Posted in Artists, author, Book Reviews, Bookaholic, Books, H. S. Contino, Inspirational, motivation, pets, promotion, Reading, Writing

Fan Mail Friday!

Good morning!

Can you believe that we’re approaching the end of 2021? Time sure does fly by!

For this month’s Fan Mail Friday, I’m sharing another older review. This one is for a collection of pet and animal stories that I published back in 2013. I self-published the book so I could easily donate a portion of the sales to a local animal shelter. I initially chose Pacific Cove Humane Society because they were fund raising to build a new local shelter. Eventually, the organization re-reviewed their priorities after realizing that there was no longer a need to build a second shelter. Since then, I’ve been making donations to the Coos County Animal Shelter.

“Paw Prints” was a lot of fun to write! It’s a bit of a memoir since it includes numerous stories about myself, my childhood, and the pets that I’ve had over the years. I also invited a few friends to contribute stories to the collection– including my mother and sister-in-law.

The best part? The photo on the cover is Loki, my black Labrador Retriever. She’s a puppy in the photograph, but she’ll be 10 in February 2022. Like I said earlier, time flies by!

I hope you all have a great weekend! 

~ H. S. Contino

Posted in Artists, author, Book Reviews, Bookaholic, Books, community activities, H. S. Contino, history, Images of America, markets, Oregon coast, Oregon history, promotion, Reading, sale, social networking, updates

Florence Festival of Books Follow-Up

Good morning! 

Earlier this month I wrote about the upcoming Florence Festival of Books. The event is usually annual, but it was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. I was excited to return this year. (Fun fact: the 1st annual Florence Festival of Books was in 2011– which was the year my first book was published. As a result, I can proudly say that I’ve attended every year!). 

This year got off to a bit of a rough start. It was stormy on the Oregon coast Friday night. I’m such a light sleeper that the strong winds and heavy rains woke me up several times. Fortunately, by Saturday morning the storm was letting up. It rained off and on during my drive to Florence, but it cleared up about an hour after the festival opened. 

My 2021 booth

I knew when I signed up that this year’s festival would be different. In fact, for the week leading up to the event, I half expected to receive a message saying it had been cancelled. We’ve been experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases on the Oregon coast over the past few months (mostly due to the Delta variant). But, they decided to go ahead with the event while implementing several safety efforts. 

If you look closely, you might recognize the author in the lower left photograph.

In addition to requiring everyone (both vendors and visitors) to wear masks inside the Florence Events Center, they limited the number of booths. If I remember right, they said there was 1/3 less booth this year than in past years. This allowed them to space out the tables which made it easier for participants to practice social distancing. They also had hand sanitizer stations set up throughout the building.

Despite advertising the event through all of the regular channels, this year’s book festival didn’t draw as many visitors as it usually does. Given the circumstances, this wasn’t surprising; but, if I’m being brutally honest, it was still disappointing. 

I’m incredibly grateful to the people that did attend the event. I enjoyed chatting with the visitors to my booth. Since I wrote two books on local history, I tend to catch the attention of fellow history enthusiasts. This inevitably leads to interesting conversations! I also enjoyed catching up with several of my fellow west coast authors.

Baby book’s 1st book festival…

I’m looking forward to next year’s Florence Festival of Books. Fingers crossed that the world has returned to “normal” by then!

Happy reading!

~ H. S. Contino

Posted in author, Bookaholic, Books, community activities, H. S. Contino, Reading, updates, Writing

Online Writing

Good morning!

It occurred to me recently that I don’t think I’m shared my online articles on this blog. Over the past ten years, I’ve published numerous short articles online on the webpage, HubPages. Often these are practice articles or things that I wrote as “warm ups” before moving on to bigger writing projects (like my novels).

Work in progress…

As my regular followers know, I’m a hodgepodge. I’m interested in a variety of topics and this is reflected in my writing. The articles that I’ve published on HubPages vary from recipes to book reviews to financial management to pets to fun outdoor activities.

Most of the articles are short, so they won’t take up a lot of your time. Please, feel free to check them out. I’ve published articles under my usual pen name, H. S. Contino, but I’ve also published under the nickname “Reprieve26.”

My HubPages author profile:

https://hubpages.com/@reprieve26

Have a great weekend!

~ H. S. Contino 🤓

Posted in Artists, author, Book Reviews, Bookaholic, Books, crafting, H. S. Contino, Inspirational, promotion, Reading, updates, Writing

Introducing Fan Mail Fridays!

 Good morning!

You’ve heard of “Meatless Mondays” and “Throwback Thursdays.” Today I’m introducing a new one: Fan Mail Fridays. Once a month or so, I’ll share a positive review of my books or handmade crafts from either Etsy or Good Reads.

As my fellow writers, artists, and other creative types know, it’s easy to get discouraged. Most people don’t pursue artistic pursuits to get rich. We do it because we love it. Creating art– whether it’s writing books, painting, crafting, making music, etc– is hard work. Most people only ever see the finished result, but those of us that create know how much hard work goes into creating our art. 

