Tag: Minnesota Scottish Fair & Highland Games

11
Jul

Minnesota Highland Games & Seven Stones eBook!

I’m a sellout. Literally! Shane and I traveled up to Eagan (still feels weird saying “up” when referring to the Twin Cities area after living in Bemidji and Brainerd so long) this past weekend for the Minnesota Scottish Fair and SOLD OUT OF BOOKS!!!

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I enjoyed the Scottish Fair this year even more than I did last year. First of all, there was no tornado the night before (tent intact!). Selling out of all my books was a big plus, but my absolute favorite part of the Fair was meeting readers! I had so many people come up to my table and tell me that they bought Seven Stones last year and LOVED IT! Seriously, there is no better feeling in the world. 🙂 Thank you to everyone who stopped by our tent, has read Seven Stones, bought a signed copy, grabbed a bookmark, or added your name to our email list. I love you all!

Thanks for reading and making me feel like a super star, Katrina and Andrea!

Thanks for reading and making me feel like a super star, Katrina and Andrea!

Me and my newest reader, Abbie!

Me and my newest reader, Abbie!

Readers also came by to tell me to get my butt moving on the sequel. It is great motivation for a writer to hear the sequel is anticipated, and I really hope to get the manuscript done by the end of the year! I’ve had so much support and encouragement, now I just have to get a draft down that I actually like and we’ll be in business. This latest draft is very promising–I’ll keep you updated!!

Speaking of updates, SEVEN STONES IS NOW AN EBOOK!!! It is available here through Amazon. TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS! Then, tell all your friends to write Amazon reviews (they are a HUGE help). I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally have an eBook version of my novel. It’s one of those things that makes me feel all official and swanky and whatnot. Yes, I said swanky. And you can be swanky, too! My eBook comes with extra swankiness! Okay, done writing the word swanky.

As you can see, July has been a wonderful whirlwind! Thrown into the mix was Shane and my SIXTH wedding anniversary yesterday! In case you don’t know, Shane is the most impossibly amazing husband and best friend anyone could ever hope to have. Six years being married to this guy, and I still feel like we’re on our honeymoon. I wouldn’t be able to do this whole author thing without his constant love, support, and encouragement.

Thanks to the love of my life for six amazing years!

Thanks to the love of my life for six amazing years!

We had a perfect day: slept in, made a big breakfast, watched the Euro Cup final, did some yoga together, had a beyond incredible fancy dinner at our favorite Italian place, Neighbor’s, and finished the day with video games. Now, it’s back to my library for another week of awesomeness and back to my writing chair to work on the sequel.

Happy Monday!

20
Jul

2015 Minnesota Scottish Fair & Highland Games!

Photo: StarTribune

The last thing I posted on Facebook about the Scottish Fair was, “Sweaty and gross after setting up my tent” on Friday afternoon. I was, indeed, both of those things. But I was also proud. I had made the four hour trek to the Cities all by myself, drove through rush-hour traffic, set up a tent for the first time in my life, and rewarded myself with a delicious trip to the Crescent Moon Bakery. I was full of Afghani baked goods and on my way to hang out with two incredible friends. Life was pretty awesome.

Then, I woke up at 1:00 am to a terrible storm. We’re talking crazy lighting, roaring winds, driving rains–the whole shebang. As I lay in my bed, I thought of my tent–my poor little tent being mangled by the winds.

Needless to say, I got up extra early the next morning and headed back to the fair grounds to assess the damage.

Ho-ly Cats.

The fairgrounds were a mess. It was only later that I learned a tornado was reported in the area (seriously? I feel like they are following me). My poor tent was reduced to a sad, twisted lump of metal. Other, HUGE tents were collapsed–some of which had taken the vendor hours to set up the day before and already had goods inside. Luckily, there were several stores nearby and I joined the clean up and a mad dash for tents. Through the kindness of others, I managed to set up my tent just in time for the fair to open. Though some tents took a few hours to sort out, it was really amazing how quickly everyone came together to help.

Who doesn’t love men in kilts?

The rest of the day was a GREAT success! The day was sunny and bright with a nice breeze, and there were so many people enjoying the beautiful weather. I met fellow writers, was invited to be a guest on an Irish radio show (named Malarkey–love it!), was introduced to distributors, made some new friends, and–best of all–met more new readers!

*Drum roll please* I SOLD FIFTY BOOKS!

Scottish Happy Dance!

AMAZING! And I couldn’t have done it without the help of so many–especially my friends Mike & Jenn who let me crash at their place, usurp their shower, fed me like a queen, and who even braved the heat to help me out at the fair. I had a truly awesome weekend, and I am just so grateful for yet another opportunity to share Seven Stones with more people!

