The Dahlonega Sister’s Latest Review


The Dahlonega Sisters received 28 out of 30 points and some pleasant comments from Writer’s Digest. What a nice early Christmas gift!

“Judge, 28th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.”

Despite the very serious and even heartbreaking problems that each of the characters face, The Dahlonega Sisters has a delightful charm to it that draws the reader almost effortlessly into the lives of the McGilvray sisters and the town of Dahlonega. Mutzi is every bit as quirky as her name, and not only is she a character that readers want to root for, her energy and spirit move the story forward.

The curse of the ring is such an intriguing plot point that was well executed. Whether or not the ring is actually cursed doesn’t even matter, as the struggles that the sisters and Amy face while holding onto the ring advance the plot, and sometimes even in directions that readers don’t anticipate, such as when the prim and proper Marge’s car breaks down, and she secretly relishes the tow truck operator’s appreciation of her rear end. This moment reveals a side of Marge that readers haven’t yet seen, yet appreciate.

Both Mutzi and Marge have layers and dimensionality to their characters and personalities that are slowly and delightfully revealed as the story progresses. That said, I felt that Rose Ellen’s character wasn’t as clearly defined as her younger sisters. We know by the end of the novel that, despite her financial success, Rose Ellen is lonely and longs for a relationship, but simultaneously distrusts men, I feel that this is more told to the reader, rather than shown. Whereas readers get to see Mutzi’s pain and superstition in the way in which she behaves, such as her refusal to go to church because she believes that God is angry with her.

The Dahlonega Sisters, The Gold Miner Ring is an inspiring tale of loss, love, and forgiveness that readers will enjoy falling in love with.

In case it make you want to curl up under a blanket and get reading, here’s a link

TheDahlonegaSisters.com

Merry Christmas to all and wishes for a blessed and COVID-Free New Year!

Diane

Newsletter, Black Friday and Cyber Monday Promotion, and Author Interview


Family First Book
News to Follow


I seldom share pictures of family because I respect their privacy and I know not everyone likes to have their photo blasted on social media. Drastic times call for drastic measures, so I decided to share a special memory with my newsletter friends.

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These are my amazing sisters, Michelle and Carol, and my beautiful Mother. It’s one of the only pictures we have of the four of us together. I also have three brothers.  Perhaps I’ll introduce them in another newsletter someday.

My Mom always hosted Thanksgiving with all the trimmings. When she no longer could handle the challenge, my husband and I offered our house as the gathering place for holidays. Mom passed in 2010 and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her.

This year the walls won’t rattle as much with loud laughter, outrageous story telling, and the ever competing football games blaring on the TV. But we have lots to be thankful for and will look forward to reuniting when this pandemic is behind us.

I hope all of you focus on the joyful memories you’ve shared with family and friends, knowing that this too will pass. Stay home. Stay safe.

 
Now for some special news!


There are Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions right now with Story Origin


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The Dahlonega Sisters, The Gold Miner Ring and Veins of Gold
are available (e-book) for $.99!

Just click on the link below

https://storyoriginapp.com/to/Azw6AAb
https://storyoriginapp.com/to/sPKZW2B

Want more news?

The Dahlonega Sisters, Veins of Gold is now available everywhere (e-book and paperback. books2read.com/u/mvnnLJ


Here’s the back cover blurb:

Will digging up family secrets uncover bones best left buried?
Marge Ledbetter fears once she spits into the small vial and sends it off, nothing will be the same. But she must disprove the outrageous secret she’s been told by a dying woman before it becomes the latest gossip to spread throughout her quaint gold rush town, Dahlonega, Georgia.
Her older sister, Rose Ellen, who is a tad haughty, enthusiastically approves of the ancestry search in hopes of finding a famous relative to add to her bragging list.
Marge’s eccentric twin, Mutzi, vehemently disagrees, fearing the rumor she’s heard most of her life about her and Marge not being sisters is true.
Will the results disprove Marge’s tightly held secret or will The Dahlonega Sisters be faced with news that changes their family dynamics forever?

Just a click away books2read.com/u/mvnnLJ

And last but not least, my author interview by Jeanne Felfe

Chat with Diane M. How – Jeanne Felfe

I hope you had a wonderful, safe, and healthy Thanksgiving.