We also know about all of the failures. The projects that simply didn’t work out. The ideas that were better in concept than reality. And we’re familiar with the sad reality that sometimes we aren’t at the skill level that we need to do a project justice. To be fair, we get a little better with every project and every time we practice… but, we’re only human.

With all of this in mind, it can be really nice to receive positive feedback. And it’s worth occasionally going back and re-reading our fan mail.

To get this new series started, I’ll be sharing one of my most recent pieces of fan mail. It’s a positive review that I received for my most recently published book, “Alternatives.” The novel was a “labor of love” as the expression goes. Working on it helped get me through the 2020– which, as we all know, was an incredibly challenging year! Overall, I spent 2 full years working on the novel. Since I was working with a shoestring budget, I did everything from coming up with the idea, writing the story, editing and formatting the manuscript, and designing the cover. It’s not perfect, but I’m happy with how it turned out. I’m so relieved that my readers enjoyed the book too!

Thank you, Earnie and Ellie Efforts, for your positive feedback. I’m so glad that you enjoyed reading my book!

~ H. S. Contino

Posted in Artists, author, Book Reviews, Bookaholic, Books, community activities, crafting, H. S. Contino, motivation, Outdoor Activities, pets, promotion, Reading, social networking, updates, Writing

Let’s Connect!

 Good afternoon!

I hope that everyone is enjoying their last few weeks of summer. The weather here on the Oregon coast has been gorgeous! Loki and I have been enjoying lots of long walks! We’re so blessed to live in an area with an abundance of natural beauty to enjoy!

Walking with Loki in Mingus Park

Just a quick post today. Someone recently mentioned that they had trouble finding one of my social media accounts. So, I thought I’d make it easy for everyone and list them all here. I use most of the popular social media platforms, but I spend the most time on Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to visit my social media pages, follow me, or send me a message. I love hearing from readers and befriending fellow authors/artists/creative types!

Facebook:

Author, H. S. Contino https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHSContino/

Reprieve’s Corner https://www.facebook.com/ReprievesCorner

Twitter:

@HSContino  https://twitter.com/hscontino?lang=en

Pinterest:

User name: Reprieve’s Corner

  • Note: Pinterest is fun because you can see that I really am a hodgepodge when it comes to my interests. I have boards on a variety of topics Including books, animals, stargazing, science-fiction (books, movies, and TV shows), & more!

LinkedIn:

H. S. Contino, Writer & Small Business Owner at Reprieve’s Corner

https://www.linkedin.com/in/h-s-contino-0ba72929/

Instagram:

User name:  hscontino  

https://www.instagram.com/hscontino/

Tumblr:

User name: hscontino

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/hscontino

Blogs:

Blogger https://hscontino.blogspot.com/

WordPress https://hscontino.wordpress.com/

HubPages:

User name: HS Contino (Reprieve26)

https://hubpages.com/@reprieve26

Amazon Author Central:

User name: H. S. Contino

https://author.amazon.com/home

GoodReads Author Profile:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6916217.H_S_Contino

As you can see, I’ve signed up with numerous platforms over the years. I know that everyone has different preferences and favorites when it comes to social media, so my approach has been to create accounts where people can find me (and by extension, my work).

Have a great week everyone!

~ H. S. Contino

Posted in Artists, author, Bookaholic, Books, Camp NaNoWriMo, H. S. Contino, NaNoWriMo, Reading, social networking, updates, Writing, Writing Advice

Book Title Announcement: “The Other Mae”

 Good afternoon!

Thank you all for your comments and feedback on my recent post, “A Rose by Any Other Name.” After giving it a lot of thought and considering dozens of options, I settled on a new name for my most recent novel: “The Other Mae.” (I’m still working on the cover art).

Possible Cover Art
Another Cover Option

I like this title for several reasons. The story is about a woman finding herself after a traumatic attack that leaves her with amnesia. The main character’s full name is Ellie-Mae, but she shortened it to Mae as an adult. I like how the new title plays on the word “me.” The novel chronicles Mae’s journey of self discovery as she slowly heals both physically and psychologically from the attack. It’s the story of Mae finding herself. 

* Spoiler Alert *

At one point in the story, Ellie-Mae comes across some of her old journals. As she reads them, she gains insight into her life before the attack; but, she often compares herself to the person she was before the attack– in other words, “The Other Mae.”

Phew! I really like the new title, and I’m so relieved to have finally solved this problem. I wrote the initial rough draft of the novel back in the fall of 2019. I gave it the working title “This Forgotten Life,” but I was never happy with it.

I’d also like to acknowledge my friend and fellow writer for her help. She uses the pen name “Tatiana Foxx,” and she writes erotic romance. Thank you, Tatiana, for helping me brainstorm title ideas and providing feedback. I really appreciate your help!

Feel free to check out Tatiana Foxx’s webpage and sign up for updates. She’s currently working on her first novel, “Not My Alpha.”

Tatiana Foxx Romance

Happy reading (and writing) everyone!

~ H. S. Contino