After much hard work, the e-book edition of The Lover’s Path was officially launched earlier this week! I’m still recovering from many late nights and full days behind the computer, but am very pleased at the overwhelmingly positive response thus far.
Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood wrote:
“The sheer design of the book is a delight for any bibliophile. Lavishly illustrated, the images, textures, and illuminated letters hearken back to a time when books were treasured things to behold. As deeply as I love physical books, e-books aren’t going anywhere. The Lover’s Path is a testament to the fact that electronic text can also be artistic and aesthetically pleasing.” Read the full review.
Also there: A guest post by moi about Pre-Raphaelites in Venice.
From Unabridged Chick:
“I’ve got nothing but swoony, swoony love for this one — get it and indulge in some lush escapist reading! With the playful and charming illustrated elements, this book drew out that sense of wonderment I get from reading, the visceral joy of being plunged into a story.” Read the full review.
Over at Unshelfish, Melinda wrote that The Lover’s Path was:
“A delicate, sensual yet powerful story leaving you stunned in beauty in its entirety. Exquisite.” Read the full review.
Also there: A guest post by me about creating the illustrations for it.
We got some love from Peeking Between the Pages too:
“The Lover’s Path: An Illustrated Novella of Venice by Kris Waldherr is an absolutely gorgeous book both in story and in the stunning art work depicted throughout its pages. It is a beautifully written tale of forbidden love that is accompanied by amazing illustrations that are a treat for a reader’s eyes. When I opened this book I fell into it and couldn’t put it down until I turned the last page…. I loved this book and can see myself delving into it again in the future.” Read the full review.
From CelticLady’s Reviews:
“Does the story have a happy ending? I can’t really tell you that, but what I can tell you is The Lover’s Path is a beautiful novella, filled with gorgeous pictures done by the author and a bit of a history lesson on the 16th century Italian Renaissance…. What a pleasure is was to read this book.” Read the full review.
More reviews will be coming next week. On top of all this, there’s now a dedicated webpage devoted to The Lover’s Path at LoversPathBook.com. I hope you’ll take a moment to visit. And with that, I’m going to go collapse onto a chaise.
Illustration from The Lover’s Path iPad e-book.
So things are going to get even more Lover’s Path-ish around here in the next few weeks because:
1. It’s only a week—a week!—until the e-book launch for real on June 16th. Because the digital edition has been so extensively revised and expanded from the original print publication, it truly feels like a second birth.
2. Already reviews are coming in this New And Improved Digital Edition. From Stephanie Cowell, the acclaimed author of Claude and Camille and Marrying Mozart:
“THE LOVER’S PATH is beautiful in every way; not only is the story of the girl’s secret and ultimately dangerous love wonderfully told, but the exquisite illustrations and layout make you feel that you have truly fallen into old Venice with its longing and eroticism. You feel you will look up from your screen and find yourself in an antique palazzo smelling of the sea with the soft footsteps of servants on the stair and the sound of a gondola moving through the water outside your window. Prepare to be lifted into another time and place and discover secrets long guarded…. You must own this lovely, lovely book!”
From Kimberly Eve of the wonderful blog Musings of a Writer.
“Follow these lovers as they walk their path and discover along with each of them how they find the love they didn’t know they were seeking. Venice, Italy, comes to life with each tale of lovers whether it is Tristan and Isolde or Dante and Beatrice. Her research is spot on, her history and passion for Venice, opera, and love shines through. If you want an enchanting read full of ancient tales, beautiful imagery, or just want to fall in love, I hope you will read THE LOVER’S PATH when it becomes available…. This one is a DO NOT MISS!!
3. The Lover’s Path is now available for pre-order everywhere save for Nook/BN.com; that link will go live June 16th.
4. To commemorate the relaunch of The Lover’s Path, I’ll be participating in a book blog tour. Here’s the schedule so far:
Thursday, June 18
Review & Excerpt at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Monday, June 22
Review at A Book Drunkard
Tuesday, June 23
Review & Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise
Wednesday, June 24
Review & Guest Post at The Emerald City Book Review
Thursday, June 25
Review at Broken Teepee
Friday, June 26
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Monday, June 29
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Tuesday, June 30
Review at Just One More Chapter
4. If this isn’t enough, I’m also preparing for the Historical Novel Society Conference later this month—I’ll be on a panel about book design—and finishing up pages of the long-aborning Next Novel for my literary agent. Oh, and revamping a book proposal, designing websites. And more. But no complaints: it’s all good.
