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Showing posts from September 21, 2014

Writing the legends - by Vijaya Schartz

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In the French countryside where my father was born, the birth place of Merlin, near Broceliande, legends of Melusine the Fae abound. She lived notoriously in Lusignan, built the tower of Vouvant in one night to save the villagers from the invaders. Wherever you turn, you see the legendary ondine gracing the signs of the local taverns, the bakery, the museum. There, Melusine is alive, and part of history as well as legend. But very few are familiar with the entire scope of her story.

While visiting the Melusine Museum in Vouvant, years ago, I came upon a special exhibit that included a puzzling tapestry. It depicted the wedding of Sigefroi of Luxembourg with Melusine, in 963 AD. 963? The Melusine I had come to know had lived centuries later. How was this possible? Then I discovered many more legends of Melusine, her mother, and her two sisters, in the local folklore of various European localities at different times in history. As if the same family of Fae, immortal by nature, had surviv…

Tricia McGill--on revision and re-writing

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A Trip to Paris with Renee Simons

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Paris is exactly what one would expect:  busy, crowded, filled with chic (and not so chic) city folks.  The traffic was horrible, the food wonderful, Notre Dame Cathedral impressive and the Eiffel Tower heart-stopping.  There was a river boat cruise on the Seine from Paris to Normandy for a 70th anniversary memorial to the D-Day invasion.  We spent 3 days in Paris before setting out and it was wonderful.  Having studied the language in high school some 60 yrs ago, I'd dreamed of going to Paris, to see the famous sights we all know of and read about or see in films.  We also took special tours to Versailles, to Montmartre, Van Gogh's and Monet's homes,  various ancient castles, abbeys and ruins and then lastly to Omaha Beach, site of the invasion for a special, very moving ceremony at the American Military Cemetery, where over 9000 men are buried.  The French countryside from the river is beautiful, with many charming towns in view.  And in a big surprise to …

Diane Scott Lewis - Crazy Superstitions on Bodily Health

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In researching my eighteenth-century novel, Ring of Stone-I delved into this research for a character, a young physician-I came across many interesting beliefs on how to cure sickness.

Before modern medicine lay people and some physicians held the belief that transferring the ailment to another object could cure you of disease. Since antiquity, and well into the eighteenth century, people believed that men reflected aspects of the natural world. It was a dominant strategy that explained the mysteries beyond the ken of the science of the day.

A man in late seventeenth century Somerset claimed that his brother was cured of a rupture by being passed through a slit cut in a young ash tree, three times on three Monday mornings before dawn. When the tree was later cut down, his brother grew ill again.

To cure jaundice, you took the patient’s urine, mix it with ashes and make three equal balls. Put these before a fire, and when they dried out, the disease leaves and he’s cured.

In Devon, t…

Where Did That Come From? by Victoria Chatham

One of the joys of writing, for me, is doing research. I know some writers hate it and others view it as a form of procrastination but I love delving into history. Apart from the facts I do want to confirm, I frequently come up with oddities that just fascinate me. Some may be questionable, other folks may have a different version of where or why a saying evolved. The following list mostly derives from English history and the terms and sayings have been transported around the world as Britain expanded her trade and borders.
Bringing home the bacon. Having a pig to raise, or the man of the family bringing home some pork, was a sign of wealth. The pork was usually hung in the rafters of the home, close to the chimney, so it was handy for the housewife to cut slices from and to show off to visitors.
Chewing the fat. A term we think of today as people gathering around to have a pleasant conversation and that’s not far from the possible origin of this term. With visitors admiring the ‘flitch…

A New Life for Kelly McWinter ~ A Murder State of Mind by Jude Pittman

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The Indian Creek Texas Mysteries have been revised for a second edition printing and are now available as A Murder State of Mind by Jude Pittman
Find the first book in this mystery series by clicking the cover. 
A Murder State of Mind: Deadly Secrets

Kelly McWinter, a retired cop who suffered a personal tragedy has been coming to grips with his personal grief and is once again feeling the pull to return to law enforcement. That decision escalates when he and Jake find one of the Hideaway’s favorite characters dead on the floor of the flea market.

Coincidences, the emergence of a secret life, a treasure, an heiress searching for her birth mother and the ulterior motives of some of the Creek’s own citizens all have Kelly scrambling to uncover the truth before his best friend ends up being convicted of a crime that Kelly is positive he didn’t commit.

Previously published as The Indian Creek Texas mysteries

"DEADLY SECRETS kept me guessing. Just when I…

A Book Signing to Remember By Sandy Semerad

     As husband Larry and I drove from Santa Rosa Beach to my book signing at the BAM store in Destin, Florida, I had a flashback. 
     I remembered a story Robert Crais told years ago. Crais is an award winning novelist of detective fiction. At one time, he wrote television scripts for shows like Hill Street Blues,Cagney & Lacey,Quincy,Miami Vice andL.A. Law.     Many readers would be honored to buy his books and have him autograph them, I thought. But apparently that wasn’t the case at a Walmart store, according to what Crais told a group at Sleuthfest, where he was the keynote speaker.     He aggressively hawked his books and tried to engage customers, he said. He’s say stuff like, “Do you like detective fiction. Do you like mysteries?”     One man replied, “No,” and then asked Crais to help him find the fishing gear, he said.
     I pushed that memory out of my head and told myself, my book signing would be successful. I was determined. I believed in my book, my baby, and I wan…