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Where to buy WHO KILLED 'TOM JONES'?

 

 

 Buy this book from IndieBound

Where to find DON JUAN IN HANKEY, PA:

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Tuesday
May202014

My 'Gracie' tours cyberspace for Chick Lit month!

I had so much fun working with Ashley LaMar and Closed the Cover Book Tours with Who Killed 'Tom Jones'? that I requested to work with her again to put Grace Unexpected on tour since May is Chick Lit month.

Grace Unexpected is my second novel and deserves all the love she can get. So do stop by and visit all the wonderful book bloggers who are welcoming Grace and Company onto their websites. 

Where to find my Gracie and her funny friends:

 

Enter the Rafflecopter drawing below to can win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or one of several ebooks!

Grace Unexpected by Gale Martin on Closed the Cover

Tour Schedule

May 19, 2014
Closed the Cover - Kick-off Post and Giveaway
Tome Tender - Book Review
Plain Talk Book Marketing - Guest Post and Book Promo

May 20, 2014
What is That Book About - Author Interview

May 21, 2014
M's Bookshelf - Author Interview

May 23, 2014
All R Media - Book Review

May 28, 2014
My Nook Books & More - Book Promo and Excerpt

May 29, 2014
Closed the Cover - Book Review

May 30, 2014
Broc's Bookcase - Book Review & Author Interview
What Is That Book About - Excerpt

June 2, 2014
EBook Escapes - Guest Post and Excerpt

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday
May042014

3-step summer planters--easy and pretty!

last year's pansy planterI love planting annuals in pots and baskets. Geraniums, pansies, marigolds, verbenum, petunias--you name it. If we ever go away, it is easier for our neighbors to keep our flowers watered if we just put all the pots under the deck for them. Also, they are safer from the multitude of nibbling bunnies in planters of a certain height.

A few years ago, one of my favorite garden centers in Lancaster County, Stauffers of Kissel Hill (I never met a garden center I didn't like), offered a simple 3-step formula for planting flowers in pots: thriller, filler, spiller.

In other words, make sure you have all three in your planters for maximum effect--something for show, something for fullness, something to spill out over the pot or basket.

We've had an unusually cold spring in the Northeast. Apart from pansies, I hadn't put out any bedding flowers yet. One of our neighbors, a classic overachiever, put out all her bedding flowers already and had to wrap bed sheets around them to protect from the cold and wind earlier this week.

Finally, I got a good deal of weeding done yesterday. I told myself that if I got three whole beds weeded, I'd treat myself to a trip to another local garden center close by called Farmstead Flowers and buy a few bedding flowers to revive a few of last year's sorry-old planters.

 

FILL me!

I began shopping at one place which used to be called Burkholder’s Greenhouse, a family-owned and operated business was originally started as a hobby that I'd pass by on my way to and from work. In 2005 the business was handed over to the second generation, who completely rebuilt it, and renamed "Farmstead Flowers". And it is a spectacular operation now. I can't get over the variety and quality of plants and planters and fountains. You can drop a boatload of cash at Farmstead, believe it. But I like to spread my dollars around to other family-owned garden centers, too.

Farmstead Flowers

  Now, the variety of bedding flowers at Farmstead is nearly limitless this time of year. It is sometimes overwhelming. Despite the sea of flowers one encounters there, most of those flowers are gone within three weeks, so if you are a latenik in getting your flowers out, as I sometimes am, you could pay with a limited selection or worse--be forced to buy your flowers at KMart.(Yes, I've done that and it wasn't pretty.)

 

Farmstead has so many colors of verbena to choose from that my head begins to spin sometimes just taking it all in.

On the drive over, I considered what color theme I wanted this year. I thought I would stick with reds, yellows, blues, and a hint of pink (at least this week.)

When all was said and done, I picked Calliope Dark Red Geraniums for the thriller--the showiest part of the planter:

Thrillers--Geraniums. These flowers had a deep red color and a velvety texture, like a rose

For the filler part, or the flowers to provide shape and fullness to the arrangement, I chose this flower, which was called Bidy Gonzalez 2011:

Fillers': Gonzalez bidens. This annual is typically used for pots, patio, and baskets.

