I hope all of my American friends are enjoying the 4th of July surrounded by the love of family and friends. And I just have to give a shout out to all the soldiers who are in foreign lands away from those who love them so I can enjoy the freedom of celebrating. May God hold each and every one of you in his care until you’re returned safely to the arms of your family.
With that said, I thought I’d share a few Independence Day factoids with you! Have a good one everyone!
1. Independence Day commemorates the formal adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. However, it was not declared a legal holiday until 1941.
2. Fireworks were made in China as early as the 11th century. The Chinese used their pyrotechnic mixtures for war rockets and explosives.
3. $128,800,000 will be spent importing fireworks from China, representing the bulk of all US imports. By comparison, US exports only 13,500, 000 in fireworks with the bulk going to Germany. (2002)
4. Uncle Sam was first popularized during the War of 1812, when the term appeared on supply containers. Believe it or not, the U. S. Congress didn’t adopt him as a national symbol until 1961.
5. There are many precise rules for taking care of the American flag. And speaking of flag traditions, we’re sorry to report that contrary to legend, historical research has failed to confirm that Betsy Ross sewed the first flag.
6. 125,000 US flags flew over the Capital last year at the request of House and Senate members. On July 4 alone, 1,200 were flown at our nation’s capitol. (From the U.S. Capitol Flag Room.)
7. $272,000,000 were spent on shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation’s manufacturers. (1997)
8. Not all members of the Continental Congress supported a formal Declaration of Independence, but those who did were passionate about it. One representative rode 80 miles by horseback to reach Philadelphia and break a tie in support of independence.
9. The first two versions of the Liberty Bell were defective and had to be melted down and recast. The third version rang every Fourth of July from 1778 to 1835, when, according to tradition, it cracked as it was being tolled for the death of Chief Justice John Marshall.
10. The National anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner is set to the tune of an English drinking song (“To Anacreon in Heaven”).
11. The iron framework of the Statue of Liberty was devised by French engineer Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, who also built the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
12. More than 66,000,000 Americans said they participated in a barbeque. It’s probably safe to assume a large number of these events took place on the Fourth.
13. Father of the country and architect of independence George Washington held his first public office at the tender age of 17. He continued in public service until his death in 1799.
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY TO ALL MY BLOG READERS!
First off, I’d like to thank everyone who hung out with me on my recent blog tour. I had a blast visiting other blogs and hearing from so many of you. So, earlier this week I threw every commenter’s name in a hat (okay, there were so many I had to use a box, but you get the idea). I shook them up, held the box over Baby Girl’s head and she pulled out a name. Congratulations to …
Fedora won a box of goodies from my prize closet, including a 2011 Ellora’s Cavemen calendar and copy of Healer’s Garden.
Tracey won a digital copy of Bonded Souls.
I also had 3 wonderful reviews this week for “Maid for Master”.
DARK DIVAS gave it 4.5 DELIGHTFUL DIVAS and Lily said …
Maid for Master is a wonderful read that doesn’t candy coat the road that Claire and Jonathon have to take in the BDSM world in order to become a couple. Ms. Peirce does a fantastic job of making each of the characters seem human and with that they each have their own set of faults and issues to work through. While at times I wanted to strangle both of them, this was a delightful read that I truly enjoyed and will read again in the future!
MANIC READERS gave it 4.5 STARS and Patrizia said …
The story is warmly and gently told and we realize from almost the beginning how much Jon cares for Claire and the lengths he will go to make her happy…Maid for Master is a kinder, gentler type of D/s and it showed much more love and caring than many I have read. I liked it.
NIGHT OWL REVIEWS gave it 4.25 STARS and Elf said …
Maid For Master is a novella that follows the journey of a woman who finds that she is ready to explore her darker submissive sexual nature and discovers that the Master who is willing to train her has only been waiting for her awakening…A nicely steamy tale…
I’m snoopy dancing all over the house. Since I left excerpts all over the internet last week I won’t post another one. But how about another look at the book trailer?
