Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop



Happy Fall! I love Halloween and this week I’m participating in a Spooktacular Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds.

I’m giving away one signed copy of my middle grade, Seymour’s Secret as well as this cute half-apron made from Peanuts fall fabric! One winner will be chosen from the comments. Be sure to leave me your email address and tell me what you love about fall! U.S addresses only–sorry.

Seymour’s Secret Blurb: Eleven-year-old Colt is devastated when his beloved Granddad’s vintage toy collection is stolen by a gang of obit robbers. Determined to solve the crime, Colt enlists the help of a girl who talks to ghosts and a gang leader who plants marigolds in the moonlight. But can Colt uncover the secret behind Granddad’s toys before everything is destroyed in this middle grade contemporary mystery.







Book Signing Photos

On Saturday, I had a great time at a book signing hosted by Mimi’s A Shabby Chic Boutique in downtown Snohomish. There was also a zombie walk taking place at the same time and it was fun watching everyone get all “ghouled up!”


Here are a couple photos of the signing. The book fit perfectly in her shop and looked like a page out of the Cranberry Bay setting!







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Seymour’s Secret Book Signing

On Saturday, September 17, I will be signing copies of Seymour’s Secret from 3 to 6 p.m. in downtown Snohomish at Mimi’s A Country Shabby Boutique.  (906 1st Street on the end closest to the Snohomish Bakery in the old Mardini’s building)

I will have a few copies of my new romance, Sweetheart Summer, also on hand if you’d like to buy a signed copy of that book too!


There is also a zombie walk taking place at 5:00 p.m. so come to the book signing and then join the fun by dressing up like a zombie!

See you there!




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Sweetheart Summer

Sweetheart Summer_MindyHardwick_800


I’m very happy to announce that my newest sweet, contemporary romance, SWEETHEART SUMMER is now available!

The book is available in ebook here 

And print here

Story Blurb: Cranberry Bay sewing shop owner and activist Katie Coos campaigns tirelessly to preserve the community feel of the town she loves. Savvy and successful developer Sawyer Shuster, meanwhile, seeks to provide a future for his beloved childhood community through large-scale developments. When Katie reluctantly purchases an auction certificate for Sawyer’s handyman skills, both are determined to keep their distance. But as summer heats up, Katie and Sawyer’s feelings ignite until both must find a way to trust each other or risk losing not only their businesses but also their chance at love.

SWEETHEART SUMMER is the second book in the Cranberry Bay romance series.

The first book is SWEETHEART COTTAGE. Amazon has set up a series page for Cranberry Bay here.

Sweetheart Cottage by Mindy Hardwick_200x308




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Sweetheart Summer Goodreads Giveaway

There is a Goodreads giveaway for one signed print copy of my newest romance, SWEETHEART SUMMER. You do not have to be a member of Goodreads to enter.

The giveaway runs until September 8, 2016. Good luck!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sweetheart Summer by Mindy Hardwick

Sweetheart Summer

by Mindy Hardwick

Giveaway ends September 08, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway



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Sweetheart Summer Cover Reveal

I’m very happy to reveal the cover to my newest romance in the Cranberry Bay Series….SWEETHEART SUMMER. The book will be available as both an ebook and print on August 30.


Sweetheart Summer_MindyHardwick_800


Seymour’s Secret is Available


I’m happy to announce that my middle grade mystery, SEYMOUR’S SECRET, is now available in both print and ebook.


Barnes and Noble

Can eleven-year-old Colt find the obit robber who stole Grandad’s vintage toy collection before it’s too late?

Eleven-year-old Colt is devastated when his beloved Granddad’s vintage toy collection is stolen by a gang of obit robbers. Determined to solve the crime, Colt enlists the help of a girl who talks to ghosts and a gang leader who plants marigolds in the moonlight. But can Colt uncover the secret behind Granddad’s toys before everything is destroyed in this middle grade contemporary mystery.

There is a free discussion guide on my website here.

Each book I write has a slightly different journey and teaches me something new about writing. Seymour’s Secret taught me how to plot, something I didn’t really understand after my character driven MFA writing program. But even bigger than that, Seymour’s Secret gave me an outlet for the grief I experienced over the loss of both my father and grandfather during the writing of this story.

