Free ebooks on Smashwords winter/summer sale

Ella and the Panther's Quest new cover

Smashwords is having their summer/winter ebook sale, and I have two books on it, one under each name.  Ella and the Panther’s Quest is free under this name, and if you wanted to try one of my mysteries, Killing at the Carnival: Cassie Pengear Book 1 is also free.  Same coupon code for both SW100 .  The online reader at Smashwords is not very good, but you can get any of the major ebook formats from them and copy it to your device (sideload for those that do this often)

Smashwords ebook sale

Smashwords is having their annual winter/summer July sale, so my ebooks are all half price there until the end of the month with coupon SSW50 (the code is right by the order button too). Here’s the list of all the books available there (pretty much everything but Five Fairy Tales- there was a problem with the file size being too big that I haven’t resolved yet)

Catching Up, Blog News, and a Sale

Five Fairy TalesI did say I was going to disappear for a while, but I didn’t think it would be this long. I am getting more writing done without worrying about posting every other week here, so for the forseeable future, I’ll just blog when I have news about my books. Now to catch up.

The paperback versions of the fairy tale books are out now. There was a little trouble with the covers being too dark that delayed things. The stories are available individually on Amazon and as a collection anyplace that stocks my books.

And Smashwords is having their annual read an ebook week sale until March 9. Here are the books I’ve got in it.

Ella and the Panther’s Quest $3.99 /$2.00

Mirror on the Wall $1.99 /$.99

Straw and Gold $2.99/$1.50

The Wizard at Pembrook $4.99/$2.50

Use coupon code REW50 to get the 50% off. Smashwords sells all major formats, so you should be able to find something that will work on your reader (.mobi, epub, and PDF are all there) and they have instructions for getting them on your reader if you’ve never done it before.

Smashwords Ebook Sale

I didn’t mean to disappear for quite so long, but it’s just too hot in the computer room to spend much time online right now.  I will try to get back to posting regularly, but they’ll probably be short posts.  On the other hand, I’m getting a lot of writing done (I write books longhand first, blog posts go right into the computer) so I am getting things done, just nothing you can see yet.

Anyway, I just added my ebooks to the Smashwords Summer Winter sale.  All four are half-price on Smashwords until July 31, 2012 with coupon code SSW50 so if you were thinking of getting something, now’s the time.  They have all the different eReader formats there.

In case you want to cut and paste the code



Flower Photos

Since it’s been sunny and I’m in a springy mood, I dug out some old pictures of flowers.  The first two are from the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.   These were taken a few years ago, before the added the glass house.

This used to be outside of the Trader Joe’s near us.

The last one is from a garden show that was here a few years ago.

Re-post: Photographs of Roman Ruins in Tours, France

Happy New Year!  And thank you to everyone who read this blog last year.  I was looking at page views to see what kinds of posts I should write more of this year, and this was the most viewed post on my blog last year.  I first posted it back in February.  

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I came across these pictures when I was going through photos of the Old City in Tours, France. (I needed those for description inspiration for Wizard at Pembrook, and don’t be surprised if they end up in another blog post about Tours.) I remember my friend and I stumbled upon these ruins not long after we had been on a walking tour of some part of town or another, where we had learned that you could make a pretty good guess at the era ruins came from by looking at the size of the stones- the smaller the stones, the older the ruins. We guessed these were Roman, and we were right.

Yes, we guessed before we saw the sign : )

I took a picture of the sign so I could look it up later, but there were too many other interesting things to investigate, and I never got around to it. Good thing I had the picture, since I have no idea how I would look up possibly-Roman-ruins-with-interesting-green-plants-somewhere-in-Tours-in-the-90’s.

The place is called “Jardin de St Pierre le Puellier” or “The Garden of St. Pierre le Pullier” in English. It’s one of those archaeologically layered places. There had been a 12th century church there, which is where the name comes from. The church was destroyed in the 19th century, although I think part of a wall is still there. Before that, there was a convent built by St. Clotilda, wife of King Clovis, in 512. And before that, it was part of the Gallo-Roman settlement (Gaul (old name for France) under Roman rule).

I darkened the sign to make it easier to read

The sign says on top, “wells from the 19th century, basement and retaining walls modern, tombs 12th and 13th century (years are hard to read there)” and on the bottom, “wall 1st century (again, hard to read), Gallo-Roman house 2nd and 3rd centuries” Trying to look at the diagram, I think the tombs are the small openings on the right, the red brick and stone by the steps are the modern wall.

The web page for the tourist bureau of Tours only mentions “remains of the bathes of a privet dwelling” by the royal chateau, so I assume those are these. All of the other Roman ruins mentioned are part of the walls surrounding the city or other fortifications, so not part of a Gallo-Roman house.

edited to add links to the other posts in this series

This is the book I was working on when I was researching Tours. Click to read the first few chapters

Photographs of Roman Ruins in Tours, France

Old City of Tours, France

Photos of the Cathedral St. Gatien de Tours, France

A Few Links to Tours

Not part of the Tours series, but still in the area

Villandry and Ella’s garden

Palaces and Pocketwatches

I have another blog just for this month where I am posting pictures I’ve made using Daz Studio, which is what I used to make the cover and the trailer for The Wizard at Pembrook.  If you’d like to check it out, it’s here

These are the first two images I posted.

