February 2021 Newsletter

Hello Friends,

I hope this month’s newsletter finds you well.

In the last month, Between Us appeared in two blogs and received a useful review from Redheadedbooklover.com that says, “Overall, I would say that Between Us is an incredible novel and I would say if you have been bored of late of thriller and suspense books that well, don’t thrill you! Then take a chance with this one because it is an all-consuming assault of brilliance that will keep you entertained from beginning to end! Between Us gets five stars from me, book lovers!” I’m grateful for that assessment.  So, let me remind you that Between Us is on sale on Amazon until the 31st of January, then it returns to full price.

While perusing the internet the other day, I found an article about Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, called “Gold Bug.”  According to Wikipedia, “The Gold-Bug” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in 1843. The plot follows William Legrand, who was bitten by a gold-colored bug. His servant Jupiter fears that Legrand is going insane. Jupiter and another friend visit Legrand, who confesses he has deciphered a secret message and asks Jupiter and the other man to join him in an adventure to find the buried treasure.” 

Hunting down a few more articles, I learned that in 1938, Alfred Butts, a long time Poe fan and starving architect, felt inspired by the story’s cipher and created a cryptograph by calculating the most used letters in the English Alphabet. Butts then consumed The New York Times, The New York Herald Tribune, and The Saturday Evening Post to tabulate the most used words in their periodical, and then drilled down his research to the most used letters. Each letter held a ranking number based on its usage.   In time, and after several revisions, Butts created the famous boardgame SCRABBLE. By 1952, the game became a household favorite and sold millions of copies.

Finally, I learned that Poe entered “The Gold-Bug” to a writing contest funded by the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper and won the grand prize of publication and $100, which became the largest payment Poe received for his writing.   Who would have known one little short story could have so much impact?

Well, inspired by their success, I created a scavenger hunt for all of you!  In the Harper Gale banner shown above, I have inserted ten items related to the newsletter, Between Us, and my upcoming novel, Snake Oil.  When you find all ten items, please email me, and I will enter your name in a raffle to win one of two posters. The posters are 11×14 and highlight a passage in Alice in Wonderland and The Velveteen Rabbit.  If you’d like a closer look at the banner, please click the link on my FB page (click here) and expand the view.  See photos of the prizes below.

Good luck to all those who participate.  I look forward to hearing from you at harpergalebooks@gmail.com.

Until then, “see” you in March.

Harper