It’s Been A Long Time…

Mary RM editedIt’s been a very long time since my last post. I have no reason other than the usual one for many: a very full life outside of my writing life – along with some unexpected bumps in the road and a close family member’s ongoing recovery from a very difficult circumstance.

However, I am back, and I will strive to be more present here.

I have a backlog of recipes/cooking to offer up.

The Crimson Lady

The Crimson Lady, originally released in 2003 and re-released in 2012

I also have several interesting and quirky experiences to share, and some book talk too. I’m mulling ideas (and have begun a prequel novella to my medieval romance The Crimson Lady; The original novel follows Fiona Byrne in the years after she’d fled London and the notorious existence she’d had there. She’d been sold as a young woman into a life of sin, purchased by a powerful nobleman who is as depraved as he is handsome, and turned into England’s most desired courtesan: Giselle de Coeur, “The Crimson Lady”. The prequel is called “Becoming the Crimson Lady” and details just how she was transformed from a street urchin to the sought-after courtesan…and what led to her ultimate escape).

I have a few other ideas rolling around that are not tied to works I’ve already written, but we’ll see what transpires.

MooseTracks_CoverIn the meantime, my latest, “Fried Green Tomatoes of the Adirondacks style”, very loosely and semi-autobiographical novel Moose Tracks on the Road To Heaven is still available for only $3.99 in digital and $13.99 in trade-sized print.

I’m not reading too much lately, outside of material for work (endless papers, exams etc), but a title I’m reading a bit at a time, because it fascinates me, is Change the Story of Your Health: Using Shamanic and Jungian Techniques for Healing by Carl Greer, PhD, PsyD. Has anyone else read this book or something similar?

Lastly, the school year is finally wrapping up for 2017. This will mean more free time to write (and visit here!) but less than when I was building this site, due to some of those life circumstances I mentioned in the first paragraph. It will still be a change of schedule, and I am looking forward to embracing all that the summer has to offer, in my personal life, in the great beauty of nature, and in a bit of travel, writing, relaxation, and family time.

How about you? What are your plans for the next few months? I’d love to hear in the comments.

Thanks for visiting!

It’s Been A While…

It’s hard to believe that here it is the end of February, and this is my first post of 2016.

There are several reasons for this, which I won’t get into in any detail, but I will share that my life has become more complex and complicated in many ways, due to some family-related issues and a delightful and loveable new little human who has been living with us and made me a (quite youthful!) grandmother.

imageNeedless to say, the slogan on the Yogi tea I’ve been drinking this past hour is one I’m working actively toward achieving each day: “To be calm is the highest achievement of the self”.

Speaking of tea, what do you think of my mug? It’s new (well, as of January) and was a little gift to myself, purchased at a country store but from a source called Healing Touch Pottery. Each mug or pottery item is unique, handmade from quartz clay and containing a gemstone or mineral in the handle, imbued with energy associated with that. Mine is my birthstone, amethyst (yes, I recently had a milestone birthday) 🙂

I love it!  Has anyone else here tried their pottery?  I’d like to collect a few more pieces. It’s pretty and comforting all at once.

Anyway – I’m glad to be back and will try to post again more frequently. I’m writing sporadically, working at the moment on a prequel novella for The Crimson Lady – but thanks to the aforementioned changes in life, I’ve yet to find my rhythm to set up any regular schedule. It will come in time – when it’s supposed to – I’m confident.

Until my next post, wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

I’ve Started Writing A New Medieval…

Well, it’s a novella and not  full-length book.

But it’s in response to numerous reader requests over the years, related to the main characters of one of my medieval romances, originally published with HarperCollins/Avon and then released under my own imprint Teabury Books with a new cover and revised contents, once rights reverted.

The Crimson Lady, originally released in 2003 and re-released in 2012

The Crimson Lady, originally released in 2003 and re-released in 2012

Here’s the book that the novella will be based around.

Anyone want to guess what the story will be about? (Hint: because of the context of this story, and in order to be honest to the characters and circumstances, this novella will probably end up being a bit more “intense” than my usual romances – and it’s certainly not a romance in and of itself). 😉

It feels good to be writing again!

Bargain Historical Romance Books!

This post is for those of you who enjoy (or think you might enjoy) historical romance. 🙂

Four of my historical romances – all medieval –  originally published with HarperCollins/Avon and then re-released by me when rights reverted, are on a deeply-discounted sale for the time being: only $2.99 for eBook, and anywhere from $9.66 – $10.99 for the trade size print edition! The original eBook price for all was $5.99 and print was $11.99.

Of course I also wrote three other historical titles that are still owned by HarperCollins/Avon; unfortunately I can’t get them back and so have no control over their prices. In looking at online purchasing sites, all three of those titles appear to be priced from $3.99 – $5.99 for eBook and $5.99 for mass market size paperback.

You can tell which four of the seven titles are mine and which are still owned by HarperCollins/Avon by the style of the covers.

Check out my historical books page for links to ALL of the titles HERE, or click on the covers below to be brought to each book’s individual page, with purchase links embedded there for your convenience.

