Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Twelve Clues Time

I know I've neglected this blog recently. Sorry. Too many online commitments--I post daily on my page (www.facebook.com/rhysbowenauthor) I tweet daily (@rhysbowen and I am one of the Jungle Red Writers, contributing to the popular group blog and hosting my week in turn.

I'm the host this week and we're having some great discussions (and moans) about travel, food and iPhone apps. Come over and join in at www.jungleredwriters.com

Apart from that it's a good and busy time for me. This week marks the release of the paperback of The Twelve Clues of Christmas. It's being sold at a bargain price on Amazon so will make a great stocking stuffer, with the compendium of Christmas games/recipes/traditions in the back..

And yesterday I received my advance reading copies of City of Darkness and Light and they look beautiful. I'll let you know where I'm going on my book tour as soon as I find out.

I hurried up to finish my Molly Murphy e-story called THROUGH THE WINDOW after I saw it listed as #18 on the historical mystery bestseller list. That was rather shocking to realize it was only a great cover with no content! It will be available on January 6th, and a month later there will be a compendium of the first three Royal Spyness books, provocatively titled A ROYAL THREESOME.

Now I'm about to start writing the next Molly book, plus jotting down ideas for the Molly Christmas book AND I've got plans for a really fun Georgie book featuring a royal wedding (not Georgie's yet)

So stay in touch and if you enjoy my books, tell your friends about them.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fall Schedule for Rhys

It's almost fall and I can't believe how the time has flown. I can see from this that I last posted over two. weeks ago. Shame on me! But I do have a good excuse, or rather good excuses:
They are: Had to finish my next Royal Spyness novel, called Queen of Hearts.
Had to do the copy edits on my next Molly Murphy novel called City of Darkness and Light. (Great cover, by the way. it's already up on Amazon for pre-order, coming out next March.
Had to look after ailing husband--he had cataract surgery and needs drops in his eyes every two hours (and makes a fuss every time)
Had to prepare for the Bouchercon world mystery conference in Albany this week. I am hosting the Jungle Red Writers panel which will be a game show called Famous First Lines. We'll try to stump the audience by writing fictitious first lines to famous books. Should be a lot of fun.
I'm also on a non-panel with two of my favorite people: Louise Penny and Deborah Crombie. We are repeating our very successful chat, non-scripted, non-moderated, just the three of us talking. It's always such fun and we never know what will come out next.

Then after the conference husband John flies in and we take off for Canada and Nova Scotia. I'm already drooling about fresh seafood and fall colors. What a terrific break.
On the way back to New York I stop off in Boston and have three events scheduled with my fellow Jungle Reds. I'm appearing at Robbins Library, Arlington MA on Sept 30th, Melrose Library in Melrose MA on October 1 and The New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton MA on Oct 2.
Do come and say hello if you live in the area!

And maybe when I get home I'll have a few moments to breath before I start on the next book!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Southland, Here I Come

Setting out tomorrow morning for a quick swing through Southern California and then Arizona.
I'll be speaking and signing Heirs and Graces at
Book Carnival in Orange at 3 p.m. on Thursday
at Mysterious Galaxy at Redondo Beach at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday
and Mystery Ink in Huntington Beach at 5 p.m. on Friday.

I'll be bringing English goodies and prizes if you care or dare to wear a hat!

Then on to Scottsdale on Saturday where I'll be hosting an English teaparty at 2 p.m. , complete with hats, more English goodies and prizes.

I look forward to seeing friendly faces.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Please don't Tweet my Facebook Page!

One of my friends actually wrote that message last week: Please don't tweet my Facebook page. And I realized how completely incomprehensible it would be to anyone from a past generation--heck, to anyone ten years ago.

I know that language is constantly developing but I'm sure that during the Middle Ages they didn't have to learn a new vocabulary every ten years. An ox was an ox. An ass was an ass. Beer was beer. Life was simple and didn't change. Even when I was growing up there were people in my village who had never been up to London, some 30 miles away. Their lives progressed at the same pace as their ancestors' had done.

I suppose radio and then TV changed all that. Suddenly we are aware of what the rest of the world is doing. Of what is trending.... and that is one trend of which I am not fond... the fashion of turning nouns into verbs. Neither am I fond of shrinking speech and vocabulary to minimum. Wassup? is a classic example. As is R U my BFF?

