Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dear Friends,

2012 was the year that this blog and contest hosted by Basloe Library and local authors began.  It was a year of learning what worked and what didn't work.

What worked:

  • Reception that you all gave the local authors
  • Incredible willingness of the local authors to work with me and provide our friends with signed copies of their incredible books

What didn't work:

  • Interaction between the authors, readers of this blog and friends of Basloe Library

But, as I said, it was a year of learning and a lot can happen in a year.  Instead of totally revamping this blog, I have decided to scrap this whole blog and start fresh-with a whole new perspective.

The new blog will be more interactive, while still bringing you all the latest and greatest books from local authors in the Mohawk Valley.

I hope that you will follow me over to the new site which will be called Mohawk Valley Reads.  In the next day or two I will post the new site address and announce the newest member of our local author club!

                                               image from Google images Jean Bosco

Thank you for all of your past and continued support.

Carol K.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy, Happy, Happy . . .

I hadn't expected to wait this long to post again, but my son was sick, and then I came down with a milder version of what he had, but like so many in our area-sickness set me back a week or two!  I apologize for the delay.

Children's Author to Read Her Stories at Storytime

But, I am back and happy to present to announce that tomorrow, Tuesday, December 18th, local children's author Connie Watkins will be at Basloe Library during Storytime with Miss Nancy at 10:30am.

I happen to know that she is very happy to visit Basloe again and share her stories with the children of our community.

Connie's latest book is called Happy Was His Name.  I don't want to give away too much of the story and ruin the fun for tomorrow, but I will tell you that the plot involves a little boy, various animals and a loving grandmother.

Connie Watkins at Basloe Library in 2008.  Photo courtesy of the Evening Telegram.
Connie will have copies of Happy Was His Name available to purchase, along with her other three children's books.  I am certain that she will be happy to sign them!

That concludes my mini local author feature.  I know that I didn't tell you too much, but I am hoping to bring Connie back later in the year for a full blown feature.

In the meantime, I hope that you will all come out to Basloe Library and give Connie Watkins a warm welcome to Herkimer.  It would make her very, very, very  happy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mini Feature!!!!

     I hadn't planned on doing another local author feature before 2013, but this one just had to be written.

     About a month ago my daughter, who was unexpectantly home from college for the weekend, and I took a trek up to blustery Boonville to pay a visit to a couple of our past featured local authors who were participating in the annual Dodge-Pratt Northam Art and Community Center and Gift Shop.  Not only did I expect to show support for Dorothy Stacy and Rod Riesel, but I wanted to go meet some other local authors who might be interested in becoming a featured author in 2013.
     I met quite a few wonderful authors and had some interesting talks about the challenges that libraries and local authors have.  One such conversation was with someone that I was not familiar with, but who is a long-time friend of Basloe Library.  Constance "Connie" Watkins is an "accomplished photographer, artist, crafter and author."

She will be a special guest at Miss Nancy's Storytime for Preschoolers on December 18th.  She will read her fourth book to the kids and adults, and she will have her books available to purchase and sign as last minute gifts.

I hope that you will come to this special event.  

I will tell you all more about Connie Watkins before the week is out!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Saving the Best For Last . . . Almost

The year in review: 6 terrific local authors support the Basloe Library

This is a long post, but please feel free to scan through the authors at will, look for the bold print and find out where to purchase their books as gifts for your favorite book lover!

Since March of this year, I have had the blessing to become reacquainted with an old friend and have made many new friends who have shared their talents with the world in their writings.  I thanks all of the "local" authors who helped to support the library by allowing me to share their lives and thoughts with you.  I also thank them for their generous donations of signed copies of their books for you and the Basloe Library stacks so that countless people can freely borrow the books for years to come.

If I could recommend one special gift for book lovers out there, it would be a book from a local author.  Whether you in Herkimer, NY or North Pole, Alaska, The United States or elsewhere in the world, there are people in your communities, states, regions, countries that have put pen to paper, so to speak, and shared their deepest thoughts, dreams and opinions of the world.  Wherever you are-support a local author.  The author and the local economy thanks you!

