Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Sweetheart Cottage Giveaway

Happy Fall! This weekend, I planted the tulip and daffodil bulbs and got out a few fall decorations. For the last few months, I’ve been spending a lot of time on the Oregon Coast as I’m in a transition of moving between Seattle and Portland and have had to do a little juggling with selling one house and buying the next. This weekend, I took a little tour of The Old Wheeler Hotel which is the inspiration for Ivy’s hotel in Cranberry Bay and the setting of the third book in the series. The book got a little delayed in publication due to my relocation. The gal giving me the tour showed me the rooms and suggested it might be fun if I stayed a night or two and worked in the lounge on the story–a beautiful room which overlooks the Nehalam River.  It sounded wonderful and with the fabric store–inspiration for Katie’s shop in Sweetheart Cottage–just two steps away I can’t think of a better late fall getaway!

However, as we move into the fall days, I keep thinking of main character, Rylee driving over the Coastal range on her way to Cranberry Bay in Sweetheart Cottage and decided it was time to do a little giveaway of a signed print copy.

I’m hosting the giveaway on my Romance Author Facebook page here and all you have to do is leave me a comment by October 1 when I will draw one name.

Story Blurb: Can a bet to save a dying town bring two former high school sweethearts back together for a second chance at romance?

Self-reliant and determined never to fall in love again, Rylee Harper is traveling with her dog, Raisin, to Cranberry Bay, a small Oregon Coast town. She needs to sell her deceased grandmother’s house before her meager savings account runs out. Rylee intends to make friends with no one least they discover the family’s long-held secret. But when former high school sweetheart, Bryan Shuster, offers her a job staging his vintage river cottages, Rylee finds her guard softening. However, when Bryan’s plan threatens to unearth Rylee’s shameful family secret, will Rylee run away or will she trust Bryan with her heart and stay?

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National Recovery Month Giveaway

It’s National Recovery Month. Every September, SAMHSA sponsors Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover. You can read and listen to some of the recovery stories here.

My personal life as well as two of my books are about recovery. Kids in Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention tells the story of some of the teens I worked with in the poetry workshop who struggled with addictions as well as my own story of growing up with alcoholism and the grief and loss of losing my Dad to addiction.

My young adult novel, WEAVING MAGIC, is also about recovery as main character Christopher is a member of AA and working hard to stay clean and sober.

In honor of National Recovery Month, I am giving away two signed copies of WEAVING MAGIC and one signed copy of KIDS IN ORANGE: VOICES FROM JUVENILE DETENTION.

You can enter the Weaving Magic Giveaway here

You can enter the Kids in Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention Giveaway here.

And if you have your own personal story of recovery, I’d love to hear it!



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Author Skype Visit

As fall begins and everyone goes back to school, I wanted to let educators know about a special opportunity to bring me to your class.

I am available to do a free 20-minute Skype Visit for either Kids in Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention or Seymour’s Secret. Author Skype visits are a great way for kids to meet a real life author without having to pay for the travel expense of me coming to your school. They are a great way for kids to ask questions about being an author as well as get them excited about writing.

Kids in Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention is a memoir.

The gang leader doesn’t like poetry, but will a detention center workshop show her how to express love for her newborn daughter? A teen boy dies of a drug overdose. Will his final poem speak what he cannot say?

In the middle of a career change from teacher to writer, Mindy Hardwick volunteered to facilitate a weekly poetry workshop at a juvenile detention center. By helping the teens write poetry about their lives, Mindy discovered strength and courage to grieve the loss of her father, find forgiveness and release the past.

A skype author visit is a great way to kick off a unit on narrative fiction. The book works best for grades 8th through college.

Seymour’s Secret is a middle grade mystery and would work best with students in grades 3rd through 8th. It’s a good story for at-risk readers or those dealing with grief and loss. There is also a free study guide you can download here.

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.

If you are interested, please contact me via my contact form on my website. I do need a little bit of advanced notice to schedule with you.


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KidLit Cares Auction

KidLit Cares is hosting an online auction to benefit the Red Cross relief effort to help communities recover from Hurricane Harvey and related flooding. Agents, editors, authors, and illustrators have donated various services to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with donations being made directly to the Red Cross disaster relief fund. You can read more about KidLit Cares here.

There are lots of great things to bid on, everything from picture book critiques to author Skype visits to real life in person author visits.

My fabulous developmental editor, Bev Katz Rosenbaum is offering a full manuscript critique. Bev edits my sweet contemporary romance and I would highly recommend her for romance authors or YA. She is a YA author herself as well as having been a Harlequin editor. You can read more about her auction item here.

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Sweetheart Summer Giveaway Goodreads

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sweetheart Summer by Mindy Hardwick

Sweetheart Summer

by Mindy Hardwick

Giveaway ends May 10, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

I’m giving away two signed print copies of sweet, contemporary romance, Sweetheart Summer on Goodreads. The giveaway runs April 25 to May 10.

Blurb: Can two small-town business competitors set aside their differences and find love in this summer family saga romance?

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



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Spring into Romance

Spring is here! What better time to share our favorite reads for the season? Join in and tell everyone about what new reads you’re excited about!  You can find all the blogs participating on the hop here.

On this hop, I’m giving away one $10 Amazon gift card (US/INT). Please leave your email below and I will pick a winner on April 18 and announce it on the blog.

