2018, Bookish Year in Review

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays. As we welcome in the new year, I want to take a moment to reflect on all book-related things that I experienced in 2018 and the gratitude I feel for all of the support I’ve received from family, friends and readers.

I met two of my idols this year. In May, Adriana Trigiani, author of Lucia, Lucia and The Shoemaker’s Wife, among many others, spoke at the retirement community where my mom and mother-in-law live. Adriana was a burst of bright energy, funny, engaging and so friendly. I listened, raptured, as she spoke of the women in her family and how important women are to storytelling.

Adriana & me

In August, I met the wonderful Kristan Higgins, who I discovered a few years ago and who is my favorite author and social media personality. I fangirled all over her. “You’re my favorite person I’ve never met,” is what I said when I faced her. Yep, I did. And I meant it. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading her books and enjoy humorous, romantic, tug-at-the-heartstring stories, treat yourself in 2019.

Kristan & me

With the release of The Fabric Of Us in October, I had the privilege and the pleasure of enjoying three book club meetings to discuss it. The first was a complete surprise. My own book club, aptly called “Lit Ladies”, surprised me by reading it without telling me. I love these women. They continue to support me and each other.

Lit Ladies

The next book club was put together by my “first friend” in life, Katie, who donned her Wonder Woman suit to orchestrate and mediate her first book club, specifically to get my book read. She managed to coax over forty women to join this club, which she named Baby Steps Book Club powered by The Association of Adults Who are Realistic People (BSBC powered by AARP). I write fiction, but I can’t make this up. The goal of this new club is to support new and lesser-known, local authors. She found a venue to accommodate the group and in November, we had our first meeting. Almost thirty women showed up, including several old friends. Katie has never been in a book club, but put this evening together beautifully. Did I mention she had a Power Point presentation? Like I said, Wonder Woman.

Katie & me at the first meeting of BSBC
BSBC

The group below read The Fabric Of Us and asked me to join them in December. The women were warm, welcoming and I had the best time. Yes, that is a dessert (Tower of Shame) on the table in front of us.

My new friends

I managed to finish another manuscript this year. At present, it has no title and is still in the beginning stages of life. Here is the gist of what it’s about:

Sort of…

Finally, if you’re looking for something to read, here is a list of books I really enjoyed this year. I recommend all of them.

  • Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani
  • Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
  • Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins
  • The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
  • Eleanor Elephant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • Need To Know by Karen Cleveland
  • The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Luigman
  • Beartown by Fredrick Backman
  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  • Woman Last Seen In Her Thirties by Camille Pagan
  • Educated by Tara Westover
  • Etched in Sand: A True Story Of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island by Regina Calcaterra
  • Saving Toby (Toby & Claudia book 1) by Suzanne McKenna Link
  • Keeping Claudia (Toby & Claudia book 2) by Suzanne McKenna Link
  • Glitter and Glue: A Memoir by Kelly Corrigan

Thank you to my readers who reached out to say a kind word about my books – you have no idea what it means to me. And to my friends and family, for your continued love and support. I am so fortunate and grateful for each of you.

I wish you a peaceful, healthy New Year. And if you have a minute, let me know how your year was and what you hope to find in 2019. I’m all ears.

~Kimberly xo

Summer Giveaway

Hi Everyone,

Happy summer! They’re here, those lazy days we spend under the sun, reading and relaxing.  I am thrilled to be a part of the Dog Eared Days of Summer Book Giveaway.

For 12 weeks, Dog Eared Days will be giving away books of various genres, from children’s books, mysteries, humor, adventure and historical fiction. We’re already in week 4, so check out http://www.DogEaredDays.com.

This week I’m giving away 2 copies of Both Sides of Love.

To enter, just click here: http://www.dogeareddays.com/book/both-sides-of-love/

Week4

I’ll be back July 23-29 to give away copies of Letting Go.

The grand prize giveaway will go to one lucky winner who will win all eleven books. It’s going to be a great season!

Don’t forget your sunblock. Happy reading!

~Kim

 

J.K. Rowling and Me

Like many, I have dreams and goals.

Twelve years ago I told my husband in a movie theater that I wanted to write a book. By verbalizing my intent, I’d set myself in motion. A year later, I typed ‘The End’. Then I thought, Kim, you’re crazy and I put it in a drawer.

But I kept writing. I finished another manuscript the following year and shoved that one on top of my first. And so on, until finally I wrote my fourth story and decided I would share it and see what happened. That was in May, 2014.

