Tomorrow Is The Big Day!

Tomorrow, April 25th, is “The Big Day” when we celebrate the Hatchday of Gracie and Bessie! They will both be two years old. It’s also when our first eBook will be available on Barnes and Noble!

Just as a reminder, today is the last day for our readers to get a free copy. This post has the links and directions you will need. The responses have all been overwhelmingly positive from those who have read “Seasons Of Friendship,” and we appreciate your kind words so much!

After discussing this with Gracie and Bessie, we have decided to give any and all royalties from “Seasons Of Friendship” until the end of the year to the women’s group at St. John’s Church which sponsors our annual Flower Festival from April 26th through 28th. This year, the Flower Festival follows their Hatchday. Each chapter in “Seasons Of Friendship” is illustrated with garden plants as a celebration of beauty and friendship. What a perfect combination of events!

Gracie and Bessie will help with baking cupcakes again this year for the Bake Sale part of the Flower Festival! (Maybe Bessie will share her recipes?)

The “A.W.E.-some” women at St. John’s always give and they always give their very best. They love everyone no matter what, and I’ve never known them to turn anyone away who needed help. They always have a smile and a kind word, particularly for those who are the most vulnerable and have no voice. These are just some of the reasons why Gracie and Bessie call them their friends.

Our church is in the heart of the oldest part of our city which has a large homeless population. There are many others who have a home but are still struggling in many ways. At St. John’s, we love. We help. No strings attached.

After you’ve enjoyed a free “Thank You” copy, please consider purchasing “Seasons Of Friendship” through Barnes and Noble between April 25th and December 31st. You will be doing a wonderful kindness that will help people who simply need a loving friend who will accept and welcome them just as they are.

My Life With Gracie taught me, there is never a season when we don't need friendship.

Remembering Blanche

There is never an easy way to write about death. I had shared earlier this year how Blanch’s health was not good. Since then she has had her ups and downs.

Warm days were the best for her. She would sit in the sun and would feel better. Lately though, that didn’t seem to help as much. She spent more and more of her time to herself and sleeping.

She stayed up in the coop Easter Sunday morning and didn’t come down for breakfast. She just slept, breathing slowly.

When I returned home from Easter worship service, I found she had passed away in her sleep. I had felt it’s what would happen while I was away, when it was just Blanche and Pearl together.

When I picked her up, I found she had lost even more weight these last few days, but her feathers were still pure white, just as white as the Easter lilies had been in church, maybe just a bit more in the afternoon sunlight.

I wrapped her in a piece of cotton quilt batting. It was soft and protective. There really was no reason to hurry. We all took our time saying our “good-byes” to Blanche.

She is buried next to the spot where I like to sit with my chickens in the evening, under the camellias next to the coop where we sit and enjoy each other’s company.

When it is time, we will plant white Easter lilies beside her in the garden next to the lunaria (also called honesty) growing there now. The lilies just seem right for her, though I can’t imagine them being as white and as pure as her feathers were when she would stretch them out in the sun.

Blanche was a good friend. She was so patient and kind towards Pearl, no matter how annoying she got. And she did get annoying! On Blanche’s not-so-good days, Pearl would tell her, “Get up! Get up! It’s time to play!” Blanche would always do her best.

From the time she hatched, Pearl had adored Blanche and was almost always at her side as a sister and a friend.

Out of the kindness in her heart, Blanche struggled to stay with us for as long as she could. She did that for Pearl’s benefit. She knew how lost Pearl would be without her.

We will always remember and love Blanche. She taught us so much.

My Life With Blanche showed me every day the meaning of “love is patient.”

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

My Life With Gracie…Thank You, Readers!


Thank You

You are one of the one hundred and seventy-eight best reasons for posting through WordPress. Although there are other platforms, the people who use WordPress are simply the best!

Without you, our readers, I am not so sure how “My Life With Gracie” would have developed. You give encouragement and help me to know what works and what doesn’t work.

As I was putting together this first book, I realized I would have never even thought of doing this if one of you hadn’t written, “I wish I had a friend like Gracie.” That made me think maybe there are others outside of the WordPress environment who might have their days brightened by Gracie, Bessie, Blanche, Pearl, Amelia, and Emily. So our first book is about that…friendship.

To show my gratitude, I’m making our first book available to our regular readers as a free ePub download for the next week until April 24th. If you don’t have a way to download and read an ePub document (or if I’ve really goofed up my link below), don’t worry, it is also available so you can read directly online.

All of this leads up to April 25th which is our big Hatchday celebration for Gracie and Bessie when they will be two years old!

“Seasons Of Friendship” will be officially available for sale as an eBook through Barnes and Noble beginning April 25th, but it is yours free to read and enjoy now! (We have plans to turn any royalties from sales into another gift as well, but that is for another post to explain!)

Here is a link that should let you download from Dropbox even if you don’t have a Dropbox account.

https://bit.ly/FreeDropboxCopySeasonsOfFriendship

(Sorry! This free download was only offered for a limited time to regular readers as a “Thank You” gift..)

I have tested this and it worked smoothly for me as a direct download to both the Nook app and iBooks. (Since systems vary, I’m unable to guarantee 100% success for you.) The file will probably be too big to preview so just use the direct download option from the menu.

Here is a link that should let you read online. Just select the “Read Book” button once you’re there. After that, navigation is on the red bar at the bottom.

https://bit.ly/FreeOnlineReadingSeasonsOfFriendship

(This link will now take you to a preview only. Full view was only offered for a limited time to regular readers as a “Thank You” gift.)

 

By the way, you will noticed I simplified the cover. Although Gracie and the other girls would have liked there to be little flowers all over the front cover, I prefer this one. The brownish eggshell background and the small little baby chick just seem to work well visually and also with the overall message and tone of the book. My irrefutable logic was, “How can we have a book about chickens and not put a chicken on the cover?” (At least it was irrefutable when I was discussing it with my chickens!)

I truly hope you enjoy this book! It should be a different reading experience. Even though much of the content is pulled from these posts, in book form you can become more immersed in the lives of these amazing chickens. Hopefully you will feel like you are right there with them, sitting under the camellias and enjoying their company. Hopefully you will feel they are your chickens and your friends too.

Thank you again for reading, liking, commenting, and being our friends!

John