November 02, 2009

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DIG IN to BOOKPLATE SPECIAL by Lorraine -- better known as LORNA BARRETT What do you get with murder, good eating (with recipes), and a phantom pumpkin smasher? Get ready to chow down on one honey of a BOOKPLATE SPECIAL! While it's already been sighted in a number of bookstores across the country, the official release date is Tuesday, November 3rd. In BOOKPLATE SPECIAL, Tricia has put up—and put up with—her uninvited college roommate for weeks. In return, Pammy, has stolen $100, among other things. But the day she’s kicked out, Pammy’s found dead in a dumpster, leaving loads of questions unanswered. Like what was she foraging for? Did her killer want it too? To piece the case together, Tricia will have to dive in head-first.… You can check out an excerpt on my website--click here! I'll be signing in a bunch of places in the Rochester, NY area in November and December. For a list, click here! For my kick-off, I'll be signing books at Barnes and Noble in Greece Ridge Center on Saturday, November 7th, 2-4 p.m. Since the book features a food pantry, I'm encouraging my readers to bring a non-perishable food item for the Greece Ecumenical Food Pantry. Those who do will receive a free (unpublished, limited edition) short story written by me! (Those who don't bring anything, but still want the story can make a donation.) Can't make it to Rochester (and let's face it--we are kind of off the beaten track)? I'd love to send you a bookplate for your copy of BOOKPLATE SPECIAL. Just send an email with your name and address to contest @ LornaBarrett.com (to avoid spam, I put spaces in that email address--just take them out, and it'll go through fine).
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IN THE LAND OF PLENTY Posted by Lorraine Bartlett, and her alter ego Lorna Barrett When people think about poverty in the United States, they tend to only think about the urban poor. Certainly you don’t have to look far in a city of any size to find poor people. But the vast majority of this nation’s poor (or is the PC term now disadvantaged?) don’t live in cities. They live in small towns and along rural highways. I’d never given the subject much thought until I traveled out west. Sure I’d seen ramshackle homes and kids with dirty faces in my home state of New York, but nothing prepared me for the abject poverty I saw on the Arizona Indian reservations. When I returned home from that trip, I began to notice just how many people in my own state easily fit into that “abject” category of the disadvantaged. None of the characters in my latest Booktown Mystery has ever known poverty. My heroine, Tricia Miles, doesn’t really think of herself as wealthy, but she is. She came from money. She received a large inheritance from her grandmother, and a hefty divorce settlement. So when she learns that people in her own Village of Stoneham are dependent on an emergency food pantry, she’s rather shocked about it. After all, the village streets are lined with beautiful Victorian homes, nice tract homes, and a revitalized main street that brings in the tourist trade. In the current economic times, with unemployment going sky high, many middle class families are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Not only are food pantries serving the urban and rural poor, now they’re being asked to serve people who in the not-too-distant past were supporting them. In Bookplate Special, the third in the Booktown Mystery series (which is released today), Tricia attends the opening of the newly expanded Stoneham Food Shelf. Here she learns that looks are deceiving, and how she can help those going hungry in her own town. The holiday season is fast approaching, but hunger knows no season. I hope that my readers will be touched by this storyline and motivated to help their local food pantries, not just during the holidays, but all year round. Charles Dickens may have said it best, in A Christmas Carol, when three gentlemen called on Scrooge to make a donation to the poor: “We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices.” The need for donations (non-perishable food items and monetary) has skyrocketed. If you can, I hope you’ll consider donating to your local food pantry so that those who are hungry (children, adults, and the homeless) will have won’t have to face the holiday hungry.

Lorraine Bartlett

Five women, five weekdays, many surprises.

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