What You Should Talk About Around the Thanksgiving Table

photo by NealeA

photo by NealeA

Conversations That Matter

No, not politics or even religion. Not currently, anyway. Holidays are often the only times we get extended family together, so you should take advantage of the opportunity to build the story of your family’s heritage and then preserve it. Here are some things you definitely should talk about.

photo by Anne Helmond

photo by Anne Helmond

Your Traditions

You did not all grow up at the same time. At least I’m assuming you’ll have multiple generations present, as most people do. Did you always have turkey? Were there Thanksgiving services at the church? When did everyone start watching football? Prompting with just a few questions can  ignite some stories that might have otherwise been lost.

Who Was Invited to the Dinner?

photo by Brecken Pool

photo by Brecken Pool

Was there a kids table? Did you ever invite the neighbors? Who was the most unique guest you’ve ever had at your table? Were there special events this time of year that encouraged generosity? Has anyone ever been on the receiving end of someone’s act of good will? Asking questions like these will give younger generations a picture of the family’s hospitality and perhaps encourage them to continue the practice.

Have You Ever Tried to Cook a Frozen Turkey?

I imagine every family has had some Thanksgiving cooking disaster. Confessing these might be humorous. On the other hand, these stories might help to show that no one’s perfect and mishaps in life happen to us all. It’s the journey that’s important.

photo by Robert Jack 啸风 Will

photo by Robert Jack 啸风 Will

Record the Stories

These are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling, but when people start talking be sure to either write down the stories or record them on video. The time will come when seats are empty at your table. Save those stories while you can. For more ideas on conversation starters, see this article from Family Tree Magazine.

photo by Chris Phillips

photo by Chris Phillips

Happy Thanksgiving!

A New Place to Meet Authors

The Ides of Books-author meet and greetThe Ides of Books

It’s a Facebook group that has a party every 15th of the month. How cool is that? You can interact with the authors, read excerpts, and even get a free PDF that contains the first chapters of the featured authors’ books.

Here are two links for you.

The Facebook Group page

This Sunday’s Party Event Page

I’ll Be There!

I’ll be interacting off and on, but I’m on the group page today (Thursday, Nov.12) and I’ll be chatting live and doing giveaways (yep, free stuff!) this Sunday, Nov. 15, from 4-5PM EST. I hope you can make it, but if not come next month on the 15th!

Bonus Unpublished Material!

Get a bonus reading from Annie's Stories!Now subscribers to my newsletter can get a bonus, not published, chapter that was cut from Annie’s Stories. FREE! A bit more insight into what Annie was thinking and hoping for when she first came to America.

Sign up for my newsletter, or remind me that you are already signed up, and I will send it to you. The form is on the right hand side of this page. That’s all there is to it!


Changing Your Tune

I recorded a radio interview yesterday. We talked a bit about the theme of my new book. Sofia’s Tune has a musical theme to be sure.

Antonio is a vaudeville pianist and church organist who dreams of becoming a concert musician. Sofia’s eccentric aunt harbors some records with the emblem of his master’s voice. And, everyone thinks Antonio’s dog resembles the dog on the labels. He is such a loyal pet, always listening for his master’s voice.

There is a famous musician in the story. He would have been in New York City around that time, and he meets Antonio in a manner that he probably met other struggle musicians.

There is also a family heirloom of sorts. An instrument that Antonio’s father, who had wanted his son to become a musician, had brought over from Italy. And Antonio lives in the building on Varick Street that formerly housed the Steinway & Sons piano manufacturer.

So that’s Sofia’s Tune on the surface. Very musical indeed.His Master's Voice

But with most novels, there is more to it than meets the eye. It’s about changing one’s tune. What does that mean to you? Do you know where the phrase originated? Sofia knows. 😉

Enter to Win Sofia’s Tune!

I’ve begun a Goodreads giveaway for one of the first copies of Sofia’s Tune, Book Three of the Ellis Island Series. Goodreads is where readers hang out, so if you aren’t a member, you’ll want to check it out–reviews, giveaways, book clubs, discussions…



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sofia's Tune by Cindy Thomson

Sofia’s Tune

by Cindy Thomson

Giveaway ends November 01, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

3 Questions for Fans of Novel Series

Sofia's Tune by Cindy ThomsonBook Three of my Ellis Island Series is coming in November. It’s the final book in this series, and the first time I’ve written a novel series, so I have some questions.

1. Do you read the series in order when each book can be read alone?

Or maybe you skip one or two of them? My editors and I decided that each one of these books would stand alone and not be dependent on the others, but of course they are sequential, and the characters’ lives progress along the way, so I’m wondering what readers really like.

2. How many books do you like to see in a series?

Grace's Pictures by Cindy Thomson

I always saw The Ellis Island Series as three books, but some authors have really long series of a dozen or more books. Of course, those authors had a readership clamoring for more books, so that worked for them. But I personally feel a series can outlive its welcome. But I want to know what you think.

3. Are you as a reader ever reluctant to see a series end or do you just move on?

I know writers sometimes have a hard time letting characters go. I will miss Hawkins House, but I’m satisfied that I’ve told the stories from that time and place. I’m ready to move on. To go back to Ireland. And to hopefully, one day, tell that baseball story that just won’t go away!Annie's Stories by Cindy Thomson

4. Finally, I’d like to know the titles of some of your favorite novel series, and why you liked them.

I can’t wait to hear your answers!

Read books!