More books and about that vacation

As i said in a previous post or two I went on vacation last week, so didn’t get a whole lot of books like usual. I went to visit family and also got to tour the Lookout Mountain and Chickamauga battlefields in Tennessee. (Y’all saw the “ghost” right? It was the only one I *might* have seen. If there were more there, they were being gentlemen. (See why Caitlin loves her soldier ghost in the Antique Magic series, folks?) Anyway, the battlefield tour was so totally cool! :) I’ve been geeking out over the history of the two since then and reading whatever I can on it (slowpoke though I am about reading). Oh my gosh! It was so neat. Fear of heights, mainly forgotten. For a little while anyway. :) (Yes, I am a geek)

So these are what I got my hands on and am starting to poke through.

shermaninvadesjscalesSherman Invades Georgia by John R. Scales (who, yes, I went to the battlefield with so it is signed to me by the author! :)See that line above about geeking out at Lookout Mountain ;)).

Synopsis:

A longtime Special Forces officer with a Ph.D. in systems engineering presents a new perspective on one of the legendary campaigns of the Civil War, General William T. Sherman’s invasion of Georgia. Unlike most Civil War books that either treat individual battles and campaigns in a historical sense and give short shrift to planning, or study campaign planning with snippets from various campaigns to document specific features, General John Scales’s book takes advantage of modern planning techniques to fully examine what went into the Georgia campaign. He has limited the information in his book to that possessed by General Sherman at the time, as documented in his correspondence during the campaign and not in his after-the-fact reports and autobiography. Laid out in chapters that follow the format of an “estimate of the situation,” this book doesn’t simply recount the facts or attempt to provide a definitive history – other books do that – rather it offers a narrative of the campaign that illustrates a logical decision-making process as formulated in modern times. Published in cooperation with the Associations of the United States Army, the book serves two audiences: military professionals can use it for training purposes and Civil War buffs and interested laymen can gain a sense of the uncertainty that real commanders face by not having all the records of both sides at hand.

I also got: Union Soldier of the American Civil War (a Visual Reference) by Denis Hambucken and Chris Benedetto. (Yes, I bought a book about the North on the Southern battlefield’s store. Why, yes. I was blushing and ducking! But it’s for research,I swear!)

(Yes, I do kinda wish I’d gotten the companion Confederate Soldier of the American Civil War too). Are they suggesting story ideas? You bet. I’ve already got a WIP cooking. (*shh* If the muse hears me talking she’ll throw a  hissy fit). We’ll see what happens.

New Release Secret Love by Christine Warner

How are you fine folks, today? I have a special treat for you today, a fine author and friend, Christine Warner has released her new book. An historical romance novel set in an unusual time period–the mid-fifties. Since y’all know how I like it when a writer tries something unusual, I couldn’t help but invite her to tell us about it. So, without further ado, introducing

SECRET LOVE: Book One in the Sweet Fifties Series

 Secret Love by Christine Warner

BLURB:

Saranac, Michigan 1955

 

Lizzie Tarleton has always done things her own way—including the time at the tender age of thirteen when she confessed to her brother’s best friend she loved him. But now she’s a new teacher at the local high school, and independent enough to know that you can’t force love. She’ll find love when the time is right—even though her parents are adamant the time is now. The only downfall to her idyllic life is the fact that her childhood crush—who broke her heart—is now her boss. If only she could stop daydreaming about him.

Wayne Whitmore grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and worked hard to get where he’s at in life. Even though he enjoys being principal at the small town high school, he dreams of coaching baseball. When his best friend asks him to watch over his little sister at her new job at Wayne’s school, he agrees. What he doesn’t count on is how she’s grown from the pig tailed kid who told him she loved him, to the woman who breaks his concentration with her beauty and smile. Unable to get over his fascination, and afraid he’ll ruin his friend’s trust, Wayne applies for his dream job—one that will take him far away.

One night while decorating the school gymnasium for an upcoming sock hop, Lizzie and Wayne find themselves alone. They share a kiss and Lizzie realizes her childhood crush for Wayne has never died. Wayne decides he doesn’t want to let Lizzie get away.

Can they come to terms with their secret love and then overcome the other secrets they are hiding in order to get what they each want? Or is their timing for love still off?

