Ask A Wench — childhood reading

Anne here, introducing the topic for this month's AAW (Ask A Wench): In your childhood reading was there a place you fell in love with? By Richard Peat - originally posted to Flickr as Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Pat:  England, hands down. I read tons of Brit lit in elementary school. They used to sell Austen and Bronte in the Scholastic Library book fairs, the only time my parents gave me money for books. So I went for the great big fat books, and they were all about the white cliffs of Dover and the misty fog over the Thames and the thatched cottages in the Cotswolds. I had no idea where any of those places were, but I wanted to see them all. 

And then there were all the books about the kings and queens in the library that I had to research to figure out their relationships, because they were obviously all related, right? So then I wanted to see all their grand castles, the Tower of London, the towns and. . . I suspect I expected to see horses and carriages as well, but the cottage gardens would have sufficed! 

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Books&cup3Happy Anniversary to the Word Wenches!

by Mary Jo

This is the 12th anniversary of the Word Wenches!  I hope you joined Anne's celebration tea party on Monday.  (The cakes and tea cups were splendid!)

Today, we continue the celebrations with reminiscences and book giveaways. 12 years is a long time, and in the way publishing has changed, it's eons.

Back in 2006, blogs were the Hot New Thing. Authors wanted to be able to reach readers, interact with them, and sell books. But it seemed like so much work! Surely better to put together a group and take turns?

The idea was sparked when Susan King and I had lunch with Eileen Buckholtz, a web goddess and friend. We decided to ask a few friends if they'd like to join with us, and to my surprise, everyone we asked said yes, even the most extreme of introverts. Turns out we all wanted to chat, interact, and sell books.

Stolen MagicBlogging seemed very mysterious at the beginning, but we eventually figured it out. (Regency writer Candice Hern was a great help since she was already an experienced blogger and has fabulous collections on her web site.) Our first post was on May 22nd, 2006, and we're still standing after all those years. <G>

Much has changed over the years as we've lost some Wenches, and acquired wonderful new ones who bring their own special stories and talents. As the writing world has changed, some of us have moved in different directions like mainstream historicals, mysteries, and paranormals.

ADistantMagicIn 2006, I was in my paranormal historical phase. I love fantasy, so I loved blending magic with real history and romance. In 2006, Stolen Magic, Book 2 of my Guardian Trilogy, was published, and I was working on Book 3, A Distant Magic. I wrote seven paranormal historicals all together, 4 adult and 3 young adult, but a year later I moved back into more traditional historical romance because in this business, things are always changing.

As one of the original Wenches, I figure I've written over 300 blogs. (!!!) But I like doing these short pieces about all sorts of topics, I love interacting with readers, and most of all, I love hanging out with my wonderfully talented, good-natured fellow Wenches. Good times, then and now!



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An Incredible Discovery

Anne Gracie here, very excited to be sharing with you all an amaaaazing and incredible discovery I've recently made. As some of you may know, over the last few years I've been digging into genealogy and my family history — and have even done a bit of DNA tracing — and wow!  Frances johnston aunts 1850s

I could hardly believe it when this information started to turn up, so I said nothing about it for quite a while, but little by little the evidence has mounted, and once I told a few of the wenches about my discoveries, they also got excited and chipped in their bits and pieces. It's been an extraordinary journey, but now, at last, we've agreed to go public.

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What We’re Reading — February 2018

Anne here, hosting our discussion of the books we've read in February.   ReadersOfBrokenWheel

We start with Pat's find of the month, THE READERS OF BROKEN WHEEL RECOMMEND, by Katarina Bivald. Pat says: I love this book! It’s a quiet book about a quiet book reader who summons the nerve to leave Sweden to visit an elderly penpal in a quiet small town in Iowa. Not just a quiet small town, but a broken one. The economy has struck the town hard. Residents have mostly died or moved away.

Amy, the penpal Sara comes to visit has also died, but the town insists that Sara stay in Amy’s home because they all knew how much Amy enjoyed reading her letters and how much Amy had been looking forward to her visit. Stunned by her situation, by the graciousness of the residents, and by the enormous library of books in Amy’s empty house, Sara quietly begins to change everything without even realizing she’s doing so.

There’s even a quiet romance. It’s an amazing journey for readers who loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Highly recommended! (And right now, it's only $2.51 at Amazon)  (Anne adds that she and several wenches have read and enjoyed this book, bought on Janga's recommendation on this blog back in September. Thank you Janga.)

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Midnight RiotMary Jo is sailing down a river: Her recommendation this month is The Rivers of London Series, by Ben Aaronovitch. The first book in the series is: Midnight Riot, PC Peter Grant, Book 1

Said to be a cross between CSI and Harry Potter, this series has been mentioned by a couple of other Wenches, Joanna and Pat, perhaps.  I was a little leery since I couldn't quite figure out what it was about, but once I read an excerpt of the first book, Midnight Riot, it made perfect sense.  In a fantasy-ish sort of way.  <G>

Peter Grant is a diligent young London constable with a mother from Sierra Leone and a father who is a talented but often addicted jazz musician.  His mixed heritage plays into the story in various ways, including his being a bit of an outsider.  He become much more of one when he has a chat with a ghost and is seen by a DCI Thomas Nightingale, who turns out to be the only licensed wizard in Britain and in charge of investigating all crimes involving magic and 'other beings.'

In no time at all, Peter is working for him as an apprentice wizard, which turns out to be dangerous but far more interesting than being a police paper shuffler.  Peter is a great character–smart and funny and committed to helping people even when it takes him into mortal peril.

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