Posted tagged ‘Reader Views’

My Latest Book Events and Buzz for “Spirit of the North”

July 14, 2012

Spirit of the North: a paranormal romance

My new novel Spirit of the North: a paranormal romance is receiving great reviews and publicity. Readers are telling me it is their favorite of all my books, and they love that many of the characters from my first book Iron Pioneers reappear in it. Here are some of the reviews and interviews I’ve done recently:

If you don’t have a copy of Spirit of the North yet, you can get one at my website Marquette Fiction (links are provided there to e-book versions), or you can find me this summer at:

Waterpalooza, a Lake Superior Day Celebration, Mattson Lower Harbor Park on Sun. July 15th from 11-8. I’ll be joined by U.P. authors Donna Winters of the Great Lakes Romances series and Gretchen Preston, author of the children’s Valley Cats series. (Both of them have been interviewed here on my blog in the past)

Outback Art Fair at Picnic Rocks in Marquette, Michigan on Sat. July 28th from 10-6 and Sun. July 29th from 11-4.

Negaunee Senior Center, Negaunee, MI – I’ll be giving a talk about local history on Wed. August 1st at Noon.

Art on the Lake in Curtis, Michigan at the Erickson Center on Sat., September 1st
from 10-5.

And if you feel lucky, you can also try to win a copy of Spirit of North by signing up for the July Reader Views Book Giveaway.

Thank you for reading and have a great summer filled with books!

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Award-Winning Historical Fiction Explores Famous Composer’s Inspiration

April 1, 2012

As the sponsor of the Readers Views Literary Award for Best Historical Fiction, I am delighted that “Vivaldi’s Muse” by Sarah Bruce Kelly has won for 2011. I admit I know very little about Vivaldi or opera, but I love historical fiction, and Kelly has done a fabulous job of recreating the world of early eighteenth century opera in Venice, Vienna, and other significant musical cities of the time. Rather than rely on sweeping historical scenes and lots of detail, Kelly blends her research into the story in what feels like an effortless portrayal of the life of priest-turned-composer Vivaldi and the woman who was his pupil and Muse, yet never his lover, Annina (Anna) Giro.

The relationship between these two primary characters is detailed largely through Anna’s eyes as the reader watches her grow from a child of nine who dreams of becoming a great singer, to one who becomes pupil to the great maestro, and eventually becomes his dear friend until the time of his death.

Kelly does a magnificent job of keeping the reader interested in the characters while including just enough historical detail to make the reader feel he really is walking through the streets of Venice or watching prima donnas in grand opera houses rehearse their roles. Kelly also knows how to balance the characters against one another. I was impressed that she did not try to make the novel sexy or melodramatic in depicting Vivaldi and Anna’s relationship, leaving their relationship more meaningful and believable as evidenced by history, and the book appropriate for younger readers. Kelly does, however, do an excellent job of demonstrating the backbiting and envy that existed among the singers in a world where boys would be castrated so they could sing as sopranos in Rome because the pope forbid women to perform on stage, and where female singers often had to give their bodies to powerful men in the music world, from patrons to composers, so they could attain the roles they desired.

Amid this somewhat sordid but glittering world, where music reigned supreme, Kelly offers a balanced portrait of a man who was a priest but has a physical ailment that does not allow him the strength to stand and perform Mass so instead he composes operas, and of a young woman who becomes his friend but never his lover. While others, including a cardinal, insinuate that an improper relationship exists between Antonio Vivaldi and Anna, the relationship never slips into a romantic or licentious one, and Kelly, who has thoroughly done her research, knows how to tie together pieces of the true story, filling in holes with plausible fictional moments, including why the cardinal later changes his tune.

