Tag Archives: Cindy Thomson

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!

Still Here!

Yes, I am.

writerthinkingThe Life of a Writer

I like blogging. I know some writers dread it, but for me, it’s a way to communicate directly with readers. It takes a looooong time to publish a book. A blog lets me publish something sooner. And I get to write about anything, although on this blog I mostly keep to writing projects, history, and genealogy. But, if I decided to write about baseball, I just might!

However, I don’t end up posting as often as I’d like. Other things take priority, including getting Sofia’s Tune finished (I’m close!) and then when I get a head cold (haven’t had one in two years so I’m pouting!) things slow down.

I Still Chat on Facebook

You can find me at www.facebook.com/cindyswriting and I’d love for you to “like” and “follow” that page so we can keep in touch. Facebook is different, of course, and you never know what I’ll be prompted to post there: pictures, videos, thoughts on writing, links to other blog posts…

Never Fear, I AM Still Here!

All that to say that I’m still around, even when I have to get my head down and keep on writing. Are you around??? Let me know!  🙂

The Journey to Bring Readers Sofia’s Tune

Cindy Thomson's novel Sofia's Tune is coming!A Canceled Book Contract

It happens far more often in the publishing industry than you might think. At first I was crushed, but it happened a few years ago and I’ve recovered. 😉

It was a business decision, but one that I felt was unfair to readers who liked the series and wanted to see it wrapped up. Grace’s Pictures was hailed by Library Journal as,

GracePicforweb“…a delightful story of overcoming obstacles. Lynn N. Austin fans will savor this historical fiction series debut.”

Grace’s Pictures at this writing has received 143 customer reviews on Amazon, nearly half 5 stars.

 

 

 

 

Annie’s Stories was a 2014 Lime Award Nominee from the Christian Manifesto and Romantic Times gave it a 4-star review. And on Amazon 88% of reviewers gave it four or five stars.

Diane on Amazon wrote:

If you enjoy historical fiction and Christian fiction, Annie’s Stories is a must-read for you. I felt like I was catching up with old friends, and made some new ones that I hope to meet up with again the near future.”

I think readers should be able to catch up with what’s happening in 1903 with these characters and to meet new ones as well.Annie's Stories by Cindy Thomson

So Why Was the Book Canceled?

Low sales. That is the bottom line. And in this market it is hard to get noticed. I don’t blame my publisher at all for the low sales. They marketed and got it reviewed all over. In fact, I received the most publisher support with these two books than I’ve ever had in my publishing career. Besides low sales, Christian publishers are publishing fewer historical titles these days, and bigger selling authors have become available when their publishers shut down or cut back.

I don’t blame myself either. I worked really hard to get the word out there. In fact, I don’t blame anyone! It’s just the way it is.

Why This is Not as Bad as it Sounds!

Authors have many more options these days. I’m going to publish Sofia’s Tune myself. BUT, having experienced superior editing and outstanding cover design, I will not be content to do a quick and inferior job. And it takes money to publish a great quality book. So I decided to see if readers would like to help with this effort, and I got a great response on Pubslush. I’m continuing the campaign here on my web site until I send the book off to an editor and a cover designer. Here is how you can be a part for as little as $5.

10 Irish Books: Reading Your Way Through St. Patrick’s Day

10 Irish Books for St. Patrick's Day! Click To Tweet

About St. Patrick

There are many history books and some fiction choices. If you really want to know the man, start with his writings. Two exist: St. Patrick’s Confession

Book of Armagh page

A facsimile page from the Book of Armagh where St. Patrick’s Confession is found. Held at Trinity College in Dublin

and his Letters to the Soldiers of Coroticus. The letter is shorter and meant as an excommunication for Coroticus whose men struck down new converts. The Confession is much longer and is a bit of a biography where we learn about the man.

“I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people, according to our deserts, for quite drawn away from God, we did not keep his precepts.”

But of course his story does not end there. Here are some reading suggestions, in no particular order.

Fiction About St. Patrick

I read this many years ago.

1. Patrick, Son of Ireland by Stephen R. LawheadPatrick by Stephen Lawed

 

I haven’t found much out there. If you know of any St. Patrick’s novels, please leave them in the comments.

2. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie DePaola

Patrick post by Cindy Thomson

Learn About Ireland

Of course you can read many books about leprechauns, if you choose. But if you are like me and want more history, here some suggestions.

3. Celtic Wisdom, Treasures From Ireland by Cindy Thomson

Celtic Wisdom by Cindy Thomson

Even though it’s short, I’m still proud of the early history squeezed into these page with color photographs. If you’d like an autographed copy, let me know. Click on the picture.

