Monday, April 7, 2014

2014 Market Season

The 2014 Farmers Market season is almost here. Woo-hoo! 

I've been working hard lining up markets and festivals. The following is what I have so far:

The Coquille Farmers Market is under new management this year. It'll still be held on Thursdays at the Community Center, but many of the vendors will be setting up inside (in the small auditorium). The market begins this week. The hours have also changed. We'll be setting up at 10 am and open to the public from 11-3.

A different group has formed a new Saturday market in Coquille this year. It's being called the Coquille Valley Farmers Market. I'm still looking into the details. I believe the market opens next Saturday.

Finally, I will be returning to the Coos Bay Farmers Market. We'll be selling on Central Avenue on Wednesdays beginning in May.

I will not be selling at the Bandon Old Town Marketplace this year.

I'm excited about the new season and I look forward to seeing everyone-- both shoppers and fellow vendors-- again soon. I'll be selling my usual combination of hand made crafts and autographed books.

As always, thank you for supporting my little business. You're all awesome people! :)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hello internet community,

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for helping support and encourage me and my writing career over the last year. I can't even begin to describe how much your support means to me. Thank you!

I also wanted to wish everyone a happy and wonder filled new year!

Happy 2014!

Best wishes,

~ H. S. Contino, author

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 Update


A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) which takes place every November. I'm happy to announce that for the 3rd year in a row, I succeeded in reaching my NaNoWriMo goal. I wrote over 50,000 words in my new manuscript, a science fiction novel titled "The Surge." Woo-hoo! I'm a winner.

However, the story has taken on a life of it's own. I hit my goal of 50K words, but the story isn't finished yet. So, I continue to plug away at it. It's a work in progress, but I'm happy with what I've written so far. Past experience has taught me that the editing process usually takes twice as long as the initial writing process, so it'll be a while before the book is available for the public to read. But, I'm excited. Writing is all about the practice after all.

Once again, thank you all for continuing to support my writing career. It means a lot to me. Thank you!

Oh, and since tomorrow is the big day, I'd like to take a moment to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving.

~ H. S. Contino, author in training

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013

Happy November, everyone!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is in full swing! I'm happy to report that as of 11:15 last night, I hit 30,000 words. So, I'm 3/5 of the way to my goal. Yea!

I look forward to NaNoWriMo each year. In addition to motivating me to roll up my sleeves and type up some of the ideas that have been percolating in my imagination, I enjoy hanging out on the NaNo webpage. Each year, thousands of writers around the world take part in NaNoWriMo. The webpage offers forums and a message center where we can chat and e-mail with each other. We can also organize local get-togethers or "write-in's" where groups of writers can get together to write and motivate each other.

The webpage also offers pep talks and other useful features to help motivate, inspire, and encourage writers as they battle self-doubt and writer's block.

One of my favorite features of the webpage is the "stats" section. It allows you to keep track of your word count as you write. There's a chart that helps you stay on track in order to reach the 50K word goal. There are also running tallies of how many words you've written per day, your daily average, and a prediction of when you'll finish (at your current rate).

Now, to be clear, I'm not expecting to have a masterpiece by the end of the month. Instead, my goal is simply to have a rough draft of my current project. I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get when I complete a rough draft. I know that once I get the story to that point, I'll still have months (maybe even years) of editing, revisions, and polishing ahead of me before the book is ready for publication. However, I see completing a rough draft as a major milestone. Prior to that point, all I have is some mental images stored in my imagination and pages of scribbled notes in one in a notebook. But, a rough draft is a starting point. It gives me something concrete to work with.

2013 is my third year participating in NaNoWriMo. I'm tentatively calling this November's book "The Surge," and it's a science fiction story. The following is the text I created for the back cover. Just like the manuscript, the following is a rough draft. I'll edit and revise it later.

Tentative back cover text for "The Surge":

When the capital cities around the world are simultaneously attacked, disillusioned veteran, Lisa, assumes that a terrorist group is responsible. Instead of volunteering to help fight back, she packs her camper with supplies and heads into the woods. Using a portable radio, she monitors the progress of the war.

Lisa doesn't want to get involved, but things are far worse than she initially thought. As the unknown enemy continues to destroy major cities, millions of people are killed. It soon becomes clear that the enemy is not from this planet and Earth's weaponry is completely ineffective against the superior technology.

