What We’re Reading in June

Hi. Joanna here. It's a great line-up this month.

Wench burnable book holsinger 2Andrea/Cara first up:

I’m a sucker for historical mysteries, especially ones that ihave arcane books involved in the plot. So when I happened to read a blurb on this, I couldn’t resist. But before I go on, I have a confession to make: I’ve been madly scrambling to finish a project, so haven’t had quite as much time for reading as usual. So I’m not all that far along in this book, but am liking it enough to recommend it. 

The Burnable Book. Here’s the lead blurb on the cover flap: In Chaucer's London, betrayal, murder, royal intrigue, mystery, and dangerous politics swirl around the existence of a prophetic book that foretells the deaths of England's kings.

Maybe you can see right away why I was hooked. The author, Bruce Holsinger, is a professor of Medieval History, and already the ambiance of London—from the court intrigues to the stews—is really well-done. The style is a little edgy, but I’m liking the main protagonist a lot. A friend of Geoffrey Chaucer, and fellow poet, John Gower has been asked to find a stolen book that may bring down the monarchy. If you’re looking to immerse  yourself in London of Richard II, come join me in turning the pages!

And, with a wonderful, comforting set of books, Mary Jo: Wench Copper Beach

When I'm deep into writing a new book, I often reread comfort books because I know I'll enjoy them and there isn't the stress of hunting down new books and maybe not finding something I like.  So–currently rereading Jayne Ann Krentz romantic suspense novels.  I love her Arcane series, where characters have paranormal, psychic type abilities that are both blessing and curse.  WHITE LIES is a particular favorite, where the heroine can always tell if someone is lying.  This is a decidedly mixed blessing.  <G>

But my current reread is the Dark Legacy duo, COPPER BEACH and DREAM EYES.  JAK seldom does families, but the heroes of these two books are brothers, which is fun.  Sam Coppersmith, hero of Copper Beach, is the lab guy who is a genius at manipulating crystal energy.  When paranormal book finder Abby Radwell needs help, she is sent to him and sparks fly.  Quite literally. <G>

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Adventures in Oz

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

I delivered my overdue book 90 minutes before we left for the airport to fly to Australia.  I do not recommend this. <G>  But it did mean that when an east coast air traffic control meltdown caused us to miss our flight out of Los Angeles so we had a lazy day in LaLa land, it was not entirely a bad thing.  

Luckily I'd built in several extra days to allow some recovery time from jet lag, and Melbourne was worth the wait.  The Mayhem Consultant and I both loved the city, which had a vibe reminiscent of Boston or San Francisco or Seattle, all cities I love.  It's also a foodie paradise, which is never a bad thing!  (I'm told that hot air balloons floating over the city in the morning as in the picture at the right are a regular occurrence.  Fun!) View from Citadines of Melbourne

Plus, our Aussie Word Wench, Anne Gracie, lives in Melbourne, and she's a fabulous hostess for her city.  A highlight was when she took me, the MC, and Patricia McLinn, another featured American conference speaker and an old friend of mine, to the Healesville Sanctuary.  

 

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Getting by With a Little Help

Louis janmot pub domHi.  Joanna here.  For this week the Ask-a-Wench question is:

You all belong to Word Wenches, obviously.  Is there another writers' group or organization in your life that gives you support and enjoyment?  Or is there another, perhaps altogether different, formal or informal group that influences your writing or help you in your writing life?

Mary Jo says:

There are so many valuable writing groups that it belies the idea that writing is a solitary profession!  Most writers love to get together and talk about writing, the business, and, of course, our work sin progress.  My first group was the Maryland Romance Writers, the local chapter of the Romance Writers of America.  There were only ten members, but they knew a lot more about writing and publishing than I did.  I'm still a member of MRW, it's grown much larger, and it's still very supportive.

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typical frantic scene at RWA National Conference

 

All RWA groups, both regional and national, have been great places where I've learned and met lifelong friends, including most of the Word Wenches.  I have a special fondness for Novelists, Inc. which is for popular fiction authors from all genres.  It's always offered terrific support for the business of writing, and it's become a leader in helping writers master the emerging world of independent publishing.

Yet the Word Wenches are unique.  We all write and love historical novels, and there is structure because we've all committed to posting regularly on this blog.  That's business, but we've gone beyond that to become a sisterhood.  We share information and laughter and offer sympathy for life's downs as well as congratulations on the ups.  Not to mention sharing pet pictures and stories. <G>  We like each other, we cheer each other on, and there is no queen bee.  Which is why we're still here, doing what we do and enjoying it.

Anne says:

I second what Mary Jo said about writing no longer being the solitary occupation it used to be. Email and affordable phone calls has changed all that. I have writing friends all over the world, with whom I can talk over a writing problem or brainstorm Mjputney s fraser pricejobourne use okcropan idea or share a piece of writing.

 
The Word Wenches have become a friendship group, not only a blogging group, even though we only see each other very occasionally. I have another group of writer friends with whom I go away each year for a week of writing, brainstorming, discussion and friendship. We've been doing it for seven years so far, and we support each other throuAnne jo and andrea at berkleyPrty2011gh life's ups and downs, as well as the writing and publishing adventure. This was our first retreat.
 
(Joanna slipping in with a comment.  That link above, about Anne's writer group, is just chock full of tips on How To Build Your Own Writer Group With A Great Retreat.  I mean, that link is gold.)
 
 
 
 

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