Always search for the silver lining!

Diane

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New Release Sneak Peek!


Positively Positive!
Where’s the Silver Lining of 2020?

 I have to admit, there have been times when I struggled to find it. The challenges presented this year have made it difficult, but I’m going to focus on peaceful and pleasant thoughts and some exciting news!
Where to start?

 You’re alive and so am I. How amazing is that?

 Sometimes we need a reminder that things could be much worse.
I begin and end each day reviewing a mental gratitude list. I start with all my senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch and really think about the pleasure each of those brings me.
 I can walk, talk, think for myself, make decisions, learn, read, write, etc… By the time I finish, I’m feeling pretty fortunate.
 Then I offer prayers for those in need (and there are plenty). I end with being grateful for the ability to feel compassion, empathy, hope, and the greatest of all, love. 

Doing this reminds me to focus on the positive and to appreciate all the blessings I have.

If you’re struggling to find a light at the end of a difficult day, give it a try. You might be surprised how it puts things in perspective and lifts your spirit. 
What’s Cooking? 

I’m cooking at home much more. On these chilly days, a warm pot of soup is perfect food for your soul.

It’s one of my favorites.  I hope you’ll enjoy. 


Burgershire Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 tsp onion salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp garlic salt
2 ½ cups canned tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato sauce
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 tsp celery salt
5 cups water
3 beef bouillon cubes
½ cup elbow macaroni


Brown meat, onions, and celery. Add remaining ingredients (except macaroni). Simmer 45 minutes. Add macaroni. Simmer 15 minutes

 DRUM ROLL PLEASE!
 And now for the big reveal!

What’s New with The Dahlonega Sisters?

The Dahlonega Sisters are excited to announce the second book in their series, Veins of Gold, is with an editor and should be published very soon.

The girls have had an amazing journey this year too. In appreciation to you for following them, they wanted you to see their cover. 

Hope you like it. Can’t wait for you to read it.

Marge received an unexpected phone call that could change the dynamics of their family. Of course, she wouldn’t think of passing on gossip, but the only way for her to confirm or dispel the outrageous story is to have a DNA test done. Spitting in a vial? How totally unacceptable!

Rose Ellen thinks it’s a swell idea. Maybe they’ll find a celebrity among their ancestors. Wouldn’t that be fun!

On the other hand, Mutzi is furious. She says some bones should be left buried. Wonder why she’s so upset? Is she hiding something?

You’ll want to find out when 
Veins of Gold hits the press.
 
Hope by now you’ve chilled out, so Get Your Blanket and Curl Up
 



If you haven’t had a chance to read The Gold Miner Ring, you can order a copy here http://Thedahlonegasisters.com 
If you have read it, please consider leaving a review on Bo
okBub  Amazon , and/or Goodreads . Thanks!


 By The Way

 I wanted to share a couple other books you’ll enjoy.
 I recently finished a historical fiction by Pat Whaler,  I Am Mrs. Jessie James. It was interesting to consider Jessie’s journey from his wife’s perspective. Well written and researched
.

 If you enjoy memoirs, From Pig Tails to Chin Hairs by Becky Lewellen Povich will entertain you with humor and frank, personal memories.



What positive things have you been focusing on this year?
I’d love to hear from you. You can leave a comment here or send me an email at authordianemhow@gmail.com
Thank you for spending time with me and The Dahlonega Sisters.
Peace and Love!
Diane

Life Choices


It never ceases to amaze me how often a friend says “How do you know Jane?” Insert any name you like. The response for me usually is through thirty-three years working at the same place, a lifetime of volunteering with Girl Scouts and a hospice group, or along my writing journey.

It’s fun to make the reconnection and it reminds me of how small our world really is. No matter where I’ve met them, they have a common link, they are good-hearted, respectful, caring friends who have made a difference in my life.

A few days ago, that very thing happened to me. It sparked one thought and then another. Before I knew it, the following poem came to life. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to share it with those people that have woven love into your life

A Tapestry of Hope

Threads of life connect us all.

