The gift of reading

14 Oct

Holiday shoppers who visit craft fairs are a different breed than those who storm the halls of malls; Authors can capitalize on that reality.

Fall 2015 St. Matt 3Fair shoppers don’t come armed with an idea of exactly what they need to get, and they don’t wear walking shoes because they know they’ll be traversing miles of floor. They’re there to browse and get inspired.  Like with retail stores, they may end up spending money on themselves when they intended to attack their gift lists. But their justification for making impulse buys allows them to feel less guilty. I will never again see this item that’s perfect so I HAVE to buy it NOW.

Those of us hawking books can take advantage of the art-and-crafts set of mind. Mom and I try to hand a card that explains the books’ plots out to anyone whose eye we can catch. The reason we do this is that we know many people are hesitant to spend money on a book when they came to look for crafts. If they are readers or they know readers, however, they eventually glance down at the card, take in a few words, move onto other booths, then glance down again and again until they eventually end up reading most of what’s on that card. We’ve noted that many of our buyers are people who return to our specific table on purpose, and the two most common phrases we hear are:

“I just couldn’t imagine anything more perfect for my friend than a gift set of mystery/romance books by the original author.”


“I decided to treat myself.”

Like all the vendors there at the fair who have spent countless hours creating their jewelry, photography or sewn goods, what Mom and I offer is the same: our passion. We love to read and we know others do as well, and we’re proud of what we’ve created.

This holiday season, we are aiming to get our fourth book in people’s hands. It’s the first that isn’t part of the Fate Series. Instead, it’s a gift possibility: Holiday Connections. Mom’s creative juices started with a theme: 12 different U.S. holidays. Then, in her usual manner, characters invaded her thoughts and the stories began to flow:

Easter: A little girl believes she will perish on this holy Sundayfinal cover

Fourth of July: A mail order bride wants to be a U.S. citizen

Thanksgiving: A mom disappears before the turkey can be served only to reappear exactly a year later

Stay tuned to this blog for an update on where and when the book will be out.

In the meantime, if you have children on your shopping list (and who doesn’t!), my little sister Allyn Stotz is offering what is my own personal favorite of her stories, The Color of Love, at a discounted price this month. It’s about a little boy and his mom who go through a series of adventures on a magic carpet trying to find what color best represents love. Write her at for details.


Genilee Swope Parente


Posted by on October 14, 2015 in Uncategorized


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3 responses to “The gift of reading

  1. Allyn Stotz

    October 14, 2015 at 10:07 am

    I’m so excited about Holiday Connections and the cover turned out great!! Is it complete or is this a rough draft? I love it no matter. Glad yoy chose that bow, looks so rich! Anyway, I’ll be the first on your list of people who must have that book!

    • swopeparente

      October 18, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks, Allyn. It’s out! It will take a while to appear on amazon and B&N, but we should have copies very soon. Couldn’t have done the cover without your Adobe Photoshop instructions. Thank you

      • Allyn Stotz

        October 19, 2015 at 7:54 am

        That’s so exciting! And the cover turned out great!


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