Tag: Book Trailer


Friday Favorites: Bemidji Favorites

See ya later, Paul & Babe!

See ya later, Paul & Babe!

This Friday, I want to focus on all my favorite parts of our time in Bemidji. Though we were only here for ten months, it really has been a wonderful experience–mostly because of all the truly AMAZING people we’ve come to know and love. So, here is a look back at our days in the North Woods!

The Little Red Duplex

We were incredibly lucky to find such a great place to live. After living in apartments since we got out of college, Shane and I were ready for more space and a yard of our own. It is cozy, inviting, and really became our home in just a short period of time. Here’s a (terrible) video that I shot during our first weeks in Bemidji. Shane has since critiqued my camera work (which is pretty hilariously bad), but it gives you an idea of what our house looked like between all the blurred images. Hey, I never said I was a photographer. I do words, people. 🙂

Region 2 Arts Council

I couldn’t have done any of my marketing or publicity without the generous folks at the Region 2 Arts Council. They awarded me the Individual Artist Grant back in March so I could hire my wonderful publicist, Krista, to plan my book tour, and Christy of Brown Design to create the Seven Stones Book Trailer. Without the financial and professional support of the Council, I definitely wouldn’t be able to reach as many readers!

Check out the original post about the Artist Grant!

My First Book Signing

The table!

Thanks, Kat’s Book Nook!

My very first book tour stop was at Kat’s Book Nook in Bemidji. I was SO nervous and excited to actually be doing my first ever book signing! So many people showed up to support me, and I ended up having a wonderful time. I can’t thank Kat enough, or the community for their amazing support. Bemidji gave me a great start to my book tour, and helped boost my confidence as an author!

Check out the original post from May 16th!

Evening Horse Rides

We're BFFs

We’re BFFs

Imagine riding through a lush, forested state park at sunset on a gorgeous chestnut mare with a great friend by your side. Afterwards, a group of tiny, fuzzy kittens literally romp all over you in the stable. Yup, I got to live a 12 year old girl’s dream thanks to my friend and fellow Packer fan, Kori. I had SUCH great times with her, the horses (my best friend, Firefly, is pictured above), and the barn cats. It was beyond amazing to be able to hit the trails anytime we wanted.

I got to take my very last ride (*sob*) Wednesday night while the sun was setting in brilliant oranges and reds. It was cool, windless, and quiet–a perfect night for a ride, and one that I badly needed. I was super stressing about the move and packing, but once I was in the saddle, everything was okay. I’m sure going to miss our rides, but I’ve got great memories to take with me to Mankato!

Bemidji Community

Northern Lights Farm

For a little town, this place provided us with AWESOME amenities. My favorites were the beautiful Harmony Co-Op, the local board game store (Accidentally Cool Games), the Bemidji Public Library, and our fresh from the farm CSA. I hope Mankato treats us as well as Bemidji!


We love you, Bemidji Friends!

We love you, Bemidji Friends!

Last, and most importantly, we are going to miss all of our friends! We have met amazing people during our time here, and have had some great times! Some of the highlights of our months here:

Jane Austen Tea Party

Outdoor Movie & Video Games

Thank you to everyone who made us feel loved and welcome. We will miss you from the bottom of our hearts! Friends will ALWAYS be welcome in Mankato! Stop by anytime. I’m sure I’ll have something delicious cooking, a board game to play, and a pot of tea to share.

Happy Friday!



Friday Favorites: Minnesota Authors!

This pretty much sums up how I feel about this week

I sit here writing this on a gorgeous sunny Friday morning with a mug of Irish breakfast tea. Not a bad way to end a week, and Holy Cats, what a WEEK! Some pretty cool stuff has happened the last five days, and here are my favorites:

Meeting Beth Hautala!

I was fortunate enough to meet Middle Grade author Beth Hautala this past Monday at the very first Brown Bag Lunch at the Brainerd Public Library. Beth kicked off the Brown Bag Lunch Author Series by talking about her wonderful debut novel, Waiting for Unicorns. Her novel is a heartfelt tale about 12-year-old Talia who, having just lost her mother to cancer, goes on a trip to the Artic with her whale-researcher father. In the ice and snow of Manitoba, Talia learns the truth about love, wishing, and saying goodbye through the magic of the “Artic unicorn”–the narwhal.

I loved Beth’s lyrical writing style and beautiful characters. Meeting her was fantastic, and I wish her much fun and success!

