Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Making of Medieval Manuscripts

Found a terrific, short video on how they used to make medieval manuscripts.  It's so much more compelling to see the steps in action, rather than simply read about the process. 

I love how they create the stunning gold using thin sheets of real gold, "gold leaf".  When you see a newly made manuscripts, using these ancient techniques, you realize how colorful the world must have been in the middle ages.  We've grown accustomed to seeing grey stone walls and faded tapestries, but in reality, the world was busting with color, in clothes, buildings, and the pages of their manuscripts.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March Madness Blog Hop!

[Edited to add: Winners have been announced!  Congrats to Z and Shelly Hammond!]
March Madness is upon us.  Well, almost.

Close enough for women to know they're about to lose their husbands, boyfriends, brothers, uncles, nephews, and sometimes even male cats and dogs to the craze of college basketball finals.  Money, power, athletic competition, championships, and men in shorts: excitement all around, yes?

I admit, we're not big on basketball around here.   For some reason, it doesn't light the household fire.   We're more about baseball.  And hockey.   We also cheer for football (American) and soccer (also American, 'cause no one else calls it that but us). 

And while we're on the subject of sports for which we'd abandon our families, I'd appreciate more equestrian events--or actually, any equestrian events--but I'm not in charge of ESPN.   Weirdly.

Superhero Scramble LLC

 <-- Also, I would like more of this man.

Anyhow...when I lose the male members of my household to a sport, it's usually baseball and hockey.  Which have extremely long seasons.  Extremely.  Long.

Did I mention they're long seasons?

Fortunately, we have one TV, it sits in our family room-which-segues-into-our-kitchen, so we're pretty much all together for all of it anyhow.  I sit on the couch, they sit on the couch, friends sit on the couch.  We all occasionally leap to our feet (on the ground or sometimes onto the table or kitchen counter, depending).  

The only difference is, I have a book in my hand.  All the time.   I'm either reading someone else's or writing my own, hammering away at a manuscript while they're cheering away.  And we're all together.

(Another very small, probably indetectable difference, is that I might complain about sports rules and the possibility of head injury more often that they do.  Possibly.  Or not.  It's hard to say.)

Oh, and some of them experience occasional bouts of fears that I'm writing them into a book as I sit there typing.

Who, me?  "What?" I respond affectionately. "I write medievals  And believe me, you're no knight."

Although...I am branching out into contemporaries.  And with that, I make no promises.

So, what's it like for you?? 

Do you lose anyone in your family to special interests, hobbies, loves or obsessions?  Or maybe you and your partner share an obsession that takes you away from the rest of the world, together?

Two commentors get their pick of a signed print copy of any of these books from my backlist: THE IRISH WARRIOR, DEFIANT, or DECEPTION!  
 Sign up for my Book Release newsletter and double your chances to here on my blog!

"Like" my Facebook page (KrisKennedyBooks) and TRIPLE your chances!! 

Follow me on Twitter (@KrisKennedy) and yep, you guessed it--QUADRUPLE chance for my prizes.

Don't think you like medievals?  Sure you will!  Come check out the excerpts & see what you think.

And then, go check out all these awesome authors who I'm blogging with!  They're waiting to charm you.  And they're giving away prizes.
(Rules are below)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RULES: Simply hop from blog to blog—the links are below—and “follow”, “Like”, “Friend” etc. the authors sites then leave a comment on their blog post. Each author is running their own giveaway as well as participating in the Rafflecopter Grand-Prize Giveaway of a Kindle Fire OR Nook Color, A $50 Amazon/B&N Gift Card, A $25 Amazon/B&N Gift Card, and 6 - $10 Amazon/B&N Gift Cards, as well as a “basket” of books. The event is live from March 5 – March 31st, 2013 to give you plenty of time to tour all the sites.

