Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Niall Marker

When I was doing research for "the novel formerly known as" Death in the Fens, I happened upon something called The Niall Marker. Geneticists have isolated a gender specific trait that they have traced back to a 5th century High King of Ireland, Niall of the Nine Hostages.

Being the history geek and lover of trivia that I am, I decided I MUST incorporate this fascinating bit of obscure information into my novel. Only it turns out The Niall Marker might not be that obscure after all...

A couple of weeks ago, I watched a fascinating program on PBS about how African Americans are tracing their roots by studying their DNA. Scientists have perfected a technique that can tell anyone what percent of their DNA is from Africa, what percent is Native American, and what percent is from Northern Europe. The narrator of the program, a professor at Harvard, was quite surprised to learn that over 30% of his DNA came from Northern Europe. But that's not all!

Turns out that he had Irish ancestors. How did the experts know? (drum roll, please) Because he had The Niall Marker. I couldn't believe it! There was my fascinating little piece of trivia that I'd put into my book on national television!

Truth IS stranger than fiction!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My New Slogan

Any Time, Any Place, Aunty Cindy.

That pretty much says it all!

If you'd like to generate your own personal slogan, just click on the title of this blog post for a fun site that will let you do it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Waiting Game

I'm blogging today over on Romance Bandits about the Hurry-Up-And-Wait torture that is the publishing business. (Just click on the title of this blog to hop over there and read my whine... er, um, rant... er, um, POST!)

Yes, I'm sorry to admit that with 5 months down and at least 7 or 8 more months to go before my book (the manuscript formerly known as Death In The Fens) hits the shelves, the waiting is getting on my last nerve!

I know, I know -- Patience is a virtue. However, it has never been one of mine!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Phyllis A. Whitney 1903--2008

I was greatly saddened to learn of the death of Phyllis Whitney on Feb. 8th at age 104. She and Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart were the first romance writers I ever read. That's because my mother read their "gothic" romances, and as a bored teen with nothing else to read, I would "borrow" from mom. I was soon hooked on those stories with "exotic" settings, and still love them today.

Matter of fact, I read Phyllis Whitney's last novel Amethyst Dreams a few years ago. Wonderful story, and she was 93 WHEN IT WAS PUBLISHED!

I always said I wanted to be Phyllis A. Whitney when I "grew up." Like her, I like to set my stories in places I've visited (like Italy and Ireland). And like her, I want to still be writing when I'm in my nineties! (Hey, dream big.)

Mostly I hope I'm able to bring some small amount of pleasure to my readers and that they will continue to read my books for as long as I am able to keep writing them. It can be done, because Phyllis Whitney did it, and she did it with aplomb!

God Speed, Phyllis A. Whitney! Thank you for being a true inspiration and leading by your own marvelous example.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

5 Books

It's been awhile since I've done a Meme, (ever notice how those things seem to run in cycles?) so I thought I'd share The Last 5 Books I Read:
  1. Untouched -- the latest lush and sensual Regency Noir from my Bandit buddy Anna Campbell
  2. Does She Dare -- a sassy sexy romp by my Bandit buddy Tawny Weber (do I sense a trend here?)
  3. Silent in the Grave -- an atmospheric Victorian murder mystery crammed with luscious detail by Deanna Raybourn (a debut author).
  4. The Serpent Prince -- the third in a trilogy of loosely related romances set in Georgian England by my 06 Packer Pal Elizabeth Hoyt. This heroine and I almost share the same moniker!
  5. Frommer's Guide to Western Europe -- Okay, so I only read the parts about London and Paris... er, um actually the DH RIPPED those parts out and packed them in his carry-on bag. I did mention that we travel light, didn't I?
Geez, that's an awful lot of historical romance for someone who writes contemporary! And next on my reading list is yet another historical: Bandita buddy Christie Kelley's Every Night I'm Yours which hit bookstores TODAY!