Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Congratulations to Barbara Silkstone!

Barbara Silkstone is the winner of the Nerd-girls book and gift certificate giveaway! Thank you to everyone who entered! Though the contestants for my Nerd-girl giveaway were few, my giveaway on Goodreads attracted more than 700! They chose the winner this morning: Deszrian from Texas. So both Barbara and Deszrian will be getting a free, signed copy of The Time Baroness, and Barbara gets the added prize of a $25 gift certificate to Ann Taylor Loft. For those who didn't win, don't despair! You can still get the print version of The Time Baroness, a romantic, time-travel adventure set in Jane Austen's England at the new, sale price on Amazon of $8.60, here: or by clicking on the picture of the book on this blog. And, as always, it's only .99 as an e-book.

Finally, since I happen to know that Barbara is also an author, let me give a special shout out to her two humorous novels, The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland Age 42 and Three-Quarters:
and Wendy and The Lost Boys:, both great fun reads from her Fractured Fairy Tales Series.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

So Many Ways To Get The Time Baroness on the Cheap!

1. Buy the ebook for .99 cents. You can't get much cheaper than that.
2. Buy the print version from Amazon now. They've just discounted by %28 to $8.60, but I don't know how long this sale will last.
3. Enter either or BOTH of my giveaways and win it for free. Your chances are much better if you enter the giveaway on this blog because only about 6 people have entered and it ends August 31st, 2011.
 - You can also enter my Goodreads giveaway by clicking on the button just above this post. 
5. Finally, you can wait until after August 31st, 2011 and get it for %25 off directly from my website. It's not quite as good as Amazon's %28, but if you miss Amazon's sale, you still have a chance for a discounted price on the print version. This discount will last only one week, until September 7th, 2011.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Retro Two Gents is Great Outdoor Fun

Krystine Summers as Launce
and Lola as Crab
By Georgina Young-Ellis

The music of Styx and some crazy 1980s fashions sent me sailing away into the past, as the sun set over the East River, Friday, August 12th, 2011. I was enjoying Curious Frog Theatre Company’s production of Two Gentlemen of Verona in Astoria Park. This quick, hour and a half version of Shakespeare’s light-hearted comedy of love letters and disguises grabs your attention from the first moment and never lets go. There is some wonderful new talent on the Curious Frog (CF) stage, and some company members that I was pleased to see there again. Many of the performers do double duty in their roles, as is director Renée Rodriguez’s way: make the most of what you’ve got and keep the cast small. One stand out is the irrepressible Krystine Summers who we enjoyed last summer as Puck in A Midsummer night’s dream, bringing her quirky physical comedy and wry interpretations to her roles as Launce and the Third Outlaw in this production. Let me just say this: if you can manage to be onstage with an adorable Chihuahua (the lovely Lola who played the part of the dog, Crab) as Ms. Summers is so much of the time, and not be upstaged, you’re doing your job as an actor. 

Angela Sharp as Julia
and Umi Shakti as Lucetta
Another returning member of the company, Bushra Laskar, plays Silvia, the irresistible love interest to Proteus and Valentine. While snooty and self-centered, parading around the grass in her "Candies," she manages to enchant the audience with her expressive eyes and ease with the language. The "gentleman" in Verona are all exceptional actors: Justin Maruri, riveting as Valentine, Emilio Aquino engaging and funny as Proteus, and Antonio/Duke played by James Ware, an exciting new presence at CF, whom, I learned, will be playing Caesar in that simultaneously running Curious Frog production. I loved seeing Robert Dyckman on the Astoria Park stage for the first time; an exceptionally versatile and energetic actor, he plays the roles of Speed, Eglamour and the Second Outlaw. Angela Sharp is a standard at CF, and though I have enjoyed her performances in the past, she tends to be a little shrill in her role as Julia as she works to project in the open air venue.

Justin Maruri as Valentine
and Krystine Summers as 3rd Outlaw
The production is non-stop action and laughs, the kind of spectacle that has children from around the park running to check out, and staying to watch (however, it's not specifically a production for kids as it contains some rather bawdy humor). The fight choreography is precise and original, something Ms. Rodriguez is particularly adept at, a hallmark of all CF's Shakespearean productions.  The color blind casting that is part of their overall mission as a theater company also makes for interesting visual dynamics. But though the '80s theme is a good gag, I wasn't sure it really added to the story in any necessary way. All in all, if you're a fan of cool, innovative Shakespeare with bare bones sets but complete attention to acting, language, physicality and spirit, you won't want to miss either of Curious Frog's productions this summer. You can catch them at these locations and dates:

Two Gentlemen of Verona: Fort Greene Park (8/22 7pm); Central Park/Cherry Hill (9/3 6pm); Inwood Hill Park (8/27 4pm); Waterside Plaza/Manhattan (8/30 7pm); Pelham Bay Park (9/4 4pm). 

