Lowell, MI – Check out the first episode of “For the love of books” podcast with Indie author and advocate Diana Plopa. Plopa is a prolific author who has penned nine books in nine different genres; currently she’s working on four more genres. And she doesn’t get them mixed up.
She is a staunch supporter of other Indie authors, and her main goal as the founder of Pages Promotions, LLC is to connect readers with authors in a changed world following COVID-19.
Our next featured guest will be Canadian author Luba Lesychyn. Submit your questions for Luba via the comment section or the Facebook messenger.
If you would like to be on the podcast show as a featured guest contact me in the comment section or on the Facebook messenger. If you would like to be a sponsor of the podcast show, email Emma at email@example.com.
You will support a brave group of pioneer authors who are navigating the sometimes treacherous waters of self-publishing with small marketing budgets for their books. They share a special camaraderie through their common venture of getting their word out.
Your business/organization will get exposure on all the podcasting platforms and on YouTube.
Here are the links to both the video and the podcast:
About the featured photo: A masked moose in an Irish community in Cannonsburg, Michigan. BTW, the Honey Creek Inn served up an excellent Irish stew made from lamb on Tuesday.
Copyright (c) 2021. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
“I want to dance always, to be good and not evil, and when it is all over not to have the feeling that I might have done better.”
-Ruth St. Denis
Dancing into the fourth week of the Winter Virtual Book Festival, I hear thawing snow drops falling from our gutters and making holes in the white cupola on the balcony. The sun flooded my Covid Sanctuary with golden rays. Most importantly I heard birds chirping in the pergola this morning.
Last night the festival participants marvelled at the readings of childrens’ book authors Carol Trembath, Jordan Scavone and MT Falgoust.
Leave behind your old misconceptions, that children’s books are for kids only. I’ve personally devoured the Indie authors presentations with illustrations like I would have a pepperoni pizza with tons of cheese.
Trembath and Scavone tackled serious subjects like Covid and grief. In her “Fairies and the Global Tree to the Rescue,” Trembath depicts scared fairies seeking help from the Global Tree. The fairies are told to wear a mask and wash their hands and “pixie wings” to stay safe from the “Fairy Flu.” The illustrations were so surreal, that the Global Tree even scared me.
In Scavone’s “Might-E Emilia”, Emilia searches for her inner superhero in the wake of her grandfather Abuelo’s death. Can she find the superhero?
MT Falgoust presented a tasty count down for young readers in “Ten little Crawfish” including a stop for a Mardi Gras parade.
In case you missed it, visit the festival PopUp Book Shop at pagespromotions.com and get your signed book.
I’ve learned so much in the festival workshops about social media marketing for authors presented earlier in the month. Last week, historical fiction authors JuliAnne Sisung and Xander Cross unraveled for us mysteries in histories such as: “Why does history repeat itself?” and that YouTube can be used for primary history research. Hm, who would have thought.
There’s still much more coming this final week as the snowbanks on our gravel road continue to melt. Tonight I will immerse myself with more historical fiction writers who are still undercover until they appear in the Zoom room. However, we will not know which book they are reading from; thus the festival theme “Blind Date with a Book.”
Last but definitely not the least of the festival workshops is “Building Suspense” by author Andrew Smith who will be giving away his “Slice of Fear” to workshop participants. Smith has also served as a backstage hand to the festival organizer Diana Plopa along with author Kate McNeal.
Don’t miss non-fiction readings on Thursday and science fiction this coming Saturday.
Stay tuned for the details on replays, the PopUp Book Shop and the Festival Wrap Up Party on Sunday.
Copyright (c) 2021. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Stay tuned for news about my upcoming new book, the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.” I had to sold off on publishing it due to the COVID-19 situation. But since we’re going nowhere with that, I am moving forward with publishing the memoir in August.
It is now available for preorder on Amazon. Just click on the link below:
In her own unique style, Palova transports us in “Secrets” Part II of Shifting Sands. She exposes a local scandal in “Chief”. “Faustina” details a relationship lost…or is it? Palova shows us the hard line between fact and rumor in “Secrets in Ink.” My favorite, “Silk Nora”, takes us to small town Belding, Michigan at the height of WWI. A lost love is found again. I could go on with my little snippets from the dozen plus short stories in this book, but I think you’ll want to curl up and read for yourselves.
I finished translating mom’s memories from her first stay in the U.S. until 1973 this morning. Mom Ella captured three years of her life on 12 pages written in a pretty cursive.
When I compare my account of those years spent in Hawkins, TX as a kid to hers as a disappointed housewife, I begin to understand the mechanism of immigration.