I’d love for you to sign up for my newsletter here or visit my author facebook page here.

My newest book in the sweet contemporary romance Cranberry Bay series will be released in late August, but you can find the other two books here.



Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

Happy Spring! I’m participating in the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop sponsored by author, Dianne Venetta.Over the next ten days, authors and bloggers will be sharing gardening tips, recipes and giving away books on their blogs.

There is also a grand prize for the entire blog hop of one ereader and one $25 gift card. In order to be entered for the grand prize, you must comment on all the blogs participating in the blog hop. You can find the entire list of blogs participating here.

On my blog, I’m sharing a recipe for Crab Cakes which is from my memoir, Kids in Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention.

Kids in Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention is the story of my seven-year experience running a poetry workshop at Denney Juvenile Justice Center. During that time, my Dad passed away and some of the memoir includes my teen age years growing up and his recipes. One of the recipes is Crab Cakes which his Dad, my grandfather, made for us the first trip we took with Dad as a divorced parent to see his family in Norfolk, Virginia.



Dad’s Crab Cakes


1 cup chopped onion

¼ cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped parsley

½ cup butter

1 cup evaporated milk

1 egg

Thyme, salt, pepper to taste

2 cups crabmeat (from can okay, if fresh crab not available)

1 cup breadcrumbs


Parmesan cheese


Sauté onion, celery and parsley in a little oil. Add crabmeat and thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer until heated through. Add bread crumbs (or packaged stuffing), milk, lightly beaten egg. Toss well.

Shape in crab shells (or custard dishes), sprinkle with bread crumbs, parmesan, dot with butter, dust lightly with paprika.


Brown in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.


As a part of the Authors In Bloom Blog Hop, I’m giving away a signed print copy of my sweet contemporary romance, Sweetheart Summer! This is a sweet contemporary romance from my series, Cranberry Bay.

To be entered to win a copy of Sweetheart Summer AND the grand prize drawing for the blog hop of an ereader and gift card, please leave your name, email address and one comment about what you love about spring. Please only one comment per person. (US and INT entries)




Goodreads Giveaway for Kids in Orange

I’m giving away three signed print copies of Kids In Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention.

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Kids in Orange by Mindy Hardwick

Kids in Orange

by Mindy Hardwick

Giveaway ends March 28, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway



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Kids in Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention Available



Kids in Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention is now available in both print and ebook.


Barnes and Noble



Blurb: The gang leader doesn’t like poetry, but will a detention center workshop show her how to express love for her newborn daughter?  A teen boy dies of a drug overdose. Will his final poem speak what he cannot say?

In the middle of a career change from teacher to writer, Mindy Hardwick volunteered to facilitate a weekly poetry workshop at a juvenile detention center. By helping the teens write poetry about their lives, Mindy discovered strength and courage to grieve the loss of her father, find forgiveness and release the past.

A portion of the proceeds from this book will be used as a grant to hire writers to work with teens at Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Writing the book was a ten-year process including seven years of running the workshop with the kids. For the last three years during March, I worked on the story, spreading the pages across my dining room table as I tried to make sense of a structure which included short vignettes, the teen’s poetry and my dad’s recipes from his blog. March in the Pacific NW is a hard month. The grey rainy days of winter linger and linger and it seems as though spring will never arrive.It always seemed like a good time to work on this book.

I knew the story would include three voices–mine, my Dad’s and the teens I had worked with, I just didn’t know how to weave it all together and it took a strenuous post graduate semester with Vermont College that involved more tears than I can count as well as my Dad dying at the end of that semester for it to finally come together.

Perhaps the hardest part for me to overcome in the telling was my own personal resistance to telling the truth.  As a child and teenager so often I put on a smile and pretended nothing was wrong in a family that was exploding at the seams with alcoholism. Years and years later, I was shocked to find that defense mechanism blocking me at every turn when I sat down to write the story. It took the a very kind and patient critique from a dear friend and writer who asked me very gently but firmly to go just one layer more before I finally knew the story was finished.

During the month of February I taught an on-line class, Writing and Resistance: Overcoming the Obstacles to Our Success. As I taught the class, I was working through the edits and proof reading on the formatting of the manuscript. Due to the poems, recipes and short vignettes the format process was as challenging as writing the book had been and there were many times the file would come back and I would think let’s just stop. I can’t read this story one more time. Let’s just quit.

But I knew–keep going. Don’t give up. You’re almost there. Even on the day of release (today) when the book went up on Amazon and the Kindle edition didn’t link with the print and I had to  contact Amazon and ask for it to be linked, that little voice said, Don’t give up. You’re almost there. You’re almost there.

And then the book posted and very appropriately it was March 1 and that story is no longer on my dining room table and there is a part of me that feels like I did when my Dad died, as if something inside of me has suddenly been released and the voices of my dad, the kids in detention, and myself is finally free.



Valentine’s Day Giveaway

We had a snow day–which is a treat for the Seattle area because everything shuts down and the world goes very very still for about twenty-four hours.

I took advantage of the day to get some Valentine’s Day sewing done and am giving away one Valentine’s Day apron and a signed print copy of SWEETHEART SUMMER.





The giveaway is going on at Mindy Hardwick, Romance Author Facebook Page and all you have to do is  leave me a comment and I will pick one winner on Friday.

Please comment on the Facebook page here.

Good luck!

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