Announcing Issue #68 of HNR – My Reviews in Print/Online!

I’m delighted to announce that the May reviews for The Historical Novel Society are now available online.  Check out the full reviews (and great articles) at: The Historical Novel Society. You can find the print views in Issue #68 of the Historical Novel Review (HNR).

For this issue of HNR, I have four reviews appearing in print and online and one online exclusive (link).  I’m absolutely thrilled to continue as a reviewer for The Historical Novel Society and hope you enjoy my reviews and the many other fine reviews available.  May you find plenty of new favorites this spring!

Remember to please support authors by buying authorized print and digital versions of their books.

Blog Freebies


Blurb Featured on Anna Loan-Wilsey’s Website

Last autumn I reviewed “Anything But Civil” by Anna Loan-Wilsey (review here) for the Historical Novel Society. This week, I discovered that a blurb from my review was featured as press for the book on the author’s website. How fantastic!

I thought you would enjoy a peek and Ms. Loan-Wilsey was gracious enough to allow me to reprint a portion of her website for my readers:

anything but civil_02-06-14_permission_from-author.2

Learn more about Anna Loan-Wilsey and her Hattie Davish mysteries at her website,

Swan Gondola Makes HNS Editor’s Choice List

This winter I had the opportunity to read Timothy Schaffert’s The Swan Gondola.

As of the February 2014 publication, The Historical Novel Society (HNS) selected The Swan Gondola as an Editor’s Choice book. This distinction is awarded to a small number of books each issue that are considered the best new works in historical fiction. See the full description here.

This is the first review I’ve written for HNS that has been selected for this honor and I’m absolutely thrilled.  Any praise for Schaffert’s book is well-deserved and I don’t say that lightly. In my opinion, The Swan Gondola was the best book I read in 2013 and I look forward to seeing more from him in the future.  To learn more about his Gilded Age novel, The Swan Gondolacheck out my review here.

Timothy Schaffert will be in town next week signing his books on February 12th and 13th, hosted by Subterranean Books. Full event details available at Subterranean Books’ website, here.

National Authors Day and a Speaking Venture

The Day’s Overview:

Did you know that today is National Authors Day?

I didn’t either, but my aunt says it’s so and (almost) anything my Aunt A says goes, so, happy National Authors Day everybody!

Today was REALLY different.

Going along with my theme this month of focusing on writing and writing-related activities, today I did something I’ve never done before. I spoke in public about writing. This was my debut speaking engagement that I mentioned earlier in the week.

I was on a panel with three very talented ladies and I was definitely the newcomer to the writing veterans in the group who spoke about life writing.   Continue reading

Debut Speaking Engagement

microphone by renjith krishnanHey guys,

I’m really excited about this opportunity I’ve been given by the St. Louis Writers Guild to talk about one of my passions, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  For those of you who have known me for a while, you know that I am passionate about writing and I’m absolutely thrilled about this opportunity.

If you’re in the area on Saturday, I hope you’ll stop by and say hello. Both topics should be very interesting and there’ll be something for fiction and non-fiction writers alike.

Keep reading to learn more and I hope you all have a great day!

my signature

Workshops for Writers: Jumpstart your Novel or Memoir

with Linda O’Connell, Donna Volkenannt, Jennifer Shew, and Lauren Miller

Saturday, November 2, 2013
10am to Noon
Kirkwood Community Center
111 S. Geyer Rd
Kirkwood, MO 63122
Free for Members, $5 for Non-Members

Whether the story you have to tell is a novel or a memoir, November is a great month to start writing it. Get inspired by life writers Linda O’Connell and Donna Volkenannt and novelists Jennifer Shew and Lauren Miller. They will show you how to jumpstart your book.

National Life Writing Month: Linda O’Connell & Donna Volkenannt
Learn about the many different kinds of “life writing”
Find how an essay can be expanded to a memoir
Get the skinny on how an expose` may or may not lead to publication
Discover how to unlock the power of stories to inspire, uplift, and heal

National Novel Writing Month: Jennifer Shew & Lauren Miller
Learn how to get started with the 50,000 words of NaNo
Get up to speed on writing socially
Hear one author’s experiences with the local NaNo group
Find out about tools such as Scrivener

Donna Volkenannt believes words have the power to inspire, uplift, and heal. Her personal essays, short stories, articles, and poems have won almost 100 awards, including honorable mention in the national Steinbeck short story competition and nominations for a Pushcart Prize and a Spur award. First place winner of the 2012 Erma Bombeck Global Humor Award, she lives in St. Peters, where she blogs about writing and the sweet mysteries of life.

Linda O’Connell is a multi-genre writer whose niche is writing personal essays. Her stories have been published in 20 Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and more than one hundred national publications. She is developing an anthology for Publishing Syndicate and is the author of a book, Queen of the Last Frontier, the biography of Emily Keaster.

Jennifer Shew has always liked to write and read stories, mainly fantasy, because they let her imagination take over. That’s why she was so happy to hear about NaNoWriMo ten years ago–it was like a license to write whatever she wanted. She has been a Municipal Liaison (ML) for the growing St. Louis NaNoWriMo region for seven years. She helps people get started with the 50,000 words of NaNo and host write-ins for folks to write socially. She’s excited to write her 500,000th word this year!

Lauren Miller reviews books for the Historical Novel Society and writes for the St. Louis Writers Guild’s literary magazine, The Scribe. Her work has also appeared in publications such as The Poet’s Art and a MMORPG (that’s a massive multiplayer online role-playing game). After five years trying, the historical and spec fiction writer declared her first win last year by completing a 50,000-word novel during National Novel Writing Month.

Press release provided courtesy of St. Louis Writers Guild.