As a recap of this year, I now take you back in time to refresh your memory of all the wonderful authors that I have worked with this year.  Please consider purchasing and giving a copy or two to put under your trees this year.


Glens Falls, NY author, Zackary Richards' titles, available on amazon.com-complete with a money back guarantee. Some are Adult titles, but you might remember that I featured Mr. Richards' YA titles Frostie the Deadman and Half Moon Falls.  Mr. Richards has graciously donated several copies of these titles to add to the library's catalog and are now available to borrow.  Thank you, Zackary Richards for your generosity!

All of Richard's titles are available via Amazon.com.  Downloaded versions for Ereaders and Tablet devices come with a money back guarantee!


Herkimer native and resident, Rod Riesel made his debut as an author.  Sleeping Dogs Lie introduced us all to a new fictional detective: Dan Coast.  As you may remember from this blog, or perhaps by reading Riesel's novel, Dan Coast is private detective who is working his way through his own life tragedy in his work.

Lots of things have been happening since September to Riesel and Sleeping Dogs Lie.

1. The book's fan Facebook page is seeking new people to "like" the page (and the book!) and if they get to 200 likes, they will giveaway a Sleeping Dogs Lie mug to one of their fans.

2. Riesel had his very first book signing at Frank J. Basloe Library and was featured in a recent edition of the Evening Telegram

3. Riesel also participated in a book signing in Boonville, NY.  It was nice chatting with him and his "publicist" sister, Connie.

4. Look for the second book in the Dan Coast series this coming spring!

To Give a signed copy of Sleeping Dogs Lie, go to the following link:

Sleeping Dogs Lie is also available on Amazon.com

Summer 2012

Ah, Summer.  It seems so long ago!  In some ways it was, even though the calendar says otherwise.   

Mrs. Dorothy Stacy was our gracious local author that enchanted us all with her tales of seasons and generations past in the Erie Canal Cousins Series.  Travel with the Finnegan and Stewart families through our neck of the woods in Central NY through the trials, tribulations and joys of life in the mid-1800's. 

Word has it that Mrs. Stacy is working on a second series that will involve the region in the Town of Paris and Rose Finnegan's children (twins, I believe).

If  you want a signed set of the Series to give to a special child (or adult) this Christmas, or just one title, you can visit dorothystacy.com.  
Mrs. Stacy is running a special until Christmas: Buy the 5-book series at a 4-book price!

Mrs. Stacy is also a very savvy marketer of her books.  You can find them at:
"Barnes and Noble (store and online), Town of Paris Historical Society, Oneida County Historical Society, Waterville Historical Society,  Gansevoort House Books, Reilly’s Dairy, Erie Canal Village, Gems Along the Mohawk,  The Shops at 25 West, and The Adirondack Reader in Inlet. If your local bookstore doesn’t have it, ASK for it. 
Barnes and Noble will order it for you if your local one does not have it in stock. (dorothystacy.com)."


A bit out of place for the time of year, but interesting nonetheless, June was dedicated to spooky and scary things.

Cano Davy and Marcus Zwierecki, co-authors with Linda Lee Macken, debuted their book Ghost Hunting in the Mohawk Valley.   The book describes paranormal activity in places like Hulbert House in Boonville, The Herkimer County Jail in Herkimer, Collinwood Inn of Oneida, and the Erie Canal Village in Rome.  
Purchase on Amazon.com

Cano, Marcus and the crew from New York Paranormal Research, who graciously held an ill-fated book signing at Basloe Library (it was about 100 degrees that day and not many people wanted to venture out-even to an air conditioned library with free cookies from Jenny's cookies!), have been busy doing what they do best-conducting paranormal research in our region.

What is even newer is that NYPR will be teaching "Ghost Hunting 101" classes beginning November 29th at 6pm at The Shoppes at the Finish Line on Court Street in Utica. Cost is $10/class.  What a unique early gift idea!

