Sunday, March 01, 2009

Central Connecticut State University released its yearly list of the Most Literate Cities. Is your city here? Mine is.

I can tell you it was a surprise to all my friends, most of whom are or were teachers or are now writers. When your circles consists of literate people who try to push books and reading, you begin to recognize then by the bruises on their heads as they continue to bang them against the brick wall.

With so many other distractions and demands on time, is there still room for reading? Do you read as much, less, or more than you did when you were younger? If less, what uses up the time you used to use for reading?

On the other hand, RT reviewed 283 genre fiction books this month. Is that too many? How can one writer get your attention among all those books, not to mention all the books you have already or who call to you from the library or used book store?

1) Minneapolis, MN
2) Seattle, WA
3) St. Paul, MN
4) Denver, CO
5) Washington, DC
6) St. Louis, MO
7) San Francisco, CA
8) Atlanta, GA
9) Pittsburgh, PA
10) Boston, MA

For more information head on over to:

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'm happy to announce that my TBA for the release of Haunts of the
Heart by Aspen Mountain Press has been set. It's today!

HAUNTS OF THE HEART, an award winning Civil War ghost story for
adults, by Barbara Scott

The story...

Deanna Butterworth escapes the pain and indignity of dying in a cold,
heartless hospital by fleeing to her beloved but now abandoned
childhood home. But instead of peace and refuge, she finds the place
haunted by two very lively ghosts. Neal, an amiable if confused
spirit, steals her heart. But it is Anthony, desperate to hide his
dark secrets, who threatens her soul. Snatched away to the past,
Deanna must risk all she holds dear to uncover the treachery that has
bound Neal and Anthony to her house since their deaths in 1864.

Highly recommended

A paranormal, of that much I can be reasonably positive, HAUNTS OF THE
HEART is both contemporary and historical, a love story, a ghostly
triangle and a real one, a murder, a suicide, an unlikely heroine, and
a hero that is far from heroic. It is a splendid read. Written with
power, verve, sensitivity, and insight, HAUNTS OF THE HEART opens new
vistas in the romance genre--where, to my knowledge, it is unique (and
most wonderfully so), breaking most of the established "rules" of what
a romance should be and making us wonder why the rules were
established in the first place.

I wish each of you the joy of discovering Ms. Scott's work. It is
incredible in its scope and vision. Deanna Butterworth is a heroine
you won't soon forget--but possibly Anthony Linville and the Angel of
Death will haunt you longer. Ms. Scott, you have engaged my mind and
tugged at my heart. My thanks for allowing me the privilege of
reviewing your book.

Reviewed by Patricia White Under the Covers Book Reviews


He left the room and returned with a bowl and washcloth. Deanna
recognized her mother's antique wash basin that he juggled so clumsily
the water sloshed over the sides. She cringed.
He mistook it for pain. "I thought so. You better let me look at
that elbow. I'm a little out of practice at this business." He took
her elbow gently and examined it. "Well, it still bends in all the
right places. I think it's just bruised." He dipped the washcloth in
the basin and wrung it out. Deftly, he dabbed her cheeks and her brow
then lay the cool cloth on her forehead. "Why don't you lie back?
Does your head hurt?"
"A little." Deanna lay back as he asked her to, resting her
throbbing head on the soft arm of the sofa. It hurt too much to
think. She almost thought she could hear the separate compartments of
her brain open then slam shut again as she tried to puzzle out this
stranger's identity and his odd behavior.
"Maybe I should call Anthony," he said.
"Who's Anthony?" Peculiar. Who's Anthony but not who are you? Why
wouldn't that question find its way to her tongue?
"Anthony?" He seemed surprised at her ignorance. "Anthony
Linville.... I'm sorry. I forgot. Just because I know you doesn't
mean you know me. Us. You haven't seen us before. That's how this
whole thing started, right?"
"Us? How many us?" She had visions of legions.
"Just two. Anthony and me."
"Did my father rent you the place for the season? If he did, I'll
leave, of course. He doesn't know I came here. And with the house
all boarded up. Well, naturally, I didn't think anyone else was
here." She should have known there would be no haven.
"Rent? Oh, we never paid rent." His eyes twinkled with humor. He
seemed to delight in her confusion.
"But... oh, are you guest?" Yes, guest, not some homeless squatter
who had broken and entered, please.
"Not guest. Wrong vowel. Ghost is the word."
He expected her to swallow it whole. He expected to say "I'm a
ghost" and expected her to accept it as nonchalantly as if he'd said,
"I'm a Lutheran." But she wasn't swallowing these days. She squeezed
his hand as he reached to rewet the cloth. No, he was solid. Not
even fuzzy around the edges. This man seemed harmless enough, but
obviously crazy. It might be safest to play along.
"Is your special effects man on vacation?"
"My what?"
"Your special effects man. Your transparency has solidified. You
probably need a new battery." Deanna tried to raise her head, but the
room spun wildly. She had to close her eyes to make it stop. "No,
wait. Wait a minute. I get it. Mark Twain, right? Sure! The
Connecticut Yankee falls on his head and wakes up surrounded by the
knights of the round table. But me, I get ghosts. It makes sense."