Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Camille Di Maio is a first class novelist...plus a book giveaway

We're thrilled to have Camille Di Maio back at CLC today to celebrate the recent publication of her latest novel, The First Emma. Melissa A loves her novels and is excited to share her five-star review of this one soon. Today, Camille is sharing a letter she wrote to the version of herself from ten years ago. Thanks to Get Red PR, we have one copy of The First Emma for a lucky reader!

Camille Di Maio is the award-winning author of five novels, the most recent being The First Emma. Married for twenty-two years and the mother of four children, (plus two senior rescue pets), she flees to coffee shops and libraries to write in peace. An avid traveler, most of her destinations find their way into her books. She is a co-founder of the Facebook group My Book Tribe and loves to interact with her readers on Instagram. When she’s not reading, writing, and travelling, she’s exploring farmers’ markets for the best baked goods.

Visit Camille online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

1914 - Young bride Emma Koehler dreams of a happy marriage and a simple life with her husband, but her hopes are quickly dashed by Otto’s obsession with his business. Though they become one of the wealthiest couples in the country – a fortune made on beer, mining, and hospitality - Emma is lonely in their stone mansion, unable to have children and unable to keep his attentions at home. When a tragic accident changes everything, Otto presents a new betrayal – and Emma must choose between loyalty and independence in a world that demands convention.

1943 – Mabel Hartley flees Baltimore after the war leaves her broken and alone. She answers the advertisement of a dying woman in San Antonio, with an urgent plea to come write her memoirs. In Emma Koehler, Mabel discovers astounding resilience - a pioneer who weathered personal devastation and navigated her large brewery through the storm of Prohibition. Soon Mabel realizes that Texas holds more for her than this new friendship. Romance blooms even as she’s given up on love, and an unexpected phone call gives her hope that not all goodbyes are final.

The First Emma is a moving story of love, hope, and murder that captures one woman’s journey to make her mark on history and another’s desire to preserve it. (Courtesy of Goodreads.)

Dear Camille, It Will Happen. Hang in there

Dear Camille – circa 2010,

You’re still changing diapers. Four kids in, you figure that you’ve changed thousands of them in eleven years of parenthood.
There’s other things you’ve done by the thousands. Made meals. Given hugs. Said I love you.
You’ve sold thousands – millions, actually – of dollars in real estate. Helping people sell their most valuable asset or going on an odyssey to find a dream home with a new buyer.
But if you think about it, what have you done for yourself lately?
Something just for you?
Think back a minute. Back to being twelve years old at St. Therese School in Aurora, Colorado. Where bullies sent you into hiding in the library during recess. Where you discovered the first of thousands of words and books and stories that would rescue you and give you a vision for what your life could be: that of a writer.
Anne Shirley and Jane Eyre and Nancy Drew made for excellent companions at the time. And now you have companions in your own home who just barely come up to your waist.
Don’t get lost in that. Listen to the muse. You can do both. You can do it all. You can be a wife and a mom and a Realtor and a writer. It won’t be easy. It won’t be without sacrifice. But you can do it if you give yourself the chance.
Trust me. Take a journey into your future with me as I give you a glimpse. A thread of hope that will become a rope that will become a lifesaver if you let it.
Any day now, you will be running errands. Kids in the back of the van. You will set your iPod to shuffle and marvel at what it used to be like to play cassette tapes on a Walkman. (There is something marvelous awaiting you called Spotify. Just wait.)
While you’re driving, a song will come on. One you’ve heard thousands of times – Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles. I won’t give it away now, but I will tell you – that moment, that song will change your life. Pay attention. Listen to the words. Think about its story.
Story. It has a story waiting to be told.
You will be manic to be the one to tell it.
You will drink thousands of ounces of Dr Pepper (good Texas girl!) and set to work writing thousands of words and you will craft something that is the beginning of your dreams coming true. You’ve served everyone else’s dreams. Take this chance and don’t feel guilty about it.
One book? That is all you ever wanted to do, but this story and others will be received by hundreds of thousands and through some blood, sweat, and tears, you will have embarked on a full-fledged career.
Still, you’ll doubt. You will be tempted with every book to say that it’s terrible. It should be chucked. No one will want to read it But persevere. Your children are watching and you don’t want them to learn what it means to be a quitter. Keep going. Every one of your books will find a publishing home. I promise you.
Just stay focused. Humble. Hopeful. And edit like your life depends on it.
There will be surprises along the way. Be grateful for each one of them, good or bad. Because even the bad ones lead to good if you embrace them as the growth experiences that they are.
Your children are watching you. You want them to learn to see crisis as opportunity.
You will make thousands of friends. The internet you know now is only at the dawn of what it is capable of doing. Be authentic on it and you will ingratiate yourself to people regardless of geography and you will, in turn, be enthralled with them. Don’t let anyone tell you that true friendships can’t be formed online. Some of the people you come to love the very most will originate here.
Ten years from now you will be about to publish your fifth book. Your FIFTH book! You’ll be working on your sixth and you have a really good feeling about what’s going to happen with it. You’ll live across the country from where you live now and you will be happy about that. Your dad will no longer be around, but you will look up to the heavens and still tell him about every milestone and share with him every corny joke you come across.
Ten years from now, diapers will be a thing of your past. Two kiddos will be in college and the other two will need you a bit less than they need you right now.
And more than ever, it will be your time.
It’s coming. I promise. Keep faith, hope, and love in your heart and you will be amazed at what emerges.

Thanks to Camille for visiting with us and to Get Red PR for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends May 17th at midnight EST.


Padmini Rao said...

Sounds like an interesting book. A modern take on a classic story.

LoriF said...

Looking forward to reading this!

Anonymous said...

Would love to read this book.

Donna said...

I cover of your book says so much. It grabbed my attention the first time I saw it. I'm sure I'll love the story. Thank you for this chance to read your book.

Michelle L said...

No, I don't drink beer, but, I love Camille Di Maio's books and would love to win this one.

Nancy P said...

Occasionally but it has to be ice cold...Blue Moon & Rolling Rock are favorites.

LilyFox said...

Maybe a sip of craft beer once in a while. I live in BeerCity USA. We have a local brewery on every corner. But I really don't like beer.

Rita Wray said...

No, I don't like beer.

traveler said...

I do not drink beer. Camille Di Maio's novels are captivating, memorable, unforgettable and beautiful. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Cannot drink beer take medication read a few of Camille De Maio's books and enjoyed it immensely.

Donamae Kutska said...

Once in awhile Miller lite thank you for the chance the cover is amazing.

Bonnie K. said...

I'm ok with beer. I don't drink it regularly. My husband does. He likes India Pale Ale. When we're at a pub, I will get the Scottish ale.

Tatum Rangel said...

I like beer. My favorite is Amstel Light. :)

Mary C said...

No, I don't like beer.

diannekc said...

I'm not a beer drinker

Nancy said...

No. I am not a beer drinker. I might eat something that is cooked with beer like a stew or beer bread.

Mary Preston said...

No, I don't even like the smell.

dstoutholcomb said...

I drink it on occasion. When he buys it, my husband usually gets Coors Light.

bn100 said...


Amber said...

I do like beer! I love local microbreweries. Especially when they have a raspberry beer.

rubynreba said...

I do like beer and usually Bud Light or Coors Light.

Grandma Cootie said...

Nope, I do not like beer. But I love all of Camille diMaio's books!

Lelandlee said...

Hate beer

Xia Lee said...

Dislike beer