It is so hard to believe we’re shutting down 2010. I have to admit (like most people) time seems to speed up as I age. Years fly by before I even seem to get my feet on the ground. But this year I started taking a minute or two each night and looking back over the day and enjoying the high moments. That way when another month rolls around and I wonder where it went I can assure myself I enjoyed every day of it. So I can tell you 2010 was a great year!
I do need to take a little bit of time and think about what I’d like to accomplish in 2011. But before I do that, I’d like to take some time and thank all of my readers and the authors who have supported and encouraged me this year.
Without readers, there is no reason to pull my muse off the beach and get her to work. No reward for banging my head on the keyboard when my characters aren’t behaving themselves. There just wouldn’t be any fun bleeding words onto the page if I didn’t know at the end of it there were people looking forward to another Nina Pierce story. Thank you.
The internet is such a wonderful tool. It has allowed me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful authors who have become friends. There are too many to list, but I hope you know who you are. When the words won’t come or the plot doesn’t quite work, there is nothing like another author to help through those tough times.
I’m taking the week off from blogging between Christmas and New Year’s. I’ll be spending the time with Mr. Nina at his apartment in Rhode Island.. (If you missed it, we’re in the middle of transitioning from Maine to RI.) And I’m just going to enjoy being with my man. I hope you also have a wonderful holiday shared with family and friends.
I’m planning on all kinds of things for 2011, more interviews and contests and just me rambling about this crazy journey. I hope you’ll continue to stop by and share it with me!
My first ever blog POSTS appeared the last week of November 2007. I remember frantically setting up a website (which has undergone two major renovations) and beginning to blog on my now inactive MySpace page as I try to establish my corner of the Internet as a new author. It was such a crazy time. My first book (then titled) “The Healer’s Garden” was scheduled for release at the end of December that year. Funny how that book has been re-released through ELLORA’S CAVE as “Healer’s Garden” and has also become my first book in print. Lots of firsts with that one. 🙂
Looking back it is amazing to me the things that I’ve learned in such a short time. The learning curve for an Environmental Educator thrown into the publishing world has been steep, but I really wouldn’t trade it. I love learning and being challenged by new things. But never would I have imagined this journey. I’m so happy to have it documented because even I couldn’t imagine the highs and lows of a writing career.
Hmmm, let me see some of the things I’ve learned and even taken time to blog about …
1. That being successful at a writing career means more than just writing … you gotta learn to market yourself as well
2. That the internet is full of people who want to help and eventually become really good friends
3. That sometimes RWA can piss you off, but by and large it’s a great organization
4. That being a contest slut can certainly get you some great and sound advice
5. That EDIT isn’t one of THOSE four letter words
6. That writing is rewarding … but it’s also really HARD
7. That sometimes in this business you have to have a REALLY thick skin
8. Even though you have plenty of excuses no one ever bought a story that was still in your head.
9. That editors don’t all do their jobs the same, but they sure are important to putting out a great book!
10. That writing conference are far from boring.
11. That sometimes writers aren’t who we may think they are
12. That despite advice from others sometimes you have to go with your gut
13. That everyone loves a little eye candy now and again!
14. That EVERYTHING changes even publishing
15. That cover day is just as exciting as getting the contract.
I’m sure there is so much more, but those are the bigger things.
Well, I just feel in the mood for something fun in celebration of my anniversary. I’d like to give something away to my readers and writer friends. I’ll pull together a fun little box of goodies from my promo closet (including a print copy of “Healer’s Garden“) and choose one person at random from those who comments on this post between now and noon DECEMBER 6, EST. And just because I’m feeling really generous I’ll also give away an ebook of “Hearts of Fire-May” which includes my vampire novella “Shadows of Fire“.
