Saturday, 28 November 2009

A Moment of Incredible Credibility

Our (the Romance Spinners) next novel is called "For Richer, For Poorer".

Love hath no fear like a woman’s scorn. Or the curse she can weave.
In 11th century England, jilted by Philippe Devereaux in favour of a wealthy Norman wife, impoverished Gytha of Wessex conjures a binding spell that curses generations of wealthy Devereaux to suffer unless the Rich marry the Poor.
The succeeding generations of Devereaux can resist the curse and refuse their fate. But if they do, they will lose everything. Their lands will become barren. Their wealth will dry up... life as they know it will cease to exist.
But amid their bitter destinies, they find true love. And perhaps, some day, true love could break the curse.

My story takes place a thousand years later in the 21st Century.

I have Beatrice, a distant Devereaux descendant, who attempts to track down Gytha and Philippe through genealogy. I was speaking to someone the other day about this particular aspect of the story, and she could not suspend her disbelief. "Nobody can do their genealogy back that far," she told me.

Well, I beg to differ:

134. Their Ladyships
133. Me (Her Grace)
132. My Dad
131. My Grandmother
130. My Great-Grandmother
129. Mary Isabel Pettit (b 9 Jul 1866, M Henry Green)
128. Edwin Alfred Pettit (b 16 Feb 1834, M Rebecca Hood Hill)
127. Jesse Pettit (b 26 Feb 1793, m Mary Pettit, his first cousin)
126. William Pettit (b 1754, m Catherine Ryder) and brother James Pettit, Sr (b 1757, m Mary Ann Sealey)
125. Increase Pettit (b 17 Aug 1726, m Martha Eldert)
124. Joshua Pettit (b 24 Feb 1702, m Sarah (Susannah) Carpenter)
123. Thomas Pettit III (b 1666, Long Island, New York, m Catharine Branch)
122. Thomas Pettit II (b 25 June 1630 on the ship "Talbot" in Salem Harbor, Mass, m Hannah Goffe Moore)
121. Christian Mellows (b abt 1611, Widford, Hertford, Essex, England) m Thomas Pettit I (b 1610)
120. Martha Bulkeley (b 1572, m Abraham Mellowes)
119. Reverend Edward Bulkley (b 1540, M Olive Irby)
118. Thomas Bulkeley (b abt 1520, m Elizabeth Grosevenor)
117. William Bulkeley (m Beatrice Hill)
116. Humphrey Bulkeley (m Cecliy Moulton)
115. Hugh Bulkeley (m Helen Wilbraham)
114. John Bulkeley (b abt 1325 m Arderne Titley)
113. Baron Peter De Bulkeley (m Nicola Bird)
112. Baron Robert de Bulkeley (m Feliece)
111. Ellen Davenport (b abt 1250, m Baron William de Bulkeley)
110. Roger De Davenport (b abt 1226, m Mary Salemon),
109. Vivian De Davenport (b abt 1180, m Beatrix De Hulme),
108. Amabilia De Venables (b abt 1147, m Richard De Davenport),
107. Margary De Hatton (b abt 1100, m Gilbert de Venables)
106. Walter de Hatton (b abt 1075)
105. Emme Lupus (m Ivan Bellomontensis b 1026)
104. Geoffrey Bretagne (Duke) (b abt 972AD, M Hedwig of Normandy (Countess Brittany)

Yes, it can be done. I've got several lines that go back this far. Pretty much, once you hit nobility (who were meticulous about keeping records), you can go back until you run out of recorded info.

[Beatrice] looked at her handheld, silent and dark. The small machine held tens of thousands of genealogical names along with their hatches, matches and dispatches, generations of Beatrice's ancestors, some lines going, as her Grandmother put it, "all the way back to Adam."

Oh really? How far back can one go?