For the spillers, I chose Estrealla Voodoo Star Verbena and Silver Stream Lobularia, which also have filler qualities. You can also add a trailing vine like sweet potato or something in the ivy family. Depending on the planter's height, you can almost not have too many spillers. If you choose a vinca (the pink flower pictured below), besides color they add such pretty foliage--abundant shiny deep green leaves.

Spillers" verbena and lobularia. Verbena comes in so many lovely colors and blooms forever. I am a verbena NUT!

Time to get to work. I assembled the planters in the garage since storm clouds were brewing. Just as I finished the plants, the rain showers started, so I photographed them this morning for the blog.

 

 

Though I have lots more work to do outside--weeding, pruning, trimming--just seeing pretty planters around, harbingers of a summer sure to come--I feel happier and motivated to keep working! 

What do think? Ever try the thriller, filler, spiller method to filling pots and baskets?

Sunday
Apr272014

What DOESN'T kill you?

What doesn't kill you?

Sidebar: Just so you know, the point of today's blog post isn't finishing the adage "What doesn't kill you" by adding "makes you stronger." I think I've already written about that subject. Or my characters have exemplified that in each novel I've written. Or maybe that's just my life day-to-day. Yessirree, been there, done that, got the t-shirt on that score.

Instead, I am asking the simple question "What doesn't kill you?" And apparently the answer is nothing. Everything can and will eventually kill you.

I was listening to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," on the drive home from Bryn Mawr yesterday, and they mentioned a new study that said napping can kill you. In case you think I am making this up, here's a link to the news story.

I am a power napper. Sometimes I can't get through the day without dozing off for five minutes on the train ride home. Without those little tiny naps, I might not have the energy to make dinner or even greet my husband with an ounce of vim and verve.

Those naps may have been chiefly responsible for my marriage lasting 29 years. And now I find out that I have increased my risk of premature death by one-third in taking them?

Last time I saw my family doctor, she told me sleep was more important than anything else you could do for your body including diet and exercise.

So one is supposed to sleep but not nap?

What's next? Killer broccoli?

Sure, there was a time when I lived in complete ignorance and may have consumed a vitamin water or chosen a granola parfait over a breakfast sandwich at Starbuck's or selected a bran muffin instead of a corn muffin, thinking I was making smart choices, healthier choices.

Now I know better, thanks to the Internet:

  • If you drink vitamin water, stop immediately! Too many calories. Too much sugar.
  • Think granola is good for you? Think again. The dried fruit in there are little landmines of sugar, ready to ravage your complexion and sabotage your blood sugar!
  • Don't touch another bran muffin. Too many empty calories.
  • Eat veggie chips at your own peril! They aren't any more healthful than fattening old potato chips.
  • If you are concerned about fertility, leave off the low-fat or no-fat dairy products. 
  • Don't put one more pat of butter between your lips. All-fat dairy products increase your risk of heart disease and cancer.

Wait a minute! Low-fat dairy? All-fat dairy? Take vitamins. Don't take vitamins. 

All this conflicting advice is exhausting. I think I need a nap.

Sunday
Apr132014

Online "Book Brawl" pits Twainites against Janeites

Voting concluded yesterday. Who will win? Twain or Austen?During March and April, a website offering free book recommendations called The Fussy Librarian asked subscribers to fill out brackets for “Book Brawl” — a book lover’s counterpart to March Madness.

The title game  has come down to Jane Austen vs. Mark Twain.

Both authors have generated heaven-knows-how-many derivative works and/or books written in homage, including a Mark Twain inspired novel Becky, written by my former fiction teacher in the Wilkes Creative Writing program Lenore Hart.  

Even the highly imaginative Mr. Twain could not have in his wildest dreams conceived of the vast number of Pride and Prejudice variations that would be published every year—just check out this collection on Goodreads.com for starters.