For more information contact:



At last, our year in review brings us to where it all began.  Jason Foster, my locally raised author, was the "guinea pig" for my little experiment, and for that I am eternally grateful.  Jason and I talked about all things 42 Unanswered Points during countless hours of games of Words with Friends.  The game scenario was unique to old Junior High School classmates that taught me that while that was fun, it wasn't the best way to conduct an interview.  Every time we finished a game, all of my notes were lost!  Oh well!  It was a lesson to be learned. 

Since it was so long ago, let me refresh your memory.  42 Unanswered Points is a book for men and women alike.  It has technical football jargon for the guys and at least two hot, steamy romances for the gals.  Or the other way around, if you prefer.  Either way, Fosters hybrid sports-romance novel is a must for your bookshelf this Christmas.
Available for purchase on Amazon.com

Since the spring, Foster has been working on a second book and has enrolled in a college class in screenplay writing so that he can fulfill his dream to turn 42 Unanswered Points into a hit Broadway play.  Since Channing Tatum has just been named "Sexiest Man Alive (People magazine)" perhaps Tatum will forgot about bringing Magic Mike to Broadway (NY Times 29 June 2012) and wait for Foster's debut as a playwright.   

Well, there you have it, folks-the year in review of Friends and Words. 

I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed becoming friends with some great local talent.

I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know each of these authors and to bring a bit of their knowledge, wisdom and wit to you this year.  I appreciate that each of these authors brought something new to every conversation and that each was willing to allow me to chat with them about how they became authors and their books.

Look for more local authors coming this January!!!!!!!

Please support these local authors this Christmas and purchase their books as gifts for others or even yourself.

Every time you purchase a book from a local author, you support the local economy and local talent.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

I have been scouring the web for some very unusual gifts for you book lovers out there!  Today's gift suggestions . . .

Orleans Hill Winery Organic, Vegan Friendly and  Sulfate Free Red Wine
"A blend of Grenache, Sangiovese and a kiss of Syrah, this wine was left on oak a little longer to strengthen its overall structure. You'll find a dark rich blend with full mouth feel, subtle earth notes, traditional Sangiovese tannins and a soft oak and vanilla finish (Orleans Hill Winery website)."
Word has it that this is an exclusive wine for Trader Joe's

Something to put your wine on . . .
Book Cover coasters (set of 8 water-resistant classic book cover coasters from Out of Print (shop.outofprintclothing.com)). There are three great things about this gift.

1. The pages store neatly in the "book" case and become the "pages" of the "book" so it'll look great on your coffee table.
2. At on $20.00, it's a pretty affordable gift that will have the recipient beg you to tell you where you got it!
3. For every purchase on this website, they make a book donation to a community in need
And more wine . . . Irony Wines from California
Available in Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir
To find a location near you . . . http://ironywine.com/Contact/Default.aspx
or order online http://www.wine.com
Starting at $13.00

Do you know someone who loves the smell of books and libraries?  Then have I found the perfect gift for you to give!

Christopher Brosius Limited has developed the a signature perfume called "In the Library" beginning at only $12.00

The company says this about the alluring scent:
"In the Library is a warm blend of English Novel*, Russian & Moroccan Leather Bindings, Worn Cloth and a hint of Wood Polish
*The main note in this scent was copied from one of my favorite novels originally published in 1927.  I happened to find a signed first edition in pristine condition many years ago in London.  I was more than a little excited because there were only ever a hundred of these in the first place.  It had a marvelous warm woody slightly sweet smell and I set about immediately to bottle it."

If library scented perfume isn't quirky enough, then you have to check out these miniature collector dolls made in likeness of all sorts of authors.  Etsy designer Debby Ritter has perfected the art of recreating authors into miniature dolls that are perfect for dollhouses.  She has all the classics and some contemporary authors-everyone from Dickens to Robert Frost-even J.K. Rowling.  Check out Ms. Ritter's creations at http://www.etsy.com/shop/UneekDollDesigns?section_id=5517162&page=7.

My personal favorite from the collection: Louisa May Alcott

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Welcome to my special gift giving edition of Friends and Words.  All this month I will scour the earth for interesting and fun book related gifts for all the people on your list.  

