Rolling into the first weekend of the Winter Virtual Book Festival organized by Pages Promotions, LLC, we’ve covered genre from action and adventure, non-fiction to memoir. The theme of this festival is “Blind Date with a Book.”
You pick an event by clicking on the caption below, and register on Zoom.
The participating authors read from their books without revealing the title. The screen shows scrambled covers, and it’s up to you to find the perfect fit.
If you match up the author with the book, you get the bragging rights on social media. Please use the hashtag #ppvirtualbookfestival.
Wheel of Happiness
Diana has given out a lot of prizes spinning the Wheel of Happiness, and a lot more is to come during the month of February. If you win a book, check it for the gold, silver or bronze ticket for major prizes.
If you don’t attend, you can’t win. Invite your friends, fans and family and cast the authors’ event on your TV.
PopUp Book Shop
Visit the festival PopUp Book Shop to meet your next favorite book. It will be up only during the festival month. So do not procrastinate.
Lowell, MI – On this 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in former Czechoslovakia, I am including an excerpt from the Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West memoir about our family immigration saga. The epic tale of passion and love takes place on the backdrop of two major historical events: Prague Spring 1969 and Velvet Revolution 1989.
Thirty years ago, I was standing on Wenceslas Square in Prague along with 500,000 other people, ringing my keys and listening to the future president Vaclav Havel. It was cold and I was shivering; not just from the November chill, but from the events of the last 10 days. These 10 days shook the world.
“Havel to the castle,” was the overwhelming response of the crowds chanting for Havel to become the next president of free Czechoslovakia.
Excerpt from Greenwich Meridian memoir
On the day
of the General Strike, Monday, Nov. 27, the wave of citizen activity crested
after a week of protests and manifestations. Across the country, people stood
at major squares, sporting tricolor ribbons, waving flags and ringing their
keys to symbolize the end of the Stalinist model of socialism.
I took the
train to Prague to join thousands on Wenceslas Square. I still thought I was
dreaming and that I was going to wake up after a long dark night. I had to
pinch myself to feel the pain to make sure this was happening. But I could hear
it happening around me, in me, everywhere. My heart was beating fast, as I had
to fight the crowds and overcome the old claustrophobia. That day I saw Havel
Strike from noon until 2 p.m. was a political referendum that did not hurt the
economy. Approximately half of the population joined in the manifestations
around the country. Only minimum percentage were not allowed to participate in
the strike; others made up for the lost time at work. The referendum joined all
members of the society representing its demographics: students, factory
workers, farmers, artists, athletes and scientists determined to change the
course of history for this small country in Central Europe.
have spoken and the demands of the Citizens’ Forum were being met. The state
department of culture released all films and books from the special “safe” for
The rest of
the political prisoners would be released, as one of the major demands of the
Citizens’ Forum. The university students were nominated for the Nobel Peace
Prize for their courage and bravery during the 10 days from the onset of the
Velvet Revolution on Friday Nov. 17, 1989.
about the leadership role of the Communist Party would be dissolved from the
constitution. New laws allowing for freedom of speech, gathering, press were in
Democratic Forum of the Communists was formed denouncing the 1968 invasion of
armies of five states from the Warsaw Treaty. The reporters, who were against
the invasion, were reinstated in the Association of Reporters.
In Brno, the
Committee of Religious Activists, showed support for the demands of the
Vaclav Havel received the German Book Prize at the National Theater.
Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Lowell, MI – I continued this morning with the translation of mom’s memories of our fatal return to Czechoslovakia in 1973 following the presidential amnesty to political prisoners such as us. We fell into this category for illegally leaving the country in 1970.
Excerpt: Presidential amnesty, fatal return to Czechoslovakia in 1973
In her own words
The kids went back to the school in the fall for their third year in Hawkins, Texas. Vaclav liked his job at the college, so everything continued in the same rhythm including my light work as a housewife in our household. I was homesick, I missed my country, my friends and my job at the pharmacy. I didn’t expect any changes and I didn’t try anything new either, I fell into despair firmly convinced that nothing would ever change.
However, a change came; one that I would never expect. As the new year 1973 arrived, Czechoslovakia was celebrating the 25th anniversary of communism known as the “Victorious February” or the 1948 Czechoslovak coup d’etat. In that year, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia with Soviet backing assumed the undisputed control over the government of Czechoslovakia, marking the onset of four decades of communist rule in the country.
The Czech coup of 1948 had extensive consequences in the Western world.
