This is MaryJoPutney's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following MaryJoPutney's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
MaryJoPutney
Author. Traveler. Cat lover. Introvert.
Recent Activity
Image
Three Good Things by Mary Jo Because of extreme busyness, I'm exercising the Word Wench prerogative of rerunning an older post--from 2006, our first year of blogging!--partly to fill this space, but also because it's a post I like, and good thoughts to make us feel better are never out of place. The original blog was written just before Christmas, while this rerun is shortly after the holidays. Stress, however, knows no boundaries! Enjoy this old post to which I've added some new pictures of cats and snow. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ There’s lots of warm fuzzy sentiment in the air just now,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2019 at Word Wenches
21
Patricia, can I have some????!!!
Toggle Commented Jan 14, 2019 on Celebrating a special Birthday Week at Word Wenches
1 reply
Image
by Mary Jo Christmas decorations are being packed away now, and that includes train gardens, which might be a custom unique to Baltimore. I was once told that they're done in Pittsburgh, an industrial city rather like Baltimore and not far away, but when I googled "train ," the only hits I got were for locations with them in the Baltimore area. Basically, train gardens are train sets on steroids. I'm told they began at firehouses, where the firefights often had time on their hands so at Christmas they would build elaborate train environments for people in the community to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2019 at Word Wenches
Image
by Mary Jo For the second of our Word Wench Christmastide posts, I wanted to tell you about a wonderful article on the history of the beoved Christmas carol Silent Night, which ran in the Baltimore Sun on Christmas Day. Written by Youngsuck Kim, a music professor at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania, it commemorates the 200th anniversary of the song and starts with the lovely story from WWI when three armies in the trenches sang Silent Night in German, English, and French for a moment of Christmas peace. I knew that story, though not that a Scottish piper in the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2018 at Word Wenches
Image
By Mary Jo Eight authors collaborating on an anthology is not the simplest of projects, but we Wenches thought it would be fun to work together, and The Last Chance Christmas Ball (now on sale for a mere 99 cents!) was the result. Our Kensington editor, Alicia Condon, suggested we might do something like a holiday ball where our characters can meet and mingle. This sounded like a fine idea, so we agreed. We had no idea how much work it would be to integrate the stories into a larger framework! Jo Beverley created a wiki for us so we... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2018 at Word Wenches
13
Image
by Mary Jo The Sound of Shattered Rainbows I don't spend enough time driving to be much of an audiobook listener, but I know a lot of romance fans love them, so ideally I'd like to have all my classic backlist titles available in audio for those who prefer the format. However, producing them myself is very expensive and after doing audio of The Bargain, Thunder and Roses, and Dancing on the Wind, I gave up doing them for a while. However, the market and the economics are continually changing, so I decided to give it another try, starting with... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2018 at Word Wenches
28
Image
by Mary Jo Few authors can be credited with inventing a genre, but Georgette Heyer is one of them. Her witty and insightful novels set in early 19th century British society created an irresistible world that has been drawing in readers and writers for decades. I am one of them. My first novel, The Diabolical Baron, had a few hints of the writer I've developed into, but overall, it's so influenced by Georgette Heyer that I should probably pay royalties to the Heyer estate. <G> I cherish the discussions I've had with other Regency writers on Our First Heyer Novel.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2018 at Word Wenches
45
Image
by Mary Jo Maggie Robinson has visited the Word Wenches before to talk about her delightfully original historical romances. Now she's turned to murder! Her first Lady Adelaide mystery, Nobody's Sweetheart Now, has just been released, so I've inveigled Maggie to visit us and talk about this new direction. MJP: Welcome back to the Word Wenches, Maggie! Could you give a bit of information on your background and how you got into writing? MR: I was an English major in college a thousand years ago (even in the English honor society, LOL), but didn’t get around to writing seriously until... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2018 at Word Wenches
34
Image
by Mary Jo In a perfect world, every book would have a perfect harmony of story, title, and cover. Of course the world isn't perfect, even with a book named One Perfect Rose. It's often difficult to recall how I've come up with a story, but I actually remember the origin of the plot for OPR. I had been writing my Fallen Angels series, which was built around four men who had attended Eton and became close as brothers because they all needed a family. Other friends appeared so the series got longer as more intriguing men appeared on the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2018 at Word Wenches
26
Image
by Mary Jo I've got an old mule and her name is Sal, Fifteen years on the Erie Canal! She's a good old worker and a good old pal, Fifteen years on the Erie Canal! We've hauled some barges in our day, Filled with lumber, coal, and hay, And every inch of the way I (we) know, From Albany to Buffalo! Did you grow up singing this Erie Canal work song, usually known as "Low Bridge?" Or do I know it because the Erie Canal was a part of my childhood? I grew up in Western New York in the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2018 at Word Wenches
25
Image
by Mary Jo This is definitely my year for islands! In July, I visited Orkney and Shetland , and now we're back from a shorter, more low key New England cruise. (I took the picture above on Block Island.) We were traveling on American Cruise Lines, a small ship cruising company that specializes in American waters, from the coast of New England to Southern rivers, the Mississippi, the Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. We've cruised on ACL once before, traveling from Baltimore to Charleston, SC on the IntraCoastal Waterway, and we had a fine time. Our ship, the American Star, held... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2018 at Word Wenches
16
Pat, you got Edinburgh, we got Ireland--and never enough time for either of us! It's been a long time since I visited Edinburgh; it's surely time I visited again!
Toggle Commented Aug 29, 2018 on Visiting Edinburgh at Word Wenches
1 reply
Faith, I hope you get to visit some day! It's a rare, special place.
