April 2012

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26 Apr Nostradamus and Me

Today I’m guest-posting over at Always with a Book, about Nostradamus, the quatrain that made him famous, and my own adventures in writing fictional secret quatrains in the style of Nostradamus for The Flower Reader. Come see, and find out why I describe Nostradamus as the Gawker.com of his day. (Hint: gossip about famous people and lots of blind items.)

There’s also a fabulous and thoughtful review of The Flower Reader by Deb Previte, the “Bookish Dame” (I do love that sobriquet), at A Bookish Libraria. Would love to see you there!

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21 Apr The EmoCoaster

Some of my writer friends call it the “emocoaster”—the emotional rollercoaster. We all ride it sometimes. I seemed to have had a whole handful of tickets this past week, lurching from euphoric highs to abysmal lows and back again. And again. And again. And that’s really all I’ll say about that. Heh.

Among the wonderful things: my virtual book tour continued, with reviews and guest posts (some with giveways) at:

Let Them Read Books
So Many Books, So Little Time
Passages to the Past
The True Book Addict

Many thanks to these wonderful book bloggers for their reading, reviews and hospitality!

Flat Rinette also made some new stops around the country. I’d love it if you’d tuck your copy of the book in a fun or unusual place, snap a picture, and send it in—see details in the sidebar.

More touring coming up next week:

Monday, April 23: Review at A Bookish Libraria. (and no, there’s no ‘n’ on the end)

Tuesday, April 24: Review at Always with a Book.

Wednesday, April 25: Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews.

Thursday, April 26: Review at A Novel Affair, and a guest post on my adventures in writing fictional quatrains in the style of Nostradamus at Always with a Book.

Friday, April 27: Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages.

Whew! I’m stocking up on Rescue Remedy (dog people will know what I’m talking about) and I’ll see you there!

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13 Apr Off to Houston

I’m flying down to Houston this afternoon for a signing at the wonderful Murder by the Book tomorrow. If you’re in Houston or the Houston area, please come see me—it’s at 1:00pm tomorrow, Saturday, afternoon. Nothing fancy or formal—I’ll just talk a little about floromancy and Nostradamus and Mary Queen of Scots, and hopefully get lots of questions and interaction. I like it when you talk better than when I talk. Heh.

I’ll also be giving away some of my beautiful pressed-flower bookmarks, with the floromancy meanings of the flowers written up to go with them.

There are quite a few murders in The Flower Reader and so I think Rinette will fit right in. I’ll have to take some “Flat Rinette” pictures of her hobnobbing with other mystery/thriller heroines.

A fun interview today over at Unabridged Chick. Who else would have gotten me to admit that my first piece of fiction was written from the point of view of a horse??

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12 Apr Always a Hound

I’m guest posting today on the Owl Bookmark Blog, about dogs in sixteenth-century courts, Renaissance art, and of course historical fiction.

The Owl Bookmark Blog

Being a beagle lover (how would you ever have guessed?), my fictional doggies tend to be hounds—the pocket beagle puppies Tristo and Isa in The Second Duchess, and the loyal hunting hound Seilie with his melting eyes and freckled paws in The Flower Reader. Stop by and join the discussion about you favorite animals in fiction!

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09 Apr Flat Rinette and Lots More


I’m taking a page out of Flat Stanley’s book and launching a “Flat Rinette” campaign! Grab a copy of the book, take it somewhere fun and snap a picture of it, then send me the picture with some details about where you took it and what you were doing. Let’s see if we can’t take Rinette on a trip from border to border, coast to coast, and around the world! The “Flat Rinette” photo collection has already begun on Pinterest, so drop by and say hi. Above you see the very first photo, featuring my favorite daughter-in-law Jennifer and my darling grandchildren Grayson and Miranda. Hi, sweeties! 🙂

Fabulous reviews for The Flower Reader by Kayla Posney in The Examiner and at Diary of a Book Addict. As part of my online book tour, more reviews at Confessions of an Avid Reader and Raging Bibliomania.

