Spring Fling last weekend, RT this weekend. Spring Fling was very nice. I got to get to know some of the ladies from my local RWA chapter. TONS of talented women in this area. I never got to meet Simone Elkeles, although I wanted to. There were too many people swamped around her!
So, onto RT in Columbus, Ohio. I’m taking off this Wednesday early and driving. YAY! Getting excited! So many people I’m looking forward to seeing.
Good times ahead.
Are you coming? If you live in the vicinity, now is a good time to make the trip, even if you only come for the booksigning on Saturday. Next year it’s in Los Angeles, I believe.
The booksigning is big, and you’ll love it.
May 1, 2010
11AM to 2 PM
Romantic Times Convention
Hyatt Regency Columbus
350 North Hight Street
Columbus OHIO 43215
I’m driving this year, which has its downside (like the five hours in the car) but has its upside too…like that I’m not limited on how much I bring and how much swag and books I get to bring home from the convention. Well, I do have the limits of the trunk and four doors of the car…I’ll just have to make sure I dont open the doors until I get home so stuff doesn’t pop out onto the interstate.
Hi all! I know, I know. I’ve been so absent. Working hard and dealing with some personal stuff, but all is a go for both Spring Fling this weekend and RT next week! If you are in the Chicago-land area, or near Columbus, I hope you’ll check out these two romance events. The Spring Fling booksigning is this Saturday, April 24, 2010, 4:30 – 6:00 pm at:
1750 Lake Cook Road
Deerfield, IL 60015
Click on the Spring Fling link (to the right) for more information on workshops, etc. And here is a list of the authors attending the booksigning!
NANCY J. PARRA
AMY DE TREMPE
DEBRA ST. JOHN
S. K. YULE
Recently at my Total Exposure yahoo group, I got online and gushed so fervently about the Masterpiece Theatre mini-series version of Cranford that I think I shocked my formerly calm and unsuspecting members. 🙂 I have reviewed this series here today, and I’m going to give away a copy of the collection in DVD next Tuesday, April 13, to one participant in the contest (chosen randomly). To enter, please tell one person about the contest that you think would enjoy winning the Cranford collection–I realize it’s not for everyone–either by Twitter, Facebook, or just by a regular email…however you like. Then come back to this post and leave a link or tell me who you told. (It’s not a cheap collection, so I’d like whoever wins it to really want it).
There are many of us, I believe, in the romance community who have seen North and South, which is also based on a novel by Elisabeth Gaskell. I’m very motivated at this point to read all this woman’s books. I’m not quite sure why we weren’t studying her in school if we were studying Austen and Dickens. In fact, Gaskell might be described, in a very sketchy sense, as a combination of those two great writers. She demonstrates all the quiet sensibilities of Austen combined with Dicken’s talent for turning a compassionate, often humorous eye, on all levels of society, rich and poor and everything in between. Gaskell also has an acute understanding of the huge impact of industrialization on English society. The mill in North and South and the railroad in Cranford are portrayed as both violent, destructive forces, but also great levelers of society…in essence, the harbingers of change to a class system and way of life that has stood inviolate for centuries.
Cranford is the story of ordinary life in a tiny English town; its great joys and sorrows and little everyday occurrences that had me laughing so hard at times. At the center of the stories are Cranford’s womenfolk, the spokes of the wheel in the turnings of this tiny little town. The narrator of the piece, Mary Smith, tells the young doctor that the Cranford womenfolk are “Amazons” which they really are. Gaskell leaves no doubt who the true rulers of Cranford are, and these ladies know that it’s not the men-folk of Cranford who eventually “˜allow’ the railway to come to Cranford…although the ladies are wise enough to let the men think they are the responsible ones.
One of the wonderful things about Cranford is that Gaskell shows no boundaries: romance is as deep and powerful for the middle aged and as it is for the young; heroism and strength are as manifest in the poor as the rich.
I’m in awe of Elizabeth Gaskell’s keen eye for characterization. She never took the easy way out with the people of Cranford. Lady Ludlow, the great lady of the district, is at times selfish, but we can’t help but sympathize with her great love for her children, misplaced as it is in the case of her son, Septimus. One of my favorite characters in the piece was Harry, a young boy who lives with his mother, father and a multitude of siblings inside a tiny, holey shack in the country. Through Harry, we come to understand the fear that the upper classes had of education. Reading is considered a threat to Lady Ludlow because it threatens the “natural order”. Look what happened in France, for instance, when the lower classes questioned the natural order of things? In a way, Harry and Lady Ludlow are at two ends of a spectrum in Cranford, and when they begin to interact, the consequences are as explosive as the dynamite bringing the railway to sleepy little Cranford.
