August 15 in Greece: Dormition of the Virgin

Not many people may realize this, but today’s celebration of the Dormition of the Virgin is the third greatest celebration in Greece (and the Greek Orthodox tradition), after Easter and Christmas. Although nominally a religious holiday, it is celebrated in the...

Book Clubs: The Book Is The Excuse, Not The Point

I’ve never actually belonged to a book club in the traditional sense. Yes, I do belong to some great ones like the Rave Reviews Book Club (#RRBC), the Fantasy and Science Fiction Network (#FSFNet), and eNovel Authors At Work (#eNovAaW), but these are online book...

Happy July 4th: A Culinary Celebration

Happy 4th of July to my American readers! Throughout the States, Independence Day is celebrated with barbecues and fries. And hot dogs. Lots and lots of hot dogs; some 155 million tons of them are consumed on July 4th each year, according to Huffington Post. One...

A Fantasy Tip From History: The Infamous Gu Poison

Fans of the film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the television show Sleepy Hollow may remember a powerful poison, used as a method to manipulate lovers and cause death. Atlas Obscura has the fascinating history of this legendary toxin — and I use the word...

The Brautigan Library Of Unpublished Manuscripts

Most of my blog is dedicated to helping you publish and promote your books. But what about those poor souls who never do manage to get published? Fret Fret not, for now there’s a place where your work will be fully appreciated: the Brautigan Library, a...

So… Cock-up? The Phrase Finder

One of my favorite pastimes is to find out the origins of common sayings or phrases. So, I was thrilled when my author friend Sebastian White (of Quirky Claus fame)  alerted me to The Phrase Finder, a wonderful resource for anyone with a passion for English. In true...

Gifted: the Mysterious Edinburgh Book Sculptures

In 2011, ten exquisite sculptures made from books mysteriously appeared at libraries and cultural institutions across Edinburgh. The first and last were found here at the Scottish Poetry Library, and also a final gift at the end of 2012. The sculptures came with a...

A Fantasy Tip From History: Doo-Dooing The King

In Game Of Thrones, it is the King’s Hand who exerts some real power of the Seven Kingdoms. His symbol, appropriately enough, was a pin depicting a hand. But in yet another example of reality being stranger than fiction, it was the Groom of the Stool—named for...