Tag Archives: Winter virtual bookfest

Operation Rice Bowl

Lenten journeys

Operation Rice Bowl started on Ash Wednesday.

Parnell, MI – I picked up our Lenten rice bowl at St. Pat’s Church Parish offices in Parnell this morning right after the Friday mass along with the Little Black Book of six-minute meditations. The daily meditations booklet is my “vade mecum” that will travel with me for the next 50 days. The booklet’s cover is black without a title making it easy to read anywhere without stirring attention.

Secretary Darci Mierendorf informed they were running out of print materials really fast.

“I suppose that’s a good thing,” she said. “We’ve increased the mass attendance list to 140 names.”

Ah, the list that we haven’t been able to get on to participate in a Sunday or a feast mass, is ever elusive. By the time I open the sign-up form on Monday morning, it’s usually filled up except for the early morning masses.

Darci said that the Bishop has lifted the dispensation from Sunday masses as of Ash Wednesday. However, if you can’t get on the list after putting forth the effort, you are allowed to watch live streaming on Facebook both from St. Andrew’s Cathedral and from St. Pat’s.

We’ve been doing just that for close to a year now as COVID-19 hit during last year’s Lent.

I’ve always been fascinated by the power of the rice bowl to help the needy around the globe. For example $40 goes for infant scales to measure growth, $80 can buy chickens to provide eggs for protein and income. $120 contributes to a household garden for family nutrition.

During Lent, I embark on different journeys and the one below started on Feb. 1 and I absolutely love it. It’s my literary pilgrimige that I hope to make into a tradition.

Winter Virtual Book Festival by Pages Promotions LLC.

Blind date with a book going strong

Last night the history workshop with authors JuliAnne Sisung and Xander Cross was so informative, that I might have to buy a replay of it for $5. Loaded with information, the two authors covered so much territory that I had trouble distinguishing between the past, present and the future.

Among the many discoveries that shocked me was that YouTube can be used as a primary research tool much like digging in the attic for old letters, photos and postcards or visiting your hometown museum.

“There are two types of history,” said Sisung. “Cultural and social.”

We also found out that human nature is slow to evolve and that historic events cycle, thus the saying “history repeats itself.”

I realized that while writing my new book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” which is set on the backdrop of two major historical events: the 1968 Prague Spring and the 1989 Velvet Revolution.

I used this opening quote to roll out the historical feast:

And history has a tendency to repeat itself as Bohemian writer, screenwriter and film director Vladislav Vancura put it:

Aren’t human thoughts and desires like a stream hidden in rain drops and in elusive feelings? They can be discarded, but they come back in a new form giving way to action. And then comes the trial of one era with the next, then comes the renewal of resources, then comes victory.

To be continued………Lenten journeys

The replay of the history workshop is available at:


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

First festival weekend

Blind Date with a Book

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.


Register on Zoom

Don’t forget to register for tonight’s poetry and short story readings at 8 p.m.


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

February Newsletter

Love is in the air

 Happy Valentine’s Day

As I look outside my studio window, I see snow falling on my lovely garden. The hydrangeas now have white caps and soon they will look surreal like in the summer and fall, except they won’t have any green leaves. Considering that we live in Michigan and it’s the end of January, it was inevitable. And a lot folks wanted it.
At times it seemed like in one of my short stories “Waiting for Snow” from Shifting Sands: Secrets where the main character Colin is literally praying for snow so he can use his toys.
On the contrary, I always hope for a miracle that somehow, we will skip snow. The only things that carry me in the deadbeat of winter are warm visions of Valentine wishes, roses and chocolates. However, no warm Florida this year still due to COVID-19 and since I often travel around Valentine’s, I don’t want to miss sending love wishes to my parents. Ella and Vaclav. They are the main characters in my new book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.” Dad usually buys us a box of chocolates and flowers.

The memoir is an epic story about our emigration from former Czechoslovakia to the USA spanning half a century and two generations.

Winter virtual book fest

But this year something new popped up on the horizon. It’s the third Virtual Book Festival featuring more than 50 authors in February. The theme is “Blind Date with a Book” organized by Pages Promotions, LLC.
It is the brainchild of author Diana Kathryn Wolfe-Plopa.
“Since the advent of COVID-19, and all the in-person book festivals being cancelled, I wanted to find a way to help other authors connect with readers,” said Plopa, “and to help other authors connect with readers, as well.”
Plopa said she’s always had a passion for the Indie Author and this was one more way to show that spirit.
“Just because we’re Indie doesn’t mean that we’re “less than” the trad authors,” she said. “We deserve the same level of promotion and engagement as they get…the only problem is we have a much smaller budget. So that’s why I decided to go virtual.”
Plopa has held physical festivals in the past, so this seemed like the next logical step.
And the idea for the theme came from watching old clips of the old Dating Game TV program on YouTube.
“I thought it would be a fun, different, and kinda wacky way to introduce authors and their books to readers in a way that might capture their attention and get them to buy,” Plopa said.

Join us by clicking:
http:// #ppvirtualbookfestival https://www.facebook.com/events/153849246500703 http://www.pagespromotions.com/virtual-book-festival.html#/
Excerpt from “Waiting for Snow”

 It was January in the new year of the Earth Pig, and there was still no snow on the ground. Green stalks of grass and weeds were peeking out of the ground and laughing in the wind at the parked snowmobiles with no riders. Other equipment like snowplows and snowblades was idling too.
The eager machines just sat still waiting in the front and backyards. Mother Earth was refusing to cooperate on one side, on the other side she released her wrath on the coastal states.
The Midwest was sleeping its winter dream dipped into dry freeze and after the holiday blues. A man in the tiny community of Paris put some water in his coffee maker. The year-round Christmas tree was still lit and cast colorful lights on the modest kitchen with a broken cabinet underneath the kitchen sink. He stored a bucket with a rag there for his chores; now this was a habit from the old country in Europe.
The first morning cigarette of the day was the best one. He deeply inhaled and let out the smoke in gray circles. One wall of the mobile home was an entire mirror divided into three separate sections. He often walked to the mirror to look at himself. But just before looking in the mirror, Colin had to look outside. He pulled aside the checkered racing flag that was covering the window overlooking the front yard with a view on Paris Road.
Colin had to move through a set of obstacles to get to the window. These were large train layouts taking up the entire living room. Colin’s mom called it a fire safety hazard, so would the firemen.
The green and yellow grass lacked the coveted white cover. Colin carefully stepped outside on the wooden steps to make sure there was no snow. He went to the green snowmobile with the new permit and a full tank of gas.
Paris sat on an extensive trail system close to a county park with a welded miniature of the Eifel Tower. The community had a motel, a pizza parlor and a general store “Papa’s;” all located on the trail.
Colin, always wearing a train conductor’s black hat, called himself “The Trainman.”

Links to Emma’s book campaign 

Something Something podcast


Minddog TV with Matt Nappo


LA Wave


WGVU Morning Show with Shelley Irwin


Grand Rapids Magazine spotlight


Big Rapids Pioneer


The Lowell Ledger


Emma’s books on Amazon


Winter bookfest

Join us in February for a fabulous virtual book festival with more than 50 participating authors.

Pages Promotions LLC organizes this unique virtual book event in February, June and October.


Copyright (c) 2021. Emma Blogs, LLC.

In the media-Grand Rapids Magazine

I am happy to be featured in the January issue of the Grand Rapids Magazine with my new book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.”

Join us in February for the Winter virtual bookfest organized by PagesPromotions. If you are an author, you can still sign up through Jan. 15.

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