Toggle Commented Aug 27, 2018 on Northern Isles: Shetland at Word Wenches
1 reply
Sue, on our flight out of Shetland on our way to Dublin, we got fogged out and missed our connection, along with an American woman (a retired teacher from the NYC area)who had just spent a week in Shetland in a knitting class, including indulging in amazing local wools. She didn't want to leave.
Toggle Commented Aug 27, 2018 on Northern Isles: Shetland at Word Wenches
1 reply
Image
by Mary Jo I've already blogged about the RNA conference in Leeds and our wonderful visit to Orkney. Now it's time for the last chapter of our journey: Shetland, the island group that is the farthest northern reach of the archipelago that is Great Britain. The islands are due west of Norway, and the ties between Norway and Shetland are ancient and deep. Shetland has over 100 islands, about 15 of which are inhabited. Like Orkney, Shetland was never a Celtic land, and the ancient language was Norn, which influences the present day dialect. Our fine driver/guide, Grant Redfern, said... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2018 at Word Wenches
10
Image
By Mary Jo After the fun of the RNA conference, it was time for the tourist part of this trip, which meant flying to the far north of the UK: Orkney and even farther north, Shetland. Fellow Wench Pat Rice and I flew to Orkney from Manchester with our husbands The Mayhem Consultant (mine) and The IT Guy (Pat's.) The islands have been settled for at least 8500 years, first by various Neolithic groups, then by Norsemen in the 9th century CE. The Norwegian king pledged Orkney and Shetland as a temporary dowry for his daughter, Margaret of Denmark, but... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2018 at Word Wenches
26
Image
by Mary Jo I love writers' conferences, and I've been to my share of them. The sight of so many introverts blossoming into temporary extroversion is delightful. Creativity and connections and chocolate are all much in evidence. I've met many of my best writer friends (and most of the Wenches) at writers' conferences. Which is why when Wench Nicola, currently president of the British professional romance writers' group, Romantic Novelists' Association, invited all interested Word Wenches to come to this year's annual RNA conference in Leeds, I jumped on it. (No, of course this had nothing to do with the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2018 at Word Wenches
12
Image
by Mary Jo Most countries of the world have national days that celebrate their identity. That usually usually means the day that independence was proclaimed, as in the US, or negotiated, as was the case in many countries that had been colonized like much of Africa. But there can be lots of variations. Hungary, for example, celebrates St. Stephen's Day. The United Kingdom doesn't exactly have a national day, though sometimes the Queen's Official Birthday the second weekend in June is treated as such. (Her birthday is actually April 21st, but the weather is better for speeches and parades in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2018 at Word Wenches
23
Katja, Kerry Greenwood is author of the Phryne Fisher and Corinna Chapman books, and Anne Gracie has interviewed her on Word Wenches. I ADORE the Corinna Chapman books and hope she writes more. She and her friends and cats and lover are so wonderful. I'm fine with animals being part of the story, so maybe I should try Mrs. Murphy. *G* (I have three cats lounging about my office even as I type.)
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2018 on Cozy Criminal Ladies at Word Wenches
1 reply
Cynthia, I've read both Barbara Cleverly and Captain Lacey, and both are excellent writers, but cozy they're not. I have to be in the right mood for the more intense mysteries. I'm another Josephine Tey fan: THE DAUGHTER OF TIME, yes!
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2018 on Cozy Criminal Ladies at Word Wenches
1 reply
Anne, there is so often a disconnect between book and film. Understandable since they're such different forms, but one usually won't love both equally.
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2018 on Cozy Criminal Ladies at Word Wenches
1 reply
Image
by Mary Jo I'm not a major mystery reader. I'm not especially interested in puzzle solving, I want interesting, likable characters, and wit is always good. I absolutely do NOT want gory stories and high body counts. In short, I tend to like cozy mysteries if they're well written and have good characters. So every now and then I go on a cozy mystery binge with some of my favorite authors, so I thought I'd chat a bit about what I've been reading. Mrs. Pollifax The oldest series is Dorothy Gilman's Mrs. Pollifax books, which started in the '70s and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2018 at Word Wenches
40
Image
by Mary Jo Apart from a vague recollection of the British protectorate called Bechuanaland becoming the independent nation of Botswana, the country never registered with me until I read the first #1 Ladies Detective Agency book by Alexander McCall Smith. The protagonist, Precious Ramotse, is a mature, "traditionally built" woman with a lot of common sense who solves small mysteries through her understanding of human nature. The series is now up to 18 books. More recently, Botswana has been mentioned in connection with Prince Harry of Wales , who loves the place, and reportedly it was where he and Meghan... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2018 at Word Wenches
16
Image
Happy Anniversary to the Word Wenches! by Mary Jo This is the 12th anniversary of the Word Wenches! I hope you joined Anne's celebration tea party on Monday. (The cakes and tea cups were splendid!) Today, we continue the celebrations with reminiscences and book giveaways. 12 years is a long time, and in the way publishing has changed, it's eons. Back in 2006, blogs were the Hot New Thing. Authors wanted to be able to reach readers, interact with them, and sell books. But it seemed like so much work! Surely better to put together a group and take turns?... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2018 at Word Wenches
112
Image
Andrea Penrose discusses Smoke & Lies with Mary Jo: MJP: Sister Word Wench Andrea and I go way back to when we both wrote Signet Regencies. In recent years, Andrea has used her love of the Regency, science, and art to become Andrea Penrose, historical mystery writer. Her new Regency Wrexford & Sloane series is making a splash, with starred reviews and excitement all around. But I'm delighted that she's also continuing her Lady Arianna mystery series. The first three books were traditionally published, and now that she's retrieved the rights, Andrea has repackaged and republished them in e-book form... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2018 at Word Wenches
52