This is one of the reasons I enjoy setting my books in the past. My grandmother and great aunts had excellent vocabularies, spoke in long poetic sentences and wrote wonderfully descriptive letters. Letter writing was an art for them. Letters flowed between family members every week, taking the place of phone calls and texts. I'm sure my grandmother never used words such as "like" and "you know" or worse still "know what I mean?" We did know what she meant because she had been raised to express herself clearly.

I have to remember this when I write my books. There was more time. Personal interactions were not rushed. Conversation was an art. People were well read in books that didn't have to rush to the punch line and have explosions and dead bodies all over the place. A time of leisure and grace. Ah, how I long for it now.

So how do you feel? Do you wish we'd lived in a more leisurely age? I suppose I have to remind myself that they had no antibiotics and your child might die from an infected cut or the flu. They had no washing machines and wore the same dresses for months on end. And they traveled over bumpy roads on metal tires, and childbirth...well, we won't even go into that one.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Will E-books take over the world?

When my new book, Heirs and Graces, came out last week I was surprised to find that it topped the historical mystery bestseller list in its Audible format. More people were listening to it than reading it. This also coincided with my reading an article that claimed e-books were not growing nearly as rapidly as predicted. It seemed that the techies of the world had bought their Kindles, Nooks and Kobos but the general reading public was not following suit. Real books were not about to lie down and play dead.

So I decided to run a poll on my Facebook page. What surprised me was that 20,000 people came to visit. I have never seen numbers like that before, especially in the space of two days. And as I read the comments one thing became clear  People are passionate about their reading habits. Many people finished their post with one or more exclamation points. "Only real books!!!!"

So having read and digested 1000 comments I can tell you, with scientific accuracy :) , that real books beat out electronic versions by more than two to one. And something interesting emerged from this study: reading from a real book was a sensory experience, involving all five senses.
There was the tactile stimulation of turning pages, feeling a book in one's hand. As one commenter put it, "If it's a mystery I can prolong the suspense by holding the tip of the page in my hand and waiting in delicious anticipation before I turn it."
Another commenter said that seeing them on a shelf evoked pleasurable memories of past reading.Then there is smell of books, particularly old ones. The book was perceived as part of a  pleasurable experience. As one commenter said, "Nothing like a hard cover on an afternoon with a nice breeze."
Someone else said, "How would you press flowers in an e-book?"

Those who chose e-books liked the convenience, especially for travel, plus the fact that downloads were cheaper. Some commented they had run out of shelf space. Others that they could download out of print books. One commenter admitted she was naturally lazy and it was so easy to have a book delivered to her Kindle with one click.

In the case of audio it also seemed to be convenience and the only way to fit books into a busy lifestyle. One commenter said "If it weren't for audio I wouldn't have a chance to experience books." Audio has the added advantage that one can do something else at the same time. Audiophiles listened during long commutes, during workouts, housework or dog walking.  One of my fans told me last week that her dog walks have stretched to three hours while she listened to my new book.

Two surprising comments came out of my survey. A teacher mentioned that children tired of looking at screens all day and liked real books in their free time, (who knew?) and someone who worked in a college bookstore stated that most college students preferred real books, but that downloads of textbooks were so much cheaper and easier to carry around.

About ten percent of the respondents said that they loved all forms of reading. "E-books, audio, cornflake packets" one woman said. But it is reassuringly clear that real paper books are not going away any time soon! Bookstores--you may breathe a sigh of relief.

(You can read the original post and the comments on www.facebook.com/rhysbowenauthor)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Interview between me and my Royal Spyness characters.

Come and meet my characters in person! Last week I recorded an interview between myself and many of my Royal Spyness characters, as portrayed by my fabulous Audible reader, Katherine Kellgren.

This is in preparation for the launch of the book tomorrow. So click on the link and enjoy.

https://soundcloud.com/audible/royal-spyness-interview

And if you'd like to listen to some of the audio version of Heirs and Graces, here is a link to that.


 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

New Royal Baby Week!

Another new Georgie will be born this week. Not at Kensington Palace but at a bookstore near you.

Heirs and Graces, my 7th Royal Spyness mystery, will be coming out this Tuesday, August 6th. In hardcover, as an e-book, and in audio with Audible and the fabulous Katherine Kellgren reading it.

