Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oh No! I'm Dead and Google Alert had to Tell Me

Like a lot of writers, I use Google Alert to tell me important information, like the fact that someone commented on my book or mentioned me in a blog.

Hey! A girl's got to keep up with these things. Who knows when some important Hollywood producer might discover my book, and put out an all points bulletin to his peeps in search of little old me?

It could happen. So what if most of the hits on my name have to do with the Knights of the Golden Circle, or some group of treasure hunters discovering my book? Just because I include real historical information in my novels doesn't mean that Hollywood wouldn't consider doing a movie about Nessa/Ness.

Anyway, I'm drifting off topic. Lets get back to when I opened my email this morning and discovered that I had passed away. Having seen my obituary once before, I was not entirely shocked to again be reading about Gwen Mayo's demise. I was a little surprised to learn that this time I was in New Zealand when the grim reaper arrived.

I clicked on the link provided and leaned in close to read the details. A few seconds later, I breathed a sigh of relief... it wasn't really me.

Thank goodness I don't have a bad heart. With news like that, tomorrow might actually have been a report of my demise. Can't you see the headline?


That might be a slight exaggeration, but I can dream, can't I?

Anyway. I am sorry the world has lost a Gwen Mayo. With a name like that, she must have been a wonderful woman, but I am thankful that I am still here to get that Google Alert.

Watch out though. You never know what will pop up on Google.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekend Writer: Visiting Harrodsburg

This weekend, Sarah and I paid a visit to Lexington's Pride Festival, then decided to check out the Harrodsburg Festival of Books and Art. This was the second year of the event and our first for attending. Since we had not originally planned to participate, we weren't registered for a table. Sarah's publicist, Bertena Varney, was there and had a table to promote her newly released book, LURE OF THE VAMPIRE. The book was supposed to be available at the festival, but unfortunately her copies did not arrive in time. She kindly offered to share her table with us, so we ended up being last minute participants in the festival.

Writers are so cool.

I went back to the car for the chairs we use at events and soon a stack of Sarah's book ALL THIS AND FAMILY, TOO was on Bertena's table.

I had a few copies of CIRCLE OF DISHONOR along, but I'm in serious need of reordering before doing another event. I put the few I had out and talked to lots of people about the book. The event had an open mic in the afternoon. Writers are a shy lot. Fortunatly, I'm not among the bashful. Sarah and I were very happy to read a selection from our books for the audience.

I am pleased to have had the unexpected chance to visit with Kentucky writers and learn more about this new arts festival. Deciding to attend allowed us to do readings, visit with new friends, and meet a bunch of nice people. Hydra Publications had a booth across the street from Bertena. Frank, who runs Hydra and That Book Place bookstore, came over and invited the two of us up to Madison, IN, to do a book event. We'll be emailing him later to work out the details.

We both gave our email addresses to Elane Hammons, the event organizer, and hope she invites us back next year. It is an excellent and much needed event in Kentucky. I expect it to gain a lot more interest from Kentucky writers as it becomes more widely known. I am really looking forward to seeing that happen. It is a lovely, historic Kentucky city and the perfect spot for writers and artists to gather.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Convention Hangover

Now that I am back from the GCLS convention in Orlando, Florida, I am suffering from that post convention hangover, or the real life smacked me in the face reaction. Those of you who travel for business know what I'm talking about. Smack one...no matter how good or bad the trip is, days on the road are exhausting, then you come home and everyone thinks you've been on a vacation. Smack two...something always needs your attention when you first walk through the door. Smack three...you have to get back to work.

Sarah and I along with many others from the con stayed over on Sunday night and flew out on Monday. It gave us a little more time to rest. A group of us got to go out to dinner and actually talk to each other instead of rushing through a meal to get back to the con. I actually came up with a great idea for handling the problem I have been having with my second book. I love talking to other writers.

Then came Monday. I woke up with a stuffy head. We had to rush to pack and check out, get to the airport, turn in our rental car, and go through the hassle that has become the norm at airports. We were early, so check-in was the easy part. Of course, TSA took Sarah's cold cream and that very dangerous jar of peanut-butter we carry for times when we are too rushed to have a meal.

