Monday, November 28, 2016

The Story Behind The Beauty Shop by Suzy Henderson

Based on a true story, "The Beauty Shop" is a moving tale of love, compassion, and determination against a backdrop of wartime tragedy.

 The Beauty Shop

My debut novel, The Beauty Shop, was released on the 28th November 2016. The reason for writing this came from my discovery of the Guinea Pig Club and a New Zealand plastic surgeon called, Archibald McIndoe. At that time, not many people knew about the club or the story around it. This year, however, happens to be the 75th anniversary of the club and there has been much done to raise the profile and to bring this story to light. I say, this story, when I really

ought to say, their story – the story of all 649 members of the club, all veterans of WW2, all ‘boiled, mashed or fried,’ as they would say, and cared for by McIndoe at his unit, in East Grinstead.

What is so remarkable about them? A surgeon, a hospital and hundreds of men, mainly airmen, injured and disfigured as a result of the war in the air. Well, their story is rather colourful, and while tragedy infiltrates its core, it is richly layered with humour, love, pranks, humanity, care, courage and above all, indomitable spirits.
Firstly, they called their surgeon Archie, Boss or Maestro. Some even called him God, because to them, he was a god. Archie was a formidable man. He knew what he had to do; he knew what was needed to be able to do it, and Archie would do whatever it took to have the necessary resources for ‘his boys’ as he called them. He could shout as good as the next man, after all, he was only human, but he had a heart, and he cared for those boys, our veterans. He was determined they would go on
to live full lives.
Archie had a busy time during the war. He battled with the hospital committee who did not approve of his methods. He battled with the Air Ministry and with the Royal Society of Medicine when he needed to get things done, such as change policies or medical practice. Often, going through the appropriate channels did not give him the results he wanted, so he’d go higher up the chain of command. That was his way, but it seemed to work.
He’d often spend up to twelve hours plus in surgery, did ward rounds in the evening and had to find time to visit other hospitals during the week while looking for the more severely burned airmen who might benefit from his expertise. He was an innovator, but then he had little choice. Burns treatment back then was in its infancy, and Archie took what he knew and developed it to be able to treat the men effectively. During this time, he discovered the benefits of saline. The airmen who landed in the sea fared far better than those who bailed over land. Sea water is salty and soothes burned tissue, acting in a sense like a natural anodyne. It also has antiseptic properties and from this Archie came up with the idea of installing saline baths on his ward.
Step back into Ward 3, and take a look around. It’s a typical ward, with beds on either side, in rows. At the end is a piano – someone’s always striking the keys and playing a merry tune. The radio plays all day and evening, and the airmen love to dance, grabbing hold of an unsuspecting nurse or volunteer for a jive or a slow dance. The air is thick with a haze of tobacco, and they swill beer morning, noon and night. Burns patients require a lot of additional fluid, and Archie always keeps a keg of watered down beer for recreational and medicinal purposes. Occasionally, one of the lads will come sailing in on a bicycle, and you may witness him towing a bed through the ward too – they’re always getting up to something.
There are many volunteers here, and some of them happen to be beautiful chorus girls from London’s West-End who chaperone the men when they venture out to the pub. There’s also the odd romance and whispers of marriage. Yes, the Maestro’s methods certainly seem to work.
East Grinstead is the town that did not stare. The locals here took the burned airmen into their homes and their hearts. They looked them in the eye, as Archie asked them to, and they treated them like anyone else. They cared for them then as they still do today. Of the original 649 members, there are 17 veterans still with us. They’re so special, even though they don’t think so.
The Guinea Pig Club was also a registered charity, and it has served the men all these years, not only providing annual reunions and camaraderie, but financial support for those who needed it. Archie realised that some of the men would find it extremely difficult to gain employment for instance, and the club helped a number of veterans to establish their own businesses. There’s no club like it in the world and there probably never will be again.
The men, or ‘guinea pigs’ as they call themselves, overcame such adversity to live full lives, just as their Maestro wished them to do. They are Archibald McIndoe’s legacy in a sense. They are the brave few who risked their lives for us today. Lest we forget.
In memory of Sir Archibald McIndoe (1900-1960), an outstanding plastic surgeon and human being. He saw what others did not and pioneered great change. His memory and work live on today.

England, 1942. After three years of WWII, Britain is showing the scars. But in this darkest of days, three lives intertwine, changing their destinies and those of many more.