I'll be making appearances in the San Francisco Bay Area, in greater LA and in Scottsdale. Hope to see you at one of them. For details check out appearances on my website and on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/rhysbowenauthor)

And to whet your appetite here is an early review:

Heirs and Graces is the seventh installment in Rhys Bowen’s utterly fabulous Royal Spyness Mystery series. It’s Agatha Christie meets P.G. Wodehouse with a dash of Downton Abbey thrown in for good measure, and it’s every bit as extraordinary as its predecessors. This book grabs you with the very first sentence and then staunchly refuses to let go. The prose is graceful yet spirited. The narrative drive is strong. The mystery is clever, complex, and is destined to keep you guessing thanks to its wealth of clever clues and viable suspects. And Bowen does a spectacular job transporting readers to 1930s Britain; her descriptions of manor-house life are vivid, and her writing has a remarkable sense of time and place.
Bowen’s character work is among the best in the genre. The perfect blend of proper and impertinent, Georgie is a marvelous heroine for whom you can’t help but root. FiancĂ© and partner-in-crime Darcy is not only a great love interest, but a compelling character in his own right. Georgie’s flighty actress mother, man-eating best friend, and utterly incompetent maid provide regular doses of comic relief.  And murder victim Cedric is so callous and self-absorbed, you’ll be rooting for his death from the moment you make his acquaintance.
If you’re a fan of mysteries, love historical fiction, or just like good books, give Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen a try; I’ve yet to read a book of Bowen’s that I didn’t completely and totally adore, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what Georgie gets up to next.
Reviewed by Kat

Monday, July 29, 2013

Who would have thought that the royal baby would have sparked such strange reactions from the far flung reaches of the British Isles. The Scottish nationalists have said they will have a referendum to prove that Scots do not want him to be their king one day (they are already going to have a referendum on whether to leave Great Britain).

And this item came from the Welsh (although I suspect it's tongue in cheek... but you never know)

Now give us the baby, say Welsh

24-07-13
THE Welsh have demanded the royal baby be given to them so the initiation can begin.

To the Gower!
To the Gower!
The dark and mountainous principality, which believes it is ruled by the baby’s grandfather, has dispatched a team of tiny warrior monks to collect the child from Kensington.
The monks will take the prince to the Hall of Dragons on the tip of the Gower Peninsula. There he will be placed in the arms The Great Gryffd, who will school him in the mystic ways.
The process, known as ‘The Rite of Caradog’, will take seven years after which the child will be returned to his parents, filled with ancient wisdom and resentment.
Owain Glynwyryn, of the Council of Elders, said: “We will teach him how to fight, not with his fists but with his mind. And also with a bottle.
“We will tell him tales of heroes and victories until we have washed every drop of Englishness from his true Welsh heart.
“And if that doesn’t work we’ll just hold him upside down.”
After the monks collect the baby they will ride at full gallop for the Welsh border where the infant’s loyal subjects will line the road, holding burning torches to light the way to the Hall of Dragons.
Glynwyryn added: “Release him unto us, for it is his destiny.”
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “Absolutely not.”

Monday, July 22, 2013

Royal Baby--Great Expectations

At this moment I'm doing what the rest of the civilized world is doing--holding my breath and waiting for the arrival of the royal baby. At this point the Duchess of Cambridge has been in labor for about ten hours. Of course we don't know whether she went into hospital at the start of real labor with contractions every few minutes, or if she went in at the first twinge. In which case it could be days.

I'm a little perplexed that all the media still calls her Kate Middleton. I think that is disrespectful and just wrong. Her married name is Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. You wouldn't call other women by their single name after they married, would you?

And everybody has been speculating on the name, sex, weight etc etc. I ran a poll on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/rhysbowenauthor) and I'm going to give an ARC of my upcoming Royal Spyness book, HEIRS AND GRACES to anyone who gets the name completely right. My own prediction is Victoria Mary Diana Elizabeth, OR George Arthur Phillip.

I am inclined to think it will be a girl. And I don't go along with Alexandra, which is the name that most Brits are betting on. Nor do I think it will be Madison, Reagan, Riley or Kylie. or Carol, Kate's mum's name.

So any predictions on when it will arrive? How much it will weigh?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Heirs and Graces, sneak preview Number 3.

It's getting closer, folks. Now only three weeks away. The bookstore appearances are pretty much in place. I'll post them on my website in the next few days. But they will be all over the Bay Area and then in Southern California and Scottsdale, AZ. (Let's hope there is no haboob on that day.... I love using that word!)

So here is a third sneak preview:



            A long silence followed only punctuated by the sound of a grandfather clock, ticking away solemnly somewhere outside in a hallway.
            “Are you with us, Lady Hortense? Will you be our guide?”
            The candle flickered and I felt a cold draft pass over me. I glanced over my shoulder. The door and the curtains were still closed. I thought I detected the faintest of voices whispering “Yessss.”
            “She’s here,” Charlotte said excitedly. “I knew she’d come. Lady Hortense, we’d first like you to find John Altringham for us. You remember your great great grandson who died so bravely in the war? His son is here with us now. Do you see him? He’d like to hear his father’s voice.”
            Again we waited what seemed like an eternity. Then Irene said, “Listen. Someone is laughing.”
            We strained to hear and it sounded indeed like distant laughter, very far away.
            “It’s Ceddy, having a good laugh at our expense,” Julian whispered.
            “That’s not Ceddy’s laugh,” Adrian said.
            “That’s Johnnie,” Charlotte said. “Don’t you remember how he loved to laugh, Irene?”
            “Yes,” Irene whispered. “Johnnie loved to laugh.”
            “Is that you, John?” Charlotte said. “Can you show yourself to us? Can you say something to your son?”
            Again we waited but the laugh faded into silence. “It’s no use. He’s choosing not to speak to us,” Charlotte said. “I can feel he’s here. Maybe what he has to say to Jack is private and he doesn’t wish us to overhear.”
“We could try the Ouija board,” Virginia suggested. “Perhaps he is a voiceless spirit. They are sometimes.”
“We could,” Charlotte picked up the planchette. “Jack put your hand on this with me. And Irene. You are both Johnnie’s relatives. He’ll feel comfortable communicating with you.”
Jack gave me a questioning glance before placing his finger on the little disk..Slowly it started to move across the table. B…. U… G…. G… E… R.” We repeated the letters as the planchette went to them. “O…. F… F..”
“He said ‘bugger off’” Jack said delightedly.
“That definitely sounds like Johnnie,” Irene said. “Always was rude.”
“Anything else you’d like to say, John?” Charlotte asked. But the planchette did not move again.“:Apparently not.”:She looked around the room. “Let us move along then. The problem of Marcel. Spirits from the other side we need your help. Tell us what will happen. Tell us what we should do to stop a stranger from taking over Kingsdowne.”
            She looked at us as she pushed the Ouija board into the middle of the table. “Place one finger each on the planchette,” she said. We did as she commanded.
            “We await you, oh spirits,” she said. Slowly the planchette began to move.
            “D,” we said in unison.
            It shot across the board. “E,” we chimed.
            “A.”
            Suddenly there was a great gust of wind. The curtains billowed out. The candle was blown out and we were plunged into darkness. Irene and Virginia rose to their feet with a cry of fright. I think the Starlings screamed as well. My own heart was hammering in my chest.
“Death,” Charlotte whispered. “It was going to spell out death.”

Monday, July 8, 2013

Second sneak preview of Heirs and Graces

One month to the publication date of Heirs and Graces. So today is sneak preview 2.

And if you come on over to my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/rhysbowenauthor I'm conducting a poll on who is your favorite Royal Spyness character. You can vote for team Georgie, Team Darcy, Granddad, Belinda, Queenie, Mummy or even Team Fig (Yes, some people have already voted for her).

so enjoy this snippet and you can pre-order on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


Then the drive turned a corner and I think I actually gasped. There was the house—an enormous and elegant building of mellowed gray stone, four stories high and beautifully proportioned, surrounded by manicured lawns and formal gardens. In front of the pillared main entrance was an ornamental lake complete with swans. The house was set on a rising slope of  hillside which at this time of year was covered in a carpet of daffodils.  As we came out of the trees the sun appeared from behind the clouds and suddenly the house was perfectly reflected in the lake. My spirit soared. I was going to be staying at this attractive place for the immediate future, with duties no more onerous than teaching a young Australian which fork to use at dinner. For once I could look forward to an enjoyable time ahead.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sneak Preview of Heirs and Graces.

Heirs and Graces, The Seventh Royal Spyness mystery.
Sneak preview one.