Also, please feel free to reblog or share if you think this might be of interest to any of your readers or Facebook friends etc. 🙂

In order of publication:

Secret Vows

Secret Vows – originally released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2001 and re-released by the author in 2011

 

The Maiden Warrior - originally released in 2002 and re-released in 2012

The Maiden Warrior – originally released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2002 and re-released by the author in 2012

The Crimson Lady, originally released in 2003 and re-released in 2012

The Crimson Lady, originally released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2003 and re-released by the author in 2012

The Sweetest Sin, released by Avon Books in 2004

The Sweetest Sin, released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2004

Beyond Temptation: Book ONE of the Templar Knights Trilogy. Released by Avon Books in 2005

Beyond Temptation: Book ONE of the Templar Knights Trilogy. Released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2005

Sinful Pleasures: Book TWO of the Templar Knights Trilogy, released by Avon Books in 2006

Sinful Pleasures: Book TWO of the Templar Knights Trilogy, released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2006

The Templar's Seduction: Book THREE of the Templar Knights Trilogy, originally released in 2007 and re-released in 2012

The Templar’s Seduction: Book THREE of the Templar Knights Trilogy, originally released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2007 and re-released by the author in 2012

 

Happy Reading!

“Food For The Muse”

books-and-musicThis blog post was inspired through a post written by fellow writer and blog-o-sphere comrade L. N. Holmes at her excellent blog A Vase of Wildflowers. You can check out her blog through the link of its title, or read the specific and wonderful blog post that inspired me here.

Anyway, it got me thinking about how important music is to my creativity, particularly in the crafting of characterization and the scenes I need to write to showcase some of the character issues and development I need to show.

Like many writers, listening to music is an integral part of my writing process. I almost always need music to brainstorm. I have to tease the Muse out, especially with the way my life is so cram-packed and highly disjointed with all the different hats I have to wear. I need a trigger to get me into the work as quickly as possible to maximize what little time I have to brainstorm and/or write.

You may have heard of authors who develop “playlists” for each book they write. I’m not so organized that I actually create a playlist, but I do have a group of songs that seems to serve as the background music for each book. It always sounds a little cheesy to me, though, when authors post their “playlists”, because what it means and how it triggers that author is not necessarily how those songs strike a particular reader.

basementIt makes me vaguely uncomfortable because writing in and of itself is such an intimate process, and using music as inspiration adds a layer to that, IMHO. To me, it’s akin to opening the basement door and inviting readers to mosey around in the stuff you’ve got hoarded down there…all your quirky, sometimes a little tarnished, or even embarrassing things you’ve collected that don’t mean much to anyone else but that give you that necessary jolt of emotion you need to write a particular mood, scene, or character. 🙂

So I’m only going to open mine a crack…but only because this song was unusual in the way it informed my Muse, as it didn’t just inspire a mood or character element for me. It actually caused an entire scene to bloom, full-formed, into my mind.

The Crimson Lady, originally released in 2003 and re-released in 2012

The Crimson Lady, originally released in 2003 and re-released in 2012

Such things don’t happen too often to me as a writer. The last time I can remember an entire anything springing into my mind from an outside source was when I was trying to come up with the basic plot/character in what ended up being my third published romance The Crimson Lady. Her character came to me like that, fully-formed. So much so that I could see her in my mind and hear her speaking. It happened after I watched a television program about third world prostitution (and no, that’s not what the book is about)…but that will have to be the topic of another post. 🙂

Copyright M. Reed McCall, Mary Reed McCall, novel, writing, writer, author, book, Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven, preorderThis current one happened when I was nearing the end of writing Moose Tracks on the Road To Heaven. I hadn’t realized I needed it until it came to me. The scene begins on page 198 of the book, for those who might want to look it up, once it’s published in EIGHT DAYS!! ( it’s not a chapter, but a “past” scene dated April 15 1987). The song is “When a Heart Breaks” by Ben Rector. You can have a listen below, if you’re so inclined. It might give you an idea about the tone and mood of the scene, but I can’t give you too many details without giving a major spoiler for the book. 🙂

Anyway, it was a perfect scene for what I needed to convey, but had no idea how until that moment. I went home and wrote the entire scene in about an hour. Except for a few edits, what you see is how it came out of my subconscious mind…all thanks to the music that gave my Muse a shot of adrenaline.

Artist Interview: M. Reed McCall

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by fellow blogger L.N. Holmes. She asked some great questions that really made me think. We covered a lot of ground, from industry thoughts to how an award-winning medieval romance writer shifts over to mainstream contemporary fiction…and why the two genres are not all that different after all, to me. 🙂

A Vase of Wildflowers

M. Reed McCall, author, Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven, book, novel, ficiton, Mary Reed McCall, new book Copyright M. Reed McCall


(Please note that I am adding the addition of colored text. My questions will be in red and the artist’s answers will be in purple.)


L.N. Holmes: “Where is your hometown?”
M. Reed McCall: “I am originally from Rome, NY, which is about an hour east of Syracuse.”
L.N. Holmes: “What is your chosen artistic profession?”
M. Reed McCall: “I am a writer–although I am also a high school English teacher, which requires its own kind of artistry, and I have been working with students (numbered in the thousands by now) for the past 26 years.”

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