My Books

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Huntington Library, Pasadena, California - go on a treasure hunt!

One of my favorite places in the southern California area is the Huntington Library. "Library" is almost a misnomer, if you think of a regular public library. The Huntington Library is a vast landscape with gardens, museums, coffee shops, pavilions and more. It's almost impossible to see everything in one visit and once you are there, you will want to come back for more. The first time I visited this amazing place was with my good friend Shawn Gadberry and we focused on the valuable paintings, some of the gorgeous gardens, such as the one devoted to Shakespeare.

The Picture Gallery
Pinkie by Sir Thomas Lawrence
The Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough (the painting, of course)

One of the many gorgeous gardens
The Bard

After all this food for the soul and spirit in this exciting environment, we also needed food for the body. The Rose Cafe serves the most delicious and very extensive English Afternoon Tea.

I'm glad we saw the art and the gardens before indulging in this spread. We may not have made it afterwards!

Photos courtesy Shawn Gadberry.
More to follow!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Finding Angelo (The Wine Lover's Daughter, Book 2) - ready for pre-order!

Dear Friends and Bookworms,

For those of you who are not on my mailing list, here is an exciting announcement. By the way, getting on my mailing list and being informed about new books and important events in my writing career is easy. I promise, I won't fill up your inbox. Just click on Mailing List below and fill out the short form:

Greetings and Salutations!

It's been a while, but here I am once again, your slow but loyal wordsmith. The ebook version of my new novel, Finding Angelo, the sequel to The Italian Sister, is now ready for pre-order on Amazon for a very modest price of $1.99. The price will increase after the official launch on June 21, 2016. So reserve your copy while the  discount lasts!

Here is the link: Finding Angelo

For those of you who still like to hold a "real" book in their hands and inhale the scent of paper and ink (I do!), there will also be a printed paperback version.

Both The Italian Sister and Finding Angelo are stand-alone novels, but I recommend you read them in sequence. In case you haven't read the first part yet, the ebook version of The Italian Sister is available on Amazon for 99 cents (instead of the regular price of $3.99) for about a week. So grab it while you can. If you like the book, I would of course appreciate a brief honest review on Amazon. This does not have to be a professional literary review, just a few sentences why you liked (or disliked--I hope not!) the book. The number of reviews, particularly positive ones, draws attention to the book and makes it visible for other readers.

And now without further ado, here is the blurb of Finding Angelo:

A hidden diary and a crumpled envelope, postmarked in Italy, are the only clues Martin Segantino has to what happened to his younger brother Angelo, the black sheep of the family, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances twenty years ago. When the police find the skeleton of Angelo's close friend buried in one of the fields on the Segantino vineyards, the hunt for Angelo begins. Is he the killer or is he himself a victim? Sofia Segantino, great-niece of Angelo by marriage, embarks on her own search for the missing man. On her trip through the Piedmont region of Italy, she uncovers clues of Angelo's whereabouts, which puts her in grave danger. The local gangsters are equally interested in the elusive Angelo and are ready to do whatever it takes to find him. Will Sofia be able to outsmart them?

Part family drama, part suspense, Finding Angelo takes the reader on a thrilling journey from California via Chicago and New York to Italy.

I hope this triggers your interest!
Your devoted Scrivener,

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Curmudgeon - Wordsmith, Part 2

Hello Fellow Scriveners and Lovers of Words.

Here are a few more terms, which intrigued me, so I checked out their meaning and origin.
Curmudgeon: a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man (Merriam-Webster)

Etymology: 1570s, of unknown origin; the suggestion, based on a misreading of a garbled note from Johnson, that it is from French coeur mechant "evil heart" is not taken seriously; the first syllable may be cur "dog." Liberman says the word "must have been borrowed from Gaelic (and references muigean "disagreeable person"), with variant spelling of intensive prefix ker. Related: Curmudgeonly.

Why just an old man? I'm a woman and perfectly capable of being very curmudgeonly!

Evanescence: the process or fact of evanescing, disappearing, vanishing. (Merriam-Webster)

Etymology: comes from the Latin evanescere meaning "disappear, vanish."
"the evanescence of a rainbow detracts not a whit from its beauty" - (said who? couldn't find the source)

Obsequious: "obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree."--I don't need to worry about this one. I've never been very obedient!

Etymologylate 15th century (not depreciatory in early use): from Latin obsequiosus, from obsequium ‘compliance,’ from obsequi ‘follow, comply with.’

Any words that intrigue, puzzle, excite you?

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Serendipity - Wordsmith, Part 1

I decided to toss around some interesting words. As a writer, and particularly one who writes in her non-native language, I'm constantly trying to expand my vocabulary. I love words, most of all those whose meaning I don't know or I keep forgetting, such as:


Where does it come from and what does it mean?

Merriam Webster defines it as: "luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for."

Wikipedia: "'fortunate happenstance' or 'pleasant surprise'. 

It was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754 in reference to the Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip. 

Did you know this, my fellow scriveners or loyal readers? 

I ordered the fairy tale from the library and look forward to reading it.

And, by the way, "fortunate happenstance"--happenstance, anybody?
It means, of course, coincidence. What I didn't know: it stems from the late 19th century and is a blend of:
"happen" and "circumstance."

Enough for today. 

Are you having fun with words? What are your favorite ones? 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Day 7 of the Scenic/Landscape Challenge

Day 7 of the Scenic/Landscape Challenge. I conclude it with the stunning scenery of Peru:

El Beso, famous sculpture in Lima by Victor Delfin

Artisans in Cuzco creating native handicraft
Cathedral at the Plaza de Armas in Cuzco
Plaza de Armas in Cuzco
Desert near Arequipa with carvings from a pre-Inca tribe

Tunupa or Wiracocha, the legendary Pilgrim Preacher of Knowledge above Ollantaytambo
Sixteenth Century Convent Santa Catalina in Arequipa
And, of course, Machu Picchu

This is the end of the Scenic/Landscape challenge. I hope you enjoyed it. Leave a comment, if you wish!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Day 6 of the Scenic/Landscape challenge

Day 6 of the Scenic/Landscape challenge: Thinking of a wonderful trip through Maine I took with my friend, Diane Busch. And here are some pictures of that gorgeous landscape.

May you, too, have fair winds and following seas! More to come.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Day 4 and 5 of the Scenic/Landscape challenge!

Just to summarize: I was invited to take part in the Scenic/Landscape challenge by Darlene Foster. Here are the pictures of Day 4. (I actually mixed up Day 3 and Day 4, but it doesn't really matter).

So here we go. Day 4 or 3 of the Scenic/Landscape challenge: Germany meets California: A sculpture of Goethe and Schiller, two German literary greats, in the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco!

Day 5: More pictures from the beautiful Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The Japanese Garden is one of its many scenic spots.

And more to come!