With the humans facing extinction, Lisa discovers an ancient secret. One that is capable of saving her planet. She realizes that she alone is capable of stopping the alien attackers; but, in doing so, she'll alienate herself even further from the people around her. The only people she's ever known.
Please feel free to leave me feedback. "The Surge" is definitely a "work in progress" at this point!
Happy reading (and writing)!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Book Sale!


I'm excited to announce that starting on November 5th, you can purchase the Kindle version of "Paw Prints" for only .99 cents! This promotion will be only be available through one week only (the promotional price expires November 11th)!

"Paw Prints" on Amazon-- click here to take advantage of this sale!

Happy reading!

~ H. S. Contino

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Win a Copy of My New Book!


Now that my latest book, Shorts, has been published, I've decided to give away 1 free copy on Good Reads. I'll sign the book and give the winner the option of having the book personalized.

Officially, the giveaway will begin on October 22nd. Readers will have a full month to enter the contest.

For more information (or to enter the giveaway drawing):

Entering the giveaway is simple. You just need to click on the "Enter to Win" button and follow the instructions (they'll ask for an e-mail address to contact you if you win).

Happy reading!

~ H. S. Contino

H. S. Contino's Amazon Author Page

Monday, October 14, 2013

New Releases!


I hope this blog post finds everyone doing well. I love this time of year. The leaves are beginning to change colors here and the nights have been getting chilly. It's the perfect weather to curl up inside by the fireplace with a good book!

I'm happy to announce that my two latest projects are now available for sale. Both books are works of fiction.

Crossroads: A Quirky Choose Your Own Adventure Story

This book is by far the goofiest thing that I've ever written! The story takes place in "Anytown, USA." All of the characters have quirky but accurate names like "Plain Jane," "John Doe" (brother to Cookie), and "Busy Beebe." The book is basically a screwball comedy. It's also a "choose your own adventure." Once you get to a certain point in the story, the readers will face a series of choices-- or crossroads-- and they can choose where they'd like to go next.

From the back cover:

"Welcome to Anytown, USA, the setting of this quirky choose your own adventure story. The town is home Plain Jane who led a rather uneventful life until the day she discovered a remarkable self-help book:

“Are you living a hum-drum life? Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Is the reality of your adult life far from the one you imagined as a child? Then look no further! The book in your hands has the power to change your life forever. Following our simple plan can break down the barriers that are keeping you from living an exciting life! You’ll never have to endure another hum-drum, boring day!

Iam Xcitin is the author of several ground breaking self-help books including Peon Me No Longer: Taking Charge of Your Life and Your Career, Are You a Doormat?, and How to Overcome Your Hum-Drum Life.”

Plain Jane was skeptical at first. The author claimed "changing your life is as simple as changing your attitude." Could it really be that easy?

Please, join our heroine as she chronicles a single week of her life. The story is a "choose your own adventure." Throughout the book Plain Jane will find herself at a series of crossroads. It's up to you, the reader, to choose where she'll go next or what course of action she'll take. The excitement or "boringness" of the story is entirely up to you!"


As the name implies, "Shorts" is a collection of short fiction that I wrote over a fifteen year period. There is a combination of short stories and poetry. Some of the entries are light hearted and fun, but some of the others are rather dark. I like to think of the latter as my "demon slaying" stories.

From the back cover:

"As the title suggests, Shorts is a collection of short fiction by the author, H. S. Contino. The book contains a combination of short stories and poems that were written over a fifteen year period. The subject matter of the work is diverse. There are light hearted pieces including "Grandpa's Tall Tale," but there are also much darker pieces such as "Hindsight." Many of the stories are infused with the author's unique sense of humor.

A firm believer that writing is a practice, Contino enjoys trying new things and tackling new challenges. She often begins her writing day with shorter "warm up" exercises before moving on to her longer works. Many of the entries in this collection are the result of writing prompts, free writing exercises, and experiments.

The collection demonstrates the diversity of the author, a self-proclaimed "hodgepodge." It also demonstrates how her writing style has developed over the years."

Both books are available on (retail price $10 US). Or, if you prefer to purchase a signed copy directly from the author, please e-mail me at

In addition, I've listed 1 free signed paperback copy of each book on Good Reads. Please follow the above links to enter the free giveaway.

As always, I'd like to thank all of you for helping make my writing dreams a reality. Your continued support means so much to me.

Thank you,

H. S. Contino