The Fortuny dress I’d like to try to sew for the Historical Novel Conference. Because I don’t have enough to do.
Good news in Art and Words land:
Here are the deets:
When: Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 7 – 9 pm
Where: Upstairs at 61 Local
61 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY
Subway: F or G train to Bergen Street
Other authors will be participating. I’ll post their information as I learn more. Perhaps I’ll see you there?
2. At the 2014 INATS (International New Age Trade Show), The Sacred World Oracle (right) won the prestigious COVR award for Best Divination Deck of the Year. This is quite the honor, especially since my deck was up against some very stiff competition.
If that wasn’t exciting enough, there’s more: the Sacred World Oracle also won the top award for 2014 Product of the Year. Yup, the big kahuna.
I’m beyond thrilled.
ETA: The good people US Games Systems just sent me a photo of my deck flanked by its two awards. They look so substantial!
Now that we’re edging our way into the end of August, our days at Casa Blue House have eased into an unscheduled wonder. I’m enjoying it while I may—once Thea’s back in school in September, my life will be back to being measured by quarter-hour increments. In the meantime, here’s some end-of-summer random thoughts and happenings, illustrated with equally random photographs.
~ Our fig tree is sprouting fruit! We love going outside and plucking a few (above) to enjoy with our meals. They’re especially good with bleu cheese and a crusty baguette.
~ While walking to the subway last week, I discovered a padlocked gateway leading to a hidden path (right) I’d never noticed before. It reminded me of an English right-of-way. My theory: it’s a passage for the MTA to do work on the subway tracks. I’m tempted to climb down and explore further, though also intimidated. I mean, it’s padlocked for a reason, right?
~ I’m still continuing to indulge my love of cafes. Fortunately, Brooklyn is rife with them. I’ve discovered a few new ones in my daily travels, which inspire me on the culinary front as well as with home decorating ideas. Cafe Coleur, which was featured in this week’s Wordless Wednesday post, is located in Park Slope and features homemade preserves such as strawberry with rosemary. I loved their use of distressed painted doors as a decorating motif. Now I want to sand down the painted doors in my house to reveal what’s beneath.
~ On the home decorating front, I’ve begun work on the parlor. First up: repainting the textured wall paper to look more like treated leather (below). Originally, I was thinking along the lines of Whistler’s Peacock Room in terms of color and tone, but decided to go a bit lighter. And yes, that is gold paint on the accents. Once I finish with the wallpaper, I plan to glaze the top beige wallpaper into a lighter, airier shade, and reupholster the settee in some Morris fabrics. It will be an Arts and Crafts-inspired extravaganza.
~ In the studio, work is continuing on the Next Novel. I’m feeling very encouraged these days by the response I’ve received to my synopsis so far. I’m especially pleased to announce I’ll be workshopping the Next Novel in October at this amazing writers retreat. I can’t wait!
~ Also on the writing front: I’m doing a workshop on subplots with developmental editor and story consultant Jodi Henley this week. When I was deep into LILY MAID edits, her workshops on the transformational character arc and practical emotional structure (now available as an e-book) offered the right medicine at the right time—I can’t believe how much I got out of them. Besides being even more geeky than I am when it comes to the nuts-and-bolts of storytelling theory (Aristotle, anyone?), Jodi is a generous teacher who will force you to dig deep into the architecture of your novel.
~ More writing advice goodness: my author friend Heather Webb (BECOMING JOSEPHINE) has posted a fabulous piece about dealing with the sagging middle while writing a novel.
~ Thea and I love to go to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I’m now obsessing over installing some sort of water feature such as this (right) in our garden. Wouldn’t it look fabulous?
~ Finally, my giveaway of Carolyn Turgeon’s THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL is still afoot. Go forth and comment to win a copy of this deliciously dark fairy tale recasting. I loved it!
“I have always been a reader; I have read at every stage of my life, and there has never been a time when reading was not my greatest joy. And yet I cannot pretend that the reading I have done in my adult years matches in its impact on my soul the reading I did as a child. I still believe in stories. I still forget myself when I am in the middle of a good book. Yet it is not the same. Books are, for me, it must be said, the most important thing; what I cannot forget is that there was a time when they were at once more banal and more essential than that. When I was a child, books were everything. And so there is in me, always, a nostalgic yearning for the lost pleasure of books. It is not a yearning that one ever expects to be fulfilled.”
― Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale
Like Diane Setterfield’s above first person narrator, I, too, have always been a reader and, in the aftermath of my mother’s passing, even more so. While the weight of my grieving varies day by day, I’ve found myself turning to the solace of books to grant me distance and comfort. It’s also been the coldest snowiest winter in recent memory, which makes it the perfect time to turn inward.
So, you might be wondering, what have I been reading? Many things! Here’s a quick round up of some of the books I’ve recently read.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft*
by Stephen King
The first book I read after my mother’s death, ON WRITING is one of those books I’ve been meaning to read for as long as it’s been published. Part autobiography and part writing manual, King writes about writing the way I think of it: as the art of excavation. Brilliant stuff!
Bellman & Black
by Diane Setterfield
THE THIRTEENTH TALE’s masterful use of dual narratives to tell a story–the first by the book-obsessed Margaret Lea, the second by the trickster author Vida Winter–showcased Setterfield’s almost ventriloquist-like ability to write using different authorial voices. So, don’t go into reading BELLMAN & BLACK hoping for THE THIRTEENTH TALE part deux. Instead, think of BELLMAN & BLACK as the novel that Setterfield’s Vida Winter would have written for a long dark winter night. Like the uncompromising Vida herself, BELLMAN & BLACK is the sort of novel people are either going to love or hate. I adored it. It is seriously creepy, with one of the most perfectly written endings I’ve ever read. It spoke to my particular condition and obsessions.
The Fairest of Them All
by Carolyn Turgeon
Beautifully written and deliciously dark, THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL recasts Rapunzel and Snow White as a feminist saga with magical realist overtones. It takes on so many potent themes: the power of sexuality, the insidiousness of evil, aging, revenge, paganism versus Christianity. Though the novel is set in an undefined kingdom, it reminded me of the court of Louis XIV and other earlier pleasure-loving European courts. In some ways, THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL reminded me of Angela Carter‘s revisionist collection of fairy tales, THE BLOODY CHAMBER, one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. Turgeon’s use of language and originality of vision possess a similar evocative power.
A Reliable Wife
by Robert Goolrick
A RELIABLE WIFE is a dark tale of redemption, love, and snow. It has all the ingredients I yearn for in a novel: sumptuous language, a gothic setting, complex characters, and a tension-filled twisty plot that kept me guessing until the end. It’s also daring and sensual and dark. And the ending—oh, the ending is so beautiful that it made me cry, there’s so much forgiveness and humanity in it.
(Side note: I was fortunate to workshop my fiction with Robert Goolrick at the 2013 Salt Cay Writer’s Retreat—a truly life transforming experience. He’s one of the most gifted teachers I’ve ever worked with. Registration is now open for the 2014 session, where Goolrick will be teaching again.)
by Heather Webb
Sweeping of scale and beautifully written, BECOMING JOSEPHINE is a page turner presenting a somewhat revisionist look at the life of Rose Tascher, the Creole woman who survived the terreurs of the French Revolution to become France’s beloved Empress Josephine. In some ways, Webb’s smartly characterized depiction of Rose’s dramatic rise to fame reminds me of a kinder, gentler Scarlett O’Hara: no matter what fate throws her way, Rose does her best to determine her fate and protect her family. In addition, Heather Webb is a dear friend and member of my HNS tribe, so it’s gratifying to see all her years of hard work out in the world.
This is just some of what I’ve been reading these days. I’ve also beta read several novel manuscripts for author friends—my way of “paying it forward” to thank those who have read and commented on my manuscript drafts of late.
As for my TBR (To Be Read) pile, it’s ever-growing. Right now, I’m in the middle of Erin Morgenstern’s THE NIGHT CIRCUS (another book I’ve intended to read for some time), and am adoring it. I’m looking forward to reading Donna Tartt’s THE GOLDFINCH, Jenny Offill’s DEPT OF SPECULATION, and Sandra Gulland’s THE SHADOW QUEEN, and so much many other books this winter.
As I navigate these days of snow and mourning, I’m so grateful to the healing power of books. They’ve refilled my well at a time when I’ve been my most depleted.
*Book links are to author’s sites rather than online stores. Some books were provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.