Dr Archibald McIndoe, a New Zealand plastic surgeon with unorthodox methods, is on a mission to treat and rehabilitate badly burned airmen – their bodies and souls. With the camaraderie and support of the Guinea Pig Club, his boys battle to overcome disfigurement, pain, and prejudice to learn to live again.

John ‘Mac’ Mackenzie of the US Air Force is aware of the odds. He has one chance in five of surviving the war. Flying bombing missions through hell and back, he’s fighting more than the Luftwaffe. Fear and doubt stalk him on the ground and in the air, and he’s torn between his duty and his conscience.

Shy, decent and sensible Stella Charlton’s future seems certain until war breaks out. As a new recruit to the WAAF, she meets an American pilot on New Year’s Eve. After just one dance, she falls head over heels for the handsome airman. But when he survives a crash, she realises her own battle has only just begun.

About Suzy

Suzy Henderson was born in the North of England, but a career in healthcare would eventually take her to rural Somerset. Years later, she decided to embark upon a degree in English Literature with The Open University.
That was the beginning of a new life journey, rekindling her love of writing and passion for history. With an obsession for military and aviation history, she began to write.
It was an old black and white photograph of her grandmother that caught Suzy’s imagination many years ago. Her grandmother died in 1980 as did her tales of war as she never spoke of those times. When she decided to research her grandmother’s war service in the WAAF, things spiralled from there. Stories came to light, little-known stories and tragedies and it is such discoveries that inform her writing.
Having relocated to the wilds of North Cumbria, she has the Pennines in sight and finally feels at home.
Suzy is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Romantic Novelists Association. "The Beauty Shop" is her debut novel and will be released 28th November 2016.

The universal link is: The Beauty Shop

Friday, November 25, 2016

Suzy Henderson: The Other Douglas Bader

The Other Douglas Bader

Many people have heard about Douglas Bader, the RAF pilot who miraculously survived an aircraft crash in the 1930s, but sadly lost both of his legs. Bader, through sheer courage, willpower, and true grit returned to flying after the outbreak of WW2. 
But Bader was not the only double amputee to serve in the war. There was another.

Colin Hodgkinson

Suzy Henderson: The Other Douglas Bader

Monday, November 21, 2016

AUTHORS and AUTOGRAPHS; Deerfield Beach, Florida

Observer Newspaper Online

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By Rachel Galvin

Although the Butler House’s book event on Sept. 25 was cut short by the morning downpour, authors had the chance to mingle with each other, and trade books and stories. The Woman’s Club and Deerfield Historical Society volunteers sold hot dogs and hamburgers, and tours of the Butler House were given.
Delores M. Walters had the chance to chat with some of those who had gathered about her book Gendered Resistance: Women, Slavery and the Legacy of Margaret Garner, which follows the life of Margaret Garner, a pre-Civil War slave who killed her 2-year-old daughter rather than having her subjected to slavery. Her story was turned into an opera and also a novel called Beloved by Toni Morrison, and later a film by the same name starring Oprah Winfrey.
M.C.V. Egan spent 20 years researching for her book Bridge of Deaths ( about a 1939 plane crash before Hitler invaded Poland. She has a personal connection to the story. Her grandfather was on that plane. Besides historical details, she obtained insight through a seemingly accurate psychic and the story is told from 2010 looking back at details through past-life regression. This was just one book she had available.
I wrote the book in 2011,” said Egan. “I have been writing since I was a kid. I am originally from Mexico City, Mexico and wrote to my friends from Mexico about the United States. I honed my letter writing skills [which later led to writing the book]. I also studied in France and wrote letters from there.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Did you hear what The Vatican Announced today? Guidelines for Cremation....

In 1939 when my maternal grandfather died in faraway Denmark a Catholic cremation was not an option. Transporting a body to Mexico was not an option either.  You can see the telegrams of some of the back and forth between The Catholic Church in Denmark and my family.

In the end the cremation was not accompanied by any Catholic support or ritual

Today The Vatican set the rules. Cremation OK but no scattering of ashes.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Historical Romance
Date Published:  September 2016

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Forbidden love between a warrior princess and an elite samurai makes for an adventure set during the early days of the Tokugawa shogunate. Join this couple in a race across 17th century Japan where political unrest has created dangerous ronin, civil uprisings, and war-ravaged castles. Caught in the middle of the struggle between Shogun's rise to rule and the old regime, this warrior princess is forced to battle for her life.
In the end, she must choose between family honor and her heart's desire.
Other Books by Laura Kitchell:

Lady of the Imperial City
Published: May 2015
Historical Romance

Love isn’t forbidden to Lady Kirei as long as it’s with a proper gentleman of Kyō and she doesn’t mind sharing him with his wife. Her provincial upbringing makes her socially unacceptable as a true wife, yet as a lady by birth and a court favorite, her position makes it impossible for her to seek a match below her station. She’s trapped.