While Anna and Vivaldi are both well-drawn, I have to admit my favorite character was Chiara, a young singer who is jealous of Anna and immediately upon meeting her is determined to put her in her place. Chiara is an excellent villainess full of spiteful language and evil schemes to make Anna’s life miserable. She is perfectly bitchy without going overboard or being unbelievable. I also thought Anna’s mother was well-depicted and added to Anna’s character development by how she abandoned her family while Anna was still young, leaving Anna with some insecurities and a perpetual longing to heal her relationship with her mother, a situation that Vivaldi’s attention helps to soothe for Anna.

I have only read one other book about the life of an opera singer, Willa Cather’s wonderful “The Song of the Lark,” and I found Kelly’s novel could easily hold a place beside it. “Vivaldi’s Muse” is an example of what good historical fiction should be. It seeks to be realistic and true to the past and characters. Kelly’s broad brush strokes bring the people and era to life without ever boring the reader with too much detail. I hope Kelly continues to introduce us to the history of great music through her books. This reader, at least, wants to explore that great music after having read this novel.

For more information about “Vivaldi’s Muse” and Sarah Bruce Kelly, visit www.BelCantoPress.com

Come to the 13th Annual U.P. Publishers and Authors Conference!

May 16, 2011

On Saturday I will be the Master of Ceremonies as President, for the 13th Annual UP Publishers and Authors Conference. It’s not too late to sign up. Here are all the details!

Upper Peninsula Publishers & Authors Association

For Immediate Release…

Contact: Tyler Tichelaar

(906) 226-1543 (Phone)

President@UPPAA.org (Email)

http://www.UPPAA.org (Website)

U.P. PUBLISHING GROUP HOLDS 13TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Publishing Industry, Writing, and Book Marketing Explored At 2011 UPPAA Conference

MARQUETTE, Mich. (April 6, 2011) – In its constant commitment to keeping regional authors and publishers up-to-date on changes in the publishing world and providing effective marketing and writing strategies, the Upper Peninsula Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) will hold its 13th Annual Conference on May 21st in Marquette at the Peter White Public Library beginning at 10:00 a.m.

  

Irene Watson - UPPAA's Keynote Speaker

          This year’s keynote speaker will be Irene Watson of Reader Views in Austin, TX. Watson is the managing editor of Reader Views, an online book review and publicity service. Watson is also the co-host of the Authors Access radio show and co-author of the book “Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers.” Watson also is author of the award-winning book “The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference.” Watson’s keynote speech will be about how authors can find and identify their audience. Watson will also present afternoon sessions on creating a marketing platform and blogging.

This year’s conference offers several additional sessions on a wide range of topics in the publishing industry. Workshop topics and speakers this year include Larry Alexander, owner of Storyteller’s Friend, who will present “Authors Online: Why You Need A Website And How To Get One,” Kristy Basolo and Carrie Usher of “Marquette Monthly” will present “How to Work with the Media for Publicity,” Cheryl Corey of McNaughton-Gunn Printers and Stacey Willey of Globe Printing will present “The Basics of Self-Publishing,” and John French, local artist and illustrator, will lead a discussion on writing and publishing children’s books.

            A business meeting and the election of a new board will also be held. And a giveaway drawing will result in several book publicity packages, books, and other items possible to be won.

            The general public may attend the meeting for a $10 registration fee, while UPPAA members can attend free of charge. As space is limited, advanced registration is recommended. Annual membership dues are $25 for individual membership and $35 for family membership (all memberships include the quarterly print newsletter, online discussion group, semiannual meetings, and discounts on dues to two national publishing organizations). A catered deli lunch is available for $8 per person with advance reservations required.

            Those interested in registering for the meeting and/or joining UPPAA can get more information online at http://www.UPPAA.org/ or by contacting membership secretary Cheryl Corey at 9001 N. Pheasant Ridge Dr., Saline, MI 48176 (734) 429-8757. Registrations online or by mail must be received no later than May 18.

            Established to support authors and publishers who live in or write about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, UPPAA is a Michigan nonprofit association with over 60 members. Over 100 member books are posted on the UPPAA website. UPPAA encourages everyone with an interest in writing and publishing books to join and participate.

