The Romantic Times conference was in Orlando this past weekend. I usually go for the week but was only able to make the weekend this year so I packed quite a bit into a 24 hour period. I had to catch a 5:30 a.m. flight and was at the conference center by 10:30. Thanks to Rose and Anthony of Crossing Realms for picking me up.
I immediately found fellow Chatelaines Emily Bryan, Gerri Russell, Bonnie Vanak and CL Wilson in club RT. Also the lovely ladies of Between The Sheets, Jennifer St. Giles, Annette Batista and Dayna Linton, who promote my books! Yay BTS! Then ran into the Rebels of Romance, Liz Maverick and Marianne Mancusi. Went to their fabulous workshop on promotion and then out to lunch where we caught up on our lives.
Attended an editors panel on what's selling with Emily Bryan. Then found Linnea Sinclair, Stacey Kade and Isabo Kelly, along with the extremely shy Jade Lee. Attended more workshops, went to the awards banquet (yay Linnea) had dinner with Jade, Emily and Bobbi Smith, then came back for the Heather Graham vampire ball.
Saturday, after breakfast at the worlds loudest MacDonalds with Bonnie Vanak, my dear friends Alyssa Day and Barb Ferrer came down. Then it was off to the book signing extraordinaire where I caught up with Jenna Black and Ann Aguirre. I will be posting videos of that in the next few days. Had a great lunch with a bunch of author friends, then hung out by the pool and talked with Sue Grimshaw of Borders.
Then came the Mr. Romance pageant where my dear friend Chris Winters gave up his crown. Linnea Renee Hieber, Elizabeth Hoyt, and the always irrepressible Jade Lee and I enjoyed it immensely. Charles Paz won the crown. I have to admit I was cheering for Jimi Gaskins. Then it was off to the bookseller mingle put on by Dorchester Publishing then the always fabulous Dorchester party with Diane Stacy, Erin Galloway and Leah Hultenschmidt. All in all a very busy and productive weekend. Even if Bonnie Vanak did try to get lost on the way to the airport Sunday morning!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Author: Cindy Holby
Review Date: 3/28/2009
Print Book Price: $7.99
SCORE: 4.25 / 5
Reviewer: Angi of Night Owl Romance
It’s 1773 in Scotland and Isobel Ferguson is tired of her brother Ewan’s hero worship of her father; the father who fought at Culloden and has since been an outlaw in hiding. Isobel is working as a servant for a printer in Aberdeen. While out on a delivery for her employer she runs into ruffians who try to steal her meager coins and take her body.
John Murray is the son of a bastard and newly assigned to Aberdeen as part of his service in the English army. He also happens to be courting the printer’s daughter. When he comes to Isobel’s rescue he is instantly intrigued by the forthright and beautiful woman.
But life is never simple and it was even less so for the Scottish and English less than 30 years after The Battle of Culloden. There are plots being set in motion that will test John and Isobel. It will test their love, their loyalty, their courage and their patriotism. It will ask them to decide what is more important, love or pride.
Fallen is a very well written tale of pride going before a fall and how forgiveness can lead to happiness. Ms. Holby has written characters you will cry for and laugh with. She has also given a good look into the life of an indentured servant as well as a glimpse into the effects of war. The plot flowed smoothly and was easy to follow. All the elements combined to make this a book well worth reading. The history, the characters and the plot blended flawlessly for a well rounded story and a hard won happily ever after.
This work is a follow up to Rising Wind, which is about John’s sister, but doesn’t have to be read in order. Although once you read this work, you will want to pick up more of Ms. Holby’s work, and in particular Rising Wind, to get to know Carrie and Connor better.
Monday, April 13, 2009
As anyone who follows me on Facebook and Twitter knows, I am fostering a Siberian husky puppy for my son’s girlfriend. Why am I doing this? Well the obvious reason is I am stupid. But I like to think of it as an investment in my future. Or as I constantly tell my son, remember this when its time to pick out the nursing home.
I thought life would be fairly simple once Achilles came to stay with us. After all, I’m at home, I have a fenced back yard, I already have a dog, a long hair doxie named Cody. So what’s the big deal?
Well for one thing Achilles is the big deal. He’s a snow-white Siberian husky who’s supposed to top out at seventy pounds. The problem is he thinks he’s a doxie. So when he arrived, at five months old he was constantly getting stuck under the bed and trying to lay on the back of the couch. He also was shedding. Big time. White fur on wood floors. Not a pretty sight. Hmmm, this means more work for me.
And did it ever. My office is upstairs over the garage. I get plenty of exercise going up and down the stairs because he howls. I want in. I want out. I want food. I want water. I want to play. I want to walk. I just want to howl because I like too. Huskies don’t bark. They talk. And the entire neighborhood hears it. It’s hard to concentrate when you are constantly being interrupted by a dog.
Then there’s the rampant destruction. Actually I was keeping a journal of what he destroyed but he ate it. Off the top of my head he’s eaten a leather ottoman, a pottery barn rug that I bought to cover the big stain he made on our bedroom carpet, three pairs of my husbands shoes, the insides of my uggs, the corner off our stairs, my day timer, books, and an entire pan of brownies. (yes I know the dangers of dogs and chocolate and that was a sleepless night) We also had to get rid of a room size rug due to stinkiness and we have a big crack in our ceiling in the kitchen from the day he decided to have a romp around the attic.
He is a full time job. Just like having a child. My entire life now revolves around this dog. Trips are a big deal because I can’t leave him for a long time. Boarding is expensive. I have to make sure doors are closed and stuff is out of his reach and he’s got a big reach. No counter or table is safe. I’ve had to replace our back door. My porch furniture is ruined. Our back yard has no grass. My house, which is only two years old is a disaster but there is no need to fix anything until he’s gone, which will be in another 15 months when Alex gets out of grad school.
Needless to say my writing has suffered. Big time. I’m up and down 100 times a day. I get really frustrated because our house is no longer the way I want it. Sometimes I scream and cry. But as I said, I’m investing in my future and my son’s future. As I told Alex, we’ve got to get you through grad school so you can take care of Drew. I’ll take care of the dog until you’re done then you get both of them. She cried and said “Okay” because she loves both of them too. She comes to visit when she can just to give me some relief.
I do love Achilles. It will be hard to give him up. I’ll miss him. I’ll miss our walks. I’ll miss the way he looks at me with his beautiful blue eyes. Eyes that say I love you. I appreciate how you take care of me. I’ll miss how he watches through the window when I leave and how he watches for me to come home. I’ll miss dropping my hand down to touch him when he lies next to the couch while I watch TV. As I write this he’s lying on the floor in front of the fire, and probably dreaming about his next meal, which will probably be the sofa at the rate he’s going.
As for me, I’m dreaming about the nursing home. Right now I’m thinking a big suite on a cruise ship with cabana boys. But that’s hopefully a long way off. For now I’ve got to concentrate on getting through the next fifteen months, hopefully with my house and furniture intact. And seeing how many words I can get down before Achilles wakes up and the next adventure begins.