Star Spangled Banner, Madison Rising – Today’s Video Pick

Okay, this Star Spangled Banner cover by Madison Rising video is cool. Just had to share. Go, America!

Bald eagle above a friend's cabin on Coeur d'Alene Lake in Idaho.

Bald eagle above a friend’s cabin on Coeur d’Alene Lake in Idaho. @2007 ANVidean

Why not share a cool patriotic video with us in the comments…

#6 Writing Tip: Authors and readers profit from free book downloads

Authors and e-book readers, do you use Kindle Select (KS) and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL)?

“Why would I,” you ask?

Two compelling reasons.

  • Readers receive free e-book borrows.
  • Authors gain enhanced visibility and potential sales.

Here’s how it works:

Readers, if you are an Amazon Prime member you can borrow from a collection of more than 180,000 books in the KOLL. Besides my own novel, Rhythms & Muse [big cheesy grin], the library includes 100-plus current and former New York Times best sellers — to read for free — as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.

Watch this price drop to zero tomorrow for Amazon Prime members who want to borrow my book.

Watch this price drop to zero this weekend for Amazon Prime members who want to borrow my book.

Authors, simply give exclusive rights to Kindle for 90 days, enroll your titles, and promote free downloads to gain visibility. The best part, though, is you actually earn a share of the multimillion-dollar KDP Select Global Fund every time your book is borrowed from the KOLL on Amazon.

I’ve had several authors tell me their books get borrowed thousands of times over a couple of days through this program, and they can sell one book for every three borrowed. In the first Valentine’s Day 2012 promo I did the last weekend of January 2013, 994 readers downloaded Rhythms & Muse. [I’ll report later what happens, sales-wise.] Looks like we have everything to gain here, especially happy readers.

Authors… Readers… What are you waiting for?

If you have had an exceptional experience using KS or KOLL, the rest of us would like to hear about it in the comments below.

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P.S. Readers, in the spirit of letting you take advantage of this truly cool offering right away, I’ve scheduled my own KS promos. [Put this in the realm of “well-how-the-heck-will-you-know-about-it-if-I-don’t-tell-you” shameless promotion.] Yep, you can borrow my women’s fiction e-book this weekend — Fri., Feb. 1 through Sun., Feb. 3, 2013 — by searching for Rhythms & Muse at the KOLL.

Rhythms & Muse synopsis:

Alex, a Grammy-winning vocalist, lives the glamorous lifestyle, but hates it. Her dreams guide her life, but she doesn’t listen until one actually manifests. Will intuition, flashbacks to her 1970s high-school days in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and an ambitious current-day plan to reconnect with her former music partner and muse, help her find fulfillment?

Amazon review:

“Ann…has a gift for setting the scene and characters so that you feel like you have visited these places, and know these people in her book. I particularly liked the shift back and forth in time during the book — it reminds us that whichever paths we take in our lives, we are still the same person within. This book brought back memories of high school.”

Burger phenom: Hudson’s Hamburgers

Bob, Codi and Cutter help occupy the 23 counter stools available at Hudson’s. ©2011 ANVidean

One special Coeur d’Alene memory I somehow neglected to work into my Rhythms & Muse novel (half of the story takes place in the Idaho town) is Hudson’s Hamburgers. The joint is known worldwide for serving up – for the past 100 years! – a limited menu of simple, fresh, delectable burgers in a storefront on Sherman Ave., the town’s short main street!

I happened to grow up right next door to the Hudson family in the Fairway Hills neighborhood. Patriarch Roger was the fry cook in my day, but his sons Steve and Todd were in training on weekends. Now, they run the place.

I have very fond memories of conversations with the Hudson boys while sitting at their counter. How many times I watched them form my burger, grill it up on that savory grill, slap on the cheese, rapidly slice up thin slices of onion and pickle to place on the grill-toasted bun. The best part about a Huddy burger is the hot mustard and/or special sauce you squirt on yourself once the server plops your small plate in front of you. My mouth is watering right now, just thinking about the juicy goodness of that first bite.

It’s not a true trip to Coeur d’Alene without standing in line at least one, or two, or three times, at Hudson’s to enjoy a perfect “cheese, both” (i.e. cheeseburger with both onion and pickle). If you’re ever there in Cd’A, do not miss it. Any wait is totally worth it!

Check out this a great little historical PBS video about the local institution,  providing a number of fun facts, plus interviews with Roger and Todd.

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Rhythms & Muse novel and music CD:

Coffee CommuniTea: Calypsos Coffee, Coeur d’Alene, ID

The comfy Calypsos Coffee: site of my book signing in Cd'A, ID. @2011 ANVidean

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Calypsos Coffee & Creamer
y

Perks (what I really like!)

  • Owner Maria was very accommodating and helpful for my book/music CD signing
  • Fun, eclectic décor including local artists’ artwork
  • Nooks and crannies with various seating types to accommodate groups and quiet conversations
  • A raised platform for performances
  • Free Wi-Fi

Share a cuppa (the stories)
Owners:
Local natives the Jenicek family started the business with a desire to involve themselves with the downtown business district, and to work with people who share their love of coffee. I’d say they’ve succeeded!

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Coffee roasted on site (wholesale and retail)
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and catering
  • Ice cream (Yum!)
  • Baked goods

The Grind (what I would change)
Not a thing. This is a very fun, comfortable hangout.

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)

  • People coming in off Cd’A Lake, the City Beach and downtown shopping for a cool drink and some delicious food.
  • Live music and open mic nights.
  • Behind doors smart room for meeting rental.

