Category Archives: Ellis Island Series

99 Cent Books to Start the New Year!

Great Savings on Ebooks!

Grace's Pictures by Cindy Thomson

Book One, Ellis Island Series

What better way to start 2017 than with a great deal on some ebooks? My publisher has Grace’s Pictures on sale all month, along with some other great reads. Only 99 cents in January! Click here for the deal.

Grace’s Pictures is the first book of the Ellis Island series, so if you haven’t gotten started, now’s a great time.

But Wait, There’s More!

Sofia's Tune by Cindy Thomson

Book Three, Ellis Island Series

There is also a sale on Sofia’s Tune (book 3 in the Ellis Island series.) But you have to hurry with this one. The price is 99 cents for a couple of days, then goes up to 1.99 for a few days, and then back to its regular price of 2.99, which seriously is still a good deal.

Sofia’s Tune (Ellis Island Book 3) <<<Click this link for the deal.

 

That’s Not All!

a-house-for-agnes-cover-free-tag-picDid you know there is a sequel to the series? It’s short, but helps to explain how Mrs. Hawkins came to open Hawkins House, the setting of all three novels. And it’s FREE! You can’t do better than free. All you need to do is sign up for newsletter. You probably saw a pop-up, but if not, click here.

Happy Reading!

photo by Paul Bence

photo by Paul Bence

Christmas at Hawkins House (Ellis Island Series)

Creative Commons, Paul Townsend

Creative Commons, Paul Townsend

Christmas Past

As most people who enjoy learning about the past, I am intrigued by past Christmas traditions.  The Christmases of our ancestors were varied depending on the culture they came from. In book one of my Ellis Island series, Grace McCaffery, a recent immigrant from Ireland, must learn to prepare Christmas dinner for her American employees. Here is a excerpt from the book:

Grace muttered under her breath later in the day as she polished crystal glasses and placed them back in the dining room sideboard. Christmas Eve and she was expected to create such fancy dishes as she’d never seen before. “Spiced chutney and turtle soup and butter crème pie. How am I supposed to make those things? And why would anyone want to eat them?”

Thomson, Cindy (2013-05-17). Grace’s Pictures (Ellis Island Book 1) (p. 165). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Turtle soup BBC photo

Turtle soup BBC photo

Grace grew up in a poor house in Ireland. Her experience with Christmas traditions was limited.

“…We didn’t much celebrate Christmas in Ireland.” She stretched the truth a bit. Some Irish folks would expect visits from Father Christmas, but Grace held few memories of holiday traditions herself. Even before the workhouse, they’d had no time for it. They went to church and roasted whatever portion of lamb their neighbors could spare. Nothing more.

Thomson, Cindy (2013-05-17). Grace’s Pictures (Ellis Island Book 1) (p. 204). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

“Nothing more.” Observing Christmas was simpler in the olden days.

Is Christmas Different Today?

Christmas is certainly commercialized today, but even back in the early 1900s, people complained. They thought too much emphasis was put on toys, too many of them in store windows. Too many? Still to come was the Christmas catalogue and lines to sit on Santa’s lap and give him our wish list. But even so, those complaints seemed to sense what was to come. It’s easy to romanticize the past, but despite how different our versions of Christmas might be, people are not all that different. We still want peace–on earth and in our homes. All the rest is just glitter and wrapping.

Christmas Lights

Families still gather together. People go to church for candlelight services. Most people who don’t work in service essential jobs like fire fighting or nursing still have the day off because it is a special day, a sacred day. That was true back in the early 1900s. It is still true today.

Mary and Jesus

photo by PROWaiting For The Word

Grace, like the characters that follow in the next books of the series, learns that although people are different in their customs, their economic status, and social interactions, everyone wants the same thing: to be loved. As the Grinch learned in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, perhaps Christmas is about something more–something more than we tend to think it is. Perhaps, after all, it is about love.

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!

Talking about the appeal of novel series. What are some your favorites? Click To Tweet

Read books!

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.

Hurry To Get These Shirts For Readers

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Maybe you want people to know that the dark circles under your eyes are not from drinking late the pub. Maybe you just want to celebrate the fact that reading is your pastime. Perhaps you want to invite other readers like yourself to speak up and introduce themselves.

Maybe you just want to support a cause.

I think there could be lots of reasons you need one of these shirts, and time is running out!

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Some people wear shirts bearing the logo of these favorite sports teams. Some people wear flags on their shirts. Some wear proudly their favorite clothing brand. So, why not readers?

Wear Quality

I’ve ordered these shirts before. They are well made, one of my favorites to pull out of my closet. So there is no need to worry about that. They are available in blue or green, children sizes through XXXXL. T-shirt or sweatshirt hoodie.Bedtime t-shirt campaign

Tell a Friend About These

If you’ll let people know about these shirts, you’ll be doing me a favor. Below are two ways:

If you #read past your bedtime, you need this shirt. Hurry before time runs out to get one!… Click To Tweet

Share this link: http://www.booster.com/ellisislandseries

Thank you!