103. Ermengarde of Anjou (m Conan "the Crooked")
102. Geoffrey I Grisegonelle of Anjou (b 11 Nov 958AD, m Adelaide of Vermandois)
101. Fulk II "the Good" (m Gerverga of Gatinais)
100. Fulk I "the Red" (m Roscille de Loches)
99. Adlinde Rescinde de Gatinais (m Ingelgerius)
98. Geoffrey de Orleans
97. Bouchard de Fezensac (b 800AD)
96. Aubri de Fezensac
95. Bouchard "the constable" de Fezensac
94. Guerin von Thergovie (b 20 May 722AD, m Adenlindis)
93. Robert (b abt 700AD, m Williswinda)
92. Lambert of Hasbaye
91. Warinus (Guerin) (m Gunza of Metz)
90. Sigrada Sigree (m Bodilon de Treves)
89. Erchembaldus (m Ansoud)
88. Ega (b abt 560AD, m Gerberga of the Franks)
87. Erchenaud of Moselle
86. Ausbert of Moselle (m Blithildis of Cologne)
85. Ferreolus of Metz (b abt 450AD, m Deutria Outeria of Rome)
84. Ferceolus
83. Sigimerius
82. Clodius "the long-haired" (m Basina)
81. Pharamund (m Argotta, b abt 376AD)
80. Marcomir
79. Clodius
78. Dagobert II (b abt 300AD)
77. Genebald
76. Dagobert I
75. Walter
74. Clodius III (b before 264AD)
73. Bartherus
72. Hilderic
71. Sunno (Huano)
70. Farabert (b abt 122AD)
69. Chlodmir IV (b abt 104AD, m Halfilda
68. Athilidus (b abt 90AD, m Marcomir)
67. Coel I of Britain
66. Caradoc
65. Bran "the blessed" (m. Enygeus "Anna")
64. Penardim (m Lear "Llyr Llediaitha")
63. Anna the Prophetess (m Nasciens)
62. Joseph "of Arimathaea" ben Matthat
61. Matthat ben Levi
60. Levi "Levi ben Melchi" ben Simeon
59. Simeon "Belchi ben Jannai" ben Judah
58. Jannai ben Joseph
57. Joseph ben Mattathias
56. Mattathias ben Semel
55. Semein ben Josech
54. Josech ben Joda
53. Joda ben Joanan
52. Jonan ben Rhesa
51. Rhesa ben Zerubbabel
50. Zerubbabel of Judah
49. Salathiel ben Jeconiah
48. Jeconiah ben Jehoiakim
47. Yekhonia ben Josiah
46. Josiah ben Amon
45. Amon ben Manasseh
44. Manasseh ben Hezekiah
43. Hezekiah ben Ahaziah
42. Ahaz
41. Jotham
40. Uzziah
39. Jehoram
38. Jahosaphat
37. Asah
36. Abijah
35. Rohoboam
34. Soloman
33. David
32. Jessee
31. Obed
30. Boaz
29. Salmon
28. Nashon
27. Amminadab
26. Ram
25. Hezron
24. Perez
23. Judah
22. Jacob
21. Issac
20. Abraham
19. Terah
18. Nahor
17. Serug
16. Reu
15. Peleg
14. Eber
13. Saleh
12. Arphaxad
11. Shem
10. Noah
9. Lamech
8. Methuselah
7. Enoch
6. Jared
5. Mahalaleel
4. Cainan
3. Enos
2. Seth
1. Adam & Eve

Cool or what?

Monday, 18 May 2009

More good news

UK internet bookseller now has The Enchanted Faerie for sale.

Their sale price is £9.78 £9.48 sterling. Depending on the exchange rate, this could be cheaper than buying it from US stores.

Plus, Book Depository has free delivery to most countries in the world.

Bitten Review

Another top review from Bitten By Books. Reviewer Lyda has sunk her teeth into The Enchanted Faerie and likes what she tastes.

As Good As Gold by Heidi Wessman Kneale

4 Tombstones

A gold hunter has a surprise homecoming when a young woman steals some cursed gold from him to pay for a chance at finding love - now if he can just find that woman. This story was definitely one of the better ones in the anthology. It not only met the expectations for a story, but it also had a bit more depth and meaning that gave it more significance.