At the story’s heart is an eleven-year-old boy who is grieving the loss of his grandfather and trying to understand how to deal with that grief. My hope is that the story not only entertains but reaches those children who have lost a family member. So often, in grief, we expect people to just be “over it” after a few weeks. But grief is much more powerful than that, and there is a cycle to it which when given the chance to be expressed, as Colt says in the story, “allows our lives to move to a new ebb and flow without Granddad.”

Seymour’s Secret includes more of my personal memories than any of my books. From the sideboard secret drawer to where Colt finds Granddad’s prototype of his toy and where in my real life, Mom always kept money in that secret drawer, to a scene in a doughnut shop after school which is based on the doughnut shop across the street from my own middle school where we all piled in after school to sit on pink plastic chairs and stuff our face with chocolate cream filled donuts, to the final scene where Colt is given Granddad’s datebook and Granddad has written a note about how excited he is to finally meet Colt on August 9 when Colt is born. Both my Grandfather and Father kept these date books for years and when they passed away, I inherited the collection of both of them.

When looking through my Grandpa’s datebook for the year I was born, I found a letter written to me slipped into my birthday page. The letter told me how excited everyone was to meet me, the first grandchild, but what stood out to me in that letter was: “We’re united as the solid care of your fan club. Marvelous dreams, from all of us, are forming in your future, but the only dream we all vote for, is the one you choose and build.”

As I got to the end of writing Seymour’s Secret, I knew Colt would find a note from his Grandfather tucked in his datebook to him too.

I hope you enjoy Seymour’s Secret, but I hope you will also share it with a child who might need to know he/she is not alone in their grief.


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Goodreads Giveaway for Seymour’s Secret

There is a Goodreads Giveaway for my newest middle grade book, SEYMOUR’S SECRET. The giveaway ends July 31 and one lucky winner will win a signed copy of SEYMOUR’S SECRET. You do not have to be a member of Goodreads to enter. Simply click on the giveaway button below.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Seymour's Secret by Mindy Hardwick

Seymour’s Secret

by Mindy Hardwick

Giveaway ends July 31, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway



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Cover Reveal for Seymour’s Secret

I’m very happy to reveal the cover for my new middle grade book, SEYMOUR’S SECRET! The book will release on July 15 in both print and ebook.

The story blurb: Eleven-year-old Colt is devastated when his beloved Granddad’s vintage toy collection is stolen by a gang of obit robbers. Determined to solve the crime, Colt enlists the help of a girl who talks to ghosts and a gang leader who plants marigolds in the moonlight. But can Colt uncover the secret behind Granddad’s toys before everything is destroyed.



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The Seventh Wish–Middle Grade Book Recommendation



The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner is a middle grade novel about Irish dancing, friendships and most importantly a sibling dealing with her older sister’s drug addiction.

Blurb: Charlie feels like she’s always coming in last. From her Mom’s new job to her sister’s life away at college, everything else always seems to be more important than Charlie’s upcoming dance competition or science project. Unsure of how to get her family’s attention, Charlie comes across the surprise of her life one day while ice-fishing . . . in the form of a floppy, scaly fish offering to grant her a wish in exchange for its freedom. Charlie can’t believe her luck until she realizes that this fish has a funny way of granting wishes, despite her best intentions. But when her family faces a challenge bigger than any they’ve ever experienced, Charlie wonders if some things might be too important to risk on a wish.


The book popped onto my radar from a Twitter post of author, Kate Messner’s blog titled, “Remember Who We Serve: Some Thoughts on Book Selection and Omission.” 

In the blog post, Kate talks about how her book, The Seventh Wish, was removed from a k-5 library and why:

As a huge super fan of yours I did want to offer a new perspective of The Seventh Wish. It was on my book order list before I even read what it was about. However, after reading the description, I too sadly had to remove it.

