Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Some Stories Are Not Seen Audio Book Available

Some Stories Are Not Seen is now available as an audio book! The story is available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes. The story is read by Lauren Pedersen at Apothecary Audio

Twelve-year-old budding scientist Lucy Lavender loves exploring. After Dad dies, Mom pieces jobs together and struggles to provide a home for Lucy. When Mom is offered a job managing a set of vacation cottages in Sea Rock Cove, the small coastal town where Dad grew up, Lucy hopes this is her chance to have a home and pursue her dream of becoming a marine biologist. On Lucy’s first day at her new school, she is excited to take a field trip to Sea Rock and see Dad’s beloved sea stars. When Lucy learns the sea stars have a wasting disease and are dying, she is devastated and becomes determined to save them. But as Lucy gets involved with the people of Sea Rock Cove, she learns there is a lot more beneath the surface of the town than just the sea stars at low tide.

And if you are looking for another fun, summer audio book, my first book, Stained Glass Summer, is also available on Audible.

Twelve-year-old Jasmine adores her photographer father and wants to be an artist just like him. But when Dad abandons the family, Jasmine is sent to spend the summer with her uncle on a Pacific Northwest Island. Soon, Jasmine is learning stained glass from island glass artist Opal, and thinking she might just be developing a crush on island boy Cole. But, it’s not until Jasmine finds herself mentoring another young artist that she can truly let go of her father and call herself an artist on her own terms.

This story will appeal to young readers between the ages of 8 and 12.

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The World is a Sniff–Complete on Kindle Vella

The World is a Sniff, a serialized story on Kindle Vella, is now complete at 64 episodes. This means you can read the entire story with purchased tokens without waiting for a new episode each week.

However, if Kindle Vella is not for you, good news! The World is a Sniff will be removed from Kindle Vella at the end of June and is going to be an ebook and book! Look for the book publication toward the end of August and it will be available where all books are sold, including your favorite independent bookstore.

The book version will contain both “The World is a Sniff” and “Tails from the Beach” and have some slight revisions from the Kindle Vella version which was designed to be read as “weekly episodes.”

I started posting Kindle Vella episodes last July and wrapped them up in May. With the exception of December when the Kindle Vella listing was removed accidentally and it took Amazon three weeks to relist it, episodes were posted weekly. This spring, episodes were posted two times a week.

Kindle Vella was a great process and helped me set regular writing deadlines to finish this story. Stormy, my eleven year old Cocker Spaniel, is the narrator and I wanted to make sure the book did not end with his death! (as many dog stories do!)

Story Blurb: Stormy. Born for greatness as an agility dog. But greatness slips out of Stormy’s paws when he flunks his first puppy agility test and is reassigned as a pet dog, Now, Stormy must learn the rules of backyard dog barking contests, how to coexist with a pesky cat, and most importantly, how not to steal other dog’s treats in weekly training classes. A humorous and joyful journey told through the eyes of a dog who is trying to teach his Human how to see the world one sniff at a time.

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Coming Soon… An Audio Book!

I’ve been working on approving the final files for the audio book of Some Stories Are Not Seen. It will be narrated by Lauren Pedersen at Apothecary Audio.

It’s been really fun to hear the story brought to life. This month is Audio Book Month and you can find Apothecary Audio posting a lot of “behind the scenes” information on Apothecary Audio’s Facebook Page including a little bit about the production of Some Stories Are Not Seen.

Look for the audio book to be released soon and available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

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Kindle Vella Available on Android

The World is a Sniff

The World is a Sniff, a Kindle Serialized children’s story, is now available for Android. Readers can now read Kindle Vella stories on their Android Kindle Apps. I use an Android (Google Pixel) phone and the story was in my Kindle App tonight underneath all the ebooks I am currently reading in the Kindle App. Once you start reading the story, it will show up on your Kindle App.

There are 31 posted episodes of The World is a Sniff with new ones posted every Saturday. The first three episodes can be read for free. Then, readers buy tokens to unlock other episodes. Each episode is short and something that could be read while waiting in line, traveling on a bus or subway, or enjoy as a bedtime story. (There are no illustrations with this story.)

Story Blurb: Stormy. Born for greatness as an agility dog. But greatness slips out of Stormy’s paws when he flunks his first puppy agility test and is reassigned as a pet dog, Now, Stormy must learn the rules of backyard dog barking contests, how to coexist with a pesky cat, and most importantly, how not to steal other dog’s treats in weekly training classes. A humorous and joyful journey told through the eyes of a dog who is trying to teach his Human how to see the world one sniff at a time.

And don’t forget to visit Stormy at Dog Twitter here:

Stormy also has ventured into Tik Tok but we aren’t quite ready to reveal his new videos yet! His Human is still learning the ropes of how Tik Tok works!