Cranford is never heavy-handed or didactic. In fact, Cranford is lighter and more fun than North and South. I get the impression of Gaskell watching the whole process with a very loving, if acute eye. Mary Smith, the quiet, unassuming visitor and future author, sees Cranford and its wonderful little stories and idiosyncracies very much through the beneficent eye that reminds me of what Gaskell herself might have been like. The everyday activities and habits are no less important than the great or tragic. Both abound, but the story of a cat swallowing a particularly fine piece of lace when it is being whitened in a bowl of cream or the story of how one lady’s prize cow ends up having to wear grey flannel pajamas everywhere (flap included for milking) are equally as important as the more weighty sadness of death and love lost. Trust me, there are as many laughs in Cranford as there are tears, and it ends just perfectly.
Cranford has a stellar cast. The scope of the story is such that there are literally dozens of characters, and each is played to perfection. Even Tim Curry popping up at the end as the conjurer with the mischievious glint in his eye was priceless. There are no small parts in this fabulous film.
I’m looking forward to reading the book. I have good news for Kindle owners: Cranford, along with multiple Gaskell books, are available now for the best price of all: 0.00! Go to Amazon to download, and the other free books should pop up after you download Cranford.
Fiona has a new novella out, and you’ve got to love this: sexy sea captain’s, spunky librarians and high sea adventure Fi-style. Here’s the interview I gave Fiona at Total Exposure on release day.
The Treasure of Devil’s Isle
1. First off, that is such a smoking cover. What are your thoughts on it as an artist?
My thoughts were – HOLY COW how can I steal this artist’s talent? My two favorite cover artists are Kanaxa and Anne Cain – and Kanaxa did this one. I actually have a date with her at RT to pick her brain – not only is she a terrific cover artist she is also an extremely talented author!
I’m glad I let other artists do their thing with my book cover – instead of trying to control things and do them myself. The results are always spectacular, and I’m honestly my own worst client, so it always works out:)
2. This sounds like so much freaking fun! Adventurous librarians–I love it–and time travel and pirates! Arrrhhhh. Where’d the seeds for this story come from?
Thank you! This is really an oddball theme for me – I do love time travels, but I never really planned to do a historical (kinda) with it. I really wanted to do something with Bermuda Triangle, but drowning my heroine wasn’t really an option lol. Time Travel seemed like a terrific way to make her “disappear”, and this was during the time when the second (or third?) Pirates of the Caribbean came out.
So here we are at the Bermuda Triangle, with Pirate influences… Treasure seemed like the most logical choice!
This is where I dug into my childhood – there was this really terrific cartoon in Russian retelling Stevenson’s Treasure Island. (Somehow is wasn’t as cool when I re watched it as an adult). Between that and re-reading Treasure Island, I had a good idea of what I wanted to do:)
3. When someone says ‘pirate’ what immediately pops into your mind?
Umm… Han Solo. (You knew that one was coming, right LOL)
4. How does this book differ from many of your other books?
This book is a lot lighter and more spunky/funny. My heroine has a very wry way of speaking which I really enjoyed. Here’s a small example:
“I’d prefer to get to my own century, but my red shoes won’t work.”
She had the oddest way of speaking, though why it would appeal to him he didn’t know.
She turned to leave, but whirled around again. “And I can come here to use the…what the hell do you call it, anyway?”
The girl had guts. “The pot. And yes.”
“I can’t wait to get back to working toilets,” Jared heard her mutter just before she slammed the door.
5. Finish this sentence….”If I’d only known how much work and fun it is to write when I first became an author, I would have not waited this long!!!
Happy Good Friday to those who celebrate! I have tabulated the votes, and man there was a lot of them. For those of you who are tuning in late, I wanted to do a little best of erotic romance contest of my own to give a shout out to my fellow authors. There were some really good erotic romances this year, and they deserve a salute. Thanks to everyone who thought the same and took part. We had a week of nominations, and last week, a ton of people voted. I’ve decided to list the top five vote-getters. So now, the results!
Tied for 4th Place: The Bikini Diaries by Lacey Alexander Rough, Raw and Ready by Lorelei James
3rd Place: Laid Bare by Lauren Dane
2nd Place: Sweet Seduction by Maya Banks
1st Place: (Drum roll please) Instinctive by Cathryn Fox!
Congratulations to Cathryn! We jump-on-the-beach salute you!
And now, the winner of three erotic romances, chosen by order of entry and a random number generator goes to:
Robin–write to me at bethkery@aol to claim your prize!