Catch Up Coffee Share

Good morning, Everyone.

It is warming up here on the south shore of Long Island. But winter keeps it grip with the blustery and cold winds. I’ve been absent from the Weekend Coffee Share and so happy to be back. Pour your coffee or tea or both. Let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee together, I would tell you that the week before last, my grandkids visited for their spring break. My daughter, son-in-law, the grandkids, and their cat, Violet, drove the 15 hours to stay with us. While Halllie and Lance worked remotely, I got to be hands-on Nonny for a week. Violet avoided my surly cat, Hershey, and got comfortable upstairs. We filled the week with cousin visits, projects, picnics in the sunroom, a trip to the Fire Island Lighthouse and the local ecology center that keeps rescued and resident animals and ended with a Good Friday/Easter celebration with family and friends. We prepared to say goodbye on Saturday, but Violet hid in the attic rafters for a full day! After trying to wrangle and trap her (she was too smart for all those efforts) we left her alone and she came out for her dinner. The tired family left Sunday morning, drove to South Carolina in record time, and returned to school and work on Monday morning. I don’t think Violet will ever visit again.

If we were having coffee together, I would say that I have been busy with April’s AtoZ Blog Challenge. Each day (except Sundays) I post a Grand Prompt To Ask Your Grands and my short response. This is my fourth AtoZ challenge. I learned to stacked and scheduled the blogs in advance this year, except for next week. I have a lot of homework this weekend. The month crept up that quickly. Here is the link to my AtoZ and the Facebook page to the website. 

If we were having coffee together, I would report that I am almost halfway through the edits for The Wishes of Sisters and Strangers. This last book in the Becoming America’s Stories series is a mystery holiday story and takes us to the end of 1911. Penny Weber, illustrator extraordinaire, is working on the cover art. I will soon call for beta readers. If you are interested, please email me: Stay tuned. 

If we were having coffee together, I would announce that I am on a Middle Grade Summer Reading List with other amazing middle grade authors. Check out Vesta Giles’ post to see the terrific selections. There are choices for adventure, action, sci-fi, baking and, of course, historical fiction stories.

If we were having coffee together, I would burst out with my Great BIG news. A little backstory first. In 1993, the Albert Whitman and Company published my very first children’s picture book, Famous Seaweed Soup. Of course, I immediately signed on the dotted line and let the editors and business moguls steer the story into a real live book. They contracted Nadine Bernard Westcott, a very fun and popular illustrator, and within eighteen months, I held my sweet picture book. I had very little to do with the design, illustrations, or marketing. Some of the content edits did not ring right with me, but they were the professionals and I was enormously grateful. They listed my book in the catalogs. There were fantastic reviews, and I had a way to visit schools and wear the author title. SRA McMillan picked up Famous Seaweed Soup and globally distributed the book in paperback, Big Book and in Spanish. 

It had a nice life. But it has been thirty years since I signed on the dotted line and over ten years since the last printing. One can buy copies of Famous Seaweed Soup through eBay and library bound copies on Amazon. I never got another picture book published and life got very busy. 

Former students who are now parents ask me where they can get a new copy they can buy for their kids. I miss reading to young children and inspiring their imagination and insights. I especially miss writing stories that call for a picture book life. It is time for a revival.

Alexa Bigwarfe of Purple Butterfly Press accepted the project. We will publish Famous Seaweed Soup with updated content and a new look. Penny Weber agreed to illustrate. June 2023 is the tentative pub date. Getting back to picture book kidlit feels very right for me. I love reading to kids and inspiring my young audience. Stay tuned!

That’s it, Everyone.

Have a good week. Make it Funtastic!

Great BIG Thanks and appreciation go out to Natalie the Explorer who keeps the Weekend Coffee Share percolating.

Enjoy ❤️.   Like 👍.  Share 😊. 

Pray for peace. 

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If you had purchased a paperback or ebook The Heart of Bakers and Artists, The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers and/or Becoming America’s Food StoriesThank you!

Help your fellow book club friends and bibliophiles find a great read by leaving a review on Amazon and in your Goodreads account. Here are the helpful links:

The Heart of Bakers and Artists

The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers

Becoming America’s Food Stories

Hope you are hungry. Becoming America’s Food Stories recalls the tales that have been told around my family’s dinner table. The histories explain the motivations over bowls of macaroni, antics play out while slurping soup, and laughter echoes throughout the dining room. Pull up a seat. There’s always room.
The Heart of Bakers and Artists is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 1911. The story follows nine-year-old Lily, an American-born child of Sicilian immigrants, who wants to prove she is not a little kid. To be a big kid in the crowded tenement neighborhoods, she must tackle bigotry, bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and learn to cross the street by herself
The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers picks up where The Heart of Bakers and Artists left off.Lily has big dreams to sing out with her powerful voice, but must do EVERYTHING, since Mama fell into a deep depression, the baby is sick, and the “Black Hand” terrorizes the neighborhood, threatening her chance to sing at the New York Highlanders Fourth of July baseball game.
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

11 thoughts

  1. Yes these blustery winds were chilly today. We often sit in car at beach and had to keep windows us. I’m looking forward to warmer days. Where is this animal rescue place located? Might be interesting to visit with girls if taking the ferry is feasible

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Antoinette, on your Famous Seaweed Soup 2nd round of publication and on being on The Middle Grades Reading List! Your writing achievements are amazing. Thank you for your weekend coffee share.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sooooo happy that you had Easter celebrations with extended family all around! What a fabulous way to commemorate the season!

    And congratulations on Famous Seaweed Soup! you must be so proud & pleased!

    Liked by 1 person

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