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Stained Glass Summer New Anniversary Edition

My first middle grade book, Stained Glass Summer, was published ten years ago by Musa Publishing. In 2015, the rights reverted back to me and I took it out as my first Indie published book. Many of the same people who started with me at small epublishers have been a part of my team of editors, book designers and cover artists and it began at Musa Publishing with Stained Glass Summer.

I’m happy to announce Stained Glass Summer has a new cover, new layout design and is now available as an anniversary edition! It is available in both ebook and print at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, as well as your favorite local Independent Bookstore! (The book is being distributed by Ingram so your favorite local bookstore can order you a copy!). If you’d like a special signed copy, let me know and I can do some small batch mailings.

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Holiday Romances

This past week I took a great class with the Contemporary Romance Writers called, “Writing Holiday Romance,” taught by Robyn Neeley.

We did fun writing exercises with our opening lines, brainstorming lists of holiday activities and talking about snow in holiday stories.

I have written two holiday romances, very short novellas, that were published by Books to Go Now years ago called, New Year Heart Song and Love’s Christmas Gift, both which are no longer available.

Most romance authors have at least one holiday story, if not many, and about a year ago it came up in my writer’s sprint group that I did not have a holiday story published. Over the last year, I’ve been working on mainly my children’s stories with the publication of Some Stories Are Not Seen and the Kindle Vella, World is a Sniff.

In my Monday night writing sprint group, I’ve been working on drafting a rom-com about a quirky beach town and all the eccentric characters who live there.

So for my holiday romance class, I decided to return to my Cranberry Bay series.

In class, I posted my opening lines to a holiday novella, Sweetheart Santa, that I’ve had rolling around in my head for awhile for a holiday story in my Cranberry Bay Series.

Ivy replaced a light-bulb inside the body of the vintage, plastic Santa and tucked it into a box filled with three foot Santas. Every year helping the town’s home owners get ready for the annual historic holiday homes tour was one of Ivy’s favorite Christmas jobs. at the antique shop. The holiday homes tour was a fundraiser for the town’s historic train that on Christmas Eve turned into a Santa Train with hot cocoa and children bundled up in sleeping wear, all in the hopes of traveling to the North Pole to see Santa. Ivy wrapped a cord around a small tabletop lighted Santa and chuckled at the small bite on Santa’s beard. Her year-old Springer Spaniel sprawled across his bed under a roll top desk. He had been both a blessing and terror in the last six months, trying her patience with his constant chewing and bringing her laughter and joy with his puppy charm.  

Bells chimed as the door to the Red Door Antiques opened. “I’ve got room in the truck for one more box,” Josh’s blue eyes sparkled and his Santa hat tilted at an angle.  He grabbed a frosted tree cookie from the china plate on the counter.  Sasha and her son Tyler had dropped them off on the way to set up the tea and cookies at the library for people to enjoy as they strolled along the tree-lined streets and toured the homes later this afternoon.

“This one goes to Mrs. Perkins on Hemlock Street,” Ivy toed the box by her foot.  “I think she must have a hundred Santas. Every year she asks me for another box.” She smiled at her long-time friend Josh. Ever since the two had been in high school working on the holiday food drive, they’d been partners for the holidays.

Hallmark, Lifetime and Netflix have just begun rolling out holiday romance movies and since our dark, rainy winter season has set in, I decided to watch a few.

I started with Next Stop, Christmas which is a charming story about a heroine who gets one a train to take her back to Yonkers for the evening and instead finds herself whirled back ten years on a magical, Midnight Express, type train. Once she returns to the home of her childhood Christmas, she must revisit a marriage proposal she receives as well as a long time friend and how she feels about him.

The next night, I watched Open at Christmas which was another fun holiday romance about a heroine who finds a holiday card left in her high school text book that is filled with holiday love. She is determined to find out who gave her the card. It’s a charming story and along with the hero and heroine’s story, we also get to see the story of the hero’s best friend and her fiance and how their story entwines with finding out who gave the heroine the holiday card. I also enjoyed this one because the characters were slightly older than the typical romance characters and in their early 40’s.

Both will be aired many times over the next two months as well as many others. You can find the whole Hallmark line-up here. But don’t forget to check out Netflix and Lifetime too. Each network has a slightly different flair for their holiday stories and if you want to write for any of them, it’s good to do a little research!

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Writing the Subplot–Seattle RWA Conference

This weekend I am presenting a workshop, “Subplots: Building the Secondary Layer.” at the Seattle RWA Conference. This is a virtual conference and the following are the handouts, slides and links for anyone who would like them. The session was pre-recorded and there is a live Q and A for those who are attending the virtual conference.

