LOUISE PENNY’S

The Bistro

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Join us here in The Bistro for a discussion on the entire Gamache series. Feel free to ask or answer any questions about any of the books or the series as a whole.

Discussion on “The Bistro”

One way to ‘honor’ Louise is for all of us to pre-order her book! I Will do that ASAP, I get her paper AND audio. That’s how authors start out on top of the best-sellers list right out of the gate! I know I owe her that. 😀

Great plan – last time I did it on Kindle, but this time, if she comes to Seattle, I want to be able to get her to sign it, so I will be ordering from my local independent shop as soon as they go “live” with their announcement about seeing her! It means waiting about TWO WEEKS!, but it will be worth it, hahahaha.

I got IT! Have read first chapter. Can not wait for time tonight to continue. I don’t know what to say, Anna. I’m so thrilled and happy for you. You said you were going to write a book and you did. A GOOD one too. I’m so excited I’m having more trouble than usual typing. I can’t imagine how you must feel. You can speak of MY BOOK. You are now “My friend the author”. I wish I could read nonstop now but can’t. We are helping my sister to get prepared for the crowd from Mississippi. Masters Week you know. That week I need to be able to transport from my house to hers. We live on opposite sides of the National with me closer. Must go. CONGRATS, Again.

Thanks Barbara. You make me giggle too. This has been great fun.

Be careful with all that teleporting! You know Bones from Star Trek was very dubious about having his atoms scattered. Maybe stick to driving!

Right now I wish I could say, “Beam me to CA, Mom”. Spend a few hours with her and be home for hubby! I figure my atoms (especially those in my head) are already pretty scattered, so what’s a few more? lol…

Ah Peg, you make me laugh. But we are a great bunch. Thank you for being so good and waiting for the book. Seriously I have tears in my eyes. We hit number 17!!!! I had to screenshot that and send it to my husband as it won’t last long enough for him to see it live.

It’s -3 with windchill. Brrrrrr. But I am warm all over from everyone’s kindness.

We have to make sure we get Louise all the Honours she deserves this year, it’s such an exciting thing. I know several extra people who will be buying her book in August.

Peg I couldn’t figure out who was downloading the book in the middle of my night…..must have been you and the Bistro crowd. Don’t forget sleep is a weapon, as my husband is fond of saying!

Anna, I checked late last night (Wednesday in USA) and then again this morning, which is Thursday. I love being called “part of the Bistro crowd,” that sounds so exclusive.

I can’t thank you all enough!! I don’t quite know whether to laugh or cry but I nearly fell out of bed when I read this! (It is still dark and very early here but I have to wake my daughter in two minutes for a school excursion!)

Sorry for any typos. I did spellcheck and reread it a zillion times but I am too close to the work….I see the value of a good editor. Remember it’s Australian English and we are a little odd in our spelling.

You are all so amazing and supportive. This wouldn’t have happened without you all as I said. Thank you to anyone who bought it. I am glad though that you can all access it for a couple of days for free as that was always my intention.

I still can not believe anyone other my family would read it…my daughter hasn’t which lead my friend to declare I should strap her to a chair and read it to her…….that might not be a good way to boost the readership. A little Orwellian!

It is very chilly this early morning. It snowed a little down south yesterday. Winter is creeping up on us as I hope the sun is beginning to shine for you all.

The Cove, by our very own A. Leavy (Anna) is now FREE!

And the most exciting thing is her ranking!
(Yes, Anna, the American Amazon! …lol)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#26 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Crime
Here’s the link.
http://www.amazon.com/Cove-Anna-Leavy-ebook/dp/B00V2TSN34/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1427387209&sr=1-1&keywords=The+cove%2C+Anna+Leavy

We love Anna who has given so much of herself to us, so let’s boost the signal and spread the word and help her get to #1! At least in this category and beyond.

One doesn’t need a Kindle to read it, or read it from a computer screen. Most devices ‘have an app for that’! 🙂

Anna, I’m SO happy for and proud of you! Congratulations!

Peg, it IS wonderful to see our Anna’s dream come true. I’ve started telling all my reading friends to spread the word also.
The description of it on Amazon, to use my son’s exact words, “is gold!” Here it is below:

“Murder is not the heart of this story. Redemption is, hope is: Because everybody dies, but not everyone knows how to live.”
Professor Thomas Davidson returns to the holiday cottage of his childhood in the seaside village called The Cove to fulfil his father’s dying wish. He has stayed away for three decades afraid to confront the secret he has been hiding, a secret linked to a young girl’s disappearance. On his return to The Cove he is surprised to find old friends and new and a place of great meaning and comfort. When the town and lives are threatened Thomas realises just how dangerous silence can be.

Thank you for leading the cheer squad Millie. Must be all that soccer Mum practise you had. I hope today is a good day for you. You most certainly deserve it.