            “Good afternoon, my lady,” the welcoming footman said, bowing. “Her Majesty is expecting you in the Chinese Chippendale room. Allow me to escort you there.”
            Oh crickey. The Chinese Chippendale room. Why couldn’t she have chosen somewhere else? Any other room in the palace would have done. But the Chinese Chippendale room was her favorite, small, intimate and decorated with far too many Chinese vases, priceless porcelain statues and her jade collection. There’s probably something you should know about me: in moments of stress I tend to get a little clumsy. I remember tripping over the footman’s outstretched foot when he bowed to usher me inside once, thus propelling me rather rapidly into the room and nearly butting HM in the stomach. I would be all too capable of turning around and knocking a priceless Ming vase flying.
            Still I put on a brave face as I was escorted up the grand staircase to the piano nobile, where the royal family actually lived and entertained. Along those never-ending richly-carpeted hallways with marble statues frowning down at me from their niches. Then a light tap on a door, the footman stepping inside and saying, “Lady Georgiana, Your Majesty.”
            I stepped past him, carefully avoiding his foot, pushing the door into an unseen table or tripping over a rug.  I stopped in surprise and thought I was seeing double. Two middle aged ladies with identical waved gray hair, upright carriage and lilac tea dresses were sitting on the brocade sofa beside the fireplace. My first thought was that I should have worn a tea dress and the cashmere cardigan was inappropriate, but then one of the ladies held out her hand to me.
            “Georgiana, my dear. How lovely to see you. Come and meet my dear friend.”

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Baby naming contest

I'll be giving away advance reading copies of Heirs and Graces to those who get the baby names correct. Come on over to my Facebook page and share your prediction.

www.facebook.com/rhysbowenauthor

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Royal Births

We have two royal births to anticipate in the next few weeks:
William and Kate's baby and Rhys's new Royal Spyness novel, Heirs and Graces. Okay, I admit the former is more important to most of the world and there is great excitement and speculation in Britain.
As with all things the British are betting furiously on it. Name, sex, weight, date of birth.... money is being placed on all of the above.
And so far public wisdom is saying  a girl, seven pounds and called Alexandra.

Okay, well I conducted a poll on my Facebook page and our choice seemed also to favor a girl but the consensus was Mary Diana Victoria Elizabeth and for a boy George Phillip with maybe a David thrown in to seal the Wales connection.

So we'll see if we are smarter than the average Brit.  What do you think?

There were also wicked speculations that since the surname is Wales at the moment it could be Killer Wales or Blue Wales (after North West anything is possible). Gray Wales doesn't sound bad, does it?

And the other royal birth?
Well, Heirs and Graces will be in a store near you or one click away on your Kindle or Nook on August 6th. I'll be posting snippets in the next weeks on this blog. This what bestselling writer Deborah Crombie says about it: "The perfect fix between seasons for Downton Abbey Addicts."

I'll be updating my website, and sending out a newsletter asap.
If you think that I haven't been blogging as much as I should, I have been busy catching up after my trip, blogging on www.jungleredwriters.com with my fellow Jungle Reds, and I update daily on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/rhysbowenauthor
Come on over and LIKE my page to get my daily updates. See you there.  Rhys

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Home at last

Sorry I' ve been out of action on this blog. I've been on a cruise and in place where there was no internet (like Egypt). If you want to check on what I've been doing for the past month, please go to my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/rhysbowenauthor) where I've posted reports and pictures.

It was an interesting trip for me as I returned to Greece for the first time in 50 years. As a teenager I spent three months going around Greece with a friend, taking local buses, staying in peoples houses. Often we were the only foreigners and were treated as objects of curiosity. In those days Greek women were certainly not allowed out alone and we would be the only females eating in a cafe full of men.
So I was apprehensive about visiting a Greece that now regards tourism as its major money producer. As we approached Mykonos, where Ruth and I spent two glorious weeks long ago, I was delighted to see no high rise hotels, no modern buildings. More souvenire shops, to be sure, but the charm remained. The same for the other islands we visited, except many more houses on Aegina and the deserted little bay where we rented a cottage is now full of up market summer homes.

I was especially worried about Athens as we'd all seen pictures of demonstrations, strikes, upheaval. But it was just as I remembered it (with better roads thanks to the Olympics) with the Parthenon sparkling on the skyline. People were just as friendly and nice as I remembered and nobody seemed too stressed about the poor economy. There were a couple of demonstrations while we were there, but we stayed away. And you can understand why they demonstrate. Salaries are simply not enough to live on.

Above all it's still incredibly beautiful, white buildings, blue sea, towering mountains and good food. What more could one ask?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Checking in

Sorry I' ve been so quiet recently. I've been preparing for two trips, spent the weekend in DC and now leave for England.

