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Brooke Shaffer

Author, Ski Patroller, and Pasta-Eater Extraordinaire

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10 Fun Facts About: Charleston, West Virginia

October 25, 2017
  1. The first capitol building was built in 1885, but burned down in 1921.  It was rebuilt, but burned down again in 1927.
  2. During the first fire, ammunition on the first floor was set off, causing people to flee in terror.  Two men also stole a fire truck, but were later apprehended by the police.
  3. The current capitol building is the tallest in the state at 292 ft with 3 stories.
  4. Charleston is home to the first brick-laid street in the world, laid in 1870.  It is known as Summers Street.
  5. Charleston is simultaneously the most populous city in the state while being the least populous state capitol.
  6. The city spans both sides of the Kanawha River.  This comes from an Iroqouis word meaning "water way" or "canoe way."
  7. During the Civil War, Charleston was divided between the Confederates and the Union.  On September 13, 1862, Confederates seized the city, but the Union returned six weeks later and held it until the end of the war.
  8. The city spans both sides of the Kanawha River.  Kanawha comes from an Iroquois word for "water way" or "canoe way."
  9. Original Native American tribes in the area include the Cherokee, Iroquois, Monacan, Nottaway, and Shawnee.  There are no federal reservations in the state today.
  10. Charleston's sister city is Banska Bystrica, Slovakia.

10 Fun Facts About: The Appalachians

September 11, 2017

Because they really are important to Tommen, and the story at large.  So here are ten fun facts about the Appalachian Mountains.

  1. The mountains are named for the Apalachees, a Native American tribe in the region
  2. Mount Mitchell in North Carolina is the highest peak, at 6,684 ft
  3. It is also the highest peak east of the Mississippi
  4. Elisha Mitchell was the first to successfully climb the mountain in 1835, hence Mount Mitchell
  5. The Appalachians are over 1,600 miles long, spanning 14 states and provinces
  6. Mount Washington in New Hampshire is known to have hurricane force winds over 100 days out of the year
  7. The Appalachian Trail is 2,200 miles long
  8. There are 8 national parks and 6 national forests dotting the mountains in various states
  9. The Appalachians contain significant deposits of coal, iron, salt, copper, petroleum, and natural gas
  10. Red spruce is the most prominent tree in the northern region

Book Signing at Horizon

August 30, 2017

If anyone is going to be hanging out around downtown Traverse City on October 14, from about 4pm-6pm, come by Horizon Bookstore to say hi and get your book signed. Don't have a book, well you can buy one at the signing or from any number of other outlets.

Problems and Solutions (Answers Anyway)

August 23, 2017

So, I've been getting reports that some Amazon pre-orders are self-canceling.  I looked into it and now I have an answer.  Amazon is dumb and apparently doesn't make a distinction between pre-order and out of stock (talking about the print book only, as far as I know, all digital pre-orders are still on track).

Amazon has a neat feature where if an item remains out of stock for thirty or more days, any orders are automatically canceled so you aren't kept waiting forever and a day.

So that's what happened.  It mistook pre-order for out of stock, so as thirty days goes by with no "stock" it cancels your pre-order.  So, here's what you can do:

1. Ensure that the order was canceled and you got a full refund

2a. Re-pre-order the book from Amazon

2b. Re-pre-order the book from Barnes & Noble

2c. Wait until the book comes out fully on September 1, then order from Amazon or your favorite bookstore

2d. Wait until the book comes out fully on September 1, then get it personally from me (assuming I know you and have a way to contact you)

Sorry for the confusion and the blind-sided sudden cancellations.

Pre-Order Now!

July 19, 2017

Pre-orders are now available!  Go here for the full details.  Or you can look it up on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite ebook vendor or local bookstore.

Not Exactly John Wayne Here

July 16, 2017

Apparently I was a little slow on the draw Friday when I finally got everything sent in, submitted, uploaded, and whatever else.  So, while everything is fully ready and (almost) available, it's not yet available-available.  Theoretically, it should only take another business day or two.  Fingers crossed.

I'm not doing this on purpose, people.  Believe me.

Ho Hum, A Little Behind

July 1, 2017

I know I said that the eBook was (tentatively) going to be available for pre-order today, but file formats and the Powers That Be are a little fussy.  This one's on me.  The good news is, I think I have things figured out and know what I need to do to appease the Hands that reign over my project.

So, new target date is July 15.  Even better would be if it's available sooner, but that's the goal.  Wish me luck.  Actually, no, don't wish me luck.  Wish me sense.  What in the world am I doing?

-Brooke Shaffer

The Latest

June 28, 2017

So...what have I been up to lately? Oh, just...book-sniffing.

Beautiful proof copy, too bad the camera on my computer is terrible.

-Brooke Shaffer

Where We're Going: West Virginia

June 23, 2017

So, in an effort to get you all hyped up for Time to Kill, I've decided to compile a spiffy list of things about West Virginia, which is where you'll be going.  This is just general stuff, but I'll probably come up with more cool stuff in the future.

  1. West Virginia was the only state to be formed by separating from a Confederate state during the American Civil War.  It is the 35th state.  (Nevada also got statehood.)
  2. West Virginia is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world (that means it has a lot of caves).
  3. The average elevation of the state is 1,500, the highest of any state east of the Mississippi River.
  4. West Virginia experiences over 210 cloudy days a year.
  5. Charleston gets approximately 34 inches of snowfall a year while Snowshoe Ski Resort averages at 200 inches.
  6. The largest ancestral groups in WV are German, Irish, American, English, and Italian.
  7. WV's coal production is second only to Wyoming.
  8. In 2011, the top employer in WV was Walmart, followed by WV United Health System, Charleston Area Medical Center, Kroger, and Consol Energy
  9. Bob Evan's was 22nd, and Tudor's Biscuit Co. was 49th.
  10. Originally, the capital city was Wheeling, from 1863-1870.  Then it was moved to Charleston as it was more centralized.  In 1875, it was moved back to Wheeling.  Then Wheeling burned down in 1885 and the capital was returned to Charleston, where it remains to this day.

So, are you excited yet?  Keep checking back for more.

-Brooke Shaffer

Shameless and Unsolicited Promotion: Manuskript

June 16, 2017

*sigh* I just paid $30 for my own dang book.  That's just not right.

Anyway, this is a post that is completely unsolicited and entirely shameless.  It's a short but lovable advertisement for a program I use and swear by for anyone who writes anything, fiction, non-fiction, college essays, research papers, etc.  That program is called Manuskript.

See it here.

I love it because I can open multiple books at once and flip back and forth through them easily, instead of having to scroll, scroll, scroll, search and find, and eat up time looking for one stupid little answer.  What else I love about it is that it is very user-friendly with separate tabs for Characters, Worlds, Plotlines, so I can easily jump over to get information.  Hey, what's the name of that one moderately-insignificant person who I only need a few times but it would look kind of bad if the name kept changing?  Oh, Kyle.  Hey, cool.  And back to work.

I haven't upgraded to the new 0.4.0 version yet; I'm still too attached to my 0.3.0.  But I hear the new version lets you do split-viewing for simultaneous viewing and work, which is way cool.

So, go over there, show them some love, download the program, use it, give feedback.

It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

This has been a SUP.

-Brooke Shaffer

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