The Bistro

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”

Oh Barabara, you made me giggle with your ‘so many thoughts at once,” comment. That’s me to a T! My hubby is such a straight linear thinker (I think most engineers are!) so how I ‘think’ baffled him till about 10 years ago when he attended a required seminar at work and were introduced to a ‘different’ way of solving problems. “He had the main topic inside a circle in the middle of the white board, then drew lines out with lots more ‘bubbles’ which all connected to each other…” There’s a technical term for that form of ‘outlining’ I can’t remember now, but no matter. I remember him coming home asking if that was how I naturally thought? “YES! Only mine float around and sometimes they bump into each other and some will go flying off a wee bit too far and I forget the main point I intended to say.” The poor man actually looked relieved! …lol He finally understood me better. Since then, he’s so much more patient with my ramblings till I get back to “the point” or the ‘center bubble’. ‘Creative’ (or right brain dominant) people are more apt to think that way. Outlines & lists drive me nuts. They are so hard for me – so rigid & confined.

Which just bumped to another bubble – that must be why so many writers say they don’t outline! They must be ‘bubble thinkers’!

Which is certainly a good way of thinking about our weather lately. One day in the 80’s, then two days later we need the heater at night. I guess Mother Nature isn’t a linear “thinker” either! LOL

And yes, the pre-orders are absolutely how authors come out on the top 10 or as #1 on best seller’s lists right on publication day. It also helps the publishers figure out how many books to print for the 1st edition. And if one pre-orders from a bookstore, it gives the store an idea of how many books to order from the publisher too. The nice thing is that one doesn’t have to pay up front to pre-order either at a book store or through Amazon. One pays for it the day you pick it up or it ships. And right now, Amazon is offering a reduced price on LP’s pre-orders with price guarantee! I love opening my front door and seeing her book waiting for me to jump in to Three Pines! 😉

Oh, I’m so happy every morning (okay, morning for me, today, was the crack of noon! – haven’t been sleeping well, but I sure did last night, haha) to see all the new posts! It’s wonderful! Jane – I envy you, too, if you haven’t read them all yet. This series is, by far, the best bunch of books I’ve read about Canadians, about character, about people! The relationships are so real – so agonizingly real! If we’ve somehow mis-read and you HAVE read them all so far, but would like more discussion about the relationship between Jean Guy and Gamache, we will be delighted to oblige. Jean Guy is my very favorite character. So flawed, but so full of a loving soul, if he could just let himself…

Anna, I love The Cove. I could smell the smoke as the fire came closer. I was so caught up in the story that I found myself checking to be sure my inhaler was in my pocket. That’s good writing!
The characters quickly became real. I am anxious to continue the story.

This year Easter and Passover coincide as in the Bible. The Orthodox Christians will celebrate Holy week and Easter with us Western Christians while Passover is observed by those of the Jewish faith.

The forecast is for 27 degrees in the morning. The flowering trees, shrubs and flowers are blooming or in full bud. Everything is beautiful. I hate to see it ruined. The Masters visitors enjoy the flowers so much both on the course and around the city.

The idea to pre-order The Nature of the Beast is certainly one way to show our appreciation and support of LP. Thanks Mille, I didn’t think about the pre-orders determining the opening book ranking.

What a hodge-podge I have written. So many thoughts at once.LOL

Just out of curiosity, I peeked at Louise’s ranking stats so far. In her category, she’s at #11 for Kindle and #17 for books and there are five months still to go before publication date. WOW. We can definitely make this debute on top of the charts. I’m so excited for her. And us.

Anna, I WAS super organized. I don’t do chaos well and I miss it! Maybe I should try some of Barbara’s ‘bourbon and branch’ to see if that helps? …lol
On a more serious note, I did it! Pre-ordered ‘The Nature of the Beast’! Paul, please let us know when the audio is available for pre-order. Thanks.
Here’s the Amazon link if anyone would like it:

Millie, you are so super organised…photographs of the bookshelves. Amazing. If someone unloads the boxes onto the shelves, even if it isn’t quite right you can potter around moving a book here or there but the heavy work will be done.

I have had such an amazing couple of days people. We topped at number 6 in the Australian store for free Action and Adventure and 13 in the U.S. for free crime. I am absolutely amazed and will forever remember everyone’s help. I am content as I can honestly say I was a top ten author on Kindle, no need to toss around the specifics is there?

I say Barbara, they had the Masters on the news tonight. Apparently Aussie Jason Day is one to wtch according to Greg Norman. My mother was a great golfer in her day, loved it. I played for school sport. I do hope the guests aren’t too overwhelming for everyone, especially your sister. Don’t forget to have time outs! Might need to get the bourbon and branch happening, I can see a vase or two in your near future.

From what we’ve read, Jason Day deserves watching. My husband thinks he has a real chance.
Our schools did not offer golf back in my day. Now they do and Augusta State won the National title for colleges a few years ago. There is a real effort to expose all children to golf. First Tee offers opportunities for children who might otherwise not have much chance. My brother-in law enjoyed golf very much. Being career military, he enjoyed playing courses in many counties. When he and my sister traveled, the golf clubs went too whether by plane or
car. I don’t play nor does my sister but we enjoy watching the tournaments on TV. Neither of us have been able to attend the Masters for decades. Her back prevents her from going and my asthma keeps me away. My allergy to grass oil is very severe. I’m so glad we can watch the play on TV.

I just saw your wonderful suggestion about getting someone to help with the book unpacking. Brilliant!
As I said before, I have to get used to scrolling back up. I must say it hadn’t occured to me. Duh! As you know, my hubby travels a lot and I guess I developed the mindset that I could always ‘hold down the fort’, take care of whatever needed doing. But I can’t lift the boxes just yet. (I did laugh when you suggested I walk counter-clockwise around the pool. I asked the Chiropractor if I could do that and he said absolutely not. 🙁 So I feel as though I’ve also lost my ‘safe place’ to walk, too! There are no sidewalks where we live and because it rains a lot the streets angle down from the center so he said no walking on the streets either. What a kill-joy he is! )

Anyway, in the chaos of packing up things, I think I had the presence of mind to take pictures of each shelf before the contractors arrived to help empty the house. (Bless one of our neighbors who watches out for the house between ours which belongs to ‘snow birds’ and only come South a few weeks in the winter. They let us store our ‘stuff’ in their house and garage while ours was being fixed…) If I find those pictures in my camera stick, and print them out… It would be a piece of cake for a stronger body without me doing the ‘heavy lifting’. That could really work. Thanks! What would I do without the Bistro and you all. I don’t think I mentioned that I missed you all very much. I just needed a bit of time to grieve and heal. But it’s so nice to be back.

It’s time for me to move beyond where I got stuck, just like Clara & Gamache. That’s one thing I so love about her books. First I read them for her story. Then I read them looking for what helps me. Sometimes it’s the humor, sometimes it’s a phrase. Right now Gamache is whispering in my ear that I need to be OK with saying, “I need help.”

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.

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.

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.

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