Please take a look at this book cover. Many of you have already read it, and some of you have even written reviews on Amazon. I am writing to tell you some exciting news – and also to warn you!
I am grateful that my publisher, Tory Hartmann of Sand Hill Review Press, believes in this novel enough to re-release it with a new cover and title. Perhaps you have seen the Sand Hill Review Press Facebook Page, which includes the new version of the novel, now called The Berkeley Girl.
The Berkeley Girl is the same book as A Time to Cast Away Stones, with a new cover and title. If you have read it, this may be an opportunity for you to renew your acquaintance with the story and characters, or you may have friends or relations for whom you’d like to purchase a copy.
This month, I will be at the Bay Area Book Festival at the SHRP booth and also at the California Writers Club booth, and would love to chat about the book – or any beloved books! – so please come visit me. The Festival, June 4th and 5th all day, is going to be a wonderful event for book lovers of all ages – to find out more, visit http://www.baybookfest.org/
Then, please come greet over 25 authors during Authors’ Day on Sat., June 18, 2-4 pm, at the San Mateo County Fair Literary Stage. Also at the Fair, on Sunday, June 12 at 1 pm, I will be on a panel of four great novelists called “Writing Historical Fiction.” For a complete schedule of events, see https://www.sanmateocountyfair.com/contests/departments/literary-arts
Here is the rationale for changing the cover and title: In speaking to various groups when “Stones” was launched in 2012, comments at colleges and in younger reading groups indicated that they often thought the book was about World War II! Even though the words “Paris, 1968” were on the cover, and this is an archival photo from the Paris May Revolution, younger readers were not familiar enough with the era or its history to recognize the cover – nor the title taken from The Byrds’ 1968 classic hit, written by Pete Seeger!
The irony is that one reason I wrote this particular story and set of characters was to debunk 60s stereotypes. Our generation was not instantly catapulted into tie dye and love beads. We lived the cultural, social and style changes, making our own adjustments as we went along.
I thought you might also like to see the back cover with my 1968 photo from the UC Berkeley yearbook.
Finally, please consider writing a review on Amazon – just a couple of sentences – now in support of The Berkeley Girl. Here are a few of my favorite reviews from the earlier version.
“Readers [will] know without doubt that Elise Frances Miller was at UCB and in Paris during the tumultuous 60s. There’s an authenticity to her descriptions of rallies and student protests in Berkeley and in Paris…” -Nancy Woody, novelist
“I had such great time reading this book. Having lived through the campus unrest of the late 60s it caused me to reflect back to my time at the University of Wisconsin… The character development was exceptional, as was the way the author wove together the political unrest of UC Berkeley, Paris and behind the iron curtain. For anyone who lived through the late 60s (or had parents who did) and wrestled with the anti war and military draft issues, it is a must read book. In addition to being very entertaining, it continually presents thoroughly researched historical facts. The reader should be prepared for a number of surprises not the least of which is a great ending.” Jim Nantell, former city manager, Burlingame, CA
“… a realistic and passionate ride through the Berkeley protests to the violent protests in France. I learned so much about that time… I enjoyed living in France through Janet Magill and was intrigued by her growth, the dangerous adventures and the discoveries of a young woman coming of age. I will miss Janet and Aaron!” -Maurine Killough, author and poet