 

About Ireland in General

4. Brigid of Ireland by Cindy Thomson

Brigid of Ireland by Cindy Thomson

Brigid of Ireland by Cindy Thomson, ebookDid you know there are three patron saints of Ireland? (If you’ve read Celtic Wisdom, you do know that!) I still have print copies of Brigid of Ireland, or you can get one on your Kindle (or the Kindle app on your computer) for just a few bucks.

But there are plenty more choices than just my books!

5. How The Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill

 

How the Irish Saved Civilization, top Irish books Cindy Thomson

 

A condensed, but still useful, overview of Irish history according to the influence of the Christian monks.

6. Ireland, a Novel, by Frank Delaney

Ireland by Frank Delaney, Irish books Cindy Thomson

Featuring a seanchai, said to be the last of the itinerant storytellers, I really enjoyed this one.

7. Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford

 Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford, Irish books Cindy Thomson

Rutherford writes Sagas, spanning generations of characters. No one offers so much history in a  500 or so pages like he does.

8. The Tea House on Mulberry Street by Sharon Owens

The Tea House by Sharon Owens, Irish Books Cindy Thomson

For a different pace and a great glimpse into modern Ireland. Funny and entertaining. Owens has others as well.

9. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry/Cindy Thomson Irish books

Barry is a gifted writer so you should check out all his books. I enjoy these types of stories where an elderly character tells about her past.

10. In Search of Ancient Ireland by Carmel McCaffrey and Leo Eaton, companion to the PBS Series

In Search of Ancient Ireland by McCaffrey and Eaton/Cindy Thomson Irish books

Truly, if you want to know about Ancient Ireland, read this book. Excellent!

 

Of course there are many more. What Irish books would you recommend for St. Patrick’s Day reading?

A Happy St. Brigid’s Day Giveaway!

It’s St. Brigid’s Day! I hope this day will find you reflecting on the generosity of this Irish saint known to us from legends and stories. Did you know Brigid is one of three patron saints of Ireland?

2010-10-11_09-42-26_406

St. Brigid in the center of these windows in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh, Northern Ireland.

The History

There is much that is known and much that is speculated about St. Brigid. I’ve blogged about some of it. The murals below depict some of the stories. (From St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh.)

2010-10-11_09-45-10_241 2010-10-11_09-45-50_570 2010-10-11_09-46-22_439Learning More History

Celtic Wisdom by Cindy ThomsonIf you’d like to know more about St. Brigid and other ancient Irish saints, enter below for a chance to win a copy of my book Celtic Wisdom: Treasures From Ireland. I’ve devoted an entire chapter to her.

 

 

 

 

 

Enter to win a copy of Cindy Thomson's book, Celtic Wisdom: Treasures From Ireland. #Irishhistory #Ireland Click To Tweet

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Free Book!

Brigid of Ireland by Cindy Thomson, ebook

 

 

I love giving away my books but unfortunately, I can’t afford to give them all way. Still, once in a while I like to run a giveaway on my blog, and today is one of those times!

About the book:

In 5th-century pagan-dominated Ireland, Brigid is born a slave to her own father and is separated from her mother. Desperately seeking love and acceptance, Brigid becomes a believer in Christ. Knowing how the Irish people cling to superstitions and fears, can Brigid overcome them? Will her hatred for her father and a scheming evil sorcerer destroy her faith? Set in the era of St. Patrick, this fantasy-filled novel will captivate readers as Brigid must choose between God’s will and the desire to save her family.

Brigid of Ireland ebook

If you have an ebook reader, you might like to give this book a try. Even if you don’t, you can download the Kindle app for free and read on your computer.

If you like Irish history, ancient historical fiction, stories of adventure and struggles of faith, saints and druids, kings and monks, you might like this book.

The Giveaway

All you have to do is enter through Rafflecopter below. The more entries you choose, the more chances you’ll have to win. Thanks for participating!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why I Can’t Forget 2014

Clonmacnoise High Cross
Always remember to forget the troubles that passed your way.
But never forget to remember the blessings that come each day.
~Irish Saying

And that’s why I chose to count my blessings in 2014. Not that I haven’t learned from mistakes. The true purpose of making mistakes is to learn from them and try not to repeat them. But dwelling on them isn’t helpful. Novelists really do have to protect their minds and spirits in order to focus on writing stories that not only entertain but also inspire.

Now that I’ve written that, I realize that the bad things that happen in life also help to form inspiring stories so long as hope is still visible.