Three derivative works of Twain and Austen in my personal collectionNot readily listed in that collection is a hilarious send-up called Pride and Promiscuity: The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austen written by Arielle Eckstut and Dennis Ashton and another new novel called The Bad Miss Bennet which I recently profiled on my blog.

Tough vote—choosing between Mark Twain and Jane Austen. Many contemporary novels have a style and swagger that remind me Twain's writings. So Brave, Young, and Handsome by Leif Enger and The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt might be two of my favorites.

Jane gets my vote!Even though "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" is one of my favorite short stories, I voted for Jane Austen. And here's why. 

Sidebar: No, not just because Colin Firth was a total hottie as Mr. Darcy.

Though I have published nothing anyone would consider a derivative work, I have been profoundly influenced by the Austen works I’ve read.

For example, the romance waiting to happen in Pride and Prejudice between Elizabeth and Darcy hangs in the air like too sweet fruit aching to be devoured, rousing every romantic notion, pore, and cell in my body like five-alarm fire sirens.

Hottie, patottie!It’s the expectation of romance that I find so utterly enlivening and appealing. Since societal mores have changed, I do occasionally have couples rolling between the sheets in my books. Who Killed ‘Tom Jones’? moves along to a steamy love scene but not before I’ve raised the reader’s hairs on her arms (I hope) in expectation of an intimate encounter.

Besides simmering romance, I love Austen’s colorful characters. If there are other more laughable characters than Mr. Collins, Mrs. Bennet, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh (Pride and Prejudice) in a single novel, please feel free to recommend those titles because I would love to read them.

If you don't know Lady Catherine De Bourgh, she is an insufferable rich old snob, daughter of an earl, who has a laughably high opinion of herself. I love this exchange at Rosings, Lady Catherine's home, that is incited by Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Bennet engaged in private conversation, which annoys Lady Catherine:

I must have my share in the conversation if you are speaking of music. There are few people in England, I suppose, who have more true enjoyment of music than myself, or a better natural taste. If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient. And so would Anne, if her health had allowed her to apply. -- Lady Catherine de Bourgh

In all three of my published novels, I must confess that while writing the funniest characters in them, the most colorful of them, I was thinking about the mark that Jane Austen’s comic characters have made on her readers and aspired to do the same.

Whether authors pen strictly derivative works or not (like my colleague Jon Pinnock did with Mrs. Darcy versus the Aliens), we are all profoundly influenced by what we have read and these works will continue to inform our writing ever hereafter. I thank the firmament and all the stars twinkling in it for having read Austen. For good or for ill, I will forever be inspired by her genius.

In case you were wondering, don’t ever expect to see Mrs. Darcy Kills Tom Jones on the shelves anytime soon. At least not written by Gale Martin. Now that mashup would be going a tad too far.

And what about you, dear readers? Whom would you choose?

Monday
Mar312014

Who Killed 'Tom Jones' is goin' on tour!

So, Who Killed ''Tom Jones'? is going on a virtual tour--a blog tour--through April 15!

http://widget.symphonytools.com/widget/images/crosspost_hover.png

Stop by one of these wonderful book blogs, enter the drawing, and you could win a $25 Amazon gift card or one of 30 ebooks of Who Killed 'Tom Jones'? Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Trez cool, huh?

March 31, 2014
Closed the Cover - Tour Kick-Off

April 1, 2014
What is That Book About - Guest Post

April 2, 2014
Closed the Cover - Book Review
Book Geek Speaks - Book Excerpt

April 3, 2014
My Nook, Books & More - Book Playlist

April 4, 2014
What is That Book About - Book Excerpt

April 6, 2014
Traveling with T - Book Promo

April 8, 2014
 A Place on the Bookshelf -- Book Promo
Closed the Cover - Author Interview

April 9, 2014
Library Educated - Book Excerpt

April 11, 2014
M's Bookshelf - Guest Post

April 13, 2014
Tome Tender - Book Review and Guest Post

April 15, 2014
Nerd Alert Book Love - Book Promo
One More Chapter - Book Review

 

 

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