Our flight home was not the worst flight I have ever had, but it was a bumpy ride. The seat belt light was on the entire trip. Bouncing around makes Sarah worry. When my spouse is tense I worry about her. We are both good at finding reasons to worry about each other. That means we were kind of wired when we got home and all the raw nerves were prickling. All our worry comes through the door with us and there are no buffers.

We have a friend who stops by and looks after the house while we are away. Still, there is that closed up feel our house gets when we've been gone. It will take a day or two for home to feel homey again. Then there was the evil computer problem. Our home network isn't working. The pile of email will have to wait until I get home tonight with the new modem and hopefully get web connected again (we are running out at lunch to get the new modem). Then there is the real mail piled on the kitchen table. The lawn needs attention too. Oh, the joy of coming home.

Today it is back to the office, stuffy head and all, and to the pile of mail and problems that will be waiting for me.  I am not sure what waits, but I'm early enough to not have to deal with it just yet. The university server is up and running. Now, if only I could get rid of this hung over feeling and get a little air to go through my nose...I might get some work done.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Live at GCLS

Last night Lara Zielinsky broadcast her internet radio show live from the 2011 Golden Crown Literary Society meeting in Orlando, Florida. Sarah and I were both guest on this special two hour broadcast which featured the debut authors attending the con. This is a list of her guests on the show and their books:

Terias McKlay ("Guardian: The Surrender"; PD)
Kate McLachlan ("Rip Van Dyke"; Regal Crest)
Sarah Glenn ("All This and Family, Too"; Pill Hill Press)
Gwen Mayo ("Circle of Dishonor"; Pill Hill Press)
Pol Robinson ("Open Water"; Bella)
Saxon Bennett (Marching to a Different Accordion; Bella)
Layce Gardner ("Tats"; Bella)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Review: Beloved Pilgrim, by Nan Hawthorne

My Review of Beloved Pilgrim is reposted from Bosom Friends with permission of the blog owner.

Beloved Pilgrim is an engaging historical coming of age story set during the disastrous Crusade of 1101. Elisabeth, the hero/heroine of the story, is a young noblewoman, more inclined to wield a sword than an embroidery needle. She chafes against the constraints of social expectations of her position and longs for the freedom her twin brother enjoys. Sixteen-year-old Elisabeth is forced into a marriage to a much older knight. She barely knows the husband her father has chosen for her. The brute has no regard for her feelings or well-being, and makes it clear on their wedding night that his desire is for her dowry and a noble wife to produce his progeny.

Shortly after her marriage, her mother passes away. Elisabeth’s grief stricken father departs for the Holy Land, leaving the estate in her brother Elias’ hands. Elias longs to join his father on crusade, but falls ill and dies before he can depart. Elisabeth is left to suffer the abuse of a husband she loathes. Desperation drives her to assume her brother’s identity and run away.

Elisabeth/Elias is aided in her disguise by her brother’s squire and lover. Together, they face the challenges and trials of traveling as knight and squire on holy crusade. Beloved Pilgrim is a complex story of love and loss, honor and duty, and more importantly, of the differences in individuals that show us the commonalities of the human condition.

Hawthorne weaves the tale of Elisabeth’s adventures with historical accuracy, excellent detail, and respect for all the factions involved. We laugh and cry with characters that come alive on the page. Her work confronts the deprivations, hardships, and violence of an army on the march. She ably handles the difficulty of posing as a woman traveling in the world of men and wonder and excitement of a young knight seeing the exotic Byzantine Empire for the first time.

Nan Hawthorne is a historical novelist and blogger and an editor for Wilde Oats Magazine. Her novels include An Involuntary King: Tale of Anglo Saxon England and Beloved Pilgrim, and her one nonfiction book is Loving the Goddess Within: Sex Magick for Women, a book about body image and sexuality. You can find out more about her work at www.nanhawthorne.com .