Release Day!

Happy May Day! Yours, Dorothy is now available in ebook and paperback through Amazon. For the first stop on its blog tour, Tressa at Wishful Endings reviewed it. She says:

“Highly recommended to historical fiction and romance readers who enjoy stories based on historical facts. If you enjoy stories based on historical events and people, with a steady pace, a strong historical setting, political upheaval, and a sweet romance, then this is definitely a story for you. Well written, with likable characters, and an interesting setting make for an enjoyable story!”

You can read her full review here and enter a giveaway for a chance to win the book, and you can find Yours, Dorothy on Amazon.

Dorothy 6x9

Christmas Book Flood

Let’s talk about Iceland. It’s one of the safest countries in the world: murder and violent crime are almost non-existent, though gun ownership is common. It’s also one of the most literate, with 99% of its adult population fluent in reading and writing. By comparison, the literacy rate in the United States is 86%. Issues like crime and education are complicated, but I can’t help believing there’s a connection.

I was recently selling books with several other authors at a holiday gift show. I asked a passing woman if she liked to read and she made a dismissive gesture at our display and said, “Oh, I don’t read those kinds of books.”

“Those kinds of books” included mysteries, thrillers, clean romance, historical fiction, and inspirational Christmas stories. I asked her what she did like to read, and she said, “Just my scriptures.”

Okay, that’s fine.  This isn’t the first time I’ve run into anti-fiction snobbery, and when I was in grad school, I didn’t have much time for fiction either. There are millions of books out there, and we’ll only have time to read, what, maybe a couple of thousand in our lifetimes? (Isn’t that a sad thought?)

Yet numerous studies have shown the benefits of reading fiction. It offers us a mental vacation and emotional refreshment. In the case of historical fiction, it teaches us about different times, places, and events in a way we’re more likely to remember because we’ve experienced them vicariously.

Perhaps most importantly, study after study has shown that people who read fiction are more likely to feel empathy – to relate to those who are different from them. It’s the closest we’ll ever come to seeing through the eyes of another. We can learn from their mistakes and triumphs and sample a taste of their perspective. The best fiction is a cure for unawareness and isolation. It combats feelings of being overhwelmed, hopeless, or alone. It connects human beings across time and space. It’s magic.

In lieu of brushing up on my Old Norse and searching for real estate in Iceland, I’m going to participate in their tradition of Jolabokaflod – a Christmas Book Flood. I’m joining with other authors to do a holiday book giveaway (more details coming here and on my Facebook page), and I’ll also be giving away an ebook through my newsletter (sign up at: http://eepurl.com/bqCKTr ).

I hope, whether it’s my book or someone else’s, you have time to curl up with a good novel this December, and do it without feeling guilty, knowing that reading is good for your brain and your heart!

Have you heard about the ghost?

Everyone at Springett Hall is gossiping about the ghosts: echoes of laughter in the hallway, strange faces in the mirror, doors creaking open on their own. Lucy doesn’t know any more about the other spirits than the servants do. She can’t even remember how she died, and Philip, the only person who can see her, isn’t all that helpful in that regard. Add your own speculations about Lucy’s demise in the comments below and click the link to the left to join the Rafflecopter giveaway for a signed ARC (uncorrected advanced reader copy) between June 17th and June 24th, 2015 (please keep comments appropriate for all ages).

From The Haunting of Springett Hall:

“Maybe I had a premonition I was fated for a tragic end.”

“A romantic notion, I suppose.” A teasing glint brightened Philip’s eyes. “Unless you died in some embarrassing way.”

“What! I’m certain I didn’t.” I couldn’t admit now that I’d worried about the same thing.

“You might have choked on a chicken bone because you were eating too fast.”

“I don’t even like chicken. Meat isn’t good for one’s constitution.”

“All right.” He leaned against the bookshelf with a cocky smile. “Maybe you forgot to tie your boot laces and tripped when you glanced up to watch the peaceful flight of a dove overhead.”

I folded my arms, trying not to smile at the image. “My boots have buttons, not laces.”

“Or you were reading a book while you walked and got run over by a carriage.”

“In the house, I suppose?” I rolled my eyes.