Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Coming in December 2012: The Time Contessa

How did you come by the idea?
This is the third book in my time-travel series. In the first book, The Time Baroness, my heroine Cassandra travels to Jane Austen’s England; in the second, The Time Heiress, to pre-Civil War New York City. In this third, upcoming, book, The Time Contessa, she travels to Renaissance Italy. The idea for The Time Contessa comes from the mention of another character in the earlier books, Jake,who time-traveled to Renaissance Florence some years before, but screwed something up in the time-line. So he and Cassandra now have to go back and fix it. This was a great opportunity to create a new male character that Cassandra falls for: Lauro Sampieri, a charismatic, artist and inventor.

What genre does your book fall under?

I like to call my books “romantic, time-travel,” as opposed to “time-travel romance,” because they are not traditional romances. They could also fall into the categories of sci/fi, and historical fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters if it were a movie?

I always have in mind Nicole Kidman for Cassandra. I think Javier Bardem or Robert Downey Jr.  would do nicely as Lauro, and I'm pretty sure Jake Gyllenhaal would be a great Jake (nice coincidence about the name too!).

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

"Forced to travel back in time to Renaissance Siena with her colleague Jake to solve a mystery about a famous painting that's suddenly ceased to exist, Dr. Cassandra Reilly finds herself struggling to resist the romantic spell that threatens to derail her mission to restore the future, while keeping Jake from permanently falling victim to the past."

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About six months. But before that there were a couple of months of research, which remained ongoing while I wrote. I thought I knew a lot about the Italian Renaissance, but I definitely learned things that surprised me; I think they'll surprise the reader too.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

It's hard to compare it to books in my genre, because very few deal with time-travel the way I do. But I'd have to say The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon isn't too far off, though her books are quite a bit more violent than mine. Then, as far as historical fiction: Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My life-long love of Italy, the Italian language, the country’s art, it’s culture, food, and let’s not forget its men, inspired me to want to set one of the books in my series there. I studied in Florence for a summer, long ago, and more recently had a vacation in a farmhouse in Tuscany for a week, and I thought: there’s no more beautiful or romantic place in the world than this. But also, I am passionate about the art of the Italian Renaissance: Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Donatello, Rafael…so I wanted to write a book that really focused on the art as well.

The hilarious Barbara Silkstone tapped me for
The Next Big Thing.
I’m passing the tap onto the amazing 
Cara Bertoia, travel-novelist and adventurer!

Friday, November 16, 2012

An Exciting Year, Rubbing Elbows With the Stars!

Lordy, lord, what a year. Here's a wrap up of all the stars I've met this fall, being a member of the Screen Actors Guild Nominating Committee, as well as my take on many of the films.
Ewan McGregor
By the way, Mr. Ewan McGregor is my first choice to star as the hero in the film version of my book, The Time Baroness. When you read it, picture his face as Ben.
Jake Gyllenhaal
Denzel Washington
George Clooney
Ben Affleck
Hugh Jackman
Paul Rudd

Garrett Hedlund

Irrfan Kahn

Matt Damon

Monday, November 5, 2012

The World's First e-ESL Book! Seriously!

I have a very exciting announcement to make. The amazing writing team of Jonathan Ellis and Georgina Young-Ellis, through LTB Productions, has just released the world's first book for students of English as a Second Language written specifically to be used with an electronic reader (Kindle, Ipad, smart phone, PC, Mac, etc.) It's called Making English Your Second Language and it's for sale on Amazon for only $4.99. Can you believe it? A chance for English learners to  download an ESL book directly onto their electronic device or computer! Students can practice reading and vocabulary by clicking on words and getting instant definitions, practice listening to fascinating stories with immediate audio links, review their grammar with fun lessons and exercises, and get writing practice using interesting, current topics.

Teachers can also use the book in the classroom! Just think, students won't have to purchase expensive, heavy books, and educators won't have to worry about about materials getting ruined, marked up, or lost. In a group atmosphere, the writing topics instantly become energetic conversation topics.

Making English Your Second Language brings English learning into the 21st century. If you know anyone who might benefit from this book, please pass on the link, or check it out yourself to see how it might be useful to you or an organization you know of. Remember, it's best used by intermediate to advanced English learners.