Tag Archives: New Release

Update on our life and my book

I mentioned we canceled the Victoria, BC, trip and went to Pot Angeles in Washington. I booked the flight coming home from Seattle. My husband didn’t want to rush, so we went to Seattle the day before returning to Southern California.

I read about the Chihuly Garden and Glass in a blogger’s post. Since we would be in Seattle for one day, I made a reservation to visit this magnificent exhibit. The museum is right next to the Space Needle. Here’s what the website says about Chihuly. https://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/about/dale-chihuly

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country, at the University of Wisconsin. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he later established the glass program and taught for more than a decade.

In 1968, after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, he went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. There he observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today. In 1971, Chihuly co-founded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. With this international glass center, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as fine art.

His work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including twelve honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

An update on our life

My husband and I are moving to Portland, Oregon, to be close to my daughter and the grandkids. I have always wanted to do that and even wrote blog posts about my desire. But my husband was not ready. On a couple of occasions, I went alone to be with my daughter and the grandkids for Thanksgiving or Christmas. My husband, Lynton, stayed in Southern California to be with his mom during those holidays. Lynton’s mom passed away two months ago. His siblings are busy with their extended families. He seems to be free from the obligation to stay in Southern California.

When we were in Port Angeles, Lynton expressed an interest in moving to Portland to be close to the grandkids.

I searched for a home right away. Then contacted the realtor whom I worked with for the last 15 years. After one week of communication back and forth, we signed an offer on August 28th on a home within a 13-minute drive from Mercy. Mercy and Will toured the house and sent us the videos.

We’re working with the agents and signed a listing disclosure to sell our California home.

We’re packing and will have everything in a storage unit by the 15th. We’re going to Portland on the 16th for Autumn’s BD. The agents will show our house while we’re gone. 

Everything happened so fast. My head is spinning. We’re excited about the move. At least we don’t need to travel every six weeks to see the grandkids.

An update on my book

The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival is now available on Amazon.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Winding-Road-Journey-Survival-ebook/dp/B0B86QWXTN

My launch tour is from Monday, September 5 to Monday, September 12. I’m grateful to my wonderful friends who will host my tour.

Monday, September 5 – Jacqui Murray @ https://worddreams.wordpress.com 

Tuesday, September 6 – Dan Antion @ https://nofacilities.com

Wednesday, September 7 – Liz Gauffreau @ https://lizgauffreau.com

Thursday, September 8 – Pete Springer @ https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/petes-blog

Friday, September 9 – Robbie Cheadle @ https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/blog

Monday, September 12 – Denise Finn @ https://dlfinnauthor.com/blogs

I hope to see you at these launch tour stops.

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New Release – Once Upon an Ever After, an Anthology

I’m delighted to introduce this new release – Once Upon an Ever After. This unique and imaginative collection of eleven thought provoking fantasy stories will delight readers who enjoy stories of wishes gone awry.

Digital Giveaway

For a chance to win a free digital copy of Once Upon an Ever After, just leave a comment to show you were here. Follow the tour and comment at each stop for more chances to win. There are three copies given away in a random drawing.

Olivia Merchiston is a contributing author in this collection. She is here to share with us about her inspiration.

The inspiration for ‘Flipped’ came from several places. Firstly, the hygge feeling you get from sitting in your favourite chair, cup of tea in hand, rain battering the window, reading a cozy mystery novel. That feeling was one I wanted to recreate in my story, and one that I try to create moments of in all my work. I drew on what I know creates that feeling for me – the weather in the Scottish Highlands, the darkness in an old, crooked house during a storm, and the warmth I find in old furniture, well-loved possessions, and even a little bit of clutter or chaos in a room.

The second inspiration was my love of fantasy romance, specifically shifter romances and anything with strong magic systems. But these stories are often heavy, and that didn’t sit well with my desire to create a cozy tale. I opted for the light-hearted, comedic value of my characters in the hopes of bringing a smile to my readers’ faces. In creating Willow and Hazel, I found a natural romance budding, and it took on a life of its own. They wanted to show me there was an attraction between them, and I wanted to make my story a typical fairy tale – fabulistic in purpose, but still with a focus on the positive and happy. Bringing those two elements together led me to the story published in Once Upon An Ever After, which I am so proud of.

