Can you believe it? I can’t. I’m in shock!!
Midnight Playground: Where the Soul Plays is ONE!!!
I haven't had an anniversary to celebrate in well over a dozen years!
However I'm not one to miss a chance to drink a little champagne, to commemorate this exciting anniversary, I'm celebrating by giving away two signed hardcovers to two lucky readers.
One reader will be selected at random from all entries received via social media and my website.
It’s really easy to enter, too. You’ll receive one entry each for the following:
So you could get a total of SIX entries if you do all of these….
Do not despair, you’ve already got one entry credited each for your current likes and follows but go out and get the rest of the possible six!
And as a BIG, THANK YOU, I’m giving a signed hardcover plus a little swag gift box of things I like and want to share - think chocolate, think tea, think cozy - to the reader who had the most referrals to the social media platforms and the website. MOST IMPORTANT: TO BE SURE YOU GET CREDIT FOR YOUR REFERRALS HAVE THEM SIGN UP ON THE WEBSITE AND LIST YOUR NAME AS THE REFERRER. It’s the only way I can keep track.
All entries must be completed/received by 11:59 p.m. CST on November 30, 2017.The drawing will be held on December 1, 2017 at NOON CST. Winners will be notified via the email address provided on the entry form or via the social media method available.
The recipient of the Thank You gift will be notified via the email address provided or via the social media method available within 7 days of the contest closing.
For the boring legal rules and terms of service disclaimer, go here.
Thanks for an incredible year!
I love meeting with book clubs!
I love hearing their reactions to Midnight Playground, answering their questions, and sharing personal stories. It's even better when we meet in a location that is in the book. When they asked me for a recommendation, I knew it had to be Sasha's on Shaw. (For those who've read the book and/or planning on it, this is where Simone and Natalie go after searching for the attorney's office on that cold February day. )
Some things to look forward to as a result of this book club discussion: A Midnight Playground playlist on Spotify, book club discussion questions posted here on the website, and (in development) a 'map' of the restaurants/bars/tango locations Simone visits in the book.
Did I mention I LOVE meeting with book clubs?
Saturday morning, I nervously stood amidst tables filled with fresh-baked pastries, delectable fruit trays, and coffee cups ready to wake the world up. Even though everything looked and smelled delicious, there was no way I could eat anything. My stomach was in knots. I was about to participate as an author in my library's annual Local Author Breakfast. I was to talk about Midnight Playground, writing, myself, and answer questions from strangers and neighbors for 120 minutes: eight 15-minute periods. It was speed dating but between readers and authors.
All in all it was an enjoyable morning. It was flattering to hear comments from readers who'd already read Midnight Playground. One said, "Tango became another character for me." It was fun to watch the facial expressions when I 'warned' them that the book is 'pretty passionate.' But, I assured them, no one had complained to me about it, yet. One reader excitedly stated after our table's discussion that she was extremely interested in my book now. She rushed to purchase it from the Left Bank book employee and brought it to me to sign, saying she'd never had a book signed by the author before. What a humbling moment...
Many complimented me on Midnight Playground and said they looked forward to reading anything else I wrote. There was laughter, great questions, and tons of encouragement from the participants.
I'm hopeful they'll invite me back after the next book comes out, and the next, and the next...
This is the kind of speed dating I could get used to.
He clips it!
Enjoy a few pics from the 8/21/2017 solar eclipse. I was fortunate enough to be in the path of totality. Very cool. I'm thinking of joining a band of merry eclipse chasers or starting one. Any takers? Would love to hear how you spent your Total Eclipse Day. Comment below.
Four years ago today I heard three words that upended & transformed my life. No, it wasn't "I love you." If only!
It was "You have cancer."
I chronicled on Facebook and CaringBridge the scary new world of treatment options, surgery, chemo, and facing my own mortality. I must confess it wasn't all as pretty or as glamorous as I made it out to be. 😉
But four years on, and every day is still a magnificent gift. Humbly, so.
I have one more year of good results on blood tests, CT scans, & colonoscopies and I'll be considered "cured." I'll probably write next year's anniversary post in ALL CAPS! 😊
I'm forever grateful to all the energies sent my way (doctors & nurses, prayers, healing touches, positive thoughts, caring words, alternative & traditional medicines, food, sympathetic ears, and love) that helped me fight and endure.
My life will never be like it was before July 16, 2013. That's fine by me because it is more amazing now than I could've ever hoped for or imagined. Although it's still not as pretty nor as glamorous, it is mine and cancer-free.
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16058204.Simone_M_RichardsThere's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, Snapchat, Youtube, LinkedIn, and more I don't even know about. I thought I was pretty good at multitasking considering I've been raising three children on my own for the last 14 years. But that was before I tried to manage my social media presence. Now, I'm not so sure.
