Category Archives: Books

Coming Soon: New Books!

Here’s what is coming soon from me:

Celtic Cross photo by Cindy ThomsonIn a few short weeks I will have the reprinted, revised, updated non-fiction book titled The Roots of Irish Wisdom: Learning From Ancient Voices. It’s a newer version of my book Celtic Wisdom, but in paperback with some new material and new black and white photographs. I think you’re going to love it! Subscribers to my newsletter (see link above or click here) will see the cover first and learn when the release date will be. Here’s a synopsis:

This collection of classic Irish wisdom in the form of stories, prayers, and proverbs, reveals the Creator in the natural world and highlights the importance of the Celtic spiritual heritage. Along with historical background on St. Patrick, St. Brigid, St. Columcille, and the Twelve Apostles of Erin, Cindy Thomson leads the reader on an enriching journey through Celtic learning and prayer.

Coming Later This Summer:

My novel, the sequel to Brigid of Ireland: Pages of Ireland. More on this to come.

Do You Love All Things Irish?

Tell me why…

About Those Book Reviews

More of What Readers Need to Know

Reader

via Flickr Laury Rouzé

I posted about this before, but today I read an article in the ACFW newsletter that I think might  best help explain to readers why posting book reviews is critical to authors. I’m reposting here with permission. If you, too, think it’s helpful, please share.

Reader’s review provides at least 4 key benefits for a book and its author via @acfw & @cynthiaruchti Click To Tweet

ACFW Tidbits

by Cynthia Ruchti 

Do you write book reviews? Some say a reader’s review provides at least four key benefits for a book and its author:

1.     Credibility. When publishers, retailers, libraries, and prospective readers see a large number of reviews for a book, they know the book has drawn a measure of attention.

2.     Visibility. Algorithms of online retailers like cbd.combn.com, and amazon.com dictate that books with large numbers of positive reviews will obtain a more prominent visual presence on their sites.
3.     Quote resource. Many authors share snippets of a positive review to help others get a feel for the book’s tone, theme, or impact.
4.     Persuasiveness. Reviews can entice prospective readers, retailers, and libraries to purchase books they might have bypassed without the review.

via Flickr GotCredit

via Flickr GotCredit

If you’re a published author, you’ve no doubt seen both beneficial and what might be construed as harmful reviews. You may have asked others to post a review for your book. Have you also provided a guideline for the kind of review that would be most helpful? Consider using these tips when writing reviews or when inviting others to review a book for you:

·      For a blog or online retail review, if the teaser for the book or the book’s back cover copy is already part of the blog or book information visible to those who will read your review, there’s no need to repeat that information. An online review is not a book report. It’s a reaction to the story and its impact.

·      Resist the temptation to reveal any element about the plot or characters that will spoil the book for other readers. Few things make an author cringe more than having a reviewer give away an important plot point that took two-thirds of the book to set up.
·      Keep it as short as you can and still communicate what you need to or are compelled to say.
·      Don’t change your review in response to what others have said about the book. Be genuine. But do skim other posted reviews to ensure you’re not merely repeating what has already been said. Your review will be most meaningful if it adds another dimension to the reviews’ “discussion” about the book’s merits.
photo by denise carbonell

photo by denise carbonell

·      Limit your comments about the story to the story. If your book was damaged in shipping, or you never have liked that genre (and still don’t), or if page 211 was missing in your copy, or the margins on the Kindle version were messed up, that’s not a review of the book. Those comments need to be directed elsewhere.

·      Watch carefully for what the stars mean. Don’t inadvertently give a book a one-star rating because you think that means it’s a top-notch book, first place on your bookshelf. Take time to make sure you’re communicating accurately.
·      Don’t forget to include a review on Goodreads.comand FictionFinder.com.
Thanks to Cynthia Ruchti acfwrelations@acfw.com for allowing me to reprint this.

Books Read in 2015

Cindy Thomson's reading list 2015Thanks, Goodreads

I’ve found it helpful to keep track of the books I’ve read using Goodreads. I also do a challenge, which I did not meet this year. It was too optimistic. I would have loved to have read 55 books this year, but I only made it to 35. Goodreads also tells you the shortest and longest books you read. For me, the shortest was an ebook called How To Make a Living With Your Writing by Joanna Penn and the longest, Ulyssess by James Joyce. My average length was 370 pages. The book I read that was the most popular with Goodread users was, no surprise, To Kill a Mockingbird. Surely I’ve read it before. I watched the movie, but I thought I should re-read it. I wanted to be ready for Go Set a Watchman.

A Few of My Favorite Books

Secrets She Kept by Cathy GohlkeNot all of what I read was released in 2015. But some were. I loved Cathy Gohlke’s Secrets She Kept! Another favorite: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Actually 2014, but it still seemed new.) I Read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins just to see what all the fuss was about. It was a very good book. For the same reason I read Go Set a Watchman, the controversial book that was kind of a new story, kind of not. And actually, for me, both of those books by Harper Lee had disappointing endings. Kind of like no ending at all. But I’m still glad I read the “new” one. She was a talented author.

And I read some oldies. Like Ulyssess. I listened to that one or I surely never would have finished it. What an odd book. Still, I can say I’ve read it now!

A surprise was Jane Kirkpatrick’s The Daughter’s Walk, published four years ago. Very good historical fiction. I love how Jane makes people who lived long ago seem like someone you’d like to know today.The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick

Another oldie was Mariana by Susanna Kearsley, published in 1994. Very good, but really, really liked Sophia’s Secret, 2008. Very clever plot, and of course I’d love a story about a novelist. I read these because on the advice of my friend Rebecca I went to hear Susanna speak.

