Vormittag
Joan Young (Friday and Saturday –sharing with J.R. Armstrong)
J.R. Armstrong (Sunday – sharing with Joan Young)
Emma Palova

Set-up info

Load-in is Thursday at 5:30 p.m. We’re the last ones to load in. Last year load-in was running behind. When I arrived, our tables weren’t setup yet. I’ll be down there Thursday and you’re welcome to load-in then, but you can easily come early Friday morning.
We’ll be the first to load out on Sunday. They’ll want us out a few minutes before closing. This is because our space is where they pull in vehicles.
I put in everyone’s names for Badges. If you come Thursday afternoon, look for the Exhibitors table and ask for your badge. We’re under Great Lakes Writers. If you come early Friday, the Exhibitors entrance is next to the main entrance to the hall. They’ll have badges there.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Greenwich Meridian memoir preorder

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – Happy Monday to all. This has been one of my happiest Mondays ever. I have just submitted my third book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” for preorder on kindle Amazon. I will be offering tips on both my EW Emma’s Writings blog and on Facebook, on how to write a memoir. The cover was designed by graphic artist Jeanne Boss of Rockford. We selected a collage of memorabilia including my mother’s Sudanese driving license, the Czech coat-of-arms and postcards.

Greenwich Meridian Memoir is an epic tale of love and immigration spanning three continents and two generations. The story takes place on the backdrop of two major historical events in former Czechoslovakia: Prague Spring 1968 and Velvet Revolution 1989. The two events have propelled the major characters into unpredictable action as they journeyed into the unknown. Inspite of the trials and tribulations, Ella and Vaclav have never lost their passion for each other. The next generation Emma and Ludek followed in their footsteps.

The manuscript is being edited by Carol Briggs of Lowell. It has been one of the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life and that includes surviving the recession of 2007 and two major historic events in former Czechoslovakia. I would like to thank all my friends, family and #NaNoWriMo for the support and keeping me on track.Check out my Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.com/Emma-Palova/e/B0711XJ6GY

Author’s events

West Michigan Women’s Expo, Devos Place, Grand Rapids

I will be at the West Michigan Women’s Expo on March 13- March 15 at Devos Place with my previous books from the Shifting Sands Short Stories series, and with the preorder for the memoir.

There will be other @Michigan Authors present.

Stop by our authors’ area and meet your next favorite book.

Venice Book Fair, Blalock Park

I will be in Venice, FL on Saturday, March 21 for the 9th annual Venice Book Fair in Blalock Park from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

West Michigan Women’s Expo

I am really looking forward to this first event of the book tour season 2020. I still haven’t come up with a name for my book tour.

I am readying the third book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” for the market. It will be available for pre-order on kindle Amazon. It is going to the editor Carol Briggs this week.Greenwich Meridian Excerpt

The cover was designed by graphic designer Jeanne Boss, editor emeritus of the Lowell Ledger.

Greenwich Meridian Excerpt

Life was a lot like living in a shoebox next to another shoebox, while the shoeboxes were stacked on top of each other with the imminent danger of collapsing in those infamous megacomplexes. 

There was not much one could do because of the constant scrutiny by jealous neighbors, bosses, other employees or the police. The police were called public safety for propaganda purposes to protect us.  

Jealousy was the ruling emotion or feeling. No one was safe from this monster. It also had many different forms and ugly faces. Like a Medusa, they reared their heads at any given time.   

Family members were not immune either from any of this. On the contrary, jealousy was magnified among siblings. Some had more, some had less. It was the communist version of Hemingway’s “The Haves and the Have Nots.”  

Resentment over the 1968 Soviet occupation and massive exodus into the Western world never really went away. It still lingered in households. There was animosity between those who left the country during the Soviet occupation and those who stayed. That is the expatriates were despised, and the freedom fighters who stayed, were jailed but honored.  

It was like being the only child for a long time, and then a younger sibling is born. One can’t help but be resentful over what was before and after everything had changed.  

Greenwich Meridian Memoir cover designed by Jeanne Boss.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Reviews on Amazon, Venice book fair

Hello everyone,

Thanks for writing reviews that will help the ranking of my books on Amazon from the Shifting Sands Short Stories collections. I need to reach 25 reviews for basic ranking.

This is the main link to writing reviews on Amazon. The reviews do not have to be long.

https://www.amazon.com/author/emmapalova

You can basically just state what you did like about the book, what you didn’t like about the book and what stayed with you and why.

If you click on the stars, it will take you to customer reviews, and you will see examples of  a few reviews.

customer reviews

I am in the process of planning my book tour for 2020. Let me know, if you want me to come to a specific place or event.

I will be in Venice, FL for the book fair and writer’s festival on March 20 & 21. It is also my writer’s retreat.

I am looking for an author to share a table.

Contact me with questions about my new book Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West, or any other questions. The book will be available for pre-order in January.

Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

NANOWRIMO DAY 18

Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – I worked on a draft chapter “Consolidation” about life in Czechoslovakia before mom’s second departure for the U.S. earlier this morning up to 1980. I logged in a grand total of 40, 537 words in the NaNoWriMo 50k word challenge.

I described Czech Christmas traditions and the major differences between Czech and American cultures. My author’s gig at the Lowell Area Historical Museum helped me add another dimension to our immigration saga from socialist Czechoslovakia.

Mary Lacy of M&M Prescious Gems at the Lowell Area Historical Museum

I talked about the memoir with fellow vendors Mike and Mary Lacy of M&M Prescious Gems from Grand Rapids during Christmas through Lowell. We shared a 28-hour workload over three days under the watchful eyes of the Lowell Board of Trade 1908 and the portrait of one of Mr. Graham’s wives. Mr. Graham built the Italianate structure of the museum in 1873.

