Free Medieval Mystery Set in Wales!

FREE ebook! Join Gareth & Gwen in their first mystery together … Mystery, murder, and mayhem in medieval Wales.

Join Gareth & Gwen in their first mystery together … Intrigue, suspicion, and rivalry among the royal princes casts a shadow on the court of Owain, king of north Wales …

The year is 1143 and King Owain seeks to unite his daughter in marriage with an allied king. But when the groom is murdered on the way to his wedding, the bride’s brother tasks his two best detectives–Gareth, a knight, and Gwen, the daughter of the court bard–with bringing the killer to justice.

And once blame for the murder falls on Gareth himself, Gwen must continue her search for the truth alone, finding unlikely allies in foreign lands, and ultimately uncovering a conspiracy that will shake the political foundations of Wales.

The Good Knight is the first Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mystery.

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Virginia Woolf, Better Late Than Never

January 25th was the 136th anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s birth, I’m late in coming to the party.  Although I have never read any of her books I am somewhat fascinated with her life. I read a fictional ‘diary’ of her sister’s, Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar, in 2016. One day I’ll get around to trying one of her books.  Here are a few things I found concerning her online…

A recording of her voice, reading an essay on a BBC radio program from 1937…

Visit her and Leonard’s home, Monk’s House. It’s run by The National Trust and open to the public.

View a few of her personal photos from her photo albums.

Her suicide letter to Leonard…

My husband suffers from bi-polar, but we are lucky his is not as severe as her’s was. What a shame there was no medications back then for her.

Visit the Virginia Woolf Blog

This year I am making a point to read Virginia Woolf! Which book should I start with?

Free Book

Thought you might like to check this out! University of Chicago Press’ free book for August is Wallis’s War: A Novel of Diplomacy and Intrigue by Kate Auspitz. An imagined memoir of Wallis Simpson, the infamous American socialite and scandalous divorcée who caused the abdication of the King of England. Was it love? Or was it also some behind-the-scenes engineering? The plot unfolds in Wallis’s War, free in August.

‘He might rule a world power but he was childlike in his intellect and emotions. She called him “the boy.” Moreover, he admired the authoritarian regime that threatened all of Europe. The boy was a danger to his own country. But what could be done? A blend of diplomacy and dalliance, fashion and fascists, this richly researched satire offers witty and erudite entertainment and leaves us speculating: who really brought about the abdication and what were they wearing?’

Click on the link above to get it!

Creepy Head Update

Well, I did take the pictures of the ‘head’ to my local Greeneville police department and it really got them buzzing over there! They thought it was a head too. They called the Elizabethton police and sent the pictures to several people and got my info. This morning the Elizabethton city police called me and got directions to where we saw it again as they were all jumbled from Greeneville. She said that area would be county police and they were forwarding it to them. They were going out today and check it out and she would call me with what they found. They also really thought it could be a head. Late this afternoon she called and it was a head…. a mannequin head! Thank goodness! A prank just like Bossman said. It was really high up in the tree, down a steep hill. It took some work to get it up there. The police said they were surprised I was the only call they got on it as it really did look like a real head from a distance. They are sending someone out to remove it. I’m getting to old for all this excitement!

What is this?

Okay, this is just creepy! We threw a picnic lunch in the car this morning and headed out to explore Watauga Lake and Dam up near Elizabethton and found this at a scenic overlook. Something hanging in a tree down the hill. We couldn’t tell what it was. I thought some kind of hornets nest or something. Boss man wouldn’t walk down to look so I took a couple of shots zoomed in with the camera so we could take a good look on the computer when we got home. I swear it looks like a human head! It appears to be tied on the branch by some of the hair. 

Don’t you think it looks like a head? Bossman said there were no flys or bugs swarming around it so he thinks it’s nothing. A real mystery that will drive me nuts now! 

Pack Horse Librarians

Image courtesy of the National Archives and New Deal Network

I came across an interesting article recently about Eastern Kentucky’s Pack Horse Librarians. After the depression President Roosevelt enacted the New Deal to help put people back to work. One of those projects was the Pack Horse Librarians. It started in 1936 and continued through 1943.  With many women on relief it was a way to put them to work along with the men.

Eastern Kentucky had been hit especially hard by the depression. Very rural and dependent on the now closed coal mines they were isolated from the rest of the world. Librarians from around the state were brought in to establish this unique service. Women were recruited to take books and magazines via horseback and mules into rural Kentucky. The terrain was rough, rocky and steep, through dangerous creeks and rivers, in all kinds of weather. They worked summer and winter, traveling as much as 500+ miles in a month! They were paid $28 a month. People were skeptical at first, but this project was a great success. The librarians took great pride in taking books to people who never had access before. They also became a lifeline of sorts, bringing news and comfort to these isolated people. They could carry messages between the isolated families, send for doctors, midwives and carry medicines. They looked in on shut-ins and read aloud to those who couldn’t read.

There was such a demand for books they asked organizations to help and a penny-fund was started to purchase new books. Some credit this program with raising the level of interest in education in Eastern Kentucky. By 1943 the WPA had been de-funded and the program came to an end. The program established 30 libraries in Eastern Kentucky serving over 100,000 people! I admire these women’s dedication!

There’s a book about these courageous women: Down Cut Shin Creek, The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky by Kathy Appealt and Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer

HERE is a link to look at some pictures from the project and HERE to read more about it

Had you ever heard of this before?