I haven't been to a store in what seems like eons, but I'm told that A VIEW OF THE RIVER (Mira, 9/1/05) has indeed shown up "wherever books are sold." If you haven't read the excerpt on my web site, I hope you'll visit me soon, take a peek, and decide to give the whole book a try. I'm pleased to be able to say that it's available in affordable paperback. With the next book--which I'm busy working on--we're going back to the hard/soft schedule. Please let me know your thoughts about A VIEW OF THE RIVER. I do check the message board regularly, and I love to see discussion going on there, but you're welcome to e-mail me as well.
In addition to www.kathleeneagle.com, do make a stop at www.midwestfiction.com for page update about so many good things, including the RWA conference in Reno and our own upcoming Minneapolis workshop, not to mention our booth at the Midwest Booksellers Association trade show in St. Paul and lots of other author appearances.
Oh, and one more web plug. Please visit my "Links" page for a connection to a new weekly romance review site called "B(u)y the Book." Reviewer Michelle Buonfiglio (who was a Miss America finalist in 1989--check out her bio!) does a great job with a new review every week. The most exciting part is that her column is syndicated on web TV NBC affiliate sites all over the country. She has a wonderful bulletin board, so I hope you'll get in on the discussion there as well as on www.kathleeneagle.com!
There are some new things on my web site, including the family album that someone suggested. I will soon put together a new "What's New?" page with pictures of my growing-like-a-weed colt and other goodies. And that contest is coming--I promise!
Right now it feels like a rather unworthy chore to be promoting books and making up contests. Like all of you, I watch and read the daily news with profound awe, dismay, sadness, and a thousand other reactions. I remember my visits to New Orleans over the years. At one time I had family there--my dad's sister and her family. I've gone to conferences in New Orleans and hope to attend another one there next spring. I've done book tours there, and I love the city and its friendly people. What can be said except that New Orleans is our American Queen of Cities? Long live the Queen! We can surely understand why her residents were so reluctant to desert her as disaster approached. Now we must pull together to shore her up and restore her glory. But first, we help the people.
The Lakota have a saying: "We are all related." It's so true. At times like this, don't we all count our personal connections and treasure our memories even as we strive to reach out? My father was born in Baton Rouge. Like him, I was a military brat, so I have very early memories of being stationed in Alabama and Biloxi, MS. My family's original home town of Colonial Beach, VA was devatated by hurricane Isabelle, which was heartbreaking. But Colonial Beach is now rebuilding, as the Gulf Coast communities will do, but not without our help. This disaster is too big, too far-reaching, and it has taken too many and too much.
Like the rest of you, I've answered the call for cash several times over. At times like this I suggest we check look to sites like www.charitywatch.org before we donate to charities we're not familiar with or just to get more information about an organization's efficiency. There are other charity monitoring sites. Your state government probably offers one. But we all remember the charity fallout after 9/11, and we want our contributions to do the most good possible.
Along with many fellow writers, I'm boxing up books for giveaway in shelters. Looking at those Astrodome pictures, can you imagine being there without something to read? Minnesota is preparing its barracks at Camp Ripley to receive as many as 3000 refugees this week, so I plan to offer what I can over there. Just rattling on here--I know we're all trying to think of ways we might help. Feel free to make your own suggestions on my bulletin board. You never know when you'll come up with something that others haven't thought of or didn't know that can be very useful.
So many inspiring stories have come out of this tragedy, serving to remind us of our most noble instincts. Yesterday's paper described an instance that I'll relate here in honor of Labor Day, which is today. It seems that the management of the Hotel Le Richelieu in the French Quarter fled the premises two days after the storm. And who among us can blame them? But there were still guests staying in the hotel and staff that stayed behind. The cooks, maids and security officers took over of their own accord to ration supplies, schedule duties, and assign foraging teams. As of yesterday, the kitchen was managing to serve hot food. I salute them.
I salute all the workers who make America such a great place to live. Be safe. As Garrison Keilor says, "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch."