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MaryJoPutney
Author. Traveler. Cat lover. Introvert.
Recent Activity
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by Mary Jo Such a deal! In Regency Masquerades, six talented Regency veterans have released a box set containing six full length Regency novels, including the RITA winning Gwen's Ghost by Alicia Rasley and Lynn Kerstan. (This might be the only RITA won by a writing team and the book is great, with Alicia and Lynn writing different characters so the story is integrated seamlessly.) AND they're offering the set for a special introductory price of 99 cents to reward their long term readers! So here, forthwith, are Alicia Rasley, Allison Lane, Brenda Hiatt, Lynn Kerstan, Elena Green, and Gail... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Word Wenches
By Mary Jo I'm in the crazed mode of finishing a book, so I'm invoking Wench Privilege by re-running an old blog, this one about the spice trade. What gave me the idea was going out to my car after exercising at Curves, and smelling something sweet and tangy from the McCormick spice company headquarters about three miles to the north. Inspiring! ++++Originally published August 3, 2007++++++ I’m sitting on my screened porch on a summer morning, sipping coffee, watching birds, and enjoying the scent of pepper that floats through the summer air. This is unusual—more often, I would smell... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo In a Robert Heinlein novel, the War of 1812 is mentioned dismissively as a brushfire conflict on the fringes of the Napoleonic Wars. I'm not sure that the average Briton has any awareness of it at all. But in the US and Canada, the war matters. In my hometown of Baltimore, the war is very, very personal. When I first moved here, I was surprised to find a Maryland state holiday called Defenders Day on September 12. Say what? It turns out that September 12 was the land part of the Battle of Baltimore, where the militia... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo I made a flash announcement here when the audiobook version of Dancing on the Wind finally went live two weeks ago, but I wanted to ruminate a bit more on the process. This is the third audiobook that I've produced, and each time there have been more things to learn. Though I'm still a novice, for me the key points are: 1) The first big challenge is finding The Voice. Someone I like listening to, and who will also appeal to regular audio listeners. I have a fondness for a lovely deep male voice (calling James Earl... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo Yayyyy! After numerous delays (I'm never going to produce an audiobook under a Mercury retrograde again!), the audio of my RITA winning Regency historical Dancing on the Wind (Book #2 ofthe Fallen Angels series) has now gone live on Audible.com and should soon be up at Amazon and Apple as well. It was recorded at the Audio Factory in Glastonbury, England, the same studio that produced the audiobook of The Bargain. I'll probably blog about this at greater length later, but I know some Word Wench regulars like audio, so I thought I'd mention it now. Plus,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo We here at Word Wenches Central Command take words very seriously, but we tend to think more about the 19th century and earlier than about the 21st century. My Webster's Collegiate does a pretty good job of telling me when words came into general English usage, and that suffices for my writing. But we all had fun when Wench Susan told us about new words that the Oxford Dictionary has just decided to add to the canon. Being as how romance writers don't get out much <G>, most of us didn't know half the words. Some are... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo Rebecca Eaton has the all-time great English major job: as executive producer of Masterpiece Theater, now known simply as Masterpiece. I'd never heard of her, and her name has nothing to do with the fact that the heroine of my book River of Fire is named Rebecca Seaton. But when I heard that her memoir about her work, Making Masterpiece, , was coming out last fall, I immediately ordered it. Partly that was because I'm always interested in how stories are filmed (I wrote a novel around that subject), but more because Masterpiece Theater had such an... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo As Cara/Andrea said on Friday, sometime we Wenches go light in our posts, and this one is REALLY light! I don't even have a biscotti recipe to offer. <G> But in the spirit of the summer silly season, I present: RWA's national romance writers conference! It's next week in San Antonio, and it's surely the world's largest collection of romance writers on the hoof. The annual literacy signing is similarly large, with hundreds of writers signing and thousands of books donated by publishers for sale. (A pause for a public service announcement: If you're in the neighborhood,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo I'm not a big fan of medieval romance. Too much violence, the position of women was not good, and the plumbing was seriously grim. But when I was working out my "subversion of the captivity fantasy" novel, I chose a medieval setting for Uncommon Vows because in a more civilized era, my hero would be considered psychotic. <G> In the 12th century, he was instead a powerful man who behaved within the parameters of his age. A lot of research was involved because I didn't know much about medieval living. I decided that I wanted to catch... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo For this month's Ask A Wench, I selected this question by Molly in Ohio from our blog topic file: "We all know that writers frequently pull from life experiences when creating their characters. Have any of you had a friend or family member recognize themself in one of your books or stories and call you out? :)" I had a strong suspicion what the consensus will be, but I thought it would be fun to hear what the various Wenches have to say. Starting with Jo Beverley: No, because I don't do it. It often feels that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo A good convention is enhanced by having a dealer room, which sff cons have always known. Romantic Times conventions are going in the same delightful direction, which is how I came to meet Renee Huff, who had traveled down from Kansas to New Orleans to set up a jewelry booth. She had a range of styles, but of course I was drawn to the antique pieces. In particular, I was attracted to a lovely Victorian chain unlike any other I've ever seen. Renee explained that it was called a book chain because the links were shaped like... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2014 at Word Wenches
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I've always thought that Charles the I had it coming. *G* But I totally get the remodeling impulse. My house is about 30 years old and contemporary in style, but I've redone the master bath, the kitchen, added a screened porch, redone the closets in the master bedroom a couple of times, and if I could figure out a way to get more closet space, I'd do it. *G* Currently, the house is being repainted. A house really is a living, changing things!
