This Merry Summertime is now available for preorder on Amazon Kindle. It will be on sale for $0.99 during the preorder period, which runs for the next couple of weeks. A paperback edition and ebook preorders on other retailers will follow soon. Click the link to visit the preorder page for the Amazon US store. The book is available on all other Amazon retailers as well.
Summer has always been one of my favorite times of year and it's been a blessing to come in from a warm summer day and work on such a warmhearted, cheerful book as this. As usual when I dive back into something I’ve worked on before, I always think it will take “only a few days” to whip it into shape and it actually ends up taking a couple of months. But it’s still been fairly easy compared to the process with some of my other books and that's probably because the book's happy tone made it fun to work with. It has a really joyful theme of reconciliation. Here's the blurb:
This Merry Summertime is an anthology of seven comedy shorts. 4 of them (Sarcophagus; In the End the Story Ended; The Destiny of Princes; and A Matter of Life and Hair) are entertaining scripts that gently satirize the genres of paranormal fantasy, literary classics, silent film, and western romance while providing fresh takes and strong characters to tell these archetypical kinds of stories. The other 3 (Ella Substituted; Movies at the Beach; and Everwood) are short stories that use comedy adventure and mild fantasy elements to explore family life and young women’s place in the world. The theme of the book is reconciliation and renewal as the characters traverse through fiction tropes to find eventual peace and meaning in their lives and the stories celebrate youth, especially for girls, but for everyone who has happy memories of a time in their lives when life was an eternal—and sometimes hilarious—summer.
This Merry Summertime became a book about crossing divides, learning when it's foolish to get mad, and building up after mistakes. As I worked on making seven individual concepts come together in one book, I realized that every story focused on this theme. There’s a mummy and vampire couple who strangely remind you of people you know: a teenage girl who realizes she’s almost missed out on a really good friendship: an idealistic 19th-century woman who argues with her boyfriend and accidentally sets the town against her only to see it turned to rights: a Cinderella who brings divided kingdoms together without meaning to: and several others who round out a collection that is all about second chances.
And there will be more updates.
Right now I'm part of an all-genre sales bundle for April. All books are $2.99 or less. The sale even includes non-fiction and it's a grab bag of interesting books that might not appear in other, more specialized genre promotions. There are many gems in here, including more cross-genre or unusual books. It’s a very entertaining bundle! My book is Consuela and it is priced at $1.99. There's no pressure to buy (although all the authors would love it if you did) and it’s a great way to find samples of the books on retailers, and scout out authors you'd like to bookmark or follow. Follow this link!
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My next book will be an anthology of shorts—a couple of funny fairy-tale stories, some screenplays satirizing popular entertainment, and an adventure novella about homeschooled kids, called “Movies at the Beach,” which never made it into any other publication. All but one of these have not been published before, though a few were linked as files in blog posts years ago and circulated among friends. (My blog was a very informal affair back then!) The little pieces are roughly middle-grade or younger YA, and just good clean fun. I would think if I was very fortunate they might remind you of the mixture of zany humor and strong emotion in L.M Montgomery’s Chronicles of Avonlea.
After this book, I have three ideas for the future. I'm just not yet settled on the publicaton order. The first is another historical project, this time set in Scotland. When I found all the stuff I’m putting in the upcoming anthology. I also realized I had many uncompleted, rather crunchy story bits drifting around in manuscript form. These little drafts never went anywhere because they lacked a final element. Something about them just wasn’t coming together. But the Scottish setting (which is a really neat one to work with) gives them the missing piece, which is a strong location in which to place the new story that is exploding on a sudden tangent out of those old scattered bits.
I’ve been up in the air about whether to do a third Palladia book. (To turn City of the Invaders and Consuela into a trilogy.) These two stories were written very close together—6 to 7 years ago. A third book would be written years after the others and my life and audience have changed so much this book might not have consistency. However, the main pro for the idea is that trilogies have a finality that two stories just don’t provide AND that authors do sometimes work on a book in their series much later. These books usually have a different “feeling” to them, but that’s not necessarily bad. So we’ll see.
The third idea is for a Christian fantasy book, for adults. I’ve tried the “Christian” genre label with some of my books before, but they are now happily settling into other genres. One of the reasons several of them lost this label is that they were for young audiences. Many readers of the Christian genre want to read about flawed characters and spiritual themes in books for adults. Writing this genre or reading it does not make you more or less Christian. Many Christians prefer mainstream fiction and those who write Christian fiction want it to be meaningful to non-Christians too. It’s about a particular type of story. And I’ve always wanted to broaden and find the characters in that story.
And there will be more updates.
Ryan and Essie, The Birthday Present (incl. Millhaven Castle), and Bellevere House have review copies available on BookSprout. I chose this site because it is the only one that offers a free way to provide ARCS to you while also controlling piracy and lazy non-reviewers. While I understand the need to sample my work instead of jumping into it, I should get something back in exchange for a non-sale. So I have provided 20 review copies to interested readers and if that's you, feel free to jump over and claim one! All the information you need is in the ARC link and download process for the book. The site will also remind you when you've had the book a while and when it is time to review. Current deadlines for the books are as follows:
Oct. 8 (Ryan and Essie)
Oct. 1 (The Birthday Present/MC)
Sept. 24 (Bellevere House)
This gives you about 2 months to complete the review. I think that's a very generous window of time, but later-coming reviewers might need it.
Here's the link to Ryan and Essie Review Copy
Here’s the link to The Birthday Present/MC Review Copy
Here's the link to Bellevere House Review Copy
Be aware that you will be required to review on Amazon and to complete this review you’ll need to have purchased $50 worth from them in the last year. Purchases bought using mostly gift cards do not apply. So check to see if you’re eligible before requesting the book.
And there will be more updates.
Pleasant Fiction in an Age of Noise
This blog serves as the newsletter for Sarah Scheele.com. Posts are delivered to your inbox every Saturday. For fast subscription instead of visiting a link to another website, fill out the form below and you will receive the 9-Chapter Sampler shown above, in PDF. To get the book in Epub or Mobi formats you will need to use the external link above.
When I set about defining my books, I wanted them to be positive places where a gentleness emanated from the pages. A hopeful safety lies in gentleness and there's also an honesty to it. A whirlwind of pushy book blurbs and hot characters (or whatever type character the author wants you to admire) can conceal a reality underneath. A quiet--possibly even lurking--reality that's more visible if you dial down the volume. That lurking reality isn't necessarily bad, but like anything quiet, it gets drowned out by conflict and angst. Peaceful fiction can help explore the truth that noisy books ignore.
Bellevere House has been featured on Ezvid Wiki video "10 Wonderfully Inventive Retellings That Interpret Classic Stories in a New Way." Click to see the video.