Just tell me something you’ve learned as a reader or a writer since you started following writers on the internet or began writing. Something that surprised you or made you pause or you thought … yeah, well, dur … what did you think? I’d love to hear from you.
I am soooo thrilled. HEALER’S GARDEN is a finalist in the 2011 Eppies in the PARANORMAL EROTIC ROMANCE category. There are so many wonderful authors who have finalled. This is so exciting.
Here’s the blurb from Healer’s Garden
In the female dominated society of the 23rd century, mating with a male, even if it is to save the human race, is a distasteful task and one Healer Jahara Hriznek has successfully avoided—until now.
Brenimyn is a gifted breeding instructor at the Garden of Serenity. Forced to copulate with all females requesting his services, he yearns to find the one woman who responds to his touch. When Jahara arrives with the new class of breeders, Brenimyn’s body immediately aches for her, but convincing the stubborn healer that sex between a man and a woman is more than just an act for procreation proves to be a challenge he refuses to fail.
Jahara doesn’t want to enjoy the sinful rapture only Brenimyn brings to her body. Brenimyn has no intention of dousing the flames of desire licking at them until Jahara is completely his—body, mind, and heart. But when the government finds their loving relationship a threat to the natural order, there may be more than their stubborn wills at stake.
And a Brand New Excerpt:
Slumping against the seat of the open-air vehicle transporting her back to her residence, Jahara inhaled the aroma of the flowers filling the spaces between the buildings. Her day had begun so badly and though she hadn’t thought it possible after the incidents at Gabriella’s office, it had actually slipped downhill from there.
Gabriella abandoned her shortly into their tour of the facility to perform emergency surgery on a woman who was losing her fetus a mere ten weeks into her pregnancy. Jahara had been turned over to Mykilai Solodon, an apprentice healer. The woman had nothing but praise for Gabriella Bresilee, who apparently, in this woman’s eyes, could do everything but walk on water.
Everywhere the apprentice healer had taken her had been filled with women who knew of Jahara. She wanted to believe it had more to do with her Dame being the administrator of the territory than her own healing talents. Whatever the cause, the accolades had been so overwhelming she’d ditched her tour guide and found a quiet spot in a secluded courtyard to simply meditate in peace. But even that respite had been short-lived.
Gabriella had found Jahara and taken her to the quick care clinic, another section of the hospital where no males were allowed. Jahara spent her day healing women with broken bones and repairing torn skin from accidents that happened, for the most part, out in the agricultural section of the Garden. Not only were the tasks time-consuming, they required a great deal of her healing energy. Normally, no one was asked to work several hours in a clinic like that alone.
As her light had poured forth, so had the venerations until the whole clinic seemed to have filled with Garden employees who wanted nothing more than to see Jahara work. She had never experienced anything so draining in all her life.
Now all Jahara wanted was to return to her temporary home, shower off the feeling of all those people, call Merenith and tumble into a deep slumber. Unfortunately, that wasn’t all that would be expected of her. There was still the issue of her breeding guide and her first copulation. None of the day’s chaos had erased that thought.
Jahara slogged up the walkway to her living abode. Her hand missed the pad several times before she connected and saw the light of the fingerprint scanner illuminate her palm. The tumblers clicked, the door slid open and the spicy scent of cooking food assaulted her nose.
Someone had been in her house—again.
As she peered into the oven, she wondered why they bothered with any type of security measures. No one had mentioned the cooking service, but then again, it seemed there were many secrets the Garden kept to itself. Jahara sighed. At least she didn’t have to fuss with preparing an evening meal before her unwanted guests arrived. She pulled the tunic over her head, turning blindly toward her bedroom and the warmth of a water shower. It was an unlimited commodity here at the Garden.
“I hope you don’t mind that we cooked the evening meal.”
Screaming, Jahara covered her body with the clothing she’d just removed.