One of my favorite places to shop is cafepress.com.  You can pretty much find anything that you want in terms of pithy sayings at that site.  When I was just on the site today, a pop-up ad told me that if you live in NY-they do not charge sales tax.  Whoo-hoo!

Another great site that is similar is zazzle.com.  Last year I ordered a couple shirts for my daughter from zazzle and when I received my order, I realized that I had ordered the wrong sizes (after she tried them on).  I contacted Zazzle and they promptly sent out the new sizes and didn't even want the other ones back.  I thought this was odd, but nonetheless, it happened.  Not saying this will happen to you, but I thought that this was excellent customer service!

Here are some ideas from both of those sites for the book lover on your list, and even some for future book lovers:

This caption is on a T-shirt

Boxer shorts-lol!

Blank Journal titled "Through the looking glass"

Pretty hefty price at $40.00, but there's 10 in a pack so that's only $4 each-perfect for all your book club members!

Play on Law and Order TV series-T-shirt and other products

loved this caption!

nuts about books button-cute stocking stuffer

also comes with "Future Booklover" saying

Ain't that the truth!!!!

Notecard-Just $2.95

Iphone case for the ultimate book lover!

Mouse pad

These are just a sample of what you can find at Cafepress.com or Zazzle.com.  Just type "books" or "library" in the search space and there are literally hundreds of items to choose from ranging in price from $2.95 and up.

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The bewitching hour is almost here and with it, this month's contest to win Frostie the Deadman, Zackary Richards' YA haunting novel with a dash of moral thrown in, is coming to a close.  I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Mr. Richards, our local author of the month and are anxiously awaiting the drawing on Thursday to win a signed copy of his book.

Before I get to the very last, all important "Question of the Day" of this month, and this year, I would like to share some of Richards' advice for would-be authors.

In my interview of Richards, he shared the key to his award winning success.

Q: What have you found to be an invaluable tool in your writing process?

Richards: I advise anyone serious about writing to join a writers group. Although writers are generally introverts and uncomfortable in crowds, having strangers review your work with a unbiased eye can be an immense help to improving your craft. I joined the Glens Falls writers group slightly before Frostie was published and the Albany Fiction writer group shortly afterwards. Constructive criticism helps us discover the flaws in our work and helps overcome the fear that any changes will likely ruin it.

Q:  What should every writer of Young Adult Fiction remember?

Richards: You have to be able to remember what it was like being a Young Adult and to take the time to learn how today's kid's talk and what they are into. Never talk down to them and never preach. Kids learn from example not from some wind-bag waxing philosophical.

Q: What special responsibility does a YA writer have to their audience?

Richards: . . . I never realized the incredible responsibility YA authors have to their readers until I went on the Frostie the Deadman book tour. Over and over kids came up to me and told me that they knew these guys (my characters Josh and Winks) and now understood how important it was to be a good friend and to be brave even when things are at their scariest. It was then I realized I wasn't just entertaining kids, I was programming them. You can write whatever you want in an adult novel because adults have their own opinions but kids, they BELIEVE what they read so the YA author must be very careful about what he/she puts in a book.    

Q: Do you have any other advice for future authors on writing, editing, publishing and marketing?

Richards: Tons! All of which will be featured in my upcoming video tutorial 'How To Get Your Book Published' (please pardon the shameless self-promotion).

That's okay, Mr. Richards'-we don't mind a little "shameless self-promotion."  After all, our goal is to create community and help promote our local authors!

You can watch for that on Mr. Richards' own blog site at http://zackaryrichards.blogspot.com/


Well, that's it folks!  The day after tomorrow is the drawing for the book.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Richards for being our local author of the month and for donating a copy of Frostie the Deadman for the prize and a copy for the library so that we can add it to our stacks.  We appreciate you very much!

Here's your last chance to be entered into the contest:

Question of the Day:
Are you staying at home, handing out candy or are you going out trick-or-treating?

Happy Halloween everyone! 

coming in November . . .
A Special Friends and Words Gift Guide