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Historical Fiction Award-Winning Novel Filled with Swashbuckling, Page-Turning Fun

March 20, 2011

Quintspinner: A Pirate’s Quest

Dianne Greenlay

ISBN 9781450233972

iUniverse (2010) 

I read “Quintspinner” because I sponsored the award in the Historical Fiction category for the Reader Views Literary Awards. It was the first year I had sponsored the award, and since I had no role in the judging, I was curious to see what book would win. And I was not disappointed by the results. I was excited to hear a historical novel about pirates was the winner because I figured it would be a good read, but I had no idea what a talented writer Dianne Greenlay would be or what a great story she would spin. I was thrilled, after reading “Quintspinner” that it had won, and the award is well-deserved.

“Quintspinner” is the story of Tess Willoughby, who lives in 1717 London. Tess, while walking through the marketplace of London, meets an old crone who reveals that Tess is a “quintspinner,” someone who can control five magic rings. The crone says it’s proven by the birthmark Tess has. When the crone is soon after murdered, Tess is left with many questions about her past and the destiny that lies before her, as well as the bejeweled ring the crone has left to her.

Tess soon after finds herself on a journey to the West Indies with her adoptive parents. Worse, her adoptive father arranges for her betrothal to the man she witnessed murder the crone. But Tess also finds herself falling in love with a young sailor who was pressed into service on the ship along with his father. All these characters are in for the adventure of their lives, as is soon revealed when the ship is attacked by a pirate ship. Without going into the plot further, a great deal of action, high seas adventures, some magic, and a couple twists of fate make “Quintspinner” a novel never to be forgotten and even to be read and enjoyed again and again. Early on, Tess knows there are five spinner rings, but at the end of the novel, she only has three—a sure sign that a sequel is coming, and I can’t wait to read it.

To me, “Quintspinner” is the quintessential pirate adventure novel. It reminded me of “Treasure Island,” but it was much more fast-paced and interesting than that somewhat boring book, and it reminded me of “Pirates of the Caribbean” for its action and magic, but without the quirky and somewhat stupid characterizations of those films. Like a good adventure movie—and this book would make an excellent film—we move from scene to scene, fluctuating between two storylines that soon come together. The settings in London, on the high seas, and in the West Indies create great visual scenes as a backdrop for a tale of love, adventure, secrets, and magic. I hope the epic Disney film version is not far off.

What I most appreciated about “Quintspinner” was the powerful, effective writing. The book is Dianne Greenlay’s first published novel, but I suspect she has been working at her craft for quite some time. She knows how to write crisp, tight dialogue, effective scenes, and short chapters that keep the plot moving, keep the action going, and keep the reader interested. More than a writer, she is a true novelist for how she masterfully handles all the elements that make good fiction.

If you love a great adventure novel, put “Quintspinner” at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed. 

For more information about “Quintspinner” and Dianne Greenlay, visit www.DianneGreenlay.com

Pirate Novel Wins First Place in Tyler R. Tichelaar Award for Historical Fiction

March 17, 2011

A fast-paced pirate novel has won first place for historical fiction in the Reader Views Literary Awards. “Quintspinner: A Pirate’s Quest” by first-time author Dianne Greenlay is a new action-packed novel of magic rings and high seas adventure.

 Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and Marquette, Michigan, USA. March 12, 2011—The votes are in, and the winner for First Place in the Historical Fiction category of the 2010 Reader Views Annual Literary Awards for a new novel is Dianne Greenlay’s “Quintspinner: A Pirate’s Quest” (ISBN 9781450233972, iUniverse, 2010).

The annual Reader Views Literary Awards were established to honor writers who self-published or had their books published by a small press, university press, or independent book publisher. Reader Views, a book review and publicity service for authors, is based in Austin, Texas.

“Reader Views reviews more than 2,000 books per year from budding authors who have worked hard to achieve their dream of being published,” Reader Views Managing Editor Irene Watson said. “Our Annual Literary Awards recognize the very best of these up-and-coming authors, all talented writers we know have very promising writing careers ahead of them.”

