Camelot Reborn

Sharon Ashwood
January 12, 2016  •  No Comments

I’ve talked about the fact that I’m starting a new Nocturne series and the first book is coming out in February (just in time for Valentine’s!). I’m sure how well I’ve explained it– it’s a contemporary-set paranormal based on Arthurian legend, complete with fae, witches, demons and plenty of magic. There is a respectful nod to medieval fantasy, but I do not stray into true historical territory.

The germ of the idea for this series came to me when I was very young and on my first journey to England. I was deeply impressed by the stone effigies of knights anlamiad ladies sleeping on their tombs. At the time, I thought them serene and beautiful and sad and wondered what would happen if I had the power to wake them up. On a much more recent trip through Exeter cathedral, that idea returned with a romantic twist and here we are.

The first book is Enchanted Warrior and its hero is Sir Gawain, the son of King Lot of Orkney and the Isles. He’s stranded in modern times and on a mission to find King Arthur. When he encounters Tamsin Greene, a medieval historian, he believes he’s found someone who can help him. Unfortunately, she’s a witch and he doesn’t trust anyone with magical powers. Mind you, Gawain has a few surprising talents of his own!

The second book is Enchanted Guardian (Lancelot), which will be out in the summer. He’s one of those figures that we think we know, but when I started digging into his legend there were a lot of surprises that I was able to take advantage of.

I’m very pleased with this series – I’ve really had a lot of fun exploring this world.


Feline Disruption Unit

Sharon Ashwood
December 27, 2015  •  No Comments

Feline disruption unit

Those who know computers and cats will know whereof I speak. I’m on deadline for Enchanted Guardian, and I have a stiff daily page count to make.  However, the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness can’t go half an hour without an adoration break. He considers this his contribution to the writing process: ensuring that I take those important moments to bend and stretch (as when tossing a nerf ball, filling a food dish, or removing him from some small instance of destruction). Without his input, I’d become overly focussed on unimportant work goals. Also, the type of progress I’m seeking is a mundane, unenlightened human measurement. Frequency of cuddle sessions are a far better performance measure.

Everything is teamwork when you have a cat. Important safety tip:  the cat is the team leader.

Review: Vienna Nocturne by Vivien Shotwell

Emma Jane Holloway
  •  No Comments

One of the pleasures of Christmas holidays is a little bit more time to read. Book time is also one of the benefits of having a rotten cold since nobody wants to talk to me right now. So, I bring to you a taste of what I’ve been dipping into. This bon-bon fell into my TBR pile a month or so ago. I love historical fiction, I love books about musicians, and I love Mozart so this was a triple win.

goldlineVienna Nocturne

Vivien Shotwell’s Vienna Nocturne is the story of Anna Storace, a soprano whose career takes her across Europe and into the sphere of Mozart as well as other musical luminaries of the period. The book seemed to be positioned as something of a romance, but it wasn’t—at least not in the conventional way. Anna has a deeply felt affair with Mozart, but her art is just as much her true love.


Readers who know classical music will lap up the references to the theatres and composers of the period, singing techniques, and the highs and lows of an artist’s life. It’s no surprise to me that the author is also a singer. (see her website). Those less familiar will encounter some unfamiliar terminology and allusions connected with music practice and the history of the period. However, most of it should be understandable from the context.


The book is constructed out of many vignettes that give it almost an epistolary nature, which absolutely suits the eighteenth-century period. There is some gorgeous writing that had me stopping to savor a line here and there. The storyline is straightforward biography but it reads more like a literary than a genre novel, with less detail and a distilled quality of emotion. The form works wonderfully well, never drawing attention to itself and leaving Anna’s discovery of her personal strength a powerful narrative.


I recommend this for music and history lovers, and those who would like to be.

Merry Christmas!

Sharon Ashwood
December 24, 2015  •  No Comments


Work-work balance

Emma Jane Holloway
November 27, 2015  •  No Comments

The last while I’ve been pulled into a day-job project that has monopolized a lot of my time. It finally came to fruition this week and now I’m on the other side blinking like some small, furry creature plucked from its burrow and into the daylight.  As well as relief and some satisfaction, I’m feeling the OMG of everything I let slide until “after.”


Work projects are an opportunity to show what you’re capable of doing, and for that I’m grateful. I’m also humbled by the number of willing hands who pitched in to make it happen. I work with kind and brilliant people. And, in the end, we had a days-long training event with speakers and food and hotel and travel and hospitality suite and recognition–all with very little budget to speak of. Folks came from many cities to take part and seemed to actually enjoy the experience, if rumors of cartwheels in the lobby are to be believed. It’s all good. No doubt I’ll eventually forget the hours of nail-biting and remember only the fun stuff, which is how it should be.


And now I can get back to writing!  It’s my muse doing the cartwheels today.owlcartwheel

Halloween ghost pumpkin

Sharon Ashwood
October 31, 2015  •  No Comments

When I saw this pumpkin I thought it must be a gourdly ghost – is there anything more appropriate for Halloween? I gave it center stage in this shot!2015-10-17 13.50.27

Pumpkin of the day – Friday

Sharon Ashwood
October 30, 2015  •  No Comments

I saw this bunch in a pumpkin field. This is all pumpkins, all the time. Jack-o-lanterns, ho!

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Pumpkin of the day – Thursday

Sharon Ashwood
October 29, 2015  •  No Comments

Some of these pumpkins are getting their Halloween on. Check out the extra-warty fellow in the middle. To be honest, those ones kind of creep me out.2015-10-17 13.49.49

Pumpkin of the day – Wednesday

Sharon Ashwood
October 28, 2015  •  No Comments

Gorgeous gourds from a local market. I had to lean into the bin to get this shot. This definitely gets me in the autumn mood.

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A week of pumpkins – Tuesday

Sharon Ashwood
October 27, 2015  •  No Comments

Here’s some more pumpkin love for the Halloween countdown! I thought this shot looked like a family portrait with the crazy kids in the middle. 2015-10-17 13.48.58

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