New Read + Author “Tip Jar”!

I’ve got a couple fun new things to share: a fun new read and (hopefully) a fun new way to buy it!

THE NEW READ:

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This release is called Funny Meeting You Here. It’s comprised of six sweet, humorous shorts. I don’t know about you guys, but the entertainment I’ve been gravitating toward lately is all light and often comedic. I want to smile and chuckle. I’ve been loving Fallon each night—watching his informal interviews and his daughters playing. When I sat down to write during our weeks of isolation, all I wanted to write was something equally sweet and funny. Also, as far as I’m concerned, the best part of any story is the point at which the main characters meet. I combined that hunger for light entertainment with my love of chance encounters to write Funny Meeting You Here. These are quite literally stories of meetings—funny scenarios that bring two characters together. It’s my hope that when you read them, regardless of what the world is like just beyond your door, it will bring two smiles: one to your face and one to your heart.

THE NEW WAY TO BUY IT

Recently, I’ve been hearing from readers wanting to better support authors during the Coronavirus pandemic. Many have contacted me to tell me they’ve bought paperbacks rather than the lower-cost ebooks. That’s incredible! But that’s a big leap between a .99 ebook and a $10 (or more!) printed book. So I’ve started a Payhip store (payhip.com/HollySchindler) as a kind of “tip jar.” At Payhip, you can absolutely still buy Funny Meeting You Here for the listed price of .99, but if you want to set the price to chip in an extra few cents, that’s fantastic, too. I just wanted to give readers a way to offer support and still have enough money left during these lean times to buy themselves another read. One of the best parts of Payhip is that it allowed me to integrate with BookFunnel! When you buy from Payhip, you’ll receive two emails: one from Payhip and one from BookFunnel, both with download links. You can download from either Payhip or Bookfunnel, whichever you’re more comfortable using. Since I’ve been distributing my ARCs and review copies via BookFunnel, and you’re all familiar with that site, I definitely wanted to give you guys that option.

AND, OF COURSE, YOU CAN ALSO BUY THE BOOK AT ALL THE OLD FAVORITE SITES

Funny Meeting You Here is live right now on Amazon, Apple, B&N, Kobo, and Scribd.

Thanks, guys. I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate you all. Feel free to drop a line to tell me what you think of the Payhip process. And please do stay safe and well.

New Book Blurb – The Art of the Kiss

“Conversational, yet edited with considerable care, the book is like a beautifully wrapped box of chocolate—old-fashioned and sweet.

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“Conveyed in narrative snapshots, the scenes of a small town romance fill the pages of this album-novel, while shining a spotlight on a photographer with a retired camera. Obsessed with the past and searching for meaning, every word is like a piece in a juxtaposed puzzle.”

The BookLife Prize

COVER REVEAL: THE ART OF THE KISS

The Art of the Kiss

A young photographer, an old camera, and a bit of magic disturb the dust, setting in motion events that will reawaken a love story fifty years in the making.

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This is not your typical love story.

It’s about the guts of a long-term relationship. It’s about dreams and the loss of youth and fame. It’s something of a reinvented fairy tale. It’s a little bit magical.

So sure, it’s about love. But it’s also about much, much more.

I’ve been working on The Art of the Kiss off and on now for over a year. Told in snapshots, in a non-linear format, with multiple POVs. This novel demanded it be written in a somewhat non-conventional way.


From the back cover:

Can you have more than one happily ever after?

Taken in a flash at the beginning of their life together, Sharon Minyard’s portrait of herself and her husband, Michael, hangs on her studio wall as a testament to the possibility of love.

Once drawing crowds to gaze in wonder, it has since become all but forgotten—until a young photographer, an old camera, and a bit of magic disturb the dust, setting in motion events that will revive its meaning…

Showing—in black and white—that in a town named Fairyland, the dream of forever is but a snapshot away.


Okay, that was more than just a cover reveal. But you don’t work on a book for more than a year and not get excited it about actually seeing it in the world!

To celebrate, the book is discounted during its pre-order period. You can snag a copy here.

NEWS, NEWS, NEWS – REVIEWERS NEEDED!

I feel like I’ve been posting incessantly about copyediting and polishing…now, I’m finally ready to start talking about publishing!

I’ve got a couple different projects–for two different age groups–about to release.

ADULT

The first is an adult general fiction novel. I’ve been working on this one in fits and spurts for more than a year. I know, I know–on blogs and on social media, us writers (yep, myself included) have always had a tendency to slobber over pending releases like proud parents. How many times have you heard all of us proclaim, “This is the book of my heart!”?? I’ll soooo be guilty of this if I spend too much time describing the work. (In fact, that sentence popped into my head as I started to write this post.) I’ll just say here I’m really excited about this one. I’ve experimented slightly with overall structure, and my main characters are again somewhat non-traditional.

I’m also looking to expand my pool of reviewers. I’ll be distributing my initial review copies through my newsletter. I hope you sign up for my adult newsletter–which will also provide early cover reveals, etc.–here.

MG

The second soon-to-release book is a new MG work. It’s a blend of fiction and how-to; if you’re a teacher or tutor or a parent who knows you’ll soon be looking for something to keep your kids’ minds engaged over the summer months, I hope you’ll sign up for my MG-specific newsletter. Again, I’m looking to expand my pool of reviewers, and I’ll be offering opportunities for newsletter subscribers to get their hands on a copy for review. Sign up for the MG newsletter here.