Currently, I have two published novels and I’m writing another one when I’m not working at my part-time job or screaming my head off at a hockey or lacrosse game. I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Until I read an article about how J.K. Rowling’s writing chair sold for – wait for it –  $394,ooo.

1844

Through a thick haze of humility, I compared myself to Rowling. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to anyone, least of all one of the most popular writers in this century. But how can I not? We both write books and we both sold furniture. I had been trying to sell my son’s bedroom furniture for months: armoir, dresser and a bed  -all for $600. For four months, we got nary a nibble. We lowered the price while I wondered if the prospective buyer could sense the aura of the temper tantrums still surrounding this furniture. I told my husband J.K. Rowling sold her writing chair at an auction. He said, Maybe you should tell people this is the furniture that inspired the bedroom you described in Letting Go? My answer: Let’s put it by the curb.

The parallelism of our lives does not go unnoticed by me. Rowling wrote an incredible 7-book series that swept the universe and as a result, sold a plain chair with writing on it, for almost $400k. I’m still working my day job. I couldn’t give away a whole set for $400. No writing on it. Not a scratch. (Well, okay, one tiny pen mark, but I’m sure if someone Googles how to get penmark off of wood, this will not be an issue.)

My dreams and goals are malleable and realistic. They grow and change as I do. I don’t want my writing chair (den couch) to one day draw in a crazy amount of bids. My goal right now is to sit on it longer and write more.

I have nothing but good wishes for Ms. Rowling. And I’ll try not to compare myself with her or anyone else for that matter. I am me. This is it. Rock on, me.

For those of you curious, the pieces did finally sell this past week. All for $300. And a book.

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I Got A Facelift!

Well, not me personally (not yet). I’m referring to my website.

I know I’ve been MIA for the past month or so, but it’s because I’ve been working diligently with my amazing graphic designer/publisher, Suzanne Fyhrie Parrott, on changing my website to make it more user-friendly.  I am so pleased to show you my new “face.” It’s so pretty and shiny.

The minor downfall to this change is you have to re-sign up to follow my blog. The “follow-me” element on my original blog doesn’t cross over.

I know. What a P-in-the-A. I get it. But I would love to continue to send you blog posts by email, so it would make me so happy if you would please take a moment if you could cozy on over to the new KimberlyWenzler.com and sign up for my “Email to Blog” List – they’re opt-in via MailChimp – that means you’ll get and email to confirm it was really you who signed up — no spam here.

And if you like my books, feel free to sign up for my “Early Notice” list — You’ll get pre-release notices about upcoming books and events. How cool is that?

Thank you for your patience and I apologize for the inconvenience.

Hope to see you there!

Love,

Kim

Just checking in…

Hello Friends,

Welcome to November. This is it. Halloween is over. The “season” is upon us. The time of year where we face the daily countdown to you-know-when and fight to win the merciless race against the holiday clock, all while maintaining a jolly disposition. I’m not worried. Everything gets done. Then I celebrate with a pajama marathon of my own in front of the fireplace with wine and my kindle.

Someone somewhere decided that we should all get a head start by turning our clocks back an hour. Woo hoo. A whole hour. Still, I’ll take it. I could use the sleep.

My son turns seventeen this month, which is weird because I’m still only thirty. The mirror tells me otherwise, but in my mind, I’m still that new mom worried about her little baby. Except this baby is taking his road test next week and I’ll have to face the fact that one day very soon, days maybe, I’ll hand him car keys and say goodbye. Be careful. Come back…with mint chocolate chip ice cream, if possible. Okay, there is an upside.

My second book, Letting Go, a story very close to my heart, was released in September. It’s doing well. In fact, I will be a guest at a book club tomorrow where they will be discussing it. I’m so looking forward to hearing the group’s responses. It’s a wonderful learning experience for me to hear how readers react to my book, both positively and negatively.

Cover_S

I recently finished Circling The Sun, by Paula McClain, based on Beryl Markham’s early life in Kenya before she flew solo (the first woman to do it) across the Atlantic from east to west. If you enjoyed The Paris Wife, I highly recommend this. McClain is a wonderful writer. I’d never heard of Beryl Markham and now I’ve added her own book, West With the Night, to my TBR list.

Then I re-read On The Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves because I remember loving it so much years ago. I loved it again. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do. She self-published that one, you know. It’s still my favorite of her books. Lastly, I read In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware. A bit dark (no, I’m not trying to be funny) and predictable, but it moved along quickly and kept my interest.  CirclingSun

OTI original cover

So, that’s about it for now. I hope you’re all doing well. I’ll be back before the real craziness sets in. Take a breath.

What are your plans for the upcoming season?

~Kim