Things that have happened – The Epic List Post

Wow, I’ve had blog back up syndrome.  There are too many things I’ve been meaning to blog about, but I haven’t gotten around to blogging, because I feel like I need to address the things I should have posted about before I get to current stuff.  So here is an epic list post to catch you up.  With pictures.  Because pictures are good.
A few weeks ago, there was an airshow that seemed to happen directly over our house ALL weekend.
Stella was terrified.  Argo was curious.  Not about the planes.  He didn’t notice them, even when the windows rattled and the ground shook.  Argo was curious as to why I was lying on my back with the camera in the back yard.
I made a video.
I went to an awesome book club that Steph the Bookworm organized! And had such a wonderful time chatting about STAY and other books we love!
I wrote a lot (no pictures).
STAY came out in paperback, and to celebrate, I did a reading at the Greece Barnes & Noble, and spent a lovely afternoon at the Syracuse University Bookstore Book Fair for the second time, signing books with David Klein and Joan Ford.

And got to visit with my favorite Bigfoot novelist.  After the fair, I had dinner with The Other 1/4, and no cars were lost.

I had a blast hanging out with dog lovers at a STAY signing and Bark-B-Q at A Barker’s Dozen, and got to meet Lucky, who is a super sweet adoptable Giant Schnauzer mix.  Lucky will be listed with Going to the Dogs Rescue after he gets a little extra training from Tails of Success.

Last week, I went to Edison, New Jersey to shoot a segment for The Pet Stop on New Jersey 12!  The segment aired last weekend locally, and I’ll be sure to post it here when it’s up on YouTube later this month.

And I just got back from my second trip to New Jersey for an event at River Road Books.  More on that tomorrow!

Photos from Lake Austin


Two weekends ago, I was lucky to have an event at Lake Austin Spa Resort as a part of their For the Love of Books Club.  It. Was. Bliss.

So blissful that I NAPPED!  I read somewhere once that it’s common for people to crash and sleep a lot during their first day at a spa, and even though sleep for me is an elusive, complicated thing, I did just that. I let everything go and slept like it’s easy. I don’t think I realized just how noisy my life is until everything was suddenly calm and quiet.

And it didn’t hurt that my room was the stuff dreams are made of.  Seriously, wouldn’t you kill for a bathtub like this…


…overlooking the most perfect little private garden?


I wrote by the pool.


Until a flash thunderstorm chased me to the library.  It’s an amazing spot to watch lightning over Lake Austin. And to watch the sun come out after the rain stopped.


I’m pretty sure I’m spoiled for life now.


On Saturday evening, we had a great book club chat about STAY.  We talked about the writing process, and did a writing exercise together.  It was lovely to have quality time with people who love books as much as I do.

Oh, and the majority of the veggies and herbs served in the dining room come from absolutely gorgeous organic gardens on the grounds.  It’s inspiring to see just how beautiful vegetables can be.


I spent some time at up at the spa, took yoga, somatics, and foam roller classes, and went on a boat tour of Lake Austin.  I ate five course meals every night (I’m still dreaming of the stone fruit gazpacho), and had a wonderful time chatting with staff and guests.  I’m so thankful for my time at Lake Austin, and hope to visit again!

Also, my imaginary dream home now has need for a red chandelier.  I’m completely in love.


P.S.  If you’re looking for a good excuse to get away, Claire Cook will be at Lake Austin in August for a Reinvention Workshop!

Book Trailer Fridays – Maria Dahvana Headley & Queen of Kings

Maria Dahvana Headley‘s novel, Queen of Kings, the first book in a trilogy, hit stores yesterday, and is listed as one of USA TODAY’s 10 books not to miss in May!

Here’s a description:

Once there was a queen of Egypt…a queen who became through magic something else…

The year is 30 BC. Octavian Caesar and his massed legions are poised to enter Alexandria. A messenger informs Queen Cleopatra that her beloved Mark Antony has died by his own hand. Desperate to save her kingdom and resurrect her husband, Cleopatra turns to the gods for help. Ignoring the warnings of those around her, she summons Sekhmet, goddess of death and destruction, and strikes a mortal bargain. But not even the wisest of Egypt’s scholars could have predicted what would follow…

In exchange for Antony’s soul, Sekhmet demands something in return: Cleopatra herself. Egypt’s queen is possessed, transformed into a vampiric creature of mythical proportions, an immortal shapeshifter with superhuman strength—at once ferocious and seductive. Fighting to preserve something of her humanity, Cleopatra pursues Octavian back to Rome: she desires revenge, she yearns for her children…and she craves human blood.

Clashing against witches and monsters, gods and warriors, Cleopatra journeys from the tombs of the Pharaohs to the great amphitheaters of imperial Rome to the ancient underworld—where she will meet her love once again, and where the battle between man and beast will determine the fate of the world.

Blending history, mythology and the darkest of fantasy, Queen of Kings brings the timeless story of Cleopatra to life like never before in this stunningly original and spellbinding debut.

Here’s what people are saying about Queen of Kings:

“The dark, romantic novel Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley mixes history with vampire lore, imagining Cleopatra as a vengeful, bloodthirsty queen who travels to the underworld to save her kingdom and her king.” ~Tres Sugar-Pop Sugar’s May Must Read

“You may think you know vampires, and you may think you know Cleopatra, but in Maria Headley’s inventive and sweeping historical fantasy, Queen of Kings (Dutton, May), the rulers of ancient Egypt and Rome grapple with bloodlust, magic, and betrayal in ways you’d never expect…Readers of Guy Gavriel Kay will love the rich storytelling, laden with historical detail.” ~Publisher’s Weekly 

Just when you think the subject and the character of Cleopatra have been exhausted, Headley adds a new twist to the timeworn legend by blending history, fantasy, and epic battle scenes in this intriguing genre bender, the first volume in a projected trilogy…Can Cleopatra defeat Octavian, bring Rome to its knees, and even conquer death itself? Readers will keep turning the pages to find out. ~Booklist

And here’s the trailer:

You can follow Maria, who is also the author of The Year of Yes, on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.