Blue Moon Gardens and Comfort Songs

October 20th. 2019

Mary and Sharon built a destination garden center in the sweet spot of a country road in East Texas. I was one of their earliest customers 20 years ago, and have returned year after year to soak up the herb and perennial plants they specialize in at their shop. I stopped by there a few weeks ago to deliver complimentary copies of the novel, Comfort Songs, to them because–as I revealed–their garden center was the inspiration for AJ Worthington’s Lavender Hill in the novel. Well, one thing led to another, and they hosted me this weekend at their Fall Flowers Events and numerous gardeners bought copies of the novel.

Isn’t it funny, an innocent roadside stop all those years ago led to some serious inspiration for this author.

I’m sure you’ve been places that force you to pause, hold your breath, and imprint a memory because the location affects you so. Well, Blue Moon Gardens, in Edom, Texas, did that for me, and still does. I’m attaching some photos so you can peek into a place that represents the dreams, goals, and talents of two East Texas gardeners. I just hope the novel is authentic to the experience.

 

Bonus Special for Comfort Songs–EXCLUSIVE to Newsletter Subscribers

October 7th. 2019

It’s been a week since it’s debut, and already I’m hearing from readers about how much they enjoyed Comfort Songs! This author’s heart is overflowing with humility and joy. As a reward for those faithful subscribers to my newsletter (the folks who’ve been with me from The Big Inch to now, and hopefully will stay with me through the novels to come) I’m going to write a special second epilogue exclusive for Comfort Songs and deliver it to those who subscribe. A bonus, just for being faithful.

Are you excited? I am too. I’m at work on what I hope will be a fun and sweet surprise and one that will make you glad you camped out here at www.kimberlyfish.com. I know you have so many emails, blogs, memes, IG, and Pinterest boards calling for your attention, and I’m grateful you haven’t unsubscribed here.

As the Christmas season gets into full swing, I’ll email out to the subscribers the download link for the exclusive epilogue, and hope you’ll enjoy the reading gift. Thanks, friends. I value your support, your reviews, your book posts, your IG posts, and most especially, your book purchases.

A fun photo just because.

October 3rd. 2019

A friend sent this photo from the KETK interview today, and it was so sweet I wanted to save it for its thoughtfulness—and I thought my hair looked really good.

Talking about Comfort Songs in the week it first debuted in the world!

Comfort Songs makes a TV debut!

October 3rd. 2019

I had the great pleasure of being on the KETK Morning Show today talking about the new novel, Comfort Songs. Though I stumble through, we had a great conversation about the inspiration and background for the story. Hope this loads so you can watch.

 

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Blow out the candles, it’s a birthday for Comfort Songs!

October 2nd. 2019

We’ve been celebrating the book birthday of Comfort Songs, my 4th novel. It’s a surreal thing to write a book, see it published, and hold it before it’s released into the world of readers. Thanks to the wonder of technology, it’s getting easier to experience, too. I took the leap into publishing 4 years ago, and nothing I do gives as much pleasure as novel writing. Sharing it with readers around the world is dream come true part. Meeting people who want to talk about the characters, the setting, the plot, the history, well . . . it’s my favorite thing.

I’m not to the stage of my career where all I do is plot, write, edit, and market my books, but I’m getting closer to that stage with every year. I still have commitments, volunteerism, and board work that occupy a lot of my energy, creativity, and calendar, but today is all about celebrating¬†Comfort Songs.

This story was born in my imagination years ago. I can still remember where I was when the seeds sprouted and I wondered about the backstory to one or two of my favorite singers. It was that curiosity, that sadness I felt when I watched their celebrity dip and wane, that led me to the characters of July Sands and Roger Worthington. I didn’t plant the particular story of Comfort Songs (the working title had been, Lavender Hill) and watch it grow until I discovered lavender farms around Blanco, Texas. There’s something about the fragrance of wild lavender that got under my skin and fostered my own fantasy about owning a lavender farm. Since my attempts at growing lavender in my back yard were tepid at best, I started writing about it instead.

My husband and I opened the first box of books and lovingly opened each one to make sure they were printed correctly and then we stacked them to count them out. I worried I’d not ordered enough to satisfy the local requests, and slipped back to my computer later to put in another order. Comfort Songs is debuting at a few local events and even part of a library event this month, and I’m always thrilled when folks stop me and ask to buy a signed copy.

I hope you’ll help me toast the new book, and honor the crazy imagination, strange work ethic, and deliberate practice that goes into writing, editing, and publishing a novel. It’s a day for cake!

 

 

 

Comfort Songs–A New Novel

September 20th. 2019

Did you know lavender grew in Texas? I discovered fragrant acres of lavender plants in the Texas Hill Country and that immediately fed my desire to become a lavender grower. I too wanted to walk through aromatic lavender fields every day and live the life I imagined was just one glorious experience after another.