If you'd like to know my daily updates, come on over to Facebook and click LIKE on my page. It's www.facebook.com/rhysbowenauthor

More when I have time to breathe.

Rhys

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Defending Daniel

My latest Molly Murphy mystery, The Family Way, has been out for a month now and I've been gettins some flak about Daniel and the high handed way he behaves toward Molly. I agree, I wouldn't want to be married to him and be ordered around like that....

however, this is a historical novel. I'm writing about 1905, a time when women had no rights. They could not vote. Not be heard as a voice in the community. In the state of New York, where my stories take place, they could not own property, their husbands could beat them with a stick no thicker around than their thumb (hence the rule of thumb. Who knew?) AND it only took the husband plus one doctor to have them certified as insane and committed to an asylum.

The woman was at the mercy of her husband in all ways. No wonder Molly thought long and hard before agreeing to marry a man she knew she loved. He loves her too, which makes it all right. For a man of his time he is quite understanding, and when there is hitting involved it is interesting to see who does the hitting.

But one doesn't need to go too far back to see the same blueprint for marriage. Look at all those TV shows from the 1950s. I Love Lucy, father Knows Best, Leave It To Beaver. Mom wore the apron, baked the cookies and left the decisions to the dad. Lucy is terrified if she bought a new hat without Ricky's permission.

It is only when women come into the workplace that the playing field evens out. With money comes power. So don't be too hard on Daniel. In the end he really wants to protect Molly, and being a sleuth is really a silly idea for a woman, isn't it? Not that it will ever stop her...
The next book is written and being sent to the publisher this week. it's called City of Darkness and Light and it takes place in Paris. And yes, Molly is again called upon to do a spot of detecting.

This week i'm off to Malice Domestic, the convention in Bethesda, MD celebrating the traditional mystery, and again I'm nominated for an Agatha Award (making my 11th nomination). After that it's over to England for a reunion of college friends and then on to Istanbul for...for much needed R and R.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

When real life intrudes on fiction.

This week I had planned to do a final polish on my latest book, City of Darkness and Light. And then life intervenes...one horrible tragedy after another, terrorism, explosions, senseless deaths.
When things like this happen I find myself wondering about the books I write. My stories all involve small tragedies--at least one murder, lives torn apart, families devastated. And these are written for entertainment, clever clues, witty detectives, scary moments, suspense.

 We detach ourselves from the basic fact that killing another human being is the worst thing that a human can do. So I'm wondering if what I am doing is morally wrong, whether I am in any way glorifying killing and death.

I don't think this is true. I think I always write with true sympathy for those who have lost a loved one. I don't take death lightly. Some of my books, especially Evans Gate, have examined how the loss of a loved one tears a family apart. And in those of my books that are comedies, I never take the actual murder lightly.

And I know that people find our books comforting at such times because we try to make sense of the senseless. We find the murderer. We bring him or her to justice. We bring the closure that doesn't often happen in real life.  I'll get back to those final re-writes now.

Hug your loved ones today and let them know how much they mean to you.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Thoughts on the Boston marathon tragedy.

I was going to write a light, flippant piece today when I turned on the TV and saw the horrific news from Boston. My first thought was that four of my Jungle Red friends live in Boston--one of them a TV reporter who might well hae been at the scene. I was relieved to hear my friends were safe but there was still no way I could think of anything but this senseless tragedy.

So I reverted to kindergarten and to that old adage--everything I needed I learned in Kindergarten. And I'm thinking how much better the world would be if we all followed the kindergarten rules:

1.Treat everybody the way you want to be treated.  Not everybody will look like you or think like you. Accept their differences and be kind to them anyway.

2. Sharing is a good idea. We live in a wonderful, bountiful world. If nobody was too greedy, if everyone shared, there would be enough for everybody.

3.Be a helper, like all those brave souls who rushed toward the bomb blasts, not away from them.

4. Hug those you love and tell them every day how much they mean to you.

My heart goes out to the people of Boston, to marathoners everywhere and especially to those who lost a loved one today, or were injured. Bombing is the most senseless, cowardly act in all the world. There is nothing NOTHING brave or noble about killing innocent people. If you disagree with my country get into a tank and fight my army, man to man. Or better still, educate yourself and find out all that is good and great about America and try to emulate it.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ah, Spring!

I realize I've been remiss about blogging recently, but I do have good excuses...finishing the first draft of the new Molly book, tentatively called City of Darkness and Light. Oh, and a little thing called TAX. I worked on it all week and have finally faced up to the fact that I owe money, however hard I try.