President Gustav Husak issued an amnesty to political prisoners who illegally left the country and were tried for it. That meant that we could return back home to Czechoslovakia without the risk of going to prison. I could not believe that God heard my prayers and that I could return back to the homeland.
Within two weeks, I received approximately 10 letters from Czechoslovakia with newspaper clips about the presidential amnesty. I was determined to return to Czechoslovakia with the kids with or without my husband Vaclav; this wasn’t the life for me in Texas. I was extremely happy and immediately responded to all the letters stating that I was going back home.
To be continued…..
Note: Watch for Black Friday countdown deal on Amazon for Shifting Sands Short Stories book 1 and book 2. Books make a great gift and a great souvenir from Michigan.
Lowell, MI – By logging in 3,751 words in the NaNoWriMo 2019, I am officially a winner of the 50K -word challenge with my memor about the family immigration saga. Yay! I never thought I would get it done. I have yet to complete a translation of three pages of mom Ella’s memories from Texas and review the entire memoir.
NaNoWriMo memoir insights
I entered the challenge this year to complete the memoir that I divided into two halves after hitting a dead end at chapter 11. I did extensive prep work in October including translations of mom’s memories from her immigration ordeal since 1968 and the translation of the “Chronicle of Velvet Revolution.”
The memoir anchors in two major historical events in Czechoslovakia: Prague Spring, 1968 and Velvet Revolution, 1989. It’s an epic saga of love and passion for math, between the main characters, mom Ella and dad Vaclav. These major driving forces took our family across three continents. My own second-generation experience is intertwined in the memoir, as I am the storyteller.
I had to break down different chapters and create a timeline in order to navigate the events of more than 50 years. Once I had the timeline, I filled in the missing years with my parents’ own accounts of their immigration experiences.
What propelled the memoir ahead was the change from a travel account to the experience of immigration in all its dimensions. That was the pain of being separated both from homeland and from each other, offset by dad’s passion for math.
I arrived at an interesting conclusion while writing the memoir: for mom, imigration was a sacrifice to dad and to us, so we could live in a free country. For dad, immigration was a way to teach math without the fear of being persecuted in a socialist country. For me, immigration set me free to create and for Ludek it was a dream come true to build our own house and live the American dream.
Stay tuned for excerpts.
Ask questions right here:
Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC, All rights reserved.
“Keep your head in the clouds and your hands on the keyboard.” Marissa Meyer
Back to the keyboard
By Emma Palova
Lowell, MI- I am back behind the computer after a summer filled with author’s gigs, book marketing, anniversary parties and granddaughter Ella’s departure for Fixin, France.
The fall solstice weather is also much more conducive to being tied to the chair without any distractions; that includes minimum social media and Internet browsing only for research purposes and logging in daily word count on the NaNoWriMo website at https://www.nanowrimo.org/
However, I have one more big author event to go to before I embark on my second National Novel Writing Month 50k challenge starting on Nov. 1 with prep work in October.
Belrockton Dormitory , home of the Belding Museum
107 Hanover St. Belding, Oct. 6, 2019 1 pm – 4 pm
I am especially looking forward to this book signing of “Shifting Sands: Secrets” inside the original dormitory that housed the silk city girls when Belding was known as the” Silk City of the World.”
The making of “Silk Nora”
The long short story “Silk Nora” is the main story in book 2 in the Shifting Sands Short Stories series. By genre, it belongs to the historical fiction/historical romance catefories. So a good way to search for the book online is by using the keywords #historical fiction #historical romance. In physical bookstores, the book can be found in the fiction category.
The story digs deep into the history of the silk city girls’ dormitory “Belrockton” in Belding at the turn-of-the-century.
The Classical Revival-inspired building was erected in 1906 at a cost of $30,000 . It provided accommodations for 100 single female workers and staff. It was better known as the “Bel” and it is the last dormitory left from the three buildings. Much like the Richardson Mill is the last structure left from the three silk mills in Belding.
As a reporter for the Ionia Sentinel-Standard in the early 2000s, I visited the museum on multiple occassions. But, it wasn’t until two years ago, when I spotted a picture of a woman in a hat during the museum’s fashion hat display in the fall of 2017. She was very elegant and beautiful with a nostalgic look on her face.
That woman in a hat served as a model for creating the main character Nora in the historical fiction story “Silk Nora,” which is the main story in the new book “Shifting Sands: Secrets.”