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Happy birthday, Sparky! We've certainly all derived enormous pleasure from her antics. But the shrew wins the battle of wits this time. MJP, glad to be a Sparky auntie *G*
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by Mary Jo RWA has conferences for professional and aspiring writers. They are serious and often rather stressed as ambitious and sometimes desperate writers try to make headway. In contrast, the Romantic Times conferences are a great big rollicking party. <G> There are actually a lot of very good workshops at RT (I was on three panels), but it's first and foremost a conference for readers. The authors are there as bait, to see our friends, and to promo our books. A major reason I opted for this recent conference is because I love New Orleans. It's a great city... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2014 at Word Wenches
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One of the great blessings of the internet is the way it helps us find our tribe, whether it's writers, quilters, or Mideastern specialists. Not all Word Wenches have met each other face to face, and I'm not sure any of us have met our stalwart whipmistress, Sherrie, in person. The doesn't matter--we are still connected in our word wench community.
Toggle Commented May 17, 2014 on Getting by With a Little Help at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo When I blogged about our cruise on the upper Amazon, , I threatened another blog about Lima, the capital city of Peru. I don't make idle threats. <G> But never fear, mostly I'm going to show pictures. I spent very little time there, just two overnights in a hotel, and a coach tour of city highlights the morning before we flew into Amazonia to catch our cruise boat, but Lima made a strong impression on me. Peru itself is a fascinating country, sharply divided into three distinct climate zones. The coastal area where Lima is located is... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo In the brave new world of indie publishing, there is always something new to try, and a new learning curve to growl about. <G> Having the endless curiosity characteristic of writers, I keep trying new things. I've already talked about audiobooks here, and that was a very interesting process in what I think is a rapidly growing area of publishing. Very business-like of me to give it a try. Now What? So naturally, what I'm talking about today isn't at all business-like. <G> I loved writing my young adult Dark Mirror series despite all the challenges. The... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo It's a wired, wired world! Communications have changed amazingly in a double handful of years. It started with e-mail as the "killer app" of the world wide web. Then wireless communications came in. Several years back, when Blackberries were state of the art, the satellites that carried them (I think that's what it was) went down, and a mighty howl of horror and anguish was heard from users across the land. These days, it's all about mobile devices--cell phones that are really tiny, incredibly powerful computers. For younger users, texting is the "killer app." Some kids send... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo At the end of every month, we do a What We're Reading blog, but now and then, we mix it up. Today is What We're Reading plus A Few of Our Favorite Things. So these are a few of our Favorite Things!: CARA/ANDREA: Today Mary Jo suggested we talk not only about favorite books we’ve recently read, but also other “favorites" that have caught our fancy. Now, I always have books to dish about, but last week I saw a wonderful art exhibit in NYC and wanted to share some thoughts it provoked. As a college undergrad,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo TWO Word Wenches releases are due on April 1st! An abundance of good reading. I waved my hand first to claim an ARC for Anne's The Winter Bride. This second book of her Chance Sisters Quartet is another delight. (Abby's story, The Autumn Bride () was first in the series, and chosen by Library Journal as one of the Top Ten Romances of 2013. AND has just been listed as an RWA RITA finalist!) Early reviews are great. Romantic Times' Kathe Robin gave The Winter Bride a 4 1/2 star Top Pick, saying: "The Chance sisters are... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo The Word Wenches have always taken a global view of the romance community of readers, writers, and publishers. As I like to say, the sun never sets on the Wench empire since we have authors from the US, the UK, and Australia, and I like to count Jo Beverley twice because of her many years in Canada. <G> But there are English speaking authors in other countries as well, and one is my friend Alissa Baxter, a South African. Alissa started her writing career with traditional Regencies, which are still available as e-books at RegencyReads.com. I connected... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo These days when we talk about Amazon, we're probably referring to the mega-selling online site, but I'm just back from a visit to the real Amazon, and it certainly explains why Jeff Bezos chose to name his company after the mightiest river in the world. The longest river in the world can be disputed--just exactly where do the headwaters begin?--but everyone accepts that the Amazon River is the largest river in the world. Statistics abound: the water flow is greater than the next seven rivers combined. The world's largest drainage basin by far. The estuary at its... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo The audiobook of The Bargain has just gone live! My story of the heiress who marries a dying man in order to secure her inheritance--and then he doesn't have the grace to die!--has always been a reader favorite, which is why I thought it worth putting into audio. Last year I decided to produce my first backlist audio book, Thunder and Roses,I used ACX.com, the audio production arm of Amazon, which brings together producers and potential narrators. I posted an audition and listened to many samples from different narrators, pulling my hair because they were all good,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo I've long believed that much of the impetus behind the British empire was a desire to own lots of warm, sunny real estate. And very successful they were, too! Jamaica was one of the earliest possessions, taken from the Spanish in 1655. The island is rich and fertile and beautiful, and it became the world's greatest producer of sugar for a very long time. (With all the evils of the slave system that produced that sugar, but that's not the subject for the day.) For this year's winter sunshine break, the Mayhem Consultant and I wanted to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2014 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo Today's guest needs no introduction, since she's the Wenches' own Cara/Andrea! Her last Cara Elliott Regency historical, Too Dangerous to Desire, was a RITA finalist as well as a Booksellers Best finalist, so it's a delight to see that the books of her new trilogy, The Hellions of High Street, will be published one after another in January, February, and March. First up is Scandalously Yours, which I've had the pleasure of reading. An early review describes the book as "Another hit for Cara Elliott!" The story is smart and sexy and has a lightness of touch... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2014 at Word Wenches
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