Maddie here

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Maddie here. Carol's in a state of collapse from finishing Her Dark Protector today. Carol still has to revise and fine tune the book before turning it in, but as she says, she'll meet her deadline. This book that will be a Carina Press release features a secret justice society with loads of chase, fight and love scenes. You should have seen her working out a fight last night. All that weaving and shifting made my head spin.

She asked me to post few photos from Napa Valley since her brain cells are liquified and talking coherently is beyond her. However, I decided I'd post a few of my favorite shots. Hee! Maddie

A Fond Farewell to the Harry Potter Movies

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Although I saw Deathly Hallows II last weekend, I went again today, this time to see it in 3D, something I rarely do. With the cost of movies nowadays, I've cut way down on movie going. However, I realized I had to see Deathly Hallows II again as I was reluctant to say goodbye to the movie franchise. Hallows II had given me everything I'd hoped for in wrapping up the journey...I simply didn't want it to end.

Ten years ago I went to see The Sorcerer's Stone to see what every was talking about. A little red-haired boy sat next to me in the theatre and proceeded to tell me he'd been told that he looked like Ron Weasley. Aghast to hear I hadn't read the books yet, he gave me a quick overview. When the movie began, I too became enchanted and began a love affair with the wizarding world.

Every year for a decade, I, like everyone else, waited anxiously awaited for the next movie installment. I watched Harry, Hermoine and Ron grow up along with all the other Hogwart students. Tales of growing up, courage, friendship and eventually love played against the theme of death.

What was noteworthy about the series was that so many actors continued to play the same characters throughout the years. They too were familiar faces and had character arcs winding and twisting with the main ones. Who would have thought Neville Longbottom by standing up to his friends in Sorceror's Stone would foreshadow standing up to Voldemort in Hallows II?

While I have all the DVD's and can watch the series whenever I want to, what I can't do is see a new movie in theatre [unless they decide to make movies along the lines of Pottermore].

As an author, I can't imagine the relief and yet sadness J.K. Rowling must have experienced when she wrote 'The End' on Deathly Hallows. As a movie goer, I am sad I can't follow new adventures and I don't know what will have the 'legs' to fill the void.

I still haven't read the books, holding that pleasure out for another day. I have to have something to look forward to. :) Carol


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Head north of Napa Valley and treat yourself to amazing vistas on your way to where three important wine producing regions [Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River] come together: Healdsburg, founded in 1857.

I discovered Healdsburg on my first trip to wine country several years ago, and it wasn't hard convincing my friends to head that way this year. We had a blast, especially when we ran into a red light on a section of the road where there was no intersection. As we waited for nearly 15 minutes for the light to change--with no traffic in sight, we realized they had road construction with only one lane open. Finally one truck came rolling into view from the opposite direction.

Before reaching the main drag, we stopped at the tasting room of the award winning Seghesio, my first love in Zinfandel's. Even after several years, we still got more 'bang for a buck' with the wine tasting with the friendly and knowledgeable staff. The store also has unique gifts for the wine lover.

Once in Healdsburg you'll find the charming 19th plaza in the town center with towering redwoods and the square of eclectic shops and restaurants. The weather was gorgeous and we wandered in and out of the stores. The bookstore had a few friends' books in the front display.

Here's a sampling of photos from Healdsburg:


Thursday, July 14, 2011

No formal blog here this week as I'll be blogging about chase scenes on Not Your Usual Suspects this Friday, July 15 at noon. I hope you'll come share your favorite chases.

However, I'm thrilled to announce that my NASCAR novella, Chasing the Truth, won its category in the Romance Writers Ink's More Than Magic contest. [psst, Chasing The Truth is available in print and digital formats]

I hope everyone is having a great week! I have my ticket in hand to see the last Harry Potter movie over the weekend. :) Carol

Happy 4th of July Trivia!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Actually, John Adams would be very surprised the date celebrated is the 4th. The Second Continental by adopting the Lee Resolution officially declared independence on July 2, 1776, after which John wrote his wife, "the 2nd day of July 1776 will be the most the history of America ." Sorry, John.

Just be thankful you didn't face 68 changes to the original draft of the Declaration like its author Thomas Jefferson did with the word count going from 1817 to 1337. And writers think they have it bad nowadays.

Although the movie "National Treasure" created a fictional clue to a treasure on the back of the Declaration, there is an actual inscription appearing upside down at the bottom: "Original Declaration of Independence, dated 4th of July, 1776." Not as exciting as the movie, but what the 56 men did on July 2nd was. The language of the Declaration was adopted on July 4th.

As the first person to sign the document, John Hancock wrote his name in large letters so that "John Bull" [England] could read it without spectacles. After his signature was affixed, the document was sent to John Dunlap's print shop. The 150-200 copies made became the 'Dunlap Broadsides' with an estimated 25 copies still in existence.

The emgrossed parchment copy produced by Timothy Matlock was signed by most the delegates on August 6, but the last signer was Thomas McKean of Delaware in 1781.

The youngest signer was Edward Rutledge of South Carlina at age 26; the oldest was Benjamin Franklin at age 70.

The 56 men who made the historical declaration of independence were lawyers, physicians, merchants, landowners, farmers, printers and inventors. They faced lost of fortune, imprisonment and death. Samuel Adams would be declared a traitor due to his role in the Boston Tea Party; four signers would be captured and imprisoned, including Edward Rutledge. Homes of nearly 1/3 of the signers would have their homes/estates destroyed or confiscated.

On that summer day in Philadelphia, the 56 men who subscribed to the Declaration of Independence wrote their way into immortality in American history: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Thank you to those remarkable Patriots and to all who have served and protected these unalienable rights. Happy birthday, America! Carol