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 H. S. Contino, Images of America, markets, Oregon coast, Oregon history, promotion, Reading, sale, shipwrecks, social networking, updates, Writing

2021 Florence Festival of Books

 

Good morning!

Mark your calendars! This Saturday is the Florence Festival of Books. I hesitated to write about this before because I was worried that the event would be cancelled due to the current coronavirus surge in Oregon. However, I received an email this morning from the event sponsor and we’re still good to go.

As my regular followers are aware, I’m a big fan of the Florence Festival of Books. It’s one of the largest annual book festivals on the Oregon coast. The first annual event just happened to be in 2011 which was the year I published my first full length book, Shipwrecks of Coos County (Arcadia Publishing). I had good timing! Because of this I can proudly say that I have had a booth at every Florence Festival of Books.

Last year (2020) would have been the 10th annual event but it was cancelled due to the coronavirus. As I mentioned earlier, I was worried that year’s event would be cancelled as well– especially since we’re int he middle of a virus surge– but they’re going forward with the event. In order to keep everyone safe, there will be some additional rules and restrictions. For instance, everyone– both attendees and authors/publishers– will be required to wear masks. They’re also encouraging us to have hand sanitizer available at our booths and the event hosts will be setting up hand sanitizer stations throughout the building.

The Florence Festival of Books is a great venue. Every year it gets a little bit bigger. The majority of the booths are for authors, but there are usually a few publishers as well. One of my favorite parts is the diversity. The event draws a mix of traditional and independent (self) published authors who represent a variety of genres and reading levels. 

My booth at the 2019 Florence Festival of Books.

Since I usually attend the events alone, I don’t get a lot of time to wander through the booths. But the venue does provide volunteers that are available to watch your booth for short periods of time. I like to take advantage of this opportunity to walk around, say hello to the authors I know, and purchase a few new books for my personal collection. 

There’s something for everyone! During past events, I’ve visited with fellow authors that write books for kids through adults, fiction and non-fiction, and a variety of genres. My personal favorites are local history, science-fiction, and I have a soft spot for children’s books (I have a healthy inner child!). But, the event draws a variety of other genres as well includes graphic novels, romance, and mystery.

***

The Florence Festival of Books is held at the Florence Events Center which is located at 715 Quince Street in Florence, Oregon. It’s a two day event.

On Friday night (September 17th, 2021) they will have a presentation featuring Melody Carlson as the keynote speaker. There will also be an educational panel featuring local authors Bob Welch and Bill Sulllivan.

The actual book fair will be held this Saturday, September 18th from 10 am until 4 pm. Attendance is free, but there will be numerous books available for sale. They also have a small cafe that sells food and drinks.

If you’re in the area, please stop by my booth and say hello! If you mention this blog post then I’ll give you a 25% discount toward the purchase of any of my autographed books.

i hope to see you there!

~ 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

Posted in Books, community activities, H. S. Contino, promotion, Reading, social networking, updates, Writing

And the Winner is…

 Good afternoon!

Just a quick follow-up post today. Thank you to everyone that participated in the recent giveaway for my new novel, “Alternatives.” The deadline to enter was Saturday, July 31st, 2021. So, on Sunday morning, I wrote down all of the names and randomly drew one.

Drum roll, please! And the winner is… Doc!

Small world, Doc also happens to be one of my neighbors. (Since two of my books are about local history, it’s not really surprising that the majority of my fans live on the Oregon coast). Yesterday afternoon, I signed a copy of the book (along with a personalized message) and walked it down the street to deliver it. How’s that for personalized customer service? 😉

Doc, I hope you enjoy reading the book!

Happy reading (and writing) everyone!

~ H. S. Contino 📚