From her lines, I could feel all the emotions:
Excerpt: Bittersweet memories
I planned the return home at the end of the school year in June. In April, Vaclav received a letter from his friend in Toronto, who was also in Sudan, with a newspaper clip from a Czech newspaper published in Toronto. There was a note for me in the letter, advising me not to return back to Czechoslovakia, that the amnesty wasn’t working the way it was supposed to. The newspaper article was about a person who had returned back to Czechoslovakia; at the airport he was taken into an establishment unofficially called “Introduction into citizens’ life.” I read the article at least 10 times and I determined that it was propaganda against Czechoslovakia, and that the press exaggerated everything. Deep inside, I doubted, that it could be true.
At the beginning of May, I asked Vaclav if he could buy us tickets to Czech. He was very unhappy, but he knew that he couldn’t keep me any longer in Texas. Although Vaclav refused to return with us, he bought the tickets – with a heavy heart. My desire to return back home was stronger than my love for him. I also firmly believed that he wouldn’t stay by himself in the U.S.A. and that he would return to us.
The scene from the Prague Airport repeated itself at the airport in Dallas; tears, wailing, remorse; I questioned why I had to go through all this again, why couldn’t we return from Sudan home to Czech. This tearful farewell spoiled the joy of my homecoming, and had yet to find out what was in store for me. Finally, after three years, I was leaving Texas, that I never liked.
Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
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.
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.
I am looking forward to my hometown book signing of “Secrets” from the Shifting Sands Short Stories series at the LowellArts gallery on Aug. 10 from 2pm to 4pm during the Livin’ is Easy exhibit.
Stop by for an autograph and for publishing insights. Also check out the story ” Taking the book on the road to connect with readers” about my tour in the Aug. 4 Buyer’s Guide.
The new book is a collection of 15 short stories with the main historical fiction story “Silk Nora” set in Belding, Michigan on the backdrop of the turn-of-the century era of inventions.
Other stories are based on Palova’s years of journalistic experience.
Together with other Michigan authors, Palova stands on the busy streets of hometowns manning her booth or tent, in the malls, at fairs or at art centers.
Locally, the book is available at the Springrove Variety in Lowell. It is on Amazon in both formats: paperback and kindle. It will be at the libraries of KDL, Schuler’s Books, Michigan News Agency and more. It is also at Horizon Books in Traverse City.
Traverse City, MI – It was a memorable Sunday afternoon in one of the busiest small towns in the Midwest.
“I love mall events,” said a local customer. “We came here for the books. We’re all readers.”
The Grand Traverse Mall event was organized by Dan McDougall of Bookbrokers & Kramer’s Cafe.
“This is the event that everyone will be talking about afterwards,” said McDougall. “T his one’s a keeper! ”
The event was complete with bagpipers, storytellers and a superhero.
Michigan authors represented all genres. Pictured below Ludington author Joan H. Young with Ella Konecny from Big Rapids.
“I support Michigan authors,” Konecny said.
Authors Tent at the Lakeshore Art Festival insights from author Jean Darla Davis
By Emma Palova
I spoke with Holland author Jean Darla Davis after two great days at the Lakeshore Art Festival on Saturday afternoon. Davis organized the Authors Tent located at Clay and 2nd Ave in downtown Muskegon to give more exposure to Michigan authors.
Hundreds of people stopped by the two tents with multiple authors and genres. Just like in a library or at a bookstore, the books with their authors represented different categories from mystery to crime, and everything in between.
The icing on the cake was that the authors were present for book signings and to chat about writing and publishing with readers and public in general.
Each author had their own story about their journey to publishing; from former cop Bob Muladore of Charlotte to hiker/author Joan H. Young from Scottville along with 18 others.
For some participating authors the next stop will be in Ludington at the Books Alive event in downtown on July 19 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. There are still some open spaces. So you can sign up on Eventbrite to diversify the event or contact Joan H. Young.
Interview with Jean Darla Davis
Was this a chamber event and did it have sponsors?
How was this year’s festival? Which day was better?
This year’s festival
was the biggest yet, with more vendors. Thanks to how the holiday fell this
year, it seemed like both days had equal traffic.
Why do you think the attendance was lower than last year?
It felt like less
people this year, very likely due to the heat. But attendance was still quite
What seemed to be the the shopping trends and genres?
I didn’t get much of a
chance to wander the festival as a whole so I can’t really answer that. There
are always a wide variety of fine art and craft vendors, so something for
Were the authors from all over Michigan?
19 of our authors were
from all over Michigan, both the Upper and Lower Peninsula. One lives on the Indiana
border and is considered an honorary Michigan Author.
Your plans for next year?
adding a third tent to accommodate more authors, but that decision is
ultimately in the hands of the Muskegon Chamber Festival committee. Otherwise,
we’ll be using the same layout we settled on this year as that worked quite
What will you remember the most from this year’s festival?
The heat. And off course spending two days with so many fun and talented authors.
Feature photo by author Joan H. Young.
Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.