Fairy tales are often dark, just like fantasy, and while I love that aspect of them, I wanted my story to bring a little levity to my reader. I wanted Fawn to be silly, completely oblivious, unable to read a room, and I think I conveyed that in her. The relationship between the three of them is simultaneously completely absurd, and warm and endearing. I wanted my readers to fall in love with Fawn, even if she is the antithesis of Hazel and could be very destructive.

Hazel herself brings the moral of my story, as I wanted to ensure there was a lesson in it, even just a simple one – the people who truly love you will not care what you look like. As a woman in her thirties who understands how Hazel feels about aging, I also wanted my story to get the reader thinking about why and how women are so focused on youth and appearance. If one reader relates to Hazel and her endeavours, then I’ve done what I set out to do.

‘Flipped’ is my first published work, and I couldn’t be prouder of it. I hope anyone reading it finds something of value, even if it’s just a smile and a chuckle at how silly it seems. But for anyone looking further under the surface, I hope you realise how universal such concerns are, and that it could always be worse than the odd wrinkle – you could be stuck with the anti-you leaping out of your mirror!

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Olivia Merchiston is a writer, procrastinator, and freelancer. She lives on a tiny Scottish island with her very patient partner and very spoiled cat. When she isn’t writing or working, she enjoys photography, videography, knitting, and reading. A firm believer that there’s a little magic in every life, Olivia is spending her thirties finding hers. 

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More on the book

Blurb

What happens when…

A woman desires to carry on her family’s legacy, uncovering a long-buried curse?

A not so perfect witch casts a spell to defy age and preserve her relationship with her handsome shapeshifting familiar?

A time traveler longs to be the savior of knowledge lost?

An incompetent delivery boy becomes an unlikely savior of forgotten artifacts?

A magic mirror yearns for a different question?

A tiny story witch desires to share her stories with the world?

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If you liked Gilded Glass, you’ll enjoy Once Upon an Ever After: Modern Myths & Fairy Tales, short stories with thought-provoking themes, captivating characters and diverse cultures, from humorous to horrifying, from the legendary past to possible futures and back to the here and now.

Purchase Link:  https://books2read.com/u/mKdWGV

Thank you for stopping by. Please let us know what you think.

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Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Cancer – The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival by Miriam Hurdle

I’m a guest at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Magazine. Wow! What a great joy and wonderful surprise this morning to find the first review of my new book, The Winding Road. I appreciated Sally’s insightful and reflective review of my story and generously shared it on her blog. Please head over to read the post on her content-rich magazine.

My husband and I spent a week with the grandkids. We’re now in Port Angeles, and Sequim, Washington, for our anniversary. We planned to go to Victoria, BC. Two days before flying to Portland, I discovered my passport had expired six months ago. Canada would let me in with the expired passport, but the US wouldn’t let me return with it being expired. I canceled the Victoria trip in the last minute and re-booked it for Port Angeles. I’m glad to have discovered it at this time. My sister has a destination wedding in Canada in November and I need a valid passport. 

Marymere Falls, Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, Washington

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

It is my pleasure to share my advance review for the latest release by Miriam Hurdle… a memoir The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival. On preorder for August 26th.

About the book

In the summer of 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with melanoma-an aggressive and invasive cancer in her internal organs. The survival rate before 2008 was low. Besides risking harsh treatments for a slim chance of survival, Miriam had hoops to jump through. By the time she received treatment at the beginning of 2009, her cancer had progressed from stage II to stage IV. It was a rough and uphill winding road. But alongside her was support and encouragement. Accompanied by the love of her family and community, this is Miriam’s journey of faith and miracle. It is a heartwarming story of resilience, courage, and the will to live.

