Tuesday, May 26, 2015

One Year Anniversary

Okay. Actually it's been more like a year and two months but hey, who's counting right? Anyway, I try not to shove my book under your noses too much but I always meant to celebrate the one year anniversary of its release and how better to celebrate than to give away a copy?


Now, don't let the cover fool you. As one reviewer so aptly said:

"If you look at the cover of this book, and assume it's a standard run-of-the-mill cliched cowboy story, you'd be waaaaaay wrong. It isn't a standard run-of-the-mill cliched ANYTHING. It's fresh and imaginative, well-written, and a thoroughly enjoyable tale from start to finish. Matter of fact, I'm not sure, but I think the author may have invented a brand new genre. A hybrid, and a darned good one.

Whether you're a fan of well-researched historical fiction, of the Old West, of time travel, adventure, or romance, you'll find something to rave about in this book. A brilliant scientist owns an exclusive island getaway, and he invites some of his guests to reeeeeally get away... by traveling into the past through his secret invention. (Not a big deal is made about this... it just IS. And somehow, the author makes it seem totally acceptable and plausible.) Our get-away-from-it-all hero precedes our heroine into the Old West, and establishes a new life for himself there. By the time she arrives, he's become a bounty hunter. The trouble is, our poor unsuspecting heroine is the spitting image of the thieving murderous woman who darned near killed him five years earlier. And so it begins. The question is: where will it end? But um, don't be in too big of a hurry to get to the end, because the journey is delicious ... whether it's on horseback on a miserable rainy day, or in a hot overcrowded train, you'll feel like you are there. Total immersion

But it wouldn't be fair if I only shared the good reviews, and I actually found these one and two-star reviews quite helpful:

"I got half-way thru it, and then just gave up. I didn't read anything happening except traveling from town to town. thought it was suppose to have romance? where was it? might have been to someone's liking but wasn't to me."

"This book was free and I am relieved! I lasted 4 chapters but could not stand anymore. Combinibg romance, western and time travel is just too much."

"Deleted without reading."


I have no idea what 'ok' means but I'm perfectly happy with my 4.2 out of 5 star rating on Amazon! 

As for winning, anyone who comments is eligible, and I'll announce the winner on Friday when I'll be back with The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, in which we discuss books and invite you to join us :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Ca' d'Zan

I am happy to report that I'm on to Chapter 21 of RUN, in which there will be a town meeting and the unpleasant person who recently arrived will be touted a hero - much to my main characters' dismay...

If anyone is remotely interested, the first chapter is available to read in my static pages beneath my header.

But I suspect that what you really want to hear about is Ca' d'Zan, which I mentioned on Friday as John and Mable Ringling's winter home. John Ringling, in case you forgot, was part of the Ringling Brothers Circus. He and his wife chose the site of their home because it reminded them of the lagoon of their favorite city. The name of the house is Venetian for House of John.

"Cà d'Zan in 2007". Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:C%C3%A0_d%27Zan_in_2007.jpg#/media/File:C%C3%A0_d%27Zan_in_2007.jpg

Inside looking out - God, don't you love the stained glass...

The ice box, I think.

The Range

I wouldn't mind this sink in my kitchen...

The servants' stairs

Sadly there was a chain preventing people from going down (we might be idiots and jump off and drown ourselves, after all), but this was the dock...ayay...

And that's me, enjoying a bit of sun on that fabulous patio.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Progress and The Ringling Museum

First off, in regards to my WIP, working title RUN, I've been fairly productive since I got back from my vacation. I finished up chapter 19, which I'd been stalled on, and wrote a whole new chapter. There's some fun stuff happening. The town got a delivery, someone unpleasant arrived with it, and my main characters have just learned that the power will be going out soon, leaving them all in the dark. Oh, and it's winter. Good times.

As for The John & Mable Ringling Museum, this was the other place we visited in Sarasota, and it was so huge we didn't have time to see everything. We focused our visit on the Circus Museum, and Ca' d'Zan, John and Mable's winter home. John Ringling, in case you didn't know, was part of the Ringling Brothers Circus, which by 1889 was large enough to need to travel by rail. There's a whole diorama of the trains and then the depot and then the circus spread out over a large area with tents for everything. It was so cool and I took lots of pics. Next week I'll show you Ca' d'Zan, but today, it's the Circus!

I'll leave you with this last pic of a monkey statue that there's no way I'd have in my house. He's wicked cool, but oh, so creepy...

Have an awesome weekend :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

First Impressions Announcement

As most of you know author Dianne Salerni and I have been teaming up the last few years to bring you First Impressions, whereby we critique your first page. Starting in June, First Impressions will be even better, because now your first page will get three critiques instead of two. Krystalyn Drown, author of Legasea, Spirit World, and Tracy Tam Santa Command, will be adding her opinion to the mix, and let me tell you, she's an awesome critiquer (I know, that's not a real word - but it should be!) and Dianne and I are thrilled that she's joining us.

As it stands, we still have one slot open for June, so if you'd like to have your first page critiqued by three awesome authors, just send it to any one of us ( my email address is marcy@tidewater.net) with First Impressions as the subject. A page is usually 300-400 words and we will happily link to your blog, website, twitter, whatever. We also like to have a pic (of you or something appropriate to your submission) that you have the rights to.

Interested? I hope so, cuz we love to crit!

See you Friday with more fun pics from The Ringley Museum...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Sanibel Island - The Bailey Tract

One of the things I love about Sanibel are the bike paths. They go just about everywhere and one of the first things we did was rent bikes. It's easy to get around that way because there are no hills and it's a great way to see the island. Another cool thing about Sanibel is that more than half of the island is made up of wildlife refuges, the largest being the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The Bailey Tract was much smaller, but a very short ride from our condo.

 There were lots of birds

 A turtle (actually there were two but the other was fast and scurried across the path into a little stream), and then this surprise...

I was glad he was across the water. But then we saw this guy...

He came out from beneath the walkway which we had to cross to get back to the way out. I was a little nervous, I admit, and at first I didn't want to cross. But he was much more interested in getting where he was going than in anything I was doing. I still didn't get too close, though! We went back there a few more times but didn't see any more alligators.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Orchids and Masks - The Marie Selby Botanical Garden

As promised, more about my wonderful vacation. Today I want to share some pics I took at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, a city we visited twice. It was almost two hours away, so a bit of a ride, but the gardens were lovely...

First there were orchids...

And then there were the masks, hand carved and painted...

And finally there was this astoundingly beautiful tree...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What I did on my not-summer vacation

As some of you may recall, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend two whole weeks on Sanibel Island recently, a place I've been to twice before and wouldn't hesitate to go back. It's the perfect place to relax and just hang out at the beach, go shelling, take a few boat rides, or visit some cool places

Among the places I went to/things I did:

The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

The Bailey Tract

The Shell Museum

The Ringley Museum 

The Beach

And Two Boat Rides

I had a ton of fun and I can't wait to show/tell you more.