The Beltane Faerie of Fate by Holly Greenfield

4 Tombstones

Shaw has known Calinda all his life. When she is left to be the leader of her clan, she may need his help, she stubbornly refuses. Shaw enlists the aide of a gypsy to maybe, somehow, possibly, show Calinda some reason. This is the other story in the anthology that is definitely more notable and memorable. To put it simply, they chose a good story with which to end the book.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

The Hoarder

The other day my daughter wrested a cake from my hoarding hands and threw it out. The cake had been given to me by her old flatmate who was a (insert fancy name for fancy pastry chef here) and taught said subject at a career college. It was a fruit cake - traditionally made, complete with brandy soak, marzipan and icing, rosebuds - you know... the kind of thing that somebody plonks a bride and groom doll on top and the wedding planner charges 4,000% of basic cost on top of.

Over the course of a year it lived in my microwave so the ants wouldn't attack it. I picked off a lot of the roses and decorations, and it was a nuisance to have to unload it out of the microwave before I could cook anything but...

I hoard therefore I am.

Yes I hoard. Mea Culpa - a sin for the confessional in which I am sure the priest would give me four Hail Mary's and one Our Father for breaching the 11th commandment:

Thou shalt not hoard.

I have no problem generally with the ten commandments, but you see, the trouble is that Thou shalt not hoard is rarely mentioned.

But ironically this comandment inadvertently made me commit the first one. The biggie. Thou shalt not kill. You see the darn cake was discovered by an ant scout. The word went out and the ant brigade invaded my house and my microwave.

It was like some awful scene out of a horror swarm movie, drunken ants soaked in the juices of a dousing of brandy the microwave looked like it was about to be hijacked.

Wall to wall ants didn't last too long under the onslaught of my can of ant spray. My kitchen tidy became a mass grave for dead ants.

My daughter is on constant alert. She's tossed out any cans dated before 1709 in my pantry. Gone through my freezer and thrown out the Barramundi dated 1968. And I'm too scared to leave the fort in case she comes and tries to throw out my pile of RWA newsletters in the still to be read pile.

I have a theory about hoarders. My mother wasn't. My father used to say, coming to my sister and my own house felt like coming home, because they were always full of my mother's unwanted junk. We are both full-blown hoarders. So my daughter grew up in a clutter environment and isn't a hoarder. If it hasn't been used for six months out it goes. Shauna's kids are the same.

Are you a hoarder? Is my theory sound? I have a friend whose house is so uncluttered you long to see whether it's all in the cupboards and would kill you if you open a door. But then,

Us hoarders are a breed apart.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Book Launch: The Enchanted Faerie

apologia for our silence. We've been busy working on our next new shiny, "For Richer, For Poorer".


Y'all are invited to a book launch for
The Enchanted Faerie

Tuesday 28 April, 6:00pm

Warnbro Community Library
Swallowtail Parade, Warnbro, Western Australia.

RSVP to the library (08) 9593 4608 to ensure your bag of Faerie goodies!
We'll also have food, both faerie and Scottish (with some recipies taken from our free promo ebook).

We'll be "launching" the Official Launch Copy and everyone present can enter the draw to win this poor, abused book.

For those who prefer a pristine copy, I've got a few available for purchase at the Amazon-equitable price of AU$20. (limited numbers only)

Readers loved us!!! "TEF" was voted #2 Best Anthology in 2008 by Preditors & Editors

Available in print and ebook from and The Wild Rose Press:

Visit Romance Spinners for your free copy of our promo ebook.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Kindle 2 and Audio Rights

Wherein I wax eloquent.

You did know The Enchanted Faerie is available on Amazon in the Kindle format? Good. Go forth and purchase.

(Note: I am not an agent, a publisher or a lawyer. I am a published writer. I have a BA in Film and have worked in the film and sound industries. I have researched what rights are concerning creative works and have a vague clue as to what they mean. While I may not know everything I do know something. Also, I have worked at a blind school and I currently work at a library. The availability of literature to all is important to me. Now you know where I am coming from.)

So the new Kindle has the capability of displaying written text "out loud" (ie, it "reads it to you").

A some people are up in arms over it, claiming that it's "stealing their audio rights" and they want to be compensated for those rights.

I say it's not stealing any rights at all.