When a nobleman of similar provincial upbringing arrives in town and becomes an instant favorite of the emperor, he is sent to Lady Kirei for tutoring on city ways. Lord Yūkan is smitten, but she’s not a conquest to be won. She’s a woman of substance and worth, and she’s off limits.

Despite his unrefined manners, Lord Yūkan’s aristocratic bloodline shows through his fine taste and quick mind. It doesn’t hurt that he’s handsome, too. As he begins to touch her heart, Lady Kirei is ever mindful that they can’t commit, especially when her uncle schemes to make her a consort to a prince.

Will her family’s honor relegate her to the shadow-life of a consort, or can love find a way?

About the Author

Laura Kitchell lives in Virginia. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Chesapeake Romance Writers. She lived in Japan as a child and has a love and respect for Japanese history and culture.

Contact Links

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Friday, September 2, 2016

From THE NEW YORKER . The Perilous Lure of the Underground Railroad Hardly anyone used it, but it provides us with moral comfort—and white heroes.

Fantastic article a good friend found where historical distortions are so perfectly exemplified. The Full Read is very worthwhile.

by Kathryn-schulz

....For one thing, far from being centrally organized, the Underground Railroad was what we might today call an emergent system: it arose through the largely unrelated actions of individuals and small groups, many of whom were oblivious of one another’s existence. What’s more, even the most active abolitionists spent only a tiny fraction of their time on surreptitious adventures with packing crates and the like; typically, they carried out crucial but banal tasks like fund-raising, education, and legal assistance. And while fugitives did often need to conceal themselves en route to freedom, most of their hiding places were mundane and catch-as-catch-can—haylofts and spare bedrooms and swamps and caves....


Kathryn Schulz joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2015. In 2016, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing and a National Magazine Award for “The Really Big One,” her story on the seismic risk in the Pacific Northwest. Previously, she was the book critic for New York, the editor of the environmental magazine Grist, and a reporter and editor at the Santiago Times. She was a 2004 recipient of the Pew Fellowship in International Journalism and has reported from Central and South America, Japan, and the Middle East. She is the author of “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error” (2010).

Friday, August 26, 2016

M.C.V. Egan

M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan the author of The Bridge of Deaths. Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, the sixth of eight children, in a traditional Catholic family. From a very young age she became obsessed with the story of her maternal Grandfather, Cesar Agustin Castillo, mostly the story of how he died. She only spent her childhood in Mexico. Her father became an employee of The World Bank in Washington D.C. From the early 1970s at the age of 12 she moved with her entire family to the United States.
Catalina was already fluent in Southern English as she had spent one school year in the town of Pineville, Louisiana with her grandparents. There she won the English award; ironically being the only one who had English as a second language in her class. In the D.C. suburbs she attended various private Catholic schools and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland in 1977.
She attended Montgomery Community College, where she changed majors every semester. She also studied in Lyons, France at the Catholic University for two years. In 1981, due to an impulsive young marriage to a Viking (The Swedish kind, not the football player kind)  Catalina moved to Sweden where she resided for five years and taught at a language school for Swedish, Danish, and Finnish business people. She returned to the USA where she has been living ever since. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish.
Maria Catalina Vergara Egan is married and has one son, who together with their five pound Chihuahua make her feel like a fulltime mother.   Although she would not call herself an Astrologer she has taken many classes and taught a few beginner classes in Astrology. This is one of her many past times when she is not writing or researching.
The Bridge of deaths is available intwo different editions as a FACTION with over 200 footnotes and as a fictional Novel with dataincorporated into the narrative.
The Defining Ways series book 1 DEFINED by OTHERS is also available.

The Bridge of Deaths
M.C.V. Egan lives in South Florida. she is fluent in four languages; English, Spanish, French and Swedish. From a young age became determined to solve the 'mystery' of her grandfather's death, she has researched this story for almost two decades. the story has taken her to Denmark, England and unconventional world of psychics.
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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Bridge of Deaths

5.0 out of 5 starsA deeply personal, meticulously researched, unique story.

on June 16, 2016

Format: Paperback

On August 15, 1939, the cabin of a US-built British aircraft caught on fire and crashed near a bridge in Denmark under mysterious circumstances. The pilot survived and all the passengers perished. The group of passengers on board included: a German corporate lawyer, two employees of Standard Oil of New Jersey, additional crewmember, an English Member of Parliament, and the grandfather of the author, M.C.V. Shortly afterward, World War II began.

