Provincetown – Women’s Week Report

This past weekend I had the most amazing opportunity to attend Women’s Week in Provincetown, MA. My publisher, Bold Strokes Books, had panels and book signings. Though I wasn’t able to attend for the entire week, I did go up late on Friday after work and stayed through Sunday. What a weekend!

This was my first time in Provincetown, and I honestly can say I cannot wait to go back. I will most definitely be attending next year if it is in my power to do so. It was great to meet the other authors and readers. One of my former students attended with her two moms, and hanging out with them was such a blast!

Day One

Driving to Ptown was a bit of a haul. I left right after school on Friday and arrived after seven. There was a little traffic, but it wasn’t bad. It was my first time driving alone for that long. It was also my first time going through a toll booth on my own! Haha, boring to many but exciting for me. Once I got to the hotel I checked in – another first for me on my own – and got my room. It was so comfortable! I had a balcony which I didn’t use, but it was nice nevertheless.

I am glad that I didn’t decide to walk on the beach that night I arrived. Harbor Hotel was literally on the ocean. I thought I could cross the rocks and end up on the beach…but that wasn’t the case as I found out the next morning! I would have been going for a swim!

That night I met Barbara Ann Wright, whom I have been stalking on the internet since we both received our contracts from BSB. It was great! She joined me for dinner and we chatted about what I had missed. It was great fun! I finally turned in for bed rather early – after cranking the heat in my frigid room – and crashed for the evening.

Day Two

Not going to lie, I slept in. My bed was so comfortable! I didn’t want to get up, but I did. I met up with Barbara and we walked into the center of Ptown to meet up with my former student and her moms who came up for the event. The walk in was a bit long, but the day was perfect and I enjoyed seeing everything. I got a mocha at Wired Puppy which is a great cafe! While there I met Toni Whitaker, who also works for BSB. After running into the kiddo and her parents we wandered around and shopped.

There’s this great, small used bookstore in Ptown. You have to enter this gate and go down a long walkway, but I loved it! There are quite a few nice books in there, and the LGBT fiction section is quite large, especially compared to the used bookstore I go to. I picked up three books that I loved as ebooks and was thrilled to find in paperback, such as Erastes’s Frost Fair, J.L. Langley’s The Broken H and an anthology I don’t have with Ally Blue in it. I’ve read them all and have them as ebooks, but I enjoyed them so much I’ve wanted them for my bookshelf for years.

The panel I participated in at Gabriel’s was excellent. Carsen Taite moderated, and with me was MJ Williamz, Barbara Ann Wright, Shelley Thrasher, Ali Vali, and Lee Lynch. It was such an honor to be with not only new writers, but accomplished authors like Lee Lynch. Carsen Taite was our moderator, and she asked great questions and was funny, which helped my anxiety!

It had very humorous moments, too. MJ read a rather racy scene from the novel, and my former student is not quite reading those scenes yet, and she turned bright red. All the authors teased her, but it was all in good fun! She has a great sense of humor.

Afterwards we had a signing at Recovering Hearts, which is a wonderful shop. I got to meet more of the authors that I hadn’t met yet, and bought books from everyone that had read on the panel before mine. My student meeting those authors was quite the experience for her, too, as she wants to be a published author as well.

I’ve only signed twice before on my own, and it was fun to work with other authors. For me it was a great experience, too, because it allowed me to see how they interact with readers.

From left to right: MJ Williamz, Ali Vali, Shelley Thrasher, Barbara Ann Wright, and me! Missing from the photo: Lee Lynch

After the signing was wandering, shopping, exploring Ptown, and then dinner.

The following day was just shopping around some more before heading home. I checked out of the hotel and wandered. Got more coffee at Wired Puppy, too!

Overall the trip was fantastic. I cannot wait to go again!

Who wouldn't want to go back to this?

Book Review: The Pyramid Waltz by Barbara Ann Wright

I hope you have some time to read, because you’re not going to want to put this one down.

About the book: To most, Princess Katya Nar Umbriel is a rogue and a layabout; she parties, she hunts and she breaks women’s hearts. But when the festival lights go down and the palace slumbers, Katya chases traitors to the crown and protects the kingdom’s greatest secret: the royal Umbriels are part Fiend. When Katya thwarts an attempt to expose the king’s monstrous side, she uncovers a plot to let the Fiends out to play.
Starbride has no interest in being a courtier. Ignoring her mother’s order to snare an influential spouse, she comes to court only to study law. But a flirtatious rake of a princess proves hard to resist, and Starbride is pulled into a world of secrets that leaves little room for honesty or love, a world neither woman may survive.

I can only say that this book was incredible. The characters were complex and well-written. The dialogue was fantastic and often humorous. Each character brought something new to the book and was very distinct. Not a single one felt forced or unreal to me. By the end of the book I was so caught up in their world that I found myself wish I lived in it.

It’s not just the main characters, Katya and Starbride, that are well-written, though. Each secondary character became larger than life and had a huge stake in the book as well. I could easily see each one having his or her own book because I wanted to know that much more about them.

Wright creates an interesting world where magic is harnessed through pyramids, and Fiends lie sleeping just below the kingdom, controlled only by the humans in charge. In this world, love knows no bounds, be it gender or ethnicity. Starbride is from Allusia, another country, and it is visible in her looks. While some of the other courtiers scorn her, she does find some friends. And, of course, the Princess.

I loved Brother Brutal. I want to know more about his chapterhouse and how he seeks enlightenment through fighting. And Pennynail is such an intriguing character! Communicating only through gestures, he does not talk, and it seems the only person who knows his true identity is Crowe. It makes me wonder just who or what Pennynail is. I also have to admit a fondness for Lord Hugo and Countess Nadia.

If you enjoy fantasy with romantic elements, this is one book you will not want to miss out on. Finding the identity of the true enemy will leave you guessing until the last page. Wright weaves together a wonderful tale full of peril, intrigue, romance, and magic.

This book will be released on September 18, 2012. You can preorder the book from Bold Strokes Books or Amazon.