In a book contract, when they say audio rights, it usually means the rights to create a sound based on the written text and record that sound. It is almost always a vocal reading of the work (but may not be limited to just that). That recording is what is covered by audio rights. (The generation of a written work as a sound (ie someone reading aloud) which is then shown live is covered by public performance rights.)

Now, say you have an electronic device that is capable of taking written text and displaying it in a format other than pixels on a screen. Why would it need this capability? Possibly because there are many, many people who cannot read text on a screen. I'm not talking about people who prefer printed material to electronic material, but people who, for whatever reason, are physically incapable of reading text, printed, electronic or otherwise.

The blind cannot read computer monitors. Are they to be discriminated against because of their physical disability?

The voice capabilities on electronic devices such as a computer or the Kindle are not there to steal away the audio rights of a few, but to provide an alternative access to written text for those who are unable to read printed (or electronically displayed) text.

Visually impaired people currently suffer a certain level of inconvenience and prejudice within the publishing industry. Most books printed are only printed in one format, a book printed in a "regular-sized" font. It is not until later that some books are printed in a large size font or recorded as an audio book (sometimes called a "book on tape" or "book on CD").

A Braille version? Yeah, right. These are few and far between, and only if the initial book sells "well enough" to "justify" printing a braille version. Few publishers can justify the cost. It is very rare that a Braille version of a book is released simultaneously as the first print run, so when it happens, it makes the headlines.

Large print books are a little more expensive than their hardcopy regular print counterparts, but a Braille version and an audio book version are a lot more expensive, roughly three to five times the price of the original hardcopy.

This is dreadfully unfair, but that is due to production costs.

Recently (as in the past couple of decades or so, as opposed to the few centuries since Gutenberg invented the printing press or a few thousand years since the Egyptians invented paper), they've invented these cool devices called "computers" with the ability to take basic ASCII text and convert it to sounds that sound close enough to human speech for a human to recognise the text. (For the English language, this is no mean feat as English spelling is not exactly phonetic.)

Microsoft Windows and Mac OS have this capability, and no doubt somewhere someone has written a bit of Linux to do the same thing. (Simon Haynes wrote a little Windows-based application called yRead that works marvellously with .txt files from Project Gutenberg. The display of text through a sound device (like a speaker) without pre-recording it is not a new concept.)

The audio capabilities of a Kindle to read text aloud is a brilliant breakthrough for visually impaired people. Finally, the blind are closer to equal footing when it comes to books. No more having to wait months or years for a Braille or an audio book, then paying exhorbitant prices for them... that is assuming a Braille or audio book version comes out.

Now any Mister Magoo with a Kindle can buy an eBook for half the price of a print book and listen to it!

Do you know how liberating that is?

Now, it may seem that the Kindle is dominating the market, but I can assure you that other e-readers will soon come out with the same text-to-voice capabilities. I say it's about time that sort of technology became freely available. My little blind Second Graders from 1991 (now grown adults) are probably shrieking for joy at the thought that they have easy access to a whole lotta books that were previously denied them. They always loved their stories. (I'm looking at you, John Lipsey!)

So, is the current situation with text-to-speech on the Kindle infringing on audio rights?

I'm gonna plant myself in the "No, it's not" camp for now, mostly because I see the text-to-speech Kindle as the gateway technology that will open the whole of modern literature to the visually-impaired and others who may not, for some reason, be able to read text off a screen. (And yes, I think that would include people driving their car to work.)

Like with the introduction of all new info-storing technology, the rights associated with books (fiction and non-fiction) need to be redefined. An electronic book right should include not only the right to be displayed on a screen but also in a text-to-speech format and even on a Braille displayer. (You know, like the one you saw in the movie Sneakers?) These display formats should not be listed as separate rights. Rights have a habit of being separated and not sold. I believe that the separation of display rights would be discriminatory.

So you lovely new Kindle 2 owners, go buy a copy of The Enchanted Faerie in Kindle format and listen to it with aplomb. Just don't record the text-to-speech output. That would be the audio version of photocopying a book.