Julius Caesar: Prospect Park (8/20 4pm); Fort Greene Park (8/23 7pm); Central Park/Cherry Hill (8/26 6pm); Inwood Hill Park (8/27 6pm); Battery Park/Castle Clinton (8/29 6pm; 9/1 6pm); Queensbridge Park (8/31 7pm); Pelham Bay Park (9/4 6pm); Waterside Plaza/Manhattan (9/10 4pm).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New 5 star review for The Time Baroness from "Amy" in California

I'm so glad I read this book. I enjoy time travel and historical romance and this book fulfilled my expectations of romance and a historical experience. It was engaging from beginning to end and I felt as if I really got to know not only Cassandra, but all of the players in the story. I loved the romance between Cassandra and Ben and as their relationship grew, I found I was on pins and needles trying to figure out which path she would ultimately choose as January 12th drew near. This is an excellent story and I have already recommended it to several friends! You won't be disappointed!"
Thanks to Amy, whoever you are!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Series of Bizarre Coincidences - Or How I Found My Stolen Car

My car was stolen a couple of weeks ago from my block, an odd, curvy little street in a forgotten corner of Astoria, Queens. I parked it around the bend in a spot we tend to avoid. It’s ill-lit, and sometimes shady characters lurk in the shadows. But when I came home from a girls’ night out (no drinking involved, let me be clear, except for oodles of herbal tea) it was after midnight, and there were no other parking places on the street. I reluctantly left my beautiful car there, saying to myself, “this is not good,” and checked and double checked to make sure it was locked and the alarm set.

We didn’t drive anywhere the next day, and though it occurred to me to move the car to a better spot, I didn’t. Saturday morning we gaily left the house, reusable shopping bags in hand, to go to the grocery store, walked around the corner car.  Son of a bitch.  Could it have been towed? We called the police, and they checked the system, no, it wasn’t towed. So they came and took a police report, we called good old Geico, and by Monday morning we had a rental car. All the conventional wisdom, including that of the large, African American guy at the rental car company, who I could have sworn was a famous record company executive, swore to me that we’d never see the car again. A 2008 Honda Civic, white, with leather seats, a sun roof, GPS…all the bells and whistles, was likely to be hacked up into parts and sold off. I was sad for our sweet car, the Semalu, as we called her (don’t ask, it’s a long story). Sad that I would never again hear her petulant GPS voice as she recalculated…and also sad for the things that we’d left in the car that we’d never see again: a particularly nice cloth grocery bag, a phone recharger, a large container of canned goods I’d been collecting since 9/11 in case we had to flee New York on a moment’s notice…my beach umbrella.

I asked Geico when we could collect on the policy, so sure was I that we’d never see the Semalu again, but they said we had to wait thirty days just in case. Thirty days…sure…they could dream. Then, Friday, at 3:30 in the morning, my 19 year old son bursts into our bedroom, throwing the lights on and declaring, “The car is back! And the thieves are in it!” We fly out of bed and call 911. He and his band-mates with whom he’d been returning so late at night run back down the street and observe from a safe distance. We’ve been admonished, not, under any circumstances, to get in the car if we find it but only to call the police – besides, we’d sent the keys back to Geico as requested. So as he as his friends run back and forth from the corner to our house to report, I’m on the phone with 911.

“What’s the emergency?” They asked in a bored drawl.
I explain.
“What’s the address?” They don’t sound particularly interested.
I tell them.
“What are the cross streets?”
I give them.
“Is that in Queens?”
“Yes! Please hurry! The thieves are in the car!”
“Someone will be there momentarily.” They hang up.
My son runs back, “They’re leaving the car!”
I call 911 again and update them.
“What’s the address?”
Infuriated, I give all the information again and hang up.
My son runs back. “They’re getting back in the car and driving away!”
I call 911 again and update them, becoming more and more frantic. A good 7 minutes have passed…where are the cops?
“What’s the address?”
I give them the information again, telling them how close they are to missing the chance to catch the car thieves red-handed.
“Someone will be there momentarily.”
My husband jumps in the rental car with my son and they go in pursuit, but come back to tell me they lost them.  A half an hour later, the police show up.

