The Versatile Blogger Award

Bean from Finding Your Gibbee chose me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you very much, Bean! :)

Here are the rules that go along with this award:
1. In a post on your blog, present at least 5 fellow bloggers with the Versatile Blogger Award.
2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

The blogs I chose:
Misfit Salon
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
Psychotic State
Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology

7 random facts about me:
1) I don't like mushrooms (and fish and any seafood)!
2) My favourite TBBT character is Raj.
3) Besides the usual cats, dogs, horses, I like foxes, owls, and hares.
4) I'm torn between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, can't there be a Gryffinclaw?
5) I have a tattoo.
6) I like red lipsticks.
7) I'm a big Poirot (David Suchet) fan.

Have fun discovering new blogs! :)


Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror by Chris Pristley
 Goodreads  Book Depository

"I entered eagerly enough, but to tell the truth there was little difference in temperature between the garden and my uncle's hallway, and if there was a difference I would say it was in the garden's favour, for I have never been so cold inside a building as I was inside my uncle's house."

Interview - Sheila Lamb

 Sheila Lamb, author of Once A Goddess, is an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte. Her stories have appeared in Soundzine, Referential Magazine, Santa Fe Writers Project, and elsewhere. She is currently at work on a collection of contemporary short stories, as well as the rest of the Brigid of Ireland trilogy.

1) Hi Sheila, thank you for joining us today. Could you please introduce yourself?

Hi Petra - Thanks so much for asking me to join you. I'm a writer and former history teacher from Virginia, and I've always loved historical fiction.

2) I enjoyed reading your novel Once A Goddess (my review is here). Do you remember the moment when the idea of writing this story first came to you? How was it?

Once A Goddess was part of the long trilogy process. I came to know Brigid of Ireland historically. I was interested in researching how the Irish had converted from Druidism to Christianity, in a relatively peaceful transition. Of course, St. Patrick was a huge part of that but so was Brigid, the Abbess of Kildare, and I became fascinated by her story.

3) Why Ireland and why TĂșatha dĂ© Danann?

As I researched Brigid's role (born into a druid family, later converted to Christianity) and her possible connections to Patrick, I discovered there was an earlier goddess Brigid, from the druid pantheon. I started to read up on her (Mary Condren's book The Serpent and the Goddess was key). This earlier Brigid incarnate was one of the Tuatha de Danann. I couldn't tell Brigid's story without the Danann. I decided to write about Brigid's 3 incarnations, as goddess, druid, and saint.

4) Once A Goddess is the first book in the Brigid of Ireland trilogy. Can you tell us something about the second book? Just a little teaser :) 

Book 2, tentatively titled Fiery Arrow, brings the druidess Brigid and the priest Patrick face-to-face.

5) You are also working on a collection of contemporary short-stories. What are they about?

My short stories are all different. There are a few links here - The Shape of Fire is about a young woman trying to be true to herself, while Swim brings up the issue of autism and puts one woman under her societal microscope, so to speak. Edge is my most recent flash fiction piece. I'm working on these stories as part of my MFA thesis through Queens University of Charlotte.

6) Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes. I wrote stories as a child, and read voraciously. I've journaled since I was fifteen (and also lug around a huge trunk of them each time I move!). For about ten years, I didn't write any fiction - that was grad school, teaching high school years. When I left teaching full time, I began to write again.

7) What do you enjoy besides (writing) books?

I love to travel, so hopefully I will get back to Ireland soon! If I'm not inside reading books, I'm outside going for a run or hiking in the Virginia mountains.

8) What are your favourite books?

My favorite historical authors include Morgan Llywelyn and Diana Gabaldon. I adore Sherman Alexie, Brady Udall, and Emma Donoghue. I'm also reading short stories, such as Walk the Blue Fields by Claire Keegan and Red Ant House by and Ann Cummins. World War Z by Max Brooks is also on my nightstand.

9) Anything you'd like to add?

For anyone who wants to be a writer, just start writing and don't stop.


Review: I, Coriander

I, Coriander by Sally Gardner

Goodreads  Book Depository

I, Coriander is a real fairy-tale. And by fairy-tale I don't mean Disney, but a classic fairy-tale with all its aspects. It has the simple way of telling a story, even though it touches quite complex and big things. At times it is very dark and cruel. There is the evil witch with her scary companion. There is the handsome prince who is about to marry the spoiled and unkind princess. And of course, there is the poor little girl who has to face all the troubles her fate brought her. Her mother suddenly died under weird circumstances, and shortly after her father had to leave England, because he was a Royalist and the story is set in London during the Oliver Cromwell period (bloody bastard if you ask me). While trying to cope with her problems Coriander finds out who her mother really was and with that she discovers the world of fairies and her own heritage.
I really enjoyed this story, it was simple, yet very intelligent and sophisticated. What I appreciated most was the emphasis on the importance of thinking for yourself rather than following blindly and zealously an idea and/or a self-appointed ruler. Oh, and when someone mentioned "the feeble mind of women", I suddenly felt the urge to show them that neither my mind, nor my fist is feeble!
Also, it nicely connected two parallel worlds and brought them together in a real fairy-tale style happy ending. So once again, good defeated evil. At least for some time.

The End



2012 Reading Challenges

Happy New Year!
These are the 2012 reading challenges I decided to join.

Charles Dickens Reading Challenge 2012 hosted by Newly Impassioned Soul.

2012 Graham Greene Challenge hosted by Books and Movies.
Getting your feet wet level.

2012 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge hosted by Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf.
Initiate or Maiden level.

2012 is going to be fun! ;)