Literature should be available to all at equal cost, regardless of their handicaps. The blind and the not-fully-literate are at enough of a financial disadvantage without having the additional burden of expensive Braille and audio versions of books, not to mention the social disadvantage

Technology like the Kindle with its text-to-speech recognition levels the playing field a bit more. I wanna see that.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

eagerly awaiting

I found out this week that the author copies of The Enchanted Faerie are in the mail. I can hardly wait. But, living in Canada, it'll take a little longer for my copies to get to me....that darn border!! LOL But this is always an exciting moment for an open the box and lift out that freshly printed, shiny bright new book that has her/his name on the cover. I have several books out now, and it never gets old for me. So I hope the post offices on both sides of the border are running with unusual efficiency at the moment, so my copies get here soon!!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Blazing Trailers!

Hey look! We're on Blazing Trailers, where you can see our clever trailer video and read an excerpt from Holly Greenfield.

Check it out!

Rumour mill is buzzing that advance copies of "The Enchanted Faerie" have made it into certain hands...

Monday, 9 February 2009

Awesome Result

We made it to #2 on the Preditors and Editors poll for best anthology.

Thanks to everyone who voted for us, we really appreciate the support!

There were more than 140 titles to vote for in the anthology poll, so there were a lot of good books to choose from.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Our Book Block

This week we are featured on agent Jenny Rappaport's Book Blocks series. Check out not just our entry, but the others as well.

And don't forget, the hard copy version of "The Enchanted Faerie" will be available end of February. That's less than four weeks away!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

The Enchanted Faerie on Amazon

Amazon lists the Kindle version of The Enchanted Faerie.

I know a few people who have Kindles (such as agent Krisin Nelson and who swear by them.

Meanwhile, for those of you who are eagerly awaiting a hard copy that is safe to drop in the tub, you only have four weeks left until the release.

Meanwhile, now that I am done with the January Faire, the Seminary play, school shopping and my YouTube Symphony Orchestra audition, I can now see my way clear to post some more Love Letters.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Ahh for a new year....

The new year brings out the deep superstitions in the average person. It's a time for renewal, new vows, new ambitions and fulfilments. To some it can be an achievement as monumental as a life change (giving up smoking?)
But with it comes a lot of hope.

For others it can start off a superstitious belief that it has brought a whole series of bad luck.

But what ever 2009 represents to you, the visitor to this place of hope and ambition, I wish you the best of this coming year.

Zara Penney

Thursday, 8 January 2009

post holidays set-backs

I'm a little late getting to this, but I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that your New Year got off to an auspicious start.

My Christmas was lovely, but the day after I got home I came down with the worst cold...chest, throat, head...argh! And I'm now well into my second week of trying to shake it. It's meant a lot of time just lying in bed, and not nearly enough time focused on writing. But as of today, I think I'm winning the battle, so hopefully renewed writing energy is not far behind.

It was nice to see a review of EF. I hope many more will follow.

On a totally different topic, I couldn't help but drool over the dishy actor the most recent poll is about. I think we're really missing something here in Canada. Is this an Australian series?

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Poll: New Look Guy of Gisborne

For the first two seasons of Robin Hood, we've had a dark, brooding Guy of Gisborne clad in black leather:

Now, for season three, we get dark and brooding, but with a whole new look:

(photo source: Spikesbint)Photo source: Hedgeypig

So, this month's poll question is...

Guy of Gisborne's new look: Good, Bad or Indifferent?

Poll located over in that thar right-hand column. ------>


The Enchanted Faerie has been nominated for a Preditors and Editors award.

Go Vote.

(Note, they will ask your name and email address for verification purposes, to ensure you're a real person and you're not stuffing the ballot box.)

Pass the word along!

Also up in the awards (in different categories) is our publisher, The Wild Rose Press (vote), and our editor Cheryl Wright's website (vote) and newsletter (vote).

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Review of "The Enchanted Faerie"

Gina Marie Pettitt of Between the Lines has reviewed The Enchanted Faerie.

She says, "Each story on its own is well written and uses the theme very creatively... I love the use of other mythic races, and other paranormal aspects to the themes. In all this is a book that I think most would enjoy."

Aww, thanks. We're glad you enjoyed it.