Multi-colored ribbons of endless textiles

Tribal motifs, gentle cottons, sturdy burlaps, luxurious silks

Each strand has purpose, each purpose has worth

Some with frayed ends, others miraculously unspoiled

Common and uncommon, grounded by perspective

Woven with tenderness, this rainbow enchantment

Spreads a superlative quilt of warmth and refuge

Over mountains and oceans, religions and politics

Strengthened in crisis, prominent amid disasters

Immune to pandemics, persistent and loyal

These threads of life called LOVE

by Diane M How

Who are the people in your world?

Do you share the same morals and values?

How has it affected the life you are living today?

We are all one


Just found a new friend who shares similar thoughts on love and happiness. Check it out!

I love love. I love everything about it. Just saying the word fills my little heart with comfy warmth and happiness. I love life, I love people and just every living thing that exists. (I say living thing because everything has life, yes, even my stuffed little teddy bear).

I didn’t always have so much love in my heart. There were times when I spewed hate and said hurtful things to people. There have also been times when I wasn’t a very nice person. But as I am waking up each day, I can’t help but realise that we are all one. 

If aliens were to invade our Earth one day, I wonder what we would do. If we think about it, I suppose countries who are now having feuds would start to support each other, people who hate each other now would start to love each other, we would almost be compelled to do so. Why? Because we are humans and they are aliens. Because at the end of the day, we are all fragmented energy from the same…

View original post 162 more words

My Silver Lining


Seems like such a short time ago, our grand dog, Hammie was just a pup. He’s 11 years old now. How time flies, except when you’re confined to quarers for an unknown length of time.

It’s tough right now, trying to find the silver lining in our disrupted world. We’ve been invaded by an invisible, unexpected, and uncontainable virus. As unpredictable as the Corvid-19 journey has been, so have been our responses to it. Confusion, denial, fear, anger, frustration. All reasonable, all understandable. Yet, with any crisis, there is opportunity from which we can benefit. Even Hammie is taking the Shelter in place command seriously.

Some folks use humor to get through the stressful situations. That includes me. I love some of the social media pictures and quotes that make me laugh out loud.

I ignore the rants and raves that do nothing more than stir negative emotions. It doesn’t mean I am oblivious to the seriousness of the situation, but many of the political pokes and ventings do nothing but spread anger and fear. I choose to focus on the positive.

So here are a few of the positive opportunities I’ve been given.

I’m saving lots of money because I traded trips to the casino for daily runs to the store in search of toilet paper. Down to two rolls. I got desperate and ordered some on line. Good news, I found some. Bad news, the deliver day is May 22. I thought it was a typo, but Alexa confirmed it.

I’m getting my daily 10,000 steps in by walking room to room and taking note of the chaos I’ve neglected for some time. Every once in while, I find an object that’s been missing for months. Found a Christmas present I forgot to deliver yesterday. Now won’t they be happy when it shows up in their mailbox. Spreading the joy.

My daily wardrobe consists of sweat pants and a t-shirt. Haven’t had to wash a bra in a week! Just think about the water and soap I’m saving. I saw a Facebook post that said to cut them up to use as a mask when necessary.

I’m not gaining weight because we aren’t eating out. All the burger and chicken are gone by the time I get to the store, so we’re cleaning out the freezer, trying to identify what’s each shriveled, rock hard, frosted package contains.

I’ve got lots of time to clean those closets and organize the pantry now. Could wash windows too. Choosing to save those fun thing in case I get really desperate!

Best part is that I have more time to write, and I am. Veins of Gold is taking form. The Dahlonega Sisters are busy keeping me front and center by my laptop.

The girls wanted me to do something to brighten your day, so they suggested I reduce the price of their first book, The Gold Miner Ring. The e-book is now available for $1.99 at your favorite site. Here’s the link: https://books2read.com/links/ubl/mVrL2p

Stay safe everyone and don’t forget to lighten up. This too shall pass and with a little luck, we’ll all learn something positive from the experience.

What’s your silver lining?

Turning Back the Clock, One Puddle at a Time


Turning Back the Clock

One puddle at a time

I was born with two left feet, a qualified klutz for sure. You know those exercise videos with music that make it look like you’ve got rhythm? Well, let’s just say there’s a reason I do them behind closed doors. The closest I come to physical coordination is puddle jumping. I love to teach kids how to do it so the water splashes on someone else.

