January Round Up

I’m a few days late with my regular monthly update but I have a good excuse–I had my left hip replaced at the end of December and I’m now in the middle of a months-long recovery, going to physical therapy three days a week. It’s proving very beneficial to my regaining mobility but it cuts into my writing time.

51imExjlyUL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_Books read:  I received Stacy Schiff’s book about the Salem witch trials as a Christmas gift and wow, is it an interesting read. I’m not a fan of the Colonial period so I haven’t read much nonfiction about that time, but I’m learning a great deal about societal beliefs and the psychological factors that turned ordinary teenagers and older folks too, into “witches.” This book is not a light read–it’s very detailed and scholarly but if you are a fan of the colonial period in America, you will enjoy it immensely.

On a much lighter note, my friend and colleague Robin Lee Hatcher sent a copy of her latest novel. Keeper of the Stars is the final book in her Kings Meadow series and it’s every bit as good as the others. Readers who have enjoyed the series will be delighted to revisit some favorite characters and to meet new ones.

I usually report on great food I enjoyed but sad to say mostly it has been hospital food and frozen entrees that can be prepared while hobbling about, first on a walker and now with a cane. I’m looking forward to getting out to check on some great new foodie places here in SA.

Writing stuff: Just after I came home from the hospital the page proofs for Mrs Lee and Mrs Gray arrived. The novel will be published at the end of May and is available now for pre order and delivery in mid June. This book is a departure from my usual work. It’s a biographical novel about the 50 year friendship between Mrs. Robert E Lee and her slave, Selina Gray. It’s a remarkable story of loyalty and courage that crossed racial lines during the most turbulent period of our nation’s history. I spent months poring over letters from Mrs Lee and Mrs Gray, journals, and articles and dozens of biographies of General Lee, pulling out the tidbits about his wife. I was captivated with this beautiful and poignant true life story and I hope readers will be, too.

Now I’m working on more story ideas and looking forward to completing my recovery and getting back to work.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year and that the year ahead will be your best ever.