I guest posted about the real silver casket at Tina’s Book Reviews; I also wrote about floromancy and just what a “flower reader” is at Confessions of an Avid Reader.

Had a delightful event last Thursday night at A Real Bookstore in Fairview. The terrible tornados on Tuesday had delayed it, but Teri and David were wonderful hosts and four lucky winners went home with beautiful pressed-flower bookmarks. Coming up this Saturday, I’ll be signing at Murder by the Book in Houston and giving away more bookmarks.

You know? Right now I’m feeling about as “flat” as Rinette, so I think I’d better go sit in the corner with the doggies and give myself some beagle-ear therapy. Then I need to spend some time in sixteenth-century Florence…

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04 Apr Tornados and Winners

First and most important of all, I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to all my fellow Texans who are coping with injury and property damage in the wake of our violent tornados yesterday afternoon and evening. The storm passed right over us here in Coppell (and the tennis-ball-sized hail crashing into the roof certainly terrified the doggies) but (pending a professional roof assessment) we have only minor damage and a few tree branches down. My release-day booksigning was cancelled and rescheduled for Thursday. Looking around at the havoc wrought by Mother Nature certainly puts one’s book-release stress into perspective!

ETA: After inspecting everything in the daylight this morning, I find my poor little car, Willow-the-Skate (and of course there is a story as to why he’s named that), has a huge star-shaped crack in his windshield, and won’t be driveable until it’s fixed. Unfortunately he was totaled after another of our Texas hailstorms, so no insurance to help pay for it…

The Broadcasting Legend™ has chosen the winners of the three Flower Reader bookmarks. They are:

Terry Martini
Liz Michalski

Congratulations! I’ll be emailing each of you privately to get your mailing addresses.

A note to readers of Dear Reader and AuthorBuzz. There’s an offer this week for The Flower Reader, and to my horror my ISP abruptly announced (with only two days’ notice) that it was doing a “Server Performance Upgrade” and taking my website (including my email addresses) offline for several hours. This was scheduled to happen last night around 1:00am MDT, and last for an unspecified length of time. So if you tried to email my special “flowers” email address in the night and your email bounced, I’m so sorry! Everything is working now, so please try again, and I apologize for the inconvenience.

I’m guesting today at Tina’s Book Reviews, with a post about the real silver casket that inspired the story of The Flower Reader. History! Pictures! Another chance to win one of these beautiful limited-edition bookmarks, plus a free book! Don’t miss it. 🙂

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03 Apr Novels and Puppies


So today’s the day. The Flower Reader goes out into the big wild world.

Writers feel all kinds of strange things when their books are released. Pride, sure, and apprehension, and vulnerability, and hope, and moments of joy, and middle-of-the-night, it’s-too-late-now sinking moments of oh, no, I should have written that part this way and not that way.

But mostly I feel—I don’t know—helplessness. Empty-handedness. That puppy has sneaked out the door and you can offer it all the Milkbones you want—you’re never going to get it back. It’s on its own and it doesn’t belong to you anymore. In fact, it’s suddenly all grown up and not the cute fuzzy puppy you’ve been used to as you pored over it and petted it and brushed its silky fur—it’s a great big spotted dog with teeth and claws and—floppy ears? But wait, you didn’t mean for it to have floppy ears! Where did the floppy ears come from?

Too bad. If people see floppy ears, floppy ears there are.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of people like floppy ears.

It’s just—not what you thought it would be. You write a book and you love it and think it’s yours, and then somehow it gets away from you and becomes this self-sufficient wild thing, hiding in the cucumber vines and foraging for its own food. It may still have your tags on its collar (“Hi! My name is The Flower Reader! If you find me, please call xxx-xxxx. Reward!”) but don’t be fooled. It’s not yours any more.

I’ll post the winners of the bookmarks tomorrow! The Broadcasting Legend™ is out today and I need his magic touch to do the drawing.

A lovely kickoff review by Melissa, the Avid Reader, at Confessions of an Avid Reader!

I am guest-blogging today at Julianne Douglas’s Writing the Renaissance. Do you like your historical fiction with fictional characters, or without? There are pros and cons to both sides…