I also explored extensively the interior of the dormitory including the girls’ rooms. There was another picture in an oval frame. This was a photo of Mathilda Adrian, who lived in the dormitory. Right next to the oval photo was her marriage certificate to John Mahar dated April 1917. And a double love story was born.
This discovery inspired the character of Mathilda, who became Nora’s best friend. So, at this point I had the main characters, and then I added Doris, the matron and the men into the story. All the characters are woven into Belding’s history of the silk industry started by the Belding Brothers in 1860 by selling silk from house to house.
Creativity of Belrockton staff
The creativity of the Belrockton Museum staff, Jane Forth, Barb Fagerlin, Jan Mehney along with others inspired my own creativity.
T he creative displays at the museum from Hotel Belding such as the receptionist’s desk helped me recreate the scenes of social life at the hotel.
The displays of girls’ rooms complete with mannequins, the movie theater, grocery store, fueled my imagination.
When I discovered the optical illusion picture of the “Face of Gossip” at the dormitory bathrooms, I was totally flabbergasted by the chain of coincidences that made the individual pieces fit into a complete story.
To be continued
Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Palova. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Interview with author/organizer Jean Darla Davis & Emma Palova
Why have an author tent at Lakeshore Art Festival? How well is the festival attended?
The Lakeshore Art Festival is attended by tens of thousands
of people over two days. It runs July 5 and 6 from 10 to 6 and features over
350 fine art and craft vendors, along with artisan food, children’s activities, street performers and
interactive art. It’s the perfect venue to connect readers with local indie
How did you get involved? Who came up with the
idea and how did you go about implementing it?
This is our third year as a group of authors being involved
with the Lakeshore Art Festival. The first year was organized by author Steve
Lebel . When he stepped back, I was tapped to take on the project. Last year we
officially became part of the festival with the emerging authors tent within
the festival footprint. This allowed us much better visibility and allowed us
to connect with more readers.
What was last year’s festival like?
Last year we had two beautiful
sunny days and what seemed like a mostly endless flow of traffic both days.
There’s so much art to see and great food to check out.
Eighteen authors took part in our tents last
year. We all had a great time networking with one another, talking to readers
and signing books.
4-Which genre will be represented?
Our tents feature twenty authors with a little something for
everyone. We everything from children’s books to adult books, including
mystery, suspense, non-fiction romance,
science fiction, fantasy and more.
What do you hope to accomplish there in two
We’d love to introduce readers to authors they might not run across on
Amazon due to the vast number of books there or in the big book stores that
often focus on big name authors. We’re
available to talk about our books, our writing processes and inspirations. This is a great opportunity for
readers to buy direct from the authors and get their books signed.
Give us some tips for authors
Many authors struggle with marketing their books . They write one and hope that it sells online or through their publisher, if they have one. Unfortunately, even with a publisher, the majority of marketing falls on the author, and most of us would rather be home writing our next book. However, once you do a few book events, you’ll find it’s fun to network with other authors, learn from them, share your experiences and knowledge and to meet readers face to face. Festivals like this one give authors the opportunity to get their books in front of thousands of people a day. The Lakeshore Art Festival allows authors to purchase their own larger booth or to take part in our emerging author tent, which though we have smaller table spaces, is within the budget of many indie authors. We do have a limited amount of spaces each year and they go quickly. If you are interested in being part of the emerging author tent, please contact me on facebook: jeandavisauthor
Give us some tips for visitors
Visitors should wear comfortable shoes. There’s so much to
see and do at this Festival. Stay hydrated. Bring a bag to carry all your artsy
finds. Most vendors will take cash or cards. And talk to the artists. Ask
questions. Make your purchases personal. It’s not often you can talk directly
to the artist who made the piece and find out the story behind it.
How do you personally plan your book tour?
Having recently released my fifth book, I can easily say
that I’ve tried a lot of different things to get the word out. Have I found the
magic answer? No. What I’ve settled on, that works best for me, is doing a blog
tour within my network of author friends, and booking in person events. I like
to do a variety of venues: bookstores, libraries, craft & vendor shows,
comic cons, ren faires, and art festivals. This year, with the release of the
first book Trust of my new space opera series, The Narvan, I’m doing 30
different events all over Michigan.
I find personally connecting with readers to be the most gratifying way to get the word out . When I can do the same event a couple years in a row, it’s even better, because then people know where to find me and come back for my next book. I try to release one or two books every year so I have something new to offer.