Rules: You must be 18 years or older as of 12:01AM March 5, 2013. No purchase Necessary. Avoid where prohibited. This event is open to worldwide participation (basket of books limited to US/Canada shipping address only)You are limited to one tweet, follow, like etc per day, however you can follow one blog, tweet about another, and like a 3rd's facebook page all on the same day. Be sure to follow the rules laid out by the individual authors about their respective giveaways, as they will vary form site to site. Rules and Terms are listed in the Rafflecopter. Grand-prizes will be announced on or about April 5th, 2013 on SnSreviews.blogspot.com <http://snsreviews.blogspot.com/> . While we will make every effort to contact you, it is ultimately the winner's responsibility to check winning status and claim their prize. Posted winners will have 5 days, from the date of post to contact host and claim their respective prize. If the posted winner fails to contact host, prize may be forfeited and awarded to another randomly drawn entrant and distributed without further notice.   

Monday, March 4, 2013

Machiavelli's Arrest Warrant

Okay, so here's this:

A British professor researching the history of town criers in Florence stumbled across the 500 year old arrest warrant for Machiavelli.  The actual document, the proclamation calling for his arrest.

Wow-y wow wow.   

He also found records of the payments made to the four horsemen "who scoured the streets of the Tuscan city for Machiavelli."

 Damn, that makes it all feel so scary and real to me. 

Real, because an actual person received that payment.  

These were real people living and dying and hunting each other down and fleeing.  They're not static historical figures, analyzed & figured out & frozen in images, flattened between the pages of a textbook.  

These were men who saddled up their horses that morning, men who needed that money, men who went home that night & maybe talked to their wives about their day, "Yeah, Giuliano wanted that guy, so we found him.  But...he looked scared. It's not going to go well for him." 

Scary, because I picture finding out about the arrest warrant.  Maybe you suspected it was coming, and this just is the awful thud of the other shoe dropping. 

Or maybe you thought you'd escaped the wrath of the d'Medici's.  Maybe. . .  maybe. . . .  No.  They didn't miss you, they didn't forget.  And now you're being hunted down by four professionals hired to bring you in. 

You have to know what's coming, right?   They don't want to have a conversation with you.  You were a high-ranking diplomat for the family that helped oust them, and now you're about to be brought low for it. 

Oh, and one of them is about to become Pope.

For me, this discovery brought this moment in history alive in a way its never been before. 

What about you??  When has a story--fictional or news--or an event or a conversation suddenly brought history alive?

Here's a link to the Telegraph article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/9871527/Briton-finds-500-year-old-arrest-warrant-for-Machiavelli.html

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Elizabethan Novella-That-Isn't-A-Novella-Anymore

2012 was been a busy year, with (sadly) less writing than expected, and (joyously) better outcomes than feared in several situations.  On the whole, I let last year go feeling blessed.  And . . . wanting more.  Specifically, more writing.  Which means more stories for you!

I'm at work on several, including the ever-present CLAIMING HER.  It was going to be a novella, remember?   A simple, sexually charged historical novella, set in Ireland, 1588.  

Maybe 80, 100 pages long, right?

Um, no.  This story doesn't want to be 80 or 100 pages.  It doesn't want to be a novella.  I know; I've tried.

Three times now I've written to page 100, realized it wasn't even close to being done, then spent weeks chopping it down to size (a painful experience for me and a startling one for anyone within a half mile radius of my house, which is about how far I expect my voice carries when I'm cursing.)

And each time, I realized it doesn't work 'down to size.'  Something important gets lost.  

So it looks like I'm going to have to be patient as this story gets written, maybe even set it aside for a little while until I have the time to devote to it.

Be assured, though, the important things will not change: the Irish hero is still the conqueror, dangerously disreputable, sinfully handsome, and utterly intent on Katarina.  And Katarina, well, it doesn't look like she's going to be able to resist for very long.

And the Queen of England is not happy.  Not happy at all.

I'll keep you updated when its ready to release, and I'll also post a little taste now and then, just to keep you interested.  :)