Here is the subplot workshop handout:

And here are the workshop slides

The following are the links referenced in the handout:

Save the Cat Beat Sheet Explained:

https://timstout.wordpress.com/story-structure/blake snyders-beat-sheet/ 

Save the Cat Beat Sheet (You will need to send in your email address to get one) https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/save-the-cat-beat-sheet/ 

Save the Cat Beat Writes a Novel Beat Sheet: (Subscribe to her newsletter to get a free one) https://www.jessicabrody.com/2020/11/how-to-write-your-novel-using-the-save-the-cat beatsheet/ 

Romancing Mr. Brigerton Beat Sheet

Robin L. Perini (Seattle RWA 2014) 

https://www.robinperini.com/emerald-city-writers-conference-what-a-great-time/ (Layering  Handout/Page 4 and 5)  

Janice Hardy Blog Posts  

Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave: Crafting Subplots 

Juggling Subplots

 

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August News

The summer is moving along and in a few weeks I’ll be back to teaching. One of my goals this summer was to finish all the episodes in my Kindle Serialized story, The World is a Sniff, which is a story told from the point of view of my Cocker Spaniel Stormy.

There are ten episodes posted and new ones release each Saturday. Currently I have twelve more ready to go with another seven or eight to be finished to wrap up the season. The entire series will be posted by the middle to end of October. If you would like to read the story so far, the first three episodes are free and Amazon is giving away 200 tokens which should take you almost through all the episodes posted currently. Be sure to like and follow the story. You can find World is a Sniff here.

There is a second series, Tails from the Beach, which will follow shortly.

Kindle Vella is a new serialized story program that Amazon rolled out for readers in July. It is currently in Beta form and stories can be read on the Amazon website or Kindle IOS. Hopefully Android Kindle App will have the stories soon!

My August Author Newsletter was sent out today. You can read it here or sign up to receive it directly into your email by going to my website and using the sign up link.

And for those of you in the Portland Metro area, I will be signing my romance books on Sunday from noon to two at Jan’s Paperback Books. I would love to chat books and writing romance (or writing children’s books)! Come on out to see me and bring the mask. Masks are required in Oregon businesses.

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Library Writer’s Project

Every year, Multnomah County Library (Portland, Oregon area) places a call for local writers who would like to see their books added to the library’s collection.

This year, Some Stories Are Not Seen, was selected to be part of the collection.

Some Stories Are Not Seen can be checked out as an ebook from Multnomah County Library’s Overdrive Platform.

My local branch is the Sellwood Branch which is walking distance for me. It’s a pleasant walk. The library is located on 13th Ave and there is a great food cart pod, a couple coffee places, and other small shops on tree lined sidewalks. The neighborhood is filled with craftsman homes, often with gardens in place of the grassy medians, and a sharing corner with a little free library, street mural, and a make-believe play house for kids. The dog and I enjoy many walks and it fills me with creative ideas.

These are some pictures I took this spring on one of the walks with everything in full bloom.

The Sellwood Library has some great history starting with:

In December 1904, twenty-two residents, led by the Rev. D.A. Thompson, met at the Sellwood Presbyterian Church on Spokane St, and organized a Reading Room Association. Accustomed to tithing in church, each pledged $1.00 per month to fund the library.

The library opened on February 10, 1905.

In 1910, library service expanded into the community with a small deposit collection of books placed at a firehouse and another on a ferryboat. Late that summer, a box of 100 discarded books was sent to the Sellwood playground. Another set of 84 books was placed in a street railway company clubhouse.

The Depression strained all of the library collections as people turned to these free resources for both entertainment and information. Circulation at the Sellwood branch shot from 56,763 in 1930 to 70,701 in 1931, with people looking for nonfiction titles. Books on raising poultry, rabbits, bullfrogs and mushrooms on small plots of land were especially popular.

You can read more about the history of the Sellwood Library here.

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World is a Sniff Now Available

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B096RJGZSC

My children’s serialized story, The World is a Sniff, is now available on Kindle Vella. The first three episodes can be read free. Amazon is giving away 200 tokens to readers so you can read episode four and five as well as pick a couple other Kindle Vella stories to try!

If you enjoy an episode, please like it at the bottom of the episode page.

The World is a Sniff are stories based on my dog Stormy and I learning to be a reading dog team. There will be a second “season” called Tails from the Beach which are Stormy’s stories as an Oregon Coast dog.

Here is the story blurb: Stormy. Born for greatness as an agility dog. But greatness slips out of Stormy’s paws when he flunks his first puppy agility test and is reassigned as a pet dog, Now, Stormy must learn the rules of backyard dog barking contests, how to coexist with a pesky cat, and most importantly, how not to steal other dog’s treats in weekly training classes. A humorous and joyful journey told through the eyes of a dog who is trying to teach his Human how to see the world one sniff at a time.

Stormy has a Twitter account that you can follow here @Stormyspaniel

Kindle Vella is in a beta phase and stories are available to be read on the Amazon webpage as well as the Kindle IOS app. Hopefully the Android app will have it shortly.

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