 

EXCERPT:

 

She blinked away the heat of tears forming at the back of her eyes. Their conversation had grown too serious. She needed to lighten things up a bit. “Remember when we used to play ‘What if?’”

He laughed. “What if Lizzie wore a dress?”

“Either she was going to church, or her mom was having a ladies’ social.” Lizzie giggled. “Ricky hated that game.”

“He’d get so mad when you’d start it.” He made the final cut on a small snowflake and added it to the pile before him.

“What if Wayne couldn’t throw his famous curve ball?”

“The school trophy case would be one trophy short. What if Lizzie wasn’t teaching here?”

She pouted. “She’d be sad. I have no idea what I’d be doing if I hadn’t found a job here. What does Lizzie have to do to show Wayne she thanks him?” She winked, enjoying their fun.

He cleared his throat. “What if Wayne said Lizzie owed him a kiss?”

Her belly trembled. What if?

“What if he stole one?” His voice lowered and he leaned in.

“Why don’t you find out?” she whispered.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Would you like to read more? You can find Secret Love at:

  • Buy links Amazon | Barnes & Noble
  • Genre: Sweet Nostalgic Novella
  • Length: 69 Pages
  • The Sweet Fifties Series {Book 1}
  • Release Date: June 9, 2014

 

Author Christine WarnerAUTHOR BIO:

 

Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her family, one laptop, and a much loved assortment of furry friends.

Besides laughing and a good dose of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing, but no arithmetic.  A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities.  She loves to read and write about strong heroes, and determined, sometimes sassy, heroines.

A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on facebook, twitter and her website at christine-warner.com.
Thanks, Christine, and good luck with Secret Love!

My stop in a paranormal hotel.

Another freaky Friday is upon us and this time, I have a personal story for you. So, if you’ve poked in here at all the last week you know I recently took a little vacation to North Florida. I was scouting historical locations and information, it’s true, but I also hoped for a little paranormal encounter. On the way home, because a friend who went with us was from there, we stopped by Cedar Key for breakfast. She took us to a pretty little restaurant all decked out in ’50s charm, I had a close encounter with a pelican (well, he was outside my window!)

cedar key pelican

Take my picture, lady!

Meanwhile, sightseeing continued, and my friend pointed out all the little places she loved. One of them was the Island Hotel, an historic hotel built in 1859.

The Island Hotel

A hotel she claimed was haunted. Well, my mom wasn’t having none of that, but after breakfast we begged her convinced her to stop in. Come through the door and around the corner and there’s a phone booth off to the corner. While the innkeeper was telling us how someone stole the phone, mom gasps. I peer into the box to see this fella:

island hotel dummy

We continued through and the innkeeper chatters on telling us about a Civil War soldier’s ghost the guests sometimes see upstairs. Okay, I’m hooked now. :)

Mom eventually found a framed article on the wall that occupied her.

My friend and I settled into the living room while she read. All of a sudden, we hear footsteps in the room with us. (Not from upstairs, mind you, in the room we sat in).

We look around, Mom’s standing still, the woman at the desk is standing still reading her computer. My friend and I look at each other. “Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?” Mom says.

My friend smiles in a  “Told ya” kind of way. So we left and Mom took a picture of us on the porch, just for good measure. This guy steps out on the balcony above. Mom pauses and says, “Um, are you real?”

*g* Poor Mom.

Unfortunately, he said yes! But was his the footsteps we heard in the parlor? To spare Mom’s sanity, I’ll say yes, ;) but I’d like to think not. I’d like to think the soldier was checking out the newcomers!

 

Who knows, maybe one day I’ll send my character Caitlin there on vacation and hunting ghosts!

So…how was your weekend?

Seeking a bay fort

West Metro Mommy Reads

I’ve been in Pensacola, the last week, running around like a madwoman, erm, that is, scouting future installments in my Antique Magic series of paranormal fantasy novels. Where was I scouting, you ask?

Fort Pickens Road sign

Yep. I finally got to Fort Pickens–and it was fantastic! So, for this Saturday Snapshot, I’ve got some site-seeing photos to share.

Dunes

Santa Rosa gnarled Tree by Juli D. Revezzo

Once you get on the island, there are just miles of these gorgeous sand dunes, and signs everywhere that warn drivers to watch out for nesting seabirds (unfortunately, we didn’t see any though. I guess it was too hot for them). Then the Gulf Islands National Seashore sign, but we’re still seeking out the fort.

