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Sunday, November 28, 2021

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Local Authors Write Through COVID

Several Rappahannock-area authors have used their downtime during COVID-19 to create new works.

A new world for young adults to explore: The UnImaginables by Jen Furlong

Longtime actress and local yoga instructor Jen Furlong revamped (no pun intended) a 2004 novel draft into Hidden City: The UnImaginables Book One, the first of a seven-book series called The UnImaginables, targeted at readers 12-17.

“I had been writing adult fiction for a while, but during COVID19, I wanted something my kids could read,” says Furlong, the mother of four children.

Inspired by the events of 9/11, and the funky, groovy punk subculture found in Richmond, VA, Furlong created a story about a young girl suddenly moved from NYC to Richmond Virginia by her parents after the Twin Towers fell. Stacy, the lead character, is a chess player who doesn’t believe in anything she can’t prove.  When her friends reveal Richmond’s supernatural subculture, Stacy agrees to help an alleged vampire to prove he doesn’t exist.

“I really wanted to give my readers, especially teen girls, tools for living life. My underlying message, conveyed by Stacy’s chess coach is to “Make a plan, stick to the plan, be ready to change the plan, and keep your mind on the checkmate.” It was a message that I thought was especially timely for the COVID19 era: always be ready to adapt.”

Hidden City will be released in Paperback and Audiobook on May 13. Pre-order now at jsfurlong.com. Hidden City ebook is now available on Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play and Overdrive.

Art Contest Box: Get Your Art Published!

Enter A Summer art contest to celebrate the launch of the book! Your design could be the winning one to create the t-shirt logo for Chapter and Mercy, a coffee shop/bookstore featured in the book. Readers can submit digitally to jsfurlong.com or hiddencitycontest@gmail.com. The winning design will be featured on Chapter and Mercy tee shirts and mugs!

Crucial Breastfeeding Advice

Latching Well: Breastfeeding with an Integrative Approach, by Caroline Conneen, FNP, RD, IBCLC

Local lactation expert Caroline Conneen has helped thousands of Fredericksburg-area moms successfully breastfeed despite obstacles. (Disclosure: The author of this article used Conneen as a lactation consultant 23 years ago.  After an emergency c-section, breastfeeding a premature baby with an undiagnosed neuromuscular disorder was a challenge. Thanks, Caroline!) The owner of Mother’s Best, Caroline also has run breastfeeding groups through Mary Washington Hospital and at Kids Choice Pediatrics on Courthouse Road, as part of Dr. Richman’s pediatric practice. She also was a columnist for Fredericksburg Parent for the first five years of our existence. Her breastfeeding columns remain some of the best editorial we’ve ever had.

Anyone who has worked with her knows that she is overflowing with specialized knowledge and patience. After a long wait, she has gotten it all down in an incredibly helpful and detailed new book.

Topics include:

  • How to latch your baby comfortably and all about baby’s suck spot
  • Safe sleeping guidelines and the truth about skin to skin.
  • The intuitive play-feed-sleep cycle and what it teaches your baby
  • First-year feeding of solids with sound nutrition guidelines
  • Q&A section featuring answers to questions from real moms.
  • Stories from moms who have been there.

Link to fredericksburgparent.net/breastfeeding to find links to her YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels, and a link to her book on Amazon.

Inspired by these authors?

Our own Fredericksburg Parent editor, Chris Jones, is an expert in helping authors bring their books to completion, and then to a successful launch in the marketplace. His book, The Art and Business of Writing, is a great guide to getting your nonfiction book off the ground. His podcast is equally helpful on how to market your book after it is written. Check it out on your favorite podcast app (from iTunes and Google Podcasts to Pandora and Spotify) He is the co-founder of the wildly popular Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival (fredbookfest.com). Hundreds of self-published authors have shown off their works at the annual festival. There are plans to hold the festival again this fall at the Market Square or the newly revamped downtown Riverside Park. Stay tuned.

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