After extensive research, many visits to garden centers (Shout Out to Blue Moon Gardens in Edom, Texas, my inspiration store!!), and talking to master gardeners, I realized I lived in a part of Texas that was never going to produce thriving lavender. So, next best thing? Indulge my imagination in creating a novel about a lavender grower and let her live out my dream.

The genesis of this novel sprouted over twenty years ago when I was fascinated by the lives of some of my favorite musicians–including their ups, downs, and twists of fame. In writing the characters of July Sands and Roger Worthington, I replayed many songs from Folk, Christian, Gospel, and Country songs in the backgrounds to land on the soulful and tragic story of two people who lived under that spotlight. Not that I based this story on them, but the music of The Civil Wars duo became my go-to sounds when I needed to channel July and Roger.

Their daughter, AJ Worthington, was born purely from fiction, but the burdens she carries of lost love, family scars, and love for her grandparents is real to so many. Inez’s story–and her backstory that only you the reader really discover–is a tribute to those who’ve dealt with Alzheimer’s disease and it’s fallout.

And then, there’s Luke. You’ll have to tell me who you think Luke English is based on, but I had so much fun writing him and hearing his voice in my head, that I wish I could have kept on writing the rest of his story. Maybe he’ll pop up in other Comfort novels, like characters from Comfort Plans and Emeralds Mark the Spot have walked through these pages.

The book debuts October 1st, but I’m giving you a sneak peek at the cover today, and hope you’ll remember this story when you’re looking for a good book to curl up with and take an everyday vacation.


Summer Edits and Ideas

July 8th. 2019

Friends, I’m working on the last mile self-editing of a new novel and I’m at the stage where I’m questioning if I’ve put in too much or not enough to make the story entertaining for readers. At some point, I will have to take my fingers off the keyboard and kiss the manuscript goodbye. It’s time for those with red pens to get to work on the next stage of editing. Comfort Songs is the second novel I’ve set in Comfort, Texas and will introduce readers to one of the hardest working women I’ve written–AJ Worthington, an entrepreneur and lavender farmer.

AJ runs a bustling garden center as well as the lavender farm and is reaching the apex of summer sales when her mother–a disgraced former music star and former partner of a popular singing duo with her ex-husband–descends on Comfort to regroup after retiring from her career. AJ has longed for a time to reconnect with her mother–outside of Nashville–and though the timing couldn’t be worse, she’s ready to put in the effort of helping her mother reinvent herself. When a marketing executive from a Nashville recording company tracks them to Lavender Hill, AJ’s defenses are armed. Compounding the problems, AJ’s grandmother’s erratic behavior becomes more dangerous. And AJ’s father arrives –the other half of the popular singing duo and dreaded ex-husband. His temperament and expectations are not conducive to the peaceful refresh AJ envisioned, and navigating all these complicated people and their motives proves to be the hardest work she’s ever ¬†taken on. Will she be able to control them and grow them into the outcome she wants, or will she risk everything and let this unruly series of events bloom at will. A gardener’s worst nightmare might become the seed for a life and love AJ never thought possible.

With a cover already created, and an inspiration page on Pinterest, Comfort Songs is getting near it’s debut date. I’ll have all the details here and on my Kimberly Fish, author page on Facebook, and keep you updated for book events too.

Here’s a snap I took of beautiful flowers grown near Blanco, in the Texas Hill Country, and the kind of cut flowers you’d find at AJ’s garden store, Lavender Hill.

A surprise revealed—not unlike my garden after winter.

March 29th. 2019

Are You Spring Cleaning Too?

March 19th. 2019

Gone With The Wind is still worth your reading time today

February 27th. 2019

I’d recently been reading Pat Conroy’s memoir about his reading/writing life, and stumbled upon a beautiful tribute to the novel, Gone With The Wind. The words caught me up short because the book is well over 80-years old and, brutally, a southern novel about a lifestyle and mindset long since faded. But, as one who had never read the book and could barely remember the movie, I decided to take the paperback with me on a trip to the beach. I’m so glad I packed that brick. Not only because it was long enough (over 800 pages) to keep me entertained for five days of prime chaise lounge reclining, but because it reminded me of how brave writers are. Margaret Mitchell wrote an epic novel about a war, a culture, a mystique that was still quite fresh on the minds of her audience in 1936. The Civil War and it’s after effect was tangible and the generation who’d fought in that war, for those causes, were still alive. She took on a sweeping saga and personalized it through the eyes of four main characters, each with a unique POV. Scarlett and Rhett are iconic, but they’re as much anti-heroes as trailblazers. It’s going to take me a while to digest my final opinion on this novel, but it’s not the portrayals of blacks and whites, Yankees and Confederates, carpetbaggers and gentility, that’s so remarkable–it’s the interior life of two characters who resisted every box society tried to shove them into. Maybe it’s to prove that in those most unlikeable there is the grit it takes to survive.