New Release: CHRISTMAS AT RUBY’S

Welcome to Ruby’s, where the Christmas spirit is alive and well…

ChristmasatRuby's

Ruby’s Place (the classy family-friendly nightspot that once lit the night sky in tiny Sullivan, Missouri) is no more—closed for decades—but that doesn’t keep those who once shared an eggnog or plate of homemade marshmallows from remembering the tinsel-wrapped moments Ruby’s supplied come Christmas.

On a snowy holiday evening, feeling a bit down on her luck, a middle-aged Angela finds herself back at Ruby’s, staring through its foggy, grimy window to remember the Christmases she spent there with her favorite aunt as a child. Could the best Christmas present of all simply be spending one last moment with that special loved one, in a place where memories were born?

At Ruby’s, it seems, the “spirits” are not confined to just the dusty liquors behind the bar, and such a Christmas wish might not be made in vain.

Available as an e-book or paperback.

I wanted to be sure to make the e-book affordable for the holidays; you can snag one for $.99. But I also love the design possibilities of print. The Christmas at Ruby’s paperback features some additional magical, sparkling, holiday  elements that I just can’t put in my e-books (people read on so many devices, I really have to keep e-books as simple as possible in order to ensure they’re readable).

At $6.00, the paperback is still affordable, as well. And you get the benefit of holding the book…to me, there’s something about print that just seems right for the Christmas season. Maybe it’s the old-fashioned-ness of it, which is so much like the tradition-filled holidays. Or maybe it’s just that print seems extra special these days. And the holidays are when we bring out the good china, the nice dresses, the ornaments collected by the family for decades. It’s when we pull out all our sentimental, special, story-filled trinkets. Print books just seem to fit in so nicely with all of that.


I get such joy from writing my holiday tales. And Christmas at Ruby’s has emerged as my favorite of all the holiday tales I’ve written.

I hope you love visiting Ruby’s as well!

WINNIE AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD HOTELS

In honor of ALL ROADS, my latest release (a mysterious story of family and, yes, dogs), a post about childhood dogs and book vacations:

This is Winnie:

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Actually, her full name was Winnie D. Pooch, and she was my childhood dog (like that name didn’t already totally tip you off).

And she is the reason why we stayed in the nastiest, scariest, weirdest hotels on the planet.

We never boarded her. Not once in 17 years. It honestly never crossed anybody’s mind. She was just always with us. She was in the car when Mom picked me and my brother up from school—or dropped us off in the morning. She went to the grocery store (weather permitting), she went on weekend camping excursions in the RV (which is where she’s standing here), and she was along for the ride on every extended family vacation we ever took. She went to Texas and Fort Gibson, OK and Branson, MO—etc., etc., etc. She was a Maltese, really small (maybe 6 lbs at her heaviest), easy to carry, totally innocent looking, and she was allowed into every single museum or shop we ever went to. Every. Single. One. Once, we took her to an outdoor restaurant in Texas. It was hot as hades, and all we wanted was something to drink. At first, waitstaff was going to kick us out (just couldn’t have a dog in a place where food was being served), but after about thirty seconds, we were getting bowls of water all around.

It wasn’t like she was an angel. She was prone to mad barking fits (once, she tried to “kill” a lifesized concrete buffalo on a trip to Oklahoma). She wouldn’t have known “sit” or “stay” or “c’mere” were ever words that applied to her. She sure knew “go,” though. (As in, “Do you want to go?”)

Always.

Anyway, when we were on the road (sans-RV), back in the ‘80s, we generally ran into dog trouble when it came to finding hotels. Honestly, part of the reason for that was that my dad would never push it when told “no dogs.” He would never explain she was housebroken or wouldn’t bother anyone (as long as there was no concrete wildlife in the room or walls of mirrors—THAT was a disaster, don’t get me started). He never even offered to pay a pet fee / deposit. If someone told him no, that was that. And we were on to the next place down the road. Which was every bit as likely to say no dogs, too.

Where we wound up? Oh, man. Places where headboards fell off, where no one was allowed to walk barefoot on the carpet, where the cleaning crew once left this note for us taped to the bathroom mirror: “THIS PLACE SUCKS!”

Yes, it did.

But the thing is, I remember every single one of those places. I remember every shady character I met at an ice machine. I remember every long-winded story one decidedly wacky guy told me poolside while Winnie dog paddled (actually, Mom said she was just walking on top of the thick pool sludge). We still joke about that housekeeping note and about being sure, in Wentzville, that the stuff on the rug was actually leftover chalk (from a recently deceased body’s chalk outline).

Maybe you do remember the bumps in the road more than you remember the times of smooth sailing. Well—the bumps and how you dealt with it, or the sheer fact that you all got through it. Maybe we all even get hungry for disruptions and surprises working their way into the everyday humdrum—and that’s part of the reason we go on vacation in the first place.

Maybe, too, that’s why we gravitate toward fiction—maybe that’s also a trip, a vacation from the norm.

Maybe, in the end, we most like winding up in the places we least expect.