This summer, Annville Free Library, a library located within the Lebanon County Library System acquired copies of “Birthright of Scars: Rising” and “Birthright of Scars: Choosing” for their collection. The library allows the community to help it expand its collection by donating $15.00 toward the purchase of a book from their preorder list and that member gets a chance to be the first to checkout and read the book.
The Birthright of Scars duology was acquired by Martin Brandt, the board president of the Annville Free Library soon after we met at Historic Old Annville Day this past June 2023. The library participates in the event each year by setting up a table to draw in support and funds for the library, as well as offering books for sale. I attended the event as a patron each year in the past, but this year was the first time I purchased a vendor space and made an appearance as a local author.
Mr. Brandt stopped by my table to introduce himself and purchased a copy of “Birthright of Scars: Rising” for himself. Soon after, he added the first book to the library’s collection, and by fall of 2023, the sequel was added to the library’s New Book display shelf.
Not only was I astounded at the library’s immediate support of a local author, but I was grateful for the patrons who purchased copies for that exact reason. In their words, “We’re proud to have an author in this town.” It rings true that small towns are like family.
The Annville Free Library was the first community building I entered the first time I visited the area in 2015. After being picked up from Harrisburg International airport by my future husband’s family, my future mother-in-law and sister-in-law had to swing by the Annville branch to drop off some books. The library gave me my first glimpse of the local community and an accurate representation of the people, from the antique grandfather clock in the library, to the farm-style pickup truck in the parking lot.
Since summer of 2023, the library has undergone dramatic changes including expansion into a nearby building, a larger checkout area and office spaces for librarians, a new entryway, re-construction of its main entrance, and a rec/study room for youths. The improvements have transformed the cramped, antiquated building into a well-lit, breathable, and cohesive area that encourages browsing. As funding continues, more changes are planned to revamp the basement, which housed the library’s collection of YA and children’s literature, as well as a play area.
I’m grateful to the Annville Free Library for choosing to carry my books. I hope that Lebanon Valley College alumni enjoy the free access to them most of all. I feel like I’ve contributed something valuable to my community of the last seven years, a story that will bring them hope and inspire kindness and generosity.
This fall, the Hershey Public Library, located in Derry Township, Pennsylvania, acquired a copy of “Birthright of Scars: Rising” and “Birthright of Scars: Choosing” for their local author shelf. This shelf can be found in the back of the adult literature section, next to a cozy reading area and magazine section complete with couches, tables, and chairs.
It’s an honor to have a place next to the greats, to have my works on a library shelf. And I’m super thankful that libraries as established as the Hershey Public Library are willing to give independently published authors like myself a space.
I made my first appearance at the Hershey Public Library on October 7th, for Chocolate Town Book Fest, a multi-author event organized and run by Alyson Tran.
Alyson ensures that the event runs smoothly and is well-organized. Plus, the Hershey Public Library is the perfect location for a book fest. I had a great time hanging out with fellow authors such as: horror writer Shawn McLain and fantasy writer L B Knighton.
I’m incredibly happy to call beautiful Lebanon Valley my home. I glean a lot of inspiration from the natural beauty of the landscape and its terrifically saturated Blue Mountain sunsets. The rolling farmlands with pastures of sheep and goats inspired scenes in the Selenite sector, the home sector of my heroine, Sable Commander Ambrosia. And the Boxcar rocks in Jonestown area is a favorite hiking spot, especially during the summer when I can catch the haunting melodies of the hermit thrush. Its surrounding mountain ranges inspired sector Dolom and visions of the Pyron Howler warriors in their wolf pelts camped out among the trees.
Who knows how much more inspiration the Pennsylvania landscape has to offer? I’m working at expanding the Tourmaline Renegade’s universe into a series that features other well-loved characters in standalone stories.
The “Birthright of Scars” duology is available for purchase through almost every major online book retailer. You can also support your local indie bookstores by purchasing the story through Bookshop.org.