Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Merry Bookmas?


Christmas and books. They just sort of go together, don’t they?

Well, they do when it comes to my Christmas shopping list.  I don’t give as many as I used to within my immediate family because we all have Nook e-readers and share a Barnes and Noble account—you don’t want to know how many e-books we have! But I always save a few special selections for Christmas giving: daughter #1 is a manga fan (and loves wolves), so she’s getting Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki; daughter #2, who is studying jewelry making, gets the enormous new release Jewelry: The Body Transformed and Indian Jewelry Making, and the whole family is getting some of the newer Asterix books, continued by a new artist and writer team now that Uderzo and Goscinny are no more.

I also have other family that I always get books for at the holidays like my mother in law, to read on the plane as she makes her annual trip to warmer climes. This year it’s A Well Behaved Woman by Therese Ann Fowler, historical fiction about Alva Vanderbilt, and The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck, set during and after World War II.  And my dear friend Liz is getting White Mughals by William Dalrymple, about 18th century East India Company agents who fell in love with India—and with Indian women.

And—ahem—I may have ordered one or two books for myself, too...The House at Lobster Cove by Jane Goodrich—about an extraordinary house that was destroyed and then rebuilt, each time by two extraordinary people, and The Shepherdess of Elk River Valley by Margaret Duncan Brown, who single-handedly ran her Colorado ranch for nearly fifty years, somehow found their way into my basket.

Are you a holiday book giver? What books are planning to give (or hoping to receive?)

Friday, December 7, 2018

Nineteenth Century Christmas Wish List, 2018 Edition


Almost done with my Christmas shopping (don’t hate me, and don’t tell me you finished in October). 😊 As we have in past years, I thought I’d alert you to presents that any aficionado of the nineteenth century and avid bookworm might enjoy.

Let’s start with books. Fabric a la Romantic Regency appears to be a lovely glossary of fabric terms from the early nineteenth century. Ever want to know the difference between sarsnet and lustring? This ought to tell you.  

There’s also an interesting tome, Jane Austen’s England, that promises to look closer at the places and situations depicted in Jane Austen’s novels.

And this one tickled my fancy: How Jane Austen Kept Cool, all about Georgian ice cream!

Perhaps your more in the mood to make sure your favorite books remain in the family. Check out this embosser, which will tastefully mark the books with your name.

Mugs always seem a popular gift. This one has a unique slant. 




Need something to put that new mug on? Try these coasters of Jane Austen books.


Or perhaps you’d like to step up your organization approach. Love these file folders from the Victorian Trading Company.

Finally, you can be reminded of all your favorite British authors, from Shakespeare to Tolkien, with this decorative plate. There’s only one, I’m afraid. 


Good luck, and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Some Good News, and a Thank You


Sometimes, good things happen when you least expect them.

I’ve been completely preoccupied with family issues this fall—preoccupied to the point that I haven’t written anything new since the summer or even thought much about writing. Life is finally calming down to the point that I was starting to think that maybe one of these days I could get back to writing again...but I’ve been afraid that I won’t be able to—that I’ve lost the knack of putting words on paper and telling stories...or worse, that I won’t have any stories to tell because they’ve dried up while I’ve been busy elsewhere. I know that sounds irrational...but writers are funny creatures. Look up “imposter syndrome” when you have a moment. 😟


Then, a week or so ago, I received some unexpected good news: “Alea Iacta Est”, my story in the Book View Café Anthology Nevertheless, She Persisted, won second place in the Short Historical Fiction category of the International Digital Awards, which I’d completely forgotten I had entered last summer. It was a nice piece of news...as was the email that arrived a couple of hours later, informing me that Between Silk and Sand had won the Young Adult Novel category in the same contest. But more importantly, it reminded me that yes, I really am a writer...and while I’ve been temporarily unable to write anything new due to circumstances beyond my control, nothing can prevent me from getting back to work when time and mental space permits. 


And the “thank you” part? That’s simply because I’m grateful to all of you who visit NineteenTeen and who’ve read my work, bought my work, borrowed it from the library, lent it to friends...without you, this whole writing thing would be a lot less fun.  As a further thank you, I’ve posted a brand new short story, not available anywhere else, on my website for newsletter subscribers. It’s a romantic contemporary fantasy short titled “A Perfect Night for a Trip on the Lake”—to access it, go to http://eepurl.com/bVDwlf
 
Here’s to more words shared. Soon.