You’re very welcome and my pleasure. But please allow me a small correction; I was a soccer coach! I was the only mom dumb enough not to sit in the shade while the munchkins ran around. …lol. Plus, I had a lot of years after that promoting theatre arts in my little community in CA! It’s part of my DNA now. Some things ya just don’t forget. 🙂

Thanks Millie! Wouldn’t have done it without you. Now I’m looking forward to reading it. (Sorry, I’m just not good with technology…and don’t have a cell phone.)

Update on The Cove. I have just republished the file so not sure if it will be available until that goes live. I beg your patience.

Anna, I just downloaded The Cove for free (thanks!) from Amazon to my desktop Kindle Reader. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet but will ignore the formatting issues and typos LOL. My grandmother was a newspaper proofreader and I definitely inherited that trait from her.

For anyone that wants to read The Cove but doesn’t have a Kindle, they have a desktop (or laptop) version available that you just download for free. I have it on my work computer and at home on the big-screen main machine. Plus I have lots of free books stored for reading later.

The phrase is “magical thinking” Millie, where we imbue activities with power. The old don’t step on the cracks because it will break your mother’s back. You “know” it can’t be true but what if? So you avoid the cracks anyway. Open the boxes when you are ready Millie but know the power lies with you, not the boxes or their contents.

I know we all give over power in our lives to people, and objects, perhaps because we are scared by how much power we have. I keep thinking of Clara when I ponder this. She took a long time to feel she was talented. Some of that was her own insecurity but some of it was denial of power. She knew Peter was struggling in many ways, despite his success. I think she held herself in to avoid overpowering him. But that wasn’t a successful strategy.

When we deny ourselves we can risk diminishing others as well because the power of a relationship comes from a balanced interaction. Peter didnt cope well with Clara’s success but the relationship would have teetered anyway if Clara hadn’t worked to be herself.

Sense of place… I really liked your last paragraph about it, Julie. “…it’s the people that make me feel safe and ‘right with the world’.”

For me, now, it’s my husband. Unfortunately, he’s been having to travel a lot lately so my ‘world’ doesn’t always feel ‘right’. It was different when our sons were younger, still lived at home and I lived only a few miles from mom and dad and extended family and I was very involved in our little community before having to move to FL… But that’s not my ‘place’ anymore. It amazes me when I go back and there are no longer any familiar landmarks.

I was having a conversation with one of our sons a few weeks ago. He stopped by and I started to apologize I still had so many boxes of my beloved books to unpack… He is so wise. He took my hand and said, “mom, in the last three years you’ve lost a lot of family and friends, found out dad had cancer (he’s fine now, all gone), had the house turned upside down because of a water pipe leak, found out your hip was all out of whack and still did all you could to keep us all feeling loved and welcome while being a long distance care giver for your mom taking care of your dad. Maybe you’re just afraid that if you tackle the last bit, ‘bad’ things will start happening all over again?”

I hadn’t connected those things quite that way, but since the tears started flowing I was pretty sure he hit the nail on the head. I find it interesting and baffling that the hardest thing for me to tackle now are my books, some of which have been with me since childhood. They always gave me comfort, gave me a sense of continuity, of ‘sense of place’ no matter what the address. (Let me make real clear that my LP books are indeed out. 😉

It’s all so overwhelming some days I just want to hide in the only room that wasn’t touched by the ‘flooding’ – our bed room. There’s no phone, no TV, just quiet and peace. But life keeps happening whether I stay there all day or not so I force myself up and keep trying to feel I belong in my own house… Because if it IS fear holding me back (though to cut myself some bit of slack, getting my hips & spine back aligned has been a painful process and I’ve been faithfully doing my exercises nonetheless) then I just have to dig deeper and just get on with it!

I do want to add that through all this, there was ‘the Bistro’! Even if I only went there in my mind, it was a ‘safe place’ where I found peace when I had to walk past the ‘untidy’ rooms of the house. A ‘place’ I could just ‘be’ and not have ‘to do’ what my body surely wasn’t ready to tackle yet. Time to move on like Clara & Gamache… But that’s another topic.

Millie – my goodness, you’ve had so much going on in the past few years – if it were me, I wouldn’t have anything done at all! I wonder if it would “work” if you had someone else who could tackle that last job for you and get your books all set up. You’d just come into a room one day and it would be done – nothing more hanging over your head, and you could just sit down and read something that’s been packed away for a long time…

Hello Cathryne and Barbara. Thanks for the ‘welcome back to posting’, because as you said, Barbara, I stopped by in my heart a lot. I can tell I have a lot to catch up on. Not sure what is wrong with your sister but I hope she knows how lucky she is to have your company. Depression can be so hard to come out of… I’ve been fighting not falling head first into that deep hole. Getting out of bed is the hardest. When I manage that, I know I still can find my way through the rest of the day. I wish your sister much peace and recovery.

