Category: adventure novel

My Book Launch 2

My Book Launch

A book launch is always a great opportunity to meet with old and new reading friends who might enjoy Tasman-An Innocent Convict’s Struggle for Freedom. The kindness of Mary Kay, David, Michelle and the others at the Edmonds Bookshop to open their doors to authors is heartening. Coupled with the Third Thursday evening during the Edmonds Art Event, it was a chance to introduce myself and my books to a wide variety of people. Thanks one and all who stopped in to visit and stayed to play my game,Prisoner’s Fate! A few guests were safe and returned to their homes;...

Tasman Game – A Prisoner’s Fate 0

Tasman Game – A Prisoner’s Fate

I love to create games. I made dozens when I taught school and I continue to make math games for my Educating America blog and as free online teacher resources (links here). Since Tasman is a different kind of story, I decided to create a game to use with guests at my book events. It’s easy. Roll a die. Even numbers select from one set of cards; odd numbers select from another. Some make a quick journey through London and maybe the court system of 1850; others will make the long journey from London to Port Arthur and learn their...

Tasman Event and Contact Reminder 0

Tasman Event and Contact Reminder

I’m beginning my local book events for Tasman this month. Here’s my list so far: ** Edmonds Bookshop, Thursday, March 15 from drop-in between 5-8 PM http://www.edmondsbookshop.com ** Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Thursday, May 10 from 7-8 PM ** University Book Store in Towne Center, Friday, May 18 from 6-7 Also: If you have a book club or organization that would like me to speak, please do not hesitate to contact me (425-420-5161). I enjoy talking about writing, my books, and my upcoming projects. I can meet with local groups in person and with others via Skype....

Tasman Background – Life in the Penal Colony 0

Tasman Background – Life in the Penal Colony

Port Arthur’s convicts lived in barracks and were sent out to work various jobs: quarrying stone to build roads, working for settlers, digging coal, and harvesting trees for further development and for export. Many worked in centipede gangs carrying immense logs while wearing leg irons. A few earned privileges and worked for the commander and the military as scribes. The military managed the island. Soldiers maintained tight control and punishments were often severe: 10 lashes for stealing a potato, 50 lashes for taking a shovel, 100 lashes or execution for attempting an escape. After all, how can a prisoner truly...

Tasman Background – Port Arthur 0

Tasman Background – Port Arthur

The trek to Port Arthur took many months under the best conditions. The voyage crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic, sailed beyond the Indian Ocean, and ended up at the southern tip of Tasmania. The quaint-looking village was actually a penal colony where the British sent convicts to work as slaves to help The Crown produce saleable products (timber, coal). It also kept control of the southern most trade route between the Spice Islands and Europe, a location of world importance in the 1850s. Settlers as well as released convicts were encouraged to remain on the island to establish  British control...

Tasman Background – On the Ship 0

Tasman Background – On the Ship

  Work on board a ship was unending. Since sailing required 24-hour attention, the crew worked long shifts. Bells signaled each hour and their shifts. Workers who didn’t perform their duties were often punished by being beaten and/or having their rations cut. Off-shift sailors took to different ways to use their time. Many played cards and brawled. Others created scrimshaw items to sell. They used knives and carved animal-shapes or intricate designs into bones. Once in a harbor, they sold them to earn money for drinking in grog shops or to buy products while ashore. In addition to manning the...

Tasman Background – Sailing From England 0

Tasman Background – Sailing From England

In the 1850s sailing ships plied the earth carrying cargoes as varied as the ports they visited. Live animals, local crops, mined ore, lumber, government notices and soldiers as well as letters and humans; convicts were among its paid cargo. The trip to Port Arthur, Tasmania meant stops along the way: Tenerife, Rio, Cape Town. Ships used the trade winds to advantage as they distributed or exchanged both sanctioned and secret cargoes. Most honored Neptune, the god of the sea, when if they crossed the equator. That meant raucous celebrations or silly antics while wearing outlandish outfits consisting of buckets...

Tasman Excerpt: On the Ship 0

Tasman Excerpt: On the Ship

Backstory: Ean has been falsely accused of stealing from his sweetheart’s employer, Lord and Lady Colridge. After several days in London’s Newgate Gaol, he’s removed by a constable. He thinks he’s to be freed. We walked along narrow, twisting streets. The smell of wood and tar mingled with that of stale beer and rotting vegetables. A sea of barefoot men dressed in rough jackets and canvas breeches steered past, hauling boxes and crates on their rickety carts. The constable yanked my tether and used the loose end of the rope to whip my back and head. He smiled as the...

Is it Winter or Summer?? 0

Is it Winter or Summer??

Us northern hemisphere residents forget that southern hemisphere residents have weather that is opposite to ours. When I wrote Tasman—An Innocent Convict’s Struggle for Freedom the differences were a constant concern because in Tasmania, June was winter  and December was summer. Talk about needing to be consistent! Tasmania is comparable to the Pacific Northwest if you reverse the seasons. The island lies between 40° and 45° degrees while the Pacific Northwest lies between 45° and 50° degrees. Antarctica and the Indian Ocean influence Tasmania’s weather; the Arctic and the Japanese Current in the North Pacific influence ours. Both locations have...

Order Books for Holiday and New Year Giving 0

Order Books for Holiday and New Year Giving

Time to start thinking about the readers on your holiday giving list. Here’s a sale for you and your friends! Order copies of TASMAN, my newest historical fiction, my ballet-themed trilogy, and/or Educating America materials between today, Dec.5th  and December 16th. You’ll receive a 20% book discount and free priority shipping (within the U.S.A.) valued at $10 per novel or up to $6 per educational book. Click the links above to order! When you order the entire trilogy, you’ll receive special wrapping materials and a set of ballet-themed note cards at no additional change. That’s an additional $4 discount per...