Lately, I've been working on learning how to maximize my Goodreads profile. I tried to link my twitter followers who also have Goodreads accounts to my Goodreads friends list. I closed my eyes and pressed submit. Fingers crossed that it worked. (I'm always nervous about violating social media etiquette. So, my apologies to everyone in advance!)
If you'd like to connect with me on Goodreads, click here.
If that doesn't work, copy and paste the link below in your web browser.
Admittedly, I was nervous as I pulled up to the home of the hostess, Nancy, who'd invited me to meet with her book club. They'd selected and read my book for their January meeting. I didn't know what to expect.
It was cold and remnants of an earlier snowfall were still on the ground. I parked, noticed my sorority's letters on the window of one of the cars, and thought, "I'll be okay, a DG is in there."
The women were all welcoming and nice and funny. They liked reading a book set in St. Louis because they knew the areas of town referenced in the story. They now wanted to learn tango. Many admitted they researched and watched many videos of Argentine tango on YouTube after finishing Midnight Playground. They giggled about finding themselves reading the sexy and steamy scenes in the most non-sexy situations such as in the dentist's waiting room or on the sidelines of their kids' basketball games. They asked if I dance tango (I do), if it was weird to write the sex scenes (it wasn't), if the story had happened to me (parts of it are from my own life but it is a work of fiction), how long did it take to write (15 months), what else am I writing (the follow-up to Midnight Playground and Purg-a-tory) and do I know someone like Paula? (Maybe.)
The group had the most fun casting the actors/actresses for the Midnight Playground movie. For Simone, it was a tie between Cameron Diaz and Reese Witherspoon. For the male characters, they shared a bunch of photos of various great-looking, shirtless actors that I can't remember who they settled on, if they did.
One of the members said that what she liked most about Midnight Playground was how real the characters felt, that she could see herself sitting down and sharing a bottle of wine and talking the night away with Simone. They all agreed that the characters stayed with them and wanted to know what happens next!
I assured them I was working on the sequel. I thanked them for letting me attend their book club and for choosing to read Midnight Playground. I thanked them for their support and asked that they leave reviews on Amazon and to tell all their friends.
I drove home calm, relaxed, and happy. And, even more inspired to continue writing.
PS - BTW the hostess was the DG!
It's been a while since I posted (I apologize for that) and a lot has happened since the book launch.
In January I was fortunate to be able to do a 'sexy' reading of my book at a super cool local coffeeshop/cafe called Shameless Grounds.
(You can't tell by this picture but I was pretty nervous.)
The crowd was attentive, the food tasty and the wine smooth. We're hoping to be able to schedule another event sometime this summer on their fabulous patio. Stay tuned!
In February, we set up shop at Failoni's Restaurant & Bar. Here's a link to my first Facebook live event from that night. I made new friends, had fantastic pizza, and drank several Midnight Playground martinis. Vic Failoni, Julie George, and I spent a couple hours a few weeks prior to the signing developing the signature drink. If all that doesn't already sound amazing, I also shared a lovely swing dance with Patrick and a tango with Paul.
I'll post more pictures from these events in the next few days as well as update you on my upcoming schedule.
St. Louis Book Launch Party a Success!
It was great to see so many friends and supporters at the launch party for Midnight Playground: Where the Soul Plays. There were a lot of hugs, pats on the back, atta-girl’s, and an impromptu, unscheduled reading! It was a fabulous night.
And I'm happy to report, in spite of the tasty mulled wine, my signature remained legible and upstanding as "Simone Richards" and not "S'more Dicks." ;-)
Many thanks to everyone who came out! See you again, soon.
For my book Midnight Playground: Where the Soul Plays, I offer this explanation to the ebook readers. I noticed the formatting difference when I looked at a copy on a friend's Nook. I don't know how to have it changed or if it can. So in light of that I thought I'd offer a little explanation to help in case you are confused.
The main character Simone is a writer (surprise!) and she has a blog called midnightplayground.com. Her blog posts are separated out by solid lines and have dates. These posts give you the reader an insight into what is going on in her mind during the story.
She also (which you find out in the book) wrote a book after Brian left her five years ago called Midnight Playground: Where the Soul Plays. There are three "chapters" from that book inside this story. In the print version, those chapters are separated by a different font and design. Unfortunately that didn't happen in the ebook. You know you are reading a chapter because they start with the title Midnight Playground: Where the Soul Plays and then give you the Chapter and the title of that Chapter (they are Counting Cars, Playing the Midnight Blues, and Two Thousand Steps). These 'chapters' give you insight on Simone's past.
I hope that helps and that I've not made it any more confusing.
Happy Reading, enjoy the Playground.