The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Win a free copy of Watermelon Summer!

Watermelon SummerHere's what early readers have to say about Watermelon Summer:

"Gosh, I wish this book were longer.  I loved the story so much." --- Brandy N.

"The character is young, self empowering and driven; but friendly and not superhuman." --- Alan Reid

"Fun page turner." --- S.

And now for the news --- Watermelon Summer is available as a paperback!  What does this mean to you?  First, you have an opportunity to win a free copy.  (Keep reading for details near the end of this post.)  And I've enrolled the book in Amazon's expanded distribution channels, so you should be able to request that your library pick up a copy that you can read for free and share with your neighbors.

Meanwhile, if you hate reading on the computer and don't have an ereader, now's also a great time to pick up your very own paperback copy since Amazon currently has it on sale for 10% off. 
I've enrolled the title in Amazon's matchbook program as well, so if you buy the paperback, you'll be given the opportunity to download a free ebook copy immediately --- perfect if you want to read Watermelon Summer and still give it as a gift.  (I've also lowered the price of the ebook to 99 cents this week to give folks with ereaders a bonus too.)

So, how about that free opportunity I tantalized you with in the first paragraph?  The giveaway is easy to enter --- just leave a comment on this post by Friday, December 27, at midnight with the title of your favorite homesteading-related work of fiction, past or present.  I'll use a random number generator to choose one commenter to win a free, signed copy of the paperback.
  Thanks for reading!

(By the way, you may be asking why there are no photos of the paperback in this post.  My proof copy came in the mail last week and I liked it so much...I immediately gave it away without thinking of taking photos!  I'll try to remember to photograph the next books that come into my hands before they find new homes.)

Anna Hess's books
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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Congratulations! I don't have a favorite homesteading book lol.
Comment by Amy Mon Dec 23 08:19:12 2013
the good life by scott and helen nearing. started me on this journey.
Comment by Craig Medicraft Mon Dec 23 09:42:10 2013
Your excerpts have been tantalizing! Favourite homesteading book, fictional, Little House on Prairie, which was a great work of reality fiction. I read it fifty years ago, and still own copies of the entire series.
Comment by Maggie Mon Dec 23 10:16:07 2013

I hadn't even thought of LHotP, but yeah. Because of that series (which I read at least five times through - the entire series), I got started in my interest in historical cooking, cooking from scratch, cooking what I grow, and growing at least some of what I cook.

My first thought when reading this post, though, was Farm City. I was already up to my ears in my own front yard garden and canning and cheesemaking and whatever else when the 'Farmsteading Memoirs' started coming out. Novella Carpenter's book was one of the first really well-written books I'd found on the subject. I've read several since, some of them equally as good, but that was pretty much the first.

Not counting Little House on the Prairie, of course!

Comment by WendP Mon Dec 23 11:56:01 2013
Oh yes, The Good Life by Helen & Scott Nearing started me on this path, too. But I also love your writing, Anna! Congrats on the paperback!!!!!
Comment by Theresa Mon Dec 23 11:57:14 2013

The Tall Woman by Wilma Dykeman

Comment by Mandy R Mon Dec 23 12:06:09 2013
Congratulations on all your success and thank you so much for sharing your insights and opening up your life to us to explore. It means so much to those of us who are too afraid to take the plunge the way that you did. Keep up the excellent work...
Comment by Pam Day Mon Dec 23 12:32:52 2013

I don't know if these count as homesteading, but a great deal of my favorite YA books involved running away into the woods to live alone. The best example is "My Side of the Mountain". The sequel "The Other Side of the Mountain" our hero from the first book is joined by his sister, and they continue living in tree houses, using a falcon to hunt, and gathering all sorts of vegetables and berries. I also loved Island of the Blue Dolphin and Julie of the Wolves. Sadly, no one is gardening or keeping chickens in either of those. LOL!

Come to think of it, I haven't actually read any homesteading fiction, all non-fiction. There was one book called "Out of the Dust," and while it took place ON a homestead, it was really about a young girl and her father mourning the death of the mother/wife during the dustbowl. It was a haunting book, but not much actual farming taking place. But after each load of dishes, the girl would carry the dish water out to the apple trees, because they were her mothers and she wanted to keep them alive.

Comment by Emily from Bristol Mon Dec 23 15:27:58 2013

I recommend you read Opal the journal of an understanding heart by opal whitely. It is about Opal, the 6 year old narrator and the animal friends she makes on the homestead of her adopted parents. She Wrote The Book but it wasn't published until she was 20 in Atlantic Monthly. You don't have to pick me because of nepotism, but I kinda would like a copy. I will lend you my copy of Opal if you want.

Love, Maggie Ellen Robin Hess

Comment by Maggie Mon Dec 23 17:11:39 2013
Maybe we can comment on Willa Cather's O Pioneers! eventually, more to compare centuries, but, starting with Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa, there are also Marjorie Kinnan Rawling's Cross Creek, in which she tries to raise oranges and also write, and Janise Earl Ray's Wild Card Quilt, in which she keeps up her grandparents' place and also tries to save a Florida virgin pine woods. I wish I could think of a comparable one or two by a man writer that hasn't yet been mentioned! YOur own, Anna, certainly seems to speak much as the young woman writer finding herself thru her writing--as well as figuring out about her father and her birthplace.
Comment by adrianne Mon Dec 23 18:00:23 2013
Interesting to see someone else was inspired by the Little House series at an early age. I can remember my mom at a parent-teacher conference saying something to my fourth grade teacher about my working on the series. The teacher said, "Well... if that's what he wants to read." It didn't occur to me until later that the books were "for girls". I got the box set for Christmas that year, though!
Comment by Marc M Tue Dec 24 00:03:39 2013

To many books to list but the above books are a good start. Love reading any of your books I can get my hands on both from library or downloads.

Being able to read parts of the story this week with the photos helped set the scenes in the book I got on "free Friday". Thanks for that.

Comment by michael Tue Dec 24 03:33:01 2013
I enjoyed the Fox Fire series and still refer to them.
Comment by Rys Tue Dec 24 12:26:11 2013

While homeschooling my daughter we read several of the books above. The Laura Ingles Wilder series(es) were some of our favorite. It gave us an opportunity to try different things that we read about in the books. I read about Laura when I was young, but my daughter found the rest of the series. We also read Out of the Dust, we were skpectical about this book but after reading it, we both found that we enjoyed it.

I have been reading the Butter in the well series by Hubalek on my Kindle and I really like them.

Comment by Annette Tue Dec 24 23:22:56 2013
Congratulations on getting your book released in paperback! I have been enjoying the excerpts so much. My favorite homesteading book is actually your book. I love Trailersteading so much I keep reading it over and over again.
Comment by DeeAnn Wed Dec 25 07:48:06 2013
My favourite shareholding book is Self Deficientcy by Sally Borst I have read it and re-read it several times
Comment by Chris Thu Dec 26 08:19:14 2013
Amy was our winner! I've dropped her an email and will mail off her paperback this week. Thanks to everyone who entered!
Comment by anna Sun Dec 29 12:54:35 2013

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