Proceeds from Conor Grennan's "Little Princess" Going to Next Generation Nepal

Here's a link to Conor Grennan's Little Princess, a new book being publishing by HarperCollins. Proceeds from the book will go toward Next Generation Nepal who are helping reconnect the 15,000 orphaned children with their families in Nepal. The book is on sale now. Conor’s organization, Next Generation Nepal, has reconnected almost 300 families with children they feared were lost to them forever. It's a powerful read -- this is a bandwagon you can feel good about hopping on to.

Brand new blog post for Writer Unboxed blog

Live today is my brand-spankin' new post for Writer Unboxed. This month I address the big questions that arise in writing fiction (and in other genres as well). For example, what is the difference between perception and reality? And my final question to my fellow writers out there: What is your motivation for writing? What questions are you asking? Here's a direct link to my blog post. Thanks for reading!

Melissa Mia Hall, PW and Lipstick Chronicles contributor, passes

Friend, contributor to The Lipstick Chronicles, and Publishers Weekly reviewer Melissa Mia Hall (MMH) has passed away. The terms of her death are extremely upsetting, as she died because seeing a doctor was beyond her financial means. As The Lipstick Chronicles writes, “Melissa worked hard. She owned a home. She paid her taxes (late, but paid). She was trying to live a dream - the American Dream - that supposedly we as citizens are promised - the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. For her, that couldn't be achieved in a traditional job that came with the perks of health care. But does that mean she had to die?”

Melissa’s heart attack could have been prevented, and I think the full article speaks for itself (which you can read at The Lipstick Chronicle's website). I hope you agree with me that health care is, as always, an issue in our country that must be a priority. She'll be missed.

Book Club Girl Blog Post

Live today is my new blog post for Book Club Girl. The blog is "dedicated to sharing great books, news and tips with book club girls everywhere." Hear, hear! I was invited to write for Book Club Girl's Holiday Open House, and am thrilled to take part. I wrote about Christmases from my childhood, always a fun string of memories to write about. Many thanks to Jennifer Hart, who writes the blog! Here's a link to the blog and my post.

Two new blog posts this week!

Holy moly, it's getting cold out. I returned from Italy this week after a wonderful time there. It's awfully shivery here in Salem. I hope everyone's Thanksgiving and Hanukkah filled them with warmth and love. For those of you celebrating Christmas, doesn't it always sneak up on you? Though I've been away, I've still been writing, and this week I have two new blog posts out. Tomorrow, December 9, my new post for Writer Unboxed will go up. Then, on Saturday, December 11, check into The Lipstick Chronicles for my new post there. I hope you are all well, and find some time within these next few weeks to be present, and enjoy your time with loved ones.

New Post for Writer Unboxed Blog

Today I posted a new piece for Writer Unboxed. I must say, if you have ever visited, heard of, talked about, sent love to, bought from, chuckled with, or generally appreciated Cornerstone Books in Salem, Massachusetts, or interacted with any of your local bookstores in this manner, please continue to support them. Local bookstores can be the lifeblood of many communities, the place where thinkers and speakers and listeners can come together to share, explore, and discover things they never knew before. As I say in the post, How would you revamp a struggling local bookstore, what would make you and the rest of your community go there to shop?  What do we have to do to keep these local treasures alive and thriving?

Here's a direct link to the post I wrote for Writer Unboxed, though you should really spend some time poking around the blog if you haven't already. They do some great stuff. Remember to support your local independent bookstores!

With thanks,


Event this weekend in Dover, NH

This Saturday, November 13, I'll be heading north to  Dover, New Hampshire to be one of the featured authors at the Dover Community Senior Center's "Festival of Authors." The event will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. There will be a book signing, a signed book raffle, and an art exhibit by the Dover Senior Artists. Click this link for a little more information on the event. This is a great way to support the community of Dover! Hope you come out to see us.

Events this weekend, including Concord Festival of Authors TOMORROW AND SUNDAY!

Gish Jen, me, and Jon Katz will speak at the annual Breakfast with the Authors tomorrow (November 6) morning, part of the Concord Festival of the Authors in Concord, Massachusetts. Tickets are $20, and Suzanne Koven will be our moderator. At 8:00 a.m. you can catch this event at Concord's Colonial Inn. Three cheers for coffee! Then, tomorrow evening, I'll be joining Elyssa East, Katherine Howe, and Kathleen Kent in Salem for a Witch Trial Reunion. It will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the First Church of Salem. It will be a moderated panel, with each author speaking and followed by a general discussion and questions.

Also, don't forget Daylight Saving Time on Sunday! That's always a tricky one to forget.

San Francisco Book Review

The Map of True Places was reviewed in the September issue. Thanks San Francisco Book Review!

Zee Finch is the star of this story and we meet her in her adulthood working as a respected psychotherapist in Boston. We understand that she worked hard to obtain this professional position, and also to win the heart of Boston’s most eligible bachelor. But we know immediately that Zee’s response to her life, work, and engagement is tepid, that her “true nature” is somehow dimmed and muted. The story is of Zee’s traveling the course that reveals the reasons this is so.

Navigation is the central theme of the book. “It is not down on any map, true places never are” is the quote from Herman Melville on the face page and each chapter is introduced with a navigational truth that reinforces the theme. This contributes to what is so compelling about this book: its artistry. Barry moves deftly from present to past and back again so artfully that the reader is instantly captivated by the complexity of the characters, the veracity of the time and place (fantastic detail about the history of Boston and Salem) and soon hopes fervently that the heroine will find happiness. Add to artful construction, beautifully drawn characters, the conflicts and tensions of a really good story and you have a book you regret having to finish.

You can see it in context <here>. It's on page 2, upper left corner.