Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jessica Gall: Little Big Soul

I'm happy to report there are several new, BEAUTIFUL songs on my iPod from Jessica Gall's new CD, Little Big Soul. There's an overall, jazzy upbeat rhythm to many, a deep, tonal quality to all, and two I simply can't get out of my head!

Without question, my favorite song is track 4: "Beautiful Girls."

"When we were little girls,

Happy and small,

We'd always catch each other,

Long before we'd fall . . ."

This song, for me, brought up images both of my younger sister in a day gone by, and it also made me nostalgic for the very brief period when my own daughters were "little girls." I love everything about this song: the words, the music and especially Jessica's soulful voice.

For the lyricist, Robin Meloy Goldsby, who is also a talented musician and author, "Beautiful Girls" inspired an artistic tribute to her beautiful daughter, Julia. She has given me permission to share it with you here:

My other favorite is the light-hearted "Saturday Night." It's a fun, snappy anthem for working moms designed to help us get through the day, and with a reminder that there's still life ahead . . . on Saturday Night!

Very well done and I highly recommend for your listening pleasure.

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Novel Launching Soon: Irish Twins

It was President's weekend--better known as Rodeo Weekend in Tucson--when my family went on a ski trip and afforded me the uninterrupted time to finish writing my latest novel, Irish Twins. People often ask how long it takes to write a novel, and it's a difficult question to answer.

If I counted all the time spent thinking about these characters in addition to actually writing about them, the answer would be "years." The truth is, I don't know how long it took to turn the tea party in my head into the pages of a book.

But for the sake of answer, let's say it was a two-year process.

Yesterday I received a note from McKenna Publishing Group that another of its books is launching soon, and because of its possibly controversial political subject matter, they're expecting a lot of media attention. The hope is that the rest of the late-summer, early-fall releases will be able to piggyback on the publicity.

I hope so too. Even though I haven't read this book (Liberty Rising) and I suspect it has a strong partisan political flavor, which isn't my cup of tea, I do support the authors of McKenna. Many of us involved with the world of book publishing who've had the good fortune to find someone willing to turn our written words into published products with ISBN numbers and listings, know that writing the stories--no matter how long it takes us--is far easier than selling them.

Meanwhile, I will do my best to go from "writer" to "author" and publicize my new novel Irish Twins: A Story about Life and Death, Sisterhood and Forgiveness. I'll begin here by sharing the cover, sent to me by McKenna Publishing Group's fine graphic designer, Leslie Parker. Stay tuned for the release date and by all means, tell your friends.

Thank you,

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Did You Know There Was a Female Pope?

Pope JoanPope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When a book is recommended to you over and over again, it’s definitely a good idea to take the recommendation. Such was the case with the amazing Pope Joan. It’s been sitting on my nightstand for . . . years! What finally motivated me to pick it up and dive in? Very simply, it was next on my long “to-read” list.

Pope Joan relates the fascinating story of the little known female Pope, who reigned as Pope John VIII in the ninth century between Popes Leo IV and Benedict III. It was sometime around 853. The author calls this period the “darkest of the dark ages,” a time of widespread illiteracy. Record-keeping was not only incomplete, but also, her rise to the papacy was ultimately so scandalous, that the Catholic Church took great strides to expunge any account of her existence.

And her existence continues to be controversial. Some consider it myth or legend . . . but the author makes a strong argument, citing an impressive slate of historical evidence—and especially because she writes such a riveting story of Joan’s life.

Pope Joan is extremely well written. It’s full of history and color. It’s brutal, it’s romantic, it’s shocking, it’s triumphant. How Joan manages to survive each stage of her life—until her ultimate demise—will keep you turning pages.

I give this book my highest recommendation.

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