The petite woman standing in the living room doorway did not hide her amusement. “My apologies, most honorable Jahara,” she said. Her disproportionately large breasts bounced in the deep V of her dress as she bowed. “I am Ishawny, your breeding guide. They told us you were expecting us.”
“I was…I mean, I am.” The realization of what was to come slammed into Jahara, forcing the air from her lungs. She needed some time to prepare. “I’d like to freshen up if I could?”
“If it would please you, we could join you in a bath?” Ishawny stepped forward, the caramel ringlets of her hair shimmering in the soft light.
Why did the woman keep referring to herself in the plural?
“No, thank you. I’m quite hungry.” Actually, she’d lost her appetite.
Disappointment deflated the breeding guide. “As you wish. We will serve you the evening supper then complete the ritual if that would please you.” Ishawny bowed again. “Before you freshen up, I’d like to introduce my breeding partner this evening.” She stepped to the side and invited an unseen man into view. “My usual breeding partner has taken ill, but a most skilled breeder has agreed to take his place.”
Jahara gulped for air as a man stepped next to Ishawny. If it were possible, Brenimyn looked more gallant than the day before.
Buy in PRINT
Buy KINDLE version
Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m an emotional sap. I cry at Hallmark commercials and animal adoption infomertials. But what’s happening in Chile is a modern miracle I couldn’t ignore. (And of course, the box of tissues is right next to me as I watch live video from Chile.) And I just had to celebrate with the rest of the world.
More than two months ago when a copper mine collapsed in Chile, the world held it’s breath. Discovering that 33 men had actually made it to an underground shelter nearly 2,000 feet underground, the Chilean government predicted it would take until Christmas for them to reach the miners and even longer to rescue them. But 2 weeks later, a small hole drilled through the rock brought video images, medicine and additional supplies to the trapped miners. In relatively good health and spirit, they had managed to ration two days worth of food in the shelter. Each man received two spoons of tuna, a bite of peaches and sips of milk on a rotating basis. They had even managed to excercise in a portion of the mine outside the shelter. I am amazed and awed at their discipline and ability to remain calm under such terrible conditions.
The plight of these miners and their families rang out throughout the world and helped poured in. But it was a driller from Denver, Colorado, Jeff Hart, who left Afghanistan and immediately stepped up to operate the drill that finally broke through to the trapped miners earlier this week.
NASA stepped up to work with the Chilean government in keeping the miners spirits up under such dire circumstances. The miners were also put on a special “NASA diet” in preparation for their extraction.
I have never been so proud to be an American. No, the United States wasn’t the only country there helping in the rescue, but it did play a major role in the efforts to safely extract the 33 miners. Men, who for 66 days, have managed to survive the sweltering heat (90F) and cramped conditions. Now, they must squeeze themselves into a small capsule and take a 15 minute solitary journey to the surface to reunite with their families. Families who have only been able to communicate with the miners through letters.
I am in awe … speechless and tearful every time a man steps from the capsule. It’s times like this when I realize that sometimes politics and religion and economic bias can be put aside for the good of humankind.
I’ve lived in northern Maine just over 20 years now. We’ve bought homes and raised our babies. But I will never truly be from here. That honor belongs to those whose grandparents and great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins can say they owned and worked the land or built businesses that they passed on to their children.
This is beautiful country. I have to give you that. Well, for the few months we’re without snow that is. Winters here are long and harsh. But I digress.
This past weekend was the annual Potato Blossom Festival. It really is amazing. Friday night they block off the main street and local service organizations and churches offer all kinds of food stuffs to raise money for their annual scholarships. They set up a stage for entertainment and one of the people performing was a good friend’s son who has moved away and is now making money as a musician downstate. My heart clogged as he sang beautiful songs of coming home. Swelled even more when his hard-working father, a potato farmer, who hasn’t really understood the artistic side of his son, stood with the rest of us totally mesmerized by this young man. I just kept thinking that those are the moments life is made of.
