Blog

New Paintings in the Shop!

There are seven new paintings in the shop, and several markdowns on others so I can make room for more in the coming months.

Here’s what’s new:

Head on over to Erin’s Artful Life to see more. It’s not too early to start thinking about holiday gift giving. (Well, it is, but I encourage you to do so all the same.)

Boys & Girls

I attended my 20th high school reunion on Saturday. It was a blast. It was great to see old friends and catch up, great to be in my hometown, great to be offered Manischewitz by a friend’s dad.

So it’s appropriate, I guess, that this week’s episode of Your Face Is Crooked happens to be about school (middle school, though, not high school). I saw a few of the boys I’d “gone with” (early 1990s dating parlance, which didn’t necessarily mean you had ever gone anywhere with each other beyond walking down the hall at school) back then. Blessedly, several others I didn’t see.

Click here or on the graphic below for the ep.

#Debut19Chat starts today!

After I sold my debut novel and got a 2019 pub date, I joined a group of other writers on Facebook whose debut novels are coming out in 2019. The writers in this group are all writers of adult or new adult fiction. They are men and women of various backgrounds writing in various genres — contemporary, historical, sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, romance, and more. We’ve been holding each other up, comparing notes, reassuring each other, and answering one another’s questions for months as we’ve gone through the process of getting edits, seeing galleys, seeing cover designs, etc. It’s been an awesome resource and a great source of encouragement to all of us.

Starting today, you get to meet them!

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If you love to read and you want to be up on the up-and-comers, head over to Twitter and follow the #DebutAuthors19 and #Debut19Chat hashtags. Starting today and every day throughout the month of August, we’ll be introducing ourselves, talking about our books and our publishing journeys, and giving you an inside look at what’s coming to bookstores in 2019.

Hopefully, you’ll find several great new books to add to your Goodreads shelf and/or pre-order.

I’ve already added my post for day 1. Go see who else is tweeting!

 

How do you know if you’ve gotten the right fortune cookie?

Yesterday’s episode of Your Face Is Crooked, in which I consider the inherent risks and rewards of grabbing the first fortune cookie. Click on the graphic to listen.

Oddly enough, I ate Chinese food last night and was not even given a fortune cookie. I had not considered the implications of that phenomenon before recording this episode. :/

Mondays Mean Neurotic Self-Reflection

Last week while I was away at camp, episode two of Your Face Is Crooked released.

Episode 2: Everything You Do Is Wrong

This morning episode three dropped.

Episode 3: Is There Such a Things as Minimalist Boho Chic?

They will continue to post on Monday mornings, early enough for your morning routine or commute. Click on the graphics above to be taken to the podcast. You can also subscribe on iTunes or drop the RSS feed into your favorite podcast app. I hope you enjoy them! If you do, please consider leaving a review on iTunes.

Your Face Is Crooked: Episode 1

The first episode of my new weekly podcast, Your Face Is Crooked, is up!

You can listen by clicking on the graphic above or by subscribing at my Podbean site. Or you can add the RSS feed to your preferred podcast platform. I don’t believe it has shown up on iTunes yet, but it is under review and, barring any issues, should show up there sometime this week. New episodes will be added every Monday morning and are generally less than five minutes long — perfect to listen to as you brew your coffee, brush your teeth, or stand in line at the post office.

Happy listening!

UPDATE: You can find Your Face Is Crooked on iTunes here.

Houston, We Have a Cover!

If you receive my email newsletter, this is old news to you. If you don’t, you should! Those folks all got entered in a drawing to win an Advance Reader Copy of the book months before it actually comes out. (Don’t worry. There will be more opportunities to enter giveaways. But if you’re on my newsletter list, you are automatically entered into every giveaway I do.)

ANYWAY, what I really want to tell you is that we have a cover!

AND the book is already available for pre-order from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Indiebound, and CBD. Pre-ordering is an excellent way to support a new author. It helps a book gain visibility in an online marketplace of millions of titles. And it shows retailers that there is an audience waiting for your book, which encourages them to take a chance on stocking a book from an unproven author.

When you pre-order, you will not be charged until the book is shipped. It may feel silly ordering a book six months before you can actually read it! But if you know you’re going to check it out anyway, it’s a simple way to lend your support.

 

Here is what the book is about:

When Detroit Free Press reporter Elizabeth Balsam meets James Rich, his strange request—that she look up a relative she didn’t know she had in order to deliver an old camera and a box of photos—seems like it isn’t worth her time. But when she loses her job after a botched investigation, she suddenly finds herself with nothing but time.

At her great-aunt’s 150-year-old farmhouse, Elizabeth uncovers a series of mysterious items, locked doors, and hidden graves. As she searches for answers to the riddles around her, the remarkable stories of two women who lived in this very house emerge as testaments to love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, racism, and misunderstanding. And as Elizabeth soon discovers, the past is never as past as we might like to think.

Take an emotional journey through time—from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War—to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.

 

Here’s what a couple bestselling authors have said about it:

We Hope for Better Things has it all: fabulous storytelling, an emotional impact that lingers long after you turn the last page, and a setting that immerses you. I haven’t read such a powerful, moving story since I read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school. This book will change how you look at the world we live in. Highly recommended!”—Colleen Coble, USA TODAY bestselling author of the Rock Harbor series and The View From Rainshadow Bay

“A timely exploration of race in America, We Hope for Better Things is an exercise of empathy that will shape many a soul. Erin Bartels navigates this sensitive topic with compassion as she shifts her readers back and forth between past and present, nudging us to examine the secrets we keep, the grudges we hold, and the prejudices we may help create even without intention.”—Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Perennials

 

Remember, you can pre-order through Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Indiebound, or CBD.

I can’t thank you enough for your support!

Shed That Skin

Some mornings, if you’re paying attention, you see something magical right outside your front door.

This little leafhopper, less than a half-inch long, still hasn’t unfurled his wings after molting. It was nice of him to let me take his picture anyway.

This little creature reminds me that when I’m feeling constricted in that old skin (or in his case, that old exoskeleton) all I have to do to feel a bit better is break out of it.

You’re not bound to the way you’ve done things in the past if they aren’t working. You’ve got a bright new you inside, waiting to get out. Make a change. Stretch your wings. And hop on forward.