Fort Pickens Gulf Islands National Seashore sign

Then finally, we come around a corner and see… (eep!) This:

Battery Langdon

Battery Langdon

Getting a little excited now! *rubs hands* We must be close. Yes. Once inside we see…

Guarding the bay

Guarding the bay

Was that all? Oh, no. But, patience, my friends. I’ll show you more next week! Have a great weekend.

To see more participants in Saturday Snapshots, go here.

And if you’d like to sample the (currently) freebie novella, see the post here for details on how to get it.

If only she’d lived in another time….#SPeekSunday

Sneak Peek Sunday Banner

Sunday afternoon brings on another Sneak Peek Sunday.

Excerpt from my paranormal romance book Passion’s Sacred Dance.

cover art for Passion's Sacred Dance. Cover art by Kim Mendoza

Cover art by Kim Mendoza

“I had a freaky encounter with this incredibly strange woman,right here in our courtyard.” Stacy waved a hand in the direction in question. “And you nearly beheaded her.”
“Did I?” He pondered the lost and found box absently. “That is some dream. I’m glad to see I made an impression.”
She frowned. “That wasn’t the dream.”
He set the box aside, folding his hands and giving her his full attention. “Wasn’t it?”
“No, the dream consisted of you whisking me away on some wild trip through the lights. I can’t account for what happened between then and six the next morning.”
“I’m not stupid, Aaron. I remember what went on last evening.” She waved a hand as if batting the problem away….
***
“I shouldn’t rattle on at you like this. I’m sorry to trouble you.”
His eyes twinkled and Stacy gulped. “It’s no trouble,” he said. If possible, his voice got even deeper with an edge of desire to it that curled her toes pleasantly. “I must say you’re pretty enough to be forgiven just about anything.”
No trouble? Her brain, and her honor, headed south every second he stood across from her. If they lived in the sixteenth century, she’d consider begging her father
to make a marriage contract with Aaron Fielding.

Oh, dear….so what happened to poor Stacy to bring on this wild dream? You’ll have to read to find ouT! If you’d like to try it, Passion’s Sacred Dance is available at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon(for paperback and Kindle), All Romance Ebooks, Bookstrand, Itunes, and Kobo, and B&N.

To see more Sneak Peek Sunday authors see the Sneak Peek Sunday site here.

Q and A with author/editor Rebecca Buchanan

This morning I have something a little different for you. I’ve been following the pagan writing community for quite a few years now. Along the way, I’ve met some very talented authors and poets, made some good friends, and wanted to introduce you, my readers, to a few. Recently, I had the pleasure to interview editor of Eternal Haunted Summer, Rebecca Buchanan. Rebecca is the editor-in-chief of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and the editor of pagan fiction and non-fiction ‘zine Eternal Haunted Summer. She has been published in Bards and Sages Quarterly, Cliterature, The Future Fire, Into the Great Below, Fire Jewel: A Devotional For Freyja, Linguistic Erosion, and Luna Station Quarterly, as well as Beyond the Pillars, The Shining Cities, Unbound: A Devotional Anthology for Artemis, Written in Wine, and other venues. She blogs semi-regularly at BookMusings: (Re)Discovering Pagan Literature.

Hi, Rebecca! Thanks for being here. I know you’re busy and I appreciate your time! What would you like people to know about Paganism?

Rebecca Buchanan: Primarily, I would like people outside of Paganism to understand that — whichever path or tradition we follow — we are completely serious and sincere in our devotions. This is not playacting or a phase.

Most pagan writers have a personal pantheon they’re dedicated to, and to which they dedicate their art. How did you connect with your personal pantheon?

Rebecca: I have loved mythology since childhood, especially Greek and Egyptian; those were always the books I lugged home from the library (along with the fairy tales). I would read the stories over and over again, study the paintings and sculptures, the photographs and schematics of the old temples.

Since my earliest exposure to the Gods was through books, I guess that is why my devotions now primarily take the form of writing and publishing.

Can you tell us a bit about how your path influences your own writing?

Rebecca: My devotion to the Greek pantheon has a *huge* influence on my writing. I would say ninety percent of what I write — poetry, short fiction, essays — is about the Gods and Goddesses. Plus, the fact that I could not find a market for my writing led to the creation of Eternal Haunted Summer; I wanted to offer a venue for other frustrated Pagan writers. It also led me to accept the position of editor-in-chief at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, so I could oversee the production of anthologies in honor of the Gods and Goddesses.