(And don’t forget I’ll be at the Brainerd Public Library on July 13th from 12-1 as a part of the Brown Bag Author Series! End of shameless plug)



Of course, this was one of my absolute FAVORITES of the week. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet (and I don’t know how you couldn’t have with so many amazing people sharing, liking, posting, and retweeting the video. THANK YOU!), here it is in all it’s literary glory!!! 😀


Book of the Week: Shelterbelts by Candace Simar

I’ve been waiting to read this book, and the wait was TOTALLY worth it. Candance Simar–author of the award-winning Abercrombie Trail series–is known for her love of historical fiction based on the Norwegian immigrants of Minnesota. While Abercrombie Trails focused on the pioneers and Sioux Uprising, Shelterbelts takes place just as World War II is ending.

Tia Fiskum, the old maid of Tolga Township, yearns to retain her hold on the family farm after her shell-shocked brother returns from World War II. The neighbor she hopes to marry chooses a town girl for his new wife.The Potato King listens to the radio preacher and prays for a miracle. Eddy Root fears a return to the asylum. A German war bride struggles to find acceptance in this tight-knit Scandinavian community. Woven throughout is the man who walks lizards, a grieving father, a disillusioned pastor, and the neighborhood gossipmonger. Shelterbelts chronicles the life of a community struggling to return to normal after war. This is a story true to history of those difficult times while rich in the complications of the human spirit.

Candace is one of those authors whose characters take hold of you and don’t let go. I am really enjoying the novel, and learning a ton about the time period and Norwegian culture (being Irish and Scottish in Northern Minnesota is a bit of an oddity. I’d never even heard of lefsa before we moved up here 😉 ).

Even more exciting: Candace has graciously accepted an invitation to be interviewed right here on The Open Book! Stay tuned for the first-ever guest star on my blog! 🙂


Word Count

Drum roll please…979. Poop. I was shooting for 2,000. While I didn’t reach my word count goal, I do feel like all 979 of those words are keepers. I feel pretty good about what I wrote, and spent a lot of time reworking the chapter I scrapped last week. So, by next week, I should have two new chapters. Yay!

I’m going to keep my word goal at 2,000 words for next week. I am NOT one of those super-fast writers like my friend, Katie. She can whiz through chapters at lighting speed. I’m more like George R. R. Martin. It’s gonna take a while. But that’s the point of my keeping count of my words: to increase how much I write every week. Wish me luck!

Happy Friday!



Seven Stones Book Trailer!


Seven Stones has an official book trailer!

I have been waiting for this day ever since I learned that I had been awarded the Region 2 Arts Council Individual Artist Grant back in March. I knew what kind of trailer I wanted, and I knew exactly who I wanted to work with. For the past month, I’ve had the great fortune to have the wonderful and talented Christy Brown of Brown Design in Brainerd, Minnesota craft an absolutely stunning book trailer. From the first rough proof to the finished product, being a part of the design process has been incredible! Christy not only understood the heart and essence of Seven Stones, she also makes me look and feel all swanky and important every time I view her creation (which is about once every five minutes).

I am very proud to share this trailer with you, and hope you share it with others! 🙂

What do you think?!

Happy Monday!


Seven Stones: Coming to a Book Store Near You!

Phew! Yesterday was crazy but SO amazing. Because of the grant I was awarded by the Region 2 Arts Council, I was able to set up meetings with my very own publicist and book trailer designer. Real meetings, discussing real author things.

I was on the road at 8:00 a.m. to drive down for my first meeting of the day was with Krista Soukup from Blue Cottage Agency in Brainerd. Man, is she inspiring! Krista looked at every aspect of my marketing campaign and website. Her suggestions and ideas are really going to transform the number of people I can reach and how. The first signs of Krista’s marketing plan are going to be some small changes on the website that are going to make a BIG difference. Look for new and more interactive content, individual pages for author events, videos, and press information. In short, her suggestions are going to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for much faster. And, of course, Krista is going to be helping me get the book into more stores and add more locations to my book tour event. Stay tuned for exciting updates!

Immediately after my meeting with Krista was lunch at Christmas Point with Christy Tobin. Over some seriously delicious food (I’m a sucker for bread bowls), we outlined some great ideas for the book trailer she will be designing for me. I love book trailers, and can’t believe that there will be one for Seven Stones! Christy’s work is beautiful, and she is a pleasure to work with (it’s always a treat when you get to work with friends!). I can’t wait to post the finished trailer on the improved website.

After the meetings, I ran to drop off some signed books and picked up another box to bring back with me. The AWESOME news is that we are already beginning to run low! What a fantastic problem to have. I know I’ve said it before (and I’ll probably keep saying it), THANK YOU to everyone who keeps getting the word out about Seven Stones. Every person who reads my story, writes those reviews, and tells other people helps make my dream come true. 🙂

What a seriously MOMENTOUS day! I think I’ve earned a cup of tea and a night off of homework.

Happy Wednesday!