Thomas MertonIt Was a Good Reading Year

As usual I read a variety of things from a biography of C.S.Lewis, a work from Thomas Merton, and Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker, to a few baseball books, more clever, enjoyable novels, and few I didn’t care for all that much. I liked all of them somewhat, however, or I would not have finished them. There were some of those this year. I’ve decided life is too short, there is too much out there to read to settle for an uninteresting book.

I’m going to set my 2016 goal for 35.

What Good Books Did You Read in 2016?

 

Sofia Wins The Clash!

Sofia's Tune by Cindy Thomson
Conqueror ButtonThanks to all of you who voted. I understand the competition was fierce. But since it was a competition between books, it was friendly. I think the other books had some great covers and are worthy of checking out.

Here is the link to the announcement.

Why a Competition?

The winner gets free exposure on several blogs, and hopefully new readers will discover the book. There is literally an ocean of new books published every year, so it’s hard to get noticed. As an author, nothing makes me sadder than to write a book no one knows about. I encourage people, whenever they find an author they enjoy reading, to write a review for Amazon, Goodreads, and Barne & Noble. And to tell their friends.

Thank You!

For voting and for reading! I write my stories for YOU!

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

When I Wear This Shirt…

It never fails. No matter where I wear this shirt people tell me they identify. They often tell me they want one.

Bedtime t-shirt campaign

Ordering the Shirt

I’ve asked many times who wants one. Some of you tell me you do, but so far not enough to put in another order. But with all the comments I get–a musician at the Irish festival, a TSA guy at the Columbus airport, a banker when we went in to apply for a loan, a lady walking past me at a used book sale, a young girl and her mother who came to my festival book table–I know there are several of you out there who would like one.

These Would Make Great Gifts

My sister gave them to her grandkids’ teachers for Christmas. I bet you have a reader on your list. They come in all sizes from kids to XXXXL. We can do unisex and/or ladies styles. They are a nice quality. I love mine.

So Just Leave Me a Comment Telling Me You’re Interested.

If I have your contact info, I will keep you posted. You can send me a message by using the contact form. The price will be somewhere around $20 depending on the number of orders. The more ordered, the lower the price. We could also do sweatshirts, but the cost of course is higher.

(And for full disclosure, my web site appears on the back.)

Do you read past your bedtime? If so, you need this shirt. #reader #books Click To Tweet

Cover Reveal!

Here is the cover to my new book, Sofia’s Tune, which will be published in November, the final book in the Ellis Island series following Grace’s Pictures and Annie’s Stories.

A Little Background

I directed this cover myself, it was designed by the talented Kim Draper, and photographed by my daughter-in-law Kelsey Thomson. The model is Kelsey’s long-time friend Kaitlan Livingston. I rented the costume from a local shop.

The Meaning

The dog in the story is named Luigi. He plays such an important role, he had to be on the cover. The music represents “tune,” the direction of our lives, the manner in which we orchestrate our plans.

Please Leave a Comment Here

I would love to know what you think! (Description below)

 

Sofia's Tune by Cindy Thomson

 

In Sofia’s Tune, we meet Sofia Falcone, a young woman who has been living in New York only a short time when she is stunned to discover a family secret, one that soon sends her beloved mother into a mental institution. Scrambling to keep her job and care for her mother, Sofia is convinced confronting the past will heal all wounds, but her old world Italian family wants to keep the past in the past.

During this time, she encounters Antonio, a Vaudeville pianist with a street-smart dog, seeking to discover why his father was mysteriously killed. Their crossed paths uncover a frightening underworld in Little Italy. Bringing the truth to light may cost Sofia’s mother’s sanity, Antonio’s career, and the livelihoods of countless immigrants. Change is on the horizon, but it may not bring what they expect.

Celtic Wisdom Audio

Celtic Wisdom by Cindy ThomsonAlmost an Audiobook!

I’m trying something new! Since Celtic Wisdom is out of print, I thought I’d try recording an audio version. Uh, not as simple as it sounds! There are Irish words in there, and the book was published in UK English, so some things are not the way I would usually say them. For instance, sometimes their verb-subject agreement is different.

It’s not perfect, but for those of you who like listening to podcasts, you might like it. (It’s possible I’m the only who will notice these quirks.)

A Free Introduction

So I’m posting the mp3 here of the first chapter. If you like it, let me know: would you be willing to pay say, 99cents, for additional chapters? It takes me hours to record one part, so I need to know if this something readers would like before I press on.

The chapter titles:

How the Ancient Irish Found the Christian Path

Patrick

Brigid

Columcille

The Apostles of Erin

Celtic Learning and Art

Celtic Prayer

Learning about the Scots-Irish with author Cindy Thomson

The Free Chapter

The Dress by Kate Kerrigan, Book Review

Reading Widely

That’s what I try to do, and sometimes that means reading books not yet published in this country. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of The Dress by Kate Kerrigan. If you can, order it from the UK.

My Review

The DressThe Dress by Kate Kerrigan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Dress by Kate Kerrigan combines fashion and one’s search for love beautifully in a tale that spans generations. Told with an obviously deep knowledge of the world of fashion design, this novel made me root for Honor and Joy, the two main characters in the 1950s tale, and certainly for poor workaholic Lily in the modern tale whose grandfather’s past in Ireland is a mystery to her. There were a lot of characters in this novel, and at first I did not understand how their stories would connect, but wanting to know what would happen to them kept me turning pages, and the beautiful message that Honor learns late in her life gave me that satisfied sigh that I’m always looking for in a book. Recommended for those who love stories that dig to a level deeper than mere romance to explore human relationships and family legacies.

View all my reviews