Under a shroud of secrecy and mystery, the author embarked on a twenty-year labor of love of meticulous, copious research and interesting interviews in search of answers. This unique novel, which could easily fall under historical fiction, mystery, and memoir, introduces the reader to an interesting cast of characters that include, the author; Bill, a real man the author has never met; a fictional young woman named Maggie; and of course, a few psychics who specialize in past life regression. You’re in for quite a ride with this unique story!

Does the author solve the mystery? You’ll just have to read “The Bridges of Death” to find out. I heard there is a sequel in the works, which should make for an interesting read. I recommend this well-researched mystery romance about a little known historical event to readers of history, historical fiction, mystery, and autobiography. I look forward to more from this author.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Paranormal Romance Weaving Threads Through History

Thank you Catalina for inviting me as guest to your blog.  Well, as it’s a blog focused on history, I have a confession to make – namely that history wasn’t among my favorite subjects while I was a pupil. Literature, chemistry, English – yes. History – no. But things changed since I started writing. Since I became an author.

Why? The answer is in the type of fiction I write. I write paranormal, light romance. Furthermore, my favorite subgenre deals with  ghosts, reincarnation, magic, past life regression, Karma.

Thus, my characters travel back in time,  revisiting their former lives, which are set mostly around or in the Middle Ages.

For my first release, Shadows of the Past, whose plot takes place in England, I studied thoroughly Britain  during Middle Ages, a fact remarked by many of my reviewers. In writing  Dracula’s Mistress it was a bit  easier, as it’s in connection with my country’s history, with the  famous historical character Vlad the Impaler.

As about Till Life Do Us Part, ( BUY LINK )my latest release, I based the story on a real event. One part of the story, the past part,  is set in Switzerland, Glarus1780, during the age of Enlightenment. I weaved my story around a seed of historical truth – the execution of the last witch in Europe. Yes, there were such horrible things in many European countries, Switzerland, being one of them.

Barbara Heyer can hear voices of dead people. They whisper of their deaths, seek comfort for those left behind, and occasionally even warn her about future events. But when Barbara’s brother, Colin, is accused of murder, it will take more than her gift to prove his innocence.

Becoming smitten with the handsome investigator, Detective Patrick Fischer, is a serious complication given his assignment to her brother’s case. Barbara senses there is something far deeper—and perhaps much older—than the surface attraction between them. Could that be why she’s visited by a mysterious woman named Emma in her dreams? Could past life regression tie all the seemingly unconnected events together?

Barbara and Patrick must overcome heartache to find the truth to save Colin, and perhaps themselves.

While my book is not a historical novel, only partly based on a historical event, I searched for the truth in this event, and infused this truth into my fictional work. I didn’t keep the real name of the woman involved only because I had already used it in Shadows of the Past, and feared my readers will suspect me of lack of imagination. I used the name Emma which was a name used in Europe at that time.

I allowed my characters to question and explore their place in society. This helped me reveal the larger social and cultural context of the time. For example, what were the expectations for women.  My character, Emma, the same as the real historical one, is a maid in a rich house taking care of the family’s children. I won’t go into any more of the plot than that – you’ll want to read it for yourselves as the book has already come out.

 I discovered all sorts of interesting things regarding Switzerland at that time.  For example,  that Jean Jaques Rousseau, whom I always considered French, was in fact born and lived a great part of his childhood in Switzerland.

Till Life Do Us Part is a crossover  novel as it blends elements of romance, history,  mystery and paranormal. So a bit to everyone’s taste. I hope you will enjoy reading it. If you do, please, I would be grateful if you could leave a couple of lines review.

Author Bio

Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of communist oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books.

          Her first novel, Shadows of the Past, was released in 2012 by Wild Child Publishing, USA.

                   Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog, and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.

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Till Life Do Us Part
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Reincarnation, Mystery, Suspense
Release date: 9th June 2016


He watched the windows of the house for several days, hidden by the mantle of the falling night. Taking advantage of the cover the lime trees in the garden offered, he avidly followed her every movement across the bedroom. He could have hidden in the attic as he had a few times, watching her through the peephole he’d made, but from here, he could see her better.