As a writer, is there any genre you haven’t tried that you’d like to?

Rebecca: Oh … tough one.

I try. ;)

Rebecca: Aside from the poetry, most of my writing could be broadly defined as science fiction or fantasy; there are a couple of dark fantasy/horror pieces, too. I guess I would like to try my hand at a mystery, an old fashioned, honest to goodness murder mystery. Maybe starring a modern-day devotee of Nemesis … or priest of Thoth ….

Ooh that’s does sound intriguing! What inspired you to take on the editorial spot of Eternal Haunted Summer?

Rebecca: Frustration! Pure, unadulterated frustration! I had written dozens of poems and short stories in honor of the Gods and Goddesses, and yet there were no reliable venues in which to publish them. The majority of religious publishers out there are Christian in their focus, and my stuff was *too* religious for the fantasy publishers. I heard the same complaint from other Pagan writers. Thus, Eternal Haunted Summer was born. It’s been a real honor to host so many talented authors.

It’s been an honor to find you too, Rebecca, and I have to agree. I have had the same experience in my path to publishing too. I’m glad to see that changing a bit. Next question: Is there anything/any aspect of Paganism, or topic you see little of in the submissions that you’d like more of?

Rebecca: I would love, love, love to receive more submissions which deal with myths, heroes, and Gods from outside Europe. I can appreciate a good Dionysus poem or an essay about Freyja as much as the next girl; but there are so *many* pantheons. I want Aztec-themed poems! Essays about the kami! Short stories centered on Spider Woman and Sedna and Marie Laveau. Reviews of books and comics and movies about Mongolian shamans and La Llorona and Maori tattoo traditions.

I would also love more essays which tackle difficult topics. I am not afraid to run a controversial piece; animal sacrifice, veiling, abortion, hexing, whatever. If it is articulate, thoughtful, correctly cited (as necessary), and respectful in tone, I am happy to consider it for publication.

What would you say to encourage a young Pagan writer to apply their path to their art?

Rebecca: Many people feel especially drawn to one or two Deities within a pantheon (though which Deities may change over time). In the case of a writer, my first suggestion would be to focus your writing on that Deity/ies. Create a poem listing the Deity’s epithets, or a short story retelling a favorite myth; or, write about anything you want, but dedicate the work of creating the story and the story itself to the Deity. Oh, and pray before you start working on it.

Same goes for any kind of art, and even such things as exercise and cleaning; dedicating any kind of work or creative act to a Deity will make it more meaningful.

What would you like readers to know about Eternal Haunted Summer?

Rebecca: That I am open to just about everything. There are very few restrictions when it comes to submissions. Sex and gore should be appropriate to the context of the story. The tone should always be respectful (no bashing other people’s Gods). Pieces about Atlantis or Mu or subterranean civilizations or aliens don’t interest me. Submissions with a monotheistic or Abrahamic focus wouldn’t really be appropriate either. Other than that, any format, any genre, any myth, any Deity, any pantheon.

What’s next for you? Any exciting new projects to tease us with?

Rebecca: Bibliotheca Alexandrina has new anthologies in honor of Demeter, the Morrigan, and the Muses, which will be available soon. I am currently editing the Spring Equinox issue of EHS, which is shaping up to be an awesome edition. I personally have a short story which will appear in the next issue of The Future Fire, and I’m working on a few other stories. Um … basically I am keeping busy. Must write!

fantasy, pagan fiction, pagan fiction authors, metaphysical fictionfantasy, pagan fiction, pagan fiction authors, metaphysical fictionUnbound

I hear that! Thank you again, for being here. Good luck with all you do. I can’t wait for the Spring issue! ;) It should be out by the Equinox, if I’m not mistaken. In the meantime, friends, do check out some of Rebecca’s work. I think you will enjoy it! :) You can find out more about her at:

Eternal Haunted Summer:  http://eternalhauntedsummer.com
http://neosalexandria.org/bibliotheca-alexandrina/
http://witchesandpagans.com/BookMusings/Blogger/Listings/rebecca-buchanan.html

and the EHS Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/268696863150514/
or Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/24893808890/