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Pre-order Holding Fast on October 12th!

My granddaughter after receiving an early copy!

One more week until October 12th!  

If you are planning to pre-order Holding Fast: A Memoir of Sailing, Love, and Loss, please pre-order on October 12th! I'm thrilled whenever you order, but if everyone pre-orders on the same day, October 12th, it will help my Amazon ratings.

Holding Fast is a story of leaving everything behind to follow my husband John's dream of sailing away. Many people dream of escape but few actually go. 

My journey took me from the glitzy world of Madison Avenue advertising to riding out Hurricane Mitch, the largest hurricane on record at the time, on a sailboat in Guatemala. I didn't want to go in the first place, but ended up on a life-changing odyssey.  

"A wife follows her husband to sea and finds herself along the way in this memoir…A perfect, realistic counterpart to Amity Gaige's Sea Wife (2020), Cole's moving memoir is emotionally astute, and her use of excerpts from the Laughing Goat's log provides welcome insights into John's perspective. Vivid characterizations…The author's voice is so assured…"   

 —Kirkus Review

Only seven days to go!

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Behind the Book Cover

Benedetta C. Vialli (Benedetta C. Vialli), a marvelous illustrator from Italy, designed  the cover. She had designed a friend's book cover (Susan Landry), and I love her work.


When she asked for my ideas, I mentioned blue, the sea, a boat, and maybe a way to show something about my relationship with my husband, John. Although Benedetta and I communicated about a few details over the next weeks, she offered no hint about what she was coming up with. I was dying to know and also at peace not knowing. 


A few weeks ago, while visiting my daughter Kate in Vancouver, Washington, I was watching my grandson play in his room before a nap and scrolling idly through my inbox when Benedetta's initial cover sketches landed like a bolt of lightning. 


The sketches deeply touched on my feelings about our voyage, and John, Kate and me. When John passed away five years ago, I was working on an early draft of the book. I didn't yet understand that although our voyage was the backdrop, the story was really about our relationships, and how we all changed. John had a great visual sense and I was used to relying on him to choose images or colors. As I pondered which sketch to choose, I knew pretty quickly which one I wanted. I think he would be happy with what I chose.


I'm very proud to introduce Holding Fast's cover! 



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HOLDING FAST is available for pre-order!

I'm thrilled to announce that HOLDING FAST: A MEMOIR OF SAILING, LOVE, AND LOSS, my book about leaving everything behind to follow my husband's dream of sailing away, is available for pre-order! The book will be released on October 19th from White Bird Publications.




Barnes & Noble


Google Play Books


I'm very happy to share the story and hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.


My publisher suggests that if everyone pre-orders on the same day, October 12th, it will help the Amazon rankings. Of course, you are free to order whenever you wish! Please also write a customer review (on Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble or Googleplay) as soon after October 19th as you can!



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Waiting for Ida

Ollie in Mississippi.

By the time I landed in New Orleans Friday night, evacuations had already begun. I arrived home from a visit to Vancouver, Washington, where my daughter Kate and her husband recently moved with their new baby. I moved to New Orleans five years ago to be near Kate after my husband, John, passed away.


I came home for my cat, Ollie. I had thought of staying on in Vancouver to avoid the agony of a New Orleans hurricane but I had been away five weeks, and Ollie was already traumatized enough. Flying home, an all-day affair with a connection in Houston, I scrolled through photos of my grandson, my first, who has stolen my heart. In this dreamy state, I landed in my beautiful hometown where in the past five years I have healed, walked, loved, and finished my book.


At home, I hugged Ollie, made a sandwich for dinner, watched the news and fell asleep. I awakened at 4:00 in the morning, prepared my house for the hurricane, shoved Ollie in his carrier, loaded the car, and was on the road to my son-in-law's parents' farm in Mississippi by 6:30, where we will be out of the worst of it. The interstate was clogged and Ollie howled from the back seat.


Up early this morning, I watched the backyard from the screened porch as the clouds thickened. I remembered when Hurricane Mitch barreled through the Western Caribbean toward our boat, Laughing Goat, when John was in New York on business. I remembered the eerie gray silence before it hit and how frightened I was to be in charge of the boat. I remembered John's faith in me and my growing faith in myself.


Holding Fast, my memoir about our Caribbean voyage, is launching October 19th. How fitting that I sit here now, waiting for Ida amid the onrush of memories.

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