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Archive for the ‘Public service announcements’ Category

Christmas at Fort Clatsop? You be the judge! Enjoy your holidays from Frances Hunter, and check out our historical novels To the Ends of the Earth: The Last Journey of Lewis & Clark, and The Fairest Portion of the Globe.

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The Missouri River flooding in Omaha, Nebraska. That is Interstate 29 underwater. Photo by Larry Geiger.

Though we usually don’t cover current events on this blog, no Lewis & Clark aficionado can ignore the incredible scale of the flooding now taking place on the Missouri River. In the past few weeks, the upper Missouri basin has received nearly a year’s worth of rainfall. In addition, the forecast snow melt runoff is 212 percent of normal across the upper portion of the river system. The result has been massive flooding across Montana, the Dakotas, and now Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri. The Gavins Point Dam floodgates near Yankton, South Dakota, are pouring out enough water to cover a football field with 156 of water every one minute.

For more of Larry Geiger’s photos of the incredible flooding, please visit his slideshow page.

The Great Missouri Flood of 2011

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The Fairest Portion of the Globe

Visit our "Buy Now" page to save on a set of both our novels.

Great news!! ForeWord Reviews has announced the 2010 Book of the Year Awards list of finalists. Representing more than 350 publishers, the finalists were selected from 1400 entries in 56 categories. As ForeWord puts it, “These books are examples of independent publishing at its finest.”

Drum roll please! The Fairest Portion of the Globe is a finalist for the 2010 Book of the Year Awards in the historical fiction category!

The exciting thing about making the short list for ForeWord’s Book of the Year is that award winners are chosen by real librarians and booksellers, who are on the front lines everyday working with patrons and customers. In an industry riddled with trouble and “pay for play” hype, it’s a huge honor to be recognized by a program established just to help independent publishers shine the spotlight on their best titles, and help readers connect with the best in  independent literary and graphic achievement.

Haven’t checked it out yet? The Fairest Portion of the Globe is an epic, intricate historical thriller of the kind that first brought us to notice with To the Ends of the Earth: The Last Journey of Lewis & Clark, also a Foreword Book of the Year finalist (as well as the recipient of several other major honors). As regular readers of this site know, the book’s plot concerns two young soldiers in the frontier army—names, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark—who become caught up in America’s first great crisis for survival.

The Fairest Portion of the Globe mingles several historical plots, not the least important of which derives from the actual conspiracy between Citizen Genet, Thomas Jefferson, and the washed-up Revolutionary hero George Rogers Clark. The adventure of the two young friends binds these stories together in a manner which, we hope, offers readers both a good thrill ride and an inspiring message.

Read an excerpt and reviews and watch the trailer … or, better yet, buy the darn thing! It’s even on sale! Wah hoo!

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Gone Fishin’

Frog and Toad have hit the road.

 Back with new posts soon!

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Operation eBook DropHooah! As of this week, we are proud participants in Operation eBook Drop, a grass-roots effort by independent authors and publishers to make free electronic books available to U.S. troops deployed overseas. Operation eBook Drop was created by independent author Edward C. Patterson, with the support and cooperation of Smashwords. Ed learned through the Kindle message boards that “Whispernet” (the wireless download service for the Amazon Kindle e-reader device) doesn’t work in Iraq. Knowing how desperate troops are for good reading, Ed offered to email all 13 of his ebooks to soldiers for free.

Ed has since enlisted over 325 other independent authors, as well as Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, to help with the cause. Interested soldiers email Ed to get on his list, then participating authors email the soldiers a coupon so they can download their books from Smashwords for free. About 25,000 free coupons have been “dropped” in the past year.

We are so pleased to be part of this effort! It’s nice to be able to give something back to those who risk their lives for our freedom and safety. God bless our troops, and we hope you enjoy the books!

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Back in 2006, when To the Ends of the Earth was published, so-called book blogs were barely a blip on the screen. Now they are truly a phenomenon. Since we finished The Fairest Portion of the Globe and have been getting ready for the release (next month!), I have been astonished to discover dozens of amazing book blogs hosted by intelligent and thoughtful individuals, with their own culture of comments, contests, and creative ways to make reading fun or even competititve. Some of these book blogs are in my blog roll on the right, but there are literally hundreds out there with their own idiosyncratic content and ideas. Check them out — they’re great places to discover the unexpected.

Many book bloggers are passionate about reading challenges. If you’ve never heard of a reading challenge (I hadn’t), the concept is simple. A blogger dreams up an idea, which can be straightforward (read five books by Nobel Prize winners) or off-the-wall (read 26 historical fiction books in which the first word of each title represents a different letter of the alphabet). I admit that when I first heard about reading challenges, I didn’t feel too enthused. They sounded a lot like book clubs, only with the added element of competition.

Me, I put book clubs right in the category of things that it seems like I ought to like, but don’t. I guess I just plain don’t like to be told what to read. And though it seems like I’d enjoy discussing books with other people, I usually don’t (with the exception of my own!). Maybe it’s because most book-clubby types focus on contemporary fiction, which I almost never find the time to read. I usually read books most people think are boring or downright weird, like biographies and history. Blame my mom for not taking me to counseling when she saw me checking out that 600-page biography of Thomas E. Dewey when I was in high school.

But Caribou’s Mom is hosting a terrific reading challenge that I can really get behind. “Reading for A Cure for Childhood Cancer” is aimed at raising money for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, a renowned non-profit that funds research, state-of-the-art equipment and instruments, parent and patient care, and support for doctors at a number of leading pediatric hospitals. You don’t have read any certain type of book, and there are many ways to participate:

  • One Month – Pick any month in 2010 and push yourself to read as many books or pages as you can with a commitment to donate a certain dollar amount per page or book. Consider asking friends or family to sponsor you or match your donation.
  • Three Consecutive Months from January 1st – March 31st. Focus your efforts in three months of reading. Consider teaming up with another reader and “match” each other.
  • Six Consecutive Months from January 1st to June 30th. Use these six months to focus on the cause to raise money to end childhood cancer.
  • Be a superstar. Commit to a full 12 months of reading for a cure, setting a dollar amount to donate for all the books or pages you read in 2010. The choice of HOW to donate is completely up to you.
  • Cancer is a dreadful, difficult ordeal in itself, and childhood cancer has always seemed to me to be one of nature’s most crying injustices. Participating in an easy, fun, and painless fundraiser, doing something I would do anyway, seems like a no-brainer to me.

    Are you an avid reader too? Shall we give it a try? Go to the Reading for a Cure page for full details on how to sign up. Since I read a lot of big tomes, I don’t read that many books in a year, so I am pledging a penny a page throughout 2010 for this cause. Wendy of Caribou’s Mom has promised some big events and updates throughout the year; I’ll keep you posted on that, too.

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