While thumbing through some notes I made in preparation of my next novel, I came across a story I jotted down this summer after a weekend trip to my daughter’s lake house. I found myself laughing so hard I had to run to the bathroom. Maybe you could use a chuckle today, too, totally at my expense, of course.

A dear friend sent me a book, Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/96597.Younger_Next_Year_for_Women I became engrossed in the claims made by the two male authors. They encouraged, actually, insisted, there is an athlete in each of us and we better find it if we hope to be mobile as we age. Heck, I’m already aged, and more than a little overweight, but somehow their words made it worth a shot.

While at the lake, I relaxed on their redwood deck that sits high above the end of a peaceful cove. With my book in one hand, a glass of pinot noir in the other, and a box of cheesy snacks within an arm’s reach between me and my daughter, I turned the page. Harry’s Rules, the ones I just finished reading, smacked me upside the head. The irony of reading this particular book, while stuffing my face with Cheez-Its, and following each swallow with sips of chilled wine, made me cringe.

Was I just going to read about getting fit or put it in action? I closed the book, stood and brushed the crumbs from my jeans. “Let’s go take the neighbor’s paddle boat out.”

My daughter looked at me with raised brows, but to my surprise, she jumped up and headed up the stairs to the cabin. “Aren’t you going to change into your swim suit?”

The last thing I wanted to do was expose more of my rolls of fat and cellulite. “Naw. We’re not going in the water, just in the boat.”

I’m sure you know what happens next, but I did promise to entertain you, so I’ll continue.

With towels and sunscreen in hand, my daughter returned and we walked down the thirty-something steps to her neighbor’s dock. We hoisted the paddleboat over the side of the dock and my daughter held onto one of the ropes The other was tethered to the dock.

“Go ahead and get in.”

Leading with my right foot, I tried to step into the swaying object without success. Then I tried my left foot. Somehow, I managed to plop down on the hard plastic bump between the two seats, but at least I was in it and not the lake.

With the ease of an experienced sailor, my daughter climbed in, released both ropes, and we were off. We peddled together for a while until my legs tired, a good twenty foot, for sure. Taking turns pumping our legs, we rode out to the end of the cove and back. The hot July sun burned overhead, almost as much as the calves of my legs, but it was a pleasant experience and reminded me of the many options available to exercise our bodies into shape.

We made our way back to the side of the neighbor’s dock and my daughter jumped out, pulling the front rope tight so I could climb out. I stood and wobbled, trying to find my balance on the waves, then put a foot on the platform. The back of the boat swung away from the dock stretching my legs apart. Too late to do anything else, I simply sat down in the water.

Of course, I’m not what you’d call a swimmer, so I treaded water, trying to figure out how I was going to get to shore or back on the deck.

“Stand up.” My daughter shouted between belly laughs. “Stand up.”

Fortunately, the water was only waist high. Laughter echoed from the top of the hill where my husband stood watching as I hoisted myself up on the end of the dock. My daughter’s fiancée, too polite to laugh out loud, fiddled with his cell phone to avoid eye contact, but asked if I needed help.

“I’m good, thanks.”  I laughed as hard as the others. “Did you get all that on video?”

It was fortunate that I had left my phone on the deck and didn’t try to avoid the inevitable dunk, possibly breaking a leg or arm. By the time I climbed the thirty-something steps back to the cabin, my jeans laden with lake water, I felt I’d gotten a good start on my new exercise program, although I anticipated in the future it would be on dry land.

It’s been six months since my husband and I started getting serious about exercise. We average twenty-five to thirty miles a week and I’m thirty pounds lighter. I doubt I’ll ever succeed at the exercise videos, although I still try occasionally, and I haven’t been kayaking or water skiing, but I still love puddle jumping. I feel younger than I did last year, so that’s a plus.

Book Birthing


I’ve been introduced to so many new terminologies in the past two years, most of them pertaining to writing, my head spins like that little blue circle on my computer does every time it doesn’t want to connect to something.

I laughed the first time I read a Facebook post announcing a book birth. Boy, what a crazy term, I thought. As I’ve muddled through the complex and overwhelming process of self-publishing, I decided I probably know where the term originated, even though I haven’t confirmed it yet.