On Saturday I got to ride with Mr. Nina in a half-ton pickup pulling a float full of pageant queens. Yep northern Maine takes their pageants very seriously. Over the years a couple of the potato blossom queens have actually gone on to be “Miss Maine”. I really can’t express the emotions rolling over me as we rode the parade route waving at all the families lining the street 3 and 4 deep to watch the parade. It was so cute when the little ones blew kisses at the girls or waved calling to the “pretty princesses”. But I’m not making a statement about pageants or queens.
I’m talking about the hometown pride of the people standing there watching the parade. Obviously, not everyone was from the host town. But everyone was celebrating small town America pride. From the fireman on a float behind us singing patriotic songs to the politicians walking the parade route, shaking hands and looking for votes, everyone was just hot and smiling and … proud.
I have no doubt that somewhere near you there’s a celebration just like this. Maybe bigger. Maybe smaller. A time when the high school band plays and marches, the antique tractors and cars chug-a-lug, the veterans don their military uniforms to the applause of the crowd and the guy next door becomes a Shriner clown entertaining the crowd. *sigh*
Sometimes life just doesn’t get any better.
I’m very excited. I belong to Romance Writers of America. I joined years ago when I first made the decision to become a writer of romance. There is some credibility it gives you when you’re sending manuscripts out to agents and publishing houses. (Caveat: MANY talented and successful romance writers never join RWA.) The biggest reason I wanted to join though was so I could be part of my local writing chapter which has supported me through all my successes and struggles.
There are a lot of things about the organization that rub me the wrong way. (Which is why you’ll see my green ribbon for RWA Change.) One of the biggest being that they don’t seem to know what to do with romance authors published in electronic format despite the fact that the market is EXPLODING thanks to ereaders like the Kindle from Amazon and the Nook from Barnes & Nobel. But I have to say I admired them for the consistency. Last year they followed their own guidelines and actually dumped Harlequin as a recognized publisher because they were opening a self-publishing line and it was tied in with the rest of the business. (RWA does not consider an author published who has paid to have their own work put into print.)
Again, I digress …
There are several levels of membership in the RWA. The PRO level which means you’ve actually finished a manuscript and had it rejected and continue to work toward publication. Then there’s the PAN (published authors network) level. Qualification for being a professional writer meant receiving an advance of at least $1000. But with the number of members publishing in the electronic industry and not receiving up front advances, RWA did come up with a way to recognize e-pubbed authors and consider them “professionals” in their eyes and it was based on $1000 royalties from a book.
Let me just say … I MADE PAN!!!!!!!!! W00T!! W00T!! W00T!!
Yeah, I’m pretty happy about it. Does it really advance my career? Nah. But the title sounds wicked good as they say in my neck of the woods. Though I can now list workshops I’m willing to teach on the RWA website … who knows what will come of that. I’ve missed teaching so perhaps I’ll get to do a little traveling on someone else’s dime and do a little teaching. Yeah, that would be nice.
Anyway, I’m raising a toast to myself. One of my goals for 2010 checked off my list!
You have no idea how happy I am that I’m actually here. For two days my blog has been lost in cyberspace and I have absolutely been sweating bullets! It goes back to GoDaddy who did what I asked … but didn’t bother to mention that doing THAT would result in a a three year old blog being lost.
I was not happy.
But some messing around with a whole bunch of stuff and three techs later and now I’m here and as soon as I stop jumping up and down and doing cartwheels I intend to post something. In the meantime … just enjoy looking. Cuz all is not lost!
What an earth day celebration we had here yesterday! Thank you everyone for taking time to enjoy the view and comment!
But a GRAND PRIZE winner has been chosen … drum roll please …
The winner of an inbox full of
Liquid Silver earth friendly ebooks is
And the winner of any of her
choice of my backlist is
Congratulations ladies! I will email you both off line. Thank you all again for joining me yesterday. Truly, I had a wonderful time. Don’t be a stranger to my blog. I love chatting with people!