Thanks for your good words, Millie. My sister is still depressed over her husband’s death in 2012. She, like Mother and I, has struggled with lifelong depression.
I am always happy to see someone overcome that awful foe.

Hi Barbara. It’s always lovely to hear from you. I am so sorry your sister is struggling although it sounds as though your family has experience with the Black Dog. As Millie says she is lucky to have you. I wish you both well and hope that the change of seasons lifts the spirits a little. I think we have talked before about sensitive, intelligent natures that feel so deeply. Depression can be part of that too. Feelings can be so overwhelming.
The following is a link to an article on Giftedness and depression in adults. It is really interesting and practical. I like that book clubs are part of the suggested help points! Millie, you will get a lot from this too.
http://www.undoingdepression.com/GiftedAdultsResults.html

I just lost a lengthy post – don’t know how. I’ll try again.
Hi to ALL. CONGRATULATIONS to Anna. I’m so happy for you.
I’m glad you were able to comfort Millie and to help her to return to posting. I won’t say “return to the Bistro” as she did visit. I drop in a couple of times a day to see what is going on.
I’m still reading the Peter Robinson series. Hillary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies were good reads too. I read them to prepare for the airing of Wolf Hall on PBS.
Started C. J. Sansom’s latest…Lamentation. I don’t like it as well as his previous books in the series. I’ll continue it anyway. Maybe I’ve read enough of Henry VIII’s reign for a while.

I set the free promotion but the earliest I could set it was for the 26th which is Thursday. Just keep an eye out and see if it comes up earlier or wait for Thursday. It will run for three days. Apologies but I am still sorting the edit issue. I will try before Thursday but it might not be fixed. The main problem is spaces between paragraphs and the Table of Contents won’t work. It’s perfectly readable but not perfect!

We have talked before about the power of a place, like Three Pines, and how we would love to go there. Sense of place is a theme I keep coming back to and would love to explore more.
What makes a place important to you? Is it the physical space, is it the people, is it a sense of belonging and contentment? In your lives right now, where is it that makes you feel safe?

The sense of place theme is well worth examining. I mentioned to my sister this past weekend that I feel so relaxed, safe, secure and loved sitting on the sofa with my feet propped up in her family room. I still spend Sat afternoon and night with her. She is trying to come out of her depression and is making some progress I think. I’m almost afraid to hope.
A sense of belonging and contentment are dear and treasured emotions.
The little reading room at my branch library was a special place for a long time. Being surrounded by books in an 1850’s house with librarians who were also friends gave me the special feelings of belonging and safety.

So interesting – the power of place. My parents were nomads, and probably what you’d call “free spirits” today, though there was no thought of that kind of thing when they were young with their family to take care of. It’s not, actually, an ideal trait in a parent, hahaha. At any rate, we moved so often that I don’t cling to places, per se, but things that remind me of peaceful, happy times in my childhood. So often, it’s the quality of light that happens when the seasons change – I can tell within a couple of days if it’s near the end of August or of February without ever having a calendar, I’m sure. Both of those times, the afternoon light is magical to me, somehow. One shows promise of spring and renewal, while the other hints of darker days and cooler days. Yet, somehow, to me, they are both equally peaceful.

I recently went “home”. My older brother has never moved away from the last town we lived in with my parents – Thunder Bay, Ontario. It’s the kind of place most of us couldn’t wait to grow up and get away from, haha. He asked the family to get together for his 50th wedding anniversary, so my younger brother, who lives in Toronto, and I met up and went together. We rented a car and drove around looking at the places we knew when were younger, and I did feel some kind of pull. It was fun to see the town, and feel how small it seemed in comparison to my memories. And it was really great to see my brother, his family, and especially his friends, who are the same friends he had when he was a teenager. All the older boys I had crushes on, with their wives and children. Almost as if the town had been going on all along without me, hahahaha.

But for me, I think, mostly it’s people who make me feel safe and “right with the world”. It could be anywhere, but if I have those I love around me, it’s perfect.

I love the change of seasons too Julie. Right now the Autumn light is stunning. It softens after the glare of summer and highlights the red and gold in the changing leaves.

We have moved a lot in recent years and I have been wondering what I search for in each new place. Is it physical or emotional. I think there is a combination of factors that tie me to a place. I love our home right now and find great comfort in different rooms in different times. The library with its books and the front room with its fire and its views.

But people definitely make a place too. We have created a lovely virtual place and I absolutely feel a sense of arrival when I am here.

Australia is very much about sense of place. The original Australians have so much invested in the land itself. Their dwellings tended to be more of a temporary nature as they moved about, but the land they moved across was their home. A bit nomadic like you Julie! These days, it is very normal to have an Aboriginal a Welcome to Country at the start of official functions, including school assemblies.