“Were you scared in Czechoslovakia?” Mary asked me on Sunday.

I had to think really hard if I was ever scared living in a socialist country under the Soviet rule in the hardline 1970s and 1980s.

“I was careful, but not scared,” I said. “Unless you were a political activist like late Vaclav Havel, you were just an ordinary person, and they didn’t care about you.”

By that, I meant the communist party and the whole political system didn’t really care about a regular citizen. However, we were under surveillance after our return to Czechoslovakia in 1973, since we were tried for illegally leaving the country.

True, you had to be careful about what you said in public, because there were spies. Plus, there was a religious prohibition. We were afraid to go to church, especially my dad and aunt, who were teachers.

Excerpt: Differences between the two cultures

People often ask me what are some of the differences between the two cultures: Czech and American. Many differences have disappeared after the communist regime fell with the Velvet Revolution in 1989.  However, judging from visits and people’s posts on social media, phone calls with friends and family, the attitude toward life in general hasn’t changed. It is a mix of pessimism with a twist of evil in the response to a typical Czech greeting “How are you?” 

“It’s worth shit.,” anyone will say at any given time. 

The honest answer holds an entire spectrum of emotions including the disappointment from the aftermath of the Velvet Revolution as capitalism stuck out one of its ugly heads like Medusa. The gap between the rich and the poor in Czech Republic is getting wider and wider, as there are few rich people, while the majority struggles. Traditionally, the Czechs envied each other’s possessions, but with capitalism the envy maxed out into hatred usually directed toward politicians and the past that cannot be changed. Whenever anything bad happened, it was usually the other person’s fault. There is a general lack of responsibility among the population for anything whether bad or good. That is the legacy of communism; no one was responsible for anything because the almighty Communist Party took care of everything for you. There was very little left for you to do; go to work, get some groceries and watch TV. 

Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

NANOWRIMO DAY 12

For NaNo Day 11 go to post “In observance of Veterans Day, NaNo Day 11. https://emmapalova.com/2019/11/11/in-observance-of-veterans-day-2019/

Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West with excerpt

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – We’re moving into winter “blietzkrieg” style- hard and fast. We already have snow frozen to the ground in Michigan as we hit 17F this morning.

I approached this year’s NaNoWriMo 2019 50K word challenge in the same style- hard and fast. I researched the background for the Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West memoir over the past few years, Moreover, I lived the historical events that shaped the story from Prague Spring in 1968 to Velvet Revolution in 1989 up to the present moment.

I logged into the NaNoWriMo dashboard a total of 27,403 words, averaging daily more than 2,000 words.

The previous years of research and writing have been like putting together the pieces of a puzzle with an unknown picture at the end.

Dad Vaclav Konecny with mom Ella at their 60th wedding anniversary celebration in Big Rapids.

Greenwich Meridian is an epic tale of our family immigration saga from Czechoslovakia to the U.S. spanning more than 50 years. It is also a love story between the main characters mom Ella & dad Vaclav. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Aug. 8, 2019 at Naval’s Mediterranean Grille in Big Rapids, MI.

After hitting a dead end around chapter 12, I took a break from the memoir and worked on the Shifting Sands Short Stories anthologies that resulted in book 1 “Shifting Sands: Short Stories” and book 2 “Shifting Sands: Secrets.”

I completed “Shifting Sands: Secrets” in the summer of 2018. So, I returned to the Greenwich Meridian memoir starting fresh with its second half that includes memories penned by my parents in chapters “In her own words” by mom Ella and dad wrote “How math professor escaped Czechoslovakia.”

Here is an excerpt: How math professor escaped Czechoslovakia

By Vaclav Konecny

I suffered through all the injustices of the totalitarian regime in Czechoslovakia. I did not want to live there anymore. I applied for emigration visa for the entire family to get out of the country; all in vain. At the beginning of 1976, two officers from the Department of Interior visited me only to announce that I would never get the visa, even though I wasn’t working. 

Nothing helped my case; neither letters written to president Gustav Husak, who was proclaiming at the time, that people like me could pack their suitcases and leave the country, nor the Helsinki Accords of 1975. In vain, I wrote letters to different institutions, but I always got the same answer: “It isn’t in the best interest of the republic.” However, the only interest of the republic, was for the communists to fill their own pockets. I haven’t met a lot of honest communists there.  

The Helsinki Accords of 1975 signed by 35 countries including the U.S. and all the European countries attempted to improve the relations between the communists and the West. However, the Helsinski Accords were not binding as they did not have a treaty status. 

The communists abided only by those paragraphs and laws that they wanted to. I was a factory worker operating NC machines at the Precision Engineering Plants in Malenovice. That was the result of an intensive job search and after the recommendation from President Husak. This shows that the officials had no idea about my profession. They were probably judging by their own experience of gaining titles in exchange for lies and deceiving their own bosses. I didn’t complain; I worked honestly at the factory and I carefully probed all illegal avenues of leaving Czechoslovakia. However, I realized that it would be too risky to leave with the entire family. So, I decided that I would leave the country illegally by myself and get the family out of there later. 

Different options of escape seemed risky, because the borders were guarded against the people of the country, so they wouldn’t escape, not some outside enemy. Soldiers and their dogs were dangerous; the life of a Czech or Slovak person meant less than the life of a rabbit. I assumed that the border patrol in other countries would be less dangerous.  

Stop by for an authographed book from the “Shifting Sands Short Stories” anthologies during Emma’s book signing at the Lowell Area Historical Museum on Nov. 15, 16 & 17.

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Emma’s book signing at Lowell Museum

Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.