Looking Forward Without Blinders

Author Cindy Thomson's bookcasesComplaining about life only brings you down. Focusing on moving forward, on new opportunities, on the hopeful future is what motivates us to keep on going, don’t you agree? But if that’s all you do, you will miss out on the wonderful experience of counting your blessings. One of my characters (I’m sure it must have been Mrs. Hawkins or perhaps Grace’s mother) taught that no matter how miserable your life seems to you, there is always someone else who has it worse. That perspective is necessary if we’re going to avoid becoming bitter, complaining people no one wants to be around. So I’m taking time to reflect on the blessings that came to me in 2014. I am going to focus on my writing career for this list. I certainly have personal blessings beyond this.

My 2014 Blessings

*I had a second novel published with Tyndale House Publishers! This was a huge blessing. Cindy Thomson Books by the Banks Book FestivalGetting published by a traditional publisher is harder than ever (oops, slipped into a bit of complaining there!) but I was fortunate with this book. It could have very well not happened, but I worked hard, was blessed with fantastic editors and a tremendous cover, and Annie’s Stories was introduced to readers!

*Annie’s Stories was well-received. Sure, there were critics who didn’t like it, but the vast majority of folks who reviewed it, liked it, and most of those liked it a lot. That’s why I wrote the book, for readers. So this was extremely rewarding.

*I did a lot of mentoring in 2014, and I saw many of my students improve vastly. It was a privilege to witness their passion for telling stories. The future is bright with potential when it comes to novels!

*I was able to meet lots of readers this year. I went to many events: book launches, book festivals, multi-author signings, and I saw firsthand how much readers love books. That certainly blessed me.

* I had several media interviews surrounding the launch of Annie’s Stories. That’s a blessing because they are difficult to get for novels.Around Cincinnati radio

*At one of those events (The Dublin Irish Festival–Ohio) I sold a record number of books for me!

Brigid of Ireland by Cindy Thomson, ebook*I was able to re-introduce Brigid of Ireland by making it available on Kindle. There were many blessings involved in that project, including two designer friends who donated their skills: Deirdra Doan who contributed opinions and some of the interior design, and Kim Draper who designed the cover and title page. They really blessed me, and readers too!

*I have learned so much about social media marketing that has helped me connect virtually with readers. My literary agency conducts a yearly marketing seminar, and I was able to go this year. I have also learned a lot from various webinars and newsletters.

*I had another college intern from Denison University this year. Elena did various tasks for me and make some valuable contacts.

*I have some viable ideas and directions for future novels. Woo-hoo! 🙂

Ready Now, Go!

Those were only a few of the blessings. And none about my personal life because I’m trying to stay focused on one topic. Focus, by the way, was My One Word for 2014. For 2015 it is Share.Sharing I’m not sure what I’ll be sharing, or what the whole scope of that word will reveal, but I’m ready to turn toward the New Year without complaining about the publishing industry. I have to make lemonade out of lemons, but that’s a challenge I can only meet if I keep that frame of mind–what I CAN do, not what I can’t. True, the industry has changed. Authors have been left behind in the dust for the most part. But blessings still abound and they will propel me forward in 2015. Ready, set, go!

Cyber Monday Books!!

Cyber Monday buy books

photo by Kevin Marks

Get My Special Cyber Monday Deal!

I could not let this day go by without offering a deal on a couple of my books. So here it is:

  1. Buy EITHER Brigid of Ireland or Celtic Wisdom through my website (print versions only.) Click on the book titles to be taken to the page.
  2. Send me a message to tell me that you’ve done that and you’d like to take advantage of my deal. Put “Cyber Monday Deal” in the subject line.

It’s buy one get one FREE!

Brigid of Ireland by Cindy Thomson3. Tell me which book, Brigid of Ireland or Celtic Wisdom you’d like and I will mail to you for no additional postage. You can get a copy of each of them, or two Brigid, or two Celtic Wisdom. Buy two, get two free, and so on and so on…

4. Don’t forget to tell me how you’d like the books autographed. Books make great Christmas gifts, especially for those on your list interested in Irish topics and Irish history.

What you can do for me

It’s optional, of course, but I’d love it if you shared this on your Facebook wall or Tweeted it.Celtic Wisdom by Cindy Thomson

Just copy:

Author   deal 4 u. Buy a book-already a great price-& get a 2nd 1 free no addit. postage: 

What Great Cyber Monday Deals Have you Found? Share in the Comments!

Cyber Monday Shop for books

photo by Mike McCune