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Elinor Florence (Company name) Elinor Florence

Finding Flora

Finding Flora, my new historical novel, will be published by Simon & Schuster in March 2025. And you, my dear subscribers, are the first to know!

Finding Flora by Elinor Florence, book cover with ornate font and gold scrollwork against a colourful impressionistic background of green meadow and colourful flowers

Friends, this is not my regular monthly issue of Letters From Windermere, but an old-fashioned issue of Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

I just had to sneak in a special announcement because I’m so eager to share my news.

Finding Flora: The Story

My publisher describes it like this:

A rollicking historical novel set in turn-of-the-century Alberta about a young woman on the run from her abusive husband who uses a legal loophole to claim a homestead in the Wild West—perfect for fans of Outlawed and The Giver of Stars.

Scottish newcomer Flora Craigie jumps from a moving train in 1905 to escape her abusive husband. Desperate to disappear, she claims a homestead on the beautiful but wild prairie east of Lacombe, Alberta, determined to create a new life for herself.

She is astonished to find that her nearest neighbours are also female: a Welsh widow with three children; two American women raising chickens; and a Métis woman who supports herself by training wild horses.

While battling both the brutal environment and the local cynicism toward female farmers, the five women struggle to find common ground.

But when their homes are threatened with expropriation by a hostile government, they join forces to “fire the heather,” a Scottish term meaning to raise a ruckus.

To complicate matters, there are signs that Flora’s violent husband is still hunting for her. And as the competition for free land along the new Canadian Pacific Railway line heats up, an unscrupulous land agent threatens not only Flora’s livelihood, but her very existence.

Finding Flora: The Cover

The covers of my first two novels were very representational, but this one is more impressionistic. I love the historic font and the colors.

The splashes of scarlet remind me of tiger lilies in the prairie grass. Even better, the scrollwork on the top and bottom will be shiny gold foil.

Finding Flora: The Publisher

Every author I know dreams of being published by one of “The Big Five,” as they are termed: Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, and Macmillan. Together these five publishers dominate the global English language book market.

Simon & Schuster publishes two thousand titles every year! It is a new and thrilling experience to place my book into the hands of a huge publisher. Finding Flora will be released simultaneously in Canada and the United States.

Finding Flora: The Timeline

I signed the contract with my new publisher last fall, but I could not reveal the news until the book was available for pre-orders. I have been biting my nails for months, but finally, that day has arrived!

Finding Flora will now follow a rigid schedule: proofreading, printing the Advance Reading Copies (called ARCS), sending those copies to reviewers, contacting bookstores and taking orders, printing thousands of copies, distributing it to book warehouses, trucking the print copies to bookstores, posting the electronic version online, and finally, making the book available to everyone on March 4, 2025.

Finding Flora: You Can Help

Publishers base some of their decisions — for example, how many copies to print, and how much money to spend on promotion — on pre-orders. You can help Finding Flora succeed by visiting the publisher’s website and placing a pre-order, either for a trade paperback or an e-book, at the retailer of your choice. You can also request it at any bookstore.

You will receive your book on March 4, 2025. It does seem like a long time to wait, but the months pass pretty quickly these days!

I’ll post my new cover on Facebook and Instagram in the next few days. You can also help me by sharing those posts with your own followers.

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Thank you, as always, for your support. You can expect my next blog post, about the wonderful little community of Eastend, Saskatchewan, to appear in your inbox on July 17, 2024.

Fondly, Elinor

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