My review for the book 20th August…

View original post 505 more words

Smorgasbord Bookshelf – New Book on the Shelves – #Cancer – The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival by Miriam Hurdle

Sally at the Smorgasbord Magazine invited me over to share my latest book, The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival with her readers. I’m honored by her generous offer. Please head over to visit her and browse around the entertaining features on her blog.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

It is my pleasure to share the news of the latest release by Miriam Hurdle… a memoir The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival. On preorder for August 26th.

About the book

In the summer of 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with melanoma-an aggressive and invasive cancer in her internal organs. The survival rate before 2008 was low. Besides risking harsh treatments for a slim chance of survival, Miriam had hoops to jump through. By the time she received treatment at the beginning of 2009, her cancer had progressed from stage II to stage IV. It was a rough and uphill winding road. But alongside her was support and encouragement. Accompanied by the love of her family and community, this is Miriam’s journey of faith and miracle. It is a heartwarming story of resilience, courage, and the will to live.

Head over to preorder the book for August…

View original post 490 more words

Stories I Stole from Lord Byron’s Bastard by Sara W. McBride – Blog Tour

I’m delighted to welcome Sara W. McBride to my blog to introduce her two books.

Please enjoy this special post about the inspiration behind Stealing Giorgione’s Mistress.

If you would like to win a copy of one of these two books, please leave your comment and preference. Please click the Rafflecopter link and enter the giveaway. http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9280cae1/?

Stories I Stole from Lord Byron’s Bastard is a collection inspired by Venetian history. The fictional character, Alexis Lynn, wrote these stories in the novel Will Write for Wine by Sara W. McBride, but they are fun stand-alone adventures to be enjoyed with an excellent glass of Italian wine.

What inspired the story, “Stealing Giorgione’s Mistress?”

Credit: Violante by Titian, circa 1515(Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)

I’m that weird person who memorizes historical maps and paintings because it’s fun. Over a few years, I noticed the same model was used in both Giorgione’s paintings and Titian’s paintings from about 1510-1515. Then I remembered something I’d read by the famous Renaissance biographer, Giorgio Vasari. From Giorgio Vasari’s The Lives of the Artists (Oxford World’s Classics Edition, 1991, translated by Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella):

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“Since many gentlemen did not realize that Giorgione was no longer working on this facade nor that Titian was doing it, after Titian unveiled part of it these men congratulated Giorgione as friends would when they ran into him, declaring that he had acquitted himself better in the facade towards the Merceria than in the one over the Grand Canal. Giorgione was so offended by this that until Titian had completely finished the work and it had become widely known that Titian had painted that part of it, Giorgione seldom allowed himself to be seen, and, from that time on, he never wanted to be in Titian’s company or to be his friend.”

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There are several historical references regarding the rivalry between Giorgione and his famous student, Titian. A few claims Titian ran off with Giorgione’s mistress, and then both the mistress and Giorgione died of a broken heart. In truth, Giorgione died of the plague in September 1510, and so did his mistress, Violante di Modena.

In the story, “Stealing Giorgione’s Mistress,” I referenced a document dated 1511 which really secured the story for me. It’s from Violante di Modena’s brother requesting permission from the council of Venice that Tiziano Vecellio (Titian) be allowed to return to Venice because of the great services he had performed in frescoing the Fondaco Dei Tedeschi. The petition was granted. I read about this document in a secondary source and admit that I have not found this document, but do not doubt its existence. Such a document lends merit to the idea that in 1509, Titian left Venice in a hurry. Titian escaping Venice without permission solidified in my mind that he had a reason to do so, and that reason might have been that he was escaping with his mentor’s mistress.

Among art historians, there have been five hundred years of debates regarding the attribution of many of Giorgione’s paintings as to whether they are painted by Giorgione, or Titian, or both. Regardless of who painted which canvas, Violante di Modena seems to have modeled for many of them, thus bearing witness to a possible love affair with both great artists.

A fragment of Giorgione and Titian’s central fresco for the Fondaco dei Tedeschi is preserved in the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti, housed in Ca’ d’Oro in Venice. The rest of the fresco fell into the Grand Canal over two hundred years ago. The fragment shows a female figure brandishing a sword. The face looks remarkably like Violante di Modena’s when compared to the other paintings of her by Titian and Giorgione.