She says I’m one of the favorite authors in her K-5 library. They have all of my other books, and they fly off the shelves. But this one won’t be added to the collection. She continued:

It’s not that I don’t think heroin addiction is extremely important. Our community has faced its share of heartbreaking stories in regards to drug abuse but fourth and fifth graders are still so innocent to the sad drug world. Even two years from now when they’re in sixth grade this book will be a wonderful and important read but as a mother of a fourth grader, I would never give him a book about heroin because he doesn’t even know what that is. I just don’t think that at 10 years old he needs to worry about that on top of all of the other things he already worries about… For now, I just need the 10 and 11-year-olds biggest worry to be about friendships, summer camps, and maybe their first pimple or two.

This breaks my heart. As a writer. As an educator. As a parent. As someone who loves kids. It breaks my heart because I know this feeling so well. Those are all the things I want 10 and 11 year olds to worry about, too. But I don’t get to choose what those kids’ lives are like. None of us do.

We don’t serve only our own children. We don’t serve the children of 1950. We don’t serve the children of some imaginary land where they are protected from the headlines. We serve real children in the real world. A world where nine-year-olds are learning how to administer Naloxone in the hopes that they’ll be able to save a family member from dying of an overdose. And whether you teach in a poor inner city school or a wealthy suburb, that world includes families that are shattered by opioid addiction right now. Not talking about it doesn’t make it go away. It just makes those kids feel more alone.

When we choose books for school and classroom libraries, we need to remember who we serve. We serve the kids. All of them. Even the kids whose lives are not what we might want childhood to look like. Especially those kids.


I was one of “those” kids. My dad was an alcoholic. I read the problem issue books of the 1980’s in order to try and figure out what was going on in my family. Like, Charlie in The Seventh Wish, I was not going to talk about it with my friends. I needed those books about drug and alcohol addiction in order to feel that I wasn’t alone in my family’s problems.

But, addiction today is much bigger than alcohol. Addiction today is heroine and prescription drugs. And to censor books with these topics as too much for “children” does a disservice to the child who is living with this addiction in their family.

The Seventh Wish is an important story for all kids, but especially those kids who are dealing with a family member in addiction.Especially them.

Main character, Charlie’s feelings of trying to understand why her sister lies to her, how it’s not just as simple as signing a DARE card to stay off drugs, and the feelings of having all the attention on her sister are very real to those who love an addicted family member.

The Serenity Prayer is quoted often in the story and one poignant moment occurs when Charlie is told, “There’s nothing you can do when someone you love is an addict. So you just…” She shrugs. “You keep living and do other stuff.”

And at the end, Charlie understands this and says about her Irish dancing,

“And I’m dancing. Dancing and stomping and kicking and the loudness of these fast, stomping shoes fills the room. It fills me, until I’m out of breath but bursting with energy because even when I’m scared and worried about Abby, this…this is something I can do. I can fill myself with the energy of this dance, the sound of music and the stomps and clicks, the feeling of flying over the floor with Dasha beside me.”

And this is the hope of what all good children’s stories do–they take a situation and empower that child character to come through to the other side with new wisdom, thus providing hope for all who read.

Charlie can’t do anything to change her sister’s addiction, but she can express all her emotion, all her energy in what she loves–her Irish Dance.

So many of my own stories deal with addiction–from my young adult novel, WEAVING MAGIC, which deals with Christopher’s sobriety and Shantel’s addiction to Christopher, to my sweet contemporary romance, SWEETHEART COTTAGE in which heroine Rylee must confront her Dad’s gambling addiction to my upcoming SWEETHEART SUMMER, which deals with hero, Sawyer’s, alcohol addiction and recovery. And of course, my memoir,  KIDS IN ORANGE, which tells the story of working with the kids in juvenile detention–so many of them brought to detention by their addictions and my own story of watching my Dad die of alcoholism. (This story is currently under consideration with a publisher)

And this is perhaps the biggest reason why I write. I write for the child in me who struggled to figure out what was wrong with her family. I write for the adult whose sibling continues to struggle with addiction. And I write for the adult who loves those men who still struggle with addictions and yet so desperately still hopes for that happily ever after.

I can’t change the addicts in my life. I can’t give them sobriety. But I can write. I can write the stories which tell of how my characters–both addicts and family members who learn how to pour their energy into their own lives.

We need these books like SEVENTH WISH. The nature of addiction is it’s clouded in secrecy and lies. We need these books which tell kids they are not alone and that there is hope.




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