Dianne Greenlay’s novel “Quintspinner: A Pirate’s Quest” won the Tyler R. Tichelaar Award for Historical Fiction as part of the Reader Views Annual Literary Awards. The award is sponsored by Tyler R. Tichelaar, whose novel “Narrow Lives” won First Place in the Historical Fiction category in 2009. “I wanted to sponsor this award,” said Tichelaar “to encourage writing great historical fiction, and because there are a lack of awards and attention given to historical fiction, despite the intense research and challenges historical fiction authors encounter to create believable, entertaining, and informative novels that allow readers to travel back in time. I was thrilled that ‘Quintspinner’ won this year because it has all the elements of fast-paced adventure fiction with wonderfully developed, believable characters placed against a thrilling historical background to create a true swashbuckling historical journey.”

Reader Views is currently accepting submissions for the 2011 Literary Awards. Entry information, registration forms, and further information can be found online at http://www.readerviews.com/Awards.html.

About “Quintspinner: A Pirate’s Quest” and Author Dianne Greenlay

Besides winning First Place for Historical Fiction in the Reader Views Literary Awards, “Quintspinner” was shortlisted for the 2010 Sask Book Awards for Best First Book category, made the shortlist for the Eric Hoffer Award, and has been nominated for the Montaigne Medal. “Quintspinner” tells the story of sixteen-year old Tess Willoughby in 1717 London, who is given a prophetic spinner ring by a mysterious crone who soon after meets her demise. Tess quickly finds herself crossing the Atlantic, en route to the pirate-infested waters of the West Indies. On a journey where family secrets will be revealed, young love found, and shipwreck and a murderous fiancée threaten her well-being, Tess will discover inner strength and a destiny she never dreamed could be hers.

 

Dianne Greenlay, a retired EMT, holds a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy, and runs her own physiotherapy clinic. Besides writing fiction, she is an amateur playwright and enjoys directing and acting in community theatre. Greenlay lives in the middle of the land-locked Canadian prairies and, along with her husband, has had many ocean-going adventures. She is currently writing a sequel to “Quintspinner” and plans for the series to be a trilogy.

 

“Quintspinner: A Pirate’s Quest” (ISBN 9781450233972, iUniverse, 2010) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit www.DianneGreenlay.com. Publicity contact: www.ReaderViews.com. Review copies available upon request.

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Check out the latest buzz about “My Marquette”

October 13, 2010

In the two weeks since My Marquette came out, I’ve had so many wonderful responses from people telling me it is “beautiful” and “informative.” And already bookstores are calling me for second deliveries of the book. I’m glad it’s received such a good response from people because to me Marquette is such a wonderful place that I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, and I’m glad to know that feeling resonates with others who love this city.

What is harder to believe is the response I’m getting from people outside of the area who have already read it.

I have already gotten two great reviews posted at Amazon. One is from Debbie Glade, author of  The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly. The other is from Irene Watson of Reader Views.

And today was posted my interview with Wandering Educators about writing a travel book about your hometown. You can read it at: http://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/stories/one-step-time-write-guidebook-about-your-home-town.html – beyond my tips are some great photos of Marquette.

If you live in Upper Michigan, you can also see me at my upcoming book signings this fall:

Saturday, November 6 9am-3pm CST Christmas Show, Bay College, Iron Mountain

Saturday, November 20, 1-3pm Snowbound Books, Marquette

Friday-Sunday, December 3-5, TV 6 Christmas Show, Superior Dome, Marquette

Saturday, December 11, 12-2pm, Falling Rock Cafe, Munising

Sunday, December 12, 7pm, The Joy Center, Ishpeming – reading, talk, and book signing

I have a few more in the planning, so for the latest event dates, visit the Author Events page at http://www.marquettefiction.com/events.html

Thank you everyone for your enthusiasm. I look forward to seeing many of you at my book signings and hearing your own stories about Marquette.