Titian ran from Venice to Padua, where he had a commission. Knowing he had work lined up, he should have applied for permission to leave Venice, giving more merit to the idea that he left unexpectedly. His frescos in Padua are his earliest dated works, executed in 1511 as part of the decoration of the Scuola del Santo, and can still be viewed today. Likenesses of Violante, Giorgione, and Titian are all featured in the three frescoes. When viewed with the idea of a love triangle, these three frescoes show the tortured soul and regrets of the artist, Titian.

The Miracle of the Jealous Husband

The Miracle of the Newborn Child

The Healing of the Wrathful Son

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A painting that also possibly features Violante di Modena is Giorgione’s last painting, 1509-1510 – Sleeping Venus. It was finished by Titian. (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden)

Paintings first attributed to Giorgione, dated circa 1510, the year of Giorgione’s death, were then reattributed to Titian, and the dates altered to circa 1515. I speculated that all of these paintings feature Violante di Modena and that Titian painted them, or finished Giorgione’s canvases, to mourn both her and Giorgione’s death:

-Young Woman in a Black Dress (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)

-Violante (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)

Lucretia and her Husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)

-Flora (Uffizi Gallery, Florence)

Sacred and Profane Love (Galleria Borghese, Rome)

-Woman with a Mirror (Musée du Louvre, Paris)

-Vanity (Alte Pinakothek, Munich)

-Balbi Holy Conversation (Fondazione Magnani-Rocca, Traversetolo)

-Salome, with Titian’s self-portrait head on her plate. It is the same face as the man from the Padua frescoes of Jealous Husband and Newborn Child. (Doria Pamphilj Gallery, Rome)

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Look up the paintings and the three frescoes. Do you think the same model posed for all of them?

The Books

Stories I Stole from Lord Byron’s Bastard

Companion stories for the novel Will Write For Wine.

Blurb

“If you’re wondering about the story that made Manu so angry, he banished me from Venice, it’s in here.” –Alexis Lynn

Get ready for a fun evening of stories inspired by Venetian history. Thrill to the adventures of money-laundering plague nuns, a pregnant Renaissance man, a demonic Doge at the Devil’s Bridge, and other tales of ghosts, art, and love. 

Following in the footsteps of Lord Byron’s obsession with Venetian history, Alexis Lynn wrote these stories in the novel, Will Write for Wine. We proudly share these standalone stories with you over the objection of her paramour Manu, a modern-day Casanova and illegitimate descendent of Lord Byron himself. 

So, pour yourself a glass of your favorite vino, let your dog or cat curl up at your feet (or let your cat do whatever it wants), and settle into these mostly … partly … somewhat true tales. 

In vino est fictio.

Will Write for Wine

Blurb

Alexis Lynn is tired of living for others. She chucks her twenty-year scientific career, and possibly her marriage, to write full time in Venice, Italy. But when Alexis gets involved with a flirtatious Venetian, a man who champions her writing, events spiral out of control. The old Alexis knows she should salvage her marriage, but the new Alexis is quickly falling for the charms of this modern-day Casanova. And she doesn’t know which Alexis will prevail. This is going to require a whole lot of wine.

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Purchase Links

Will Write for Wine: Amazon

Stories I Stole from Lord Byron’s Bastard: Amazon

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Author Bio

Sara W. McBride, like many modern-day biological researchers, invents new swear words to sling at million-dollar machines while locked in a dark hole of a decaying academic hall. This has caused her to witness ghosts and create a romantic fantasy life within her head, which she now puts down on a very non-technological paper with her favorite Jane Austen-style quill pen. 

Her first novel in the Alexis Lynn series, Will Write for Wine, and the companion short story collection, Stories I Stole from Lord Byron’s Bastard, both set in Venice, Italy, were recently released by Puck Publishing. She’s hard at work on the second Alexis Lynn novel, a Regency mystery series, and a haunted play. She strongly feels the world needs more haunted plays. 

Website: https://www.puckpublishing.com

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