Hi Cathryne! It’s so nice to talk to everyone. The Bistro is buzzing again.

I took a friend to the Bookstore this morning and showed her Still Life. She has gone off to become a new Louise Penny Fan. I know she will be because she said she wanted a book to be engrossed in, where she would come to love and care about the characters. That is a Three Piner for sure!

We need to get that buzz going again in anticipation. I personally can’t wait for the next trip to Three Pines.

Anna, l got your book last night and jumped right in. There is no way I would have waited for Wednesday. I was especially tired but kept reading and reading until I came to the part that told me, ” This is where you stop for today.” It was so lovely I went right to sleep and woke smiling. I’m very busy today but somehow content to stay where I am in the book until I can return without too many interruptions. Where I stopped was the end of chapter 4, probably not a big surprise to you.
Oops, I’m late, hello to Millie and Peg, not heard from for so long.

Julie,
Thank you for the welcome back hug. A big ((hug)) right back at you. It is nice to be back. Many a night, I imagined myself in the comfort of the Bistro’s fire with a cup of tea or cocoa… Anna right there with me. She indeed has a very big heart! And her talent as a story teller is as big as her heart. She said the book wouldn’t have happened without me… All I did was tell her to follow her heart! But like you, Julie, I didn’t want to wait till it was free. She took the time to find websites that many of us found so helpful… My small way of saying thank you.

But I can understand why: this is Louise’s Bistro, after all. But in a way it is ours also and August, and Louise’s next book seems so far away for us who love to read. I can honestly say I’ve read some ‘so called’ best sellers I did not even like. The Cove really is a wonderful read. But I’ll stop singing its praises before she thinks that I think she asked me to pop in just to promote her book. Not at all. In her wisdom, she knew it was time for me to come out of my protective cocoon and rejoin the world of the living in a safe place. Here!
There is something magical about this space – thank you Paul for keeping the doors unlocked. 🙂

Millie you make me blush!

I am just so glad you are here and feeling up to chatting. And like you I thank Paul for making this space. Without the Bistro and everyone I seriously doubt my book would exist. But like I was saying, the book is just a representation of doing “something”. Humans are not meant to dwell in isolation. We have the need to be in contact with others even in small ways. That support can be vital especially when times are challenging.

I hope everyone has survived the difficult North American winter. Come out of hibernation in notification of a new Three Pines adventure only a few months away. Time for the speculation to commence.

With many apologies to Julie who bought it, I think I can run a free promotion on the book for a couple of days. I will do that on Wednesday North America time. Just keep an eye out for when it goes free. There canbe a delay between when I set it up and when it happens.

Anna, that sounds great! I will be watching for it. The Amazon writeup sounds quite intriguing. Then of course we need to give it honest reviews to help promote it.

Thank you Peg. If you read it and feel it warrants comment then by all means I would love a review.

I wrote the book because I had a story in my head that wouldn’t go away, characters that just kept asking to be heard. I know many people have things they have always wanted to do, write a book was mine. I have done it. Everything else is cream. In all honesty, I doubt I would have even put it out there if it wasn’t for everyone here being so kind and encouraging. I just wanted to share with you as a way of thanks.

If you have things you want to do, can I just encourage you all to have a go. Life is too short to wonder whether you can, just do. In some wys I think that was the lesson in Louise’s last book. Both Armand and Clara were stuck moving forward in their own ways. While the outcomes were unexpected, they had to find a way to move.

I will get that free thing happening.

Anna, I wouldn’t think of taking a cup of coffee for the price of the book! It was very reasonable, and I was proud to be among the first buyers! I’d love it if I was first! 😀 I am just so proud of you for doing this and learning all the new things you had to learn just to get the book up there! So far, I’ve only dipped my toe in, as I was busy all day yesterday and looks like I’ll be gone a lot of today, too. I’ve been away on a trip to Williamsburg, VA, and coming home means tons of things left undone. Hubby lives like a bear with furniture when I’m gone, so there was no food left in the house, a big mess left after he “cleaned up”, etc. I should be back to normal soon, though, and I’ll be delving into it immediately! So far, though, I’m loving the atmosphere you’ve set!

You were definitely among the first Julie. I think my husband might have been the absolute first. He is in Hawaii this week.

The book will wit for you to get your life in order! I do know what you mean about some men left to their own devices.

I am enjoying the Bistro coming to life a bit. It has been a bit quiet as we hold our breath in anticipation of the next Louise book. I have introduced a few people to Louise lately. Can you believe one is going to finish her first Penny before she reads my book!! Yeah ok. I can believe it.

Hi Millie. Welcome back. So glad you dropped in. Thank you for reading my book. It wouldn’t have happened without you.
Been at work. Now with mum. Oh dear. She wants her mother. That’s a tricky one

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