So with both things now out of the way I can finally acknowledge that it's Spring and I should be leaping around, enjoying myself. My front garden looks as good as it ever will, being a steeply sloping hillside, and the jasime and pride of Madeira are blooming like crazy at the back, and the birds are all chirping happily.

And deep within me a little voice is whispering "Spring cleaning". Those who know me can attest that I do not do housework from choice, but I do like the end result when all is clean and gleaming. So I may just attack some windows.... I only say may....


I should also attack the garden, but it's such an overwhelming task that I get too discouraged. It's not as if I have neat little flower beds. I am on a hill, steep up and steep down and no soil to speak of and hundreds of deer and rabbits waiting to munch on any plant I put in. So I content myself with the view from my balcony. if you want to know what that looks like, go to my Facebook page and look at the header (www.Facebook.com/RhysBowenAuthor).

Do you have any spring rituals? Cleaning, planting, new hats, throwing out old clothes?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Thoughts.

I was at Macy's today and I saw a lot of little girls getting new Easter dresses. This struck me as a little ironic as a lot of those girls will not be going to church on Easter Sunday to show off those new dresses. I'm afraid it's become a secular feast, wth the Easter bunny and eggs being the main part of it. Of course the feast started as a pagan one, as did most Christian feasts.
It is the feast of Ishtar, Assyrian goddess of fertility. And yes, the eggs and bunnies come from her. As Christianity spread across the world Christians were quite smart about taking existing feasts and giving them new meaning. That way people didn't have to give up any of their feast days. You can still celebrate Ishtar, folks, only we'll call it Easter now and the eggs symbolize resurrection.

My mother always bought a new hat to wear to church on Easter Sunday. The hat competition was a big part of Church of England services with the biggest and best hats sitting in the front pews.

And I suspect the buying of new clothes goes back to the days when people didn't have a large wardrobe. The new dress to be worn in the summer was a BIG THING. Perhaps it was the only summer dress for that year. My great aunt told me that they had one "good" dress and one "everyday" dress for winter and summer when she was a child. She would wear white washable aprons over it , but the dress itself would seldom get washed. Yuck.

So I suppose i can understand using Easter a the kick off for the summer wardrobe but it has always struck me as not very practical and half the world still has snow on Easter Sunday, and in England it always seemed to be wet and cold. We'd sit in our silky pastels and shiver.
Tonight I'll be singing at the vigil service and wearing warm clothes.

And I just read that 78 percent of people bite off the chocolate bunny's ears first. Do you?
Happy Easter however you choose to celebrate it!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Author Who Came in From the Cold

Sorry that I haven't been blogging here as much as I used to. Frankly my Facebook page has taken over my day to day musings. Do come on over to Facebook and LIKE RhysBowenAuthor if you want to stay current.

I spent most of last week in Colorado where I realize why I live in California and Arizona. It snowed. And it snowed. And it was 24 degrees with a wind chill making it 6! Thank heavens I took my fake fur coat (that everyone thinks is real).

First I attended Twist Phelan's wedding to the adorable Jack Chapple. What a fun wedding with the holy book being The Velveteen Rabbit and Twists vows written in Doctor Seuss. Then on to Left Coast Crime convention in Colorado Springs. Fabulous mountain resort and I looked forward to some hikes... until it started to snow. And snow. And we heard about the interstates around us being closed.

So I worried a little about getting home but luckily the sun shone on Sunday morning and we made a dash for it between storms and managed to get on an earlier flight. Pfew. But the convention was great fun. I was part of a concealed weapons fashion show (wearing genuine 1930s outfit) and I moderated the celebrity Truth or Dare panel which everyone loved. My panelists were such good sports. I had them do things like be blindfolded and then identify a famous mystery author entirely by feel!

We had a terrific banquet with actor Lou Diamond Phillips who stars in Craig Johnson's Longmire series. Lou was so funny, so over-the-top energetic that everyone loved him.
And then we had the scary drive back to Denver, noticing the accidents along the way and praying we'd get out before it snowed again.

We did AND I got home to find that my Amazon Rank was #27. Not #27 in mystery but overall. Up there with James Patterson and Stephanie Meyer etc. All because of wonderful Audible! They have put my Royal Spyness series on sale until tonight and thus bumped me to the top of the tree. Jump in and get them while they are hot!