He had a cautious nature, yet wasn’t afraid of being spotted. There was little likelihood of his presence being announced to the police as a stalker. After all, they’d been seen together quite often.
The first drop of rain fell with a splash on the windshield jolting Barbara back to reality. She opened her eyes and slipped her small handbag into the glove box. The money she received would help her solve many of the “not-for-now” things, like replacing the floorboard in the bedroom and repairing the leaking pipe in the kitchen.

She looked through the windshield at the pelting rain washing over her car. She reached for the key to start the engine when a faint light flickered on top of the steering wheel.

Barbara, Barbara, a voice came, more like a whisper, in her mind. He killed me. He just killed me...

Who are you, dear? Who killed you?

Kathleen… He killed me.

“Detective, please, don’t  think I’m raving, but I have to ask. Do you know someone called Mabel?”

The man riveted Barbara with his dark blue eyes for a moment. Barbara cringed inside. He’ll rebuke me. The man passed a hand over his face and nodding, he answered, “Yes, I know a Mabel. My... my wife.”

“How long ago did she pass away?”

In a voice that was more than a little surprised he asked, “How on earth did you know she’s dead?”

“She’s here,” Barbara replied in a small voice.

His eyebrows shot up in disbelief. The steel in his voice was hard to miss. “What? What are you talking about?” He spun round and looked at the apparently empty space behind him.

Tell him I no longer suffer, Barbara heard Mabel’s voice.

Detective Fisher was still staring blankly around him.

“She wants me to tell you she no longer suffers. She hopes you’ve found in your heart the power to forgive her for committing suicide... for jumping off the bridge.”

The detective looked straight into Barbara’s eyes. The grief she saw in them was almost palpable.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Midwife's Revolt by Jodi Daynard

                                                                BUY HERE

On a dark night in 1775, Lizzie Boylston is awakened by the sound of cannons. From a hill south of Boston, she watches as fires burn in Charlestown, in a battle that she soon discovers has claimed her husband’s life.

Alone in a new town, Lizzie grieves privately but takes comfort in her deepening friendship with Abigail Adams. Soon, word spreads of Lizzie’s extraordinary midwifery and healing skills, and she begins to channel her grief into caring for those who need her. But when two traveling patriots are poisoned, Lizzie finds herself with far more complicated matters on her hands—she suspects a political plot intended to harm Abigail and her family. Determined to uncover the truth, Lizzie becomes entangled in a conspiracy that could not only destroy her livelihood—and her chance at finding love again—but also lead to the downfall of a new nation.

I see that it is a REVISED EDITION, I had the older version... A worthwhile read, I think that people interested in The American Revolution will really enjoy this book. The Medical aspect with old remedies was also fascinating and I have found naturalists who to date use the cures mentioned in the book , Jodi Daynard did a lovely job. My review is below.

4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise, May 27, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Midwife's Revolt (The Midwife Series) (Kindle Edition)
I started this book AGES ago and could not get into it. On a recent trip I picked it up and started from the beginning, The narrators voice is brilliant, she feels true to the era, very true to the era and I felt I revisited the American Revolution from school, but with a very interesting angle.
The book is long and the pace is slow, which was also very fitting to the era. All in all I loved that The Midwife adapts and works with more than pregnancy and childbirth; which of course would be expected during a war.
It is a woman's perspective in the journey from when America declared it's independence and actually achieved it. The Midwife Lizzie is close to Abigail Adams as such is privy to much during the turbulent times.
I liked the versatility in the strong female characters. All in all the read was a pleasant surprise.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Inspiration and Research Behind Prophecy by Coreena McBurnie

In Prophecy, Book One of the Antigone: The True Story series, Antigone, a princess of ancient Thebes, steps out of the shadows of the past to tell her own story, a story where truth of history is stranger than the fiction of myth.
Prophecy is directly inspired by my love of ancient Greek mythology. I have always been drawn to Greek myths. I remember having to write a report about Theseus and the Minotaur in grade 5 and thinking how wonderful the story was. When I hit university, I found the Classical Studies department and was instantly captivated with the beauty and richness of the ancient cultures studied there, so much so, that I earned both a BA and an MA in Classical Studies.

One of my favourite pieces of Classical literature is the play Antigone by Sophocles. It is really a wonderful play -- Antigone's world is devastated, her family is mostly dead, and she doesn't have much to look forward to. But, she is true to herself and her moral compass. She has strong beliefs and does whatever it takes to abide by them, even if it means defying her uncle, the king, and sacrificing herself.

