This and that…and a #giveaway

by Barb in Maine, baking, shopping, wrapping, addressing cards and packing for Key West

A research trip

Last week my husband and I went on a research trip to central Maine. Normally, I’m writing about the Maine coast, but in the next Maine Clambake novella, coming in 2023, Julia and company take a research trip to central Maine, and for various reasons I decided Google and Wikipedia weren’t going to do it. There were things I needed to see for myself.

We started out from Portland the day after our first sticking snow. The sun was shining, which was important to the enterprise, since part of what I needed to see was the view. We drove along routes 295 and then 95, north and east, two hours to Bangor and then an hour more. I can’t tell you exactly where we went, because that would be a spoiler. I don’t expect any of you to remember the spoiler until March of 2023, but you know, once something is on the Web, it’s there forever.

We passed through Bangor, and Orono, home of the main campus of the University of Maine, and later past the signs for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, then past the exit for the Allagash Wilderness Waterway and Baxter State Park. And kept going.

There’s a place on Route 95 where you come around a curve and across a lake, there she is: Mount Katahdin. I know our eastern mountains don’t impress our western readers, but she really is a beauty. 5269 feet, solid-looking as the granite she’s formed from, Katahdin is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, just beyond the part of the trail know as the Hundred Mile Wilderness.

View of Katahdin from our secret location

I found exactly what I needed and, our mission accomplished, we had a lovely lunch at a local diner and headed home again. We were a lot closer to New Brunswick than we were to Portland at that point, but if we’d turned north toward Fort Kent, there would have been a whole lot of Maine left to go. It’s a big state by New England standards.

The giveaway

In case you missed it in my newsletter, I’m giving away one copy each of Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody, and Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door to ten lucky winners.

The giveaway ends tomorrow, so enter here. (US only, sorry. I could drive your prize to parts of Canada more cheaply than I can send it.)

If you prefer ebooks to print, or if you want a sure thing, Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody is on sale for 99 cents today only.

Have you signed up for my newsletter? You can do so here. You will receive very occasional news from me. The next thing will probably be a giveaway of Muddled Through Advance Reader Copies sometime in the spring.

Readers: Do you enjoy author newsletters? What do you like to see in them? Are you signed up for the Wickeds group newsletter? Let us know in the comments below.

48 Thoughts

  1. Yes I enjoy newsletters and yes I’m signed up for this one and Barb’s among others. I like learning about new books and a little personal about what is happening in your world.

  2. Yes I get quite a few authors newsletters. I like to read what ever they like to share about their personal lives and their writing. I like seeing pictures too.

  3. Love getting the newsletters. I like reading about what new books will be coming out and what authors have been doing themselves. I lived in Houlton, Maine for 12 years and never got tired of the view of Mount Katahdin every time I saw it!

    1. I always think mountain views are so democratic. In so many places only rich people can have ocean views, but everyone for miles can see a mountain.

  4. I love getting author newsletters. I’m signed up for a few. The content I enjoy is info about upcoming books, author events (when that was still a thing), even giveaway opportunities.

    Oh and I like the interactive features that require a response that may just get included in a future newsletter.

    And yes, I’m signed up for the Wickeds newsletter.

  5. Yes, I’m signed up for newsletters. Enjoy getting to know more about both books and author, what’s out and what’s coming. In other words, keep up doing what you are. 🙂
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  6. i can’t wait to find out your destination, Barb! Katahdin is truly beautiful (and I say that as a native westerner). I think eastern mountains can strike us as high because they rise up sometimes out of nowhere, like that one. I grew up in the shadow of a mountain taller than Katahdin but it was part of a range.

  7. I’m glad you achieved mission accomplished on your trip, Barb! As for author newsletters, I enjoy them. The challenge is finding the time to read them with everything else that is always going on. I need life to slow down!

  8. Boy, that’s a lonnnng drive, Barb! Love Katahdin, so powerful looking. Yes, I do enjoy getting the newsletters so I can get the scoop on upcoming books!

  9. Beautiful view of Mt. Katahdin. It’s usually wreathed in clouds when I drive past. Looking forward to discovering your destination.

    I enjoy author newsletters, but I did not know the Wickeds had a group one. I’m signing up!

  10. Barb, yes I am signed up for your newsletter, as well as those from the other Wickeds.
    Of course, I enjoy finding out about upcoming books, but other personal tidbits (travel, family, food) are fun to read. And some insights into the writing process (such as this research trip) is also interesting to know.

    As a Canadian, I do understand the crazy postage costs! It is also super expensive to mail a book WITHIN the same province (or city). We don’t have media mail here as an option. For example, I won a book from an Ottawa author. She mailed the book to me via regular mail. The postage was higher than the price of the book!

      1. LIZ: Seriously, the postage was $11 CDN to mail it within the same city and the book cost $9.99! I told her next time we should meet up in person!

      1. Barb, I can’t come up with a good reason why sending domestic mail via Canada Post is so much more expensive than what USPS offers. Not just media mail but everyday letter mail is several times more $$ than in the US.

    1. I’m in love with the Sleuth of Baker Street mystery bookstore in Toronto, but can’t afford to order books from them. When I can travel there (10 hours by car), I fill my car with their books.

  11. Love the picture of Mount Katahdin.

    I subscribe to a few author newsletters. I tend to read the ones that give me info about upcoming books, author events, and what’s going on in the author’s life behind the scene. Animals are good too.

  12. I am looking forward to your books. It has been awhile since I had a newsletter. I had so many and so much has been lost over the past 3 years due to fried computer. Downed internet that last 3 months. Illness. I am still trying to figure things out. I do read newsletters. Sadly. Time has been sparse this past two years. so have had little time for emails of any sort. Which has proved costly. I love the picture of the open field, Katahdin. Your research trip sounded lovely. My sister and I used to take nice long drives to different areas. Miss doing them

  13. My mantra is “Keep Calm and Read” (author’s newsletters, books etc.), so thank you each one for finding time to write everything you write. Beautiful photo Barb, glad you had a good research trip. I am looking forward to finding out the “secret location!”

  14. Yes I love author newsletters. I want to read whatever is going on with the authors. And again, yes, I am subscribed to the wicked newsletter.

  15. I love living in Pennsylvania, but I do miss the drives through Maine. I like getting newsletters from the Wickeds. It’s nice to hear a few personal anecdotes to make you good folks more real. And I do feel you all are very real!

  16. Interested to see what Julia is doing over that way. (And yes, sometimes readers will make a point of remembering something like that for a year and a half. Better to not spoil anything.)

  17. Enjoyed reading about your research trip. We took a lighthouse trip out of Portland, ME about 10 years ago. Loved the scenery and all the lighthouses we saw. Hope Julia and company will visit a lighthouse or two. (Maine is the state that has the second highest number of lighthouses–Michigan has the most.)

  18. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I enjoy learning about the author, new books, personal appearances and giveaways. Merry Christmas.

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