Friday, November 18, 2011

Historically Speaking

Hello again!

I recently gave a talk at the Coos Bay Public Library. The entire event was filmed by the Coos Community Media Center, and you can watch it on the following web page:

Unfortunately, I had some technical difficulities with the microphone, so the sound quality isn't the best.

The highlight of the evening, for me, was when my brother and his wife walked in the room. They live out of state and decided to surprise me by attending. Thank you, Ben and Mindy! You made my day!

The problem with live performances is that there are no "do overs." When I gave my presentation, I only had the most basic notes with me. I was relying on my memory in order to address any questions from the audience. Unfortunately, my memory often suffers from stage fright.

As the video demonstrates, I made several mistakes while discussing the fire on the steamship, "Congress." It happened while I was discussing the photograph on the bottom of page 111 of my book. First, I made an unplanned comment about the people in the forefront of the photograph (watching the damaged ship being towed into port). I identified the structure that they were standing on as being part of the (then incomplete) south jetty of the Coos Bay. An audience member piped up to correct me. He claimed that the cement structure is actually a breakwater.

Second, I mentioned that after the ship was repaired, she returned to service under another name. An audience member then asked me for the new name. On the spot, I told her that I thought one of the other names was "Gabriel." I mis-spoke. The "Gabriel" was one of the other names for the "George L. Olson" during it's career, not the "Congress." To clarify, the "Congress" had several names during her long career including the "Nanking," "Emma Alexander," and "Empire Woodlarks."

I apologize for making these mistakes. I hope that this clears up any confusion!

~~ H. S. Contino

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Historically Speaking: By Land, Sea & Sky


I'm happy to announce that I'll be one of the guest speakers at the Coos Bay Public Library's fall lecture series. I'll be giving a 45 minute presentation on local shipwrecks followed by a Q & A session.

When: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Where: Coos Bay Library's Myrtlewood Room
Time: 7 pm
Cost: FREE!

I hope to see you there!

PS-- A representative of the Coos Historical & Maritime Museum will be there with a selection of historical titles from their book store.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Update! Florence Festival of Books


I'm happy to announce that the Florence Festival of Books was a complete success. More than 60 authors and publishers sponsored tables at the event which attracted approximately 350 visitors.

I was able to "talk shop" with several other Oregon writers, trade business cards and contact information, and even sell a few books. :)

The only negative part of the day was the rain. It was raining buckets when we were taking down our displays and carrying our books back to our cars. My friend and I got soaked. We got to make the hour long trip home with soggy socks and shoes! LOL

Sorry for taking so long to post this update. I've been busy with a new writing project, a science fiction novel, which has been taking up most of my limited free time. I've written more than 45,000 words in 6 weeks on the new project. I've never had a story come so easily! More updates to come!

As always, thank you for visiting my little blog and helping support my writing dreams. I really appreciate your support!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Florence Festival of Books

I'm happy to announce that I'll be participating in the first annual Florence Festival of Books on Saturday, October 1st from 10 am until 4 pm. The event will be held at the Florence Events Center in Florence, Oregon. For directions, please visit their web page (

The festival will be the gathering place for approximately 60 writers and publishers. It's a place where we can sell books and make connections within the writing community. The event is open to the public.

To read the Press Release, please click here.

I'm really excited about the Florence Festival of Books. This will be my first book fair as an officially published author. I hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Signed Copies of "Shipwrecks of Coos County" Available

I recently had someone ask me where they can buy a copy of my new book, "Shipwrecks of Coos County." Well, you have several options:

1. You can buy a signed (and personalized) copy directly from the author by e-mailing The book sells for $21.99 plus $3 postage.

2. You can buy the book locally (on the Oregon coast) by visiting one of the following businesses:

Books by the Bay (*has signed copies available*)

Barnes & Noble

Best Western Holiday Motel

Bob’s Beach Books

Coos Historical & Maritime Museum

Dad’s Antiques

EZ Orchards

Gold Hill Pharmacy

Oregon Inspiration

Winter River Books

Bay Area Chamber of Commerce

Charleytown Marketplace

Checkerberry’s Flowers & Gifts

Friends of Shore Acres

Oregon Inspiration

The Oregon Connection

Farr’s True Value Hardware

Pancake Mill

Umpqua Discovery Center

3. You can order a copy of the book online. There are numerous online vendors that are carrying the book. They include:

Arcadia Publishing (

Barnes & Noble

Once again, I'd like to thank everyone for all of their wonderful support during this exciting period of my life. I've dreamed of being a published author ever since I was little girl. It still seems surreal at times to realize that I've achieved my goal.

Thank you for buying a copy of my book.


H. S. Contino

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Signing Press Release

The first book signing event for my new shipwreck book will be this Saturday at 1 pm at the Coos Historical & Maritime Museum in North Bend, Oregon. I'll lead an hour long discussion of local shipwrecks, then be on hand to sign copies of the book and answer questions.

The following press release was featured in today's edition of The World newspaper:

Author to Sign Copies of Coos Shipwreck Book

I hope to see you there!

Friday, April 15, 2011

More Publicity

I have two more speaking engagements to announce!

Saturday May 7th Books By the Bay in North Bend, OR 1-3 pm

Tuesday May 10th Rotary Club Meeting at the Red Lion Hotel in Coos Bay, OR 12 pm

I'll be available to answer questions and sell/sign books afterwards.

I hope to see you there!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Publication & Publicity

Wow-- what an exciting week! Shipwrecks of Coos County was officially released last week. Since then I have been selling signed copies of the book, I've been working with my publisher's sales and marketing department to get the book on the shelves of as many local businesses as possible, and I was interviewed by the local newspaper. It's been a great week, and so far it looks like the book is going to be a success (deep sigh of relief)... but, at times it seems surreal-- writing a book and having it published has been my dream for so long that it's hard to believe that it's true. The book is really published. :)

Oh, before I forget, the following link will take you to the newspaper story:

'Shipwrecks' Book Focuses on Local Maritime History

I've also been hard at work on a book talk and Powerpoint presentation. I've scheduled my first book signing event:

Saturday, April 23rd at 1 pm
at the Coos Historical & Maritime Museum in North Bend, Oregon

(Please call (541) 756-6320 for additional details and/or directions).

I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

4 Days and Counting!

Just a few more days until Shipwrecks of Coos County will officially published-- and I am SO excited! As you can see in the attached photograph, I recently received my advance copies of the book. My opinion is probably completely biased, but I think the finished product looks great.

I wanted to take a moment to thank my friends and family, who have been so incredibly supportive during the entire writing process. Thank you!

Here's to many more books to come (hey, a girl can dream, right?)!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shipwrecks of Coos County

Available April 4th, 2011!

In her first full length book, H. S. Contino presents a photographic overview of local shipwrecks in Shipwrecks of Coos County. The book, which is part of Arcadia Publishing's popular "Images of America" series, chronicles the misadventures of ships of various sizes over a 100 year period in Coos County, Oregon.

For more information, please visit:

Arcadia Publishing


Hello and welcome to the official blog for the author, H. S. Contino!

Please stay tuned for additional information and updates as she continues to pursue her writing dreams!