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Sunday, July 20, 2014

SEATTLE BOOK TOUR PLUS A DAY ON ORCAS ISLAND

We took off for Seattle last weekend for a book tour: checking on bookstores which might be interested in selling my book.  It was hard work, but fun at the same time, returning to Seattle for the first time in several years. It's a busy metropolis but wonderful on a warm summer day with Pike Street Market, Union Lake and the bay. We visited with our old friend, Steve, on Magnolia hill. 
Steve has a lovely home and is the host with the most.  As a collector of Asian artifacts, mostly Chinese, and his interest in beautiful Asian works of art, Steve's place is a treasure trove to explore. He also has a wonderful oriental garden, graced by many of his most treasured pieces of wood burls and sculpture and a recently built tea house. 


Here I am at Pikes place,Seattle, checking out the bookstores

As my readers will recognize, I used Magnolia Hill as the setting for the home of my main character, Angela Larson.  While there, I came up with an idea: to challenge my readers to find "Angela's house on Magnolia hill." I know which one it is, not Steve's.  May try to write an article for the Seattle Times about how an author finds her setting. Might be fun. Of course, this was only a tiny part of the novel which is mostly about El Salvador and it's people---and Angela's lover, Liam from Boston.  Actual places and people feed the imagination!  At Steve's suggestion I called on the Magnolia's bookstore and was delighted that they were willing to try the book. I hope to do a signing party there in the near future. Hopefully, the residents of this community will be curious about Angela and her search for new meaning for her life when she goes to El Salvador and finds herself in love and helping a Salvadoran mother and daughter connect with the father, an undocumented worker in the United States. 

Here I am at Magnolia's Bookstore


I also went to Elliott Bay Book Company, one of my favorite Seattle bookstores and University Bookstore. I made some good connections and hope to get the book in both spots soon.  At the suggestion of an employee at the latter bookstore, I will try to set up a Reading Event to kickstart sales and interest. One thing I learned is that it would be much easier if I had been a Seattle writer at  most of these bookstores, an understandable fact.  

On Sunday, we drove to Anacortes where we took a ferry to Orcas Island. We had two missions: one to visit our niece and her new baby. She lives in the delightful village of Eastsound. Our second hope was to get my book into the Island bookstore, Darvilles.  The owner showed some interest since the book features a section in the San Juans, actually San Juan Island, but said she would consider it for a future order from Ingram, the national distributor which carry's my book amongst thousands. I know I have lots of competition. This whole marketing process is a challenge, but I continue to forge on and keep learning. 

Staying at the Blue Heron bed and breakfast was a delight, not only because of its nice hosts and lovely setting on the West Bay of Orcas, plus a magnificent view of the sunset from our room,  but also because we met a delightful pair of fellow guests, Aine and her mother Laurie. We shared much in common and both were enthused about my book. Laurie, a high school English teacher even came up with a great idea to require her AP (Advanced Placement) Senior students to read my book and write reviews on Amazon. Wow---what a splendid idea. We promised to get together in the future. They live in Sebastapol, California. 
View from our Orcas Island B&B 


Looking over my book on the porch of a restaurant in Eastsound 

It's not easy to leave the San Juan Islands with their charming and relaxed small villages and the surrounding water and scenes of boats.  Flowers abound everywhere in the village of Eastsound.  
Island view of harbor at West Sound 
The ferry ride back to the mainland is filled with breathtaking views. 
Leaving Orcas Island

On our way back to Oregon we stopped at Orca's Bookstore in Olympia and the very nice bookstore owner, Linda agreed to take my book on consignment. I thought the name of the bookstore appropriate following our day and night on Orcas Island, both places bearing the name of the Orca whale, something I always think of when visiting these islands.






So anyone who reads this from Olympia, please stop by the bookstore and buy my book. I hope to promote it to the fellow supporters of Eco-Viva, the NGO which I have contributed to for the past nineteen years and which facilitated my trips to El Salvador, which subsequently inspired the story.


On our way back to Oregon we stopped at Orca's Bookstore in Olympia and the very nice bookstore owner, Linda agreed to take my book on consignment. So anyone who reads this from Olympia, please stop by the bookstore and buy my book. I hope to promote it to the fellow supporters of Eco-Viva, the NGO which I have contributed to for the past nineteen years and which facilitated my trips to El Salvador, which subsequently inspired the story. 

More Kayaking Adventures

The summer has been a busy one of trips back and forth to Portland from the Oregon Coast. The best adventures have been with my group of women friends, paddling the waterways of Oregon and Washington. This past week's paddle took us to Lacamas Lake in Camas, Washington and to a beautiful private site, Wauna Lake on the Washington side of the Columbia River and near the Bridge of the Gods. There we not only kayaked amongst the beautiful, though invasive, water lilies but swam in the cool waters of the lake, cooling off from last weeks hot Northwest temperatures. Here's a few photos which should tickle your maybe latent desire to get out and paddle whether it be in a kayak, canoe or rowboat. It's fun!  And, as my friend, Annis Cassells shares on her  blog, the Daymaker:

“It is essential to our well-being, and to our lives, that we play and enjoy life. Every single day, do something that makes your heart sing.” 
-Marcia Wieder, author, speaker, and founder of Dream University.


Enjoy the paddle! 

Kayak Gals on Lacamas Lake---a beautiful day 


The beautiful waterlillies 

Following---my feet in the foreground on my ocean kayak 

Beautiful scenery at Wauna Lake 

View from my friend's cabin---pure serenity!