Now it’s Saturday. I’m disgusted with the NYPD. What a bunch of hopeless losers. I get in the rental car in the morning and drive around the neighborhood looking for the Semalu. Nothing. Later in the afternoon, my husband and I go out to do a quick errand. We could have done it a half an hour before, but I wanted to finish up some things around the house first.

So we get in the rental and proceed up the street, the Honda primary on my mind.
I’m muttering, “I am determined to find that car!”
My husband says, “We’re not going to find it.”
I say, “I know it’s still around here somewhere.”
I’m looking closely at every white car I see. There’s one coming towards us on the opposite side of the street. It’s a Honda.
“That could be it now,” Jon jokes.
I look at the license plate, “That’s it!” I scream.
My husband, thinking he’s Tom Selleck, pulls our car in front of the stolen vehicle, blocking their path. He and the driver lock eyes. Jon now has a positive ID on the guy. I whip out my phone and call 911, screaming at Jon, “Don’t confront him! Don’t confront him!” The guy pulls around us and turns left. Jon turns around and follows him while I’m shrieking at him to be careful and simultaneously informing 911 that we’re chasing our stolen vehicle down the street. They don’t get it.
“Which intersection are you at?” they ask lazily.
“31st and Crescent, now Broadway and Crescent…”
“You're at Broadway and Crescent? Is that in Queens?”
“Yes! Now we’re going west on Broadway…we’re turning right on 23rd,”
“You’re at the intersection of Broadway and 23rd?”
“We’re following them through a parking lot…we’re on 21st! They’re crossing onto the wrong side of the road! They’ve turned left onto 30th!”
911 tells me the police are on the way and I hang up. The thieves know we’re in pursuit and they’re hauling ass. They run stop signs…we can’t keep up; it’s too dangerous. The police call me back and ask where we are. I give them an intersection and get out so that I can wait for them as Jon takes a guess as to which way the Honda has gone, and goes off to look for it. The cops are with me in seconds. They scoop me up into the back seat and tear off down Vernon Blvd with me bouncing around trying to find a non-existent seat belt. As we turn into the Costco parking lot, thinking the car might be ditched there, I see a white Honda at the stoplight, but check the plates…it’s not it. I’m on the phone with Jon when the cops get a report on their radio that another squad car has found our vehicle. No perps inside. We travel the couple of minutes to the parking lot of the Astoria Housing Projects and there she is, the Semalu. One window broken, the radio gone, a few extra scratches, but other than that, none the worse for wear. We can’t touch her to see what else is gone from the interior because they have to dust her for prints, but we are relieved beyond words.

After a while, the cops, brilliant beyond belief, suggest that we can take the car home. We stare at them. “Well, we have no keys, and don’t think it’s a good idea to park it on our block with no window and no way to lock it.”
Oh yeah, duh.
So they tow it to a storage facility and there it sits until Geico gives us further instructions. We think the perps will be caught; there are cameras all over the Astoria Projects parking lot. 
Vigilante justice and a series of bizarre coincidences save the day.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Book and Prize Giveaway! $25 Ann Taylor Loft Gift Certificate Up For Grabs

I am announcing a book/gift-certificate giveaway in celebration of the August release of The Time Baroness in print. The winner will receive a signed copy of The Time Baroness, and a $25 gift certificate from Ann Taylor Loft!

To enter, follow this blog by clicking on Join This Site with Google Friends Connect; the button is on the right, below the book covers.

Anyone who followed the blog before August 1st has not yet entered the contest. (If you are already a follower, you may enter the contest by commenting on this post.)

A winner will be chosen at random on September 1st, 2011.
Each person may only enter once.
If you are the winner, I will contact you through Google Friends Connect to let you know. At that time you will have to provide me with your mailing address so I can send you the gift certificate and the book.

The contest ends as of midnight, August 31st, 2011.

Any questions, please e-mail me at

thanks and good luck!

Georgina Young-Ellis

(The Time Baroness is currently available as an e-book for .99 cents here:
The print version will be available around mid-August for $14.95 at the same Amazon location.)