Special thanks to Liz for coordinating the event and answering all my questions!

Next stop on the Seven Stones book tour: Whitewater, Wisconsin! I’ll be at the SweetSpot on July 31st from 5-7pm, for a book reading, author Q&A, and book signing (and, yes, I’ll have copies to sell)!

Happy Monday! I hope your weekend was just as fabulous as mine!

15
Jul

Cherry Street Books & Brainerd Brown Bag Lunch!

Fantastic time at the Brainerd Public Library!

Fantastic time at the Brainerd Public Library!

WOW!

What a crazy, fantastic, scary, wonderful, amazing weekend! It all started on Saturday while I was on my way to Cherry Street Books in Alexandria for a book signing. I was about an hour out from the book store, when I got rear-ended while pulling over for an ambulance. I’m okay, the car can still drive, and the other driver’s insurance is covering the damage to the bumper (it’s pretty much falling off). Waiting for the sheriff and state trooper to arrive and document the accident took about an hour-and-a-half, so needless to say, I was late to my book signing.

At Cherry Street Books!

At Cherry Street Books!

By the time I got to Alexandria, I was a little frazzled. Then, I turned the corner and saw Cherry Street Books. Oh my goodness! It is such a cute, inviting, comfy shop with so many great books and gifts for book worms. Kathleen sat me in a big, cozy chair and I ended up having a wonderful afternoon, meeting new readers and spreading the word about Seven Stones. Afterwards, I got to have dinner with a friend and made it back to Bemidji without any more excitement. So, a day that started out a bit dodgy ended in a very positive note. I am very grateful to the awesome folks of Cherry Street for hosting me and graciously invited me into their store. I will definitely be back! If you are in Alexandria, check out this independent book store (and feel free to pick up a signed copy of Seven Stones while you’re there!).

Beautiful!

After a brief rest, Shane and I were off to Brainerd on Sunday for Shane to shoot some sports highlights, attend a wedding, and prep for my Brown Bag Lunch. What we didn’t plan for was the CRAZY storm! You’ve probably heard by now, but it was SCA-RY. The storm ripped up trees, toppled power lines, threw trees on cars, tore roofs off buildings, and caused more damage than I can describe. There are–as of now–no reported injuries, however, so that is something to be grateful for. Shane and I spent the storm huddled in an equipment room under a desk. I was quaking like a scared little rabbit. Shane fell asleep. During a tornado. Can you believe that boy?

I had so much fun!

I had so much fun!

The next day, I made it to the Brainerd Public Library unscathed and excited for my Brown Bag Author event at noon. I used to work at the Brainerd Library (I LOVED IT!), and used to dream of being a part of the Brown Bag program someday. Because of the storm and clean-up, I was afraid that few people would be able to make it. But as I set up and chatted with friends, people just kept arriving! I had a full room! AMAZING!

Thanks to everyone who made it out to see me!

Thanks to everyone who made it out to see me!

I started off talking about Seven Stones, doing a few short reading excerpts, then talked about my writing process, my publishing experience, and the sequel in progress. The audience was AWESOME! Before the event, I was nervous about filling up a whole hour without being boring, but I had SO MUCH FUN! People kept asking really great questions, and even made some touching comments about my writing. We talked about everything, from my early writing inspiration, Ojibwe & Celtic research, cultural identity, and what house I’d be in at Hogwarts (Hufflepuff Pride)! We had such a great energy buzzing in the room that my talk ran a little over an hour! 🙂

The line for my book signing!

The line for my book signing!

After the presentation, there was a line of people waiting to buy my book and say hello. INCREDIBLE! It is humbling and gratifying to know that people are connecting with my story and with my journey as a writer. I am still smiling from the warm reception, avid readers, and all-around awesome people of the Brainerd Public Library. A HUGE thank you to the library and the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library for inviting me to be a part of their wonderful program.

The Seven Stones dream team!

The Seven Stones dream team!

My publishers and I got to have a celebratory lunch at–where else?–Prairie Bay! I got the new Thai Curry Pizza (YES! TRY IT!), and we had a delightful time toasting the success of the Seven Stones book tour!

Next, I’m off to Eagan for the Minnesota Scottish Fair & Highland Games! I’ll be there ALL day so stop by, grab a signed copy of Seven Stones, and say hello! I’ll be driving all day Friday, so I’ll see you next on Monday with pictures from the event!

Minnesota Highland Games: July 18th!

Happy Wednesday!