Fairy Tales Re-told

Another list of books, today re-tellings of fairy tales.   This is one of my favorite types of fantasy novels.  I’m grouping them by author, since all of these writers have multiple books that would fit and I can’t pick one.

Robin McKinley: My favorite of hers is Beauty followed by Rose Daughter, but then I love Beauty and the Beast.

Mercedes Lackey:  She has two series of fairy tale stories, Elemental Masters which take place in an alternate Edwardian England, and Five Hundred Kingdoms which take place in an alternate world.   I like the Five Hundred Kingdoms better since they’re closer to the original stories, but I think I’m in the minority.

Gail Carson Levine:  I’m not sure I have a favorite of hers.  They’re for a younger crowd than the first two writers, which means I read them very fast.  I remember taking a bunch of the Princess Tales series out from the library one summer because I liked the way they looked together. 

Jessica Day George: I’ve just recently discovered her.  I started with Princess of the Midnight Ball since it has knitting in it, then went on to the Dragon Slippers books, which aren’t quite fairy tales, but are still good.

And finally, one fairy tale related blog I’ve started reading recently  Lots of news on upcoming fairy tale releases in books and movies and television

Royal Wedding Miscellanea

If you’ve read my books (or even the descriptions of them), I’m sure you won’t be surprised that I’m sitting here waiting for the wedding to start.  I’m poking around trying to find the links on web pages I told myself I’d look up later and never got around to.  Here are a couple good ones if you’re waiting too.

Don't my books look very smart next to the Royal Wedding Program? Makes the whole shelf look better

Here is where you can download a free .pdf copy of the Official Royal Wedding Program at the Official Royal Wedding Page.  I’ve been flipping through it, and it’s very nice.  I think I’ll get some nice matte photo paper and print it out later.  I think I have some somewhere around here.–Official-programme–including-Order-of-Service–available-online-1

You can also get it free for your iPod etc from the iBookstore (not iTunes store, which confused me for a little while.  Use the British spelling “programme” when you search for it, which also confused me even though I know that’s how they spell it.)

And a recipe for chocolate biscuit cake from Good Morning America.

It sounds yummy; I wish I had time to make some before the wedding.  I’d also like to try it with white chocolate.  I bet that would be good. 

And I think this is one of the neatest souvenirs; you can knit your own royal wedding.  I haven’t bought the book, but I am tempted.

If you’re curious, I’m having Walker shortbread, Twining’s tea, and vanilla cupcakes from Whole Foods and I am knitting an entrelac afghan.  Now I just have to decide if I should wear a hat or a tiara.

This is an entrelac scarf very similar to the afghan I'm working on. It seemed easier to show you what I meant than to try and explain it.

A Few Links to Tours

When I wrote about the Cathedral de Tours last time, I said I’d try to find some pictures of the nearby Musee de Beaux-Arts.  Here they are.

This is one of the statues outside

Another outdoor statue

A small statue inside

Not many, I know, but that’s what I have.

When I was there, I went to the Institute de Touraine.  Here’s one of the nicer classrooms.  I had literature in here.

There were a few interesting places that I couldn’t find pictures from.  One was the château, which is also in the area around the cathedral. It’s a historical wax museum, and was one of my favorite museums in Tours. I liked it better than Madame Tousseau’s in London, where the figures are all sort of in little vignettes but in the same room. In the château, there are some figures done in those kinds of dioramas, like the Battle of Poitiers/Tours, which really couldn’t be shown full out without a ton of outdoor space, but most of the displays use the rooms to really good effect. The best one was the death of Richard I (Lionheart). It took up the entire room it was in, the lighting made it look like the room was lit by a fire and torches, and the angles that you looked at the scene really made it look convincingly real. There were several that were set up like that: da Vinci  painting, Catherine di Medici watching the St. Barthomew’s Day massacre, Cardinal Richelieu plotting.

The other really interesting museum was the Musée de Compagnonnage. It took my a while to get what this was about, but one of my teacher’s had been involved as a “mother” and explained it to us. It’s the old (as in Medieval) system of apprenticeship. After being an apprentice in a field, the next step is journeyman, where you travel around and learn from different masters until you’ve learned enough to be a master yourself. There are still some fields in France that use this system, which makes sense when you think about the cathedral, those masons had to learn to cut the stone and make gargoyles somewhere, you can’t just order that kind of thing. The mothers used to put the journeymen up in their houses as they worked in different towns; I was a little unclear as to whether they still do that, or act more as a welcome wagon to get them settled into the new town. In any case, to become a master, they must submit a project showing mastery of the craft, and that’s what is in the museum, projects from hundreds of years of newly made masters.

And finally, a few links

The City of Tours web page in French

And in English

The Musee de Compagnonnage

I couldn’t find an official page for the Chateau, but this has a picture


edited to add links to the other posts in this series

This is the book I was working on when I was researching Tours. Click to read the first few chapters

Photographs of Roman Ruins in Tours, France

Old City of Tours, France

Photos of the Cathedral St. Gatien de Tours, France

A Few Links to Tours

Not part of the Tours series, but still in the area

Villandry and Ella’s garden

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