Thursday, October 3, 2019

Please Go Next Door to Read About Our Travels

Right now I'm we're traveling in Spain and Portugal, and I'm posting on my Fourth Wish Blog HERE: Hope to see you for a little visit to Braga, Portugal.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Very Busy Due to Good News

No pictures, just information: 1. I've been busy with some paperwork for the poetry chapbook (mailing list, bio, blurbs, photos, etc.) that will be coming out soon, and 2. I may have a publisher for my mystery set in Braga, so am doing one more read through for typos and the like.

But don't go away. I'm almost done and I'll be back and posting again, soon.

Meanwhile, hope each and all of you are having a good summer.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Still Writing — This time a Mailing List

Wonderful news that I came home to from our recent trip to Spain and Portugal: My chapbook, Saudade, Thirty Poems of Longing, was accepted by a publisher.

I have tons of pictures from our trip still not yet downloaded, along with brochures for a wonderful day we spent in Madrid. But I haven't had time for any of that, because there is lots to do to get ready for the publication of my chapbook, including compiling a mailing list, among other things.

Also, tomorrow I will be reading from my story collection, Carnival of the Animals, at the Folsom City Zoo. 10:30 a.m. I'll be signing books, too. If you are in the area, please come.

So everything is on hold for a few more days. Thank you for your patience! Please hang in there and don't go way. Eventually, I will be back to regular posting.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Writing Again, With No Time to Post

I do feel a little guilty about this. But I'd feel even guiltier if I stopped writing to post.

Soon, though. I'm getting to a good place for a break. Meanwhile, I have a post about Galicia next door on my Fourth Wish blog.

Happy May Day coming up, everyone. Hope your April has been lovely.

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Detective, the Woman, and the Silent Hive

This is the third book in Amy Thomas's brilliant series. I first came across Book One (The Detective and the Woman)in 2015, and was charmed by it. I’ve always been intrigued by Irene Adler, the woman who outwitted Sherlock Holmes in Doyle’s A Scandal in Bohemia, and whom (according to Dr. Watson) Holmes refers to ever after as “the woman”. Thomas has turned them into a dynamic duo of sleuths following Book One, when Holmes was given the assignment by Mycroft to prevent what looked like an assassination plot against Adler. Having worked as a team, these former enemies developed a friendship, and in the next three books have been solving mysteries together. 

By Book Three, Irene is living in a peaceful village in Sussex, pursuing singing engagements, but finding peace and relaxation in cultivating beehives. Her peace is shattered when, unaccountably, hive by hive, the bees contract the bacterial disease, “foulbrood”. Since there are no other cases around, it seems to have been purposely introduced by infected bees. Irene goes to London to seek the advice of her friend and sleuth-mate, Sherlock Holmes. 

As it turns out, a nefarious plot is actually aimed at Sherlock Holmes and can be traced back to an earlier case he thought was solved. More than that, I won’t say, because the pleasure is in finding out the who, what, when, where and why. But the author tells the story with a deft hand.

Like the earlier books, the story unfolds through alternating viewpoints -- the clinical Holmes' in third person distant, and the expressive singer's in first person close. It’s a device that works very well, allowing, among other things, the two main characters to reflect and comment on each other and to develop them believably. Other characters are also nicely developed, from Billy, the porter, Wiggins, the leader of the “irregulars”, loyal Mrs. Hudson, grumpy Lestrade, and the ever-gallant Dr. Watson (who also has eyes for Irene’s housekeeper in Sussex).

The author captures beautifully details of Victorian London, from elegant homes to shabby neighborhoods, the wealthy and the poor. Scenes and interiors (including a night in jail) were vivid.

This is a well-paced novel with satisfying twists and turns that kept me engrossed to the end. There is also a Book Four, out: The Detective, the Woman, and the Pirate's Bounty. Can't wait! 

                                     You can learn more about Amy Thomas by 
                                      clicking on these links:
                 Her blog: 
                 Girl Meets Sherlock
                                      She also podcasts with 
The Baker Street Babes           

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Beautiful Peacocks

Thursday, Rajan and I went to the Folsom Zoo, a delightful, sprawling area on the edge of town that is actually a sanctuary for rescued animals. We like zoos, although we haven't been to one for a long time, but we especially liked that this was for rescue animals, many of them the local wildlife.

Our reason for going to the zoo Thursday was to meet with the Recreation Director in connection with an author reading and book signing I may have in June.  But afterward, as we bought tickets and wandered around, we were delighted, with what we saw. The animals are considered rescue animals if they have been raised in captivity (because they will never be able to function in the wild after that), or had been found to be mistreated or used for entertainment, etc., or used for breeding purposes in captivity by those who planned to sell the offspring. Other causes for rescue: accidents that rendered them unable to function in the wild (a bird's broken wing, for example). 

There is a wonderful array of wildlife in enclosures that are constructed to give the animal a sense of its natural environment.  We saw mountain lions, tigers, and bobcats. Deer wandered around in what looked so much like open space, it took a lot of staring to finally figure out that there was a distant fence that kept them from the road. We were not able to see the black bears, because they were sleeping inside their dens. Likewise the foxes in their burrows. But we did see raccoons (which we also sometimes see in our back yard, lol). And a good variety of birds, including horned owls and the peafowl.

I have always been entranced by peacocks. You normally see pictures of them fanning out their tails. But folded and trailing, they look fabulous, too. I normally think of the lovely teal blue color of their neck and body. But look at the sparkling emerald green of the tail when it's folded. 

You can tell he knows he's gorgeous. He started strutting regally down the boardwalk we were on, and let me follow along, taking pics. The less spectacular peahens sedately roosted nearby on a tree, watching (and no doubt commenting, privately.) Here he is, strutting his stuff:

It seemed fitting to meet up with peacocks on this visit. One of the stories in the book I'll be signing involves peafowl. 

And it seems fitting to include these pictures on my Victorian Scribbles blog, since the Victorians were charmed by peacocks as well. There is a nice blog post by Mimi Matthews HERE if you'd like to know more about that. 

Are you intrigued by peacocks? Are you intrigued by birds in general? What catches your fancy about plumage? (At the opposite end of that question, have you ever been frightened by birds?) 

Friday, March 8, 2019

I Am Writing

I have meant to post so many times, but I am in process of working on a new book. When I come up for air I will post again.

Meanwhile, happy writing to you all.