This makes Antigone unique in the ancient tales. So many women in myth are presented as either passive, obedient, and long-suffering, such as Penelope when she fends off suitors for 10 years as she dutifully awaits her husband's return from the Trojan War; or they are portrayed as hideous monsters, such as Medea is when she takes her revenge on her husband, Jason, by murdering their children, cutting them into pieces and throwing them into the water so Jason will have to stop and collect them while she makes her getaway.

As far as research goes, I feel like I've been working toward this book for years with all of my reading of ancient literature and myth! However, before I started writing Prophecy, I re-read the Oedipus trilogy of plays by Sophocles. I also had to look up details of life, such as the exact form a sacrifice took.

Author Links:

Author Bio:

My name is Coreena McBurnie and, ever since grade 5 when I had to do a report on Theseus and the Minotaur, I have had a soft spot for Greek mythology. When I hit university, I was drawn to the Classical Studies department (earning both a BA & MA), where I explored the archaeology and culture of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds — and also where I managed to read Homer’s Odyssey, one of my absolute favourite books, in the original Greek, something which was thrilling for me (I know, sounds crazy, but the poetry and scope of the original text is amazing). After a lifetime of “what is that?”, “why did you study that?”, and “what can you do with a degree in Classical Studies?” I have decided to write novels based in ancient myth and to bring so many of the stories I love to life for a modern audience, with my own spin, of course.

Prophecy, Book 1 in the Antigone Series, is my first published novel. Currently I am working on Book 2 in the Antigone Series, called Fate. I am also in the middle of another novel about Clytemnestra who is notorious in Greek myth for killing her husband, Agamemnon, when he returned home from the Trojan War. I love exploring the motives of strong women in ancient myth.

I live in BC, Canada with my husband, our three kids, and our cat, in a beautiful part of the country, on two rivers, surrounded by ranches, near ski hills, and only a couple of hours drive to the ocean.

Synopsis of Prophecy:

An ancient princess, hidden prophecies, impossible choices…

Sixteen year old Princess Antigone, daughter of the infamous ancient Greek King Oedipus, wants to lead a normal life and fulfill her duty to the gods, her city, and her family, but fate has other plans. The Olympian gods bless her, the snakes talk to her, her parents want her to marry a foreign prince, her embroidery looks like burial shrouds for dogs, and she has fallen in love with the wrong boy.

When the mysterious and devastating prophecies surrounding her family are revealed, Antigone must choose where her allegiance lies: With the gods who have betrayed her family but who she is obliged to serve? With her plague ridden city? With her family which lay in ruins? Or even with herself?

In Prophecy, Book One of the Antigone: The True Story series, Antigone steps out of the shadows of the past to tell her own story, a story where truth of history is stranger than the fiction of myth.

Buy links for Prophecy:

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004)

So here we are at the END of A-Z
The Z Channel wasn't America's first premium cable outlet specializing in feature films, and it wasn't the most commercially successful, but few, if any, had as strong an impact on the film industry or a more influential list of customers. Based in California and blanketing sections of the state dominated by the movie business,

Z Channel had been operating for several years before former screenwriter Jerry Harvey took over as head of programming in 1980. Under the guidance of Harvey and his staff, the channel became a film buff's dream, screening rare classics, important foreign films, and maverick American titles that had fallen through the cracks of commercial distribution. Harvey and his staff also programmed original and uncut versions of films which had only played American theaters in altered form (including Heaven's Gate, Once Upon a Time in America, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, and The Leopard) long before the concept of the "director's cut" had currency beyond the most hardcore of film fans. And The Z Channel aggressively championed pictures they believed were overlooked, and programmed deserving Oscar-nominated movies during the Academy's voting period, years before studios began distributing video "screeners" to potential voters. (More than one industry expert has credited Z Channel's showings of Annie Hall as a key factor in the film winning Best Picture.) But Jerry Harvey was also a deeply troubled man, and when legal and economic problems began dogging the company in the late '80s, he snapped, leading to a horrible and tragic murder and suicide. The Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession is a documentary that looks at the channel's short but remarkable history as well as Harvey's damaged personal life. It includes interviews with Robert Altman, Quentin Tarantino, James Woods, Jim Jarmusch, Alexander Payne and a number of other filmmakers and critics who attest to Z Channel's lasting impact.