I remember the excitement being pregnant, eons ago mind you, but still, it’s one of those things you don’t easily forget. Oh, my gosh. The excitement! I had a baby growing inside me. It wasn’t long before I could feel her squirming about, kicking and reminding me that soon I’d be holding this precious little bundle with tiny fingers and toes, stroking it’s tender cheeks and drawing in the insatiable scent of a newborn.

As the months passed, my joy turned to anxiety. What did I know about being a mother? Sure, I’d learned some things from watching my younger siblings, but to be totally responsible for this tiny miracle I carried inside me? It was overwhelming to comprehend, especially since I wasn’t handed a book giving me specific instructions for handling colic, puberty or dating.

Similarly, when I first started writing The Dahlonega Sisters, The Gold Miner Ring, I was enthusiastic and couldn’t wait to complete each chapter. Then as I shared it with my critique group, I began to understand it needed a lot of nurturing. After many rewrites and edits, somewhere around my fourth draft, I got brave enough to set a delivery date of October, no later than November 2019.

That’s when the labor pains began. I had to learn the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional, and then someone threw in “hybrid” just for good measure. Simple words like genre became complex. I didn’t understand the challenge of finding the appropriate genre for the book I wrote. All I knew was that I wrote something I wanted to share with others.

With the hand-holding assistant of my mentor, dear friend, and talented author, Jeanne Felfe, https://www.BridgetoUsBook.com, I managed to learn the difference and need for an ISBN, LCCN, AISN, and a thousand other acronyms with which I won’t bore you.

The much anticipated day of arrival came and the delivery man left a box on my doorstep. I anxiously removed the first book and stroked the delicate matte cover, savoring the heavenly scent of my freshly printed manuscript. I restrained from using the term book birth, but I did take a picture to post on my author FB page, https://www.facebook.com/dianemhow/

And now I know the job of “raising” this new addition will be even harder than giving birth to it. I’m overwhelmed with notices from Book Bub, Facebook, Amazon, and dozens of unread articles on promoting and marketing. Then there’s twitter, FB, Instagram, and so many more social media opportunities. But I’m determined to do my best, taking one bite of the elephant at a time.

It would be an honor if you’d stop by for a visit.

https://www.amazon.com/author/dianemhow

It’s available everywhere!

Happy Book Birth, The Dahlonega Sisters! Hope you have many siblings to follow.

Reaching for a Star


Many years ago, more than I care to acknowledge, I dreamed of publishing a novel. I wasn’t hoping for fame or fortune, merely a desire to entertain some readers, bring a little joy to a stressful day, and know that I made just a smidgen of a positive influence in this often worrisome world.

My dream felt as distant as the stars in the sky. I’ve heard many writers share the same feeling, but the more I became involved in the world of writing, I watched others succeed and I decided I wanted it too.

First, I joined a writers Guild, http://www.saturdaywriters.org, and then a small critique group, Pen to Paper. Soon I belonged to a second critique group, The Round Table Writers, some of the most powerful and supportive friends and writers in Missouri. My vocabulary increased, I began to understand point of view, and soon, I was writing short stories and poetry that won contests and were published in anthologies.

Still, I held onto my dream of completing a novel. I was introduced to National Novel Writing Month, NANOWRIMO, https://nanowrimo.org, which challenges writers to compose a fifty-thousand word novel during the thirty days of November.

I dove in head first and succeeded the first year I tried. I fell short the second time, but I learned I could do it if I put my mind to it. My first two attempts are still works in progress. About two years ago, I began a third novel and fell in love with the characters and story plot. I finally gained the confidence to believe it should reach the shelves of a bookstore. With the help of many fellow writers, especially Jeanne Felfe, https://jeannefelfe.com/, , author of the heartfelt novel, Bridge to Us, I’ve stretched a little closer to that star.

I am pleased to announce The Dahlonega Sisters, The Gold Miner Ring, is available for preorder on Amazon with a scheduled release date of November 5, 2019. It will also be available in paperback. https://www.amazon.com/author/dianemhow

To all the bloggers, dreamers and hesitant writers, I say go for it. Read, listen, join, and learn. Then make a goal and keep plugging away until that star becomes so close you can almost touch it. You can do it! I believe in you.