The Grounds (location)
Downtown, one block from the Cd’A Resort and the City Beach.
116 E. Lakeside Ave.
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
208.665.0591
Email Maria-Cristina or Todd

Tea Times (hours)
Open:
M.–Th. 7 a.m.–8:30 p.m.
F. 7 a.m.–9 p.m.
Sa. 8 a.m.–9 p.m.
Su. 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

Yelp rating: 4.5 stars

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I love connecting people and ideas, so I’ve been creating small villages my entire life. Really, what better places can writers and musicians find to create “village” than independent coffee/tea shops? I wrote most of my Rhythms & Muse novel in coffee/tea venues, so it seemed natural to create this blog. Whether you came here to find a new favorite hangout, or suggest a spot not yet not posted, may you find Coffee CommuniTea exactly to your taste!

Dare! Find a small-town main street offering more than Coeur d’Alene’s.

While my family visited Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we spent quite a it of time in Downtown Coeur d’Alene, the lively little town which sets the scene for more than half of my Rhythms & Muse novel.

In addition to its most beautiful City Beach at the west end of downtown, Cd’A’s seven-block main street, aka Sherman Ave., offers a plethora of great experiences:

  • Hudson’s Hamburgers, with it’s 100-year legacy, is a destination for the most delicious, juicy burgers worldwide!
    (I very much regret I couldn’t find a good way to include Hudson’s iin Rhythms & Muse. Those burgers are one of my favorite reasons for visiting Cd’A. A point of interest: the Hudson family, including current proprietors Steve and Todd, lived next to my family in Fairway Hills the entire time I lived up there.)
  • Calypsos Coffee & Creamery, a great coffee venue right off Sherman on Lakeside Ave., where I held my book signing.
  • A number of charming retail shops, including:

    Looking west down Sherman Ave. from 5th St.(?) ©2011 ANVidean

    • Gallery Northwest, filled with lovely unique artwork crafted by local artists
    • Summers Glass gorgeous dichroic glass jewelry and art, beads, and more
    • Possibilities wine and gift-basket shop
    • Coeur d’Alene Chocolates, a family-owned shop with the most beautifully delicious treats I’ve ever seen.

      The sandy City Beach at the west end of Sherman Ave. offers a pristine view of the towering Coeur d’Alene Resort, and Tubbs Hill. ©2011 ANVidean

  • The Coeur d’Alene Resort, a lovely destination towering over the north end of Lake Cd’A right at the foot of downtown, with a  marina and one of the largest boardwalks in the world. It’s connected via skywalk to an indoor shopping mall featuring mid-to-high-end restaurants and shops.

I’ll be doing future posts to provide additional details on some of these distinctive hot spots, so watch the blog.

Do you have a Cd’A story or photo to share? Comment below, or send your .jpg image to me at avidean@videanunlimited.com and I’ll post it in the future.

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Rhythms & Muse novel and music CD:

Coeur d’Alene Trivia from Rhythms & Muse, part 3

We’re nearing the date of my Rhythms & Muse novel and music CD signing at Calypsos Coffee & Creamery, 116 E. Lakeside Ave. in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. (4–7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011). Excited! I’m so looking forward to seeing plenty of my friends there…including you?

Just for fun, these trivia questions are based on places and activities in Cd’A, and Spokane, Wash., especially during the 1970s. All the items are mentioned in the book. Do you know the area? How many answers can you get correct?

Cd’A Trivia Questions, part 3

15. What’s the name of the marina surrounded by one of the world’s longest floating boardwalks and with easy access from The Coeur d’Alene Resort?

16. How wide and long is the Coeur d’Alene Boardwalk?

17. When did the Cd’A Resort open?

18. Although the Lake City is now northern Idaho’s center for healthcare, educational, media, manufacturing, retail and recreation, the three main industries in the mid-1900s were…

19. Are there really cougars near Cd’A Lake?

20. Fireworks are set off over Cd’A Lake from a barge. Is the rumor that the barge catches on fire every year actually true?

21. What 23-mile-long improved path stretches in either direction from the City Park?

Answers in comments below.

See Spokane Trivia.

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You can find these and more Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Spokane, Wash., references in my Rhythms & Muse novel and music CD:

Coeur d’Alene Trivia from Rhythms & Muse, part 2

The back cover of Rhythms & Muse features a Lake Cd’A photo taken by the author. ©2005 ANVidean

A significant portion of my Rhythms & Muse women’s fiction novel takes place in 1970s Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Spokane Wash., so it seemed natural to create a trivia blog entry or two about some of the places and activities mentioned in the book. Do you know the area? How many answers can you get correct?

Cd’A Trivia Questions, part 2

8. THE 1970s local hangout after ball games and music concerts was a wooden structure with tall slanted windows, just around the corner from downtown Coeur d’Alene. Do you recall its name?

9. The sledding scene in the novel was inspired by a favorite hill just up from where the author used to live off the Cd’A public golf course. What’s the name of this neighborhood?

10. Student musicians would travel to this city, home of the University of Idaho, to compete in “State” where judges rated their talent/skills.

11. You’ll probably need to have been friends with the author to know this one, but what color and make was the family car Ann drove during high school?

12. What is the name of the 17-acre public park named located just west of downtown Cd’A?

13. You can go for a 2.2 mile hike right from downtown Coeur d’Alene in a 164-acre urban wilderness area. Named for a German immigrant who was Coeur d’Alene’s first Justice of the Peace, this area is called…?

14. Hundreds of bird species are found in Northern Idaho, including majestic bald eagles. What other bird-of-prey, known for building nests on top of lake pilings, is prevalent in Cd’A?

Answers in comments below.

More Cd’A trivia (part 3).

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You can find these and more Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Spokane, Wash., references in my Rhythms & Muse novel and music CD: