Tag Archives: Tales from the Sheep Farm series

Introducing: Vassily Shaikovsky


Cover for Susan Helene Gottfried's book, Saving Sima
Oh, sure. You met Vassily in Populated. And… he was more than a bit of an ass.

So I had to play with him and find out why. After all, so many of my early (and post-release) readers have told me how much they like Meter and that he’s their new book boyfriend, so what’s such an awesome, nerdy dude doing with a brother like Vass?

And then wow, did he steal the show. He must have, because again, early word from my readers is that this book, Saving Sima, is the best of the Tales from the Sheep Farm. So far, anyway.

And now, you can reserve your copy of Saving Sima. It’ll be released on June 18, and of course preorders are only 99c.

Here’s what the story’s actually about:

This fourth installment in the Tales from the Sheep Farm series continues the story of Delia Ford and Meter Shaikovsky. Sort of. You should probably read Populated before this one.

The six Shaikovsky kids made a pact when they were young: If any of them used the code words, the others would come to the rescue, no questions asked.

Vassily, the second eldest, has always felt invisible, the family jerk and foil to his responsible older brother Dimitry, his fiery sister Anna, and the adorable, mischievous triplets. But when Sima calls for a rescue, it’s Vassily who big brother Meter turns to for backup.

The two brothers make an all-night drive to rescue Sima and bring her home, but their problems are only beginning. Sima is a physical and emotional wreck and, inexplicably, chooses Vass, not Meter, as her safe person. And when Vassily loses his home, he and Sima move into Meter and Delia’s small condo as he tries to regroup and figure out what his next move is.

As the four of them navigate the tight quarters and the demands of their close-knit family, and as the housing situation begins to resolve itself, Vassily comes to realize that maybe there’s a better role for him in the family after all.

Sima’s traumas may be triggering to those who’ve been in situations of physical abuse. While most remains off the page, the emotional and mental wounds and scars remain. Readers, take care of yourself if this will be upsetting to you.

So yeah, there’s a lot of Delia, Meter, and Sima in this book, too, but it’s all about Vassily. Don’t worry; Sima gets her own story later on, too.

Reserve your copy now. If you’re looking to reserve a print copy, those aren’t quite up for preorder yet, but keep checking back. They’ll be up before June 18. Sorry, but I can only discount them if you buy them directly from me, and yes, I will have copies as soon as I can!

Reminder that authors these days live and die by reviews… or lack of them. If you’ve read any of my books, I’d love it if you’d leave an online review for them, and I’ve made it easy for you to get review copies. You can ask me directly for one, or join my campaign(s) at BookSprout.

While 4 and 5-star reviews make the algorithms happy, your opinion matters and I’m not going to ask you to lie, to withhold your thoughts, or otherwise compromise yourself. In other words, if you want to one-star it, go ahead. I value you and your opinion; remember that people are treasures too.


It’s the release day for Safe House!


Safe House (Tales from the Sheep Farm Book 3)

Woo hoo! It’s here! It’s here! It’s here!

Yep, book three in the Tales from the Sheep Farm series, Safe House, releases TODAY. Thanks to everyone who bought it — and its two predecessors, Maybe the Bird Will Rise and Populated — at its presale pricing.

I don’t know what to tell you about this book. It continues the story of Mack and Tess and their hunt for the answers of the Mackenzie treasure and legacy. It’s my pandemic book, in its own way. And it’s a story of a person with a lot of baggage and secrets that simply cannot remain hidden any longer.

Of course, like the entire Sheep Farm project, there’s plenty of found family here.

Oh, heck. Here’s what the back cover says:

A deadly virus is bearing down on the world and Emerson Mackenzie, CEO of PharmaScience Technologies—now back in its ancestral home of Port Kenneth, Tennessee—opens up the historic Mackenzie house on the family’s defunct sheep farm to six people: himself, his wife Tess Cartieri, his house manager, two members of his board of directors, and his executive assistant, Taylor Alexander.

Taylor won’t abandon Emerson, but at the same time, they don’t want to be there. Taylor has secrets, a past and memories they cannot face, and they fear that being locked in a house with five others will be entirely too revealing.

Taylor’s passion is to be outside, hiking, in a world that makes sense to them, and Emerson harnesses that, asking Taylor to map the boundaries of the old sheep farm and maybe help discover secrets buried on the land. Taylor is glad to do so, although the secrets they help Emerson and Tess discover are immediately darker and more disturbing than any had expected.

As the virus rages, as tensions across the country simmer, as relationships within the house change, and as the land gives up its secrets, Taylor realizes time has grown short. Their secrets cannot remain hidden any longer.

When they spill, Taylor is exposed for all in the house to see.

And every person inside the house responds in ways Taylor never expected.

Like the first two books in the series — and the ones coming after — this was a ton of fun to write.

Pick up your copy. As always, my books are available at every retailer who’ll carry them, and via such library apps as Hoopa and Overdrive/Libby. Yes, I get paid if you read the book via the library! So if your book budget is thin, there’s a solution for you. (Granted, not all library systems play nice with Hoopla or Libby, and may not carry certain books. But go ahead and ask for ’em anyway. It’s good for them to hear what you’d like to read.)

A reminder for you Large Print lovers: All books in the Tales from the Sheep Farm series are available in Large Print. I recomment either B&N or Bookshop.org

As always, I am eager to know your thoughts. You’ve seen me say it over and over, but it’s so very true…
The best way to help an author is to buy a copy of a book for a friend.
The next best way is to tell a friend.
The third best way is to leave a review online. And in fact, if you’d like to join my reviewing team, drop me an email! I’d love to send you a free copy, and there’s no need to be all “I am afraid to leave a one-star review” in my world. Your opinion matters more than an algorithm.

People are treasures too. That includes you and your opinion of my books.


All the Books


Maybe the Bird Will Rise

We’re leading with Maybe the Bird Will Rise today because Mack and Tess ended a week bookended with books. (Oh, my. If I wrote that into my fiction, I’d edit it on out. This, however, is not fiction, and so I will not.)

Last Sunday, authors Joyce Tremel/Joyce St. Anthony and Amanda Flower did a joint conversation and book signing, hosted by Pittsburgh-based Riverstone books. Best of all, they came to the McCandless store, which is closer for me than their city-based store. Although give me a reason to go to the city and I’ll usually grab it.

It was great fun, and I encourage you all to pick up Joyce and Amanda’s books. I had every opportunity to and… honestly? After ten years of having a rigid book budget of $0.00, I don’t want an overflowing bookshelf. (I actually have recently culled my shelves and have more than a few boxes to haul off to resell.)

And then I got word of a new bookstore opening in town. Reading Ready Pittsburgh, it’s called, and I am 100% behind this. Not only should we support an effort to get families and kids reading from the get-go, but those kids deserve to see themselves on the page, too. As do we adults!

On the editing front, since I was just doing a re-read this week, I knocked that out and surprised myself by getting it back to its author on Friday. But it was good, and interesting, the change from first person to third changed the book’s genre! How was that for a fascinating discovery?

This week, I’m tackling a debut romance from a new client. So yes! If you want to work with me, I may take you on! (I do not take on everyone, because you deserve the best client for you.)

And then I ended the week with another book event… my own! With seven others, but still. We did a panel discussion that was comfortable, relaxed, fun, and had total strangers riffing on each other in a good-natured way, and then we retreated to our tables and sold books. Not quite all the books, but enough to make me happy! One reader told me the plot of Populated was more interesting to her than the plot of the Bird, and that’s super! (also, not unexpected… it’s the art thief that gets everyone.)

So this is your reminder that you CAN read Populated first. Or you can even read only the odd-numbered books and only the even-numbered books in the Tales from the Sheep Farm series. And, of course, the ebook version of Populated is still on sale for $2.99 at your favorite retailers, including my own shop, if you too need a copy because what’s this about an art thief?

And, of course, Maybe the Bird Will Rise is 99c, and so is the preorder of Safe House and gosh darn it, but I forgot to plug Safe House’s presale yesterday… This is why I have a lot of signs on my table.

Grab a book — Hell, grab all the books — while the sale is on. And remember to leave reviews (I encourage you to leave HONEST reviews. A one-star review never killed an author and I won’t see it anyway.)!

If you’re an author who needs me, reach on out. I’m here, and the queue is starting to get a little thin.